Welcome To Stalingrad

As sieges go, this is a big one.

The Arsenal players, manager, directors and staff have become used to being under attack, but now they truly are under siege.

And who are the besiegers?

Yes, of course, the media, mostly comprised of self styled “good blokes” who love nothing more than a beer with a like minded manager and have never warmed to Arsène Wenger’s euro-intellectual aestheticism.

And yes, of course, our rivals at other clubs. Sour, bitter types who’ve worn for too long the scars of defeat suffered at our imperious hands.

And yes, the sugar daddies who go round picking up unfashionable clubs, giving them high heels, a platinum ring and a fur coat and sending them out like they’re the classiest broad on the block even though everyone knows that underneath the mink there’s no knickers.

But – and this is now clear – to the list of besiegers we must also add a significant proportion of the Arsenal support base. Possibly even a majority.

It’s a dire situation.

In the Second World War the German invasion of what we now call Russia inflicted defeat after defeat upon the Soviet Red Army. Eventually the Soviets found themselves backed up against the Volga River, in the city of Stalingrad, with the German army surrounding them on three sides.

The defenders dug in with dwindling supplies and resorted to eating cats (sorry Micky) and rats and dogs (sorry Evonne) to survive.

There would be more than 800,000 casualties before the outcome was decided (human casualties that is – I don’t think anyone counted the rats, cats and dogs). The city itself was reduced to rubble. Anyone who has been to an away game in Liverpool will be able to visualise.

Stalingrad came into my mind yesterday when I was reading Arsène Wenger’s quotes following the FA Cup loss at the Stadium of Routemasters.

He said this:

At the moment it is best to let people talk, criticise, analyse and destroy and on our side it is important to show internal strength and resilience and come out with a strong performance in our next game. We have to take the critics on board, stay together and face them.

On one level it’s the standard sort of quote you’d expect to see from an embattled manager.

But that phrase about letting people “talk, criticise, analyse and destroy” was stronger than we have been used to seeing from Arsene, particularly the word “destroy”.

It was the phrase of a man under siege.

It must feel to him and to most inside the club that people really do want to destroy Arsenal – or at least his vision for Arsenal. And I infer that he includes his many critics among the fan base in that accusation.

I know hardly any supporters who, these days, are 100% confident that Arsène and the club will be able to turn things round and bring back the glory days. Even the most ardent Wenger loyalists are plagued by doubts, while those who have been criticising him for years are now feeling vindicated and invigorated in their campaign to oust him.

A siege, naturally, can have one of two outcomes. The besieged city or castle can fall, with not terribly pleasant outcomes for those left inside. Or it can prevail as the attackers lose the will or resources to carry on the fight and depart (perhaps aided by the defenders getting reinforcements or extra supplies).

If the defenders are successful, there is often forged an almost mystical bond of togetherness between the survivors: a sense of having done something remarkable, with a group of remarkable people.

If we are fortunate, the Siege of Arsenal will have this kind of regenerative outcome. Hopefully our players won’t, like the Turkish defenders in the Siege of Azov, 1696, have to resort to slicing off their own buttocks for food (although if they did, Andrei Arshavin would keep the wolf from the door for a good few days).

But if we can come through these dark times with the right response – starting with beating the Noisy Neighbours on Sunday – there is the possibility, at least, of a brighter future for Arsenal.

Arsène Wenger himself has hinted that last summer’s transfer business was a mess – and I cannot believe a man as intelligent as he is will allow that to happen again in the coming summer.

I feel he will be a harder, wiser man this year, having been let down by both Fabregas and the Fat French Benchwarmer (who would also have been quite a hit at the Siege of Azov).

If Robin van Persie appears to be angling for a move away, I believe we will sell him quickly having first lined up a world class goal-scoring replacement. The same for Song and Walcott.

Regardless of whether we finish in the top four, there will be a lot of transfer activity. I believe Arsène will make demands on the Board that he has not made for years and if they do not back him, he will quit.

I know many, many Arsenal fans believe our manager will do no such thing and that they expect next summer to be a repeat of the last few summers.

Maybe they are right, but Arsène Wenger is a proud man and I cannot see him tolerating anything that will push the club further towards the dead ground of mediocrity. And there were special factors that affected last year’s transfer window.

Summer 2011 was the first since Stan Kroenke gained overall control of the club and, for whatever reason, the transfer strategy that the new regime adopted (or tried to adopt) failed abysmally. Kroenke is also a smart man and will not let it happen again.

I suspect that Silent Stan believed Arsène when he said Cesc and Na$ri would stay. He won’t believe any such assertions this year (not that Arsene will be making them).

Supporting a football team is like having a child. No-one can guarantee it will be plain sailing all the way. There will be times of joy, but also times of despair and sadness. It’s how you come through the latter ones that really counts. And that’s the very test confronting Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal right now.

Historical Note: In August 1942 the bookies would have given you very generous odds on a Red Army victory at Stalingrad, but the defenders prevailed and the broken Germans were chased all the way back to the Fatherland and final defeat at the combined hands of the Allies and the Soviets.

 It just goes to show, it ain’t over until it’s over.

 

RockyLives

* If you have not read it, I cannot recommend highly enough Anthony Beevor’s brilliant account of the Battle of Stalingrad (called, curiously enough, “Stalingrad”).

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258 Responses to Welcome To Stalingrad

  1. Morning all, like your analogy to Stalingrad, we should be listening to Shosta’s 7th symphony playing in the background.

    However I see our position as less being besieged but having backed ourselves into a cul de sac for reasons which are many and the people responsible for our postion the subject of many a debate and various varied, and heated, opinions.

    There is no doubting we are a club under the cosh, as Ryo said recently: “At Arsenal the atmosphere is incredibly tense” – and for good reason.

  2. Rasp says:

    Wonderful article Rocky, War and Peace also comes to mind!

    Just to play devil’s advocate, I could ask the question…. when your backs are to the wall, do you turn to a philosopher or a general for leadership?

  3. Dave says:

    Could also end up like Nott Forest. Great manager, they had too…and he won 2 European Champions Cup (as the Champ League was known then…).

  4. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Rocky,
    Makes me proud to be on this ” Band of Brothers and Sisters ” site that doesn`t descend to the depths of others. Cracking stuff !

  5. slimgingergooner says:

    What a fantastic read!

    Let’s hope the boys come out fighting against the old enemy on Sunday.

  6. shadi says:

    For me, Wenger has won us many trophies and he created 3 different winning teams. so what have changed..

    The board did. is it a coincidence that we won nothing since the Board changes ?

    What sadness me about Wenger is only 2 things. and i dont see them a reason to kick him out….
    1) he puts the players over the club, he treats them as a his kids which sometimes makes him blind…. Walcott is not going through a bad patch… thats his limits, all he got is speed. and etc.. etc…

    2) He puts the board over the fans…… with all the arrogance of Mourinho, he will never back down for the good of the club.

    If the board is not supporting Wenger to make enough purchases then he needs to go out and say it.. he started lately but only because of the pressure he is getting from the fans. he talked about 15 – 20 million profit we need to make every year……

    Changing coaches is over rated….. you have one of the best coaches in the world. but with an Average team.
    our team has 7 players or so which a great team can be built on..

    we are only missing 3 – 4 correct signing… and i see no one as good as Wenger in finding those 3 – 4 signings…

    If he is not up to go in war with the board… then he should step down at the end of the season and give some one else the chance.

    The only good thing that will come with a new coach is that we are sure he will go to hell and back with the board to get the last available penny to spend… or he will face the fans AXE.

    we are in the top 5 Richest clubs in Europe.. its time to act as one…..

    and finally we only played 4-5-1 to accommodate Cesc. but now we don’t have Fabrigas,
    Against Sunderland we couldnt create a single chance from midfield. only one came from VP pass. when we went to 4-4-2 things improved a bit

    why are we still playing 4-5-1 we dont have the right players for it. if you dont have a creative midfield then play 4 4 2 .

    from last 2 years sales of players. you know we have over 40 million for sure.. add to that next year kitty and a strong 3 – 4 players can be signed with the sale of players.

  7. Red Arse says:

    Oh, Corky Elvis,

    How could you finish your article with — “the broken Germans were chased all the way back to the Fatherland and “final defeat” at the combined hands of the Allies and the Soviets.”

    You know full well that WW1 and WW11 were just mere skirmishes, leading up to the total domination of Europe in the ’90’s and early 21st century, and tomorrow — the world!! (they will shortly bring the Greeks’ idyllic, sun drenched, tax free lifestyle to an abrupt end — b*stards!) :-)

    Seriously, Rocky, that was another brilliantly composed analysis of our current situation. You are a little genius!! :-)

    Clearly wasted on vexatious dunderheads, like me! :roll:

  8. WiganGooner says:

    Great article Rocky, it very much echoes the sentiment of my own.

    It seems like an uphill battle against the negativity at the moment with those that feel entitled to be winning things. I’ve stood there in the wind and the rain at goodison when we haven’t come away with anything and still clapped the boys off – because we have to.

    I love Arsenal FC. I always will.

    Some great news to share, I have finally managed to get my site on NewsNow, so have a look :)

    http://www.wigangooner.co.uk

    I’d love it if you guys also popped on there once in a while to help fight off the negativity :)

    WG

  9. Red Arse says:

    Shadi,

    That is interesting!

  10. Red Arse says:

    Excellent, WG, :-)

    I am sure that the Cuckoo Club, complete with telescopic man,
    will be delighted to visit your terrific site, and give you the benefit of our combined wisdom.

    Won’t take long, but we will be there!! :-)

  11. BTW Arse.com have shown Song as MotM on Saturday – does that tally with what is the ocncensus here ? I only saw the last 20 minutes of the game so I can’t really judge one way or the other.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning AA’ers :)

    Rocky, super-post, possibly the best I read on AA. I love the link to Stalingrad and the sieze of Azov where they had to resort to eating their own bum-burgers. I believe they were planning something similar in Stalingrad when Red Army launched operation ‘Uranus’. :)

    I loved this prosaic but – oh so true – message to us in your post:

    ‘Supporting a football team is like having a child. No-one can guarantee it will be plain sailing all the way. There will be times of joy, but also times of despair and sadness. It’s how you come through the latter ones that really counts. And that’s the very test confronting Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal right now.’

