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October 2020

Why the notion that Arsenal will never have a better chance than now is utter rubbish.

And so it is with a certain Mr Phil McNulty who is described as Chief Football Writer, BBC Sport who announced that the Manchester City victory “was the sort of victory that had Arsenal fans believing they can end a title drought that stretches back to 2004.”

So question one is the usual question: how does he know?  Did he ask me? No.  Did he ask you?  Well, only you know.  But I suspect not.  I suspect here is yet another gentleman (probably number 10,000 this year that we have discovered) who seriously believes he knows what you and I are thinking.

I rather suspect that this is not what the aaa are thinking.   I suspect (but would never dare get close enough to one of them to ask) that they are thinking, “Please God don’t let Wenger win the title.   I’ve had my “enough is enough” t-shirt cleaned, and I really want to wear it again.”  But that is just what I suspect.  I can’t read minds.

But anyway, the man from the BBC continues, “Arsenal have endured years of pain since ‘The Invincibles’ claimed the Premier League title after 38 unbeaten games.”

Really?  Among my friends (and only a little group I know but still) we feel we have endured years of mindless gibbering from the media while the club was paying for the most glorious stadium in English football, have utterly amazingly not only avoided the relegation that has faced almost every other club to build a new stadium, but got into the knock outs of the Champions League for longer than any club except Real Mad (who are financed in all likelihood either by the Madrid government or the tax man turning a blind eye over the land deal), and have won the FA Cup more times than anyone else and stand poised on the edge of an unbelievable third successive win.

The BBC then publish their season of two halves table…

A season of two halves?

Season Pos after 17 games Pts after 17 games Final position
2004-05 3rd 35 2nd
2005-06 7th 29 4th
2006-07 3rd 29 4th
2007-08 1st 40 3rd
2008-09 5th 30 4th
2009-10 3rd 35 3rd
2010-11 3rd 32 4th
2011-12 5th 32 3rd
2012-13 5th 27 4th
2013-14 2nd 36 4th
2014-15 6th 27 3rd
2015-16 2nd 36 TBC


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So the man who can misread minds from the BBC pronounced that Arsenal “have nine more points than they did at this stage last season” which I think we can see for ourselves.  I’ve put in red the three times we have had 36 or more.

But this is a misleading analysis.  One might also ask, where were Arsenal at this stage in the three seasons that we won the league with Mr Wenger.  Here is the answer – carefully not given by the BBC  analysis.

Season Pos after 17 games Pts after 17 games Final position
1997-97 4th 30 1st
2001-02 4th 30 1st
2003-04 2nd 39 1st
2015-16 2nd 36 ?

So on this analysis in terms of points we are two wins ahead of the double seasons of 1997/8 and 2001/2 and one win behind the Unbeaten Season.

The evidence is indeed that we are in good shape.  But even so their chief football whatnot cannot quite get away from his obsession with knowing what people think – and more than this – what they will think in the future.  Indeed this is an amazing skill; something that is normally reserved for gypsy women in odd little tents who speak curious English and demand lots of money for telling you things that are so generalised they could happen to anyone.

And yet here, via the BBC, is his prediction not just of the future, but of what people will be thinking in the future.

“this is Arsenal’s best opportunity in recent memory – and one they would never forgive themselves for squandering.”

So there you are.  If Arsenal don’t win the league this season THE PLAYERS WILL NEVER FORGIVE THEMSELVES.  Got that.

Right, I’m glad you have now learned how to think in the future.  Let’s move on for the BBC go on to produce a head to head table – the type of table the media has normally been full of, because it has in some seasons in the past reflected badly on Arsenal.  Now the issue is somewhat different.

Head-to-head record this season

P W D L F A GD Pts
Arsenal 3 2 0 1 5 3 +2 6
Man City 3 1 1 1 4 2 +2 4
Chelsea 2 1 0 1 2 3 -1 3
Man Utd 2 0 1 1 0 3 -3 1


Of course things could well change if the merry-go-round of managerial changes that seems to hypnotise some reporters mean that Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho change clubs and take up new posts in England.

The old Gypsy Rose Lee of the BBC also says, “The pieces of Wenger’s jigsaw look to be coming together but they must now fight off what has often been their fiercest enemy – themselves. Too often Arsenal have been the team that cannot be trusted when the pressure is on.  Can they change that habit of a recent lifetime?”

Or is it that amazing habit of staying in the top four since the 1990s, even when operating on a budget running at about 1% of Man City or Chelsea?

Anyway, the great Fortune Teller now asks, “What must Wenger do in January?” and he says, (and I find this almost beyond belief)

Wenger was heavily criticised – with some justification – for his failure to spend on a high-class holding midfielder in the summer, as well as on a world-class striker.

