What happened to the “real” Arsenal supporters?

Over the past few years I’ve scratched my head trying to rationalize the changing moods of fans around the world. In my youth your football team and its players were god like figures who were held in the highest esteem.

Us kids were in total awe of the players, our imaginations were our TV sets, as most of the families in our area were too poor to ”waste” their hard earned money on an unnecessary luxury, and the mental pictures we had were from our scrap books which were full of black and white pictures cut from the Sunday newspapers. Each week we would cut out the latest standings and pin them up in the kitchen, and we’d spend hours figuring out where we were most likely to finish, usually around mid table.

When my Grandfather took me to my first game at 10 years old, I was already a seasoned supporter but getting inside Highbury changed my life and meant that I simply had to see every game, but with no money I had to be very resourceful, and I was, rarely missing a game despite getting severely scuffed knees in the process. I was totally awe struck – there I was sitting in the corner of the field, after manipulating the stewards into believing I’d fainted, getting patted on the head by my idols, a kid’s fantasy come true.

highbury clock

The managers were talked about with reverence and we always wondered how they could be so smart and wondered where they gained the knowledge to run a football team. Names like Herbert Chapman, George Allison and Tom Whittaker were spoken about in our family discussions and their accomplishments were compared and the comparisons created much banter, most good natured, but not always.

From Tom Whittaker’s last League trophy in 1952/53 we went through an awful period of only winning trophies in 3 of the next 36 seasons – until George Graham won the League title in 1988/89. It was during that period that our managers and teams came under a lot closer scrutiny and strong “anti” opinions started to form.

Team finances were never discussed, after all, we were not clever enough to understand them and it was none of our business anyway. About the only time money spent came to light was when a transfer figure was revealed. Nobody knew or even cared about team finances – that was always considered to be only the club’s business and were usually kept under wraps. I cannot ever remember one single discussion with my family, friends or other supporters that revolved around finances.

Home of football

Talking about transfers, the only time we knew about them was when they were announced. There was seldom paper talk about potential transfers during the season and transfer windows never existed, players came and went at any time during the season. We would, of course be envious of some of the wonderful teams that came to Highbury and of their great players. Frequently wishing that we had been fortunate enough to have those players at Arsenal, but that was the clubs business and not ours, you see our business was to support – and that is what we were good at so we stuck to it.

So what has happened to the “real” Arsenal supporters?

Today it would appear that every Arsenal supporter is an “expert” on everything and they have earned imaginary degrees in every subject pertaining to football.

How did they develop this level of “expertise”?

The answer is simple, they’re known in the trade as “Red Top” degrees, and you earn them firstly by being able to read and secondly by having the necessary lack of grey matter to believe everything you read.

Those more accomplished “fans” have found that the internet is also a route to instant education and they have found others of a similar persuasion who are attempting to upgrade their “Red Top” degrees to become a “Phd in Red Top’s”.

These experts then band together and go in search of legitimate sites, run by passionate supporters, and infest them with their “deep understanding” of everything pertaining to football. These sites then become contaminated by the virus and as yet no anti virus has been developed to eradicate them. However this is not all bad as they prefer to be with their own kind so that they can spread their “wisdom”

A little knowledge is always a dangerous thing and today’s media coverage allows some people to become these instant experts that are just like some of the old vinyl record players, once the needle gets stuck in a groove – it “needles” you.

I say we are very fortunate bloggers to have found an internet oasis called Arsenal Arsenal.

Please take into consideration, that these are the ramblings of an old fart.

GunnerN5

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152 Responses to What happened to the “real” Arsenal supporters?

  1. Terry White says:

    The “Real” Supporters are still there. What you are seeing is blogs which sell negativity. unfortunately, negativity sells.
    The blogs are intended to make money(naturally) and every click brings in advert revenue. The fact they are talking nonsense and can harm the club,is irrelevant.
    This is not only true of Arsenal

  2. Shard says:

    Sorry to go off topic, but Rasp, to answer your question from the previous post. Ibrahimovic’s case was confirmed both by him and Wenger. Cech, Makelele, and Ronaldo were mentioned by Wenger along with the reasons (though now that I think about it, Wenger said we already had Lehmann and thus didn’t think Cech was a priority. I inferred that to mean, not worth the asking price). Tim Howard was mentioned by either Bob Wilson, or one of the coaching staff. Ronaldinho, I do not remember if Wenger mentioned him or not, but I think he might have. Messi, to my knowledge, has not been mentioned as missed out on, except the time when we signed Fabregas and he was mentioned as tearing up the lower leagues along with Messi and that we feel he’s a real talent. I did say ‘apparently’ about Messi.

    So, I mentioned those players with confidence because generally, the source for them is reliable. Wenger himself, or one of the coaches at Arsenal.

    I have no idea why we missed out on Mata. Must be to do with money and Chelsea coming in and offering more. That’s the accepted truth anyway.

  3. Mike says:

    There are a few real fans left but sadly they’re a dying breed. It will be a dark day for football when the “instant success” brigade are in the majority.

    It’s a brilliant article although I disagree on one point. Your claim that to be an “expert” one needs to be able to read simply can’t be true because some of the comments I hear by “experts” are not indicative of someone with the level of intelligence that would mean they could master such skills as reading and writing…………despite being world class tacticians, fully competent in the managment of a multi-million pound world class football club and masters of negotiation in the transfer market……………

  4. Gooner In Exile says:

    Maybe an old fart but I agree wholeheartedly.

    This blog probably seems pro Arsene and the club/board when visitors challenging that ethos arrive.

    But if you look back through comments we can have weeks of no debate about Arsene/Board/Finances when the regulars are here, when someone comes in with criticism especially one of our own many jump to the clubs defence out of an inbuilt loyalty to the club that can’t be swayed.

    I am potentially one of the few that would prefer to see the PL a more competitive and transient league, much as you suggest GN5 the days of yore when everyone has a chance on August 1st not just a group of select clubs. That any club with a good manager could build a squad and when wages between clubs were not so disparate that they could hold on to that player and build a squad to compete.

  5. Gooner In Exile says:

    Mike and Terry…..welcome….I’ve not seen either post before but two very good comments.

  6. Hants Gooner says:

    Another old fart here also agreeing with u in my mind yr support the badge on the front of the shirt not the name on the back or the man in the managers office support the team whichever 11 men are wearing the shirt

  7. doug says:

    I hear you, although I would not have put in such a polite way. Seems to me that there is a section of the popular media (certain red top writers, TV and radio presenters), that take a certain delight in finding the negative about The Arsenal.

  8. Mickeyk says:

    We won’t win nothing again under wenger .his making excuses or ready .waste of time .

  9. Cal says:

    Wow. Your comments are so servile. We live in an age now where we are exposed to information. If we didn’t have that information we would be naively obedient, not just about our beloved Aresnal but religion, politics etc. You can’t judge how ‘real’ a supporter is on his or her trust and dedication in the knowledge of those in charge. The reason supporters are vocal is that they care. The ‘Red Top’ diplomas are earned by seeing with your eyes.

