‘When will they ever learn …………’

Back in the sixties, when the post war hard times were finally giving way to the Carnaby Street generation’s excesses, professional footballers whilst sheltering under the jutting chin of Jimmy Hill (the most famous linesman I ever saw at the home of football) were using George Eastham to fight for and win, the abolishment of the maximum wage.

Over at jolly old Fulham, Johnny Haynes the undoubted pass master of his generation, was immediately given a rise to £100 a week. Causing the workingman to write to the papers saying it was a joke. Probably because the Fulham chairman at the time, Tommy Trindler, was a famous stand up comedian.

This was in the pre-lottery days, when the get rich quick dream was the football pools, a penny a line, pick 8 draws and £100,000 could be yours, along came a young woman called Viv Nicholson. She won £150,000 about 5 million in today’s money. On receiving her cheque she said I am going to Spend, Spend, Spend. Which she did and of course ended up broke and an alcoholic

In those far off far off days all clubs had their local luminary for a chairman, butchers in the case of Man Utd and Burnley, Businessmen, Lord Mayors and Bishops of London in the case of the snooty Arsenal mob. Don’t know what it was at the spuds probably a cabby.

They were generally benefactors keen to be seen to be putting money in. No one knew what he or she took out. Many was the time in the standing years, at Arsenals big games and derbies, a crowd figure would be put over the PA and we jammed like Sardines in a can and unable to move, would be reduced to helpless laughter at the sheer audacity of the adjusted size of the numbers quoted.

Even so clubs pottered along staying above the breadline, wages rose gradually as did entrance prices, the clubs with the exception of the Arsenal rotated among the divisions, with several clubs having periods of dominance and all was well in the footy world.

Football violence and tragedies such as Hillsborough in 1989 put an end to this cosy world.  The government cracked down demanding all seater stadiums by 1994 and this following the establishing of the Premiership in 1992, with the resultant TV deals changed the football world forever.

Now the football world has gone quite mad, it reminds me more each day of Viv Nicholson and her famous quote.  Portsmouth today, Leeds yesterday and god knows who tomorrow have gone into administration a polite word for bust. The heady smell of promised success has caused successful businessmen to take leave of their senses. Casually mortgaging and spending not only the clubs future season ticket revenue, but also tomorrows TV money, before it even reaches the clubs current account, buying players, paying exorbitant transfer fees and salaries they cant afford in the headlong rush to win something and answer the constant demands of the fans.

Alternatively there are Man U and Liverpool, no longer local clubs but owned by Americans, who having borrowed the money to buy the club, then consigned the debt and its crippling interest payments to the club. Whilst at the same time extracting consultancy fees, dividends and commissions to further add to the debt. The fans worried now beyond winning things, demand the return of their club, less these uncaring people let it go broke. Should they do so, the Clubs position would be no different to Portsmouth, just bigger numbers.

In the middle of this mayhem is the Arsenal, financially stable in the care of a board who neither seek or pay dividends and manage a debt acquired by building our new stadium, that is covered by the revenue due from the development of residential properties on and around our beautiful former home. This debt will shortly be discharged.

At the same time our urbane manager of 12 years standing, has overseen the creation of a state of the art training centre, scouting, locating and acquiring the cream of the worlds best young players, training them on through all ages and teams right up to the first team to play the Arsenal way, a way that is universally admired by fans of other clubs throughout the world. These young players are brought on to the first team and either retained as our future or if surplus to requirements, bloodied in the Carling cup and sold on for a premium to clubs with lower standards. Thus this operation is also self-funding.

World class players have also been brought when necessary and moulded into the arsenal way to be sold on usually for large profits when the manager feels they are either past their best, or not conducive to team harmony. Interestingly none of the players sold has really gone on to greater things and the vast majority speak with affection of their Arsenal days and the regret they have had at leaving.  All this achieved with a wages policy that avoids the pitfalls mentioned earlier.

So here we stand, stable, secure with a young playing staff that is the envy of the premier league. Should we win our next nine games all of which are with lesser teams we will win the premier league. Should we overcome our next three opponents in the Champions League that trophy too will be ours.

And yet we have a media pack and a hard core of fans that constantly in papers, blogs, on TV and Radio, chat rooms and phone ins continue to berate our club and the wonderful job they have done. Their constant criticism, we have not won anything in the past five years. True we have not.

Portsmouth and United have, would their fans and staff swap with us? Of course they would. Would we swap with them? No way.

When will these so called fans ever learn

By Guest Writer dandan

123 Responses to ‘When will they ever learn …………’

  1. Morning all

    Lots to talk about today from the utterly useless Liverpool to the wonderful footballing tactics of Sam Allardyce and his Blackburn team.

    Todays post is by our Guest Writer dandan – hope you enjoy reading it.

  2. London says:

    Morning All

    That is a very classy post DanDan, a great read sir.

