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In a Terry Venables dreamland where the AAA feel at home

By Tony Attwood and the Wizard of Oz

Of late I have been having a little dig at journalists and AAA people who seek to tell us that Mr Wenger is a useless manager, that the solutions to Arsenal’s perceived problems are obvious.

While I don’t expect any newspaper to have read, let alone take note of what we say (and I’m always taken aback when they do seemingly copy our articles and ideas) I do think that those who seek to comment here might at least take the trouble to read our analyses of what is happening to the club and why things are as they are.  Many of them don’t and really I can’t be bothered to make the same points over and over again, so I’m removing their posts until such time as they do us the courtesy of reading what we’ve written.

As you might recall I have also written about how it might be a good idea for those who are so critical of Arsenal’s management to manage a club themselves, and I have pointed out a vacancy in a 9th tier team.  None has written as yet to say they have taken up that place as yet.

But when we come to a Terry Venables commentary we must consider his views more carefully.  After all, he has been a manager.

And he had success taking QPR into the First Division and a cup final and Barcelona to the league title and a European Cup Final.   These are no mean feats – certainly not. But he also had difficulties, like losing home and away with Barcelona to Dundee Utd in the Uefa Cup and he was ultimately kicked out.

After that at Tottenham, he won a cup, but mostly had mid-table finishes until Alan Sugar kicked him out after worries about his business dealings.  Venables took Sugar to court and lost.

The nature of his business activities then started to become widely whispered but even so, the FA, crazy amateurs at the best of times, took him on as coach in 1994.  Venables left in 1996 to manage Australia, but when they were knocked out of the world cup by Iran he left.

Meanwhile he bought Portsmouth for £1, and his company got a £300,000 bonus six months later, and there were rumours of other sizeable payments after that.  He left the club at the very foot of Division 1, although to be fair, he was not the worst of the bunch running that club.

Next he did 10 months at Crystal Palace before they went into administration.  In December 2000 he joined Middlesbrough but he left six months later.  Then it was Leeds working with the famous Peter Ridsdale, and within a few months he had taken them out of the Uefa cup and into the lower part of the league, and was sacked.

In 2006 he was back as assistant manager to England, and was sacked in 2007.  In 2012 he took on a role as technical adviser to Wembley FC (the non-league side).

On 14 January 1998 he was disqualified by the high court from acting as a company director for seven years for mismanagement of various companies including Tottenham Hotspur plc and Tottenham Hotspur Football and Athletic Company Ltd on the grounds of bribery, lying, deception, manipulation of accounts and taking money that should have been given to creditors.

So now we have the measure of the man, and can recognise his knowledge of and approach to football matters, let us turn to what he says in his column in the Independent, on the subject of Arsenal.

Here he calls for a “complete change of mentality at the club.”  It is, he says, “about leadership and winning, it is about the serious grown-up side of the game. And Arsenal just cannot do it.”

He says the current team is “a long way from the old Arsenal era. Players like David Seaman, Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn, they knew how to kill off games.”

He goes on, “Football at the top level is a real, grown-up business.” Back in George Graham’s era, and with Arsène Wenger’s earlier sides, they could do that. They had a solid back four, strength and power in midfield, and if they had a lead they held on to it. They did not overplay because they did not need to. They trusted that their quality would shine through, and it did.”

Now of course Venables is talking about just a few games where things have not gone right.  He’s not talking about the fact that in 2013 we were through the calendar year the most successful team in the league.  No, he’s talking about a few games.

So the rightful comparison is with a few games.  And of course just as it is easy to pick out games when we won through power and control, we can do the reverse.   Take  7 September 1991: Arsenal 1 Coventry 2.  The famous back five.  Lee Dixon from far out on the right ten yards out from his own goal line and with no one pressurising him, punts the ball back to Seaman and straight into his own net.  Arsenal completely failed to get back into the game.

Or maybe we could consider 4 May 2003.   What would today’s support make of that night.  Arsenal 2 Leeds 3.   Worse, it was a Leeds team looking to escape relegation.  Worse again it meant Arsenal had won just two games in seven.  Probably lots of calls for Mr Wenger’s decapitation by the AAA, if we’d had an AAA in those days.

It is a good job any moaners there were at that time were not listened to.  Two wins in seven?  A shambles.

Except the next match was the start of the 49.

And that’s really the point.  Picking out snippets like saying that George Graham’s Arsenal were never like this, as Venables does, is just silly.   Remember 1992/3 – that was the season everyone said the reverse of what Venables says now.  Everyone said, having a good defence is great, but if you can’t score…

Should we perhaps think back to the period between 29 November and 3 March of that season in which we played 15 games in the league under George Graham and won just two?  A season of Seaman, Adams, Winterburn, Dixon, Keown, Parlour, Merson (yes the famous Merson now calling Arsenal clueless) and Wright.  (Incidentally will Merson recognise his own cluelessness at that time?)

The fact is that if you want to consider today’s team and compare it with the past, a few games here and there are no good.  You need a broader historical context, and an deeper understanding of the game than Mr Venables exhibits in his piece.

Of course Arsenal were great under Graham at times, but not all the time.  Exactly the same is true of Arsenal under Chapman.  Of course we have problem periods under Mr Wenger although under him we have never sunk nearly so low in the league as we did with Graham.

(Incidentally we win a higher percentage of games under Wenger than under any other manager we have had, and his win rate has gone up year after year).

Wimbledon did the double over us that year under Graham… and maybe you are now thinking that Graham really wasn’t such a good manager after all.  Except that out of the mess of the league campaign we did the cup double that season.   It was dire watching us in the league, and many of those cup games were awful too, but what we remember is what we want to remember.   We should remember that.

I remember two things from that cup double season.  The joy of winning the cups, and the sheer hell of watching the games – league and cup.   The three of us, driving back to Northants after each awful match debated whether winning a cup would make the awfulness of the football acceptable.  And I knew, and said, “no”.  It is not all about winning a trophy.  It is about more than that.

The books

 

122 comments to In a Terry Venables dreamland where the AAA feel at home

  • Pete

    Agreed Tony.

    It is about thinking long-term. The problem with this defeat is that it is probably the final nail in our chances of winning the League this season, unless Chelsea have a bad stumble, but I am still optimistic we will progress over the season.

    The other thing to recall is that we almost always do worse after a World Cup season (Euros to a lesser extent). Our recent league titles were in 98, 02 and 04 – always the year before a major championship. Too many players in Brazil to a late stage, too many subsequent injuries – probably related.

    I acknowledge other clubs will have similar issues – but I’m not sure any other club had as many players in the quarter finals onwards? Thinking:

    Ospina
    Debuchy
    Koscielny
    Mertesacker
    Ozil
    Podolski
    Sanchez
    Giroud
    Campbell

    (5 of these have had significant injuries subsequently).

    And then the following participated in earlier stages:

    Wilshere
    Ox
    Santi
    Welbeck

    Plus Walcott, Diaby(ish) and Gnabry out long term injured.

    And beyond that, Arteta and Ramsey (and others) have had minor injuries this season that have disrupted their form.

  • Georgaki-pyrovolitis

    A perfectly timed post giving a much needed perspective. Many thanks Tony,this piece can actualy be therapeutic for some such as me….

  • Chapman's Ghost

    I’ve never managed a football team so obviously there’s absolutely no point criticizing Wenger. I’ve never run a bank either so obviously I can’t criticize them for the mess they made …..never run the country either so I guess I can’t vote……never been a chef so I’ve absolutely no right to have an opinion on any food cooked in a restaurant. I know I’ve watched football for forty years but obviously I have no idea where the players play except I think the goalkeeper wears gloves.

    What a ridiculous argument. As I’ve said before none of us can know what goes on behind the scenes and we can’t know what’s it’s like to manage a gang of overpaid young men but we can see what goes on on the pitch. The fact that Chambers was continually left for dead by Montero and the bizarre introduction of Sanago in the 90th minute were hardly indicators of great management. Podolski is sitting on the bench and is at least more of a threat than Sanogo. Yes we all get it wrong sometimes and I would hardly write the manager off because of the last two games but you don’t seriously believe that we will now replicate the invincibles and go on a 49 unbeaten run?

    Whether you admit it or not I think it’s patently obvious that the sides Wenger managed before 06 had a very steely spine, we now have a slightly rusty one.

    Wenger has now conceded the title to Chelsea in November. Hardly a ringing endorsement is it? I didn’t expect us to win the league but I did hope we might have been doing slightly better than we are. I predicted a fourth place finish but if we continue in the same vein we’ll be doing a Manu.

    I also said the team is a work in progress and won’t be competing for the league for another two years. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m being more hopeful than realistic.

    There are mitigating circumstances to our current malaise, the main one being the extensive injury list but is that a surprise? We’ve been a victim of injuries for a few seasons now and you know certain players will never see out a full season.

    Anyway there’s still a lot of games to go and we can still claim that cherished fourth spot. And Wenger is still the best man to do that, only two other managers I think could do a better job and they aren’t available. No Coyle, Martinez, Koeman, Redknapp and all those other pretenders for Arsenal manager could replace AW.

  • philip2711

    Disagree; you can always find the facts to support your own case and you can always attack the messenger when you don’t like the message; for me however there is a downward trend that is not based on isolated mathces nor on just this post World Cupseason …..
    AW appears stuck…. stuck in outdated tactical mode, stuck in one dimensional mode of playing, stuck on his favourites so that they are overplayed and more prone to injuries, stuck on igoring rotation as a feature of the modern game so that when they do get their 5 minutes to turn a game they are not match sharp; stuck on playing players out of their natural position; and stuck on his backside when the situation cries out for more touchline leadership and direction.

