FA Cup reflections: how did the anti-Wengerian press cope with Wenger’s latest triumph

By Tony Attwood

When Arsenal win, the aaa shut up.  The press however try to take cover finding underlying problems, long term difficulties, and historical precedents for an imminent collapse.

They even did it after the Unbeaten Season, with snarling comments about how Arsenal were not really unbeaten because we hadn’t won the League Cup and the FA Cup, and how Arsenal would probably lose the first match next season, and how the rest of the competition was poor but would be refreshed next year.

Oh yes, and we had a dodgy goalkeeper.  Because Arsenal always has a dodgy goalkeeper.  (Go back far enough and even Bob Wilson was a dodgy keeper according to the press).

But credit where it is due.  Today the Telegraph runs with

Arsene Wenger’s place among the all-time greats is secure –

The Independent goes for

Arsène Wenger, History Man.

The Guardian gives up totally, does a nice review of the game, but fails to draw any long term conclusions.   The BBC however on their home page go with

Sherwood will be devastated

which is a bit unfair because when you get to it the main article is actually headlined 

Alan Shearer: Arsene Wenger gets it right for awesome Arsenal

That article starts, “Arsenal’s players put in an outstanding performance to win Saturday’s FA Cup final but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger deserves just as much credit.

Just about every tactical decision that Wenger made for the final came off, starting with him picking Theo Walcott up front instead of Olivier Giroud.

Of course when suddenly changing tack, just as Big Brother does in 1984, so the blame is put elsewhere.  It is not this writer, this media outlet that has changed its view, but someone else, who by chance, is not named.

In the past, Arsenal have not always performed under pressure and people have asked whether they can cope when they are expected to win.

Ah, it was the people.   But again, to be fair, there is a sub-heading which highlights the comment ‘Arsenal were awesome in attack and defence’

However this is Shearer, so he likes credit of his own.

After seeing Walcott score a hat-trick against West Brom on the final day of the season, I said on Match of the Day that I thought Wenger should – and would – stick with him. He did and it proved to be the right decision.

Well, I can go with that.  After all I have just spent the best part of a week saying that if Fifa had read my piece in Untold they would have known the FBI was going to coming knocking on the door this week.

Back with Shearer, he does note that the fact that Villa “did not even manage a shot that reached the Arsenal goal” was because Arsenal were brilliant even without the ball adding, “Villa were brilliant going forward in their semi-final win over Liverpool but Liverpool allowed them to play like that. Arsenal’s defensive discipline did not let it happen.”
He singles out Sanchez for the highest of praise, adding, “It seems he can do just about everything and he is one of the big reasons why Arsenal can look forward to next season with real optimism.”
The only thing he doesn’t mention is that apparently the great Magical Wenger signed Sanchez while he (Wenger) was wasting time playing foot volleyball on the beach.  Surely there must be more mileage in that libel.  But no, instead he puts the boot into the aaa which is nice to see, saying, Wenger’s legacy was confirmed, beyond rational debate, when Arsenal won the FA Cup for an unprecedented 12th time on a balmy evening which should have made even his most consistent critics cower in the shadow cast by his legend.

Wenger equalled the record of one of Aston Villa’s founding fathers, George Ramsay, by winning domestic football’s most fabled trophy for a sixth time. His team were an irresistible representation of a cherished philosophy.

In the Independent it is much of the same, and all the endless attacking of Wenger as a man who can’t pick goalkeepers or have a plan B, suddenly was turned upside down.

Arsene Wenger’s “big decisions” were were rewarded by Theo Walcott’s goal, Wojciech Szczesny’s assertive response to the threat of Christian Benteke, and Francis Coquelin’s confirmation that he is one of the season’s most improved players.

For good measure, Alexis Sanchez illuminated proceedings with a goal befitting a £35 million bargain. Olivier Giroud, omitted from the start, countered with his first goal for seven weeks, with what was almost the last kick of the most one sided of recent finals.

Tucked away in the Indy is also this little snippet about Villa’s illustrious past with their manager George Ramsay.   As a matter of course the Arsenal History Society blog ran details of his achievements a year back when we approached the last final, and did so again this year.  Maybe they didn’t notice.

For the Independent assures us that “Ramsay’s achievements, in winning the FA Cup with Villa six times between 1887 and 1920, have only just emerged from the mists of history,” and then lose all sense of reality by quoting the Wikipedia entry on Ramsay, word for word.   Watch out Indy writers!  Sometimes Wiki has it totally wrong, and this approach can get you stuffed and laughed at.  I know.  It has happened to me.

But the Indy does have some nice touches.  The goal by Sanchez “was so special his team-mates broke off from their celebratory huddle to glance up at a replay on the giant screen above the end which housed the Villa fans.”

And Mertesacker’s goal “temporarily turned Sherwood to stone”.

And then

For Wenger, another season ends with victory and vindication. Change is constant and occasionally self-perpetuating, but Wenger can allow himself the release of a job impeccably done.

This was a genuinely historic as well as deeply satisfying day for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. The club now stand apart from Manchester United with a record 12th FA Cup win. Half of those have been overseen by Wenger, whose personal place among the managerial greats is guaranteed.

As for the Telegraph…

Trophies in consecutive years is a powerful answer to those who so emphatically dismissed the feat of staying in the Champions League while building a new stadium. His authority and wider standing with the supporters is also on the up for the first time in perhaps a decade.

(Incidentally Mr Wenger has done an interview in which he says that his greatest achievement was keeping Arsenal in the Champions League while building the new stadium.  Quite a challenge to the aaa).

They also run the headline, “Arsenal need not fear a big offer for Jack Wilshere” which is nice to know, and point out, in case we didn’t know that “Raheem Sterling for Theo Walcott makes little sense.”  But I think we got there first.

And then in true journalistic style say, “Quite why Arsenal would want to solve Liverpool and Sterling’s mess is rather less clear.”  They don’t.  It was a newspaper invention.  Clever that.  Invent the story, and then say, “why would anyone believe it?”

