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15 consecutive years and we are getting worse

“We’ve found a bloke who sent a distasteful email to his friend in Doncaster last month. See if you can get hold of the service provider to make the exchanges public and get it online quick so everyone else can see how inappropriate it is.”

I thought of this last night while sitting in the pub, waiting for Drew to order our pre-match meals and drinks, and looking at the BBC football web site.  There someone had put up a tweet saying that it wasn’t just that Arsenal were no good, it was just that we were getting worse each season.

He was quite clearly offended.

So 15 consecutive years of getting into the knock out stages of the Champions League – getting worse?   Playing some rather nice football, not an endless “we score the least but we let in the least” of Graham’s cup double year.   And there’s something else.  What is it?

Oh yes we are holders of the FA Cup.

Personally I also think we have a superb team at the moment – the problem is not only have we had a lot of injuries but also we have had a lot in positions where we can least afford it.

“Maybe we should have kept Vermaelen then” wrote one Twit the other day.  Ah yes of course.  We sold him for £15 to Barcelona, and since then he has been … injured.

As I have said so often, top players don’t go to clubs to sit on the bench, and since no one could have predicted our spread of injuries no top player would have come.   Indeed, as I have said so often, just because we want  a player, that doesn’t mean he wants us, or that his club wants to sell one of their prize assets.

Anyway last night we played with our third or maybe fourth choice striker, and I thought he did rather well, until he went off injured.  No Jack, no Theo, no first or second choice keeper, and later no Arteta.  That’s how it goes at the moment.

But back to the Telegraph,

“Some offences, naturally, are worse than others, but if it’s not revolting text messages or Stone Age opinions provoking the evangelicals into full preach mode, it’s losing football matches.

“You can have eleven month investigations into all that other stuff like casual racists attitudes, but losing a couple of football matches is so insufferably bad there have to be immediate repercussions.”

How true, for once.

And we saw Alexis Sánchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain really doing their stuff.  The Ox on 100 games was superb I thought.

We ought to say a word of thanks to Dortmund fans too.   Lots of banging drums – a with a great sense of rhythm – none of that thump thump thump IRA and Great Escape rubbish you get at England games, and no flares.  Great stuff guys.  Brilliant.

And meanwhile we saw bits of Aaron Ramsey of old.

Getting worse?  Well actually our win percentage – and Mr Wenger’s win percentage goes up year after year.  That’s called getting better.  We were also the top winning team of the year 2013.

What has happened is that with the advent of oil money, gas money and the illegal trading of children (which actually I have just discovered included the arrival of Messi at Barcelona in breach of Fifa rules) other clubs have had more resources than we have.  And we are still up there.

Do you think we can do nothing this season?  Just look back to where we were in December in the second double season.

Amidst all the doom, I’m still rather positive.

86 comments to 15 consecutive years and we are getting worse

  • Tom

    I hope Arsene proves all the doubters wrong I sometimes wonder if some of the anti Arsene brigade are just Chelsea or Spurs or Manure supporters causing unrest.
    My experience is that Arsenal supporters have always stood together and supported the club and the Manager NO MATTER WHAT>>>

  • Nicky

    A good post, Tony, except for…..
    1. Having been brought up on Gene Krupa, the drumming guys at the Emirates have a lot to learn;
    2. Still waiting to hear what food Drew ordered. Not one of those dodgy pies, I hope, full of fat and gristle. ;(

  • PV4

    I love it when we win because it sticks like a knife into every journo living. The ritual bating, never-ending bile and swipes at our manager and club are nothing less than we have come to expect. They cannot comprehend the thought of us improving, or winning, and even when we do it is instantly forgotten. Just imagine the glittering solid gold statues outside Old Trafford if they’d ever been unbeaten. To hear people speak, you would think we are bottom of the league.

  • Micheal Ram

    Tony, you are absolutely spot on with your generous comments about Dortmund fans. They are the best footballs fans ever. I thought I was watching the match in Iduna Park. I think they were standing and cheering their team for the whole 90mins. Arsenal FC don’t need new manager or players. They need fans like that!

  • Will

    As I have said, take the financial dopers out of the league and we would have done far more. It’s easy to win leagues when you spunk £100m a season on players.

  • Gord

    @Nicky

    How I first read this note, I thought Tony had Drew order for him.

    For something else I am near finishing, any opininos on Scotch Egg?

    Alexis has been clocked at 34.21 kph, and Welbeck at 33.69 kph. That is our highest top speeds for players, in the current season.

    Question, how did the Ox’s smash against the cross bar compare to some of Podolski’s strikes?

    Dortmund’s website is saying Sanogo was offside.

    The only thing in the last week on the Dortmund site mentioning Dietz (Caption of their Youth Champion’s League team) is about a game with Munchengladbach. It would seem that Dietz is U19.

    The ladies team is off to Japan for the Club Cup Championship.

    Melbourne Victory, Sao Jose, Jiangsu Huatai, Okayama Yunogo Belle, Urawa Red Diamonds

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_International_Women%27s_Club_Championship

  • Gord

    Not only did Wilshere see the specialist today, he had surgery today. Predicting 3 months out. Best of luck with recovery Jack.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20141127/wilshere-undergoes-surgery-to-left-ankle

  • jambug

    Jack undergoes surgery and will be out for 3 months.

    Another bad tackle.

    Not even a foul given, let alone a card.

    Will this legalised thugary against us ever stop? I doubt it.

  • Gord

    As I mentioned elsewhere (on Untold) a day or two ago, I think that any time a player is seriously injured, an independent officiating review should be undertaken, with the purpose of reviewing the officials conduct to see what part that played in the injury. The constant exposure of officials to the care of the players they are overseeing, should cause them to err more in the direction of player prevention, and less in the direction of “let the game flow”, or “it’s a man’s game”.