    It is a test for us all Rocky, but your post is a great ‘balm’ today. Cheers mate. :)

    Btw, I can also recommend The Siege by Helen Dunmore. This time the story is based on Leningrad/St Petersburg and not Stalingrad, and the focus of the story is purely on the human-survival side. One of the best books I read last year.

  13. WiganGooner says:

    @Chary

    I wouldn’t have given it to Song…but I’m struggling to find anyone that I’d give it to…The Ox perhaps?

    WG

  14. Wigan – at last someone has noticed I’m here !

    Based on the 20 minutes I saw I thought Rosicky, not a fashionable choice, seemed to be trying to drive us forward. Of course just 20 minutes of any game may not be especially representative of an overall performance.

  15. WiganGooner says:

    @Chary

    I am loving the resurgence of Rosicky, I lean towards your choice, he is a quality player and I think he’s earnt the MoTM.

    WG

  16. Yeah, he’s strung a good spell of performances together, albeit with a few wayward shots WG.

    Thois may offend a few but why does our manager say fourth place is a trophy ? That just provides ammo for the “Wenger out brigsde”, he must realise how bad that sounds, surely ?

  17. Red Arse says:

    WG,

    I left a comment on WiganGooner, and it seems to have popped up on a previous bloggers comment. Quick fly away home!! :-)

  18. WiganGooner says:

    A “Trophy” is a poor description. I think Arsene sees it as a mark of consistent success, the absolute minimum he expects is for the squad to achieve 4th, anything less would be moving backwards.

    That said however, unless we improve next weekend we will struggle to achieve that. If we do, then we can be proud of what this team has achieved with the knocks its had this season.

    WG

  19. I agree WG, he should be saying that fourth place is the minimum of our expectations for a club of our standing.

    Calling fourth place an actual trophy is making it too easy for his detractors.

  20. dandan says:

    Extraordinarily good post Rocky Congratulations not much to add to that, You are so right with your Kids analogy for the true supporter, “You don’t always like the Arsenal but you cant help loving them.”

    Rasp my earlier remark was not Aimed at the supporters trust, but the lazy journalism, sorry if it read differently

  21. Rasp says:

    Morning dandan, no worries, I personally have no idea of their agenda – it will be interesting to find out.

  22. JD Gooner says:

    “If Robin van Persie appears to be angling for a move away, I believe we will sell him quickly having first lined up a world class goal-scoring replacement. The same for Song and Walcott.”

    Like we did with Cesc and Nasri????????

  23. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    you touched on last Summer’s transfer business, and many have blamed AW for mingy/stingy in recent days, so can I try and add a potted explanation of why the transfer budgets can be much more difficult to understand than many believe?

    A bone of contention between Arsenal’s fans is the amount of money that is available to spend on players, either to buy them or to pay for their salaries. Today’s papers carry promises that a £55m transfer kitty will be available to AW next Summer. But how is this ‘kitty’ arrived at?

    “We are one of the ‘biggest’, most profitable clubs in the world with plenty of cash, so why don’t we buy top quality players to match that status?” That is the question frequently bandied about on web sites by frustrated fans, and causes much angst and bitterness between us. So, what is the truth?

    Forgetting all the “techy” stuff beloved of accountants, lets pick out the nitty gritty figures from the last published Accounts as an example, shall we?
    Although they are now out of date, they help to show us an interesting story.
    • Arsenal’s Group accounts last year showed we made a profit
    of £15 million, before tax. Yep a whole £15 million!
    This included £13 million from property Sales – so only £2 million came from football sources.
    • Overall turnover amounted to £256 million (football £225 million) – which made us the 5th biggest club in the world, by turnover. Yippee!

    So although the footie turnover sounds impressive, the profit is only a measly £2 million on that £225m, and that profit also includes a £6 million profit on player sales, otherwise we would have made a £4 million LOSS.

    Yes, you will say, but we have plenty of cash available — don’t we?

    Well, yes and no.

    At the time of the 2011 Accounts, Arsenal had Gross Debts of £258 million and Cash plus short-term Deposits of £160 million, leaving a Net Debt of £98 million. In other words, we owed £98 million more than we had at our disposal.

    What does this all mean, to us fans?

    Well for a start, it shows despite our moans, that running a sustainable footie business is a lot more tricky than just the buying and selling of players.

    Cash is generated by making profits, but the profits at Arsenal have historically been dependent on making a profit on the sale of players.

    For example, if we had spent another £50 million on buying players, last year, that would have meant a £50 million ‘hit’ on our profits and would have turned the £2 million profit into a £48 million loss, which would then have adversely affected our available cash.

    Gulp! Oooer, Mrs, this is beginning to do my head in.
    So what is the answer?

    We will soon lose the benefit of the profits generated thru’ Property Sales which have sustained us for a number of years, so in the short to medium term we must, we absolutely must, improve our commercial turnover, which for various reasons has lagged behind our competitors.

    In essence, we have to try, at the very least least, to match the £45 million per annum received by Man United for shirt and kit sponsorship, instead of languishing in 12th place on £15 million per annum, behind even Spurs, let alone the top club Barcelona on £55 million per annum.

    The 2011 accounts figures are now out of date, of course, but when we start talking about ‘obstinate’ Wenger or the ‘tight fisted’ Board of Directors, when reflecting on player purchases, please remember, that the ‘footballing’ part of Arsenal’s financial accounts is far more modest and infinitely more complex to manage prudently than is often imagined! There is far more to it than simply ‘getting out the cheque book”!

    No accountants were harmed in composing this note, and any questions should be directed to that doyen of financial acumen, GIE.

  24. Steve of Chiang Mai says:

    Great Post…..

    The media and the bulk of the bloggers are superficial and mostly wanting to play the too easy blame game. The media do it cause bad news sells…..the only reason I can see a Arsenal blogger wanting to go down that road is that they love “hits” more than the club!

    The opposite of the superficial is always found when results are placed in context. There would be few happy with our plight right now but it does bear some contextualization.

    For much of the year we have been without our…..
    1st Right Back
    2nd Right Back
    1st Left Back
    2nd Left Back
    1st Centre Back
    1st Midfielder (Anyone who saw Wilshere boss Xavi and Iniesta at Emirates last year know why Fabregas wasn’t replaced)
    2nd Attacking midfielder

    I challenge you to rip that quality out of any side from 1-3 and see them still travelling well!!

    One of the challenges made to Arsene’s coaching this year is no plan B. I believe our plan B is sitting on a treatment table in Wilshere and Diaby. If they had been playing against Sunderland and Milan this week we would have seen different results. Wilshere and Diaby are our most direct midfield players and give much better penetration when things are tight. Both are good passers and both can run at and beat defenders.

    They bring the wingers into the game in a different way than down the line passing. This in turn opens up the wings and allows the wingers and the wing backs to do their magic.

    I believe if any other manager in the EPL, other than Wenger, had their team sitting 4th given all those injuries we would be reading articles and blogs calling for sainthood not lynching!!!!

    The Invincibles (03-04) which for some strange reason most fans want to use as the yard stick for Arsenal (thats like saying every night “Its no where near as exciting as New Years Eve) finished 4th in 2005-6 on 67 points 15 points behind 3rd, and last year Arsenal finished 4th on 68 points, 3 points behind 2nd & 3rd. Yet the starting 11 was virtually the same as 03-04 (Viera replaced by Fabregas). The current squad, despite all their difficulties, sit in , you guessed it 4th place. I guarantee the 05-06 team had better home support than the current squad.

  25. goonermichael says:

    RA
    On twitter there are reports that we are going to post over 40m profits today.

    I love the post BTW. Eating your own buttocks!

  26. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Damn you Redders, I thought we had Billions to spend for this Summers TW, now I`m going to have to revise my ” Super Quality” incomings to an afternoon in Lidl`s, all because of your “Thicko” friendly (you looking at me ! ) guide to how we`re run. Couldn`t have you written this before I promised to “wine and dine ” Terry`s toupe, I will need a strong aperitif before I tackle it now and a strong pair of teeth to finish it ! :evil:

  27. Red Arse says:

    GM,

    Yes, I am not surprised.

    Those accounts will be for the half year results and will include a substantial surplus on the net disposal of players [Cesc, Nasri, Clichy less the newbies].

    Steve, well written and thoughtful comment and I agree with you. :-)

  28. Red Arse says:

    Don’t worry, Glic, my esteemed Cuckoo, I was probably writing bollocks anyway.

    Wait until GIE lollops by. He will put you right!! :-)

    Alternatively, I suspect TerryM is already carefully examining it with his teeny weeny telescope, and, when he is finished, he will read my comment and tell you it is a dastardly plot to undermine the Arsenal!! :roll:

  29. Red Arse says:

    GM,

    Is that your Mrs posing on WiganGooners site? Mmmmm!! :-)

  30. WiganGooner says:

    @RA

    Cracking financial skullduggery there! I now understand it that little bit more than my own tiny mind could initially comprehend.

    Great job :)

    WG

  31. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    This Siege of Azov 1696 ( I heard a Vintage year of Sirloin Buttock went for £10m at Christie`s recently to an unknown buyer, coinsidently, Piers Morgans face looks a lot flusher nowadays ). I take It that after the Gluteus Maximus feast something happened to halt or finish the siege ?, or is there some history to their next meal of Casseroled Sausage and Meat balls ?

  32. Double98 says:

    The circus has been banked outside the emirates since it opened.
    The media have been calling for the head of wenger since Chelsea first usurped them as the second best team in the premiership… i mean i was hearing “2 seasons without a trophy” in 2007 and “silver ware drought” and the like..
    ridiculous

    the truth of the matter is that Arsenal’s Average place in the league from 1900-1999 was 8.1 and since 2005 it has been 3.7 or something.

