Sit down and shut up ……

The game is underway, the action has reached a point of let’s be honest, boredom. The Emirates crowd is hushed awaiting some excitement, it doesn’t come, a player makes a mistake, groans cascade down towards the pitch, a young man stands up and with arms aloft sings “Arsenal, Arsenal Arsenal” at the top of his voice. What is the usual response? Shut up and sit down”. and then a steward will arrive and threaten him with expulsion.

You may say this is a worst case scenario but we have all seen it –  show some passion and unless it is a big, big game (Barca), few will join in. Why have the grounds (not just the Grove) become so sterile?

Primarily, I blame the seats. Anyone who saw the tragic results of overcrowding, poor policing and violence which led to the need for the Taylor report understands the need for better stewarding and control., but in my opinion the decision to turn grounds all-seater has been a two edged sword; Yes, the days of violence and fear on the terraces have disappeared; Yes, the chance of someone urinating on your leg have been reduced and Yes, it is easier to get back to your mates after a half-time pie, but at what cost? Seating dampens  physical, emotional expression.

Football has always been a sport for all ages and in the past as one got older one moved to the East or West Stands, there was seating aplenty but the passionate singing remained on the terraces.

An example from elsewhere. Go to a rock concert, feel the difference in emotion between sitting and standing – and it is not just about dancing.  For the performer it is the same, try sitting and singing on stage – almost impossible. Standing makes the expression of an emotion simpler.

Whilst accepting that something had to be done to prevent the violence on the terraces, the solutions found in the ’80’s should not be rigidly enforced today. Apart from the usual miscreants (Leeds, Cardiff, Millwall etc) football fans do not fight each other. Those that do, do so away from the ground which has nothing to do with football.

If clubs want atmosphere at the grounds then there has to be a standing section behind the goals. With the advent of CCTV and better stewarding, the grounds will remain safe.

A direct result of seating was an increase in the cost of attending a match, which has led to change in the social demographics . No longer can a family man on a less than average income take his children to all the matches. The game has become a wealthier man’s sport. And along with that comes different behavioural patterns, amongst which are  a heightened sense of individualism and a reluctance to enter into “mob” behaviour i.e. rather than joining in the lad standing singing, he is told to “sit down and shut up”.

A few other causes …

1. The Bloody DJ. Where did the idea come from that we need a DJ’s inanities to create an atmosphere? Do I need to hear Status bloody Quo singing Rocking all over the World after a victory to be able to celebrate?

2. Mobile phones. All grounds should be phone free. I am sick of hearing the man sitting next to me discussing work issues/women problems/ what is for dinner during a game. I am also sick of people on the bloody phone looking askant when someone tries to start a chant, as if to say “Can’t you see I am making an important phone call?”

3. The inabilty of friends to sit/stand together.

4. The loss of connection between the players and the fans. Can you remember those halcyon Highbury days when during warm up we sang all the players names and they all responded? What happened?  Today there is absolutely no contact apart from when a sub warms up and he may clap his hands above his head. All clubs should enforce their players to go to all sides of the ground and wave to the fans prior to or/& post the game, especially at away fixtures.

5. Allow alcohol onto the terraces (contentious I know). It is possible at all other sporting events, why not football?. Are football fans to be treated like children because of a few lads who cannot handle their booze?

6. Find a better transport solution. Perhaps then fans would stay to the end of the 90 minutes  – it shames me to see a half empty stadium at the final whistle.

Rant over.

Written by Big Raddy

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157 Responses to Sit down and shut up ……

  1. Fatgingergooner says:

    It’s very difficult to see why the atmosphere at the Emirates is regarded as being poor. I must at this stage say I have never been so can only really look at it from an outside angle.

    I was brought up with Leeds fans and have been to a few Leeds games and it’s fair to say they have a very vocal support. They have ‘the kop

  2. Fatgingergooner says:

    Oops…..they have the kop behind one goal which is basically full of hooligans, for want of a better word, who stand for the whole of a game and create most of the atmosphere.

    When I watch a game and the camera pans around the emirates stadium, there seems to be a lack of this type of section.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Micky, regarding RvP. Van Marwijk tends to play RvP as our lone striker in a 4-2-3-1, with the super quick and efficient Wesley Sneijder behind him, and two ‘proper’ wingers on each side (Robben and the less known Elia, now at Juve). Holland play with two DM’s who boss the midfield, and ala ManU move the ball quickly on to the four attackers. A lot of Gooners would like us to play a similar style of footie and it is pretty much the style we played in the early part of the last decade.

    Unfortunately, Van Marwijk tries to incorporate vd Fart in the team, often instead of Elia on the right) who does not like to play on the wing but moves into the Sneijder-hole area. Against San Marino, Van Marwijk played RvP on the right (Robben was injured) and Huntelaar central. RvP was effectively a second striker and he bagged four goals, all from inside the box.

    Robin is so good he can play in any position and will make a success of it. Like others, I like him to play in the hole, especially now he is our captain.

  4. gaya says:

    i guess there are seat at Liverpool stadium or any other station.
    the problem is when most Arsenal fans go to with games with a note pad taking notes for player ratings and complains or blogs.
    i suggest we arsenal fans too should compare there performances game by game with other clubs in the league and find out where we stand in terms of creating an atmosphere for the team to perform.
    but i doubt if we will get 10 points

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    An Umami of a post :-) and a great picture.
    The design of the Stadium is awful and I thought that the moment I took my seat at the DB10 Testimonial, but we will have to live with it for many years to come. I suggested the other day shifting all Corporate/Club to central blocks Upper Tiers in both East and West.

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You raise an excellent point about getting away and the biggest problem is Holloway Tube. Still closed for the first hour after the game and I thought part of the move deal was to sort that out. Anyone shed some light on that issue?

