Carved Up.

A brief summation and some early morning thoughts on a painful day to be a Gooner

The Game:

We started slowly and continued in that vein. Blackburn parked the bus and scored a lucky goal with their only shot. We created few chances and those we had were squandered.

Luck went against us as it has so often this season, but when effort isn’t enough inspiration is called for  – in this area we were sorely lacking.

Some Thoughts:

The motivation argument is, in my opinion, complete tosh. Name me one player who wasn’t giving 100%.

What was lacking was speed of thought and passing …… Thrust.

Rosicky and Diaby were unable to create and dallied on the ball. Ox was trying too hard and his crossing was abysmal.

Monreal was a worry in an attacking sense. His crossing and shooting was woeful. Early days yet but I already prefer Gibbs.

Coquelin was once again tidy. Whether he can step up to become a regular first team player is doubtful, as is whether he will stay at AFC and accept being a squad member,

Szczesny had one save to make and failed. To parry the ball towards the only B*burn player in the box was unlucky but also poor ‘keeping. In my opinion he could have caught the ball – Seaman would have.

When Gerv & Ox switched wings both went from bad to worse. Ox has a future at AFC – he is having second season syndrome but one can see the potential. Gervinho needs to be sold.

Arteta showed why he is no longer a creative midfielder. He hasn’t the pace required to blend defence and attack.

Giroud was ineffective. He is not a player who can make his own chances. Faced with a mass of blue he found no space to work and his flicks couldn’t find a red-shirt. To continually run hell for leather into the box only to see the cross sail over your head or 5 yards behind/ahead must be enormously frustrating.

Can one blame Wenger? Many will but surely he can expect a star-studded team to beat B’burn, and for his multi-million pound midfield to create just one chance for his centre forward?

AW realised the problem and made 3 changes on 65mins. Has he ever done so previously? Was it an act of desperation or consideration?

This team is so inconsistent, one must look to the manager.

Desperately poor result but we move on.

Written by Big Raddy

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136 Responses to Carved Up.

  1. This from MickyDidIt ………………………….

    At 2:20 pm, Dandan posted the team.

    At 2:53 pm, I posted: “Like the team”.

    I don’t think I was alone in thinking the team wold be strong enough to beat Blackburn. The post-match stats back up that view. The result clearly says otherwise.

    Make no mistake, Blackburn fully deserved their win, whatever those stats say.

    Now, I have to say that my team selection comment was based on the huge misunderstanding that over the next seven days we played Bayern followed by Spurs. In effect, we could be out of all competitions by mid-feb, as well as having virtually no chance of CL qualification.

    So, now that I have hindsight on my side, would I have changed the team?

    Mmm, don’t know. Jack certainly needed a rest. Defence looked strong enough. Arteta back to steady the defensive side of midfield, which really only leaves the question of whether to start Santi over TR, and the wide boys.

    However you view the starting line-up, we did have the players on the bench to call on. If you take this game as a one off, then the match stats will tell you that we may lack match winners, or simply that shit happens. On the other hand, you could interpret this result as part of a pattern of poor results, in which case the problem becomes a whole lot bigger and more complex.

    A few things are for sure. For the rest of the season we will have the same Board, the same Manager, same staff, and same squad of players.

    So, What Now?

    Written by MickyDidIt89

  2. This is the harsh reality ………..

    Gone are the innocent days of winning the FA cup and going on a European jolly the following season.

    The only competition to be in is the Champions League and that is why although we have Bayern Munich on Tuesday, the game against Aston Villa next Saturday is more important as are all the remaining games in the league.

    While we have all grown up looking forward to the FA cup and the possibility of winning it, our manager is not alone in prioritising the league.

    Personally, I’d like to see UEFA look at domestic cup competitions for all European countries and include ‘winners’ as well as ‘also rans’.

    Having been at the game, I would say we were unlucky not to win as the stats show, we had loads of possession and chances to put the game away.

    In the same way that we concede when not kicking to row Z, Szczesny has to learn to punch out wide rather than straight ahead. Hopefully he will be practising this tomorrow and Tuesday.

  3. ……..and the booing was much louder for the pantomime figure of David (I’m wonderful) Bentley than at the end of the game :)

  4. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy and Micky. It was an unacceptable performance. There is so much I would like to say but now is not the time as we have an important game on Tuesday and 10 weeks of angst ahead in our quest to secure 4th place.

    Maybe we’ll play better when we feel we are the underdogs. We certainly don’t perform consistently in games where we are expected to win comfortably – we had to go 4 nil down against Reading before we began to play.

    I know what’s wrong with the Arsenal but nothing can be done about it at this point in the season, so we need to pull together and see what can be rescued of our pride and ambitions.

  5. AJ says:

    Hello, first time poster, but regular reader and especially like those tables by the side.
    This team is markedly different than what we have had in the past. No creativity at all, and this new thing of going wide without any apparent purpose. Adebayor and the likes weren’t the most clinical, but if he needed 7 chances to score a goal we had the ability to do that. Now we appear quite clueless in more or less every game.
    For me, no input from Wenger is visible. There is surely no defensive coaching, we repeat the same mistakes again and again.
    We have got ourselves in a deep ditch and cannot see any change coming, especially when many seem to be happy with what we have.

  6. Kudzy says:

    Move on!!! Pfff!

  7. Rasp says:

    Welcome AJ and thanks for contributing to the debate. I have to agree that there is a clear pattern to our shortcomings. We should be able to rectify the faults we display in games on the training pitch – but somehow they continue. As far as defending is concerned I agree we should go back to basics. The frustrating thing is there have been games when we have been very good defensively, creative in midfield and potent in attack. But they are random performances and it is the lack of consistency that is the problem.

    At the risk of upsetting the manu haters, the one thing that SAF must get credit for is the remarkable consistency of his team’s performances over the past 20 years.

  8. kelsey says:

    sorry Rasp should have kept my thoughts until this morning.You can repost them if you want.

  9. Red Arse says:

    Morning All, :-)

    A nice attempt to put some context into the days events and the match.

    These Cup games are full of “if onlys” and this was no different.
    If only – Rosickys shot had hit the bar and spun in.
    If only – Chezzer had caught the ball from Pederson’s shot, or had only pushed it around the post, etc.

    There was no lack of effort from the team. The players wanted to win. The manager wanted them to win. The crowd wanted us to win.

    All good stuff. So what went wrong?

    First — there was the usual inexplicable coaching failings.
    The slow passing – the lack of movement when players do not have the ball – the reluctance to shoot etc, which we have discussed many times.

    Second — during the game, the players showed an infuriating lassitude and fatalistic acceptance when they conceded the fluke goal. No fist pumping – no shouting encouragement – no outrage at the unfairness of lady luck – no grabbing the ball and racing back to kick off – no urgency – no nothing.

