38 responses

  1. walter

    It really makes me feel proud that I am (a very small) part of this club. Being a supporter is not just about being proud of the things we have and will win. It also has (for me anyway) a lot to do with the fact of being proud of who we are and where we stand for.
    And for those who only can be proud of the trophies I think it is kind of sad to just focus on them. You miss a lot in live to feel happy with other things.
    Another great article. And hey it’s almost match day. 🙂

  2. arsenalvideo

    Another great post there, I will be a regular from now on, keep going

  3. Hadley

    Good article. The last game at Chelsea before the Abramovic era was against liverpool, basically a play off for who would get to the champions league, and chelsea needed to win. At half time they werent winning and the then director of chelsea went into the dressing room at half time and told the team that the club were 90 million in debt and that if they didnt win and get into the CL all of the team would be out on their ears and the club in major financial difficulty. They won the match 2-1 and then came Abramovic. I remember the week before he took over a young Terry was being heavily linked with Arsenal and when asked about this at a press conference he grinned and said ‘I cant talk about that’… they were in big trouble at the time, even with CL qualification and would have become another Leeds if Abramovic hadn’t stepped in

  4. Dark Prince

    Nice Article. 🙂

    Though still feel bad when our youngsters join other clubs. I still feel that Fran Merida would hav been a brilliant midfielder. But we lost him. Also now Armand Traore seems to be heading out too. And he too would have been a brilliant player. Jay simpson too seems a huge loss. Thats why having future world class youngsters is very nervy. Hoping that Wellington Silva or Afobe dont depart.

  5. Menace

    This is one of the most positive and sensible articles on Arsenal this year. Your summary of what Wenger has done needs publising amongst the morons who call for his head.

    The secure future of Arsenal has its foundation. It is the present and immediate future that needs some good fortune and addressing.

    I believe Arsenal can win silverware this season with fair consistent officiating. What Arsenal needs is additional improvement to win in spite of unfair inconsistent officiating.

  6. kiwigooner

    I wonder how many young players we will sell each year as the system beds in and starts to flourish…

    Development System 4…… stand outside Arsenals youth traning facility with cheque book…

    Buy a man a fish and feed him for a day, buy a man a net and feed him for life

    keep up the good work

  7. Mohamed Zubairu

    I believe that Roman Abrahamovic would gladly swap Chelsea for Arsenal if he had the opportunity – except he lacks foresight. My greatest frustration is with respect to the AAA’s who cannot see afar. They are not bothered about the future prospects of the club and are just painting pictures of gloom and doom for the club. I want an Arsenal club that would be there and at the top ten years from now when many clubs (like Barca) would have sunk. Make no mistake about it, I want us to win something this season and I think that we can. However, in case it does not happen for whatever reason, I know that with what we have on ground now, the trophies will come in a few years’ time and onward.

  8. Robbie

    Arsenal will be making history when they win the next trophy. I don’t remember the last time a financial sound club from England, Spain och Italy won a major title. It almost seems impossible. But I’m sure we’ll see some silverware before Wenger’s contract expires, and it’s gonna taste so sweet.

  9. Giddy

    you are genius men. I really like your articles since you always take your time in analyzing the issues at hand and offering the problem solution. Keep it up.

  10. A Casual Observer

    These views, which some of the more forward thinking fans have been ‘spouting’ for the last few years are finally entering the mainstream.

    I run a few sites on these subjects (one specifically Arsenal related) and this [navigating the stupidity] has been the significant minority consensus – one of the sites set up was a ‘breakaway’ site from the moronic spouting of the short term armchair dwelling self harmers who claim to be fans.

    Anyway – I stumbled across this as an example of the more mainstream struggle to media enlightenment growing from the slurry of male-bovine manure that has been written about Arsenal and Wenger over the last few years:


    Note the comments… these guys (sane fans who can see the bigger picture) have been growing in force over the years and becoming more vocal; and right about now they absolutely know that they were right all along.

    I smell a paradigm shift of perception teetering on the brink here – so prepare to bask in its rosy glow when the ‘penny’ finally drops so to speak.

