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April 2021

He signs when he wants, Arsène Wenger, he signs when he wants

By Walter Broeckx

Get out the champagne, fill the pints, get out the soft drinks for those like me who don’t drink alcohol. Some 14 days after winning the FA cup it has been made official by Arsenal: Arsène Wenger has signed a new contract.

We will have our longest serving and most successful manager at Arsenal for another 3 years. As you can imagine this is news that most of the faithful Untolders have been hoping for the read.

In a way it is amazing thing to see that the news was published only now. Because when we look at the interview on we see that the interview about his contract was taken on the day of the parade. So it was all settled on that day and yet Arsenal kept it a (public) secret for another 14 days.

What this shows is that Arsenal do it their way and will only come out with some news the day they see it fit to come out with it. Frustrating as this might be conceived by a lot of people and I could understand the frustration at times, it shows that the club has their own way of doing things.

And if they even deem to issues like that when it comes to something rather easy like the contract of our manager, it shows how secretive they will be about transfer deals. Or try to be.

What is very interesting about the interview we can hear with Wenger is something that surely must fill even the AAA with a little bit of hope. Unless their hate is so big that they cannot stand the man at all. In that case I suggest they would put their fan-ship away for the next 3 years and forget about Arsenal in that period. But don’t come complaining when you missed the fun.

So what did Wenger say in his interview:

on building another great Arsenal team…

It’s time for another one [to emerge]. It’s the start of a new team and I believe [the FA Cup] victory was crucial in that belief. We have shown signs the whole season that we can be a great side and now it’s [important] of course to have another successful season. We know we have to… have a successful June and July, that’s where you strengthen the team. It’s very important that we are good now in the next two months until the end of August, that we can give to the team some more quality and go into next season with the belief we got from [the FA Cup] win.

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on the fans expecting a big summer…
Yes, they should expect that. What I can promise is that we work very hard on a market that is very, very congested with many people who have a lot of money. But we have a big advantage, players want to join us and if we find the right quality I’m sure we can strengthen the team.

So reading the Wengerian speak which is hard to understand for the AAA most of the time because they don’t try to read between the lines so I will try to translate it for them.

It is clear that Wenger wants to add. And if he adds it will be quality. Not quantity.  I think it has been a while since Wenger was so clear about that before a transfer period. Not just something the media ‘said he said’. No he said it in public directing himself to the Gooners worldwide.

It is clear that the club is trying to bring in some extra quality for the next season. But of course we will have to fight off the moaners. But as Wenger has said: it is important that the players want to come to us despite the oilers. For me it looks as if the targets have been identified. And that we have spoken to the targets and that they seem to be very willing to join Arsenal. Despite maybe earning more money or having the chance to earn more money at other clubs.

And looking at the quality we already have I think that adding one or two or just imagine even three top quality players to the squad we will be truly ready to challenge for anything next season.

So for me this is a double nice message. First of all of course the fact that Wenger will guide us in the next 3 years and will be able to benefit from what he has been building on all these years. But also the fact that he seems to have a very good idea on what the squad needs to make it even stronger.

A squad that came 7 points short of a league and cup double remember. Only 7 points. So bring it on is what I say. Let Lord Wenger do his job in and off the field, let the people who do the negotiations with the players we want to buy do their job in a good way so that as Wenger hopes by the start of August and certainly at the end of August we will be ready to have a squad that can do better than the last season.

Good days are ahead of us I feel. And let those who want to drawn in their misery just do that. For me the future looks brighter than it has ever been in the last 9 years.

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181 comments to He signs when he wants, Arsène Wenger, he signs when he wants

  • colario

    Three more years of Arsene, some dreams do come true!

    Bring on the next season, can’t wait.

    I note that Arsene says we will add to the team ‘if we find the right quality’. That quality could an established player or one in the making.

    The only certainty here is which ever it is the Arsenal/Arsene haters will denounce the choice and condemn the player and the refs will allow him to be fouled unmercifully by the opposition.

    Mean while over in N17 or ‘spudland’ there is a question of speculation.

    In the next three years of Arsene, how many managers will Dan, Dan, the sacking man, ‘fire and hire.

    A) 1

    B) 2

    C) 3

    D) 4

    I am sorry I can’t offer you a prize if you get the right answer.

  • gouresh

    He said he would stay right after the FA cup final, when he was interviewed by the ITV reportor. This, no doubt is good news.

  • oldgroover

    No surprises there then. I don’t actually visit other clubs blogs, but would imagine the envy is now apparent in the most negative of articles.

  • Frank Wilcox

    Love your posts,always interesting and amusing,keep up the good work!!This gooner is coming from Las Vegas Nv.across the pond,love the history and ref rating posts too!
    Look forward to more!thx again!!

  • Mick

    Great news but in truth it only confirms what I have been thinking all along. It would have taken a real bad season to have made him throw in the towel. The fact that it has turned into such a saga is solely down to our media enemies who as usual have made a mountain out of what has probably always been a bit of a molehill.

  • Mick

    The thick scouser M Quinn on Talkshite is already this morning saying he thinks it is a bad decision, Wenger is not the man to take us forward and we will not win the League whilst he remains in charge. All the other teams (including Spurs) are going to improve apparently which will make it harder for us. Same old shit.

  • bjtgooner

    It is excellent news to know that AW has signed for another three years and also to see him confident about developing this team further.

    Wailing and gnashing of teeth for the AAA!

  • Mandy Dodd

    It’s all very good news. Most of our best, who can get yet better tied down long term. Next season, ozil will be better, Jack can do a Ramsey, we will have theo, Ox will continue his upward curve, if we can strengthen and improve on the injuries, we can significantly add to this seasons points total.
    Wenger is not a tactical quick fix manager, like say Jose, it takes time to develop his teams into a true force of nature, into a zen like mindset, free spirits combining as a team not ultra disciplined automatons. In some ways in such an environment, keeping stability and the core of the team together is the most important issue, with the exception of Bac, he has
    done just that.
    We have some very exciting times ahead. Some of our own fans do not know it, but many from fergie, to david dein, Usmanov, the media, the football authorities, the pgmol and those that control them , other club owners,even many Spurs fans all recognise what wenger can potentially do on anything like a level playing field, that is why they are so scared of him and set out to undermine him at all costs. But they failed, now wenger will show what he is capable of yet again.
    We are very lucky to have this man in charge

  • menace

    Wonderful indeed. Wenger said he is staying long before the Cup final. He is mid project. Don’t be surprised if his team do another unbeaten season. He strives for perfection and that means victories with clean sheets. He has to achieve this in spite of all the corruption that has controlled football.

    I hope our players do not get their heads turned by the jealous wealthy clubs. It creates loss of focus. Injuries are expected because of the phylosophy in the game ‘kick the skill out of the opponent’. It is coached early in England and is why skillful players rarely emerge above the age of 16. Football academies have helped protect the skillful players in recent years.

    Wenger has enhanced the skillful players by moulding them into a team phylosophy where the ball does the work. It allows players to stay fresh longer and that shows toward the end of matches. Possession of the ball by the team is more important than possession by an individual. The latter encourages injury.

    However, most Arsenal players get kicked after they have released the ball. Referees (PGMOL) play ‘advantage’ and ignore the protagonist so that they can repeat the foul several times before being pulled up. In the Cup final Sagna & Cazorla were kicked in the calf deliberately. Probert did not punish the offenders sufficiently to satisfy the Laws.

    We can look forward to more beautiful football at the Ems coached by the Master of the Beautiful Game – Arsene Wenger

  • andy1886

    Well, although I’m not a huge fan of Mr Wenger the fact is that we now all have to get behind the club in it’s totality and hope that we make the best possible use of the resources at our disposal this summer. Arsene seems to be making the right noises, if the intention is there which it seems to be then I hope that our transfer negotiating team have learned from last summer’s failures and act swiftly and decisively.

    To be fair Mick you can blame the media for many things but not the saga of Arsene’s new contract. He could have signed any time he wanted, the timing was solely down to him and the delay in announcing it was a decision made between Arsene and the club. I would have thought it would have been in our own interest to remove any doubt sooner rather than later, certainly better for the fans who have been left hanging for many months, and I would be interested to know what greater purpose made it necessary to delay the announcement.

  • andy bishop

    I would not say that David Dein or Fergie or indeed Usmanov are scared of Wenger. I believe they all respect him.

  • Pete

    This is by far the most important signing we will make this summer. I can sleep easy in my bed now!

  • jambug


    Like just about everyone at Talkshite, M Quinn is just another a dim witted dip shit.

    To M Quinn.

    Wenger built Arsenal a brand new 60,000 seater Stadium whilst maintaining CL football for 17 consecutive years which earned the Club around £450 Million, which indecently is about the cost of the nice new Stadium.

    No trophies. Fuck you.

    Take a train into Kings Cross and have a butchers to the left as you pass Finsbury park and dream on.

    Are Liverpool still fucking about trying to share/not share, move/not move? What a fucking mess.

    Are Liverpool still kicking the local residence out of there homes? Don’t hear much about that in the media do we? What a fucking disgrace.

    How’s the racist cannibal doing? Still wearing the T shirts are we? Still ‘backing him to the hilt’ are we? What a fucking joke.

    Are Liverpool still in hysel denial are they? Never your fault is it? What a fucking disgrace.

    Quinn…take a look at your own joke of club before having the fucking cheek to dis one of the most loyal, honest, hardworking, successful and respected Managers in the history of English football.

    You scousers are so busy licking each others backsides you fail to see how far from grace you have fallen.

    How many years since you won the league you fuckwits??

    Quinn…….you are not fit to lick Wengers boots.

  • nicky

    While you are quite correct that the AAA will gnash a few teeth over Arsene’s contract extension,
    I wonder how many Arsenal supporters a bit closer to home will feel some shame, after calling for his head not so long ago.
    They had Ramsey, then Wenger. I wonder who will be next on their list.

  • bjtgooner


    I think a lot of the so called supporters who have back stabbed Wenger over the last few seasons should feel some shame, but I doubt if many of that group will. As you probably know I have serious doubts about the motivation of some of the AAA types.

  • andy1886

    Good Morning Nicky! There’s no shame in having a difference of opinion over who should be manager of your club, football fans have been doing that ever since the game started. I honestly believe that the vast majority of the fans hold an opinion based upon what they believe is the best for their club in the near and longer term. That’s a perfectly reasonable position in any democracy. I don’t agree with the insults slung at AW, or with the moronic name calling that sometimes fans with different viewpoints throw at each other either.

    What I will conceed is that I did believe that AW would never win another trophy at the club and I was wrong there. Now Arsene has another three years to show that he can adapt to the modern game and challenge for more trophies, if he shows he can do that my stance may well change. The summer should prove a good guide as to the whether we heading in a bright new direction or if it will be more like ‘steady as she goes’. Let’s hope that it’s the former.

  • Mick

    I’m glad you got that off your chest!!

  • bjtgooner


    racist cannibal 🙂

  • andy1886

    Jambug – I’ve detested Micky Quinn since the first game of the ’93/’94 season. Nothing I’ve seen or heard from him since has change that view either.

  • Mick

    Why did you believe Wenger would never lead the team to another trophy and what does Wenger have to do to adapt to the modern game in order to win more trophies?

  • bjtgooner


    “What I will conceed is that I did believe that AW would never win another trophy”

    So andy, when you reached that conclusion did you consider the financial restriction AW was working under, did you compare that restriction to the abhorrent spending by the nouveau riche clubs and did you factor in the bias shown by the PGMOL?

    Did you conclude an alternative manager working under the same restrictions would win a trophy?

  • jambug


    If I ever said what I think of that £$*” £)*&&*** &^%$£” ***** $!”*% Durham, I would be banned for life 🙂

  • menace

    What is your opinion on PGMOL and their officials?
    Do you think in any sport a team can win when the official in charge is against them?
    Do you watch Arsenal on TV or at the Ems?

  • menace

    I learned to use choice vocabulary rather than swear words as part of self control. The same applies to football when a poor footballer kicks his skilled opponent. In really bad cases the Shawcrosses of this world break their opponents legs.

    It is so much more gratifying to prick conscience with the use of pure language than to resort to ‘colourful language’.

    However, I agree with your opinion of the two talkshite dildos.

