Why we need the young non-international playing players

By Tony Attwood

This year St Totters Day was the biggest I can ever remember, with even the national media jumping on the bandwagon.  Indeed if you want a flavour of what other Arsenal fans got up to on the great day this year take a look at St Tots Day from the Independent.

This means of course that other clubs will now try and jump on the idea creating their own versions.  The Newcastle/Sunderland one could be amusing, Chelsea/Fulham endlessly boring, Liverpool/Man U vicious but lopsided, Birmingham/Villa irrelevant.

Maybe we could have other days too, like St Bankrupts Day as rival clubs rush to outdo each other in over-expenditure, and St Fairplay’s Day as Chelsea take on all comers to see who can invent the most novel way to get around FFP regulations.

Meanwhile we’ll always remember the original was created by Arsenal fans, and it now has its own web page of history.   Other clubs will copy, but Arsenal fans will always lead.

However St Tots has now passed and we are back to the regularity of things like Carragher in the Sky

“What we’ve seen of Arsenal of late is that they are with the three best teams now, and then there’s a little level to Manchester United and Liverpool just behind.”

“Liverpool just behind”????   A little more than “just” methinks, but still he was gracious after that:

“I think they’ve [Arsenal] joined those top two sides [Man C, Chelsea] that we think every season are going to go for the title. They’re so close.”

Carragher, carrying on from our discussion yesterday argues that Mr Wenger, “doesn’t need numbers, you look at the squad and the bench, they’ve got it in terms of numbers, and quality throughout.”  Which is to say that Carragher can’t remember the start of the season when everyone was injured.

And he then adds, “The thing with Arsene Wenger is I feel he always wants value in the market, and he always wants to wait, he’s patient.

“Rather than what Mourinho did, he got Costa he got Fabregas. Maybe at other clubs managers feel that pressure a bit more, but Wenger has been at the club for that long he knows he’s safe in the job.”

Same old same old.   What would we have done with Cesc?  Got rid of Santi Caz?  Swapped a player who left us because of his mythical DNA and then jumped again when the same mythical DNA didn’t match, or go with Santi Caz who seems quite happy here, has been dedicated, honourable, hard working, and seemingly a man who knows when and where he is wanted?

I don’t have an argument with Cesc going, and indeed my column in Untold is just about the only place that regularly points out that after three years any player can go if he wants via the Court of Arbitration in Sport ruling.  But he’s shown he will move if the pressure is there, and Santi seems committed to us, so I think given the choice we should always go with the reliable and honourable.  That to me is part of the Arsenal Way.

Carragher continued…

“If he [Mr Wenger] can’t find a certain type of goalkeeper for a specific price, or maybe a centre back or central midfielder, I don’t think he’ll get them, whereas other clubs will say “you know what, I’m going to pay the extra, I’m going to get them no matter what.”

“He spends the money like its his own, that’s the way he runs the club, you can admire that in some sense.”

It is the same old same old.  But the fact is that players choose where they want to go for a variety of factors, some working in our favour some not.  Arsenal’s money was limited during the years of paying the bulk of the mortgage, and then when that time had gone we bought Ozil and Alexis.  How much more evidence do you want?

If more, take a look at the clubs who have bought and bought, and found they had bought dross.  Liverpool, Mr Carragher.

Moving on, Per Mert made an interesting comment after the Hull game saying, “Post World Cup was not good enough, we have to admit that. But how we finish season after season is fantastic. But we have to be sharp from the start of the season. That is what we lack.”

Which means, let’s keep bringing through players who are not going to be tangled up in world cup situations.  Indeed we’ve already heard all the stuff about how Alexis might not be available at the start of next season because of the Copa America.  Apparently a deal has been struck – Alexis can stay with us until the FA Cup final, but then Arsenal agree he will be used by Chile for as long as they need him in the South American regular knock about.

The very top players will always be on international duty, as long as we submit to the insanity of Fifa, and so we need players who are either from countries that never qualify or young players not yet being called up, to balance the squad.

While Per looked back Jack Wilshere, quoted in the Independent, looked forward saying  that finishing as runners-up to Chelsea “would set a marker for next season and would be a progression from last year.

But Mr Wenger added a word of caution:

“It’s great and he’s sharp,” he said. “Maybe he felt too sharp because he wanted to always make the difference, but it’s good. You could see that he has found his burst again. Let’s be patient with him.”