  10. Maia Vaswani says:

    Hi Old Fart. Another decrepit brother of the methane here. It’s a shame that you’re so disparaging about fans insights that contradict your own sense of the right way. It’s a natural evolvement, as time goes by, to accrue knowledge, opinions and we’re expected to; our wisdom, intuitions in every field, politics, parenting, behaviour etc are meant to evolve. So forgive us the delusion that we might not like what we see at AFC. I too have changed. I was too young to hold an opinion of AFC in the 70’s. I pretty much accepted everything in the 80’s. Revelled in Adams, Wright, Seaman etc but since Wenger, I’ve felt more and more that I don’t like the direction. From the modern comic book badge redesign, leaving Highbury, the French bias, to all the signings not made and the duff ones that have. The myth of “youth” is another. I must have missed the period where Lansbury made 30 appearances and was found wanting. If we buy Suarez my head will explode! He’s a sly, little shit and a contemptible individual who should be shunned not lauded. If Wenger buys him, he’s finished in my eyes. An opinion, made from my personal development. One I hope you feel I’m entitled to?

    Oh and long may you ramble.

  11. Shard says:

    Excellent article GN5.

    I think it isn’t just about Arsenal or football, but in general, the awe, the mystique, that things had, are no longer there. Even for people who are relatively new to it. I had a similar (if short) discussion on this with some people on another blog, and they mentioned how when they first heard the music of Led Zeppelin, all they knew about them was the album cover (which had no portraits of the band) Which made it all about the music, and everything else a journey of discovery.

    I had the same thing with Arsenal. When I first heard of the club (through a computer game) the name elicited curiosity and interest. Matches on tv were rare, and the internet didn’t exist. Well, not really anyway. So, information was scarce. A few results here and there. Pick up a few names. Watch the games they show. I was surprised that we won the double in 98 because I didn’t expect it. I was too engrossed in finding out more about this club. Everything seemed new and exciting. Trophies were just a bonus.

    It is that sense of wonder, of a new adventure, that I think goes missing with the easy access of information these days. You like a band, go online and find out everything about them. See them in their flawed state. See them as celebrities. In some cases, interact with them directly online. Same with the club I guess.. Also, as you hint at, although there is a constant stream of information (or maybe because of this) people do not take time out to reflect on it. What value is to be derived from it. Nobody has time to do that anymore, because the next ‘breaking news’ is upon you, and no one wants to be left behind. And because there is such a demand for new information, some people take the opportunity to become modern day soapbox preachers, bringing down the quality of information floating around.

    Sadly, I think this isn’t going to go away. Thinking seems to be too difficult for most. And respect for authority is now less of an acceptable condition, which to be fair, also has its good points (although it is very..ummm… selective in the type of authority that is challenged/allowed to be challenged)

  12. Mike says:

    @ Cal

    You’ve totally missed the point. You’re actually subjected to huge amounts of misinformation, speculation and down right stupidity. The point is being able to syphon out the intelligent stuff from the crap. The point is that too many people believe crap is the truth when 99,99% of us have no idea.

  13. Shard says:

    Mike (in response to Cal)

    Exactly. Maybe by believing information which isn’t entirely true (half truths are dangerous), you are simply shifting your servility from one master to another. Democratisation of information doesn’t mean freedom, necessarily.

  14. Stroud Green Road Boy says:

    Fans (at least grown up ones) have always questioned the direction of the club. It was fans protesting that got rid of Billy Wright and Terry Neill when their time was up. Your comments seem to suggest an unquestioning reverence is the only way to be a ‘real’ fan. Would you say those regulars standing in the Clock End and North Bank in the 60s, 70s and 80s that wanted the above named managers to go when their time was clearly up were not ‘real’ fans?

    I’d suggest what’s behind your comments is you’re very pro-Wenger and don’t like to see him criticised, so are trying to imply that to do so means you’re not a ‘real’ fan.

  15. LB says:

    Good read GN5 and some very interesting comments.

  16. Gooner In Exile says:

    Maia I am confused about the Youth thing too, but we can’t have a team based solely on youth the fans wouldn’t allow it.

    Also taking Lansbury its not like he is setting the world alight with top performances in the EPL….there are however a few I would have preferred to keep. Bartley, and going back a bit Larsson.

    I would prefer to keep these players around the squad rather than buy in depth squad, but then the complaints would still roll in about us not having adequate back up. If they are good enough to play PL but not good enough for us the players themselves would probably prefer to try and find a home elsewhere.

    Also the PL squad rules means that we have to move them on after 21 if they are not featuring in the first team squad otherwise we are just wasting wages. Ok I know the same is true of Chamakh and Bendtner.

    As regards the French bias it seems to me we were at our most successful when we were more French biased than we are now….so why wouldn’t we as fans prefer to o back to that?

    I’m looking at our PL squad:

    5 English
    5 French (4 if like Evonne you count Koscielny as Polish)
    3 Spanish (4 if add Miquel)
    2 Germans
    2 Polish (3 if as above)

    Seems as English bias as French, add Ramsey and call it British it’s definitely more British biased.

  17. Red Arse says:

    A superb Post, GN5, well thought out, clearly expressed and beautifully written, on a subject that gets to the nub of supporters changing values! loved it! :-)

    Although the time scale may vary, I am sure everyone can recognize that pre-Premier League, most (all?) fans could not care less about who owned the club, what they paid for their shares, or how much they had set aside to buy players, and there was certainly no Transfer Window to exacerbate the expectations and disappointments of fans.

    This was certainly true of myself, despite eventually following a professional career as an accountant, I followed my team and had the ups and downs peculiar to all sports fans and did not bother trying to second guess the club administrators.

    I wish that were still so.

    On AA, we have accountants, at least one lawyer, many successful business managers and owners, as well as a strong leavening of sensible, mature and passionate fans with other skills, some of whom have retired.

    Occasionally I have felt the need to try and correct financial mis-statements based on rumour, innuendo and misunderstanding. Sadly, that has not always been successful, as despite my degrees and multi-professional qualifications, there have been many occasions when other bloggers have disagreed with me on accountancy basics, and tried to explain where I have gone wrong.

    None of this should be necessary, because blaming the club for not spending ‘enough’ on transfers, and therefore becoming a so called second tier, financially mismanaged club, when compared with the externally funded oligarch clubs, is simply a nonsense.

    It is akin to supporting a motor racing team which is well run and successful, until some parvenu comes along with more money than sense, and says ‘sod financial sobriety, I am going to bring in a stable of Ferraris to ensure I win everything’.

    Instead of banning him the authorities try to tweak the rules, hence allowing other oligarchs to pile in, leaving the properly run clubs to join them or struggle to stay true to ‘old’ football values, and not to sell out to yet another oligarch.