  • andy1886

    Hi Mick. To be fair to Arsene I wouldn’t lay the blame for any failings that I believe exist or existed entirely at his door. A major stumbling block for many years has been our inability to beat the top teams, certainly not on a consistent basis and more recently we’ve been unable to beat them at all. That’s why I was ecstatic when Citeh lost to Wigan – they were the last real hurdle in the cup. Whether our results against the better sides were because of the quality of the playing staff, because of tactical naiveity, or something mental we could argue about, but that’s why I wasn’t expecting another trophy under Arsene.

    What does he have to do to adapt? In fact what does the club have to do to adapt is the wider question. I do think that Arsene needs someone he trusts to tell him what he perhaps doesn’t want to hear. I think the way we went about a number of away games last season (you know the ones) showed a certain obstinacy that was unfortunate. You can’t put those down to luck. He also needs to realise that eventually it has to be about the now, not about tomorrow, next season, or the season after. Yaya Sanogo for example isn’t Arsenal standard or even close. Yes he may come good, but we’ve far too many resources to have to take that gamble. Arsene needs to grasp the mettle and utilise the resources we have available, the time for bargains has gone, we can and should be competing for the best players.

    One point that we may be able to agree on is that perhaps Arsene is too loyal to those that underperform. I don’t mean playing staff either. For example, our transfer negotiating team have quite frankly been a joke recently. Maybe it’s time for an overhaul in that area. Arsene has ordered an enquiry into our medical department, and not before time too. Again even if you suscribe to conspiracy theories as to why we suffer so many injuries our performance in getting players fit and keeping them fit after injury is not good.

    I could go into how detailed our analysis of the opposition is, how we play one way most of the time with no obvious plan B and so on. I was glad to see Arsene switch to 4-4-2 in the cup final, I think that would have been an effective approach with Podolski playing off Giroud in some games earlier in the season, but at least Arsene has shown he might look at that going forward.

  • Alex

    Why three years?

    Sure it is not unheard of but the regular one is four years.

    There is a five years or more as well and that is when both sides are extremely happy to carry on for half decade.

    And there is one year or two ,which is kind of ” let see how it goes ” and take it from there.

    Well Arsene being Arsene has his oun judgment of the club,fans etc. and above all the required fitness/strength of himself to carry on the job,I am not entirely sure wether he took lightly the boooing of his oun fans.

    The events that unfolded at Old Trafford after Sir Alex are not a lesson for the like of spuds but for Arsenal yes.The change for a succesfull manager even carefully selected ala Moyes are not an easy.

    I believe given the section of fans that booed him had a lot of weight because Arsene said clearly that he do not want to stay one hour more had he felt unwanted,The glorious FA cup win may have cooled his nerve a bit and considered the situation at olld trafford Arsene penned that thing.

    To me the three years are a preparation for the long good bye and introducing time for a younger manager.Will Arsene fullfill it is another matter this time around.

    Me think

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Since the deal be done , where do the depressed AAAA ,BSM & all the naysayers go from here ? I do hope that its not as bad as the Wall Street crash of ’27 .
    Is there a special EPL helpline for them ?
    Please inform them that the very concerned Medical Division of UA has a contact number in case of emergency and its 00000 ( for overseas callers add 00 in front).
    Do tell them to keep calling even if they get strange ring tones – its probably very busy !
    As we speak a worldwide suicide emergency watch has been activated , and daily updated reports will be printed in the papers .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Hmmmm…I sense a disturbance in the Force…..

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Another dimension to the timing of Wenger’s signing is that though he agreed in principle to continue at Arsenal long ago, he realized that he could have been accused of putting his job security ahead of the fortunes of the club, had he signed much earlier, when the contract was put on the table and Arsenal came short of winning a trophy at the end of this season.

    Clearly, Wenger was too honest and too committed to the Arsenal cause that he opted to sink or float with the fortunes of the club this season. What a fair-minded and committed gentleman!

    Do you regulars on this blog agree with this view on why Wenger delayed to sign until the end of the season?

  • GoingGoingGooner

    There will be no difference in the actions of the AAA. Even an early signing will be met with comments about other perceived deficiencies in the club and particularly Arsene Wenger. The problem is that the criticisms are largely personal; the comments are about Wenger’s character and nothing he DOES will change what they think of him as a man. Winnning the FA Cup is not enough.

    There will be no difference in the actions of the media. We are perceived as outsiders who don’t go along with the rest – foreigners even. The owner of the media conglomerates is the same, the reporters are the same, the pundits are the same (except that Hansen is leaving…yeah!)so I would expect the editorial direction to stay the same, too. The only thing that has changed is our FA Cup win but that, too, will not be enough.

  • Alex

    @Shakabula gooner
    Yes i do.To me Arsene he is not any everyday manager.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    PGMOL and their Minions …Ain’t it the truth ?

  • GoingGoingGooner

    If I have come across as a pessimist, I apologize. I just think that we have to do our own thing because the AAA and the media will try to rain on our parade regardless of our successes…nay…because of our successes. We have to stride forward, hopefully to victory and bring our own sunshine. The media and the AAA though they exert very real negative influences on our results on the pitch have no place in my life. I can’t change their opinions so I won’t waste time in a bun fight with them. One of the things that I like about Untold is the relative lack of profanity. It does get expressed from time to time out of frustration but I personally appreciate the measured more refined debate much more.

  • jambug


    Thank you for your advice, and of course you are right.

    He shall, from this moment on, be known as Quinn, the Talkshite Dildo.

    Although any similarities between a device that gives so much pleasure to so many people and that dimwit arse wipe Quinn I fail to see. 😉

  • menace

    @Jambug 😆 !!!

  • Mandy Dodd

    But Andy1886, if some of the things you suggest are wrong, surely that is up to the CEO to deal with? Yes, I know some believe wenger has far more power than the CEO, I do believe there was certainly a time when for the love of the club….and an amazing work ethic, wenger may have taken on too much for a team manager, but not sure that holds any more. The new academy director is reportedly not a wenger appointment, I have also read extensively that Steve bould was not either, although of course no idea if this is actually true.
    Can only take encouragement the club are looking to the injury situation, which is surely one of the main pressing issues within the playing staff. We can see with our own eyes some of our players, especially our creative MFs do not get the same level of ref protection as some I could mention. I am convinced this is a major source of injury at the club, but maybe, just maybe there is something else as well. I also share your concern over recovery times, was Ramsey the straw that broke the camels back this season? Wengers words on the matter indicate this may have been the case. But let’s see what happens there
    I am sure that there are things that can be improved at this club….as well as at any organisation. I am also sure wenger sweats blood for the club and only wants the best for it. Where improvements are required, in terms of staff or procedure, we now have the platform, resources and I am sure the desire to put them in place

  • Sav from Australia

    Well said Walter!

  • Sav from Australia


    “Now Arsene has another three years to show that he can adapt to the modern game”

    You are having a laugh, surely? ….no, you are serious? Goodness lets not see your lack of understanding football all at once. I tell you what. There’s a nice box set of DVDs regarding the history of football. Start there. Move on to watching actual football matches. Then ask yourself again –

    “Now Arsene has another three years to show that he can adapt to the modern game”

    If you want trophies that is your perogative. But please do not speak as authority where you have none.

    Arsene Wenger! Show he can adapt to the modern game!! How do you do the emoticon for consternation? Anyone? Foolish little lambs should stay playing football manager. Arsene Wenger has his own chapter in the history of football tactics and innovation. And he is still innovating. Don’t take my word for it. Ask Martin Jol about his comments not so long ago. Or Jurgen Klopp regarding the press. Or anyone who knows anything about football.

  • Sav from Australia

    I agree with Shakabula. And GGG. And practically everyone else on Untold to be fair.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Hold on, whats that Wenger chappie doing re signing? He knows nothing of the modern game whatsoever! I thought it was proven that he was just average,and we had got rid of him and that he would be replaced by 5th- placed Martinez, or him from over there,you know that Klopp bloke, Ive heard hes really good.
    And what with Walter sitting at home and making up all the ref stats for the Cup Final and other games I just dont know what the worlds coming to?
    Mind you it could be worse,I could follow a team that is supported by Chas and Dave.
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Two weeks without a trophy. Wenger out!

  • para

    Not really much to say, it’s been all said above.

    AW brought the modern game to UK is my view.

    Concerning his duties, i do think that since he has made the club economically stable, he can now concentrate on the team more than before, and although people may think i am crazy for my next statement, here goes:

    We should petition Arsenal to update the old invincible’s strip for the new season.

  • jambug


    As much as I admire your faith, I do think it would be tempting fate and inviting ridicule just a tad.

    Still loving the optimism though 🙂

  • nicky

    As one who has consistently opposed the annual con of new home and away kits, the positively last thing we need is yet ANOTHER shirt on the market.

  • menace

    Following the invincible season we were presented with a Premier League trophy that was Gold with a silver crown (the inverse of the normal trophy). I proposed that the club get permission to have a small crown above the badge to show an unbeaten season (similar to CL winners stars or World Cup winners stars). It didn’t happen as the FA were not likely to allow it. I think we should do it in spite of the FA.

    I am sure United would have had more than a little crown & special trophy.

  • nicky

    While there is some merit in your proposal, a problem could arise if a club remained unbeaten but failed to win the League e.g. a host of draws.

  • andy1886

    Care to elaborate Sav? I’ve been going since the 70/71 season, perhaps I do know a little more than you would care to believe? I’m talking about MODERN football and you talk about the history of the game – can you see the problem with that?

    Yes Arsene was an innovator when he arrived, one of the first foreign coaches he brought methods and ideas from outside the UK to our backward league, kudos for that but please don’t pretend that he invented the approach it was one commonly used on the continent but shunned over here. This was 1996, nearly eighteen years ago.

    Once I take out your childish parts of your post I’m left with the idea that you believe that Arsene is still innovating. Perhaps you’d be good enough to give a few examples?

    Everyone can improve, even Arsene. When you believe that you’re perfect you’re history.

  • bjtgooner


    Sav is more than capable so I will not respond directly to your last comment. However, before you start asking questions it would be appropriate for you to answer the questions put to you earlier today on this thread and which unless I am mistaken, you have not answered.

    Also, would you like to explain what you mean by the “modern game”?

    Please define where you believe AW is not “modern”?

    Are you involved in the operation of a web blog?

  • Gunnerjoe

    Andy 1886
    What’s modern football? if you are the same Andy 1886 who posts on le grove you have wanted Wenger out of Arsenal for years. This modern football is just more of the same Wenger out bull shite. Let’s get him out because we will never win anything as long as he is in charge.
    He wins a cup and now you change to he knows nothing of modern football. Oh by the way other posters asked a list of questions none of which you answered.

  • Gunnerjoe

    Bjt gooner
    You beat me to it

  • menace

    No issues with unbeaten champions and unbeaten participant. Gold crown for unbeaten champions and white for unbeaten in a season.

    What Wenger introduced was not practiced anywhere. He introduced a holistic approach to fitness – lifestyle, morality, diet and technique. The systems he introduced were totally different from anything ‘commonly used on the continent’. The improvement we have witnessed in stadium, training facilities and fitness is exemplary. The systems he has introduced in the play has been consistently successful in spite of biased media led propaganda and officiating. He has faced a very sick FA that have fined him for reacting as any decent human would.

    Wenger is still innovative in spite of your lack of vision. He is a student of the game almost like no other. He introduces new processes and procedures without publicity.

    I have no doubt you are magnificent in your thinking but to get to Wengers position of multilingual, economic, football technology and physical expertise needs more than thought.

  • menace

    modern game is getting kicked by unrated players without any protection from officials. Modern game is winning trophies, bullying media, coercing officials and losing the club to asset strippers from foreign parts. Just watch United and you might be entertained by the modern game.

  • bjtgooner


    Thanks for that, but I want to see what andy1886 understands by the term “modern game”.


    Wise minds? 🙂

  • andy1886

    BJT & Joe, Thanks for your replies, glad to respond. Yes I post on Le Grove, also on ACLF. Check out my first post today, I never denied that I wasn’t Arsene’s biggest fan. You’ll notice that I said that now Arsene has signed there’s no point in complaining about it if you wanted change (okay, I accept I’m probably in a minority on that here 😉 )You’ll also notice that even if I did want change I didn’t resort to insults or abuse, but I do challenge statements that I disagree with, just as you are free to do.

