Arsenal: the lines are now clearly drawn. Time to sort out the children.

By Tony Attwood

The highest win rate a club has had in the Premier League, across a complete season is I think, 68%.  In January and February prior to the Monaco match, Arsenal achieved a win rate of 80%.  Including the Monaco match the ratio for the League, FA Cup and the single Champions League match was 73%.  Include the league matches in December as well and we fall back to 72% win ratio.

Those figures are superb.  Stunning, amazing, incredible.  Chelsea’s win ratio through January and February is 50%.   Across December, January and February it is 60%.

Arsenal’s performance in the last match was very poor, and is 95% certain to lead to our exit from the Champions League.  But as I have said, even when we incorporate that game into the last three months figures we still get this sensational 72% across three months.

So that is it.  According to the aaa and their media allies because of the last match we should get rid of the manager, get rid of Ozil, get rid of Coquelin, get rid of… well you get the picture.

And what is particularly interesting is that virtually all of the comments on Untold that spoke about how the manager in particular was no good and should go, and suggested, as one correspondent put it “Ozil doesn’t want to be here and never did want to be here” without any evidence.  The evidence they suggest, speaks for itself.

Now the reality is that quite often we don’t have clear evidence in these matters.  We have our results, which of course overall point to the club being in excellent health.  But beyond that… it is a problem.

It is a topic we have often debated in relation to referees.  Many of us  think there is consistent match fixing going on but we don’t have a tape recording of the owner of a top team saying to the ref, “just make sure Arsenal don’t win”.

So we continue by looking around at supporting evidence for the allegations made against referees, and do the same to see if there is any evidence of incompetence by the Arsenal management and the players.

Just as we don’t expect referees to get the insane 95% accuracy level that PGMO says they get, we don’t expect Arsenal to win or draw 95% of matches.  But we set reasonable expectations, and see what the evidence is for Arsenal making progress towards these targets.  The results over the last three months constitute a very positive sign.

Such supportive evidence as there is for the alternative approach that a) something is dreadfully wrong, and b) it is Wenger’s fault or c) Ozil’s fault is flimsy.  Whichever way we look at it measured by the results over the last three months and we are doing very well indeed.

Yes, a terrible night against Monaco, a bit like Chelsea had a terrible day against Bradford, but that does not give evidence for the totality of the club.  We need more than one game.

I’m getting bored with these endless comments we get here, so bored that I’ve got to the point of cutting a lot of correspondence – for reasons that we have discussed many times before.  Seeing the same unsupported arguments over and over is boring, asking for evidence time and time again and not getting it is boring and doesn’t make for good reading, and above all there are many, many, many other blogs around that are happy to call for the dismissal of the manager and half the team without any evidence.  You could also go and read some of the national press.

Seeing this, some have retreated into arguments that we have heard and dealt with so many times before – such as the alleged going into the season with not enough players.   We have explored this so fully that it just seems pointless going over this again – it is all on this site.  Those of us who feel the club is doing well put forward clear points to try and engage in the argument, and we get nothing back.

But just in case you have just returned from a six year spell with the British Antarctic Survey  in summary, you can only buy players who want to move and who the clubs want to sell, players have to fit into the team we already have – not everyone will fit, buying players can block off the emerging youth talent, such as Bellerin, some players do take a while to show their very best (Coquelin, Santi Cazorla, Monreal), not every player wants to come to London or England, we were restricted in cash because the club bought and paid for the stadium, from which those of us who go get great benefit, and on and on…   It’s all there is past articles.

Some argue that we can’t afford to wait for young talent – but building up talent through the club rather than always buying it in has been the Arsenal way since Herbert Chapman was in charge, and is part of being Arsenal.  This is a club that honours its traditions – and virtually never turns its back on them.   (1913 was one exception I can think of, and was done to save the club from bankruptcy.  Employing Billy Wright as manager was another, and that was a disaster. Otherwise Arsenal sticks to its guns, as it were).