    And that is against a backdrop of the most ludicrous and reckless spending by rivals the like of which has never been seen… Man City are making the Galacticos of Real Madrid circa 2000 look like an economists wet dream.

    Man City have spent a half a billion pounds
    and not many of their players would even bother the benches of barca or real

    manu have spent a quarter of a billion and again only a couple of there players would get a game at the spainish clubs

    liverpool and Spurs have out spent us many times over

    Look I’d rather have a club to support and pass onto my kids and i am happy that wenger can still compete – because since 2005 we have only failed to compete on a couple of occasions

    Do i hope that wenger will freshen his thinking, and his squad – sure – but his club management philosophy is sounds as the half billion pound that we haven’t pissed away on silverware.

    Look at the unsustainable spending clubs and see how they are doing

    Liverpool haven’t won a league in 21 years
    Spurs in 50
    Man CIty in 43

    I mean lets get some perspective here

    Wenger is top drawer and it is an honour to have him as our manager

  33. WiganGooner says:

    Without wanting to besmirch my wonderful reputation…I really would like to see someone smash Piers Morgans smug, arrogant face in.

    I’ve never seen a face talk so much cock and balls in my entire life.

    WG

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yeeeeehaaa Rocky,
    There goes that bar again. Up up and away.
    Egads, that’s a really really fine read. Thank you.

  35. WiganGooner says:

    @D98

    Great comment, totally agree with you.

    WG

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually Rocky, I do have a slight beef with it. I think you are implying there is something a bit chavy vulgar about knickerless women in mink coats. Well as far as I’m concerned, it perfectly justifies cruelty to animals :-)

  37. Steve of Chiang Mai @11.40 fantastic comment which no-one seems to have recognised.

  38. I agree with Micky :oops:

  39. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    Thak you for your 11:18. Very clear and well explained. Gut reaction is YIKES! Taking away the property stuff, that is a very poor return on turnover, and also shows not only how tight margins are in top level football, but also what an almighty dent in bottom line is made by transfer fees and players wages. Even imporved sponsorship deals is not going to make that much difference.

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    Oh here we go again :-)

  41. This is the link to some of the agenda for the AST meeting tonight. It’s standing room only, I just tried to get Rasp in and no chance. It should be a lively meeting and I hope to be able to bring you some information about what went on over the next couple of days.

    http://www.arsenaltrust.org/news/2012/ast-sets-out-priorities-for-the-next-few-weeks

  42. dandan says:

    Steve and double those are great comments, Red Arse thanks for the informative summary, many will be surprised on reading it. The inability of so many fans to grasp that good housekeeping is the life blood of the club simply amazes me. I am loath to point out other clubs that have failed in this way as it has been known to get me into trouble.
    Suffice it to say homes, businesses, clubs or Country’s all have to live within their means or as is plainly seen all around us today disaster awaits.
    AA is a blog apart an oasis generally of calm and reason, fed by quality writing from a collective of thinking contributors some of whom are indeed outstanding wordsmiths.
    Keep up the good work guys.

  43. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Brilliant post and some brilliant comments (yes peaches, Inc Steve of Chiang Mai ) today. I shall keep Redders financial explaination as a bookmark to remind me of “keeping it real “.
    It really Is a day where the intellectuals have come out in force, which beggers the question , ” what the f**k am I doing on here ! ” ?

  44. Red Arse says:

    Peaches,

    Not one to take umbrage, but my 11:52 busts your 12:17 re Steve. :-)

    D98, once again, excellent comment at 12:05!

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    An awful Tempest mashed the air – by E Dickinson

    An awful Tempest mashed the air—
    The clouds were gaunt, and few—
    A Black—as of a Spectre’s Cloak
    Hid Heaven and Earth from view.

    The creatures chuckled on the Roofs—
    And whistled in the air—
    And shook their fists—
    And gnashed their teeth—
    And swung their frenzied hair.

    The morning lit—the Birds arose—
    The Monster’s faded eyes
    Turned slowly to his native coast—
    And peace—was Paradise!

  46. :oops: apologies Red

  47. TA – is that your vision of me at the meeting tonight :)

  48. RedMJ says:

    Steve of CM and D98 (and the original Rocky post) – totally on the money. A much needed dose of rational thinking which is not something the sensationalistic (that might not be a real word but it says what I mean) media could comprehend. I’m loathed to criticise other Gooners that are so negative but I just don’t get why they can’t see this as well. AW and Arsenal will prevail.

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, thanks for your patient, and as always so well-written, comment at 11.18. Top stuff, really helped :)

    I watched the movie ‘The Descendants’ the other day (with George Clooney). Really good movie based in Hawaii – and that made me think of you (being American and having been to Hawaii a few times during your life). Now, during the movie one of the ‘locals’ used a word that I can only spell as ‘twot’, and I wondered whether this was an Hawaiian version of the British swearword for the female reproductive organ? Please can you help (no contribution needed from GLiC btw! :) )

  50. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    peaches my greenfingered Goddess ,have you been watching “How to grow a Planet ” ?

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes Peaches :) the last line should have been ‘And Peaches – was in Paradise’ :lol:

  52. goonermichael says:

    What a truly, fantastic and amazing comment by Steve of Chang Mai. Have that RA

    I can’t see anyone on Wigan’s site except Arsene and he’s not my Mrs. :)

  53. Red Arse says:

    Glic, baby, you are far smarter than you give yourself credit for!

    Actually, can I say something outrageously elitist sounding, but in fact is only a pragmatic observation of the quality of the headline Posts on here, and the fascinating and erudite responses of so many of you regular AA’ers.
    You are sadly atypical of many other Arsenal bloggers — and I do not include myself in your perspicacious and sagacious company!! :-)

    Rocky, you forgot to mention, that despite their fricasse of chopped buttock, the Turks eventually surrendered! :-) [Not that i had ever heard of such a thing. :roll:

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, thanks responding yesterday morning re your views on ‘farcical phantasy’. Anything I could say has already been said by TMTH, but I just wanted you to know that I have read and appreciate your comment. :)

  55. goonermichael says:

    Yesterday I want on my Facebook and it seems I “like” manu. I deleted it obviously. My son thought it was really funny to get into my account and do that. The little (6’3″) sod.

  56. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, :-)

    How wonderful for you to see that movie with George Cloony, does he like popcorn? :-) Would he go with me next week? :-)

    I am no expert on native Hawaiian dialect, (they are massively outnumbered by footloose yankee doodles from the mainland), and I am not normally given to using ‘rude’ words, :-) but I can offer you two possible solutions.

    The (British) English word “twat” is usually pronounced and spelt “twot” in many parts of the US. On the other hand, I am fairly sure “twot” can also mean “a wild animal” when used colloquially in Hawaii, but that is by no means definite.

    Useless, am I not? :-)

  57. VCC says:

    As many have already said on here. Rocky that was simply THE best Article I have read on here since joining this site. Great stuff. I bet you could lead an army with your rallying cry.

    It’s made me want to get two tickets for Sundays game (hopelessly impossible I know)

    Beat the Spurs and we will be on a roll again. Lets secure 4th position and regroup in the summer.

    I’m begging on one knee = Has any one got an idea where I might try and obtain two tickets for Sunday, ( come on, it is my birthday this friday)

  58. chas says:

    Love the post, Rocky.

    The saboteurs have grown in number and will not be happy until they have undermined the battlements from within.

    Let’s hope Wenger can instil a siege mentality into the squad in time for next Sunday.

    Chary,WG,
    Arsenal’s best player on Saturday was Ryo Myaichi.

    Brilliant comments from Chiang Mai Steve and D98.

    Peaches,
    Can you sneak a tape recorder in? Better still, a webcam in your bra. I would say knickers but as you wear a fur coat…… :)

  59. Red Arse says:

    GM,

    WiganGooner is showing a selection of delectable asian ladies on the right hand side of the screen. They caught my eye — must be something wrong with me!! :oops:

  60. Rasp says:

    Thanks TA,

    You are the nicest person I’ve ever disagreed with :lol:

  61. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Talking of Popcorn Redders. Many Moons ago I was in the back row of a cinema with a very amorous young lady. after a bit of petting she said to me, ” The man next to me has got his cock out “, I replied, ” so have I “, she replied, ” but his one Is eating my popcorn ” !

  62. goonermichael says:

    I’ll go back and have a look again

  63. Red Arse says:

    Glic, outrageous, again!!!!! :-)

  64. VCC says:

    A farmer went out one day and bought a brand new stud rooster for his chicken coop. The new rooster struts over to the old rooster and says,’OK old fart, Time for you to retire.’
    The old rooster replies, ‘Come on, surely you cannot handle ALL of these chickens. Look what it has done to me. Can’t you just let me have the two old hens over in the corner?’

    The young rooster says, ‘Beat it: You are washed up, and I am taking over.’

    The old rooster says, ‘I tell you what, young stud. I will race you around the farmhouse. Whoever wins gets the exclusive domain over the entire chicken coop.’

    The young rooster laughs. ‘You know you don’t stand a chance, old man. So, just to be fair, I will give you a head start.’

    The old rooster takes off running. About 15 seconds later the young rooster takes off running after him.

    They round the front porch of the farmhouse and the young rooster has closed the gap.

    The farmer, meanwhile, is sitting in his usual spot on the front porch when he sees the roosters running by.

    The Old Rooster is squawking and running as hard as he can.

    The Farmer grabs his shotgun and – BLAM – He blows the young rooster to bits. The farmer sadly shakes his head and says, ‘Dammit… Third gay rooster I bought this month.’

    Moral of this Story?…
    Don’t mess with the OLD FARTS –
    Age, skill, wisdom,and a little treachery,
    Always overcome youth and arrogance!

  65. chas says:

    The following is an edited version of the post-Sunderland press conference.