    Keep up the good work of the lord and ask yourself in times of trouble… What Would Wenger Do?


  11. gooner80

    Gilberto silva was bought after winning the world cup in japan 2002 and he played every game he was hardly unknown and he was bought for £4.5 million

  12. jeeryy

    Tony it seems you are only looking at this from one angle. For me Nothing new here, but has Wenger ever been absolutely top drawer through his own making, or was it largely due to luck. I say luck in a number of situations. His record in the transfer market is no better than any other good manager. Bar a few admittedly good buys, we have seen some of the worst dross at Arsenal in living memory Please hear me out:Situation inherited:- Seaman (has never picked as good a ‘keeper since. Even Lehmann was a loony.)- The famous back four.- Bergkamp (An absolute genius with un-rivalled loyalty. If you’d continued to offer any other player one-year only deals for the length of time we did, they would have been off like a shot. The way Wenger treated him was nothing short of a disgrace.)- Parlour (under–rated and a vital driving force when under the cosh.)- Since the last of these players left, what have we won? Wenger talks about our mental strength. We have no mental strength. Our players are athletes, not footballers. They don’t know how to win things and never will do. They’ve got no-one to teach them how to win.Success by chance:- Ashley Cole (would have been sold to Palace if Sylvinho’s passport issue hadn’t blow up. He’s not brought through a wholly home-grown player, to consistently play in the firsty team since.)- Sol Campbelll (Free transfer. We would never have signed him otherwise.)Arsenal – a graveyard for young English talent.- Richard Wright (went backwards)- Mattt Upson (is he any worse than some of the shit Wenger persisted with, such as Cygan and Stepanovs?)- Francis Jeffers (was never going to be up to the job – poor judgement to buy him)- Walcott – has gone backwards since we bought him. What has Wenger actually taught him…? Answers on a post-card)- Stuart Taylor (was he any worse than Fabianski, Almunia, Warmuz, Shaabaan?)- Jay Simpson (another one of the dozen or so groomed for The Championship. Wenger runs our youth team like you would a fish farm.)The Success Stories- Vieira (hands–up – ttop buy. A winner and a leader.)- Anelka (sold before he developed. We didn’t develop him. He was only at the Club 5 minutes. Wenger took a punt and it came off).- Pires (great signing)- Overmars (great signing)- Henry (great signing)- Fabregas (a raw talent, which was obvious to all. Barca couldn’t sign him as he was too young to sign a pro contract in Spain. We turned his head by buying off his parents and promising him first-team football. Has Wenger actually taught him anything? He is a natural talent.)- Toure (A natural athlete, but a headless chicken, and got progressively worse while he was with us. Campbell carried him in most games.)The Great Transfer Failures (too many to mention)- Caballero, Diawara, Warmuz, Shaaban, Jeffers, Inamoto, Cygan, Stepanovs, Tavlaridis, Reyes, Almunia, Fabianski, Silvestre, Bischoff, plus the likes of Diaby, Denilson, Walcott, Vela etc. (The Invisibles)The Present Failures- Has a Manager in the modern era played more players out of position? (Arshavin on the wing, Eboue as a winger, Song as a centre-back, Walcott on the wing, Bendnter on the wing – just buy a fucking winger and a fucking centre back)- Keepers (no more to be said)- 3 centre backs.. (no more to be said)- The rise of the diddy men (is it any wonder we get the injuries we get? – don’t remember Vieira, Petit, Adams, Keown, Pires and Henry out every week when they were in their prine. Yes they were injured in their later years, but that is to be expected after a long hard career.)- The hyposcrisy of signing 30+ shit players on 2+ year contracts.- The dross in our squad on big money to match their big egos (Denilson, Diaby, Bendtner, Walcott et al.)- Unfulfilled potential (see above point for explanation for lack of ambition)- Continued failure to build a ‘squad’ that will see out the season. We resemble a family on the bread–line living hand-to-mouth, whilst in the Bank we’ve got millions. Players playing out of position (Song, Eboue etc) because Wenger won’t buy players to cover each position sufficiently.Wenger now resembles a driver that’s fallen asleep at the wheel. The car is continuing to move forward, but in the wrong direction, hitting debris as it continues. The problem is that he was never a competent driver in the first place. He made some good moves, but in a number of instances it was simply just luck.