    Finally – the team also fell foul of a modern phenomenon, which is that all teams, especially the crap teams, like Blackburn, and Stoke and the like, have learned to defend.
    These teams have recognized that they cannot win by taking on Arsenal, and the other top teams, by playing open attacking football, so they have adopted the ‘tortoise’ strategy by hiding in their shells, and slowly, sneakily relying on gratuitous good fortune to get a draw or sneak a win, and hoping that Arsenal do not have the talent or wit to overcome their defensive tactic.

    There are fans who have had enough of the current inconsistencies of the team, and want to blame the manager for everything, but the above, show that like the bowstrings of a beautiful violin, or the many facets that go to make a great football team, mean that failure in any of the strands of the bowstrings or malfunctions in any of the different facets of the football team can only lead to a disappointing performance and that is not necessarily in the hands of the violinist or manager.

    Now I am cognisant that someone will tell me I am talking nonsense, again, but the above outlines my honest opinion, and is an effort to make sense of events like yesterday that are frankly incomprehensible to a mere fan, like me.

  10. Red Arse – you are absolutely right in everything you say. Giroud did not stand a chance of being creative in the box as he was always hemmed in by three players as he received the ball. Blackburn defended very well.

    The saddest thing for me is that it seems that the team know that they can create lots of chances and so are a little blase when one is missed. Other teams know how to capitalise on their opportunities and we don’t :(

  11. Morning gm – why are you depressed, did you think this team have the gumption to win the FA cup if they got to the final?

  12. AJ says:

    @Rasp
    We have been good overall in very few games, but that was mostly against Reading, Southampton and the likes.

    Even those presenters on TV who usually have no idea what they are talking about point out our weaknesses because they are very much clear to see.

  13. Rasp says:

    I agree AJ, we know the problem, why are we powerless to provide the solution?

  14. I never thought for one minute we could win the cup peaches. Being knocked out by a team like Blackburn at home is unacceptable though.

  15. morning btw peaches. I thought we’d get knocked out when we met the mancs. shitty, chavs or Everton.

  16. Janman says:

    Big Raddy, Nice most. I pretty much aired my opinions last night. In a nutshell the loss was inexcusable, the team was more than good enough to beat a very poor Blackburn side. I also brought up the motivation issue, sorry but from what I saw the team were not motivated enough, whose fault is that? Have we honestly reached the point of arrogance that the players think they only have to show up to beat a lower side? All this stuff about 7 changes and the team not gelling is nothing more than toss!!! These players are working together everyday on the training field and it is hardly as though they are strangers. I truly believe there is something wrong within the club and the leadership of the club is not right. What has Kroenke done…nothing…does he care? I am an Arsenal fan first and foremost but I honestly respect everything that Wenger has done for this club and yes I am a great admirer of him but truth of the matter is he can do no more he has taken the club as far as he can. It is time for change.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    GM. I thought the same and given the strength of the remaining teams thought we would go out in the next round.

  18. slime says:

    The problem isn’t in attack. As many have said, Blackburn defended well and the fact that we had rusty players on the pitch made our forward play slow and inept. The problem we have is in defence, and has been for a number of years. There is no great shame in drawing these games if your having an off day and then winning the replay, but our shocking defending doesn’t give us that option. 1 chance, 1 goal tells you everything you need to know.

    You only have to look at the squads of teams like Barca, PSG, Real, Dortmund, Bayern and City to see that we lack in both defence and attack. The only way this is going to change is either through spending money, or getting a wave of brilliant youngsters. Not many of us have the patience to wait for the latter.

  19. slime says:

    Janman,

    How does Kroenke influence a piss poor performance from 11 international footballers?

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Janman. Thank you. I must take issue with you …. which players lacked motivation? Who didn’t give their all? Name names

    Kroenke. How did his input or lack of it affect the team? AFC decided way before Kroenke to work within the clubs stringent financial plans. He has done nothing different. Or should we be Oilers?

    Now there is the question. How many AFC fans would leave if Usamov came in with a plan to do a MC (not that he can under FFP)?

    Wenger. This is a very difficult question to answer. Are you right that AW cannot take the club any further? And if so should AW be asked to leave? Tough one. I would let him finish his contract whilst bringing in either DB10 &/or PV4 as his long term successor.

  21. Janman says:

    Slime. If you read my posts from last night you would understand. I am not saying Kroenke has influence over the 11 players on the field. What I am saying he is the ultimate leader above the board and as the senior person he is doing nothing. As I said last night in the business concept of the situation if you are in charge you cannot allow the competition to get the upper hand. That is why I said, what is he doing? for sure he is not giving Wenger the tools for success which we assume is money.

  22. I don’t think it would be any different under Jabba.

  23. Janman says:

    Hello Big Raddy, Diaby and Rosciky in my opinion were the only ones really working hard, non of the other team members did anything in an attempt to make things happen. There were 11 internationals in the team who in my opinion lacked the motivation, attitude and urgency to win against a far lesser side. As for Kroenke, I explained that in my posts last night and now again to Slime.

  24. slime says:

    This isnt a dig at BR,

    I find it interesting that many would be happy to bring in a relatively young, untried manager to replace Wenger, yet if Wenger is to bring in a young, untested player it is seen as non-ambitious. Surely if we are to move back up to the top table it would make more sense to get a top manager in, but who is available? There is only 1 who is showing signs of being available and that is Mourinho.

  25. Belfastgooner says:

    Janman I appreciate your frustration. We all feel the pain of the losses this season,but I disagree that Arsene has brought us as far as he can. This has been stated many times before but with the cost of rebuilding the stadium and the transformation in the footballing landscape following the Abramovich induced doping, we had no right to be winning competitions.
    I feel that we are so close to the benefitting from the years of careful planning that Wenger has put in place to ensure the security and prosperity of the club we love. It may take a few more seasons in the doldrums but the dawn is coming. Living in the past drags us all down,counting the minutes since our last success. As Wenger pointed out this is a totally different team to the one that started not winning trophies 7 years ago.
    I fear that Arsene will be hounded out and as a result, he does not get the just rewards or accolades for his principled approach to management when we do start winning. The future is bright! I agree that the present is bleak but this is just a timing issue:-)

  26. slime says:

    Janman,

    Gervinho 10m
    Mertersacker 10m
    Arteta 10m
    Ox 12m
    Monreal 8m
    Giroud 12m
    Podolski 10m
    Cazorla 16m
    Koscielny 10m

    The money is there.

  27. Big Raddy says:

    slime. I didn’t make myself clear. I meant they should be brought into the fold next season to have a year with AW.

    I expect to have another foreign manager prior to one of the Invincibles – perhaps Remi Garde who is doing very well at Lyon hand has a history with AFC.