  • proudkev

    Correct me if I am wrong but George Grahams last 4 season as Manager led to 4th, 10th, 4th and 12th place finishes – with that back 4. There is often a lack of perspective whenever George Grahams name pops up from dissenters in the media and the AAA. As much as I admire George Graham and his achievements, at times he played some pretty dire football and he achieved mid table finishes with that ‘back four’. I stood on the terraces and watched some of the great moments but let me remind people that we played some horrible football too and had to listen to the ‘boring, boring Arsenal chants’ from rival fans and the media.

    It seems Arsenal will always be the favourite punch bag.

    PS: While I do question the lack of backup after Vermaelen left (correct decision to allow him to leave but we should have replaced him) it amazes me that when other teams are losing key players excuses are made and allowed. Losing Koscielny is a massive loss and when you add the freak injury to Debouchy, it has hurt us. Arteta too. I am sure if Chelsea lost Cahill and Ivanovic, they would be weaker at the back.

  • andy1886

    Tony you may have been in a minority in ’92/’93, most of us were very happy to be the first club to do a cup double. One Nil to The Arsenal was the cry and we relished the scorn we got from other sides. The Spuds had their attractive football which they played at the time under the same Mr Venables, but we knew damn well that they’d trade that for a fraction of our success in an instant. Each to their own but for me it’s about winning however you can. There isn’t just one way to play football, there are many ways and for me Graham’s season in 92/93 was the one I’d choose over the more attractive but ultimately futile style that Venables championed that same season.

  • Fred

    Most talk in hindsight which as we know is a wonderful gift and very easy to do. I am season ticket holder and when we did not strengthen the squad with a centre half having sold vermaelon and a quality defensive holding midfielder, then foresight was very easy, it was almost nailed on that it would cost us and it has. I don’t listen to venabals or merson and I feel very sorry for Arsene, he has done great things for Arsenal football club. We must not fear change and change is now called for. We got very lucky winning the fa cup, Wigan in semi and final, we have gone backwards I’m afraid.

  • Pete

    Philip/Fred – but in the last four league seasons our final points totals have been (earliest to latest): 68, 70, 73, 79. That suggests to me that we are moving forwards not backwards. Definitely an iffy start this time – but extremely confident we will improve once injured players start returning. If they don’t, or there are more new injuries, then our struggles are likely to continue.

    It really is that simple.

  • andy1886

    Kev, as I said, each to their own. The CWC win the following season too, it wasn’t all bad by any means. From your list their are two fourths which is deemed acceptable these days too so by that reasoning we had two poor league seasons in which time we also won three cups. I was a ST holder all through the Graham era and while we didn’t play the best football in the last two or three seasons (and I can give you some highlights like the 7-1 at home v Sheffield Wednesday and the 7-0 away at Standard Liege) you have to remember that prior to that we were a very attractive attacking side that dragged the club out of a rut on a very modest budget.

  • Fishpie

    Tony, you are clearly an intelligent and thoughtful man who seeks to argue sensibly and calmly but really, you do know I’m sure that the criticisms of Arsene don’t really come about because of any latest calamity or because certain people select a small range of matches to compare to the past; they come about because Mr. Wenger doesn’t seem capable of rectifying long lasting and oft repeated problems that have hindered any real progress. Each critical article may have a new angle or a new way of pointing out deficiencies but picking such articles apart doesn’t alter the underlying reality…we’ve been here many many times and as a result Arsene brings all of this down on himself. I am not a Football Manager and I don’t know how to resolve our shortfalls but he, as he often reminds us, is a Football Manager and although he claims to be in the business of rectifying problems, he doesn’t. Rectify them, if you can, Arsene and people like me will go away. If only to make life easier for Tony who frankly, you don’t deserve the amazing support he gives you.

  • ZOON

    Koscielny has had tendinitus in his Achilles for the last 2 years and it has had to be managed. So to leave us short of numbers in this area was a massive mistake.

    We all make mistakes and Wenger does as well but all of his mistakes are not down to bad luck some are down to poor management and as the years pass more and more seem to be down to mis-management.

  • insideright

    A lways look for the agenda behind any writer’s pronouncements. When Venebles trumpets the successes of George Graham (and forgets his failures) you should remember that Graham was best man at Venebles’ wedding and, I think, vice versa. They are big mates and have a certain ‘history’ together!
    And have you noticed the similarities in the histories of Venbles with that other tactical and business genius Harry Redknapp?

  • andy1886

    Funnily enough Arsenal approached both Venables and SAF prior to appointing George Graham. Makes you wonder how that would have turned out if we’d have actually appointed either of them.

  • Tom

    The reason so many are criticizing the club right now has more to do with how obvious the mistakes are that we make, rather than the culture of ‘ I want it now’.

    Sure you can try and dismiss posters who have been critical of the team and the manager and call them disingenuous or AAA , but it’s a little harder to do when that criticizm comes from ex players like Keown.

    His analysis of Arsenal defending against Swansey was spot on and he even supported it with a visual aid for the less sophisticated fans.
    Seven Arsenal players ahead of the ball in Swansey half with fifteen minutes to go in the match. Sounds familiar?

    Three days after the same mistake was made against Anderlecht mid week.

    Talk about not learning from your mistakes.

    But why would the players learn if the manager doesn’t admit the mistake was made in the first place and goes on blaming the fifth official for not spotting the offside which in his mind had ‘turn the game’.

    For the record , the fifth official isn’t there to make offside calls for which he’s in no position to make , but rather assist the referee with penalty box decisions, like penalties (there were two) and other fouls.

    About that offside decision , the replay indicated it was more like a foot and not a yard , so there’s no need to exaggerate Mr Wenger, although it should’ve been given had the linesman been in a good position to give it.

    I spoke about the lack of attention to detail before and knowing your opponents and referees as well.

    If you followed the French league , you would have known that the French referee who worked the Arsenal game in the midweek , can be quite pedantic and isn’t afraid to give a penalty decision.

    He gave one for a clumsy shove in the back on Welbeck in the first half , so maybe a proactive manager should’ve told his players to be careful it the penalty box in the second half.

    Backing your players and giving them encouragement is a sign of a good manager but there are times when you need to be stern to get your massage across.

    Judging by how relaxed , smiling and care free Arsenal players were during their Saturday training session( according to pics making the rounds), one wonders if any massage was sent to them at all .

    I can’t imagine United players under Ferguson or Chelsea players under Mourinho , being so care free after blowing a three goal lead a few days back.

  • Mandy Dodd

    agree Tom, Keown is one I would listen to, a man of impeccable experience, and integrity in matters Arsenal. Not one of the shrill voices either.
    But it seems City, Utd, Spurs and Liverpool have exactly the same problems as we do.
    A genuine question….why is this? Is the art of defending dying? Are more and more coaches becoming attack orientated? Are most of todays players incapable of following orders?
    and if as you imply, a workaholic obsessive like Wenger isnt sending the team out with sufficient instruction and preparation….why would this be? again, a genuine question here.

  • Quincy

    Now this is footbal journalism. Actual insight, backed up by a wide and impressive knowledge of the facts, rather than talking out the other end.

    And how did Venables get a job with a paper. Simply astounding.

    philip2711,
    If you believe there has been a ‘downward trend’, you might want to back that up with some facts, those pesky little things.

  • Ben

    Hi everyone,

    First time post here. I am impressed by the intelligent level of debate on this blog, makes a change. However, I have two questions which I believe are extremely valid and in my humble view give an indication of the extent to which Mr Wenger has now become obselete and tactically questionable (to say the least) –

    1. Why was Yaya Sanogo brought on yesterday (when you have a world cup winner and according to Wenger – a lethal finisher) – Podolski – sitting on the bench? Joel Campbell anyone? Could you please remind readers here how many premier league goals Sanogo has scored to date? Ok I will – ZERO.

    2. Why did Mr Wenger wait until 2-1 down to make his subsitutions? I thought good management is often about foresight and therefore proactivity? What I saw yesterday was thoughtless, desperate and illogical reactivity.

    Sorry, but things change, football evolves and so do the requirements of top level management. Mr Wenger can no longer meet this criteria. He should leave with his head held high before he truly damages his legacy.

  • Quincy

    Our defending is terrible! It’s a shambles! They never learn! What are we going to do!

    Eleven games played. The best defences in the Premier League, goals conceded:

    (1) Southampton: 5
    (2) Chelsea, Swansea: 11
    (3) Manchester City: 12
    (4) Arsenal, Stoke: 13.

    Oh help! What are we going to do! Our season is in ruins!

  • blacksheep63

    It is quite simple to see what is wrong with Arsenal at the moment and the perspective, whilst welcome, doesn’t change the reality.

    This is a team of highly skilled and intelligent footballers who are coached and managed by one of the most experienced, creative and successful managers in the world. EVER.

    This is a manager who has taken a team for 49 games unbeaten in the league. Wenger knows how to win games and how to lose them. I just don’t accept that he looks at the current situation and doesn’t know how to rectify it.

    Yes we have injuries. Yes the refs are sometimes biased against us. But we all know this and so do the team and the manager. So what are we doing about it?

    On Tuesday we threw away a lead – it happens – so learn the lessons and move on. But then we do it again. I watched the bench on Tuesday and there is no one shouting instructions in that final 15 minutes, none yesterday either. I don’t want Mourinio at Arsenal but you can bet your house on it that he would have been up and yelling support, advice, abuse at his team if that was happening.

    So it comes back to M. Wenger. He trusts his players, and I respect that. He believes in them. But just at the moment they are not able to repay that trust. Without Arteta on the pitch we DO lack leadership and so that has to come from pitchside.