So what supports our three contentions:

a) that things are going ok and that painful though the Monaco game was (and I was indeed there, as I am for virtually every single home game), it was a blip.

b) that booing Arsenal at the Emirates does no good, and only does harm.

c) that suggesting just bringing in a new manager will turn matters around is nonsense, because there is nothing much to turn around if you look at the overall picture, and there is no guarantee that a new manager will do anything better.  Remember, even Chelsea with supposedly the best manager around and all the money you could dream of, and then some, can’t avoid losing to Bradford, and can’t do as well as we can in the last three months.

Which leads to the question, what good does booing your team, and endlessly bitching about your team in blogs, do?

It doesn’t change the manager because the AAA activities have been going on for about six years and he’s still there.  Their campaign has been an absolute total abdominal and abysmal failure.  Einstein never said that thing about the definition of stupidity being the doing of the same thing over and over again even when it fails, but it’s still fairly true.

It doesn’t bring good results, as the AAA have been singularly quiet for the last three months, other than for the Tottenham and Monaco games.   But remember guys (although I know it is hard) no club wins every match.

It doesn’t give the players confidence – clearly.  The AAA attacks on Ramsey while he was learning his trade playing out wide obviously didn’t help him.

It doesn’t encourage other players to look at Arsenal and think, hey, yes, I’d like to go there.

It doesn’t bring prices down.

Hell it doesn’t even get the cappuccino machine nearly block 99 to work.

In fact I can’t see what good it does at all.

And thus we have a situation where a number of people who call themselves supporters, allied to the press who have their own agenda in footballing terms, criticise Arsenal remorselessly.  It is an agenda that can’t do any good, and obviously doesn’t do any good.

Thus I ask myself the question, who has an agenda, and pursues it remorselessly, even in the face of evidence that the agenda isn’t getting anywhere and can’t do any good?

The answer is children.  And I say this as a father of three – all now grown up.  Up to the age of about 14 they behave like the aaa and the media.  They know what they want (gratification) and they know when they want it (now).  Negotiation abilities are mostly noted by their absolute absence.

The term AAA (or aaa) has been, and is useful to describe a type of person who criticises Arsenal without reference to the facts.  But in the light of this criticism continuing in the face of such a positive three months overall at Arsenal, I think a new name is called for.   Children.

At least with children when they are at their most annoying (and I utterly, utterly adore my daughters – but occasionally in between the ages of 8 and 14 they got to me a bit) you know that if you do your level best and bring them up right, they’ll grow out of it.  We can only hope that is true of the media and their supporters who claim to like Arsenal.

Anyway kiddies.  Time for school.

The anniversaries…

The good (although it didn’t look like it at the time)

27 February 1971:  Derby 2 Arsenal 0.  League match 29 of the first Double season. Three defeats in the last five games cast major doubts over Arsenal’s attempt to win the league with Arsenal seven points behind Leeds but two games in hand.

The bad

27 February 1954: Tottenham 3 Arsenal 0.  It was part of a four match sequence without a win as Arsenal slumped to 12th – although not below Tottenham who finished 16th.

The utterly atrocious and appalling: 

27 February 2010: Ramsey was seriously assaulted by Shawcross who was then given a place in the England squad. Thereafter Stoke fans booed Ramsey, each time the clubs met.


62 Replies to “Arsenal: the lines are now clearly drawn. Time to sort out the children.”

  1. Tony
    You are saying that people who post on here have to agree with what you say or they will be banned.Everyone who has an opinion (and people have different opinions) from yours are going to be called children??how very strange .Some posters on here can see that whilst you post figures and stats on here from the last 2 months and class them as superb ,stunning , amazing and incredible the real truth is that most think that the team and manager should be doing better than what we are.The main stat showing that we are 12 points off Chelsea ,we’re out of the title race in November and had the worst start in the league for over 30 years.Hell we have one one trophy in 10 years.

  2. While I agree with your overall message, I didn’t know that they started handing out trophies for Jan/Feb performances! If it’s like that, we had a 100% win ratio on the week we played Crystal Palace!

  3. Ozil is virtually identical to Silva in stats for last season, his first season in the prem and playing with less accomplished players. Yet he is considered a flop and Silva the best number 10 in the league.