  7. Big Raddy says:

    This was written pre-Swansea and the discussion about the Emirates noise levels – I can only assume Peaches was stuck for a post. Sorry.

    FGG. I recall that when the North Bank Highbury was demolished I was moved to the Clock End (still standing) then they made it all seated and I stayed on the Clock End. Why? Because the whole end would stand up from start to finish and sing (much to the frustration of the stewards)

    Any one know why we can’t have a standing section? Is it illegal?

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Oz, your wife watches two games a season with you? You lucky man! Two games a decade for me!

  9. Fatgingergooner says:

    When we made the move from Highbury we added about 25,000 to our capacity, but a lot of these seats were sold at a higher price ie boxes etc. Therefore, we have basically diluted our fans into a 60,000 seater stadium with a load of wealthy supporters who probably go to the games because they can, not really for the love of the club, generally speaking. Maybe that’s why the atmosphere appears to have dropped.

    TA, I have been advocating the use for 2 DM’s for a while now. It would allow the FB’s to go forward without too much worry and would also give us more protection on the counter, something that has been an issue in recent years.

    RvP coming in from the flank, Arteta in the hole and Gervinho on the other side with Walcott or Chamakh in the middle.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Micky.10.01 Money. The proposal was originally to build a tunnel to Holloway. Islington Council (who are amongst the most corrupt and ineffective councils in the country) refused to assist in the project

  11. Good rant Raddy. The games where we’ve taken the roof off of Islington are so enjoyable, we can do it. I been to almost every game at the Ems, don’t have a season ticket so I hardly ever sit in the same place but I’m now choosing to sit near the Singing Section as there is much more atmosphere there.

    Moving the away fans up to the upper tier would mean there’s another lower corner available for singing or even spreading the ‘Singing Section’ over to the other North Bank corner would make a wall of sound at that end.

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    TA,
    Thanks. I guess given Holland play 4-2-3-1, and they will always try and accomodate Sneijder which means he occupies the middle of the three, but RvP has played there with Huntelaar up top. My questioning is based on two things. First, are we getting the best out of Robin (I think not) and second, what do we do when he is injured.
    All my thinking revolves aroud us not going 4-4-2 which will not happen in my book.

  13. VCC says:

    BR. Spot on blog/rant.
    Dead right about the inability to obtain tickets together. When I want/can go to a game I want to travel with my Son not alone. We are both Arsenal nuts and love it when we can get tickets together, its a fantastic bonding day we have. Travel up together, have a beer before the game and hopefully celebrate with a final pint at the end of the journey in the local. I cannot think of a more enjoyable Sat/Sun than this.
    Years ago you could ring the local coach firm and get two/three/four stadium/coach tickets and know you would be together all day, this luxury has disappeared.

    Also the alcohol. Unfortunately for my sins I enjoy a pint or two, I don’t smoke or mess around with strange women, so I think I have earned the right for one miss demeanour.

    We have both started to go to watch Saracens rugby union together. You can drink at a bar or take it to your seat, no problem, even get one of those handy packs and treat yourself to a couple of pints to save the trouble of getting up and going to the bar. Why can’t this be done at football ? whats the difference?

    A couple of years back we managed to get two tickets for Arsenal community shield game at Cardiff millennium stadium, can you believe we were stopped and told we could not take our bottle of water into the stadium, this was also said to a guy in front of us who was in a wheel chair!!!!!!! unbelievable I know, but its true.

  14. Raddy – we like a rant of a Friday :)

    I’ve been looking for some minutes of the AST meeting the other night but can’t find anything. I’m a member so in future I’ll try to get to the meetings and report back myself.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. Precisely. A change in demographics of the supporters. IMO this will have disastrous long term effects for the club. We need young fans and as the poorer kids cannot go to Arsenal they spend their time watching football on TV and become bloody Barca fans.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    BR, a great post about a very important issue. I like the sound of all your solutions, and would like to add to that the option of reunite old Highbury sections in the new stadium. Arsenal should have allowed whole sections to move from Highbury to Ashburton Grove so to keep the all important fan-DNA’s together: is it too late to reunite them? They did the same at Ajax, who also moved from a cosy ground to a brand new stadium, to then realise there was no atmosphere. They were able to reunite the noisy F-side which improved the atmosphere.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    VCC. The alcohol rules are inexplicable. And on CL nights the whole stadium is alcohol free (it used to be anyway!)

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    A Tunnel. Wow, never heard that. Would the entrance be concealed under a gym horse?

  19. Fatgingergooner says:

    Does anyone think that if we put 60,000 supporters from any other club into our stadium they would create a better atmosphere? If so, which fans and why do you think this could be?

  20. Big Raddy says:

    TA. We season ticket holders were given choices of where to sit in the new stadium. Though of course we could not know where the noisy people who sat around us and were just acquantices would choose to sit. And then there were economic factors.

    I cannot entirely blame AFC !

  21. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is it alcohol free in Club on CL nights?

  22. Big Raddy says:

    Micky). Top comment 10.20 :-D

  23. Yes Micky, alcohol is free in Club on Cl nights

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky, agreed we will not have 4-4-2 for a long time. I do believe we ARE getting the best out of RvP, but he is not a pure striker, nor is he a pure nr 10. I have high hopes for the combination of RvP, Theo and Gervinho this season. The longer they play together, the better it will become. If RvP is injured Chamakh or Park will have to do the job for us. Will they be good enough? I dunno.

    My biggest concern is whether we can get back our midfield dominance and creativity, as well as goals from the central positions. If we can get that right in the next few weeks, we should be ok.

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right Peaches, that’s the last straw, I’m off to the European Court of Human Rights!

  26. VCC says:

    Micky… Don’t tell em you drink alcohol through a straw though.