    • Tony


      “Even Lehmann was a loony.”

      Maybe so, I don’t know, but he is the only man ever in the history of English first division football to have played through a complete league season at the top level and never once been on the losing side.

      Not bad for a loony.

  13. stuart

    hey Tony.

    You keep on trying Tony.

    Ill beleive your propaganda if you will.

    • Tony


      “I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours”

      Bob Dylan

  14. jeeryy

    I am not saying we need to spend 100 mil or get in debt. Wenger has ignored the need for players since 2006. Now it has built and up and up and up. We now need so many crucial players its unreal. DM, Keeper, CB , A Winger who can cross , and a striker who can stay fit all season. Then there is a new medical team. Success does not come at a high price as wenger has proved by finishing in top 4 every season. However last season for example if we would of spent money in January and not a huge amount, we would of won the League. Same in 2007 season!!!

  15. A Casual Observer


  16. Bio

    Lately, I have read in the British press how much of a genius Sir Alex is because he suddenly believes the future is in the youth system(and they remember how he got the Giggs generation via that route), and because he now complains of the “kamikaze” spending of his rivals.
    But they fail to note ManU spendings of the past. They also fail to note the financial straits the club is in!
    But Arsenal has had this system(as detailed by Tony)for years, and Arsene has always been vilified for this!
    The reality is any time you dip in the transfer market, you might draw a blank after spending a lot of money- the top leagues in England, Spain, and Italy confirm this.

    And “Jeeryy”, the whole point of a youth system is some of your youth will not make it at the top level. You will know what I mean if you are a parent! Hence I miss the crux of your verbose and shallow post.

    In all, like any true Arsenal believer, I look at the long term for my club. And I must say I’m pleased.

  17. GoingGoingGooner

    I am pleased to see the quality of the youngsters coming through but I am still unsure of something. How exactly is the academy run and how is it different from other academies (the same can be asked about Ajax and Barca, too)?

  18. A Casual Observer

    @Bio – have a good laugh, read this.


    Anyone still envy them for the last few years of decadence? What’s the use of willing silverware when you have to sell the family silver to do it?


  19. The Blaze

    To be honest, a couple of months ago, i was heavily critical of Wenger´s management of Arsenal. This blog is one of the reasons my view on him has changed for the better. I´m much more informed of Arsenal than i was before and i keep learning more of the club, knowing that it would be a lot worse on competitive level with someone else than Wenger. I have a question though, should we see ourselves as an championship-club, an outsider or a top-4 club?

  20. WalterBroeckx

    Thanks for this link Casual observer.

    Let us hope and pray that this never happens to Arsenal.But with our current board and manager I think they will not let us go that way. (But still a little prayer and some hope will never harm I think.)

    Utd have the owners they deserve. 🙂

  21. A Casual Observer

    @The Blaze

    We are poised to DOMINATE English and European football… this is not ‘if’ it’s ‘when’… thanks’ to Wenger’s ‘stubbornly’ kicking against the pricks for 5 years we have already won the battle – it’s now just a matter of time.

  22. Mikey

    so you dont like Wenger then, Jeeryy?

  23. Paul C.

    Jeerry – give it a rest. You are like a serious broken record. Your posts are becoming funnier and funnier. Listening to you go on anyone would think we are fighting against relegation every season!!!! Man oh man. Really, you do need to get a grip on reality one of these days.

