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October 2020

Pundits turning into managers: not a very wholesome sight

By Walter Broeckx

Oh how easy it is sitting the studio. Comfortable while looking at some big screens. Where you can look back at things. And use all kinds of nice graphic tricks to show what a complete fool or brilliant mind (depending on the situation) a player has been. Or even nicer…to show what a fool a manager has been because he couldn’t stop a player from scoring against his team.

They sit there and put circles around players. Connect those circles with lines. Follow runs with dotted lines. All the tricks in the media books of real and upper class football punditism. Does this word exist? If not, I will claim it now.

In the past we had the “Alan Shearer Project”. Wasn’t there a band the Alan Parsons project once? They sure were more successful than the managerial career of Alan Shearer. The pundit who managed to take Newcasle to the championship in his short spell near the touchline.

A few months ago it was a bit of a bang. Former Manchester United leg kicker and now TV pundit Gary Neville became manager of Valencia. That was on December 2, 2015. Now we would see the real genius of this former player as a manager.

Despite Neville saying a few good things about Wenger he also has been critical calling him naïve. Now I must confess I didn’t know what else he said for the rest as I am one of those happy people who don’t watch all those talk shows about football where people highlight the stupidity of the managers out there.

But let us have a look at how ex-pundit Neville is doing in reality at Valencia.

Valencia played 9 matches so far under Neville in the Spanish league. And the record shows… 0 (that is zero yes) wins. 6 draws and 3 defeats.

Now I still remember his first match against Barcelona. A 1-1 draw. I do remember this because after that draw the media as usual focussing on the latest result only, almost declared Neville as the best thing since sliced bread. Genius Neville getting a point against Barcelona.

Okay, getting a point against Barcelona is not bad of course. But that was in his first match and you sometimes get a short boost in the team with players fighting for their place under the new manager.

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But since then….. zilch results. A win percentage of 0% (zero again). Of the 27 total points he could have won in his period as their manager (together with his brother by the way as assistant manager) he won 6 points. Valencia since his appointment is slipping down the league table. Currently sitting in 12th place. Some 5 points above the relegation zone. Will we witness another Alan Shearer show at Valencia?

Now I must admit that he did manage to qualify for the Spanish Copa del Rey as it is called over there. Beating Granada who is one of their fellow strugglers in the lower regions of La Liga with two high scores.  And then even beating Las Palmas another struggle in La Liga. But credit has to be given for reaching the next round where they will play Barcelona in the semi-final in the coming weeks.

But his record in the league can be called ridiculously bad. And that for a pundit. Again. Just as Shearer found; leaving the comfort zone of the TV studio, it suddenly isn’t that easy any more.

But when those pundits talk their rubbish a part of the audience believes every word they say. And use it to blame Wenger when things don’t go as planned.

A few dotted lines on the TV screen, a few circles around players is enough to make a fool of the manager sitting on the bench. How on earth did he let that happen?  Implying of course that if they would have been the manager it wouldn’t have happened at all. Intelligent people of course know that they are just talking with the benefit of hindsight.

And that benefit is based on the rule that whoever won the match will be praised to high heaven even if they have been rubbish and could only win a match with one shot on goal that took seven deflections before passing the goal line and having been saved 17 times with shots hitting crossbar and goal posts. No, the winner takes it all is the norm in punditry.  The loser is there to be ridiculed.

But once such a pundit takes the real field and has to show what he can do as a manager… it seldom leads to success. That is one of the reasons I dread Thierry Henry becoming our manager in the future. It’s all well and fine to be a hindsight manager but that is not what a manager is about at all.

And in the meanwhile Arsène Wenger is just doing his job. And has proven that not one of those pundit experts is even fit to tie his laces. Yet it is Wenger who gets the abuse and unwarranted criticism from the pundits. An abuse that is quickly repeated by those who claim to be Arsenal fans but not supporters.

Being a manager is not an easy job. I wouldn’t even start doing it for the money they give Wenger to be honest. Ok, I might think about it when offered. But seriously to have done what Wenger has done in his career at Arsenal… Having to fight all kinds of enemies. Some in the open on the field and some not so open on the field where you had to look carefully to see the enemies. Fighting against the money teams with no resources.

Wenger really is the greatest of the all. And no pundit has ever proven that they are even worth to say one negative word about Wenger. First do better than Wenger has done in the same circumstances and then come back to tell Wenger what to do. But when you would use that as a criteria the nobody would fill that criteria.

Neville, the next pundit who fails as a manager? It sure looks like that.


  • Valencia lose Spanish Cup semi-final first leg 7-0.   “One of the worst results in our history,” Suso García Pitarch, Valencia’s Sporting Director.


Two anniversaries (more details on the home page)

4 February 1911:  Swindon 1 Arsenal 0; FA Cup 2nd round. Crowd 14,861.  Swindon were Southern League champions and had such played Man U in the Charity Shield, and had also played in an early European Cup competition.

4 February 1922, The Duke of York attended Arsenal 2 Newcastle 1.  With Sir Henry Norris and William Hall unavailable, directors Jack Humble, Charles Crisp and George Peachey, did the honours.

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73 comments to Pundits turning into managers: not a very wholesome sight

  • Personally I blame the English education system, based as it is on the concept of the teacher in the classroom knowing best, and telling the youngsters how it is.

    These poor pundits think that’s how life works – one person knows the rest soak it up.

    But real life isn’t like that at all. As anyone who works in the real world knows it is about motivation and exploring, two steps forwards one step back, about experimentation and learning, about co-operation not diktat. It is most certainly not about “I know because I’m at the front of the class.” But that is what education in England teaches these poor saps.

