What can Arsenal Realisticaly Hope to Win This Season?

We are about to enter the new footballing season. For a soccer supporter it is almost like a New Year of the Gregorian calendar, but better. All the hopes, dreams and the impossible will happen THIS season. Our team, whatever it might be except for Spurs, will reach the highest honours and we will scoop all the trophies. We can already picture ourselves attending celebrations, bus parades, the CL final in Lisbon. We must plan our holidays carefully so we don’t end up missing any of the important games! We have all heard about the idiot that handed over planning of his wedding to his fiancee and ended up missing the final in Paris!! What a div!!

So what are you hoping for this coming season? It would be nice to win a quadruple, obviously, but it is not going to happen, So let us be grown up about it and see what we can realistically hope for.

EPL – can we be the League winners again? I cannot see why not. We will be competing against Manchesters, Chavs, Pool and Spurs. All of these teams are good, with some excellent squad members, but none of them without problems. Both Mancunian teams have new managers, who are likely to introduce changes that will require time to take effect. Same with the Chavs – can Maurinho pull it off again, or has he finally calmed down after the scorching attack from Real Madrid’s representatives. Pool and Rogers are going to struggle without or with demoralized Suarez. Spurs I am not even going to entertain, they will never win the league.

CL – your guess is as good as mine. We have seen the greatest teams in Europe winning the trophy and the likes of Chelsea keeping it for at least 1 season too long. This competition is all about luck, which teams and at what stage of the season we are going to draw. Of course we can win it,but we could also be knocked out by Fenerbache this very month. Would this be a tragedy? I think not. It could be a good thing for the team – less competitions, more time to concentrate on the domestic league. We would suffer abuse for a few weeks from those supporting lesser teams, but hey,we are big enough to handle it. Please don’t get me wrong – it is the last thing I want to happen and I sincerely hope that we will go to Lisbon in May and come back triumphant.Yes, for me it would be the biggest achievement for the Club ever and the one I personally want most.

There are 2 more trophies to be won, ie the FA cup and the Capital One cup. Both of these competitions are the ‘easiest’ in my opinion because of the fewer fixtures, including playing lesser teams that we should beat. Yes, I do remember Bradford City and Birmingham, but that’s in the past and we are concentrating on the future here. Luck and referees play big parts in these competition, but a strong resilient Arsenal squad should/could win both. Frankly, if it was just the Capital One cup for takings, I’d rather we didn’t win it. It would give scope to those who love to belittle our club, so why encourage them. Let’s give the ‘Carling cup’ a miss.

I would like to invite you to vote in 2 polls

1. What is a minimum achievement this season that you are hoping for? – you can vote for up to 3 options

2. What do you realistically think we are going to win?  - you can vote for up to 3 options

And before you ask – yes, 4th spot is an achievement and if you are in doubt ask Tottenham how they feel about it.

This is not a secret ballot and you are encouraged to make your views known

And finally I would like to wish you all a Happy New Season!!

Written by evonne

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191 Responses to What can Arsenal Realisticaly Hope to Win This Season?

  1. Gooner In Exile says:

    Lovely post Evonne, the minimum expectation as it always has been is Top 4 as you say ask a Spud or Scouser whether its important or not, remember the excitement on Spudders faces when the phantom Geordie equaliser was rumoured around the ground. Remember the look of dejection on their players faces when one second they were celebrating thinking they had achieved something and then the low asit turned out that Chief Spud Alan Sugar had led the fans up the garden path.

    As for more than that…..well like others the squad appears to thin to go further on all fronts, without some additions anything above 4th is pure dreamland.

  2. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning Evonne, good morning to you all.

    A difficult couple of questions posed. Without knowing the final make up of our squad it’s not possible to make a reasoned decision.

    IF we sign a 30 goal striker, IF we sign the top quality ‘keeper, IF we sign the defensive midfielder. Too many ifs, for my liking.

    As things stand at this point in time I expect to make fourth place, in addition the minimum must be the FA Cup..

    Realistically? Fourth place and the FA Cup.

  3. Lodatz says:

    LOL. Arsenal will come 6th this year.

  4. Blues says:

    worrying about Spurs all the time? Why not concentrate on your own season rather than constantly referring to your neighbours !!! You do seem to be completely obsessed with them these days.

  5. farbuckle says:

    Why not try being realistic, we’re not good enough to win anything

  6. Clock_end says:

    What can Arsenal Realisticaly Hope to Win This Season?

    Who cares? Realistically nothing again.

  7. Gooner In Exile says:

    Well you have certainly brought out the positive fans Evonne :)

  8. Tom says:

    Challenge for the title? Your poll results say it all. The fact you even suggest Liverpool are contenders is laughable.

  9. Glen Nicolay says:

    The only thing that Arsenal will win this season is the bet that Arsenal will win f–k all!

  10. wally says:

    If you go to the arsenal web site they’re asking the same and the responses are even more negative. Over 50% think we’ll win nothing.

    And now i read they’re thinking of loaning Jenkinson out? A squad of 15 and some juniors sounds like a winning combination doesn’t it.

    They’ll be panic buys right at the end and it’ll be more deadwood won’t it.

    Wenger is thought to be an intelligent man. The evidence says he might have been. He hasn’t been the smartest guy in the room for awhile now.

  11. Norris says:

    Before I give my thoughts on our hopes/cnages this season I just want to say that anyone using acronyms to try and label other Gooners is a T.W.A.T, end of.

    I was hopeful we would challenge this season and we still can, but in order for us to do that we need luck with injuries, have most if not all our our best players in top form.

    When last season ended and Gazidis chose to utter those now fateful words, I was full of confidence, I finally felt we would be able to seriously invest in the squad, with players that would seriously make a difference; a top class striker for one and a few others. The magaerial changes at other clubs gave us the best chance in years to win silverware, I felt and adding 2 or 3 top class players, who would be ready to hit the ground running would make us title contenders.

    Fast forward a couple of months and almost all the optimism I had has disapated thanks to our complete inability (or unwillingness) to add to a dangerously weak squad. I am still hopeful we will add new faces, just that they probably wont be the original targets which begs the question, what the fuck has gone so spectacularly wrong? And who exactly is to blame?

    We have a great core of players and even without signings, as long as none got injured (hahaha! fat chance) we might even be able to win a domestic cup and finish top 4.

    But this season, more than any in the last 5 years, is the best chance to actually win the league, but the club need to address the serious issues in the squad and frankly, they dont seem to know how to go about doing that.

    Maybe its Wenger, who is not averse to spending money if his past signings are anything to go by, but maybe he has got too used to being the poor relations? Or perhaps its others at the club? The non verbal majority share holder, more interested in turning a profit? Or the {R spin master CEO? Or the much maligned Dicky boy Law and the *cough* negotiating team???

    I have no idea, but what I do know is, that this was a great opportunity missed, and regardless of the actual reasons, the overwhelming impression to Gooners and the media and the rest of the world is that Arsenal are all talk and are too scared, too incompetent and/or too dam stubborn to go spend some f**king money!

  12. wally says:

    You wonder what the atmosphere at Emirates will be with a thin squad and modest results?

    That could be your next poll

  13. kosher kid says:

    You might have a chance of winning the club mascots derby race.

    Good luck with that.

  14. Norris says:

    Wally

    You seriously think jenks will be loaned? What possible use will that serve?

  15. Norris says:

    This squad is still guaranteed top 4. But Arsenal wants more than that spuddy! When bale goes Liverpool will replace you in 5th.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    MorningAll,

    BR back from his summer jaunt in time for the new season.

    Fine work Evonne and 2 polls!

    Blues. You are clearly new to this football malarkey. Our rivalry and obsession with Spurs has been going on for almost 100 years. Long may it continue.

    As to the other chaps …. what is the point of “supporting” a club if you cannot dream of success before the first ball is kicked?. You may say it is realism but this is a game of dreams and possibilities,. Perhaps you would be better off supporting a team which guarantees success – if you can find one.

    For 5 weeks I have missed the pre-season and the daily frustrations. Good to be back :-D

  17. Big Raddy says:

    “Before I give my thoughts on our hopes/cnages this season I just want to say that anyone using acronyms to try and label other Gooners is a T.W.A.T, end of.”

    LOL

  18. Morning all, and thanks to you Evonne for providing a post today with posts no doubt hard to come by.

    I’m back from my hols and have mellowed by being away in the lovely Piedmont area of Italy.

    As it stands we are not good enough to win anything and I suspect top 4 will be a struggle.

    I’ve decided not to get angry/annoyed by this – I’ll attempt to keep a serene attitude and look for a change in the regime at my beloved Arsenal as the present custodians are guilty of complacency at best or gross misconduct at worst.