Right, my friends are coming round in a mo and we are all going out for a celebratory meal.  Let’s sign off with one of the Guardian’s rankings out of ten.


AM Mesut Özil 8  One brilliantly subtle pass with the outside of his left foot captured the classiness of his play. Özil played like a world champion.


Wouldn’t you know it.  Now everyone is a supporter.  Except the aaa.  Who are probably hiding.


31 May 1893: Woolwich Arsenal elected to Division II of the Football League. As part of their attempts to fight those within the club who were opposed to the direction of Woolwich Arsenal, there had clearly been some undercover negotiations with the League, resulting in Arsenal being the first Football League club in the south.

On the Arsenal History Society blog today…

Winning the FA Cup two years running, and top scores in the finals.

81 Replies to “FA Cup reflections: how did the anti-Wengerian press cope with Wenger’s latest triumph”

  1. I think this weekend has confined the AAA to history, at least while Wenger is around. Yes we will not win and perform in every game, we may get the token AAA member on here after a poor result, but they will be looking increasingly desperate. Think some of the AAA will have been converted to the light side, others, the more extreme may have been converted to their spiritual home, Stamford Bridge, or at least I hope that is the case.. Not sure where Piers Morgan is today, not that I care.
    Arsene Knows…..once a matter for debate for some, now a universal constant.

  2. Ozil 8? Try 9.5/10 or 10/10

    I believe he was voted man of the match by the Arsenal fans and the way he knitted everything together yesterday was simply brilliant. It’s interesting to listen to he commentary yesterday, with Cazorla coming in for huge praise during the game and occasional begrudging comments praising Ozil with the obligatory ‘he hasn’t quite lived up to his high standards yet’ comment. Santi was excellent too of course but it was Ozil that edged it in my view and the vote from the fan base. It is going to be hard for some of the pundits to reverse their views on Ozil as they are so invested in the bias view that he is rubbish. I did switch over to BT Sport after the BBC coverage had ended in time to hear how bad Villa were and that Alexis’ goal was a keeper error and not a great goal. The silence on Ozil, particularly from Scholes, was interesting to say the least.

    Yesterday was an example of how Arsenal can play. The next big step for the team is to do it consistently over a season whether its against a Swansea mid year or an Fa Cup final. I was quite pleased to hear the players already talking about next season. They seem to know themselves that they need to do more which is a good sign.

    My own view on yesterday’s game, without getting side tracked by the euphoria of the trophy, is that the team really clicked and gave their best performance of the season, but there were signs again that we need a top striker. If we are to win PL’s and CL’s then we will play many top teams where the number of chances will be limited – we need to take them.

    The next step is possible I think but it will need a new striker.

  3. For ANY English football club to finish 3rd in the country’s Premier League, qualify for next term’s CL and retain the FA Cup, must result in envy by 99% of the other clubs in our land and most of those on mainland Europe.
    Accordingly, we who follow Arsenal are entitled to ignore, with consummate ease, the bleatings of the media about our Manager, players, tactics and signings.
    Our great Club has always preferred to express itself solely on the field of play. 😉

  4. Thanks Mick. I think we all lose sleep over the opinions on running the club held by Piers Morgan! Maybe he thinks we need to sign his mate Kevin Pietersen.

  5. Take a bow, Monsieur Wenger! That was about as good a managerial performance as I’ve seen from him for a long, long time! Not only did he school Sherwood (#Tim Sherwood is a Gooner!!!#) but he had some big calls to make – and got all of them spot on! From the injection of pace in attack which everyone wanted to see right to the decision to back Szczesny which everyone dreaded – the latter a decision he would’ve had to live with had things gone awry. And then, just to show off, his three subs link up to score the fourth goal. He nailed it in this game, and deserved his dominant success! Fantastic effort from the lads yesterday. It was one of those… perfect, flawless games. I can’t pick out any one area of excellence just like I can’t pick out any areas for criticism. We turned up, hit them hard from the first minute to the last, and played a real blinder. Cazorla controlled that game for us like a frigging thermostat, him and Coq allowing the likes of Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey and Walcott to go crazy up top. Could’ve been a cricket score without Given and all those blocks. The win and clean sheet should do Szczesny the world of good, and I’m chuffed for him. Aw man, I’m still buzzing as the celebrations went way into the wee hours. This is what it’s all about – trophies, yes, but moments that bring the players and fans together in joy and elation. This is where this great club should belong, though. We HAVE TO kick on from here now – the PL and CL beckon. We’re certainly looking like a good enough team and squad, with the right additions, to do them. HUGE summer ahead for this club and, with everyone getting a pre-season together, let’s give it a real go next season!

  6. Arsene Wenger is a legend in My eyes. A one off and Arsenal FC have been, and are unbelievably fortunate to have found such a man. The coming years will bear the fruit of this mans labours.

    And a small vindication for this particular site which has stood firmly behind the club and manager while others have weakened.

  7. I was not able to find any coverage of the U17 Arsenal Ladies game. But, the Arsenal Ladies just released this on twitter:

    > Congratulations to the U17s who made it an #FACup double this weekend with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa.

  8. Well, that’s that, then. Another year of Arsenal defying the doom-sayers is over, culminating in a Final that will leave warming memories, like a rare malt at midwinter.

    Already the pundits are advising us that Arsenal can challenge next season if they only import three or four top top players. Change a third of a team that has just finished third and won the FA Cup?

    Part of the given “wisdom”, is that the other clubs will be attempting to purchase greater success in the off-season, so Arsenal must as well if they are to keep up.

    We need a new goalkeeper – despite Ospina having amongst the best statistics in goal in the PL, and Chesney dominating his area in the Final. Apparently Cech is the answer. Has he ever been as good since his head injury?

    We need a new, dominant CB – perhaps they should review the way Mertesacker and Koscielny completely stifled Benteke, and the fact that no pass came through central defence in the entire match.

    We need a DM. Really? Is there anyone anywhere with better stats than Coquelin? Some are saying we should get someone in “in case he gets injured”. Hmm. I’m sure Morgan Schneiderlin, Arturo Vidal, Yohann Cabaye, or whoever the next flavour of the week is, will be looking forward to understudying our maestro-in-residence!

