Bloody Arsenal – Do We Even Care Anymore?

Do you suffer from any pre-existing conditions?

Ah, that old question on the health insurance form. The one if you answer falsely you’re fooked if they find out and you need to claim, and the one if you answer truthfully are fooked anyway because it’ll make it harder to claim.

Oh, the health form?! It seems I’m now at the age (ripe old age of 26 and 2 weeks) where I should have my own private health insurance. You know, “just in case” as my mother likes to put it. So I’ve been perusing the forms from various insurers to see who will give me the most cover for the least amount of money and that same question comes up every time. Help me out fellow AAers, do I answer the question truthfully and say “Yes” and follow it up with “Arsenal fan of 18 years” ?

And if they need to know the ailments this “pre-existing condition” threatens to bring up at any time, do I list the highs that no drug could possibly ever take you on and the lows that feel like several daggers to your heart? Do I mention the one time love you feel for a young man who is the heartbeat of your midfield and the disdain you now feel as you think he left like a coward?  Or how about the possible physical danger as the nearest object goes flying across the room as the Russian doesn’t seem to want to run anymore? The possible heart attacks? The mood swings? Oh, and the very possible possibility I might not be able to meet my monthly payments, because, well, the Ryanair flights were so cheap and the ticket fairy has come good again?!

So, would just saying “NO” be easier?! A little lie?!

Like that little lie I often try and tell myself. That there is more important things in life than football, than Arsenal. And trust me, I know there are, but it bloody won’t go away. The heartbreak when cheating, diving Shrek is on the winning team again and Robin’s magic left foot isn’t enough. The prancing around for days after we beat mighty “can’t pay people to come to our games” Wigan.

What is it about football that does this to us?! A bunch of men running around after a round, synthetic object trying to put it into a net held up by two posts! It sounds so silly, but say that to my face and risk my wrath. I don’t need to tell you guys that because ye all feel the same way. But it is impossible to explain to those who don’t get it. The constant annoyance when people say it’s silly (the same people that’ll all be on the Ireland bandwagon during the Euros “for the craic*”) or when they don’t get how an Irish person can have such an allegiance to an English team. Although these same people are very nice in giving me a large berth when we lose:

“What’s with Mary? Moody all morning.”

“Arsenal lost, don’t mention it, Manchester United.”

An actual conversation between an English woman and Polish woman who wouldn’t know a football from a handbag, but the Polish woman nodded at the English woman’s explanation as if the realms of supporting a football team came second nature to her. Thinking about it, probably should have put the Arsenal fan syndrome on the job application form as well … ah well, they know now don’t they?!

So over the last few weeks, I have read and listened with anger and a little pity as “Gooners” – some of them allegedly lifelong – said they could no longer bear to watch Arsenal anymore. They’ve gone beyond caring because “Wenger is ruining the club”… HOW CAN YOU NOT CARE? What happened to the “through the good and the bad times.” And are they really bad times? I’ve been an Arsenal fan for 18 years (long time for me, short time for some of ye) and I reckon I’ve been spoiled – Premier League, FA Cups, Doubles, Unbeaten season, Henry, Bergkamp, van Persie, Wengerball, Champions League Final, new stadium – am I missing out on the bad parts? Ok, am, well, the finishing ONLY in the top four every season is pretty rough (apart from my first season when we finished 12th), and the always challenging but never actually winning a trophy for 6 years has been tough but hardly enough to warrant a mention on my health form.

It could be better, of course it could. But its not that bad. Social networks, the pubs, the Emirates, the radio phone-ins have all become a playground for Arsenal fans to fight in. What has happened to Victory Through Harmony? What happened to the “us against world” spirit we had when everyone despised us because they weren’t us? I know we all care, I bloody well do. Just a pity more places couldn’t be like this little blog – where tempers are kept in check and the direction for our club are discussed and not argued. Then again, we only fight because we care!

Bloody Arsenal – bad for heart and good for it all at once. Might just leave it off the health insurance form for now though, hope they don’t need a medical report … doctor might see that cannon tattoo I’ve plastered on my back, give the game away. Funny thing tattoos, they’re permanent – guess this condition is forever.

*craic = Irish for “fun”

Written by Irishgunner

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180 Responses to Bloody Arsenal – Do We Even Care Anymore?

  1. Mark Francis says:

    I think until the manager and board are changed gooners should expect our club to be a mid table table one just as Everton had become or Villa.

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Irish, you absolute beauty.
    You see I have always quiety envied those with a “condition”. Now I know I have a fully blown one of my own. Something to blame…brilliant.

  3. I know you’re not around till later Maire, but a cheery and apt description of the addictive qualities of following the mighty Arse there which elicited a wry chuckle from me.

    Our current situation may depress me but I still care and long for the hope of better days – by that I don’t mean just winning every game, but TRYING to win every game.

    If the lads try I feel heartened and proud – so why did I feel worse after the 2-1 loss last week than I did after the 8-2 ?

    It’s a funny old game.

  4. Goonergal says:

    What happened to the “us against world” spirit we had when everyone despised us because they weren’t us?
    That line says it all for me ~ we need as fans to find this spirit again! We demand it from the players we need to do the same! COYG’s!

  5. Goonergal – there’s a Judas Priest song called “Take on the world” that would be the sort of thing you’re talking about.

    Maybe Chas can put up the link later as he’s the master at that, although me and Radders would probably be the only ones who’d like it….dam you wimps are everywhere! ;)

  6. Red Arse says:

    Hi Irish, you lovely Colleen :-)

    What a beautifully poignant, witty and exquisitely penned Post.
    You speak for so many of us, except you phrase it so much better.

    I am genuinely stunned by the sheer quality of the band of Authors on the blog. You are right up there! :-)

  7. Redders, you could call Maire a caillin ban as well.

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Irish. I like posts which take a humorous approach to a serious subject.

    Not only an an Arsenalholic but now I have a “condition” :-D

  9. pat says:

    Ha ha just got back from the pub taunting my City supporting mate (hey its nighttime here in NZ):

    me: “So City are out of the League cup and Champions League now”

    Aaron (the deluded city supporter): “I was working all day I didnt hear the result….”

    me: “So why do you think Gaz is proudly wearing his Gerrard liverpool shirt!!!??? ”

    Gaz: says nothing – too busy smiling and gawking at the pretty young waitresses…

    Ahhh good times…. so does the arsenal “ailment” have side effects such as taking so much glee in giving City supporters grief? Or is that a separate line item on the form?