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    TA,
    Does Park play central?

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky, from I have seen yes – he is a direct replacement for Bendtner, which means he will never play central… :(

  29. goonermichael says:

    Did people really piss on your leg Raddy?

    I think they should allow swearing too. I’ve been threatened by a steward for swearing (at the ref).

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    VCC,
    Several years ago I was watching a WC England game in the largest of three boozers showing the game in my small local town. England scored, and into the air went many things including one particular pint that emptied its contents into the overhead projection thing. Short circuit. End of game! 300 pissed and off fans immediately trying to muscle their way into two tiny packed boozers.

  31. goonermichael says:

    Free alcohol Peaches? No wonder club is so expensive

  32. JazzTehara says:

    I dunno about you guys but every time I go to The emirates my voice is hoarse the next day from singing.

    I can only speak for myself but everyone should take a bit of collective responsibility and start singing as soon as they hear a chant.

    If you hear it quieten down a quick shout of ‘red army’ should liven the troops.

    That game that never happened showed we have true vocal support and I think its only been better since that fateful day… But that’s my experience… I refuse to sit anywhere except NB/CE lower because of the atmosphere there. I’ve never been told to sit down or shut up either.

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    TA,
    That old Wenger tactic :-)

  34. VCC says:

    Micky 10:42. not a good scenario

  35. MickyDidIt89 says:

    JazzTehara,
    That’s because you are 6’10” with menacing tattoo’s on your face.

  36. 26may1989 says:

    No need to apologise Raddy, top post that one. Pretty much every point is absolutely on the button, and the way many of those at games are more interested in chatting about non-football stuff, getting snacks, getting to the ground as late as possible and out as quickly as possible drives me nuts. And the point about pricing out a lot of fans is a very good one, and represents a real danger for the future.

    There can’t be many fans who would disagree that there ought to be standing facilities at football grounds. I think it is illegal for top flight stadia to be anything other than all seater, and it’s not just a mater of regulation (though UEFA and FIFA mandate that their games be all seater only too). There’s an ongoing campaign to change the law here and allow the very fan-friendly system used in Germany to be adopted (see http://www.safestandingroadshow.co.uk/home). There is also a Private Members’ Bill introduced by Don Foster before Parliament right now. It goes to its main debate next month, but in reality very few of those bills end up becoming law. But if you can be bothered, it’s still something worth supporting with an email to your MP, since it will encourage government to think about this from our point of view. Follow the links on the safestandingshow website.

  37. VCC says:

    Micky 10:46 :-)

  38. goonermichael says:

    The Dortrmund stadium has standing but had to be seated for the CL game on Tuesday. I Japan it is all seating and the football is generally poor but they sing non stop.

  39. goonermichael says:

    Actually they only sit at half time to eat and drink.

  40. VCC says:

    goonermichael 10:41 Arsenal used to have pre season friendlies with Glasgow Rangers years ago and I can remember one year at Highbury the North Bank was taken up by Jocks. They all had packs of beer and hip pockets with whiskey. I witnessed many just unzipping their flies and urinating on the spot. Oh and to add injury actual threw their empties when finished.
    Any one on here remember those days?

  41. goonermichael says:

    VCC
    You mean in the good old days :)

  42. goonermichael says:

    Mind you VCC coming from a third world country what do you expect :)

  43. Nice post Raddy, one reason that no one sings the players names int he warm up is that no one is in the ground. Its so easy to get from outside to your seat within 5 minutes that even when we all meet at the Tavern we leave it til maybe half two to walk down to the ground, by then we’ve missed early team news, a chance to appreciate the players in warm up. I’m not saying this is exclusive Arsenal/Emirates problem, but it is certainly why this is the case.

    Going away you tend to all be delivered to your stand long before kick off (at Everton there were plenty of Gooners hanging around the turnstiles at 1:30 for a 3pm kick off). Everton closed the bars such was the level of support in the ground so early and they thought it was getting out of hand.

    But back at the Em’s as you say we can’t hope to stand/sit together so we make the most of our opportunities to enjoy each others company pre match in the Tavern.

    How good would it be to get a bunch of seats together with the whole of the AA blog in attendance trying to make some noise wherever we sit, at least none of us would have to worry about being on our own.

    As for the lone man singing on his own, sometimes that is me, but depending on where you sit (as Peaches says) the reaction of your neighbours is different.

    I personally find that North Bank lower fans (especially the central block behind goal) are vocal, Clock End lower are a little more reticent although it is here that most Red Members start to get tickets and therefore there are less regulars.in this area and a few tourists. I think there are no season tickets in Clock End Lower due to the 25% FA Cup rules for visiting fans which would mean they would all be out of their regular seats on those days, although I can’t be certain. The club could sell non Cup game season tickets for these areas as a solution (but probably won’t).

    Clock End and North Bank Uppers are also quite vocal it is just unfortunate that when you are at the back all the noise is in front of you, and I do not buy tickets in Upper Back anymore for this reason.

    But as to whether you are constantly told to Sit Down, I must admit I find it very rare these days, for large parts of the Liverpool game we stood in the North Bank and there was little complaint from the stewards. They simply won’t throw out a whole block of people for standing they haven’t got the man power hence why Red Action gets away with it. I am not suggesting the end stands for the whole game by the way just to get the vocal lungs a full airing during songs.

    We need to do something about the early leavers, I have recently taken to singing “Walk out if You Love The Spurs” when lots of people start leaving.

  44. GM 10:41
    “I think they should allow swearing too. I’ve been threatened by a steward for swearing (at the ref).”

    I think i politely suggested to Martin Atkinson during the recent Dippers match that he had clearly accepted the invitation from SAF to attend his bank holiday barbecue and was doing a great job in ensuring he would get a pleasurable encounter from SAF and Gary Neville given his performance that day.