Now in a week in which we have had the hilarious “the jury is still out on Ozil” we have the criticism of not replacing Coquelin and Giroud.   And this is where we may think the BBC’s own Gypsy has finally lost it.  And what is this “justification” of which he speaks?

Apparently in the mysterious world of the Chief Football Writer of BBC sport, “justification” now equals “suspicion”.

Goals have not been a problem, but the suspicion remains his Arsenal squad needed more strengthening and the wisdom of Wenger’s refusal to buy an outfield player will only be fully measured at the end of the season.

Oh.  Oh.  Hang on.  In my dictionary a justification is the action of showing something to be right or reasonable.  A suspicion is a feeling or thought that something is possible.  This is doubleungoodspeak of the highest order.

And besides what is the justification now a suspicion based on?  Not surprisingly, since the piece has descended by this stage into the arena of ramblings and meanderings, he doesn’t say.  But instead gives us Arsenal’s January purchases.

January sales: Arsenal’s post-Christmas buys

2015: Krystian Bielik from L. Warsaw £2.4m, Gabriel from Villarreal, £13.5m 2012: Thomas Eisfeld from Dortmund £420,000
2014: None 2011: Ryo Miyaichi from Chukyodai, Wellington Silva from Fluminense £3.5m
2013: Nacho Monreal from Malaga £8.5m 2010: Sol Campbell (free agent)

Well, fine.  I’ll have another Monreal any time.

Do we need a replacement for Giroud?  Certainly not on his form this season 10 in 17 games in the league.   Thierry Henry got a goal to match ratio in his fourth season of 0.65.    Giroud is on 0.59.   Not the same, but not to be sniffed at.   As for Coquelin, we’ve deal so many times with the problem of bringing in another defensive midfielder in the summer as a possible backup for Coquelin.   Anyone even vaguely of Coquelin’s ability would know he would not get a game unless Coquelin was injured – and top players don’t come to clubs if they are not going to get games.   Look at Debuchy – he is seemingly asking to leave, because he can’t get in the team.

But we have Flamini.  And even when the player who plays alongside Coquelin is injured we discover we have Ramsey, who loves to play there, and we have Campbell out wide when we lose Alexis.

I am quite frankly surprised that the Chief Football Writer, BBC Sport doesn’t grasp the fact that just because a club is looking for a better player to be a reserve players of the required caliber are not queuing up.

I doubt that there was on the market a player better than Flamini who would have come to Arsenal as a back up to Coquelin in the summer.   The only way you can get these backups is by nurturing them from youth – which is what we did with Campbell.  And look what we have got.  A stunningly brilliant player ready to slot in.

Anyway, just in case the man from the BBC got anything else wrong, or was holding the league table upside down, here it is.

1 Leicester City 17 11 5 1 37 24 13 38
2 Arsenal 17 11 3 3 31 14 17 36
3 Manchester City 17 10 2 5 33 19 14 32
4 Tottenham Hotspur 17 7 8 2 28 14 14 29
5 Manchester United 17 8 5 4 22 14 8 29
6 Crystal Palace 17 9 2 6 23 16 7 29
7 Watford 17 8 4 5 21 16 5 28
8 West Ham United 17 6 7 4 25 21 4 25
9 Liverpool 17 6 6 5 20 22 -2 24
10 Everton 17 5 8 4 31 24 7 23

The anniversaries

23 December 1976: Alan Ball sold to Southampton for £60,000, having played 177 league games and scored 45 goals.  In all he played 833 games, including spells in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, and Australia.

23 December 1978.  Tottenham H 0 Arsenal 5.  The Brady goal from this game has regularly been used as part of the pre-match entertainment at the Emirates.  John Motson’s commentary has also become famous as he said, “Look at that, oh look at that.  What a goal by Brady!”  Sunderland got a hattrick, Stapleton the other.  The result left Arsenal in 4th and Tottenham in 11th place.

Untold Arsenal


51 comments to Why the notion that Arsenal will never have a better chance than now is utter rubbish.

  • ClockEndRider

    Thanks for the article, Tony. Further to your points, it strikes me that on every single BBC article relating to The Arsenal, they use the line ; “Arsenal……..,who have not won the league since 2004,…….”.
    Interestingly, I don’t see that they use the same for either Liverpool club, or the Middlesex poorhouses all of whom are media darlings despite woefully underperforming for donkeys years.
    Still, they know their readers/listeners have so few critical faculties they won’t be able to piece it together for themselves and in any case only wish to have their prejudices backed up.
    Keep up the good work, sir.