    Also another buddy was trying tell us that he is trying to get his young son to support everton – now theres a bunch of people that really must be in a bad way ;-) I didnt want to tell him how great Arteta was doing for us – he is our ref for 5 aside so have to treat him nicely……Great post irish!

  10. LB says:

    “Do you suffer from any pre-existing conditions?”

    “Yes, I have supported Arsenal for 18 years”

    Clever, clever, clever and very entertaining.

  11. Big Raddy says:

    What with this story, the problems with Wellington Silva and Vela. Perhaps AW should reconsider the advantages of sending party boys to Spain on loan.

    Bet NB wishes he were there!

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11670/7453561/

  12. pat says:

    So is this group Arsenalaholics anonymous then?

    Hi my name is Patrick and I am an Arsenalaholic.

  13. SharkeySure says:

    In a way it is quite mad how deep our support runs, and how games and results affect our moods.

    For me, after poor results, It soon becomes the case that I am more disheartened by the comments and vitriol of sme Arsenal fans than I am by the actual result itself. During this process the ‘result’ generally starts to not look so bad ater all…so I guess I need to thank the loons and doomers for that at least.

  14. SharkeySure says:

    My name is SharkeySure…I’m an arsenalholic. There I’ve said out loud and I feel better for it already.

    Step 1 complete.

  15. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking read that IG (auto paste)

  16. pat says:

    jeez how would you describe what sort of condition / sickness a Stoke supporter has….

  17. Big Raddy says:

    SS. May I respectfully say you exactly sum up my responses to a loss.

    If I am really p’ed off after a defeat a trip over to LG transfers the anger from the team to the fans :-)

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Pat. Mental Illness

  19. kelsey says:

    pat,
    I would say they often contemplate “throwing in the towel”

  20. kelsey says:

    Off to the doc, to see if my snake bite is better as my foot is still swollen.

    Arsenal is like a marriage. The good the bad and the ugly.

  21. goonermichael says:

    Great post Irish
    Without the lows you wouldn’t have the highs. Most mancs I know don’t even seem that pleased when they win the league.

    Kelsey
    Don’t marry an ugly one :)

  22. goonermichael says:

    I had a friend who told me ugly girls are good at sex because they try harder. He is one of the ugliest people I know. Hence his name “ugly David”.

  23. pat says:

    Big Rad – I’ll take that one, Kelsey thats great! Your snake bite wasnt a “Boa Morte” was it ;-) heard he has finally given it up and joined some team in South Africa.

  24. pat says:

    In case it wasnt clear I meant the towel comment being great Kelsey, not getting bitten by a snake – that would of course be totally opposite of greatness. Hope the foot is better soon.

  25. The BearMan says:

    The problem about supporting a team is:

    We thing they are the greatest thing since slice bread when they win;

    We thing they are rubbish when they looses;

    We believe they lack a football brain when they simply roll over and die;

    But deep down we know: In the “good times” and in the “lean years” they still have our support.

    Players n managers may leave, but fans stick it out in all weathers.

    They say fans must not have an opinion, just shut up and support the team for we know nothing about football. But behind the scenes and when the lights go out managers seek opportunity to cover up their errors and players find another club to rip off.

    Fans carry the shame daily, they are know everywhere in the community. They long for the good times to come again! Red + White always!

  26. That’s right Bearman – after a defeat a player can simply slide into the seat of his £100k sports car, go home to his super model WAG waiting for him in his mock tudor mansion and cheer himself and forget about losing to an average side, like Fulham.

    We. the supporters, have to go into work and endure the taunts and sneering of mass ranks of ManUre. Chavski and spud fans, or worse the pitying looks of those who think “Now that Arsenal, they USED to be some team”.

  27. goonermichael says:

    Or you can tweet “I hope I get home in time for got to dance” 5 minutes after a loss like craig eastmond Chary

  28. Mike says:

    Nice blog Irish. We should always remember, supporters support. Fans boo or sit at home and whinge because they’re only in it for the glory.

    Some of those boo boys on Sunday should’be tried standing on the terraces in the 60’s, no roof, pouring rain and suffered the grief from Spuds who had recently done the double.

    Having an opinion is fine. Thinking you know better than top class professionals is stupid. Booing is disgraceful.

  29. Exactly GM – shows how insulated the players are from the fanbase.

    Not that it’s especially a new phenomonem this detachment from the reality of being a supporter.

  30. SharkeySure says:

    Radders 10.53…yes you may, although I’m not sure why you need my permission to do so !!

    Do you have days where you daren’t even peek thru the curtains at ‘the other site’. I know I do…

    It is wholly my intention that my curtain reference be taken as an allusion or nod to The Wizard of Oz. The parallels are scarily obvious.

    Today he’s dropping Song for Diaby !! Oh dear..

  31. SharkeySure says:

    Mike (from SA?) – your last paragraph is one for the ‘fantastastic prose repose’ that Rasp and Peaches are setting up. ;-)

    Its a truly brilliant statement.

  32. Top Dog !! says:

    Reading today that Gerrard has warned his boys not to do an Arsenal on cup final .. A new term up there with ‘Doing a Munson’ from film Kingpin.. Rate your shower are going your lively new stadium will be entertaining Championship football in a few years !!!!!

  33. Thanks for that Top Dog. A truly original comment that has never ever before been uttered in the blogosphere.

    Give yourself an almighty pat on the back, son. :)

  34. Shahr says:

    Last season Wenger asked fans to judge him in May. This season is already gone except the matter of the cl berth.Chelsea will be strenghtening their squad . It’s not impossible to pip Chelsea for the 4th spot but will eb very difficult.
    The gunners cannot afford anymore slip ups especially in defence.I want the gunners to chase and harry opposition players like Flamini when they lose the ball.
    The next few matches will be critical for the team’s confidence.It’s all down to Wenger. he decides the tactics.If he is pragmatic,he would go direct instead of endless passing in the box.

