The Legacy

By Joe Doe

“What Alex Ferguson did to David Moyes and – subsequently – to Louis Van Gaal? Well, it wasn’t very original thing to do. It was the same pattern that had been established by Jose Mourinho. If Ferguson had implemented values (or, more precisely, lack of any) to Premiership that have been burdening the English football for twenty years, it’s Jose Mourinho who has been watering them ever since his first period at Chelsea.

In a way, it’s no surprise that Ferguson returned the compliment by copying Mourinho’s policy at Inter. At Inter, Mourinho had inherited a very strong team yet experienced team from Robeto Mancini. It’s no wonder why – Inter had been the biggest spenders in Italy even before Calciopoli and the fact they’d been the only Italian giants that managed to completely escape from consequences of Calciopoli so they had actually benefitted from it as Juventus’ relegation enabled them to get Vieira and Ibrahimović. Mourinho won two Italian championships and in his second season he managed to get Samuel Eto’o for Zlatan Ibrahimović which would have been a great business even if Barcelona hadn’t added a lot of money as well to get the Swedish striker.

Real Mad have been known for their idiotic transfer policy for decades so it’s no surprise that Mourinho took Sneijder from them in the same summer transfer window when Bayern had signed Arjen Robben. Inter and Bayern reached the Champions’ League final and two Dutch players played the most important role while Real Mad were knocked out in the First Knockout Stage with knowledge they would have to spent a few hundred millions more to get La Decima. Mourinho won the Champions’ League with Inter and immediately signed for Real Mad. After all, who is better in spending money than the person who had won the Premier League by spending hundreds of millions?

Meanwhile, Inter – with most of their players spent in every possible way and the average age of the team well above thirty – had to settle with Rafa Benitez. Benitez didn’t know what to do with the team left by Mourinho and he got fired very soon. The thing is, Inter haven’t been able to recover ever since Mourinho’s departure. Managers come and go, they have even changed their major owner but they couldn’t have done much better than qualifying for Europa League.

Mourinho is usually hailed by the Inter fans and they even beg him to return – in a similar fashion like the Manchester United fans call for Ferguson’s return from the retirement. And, it was Alex Ferguson who had left David Moyes over-aged and worn-out team. Now, if we can say: „Oh, Moyes failed because he is a limited manager that has been used to a mentality in which sixth or seventh place are a success“, it’s hardly a case with Louis Van Gaal. Van Gaal managed to win the Champions’ League with Ajax and two poor penalties were the reason why he hadn’t retained the title. He set the ground for the dominant Bayern München side by signing Robben and Ribery with the introduction of Thomas Müller. So, he’s not the worst manager in the world.

One have to wonder: how deep the mud in which Alex Ferguson had left Manchester United must be? Now, compare it with Arsenal. Say The Board – for one reason or another – decides to sack Arsene Wenger or if Wenger himself decides to quit (which, given that he’s a man of principles who – unlike some people – respects contracts, is very unlikely).

Whoever succeeds him would inherit a squad that consists:

1) three goalkeepers – two of them being international ones – with a fine average age and all of them having some Premiership and Champions’ League experience,

2) three right full-backs out of which only one is going to be thirty this season while two of them are long-term prospects,

3) two international left full-backs with a fine average age and variety of options,

4) two experienced international central defenders and two for both present and future, 5) a 24-year-old defensive midfielder who has been around since 2011 but has flourished in the last three months,

6) two central midfielders – one at the age of 23 and the other at the age of 25 – with a lot of energy, drive and creativity,

7) a central midfielder who tackles, creates goals and scores them while looking even better player at the age of 30 than he was when he joined us,

8) the best No. 10 in the world at the age of 26 who has already won Primera, World Cup and FA Cup,

9) one of the best all-round attackers in the world capable of producing goals on his own, three English speed-demons and an excellent hold-up striker,

10) not to mention exciting youngsters who wait for their chance to shine like and a few experienced players at the age of 30+ who can help the younger forces.