    IF you compare creative midfield stats of Ozil and Hazard, you will be shocked to see how far behind Ozil Hazard is. Yet Ozil is a flop.

    He has been disappointing, however, please, as gooners, can’t we just support our own fucking team without drying about how x or y is better.

    Stats referenced to can be found in this linközil/126/64/123/0/p|premier_league/2013/2014/david_silva/126/64/308/0/p|premier_league/2013/2014/eden_hazard/126/64/454/0/p|premier_league/2013/2014/philippe_coutinho/126/64/2673/0/p#successful_passes/assists/key_passes/goals_scored/total_passes/possession_score#avg


  4. Can I politely ask you why my post is in moderation??is it because I dare to have a different opinion to you tony?what I am sing is that you only want people to post on here who are in total agreement with you and think your posts are brilliant.

  5. Saint maybe because you have used a different mail address in the past?

    Other stats also show that Arsenal almost had 4 times as many injured players as Chelsea. That might have attributed a bit to the bad start don’t you think so.

    Oh and now the Charity Shield, Community Shield whatever is also off the trophy list 😉 We got to inform the clubs about that. So that they can take if off their pages as trophies

  6. Sammy,

    If we were to go by each week we’d hand the club too many trophies already. What would the press have to bash Arsenal with then? 😀

  7. Whilst Einstein might not have said it, Arsenal keep doing it (keep making the same mistakes). Monaco wasn’t a blip, it was an encapsulation of all the tactical failings of Arsene’s modern day Arsenal dressed up into 90 mins of tragic comedy. Is a blip a blip if it keeps blipping happening all the time?

    Here’s hoping they shorten the league to December, January & February, we’d at least be guaranteed a “trophy” then.

    The fact is that pundits have been scathing of Arsenal’s ability to either win the league or the CL for several years now and we keep proving them right, infuriatingly so.

    Jardim & Monaco proved that you don’t have to have a ton of money and the best players in the world (he didn’t even need the best players in his own team) to win a football match against (supposedly) superior opponents. You just need a good game plan and players that have the ability to execute it.

    I’m all for being behind the club and the team and I’d never boo my team but if you think things are all rosy in the Emirates garden, then you need to take off your rose/red tinted specs mate.

    The Monaco result is only one game but like many before it’s one very important game that we’ve fluffed our lines in, yet again, embarrassingly & not so unexpectedly so.

  8. Red,
    you did know that Monaco is the second highest spending team in France after PSG?

  9. Walter

    Moutinho aside & an aging Berbatov, there weren’t too many big hitters on the pitch for them and they’ve also sold James & loaned Falcao. They had 1/2 their 1st team in the sick bay and none of their 1st team defense (GK apart) on the pitch.

  10. Maybe Red, we should wake up and realise that the PL propaganda about the PL being the toughest and best league in the world is just that…propaganda.
    I wrote about it in the past and will do it again but the numbers of how PL teams are doing it in Europe are going from bad to worse. And this season seems to be no exception. But more about that in the article that is brewing on this.

    to give one thing away : based on half time results only 1 PL team in QF and only 1 PL team in 1/8 finals in the Europa League. Not so long ago English teams had 3 out of 4 semi finalists!

  11. You guys find it funny spuds gave the match away while Monaco were clinical? Hmmm deflected lucky shot merty giving second goal unlucky chamberlain falls over ball… Yes we didn’t give the game away…

  12. You can dress up stats anyway you like. Yes that percentage of wins is great but where are Chelsea? I think they were top of the table when I last looked and way ahead of us. Also their position in the CL is a little less precarious than ours.

    Yes they lost to Bradford but so did we a couple of years ago. In fact a fair number of EPL teams have. Must be that Saltaire beer they brew nearby.

    I don’t think any sane fan expects their team to win every game and I certainly don’t expect us to win the CL or league, not yet anyway. Wenger has made a commitment to winning the league in 2017 and I hope he can but it’ll be tough because I do wonder whether we have an owner who could care less where we finish as long as the profits aren’t affected and therefore may not release the funds needed to compete because the cold hard facts are that money buys you titles. Wenger may not need to spend 200 million to achieve his aim but I rather feel that spending 50 million in a transfer window won’t cut it either.

