When the group performance declines, what is to be done next?

By Tony Attwood

It is often said, both in football and in other areas of life, that the time senior management really earn their money is when things go wrong.  Planning for the future when things are going right is less difficult because at such moments top management has time to consider, discuss, and evolve ideas.

But in a crisis there is a demand for immediate action, and the temptation to take a gamble, not because the management thinks it will work but because there is a feeling all round that doing something is always better than doing nothing.

Sadly, although doing something can be good, in my experience in management (although self-evidently not football management) doing something for the sake of doing something can often make things worse.  Also my experience is that a change of management will more often than not, fail to bring a change in performance.

In player transfer terms there is probably not much that can be done for any club today that has not already been planned and considered.  Arsenal will complete such deals as they have prepared today, unless something suddenly changes.   If a medical report comes in with a warning, if a player, an agent or a club suddenly tries to up its demands at the last minute in the belief that “they will have to agree as there is no time left” then things can come off the rails.  But otherwise we pretty much know what will happen.  Chelsea might try and buy Mahrez today, but that would be one hell of a rush, unless all the contract preliminaries have already been done behind the scenes.

But I am not too sure that the big signing roundabout that is predicted for today is the key issue that will make Arsenal’s fortunes on the pitch change.   What is really needed at the moment is a psychological shift when it comes to away games.  A recovery in the self-belief of the team that on a grotty pitch away from home against a bottom of the table club that is having a revival, Arsenal can see out a win.

So how does one change the self-belief of a bunch of multi-millionaires?

It is quite a psychological challenge, and I haven’t read a serious paper on the subject in any scientific journal – probably because no one has been able to do the research.  But what might such a paper show us?

A team with a poor record in some aspect of its game (as for example Arsenal playing in away matches) faces a number of difficulties.   First, the natural game of the players goes as they start to worry more about not doing things wrong, rather than letting their natural talent shine through in the expectation that they will do things right enough of the time for the fans not to get on their backs.

Second, the members of the team become nervous about each other’s performance, and again this detracts from their own ability, which is much of the time based on the belief that they simply get it right.

Third, there is the input of those around them: the manager has to know when to get angry, when to be sympathetic.

Then there are the factors completely beyond the control of the individual players and the club: the reaction of the fans at the match, the comments of fans after the match, and the reaction of the media.  Anyone who has never been involved in putting him/herself in front of the public through a performance or offering something in the field of the arts and entertainment, can’t really know just how difficult it can be to cope with the negative reaction.   Some do just continue as if nothing has happened, but most either shy away or try to hard – and both reactions generally make matters worse.

To perform at the highest level the footballer, rather like the actor or the musician, needs to be able to combine a heightened sense of the moment when performing, as well as being able to relax enough to give that performance.  It is the same no matter if one is playing the piano, writing, acting or playing football: if you are too hyped up or too worried about making a mistake , the results can be worse than if one is not hyped up enough.

That’s where, in football terms, the media and supporters can make matters much more difficult through criticising the team and individual players.

The return argument is that when things have gone wrong the players and management deserve criticism.  That is an moral value – that a person who gets things wrong must be criticised because… well because that seems only right and fair and proper.  It is a common moral view.  But it doesn’t have anything to do with making things better which has nothing to do with what feels or seems right.

Pulling a group of players back from poor performances (in our case poor performances away from home) is a complex and difficult task involving the psychology of each individual and the social psychology of the group.   What makes it harder is that it has to go on against the background of more and more criticism which can slow down the recovery rate both of the individuals and the team.

The reason for the new manager bounce can be found in this – players stop worrying because the new man comes in and says, “forget all that has gone before, we’re all in this together now, I don’t know anything about your past… let’s make this work.”

The reason that the new manager bounce so often comes to an end is because when things go wrong either by chance or by poor planning or simply because the players were not good enough then there is nothing else to fall back on.  There was only the new manager bounce.

