Arsenal: a modern fairy-tale to tell to your children.

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By Walter Broeckx

Once a village had a goose. Nothing unusual in that of course. But in this case it was something special. Because this goose had a special quality. For every year in the month of May this goose laid an egg. Again you might say “nothing special”. For in my language there is an idiom saying every bird lays an egg in May. But this was a special egg.

Because it was a golden egg. The whole village knew about the egg. And people from other villages were very jealous because they didn’t have a goose that laid golden eggs. Not every year, not even every 10 years… most other villages had a goose that only produced the usual and everyday goose egg.

Of course the village was very happy with their goose. Because with the golden egg they could do great things. They built excellent houses for the villagers. They made sure they could live in excellent conditions. So every inhabitant of that village was very happy.

But after a while with the goose getting a bit older some started to complain. Because when the goose was young it produced eggs that weighed a lot. But with getting older the eggs became a bit smaller. Mind you they were still of very solid gold, but of course, as with everything that gets older, it started to shrink a bit.

So when the eggs started to get a bit smaller some people started to complain. Why can’t the goose produce the same eggs as before they asked? They just wouldn’t accept that all things change over time. And they forgot that instead of being happy about having a goose that produced golden eggs they started to moan.

People from other villages couldn’t understand why they were complaining and moaning. They didn’t have a goose that laid golden eggs. And in fact they where jealous even when the eggs became smaller. They had nothing to show for and the village with the goose with the golden eggs hat at least one golden egg every year.

But with not as much money to hand out to the villagers the moaning became louder and louder. The complaining became louder and louder. At some moments they even organised a march to the farm where the golden goose was kept. “Out with the goose!” they shouted. “We want more gold!” they shouted. They were wearing black scarves and pitchforks and torches in their march.

The goose was a bit afraid of the noise they produced. After all she couldn’t help it that the eggs became smaller. That is just down to the circle of life.

The leaders of the village couldn’t understand the moaners at all. And other sensible people also said to the moaners that instead of moaning they just should enjoy the fact that they had a goose that laid golden eggs as others weren’t that lucky.

But the moaners shouted back in an angry way: they weren’t happy with just some golden eggs. No it had to be big golden eggs. Only the big golden eggs would do for them. Size does matter for some.

With all that stress and shouting and swearing at the goose the unexpected thing happened…. the next egg the goose laid in May was… not a golden egg. No it was a regular egg that all gooses lay.

The more sensible people said, “oh well, we have been lucky for so long and who knows maybe next year she will again lay a golden egg.”

But those villagers who were very impatient and who wanted a golden egg now shouted at the top of their voices: “Enough! We want the goose to be slaughtered now! At first the eggs became smaller and now there is not even a single golden egg. Kill the beast!” they shouted. “Kill the beast!!! Replace her with another goose! We want a new goose! Any goose is better than this one!…” There was no stopping the protesters.

Again they organised marches. Even violence was used against people who defended the goose. And so to get the rest back in to the village the leaders of the village decided that they would slaughter the goose.

Chop when the axe, and the goose was beheaded. The goose that laid golden eggs was no more.

The leaders went to the market place in the big town and bought a new goose. It looked a promising goose. And they installed her in the former residence in the town farm. “Aha,” they said, “now this is a real goose. A much better one than that old one. Just wait and see what will happen in May!”

It was a long winter. A long cold winter. But the village was in high hopes for the month of May. And when the weather turned and spring came in the air there was a rise of hope and optimism. Now we would see what we would see… a big golden egg. Even bigger than the ones from the past, some said.

May came. And the goose prepared her nest as geese do when they are going to lay their egg.

The whole village was waiting with bated breath….. there was the egg…. they opened it…. but it wasn’t a golden egg. It wasn’t a silver egg. It wasn’t even a bronze egg. No it was just an egg as any other goose produced in the month of May.

“Oh what shall we do now?” the protesters shouted. “Our wealth and happiness might disappear they complained. Because without the golden eggs…they were just a village like any other village.”

But the wiser people had warned for this all along the time of protest. They had warned them to not kill the goose that laid golden eggs.

Alas, the goose with the golden eggs was gone. And the village had to live with the fact that they had slaughtered it. Maybe slaughtered it too soon.

But there was no way back to have golden eggs again. They would have to be patient and work hard like other villages to make their money. 

17 Replies to “Arsenal: a modern fairy-tale to tell to your children.”

  1. Jes Corbyn would have put the goose into a nationalisation program and distributed the wealth created by the egg equally amongst all the other villages , then everyone lives happily ever after

  2. You know how the Kroenke’s treat Arsenal very much as just a business. Well can they fucking do that with the players and coaching staff as well. At a normal business if the employees were doing this poorly they’d restructure the managers and some of the staff under them. That’s exactly what we bloody need right now.