  35. LB says:

    Top Dog

    I haven’t seen the film Munson, can you explain in the context of Arsenal?

  36. gunnern5 says:

    Back in 1967 the Toronto Maple Leafs won their last major honour, The Stanley Cup. I mention this as the discussion around player loyalty and passion brought that victory to mind.

    The Leafs had a very rugged defenceman named Bobby Baun.
    Bobby scored the winning goal in overtime in game six of the series and the Leafs went on win the Cup in game seven.

    Why do I mention this, well in the 3rd period Bobby was stretchered off – with a fractured leg – he refused to go to hospital and insisted they froze his leg to numb the pain. He returned to the ice and went on to score his historic goal in overtime – and was stretchered off again – this time on his team mates shoulders.

    I am proud to have met Bobby on several occasion and I have a signed and autographed copy of his book – Lowering The Boom.

    That’s back when men were men – needless to say I find it nauseating seeing football players writhe in (feigned) agony only to run back on the pitch like a Gazelle.

  37. LB – I thought he meant doing a Howie Munson, from The Fall Guy(TV series of the 1980’s), in that it meant acting hapless, naive and inept.

  38. LB says:

    Chary

    I didn’t realise he wasn’t one of us, what is he on about?

  39. LB says:

    Ok

    I get it.

  40. As Stevie Me said that they(the ‘dippers) had better not “Do an Arsenal” and lose to inferior opposition(Cardiff) in the Carling Cup final like we did last year.

  41. hey Irish, top post mate..(ripe old age of 26 :-))

    Arsenal.. my drug..the real world

    friday night: organise my team for fantasy football, double check that RVP is my captain. double points. why am i checking, hes always my captain..

    saturday morning: wake up check the arsenal news, make a few comments on AA

    saturday arvo: check my fridge is stocked with heinekens (may as well start, the game doesnt start for a while now)

    saturday night: should get sum sleep, game starts at 2am…nah cant sleep with the sort of goals rvp is scoring in my brain

    sunday morning: 10 min til kick off, right jersey on, pop open another heini (how many is that now?), light my last cigarette til half time (just 1 to kill the nerves)

    late sunday morning: ahh the come down, still cant sleep, whether its a good or bad result my anxiety levels at this stage are still high..must check on the news..

    sunday afternoon: “whats wrong with Tony, why is he so grumpy??”

    “arsenal must have lost!”

    “NO”
    it means i have to get back to this world of work and no play, a place in my world where ppl consider arsenal as a hobby.
    “damn, no mid week games”..when can i get my next hit? ” cant wait for the weekend, for the real world!!!” for my drug

  42. Ash says:

    Good article.

    Supporting Arsenal, to me, is comparable to people who watch sad movies, because their usual day to day has conditioned them to be devout of any emotion.

    What other team takes you on such a roller coaster of emotion, all season long?

    Arsenal is my light and darkness, I love it, I feel, do you?

  43. chas says:

    Super stuff, Irish, witty and apposite.

    I’m struggling to understand the current idea among the haters that the best course of action is to withdraw your support completely until the current regime is changed.
    How can anyone with Arsenal coursing through their veins vaguely consider such an action?
    An affliction, a joy, a madness, an ecstasy, yes, but surely not something you can switch on and off like a tap?

    Sorry chary,I can’t bring myself to post a Judas Priest video. :)
    Instead here’s a song for the post author. Just need to change the chorus to Irish blood, Arsenal heart..

  44. irish gooner says:

    but we got to the euros for the first time since 1988,,of course theres gonna be a band wagon

  45. Danny says:

    I broke my hand once, years ago, watching the Arsenal……at Highbury. It was the opening match of the season (I don’t remember who we were playing or which season but I’ve got the programme somewhere) and we just couldn’t score, you know, one of “those” type of games. I lost my temper at one point and punched the side of my seat. I broke a bone below the small finger – took years for it to get back to normal. Oh we did eventually score. Maybe it was against QPR?

  46. Danny says:

    Yeah it was QPR at the start of the 91-92 season, Merson equalised in the last minute. Even now when I get uptight during an Arsenal match or anything for that matter, the wife reminds me not to punch the furniture……

  47. goonermichael says:

    One of my clients (a gender reassigned sex worker) told me that mick hucknell has got a tiny penis the other day. Made me laugh the dirty manc rotter

  48. Double98 says:

    Irish –

    I remember the Bandwagons of 88, 90 and 94 – while it on one hand it provides uncomfortable conversations with people who seem as plausible as Bill o’Herlihy repeating things that Eamon Dunphy has squeezed out of his bowels the night before on telly, things like
    “Oh we need Andy Reid in the middle of the park” –

    “why are we up against a giant Meringue that needs eating?” –

    “eh not sure”)

    on the other hand it attracts a lot of girls which IS NEVER A BAD THING.

    In fact i remember recruiting a few New York girls into Jacks Army by posing as Tony Cascarino – I look nothing like him (i am Irish :))

    Arsenal may be bad for the heart, but its good for the soul.
    Not like supporting Man City, Spurs, Man U or Chelsea which can actual fracture your decency.
    and make you unsound.
    and ugly

  49. king gooner says:

    no other club in english football, for my money, has experienced over time the highs & lows of the arsenal-to be a gooner is like being on a roller coast ride-the highs are so high you could touch the stars-who would have dreamed up whl ’71 to win the title or charlies magnificent winner at wembley for tho double,who would have dreamed up”shirley sunderlands winner in ’79 or mickey thomas in ’89 or against all odds cup winners cup & parma.the invicibles,the ’49 game unbeaten run..i could go on & on…but the lows,the dreaded lows…enough to break your heart,also too many to mention..this is what we are experiencing now.who knows when it will end but it will …..then comes the highs my friends…

  50. chas says:

    Maybe it’s a pre-requisite for supporting Yoonited?