  • PV4

    @jambug 2:46 – just look at the list of thuggery; Diaby at Sunderland; Eduardo at Brum; Ramsey at Stoke; plus two Sagna leg breaks and a whole list of other ignored thuggery a la Wishere on Saturday. However, when you have the top 3 in the FA who are all Manu fans and an undying hatred of our club you stand no chance of justice.

  • bjtgooner

    A nice write up Tony.

    The news about Wilshere is not good – yet another operation and out for approx 3 months.

    As jambug has noted, no foul given, no card and of course no free kick just outside the box. Dean at his best.

    Just imagine how much better the team would perform if those players absent through PGMO permitted thuggery were available for selection.

  • Sammy The Snake

    The boys did really well last night, easy on the eyes and a good result.

    As for your comment about this season, as always, I love your positivity!

  • bjtgooner

    Gord made an interesting point above – that when a player is seriously injured there should be an investigation by an independent body.

    In industry, any serious accident involving an injury is investigated by the HSE – who have the authority to prosecute where appropriate. It would not be difficult to extend the HSE remit.

    But who would they prosecute? Possibly both the club responsible for the player committing a dangerous foul and also the PGMO if the action of the ref was considered insufficient or incompetent?

  • jambug

    PV4

    As much as I blame the ‘powers that be’ for not protecting our players, a lot of it is down to the media for openly and vociferously defending any player that assault an Arsenal player.

    Go back a see how, in his post match analysis on SKY, our own Nial Quinn totally excused the thug that effectively ended Diabys career, as “the excesses of youth”.

    Go back and see how the entire Country was lead by the media into a day of mourning, not for Eduardo, but for the ‘poor’ thug Taylor that effectively ended his career.

    Go back and see the outpourings of sympathy for Shawcross following his possible career ending assault on Ramsey.

    It’s been the same with Jack. There’s been a sustained media lead campaign to land the blame squarely at Jacks own doorstep. Apparently it’s all his own fault for holding on to the ball too long, despite the fact most of the injuries are inflicted AFTER the ball has gone !!

    Nope, it’s all our own fault for being a bunch of soft foreign Southern softies who don’t like it up ’em.

    The Referees know they can quite happily let Arsenal players get assaulted all day long without a chance of any recriminations coming there way. So they do.

    In any other profession the Referees would be held to account for not doing there best to ensure the safety of the people in there care.

    It’s a joke, but I can’t see anything changing any time soon.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Gord,

    I think Dietz is 17

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Jambug,
    It will take a private prosecution from Arsenal before anything changes.

  • Spot on Tony,Way to go. Thanks for providing an oasis of enduring positivity on UA. And you @Michael Ram, are a good man for your comments about the Dortmund fans. Am not one of them, but they made me jealous with the way they cheered their team all night long, standing, banging away, cheering, making themselves heard. That shames the callous way some so called fans pour bile and stuff on the club and the manager. You would have thought Klopp was at the top of the Bundesliga with the racket those guys were making.
    Yeah, we need new fans alright.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Maybe Andrew, but they should be doing more…than they at least appear to be doing. Gary Monk raises issues, Fergie used to ban…and allegedly de-select certain refs, couldnt see David Dein letting this situation lie, others have thug enforcers in MF Jose doesnt have to do anything because some of the refs seem to love Chelsea as much as the AAA do.
    But we get virtually everything Untold predicts in terms of certain refs against certain teams, in terms of ref performances, and in terms of our players getting hurt. yet still, we seem to do nothing.
    Jack is an England player, know the EPL runs the show, but the FA must have some influence. Are they really prepared to let one of their best players be subjected to all this?

  • Gord

    I don’t think there needs to be any prosecution. An independent investigation is done, and the results are published. If officials don’t care enough to keep track of who got injured due to errors or omissions on their part, it might not be possible to get them to change. But, if more is needed, just hit them in the wallet. If one player got seriously hurt, attributable to only a single official, unable to play for 5 weeks, they are docked 5/(22*1) of what they are paid for a single game.

  • bjtgooner

    I’m going to disagree – it will take prosecution or at least the serious threat of prosecution to get through to the FA and PGMO.

    Hang Em High! 🙂

  • Gord

    @Andrew

    That is quite impressive, for a 17 year old to captain a U21 squad.

  • jambug

    Andrew Crawshaw,

    Probably, and in any case it would be very hard to prove, as well as making things worse, if that’s possible, in the long run.

    Stan The Man,

    Yes we do have some terrible fans but a lot of it is media driven. The media goad the AAA types. The AAA types feed the media maelstrom. the Maelstom in turn feeds the hatred. It’s a self perpetuating cycle.

    look at the positive way the commentators behaved during the City game on Tuesday. Even when they where being outplayed and losing to 10 men who where already through, all they kept assuring us was that ‘even if City lose they could still go through’.

    Can you just imagine the shite that would of been coming our way in the same situation.

    Liverpool where also treated as if last nights point against. WHO ? was the launch pad for there rise like Pheonox from the flames. Honestly it was sickening. Only Souness tried, as tactfully as he could, to keep a lid on the wankfest.

    No other team has to put up with the level of hysterical, overblown criticism that we, as Arsenal fans, have to endure, day in day out, week in week out.

    I’m sure if they did, it would invoke ‘pockets’, then ‘sections’, then ‘movements’ of adjutants towards those Clubs, as it has with us. But it just doesn’t happen to them like it does to us.

  • Gord

    Benik Afobe: How I can help injured Jack

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20141127/afobe-how-i-can-help-injured-jack

    Apparently they only live about 2 minutes apart, and are best friends.

  • jambug

    porter

    Reading those comments all I could think was, what a sad sad World we live in.

  • Menace

    There is a huge court case waiting to happen and the recipient of justice will be the Health & Safety at Work Executive. It is they that set the standards for seating, heating eating and all kinds of work process. They have an unwritten responsibility over injuries of football players (workers in sport).

    It won’t be long before some of the honey fed dildos that work in such places get caught in the legal web that they manipulate so effectively.