    For me there is nothing about the employess of the club that makes me proud, only the supporters. As I often say the club is the supporters, the rest are just transient mercenaries.

  19. evonne says:

    Big Raddy is back!! I was already worried about the Saturday PreMatch :)

    Oh dear, the results do not fill me with confidence, let’s hope you are all wrong and I am right :)

  20. Norris says:

    Big Raddyl

    You have done the right thing staying away. Its been moyder! :)

    Before every season I am always optimistic, always cant wait to get to the game and always feel we can win stuff. I dont know whats changed in me this summer? Maybe something has snapped? I do know that the constant 24/7 ‘information’ we get about ALL the so-called targets we have missed out on (about 225 by the last count) has had a drip drip effect, plus the actual lack of additions too.

    I think we have the basis of an excellent squad and for the first time since the move, we also have the resources to add players of the calibre that can take us that next step and consistenly challenge. But for what ever reason, that hasnt occurred. As I have said, the player we do have are good enough to get us in the top 4, but thats about it and that would still be reliant on luck with form and crucially, injuries too.

    Thing is tho, if we dont add to the squad with top quality (and there won’t be any excuses adequate to cover such an abberation) the players of quality we do have won’t be too eager to hang around. You just have to look at all the comments from Mikel, Jack et al almost pleading for new signings.

    At the very least its been a massive PR disaster, at worst, its close to gross negligence. But thats just me and my melodramatic ways! :)

  21. Tottenham Tony says:

    Unrest in the asylum again?
    If the truth is known. You will win f all again.
    Nice to see that you are worried about the ONLY team from North London. Maybe another move could solve that. Woolwich perhaps. .???

  22. Tottenham Tony – we may need to ask your advice on how to live in a great team’s shadow – you’ve been doing that for 50+ years already. So how do you do it ?

    If you’re not going to tell us just do one and find a stringy chicken blog to stink out.

    1-1 at Newcastle ? :)

    FOYS.

  23. Norris says:

    Mr Tony

    I bet your middle name’s Ian isnt it. :)

  24. colm doyle says:

    gonners will finish in top four ,in there usual boring way,only if they buy there two best strikers,mariner and dowd. super spurs shining white lords of london

  25. VCC says:

    Norris10;49…. :-D

  26. Itsonlyrayparlour says:

    Would love for the Arsenal to really go for the FA cup. Can you imagine a day in the Wemberley sunshine. Hopefully a repeat of the 79 final. Beating the manc scum wearing the famous yellow and blue!

    Realistically though I reckon this is another ground hog season. Arsenal have done well to get rid of the dead wood but the complete lack of incoming players has really demoralised me. Forget a star signing, we have so many injury prone players that we are looking extremely light. Latest news update is that Suarez is going to stay at Liverpool and Wenger is looking at Dzeko and Michu at back ups. If we finish above Spurs we’ll do well. Hate to say it, but they’ve done some very good business this window. If they keep Bale they will be very strong this season.

  27. Rasp says:

    Brave post evonne ;) and one that has attracted pretty negative voting. I don’t care what the non Arsenal supporters are saying, but it is worrying the level of despondency in gooners.

    I know everyone is trying to be positive with the season starting in 3 days, but we have been very poor in the transfer market so far. I say this based on the fact that whoever we may bring in will not have time to settle into the team and as the knuckle draggers down the Seven Sisters Road have shown, it is possible to sign quality players early in the window.

    I am happy about the players we’ve sold/let go, but we have anything between 2 and 5 injuries (depending on which reports you believe) before the season has even started. What are the odds of Jack, The Ox or Theo picking up an injury this evening?

    We’ve taken a ridiculous and unnecessary gamble by leaving it this late. Pure mathematics and the cruel hand of lady luck suggest that injuries and the resultant exhaustion of the players who can’t be rested is likely to undermine any chance we have of winning a significant trophy.

  28. OUTRAGE says:

    WHY DO WE PUT UP WITH THIS AS FANS??

  29. OUTRAGE says:

    AS FANS THE MONEY WE PUMP INTO THIS CLUB AND THEN HAVE TO SIT AROUND WHILST SOME DICTATOR DECIDES HOW WE SHOULD SPEND OUR EARNINGS….WE HAVE LET THIS CLUB OFF SO MANY TIMES ITS TIME THEY FELT THE PAIN TOO…OUTRAGE SHALL BE UPON THEM FOR THIS RIDICULE WE HAVE HAD TO ENDURE…

  30. Norris says:

    I think our starting 11 as it stands is quality and we can be condfident of making a good start to the season, something that really didnt happen last summer;

    Szczesny
    Sagna – Per – Kos – Gibbs
    Arteta – Ramsey
    Theo – Cazorla – Podolski
    Giroud

    That is an excellent 1st 11 and there isnt even room in it for AOC and Jack! However, if Szcz has a dip in form, Arteta, Giroud, Per and/or Kos get a ban or injured then what?

    We are really in the shit then and I think that’s where the concern comes from. Well for me anyway.

  31. Norris says:

    Outrage;

    Isnt that a Gay campaign group? Just asking.

  32. OUTRAGE says:

    If you have been part of a gay parade and it was called ‘Outrage’ then we can only assume its a campaign group you have been part of.
    In footballing aspects maybe ‘outrage’ could resemble how outrageous and shambolic our transfer dealings have been under both Wenger and Gazidis…
    As this is a football blog I will leave you to take a pick of what Outrage would best suite this occasion

  33. Rasp with respect Spuds have shown it is possible to sign players, the quality bit is as yet unknown. :D

    We know how it is to have hope about a new arrival only to see him end up smoking a pipe in a Moroccan cafe

  34. Norris says:

    “We” Hmmm, so, you have chosen a Gay rights campaign group as your moniker and you have a multiple personality disorder too.

    But on the flip side, taking the positive view (bit of a stretch I am guessing) at least you’ve stopped SHOUTING! :)

  35. Shard says:

    While signings are important, why are they allowed to overshadow the football? And why is it so hard for some people to wait till the end of the transfer period to judge the squad? Yes, ideally we’d like players to be bought early so they can settle in, but if they come in by September, it’s not really a disaster.

    Our current squad should be good enough to get through the first few matches, until reinforcements arrive. The players want additions to the squad as well. But Arteta also said that they’ll come by the end of the month. It’s not that hard to wait for less than 20 days more. Especially because the Arsenal are playing again this weekend. Football is back. All the rest can wait.

    By the way, I voted for top 4 and FA Cup as my requirement (if only to shut this nonsense of years without a trophy), but that realistically we’ll get only top 4. Although I would have preferred there to be an option saying challenge for the league title. I think that is possible, despite the quality of the other teams.

  36. Jamie says:

    I honestly think we can make top four and win a domestic cup only if Wenger takes the cups seriously (although I doubt we have the depth to take them seriously) so I think we need a striker (preferably one who can also play out wide) and/or a winger and a DM and a centre half unless Wenger is looking to promote Miguel to the first team.

    PS: We don’t really need a keeper as we have both sczesny and fabianski(first and second choice for the Polish national team).

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE :P that principle could be applied to any player signed by any club as you say, but if you buy a player who has already shown he has quality (Paulinho for instance) then you give yourself a better chance of them performing in the future.

  38. Goonhoon says:

    I wish arsenal were as good as spurs are looking this season, might have to change teams I think.

  39. Tony Adams says:

    In answer to the headline, I think “Groundsman of the Year” is just about Arsenal’s best shot at winning something.

  40. Rasp says:

    Morning Shard, we shouldn’t have to wait to the end of the transfer window (3 games into the season) to sign players. I understand why we would have to wait in the case of those whose movements are dictated by other deals (Suarez?), but since there is general agreement that we need 2 or 3 mid priced additions in positions where back up is required, those should not need to be left to the last minute. We need another CB, I don’t see any of the big spenders vying for CB’s?

  41. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice post evonne

    I think we can win the lot, but ive always thought that, even when we had Brian Hornsby up front

    People can whinge, but i dont walk around wanting to beat people up just because ive got a hole in my sock.

    All this moaning about lack of transfers, as though there easy, and the window dont even shut for another 3 weeks.

    As far as ime concerned everything is great. Got my ticket for the Villa game and am very excited.

    We have kept all our key players, have loads of dosh to bring in some players before the window shuts, and the young players are all improving. We have a great set up and a brilliant manager as well.

    Whats wrong with identifying transfer targets carefully, in order to add to a team by maintaining the right balance between internal development and procurement?

    Thats Arsene and Arsenals plan aint it? Keep the team unity and culture and then add the missing ingredients. Its a sound objective and one will eventuly bring great rewards

  42. Hi Shard,

    the post asked us to vote on how we think we’d do and performance is based on the strength of the squad thna ocmments rightly reflect that we have left 20 something players go and bought NO ONE.