    “rotter” :)

  51. Park Royal Gooner says:

    Good thread matey. on a side note i dont know if any of you have read the article below regarding Daiby i feel sorry for the fella.

    http://www.thebeautifulgroan.com/2011/12/21/physiotherapy-corner-tom%E2%80%99s-injury-of-the-week-abou-diaby/

  52. Chas @ your 1.37 – point proven about wimps ! :)

  53. chas says:

    chary, I heard that most Judas Priest fans support the mancs! :)

  54. Don’t think there’s any special allegiance to the Mancs being as they are from West Brom, Chas.
    I think the bass player(Ian Hill) is a baggie.

  55. Oh I get it Chas, I call you a wimp, you say I have a small todger(a la Mick Hucknall).
    Fair dos ! :)

  56. RockyLives says:

    That’s a fine piece of writing Irish, really fine.

    Question is, is the condition contagious or genetic… or both?

  57. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow, ok so we have moved on to Mick Hucknell’s todger. Reminds me of a brilliant “size” put down. There was an American sitcom starring Roseanne Barr (a fatty) and her fat real life husband. They went through a messy and very public divorce. At one point she claimed he had a small member. He responded by saying “even a jumbo jet looks small inside the Grand Canyon”.
    Anyway, moving swiftly on…..

  58. chas says:

    Micky,
    Does that mean Roseanne is a baggie?

    Bacary @Sagnaofficial Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Hello my friends..hope you’re all good and healthy…very exciting day for me as back to full training with the team for the 1st time.

  59. goonermichael says:

    Good news about Sagna

  60. goonermichael says:

    I realy hope Cardiff can stun the bindippers.

  61. RockyLives says:

    Hello GM
    Me too. So we can all laugh at Stevie “GBH” Gerrard.

  62. Herb'sArmy says:

    There’s irony. Chas thinks most Judas Priest fans support the Mancs and posts a video clip of Morrisey, who is from…. Salford! It doesn’t get much more Manc than that.
    Comedy gold exclusive to AA.

  63. goonermichael says:

    Is Morrisey a utd fan?

  64. goonermichael says:

    Ivory coast playing at 7. What happened in thier first match? I haven’t been following it. I know Senegal are out. Great news for Newcastle

  65. goonermichael says:

    They beat Sudan 1 nil.

  66. RockyLives says:

    From my son:

    New song to the Only fools theme:

    “No income tax, No VAT.
    No FA Cup, No Premier League.
    In the dock, face so pale, Harry Redknapp’s going to jail…”

  67. chas says:

    Herb, I think you missed the point of my throwaway remark.

  68. goonermichael says:

    Why should Anton Ferdinand shake john tossers hand on Saturday? I wouldn’t.
    Saturday is a bit like scunthorpe only with a turd instead of that nasty word I don’t use any more.

  69. Herb'sArmy says:

    I don’t know GM, but most of the hard-core Man Utd fans reside in Salford.

  70. goonermichael says:

    I’m in moderation because I said sc un thorpe LOL

  71. goonermichael says:

    I doubt he likes football Herb. I’ve never heard anything about him liking it or seen any type of comment from him.

  72. chas says:

    Herb have you got a ginger perm?

  73. goonermichael says:

    mick hucknel is like ronald macdonald with a smal dick

  74. Herb'sArmy says:

    No offence meant Chas, I just thought it was funny. I did see the reference to Mick Hucknall and the banter between you and Chary, I’ve always thought Hucknall to be up himself.

  75. goonermichael says:

    I went to see simply red at the kilburn national in the 80s. really boring

  76. Herb'sArmy says:

    I’d rather be bald-headed Chas.

  77. chas says:

    But not very far up.

  78. Red Arse says:

    GM,

    You cant call Mick Hucknell a cant! :-)

  79. goonermichael says:

    I’d rather be anything than mick hucknall

  80. Red Arse says:

    Herb,

    Now you have offended SlimGingerGooner!! Oooer Missus!! :-)

  81. Herb'sArmy says:

    Let’s face it Chas, most, if not all Manc fans are unpleasant people

  82. goonermichael says:

    I didn’t RA
    I don’t use foul language anymore. How very dare you?

  83. Herb'sArmy says:

    At least SGG is a Gooner, RA.

  84. goonermichael says:

    Sometimes when someone you don’t know very well says “I support united” everything makes sense.

  85. goonermichael says:

    Newsnow is so boring. I’ve only got abouit 10 sites that I haven’t blocked. I even registered because I’d exceeded the quota for unregistered users.

  86. goonermichael says:

    rocky

  87. SharkeySure says:

    Lol GM…thats a real dedication to shit filtering that has made you register.

    I find some of the headlines really comical. My fave lately was ‘Walcott (his cousin) wins a trial at Utrecht’. I thought ..wow even a lowly team like them want a closer look at him before committing to anything

  88. chas says:

    I have got one manc mate who’s a good lad, but he was born in Manchester so the normal rules do not apply.

  89. gunnern5 says:

    George Graham believes that Arsenal finishing in the Premier League top four this season would be one of Arsene Wenger’s finest achievements but
    urged the club to spend big to achieve that.

    Wenger may have won three League titles and four FA Cups – including two Doubles – and guided the Gunners through an unbeaten title-winning campaign but faces mounting criticism with his team in fifth place after three successive defeats.

    Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Manchester United came amid chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” and “spend some f*****g money” directed at Wenger from Arsenal supporters.

    Graham, who led the Gunners to two League titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups and the 1994 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, claims they must improve their squad to maintain their Champions League status next season.

    “You see somebody like Spurs and they’ve got so many players for all the positions,” said Graham.

    “And you look at Arsenal – they’ve got to have their best team out to get into the top four. But if they’ve not got their best team I think the squad members who are coming in are just not quite good enough. There’s plenty of revenue that should be coming into the club I can’t understand why they’re not getting a better class of player.

    “Dennis Bergkamp, ­Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Marc Overmars, Freddie Ljungberg – if you don’t replace those players with a similar ability, you are slowly going to slide away down the league.

    “I hope that doesn’t happen because Arsene’s been fantastic for Arsenal and English football and I would hate to see that just slip away. If they can get into the top four this season, that’ll be one of his best accomplishments at the club.”

    Graham insists the club must target their transfer market search on finding a striker to help take the goalscoring burden away from Robin van Persie.

    Arsenal re-signed Henry on a two-month loan but the Scot is confused as to why there has been no big money move to bolster the forward line.