  • Pete

    I just feel so good about Arsenal’s future – short-term, medium-term and long-term!

  • Laos gooner

    I wonder if the BBC writer has noticed that chavski are not quite in the top half of the table at this moment in time. I think the idea of a comparison to the other teams in the current top 5 might not fit the narrative. It would not look good for mindreading if it was noted that for instance out of the top 5 the only team we have not beaten is that infuriating Arsenal team from north London somewhere.I had failed to spot the mindreading when I saw the article referred to, so thanks for that. As ever some carefully chosen stats for the storyline so the title winning seasons give an interesting counterpoint to the limited BBC analysis.

  • Pete

    Slightly OT: Was reading the Man City programme on the train into work this morning and was reading the bio’s of the MC squad. They are really old! 7 of the 18 are over 30 and only 2 under 24. Median and mean ages are both around 28.5.

    This means they are likely to struggle significantly physically towards the end of the season. And things would have been even bleaker had they not spent over £100mm on Sterling and de Bruyne last summer.

  • John

    Thought you were going to do a full article there Tony without mentioning city and chelsea’s budget.Oh and you didnt mention getting Kallstrom in January.
    You will find that a very large ammount of supporters ,fans pundits and press think that it is our best chance to win the league this season and that the few who post on here are in a minority who think its rubbish.

  • nicky

    It’s still too early in the season to talk about the title and whether Arsenal’s chances are the best for many a year.
    In my book, the key to Arsenal and success for many years, has always been the injury list. The number of long term quality absentees and how the remainder have coped with that number, has been the difference between partial and total achievement.
    This situation continues to this day and until there is proper protection for ball players from match officials, I do not anticipate an improvement. 😉

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Sir Tony,
    Good read. I suspect though that the main purpose of the “it’s Arsenal#s best chance…” mantra is to have something in their armory now to beat Arsenal with later. It is also primed to be used to congratulate themselves when Arsenal succeed that they could see it coming; so they on this evidence, they can be rated to be good at their day jobs. Of course, they will also use this to depreciate Arsenal’s victory, come May, 2016.
    Nonetheless, Arsenal must keep ignoring all and every such chatter, our laser focus is to keep winning match after match after match after match…until we win the trophies – preferably, a double (League Cup AND FA cup).

  • Tai

    Fantastic analysis.

    The so-called pundits will try everything to diminish Arsene and Arsenal’s efforts. I read one saying Arsenal are only where they are because they have played most of their rivals at home this first stanza. And I’d asked him(yes him) if Arsenal didn’t beat Man City last time out at the Etihad…and added if Chelsea would have truly beaten Arsenal at SB if Mike Dean wasn’t such a disgrace to the whistle.

    I only hope they continue to underrate Wenger and Arsenal until we win this season’s title.

    Wenger’s secret? Having finally gotten the required quality in his squad, Le Prof stopped playing to the gallery. The Gunners now play to win. There’s quality everywhere, maturity and strict adherence to tactics and discipline. Dominate ‘small’ teams with possession, pass them to death and create enough to grab the win; cede possession to ‘big’ teams, absorb incursions and hit them on the counter.

    This year alone, Arsenal has beaten Man City twice in the league, Chelsea once, Liverpool once, Man Utd twice, Tottenham, Bayern…still remain the only team that has beaten Leicester…

    More…a whole lot of them, including some Arsenal fans were screaming just one injury to either Sanchez, Carzola or Coquelin and the Gunners plummet… For the record, all three got injured at almost same time and dear Gunners have played four high profile matches without the trio, winning all, scoring 10 goals and conceding only two!

    Against Man City…only Vincent Kompany would certainly have started were he fit. Arsenal were missing five probable starters in Sanchez, Coquelin, Carzola, Wilshere, Welbeck and certain impact subs in Rosicky and Arteta…yet the Wenger boys blew away City by 2 – 1. A result that heavily flattered the billionaires.

    The ‘pundits’ won’t see us coming till May.

  • Andy Mack

    John, yes this is our best chance for a few years past. But it’s not the ‘Only Chance’ as many are suggesting. The Idiot boy Carraghers comment about the other clubs spending next summer and us then having no chance is pure drivel. He’s suggesting that the same thing that happened last summer (that’s assuming we don’t buy anyone this summer) will have a different outcome. Maybe it will but he doesn’t say ‘maybe’ or ‘possibly’. He says they ‘will’.
    The BBC article is just selective journalism that we’d expect from any newspaper but unfortunately we expect better from the BBC, but we’re always disappointed that they never actually do anything better…..

  • proudkev

    Well said Tony.