  28. Janman says:

    Belfastgooner. I agree with you that we are very, very close and as I have pointed out several times I am a huge fan of Wenger and what he has achieved for this club. However, once again if he is not given the tools that he needs (money for quality players) then how can we close the gap? You point out the fact we may be a few more years in the doldrums but is there really a need for that? We are not asking to spend stupid money but as you said we are so close and that is only one or perhaps two players away from success. There are enough players on the market (in the Jan window) that could have really helped us. Who is at fault that we did not buy those players? Wenger himself? If so that is totally unacceptable as he has a job to do which is to ensure the team is able to perform and is strong enough in all areas. Is it the board is it Kroenke….who is responsible for holding our club back?

  29. Big Raddy says:

    Belfast. I agree with you but to play Devil’s Advocate … the other clubs are moving away from us not closer. We are already in the wake of 3 clubs. Spurs are looking very good and have a young team, Liverpool will improve.

    You can well understand the concerns.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Janman. Re. Motivation. We disagree. Do you really believe 9 players weren’t giving their all? I agree they didn’t play well but I do not accept it was due to lack of effort.

  31. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Morning all
    Fantastic post enjoyed it ,the board won’t sack Wenger they will do the usual .
    They will let his contract run out or will he go to Real Madrid in the summer as we all know the special ones time is up there.
    Jose for Arsenal !. ⚽ 👀

  32. Janman says:

    Slime. With the exception of Monreal all of these players have been on board for one or more seasons. The point is that the squad is not strong enough as seen time and time again when key players are injured. Also Monreal was only bought due to the injury of Gibbs.The squad needed to be strengthened in other areas, players were available on the market so why did we not react? I agree that the money is there so why isn’t it being spent when needed?

  33. Janman says:

    Big Raddy. We have to agree to disagree on this one as I do not believe the team were motivated enough to win.

  34. slime says:

    Like I said BR, it wasn’t a slant on you, it was just a general thought I had about the way people see the club. They would be unhappy to have young, unknown players brought in, yet they would quite happily hand over the whole management side to someone with an unproven track record! Yet, then again, Wenger was a nobody when he came over! Finding Wengers replacement is going to be tough, and I think that tells us everything we need to know about the job he’s done at AFC.

    I agree Garde may be seen as an option.

  35. 3 of those are in their first season Janman. They will probably improve.

  36. slime says:

    Janman,

    Who moved in Jan that would’ve improved us, in your opinion?

  37. I think it’s time for Wenger to go.

  38. wally says:

    The slide continues.
    Wenger admits he’s out of ideas. Time has passed him by, thanks for the memories. Too bad he didn’t leave when we had a chance at Guardiola.
    Enough with the hand-wringing.

    As much as i dislike him mourinho is what is required. A task master who will remove the dross. The children will go, the men will remain.
    A much more serious approach demanding excellence will arrive, maybe even success.

  39. Janman says:

    Slime. Do yopu really need for me to answer that? I am pretty sure that as an Arsenal fan you would already know that. However, Ba, and virtually every player that went to Newcastle for starters!

  40. The font says:

    Sheep hagger. Are you saying we should take moreinyourho in exchange for wenger surely if he can not do it with a billion pound team like Madrid how can he do it with arsenal

  41. slime says:

    GM,

    I think I might agree, but it depends on the replacement. I still have hopes that Wenger will turn it around, but it’s that hope that’s making worse at the moment.

  42. slime says:

    Janman,

    How many of those that Newcastle signed have you watched on a regular basis?

  43. The font says:

    The motivation was not in the players yesterday. Do you blame wenger for that or do you blame the second string players not caring enough to try and break through into the first team in spells at Sunderland last week we looked like we could beat anyone although it was only Sunderland the fans were singing all the way back to London with the feeling we had turned a corner but back to the same old same old the disturbing part of this result will be if we do beat Munich and there’s more than a 50/50 chance of that happening it will show me the players only care about winning for themselves not the team

  44. Janman says:

    Slime. Sorry but this conversation is going nowhere!! You understand the point I have made. There were players available that could have been purchased to strengthen the team. I do not watch Newcastle play or any other team for that matter unless it is against Arsenal. Who I have watched or who you have watched is not the point!

  45. slime says:

    Janman,

    I think it’s quite a large point. You’ve stated that we should’ve been spending money in Jan yet have only named Ba as a possible option. You have no basis to say that we should’ve signed all these Newcastle players and you have no knowledge as to wether they are indeed better than we already have. I have no argument with you, as I agree that things are not right at the club, but saying that Kroenke is to blame for not giving Wenger money is nonsense. He has had plenty of money and has spent it too. What’s lacking at the club at the moment comes down to coaching and the players. They are all good enough, but it’s not working. Blaming Kroenke doesn’t change that.

  46. kelsey says:

    I can never see a swap with Wenger and Mourinho . If we get CL football for next season,not much will change a few will leave,a few will be out of contract and we will buy a few and Wenger remains.

    .If we finish out of the top 4 and the inconsistency remains Wenger may well resign but more than likely stay and fulfill his contract for his last season.

    Mourinho would make many demands from the board and would want to win a trophy more for himself than for Arsenal but either way it would be a short term position.

  47. dandan says:

    Well thought out post BR much enjoyed though I would take exception to some of it.
    No doubt the the knives will be out for AW particularly if we should happen to exit the CL.
    Personally being a simplistic soul, if blame has to be apportioned I would question the mindset of a Goalkeeper with a proclivity to get it wrong in important matches. The cups in particular seem to be his favoured territory.
    But the game is lost forget it, With a quarter of a season to go and a need to focus on the league and a CL place, whilst making plans for the close season restructuring. Breast beating and self flagellation are luxuries we would do well to avoid. Now is a time for closing ranks and pulling together, but bile will out I suppose and those that enjoy such things will make merry.

  48. slime says:

    Kelsey,

    I agree with you on Mourinho, but maybe what the club needs is some short term success. The longer game the club are playing at the moment is proving too drawn out for some, myself included.

  49. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    The problem at RM at the moment is the Spanish players don’t get on with the Portuguese players to much in anxiety s in camp.

    JM has said he’s leaving I can’t see no better manager than JM his pedigree and CV says enough
    Much love

  50. Janman says:

    Slime. You have obviously missed the point. Where did I say we should not have spent in Jan! I said we should have strengthened in Jan! No one knows if a player will be better at another club or not until it happens so you are out of line to say I have no knowledge. As for Kroenke not giving the money to Wenger I have stated that Kroenke is not giving Wenger the tools that he needs to do the job properly and yes that is money. I have also said, who is to be held responsible for the poor leadership of our club, who is taking charge and who is making the difficult decisions to take the club forward to the next level. If you are happy with everything as is then that is okay as it is your opinion. Who we bought and who we did not buy is not the point the actual point is that the team needed to be strengthened and that has not been adequetly done.

  51. Shard says:

    I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Walcott’s culpability in the goal yesterday. I was so disappointed with that.