    Why would anyone expect Ljungberg, Arteta or Vieira to improve things significantly? They simply don’t have the experience necessary. We need a manager with deep experience, particularly with a club in free fall, to stem the tide. I want someone who will drill the players non-stop to mark the opposition, cover open spaces, hold the line and be aggressive in the air. I want every player to wake up at 4am to Diego Simeone bearing down on them shouting at them about how to defend properly.

    It’s about damage control right now. We have to tighten up and I don’t care how ugly it is. Players like Ozil who have slacked off defensively need to be disciplined into putting in a shift defensively. This isn’t the 80s anymore where a team could get away with a number 10 playing the passes but losing interest defensively. Every player has to defend tightly.

  3. thanks a lot, walter
    really nice
    as for me, i think the “leaders of the village” are just as guilty as the “moaners/protesters”
    anyway, all we have to do now i guess is get used to living closer to the edge of the cliff, and master our fear, so as to be able to keep on supporting our lads – they do their best, but self-doubt is such a terrible poison …

  4. I am really sorry to do this, but here is a copy-paste of a post I wrote in to 365 in April, 2008:

    “If Kroenke, the Arsenal fans and the Arsenal board do not act now and sack Wenger and arrest this irreversible decline in standards, it will be too late and the mess Wenger leaves behind will take at least a decade to fix.”

    Arsenal fans have got coming to them exactly what they deserve. I do not forget how they spent years mocking Chelski as being “classless” for sacking managers, until Arsenal fans became the managerial circus. Sacking Emery with zero plan for a replacement. Fans content to witness 13 years of sh**e under Wenger but clueless bloggers hysterical losing it after 13 months of average stuff from Emery, who inherited an absolute sh**show from Wenger. Look at that wage bill that has shackled Arsenal: Ozil on £350k a week. Mustafi on £120k a week. Xhaka on £120k a week. Kolasinac on £180k a week. We all know who gave this rubbish those galactico wages that have hampered the club in the market.


    Let us be clear here, what is happening at Arsenal currently is no big shock to those of us that had functioning brains as far back as 2007. This is a crisis years in the making, and its origins are simple:

    1. Lack of leadership
    2. Lack of basic defensive structure
    3. Lack of winning mentality, content with 4th place
    4. Undemanding fans who let players get away with murder (Xhaka can just stroll back into the team, no opposition. Joke)
    5. Lack of desire and work-rate on the pitch
    6. Arrogance in underestimating “smaller” opponents
    7. Deluded fanbase with a belief a club with no European pedigree is a “big club”

    These are all traits that have been obvious since 2007. Nothing was done. Arsenal fans told everyone that “once FFP comes in, Arsene will sweep the world”. Klopp was available, but Arsenal fans turned their noses up at him. LOL. Great shout that! Contrast where Liverpool and Arsenal both were in 2015 and look at them now. At big clubs, one man is never bigger than the club – Citeh sacked title-winning Pellegrini the minute Pep was free.
    The fact is, Arsenal fans sat back and showed off about “last 16 CL qualification” for a decade, whereas at a big club, fans would be asking why the team was performing so dismally in the CL. Arsenal fans pretended they were some sacrosanct entity, “doing things the right way” – until their American owner sucked cash out of the club. The fans sat on their hands, continued to get fleeced and pretended they could do nothing about it.

    The arrogance of Arsenal fans can be exemplified by the fact that 2 seasons ago I wrote in and said Arsenal should do everything it can to hire Diego Simeone. The general reaction? “He does not play the Arsenal way”. What is the “Arsenal way”? Is it losing 8-2 at Old Trafford? Or 12-goal CL thrillers where Bayern smash you 10-2? Perhaps it’s making Norwich look like 1970s Brazil in their yellow kit. Hard to tell. One thing the “Arsenal way” certainly isn’t: successful, respected.


    Get it straight Arsenal fans: your players are utter s***. You spent the summer claiming you should be pushing the top 2, but it merely illustrates the height of your delusion. Not one Arsenal player outside Auba would make the Leicester team. The “all you need to do is start Ozil” brigade have been shown up as the ignoramus comedians they are; as Ozil has been predictably abysmal and the team far worse, since his reintegration. Seems Emery was right about that one after all.

    Word of warning to Arsenal: if you do get down to the Championship, it’s an unforgiving league for teams with no desire. “The Arsenal way” will get you nowhere. Pulis is the only saviour I can see for Arsenal now. Klopp would have taken this job in 2015 and Pep openly courted Arsenal back then.

  5. @jason Morris, you would have been ‘Diego Simeone Out‘ by now. What have DS won lately? Why DS not at any other PL club? I guess ManU, Chelsea, Everton should hire people like you who know alot more than their staff.
    Klopp? People like you would have demanded him out in his first 18 month in change. Hindsight is such a beautiful thing especially for young people who is learning in life.