    We need a goal-scoring centre forward. And whereas I have some thoughts about Giroud’s rate of shots to goals, we seem to have finished the season with

  9. Sorry, to finish…

    To have finished the season with about 113 goals scored, from 21 different scorers.

    We also have a relatively young squad. There is monumental scope for improvement in everyone except possibly Rosicky, Mertesacker and Arteta. The rest will all get better – well, most of them will! The injuries will decline exponentially.

    The one thing the team need to try and reduce next season, is the odd matches where they fail to “turn up”. Because, on their day, they can beat anyone.


  10. Gord, thanks for that update on the U17 ladies result, I too have been looking without success for any report on the game. Good to see they got their victory as well.

  11. Haven’t posted for ages but I always read your excellent articles and the replies. My other half and I are so happy after yesterdays fantastic game. What a win and what a team performance, it will live long in our memories. Thank you Arsenal and thank you Wenger. Maybe now the aaa’s will realize what a gem of a manager we have got, but I won’t hold my breath. We watched the game on BBC rather than BT since we can’t stand Robbie Savage and found the commentary a lot better than Sky. The build-up interview of the players by Martin Keown was hilarious. All in all a wonderful day.

  12. I sent an email to Arsenal feedback, maybe they can get that into the news. Leah Williamson (#14 on the Ladies first team) followed up the tweet, so maybe she was at the game and can fill in Arsenal.com as to how the game developed?

    There was a nice writeup in the Stratford Herald about the game, apparently a local (to Stratford) girl was on the Aston Villa team.

  13. They will start soon enough, how Arsenal cant win the PL if they don’t sign this or that star, etc. And besides, Mourinho has them all in a sack, I only hope we beat him in the CS, to set down a marker.

  14. Even Shearer had to revert to his pre-match statement that we can win the EPL if we buy a top striker and top goalkeeper.

    We already have both in abundance!

  15. Mr Wenger is a legend.

    The 6th FA Cup triumph shouldn’t be the reason to justify his legendary status. His work to keep us in top 4 and competitive should be…

  16. Yes, the anti Wenger tainted media and press did not cope all that well with yesterday – my impression was that they tried to minimize our achievement – but with some difficulty. They have reluctantly acknowledged the wonderful attacking, exciting and dominating performance of yesterday – while desperately seeking for a new twist of some sort to use against Wenger.

    But, 6 FA cup wins under Wenger is some achievement, especially when on a tight budget and suffering from criminally inept refereeing.

    We said about a year ago this team is on the up, not yet the finished article, but clearly on the up, this season end we are still on the up, still not quite the finished article but very much closer!

    For that achievement we need to be grateful to a truly great manager.

    To the anti Arsenal media, the aaaa, their two faced disingenuous sympathizers etc – I would like to send an impolite message on this happy day – up yours!!

  17. “My most successful years are 2007-2013. Keeping stability while fighting billionaires.” – Arsene Wenger

    I love this man!

  18. Booto mee

    Good quote from Wenger

    Where did u get this?

    Truly brilliant.


  19. @Jweeraga we will beat Chel$ea but the assholes will tell you that it counts for nothing. On behalf of the GUNNERS from the Pearl Africa UGANDA i congratulate the Arsenal senior team,the Arsenal under 17 ladies and the Professor for the work well done.I also thank Tony,Walter,Omgarsenal,bootoomee,mandy dowd and all untolders for the work well done to keep us believing and trusting in our manager and team. All Ugandans(Arsenal Fans) who i introduced to untold are enjoying a lot as they no-longer have headaches but just enjoy not as before when they where still under the dark spell,thanks and keep it up.

  20. Boo – I hadn’t heard that Wenger quote. If so, that is incredibly profound – and rather sums up the ignorance (for that is the right word) of the ingrates.

  21. Bootomee

    Tks for the link.

    Its a true reflection of a great manager who sees his gratest yearz which the AAAs label his worst period.

    Deluded fans who do not have the vision which wenger pocess.

  22. @@@Bootoomee
    May 31, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    I can’t remember whether I heard or read your Arseen quote but I remember thinking ‘ There is no answer to that.

    David Dein in an interview about Arsene said this: ‘What manager would give up the oppotunity to win fame for himself by winning championships and cups in order to build the future of the club?”

    Arsene is a man of vision and determination and abilty. I don’t care if he stays another 5 years and we are without a trophy.

    Without Arsene (as we know) Arsenal would be just another football club. He deserves our loyalty and full support.

  23. Bootoomee

    May 31, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    “My most successful years are 2007-2013. Keeping stability while fighting billionaires.” – Arsene Wenger

    A statement that I think echoes what is at the heart of what all true Untolders believe as well.

  24. Brilliant quote! Wenger is a genius, shame some people can’t see that.

    Nice to see the aaa are nowhere in sight, not even one comment. Yet had the unthinkable happened yesterday we all know we’d probably have over 200 comments on this thread by now and still counting. Miserable gits.

  25. BAH…buy 3 or 4 world class players…

    Any team would be better if you were to replace their players with better players. (ceteris paribus) Hey Barcelona would be better if you replaced Messi with a better player. The trouble is where are the better players? do they want to play for Arsenal?, can we afford them? And ceteris paribus (all other things being equal)…which is used extensively by economists…is fantasy… life never remains static and unchanging. Would the non-Arsenal world class players fit in or fit in in time to help us? Maybe we are growing world class players…my head hurts.

  26. This Arsenal need to buy more better players mantra is designed to bring doubt into the players’ minds. But it won’t work as the players themselves know that it’s all nonsense.

    I read an article saying that people should trust Wenger to make the right decisions whether he needs players or not; citing that when a holding MF was being hotly debated in December as our weakest area everyone was clamouring for world cup winner Khedhira’s signature, and who would have thought that five months down the line the most talked about holding MF in the league would be Coquelin, who many may have never even been aware he was an Arsenal player, Khedhira forgotten? That just shows how much football the pundits know, and Wenger, on the other hand, knows.

