Poll: Will Arsenal Finish In The Top Four?

Following our schizophrenic performance against Chelsea there appears to be a growing consensus that we are unlikely to finish in the Champions League positions this year.

We are not as far behind the Spuds as we were this time last year but, on the other hand, can we really expect them to implode as spectacularly again?

(Actually, I can. Form is temporary, class is permanent and Totteringham are the EPL’s resident comedy act).

Trouble is, it’s not just the troglodytes we need to worry about. Everton are even more competitive than usual this year; West Brom are playing nice football and picking up results and – shock horror – even Liverpool have found some form.

All will fancy they have a shot at the much-prized top four finish.

Not that it will be easy for them. I can see the Toffees taking their eye off the ball if the Moyes-to-Chelsea bandwagon gains momentum (their equivalent of the ‘Twitchy for England’ campaign that so amusingly derailed the Spuds last year); West Brom will hopefully suffer a nosebleed before too long and ‘Pool are the other half of the Tiny Totts comedy double act. Not so much Laurel and Hardy as Laughable and Hardly Ever…

But it only needs one of our rivals to really kick on to make our grip on the top four even looser than it already is.

So what do you think? Here are two Polls to test the opinion of, if not Goonerdom, at least the survey sample represented by readers of Arsenal Arsenal.

First, the simple “will we or won’t we”.

Next – and a little less straightforwardly – if we were to miss out on Champions League qualification for next season, what affect would that have on our fortunes:

I realize that not every shade of opinion can be covered by Polls like this last one (if you think that dropping out of the ECL means that Arsene Wenger will become a transvestite pole dancer and the Emirates stadium turned into the world’s biggest Spearmint Rhino I apologise for not giving you scope to vote for your preference).

However, I expect that the results will be interesting and will hopefully prompt some interesting discussion in the comments below.

RockyLives

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220 Responses to Poll: Will Arsenal Finish In The Top Four?

  1. slime says:

    Following over from previous blog (sorry RL, will read in a minute!):

    Oz, I’m afraid to say that I think Bayern will turn us over, but if the draw is kind in the FA Cup then we have a chance. Just beat Brighton and I will be happy.

    How many other managers in world football have to worry about the financial implications of finishing 4th? Wenger is far too long sighted sometimes, he needs to start concentrating on the here and now, afterall, that’s what the fans look at. Having said that, maybe it’s us who are too short sighted. A manager who cares about the future of tge club cant be a bad thing, surely? A bit of balance is what’s needed I think.

  2. slime says:

    Interesting poll RL.

    I think we can still get 4th, but only if we beat Weat Ham and Liverpool. Beat Spuds away and 4 points becomes 1. It’s a tough ask based on how we are playing right now, but the thing that keeps me optimistic is that we have been competitive against City and Chelsea, even with awful refereeing and only playing 45 minutes in each game. That tells me if we can put 90 minutes together, we can destroy some of those around us. It needs to happen ASAP though.

    As for not reaching 4th, I think it gives us a chance to regroup, add a couple of quality players, win a cup, and then onwards and upwards. Wenger will not be sacked by this board, and do you honestly believe he will step down with 1 year remaining having not succeeded? No chance!

  3. Manthan says:

    Nice post to debate on RL…
    I have a feeling we will finish in top4 dis season too….
    Anything is possible in football We might win CL and qualify for next year who knows :D :D

  4. Gus says:

    Jk Rowling once said something on the lines of this:

    When you hit rock bottom, and you fail, and terrible fears are realized, the one good thing that comes from it is that you are liberated. Because despite the dark time, you’re still here, you’ve got nothing to lose.

    I’m desperate for arsenal to win and win trophies, I’ve dedicated a large portion of my young life to supporting them and craving victory. But I refuse to let my happiness depend on something I can’t control.

    We are playing badly, we are 20 or something points from the top, we are behind Spurs for heaven’s sake. But we’re still here and we’re still the arsenal.

  5. Manthan says:

    What about the new singings in this window.. Its look like none but you never know…. We might get a player or two????????????

  6. Red Arse says:

    Chas-Gonad, :-)

    Did you say earlier, “could we resist THE temptation to put the ODD word in capital letters to indicate stress, PLEASE?” or DID I misunderstand YOU? :D

  7. Red Arse says:

    Amusing Post, RL, :-)

  8. DoubleDoubleDouble says:

    Just seen the tables from last season and this on Arseblog.

    2011/12 10 points away from Spurs in 3rd place after 22 games each.

    2012/13 7 points away from Spurs in 4th place after 22 games, with a game in hand.

    It’s going to be tough, but it’s not impossible.

  9. Manthan says:

    But finishing in top4 will be a good and real blow for AW… He will act and buy quality if we wont finish in top4.. Hope for the best….;)

  10. Manthan says:

    Sorry I mean not finishing will be blow…

  11. Kevin Weaver says:

    What gives supporters the confidence to think we will finish 4th. We have a substandard squad lacking confidence and a Manager who is too stubborn to bring in some new faces?If you keep doing the same things you will keep getting the same results, the table doesn’t lie. Last year we had RVP who dug us out of this hole, this year we’ll miss the CL places.

  12. Manthan says:

    Kevin,
    Last year we had RVP… dis year we have Theo,santi,poldi all scoring goals Gibbs and OG too so we are strong den last year i feel…..

  13. kelsey says:

    Interesting at this moment of time an even split that we will or will not make the top 4.

    I didn’t see a choice about us finishing in the bottom three ;)

  14. evonne says:

    170 and 125 votes respectively already!!!! someone’s been busy

  15. Morning all, I was thinking the other day a gauge of how our supporters feel about our chances of top 4 and lo and behold The Rock produces today’s post, and huzzahs for that.

    as I post the “no” votes have just tipped over into being the majority – a tipping point that is similar to the sale of VanJudas to ManUre, to the extent I’ll never believe any player saying he loves the club again.

  16. sam says:

    I must say that Arsenal of the last 2 years is not good enough to be amongst the top four and I am sorry to say that we will not win the FA cup or go pass Bayern. Let’s be realistic, last year we were very lucky and Tottenham are a very good team this season!

  17. wenger;this is a great toucher from you, dont care much about money,infact other small clubs are way ahead of us not because we are weak but because OF YOUR GREED MR WENGER YOU ARE SO USELESS THAN WE EXPECTED, WE AS FANS FEEL LIKE QUITING BUT WE LIKE OUR CLUB,TO THE COMMITTEE DONT YOU GIVE WENGER A LEAVE TO PSG HE IS NEEDED THEIR,BRING SOMEONE LIKE MOURINHO THE SPECIAL ONE!PLEASE DO IT FAST!!!!!?

  18. Big Raddy says:

    “Laughable and Hardly Ever…”
    :-D

  19. Manthan says:

    Wenger On Zaha: “I don’t know if he [Zaha] will go to Man United. If he goes to Man United good luck him.

    “We were never in for Zaha. Never.”

  20. DoubleDoubleDouble says:

    “…WE AS FANS FEEL LIKE QUITING…”

    No, we don’t. Ever.

    Whether we are at the top of the league, or playing Lee Chapman as centre forward, we never feel like quitting.

  21. Shard says:

    I’m still quite confident we’ll finish in the top 4. What I am also confident about that that won’t stop the negativity around the club. We’ve had a fair few people in the media crow about how Arsenal aren’t a top 4 team, but we’ve heard that for the last 5 years at least. I know we’ve lost Van Persie (who has the cheek to suggest today’s ManU is like the Arsenal of Bergkamp and Henry), and the cumulative effect of all the years of losing important players will add up eventually. But then, I don’t see the past 7-8 years as one of constant decline. We’ve improved some years only to have the heart torn out of it again. The players we have are still good enough. The team just haven’t figured out how to go about translating that talent into results.

    As for what happens if we don’t get into the CL next season. I don’t think it’ll change much. We’ll continue buying the way we do. We’ll continue playing the way we do, or want to. And we will improve. The club has solid foundations, which have been built as a result of the supposed ‘lack of ambition’ approach. Those foundations will ensure we come back stronger. Bayern spent a season in the Europa league not long ago. Barca finished 6th in the middle of their trophy drought. Nobody thought of them as ‘not a big club’ then. Neither are we. Nor will be. The biggest challenge however, is in combating the feeling of negativity around the club’s supporters. It’s not surprising it’s there. Not just because of the results, but also the disproportionate grief the club gets for not keeping up with the Joneses.

  22. Manthan says:

    Spot on Shard ;-) ;-)

  23. vp says:

    If we don’t make the top four; we’ll learn a lot about our club.