    Tony – I think we need to be very careful about this assumption that our youth system is goign to pump out this steady stream of great talent. History shows that even the very, very finest youth system produces one or two players every three years or so. That is the ratio we should expect. Then we just our fingers crossed that maybe, maybe once a generation we might get three or four players in a single crop. Relying on your youth system to produce players is the road to ruin. Does that mean a club shouldnt invest in the youth system? Absolutely not. The youth system is one of the best investments a club can make, as it can pay for itself simply through selling players who are not quite good enough. But you should never, ever EXPECT the youth system to produce. When it does it is a massive bonus. And while Arsenal are among the top-6 in the country we should really only expect it to produce “squad” players (as it has wat Utd with Evans, Brown, O’Shea etc.). Until the FA change the recruitment rules in England for young talent then that is the most we can really expect. That is where Carca have such a massive advantage, in that they are able to attract the very best Spanish talent (as well as international youths), whereas we can only attract the very best North London talent (among Englishmen).

  24. Dark Prince

    Jeeryy does have some valid points. Last season, we should have made some additions to our defence and striking options. Bendtner played well in the absence of Van Persie but he was clearly not upto the mark. We were struggling both in our defence and offense. Its still happening now. At this point we need a defender and a better goalkeeper but we are still weak in these sections even though its just 10 days left for the end of the transfer window. And Wenger do sometimes becomes a miser in spending even though it was just about a few millions. We dont need to buy any expensive players but atleast for those who are affordable we dont show that we are misers.

  25. Salim

    Jeeryy, two thing it is missing from u:
    if the youth team cam with 25 it happen some of them must to sell example traure, wehave clichy and gibs what Arsenal can do and the boy he want to play! two ways send out as a loan player or sell him because you have a better player, the same to jay, marida etc. Dou think fabrigas came to arsenal as the law in spain do not alow them to sighn him? You are wrong, what happen vela when sighn to Arsenal and his age was under 18? Did he play in England or Spain? Fabrigas came to Arsenal because he was unwanted man, did you read his speach the day he sighn 8years contract with Arsenal? He was with mess and peque, why did he go and thoose two stay? Lesean jeeryy: Arsene is the best both in the planet if you like or not that your choice, he make player to be top class, he is human he can fail to some but he get wright 95% they are any team can keep there player? Look yaya he left barca and they want him! Any one can think to buy jack wilshere? That way Arsene want, if we be a champion this year we will keep it for next 5 to 7 years, believe me or not, the guy they will get sronger each year from 21 to 22 ………..

  26. sam

    @ Dark Prince
    Marida left because he realised that he was behind Ramsey ( rightly so ) and even Jack. It would take him long time to establish in the Arsenal midfield. Trore has Gibbs in front of him, so he will also find hard to establish here. Any player with this kind of defeatist attitude is no good. Competition is part of the life at arsenal and if these kids show any weaknesses here then wenger will let them go. Remember Diarra to Pompey. Any kid who shows steely determination to succeed at arsenal will never be sold. So I am not worried about our kids leaving us.
    @ Tony.
    There is another way to succeed and develop a football club. Sometimes an exceptional player, preferably experienced, is bought to augment the well developed youth system at the club, thereby guarantying the continuous success on/off the field. Youth system can’t always provide the best solution for the teams deficiencies. For example, if we had bought Chamakh in Jan last year for a fee, we would have had better chance of winning the trophy. Instead, we played Arshavin up front.
    No one is saying that wenger is perfect. Of course he has made many mistakes and driven me to madness. But you have to look at the big picture. He had achieved enormous success. Without him we would not have the new stadium. We needed this stadium to compete at the highest level. We would have lost Fab this year if it wasn’t for our stadium. I believe that the summer of 2010 is a watershed in the history of arsenal. Every other clubs in world will now know that you can’t just go and buy an arsenal player, because arsenal don’t need to sell players for money. Our own stadium generates enough money for us to survive. We will sell the player on our terms. That means either, if we want to sell, or we are offered exceptionally high price. This is new position we have achieved in world football and I like it. This is amazing power to have. We will not be pushed around any more. All those who thinks that Fab will be going next summer, will have a shock to their system when they find wenger equally stubborn not sell him , unless on his terms. Chelsea, liverpool and spurs all want to build new stadiums because they know how vital this is for their future. However, they are finding it extremely difficult to proceed. Its all down to wenger to keep the team competitive on shoe string budget while the stadium was being build. However, we are now in a better position and wenger need to realise that he don’t need to be too stingy. He can now buy better players for a higher fee. And I thing he is beginning to do it.