  • Brighton Mati

    Walter you’re spot on anyone who has listened to Gary Neville would have thought he will make the greatest manager ever swiping every team before him. It is very easy to analyze and criticise than to successfully coach a team. I don’t think Thierry will make a grw

  • John L.

    Agree completely. Shearer, Neville, Keane, Souness etc. have all proved to be total failures as managers.

    At least Redknapp, Savage, et al have had the sense not to risk exposure as crap managers.

    Pep Guardiola is a great coach and his teams play attractive football, but he has never built a long term legacy for an entire club and his success has been very much based on buying expensive star players.
    We can expect more of these signings at Man City and we can also expect him to be there for only 3 years.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And I wrote this article the day before Valencia lost 7-0 to Barcelona…. 🙂

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I do hope that the Valencia board don’t be too hasty and sack him , but give him enough time( and rope ) to do his utmost best (worst !)of his abilities .

    I just love it when pundits and experts fuck it up big time . Just shouting loudest or being bombastic does not elevate one to competent status . As in the case of Malaysia’s own Shebby Singh , commentator extraordinaire , whose time at Blackburn Rovers must be still fondly remembered by their fans .

  • Va Cong

    I did mention a few weeks wouldn’t it be funny if Arsene was a pundit for just the Neville matches and what he truly thinks of him lol

  • Mike f

    Excellent!! I get really annoyed when I have to listen to that icon of footballing excellence ,,,he who puts Zidane,,Bergkamp,,etc in the shade,,yes you’ve guessed it,,Andy Hinchcliffe !!? A dead average player who now can tell all the top managers where they’re going wrong,,what a joke ,,what makes it worse is they get paid for it,,talk about jobs for the boys. Add to your list Glen Hoddle,,great player but singularly crap manager . It pains me to say that Alan Smith is no better,,specialist subject- the bleedin’ obvious! No manager he!
    Here’s another gripe,,just count the minutes before the ‘commentator’ tells you how long since Arsenal won the premiership,,,it’s the go to remark for the unimaginative. You never hear them tell you after a few minutes that Liverpool have NEVER won the premiership or that Sp*** haven’t won the league since 1961 ! ! “Sp**s haven’t won the league for 55 years” is what I’m waiting to hear during the first few minutes of a game.
    Martin Tyler,,Alan Parry etc oh and that other icon of incredible success Tony Gale can barely disguise their bias,,I seem to remember Tony Gale shouting “get in!” one time when somebody scored against Arsenal..says it all.
    Yep,,jobs for the boys,,easiest job in the world ,being a critic.

  • lance peters

    Would you guys prefer if we go back to the old days without technology and people just chatting about the game around a table ?

  • Polo

    Although Gary ‘ mr I know all about tactics’ Neville is not doing well and it’s getting the treatment he gives to managers back then which is refreshing, but I’ll give him credit for having the balls to take on as a manager. A lot of these ex players who becomes pundits or journalists should manage a club first before talking crap.

  • Lance Peters, of course I wouldn’t dream to answer for Walter, but I can say for myself that what I like is evidence based commentary, with the evidence drawn across a period of time, rather than the last match. Sadly I can’t think of anyone who really goes in for that. Except perhaps Moyes with his comment on Ozil. He took the longer term view, but unfortunantely forgot the evidence.

  • Polo

    I’m no Gary Neville fan but I heard he is a very good and kind person in real life so I wish him all the best from now on.

  • Sally Pally

    As a side-note, before Lee Mason is let off the hook, has anyone had the idea of starting a crowdfunding site to hire a top lawyer or 2 and an investigative journalist to look into the performance of certain repeat offender referees when refereeing Arsenal matches? You guys have all the data and we have video evidence to back everything up. It would be easy money for the recruits. I reckon that quite a few thousand people might contribute a fiver, say, which would get the ball rolling. Money talks and has sadly been proven to be more important than honesty in this consumer society, especially with football, so honesty has to be paid for…We can do that. We have a few million fans who are absolutely screaming blue murder about this because it is just the latest in a long history of PGMOL cheating.

    Then, the page would be big news in itself and the rest of the media would hate to be left behind, so once momentum was gained, the ball would keep on rolling and the PGMOL would definitely feel the pressure.

    Most of us will probably have noticed that refereeing of arsenal matches improved a lot after the Mike Dean petition became so explosive and big news from the big media outlets. Sadly, bias has returned with vengeance in the form of Mason’s latest buffoonery. It is going to take more to have a permanent effect and collapse the edifice of the PGMOL.

    The club hierarchy don’t want to do this for various reasons, which we should consider, in case it caused more trouble than it solved. However, some of them seem happy with being a top four club and we are not, when we can clearly see that we are continually prevented from winning the Premier League, even with teams very cap[able of it.

    Secondly, is anyone else disappointed with what Koeman said after Wenger’s rant to the officials? I suppose he fell in to default manager mode, so as not to show up his team for being able to get away with constant tackling and for being played off the park. But just once, you would like both managers to square up to the referees and kick up a big fuss. I have no doubt that Koeman will know that Lee Mason got them the draw (with a lot of help from Forster, granted – who was immense). I thought him a man of integrity and am disappointed. A few words from him could have made a BIG difference.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sally Pally,
    Unfortunately managers mostly think short time. You can be assured that if next time Mason messes up against Southampton Koeman will be the first to crucify Mason. They are not interested in the game in general at all. Their only concern is if they got an advantage or not in the last match.

