It’s all too easy to be a fan after a win. It’s being a fan ALWAYS that really counts

By Tony Attwood, still in Australia.

Of course they would have to wait until I was in Australia to get back to form, but I’d settle for a fine win against a Milan team that has improved greatly of late, even if I was on the outer moon of Pluto – which incidentally I am not.

But the big problem we have is the contemporary NOW NOW NOW attitude.  Of course I feel a whole lot better with Arsenal having stopped the run of defeats, even though I won’t be able to see the return game at Arsenal – I’ll still be down under, but I guess there is a bit of compensation if I can sell my seat…

It is only £24 (I think) for a front row seat in the East Upper facing the 18 yard line that Arsenal attack in the second half.   Block 110 Row 1.

Because I have made it a habit to come to Australia each year about this time to see my daughter I always miss some games, and sod’s law is that I shall miss the good ones, but that’s how it goes.   My ticket for Watford has gone – and maybe by the time this is published the AC Milan game will be sold too.  But at least I know it goes to someone who supports the club enough to be at least a Red Member.  One of the basic signs of being a supporter in my book.

Anyway the media managed to be quite reasonable for a change.  The Telegraph said in its opening paragraph, “Arsene Wenger’s career has been far too long, and far too successful, for a round-of-16 match in Europe’s secondary competition to rank among his greatest nights. And yet the pure satisfaction he will derive from this result, this taming of a buoyant AC Milan side in a packed-out San Siro, will surely compare to anything else he has experienced in these turbulent recent years.”  I think that’s fair enough.

They also said a little further down…

“Henrikh Mkhitaryan showed why his manager thought he was a worthy replacement for Alexis Sanchez, and Mesut Ozil demonstrated why he merits wages of £350,000 a week. ”

So at last a trifle amount of perspective.  The annulment (at least until the next game) of the notion that you are only as good as your last game, or indeed your last dozen games.   No player is perfect in every match, and every player can have an off period.  Even Henry.  Even Bergkamp.

That is not to say that this team compares with the 2004 team, but it is nowhere near as bad as some have wanted to make out.  It is, to my mind (and of course this is just my opinion because I am not on the training ground and can’t read what goes on in people’s heads – unlike many Untold correspondents claim to be able to do), a team that has had a major change around which needed a settling in period – itself disrupted by the injury to Lacazette – and which has been hugely exacerbated by a surge of attacks upon the team the likes of which I don’t think I have ever seen in my 2000 years of supporting the club.

OK, not quite that long, but I am old enough to remember Manchester United being incredibly well supported but so bad they were relegated, and they never suffered the treatment we have had either from the media or the so-called fans.

Indeed “so-called fans” isn’t bad enough.  They are the reverse of fans.  SNAF in fact (reverse of “fans” – geddit?).  We’ve had to put up with the aaa for years and years, but of late this has been utterly ridiculous.   And I have no doubt even from the other side of the globe that the slightest hiccup in the next game will mean that they are all back – along with their allies in the national media.

What the SNAF (I quite like that – mind you I am always guilty of laughing at my own rubbish jokes) will never accept is that they have the power to make poor situations worse, and that the scumbags in the national media just love what they do in order to justify their outrageous attacks on the manager and the team.

As I tried to show recently in a long post, knocking Arsenal is the starting point for the commentaries of most football commentators no matter what the medium, and they have been doing it to undermine the club since the club was created by the workers for the workers.  It seems to be part of the deal.

So we can’t change that, but we can refuse to give in to it.  If Mr Wenger thinks that Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Özil can be of value together in the team I’m willing to believe him, and give the experiment time to work, and work last night I think it did.

On the other side, if Arsenal failed to re-sign Alexis I am not prepared to believe that it was totally their fault.  Likewise I am not going to believe yet all the reports that say that Alexis is being disruptive in Manchester United’s team, although most reports seem to suggest that he is not exactly performing at 100% so maybe there is something in that.  How amusing if it turned out to be true.

But I am delighted not just by the result yesterday but by the performance of Jack Wilshere.  I really do hope he stays.

The aaa and the SNAF will continue to be in total denial, claiming that their aggressive stance against the club is somehow helpful, but I really don’t think that can ever be true.  Arsenal always have my support, and as a result I can share in last night’s victory, even though I had nothing to do with it, even though I am on the other side of the world.

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28 Replies to “It’s all too easy to be a fan after a win. It’s being a fan ALWAYS that really counts”

  1. here’s one for SNAFs then.

    I really enjoied seing Jack, Aaron, Mezut and Mihki playing together and as far as I am concerned starting to see them gel. It was going to need a few games and it did.

    And nothing against Danny or Lacazette, but with Auba in there as well, it is going to be very interesting. Let’s hope Jack is made captain for years to come. To my eyes we are seing him coming of age and that is great. He knows adversity, has been through it, has fought it on his own (with the support of his manager, one AW) and beat it. And then the eggheads talk about no steel.

    The first goal was coming. You could see how the AC Milan defense was getting ripped apart as soon as the ball was going to the left. And this was an italian team that did not take a goal in more then 5 games. They were not expecting that line-up, and were unprepared for the speed and precision passing.