    Sanogo is a freebie and is currently hanging out in the London Colney medical wing with his idol Diaby.

    Imagine Kozzer get;s injured in the Villa game who do we bring on ?

    Normally it would have been Vermaelen (injured) or Djourou (out on loan) then Miquel(on loan also) but no it will be Sagna shifted to centre back and Jenko coming on at RB.

    It would be bad enough for a usual transfer window to thin out the squad so considerably and it is 3 days before kick off and no one has been bought but one in which the club told us they would look to bolster the squad, and bolster early, is negligent and why you are getting a vote of around 60% expecting us to win nothing.

    In June it was “the transfer window isn’t really open yet”

    In July it was “the Confederations Cup is preventing transfer activity/a lot of clubs magerial positions haven’t been clarifed”

    Now in August it’s “it’s difficult as there are not many available players now, Rio looks sharp in training and we don’t need anyone”

  43. Shard says:

    Rasp

    Ideally.

    The way I see it, Arsenal are run quite differently to most clubs. I mean that in terms of the team, rather than the club itself. Wenger is obsessed with aspects of team play that don’t seem to bother most other managers. Need a DM, let’s go out an buy a recognised DM and we’ll fit them in. In Wenger’s case, he doesn’t see a player as simply a DM, or CB, or striker. He sees how integrating them in the team affects the dynamics of the team. Perhaps I am overplaying that here, but I am quite sure that that aspect exists more for Wenger than it does for other managers. I also think that while that is the source of frustration with him (and it can get frustrating) it is also the reason he’s been able to pull off the feat of keeping us in the top 4 despite losing a stream of players at least every 2 years.

    Who all we buy depends on the funds we have and the team we want. Suarez takes 45m, that leaves us with a chance to buy a certain 10m player in CB (for example) But if we don’t sign Suarez and get Michu, then we have the money, and perhaps the requirement, to buy someone else entirely, in perhaps other positions as well. It’s risky to wait for the ‘perfect’ signing, and it might not work out. But it doesn’t indicate a lack of a plan (as is made out), nor does it indicate incompetence.

    I never expected us to go crazy with our new found wealth anyway. The 40m bid absolutely amazed me. While the cynics say it’s all for show, it suggests to me that the club are prepared to push the boat out to sign the players they feel they need. Is that enough? No. Gazidis promised more. And that is why I’m certain we’ll buy.

  44. Bill Murray says:

    Another groundhog season from the Nomads. Great up until Jan/Feb. Blow out of every comp they are in, then decide to raise their game in April May to secure the 4th place trophy for Auntie Wenger. How predictable. Jesus wept, it’s like listening to a scratched record.

  45. Shard says:

    chary,

    I get that. I do get the frustration and the tension. I just don’t agree with it. For me, the time to judge the club’s performance in the transfer window is when the window closes. If we sign no one, I will not be happy. I won’t be outraged either. But I guess some people will. To not sign players till January at least would leave us very threadbare as a squad.

    But to not buy for the first few games, we should be ok. I’m sure everyone at the club would like to have the targets already bought and in the team. The fears of injuries to Koz etc have to be considered. But they have to be balanced against the need to get the transfers right. We should be able to last 3 or 4 games without new signings. If that’s what it takes to get the window to be a success, I’m fine with it.

  46. Hurts doesn’t it Bill

  47. Rasp says:

    Thanks Shard, as usual you manage to weave events into something that resembles a master plan rather than the somewhat incompetent performance I perceive – good on you :lol:

    if AW sees players as ‘affecting the dynamics of the team’ (and I’m sure every manager will assess how a new acquisition will blend with existing players) then he should appreciate that getting them in early is beneficial.

    I don’t want to lay this all at AW’s door, we don’t know for sure who is responsible for the delay, but the idea that we are waiting in the hope that some exceptional and perfectly suited player will suddenly jump out (Park!!) in the final days is optimism taken too far.

    As for not thinking there is some kind of plan, I already made the point in my post a while ago that I believe there is a plan and that it was never to buy big as the club officials have led supporters to believe.

  48. Shard says:

    Bill Murray

    When you say groundhog day, you are referring to when? We haven’t been great until Jan/Feb the last 2 years. In fact we’v had our worst starts in that time. We did raise our game since in those 2 years. The 2 years prior to those two, we were great till Feb or March, but fell away at the end.

    So I’m confused when you refer to Arsenal following a repetitive pattern. The only repetition I hear is the complaints of same old same old, when that almost nearly never is the reality on the field.

  49. Shard says:

    Rasp

    What do you feel was the plan? I’ve been away the past 4-5 days. so might have missed your point.

  50. Alan says:

    I just can not take this any longer! I mean I remember the Days when I would not Think about the cocks nextdoor. But now they are in my every thought. I am just so sad. I know in my heart they have been better than us for years now and this year they will destroy us. It is with a Heavy heart I must inform you I am jumping ship. i can not be a gooner for a day longer. if you can’t beat them join them. Not much will change right now all we do is critisize Arsenil and talk of how spurs are investing well. I have a choise to make: either top my self or support the club that I spend most of my time thinking and talking about. As I have a 3year old kid to Think about I must choose supporting Spurs.

    There, I’ve done it now…..and I’m already looking forward to a cracking season.

  51. Rasp says:

    The plan is to make it look like we were going to spend big (circa £70m … I.G. ) when in fact little has changed and we are still trying ploughing the same rather tired furrow.

    We’ll find out in the next few weeks. The ‘Groundhog Day’ comparison could be applied to the hopes and expectations of bloggers on this site over the last 3 years. Every summer there has been a ‘just you wait and see’ emphasis and so far that has ended largely in disappointment.

  52. Rasp says:

    Alan, you can never have been an Arsenal supporter. By definition, a true supporter can never change teams, you stick with your team through good and bad, I suggest you read Fever Pitch. All anyone can do is to step back from football in general, but change allegiances – never

  53. Norris says:

    Imagine if the spouds could be as shit as Arsenal? How delirious they’d be! :)

    Rasp

    Unfortunately, I dont think there is a plan. There might have been one drawn up at the end of the season, but now? Nothing. Might as well as throw darts at a list of players. We can be assertive (Monreal for instance), but when it really comes down to getting that top quality target, we are lacking something.

    Whether its balls, personnel, commitment or marbles, I dont know and none of us do either, so we just should suck it up till Sept 2nd and then let the club know what we think (IF we havent added sufficiently and thats another subjective judgment call as well). I imagine who ever we signed, there would be a certain few who would slate the manager/board/CEO/Stan regardless.

  54. Norris says:

    Rasp; Alan’s a spud mate! :)

  55. Lucky Spudders have two new fans, Goonhoon and Alan both jumping ship to the swamps of Shite Hart Lane…….I have to wonder in what world we live in when fans change teams like changing Phone providers…….I only thought that happened to the spoilt kid at school whose parents bought him the kit of whatever team had won the FA Cup/League that year.

  56. Rasp says:

    Three quarters (76%) of voters have opted for either ‘Win nothing’ (59%) or ‘Top four’ (17%) The club must be aware of this underlying feeling among supporters, I’d like to think it mattered to them enough to act.

  57. Rasp says:

    Thanks Norris, I suspected he was, but just wanted to make the points any way :)

  58. Shard says:

    Rasp

    The plan might well be what you say. In my view, we’re a year ahead of schedule in terms of spending big. However, to give the impression that the club are going to spend big and then not do so suggests that they are being intentionally deceptive towards the fans. To me, that would be counter-productive, and it would make no sense for them to do so.

    Let’s be clear. The club have never before come out and said the things Gazidis said. They have never painted themselves as wealthy like they’ve been doing since the Emirates deal was signed. If the groundhog day feeling comes from that then that is down to the fans misinterpreting the club’s comments earlier. Gazidis quite clearly said it’ll take us 2 years to be where we want to be.

    It takes time for people to adapt their complaints I feel. You still see complaints about Wenger going after youngsters alone sometimes. When that ended about 3 years ago. We’ve been signing older players with less scope of resale value, and players of a higher profile than before in the last few years. We’ve also now stopped the exodus, at least temporarily, and have our squad mostly signed up long term. In the meantime we’ve also spent money on building the club infrastructure (medical centre etc). This year we’ve let go a lot of players, both first team and reserves.

    The next logical step in the club’s progression in to start buying even better players, and having the funds is now no longer a major problem (though we have our limits) The club is moving on to a careful plan. It might not be immediately apparent through signings, and perhaps we won’t make them this window (which would be a pity) But I cannot believe that the club has done all that it has done to throw it away by not utilising the funds at their disposal. That would indicate that the entire stadium move has progressed so smoothly only through luck. That is why I suggest that there is a plan behind the club’s dealings. Even if isolated events don’t lead you to that conclusion.