    Apparently what Wenger said was, “The first trophy is to finish in the top four, and that’s still possible. I believe finishing fourth is vital for us, so let’s focus on that”. I can’t find footage of him saying it or the question which provoked it, but looking at the nature of the loaded questions he is facing in the video, it doesn’t surprise me he said it.

    I would imagine the question was something like, “What would you say to the Arsenal fans who say that not winning a trophy for 7 years is good enough for a club the stature of Arsenal?”

    The comments under the video tell a story,
    This comment……
    “Wenger always faces the press win or lose. None of the top managers do this. Respect to a classy man, the Gunners will rise again, no doubt about that.”

    has the response………
    “thats because they sell these clips online my friend, if it was free Arsene would never face the media after a toothless performance like this.”

    This sums up the ‘siege’ to me.

  66. goonermichael says:

    Why can’t I see the Asian babes on Wigan’s site

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    RA. thanks for explaining the possible meaning of ‘twot’. Great stuff. A wild animal or ‘twat’ – I can actually see some similarities :lol:

  68. goonermichael says:

    That comment chas sums up some of the moronic fans that all football clubs have. It’s really funny all the people calling for a boycott who don’t even live in this country.

  69. TotalArsenal says:

    Rasp, I can only wholeheartedly return the compliment :D

  70. Red Arse says:

    GM,

    They are advertized on the “home” screen, not the comments section. Very nice! :-) So just press “Home” when on WG, and all will be revealed!!

  71. chas says:

    GM,
    It makes me angry when protesting fans suggest that I am part of the problem by supporting my team when I attend games.
    If someone wants to give up their season ticket, then do it, but don’t fucking suggest that I have to do the same.

  72. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Poxy ManCold, I really should be outside clearing some shrubs and 3 Scots Pines ( Pinus sylvestris, much better and quicker than Mikael Silvestre ) to make way for my “Little Emirates” Log cabin, It`s a nice day aswell, maybe It`s best I stay Inside as I cant really be seen, I`ll explain. The other week I was In Micky`s neck of the Woods at RHS Rosemoor. Walking around, I somehow found myself in the ” Research Facility “, where I accidently knocked over a tube of DNA growth serum taken from a “Sequoiadendron giganteum”, It hit me and soaked through to my Todger area, I quickly disappeared , I have since been hiding In fear from some Gay Californian Lumberjacks !

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Rocky. Once again a masterful post. What other site educates as well as entertains? I have read Stalngrad (but not the Helen Dunmore) – as a you say a fine book.

    Azov must have been a bad place to live – even the unfortunate miscreants who live in N15 don’t eat their own arses – poo yes, but arses, No

  74. Red Arse says:

    I echo your comment TA, — Rasp is the nicest person who has ever ignored my comments, even working on a Sunday to avoid me!! :-)
    Cricket in the Summer……………..obviously!! :-)

    Just kidding, Rasp, —– not about you being nice — of course!!

  75. Big Raddy says:

    GLIC. Now I understand the term “getting wood”

  76. Red Arse says:

    VCC, your 1:36, :-)

    Glic, that’s not what all the gay Canadian lumberjacks sing about you — ask Rocky or GN5. :-)

  77. goonermichael says:

    I’ve pressed every button even the one that says home but still no Asian babes :(

  78. chas says:

    BR,
    Apologies for the pedant in me, but aren’t the spuddies from N17?

  79. chas says:

    GM,
    Have you got adblock on?

  80. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Raddy,
    Do I have a Wood Pecker , I here you ask ! :)

  81. kelsey says:

    My warped sense of humour.

    If you read GLIC at 1.23, then GM at 1.23 and then RA at 1.25 it reminds me of a Two Ronnies sketch :)

  82. goonermichael says:

    Don’t think so chas as there is an ad for Australia. Actually the Australia ad is because my manager was searching for flight to Perth. God knows what RA was searching for.

  83. chas says:

    Ah, intelligent ad direction. Now we know RA’s secret. :)

  84. chas says:

    Mine too, it seems, as this is what I got once I’d turned adblock off.

    http://twitpic.com/8mf5dx/full

  85. goonermichael says:

    My work PC has ads for Australia all the time. RA’s been searching for Asianbabes.com

    I doubt many of you are familiar with grinder. It’s an iphone app for gay men to find each other that uses gps. My manager has got his switched on and just tracked a client who just left. The thing is the client is married with kids and no one here knows he’s gay.

  86. goonermichael says:

    I’d rather her than a kangeroo

  87. Big Raddy says:

    chas. It is both N17 and N15. The Shithole is in N17 but much of the fetid area is N15

  88. Big Raddy says:

    I get a dating co called Zoosk on Wigan’s site. Strange – I would much prefer the Asian Babe option.

  89. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    What Is that gm, some sort of Gay SatNav, a “GayNav” !

  90. RockyLives says:

    A very good Canadian morning to you all.

    Watch out GLiC – I’ve got my plaid (sorry, check) shirt on and I’m not afraid to use my chopper. Even on saplings.

    Thanks for some great comments. I hope you don’t mind if I pick up on a few points:

    Chary and TA
    I shall acquire Helen Dunmore’s book and read it with Shostakovitch’s 7th playing in the background. It’s one of my favourite symphonies, so no hardship there.

    Rasp
    Do we need a “philosopher or a general”. Well, Stalin was no philosopher… maybe we could disappear a few of our dead wood away to the gulags.

    Shadi
    An interesting comment. I’m sure the full story of how (and whether) AW was constrained by the BoD will come out one day, maybe in his memoirs.

    JDGooner
    I tried to explain in the piece why I think we will handle a “want away” request from RvP differently to the way we handled those of Cesc and Na$ri. Apologies if I did not make my point clearly enough.

    Redders
    What can I say? As always, a brilliant and timely explanation of our real financial situation versus the perceived idea that we have gazillions to throw around on whomsoever we want.
    And your wit and humour (tautology?) every day on this site brighten my day.

    Steve
    Are you really in Chiang Mai? Or just from there? I went there once – it was brilliant.
    Anyway, what a fine, fine comment. Common sense is a rarity at the moment among the Arsenal blog world but your comment was 100% Grade A common sense.

    D98
    Ditto. It’s all about perspective and about not having an entitlement mentality. Which is not to say that we can’t criticise AW or the Board or the team, all of whom certainly deserve some censure.

    Micky and Peaches
    Stop flirting :)
    But Peaches, can you wear the fur coat next time I come over?

    VCC
    Cracking joke.
    And too true – don’t mess with the Old Farts!

    GM, Dandan and BR
    Hello to you all.

  91. As we’re comparing adverts we get on WG’s site, I come up with an ad for a give up smoking kit – but I don’t smoke, what’s with that ?

  92. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    That clip just shows how AW can’t win when it comes to dealing with the press.

  93. Rasp says:

    Haha Rocky – I blame Arsène’s mother!

    I’ve just heard Tim Payton talking on the radio about the meeting of the AST tonight – it could have been me :(

  94. Off post, but what is it with the Orks of Staffordshire(Stoke Rugby FC) and appealling each and every the red card they get ?

    Of course they shouldn’t get ANY reds as they play such a gentle, tippy-tappy form of the game !

    If I was in charge I’d double the bans for persistent frivolous appealling, the stupid “front bottoms”, as GM would put it.

  95. gunnern5 says:

    Rasp..

    He was neither a philosopher nor a General – but for sure he was a winner who showed great leadership.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………

    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

    Winston Churchill

  96. RockyLives says:

    Wiggy
    I’m not ignoring you. Your comment is on your site :)

  97. Rasp says:

    Hi GN5, as I’m sure you know, my question was rhetorical and had more to do with Arsenal’s leadership than Stalin :)

  98. gunnern5 says:

    Just having some fun Rasp.

  99. Rasp says:

    I know GN5,

    I prefer Groucho Marx’s one liners ;)

  100. RockyLives says:

    Didn’t he invent Communism in the first place Rasp?

  101. goonermichael says:

    I’ve blocked so many sites on newsnow I only really get this one and some obscure Tibetan ones

  102. kelsey says:

    RL,

    Well I am being ignored and even posted a one liner on WG’s site and that didn’t go through though there is a fishing advert on that site

  103. dandan says:

    “Figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation.” “Where there’s a will, I want to be in it,” is a type of paraprosdokian.

    1. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

    2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

    3. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

    5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

    6. War does not determine who is right – only who is left..

    7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

    8. Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good Evening,’ and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

    9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

    10. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

    11. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.

    12. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR.’

    13. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

    14. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

    15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

    16. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

    17. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

    18. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

    19. There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away.

    20. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.

    21. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
    22. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

    23. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

    24. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

    25. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

    26. Where there’s a will, there’s relatives.

  104. goonermichael says:

    I won’t ignore you kelsey

  105. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, :-)

    Just got back and it seems you are someone with a similar, but more refined humour to my own.

    I fell about laughing at the Glic and GM comments juxtaposition @1:23. :-)

    gooner lost in cornwall says:
    February 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Talking of Popcorn Redders. Many Moons ago I was in the back row of a cinema with a very amorous young lady. after a bit of petting she said to me, ” The man next to me has got his cock out “, I replied, ” so have I “, she replied, ” but his one Is eating my popcorn ” !

    goonermichael says:
    February 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    “I’ll go back and have a look again!”

    You dirty devil, GM! :-)

    The above is funny in its own right, but, surely, the final part of the paragraph must be a Freudian slip by the Glicster?
    —“The man next to me has got his cock out “, I replied
    “so have I”, she replied, ” but his one Is eating my popcorn!”

    What sort of girlfriend is that?? :-) :-) Those Canadian lumberjack are onto something!! :-)

  106. Double98 says:

    12 – Managers of Tottenham
    5 – Managers of Liverpool
    7 – Managers of Man City

    Since 1996

    Net Haul 24 managers
    _____________________
    PL0
    CL 1
    FA Cup 3
    LC 4

    Wenger
    _____________________
    PL 3
    CL 0
    FA Cup 4
    LC 0

    Net Spend 24 Managers
    _____________________
    808,000,000

    Wenger
    _____________________
    1,000,000

  107. RockyLives says:

    Hello Kelsey :)
    I was actually trying to find a Two Ronnies clip to upload in response to your comment earlier, but I eventually realised I have no idea how to upload clips.