    @jambug it needs a few pokes to upset the bees in the nest & get someone stung.

  • samrat

    gord 2.56 agree with you compleyely. think referees should be judged by FA independent panel (just as they judge players and managers) if they fail to produce a card for what seems to be a sending off offence

  • Nicky

    @Gord,
    Your reference to Scotch Egg made me smile.
    Every Friday I help my ever loving with the grocery run.
    At the Waitrose cold meat counter (if it’s a new girl serving) I ask for a hugely thick slice of Scotch Egg, adding,
    “But I only want the egg”.
    Wife then steps in to comfort the shattered new girl, at the same time giving me the evil eye.

  • proudkev

    Jambug. I have said for years that teams are allowed to be more physical against Arsenal. This is not paranoia, there is enough evidence out there to reach that conclusion. Its not necessarily all down to sinister motives. We play a short passing game. teams know the only way to compete is to get in quick and play a physical game and therefore there is less marging for error. Pundits and the media repeat this endlessly. Referees follow the media and the pundits the same as us and get brainwashed into thinking that is the only way to play Arsenal.

    The old English mentality is still here: ‘get stuck in’ or ‘let them know you are there’ or ‘they don’t like physical challenges’ its part of our culture. In Football terms, we have not moved on we are still dinosaurs. When you see the horrible injuries we have suffered through reckless, late tackles; Eduardo, Ramsey, Diaby (and lets include Wilshere Saturday) – these assaults are all commited by BRITISH players. That is NO coincidence. Usually with the medias blessing too. Now when you get the media and Talskport spending more time feeling sorry for Ryan Shawcross than they do Ramsey, it says it all.

    And as for the content on twitter and some blogs. These are just anonymous cowards and intellectually backwards individuals.These are the types who join protest blogs and start calling everybody names, happy to moan their way into oblivion. Last night we had so called Gooners claiming they were gutted we won and calling Wenger names. Now we have Man Utd fans celebrating McNairs tackle just because it put Jack in hospital. I am telling you, we are going backwards socially and it will end in tears.

  • proudkev

    *Margin for error.

  • greencardusa

    @Gord,
    Isn’t there a players union? I should think it is in the best interests of all players to guard against career threatening injuries; and, establishing the kind of investigations and actions Gord suggests would go a long way to accomplishing this. Of-course, clubs and fans should also do their part to support this. If we have a players union perhaps it is the appropriate place to begin this action.

  • Malaysiangooner

    Re: porter’s link.
    I am lost for words. disgusting. Thats footballing fans for you; someone got injured? lets give the perpetrator a medal; hillsborough or munich disaster claiming peoples lives? lets make a f***ing song.

  • Gord

    @Nicky

    Pickled egg or boiled? Hard, soft, runny? Sausage or black pudding?

    @samrat

    I am thinking of a body independent of the FA. And this is looking at the environment of the game and the incident in large. The object of this investigation is NOT to discipline players, the FA already has that.

    If in the interests of letting the game flow (if that was deemed a contributing factor), are the officials allowing tackles to happen that should have been called for a foul, had a foul not been called. Should a caution have been issued, if only a foul was called. Should an ejection have been issued, if only a caution was given. That sort of thing.

    Nominally, it is independent feedback to the officials, as to their primary responsibility for the players well being.

  • The thought of legal action is pertinent right now given the shocking death of Phil Hughes.

  • Gord

    @foreverheady

    All I know is that he was a cricket player who died. I have never played cricket, and almost never seen any of it played. How does this (independent review from point of view of player’s well being) tie in to his death?

    I’m gone to the farm again. Back in a few days.

  • apo Armani

    Sorry to go way off topic!!

    But so much for us harping about PGMOL and the way these people don’t protect our players.

    I said I would be waiting with big interest to see what ‘the upshot of the extent of [Jacks’] injury was…well here is something we feared would be the case!

    http://instagram.com/p/v5-uzWizwu/

  • jambug

    Proudkev

    I agree with every word you say and have said similar many times.

    I still love my Arsenal and will support them to the ends of the earth.

    But I am gradually falling out of love with ‘the game’.

    -The way it is run by the, agenda driven, self serving media.

    -The way the odious characters such as Mourino are adored and fawned over.

    -The way blatant cheating is ignored as a mere irrelevance, whilst the merest hint of a transgression is treated as a hanging offence, depending solely on who the perpetrator or victim is.

    -The way thugs and violent play is ignored at best, but often as not encouraged.

    -The way debt and spending ill gotten gains is admired, whilst prudence, financial stability and the desire to work within a sound, sustainable business model, is frowned upon.

    -The way the desire to play the game in a beautiful way is mocked at every opportunity.

    -Not to mention the way people revel in the assault on, and the suffering of another human being.

    A young cricketer dies in a tragic accident playing the game he loves and on the same day imbeciles are applauding a potentially career ending assault on a fellow professional.

    A sad day for sport.

  • Nicky

    @foreverheady,
    There can be no question of legal action following the untimely death of poor Hughes.
    The odd short-pitched delivery is the legal weapon of the modern fast bowler.
    Any undue use of the bouncer would soon be the subject of action by the umpire.
    Whether the rules of cricket should now be amended following the tragedy is of course another matter.

  • apo Armani

    @jambug
    November 27, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I feel the same way and share your comments to the letter!!

  • Nicky: I understand that. I used to play a bit of cricket myself. But what I was thinking is thatwwhen a player takes part in a game that has known risks any resultant injuries are always going to be hard for a legal team to argue against.

  • AL

    Apparently Wishere injured himself, according to the BBC website. No mention of the perpetrator, or at least how that came to be. Sickening.

    http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/30225473?SThisEM

    We have been losing a player or two for an average of 3 months every month due to terrible tackling, with not even a single offender red carded(the majority of the fouls were deemed not even worthy of a free kick). And yet some of us still question the club’s training methods. Sigh.