    So. To answer your questions:

    The modern game is just what you’d expect it to be. the game that it is now, not the game in 1996, or even the game in 2004 (a decade ago). I fully appreciate Arsene’s impact when he arrived, and his work for around a decade afterwards. The question is is Arsene still at the forefront or has he been overtaken?

    Where is Arsene not modern? Well, his approach hasn’t really changed since circa 2007/8 IMO, he sticks to plan A and rarely deviates. Ex-players tell us he’s not bothered about the opposition and just tells the players to ‘play their game’ (there was a quote from a player as recently as the cup final that said Arsene just said at half time to keep playing your own game). As I said I hope that his reverting to a 4-4-2 in that game might signal a more flexible approach. His valuations of players have been suspect – we didn’t raise our bid for Suarez for example from the silly £40m + £1 and if we’re totally honest £45m or £50m would still have been good value in today’s market. And yes we could have afforded it, as well as the alternative which was the fee for Higuain that we decided not to pay. ozil was not on the market at that point and I’d suggest Suarez would have been more beneficial anyway.

    Am I involved in the operation of a web blog? No – simple answer, I just enjoy all things Arsenal and try to take in a wide range of views and be honest and fair in my opinions too. I don’t expect anyone to change their opinion because I disagree with it but these forums are a great place to discuss Arsenal with fans across a broad spectrum.

    Hope that answers your questions.

  • Notoverthehill

    Why waste any space on andy1886? He believes £150 millions are sloshing about, somewhere in Highbury House!!!

    Tony, off topic!

    We are now told by the Arsenal Supporters’ Society Limited, that they have forfeited the support of Arsenal Overseas Limited.

    I quote from the Annual Report for 31st October 2013:
    “Arsenal Fanshare has to date received certain financial contributions in accordance with the terms of a services agreement with Arsenal Overseas Limited. (“AOL”) This agreement with AOL will expire in August 2014 and AOL has confirmed that it will not be renewed.”

    This is to be expected, the AST DID NOT want Mr Wenger to be offered a new contract.

    Their annual and half-yearly annual financial reports are always flawed, because of errors and omissions of facts.

    Mr Kroenke, does attend the AGMs. The AST boast of their prowess at the very same AGMs!

    Why should Mr Kroenke, waste his time on someone like Tim Payton, or Phil Wall or Simon Hill?

    It is the movers and shakers that matter, not those who bite the hand that feeds!

    The AST is an antithesis, of supporters trusts that have kept Exeter, Plymouth, Chester etc., etc., as going concerns.

    Phil Gregory, come back in. Phil, did an article published in the Football Governance,
    Written evidence – 28th March 2011.

    The evidence is there, real supporters’ trusts experiences, of skulduggery and self-sacrifices required to keep a football club in existence.

  • andy1886

    Well I guess that we’ll see when the annual accounts are published shortly exactly what cash reserves we have wont we. I’m not involved or a member of the AST but they do use the freely available figures from our published accounts in their assessment. Feel free to compare with the accounts of our peers. We can exceed what we paid for Ozil on one single transfer let’s not forget, our Chairman said so, I’m sure we’re not strapped for cash. Citeh cannot make a loss on transfers this window – FFP has been enforced. One less competitor for the big players. Chelsea have to wary of overspending too, and ManU are need of a huge overhaul to be competitive. This is about moving forward, no need to start making excuses or slating fellow supporters or groups. Let’s see what happens this summer and form an opinion then.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree Andy, will have to wait and see. Wenger himself has told us to expect a big summer, he is not usually given to statements like that so I expect him to buy quite big where needed….if he can get the right players. We are cash rich, FFP compliant, can pay up front, that makes us a bit of a rarity .as you say, City have to be careful….Chelsea and co cannot buy everyone. Have a very good feeling about where this club are going

  • andy1886

    Roll on the new season Mandy, the signs are good, the latest big rumour is a Cesc return. It’s going to be an interesting ride!

  • jambug

    So that’s Tom and andy 1886 who both come on here stating things they just cannot back up and point blank refuse to answer simple questions.


  • Gunnerjoe

    If I was buying a car or a house why would I pay more than was being asked for it. As is your want this 40m +£1 is just a stick to beat Wenger with the fact is there was a buy out clause and what Arsenal bid was enough to activate it so why pay more. Also Liverpool showed no class in this deal and refused to honour what was in the players contract.
    Still have no idea what you mean with modern football must successful teams at the moment play 4-3-3 like Arsenal look at Real.

  • andy1886

    Errr JB – please see above at 7:39pm (the bit that starts So To answer your questions) Apology accepted 😉

    Of course I could also point out I didn’t get an answer to my question at 6.31pm, but I’m not going to throw my dummy out about it.

  • andy1886

    Joe, if you want the house you pay the money. They didn’t want £40m +£1 obviously because they rejected it. Market forces I’m afraid, Arsene as an economics graduate must know that. I agree that Liverpool were classless though, but I think Suarez was worth at least £50m (you’d get condsiderably more than that for him today). If we’d bid that sort of figure and been rejected then fair enough.

    Citeh and Liverpool play a more orthodox 4-4-2, or often did last season and they did pretty well. Two strikers, not wide attackers, for example Suarez and Sturridge for Pool and to pick a game City played Aguero and Negredo against us in December. Towards the end of the season we tried that too with Podolski more central off OG and it worked better IMO for us, also the cup final where the switch to 4-4-2 was key in changing the game.

  • Gunnerjoe

    If they had honoured the terms of Suarez contract they had no right to turn Arsenals offer down. Also your right about 4-4-2 effecting the cup final but 4-4-2 is not a very modern form of football.
    Look it is my belief like I said earlier this modern football argument your putting forward is a smoke screen it’s because you can’t use the old chess nut of Wenger out because its been so many years without a trophy.

  • Florian

    As I said on numerous occasions, stop feeding the trolls! All they want is attention, if they get it they stick around and infect the atmosphere, if they don’t they moan and they leave.

  • bjtgooner


    Was your 7.39pm post in moderation? I was looking for a reply earlier and did not see it.

    Your statement: – “The modern game is just what you’d expect it to be. the game that it is now,”

    does not explain what you understand by the modern game or how the game has changed. Consequently you have not answered that question, nor have you answered the supplementary question – how is AW not modern?

    Can you describe exactly what you understand by the “modern game”?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Andy, yes sometimes you have to pay ….but it turns out Suarez did have that very escape clause, so why bid twelve grand for a car that is going for ten, though of course Liverpool were never going to sell him to us anyway, in my book that is to their credit.
    You are right Liverpool did pretty well, but they had help, the universally acknowledged cheat of the season before became the guy that helped gain either an unprecedented or at least a very rare thirteen penalties.
    Wonder if arsenal under wenger will ever get thirteen penalties in a season….think we all know the answer

  • Sav from Australia


    Since you have been polite enough to respond to me I shall offer you the same courtesy.

    Frankly, after reading your commments I can see that are quite the disingenuous fellow. I have seen your type and no doubt you fit in with the specimens found in Jellystone. I, however, have too little time to engage with your doublespeak and nonsense. Just because you have an opinion does not make you right, quite far from it in fact.

    It is not up to me to teach you about football tactics and the evolution of football. I shall not provide you examples. You are coming onto Untold Arsenal as a newcomer with opinions and ‘facts’ that you cannot back up at all. Whilst other blogs may indulge your lies and nonsense, on Untold you are called on it. The onus and burden of proof is on you. However, as we all know the truth of Arsene Wenger and as you have already revealed your cards with earlier posts, I doubt there is any common ground between truth and what you ‘believe’, for whatever reason that you believe it.

    The above is a polite way of saying ‘you do not know what you are talking about’.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Checkmate !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The quick turnaround …

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And of Trolls…

  • Brickfields Gunners

    This is a poem written by a teenager with cancer.

    She wants to see how many people get her poem.
    It is quite the poem. Please pass it on.

    This poem was written by a terminally ill young girl in a New York Hospital. It was sent by a medical doctor


    Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round?
    Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?

    Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight?
    Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

    You better slow down.
    Don’t dance so fast.
    Time is short.
    The music won’t last.

    Do you run through each day on the fly?
    When you ask, “How are you? ”
    Do you hear the reply?

    When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
    with the next hundred chores running through your head?

    You’d better slow down
    Don’t dance so fast.
    Time is short
    The music won’t last.

    Ever told your child,
    We’ll do it tomorrow?
    And in your haste,
    Not see his sorrow?

    Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die
    Cause you never had time
    To call and say,’Hi’

    You’d better slow down.
    Don’t dance so fast.
    Time is short.
    The music won’t last..

    When you run so fast to get somewhere,
    You miss half the fun of getting there.

    When you worry and hurry through your day,
    It is like an unopened gift….
    Thrown away.

    Life is not a race.
    Do take it slower
    Hear the music
    Before the song is over.

    This young girl has 6 months left to live,
    and as her dying wish, she wanted to send a letter telling everyone to live their life to the fullest, since she never will.

    She’ll never make it to prom, graduate from high school,
    or get married and have a family of her own.

  • andy1886

    Morning all. Mandy, yup Pool were dishonest, unfortunately there isn’t a way to seek recourse through the FA, the law courts or anywhere else. You may be right, they may not have sold at any price, I’m not sure about that but my point is that we didn’t test that once they rejected our initial offer. I still think we weren’t smart about it though, remember player contracts are supposed to be confidential too so our hands weren’t entirely clean and we showed that with the bid. Would bidding £41m have been out of the question? As we payed a little more than that for Ozil I don’t think so.

    Sav, please re-read your last post. First of all I’m not a newcomer as Mandy and bjt can testify. Secondly you don’t know me at all, or my ‘type’ any more than I know you or your ‘type’ whatever that is. If you’re keen on courtesy kindly treat me as an individual in the way that I treat you as such. I have an opinion – we’re all allowed that – I’m discussing Arsenal with fellow supporters without the recourse to abuse even if some of the replies are abusive (see your para 2 and final line for example). You say the onus is on me to back up my facts (I don’t recall stating that these are facts, merely my opinion, but do correct me if I am wrong) and then state that you’re not prepared to provide any evidence to support your position. Can you not see the irony in that statement?

    I may be many things – I’m sure that you would enjoy suggesting a few of them – but I’m not disingenuous. Here is the definition of ‘disingenuous’ from the online OED: “Not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does:” I don’t think that you could say I’m not being candid, if I were to just agree with you rather than stick to my guns that would be insincere, and I’m sure you would suggest that I think that I know more than I really do, not less.

    As I said, these are my opinions, I’m consistent as are most of the other posters on here, if you don’t like my opinions feel free to ignore my posts.

  • andy1886

    Morning bjt – no it wasn’t in moderation, it was there all along, I suspect that you just missed it, easy to do.

    I thought that I’d answered your question reasonably well, but I’ll try to elaborate a bit and be a bit clearer.

    * The most effective approach today in the PL is based on power and pace. Take a look at the three teams that finished above us and you’ll see that that’s accurate.

    Why do I think that Arsene is outdated in this respect? Because Arsenal still cling to a more technical game employing small skillful players that cannot compete physically. Without Theo we have little if any pace and appear one speed. Actually Arsene’s teams were originally all about power and pace – as evidenced by two of Arsene’s best signings, Vieira and Henry. I actually preferred watching that sort of football rather than the Barca style game, so I may be biased, but when you compare our style to the teams I mentioned we do seem to be out of step.

    * ‘Modern’ football clubs employ research and detailed analysis of the opposition which they share with their players to formulate a game plan. Arsenal, according to ex-players who have commented on this, do not. You may not agree, but I think we can improve in this regard. Surely having a better understanding of how the opposition deal with certain situations (for example reviewing how Hull approach set pieces prior to the cup final) would be an advantage?

    * Our performance in dealing with injuries. PLEASE NOTE: this isn’t about how injuries occur, it’s about how we deal with them. Even allowing for the number of injuries we get the repeated delays and set backs our player suffer (Ramsey, Diaby etc.) is unusual. As you know, Arsene has instigated an enquiry into this and I give him credit for doing so, this is the sort of example of us moving forward that I’m talking about.

