Another Seven Years without a Trophy?

How to be a happy Gooner, despite not winning any silverware for seven years and counting!

About twenty years ago, I read for the first time, the well-known ‘Management’ bestseller ‘Seven habits of highly effective people’ by Stephen Covey. The one bit I still remember clearly from Covey’s book is ‘Habit two’: ‘Begin with the end in mind’. He asks his readers to imagine their own funeral: who they would like to attend and what they would like the key people in their life – partner, son/daughter, best friend and best colleague/boss, etc – to say about them. Once readers have envisaged what these dear-to-them-people ideally should say at their funeral, Covey instructs his readers to turn the content of these imaginary speeches into their personal, lifelong objectives.

For a long time, I thought this was very powerful, until I spoke about this to a good friend of mine, who had an instant and very potent response: ‘what really matters is what you think about yourself’. And she was right, of course.

By now, you will be asking: but what has this got to do with football, with Arsenal, for heaven’s sake! Well, I would like you to think for a moment about what really matters with regards to your and my beloved Arsenal.

Let’s return to Covey’s slightly macabre idea of envisaging your own funeral, but this time, to the period just before your future death (hopefully very, very far away!).

You have some time left, and are not in too much pain and still very lucid by brain, so there is time to reflect on your life, and even some time to reminisce about Arsenal. Your lifelong, best Gooner mate is with you as well.

What will be your finest memories about Arsenal? What will you choose to talk about with your mate? And what will you choose to watch again?

One thing I am pretty sure about is, you will not be looking very long at statistics of how many cups we have won in our history, or even during the time you were alive, or where we are positioned in the all time league of best clubs in the UK and Europe. I am also pretty sure that you will not be looking very long, if at all, at a picture of the Arsenal trophy cabinet, however impressive it is.

As time is of the essence, you will want to make sure you’ll use it well and talk about YOUR memories, YOUR experiences that really matter, and not about objects, or facts and figures.

And there are plenty of good memories for us Gooners!

I am sure, come that time, we will be talking about the best cup final games and key title-clinching matches, but also about individual performances of sheer brilliance, about some of the best footballers that have played at Highbury and Ashburton Grove. There will also be fond memories about certain matches, which by themselves might not have led to winning silverware, but were simply a joy to experience. On top of all of that, there will be the many wonderful personal memories, often of an insignificant nature to most other Gooners.

Although I am pretty sure other periods will generate more fond memories, the recent trophy-less period of 2005-2012 will still play a key part during the final review of our time supporting Arsenal.

I bet, our home-win against Barcelona, and in particular the goals by RvP and Arshavin last season, will always remain engraved in our brains. The same goes for Fabregas’ goal, Arsenal’s second, against Milan in 2008, and Arsenal’s heroic performance with 10 men against Barcelona, in the CL final of 2006, and in particular Sol Campbell’s bullet header. And what about RvP’s phenomenal record goal scoring year in 2011, and the 2011-2012 season – epitomised by his wonder goals against Everton (home) and Liverpool (away)? And there is plenty more for us to reminisce about of from this trophy-less era!

It is also the period in which we moved to our new, 60,000+ capacity stadium, back in 2006, and in which we played some of the best ever football to have been played on UK soil. And yet, we did not win any silverware.

In the end, it is experiences and memories that matter most because objects cannot compete with experiences! It is those memories of experiences that are really important, not the number of trophies we have won. Of course, the very best memories are created by phenomenal football that leads to winning trophies, but the latter is not a necessity for us to enjoy our football. And the really good thing is that Arsenal has achieved that too, and more than once!

We don’t need to listen to the press, rival fans and, unfortunately, fellow Gooners and teasing partners, about not having won any silverware recently. What others say and think is not important, what is important is to remember the beauty and joy from the games Arsenal have played recently, because that’s what really matters in the end – that’s what we will remember more than anything else long term.

We should also not get stressed too much about winning something in the near future. Arsenal should aim for winning as much as possible, and use its resources as clever and efficient as possible to achieve this. But it might not work out, as there are – luckily, to a certain extent – no guarantees in football. Seven lean years might not be followed by seven fat ones, but seven more lean years instead.

I personally believe the ‘fat years’ are around the corner, as Arsenal has all the basics in place for a period of prolonged success, despite the enormous competition we are facing as a result of the cash-for-cups oil barons littering the football horizon.

But whatever happens, it will still be the mighty Arsenal, playing in a World-class stadium, playing World-class football, under the guidance of a World-class manager, who is the most loyal to playing the beautiful game of all managers. On the way, Arsenal will be creating many more immortal footie experiences and memories. Hopefully, it will lead to us winning silverware again, but if it doesn’t, it really is not the end of the world.

But why wait till the very last days of our lives to realise this? Let’s take a deep breath and realise how good it is to be a Gooner, right now, right here.

Well, at least that’s what I will be trying to tell myself, next time I feel a mini-bout of melancholy coming over me, when realising again we have not won anything for seven years and counting.

TotalArsenal.

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151 Responses to Another Seven Years without a Trophy?

  1. kc says:

    Even if we endure another seven trophyless years, I will notlike some Gooners slate and boo the club’s personnel. Its about passion for the club.

  2. Pez says:

    Excellent piece….Pez

  3. henrychan - indonesia says:

    Eigth is a good number..
    And we will make it next years.. hehehe..

  4. Morning all, a good piece of wise advice on how to keep things in persepective when hacks and rival fans bait us incessantly about not winning trophies.

    We’ll always be reminded how long it’s been since we’ve won a trophy but such a glib way to label a football club as a failure is as empty as it is specious.

    TotalA – you also get extra marks for referring to our home as Ashburton Grove – I HATE the “E” word.

    I doff my sombrero to you, senor.

  5. dandan says:

    Last night I had a wondrous dream,
    And heard the Emirates roar;
    Cos while the spuds, were being Villafied.
    We did the Canaries by Four.
    And the Barcodes sung, to cities Toon,
    And made the manc’s the runners up
    Whilst Terry’s thoughts turned to a London court
    And Chelski lost the cup.

    Then off we went to Birmingham
    To play our final game
    Where Walcott, Gibbs and Chamberlain,
    Filled Woy’s goodbye with pain.
    But still he wrote in his note book
    Take all three to the Ukraine
    While Arsene’s happy smile just said
    Its Champions league again.

    With apologies to John Denver

  6. goonerkitt says:

    I started supporting Arsenal as soon as I knew what a football was back in the 70’s. If people think seven barren years is bad in a beautiful stadium watching beautiful football then they should try watching Arsenal matches from the Don Howe era. Even matches under George Graham could be dull, turgid affairs. People wake up, we have no divine right to win a trophy, we enter the season at the top of the pile alphabetically but we share the premiership table with 19 other teams who all want to win. We live in a new era with untold wealth being pumped into football but while this is happening we have witnessed some big names fall away (Leeds and Nottingham Forest spring to mind) The football horizon has changed and all we can do is get behind our team and try to enjoy it.
    Always a gooner and a gooner til I die.

  7. Good one doube D – you can certainly say that this DD “works wonders, works wonders” there even though, unsurprisingly, I know not of this John Denver you speak!

  8. SharkeySure says:

    To put it frankly…thats another masterpiece.

    Gets my day off to a cracking start after a disappointing evening – football results wise

  9. SharkeySure says:

    DD – No apologies to JD required, as I happen to know he’s a Gooner…he’d be proud.