    Once again, the result, though terrible, is bearable for me. These things happen. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have won the game, nor that our performance was good enough. It wasn’t. I agree with slime that it isn’t just a case of money. Teams don’t just improve through the transfer market. Coaching is the issue. But like I’ve said before, I think Wenger’s coaching ideas need more than a season to instil effectively into new players. And since we’ve not had a stable squad for some time, we’ve always been lacking. We’ve also had changes in the backroom staff with Rice’s retirement. I still don’t think we’re far, even though as has been argued above, the gap is growing and there are more teams between us and the top.

    I hadn’t intended to come online today, because I expected abuse and vitriol to be flying around. And like a few times before, it wasn’t the defeat that bothered me, as much as the anticipated (over)reaction to it. Thankfully, AA seems to be a place for sane discussion.

  52. kelsey says:

    dandan
    well at least we agree on something :) There are a few obvious flaws in the squad that have been there for a couple of seasons and Wenger hasn’t addressed them as well as he could have without breaking the bank.By his own admission he says players need at least half a season to settle into the PL and of course there are exceptions but we have really bought more dross than usual these past two seasons and still have a number of ex first teamers on loan who no one wants to buy.

  53. slime says:

    Janman,

    The point is that saying we need to strengthen, and actually having the players available to do so, are 2 very different things. It’s very rare that Jan is a good time to bring in quality players, and this window has been no different. I agree that we need to strengthen the squad, but I disagree that this shouldve been done last month. The fact the Monreal transfer was lined up for the summer says it all. I fully expect 2 or 3 top class signings in the summer, with or without Wenger.

    As regards the decision making at the club, the club is in a stronger position than it has ever been off the field, so I have no issue with those decisions. The issue I have is with how the on field side of the club has been somewhat neglected (in fairness it had to take 2nd fiddle to the move) in the last 3 years. Now that the move is bought and paid for I wouldve liked to have seen better progress from the players and coaches, but we seem to be going backwards. For that, I have to blame the manager and players.

  54. neamman says:

    This was a strong enough team. I cant understand it!

  55. barumgooner says:

    The sad truth is that we as a club have become very accustomed to being just a little bit crap. The manager, the board, the players and even a large part of the fanbase are more than happy to be just in the cl every year and anything else is a bonus instead of a requirement. This attitude can only end with a change at the top level. Either something mysterious happens and Wengers desire to be a winner returns or he must be replaced with a manager who can instil belief into what is actually a very capable side.

  56. Merseforever says:

    I just want to say, that I actually have no qualms with how Blackburn played. They knew they didn’t have players who could keep the ball and so they sat back and hoped for a lucky break which is exactly what they got from another episode of comedy defending/goal keeping. They didn’t try and kick us off the park, cheat or anything, they played exactly like any manager with a brain would have set them up to.

    Now this brings me to tuesday. We have to do the same, but the problem is we don’t have a good enough or confident enough defence to pull this strategy off. How should he team set up for Bayern. If we try and outplay them, they will steamroller us. They are an absolute juggernaut this season.

  57. Gooner In Exile says:

    Post of the day:

    “The future is bright! I agree that the present is bleak but this is just a timing issue:-)”

    Well played Belfast.

    Well done Raddy and Micky for putting finger to keypad for that result. I haven’t see the performance so can’t comment, other than to agree with Micky, with Bayern and key PL games approaching it seemed like a fair enough team selection given the opponents. That the picked players failed to deliver has annoyed us, but not as much as Arsene I would guess.

  58. Gooner In Exile says:

    Merse I think the only way we can hope to beat them is to play our football, I predict an end to end encounter.

    One of my issues with our current style is the reliance on full backs to provide width/support to our wide men. Which in turn unsettles the defence. I have been saying for some time we need to produce crosses from deeper, we now have a centre forward who could cause issues from such crosses, which I think would lead to their wide midfielders pressing our full backs higher up the pitch which should then lead to leaving our attacking wide men one on one with their full backs. Basically a bit of variation.

  59. evonne says:

    AJ – reading but not blogging – isn’t it like having your cake and not eating it :) Sorry, but I disagree with almost every word you say, but who knows, you might be right

    Raddy and Micky – good posts, ta very much

  60. goonerjake says:

    Bad day at the office. That’s all nothing less.
    In my opinion Wenger seemed really hurt by that result. But I still admire Wenger, he uses words like WE defended badly WE were not this and WE were not that, he never openly critics his players, especially when they need to be lifted like they will need for Tuesday. GM wenger does not need to go.

    Plus side – if we do win a trophy this season it will be the CL

  61. evonne says:

    GoonerJake – WRONG! If we win a trophy this season it will be the league, no chance in Europe. In fact I am going to better LB and say that if we win CL I will eat one of my dogs

  62. goonerjake says:

    Evonne,

    Worse sides have won the CL.

    Forever the optimist, Always!
    Glass half full, Definitely!
    Always supports his team, Absolutely!

    For everything else theirs always Spectrum :) (I do like him tho)

  63. slime says:

    Barum,

    I think you have hit the nail on the head. If the mentality within the club is that 4th is acceptable, then this is surely going to alter player mentality.

    I’m not saying isnt a winner, we all know different, but saying that the club can win trophies and actually believing it, are 2 different things. What would we expect him to say at the beginning of a season? ‘I have assembled a decent squad of players who will probably fall short in all competitions, but have enough to finish 4th.’

    I’m sure fans would love that!

    There are a few ways to change this mentality and one is by signing top class players to show intent. Another way is to get rid of the manager and bring in someone with a proven track record.

  64. Gooner In Exile says:

    The thorny issue of Mourinho has raised it’s ugly little head again.

    I say no no and thrice no!!

    Others may disagree, Chelsea have had ongoing success since his departure, but it had very little to do with anything he did whilst there. Inter over the line then what, the same with Madrid now, it’s about the here and now with Jose, and while that will suit the trophy lust of many I doubt it’ll do much for us as a club in the long term. Klopp, yes, Guardiola, yes that’s about the extent of my list from overseas.

  65. vp says:

    I have decided to put my emotions to one side since the Norwich game. This has helped me get through the past few months (everyone has their own way of dealing with disappointment). Despite, having experienced much gloomier seasons for the club (George Graham mid-table days) never have I felt the need to safeguard my heart from the club. Nonetheless it’s always sad to see the fans turning sour towards a club legend (Wenger), as justified as it may be.

    I would be lying if I said that I was expecting yesterday to occur, but was able to write-off the result in the same way a shop assistant would do to a set of flowers surpassing their sell-by -date. Not to worry right, we’re going to be swimming in a haven full of dandelions in a couple years, right.?

