Shut Up Whining And Get Supporting

It’s been a tough season so far, enough to test the patience of a Southampton fan (think about it).

We probably all have our own personal lowlights of a campaign that has had more ups and downs than a Super Mario Brothers game (just when we’re about to reach 100 coins, we always manage to fall in a pit or get zapped by Bowser).

But there have been highlights too (5-2 anyone?), even though some supporters seem to remember only the bad stuff.

And now we are entering the most crucial part of the campaign, at least as far as on-field matters go.

There are 11 games left, from which we must accumulate enough points to finish in the top four of the Premier League.

We have expertly ensured that there will be no fixture congestion by removing ourselves from all the cup competitions (you will deduce from this that I am not expecting any miracles in Munich).

So it’s all about Premiership points from here on in – and every Gunner should get behind the team to help them over the line.

Don’t fall for the media campaign against our club: there is no crisis except one of confidence among some of the fans, which, on occasion, affects the players. If you doubt me, think about these FACTS:

  • We are fifth in the league, just two points behind the Chavs and four behind the Spuds with everything to play for.
  • We are the EPL’s form team, with four wins and a draw out of our last five league games. Only ManUre can equal that.
  • We have scored more goals than every other team apart from ManUre and the Chavs.
  • We have conceded fewer than everyone except Man City (although – with 30 against- we’re level with the Chavs and Spuds).
  • Our goal difference is considerably better than the Spuds’ (+22 compared with their +15).

If this is a crisis it’s one that most teams would like to have.

And before the pessimisti among you start shouting at me, that does not mean I think things could not be better and that I’m happy to settle for fourth place every year – no more than Arsene Wenger is.

But given that things didn’t gel as well as we would have hoped this season, we have to deal with the here and now.

Which is why it astonishes me when I take a rare excursion through some of the highways and byways of the Arsenal blog world and see people who call themselves supporters demanding that season ticket holders boycott home games; or giving up hours of their time to compiling lists of all the “donkeys” Mr Wenger has signed in recent years; or taking greater delight in our setbacks than our successes.

I’m not saying there aren’t legitimate questions to be asked, but not here, not now.

Now is the time for one thing only: unquestioning support until the end of the season.

If you think we need to change our manager, or that some of our players are not good enough, or that our ownership situation leaves something to be desired then voice those opinions once the campaign is done.

Because nothing of structural significance is going to change between now and the end of May: Stan Kroenke will not sell his stake; Arsene Wenger will not quit or be fired; no new players will come in.

We have who we have and we need to get on with it and support those players and coaches. Apparently Gervinho’s name was booed by some people at the ground when he was announced as one of the substitutes on Saturday. Way to go! That’s really going to help his confidence, not to mention his willingness to fight for the club.

Whatever you think of Gerv, he will certainly have a part to play for us between now and the end of the season. Do you really want to see him mess up again just so you can say “I told you he was cr*p”? Or do you want him to score goals and provide assists, maybe the goals and assists that secure Champions League football next year? I know which I would prefer.

Likewise those who are already writing off Nacho Monreal (yes, seriously, some people are) need to take a look at his personal stats from the Villa game. I won’t go through them here, but they make very pleasant reading.

And if you are a season ticket holder who has stopped going either for financial reasons or because of disillusionment, please try to make sure someone else takes your place.

It’s time for a late season charge – and a charge only works when everyone is united.

Let’s do it!

RockyLives

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117 Responses to Shut Up Whining And Get Supporting

  1. RFA says:

    Well said that man!

  2. Stephen says:

    Good to read a calm and positive post! We can all see that Wenger has made mistakes, but the man who never made a mistake never made anything. With the matchday revenue, new sponsorship deals and impoved tv rights Arsenal will be able to compete with any top club. The next manager of Arsenal will be walking into a dream job.

    Arsenal can finish 3rd this season, and try and build on that for the next term. If that’s not good enough for some keyborad warriors, so be it… you can’t polish a turd.

  3. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Well said RL right to the point of the matter.
    This may make a few of you smile!

    What do Oscar Pistorius and Spurs both got in common?

    They both got Bail until the summer…….

    Much love
    Sheep Hagger™

  4. Giorgio Ochemeh says:

    You have written well Rockylives. Bt i’ll want to diagree with u when u said: “Don’t fall for the media campaign against our club:
    there is NO crisis except one of confidence among some of the fans, which, on occasion, affects the players.”
    to d best of my knwledge arsenal fans are one d best when it comes to supporting a club. Hw do u tink Barca fans, Madrid fans, Man u fans, chelsea fans man city fans will fare if for 8yr their club won nothing. Arsenal is a big club 4 God sake, and shuld be able to employ d service of big players to lift d club unto greater height. The fans are nt unrealistic in their demands. They jst want to see d club succeed.
    After ur analysis u said: “If this is a crisis it’s one that
    most teams would like to
    have.” Are u realy convince with this statement? Do u tink a man-u fan will savour fifth positn or a Madrid fan will be satisfy with d club even if d run 8yrs without a trophy? Afc have always manage to claim a place in d top 4. This has made d club feel it’s doing well. It is beta d club drop out of d top 4 this season, learn its mistake, make amends next season and win trophies. Than to continue wallowing with only top 4 to show for. Afc need to tink and act big.

  5. Red Arse says:

    An invigorating and hard hitting Post, Rocky, :-)

    There is nothing in the sentiments you express that anyone (?) could find fault with, and for those beset with doubts or dissatisfaction, I hope they heed your clarion call to arms!

    I sense from the title of the Post, and the tone in your writing that you are somewhat despairing of a tranche of fans who seem to be concerned only with their constant, self flagellating bitching, and desire to hurl corrosive waves of bile at the club; the team; individual players and other fans who do not share their views.