None of this is to say “it is not the player’s fault.”  But most researchers accept that high performance in any field of work is only partly down to talent.  It is also largely down to the psychology of the performer, and many performers (including footballers) who fail to reach the heights that they could get to, do so because they have not been helped to understand and master the psychological elements of their performance.

Group Performance is a complicated concept, and the simplistic answers to the improvement of group performance (such as get rid of the manager, or get rid of this player) can work on occasion.  But I suspect most of them fail over the longer term.

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48 Replies to “When the group performance declines, what is to be done next?”

  1. We all know that football has changed so much that it is hardly enjoyable anymore.
    It is appearing more and more to be a packaged load of bullshit presented in a pretty box to me.

    There is no way that a whole team can go from being brilliant to being mediocre from one week to the next without some outside influence. One or two players, OK but a whole team, even the GK is “fumbling” their lines one week, and making classy performances the next.

    This smells of manipulation big time.

    There will be many who will say, it cant be done.

    But hey, we were once told that Greece was the beginning of civilisation were we not, and look how that turned out to be a load of bollocks.

  2. What I watched last night was mediocrity at it’s dizzy best. Long gone are the days where we could predict an Arsenal win or draw let alone what the score might be. Now, to be fair, there’s more money to splash around for clubs, in the Premiership anyway, so better players recruited, not necessarily foreign. However the one thing we could predict was the Arsenal resolve. The Arsenal consistency. They didn’t necessarily win or draw but they put up a bally good fight nevertheless. The only thing consistent in the Arsenal team over the last few seasons is their inconsistency. I don’t think it will matter how many players you buy, change does need to happen at the top. I have said this for years. Yes we can talk about psychology and how negativity etc affects the players but until you recognize that the coach is the central figure of focus for the players to look to off the pitch, then when they are on the pitch there has to be someone they look to on the pitch. That’s not to say they don’t take responsibility for their gaffs, but what they do is they get up, acknowledge their gaff to their team mates and power up that field as if their lives depended on it – collectively, as one coherent unit. That has been missing from The Arsenal for years.

  3. I thought you were a stickler for evidence based statements? Where is the evidence for your theory in paragraph 2, where you say in troubled times management acts not due to desire to turn around results but just to be seen as having done something?

  4. To be honest the man i respect so much is making a bunch of good and talented players look mediocre. That is all on him. How many time has that happened this season. Every good thing certainly has an end.

  5. A great read, highlighting the complexity of these issues. This team are probably more likely to get slaughtered by fans and press than any other in the league, but unfortunately they are bringing things on themselves at the moment, our record away against the bottom four for starters is nothing short of appalling.
    As for doing something about it, think the act of just doing something can help, as Wenger did after last seasons slump by introducing the back three.
    From the outside looking in, and not knowing what goes on in training, just come to the inescapable conclusion that more,work needs doing on defence, organisation and solidity, especially away. We know Wenger is wedded to attacking philosophy, many older people, myself included get more stubborn as they progress in life,,is our manager a bit like this when it comes to defending, or lack of it?
    I,am not,suggesting getting rid of the manager, but maybe introduce different voices, different methods, give our sometimes exposed,players a bit more confidence.other, lesser teams look a lot more solid at the back than we often do.
    But sadly, I do not think Wenger is for such changes in formation and philosophy, as he nears the end of his career at this club. I also,suspect,,even fear that he will continue to do it his way, out of principle, and if it continues not to work out, I strongly suspect that despite an understanding owner, he will take the decision to,walk this summer, and thing will change, whether for the better, remains to be seen.
    Wish Wenger could be more pragmatic, but that is not the man, can only wish him a couple trophies in what I believe will be his final season. He will have done it his way, and for the vast majority of his tenure, it has worked well, but I suspect the average modern player needs more prescriptive organisation and coaching than the freedom of expression our man believes in.

  6. Did anyone see AWs press conference after the game? He says the same thing after every defeat. He says he does not know why we lost.