  27. And, as soon as M. Wenger leaves the new manager is going to be hit over the head with “But he ain’t no Wenger”

  28. Think Le Coqs stats match those of anybody. If we had bought Khedeira, we would be paying a reported 180 grand a week for a player only fit for the last two or three months of the season.
    Coq is not a giant, but nor was Makalele , nor was Roy Keane.
    If Wenger chooses to being in a holding MF, Imwill trust his judgement and welcome the player, if not, I am happy with who we already have.
    Same with the keepers. Was impressed with Szcz yesterday, his talent is not in question, maybe Wenger has acted in the hope of improving some other aspect of his nature?

  29. Al
    And yet we still have cretins like A Durham who give Wenger no credit for the emergence of Coquelin, claiming he had no idea he would prove so good, it was a fluke brought about by desperation due to the injury situation.

  30. Arsene Wenger is incredible. That quote says it all – many thanks Bootoomee.

    Would you believe that after yesterday’s fantastic performance the man standing next to me waiting for the parade STILL said Arsene Wenger doesn’t do tactics, is stubborn and is weak on defence. It just shows how deeply this garbage from the media affects people. Luckily his son thought differently so the three of us had an interesting discussion.

    Thanks to the manager and the players for two great days!

  31. Back home after the best Arsenal weekend of my life! 🙂 🙂 🙂 A big gigantic smile on my face!! It will not go away that easily I think 🙂

  32. GGG,
    Will write an article about that in the next days.
    Superb overall but alas a few negative points to talk about also….

  33. The whole concept “XY have to buy a world-class GK, CD, DM and CF to win the league” is full of intellectual laziness. Why?

    Well, literally every club from the top half of EPL with four aforementioned signings would win the league.

    Add, say, Neuer, Hummels, Mascherano and Lewandowski to Liverpool, Spuds, Southampton…and any of those clubs would win the league.

    That’s something my late dentist used to say while he was waiting for anesthetic’s effect: “They need a GK, a CD, a DM and a CF” but he wasn’t paid enormous amount of money from the media owners to say that on TV.

  34. Think I know what you are saying about the Ems Walter, but will wait for your article

  35. I got a response from Arsenal Feedback, 5 day response. I guess I sent this to the wrong address. 🙂

    This is about the U17 Ladies ALSO beating Aston Villa in the FA Cup. How often does this happen, where multiple FA Cup winners come from the same team, playing against the same team?

    I think last year, the first Ladies team won the FA Cup, giving Arsenal a FA Cup double. This year, the U17 Ladies won the FA Cup, giving us another FA Cup double.

    Four hundred years ago (or whenever the FA Cup began), it was only an adult mens competition. In the recent past, there has been Youth Male added, and more lately Women’s and Youth Female added. As near as I can tell, Wenger is involved with all Arsenal football. We want to tie up so many of these doubles as we can, because the man deserves it!

    I seen an article today, that up until yesterday, ManU _OWNED_ a record because they got their first. Because Arsenal won yesterday (Saturday), they finally pushed past being tied with ManU and now own the record outright. But that isn’t how the ManU supporter phrased things.

  36. I went out lawn mowing today, and broke down. 1.5 hours to get to the lawn, up to 6 hours to mow. It was annoying to breakdown. Arsenal grounds keepers have flat lawns and no trees in the way. My 4.5 acre lawn is on the side of a hill, with a gazillion plants.

    After I left to go mowing, the Arsenal Ladies manager sent a twit about the U17s.

    > Pedro Martínez Losa ‏@PedroMLosa 12h12 hours ago

    >> Congrats U17 @ArsenalLadies team beating U17 Aston Villa in the FA youth Cup Final..Great end of a fantastic season!

  37. ” Difficulties in your life do not come to destroy you. But to help you realise your hidden potential and power. Let difficulties know that you too are difficult .”
    Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam .

  38. Truly inspiring – Cheers !
    In life I have forgotten how many times I have fallen. How many times I have hurt myself . The entire world laughed at me . But I never gave up . I have always picked myself up , dusted myself and walked up to the waiter and said ,” Another large whiskey please !”

  39. When the going gets though , the though get going .

    Husband and wife were watching National Geographic Channel :

    Wife : I am really getting greatly disturbed by this chase . In no time the cheetah will catch , kill , and eat the gazelle .

    Husband: But ,honey ,this is the law of nature. The cheetah has to kill the gazelle to survive.

    Wife: Please do something .

    Husband: What can I do ?

    Wife :If this gazelle is killed by that cheetah, I will be so disturbed and upset that my mom will have to come to stay with us , and comfort me , and care for me. Probably ,like,….for ever.

    For the rest of the story please watch the video – ( Trust me , you’d be glad you did !)

  40. Sorry , Tony , guys , it should have been tough , not through , and as penance ,I ‘ll repeat it to myself a 100 times !

    tough -[tuhf]

    adjective, tougher, toughest.

    1.strong and durable; not easily broken or cut.
    2. not brittle or tender.
    3.difficult to masticate, as food:
    a tough steak.
    4.of viscous consistency, as liquid or semi liquid matter:
    tough molasses.
    5. capable of great endurance; sturdy; hardy:
    tough troops.
    6. not easily influenced, as a person; unyielding; stubborn:
    a tough man to work for.
    7. hardened; incorrigible:
    a tough criminal.

  41. just listened to talksport, and the presenter (whatever his name is), said that any average team can win the FA cup. Imagine? I got so pissed that I tuned off the station immediately. The press/media just don’t like Wenger & Arsenal. Am sure that the talk would have been different if Liverpool & BR had won the cup this year.
    I stopped listening to Talksport until this morning and it took me only 3 minutes to tune-off.
    I know EPL trophy is Bigger but FA champion is the champion of the whole of England. talksport claimed that an average team can not win the EPL but can win the FA cup, which I disagreed in a way just because they are trying to discredit the achievement of Arsenal last Saturday.
    Chelsea did it with the Champion’s League 3-4 years ago when they finish 5th in the EPL. They are still been praised for that till now.