  59. vp says:

    Evonne- Admire your optimism. A good, uplifting post but anything more than fourth place, will be dependent on Wenger pulling out another miracle.

    Charybadis 1966

    I think you have good reason for concern. Statements from ex players and directors would suggest that there are glaring inconsistencies with what the club says in public, to what’s being pursued behind closed doors. Unfortunately for Wenger, and fortunately for the board & owner, he is often the one left with having to clear things up.

    Everybody keeps speaking of this £70mill that Wenger has at his disposal. Isn’t this the same £70mill that’s been available for the last 2-3 seasons? …if Wenger goes out there and spends £70mill this TW, will he be given another £30-40mill next time round?…..I personally doubt it. There are overriding uncertainties as to the length of time that this money can be capatilised and for all we know, and despite the talk of the forthcoming impressive cashflows, this money might have to tie us over for another two seasons (transfer budget wise). This would explain Wenger’s cautious stance to releasing the funds. What I’m getting at is that if the £70mill remains unspent, it’s not a clear cut case of blaming everything on Wenger. This would be the easier thing too. I just hope that people consider the wider dynamics in play ,and remind themselves of the responsibilities of the other participators (board and owner) before they jump on the Wenger bandwagon.

  60. Rasp says:

    The club has issued a tangled web of seemingly contradictory statements – it is not the supporters fault if they misinterpret them, it is down to the club to communicate coherently with supporters.

  61. Red Arse says:

    Evonne, :-)

    I think we must put your image on top of the blog!!

    Why? Well, your exemplary concern for the mental welfare of all disillusioned goonerholics is clear from the wonderful Post and Rasper’s voting device, which allows them to vent long and hard, without steam coming out of their ears.

    An ancillary to that is the cheerful digression all Gooners can have by having a laughing at the more inane comments from some of the Spuds. :-)

    You are a heroine, first class!! :D

  62. Shard says:

    Rasp

    No it isn’t. It isn’t as one sided as that. Yesterday you had WATA saying that if only the club had come out and been honest and said that we won’t be fighting for the title for a few years they’d have more support. I don’t believe a)that it’s true, and b) even more so, that it is possible for the club to do that. There are implications to anything they say, and there is a genuine reason that Arsenal, just like governments, do not tell the public everything. It genuinely doesn’t work. It is up to the public to be more discerning than that, especially in the world of 24 hour media noise. Context in statements gets thrown out of the window these days.

    The club does what it can It interacts with fans more than most other clubs do. Which other club has its manager attend its AGM when it isn’t required to do so? Which other club has its CEO sit for a 90min Q&A session with fans. If those meetings are now heavily vetted from before it is because fans abused the freedoms and privilege they were accorded. Don’t blame the club for doing what it did. Their options were limited, and they still do a lot to get their message across as clearly as they can.

  63. wally says:

    The plan is to strip it down to the bare bones and hope for the best. this is his last year and he’s trying to make a clean slate and a bag of money for whoever comes next.

    Norris, loaning jenkinson makes no sense, neither did playing a 5’5″ midfielder as a centre forward, or pushing out Viera and Pires or selling Cole or……

  64. 26may1989 says:

    With the two signings I’m gagging for, we’re genuine title contenders this season. Without them, we’re comfortable top four and still outsider bets for the title.

    Our quality and continuity are constantly underestimated, externally and internally. Every preseason, the pundits say Arsenal will fall out of the top four, to be replaced by Liverpool, Everton or Spurs. And every year the pundits are proved wrong.

    This is an excellent side, waiting for its final components. There is no injury crisis (Vermaelen is the only real first teamer injured, along with Diaby). We have plenty of quality, not quite enough yet but very nearly. And we have a gentle start to the league season, meaning we could easily be top of the tree at the end of October.

    I know I say it all the time, but the biggest threat for Arsenal is us, the fans and what we can do in our panicked state to sap the side of vital confidence. Believe, enjoy and you never know, with some success on the pitch, you might just see what some of us see in this side.

  65. Norris says:

    Shard

    I hate it when some Gooners lump in the past 6-7 seasons as all being the same, as if each season doesnt consist of very different variables and outcomes. The project youth guff is only one case in point.

    I have been under the impression that we have been severely financially hamstrung for years and AW has done a great job in keeping us in the CL. That isnt to suggest he has not made mistakes, he has, numerous ones, but when a manager is in post as long as him, the mistakes are bound to be many! So a bit of perspective and respect is required, something I dont think happens alot with a few fans.

    But Gazidis comments and the (so far atleast) lack of signings backing up said comments seem to be a tipping point this summer. If only he hadnt have said them, things wouldnt be so tense. Gooners would still be worried, but the comments made by Ivan are like manna from heaven for the media and those with an axe to grind and the fall out created by the incessant nature of the internet has had the desired effect because it is ammo for those who either hate the manager, want change for change sake and the Arsenal loathing media in general.

    Why did Ivan make those comments? Was it all PR? To jusitfiy his own fat salary? Or to, as some have suggested, to give Wenger a more than gentle push?

    As ever, I have not got a f**king clue!

  66. Norris says:

    Wally; Pires didnt sign a one year contract extension (we could and should have done more to keep him, although if you had have said Edu, I would have agreed totally), Vieira had been flirting with other teams for years and was past his best ( the issue for me there was in NOT signing an adequate replacement the year before) and Cole??? Are you fucking seriously using that duplicitous scum bag as a rod to beat the manager with? Pfffft and twice Pfffft! :)

  67. Red Arse says:

    Actually, I do have a great sympathy with the angst felt by so many Gooners, and occasionally a shard of disquiet infiltrates my determination not to let the boundless rumours insinuate themselves into my id.

    When I was a kid I had a great big dog who was my best friend and confidante. He never bitched about anything, or ever moaned at me and was always there for me.

    In turn I never complained about his gaseous emissions, nor did I rag him for never winning a dog show.

    And my relationship with Arsenal is similarly comfortable.
    I do not demand nor expect them to be world beaters, or even EPL champions, tho’ I would be tickled pink if they were.

    I have a deep sense of belonging to a special club, and I am privileged that fate or fortune led me to support them.

    The club do not owe me anything, and my support of them (including buying tickets or merchandise, which is purely voluntary because no one makes me do that), has no strings attached.

    I never expected my dog to amuse or entertain me – altho he often did – he was just my dog, and that was the long and the short of it.

    Just like Arsenal are my club …………….. end of, really. :-)

  68. Norris says:

    26589;

    Wish I had that faith, still might find it again, I mean, it must be round here somewhere…. :)

  69. Red Arse says:

    Norris,

    In full flow today!! :-)

  70. Shard says:

    RA

    I resent the term “shard of disquiet.”

  71. Shard says:

    Norris

    Nor do I. My guess is that it has nothing to do with Wenger, because I don’t believe he’s reluctant to spend money. I can only attribute it to the constant negativity that has followed Arsenal. It was probably an effort to break it. That makes the most sense to me. But who knows?

  72. Norris says:

    Red Arse; Lovin that analagy! Poetic! So, what dog would AFC be?

    A poodle? :)

  73. zack says:

    realy dont understand what is happening

  74. Big Raddy says:

    It is true that I have missed the daily drip of despair amongst Gooners who are desperate for signings but ….

    1. The transfer window closes on Aug 31st not the 14th.

    2. As I recall, Arsenal would have won the title had the season started at the beginning of February. Yes, it was based around a solid defence and a return to GG tactics but we finished strong and surely that is reason for optimism.

    3. We were without JW for most of the season and he will be a huge plus should he stay fit.

    4. We have got rid of much of the deadwood.The great positive of this is that AW will not be able to pick them :-)

    5. Ox will be a major star this season as will Ramsey.

    That said, like everyone else, I have major concerns over our lack of a back up striker and an injury to Walcott could be disastrous.

  75. Big Raddy says:

    RA 1.02. My feelings exactly.

  76. Shard @ your 12.08

    This is where you and I wil have to agree ot disagree, with more than 2/3rds of the transferwondow elapsed we are in a position that we have known our 3rd choice CB was injured, our 4th & 5th choice were loaned out and not a sinlge reinfocemnet brought in.

    Centre backs need the longest tme to gel as a unit and to not bring someone in at the same time given what we knew a month or so ago.

    It’s not just the defence that’s thin, look on Arsenal dot com under or first team squad and the midfielders listed are lsited. Assuming we use 4 per game we have 4 from Cazorla, Ramsey, Rosicky (has averaged 21 starts a season) Wilshere(coming back from a long term injury), Arteta (aged 31), Frimpong (a grand total of 10 starts so far), Diaby(I don’t even need to add his current state of “availability”) and Rio, who will probably be loaned out too.