  10. dandan says:

    Love that article TA thank you. But Imho after many years watching The Arse, the things you will remember most are the experiences shared and the people you shared them with, the friends, acquaintances, characters and idiots all illuminated by the floodlights and the warmth of collective memory of great times at a wonderful club, so I remember as yesterday winning the Fairs cup and losing to Swindon, Luton and Leeds and the mates I shared them with.

  11. Gus says:

    Beautiful piece.

  12. evonne says:

    TA – superb!! big thank you to you

    dandan :) lovely little poem

    GoonerKitt, KC, Gus and pez – agree!

  13. Ezigbo onyearse says:

    Amazing!

  14. Turning to last night’s results – hasn’t Lady (Footballing) Luck well and truly shat on our chips ?

    The Bus stop in Fulham decided to put out their tea ladies and under 14’s against the Bar codes and Fat Sam’s old team played in a totally spineless and gutless manner.

    I hope this concentrates the minds of our players ‘cos if we fail to get 3rd spot it will be on their heads.

    Can we get GiE to put a load of sedatives in the Canaries team coach food supplies for their journey to N5 ?

  15. rick o'shea says:

    Fabregas’ goal against Milan was the first my friend, Adebayor scored the second in injury time

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Dandan, thanks for the fine poem. I hope your dream becomes reality!

    Very good point re remembering the shared experiences and the people you shared them with.

    Coincidentally my dad, who is of a similar age as you, told me the other day one of his strongest football memories. When he was about 15 years old the local team Rapid J.C. (all players were mineworkers) played its first ever European Cup game (what now is the Champions League) against Red Star Belgrade (1956). On the way to the game my dad and granddad had to cycle up a steep hill, my dad being on the passenger seat. Although it was raining, he could see steam coming from my granddad’s back as a result of the enormous effort of cycling them both up hill. My dad was worried they would not be at the game in time; hearing the crowd in the distance, he urged his dad on to cycle faster. My granddad swore at him in the foulest language, and yet until today it is one of his dearest (footie) memories! :)

  17. Dannyboy says:

    All things Arsenal will be worth remembering in our dotage years.The invisibles,GG and his mean defence,visits to the Orcs Arena on wet windy afternoons.Last but not the least the wonderful colleagues on AA and the banter after games lose or win.Arsenal forever!

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Rick, I stand corrected! I remembered it being late in the game, so thought it was the second goal. Cheers :)

  19. Johns says:

    Load of garbage. The football we watch now from Arsenal is turgid. This team is boring. Creates few chances and the only hope of a goal is usually RVP. GG’s Arsenal at its peak was miles better than this lot. If RVP goes then the roof will cave in.

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Chary,

    The results were not ideal, but that’s how if often goes at the end of the season. The good thing is that with a win against Norwich the Chavs can not overtake us anymore, whatever happens, and the Barcodes need a win against Citeh or they will not overtake us either. So that is at least a top-four finish. That leaves us with the Spuds. Say they get at least a draw against the Villans, then we will need to match the result of the Spuds on the last day. Arsene has always been on close terms with Roy, even calling him ‘uber-qualified’ when he was at Liverpool, and I have got a feeling he will not make it too difficult for Arsenal on the final day. But then I am a rose-tinted, glass half full kind of a guy! :D

  21. Dannyboy says:

    John you are entitled to your own memories.

  22. Yeah, I see what you’re saying TotalA – the last 2 games need us, the fans and the players, to hold their nerve and go for the finish line.

    In an ideal world we’d have had 3rd spot sewn up 2 games ago, but we live in a totally un-ideal world so we just have to be brave for the last 2 games.

    Sadly I can’t be at the game on Saturday, my younger son is taking part in a speech contest so I will be on my twitter feed keeping up with the score on my phone in the audience.

    “Johns” of course you are entitled to your opinion and while I see some truth in your claim our style of play has become a tad predictable of late there’s no need to preface your opinion with a cheap shot at the post writer.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Johns, this season we have indeed seen a less attractive Arsenal, but I would not use the term ‘boring’. The games against Udinese, Dortmund, Marseille, Citeh, Chelsea (away) and the Spuds (home), etc were, in more ways than one, very attractive to watch.

    I am convinced Arsene has been playing his plan ‘B’ this season so we can finish in the top-four, after we started so badly. I expect it to change dramatically next season.

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m getting a bit sick of you TA.
    You plan things, get words all in the right order, check your spelling, have clear coherent thoughts, remain optimistic and positive and then to cap it all, you write regular entertaining as well as interesting posts.
    As far as I’m concerned, your sort can keep it. I’m not bothering anymore. No point.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Chary, a speech contest?! Wow! How does it work: does he write the speech beforehand, or does he get info there and then which he has to turn into a speech within a certain time?

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Micky,

    But, nothing compares, and nobody can compete, with the wiff-waff club post you did a few months ago! :)

  27. Ah TotalA – I was being a bit vague, it’s actually reciting a speech in hindi that he’s learned by memory, quite a challenge when we speak english as our first language at home. It’s part of a national contest so hopefully he’ll make a decent show of it.

    It’s quite embarrassing when you have english as your second language and, as MDi89 says, your posts and comments are a dam sight more coherent than those with english as a first language.

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Another fine post TA.

    As you so rightly say, it is the whole experience of being a football fan which has kept me addicted through all these years.

    I love the story of your grandfather’s back. Made me very emotional thinking of the bond that football can create between father and son.

    DD. Superb poem. Worthy of a post on it’s own.

  29. VCC says:

    Total…..That was absolute poetry.

    I have enjoyed this site for just under 12 months now, with MANY top, top posts, but I have to say that was THE best of all, right on the money.

    How right you are. Whilst reading the article it brought back many happy memories, together with a few sad ones too (unfortunately).

    Far too many to list here, over the 57 years of supporting one of the loves of my life.

    It has made me think how much Arsenal are part of my life.

    Coasters/beer mats/screen saves/shirts/phone cases/tattoo/memorabilia, etc.

    My mobile phone ring is even an Arsenal song. You can safely say ARSENAL is in my blood.

    Happy Happy memories.

    COYG

  30. mickydidit89 says:

    On the other hand TA,
    Your sort being optimistic does keep the bad 5% of me from contemplation the finishing 4th and a bad CL final outcome.
    So well done. I remain stubbornly rooted in the 95% brilliant end of season outcome camp.
    Up the Gunners. Up the Toon and Up Bayern.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Chary. That sounds great and really good of you to want to be there with him! :)

    Cheers Raddy :) It has been really hard for us Gooners to escape the whole ‘but you have not won a cup for seven years’ negativity, especially in this era of new media. As you know, it has a lot to do with setting ourselves very high expectations every season, rather than just being highly hopeful.

  32. dandan says:

    Chary …. John Denver….

  33. Danny says:

    7 years without a trophy? Been there, done that. Between doing the double in ’71 to winning league in ’89 we won one fa cup – ’79 and one milk cup ’87, simply put we had 18 very long years (+ 17 years between ’53-’70 without anything!).The new generation of fans are simply spoiled.