  3. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, good perspective on the comparative positions of our club with others from a longer term perspective there Dandan. I’ve been critical of Wenger’s transfer policy and previous tactical naiveté yet I can’t fault his appreciation of the bigger picture. He’s fortunate in that he isn’t judged on short term criteria to the extent that most other managers are – I hear lazy-eye Carlo is looking over his shoulder at the Chavs place if he fails to land a trophy this year.
    Finally, I thought it was Tommy Trinder – a chap with a chin every bit as idiosyncratic as Jimmy Hill, the songwriter of our anthem of the 70’s and 80’s, “Good old Arsenal”

  4. London says:

    I am going to stray off subject a bit: if you had a choice of either Van Percie or Gallas to return in two weeks time for the reat of the season, which would you chose….I’m still thinking about my answer.

  5. tommystout says:

    i enjoyed the read Dan, i for one am very proud of my team, the stratedgy, the meaning of Arsenal, the standards we set.. we do things the right way. I’m 100% positive about that, and often bewildered by gooners on arsenal blogs that give wenger a hard time and question his actions. AKB…..
    With the TV, Radio & papers and their constant drone, berating and undermining what arsene is trying to do — well, as an arsenal fan you grow to expect it.

  6. Harry Barracuda says:

    Gallas would be my preference. Especially for Birmingham, he owes them one. We can score, but we look dodgy at the back.

  7. tommystout says:

    London – thats an easy one for me… gallas all the way for me! are you having a poll – ? LOL

  8. London says:

    I still think of “Good old Arsenal” as being a very good song. I know it is not sung at the home games but I wondered if it still gets sung at the away games. I don’t go to too many away games now so is there any one who can tell me the answer?

  9. London says:

    Morning tommy and Harry

    That’s two for Gallas so far

  10. Morning London – thats a really tricky question. Funnily enough I did go to sleep thinking about Robins goal against spuds last night – sad I know – the way he nipped in at the near post to squeeze that ball through an impossibly tiny space. Are you sure we can only have one of them 😳

  11. I’m still thinking ………….

  12. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    Excellent well reasoned post dandan, I cannot think of another club in the prem that I would want to swap ‘business models’ with.

    I’d prefer Gallas back because he’ll pretty much be ready to go and our CB options are limited, whereas RVP may not regain his early season form in time to make a difference this campaign.

  13. London says:

    I often go to sleep thinking about Arsenal. Isn’t that normal?

  14. Obviously it is London 🙄

  15. London says:


  16. charybdis1966 says:

    As for the non-poll poll, I’d vote for Gallas purely because we have goals from different sources at the moment but we’re losing centre backs like it’s going out of fashion.
    So no Tommy Trinder fans out there ? Oooh, you lucky people.

  17. tommystout says:

    i think that is the normal yes peaches… however…
    if you then dream arsenal is that just sad??? had one the other night and i was having a kick about with super Nick and AA 🙂

  18. If Robin comes back at least my chocolate legs aren’t wasted as an avatar – no Robin – no Vela 😉

  19. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Great stuff dandan. I taunt the united bloggers on other sites about how they whore themselves from one sugerdaddy to the next. So they are worried about being the PL financial basket case then? Coz if so they put on a brave face to me 😀

  20. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Yes chary I’ve heard of Tommy Trinder, not Trindler.

  21. London says:

    In two of the recent excellent posts both DanDan and BR have mentioned that their fathers supported Tottenham. This is a bit unusual for me but I appreciated the honesty of their stories. On Saturday Benwell swapped his ticket with a friend at club level; he introduced his friend who would be sitting next to us in the Eaglet, apparently the Guinness is excellent there, although, I wouldn’t know a good one from a bad one; anyway, we met his friend, clearly a life long Arsenal season ticket holder who was with his wife, not that uncommon nowadays — or so we thought – all seemed normal until after a couple of minutes she startlingly revealed that she was, in fact, a Tottenham season ticket holder, shocked we asked Benwell’s friend how this worked? He just shrugged his shoulders and said what can you do? We laughed; there was no doubting Benwell’s friend’s credentials, he sang from the beginning to the end of the game. Top man

  22. charybdis1966 says:

    Good one Gnarley, I can just about picture his trilby while he quips in his old time music hall routine fashion – from old re runs obviously.

    There must have been some “chin wags” while hew & Jimmy H were in charge at Fulham. How about Bruce Forsythe as deputy CEO? The Three Chins of Fulham.

  23. London says:

    My choice for the player most needed to return is Gallas, Gallas and then Gallas, in that order.

  24. is a good post dandan takes a while to get through

    i did a similar piece about the highbury harry on my knows site. will post some of the comments i got

  25. “I’m protesting against the lack of jcl support it’s disgraceful can’t get a brief cos too many old school highbury lads still going to the bowl, all the tradition and identity at the emirates it makes me sick. Jcl and proud LOOOOOL”

  26. charybdis1966 says:

    What’s “JCL”, RsD ?

  27. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    chary thats nearly as many chins as there are in the Beijing phone book 😆

  28. jonny come lateley

  29. Nick McDonald says:

    What a brilliant article. How hard it is to look over these points that you make and complain about what we haven’t got. After all, supporting a football club isn’t just for this year or the next, it is for life. I would rather have limited success and know that my club has been with me all the way than have memories of a few years of great success and then no club to support.
    We do it right and I’m proud of that.