  • jambug

    Foreverheady

    Back in the days when I was an Electrician I went to work every day knowing there was the potential for me to have an electric shock and possibly even being killed.

    As the employee it was my responsibility to obey the rules and regulations of my profession, as well as adhering to all Health and safety rules.

    It was up to my employer to ensure that they run there business with due regard to Health and Safety and adhere to there ‘duty of care’.

    Just because I’m taking part in a job (Game) with inherent risks does not give my employee, or myself, the right to operate in a negligent way with disregard for my own, or anybody else’s Health and safety.

    In other words, just because there is a known risk of injury whilst playing football that DOES NOT relieve the PL, PGMOL, FA, Arsenal FC or anyone else for that matter of there ‘duty of care’.

    Sorry, just because “…a game has known risks…” doesn’t relieve somebody of there ‘duty of care’.

  • Nicky

    @foreverheady,
    I think when it comes to football the subject of injuries, IMO, are a different matter.
    I’ve long held the view that some fouls are so blatantly deliberate
    e.g. the one on Alf-Hinge (I hope that’s spelt correctly) of Man City by the thug Keane of Man Utd, should have been the subject of criminal prosecution.
    Other thugs like Barton, Shawcross etc, should not be dealt with merely by the referee and FA. A fine and/or suspension means little these days

  • AL,

    Recall last season when some Arsenal fans including many here on Untold were questioning our training methods and blaming Arsenal (the victim) for the long list of injuries we had?

    Remember when Arsene Wenger told the media, who wouldn’t stop questioning (and indirectly) blaming him for our series of injuries that the club would “investigate” the causes. I said then that AW was only throwing a bone to the baying media dogs. Tom in particular took offence at this as he was very happy to believe the same Arsene Wenger who revolutionised footballers diet and training in this country and elongated the careers of players like Tony Adams by years NEEDED the clueless press to nudge him into investigating why the club he has been managing for almost 2 decades suffers so many injuries.

    While I agree with Jambug that the media drive the agenda, I blame our gullible and utterly complicit fans. Fans of other clubs take on the media when they slight their clubs while ours are usually only too happy to concur and pile on. Ours are the only set of fans who are at perpetual war with the man in charge of their club. Fans of other clubs have the usual whinge from time to time but our AAA are a dedicated lot.

    Yes, the media are biased but by golly, some of our fans suck hairy balls.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Jambug, (sadly) a brilliant post at 6.53pm, I tried for half an hour to add to it and deleted all that I wrote as I couldnt really add to anything youve said. It is sickening and its pathetic too, we have truly walked into the time of the moron.Chelsea leading the way.
    But at least there’s a few places where people can come, here and PA too-really smart people over there.For all the moron tweets floating around from the AAA, Pedantic Georges are brilliant retorts and well worth reading.
    Excellent point though Bootoomee; where you put the focus back on that responsibility must come back to the fans themselves for believing the media kack.Too true(unfortunately…
    Keep on keeping on lads.
    COYG etc

  • AL

    Bootoomee
    Yep, I do remember that quote from Wenger very well. And the subsequent exchanges that followed it on here, with some keen to label it as an admission of guilt by the great man. And I also remember the signing of the German medic being hailed as one of the smartest moves made by the club in years, as he was going to ‘revolutionise’ our training methods etc. Sadly, it seems the injuries have got worse with him around. Is it the training methods then? Amazing how some ‘fail’ to see what is going on under their very own noses! Shocking.

  • jambug

    Bootoomee

    I totally agree that a far to large a proportion of our fans are a disgrace. I loved your line:

    “Yes, the media are biased but by golly, some of our fans suck hairy balls”. 😆

    But as I suggested in my post at 3:49 I don’t think it should be underestimated to what degree the medias agenda influences our fans. It’s propaganda by any other name, and there is a good reason why propaganda has been employed down the years….it works.

    If you’re told something often enough, for long enough, no matter how ridiculous, no matter how irrational, it is a human trait to end up believing it.

  • jambug

    How long since Spurs won the Championship?

    How long since Spurs won a Trophy?

    How long since Liverpool won a Championship?

    How long since Liverpool won a Trophy?

    If only the media would tell me every day, before, during, and after every match. If only.

    I mean I was never ever allowed to forget how long since Arsenals last Championship/trophy.

    No. It must be me. I’m sure the media wouldn’t treat anyone else different to Arsenal…..would they ?

  • apo Armani

    jamburg

    “If you’re told something often enough, for long enough, no matter how ridiculous, no matter how irrational, it is a human trait to end up believing it.”

    Exactly…and this proves how totally gullible these people who call themselves Arsenal fans, are!! Either that or in actual fact they have nothing to do with Arsenal as fans but mere tools (punt also intended) who actually support other clubs but used by the Media as efficient distributors of their scummy propaganda!!!

  • Mick

    A good example of the double standards applied to Arsenal players as opposed to other clubs players in tonight’s game. Spurs striker Soldado through on goal and yet again fails to convert and receives sympathetic comments re his willingness, gets in good positions, makes intelligent runs, proven quality, just needs a bit of luck, etc etc as contrasted with the sarcastic, spiteful treatment our young striker Sanogo got for going a few games without scoring, and Welbeck getting stick before he shut them up a couple of weeks ago by scoring for club and country. They even started on Sanchez before he got off the mark. Despicable morons the lot of them.
    Oops, Soldago just missed another one, followed by more sympathy from the commentator.

  • TH14theSecond

    Great article very well put, fully agree. Really good comments on here as well. Love this place! COYG

  • Rich

    Proudkev, Jambug – your thinking is uncannily similar to mine.

    Only today I was ruminating on the fact that despite British players now not being in the majority (think it was something like 37%) in the league, they have made 100% of the worst tackles on us- Smith, Taylor, Shawcross, Mcnair, and I would include Cahill,too- it was sheer luck that a big man launching himself like an arrow, with a lot of force, and zero interest in the ball, for a players leg, didn’t result in another serious injury.