    In essence that is the choice confronting the ‘moaners’ and the ‘loyalists’, do you want an oligarch to own and run the club, or do you want the club to remain self funding and well run?

    This problem never troubled the minds of the previous generation as clubs were usually owned by local businessmen or true supporters — then came the influx of huge amounts of foreign money, from people who did not know a football from a pasty — and the rest we know!

    Well done, GN5. Chapeau! :D

  18. doug says:

    mike
    You hit the nail on its head, but add the directed negativity from the media towards AFC. This to me has generated a divide within the AFC fan base. This divide is being used again by the media create disharmony within AFC (fans, board and players).
    How many times do we hear how long since a trophy, diving players, dirty players, red cards, ‘don’t like it up em’, southern softies.
    Remember the treatment of Theo after he signed, targeted on and off the pitch, more severely off. Why I ask myself, is it because we deserve it. No, its because AFC signed an urbane, intelligent Frenchman as manager who proved a lot of people wrong and showed that English football can be something more than it is.
    Bigotry runs high in our culture, and is shown in our media much to my anger.

  19. JOEL says:

    A real fan still has an opinion whether positive or negative and this has never changed.I for one was critical of the playing style and player selections of Terry Neil and Don Howe but other than telling my Father and my friend Tim I didn’t have any other outlet.Whilst I was at University I would attend a fair number of home games and other away matches in and around London.Funnily enough some of the fans behind the goal in the North Bank would occasionally voice their disagreement at the decisions being taken on and off the pitch!!Whilst the Graham era could also be frustrating there were fewer complaints because we as fans always felt that the Club were “competing”to the best of their ability.Ironically it was the Board who realised that team potential was being restricted by Mr Graham’s additional requirements when negotiating a transfer deal.The Wenger era could not have had a better start and as fans we would all agree that his acievements were beyond our wildest dreams.
    Today we live in a very different Football World,and certainly one where Arsenal struggle to compete at the level to which we have become accustomed. The Club have taken a particular stance based upon their perception of “Financial Fair Play” and we as supporters of the Club have to fall into line behind this.That is not to say that we are all mindless zombies without an opinion or an ability to say what we think.Supporting Arsenal Football Club is NOT the same as supporting the Zanu PF in Zimbabwe-we have a choice.My choice over the last four years has been to criticise the Board and Management.I do not believe that their policies are currently working for the Club. Unfortunately,my opinions and those of certain other supporters are no longer considered to matter. But that is not to say that I won’t stop voicing them as it’s the only way I can get rid of my frustrations.My Father now has dementia and obviously no longer has an opinion but Tim and I still moan to each other about the Club that we love-our rants don’t mean that we aren’t fans they actually mean that we care and we will go on caring…even if this means that other fans get upset by what we have to say!

  20. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA much like you I’d rather not let my job encroach on my Arsenal, but as you say it’s hard not to react when Financial matters are discussed with no apparent understanding of accounting principles.

    Speaking of those awful lawyerly types, where is 26May? He would be useful when looking at this Suarez release clause. Although it seems now that Suarez is saying there was a verbal agreement, from my basic contract knowledge there doesn’t have to be a written agreement just a verbal one, but if you go on to sign a written contract where the verbal agreement is not mentioned it appears you have been badly advised.

  21. kelsey says:

    “From Tom Whittaker’s last League trophy in 1952/53 we went through an awful period of only winning trophies in 3 of the next 36 seasons – until George Graham won the League title in 1988/89. ”

    Just think about that.

    You know very well GN5 that I can relate to your whole excellent article.

    The points raised about Billy Wright and Terry neill were perhaps discussed for a few days but didn’t drag on for months or years as some football related items do, especially on the Internet

    RA my friend you slightly contradict yourself as do many other accountants on other blogs. None of us know the full facts,not even usmanov who though not a fan has a near 30% holding in the club.One can only guesss from what we read in the papers and on the Internetto therefore ssume countless financial figures.They are just opinions.

    Latest example has Arsenal stated they have exactly 75 million to spend,(not that they would).

    Is this a pro Wenger blog GIE I thought we had diverse opinions, well i certainly do :) We are a group of Arsenal Football Club fans.
    I think Wenger has performed miracles on the believed budget available but now I honestly believe the game as it is today has overtaken him and as yet am not over impressed with our current Board, especially our owner who makes vast profits in the USA but wins little with his various franchises

  22. Stroud Green Road Boy says:

    “The points raised about Billy Wright and Terry neill were perhaps discussed for a few days but didn’t drag on for months or years as some football related items do, especially on the Internet”
    That’s because those managers actually left.

  23. Red Arse says:

    Joel,

    I understand and agree with much of what you say.

    What I think GN5, the author of the Post, was trying to highlight, was not to do with fans being ‘real’ only if they did not complain or voice opinions on the team, the manager and the the tactics etc, it was more to do with the constant complaints about the ‘financial mis-management of the club’ which is evidenced by not having £50m to buy Cavani or £100m to buy someone like Bale, and thereby becoming a ‘second tier club’ competitively.

    To go along with this it is said we have an owner who is only interested in ‘profits’, or alternatively the Board are always making losses and needing to sell players to break even.

    It is these fans who GN5 was referring to as red top pundits, who know everything that is wrong with the club and its financial management — and yet probably have never heard of double entry book-keeping, or been involved in the business management of a multi-million pound public limited company.

    By all means, complain away about the team, individual players, the manager, the tactics, etc —- I know I do, that’s what being a fan is all about — but save us from the barrack room lawyers and self appointed financial geniuses. :D

  24. kelsey says:

    I have a release clause in my marriage but i am agroaphobic.

  25. Rasp says:

    Great article GN5 and some wonderful observations on the changing face of society and football.

    My feeling is the same as when I hear people criticising today’s youth. Its not the current young generation who have made the world the way it is – they are just a product of what previous generations have created.

    Mankind changed forever when the mobile phone and the internet arrived. Football changed at about the time the Premier League was formed.

    Like you, I’d love it if we could return to those simplistic uncluttered values of yesteryear, but sadly it cannot happen.

    What we do have is wonderful memories and the older generation should consider themselves lucky that when they were young they could enjoy the football more and never had to worry about the peripheral issues.

  26. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    You say I contradicted myself, but fail to say what it was.

    What I did say was; “- there have been many occasions when other bloggers have disagreed with me on accountancy basics, and tried to explain where I have gone wrong”.

    Funny that!