    It is called setting Arsene Wenger up for a fall.

    The aaa and their mates in the media have been telling us that our players arent very good. Yet now they say if we don’t win the league its all Wengers fault.

    So with a shit manager, a shit striker and another that isnt a striker, a slow German defender, a hopeless DM, rubbish Ramsey and a crap defence – we are favourites to win the league? Against the £300m investment at Man Utd and Manchester City? Really. How the hell do these clowns sleep at night?

    This typeo of hypocrisy is mind blowing.

    On another blog, every time we scored in the first half against Man Utd, we had a couple of so called ‘Gooners’ saying ‘bollocks’ in the comment section. When questioned on this, they said winning strengthens Wengers position. This followed on from some unhappy fans moaning after we had won the second of our FA Cups. No doubt they were cheering for teh opposition because wanted wenger out is more important that trophies! You couldn’t make it up. These aren’t proper supporters. So yes there is are a small number of small minded fans that would be seriously annoyed if Arsenal won the league this season. Truly unbeleivable that anyone can be such a hypocrit and so small minded. But small brains and all that.

    So yes, arsenal are being set up for a dall, that is what this crap is about.

    What a load of utter bollocks these idiots spew and what a pathetic way to support a football club.

  • colario

    I stopped reading articles by Mr Phil McNulty as I found that his articles are basically a rewrite of what everyone else has said or is saying.

    Also (as with this latest master piece of repetition)quite often his opinions are written as ‘facts’ without any evidence to support his opinion.

    Standard phrase ‘Arsenal fans are….’ May be he got an email from someone claiming to be an
    Arsenal fan. Who knows? He never says.

    I did read this article and wished I hadn’t bothered as it is no different from what he has written in the past.

    He is hyped by the BBC as ‘the BBC’s senior sports reporter’. This can only mean anything written or said about sport by the BBC’s sport lesser minions is a total waste of time if that is, you want facts and not unsupported opinions.

  • proudkev

    *set up for a fall. Apologies for typos, compuetrs are better than tablets or phones!!

  • Pete

    John – I think we are crossing swords again.

    You state that “a very large ammount of supporters ,fans pundits and press think that it is our best chance to win the league this season”.

    Firstly, I don’t pay much regard to the pundits and press as they are driven by agendas and have a dreadful track record. So doesn’t really add any validity to your argument.

    Secondly, what to you mean by “best”? Better than last season, yes. Mainly because we are steadily improving in absolute terms and also because it is not a season following a WC or Euros (see my earlier article on how we perform significantly better in these seasons). On the other hand, our injuries are just as bad as in previous seasons. I acknowledge that Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool and – especially – Chelsea are underperforming – but a lot of that seems to be driven by managerial and squad instability. But as that instability seems set to continue why will things be significantly better for them next season? How on earth can Man City expect their players and coaching staff to perform optimally when it seems likely that the manager will be replaced at the end of the season come what may? Absolutely crass management.

    Thirdly, you do not quantify “large amount of supporters”. As per above if better than last season then I agree. If you mean better than next season or the one after then I probably don’t. But I am a sample of one. I don’t claim to speak on behalf of others if I have not canvassed their views.

    I am just enjoying the ride – and surely that is the point of supporting your football club? I just can’t wait for the Boxing Day game – and then the home ones to follow both of which I will be attending.

  • Sid

    McNulty is a twit, along with most of the media hacks.

    Arsenal putting up a title push during the financially lean times should be marvelled at. But of course insofar too simple to suggest Arsenal blew it, rather than say we did well but ultimately didn’t have the squads compete. With clubs withfardeeper pockets.

    Intact I heard a Sun hack holding Leicesters achievement (of being top at Christmas) approx you can challenge the wealthy clubs. Forgetting of course that the season isn’t over!if theFoxes end up 6th will this hack holdup his hands? Will be fuck.

  • Pete

    Seems that one person dislikes my optimism about Arsenal’s future.

    And two don’t like my observations regarding Man City’s average age.

    There’s no accounting for folk…

  • Andy Mack

    Pete, Are $iteh, ManU and Liverpoo really underperforming or are the ‘lesser’ teams over performing against them? I’m sure the ‘lesser’ teams are much more competitive this season.

  • Chelsea out of the race
    Man Utd more likely to be the next manager sacked ( poor so far )
    Man City a little hot and cold but still many peoples favourite
    Leicester Really I don’t think so
    Liverpool & Spurs long shot

    Which leaves us I believe with a bloody good chance considering are injuries so far and results to date

  • Mandy Dodd

    If we are in contention in Jan, we will be a force to be reckoned with.
    Doesnt mean to say we are nailed on winners of course, many things could happen, some out of the clubs control, especially in tricky away days up north west…or even north of our fair city…. when strange decisions and unrefined attempts at mixed martial arts may hold sway…aided and abetted by all too familiar figures, but do well over this holiday period, and the least that can be said is that this team will challenge.
    There may be nervous months ahead for the haters.