    It will be extremely interesting to see whether the £40mill champions league contingency fund that we have in place will be used.

    What players will stick around namely carzola, vermalen and sagna(who’s probably leaving regardless)

    Whether Kroenke will be prepared to absorb a P & L Loss for the year; because that what’s its going to take for us to get back in contention for fourth spot.

    I think that it would be a disaster if we fail to reach top four. I know that some people think that this may help the board wake up, but i’m not so sure. Think it’s time for the fans to wake up. We’ve lost our voice and the first thing we need to do is get it back!

  24. goonerjake says:

    Shard, your views, as always very balanced and more to the point correct. Good insight which a lot of fans driven by negative media reports lack.

  25. tomstoned says:

    great post and interesting polls Rocky…
    i have to explain i have never accepted this fourth spot trophy..and i do think that the focus on fourth is not doing The Arsenal as a club or the players any good at all….We SHOULD always try to win….there should never be any talk about coming second best…Our campaign should be about winning nothing else,the minute we start to accept that being 2nd,3rd,or fourth then we have already lost…All sport is about winning as it should be,look at any sport ask any athlete they all have a deep desire to win…its the most important thing for any athelete..the desire..
    i think that at The Arsenal at the moment this is lacking,the belief,the desire,and its showing in Our game,,,
    We need it back asap,then things will start to turn around,its not about poor players or poor manager,its about this belief and desire,a football match is nearly every time decided in a split second,and the team wiht the most hunger,desire and belief will win 9 out of 10 times,….look at the difference against chelski…we didnt show any belief…..but after the break we did,,,why ..well the fact that we had nothing to loose can create the same sort of effect ,belief and hunger creates…but it should be there all the time…and its clearly not..
    my solution…stop jabbing about being in the top four start talking about winning and if we’ll end fourth as a result of a hard fought campaign..well so be it…thats nothing to be emberrassed about…….what to do right now..?.well im not sure that we need a bunch of new players..but we do need a change of attitude…can it be done…im not sure !..maybe we need to buy one big player just to show the squad and everyone that we need business,moreover it would bring the Gooners back together..and i mean all of us..
    so Wenger…its quite easy for You..start believing in yourself again…in my humble opinion at the moment you have lost that belief and desire…personally i think that you are trying to do to much…please get back to the football part of The Arsenal…start to trust the people around you…then im sure the world will onece again sit back in awe…You where the best…and You can still be…just wake up Please…

  26. Bryan says:

    Sadly I don’t think we will make the top 4 unless we make some shrewd signings, for me this is the worst team under Wenger or maybe not the worse but they certainly have the worse attitude.
    We have had so many poor performances this year & I expect a big response after a bad performance & result but to my disbelief on most occasions there has been no such thing.
    Also the “A wake-up call because it will lead to the Club (and Manager) spending heavily on new players” option that is the most voted at the moment, I don’t see happening either because I think we have had enough wake up calls but still nothing happens.
    The board deffinately have a lack of ambition in my opinion & until something happens with them I can’t see much light.
    On the other hand I don’t think we will go much more downhill than we have already.
    If we buy afew very good signings in this window, yes that could make all the difference to us finishing 4th, that is the only way I think we will make it.
    Lastly we have better chance of getting some good players now, as we are a CL team at the moment, than we will have if we don’t qualify at end of season.
    Obviously I know that good players will probably be CL cup tied but still we are more attractive to a new player at this stage

  27. Bryan says:

    Sorry forgot to say, Great idea for a post Rocky ;-)

  28. tomstoned says:

    and on a personal note Thanks Red Arse :)i have to admit it all may well have been my fault and rather poor English…ill try better..

  29. Bryan says:

    tomstoned
    your 11.34 comments are spot on

  30. TomS – your 11.34 is worthy of a headline post in itself, I heartily agree and well said. :cool:

  31. tomstoned says:

    Thx Bryan…lets hope we can turn it around and start winning,The Arsenal needs it we Gooners needs it…a friend of mine who is a top class athlete Therese Johaug..a member of the Norwegian ski team,said it…and she is no footballer..if there is no belief or hunger to win…then all you do starts to slip..slowly but surely its like a cancer it seeps trough in everything you do…and the belief will have to come from within…and they had in the ski team worked very hard at this,,,everyone who had anything to do with the team…coming second is no longer an option….

  32. tomstoned says:

    Thx Chary…ill get there some day(a post i mean)..:)and to be honest i think we Gooners need to stick together..and show that itty gritty belief…we can do it :)lets show our players and manager how to do it !..;)

  33. wally says:

    When wenger tells you fourth is a trophy you know two things.
    1) He knows the squad isn’t good enough
    2) The club has lost its ambition and it starts with wenger

    Why anyone is willing to accept that as the standard for Arsenal is beyond me.

  34. tomstoned says:

    Wally mate..
    i think that for some years everyone at the club had to accept that movin to the Emirates would have to have an affect on The Arsenal…and i think we all more or less understood it,,,but it is time to get our heads back to the winning part…its not going to be easy..only determination and hard work will get us back in contention were we clearly belong…We are The Gunners..!! We are quite simply the Best club in the world..:)

  35. goonerjake says:

    On Arsenal Player ‘The Breakdown’ does adrian clarke tell us anything new? Drives me insane. Suppose better than negative and disruptive Robson

  36. vp says:

    Great post Tomstoned!

    You share a lot of optimism in respect to our future outlook; is this partly based on the assumption that the FFP will have some teeth?

    You end your post by referring to the fact that the club needs to wake up. What do you think needs to happen in order for this to happen?

    I’m new to here, and I’d be really interested to hear what are your opinions are on this.

  37. ArsenalForever says:

    Nice Article Rocky, the “spearmint rhino” comment cracked me up! These are very interesting topics you have raised…

    On finishing in the top 4, my personal view is that if we signed a proven goal scorer and a specialist DM in Jan then top 4 would be virtually guaranteed, as I believe they would add to what is already a good group. I appreciate this is not easy, but that subject has been discussed to death so I won’t go there. If we don’t sign anyone, then I still think we could sneak 4th but we probably won’t. The reality is that under AVB Spurs look far more resilient this year and, unlike Redknapp, he is very good at rotating his players. I’m not concerned about Everton as I think they will run out of steam. Chelsea are more likely to finish ahead of us.

    Regarding how we’d cope with finishing outside top 4. I agree with Shard that we would be fine. We are a big club built on a solid foundation. I think we should use it as an opportunity to regroup, and add some quality players, as mentioned earlier. However, I think we should also learn from the lessons provided by Valencia and Atletico Madrid.

    Valencia were, for a few seasons, happy to finish third behind big-spenders Barca and Real. The fans and media alike were desperate for them to challenge in order to make the league more interesting, but they had such huge debts hanging over them that they could not. The priority was qualification for the CL. They started to promote youth, and began spending shrewdly – but they were forced into selling their best players e.g. David Villa and David Silva, among others. It eventually caught up with them. As at today, they are not even in the European places as other teams have overtaken them.

    One of those teams is Atletico, who were perennial underachievers for many years and living in the shadow of the mighty Real. They had spent big money on players but suffered from constant boardroom upheaval and managerial merry-go-rounds. Finally, Quique Flores took over as manager and brought unity to the club. He helped forge a lethal partniship between Forlan and Aguero, and also led them to a Europa league triumph. He was sacked after a poor start a few seasons ago, and replaced by Gregory Manzano, who in turn was replaced by club legend Diego Simone after a season of stability. Simone changed the mentality of the players making them more aggressive and competitive. When Citeh bought Aguero at the start of last season, Atletico immediately replaced him with Radamel Falcao using the money from that sale. They went on to win the Europa league, and this year they are in 2nd place 7 points ahead of Real.

    The moral of this story? Recruit Atletico’s scouting network (just kidding)! The point is that regardless of competitor spending, if a club does not do all it can within its own resources to compete, then it may well get left behind. But, sometimes you need to go backwards in order to go forwards.

  38. ArsenalForever says:

    tomstoned – excellent post at 11.34. I do think it is a question of belief, and nothing can overcome that like the winning of a trophy. That’s what breeds confidence in a team and causes them to stay together.

  39. tomstoned says:

    Thx Vp :)
    First off welcome :)its a great blog done by some true Gooners…
    one cant overlook the impact ffp will have but if The Arsenal have done something right over the last years it ihas to be the finacial part of running a club…so i honestly think we will be more than able to compete on the highest level for many many years to come…but i dont believe that ffp will make us win anything,,,,we will have to do the hard work…
    regarding the club’s awakening ;…i do see clear signs that it already have started..tying down Jack and our young players was a great first step…looking at our wage structure is important…we have improved and will continue to improve our business deals,..and there are other signs…BUT we will face a battle to install the belief and hunger again…imo Wenger needs if not Dein back someone like him to help out,,he cant do it all himself…
    remember this Vp…i sport its all about tomorrow..its a bout what we do in the future…and we can do it…we are so close…and we will get there…
    it all starts with that word..belief !