    It is of course wearing, but rest assured, it is only a very small number who do so, the remainder are fans who are wholly supportive of the club, including some genuine fans who have reservations about the quality of certain players, the lack of trophies, or concern that the club is slipping away from the top tier of the EPL but do not have a pointless need to find scapegoats to justify those concerns.

    I am equally sure that there are fans, like me, who are team players, not blinded by false ideology, and who are not unaware of imperfections in the administration of the club, or the need to strengthen the team, but who see and understand the brilliant footballing vision of our manager, and remain committed, without reservation, to supporting the Arsenal for the rest of our lives.

    We will never be persuaded to join those who, for their own nefarious and spurious reasons, want to try and bring our Arsenal down in ruins around their own heads.

    They will never succeed!!

  6. sai says:

    When I started reading the post, I felt it could be Rocky. But it was Rocky’s thoughts put in a less humorous, I’d say not so Rocky style. But still a good read and I share your views as a supporter. Only difference, I am not English and I cannot even dream of a season ticket. On the other hand, I am lucky enough to watch every League game we play on TV.

  7. Timmy says:

    Nice post Rocky and quite a long long while here

    Here in Nigeria, we only watch life games on TV and rely on what the media tells us is going on with Arsenal. I have witnessed first hand the harmful effect of negative reporting by a group of people bent on doing the good image of a club in. It may be difficult for fans that are present at games to see any direct sense in the claim of press peddling negatives, but on this side of the divide Fans are really falling for this deliberate misinformation.

    I have gotten to a stage when Arsenal looses or draws, then I don’t visit the news stands nor the internet, and if I must I visit the clubs official site.

    After careful analysis of the current situation, it seems fans are now backstabbing Arsene and blaming him for even daring to win trophies, built a state of the Art stadium, turn around the fortune of a club he possibly had no connection with until his appointment but just went about being excellent in his own personal doings. Unfortunately, this set of fans are just those who never had anything to do with the club pre-Wenger days. But can this be excused, as I myself happen to be a fan during Wenger era and it just doesn’t make sense for someone to assume anything in life can be permanent. Bad times comes to end, even good times too, If you don’t think so then ask Barcelona or Messi

  8. GoonerB says:

    Excellent and heart warming post Rocky and I am in full agreement with your sentiment. Nothing will change now in any way till the end of the season so any negativity or protest from certain sections of the fans will have no gain and can only hurt the club. Anyone who can recognise that fact should understand that any grievences they should be aired at a time when it can have an effect and for the next 3 months chuck their lot in behind this current team.

    It reminds me of that verse about having the wisdom to accept what cannot be changed. I think it is a poem, the serenity something or other. It is far too philosophical for an oaf like myself, so I will request further elaboration from our resident AA philosopher Mr Red-Plato-Arse himself.

    Giorgio @10.43, I would like to pick up on a couple of your points. Yes I agree that Arsenal are a big club and our aim should be for the top. My question is, is that not what the whole project of moving to the Emirates was about?

    I would argue that we were a smaller big club before our move but now are a bigger big club if you get what I am saying. The reason we did it was so we could bridge the gap to the likes of Barca, Madrid and Utd. We haven’t quite bridged that gap but we have now layed the foundations to do it over the next few years, so that we can stand there as their equals as one of the giants of world football. We were not their equals at Highbury in terms of size of club and resources, and never could have been while remaining there. We could have been starting to fade into more obscurity right now if we had stood still, so I think comparing ourselves to them is unfair because they were already big clubs with big stadiums when we embarked on the Emirates project, and so didn’t have to be financially hamstrung like we were through that period.

    Also comparisons with Chelsea and City are unfair because they have achieved their silverware through artificial financial backing. You are holding them up as clubs that we should be compared to, or be aspiring to, but how many trophies do you think either of them would have won in the last 8 years without that artificial backing and if they were working with the same finances we have had for the last 8 years. My guess is none. If we are to compare to certain clubs the more realistic are probably Liverpool and Spurs. They have won a couple of things in the last 8 years but have not embarked on such a big project as we have and so have been able to divert their resources into the squad more, and have as such spent far more than us in this period. Are they significantly better off than us now? They are both even looking to do what we have just done with new stadiums so they may have to go through the same financially restrictive process as we have. Do you think they will remain as competitive as we did on the limited finances we had to work with? I would be interested to hear your thoughts Giorgio.

  9. michael says:

    The main reason why we are not moving forward is because we look back a lot
    we all know how well Arsene has helped the club, but i am convinced within me that he is destroying whatever he has built, chelsea, man city and the likes are hav not only won trophies bcos they hav rich owners but bcos there is always pressure on the manager to do well, but when you hav a manager who has the most secured job in sports then he will be willing to use our dear club as a guinea pig for his stupid experiments
    when you do something once or twice and it doesnt work and you change, then we cn call it a mistake, but when you do it eight horrible times and despite the glaring fact that its not working, you still refuse to change, then that is what i call foolishness
    We need a change, not necessarily the manager but philosophically

  10. nihirealist says:

    michael,

    You think the club and the manager did the same thing 8 times? False as that statement is with close inspection, even if I grant you that, it’s pretty clear that the manager and the club undertook one path which just has taken 8 years to walk down. That is also because of the obstacles put in place by the oiler clubs, which weren’t around when that path was planned. Veering from that path was never a viable option anyway, and it definitely isn’t now. People need to learn to differentiate between strategic issues, and the everyday issues, rather than just demand that everything be thrown out. Doing something no club has ever really done before, can be classed as stupid experiments. But what would following the same path as everyone else achieve? Being one of the crowd, reassuring as it is, doesn’t offer as much space for growth. What we’re experiencing are no more than growing pains, rather than the decline people like to paint it as.