    Wenger is one of the few who dares to stick out his neck and who wants to improve football in general.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Lance, I would go back to showing the highlights of the matches without comment. Why do I need people to tell me what I have seen? I even put the sound down when watching the live matches to avoid their comment. When I am sitting in the stadium I don’t hear anyone telling me what I am seeing with my own eyes.
    I can make up my own mind about the match.
    So just fire the lot. All of them…

  • Mandy Dodd

    and below is the managerial record of another arch Wenger critic

    inpressive, isnt it!

  • Stevo

    The only salvation Gary Nevillle can hope for is to get that magical scouser Jamie Carragher on board, he seems to know everything about the way football should be played. Hmmm !

  • colario

    @Mandy Dodd.
    Then we have the Welsh wizard John Hartson. His managerial record his…….?

  • proudkev

    Great article.

    These Fantasy Football Managers who sit their in their comfy chairs with no pressure dishing out their expertise, usually based on hindsight. Judging experieinces managers that are actually doing the job, based on what they would do. Priceless.

    They get their cushy jobs as pundits because they were former players. Why are they in TV and Radio studios and not managing at some top club?

    Robbie Savage talking about football always makes me laugh, especially when he’s having a go at skilfull players. He was a very average player who like Neville, was an old school clogger who went around kicking better players. (You ahve to laugh at the way he dresses and does his hair, he looks like a preening peacock, what a clown, how anyone takes him serious is beyond me).

    A manager that has won Doubles, Titles and even gone a whole season unbeaten being told what he should be doing by Robbie Savage, Jamie Carragher and Alan Shearer. Lets all fall about holding our ribs, its just so funny.

    I am embarassed for them, truly deluded.

    Unfortunately, we have fans who are just as deluded. they genuinely beleive everything they say is right.

    I have no idea why top football clubs aren’t head hunting on a WOB blog. Go on anyone of the WOB blogs and the amount of tactical geniuses, expert transfer negotiators, scouts, football marketing experts, football financial acocuntants etc is outstanding.

    At least clogger Neville has had the balls to prove to everyone that football punditry is no measure of management ability.

    Football fans needs a real sense of reality and need to stop this delusion. Stop hanging on the pundits every word or the hacks recycled cobblers. Just because we have 24/7 live football, dream team competitions, computer simulationn games and saturated online content from hacks, this does not mean we are elite football managers. Its as real life as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fiary. As Gary Neville is finding out.

  • Tasos

    Sally Pally

    One more note from Lee Mason’s performance. Why did he allow José Fonte to receive treatment for a bloodied wound on the field of play?



    • a player is not allowed to receive treatment on the field of play
    • any player bleeding from a wound must leave the field of play. He may not
    return until the referee is satisfied that the bleeding has stopped. A player is not permitted to wear clothing with blood on it
    • as soon as the referee has authorised the doctors to enter the field of play,
    the player must leave the field of play, either on a stretcher or on foot. If a
    player does not comply, he must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour

    Remember why Jose Mourihno began his nasty spat with the Chelsea club doctor Eva Carneiro.

    The Mail reported on this incident

    “The rules state that once a member of the medical team takes to the pitch, the player must then be taken off for a short period, even if the injury is not serious. This was introduced to curb time-wasting”.

    Lee Mason knows the Laws of the game. He also knows that that decision would’ve given Arsenal a one man advantage for 4 or 5 minutes. Mason should therefore be punished for falling to Adhere to the laws of the game.

    Anyone can debate his decision making on the night but this particular incident is indisputable.

  • Zedsaunt

    Football 7 – Sir Alec Ferguson Jubilee Eleven 0

    A great many pundits have failed as managers. Rule of thumb – anyone sitting in the studio as a pundit is no different from any other fan. The EPL and BT could bring in a panel from a different pub game by game and nobody would notice much difference.

  • Tasos

    =Apologies for going off topic=

  • Ando

    Colario’s mention of John Hartson impells me to say that, in my view, he seems to find punditry anything but ‘easy’ or ‘absolutely no pressure’ (quotes from other contributors). He stumbles over his words, which themselves only state the bleedin’ obvious and then, with a stare like that of a rabbit caught in the headlights, as if hypnotised by Gaby Logan’s charming presence, he repeats himself almost word for word.
    By contrast, Jermaine Jenas seems like Perry Como – relaxed, confident, informed, perceptive. And he was a Spuds player! Damn!

  • dan

    Why doesnt rat face buy a big watch and a have list of friendly refs to call, better still his own pigmob?

  • Stevo

    If only Gary Neville had thought about the tactics that Manure adopted in game 50 . That would have worked v Barca last night, surely there must be a Spanish Mikel Rileyo refereeing in la liga that would have understood his thinking. He still has the second leg to come, so no harm in trying!

  • Genorm

    @tasos Apparently Mason was stood having a drink, while the injured player wasted nearly 4 minutes. Make no mistake, Mason is back in Riley’s special club. His career was on the line after the non-sending off of Coq. He has superbly pushed himself up to just below Dean, Atkinson and Taylor. Beware the unfit ref with the sparrow legs. The whole pigmob tribe is corrupt and an affront to genuine Arsenal fans.

  • Mandy Dodd

    a few eyebrows were raised when Coq did not start.
    Some rightly wondered if this was Wenger being cautious to prevent injury, i just wonder if the manager correctly assessed what Mason is and what he would do, and figured Coq would be a walking red card if he played for 90 mins as Mason took steps to suck up to Riley after his performance the Palace game last Aug.
    And , the fact that Coq was carded for his first tackle.
    Hope from now on, we will see much more of this excellent player.
    Flam has stood in manfully, but unfortunately, perhaps, through no fault of his own, he just does not work fully with Ramsey …and can be left with too much to do. Adrian Clarke tweeted there are issues in central defence, when this man speaks , or tweets, can only believe him.
    Looking forward to better things in coming games, our team do not lack bottle as the media/aaa will have us believe, they have just been a bit temproarily disrupted by injuries to key players, and in some cases, officials that should be spending a bit of time with a personal trainer but should be nowhere near Arsenal or the game of football,

  • Tasos

    Mandy Dodd

    Good point re-Coq. Mason had no hesitation producing his yellow card. As much as Arsenal needed Coq against Southampton, a red card and subsequent ban was perhaps a rick assessment the manger may have factored into his team selection. We’ll never know I guess.