    Now I threw in quite a lot more profanitites and it incurred smiles and laughter rather than the wrath of the stewards.

    As for free alcohol in Club on CL nights, I’m pretty sure all the Club Level and Box packages you get include a four course meal and free drinks for the entire matchday.

    What say we AA’ers put that to the test, take a box for 15 of us turn up at 9am and see just how much alcohol we can consume, after all it’d be good to get our moneys worth.

    Here’s the Shrewsbury Town Details for a 15 seater box £4,500, for the visit of Bolton its £7,500.

    Executive Box (15)
    Executive Box Package

    This box package is exclusively for 10, 12 or 15 guests

    The Executive Boxes at Emirates Stadium are amongst the best in world football. The private dining experience teamed with state-of-the-art facilities, LCD screens and excellent service replicate the quality and flair that Arsenal is renowned for.

    The Package includes:-

    Champagne reception on arrival
    Pre-match four course Theatre Buffet
    Complimentary wine, beers & minerals throughout the entire matchday
    Private 10, 12 or 15 seater Executive Box with external seating balcony
    Half-time tea and coffee with biscuits
    Matchday programme and an AFC Corporate gift
    Full-time refreshments

    Dress code:- Diners are asked to wear smart casual attire

    Please note Fixtures are subject to change, for full terms and conditions please visit

  45. VCC says:

    gm 10:59. True, true, oh so true.
    Theres’ only one ginger i like.

  46. Or we could get the Superboxx for 24 of us for Sunderland Home which is £25k

  47. Fatgingergooner says:

    Do you think it could be the style of football that hampers the atmosphere aswell? We are not exactly a team that goes flying into challenges, something that usually gets a crowd going. And we do tend to knock the ball around in midfield for long periods of a game not really going anywhere. When we were playing counter attacking football, fans would get excited as soon as we got the ball because they knew we would be flying down the pitch at speed looking for a goal. Now fans know that when we get the ball we will have it for 5 minutes before messing up a final pass and annoying everyone in the crowd,thus the groans.

  48. VCC says:

    wow £300 just for the seat at Shrewsbury. For £100 more I am going on an all inclusive 10 day holiday to Marmaris, Turkey soon.

  49. Gooner in Exile says:

    Interesting FGG, I think the atmosphere would be helped by a few crunching challenges. That’s why Frimpong got a good reception v Liverpool, and why Winterburn take ball and all challenges were a sight to behold and a real noise enhancer. Especially great when the opponent endedup in the advertising hoardings :D

  50. Fatgingergooner says:

    GiE,

    I will happily throw in 5 of the queens English pounds towards a superboxx, might aswell make my first Emirates experience something to remember!

  51. London says:

    “What say we AA’ers put that to the test, take a box for 15 of us turn up at 9am and see just how much alcohol we can consume, after all it’d be good to get our moneys worth.”

    The man from Delmonte, he say yes.

    This is up there as one of the best suggestions made on AA.

    Good Post BR.

  52. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. I can still picture Winterburn “cleaning up” Cantona in front of the Clock End. It got the biggest cheer of the night and in my hazy memory Cantona got sent off soon after.

  53. VCC says:

    I’ll see if I can get some sponsors.

  54. Fatgingergooner says:

    Anyone seen the news about Man U floating 25% of the club on the Singapore stock Market for £600m, and that the Qatari royal family want to buy the club for 1.5bn!

    Just hope this kinda thing doesn’t happen to this club. Man U fans must be fuming at the way the club is being used as a toy by the wealthy.

  55. goonermichael says:

    Fatginger.
    There are plenty of people who are dying for jabba to take over. A couple on here sometimes. Some of those types are part of the “we want out Arsenal back” lot. I read that the singapore float is dodgy and wouldn’t be allowed on a major market.

  56. London says:

    FGG

    I bet most manu fans are ecstatic at the idea of being able to compete financially with Citeh.

  57. goonermichael says:

    A lot of real manc fans hate the glazers and follow fc united London. They will be owned bu the quatris soon and we will be owned by the uzbek. A couple more asian and Russian billionaires and we’ll all be back to square one. A lot of clubs that are owned by one person are a shambles. Chelsea would have pissed the league if abramobitch hadn’t meddled.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    GM. What do you propose? That we continue in the way we are?

    We will not be able to compete and become an Aston Villa or Everton club – great traditions and a fine history.

    If Arsenal are to be competitive then the Board have to grasp the nettle and find a business plan to keep pace with MU. Or we will be another Kroenke toy that doesn’t win anything. (and I am not a “WWOAB” )

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    BR, the day we become another MU or even worse, MC or Ch, will be a very sad one for me. YES, we should continue the way we are, but hold on to our talents when they reach their peaks, which we have not done in the last few years. In the end, it is 11 players on the pitch who win matches and in Arsene we have that rare manager who can both spot and nurture top talents into a top, top team again. Right now, I would rather support Everton or Aston Villa than MC or Chelsea.

  60. 26may1989 says:

    We’re not going to be a Villa or an Everton, our far superior revenues ensure that. But neither are we going to keep pace with United or the sugar daddy clubs. I agree with London, that many Arse fans would be happy for us to become a sugar daddy club too, but I’m not one of them. Arsenal may not be as wealthy as the rich three, I just want the club to use the resources it’s sucked up from us to best effect, and they aren’t yet.

    BR, what’s a WWOAB?

  61. Big Raddy says:

    “We want our Arsenal back”.

  62. VCC says:

    26may. glad you asked that…. I’m just a dumb arse 60 year old.
    Don’t get these modern initial stuff.

  63. Fatgingergooner says:

    I’ve got to say that I’m with TA,

    I think Arsene has the ability to pick talents and nurture them into world class players, it’s just keeping hold of em that we need to get better at.