  42. jayramfootball
    I think that Theo now has to chance to show that he is becoming a top striker. He and Giroud gives us different options. Then there are all the other strikers that we have coming through. But even Ramsey could play as a striker, trust me.
    We have an attack force and not one single striker, that is how our team is built.

    But let us wait for the beginning of the season and we will know a little more on the Arsenal team.

    Arsene Wenger has been building this team to take on PL and CL for a few years now. We all know we are capable, but that sometimes a little luck goes against us. Now the players have also learned to create some of their own luck too.
    Who ever AW adds to the team, who ever leaves the team, we will still end up with Arsenal the team created by AW, and i am sure we are all looking forward to next season already. 🙂 Let’s take first the Shield and then the PL from Chel$ next season. Yeaaaaa.

    Now would that not be a BANNER?

    🙂 “Keeping stability while fighting billionaires.” – Arsene Wenger 🙂

    with the two smilies on it too.

  43. @ para -June 1, 2015 at 9:09 am – Misquoting a fallen past ManUre legend –

    ” We don’t need prawn sandwiches, ta very much !”

  44. Ayo

    That shite hole habitually insults our Club, our directors and shareholders, our team, our manager, our players and our fans.

    And yet both Perry Groves and Adrian Clarke, who are employees of Arsenal football Club, both working for Arsenal.com, contribute willingly and regularly to it.

    What chance have we got to stem the tide of Arsenal hatred, which is so prevalent on all media platforms, when our own employees willing endorse those same media platforms.

    This includes players willingly giving exclusives to that very station, just weeks after they accused the same player of faking injury to get out of England duty.

    Players, and even our manager, willingly give interviews to papers that openly encourage our players to leave us.

    If Our manager and players cant see, or worse don’t care, what’s going on and how insulting it is to us fans to have to listen to, and read this anti Arsenal shit on a daily basis, then what chance have we got.

    Sorry for this dose of negativity at such a time, but we have just won the FA cup and I will still find myself trying to avoid almost all the media post match analysis because it will still contain so much negativity, and worse.

    And our Club don’t seem to give a shit.

  45. Loved this one . I would love to do this to ‘them’ . Soon their tune will change ! But it’ll stink all the same !

    What’s the right answer ?

    Mr. Dickson had a habit of asking daft questions to his pupils.
    One day, he asked his 4th graders if anyone knew how to put 2 holes into 1 hole.
    Since no one was able to answer the question, he told the kids to go home and ask their fathers.
    Kids came back the next day. No one knew the answer.
    “Look,” said Mr. Dickson, quite enjoying himself while holding his index finger against his thumb, forming a little ‘zero’. “This is one hole, my nose has 2 holes, and I can put my hand over my nose and make my nose holes appear inside this other hole.”
    “Ahh, right” said the children.
    The next day, Little Johnny stood up and said, “Mr. Dickson, my daddy wants to know if you know how to put 7 holes in one hole.”
    “Hmmmm,” Mr Dickinson said, “How do you put 7 holes in one? Well, I’ll be darned. I don’t know how to do that. Um, did your father tell you how to?”
    “Yes,” said Little Johnny, He asked me to tell you, “Take a flute and shove it up your ass!”

  46. Ayo

    That’s probably the same talksport guy who thinks fourth represents a real achievement for utd, while third for Arsenal is rubbish.

    His ‘reasoning’ is that in Utd’s case it represents a jump up the league, and is a case of Van Gaal doing a good job of fixing a mess. You can frame it many ways but basically we are talking about a championship-winning side two years previously spending about 250 million on transfers in the two seasons afterwards, having the league’s biggest wage bill, and coming fourth.

    What created the mess in the first place? I suppose, in talksport world, if that is articulated at all, and mostly it isn’t, they must be blaming Moyes. Sir Alex is beyond criticism, so Moyes, an impressive manager previously, must have taken those champions, spent 70 million or whatever, and broken them. This allows you to paint 7th to 4th for a further 150 mill as an achievement. Now, the next step in trying to get them back to the top, which will happen without judgement from talksport and be treated as the natural and right thing, is presumably another 100-150 million spent by Utd this summer.

    That is the beauty of it, by Talksports logic it requires about 400 million pounds on players, and the biggest wage bill in the league, to turn fallen champions back into contenders for the throne three years later. The same logic should obviously dictate that we should never have been judged directly against the big spenders during the years we had so much less money than them. Why should we be? If that’s the spending it takes to get to the top, and so soon after the man held up as the greatest manager of all time was in charge, why wouldn’t it count as a fantastic achievement to stay within the top four while spending so much less for all those years?

    Only talksport logic, or non-logic, allows you to take the positions they do.

    It’s a waste of your own logic and reason to spend time thinking about what Talksports main douchebag says about football. I know I’ve done so here, but that was just for old times sake.

  47. Jambug

    Can’t resist adding to the negativity a little here.

    At some point in the cup final one of the commentators delivered this beauty : (On Wilshere, and his future) : ‘well, he needs to get over that ankle problem which struck again this year’

    That ankle problem. That different ankle from the one his main problem was with in the past. That ankle problem caused directly by a bad foul, one which would have done, thanks to the laws of physics and biology, for any humans ankle. That one. My hunch is that the commentator is not one of the bastards who deliberately promotes a lie, but represents the next stage: one of the unthinking suckers who actually believe it.

    I thought the comment was one of the greatest examples of how our football media works I’ll ever come across. History has been successfully changed. Think what it allows for. Anyone targeting Wilshere’s ankle in the coming months is not the sickening sight of England’s most interesting talent being targeted by fellow pros so soon after losing a chunk of his career as the result of a bad tackle. Nope, because that didn’t happen. Instead Wilshere merely spent time on the sidelines because of ‘that’ (weak) ankle of his.