  27. Maia Vaswani says:

    Hi Gooner in Exile. I just wrote a long reply and the form ate it! So this will be short as I’m annoyed at losing it. My grievance is that we buy so many dull French players like Sylvestre, Cygan, Squid, French speakers like Senderos, Djourou etc and yet don’t give a proper go to Bartley etc. I mean, if AFC cannot grow a Cygan then we’re doomed. Developing a Henry or Bergkamp is truly rare but Cygan? Equally, George G would have spotted Walker and Jagielka at SUFC but not Wenger as he’s looking in France. It would have been cheaper to get Baines rather than Santos and Monreal. Cahill is better and cheaper than Squid and Williams. Liverpool sold Tom Ince for £250K and where was Wenger? Probably at Guingamp (My local club and I’ve seen him there) looking at Imbula. French 2nd division! His horizons have broadened of late, to Germany, Spain but for so many years it was France and French speaking Former French colonies in Africa. Lets get the Academy players more integrated. If we’re 3 nil up give Chuba a go or Nico for the last 20 minutes. Build ‘em up. Inspire them by the experience. All rehearsal and no performance? The psychological effects are obvious.

  28. kelsey says:

    Another thing I can’t stand are former players who in most cases established themselves at Arsenal or at least were given an opportunity,keep critising everything about the club to this day.

    Unheard of when I was younger.

  29. kelsey says:

    I just like winding you up RA :) and you fell for it.

  30. arse-or-brain says:

    excellent read, totally agree and I hope many people read it and hang their heads in shame

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi everybody,

    I’ve just read through the responses and firstly I would like to thank you all for your well balanced comments. Secondly I’m delighted to see so many new posters and your thoughts and ideas will always be welcomed on Arsenal-Arsenal.

    Obviously I’m a lot older than most of you and I appreciate that does not make me right and you wrong but at least it means I can say with assurance that I’ve seen it all, at least from my first game in 1947.

    I wrote the article in a bit of a hurry yesterday and on reflection I would change a few things, but only by way of clarification.

    One thing I want to make clear is that I have no issues with the enhancement of technology, after all it was how I earned my living for over 30 years. My issue lies with folks who do not use their intelligence to form their own opinions, way too may people believe everything they read is the gospel and then start to preach what they have just read as the gospel.

    Believe me even way back in the 40’s we had strong opinions about our manager and our team, and these opinions were the basis for many a hot discussion, many of which took place at the Drayton Arms, us kids would stand outside the pub with our bottle of Cream Soda and a packet of Smith’s crisp’s and listen to all of the football banter going on inside. The dialogue was sometimes heated but never violent and usually was about events at the day’s game and seldom about anything else.

    Today we are surrounded by pseudo experts who know better than our Owner, Board, Manager, Coach’s and Players – frankly it gnaws away at my old bones.

  32. Stroud Green Road Boy says:

    If commenting on financial matters is deemed not appropriate for supporters, then perhaps the CEO shouldn’t be making public statements about ‘financial firepower’ at the beginning of the summer. With the season about to start and absolutely none of that firepower has been used, it’s no wonder fans are getting uppity.

  33. GunnerN5 says:

    RA/GIE;

    Your knowledge of accounting and accounting practices has enlightened many of us, and has exposed lot’s of flaws in the “facts” written in the Red Top’s and preached by their hordes.

  34. GunnerN5 says:

    Who has the can of deodoriser?

  35. Gooner In Exile says:

    I found it GN5 and used it.

    I’m glad you find the accounting stuff useful GN5. Thing is they are the only basis from which we can draw conclusions on regarding our financial health, management good or bad

    They are subject to audit they have to comply with strict requirements if they deviate from standard principles they have to disclose if they change the presentation/treatment of something they have to disclose.

    As a publicly traded share we have to publish the financial report and as such we put it on the website for all to see. Any 100% controlled club still has to comply with audit and accounting side and they still have to file with Co Hse and they are public record so anyone can access (for a fee). But they do not have to publish and make them do readily available.

  36. GunnerN5 says:

    GIE,

    Yes I find it very useful, it’s a pity that some of the more interesting information like, players wages and transfer fees are buried in the numbers. It would be great to make true comparisons with other teams and to disprove Red Topers assumptions but I guess we have to be content with estimates.

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    GIE:

    Some of these smells are long lasting, but then I guess that’s a skunk’s only protection.

  38. Merseforever says:

    I kind of get what you are trying to say GN5, but ultimately I think this piece comes across as very patronising.

    You are right that in decades gone by, football conversations rarely seemed to revolve around balance sheets and money whereas nowadays it is dominated by it. That is a by product of the path Arsenal have taken, especially with regards to the clubs interpretation of ‘financial fair play’ and emphasis on lauding the financial achievements of our corporate entertainment and commercial deals. I also think supporters are entitled to take a view towards the financial side of the club when the club now charges them a financial fortune to watch the Arsenal. In years gone by, you never felt that the club was fleecing you of your money, but the overwhelming feeling today is that they do. It cannot only have been me (a season ticket holder of 20 years, and a regular on the terraces since the early 70’s) who noticed the curious coincidence in recent years of season ticket renewal time and statements of ambition and a changing of the winds with regard to Arsenal’s behaviour in the transfer market (with of course no such change apparent)

    Also leaving aside financial matters completely, you seem to be implying that ‘real’ supporters should not question and criticise the manager. I think it’s perfectly possible to be a real Arsenal supporter and think Wenger has had his day in the sun and is past it. His tactical flaws, insistence on sacrificing the team at the expense of developing a player, his lack of game changing substitutes and his over reliance on the French leagues are just some of his most obvious ones. These criticisms are not knee-jerk ones based on the gutter press or vast amount of opinions published on the internet (as you seem to suggest that most critical opinions are) but they are from being at every home match for the entirety of Wenger’s reign and around 60% of away matches too. Of course you may disagree, but by being pro-Wenger you are no more a real supporter than me.

    To me a ‘real’ supporter is someone who shouts and screams and sings for the Arsenal on match day and offers nothing but encouragement to the XI wearing the red and white (or yellow and blue – happy days!) on the pitch. That’s what a supporter is. The board and ‘club’ itself are a different matter. That attitude of ‘us’ and ‘them’ ie the supporters and the ‘club’ (meaning the guilded shirts and suits in the boardroom) is something that has always been there.

    The recent malarkey over the word ‘Gooner’ is a case in point. Trying to copyright the word ‘Gooner’ was quite frankly rather shocking.That word was spawned from terrace culture and the ‘club’ has no claim to it, only the supporters do. And that shows how you can be a supporter but have no affinity for those at a boardroom level. After all, I support Arsenal because I’m a Holloway boy, not because I believe in the moral correctness of our board!

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    There you go Merse, we disagree on just about everything but we are both solid supporters of Arsenal.

    Just for the record I feel that you calling me patronising is insulting.

    I was glib in my article but I neither purposely patronised or insulted anybody, I was simply having two pennies worth.

  40. Red Arse says:

    Merse,

    It seems to me that you speak for a lot of people, including WATA, and others, in the opinions you express, but you try to put a ‘factual’ gloss on what are actually unsubstantiated feelings.

    GN5 has produced an excellent Post that should be admired as a talking point, which it has done, and a way of focusing discussion.
    To call him ‘patronising’ is completely unacceptable, and I think you owe him an apology.