So everyone agrees we are on the up, and all the blogs of dubious heritage will argue that Arsenal need four top signings, exactly as the manager of Chelsea said.  And when all four new top signings trot off to internationals and get injured they will blame Mr Wenger, as always.

Thus, if we do buy four players this summer (and remember the market will be a little cleaner than usual as Barcelona can’t buy anyone) I think we should only have the one marquee signing as per last year and the year before.  Maybe then an up and coming player who could go even further, but who is not yet an international, and finally let us find more youngsters to fill the ranks of our youth department, and once more bring through two genius young players like Bellerin and Coquelin.

That would be my hope for the coming summer.


Editorial note: If you have an article you would like considered for publication please email it to Tony.Attwood@aisa.org

The books

28 Replies to “Why we need the young non-international playing players”

  1. Great analysis of things Tony, as for Carragher; when sky see fit to employ someone thick as two short planks, then no wonder we won’t take the seriously ever!!

    I think the man never thinks before he speaks and if he does think its even worse – what comes out!

  2. Carragher, like anyone else can only output(speak) a sum of their understanding of their experiences * the information they perceive(input).

    The fact that understanding, experiences, information and perception can ALL be manipulated by others does not leave us with much hope of ever being right outside of our own perception does it?

    Strange though that when some one is an idiot, it appears clear for all to see?

    Or is that just my perception? 🙂

  3. Of course we need non international players, we would probably get relegated in the WC year if we had all young and older internationals.

    AW is intent on having at least 6 players playing for England if not more, so we are going to have to have good non international players playing to counteract that.

    Life is never easy is it?

  4. Think I’m right in saying Wenger’s three title years were all odd numbers, i.e non-tournament years, in which team could have a good full pre-season.

    Last season we also appeared to benefit a lot from a good pre-season. Ramsay exemplified it : he was eye-catching from the first far-east game, and hit the ground sprinting when the season started for real. (Ox was the same- for 45 minutes)

    It really is good news for us that there’s no tournament this year. If we can avoid the C League play-off, things will look even more promising.

    Not sure any amount of planning can protect a big team much now in even, tournament years. If even one of Chelsea’s core had been left knackered or crocked it seems probable they wouldn’t have started the season as well.

    Spain went out early, ditto England, Serbia weren’t there, Terry had retired. That was the core. The Belgians, Brazilians and Schurrle went deeper in the tournament, but I’m not sure if they were to the fore, aside from the keeper, in the early
    months. Willian and even Hazard started fully firing later on.

    Saw a programme on Michael Laudrup a few weeks back in which he said people are always getting it wrong about why he left Barca for Madrid. He said he just wanted another title and figured Real would be in the best shape because they only had about 4 players going to that summer’s world cup (94) and would therefore be hungry and in good health.

    Irony is both Bellerin and Coquelin could be busy next summer if they maintain what they’re doing.

  5. Tony

    Nice article but I would like to make a couple of points.(now there’s a surprise 🙂 )

    Carragher says:

    –“The thing with Arsene Wenger is I feel he always wants value in the market, and he always wants to wait, he’s patient.

    –“If he [Mr Wenger] can’t find a certain type of goalkeeper for a specific price, or maybe a centre back or central midfielder, I don’t think he’ll get them, whereas other clubs will say “you know what, I’m going to pay the extra, I’m going to get them no matter what.”

    By Value I assume he means paying what the player is actually worth? That’s wrong ?????

    By ‘Other Clubs’ I can only assume he means Chelsea City and United?

    How stupid do you really have to be to not realise the difference between how those 3 can operate in the transfer market compared to us? Is he so detached from reality that he’s totally lost the concept of ‘balancing the books’ or ‘living within your means’, something all of us inhabiting the real World, have to do on a daily basis, including Arsenal and himself I would of thought ?

    Or, like Chelsea and City, has he got someone dumping a truck load of cash (he hasn’t earned) in his bank account any time he might need it?

    You said this Tony:

    -So everyone agrees we are on the up, and all the blogs of dubious heritage will argue that Arsenal need four top signings, exactly as the manager of Chelsea said.

    Not sure if I’m reading you correctly Tony, but as I recall Mourhino actually said, “If Arsenal get 4 top players they will be the invincibles again”. I cleaned from his tone that he actually thought this ‘need 4 players’ rubbish was just that, rubbish, and he thought we already where pretty bloody good. I could be misreading you, or Mourhino, but that’s what I thought he was saying.

    And when you consider our disastrous start left us 15 points adrift off Chelsea, after just 12 games, a deficit we would of more than halved, over the next 33 matches, if we overcome Swansea on Monday, that’s hardly surprising.