    “Well they definitely needed a cover player there’s no question about that,” Graham told radio station LBC 97.3.

    “Robin Van Persie seems the only one to be scoring, unfortunately Theo Walcott on one side and Andrey Arshavin on the other are not filling in with their quota. I can see the point [of re-signing Henry], but Arsenal are so big they should have a bigger squad of players, especially in the forward positions.

    “If you want a quality front player, you’re talking big money, at least £20‑25million for a world-class striker to take the pressure off Van Persie.

    “But will Arsenal give Arsene that money? Or have they got it? They’ve offered him the money but he won’t spend it. No one seems to know the answer to that question.”

    Meanwhile, Bacary Sagna returned to full training today with Arsenal hopeful he can play within a fortnight. Sagna has been missing since October 2 with an ankle injury but wrote on Twitter today: “Very exciting day for me as back to full training with the first team for the 1st time.”

  90. Big Raddy says:

    GM 5.13 Bang on :-D

    I walked out of a Simply Red concert after an hour – dreadful. Only went because it was a Record Co, freebie and there was hospitality .

    I have read that Hucknall owns an award winning vineyard in Sicliy

  91. Red Arse says:

    As it seems a bit quiet on here today, I thought I would paste an article from James Olley that I read yesterday, for those who did not see it.

    It implies AW has been ‘hung out to dry’ by Kroenke, as well as bringing together a number of points we have heard, from other sources, over the last few weeks.

    Rather contentious but I suspect Herb will say “I told you so!” :-)

    — “In a period of economic uncertainty when financial institutions don’t want to lend, it should come as no surprise that Arsenal are reluctant to spend.

    The Gunners have been run as a bank for too long. Finance has taken precedence over football to create an imbalance that has led to the team’s decline.

    Yet it is “bank manager” Arsene Wenger whose credit is at an all-time low. The Frenchman has his faults. That famous myopia that helped deflect undue criticism of his side when successful now appears to prevent him from realising their fallibilities.

    Questions must be asked of the use of a tactical system that places great strain on the full-backs when the club are suffering an injury crisis in that position.

    Defensive mistakes occur with embarrassing regularity, a lack of maturity continues to hinder them on the pitch while the club’s backroom staff is crying out for a shake-up to inject fresh ideas and banish the yes men mentality that ensures Wenger’s philosophy goes unchallenged despite six trophyless seasons.

    These concerns were the underlying cause of the anger vented in the direction of the dugout during Sunday’s defeat by Manchester United and Wenger has undoubtedly made mistakes for which he should be held accountable.

    But there comes a point when the board should take
    some responsibility for embarking upon a route of financial prudence while failing to provide Wenger with the help needed to take the club forward.

    Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke must be more vocal in outlining his plans for the club because at present it is hard to escape the feeling “Wenger is being hung out to dry”.

    Having been championed by a board happy to give him as much footballing freedom as any manager alive, he stands and falls by what his philosophy delivers.

    But that would absolve the board of responsibility for their previous actions. In the 1990s, they rightly felt a new stadium was required to increase matchday revenues to compete with Manchester United and other clubs with bigger capacity.

    By 1999, the move to Ashburton Grove was confirmed and, after a delay, the stadium was opened in 2006, three years later than originally planned.

    It was a sensible move and Emirates Stadium is an enduring legacy for the board and Wenger but in between 1999 and 2006, Roman Abramovich arrived to change the landscape of English football at Chelsea. Suddenly, football’s finances were warped in a manner nobody could have predicted. The influx of cash-rich foreign owners multiplied the problem before Manchester City’s Arab owners took things to a fantastical level.

    —- Arsenal are well managed and correctly proud of their self-sustainability, particularly in contrast to City’s huge losses, which were £197million at the last count.—– But pride in the balance sheet does not satisfy supporters, especially those asked to pay the highest ticket price in the Premier League. There is a middle ground between financial madness and a cobwebbed chequebook.

    Wenger, of course, buys into prudence and for that he is blamed.

    He endlessly preaches value in the transfer market. “Football is not a supermarket,” says Wenger, yet his club seem content on counting their Clubcard points without ever cashing in.

    Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill are among recent targets where Arsenal refused to pay the going rate – or a little more – to get the deal done.
    Finance 1 Football 0.

    Wenger knows a season without Champions League football would be a disaster in footballing terms but chairman Peter Hill-Wood insists the club would be well-placed regardless.
    Finance 2 Football 0.

    The club’s hierarchy ultimately decided it was worth delaying their transfer dealings until the end of August in a bid to squeeze around £5m extra from the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.
    Finance 3 Football 0.

    Qualification for the Champions League was not assured until Udinese had been seen off but the club should already have replaced those certain to depart.
    Finance 4 Football 0.

    Delays and doubts over bringing in defensive reinforcements and creating a swollen squad have prompted stalling in the market this month while the team suffered three successive League defeats for the first time in five years.
    Finance 5 Football 0.

    No other club are better placed for the introduction of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules but the wait for a fully regulated system to have an impact is a damaging one.
    Finance 6 Football 0.

    Is it worth keeping score? Maybe eventually it will reach 8-2.

    Wenger has erred but his former glories combined with an ability to navigate the club through such a seismic shift should ensure respect endures. But the club must stop counting the cash and instead count the cost of a failure to invest.

    Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy deserves credit for keeping key players and successfully negotiating contracts. Arsenal face another battle with Robin van Persie among others this summer.

    Since 2005 – when they last finished a season in the top two and last won a trophy – Arsenal have made a £24.3m profit from transfers.

    Financially, the Gunners are in the black but their football is in the red. Wenger has made up the deficit for too long. He needs help. —

    Hmmmm!!

  92. Herb'sArmy says:

    GN5,
    it’s pretty much echoes what most sensible Arsenal fans everywhere are saying, without treading on anyones toes and discrediting what the great man has done. Our transfer policy only makes sense if we’re happy to settle for mid-table anonymity.

  93. Herb'sArmy says:

    There is no sense of smug self-satisfied platitudes from me RA, I find it all very depressing.
    How wonderful it would be if Wenger’s philosophy kicked all his doubters into touch, and he propelled his team into a period of unparalleled success. Wouldn’t that be something!

