Ooh, how to be a happy Gooner this season

They say that ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’, and after a small eternity of not seeing the mighty Arse play, I cannot wait for the new season to start. Simply seeing our players on a green pitch again during recent friendly games, made me realise how much I’ve really missed our team over the last few months.

I am full of optimism about the forthcoming season, and feel that this could be our year. Just watching Jenkinson, Gibbs, Vermaelen and Koscielny running around with such energy and eagerness in recent friendlies, made my mouth water. The triangle of Song, Rambo and Jack seems to have transformed over the summer into a confident, multi-skilled and graceful midfield war-machine, and then there is also the delight of proper, fast and effective wing/attacking-play by the likes of Ryo, Theo, Arshavin and Gervinho. Most of our established stars, for various reasons, have been taking it easy during pre-season. It is going to be a long season, so I do not mind at all. Take it easy boys and focus on what really matters this season: carrying the team through the difficult patches that we will undoubtedly have to face again.

The one thing I am wary about though, is the way the ‘outside world’ will be trying their hardest to spoil our enjoyment of the new season.

TV football commentators, especially those of Sky, are the biggest culprits. I cannot stand to have to hear again and again and again the oh so familiar and regurgitated platitudes such as: ‘Arsenal have not won a major trophy for six years and counting’, or that ‘Arsenal’s beautiful football is pointless if it does not deliver titles and cups’, or that we ‘do not do ugly goals but always want to pass ‘it’ into the goal’, or that we ‘Southern Sissies’ cannot take it if we are being roughed up by the teams ‘Up North’ etc, etc. Does this sound familiar to you?

Then there are the newspaper articles and fan blogs. For a while the Newspapers will look for ways to build us up, only to drop us again at the earliest convenience. The smallest thing that goes wrong and all the above mentioned platitudes will be in our faces again. The fan blogs will also be full of the articles based on ‘I told you so – nothing has changed’ rhetoric, as soon as we lose or even draw a game. On top of all of that, we will have to put up with fans from other, recently ‘more successful’ teams at work, in the pub, within our families and from our friends.

I know I am not the only one who gets affected by all this negativity, and that’s why I have formulated eight tips to build up the necessary immunity, in order to enjoy the new season as best as possible

Tip 1: Manage your own expectations: our team has the potential to win one or more cups this season, but there are no guarantees. The higher the expectations the harder we could fall. I rather have high aspirations but more realistic expectations.

Tip 2:  Keep believing in Wengerball – success is so near and lady luck might be on our side this year.

Tip 3: Don’t jump to conclusions if and when we lose a game: last season once again showed us that our campaign had many twist and turns and that the outcome of an individual game, either positive (beating Citeh away and the Chavs at home) or negative (drawing at Wigan and at Newcastle), does not predict the way we will finish.

Tip 4: Try not to think too much ahead and only focus on the next game coming.

Tip 5: Be very selective about which papers and blogs you read, and footie TV programmes you watch: choose those that take a fair/balanced approach and avoid those that are scripted to be negative about Arsenal whenever possible (vast majority at the moment). Arsenal Arsenal is the best place to be, most of the times.

Tip 6:  Turn off the sound of your TV-set when watching our team: I found this very helpful last season, especially during the second half when the commentators get tired and start reading of their sheet of ‘cheap and easy platitudes’.

Tip 7:  Tape the good games, and watch them again and again when you are feeling low.

Tip 8:  Keep telling yourself and subsequently your colleagues, friends and members of the family that there is nothing better than to be a Gooner: six years without success is nothing compared to our fantastic, trophy-full history; we are a model of financial sustainability to all clubs in the UK/Europe/World, and play a brand of football that everyone wants to watch. We might not always get to our destinations, but our journeys are eventful and laced with excitement and splendour. This video could not summarise any better on what it is to be Gooner:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDzQCg-Liqw

 

Wishing you all a fantastic football season, and hopefully some silverware at the end,

TotalArsenal.

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154 Responses to Ooh, how to be a happy Gooner this season

  1. London says:

    Some very good advice up there TA

    CORRG

  2. Very interesting post

  3. Jacqui Kircher says:

    Great to read a balanced, reasonable and positive article rather than the gripings from the eternal doom merchants or those with a Football Manager approach. We’re not entitled to win cups / titles and although it’s incredibly frustrating at times, we’re a hell of a lot better off than most of the league.

  4. SPECTRUM says:

    Why don’t you just advise us to be deaf dumb and blind ? That would cover every possibility, wouldn’t it ? ( apologies to our A.K.B. friends.)

  5. barumgooner says:

    Excellent post. I have been moving around all summer so have been off-line and have escaped a lot of the transfer window speculation and negativity. I totally agree that the squad we have is the best I’ve seen in ages. Still a bit worried about left-back though.

  6. Walter says:

    Lol @ dis podt

  7. SPECTRUM says:

    barumgooner@9;43 – Don’ t worry, you haven’t missed anything exciting.

  8. Shegzy9ja says:

    Good post, you are a real gooner.

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Barum Hi,
    Left back?
    What if we lose Robin, Song or Verm early on?
    Sorry, I don’t mean to get anyone down, there is plenty of open window time left and I’m positive all will be well, but right now we are not ready.

  10. Rasp says:

    Morning SPECTRUM (or is it evening in Australia?)

    OK you’ve made your point in your usual style, if you’re going to hang around today try to treat us like friends and fellow supporters and forget the acrimony.

  11. SPECTRUM says:

    barumgooner – On the left back situation – with that you CAN worry. Our manager in his wisdom, has decided we don’t need to sign a replacement for Clichy. We’ll gamble on Gibbs being good enough and being able to stay clear of injury for the whole season. Meanwhile, Jose Enrique is twiddling his thumbs up at Newcastle.