    Mourhino maybe an odious individual, but he’s not stupid.

    I have never said I wouldn’t like to see new player/players. It always helps to freshen the squad, but not just players for players sake. As you suggest, a Marquee player always helps and is good for both team and fan moral alike, plus some back up would be nice, but none are essential.

    What I have, and I believe many of us here have been saying, is that even without a single signing this current squad is perfectly capable of challenging for the title. I even think they are good enough to win it, but we will need better luck with injuries.

    This ‘need 4 players to be competitive’ is just utter bullshit.

  6. para,

    I am not so bothered by our players being English internationals. The Three Pussycats suck hairy balls so I am not worried at all. They’ll always be back in time for the new season.

  7. Mourhino is of course not a stupid man. In fact he may well be a nice man. Sometimes i think this is his “show” like a musician who has an alter ego on stage, i just do not know. Looks like the new rivalry is going to be AW and Mou who appear to be the two sides of a coin.

    Some say he’s arrogant others say he’s confident and that’s just it:
    One man’s arrogance is just another man’s confidence.

    But i tell you if i was asked to choose which dark side i would not want to meet, AW’s or Mou’s, i would not want to meet AW’s dark side.

    As we all know, nice people’s dark side is much darker than anyone’s. Just hope AW stays balanced.

  8. Can’t follow all this pontificating from Carragher, Tony and the rest of you keep quoting.
    Try as I might I simply cannot understand the broad scouser accent he has. Which probably makes me a lucky lad. 😉

  9. Bootoomee, but if we have 6 for England, 3 for DE, and others too our whole team is gone on WC duty, we will have slow starts to the season after WC.

  10. para,

    I don’t disagree with your general point, I just enjoy knocking the Three Pussycats due to my dislike of the loudmouth and nearly xenophobic English football media.

    They all suck 🙂

  11. I see JC talking from the two sides of his mouth like a typical sky man. He is no different from them all that analyze teams on per match basis. The truth of the matter is that he is trying to give AW credit for the good job he has done without coming out to say so and since his employers are already towing the route of Arsenal needing 4 players next season (to which to my dismay TH is part of), JC can’t come out categorically to say this Arsenal team is good enough to win the PL.

    Its unfortunate but true that 99% of players linked to us are not better than what we already have but the press need to sale their blog/papers so they continue. As much as 1 or 2 new blood is good to freshen up the team, I can’t see it happening unless some players are off the book cos it’s not in Arsenal’s DNA to buy players for buying sake

  12. Jambug

    I’m a bit surprised you haven’t taken issue with Alan Smith from the other night.

    Think we talked about him before at least once, and he is one of the most troubling of the whole gang for me.

    His attitude is unexplainable. The quiet easy-going air makes it more difficult to get a handle on him, but once you do it becomes obvious he does not have the team’s back at all. That’s be fine if it meant he was just an impartial professional, but in that quiet understated way of his he almost always backs the other team, often by omitting to say anything at all

    A couple of examples from Monday are provided by Elmohamady’s absurd dive and Dawson not getting booked for taking out Wilshere. How is it possible for anyone to see those things and have nothing to say, let alone have nothing strong to say? I feel very confident if Arsenal players were the offenders in either case, Smith would have something to say.

    The only thing from that game which puts a little doubt in my mind is that, if i remember right, he didn’t condemn Coquelin for what was a pretty clear stamp on his opponent’s leg. All the same, that’s not enough to convince me Smith’s way might just be not making a big deal of any foul play for either team. The picture drawn up over the long term is that he rarely fails to emphasise how lucky we are if we get away with anything remotely dodgy, while making this great effort to downplay or completely ignore things done against us.

    Monday made startlingly clear it does take something like effort, deliberate effort, to ignore the story of the game unfolding before them. The story of Monday’s game was that Hull’s principle idea was to foul often and hard and see where that could take them. The commentators completely ignored it. That’s the most suspicious thing of all for me : if you break the game into tiny parts, you can keep giving players the benefit of the doubt. If you look at it as a whole, patterns emerge; in this case how desperately Hull were looking to disrupt us with fouls.

    Our games so often follow those patterns, and they are discernible right from the off- Hull and Reading being just the latest examples. It’s unexplainable how the commentators manage to miss it. In fact, I don’t believe for a moment they’re capable of missing it. So why do they pretend to? Quite simply there can’t be a ‘good’ answer to that.