  94. evonne says:

    Irish – I am still laughing! What a great post, thank you very much
    But is it really funny? I am twice your age and there are times that I cannot take it anymore. The heart is hurting, I lose sleep, I am incommunicado for days, not to mention broken objects in the sitting room, and arguments with people that don’t love Arsenal the way I do. It is not an illness, but a symptom; an obsession, not always healthy.

    The worst is that there is nothing I can do about it. I tried to watch every other game, not foocking possible, is it? (I like your foocking better than my fecking). I tried to read newspapers slowly, starting with the front page, failed. I tried not to ask people what team they support and reject any men outright that had no interest in footy.

    Anyway, I could go on and on, and on. It is madness and if I like it or not, I am stuck with AFC.

    Kelsey –it is nothing like marriage, you can divorce your spouse and have 4 or 5 more like GM, you cannot get rid of Arsenal so easily.

    GM – I think it might be true about ugly girls and sex. I was very pretty :)

  95. Red Arse says:

    Herb,

    I don’t think there is any need for depression.
    All the articles in the world are only a journalist’s interpretation of events based on limited knowledge and guesswork. [Opinions!]

    Timing is all in life, so there is time for AW to enjoy a swing in the appalling injury voodoo we have experienced.
    Sagna’s tweet today could be the first cuckoo of an early Spring.

    With him and Jack returning soon everything could change in an instant.

    Nil deperandum — oritur spes aeternae!

    Don’t despair – Hope springs eternal! :-)

  96. chas says:

    Redknapp’s defence that he’s as thick as pig shit is quite brilliant in a way.
    I’m so fooking stupid and illiterate, I hadn’t got a clue what was going on. My accountant runs my life. :)

  97. Herb'sArmy says:

    Is it true he’s an Arsenal fan Chas? I’m sure I heard him say it at some time, but I could be wrong.

  98. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all.

    Not sure if I’m happy or not we’ve all got the same long term pre-existing condition :lol:

    D98 – Summer in Ireland is going to be one massive piss up. Plans are already been made about what pub we’ll go to after work for the games, they are all on in the evening time which is epic. I suppose we’ll have to go see all the Poland games as well seen as I’m working with half of Poland :lol:

    That chant about ‘Arry Twitchy Face is hilarious

  99. Irishgunner says:

    Herb – I heard that about ‘Arry too, I think he’s an Arsenal fan. So, too, is Osama Bin Laden apparently – well, when he was alive.

  100. chas says:

    There was definitely a story about him standing on the North Bank with his dad, Herb.

  101. evonne says:

    Irish – sorry to hear about your job situation. I only worked with Polaks once, never to be repeated, funny lot.

    Chas – foocking is brilliant, init?

  102. Red Arse says:

    I have seen old ‘photos of ‘Arry at Highbury when he was a youngster. He used to go there to watch Arsenal with his dad, and then later with Jamie.

    He has also been seen there in the late 90’s “scouting”, so I am not sure he has ever admitted being a Gooner, but the evidence is that he is or perhaps was!

  103. chas says:

    I quite like ‘cant’ too, as in ‘Arry is a lying cant.

  104. Red Arse says:

    Chas, — snap! :-)

  105. Herb'sArmy says:

    Thanks Irish.
    Think you covered most Gooners mental and physical health issues, and what it means to follow Arsenal. A very enjoyable read, Irish, kudos to you. (Still can’t do the yellow smileys!).

  106. Irishgunner says:

    Evonne – Are you Polish? Part Polish? I tell you one thing the Polish can drink, Guinness through straws O_O

    Thanks Herb :)

  107. Herb'sArmy says:

    I’m sure I heard him admit to being a Gooner, but can’t remember whether it was Football Focus or TalkSPORT.

  108. chas says:

    RA :)

    Stick a pony in me pocket…

  109. Herb'sArmy says:

    Brilliant Chas. Should knock ‘em out to Spurs fans before every home game.

  110. evonne says:

    Irish – I am as Polish as you are Irish :) Guinness through a straw, FFS, they are trying to be posh

  111. kelsey says:

    Everyone thinks they can do better. People on Twitter think they can do my job. It’s the power of social media. But fitting a new toilet seat (my only bit of DIY for many years) in my bathroom recently hasn’t left me believing I’m a plumber.

  112. Vanessa, Feltz Down Under ( have a nibble while your there Skippy !) says:

    First may I say, that was a Castlemaine XXXX of a Post Irish, fair dinkum !.
    Oz and Robin,
    G`day, Happy Australia Day ( I`m the only Pommie Gooner to remember ).
    I`ve been parachuted into a Jungle full of naked unshaven Sheila`s. It gives a new meaning to ” a bush tucker trial “. It`s gunner be hard ( steady Bruce) as the “can crusher ” has imposed a no nookie celebacy on me, ” I`m a celibate, get me out of here”. So there will be no playing with my Didgeridoo, more like a Didgeridont.
    I`ve been having a wrestle in the mud with foul smelling, wrinkly ,scaly maneating monster, I dont know how they my mother in law through the Customs !, I suppose she`ll come in handy, I`ll use her Tits for the Bungee Jump!.
    I`m gunner visit that curious big Red rotting lump of a tourist attraction in the centre of Australia, whats it called ?, oh yeah thats it, Dame Edna`s cock !.
    Sorry about all the Stereotyping Cobbers, but wearing a pair of 100W speakers as gloves makes normal typing hard !.
    g`day blue.

  113. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    There was a full page feature on some other site (cant remember which one ) a while back, which had Harry saying he really wanted the Arsenal Managers job (well before Wenger ) as he loved coming /going to highbury with his Dad.

  114. Irishgunner says:

    :lol: Evonne – they certainly don’t look posh knocking it back

    Kelsey – Go luck with the DIY ;)

    Vanessa Feltz – She’ll be right … ah Oz, how I miss the sun.

