The new forward line: Me, him, Alexis, (and Theo)

Look, if you want to skip this article and go on to the next, then I can hardly blame you. After all, what is there left to say about Arsenal? Along with Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, they are London’s longest-running show, a production that keeps turning out season after season, even though everybody already knows the ending. The butler did it, and Arsenal finish fourth.

It is what passes for humour in the Daily Telegraph and like all weak and feeble humour the joke is useless because it doesn’t have any basis in reality.  Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders and have 15 years in the knock out stages of the Champs league.  Incidentally Fulham are London’s oldest club that is still playing professionally.   There was an exploration of merging Fulham and Arsenal in 1910, but it never got past a single meeting.  Never mind Mr L.  Who cares about the details?

Liew also speaks of the “years without a genuine title challenge” – well I seem to recall a period just a little while ago (2013/2014 actually) when we were top of the league for quite a while – but I guess being top of the league doesn’t qualify as a title challenge any more, just as winning the FA Cup doesn’t count any more.  Here’s another of his phrases, “frustration in the transfer market,”.  So Ozil was a “frustration in the transfer market”.  And Sanchez?   And  Debuchy, Chambers, Welbeck…   Hey ho.  Details, details.

OK it is the usual load of tripe from one of the newspapers that the PGMO has targeted as an outlet to its wild ravings, to ensure that the press never, ever comment on the insanities of that crazed organisation – and Mr Liew obeys the unwritten injunction.  So Don’t Mention The Ref.

But Mr L does do one thing, showing that no matter how curious a report a newspaper can print, it still has to have some relationship to the real world.  And when I say “one thing” I mean besides admitting that Arsenal were playing at WBA.

He notes how the structure of the team changed with Giroud in the middle, Welbeck on one side, Sanchez on the other.   It was the first time we have really seen it, and it clearly needs some bedding in.  And Giroud is not yet 100%.  But even so, it is rather an interesting project.

For even though in this match it took the threesome time to sort it, but as they did, it got to be rather fun.

What we have is that threesome in front for Santi Cazorla (another transfer that was not a disappointment Mr L) and Aaron Ramsey (another transfer that… oh hell, you know what I mean).

In an interview after the game Giroud called it, “Me, him, Alexis” and you can see what it all amounts to.

And that then poses of the question of Theo.  It is hard to imagine, playing Me, him, Alexis, Ramsey and Santi, with Theo as well.  And besides the Ox has been superb of late.

But what it does mean is that if we can keep some of them fit, we can have quite a swashbuckling forward line.  And all this without Gnabry, who hasn’t been seen since his injury – I certainly hope he is recovering somehow.  He came back at the end of October and was “fighting for his first team place” in early November but since then… I must have missed the news because I don’t know what has happened.  Do let me know.

But for now let us leave him out and go with those who we have left.  Me, him, Alexis, Theo, with further backup from Podolski, Sanogo, and maybe Campbell and Akpom.

And then lurking behind all those is the amazing Benik Afobe… but I think he needs an article of his own, so more of him shortly.

Meanwhile Mr L in the Telegraph commented at one point that Mr Wenger was “vaguely patronising” towards him.  No mate, that wasn’t “vaguely patronising”.  He was laughing at your lunatic lack of knowledge and insight.

But he’s just too polite to show it.

The books

Some other sites from the Untold team (there is a full list on the home page)

And then there is still the home page

35 Replies to “The new forward line: Me, him, Alexis, (and Theo)”

  1. While the Telegraph is probably the best in the world to report on the cricket season, it has never been reliably knowledgeable on football.
    Better by far for those interested in our national game, to log on to Untold.

  2. I think the only criticism I have of the Daily Telegraph is everything it says and everything it stands for; apart from those two issues its a fine upstanding Tory propaganda machine

  3. We have always known the political bias of the English press. No problems with that.

    But back in the past we believed that the press was not bias in it sports reporting. I am beginning to wonder were we foolish to believe this, when we take into account the ‘bias and or ignorant reporting we have today.