    I’ve learnt to accept my position in the stakeholder hierarchy and can deal with most permutations the club can throw my way. What I can’t deal with is listening to fellow supporters defending the club’s theoretical base by mirroring everything that they are told by our CEO. They then moan about why we keep selling our best players year after year. Wake up! our model is there is to serve shareholder prosperity first and foremost. You only have to look at the previous capital gains derived from our custodians to see that this is the case. But now that we are owned by a man motivated purely by economic greed things are only going to get worse-businessmen don’t get more generous as they get richer, they get more greedier!

    As an academic and trainee chartered accountant I am amazed at the amount of people (even fellow accountants) who solely use the balance sheet to justify the clubs financial stance. The economics are just as important. The accounts do not show opportunity cost-the amount of brand loyalty and revenue we’ve missed out on over the past eight years due to the lack of success. The fact we were never able to fully exploit our on-the-pitch success when we we’re successful due to our decision to embark upon the stadium capital investment didn’t help matters. The accounts reflect a lot of historic values (not market value), and contain so many miscellaneous items it’s untrue. The club’s decision to adopt a short term profit maximising over the past few years to generate a healthy balance sheet could prove costly in years to come as we are getting further and further away from our competitors. We cannot continue to sacrifice market share for profit. Forget what the accountants tell you….. Bayern, Man Utd, Real and Barca have market share, all we have is profit. And yes, this may mean generating a less attractive P & L , and god forbid even a loss from time to time. It all comes down to operating at the right level of risk appetite. And yes, barriers to entry in the market are extremely high but this is no excuse for not investing to our capacity. Any accountant worth their price in salt would advise the club to spend some of that money that’s just sitting in the bank account to generate a better asset turnover.

    Unfortunately our board is blinded by the fact that success can help improve revenue, and would rather opt for the current ‘’less risky –less return approach’’. They are obsessed with ensuring that Mr Kroenke does not experience any decreases in his portfolio wealth and are granted excessive remuneration packages for their endeavors. Given the cooperate culture that’s been embedded within the club, Its difficult to imagine us really competing with the top teams unless the FFP comes into play. If it doesn’t –we’re screwed, pure and simple.

    I may seem like a man still venting in anger and disappointment because of yesterday. But as I said earlier, since the Norwich game I have developed an immune mechanism to deal with our failures. I’m not going to break any remote controls this February round; I’m no longer prepared to do this to myself. I expect us to be comprehensively beaten by Bayern, but think that we’ll make top four. I’ll be supporting the team every bit as everyone else, only difference being is that I won’t become overridden with frustration and anger if we lose. I’ve accepted the fact that we are on the demise and if you really want things to change then I think that some of you have to also.

  66. goonerjake says:

    Is The Arsenal on the demise?

    Or

    Have other teams either caught up and overtaken us?

  67. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody, buggering, bloody Great Western Railways Bastards.
    Evening all.
    Really wanted to go to Bayern game. Last train from Paddington 21:45 (apart from 23:45 slow overnight crap train)
    I’m not leaving a game 5 mins early, let alone 25!!
    Bloody rubbish

  68. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Maurinho
    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    Nothing can ever be that bad.
    Ever.

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, change of plans.
    Anyone got a spare for Villa?
    Where’s that wretched migratory duck?

  70. Very interesting comment vp. There are a few on here that subscribe to the ‘speculate to accumulate’ ethos and have voiced their concern at how we will be able to attract the big-spending sponsors if we are not competetive.

    I think many supporters have lowered their expectations – I know I have and that saddens me because there’s always a feeling now that things are going to go wrong rather than things will go right.

    To have money sat in the bank when it could be on the field of play is not good business for a football club. But saying that, i don’t know who we could have added to our squad I just think we should have added.

  71. Micky – would you like me to text the duck for you?

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The feathered one is in my sights Peaches, but thanks.

  73. manthan says:

    Hi all,
    its alwawys hurt when arsenal loose :-(. . I think gervhno was awful again. . . Bt we gav 100% and player wantd to win but as sum1 told luck ws nt our side. . . .

    I dnt wana take ny negatives frm the game ofcourse we all want trophy but being eliminatd frm fa cup wil giv players rest and they wil be refresh for league games . . We al knw how much imp wil be remaing games. . .

  74. kelsey says:

    Anyone see The Sunday Supplement as I just read

    all the pundits on there pointed out that Wenger is a control freak and turned down an approach from Berkamp to join the club in a coaching capacity so he ended up as Ajax. As they stated Wenger could not deal with somebody with a bigger personality than his. Can anyone confirm this ?

  75. goonerjake says:

    Peaches,

    Never lower your expectations, just don’t be too disappointed when your dreams don’t come true and…. enjoy the good times :)

    Stay positive… stay goonerish

  76. Shard says:

    VP

    We have money. But how much? Enough to catch up with oilers without FFP? No chance. Since 2009, City’s average spend(transfer and wages) is nearly 120m pounds more than Arsenal. Chelsea’s is 108. To have the resources to compete at that level means having the resources to build a new stadium every 3 and a bit years. It just isn’t possible.

    So we could spend money and get some good players in. Don’t forget, Wenger’s also an economist (not an accountant). He would have done calculations on whether buying a certain player is likely to justify the money spent. Will that player be enough to push us over the line. He’s often quoted as saying if given 100m to buy players, he’d just give it back. His less famous response to that question was whether he has to spend it on a lot of players, or just one. When told it is up to him, he said he’d spend it on one player, provided he could find one that would justify it. The kind of player that would take any team to a higher level. Those players are very rare. I think this is what Wenger means by not buying just for the sake of it.

    We have no idea about what the board are blinded by, or what their motivations are. That’s just speculation. But why I believe we will spend.. Arsenal have traditionally been big spenders. True the board has changed, but it shows that Wenger is willing to spend big, if the money is there. Secondly, the sort of players we’ve bought post-Cesc. Their age means we’ll have little to no resale value on them. Yet we’re willing to invest in them. Which is a change from the previous few years. Thirdly, the money from the new commercial deals hasn’t come in yet. And I know people have a problem with the PR spin from the club, but I don’t understand why. It’s their job. Behind the spin, there is also a message, if you care to look. The way the Emirates deal was announced, the club basically talked up their spending ability. Thereby reducing their scope to use the stadium as a reason/excuse anymore. You might believe that they’re doing it just to keep the natives quiet till the deal comes into effect, following which they’ll renege on it. I don’t. They aren’t stupid, they know there is anxiety in the fans, and they know their brand needs a boost. I’m willing to wait till 2014 for increased spending, but I am hopeful that it’ll happen from next season itself.