    Compare it to Matic. The media story for him is now that he is a man who was extremely lucky not to be injured by a terrible challenge. Anything remotely dodgy on him will be instantly referred back to that. This is fixed in players minds,too. The effect is that players are likely to be more circumspect around him. They’ve had a warning : imagine the criticism you’ll face if you do actually harm a Chelsea player!

    Wilshere? He has an ankle weakness anyway so it’s not your fault if something happens when you challenge him. Plus, there’s that asking-for-trouble style- also known as exceptional dribbling ability- of his.

  48. Jambug @ Ayo

    I appreciate you keeping your eyes on the ball, so to speak.

    Reporting rubbish from Talkshite, etc, reminds people like me to never go there.
    Hopefully, having offloaded here, you’ll quickly get back to the warm feelings generated by the events of this magnificent weekend for Arsenal football club and their true supporters.

  49. Rantetta

    I very rarely listen to talksport. I dip in once and a while just to see if they are maintaining there standards, and they most certainly are.

    I find, much like Ayo, no more than 3 or 4 minutes is usually enough time to realise that.

    It is simply a fucking disgrace and yet our club does nothing.

    Ok, maybe they can’t openly comment but surely just not talking to them, let alone working for them (jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez, that makes me feel like my own club are pissing on me) would be a start.


    Superb comments as usual.

  50. Rich

    To expand on why I think your article/s are so good.

    I used to keep in contact with a former work colleague of mine because of our support of Arsenal, but very early on during the baron years our views started to vastly differ.

    Basically he turned into an AAA type, where as you may of noticed I went down the AKB route.

    Anyway, one of the first points of contention was our take on the media in general, but especially Talksport and specifically Durham.

    I contested that all the negativity spouted by the media, and as I say Durham in particular, was detrimental to the Club and the team.

    Amongst many things, I contested for example that propagating the theory that our players are ‘soft’ and don’t like it up ’em, lays the foundations for us being kicked off the park un checked. Because it’s all our own fault for being a bunch of Foreign/Southern softies.

    And propagating the fallacy that Wenger and the players are just a bunch of whingers, meant that any protestations regarding the snapping of limbs was just that, whingeing, and we should ‘toughen up’.

    Alas he would have none of it and insisted that Durham was just a ‘wind up’ and I shouldn’t take it so seriously. He loved him.

    But I truly believe that as you say, the lies, and the changing of history, are a deliberate attempt to lay the foundations for the harming of our players, on the basis that it is all our own fault because we are a bunch of ‘softies’, and the acceptance of the terrible injustices we suffer at the hands of the media, because we do nothing but whinge anyway.

    All very similar to your brilliant take on what the media peddle, re Wilsheres ankle. It just lays the foundations for him to be ‘assaulted’ at will, and it will be all his own fault.

    As I say, brilliantly assessed my friend.

    I come as no surprise to you that eventually I just stopped talking to my ex colleague as he was driving me nuts.

  51. Tony
    “When Arsenal win, the aaa shut up”.

    If only this was true. They are still complaining. Yesterday and today, there have been some very odd comments on That Wenger Out Blog, called LG. Go have a view. Luckily I don’t have an account on there because I would struggle to contain myself with those clowns.At times, you would think they were all Spurs fans. Perhaps they are. It is all very surreal.

    They have been claiming the FA Cup win was nothing special. Apparently, because we hadn’t beaten Chelsea or Man City is was worthless. Furthermore, according to the AAA, the FA Cup is not worth much as other teams aren’t interested in the competition. As incredible as this may sound, I have read the comments with my own eyes. The day after we win the FA Cup the AAA are refusing to celebrate and complaining about Wenger.

    As well as picking holes in the TWO FA Cups we have won, since the end of our austerity measures, Mr. Wenger is attracting criticism for his comments about stability. It would appear the AAA are so thick that they do not get it. They seem to be obsessed with signing world class players for every position. It is beyond strange. What kind of ‘fans’ are these.

    After an outstanding performance like that and to win two FA Cups in two seasons, one would expect fans to celebrate and be happy. Not the AAA. It would appear, despite their proclamations, this is not just about trophies for them. Its about not being proved wrong.

    The LG blog is losing all credibility along with the Wenger Out movement. This is the real motive behind this ‘fake’ outrage. They backed a losing horse and are unhappy that Wenger and the hated ‘AKB’s’ have been proved correct. They simply do not have the intelligence or the football knowledge to understand how the club has grown, how that growth has created a change in fortune and how Wenger has been the catalyst for this. To deny yourself the euphoria and ‘high’ we all felt Saturday and over the Weekend proves how stupid these people really are. I pity these poor lost souls but hate them equally.

  52. Here is a fact:

    Wenger is pound for pound the greatest manager we have ever seen in this Country. The achievement of navigating us through a difficult period of austerity as we grew the club. while billions of Petro dollars was injected into two clubs, is nothing short of a miracle. As well as him working a miracle, he showed incredible loyalty to the club when other Managers would have walked. had that happened, I dread to think where we would be now. We most certainly would not be looking at Ozil and Sanchez in red nor would we be celebrating two FA Cups.

    Wenger has achieved things no other manager has and he has done so without any financial advantage. From the unbeaten season to six FA Cup wins and the beautiful attacking football, he has no equal.

    No equal.

  53. Proudkev

    If I remember rightly up until a couple of years ago all we heard from the aaa was:

    All we want is to win something and be competitive.

    Well, we’ve won 2, possibly 3 things now, and apart from the first couple of months of the season, was competitive for the rest, and arguably the best side in the PL since early January.

    The squad we have ended the season with is completely and utterly capable of competing for the title next year, without a single signing.

    They just move the goalposts.

    You know that even if we won the league they would still find something to moan about.

    Sad sad people.

  54. Jambug.

    You are right. I don’t know whether these are real Arsenal fans because the Internet provides anonymity. I am sure lots of those who stir it up on there support other teams, classic troll behaviour.

    Winning trophies provides an incredible buzz and feeling of well being. For these clowns, it makes them sad because Wenger has proved them wrong.

  55. @Jambug I can see us winning the premier league and the aaa chelsea and mac city let us win we haven’t won the champions league wenger out!