  4. So Giroud believes our forward line should be him, Alexis and another forward (from Welbeck, Walcott, the Ox or Cazorla). Not bad. Hope they have enough games together to work on their telepathy.

    And still no Ozil (or Wishere) to gel them together! No complaints from me..

  5. When did this mass anti Arsenal start? I understand the Tiny Tots but the rest? I followed our wonderful team for over 70 years but have only really noticed it over the past 10 or so years. Please can somebody give me an answer. The only answer I can find is we have been so successful. It used to be so much fun as a child Young man and now a G/Grandfather; oh well that’s life for you.

  6. Old Timer – there was trouble at the Manor Ground in the 1890s, and the Manor was the first ever league ground to be closed by the authorities – for six weeks. Details are on the Arsenal History Site (

    That led to outrage among the press, and they picked up on the fact that Arsenal had a countrywide following (because it represented the armed forces, being the club that was associated with keeping the forces in the Empire safe).

    Arsenal also was the first club to have organised away travel – probably because all our league matches were so far away from Plumstead in the early days.

    When Chapman came along and gave us success, the same thing happened as has happened now under Wenger – the johnny-come-lately fans demanded the club win every game 6-0, and when it didn’t happen they booed. Chapman wrote a newspaper column and was outraged by the “boo-boys” as he called them, but they continued and there are very open statements by players from that point on saying how awful it was to play at Highbury. Members of the league winning teams asked to leave because of it.

    There are many articles on this subject on the History site but here’s one as a starter:

    There was a lot of negativity in the first half of Wenger’s second season with the bad results then – but they shut up as we went on and won the Second Double, as there was with the 3 seasons in which we came second to Man U, but with the rise of oil and gas funded clubs which coincided with the funding of the Emirates and the downturn in ready cash at Arsenal, so the latest AAA has arisen.

    As always the media jumped on the bandwagon – it is the easiest story in the world to write. The journalists don’t have to bother with research and serious reporting.

  7. Great article Tony.

    “Meanwhile Mr L in the Telegraph commented at one point that Mr Wenger was “vaguely patronising” towards him”.

    He is patronising because he knows the press guys are talking nonsense. This si the problem with the media they are trying to be too personal with Mr. Wenger. They don’t like the fact that he has far more football knowledge in his little finger than they do in their whole bodies. Neil Ashton tried to take Wenger on personally and never hides his dislike for him, either in the press or his Sunday Supplement show. The same for Liverpool fan Antony Kastinikis, another in the media who has taken a personal dislike to Wenger. These guys try to belittle Wenger in print because theyt cannot do it face to face because he is far more intellignet and knowledgable than they are. Journalists are a pretty thick bunch who beleive they know best. Like AAAA.

    The most astonishing thing is the medias obsession of deliberately ignoring the stadium, Russian/Arab club ownership or injuries – dismissing these as just excuses. They also ignore thae fact that in a football world dominated by greed and disloyalty, we are the Good Guys. And our Managers loyalty is never mentioned.

    We are a club that has not bought success. We are a club that has complained about wages and agents. We have never received handouts, not from wealthy oil men or from local authorities. We had to pay for that stadium and the redevelopment of Highbury ourselves, it was an act of genius in difficult financial times. And the success of that owes much to Mr. Wengers loyalty and his ability to make profits on player trading.

    We are not the club that has been caught tapping up players in public places. We are not the club fined for abusing the rules of FFP. Once abused for not having English players, we now provide almost half the National team. Our injuries are ignored (yet man Utd were headlined as having an injury crisis) and when our injuries do get mentioned, it is to criticise the club for our training methods.

    If the press are to be believed, Arsene Wenger hides his genius brilliantly, while they display their ignorance and personal vendetta on an almost daily basis.

  8. @old timer
    December 1, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Before Arsenal rose to be the football power in the land the north west was the center of football. The HQ of the football league was in the north west. The FA was responsible for football outwith the Football League.

    Then as we know Arsenal didn’t just win the FA Cup in 1930 they went on to dominate the decade. The first club to do this and shock horror a southern club at that.

    AS a result Arsenal became the club you either loved or hated.