  12. goonermichael says:

    TV football commentators, especially those of Sky, are the biggest cu
    I thought you were going to say something (more appropriate) else.

    Spectrum. Why don’t you just go somewhere else where you’ll be appreciated.

  13. Red Arse says:

    Excellent, again TA, :-)

    The tips are obviously heart felt and certainly ring true with me.

    The platitudes you mention are seen as truisms by the people you mention, and of course some of the ‘thick as two shortplankers’ who claim to support the Arsenal..

    For the clowns who love acronyms that’s “Tats”!

  14. Red Arse says:

    GG9,

    That sounds like a good plan.

    In the years I have lived in the UK, mainly in the South East, around London, September can be one of the most beautiful months of the year, often with what is called here “a late Summer”.

    Hope you get one of those in 2012. :-)

  15. SPECTRUM says:

    Rasp – Just providing an alternative, some would say more realistic – view to the unbridled and misplaced optimism we see on this blogsite. You see, we don’t all see things through rose tinted glasses. Have you forgotten the issues of last season ( and the ones before that, that haven’t been addressed ) ?.They’re still here. And I don’t see much being done about them.

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cripes, sorry TA, excellent post. Thank you.

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I cannot wait to see Ramsey today. Hope he starts.

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Anyone not going or without ESPN, then it is being shown on onlinefootie.

  19. joel says:

    DELUSIONAL!
    The Club Captain is sulking on the sidelines.
    Despite the “Rumour Mill” we still haven’t signed a competent Premier League ready Centre Back.
    Our best player for the first half of last Season has let that small period of exciting play go to his head and now effectively wants to leave
    Song’s arrogant complacent attitude has carried on from the end of last Season into this pre-season.Whilst at the same time ignored the potential of a player with great experience,a proper work ethic and an ability to lead and nurture the players around him-Scott Parker!
    We have sold our best left-back (who’s form had dipped alarmingly over the last 12 months) and have replaced him with an injury prone player who has no defensive positional sense (although he attacks well)
    We have thus far failed to relieve the huge wage bill of most of the “deadwood” which still remains within the squad.Denilson proved to be un-saleable-no other Manager rates him worthy of their team in the whole of Europe.Almunia still remains as do Eboue and Bentner!Others maintain their squad positions with much to prove (unlikely given the chances that they have previously been given and shown wanting)-Squillaci,Djourou,Rosicky,Chamakh).
    Team shape and tactics which failed last Season have seemed to remain given pre-season so far.(Pass sideways and back and forth when the opposition string out a more defensive line)
    Mannone who wasn’t deemed good enough to be given Hull’s Number 1 Jersey finds himself as our goalkeeping back-up with an injured “Flapianski” waiting in the wings!
    Mr Wenger has much to improve and change but still seems to prefer criticism of other teams,rather looking more closely at his own failings!

  20. I like the advice but I think it’s too late for me – Arsenal, literally, gave me the blues last season & they ain’t gone away: http://ithinkitsallover.com/2011/07/27/

  21. Rasp says:

    Hi SPECTRUM,

    Yes I appreciate where you’re coming from, I just wanted to make sure that we don’t end up as we did last time with everyone getting upset.

    I haven’t forgotten last season and I personally would like to see a strong defender or two added to the squad.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers everyone :)

    Just in case you did not know yet, the Arsenal Emirates Cup games are live on ESPN today and tomorrow.

    Spectrum: you were challenged a few weeks ago to put some explanation behind your views. What did you do: you whimpered off not to be seen until now. So please don’t expect much respect for your views. You are just an arse who splutters a few platitudes to get a reaction. Big boy.

  23. Philbet says:

    Joel my friend the defination of ‘fan’ is fanaticall supporter of a team or club..You clearly cannot bring your self to support Arsenal at this moment,pehaps it is best you take a break away from the team,blogs, and games untill you have some more positive thoughts about Arsenal. HTH.

  24. Carlito11 says:

    TA thank you for the sane advice for the forthcoming season! I’m with you on most of it and you speak from the heart as a supporter. There is still a full month to go in the ‘window’ and the combination of Wenger’s frank and open statements on the way the Market is moving combined with PHW’s leaking of our movements behind the scenes mean that is far too early to panic about lack of transfer activity.
    More than anything though it’s about how beat to SUPPORT our team in the coming season because I will support the team no matter what and that is what supporters do! The drama queens and panic merchants can do one as far as I’m concerned they damage football more than oil money from Abu dhabi!

  25. SPECTRUM says:

    Rasp – Glad you can see at least ONE of the faults. So why carry on with these articles that attempt to paper over the manager’s and team’s flaws ? It’s this wilful ignorance of reality that the A.K.B.’s display that rankles me. How about you write a REALLY probing critique of Wenger and / or the board and their mismanagement ? That would be refreshing, and really demonstrate objectivity.
    By all means be optimistic if and when the circumstances warrant it. Ours certainly DON’T, and haven’t for a very long time. Much too long. Which is why Wenger, after continually failing to change them, needs to go.

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Joel, thanks for that: now I know why you might not be signing for the mighty Arsenal (yet).

    More seriously though, you are just as delusional by seeing everything so negative, where I admittedly, am perhaps too positive. Song, Ramsey and Jack will be the best trio of central midfielders in the PL this season, and Gibbs will be ok. Another CB will come and possibly another winger. Either Cesc or Nasri will stay, and the triangle of Szczesny, Vermaelen and Djourou will be superb. Koz and a new CB will add strength. Finally, the triangle(s) of Gervinho/Arshavin/Ryo(?), Walcott/Nasri and RvP/Chamakh will be fantastic as well.

    I respect your views, but I just believe that this is our best team in years.