  40. tomstoned says:

    Thx ArsenalForever and of course you are spot on a trophy will give us a kick start…still i want this talk about aiming for fourth and that fourth spot being a trophy to stop..asap ;)

  41. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all, you’ve asked the question officially now so this is no longer a taboo subject Rocky.

    For me the jury is out as to whether we wil or will not make top 4. This season, (compared to the last 6) we have less excuse to fail in that endeavour as we have the resources to do something about it … and by the end of Januray I predict we will have failed to utilise those resources.

    How ironic if we’ve stayed top 4 in seasons where we had no right (full credit to AW) and slipped down at a time when the straightjacket of financial austerity has loosened ….. the blame would lie across all the strata of management.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    The Strat of management is not quite as heavy as the Les Paul of management.

  43. goonerjake says:

    Tomstoned,

    Great comment earlier, I was mostly intrigued by the hunger comments. It is my personnel belief the current team does not show the level of hunger I would like.

    How could you overcome this? It is difficult and maybe a radical idea needs to be tried, when I say radical, it is only radical because even though I would like to see it brought in I can’t see current players agreeing to it.

    But…

    We have a relatively young squad and they are getting very well paid for what they are achieving at the moment… So how about say if a player is on 50k a week he is really on say 30k but he gets his full quota of 50k if we win or draw. Maybe this kind of win\draw bonus would encourage more fight and desire.

    The above would never happen now, I think far too many players view their job as just a job and not a sport where winning is as important as picking up a pay cheque.

  44. Shard says:

    BR
    :)

  45. Shard says:

    I agree with tomstoned regarding getting the belief back, and just giving it your all. You finish up wherever you finish up after that. That’s actually why I never understand the trophies argument. For me, trophies are a by product of playing well, and being better than other competitors. Trophies just provide a tangible aspect to your satisfaction and pride. They don’t provide it.

    Also, I am not sure Wenger has lost the belief, but this is where negativity can have an effect on the players and manager. The confidence can drain away. And that is why I feel we should just give the team the support it needs. It happened last season. Most fans realised that the team wasn’t where they want it to be, but just backed them anyway. This season, it seems the strain of doing it again has gotten some fans down. We’re getting close to the final hurdle, and would be sad if we tripped right now.

  46. Shard says:

    ArsenalForever,

    I think with Valencia, you have to look a little further than that. The reason Valencia were in debt was because for a while, they kept up with RM and Barca. Those 2 la liga titles didn’t just materialise. They paid for those titles. The price of which was then not being able to challenge at all later, having to sell their stars to stay afloat, and having a half finished stadium. Atletico apparently have some serious financial problems too, and are apparently in trouble with the tax authorities. Selling Falcao will be their get out of jail card I’m guessing (although there are rumours of 3rd party ownership in Falcao’s case), but then they’ll fall back to where they deserve (just an assumption) Arsenal’s(and ManU’s) growth is organic and long term. Simply ‘going for it’ is not the basis for a strong foundation. And though foundations are built, to some extent, by the results on the field, more often than not, it’s the other way round.

  47. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    What a great idea for a post, Rocky.

    I’ll be very surprised if we do end up in the top 4, so I voted No, but we only need to find a streak of consistency for it to happen again.

    I find the top answer to the second part of the poll a trifle bizarre. Spending heavily to get out of the non-CL position we may find ourselves in, seems the least likely option of those presented to me. ( I went for the transvestite pole-dancer option :) ).

  48. Bryan says:

    Shard
    in reponse to your comment about the strain of fans doing it again,
    in my humble opinion, it is more last year we at least showed effort but this season on numerous occasions we look like we can’t be bothered & there seems to be a total lack of effort & will to win.
    If we give our all & lose thats fair enough but I just can not accept the amount on inept performances we have churned out this year. I can’t ever remember so many poor half hearted games as I have watched this season, for me is is absolutely unnaceptable. We are paying a bucket load of money & can only dream of the sort of money these players make.

    Arsenalforevers comment about Atletico Madrid says it all, they lost Ageuro & replaced him with Falcao (class) & we lose our top players & replace them with a 10M player, just does not add up & is no wonder each season we become poorer & poorer

  49. HI all

    Thanks for the post Rocky. For me, until it’s mathematically impossible for us to finish in the top four I will stand by my team and hope they pull something magic out of the hat.

  50. dandan says:

    From today’s Times.

    Arsène Wenger has admitted that he is concerned by Arsenal’s performances against their leading rivals as fears grow that they cannot compete with the Barclays Premier League elite.
    The manager said today that his players’ morale was severely affected by their 2-1 defeat by Chelsea on Sunday, which left them 22 points behind Manchester United, the leaders, before tomorrow night’s match against West Ham United at Emirates Stadium.
    That loss, coupled with Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat by Manchester City in front of their own fans seven days earlier, means that Wenger is in real danger of missing out on a sixteenth successive season in the Champions League.
    “What is worrying is just that we do not win the big games,” Wenger said. “At the moment we do not get the results we want. The difference in points mathematically is not dramatic, but the consistency of our performances within games is what is worrying.”
    Wenger’s side have the chance to get within four points of the Champions League places by defeating West Ham in a fixture that had to be rearranged because of a London Underground strike on Boxing Day, but Arsenal have failed to win in their past three league games
    “We are of course very disappointed because we put a lot of effort into these games but we missed the start of the game and therefore we came out with zero points,” Wenger said.
    “The position we are in now is a bit backs to the wall because we have to respond. I’m confident that we will but the team was very down after the Chelsea game.”
    Theo Walcott admitted that a lack of self-belief among the players contributed to the defeats by City and Chelsea as he acknowledged that they had let down Wenger with poor first-half performances in both games. “There’s a lack of belief as to how good we can be,” he said. “We’ve got some very good players. They don’t believe they are good enough at times.”
    Selling Van Persie to United brought in £24 million, but missing out on Champions League football next season could cost the club £35 million. Walcott, though, does not believe the squad lacks strength in depth, nor does he subscribe to the theory that the manager is struggling to motivate his players. “We’ve got a great bunch and a great manager,” he said. “We try to win for him, we need to win for him, because he’s been helpful for us young players coming through.”
    Wenger has injury problems, with Francis Coquelin’s hamstring problem leaving him short of another defensive midfield player. Mikel Arteta is ruled out and Abou Diaby will be assessed as he continues his comeback from long-term injury.
    “It is a position where we are short and anyway we are short when Arteta is not there because he is a player with a lot of experience, he gives us stability and you could see that in the last two [Premier League] games,” Wenger said. “It is a position where we are a bit vulnerable at the moment.
    “Diaby is one of the guys I will have to check. He started, you could see he was not completely physically fresh from the start on and he did dig deep on Sunday to do what he did.
    “He played four games on the trot after being out for three months, so I will have to check him.”
    There is, however, better news for Wenger as Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could return after illness.

    Thanks for an interesting post Rocky

  51. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for some great comments today (tom, shard, AF, vp, jake, Bryan and everyone else).

    I was a bit pushed for time so a Poll seemed like a decent idea for a quickie :)

    Also, I was genuinely interested to know how the tide of opinion was flowing.

    To be honest I expected the result to be showing about 70-30 in favour of people thinking we would not finish in the top four. I am surprised (and pleased) that it is so close.

    I voted that we would do it (ie get top four) because I still feel we will.

    I also still think we’ll bring in one or two players this month – although usually Rasp is right and I am wrong about such matters.

  52. RockyLives says:

    Thanks dandan
    I’ve said this before, the slightly worrying thing is that AW seems as mystified as the rest of us and those quotes don’t do anything to dispel that notion.

  53. Shard says:

    Bryan,

    I don’t think there has been a lack of effort by the team. At least, not as a norm. A lack of confidence maybe. The difference with last season is that the fans had a talisman, a symbol, to give us hope, and consequently to get behind. Wilshere is being thrust into that role, but it’s obviously too early for him. What is lacking most from this team is understanding. They haven’t played together all that much, and Arsenal’s system takes time to get used to, because it heavily relies on teamwork rather than just individual brilliance (the notorious walking the ball into the net) Anyway, whatever the reasons, the fans aren’t getting behind the team as much as even last season, and it isn’t helping. (In my opinion of course)

    Sadly, I cannot agree with you about the money being paid and the money that footballers make being any sort of reason to not back the club.