  7. There was a lot of simplistic fan reactions about Arsenal and there always will be. After our excellent victories v Palace and Chelsea, we’ve been told that it is obvious that Alexis was the rotten apple and that his departure would make it easier for the players. That school of thought has completely ignored my evidence-based suggestions that, in fact, all three victories Arsenal have made on the road in the league this season saw Alexis scoring at least a goal, that he was one of our top scorers despite his difficult position etc, etc. People went that far to claim he was at fault for two thirds of all goals we have conceded. He didn’t play v Bournemouth, Palace Swansea and yet we conceded two goals per game.

    To put it this way, Arsene has made a huge mistake 20 months ago when he decided to sign Xhaka for the reported fee of 35 million pounds. I’ve read so many comments from either side of the discussion where Xhaka was compared to Arteta. If only he was a new Arteta. He lacks defensive discipline. He is too slow, very one-footed and not efficient enough to take all set-pieces away from Mesut. I’m not saying Xhaka is a bad player but that he suffers from what I call “The Podolski Paradox” – he is a good player for which qualities a real position on the pitch hasn’t been invented yet. We have conceded so many goals after his poor passes and poor positioning that I would be very surprised if our next manager sticks with him.

    As for the manager, our greatest manager ever, has spent enough money to turn things around. He has 13 games in the league, a league cup final and a Europa League route to make this season successful. Winning Europa League is becoming imperative in order to return to Champions League and that doesn’t sound well given that Atletico Madrid and Napoli are still in the competition with Borussia Dortmund and Lazio as remaining teams. If we fail to reach Champions League or at least win the league cup, the club should negotiate the least painful separation with Arsene or give him another role in the club.

  8. All these points you made Mr. Attwood are certainly valid. Still that doesn’t explain the tedious dull sideways football we seem to be addicted to. Our main plan seems to be all about sterile possession. I don’t know what happened to the exciting teams we had under a younger Wenger.

  9. If we would be bad at home also then there would be something completely wrong. But as the difference between home performances and away performances is so big I think there is some pshycholog problem in the team. How to fix it? I don’t know. I just hope they fix it. And quick.

  10. If anyone can fix it, that person is Arsene Wenger, the wisest and most experienced manager in the Premier League. Good luck, Arsene!

  11. Welcome, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang! May your goal-scoring streak v Spurs continue and that you beat them in your third attempt this season!

    What is even more important, BILD reports Mesut is about to sign a new contract in the next few days. Fingers crossed!

  12. WalterBroeckx

    I do think that AW training methods are outdated and probably only suited to a team of world class players, players who take the game by the scruff of the neck and manage it once they are on the pitch, Arsenal has not got these type of players at the moment, and they need encouragement and guidance from the touchlines to function when they falter.

    They probably feel left alone and falter more when left alone, except in those moments when they have the fire up, then they perform well, even if losing.

    But the performance yesterday was another of those that defies credibility. We know what Arsenal is capable of, they show us that every now and again. Swansea were closing down well, but Arsenal can do that too, and why they did not do so is something that i just cannot accept so easily, hence i am beginning to think that there is something else going on in football, something that we cannot/will not even begin to even consider.

    We must know now that the refs are not the only problem, a problem that more and more teams are beginning to realise themselves, even the “big money three”.

    Something stinks very big.

  13. Coquelin snf Walcott have gone away from the Ems. And Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang have coming in supposedly as their replacements. But Giroud is now on his way out and if he goes, with whom will he be replaced with? But it’s not actually Giroud’s striker position in the team that needs replacing but Walcott winger position.

    Auba cost Arsenal £56m to sign but they sold Coquelin, Walcott and Giroud for a combine fee of £50m leaving them with £6m as net spent this winter and they’ve not bid to sign a top quality winger of Mahrez caliber to complete the team’s strength so as to not leave any position in the team weak?