    Philbet – well said :)

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hey Lads,
    I regard myself as a fan in any meaning of the word. Right now, I don’t believe we have a cat in hells chance of winning anything, but that in no way stops me waking every single day thinking that Arsenal are the greatest team the world has ever seen.

  28. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    I saw your comment regarding Jagielka earlier this morning;

    — While slurping coffee and scratching my arse, I thought I would google Jagielka. By the way, he’s 6’2″, so not quite the midget some make out —

    I would not in a million years want to disrespect Google, but they might want to check with The Official Everton Football Club site which among other things lists Jagielka as being 180cms tall which is just about 5’11”.

    Do you want to tell them? :-)

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, Micky, maybe Google measurements include leap? ;)

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    Everton are simply trying to put us off. I bet they claim he does the 100m in 27.2 seconds.
    It was his Wiki profile, whatever that is.

  31. Rasp says:

    SPECTRUM, don’t get carried away and please don’t put words into my mouth. I don’t see these issues as ‘faults’ necessarily, none of us have a clue what is really going on behind the scenes.

    I shall be giving Arsenal my wholehearted support whether we buy big or not.

  32. Optimist Micky says:

    5’11” is the optimum height for a DM :-)

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Rasp too

  34. barumgooner says:

    Hi Micky, I know what you mean about the others but from what little I’ve seen this tw the club seem to be looking at cd and cm, Theo hopefully will get a go up front this year but to rely on Gibbs to be injury free all season considering his past record is a bit of a gamble to say the least. I have heard that TV can play there but I dont know how true that is.

  35. Morning all

    Great post TA and although the failings of last season are not to be forgotten we just have to have hope at the start of a new season otherwise what’s the point.

    Anyway off to get my back sorted – I hope – be around again later.

    It’s a great day, the Arsenal are playing and Thierry Henry will be there too – deep, deep joy :oops:

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Barum,
    For me Verm is no left back (right footed for starters) but I too have heard he plays there for Belgium, so I agree about your concerns in that dept.
    I believe we have added some real “thrust” in Gervinho, but think we urgently need some “stiffness” down the spine. Jag is versatile and would be an excellent addition in my opinion.

  37. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    Your Post, as I have already said, is excellent and does not need justifying to any ill mannered, churlish prat.

    The site ethos does not allow us to directly insult others, even under provocation, or to use intemperate or blasphemous language to tell them to fuck off.
    Of course I cannot therefore refer to any one person, but I am sure you know I mean the type of loser who hangs around like a really smelly fart in a lift, while regurgitating the same tired old crap that bores the arse off the rest of us.

    But what our ethos does not prohibit is the right of normal AA’ers to COMPLETELY IGNORE condescending morons who are incapable of seeing good in anything or anyone.

    On a lighter note, it is really funny to see someone of limited intelligence trying to patronise an intellectual like you!! :-)

  38. barumgooner says:

    Not sure I agree that we have a cat in hells chance of winning anything. We now have confidence in a truly good keeper, TV is back, Rambo is back, Jack has come of age, Kos has had his bedding in season and will get better, Cham is nowhere near as bad as the media would have us believe, we have added a useful looking striker/winger. We will I’m sure add a cd and another midfielder to replace Cesc. As Rasp said I will give my wholehearted support whatever but I am actually truly confident in this group. ( if we invest in Baines)

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Changing tack, and thinking of accomodating Aaron. Do we need a DM in all games?
    Therefore, assuming the worst and Cesc has gone, how about:
    .
    Nasri Robin Gerv
    ……….AA
    ….Jack Aaron

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Well said RA and thanks :) Off to get a haircut now -got to be ready for the new season ;)

  41. MickyDidIt89 says:

    barum,
    We could do worse than keeping new signings restricted to those with side partings. Mata, Parker and Baines.

  42. SPECTRUM says:

    TotalArsenal – The very fact that you feel the need to “challenge” me to justify my opinions, shows that you only see what you WANT to see. Have you been following the narrative regarding Arsenal over the last six or seven years ? If you have, then you’ve been very selective in what you see and hear. Being objective means you see both the positives AND negatives, weigh them up, and then make a decision on which has the most merit. I did that a few years ago, and drew my conclusions based on the ACTUAL facts, not on what I’d LIKE the facts to be. The A.K.B.’s only see one side. They remain oblivious to, and in denial of Wenger’s incompetence and neglect. They only want to remember the good times. Well the times have moved on,and the manager and his devoted followers, haven’t.
    You want me to itemise and list every example of what I mean ? It would take a long time, and I’d feel like I’m repeating myself from my many posts on this and other blogs.. An analysis of Wenger’s behaviour and media statements almost every day is sufficient to illustrate his lies and spin.
    Let me put a challenge to you ; Tell me why Wenger should stay in his job – based on the last six to seven years ONLY. The last six to seven years are what I am judging him on.Don’t talk about what he HAS done in the PAST ( per 2005). I mean in RECENT years. Do you honestly think he’s the same man now as he was then ?

  43. Rasp says:

    Morning by the way TA, sorry I forgot my manners. You’ve written a great uplifting post that deserves only appreciation. I shall be taking RA’s advice regarding other matters.

  44. barumgooner says:

    I agree Micky.

  45. Carlito11 says:

    Hi Micky- I hope you didn’t take my last rant as aimed at you! I’m all too aware of the nuances that have led to your belief wavering- I was the same until recently. Surely the verminator is a left-footer though? Or is my memory more emmenthal like than even I thought possible?
    I like your idea of having no holding midfielder and I think, at home, against the hit and hope brigade from Stoke for example, we need midfielders to win the ball in midfield but not to sit and ‘hold’ so your suggestion is a good one! We’ll gave fewer teams like that to contend with with this season witg brum down and Blackburn and Bolton both trying to play expansive stuff. Will villa go that way now? Hopefully not- they’ve always been my personal bogey team since they beat us at home in my first game at highbury!