    I can’t see these billionaires being around in 10 years time looking to buy clubs, I think we just need to ride out this period until either FFP rules take proper effect or the rich find another industry to play with.

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Initials refer to GM.12.01 :-)

    Re: Investment and the need for a sugar-daddy.

    My concerns are that if we do not win trophies (not the CC) we will not be attractive to new fans and lose our fanbase. The transient nature of modern life means that one does not support the local club but a “big club”, and a big club is one that wins trophies. Hence the huge support of MU in Southern England and Ireland.

    What with the exhorbitant ticket costs and a team that underperforms we will soon witness a half full Emirates. Once that happens we are in deep trouble as our financial model is based upon matchday revenue.

  65. goonermichael says:

    I don’t know Raddy to be honest but when the Uzbek buys us are we sure he just wants to spunk a billion on a toy? He can sack the manager on a whim like Abramovitch does.

  66. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. The Arabs took over horse racing 30 years ago and they still control it. What makes you think it will be different with football, particularly with the Russia and Qatar World Cups ?

  67. Big Raddy says:

    GM. It is certainly not my dream scenario. I had faith in the youth policy but hadn’t allowed for the poaching of our best talent.

  68. goonermichael says:

    I know he’s very rich But is he in the same league as the Arabs?

  69. goonermichael says:

    We’ll find out next year Raddy anyway.

  70. Fatgingergooner says:

    BR,

    The recent financial crisis is showing that even the mega wealthy are at risk of losing money, and it doesnt show any sign of easing off any time soon. I think that the wealthy may decide that their money is worth investing somewhere more stable than a football club. Also, if the FFP rules come into play and clubs can only spend there income, then it’s going to become almost impossible to buy a medium sized club and turn them into world beaters.

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    That is the big issue BR: we let our talents go, and also our experienced 30+ players far too quickly. Even if we had to let go of players to make ends meet, we should have kept one every season: let Hleb go, keep Flamini; let Adebayor go, keep Toure; let Nasri go, keep Cesc (or vice versa), and keep at least one out of Gilberto, Vieira, Pires or Llunberg till their retirement.

    Fully agreed on the need to win a major trophy, but I don’t want to buy it with unbelievable sums of money. It might be the Dutch Calvinist in me, but I loath that idea more than anything else. I still believe if anybody can do it, it is Wenger. If he fails, I fear that English football will be lost to the oil-billionaires for decades to come. Yet, he hardly gets any credit for this, and why is that?

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi FGG, I wish you were right, but I believe there will always be very rich people about – through oil or other business – who don’t know what to do with themselves and their money. The EPL let them in and they are here to stay – no matter what :(

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Excellent.
    Clear off for a couple of hours leaving a civilized debate about stadium atmosphere amongst wise, cultured and mature AA’ers, and the conclusion they reach:
    More violence on the pitch and more alcohol off it.

  74. Fatgingergooner says:

    TA,

    Maybe you and BR are right, maybe the billionaires are here to stay. But I would still prefer this club to do things the right way. A trophy earned will feel much greater than a trophy bought. We have challenged for honours for the last 15 years and at no point have we been considered a club who can afford superstars. So why can’t we challenge in the next 15 years? I think we can and I think we will. No doubt the competition has got tougher, but we are still a match for anyone, even with our financial shortcomings.

  75. neamman says:

    let them sit where they want would be the best solution for me. Even in Highbury not everyone sang but we always knew the two ends.. and …… very occasionally …….the stands would sing.

  76. goonermichael says:

    Buying a football club isn’t really an investment when it get’s that far though. Abramovitch and the shitty owners could never recoup the money they’ve put in let alone make a profit. Even if shitty started turning over what thier neighbours do they couln’t recoup the money they’ve basically spunked on players like ade. They have a different agenda.

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    FGG, fully agreed: we are still a match for everyone, as Wenger will keep finding those gems and develop them. If we can find a formula to keep hold of them through mutual loyalty, decent to good wages, winning something soon, and strong contract management, than we can do it.

    I don’t need to tell you what we are up against though: just watching ManC playing Napoli the other day with just the four attacking players and two DM’s ‘being worth’ in the region of £150m+ (excluding the salaries) makes me so mad.

  78. goonermichael says:

    We’re going to have to live with it soon Ta. Jabba will buy the club and the management and playing staf will change.

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    GM, you are right. They are simply investing in their egos.

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent summary Micky – you always manage to get it into a nutshell :P Unlike RA or myself, and one or two others here on AA, YOU are a champion of conciseness & brevity :) The only one who is match for you is the video and photography man :P

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    Oh, and of course GM – who is easily as brief as the contemparary variation of the butch haircut :P

  82. VCC says:

    I’m not totally buying into this money getting success theme. Yes, it certainly helps, but if Wenger were not so stubborn these past couple of seasons and bought 2-3 proven players I feel we would have won something.
    After this last window, I think he is prepared to mix it a little (perhaps he is melowing a little, bless him).
    Given time he will nobble these sugar daddies.
    Come January when he gets Cahill/Hazard/M’Vila we will rock.
    Put these three guys with our current squad = BINGO

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    I love that comment VCC – you are almost contradicting yourself, but I reckon you are saying we can buy players too, even if it is not the mega-megastars that MC and Chelsea can afford? :)

  84. VCC says:

    What I’m trying to say is we will have settled a little by January. I’m sure Wenger has a few rabbits up his sleeve.
    I’m sure by January we will have some more funds with sales.
    Also these guys are not your mega high priced players ( at least not yet), so how is that contradicting myself?
    Are you not thinking we will go into the market come January then?
    because I’m sure he will.

  85. VCC says:

    Our spending is miniscule to the sugar daddies, so I don’t understand your point.