  27. Dark Prince

    @sam- i know the reasons why our youngsters were allowed to leave. But they are still quality players!! They show quality and there are lots of expectations from supporters but when we come to know that they are leaving, it feels we have been defeated in our youth policy. Just tell me, how would you feel when you come to know that Wellington Silva and Afobe left Arsenal bcoz they thought that they are behind Vela, Arshavin, Chamakh in the strikers position???

  28. sam

    @Dark Prince.
    I get your point. Its not nice. But these kids needs to understand that if Vela, Arshavin and Chamakh are in front of them and doing well then they will need patience and their chance will come. Wenger is fair in this. Ashley cole, Theo, Fab, Ramsey, Clichy, Gibbs, Wilshire and Frimpomg are the good examples to follow. On the other hand there are Penant and Bantley, not so good examples to follow. Its up to them. The point I made is that those who are determined to succeed for us will not be sold and be given fair chance to succed at aresnal.

  29. Dark Prince

    @sam- But with our set of youngsters playin in our starting 11, i cant see how other youngsters are gonna get a chance to play. For example, if we look at our midfield, we have Cesc, Ramsey, Wilshere, Nasri, Walcot, Eastmond, Song, Frimpong. And except Cesc, rest all of the players are expected to play for another 8-9 seasons for Arsenal. So how would any midfielder of in our youth academy feel secure??? Any midfielder in our youth academy who is 15-16-17yrs of age will want to be in the first team in 3-4 yrs. And looking at our midfield, it would be very tough to make a place. So eventually we’ll end up losing our youth players early in their careers. Its definately not about patience, bcoz when you already have too much of quality players in the team, we have to give up on some and thats what i’m feeling bad about. I felt Merida was as good as Ramsey or Wilshere, but we lost him. Even Traore will be as good Gibbs and Clichy but we still lose him. Its kinda like losing something precious bcoz we already have plenty of it.

  30. Salim

    @sam your blood is Arsenal not because it is read but in your speach, I Want to tell you and others any player he can go cause he is 3rd or 4th option, and that it make Arsenal to have more and only quality players they can stay with us, Eduado left because of chamakh wow how good, Almunia he will go cause of Given or any another new keeper, that it will be more sweet then honey, My br Sam pls cool.

  31. Salim

    @dark prince dont worry if in our youth they are good players they will get in soon, they will never wait out, look fabrigas the age he start, and if kids they are better only Arsenal they will benafit, choose between them who is best and keep.

  32. Rhys Jaggar

    ‘Appy Arry Headcase would love to buy his usual twenty odd players but so far has just bought one. And when Arry is not dealing, you know the system is in trouble.’

    HR has stated to the media that he had 5 targets this summer, they didn’t change and that they included Gallas and Remy.

    As a site, you state that you get your facts right. Usually, you do.

    But it’s important to point out when you reduce yourself to inaccurate slagging off which can be refuted far too easily for your credibility……as this article is a serious one, not the clearly farcical rant that we all laugh at on regular occasions!!

  33. Tom

    Gilberto silva was signed before the world cup 2002.

  34. Dark Prince

    @salim- fabregas started in our first team only because there was no other option after Patrick Viera. We had many experienced midfielders in our team that time and most of them were leaving, eg. Viera, Pires, Lungberg, Gilberto, etc. Thats the only reason why Nasri, Cesc, Walcot, Rosicky, Denilson etc got their chance. But these guys are gonna stay here for a long time bcoz they are still young, so there is no way others might get a chance for a long time.

  35. Shard

    @dark prince

    so the problem is that we’ll have too MANY good players??

    I’d take that situation anytime.

  36. Dark Prince

    @Shard- the problem is not that. The problem is that we’ll lose many of our quality youngsters when we have lots of them. And eventually end up with few of them.

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