    In your response to his Post you have implied things he did not say, and have missed the crux of the argument where he was not denying the right of fans to debate, argue or criticise, but simply highlighted the growing trend for some fans to criticise the club in areas where they do not have any expertise.

    All this has been said above but clearly you have not bothered to read the comments, and would rather criticise someone who has given up so much of his time during this summer to keep us all entertained.

    Incidentally, you always seem keen to rubbish the club, but rarely (never) to praise it. Well here is something perhaps you can take on board to give a more balanced view of our great club.

    “In 1985, Arsenal founded a community scheme, “Arsenal in the Community”, which offered sporting, social inclusion, educational and charitable projects.

    The club support a number of charitable causes directly and in 1992 established The Arsenal Charitable Trust, which by 2006 had raised more than £2 million for local causes.
    An ex-professional and celebrity football team associated with the club also raised money by playing charity matches.

    In the 2009/10 season Arsenal announced that they had raised a record breaking £818,897 for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. The original target was £500,000 but thanks to the overwhelming support from fans, players, directors and staff, they were able to smash the target.”

    Let’s see you pick fault with that!

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank goodness we have a strong and reliable bench here on AA, reinforcements are always welcome, thanks RA.

  42. GunnerN5 says:

    Merseforever:

    I cannot find your name on the list of authors, why don’t you bare your soul by writing an article giving us your take things?

  43. Red Arse says:

    Merse.

    If you care to write a Post, you will encouragement from an attentive and supportive audience.

    Give it a try! :-)

  44. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA too easy, the club didn’t raise that money….we the fans dipped in to our own pockets :)

    Merse ticket prices……please please please go and look at other London clubs websites and their prices.

    Then remind yourself how big the stadium is and how man fans get to sit Lower Tier and therefore at cheapest prices, then come back and tell me any other fan of any other London club feels fairly treated, and then stop criticising the club as if they are the only ones doing it……and please don’t give me Manchester as an example of cheaper because you will then be pointed to average wages comparison between the two cities and you will see that Manchester clubs would get zero attendance if they priced like us, especially when you factor in the distance ManUre fans have to travel.

    Then you’ll tell me it’s all about Cat A pricing and I’ll say but every other club does it, Arsenal fans had to pay £50* to sit in Carrow Road to watch Norwich v Arsenal, still soldout to Gold members only, some who probably sacrifice everything else in exchange for following Arsenal home and away, and I bet many of those loyal supporters don’t begrudge a penny as like you used to they go to football not for trophies or bragging rights but for the sheer enjoyment if supporting your team.

    *Ask me what Arsenal fans paid to watch the same game at the Emirates in similar seating – £25, as did Norwich fans.

    Every ground (except ManUre) in the PL charges a premium when we visit. So the fact is you can’t compare Everton or Stoke prices to Arsenal prices unless they are playing a top 6 side. Then you’ll find that there isn’t much difference between what we pay at home and what they pay at home for the same fixture.

    The only grounds this doesn’t happen are ones which don’t sell out Wigan for example when I visited were offering 10 games for £100 great value for money, still didnt play to capacity for the rest of the season.

  45. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    What did Arsenal and Norwich fans pay for the home game in similar seats to the £50 charged by Norwich? :D

  46. Gooner In Exile says:

    Anyone want to know what Arsenal are about flying the Running Man to the Emirates…….great stuff.

  47. Gooner In Exile says:

    Two mistakes, possibly three, Jenkinson should have held line, Jenkinson should have dealt with cross, Fab1 should of reacted to the ball in the air. Tut tut. That’s what pre season is for though.

  48. Gooner In Exile says:

    Preseason for referees too :)

  49. Gooner In Exile says:

    Footballers are bloody impossible to understand some time. Pod has the sweetest of left foot power shots, and he opts for some kind of placed shot?

  50. kelsey says:

    What a terrible penalty from a man who is known for his shooting

  51. neamman says:

    Great article. People who boo our boys sicken me. Do they think booing makes them play better.

  52. kelsey says:

    Rosicky loks sharp

  53. oz gunner says:

    not looking good!!!

  54. Gooner In Exile says:

    Fab1 where are you going there? Stay on your line!

  55. kelsey says:

    poor defense again,oh dear

  56. kelsey says:

    GIE

    He’s just not good enough to read his lines

  57. Gooner In Exile says:

    Okay we know Arteta is still needed, as Jack and Rambo is not solid enough. So if we don’t think Arteta can complete 40+ matches we need a DM (whisper it….as Micky said yesterday)

  58. Gooner In Exile says:

    Credit to Napoli they are continuing the cracking counter attacking football they’ve been playing last couple of seasons.

  59. Gooner In Exile says:

    Jack does not appear to be close to match fit.

  60. oz gunner says:

    So close. Very quick to set the offside trap there

  61. kelsey says:

    Indeed,but we lack width and our attack is pretty non existent yet again

  62. Gooner In Exile says:

    Always hear a lot of Arsenal fans complain about us going wide cross to nothing….Hargreaves (co comm on BT Sport) keeps screaming for more width from Gnabry and Pod.

  63. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey are you stealing my thoughts today :D

  64. kelsey says:

    No, I just read the game well. Giroud is poor today :)

  65. IanRealGunner says:

    Individual errors and lacking clinical finishing. Same as the start of last season.

  66. RockyLives says:

    Fine piece Gn5 and some really good comments (including from some new or infrequent visitors).

    I don’t suppose any of us would de-invent modern technology, but one of the effects of ubiquitous information is that, as Shard alluded to earlier, we have “no more heroes any more”.

    When I was a kid, film stars really were idols and so were football stars. We also believed that politicians – even if we disagreed with them – were basically honourable people who wanted the best for our country.

    Now we know that all our heroes (or the vast majority) have feet of clay.

    It’s not necessarily a good thing.

    I can never understand the mass interest in the private lives of, for example, actors. I will enjoy their performances in films or TV or whatever, but I couldn’t give a hoot what their sexual orientation is, whom they’ve been boffing, what fashions they choose to wear when ‘off duty’ or, for that matter, what they think about the NHS, the Middle East peace process or the price of fish.

    I want to see footballers play football and actors act. And much as I can find the debates about the financial/management side of running Arsenal interesting, I too hanker for the days when all that stuff went on behind the scenes.

  67. oz gunner says:

    Agree IRG. We’ve had our chances. Besides those lapses from Jenks and Fabs I think we’ve been good…ish

  68. Red Arse says:

    A good work out against a very good Napoli team.

    My only real concern is that Arsenal are playing to the same rather stale tactic we have had for some years, of moving upfield with a high line and little width, then panicking back when we inevitably lose the ball to a break away in a packed opponents half.

    Luckily this is not our main team, and it is better to get the wrinkles sorted before we start in the EPL. :-)

  69. Red Arse says:

    Hi Oz,

    Long time no see. :-)

  70. oz gunner says:

    very well said Rocky, i concur

  71. Reddawn says:

    I hope Suarez isn’t watching this rubbish, he will definitely go to Chelsea.