Now, that’s a real legacy, isn’t it?”



Arsenal and Wenger secure the all-time semi-finals records

45 Replies to “The Legacy”

  1. Thanks Joe.

    I am very happy with the current squad. I keep repeating it – the ONLY significant problem we currently face as a club is injuries. It is notable that since our level of injuries went from horrendous to just about manageable (but still worse than average) we have had the best form in the League. And we are usually not that clever during the winter months.

    The younger players still have a lot of scope for improvement as well – and I would suggest that we spend our transfer budget on one £40mm player or just save it for a rainy day.

    Still searching for odds for next season’s League Championship.

    Slightly off topic, but I recall rumours that there is scope to expand the stadium. Is this right? Can’t have the Totts having a higher capacity per recent thread…

  2. If we’re that great with all these internationals, how come we are nowhere near winning the Premier League or the Champions League?

    We have injuries all the time, tactics of leaving the defence and keeper exposed happens too often, Mertesacker is too slow, has made many mistakes and is on the wane, Szczesny has been poor and is nowhere near a top class keeper like Courtois, De Gea or Hart, Gibbs is inconsistent and gets caught out of position too often, Flamini is past it, Diaby is still picking up 60,000 a week for what? Ozil is too inconsistent to be regarded as the best No.10 in the world, he’s nowhere near Bergkamp’s level! We still need a 20/25 goal a season striker like Suarez and we’ve won an FA Cup in nine years by narrowly beating Wigan on penalties and the mighty Hull City in extra time after we could have been 3-0 down in 15 minutes. Yes we beat Manure the other night, but they are a sorry side these days.

    I admire your optimism, but let’s not get too carried away or forget the negatives and not everything should be viewed through rose tinted glasses. When we start challenging for the title and CL by beating the big teams like Chelsea, Bayern and Barca again then we can consider things are good again.

  3. Mr. Alvinio,

    Maybe you have been on a voyage to the moon so you could have missed the fact that for a big part of this season we had Giroud out with a broken leg, Özil was out with a knee ligament injury, Debuchy has been more out injured with torn ligaments after being kicked to shit against City and a serious shoulder injury. Maybe such things do have a bit to do with the slow start we had this season and add to that the fact that we had to fit in many new players in to the sqaud and as anyone with half a brain knows : this takes time.

    But since they returned we are on a rather nice run of results. I see you also forget to remember we won at City. But that will be a minor detail to you of course. As they probably also are a sorry side.

    I see we are off to the we need a new goalkeeper again time of the season.
    And I see that we are off to the Giroud is not good enough again time of the season.
    Just let me point at this little stat from this season:
    Giroud 16 starts and 13 goals so far this season.
    In fact only 12 starts in the PL and 10 goals. And then I didn’t even count the assists he usually gives.
    Not that bad isn’t it.

    You could have missed but Monreal is playing more matches lately and not doing too bad and apart from against Monaco I don’t think Gibbs is doing too bad. But that is just an opinion of course. As valid as yours.

    I also see you forget to mention that Wigan beat Manchester City before we narrowly beat them. And if we would have had any decent ref he might have given a few of the 4 blatant penalties against Hull and thus making us win in a rather comfortable way within 90 minutes and even after being 0-2 down within 10 minutes.

    You see being down 0-2 as a sign of weakness. I think it is a sign of greatness that a team can fight back from such a bad start and show character and determination to overcome a bad start and a biased ref.

    And as you might have missed it also but we do have been challenging for the title in those 9 years. But I think you will have looked the other side at that moment. Just a quick reminder: Arsenal was top of the league longer than any other team in the season 2013-2014.
    You could say that only when inconsistent (a change for lazy?) Özil was out for a while that we really dropped back.

    And we have beaten Bayern (defeated on away goal rules only) and Barca (defeated by Busacca when he send RVP off) and might have gone further in the CL. And for Chelsea… wait and see.

    Without believe (and you don’t seem to have much believe in our team) you are sure to end up with nothing.