  14. It’s to easy to hustle Arsenal out of a game .Where is Paddy and Tommy Smith Roy Keene .If you play Ozil he needs ball winners and men to stop the other team playing .Who do we have ?

  15. Ptang Yang Kipper Bang! (one for the older readers..?)

    Any noise on Mr J Evans coming and has Holding gone on loan to Burnley?

    Plenty to play for yet this season, and back to the football once the transfer bs is over(sensationalist click bait).Time to dig in and get on a run. For once I hope Man Ure do the biz against the Chickens.It will be interesting to see who else the Swans beat at their nest?

    Time to get rid of the blue kit, its truly diabolical. She deosnt wear a blue ribbon, its yellow. Bah!

    Heres another q: would you have Alex Song back on a free?

  16. awful performance last night monreal decent but ozil was the only player who made any significant passes the others failed to take advantage- seems to me dealing with the counter attack is our major issue , three at the back seems to have failed and using elneny in deep role does not appear to be the answer unlees something dramatic happens i believe wenger will step down at the end of the season



  18. No sir, you only use the phrase “in your experience in management” in the next paragraph to explain why this approach(doing something for doing sake) DOESN’T HELP. However, in the previous paragraph you had claimed (as a matter of fact, but without evidence) that management does something just to be seen as doing something. The question remains, how did U come to this conclusion? Do you have any evidence backing this claim?

  19. I just do not understand how we can be so good at closing down a team and keeping them at bay, working hard and performing on field one week and the next week, it’s like we forgot everything we ever learned. It just does not make any sense.

    It’s like a completely different set of players, when only one or two have been changed out, sometimes none have been changed out.

    You can’t tell me that the opposition is always better on that day, this is not the case, one week we make the opposition look better than they really are, we do lose many games ourselves, and it has nothing to do with the opposition at all.

    When we played Crystal Palace, they were not playing really and doing exactly what we did in our last game against Swansea. They let us play, and we let Palace play.

    This is not normal at all. As i said, it is affecting all teams now, as if someone is directing the teams remotely.

    Teams will not win every game, teams will have an off day yes, but generally they will have some form of fight to not lose the game, but what we are seeing is complete brilliance one week, and utter disgrace the next week.

    This just is not normal in any way. Even City and Utd are falling foul of this “sickness” now.

    When teams lost a game before, one could usually not fault the performances too much(at least with the top teams and even with some of the lower “quality” teams), now it is bordering on the ridiculous.

  20. We just need Jack to sign now and most of the negativity around the club can disappear.
    Then we can all concentrate on Wenger out again. 🙂

  21. You have very odd and somewhat idealistic ideas about fan participation.

    Football fans wil always complain,boo, hiss, swear, moan and make that ‘argh’ sound when their team underperforms.

    This has always been the case and will never change. Ever.
    Whether it’s effect is positive, negative or neither is irrelevant because it’s just a fact of life.
    The two phenomena are inextricably linked, a bit like January and crap weather.

    Personally, I am all for arsenal fans voicing their discontent. It is their right and they pay the highest ticket prices in football after all.

  22. ozil signing is fantastic news -apart from the boost to the club for those who support and watch the team have the pleasure of watching a football artist in action

  23. Alexander Henry you have done the “most expensive tickets” thing before and that has been answered. Your attempt to return to it without providing any evidence, while trying to suggest that somehow season ticket holders got special discounts for a match that wasn’t even included in the season ticket package showed a lot of ignorance about a subject you were trying to discuss then and you bring up again now.

    To make the claim about expensive tickets and try to explain it with false information once is pretty poor, but then to repeat the claim and go on and tell me I have odd ideas really is a trifle boring.

  24. Planted commenters!

    The article was spot on, if anything other could have been broadened and deepened, but then I told could become incessant, tedious to the right now generation, so I’ve. O complaints.

    I will add something though? In the previous season the issues was at home, now it’s away.