    You could make a mistake about that early incident where Coquelin got smashed in the face, but you can’t mistake it after a replay. And if you somehow managed to, how could all the rest of your colleagues, maybe a dozen in total, make the same mistake. Nope, it was sickening for me that one. The targeting of Coquelin’s face in the last two months is a genuine surprise to me. I underestimated how calculating and downright devious footballers and there managers can be. No commentator will ever mention it because, mysteriously, they are able, on demand, to lose the ability to recognise patterns.

    If every moment is new, and they’re good honest lads out there, of course Dawson wasn’t searching for Coquelin’s face with that elbow. Sorry, that didn’t even happen (‘Don’t show that f***ing replay again! Didn’t look good’)

    Just imagine the criticism we would have come in for if one of ours had done that Elmohamady dive! Smith would’ve lead the way, and probably connected it some wider pattern of us behaving like that.

  13. Have a look at the teams which have bought more than one/two players per season and you will find they have not played/done particularly well.

    To name but a few; utd,’pool and spurs.

    Thank god for Arsene and sensibility.

  14. Nonny

    “JC can’t come out categorically to say this Arsenal team is good enough to win the PL.”

    I have no issue if they say they don’t think we’ll win it.

    If Henry, etc. had said something along the lines of:

    ‘This Arsenal side are top quality, you only have to look at there resent results and how they’ve at least clawed back some of the deficit on Chelsea. They will definitely be competing up there next year. If you ask me can they win it? As the squad stands, and as good as it is they may be just short. If they buy 1 or 2 top quality players then yes’

    That I think is a reasonable assessment of Arsenal, given what we’ve seen this year and If Henry and co had been saying things like that I’d of had no problems.

    What I have an issue with is this we ‘need 4 players’ to even compete. That is, as I’ve said a few times, bullshit.

    Without a single signing, this squad, as it stands, looks 100% competitive.

    I concede winning it is a different matter. Even If we bought 4 players (marquee + 3 others) that is no guarantee of winning it. We are still up against 3 of the richest Clubs in the WORLD.

    Personally I think we CAN win it as we are but I at least understand why people may not think we are quite up to winning it, but that’s a lot different to the crap we’ve been hearing.

    And by the way Nonny, I think you are right, it sound like JC is back tracking a bit but just cant bring himself to say, probably because he doesn’t want to fly directly in the face of his paymasters.

    To a degree, a very slight degree, I can accept that from him, but from Henry?

  15. Rich

    You are 100% right, he is one of the worst, but no, I didn’t miss it. How could I with Mrs Jambug sat next to me. She hates him with a passion, and is firmly in your camp in thinking he is one of the worst, all be it in this rather subtler way.

    Brushing away the foul on Kos before there goal, and the hand ball stopping a certain goal, as mere irrelevances, particularly stood out for me, amongst the many incidents you highlighted.

    The problem is I’ve got my self rather sadly obsessed (I am self aware, and do realise when I’m being sadly obsessed. I think it’s colloquially know as having ‘A Bee In The Bonnet’ 🙂 ) with this ‘4 new players’ crap.

    It’s Henrys fault.

    As irksome as it is when the likes of Carragher say these things, at least I expect it.

    As infuriating as it is when the likes of Parlour says it, at least I’m not surprised.

    But when your Hero. A guy you’ve idolised and put on a pedestal. A guy you felt harboured such love for his ex club. A guy that still had immeasurable respect for his old boss.

    Turns out to be as disloyal and corruptible as everyone else, it hits you hard 😥

    But seriously Henry and the rest have really pissed me off. I’m sure I’ll be able to let it go by the weekend 😉

  16. I agree with nicky, Carragher cannot pronounce the names of some of our players and further his diction is not fluent nor does his reasoning follow a logical path.

    Sky have obviously dictated a storyline for their pundits to follow, but when the anti Arsenal line is very obviously out of synchronization with reality, as it is just now when Arsenal are probably the best team in the league (and have been so for the last few months), Carragher struggles to match reality with the Sky storyline while the smoother Neville sister copes much better.

    I don’t think the core of the team will change much if at all during the summer, basically AW has put together a very good squad, we may see some of the peripheral players moving on, possibly a quality player coming in if AW can find the right player and more likely a number of talented youngsters, to be groomed for future stardom.

    All the speculation in media and blogsphere about AW being about to sign every player in football is all bollocks! Not worth following!!