    Still, money is no guarantee of trophies, especially because of certain other clubs having limitless resources. We’ll see what happens. I do agree that if FFP doesn’t work, we’re unlikely to see much success in the near future. We won’t be alone though. No club in the world can keep up with the unchecked resources of Chelsea, ManCity and PSG (and in time Anzhi)

    I still don’t buy the greedy board theory because I don’t think that explains all that has happened. They didn’t want to sell to Kroenke initially (Though Fiszman did sell him some his shares early on), Usmanov offered more, following which they sold to Kroenke for less. They took the correct, but scary step of building the stadium. Did they do that just to increase their share price? I’m sure there are easier and less risky ways to make money. They’ve not taken dividends when they could legitimately have. The ‘corporate’ structure is simply the way forward. If we’d run more like a professional business in the late 90s, we’d have been much better of in terms of our sponsorships etc.

    Still, we’ll see soon enough. I just think the evidence to suppose that the majority shareholder, board, and the management, simply don’t care about winning, is lacking.

  77. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches lowered expectations from what? Mine now are about the same as when I started supporting Arsenal, every trophy under Graham and Wenger was sent from the heavens. But that’s because I started supporting under the end of Terry Neill’s reign and Don Howe’s brief time as manager. Hardly trophy laden eras!

  78. 20/20Vision says:

    Anyone know who was the t*sspot pundit sitting to Ian Wright’s left at the Chelski FA cup 4th round match today? He said…”Bradford not only beat Arsenal, they outplayed them”! referring to the LCcup penalties defeat. HOW do you “outplay ” someone with these match stats?— Bradford CityArsenal
    4(2) Shots (on goal) 27(11)
    20 Fouls 12
    3 Corner kicks 12
    5 Offsides 4
    37% Time of Possession 63%
    3 Yellow Cards 2
    0 Red Cards 0
    8 Saves 1

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That is a great comment Shard.
    I completely agree with your “don’t buy the greedy board theory”, as there is simply no evidence of it.
    Sadly, I don’t share your Fair Play hopes in that even if it does work on a certain level, I don’t see how it can even the playing field as there will be ways around it, by which those teams you mention, will maintain their advantage of greater wealth.
    Off for a bath with much to ponder

  80. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    My levels of expectation have risen exponentially since Arsene arrived.
    Thing is, I’m not referring to the trophies, rather that we are now known the world over for playing beautiful football. A reputation we have not enjoyed since the 30’s.
    I fear losing this, more than the hope of silverware.
    Must go.

  81. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    We won’t win this year or next
    Come on wake up smell the coffee ,big changes are needed
    8 years no trophies Man U fans and shitty fans are laughing at us .
    Sheepy

  82. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Which worse sides have won name 3 teams worse that have won Cl
    Jake

  83. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    My mate send me a text today !
    He said what the difference between arsenal and a tea bag
    I replied pass
    He said a tea bag stays in the cup longer.
    I text him back and said “wanker”.

  84. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Real Madrid two up and crushing
    Come on Jose come over sort this lot out we got loads of dead wood here.
    Sheepy

  85. Janman says:

    I don’t think any of us really want Wenger to spend big for the sake of it as that is not the Arsenal way. However, I think we all agree that for the past few years we have been very close to being a great side that is capable of challenging anyone. By close we mean no more than one or two key signings away. Over the years it has been discussed why have we not bought those missing key players, why do we continually play other players out of position in an attempt to compensate for something that is wrong. Wenger is an intelligent man and still in my opinion a great coach so I would assume that he must also see the problem therefore I can only pose the question, why does he not do something about? Can he or can’t he correct the situation, if not then the question is why not? That is why I made my earlier statement last night that I feel he has taken us as far as he can. Is there still something going on behind the scenes at the club that we do not know? I agree it is not about the board being greedy because if that was the case they would want more success for the club in order to line their pockets so that really is a no go theory.

  86. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Jan man in with u
    We see enough last 8 years time for a change and I be saying this since start of the season

  87. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. Top comment.

    Sheep. Chelsea who finished 6th last seaon.

    Porto.

    Feyenoord

    All worse sides than the current Arsenal.

    Oh and Liverpool 2004/5 who finished 23 points below AFC and 35pts behind Chelsea.

    We can win it with some luck

  88. 20/20Vision says:

    Quote from talksh!t radio…”with Mourinho they either loved him or they hated him, but with AVB it’s the other way!” (Darren Gough) ☺

  89. Janman says:

    mickeydidit89. Hi Mickey I understand what you are saying and to an extent I agree with you but we have not played beautiful football for some time now. In drifts and drabs we have shown the potential but thats it.

  90. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Do u honestly think we will beat Bayern
    And barca and don’t forget man poo
    Wake up

  91. Janman says:

    Big Raddy. I would not be surprised one bit if we pull of a 3-1 win over Bayern on Tuesday. They may be dominating in Germany but it is more of a case no one is challenging them Dortmund and Schalke are both having nightmare seasons.

  92. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Time for a change I’ve said this since last summer we are now in feb same shix no trophies

  93. Big Raddy says:

    Janman. You make a good argument but given the enforced sales (Fab, RvP, Nasri), it is difficult to assess AW’s plan.

  94. Janman says:

    Big Raddy, My comments from last night and today are certainly not meant to be Anti Arsenal or anti Wenger. I am just trying to pose questions to issues that we as supporters do not understand! We all agree how close we are but just what is it that is really preventing us from taking that next all important step? Would those enforced sales you mentioned be necessary if we had strengthened as required?

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Perhaps not RvP but the others ……

    Where would you strengthen? i think we need a back up GK and another CF

  96. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    We need not me players but a change in the system at starts at AW
    if I don’t make my targets at work I get the sack

  97. vp says:

    Hi Shard. Well thought out reply. Here are the things i disagree with.

    You said that you are prepared to wait until 2014 until we start spending. See this is what I can’t understand. Can’t our investor temporarily loan us some funds and then take it back when the expected revenue is realized if there’s a shortfall. Isn’t this the most important reason for having an investor, or perhaps I’m just being a philanthropist?…… ..We’ve got the funds to invest right now anyway.

    You have a great deal of faith in the board. A board run by a chairman, not because of his ability to undertake the role but because of his blood line-an effective board cannot exist without a component chairman. It just doesn’t work like that. Ultimately, the person responsible for keeping the board in check in our case is nothing but a passenger, and the person responsible for the club’s operating performance (CEO) is too frightened to challenge the ‘operating manager’ (Wenger). This is why I cannot agree with your assertions about ‘’having the right board in place’’ to take this club further. The two most powerful directors at the club either cannot (hill wood) /not allowed to (glazidias) to carry out their roles to the level good strategic agenda demands. Do you really think that our board feel our frustrations, really?-none of them are true fans.This is precisely why we need someone on board who is. In my opinion, the board are totally disconnected with the fan base and I think in this respect, I speak for the majority.

    I do not suggest we go £ for £ with the mans and chavs. We need to stop using their unlimited resources as excuse for not getting the best out of ours.

    The improvements in revenue for the new commercial deals will not turn us into an overnight financial superpower as our CEO habitually promotes. All it will mean is that we will not have to sell anymore. If not having to take a step backwards is a step forward in your books then so be it. But in my opinion it’s another example of being mislead.