  • Mayorlincoln

    These pundits, just talk bullshit, we should stop listening to them because they are not better than any other fan that discusses football in the pub.

  • Mayorlincoln

    This is one of the best articles I’ve read in a while. Thanks Walter, we need more reasonable and realistic people like you writing brilliant articles

  • Goonermikey

    No body has mentioned the BBC “Football Expert” who takes on American pop artists, ice skaters, and uncle Tom Cobbly in predicting results! And the Beeb brag about how good he is when he gets more points than Slyvester Stallone FFS. That’s right the self-opinionated Mark Lawrenson, the man with an 18.0% win ratio when in charge of Oxford United and a 39.1% win percentage at the mighty Peterborough. Compares well (NOT!) with the career average of AW at 54.3% including 57.5% during his near 20 years in the premiership.

    I will have said this before to underline my hatred of pundits who pretend/think they’re clever. The best bit is when the talk about how well a team played because made triangles on the pitch to pass to each other. The pundit will then proceed to pick three players and draw lines between each to demonstrate their point………why they never point out that referees and linesmen are brilliant too because if you draw lines between the three of them they form triangles too………….as do three corner flags; three goal posts or three hot dog sellers outside the ground……….

    Sadly the last qualification required to be a pundit is a brain, the first one is being part of the old boys network of (usually) Man U or Liverpool players; or alternatively the ability to be controversial…..or preferably both e.g. Phil Neville who the BBC defended to the hilt when criticising for advocating physical assault on Rosicky because he was a clever footballer.

    As I have suggested to the BBC on more than one occasion, if their pundits (and presenters) are as good as they say they are then give the viewers the opportunity to vote on them or, even better, give them the choice on the ‘red button’ to eliminate their comments from the commentary. (My problem with turning the sound down is that I want to hear the crowd.)

    People who watch the TV programme Casualty regularly or may have worked as a porter in a hospital do not think for one moment that this qualifies them to be a surgeon. I therefore find it bizarre in the extreme that fans, pundits, commentators and “journalists” think they know how to manage a football club better than one of the most successful managers in the history of English football.

  • thierryhenry22

    Spot-on Walt, great article. And thank you for saying clearly: Wenger is the best ever manager. People always bunch him up with other managers but he is head and shoulders above the rest.

  • Polo

    My opinion why Wenger didn’t play Coq is because 1. Allow Coq more rest time as he just came back from long term injury and playing two games in 4 days might risk recurring injury. 2. He subbed Coq on at 85 minutes because he think it’s not our night, better to draw then risk losing toward end of match. Can you imagine the outrage if Southampton had scored if AW did what all these WOBs suggest that we put an attacking player instead of a DM? Remember the outrage last season with matches where we lost or concede late in the match, WOBs were fuming we were to attack minded and we couldn’t defend and so on.

  • Jambug

    Great articles and some great comments from the usual suspects and some I’m not so familiar with.

    My favourites:

    Mike f

    “Here’s another gripe,,just count the minutes before the ‘commentator’ tells you how long since Arsenal won the premiership,,,it’s the go to remark for the unimaginative. You never hear them tell you after a few minutes that Liverpool have NEVER won the premiership or that Sp*** haven’t won the league since 1961 ! ! “Sp**s haven’t won the league for 55 years” is what I’m waiting to hear during the first few minutes of a game.
    Martin Tyler,,Alan Parry etc oh and that other icon of incredible success Tony Gale can barely disguise their bias,,I seem to remember Tony Gale shouting “get in!” one time when somebody scored against Arsenal..says it all.”

    –Chance would be a fine thing !! It’s NEVER mentioned, ‘let alone after a few minutes’.

    Sally Pally

    “As a side-note, before Lee Mason is let off the hook, has anyone had the idea of starting a crowd funding site to hire a top lawyer or 2 and an investigative journalist to look into the performance of certain repeat offender referees when refereeing Arsenal matches?”

    –A great idea but I doubt it would happen, even if we could raise the money.

    I did once suggest on here a long time back that our best hope was that if a University took it up. They could do a really in depth analysis of referees in general and would surely be impartial. The problem is, what we really want is an independent body, that caries some weight/credibility to analyse Arsenals games. The icing on the cake for me would be if they took say 10 random, and 10 of the worst games that UA recommend, and just using the ‘laws of the game’ as per our reviewers, see how they compared.

    A University study could also look in to such things as regional bias, and perhaps pose the question, ‘how the f***, given the amount of people living in London and the Home Counties, there isn’t a single POGMOL ref from that area?’


    “These Fantasy Football Managers who sit their in their comfy chairs with no pressure dishing out their expertise, usually based on hindsight. Judging experieinces managers that are actually doing the job, based on what they would do. Priceless.

    Unfortunately, we have fans who are just as deluded. they genuinely beleive everything they say is right.”

    –Spot on as usual kev.


    “One more note from Lee Mason’s performance. Why did he allow José Fonte to receive treatment for a bloodied wound on the field of play?”

    –Great point.

    One other thing you never see is the ref blowing the whistle just as a cross is being delivered. Not only that, although only a few seconds, he actually blew before the full amount of added time was played.