  115. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Listening to Talksport today, I was getting a good feeling for the future, as their was plenty of FFP talk. Basically, UEFA are saying they are going to take no shit, they mean business, there will be bans and points deductions , the lot. They will try and cover every loop hole and will go to court against anybody and everybody.
    I like listening to H&J, but Jacobs is such a cry baby twat, ” It`s not fair, they only want to get at Man city, Chelsea, PSG and someone else he mentioned ” Selfish Cad, forget all the rest who are struggling or being selfsustained. Effing Chav Cad

  116. dandan says:

    Bloody Marvellous Marie, you are superb, cheered me up after a lousy night. Thank you. Have great pride after 60 years in telling you that for the real fan the condition is in fact lethal and will go with you to the grave. Once a gooner always a gooner.

  117. Irishgunner says:

    Glad I cheered you up Dandan – Ooh to be a Gooner

  118. Herb'sArmy says:

    Good to see you back Dandan, hope all is well with you.

  119. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    The “other club” was Malaga. Man u ,City,Chavs and Scum have some sort of UEFA “software” which apparently ring`s alarm bells If they are not in line with FFP,. I think City and Chavs days will be numbered in a few years time !.

  120. Double98 says:

    Irish -Dublin is where the real party is gonna be – feck the Posnan and the Ukraine….
    Liquid lunches lasting 24 hours… Dearg Doom pumping out of every pub,…. Watching Apres Match half cut… Traps Army…

    its enough to make you cheer on Robbie Keane

    well not quite

  121. harry says:

    I am an Arsenalholic, for 41years I have struggled to get out of bed in the morning without considering the glistening of silver in the hands of our incumbent Captain. During the day I have relapses of memories, from past glory’s, yearning for more.
    It takes only but a minor comment from someone and i am in full flow explaining and describing the virtures of our players the manager and the history of our club.
    I have tried over the years to shake this affliction, I have at times been known to find solace under my quilt, in moments of dire panic usually brought about by a defeat which is unexpected, thoughts of did that really happen, are usually smashed by comments from outsiders, who laugh at my pain and rejoice at the abject display from the almighty Arsenal.
    At the end of the day, I cant shake it, it is a deep rooted and fully entranched feeling that enlightens my senses and speeds my endorphins, happiness and love are mixed in a cocktail of emotion that increases the intensity of these feelings, which over ride any negative thoughts trying to break this bond, do i care? Hell yes…….

    Irish, great article………

    In Wenger I respect and Believe…….

    In Arsenal I love……….

    Proud to be a Gooner……….

  122. harry says:

    I got a DM from John Cross today in respect to his article yesterday in the mirror, about how fans should respect wenger……Top read.

    http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/columnists/john-cross/John-Cross-column-Why-it-s-the-Arsenal-fans-who-don-t-know-what-they-re-doing-not-Arsene-Wenger-article857421.html

  123. Irishgunner says:

    D98 – Exactly, feck Poznan and Gdansk, the parties will be here. What I wouldn’t give to shock those smarmy Spanish gits

    Harry – ” It takes only but a minor comment from someone and i am in full flow explaining and describing the virtures of our players the manager and the history of our club.” – I have a friend, who when a little drunk and a lot high, will get very angry if people dare smear the name of Arsene Wenger. He has stood on stools in pubs to tell of his greatness :lol:

  124. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Lovley post Irish. Football is an amazing phenomenem. When i was a kid it was very tribal and in many ways it would pull local communities together and was mainly attended by working class men. I guess it was that feeling of belonging and a chance to vent out frustration on a saturday afternoon that helped pull in the crowds.

    Its unbelievable how its changed, women, kids, different racial groups, all now attending games and its absoloutly fantastic, and shows how the power of football can effect anyone and everyone. When i first saw these changes, i feared that the Newbies wouldnt hold the same passion as the old guard fan but i was wrong. It dont matter who you are, once the bug hits you, it stays with you, and its wonderful.

  125. RockyLives says:

    D98
    Did you say Dearg Doom?
    Surely there’s not another Horslips aficionado on this fine site?

  126. RockyLives says:

    Evonne

    “was”???????

  127. Brigham says:

    Personally, I think following Arsenal is just like being married and loving your wife or husband. There are good days, there are truly brilliant and wonderous days and then there are also days where you just cannot stand the sight of each other. But all said and done, you still love the one you chose to spend the rest of your life with and you have to accept the lows, just as much as you accept the highs.

    It is the same with Arsenal and I have loved them longer than I love my wife and even she might say “You love them more than me!” Not strictly true, but I know what she means, to my missus, Arsenal are the mysterious other ‘person’ in my life, the one I leave the house to enjoy being with, enjoy singing their name, enjoy the pleasure they give me, have given me. Alas, sometimes the other ‘woman’ lets me down and I return home with my tail between my legs to be given a huge cuddle and a large glass of wine from the wife!

    I love Arsenal, but to be honest, I love my wife just a tad more! :-)

  128. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, ime glad you heard that on the radio, people underestimate ffp. Its another reason why we will be the best team in Europe very soon.

  129. Irishgunner says:

    TMHT – I think football in the past is like GAA nowadays, you follow where you are from and that’s that, no picking other teams.

    RL – Everyone in Ireland loves Dearg Doom – they used snippets of it for our World Cup song in 1990 “Put ‘Em Under Pressure”

  130. harry says:

    Sorry Brigham, cannot concur………

    I could easily leave my wife and love another, but I could never leave or love another instead of Arsenal…….As she says like yours, I love Arsenal more, and I tell her that she is right………

    Oops here she comes………….only j…

  131. Brigham says:

    Harry, Arsenal is my mistress!

  132. RockyLives says:

    Brigham
    Sorry mate, it’s not like being married.
    I would never murder Arsenal.

    Whoops.

  133. Irishgunner says:

    Brigham – Basically we are all the main character in Fever Pitch – albeit some of us have different appendages

  134. RockyLives says:

    Irish
    I’m a bit sadder than that. I’ve got all of Horslips’s albums ever.

  135. RockyLives says:

    That’s true Irish. I have a different appendage.

  136. Big Raddy says:

    RL. I used to see Horslips when they played London. I remember seeing them play a pub in North Finchley! Rasp will remember the name….

    Taxi coming tomorrow morning at 04.30 :-( and BR will be ex-communicado until Sunday evening.

    I will be in Peaches pocket for the game.