  17. Jambug,

    I still don’t get why you and many here are so surprised by Henry’s comments. I am not as I never for once thought that he would be in Arsenal’s corner in his new job. On the occasions like after our 4-1 demolition of Liverpool or 2-0 away victory to Man City, he would sing the team’s praises to the high heavens. He even nicknamed Coquelin “Columbo”, whatever that means. But like each and every one of the pundits, I expect him to be unreasonable and throw all caution and context/perspective to the wind when we fail to get results.

    I have asked a few times with no answer but I will ask again:

    If Henry truly believe that Arsenal need 4 new players to compete for the league, why didn’t he say this after our victory over Liverpool?

    How does getting 0-0 against a team that is sure bet to win the league and just coasting along by playing to avoid losses a terrible result that implies that our players are no longer good enough?

    I love Henry very much and I still do but as a pundit, I have always had an extraordinarily low expectation that it virtually impossible for him to disappoint me.

    As for Alan Smith, my understanding is that he is not and has never been an Arsenal fan. He is a mere former employee and that is exactly how I have always seen him since I learnt about his allegiance.

  18. Jambug

    Great post,that.

    Talking about obsessions, mine (one of) is with the dastardliness of Sky, or anything Murdoch is near, and I think that may be one of the factors in me not getting too pissed off about Henry.

    Basically, in my view of the world it was a done deal the moment he signed up with them. My thinking is that you simply can’t be one of the good guys while working there.

    It’s the same deal for me with trying to envisage a really great politician- someone who is completely honest, doesn’t b***shit, has excellent morals, and generally is a top notch human being, warm, strong, humorous, with integrity, willing to call things as they are, including all the doubt and uncertainty in the world : the environment makes it an impossibility.

    Similarly, I don’t see how a good guy can exist within Sky world. They could give it a go for a bit, and watch their colleagues react in horror and make clear to them how out of synch they are and how brutally out of place they will be made to feel if they persist, but I don’t see how they could keep it up for long. Imagine if one of us-ie someone who thought like most of the regulars here do- was on the show and was faithful to our beliefs- it’s hard to imagine getting through a 15-minute segment without punches being thrown. It would be war from both sides.

    It doesn’t exonerate Henry, but it takes away nearly all the shock and sting of him turning out to be just another one of them.

    I think the truth is probably that he isn’t and never was as close to our view of it ,and hopes of him, as we’d like (how could he go there in the first place if he was, unless he was all set for that war? For four years or whatever it is?!), but that he also greatly underestimated the restrictions that environment would place on him.

    My initial reaction after his first show was ‘no way. He will never be able to hack it there for four years. Impossible’ But it seems that might be wrong and I should have added ‘unless he acquiesces and embraces their culture and what you have to do to fit in’

    What it means for him in terms of being unreservedly welcomed and revered by all within the club, you can only guess, but he has made his choice. He made it, going there, and when the pressures ratcheted up to fall into line and choose the easy path, he made it again.

    The hero’s, if there are any, and you have to hope there are, probably don’t take the media route. I’ve big faith in Liam Brady, for instance, and just maybe Bould is another fine, loyal person.

  19. Bootoomee

    You are of course correct.

    Sadly it seems I put too much faith in him.

    I certainly wasn’t without doubt as to how he would turn out, but I still, foolishly as it turned out, allowed my self to believe.

    I did see this question posed by you the other day and thought at the time how pertinent it was.

    “If Henry truly believe that Arsenal need 4 new players to compete for the league, why didn’t he say this after our victory over Liverpool?”

    And posing it, with no chance of it ever being the recipient of the answer it so deserves, is just another reason why this sort of thing is always so frustrating.

    I’ll have to try your trick and lower my expectations to that of the bottom of a sewer, then perhaps these ex Goons will no longer let me down.

  20. Bootoomee.

    Good post. I knew Smith was definitely no current Arsenal/ Wenger fan, but wasn’t sure if that was purely a personal thing and his allegiances were to an older Arsenal.

    His not being a fan of any description fits his visible behaviour perfectly (with guys like Merson things are more complicated : there’s genuine desire there to see Arsenal succeed, I think, albeit mixed with dislike of the current regime, which clashes with his own happy memories and simplistic ideas about winning and life)

  21. Jambug,

    As a person that is 90% of an optimist, it pains me to send the vibe that pessimism pays. But not where the media and their pundits are concerned. These guys are, in my opinion, only interested in keeping Arsenal fans sad and disgruntled. I have chosen to be neither and therefore tune them out. I watch our games with no sound playing my favourite music. Even when they say nice things about us, it’s usually the “no shit Sherlock” or they are setting us up so they can mock us for the praises that they gave unsolicited later.