    Also worth noting that until recently the managers of the players involved were ,yep, British. Van Gaal’s the first ,however, that I’m inclined to believe had zero to do with it, in terms of developing the player or giving any instructions/unduly firing up in the build-up to the game.

    It stood out to me ages ago that young cbs at United showed signs of uniformity in how they approached certain situations- those where the attacking player can get to the ball, and the defender can only get to it by launching himself without much control and in a way which will endanger the opponent if he goes for it. To do it you need to have a disregard for the other player, or have it coached into you that somehow it’s the right thing to do, a duty even. This should not be too hard with young footballers. You could call the approach, in practice ‘I’m coming. Let it go or get hit’. Malice isn’t required.

    Anyway, that’s how Brown (many dangerous tackles in his career, including an awful one on a Sunderland player last year) and Evans (wrecked the Bolton player Holden’s career) play, and I’m pretty sure Smalling and Jones, who for me isn’t your typical dirty type but certainly has it in him to launch something that totally disregards an opponents health, are similar;now McNair, despite looking a very unassuming and even ‘nice’ lad, already has his first bad one under his belt about ten games in. Mcnair’s challenge was a different type of incident, of course, you could call it ‘I’m behind you, and don’t think you being on course to win the ball will stop the challenge coming’. Oh, and Shawcross got his education there,too.

    It’s cost Wilshere at least three months, but for Mcnair and United there’s a definite gain in it- any intelligent player will now, unless he can blot it out (which arguably is essential to performing as an attacking player), be aware that managing to get in front of the player is not enough. Ditto he should guess that in the situations where he can clearly get to the ball first, and the defender can only get there by flying in dangerously, yes, he’s likely to fly in (there he goes, decide, yep, gotta jump to avoid it)

    It’s smart for the defender to do it, so long as refs are not serious about clamping down on the reckless element of tackling nor on dangerous play; but, worse to worst, three game ban is all that can happen; our culture is ‘without proof of intent, it can’t be more’ and ‘there can’t be intent, because we’re not like that’. So, if it even gets called, 3.

    The truly pessimistic would say that it’s particularly important for a defender to make tackles like this at the start of his career, in order to establish himself and get it out there how he plays. Anyone who played a bit of parks football will know the experience of coming up against seriously dirty teams and players, and making the choice not to play with the freedom on the ball they would against a cleaner team (Unless they were a good bit tougher and more willing to get injured playing park football, or to get into a fight, than yours truly) Basically, it works, unless refs (and we rarely had them) stop it, and it’s the culture itself which truly decides how the game’s reffed.

    Why us? That’s a question for another day, but again it probably comes down to the culture- to not embracing , or perhaps ingratiating yourself with, it, and to, in some way or other, upsetting it. Whole thing puts me in mind of immune systems as I ,not very scientifically, understand them.

    This immune system could not launch a full-out attack (rejecting what it figured was not like it, and not good) in those earlier years, or rather it was met with great strength, thanks to the obvious success of the team, but that success made the attack more violent later on.

    A calculating man ,who found principles the damn restriction they can be on occasion, would have done the typical football thing, and, once it became evident a problem had arisen, altered those principles while not admitting it, thereby proving of course that they weren’t bona fida principles.

    He done upset the culture and it kicked back hard and ugly.

  • Pat

    Thank you, friends, for a great article and a wise discussion. As usual.

  • Mark

    The EPL is killing the England National team! They do this by injuring the stars. Wilshere and Walcott are two key players for England but they get no protection from the refs. Opponents are allowed to kick and inflict damage on Arsenal players with out any protection from the refs. The tackle on Jack is just one example of hundreds that could be cataloged. It is disgustingly unfair and stupid. If England really want to do well as a national team they ought to be up in arms about how key players like Jack get NO protection from abuse!

  • Menace

    @Jambug @Rich – true what you say. The sad thing is everyone knows whats going on but most ignore it. The best English footballers give up the game because they get injured early in their teens. The mentality of ‘kick him’ if he’s talented is coached into kids.

    I hope we are fortunate to see PG MOrons removed from office soon. It will be a start toward a cleaner safer sport.

  • Will

    proudkev
    November 27, 2014 at 5:47 pm
    Jambug. I have said for years that teams are allowed to be more physical against Arsenal. This is not paranoia, there is enough evidence out there to reach that conclusion. Its not necessarily all down to sinister motives. We play a short passing game. teams know the only way to compete is to get in quick and play a physical game and therefore there is less marging for error. Pundits and the media repeat this endlessly. Referees follow the media and the pundits the same as us and get brainwashed into thinking that is the only way to play Arsenal.

    The old English mentality is still here: ‘get stuck in’ or ‘let them know you are there’ or ‘they don’t like physical challenges’ its part of our culture. In Football terms, we have not moved on we are still dinosaurs. When you see the horrible injuries we have suffered through reckless, late tackles; Eduardo, Ramsey, Diaby (and lets include Wilshere Saturday) – these assaults are all commited by BRITISH players. That is NO coincidence. Usually with the medias blessing too. Now when you get the media and Talskport spending more time feeling sorry for Ryan Shawcross than they do Ramsey, it says it all.

    And as for the content on twitter and some blogs. These are just anonymous cowards and intellectually backwards individuals.These are the types who join protest blogs and start calling everybody names, happy to moan their way into oblivion. Last night we had so called Gooners claiming they were gutted we won and calling Wenger names. Now we have Man Utd fans celebrating McNairs tackle just because it put Jack in hospital. I am telling you, we are going backwards socially and it will end in tears.

    ProudKev for president. I have been saying this for years and fans of other teams say I am whinging or making excuses. We get hammered pretty much every game and the ref’s allow it. I really want Arsenal to stand up for themselves and take the ref’s to court over this.