  46. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    Ooer missus; I thought TV was left footed. Isn’t he? :-)

  47. Chipie witca says:

    Hope dis season is for gooners!!no doubt about dat

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Barum,
    What the brilliant DM’less line up, or the side partings?
    Carlito,
    I promised you many Guiness for the jump. Hoping to make the Pool game. One of my contacts is coming for lunch tomorrow and will be served lobster and fine wine.

  49. Steve says:

    I read this blog (first time) with a sense of relief and release, knowing that there are real Arsenal fans out there who can support the club without the awful, demeaning negativity that seems to pervade the cybersphere. Good work! As for the doomers, I suggest they stay where they’re welcome (try The Grove for starters) where they can happily be miserable/angry/vitriolic together. Even better, go and support another club, a dream club that flashes somebody else’s money at every perceived failing.

    I am an Arsenal fan and I support my club and I do not have a roseate view of reality, whatever the doomers may heckle. Why on earth do they do it? The sheer laziness of thought, immaturity and lack of grace is astonishing.

    Honestly sickened by these people. They insult the club, the manager, the fans. Just grow up or go away with good riddance.

  50. Rasp says:

    Hi Steve and welcome.

    AA is an open site that invites supporters to join in and write as well as comment and in so doing, set the tone of the blog.

    Luckily the authors we have attracted (see list at side of page) are generally in the positive/realist category which is refreshing and offers an alternative to the tidal wave of negativity that seems to be sweeping across the internet.

    Please see the ‘Be our Guest’ tab at the top of the page and join the club if you feel inclined.

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oooo, he is left footed, how exciting. Problem solved. Actually now I remember that thunderbolt of a goal he scored and it wasn’t his right foot either!

  52. goonerwife says:

    if you ignore ‘irritants’ they go away. They get their pleasure in life from being miserable and trying to bring others down with them.their was an article in the guardian about the rise of the internet irritant. Feel bad for them but ignore them.

    I will enjoy this team no matter what but not only am i sane I am a happy person. I was so dissapointed by the teams collapse last season but its a new beginning and i prefer to air on the side of a young team getting better rather than worse. that make sense right?

    Thierry Henry on arsenal player- Legend!love him to bits

    By the way we will be fine without cesc. others will step up. And they’ll all be thinking about arsenal and not some other team.

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    I hope I still fall into the positive/realist camp. Hoenest Guv, I love my club for all the right reasons. Really I do.

  54. Steve says:

    Rasp,

    Thanks for the reply. Enticing…

  55. Red Arse says:

    Hi Steve, :-)

    Well said.

    We are fans who love Arsenal — warts and all — and do not mind debating both the good and the not so good things surrounding being part of the Arsenal community. i.e. wonderful football, historic club, somewhat puzzling transfer policy, steep season ticket rise etc, etc.

    There is an old adage — “empty vessels make most noise” — and that is so true.
    The ‘fans’ who rubbish the club, its manager and its players with vile invective are the ones with the most limited knowledge, understanding or loyalty. I would not stomach such people in the real world, and I see no reason to do so in the blogosphere.

  56. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, off out to buy expensive things for my contact.
    Enjoy the game all of you who are going. Very jealous, especially if there is an AA get together at the Tavern.

  57. Red Arse says:

    Hi Goonerwife, :-)

    Now you are the sort of Gooner I can identify with.

    From your comments on here, today and previously, it is obvious that you love Arsenal, and good for you! :-)

    like you, I am really looking forward to seeing Thierry this afternoon.

  58. Jamie says:

    Well said RA. Here is the Arsenal being back at the emirates. In an hour I’ll be on my way! Can’t wait.

  59. SPECTRUM says:

    What’s the difference between Arsene Wenger and the Iraqi Information minister ? Er………

  60. Rasp says:

    Right, I’m off to play cricket.

    I’m looking forward to the Emirates Cup tomorrow and a prematch drink with some fellow AA’ers at the Tavern (sorry Micky)

    Have a good day everyone, catch up later.

  61. SPECTRUM says:

    Rasp – Your definition of a realist, and mine, are poles apart, I’m afraid.

  62. goonermichael says:

    If anyone knows of a spare ticket for tomorrow could you let me know. I’ll be at the Tavern tomorrow. The ticket is for my son.

  63. SPECTRUM says:

    Red Arse – As I said on another blog – “So supporting Arsenal is conditional on supporting Wenger is it ? Strange, I don’t recall seeing that stated in the matchday program”.
    I love Arsenal, have supported it since 1975. What I DON’T support is the CURRENT manager and the CURRENT board who are complicit with him, and vice versa. If they were to change their practices and mentality, AND showed some ambition – instead of just paying lip service to it – I would change my views. That doesn’t look like it will ever happen, so we realists will continue to voice our disapproval. Any caring supporter would do no less.

  64. wally says:

    TA, RA, et al…. Perhaps you could organize a session where we could all hold hands and sing kumbaya.

  65. SPECTRUM says:

    wally – No, they did that last week. This week they’re waiting for the dawning of The Age of Aquarius. “Mystic crystal revelations”, and all that.

  66. SPECTRUM says:

    Red Arse – ” I would not stomach such people in the real world.” How often do you visit the real world ? Or are you just passing through ?

  67. Stectrum – are you going to spend the whole season moaning about AW and the board? If results go against us obviously you’ll feel vindicated but how will you feel when things go well – as surely there will be highs as well as lows in the coming season?