  13. well, just read this on twitter.

    @GNev2: “We’re way off in Europe. Thought we were improving but sadly not. Back to square one!”

    Pundits. His brother was the one who asked players to kick ARSENAL players. He himself did it back in his playing days. They are the ones who patronize thuggery in the name of physicality.

    Yes we were poor. BUT thats not the full story. One poor game doesnt make ARSENAL a shit team. Nor does it make Ozil shit. And Same goes for Giroud and Mertesacker.

    Get behind the team.
    GO Gunners. Lets fight hard.

  14. “The fact is that pundits have been scathing of Arsenal’s ability to either win the league or the CL for several years now and we keep proving them right, infuriatingly so.”

    Who cares?

    Seriously, why would anyone care what pundits have to say about Arsenal or any other teams ability to win anything? Since when did the pleasure of supporting Arsenal come from hearing the pundits say “Arsenal will win the league/CL”

    It’s so sad that for some people, “supporting” a football team is about how much pride and bragging rights they can take in the achievements of others.

  15. ”and not so unexpectedly so.”

    How many ways do people want it? Graham Souness, a pundit, a man of the scathing kind, before the game, on the Sky panel, was of the opinion that Arsenal could win the tie at the Emirates.

    How could Souness get it so wrong? Why was Monaco seen as a ”weak team” a team that could be beaten? From this viewpoint Arsenal colllapsed.

    Kick that viewpoint out, accept that European football is of a far higher quality than just Bayern or Barcelona, then Arsenal were beaten on the night by a team who showed how and why they got into the Champions League, and how and why they got through the Group stage.

    Arsenal, in comparison, did not do themselves justice. There is still another 90 minutes of play before this tie is concluded and the record is made of the overall score from the two games. 180 minutes of football. That is a very long haul.

    Why do Arsenal generate such hysteria? What is it about the production of the EPL brand that compels people to believe it as a definition of football?

    Chelsea 2 Bradford 4. That’s where football starts and ends. The reality of the unexpected. Throw out all the assumptions, start anew except, when Sky recoup the billions spent on football, the football fan is bought and sold with the package.

  16. Saint, I have had to get used to the fact that although in most of my work as a writer people understand what I am saying but here, it doesn’t seem to work.

    I am not saying what you have said at all. Rather, if people disagree with what we are saying on this site then it is only polite and reasonable to give some evidence or logic.

    Just coming here and saying that we are wrong is boring, it doesn’t get the argument any further forwards.

    And it is rather silly, because repeatedly over the 5000+ articles we have given analysis, logic and reasoned argument.

    I’d like to get rid of the boring statements which are boring because we have heard them so many times before and they take us no further forwards.

  17. Hi, first time poster here. I have been browsing the last few articles on the page and I can see a general pattern emerging… Quite similar to what happens at the Emirates.

    First of all I read somewhere that our form has been great and I think the author published some stats… Which is fine and perfectly valid. However what you chose to ignore was that those results came against teams like leister, palace who by the way should have drawn the game.

    I think the issue is we have been playing without any conviction in the past year. Can you please remind me when we have not bottled it in a big game? City was one but didn’t Hull get a draw up there? Middlesborough won up there. I think for a team to play like they did against Monaco is just beyond words.

    That’s not to say sack the manager and overhaul the squad. Some kind of tweaking is needed, don’t ask me what as I’m not paid 7million a year to decide that.

  18. Off topic:

    Being a great fan of Gunnersaurus (and of Tony of course) the new photo at the top of Untold brings a smile to my face every time I log in here.

    I just hope Walter isn’t offended by being sidelined by Gunnersaurus!

  19. Pat,
    the same here.
    It also makes me smile as it was a picture taken on a great day for me.

    Given the title of this article it seems even more on topic in fact 😉

    And well you have to accept to sit on the bench every now and then…. after all we are a top club 😉 But I’m working hard behind the scenes to regain my place on the field 🙂

  20. Tony I have
    used stats and evidence to back up my point.what part of being 12 points off Chelsea ,being out of the title race in November, being out worst start in 30 years and winning one fa cup in 10 years is not true??