  4. Good read Joe.

    The only thing I might disagree with you on is Ferguson’s lack of meaningful contributions to the PL.

    His teams’ “never die” attitude was something worth praising, no matter how much you might have hated his bullying style of management.

  5. G Alvinio – Ignoring all your other points, I acknowledge that De Gea and Courtois are top keepers but are you seriously suggesting Hart is a better keeper than Szcz or Ospina? Szcz is having a bad moment but I think he has the potential to be absolutely top class and Ospina is a very decent alternative.

    But, overall, I think your glass is very half empty! With fully fit squads I think Arsenal’s is the best in the country although accept that Real, Barca and Bayern are still out in front – but they have had exceptional financial resources for an extended period whereas we have not.

  6. @G Alvino
    No, you wouldn’t consider things good again even if we won the PL, you would just move the goalposts and say that we should win the PL every year and the CL every other year. If you don’t consider last season “challenging for the title” when we where leading the league for most of the season you will never be satisfied with anything other than winning every game and every tournament.

    As for the players you list; Szczesny won the golden glove last season, Flamini is at best 3rd choice in his position, the way Arsenal have treated Diaby makes me proud to be a gooner. Özil too inconsistant? Really? Just because his body language doesn’t show that he’s working hard he still is the one that runs the longest on our team. As for the 20/25 goal striker, I’d rather have 3 players that score 15 each than one that scores 30. Oh and Per might be a bit slow, but that’s why he’s paired with a fast central defender, speed isn’t everything.

  7. @Tom, I agree about your Fergie assessment though I think some Manu fans may feel aggrieved that he didn’t really rebuild an ageing Manu before he retired.

    We have a very good squad, probably the best in ten years, but we do have a few injury prone players. I find it strange that Diaby wasn’t released last summer and I think we should have bought a younger better version of a Flamini type player. With a couple of decent additions in the summer we could certainly be genuine title contenders.

  8. Great article Joe. Jose has an expensive, limited, but successful,shelf life, which as stated takes time to recover from.
    Fergie….saw an interview with him where he suggested that nobody would die over his approach to football, so just try everything you can to win games. Unfortunately, a certain approach he advocated against us, by lesser teams led not to deaths but snapped limbs. Still think Moyes is a good manager, as you say, left in the lurch by fergie.
    Yes, Wenger will certainly leave a legacy, he seems to be , ominously for his fans, mentioning it more and more these days. Still, we should have at least a couple more seasons of him after this one. But who comes after him will inherit something amazing, something even Wengers critics seem to agree on.
    As for the injuries, whatever you believe the cause of them, looks like some serious attempts at reducing them are being made, the club are advertising for specialists, and the medical and fitness facilities are having a major upgrade. Won’t stop our players getting kicked of course , but glad to see these developments.
    Pete, I believe the stadium can easily be expanded to house 75000, just needs council planning permission and police approval, London is a seething mass of new developments so could not see that being a major problem should the club be interested in expanding the stadium, which I am sure will be the case at some point.

  9. G Alvinio
    Your sat nav must be faulty. It has directed you to a PRO Arsenal/Wenger site. Reprogram it and hopefully it will direct you to Le Grove where you will feel more at home with plenty of like minded negative folk such as yourself.

  10. Pete , Walter

    I’m one of those who think Arsenal need a top keeper to compete for the PL.

    We are past the time when saying “he has a potential” , when talking about Arsenal keepers ,was acceptable.
    I don’t think it’s acceptable to other players in the squad.

    When none are available, then fine. There’s only so many top keepers to go around , and there are many rich clubs who can pay them or for them more than we can.

    Petr Cech should be available next season, and if the £10M fee that’s being thrown around is accurate , it would be a bargain.

    At 33 years old, he is two years younger than what Edwin Van Der Sar was, when Ferguson stole him from Fulham for what was said to had been around £3M fee.