  68. SPECTRUM says:

    peachesgooner – “If results go against us” ? They went against us last season, didn’t they ? We were nowhere near to winning the league. Unless you call 12 points away close. Not to mention the previous years. I predicted our collapse before last season. It wasn’t hard to do. Because I could see the deficiencies in the team, and the managing of it, would result in that collapse. Anyone with an ounce of foresight could have seen that. And yet here we are again, in the same situation. Only this time we’re likely to be without our most influential player. And no central defender, and no defensive midfielder, AGAIN. So what do you think will happen ?
    So summing up, I think it’s fair to say I’m ALREADY vindicated !

  69. SPECTRUM says:

    peachesgooner – Oh, “and if things go well” ? That question is academic, as we’ll be lucky to make the top 4 this season. Why do I say that ? Am I being all “doom and gloom” ? No, just my assessment based on what’s gone before. It saddens me to say that, but that is what it amounts to.

  70. Carlito11 says:

    Micky- I look forward to some pints of te black stuff with you at the Liverpool game! Did you see the video of the “freedom freefall”? It should be viewable on http://www.freedomintheair.com if you haven’t… Managed to keep my arsenal scarf on throughout :-)
    Really looking forward to today’s game- not often we play one of the great sides from south american

  71. Carlito11 says:

    To today’s irritant blogger- massive deja vu here- we’ve all stated our reasons for continued hope/optimism and realism. We’ve all discussed it at length with you and neither side looks to be changing their views so why not just drop it? It is better to live in hope and be occasionally disappointed than to expect disappointment and revel in being right IMO and therefore, you see, our world views clash in an intractable manner!

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Spec, what you do not seem to grasp is Arsenal entered a different era six years ago. We started to invest heavily in a youth policy on top of which we buy a few players every season around the £10m-15m mark. Some fans say we did this, because of financial restraints; others believe it was Wenger’s personal ambition that made us go down this way. I believe it is a combination of both. Every year this policy is developing us upwards and onwards (against incredible competition by teams who have unlimited funds and bottomless morals). But it takes time, and like you I had my doubts about Wenger’s ability to make us a winning force again. I thought about it hard and long at the end of the season, and came to the conclusion we should keep believing in Wengerball. If you are really interested, I wrote a post about it:

    http://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/is-it-right-to-push-for-wenger%e2%80%99s-departure/

    Feel free to respond, but please with manners and with a real attempt to have an indepth discussion.

  73. chas says:

    Great post, TA. Your positivity is an example to us all.

    peaches, the answer to your moaning question is, of course, yes, yes and double yes.

    The characteristic of AA I like the most is that nobody makes a decision and then takes an entrenched position based on that decision. Views fluctuate with the fortunes of the team, exactly as it should be as a supporter of a football team.

    The quote below shows how some people think….

    “Being objective means you see both the positives AND negatives, weigh them up, and then make a decision on which has the most merit. I did that a few years ago, and drew my conclusions based on the ACTUAL facts…..”

    The crucial section of this quote is ‘I did this a few years ago’. This means that a decision was taken, and from there on in, every subsequent opinion has to reinforce this position. To make this a definition of objectivity is both bizarre and ridiculous in equal measure.

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey C11, good to see you on AA today :) I cannot wait for the game either and you are right, it is great to play against a top SA team. I tried your link, but it did not work. I will copy and paste it and see whether that works.

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas, that is very analytical of you (especially last paragraph). I had not thought of it like that :P

  76. Carlito11 says:

    Chas- very well put fella :-) TA thanks! Nice to have some time to spend on AA! The link was my mistake- it should BR .org I think rather than .com! Let me know if I got it wrong!

  77. SPECTRUM says:

    Carlito 11 @1;40 – Is that all you’re content to do ? “Live in hope”. That’s the trouble with you self proclaimed optimists. Instead of “hoping”, why not look deeper into WHY the club / team is in the situation it’s in ? Analyse the issues, and question the direction we’re heading in. The Arsenal Supporters Trust among others, is one group that are doing this. They are making their feelings known. See the results of the recent satisfaction survey they just carried out. It’s revealing. They’re not living in hope – they’re actively trying to influence the club to do something about our malaise.

  78. Carlito11 says:

    TA- given that today’s post is all about how to e happy as an arsenal supporter, and at the risk of repeating myself, I’d like to put up one of my favourite quotations from Mark twain which I try and live by:

         
    “Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like its heaven on earth.”

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    C11, I am on the website, but where/how can I watch your flirtation with gravity?

    Lovely quote btw – I need to read some Mark Twain soon!

  80. Carlito11 says:

    Spectrum- you know nothing about me or what supporters groups I may be a member of! Pre-season is a time, like spring for most humans, for optimism and hope to rekindle. I will judge this season on it’s merits and do not pretend that I wasn’t let down by our end of season capitulation. However, we start afresh and there is absolutely no groundswell to remove our manager despite how it may appear from a distance and online. As supporters we get behind whoever is manager and whoever plays on the pitch and look forward to some great FOOTBALL on the pitch- which is what it’s all about right? :-)

  81. Carlito11 says:

    TA it’s on there somewhere but I can’t see it either! Here’s a link to my bit of the day’s events! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LS9yDnleA0&sns=em off out for a bit but hope to check in this evening. One thing strikes me about the neg crowd online: with fans like these who needs totnum? ;-)

  82. SPECTRUM says:

    Carlito 11 – “No groundswell” ? Well judging from the Supporters Trust survey, the tide is rising, and if we have another season like last, it will develop into a tsunami, and you and the other complacents and A.K.B.’s will be carried away in the surf.
    Speaking of judging, Wenger himself invited you all to “Judge me in May”. And that was for the season BEFORE last. So you’ve allowed him one reprieve, what about the May just gone ? Carlito, as you’re keen to defend him, perhaps you should be his lawyer. After all, he’s just broken his parole, hasn’t he ?