    At the back, I felt that Calumn did a good job, much better than anybody would have expected. Sure, he is not going on runs like Bellerin, (which maybe tilted the game to the left) but he recovered a few balls in 1/1 duels in a clean and assured manner.

  2. Now that is what is called a performance we all were waiting for. It was so blissful to watch the way the boys played . So where was this performance all these weeks? Every1 played like their jobs were on line, which they should because of what’s happening. Now I know you all will go on how good AW is tactically is & all that, whilst trying to rub the AW out noses, but is this a turn around that we are waiting for or is this just a flash in the pan? Remember Milan didn’t press us high up, so they gave us respite, which we took full advantage of, like every team should & full credit to our boys. Still a lot of work needs to be done… we have Watford over the weekend & they will go after us high up the pitch. If we manage to move the ball quickly in the midfield and release Pea just that fraction early we can pin them back. Lets all get behind the team & the manager till the end of the season & then take it from there.

    On a another note, we should lodge a protest with the broadcasters about the commentator Robby Savage [I think he was]. This is in connection with the incident in the 1st half when Ospina came out chasing the ball on the right side of the goal, went down and completely missed the ball. Full credit to the AC Milan player for jumping over him, but the commentator went on about how that player should have left is leg and gone done to earn a penalty. He also, said that if it was him, he would have done so, thereby promoting cheating & this was live on TV. But then English are holier than thou and don’t cheat….do they?

  3. Also, a mention for the Arsenal “fans” who are disappointed when we play well and win, because it undermines their ambitions to undermine Mr. Wenger by calling for his sacking.

    That distinguished public figure Mr. Piers Morgan is an example.

  4. Robbie Savage isn’t English.

    Lol minor point, no I agree the player hurdled the would be challenge but as he jumped he twisted so when he landed he slipped.
    If he had jumped straight he would have caught up with the ball and created a chance.

    I am beginning to think people just like having something to moan about and actually enjoy the moaning.
    Like workmates backstabbing each other to make the day go by.

  5. No they don’t..
    Only Spuddies, Man United, Citeh and Scousers.

    Okay yeah they do.

  6. I was watching the game on a stream from eire sport 2
    No idea if the guy was Robbie Savage, but I felt his comments were just disgusting.

    No damn idea who the guy was in his footballing days, not goona waste my time googling, but my instincts tell me he was no world cup winner, must have not won lots of international trophies and must have not been known for his skills, albeit cheating ones… He is the carricature of what in France we call a ‘beauf’ (slang coming form the word ‘brother in-law’). He just fits the role nicely.

    That TV stations pays such idiots and destructors is beyond me. At least with the streams, they don’t get my money…

  7. @Chris

    I think I will one day

    beat my fear and finally learn to ride a bike,

    put a serious effort and understand how the car engine works so that I don’t have to nod all the time and say “Yes, yes…” when my mates talk about it,

    punish myself by watching one edition of Arsenal Fan TV

    but never, ever, ever I will be able to understand how the fuck someone thought about eloquent players who could be interesting and intelligent pundits and then concluded: “It must be Robbie Savage!”

  8. “It must be Robbie Savage!”
    Most likely because he talks like Donald Duck & makes about as much sense.

  9. The question is whether we can play like that when facing 11 opponents behind the ball?

    There seem to me to be 3 sorts of opponents.

    The first is the bus parkers, who line up in banks of 4, very deep, thus stopping us attacking and benefitting from counterattacking when our defenders are too far forward.

    Then you have the Man$ity and Liverpool teams who spend a lot of energy depriving you of the ball and working on stopping you play.

    Then you have teams like Milan, who want to play and allow you to do so as well.

    We seem to thrive when playing the last type, but cannot cope with the former two.

    Last night’s good display will not necessarily mean that we will find it as easy to attack against Watford, who will, no doubt, defend in numbers and counterattack at speed, falling over judiciously, whenever they can.

  10. @jjgsol,

    I fully agree. On a good day, we can take on $ity or Pool!!! and just hit them on the counter. But on a good day only.
    Teams who play football, well against these we have our chances.

    As for bus operators, we have never been able to address the issue. When we had a stroke of luck and scored, often we’d lose the advantage to some fluke action in our box or some weird ref decision. But I can’t remember when we last won against such a team in a decisive manner. This is the reason as well that a player like Xhaka seems sometimes out of place.

    I must say that this last fact is to me the one where I end up thinking Mr. Wenger has not found a solution and should have. This has been going on for years.

  11. Arsene reveals SAF support! SAF addressing his bad Karma at the death, but also of the old guard, he see’s his beloved football dying!

    Arsenal isn’t just one person it’s 30 million – recorded, in my Instagram I have a picture I of little boy bandana wrapped face JA and also SA Arsenal shirts!

    I want to win, win with style, it’s very ambitious!

    I have had sleepless nights trying to make the fans happy!

    I don’t take it personally although I think hurts.

    Sheer class!

    Oi boo boys where are you!?



    WE build for the quad, time to go Supernova!

    Not linking the pages from the top now then?

  12. Chris

    I’m sure we do have our problems against the bus parkers but is it any more than anyone else ?