  11. nihirealist says:

    Than you for the post Rocky. Fighting talk. Hopefully, fighting with all Arsenal fans and the club standing together, rather than the infighting which has been promoted in certain quarters. I know there are some on this site who believe a change of manager would be better for us, Rasp for example. Even though I disagree with his opinion, I respect how he voices it. I wish other people of similar persuasion could learn from him.

  12. GoonerB says:

    Michael @11.46, I agree that certain areas need changing and addressing. As a for instance the 2 main areas that concern me are how often we concede the same type of sloppy goals and the structuring of our wage bill with regard to the amount paid to top players in a squad and the more mediocre back up players, i.e aspects that we can change now. These may be factors that will be addressed from now, at least I hope so.

    The pressure on the manager to do well should be present in any business but do you really want a Chelsea situation with regard to managers with the pressure they apply there? They have spent fortunes in the last 3 years and exactly how good do they look currently? Nowhere near what their expenditure would indicate.

    Many fans for years have just wanted the truth about our financial ability, and I myself have asked for clarity but have had a rethink on this point. Maybe the clarity, until recently, would have revealed a dire financial situation. I would then ask would it have been sensible for an institution like Arsenal to reveal that truth to the world. It would have likely made a difficult situation even harder in putting players off joining a club in this financial situation, and that would have constituted extremely poor PR work.

    If it were you or me and we were privy to these limitations would we have not decided the better way was to not reveal our full predicament and to continue to give an impression that we were still able to compete. Slight disinformation I know, but the business world is full of products that dress themselves up to be more than they actually are for the sake of the company. Maybe not revealing all was not to just frustrate the fans, as many believe, but was just a sensible approach to protecting the image of Arsenal football club as a major player.

    I believe AW even intimated recently that the money is only now just there for us, and maybe that is why there has been a perceived lack of pressure on AW from the board. Some like to think it is because he just makes them money, but maybe it is because they knew the limitations he was working under and that they could not see anyone who could have done better, including all the managers that have graced Chelsea and City in recent years. The truth is we don’t know for sure which it is but I think we are about to find out in the next 18 months so lets find out rather than assume it is one thing and push for a wholesale change that could end up costing us.

  13. Red Arse says:

    GoonerB, :-)

    re 11:33 am

    The serenity Prayer:

    God, give us grace to accept with serenity
    the things that cannot be changed,
    and courage to change the things
    which should be changed,

    and the wisdom to distinguish
    the one from the other.
    Living one day at a time,
    Enjoying one moment at a time,
    Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.

    I think it is true for all of us, but particularly relevant for those recovering from an addiction.

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    Rocky,

    At long last a post that, almost, sums up my feelings.

    I’m afraid that nothing will deter the “wise men” from telling us how dumb Arsene is and cataloging all of his mistakes – as that is how they seem to get some form of satisfaction in their little lives.

    I’ve written many times about my personal disdain for the “antis” and frankly even some AAers fall into the anti category, but they are smart enough to paraphrase their comments with feigned statements of support. You see I am in a firm believer that you cannot be a little bit pregnant you either are or you’re not – you either support or you don’t – which is not suggesting blind loyality just endless and forgiving support.

    Regardless of the final outcome this season I will remain a total advocate of AW’s and will be very sad when he decides to retire – we may never see a manager of his caliber again in our lifetimes (at least mine).

    Thank you for trying to bring some light into the lives of those with dark thoughts.

  15. goonersteve says:

    Great read.

    Send this over to those pricks – gambon and guns of hackney who troll le-grove.

  16. GoonerB says:

    GN5, I do admire your (and the other AA’ers like you) unquestioned faith. I can’t bring myself to the point where I would support indefinitely regardless of what may come, but as you can see I am in the AW camp as we sit currently. For various reasons and opinions I have formed I feel it is jumping the gun to think he cannot return us to glory and that he should be replaced at this point.

    For me there may come a point when I will feel a change is necessary, if the obstacles to success have been removed but we are just not progressing in the right way to do it, but as I say for me that point is not yet.

    I am not exactly sure when that point is and I might be prone to changing my mind depending on how things unfold. I call it an adaptable mind-set while Redders would call it sitting on the fence and collecting splinters in my Arse (Big Smile).

  17. kelsey says:

    I wouldn’t say i was anti and I definitely don’t waiver from week to week.

    In theory I would say Rocky that this is “a safe post” and you are right there is absolutely nothing we can do but support the team and manager at least until the season is over.
    however this is a daily blog and we generally express our opinions as to the result of the last game played.
    my concern still remains with the defence and the defensive midfielder whoever is playing..We have let in a lot of truly awful goals this season and on many occasions the defence is at sixes and sevens that it is just so frustrating,as we never seem to learn

    I also wonder if the standard in the premiership has overall improved and there isn’t that much between most of the teams as we have seen on any given day this season,anyone can beat anyone.
    I do not regard United as a fantastic team to win the league this year (which is highly likely) yet they carve out results,despite a somewhat often dodgy deence and keeper.I mention this as I still think that something is amiss with our coaching and tactics which never seem to change that much.
    I hope we can go on a run and confidence and motivation is fully restored for these remaining games but i have my doubts but will be pleased to be proved wrong.

    I have kept this general as I don’t want to pick out certain players that IMO aren’t good enough or my thoughts on Kroenke or Wenger as the likelyhood is that nothing will change next season regardless where we finish except that a couple of players are out of contract,a few on loan might be sold, two of the first team may well leave and we will buy in most probably three players.