    Chas???

    Chaaaaasss??? Can we have a classic Two Ronnies sketch please? (But not ‘Fork ‘Andles – I’ve seen that too many times).

  108. Red Arse says:

    Rocky-licious,

    Thank you for your kind comment about my wit and humour, misdirected as it is! :-)

    I do not believe it to be terminological tautology to use both in a sentence, and I have pinched part of a wonderful dissertation by Charles Brooks to define both and prove how accurate you have been!! :-)

    Wit is a lean creature with sharp inquiring nose, whereas humor has a kindly eye and comfortable girth. Wit, if it be necessary, uses malice to score a point–like a cat it is quick to jump–but humor keeps the peace in an easy chair.

    Wit has a better voice in a solo, but humor comes into the chorus best. Wit is as sharp as a stroke of lightning, whereas humor is diffuse like sunlight. Wit keeps the season’s fashions and is precise in the phrases and judgments of the day, but humor is concerned with homely eternal things.

    Wit wears silk, but humor in homespun endures the wind. Wit sets a snare, whereas humor goes off whistling without a victim in its mind. Wit is sharper company at table, but humor serves better in mischance and in the rain. When it tumbles, wit is sour, but humor goes uncomplaining without its dinner.

    Humor laughs at another’s jest and holds its sides, while wit sits wrapped in study for a lively answer. But it is a workaday world in which we live, where we get mud upon our boots and come weary to the twilight–it is a world that grieves and suffers from many wounds in these years of war: and therefore as I think of my acquaintance, it is those who are humorous in its best and truest meaning rather than those who are witty who give the more profitable companionship.

    And then, also, there is wit that is not wit. As someone has written:

    Nor ever noise for wit on me could pass,
    When thro’ the braying I discern’d the ass.

    You have elucidated the “Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde” of any comedic moments I have with a crystal clear clarity.

    I would plump for “humor” if the choice were mine to make!!

  109. RockyLives says:

    D98
    Amazing figures. Yet people still think the only way to progress is to chuck money at the wall and hope some of it sticks.

  110. Red Arse says:

    D98,

    You are a font of all knowledge! Excellento, my friend!! :-)

  111. Rasp says:

    This is one of my favourites…

  112. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    What a lovely piece of writing that is.
    “Humor laughs at another’s jest and holds its sides, while wit sits wrapped in study for a lively answer.” So true.

    Did you ever see that French film ‘Ridicule’, which is all about young men trying to outdo each other at wit in the decadent court of Versailles?
    It’s really good – and you can see how courtiers’ fortunes rose and fell depending on whether they were deemed to have skewered their rivals in wit.

    Your writings, of course, lean towards humour. But with wit hiding in your back pocket, ready to be whipped out when the wrong sort of people drop in here to cause trouble :)

  113. RockyLives says:

    Brilliant Rasp :D

  114. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    I am a bit worried about your metaphor, regarding throwing money at the wall.

    When living in an apartment with three other guys, I first heard the scatological joke about our hygiene arrangements from the girlfriend of one of the other inhabitants.

    She said that he had told her he knew when to change his underpants by the simple expedient of throwing them against a wall — if they slid down he would wear them the next day, if they stuck — he would shoot them dead and put on another pair.

    I was horrified then (I was young and impressionable – and believed her (ish) ) and I am horrified now in telling you!! :-)

  115. goonermichael says:

    D98 that would look even better if you included CL qualification. It may not be a trophy but redknapp seems to be the messiah (and a very naughty boy) and Englands saviour just for getting the scum there.

  116. Red Arse says:

    Excellent, Rasper, :-)

    I have heard and seen only snippets of their work, but it is uniquely British and so funny! :-)

  117. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    I think that GLiC fellow is rubbing off on you (oo-er misses). Best not tell Merry Terry.

    The Two Ronnies are one of my all time favourite comedy acts. Their “word play” humour (as opposed to wit!) is second to none.

    Rasp – if you can upload the Mastermind sketch, I think we’ll all enjoy a chuckle.

  118. WiganGooner says:

    What about the Four Candles? :)

    WG

  119. kelsey says:

    What is a jock strap…A nut case. Classic and brilliant.

  120. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi All,
    over the pain of the weekend, looking forward to beating Tottenham next Sunday.
    Brilliant Post Rocky, but then they always are.
    There is so much culture, education, comedy and inspiration on here, aided by genuine warmth, it has to be the best blog-site in the world.
    ArsenalArsenal is a glowing tribute to Rasp, Peaches, their assistant administrators, the authors who work tirelessly to entertain us, and everyone who makes this site the wonderful place it is.
    A big thank you to everyone, long may it continue.

  121. goonermichael says:

    I can’t have sound at work :(

  122. Red Arse says:

    Wiggy, :-)

    Before you disappear! How is it that when I visit WiganGooner, I see some very attractive Asian girls, but others see different adverts.
    Do you have software that shows us what we most want to see?

    Me = Asian ladies.
    Glic = Canadian lumberjacks
    GM = Tibetans (?)
    Raddy = Zoos (?)
    Rocky = Plaid shirts
    and Rasp isn’t letting on!!

    Do tell! :-)

  123. kelsey says:

    GM,

    The sketch is over, your timing is impeccable :)

  124. goonermichael says:

    You’re always very welcome Herb. You make a great contribution.

  125. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Pop around here gm, I`ve got tons of the stuff all from Padstow !

  126. kelsey says:

    RA,

    I can answer that I think. It depends what part of the world or even country your server is based.
    Every site I go on has dating asian girls, finance for ex pats and funeral arrangements.

  127. goonermichael says:

    I get Australia RA.

  128. gunnern5 says:

    What do you call a homosexual’s athletic supporter?

    A fruit cup.

  129. Red Arse says:

    Herb, your a good gut yourself! :-)

    You always get the chat flowing!!

    Speaking of which, you said:
    “There is so much culture, education, comedy and inspiration on here, aided by genuine warmth, it has to be the best blog-site in the world.
    ArsenalArsenal is a glowing tribute to Rasp, Peaches, their assistant administrators, the authors who work tirelessly to entertain us, and everyone who makes this site the wonderful place it is.”

    I totally agree with all you say — you included — but I was hoping you would have also said; “and the Yankee weirdo too!” :-)

  130. Red Arse says:

    Darn!!

    “gut” = “guy” — sorry! :-)

  131. Rasp says:

    RA, It’s not software on Wiggy’s computer, its your computer placing google ads in slots on WG’s site – its cleverly tailored to the users ‘tastes’ – which is why I get adverts for antidepressants :?

  132. WiganGooner says:

    @ Rasp

    You have impeccable taste :) – I jest of course

    In confirmation, its just google ads, I thought I’d give it a run to see if it generated any revenue….it’s not worth anything at all sadly! :)

    WG

  133. gunnern5 says:

    The first jockstrap was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974.

    It took 100 years for men to realize that the brain is also important.

  134. WiganGooner says:

    @Herb

    In agreement with the rest of the bloggers on here. You are a great debator and I enjoy your input. You are a superb, direct and classy blogger – I like the cut of your jib.

    WG

  135. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    Is there a link? Beautiful Asian girls, finance, death? Depends on one’s age I suppose? Bit like this maybe? :-)

    An older couple were lying in bed one night. The husband was falling asleep, but the wife was in a romantic mood and wanted to talk. She said: “You used to hold my hand when we were courting.”

    Wearily he reached across, held her hand for a second and tried to get back to sleep.

    A few moments later she said: “Then you used to kiss me.”
    Mildly irritated, he reached across, gave her a peck on the cheek and
    settled down to sleep.

    Thirty seconds later she said: “Then you used to bite my Neck…”

    Angrily, he threw back the bed clothes and got out of bed.
    “Where are you going?” she asked.

    “To get my teeth!”

    I’m becoming worried that I know too many jokes about the September of peoples lives!! :-)

    Still I suppose age will get all of us one day! :-)

  136. kelsey says:

    WG,

    Why am I in moderation on your site.?

    RA: It is quite appropriate in the order that it was written.:)

  137. Red Arse says:

    WG,

    Is that right? Google is offering us ads it thinks we would like?

    Poor old Raddy — Zoos, eh? But Rocky Elvis – plaid shirts? Sheesh!
    I have just got to get those two and Rasper out on the razz!! :-)

    When I’m fit lads — we will rock and roll!! :-)

  138. WiganGooner says:

    @RA

    Oddly I get offers for make-up and “cartoon yourself” ads….I’m not sure what to make of it…

    My sub-conscious must be browsing by itself!

    WG

  139. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    You are in moderation because you are a very naughty boy!!

  140. kelsey says:

    Rasp may well be right but many links that you click on especially anything to do with health give a reply e mail in a form of an advvert.

    I have got enough Viagra until Arsenal next do the quadruple.

  141. Red Arse says:

    That’s serious, WG, — we need to talk about these fetishes — after all, look at what happened to the Rasper!! :-)

  142. Rasp says:

    Better swallow that Viagra quickly kelsey or you’ll get a stiff neck :?

  143. WiganGooner says:

    @RA

    I know! I’ll have to have a word with ‘er indoors and make sure she hides her make-up, I clearly don’t need encouragement :)

    WG

  144. goonermichael says:

    The Real Gunner @TheRealGunner
    Reply RetweetedRetweet
    Delete
    FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details Isn’t it just?”@reznuk: Mike Dean reffing the North London Derby and Phil Dowd as 4th Official. Going to take quite something to beat that.”

    I sneaky bet on us losing wouild be a good idea

  145. Red Arse says:

    Chas,

    I love that willy, dilly and silly!!! I actually quite like cricket – well 20-20 and some 50-50 games.