  56. I heard one radio pundit come out with this typical nonsense over the weekend.
    ‘Wenger has a blind spot with goalkeepers but he must sign a top keeper if he wants to compete for the Premier League. You cannot win the league without a world class goalkeeper and Arsenal have not had one since David Seaman.’
    Err, The Invincibles, Jens Lehmann?

  57. The media have nothing on the AAA.

    It has really kicked off on LG today. I viewed the comment section 5 minutes ago and the c word is back. Funny how it gets so hostile and abusive on there whenever we do well. One poster in particular is stirring it up.

    Now they are criticising Wenger for not doing a post season tour. This, according to them, is why our revenues are so far behind Chelsea and Man City and why we can’t compete for players and the club is going backwards. Two days after winning the FA Cup in style and Peter Woods blog has gone mental.Who are these fans? Its worrying because we know the media view the blog sites. This is where the media get the bullets to fire at us.

  58. Thanks Jambug.

    Appreciate that, and it’s been a real boon for me to find this site and people like yourself who support the club properly and understand our enemies properly.

    YOU SHOULD NOT ENCOURAGE ME,THOUGH. I intended to write a short response thanking you, with maybe a little extra comment, and now find I’ve burnt through an hour, two cigarettes, a coffee and a cup of tea writing this ridiculously long response. ( Apologies, and I’ll understand if you give this read a miss, or only return when you have ten and a willingness to delve into the Shawcross murk)

    I can’t believe how long I persisted trying to make my arguments elsewhere- namely the Guardian and, occasionally, the Mail websites. I learned quickly how it would go but ,despite whatever oaths I made about leaving them to it, I kept on re-convincing myself that there was just enough reason to post there.

    It’s wearing,though. To whatever extent you actually believe in honest debate, fair-mindedness and even reason itself, you open yourself up to frustration, anger and other negative emotions when engaging with someone who falls dramatically short in those areas.

    Unless you can somehow disengage those parts of your brain,that is. A bit like how a decent person wouldn’t freak out if a puppy makes a mess on the floor, whereas an arsehole is likely to get angry, shout at the dog and maybe worse.

    In that scenario, Durham is the puppy pooping on the nation’s floor. I find the idea of properly discussing something while at the same time treating it as a total, unacknowledged joke a weird one, though. Satire can be great (and make serious points) but Durham’s no satirist.

    As far as what level of seriousness any subject deserves, or what place there is for humour in it, or how serious those discussing things are being or should be…there are absolutely no set rules. It is determined each time by who is talking, what they are saying and how they are saying it. So it’s all about context, nuance, history (in which you build up a picture of whoever is talking) and basic human judgement (which I suppose involves intelligence, experience and character). The topic is only one part of how serious people are being when talking to each other.

    I reckon taking football very seriously (as in thinking and caring about it a lot) is just about justifiable for me or anyone else on account of the facts we (a) don’t have a finite amount of seriousness or humour to go around, (b) typically can’t do much about the biggest and most serious problems in life* and (c), hey, we’re only human- we need (relatively) harmless releases, interests outside of family and work,etc. We need football, basically.

    I found that anecdote about your former pal a great one. That’s exactly how so many people behave these days in the ‘banter era’. If someone’s a wind-up merchant through and through, fair enough. If we’re in agreement on it, no problem, though I might not find said wind-up merchant even a little bit amusing. But I’m guessing your pal took plenty of it seriously and only tried to laugh it off when you called him on what he was saying.

    I’m not saying everyone who likes a bit of ( it’s only) banter is a twat, but the twat population could probably be halved if everyone who loves a bit of banter could be lured off a cliff.

    Finally, as you know I’m 100% convinced that the way we’re treated by the media is no joke at all, unless broken legs are funny. What a miracle that Sanchez made it all the way through this season without serious injury. Partly it is testament to just another facet of his general excellence and footballing experience (Saturday was a telling example when he brilliantly anticipated Hutton’s shitty tackle and got both feet in the air in time). The bigger factor, however, was luck. It is impossible that such luck can continue endlessly.

  59. Rich

    “(Apologies, and I’ll understand if you give this read a miss, or only return when you have ten and a willingness to delve into the Shawcross murk)”

    I always read your posts with interest my friend, no matter how long.

    You may of noticed that many of my posts are pretty long too. I think it’s to do with my irrational need to thoroughly explain the reasoning behind my opinions, and I find that difficult to do in brief. I get the feeling that something similar lies behind your musings.

    Mrs J has always said of me, ‘Why say it in one word when you can say it in a hundred’ 🙂

    You mentioned posting elsewhere:

    “To whatever extent you actually believe in honest debate, fair-mindedness and even reason itself, you open yourself up to frustration, anger and other negative emotions when engaging with someone who falls dramatically short in those areas.”

    I realised long ago that posting on the Mail was pointless. It wasn’t debate. I don’t know what to call it actually, but debate is one of the last words you would use to describe it.

    As for LG etc. Never gone there, never will.

    The truth is I get very frustrated on here sometimes when I allow myself to be drawn in to ‘debate’ with certain posters. I find there hypocrisy and double talk incredibly frustrating, and worse, when in a corner they just make things up. I have, like you, vowed to disengage forever but often find I cant resist challenging there warped logic when I see it, but I always regret it. I have resolved again, but we shall see. 😉

    Funny you should say this:

    “Unless you can somehow disengage those parts of your brain, that is. A bit like how a decent person wouldn’t freak out if a puppy makes a mess on the floor, whereas an arsehole is likely to get angry, shout at the dog and maybe worse.”

    We have a cat that has had an issue messing in a corner of the room (our cats are in door cats). Obviously it is a distressing situation for us and our little girl. But the last thing we are is ‘angry’. We love her and just want to find out why. There must be a reason. Perversely in the end we think it’s because she is so clean. As long as we change the litter tray at least once a day she’s fine. But my point is, whatever, we could never get ‘angry’ with her. We love her.

    As for Durham.