  18. GunnerN5 says:

    GoonerB,

    I cannot disagree with either your thoughts or your approach, in fact I find them admirable.

    I’ve supported our team through the good years and many. many bad years. Believe me in some of those bad years my feelings were very different so maybe I can only think of myself as a purist because there was no Internet available to vent my wrath – who knows?

    But suffice to say that what we witness today is way up on my list of acceptability – even though it’s disappointing.

  19. jonathan says:

    Great post Rocky,
    you’d think we are facing relegation the way some people carry on. Though this season has been tough there are plenty of positives, especially the 3 signings, none of them have hid and can only improve next season when they gel even more so. Theo is another massive positive.
    Tactics and system continue to be my gremlin, did you know we have the 1st ranked defense for away games and 14th ranked for home games, it just goes to show that this sport we love is nothing more than a balancing act!

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    Kelsey,

    Your comments have always been consistent and one could never, ever doubt your support and loyalty for Arsenal.

    This may sound very simplistic but I truly believe that the majority of our poor results this season have been down to individual errors by our defense – but of course it cannot be denied that some of our performances have been dreadful.

    My dilemma with that simple summation is that I have no idea how you coach/train mistakes out of a game, it’s down to intense levels of concentration and holding that concentration for the whole game – and we constantly fail in that area.

    Intensity does not seem to be our forte, it comes and goes instead of being continuous.

  21. Red Arse says:

    GN5,

    No one can doubt where you stand, and that applies to Dandan too. :-)

  22. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, a serious post on a serious topic. Whatever reservations we may hold about aspects of the club, the only option for a true supporter at this time is to give unconditional support to the players and manager.

    As kelsey has pointed out, this should not exclude mature discussion of issues on this site, but wherever we fans send out a message, that message must be one of support.

    As someone who attends games when I can afford it, I have mixed emotions in my reaction to criticism of the support in terms of the collective and the individual. When I’ve gone to a game and sung my heart out and I’m sitting with others that have done the same, I take it personally, but when some idiot nearby spends the entire game slamming into the players I’d ban him from the ground for eternity.

    Generalisation is always going to be unfair to individuals. From my experience I’d roughly divide our home support as follows:

    30% great support
    40% quietly supportive but should make more noise
    20% quiet and like to think they’re long suffering
    10% …. the same word as applies to bad refs :?

  23. Red Arse says:

    GoonerB,

    I do hope my leg pulling has not caused you offence.

    You are a very nice person and always try to be inclusive and inoffensive to everyone, even me :-) — hence my ‘splinters’ comment. :D

  24. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    “Wallies”? :-)

  25. Rasp says:

    Nah, “Jodrells”

  26. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    Joking aside, your apportionment ties in very well with my 10:46 response to the Rock man!

    Sadly, I do not have your knowledge regarding the stadium support, of course, but from my straw poll of friends and acquaintances I would very much agree with you!

    Oddly enough the approximate split is not to far away from the 80/20 rule we spoke about yesterday! :D

  27. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp i think the 40% quietly supportive are the ones who hold the key, they need to let go of some inhibitions at the match and join in even when there doesn’t appear to be anything worth singing about.

    Rocky fine post, it is not hard to support the team, even if you have lost a bit of faith in the direction turning up and cheering on something you love is unconditional, because by joining the critical voices makes us weaker. No matter how much you disagree with the direction of the club, come matchday the club and fans should always be as one.

    Fans of lower clubs turn up to watch them play ManUre, Shitty, Chavs, or us and have no expectation of winning, but they in the main stand alongside their players and give them support, is it too hard to ask Arsenal fans lucky enough to attend a match do the same.

    A ticket at the Emirates does not give you the right to be entertained, it does not give you a guarantee of a win, in fact by buying a ticket you should be making a commitment to the club, that you will turn up and do everything in your power to give the players an atmosphere to thrive in.

    “You are my Arsenal, my only Arsenal
    You make me happy when skies are grey
    And if you knew just how much I love you
    you’d never take my Arsenal away

    Na na na na na ooh
    na na na na na ooh
    na na na na na na na na ooh ooh”

  28. GoonerB says:

    Redders, never. I saw the humour in it but was away most of yesterday so by the time I picked up your comment the moment was gone to comment back. It takes a lot to offend me anyway. My wife would say it is because of my low moral standards and ethics, so do your worst mighty philosopher of the blog world.

  29. Gooner In Exile says:

    GN5 I think statistics would agree with your theory on individual mistakes costing us many of the goals and defeats we have suffered.

    Remember when Gibbs slipped against ManUre in CL and Wenger said that it was due to being indecisive, otherwise there is no reason to slip, Gibbs was young at the time and has improved greatly since.

    But that indecisiveness is definitely apprent in our defensive play, but also in some of our attacking play too, its something Wenger has always talked about it, focus and making the right choices on the pitch, maybe it is too much in some of the players heads, or maybe they are second guessing their instinct, take Vermaelen’s pass to BSR at Old Trafford, he could have done three/four things with that football other than tickle it to BSR

  30. GunnerN5 says:

    A few days back there was a dialogue on the affordability of going to Arsenal games and it was pointed out that the cost of a ticket today is beyond the means of many true blue supporters. This is indeed sad, as it means that a big part of our vocal support cannot attend.
    However it’s no different than it was 60 years ago, my family were massive fans and most lived a stones throw away from the ground but they could not afford tickets, even though they only cost a few pence.

    Once I had been inside Highbury there was no stopping me from seeing the games and us kids devised many devious ways to get in, but unfortunately the older members of the family had to go through the turnstiles which meant they were only able to see a few games.