    * Unfortunately, in the modern game, if you want a player you have to pay the market rate, or asking price, not your own valuation. Arsenal’s approach to transfers hasn’t been as sucessful as it should have been and that needs to be addressed. I’ll give you an example. Liverpool look to be paying £25m for Llalana. Is that fair value? Probably not. But, if Liverpool want the player and he addresses an issue in their squad and makes them a better team then you can see why they would pay it. Contrast with AFC who went into a campaign with just OG and an injured Yaya Sanogo as strikers (Poldi injured, Bendtner out of favour) and you can see why I think we need to change our thinking and start acting more like the club that is the eighth richest in the world.

    I hope that these examples help further explain my thinking. It isn’t about slating Arsene, it’s about hoping that he might adapt a little and improve our chances. As I’ve said already we will see this summer if there are changes afoot (Mandy thinks we will spend big, Arsene has suggested as much, and I hope we do). Roll on the new season.

  • oldgroover

    There’s been no trolls. One half troll perhaps, but it’s been a good and for most parts interesting debate. Give credit to Andy 1886 for defending his belief with good argument, and almost everybody here respects him for it.

  • Georgaki-pyrovolitis

    The problem is that people on here and on PA have come to expect evidence-based opinions. I’m sure you have heard the aphorism ‘opinions are like arseholes everybody has one’. You seem to be content on sustaining a debate on supposition. This isn’t the place for that.

  • jambug


    You just waffle.

    You still haven’t explained:

    1) What your view of ‘modern’ football is?

    Just saying it is ‘what is played now’ (or words to that effect) is NOT an answer.

    2)Why Wenger is not ‘modern’?


    I would presume Arsenal talked to Liverpool’s agent, who would of told Arsenal there was a ‘buyout’ clause of £40 million plus. Reasonable assumption I would of thought.

    Arsenal met that ‘buyout’ clause. A fact we know to be true.

    What is underhand or illegal about that?

    And by the way, I would of thought knowing there was a ‘buyout’ clause of £40 Million +£1 and offering £50 Million would of been seen as, well, stupid. Wouldn’t you?

    On the other hand:


    a) Refused to honour that ‘buyout’ clause.

    b) Lied about there even being a ‘buyout’ clause.

    I don’t see how Arsenals and Liverpool’s behaviour in all this are anything like the same.

    Perhaps that’s another thing you could explain, instead of posting another 2 0r 3 hundred words and yet still managing to avoid the questions you’ve been asked.

    You’re worse than Tom.

    At least he has the decency to disappear when he hasn’t got an answer.

    You know what they say andy, when in a hole stop digging.

    Why where at it, where exactly are you Tom?

  • jambug

    What did power and pace win Liverpool?

    Arsenal without power and pace won the FA Cup.

    Don’t think your argument stacks up at all there andy.

    Unless of course it’s suddenly NOT all about trophies !!

    Perhaps Liverpool should slow down a bit then they might finally win something.

    40 plus and counting

  • andy1886

    Joe, in my opinion – you may disagree – formations and styles of football come and go. What’s in vogue today is out tomorrow. A few years ago everyone wanted to play like Barca, then it was Bayern, totally different styles. Yes 4-4-2 is a traditional English approach but as I mentioned it has been effective for us in the latter part of the season, and it worked for Citeh and Liverpool who finished first and second. I think it’s a viable option but we would need an upgrade on our strike force before we could play that way on a regular basis (I’m not Giroud bashing BTW, as I’d be happy to see him playing with another striker of similar or better calibre).

    I think that’s covered all last night’s points, that’s the trouble with going to bed with the discussion still going.

  • Georgaki-pyrovolitis

    Almost everything in your last post is supposition, as expected. Now, here is where we may have a debate where a bit of speculation is warranted. Do you think that ManCity would have sustained a seven point gap on us had the following not been out injured at the same time for as long as they were: Wallcot and Ramsey, Walcott and Ramsey and Wilshere, Walcott and Ramsey and Wilshere, and Özil, you get my drift….and you can also add the OX into this mix. I think this makes your contention that Wenger is old hat rather irrelevant.

  • Florian


    Do you want evidence? Or just another debate? 🙂

    Now, it’s true that the discussions here have been civilized, and this is commendable. As Georgaky pointed out already, the next step is to make sure they are also factual. Without that, there would be no end in sight to the debate, and I really think there are better ways to spend our time.

  • andy1886

    Thanks Oldgroover, nice to be appreciated for trying to answer questions put to me, I can only apologise if my replies don’t address the very specific points that I must be missing.

    Jam – you seem to have got out of the wrong side of bed today 🙁 Perhaps you can be more specific and I’ll try to answer those points. Probably a bit later though as I’ll be off to the gym shortly (just so you know that I’m not avoiding the issue).

    You’re ‘presuming’ that Arsenal spoke to Liverpool’s agent – and you accuse me of not basing my argument on supposition, not facts? Why would Liverpool tip off Arsenal that their best player has a buy out clause so that we can make the absolute minimum offer and then renege on it? Makes no sense. Be reasonable, you know that these contracts are supposed to be confidential and AFC should not have been privvy to that information. Liverpool were dishonest it’s true, my point was (to repeat yet again) why not go back and offer £45m or £50m, he would have been worth the money. If we still failed then fair enough, at least we gave it our best shot.

    Anyway off to the gym. Catch you all later.

  • andy1886

    Georgaki-pyrovolitis – just before I go (only polite to give a quick reply) in simple terms I think we would have been closer without those injuries, correct. How much closer? neither of us can say to be fair. My response would be that Ramsey and Theo were already out by early January and we failed to address that in the market place. Had we done so we would have also most likely been closer. Some circumstances were beyond our control others were not (we really should have had better forward options than we did at that point). I think that having Theo fit for most of next season will be really important for us as he’s our only real outlet with pace right now.

  • jambug


    I did not ‘presume’ we spoke to Liverpool, I said the agent.

    That presumption is based on the fact that it would be pretty pointless having such a clause put in the contract in the first place if you wasn’t going to inform perspective buyers of it’s existence?

    I don’t know about you but I think that would of been a bit silly, don’t you?

  • bjtgooner


    You still have not answered the question – define the modern game. I keep asking that based on your earlier claim that AW was not modern.

    You have enthused about power and pace. Fine. Does this mean that before the “modern game” which you have failed to describe, was developed, all the players were weak and slow?

    Power and pace on their own without skill, technical ability, player intelligence, courage and determination are useless.

    Re research on how other teams play – you are re-quoting a disgruntled former employee who is talking bullshit. Additionally, I have heard that quote contradicted by another disgruntled former employee! AW does a lot of research not just on opposition tactics but in many fields.

    Dealing with injuries – I note you skipped over how injuries occur – or how the PGMOL have allowed certain thug teams to kick the crap out of our players. It is right that we investigate how we handle injuries and our overall attitude to them. Because we initiate an investigation, that in itself does not mean something is being carried out wrongly, it is always worthwhile trying to improve.

    Transfers – This is the usual fall back position for those who want to attack AW but cannot find an alternative subject on which to launch a viable attack. You appear to have ignored one of the first questions you were asked: –

    “So andy, when you reached that conclusion did you consider the financial restriction AW was working under, did you compare that restriction to the abhorrent spending by the nouveau riche clubs and did you factor in the bias shown by the PGMOL?”

    When you initially revealed you long held belief that AW would never win another trophy you prompted the question above – in response you dodged that and moved on to the “modern game” – but unfortunately you have failed to share your understanding of the term “modern game” with us.

    Before you attack AW on transfers you should consider the restrictions he has successfully worked under since we started building the Emirates.

    But, you seem to believe that paying the asking price for a player is part of the definition of the “modern game”. So in the “pre-modern game” the asking price was not paid, one would assume some bargaining occurred as part of the process, but in the modern game we should pay whatever the asking price is? Bullshit!

    Andy, I don’t find any substance in your comment, you seem to be a poster who repeats ill conceived rubbish from other sites rather than have any indigenous in depth understanding of the subject.

  • andy1886

    JamBug I’m not quite sure what the discrepency here.

    You said “I would presume Arsenal talked to Liverpool’s agent” (direct quote).

    I said “You’re ‘presuming’ that Arsenal spoke to Liverpool’s agent” (direct quote).

    Sorry, I cannot see any difference.

    As for “That presumption is based on the fact that it would be pretty pointless having such a clause put in the contract in the first place if you wasn’t going to inform perspective buyers of it’s existence. I don’t know about you but I think that would of been a bit silly, don’t you?”

    My reasoning would be different, that these clauses are put in a contract for the benefit of the player, not the club. What would the benefit to the club be of a release clause exactly? If they wanted £40m they could just say “no” until they get a bid above that. The reason they do not advertise such clauses is that they do not want to sell their best players, they want to keep them. I’m sure Barca put a £200m clause in Messi’s contract not to encourage a £200m bid for the player but to discourage bids. The benefit to the player is that if his value increases he can negotiate a move (in theory) to a bigger club and earn higher wages, signing on fee etc, or if he chooses to stay he is also in astronger negotiating position with his current club (pay what I want or I activate the clause and go).

    Make sense?

  • jambug


    You responded with this to andy:

    “But, you seem to believe that paying the asking price for a player is part of the definition of the “modern game”. So in the “pre-modern game” the asking price was not paid, one would assume some bargaining occurred as part of the process, but in the modern game we should pay whatever the asking price is? Bullshit!”

    This perverse view is perpetuated by the fact that certain Clubs have been able to pay whatever they need to pay to acquire whom ever they want.

    That does not make it right, or an acceptable part of the ‘modern game’. As you say, that’s just Bullshit.

    Even the oilers fans don’t embrace that aspect of the ‘modern’ game quite as enthusiastically as andy seems to think, because all I hear from them is how they have been ripped of by the likes of us taking advantage of there untold wealth.

    So it seems they love some aspects of the ‘modern game’, such as having a bottomless pit of money so they can afford any asking price, but singularly fail to embrace another aspect of the ‘modern game’, spending it.

  • andy1886

    BJT, thanks again for your reply. Again I will try and answer your points even though you seen determined to give me no credit for attempting to do so. Fine, your prerogative.

    “You have enthused about power and pace. Fine. Does this mean that before the “modern game” which you have failed to describe, was developed, all the players were weak and slow?

    Power and pace on their own without skill, technical ability, player intelligence, courage and determination are useless”

    No, it means that players are becoming stronger and faster as diet, training and conditioning improves. That’s a natural progression. I’m sure there are stats to prove that but doubt that you’d find any to suggest the opposite. Feel free to correct me.

    No-one would suggest just power and pace without the other attributes would be a good idea, Thierry had all of these, Santi for example has only some of them. You’re creating an argument where one didn’t exist.

    Regards the disgruntled ex-player I believe that there have been several such statements – which player (disgruntled) are you refering to? Which player provided counter statements? I’m not adverse to hearing alternative evidence.

    As for injuries of as you suggest there is ome kind of conspiracy then why not concentrate on the things that WE can control in house? Not an unfair point and as you conceed I’m sure we can improve.

    Now for the unfair competition/oil money etc argument. Number one we haven’t always been so handicapped – check any one of a thousand statements of club officials over the last few years. Number two as we are talking about now, not the past, we CAN compete, everyone including Arsene says so! FFP HAS handicapped some clubs (Citeh) are caused some to act more responsibly (Chelsea). You can’t pretend that isn’t the case. On th eplus side that makes it easier for us to improve in that area which is all I’m asking for. We also know that the PL never finishes exactly in order of financial outlay although there is a correlation. Check out the link below and take a look at the last graph which suggests that our position/spend is exactly what it should be. Interestingly Palace are the most efficient in that respect, and United are probably
    the worst.

    I hope that adds some ‘substance’ although I’m not going to hold my breath. At least you should find the article linked interesting, as far as I am aware the writers have no axe to grind, in fact it’s primarily about Everton out performing Spurs.

  • andy1886

    “That does not make it right, or an acceptable part of the ‘modern game’.”

    Nope, but Arsenal have had to deal with the world the way it was not the way we might like it to be. That’s life, that’s business which is sadly what football is foremost at the highest level.

    And that’s why FFP has been enacted to counter these practises.