  6. The way things are going, the village might be downgraded to an inferior village status, as happened a long time ago with a village called Leeds , and golden eggs will seem but a distant memory. A big, shiny, but empty village, as the villagers have no time to turn out to see other villages like Barnsley or Wigan, especially those who remembered Madrid , Barca and Milan.
    No more golden eggs , but some wanted the predicament that may await, no more talented superstars, but we might just end up with the big angry centre forwards , a coach preaching directness who sounds like a Dalek with a sore throat, towering central midfielders and central defenders that can kick a ball a long way, a bit like those from the village called Stoke.

  7. @Jason Morris – Word of warning – If you go down to the woods today You’d better go in disguise because todays the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

  8. At this point in time we have to forget the ‘big team” tag, forget the invincibles and just get on with it. Forget VAR, forget referees and just get on with it, forget the pundits and just get on with it.

    We are having a torrid time by every measure but we have to own it and keep working harder and smarter.

    Every possibility is already being raised including outright relegation. Hey when you really think about it……..Anything is possible as long as it is probabale

    Eg. Liverpool become the next invincible team
    Liverpool do not become the next invincible
    Manchester City finish the league in fifth or sixth
    Leicester City grab a second title
    Arsenal clinch a top four Spot
    Arsenal get relegated
    Trump gets impeached and re-elected
    Bloomberg wins nomination and beats Trump

    Nothing mentioned above is completely outside the realm of possibility.
    Except at Arsenal we choose to project the worst for our team. This is completely unnecessary and unhelpful. If relegation is a possibility why is a full recovery not possible?

    High flying Chelsea just lost another game to em er er….(presumed dead) Everton? their third loss in four games and Man United just rose to fifth place, beating man City 2-1 A text message on quickly compared Man U and Man C points difference and already concluded Man U are having a good season after all…..hmmm. And by the way pundits/ex-Liverpuds M.O. and J.C. will longer be shy tipping Liverpool even at mid season.

    I don’t know how many more defeats to “smaller” teams we will have to stomach this season but we should not write off our team just yet.

  9. Jason Morris, you are a fool. If Simeone or anyone else tried that “get them up at 4 AM and shout at them” crap with today’s Arsenal players, they’d tell him to get lost. He would be a leader with no one to follow him.

    You’re right that it isn’t the 1980s anymore. If George Graham tried his “Ayatollah” shtick, Granit Xhaka would probably punch him back to Glasgow.

    But you are a liar. Wenger left no mess. Emery made the mess. And how STUPID do you have to be to expect Mesut Özil to defend? Did you ever expect Dennis Bergkamp to defend?

    With last season’s team, Arsène Wenger would have trusted and started Özil, and finished 3rd. And he would now be breathing down Jurgen Klopp’s skeevy neck.

    But you entitled AFTV-style aren’t smart enough to accept the truth.

  10. Jason Morris is a fool says Uncle Mike? Who then States Wenger would, if he had stayed, been breathing down Klopp’s neck?!!!
    When was the last time a Wenger team breathed down any PL champions neck?
    Just because Emery hasn’t been the answer it hardly means Wenger was?
    Jason is right Wenger left the playing side of the club in a poor state.
    Sometimes you have to change a few managers to get it right, look at Liverpool.

  11. Rob: that you have to change managers several times to get a team to win the league is obviously true. Our research showed that only 20% of clubs in the PL that have changed managers in the past 18 months are now better off than they were. The problem is that Arsenal is unique in having such negative media coverage, and such vitriolic supporters (see our research on the issue) so that while Liverpool might use the changing of managers approach to get to the top of the league, they have had to wait 30 years to get a title using that method, the negativity against Arsenal is likely to make the wait much longer. A better method would be to have fans who support the team and ignore the media.

  12. Rob, the last time a Wenger team breathed down an eventual Premier League winner’s neck was in 2016, when Jamie Vardy dove Leicester to the title and got away with it. Remember, Arsenal beat them both times that season.

    You are a fool, too. Liverpool would be nowhere if Mohamed Salah wasn’t trying to be the next Wayne Rooney or Didier Drogba, dive after dive after dive.

  13. Uncle Mike It was hardly neck and neck, they fell away well before the end, in a season when they actually should have won it.
    Yes your right I am the fool, Liverpool are only where they are because Mo Salah dives lol?

  14. Thanks for the fable, Walter. And thanks for the unpalatable but undoubtedly possible follow up, Mandy.

  15. This year’s PGMOL agenda is to favour Liverpool, Leicester and Spurs. To obstruct Man City.

    Their opposition to Arsenal is perrenial..

    They are using VAR as a new weapon in their corrupt campaign

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