    Since then manure and the looserpool of the north have also dominated a decade.

    With manure there was the tragedy of Munich and understandably so this gave them a lot of sympathy nation wide.

    As Arsenal ‘slept’ so Liverpool rose to dominate the league and returned football’s power base to the north.

    Everybody loves a winner. Liverpool’s rise to the top came at the same time when football became part of weekend TV. So we saw Shankly and Clough lead the way in capturing the admiration of fans all over the country.

    Meantime Arsenal’s success was spasmodic until Arsene arrived.

    Its well reported here how in his first face the press interview Arsene got the better of the low life.

    While we were winning regularly the low life had no choice but to go with the flow. Until ‘game 50’ that is. When the normal attitude by the Arsenal haters was returned.

  9. Tony. You havn’t really answered Old Timers question. You display a great historical knowledge of the club but I do not believe that contributes to the current media hostility towards our club.

    I do remember the ‘boring, boring Arsenal’ tags but not much before that in terms of negativity. But now we have anti-Arsenal on a whole new level. My own feeling is that this has become personal. They see Wenger as a long standing Manager that happens to be French. He took on the English culture of bad diets, alcohol, drug abuse, late nights and ‘hoofball’ – and embarrassed the dinosaurs. They dislike him for this, I am certain. Who is this French man that comes to our Country and shows us up?!

    The media are still locked into Jurassic mentality and I am sure this is what it comes down to. There is incredible envy about Wengers achievements and no attempt to recognise just how great they were. What we have achieved since Wenger joined our club is outstanding. From a shared training facility to the state of the art one we now have, largely funded by the Anelka money, to the maginificent Emirates stadium. Despite forced to sell players, still punching above our weight.Yet all we ever hear about is Wengers wages.

    They hate the Man because he stands for everything they dislike. Genuine achievement and fairness.

  10. A good article Tony.

    There is certainly a lot of lazy journalism involved in reporting Arsenal news, but it is nearly always inaccurate and negative.

    As noted in an earlier thread the Sunday Supplement yesterday was very negative towards Arsenal and esp Wenger – the main culprit being the rather repulsive Antony Kastinikis from the temple of wisdom – the Sun.

    I still have the view that there is a deliberate campaign within the media against AW – there is too much (unreasoned and unjustified) flak directed his way for coincidence or lazy journalism to be the sole explanation.

  11. @Colario,
    Your 10.25 was a brief but masterly summing up of Arsenal’s rise to the top, for which many north of the Watford Gap have never forgiven us.

  12. ‘and Mr Liew obeys the unwritten injunction. So Don’t Mention The Ref.’
    Don’t mention the ref indeed, never a truer statement. Since our latest bout of injuries there have been several discussions on radio and television as to the reasons behind our prolific injury list, both the current one and those from previous seasons. Various theories have been put forward from Wengers ‘antiquated’ training methods through to types of playing surface, etc etc. We’ve all heard them countless times. But incredibly not a single pundit/expert has touched on the referees role in our injury situation. No one has ever suggested they may have been a factor to consider. The way our players are kicked from pillar to post with the complicit refs apparently happy to let the obvious targeting of our players, particularly Jack, to continue unchecked and unpunished is a disgrace.

  13. Outstanding article Tony!! Thank you!!!

    December 1, 2014 at 10:18 am

    “Apologies for the rant – I despise the media in this Country.”

    No apologies required dear friend…I am sure your post reflects the thoughts of many TRUE supporter – me included!!

  14. As a Liverpool fan, Antony Kastranikis does seem obsessed by Wenger. As the Sunday Supplement show is run by Neil Ashton (Crystal Place fan) who loathes Wenger, remember the who you looking at comment, what do you expect. These guys hate Wenger and do everything they can to dig knives into him.

  15. For all the injuries we have. For all the inquires, brainstorming sessions and arguments to find the root cause of it. For all the…

    Well they cannot hide the fact that almost all of those injuries, yes almost all of them, happened on the pitch due to mistimed/overtly physical/intentional tackles. The jurisdiction of the referee. If they can prove us wrong, let them show us some hard facts, we’ll rest our case then.