    That is another direct contradiction of the laws as it says the time indicated is the ‘minimum’ to be added.

    Can you seriously believe that would of happened had it been Southampton just about to deliver a cross, or heaven forbid United or Chelsea?


    “If only Gary Neville had thought about the tactics that Manure adopted in game 50 . That would have worked v Barca last night, surely there must be a Spanish Mikel Rileyo refereeing in la liga that would have understood his thinking. He still has the second leg to come, so no harm in trying!”

    –I absolutely loved this. Can you imagine a team trying to get away with that against Barca or Real in Spain? The mere thought of it is laughable.

    Mandy Dodd

    “a few eyebrows were raised when Coq did not start.
    Some rightly wondered if this was Wenger being cautious to prevent injury, i just wonder if the manager correctly assessed what Mason is and what he would do, and figured Coq would be a walking red card if he played for 90 mins as Mason took steps to suck up to Riley after his performance the Palace game last Aug.”

    –Another great point. Makes sense, and perhaps explains Wenger having a go. It seems to make these things even worse when you’ve actually predicted what’s going to happen, and as you say it’s possible he had thought exactly that would happen.


    “…why they never point out that referees and linesmen are brilliant too because if you draw lines between the three of them they form triangles too………….as do three corner flags; three goal posts or three hot dog sellers outside the ground……….”


    Well done guys, great article and comments.

    Sadly I think we really up against it.

  • proudkev


    Spot on comments.

    The ugly sister, Phil Neville, actually proved what I have been saying about our dinosaur approach to football.

    This is what Phil Neville said after Rosicky played a fantastic through ball while looking the other way. Rosicky didn’t dive or cheat, just tricked the players with a bit of skill. But as it was Arsenal, Neville said this: ‘If that was a training session and somebody did that, I’d be first over there and I’d probably look to two-foot him or take him out of the game. If somebody did that in training to me, winding me up, I would be straight in there. I’d smash them.’

    What a big, hard man rat faced Neville is.

    The BBC were forced to make him apologise, to which he said: ‘My comments were just tongue in cheek’. He is so thick and stupid, he thinks tongue in cheek will excuse him, when everyone knows he meant what he said.

    To the point:

    Skill is not appreciated in this Country; players with more ability are called show-boaters and treated as targets to be kicked by the English dinosaurs. Wenger is disliked because he likes to play a European, technical, skill based game, instead of the British long ball game of high energy, physical tackling. The Brits dont like Johnny Foreigner coming over here and showing them how to play their game. Made even worse because its a London club – after all football should be domintaed by Northern clubs. Its refereed by Northern referees too.

    The attitude ferguson and his team took when faced with a better, more skilfull opponent was to ‘get stuck in’. Its been admitted by Ferguson and his players. Interestingly, this wasnt a tactict they ad opted in Europe, where Barcelona played them off the park, because they knew continental referees would not tolerate it. Now this tactic of getting ‘stuck into’ skilful players is endorsed routinely by ex players and the pundits in the studios. Endorsed by journalists and fans who are brainwashed into thinking it is a legitimate tactic that should be encouraged and praised. Referees endorse this, they believe it is the English way – its indoctrinated into our football and we are proud of it.

    Meanwhile, Eduardo and Ramsey suffered horrendous injuries caused by English players, English players who incidently received a lot of sympathy from the media. The usual ‘not that kind of player’ or ‘he needed a lift home from his Mum’. Abou Diabys career was ruined by a very late ankle breaker committed by another Brit, Dan Smith of Sunderland. No red card. Jack was put into hospital with a broken ankle caused by a late ankle breaker from Paddy McNair, a tackle Mike Dean didnt even award a free kick for. These are not coincidences.

    Meanwhile we couldnt win a World Cup if our lives depended on it – because of this terrible sneering attitude we have to the skillful game.

    The FA, PGMOL, ex players (usually dominated by ex Man Utd or Liverpool players) and the pathetic media in this Country, are all to blame.

    Mandy Dodd
    The real irony is what Mandy says above about Coquelin. I think three Southamptin players committed something like 17 fouls and not one booking. Coquelin is booked for his first tackle within 30 seconds of coming onto the pitch.

    It so frigging obvious how this works, I have no idea why nobody ever says anything.

    I have said this for many years, its obvious whats going on.

    Things have to change.

  • Tom

    Neville should thank his lucky stars the match finished with a 7:0 scorline.
    It could’ve easily been double digits.
    Neymar hit a post from the penalty spot when he elected to showboat and one stepped the run up. Messi hit the crossbar from what was easily the play of the game, and Barca missed some other clear cut chances.

    Valencia were non existent from the start to finish and it was a trully an embarrassment of a performance.
    Lining up the two banks of four hasn’t worked against Barca this season and Neville should’ve known that.

    What Neville was thinking excepting the Valencia job, only he knows.
    One of the least technical players to ever play the game at the highest of levels going to the most technical of leagues on his first appointment.
    Surely a Championship club would’ve been a better option for his style of play.

    Motivating players is one of the more important aspects of management . Trying to do that through a translator is nearly impossible.
    Also, Valencia goes through managers at the same rate as Real Madrid, and every player knows his chances of outlasting any manager are by far greater than the other way around, and that is always a bad dynamic.

  • Sally Pally

    The PGMOL must be desperate. They layed off us for a month or two and hey, presto – we went top of the PL…It must have felt really awful for them. My heart bleeds…Well news is that they will be found out and they will suffer the same fate as the FIFA arseholes. You can’t keep this kind of shit covered up forever. When the PGMOL gets shown for the disgusting bunch of dishonest football-wreckers that they are, watch everyone jump on the bandwagon, saying ‘we knew the PGMOL was corrupt, it was only a matter of time…’ Wait and see and have faith. You can only turn reality on its head for so long…We got beaten fair and square by Southampton a month or so ago – fair play to them. But this was a draw made possible by one of the most despicable men after Sep himself…

  • proudkev

    Tom, I agree.