    As for Atletico. So what if they bought Falcao? I’m not really aware of Atletico Madrid’s financial situation (although as I said they reportedly have problems) and business model, so I can’t really say how and to what extent they compare to Arsenal. I would venture, not much. Simply becase they have no new stadium to pay for. However, the point about not losing top players, yes, eventually it will tell on a team. All the more reason that I think Wenger’s achievements as remarkable in that we haven’t felt those effects to the extent that could be expected (we’re always told we’re not going to finish top 4) , and that cycle cannot be, and will not be, permanent. I am certain that 2014 at the latest will be when the shackles will be thrown off.

  54. vp says:

    Hi Tomstoned

    Thanks for your reply. A very upbeat response considering our current predicament , and for this you deserve a great deal of credit. Your absolutely right about ‘belief’ but I think that with any successful organization belief starts at the top and is then cascading down to the more subordinate levels. For me, the constant reminders from our board (particularly Chairman) about other clubs’ having more resources then us sets the wrong tone from the off, embedding a ‘doesn’t matter if we’re the not the best culture’ .

    It would appear that the board do not believe:

    Glazadias recently came out and stated that there are no contingent strategies in place, and so everything rests on the FFP. He speaks of the FFP with 100% certainty and so if he really BELIEVES, why can’t we start exploiting the unrecognized gains right now, why do we have to wait for two years before this is the case? Over time I have learnt to accept that What the board say to us at the AGM and what they actually believe are two separate matters. I wouldn’t read too much into the reassurances by the board that we would be fine if we don’t get the £40mill debit. Our financials over the past few years would indicate that we would only have a marginal amount of funds available to improve the squad if this was the case. Perhaps, given the circumstances, the club might be willing to show a year end loss on its P & L but I would rate this as unlikely. They say that there’s a £40mill contingency in place-can you really see us spending £40mill on new players if we fail to qualify for the CL?

    I do think we have to grant a bit of leniency to the players . They see our best players leave time and after time. Losing our star man/captain to the team we’re striving to catch was probably one blow too many. I would go as far to say that the players have been institutionalized to accept second best. I believe that the club needs go through a culture change if belief is to be restored. The people charged with this responsibility is the owner/board.

  55. Gooner Sam says:

    Funny noone has any faith in Wenger anymore. It’s so sad given his past bit that’s what happens when you give one man to much power. He thinks he is indestructable and always right. The best managers constantly want to learn and grow but Wenger thinks he always knows best (probably a consequence of the fans saying it for years!)
    The thing is I now do not fear losing him as a manger every dog has its days and whilst I am happy to say thank you for the memories and what you have done its time for someone with a new vision who is the clubs manager not dictator.

  56. Gooner Sam says:

    Sorry meant to say, good post!

  57. goonerjake says:

    Goonersam i disagree with you i have faith in Mr Wenger. Its the lack of finance to keep up with the money elite that gives me poise.

  58. Gooner Sam says:

    Goonerjake, whilst our finances are not Chelsea or City they ate pretty strong and we have plenty in the bank (according to the club). I have no problem with Wenger having faith in his players but what is clear is that we need a stronger squad and despite what he says they are available. He has positioned himself as the controller of the club and so as that controller the buck stops with him. If we don’t perform it’s ultimately he who is accountable. Some questions; is he getting the best from the current squad? Why do the players keep making the same mistakes? Why are we paying the majority of players the same amount regardless of ability? There’s a mess at Arsenal and it’s not because of the richness of other clubs

  59. Geronimo with an assist for Ivory Coast’s first goal, scored by Yaya.
    It’d be handy if he comes back with his confidence and game restored.

  60. Bryan says:

    Shard
    The whole point I made about Athletico getting Falcao was that they replaced a top player with another top player, not so what if they got Falcao lol
    When we sold RVP we didn’t go out & buy another top player which is the norm with Arsenal.
    & yes I believe in a lot of games this season there has been a complete lack of effort, they seem to just believe they can take to the pitch & win against so called lesser sides.
    I used to go to the Emirates thinking we will deffinately win today but it does not matter who we are playing now, I just don’t know if we win because I don’t know what team will turn up.

  61. Shard says:

    vp

    It’s interesting how people’s complaints also change with situations. A few years ago, I remember conversing with some people who were frustrated and angry with the club and their complaint was that if Arsenal and Arsene had only told them earlier that they would not be competing for the title for a few years, they would have been fine. Instead they felt the club lied to them when they said the stadium move would help us compete in the transfer market, and that Wenger lied when he said at the start of the season(s) that we would be aiming to win the title. Now apparently we’ve accepted we’re never going to win the title and that has been institutionalised. The problem with all these arguments are that they’re all almost completely conjecture. We don’t really know what Wenger is like, what the board are like, and what the players are told behind the scenes.

    What will change at Arsenal and will get us winning, will just be the natural progression of our journey as a club. Trophies will come again. It’s inevitable (as much as anything can be -I’m careful like RA that way, and believe in caveats :) )

  62. Red Arse says:

    Have you ever pondered, like me, how it can be that fans of a club, let’s call them ‘Gooners’, watching a game at precisely the same time, albeit from slightly different perspectives depending upon where they are sitting or standing in relation to the activity on the pitch, can come to diametrically opposite conclusions as to the beneficial input of a specific player or to the overall performance of the team?

    I have. This diversity of opinion between the fans cannot simply be ascribed to cussedness on the part of one or the other.
    No. There must be something else at work here.

    Perhaps you have heard of the ‘qualia problem’ because, if so, this might throw some light on the subject.

    It is not conceptually easy to define what a ‘qualia’ is other than to say it is a philosophical reference to individual instances of subjective experience.

    For example, a qualia could be described as the “what does it feel like” pain of a burn, or the dejection of seeing your team lose.

    Now this is where using qualia to analyse the differences in fans’ perceptions becomes tricky.

    You see there is an argument that qualia can be sub-divided into ‘raw’ or ‘cooked’ perceptions.

    A ‘raw feel’ is a perception in and of itself, considered entirely in isolation from any effect it might have on behaviour and behavioural disposition of the individual in question.
    Whereas, in contrast to that, a “cooked feel” is that of a perception seen as existing solely in terms of its effects.

    For example, the perception of the pain of losing a game is an incontrovertibly raw feel, while the subjective experience of dejection caused by that loss would be described as a cooked feel.

    Wait! I am getting there …… slowly! :D

    One key consequence of such a claim — that qualia exist — is that it now leads to the logical possibility of two entities exhibiting identical behaviour in all ways despite one of them entirely lacking qualia.

    Up until now, no one in the scientific community has actually claimed that such an entity, called a philosophical zombie :-) actually exists, but I am now claiming the veracity of that truth on behalf of AA as it must be the solution as to why opinions, among Gooners, on the performances of Arsenal and its individual players vary so widely that a state of near blogological warfare exists between the yeas and the nays.

    Everyone is RIGHT!!

    Simples, indeed!! :P

  63. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Blogological. I like it.

    Are you saying there’s no such thing as fact, just our varying perceptions of an intestate earth?

  64. RockyLives says:

    Redders – you Kant!

  65. RockyLives says:

    Sounds to me like you have just introduced a new concept to philosophy/psychology Redders :)

    I think someone experiencing the “raw” without the “cooked” or vice versa should be known as being in a “redarsive” state.

  66. Bryan says:

    Chary1966
    Tal;king of Gervinho, I think it would be more handy if he didn’t come back at all, sorry I just couldn’t resist ;-)

  67. RockyLives says:

    Gervinho has looked OK at times as a wide player.

    Unfortunately AW severely dented his reputation with the fans by playing him down the middle (not Gerv’s fault).

    He is a frustrating player, no doubt – but he can do a lot of damage to the opposition when he’s on his game and he is always a very direct runner (rather than passing sideways).

  68. Bryan says:

    Red
    at 3.48 I totally agree, if only I understood you :-D

    Rocky
    Come on Gervinho is rubbish wherever he plays, think it must be the qualia effect lol

  69. Red Arse says:

    I inadvertently posted a comment this morning which was in response to a point raised elsewhere regarding squad depth, which nonetheless has a bearing on the question of the quality of the players we want, as opposed to purchasing players just to assuage the hunger of the fans desperate for change.

    I hope you do not object to me modifying it and re-posting. :-)

    The depth to our current squad resources appears to be in rude good health, especially in regards to the young players itching to break into the first team squad.