    A great keeper is said to be worth an extra 5 to10 points per season according to many, and I happen to agree with that.
    I don’t believe our keepers give us that.

    If Arsene Wenger really believes that the ratio of input into a player’s final outcome is 99 :1 – meaning – the 99% has to come from the player , and the manager can only contribute the solitary 1%( something I disagree with btw), then Szczesny is not the answer.
    Ospina, I’m not so sure about either.

  11. Laughing Lizard

    I know , right?

    The greatest Manager in the history of Man U and the PL , had probably as big an influence in current Man U troubles as anyone.

    How ironic.

  12. Tom,
    I do think that Szczesny is a better keeper than Hart (opinion I know). Szczesny is 24 years (as is De Gea) and Hart is 27. Maybe when Szczesny is 27 he might have won as much titles as Hart did at 27?

    Don’t get me wrong Hart is a good decent keeper but not top quality for me. De Gea had his moments in the past also and only this season has become more reliable. He also has made some howlers in the past. Like any other keeper. Szczesny hasn’t made that many howlers that I can remember. He made mistakes sure. Just like any other keeper.

    Number of matches played so far: Hart 397, De Gea 277 and Szczesny only 206. As a former keeper myself I do believe that the more matches you (can) play the better you become. So juding on that Szczesny still has a big growing potential.
    If he can keep his head on his shoulders he can make the step from being good to being top. A step that De Gea has made this season I think. But only this season.

  13. This week is getting better and better and better….

    Gabriel is back. Gabriel is back!!!…. well, almost. Likely to available next week. Players getting back sooner than first thought!!..

  14. Wenger (if he went tomorrow) would also leave the next manager with more cash in the bank than the rest of the EPL put together and a net debt which is lower than most of them – but with the best stadium in the EPL to show for it.

  15. Walter
    I absolutely agree with you about Hart.
    For me , his case is very similar to Iker Casillas’ at Real Madrid.
    There are so many quality players around them , that in most instances neither one of them has to “save the day” for their teams.

    I also agree about De Gea having a break through season for Man U this term, although in comparison with Szczesny , he has never exhibited the propensity for erroneous play making Szczesny has, especially when comming out to make challenges.

    Ultimately it’s a judgment call the manager has to make, but for my money, I would jump at the opportunity to bring in Cech in an instant.

  16. Mandy Dodd

    “I believe the stadium can easily be expanded to house 75000, just needs council planning permission and police approval, London is a seething mass of new developments so could not see that being a major problem should the club be interested in expanding the stadium, which I am sure will be the case at some point.”

    As I understand it, the 75,000 capacity was not allowed due to the local infrastructure not being able to cope with the numbers.

    Any upgrades to the required capacity would of had to of been done, and paid for, by Arsenal FC, and I can only imagine this is still the case.

    As far as I can tell the local council has been very unhelpful at every turn. Last Summer they even refused us permission to host extra pop concerts despite no objections at all from the local community. In fact, in interviews I saw the local businesses where disappointed as it would of been worth money to them.

    So unless something drastic changes in the local councils attitude, or Arsenal find the funds required to upgrade the infrastructure, (which I should imagine would be 10’s if not 100’s of Millions), I cant see our capacity increasing any time soon.

    Actually it would be nice if someone who knows a lot more than my spattering of knowledge could enlighten us as to exactly where we do stand regarding our ability to increase the capacity. It would be nice to know if it is a possibility or not.

  17. Tom


    “I will never criticize Arsene Wenger no matter what” ,

    You quote me directly. Where did I say that?

    “Untold Arsenal founders and it’s contributors are not in any way biased towards Arsenal….”

    You quote me directly. Where did I say that?

    Complaining about referees indiscriminately makes you look silly

    Where did I do that?

    I’m still waiting for you to substantiate these lies.