  72. oz gunner says:

    Afternoon RA :) . It has been. Season is drawing near and the transfer window has left me shivering in the corner so time to get back into it.

    Also Evonne asked if i am still alive because Big Raddy thought i was dead haha

  73. kelsey says:

    A few years back our main weapon was the counter attack now it’s the other way round and we keep getting caught out.

    I know many of you rate mers but when the defence is split wide open he has no pace on a one on one

  74. Interesting to see Rosickynwas wearing one of those tracking vests when he took his shirt off at half time…..makes me think medical/fitness team are still tracking lads for their yardage etc

  75. oz gunner says:

    @ Kelsey

    I think he’s a very good defender but our high line exposes his biggest weakness (speed). In fairness to him though I think he makes up for it with his experience and excellent positioning

  76. oz gunner says:

    @ GIE

    In this day and age and with the money invested in sports science every player at Arsenal should be wearing one. I’ve worked with them a fair bit and some of the ones out there are amazing. Work out his gps, breathing rate, speed, distance, core temp, all sorts.

  77. kelsey says:

    That’s what i meant,oz

  78. kelsey says:

    Conservartively i think we are only 7 players short ;)

  79. kelsey says:

    Though we do have a lovely pitch

  80. kelsey says:

    Nice goal Giroud

  81. oz gunner says:

    Lovely touch before that, minute later a beautiful goal

  82. kelsey says:

    Rosicky,Kos,Gibbs and a half fit Wilshere by far our best players at this moment of time

  83. Block 14 Entrance H says:

    Same old same old I have faith in this squad. Kelsey mate 7 players short and a manager short. Wenger is a smirking old fool who is taking the piss out of all of us. We’ve had the same problem for years we need a top goalkeeper a top defensive midfield player 2 decent centre backs and now a top striker.

  84. kelsey says:

    Much better second half but still a lot to work on.

  85. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kos and Rosicky stand out performers, Arteta changes us so much, shape and tempo.

    Gnabry probably needs a loan spell and some regular first team action to progress.

    The high line fails if players don’t hold it (Jenks) and there is no pressure on the ball in midfield, once we were doing both of those better we looked better.

  86. IanRealGunner says:

    I still think my comment at half time remains; defensive mistakes and lack of clinical finishing. They only had 2 chances (given to them by us) and they scored 2 goals – the same old story!!! We had chance after chance and looked to be starting the EC with a loss.

  87. Shard says:

    I think the biggest feeling I took out of the game was that we need a DM. Wilshere and Ramsey will not work, and Diaby cannot be relied upon. Chamberlain isn’t the answer although he can perhaps replace Ramsey/Wilshere. Wilshere didn’t look completely fit, but I think he doesn’t deserve to be a starter at this point. When Arteta came on, I think our midfield immediately looked less flimsy. All of a sudden we seemed to have cover. Might have something to do with Hamsik going off I suppose, but I don’t think it was just that.

    Fabianski was at fault for the second goal. I just hope this doesn’t mark a return to the calamity version we had of him earlier. Podolski had a poor game as well. Probably affected his confidence to miss that penalty. Sagna and Walcott seemed to be a step up from Gnabry and Jenkinson. Our attack isn’t terrible, and I think I picked right in terms of wanting a DM ahead of a striker. But you could also see what someone like Suarez (or a more efficient Gervinho) can add to our attack. Still. It is only pre season and I don’t think we’ll play as badly as we did in the first half.

  88. Red Arse says:

    For Arsenal, Kozzer stood out head and shoulders as the best player.

    Do not forget, we have played well in the Ems Cup previously and then had a bad start to the season, so an uncomfortable first half today means very little.

    This is only a warm up, and we will eventually put out our full team and that will be a different story.

  89. Gooner In Exile says:

    Assuming our starting XI is:
    ………………Szczesny
    Sagna…..BFG…….Kozzer…..Gibbs
    …………….Arteta……Wilshere………
    Theo………….Cazorla……Pod
    …………….Giroud………………..

    Our starting XI today was 5 players different. But there were enough good things to see there is potential. We looked better when we were more like the starting XI.

    There’s Ox, Rambo, TR7, Vermaelen, Fab1, Jenks, Monreal on bench and then there’s what? Youth I guess…..and Diaby.

    So an acquisition will be handy although hopefully we get to see Sanogo and Zelalem play tomorrow and we can have another think.

  90. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kozzer loves a personal duel thought he did well to put £35m worth of forward in his pocket today. Interest Owen Hargreaves said he agreed with Arsenal that £35m was too much for Higuain.

    Steve McManaman showed a complete Liverpool bias when he tried to compare Player f the Year candidates Bale and Suarez, he said they should be more closely valued, despite failing to realise that Suarez’s value is hampered by the baggage he brings. And lets be honest no footballer is worth £100m.

  91. kelsey says:

    Hopefully the first half line up was an experiment by Wenger.No doubt Arteta brought stability to the defence and Sagna looked great. Kos absolutely magnificent, but we need a striker, a DM and a Keeper

  92. RockyLives says:

    That’s good Kelsey – at half time you thought we needed 7 new players, by FT it was down to just 3.

    Maybe at HT in the next game we’ll be looking to offload one if we keep up this level of improvement :)

  93. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey surprisingly the players seemed a bit jaded first half, perhaps heavy legged from Asia trip, or just not expecting Napoli to start the way they did, in some respects it was a wake up call from the rollover friendlies they had encountered in Asia.

  94. RockyLives says:

    Is anyone doing a match report?

    (Don’t ask me – I didn’t see nuffink Your Honour).

  95. Gooner In Exile says:

    Missed your comment earlier Oz interesting stuff on their vests, looked like they might be a bit uncomfortable to wear on a Matchday and something tells me there is a law to say they are not allowed (unfair advantage in terms of knowing which player is fatigued if only the home team has access to whatever information is available I assume by wifi access?)

  96. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky I wrote an Emirates Cup preview, I’ll edit it to add a report as it wasn’t used :(

    In fairness I wrote it when Peaches was declaring new post :)

  97. IanRealGunner says:

    Does anyone want to do the match report for the Spuds – they have just lost 5-2 to Monaco!!!

  98. kelsey says:

    I think we are bocked.How often do we give away the first goal at Home when often we are dominating,or can’t put a game to bed by half time.because our shooting is not clinical enough.

    Micky I have a dry sense of humour to some :)

    I like the OX, he always has a go and shoots,no tippy tappy from him, though Wenger will most probably change that.