    Today, in order for clubs to prosper, they have to rely on the well heeled to fill the seats, with that comes the problem of “newbie” supporters whose expectations are driven by how much they pay and by Arsenals more recent glory years.

  31. Afternoon Mr Rock, a stern, no prisoners taken kind of post from you today and a thousand huzzahs for that.

    This reminds me of an incident that happened after the game on Saturday on the north bridge. Some mouthy Villa fans we’re singing “Robin Van Persie…he left ‘cos you’re shit” etc…so I started up the “Going down, going down..” back which the other gooners trudging to the station joined in to drown them out. With another guy shouting “You’re just a shit team from Wolves”.

    They soon shut up, however why didn’t someone else start up some noise to drown the enemy out ? I’m very mild mannered but I thought I’ll be dammed if I’m going to let relegation fodder take the piss out of my team on our turf !

    I couldn’t get how they would let the Villa fans just abuse us and stay silent. Sing up you silent 40% !

  32. RockyLives says:

    Good day everyone and thanks for the comments.

    I feel like I’m stating the obvious as far as most regulars on here are concerned. Even those with quite large reservations about the manager and direction of the club always acknowledge the need to back the team on the day.

    Similarly, I’m not suggesting that we withhold all criticism between now and the end of the season (I’m sure I’ll be moaning next time Szcz gifts a goal to the opposition or Gerv misses a couple of sitters).

    But given that nothing substantial about the management, coaching or players is likely to happen before the end of the season I feel the best thing we supporters can do is to foster as positive an atmosphere as possible, even if results don’t go our way.

  33. RockyLives says:

    Timmy
    Really interesting comment about media coverage in Nigeria. I am surprised that you have the same negativity there as there is in the UK.

    GoonerB
    Thanks for cueing up Redders to post that fine poem :)
    I knew he wouldn’t resist once you invited him to find it…

    Gn5
    Earlier in the season there was a stat to the effect that we had given away massively more goals than anyone else in the EPL through individual errors. I can’t imagine that the figures have got any better since then. I think this is where coaching comes in – not coaching technique, but coaching concentration. The great teams led by Tony Adams didn’t always have all great players, but all the players were switched on from the first minute to the last. And if they did switch off, the rocket they would get from TA would mean they wouldn’t do it again in a hurry.
    Can we improve our “concentration coaching?”

    Rasp
    Those figures (%s of the crowd) feel spot on.

  34. Giorgio Ochemeh says:

    Directly or indirectly, d pressure frm d fans would persuade d club into action. It’s good sometimes to be outright in calling a spade a spade. Afc built a stadium, that is true. But that doesnt incapacitate them frm buying good players. The fans are nt asking 4 a messi or a ronaldo. On many occassion d club has released money and Wenger has refused to make use of the money to procure players. He’ll rather go for out of contract or out of favour players frm other clubs to makeup his team. We most tyms are d 1st to sight a player bt we give up on buying them d moment another suitor comes on. We sell our big names replacing them with second-fiddles or none at all. Are all this due to the buiding of the standium?
    This policy has to be redressed. Untill then [just like the past 8yrs] even with the best fans support the club wn’t achieve more than it has invested on its players.

  35. jnyc says:

    Amen Rocky. We all need to remember this sometimes. Myself included. Im tryin to stay positive and — look on the bright side of life — singing. But i cant help but be nervous. The final few weeks of last season frayed my nerves. I guess i can look forward to the same this year. But i totally support all of our guys

  36. I’d like to point out that getting behind the team on matchday’s does not preclude you from having serious misgivings about squad management, tactics and player selection.

  37. Merseforever says:

    I would place myself in the group of people who think Arsene should step aside. Doesn’t stop me from screaming myself hoarse, trying to get behind the team every match and then moan and complain in the pub after! Same with my sons and most of my mates It’s possible to do both!

  38. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, looks like 100% agreement with your post – a first for AA :P

    On another topic – have you seen the pics of the soon to be unveiled statue of DB? … sadly, like TA’s, it’s not a great likeness facially

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/picture-arsenal-are-to-unveil-a-new-dennis-bergkamp-statue-outside-the-emirates/

  39. dandan says:

    Fantastic post Rocky.
    I would say that my Arsenal are worthy of my support and encouragement at all times. But yesterday I went and said goodbye to a friend since my teens who is in a hospice 200 miles from my home, he has been given a estimate of a month to survive, today I have visited my younger Brother who is being treated for Cancer in Devon, 300 miles away he said I don’t know how this will end up but If it should be that this is the beginning of the end so be it, but I would just like to see Spurs finish above Arsenal before I go. I wonder my gooner friends would you in my position still cheer for us to beat the Spuds this weekend.

  40. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan, I’m so sorry to hear of the sad plight of your nearest and dearest. I shouldn’t worry either way about the result on Sunday – you know what things are important in life.

  41. Red Arse says:

    Hi DD,

    Sad news!

    In those circumstances – family has to come first.

    Life, as we know, is all too short, and if it would comfort your brother I would certainly not begrudge him a win at the week-end, and even to finish above us at the end of the season — with Chelsea finishing 5th. :-)

  42. kelsey says:

    I know you very well dandan and for you to be so open about something you told me privately a while ago it has naturally touched you and only you know the answer to that.my friend .

  43. 26may1989 says:

    Dandan, sorry to hear about your chum – like many people, I’ve seen cancer close up, and it’s a grim old business. I certainly wish your mate all the best.

    As for Sunday, bit of a moral dilemma, but I’d say he could only enjoy Spurs’ success if it comes with Arsenal and Arsenal fans being completely true to their loyalties – our role is to cheer on our team and hope we both beat Spurs and finish above them. If we fail on one or both grounds, your friend will be able to take the greatest delight in getting one over on the old enemy. If you temper your commitment to the Arsenal cause, it would dilute his ultimate satisfaction.