  21. I suggest that you stop all comments. I know including comments increases your site traffic but it leaves you open to trolls of the aaa variety.

    Alternatively you could have a requirement that only people who pay a subscription can comment. That would weed out the trolls and leave only the sensible people. It would also provide you with some small reimbursement for the excellent research you undertake.

    I don’t read the comments because you are bound to come across some troll.

  22. Arsenal players are mentally weak. I don’t think we got outplayed or out managed by Monaco but they did score a lucky goal , which put us under additional pressure we just couldn’t handle.

    Even Walter and others have admitted our mental toughness frailty ( unwillingly)on many occasions before.
    The home game against Anderlecht the prime example. Leading by 3:0 , we conceded a goal from an off-side position and after that we fell apart.
    Apparently that’s what you do when a linesman makes a bad decision against you, you fall apart.

    Arsene Wenger keeps trying to instill some measure of mental toughness in our squad by saying repeatedly “we showed mental toughness ” more than any other manager of any other top team, but it’s yet to work.

    I don’t know the reason for our weakness. Maybe it’s the type of players we buy, or the accumulation of the big defeats that have taken a toll ,or perhaps it’s Arsene Wenger’s nurturing style of player management.

    Whatever the reason we keep underperforming in big games more often than not.
    For me it’s all about expectations. Lower them a bit and you won’t get disapointed.

    Maybe winning the CL is beyond our capabilities and the round of sixteens or quarters is the best we can do.

    We couldn’t win it when we had arguable the best squad in Europe, why should we be able to now?

    Also, I get very nervous when I hear our players say ” we want to win it for the manager”, every time they say it we get spanked. Chelsea 6:0 ?

    We can talk about this being an one of, or a bad day at the office , but this is who we are at the moment. A collection of some very talented players , who on a good day can play some exquisite football, but when up against it find it difficult more often than not.

  23. I really do not understand how else the supporters are able to show their displeasure at the performance of the team.

    Most supporters would never dream of booing if the team was giving their all and were outplayed, but would boo in a second if the team were playing like a school or youth team, not focused, not sharp, not committed and that is what happened on Wed.

    We were not outplayed by a better team, we were the bad team on the night, everything was forgotten what we learned/trained, and as no goal came, we got worse.

    None of our players would condemn the boos on Wed, none, they all know it is what they deserved and will not feel upset at the fans, but at themselves, which is what the boos should effect.

  24. I deliberately stayed away from football news yesterday not just for the pain of Arsenal loosing but for the not annoying negative comments I will see whichever page I turn to. Even till now, I still feel pain but my support for Arsenal does not weaver.

    That said @ saint, Tony has allowed comments in my opinion from fans/followers who support whatever comments they make with some sense of reasoning. If I say Giroud is shit and not fit to wear an Arsenal shirt simply because of his performance on wednesday, that is wrong because his starts show otherwise. Falcao is a £40m – £50m player by the level of his past performances and not what he has achieved in Man U shirt. So also if my son scores a low mark in history exams in which he has always performed above average, I can never make him perform better by calling him names and raining insults on him. I would rather seek to know why and see where I can help. So also that Arsenal were “terrible” against Monaco is not a reason to go on a blog to rain insults on the players and manager and demand their removal. Some blogs may allow it but its foolish, childish and counter-productive.

    Like Tony said, teams have had bad days. That doesn’t make them bad. Remember Atletico 4 – 0 Real Madrid, Bayern 0 – 4 Real Madrid, Germany 7 – 1 Brazil, Bayern 7 – 0 Barcelona (agg). Bayern 0 – 2 Man City, Almighty Chelsea 2 – 4 Tiny League 1 Bradford City (Eden Hazard’s salary can pay for the whole team’s salary including back room staff). These are terrible results for good teams.

    Like a saying goes ‘SHIT HAPPENS GET OVER IT’.

  25. Tony.. Bravo for ur endlessly positive and crisp and calm analysis of all things arsenal whether in sunny or “rainy” weather

    I think Foreverheady was playing along to the “typo” in your article re: abdominal (which you may’ve intended to be abominable when you referred to how dismal the AAA campaign against Wenger has proved to be) , maybe, what do you say?