    But “Johners” (?) has a posh English schoolboy humor and makes me laugh just to hear him!! Brilliant. :-)

  146. goonermichael says:

    11 games since we won with dean reffing us :(

  147. Herb'sArmy says:

    Thanks GM, WG and RA.
    On a side note, RA, I too have American blood thanks to my Gran.

  148. WiganGooner says:

    @GM

    Hmm Dumb and Dumber …. brilliant, just when we need something to go our way we get the chuckle brothers in charge of the officiating!!

    WG

  149. goonermichael says:

    Its’corruption. Don’t mistake it for incompetance.

  150. Red Arse says:

    Herb, welcome brother! :-)

    Chas,

    Do you happen to know the episode I mentioned above — again with Johnners commentating, where he talks about “the batsman is Willy, the bowler is Dilly and the keeper is (?).

    It is just so great — if you can get it that would be worth listening to. — It always makes me cry with laughter, and I don’t even know who he is talking about!! :-)

  151. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    If I had the time I`d watch all those Two Ronnies stuff, not only Is It funny ,It Is such clever stuff. I miss Morecambe and Wise, Dads Army and others, but I also love the Satire and Irony of shows like Mock the Week and 8 out of Ten Cats which I cant get enough of, I do miss Frankie Boyle from being on Mock` though, shame the Beeb censored him!.

  152. Red Arse says:

    I blame you Glic!

    I just went back on WiganGooner, and now it is showing me a bunch of Cornish pixie pies – or something. Bring back my babes!! :-(

  153. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Fantastic post Rocky,

    Been a keen student of history, the Germans made an awful tactical mistake attacking Stalingrad, a bit like Chelsea. Sod em anyway, the Bastards bombed my Cretan grandads yard during the war and killed some chickens and a goat.

    I liked that financial post from Redders, we are in essence a break even club. If you take away the 20 mil for the loan payment and the 20 mil for the lost sponsership revenue, thats 40 mil lost. the good news is that the sponsership problem will soon be aleviated, and the loan vaule is been eroded by inflation, which will leave more dosh to pay top dollar wages and procure new players. Good times ahead.

  154. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Redders,
    I always thought the classic one was, England Vs West Indies, ” The Bowlers Holding (Michael), the Batsmans Willey (Peter) ” . Something along them lines. :)

  155. Big Raddy says:

    RA. It is Zoosk – a Dating site. Which given my chequered past is very amusing.

    Not sure at all why that ad – I have never been on a dating site, though perhaps, Mrs Raddy has :-D

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    “The bowler’s Holding, the batsman’s Willy”.
    Evening all.

  157. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry CliC you got there first.

  158. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Micky,
    Thats ok, I didn`t know If I dreamt It up, thanks for confirming It !

  159. Big Raddy says:

    RA. I forgot to thank you for leading me through the financial situation in a manner which even a fool such as I can follow (thanks Elvis P)

  160. Red Arse says:

    Raddy,

    WG’s site is opening up a whole new meaning to blogging! :-)
    Not been on that dating site ——- oh, yeah? they all say that — go on — blame poor Mrs Raddy — typical male!!
    Errm, I’m beginning to sound like Peaches!! :-)

    Glic, we are friends again! That is it — the bowler’s Holding the batsman’s Willey — absolutely wonderful!! :-) Come on Chas, you can find it!! Please!! :-)

  161. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Terry,
    Thank God they didn`t bomb the telescope factory, the Peeping gene would never have been handed down ! :)

  162. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Delighted the Danish Food Parcel arrived. I was fearful the Customs Nazi’s would steal it.

    Hope you enjoyed the biscuits which come from here …..

    http://www.bornholm.info/en

    The village in the pic, where the biscuit factory is specialises in smoked fish. Tip Top stuff

  163. Big Raddy says:

    RA. ;-)

    GLIC. LOL

  164. Red Arse says:

    Raddy,

    The finance comment was triggered by Rocky’s Post and I just wrote it as it came to mind. I am relieved it made some sense. :-) Thank you.

    I was determined not to write any more boring accounting or scientific comments, (GIE does it so much better) but — and it is clearly Rocky Elvis’ fault — I had typed it with my fingers flying over the keyboard and posted it without thinking, because I wanted to support the maestro’s excellent headline Post. Phew!! :-)

  165. kelsey says:

    Just been reading the lefties site and it appears Wenger sets the wages and therein lies the problem.All these players on loan or haven’t been a success are on big wages and if they can’t be sold the club are obligated to pay them regardless if they play or not. This therefore dramatically effects the war chest of around 50 million .if the loan deal ends they are effectively on our wage bill again.So it’s a bit of a conundrum.

  166. RockyLives says:

    Terry
    Thanks for the comment.
    Sorry to hear your grandad was a cretin. :(

  167. Red Arse says:

    Terry darling, I want you to know that I thought of the cretin joke too, but unlike that awful Rocky, I suppressed it and the telescope!!

  168. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, ive never thought about it like that before. I dont normally swear, but thank fuck for that.

  169. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    No worries Redders, Rocky, ime just delighted the old git survived and the telescope was undamaged hahahaha.

  170. Red Arse says:

    I have to go, but before I do, I want you to leave me some advice on something important!

    I have been invited to a Pajama Party!! Yep, a party for pajama wearers only!

    Thing is I am 6′ 5″ and some of the women, I suspect are going to be a lot shorter than that. My pajamas do up with a waist cord and do not have fly buttons. I am worried that my fly and the eyeline of some may come into conflict.

    What is the etiquette in these circumstances? Peaches?

  171. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Commando RA, always on these occasions!

  172. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    For Gods sake Redders, what ever you do, dont take any of Kelseys magic pills before you get there.

  173. Red Arse says:

    OK, Micky, but what if a Peacher look-a-like turns up?

    Is everyone committed to carry on and pretend nothing is happening — even if it is?

    Elvis, you have been to a lot of these parties, as a man of experience, what goes down when things go up, so to speak?

  174. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Redders,
    Just tell them your a Snake charmer by day and have to bring your work home with you , or If thats stretching It a bit, tell them your a worm charmer !

  175. Red Arse says:

    Check, Terry, sound advice, sadly Viagra is not yet necessary and things, or thing, has a mind of his own — the dirty sod!!

  176. Love to comment further but got to fly.

  177. Red Arse says:

    Glic,

    Excellent advice, a python charmer it is then.

    What if he escapes?

  178. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Or stick a syrup on your todger and say, ” I hope you didn`t mind me bringing my “piggy back” carrying mate big nose Terry along” !

  179. Red Arse says:

    Got to slink off — I have still got two days to work this out…………..or in preferably.

    Leave your advice, in my absence!!

  180. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    What if you wear the pyjama bottoms the wrong way round Redders. hahaha

  181. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    If he escapes ?, then pray !. there will be a lot of tears shed with a house full of screaming axe wielding women !

  182. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    God I`m good, I should be an Agony Aunt for the sexually unhinged disturbed loonies on here, I always knew my historical experiences would come In handy some day ! :)

  183. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Redders,
    Hope this ain`t too late, but dont forget to take the large tub of Popcorn !

  184. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky Masterpiece. That is all

  185. Gooner In Exile says:

    Right back to the comments I see RA has been trying to show the maths, well played sir, I will go have a little read and make sure everyone understood it.

  186. Gooner In Exile says:

    Less of the lolloping!

  187. Red Arse says:

    To lollop = to walk or run in a relaxed way! :-)

  188. GhostFace says:

    Very much enjoyed reading the post.

    Thanks for sharing.

    I might think its filled with incredibly pro-Wenger delirium.

    But its a fine post nonetheless.

    Arsenal is never the problem.

    Arsene Wengers Arsenal is.

    Biblical times, Herod himself was a great King, His architectural prowess and his business savy mind made Jerusalem the attraction of the World.

    As time went on he became quite mad and started to burn things down to the ground ergo destroying his own legacy.

    When you are under seige as you say so and you turn to your own compratriots and begin to shoot yourself in the foot as well as the people around you then maybe its time for the A rich Billionaire aka a Roman to save the day.

    Because lets face it. Even though your article was quite brilliant it still cannot hide the fact that last summer was an failure of Epic porportions by the manager.

    Ditto January.

  189. Gooner In Exile says:

    Thankfully I got an ad to link my twitter account on WG’s site :D

    Phew

  190. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA not according to Dictionary.com

    “Move in an ungainly way in a series of clumsy paces or bounds: “the bear lolloped along the path”.” :D

    My mum always used to tell me off for lolloping round on the sofa, she obviously didn’t know what it meant.

    Talking of my Mum there was a ticket or two for the Spuds game on the weekend going on Arsenal.com, Ticket Exchange or you can sit at the back of Clock End for £59 regular, I was sitting with her having a cup of tea as I saw it, she saw my eyes light up and then said I’m not allowed to go unless her and my Dad get two tickets together to balance up my bad luck influence :(

  191. Red Arse says:

    You are a good “Jonah”, GIE. :-)

    Yeah, because I was tall like you, I was always called a lolloping loon, GIE, but MacMillans defines it as I said above, but it might have also said “but not graceful” however I rejected that bit — I’m very gracefull – almost balletic, and I am sure you are too!! :-)

    Oops, got to go – I’m late!! :-)

  192. LB says:

    GhostFace

    What a shock to see you at this juncture, it’s funny you were no where to be seen when we beat Chelsea at their ground whatever it is called.

  193. LB says:

    It is a bit odd GhostFace that you only comment when things are bad, there is a name for people like that, now what are they called, hmmmm, something to do with N17, I can’t put my finger on it.

  194. LB says:

    I’ve got it they are banned words

  195. chas says:

    RA,
    This site has some more of that wonderful voice in the Gaffes and Giggles section.

    http://www.johnners.com/

    Couldn’t find the Dilley, Willey etc with Brian Johnston commentary, only this…

  196. Brigham says:

    Did anyone catch the Barcelona v Valencia match last night? Cesc played well and was subsituted around the 65th minute mark. As he walked off the pitch something must have been said because Guardiola grabbed around the back of his neck and shoved him quite hard towards the bench. Very strange reaction indeed.