    So a couple of midfield injuries and we are looking at Frimpong playing.

    Just a few reasons why I am judging the transfer window as a fail already. The scale of the failure will only be known come September the 2nd.

    Oh, and Kozzer is banned for the first leg of the CL qualifier so we will see Sagna at CB and Jenko playing in a crucial tie. Santi is also banned for that leg too.

    I think people know who I blame for this debacle.

  77. wally says:

    Norris thinks selling the best left back for England in two generations was the right move? Because he wanted 5,000 pounds a week more? Pffffft and twice pfffffffffft right back at you boy. :)

    Wenger’s lost the plot.

  78. Hi Redders, I’ve never owned, or wanted to own, a pet(especially a dog, yuck!), so that could explain a lot in my case. :)

  79. Norris says:

    Big Raddy

    That for me is the cause of my frustration;

    That we have the makings of a great squad/team and only require a few top quality additions to really push on. The apparent decision to abandon signing Higuain (and possibly Jovetic if we actually were in for him) to concentrate all our efforts on Suarez seems complete folly also and we have gotten ourselves involved in a completely unneccesary long drawn out saga, with absolutely no indication it will end well for us.

    Given that we seem incapable of being able to multi-task (typical blokes!) and sign other players why going balls out for the Uruguayan makes no sense at all and as already said, numerous times by many Gooners, we are sooooooo threadbare at the back it is criminal that a new CB at the very least has not already been signed.

    If I had to guess at whay that is, then, unfortunately (for me) and with a really heavy heart, I would have to pin the blame on the manager. I know I do not have any proof, just from what I have seen, heard and read, but it does appear as if he allows himself to get caught between a few stools, is incapable of choosing and sticking to targets, is prepared to walk away from deals if he feels the price is too high even though by doing so it leaves us short.

    I hope I am completely 100% wronga bout that.

  80. Shard says:

    chary

    I think we can both agree that it’s not what we’d like. We might agree on September 3rd that it has been a failure. Or I might feel that despite the risk, the transfer window has been a success. We’ll see.

  81. Agreed Shard, we all have bigger problems in life so there’s no sense in getting irate about this as we have absolutely zilch influence on what Wenger/Gazidis are going to do.

  82. Shard says:

    Norris

    So what you’re saying is that Wenga’s wronga bout spending wonga :D

  83. Rasp says:

    Shard, I have a problem with bloggers who use definitive terms “No it isn’t. It isn’t as one sided as that.” that is tantamount to saying “I’m right and you’re wrong” when we are both just giving our opinions. I see little point in continuing the debate with you, you have clearly made your mind up and are not open to considering alternatives.

  84. Norris says:

    Shard; Haha! Something like that! :)

  85. Shard says:

    Ummm Rasp. If you don’t want to debate further that’s fine, but let’s see what I said “it isn’t as one sided as that” in response to.

    “The club has issued a tangled web of seemingly contradictory statements – it is not the supporters fault if they misinterpret them, it is down to the club to communicate coherently with supporters.”

    To me, that read as a pretty definitive statement as well. It removes responsibility from supporters for their actions and puts it onto the club. Moreover, it suggests that the club has been purposely devious in misleading the poor, helpless supporters. I don’t see how that leaves room for debate except by starting from a point of strong disagreement and then proceeding to explain why. Which is what I did.

    Anyway. I’m out.

  86. Big Raddy says:

    Norris. As I said, the window closes on Aug 31st.

    All we really know is that AFC offered L’pool 40m for Suarez, all the rest is rumour and red-top journalism.

    I would say that the Suarez bid is an act of an ambitious club and proof that they will spend money on the right player.

    Chary’s pessimism I put down to an excess of Dolcetto and Barbaresco plus the financial pain of paying for a glass of Barolo

  87. And I couldn’t even find any peroni Big Dandy :(

  88. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    When did “patience” become a dirty word? We have just entered a new phase of relative wealth, the transfer window is still open, and yet some have shot there bolt.

    I once pursued this lovely bird for two years. in between she went out with my mate, and round my place for dinner got off with the window cleaner, but i still persevered

    OK, in the end she stole some money off me and shacked up with a body builder, but the point was i waited and bided my time

    Theres no quick term fix.we just have to be patient and take comfort in the clubs improved financial situation which in theory should mean we retain our players and buy new ones.

  89. Rasp says:

    Shard you’re just being plain silly now. My ‘definitive statement’ was not aimed at an individual who I was in debate with whereas yours was.

    Unfortunately you like many others blame the supporters for the club’s shortcomings. Do Tesco blame their customers if the fruit is over ripe. Name me any other major sport where the failings of a team are blamed on its supporters, its ludicrous.

    Of course the crowd at games can lift a team as well as place doubt in the minds of the players, that is undeniable, but to blame supporters because they misinterpret comments that are ambiguous to say the least is daft.

    Arsenal is a business, the supporters are by definition customers because they pay for merchandise and to see games. If the business wishes to sell to its customers it has to communicate with them coherently.

  90. 26may1989 says:

    I think I love Shard…… :) And Raddy….. :)

    One of the things that bugs me about this newsnow fixated approach to transfers (and yes, I do check newsnow many times a day too) is this idea that there is actually much information out there. There isn’t – it may look like it, because so many words are being written, but 99.9% of it is made up and/or regurgitated and most of what remains is irrelevant.

    Arsenal FC is better than most in its dealings with fans – which other club puts its manager out for the shareholders’ AGM for example (only for some of them to abuse the privilege and insult someone who arguably should have abandoned us years ago)? One of the problems is that things are put in the club’s mouth that it never said. E.g., all Gazidis said this summer was that there was, for the first time since the stadium move, money available to compete for the best players. He didn’t use the fabled £70m figure, and he didn’t say we were about to sign anyone specifically. In fact, he has already been proved right, we have been competing for some of the best players around, something we haven’t been able to do for a long, long time. The trouble is the way others choose to interpret what is said and to embellish it with stuff that was never said, so when the signings don’t pour in (and I’m as impatient as anyone to see a couple of stars pulling on the red and white) the club is accused of having lied or failed.

    As Rasp acknowledges, we don’t know what’s going on. Hold onto that thought – we just don’t know. So what precisely is the point of blaming anyone, when we don’t know what is or is not happening? As Shard points out, and as Raddy implies, the time to judge success or failure in terms of recruitment is 2 September. You can try to say “Should have got them in earlier”, but you just don’t know what is going on or why deals cannot be concluded earlier. There isn’t a red button to be pressed to nullify the free will of the selling club and the player, everybody actually has to agree.

    As for our competitors, United, the reigning champions and biggest club in the country, appear to be having as many difficulties as we are, so we’re in good company. And who have Chelsea signed so far? A knackered Mark Schwarzer, very impressive. City have done well, bringing in three solid (but not spectacular) pros from Spain plus the initially impressive Fernandinho. But despite having the whole summer to get used to each other, they looked a poor unit on Saturday. Spurs’ signings? They don’t look bad, Paulinho in particular, but their squad has some real tosh in it: Huddlestone, Sigurdsson, Livermore, the aged Parker etc. Spurs have a great spine to the side (Lloris, Vertonghen, Dembele and Bale), but the rest? Sub par.

  91. wally says:

    Terry,

    I don’t believe anyone is asking the club for a quick fix. Merely to put their best foot forward.
    Do you really believe they’re putting the best foot forward? Really? Bueller?
    And if that’s their best foot you still think this is the group to do it?

  92. wally says:

    26may,
    When you’re down to plans D and E on a new striker do you think you can call that a success?
    That smells more like desperation.

  93. Hi 26, the reason why people don’t mention ManUre/Chavs difficulty in recruiting is their need is much less – ManUre finished 16 points above us and Chelsea have got in Schurrle and Van Ginkel who seem like good squad players.

    If we were Champions last season and we kept our squad intact I woudl not be anywhere near as worried about the state of our depleted squad.

  94. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, you’re a wonderful guy, I always enjoy your company, whether online, at the pub or at the ground, but do you not see a contradiction in castigating Shard for using overly definitive statements and then a little while later you write off others’ opinions as “ludicrous.” Pot, kettle???

    I am one of the ludicrous (and proud!) – the negative, over-critical behaviour of a large number of fellow Arsenal fans in recent years, especially at home games, has driven me to the point where I have genuinely considered giving up my cherished season ticket.

    You may choose to think of yourself as a customer, I don’t, I’m a supporter. Not someone who will blindly accept everything that is said or done in the name of the club, but one who is determined to make a contribution, even if in a small way, to this club maximising its potential.

    How many people have been making the observation that our team plays with a freedom at away games that it does not show very often at home? We have an enormous contribution to make n terms of this team’s performances – we can choose to make that a negative or a positive contribution. I know which I prefer.