  • Matt Clarke

    It seems that Mr McNulty is trying to write minds rather than making any honest attempt at reading them.

    It’s all a load of rub.

    Change those mouldy old T-shirts and wear, ‘Wenger is enough’

  • John

    I say its our best chance in 10 years ,but i forgot about 2007 season where we were top for most of the season but faltered late on.The only thing that worries me is that we have to go away to some of the so called bigger teams at the back end of the season.How we perform in those games is important if we are to win the league .As for the Champions league i think we are still way short quality wise from the top european teams.I cant see our squad sucessfully competing on three fronts but maybe two of them yes.Fingers crossed for no more injuries and a couple of quality additions in january…Go for a gamble..
    Oh and City with pep guardiola in charge next year looks a scary proposition.

  • Rich

    It seems implausible most journalists don’t think from time to time about how many transfers are underwhelming or rank failures, especially in the first year.

    Or actually it’s worse than that, they clearly do think about, and comment on it, often- x,y,z has been poor this year- and sometimes they take the next step and add up what a club has spent and talk about how that club as a whole isn’t doing well. They’ll also quite often take the step of reviewing a club’s health and then saying how many players they need to become better or reach a certain level.

    They do that, and yet won’t make the simple connection and admit how many future transfers are likely to go the same way. Because I do not believe they are dumb enough not to make that connection, the only conclusion for me is that they are either biased people or working for organisations who demand they behave in a certain way.

    It seems hard to explain why each time they make a statement about who needs to spend how much to increase their chances of success, that doesn’t trigger thoughts about the uncertainty of success in the transfer market, and what percentage of transfers are failures,etc.

    It would be impossible for them not to have those thoughts and realisations. But they never demonstrate they’ve had those thoughts when discussing transfers they believe should happen in the future or should have happened in the past.

    The incongruity of it is immense. In our case, they don’t exactly state how much money we should have spent in the summer to dramatically increase our chances, but let’s call it 20-50 million. The question should then be : why should 20 to 50 million guarantee success against 70 million, 100 million, or 150 million? That’s where their argument, if they would only make it honestly, falls apart.

    Logically, it would only beat the higher amounts if it was spent spectacularly well, or if the other guys spent their money spectacularly badly. Unless of course you say we had a better starting point-i.e a squad which needed a lot less.

    But if that’s the case, and our squad was built for 100s of millions less than our rivals, wouldn’t you be obliged to say we had done excellent work building that squad, or that our rivals had spent quite poorly? (They are reluctant to do the latter and, well, do they ever suggest the former?)

    Which should then, as a conclusion, bring them right back to the fact it is very easy to spend money poorly.

    I’d be content if at least a few journalists and pundits are able to feed back what they learn from the present and past into their talk of the future. If 70 million saw last years champions rocket backwards, show some reasoning why a team who finished behind them would be virtually guaranteed to be significantly stronger by spending about half that amount. Or just add to their belief ,that we needed a player or two, what amount they think we should have spent, and what the current success rate is for players who cost that amount. Name a couple of them maybe. Then- why not, as it is a dream- mention some of their own previous predictions, if they ever have been bold enough to name names.

    ‘I believe Arsenal needed to strengthen in this position. These are a few of the players who moved this summer in that position, they cost this amount; I think Arsenal should have gone for x, and that the chances of him signing for them, instead of who he did join, were ok/good/great’; Or : ‘I think they should have gone for x, or y, that they would have cost about blah amount, and the player would have joined them. I think it is this likely they could have got that player, that he would cost about this amount, and that the chances of him being a success there are about this good’

    They’d lose lots of points, obviously, for picking out people who moved six months ago and have done well since, as there’s no skill involved in doing that, but it would be a start at least.

    I think it’s a modest request to have professional football people who talk like that. It should be the absolute basics, and then just a matter of who thinks, writes or talks better from there.

    Simple, modest stuff. So why is it unimaginable that a single football person will ever talk like that? And until they do, how can you respect them?

  • thierryhenry22

    Brilliant article. Spot on. Doesn’t anyone think that the way the media report on football damages the quality of our national team? I mean, after plenty of games this year, i’ve seen pundits not even analyse tactics or do anything in-depth but instead just talk about speculation or something completely different from the game. Watching foreign streams sometimes you can see the difference of how much they actually just love football and are excited about the football itself. Over here it’s always something completely different from the game and therefore the general knowledge/opinion of good football in this country is terrible.