    This is not a dig at le boss, I don’t want him sacked, I merely want him to change – a little – while we adjust to this dip in form.

  • khitb77

    I wonder at what point Tony will actually acknowledge that Wenger has outlived his stay?

    How many embarrassing, heavy defeats to “rivals”?

    How many times do we need to throw away leads against “lesser sides”?

    How many seasons will we fail to sign sufficient quality and numbers to meet the 60+ games we play?

    How long will it take for Wenger to address our style of play so that we are not easily picked off on the counter attack?

    All of the above are blindingly obvious to almost everyone with even the most basic understanding of football.

    All I ever see on this site are excuses for Wenger’s failures. He did a phenomenal job keeping us in the top four for all those seasons when we didn’t have the money to compete with the likes of Chelsea, Man Utd or Man City.

    Times have changed but Wenger hasn’t. He is regularly outthought by opponents and he continues to stick with flawed formations and plays people out of position.

    Please Arsene, please step aside and let someone with new ideas and new techniques take us forward. Go before even Tony turns on you and while you have even a modicum of dignity intact.

  • Fishpie

    Tom and Mandy, Well argued about Keown. But he is, would you agree, only saying what most ex-footballers have said, including other past Arsenal players like the Merse , Wrighty, and Dixon. The vast majority of TV pundits who have played or coached at the top level do not understand what Arsene is up to. And I wonder whether the majority of the current squad aren’t convinced about what he is up to too. To add to your list of legitimate questions Mandy, I would add: Do the current squad really believe they way they are being asked to prepare and play will be successful enough to win trophies?

  • Tom

    Mandy
    City , United , Liverpool and The Spurs do have defensive problems indeed.

    Liverpool had them last season as well but the offensive output of Suarez and Sturidge outweighed their defensive frailties.

    Spurs are a mess and it will take them more than a season to get it together again. Ten managers in twelve years, and their biggest earners not contributing as they should.

    United have been rebuilding for two seasons and are under a new manager and have no balance.

    City’s defence isn’t bad , but I do question their commitment to the cause at times.

    The biggest diference in this new TV money rich PL is that there are quality players on every team, which certainly wasn’t the case when Arsenal were wining titles in the invincibles’ era, therefore the tactical planing for each and every game has never been more important than now.

  • Mick

    @khitb77
    ‘All I ever see on this site are excuses for Wenger’s failures’
    Well go on other sites more in tune with your views then.

    ‘while you have even a modicum of dignity intact’
    How is Mr Wenger losing his dignity. Stupid comment.

  • proudkev

    Mandy asks:
    Why is defending not what it was years ago?
    Great question. For me, it is because football has changed. We have had a years of those involved in the game making ridiculous attempts to turn football into a non-contact sport, creating a growth in diving. Not helped by yellow cards for some innocuous things, forcing defenders to stay on their feet.

    So naturally defending has changed. Full backs are no longer defenders, they are virtually wingers who push high up the pitch. The centre halves are usually isolated, hence the introduction of the holding midfielder. And without a good ball winner, a reader of the game and an athlete in this position, defences get exposed. In my opinion, a big athletic ball winner sitting in front of our back ‘two’ is essential for the way we play. If we are going to throw bodies forward fine but lets get some insurance. The lack of a DM has exposed Monreal & Mertesacker in Koscielnys absence IMO.

  • andy1886

    Mandy, at the risk of incurring the wrath of some posters I’ll have a go at answering your questions.

    Is defending becoming a dying art? Well, IMO yes it is to a certain extent. Some people don’t value it but to me a great saving tackle is every bit as exciting as a great sweeping pass that opens up a defence. Is it because managers are more offensively minded? Maybe, certainly Arsene has said that (“we are an offensive team”) although Jose obviously isn’t that way inclined. One thing is for sure in this age where football is as much an ‘entertainment’ as a sport the likes of Sky are interested in GOALS!! not good defending so that part of the game isn’t valued the way it was. The main reason though (I think) is that the laws of the game have emasculated defenders to a large degree. What before would have been a hard but fair challenge will now be penalised as being ‘out of control’ – likewise a sliding tackle or even one where the referee can decide ‘excessive force’ is used (even if the challenge is otherwise completely fair and completed successfully). Defending is much more of a non-contact art than it ever was before (and don’t get me started on simulation either!).

    Are players unable or unwilling to follow instructions? As an older fan it’s tempting to say yes obviously and point to the have it all want it right now generation, but that’s probably unfair. We do know that Arsene likes to let the players make their own decisions on the pitch, so perhaps their decision making is open to question? If so a more structured approach and more rigid structure is needed.

    Is AW sending out players with insufficient instruction or preparation? Well that kinda follows on from the above, we do know that Arsene allows players more leeway than many other managers. I’m sure he prepares well in his own way so it’s not that he doesn’t, the question is ‘is the way he prepares effective?’. It has to come down unfortunately to either he needs to change the way he instructs the team (be more rigid, insist for example that we keep more players behind the ball when we’re in front, that the FB’s prioritise defending not attacking), or if he is already doing that the question is why are the players not following instructions?

  • Mandy Dodd

    thanks for the replies, some interesting points made. Agree with what you are saying Andy1886 and Kev on defending, and the non contact nature creeping in (unless you happen to play for Chelsea….sorry, couldnt resist getting that one in!)and yes, CDs get exposed rather a lot these days…at least with a lot of teams
    I know Wenger has gone on record saying he has a duty to entertain due to the amount of money is costs to watch a game live, looks like maybe he does not see defending as entertainment…unless you are one of those having a good laugh at us at the moment! Kind of agree with you…and Blacksheep, maybe a slightly more rigid approach could help us out of this, think Artetas presence helps this more than…say Flamini, but Arteta is now an issue, he gets injured everytime he plays. Agree, maybe Wenger less controlling than some, guess he believes players have to learn their own lessons rather than be spoonfed. Again, some could question this, what may work for Henry might not work for Ox…just examples plucked out of my head.
    Can only agree with everything you say 12.48 Tom, City’s defence should be good with their players…and MF protection (tho think Kompany may be injured)…but wonder if they believe…or know their manager is a dead man walking?
    Fishpie, think Keown separates himself from those others by his mere integrity, some of our ex players are just rent a gobs that appear at the slightest hint of problems, Keown has always stayed above this. As for the squad …who knows, I would imagine they have been told there is a building process going on, but if they really believe there are faults in the way they are asked to play, they need to stand up and be counted.
    Think Blacksheep makes some great points as well, things look like they need a bit of tweaking, at least during this spell…as he did a couple years ago when we ended up winning in Munich, the problem is, for the moment, we just dont have the resources…or at least experience at the back we had then.
    Wenger must see what we see, and know the eventual solutions, this can be solved without abandoning attacking football, though some of his favorite players could end up with less games. Will be interesting to see what he does

  • proudkev

    Andy1886. Very good comments and along with the reply I made to Mandy.

    I love the way Arsenal have played under Mr. Wenger and will never forget some of the incredible players he has signed over the years. For me he is a brilliant Manager who has always suffered from unfair criticism. We all know he used to get ridiculed for being the first manager to play and all foreign team, he regularly had the red cards used against him, the count down period for trophies (ignoring thye stadium achievement), the ‘did not see it’ jokes and ‘he only won because he had the Graham back four’. Now he has to listen to the same idiots blaming him for our ‘injuries’. All BS used to discredit his great achievements.

    But here is where I think he has gone wrong. Defensive Midfield. As I said previously, if you are going to push your full backs on and get players ‘up’ the pitch, you have to protect the centre halves when teams break at pace on us. This is how football has changed and why Holding midfielders came into the game. It is a specialist role. I personally would not push both full backs on, I would see-saw them but then again I am a Company Director and Wenger has more knowledge of football than me in his little finger nail. I would not be surprised to see him fix the problem in January but that may be too late.

  • khitb77

    @Mick

    “Well go on other sites more in tune with your views then.”

    I like to look at both sides of an argument and then make my mind up based upon all the facts (well all the facts that I can find).

    “How is Mr Wenger losing his dignity. Stupid comment.”

    Seriously? Your response shows stupidity, or at least the same stubborn refusal to accept the facts right in front of your face.

    You don’t think that the way Wenger responds to interviewers questions is at least a bit silly? The way he responded to Paul Merson’s comments were beneath him. Wenger is clearly losing his cool with the media and some of his myopic statements about our failings on the pitch are beyond stubbornness, he regularly dismisses obvious problems.

    I realise he’s not one to talk to the press about problems he’s addressing internally and to be honest I agree with that way of dealing with problems, however, he doesn’t address the problems we continue to concede goals when our fullbacks are caught too far up the pitch! I could probably continue to list examples of Wenger’s stubbornness which little by little has chipped away at his once great reputation.

    THAT is why he is should go now.

  • andy1886

    Kev, it looks like we agree on a lot of that. I’d just like to add that I wish the BoD had a bit more spine or when back in the day Arsene was instructed (as I understood it to happen) to cut out all the red cards he told them to keep their noses out of team affairs. To my mind, since we became less aggressive (especially in the middle of the park) we’ve become much less effective. To a certain extent when we traded the likes of Petit and Vieira for Cesc and Denilson for example we lost a lot of what made us the team that we had been. Again, we all have our preferences, but I much prefer the tall powerful Arsenal to the smaller more technical one that we have now.

  • Watching Wenger at the moment reminds me of that film All is Lost with robert redford..

    An once great old man floundering in a younger mans environment,and with water gushing on to the boat and filling it quickly, he moves slowly and predictably to plug the damaged hull.. Death is facing him head on yet he moves with no urgency swathed by his own way of doing things,lost in his own world making mistake after mistake..