  95. 26may1989 says:

    The first time I saw that “Bueller” remark on a blog, it was funny. The 20th time? Not so much.

  96. I don’t understand, why are we talking about Bueller’s feet ?

  97. Rasp says:

    I refer everyone to the post I wrote about Arsenal providing the dummies ……. http://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/arsenal-provide-the-dummies-the-supporters-spit-them-out/ .

    Gazidis has consistently said we have the money to spend if we choose …. if we choose! There is a big difference between can and will.

    This is one of his many recorded statements when asked if Arsenal were now potentially in a position to pay a £25 million transfer fee and wages of £200,000 a week for one player, Gazidis said: “Of course we could do that. We could do more than that.”

    It cannot be denied that IG has been stoking the fires of supporter’s expectations.

  98. 26may1989 says:

    See Chary, I don’t really accept the depleted squad point. Last year’s squad minus Gervinho (18 league appearances incl as sub) and Coquelin (11) doesn’t look like a big deal to me. Especially, as Raddy pointed out, the Ox will be playing a bigger role, and we can see that Wilshere and Ramsey will have busy years too.

    We need to sign two, maximum three, players. That doesn’t make the current squad bad, just capable of being improved. All I really suggest in all of this is a sense of proportion. I don’t expect everyone to see the current squad in the way I do, which is pretty positive, but to use a term currently knocking around ( :) ), I think it’s ludicrous for so many otherwise sane people to slam the squad that did so well in the second half of the season and which can, given that we haven’t lost any significant players, carry that through to this season.

    I’m desperate for those signings to be made, but the reason isn’t that I think we have a poor squad now, it’s that I really do believe we can win the title this year if we bring in just two players, whose names might be Suarez and Gustavo.

    I’m going to put my money where my mouth is: I will bet anyone here £10 that we are top of the table at the end of October, regardless of what signings we make in the next 19 days. Anyone want some of that?

  99. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, I agree that Gazidis and one assumes the club have deliberately chosen to let it be known that there is money available now. But even in the quote you use at 2.20pm, he was only stating what could be done.

    What we do with such statements, how we choose to read them, is up to us. I read them narrowly, because nothing about the future can ever be guaranteed, so whatever a person says is possible does not guarantee a particular outcome.

    £40m or £50m would be a ridiculous sum of money for us to pay for any player, but I would be delighted if we recruited Suarez, whatever the price and regardless of his grim personal failings, because I believe it could be a transformative signing. However, I wouldn’t feel assuaged with buying someone half as good as Suarez (as if such things can be measured in a precise way) for £20m or £25m. Such a player wouldn’t improve our squad, it would simply be spending for the sake of it, and spending in order to get some of the pressure off the club’s back. I want true, 100%, established quality. If that can’t be done, for whatever reason, I’ll be disappointed but it won’t be the worst thing in the world, because we will still have a very good squad and will still have the money to try again in the next window.

  100. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m, the customer analogy was merely a way of sanitising the relationship. If you’re passionate you will always be a supporter.

    I too value your friendship and company and remember sitting next to you at a game when you shouted “For fuck’s sake player X” The point is we are all human and we all say and do things in the heat of the moment which are out of character.

    If you have 60,000 supporters all witnessing something that engenders such a reaction then that is what is to be expected and not something peculiar to Arsenal and not in my opinion a reason to castigate the support for something that has existed as long as mankind has been watching sport.

    It is the idea that I find ludicrous, not those who express it – see, nothing personal :P

  101. 26may1989 says:

    I cannot deny having used those words once or twice. Or perhaps three times…… :)

  102. Rasp says:

    :lol: me too :roll:

  103. Rasp says:

    Any way, I agree with everyone (26m, Shard, TMHT etc) who have said that we have a very good first team squad, and it seems we all agree that 2 or 3 signings should be enough to reinforce it to last out a season and compete for top honours …. so I don’t know what we’re all arguing about :lol:

  104. Shard says:

    So not only am I close minded and not open to alternatives, I’m also silly. Perhaps I should start addressing my posts to the ether in general because this allows me an escape clause from the context of an ongoing conversation.

    Look Rasp. I enjoy debating with you, and I respect your arguments. You can accuse me of a lack of tact and I’ll be more than willing to admit to that. I do struggle at times to remain respectful in the face of some frankly stupid, and seemingly intentionally obtuse arguments.( I DO NOT mean you here. Just pointing out that I have flaws in the way I come across. Sometimes without realising it.) But to accuse me of being closed to a debate, especially without basis such as now, is something that I feel is unfair and not something I’m willing to accept without protest. I have strong opinions on certain subjects. Give me strong arguments against them and I will consider my stand on them. Whether that is a complete U-turn or a matter of nuance.

    As for blaming the supporters. All I blame them for is their frustrations and for misrepresenting (yes, that is a matter of opinion) the club’s statements. I object to the club being blamed for this, and I also object to it being suggested that it is alright for supporters to be just meekly accepting of whatever information is fed to them without critical thought. Regardless of source (club or media). At no point did I blame supporters for Arsenal’s lack of transfers or any other business. Beyond the crowd’s effect on certain passages of play, and perhaps influencing the club’s PR strategy (Gazidis’ statement) the fans do not affect the club’s business (and thank God for that) There is a real danger though that the disillusionment of the supporters due to alleged ‘lies’ from the club leads to the club’s financial model failing. However, that is different from what you are suggesting I said.

    And if football were a normal business such as Tesco you would have an AGM of people happier than a bunch of stoned hippies at Woodstock, rather than the rabble rousers that unfortunately seem to revel in the spotlight and their self appointed role of protectors of the realm and keepers of the conscience. I object to the ‘Us vs Them’ feeling being propagated when it is quite clear that the club has done a lot to improve its standing. It’s like everyone wants the payoff without wanting to acknowledge all that it takes to get there, and how far we’ve come in that regard. If the club are so terrible at getting the message across, how come I get it? Or maybe I’m just a naive fool, fleeced by a scheming board embarking on a 10 year long con to fill their pockets with my money while driving the club to ruin. I’m sure the club is to blame for spreading the theories of how Wenger earns a share of the profits. How Gazidis is Wenger’s subordinate. How Kroenke is stealing money from the accounts. How Wenger doesn’t care about winning anything. These and more, are all the creation of the club directly or indirectly, and the fans have no responsibility in believing and espousing such criticisms because the club is unable to counter myths with logic. Yes. Maybe that explains it. I must be silly to not see it like that.

  105. Crikey 26, you desperate to throw your cash away ?

    I don’t gamble but I’m confident we won’t be top of the table come the end of October.

    Looking at the starts for the first teamers we’ve lost in all competitons we have lost 54 starting spots: Coquelin(11), Djourou(2), Santos(6) Arshavin(2) Gervinho(18), Mannone(13), Miquel(2).

    You see no depletion at all ? Or any attempt to make up 16 points on the Champions ?

  106. Rasp says:

    I was at the AGM Shard and it was not populated by rabble rousers as you suggest. There were a couple of minor points made from the floor that did not go down too well but in general it was an orchestrated affair and not particularly controversial

    Blaming supporters for their frustrations is to deny human nature.

    It is clear that you are a staunch supporter of everything the club does and for that I commend you. I am a staunch supporter of Arsenal and I see no disloyalty in commenting on things about the way the club is run that I believe could be handled better.

    Anyone who has sat next to me at a game would tell you that I am very positive in my support when it matters. Any player wearing the shirt deserves only 100% backing, its not even a consideration.

  107. LB says:

    ““Should have got them in earlier”, but you just don’t know what is going on or why deals cannot be concluded earlier. There isn’t a red button to be pressed to nullify the free will of the selling club and the player, everybody actually has to agree.” (26)

    I am going to copy this into word — I get the feeling it will come in very handy on many an occasion in the near future.

  108. 26may1989 says:

    Was that an acceptance of the wager, Chary?? I can pay in pints of Peroni……

    I’m amazed I haven’t been inundated with acceptances already – must mean everyone else is as optimistic as me!

  109. I’m not sure 26, I could have a Cisse moment about whether I gamble or not ha ha.

  110. Rasp says:

    LB, top notch players of exceptional quality will always be worthy of your pasted response from Word. If we sign Ashley Williams in the last 3 days of the window I am certainly someone who might suggest he should have been signed earlier – particularly if either Mertesacker or Kozzer have been injured by then :(

  111. 26may1989 says:

    I did feel a bit sorry for Cisse – but hypocrisy exposed is always pretty funny!

  112. Shard says:

    Rasp

    It is the negative noises surrounding the club that take away the chance to even properly examine the things the club can do better. Because this negativity is magnified in the media and facts are twisted to suit the narrative, I feel it a better and more constructive use of my time to remind people of all the positive actions the club has taken.