  • Tom

    Mourinho and his enormous ego have blown Chelsea up this season.
    That was unexpected and as entertaining as it was, Chelsea will be back in the mix next season, and most likely without any distractions of European football.

    LVG has admitted he’s not the manager he once was, and his transfer dealings seem to back it up. Not to mention his erratic substitutions and dreadful style of play.
    He’s on the way out and United will be lucky to make top four.

    City are struggling for two reasons, one is injuries.
    I’m not about to feel sorry for them, but if you remove three best players from any line up, they will struggle.

    Silva, Aguerro and Company are simply irreplaceable.
    Missing Kompany ,ties in with the second reason why they are underperforming.
    Pelegrini has been totally undermined by the Guardila rumors and found himself in no position to motivate his players, other than calling on their professional pride.

    Kompany is the only City player who demands total commitment from his teammates while on the pitch, and isn’t afraid to get in their faces or show them up when he feels they aren’t putting in a shift.

    Leicester are leading the league but their chance to goal conversion is freakishly high and won’t last the distance. Also, their two top scorers, Vardy and Mahrez, are responsible for a disproportionate amount of team’s goals, and sooner or later one of them will go off the boil.

    Leicester won’t win the title but I do hope the stay top of the league for a while longer because they are fun to watch and a feel good story.

    Tottenham are playing consistent ball but aren’t immuned to throwing it away late , like they did to New Castle two years on a spin.
    They won’t finish higher than fourth.

    It is between Arsenal and Man City – a two horse race , and Arsene Wenger historically did best in a two team league.
    This is Arsenal’s best chance to win the title in spite of injuries, and with more money available to him than ever before, I fully expect him to act in January TW and give it a go.

  • Pete

    John – Fair point about tough away fixtures in 2nd half. I am somewhat concerned about that also. Think we still have to go to Man City, Man Utd, Totts, Liverpool, Stoke, West Ham, Everton… But have already played at Chelsea, Palace, Watford.

    On the other hand our recent away record has been exceptionally good… and those players are coming back… eventually…. I hope.

    If continuing injury setbacks then possibly a loan or two in January? Still don’t see any need to panic-buy. But if a “super quality” player becomes available at a fair price then why not? But that would be strategic not tactical.

    Is it just me that suspects we may not be being told the whole story about Welbeck? Ditto Gnabry previously. Very long, poorly explained absences with little publicity.

  • Gord


    It is silly season for the Ladies team. A backup goaltender, Siobhan Chamberlain has left and a young forward (Katie McCabe) has joined. Probably more moving around to come. Hopefully fees and wages don’t get inflated to the point where the WSL isn’t viable.

    GQ Magazine has an article on their website today (yesterday?) about a recent photo shoot involving 3 Arsenal players and Lanvin. Like all sports articles, there is some fraction of prose in the article which is lies. But, as the lies are about fashion, I suppose it isn’t important.

    Lots of junk articles in the medja. Satirizing one article –

    Three Reasons Why Arsenal Can Win the League

    1. Peanut butter.

    2. Cashmere socks.

    3. Purple toothpaste.

  • proudkev


    Exactly. We have some tough away fixtures coming up, so this narrative that we’ve got one hand on the title is garbage. There is a long way to go and a lot of games to play.

    Interestingly also that Leicester are getting deserved plaudits but I haven’t heard anyone mention the fact that we went to their place and gave them a 5-2 hiding. Not seen or heard that mentioned.

    Another fact kept quiet. In the last 12 months NO TEAM has conceded fewer goals or lost fewer games than us. Had we not had those unfortunate injuries last year I very much suspect we would have won the league last season. But hey, what if’s are for dreamers!

    Since last Christmas this is the table based on points won:-

    84 Pts Arsenal
    72 Pts Man City
    69 Pts Leicester
    67 Pts Man Utd
    66 Pts Spurs
    64 Pts Liverpool
    63 Pts Chelsea
    62 Crystal Palace

    So we certainly have consistency on our side, despite the many injuries we have suffered and the accusations that we have a weak squad.

    I am one of those positive fans but I like to think I am also a realist. There will be lots of ups and downs because this is a very difficult league and the Champions League has an impact. However, I really think we are going to do this we are due a bit of luck that’s for sure. Mind you, my bookies are offereing 4/5 which is ridiculous, we arent even half way through the season and we’re not even top!! My bookmaker must read the Sun and the aaa blogs – just kidding!