  • Florian

    Re players injured: Here are some crude stats to demonstrate the impact of the injuries of the 5 key midfielders we had:

    Ramsey Ozil WilshereWalcott Cazorla
    Matches played 22 25 24 13 31
    Points with 48 53 51 29 65
    % points with 61% 67% 65% 37% 82%
    PPM average with 2.18 2.12 2.13 2.23 2.10
    Points without 31 26 28 50 14
    % points without 39% 33% 35% 63% 18%
    PPM without 1.94 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00
    Extrapolated points with 83 81 81 85 80

    The most efficient was, expectedly, Walcott. With him in the team, we won 2.23 points per match on average, which extrapolated would have gotten us to 85 points, enough for the second place. Ramsey is the next, followed by Ozil and Jack. Santi’s average is lowered by the big number of matches he played (31 out of 38). It is also worth noticing that the absence of Ramsey was the most hurtful – without him in the team, we won 1.94 points per game on average, while without any of the other 4 we won 2 points per game.

    Even more striking are though the stats with combinations of midfielders:
    # of midfielders used 1 2 3 4 5
    Matches played 4 7 15 8 4
    Points with 5 16 33 15 10
    % points with 6% 20% 42% 19% 13%
    PPM average with 1.25 2.29 2.20 1.88 2.50
    Points without 74 63 46 64 69
    % points without 94% 80% 58% 81% 87%
    PPM without 2.18 2.03 2.00 2.13 2.03
    Extrapolated points with 48 87 84 71 95

    Notice we could have had 95 points had we been able to keep all the 5 midfielders fit throughout the whole season. Funny enough, 2 midfielders did a better job than 3, who did a better job than 4. 2 or 5 midfielders fit would have been enough to see us to the title. The only 4 games when we had all 5 fit were the succession Southampton H 2-0, Cardiff A 3-0, Hull H 2-0 and Everton H 1-1 (blip).

    Hope the tabs get preserved correctly.

  • Florian

    Nope they didn’t.

  • Florian

    Let me try one more time, with a different formatting:

    Ramsey Ozil Wilshere Walcott Cazorla
    Matches played 22 25 24 13 31
    Points with 48 53 51 29 65
    % points with 61% 67% 65% 37% 82%
    PPM average with 2.18 2.12 2.13 2.23 2.10
    Points without 31 26 28 50 14
    % points without 39% 33% 35% 63% 18%
    PPM without 1.94 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00
    Extrapolated points with 83 81 81 85 80

    And the second set:

    1 2 3 4 5
    Matches played 4 7 15 8 4
    Points with 5 16 33 15 10
    % points with 6% 20% 42% 19% 13%
    PPM average with 1.25 2.29 2.20 1.88 2.50
    Points without 74 63 46 64 69
    % points without 94% 80% 58% 81% 87%
    PPM without 2.18 2.03 2.00 2.13 2.03
    Extrapolated points with 48 87 84 71 95

  • andy1886

    Florian, you can’t simply extrapolate like that, you’d fail statistics 101 with that simplistic argument. Of course we would have most likely gained more points with fewer injuries, the same as we would have probably gained more if we had been more effective in the January transfer window. D-, must try harder 😉

  • andy1886


    “Nope they didn’t…”

    Care to elaborate on that?

  • Florian

    Ok, disclaimer: I didn’t take any statistics classes in the college, but since nobody seemed to bother to do any analysis I did what I could. Now you’re saying I’m not world class 😀

    “Nope they didn’t”: They = the tabs. The tabs didn’t get preserved, so the table is a bit tough to read. Formatting it with fixed-length characters didn’t do the trick either, because the spaces got compressed into one.

  • andy1886

    One for Gunnerjoe:

    You claimed “Still have no idea what you mean with modern football must successful teams at the moment play 4-3-3 like Arsenal look at Real.” (quote).

    I suggested City and Liverpool play 4-4-2 with the likes of Suarez and Sturridge, or Aguero and Negredo and finished first and second in the PL this year. Don’t take my word for it, read the article just posted on this site about forwards. All of the aforementioned players are CF’s not wide forwards. So playing these two necessitates a 4-4-2. Of course you could also explain to the writer if the article how he’s got it wrong…..

  • andy1886

    Okay Florian, my apologies I thought that perhaps you were refering to my FFP comment. Essentially I agree we would have won more points, but of course it’s almost impossible to quantify how many. Remember the old saying; Lies, damn lies, and statistics!

  • Florian


    At this moment you’re showing your true face. I have nothing more to say. But I can still reason better than you at 4AM – that’s the time now in Seattle. I’m going to bed.

  • andy1886

    4am? No wonder you’re touchy 😉

  • Shard

    The ‘modern game’ (shouldn’t it be post-modern by now, especially if 4-4-2 is back in vogue?’) whether Arsene can still hack it at the highest level of the market etc etc. We’ll know soon enough.

    The club believe he can hack it, he believes he can hack it, the Untold community believes he can hack it, the hackers probably worry he can hack it 🙂

    Anyone who dismisses the job Wenger has done throughout the so called failed years is an ignorant fool. Sure, he could have done some things differently (and maybe that would have been better) but whatever. Wenger has taken the club from being around Tottenham (and maybe below) and Everton in revenue terms, to being in the top 5 in the world.

    This debate on trophies or no trophies wouldn’t even be happening without him since we’d all be used to being like Tottenham (and we all know what we think of Tottenham)

    He’s done that while winning us trophies, going a season unbeaten and rebuilding a team with no net spend, 3 or 4 times in the 9 years since we built the stadium. He was loyal enough to stay with us at the cost of his personal CV. Wenger’s legacy is already immense beyond measure. Can he add to it? I hope so and believe so. If he can’t, the next manager will. And it will be in no small part down to the work Wenger has done. A genius manager and by all accounts, a fantastic person.

    To me, the modern game appears to be one where decency is equated with stupidity, where the game is less important than the circus around it, where fairness is overlooked and ignored. Can Wenger hack it at that level? We’ll see. But I’d like to see him try and succeed. And the best way I know to make that happen is to believe and support. Rather than doubt and moan. But I guess I’m old-fashioned that way.

  • jambug


    Nobody had anything like the injuries we had.

    So it has nothing to do with: Lies, damn lies and statistics.

    It is an absolutely indisputable fact that our injuries cost us a many many points.

    Many more than anyone else.

  • jambug


    To me you sound, positive, decent, appreciative, grateful, trusting and loyal, everything a true Gooner should be.

    If that’s old fashioned so be it.

  • bjtgooner


    You still have not answered the questions initially put to you.

    Your initial statement: –

    “What I will conceed is that I did believe that AW would never win another trophy”

    appeared illogical and disingenuous. But to try to understand your thinking process you were asked: –

    “So andy, when you reached that conclusion did you consider the financial restriction AW was working under, did you compare that restriction to the abhorrent spending by the nouveau riche clubs and did you factor in the bias shown by the PGMOL?

    Did you conclude an alternative manager working under the same restrictions would win a trophy?”

    This question has been repeated several times – without any answer.

    You then introduced the term “modern game”. Despite being asked to explain just what YOU understand by this term you have failed to do so.

    You have waffled around this second question, which means that you don’t know what you are talking about or, you have stuck you neck out beyond your ability to recover – in your attempt to denigrate our manager – and can’t produce any reasonable argument.

    Discussing power and pace – which you earlier introduced as part of your criticism of AW – you stated at 11.31am: –

    “No, it means that players are becoming stronger and faster as diet, training and conditioning improves. That’s a natural progression”.

    Well andy – who the hell was it that radically changed lifestyle, diet, training, preparation etc – wasn’t it one AW? Do I see you give him any credit? No – I wonder why?

    Your enthusiasm to show that Everton have punched above their weight comes across as a further strange comment from a supposed Arsenal fan – yes Everton have done well in relation to their net spend – but Arsenal have consistently punched above Everton despite a very low (and for many years negative) net spend – so I am disappointed that you have failed to acknowledge that point.

    Overall andy, you have failed to explain your initial one liners, you have evaded questions and are starting to appear to appear as someone happier when co-habiting with the unclean denizens of Le Groan but, feel duty bound to appear here to try to maintain an AAA presence in the absence of a couple of our regular AAA trolls.

  • andy1886

    Jambug, you’re probably right but when you state ‘undisputable facts’ you’re going too far. No-one, even you, can predict what would have happened, Chezza could have dropped one in his own net, our dear refs could have had a nightmare, numerous scenarios could have influenced results. Let’s just agree that we would have almost certainly got more points and leave it at that shall we?

  • andy1886

    bjt – Here we are again, I seem to have given lots of answers over the last 24 hours maybe one day I will give one that you will graciously accept. That said I’m nearly 50 so perhaps that’s a forlorn hope in my lifetime (that’s a joke btw).

    Part 1…
    “So andy, when you reached that conclusion did you consider the financial restriction AW was working under, did you compare that restriction to the abhorrent spending by the nouveau riche clubs and did you factor in the bias shown by the PGMOL?”

    Yes I did, that’s one of the reasons that I doubted we’d win another trophy under AW, the financial imbalances. That’s not the only reason though, I doubt that even you could claim that was the reason for the loss against Birmingham in the CC Final?
    As for the PGMOL I’m afraid I don’t buy into conspiracy theories. That’s not to say I dismiss bias, I do believe that there is a natural order of things that referees have unconsciously logged in their brains that say things like “hang on, West Brom shouldn’t be beating Chelsea at The bridge” and that translates into things like the pen that Chelsea got (ridiculously) to come away with a 2-2 draw last season. Thus we often get decisions against smaller clubs but have it go against us when playing United (in particular), Chelsea and City.

    Part 2.
    Did I think another manager may have won something working under the same restrictions as Arsene? Perhaps. It depends who the manager was obviously. Roy Kinnear? Not a hope in hell. Old Red Nose? Yes, if his side had lost that CC final he’d have flayed the skin off them. Like the question of what would have happened with fewer injuries that can only be guesswork.

    Okay ‘The Modern Game’. I’ve given my definition, you don’t like it, give me yours.

    Yes I have given credit to AW for the changes he made (take a look back at earlier posts), my point was that was eighteen years ago, I also asked what more recent innovations he had provided as that claim was made, I’m still waiting for ANY answer on that one, satisfactory or not (and I guarantee that I’m easier to please on that than you appear to be).

    The point on what you refer to as ‘net spend’ was that taking our total expenditure into account (mere net spend is disingenuous, wages are a huge factor in spending and vastly exceed spending on transfers as you well know but refuse to acknowledge) we finished in league terms exactly where you would expect. I mention this only to counter the argument that Arsene has performed some miracle in maintaining top four on what you claim to be no money. It simply isn’t true.

    I think given the number of minutes (hours?) I’ve spent trying to answer your questions while getting very little counter argument back it’s rather odd that you can try and claim that I’m avoiding the question(s).

  • jambug


    You are right in the sense that no prediction is certain.

    But most predictions for the future are based in facts from the past.

    Therefore if Arsenal averaged 2.5 points per game when Theo played in the past it is a very fair guide to what they would average in the future.

    The same can be said about Ramsey, Wilshere and combinations there of.

    Of course it’s not infallible but it is a ‘fair’ assumption and you know it is so stop being so pedantic.

    That’s just argument for arguments sake.

  • andy1886

    Shard, nice post, I agree with a lot of it (not all obviously, you could probably guess that though). The last paragraph interested me (I would have responded earlier but as you can see I’ve been busy ;-))

    Football these days is firstly and foremost a business. Not for the fans, but for those who run the game. The sentiments you describe are exactly like those of the business world, dog eat dog, no mercy, no consideration, anyone with morals is seen as an idiot (I know, I used to work in sales). Personally I’d be happy to go tell sky to stuff their money where the sun don’t shine, to tear down the executive boxes, play on muddy pitches and see a more even playing field across the entire league. But it isn’t going to happen is it?

    The choices are we play by their rules or we accept we will never truly compete. Not much of a choice and not one the fans get to make either. Me, I think that Stan will do whatever is in his best commercial interests.

  • andy1886

    Jambug, that assumes that games against Fulham are just as easy to win as games against Chelsea for example. All games are not of equal difficulty regardless of our playing personnel, that’s why it’s not that simple (even ignoring all the other variables). I’d want to do a detailed analysis of the games played and games missed for the players you mention to get a better idea of what MAY have happened. So I’m afraid it’s not that I’m a pedant (despite what the wife says).