    So, out of loyalty to your friend, I say you should hope that we win on Sunday! And if we lose, at least you have a good consolation.

    Top post by the way, Rocky, that’s the spirit!

  44. kelsey says:

    26th it is dandan’s brother

  45. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry, only just twigged there were two people, and the one you were talking about was your brother. I really am incredibly sorry to hear he’s got cancer – the very best of luck to him. I don’t know if it helps, but my Mum was diagnosed with her second bout of cancer about five years ago, and was told she had virtually no chance of surviving longer than 12-15 months. Yet, she’s still going very strong, looks 15 years younger than her 68 years, swims most days and has just got back from seeing my brother in New Zealand. Of course, not everyone is so lucky, but even in the worst of situations, there can be hope.

  46. Jeanette Kliger says:

    What a great post! It’s time for all of us to get a grip and restore some balance.
    I hate to think that Arsenal fans are the meanest and most ungrateful, so I will assume that every club has its moaners and groaners, harsh critics and boo-boys – please tell me they have.
    My dad taught me never to boo the opposition. He must be turning in his grave if he can hear our “fans” booing our own team.
    Sorry, dad!

  47. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Hi
    Sorry to hear your bad news DD ,family is more important than football.
    Take care

  48. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    I do not wish to stick my nose into personal matters, but I was tremendously impressed by a poem/prayer written, just before he died of prostate cancer, by Andy Ripley a great English international rugby player, about 2 years ago.

    It might bring comfort to you and to your brother – I hope so!

    – “Dare we hope? We dare.
    Can we hope? We can.
    Should we hope? We must, because to do otherwise is to waste the most precious of gifts, given so freely by God to all of us.
    So when we do die, it will be with hope and it will be easy and our hearts will not be broken.”

    I heard him recite it on the radio, a month before he died, and was very moved by it.
    It is not a message of despair – it is a positive message about something that will come to all of us!

    Chin up.

  49. dandan says:

    Thanks for the kind messages, it is not like me to share such things, but I guess seeing my Brother in so fragile a condition after yesterday’s meeting got to me, forgive me for lumbering AA’rs with such personal stuff..
    Red thanks for Andy’s poem I will pass it on.

  50. 26may1989 says:

    DD, at times like these, I’ve found places like blogs really helpful. I used to be a regular on the Online Gooner, but was well on my way to leaving those shores when the overriding tone became very negative and Wenger-hating. But one of the last times I posted came when I was on a train and my Mum had just told me of her diagnosis – I was completely stunned, and at that moment, without anyone to speak to, the only outlet was the Online Gooner. And despite some pretty profound differences on our beloved club, the response I got from the other regulars there was lovely and incredibly supportive.

    All of which is to say that I for one consider there is nothing for you to apologise for. I wish both your brother and your friend, and all of their families and friends, all the best.

  51. GunnerN5 says:

    DD,

    Not a good scenario for either your friend or your brother, I know from my own experiences just how destructive cancer can be, all one can do is be strong and supportive.

    On the Tottenham question, I could never consider cheering them on to beat us but If they did I could at least, given your dilemma, be happy for my brother.

  52. RockyLives says:

    Dandan
    I will root for Arsenal as always.
    But if we lose, I will feel happy for your brother.
    It sounds like you and he are close, in which case it must be a great comfort for him to have a brother like you.
    I wish the best for your friend as well.

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thank you Rocky.
    I am off now to meet Dandan for dinner, and I am really looking forward to meeting such a man.

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    dandan
    If you are still reading, I’m on my way. Lost your mobile number.

  55. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    One day I hope to dine with you and dandan and so many of the other AA-ers whom I have yet to meet.

  56. evonne says:

    Rocky – great campaign for the Club! I can tell you’ve been for a couple of election campaings in America :)

    Booing own players is dispeakable, no matter what. The Club should be able to identify the culprits and ban them for life from the Emirates. I mean it, they do as much damage as the Orcs tauting Ramsey, worse, because they come under a disguise of true supporters, fucking scumbags

  57. goonerjake says:

    Now now evonne… swearing really? The scumbag bit is right though.

  58. evonne says:

    sorry jake, but I truly hate so called supporters. I didn’t know they were booing when Gerv’s name was shown for substitution. How disgusting is that?? Don’t the morons realise that despite being paid silly money they are still young boys in a foreign country with huge expectations on their shoulders? So called supporters can permanently damage the kids, no 2 buts about it

  59. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Calm down Evonne it’s not so bad is it
    Much love

  60. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Cracking read Corky…..

    I’ll repeat someone elses praises as it is so apt:

    GN5 – “Thank you for trying to bring some light into the lives of those with dark thoughts.”

  61. goonerjake says:

    I am with you Evonne, would even go further and this will not be popular, no player while still wearing a arsenal shirt should ever be booed or abused. This in my opinion includes Na$ri, as much as I hated him trying to engineer a move away and as much as I truly despise him now (he is an objectionable man- truly disgusting) I did not like the booing and the song about him being a you no what while he was still a club player. It’s ok now.

    To sum up while a player wears the red and white, please no booing.

    Ps. Sorry about my views about na$ri, I do despise him. it was just the timing I disagreed with.

  62. RockyLives says:

    evening evonne :)

    I wrote this Post on Monday before I saw GiE’s Post yesterday, so it’s just a coincidence that they’re on related subjects, but clearly the “negative” element among the support had been bugging us both…

    Sheepy
    How you doing? Apparently Wales has one of the top 10 beaches in the world – have you been there?