  • Tai

    I think this fact that we’ve played most top teams home already may not hold water this season.

    First, this is the craziest EPL season yet. Bournemouth beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. In matches against Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd… West Ham scooped 10 points all on away grounds. Liverpool’s biggest win came at Etihad…Man U’s most clinically display happened at the Everton ground.

    Besides, the Gunners have been the best away side this year…and Wenger’s new-found tactics of conservatively ceding possession and hitting teams on the counter is a perfect gimmick on big away grounds.

    Arsenal have the squad, the team chemistry and the perfect dressing room harmony to corner this season’s title. All that is required is luck…luck of injuries, bounce of the ball, officiating…and we’re home and dry.

  • proudkev


    Good comments.

    Interesting to note that there are now more away than home wins. So playing away is often an advantage to playing at home – because it suits the counter attack. Have to look at the stats. With the team and the balance we now have, I dont think we should fear anyone in this division. However, we must remain focused because there are no easy games. This Christmas period could be a big one, lots of points to be lost or won.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Strangely enough, I am quite looking forward to those away games. It seems that our club has been performing better, with more confidence, in those ties. And, truth be told, there is something special in quieting down WHL, OT or Anfield.

    @John We (I include you) all want Arsenal to win the title and I, for one, am cautiously optimistic about it. Many of the posters here are also positive about next year, too, and thus will not abandon all hope if things come a cropper this term.

    What is grating is people thinking they can read minds, predict the future, all the while blaming one man for the ills of humanity. Does he make mistakes? I would be surprised if he didn’t. However, how people can know for a certainty what he is thinking, why he does or does not do things (like buy players) is beyond me. He has said on multiple occasions that he would buy if it improved the team. I believe him. Some don’t. But that is not a discussion that is statement of opinion on both our parts.

  • serge

    The key word in your headline is “never”. Of course we’ll get more chances to win the PL, and some may even be better, so to say “never” is plain stupid, but I can understand how the journalists make their stories more appealing.
    Personally I see this season as a great opportunity and if we do miss out it wont be for lack of trying
    OT. The Daily Mail has reported that the FA has asked for permission to increase the technology for refereeing matches. All the things we’ve been asking for in fact.

  • colario

    Don Howe has died. Very sad news for football and especially for Arsenal.

  • porter

    RIP Don, condolences to the family .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Well it sadly looks that oft repeated adage that ‘ Wenger is yet to beat Mourinho ‘s Chelsea in a ‘competitive ‘ game ‘ is about to be cast in bronze .
    Unless of course if they rehire him again sometime in the future . They wouldn’t do it , would they ? Especially if the lovely Dr.Eva is reinstated after wining her case .

  • John, your comment that

    You will find that a very large ammount of supporters ,fans pundits and press think that it is our best chance to win the league this season and that the few who post on here are in a minority who think its rubbish.

    is rather interesting. How exactly will I find this.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    RIP Don Howe , and condolences to the family .

  • goonersince72

    Thanks for a great FACT BASED article. The truth is, Arsenal had a good chance to contend last season and a better one this season. It’s nothing to do with the quality of the opposition and everything to do with the quality of the Arsenal squad. Last season’s squad might have been a touch short to go all the way. This season’s squad has the talent and the depth to win the title. There isn’t a team in the EPL that can play football with Arsenal for 90 minutes. Is there a back 5 in the EPL that can match Cech, Nacho, Koscielny, Per and Bellerin? I honestly don’t think do. And has 3 internationals (Gibbs, Gabriel and Debuchy) on the bench? Plus, the mids and forwards track back. The team is conceding the fewest goals in the league and has the best goal differential. The league winning team is usually in the top two in these categories. This season we’re seeing the squad AW has built since having fewer financial constraints. It’s a great blend of experience, youth and balance. Management, i.e., continuity, planning, responsibility. That’s why this is Arsenal’s best chance for a title this season and the next, and the next.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A bad day……

    A guy at a bar was just looking at his drink. He stays like that for half an hour. Then, this big trouble-making truck driver steps next to him, takes the drink from the guy, and just drinks it all down. The poor man starts crying.

    The truck driver says, “Come on man, I was just joking. Here, I’ll buy you another drink. I just can’t stand to see a man cry.” “No, it’s not that. It’s just that this day is the worst of my life…

    First, I fell asleep, and I get to my office late. My boss, outraged, fires me. When I leave the building, and head towards my car, I find out it was stolen. The police said that they can do nothing. I get a cab to return home, and when I leave it, I remember I left my wallet and credit cards there. The cab driver just drives away.”

    I go home, and when I get there, I find my wife in bed with the gardener. I leave home, and come to this bar. And just when I was thinking about putting an end to my life, you show up and drink my poison.”