  83. London says:

    Spectrum

    Is there anything you like about Arsenal apart from moaning about them? Do you like the kit ( red and white) Do you like the fact that the roots are in Islington? Do you like the motto?

  84. SPECTRUM says:

    London – You’re big on questions. So I’ll pose you the same one I asked Carlito at 2;41.

  85. I know you all run and hide when I’m around but if anyone wants to write up something about todays game then let me know ………

  86. SPECTRUM says:

    Wenger. “Judge me in May.” Guilty. Go directly to jail. Do not pass “go”, do not collect $200. (Apologies to Parker Brothers ).

  87. London says:

    As I thought Spectrum, apart from moaning about Arsenal you don’t like anything about them.

  88. RockyLives says:

    Nice post TA – entertaining and amusing.

    SPECTRUM, do you know that an anagram of your blog name is CRUMPETS? You’re not a hot bird are you?

  89. SPECTRUM says:

    London – Already answered that. See my post at 12;21.

  90. goonermichael says:

    Peaches
    What time are you going to the Tavern tomorrow?

  91. kelsey says:

    Hello everyone.

    Not got time to give my full attention to AA at the moment, but I wish you all well and hopefully a good season ahead for our boys. Many things will sort themselves out in the next week or so, until then .

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    Specky, ARSENAL TRUTH hahahaha :) :) :P :P That says it all mate.

  93. SPECTRUM says:

    TotalArsenal – Care to laugh off these findings from The Arsenal Supporters Trust survey ?

    “Do you think that if Arsenal does not win a trophy next season (which would be the seventh successive year without one) that the Board should conclude that Arsène Wenger has taken the club as far as he can”?

    42% said yes, 40% said no, and 18% were unsure.
    ( And there is no groundswell of support for removing Wenger ? )

    “Do you think that Arsène Wenger’s football philosophy takes too much precedence over the objective of winning trophies”?

    69% of people agreed that the football philosophy was taking precedence

    “Do you agree with Arsenal’s decision to increase season ticket and general admission ticket prices by 6.5percent this year”?

    Overwhelming 78% disagree with season ticket increase

    “Do you agree with Ivan Gazidis that the cost of attending live football is in danger of pricing supporters out of football and that the Club should make affordability a key priority of its ticketing review”?

    96% of people agreed.
    “Do you think that the ticket prices Arsenal charge provide good value for money”?

    50% of people think that ticket prices are NOT good value for money

    “Reflecting on your own relationship with Arsenal and reviewing recent years, do you now feel a strongersense of belonging to the club”?

    50% of people said no to this question
    “Do you think the Arsenal Board and its senior executives are in touch with Arsenal fans and have a goodunderstanding of their hopes and concerns for the future of the club”?

    Only 8% of people said “Yes” they were in touch
    “Do you think Kroenke should invite Red and White Holdings, which owns a 27 percent stake in the Club, to join the Board”?

    70% said yes, Usmanov should join the board

  94. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    It’s sad really, on another site they accuse him of being unable to even spell his own tag name.

    I understand it’s actually SPECULUM.
    Definition: a tool for searching bodily cavities!

    Says it all really; He’s a tool —- dark cavities. Enough said.

    Not that I could possibly comment, of course!

  95. Gooner In Exile says:

    Afternoon all time for a quick post at kick off I have been gardening.

    Nice post TA. I share your approach to support.

    I made my choice to support Arsenal, whilst they continue to be nearer the top than the bottom and win more than lose I’ll be happy. If we win the anything I’ll be delirious.

    Nice start from the referee turned down penalty …. quel surpris?

  96. chas says:

    Did you realise how small the AST survey sample actually was?

    “Questionnaires were sent to 850 members of the AST and 382 responses were received.”

    More than half didn’t even bother to respond. It would seem fairly obvious that those that did answer the questions would come from the group who were disenchanted at the present time. (The present time being soon after a hugely disappointing end to the season). Besides, those that have signed up to the AST would be in general agreement with its ethos.

    The questions are phrased in such a way as to elicit a negative response, but still 50% of those who responded, did not agree with the negative slant of the questions.

    “….that the Board should conclude that Arsène Wenger has taken the club as far as he can”, 42% said yes. That’s 160 people.

    This adds a little perspective to the survey results.

  97. SPECTRUM says:

    chas – It may be a relatively small sample, but compared to the previous year’s, the dissatisfaction level has increased markedly. And if we have another season like the last ( or worse ) no doubt it will increase a LOT more. In fact, I would venture to say that we won’t need the A.S.T. survey to measure the anger of the supporters. It won’t just be the A.S.T. who’ll be protesting by then, it’ll be the majority of us.

  98. chas says:

    Did you just celebrate our goal?

  99. Gooner In Exile says:

    Who the hell is the moron co commentator on ESPN.

    “RvP doesn’t like attacking the ball, he drifted out when Traore was in position to cross”

    After goal.

    “RvP had no option than to attack the near post, he just doesn’t do it naturally”

    And there in a nutshell is the shite we have to put up with when watching the lads on TV.

  100. Gooner In Exile says:

    With this idiot we could play Arsenal Catchphrase bingo?

  101. chas says:

    I’m watching with Arabic commentary, GIE.
    Far more preferable!

  102. chas says:

    Haha, see TA’s tip no.6 above. :)

  103. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas :D I have failed TA on the first hurdle.

    Now I’ve got Savage saying zonal marking is no good. Keown has put him in his place and said “we used zonal” that’d be the best defence ever using zonal….but Savage is still not having it…..c’est la vie.

  104. Gooner In Exile says:

    I would have liked to have seen Riquelme in an Arsenal shirt, bit old now probably.

    Defence looked shaky at times not enough pressure on ball from Frimpong.

    Jacks taking a fair bit of “treatment”.