    I fucking hate the media.

  22. Rich

    He MUST of known this was how it was going to be.

    Surely he would of said, before putting pen to paper something like:

    ‘You do understand I will not be following your anti Arsenal agenda and will be saying what ever I want and supporting the Club I love at every opportunity rather than slagging them of as you currently do at every opportunity’

    Well maybe not that exactly, but at least had a chat along those lines. I would of hoped so, otherwise it means he went in with his eyes wide open, with the full intention of falling into line immediately.

    And if that is the case then he obviously doesn’t have the same love and respect for us that we have for him. Or in my case, did have for him.

  23. Jambug

    I concur with you. Arsenal 1st 11 is good enough to beat any team is the PL and we currently have a strong bench injury free. So strong that one of my favourite players Rosicky has hardly seen playing time. If he leaves, I’ll surely miss him. I think Arsenal has a stronger bench than any team in the PL including Chelsea and City.

    The problem we are having is that so many fans lack faith which is what AW has in his team. For me, its not how much a player is purchased that matters but the quality he brings to the team. Having watched Mangala series of times for City and how he is a disaster waiting to happen, I wonder if City really paid €40m for him.

    If you think of some of the player been linked to Arsenal, the press are actually having fun at the expense of desperate fans. How on earth do they think AW will ever consider buying players like Salomon Kalou, or Stephen El shaarawy. Our bench has way better players.

    The truth is that what happened to Spurs 2 seasons ago and Liverpool last season is enough to teach whoever wants to learn that you cannot a whole new group of players and expect them to gel at once. Maybe playing PS and FM had rid some people about the realities of the footballing world

  24. Jambug

    Just remembered something interesting from the day Henry said those things.

    Right at the start of the show, it was Henry, Souness and Carragher,I think, talking outside.

    Souness was off expounding about Arsene’s rigidity and all the normal stuff. City game predictably came up and was treated in the normal way- ‘Arsene finally, belatedly had a new idea! He did what we’ve always said he should, it worked…blah blah. He won’t change,though, not really’

    Henry stepped in- he looked animated, purposeful- and gave a clear example that this is not true- he talked about the Cl Campaign of 2006, how good the defensive record was, and specifically said Arsene had, at times, Madrid for instance, coached them about letting the opposition have more of the ball.

    Important stuff, exactly what you want from your high-paid commentators; not opinion, but direct fact about the way things are.

    Souness showed a great impatience to interrupt him; Henry tried a couple of times to hang in; Souness literally decided that talking over what doesn’t fit means it doesn’t exist; Henry, looking exasperated and beat, gave up; leaving Souness free to carry on saying things which directly contradict what a person who was actually there has to say.

    It was a near perfect demonstration of the way things work there. The Sky narrative rules, and facts which don’t fit don’t exist.

    Also noticeable was that in Henry’s first couple of shows Souness was more complimentary of Wenger than I’ve ever heard him, and actually seemed to be taking real care in what he was saying. It was as though Henry caused a momentary disruption when he joined- an Arsenal man, a pro-Wenger Arsenal man!- and it took them a few weeks to confirm to themselves that it’s ok, he’s not going to cause us any problems, we’re stronger if he even tries to, we can just carry on as normal.

    That remains my guess : Henry (1) didn’t feel they-Sky- were as bad a lot as we do, and (2) felt he would be able to correct them at times when they go too far or are simply wrong. He must now have learned he was wrong on at least one count.

    Bootoomee has it right, the sound really ought to be turned off. I can’t seem to do it,though.

  25. TH 14’s comments were a bit unfortunate but as they were made immediately after a rather bland performance against Chelsea I feel that they have to be viewed in that context.
    Bobby Robson’s interpreter devised a system to nullify The Arsenal some time ago and TH probably feels that to overcome it a different system should be employed and that three or four changes would need to be made to accomplish this.
    Smith left the club unceremoniously and probably feels that he never received the praise or loyalty he thought he merited. I always feel a degree of sour grapes in his comments. After all he scored our goal to lift our European trophy and got a golden boot in our shirt but is never seen as one of our great Players by media or fans alike.

  26. As far as TH 14 is concerned, he just gave credence to someone’s logic ( memory fails me who) that says “when you lie down with dogs , you get up with fleas”. O how hateful those sky guys are…

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