    Eventually wenger will probably end up setting fire to his own life raft and throwing himself off into the dark black infinity of the sea while the soft pale light of his salvation flickers ever dimmer on the horizon

  • Mandy Dodd

    Regarding the DM, and in fairness to Mr Wenger, reports, if the media are ever to be believed suggest he has looked at such players, and pretty good ones too.
    But is seems Schneiderlin was not available as Soton had already sold too many…shame, we could have done our neighbours out of a good player.
    Khedeira…if he really is such a player was reportedly quoted at £24 mil demanding 180kpw. Dont know if this is true or not, but he has been injured and had surgery?
    Lars Bender…dont know the score there.
    Carvalho….doesnt he have about 27 different owners?

    Or maybe they were all smoke and mirrors. Maybe there is a top player rotting in the reserves at a high spending club, or one in the last few months of his contract who would love to join us. Perhaps the same with defenders.
    Think a lot will depend on an honest and frank prognosis of the likes of Kos and Arteta. Flamini is fine with Arteta or a similar player, but gets overwhelmed on his own.

  • finsbury

    I wonder at one point the AAAA, those who amusingly call themselves “proper Arsenal” will admit that they know nothing about football?

    Plenty of evidence for that? And as for El Tel, plenty of evidence that Arsenal fans have been laughing at him for over two decades now, I have some proof:

    When I was in primary school, at the time that GG was managing the Arsenal, the sports coach who also happened to work for the Arsenal wrote the introduction to the Xmas panto which I had to read out to the audience.
    So there I was, eleven years old, staring off into the dark into an audience of adults reading out this text which contained jokes and sarcasm aimed at the adults, which I couldn’t understand. There was this one line in this introduction to a pantomime which referred to the exploits of someone called El Tel Venebles in Bunga Bunga land (FC Bunga Bunga Barcalona) which I can vividly remember raising many sniggers from most of the audience. It was only some years later that I was able to understand why they found a reference to El Tel’s bling amusing.

    So, El Tel wasn’t fooling anyone, especially a collection of Arsenal supporting parents, back in the early to mid-nineties. And it seems only the predictably lame and disingenious plundits and AAAA would bother listening to his tripe today. There’s a surprise 🙂

  • finsbury

    Fernando is tall and powerful. And a fifteen million he is proper dross!

    Not the answer you are looking for.

  • jonfromwellington

    Excelent post Tony – I will read it later.

    Please do keep deleting the anti Wenger posts. It is my firm belief that if you are critical of Wenger than you are not a true member of the gooner family

  • finsbury

    Sarcasm usually requires some wit. I suppose that would be too much to ask from a transparent and lame AAA troll.

  • Mandy Dodd

    El Tel was quite a good England manager. GG was a naughty boy, like most of his contemporaries at the time….but did great things for the club, and should always be held in the highest esteem for that, along with all managers who have done so much for the club.
    But both belong in a different era, when players, the refs, playing surfaces and the quality of opponents was different. So was the demands on footballers. Anything they say….though in general, GG is fairly respectable…needs to be put in context.
    Thats why the words of Keown possible carry more gravitas. Afterall, isnt he currently in an ambassadorial role at the club?

  • red

    Regardless of whatever spin you put on it I’d agree with phillip2711. Without stating any facts in this short post I’d like to ask readers who disagree with our reputedly downward trend to analyse our results against Top 4 opposition and top CL teams over the last 7 years. It makes for very awful reading.

    All I can say is that those that think it will get better under Arsene will be sorely disappointed. The man will NEVER win anything major again with Arsenal. It doesn’t pain me as much now to say that unfortunately.

  • finsbury

    “El Tel was quite a good England manager”

    Indeed he was. AW’s former student Hoddle was doing even better (IMO) before he gave the Murdochians enough rope to string him up.

  • WalterBroeckx

    er Red,
    Was it just a dream that we won the last two domestic trophies that could be won? FA cup, CS? Well it was a nice dream then anyway. Could you inform me who won it in the real world then as I kind of missed it.

  • john

    Our manager’s reference to Chelsea may also be in recognition of the current FA/PGMOL bias in their favour.

    This is apparent in every game, through the award of dubious penalties for and the denial of clear penalties against and the blind eyes turned to their serious fouls. All evident in our match (Fabregas hand-ball, Cahill and Oscar fouling) and against Liverpool (Cahill hand-ball, twice, Ramires fore-arm smash on Sterling, for which the latter was carded. Plus dubious decisions when they played Palace, Hazard persistent diving which goes unpunished.

  • Pete

    It’s all the knee-jerk rubbish. Only think about the last result never the big picture. I like to think I come on here and remain consistent whether Arsenal won or lost, whether they played well or badly.

    I just do not see many, usually any, of the hostile commenters on here after a decent win. Why is this?

    – Is it because they think Arsenal and Wenger are brilliant because we have just won a game?
    – Is it because they lack self-confidence and don’t want to look foolish if everyone (virtually) around them is celebrating?
    – Is it because they are trouble-makers?

    To be fair, on some sites I see commenters slag off the club and management after a good win – perhaps less isolation from like-minded (negative) individuals?

    Wenger has been with us for 18 years. During the earlier part of this period he won a load of trophies. During the latter part of this period he kept us in the Top 4 on a shoestring. So he is, objectively, pretty good. Of course, it is entirely possible that there is someone better out there who is also available and happy to come… but what a risk. Add to that the likely transitional cost (new style of play, new players etc). All managers have good and less good spells. It is sport. It does help if you have spent £0.5bn on your squad of course…

    Tottenham have gone down a different route. Negative fan sentiment has been reflected in the Chairman who, as a consequence, has changed manager every year or so. Would anyone rather swap with them…? Chelsea have spent best part of £100mm compensating fired managers (and clubs whose manager they have poached). They have only survived this impatience through throwing money at the problem – but still haven’t won the League title for several years.

  • Pete

    Further to the above, do the anti’s sit and read this site every day and take in the pretty thorough analysis provided by the writers? But elect not to comment. Or do they just land on here after a defeat?

    Many handles I don’t recognise.

    Can’t recall seeing: Red, khittb77, phillip2711 before for example (apologies if wrong).

  • Ben

    Hi everyone,

    First time post here. I am impressed by the intelligent level of debate on this blog, makes a change. However, I have two questions which I believe are extremely valid and in my humble view give an indication of the extent to which Mr Wenger has now become obselete and tactically questionable (to say the least) –

    1. Why was Yaya Sanogo brought on yesterday (when you have a world cup winner and according to Wenger – a lethal finisher) – Podolski – sitting on the bench? Joel Campbell anyone? Could you please remind readers here how many premier league goals Sanogo has scored to date? Ok I will – ZERO.

    2. Why did Mr Wenger wait until 2-1 down to make his subsitutions? I thought good management is often about foresight and therefore proactivity? What I saw yesterday was thoughtless, desperate and illogical reactivity.

    Sorry, but things change, football evolves and so do the requirements of top level management. Mr Wenger can no longer meet this criteria. He should leave with his head held high before he truly damages his legacy.

  • andy1886

    Pete, in the first nine years or so he was great – no doubt about it. In the next nine? Well, as you say pretty good covers it IMO. Money is relative of course, we could have spent it more wisely on occasion and our wage bill became disproportionately high, but taking all factors into consideration we finished roughly where we should have most seasons, so ‘pretty good’. As to the way forward I guess it comes down to if you are a natural risk taker or if you are risk adverse. Worth pointing out of course that AW was a big risk in 1996 – remember the ‘Arsene Who?’ headlines back then?

    I don’t think that he is going anywhere soon so we will have another two and a half seasons to take the longer view and see where we are. FFP is kicking in and the playing field bar United will level out again. For me the question is ‘Is the manager getting the best out of the squad and using his resources to the maximum effect?’ If you feel the answer is ‘Yes’ then you’ll want him to stay. If you feel that we are less than the sum of the parts and we haven’t invested wisely then you may think otherwise.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Yes Finsbury, Hoddle could have really done something for England, thought he was the real deal.
    Cannot think of many others sacked…at least on the surface, purely for their religious beliefs.
    As you say, Murdoch was involved, as was a populist PM tempted to comment on something he knew nothing about…. such was the nature of this PM. A PM that claimed to have fond memories watching a Newcastle idol from the terraces, only for it to be discovered that Wor Jackie stopped playing there when TB was about 3 years old. Maybe he got him mixed up with someone else.

  • andy1886

    Mandy, politicians and football is never a good mix. Every time I hear the name David Mellor I feel physically sick.

  • Mandy Dodd

    The first nine years, Wenger had the luxury of putting everything he could into winning. The next few years, he had to put everything he had into maintaining a top 4 place.
    Now , he has the funds to get back to winning again. The landscape is of course different…in many ways… he has not been able to get all the players he needs in 1 or 2 windows now he has a relative amount of money to spend, but he needs time to acumululate top level players.
    Frustrating as this week was, is he not better waiting for top level payers, rather than putting also rans on our wage bill for 4 years….and I will mention no names here, I dont need to.
    This Jan and this summer, he will put things right, wait and see.
    If he cannot, or for some reason will not get back closer to a winning formula, that will become abundantly clear in time, but we are not at that stage yet, he is building selectively, unlike one or two rival teams I could think of.
    A reduction in injuries, spinal players coming back, and a recruit or two, and things will look a lot better.

  • Mandy Dodd

    David Mellor….really wish you had not put that long forgotten image in my head!