  • Tom

    Bootoomee

    if someone believes that Arsenal suffer their usual seasonal injury nightmares, for no other reason than getting kicked by opposing teams’ players, then any injury to our players for any other reason should be treated as an anomaly, right?

    I was wondering if you could do me a favor. As a mathematician ( if I remember correctly what it is you do) , can you tell me what the adds are on five Arsenal players getting injured consecutively for reasons other than getting kicked ‘off the pitch ‘, and that’s according to official Arsenal channels.

    I’m not clever enough to figure this out for myself, but I’m sure you already new that.

    So Bootoomee, or any other math or statistics wizards out there, can you help me out?, seriously.

  • Mick

    This ridiculous and pathetic so called article by Richard Innes appears in the Mirror and apparently has been blasted by Wilshere who has given Innes a few home truths……
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/row-zed/11-things-stronger-jack-wilsheres-4707944
    This garbage sums up the state of journalism in this country.

  • Mick

    Jack has told Innes he doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about. Jack says his ankles are not brittle and in fact are very flexible. If they weren’t so flexible he would have had a broken ankle and not just ligament damage after suffering such a bad tackle.
    Good on you Jack, let the bastards have it, I wish others at the club would give them some too.

  • jambug

    Mick

    If Jack has had a pop it’s about time. Problem is, next week Jack will be giving the same paper a 2 page exclusive.

    We do it all the time.

    Talkshite. One minute they are accusing jack, Theo and the Ox of feigning injury to get out of England duty,(let alone the daily assault on all things Arsenal by that wanker Durham)the next thing they’re giving them an interview.

    The SUN. This rag relentlessly attacks us and still we give them exclusives.

    If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a dozen times, STOP TALKING TO THESE ARSEHOLES.

    I know it’s a bit harsh but I think Arsenal are actually taking the piss out of there own fans. Basically, to me what Arsenal are saying is:

    ‘Yes we know the media do nothing but take the piss out of Arsenal, for the way we play, lack of Trophies, the prices we charge, the way we run our Club, the injuries we get, the Atmosphere in the ground, how we pay our staff, how we sign players, how dirty we are (red cards), how we whinge, how our manager never ‘zees it’ Fuck me I could go on….AND YET WE STILL TALK TO THESE WANKERS.

    Jack. learn a lessen. These people don’t like you. You play for Arsenal. They don’t like Arsenal.

    Next time they want you to talk to them, tell them to do one, because if you don’t it’s me and my fellow gunners you are taking the piss out of.

    The fact is we (well at least I do) care about how you, and Theo, and the Ox, and everything else Arsenal related, are abused in the media, even if you don’t.

  • apo Armani

    @jambug
    November 28, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Exactly!!!

  • proudkev

    Jambug, Will, Richa and many others.

    Thanks for your comments. I do not beleive in conspiracy theories or coincidence. I think you have to try to have an open mind and view each instance indivisually. This is how the law works, if you do not have any evidence then you will find it hard to prove your point.

    Not one person can deny that it has become very common to label Arsenal players fragile. This has been perpetuated in the media for years now. The same is true of the best way to defeat Arsenal – it is to get amongst us, make quick tackles and try to prevent a passing team from passing the ball around. We hear all the time the pundits and media going on about the best way to beat Arsenal is to play a physical game.

    Now am I not for one moment saying all the opposition players are kicking us because that is simply not true. What I am saying, is that the margin for error is much smaller for mis timing a tackle, when you are making these quick tackles. Martin Smith said this when he broke Eduardos leg in half. He said they knew they had to get at our skillful players quickly and leave a mark. He did not mean to break Eduardos leg in half, he was simply following a game plan to allow us no time on the ball.

    Now to the question of coincidence: 3 Arsenal players suffer horrendous injuries due to mis-timed tackles by British players. Eduardo, Ramsey and Diaby. Compare that to how many of these incidents other teams have received.

    When I look at the Cahill challenge on Alexis Sanchez, I can see he is nowhere near the ball. That was an identical type of challenge to those listed previously, the saving grace is that Alexis leg was not planted in the turf. Yet its a yellow card and hardly a peep from the pundits and media.

    Then look at Jack on Saturday. When you see the pictures, you can see the ball is 2 feet in front of Jack and the tackle is nowhere near the ball. Not even a fould from the referee. What do we get from the media? Does McNair get criticised for putting Jack in hospital? No. You get claims McNair is a young lad learning the game (remember Dan Smith of Sunderland) and he was going for the ball followed by stats on how few games Jack has finsihed and suggestions he is fragile. It gets worse, you get man Utd fans taking to twitter celebrating the injury.

    We all remember the out pouring of sympathy for Shawcross and how his Mum had to pick him up. The media also did the same thing for Martin Taylor.

    So based on all the evidence I have seen there is no coincidence whatsoever.

  • apo Armani

    @proudkev
    November 28, 2014 at 10:36 am

    “So based on all the evidence I have seen there is no coincidence whatsoever”

    I am sure that your last sentence finds most of us here in agreement, would be interesting to see some numbers comparing the players we have lost for lengthy periods to such tackles compared to other PL teams and maybe even other top European sides.

    Without a doubt – I am confident that we are way way ahead in Europe!!

    Would such substantiating evidence interest the AAA or this scum Media?? I doubt it very much!

  • jambug

    proudkev

    “Now am I not for one moment saying all the opposition players are kicking us”

    Aren’t they ???

    Prior to the Man Utd game this is (pretty much word for word) what Souness said.

    He said:

    “I was talking to Gary (Neville) the other day about the battles Utd used to have with Arsenal when he played and I said to him ‘what was your plan to beat Arsenal back ion the day? Basically it was to kick them off the park wasn’t it?’ His answer was simple….YES”

    And the refs very obliging let them (as well as everyone else) do it.

    So don’t be fooled poudkev, these players where, and still are ‘kicking us’ off the park.

    And they where, and still are, doing it with the full blessing of the media, the PGMOL, and the Referees.