    I believe that on the whole, the club has moved forward in the past 10 years, and that the move has been very well managed, and that this fact is lost simply for that very reason. People take it for granted. That doesn’t make me a “staunch supporter of everything the club does”. All it means is that I can see that the club have some logic in their dealings and that fans would do well to remember that rather than pore over the club with a microscope to scream eureka at finding something wrong. Under that much scrutiny, any organisation will look faulty, and it becomes hard to maintain perspective.

  113. Rasp says:

    I’ll take your £10 bet 26may. But my history of people paying up on here is pretty poor – Rocky will owe me 11 Peronis by August 3rd :?

  114. 26may1989 says:

    Deal, Rasp. I’ll diairise it now.

    Wasn’t Chary or LB or someone meant to eat a hat at some point?

  115. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. Stunned you couldn’t find Peroni.

    26. Your 2.33 states my point of view. Reading much of today’s comments both here and on other sites makes me delighted that I have spent the summer web-less.

    We will sign players or we won’t, either way we already have the youth and talent to do well this season – but perhaps I will leave this for a headline post, though I suspect the subject has been exhausted.

  116. Rasp says:

    Thanks Shard, there is a bit of a chicken and egg situation going on here. You say the fans negativity is magnified by the media whereas I have always thought that the media are the ones who create the negativity in the first place.

    The club has moved forward incredibly in the last 10 years and the structural changes have been managed brilliantly, I cannot fault any of that. My comments relate to team affairs at this particular time.

  117. Nick says:

    For me the minimum is top 3, and a cup run to the quarters at the very least, and only to go out to a top 5 team.

    Depending on badly Moyes does, I can see us getting third and them dropping out of the top 3. I cannot see us overtaking Chelsea or Man City with the current squad.

  118. I don’t recall saying I’d eat my hat 4*4+10 – I may have said I would eat my hat if Abou f***ing Diaby ever plays more than 15 games a season.

  119. 26may1989 says:

    I’m with you on that one, Chary.

  120. Shard says:

    Rasp

    I agree with you about the media having created the negativity in the first place. But I think it’s reached a point where they don’t need to do much more. It’s reached a critical mass of sorts.

    Your comments in relation to the present are absolutely fair. Unfortunately not everyone can separate the immediate and tactical from the long term strategy. As regards the club’s communication, I don’t think the problem is the club’s statement alone. In fact I think the statement was borne out of the need to combat some of the negativity. Either way, I think we do agree about the need for new signings. We probably differ on whether they’ll happen, but we’ll know in less than 3 weeks.

  121. Rasp says:

    Great stuff Shard, it’s good to know we’re on the same side :)

  122. TT says:

    From a BBC 7 June 2013 article:

    [Headline] Arsenal ready to spend big on players – Ivan Gazidis

    [Subheadline] Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis says the club are ready to “escalate” their spending next season.

    [Note the slant. Now the article gives the actual quotes...]

    Asked whether Arsenal could afford to spend a £20m transfer fee on a single player, and offer salaries of £200,000 per week, he said: “Of course we could do that. We could do more than that.”

    But he warned that boss Arsene Wenger, who Gazidis says will stay “long term”, will not necessarily spend such money.

    “It is going to be the players that Arsene believes in,” Gazidis said.

    “He is pretty blind to price tags, he looks at what he sees with his eyes and makes judgements based on that, not on reputations and prices.”

    [There you go. He said Arsenal could spend, but not necessarily spend.]

  123. And another thing to wind me up, why are we letting that odious toad Flaminin train with us ? He flipped us off when it suited him and now he hasn’t got a club he’s using our training centre to get fit.

    If I was him I’d tell him to do one and go crawling back to his beloved “Child hood dream” team AC Milan and take Abou Diaby with him.

    Bloody waste of space.

  124. TT says:

    Further down, the article provides more quotes:

    “We have a certain amount of money which we have held in reserve,” Gazidis said.

    [Quite a lot of it, according to the Swiss Rambler.]

    “We also have new revenue streams coming on board and all of these things mean we can do some things which would excite you, but what excites Arsene isn’t necessarily what excites you.

    [The now classic caveat!]

    “This year we are beginning to see something we have been planning for some time – the escalation in our financial firepower.

    “That is going to happen partly into next season, it is part way available now in the summer, but the following season as well.

    “It is a progression over the next two seasons and is quite significant for the club.”

    [So money is coming in, partly available this summer and increasingly over the next two seasons.]

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/22802685

  125. Big Raddy says:

    chary. I am in agreement re: Flamini. Hope someone keys his Porsche

  126. Exactly, Big Randy, it’s like letting an ex g/f who cheated on you live in your house after the guy she left you for has chucked her out.

    I’ve looked on the Arse.com onlinepoll for where gooners think we’ll finish – 50% say lower than 4th so our results are not that much different (we say 55%).

    Will the club take any heed of the pessimism ? Mmmmm.

  127. 26may1989 says:

    That sounds a bit close to home, Chary. Is there something you want to share with the group?
    :)

  128. Ha ha 26, no I’ve not suffered that partcular indignity – suffered loads of others though.

  129. Red Arse says:

    Right, I leave you alone for a while, and I come back having missed some riveting discussions! :-(

    Now on the one hand, as I read down the comments. I wanted to suggest that some of you get a doggy friend, like me, (well not like me – but a doggy friend like a dog) and take some of the contentious stuff down a bit.

    On the other hand, I wanted to throw something combustible into the mix, because I love reading the comments of two of my favourite bloggers, Shard and the Rasper, having at it.

    Just as the naughty worm of mischief entered my head urging me on, I read that a certain amount of polite adjustment had entered the piece and all was suddenly peaceful and tranquil betwixt the protagonists, despite the best efforts of that mendacious 26M.

    Wonderful, exciting debate conducted in a civilized manner – not that I would know – :-) and superbly accompanied with classy interjections by Biggus Randy, CharyB, TT et al.

    Loved it! :D

  130. Jamie says:

    26@ 3:23

    Concerning your bet, do you accept monopoly money?

  131. Red Arse says:

    And, 26, I will take your £10 bet — no particular reason, it’s just that I would like to frame it when I win and headline it’

    ACCOUNTANTS UBER ALLES!

    it will make the season for CharyB and I — stand by for GIE to join us!! :D

  132. Red Arse says:

    CharyB, that implies 50% think we will finish higher that 4th — the club may be relishing that optimism.

    Glass half full and all that? :-)

  133. That’d call for a victory parade I reckon Redders !

    And yes, it is EXACTLY glass half full scenario.

  134. Jamie says:

    26 @2:33

    Completely agree. I would rather have Suarez for 50 mil than say Soldado for 20. Gives us more options but not much better than what we already have.

  135. Rasp says:

    26may @ 3:12, I believe LB has bet and lost the majority of his apparel in recent years – that’s why he has to hide behind his sofa, … to protect his modesty :oops:

  136. Red Arse says:

    Terry @1:53

    Patience used to be a dirty word where I lived.

    She could cuss longer and louder than most of the guys. She could out drink most of the guys. She shagged most of the guys – which was more than 100% of the guys could claim, and she was sexier than most of the guys — err that might not sound quite right — but careful what you say – or I’ll get my attorney, 26, on your case!! :D

    Ahh, that! is where I learned Patience!!

  137. Big Raddy says:

    I thought Kelsey had won LB’s sofa, or was it Micky?

  138. LB says:

    That bet is very clever, look at the fixtures from Saturday until the beginning of October.

    Villa
    Fulham
    Tottenham (home)
    Sunderland
    Stoke
    Swansea.

    Hahahahaha, lawyers? Always read the small print. lol

  139. LB says:

    I lost a mosquito net to Sharkey.

    I also lost a bet to Oz, something about Armstrong being clean — I refuse to pay up on that one.

  140. LB says:

    I bet that Nasri wouldn’t go to City……doh.

    And I also bet that Clichy wouldn’t go to City, I still don’t understand why they didn’t realise that they could have done so much better with all the money that have at their disposal.

  141. LB says:

    Still think that Suarez will come to THOF but only after the Bale deal is done.

    Apparently there is a press conference tomorrow about Gustavo but it has been organised by Bayern so things are not looking good there.

  142. LB says:

    Good post Evonne

    I voted: “None of the above, I’m happy if we play great football”
    and answered nothing to the question what do I think we will win.

    I regard it an honour to have been born an Arsenal supporter.

  143. Rasp says:

    You do realise that is the kiss of death to the Suarez deal LB considering your track record ;)

  144. Happy New Season evonne and welcome back all you lucky ones that managed to escape this madness for a while.

    Raddy – I hope you had a brilliant time, did you manage to meet up with the DidIt clan, he mentioned you were going to try to.