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    VCC,
    Re your mobile ring tone. Let’s guess.
    “One Tony Adams, there’s only……” or
    “She wore, she wore….” or
    “One Gus Caesar, there’s only one Gus…”

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Many thanks VCC :oops:

    If you can get your dog to dress up in a large number of Arsenal shirts, you are without any doubt a true Gooner :lol:

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    Danny,
    After reading Raddy’s post, I was trying to remember what the League Cup was called in those days. Milk, of course.
    Talking of trophies, I do remember slunking away from Wembley following the Pool win, and actually being far happier about having watched my team beat a then dominant Liverpool than the winning of the Trophy itself.
    ’89 was a different gether altermatter :-) (that’s how spelling should be done TA :-) )

  37. VCC says:

    Micky… I would send it to you if I had your email addy.

    You are my Arsenal
    My only Arsenal
    You make me happy when skies are grey (when skies are grey)
    You’ll never notice how much I love you
    Please never take my Arsenal away.

    To be sung when the curtains are pulled.

    Total…..My George will be wearing his Red & White Saturday morning.

  38. Danny says:

    Actually I think the year we won it, it’d been renamed the Littlewoods Cup but during the 80’s we all called it the Milk Cup.
    I wasn’t at the ’87 one but was at the ’88 Gus Caeser one…….just like I missed the ’79 classic FA Cup final but was at the ’80 disaster…There again my brother was at ’69 Swindon match!

  39. Big Raddy says:

    I was at Leeds, Swindon, West Ham, Ipswich, Liverpooll, Zaragoza etc etc.

    Sometimes it is a bastard being an Arsenal fan.

    But as TA says, without exception the days of the Final’s were great, it was just the results which are disappointing,

  40. dandan says:

    UEFA risks being left severely embarrassed with its overblown European Championship by a meeting next month in Canada, of all places.

    The European football federation – like world authority FIFA with its ‘double World Cup’ catastrophe – allowed commercialism to take precedence over sporting consideration when it decided to to expand the finals from the ‘perfect 16′ to 24 nations.

    That was fine in a different economic climate when there were football-rich western European countries queueing up. Thus France beat off Turkey for 2016, the first of the super-sized tournaments.

    But that was then. This is now.

    In January it became clear that even the French were struggling to juggle an adequate number of host cities and venues. Then, in March, UEFA suddenly decided to set a short-time mid-May deadline for expressions of interest in hosting 2020.

    Perhaps UEFA’s marketing men, in a little world of their own in Switzerland, expected a rush of bidders. If so they misjudged both the global economy and the intimidatory nature of a 24-team finals.

    Turkey, predictably after the 2016 near-miss, leaped at it. The powerful German federation said Yes then, last week, came to its senses and said No.

    Whispers of a joint bid by Azerbaijan and Georgia had been heard. But, never mind the desperate problems planning a 16-team finals in Poland and Ukraine, the Azeris pulled back, anyway; enthusiasm in Scandinavia for a three-way bid by a mixture of Nordic nations has long since evaporated.

    So, right now, Turkey is the only credible candidate

    However . . . the Turkish city of Istanbul is also bidding to host the Olympic Games in 2020. The Olympic decision by the IOC will be made first, in September 2013; the Euro 2020 decision by UEFA will follow in December 2013 or even January 2014.

    Clearly Turkey cannot host both. Indeed, IOC rules and regulations preclude another major event within the immediate Olympic timescale.

    Next month the executive board of the International Olympic Committee will meet in Quebec, Canada, during the annual SportAccord Convention. Top of the agenda will be deciding which of the five 2020 Games candidates (Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo) should be approved for the final stage of the bid process.

    Istanbul, a perpetual Olympic bidder, is considered a serious contender this time around. The bid has been well-crafted and the message clear: Istanbul would be a fit and proper venue as a city which spans both Europe and Asia and as the first Islamic host (though it is formally a secular nation). “A new bid from a new Turkey,” is the cry.

    A massive matchfixing scandal has cast a vast shadow across Turkish football and, to a lesser extent, basketball but – at this stage – it should not be an impediment to Istanbul going forward.

    Then what? The Olympics or the Euros?

    Football is by far the most popular sport in Turkey; the fanaticism of fans in the major cities – Istanbul, Trabzon, etc – is renowned throughout the world.

    However, reasons of national and international politics, investment potential and commercial interests mean that the Turkish government – whatever the recent words of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan to UEFA and its president Michel Platini – would prefer the Olympics when push comes to shove.

    Members of the Turkish National Olympic Committee believe that if the IOC, in Quebec, tells Istanbul to ‘carry on bidding’ then the government will exert strong pressure on the Turkish Football Federation to drop its Euro 2020 bid.

    One weapon within the government’s armoury would be ‘helping’ Turkish football to resolve the matchfixing scandal and normalize its relations with UEFA (which infuriated many clubs and fans by forcing the TFF to bar the Champions League path to champions Fenerbahce last summer).

    In that case UEFA would be left without a realistic host for Euro 2020.

    Embarrassing, indeed.

    By Keir Radnedge

  41. mickydidit89 says:

    Danny,
    The ’69 one. Yikes, there’s a dose of harsh reality!
    I was at the ’87 and ’88, but the ’79 I watched on telly and prefer not to talk about it. At least the walking out early in a huff bit :-(
    To this day, I’m a firm believer in staying, and believing, until the bitter end. I learn’t my lesson big time.

  42. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks dandan,
    Interesting article. Why does nothing surprise us about those cretins. It like handing over a Ming vase to a Baboon.

  43. Danny says:

    But thats the whole point coz when you’ve been supporting the Arsenal as long as we have, 7 trophyless years is honestly no big deal especially as the main reason is coz of money and nothing else. In the 70s and 80s we had some managers who simply signed players who just didn’t cut it for the team e.g. in 1983 we had Woodcock,Mariner, Viv Anderson etc but they were never going to win the league, but now, coz of Abramovitch’s and the Sheik’s money so everything is a mess. 50 million quid for one player? Shit when we bought Alan Ball for a then record price of 220,000 or SuperMac also for a record 333,333 everybody said we were mad etc.

  44. dandan says:

    Think my wife is better she just sent me this.

    A BLOKE SAT IN HIS ARMCHAIR & SHOUTS TO HIS WIFE,

    “WHEN I DIE I’M GOING TO LEAVE EVERYTHING TO YOU LOVE!”

    SHE SHOUTS BACK “YOU ALREADY DO YOU LAZY BASTARD !! “

  45. Danny says:

    @mickydidit89
    You didn’t really miss Alan Sunderland’s winner did you? Oh well…
    but to tell you the truth, when I’m feeling down coz of the Arsenal I go on youtube and watch the Swindon highlights – makes last years mess against Birmingham seem like a stroll in the park….

  46. chas says:

    Superb stuff, TA.

    I love it when you bring in a bit of philosophical stuff into your posts.
    How right you are about it being the great memories of your Arsenal supporting life that you would choose to remember rather than a picture of a trophy cabinet.

    The way I’ve supported the club has changed over time. In the deep and distant past I used to be so wound up about Arsenal fixtures that I could barely speak if a result went against us. This even happened when we were on a title-winning run. By the time the trophy was in the bag, I was left with a strange feeling of anti-climax. What would I worry about now? In a sense I had forgotten to enjoy the experience along the way. Enjoy the moment, it’s all you really have.

    Love the story about your granddad’s steamy back. Excellent.

    At Stoke on Saturday I was talking to my brother about the old days coming away from White Hart Lane after we’d beaten them, trying to look downcast as we walked up towards Edmonton Angel with loads of spuds. My old man would have none of this sort of behaviour and delighted in talking about our great performance as loud as he liked. The old b*stard. :)

  47. dandan says:

    And they talk about how bad our board is ;……

    From Todays Times.