  18. Mandy/jambug

    75000? Seriously?
    An extra 14000 seats. If standing were allowed we could easily manage it, but surely not all seater without making the current seats smaller.
    And as you say local infrastructure would not support this. anyway. As things stand Highbury & Arsenal stations are inadequate. Holloway & Drayton Park remain closed due to safety issues, but have the club reneged on the promise to refurbish both of these.? My understanding is that this was in the original planning application.
    I’ve not been for four seasons, so things may have changed, but getting away from the ground and onto the underground on match days was very difficult. I found it easiest to walk up to Caledonian Road station, but people without local knowledge wouldn’t know this as an option.

  19. TailGunner.

    “….but surely not all seater without making the current seats smaller.”

    That’s exactly it. That is why the seats are currently bigger than normal.

    As for the infrastructure. I don’t think Arsenal ‘reneged’ on any promises with regard to that, I just think it was an option that they couldn’t afford at the time.

    From all I’ve read we had enough trouble securing the amount of money we did, so I can only guess that the extra monies required for upgrading infrastructure would of been very hard to secure at the time.

    As I say, the local council seemed less than enthusiastic to extend us any financial help what so ever, but as I say it would be nice if someone with some real knowledge on this could enlighten us as to the original intentions and the current possibilities and time scales.

  20. G Alvino

    Normally I like to leave off having a go at someone when others have already go there first… but today I feel a bit stronger than normal about your take on things.

    Your whole, very familiar stance- from Bayern, Barca Chelsea being where we should be and the only thing that can be considered success, and the focusing on and criticism of 1 trophy in 9 years- only makes any kind of sense if you (a) don’t believe finances go a long way to determining what you can do as a football club, or (b) dispute we have been at a severe financial disadvantage to the clubs you consider our natural, equal rivals, or (c) …no, there isn’t even a c, not if you want to be credible.

    Not to at least separate those last nine years into two periods, with the second one having started in the Summer of 2013, is truly bizarre for me from any Arsenal fan. Once you do, and once you make a reasonable effort to understand the role of finances in football, and the truth of our financial story. both things the mainstream media here, and maybe elsewhere, make a deliberate and very determined effort to obscure and distort, in the last decade or so…there are no excuses left.

    At that point, you have either, in the case of Arsenal fans, decided to ignore reality or,sadly, are misinterpreting it badly; or, for non Arsenal fans, you refuse to admit that reality, publicly, and wilfully choose to lie about it.

    Nothing is quite like building and maintaining a football team, but a better-than-most comparison is with building a formula one car. One mega-rich team can beat another, but no teams with significant financial disadvantages ever win. Unless they come up with some extraordinary design feature (Wenger made an intelligent attempt at this with his youth project), which, the following season, all teams copy, and again a mega rich team succeeds.

    In football you would need to unearth 5 or 6 spectacular players at bargain prices, at the same time, and then hope to win something before the oil daddies devour you. klopp managed something like this, but it would be foolish to believe it gives him a better chance than others to repeat the trick, and equally so to criticise anyone else for not being able to do it

    There’s no resignation in this, no lack of ambition. That financial gap has closed. And Wenger is as good a manager as any you could have to beat teams who are richer, but not that much richer, than you are.

    Get your hands on The Invincibles book, it has it’s faults but is a good read and gives a very decent overview of what the clubs challenge has been this last decade and how we have actually performed.

  21. jambug

    After investigation I find that 7.6 million was set aside in the original planning application for the improvements to Drayton Park & Holloway, but TFL decided not to make the improvements, but instead made improvements to Finsbury Park & Highbury & Islington stations.
    So no reneging by Arsenal.
    Also apart from reducing the size of the seating, expansion could be achieved by filling in the dips at the corners, but this would restrict airflow & sunlight to the pitch and obvoiously we’d lose the beautiful contouring, or even raising the roof and building another level.
    So, it’s possible, but unlikely

  22. Wenger’s legacy was cemented long ago as was Alex Ferguson’s. Re the keepers, Ospina has shown better command of the area and better decision making of the two, but neither are world class. Cech would be a major upgrade but I can’t see Jose selling him to us; might put us over the line.