  16. The media in this country make me sick. The right wing papers are just so horribly right wing that trying to go through it makes for a depressing read and the so-called left wing media is just psuedoliberalism. Maybe a slightly less depressing read than its right wing counterparts, but for people that a truly left wing they are still extremely frustrating when these are the outlets that supposedly share the same view as you.

    Sorry about the rant; theres not a lot of things that get me more riled up than English/American media.

  17. Great article Tony and really good comments. Very interesting reading about the history of the boo boys, back to Chapman’s day. That does ease me a little bit because I thought Wenger and Arsenal were being targeted only relatively recently. But yes, the theme over the last few years seems to be everything but ‘don’t mention the ref’. Yesterday on American TV they were blasting the PL for not having video technology. They couldn’t understand it. They were saying ‘How many crucial, club-affecting decisions are being made here without any accuracy??’. They were baffled like the rest of us. Of course it’s because the ref is the best way to affect the outcome of a game.

  18. Proudkev 10:33
    So true. It’s an English v Wenger (French) thing in my view. Which should not really be the case but these are idiots we dealing with here. The English media is the worst I’ve come across, no wonder people like Lewis Hamilton have taken refuge in foreign lands just to get away from this bunch of clowns.

  19. I did mention it’s because Wenger is french. but we just don’t like or think that as we are not simple minded! I still get the amazement of you don’t sound Chinese! ignorance is bliss…

  20. I think it started with bug brother and celebrities out of no bodies came about that mentality of you need no talent just stand out like a trout

  21. Good afternoon Chief Tony. Charity should begin from Arsenal. If the wall is cracked, the lizards may enter to abode in there. The civil war between the (AKBs) and the (AOBs) have been raging-on for too long and there is no sign of any truce in sight. Infact, the warring between the two groups have been intensify. Amist this unabated civil war, the press have emerged as the benefactors. Because Arsenal have been providing them with sensational news to write out and sell to the football masses. The football news readers are trilled and loving every moment of this civil war. I think they are even craving for it. Because Arsenal and the boss have become the source of the news for them to sell on the news stand to the waiting readers. Arsenal and the boss, set the football clubs news to be read. Without which the football news will become stale and uninteresting anymore. ARSENAL-TACTICS: For some of us that watched the shameful officiating by Ref Mike Jones in the game between the Saints and the Citizens at St, Mary’s on Sunday evening. Have to tell the boss and the Gunners to please borrow a leaf as an example from how City were able to foiled Mr Jones clandestine officiating to twist the outcome of that game to favour Southampton. The Citizens brushed aside Mr Jones partial decisions that were mented against them by scoring 3 undisputed goals to win the match and thereby shamed Mr Jones. If Kieran Gibbs and Natxo Monreal are actually a major doubt for our home game with the Saints on Wednesday. The boss should please not start them for that game even if they have managed to recover. The same thing should apply to Oxlade Chamberlain. This action is to forestall any recurring of their injuries which might not have properly healed. The trio could start the Stoke game. I think Koscielny should be moved to left back by the boss to operate from there. I am sure Koscielny can efficiently defend the left back. I have watched him defending from the left back position in Arsenal games. My AFC Defence Line for Southampton Game: Bellerin..Chambers..Bfg…Koscielny. And I think the trio of Podolski, Rosicky and Cambpell have been over rested by the boss. They ‘ve not been earning their pay on the field of play. But rather earning it from the bench. If those trio are okay to start the Wed game, The boss should please start them and rest Cazola for Stoke. Flamini and Ramsey can still be started as CDMs for the Saints game by the boss. I like to see Giroud, Welbeck and Sanchez to start the game by the boss. So that they will continue to forge some understandings between themselves. I can see the boss bringing 2 defenders from the youth team to the bench on Wed if he agrees to play Koscielny at left back. The boss should not worry. The Gunners will comfortably beat the Saints on Wednesday night.