    It is good that many of these youngsters such as Anneke, Afobe, Campbell, Myaichi, etc, are out on loan gaining experience.

    It is not so good when we see what seems to be myriads of other ‘senior’ players like Bendtner, Park, Denilson, Chamakh and Djourou also out on loan, none of them wanted, together with others such as Fabianski, Arshavin, Santos and Squillaci again unwanted hangers on, yet all of them were bought to ‘improve’ the squad, and sadly it is a poor reflection on our scouting and recruitment policy, and perhaps it still is.

    There are 9 unwanted players there and there may be others littering up the club’s dressing room and training pitches!!

    Yes, please, Arsene, we would like quality reinforcements for our squad to allay the fears of those concerned with our ability to challenge for trophies, but, please, no more buys like these.

    Quality and not quantity must be the password!

  70. Rasp says:

    Nah, football is a very simple game that we seek to overcomplicate. Problems always arise when the basics are ignored :?

  71. Red Arse says:

    You kant call me that, Rocky, in scientific footballing matters, I am more of a recidivist!! :D

  72. Ha H Bryan, it had been said by many when Geronimo, like his absence at the ACN had the effect on the squad of being LANS.

  73. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, I’m surprised you haven’t asked me if I’ll accept the goals that Chamakh scores (ROLF) for West Ham in our little side bet.

  74. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasper, :-)

    Without denoting the comment that elicited your response, @ 4:08, it is a non sequitur, and mystifying to the non intelligentsia such as myself! :D

  75. Red Arse says:

    Shard, how could you tell? :P

  76. Bryan says:

    Strewth, I think I need to get a dictionary to understand Reds comments on here duh ;-)

  77. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders, this passage from Blackadder was written with you in mind :P ….

    – So what have we here?

    – It is a dictionary Sir

    – And what pray tell is a dictionary?

    – It contains every word known in the English language Sir.

    – Every word?

    – Every word.

    – Well in the case, may I be the first to wish you my hearty contrafibularities!!!!!

  78. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    I did, a few days ago :)
    Naturally I took your lack of response as a “yes”.
    That Peroni is still coming my way :)

  79. Rasp says:

    Haha, in your dreams Rockster :lol: more chance of us buying David Villa I’d say

  80. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

  81. Rasp says:

    gonad, is that the ‘Fanny Schmeller’ corpsing incident? What was the director thinking of putting a name like that in an afternoon quiz show? :) very funny though.

  82. Red Arse says:

    Rasp, Brilliant! :P

  83. Rasp says:

    If we’re putting up humorous clips, you gotta see this walrus (no connection with redders intended :oops: ) the funniest bit is right at the end …

  84. Red Arse says:

    Gonad, I have just stopped laughing! That hurt my ribs!! :D

  85. Red Arse says:

    Rasp, that was great too, and the bugger is a better mathematician than me – I only counted 5!! :-)

    Thank you for reminding me to have a quiet word with that knobbily, shilelagh waving ex-pat Rocky!

    His reference to “a transvestite pole dancer, and the Emirates stadium turned into the world’s biggest Spearmint Rhino”, came from a confidential remark I made to him, that on the tiny Spearmint dance floor I looked like a crazed Rhino on ice, as I shook my ample booty to the syncopated rhythm, and caused 3 other dancers to prostrate themselves and call for the bouncers!!

    I will never forgive him!!

  86. Red Arse says:

    Hi Bryan, :-)

    Thanks for agreeing with my 3:48 — on trust.
    What it actually meant was that you were agreeing to buy me a couple of Peronis when we eventually meet at the Tavern, with all the other AA lushes!!!! :D

  87. Ha ha, it looks like Geronimo has scored the winner for Ivory Coast.
    Please, let this form continue.

  88. jnyc says:

    Good one Rocky. Polls are always fun. Its worth remembering, we played terribly down the stretch last season. It took an incredible collapse by spurs and even help in our final match. Hard truth. I think we are overall a better team now, but we are not playing that way. And as i pointed out the other day, if spurs get the champs league money, they will spend all 30+ on improving, which will make it harder for us to break back into top four. Not impossible, but difficult. We better start playing 90 mins per match from here on.

  89. So, end result – Geronimo get’s an assist and scores the winning goal, Adebayor only mentioned when he missed a sitter earlier on and the ex-Chav Drogba looked a shadow of the player we remember.

  90. Red Arse says:

    I see that Mbwia has officially signed for Toon.

    One of my picks (Sturridge) has gone to ‘Pool, and now another one, Yanga, has ‘snubbed’ us. So they join Remy to QPR and Mvila apparently also going there.

    Arsene, they cannot all be rubbish – can they?

  91. Bryan says:

    Sorry jnyc
    but I get fed up of hearing about the WBA keeper making mistakes for us to win that game, the season is 38 games long, I’m sure Spurs had more than a few goalkeeping, pens, offside goals go there way as I also know that we had a lot of dodgy decisions go against us ;-)

  92. Rasp says:

    That’s very sad. M’biwa is an excellent player who can play anywhere across the back four and as a DM … he would have improved the squad.

    I promised myself I wouldn’t take any notice of AW’s statements during the TW, but he keeps coming out with the same nonsense its hard to ignore.

  93. Bryan says:

    Red
    I have just become teetotal haha
    Gutted about Mbwia thought we would get him, he also may of been captain material as I recall him geeing up players when we played them at the Emirates. Remy Im glad we didn’t get (4 goals this year lol) I do like Sturridge & M’Vila please, he is what we need

  94. Red Arse says:

    to cheer myself up!!

    Sixteen Logical Reasons Why Some Men Have Dogs And Not Wives:

    1. The later you are, the more excited your dog is to see you.

    2. Dogs don’t notice if you call them by another dog’s name.

    3. Dogs like it if you leave lots of things on the floor.

    4. Dogs’ parents never visit.

    5. Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across.

    6. You never have to wait for a dog; they’re ready to go, instantly, 24 hours a day.

    7. Dogs find you amusing when you’re pissed.

    8. Dogs like to go hunting and fishing.

    9. Dogs won’t wake you up at night to ask: “If I died, would you get another dog?”

    10. If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and sell ‘em.

    11. When you drop a silent one, dogs don’t run around frantically with room spray.

    13. Dogs never tell you to stop scratching your balls. Instead, they sit pondering why you don’t lick ‘em.

    14. Dogs will let you put a studded collar on, without calling you a pervert.

    15. If a dog smells another dog on you, it won’t kick you in the crotch; it just finds it interesting.

    And last, but not least:
    .
    .

    .
    .

    16. If a dog runs off and leaves you, it won’t take half your stuff.

    .
    .
    .
    To verify these statements: Lock your wife and your dog in the garage for an hour.
    When you open the door, observe who’s happy to see you! :-)

    Beat that, cat people!! :P

  95. vp says:

    Hi Shard

    The arguments that we put forward in respect to how the club is run are conjecture-Absolutely, but isn’t this a direct consequence from of how the club is governed? With most clubs (even organizations) it would be fairly straight forward to pinpoint channels of responsibility and roles. This is not the case with our club which is why a lot of people have tried to seek clarity with matters and failed. Information is even concealed from fellow investors (Kroenke hasn’t replied to Usmanov’s request for details in respect to our acquisition) and if you choose to run a club in this manor then it is only inevitable that people will suspect concealment of some kind. If everything’s above aboard, why not comply, if not for Usmanov, then out of respect for the fans. You only have to listen to the way our incompetent chairman addresses us to see that we are clearly being taken for granted. There are so many reasons why the club have lost creditability in the eye’s of the fans, and i could go on. I agree that expectations are situational (change with the times), but it would be wrong to label the fans who want the club to make good of their promises as absolutists. The club should stop creating false hope, plain and simple. And if that means less bums on seats and one less ranch for Mr Kroenke then so be it.

    ”The natural progression of our journey as a club” is a brilliant way of putting it and yes, its quite feasible to suggest that we will one day go back to winning ways. I just don’t see this happening with Kroenke at the Helm.

  96. The league season is getting serious now. I think we have it in us to finish in the top four. But, what if we don’t? It will not be a calamity. We need some silver in the bare cabinet at the Emirate spaceship. and the F.A. Cup will do! Better still, how about the pot our greasy “pals” took last year? How about winning them both? I don’t buy the excuse that we cant compete because of the money impediment. It is the will to win that we lack and we must re-discover that.
    FFP be damned! We want to do something now!!
    There is a lot to be disgusted about with Chelsea. However, it cant be said that their owner doesn’t care. He may be a bit of a rich prat, but he seems to love his team, which is more than can be said of our owner. My opinion of Stan Kroenke is so negative that it is a big threat to my love for Arsenal.
    I should have first mentioned that this post by The Rock is one of the most evocative of comment from me. Thank you Mr. Rocastle!
    It is so unfair to Arsenal that with one of the top two managers at the club, his job is proving to be so difficult. He is carrying almost every aspect of proceedings on his Jack Wilshere? if I may be allowed to say. It sucks! Come on Stan, wear a red and white scarf.