  23. TailGunner

    Thanks for that.

    I did think it required more than just reducing the seat size.

    I’m not saying it would be easy or cheap but I don’t agree it’s unlikely otherwise why build the stadium with the potential expansion built in if you don’t intend to take up the option one day, if not any time soon?

  24. I feel the need to weigh in on the keeper situation – I’m not going to pretend to be an expert but I firmly believe in building on the enormous potential that we have already in Ospina and Sczc full stop.

    Great article Joe.

  25. jambug

    Yeah. agreed. At the moment we fill the stadium most of the time, and another level of cheaper seats would be most welcome, so it could happen and he potential is there if required.

  26. Don’t know how this goalkeeper thing got wings, but I don’t think we necessarily need a world class keeper, but one who’s defence can rely on not to make stupid mistakes. Do we have that? Probably, but if Petr Cech was available to us at a fair price we should buy him. It’s a no brainer.

  27. The joke was that it was the most expensive Banksy when they put the mural at Arsenal station. As I understand it TFL took the money but used it cosmetically.

  28. Regarding our goalkeepers and Szczesny in particular can any of his detractors give me some examples of games where his unreliability has cost us points. Apart from the Southampton match I am having difficulty thinking of any but maybe my memory is letting me down. I admit he drops the occasional ‘bollock’ by rushing out when he maybe shouldn’t and his kicking could be better but he gets away with it mostly. All goalies have the occasional aberration. Look at Loris, he dashes out of his area in the most bizarre manner sometimes but is touted as one of the best in the world. Cech went through a decidedly dodgy spell a couple of seasons ago as did Hart earlier this season.
    So come on one of you Szczesny critics lets see some evidence which shows he has cost us points and justifies your mistrust of him.
    As far as Ospina is concerned we have not seen anywhere near enough of him yet to form a measured opinion.

  29. TailGunner

    I was thinking something similar.

    A good shot stopper and box commander are important, but I agree, not making big mistakes is THE most important aspect.

    The fact is there is not a peter Shmichael or a David Seamen out there at the moment. Cech may of been in that League but not now. Hart looked like he could of been, and is a top Keeper, but he has made way way too many BIG mistakes to be classed at that level. Yes De Gea is having a fantastic season and could prove to be in that Bracket but I’d like to see it continue for a bit longer yet.

    Up until now, as far as I’m concerned, Ospina has done nothing wrong. He commands the box but most importantly he doesn’t make rash decisions or big mistakes. The only thing I’ve yet to see him do is make saves that you could put in that ‘Worldy’ bracket, but saying that, he hasn’t let any in he shouldn’t have. Very solid with massive potential is how I’d describe him.

    As for Sczc, I do think he makes too many rash decisions. A very good keeper but unless he cuts that out of his game he will never be ‘World Class’ where as I think Ospina could yet be.

    I certainly would not swap Ospina for Cech, who may once of been an upgrade but not now, and the same goes for Hart. De Gea? too early to say but on form you cant deny he’s the best in the PL.

    Nope, all in all wouldn’t swap what we’ve got, at the moment anyway.

  30. Jambug

    Ok, if nothing else, you are persistent. I will give you that.
    If your are expecting me to go back months and months into the archives to find and quote your opinions , then forget it. It ain’t gonna happen.

    How do I remember you making those statements so vividly then?
    Well, because you made them in direct responses to my posts.

    The, “I will never criticize Arsene Wenger ” quote , was part of your opinion on the undeserved and over the top criticism he was getting from the media and the Americans Against Alcoholism types.

    In fact this was the reason you said you would never do it.

    1. The unfair and unbalanced critique of Mr Wenger from all quarters, and
    2.. It would encourage even more the Anti Aircraft Artillery types.

    The second thing , about the UA founders and its writers not being biased towards Arsenal, are you kidding?

    You even demanded that I should issue an apology to Tony and Walter for saying they might be Arsenal biased.
    Crazy, funny shit.