    Liverpool have reported £49.4 million pre-tax losses for the past financial year to July 31, 2011 after payoffs to staff and costs associated with the club’s failed new stadium plans. This compares with a loss of £20 million the previous year.

    The Fenway Sports Group wiped out £200 million in debts when it took over the club in October 2010, but was forced to write off a further £35 million over their moribund HKS-Stanley Park stadium project.

    The sacking of Roy Hodgson as manager after just six months, also contributed to a further £8.4 million in costs relating to contract terminations, figures lodged with Companies House showed. Among these were settlements with Christian Purslow, the former managing director.

    Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s managing director, however, insisted that the club’s finances were in good shape, explaining that the results had been distorted by “extraordinary” expenditure.

    “I guess people will focus on the loss of £49.4 million and there’s no business – or people running any business – who are going to be pleased with any loss,” Ayre said. “But the important indicator here is this £59 million charge for exceptional items and as a business that’s been in a transition, it’s about moving from where we were to where we want to be.

    “We have written off a huge amount on the stadium project. A big chunk of that £50 million loss relates to the HKS project – which is now defunct – and associated costs around that.”

    The figures do not include a record kit deal with Warrior Sports worth at least £25 million a year but include the sale of Fernando Torres, whose acquisition in January 2011 by Chelsea brought in £50 million to the club, of which £35 million was immediately spent on Andy Carroll with another £22.8 million spent on Luis Suárez.

    “If we had not written off these extraordinary costs, we would have been looking at breaking even,” Ayre said. “We have reduced interest charges from £18 million to about £3 million. That puts us in a much stronger position to utilise our revenues more effectively on the team.”

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    dandan,
    Yip. Better. Great news :-)

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas,
    So true about slithering away from certain games pretending to be miserable :-)

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    Danny,
    Oh, much worse than that. I missed the two goals before that as well!

  51. Danny says:

    I remember a classic Brian Clough comment – after winning the ’80 European Cup, a reporter asked him if Trevor Francis who scored the winner and had cost a million quid – the first ever million pound player – had now proven his worth. Cloughie replied that John Robertson who supplied the cross for Francis to score the goal had cost practically nothing!

  52. chas says:

    I was thinking earlier about our last two fixtures.

    Here’s a question for you all…

    If you had to hand pick our last two games, one home and one away from the current 19 possibles in the premier league, who would our opponents be?

    Which factors would you take into account? Here’s a few suggestions.
    The type of football the opposition play.
    How Arsenal play against this type of football.
    Home form.
    Away form.
    Recent results for these teams.
    Recent results for us against these teams.
    Whether or not the teams have anything to play for at the end of the season.

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Danny,
    You mention the record fee of Francis. Remember the £1.5m Man City paid for Steve Daley in ’79!
    Makes Carroll look value for money.

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas,
    Spuds home and Chavs away :-)
    Seriously, that’s a good question. Really hoping you have unearthed a formula that includes Norwich and West Brom!

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas,
    Just done some research, and out of those middle teams with nothing to play for, Norwich and WBA are the only two we have beaten and not lost to.
    Genius thinking Chas. The perfect games for us :-)

  56. chas says:

    Micky,
    This is the formula I’ve come with to calculate the possibility of getting all six points.

    1/PI f^2(x) dx = a(0)^2 / 2 + (k=1..) (a(k)^2 + b(k)^2)

  57. Patrick O'Neill says:

    I like mean defences – I like GGs defences – 1 nul to the Arsenal. My greatest memory was 1989 Michael Thomas scoring against Pool – now that was something. I’m not a fan of tippy tappy football – a team with a mean defence who do not concede can always nick a goal. When Arsenal go 1-0 up I’m afraid I just wait for the equaliser. I’m not saying we have a bad defence, we just don’t have TA, NW, LD, SB, MK unfortunately. Not looking forward to next two matches. Bring back GG and his meanies.

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas,
    Wrong. The middle bit should read 2/2+(spuds-2)^2toon+b(k). Close but no cigar.
    That gives us 3rd andToon 4th :-)

  59. Danny says:

    Another classic Malcolm Allison moment!

  60. dandan says:

    Mike Atherton the UK’s best sports writer does it again a must read article from todays times. I have posted it all because a link would only work if you pay.

    Act of succession best done as an inside job

    “Tito understands the philosophy perfectly. The project will continue.” And with those simple words from Carles Puyol, the captain, the transfer of power within one of the most famous and successful football clubs was complete. No fuss, no drama and not much discussion afterwards, either.

    Not for the first time, Barcelona gave everybody a lesson; not in football this time, but in how to effect a smooth transition. There was no compensation package required to buy the new man out of a contract; no delay to allow for a build-up of hysteria and pub talk; no chance for the agents, their chops slavering in anticipation, to set in motion the wheels of footballing capitalism, nor for the headhunters to charge a whacking fee for what often amounts to either a statement of the bleedin’ obvious or a hopeless stab in the dark.

    Instead, the club replaced Pep Guardiola with his No 2, Tito Vilanova, a move that had more in common with how giant corporations aim to handle their successions than football clubs.

    Barcelona’s director of football, Andoni Zubizarreta, put some flesh on Puyol’s bone the next day: “Tito represents the philosophy of the club. We’ve always said that if the team needs players we will look at home. Who do we have at home? We have Tito.” A homespun coach, then, to reflect a homespun philosophy, one reinforced over such a long period of time that it represents the closest thing to evolutionary perfection. Why risk damaging that?

    There is another way, of course, and that is epitomised by the Football Association, which lurches from one extreme to the other in selecting the England manager, with no apparent rhyme or reason, and plenty of expense. From the heart-on-sleeve, tactically naive Kevin Keegan to the cool sophisticate, Sven-Göran Eriksson, to the down-to-earth, man-of-the-people Steve McClaren, to the austere Fabio Capello, the only common theme in the appointment of recent managers, it seemed, was to find the opposite of the perceptions of the previous one, as if the process of choosing an England manager amounted to little more than an exercise in market research.

    Which is why most people assumed — wrongly — that Capello’s antithesis, our ’Arry, would get the job this time.

    It is epitomised, too, by clubs such as Chelsea, whose haphazard recruitment philosophy continues to pay homage to the notion of the manager as god — an omniscient, omnipotent being capable of working miracles, no matter how short the time frame. Simon Kuper, the football writer, and Stefan Szymanski, the economist, recently abolished this myth by charting the “value added” for managers in England between 1974 and 2010 and, guess what, they found that most clubs’ finishing positions reflected little more than the size of their wage bills. Apart from a handful of “alpha” managers (Paisley, Ferguson, Robson, Dalglish and Wenger), the rest added little value.

    Far better, then, to save the money wasted on managers’ compensation packages for things that really matter, such as good players or a system, best reflected by Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, which produces those players and eventually managers, too.

    If football has largely lost the localism that once bound a community to a club, then Barcelona have managed to replace that with a system that is recognised as distinctive, one that engenders feelings of solidarity and belonging; regardless of the nationality of players, if they have learnt the Barcelona way, they are seen as Barcelona players first and foremost. Not only has this home-baked philosophy saved Barcelona millions, it has encouraged a special bond between those who play and those who support.

    Guardiola has described Barcelona’s system, the seeds of which were sown by that footballing visionary Rinus Michels and then cultivated by Johan Cruyff, as a “cathedral”. The job of those who have followed Cryuff, according to Guardiola, has been to improve the building if at all possible, but not to change the style. No point blending baroque with the Post-Modern.