  105. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    I think it’s Craig Burley!

  106. Red Arse says:

    Gooooooaaaaalllllll. Rambo!!!

  107. chas says:

    Get in, you beauty.

  108. goonermichael says:

    Is it the 2nd half? I’m working and I’ve lost track

  109. chas says:

    63′ on my stream, GM

  110. chas says:

    2nd best in the 2nd half.

  111. Gooner In Exile says:

    Positives:

    Gervinho – flashes of what he is about pace and skill, nice to see
    RvP – continuing to look sharp, good finish
    Wilshere – picking up where he left off
    Frimpong – can provide cover for Song
    Kozzer – Good interceptions and tackling, what we’ve come to expect
    Ramsey – great strike, and yet again proved no mental hangover as like the goal against ManUre last year he could of got hurt but still put himself there.
    Arshavin – looked like he might be rediscovering old self in first half
    Jenkinson – thought he looked good on the ball good tackler can pass, will be good cover for Bac

    Negatives:
    Squid – well theres no need to explain
    Nasri – didn’t move ball quick enough
    Cham – play up front, you’re big and tall and should be lethal from crosses but you’re never in the box
    Arsh – only lasted 50 minutes :(
    Djourou – altho I’m putting this down to playing with Squid never easy if you don’t trust your partner (and I felt he did get pushed a bit)

    I know its preseason and I know it’s a friendly tournament but I would have liked to see a bit more “real match” approach from our lads.

    TV commentary – same mindnumbing bs, listening to it you’d think we gave goals away every game.

  112. oz gunner says:

    @ spectrum

    you are giving aussies a bad name on here. It seems like you are one of those supporters who hopes for failure so that you can say “i told you so.” As someone said earlier, if you are going to create a stir at least backup your points, not disappear for a few weeks.

    Everyone knows their are some issues that need to be addressed. However the way you make it sound as though we will be in a relegation scrap. We are not far off winning it (hone the full field press like the chelsea game and organise a bit better defensively and its ours for the taking).

    I know its only pre-season but it was disappointing letting boca get back into the game. Gerv looks very promising, and as usual wilshere got knocked from pillar to post! I liked arshavins game, but disappointed in nasri

  113. Red Arse says:

    Quite right Oz. :-)

    I have family who live in Oz and my cousins over there are all born and bred in and around Sydney. They are typical proud Aussies; and like you they are upfront, upbeat and live in the moment, not in the past.

    You are saying what I feel about the game today.
    It is only pre-season but the displays of Squillaci and Djourou were disappointing. Still, if Arsene wanted any confirmation of the need to bring in some quality and experience into the defence he has now got it.
    Better to see this performance now, rather than a couple of weeks after the transfer window closes.

    The rest of the performances, as GIE has said were fine, with Gerv, Jack, Rambo, Jenkinson leading the way. Still not sure about Chamakh.

  114. El-SharkeySure says:

    Gracias GIE. Hotels wifi was too weak to even play BBC clips

  115. Jamie says:

    That performance was rubbish pure and simple. Boca deserved to win.

    If Traore, Squillacci, Djourou and Jenkinson make up our cover back four the we are in for a long season.

    Central defence, ‘We are not especially short there’ Wenger in the match day program. Really Arsene?

    I didn’t see and positives apart from a two excellent goal and I thought Frimpong was ok. I thought the whole side were very iffy.

    If that was a premiership game we could have been slaughtered by Swansea.

    I’m sure tomorrow will be better, thank got for dress rehearsals.

    Chamakh, Squillaci and Eboue are championship players. A shot shy striker. A witless wimp who can’t defend and a class clown.

    Our true first eleven are class but the squad will let us down again.

    Come on you gunners!

  116. Evonne says:

    Jamie, i must have been watching a different game :( I didn’t think it was that bad. Ok, it wasn’t fast and furious, but I thought it was a good game. The two goals we scored were excellent, including assists and the two we let in were defensive errors, not howlers.

    Good passing, some excellent defending and team work don’t add up to your ‘rubbish pure and simple’.

    For those who did not watch it – stadium was only half full, but the booing boys did attend.

  117. RockyLives says:

    Breast-beating over a pre-season friendly?
    For goodness sake.

  118. Jamie says:

    Evonne – boo boys did attend, it winds me up as well. I hate people who boo the players.

    Stadium looked about two third full but I couldn’t see west upper because I was too high. I had four seats free next to me. I hope it wasn’t something I did ;).

    I think we were watching different games though Squillaci and Djourou were terrible in the second half and Boca pulled them all over the place. Djourou is a better player than that. I thought they were howlers.

    I thought the passing was sloppy not crisp, not so much first half though. I agree on two excellent goals, nice to see Vela with a good assist.

    I really need a centre back and he has to get Fab4 and Nas8 sorted.

    Sure tomorrow will be better, a nights sleep and a big breakfast and the Emirates beckons again.

  119. Jamie says:

    Not chest beating I’m just a grump sod.

  120. Gooner In Exile says:

    I wasn’t going to mention the crowd but here’s a thought……

    I’m sure there were a good number of people attending who were smiling and enjoying the day, especially at 2-0 did we see many crowd shots of happy smiley people? No.

    When it was 2-2 did we see shots of people looking miserable? Yes

    But here’s what really worries me, there was a timidness from the players as if they know a mistake is going to be crucified by the home crowd…just a theory but didn’t the away pre seasons look better?

    I’m not even going to mention the idiots who shout shoot….it’s becoming pantomime and playing into the hands of the media naysayers.

  121. Thomas says:

    What do you all think about Nasri getting the armband? methinks it was and will be a terrible move by Wenger if it is permanent. or maybe because Vermaelen couldnt play?