  • jambug


    Why is winning trophies with Fergie a certainty, yet winning trophies with less injuries just guess work?

    How do you know Fergie would of even got us to that final under the restrictions Wenger operated under. At no time ever has Fergie worked on a ZERO budget, nothing like?

    Yet we know how better we performed with Theo and Ramsey in the side.

    I contest it’s a much safer prediction that we would of done better with Theo and Ramsey because we have the proof, than it is to suggest Fergie would of done better than wenger on a zero budget because there is absolutely NO PROOF of that what so ever.

    Fergie spent MILLIONS to maintain his success.

  • andy1886

    Jambug, no proof for either statement, that’s why there is room for varying opinions on such things. Thanks for your appreciation of the other points I made, (that’s sarcasm, I know), are you only interested in things you disagree with or can you acknowledge that sometimes someone with a different viewpoint may have a valid argument even if you don’t agree with it? If we just post ‘facts’ that no-one can disagree with it’d be a very boring world. Mine are just opinions.

  • andy1886

    Jambug, another question for you (not your definition of the modern game, no need to answer if you’d rather not). Would Arsene have won the league with that ManU side that Fergie did last year? Just your opinion of course.

  • jambug


    “I’d want to do a detailed analysis of the games played and games missed for the players you mention to get a better idea of what MAY have happened”

    Man Utd away: Lost 1-0 No Walcott, Wilshere, Ox, podolski.

    Liverpool away: Lost 5-1 No Walcott, Ramsey, podolski.

    Chelsea away: Lost 6-0 No Walcott, Wishere, Ramsey, Ozil.

    Man City Home: Drew 1-1 No Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil.

    Everton away: Lost 3-0 No Walcott, Wolshere, Ramsey, ozil.

    Is that detailed enough for you ?

  • jambug


    Yep, given the same circumstances.

  • andy1886

    So how do you quantify the difference that makes to a 5-1 or a 6-0?

    Man City 6 Arsenal 3 – Walcott, Ramsey and Ozil all started. Poldi if fit wouldn’t have been in the starting XI (check the line up if you disagree and tell me who he would have replaced). It really isn’t that simple.

    Arsenal Ladies winning 1-0 btw.

  • bjtgooner


    Well, now we have some half answers – progress!

    So to try to understand your pre FA cup win position – you thought that Arsenal under Wenger would not win another trophy – you did (within your thinking) consider the financial restrictions Wenger labored under and also the emergence of the noveau riche clubs.

    Therefore the perception would be that you appear reject or not give sufficient weight to the financial argument. Illogical, but then you state: –

    “Yes I did, that’s one of the reasons that I doubted we’d win another trophy under AW, the financial imbalances”

    I am not sure what you mean by this – are you blaming AW for the “financial imbalances”?

    Do you realize our financial restrictions were due to the new build?

    Are you suggesting that with another manager we would spend regardless of what we could afford and do do you advocate that policy now? (NB do remember Leeds.)

    Re another manager achieving more in the same circumstances – I don’t think so – Red Nose liked to have an unfairly stacked deck in his favor – in addition to heavy spending.

    Your dismissal of the influence of the PGMOL on our results seems a bit simplistic.

    Re your term “the modern game” (which you have failed to define), is too vague to mean anything. There is no single modern game – most teams have a different set up depending on player availability. Arsenal have more than one “game” – not everyone will see or admit to seeing this, but the diversity is there. I was hoping you would give to give a detailed response on this basis – but I am still waiting.

    “Net spend” is self explanatory and Arsene HAS performed exceptionally to keep the club in the CL with a practically zero net spend. Your attempt to denigrate that achievement should make you question yourself – are you really an Arsenal supporter – or have you spent too long absorbing the ill considered rants on Le Grovel?

  • andy1886

    Incidently you should really take Walcott out of the equation for all but the ManU game. Arsene knew he was out after the first week of January and said we had adequate cover, you seem to be suggesting that was wrong. Ramsey I’ll give you because he kept have his return date put back, Poldi generally speaking was used as a sub so wouldn’t have started most games.

  • andy1886

    BJT – just a quick reply – I’m watching the Arsenal Ladies. If wages (considerably higher than transfer spending EVERY season at EVERY club) are of no consequence where does the money come from for these? You cannot seriously consider the resources a club utilises without including wages, that’s just foolish.

  • andy1886

    BJT, as I mentioned, this supporter is watching the Ladies as we speak, are you enjoying the game or doesn’t you enthusiasm for all things Arsenal stretch that far?

  • bjtgooner


    I was not discussing wages, I was discussing net spend. You introduced wages to try to complicate the debate (and to try to wriggle out of the position you put yourself in by praising Everton for punching above their weight – but ignoring Arsenal’s achievement of punching higher than Everton).

    Short of time – you should have considered that before trying to convert UA into the “andy1886 show”!

  • andy1886

    BJT – Nope, that would have most of you reaching for a length of rope!

    The net spend doesn’t work because obviously you could get whoever you liked on a free if you paid them each a million per week, and that’s as much doping as spending in transfer fees. That’s why FFP looks at a club’s finances in their totality.

    Incidently Arsenal Ladies are playing a 4-4-2 rather than their usual 4-4-3 and the analysis is that has been key in their success so far. Take note Mr Wenger!

  • jambug


    You said:

    “I’d want to do a detailed analysis of the games played and games missed for the players you mention to get a better idea of what MAY have happened”

    Well I gave you that detailed analysis and you dismiss it as irrelevant.

    So why ask if you think it’s irrelevant who does and does not play?

    And yes of course I know who played in the City game. Do you think I know all those other stats and just not that one?

    The reason I didn’t mention it was because we in my view the City game was different. We defended terribly I grant you, but attacked brilliantly, and given our disallowed goals that should not of been, and one or 2 goals they scored that could of been chalked off, nobody could of argued if it finished 6 a piece.

    It didn’t, we got turned over by a great team and that’s that. They turned United over, amongst others, in a similar fashion the year before, it happens.

    The others I’ve mentioned are different.

    3 of the other 5 matches we was without our first 4 attacking midfielders. If you cant concede that that makes a difference then that’s up to you.

  • bjtgooner


    For the purpose of the debate net spend is perfectly valid. Your comment: –

    “The net spend doesn’t work because obviously you could get whoever you liked on a free if you paid them each a million per week, and that’s as much doping as spending in transfer fees”

    is hypothetical bollox!

  • andy1886

    Tsk, tsk BJT, of course it’s hypothetical, I’m just making the point. If that’s your honest opinion then perhaps you need to explain that to UEFA so they can modify FFP. Would you be doing Arsenal any favours if wages weren’t factored in to any evaluation of a level financial playing field? Of course not, because when you consider financial doping wages are a huge part of it. Otherwise why complain if we cannot match the wages of the oil clubs?

  • jambug


    “The net spend doesn’t work because obviously you could get whoever you liked on a free if you paid them each a million per week, and that’s as much doping as spending in transfer fees”

    As you say that is bullshit.

    He’s getting desperate.

  • andy1886

    Jambug, I have conceeded that the injuries made a difference (check back if you like). We also chose not to strengthen and cover the missing players in January, you cannot ignore that either.

  • andy1886

    “He’s getting desperate.”

    Really? see my post above yours, point out anything that’s illogical.

  • Georgaki-pyrovolitis


    We are all aware of the massive impact Arséne Wenger made when he arrived. It is acknowledged by all and sundry in football. What could he or anybody else do to have a similar impact today? There is only so much you can so with diet and fitness regimes and the general appliance of science before everyone else adopts your methods (which is what has happened) so what could be done to repeat such a feat today?

  • andy1886


    I quite agree – I cannot think of anything that could be done that would have a similar impact. I haven’t denied that.

    2-0 to Arsenal Ladies btw.

  • Gord


    I read a paper at arXiv on modeling football, where they suggested that a measure of power of a team, is the ability to score goals in the first 25 minutes of a game.

    If I change that to a particular decaying exponential, I would say that the power of any goal is:

    P = exp( -log( 2 ) * t / 25 )

    (which is modelled after the half life from radioactivity). The maximum power is scoring a goal at the outset of the game (1), and decreases to 0.5 at 25 minutes (0.25 at 50 minutes, 0.125 at 75 minutes).

    There is no particular reason to think that the constant log( 2 ) (or the time 25 minutes) is absolutely known, so a person could work with the ratio of power between 2 games.

    The power in a 1-0 game where the single goal is scored in the 90’th minute is (approximately) which is about 0.082.

    Let’s say we have a 5-0 game, with goals at 26, 58, 74, 82 and 86 minutes (or 64, 32, 16, 8, 4 minutes before end of game), the power there would be 1.01. The relative power (to a wimp 1-0) is 12.3.

    Go through the same for a 6-1 game (subtracting the power for the 1 goal scored by the losing team, instead of adding). You can then compare the power between the 2 scorelines being reasonably sure that you are comparing like things.

    Or at least, that is what I would do.

  • jambug


    So now you concede the injuries make a difference and move on to something else. It’s called moving the goalposts.

    Oh well, I’ll just have to move with you.

    Are you suggesting Wenger did not try?

    This is the difference between you and I.

    I believe Wenger does EVERYTHING he can to secure us the best league position possible.

    If we need players and Wenger doesn’t buy them I trust in Wenger enough to assume there is a damn good reason why he didn’t.

    IE. Players not available. Price too high. Wages too high. Would be surplus to requirements once players fit (in other words an expensive luxury we couldn’t afford).

    Either way he doesn’t make these choices for fun. He makes them with the best interests of Arsenal at heart.

    If you want to believe otherwise that’s up to you

  • Gord

    During halftime on BBC coverage, someone asks why a female referee couldn’t be doing the game. So I looked, it is Martin Atkinson (it might be in the thread about this game here, but it never triggered anything for me).

  • jambug


    Fuck me mate, you lost me at “I read a paper….”

  • Gord

    Jambug, do you want an explanation? I have 7 years of university (2 engineering degrees).


  • andy1886

    Gord, I have a science degree and I have no idea what you just posted 😉

    If you have something to compare who is uglier, Rooney or Beardsley however I would be glad to give it my full attention….

  • Gord


    For a while I was working on geostatistics problems in farming. Some of the field workers harvested a field of canola without having calibrated the grain sensor. I figured out how to recalibrate the sensors after the fact.

    I can’t help you on the uglier problem.

  • andy1886

    Jambug, I conceeded that in my initial response (again, look back), I’m not sure why you feel that I denied it. That’s consistancy, not moving the goal posts. Here’s the quote from my post at 8:46 this morning where I believe the point was raised by Georgaki.

    “Georgaki-pyrovolitis – just before I go (only polite to give a quick reply) in simple terms I think we would have been closer without those injuries, correct. How much closer? neither of us can say to be fair.”

    So I conceed that we would have been closer but we cannot say by how much. Consistant with what I’ve been saying all day. Never let the facts get in the way of a good argument as they say.

    I agree that Arsene does his best, and that he does what he believes is in our best interests, I just think that he isn’t perfect (who is?) and sometimes fails to see some obvious deficiencies (for example Sanogo as the only option to OG for most of the season).

  • andy1886

    No problem Gord, when I hear the words ‘Ugly’ and ‘Football’ I automatically think of Rooney. That’s good enough for me.

  • bjtgooner


    You are “writhing like an eel” – in your effort to dig yourself out of the hole you have dug into.

    For the purpose of our debate “net spend” was and is perfectly descriptive and appropriate.

    Your attempt to confuse the debate, when already lost, while amusing, (trying to introduce wages/FFP), is only a futile attempt to distract.

    Yet again there has been no substance in your comment.

  • Gord

    Let me sidetrack things for a moment. If two teams are tied at the end of the season on points, goals scored and goals against, it may be that the deciding factor is a coin toss. Which is horrible.

    Most of us can see that a 2-0 win is better than a 1-0 win.

    Which is better, a 2-0 win with goals at 25 and 52 minutes, or a 2-0 win with goals at 87 and 90 minutes?

  • andy1886

    BJT, when it comes to avoiding the qusetion I’m an amateur compared to you. Why not answer the question as to why if wages are irrelevent we complain about the oil clubs paying wages we cannot match?