    The 2014 AGM is not going to be as ground breaking as we made to believe it is. Not for the fans anyway. Groundbreaking for Kroenke as the broad band rights will be in touching distance and he’ll be able to add that to the already £200mill increase to his acquisition gain. It’ll be another AGM highlighting the inability of the club to come up with a strategy, which it can actually implement, and control for itself. I can see it now, just another request for more time and patience for the FFP to become more rigorous. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to happen for at least another 5 years (to a minimum).and who knows how far behind we’ll be by then.

  98. Janman says:

    Big Raddy, GK for sure as ours is not yet the finished business. Defense still needs some help and a top class forward. We also still need a PV4 style player for the midfield. This may sound silly but AFC no longer has a player or players that other teams fear!

  99. goonerjake says:

    Sheep / BR

    Sheep for the teams worse than us see BR at 8.26. PS. love your comments.

    BR … always a pleasure

  100. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I’m being honest
    Real still two up

  101. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I’m of to the gym catch u tomorrow
    Much love
    Xx

  102. Shard says:

    vp

    Can our majority shareholder just put in his money to tide us over? Sure. (Although the FFP rules might prevent that to some extent) But that he doesn’t do what you’d like with his money is hardly legitimate cause for complaint.

    I should have clarified the increased spending remark. As has been pointed out before, our main problem has not been spending, but in retaining our players. So, if the new deals can take care of that aspect (as you seem to think it will), in itself that will go a long way towards helping our cause. Also, unlike in the stadium move years, where we had to overpay our young players based simply on potential, that aspect should reduce to a certain extent. We’ll also be able to spend more as hopefully, our academy starts producing more squad players for us. As I said, we’re already buying players at the peak of their careers anyway, suggesting us becoming more comfortable with spending money without looking for financial return on the players.

    Umm.How exactly do you know the dynamics of the working of the board? Your entire paragraph there is based completely on what you think happens, with no evidence to support it. I don’t know how to respond to this.

    I never said the 2014 AGM will be groundbreaking. It’ll just be the year that new commercial deals kick in. Those 2 deals are reportedly going to give us something like 30-35m pounds more annually. It might not be groundbreaking, but it is still noteworthy.

    I believe in the board to the extent that I don’t automatically assume they have the worst of intentions. Self interested they, like everyone else, undoubtedly are. That doesn’t mean that they’re willing to sacrifice the good of the club for their self interest, or even that their interest demands this. Those are again, suppositions with little fact to guide them.

    I agree with your line about not using their unlimited resources as an excuse. It’s not. It is simply a reality. I thought I already explained this in my previous post. We have money. But what will that money get us? 1st place? Perhaps. Provided the players are there and willing to play for us. Maybe we should just spend our money in an effort to show effort. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily equate to making the most of our resources. Two years down the line, who is to say the same player will not be derided as ‘deadwood’ and a drain on the club’s resources? Ultimately, Wenger has gotten some signings wrong, but on the balance of things, I still think he’s got way more right than wrong. Even ones like Squillaci were exactly the type of player we needed at the time (Experienced international, someone to guide the younger CBs). That it didn’t work out is just demonstrative of transfers not being so simple to judge and predict.

  103. slime says:

    Do we always need to look so deep to find where the problem lies? We have failed to win many must-win games in the last 8 years, could it not just be that sometimes the players who took to the field were simply not good enough on the day? Is it the boards, or Wengers fault that we lost against Birmingham and Chelsea in cup finals for example?

    We are in an era where everything is always someone else’s fault! Someone falls over in the street and they are looking for the first person they can sue! What happened to just blaming the players for being shit on the day?

    Just a thought….

  104. Shard says:

    Agreed slim..

    Anyway. Off to bed.. Goodnight folks.

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Some seriously good comments here tonight.
    On the player front, I believe we are two top quality players away from being a very good team, with at least one of those having the kind of leadership qualities our sides have been lacking in, ooo, about eight years, strangely :-)
    On the Stan debate, and my thoughts are purely hypothetical, I believe his intentions are simple. Merely adding a pedigree sporting institution to his portfolio, that happens to be in the UK which could be useful in spreading the risk of his investments outside the US.
    They are fair points that he is neither a Fan of the Club, or indeed football (soccerball!), but I do feel the club operate too lower a risk strategy.

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Find it hard to believe there is actually anything worth watching on telly.
    Oh well, I’ll join the bed wetters in the morning :-)
    I think we’ll beat Bayern and Villa.

  107. Gooner In Exile says:

    Janman I think you’re right about the beautiful football, probably Cesc’s last season was the most beautiful it got at Arsenal….Nasri had his best season, Robin was fit, Jack was breaking through, Theo was getting in the swing of things.

    Remember our attack?

    Theo Van Nasregas….it was the new era. Ne’erdowells like Gallas and Adebayor were gone. Okay our defence had a TV5 shaped hole in it,, but still Djourou was playing well alongside Koz. And then and then Cesc got injured the Tuesday before the Carling Cup Final, as did Theo. and the season fell apart.

    Nasri chose money, Cesc chose home.

    I heard a lot of pundits that year say they hoped we won the PL because it would have been a victory for football, Wenger has been rebuilding ever since.

  108. vp says:

    Shard

    why don’t you ever post? think you should.

    Think that we’re on different sides of the spectrum with how we view the club’s strategy and we’ve yet to touch upon ethics (but we won’t go there). Enjoyed reading your replies and there’s nothing i’d like more than for your optimistic outlook to come into fruition. I believe that for this to occur the club will require serious re-structuring both in terms of personnel and culture (less risk averse as Micky recently stated). I have vowed to not spend a penny on the club for as long as Kroenke is the owner and its only a matter of time before more and more people do the same-this i have no doubt. Its just a case of how many more false promises its going to take before it happens.

  109. Gooner In Exile says:

    VP You’re part of the problem then :)

    Seriously though most of us spend money with various businesses and ask nothing in return, do I care if by buying an iPhone that the trustees of Steve Jobs get richer. Or by spending a few quid at my local butcher I get something back, not really.

    Yet as football fans we think by attending games and buying merchandise we have some kind of stakeholder status. And then the ones who don’t spend at all think that the club should care about them?

    It has always been a case of paying the money through the turnstile and getting what you get. Never been any different. Except when Wenger came to us. And gave us so much in such a little space of time that our expectation levels were raised.

  110. wally says:

    We’re mentally weak. That’s why we keep losing to crap like blackburn and bradford and norwich and every other fucking team out there.
    And why are we mentally weak? Because we’ve got a bunch coddled children on the field who need to have their confidence reinforced by the managers soothings. They are a bunch of babies.

    They’ll get tough when wenger starts treating them like men and demanding they act like professionals instead of a bunch pansy assed babies who need to be told they’re good.