    Hence he may’ve been lightening the mood a bit with his AAA jibe about not having the stomach in playing along with the “typo”

    Anyway, I always come to this site to seek saner heads, wenger-esque in their sanity and coolness of perspective.. Thank you Walter, Tony.,et al

  26. Even though “trolls” are annoying, we are all trolls to someone else(along the lines of; there is always some one stronger than you.).

    Just think, without the “trolls” the page would become a sort of “elitist”, damning all else, and quickly boring and one sided(becoming stagnant) too.

    After all, they/we provide a nice guide to keep ourselves on a balanced path and not to fall into the trap of sliding to one (trollism) or the other (elitism) extreme.

    I think we can safely say that such things as KKK, NAZI, Racism et al, actually, i would go so far as to say most the problems of the world, all developed from the results of an extremist viewpoint.

    Positive(+) and Negative(-) charges (interchangeable depending on perspective) interact with each other and cause Untold to be what it is.

  27. Saint you have had 11 posts published on this site. I am going to reprint them all in a separate article and then would invite you to tell me where the statistics and evidence is among them.

  28. we did create a number of “gilt edged chances” according to the guardian.

    for other teams apart from arsenal this would be a sign of things to come according to the pundits.
    they seem to use a different yardstick for arsenal than other teams which is rather frustrating and does lead to me swearing at the telly on a fairly regular basis a rather foolish thing to do if you think about it

  29. p.s i’ll leave you to decide what is silly listening to the pundits or swearing at the telly.

  30. as far as i’m concern i have been and i’ll be there to support my belove arsenal trough bad times as well as good…the bad and destructive intention might travel beyond boundaries in a clipse, but the good things will always last long, does arsenal, patient is the key to success so does arsen and the hierarchy got in abundance…time will tell.

  31. I am in despair.

    I’ve just read an article, the conclusions of which are so painfully obvious I cannot believe that anyone would then be absurd enough to come on and give an opinion which has no basis in evidence. So I look at the comments section and lo and behold………

    And then you read an attempt at “evidence” (attempt being the optimum word) of, “The fact is that pundits have been scathing of Arsenal’s ability to either win the league or the CL for several years now”……………….FFS “the pundits”……THE F’IN PUNDITS!!! WTF….if people are going to start citing the bloody pundits as the arbiters of common sense we might as well all pack up and go home.

    And then we get people with very short memories who say things like, “I think the issue is we have been playing without any conviction in the past year. Can you please remind me when we have not bottled it in a big game?” Well I’m getting on in years so my mind’s not as good as it used to be but I distinctly remember being 2-0 down in the final of the “biggest cup competition in the world” and winning 3-2. And if I’m not mistaken the 17th May 2014 is less than a year ago. (But then why let the facts stand in the way of an unsubstantiated opinion.)

    Of course Monaco was a disaster. It was horrible. And yes we have had some bad results against big teams but get real people. We are not a crap side. We are the fourth richest side in England and have never finished worse than fourth under Wenger despite that bastard Riley and his cheating chums. That’s considerably better than the three much, much richer clubs; in fact it’s much better than any other club in England.

    Stop bloody moaning and start bloddy supporting. Anybody who’s old enough to remember the terraces in the 1960’s after the Spuds had achieved the first post-war league and cup double knows what disappointment is really about.

    Just for the record Tony. The media are already ‘grown up’ people. They do it on purpose in order to destabilise the club. It’s the idiots that go along with their bullshit propoganda that need to grow up.

  32. Tony , not only should posters pay a subscription as was suggested above ( Kids are broke most of the time anyway ! ), but they will have to undergo the following-

    a) a vigorous and through vetting process which include sanity and an IQ test ( I can imagine all the AKBs falling over at this requirement !);

    b) certification of mental status by a panel of UA doctors ( I’ll be shortly sending my CV to be the head of said new dept. )

    c)verification of the applicant’s background , his IP addresses , malware virus and other checks ( Can’t have the PGMOB . UEFA , FIFA and the journos gaining entry );

    d) proof of faith in the Arsenal and in AW ;

    e)a sense of humour , with a dash of panache and class.
    (That ought to narrow the field somewhat !)

    f) Or else the ‘password option’ patience test !Check this one out from -

    Today I opened a new email account, I always use the same password: “cabbage”. It’s easy to remember. But it seems the computer had other plans…

    Please enter your new password:


    Sorry, the password must be more than 8 characters.