  • Usama

    Untold Arsenal always stays positive and helps me clear my mind after a bad result. The Tiny Totts lost no one talks in media, Liverpool lost no one talks in media, Man City played totally poor no one talks in media, Man United scraped a win no one talks about how they played in media…… But when we have a bad result boy oh boy the Lazy journalists start to lick their lips at the prospect of fantasizing and writing about made up crisis everywhere in team.

  • Ben

    I’m sorry, but does anyone have any answers/comments to my questions; made at 3:33pm. Mandy, your opinion seems to be respected and valued on here, so I’d very much appreciate to hear your take (and of course others!). I’m just trying to get others’ views as to the strange decisions made yesterday. Thanks.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Terry Venables wrote a(n exposé ?)book in 1973 at the height of the Hippie /LSD movement called ,’They used to play on grass ‘, – did he too fry his brains then ?

  • andy1886

    Ben, Sanogo? Wouldn’t have been my choice, could Poldi have a slight injury? That’s the only reason I can think of other than the plan was to utilise Yaya’s extra height when we started to lump it into the box.

    Other subs? Can’t really help you there much either. For me I would have put Bellerin on and moved Chambers to CB (but then again I would have started that way). One point to make is that the only defensive sub we could have made was Bellerin once we were one up, other than that the best we could have done is take an attacker off and put JW on to shore up the midfield. My assumption regards the timing is that Arsene makes substitutions based on fitness not for tactical reasons.

    As for your final comment I’m not going there on this site (lol) !!

  • Ben

    Andy1886, thanks for getting back to me with your views. I can see your point re Sanogo and utilising his height when lumping into the box. But I would say here that it’s quite a contrast to previous years that we were even in a position to have to do that?! Could you have seen yourself typing that a few years ago? I couldn’t.

    I agree regarding Bellerin, if Chambers is good enough at 19, why not Bellerin? Next point (which has been hammered on about to death); why was Bellerin the only defensive option on the bench? Perhaps the reason is known by everybody but knowing and admitting are two different things.

    Your assumption regards timing of subs – “not for tactical reasons” – is this not a basic of football management? Assess the landscape, adapt accordingly? I believe this was not done yesterday (if ever these days by Arsene) his lack of tactical changes/(I’d even take instructions, as opposed to just sitting on the bench wringing his hands!) contributed to that loss yesterday and previous poor performances.

    Re my final comment, I stand by that; but based upon the general sentiment here, I can understand your diplomatic response!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Ben, there are many on here that know far more than me, not for me to justify the decisions of Arsene Wenger as I am not in possession of even limited facts, but as this is a forum, and for what its worth, I would have had Podolski on as soon as we went behind, in fact I would like to see more of this player….and Rosicky, end of. But a mystery to me, though will echo the points Andy has made on Sanogos attributes, and the possibility of Poldi and Campbell being injured? Unless they are off in Jan, hope not to be honest.
    Substitutions, can only go with Wengers words , we were ahead, and he did not want to change anything in that position. Of course it went wrong, but thats football, especially when things are going against you. Some reactive substitutions work…as at Anderlect, other do not.
    In the eyes of some, Wenger damaged his legacy years ago and now can do nothing right. If he were as dire as critics make out, he would not have two trophies currently in the cabinet, not would he make the top 4 each year. If such a man needs to go, not much help for most others, nor club stability in general

  • proudkev

    Evening Ben. You ask fair questions but it is all a bit hypothetical the way you have worded it. Its the old Auntie and Balls scenario and that little word ‘if’. For example:

    1. Who is to say that bringing on Poldi instead of Sanogo would have gained us a point? How do we not know we would have lost 3-1?

    2. How do we know that making substitutions prior to going 2-1 down, would have changed the game in our favour?

    You assume that had we done those things we would not have lost the game.

    It is fair to ask those questions but not to load them in such a way as to suggest Wenger was ‘definitely’ wrong. He knows more than we will ever know, works with the players and therefore I cannot accept he is the buffoon some people like to label him.

    However, it is only fair to answer your questions:

    1. I would not have thrown another striker or Theo on so late.
    In fact, I would have made a double substitution when we scored – with Jack and Theo coming on. I would have asked Jack to sit with Flamini and asked the full backs to stay behind the ball. used Theo’s pace on the break as Swansea pushed on for the equaliser. Chamberlain would have been asked to add cover to Chambers on the right side. This is what I would have done but I am an amateur and I will not say this would have improved the team. It may have made them worse!

    Would this have changed the result, who knows. Chances are, he thought the pitch was too heavy for Theo at this stage of his fitness and this was not an option. Who is to say that my changes would not have led to a 5-1 defeat?

    Its all hypothetical and I am not going to assume I know best.

    It always seem that Wenger gets rounded on for things he ‘should have done’ when nobody can prove the things he ‘should have done’ would have made things better. Lots of fans seem to assume every defeat is because of Wenger and every win is in spite of him. Sensible debate is fine and I should be encouraged, while avoiding the use of ‘hypothetical’ situations that cannot be disproved, as a weapon to beat Mr. Wenger with.

  • Usama @ 4.09pm,

    You sir, just won this thread.

    Lots of bad results this weekend and the midweek for the top teams but the only one being analysed to death is Arsenal, both by our fans and the so called pundits.

    Our last 2 results are disappointing but nothing to kill oneself over, especially when it is not our jobs to diagnose what went wrong or fix it. After results like our last couple every Tom, Dick and Harry becomes an expert at identifying and proffering solutions to what ails Arsenal. If they’d just take up that offer that Tony advertised. If only.

  • proudkev

    Bootoomee. Yes, my point exactly. Everybody is an expert and there is an assumption that they know best, when nothing is further from the truth. For me, we have made mistakes and we need to learn from them. Whether it is the manager or players, there are times when we end up shooting ourselves in the foot. I am all for criticism but only if it is fair and not part of an agenda.

    However, I trust the Manager and players to overcome some of the problems we have had of late and genuinely believe the team is not far away from being something special.

    And I agree. Funny how Man City, Liverpool, man Utd and Spurs get away scott free from bad performances and poor defensive performances, yet any goal Arsenal concede gets headlines. The media is a disgrace.

  • apo Armani

    Excellent article Tony…excuse my absence the last few days (was in Sweden) but have read all the articles here on UA and of course made sure to watch the match on Sunday with my Swedish (non Arsenal fans) who cheered (even though we lost) for us…shame we lost…I got totally drunk on some very good concoctions made by my hosts…

    I agree 100% with the articles here the last days…win or lose ARSENAL!

    COYG!

  • gouresh

    I dislike cricket, so I don’t watch it. this is the game that has ruined prospects for all the other games in India. but because I don’t watch it and care a monkeys for the indian national cricket team, I am considered as un-patriotic. similarly, we are critical of AW, we are branded as AAA. Tony has said that if we can do a better job than AW, we should manage a club. can we say that if you think that the ref is hopeless, become a EPL ref & do a better job? well….everyone has his or her own reasons, I know mine. I do not comment on transfers, or the money matters of the club as it not something I understand very much.

  • Usama

    Well at the moment I am thinking that the Tiny Totts would sack (not sure but still) Pochettino. And guess who will come to their rescue…… wait for it…..

    The “amazing” Terry Venables. Every single person who failed at management at any club, who have not even been involved in management throughout their life, or were mediocre at management or not even having any connections to football in their professional life is spewing fire and bad mouthing our club.

  • proudkev,

    Thanks!

    Love your 5.29pm response to Ben. He came to Untold, a haven for pro-Wenger Gooners, to ask the “have you been beating your wife again” type of question about Arsene and Arsenal and then wonder why no none bothered to reply. It is called starving the troll.

    I do commend you for your erudite effort. Kudos.

  • Chapman's Ghost

    @Usama,I’ve no idea what media everyone reads on here but the Sunday Times heavily criticized Liverpool in the Chelsea loss. I imagine they weren’t the only ones. Pool fans are turning on Rogers too it seems so it’s not just us that has to deal with adversity.

  • Quincy

    Reading Keown’s analysis, I see nothing particularly special, merely stating the obvious. Says a lot about the quality of punditry when all you have to do to look intelligent relative to the rest is to state what you see, rather than spew pre-written narratives at the top of your lungs.

  • Tom

    Osama

    I don’t usually do this , as I don’t give a rat’s ass about other clubs and what the press written or otherwise thinks about them, but your post has picked my curiosity so I went searching.

    It took me all of 2 minutes to find negative articles about all aforementioned clubs , you claim there’s no negative articles about.

  • Tom

    Usama
    Sorry to mangle your name . Stupid autocorrect.

  • Nicky

    Whether we like it or not, the game of football is a sporting contest and nothing more. It is not more important than life or death, although by some of the comments on Untold, one could easily be convinced otherwise.
    A couple of points need making.
    As Manager of Arsenal FC, Arsene Wenger, along with his senior coaching staff, will select the team for each match depending on the opposition, tactics, ground conditions and fitness of his available squad.
    When the team take to the field, he will have little further control other than the substitution of 3 alternative players.
    He will not know the mental state of his men on the field, the level of concentration, whether they have things on their mind other than the play, domestic and/or financial matters.
    Without wishing to be insulting, professional footballers are not among the most intelligent in the land and their goals are strictly limited……success on the field and financial reward.
    The position of football manager must be among the most stressful, the margin between success and
    failure clearly shown on their faces. Just look at Arsene’s now and when he joined Arsenal.
    Supporting Arsenal FC has never been for the faint-hearted. Since the glory days of the late 1930’s, the Club has never retained a domestic championship.
    History has shown that for often bizarre reasons, defeat is regularly clutched from the jaws of victory and vice versa.
    What the Club has achieved is a place among the most respected in the world, whose conduct and word are a yardstick of good behaviour to be followed.
    Domestically, the Club is envied throughout our land and supporters of 99% of other clubs must be amazed at the continual criticism of our Manager and the way in which the team progresses
    each season.
    While it is natural to seek greater success, the fickle nature of much of the support which Arsenal attracts, particularly at the Emirates, does little to help the team overcome poor performance.
    It should be remembered that a loyal world-wide following of Arsenal FC is far greater than in
    the UK.
    Finally, it should also be remembered that only a quarter of the EPL has been played, we are still in the CL, and our cruel injury list is shortening.
    Arsene Wenger has achieved so much for Arsenal and indeed UK football and support for him is
    vital for Arsenal to succeed.
    Remember last season when criticism was rife at this time?
    And how we finished?
    Back the players as well and they will come good.