    What this does is remove the possibility that a new manager’s ego would demand the creation of a club in his image; it reduces the chances of the 44 days of hell in which Brian Clough dismantled Don Revie’s admittedly less aesthetically pleasing construction in an instant. This is the manager as servant rather than master.

    Much depends not so much on the new man as the old. Manchester United had no succession plans for Sir Matt Busby, but when the time came he gave a lesson in how not to step aside.

    Frank O’Farrell’s recently published memoirs reveal firstly the lack of trust that resulted from his initial negotiations with Busby, the outcome of which was more frugal than they were with Louis Edwards, the chairman. “He knew that I knew that he wasn’t playing it straight,” O’Farrell said of Busby. A poor start was compounded when the new manager walked into his office only to find Busby sitting at the desk.

    Even the best-laid plans will have their glitches to iron out. For a long time, Liverpool’s strategy for succession looked much like Barcelona’s today, with the boot room supplying generations of success, based on a well-worked formula. But Bob Paisley did not find the transition from Bill Shankly to be straightforward initially. Ultimately, Shankly recognised that he had retired too soon and took to hanging around the Melwood training ground until Paisley had to move his legendary predecessor on. Even a servant manager must manage, after all.

    And cricket? England tried to promote from within recently when they handed the job to Peter Moores after Duncan Fletcher. Having run the academy, it was hoped that Moores would be a seamless transition and that, thereafter, England coaches could be produced from within, from the innovative Level 4 coaching programme.

    But either because Fletcher was reluctant, or because the ECB was too myopic, Moores was never asked to spend time with the England team before he took charge, even when it was clear that Fletcher was running out of steam. Moores was, to all intents and purposes, an insider who was an outsider.

    To attempt to alleviate short-termism, many clubs have initiated what they call in the United States the “general manager” who, over the head of the coach, can take a longer-term view. But compatibility between these men is essential, as New Zealand Cricket found out this week. John Wright, the Black Caps’ coach, stepped down citing, in his delightful, non-confrontational way, a lack of empathy with the methods of his director of cricket, John Buchanan. This was a clash of cultures: of the old and new; of common sense and nonsense.

    Whether business (Tesco’s well-planned succession strategy appears in tatters) or sport, a change of leadership is a time of uncertainty. How will the new man cope? Successful operations, which have had half an eye on the future, will find the transition easier, as is expected of Barcelona under Vilanova. Maybe one small measure of Roy Hodgson’s effectiveness as England manager will be how readily the FA finds his successor.

  61. chas says:

    Patrick,
    I just had a quick look back at the worst of the GG years with the famous back five playing. Would you really want to go back to that?
    (admittedly 28 goals against in 93/4 over 42 games is better than even The Oilers can manage these days) :)

    Year….Pos……………..Pld….W…..D……L……GF…GA…Pts

    92/3…..10…..Arsenal…42….15….11…..16….40….38….56

    93/4……4……Arsenal…42….18….17……7 …..53….28….71

    94/5…..12…..Arsenal…42….13 ….12…..17….52….49….51

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Chas, you wrote:

    ‘By the time the trophy was in the bag, I was left with a strange feeling of anti-climax. What would I worry about now? In a sense I had forgotten to enjoy the experience along the way. Enjoy the moment, it’s all you really have.’

    This is so true and not just for supporters. Apparently, top sports people suffer from the same anti-climax, after an epic win, or series of wins.

    I also think that PL championship celebrations are given relatively very little time. During the season every game is talked to death by the red tops and TV Channels but as soon as it is decided who will win the PL, there appears to be little time for what it was all about in the first place. This is more proof that the journey is more important than the destination, and that we must try harder to enjoy the ride – or the moment, as you said in your comment.

  63. Red Arse says:

    Micky/Chas,

    I wish you two had been around all those years ago, when I was doing my exams. You make everything seem so simples!! :-)

    A common type exam question set for budding mathematicians, and which is set in many guises, lures you into solving the laws of probability using pure math, and then when a seemingly logical answer is produced it is clearly bollix.

    I regret not knowing you two in my youth, you could have saved me so much head scratching.

    Anyway, compared with predicting the probable result of a couple of Arsenal games the following problem will be easy peasy to you, so perhaps you could figure it out for me? :-)

    The Probable Success of London’s Missile Defence System

    An anti-missile defence system has been set up around Greater London to protect its inhabitants during the Olympic Games.

    It is estimated that if a single missile is fired at us by the baddies, the probability of it getting through the current defence system is 0.05%.

    So, if they launched 300 nuclear missiles at London, what is the probability that one or more missiles would get through, assuming that the probability of the interception of an individual missile is independent of the fate of the other missiles.

    Look, we know the probability of one getting through is 0.05%, so if 300 have been fired at us, London and its citizens have a 1500% chance of being blown to bits. Oh my goodness! Time to get out of Dodge!! :-)

    But hang on, put another way, it does not make much sense to say that 150 times out of 10, London will be blown to smithereens.
    Or even, perhaps, that we will be charcoal more than 10 times out of 10 launches?

    You know as well as me that there is something skew whiff about this answer lads.

    I need you to help me out here.
    How do you do a calculation like this correctly? Probability is a bastard and it can be pretty tricky to calculate even in simple cases like this one.

    Calculation of probability takes some getting used to for dimwits like me, so I am lucky to have you guide me. Do I get out of town before/during the Olympics, or not?

    You have cracked the probability of Arsenal winning the last two games of the season, so, obviously, you will be able to sort me out toute suite!! :-)

  64. RockyLives says:

    TA
    Great piece. Like dandan, when I contemplated what I would think back on (Arsenal-wise) as I was about to kick the bucket, it was the times spent with my mates that came to mind:

    Shared excitement and joy, shared disappointments, adventures, mishaps, running away from an unexpected mob of Spudders, sneaking into Highbury without any money, long train rides to away games (and Cardiff cup finals), strange pies at Northern grounds, the unpleasantness of the West Yorkshire constabulary, experiencing the coldest place known to science (the away end at Boundary Park on a winter’s night), the buzz and thrill of foreign trips, getting drunk, taking photos of mates when they get drunk and fall asleep on Danish railway stations, but most of all the humour – just laughing and laughing and laughing. Win or lose, there is always humour.
    If I’m lucid enough to remember all that, I’ll die happy :)

  65. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Again I find myself having to preface this with “I’m not a mathematician but…”

    In this case…

    I’m not a mathematician, but doesn’t 300 x 0.05% produce 15, not 1500?

    In which case, if 300 rockets were fired at London, there would be a 15% chance of us getting our bottoms singed.

    Or, put another way, the baddies would have to launch 2,000 missiles to (statistically) guarantee a hit.

    Oui?

    Ou non?

  66. chas says:

    RA,
    With 300 nuclear missiles, I’d say there was a 15% chance I’m glad I don’t live in London.

  67. chas says:

    Rocky,
    You’re going to have to get some photos scanned in some time. :)

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    RL ‘If I’m lucid enough to remember all that, I’ll die happy’

    Brilliant :)

  69. Brigham says:

    I have many, many happy memories of my numerous years supporting ‘The Arsenal’, many of which I shall one day take to the grave with me – those special moments.