    Chary – have you booked your first game? I can almost taste the Peroni ……

    Over 50% have voted that we’re going to win nothing so hopefully they’ll be proved wrong. I voted for 4th spot and a couple of cups.

    I am disappointed that we’re starting the season with such a thin squad, I really fancied us adding 2 or 3 players and giving the others a run for their money. I’m hoping that we can keep a fighting squad together to reach the top of the the table at least once this season but if it doesn’t happen until the middle of May that will have to do ;)

  145. evonne says:

    LB – 24% said they are happy if we win nothing, but play great football. That made my heard melt………..ooooooh. That’s what I call a real support.

    RA – heroin? Never, not even class C or B drugs for me :)

  146. Spuds at home in two weeks! Sets the heart racing that one ;)

  147. evonne says:

    my heart even

    sorry, I am in a bad space.
    You guys will probably not sympathize with me on this one – I took my staffie for castration today. The vet charged me 50% more than what I was told it would cost. Huge argument broke out, but at the end of it the stupid vet had to apologise to me – he charged me for a bitch, despite my dog’s huge jewels he thought it was a girl!! I was delighted he didn’t cut off one of the paws, the clearly hasn’t got a clue

    Thank you all for lovely comments :)

  148. Red Arse says:

    Evonne,

    HeroinE = “A woman admired or idealized for her courage or noble qualities”.

    The final ‘e’ is important! :-)

  149. Here I am chatting away merrily but I’ve forgotten to nag about a post for tomorrow……….we have one in drafts (a bit of fun from Rocky) that can be used on Friday but nothing else.

  150. evonne says:

    got you RA :) I know, I know. Thank you for the compliments, even if not deserved. As you know I suffer from bouts of depression, but somehow I am ALWAYS happy and optimistic when it comes to Arsenal, weird. Except for when we lose, then I really go to bits

  151. Gooner In Exile says:

    Put up a headline ….. Another Day, The Same Debate.

    That’s no criticism it just feels we are all going round in circles.

    There’s nothing new to talk about.

    I thought that our Summer Posts would take us through to discussing all our new toys and an exciting pre season…..maybe I should have let GN5 profile more players. :D

  152. Big Raddy says:

    Can I do a Pre-match on Saturday?

  153. evonne says:

    what do you mean ‘Can I do a prematch’ Raddy? It is your job :)

  154. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bloody ell Spuds have sold Huddlestone to Hull.

  155. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oh and Jerome gets a £50k fine for breaching betting regulations…..I’d hazard a guess that that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

  156. Hi Peachy, it was nice to be away from the torture/transfer window in the lakes and mountains of Italy, but now I’m back I’m as much of a doomer as ever. I aiming to be at the Stoke game to give Sparky ‘n Shawcross some fearful abuse.

  157. 26may1989 says:

    Joe Hart’s wretched form from Saturday continues, just chucked one into the net for Scotland. Is he pickable for club or country right now?

  158. evonne says:

    Take that Hansen – no footballing brain Theo, ha ha ha ha

  159. Big Raddy says:

    Nice half from both JW and Theo. Now get them off

  160. Gooner In Exile says:

    Haha

    Chiles : looks like Wayne is re emerging for the second half to get some more minutes under the belt

    Moyes : Yes i’m glad, good for us

    (said through gritted teeth)

  161. Gooner In Exile says:

    This a tweet repeated on the BBC website:

    Fred Groom: If Walcott never ever ever crossed the ball again, he’d be world class.

  162. Tottenham Tony. says:

    FPMSL….

    Going down, going down, going down.

    Reality is. You have had your day.

    Hate it don’t you?. Well fucking suffer.

    In a world with 6 millions “Arses”. There is only one Hotspur.

    There is only team from North London. Any others are imposters.

    COYS

  163. Gooner In Exile says:

    Tony, back in the shadow now please, far too much daylight for you today.

  164. I think Tony T is a gooner trolling the Spuds to make them look idiotic – good work gooner !

  165. neamman says:

    I would like to win at least one cup just to shut up the stupid spuds.

  166. 26may1989 says:

    I see LB rumbled my bet challenge!

  167. colm doyle says:

    well said tony, dawn of the super spur. our reign will last a thousand years, best of luck with your championship panel goners. not

  168. johnnie nyc says:

    im still waiting for a nice surprise transfer, but for sure feel like we could end up with nothing—
    …but terrible job by the club not doing any business (in) yet… injuries or not, we have a large extra burden of CL qualifying, that is only on us, not any of our rivals, and a team full of international players who are busy this week also.
    if it were doctors they would call it malpractice.
    unless we get two good surprises :-) then all would be forgiven

  169. Rasp says:

    The totts have signed Etienne Capoue, a strong DM for £9m and a good player – that’s 4 nil to them in the transfer market.

    Their summer spending is now over £50m, not bad when they’re building a stadium, it must mean the Bale deal is imminent.

    I understand those who say we are stronger now without buying but those around us have strengthened by bringing in first team quality players.

  170. 26may1989 says:

    Ok, so rasp, RA and I think Jamie accepted my bet.

    I’m disappearing off on hols today, back after the bank holiday. I’ll check in then. Hopefully, a state of calm and serenity will prevail…… :)

  171. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    I have no expectation as to if we will buy or not but it is universally agreed that we have a basis of a strong and settled squad but need at least 2 players to supplement our paper thin squad.
    AW must know that and even allowing for protracted negotiations it’s a shame we haven’t secured anyone of note with the season only two days away.

    On a personal note my wife fell whilst walking the dogs Tuesday night, and has cracked her shoulder in two places and a bone in her arm.I am pretty useless in helping due to my condition and she is in extreme pain but the specialist has told her to rest for 3 weeks and then he will evaluate if she needs an op. With 3 dogs living in an apartment this is a huge problem and unfortunately I have to go to hospital yet again for more tests.

    Isn’t life grand.

  172. Shard says:

    Good morning Rasp

    I must admit to feeling a little dismayed that Capoue has gone to Tottenham. That’s quite an upgrade from Huddlestone. But if we didn’t get Capoue, it has to be because Wenger didn’t want him. We’ve had plenty of opportunity to buy him over the last few years, and obviously the price wasn’t an issue here. Either that means we have someone better lined up, or (and I think this is very possible) Wenger doesn’t want to buy a midfielder.

  173. Shard says:

    My sympathies and best wishes Kelsey.

  174. Rasp says:

    Morning kelsey, so sorry to hear of your continuing woes, let us know if there is anything we can do to help

  175. Rasp says:

    Morning Shard, yes we’ve been linked with Capoue many times in recent years- I hope your conclusion is correct….but when?

  176. Gooner In Exile says:

    I could think of another word Kelsey….

  177. evonne says:

    Kelsey – sorry to hear about your problems :( I know a woman that takes dogs in, £25 a day. It’s expensive, but she is marvelous. My dogs never want to come home from hers

  178. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. Please wish your wife a speedy recovery and best of luck with the hospital tests.

  179. Shard says:

    Rasp

    Which conclusion? :)

    I guess after we qualify for the CL. Or we fail to qualify for it. So August 28th-Sep2nd. That is when we’ll buy whoever we buy.

  180. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. For 3 dogs that is over£450 a week!

  181. Red Arse says:

    Morning everyone, and especially you, Kelsey. :-)

    I am sorry to hear about your wife’s accident, and your continuing ill health, Kelsey. :-(

  182. Gooner In Exile says:

    Shard, that is probably the issue, the players we want probably want Champions League guarantees, the players signed by Spuds are not in the CL, in fact there is probably an element of needing to pay bigger salaries when you’re not in the CL, as playing in the competition brings more endorsers that the player can boost their income with.

  183. Shard says:

    GIE

    Last season we faced no qualifier because we’d finished 3rd, and conducted our business fairly early. It’s generally discounted but it must play a role in signing players (and not just in terms of the money the club is prepared to pay) The season before that would Arteta and Mertesacker have joined us if we didn’t have CL? Would they have joined us earlier if it was confirmed? Who knows, but if we go by the last 2 seasons at least (can’t remember further back than that) then it seems we end up buying players only once we’re assured of CL football.

  184. evonne says:

    Raddy – no it isn’t. It is £525 + food :)

  185. LB says:

    It also follows that with the CL you definitely know you need a bigger squad but without it, not so much.

    So it sort of makes sense to allow qualification of the CL to determine just how far and just how forcefully you are prepared to push the boat out.

  186. Big Raddy says:

    Can the dogs be freighted over to DK? For that much money I will throw in the food ….

  187. evonne says:

    it would be easier if you could come over :) I will throw in your food :)

  188. Morning all

    A real silly season post today ……….. New Post ……………

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