  • Tom

    Quincy

    It’s pretty basic stuff, isn’t it .

    That’s what makes more frustrating.

  • Usama

    Well about the papers yeah some of them have done their job on other clubs. But I forgot to mention about the TV Channels. I just switched to BBC and Sky News and even Bein Sports ( the only sports channel in middle east) they kept criticizing the defenders then turned against Wenger by posting things such as FA Cup the only trohpy won in 9 years and kept going on that our team weak and all other rubbish, for half an hour no other clubs were discussed for such long time (only 3-5 minutes) I just could not bear it .

  • Usama

    And about Twitter, you will see the ABSOLUTE WORSE of Arsenal fans (AAA mostly) on Twitter. I always watch Arsenal with my younger brother and always keep a stress ball to throw my frustrations out during the match 😀

    But I have never and will never talk ill of the Club, the players, the manager or anyone at the club like people do at twitter. Trust me its AAA 95%

  • apo Armani

    Usama; I say and say again F@ck the media 🙂

  • Quincy

    The problem, I suspect, with many Arsenal fans (or is that ‘fans’?) is that they only starting supporting the club after Wenger arrived and started bringing in the attractive football, developing and occasionally buying stars, and trophies like the club ha not experienced in recent times. Basically, many were drawn by the success of the club, that Wenger had brought.

    In the ten seasons before Wenger took over, we finished in the league: 4th, 6th, 1st, 4th, 1st, 4th, 10th, 4th, 12th, 5th.
    Average position: 5.1

    In the ten seasons since Wenger took over we finished: 3rd, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 4th.
    Average position: 2

    The fact is, before Wenger we were a big-ish club, a bit like the Spuds in recent history, but Wenger made us world class.

    We all know what happened next. We had to move to a bigger stadium, the debt, the oil money, etc. Then things got rougher, trophies dried up, the fans who joined when Wenger brought success to the club were getting restless. They got so worked up, in fact, that people who should have know better were persuaded by their shouting that Wenger had ‘ruined’ the club, didn’t know what he was doing, refused to spend, etc.

    The truth, of course, was that Wenger has performed a miracle, keeping us in the top four with almost nothing to spend on transfers, all while competing with billions being pumped into the game by the oilers. The spoiled whingers who came because of Wenger’s success are still demanding his head. The fact is, Wenger is responsible for setting the fan’s expectations so high, and has done a thankless and extraordinary task when we had the stadium debt. Many fans just don’t know how much Wenger changed this club, and how much we owe to him.

  • Usama

    @Quincy

    Nice work and well said.

    I request every Arsenal fan (loyal, not loyal, quiet, criticizing, fed up, frustrated, etc..basically every one even AAA) to just hope and pray for the success of the club, the players, the staff, and the manager. And back the club through draws or defeats, and be thankful in victory. Because as a supporter that is the least we can do.

    After all Arsenal’s motto is “VICTORIA CONCORDIA CRESCIT”
    Victory Through Harmony.

  • JohnShaft

    Andy1886, excellent posting Sir, I am very happy that someone brought up the years 86- 94- two league titles, an FA Cup, two league cups and a CWC. The league title in 89 was like a bolt from the blue, the cup double against Wednesday and those runs to the CWC where we defended for our lives and battled to the finals- special memories, not only the successes but the comradery. One- Nil to the Arsenal, happy days.

  • Proudkev

    Nicky. Excellent comments, my sentiments exactly..

    Usama and Quincy. I think the problem is that modern fans have been bought up in a cushy world where they can have whatever they want. I feel very sorry for some of them, they clearly do not know what it is really like to be a football supporter and not just a fan. I eat, sleep and drink Arsenal. From my Grand father through all my family including my sons, nephews cousins, etc we are all mad Gooners. None of us slag off the club like teh dissenters do.

    I always find it odd how a majority of those who want Wenger Out are also the same ones poking fun at everything else about the club – fincluding the scouts, the fitness team and anyone associated with it. You even see them wanting us to lose games or finish outside the top four. They cannot even give any credit or show any praise for the FA cup win or the Man City Community Shield win. The next joker who goes on about it being ‘only Hull’ or ‘only Wigan’ should be sent to a class for ‘football ‘education’ because they are idiots. And the difference between being a fan and being a supporter. Glory boys.

  • finsbury

    Hmmm…

    A likely candidate(s) posting to themselves again? Same old same old turd 😉

    Because we all know GG trolled his own team and got them to stop playing the attacking football that they played in ’89. I’m to young to comment or remember, but I can write this becasue this is what Paul Davies has told us! It’s not hard.

    To be clear: Paul Davis was relegated to the reserves for a long long time for complaining to the manager on behalf of the squad that the club’s football was now too boring and negative. Can you imagine the meltfown on twitter if AW relegated his best midfielder to the reserves? Best not to!

    Eventually Davis came back into the team, and helped his team to win a few baubles, those cups and cup winners vups.

    The AAAA try their hardest to rewrite history.
    Which is why they are known as the AAAA.

  • gouresh

    Quincy, what I have been saying for a long time. The so called pundits don’t say anything out of this world. The formations are the same, its only how you use to suit your players or to counter/nullify the opposition. None of the fans who comment here have football at the highest level but like myself, must have played at a decent level because to notice whats happening does not need u to have pro-licence badge. What really bugs me is that we seem to blame everyone except us, the media is against us, the refs are against us, mind u the work done by untold is phenomenal, but has the club taken any action? Whatever they seem to be doing does not seem to have any effect. The pitch is bad, Paul merson, Alan Smith, Righty, Neville, Jamie Caregher, everyone in the football fraternity has an agenda against us for pointing out the obvious, except the ones who don’t say anything against AW. Yesterday, listening to Bellamy was a great insite into how the opposition perceive us. Does he have an agenda as well? @ one of the corners Flamini was marking Williams, it was comical to watch. Look, lets not fool ourselves here, were are in deep trouble, unless don’t rectify us school boys errors. We have a make shift defence, so what should the manger do? DO NOT allow it to be exposed. Its like chess, you don’t go attacking leaving your king exposed. We know what the result will be. If you this out to that player, do you have an agenda? Against Manu 8-2, we went withe a depleted squad, played attacking, got hammered, did we learn? Against mancity, chelesa did we learn, CL game, lost the 3 nil goal advantage, did we learn. @ Swansea bad pitch, attrotious weather, 1 nil lead, right back being tormented, still we had, what 6-7 players on the top of their box, when they countered did be learn from previous experiences? AW is the best manager in the world and we are very lucky to have him and we are all eternally greatful for what he has done. But what will it take for him to change? He is too arrogant / stubborn all powerful whatever you what to call him. If he sat at his bosses interview you can imagine what power he has. I remember a game Manu played and the lost the game due to a defensive error and the post match interview u could see the rage in Fergusons face and i clearly remember him saying that “u will never see that mistake again”. And Ferguson being the manger that he was, I am sure that defender or the others must not have never made the same mistake again.

  • andy1886

    Finsbury, if you think we stopped playing attractive football after 1989 you are indeed bonkers (no offence obviously). I wasn’t too young, I was there home and away all throughout the eighties and early nineties. Why is it wrong to be disrespectful of Arsenal circa 2006-2014 but perfectly okay to be disrespectful of Arsenal prior to AW? Oh, and to say Paul Davis was our best midfielder of the period merely reinforces the point that you really weren’t old enough to remember that time. Thanks JS btw – good times indeed!

    As for “The fact is, before Wenger we were a big-ish club, a bit like the Spuds in recent history, but Wenger made us world class.”

    How insulting can you get!!! When AW joined we had the second highest number of league titles behind Liverpool, the most FA Cups, and you compare us to the Spuds with their two titles and none in 50 years!!! How a so called Arsenal ‘fan’ can make that statement is beyond me. You should be ashamed!

    Hi Nicky, how’s things?

  • JohnShaft

    Would that be the same Paul Davis who who resigned from the Arsenal U-15’s and publicly accused Arsenal FC of racial discrimination because he was overlooked behind Steve Bould for Youth team coach? Reliable source indeed.

  • finsbury

    I didnt’t say the football was rubbish. And I also never wrote the other stuff you have gone off on. In your haste to give an insult you have taken an insult where none ewas made. How odd. You have some issues, it appears, and I would kindly sugeggest that you sort yourself out:

    An immature bi-polar reading of the history of Arsenal football Club where you project your “It’s Arsenal FC not Arsene FC” gibberish upon the rest of the Arsenal support like a bad case of diarrhea, admist your constatntly revised calls for Coyle, Moyes, Laudrup, etc…

    What I wrote above was that the players at that time found it too negative. Which is why Paul davis was sent to the reserves.
    Unlike the unprovoked rubbish written above that’s not my opinion. It’s a part of the histiory of Arsenal Football Club.
    Class dismnissed.

  • finsbury

    Ah
    So Davies is no longer a reliable source. There you have it, dear reader.