    To my mind, the only people who make such a big thing of our seven years trophyless are the JCL’s and rival fans of the glory hunters such as the Manchester duo and Chelsea. They seem to think it hurts us because it must have hurt them when they went far longer without a major trophy.

    So, to the fans of those clubs and others, to the media and to all the others who feel the need to attempt ridicule – DO ONE! You will never take my love of all things Arsenal away from me or any other Gooner, no matter how hard you try.

  70. RockyLives says:

    Chas :)
    Some people – including some “mutual acquaintances” I share with Micky – would be very red faced if I published some of the pics I’ve got sitting around at home :)

  71. RockyLives says:

    Brigham
    You tell ‘em!
    “DO ONE!”
    I love it :)

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, I would sleep wonderfully peaceful in my bed with those odds. As you said we should assume that the probability of the interception of an individual missile is independent of the fate of the other missiles, every single rocket has each and every time a chance of being a ‘success’ of about 5/100 of one per cent, which is minute.

    C’est vrai?

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    nice articles dandan, it will be interesting to see what Barca will do if and when Vilanova starts to struggle a bit next season. Will they stick with their internal man/ principles or replace him with an established top coach?

  74. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Wonderful stuff TA, football is certainly a roller coaster experience, but one i hope never to get off. I have so many great memories of watching Arsenal but for some reason after reading your piece one came instantly to mind.

    It was back in the early eighties, Villa away. I was a bit naugty in those days and ended up with some arsenal boys, about 30 altogether who decided it would be a good idea to take the Holt along with its 12,000 inhabitants. Anyway, after about 2 seconds we were on our todd, i just about made it to the steps when a crashing boot in my back sent me tumbling down the stairs and after passing out for a few seconds came round to find myself surrounded by a baying mob of brummies intent on causing damage. Despite my protestations that i was Villa, punches and kicks reigned down on me akin to the worst snow flurry ever experienced by any Laplander. After again passing out, upon regaining conscisness the crowd had dispersed, apart from the odd dissatisfied brummie who was still putting the boot in. Thankfully the delightful Midlands constabulry moved in and started dragging me to my feet, and it was at this point that i noticed one particular Villa fan, who i remember resembling Alan Partridge,AHHAA, had a hold of my leg and was biting on my ankle. The Old Bill had to nick the Vampire to stop him from sucking me dry. They chucked me out, but i still managed to get in to the away section to watch, ankle killing me from Partridges bite, what was in those days our customary defeat at Villa Park

    God, i miss those days. hahahahahaha

  75. Red Arse says:

    Very cunning, young Rockadillo and Chasser, questioning my math!!

    If the probability of one getting through and destroying London is a factor of 0.05; then the probability of 300 launches getting thru [300 * 0.05] = 15.

    So, my lads, by definition, if 1 getting thru and totally destroying London = [1 * 100%] that is 100%.

    Therefore, 15 getting thru and totally destroying London [15 * 100%] = 1500%]

    Math right? But it is bollix.

    Clearly you cannot totally destroy something 1500 times!
    It’s illogical, and does not compute! :-)

    {Walks off whistling and hoping no one spotted the typo in the original question — the percentage sign in (0.05%)} :roll:

    But then, you knew that, right? :-)

  76. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, :-)

    I am so sorry I omitted thanking you for your wonderful Post, which was redolent of TA -isms!!! :-) Loved it, as usual!

    I am multi-tasking today, visit to specialist and then, no less than 3 clients requiring tricky dicky tax advices, and then worrying about missiles. remember it only takes one successful strike!! :-)

    I don’t know, nothing for ages then, I’m busy, busy!! :-)

    Nearly finished. :-)

  77. Big Raddy says:

    TMHT. Fortunately I have different memories of Villa Park!

    RA. Can you compute the percentage possibility of the fall out from London’s destruction reaching these chilly shores?

  78. herbsarmy says:

    I like this Post, Total, and it would be an interesting subject to throw open to a wider audience.
    There’s a lot of science that goes into thought processes and the way people support certain causes. I think people who are successful in their personal lives are far more generous and receptive in coping with losses, whereas people who have struggled in life seem to take it far more personally. When their team wins, it is a little victory in a sea of daily battles, coping with life’s slings and arrows.
    If we accept the premise of the North – South divide, people seem hungrier in the North, to celebrate success.
    The original twelve Football League members were a mixture of Northern and Midland clubs, and as we Know Arsenal became the first Southern club to win the title as late as 1931. To this day, Northern clubs are still more successful than their Southern ‘rivals’, in the same way that Scottish managers are more successful than English managers. I think Jimmy Greaves said it’s because they have a better work-ethic. Maybe champagne is far more palatable in defeat than a pint of bitter.
    You have perfectly demonstrated the different mind-sets, I can’t imagine many MU or Liverpool fans would accept your premise, but it would make a compelling debate.

  79. jnyc says:

    TA , thanks for the summary of what needs to happen in the next couple weeks, but dont forget we might even need help from bayern if we dont perform. Nervous time in general. And whats with all the missile talk? Oh well, i live in the worlds number one target anyway.
    and trust me, i will never forget the things that happened in ny or london or spain for that matter. Im afraid sometimes people forget too easily.
    on a lighter note, lets go get three points and make it look easy :-)

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Herb. You are right, it would make an interesting debate.

    Imagine how valuable Greaves would be today. assuming he worked on his fitness :-) Perhaps the best finisher ever.

  81. Red Arse says:

    Sadly, not Raddy, :-)

    I am too stupid for such a task, and am still awaiting Rocky and Chas’s answer to the earlier probability question I set them. :-)

    Factoring in such random variables as the prevailing wind direction and the fart of a mystic butterfly I feel they are working on your question even as I type! :-)

  82. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Your 3.48 just fried my brain. I think I’ll give the maths a miss for the time being…

  83. herbsarmy says:

    Hi BR,

    don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve heard it said that Jimmy Greaves is alleged to have said that if Arsenal had wanted him he’d have walked to Highbury.

  84. chas says:

    The fart of a mystic butterfly. :)

    Three men walk into a hotel and pay £30 for a room (£10 each). A while later, the manager realises he has over-charged them and that the room was only £25, so he sends the porter with the £5 change to the mens’ room. On the way, he wonders how to split the £5 equally between the 3 men, so he decides to keep £2 for himself and give the men £1 each.

    Now, this means that the men have each paid £9 for the room, a total of £27. Add to this the £2 the porter has, and you get £29, so where is the other £1?!

  85. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Only £27 has been transacted chas. The 3 men down £27, the hotelier up £25, and the porter up £2. Sorry for been a spoil sport. hahaha

  86. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    I have had your Post mulling around in the back of my mind while working this p.m. and I am intrigued that you have, perhaps inadvertently, plumbed a key part of your own personal and professional development in Human Resources and used it as a base to discuss a very fundamental question regarding judgemental values in football. :-)

    Altho Covey personalizes the issue, by relating it to our own short lives, he was really trying to give a platform upon which to base current personal and corporate life objectives and achievements culminating in a realistic assessment of those achievements at the end of the life cycle which speaks to where we are in our current state of development.

    He has since written a further book on the 8th Habit, which takes matters further and exhorts us, both personally and corporately to move on from simply accepting being “OK” or “reasonably effective” and instead insists that we raise the bar and make ourselves strive for excellence in whatever we do.

    A very clever stand upon which to build your Arsenal Post, so to speak.