  97. vp says:

    Thanks Red Arse @ 5.07

    haha..Last comment read before the end of a testing day at work.

    Cheered me up too!

    Think i’ll go and lock my bitch up in the garage when i get home.

  98. I would much rather see Stan Kroenke dancing on the poles. Arsene Wenger does not do undignified. Or, how about Gazidis dancing for his money? It would make a change for him to earn it.:-D

  99. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Tony C. – have a crack at this.

    http://fuldans.se/?v=tpoljgeecn

  100. RockyLives says:

    Haha – love that Chas :)

  101. What’s in his left boot arthur? Oh, Stan would be better. Or Gazzy maybe. Arsene doesn’t do undignified too well at all. That proves it.

  102. barumgooner says:

    I actually believe it will be the best thing for the club long-term. I think the stingy attitude worked to achieve the goal of paying for the stadium but now investment is needed. I dont think true investment will happen whilst Arsene is at the club, he has done a fine job of maintaining and improving an already successful side in his early years and found some great players to create a new generation. Once the club moved and were forced to function with inadequate funds and staff he has been effective at keeping the money coming in but now we are at a corner where we can grow again into a side capable of winning trophies. The trouble is that I think Arsene and the board have developed an attitude that cl qualification is good enough and that attitude must filter through to the team. The acceptance of medicrity has to be removed and imo the best way for this to happen will be with a new manager, a manager with ambition and desire which will rub off on the playing staff. The failure to get the CL money will I think make this happen and who knows we may win the Europa league and kick start the winning attitude needed. I think this is a good squad with mostly good honest players, with a bit of guidance and belief (and one or two quality additions) they could be great.

  103. kelsey says:

    In conclusion I think the main ingrediant missig is leadership on the pitch. As individuals we have not a great team but a prettty good one that justs needs tweaking and a couple of additions,players with an attitude like jack. i would like to see a bit more rollicking between players when the occasion fits and if no one is bought i would recall bedtner for the rest of the season to add to our attack.he is certainly no worse than what we already have.

  104. Shard says:

    kelsey

    I think Bendtner was injured at Juve, and had some surgery recently. Not sure though.

  105. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    barum, great comment.

    I still believe that Wenger believes that CL qualification is the minimum he is striving for as regards league position is concerned.

    The problem this season is that that minimum i.e. qualifying for next season’s CL, may just be out of our reach.

    If you had to rank the following for an Arsenal season how would you do it? 1 being the most important.

    FA Cup winners
    Premier League championship winners
    League Cup (C1 Cup) winners
    Champions League qualification for the season following
    Champions League trophy winners

    Ask the spuds, dippers, toffees, swans and baggies if CL qualification is the acceptance of mediocrity.

    Ask the chavs and light blue oilers if they’d prefer to still be in this season’s CL comp?

  106. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Bendtner is currently undergoing recuperation from ego-reduction surgery and is out of action until March at the earliest.
    (actually it is a thigh problem)

  107. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Evening
    Again I see we ain’t signed any players,what’s going on .?

  108. RockyLives says:

    Same as Arsene Chas:

    1. Win EPL
    2. Win ECL
    3. Win FA Cup
    4. Qualify for ECL
    5. League Cup

    It does annoy me that people wilfully misinterpret his comment about qualifying for CL.

    I have no doubt he sets out at the start of each campaign intending to try and win the league. If we can’t do that, then we try to get second, then third… but if we can’t get top three, it’s perfectly reasonable to state that getting fourth (and into the ECL) is also an important achievement.

  109. RockyLives says:

    “ego reduction surgery” :D

    Must have been a long op!

  110. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    sheepy,
    We ain’t signing anyone, so get used to it.
    Meanwhile, stop carrying on like a pussy. :)

    http://bit.ly/UJURHF

  111. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Rocky,
    For some reason I remembered it as….
    qualify for the ECL as third priority, as it would be mine.
    I’ll have to go investigate.

  112. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    We need players not players fines
    OFFENCE
    FINE
    Non attendance of unused players at Home matches without permission of manager
    £1000
    Late for training
    15 mins £500
    Late for treatment/massage
    15 mins £500
    Late for travel
    £500
    Late for match day meetings / meals
    £250
    Wrong kit on match days
    £100
    Inappropriate clothing outside of the dressing room
    £100
    Outdoor shoes in the dressing room
    £100
    Newspapers, laptops and phones in the medical room
    £100
    Newspapers in dressing room
    £100
    Non production of urine sample for two consecutive weeks
    £200
    Phone calls in the building (texting allowed)
    £500
    No participating in commercial activities (including Club Day)
    £500

    Left I’m no pussy son I’m a Sheep
    Much love

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Mullard . don’t start that cat vs dog discussion again – you know you will lose. How many cats have won awards for gallantry …..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickin_Medal

  114. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    The rule I would break most is .
    Late for training but who cares its only £500 that’s nothing when ur on £50 k a week .
    Loose change to them players

  115. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Sorry, Rocky, my failing memory was right.

    “That’s why I would like to come back to one thing. We speak about trophies. For me, there are five trophies – the first is to win the Premier League, the second is to win the Champions League, the third is to qualify for the Champions League, the fourth is to win the FA Cup and the fifth is to win the League Cup.”

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-agm-2012-arsene-wenger-s-speech

  116. Big Raddy says:

    I would take Laptops in the Medical room. Just a hundred – a mere bagatelle

  117. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    BR,
    You’d be surprised.
    Long live Simon.

    http://www.purr-n-fur.org.uk/famous/simon.html

  118. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Someone yesterday was suggesting Santos broke the speed limit cos he was late for training and wanted to avoid a fine.
    As you say, sheepy, £500 is loose change to them.

  119. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Br I’m always late I’m slow in the mornings.
    I’m a night person now I’m coming alive,just had a can and a smoke.
    Have u seen them rules elsewhere

  120. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Bye the way I’m a dog man I’ve a 3 year old jack Russell
    He goes by the name of Limpar another arsenal connection.
    I’m not keen on pussy cats.

  121. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    sheepy, they were all over t’internet yesterday, especially twitter.

  122. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Limpar the dog. Superb.

  123. barumgooner says:

    Will we win the CL ? We are in the hat and we have a chance but have we got a realistic chance of lifting the trophy ?. I know what you are saying AMLG but I think it depends on how you view success. The club/AW may well see it from a financial perspective and as such last 16 is a success and any more is a bonus but as a fan or even a player is that success or failure ? Personally I want to see finals, trophies, results and so do the players…. and clearly Arsene does too but for so long now he has had a realistic target and I wonder whether he has it in him to raise the bar ? I remember in 87 we won the littlewoods cup and it sparked a new belief in both the team and the fans, all we need is a spark. I think the level of importance of each competition is well known to all but I want a day in the sun, a final, not an extra £5m in the clubs account due to lasting one more round before failing.

  124. Big Raddy says:

    Limpar. Brilliant. I had a dog called Eddie after Eddie Kelly (yeah I know, bizarre, but he did score the winner in a Wembley Final)

  125. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    barum,
    I hear you.
    Winning the League cup in 1987 and now are two entirely different things.
    After all, English clubs were banned from European competition after Heysel until 1990-91.

  126. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

  127. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Fine post Rocky Baby.

    Champions league qualification? “Its up for grabs now”, so i reckon we will get it.

    Is it that important? No not realy. In the grand scheme of things its merely a blip. Things never stay the same, and the world of football has gone undergone so much change and flux in the last couple of decades that its product, politics and finances is unrecognizable to those that once cheered John Hawley to glory.

    As we speak, the premierships established elite are ganging up on City and Chelsea. The same is happening in Europe.

    Who knows what the outcome of these shenanigans will be, i certainly dont. Eight clubs from domestic leagues qualifing for champions league? A european super league?, a breakaway?, i dont know.

    What i am convinced of however is that to survive and eventuly prosper, you need strong foundations. Our club is one of a small handfull that is well positioned for shocks, surprises, and diverse eventualitys that is the modern game of football.

    Who knows. I know die hard Chelsea fans that dont like the Abramovich era and yearn for a return to Micky Droy. Is that so strange?