  • para

    They are so disrespectful to Arsenal. Come on: “Now or never”? They are saying that the other clubs drop in form makes it easy for us this season.
    I really think they are not seeing the real picture at all. Arsenal, because of the team growing together is better and not because the other teams are falling off. Of course we all like to see rivals having problems, but to ignore the quality in Arsenal will be their downfall in the end.

  • Pedro

    Yes , it is our best chance to win the league for a while. And the reason is quite simple. We have a better , more mature squad than previous years with world class players (ozil,Sanchez, cech) and our defence is solid, With the best 2 full backs in the league ……

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Im with Brickfields in extending my condolences to Don Howes family. Don might have slipped away in the minds of fans since the start of the Wenger years, but he did an awful lot for AFC, and I hope the club does something to remember him by.
    RIP Don.

  • John

    You will find this by opening your eyes and ears.Also listen to the fans at games,go and listen in the pubs in london .watch sky sports news .Read the papers, messageboards.But most of all look at the league table and look where the other usual top 4 teams are in comparison and how they are playing.That should give you a good indication.

  • Pat

    So that’s your evidence, John. The media and pub gossip shaped by the media. Not really fact based, is it?

  • John

    Pat I don’t believe that all the pundits and media tell lies. I don’t believe all the fans tell lies and I certainly don’t think the league table tells lies. The same as I don’t believe all referees are bent and have an agenda against Arsenal and all the pundits hate us. I also don’t think that all teams want to kick us off the park and injure all our players.
    This is a message board and its all about opinions.

  • John

    I didn’t think it would be long before my posts went into moderation because I have a different opinion from some posters on here.And yet you let comments go that offend other posters. This is not communist china..

  • Tasos

    I’m surprised anyone from the BBC has time to even think about Arsenal FC these days.

    I thought all there footballing efforts went into producing Man Utd documentaries.

  • Menace

    John – you make one absolutly true statement unknowingly, You don’t think!!

    Arsenal have always been in the running to win the league. We have to win it despite the PGMO & their appointed cheating officials. I would lay money with you on decisions that are wrongly made (before they happen) & selective vision that has a huge impact on a game.

    Did you see Costa on Koscelny? Was that not seen by Dean? Did the FA deal with the match correctly? Do you think? I don’t need to because I know. The PGMO & FA are without doubt unfit to oversee football or finance.

    Dean is an absolute abuser of the Game. He should be drowned somewhere. His cheating is so blatant that it beggars belief the FA have not banned him for life. Which part of cheat do you not understand?

    As for Leicester City – they are playing beautiful football under Claudio Ranieri who has an excellent record in the EPL. They have every chance of winning the league (but they have to beat Arsenal to do it).

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I think the next time one of my patients does not agree with my diagnosis , I’ll ask him to go down to the pub , talk to like minded friends , read the medical column of newspapers, watch medical dramas or just simply google it .

    That ought give them great grounds to get a well informed second opinion ! Why pay for a specialist’s consultant fees when you can get for free ? And what is the worse thing that could happen ? You’ll die ?
    Well everyone dies sooner or later , so your choices either prolongs life or hastens death .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I think these guys would agree with me .

    “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”
    ― George Carlin

    “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”
    ― Harlan Ellison

    “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
    ― Laurence J. Peter, The Peter Principle

    “Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.”
    ― Euripides, The Bacchae

    “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”
    ― Søren Kierkegaard

  • Brickfields Gunners

    An Irishman walks into a bar in Dublin, orders three pints of Guinness and sits at the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.

    The bartender approaches and tells him, “You know, a pint goes flat after I draw it, and it would taste better if you bought one at a time.” The Irishman replies: “Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in America, the other is in Australia, and I’m in Dublin. When we all left home, we promised that we’d drink this way to remember the days we drank together. So I drink one for each me brothers and one for me self.”

    The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there. The Irishman becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way: He orders three pints and drinks them in turn.

    One day, he comes in and orders two pints. All the other regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, “I don’t want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss.”

    The Irishman looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns and he laughs. “Oh, no, everybody’s just fine,” he explains, “It’s just that me wife had us join that Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking. But it hasn’t affected me brothers though.”

  • John

    Them pesky cheating refs ..They all have an agenda to stop us winning the league.Grow up .All referees make mistakes ,some more than others.Some in our favour ,many against.They are human,and until more tecnology is used like in rugby union and league ,this will continue to happen.
    I agree with you about leicester city ,though,they are playing great football .I just hope we can get a couple of quality additions in january and push on and give it a good shot this year!!