    Looks like the poster posting to themselves has exposed their dark tetrad. Again!

    Apo, where are you? This is too damn easy 🙂

  • Yassin

    @Bootoomee and Usama,

    And then some will ask why our players lose their concentration and confidence suddenly!!!

    You see those non human beings have no feelings and they are well paid pro. So they feel nothing when attacked by all pundits and fans alm the time. Just ask Wilshere on scholes, its nothing, he didnt care!

    Ok we made mistakes, and I hope when the ref make a mistake again, you all new posters here will turn on to sack Riley!!!

  • JohnShaft

    They players found it too negative….but went on to win another league title, an FA Cup, a League Cup and a Cup Winners Cup in the following 4 seasons anyway anyway.

    Too young to remember- indeed. You are correct, it is too easy.

  • Yassin

    Refernnce to my above comment, I know the ref did nothing based against us in the last game, I was talking when they get back to normal, like the previous ones!

  • andy1886

    Finsbury, so one player with a grudge (note, not players plural) is an accurate guide to what happened but other players (who may also have a grudge to be fair) such as Merson and Keown who have criticisms are know nothings? My ‘bonkers’ remark was tongue in cheek, but really it’s difficult to discuss the quality of football twenty five or so years ago with someone who wasn’t actually witness to it. Sure we all talk some rubbish at times, for example you’ve suggested that we clamour for the likes of Moyes et al, good luck in finding that remark and quoting me on it. Class dismissed? Now who is being petty and childish?

    Oh, and I stand by my statement that anyone who compares Arsenal pre-Wenger to Spurs is no true Arsenal fan.

  • Mandy Dodd

    lol, now even lazy journalists are mis quoting Einstein!
    Their research…..clearly just scouring a few blogs critical of wenger.

  • Yassin

    Oh my God, what happened? We lost a game? What was that, thw game that decided we are relegated? What is wrong really? Why are everyone moaning?

  • andy1886

    We’re not moaning Yassin, we’re defending Arsenal, our club. All of it, not just the bit we happen to have a preference for.

  • finsbury

    You can fail in your attempts to twist and squirm as much as you like but as I already wrote above Davies was back it he squad n for all those trophy winning squads (& yes, in spite of the deliberate and disingenious inference, he was indeed in the 91 team too!)

    So from trying to slur the player, you now shift those goalposts, as you do in all matters, to say he was just one player. What class is on display here, dear reader. It would be hard to misinterpret the above.

  • finsbury

    What can we say about the AAAA?

    They attempt to create a stink around the club byclaiming that the club’s policies are the current managers and not the club’s. Strange, I know, but these people are self-declared experts in PR? Alas it is well known that GG, against whom apparently I am allowed to say no wrong (spot the irony! The bit they have a preference for? Oh. It’s almost funny. Is it not?), he was sacked for taking the kind of bung that had the parents in the above Xmas panto I referred to giggling away at the life and times of El Tel. And these strange anti arsenal experts have now spent years and years trying to argue that such policies are the current managers and not the clubs? That these policies did not exist before, when, you know, when GG was given the hook for taking what is considered to be loose change these days (please refer to the Neymar bung at El Tel’s Bunga Bunga Barcelona). They’ve spent years peddling this weak line? What a bunch of liars. We can see in the pathetic descent above into the “it’s arsenal not Arsene FC” diatribe that these fools have actually trapped themselves in their own stupidity.

  • JohnShaft

    Finsbury. His name is DAVIS. By your own admittance you are too young to remember, you got called and you are now just talking gibberish. Nobody has commented on any club policies. I just commented on the 86-94 years and you decided to show your lack of any maturity. Calm down lad

  • finsbury

    I made quite a few typos above: take your pick. It’s all you’ve got to hold on to after you exposed yourself above to the reader.

  • JohnShaft

    finsbury, ask one of your mates or colleagues to read the thread and take note of the way they look at you after

  • finsbury

    Same old same old old Turd.
    An expert in film flam flip flopping embarrassing self-exposure

  • Nicky

    @Andy 1886,
    Hi Andy. I’m still yearning for the return of Diaby to lead us to the EPL title… 😉

  • finsbury

    I sure am glad that Arsenal Football Club has a policy of treating it’s athletes with more care and concern then say, the Mendes’ of this world.
    I’ll leave the self declared Redzone Experts to make the simple compare and contrast exercise with Walcott and Falcao by the end of the season:

    similar injury at similar times – one rushed back in time for a transfer, has he started two games in a row? The other…being well looked after! 🙂

  • andy1886

    Simple question Finsbury, why the need to slate the Arsenal and their manager of the late eighties/early nineties? Exactly what are you trying to prove? Your lack of basic knowledge of the era is quite frankly embarrassing.

    Not too hot on more recent history either it seems. Theo played something like five games in sixteen days over the Christmas/New Year period after coming back from a long term injury and got injured again. Poor example to pick really.

    Nicky, I hope you live to see the day, you deserve it. Actually I hope I live to see the day too 😉

  • Pat

    Just read your article Tony. Sorry, everybody else, not got time to read your comments just at the moment. But Tony, this is exactly the time when your extensive knowledge of the history of Arsenal shows its great value – many thanks for the perspective, and especially the amusing examples of bloomers from the great defenders that always get thrown in our faces.

  • Pat

    Nicky at 6.42 – just read it – well worth the read!

  • finsbury

    Further clarification for the Expert:

    No one wrote above, as you failed to infer, that PD was the best midfielder of his entire time at the club. But towards the end, when the others had gone as was clearly explained in my comment above (yet again ear reader, it ignores what has been written?) it’s fair and indeed entirely reasonable to say that Davis was a better player then Hillier (sorry David, I’m sure he’ll forgive me…).

    I suppose I must be in the presence of a genuine Expert if they are trying to tell me that Hillier was the better player? Or perhaps in their haste to flip flop, they, you know, they jumped on the gunners (that they say they support). Again.

  • finsbury

    Schwarz? I liked him but if he never came close to PD at his best so why bother?

    It really was a poor show above from the Groaners. I’m disappointed.

  • Micheal Ram

    As we all agree that Arsene was right when he said he don’t listen to people who never managed a football club, at least to the extent of success that he had, are AAA gonna tell him to shut up because he never supported a club as long as they did? Wait a minute. Arsene has been there for 16 years without supporting the club? The real question should be how many of us would have change to higher paying and better self-prospect jobs from ‘beloved’ job if approached? Almost all. Well, you know what? Arsene went to hell again and again to stay and do what he loves! Morons, go fly kites, Arsene, go ahead! Go Gunners!

  • Jon

    Why Sanogo and not … ?
    When you are losing and there are many opponents defending, you need someone who will win the challenges, and give chances to his teammates. This is what Sanogo did when he came on. We needed someone to challenge them, with Giroud injured and Alexis being too short, the only fighter that we had was Sanogo. He does not score but it is hard to deny that he win many challenges(unlike some of our players who seem to have lost their cojones during the break…). Podolski has no fighting spirit, and yes having him on the pitch, we could have hoped that a lucky ball would have fallen in his legs but someone would still have been needed to create that luck. Why are we not using Campbell? i do not know.
    My input on the transfer window is that, unlike what many people think, we have too many players… The balance in defence is fine, if we consider Bellerin. However the more games we play, and the less i am sure about him, simply because Wenger is not playing him. If Wenger does not consider him good enough to play, then we are short on defenders.
    We have too many offensive players and they are trying too hard to attack.
    I know that you do not like to comment on players but i would like to have your input on Wenger talking about Ramsey.

  • andy1886

    Finsbury, I’ll try and explain it to you once again in a way that you may be able to understand. Try not to dodge the point I make and see if you can get it this time. By the way I liked Stefan Schwarz too but he was a different player entirely to Paul Davis, more energy, more drive, less of the finesse and silky touch. Hillier like Selley and Morrow was a limited player who put in a shift but ultimately wasn’t of the standard required.

    As I pointed out I went home and away throughout the period you mention. Likewise you may go home and away now under Arsene Wenger, and perhaps you are a similar age now to what I was when I watched George Graham’s sides.

    So, given that, how would you react in, say twenty years time if an Arsenal fan comes on and says:

    “Because we all know AW trolled his own team and got them to stop playing the attacking football that they played in ’04.”

    I can’t think that you’d let that go would you? Neither could I because like you I supported that team through thick and thin, and basically that claim against either manager at either time is absolute rubbish.

    Further, if Arsene wins a few trophies (in the period you discuss post ’89 it was a title, one CWC, one FAC, one LC) in the latter part of his tenure would you be happy to see them described as you did for the Graham era as “a few baubles, those cups and cup winners vups.”

    I’m guessing not, you’d probably be insulted and might have something to say about it.

    So perhaps now you can see why you might irritate some older Gooners with your initial post. In your haste to seek out any perceived insult to Arsene Wenger you’ve ‘discovered’ something that never existed, or perhaps manufactured it to suit your agenda. Perhaps it might be an idea to show the same respect that you do to the Arsenal of today to the Arsenal of your childhood.

  • JohnShaft

    Andy, judging by his reaction I would think this is the Arsenal of his childhood

  • andy1886

    It’s weird John, the way some people go all out to look for an ‘insult’ that they can round on to somehow prove that they are the greatest Arsenal supporter, and in doing so they feel it’s okay to insult in turn the players and managers of previous eras. Walter may not have enjoyed his time watching Arsenal in the early nineties, but I certainly did. Sure we weren’t terribly good to watch much of the time but then again I don’t go just to watch ‘pretty football’. To use Walter’s own words, it is about more than that.