    There is no other tactic that is effective in its longevity, regarding a winning formula, others than to attack. Chelsea answers Athletico have both been successful on occasion, using a defensive format for the main body, but these were not defensive tactics. This was a counter attacking philosophy which was reliant on world class talent on usually a packet attacking line.

    We stick with attacking, I do however think that Arsene isn’t communicating effectively his tactics, not to suggest he is Ann ineffectual communicator, more so that certain members of the team are not listening or understanding quite simple roles.

    Last season Monreal cost us directly at least 19 goals, Xhaka has cost us goals and game season by unforced errors, resultant of terrible decisions.

    The good thing from that game was he certainly dropped himself from the starting line up. Jack needs a contract which is suitable and increases after a number of appearances, to reflect his recent injury history.

    But what is apparent is, that we are lacking quality in positions and a chain is only as cohesive and robust as its weakest link.

    3 members of personnel were well below par in last nights performance. Cech, again, Xhaka, again am delighted Mustarfi, again.

    The second benefit I saw in addressing this, the error she so glaring, and prevalent, that a tinker must be inevitable.

    Ramsey has returned and likely Jack will be fit by the next fixture and are both able to replace him and are in Munich opinion better players. This isn’t complimented by some Sterling work by Elneny and a shift in tactics which accommodates that move.

    Monreal was again exposed for his lack of pace in recovery, so Sead comes back in, returned from injury. Hector wasn’t beings caught out of position as all three goals came from the left, he just had to think check back and delay delivery whichever resulted Ina poor final ball. Nobody’s was keeping up with his play, with Lacazette now completely off the book.

    Buy what we observe is that if Elneny starts, we can accommodate Monreal in defence even with the height disadvantages.

    Lucas Moura plays right wing, we must have physical presence and pace. Sead selected himself.

    Monreal is tactically astute, required for dealing with Ali and Kane. With Mo sitting we occupy the zone which is where Ali am doing Erikssen are most effective.

    In midfield you can invert the v and use both Ramsey and Wihsete, more mobile and able to counteract the physical presence of the returned pair of Wanyama and Dembele. Which would move Ozil left and Mikhi right and Aubameyang, simply has to be given the start to a company the shirt number.


    I would certainly stop Cech, he was fragile mentally after yet another mistake and Ospina is a great Cup player, who could possibly be an excellent option in the Derby.

    But Macey either has it or doesn’t. We need to know, give him the biggest game. A GK either has it or doesn’t. He looks a shot stiooet and height and reflexes will save points with Kane and Ali both adopting shoot on sight policies.

    The team should had enough picked itself.

    He has put his foot down, decisively, Giroud, gone, Walcott gone, Coquelin gone. No way he drops everyone who made mistakes for the Derby. Xhaka will improve but he needs embarrassing, he is a prouder guy and stubborn, a slow learner, but once he gets it, you will see his quality.

    They badly need an easy game where they go 2-3 nil up and with little risk of loss, should be the next Europa fixture, which is coming shortly.

    Aubameyang is going to stretch the play massively and he I said a winner, everything from about him, Henry used to do I think himself, when we played badly.

    But Pierre is not alone, we have a quartet now.

    Mesut afforded space by the roaming Pierre, Mikhi needs watching, he got to the byline, something’s we haven to veen doing. And Jack linking I think up behind. Ramsey late runs, Mo disciplined.

    He actually vacated DM a fair bit, but there wasn’t no risk. Ramsey didn’t want you take responsibility, Xhaka neither. One returning, the other struggling a little with the transition to the leagues still. Hector was told to be conservatives and Monreal was effective goon get forward, but Xhaka was poor covering him for his recovery run, Mustarfi was lead footed and almost redundant in delaying the plays.

    Cech proved no vanguard.

    The team didn’t play that badly. Certain players within the team did. All can be replaced for the next game, and should be.

    We need LB, CB, RW, RB and a AM + DM.