  • apo Armani

    We have currently 9…NINE of our players – of which I would say ALL are of our starting 11 – OUT.

    Out through continuous kicking and bad tackles!!

    Had this been Liverpoo, Manure, Chelsky, ManOil…there would be a media and public outcry!!

    These above teams have 3-4 out of their starting 11 for a few weeks and there are black arm-bands from the media!

    We suffer this same thing for so many seasons in a row that I have forgotten when the last time was – that AW had available to him ALL the players he would have preferred to of selected from a starting 11.

    Nothing coincidental about this!

  • apo Armani

    Talk about “15 consecutive years and we are getting worse”…I would say injury wise – due to no protection and systematic kicking/crippling our players…this headline would most likely be fitting!

  • Mick

    Jacks first message for Innes….
    jackwilshere
    4 hours ago
    We all know the media like to talk nonsense, not all of them, but most! And most of it I can take…however after being shown an article in @DailyMirror saying I have ‘Worlds most Brittle ankles’. @bigrichinnes clearly doesn’t know what ‘brittle’ means, as this picture clearly shows’ most people/players would have broken their ankle if someone tackled them like this. Luckily I have ‘loose joints’, not brittle’ and only damaged ligaments. #Fool #GetTheFacts
    Jacks second message….
    jackwilshere
    4 hours ago
    Here’s another one for you @bigrichinnes please feel free to challenge what I’m saying! #LazyJournalism

  • jambug

    Mick

    I think what Jack is saying actually highlights part of the problem.

    Jack is talking as if this Innes Character actually ‘cares’ whether his article is factual or not. To Innes that is totally irrelevant.

    The whole point of the article is to belittle Jack, by taking the piss, and to basically put the entire blame for his injuries on Jack himself, and also of course, at the same time, ensuring that no blame what so ever can be attached to the guys that are assaulting jack.

    If Jack really thinks this guy is just a lazy journalists who’s innocently just got his facts wrong he needs to think again.

    I honestly don’t think Jack can see what is really going on here.

  • apo Armani

    @Jamburg

    Then we have in Daily Fail quoting a ManUre old-timer ‘ legend’ Paul McGrath, saying ManUre “defenders Tyler Blackett, 20, and Paddy McNair, 19, can be as good as Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany, 28, and Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, 25”.

    Lets make a hero out of this teenager McNair (butchering the making) FFS!

  • apo Armani

    *Butcher in the making

  • Rich

    Good on Wilshere. I’d hope that Wenger would also say something in his press conference for tomorrow’s match.

    I think many of the gentleman of the press probably have to fight hard to restrain themselves from typing ‘Wilshere injured his own ankle last week and is now out for three months’, even more irresistible for them is to say ‘wenger injured Wilshere’s ankle and now the player’s out for 3 months’. As a sentence that might be a bit ludicrous even for them, but as a a sentiment/insinuation – Wilshere got injured because he doesn’t protect himself; it’s Wenger’s fault because he guides Wilshere- it’s something I expect to see in the weekend discussions.

    I doubt I was alone in believing having a number of English players in the team could well lead to a decrease in the number of bad fouls we received, but the indications, as much from the reaction to it as the latest injury itself, are not good. If anything, we’ve reached a worrying new low: with the previous ones there was at least some acceptance that a bad foul had occured; this time the collective will of the media has been to strain every sinew to remove the fact any foul even occurred. Wilshere didn’t leave the pitch on a stretcher, no bone was broken/ exposed on the pitch, move along nothing to see here, oh what a frail bunch they are ,ey?

    To understand what happened in the last decade or so and what we’ll be up against for a time yet, there are probably few better short-cuts than to revisit the cup final and Warnock’s commentary.

    The guy is the worst of British football incarnate and pretty much seethes at the sight of us. Listen along to his commentary which is at odds with the game in front of him and with reality itself. See how he effortlessly skips over anything which contradicts his belief- we’re a big club and they get the decisions over poor hard-working honest lads, we dive and are namby pampies (unless we make something resembling a challenge, in which case we are dirty, should be booked and, to boot, are hypocrites); we…ok, we can play nice football…which is only one way of playing the game, mind, don’t let anybody, don’t let them, tell you otherwise….but some of that’s down to being a big club ,you know, and therefore unfair, and therefore it’s fair to use whatever’s necessary, but as good honest lads, mind, to get about them…and, you know what, is it really good football they play? after all, can they play it when you get about them? Oh, they don’t like that do they? No. As a hard-working honest Englishman, surely it’s a duty to…

    Anyway, you get the picture. Its all there in his contribution, and the commentators, despite being able to call it ‘a bit unlucky’ when we don’t get any of the 3-5 good penalty shouts (individually, of course, as ,just like with the serious injuries, there is that same tendency never to add up all the separate incidents which ,combined, create something it is difficult to deny is beyond suspect) on the day, don’t at any point pull him up as he accuses us of being soft, calls us lucky, suggests we enjoy favors from refs, etc. Nope, they chuckle warmly at his guff.

    On the day it was annoying, though I blocked much of it out and only realised quite how much crap he’d spouted when rewatching, but all that is nothing next to the recognition that these are the sort of characters and minds that we come up against, and it was basically an opportunity to witness how someone rationalises whipping up teams into a state which makes injuries for us so much more likely than they should be, and how they can remain unapologetic and without shame afterwards, and how it can go on and on and on.

  • Tom,

    Educate yourself man. I am not doing anything for you for you especially on this matter.

    You have chosen to believe what you want and won’t change your mind no matter what. There is ample evidence that Arsenal players get kicked much more than other clubs players. Why is it so difficult for you to believe that the primary cause of our injuries is the kicking? Which other club has suffered 3 leg breaks in the last 10 years? We suffered 3 in 4 years!

    You were indignant when I said then that Arsene was only throwing the media a bone when he said he would investigate the cause of our injuries in order to shut them up. Well, have you got any news on the outcome of the investigation and have you heard anything from the media about the cause of our injuries or the findings from the investigation?