    The score may have been 7-0 but that should have been ten. Totally unprepared to play Barcelona, Valencia were shocking from start to finish. In really does hilight what we have all been saying about these former players who act as pundits.

    In October Gary Neville made an allegation regarding our big game preparations:

    Neville: “I may be wrong, but I sense that Arsenal players go into training on Friday morning thinking about how they’ll pass the ball, score with a bicycle kick, how much fun they are going to have.”

    Wenger replied sarcastically: “We just turn up on Saturday, just go out and play…! He added: “Honestly, I am 30 years in this job. I have a good tolerance level to sometimes listen to things that are really ridiculous. Honestly. I can do it.”

    no doubt Wenger is having a little chuckle at Nevilles expense.

    In August Neville decided to have a disagreement with Thierry Henry on Sky, after the nil nil draw with Liverpool.

    Neville said: “I just cannot get my head around why he (Wenger) would not sign players of power to assist these talented players. He’s arrogant. To think you are not going to adapt your team”

    Thierry: “Its not arrogance, its belief”

    Neville: “But it doesnt work”

    Thierry: “The players beleive they can outplay other teams”

    Neville: “Its either naive or arrogance”

    Well I wonder whether it was naive or arrogant to leave a comfortable TV studio to take a job in a technical league and try to play 4 4 2? I think this is a clear case of an ego being bigger than ability.

  • John

    I see that the AKB’s are back in force .Thtas probably because they havent been barred unlike those who speak the truth..

  • Jambug

    At the top of the page it says:

    Untold Arsenal: Arsenal News; Supporting the club, the players and the manager.

    And some people think AKB’s might get barred.

    Some people really are a but dim.

  • Jambug

    I meant a ‘bit’ dim, but hey ‘Butt’ Dim fits nicely as well.

  • Mike f

    John ,, the AKB’s as you call them have never been away. They are all loyal supporters who take the rough with the smooth ,,and let’s be honest we haven’t had much rough to deal with over the last twenty years. There’s only a few trophies to be won each season and we’ve won a reasonable number ( the liverpools,,sp**s,,newcastles etc would love a little of that kind of failure) . But if you like football to be exciting, entertaining, sometimes thrilling, sometime torture,,than Arsenal fans have it all. Thanks to a manager that some dislike so much and I’ll never understand them. I’ve been a gooner since 1960 and seen some great times and thin ones but always supported the team. I like to think the AKB’s will support any future manager as much as Wenger ,,like we did in the pre AW days.

  • Steve Vallins

    @ Sally Pallly and Mandy
    Arsene did complain how Arsenal were being referred , you both must remember the outcome Newcastle 4 Arsenal 4 Mr Dowd done what Riley required two of the softest penalties and Diaby sent off no heads turned in the media just how bad Arsenal were losing a 4nil lead and the greatest come back by Newcastle
    No independent media outlet has ever condemned a referee of how controls a Arsenal game

  • Mark

    The place for you is online Gooner, they have all the anti Arsenal posters you could ever need. Wallow with them and then you will find your opinion exalted and praised. Such a strange site run by Whitcher, the perfect partner for their anti Arsenal agendas.
    He even admitted with his latest match report where he actually stood. Shame on him and his herd of sheep. Up the Arsenal.

  • Can’t agree with the post Arsene the greatest Arsenal manager. Not by a long way. Last 10 years prove that. Was good once, not now.

  • John

    I hadn’t been on the site until i read you post above.I thought online ed’s blog was spot on .He criticed the referees performance and quite rightly so but pointed out the flaws in ous squad and arsenes inability to strengthen in positions which were glaringly obvious after our last season when we finished 12 points adrift of the champions.This is not anti arsenal its fact..Surely if we come short again questions about the manager who runs the club from top to bottom must surely be asked.In any company when they fail surely there has to be consequences…There is where i work.

  • I’m with you John, like the children’s fairy tale, the tailors and the king, the king has got no cloths on, it’s all a trick.

  • Mark

    When they fail there has to be consequences.
    Fail at what? Not buying enough players? Not predicting injuries? Not competing? Not winning the league? Not winning the Fa Cup?
    What would you have done? And don’t say I am not paid to be the manager Just pretend for a minute and let’s hear your great philosophy. It won’t cost you a thing.

  • Polo

    @ John and Tipster, which position are we short? Is it because we don’t have any media pumped up ‘world class players’ that’s worth over £50 million? List all the players names that Wenger should have bought and I will say they are either unavailable or would choose to go another club in Europe. Fans like you think Wenger has this fantasy £200 million to spend on players and if he splash it those world class players will come, so deluded. Let’s look at some of the players the media say Arsenal should go buy, Lewandolski he is not available and if he was he would go to either Spain or Italy. Higuian wanted to stay at Napoli. Aubayang well he’s selling price is over £100 million and that’s just to make the club consider and other major club are interested in him. Why can’t fans like you go support another club like Man City as they like to splash the cash there, it suit your types quite well. Seriously Clubs in England are not financially poor so why those ‘World Class Players’ are not playing in the BPL already if it was easy to buy? Some report said Messi considered playing for Arsenal but changed his mind because he prefer to live in Spain. Look at Ronaldo he went from Man United to Real Madrid why did he do that? Same with Bale? Isn’t it because they want to play for the worlds biggest clubs? So what make you think other ‘world class players’ would join Arsenal when they could go to Real Madrid, Barca, or Juventus etc. People like you need to live in the real world not blog world.