  63. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    8.07 – Flaxen Haired Warrior Princess – , thats right you tell ‘em, give ‘em both barrels

  64. RockyLives says:

    evening Sharkey
    I like that we have a RHWP and a FHWP :)

  65. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I’m ok thanks Evonne.
    What beech is in the top 10 we have many nice beaches in Wales

  66. evonne says:

    Hi sweetie, both you and GiE are my port of sanity, not just the most positive guys I have ever met, but also very persuasive. When I begin to doubt Wenger or our team I have to read either yours or GiE’s take on things and everything is tickety boo again, simple really :)

    jake – who is Na$ri?

  67. evonne says:

    Sheep – Hell’s Mouth, my absolute favourite

  68. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Never heard of it sorry Evonne.
    I will google it I’m in South Wales were men are men and sheep are sheep

  69. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Corky – those two are the only reason I come back !

  70. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    This came up about hell mouth

    Hellmouth is the entrance to Hell envisaged as the gaping mouth of a huge monster, an image which first appears in Anglo-Saxon art, and then spread all over Europe, remaining very common in depictions of the Last Judgment and Harrowing of Hell until the end of the Middle Ages, and still sometimes used during the Renaissance and after.

  71. evonne says:

    Sharkey – you tart :) If you are not careful I will publish your picture with long hair :)

    Hell’s Mouth is in North Wales where men and sheep and sheep wear trousers

  72. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Sheep @ 8.55pm
    The wife lives there

  73. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    The beach you are on about is in Abersoch in mid Wales it’s used by surfers and yes I have been there many times but I’m no surfer.
    It’s about an hours drive from where I live

  74. You are well up with this post Rock

  75. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    That’s it but us sourhern welsh folk call north Wales mid Wales ,lovely part of the world .

  76. RockyLives says:

    Sheep
    “The wife lives there” :D
    Personally I’m a fan of Caswell Bay, not too far from where you are.

    isaac
    thankyou (I think :) )

  77. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Another nice beach caswell ,ps Chavs are two up

  78. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    And Bayern have beaten Dortmund 1-0. Good goal from Robben

    atdee.net have a long long list of sports.

    Pictures are usually poor to Ok (never great), and sound is sometimes awful….but it is watchable, and best of all pretty consistent

  79. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Veetle has great quality pictures, but hardly ever shows more than 20 mins of any game before the streams pack in or disappear

  80. Rasp says:

    Sheepy/evonne, the best beach in Wales is Whistling sands right down the Lleyn peninsular near Aberdaron. The sand is pure and fine and really does whistle when you walk on it – if there were a few palm trees you’d really believe you were in the Caribbean.

  81. Evening all

    I’m afraid I’ve neglected my nagging duties and have just found that we have no post for tomorrow ……… :( If anyone fancies putting together a few thoughts to start the day off that would be fab …..

    In addition we’ll need posts for Friday and Saturday please.

  82. Domhuail says:

    I believe that our turbulent support is due to a number of things;

    1)The media have succeeded in convincing many of our less devoted supporters that we are in crisis and its all Wenger’s and the BOD’s fault and that how we play on the field is s**t compared to how we used to play simply to create a crisis where none ever was or is. (40%)
    2) There are many entitled and spoilt plastic fans who want their tea a bit spicy and when we don’t devour all before us their knee-jerk reactions are pathetically whiny and boorish,(10%)
    3) We actually have some so-called ¨supporters¨who feel victimized and intimidated by their own Club and refrain from overly vocal support because they want to remain anonymous….I call them the anonymousey fans. (10%)
    4) Then there are the dyed-in-the wool Wenger-haters and anti-Arsenal minority who feel it is their democratic right to boo their own team, demean their players and managers in front of other fans whether home or visiting. Despite their small numbers they can intimidate and try to dominate an entire afternoon (1%)
    5) Then there are the true blue vocally courageous supporters who carry the rest of the crowd despite the general gloominess and pessimism surrounding all things AFC these days. (39%)

    There is an air of resignation and disappointment evident even here and it is compounded by the trolls from LeGrove and other pernicious websites that encourage anything negative about Arsenal to be spread like sewage on the fertile minds of our more intellectually challenged .Gooners.
    I would give my right arm to get a ticket to the Emirates but I live too far away to ever be able to see a live game, unless I win the lottery and buy my own plane:))) I can also assure anyone on AA that I’d NEVER boo our team or any player and would cheer every effort they made.regardless of the outcome. why is it so hard for those lucky fans who can actually watch a live match at the Emirates to do the same?

  83. Rasp says:

    Evening peaches :) there must be some Diehard supporters eager to add even more flesh to the positivity we’re exuding this week

  84. Evening Rasp :) someone has emailed asking why the ‘swingometer’ has disappeared …… have you buried it in the vault :D

  85. goonerjake says:

    Nice to see bergy getting the credit he deserves.

    For me he is my favourite player ever! Not just for Arsenal but my favourite player from all of time. I loved Champagne Charlie, I loved Rocky, Merse, Wright, Henry, Freddie. Worldwide I loved players like Van Basten, Jean Pierre Papin and say it silently Platini.

    But for me it’s Denis. He put a smile on your face (well except Lomas :) he probably didn’t smile … well I suppose its hard with bergys elbow in ya face ) and even though I don’t think so some people thought I resembled him leading to a bar in france durng the champins league final where I had “theirs only two denis brgkamps sung at me by the entire Pub. I digress… I am going to say it BEST PLAYER EVER.