    But we are done buying strikers, and made another £6m and saved a contract.

    There is nothing wrong with our manager. The quality is questionable, the charachter is frayed, and no wonder. But really I only know fight I feel it isn’t life, especially in a pitch. I love it so much.

    But at least we have something more sharp tools. Now we attack, no matter what, we have the becesssary equipment.

  25. Aubameyang first words, basically Henry was here, give me the training videos, I can break that record.

    If we needed a mental shift, we just paid £56m for it, helped Chelsea’s downgrade, without making it obvious.

    £33m out on load, after hitting a run of form, £18m cash plus clauses. For a £31 year old, meanwhile Dortmund preferred pace. Correctly taking Bashuyi.

    We still have two places.

    And I personally think Nelson can take RW and Jeff and Nketiah and Iwobi, Ian to this what we want? Iwobi needs to be dropped, if you keep missing, you stop shooting.

    We improved overall, losing Alexis was never good, but the deals we did as a result were marvellous. He’s beimg paid too much, but for him it is good.

    Wait till he has a strop but want some to finish his career with us, to gain habitual residency.

    City can try explain how the had £55m+ just to stop us signing Mahrez but not to pay Alexis.

    It was Pep who wouldn’t play Alexis consistently and kept putting him on the right FYI. He used City as leaverage. Because he didn’t want to go for free, he and Arsene obviously spoke. This is what he was referring to regarding the Henry reasons.

    I thought I’d wait, beforehand pronouncing it.

    Keeping my own counsel selectively.

    We are now two units, like City, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea. We need to work on out movement, bollocks to shape. We keep shape for 10mins after we score. Rigid with Pierre off, lone striker.

    We need to start going ham!

  26. Dwain Kaye
    That was in no way Arsene’s fault.

    Blaming Elneny, he’s been a revelation in that position, goal saving interventions, numerous goal saving interventions.

    Wilshere being unavailable, was detrimental to that loss, if he starts, we don’t lose.

    Koscielny being moved to the right, should have been addressed, Mustarfi was near ineffectual.

    Bellerin was missing outlets, Xhaka’s movement was terrible and clearly not one person has straight pointed out that the two goal losing margin came from 2 diabolical individual errors. You cannot legislate for those.

    Cech was guilty for the last set of dropped points. I’d be tempted to bring in Macey, let’s see, a lift due to a desire to impress I feel.

    Bellerin was at 70% but had nothing to hit no target man and Iwobi rarely making it to the back post or byline.

    Ramsey was good for 40min, but ran out out steam, due to a lack of match fitness, understandable.

    Next fixture:

    Mikhitaryan Ozil ,Ramsey (RWF) match fitness
    Wilshere Elneny
    Kolasinac Monreal Koscielny Bellerin


    Ospina Chambers Lacazette, Iwobi, Nketiah Xhaka Niles

    We need to sign a winger,

    The team was let down by a glaring GK error, we can’t afford to go behind against back markers.

    On their first goal, it’s Xhaka, everyone else went where they should be, for goal 3, it’s all Mustarfi ; who was poor all game, whilst Monreal’s pace was exposed.

    The boss was guilty of not switching Mustarfi for Sead; but he’s probably looking down the line, regarding rushing people back. 3rd is Spurs.

    Also Ramsey and Mikhi had to get match fitness and match sharp.

    He should have dropped Xhaka rather than Elneny.

    collectively, confidence is rock bottom.

    I can carry on supporting, we signed the catalyst.

    If only Alexis had stayed.

    2 for 1 is good. Rival bid on Ryad?.

    No Butland no? Not not important to get a GK?/

    Defensively we can cover weaknesses as proven by the numbers of intervention by Mo.

    Russia planted emails etc, get the feeling we got that here. Orchestrated attacks, the US employed them, partially.

    Corrected from yesterday.

    Time to go Supernova. I feel Xhaka has been selfish and undermine the he boss, something I saw in Theo. Only Coquelins leaving seemed genuine, understanding.