  • Muhamad Syafiq

    I wish Gary Neville would pundit his game against Barcelona.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Pissing on another’s parade ?

    Tony and Harold, two avid fisherman and well-known drunks, were out in a boat on their favourite lake one day drowning some worms and polishing off some brews.Suddenly,
    Tony got what he thought was a nibble. Reeling it in he found a bottle with a cork in it. Naturally curious, he uncorked the bottle and a large genie appeared.
    The genie said, “I will grant you one wish.
    “Tony thought for a second and said, “I wish this whole lake was beer.” Poof! His wish came true. The lake was now filled with their favourite brew.
    Harold looked at Tony in disgust and said, “You asshole, now we have to piss in the boat.”

  • upp

    @john, true. When u ban posts with opposing views, of course it would seem like they’ve been away. It’s hypocrisy to then ask where have they been since?

  • proudkev

    AKB = A term created as an insult against those who choose to support the football club positively, including the Manager. Anyone who acknowledges the growth of the club through good financial managment and austerity, through the obstacles caused by the economic downturn and the property crisis, is instantly an AKB. Any fan who uses the investment of the Russian and the Arabs to excuse the lack of trophies together with the aformentioned stadium finacning, is an AKB. To suggest that our net spending over that period puts us in the bottom half of the table, means you are instantly labelled an AKB.

    Any fan citing Wengers commments supporting their opinion, in which he stated that his biggest success was keeping Arsenal in the Champions League level, while Chelsea and Man City were spending and we were selling our best players, is an AKB.

    An AKB is a silent majority.

    * * * *

    WOB = An activist whose primary concern is the removal of the manager. Success is irrelevant because the removal of the manager is the only goal. The Manager is to be criticised for every decision and anyone associated with his managment is to be criticised too. This will include the board, the scouts, the fitness team and the players. WOB’s will single out certain players and make them scapegoats. The players will often be only in the team because they are Wengers favourites. The WOB’s will claim Wenger owes his success to George Graham, because of the back 4 he inherited.WOB’s also claim George Graham is a better manager.

    They believe the stadium move had no impact on our finances and the £billion invested by Abramovich and the Monsours should not have affected our ability to win the Premier League or the Champions League. They beleive Arsenal always had money and that Wenger decided not to spend it because he is tight. The WOB’s believe that any success, like the two recent FA Cups should be atrributed to failings with the other teams and not Wenger. The reason Wenger does not sign the players the WOB’s would like us to sign is because Wenger is a ditherer. Wenger has £200 million available but refuses to spend it because he does not want to win trophies.

    A WOB is a loud mouthed minority.

    Happy for any additions/amendments but I think thats pretty accurate.

  • john

    Firstly its not numbers wise we are short of its the quality.That is one reason why arsene doesn’t rotate as often as he should do to keep the players fresh. Many of our players have suffered muscular injuries because of being overplayed.
    Secondly we have a very sizeable amount of money for transfers ,for players identified from our vast scouting network to improve the quality of the squad.It is ashame that there isn’t a player our there in the world that would improve our world class team, not one. I find that bizarre. When we moved initially we were told that we cant spend money we haven’t got, now we cant spend money because there’s no one to buy.. strange.
    And you said that players would choose other clubs over arsenal. They would if they offer more money .Why would they not want to play in the best stadium in Europe for the greatest manager in the world??Surely that is one reason why we left highbury “To compete with the very best in Europe”.at the moment we are a million miles from that.

  • john

    An AKB is a silent majority???Only on this board. Although I don’t agree with some of the other arsenal blog sites you will find if you go on them that the majority are ready for change and that includes the manager.
    I think the loudmouthed majority refers to a few on here who cant see past blaming the referees for everything.

  • john

    You use the oil billionaires as an excuse not to compete. Are they all that bad. At least they put there money into the club and to subsidise ticket prices and renovate the area and training facilities. our own billionaire owner takes millions out of our club for what??

  • proudkev


    I dont use the oil billionaires as an excuse not to compete. I use them merely to highlight the financial difficulty. Not only did the oil billionaires change the face of English football, they did so at a time when Arsenal were having to cut our cloth.

    WOB’s seem to be in complete denial over the impact moving stadium and redeveloping Highbury had. They see the fact we were 16th or lower in nett spend as something to beat Wenger up about – not the reality of our financial situation. It appears the collapse of the economy and the housing market, due largerly to toxic loans did not really happen and that Arsenal was ring fenced in any case. All the WOB’s go on about is ‘ten years’, which is ignorant and plain

    It makes me laugh how players like Denislson and many others have been picked up by the group of WOB’s as an example of crap players we had, without reconciling how on earth these players finished 3rd and 4th – if the players and the manager were so bad, someone pulled off a miracle surely?

    Wenger himself said if asked to do that agina he would refuse. He said maintaining our position as a top 4 club under those financial restraints was a bigger achievement than the Invincibles. He said educating players only to see them lured away once they had reached top level, was the most frustrating part. Players like Cole, Clichy, Nasri etc. Personally, must have been anightmare. I prefer his view on the diffultness of the situation than some fantasy football WOB who happens to be a self prfessed expert at football finances and football managment.

    ……and yes WOB’s are a minority. Most people I mix with, even rival fans think WOB’s are idiots. Not all WOB’s but a large number, seem to get great pleasure abusing people. The language on the blogs is digusting, so too the amount of insults aimed at the players. After we had won the second FA CUP, some WOB’s werent goimg to celebrate, instead they pissed on the trophies. When we beat man Utd 4-0, on that WOB site, one or two were showing dispeasure as the third and 4th goals went in – claiming beating Man Utd so easily would mean Wenger getting off…! Is that really how to support your club?