    COYRRG

  137. Herb'sArmy says:

    Evening Harry,

    none of us know if he can re-produce the winning-formula, but that article is spot on. You’ve read my comments, and I stand by them, yet as critical as I’ve been at times, I’ve never cursed or bad-mouthed our manager, only his methods.
    I think he’s like Fergie, and has earnt the right to leave when he decides. It won’t stop me or others criticising when things he controls goes against us, but while he is Arsenal manager he gets my respect and totally commited support.
    We all want the same thing, and whilst I am currently doubting Wenger’s ability to re-create his early success, how great it would be if he could prove people like me wrong.
    Whichever way it goes he will be immortalised as a club legend, and whenever people speak of Arsenal long after we’re gone, Arsene Wenger’s name will be mentioned as the man that revolutionised our football club in thge same way Chapman did all those years ago.

  138. RockyLives says:

    (a detachable pony tail, since you ask)

  139. Irishgunner says:

    RL – I have all Gareth Brooks albums, I see your Horslips albums and raise the sadness level :lol:

    For old times sake

  140. evonne says:

    Irish and Double – look you Paddies, the 2012 Euro is in bloody Warsaw, not Poznan and Gdansk, or Dirty Dublin, got it?

    The stadium in Warsaw is sooooooo awesome, I cannot wait to go

    Rocky – no good flirting over 5k miles :)

  141. Irishgunner says:

    Evonne – Myself and A.N.Other went around work asking all the Poles where they were from in case we needed a place to bunk :lol: All of them seem to be from Poznan or Lodz – are all Polish people from there?! :lol: Maybe that’s just where Ryanair fly from :lol: :lol:

  142. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Terry,
    I know a lot of people say FFP wont work and I was a bit sceptical myself, but today`s talk was very convincing, a lot of top journalists were invited by UEFA to give them the lowdown on it all and they seem to mean business. So maybe the Maddest madman is right ! :)

  143. Irishgunner says:

    Moussa Sow has signed for Fenerbache – is he someone we were linked with?

    Sanchez Watt gone to Crawley Town on loan.

  144. RALPH COATES COMBE OVER says:

    Listen here glic, you think that TMHT is MAD, well he`s got nothing on me, I`m MADDER !. Since the Black and White days of the Sixties, every day for 50 years I`ve been saying were gonna win the League and this year we will win it and the Champions League, and were not even in that, thats how MAD I am !. :shock:

  145. RockyLives says:

    Well Evonne, you dropped an elegant glove and none of the other cads on here seemed willing to pick it up… :)

  146. RockyLives says:

    Irish :)
    Clive Allen in charge then?

  147. Irishgunner says:

    They’re a proper pair RL :lol:

  148. RockyLives says:

    Haha

    Dumb and Dumberer

  149. harry says:

    Lol, Rocky……..I couldnt murder my arsenal either……

    @Brigham, my is wife is my mistress!!!

    @Herb……..I hope your right, I just feel our support is so fractured and some are quite spiteful………I understand and respect your views.

    I feel for wenger, he done so well getting us back into, but the injuries have been too much. (Agreed he has made some bad decisions, but he has been hampered)

  150. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bloody marvellous post Irish :D

  151. evonne says:

    Rocky – nay, that’s not what I meant, it was about the ‘trying harder’ by ‘ugly’ girls :) Thank you all the same

    Must meet at the Tavern next time you are over

  152. evonne says:

    cuckoo! cuckoo! cuckoo! is anybody out there :(

  153. evonne says:

    Nobody

    Ok, I will talk to myself.
    The Scousers are calling their and ManU fans for calm before the Sunday game. They are asking them to behave like rivals, but not like enemies. Rivalery vs hatred. Is it possible? Do fans REALLY hate other teams’ supporters? Could Arsenal fans shake hands with visitors from Shite Heart Lane?

    I think not. I also think that it is good for sport, adds that extra dimension, sharper edge. what do you think Evonne?

  154. evonne says:

    I completely agree with you Evonne. The hatred is real and possibly worse than it has ever been. The buying of trophies by certain clubs, poaching of players, jumping the EPL table without years of graft makes some teams a prime hate target for me

  155. evonne says:

    AAHHH! morning Kelsey boy!

  156. chas says:

    Morning cuckoo!
    There are reports that we now have that vicious rivalry amongst our own supporters which certainly adds an extra dimension to supporting AFC.

  157. chas says:

    I bet it’s lovely to be called ‘boy’, kelsey, huh?

  158. evonne says:

    And Chas! I am happy now :)

    Chas – no, that dimension is very sad and damaging. I am sure that Arsenal is not the only club that has supporters with differing views, but has this ever happened before at the AFC?

  159. kelsey says:

    Do you think these three will play on Sunday

    Darren Bent
    Gabriel Agbonlahor
    Robbie Keane

    Morning chas,
    yes first the media, then the ex Arsenal players and now a section of the so called fans.

  160. kelsey says:

    chas,

    well i suppose it is. I want to show you our new shirt but don’t know how to put it on the blog.it is somewhat revolutionary style for bowls.

  161. evonne says:

    ….as opposed to being called a Monster!!

  162. chas says:

    kelsey, save it to here http://arsenalarsenal.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/
    and then post the link. I think that’s what Rasp does.

  163. chas says:

    Is it red with white sleeves?

  164. kelsey says:

    I will e mail it to you, it is gold and emerald green our club colours.

  165. chas says:

    Evonne, where have you gone now?

  166. kelsey says:

    Thanks chas.I designed it myself and we will be wearing them today at our top of the table clash in League Division one. By the way my bowls are really red with white stickers :)

  167. chas says:

    kelsey,
    I think those three are all fit for Villa.
    Looks like Heskey might be too!
    N’Zogbia seems to be out and he often does well against us.

  168. kelsey says:

    Won’t be a walkover, but I believe the draw for the 5th.round is before we play, as ours is the last game, but I might be wrong.

  169. Rasp says:

    Morning all…..

    ….. New post …..

  170. Awesome article! Many thanks to the author!

  171. free roller coaster games…

    […]Bloody Arsenal – Do We Even Care Anymore? « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

  172. Sherman says:

    I’m more than happy to uncover this website. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you book-marked to check out new stuff in your blog.

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