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC, what I am trying to say is the three players you mentioned could cost us in the region of £60m, on top of the £50m we payed for this summer’s acquisitions, to me means spending a lot of money. But, you are right it is still not that much compared to the spendings of MC and Chelsea in recent years.

  87. VCC says:

    Sure, I agree now. But I don’t think they would total £60 mil.
    If it were me I would only buy two = Cahill + one other ????
    I would leave M’Vila and try to come up with a striker. Wenger will come up with a gem in January (I know this because my dreams will come true, lol, I dream we will get another Thierry)
    I know this gets boring sometimes but just look at the list we don’t need another DM we need a proven striker, and yes its easy to say but hard to find.
    Our team on paper is not that short to compete =
    No 1 keeper in Premiership
    Sagna/Jenkinson
    Santos/Gibbs
    Vermaelen/Kos
    Mertasecker/Bartley
    Song/Frompomg/Colq/Lansbury/Diaby
    Arteta/Benny/Wilshere/Rosicky/Walcott/Gervinho/VP/Ox/Young Ramsey/Arshavin/Chamakh

    Add Cahill and one other, imo we have a team to compete with the big boys. I’m sure we can raise enough. If not lets start a whip round here on AA.

  88. goonermichael says:

    Bartley is on loan VCC do you mean Djurou? Actually so is Lansbury so I assume you mean in the future.

  89. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey VCC, don’t we all dream of getting another TH14?! What a player he has been for us! :) I fully agree with you on your last paragraph.

  90. VCC says:

    sorry GM. I know Bartley is on loan and Lansbury. But imo Bartley is already better than Djourou (but then who isn’t?) and it beats me why Wenger has sent Lansbury off to West Ham. I live around many Hammers and they are cock – a – hoop that he is playing for them, they all think he will sign for them at the end of his loan. I hope he comes back and fights for his place. I think he is better than Colq, but I am not the Arsenal manager, (just as well I hear you all say, lol0

  91. TotalArsenal says:

    Mikel Arteta can’t fill the hole left at Arsenal by Cesc Fabregas but he can coax the best out of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere in the future. Yossi Benayoun may not fly like Samir Nasri, but he has a better career scoring ratio. Per Mertesacker has height – and the experience of two World Cups. I thought he was excellent in South Africa.

    Jonathan Pearce, BBC.

  92. VCC says:

    I think many are too harsh on Arteta, give him a chance and I think he will come up trumps.
    I was not totally sold on Nasri, he lost his heart with Arsenal as soon as he saw the dollars.
    Jack and Aaron will be fine when they gel with Arteta and Benny.
    Benny can score goals, which, sadly is missing with our squad at the moment, which brings me to the bomb shell. I know I am going to get belly laughter here, but I would take a punt on one of a few front players in the Prem, who would NOT break the bank = Rodallega or Odemwingie or Johnson, I think someone like these three is well worth a shout, they have an eye/knack in front of goal. We need a poacher, can I also mention De-foe (oops, I can feel the daggers from here)
    Well thats my opinion, I am not a scout so I can’t speak for over seas players, but Im sure there is a player out there.

  93. VCC says:

    Cesc is world class (un like Nasri) so we must move on and find another gem. Hopefully our Jack will fit the bill, who knows?

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC, I am looking forward to see how Park will do and whether Chamakh will refind himself. Odemwingie is a good player, let’s keep an eye on him.

  95. gunnern5 says:

    BR,

    Yesterday we were talking about TH14’s goals contribution.

    Following is his record in EPL games for Arsenal.

    He played in 254 of 285 games or 89.12 % of the time.
    He scored 174 out of 580 goals or 43.79 % of our goals.
    He scored .685 goals per game.

    So he was not just a great goal scorer, the like of which the EPL may never see again (let alone Arsenal) but he was also extremely durable missing only 31 games over 8.5 seasons.

    Oh – how we miss TH14………………..

  96. Fatgingergooner says:

    Odemwingie is 30 now so probably not an option AW would go for. Rodallega might be a good shout but i also reckon Kalou, Drogba or Sturridge at Chelsea would have been worth a cheeky bid! But hey, let’s save this talk for January!!!

  97. gunnern5 says:

    BR;

    I read your post today and agree with the majority of your thoughts.

    My feelings on the lack of atmosphere at the Emirates are well known and seem to cause a lot of dissension so I won’t regurgitate them; but suffice to say I think that not to place the majority of the blame on anybody but the current batch of “supporters” is missing the point.

    They choose to make excuses instead of making a difference.

    As an example the Dortmund supporters were simply incredible the noise was deafening and continuous.

    Some will say it was due to the stadium design and the acoustics.

    Well that may well have been a contributing factor, but when have you seen Arsenal supporters jumping up and down for the whole game – like they did – oh, I forgot that’s excuse # 5 – The Stewards.

    Gee and I wanted to keep quiet – just can’t help myself.

  98. Fatgingergooner says:

    Put a vuvuzela under every seat n av done with it!!!!

  99. chas says:

    Nice post, BR.

    I hate not being able to move position away from supporters I’d prefer not be alongside.
    You’ve dealt with the problems comprehensively. The picture highlights that corporate noose which strangles some of the life out of the ground, too.

    gn5,
    174 out of 580 is 43.79 % ?

  100. RockyLives says:

    Excellent post BR.
    I’m really busy at the moment so haven’t even had time to read the comments, so apologies if I’m repeating what others have said, but…

    My solution would be to have a few thousand tickets available on open sale for the areas behind the two goals, with no numbered seating. Ideally these would be standing areas, but that seems unlikely to happen. This would then encourage fans to get there earlier to get the best places, and also, therefore, to build up the atmosphere well before the game starts.

