Why do we even play on the field?

By Walter Broeckx

That’s it the season is over and finished. City has spent most money, was top before the transfer window slammed shut so no point to add anything to this: City is champion of the season 2015-2016.

That is at least the impression you get when you see some people (lucky only a few passing by) on Untold but more so on other blogs.

So to win the league next year the task for Arsenal is rather simple. Buy, buy, buy and buy some more. We don’t have to see at who we buy. No just go out and buy the whole team of Berchem Sport from the 3rd tier in Belgian football (my local team yes) hand them over £200M over whatever is needed to spend most and we will win the league 2016-2017. I cannot guarantee it will be unbeaten.

Or having to turn the league table upside down, because it might be a season with 38 defeats and zero points. My local team would love it and it would surely take them to the first division in the next two seasons. But as you understand for Arsenal spending your money on whoever for whatever is not the wisest thing to do.

Sometimes I really wonder why teams even come out on the field any more. Because if you can believe some matches are won at the negotiation table during the transfer window, there’s no point. I even start to wonder if we couldn’t just call it a day for the referees and the PGMO also. Because if the only criteria is having spent more money than your opponent to win a match then we surely could do without referees.

Now I must admit that I have always been a firm supporter of bringing up your own players. My local team once was famous and produced many fine Belgian football players that went on to have great careers at other clubs. It was what I got used to when being a kid and I thought it was a great way. A lot of our own players were local even when we played in the top division in those days.

Our club captain refused even to become a professional because he was a plumber and worked in his fathers’ plumbing company. Seeing him almost every day as he lived just a few hundred meters away from me gave us a big link. Seeing him getting his newspaper on Monday morning when we were waiting for the but to go to school and then have a quick talk about the latest result… Those were the days.

We knew the pubs where some of our players used to have a drink. Or drank more than was good for them and ruined their careers. We knew when one of our centre back had been out to late the day before a match by just looking at his face after 5 minutes in the match. They were our local heroes; our boys.

So I do get more excited about a youth player making the step to the first team than about a new signing from another team. Now I know there sometimes is a debate where some say that when you buy them at the age of 16 they are not our youth players. Well I disagree. For me every player that has played in our youth teams is ‘one of ours.’

Of course I was and still am very happy with Özil and Alexis, Monreal, Kos and Per. And I welcome them with open arms when they come. But seeing Hector Bellerin living up to my hopes and expectations is as good as it can be.

So if we sign a big player I feel happy and excited. But if there is no big player coming over I am not really bothered. I then look at who is lurking around the team from the young players. Who could step up. Who could push forward this season. That is something I like to read much more than reading invented transfer bullshit stories.

But for some the league season played on the field is not really important. The only thing they find important is the transfer window and transfer activity of the club. One could wonder why they even bother to look at the matches.

I don’t really care about the transfer window and for me it would be great if they reduced this whole saga in to one week where you can buy or sell and that’s it. And after that we go back to what is really important for me: the game on the pitch.

For me the transfer window is a nuisance during the season. One that we should get rid of as soon as possible. Once the season starts we should just be concentrating on the only important : the match on the field.

If the transfer window is the only place where the title is decided then they just might stop playing football at all. But luckily it isn’t and so you get smaller clubs beating rich mega spenders on the field. And that is why football is usually so interesting. Because anyone can have a bad day and anyone can have a great day.

Forget about the transfer window, the real thing is what is played on the green grass. And now the transfer window is shut, we should all forget about it and think of what the team is capable of. And that is a lot in fact.

A question: which Premier League team won the most matches in the year 2015.   Looking over the two seasons it is 2 teams now. You might add the top 3 name if you could name them. One big shock surprise in it! The answer can be found here https://twitter.com/OptaJoe/status/639040882612785152


Selected Anniversary

  • 3 September 1932.  Arsenal 6 Sunderland 1 (Hulme 3, Coleman, Jack, Bastin) as Arsenal started an amazing 18 match run in which they won 15, drew 2 and suffered just one defeat scoring 66 goals in the process (3.66 a game)

The Untold Books


38 Replies to “Why do we even play on the field?”

  1. You are quite right, Walter, to look on the rest of the season with extreme optimism.
    Most of we oldies, at this stage of the season, anticipate that Arsenal will complete 2015/2016 with only one defeat! 😉

  2. I have another question:

    Who is the second placed Striker (goal scorer) in the Euro Qualifiers? For all nations.

    This means that they have out scored Benzzzzzema who didn’t outperform OG at the last WC, and even top top goal scorers like Ronaldo (The Lesser Ronaldo) and many others you could care to mention.

    This player is one goal behind lewandowski having played a game less.

  3. Nice one Walter!!

    Is it also safe to say that because we were one of the least spending if not THE least spending PL side – we are bound to be relegated?? 🙂 🙂

  4. Hahaha, Walter, I think you’re Arsene in disguise! What’s with the positive attitude and the different view? It should be doom and gloom as, I don’t know if you?e heard already, Arsenal are the ONLY club in t the top 5 leagues in Europe that hasn’t bought utfield player!