  111. wally says:

    And that’s about as likely to happen as me winning the lottery!

  112. vp says:

    Gooner in Exile

    Haha…yeah i am a bit of a ”problem fan”? … your probably right about that one. Here’s the thing mate i never use to be. It was Kroenke’s purchase that did for me. I gave him the benefit of doubt at first, but then it slowly dawned upon me that this guy don’t give two hoots about the club and all we are is a risk free investment. If i were his accountant and i was advising him, i’d tell him to do exactly what he’s doing right now- go for the limited risk guaranteed return option.

    I have no problem with Kroenke getting richer from purchasing us if it is done in the right way i.e from winning trophies. The fact that he has built up his wealth from selling our best players does not bode well for me. I don’t classify a football club is binded by a social contract to serve its members. A business is there to serve its owners.The fact that our owner doesn’t invest a penny makes us the main providers, only strengthening our position as stakeholder. Our club is more financially reliant on its fan base than the majority of big clubs that spring to mind as most have external sources of investment. So, yes we are a stakeholder and a very important one at that.

    Absolutely agree with you with Wenger’s arrival increasing expectations. He’s become a victim of his own success. Are we asking for too much? perhaps…..can the club do better? most probably- if we lose to Bayern it will be the 32 consecutive competition we’ve entered and not won.

  113. Bayonne Jean says:

    Watching the Chelsea match, noticed that David Luiz, an accident waiting to happen at CH with a propensity for being out of position with his constant rushes forward, was actually putting in a strong shift at DM. Sure, it was against Brentford, but nonetheless it suggests that one might take a headstrong Arsenal CH with a propensity to rush forward and slot in the DM slot going forward….but not against Bayern — need him at left back.

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    VP
    Of course we agree on the risk factor from SK’s point of view, however I don’t agree that he is building up his worth through selling our best players.That is simply balancing thetransfer books. The moment we signed Giroud on top of Pod, Persie was history.
    I’m not even that convinced he wants to use AFC to increase his wealth. A steady increase in line with inflation and comparable to other low risk/interest investments may be all he wants.
    The only time we may see a change in approach is if we fall out of CL AND this is combined with a dramatic drop off in corporate (which I believe it will).

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE
    Interesting comment about our beautiful football.
    “Theo Van Nasregas” you say.
    I say, the power and destructiveness of TH, DB and so on.

  116. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    Some fine work on the blog last night.

    Not interested in Board level. Never have been. However, it is indicative of modern football that BoD’s have been in the spotlight.

    Why? Because what was a marvelous game of local tribalism has become a worldwide business with huge profits to those who are already massively wealthy.

  117. Big Raddy says:

    Dennis, Overmars, Anelka and Wright8. 1998 + the Famous 5 and PV, Pizza and Petit.

    What a team.

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning BR,
    Agree with the team.
    As for your other comment, I wish I could be disinterested for exactly the reasons you mention. The money side was something never spoken about not so long ago, but we are where we are :-(

  119. Big Raddy says:

    No arguing with that.

  120. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning Micky and Raddy, I should have qualified my TheoVanNasregas as most beautiful football since the Emirates move, it was the season where we could have on our own merits won the league, but it was torn apart the following summer.

    It didnt just spell the end of starters like Fabregas and Nasri, but also our squad players felt they wanted to play elsewhere (Denilson, Bendtner etc). The whole squad got ripped apart and Wenger has been trying to pick up the pieces and put together something to compete in short time, without a significant budget.

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Fair point GiE.
    Footballistically speaking, which team’s style did you prefer, the TheoVanNasregas or the 1998 vintage?

  122. Rasp says:

    We have money, we choose not to spend it and are still paying a high price for a policy of paying high wages for potential that never materialised.

  123. slime says:

    I believe this is a problem the club has created for itself,

    When things are going smoothly the fans are happy to let the BoD do as they please, as its obviously working, but when it’s been 8 years without a trophy, the fans are going to be demanding answers, and this is where the problem lies.

    The club don’t have to give any answers, as has been pointed out, but by keeping everything so private the fans are digging deeper and deeper into the running of the club, and in most instances are getting 2+2=5. Then you’ve got the press sniffing around trying to come up with sellable stories and again coming up with wrong answers. In the world of Internet and blogs, a lot of these stories are deemed true, and are used in countless arguments every single day.

    If the club was a little more open to the fans, or Wenger was honest in his summation of transfer activity and performances, then I think the fans would be happier with where we are right now, and maybe more accepting of the situation.

    On a similar note, newspaper ‘stories’ saying Wenger will be given £70m kitty and 2 year extension! More 2+2=5!?

  124. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Morning
    Lets hope the newspapers stories are wrong I don’t want him on charge for another two years .
    And 70 k is nothing to spend on players.
    Sheepy

  125. Red Arse says:

    1998! They were winners! :-)

  126. Rasp says:

    Another massive PR coup for the club – we get knocked out of the FA cup with an embarrassing display and boos ringing around the ground and so they decide to announce that the manager (whose credibility with supporters is at its lowest ever) has been offered a 2 year extension … priceless!

  127. slime says:

    The counter attacking football of Pires, Henry, Llungberg and DB10 was a joy to watch. Mixed with the power of Vieira, Campbell, Toure, Lauren and Gilberto, it was a winning machine!

    The ’98 side was more about pace with Overmars and Anelka being set free by a DB10 in full flow. They also had the famous 5 at the back which helps!

    Then you had the technical ability of the RvP, Cesc, Nasri and Theo side who were a joy to behold for about 6 months until Nasri sniffed the dollars.

    For me, it’s hard to look past a team that contained an Henry at his peak, a Pires at his peak, and a DB10 pulling the strings. If only Cesc had been born a few years earlier, that team would’ve been something else! Some of the goals Henry, DB10 and Pires scored were football at its finest. Vintage!

  128. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Slime
    I wonder which paper Stan chose to share those intimate details with. Bet it had a red top ROLF

  129. Manthan says:

    Rasp,
    Valid Point… Board knows all supporters are very sad now so they are faking story of 70k budget… Again in next tranfer window i bet you the words from the wenger will be we have a good squad if i find someone special we will add him to our squad :D

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Agree with all of that Slime, although you left out Wright, who, ok not the very best, put the biggest smile on my face. The pure joy and enthusiasm were heart bustingly warm.

  131. Manthan says:

    Sheepy,
    I think Wenger is the right man to lead the club… He has done enomorius work at arsenal I still have faith in him belive me or not 70+ overseas supporters started following arsenal due to him..

  132. Rasp says:

    Morning all ……

    ….. New post ……

  133. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I see your pont manthan .
    But honestly can we go another 8 years without a trophy .
    NO.
    We need a change and I don’t give a toss about how many overseas fans support arsenal .
    What he has done was fantastic .
    But his recorded in the last 8 years is PANTS

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