    The last thing- the complaining about referees . That was more to your sidekick Al, who always blames the referees for everything, but you have been guilty of it as well to a lesser degree.

    But here’s a the thing , I’m willing to retract all of it and in fact I’m doing so right now.

    To all, who might have read my boring gibberish suggesting that
    JAMBUG might’ve said all those things – He hasn’t

    Sincere apologies,

    Hovering , lying little toad ,Tom

    P.s. Dear Jambug .
    In future if there’s any further disagreement between us on any issue, can you please use a stronger language to describe me with?
    May I suggest the way of certain poster’s from Manhattan perhaps.

    ” Hovering , lying little toad ” sounds a bit tender and sexual for my taste, but if that’s how you feel about me , than go ahead. No problem 🙂

  31. I’d like to add few things about our goalies:

    Chez shared The Golden Glove last season with Cech. He claimed 17 clean sheets. Some of his saves were superb and of a huge importance. Take a look at that double save against Fulham – at 0:1 – last term, a save of Van Persie’s header at the Ems or extremely difficult Campbell’s header at Cardiff. Big saves, worth of points.

    He has moments when he is silly but it might be down to his age. He’s still 25 and goalies’ peak is around 30.

    Now, about De Gea and Hart… The first one literally lost the title for United in his debut season due to poor commanding of the penalty box. He has improved a lot since those days but he hadn’t gone through a fire like Chez had gone after that Martins’ goal.

    Hart has had his moments of blunders.

    Ospina looks like a lad who knows how to use what he has.

    And let’s not forget Martinez who had a Buffon-esque performance against Dortmund.

  32. Tom

    We all have differences in opinion, I understand that.

    I can contest, argue and rant with anyone, but I will not put words in peoples mouths and I do not expect people to do that to me.

    I have NEVER said ‘I will never criticise Wenger’. That is a lie. No more, no less.

    As for me saying “…….are not in any way biased towards Arsenal” I would not say that either. I never contest that the authors of this site, as well as myself and others are very very pro Wenger and Arsenal. I have on many occasions conceded that some may see it as bias, though I do not, and that is very different to what you directly quoted me as saying.

    Although I am very defensive of Tony and Walter (not that they need it)I have never demanded you apologise to them etc. What I have said, and will say again here, is that your total out of hand dismissal of all there hard work on Refereeing reviews is an insult to there honesty and integrity. You give absolutely no credibility to there findings what so ever.

    If I am wrong in that superstition you correct me here and now.

    And yes, I have told you that I think you are out of order. I’ve questioned why you post here when you hold the Authors in such low regard. But I have never asked you to apologise. That is another lie.

    And the third thing you now claim wasn’t even aimed at me. So why was it there?

    The fact it took you so long to respond suggests you knew you where on dodgy ground, i.e. nothing at all to back up your accusations.

    Your apology is not an apology, rather just a sarcastic jibe.

    I don’t need an apology.

    Your laughable attempt to justify your lies is enough.

  33. Dear Jambug

    This is really getting a bit boring.

    The reason I ignored your multiple attempts at getting me to reply, was because I said I would. Nothing more , nothing less.
    I suggest you re- read my second to last post to you.

    Would you be willing to wager a large enough amount of money to make it worth my time to go back and find those quotes, then I might be inclined to do so. Otherwise lets just drop it and not bore other contributors with this silly sideshow.

    Although making wagers with you is a dicey proposition to be sure. I remember last time I offered to pay $200 if you or Walter fulfilled just one requirement in the Gibbs/ Wenger penalty opinion.

    The only requirement was so simple and described clearly enough , yet you failed to meet it while at the same time still thinking you had won the wager.
    Bizarre behavior.

    In conclusion, I will ignore your posts in the future and I suggest you do the same. In the event that you don’t , you shouldn’t expect me to reply no matter how repetitious and desperate your attempts might be.

  34. Well Alvinio I think you need some education. Having married a pretty woman, it is easy to find her cooking wanting or her choice of colours for the living room. She is still pretty.