    The simple fact he has run a daily article with the sole intention of ridiculing one Club, one manager, one team and one set of fans, is proof enough of his pathological hatred of us.

    Why he hates us so much is beyond me, but what baffles me even more is why he feels this uncontrollable urge to run an anti Arsenal crusade year in year out. You’d think the least that would happen would be he got bored with it. Alas not.

    The fact is if he ever actually did allow himself to be fronted in an open debate with the likes of your good self, it would be a bloodbath.

    Anyone can stand in a pulpit and preach, but all credibility is lost when you never, and I repeat never, allow your views to be questioned or challenged. Simply mocking dissenters and cutting them off infers you don’t have an argument to back yourself, and therefore actually fear open debate.

    And finally you mention Sanchez, and I have to agree that luck was a major factor as to why he avoided serious injury this season, which is certainly a worry, because as we all know, your luck always runs out in the end. I fear for him next year.

    Keep up the good work.

  60. Jambug

    If explaining your reasoning in depth is irrational, I’m in all kinds of trouble!

    My own take on how much I think and talk about football/ Arsenal is that it’s somehow necessary in order for me to continue enjoying the game. The media, the refs, Ferguson, Mourinho, fellow fans, diving and other rubbish sportsmanship- I have to think that stuff through in order to exorcize the negativity it produces in me. Feels, at least momentarily, like it loses a lot of its power to do your head in if you can understand it. The other side is that, despite everything, I still love watching football.

    Good luck with the cat. You never know. If Monreal can improve as much as he has- from pretty good to awesome- in his late twenties, your cat can change her ways.

    I’ve set a new target about not reacting to people talking shit about the club and Wenger. Instead of my vows never to look at certain things, and so never get pointlessly wound up, the new goal is simply to not do it so often.

    It’s working pretty well, but I still have my moments.

  61. rich and Jambug,
    I look forward to both your postings and read all the way, regardless of length. Hey lads, relax! You can enjoy the winning and the trophies but most of all you can enjoy supporting a Club and a Manager with integrity, class and dignity. Not many others can say that. Who cares what the aaa, media pundits and other ignorant assholes think? You guys get it. I support you guys as I support this great club. Up the Arsenal!

  62. Wenger’s achievements with Arsenal during the “hard times” shouldn’t be as difficult to convey to outsiders as they seemingly are.

    Imagine if Wenger was the CEO of a fortune 500 company (and he could be if he wanted to be) that was a historic institution in the world of business–consistently in the top 20 companies in the world–but in desperate need of modernisation in order to compete during the next era. So CEO Wenger, working with the board, undertakes a grand modernisation project for their historic but ageing company. They endeavour to do this with little to no float, and relying entirely on loans from NM Rothschild & Sons; because of this the board is forced to accept relatively cut rate sponsorship deals in order to secure collateral for the loans. This turn of events results in an enforced period of austerity during the loan repayment schedule.

    To compound the difficulty involved in such a monumental modernisation project the board requires CEO Wenger to maintain a minimum performance level most CEOs would struggle with in boom times: remaining within the elite top 20 business in the world by maintaining a continued presence on the interlocking directorates of said companies for at least five out of the seven year austerity period. In the end, CEO Wenger exceeds the nearly impossible performance requirements and guides the historic business into the modern era with hardly a single hiccup. He even ensures the omnipresence of the company among the elite interlocking directorate.

    Of course during the austerity period several star executives are poached by rival companies looking to sabotage the entire project or at the very least delay it. Even so, CEO Wenger exceeds expectations, and the moment the austerity period ends it’s proven that he has positioned the company as a world leader for decades to come.

    I think if this were the case the world would see CEO Wenger much like continental Europe and Arsenal players see Arsenal manager Wenger: as a Legend. There’s nary a football manager, CEO or business magnate in the world capable of completing this kind of project in the allotted time with the allotted funds and restrictions all the while exceeding the expectations of the board.

    Sorry for the lengthy analogy.

  63. Cheers goonersince72

    I know there’s an imbalance to what I post in that I focus more on the negative than positive. Particularly glaring after this weekend, as I didn’t say anything about that tremendous performance.

    It’s a ‘happiness writes white’ thing. My joy was immense seeing the team perform like that, but I generally don’t have much to say afterwards. I just bask in it.

    I’m working on it,though- finding the right balance. Mostly now, if I happen to see,say, the latest bit of Piers Morgan trash, I feel the old instincts to get pissed off, but then let it go.

    I don’t know how you guys can manage the full job though, paying no attention to the idiots and assholes. It’s all linked for me-the crap in the media, the crap people talk, the way teams play against us, the way refs behave- so in talking about it sometimes (ok, a lot) it feels like I arm myself against some of the worst emotions when Mourinho or Riley’s goons are doing their worst.

    I dunno. It just doesn’t go away for me. My anger at that Cahill challenge on Sanchez, for instance. For me those media pundits were instrumental in creating the conditions which allowed that to only be a yellow, when it could not have been a clearer red, and in their reaction to it they increase the probability of such things happening again. I can’t get near calm when i think about that.

    But I’ll end on the positive. Saturday. It was an unbelievably good performance. I look back and think ‘sh**, everyone played well, everyone, in a cup final!’

    Well the Arsenal under Wenger way, where all the hundreds (thousands?) of hours of passing drills were in full evidence, where a team hits that perfect balance between patience and forcing the issue, and where a plethora of talented creative footballers are playing beautiful and effective attacking football while working hard as a team to nullify any threat from the opposition.

    And all of it clean (witness Walcott turning down the opportunity to try get Vlaar sent off as the defender had a grab as he was about to burst clean through. Utd and chelsea players are thoroughly conditioned not to spurn that chance) Superb.

  64. When Arsenal start winning, the media will get behind. I do not expect them to sing praises to Arsenal as they do to Sir Alex… Liverpool or even the ordinary one. At least, some will turn their side and some will go silent. That should help the world being a little less annoying.

    That’s why getting trophies is important. Not just getting one more piece of decorated furniture. It can motivate people and get you the credibility to silents those who keeps talking nosense….

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