    “boiled cabbage”

    Sorry, the password must contain 1 numerical character.

    “1 boiled cabbage”

    Sorry, the password cannot have blank spaces.


    Sorry, the password must contain at least one upper case character.


    Sorry, the password cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively.


    Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation.


    Sorry, that password is already in use !!!!

  33. Ok tony glad you have got the time for another post.Mind you it beats the 10 a month you do about accusing referees of cheating.How are you getting on with all this evidence you have got about referees blatantly cheating against arsenal and who is behind it all?

  34. Just a point about Mesut Ozil! Gary Neville said that something was wrong with his game, he isn’t the player he was at Real Madrid. (or words to that effect).

    That is just utter bollix. I watch a LOT of La ligua and I saw a lot of Ozil when he was at Real. he’s a player I’ve liked since he was in the Bundeslegia. And I still like him. But his game has always been valued on how others around him play. He’s anticipating someone to nip behind here, or make a run there, and if they don’t do those things, it’s Ozil who looks bad. There is nothing wrong with his current form; he’s had 2 or 3 MOM performances in the past month or so. However, he was like that at Real, players failed to pick up his signals, failed to get on the end of some exquisite passes, and in the end, it all falls down. It still does. He is STILL the best playmaker we’ve ever had IMHO. He WAS worth £42 million.

    He will sill deliver more times than not.

  35. Saint – you are so damned brilliant. How many of anything have you won?

    When you move from the first finger come back & post your response.

    Which clubs are so good that they have won 4 FA cups?
    Which club has won 2 champions league?

    Now why dont you go & support them instead of Wengers Arsenal?

  36. The most consistant team in the PL for January and Feb. And you can add that to being top of the table for at least half of last season.

  37. There’s no point calling for the manager’s head; I have resigned myself to the fact that he won’t go of his own accord. And the board won’t sack him, not with two years of £8m a year salary to go. I no longer have any expectations when I go to watch Arsenal: I used to care, I used to get very passionate about it, but from my privileged vantage point in the upper tier just above the manager on the bench, I could see the see the complete lack of organisation at the back all too plainly. And I have done for several seasons. Leopards can’t change their spots and Arsene Wenger is not going to change his ways; as I have noted before, this Arsenal team has thrown away a 4-2 lead against Spurs as we headed into injury time, so why we should expect defensive discipline for 90 minutes I don’t know. As one of my on-train “correspondents” put it, “we can’t see the pattern of play from where we are… we are too low down.” And so is the manager. Maybe he should sit up top on occasion and watch how different the game looks from there; but, what do I know? I haven’t worked a day in football

  38. Well, well!

    Why is Giroud being made fun of?

    It seems that chances were made but not converted?

    Mistakes were made and were punished.

    IF, certain individuals read the general consensus of the match reports, a different viewpoint is valid, no!

    Sport and Exercise Psychology is an interesting book, but few will have read it?

    The purpose of the book is quite simple: to provide a working A–Z of the key concepts in sport and exercise psychology.

  39. I support the club Arsenal and that includes the manager and the players. We all have bad days in the office. SOme you win, some you lose. Excellent article Tony. The only place one comes to read sensible but yet critical stuff. Long may it continue.

  40. Brilliant,Tony. Pay no attention to these who must always find something to bash Arsenal with. You did a good job, as always. You called them by their name: children. Where were they when we were winning week after week? Will they reason why we were not in this form earlier? No, not likely. Has their most revered team Chelsea, actually gained more points over us after we hit this form? No. Has any ‘top’ team found it hard, struggled even impossible to beat ‘weaker teams’ in the EPL? Yes. Why must Arsenal be the only team that must always be slated for narrow wins- 2-1, 1-0? When ManU or Chelsea do it, they are heroic. When we do it we ‘struggled past’ or were ‘merely lucky to escape’.