    I agree that Arsenal FC fulfils a variety of roles for all of us, and is many things to many very different people, but all with a common thread. Therefore it is a mistake for anyone to think of it as an abstract entity viewed only for its financial stability or football style or trophy success or simply anything else.

    It is in fact a way of life for many, and it reflects human life in all its multi-faceted splendour of joy, grief, exultation, despair, pride, memories, satisfaction and so on and on.

    Therefore, those who view it from the perspective of being merely a means to record or register the achievement or failure of cup or league trophies do not truly grasp the wonder and meaning of an intrinsic part of life itself with its myriad human emotions!

    I really do need to get you down to the Pub one day and explore, over a pint or two, more of your beliefs and fascinating insights!! :-)

    You have a very intellectual side to you! :-)

  87. Red Arse says:

    Nice one, Chas, :-) both the butterfly fart and the math puzzle.

    And you ARE a rotten spoilsport Terrym.

    The non accountants could have spent an amusing moment or two wondering where that bloody money had magically gone!!
    Now they are on to us.

    GIE will never forgive you!! :-)

  88. herbsarmy says:

    Hi RA,

    I hope all’s good and you didn’t take yesterdays nonsense to heart.

  89. dandan says:

    Herb I think your 4:53 is bang on the money, and very insightful. I have always described that condition as generosity of spirit: and in my experience those less successful folk are often, more intense and need the bragging rights that their tribe’s success brings, in order to shore up their fragile egos and reinforce their self-worth. Success in this context by the way, does not need to be solely material, but is a reflection of what each individual sees as important and how he has fulfilled that criteria. Therefor a happy family man for instance can be far more successful in his evaluation of himself, than the high flying executive loaded with personnel insecurity, despite possessing the toys and trappings synonymous with success in today’s culture.

  90. Red Arse says:

    This NOT for you Terry!

    A man buys a bike for £50 (cheapskate). The shop owner mistakenly over charged him by £10, and sent his boy after him with the money.

    The boy kept £7 and refunded only £3.

    So the guy paid £50 and got back £3 = £47
    But the boy kept £7 for himself………..= £7

    That totals …………………………………….£54

    Where did the EXTRA £4 come from?

    Quiet, MerryTerry! :roll:

  91. Red Arse says:

    No Probs, Herb!

  92. herbsarmy says:

    Thanks Dandan, glad to hear your wife is better.

  93. dandan says:

    Easy Red Arse, the lad had trained as an accountant and was by mistake showing the management accounts on which his bonus is based rather than the audited accounts upon which tax is paid. :-)

  94. Red Arse says:

    DD, :-)

  95. Gooner In Exile says:

    TA please accept my apologies for not having read this post sooner.

    I doff my hat to your masterpiece.

    Thank you for reminding me what is important. Some of my memories have nothing to do with winning trophies but they still make me smile. Limpar lobbing Hooper from halfway, beating Sheffield Wed 7-1/0? And Wrighty not scoring. Mersons chips. Happy days.

  96. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    I think that was 7:1 in 1992. :-)

  97. kelsey says:

    TA,

    again a wonderful post.

    most of us old uns have the same memories but for some reason a cock up always stays in my mind.

    The infamous too clever penalty kick between pires and henry at the clock end. Rather embarrasing at the time,though many non Arsenal fans called it arrogance personified.

    I won’t be around much for the time being as we have some serious illness in the family

  98. RockyLives says:

    Sorry to hear that Kesley.

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  99. LB says:

    Superb post TA

    I don’t know how you keep on coming up with them but I am glad that you do.

  100. VCC says:

    Kelsey….my prayers are with you. God bless.

  101. Oh dear kelsey, I hope everything sorts itself out soon. We’ll miss you xx

  102. Thank you TA for a wonderful post that has evoked all sorts of emotions in many people. For me, the winning of the trophies is the end result but what I love the most is the journey and the experiences along the way.

    Yes, I get very gloomy when we lose and I have to say that I will be insufferably miserable if we manage to not qualify for the Champions Lge but I’ve had a smashing season, meeting up with bloggers, going to games, seeing Thierry Henry score for us again, beating the scum 5-2, loving Arteta and Koscielny, shouting at Theo, marveling at RvP’s continued fitness and ability to create that extra space to score, welcoming TV back and enjoying Rosicky be the player I always knew he was.

    A trophy would be nice but hey, I just love being a Gooner so maybe next year ……………………

  103. Need a post for tomorrow by the way ……….. ;)

  104. VCC says:

    Peaches. 8:08. Nice words. Couldn’t put it better myself.

    This year, as every year I’ve been a gooner, have experiences that will leave me with happy memories. Least of all discovering AA and meeting up with you guys.

  105. Hi VCC, I don’t always have time to blog but I always read the comments later on in the day.

    The one I think we really missed out on was the title 2007/08 and in my head we were champions but they gave the trophy to the manks. Finished four points behind them and it was so close for so long.

    Loved singing ‘We are top of the league’ when we beat West Ham during the xmas games – to hear that sung around the Emirates concourse is pretty magical. If it hadn’t been for Eduardo’s leg break we may well have hung on to top spot :(

    Funniest thing this season was hearing scummers talking about challenging for the title ffs :lol:

  106. VCC says:

    peaches.. Funny thing is when I’ve looked at ManUre,s teams heats the past couple of years I can’t help thinking …….If only…………If only Arsene had bought just two top class players, then we would have won something.

    I love the guy, and he is God in my house, but ……if only????

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Herb, thanks for your great comment @4.53. The North-South divide is an interesting one and I think you are right. Would be interesting to look into this a bit deeper.

    I even feel there is a divide between the Northern areas of Liverpool/Merseyside, Greater-Manchester and the North East. For example, I found the Pool supporters always quite laid-back, and at ease with their teams’ demise in the PL. Their past is so strong and glorious that they seemed to be quite content with the way (football) life is treating them. They were also full of respect for Arsenal and in particular in the way we play(ed) football. I remember Henry scoring a great goal in a FA cup game at Anfield and him getting a standing ovation by the Scousers at the end of the game.

    I don’t think this will ever happen at Old Toilet. I have also never met a magnanimous Manc supporter – especially those who grew up in the Greater Manchester area are very self-happy and think that their team are above everything. I remember really well a text message I received from a Manc colleague after they finished our 49 unbeaten run in such a foul way, it read: ‘Natural order restored’. After that, I have always loathed the Mancs with a passion.

  108. TotalArsenal says:

    Kelsey, sorry to hear you are having a bad time. Hope it will get better soon!

  109. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA, thanks for your comment @5.54. :)

    I would love to have a beer with you and discuss Arsenal and life in general! :) It would be great to combine it with watching a game next season.

    I am not a big Covey fan, but thought using his ‘beginning with the end in mind’ related well to the idea of focussing on what really matters in supporting our team, and not to get too upset if our (too) high expectations are not being met momentarily. Thanks for your analysis though. :)

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    Peaches, loved your comment @8.08 :)

  111. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches I have an idea for a post tomorrow but not the time to write it and in all honesty I am too young to write it.

    But Saturday will be (I believe) Pat Rice’s last involvement in a competitive match in front of the home fans.

    I think it’s an important message to get across that no matter what the result and any feeling (good or bad) about a lap of appreciation for the players that all fans who are lucky enough to attend tomorrows game give Pat a good send off and show their appreciation for loyal service to our club.

    Like I say I haven’t the time to write it or the memories of his playing days that others may have.