    Now Danny, Debouchy, natural parting of the ways with Cech, Monreal and certainly Ospina and Per.

    We get paid for Lucas, Joel, Carl and see about Takima and Cohen.

    That was half the years work done. Now we must qualify for CL.

    Fickle folks, ever seen World Class take a game and win it alone, CR7 did it on crutches on the sideline.

    We just resigned Henry. Debut goals Aubameyang.

    Oh it’s Everton then Spurs. My bad, makes sense. Warm up game this week for Sead and possibly something from Aubameyang.

    He’ll score on his debut, AW he gets 90+

    Lets do this. Pep will be taking this seriously, Aubameyang damages any backlone, or occupies them so much, the other three are in play.

    I can’t wait. Mikhi, apologies, full debut coming next.

  27. Debouchy gone, Akpom loan.

    Back up, Ospina, Cech or neither?

    Per retiring!

    Takuma Work permit? Macey also both over 21, do they make the 25?

    Lucas, Joel, Danny, Carl, easy sales, all young, have ability and under )19m in a crazy world!

    Nearly 100% profit on Giroud.

    Niles to RB as we now have no backup, although Chambers is pretty good out there, until on the edge of his own 18.

    Do we get Cohen back? We can accommodate easily.

  28. Alexis PL debut, real opposition, inside half an hour, 2-9 down, we are going to need that win in the derby Pierre.

    Liverpool won and City already ahead, with Laporte making his start, for his debut.

    Backs to the wall, we should come alive anytime soon then!

    Meanwhile bang, bang, Theo, keeps Leicester away from us.

  29. Tony, what you seem to be saying in your article, albeit in a roundabout way, is that you “don’t know”. Fair enough. We are all amateurs after all.
    How can we possibly “know”. Whenever, I read the comments of Arsene Wenger I get the same impression. He doesn’t know either. So there you have it. The thing is, until we have someone at the club who does “know”, these sort of performances will happen time and time again. If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.

  30. Chelsea get battered in Bournemouth, whilst joy for Laporte with a clean sheet against mediocre opposition as £500m worth of first IX and another £70m of the tteam bench proves you can see off the baggies 3-0.

    The government will be happy there potential stock market investors will Ben happy the league is playing sand castles!

    Saudi Arabia move 15 point clear at the top of the financially uncontrolled league, as Arsenal slip 6 behind the Gov United and 8 from the top 4, and 11 points off second. So 26 behind the leaders, who move for a target of ours and then pull out!

    Well Sanchez, they wanted you and united are a bigger club.

    Now let’s see how we respond, at the death, we come alive. We’ve nevertheless missed top four, they stole games, when Sky wasn’t run correctly a sale was forced to a viable and reputable buyer. 😉

  31. I mean the we’ve never missed top 4! Chelsea are going to start dropping games, and I had Liverpool crumbling with their CL hopes.

    Can, Fiminio, team done. Klopp, left Dortmund because they said they were selling up, and he got Liverpool.

    Conte was told he could buy and they are selling up.

    Jose was told he would have autonomy and they’d are just buying mostly what they want at more than his job is worth. Here’s 2 years. Wenger gets that a trophy retirement age.

    Poch is being considered for Real, which means Kane and no problems, now Poch, they say you can have Hazard, De Gea, Kane, and inherits the rest including CR7, what do young say? Yo tap that f**ker up, starting now!

    Survive! Make top four! We just weakened an EL opponent, and bought… perfect striker for us! I dreamed this guy as Tony etc will know.

    Not too often wrong, the natural successor to Thierry, 14! Oi Theirry what’s French for revolution mate!?!?

    We spent nothing this year by the way, we made money and still have about £50m liquid assets mostly going to the Workd Cup to potentially appreciate. That’s one free world class player, when you polish the article yourself.

    This is the ARSENAL way!