  197. Brigham says:

    Here is the clip, I got the time of substitution wrong, but you will see what I meant.

  198. VCC says:

    Bring him home.

  199. Gooner In Exile says:

    Right Twitter updates from AST first up:

  200. Gooner In Exile says:

  201. RockyLives says:

    Just back from the cinema with youngest son.

    Saw Tintin, since you ask. Quite enjoyable.

    Redders
    As to your party dilemma, please follow this link, as it might offer a solution to your worries:

    http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=male+chastity+belt&hl=en&gbv=2&biw=1325&bih=722&tbm=isch&tbnid=V1HbFE_Q2asbPM:&imgrefurl=http://gizmodo.com/299625/male-chastity-belt-preferable-to-eunuchizing&docid=zAq-iBiNa2oAZM&imgurl=http://gizmodo.com/assets/resources/2007/09/chastitybelt.gif&w=239&h=356&ei=zLVCT5zuNuri0gHUnY2-Bw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=702&vpy=128&dur=3359&hovh=274&hovw=184&tx=113&ty=131&sig=111895749483254037715&page=1&tbnh=172&tbnw=114&start=0&ndsp=16&ved=0CEwQrQMwAw

    Tom
    Thanks – glad you enjoyed.

    GF
    Long time no see. Thanks for the comment. As it happens I agree that last summer was badly handled, probably through a combination of AW and the BoD and the fact that Kroenke had not got to grips with things fully at Arsenal. I’m expecting lessons to have been learnt. I know that you and others will be doubtful that such lessons have been learnt. Time will tell.

  202. Gooner In Exile says:

  203. RockyLives says:

    Thanks GiE
    Interesting stuff.

  204. chas says:

    Cesc looks like he’s laughing after Guardiola shoves him.

    Someone tweeted (can’t remember who) that Arsenal might fail to comply with FFP if we don’t qualify for Champs League.

  205. SharkeySure says:

    http://www.talksport.co.uk/magazine/features/2012-02-16/10-reasons-arsenal-fans-should-stop-whining-and-support-arsene-wenger

    Surprisingly sensible considering the source.

    I wonder if this is their new ‘shock tactic’, telling Arsenal fans that we aren’t so badly off. I guess their old ‘Arsenal are shit’ headlines are becoming a bit passe at the moment, and no longer generate the volume of callers and responses that they need so badly need.

    Apologies to CorkyElvis…not read your post yet. Will do when the sun rises….

    Or should that be if the sun rises tomorrow..?? The world is coming to an end following our two losses on the bounce right..??

    Night all…fingers crossed for tomorrow (that it actually arrives !)

  206. goonermichael says:

    I get the feeling that most fed up gooners will only be happy when usmanov takes over.

    I find it funny that the people who think everything has gone to shit since dein left and think kronke is rubbish forget that dein brought kronke in.

  207. goonermichael says:

    Eastmond is going on loan to wycombe for a month. I hope we sell that one.

  208. Gooner In Exile says:

    GM 10:51 I think that’s called irony :)

  209. Wombledin says:

    What a pretentious load of cobblers this article is, and offensively flippant too. A better analogy is that Arsene Wenger and the Board are the leaders of the Nazi party hobbled up in their bunkers, delusional that there is still a chance of victory and refusing to change their plans and ordering the depleted troops to fight to the death believing the true German aryan values and purity will prevail (Arsenal’s ‘values’ are so much better than everyone). Only a couple of weeks ago Wenger still said we had a chance of winning the title ffs. All the loyally blind and obedient Hitler worshippers never lost faith that Heir leader would prevail and was infallable and you are the same. Your optimism that Wenger will finally change his ways this season has blind optimism and loyalty. Wenger will never change his ways, even if the salary cap is scrapped. He will just give even fatter contracts to the mediocrity he already badly overrates. Like Nazi Germany, what they needed was removal of the delusional dictator and total regime change.

  210. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    He also introduced Usmanov. How interesting It would be to know what would be happening now if their shares were the otherway around , would we have kept anyone ?, would we have bought anyone different ?. Hmmm , It`s a curious thought.

  211. TotalArsenal says:

    Womble, I think you are totally right mate: sack Wenger and get Angela Merkel.

  212. Gooner In Exile says:

    A couple of weeks ago? Really? Must have missed that press conference.

    Wombledin tell me why you think we have changed, why Wenger changed…..because that’s the one thing I can’t get my head round. You talk as if he has always been like this, that his stewardship has always been about bringing through youth and selling on. Do you think that in fact he has had his hand forced and do you think that maybe it is because he loves the club as much as we do that he has stayed with us to see us through a difficult spell pf limited finances and now great personal cost to his legacy? In fact he has shown much more loyalty to the club than many fans have shown him the players or the club lately.

    Now that’s if you believe as I do that his spending is limited. Given what was said at the AST regarding the transfer budget being for transfer fee, agents fees and signing on fees, wages and re signing fees. Is it not a surprise we sold some of the talent. What would it have cost to sign Nasri or Clichy on a new deal when they and their agents have commission from a big transfer fee on offer. And increased wages.

    Chas there is talk of us not meeting FFP requirements but I think it’s a bit scaremongering. Don’t forget the measurement period is three years and we as a publicly traded company can be (from memory) 10% overspent over that period. It started this year and the timing of sales of Cesc and Nasri probably means we go into the three year period with a healthy cushion.

  213. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the comment Womble.

    Apart from the offensive tone at the beginning you make a reasonable point and draw a reasonable counter-analogy.

    Although as someone clever once said: “When people say ‘sentimental’ they usually mean ‘under my defences’ and when people say ‘pretentious’ they usually mean ‘over my head'”.

    However, if you felt like expanding on your riposte I am sure the site guardians would be delighted to publish a headline post from you. Details of how to do so can be found in the “Be Our Guest” tab at the top of the page.

    Be careful though. If you write a headline post you can sometimes attract all sorts of hit-and-run merchants with abusive comments and, dare I say it, a flippant tone.

  214. kelsey says:

    Tim Payton interviewed last night from the AST claims accounts to be published show an increase of wage bill to 130 million(Spurs 90 million).
    Djourou’s new contract 50K a week.

    Other questiuons to be asked to the board later this week.

    Pep is on a rolling contract at Barcelona and recently spent a long weekend at Wenger’s house.

    I am not impying anything,just what was broadcast.

  215. Red Arse says:

    Brilliant riposte Rocky, to Wobblin, I think he needed Micky to give him the Samaritan’s ‘phone number! :-)

    TA, loved your humorous response, too!! :-)

  216. Red Arse says:

    Morning Kelsey, :-)

    You are up too early! Go back to bed!! :-)

  217. Red Arse says:

    And morning to you too Raddy, sorry. :-)

  218. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all.

    Kelsey, he has been saying a lot on twitter lately too. What I don’t like is that they want a working relationship with the club, but when reporting the wage figures don’t seem to use the caveat “we understand” or “a source tells us”. This adds to the cloudy confusion that is perceived about the club because the AST broadcast these numbers (which may be true) as if the club have told them officially. They have as little chance of having this info revealed as Usmanov surely? If they do have a source and are revealing true information the club might as well run a press release.

    They report that we have a playing staff of 71, it’s not like the number is ridiculous compared to United or Chelsea but in isolation the reaction is “too many”. They compare our wages with Spuds. But we still have a lower wage bill than the two other CL perennials United and Chelsea. If Spurs want to retain players when they are in the shop window every week in the CL they will have to find a much higher wage scale to keep the wolves from the door.

    There was consternation that Park could be on twice Ox’s salary, given the uproar that we had spent another load of money on a teenager in the Summer I find the uproar that he is not being paid as much as Park as ironic as I found GMs comment about those that want Dein back (the man who wanted us to traipse to Wembley every week and initially brought in both Kroenke and Usmanov by selling shares)

  219. Red Arse says:

    Morning, GIE. :-)

    I just read your reasoned response to Wobble in the early hours, and like Corky Elvis you were a model of calm reasonableness, well done! :-)

    It is shocking when apparently intelligent people are incapable of writing (saying) anything approaching a balanced critique, but pile in with pure bile, however valid some of their points may be. :-(

    Your comment at 7:34 is spot on, too. Oh well!

  220. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA thanks I’m back in defend to the death at all costs the thing that I hold dear mode. :)

    Rockys post must have lifted me from my recent malaise.

    And also I get to see the boys in red and white tonight with TotalArsenal, should be fun. Obviously hoping Arsene has made his way to Norwich to see the reserves too and we will get an AA exclusive. ;)

  221. chas says:

    Morning all,
    GIE,
    I agree it’s probably scaremongering about FFP. Do you think the club would allow itself to be in a position where we didn’t comply if we weren’t in the CL for a few years?

    I never quite understand what goes on at these AST meetings. I see the tweets and reports and wonder where the information comes from. Is the purpose of the meetings to disseminate information or to plan a strategy moving forward? I can never quite make it out.

    Hopefully the RHWP will be able to give us some clearer picture of the whole operation.

  222. SharkeySure says:

    Corky, I’ve almost run out of superlatives to describe your posts, espevially when they’re this good.

    Masterpiece !!!!

  223. Good morning all.
    Just digesting the tweets from last nights AST.
    So on the whole we are break even. We have no money. If we do not qualify for Champions League we run the risk of being in breach of financial fair play (ironic!).
    On the whole, The Wenger Haters have been wrong and the man has done miracles!

  224. kelsey says:

    I kept thinking of your pyjama problem RA, in fact it gave me night mares :)
    GIE,
    I accept fully what you say and none of our players wages are ever made public, and why should they be.Payton is concerned and alleged two of the AST are prominent people in the City and in a nutshell are really asking what Usmanov wants to find out himself i.e. a breakdown of our players wages.
    It was also mentioned that Wenger wants a parity in wages throughout the squad but I feel the right to question that a player like Djourou who has been at the club for several years and is on a downward slope in performances would be on such high wages, wouldn’t you.