    Given how good our home record is I would suggest not as surely that’s where the biggest buses are parked.

    I think given our recent record we seem to be having no more difficulty than anybody else.

    Surely our issue these last few years has been the ‘high press’ team’s.

    Our record against the other top four team’s, and even Spurs lately, is not great.

    Ok we’ve done ok against them in the FA cup but in the PL we’ve had big problems.

    Honestly, I think its the ‘high press’ not the bus that has been our issue.

  13. @Nitram

    Well considering $ity’s, Pool!!, Manure, and Sp*rs, we are not doing well against bus parking teams.

    The high press has been an issue as well.

    I’d say they are pouncing our defence. Both bus drivers and high press because, well, our defence is not conceived to defend…..
    To me Per’s sense of placement has not yet been replaced and this creates an un-balance. Not that Mustafi is not any good. Just, I think, the central pair is not as good as it was – and injuries etc have contributed to that as well.

  14. @Nitram,

    that being said, we need to see how this new look team gels together. Aaron and Jack together went very well last night, Mesut and Mikhi seem to be finding each other and I’m an optimist in this regard. The only thing I’m worried about is who will be the hardheaded never give up guy Alexis was ? Auba ? Mikhi ?

    And we forget this is the first time in how many years we’ve been able to play Aaron and Jack together ? This pairing should help the whole team.

  15. Just speculating but I think it might well be easier for a pressing team like that lot up Seven Sisters to decide to sit back and absorb pressure than it is for a non-pressing team like ours to decide to apply a press. Pressing really only works if it is done as a team and it seems that often we can see some of our players waving at their mates to move up and from above we can see the openings because we are not doing it as a team. This puts our defence at a decided disadvantage because we do not apply enough pressure on their back line but also put our defence at a numerical and space disadvantage so a high line is suicidal and deep line gets overrun.

  16. As for yesterday, I think it took awhile for our team to come together. We gave the ball away a lot in the first 15 minutes but then slowly began to understand where all the players were situated on the pitch and our passes started to make sense. Jack and Aaron are still coming together as a partnership. Jack was dispossessed a number of times, yet, I think that comes with the territory and when he did make his turns they were decisive (boy do we miss the two-footed Santi). And, I just love the runs that Aaron makes into the box. He is learning when not to do them, too. Welbeck seemed fast but not quick. That is something that Aubamayang might bring to the party. Still, Danny kept pushing and for that he deserves some praise.

  17. Reid either can’t leave, or wants an absolute premium for the selling club if he does! He signed until death!

    Mahrez became number one candidate, it overt she at left and right or switches orthodox with Mikhi. Change flanks at will boys!

    Reid’s needs to develop quickly to cement understudy at WF and iwobi needs to get his head down!

    Eddie as third CF.

    The new squad Ian taking shape!

  18. Funny, now Poschettino is stating that the refs were influenced, put under pressure by Juve in the tunnel going to and coming from the field.
    “Juve are masters of dark arts.” he is quoted as saying. And Sp*rs need to do same to win in the future…

    Great. Not much better then that Savage ‘specialist’.

    And no one to question it.

    Can you imagine what we’d be reading, hearing if AW had said that from now on Arsenal will go dark arts on the refs ?!?!

    Incredible. Once more they melt down but it is neither the coach’s nor the players’ fault. They were perfect but the deck was stacked. And Daniel levy was not in the tunnel. This coming from the coach himself.

    What’s next ? Strippers in the tunnel ? Lions, bears, wolves waiting for the refs coming back ?

    And the worst is he gets away with it.

  19. There is a story at about the 1000’th goal.

    Sure, I would like to see Wenger get the goal! Not likely though.

    I think Danny Welbeck is running a duck since recovering from his last problems, and so I would like to see Danny score the 1000’th goal.

    Who do you want, and why?

    SNAF and aaa please don’t respond to this. We don’t need your feces.

  20. @Chris I noticed that, too. Isn’t that precious? But then again, there is nothing underhanded about what that lot up the road do…it’s just plain, in your face thuggery. They don’t even try to hide it. As for what Juve did…well, I would be a little upset, too. Vertonghen took down the Juve forward pure and simple and got away with it. And in Juve’s defence, their manager is not French, and they did not wear red and white shirts.

  21. DK -I’m glad you still understand yourself. You are unique a commentator that echoes & is pleased. Nobody else knows IWIT apart from Trump.

    Gord, I would like Ooooooooospina to score the 1000’th goal while the fans chant his approach to the penalty. It would really be soooooo nice.

  22. @Chris

    Two strongest defensive streaks in the last decade where those with a strong double-pivot in the midfield. Arteta and Ramsey were top drawer pair before Rambo did his hamstring on his birthday 2013. Same goes for Coquelin and Cazorla before both of them were lost to injuries in November 2015.

    And now, here is a thing: Mertesacker and Koscielny were in the heart of our defence. Per’s brain and Kos’ feet. Coquelin’s feet and Santi’s brain. Arteta’s brain and Rambo’s engine. There is a pattern there.

  23. Where are the SNAFU (situation normal, all fooked up) artists when we win and perform well……NIK, etc.?

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