  122. Gooner In Exile says:

    He only got it 2nd half Thomas, RvP wore it first half which is more fitting probably.

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    Thomas, I would not read too much into it. Like you said, Vermaelen was not playing. I hope it was a one-off!

  124. Thomas says:

    Oh, that’s a relief. For a moment I thought Arsene want to repeat his mistakes by giving an armband to a wantaway player.

  125. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, you did a brilliant analysis earlier on. Agreed there are plenty of positives, although it was not what we had hoped for. I thought our formations in first and second half were very strange. Wenger is still experimenting it seems, but to start with Fab, Jen, JD, Koz and Traore, and Frimmpong and Jack in front of them was unexpected, as if Arsene was trying out a Carling Cup team (in those positions).

    The second half was similarly weird, with Manone, Jen, Squid, JD, and Traore.

    I am with Evonne the game was not that bad. Hopefully we will see a more familiar line up tomorrow, with only a few changes at half time, so we can assess our team a bit better.

    My expected line up for tomorrow’s game:

    ———Szczesny————–
    Sagna – Vermaelen – Koz – Gibbs
    ———Song—–Ramsey——-
    ————Jack—————
    Gervinho——————–Ryo
    ————RvP—————-

  126. Thomas says:

    Ryo cannot play TA since he still doesn’t have the work permit.

  127. TotalArsenal says:

    OK Thomas thanks, I’d forgotten about that. Maybe Lansbury will get a chance then from the start…

  128. London says:

    Thomas, please, just because a player is renegotiating his contract does not mean he “wants away”. This “want away” title is a media invention designed to undermine our good club.

  129. wally says:

    Same old same old but not to worry, wenger isn’t so why should we.

    And the reason wenger isn’t worried? Fourth place teams give up goals like that on a regular basis. What were you expecting?

  130. TotalArsenal says:

    Wally, where did you read/hear that Wenger is not worried?

  131. Jamie says:

    Match day program. Wenger says that we are not especially short of Centre backs.

    Why does he say these stupid things when you already know he is trying to sign centre back all over the show? Just winds people up.

    TA – agree with you line up for tomorrow but would have Nasri instead of Miyaichi for at least a half and switch Gervinho to the left. I thought he was better when he switched sides today and played on the left.

    Thomas – agree regarding want away tag. Media love to have a dig at Arsenal.

  132. barumgooner says:

    To be fair we aren’t short of centre-backs, if the tw ended tomorrow we would have TV and Kos with JD, Bartley and squiddy as cover. BUT he knows that we need another with a higher quality and more experience.

  133. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    its hard not to be upbeat when its the mighty arsenal. By no means am i naive enough to think everything is fine, but i don’t think i’d be a fan if i was like spectrum or thought we wouldn’t win the title at the start of every season.

    I didn’t know what was going on with the formation in the first half, jenkinson was pretty much a right wing and everyone else was floating around in different positions. Boca could not get the ball though until the second half.

    I thought frimpong showed in glimpses that he will be a really good player, his positioning was a bit iffy at times though. One person i’d love to see at arsenal would be tiote from newcastle. He would fit into our system quite comfortably. Traore was good (he seems error prone but like clichy uses his speed to get him out of dodge).

    Nasri looked very happy at the start of the game, joking around with AA. However everytime the camera panned to cesc he looked the complete opposite, unfortunently he looks like a player who couldn’t really care less.

  134. London says:

    If I were in the process of trying to buy a new CB (Jagielka) would I tell my negotiating opposite that I was desperate for a new CB or would I have writen in my club’s program that “we are not especially short of Centre backs.”

    Jamie, I find that if I look a little deeper I often find logic to Wenger’s actions; he is not perfect but it is very, very rare that he puts his foot in his mouth.

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning GiE and Evonne,
    Who is going to foil my early birds prediction.

  136. Evonne says:

    Morning Micky :)

  137. Gooner In Exile says:

    I reckon they must put something in the Norwich water TA, you’ll see what I mean when reading match report.

    Like your line up, shame Ryo can’t play, I thought Theo may go there but obviously he is injured and I’d forgotten that.

    Oz Gunner – Jenkinson did play high yesterday, but when don’t our full backs? At least he didn’t seem to commit when Traore was up and vice versa. Thought he had a good game and will definitely give Bac some competition.

  138. Evonne says:

    I hate mind games, cannot understand them, but I think London is right, AW is as shrewd as a serpent, in a nicest possible way, course

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    Apologies. I did not realise you had snuck in there at 7:47, so its a Morning London.

  140. Gooner In Exile says:

    :D at Micky well predicted…morning all

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well, I am going to kick things off by not saying a word about the defence. There, done. I really do wish Arsene would do two things. One, is anchor MC to the centre forward slot and fine him for moving more than five inches from the penalty box. The other, is give AA a run in the Cesc role.
    Really liked the look of Gerv and Frimpong is a real prospect for the future.

  142. Can’t Ryo play even in Friendlies?

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi GM,
    Find a ticket for your son?

  144. Hi Mickey. No. A bit fortunate really as he’s blown me out anyway. I’m looking forward to it though. The weather in Walthamstow is glorious this morning.

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Out of interest, yesterday, when I was making a tool of myself over my concerns for left back did no-one simply say…Traore. Talking of full backs, how in the name of all that is holy was CJ playing part time for Charlton and Eastbourne Borough last season?

  146. Jenkinson looks a good player Mickey, I really like Gervinho too. I think he’ll kill some english defences.

  147. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    New post ……..

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GM,
    Both true, but we still need to be five up at half time :-)

  149. wally says:

    TA,
    ”You never want to concede goals, but overall I do not give too much importance to that,”

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/938625/arsenal-2-2-boca-juniors:-same-old-arsenal?cc=5901#quotes

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