  99. kelsey says:

    Spurs need baling out :)

  100. evonne says:

    nice one Kelsey :)

    Ok, back from the games and here is my 10 pence.
    1 Eboue got a standing ovation and a lot of encouragement
    2 Drogba was rubbish
    3 Second game was much more interesting (especially to some)
    4 Reina was booed all the time
    5 Higuain was booed when he first came on; touch the ball maybe 3 times
    6 Gnbrby was very good
    7 Rosicky knew that Irish was there watching his every move
    8 Atmosphere – what’s that?
    9 Stadium almost full
    10 Didn’t play the horrid ‘The wonder of you’, but ‘London’s calling’, much better

  101. A very passionate well written post, GunnerN5, and no-one could ever doubt your loyalty to the cause.
    A real fan is someone who supports and loves the club, but in giving all that raw tribal emotion comes the caveat that they retain the right to hold an opinion on how the club perform on the park.
    And with the U21’s losing 7-0 at Luton, isn’t it about time the whole club’s project was seriously examined?

  102. evonne says:

    colney not calling

  103. evonne says:

    oh, I am tired, give up, good night xx

  104. evonne says:

    neil :) good guess!

  105. evonne says:

    neil – did you go to the game today?

  106. evonne says:

    I cannot be bothered to wait for your reply
    I bet you didn’t
    You should try it one day, you might even like it :)

    good night

  107. chas says:

    Lovely stuff, GN5.
    So many experts.
    So little real knowledge.

  108. Ooooops sorry GiE didn’t see your EmirAtes cup preview, I’ll use it tomorrow 😄

  109. Arnie says:

    I share your frustration, guys! I guess I do not qualify to be an “old fart”, having supported Arsenal only since the past 12 years. However, notwithstanding the frustrations of empty trophy cabinet, I support the club because of its playing style and principles. And I am getting increasingly frustrated with the proliferation of the new-style fan base, supported no doubt by the negative image of the club propagated by the press. Sometimes, I even wish we do not qualify for CL just for the one year, so that the bounty hunters can go elsewhere and allow us enjoy the game the way our club plays!!!!

  110. oz gunner says:

    @ GIE

    To my knowledge there aren’t any laws against it (maybe unfair advantage money wise though as each unit costs $4000 the belts are $650, and the software is $2000 +. Sponsorship would take care of that though as most companies are looking to establish themselves).

    I used them at a mine site and they are very very good bits of technology (same used for the edge of space jump). They use bluetooth and can be assigned via signals to a laptop. Before you put them on you just need to assign the device to a player (052 = Theo) then you click on Theo during the game and you can see all of his vital signs and work rate during the match. If you somehow lose signal (i never did) it’s okay because the device can log data internally for 24 hrs. Can use 20 units at the one time and see any piece of data you want off of a laptop or even mobile phone.

    Perfect for sports scientists to manage fatigue levels, player work rates (could see more of the infamous ‘red zone’ being brought up haha), and hydration levels (is their Heart rate, core temp higher? May be dehydrated, get more water into them).

    I’d imagine through training and the pre-season players would also be swallowing ingestable core pill sensors for more accurate readings (especially when they were playing in humid/hot conditions that require vitals to be closely monitored).

    The GPS system would also give the coaches a good idea of player movements, positioning, etc. Something to work with anyway.

    They are very uncomfortable to wear (like wearing a bra that rides up on you). Sooner enough I expect players to be wearing a smaller device that is placed in a pouch sewn into their shirt (normally between the shoulder blades so if a player falls it doesn’t hurt them). Rubgy players and Aussie Rules players use them all the time so an assistant can gather information and relay the info to the manager / coach (Arsene can tell Theo he needs to work harder, stick to the outside etc). Given it’s pre-season and workloads need to be managed the belts are perfect though.

    Shit I’ve bored everyone to tears. Um…GO ARSENAL WOOOO!!!

  111. Gooner In Exile says:

    Peaches it’s now a match report, the preview was hastily written around 9:45 when there was no sign of a new post just in case :)

  112. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oz how accurate is the GPS? Can it be used with your own Satellite/Map?

    I ask because maybe there is something to solve offside debate. All you need is an accurate position when ball last played forward, if there is a man watching the game who hits button when ball played forward it could show all who are in offside position.

  113. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Regardless of being only The Emirates Tournament one is still entitled to express one’s views as to how we all saw the game.

    Obviously with two games in as many days the purpose for the manager was for him to judge individuals as much as how the team played as a unit and both sides made numerous changes during the game,as was to be expected.
    Napoli are a pretty good side but in all honesty we gifted them their goals,something that regardless of personel happens a lot with the way we set up.

    I was paricularly disappointed with Podolski and his penalty was taken by a man low on confidence., and possibly just not fit. Ironic the guy with the most lethal shot on his day decided to try and place the ball.
    Fabianski and Jenkinson both looked particularly nervous and despite his goal Giroud didn’t impress.

    On the other hand we saw glimpses of how good Jack can be and when fully fit will be pivitol for us. Sagna looked good and Kos was absolutely immense but the trouble is that he spends half his time covering mistakes by others,therefore IMO a DM is of urgent need.
    Hopefully the OX will get more game time as I like his directness and will always have a pot shot if it is feasable.
    Not sure where Ramsey should play.
    Rosicky who i had thought was finished a year ago was extremely effective and had a really good game.
    Arteta made a big difference when introduced and Gibbs also played well.
    All in all not a great result but neither a catastrophe but I get the feeling our downfall in certain areas haven’t changed much since last season.
    A keeper, a DM and a strker or attacker who scores regularly would definitely strengthen the squad which is a necessity if we are to step up on last season.

  114. kelsey says:

    Arsene Wenger answered questions from the press after today’s 2-2 draw with SSC Napoli, and he had a lot of things on his mind. Obviously transfers were the topic of the day aside from the performance against the Partenopei, and his comments produced some faces peering out through the fog:

    on players possibly leaving…
    Gervinho we are at the moment close to an agreement with a club where he should go. Bendtner we are nowhere. At the moment he is completely here. Chamakh might go somewhere, it will be decided in the next 48 hours. [They are] permanent moves.

    — Arsenal.com

    If this is true there must be a striker coming in, .yes or No.

  115. Gooner In Exile says:

    We will have no one left Kelsey! I hope more than a few arrive given the numbers departing/loaned out. Although no key men have gone a lot of the squad players have.

    By the way you’ve just written my match report, although in far less words!

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GN5

    Cinders here, and didn’t make the party as usual. Thank you for yet another post.

    I don’t want to start the day on a downer by talking about my feelings on this issue, but by the sound of things, the booing pretty much sums it up.

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie

    You learn fast, and I often think along the same lines. Great comment.

  118. kelsey says:

    Far less words GIE :)

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just watched very brief highlights on Iplayer.

    Do we see Sanogo and Frimpong today?

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Kelsey and GiE,

    None of the players leaving (apart from Gerv) are first teamers, therefore don’t need replacing.

    Now Gerv, that really does leave room :-)

    Mind you, I thought the departure of Coquelin did, until I realized Frimpong was back from Fulham. Would be very interested to see him today.

  121. kelsey says:

    Micky

    Who is Alfie.

    frimpong needs to have cooled down, if ever I saw a red card candidate it is him.