    I’m kidding, I’m 100% in line with your thoughts, if Arsene could find a very good player for a position we needed strengthening at a reasonable price, he would have bought it. He hasn’t, but i’m comfortable with the current squad ans I’m sure the performance improvement of the current team will count more during the season then adding 1-2 other stars to it.

    I’m following your site with pleasure, keep it up!

  5. @ Cristian
    Only lazy Juno say we haven’t bought an outfield player.
    Ask rene- adeled and fortune what position they play?
    They might not be price but they are surely talented outfield players .

  6. We didn’t pay 80m for him and paid only 3m – thats why he doesn’t count as a outfield player signing??

    One has to laugh!!!

  7. I for one am very much looking forward to Adelaide outshining Martial in the years to come and that to the extent that Martial is only remembered as the biggest LVG folly in his short reign at Old Toilet.

  8. With Welbeck now out for months it makes it imperative that Joel Campbell steps up and shows us what he is capable of. It’s not that long ago I recall there being a fuss about us letting him go on loan.

  9. That is sad for Danny Welbeck. Again it shows how violent tackles can affect a player’s career. And we will miss him, there’s no doubt about that. Hope his operation and recovery go well.

  10. Arsenal are the only side that haven’t bought an outfield player in the top 5 Europe leagues! What does that even suppose to mean? Why do they keep coming with things that have z-e-r-o meaning and get it repeated so many times it becomes a sensation!!!!

  11. @Fode
    September 3, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    You are so misguided and dragged around by the Media my friend…we signed in June; the player is in CL squad!!!

  12. Walter

    Like you I have no love of the transfer window. Unfortunately it is there and needs to be used

    I was not concerned with us not buying a striker if we couldn’t get a WC one as we had Giroud, Welbeck and Walcott. However the news that Welbeck is having an operation and will be out for months changes my view. We have Giroud and Walcott who is asking for patience while he learns the role. How can a club of our status paying the man £140 k a week be in a position where this is happening ? We are now light up front

    I am totally perplexed at us not buying a top DM or even one to be understudy or even play with the Frenchman in some games. As much as I love what Arteta has done for us I now feel that he has past his best. If Coquelin gets injured our back up is not of the quality to push us on

    I understand that we have made purchases in the last two years but there is no excuse not to strengthen in a couple of areas while we have a lot of money in the bank

    If we don’t make a credible challenge for the title this season there will be huge unrest. Unfortunately the frustration will be taken out on our players not the manager. We are at the stage we are once again short in a couple of positions and praying we don’t get injuries.

  13. The saddest transfer season I knew as a fan was summer 2007. Thierry Henry! Thierry Henry left for Barcelona! Honestly I wasn’t even interested on a striker that would replace him because no one will come close to his brilliance under an Arsenal shirt! Very minimum transfer activities from Arsene follows. He bought Sagna who I didn’t know at all while Eboue was doing an excellent job at right back at the time. Later Eduardo joined. But my my… did I ever enjoy watching Arsenal more than in 2008! Absolutely not! The beauty of the football we were way better than Barcelona in pure footballing terms.

  14. @apo Armani you are misunderstanding me. I am shocked people are using that liner to make a point!

  15. @Fobe

    Quite right; I did misunderstand you…force of habit I guess with this same line popping up everywhere!

    When MaNure make a signing of a teenager and pay a truck load its big news – when we do…its insignificant to the extreme where he is not even counted!! SAD!

  16. Tunny

    In reply to your post. Pls consider the below options.

    A Giroud is injured by chance.

    1. We have Joel campbell who is a specialist CF.
    2. We have Wallcot who can score against moderate opposition.
    3. We can recall Akpom for the cup games atleast.

    4. Last but not the least we have Alexis Sanchez who is a prolific goal scorer and play as a specialist CF to cover for Giroud.

    B For Coquelain cover

    1. We have Arteta/Flamini.
    2. If above doesnt work we can use Wilshere as DM as he is doing the role for ENGLAND.

    Also who knows Wenger can promote any player from the junior ranks like Coquelain and Bellerin have surprised us with there performances.

  17. The saddest part is that so many of our ‘fans’ are so so gullible to the media!!!

    So much so that they even go against the club,manager and players – wishing death to all, failure to the club!!!

    ABSOLUTELY mind boggling !!!

  18. Tunny

    Also pls consider that you cant have a world class cover in each position.

    For example

    Who will cover for Costa in Chelsea.
    A crock Falcao or an average Remy.

    Who can cover Yaya Toure or David Silva in city

    No one can cover those two upto the same level.
    You dont have a cover for Suarez or Aguero even in Barca like teams.

    Its purely hypothetical to have 11 wc covers for your first team.

    So have trust in your manager and team and wish them good luck for the season.

  19. @tunnygriff

    ‘If we don’t make a credible challenge for the title this season there will be huge unrest.’