  22. Al. Yes, I am convinced that if Arsene Wenger was English he would be treated dfferently.

    We have good old ‘arry, opening bank accounts in his dogs name to funnel illegal payments, who claims in his defence that he cannot read and write properly. He even leans out of windows to publicly tap up players. Yet this thick Englishman is treated completely differently to the more intelligent and successful Arsene Wenger. For me, Wenger being French and taking on the dinosaurs in our culture has put a lot of peoples noses out of joint.

  23. There was a series of articles on Untold that previously completely exposed the likes of Kastinikis. With the support for the attack on AFC by the extreme right wing media and the AAAA we can observe that they chose to make this latest attack following Usmanov’s latest press release. Same as previously. That’s not an opinion but an observation. An attack made after the most impressive two games on the pitch this season (bearing in mind it was a PL Away game after a two high intensity games, including a midweek game when the last opponent would’ve been resting).

    This follows on from the want to be celebrity podcastateers after the Chelsea game slagging off Özil because that is what shepeards like Ashton had been able to brainwash these brave hearts into saying, words that bore no relation to events on the pitch because the player picked could be seen to pick up an injury in that game. What we heard were words on podcasts that lasted longer the the match itself that bore absolutely no relation to events on the pitch. That is, unfortunately, not my opinion, but again a simple and easy observation.

    With reason and observation the rational mind can only conclude that this groaning has sweet FA to do with what is going on upon the football pitch. Undeniable. Propaganda is powerful,of that there is no doubt. And the capacity of humans to act like frightened heards has long been well documented and exploited.

    This media attack on AFC follows previous patterns recorded here and elsewhere and the increase not decrease in the shrill nonsensical bleating led by the hacks was entirely predictable after the FA Cup Victory. I suppose some were disappointed by that result, not least the PGMO, based upon the evidence of the “performance” from their representative on the day. It is, what it is. To quote the sports hack that all football hacks appear to have as their role model, Mr. Alan Partdrige:

    “The proof is in the pudding and the pudding in this case is a football. Boof. Eat my goal.”

  24. E.g.: the AAAA were bleating about Herr Klopp last week (let’s ignore Klopp’s praise for AFCs non-existent tactics in the past and just focus upon the failed attempt to attack AFC) and today he is in the funny papers with his job under threat. I’m not making this up!

    Following on from previous AAAA contenders in chronological order:

    It’s too funny

  25. @Oldtimer – you are more conscious of the criticism in the last ten years due to the internet and the fact that journalists pick up on what they think is the zeitgeist from it.
    Keep the faith and, if necessary, ignore it. The only opinion that counts is your own.

  26. That’s quite a list Finsbury, would like to add Martin O Neill to it. And these guys say it is the club that lacks ambition!

  27. Kastrinakis has an agenda, can tell you he is a dyed in the wool Liverpool supporter, as well as a truly obnoxious human being

  28. Oh forgot to mention great story Tony. always have a good laugh at what you guys say Al Finsbury many and bottomee! keep up the good comments lpl

  29. If I don’t like what the papers say I can chose not to buy them.

    If I want to watch my beloved Arsenal on TV I have no choice than to subscribe to SKY.

    So not only are the likes of Kastrinakis, Ashton etc. constantly spouting there anti Arsenal bullshit all over the air waves but I’m paying them to fucking do it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  30. Mandy

    Gazing into my crystal footballs and the past idiocy and disingenuity of the vile AAAA I think the next name they’ll use for their toothless attack hounds will be Simeone, soon to be followed by, I don’t know, whoever is the next flavour of the month.
    All the while ignoring names like Ancelotti who is fondly remembered by most Gazprom fans. Above their current manger by more then a few. And that would be because he has proven at more then one club that he is by far the far better manager then the AAAA pin up, the specialist in signing players signed to special agents. Ancelloti has proven that more then once. Yet the AAAA haver never trolled upon his name as far as I can remember. Probably because most arsenal fans will remember him as the manger who didn’t know how to use Henry and the mangager who blew a three goal lead in a European cup final – it happens. But they can’t fit such complex details or concepts into their bipolar trolling narratives that they are using in a transparent attempt to destabilise the club. So they ignored him all this while! I’m not making this up, though I wish I was…

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