  101. RockyLives says:

    FGG
    Enjoyed your post yesterday – sorry I didn’t have time to join the discussion (travelling for work at the mo).

  102. gunnern5 says:

    Chas,

    Oops calculated from the wrong cell.

    it’s only a paltry 30% of our goals scored.

  103. chas says:

    30% still simply amazing. :)

  104. Fatgingergooner says:

    Cheers Rocky.

    Only 30% g5? God, he was overrated….

  105. Big Raddy says:

    RL. The un-numberesd seats is an excellent idea. They do it at big games at the Parken (for FCK games. Works very well.

  106. London says:

    Wenger has great faith in Ramsey and Wishere in the same way as he had faith in Szcezney and rightly so. Arteta being 30 doesn’t crush or stiffle their expectations. The Basque’s signature immediately struck me as a the best move in a very difficult situation.

  107. London says:

    I am back to being excited as hell about football, Wenger said we will not know exactly what we have for about two months, and as usual I agree; every game we get another glimpse at what might be.
    We all know what manu have got we have seen them at their best, we know what the London chavs have got and we know what the Northern chavs have got but there is still one enigma, like a flower poised to bloom like a chrysalis about to reveal her hidden magnificence……….ok I admit it, I’ve had a glass of wine.

    COYRRGGG

  108. London says:

    The Boy Wonder used to really have it in for Blackburn

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great clip Chas,
    A leftie cutting in from the right, and some wonder why Micky bangs on about playing Theo down the left!
    London,
    Just the one glass then. Chrysalis..magnificence :-)
    Got to say I agree with your excitment. Just once I want to see:
    Gerv Park Oxo
    ……RvP
    …Jack Song

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I still cannot decide whether to go to CC or Bolton. I hate the CC unless its the Young Guns but I cannot wait to see Oxo and Park.

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Until 9:30 and The BigRaddy, I bid you all heavy drinking.

  112. Fatgingergooner says:

    Now that was an atmosphere Chas! And the fact we haven’t seen a goal of that quality in ages explains a little bit why the atmosphere isn’t the same these days!

  113. SUGA3 says:

    MDI89,

    I’m going to the CC game and I’m taking a first timer with me!

    good post, I reckon the signing sections should be allocated all over the place, let’s say every third sector, but a solid bunch in each of these?

  114. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Is a match really expensive?, £40 inc fees, a game every 2 weeks(only talking about EPL), thats just £20 a week to save! not much really is it!.
    Sorry, its my rant, just fed up with people saying its expensive, Its not a clubs fault, if people like me have all the travelling cost`s, If i still lived in London,I`d say it was a bargain!.
    I know it`s nothing to do with anything said today, just wanted to get it off my chest, just ignore me and i`ll go away!
    Sorry just one more thing, Am I the only one who thinks this?

  115. Big Raddy says:

    GLIC. The financial point was intended to highlight the difficulty of taking a family to football. Take 2 kids and there is no change from 120 quid which is a very expensive afternoon, even more when you add in the programme, transport, food, scarf etc etc.

    I can’t say whether you are on your ownsome :-)

  116. gunnern5 says:

    OK it’s joke time.

    My girlfriend and I were dating for about a year and everything was just perfect, except for her best friend. She was always making eyes at me there was a sexual innuendo.

    One day she asked to around to her home to go over some of our wedding arrangements. When I arrived she was alone and looking very sexy, she came straight to the point and said ” I find you very attractive and before you get married I would like to make love to you”

    Well you can guess I was pretty surprised and did not know what to say. She took the initiative and said ” I’m going upstairs and you can follow me if you want to make love to me”

    She went upstairs and I went to the front door, i stepped outside and there was my girlfriend crying her eyes out. She said “Now I know for sure that you are the man that I should marry”

    The lesson learned is – always keep your condoms in the car……….

  117. gunnern5 says:

    I heard that this was the top British joke.

    A mother gets on a bus holding her baby. The drivers remarks that she has an ugly child. Insulted the woman starts crying and goes to the back of the bus.

    The man next to her asks if he can be of help, she explains to him what occurred.

    He said “You go right back up there and give him a piece of your mind – go ahead, I’ll look after your pet”

  118. gunnern5 says:

    Patient.
    “Doctor, I’ve got a strawberry stuck up my bum”

    Doctor.
    “Don’t worry I’ve got some cream for that”

  119. Gooner in Exile says:

    GLIC tickets in their own right are not that expensive and the club gets beaten up too often in the “most expensive seats” in football debates.

    I proved some time back that we actually provide more tickets at the cheap end than any other London club.

    Also ST include cup games whereas most other clubs publish the PL ST price and don’t mention that cup games (all CC, FAC, and CL) are automatically DD’d from the ST holders bank account.

    Compared our ST minus cup games and the figures are. not that far apart from other London clubs stated PL ST prices.

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    OK, so who to “Good Morning” first?
    Here’s the thinking.
    GiE: here till 1:10. Has an away game I think. Early KO and there was no slurring last night so six hours would be enough.
    Kelsey: has the advantage of the time zone. Probably at Times-on-Line as we speak.
    Evonne: the Germans like an early match day march, so always an early bird.
    London: the dark horse. On the sauce nice and early which could work in his favour as a pre-10pm could give him plenty of kip and then there’s the early morning-after wee.
    .
    I go:
    Morning Kelsey, GiE, London and Evonne.

  121. chas says:

    Morning Micky.

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Regarding the ongoing talk of Usmanov and takeovers, I have just read something in Gazzetta dello Sport about City, Malaga and PSG, which set me thinking.
    Malaga is a bit of a weird choice. I can only guess the advantage is that you can be seen to be rich as you can tie up your big boat. PSG, on the other hand, appears a great choice. You are in Paris, and being the only Parisian Club, you have a massive fan base. The one in Russia with Eto is plain weird. These guys are very short termist so I can’t see clubs needing a new stadium (Pool for example) being very attractive propositions. Heck Arsenal is an attractive proposition with its history, stadium and nearly debtfreeness.
    Early goal today. Please. Thank you.