    I also have to say that in principal I agree that the financial stability of the club is first and foremost and we will see in time if it bares fruition.
    This has nothing to do with not supporting the club or the fact that the whole struture of wages is wrong. Read ACLF’s headline post yesterday it explains it very well.
    If and I stress if Wenger is solely responsible for the players wages he is going to have a very difficult time shipping out the deadwood and therefore not being able to buy one or two quality players.
    I mentioned this yesterday and no one replied, but it concerns me greatly.
    You surely can this this scenario.
    It was also mentioned last night that failure to qualify for the CL will cost the club 40 million.
    Our chairman publically quoted that ” We don’t want your kind here” (Kroenke) and a year later he was on the board.
    Wenger factually has been our greatest manager and now he says 4th would be like winning a trophy.

    I still think RVP will stay but we need leaders apart from him on the pitch and I just get the feeling looking at AW that the stress and passion for the club he loves has titled him over and maybe he can’t make as many right decisions as before. Why I am not sure, but as usual it is my own interpretion of events.

  225. LB says:

    I am no a Dein lover and I certainly do not believe he is some sort of saviour waiting in the wings but to knock him over the idea of moving to Wembley is wrong.
    Common sense and logic answer this question: it was ageed that a new ground needed to be found, suggestions were put forward, Wembley was muted, Wembley was regected when the better option of Ashburton Grove became a realistic possiblity. The idea that Dein would have prefered Wembley to where we are now is daft.

  226. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey I don’t disagree we would all like it out in the open, but until PL or UEFA rules demand its out in the open we will never see it from Arsenal or anyone else. And sure if Djourou is on £50k a week that would need examining. The only thing is we don’t know what he is on, and we don’t know what the PL average is for his type. I have no idea what Johnny Evans is on at ManUre but I’m guessing it’s not the £10k a week some think we should pay JD.

    I guess the CL shortfall comes from commercial deals too, given the size of Spud and Dippers recent deals without guaranteed CL I think that we can make up the balance. But we will have a tricky couple of years in the interim where we will see little movement if we fail to qualify.

    PHW has never been the greatest spokesman but his original stance was more than likely softened by Usmanov and Deins join venture which was clearly a vehicle to take the club from the current owners control.

  227. evonne says:

    Rocky – great post. I certainly hope that you are right and we can do the Stalingrad.
    Eating dogs??? yeeeek, I’d rather die

  228. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    You should take the reports coming from the AST meeting more seriously and stop looking for reasons to discredit its findings.

    If Djourou has really been given 50k a week (who knows?) then whoever is responsible for that decision is a moron of the highest order and that kind of management of our resources will see us decline further into mediocrity.

  229. chas says:

    kelsey, he didn’t say ‘4th would be like winning a trophy’.

    He said, “The first trophy is to finish in the top four, and that’s still possible. I believe finishing fourth is vital for us, so let’s focus on that”, probably in reply to yet another question about us being trophyless for 7 years.

    He was looking forward, attempting to salvage something from this tempus horribilis while facing a barrage of questions designed to push him towards resignation.

    I dismay when some detractors try to paint a picture of Wenger holding an open-top parade through Islington holding a cardboard cup with ‘4th’ on the side.

    In essence he said, let’s save something from this hideous mess.

  230. chas says:

    Rasp,
    Has peaches written or is writing a post on last night’s meeting?

  231. Red Arse says:

    LB, you have a point.

    I do NOT know what went on between Dein and Fizman that caused them to fall out so spectacularly, but the “Wembley Scenario” figured high in the split.

    Why?

    If I were to guess, I believe Dein wanted to keep the club’s costs to a minimum, by not building a stadium, while increasing its income from selling more seats at the existing Wembley, and selling Highbury, so that cash could be more readily made available for spending on players.

    Sounds sensible, except Fizman believed Wembley would have to be knocked down and rebuilt (which has happened anyway) so costs would still be incurred and it also would have meant moving Arsenal away from its fanbase.

    Irreconcilable differences? On your way Deino! The Messiah? No; just a very naughty boy!! :-)

    Both of them loved Arsenal (and the dosh) but they could not agree what was the best solution. Fizman was right, I suspect.

  232. Rasp says:

    Morning chas,

    You are correct, finishing 4th is the imperative target, failure to do so on the verge of FFP coming in would be very damaging.

  233. Rasp says:

    Morning chas,

    I don’t believe that peaches is able to write a report today (and maybe not tomorrow), she will no doubt give her view on the AST meeting at some point. From what I know, the various reports on the web give a pretty accurate account, but others with first hand knowledge will be able to tell you more.

  234. kelsey says:

    chas,

    It’s how you put the spin on it. he could just have said that our aim now is to finish in the top 4 and I wasn’t trying to analyse anything. I think he has been let down big time by maybe some players, the board and maybe his judgement is at the moment a little foggy.
    I am not trying to discredit the man, but as GIE pointed out last week in Milan he stayed rigid, sat in the dug out.Is that the Wenger of old.

  235. chas says:

    I’ve seen so many figures bandied about in the last 12 hours, I haven’t a clue what to think. It seems as though just one person needs to comment that Squillaci is on 60k for it to become the truth a few hours later. I’m fast coming to the conclusion that the internet is to blame for a lot of the destabilisation (not for the poor season, I hasten to add). Are we contributing in some way to all of this. I’d hope we were a positive force partially redressing the balance.

  236. Red Arse says:

    Morning to you too Rasp! :-)

    You said, “You should take the reports coming from the AST meeting more seriously and stop looking for reasons to discredit its findings.”

    That’s fair enough — what findings are we not taking seriously?
    I, for one, don’t know what was said or what the purpose of the AST meeting was, or read any findings, or know anything else, except I understand they were looking for ‘answers’ from Kroenke.

    Do tell! :-)

  237. Rasp says:

    Hi chas,

    One thing is undeniable, failure to get into the CL next year will cost the club in the region of £45m and that money will have to be found for us to ‘balance the books’.

    The hope that we may still be able to keep RvP even if we don’t get into the CL could be spurious since we may have to sell him to make up the shortfall.

  238. chas says:

    Thanks Rasp,

    I always struggle to separate out the truth from the speculation from these meetings.

    Already this morning I’ve read some lambasting the club and manager for the info that came from the meeting and others suggesting how brilliantly we are doing to stay competitive under such difficult circumstances.

    I just want the facts, but they’re always slanted by the viewpoint of who’s describing them.

  239. kelsey says:

    RA,

    I have already posted what TimPayton said on Radio 5 live last night and these questions will be raised with Kroenke this week.
    he may have asked other questions like how do you accomodate a 6 foot 5 Arsenal supporter in his pyjames in the lower tier.

  240. Rasp says:

    Morning RA,

    I wasn’t referring to you specifically, its just I wanted to nip in the bud any attempts to discredit what the AST are doing as I believe they are in the main level headed educated individuals who are trying to make sense of what is happening to our club.

  241. kelsey says:

    Rasp,

    I think you are jumping the gun a bit .let’s not speculate too much for the moment.

  242. chas says:

    Rasp,
    I thought yesterday’s news was that £50m odd was available but needs to be kept aside for just that eventuality, wasn’t it?

  243. Red Arse says:

    Well Peaches was there last night, Rasper, so I can agree with you 100%. :-)

    I am sorry, I did not actually think you were referring to me, as I had not said anything, but I was being my usual ‘tongue in cheek’ self as you amused me by your “brooking no nonsense” tone in your opening para.

    Sorry, I try to curb my humor but it isn’t easy!! :-)

    Kelsey, the minute you hear anything about helpful advice from the AST about pyjama parties – let me know immediately!! :-)

  244. Rasp says:

    Yes chas, that may well be the case, but we are in trouble if we do not have any money to invest in the squad. We wouldn’t want to risk letting RvP go on a free – we never had any intention of doing that with Na$ri whatever the club said. I wrote a post to that effect in the summer and also one that predicted we would struggle to make the CLK this season.

  245. Morning all

    I don’t have time to write something for today but I hope to for tomorrow.

    Just sorting todays post

  246. New Post ……………..

  247. chas says:

    peaches,
    I hope you don’t think I was putting pressure on you to write something, I was only wondering. :)

    RA,
    Did you see my comment about Brian Johnston after you left last night?

  248. chas says:

    The following is from LG. If true, I find it shocking.

    “As we’ve reported before, there is at least £25mill worth of dross in the wage bill. We can’t move them on. This has been compounded over the years by a trick Wenger uses to get around the banks stipulation he must invest 25% of transfer proceeds back into the squad. Instead if buying players, he signs his current ones up to new inflated deals.

    We’ve known about this for a while. I find it utterly disgraceful this has been allowed to carry on.

    The fact is, we can afford mega wages. Wenger doesn’t have a wage cap. He has an amount of money to play with. The fact he chooses to give JD £50k, Diaby £60k and Denilson £60k directly hinders his ability to pay Robin £160k pw.

    United don’t pay their fringe players anywhere near what we do. Wes Brown was on £18k pw, he knew he was part of something special though. We have players who are fat off big salaries. Who play for PAYE not glory.”

  249. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp I am not wanting to discredit the “findings” I want to analyse. And all I ask is for them to stick to the facts they have rather than speculate and report any info from
    inside sources as if its gospel like so many tabloids do.

    So much is sensationalised and everyone is focussing on wages for individual players rather than discussing the other truth that wages are 55% of revenue compared to PL average of 85%. It is not the AST I have a problem with it is the headlines that come from the meetings, and the reaction is based on AST being given this info by the club. I think Everton found out earlier this year why you should never give the info to the fans groups as it won’t be kept secret.

  250. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey,
    I may have misunderstood, but are you now referring to the contents of the RA pyjama bottoms a the “lower tier?”

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