    Not from most of the folk who frequent this site. But thanks for telling us how we will feel.

  20. @Mick
    September 3, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    hahahaha perfect

    and tunnygriff…please do tell us when the next demonstration against the club, management will be – but please not lie the last one which was scheduled at 7pm after the window shut an NO ONE turned bar a few kids!!

  21. You LeGrove people and the like have to – some time – realize that the club and the rest of its supporters are far greater then you cry babies!!!

  22. Mick

    Not telling you how you feel at all. I said there will be disgruntlement and unrest like the Villa game two seasons ago and the beginning of last season. There are many supporters who see things differently to you


    Hello, how are you.

    II said in my post that striker was a difficult one. Welbeck being injured for so long until Christmas puts a spanner in the works. Walcott needs to step up. He’s got a huge salary and now needs to earn it. Not convinced he can play CF in the big games. At best he makes those runs from the right between the fb and cb

    Wenger obviously doesn’t rate Campbell. Akpom wouldbe better but I think him and Gnabry are on season long loans.

    CM should have been strengthened and Flamini released

    Are you telling me that with a great deal of money in the bank there is no one who could have strengthened us ?

    City have ridiculous strength in their squad, in all positions.

  23. ” Arsenal FC avoids last day transfer madness ans stupidity by signing required players early!”
    Now repeat that till it catches on .

  24. @tunnygriff

    ‘I said there will be disgruntlement and unrest like the Villa game two seasons ago and the beginning of last season.’
    No, what you actually said was…

    ‘If we don’t make a credible challenge for the title this season there will be huge unrest.’
    The Aston Villa unrest was not ‘huge’ as you put it, it was a very noisy minority.
    A very noisy minority, just like you on this site.
    The old saying ’empty vessels make the most noise’ holds true. Especially when encouraged by the media.

  25. Tunny, before the transfer window last summer, some Arsenal fans were crying out for a GK, CD, DM, ST, we have since got Cech, Gabriel, and a Welbeck, with Le Coq and Bellerin through the youth system.
    When Giroud was injured Welbeck and Sanchez shared the load through the middle, with Welbeck out that now leaves us with Giroud, Walcott, Sanchez, and Campbell, I would’ve liked another striker to allow Walcott to play from the right as I still prefer him there, but it’s far from terrible…

  26. Also Tunny I think without Le Coq our system will counteract his loss, possible Jack and Arteta, Ramsey and Arteta, Jack and Ramsey, none as defensive as Le Coq who considers himself a box to box midfielder remember, but None as attacking as Santi, or just ask Santi to play a little more conservative as when we take Le Coq off when a holding midfielder isn’t required.

  27. “it would be great if they reduced this whole saga in to one week where you can buy or sell and that’s it”.

    Sorry Walter, for once I disagree with you. Even now, only three days after the window has closed, there is speculation as to which player is being lined up for which club in the January window. So long as dishonesty, incompetence and a complete lack of ethics exists within the media, we will never be rid of this disease.

  28. ob1977

    @ 1:32PM @ 1:37PM

    Spot on.

    Wengers detractors move the goalposts all the time.

    We bought what they a asked for, but they still want exactly the same again.

    They used to bang on about no Trophies, then we win a couple, and suddenly only the Championship or CL will do.

    One of the things I find frustrating is when they keep on about the 12 points.

    I saw a comment the other day that said ‘The 12 points doesn’t lie’.

    But that’s the thing, it does.

    By the end of last season, with our injured players back, Summer signings settled in, and the emergence of a couple of top quality squad players into the first team, we where a completely different team to that that started the season.

    In the first half of the season maybe, but there was no way by the end of the season we where a team 12 points inferior to Chelsea, despite what the table said.

    The fact we won the second half of the season, aligned to the respective starts of both teams this season, goes some way to showing that.

    We ended the season a match for anyone.

    Looking at the start of this season nothing has changed, except maybe for City.

    But only maybe.

    Yes they have started well, and I, like others, have been impressed. But some perspective is needed I think, because the truth is it’s far too early to suggest they’re the all conquering team some would have us believe.

    And this is why.

    This is who they’ve played.

    Everton 9th (5 pts)

    Chelsea 13th (4 pts)

    W.B.A 15th (4 pts)

    Watford 17th (3 pts)

    I know it was pre season (although I contest the CS is not) but we beat 2 of those very comfortably as well.

    Chelsea, on the face of it, was a fantastic result, but subsequent events, and a re evaluation of where Chelsea are as a team at this moment in time, suggests perhaps not quite as wonderful as at first it seemed.

    Obviously the thing with City is they’ve just spent another £100 Million quid (loss) on top of the £500 Million plus they have already spent (lost), so of course they are going to be the favourites, but I’m afraid any Arsenal fan that thinks we can match that, or even begin to get near to that, are deluding themselves.

    I’m afraid, whether people like it or not, it’s how it is, and all we can hope is that Wengers genius can bridge the £500 Million gap.

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