  123. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas!!! Noooo.
    In the nicest possible way of course. Video please?

  124. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Saw your Persie clip yesterday and it does go some way to explain ground atmosphere. Fans love two things. Great goals and great Arsenal men getting stuck in. Proper football stuff to identify with. Think Henry and Adams. Its a while since we have had a player/s that really make that connection. Over the last few seasons what have we had, some nice moves here and there.

  125. Evonne says:

    Morning Micky :)

    Did you see GiE at 1:10? there you go:
    ‘Also ST include cup games whereas most other clubs publish the PL ST price and don’t mention that cup games (all CC, FAC, and CL) are automatically DD’d from the ST holders bank account’

    I managed to work out all the abbraviations, but many wouldn’t

  126. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Mickey, technically you were right as I was up at 5.00 A.M. our time and have always been a morning man as opposed to a night man.luckily my wife is the same.it’s a bit strange as living over here the Spanish tend to go out at the earliest at 10.00 PM for a meal.

    Malaga is not as weird a choice as you make think. The king of Saudia and other emminent arabs have poured 100’s of millions into this area,even funding the biggest state of the art hospital just outside Marbella and also buying the most expensive villas which are empty 50 weeks in the year.In august they are very noticeable here and spend vast amount of money to help the ailing economy.

    On to today I will be just as interested to see how the much touted Samba plays as he and Jones played particularly well at The Emirates last season in the 0-0 draw.
    I hope we can maintain the momentum from the result in Germany but never under esetimate any team in the PL.Hopefully there won’t be too many team changes for us,though i expect a pretty physical game and it would be nice to get a win against a struggling side even if it is by the odd goal.
    my daughter had her tonsils out yesterday and hopefully will be back home later today so i am under instructions to clean the house up, clean up all the dog poo in the garden etc so I will try and join you guys later on in the day.

  127. Gooner in Exile says:

    Morning all

  128. chas says:

    Haha Micky.
    The crowd being so close to the pitch helps as well I think.

  129. chas says:

    You got all the early risers apart from London, Micky. :)

  130. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’m worried about the planned Blackburn demo today. As it’s aimed at the manager there is possibility that the players will “put in a performance” for the manager.

  131. Evonne says:

    Chas – GiE is not an early riser, he never goes to bed

    GiE – what Blackburn demo?

  132. chas says:

    GIE,
    You might be right, who knows. We all know the demonstrations at the Emirates have always been followed by a rousing team performance!

  133. chas says:

    Evonne,
    GIE runs on Duracell.

  134. Evonne says:

    Chas – and what an assist that was……….

  135. Evonne says:

    Chas – I don’t know what is his drug, but I’d like some. Are you going to the game today? You do go to away games, don’t you?

  136. chas says:

    I am going, Evonne.
    Younger brother picking me up at 8.30. (one advantage of having an old banger of a car is that he always likes to take his)
    The forecast was dry yesterday. It isn’t anymore! I’ve just been looking for waterproofs. The pub’ll be packed as well if all the seats outside are wet. Still, should make for a good atmosphere.

  137. chas says:

    Chris Samba is going to be amazed there’s somebody taller than him on the pitch today. Shame he’s twice as wide as the Sack.
    Cmon you Gunners.

  138. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evonne a healthy diet of nicotine and caffiene is not for the feint hearted!
    :D Chas i know it’s never done anything for us but the protests at AFC have yet to be aimed at the manager or players.

  139. Gooner in Exile says:

    Have fun today Chas, my normal travelling buddy (older bro) let me down, some pathetic excuse of it being his other halfs birthday….no idea of priority my brother!

  140. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    chas. Cheer the lads on for us poor souls who cannot attend.

    Why can no-one in our team shoot like TH? RvP used to but appears to have lost the ability.

  141. Big Raddy says:

    What do you think is our first choice midfield? Song and Wilshere are certs, but who else? Ramsey’s place in particular causes doubt.

    In fact, I no longer know who is our first 11. Starters must be Chesney, Sagna, TV, Song, JW and RvP, but unusually that leaves 5 spots open to change.

  142. Fatgingergooner says:

    Chas-gotta love the Arab commentary! The goal wasn’t bad either…

    BR- you could put different combinations of around 10 players into those 5 slots and argue that all of them would be our strongest line up. Just goes to show that we have added depth to the squad. Aslong as we can keep the spine fit for majority of the season, something that we haven’t done in the last 5 seasons that has cost us trophies, then it could yet be a good season.
    I would go for:
    Szscesny
    Sagna Mert Verm Santos
    Jack Song Arteta
    Gervinho RVP Walcott

    But then again I could find arguments to have Gibbs, Arshavin, Ramsey, Chamakh, Kozzer and Diaby In there aswell. Plus we have Rosicky, Yossi, Ox, Ryo, Fabianski, Djourou, Jenkinson, Frimpong and Park as back up!

    Things are looking up

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    For me it all depends on whether Arteta provides the ammo. If he does:

    Theo RvP Gerv
    ….Arteta
    ..Song Jack

    If not:
    Theo Park Gerv
    …..RvP
    ..Song Jack

  144. Morning all on this footie day

    There’s a New Post

  145. Evonne says:

    Chas – have a great day and a triumphant return :)

    GiE – fair enough, thanks for the tip; I am going to up my intake of coffee and fags :)

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Anybody who continues to put Theo on the right knows absolutely nothing about football whatsoever. Unless I like you. Which is everyone here.

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