    I was right and you were wrong. What makes you think things are different now?

  • proudkev

    Jambug. I am not say9ing Arsenal players dont get deliberately kicked, they do, I was making the point that a lot of thse injuries are the result of the speed in which teams tackle us. They are sent down to ‘get amingst us’ and not let us have any time on the ball. Thsi means there is very small marging for error.

    The McNair tackle is clearly more than mistimed, the picture above shows the ball is clearly nowheer near Wilsheres standing foot. I would guess that had that tackle been made by an Arsenal player on an England International playing for Man Utd, there would be a different media response.

    To summarise: If you want to get support for an argument you cannot make a statement than can be challenged. Stick to the ACTUAl evidence. As I pointed out, there is enough out there to prove our players are tackled more aggressively. We can also cite teh Eduardo, Diaby and Ramsey examples, together with the Cahill and McNair assaults. Make one statement that doesnt have the evidence and the media and the AAAA will use that as proof you are paranoid and then ignore everything else you say. How these idiots work. Just saying, we need to stick to what we KNOW to be true and which we can demonstrate.

    And Arsenal should make these facts known to the media.

  • proudkev

    Just look at this in The Mirror. What a joke but proves how disgraceful the hacks are:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/row-zed/11-things-stronger-jack-wilsheres-4707944

  • jambug

    proudkev.

    I agree with what you say 100%. I was only referring to the one line in which you said:

    “Now am I not for one moment saying all the opposition players are kicking us”

    I just thought you was being a bit too gracious because they quite obviously are “kicking us”

    I agree though that some are more open to conjecture than others. Some have either good Photographic or Video evidence, some don’t and you have a good point in respect to the fact it is best to make are arguments when there is the irrefutable evidence to back it up.

    but I stand by what I say, and that is that there is enough evidence to show that we do in fact get kicked of the park, unchecked, and on a regular basis.

    Reference to your post of 1:14, I commented on this disgraceful piece of Journalism at 12:26.

    Great posts though, keep up the good work.

  • proudkev

    Jambug, cheers.

    Cannot imagine what it must be like for Wenger having to cope with having to watch young lads sufferring such appalling career threatening injuries. Just watching on TV, the Eduardo and Ramsey injuries made me feel sick and were on my mind for weeks. He knows the lads, must be a nightmare. Made even worse by the medias sympathy for those committing the offences.

  • finsbury

    Brilliant comments above, thank you all.

    An Arsenal player in a brace uses social media to expose the twenty four seven football hacks. They are not ignorant. They are stupid. At best. And so are those who follow them.
    Can you imagine these hacks as football coaches? It’s a scary thought, best avoided. Their charges would struggle to play in the six nations replica tournament for amateurs let alone attempt to copy, say, the skills and effort of Oxlade-Chamberlain. Truth is they don’t even like Football! Plenty of evidence for that. Plenty. Not least the lack of questions in every presser on the actual football itself (as Benitez observed). But they do like to talk about transfers. And agents. And such stuff.

    It is, what it is! 😉

  • finsbury

    The question remains:

    How does or how can a professional referee with over a decades experience miss a tackle like that during a game of football?

    He’s not a member of the crowd standing far away at an oblique angle with eyes only for the ball. He’s a referee, who’s only job is to protect the well being of the athletes on the pitch (it’s why fouls were invented C1850).

    So what kind of a referee ignores fouls. Certain fouls at least. Clichy breathing on someone is enough for a penalty against, but a clump that would even be called a foul in a kick about between friends where no referee is present is not a foul? Eh? Does our old friend the wraith Smeagol not know the rules? Is he blind? Is he, possibly, not fit to referee?

    There is effort being made in the media to blame Wilshere for his own injury, and that alone speaks volumes.

  • finsbury

    So: this season we have seen a stomp on Arteta and the late lunge on Wilshere which lead to heavy injuries not even called as fouls. Ankles targeted, or at the least not protected. Forget about cards, they weren’t even considered as fouls. Very, odd.

    And there are people out there who watch these games week after week who are genuinely genuinely confused about why and how AFC players suffer from a higher frequency of impact related injuries. It truly is not rocket science. Just anatomy which is a very sophisticated and ancient science to be fair but even an idiot like me knows that the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone and that you need both limbs in reasonable order in order to be able to play football.

  • Mick

    @finsbury
    Jack was very lucky not to be injured against the Spuds when Rose blatantly stamped on his ankle in the penalty area, again no foul called. No surprise there then.

  • finsbury

    It’s his own fault!

  • jambug

    I wish I could find it, but a Month or so back (early/mid September I think) when this ‘It’s all Jacks own fault’ shit started, I stated categorically that it was simply a matter of time before he’s assaulted, and therefore injured again.

    I know I wasn’t being particularly clever because, given the way he’s consistently assaulted, it was an inevitability most of us on here could foresee.

  • Rich

    Wonder why sky sports news just did a segment on wilshere’s injury without mentioning his own tweets on the subject earlier? They’ve dramatically upped their use of social media as a news source recently and, of course, have a fairly voracious appetite for anything story worthy… But I guess it just didn’t sit well with them. Anyway, enough. Gotta clear my mind of all this stuff. Till tomorrow!

  • jambug

    SKY are as bad as the rest.

    Unfortunately just caught there PL years shit.

    They showed the 50th game at OT. Well the goals.

    Not a question raised over Rooneys blatent dive.

    Not a word about the RVN leg breaker on Cole.

    Not a ward on the Neville brothers assault on reyes.

    Not a word on Fredinands blatant non red card for pulling Freddie back when clear on goal.

    But guess what, in the very next game united lost one nil to a penalty and surprise surprise apparantly….it was a VERY DUBIOUS PENALTY.

    Can SKY do any fucking thing without sucking up to those pricks at OT !!!!!!!!