    Because the answer is that it is relevant.

  • andy1886

    Arsenal Ladies make it a FA Cup double for the club with a 2-0 win.

  • bjtgooner


    Because andy you are trying to distract – as you have been most of the day.

  • Shard


    I’m busy too and I’m sorry I haven’t read every comment here, but this argument of wages over net spend is slightly flawed. There is no doubt that wages have a good correlation with league standings (however it doesn’t guarantee it), but a zero net spend virtually year on year means that you are always firefighting. Rebuilding. Rather than building on the work you’ve done before.

    Faced with a limited budget, Wenger chose to prioritise wages over net spend. This was necessary to keep the players at the club, since if you also pay 20m, then that’s 20mil less in wages, ie 4 players less. He could carry this off because he brought through talent and moulded it into players worth 20m and above. If you’d only look at the wages, you are missing a crucial context of the discussion.

    Wages allow you to keep your players (and we couldn’t do that with our best players because our wage budget wasn’t as high as some others, who directly targeted us) Transfer budgets allow you to build on the squad you have. Which is what Wenger couldn’t do. Especially in light that the wages too had to be at a lower level than the top clubs.

    So no. The argument that Wenger just achieved par for the course is incorrect.

    As for the business. I am the first to say it is a business. We are customers of that business. But it is also a sport. And both business and sport should have certain values, and respect fairness. Probably hard to expect in business, but among the fans of sport? How many don’t these days is sad to see.

  • Shard

    That was meant to be addressed to andy1886.. NOt Jambug.. Sorry

  • andy1886

    Shard, as I aluded to, it’s a business to the owners and the managing bodies, but never a business to the fans. Trouble is they run the game and we do not.

  • Shard

    huh andy

    Which is why fairness and decency should matter to fans more. But does it?

  • TommieGun


    Let’s play a little game called “disputes and conventions”.

    When in court, sometimes it seems like every little thing is under dispute. That’s because people tend to polarize things when in a fight. A good judge will always do this first – sort out what’s in dispute, and whatever is not in dispute – is off the table.

    As far as I can see, there is no dispute that:

    (1) Arsene DID win a trophy, with THIS Arsenal, without spending shitloads of money, and in the face of extreme adversity in the cup final;

    (2) Injuries completly fucked us over (and there is no need for Florian’s tables, although they make a nice touch).

    (3) We spend considerably less than other clubs – for sure all of those who finished above us, and some of the clubs that finished below us.

    So in my humble opinion disucssing these points is redundant.

    Now what’s in dispute:

    (1) Reason for injuries – is the reason behind our injuries due to (a) luck (b) lack of protection from the refs (c) some negligent conditioning (d) all and/or some of the above, combined – > and is it Arsene’s fault? [I don’t think so, since I think it is mostly down to luck + other teams kicking the shit out of us. To be honest some part of me would have loved Arsene to instruct some players to kick the bastards back but we would just get red carded so no use].

    (2) Would have we won the title with a normal/median/mean amount of injuries? I don’t know how to answer that because I (well I don’t suck at math but I’m rather lazy) but I’m sure someone more energetic can crunch the number based on the (what was it? 1776 injury days?) we had and compare it to a normal amount of injuries and try to find out whether it would have compensated for 8 points.

    However I have a different way to find out – reason: say we had 1.5 months of Theo and 1.5 months of Rambo. No more, no less. Do you seriously doubt that we would not have won 2 matches and draw 2 more? Hmm.

    (3) Spending:

    (A) Suarez –

    I would say that I would have loved Suarez to play for us, I don’t give a rat’s ass if he is a racist cannibal, or someone who cheats on his wife, or drinks in public and takes his pants off, or is involved in a bar fight. Whatever. Come the fuck on with this hollier than thou bullshit. I want the player to be committed to the club and play his socks off. However, not getting him is not Arsene’s fault.

    On the one hand maybe yes because offering 40+1 is a logically “legal” approach, but it’s also an approach that, from my experience, gives out the impression that it is not a serious offer and invokes greater opposition. When there is a minimum price, in 10s or 100s of millions, quoting a single dollar more than the minimum is usually not taken positively. Takeover manouvers that resort to that way usually face much more opposition and are doomed to failure, especially in a very sensitive market like world class footballers.

    However – do you REALLY believe Arsene is calling the shots, from the legal perspective?! This is absurd. Arsenal have legal advisors, and they got (not so great) legal advice. This is how things work in mega million dollar corporations and this is how it worked in Arsenal, guaranteed. So the 40+1 bullshit story is most likely not Arsene’s fault.

    (B) Others

    Ok so now when we have Suarez off the table – who should have we bought? Who was available? There was a contention that Berbatov was out there but honestly I don’t see a scenario whereby Berbatov would have won us 8 points. As I wrote, I think that the players who would have won us 8 points already play for us but were injured…

    Of course pure logic says that having more depth might have helped us, but again I do not think it would have won us the title and clearly it has its own adverse effects.

    (4) Arsene dogmatic/way of play/etc –

    Everybody is an expert here… well I’m not, neither are you guys. But I’ll just say this: when THIS Arsenal play well, they are one of the best teams in Europe. The only thing I concede is that they do not LIKE to start matches conservatively, and when the opponents take advantage, Arsenal are forced to chase the game which makes counter attacking very easy. This was KGB and Loserpool. City 6-3 Arsenal played very well (so did City) and were totally screwed by the refs (even though I am reluctant to say that we deserved more than 6-5). I remind you some matches where we played more conservatively – Dortmund away springs to mind, also KGB at home – those matches sometimes look like draws, but sometimes you can grind out a winner. We don’t like doing that and maybe we need to be able to disgust ourselves a bit more.

    I think it is clear that the call to let Arsene go is just… bullshit. There is almost nothing he can do better and more importantly there are no better available managers.

  • andy1886

    Shard, just to clarify I wasn’t suggesting that wages were a better indicator than net transfer spend, I suggested the total player budget (transfers PLUS wages) was a better indicator, and that’s what the article I posted a link to showed, on that measure we have the fourth largest player budget (transfers and wages combined) and we finished fourth. You may disagree but as I repeatedly mention you cannot complain about the wages the oil clubs pay if you claim that it isn’t a factor in the financing of a football club.

    To my mind the paying of big wages to prospeects in order to keep them (e.g. NB52) is misguided. If they do come good we will still be outbid on wages by the oil clubs, if they do not we have wasted our money. Sure it’s worth paying the top players and hoping that they’ll stay, but not what I would call ‘prospects’.

  • TommieGun

    @ Andy – gonna have a pop at trying to explain why people find you disingenuous:

    You wrote from the outset that you wanted Wenger out because you thought we will never win another trophy under him.

    We won.

    Now when your basic premise was proved wrong, you should have reconsidered your earlier position. But you didn’t. So there is a suspicion that, albeit being an Arsenal fan and wanting the club to win everything all the time etc., you are also a human being, and GENERALLY we DON’T like to admit that we were wrong. For, say, 9 years or so? So we re-invent the rationales behind our beliefs.

    Yes you are being very patient and polite here and I think that you make a few good points since you are (probably) an intelligent person. However I think that you must realize that if the debate was “it was wrong to re-sign Wenger” than you, my eloquent friend, are full of shit. However, if the debate was “things that Wenger could have done differently / better” than maybe there was a point to this debate.

  • Shard


    Now that is disingenuous. When the transfer budget is basically zero, then including it with the wage budget makes no difference does it? Except that it makes it harder to build on the squad. Even keeping a squad together through the years requires an increase in wages, let alone when replacing players.

    As for the paying off prospects. Sure, we could have paid them less. And then when they came good they’d be off to another club offering them 20k more than you can and they’ll say, you never really believed in me in the first place. Meanwhile the money you save would not be enough to pay the likes of Nasri and RVP the wages they could earn elsewhere.

    You might have missed it, but I’ve been over the wage bill socialism model with others in the past. I am almost entirely certain that there is no way Arsenal could have kept the players that left and still had enough players of the requisite level to support them. Which is what the struggle was with Cesc anyway.

    You pay players like Diaby and Bendtner 30k less and not only do the top clubs buy our best players, but also our squad players. How much do you think someone like Chicharito earned at ManU? Or I don’t know, Mikel at Chelsea. Those guys are equally important in a squad. They need to stay there, and we matched (or came close to) the big clubs on wages in the segment that we could. Because there is no way we could have saved enough money to keep the stars anyway.

  • Shard


    Also, that was a need then. It is changing now because we have more spending power now. So that need to pay people entirely on potential is now gone. Since if they leave, we CAN go out and buy to replace them. We absolutely couldn’t then.

  • andy1886

    TG – this is a long thread so I’ll reprint below from my first two posts on it so you can see that I wasn’t so far from what you were suggesting I should have said:

    May 31, 2014 at 10:28 am
    Well, although I’m not a huge fan of Mr Wenger the fact is that we now all have to get behind the club in it’s totality and hope that we make the best possible use of the resources at our disposal this summer. Arsene seems to be making the right noises, if the intention is there which it seems to be then I hope that our transfer negotiating team have learned from last summer’s failures and act swiftly and decisively.”

    As you can see I’m suggesting that we all get behind the club in it’s totality – no Wenger out statement just an honest explanation of where I’m coming from. If I had claimed to be Arsene’s biggest fan that would have been dishonest.

    My seond post to Nicky who I’ve spoken to on here and also on ACLF in the past:

    “Good Morning Nicky! There’s no shame in having a difference of opinion over who should be manager of your club, football fans have been doing that ever since the game started. I honestly believe that the vast majority of the fans hold an opinion based upon what they believe is the best for their club in the near and longer term. That’s a perfectly reasonable position in any democracy. I don’t agree with the insults slung at AW, or with the moronic name calling that sometimes fans with different viewpoints throw at each other either.

    What I will conceed is that I did believe that AW would never win another trophy at the club and I was wrong there. Now Arsene has another three years to show that he can adapt to the modern game and challenge for more trophies, if he shows he can do that my stance may well change. The summer should prove a good guide as to the whether we heading in a bright new direction or if it will be more like ‘steady as she goes’. Let’s hope that it’s the former.”

    A you can see, I’m actually having a go at those who slag off Arsene and their fellow fans. Again, no disrespect towards Mr Wenger. I admit I was wrong about the trophy, and I also suggest that if Arsene seems to be moving in what to me seems like the right direction I could change my mind. As I have been asked many many times what these issues are I have given my opinion (not claiming fact as some suggest, just my opinion). Which is why I have spent the last 24 hours expalaining as you suggest what I think could be improved upon whilst also conceeding any points that I think are fair.

    I don’t think that’s unreasonable do you?

  • andy1886

    Shard, see above, the initial discussion was about moving forward, I didn’t initiate the discussion about past transfers or wages, others did. I really don’t get your argument about the wages though, FFP was designed to include total spend on playing staff including wages. If two clubs can afford to buy a player but one (with oil money) can afford double the wages then you know what’s going to happen. That’s a simple explanation as to why I disagree that transfer fees are the ONLY measure of player expenditure.

    As to the prospects as I call them your argument has merit if they come good, unfortunately the vast majority do not. Then we have the aforementioned NB52 sitting on the books unable to find a new club because no-one will pay such high wages. Other examples include Denilson and Djourou, I’m sure that there are more.

  • Shard


    I never said ONLY..It certainly isn’t only that.. In fact wage bills do have a higher correlation to league position(mainly because they are the larger expense. You can get good players for cheap, you can’t keep good players on low wages for long) And I haven’t seen all the comments and am not accusing you of anything.

    But the argument that the lack of transfer spend makes no difference as long as your wage budget (the other component of your total spend) is higher than some others is wrong in my view, and I explained why. Because of the context it lacks.

  • Shard


    The other component in that is time. You can get away with a lower net transfer spend for one season or two. Not for a larger length of time. In my view, Wenger has done exceptionally well to finish top 4 even if you discount all the finances. The fact that no other club has managed to do it shows it is a difficult thing to achieve. That he did it while paying off the stadium by selling players (in the background of rise of oilers) just makes it even more exceptional.

  • menace

    @bricks 6.28 Thank you. She will live in her poetry.