    PS: I note you are also having a go at Kroenke claiming he is stealing millions from the club. Source please? Also, are you blaiming Kroenke or Wenger for not winning the Champions League/Premier League?

    Beleive me mate, WOB’s are a small minority. Pretty hardcore and love making a lot of noise – no different from any protest group. The problem is, once you join a group it’s diffciult not to get caught up in it all and beleive every piece of recycled shit. Eventuially it gets to the point where winning is not enjoyed because its taken as a personal slight.

    Football is supposed to be fun. While fans across England get real pleasure supporting their football teams: West Ham, Spurs, Newcastle, Liverpool, Everton fans etc – we have a bunch of ungrateful, spoilt idiots who prefer to spend every single day feeling sorry for themselves and the beloved cult of hate they have signed up to!

    #WOB’s out

  • upp

    1. If a person has only 1 of those characteristics you mentioned is he still a WEB or does he need the full package to qualify?
    2. You really know someone who thinks the stadium move had no impact whatsoever? Really? I only know folks who think the impact wasn’t the only or major reason we didn’t compete, and that if the move crippled us so much financially we wouldn’t have such a healthy reserve in the bank &we certainly wouldn’t be the only club who couldn’t find an outfield player to strengthen it’s first team in the summer
    Just a few observations as regards your comment

  • proudkev


    Yes I do. In fact I have enjoyed many a debate with that kind.

    I always marvel at the number of people who have degrees in fantasy football accountancy. Any person who goes on about ten years of wenger failure is clearly in some form of denial of the financial picture or they wouldnt say it.

  • proudkev


    Fair question.

    Not all WOB’s are anti-everything Arsenal, there are many fine supporters who just want a change of Manager. I have no problem with the lesser WOB, it is the extreme element I find nauseating.

  • john

    I think the words cult of hate can be referred to the few on here who think the referees are to blame for every defeat..

  • john

    There are the so called WOB who think that our failings to win the top trophys are mainly down to the manager who runs the club from top to bottom and has overall say in everything . They think the boss should be accountable like they are at every other club in the country. Arsene hasn’t inspired a top 2 finish in the league for over a decade and is still worshipped by a few.
    Then theres the AKB’s who think that our failings are down to Referees, the papers ,oil money, pundits injuries and have nothing to do with the manager.

  • Goonermikey

    @ proudkev

    Not living in London any more means I live and work among people supporting many other clubs. Some of those people think AW is a bit arrogant and many get annoyed by him not seeing incidents. However, I cannot recall more than one or two who think AW is anything but a fantastic manager. Sadly, I think we have a larger proportion of WOB’s among our fans than among other, independent, fair-minded fans. Having said that, I totally agree that the WOB’s are still a very small minority. Even when they were at their height, the Black Scarf brigade numbered but a couple of hundred. The fact that the media ran articles implying they represented the majority is perhaps what stirred up a few of our glory hunting armchair fans to become more vocal on the lower standard blogs.

  • upp

    And remember proud Kevin, the new stadium nets @least an extra 20million a year in revenue, over the 20years or so that the payment is to be made, the stadium practically pays for itself. So I think the notorious WOBs do have a point when they say the effects of the stadium move has been exaggerated

  • John

    I see the fans again have to fork out extra for the tickets for the champions league game because of increased expendature.What increased expendature??? We haven’t spent anything.

  • Wenger should head ooff to China. Heard his comments about the extra TV money, I’m I the only one who thinks its disgraceful, needed to buy players and not reduce ticket prices, buy players, lol, pay rise for Theo et al,
    Supporters getting ripped off as usual, thought he was a socialist, yea right.

  • Polo

    @Tipster, rip off?? Mate nobody is making you pay for the goods, if you don’t like it then don’t buy, go search elsewhere. Its a business not a charity, you pay to watch a show not a donation centre. Ever heard of overhead costs in business? How about inflation? Wonder why things that cost £1 in the past now costs £2?

    Think about this if Clubs are making more money from the TV deals don’t you think the player and their agent would want more of the cut? If one worker get a pay rise then all others will want a pay rise, so in the end the money you received could cost you more in the long run.

  • Polo

    @ John, not all top players go to clubs because of a manager or stadium even if both are the best in the world, there are such things as culture, lifestyle, family and so on to take into account before deciding to move. An example is Carlos Tevez, a lot of top clubs want to sign him but he decided to go back to Argentina to play instead of playing in Europe.

  • Menace

    John – there was a preempted requirement for additional money as the cup ties had reached limit on season tickets but that has been withdrawn. The referees are without doubt cheating & your naive approach to my opinion is sad. There are so many examples of cheating going back almost 20 years. YUo may not agree because you dont see what I see or because you put all ‘mistakes’ to human error. I dont, because I pay to watch a clean football game & see racist, bigotted cheating referees getting away with corruption. The Laws of the Game are what govern how football should be played. These PGMO arseholes cheat to whatever extent they choose & have been doing so for several years.

    You appear to be naive but my opinion is that you are a wind up merchant who doesn’t have any care about a clean game.

  • Menace

    Tipster there is plenty of room in China for you. Why don’t you go?

    I love Arsenal & Wenger has done more for Arsenal than any of you mouthy lot that claim to be supporters when you couldn’t manage a piss up in a brewery.

    Just watching Wanyama gettin a red card – why didn’t any Saint get sent off v Arsenal? Cheating officials.

  • John

    Menace you must have good eyesight being able to see and pay to watch the game in India..