  • finsbury

    The words were not written, there was no insult to GG above. You seem to be in error. Again. The 2014 FA Cup is also a nice bauble btw. You appear to be very quick to take offence.

    An understanding of the differential between AFC and say, FC Bunga Bunga, of the difference in how El Tel and GG were treated is not an insult to GG. That’s not an opinion btw, it’s an observation. Indeed the rational and sane soul that was not indulging in knee jerk gibberish could use that observation to emphasise with what happened to GG. A terrible insult indeed.

    No slur was made upon anything associated with AFC but I suppose such honesty would be too much to ask from such a brave and disingenuous soul who has for years been attacking the current Arsenal manager for working for Arsenal Football Club.

  • finsbury

    this typo should be revised

    empathised > emphasise

    I wouldn’t want to further confuse those who appear to be able to read words that haven’t been written, because their poorly constructed arguments depend on such myopic and binary poverty.

    Not forgetting the wrath of the spelling police.

  • finsbury

    The only attempted slur above made towards AFC (or a player) was your own failed attempt to discredit the former Arsenal Player Paul Davis.
    Bit of a pattern there, eh?

    This had been a poor show from the AAAA

  • andy1886

    Must be my mistake then Finsbury, I was sure that you wrote that GG ‘trolled his own team’, did I misread that, or is that a compliment? Maybe you should look the word up in a dictionary. If you’re claiming that Paul Davis used that term I’d love to see the actual quote. Thanks for clarifying that if Paul Davis (ex-Arsenal player) says something against his old manager that’s a okay but if for example Paul Merson (ex-Arsenal player) says something against his ex-manager then that is an outrageous and treacherous thing to do. Consistency is a wonderful thing as Arsene has pointed out many times. And finally thanks for totally ignoring my point because it doesn’t fit with your agenda. I’ll just have to assume that you have no answer to give on that one.

    Poor show indeed.

  • finsbury

    And as I clearly asked you above, how is that an insult? Please explain without the transparent attempt to quote out of context (nice try but that doesn’t work as well when you’re not on twitter).

    When a manager drops a senior player for whatever reason to the reserves then reinstates him, the above from me was and is simply fair comment. Not my opinion but again just a simple observation, doesn’t matter of what he did was right or wrong, doesn’t matter what his reasons were or whether I approved or disagreed, the gaffer at that time still Trolled the dude (you can refer to a dictionary at this point of you like) – I’ve seen the current gaffer troll his players too, in different ways but then they are different people. It’s a part of the game and to acknowledge that such things happen is not an insult to either manager. I would have imagined that someone with so much football experience, maturity *coughs* and expertise as yourself would be capable of this gentle understanding.

    The only Insults made were by yourself towards the character of the Arsenal player. Very revealing.

    I think I’ll take this opportunity that you have provided to ask you to answer my question from far above which you have not answered:

    Why are have you been pretending that the current manager is dictating to the club what the club’s policies are? I understand if you feel the need to avoid answering, again. It must be embaressing for you.

  • andy1886

    Tell you what, you answer my question and I’ll answer yours. Perhaps if you re-phrase it using grammatically correct English then I may have a better chance of understand exactly what it is that you are asking.

    Okay: Trolled. Here are the Online Oxford English Dictionary definitions for the term:

    1. Make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them:

    2. Carefully and systematically search an area for something:

    So unless you come up with some crackpot excuse to suggest you were using the term as described in (2) then I have to assume that you were using it to suggest that our previous manager was either (i) trying to be offensive to his team, (ii) was being deliberately provocative, (iii) wished to upset them, or (iv) wished to anger them for his own pleasure.

    And no good wriggling to suggest that the term was just applied to Paul Davis, here is your quote once again for the hard of understanding:

    “Because we all know GG trolled his own team and got them to stop playing the attacking football”.

    Bang to rights I’m afraid.

    Finally do let me know where I insulted our own player. And while you’re at it perhaps you can back up your claim relating to:

    “admist your constatntly revised calls for Coyle, Moyes, Laudrup, etc…”

    Re-read the above definition of ‘Troll’, while you’re at it because it looks very much like it could be applied to some of the unsubstantiated and abusive rubbish that you’ve directed at me on this thread.

  • finsbury

    Oh yeah you’ve got me bang to rights.

    My comment above and all your responses below are there for all to read, thank you. I am flattered by your attempt to rebound words at me like gibberish and wriggle, and even troll. Yet I am afraid your carefully selected definitions above do not show that the word Troll or indeed trolling can have other meanings and interpretations that do not reflate to the internet. You do realise that this is a public forum?

    Because the above is all fairly easy to understand unless you are digging yourself into a hole As most will have figured out by now, except you it seems, the reference made to Paul Davis was only ever made to expose your hypocrisy, and double standards. I am surprised that whilst referring to the dictionary that you did not realise that you yourself have been trolled – using the word troll in this context is not an insult against myself, I hope that helps in your efforts at understanding the words that have been written above.

    The above construct was the equivalent of trying to accuse someone who says that AW plays games with his players is attacking the club. Very odd. Because as everyone knows it’s something all managers do. Why would someone be so precious? Why would anyone feel the need to prove to someone who constantly shows such disrespect and dishonesty that they have respect for the former gaffer?

    Would you like a shovel with those fries?

  • andy1886

    Thanks for the waffle. No answers then. None at all. I understood that ‘trolling’ was a bad thing, a silly game that people with problems play for their own entertainment, but perhaps I’m wrong and it’s the new way to debate topics online? I prefer the good old fashioned way where we use logic and reason, but each to their own.

    As you are unable or unwilling to answer my questions I have to make assumptions. You haven’t pointed out which ex-player I insulted so I can only assume that you mean Paul Davis because he is that player that you referred to. So go ahead, quote me where I insult him.

    As for carefully selected definitions perhaps you had better contact the OOED and point out the error or lack of completeness in their definitions as you clearly know better.

    Rebound words at you like gibberish? Since I have quoted you verbatim and you’ve failed to defend your comments it does make me wonder if you even understand what you are typing.

    Still waiting for examples of my calling for Moyes, Laudrup etc as you claimed. Unless you care to admit that you actually made that part up?

  • finsbury

    You can add your favourite Mourinho to the list. Go on. You know you want to.

    The contrast in your comments on the comments from Merson and Davis says more then I need to.

    Carry On digging.

  • andy1886

    Still no answers… Merson (had a grudge), Davis had a grudge (documented falling out with the manager), so the difference is? Maureen? Another one that you can’t back up with any evidence, any other unsubstantiated accusations that you’d like to add while you’re at it?

  • finsbury

    “Finsbury…and I stand by my statement that anyone who compares Arsenal pre-Wenger to Spurs is no true Arsenal fan”

    And I wrote this, when? It seems we have a precious hypocrite here, in case there was any doubt.

    To repeat: My comment above and all your responses below are there for all to read, thank you for your time. It has been most revealing.

  • andy1886

    Finsbury, Quincy said that and as you will note I did not attribute it to you. That’s why I started a new paragraph which is they traditional way to move on to a different point. The third paragraph was my greeting to Nicky, again another new subject.

    Although you are not prepared to substantiate any of your points so far if you were aggrieved because you felt that remark to be directed towards you then I do actually apologise for not making that clear. Anyone who read the thread could see that quite clearly but as I say I hold up my hand for not making that absolutely crystal.

    Sadly your responses haven’t been quite so ‘revealing’ as anyone reading this thread can see that you’ve been big on bluster but very short on actually facts or evidence.

  • andy1886

    *the, not they. Now you’ve got me making typos too.

  • finsbury

    Bluster would be attemting to equate the conduct of Merson and Davis on an Arsenal Football Blog in front of an audience who have witnessed the conduct of both over the last twenty years. One has acted with the kind of class and dignity associated with Arsenal football Club, the other has acted like a fan of a club in West London. It is very revealing, indeed, that you made the misguided and hopeless effort to try and equate the two. Thank you again. For saying more then i need to!

    Bluster would be trying to hint that Walcott’s injury in January as relating to his apps at the itme (quite a few sub appreances there!), whilst ignoring the stamp on his foot which anyone who has the opportunity to watch the game with a physio *coughs* would know, led to his injury. That physio reference is just a bit of fun, because anyone with two football brain cells to rub together would no that it lead directly to his injury. It’s not rocket science, it’s just anatomy. There it is.

    Any more bluster?

    To repeat:
    My comment above and all your responses below are there for all to read.

  • finsbury

    These strange anti-Arsenal experts have now spent years and years trying to argue that such policies are the current managers and not the clubs. Absolutely nothing to do with favouring one or the other, only an immature mind would jump to that conclusion.

    This is a paradox they are not willing to answer.

  • finsbury

    < nothing to with favouring one manager over another

  • andy1886

    Lol, calling George Graham a troll is not “favouring one manager over another”. Obviously.

    Re Walcott anyone would also know that he played five games between December 23rd and January 4th (12 days)in which he played the full 90 minutes in three of them, 80 minutes in one of the others, and 81 minutes in the last game in which he was injured. This from a player that had only played his first full 90 minutes in months on December 14th at Man City. Fatigue makes players slower to react to tackles and more prone to injury, I’m sure that your physio would tell you that too.

    Just curious, but what ‘policies’ are you referring to that the club are responsible for rather than the manager? And how does that sit with Sir Chips’ comment “So don’t let’s be in a muddle about who calls the shots about football at Arsenal. It is not the chairman, it is not the fans, it is Mr Arsene Wenger.”

    Finally, a quick word of advice, there’s no point in continually congratulating yourself on your ‘clever’ (but rather vacuous) responses and inviting everyone to enjoy them, no-one else is listening and I’m not entirely sure why I am bothering either.