  86. Well Rocky, this is a post which is seemingly meant to ( I almost said spur, but then… ) galvanize us fans to get behind the team. It is a well written and understandable call. but brother, please believe, ALL Gooners ARE hoping for the best ending to our current campaign. It is a shame that some are looking for a less than top four finish. I do not share their view. Up the Arsenal I always say. My name is Cummings. My views are quite fair ( I think ). I may not be financially able to support my team more than being able to buy the occasional shirt, but my love for Arsenal probably surpasses some of the platitudes of certain yuppified new-fangled “fans”. I like you Rock. I think guys like you and Rasp should be in a higher echelon of fans. But that is enough of the butter. Whoever carries the flag for us, I will always be right behind and maybe nip in front too. Many of you guys refuse to speak of, or to my views. I treat all that with much disdain. I need no followers anyway. I love Arsenal. Follow Them!!!. Yeh!

  87. I agree with you goonerjake. About Bergy. Real deal Legend.

  88. Rasp says:

    Welcome Cummings and thank you for that colourful and exotically worded endorsement :P

    Your spirit and the occasional shirt are all that is required to demonstrate your support.

  89. RockyLives says:

    Jake
    I agree 100% about Dennis – my favourite player ever.

    Rasp/Peaches
    It always makes me laugh how, immediately after you put up a plea for Posts, a comment always pops up that could easily be a Post in itself (in this cas, Dom’s interesting comment).

    Isaac
    Thanks for that. There are many shades of opinion on AA but what I like is that they are invariably expressed in a constructive way. It’s really nice to have you join the discussion. You’re clearly just as obsessed as the rest of us :)

  90. Rocky – it’s the witch in me :lol:

  91. goonerjake says:

    One of these days when I have more time I will learn how to right a post…. promise le peche, plus thanks rocky, bergy’s the best and welcome Isaac, anyway I have to go now (and peaches your wrong im not avoiding you I genuinely have to go :)

    nite all

  92. Hahahaha goonerjake :)

  93. Cheers Rasp. No matter what I call myself, I am North London Red. ( circa 1970-1 vintage). can’t change, wont change.

  94. Rasp says:

    :) So true Rocky.

    Did you hear that Raffa gave the press and chav supporters both barrels at the press conference after tonight’s game? I have to say that those chav fans who hold up banners and sing awful songs about him are a disgrace to football and transcend anything we have been debating relating to the quality of support.

  95. Buenos noches compadres, Hasta la vista! Viva les gunners says this Jamaican Gooner. To borrow a phrase from a wooly Welshman-
    Much Love.O. K.?

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just in from a fabulous evening with dandan. Yet another seriously top bloke and top gunner that I have been lucky enough to meet through this site. Great to meet you dandan.
    Unsurprsingly we spent a superb evening without a single bad word being said about our great Club. Then for half an hour on the way home, I listened to Chelsea fans whingeing and moaning on the radio.
    Oh how I ROLFED to myself.

  97. RockyLives says:

    Isaac :)

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kind of wish I had not opted for the double bit of the expresso, as the tail is definately still a bit bushy and I need sleep

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahoy Rocky,
    Did you hear the Benitez post match?
    Cannot see him still at the helm come saturday

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mmm, I wonder what an ex-presso is :-(

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Think I’ve missed the chit chat
    Morning all :-)

  102. RockyLives says:

    Micky
    A retired journo? :)

    I didn’t see the press conference, but the more turmoil for the Chavs the better.

    Lets remember – 6th best team in the EPL last year.

  103. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning Micky, I’m up on the double espressos too, actually going for quadruples as I have work that needs doing and sleep keeps getting in the way….all nighters until Saturday for me.

    On the way home today I started to get concerned about Sunday, the drive was long and I was listening to R5 commentary team call Chavs out for lacking urgency and our performances sprung to mind and didnt shift. And all I could envisage was Bale carving us open…..but then I read DDs comment from this afternoon with his sad news. And suddenly I wasn’t worried anymore, because as much as I love my club and its employees and still will no matter the result on Sunday, it is only a game and there are bigger things to get upset and angry about that affect us more than 22 blokes kicking a ball about.

  104. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    Peaches/Rasp what happened to the B(l)og Roll I ammended weeks ago ?

  105. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi, I’m just passing by to say a few words to Dandan.
    My thoughts are with you and your family, at this poignant time, Dandan. A friend of mine lost his father to cancer a fortnight ago, and there are no words that are appropriate to compensate the void that has been left.
    You were kind enough to welcome me on here and share a few comments, and that made me feel welcome.
    You are a true gentleman and a class act, Dandan, my best wishes go out to you, sir. And should the result go against us on Sunday, I shall have a quiet moment to think of you and your brother.
    The same applies to you, Kelsey, I hope things are good with you, too.
    Cheers everyone.

  106. Morning Kelsey

    I think a bit of blog housekeeping must have made some widgets disappear. I’ll have a look and see if I can find them.

    Has Rafa been sacked yet? ;)

  107. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Peaches. Up early or home late :-D

  108. Just awake Raddy. I’ve discovered I can blog from my phone so I thought id better check in …….. from under the duvet ;)

  109. Hi Herb – hope you are well, nice to see you.

  110. without doubt agree with U… This is not the right time for -Ve thoughts… Let hope we do it in a fine way again….

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Motning all
    Cocked up laptop closing down last night, then failed to close a woodburner down properly and smoked everybody awake by 2am
    Avoid all DidIts today if I were you

  112. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    kelsey

    Dawn Faser has just been voted Australia’s gr8est female sportsperson of all time.

  113. kelsey says:

    I am very pleased for her gnarley ? :)

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey
    Just to keep you in the know, a Dawn Faser is a Light Sabre for use early mornings
    I think

  115. Red Arse says:

    Micky, :D

    Whereas a Night Fazer is — should I, or shouldn’t I??

  116. Rasp says:

    Morning all ……

    …. New post ……

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