    Sanago would be interesting to see today.

  122. Gooner In Exile says:

    I too am looking forward to Sanogo, also Zelalem.

    Frimpong can look a bit of a hot head but he managed to get through a fair few PL games with others without getting red carded. But there is something about his exuberant nature that could lead to him getting carded. I want him in the squad though…..if only for the way he dismissed Nasri on his departure.

  123. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arnie @ 2:55 am’s twin bro, Kelsey :-)

    Maturity can do wonders, and like you, hope Frimpong has aged!

    I know nothing about Sanogo and look forward to hearing about him.

    Did anyone find a stream of some sort?

  124. evonne says:

    Live coverage on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 1 HD.
    that means micky that good streams will be plentiful

  125. kelsey says:

    liveonfooty showed it Micky, taken from BT directly

  126. Red Arse says:

    Good morning you fine fellows, and fellowess! :-)

    I think that Frimpers is yesterday’s fish and chip paper.
    Arsenal and Fulham almost agreed a permanent transfer for him towards the end of last season, only for yet another injury to intervene.

    I understand they are back in for him. It’s a shame, but these things happen.

    (He was very injury prone when i watched the youth team some years ago.)

  127. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    If you have not seen the silky control and maturity of Zelalem you are in for a treat – if he gets on.

  128. Red Arse says:

    Where is the Chas man to hit us with a vid or two?
    Been out boozing, again? :-)

  129. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne, thanks

    Kelsey, you’re kidding. Damn it, could have watched. I have a Corporate Box at Liveonline :-)

  130. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA I have seen the youngster in Asia, want to see him against some stronger opponents.

  131. Gooner In Exile says:

    On Frimpong RA I know Jol was keen to keep him for another season, and talked about going for a permanent move, but from memory he also said he was Arsenals player and at the time Arsenal didn’t want to sell.

  132. oz gunner says:

    I thought Frimpong did a knee so is nowhere near ready yet?

    @ GiE

    It is pretty accurate as it uses google maps. That’d be a good idea actually. FIFA sort it out.

  133. evonne says:

    Oz is back, happy dayz :)

    We really need a fox in the box type of player. We created many sitter situation with nobody to put the ball in the net. The defence was much like end of last season – Per and Koscielny solid, Sagna good as gold, Jenks guilty of the first goad. Fab not really fabulous.

    But the striking force we have is simply not. good. enough.

    Italians played as they always do – solid defending, good technically and fast on counter attack. And effective when scoring. We had to field the bog guns, the little pistols were ineffective.

    It was a good day, 4 hours of football is a special treat. BUT I wasn’t smitten by what I had seen of our lads.

  134. Red Arse says:

    Micky, you old skinflint, cough up $10 per month and you get the BT channels, and they could hook you up for this afternoon! :D

  135. Red Arse says:

    No, Evonne, I think bog guns was OK — a lot of hot air, and little shooting! :-)

  136. evonne says:

    grrrrh RA, it was a genuine mistake you rascal.

    They were good, trying, playing with heart, BUT very inexperienced and naïve at times. It was amazing to see the maturity and skill of Theo Walcott, who only a few years ago was but a boy

  137. Football, I’m going to watch some football at my favourite place ;)

  138. By all accounts we were much better second half and Arteta brought stability to the play so I wonder how AW will set them up this afternoon.

    Looking forward to Kozzer keeping Drogba from the ball :)

  139. On my own then :(

    kelsey – all valid points earlier.

  140. mickydidit89 says:

    RA
    I no longer allow BT or the wretched Open Reach anywhere near my house
    The day’s of me talking to overseas call centres are so yesterday.

    Sattelite Baby, satellite B-)
    -

  141. Has Moyes poached any more players from Everton? What’s happening to Fellaini?

  142. kelsey says:

    Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal can win the Premier League title – even if they fail to lure Luis Suarez from Liverpool.

    Wenger’s pursuit of Suarez looks to have stalled since the Reds rejected a second improved bid of just over £40million, with boss Brendan Rodgers declaring the Uruguayan worth a sum nearer to the £100million touted for Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.

    The Gunners have signed only France Under-20 forward Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer but Wenger was defiant when asked if he felt his squad, as it was, could challenge the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.

    “Yes, of course. I am confident. Why should I sit here and say to you we can

    absolutely not win the title with the players we have?” Wenger said after Saturday’s pre-season 2-2 draw with Napoli in the Emirates Cup.

    Wenger refused to talk explicitly about Arsenal’s continued attempt to snare Suarez, instead repeating his determination to keep transfer dealings private.

    “I never said we have made a bid to Liverpool, now I can tell you we have made one, so at least that is some information. All the rest, I would like to keep to us,” the Frenchman added.

    “If we progress in that situation, we will inform you. At the moment, that is

    where we are. We will treat every transfer with the rules we have always done until now, that is in a fair and respectful way.

    “We have one month in front of us and we will work very hard to strengthen our squad, without naming any specific names, because I do not believe that will make negotiations easier.

    “When you want to buy any player you need the agreement of the club, of the

    player and you need to agree a price, so you need three agreements.

    “What is important is we focus on the players we have, that we are not too much drawn into these stories.”

    Wenger’s faith in his current squad looked questionable after some poor first-half defending allowed Lorenzo Insigne and Goran Pandev to put the Italians in command.

    But an acrobatic goal by Olivier Giroud with 18 minutes left sparked a fightback and Laurent Koscielny headed a dramatic late equaliser.

    “It was a good game overall at a good pace against a good side who finished second in Italy last year,” Wenger said.

    “I feel overall over 90 minutes we played going forward. It took us time to adjust defensively, and as well it was a good mental test because from 2-0 down to come back for 2-2 is very impressive.”

    I think TMHT ghost wrote this :)

  143. mickydidit89 says:

    Evonne and Peaches

    Tell us honestly about the atmosphere.

    So they booed the team, booed Reina and booed Higuain.

    Really?

  144. kelsey says:

    Morning peaches
    i would make fellaini our number one priority.proven PL player, can play in a number of positions and good in the air and in the tackle. His hair is another matter,which reminds me where is goonermichael.

  145. Micky – I wasn’t there yesterday, only Evonne was, I’m going today :) :) :)

    Knowing of your emphatic dislike of anything BT I have been chuckling to myself at the thought of you asking them to provide their sports channels to your home :lol:

  146. Hi kelsey – gm is around, I’ve seen him on twitter, maybe he’s waiting for something exciting to happen.

    The thing is, won’t getting Fellaini kill off a couple of other players. I know Jack is brilliant but I still can’t see where he fits into the team – what is he exactly?

  147. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    I am with you re BT’s dreadful customer support.

    The BT channels simply come through Sky and there is no need for a BT line, or broadband etc — you just pay the £10 to BT directly, and not to Sky — weird.

  148. New Post ……………………

  149. What happened to the “real” Arsenal supporters? | Arsenal Arsenal

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