    Having supported Arsenal I’m sure you looking at every one elses best players leaves you disappointed with your choice. Will you leave your wife or grow to love everything she does because she does her best? Following Arsenal is a little bit like marriage. There is no divorce in this game but if you would like an extra marital affair, fill your boots.

    I am totally given unto Arsenal and more so because of Wenger. He has made this club so beautiful that there is nothing I want from any other team. I would like a level playing field with reasonable officiating. I would then know that Arsenal is truly worth every moment & penny I spend with them because the football is superb (not error free) the stadium is wonderful & the manager is dedicated to success.

    I do not expect miracles but I accept honest effort. So far Arsenal has been exceptional.

    I will still support the club in any way I can afford.

  35. An interesting article and a good summation of the team and its potential. I don’t think the team is yet the finished article, but it is a very very good team with fantastic development potential.

    Remembering that AW has built this team up with careful purchases or selections over the last few years and until the last two or so years this was achieved with zero or negative spending – in comparison the Manures and Chelski have had relatively unlimited spending to fall back on – for many seasons.

    One of the differences between AW and the likes of Red Nose and the Odious One is character – in the latter two ego has distorted perspective and the desire to win at all costs “right now” (along with relatively unlimited resources) has made the ego fueling “win now” imperative more important than building and developing a team for the future.

    Having said that Chelski are in a lot better shape than the Manures, but this is because they are well into their second phase of mega spending – probably in response to the recent arrival of oil money in the blue side of Manchester.

    Strangely, the cheating aspect of both the Manures and Chelski (while long established) has been exposed and highlighted this week – and both clubs self demonstrated what a pack of cheats they are – back to the ego fueling imperative – win at all costs & cheat as and when required – or as often as a benevolent ref will permit.

    I suspect that AW will tweak the squad slightly this summer and the result will be a very formidable squad and team next season (and I don’t believe it will take much more than a small tweak to achieve this.)

  36. Tom


    “Although making wagers with you is a dicey proposition to be sure. I remember last time I offered to pay $200 if you or Walter fulfilled just one requirement in the Gibbs/ Wenger penalty opinion.”

    What the fuck are you talking about?

    I’ve never wagered or been wagered a penny on here !!!!

    You really are a prat.

    Just go and find them.

  37. ESPN (the worldwide leader in being ESPN) has an article looking a the top of the table, and where teams might finish. It seems to be well written, and has some meat to it.

    It would seem to me from that work, that ManU and Tottenham have the largest probabilities of having problems in the last 10 games. Personally, I would rather see Southampton finish in 4th over their prediction of Liverpool. But it would seem possible the ManU could finish out of CL and Europa, which is okay with me.

  38. Tom
    I have always been, and always will be, critical of referees. As long as they don’t do a good job you can expect me to carry on being that way. But in the meantime just been man enough to hold your hand up when caught in a lie, don’t try to muddy the waters by making pathetic insincere apologies.

  39. Nothing in life is ever wrong .
    We learn from every step we take.
    Whatever you did today was a necessary step to get to tomorrow.
    So be proud of yourself.
    Maybe you are not as good as you want to be ,
    or great as you one day will be ; but thanks to all the lessons you’ve learned along the way ,
    you are so much better than you used to be .

  40. If all religions teach peace, why can’t all religions achieve peace?

  41. Excellent overview Joe Doe! My wife asked me why other teams can’t seem to copy the Arsenal approach and I pointed out that other teams have opted for a get success quick scheme rather than a gradual evolution towards success. Guys like Alvinio will NEVER get it because they are force-fed media morons and believe everything they read or hear as a rumour. Saying that Diaby is earning 60K a week is sheer ignorance and blissful stupidity, since nobody knows AFC’s salary or compensation arrangements!
    Alvinio is a one shit wonder who slithers onto this site, drops his fecal load and then scurries off to avoid being flamed and shamed by our UA regulars. LeGrove must have left their cage doors open again!

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