  • andy1886

    Shard, I think that we’re roughly on the same wavelength here, as I’ve said it’s a long thread so I’ll try and summarise what has been discussed.

    The initial point made was that Arsene/Arsenal have performed miracles to get fourth on a net zero spend transfer budget for years.

    I contended that wages were also a significant factor and posted a link to an article that showed TOTAL spend last year of transfers and wages for all PL clubs. It demonstrates that we were fourth highest spenders by that measure.

    The response was that wages were totally irrelevant, we’d spent next to nothing so this was a magnificent achievement.

    I have not suggested that either wages or transfer spend are not important – they both are and it’s the total expenditure that’s the more relevant figure. That’s my view.

    The counter argument was put by other posters, not you. Actually I do agree with your second post above that continued lack of transfer spending has a significant accumulative impact, I just object to the simple suggestion that if we don’t have a high net transfer spend we are not spending significant sums on the playing staff (the example being Everton in the article who spent some £200m less than us on combined transfer fees and wages and finished one place below us).

    Hope that makes sense.

  • TommieGun

    Reasonable is not the key word here.

    It is the fact that your position was based on us not winning anything. This was the basis of your position. Had we managed to win the title in 2008 and maybe a cup afterwards you would not have criticized Arsene. So your position was dictated by the bottom line and you came up with the reasons why.

    This is MY problem with the naysayers.

    I don’t give a shit about people’s definition of what the modern game is however I do find it hard to understand why people can’t appreciate the achievements given the financial situation.

  • Shard


    Yes, I think we broadly agree. I’d just like to add that the higher wage bill we have is also a consequence of Wenger’s success in getting us into the CL every year. Without that, our ability to pay more in wages goes away and our total spend goes down. So, in some way, Wenger was spending the money that he was bringing in due to achieving consistency at a high level. Probably why he prioritised it ahead of the domestic cups too.

    But anyway. That doesn’t matter so much anymore. We are now FA Cup winners, have the money saved up and more coming in, have a strong team which needs just a few additions, and we already had a title challenge. It’s going to be a fun season I think.

  • andy1886

    Shard I do believe that you’re right. As I said there are some good noises coming out from the club including from Arsene. There are never any guarantees but if we make a good fist of the window and give next season our best shot then no-one can complain even if we do still fall short.


    I just wanna give a very big shout out and many thanks to Shard, Jambug, Btjgonner, TommieGun, Gord, Georgakis-pyrovolitis, and all the rest of the true Arsenal supporters for fighting the good fight against andy1886. You guys gave him a factual and logical major BEATDOWN. You gave that Motherfucker as the British say what for. I will say that andy1886 is no coward, Unlike other motherfuckers such as Tom, Rupert, Sperez, andy1886 doesn’t run and hide when the going gets tough. He keeps on fighting and coming back for more. He is a man and doesn’t act those others who in my opinion are bitches. You gotta give andy1886 his props even if he is wrong. I may not agree with him, But he’s got my respect.

  • andy1886

    Thanks Bill, I was expecting worse as I started to read that (!) one thing we all know is that there is only one Arsenal, good to have you on board in the battle against those evil Mancs, Scousers and New Money Chavs!!

  • Shard

    “if we make a good fist of the window and give next season our best shot then no-one can complain even if we do still fall short”


    Unfortunately, you are wrong about that. 🙂

  • bob mac

    For the first time in ages, I am very very disappointed in Arsenal FC.

    Why the hell did they get Arsene to sign a 3 year contract.

    It should have been a minimum of 10 !!!!!!!!!!!

  • oldgroover

    andy 1886
    Compliments come from the most unexpected of sources.
    Not undeserved though.
    Isn’t he just an old sweetheart!


    Oldgroover, I am not a well educated man. I am not particularly erudite. But I have always called a spade a spade. Gotta give andy1886 respect, He don’t run and hide like those other motherfuckers. He keeps scraping and clawing. Deep down I feel that he thinks like us, Only that he loves the verbal repartee. Must have been on the debate team in college. Gotta give him props, andy1886 aint no bitch like those other motherfuckers

  • oldgroover

    Manhatton Bill
    You’ve certainly got your own style.
    I agree completely on Andy 1886. I’ve nothing but respect for him, especially with the way that he deals with “them” pecking away at his comments, turning them inside out & back onto him. I doubt that I’d have the patience to engage with some of the pontificating prats on here.

  • Gord

    Bob Mac, no more 10 year contracts after age 63. 🙂

    Do you know Canadian Singers, Bryan Adams? I think he did 18 ’till I Die.

    A song for Gooners, Arsene ’till I Die.

  • andy1886

    Thank you gentlemen for your kind words. I have a son with autism oldgroover, so I’m used to repeating myself for hours on end. Earlier he asked me what irony was, that was a very, very long conversation I can tell you…..

    Time for bed, goodnight all.

  • Gord


    I am Asperger’s Savant. I know autism quite well. I hope your son is functional, and is not one of us who is orthogonal to the hiring system.

  • Ryan

    A lot of posts I see. Good to see. I’m delighted Arsene has signed the contract, I wish he’d do a Bobby Robson and stay much longer even.

  • Gord

    OT: Autism

    I have seen many descriptions of autism which talk about short attention spans, which I think is behind Andy1886’s comment. I disagree that autism relates to short attention spans.

    If anything, people with autism have long (or excessively long) attention spans.

    The common example presented on TV on World Autism Day (April 1), is the parent trying to get the attention of the autistic child. The child briefly seems to focus on the adult, and then goes back to what he (usually, sometimes she) was doing before. This is NOT a problem of short attention span, it is a problem with getting the child to stop concentrating on the problem he was already working on.

    If I get involved in a problem, I can look up and find it is after midnight without a problem. Even if I started on the problem at 6am.

  • Tom

    Bill from Manhattan

    “I will say that andy1886 is no coward, Unlike other motherfuckers such as Tom, Rupert, Sperez, andy1886 doesn’t run and hide when the going gets tough. He keeps on fighting and coming back for more. He is a man and doesn’t act those others who in my opinion are bitches ”

    “I’m not a well educated man . I’m not particularly erudite.”

    You can also add “I’m not very bright ” to those two statements Bill .

    Let me enlighten you . Sperez got canned , Rupert got his books and records he would much rather dedicate his free time to ,as suppose to debating the likes of imbeciles like yourself ( and who could blame him) and I choose who to respond , depending wether I’m interested in debating or not. I realize it’s a concept foreign to your double digit IQ level but that can’t be helped , can it ?

  • Sav from Australia


    Who are these pontificating prats? Care to name names? Care to enlighten as to the nature of said pontificating? Go on, I dare you to name names.

    Anyways there was no debate here today. There was one person refusing to admit they are wrong despite being wrong. There is a word for someone who when proven wrong fails to admit it and ignores it as if it were otherwise. Arrogant. Although disingenuous seems a good fit.

  • mk

    Responding to the original points-

    Modern coach: Wenger’s methods ‘Modern’ or not had the team just 7 points behind the eventual winners despite the disparity of transfer spending and wages with them, significantly larger number of injuries than competitors and some very poor refereeing. Whether you consider those methods the far too subjective term ‘Modern’ or not they are effective and there is little reason to believe that another more ‘Modern’ manager would have done better than Wenger under the same Circumstances.

    Not replacing players in January: Wenger would have been looking for players better than the players he already had as replacements for the injured players, maybe none were available and possibly many offers were made that we have never heard about as evidenced by many years of history where Arsenal’s transfer dealings are always kept quiet (from our end) out of respect of the other clubs and players. We cannot know the reasons behind it but it is a more logical assumption that Wenger and the club did try their best to locate appropriate replacements than the opposite.

    Arsenal’s money: Rightly or wrongly (Check Swiss rambler for more valid financials than the AST) AFC decided they were finally in a financial position to only begin challenging again after the stadium move before the beginning of the just gone season and started to spend some of the money saved in previous seasons in case we did not make the champions league and lost 30 million plus of revenue and the lesser sponsorship deals etc that would have entailed. This was the first season the club did not require Wenger to sell his best players to balance the books, yet he is still blamed (by Andy amongst others) for not winning trophies in this period despite a lack of financial backing by the club even though in the first season with it he has just proven that with that financial backing he can.

    Suarez transfer: It is most likely that with Suarez himself unhappy and looking for a move his (not Liverpool’s) agent would have leaked the buyout clause to other clubs including Arsenal. Arsenal put in a private bid to Liverpool of just over 40 million, which Liverpool then made public, perhaps to shame Suarez as they would expect the knowledge of the figure would have had to come from him/his agent. As a legitimate buy-out clause AFC would have been stupid to offer more and it is most likely Suarez backing down after being offered improved contract terms by Liverpool rather than him having to take Liverpool to court that stopped the transfer (ie Liverpool outbid us on wages and possibly included rumored clauses in the contract to allow him to move to Real at the end of the season which ours would not have).

    Conclusion: In my opinion Wenger has earned with his long service at the club the time to prove again what he can do with a competitive budget and I think this is the crux of the disagreement here as the points made against do not seem to take into account the circumstances and constraints he was working under when the judgement against him was made. Therefore it is not taken in good faith that there is anything more than an irrational dislike of him, or a desire to ‘wind up’ the audience here behind those same arguments.

  • oldgroover


    Do you think I’m looking to start WW3? Having said that I think there should be a PG to stop 13 year olds straying onto this blog and engaging with unpleasant adults.

  • Shard


    “Sperez got canned , Rupert got his books and records he would much rather dedicate his free time to”

    I feel your pain, bro 🙂

  • jambug


    “Conclusion: In my opinion Wenger has earned with his long service at the club the time to prove again what he can do with a competitive budget and I think this is the crux of the disagreement here as the points made against do not seem to take into account the circumstances and constraints he was working under when the judgement against him was made. Therefore it is not taken in good faith that there is anything more than an irrational dislike of him, or a desire to ‘wind up’ the audience here behind those same arguments.”

    Well summed up mk.

    I’d like to draw attention to this one particular line:

    “do not seem to take into account the circumstances and constraints he was working under”

    Because, if you look back through the postings of many of Wengers critics, superficially they often DO take into account the circumstances, but you can rest assured within the next sentence there will be an almighty BUT, and off they go again, bashing Wenger with the exact same stick, or one very similar.

    They do this because they know the financial argument is an indisputable fact, as well as an almost insurmountable obstacle. So when faced with the bare facts, they have no argument, hence they begrudgingly concede, back up, and just take another route to reach the exact same irrational conclusion 5 minutes later.

  • bjtgooner

    Some thoughts in conclusion & after reading through some of the comments today.

    @mk & jambug

    I fully agree with the comments just above.


    Really sorry to note your son has autism – apart from offering my hope for everything to work out well it is difficult to offer any advice or help other than mention the example of Gord – who has a wonderfully brilliant mind.

    I think you are quite a nice guy andy – but that does not mean that I agree with some of the views you put forward earlier!

    I would suggest you do not accept anything you read on Le Groan at face value – they have lost their way and did so long ago.


    Bill, I always enjoy your posts and as you know I agree with your general point of view. This once I will disagree with you. I have crossed swords with Tom in the past (and may do so again), but my opinion of Tom, for what it is worth, is that he is not one of the cowards or AAAs. He does have the knack of irritating people from time to time – but that’s just Tom.


    When you first appeared on the scene, Arsenal were having some difficulties on the field and three guys simultaneously appeared on UA all fairly negative about AW. You were one of these and my initial assumption was that you were part of an AAA campaign. As you know I have revised this classification!

    You do express yourself strangely or contradictorily at times – which can irritate some commentators – which maybe gets you into some hot debates. But, as I noted above I don’t think you are a coward or AAA – in fact I think you may well have a lot to contribute to UA. That does not mean I will not have an argument with you at some stage!

    Re BILL – I think BILL has had a tough life, he tells it as he sees it, no back doors and no hidden meanings. I like all that, and indeed am amused at times at the very clear and colorful way he can express himself. Both of you have the best interests of Arsenal at heart – so lets go forward on that basis.

    In general – I have written these comments, not to prolong the debate – not necessary – it is over – but I feel yesterday’s debate concluded with more heat than it should have and I would rather see a more positive conclusion, if not on facts, certainly on attitudes and relationships.

  • Gord

    Thanks for the kind words BJT.