    This has always been the trend of thinking some. We know them. We will be surprised if they changed. So, dear Tony, why bother with them. They will always be like that.

    @Brickfields Gunners, you my friend are one of the wittiest posters (humans) on earth! You had me in stitches with your post! Well done!

  41. Thanks guys , here’s another one to tickle you !

    One day Mrs. Jones went to have a talk with the minister at the local church. “Reverend,” she said, “I have a problem, my husband keeps falling asleep during your sermons. It’s very embarrassing. What should I do?”

    “I have an idea,” said the minister. “Take this hatpin with you. I will be able to tell when Mr. Jones is sleeping, and I will motion to you at specific times. When I motion, you give him a good poke in the leg.”

    In church the following Sunday, Mr. Jones dozed off. Noticing this, the preacher put his plan to work. “And who made the ultimate sacrifice for you?” he said, nodding to Mrs. Jones.

    “Jesus!”, Jones cried as his wife jabbed him the leg with the hatpin.

    “Yes, you are right, Mr. Jones,” said the minister. Soon, Mr. Jones nodded off again. Again, the minister noticed. “Who is your redeemer?” he asked the congregation, motioning towards Mrs. Jones.

    “God!” Mr. Jones cried out as he was stuck again with the hatpin.

    “Right again,” said the minister, smiling. Before long, Mr. Jones again winked off. However, this time the minister did not notice. As he picked up the tempo of his sermon, he made a few motions that Mrs. Jones mistook as signals to bayonet her husband with the hatpin again.

    The minister asked, “And what did Eve say to Adam after she bore him his 99th

    Mrs. Jones poked her husband, who yelled, “You stick that goddamned thing in me one more time and I’ll break it in half and shove it up your ass!”

    “Amen,” replied the congregation.

  42. @Brickfieldsgunner,
    I read your 2.55 of yesterday with great amusement, not noticing the author. I then figured that there was only one contributor who could conjure up such a masterpiece of fun and frustration combined.
    I checked and sure enough I was right. 😉 Keep’em coming, it’ll shorten the winter BG.

  43. @goonermikey if you are referring to my post you missed the point it was tongue in cheek and poking fun at the pundits “ffs” yes I can swear to

  44. Leave the children alone, after all we were also children, or is it too long ago for us to remember that? 🙂

  45. Dear God !

    When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, “Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don’t believe?”

    — Quentin Crisp

  46. There are pundits out there that happen to be ex-managers & players and some who have a clue about what they are talking about.

    It’s been plainly obvious to any but the blind that Arsenal have issues get caught on the break when over committing going forward. Why do we keep getting caught out like this?

    The PL isn’t over rated but the style of play which is akin to basket ball on grass doesn’t develop teams suited to playing in a more tactical and cagey manner in Europe-that’s my take on it. Managers manage to win in the PL and it might be that it’s difficult to suddenly switch between the two styles – Sir Alex Funguson used to employ a 4-5-1 or some derivative in Europe and a more traditional 4-4-2 in the PL.

    Anyway, the Monaco game may have been an anomaly but it sure highlighted the long-standing issues with Arsene’s Arsenal. i.e they’re naive and don’t seem to have the nous to manage a game or two legged tie properly, certainly against the better teams.

  47. Tony – After the disappointment of the Monaco debacle I pulled myself from despair by re-reading Nick Hornby’s “Fever Pitch”. This should be required reading for everyone professing to be a fan of this great club, Arsenal. You’ll laugh & cry with Hornby’s tale of a lifelong obsession with the Gunners. I know you and Walter are familiar with the book, but perhaps some of the younger fans aren’t. It’s guaranteed. The agony and ecstasy of being a Gooner.

  48. @ goonersince72 – February 28, 2015 at 3:23 pm – Whenever I’m down about the Arsenal , I watch the movie ( yet to read the book.) that I’ve saved on my computer. As well as watching it whenever the internet is down .
    Picks me up no end – better than any porn !

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