    On a personal front, success is not everything . The journey is just as important. Despite the money and politics of the modern game, i want the club to win but retain some of the values and traditions that makes it the club that it is. Admired and respected by non biased neutrals and seceretly admired by the biased ones.

    Not too much to ask is it? hahaha

  128. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    barum,
    Here’s the league table for 1987-8.

    http://www.statto.com/football/stats/england/division-one-old/1987-1988

    We finished 6th behind QPR, Forest and Everton.

  129. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    He’s called Limpar because he has a slight limp on his right back leg it’s about 2cm shorter than his left leg.

    Hence the name Limpar and he’s the nicest Jack Russell u have ever met he’s not nasty.

    Sheep

  130. barumgooner says:

    AM, and within a couple of years we were on top, amazing what a bit of belief does for you.

  131. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Anybody here seen Kelly, K, E, double L, Y.

  132. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    barum,
    So Charlie Nick scoring two goals in 1987 led to the belief which enabled Anfield 1989? I know that’s the way it’s been portrayed in Arsenal history but do you really believe that?

  133. barumgooner says:

    If i’m honest i’m just bored of the way the club is at the moment, I dont like the fact that Wenger never changes tactics, style or formation. That (outwardly atleast) there is an acceptence that 4th is an achievement. I am not convinced that even with better players we can compete with a stubborn set-in-his-ways manager, hopefully I am wrong and he still has it in him but I just dont see it. IMO his best days are behind him and the club needs to move on but thats maybe just me.

  134. barumgooner says:

    I believe it was a springboard for the manager, players and club to move forward. There were a remarkable group of young players who came through together, a great manager with a winning mentality and a strong tactical game but yes I do think winning is addictive and when this group win something (anything) they will get the bug.

  135. dandan says:

    Sheep I think I had better bring my Border Collie up there and put a little order into your life, born of two working dogs she has loved this snow out quartering the garden every couple of hours I think she was looking for you or your progeny its in the blood you know. :-)

    On a different note great to see Colin Murrey has got the push from MOD2 and Chappers is taking over for a bit.

    Personally I would like to see Gabby Logan given that job with the shrewd Lee Dixon and Pat Nevin on the sofa. It would provide the lift this tired old program needs. I have also heard that Danny Murphy is being trained to do a Garry Nev. If he is half as good as his wife who sometimes writes for the times then he also will be a bonus.

  136. Big Raddy says:

    Barum. Agree which is why losing to Bradford was so damaging.

  137. barumgooner says:

    True Raddy.

  138. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I’m watching villa v Badford it’s 1-1 in second half and the Badford fans are singing to Paul lambert

    UR GETTING SACKED IN THE MORNING.
    they may be right .
    Much love
    SH

  139. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Any one got a post for the morning.?

  140. Big Raddy says:

    Sheep. Yes, I have done a pre-match for the WHU game. But write one for Friday.

  141. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    sheepy,
    If you’ve got one send it.
    It’ll be appreciated.

  142. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    A BR for tomorrow. :)
    3 points essential in whatever way possible.
    I’m looking forward to it.

  143. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    Love the 1971 highlights.
    Couple of thoughts – I hadn’t realised that the match was refereed by Mr Bean (check it out at 5.10-ish).
    And Ray Kennedy had a very “Giroud-like” performance :)

    (Am I not supposed to be calling you Chas any more?)

  144. chas says:

    Rocky,
    Call me what you like.
    Nobody could mistake my glib, trite and inconsequential remarks for who I am.
    (except kelsey, perhaps :) )

  145. chas says:

    haha, Mr Bean looks a little fatigued.

  146. RockyLives says:

    Can I call you Kylie?

  147. dandan says:

    Ray Kennedy: now there is a lad who could head a football, ask the spuds WHL 1971 first leg of the double, oh how we danced, we had waited so long it puts this current little drought into perspective. Although we had won the fairs cup the year before this was the one we wanted and five days later we went to Wembley and won the cup too.

    Bet GN5 was their.

  148. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I can’t do one Friday and as u have one carry on the good work.

  149. chas says:

    Rocky,
    I’m only called Kylie at weekends. :lol:

  150. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Jeremy Kyile legend
    He sorts out the uk trailer trash I’d love his job

  151. chas says:

    Sheepy,
    How about you volunteer to do the match report for West Ham?
    Peaches will love you forever.
    Two paragraphs on the game ( 1 for each half) and some ovine player ratings would be more than necessary. :)

  152. chas says:

    It’s weird how my away trip to Bradford was a still a good night even with the terrible result. The Bradford fans were so up for it, it added so much to the game. On chances we still deserved to go through but that’s cup football.

  153. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Can’t chas I won’t be home to watch the game and I’m busy this week.
    I was asking in interest if any one had a post

  154. chas says:

  155. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Sheeps off to sleep
    Much love
    Sheep Hagger ™

  156. Rasp says:

    GN5 has predicted the scores of all the remaining games for the 3rd and 4th spot contenders and come up with this …..

    GN5 predictor photo gn5predictor_zps94886ec3.png

    Apologies to GN5 for not posting this sooner, it would have made a great addition to today’s debate

  157. RockyLives says:

    Blimey, and I thought my rose-tinteds were good :)

    We could do it though… Six straight wins starting tomorrow…

  158. RockyLives says:

    Both us and the Spuds have played most of our “tough” games and have relatively decent runs-in.

  159. slime says:

    If we lose 1 of our last 16 games then we deserve 4th!!

    TMHT nailed it at 8.21pm for me.

    Why can’t football be about the journey and about enjoying the game? I’m fed up of talking finance and boardroom politics. If I wanted that I’d go on the Labour Party blog! :) I don’t want to have to debate with my kids about how much we should be paying players, or wether we should be renewing contracts, I want to talk about amazing goals and pieces of skill that got everyone off their seat.

    Its known as the beautiful game, but like an Italian women in her forties, it’s getting uglier by the day!!!

  160. Bless your gonads Arthur. Your excellent comments are nothing compared to the trip down memory lane I got when seeing the highlights of the ’71 Cup Final. Oh! and the big match when two Ray Kennedy goals saw Chelsea off. THAT was the Arsenal which will live forever in my memory. Thanx for sending me back there mate. i can never love another team more. The Invincibles were … well, exceptional. But the 70-71 double side were the ones I fell in love with. Yeah man!!!!!!

  161. ArsenalForever says:

    TMHT, excellent comment at 8.21 – success really is about the journey and never simply about the destination. And your point about the values / culture is spot on too. Real Madrid has been my second fav team since 1994 and one of the things I have always loved about them is that they stick to their philosophy of winning in style.

    @Shard – re. your comment at 1.26, you made some good points but I have to disagree with you on Valencia buying their titles. They did not buy their way to the title, they spent within their means. Their spending was similar to our spending in the years leading up to the double in 1998 (e.g. signings like Platt, Bergkamp, Vieira, Petit, Overmars, etc). They eventually had a squad capable of winning the title (funnily enough in 2002 and 2004, like us)

    What did it for them was getting into the CL Final and then spending lavishly on players that flopped. They gambled and lost. Ironically this is the opposite approach to what we have taken since 2005 – gambling on youth. So I agree with you that “just going for it” is not the solution, what is required is a detailed analysis of the squad and then looking to use our resources to improve the squad in the best way possible.

    My point about Atletico was that they have risen to prominence from a place of relative obscurity. I was using that to support my view that finishing outside top 4 is not a disaster as long as we keep our top players, and replace them properly if we do eventually have to sell them.

  162. ArsenalForever says:

    Correction – what cost them was their spending after 2005, NOT the Champions League Final in 2000, which actually help propelled them to further success domestically and in Europe where they won the Uefa cup in 2004…

  163. slime says:

    I think Dortmund are a team that us Arsenal fans can get some hope from. Football tends to be in cycles and Dortmunds rise, fall and rise in the last 20 years is typical of this. They were a European powerhouse in the 90’s which culminated in them winning the CL, but then they fell into financial crisis for around 10 years, to the point where they had to sell their ground and flirted with relegation. Looking at them now, however, you can see what the right management appointment and good player recruitment can do for any team.

    Good times will come to us again, and we are lucky that we have figures at the club who are interested in the preservation of Arsenal as we know it. I just hope that success comes again in my lifetime. Being 27, I’m optimistic!!! ;)

  164. slime says:

    A question for you early birds,

    Do you think Arsene gets any joy from signing players?

    It always seems like a chore for him and I feel the development of players is where he gets his kicks. Maybe people are correct when they say that it will take a new manager to see the club spending big money, but then again, maybe developing groups of players is the better way to build a trophy winning team.