  112. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey thoughts are with you

  113. herbsarmy says:

    Thanks Total, I have these rare moments where I can appear quite grown-up and sensible.
    It would be great if we could knock MU down a peg or two, if only for examples such as you described.
    Best wishes Kelsey, as with Dandan’s wife, here’s to a speedy recovery.

  114. Irishgunner says:

    This is why no-one but Ireland have a chance at Euro 2012 … we have JEDWARD!

    Get your green cape on, Po-land here we come

  115. Irishgunner says:

    Another trophy for RvP – we can claim them as club victories :)

  116. evonne says:

    Irish :) :) Jedward are not going to Poland, please confirm you were just joking. I have to stop watching it or I will pee….ha ha ha

  117. Irishgunner says:

    Ha ha ha evonne – they probably are going to Poland, sorry about that :lol:

  118. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Herb :)

    Those moments are anything but rare. Apologies for being overbearing the other day. Hope to meet up with you at the Tavern one day before a match. :)

    Night all.

  119. herbsarmy says:

    There’s no need to apologise, Total, people are people. You’re not over-bearing, you’re a valuable contributor on here, and a credit to Arsenal supporters everywhere.
    It could be your Germanic nature that sometimes you ask a question and ‘demand’ an explanation if something is written that doesn’t meet your approval. But it’s only through discussing these things that we gain greater enlightenment, and if it’s done without malice, we emerge better, more learned people.

  120. Slimgingergooner says:

    What a thought provoking post. Brilliant.

    For me, certain moments spring to mind:

    Overmars winner against Man U
    Fabregas cameo against Villa
    Bergkamp hat-trick v Leicester
    Bergkamp v Newcastle
    Adams v Everton
    Henry v Liverpool
    RvP v Charlton

    What I find interesting is that only 2 of these moments have been trophy winning contributions (Overmars and Adams). Would I get any more joy from a scrappy 1-0 Carling Cup Final win than I did from some of these moments? I’m not sure I would.

  121. Gooner In Exile says:

    Regarding Chas’s stats of 92-95 stats it remains a mystery to me how we managed that paltry goal return after signing Wrighty. We must have been a one man team then…..never worried me though.

  122. tom says:

    As a football purist I might tend to agree with your premise , however there is just one thing you forgot to take into account . If Arsenal don’t start winning something soon , the only memory inbeded in our collective minds will be the one of Arsen Wenger waiving his arms on sidelines, berating forth official , chasing after match official down the tunnel while spitting out verbals and refusing to shake hands with opposing menagers.

  123. Gooner In Exile says:

    DD posted Liverpool FCs financial results yesterday and I can’t believe the media are letting Liverpool and MD Ayre get away with his explanations.

    Ok there was the exceptional charges that caused the loss, but what about the profit on the sale of Torres? My rough guess (based on his original transfer fee (£25m) being written off over the 6 year contract signed would mean that also in their figures is a £37.5m profit on the sale of Torres. The statement talks as if the cost to acquire Carroll and others have been expensed in the year but that wouldn’t be the case.

    They also have no one left who they can sell for the profit that Torres brings. My guess would be that their ongoing losses if revenues stayed the same and no transfer movement would be around £30m per year. Yes they have their new warrior kit deal which brings in £20m a year but what was their last contract?

    Basically they are pulling wool over eyes in my view.

  124. Morning all

    No-one has come up with a post, has anyone got time to write a quick ode to Pat Rice as suggested by GiE last night @9.18

  125. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches I thought I saw an unused post in drafts?

    I’m sorry I haven’t time to write one this morning.

  126. evonne says:

    GiE – and why would they want to pool wool over our eyes?

    Irish – I hope Jedward go to Euro. They might be front bottoms but they are funny and can laugh at themselves too. nothing worse than doom and gloom, and patronising seriousness.

    Have to agree with Rooney goal being the best in EPL. I cannot remember a better one

  127. Gooner In Exile says:

    Because they have to justify their investment Evonne.

  128. evonne says:

    GiE – sorry dear, could be elaborate a little bit please

  129. Gooner In Exile says:

    The new owners have spent £200m to pay off debt etc. the Fenway Sports Group which owns them will want to make out its a good investment and that that money can be repaid. They also want to convince the fans that the club is in better health than it was under Gilette and Hicks (when it could not meet its debt payments).

    So in order for the new regime to convince Liverpool fans that they can improve on pitch and financial backers of FSG that they can get rewards from their investment they have to try and show that the company can be profit making. With its current wage bill I doubt it can.

  130. evonne says:

    GiE – thank you, simple when you know how

    Have Gillette and Hicks lost on their investment in Pool?

  131. Gooner In Exile says:

    Gilette and Hicks sold out to FSG (and John Henry) last year. From memory the sale by Gilette and Hicks was forced by RBS bank so I don’t think they made anything at all, then again they borrowed money from RBS to buy LFC in first place (like Glazers have done at ManUre) so in all likelihood just broke even on sale.

  132. evonne says:

    just read a bit about Gillette and Hicks; they have not lost any of their own money,but ran huge debts. Situation similar to the one at Rangers then

  133. evonne says:

    GiE – thanks. And does it compare to the situation at Newcastle? I would like Ashley to do well, a British businessman as opposed to the oil rich arabs and russians

    Shocking results of yesterday’s voting, no good. I still have hope for Boris

  134. Red Arse says:

    Peaches,

    I have sent you an email re Pat Rice. Use only if nothing else is available. :-)

  135. evonne says:

    RA – is it your first ever post?

  136. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Looking forward to it with dictionary at hand :-)

  137. RA – just found it, thank you so much. Rasp is finding some pics. You’re a star xx

  138. Big Raddy says:

    32% turnout? Don’t people care about their environment and the way it is run?

    Have the English become so disenfranchised that they have lost the will to vote? The right to vote is precious and an essential part of democracy. Here in Denmark there were eyebrows raised at the last elections when “only” 87% voted.

    I am shocked

    Sorry ….. politics :-)

  139. evonne says:

    Raddy – I went to the polling station last night with my dogs. It was so empty they would let Shirley vote, Romeo is still under age. Shocking, I agree.
    There are so many issues that need to be addressed, so much moaning, complaining, unhappiness, but when it comes to doing something about it…nobody can be arsed.

    In the good old communist Poland you HAD to vote or be arrested :) Even though it was just one box on the ballot paper :)

  140. Red Arse says:

    Morning Evonne. No! :-)

    Hi Randy, no need for dictionary — just a few lines to help poor old Peaches/Rasp.

    Hopefully, it will give AAers a platform to eulogise our Pat!! :-)

  141. evonne says:

    RA – ok, first for me, cannot remember your previous. Looking forward to it

  142. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    I am mortified!!!! :-)

    All my previous Posts on various blog sites are listed in the annals of infamy!! Now everyone has it in for me! :-)

  143. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well done RA….looking forward to it.

    Raddy we are talking local council elections, local issues are far from the public agenda, and the vote will have little impact on our day to days so the turnout is no surprise.

    Like football red top stories political reporting is the lowest common denominator. See the “Pastie Tax” non story for example. Hot food has always been vatable, Tesco and other majors had managed to convince the Revenue their pasties were not sold with the intention of being hot (despite keeping them in a hot cabinet). Yet the media focus on the man in the street having to pay 20p more whereas the real story is extra profits made by the majors as a result of their deal with HMRC which wasn’t available to any of my clients.

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