  32. Compare and contrast Arsene Wenger with, say, Eddie Jones the England rugby manager. Different sport, obviously, but the same principles apply. How does he come across? Someone who sees the team as a collective, each player bringing specific skills into the equation. It’s clear from listening to him, that he knows precisely what he wants from each individual player and the team as a whole. He only picks players who buy into this. Basically if you don’t do the job you’ve been allocated, then he doesn’t select you. Simple as that. If the team underachieves then he is quite happy to explain where it went wrong and where he wants improvements to be made. I’m sure his squad know exactly where they stand in this regard. That in turn creates a strong collective, something Arsenal patently lack. Put the Gunners under pressure and they collapse like a pack of cards. Time and time again. We are a weak group. It’s self evident. Players make the same mistakes week in, week out. If I have to watch Granit Xhaka stand like a statue on the edge of the penalty area, while the man he is meant to be tracking skips round our defence and scores, then I will scream. Can you honestly imagine Eddie Jones putting up with such a gross dereliction of duty?

    Not in a million years.

  33. Regarding tickets, I was making the point that arsenal charge the highest prices in Europe.

    You seem to disagree with this but have produced no evidence to support your view.

    I’ll ask you again;

    Do arsenal charge the highest ticket prices in Europe? Yes or no.

  34. If I may wade into this ticket pricing debate. I’d say the best (or at least a good) way to rank arsenal’s position on the ticket price list is to subtract the cost of those 6(I believe) cup matches ,ye arsenal season ticket covers, from the price of the ST. Then use the new figure as the substantive cost of an arsenal ST when comparing with other clubs ST.
    1. We must be sure the other clubs we compare with also do not have additional bonus games.
    2. This comparison only has the advantage of giving you value per league match. In which case leagues with less matches like the bundesliga will give relatively less value than those with more matches. In absolute terms, the club with more expensive ST, is the one with higher cost irrespective of matches contained, since you cannot bargain for STs that do not contain those extra matches, so you are compelled to fork out more money wether or not u want extra

  35. Thanks Tony. I’m sure you have the data. What position does arsenal occupy? (1st being most expensive)

  36. Depends how you work it out. For example, do you just look for the most expensive seat, the most expensive seat excluding “executive” areas, the most expensive season ticket, the most expensive season ticket seat that can be compared with other clubs, the average price, the cheapest price, do you include the cost of buying tickets in the League Cup in Arsenal’s cost because it is other clubs…
    There are so many ways of doing this, but we did a comparison of the most expensive seats excluding boxes and executive areas (like club level) and Tottenham were the most expensive.

  37. Tony, box clever pick your punches!

    I was reading about the RBS investigation into mismanagement of accounts for SME’s. And was like wait, wifey, I told her to report, on top of my report. Wait hold on……

    Incidentally I ket a banker, again, and he wasn’t being a moron! So I flipped him one, he got a annoyed and asked what he! I told him, you know why. In the cold light ignore day and sober you’ll understand if you reflect inwardly.

    He gave a number of reasons that he knew were not factual, then added he was a banker, in the department that handled the SME’s! I laughed and said, I would be sorry for what we did, if you deserved one. He asked if I knew what a few banking terms meant, until I didn’t know something. Then felt as if he had achieved something and stole off.

    I double checked bf what he has refereed to was a change in banking legislation that was effectively to avoid further economic crisis and global market manipulation.

    His trump card was to leave unaware of what’s I meant, until he was able to absorb the gravity of the implication of what had just occurred. He knew all along what he had done, and had taken in ky suggested time for reflection and his subtle attempt at counteracting my move, was to give me something wholesomeness back.

    His guilt and lack of selfies control, made him compromise so as to unburden himself, inform me, and assuage his guilt, having learned a valuable lesson.

    Boxing clever!

    Tony how many assholes do you have to screen a day?

    Which city is the most expensive to live in, in the U.K.?

    Don’t answer, just know!

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