  165. oz gunner says:

    Good idea rockstar, like GM I love a good vote, especially when it involves the Arsenal. If we don’t finish in the top 4 (I think we will) it will be the kick in the keister we need!

    Thanks for the spreadsheet G5, it looks very good and I’d be more than happy with that outcome!!!

    @ Slim

    It does appear that way. I’d be happy if we did it that way but I appears he doesn’t have much faith in the youngsters coming through. Some of the first team have been played all season long with no rest, whilst Yennaris, Jenks, Coquelin, Eisfeld and co have hardly had a look in. Nothing speeds up development quicker. Which is it, promoting from within or buying? To me it appears to be neither.

    The Mbiwa thing irks me a bit. If we offered 12million in the summer and got rejected why would we not jump in now at 6/7? We played two blinders against us in the Champions league, once at CB, and once at DM.

    If he is going to flip flop from one side to the other in the transfer window at least stick to one side. If he adamantly stated he was going to groom the youngsters coming through and focus on there development I’d be stoked. This will he/wont he is driving me cuckoo!

  166. Manthan says:

    What about possible Signings of Diame to Arsenal.. Is he worth it???? Arsene already denied Zaha involvment… How will DIAME fit in arsenal????? I guess he is good signing as he has EPL experience unlike bigila or MVIla……

  167. Manthan says:

    Slime 1:24am
    I agree with the approach of arsene.. Solution to dis is he can move to club higher authority may be he can groom kids and make them first team player and we can get in a new manager…..

  168. oz gunner says:

    @ Manthan

    he’d be the highest paid development coach in the world, but definitely one of the best. Instead he should have help so he can focus on the team and others can focus on off field issues. I would like ex-players like bergkamp, pires, keown ect to be brought in as development coaches. It’d boost their CV whilst also providing our players with invaluable knowledge

  169. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

  170. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Lovely goal from The Gerv. Should come back with more confidence.

    Oz. Who says we were after Mbiwa? If we wanted him do you think he would choose to go to Newcastle or London? It’s not as if AW didn’t have the chance to check him out – he played at The Emirates just a few months ago. I thought he looked ideal for us but clearly AW didn’t.

    Poor lad is in for a big shock when he gets up there ;-)

    I bet we get a German after AW’s hints.

  171. arthur mullard's left gonad says:

    Which hints, BR?

  172. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all.
    Great post Rocky and some superb comments.
    Tonight we switch on the burners :-)

  173. kgooner says:

    Villa on loan? Mbiwa 11th hour snatch up?
    If we really have bid for Wanyama, i don’t see him leaving Celtic and his first ever Champions League appearance to come play for us and no champs league football.

    Is Villa Cup-tied?

  174. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mallard,
    I was having a gander through the site yesterday, and noticed your match report had notched an impressive 299 comments.
    How unreasonable I thought, so went back and added one quack.

  175. kgooner says:

    @Rasp I love that predictor table you put up. More so because it shows we’ll make top four and by a small margin over spuds

  176. Manthan says:

    Oz,
    I agree wenger is involved in both on and off the field and about DB he is god he is legend and he is doing great work as no2 in ajax we would love to see him back to Arsenal coaching staff….

  177. MickyDidIt89 says:

    kgooner,
    Too true.
    You have to cook books, massage and manipulate figures to ensure we end up above That Lot. Ask Sir Henry Norris! Its in our DNA.

  178. arthur mallard's left gonad says:

    Micky,
    I noticed, ta.
    It was a shame that 200 of them were about the effects of prisms.

  179. arthur mallard's left gonad says:

    Great to have you back from your cybernation. :)

  180. Manthan says:

    Bradford are on verge of making history my money on bradford for final hope they win they have great team sipirt………..

  181. Big Raddy says:

    Mullard. Could have been my imagination but post-Xmas I recall AW saying he was looking at Germany and Spain more than France to find players.

  182. oz gunner says:

    Just basing it on reports in the summer TW (Inside source from Arseblog). By all accounts he was just using us to get to AC Milan or Man United though. Same goes for the Toon deal. At least there he is guaranteed first team football straight off the bat. That way he can shine and look to move on to bigger and better things.

    He does sound similar to Adebayor though in regards to his football prostitution, so perhaps it’s good that he isn’t coming.

    Come on wanyamamamama!!

  183. oz gunner says:

    @ Gonad

    Don’t underestimate the power of prisms! As important as the amount of prism, is the direction of prism. The prism must displace viewed objects in the proper direction to achieve the desired visual correction. Prism direction can be specified in two ways, either using the prescriber’s method or the 360 method.

  184. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arthur MAllard ROLF

  185. Manthan says:

    Mbia is life long MAnure fan its good he didnt came to arsenal else he would have followed BSR footsteps….. We want commited guys like whilsere,jenks,OG….. Who loves AFC

  186. kelsey says:

    Morning everyone.

    I think GN5 was pissed when he posted his prediction as to our points total this season :)

    I can’t beieve well actually I can that Diaby got injured in training and is a doubt for tonight.Le Coq has gone limp, and Arteta still out.

    Pod and Ox back so who starts ?

  187. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey
    Two ROLF’s and a :-(

  188. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo, while you’re here Kelsey, how long drive from Malaga to Granada?

  189. kelsey says:

    Micky about just under 2 hours or 90 minutes if you put your foot down

  190. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks K
    Must rush
    Back later

  191. Big Raddy says:

    I appreciate GN5’s input – t must take ages and until proven otherwise his points total makes perfect sense to me

  192. kelsey says:

    Now i know it raddy, you are mad :)

  193. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. True but I am younger-than-you mad :-) (even if it is just a few months).

    Any way mad is just a font!

  194. dandan says:

    Kelsey my friend is your phone on the blink again? :-)

  195. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning Fine Fellows! :-)

    So, as I read it, Arthur Mullard, aka Mallard, aka Duck face, aka Arfur, aka Monster Gonad is really Chas! I would never have guessed — but fear not Kelsey aka Phone Blinker is working on it, as we speak! :P

  196. kelsey says:

    dandan, it’s a bit like our team,inconsistent.Off half a day yesterday and on and off this morning

  197. kelsey says:

    You see this is like the old AA.
    A bit of humour, some seious debate and a relaxing place to blog.

  198. oz gunner says:

    @ RA

    hahaha leave kelsey alone, one can’t sleuth when you’re busy shaking your flowing locks in front of a big fan?!

  199. oz gunner says:

    I like your moxie BR, makes perfect sense to me also!

  200. kelsey says:

    Anyone remember a few back at highbury when WH scored blatantly across the line,but it wasn’t given, and of course Sol having a strut and walking off at the end in another game against them

  201. dandan says:

    Kelsey this is how the blog should be’
    though it becomes intense,
    if we could blog like this below
    It would make better sense.

    “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
    “To talk of many things:
    Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
    Of cabbages–and kings–
    And why the sea is boiling hot–
    And whether pigs have wings.”

  202. kelsey says:

    Another nutter on here :)

  203. dandan says:

    Jesus Alistair Cook has just been given out to a ball that pitched a foot outside leg stump.

    Your question for today “why do the Indians not want the DRS. System used”?.

  204. evonne says:

    Morning
    Chas – you-know-who said last week that Bradford cost £7,500 to assemble; I did a bit of digging. Did it feck!! Much, much more. The joined chairman gave an interview last night saying that they have decent budget. They might have not cost millionns, but £7,500 is just an urban myth.Their trip to Vegas will cost over £100k.

  205. arthur mallard's left gonad says:

    Don’t tell me the internet is full of untruths about other teams as well as us.
    Shirley Knott.

  206. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Isn’t an “untruth” something Bill Clinton didn’t do with Monica Lewinski while not inhaling?

  207. evonne says:

    oh, i knew I shouldn’t even bother

  208. Allardyce has never won away at Arsenal in his managerial career and hopes the Gunners’ current lack of confidence can help him change that record on Wednesday night.

    “We also hope the disappointment of their 2-1 defeat against Chelsea means there might be a little lack of confidence,” he added.
    “If that’s the case then we might have a chance of getting a result.

    “If Arsenal are on top form, then Arsenal will beat us, no matter how well we play.”

  209. Rasp says:

    Morning all…….

    …. New post ……

  210. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Money talks and without it DRS walks….

  211. slime says:

    Was just about to write that the marking on the edge of our box for knockdowns is awful and……boom!

    It was the same against Chelsea. Theo and whoever else just do not mark properly for knockdowns. Piss poor

  212. Howdy! I just want to offer you a big thumbs up for the great information you have got right here on this post. I am returning to your website for more soon.

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