  30. Damian says:

    There has been no money its not Wengers way it was the only way in 2000 Wenger spent 50M between the cost of the Emirates & Billionaires a different approach was needed all 20M 21y old players are 3M 16y old you just have to find them and wait as has happened the 1 that really brought this home to Wenger was when he offered 15M for SWP probably about 2 or 3M over his value to make sure he got him & Abromavich payes 25M to make him a reserve so Wenger never got him

  31. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Roger Ramjet used to remind me of Jimmy Hill

    Not to mention the chin of chins

  32. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    What about Gallas as well?

  33. charybdis1966 says:

    Oh yeah Gnarley, I remember when Leno took over from Johnny Carson on the tonight show all the reaction was about the humumgous size of his chin. Roger Ramjet, now that takes me back.
    RsD – I think a significant reason for the lack of atmosphere at the Grove is the number of tourists that attend games, namely visitors to London who are told by tour guides that a game at our place is a must do. When I stand up to start a song/chant or join in one, if I’m the only one in my vicinity doing that people do look round. That’s where having the pre match bottles of Peroni come in handy – I don’t care if people look round.

  34. snitch a gooner cant help tho but speaking to a mate who a steward she says it aint used much but i guess it is a deterent

    personally i cant get comfy in the grove so rolling away will have to do for me.

    booked barca £211

  35. if your interested cbd66
    i can email you the password for mofm site and you can have a read about harry

  36. Rasputin says:

    Welcome Nick, a kindred spirit and very well said. We’ve been looking at what supporting Arsenal means to us in recent articles – see ‘An Arsenal Addict’ from March 16th.

  37. charybdis1966 says:

    It’s weird you should mention that RsD, but where I was for the Burnley game(area 26) I saw 3 coppers come over to eject one of us, presumably after a “snitch a gooner” call/text but after some talking and the people around him defending him “He’s only supporting the team” they let him stay.
    This may be an isolated incident but maybe it’s indicative of a new willingness to allow a bit more atmosphere to build up in the Grove. I like to think so.

  38. there’s something bad in football and it goes back to 89

  39. stanley was just excuse to get rid of BR fan

  40. Rasputin says:


    It’s always a pleasure to have you on here, please don’t take this the wrong way 🙂 but I haven’t got the slightest idea what you’ve been talking about. Maybe I’m thick?

  41. Ok London, I’ve decided, if its only one then it has to be Gallas, Gallas and then Gallas. A footie friend has just texted me to tell me that Messi scored another hat-trick yesterday – do you think we can sneak Sol on to double up with either Gallas or Vermaelen against Messi? No-one would notice would they…….. 😉

  42. Mayank says:

    Oh come on people, you sound like the EPL (or should i say 1st division) going big is a bad thing. For one thing, I don’t think they’d have telecast it here as much if it didn’t. There was nothing wrong with the PL for me until Roman came to the party.

  43. is it you on the site email rasp

  44. Mayank – I think you’re right about Romans adventure into football spoiling things for everyone else. Now, though, we know that there were others waiting in the wings to throw their money at an EPL club.

  45. Rasputin says:

    No RSD, is everything OK?

  46. Mayank says:

    If Romans experiment failed it’d been a lot better for football and maybe clubs would be brought up through the Villa or even Spurs model.
    I’d have Spurs claiming 4th over City. That’ll just encourage more of that sort of thing. I know not many will concur with me on that.

  47. http://bit.ly/aabiCx
    highbury harry’s rant
    i dont agree
    but i knows

  48. Rasputin says:

    Wasn’t Jack Walker ar Blackburn the first ‘super rich’ owner to try to buy trophies? I suppose he wasn’t in the same league as Roman. The money men are here to stay in football, but when times are hard, there will be more businessmen and fewer ego buyers. Either way, I could never want the spuds to be in the CL – that’s for elite clubs only.

  49. if you email the site email you can go deeper in to the worm hole

  50. Mayank says:

    They won’t make it to the CL. 4th placed teams are unseeded.

  51. Rasputin says:

    Good point Mayank, I’d forgotten that change was coming in next year. That would be very sweat – they get 4th but then fail to qualify 😆

    Sorry RSD – you’re still talking in riddles?

  52. dont worry about rasp
    but riddle me this….lol

  53. so have flight and ticket for barca away now

  54. Rasputin says:

    Oh dear, Messi hat-trick last night … 8 goals in 8 days 😦

  55. apparently stato tells me every 36 mins he scores
    did you see his second?

  56. charybdis1966 says:

    It’s ok Raspers – the law of averages dictates he’ll hit a dry patch for the next 3 weeks or so.
    He’ll have worked all his goals out of his system come next Wednesday.

  57. Rasputin says:

    Yes RSD – phenomenal strength as well as superb finishing. It’s in the clip above.

  58. Rasputin says:

    That’s what I love about you chary 😆

  59. London says:

    Wooo that second was good.

  60. London says:

    Do you think they play Nasri’s goal against Porto and go wooo that was good…..I bet they do….be afraid Catalans be very afraid.

  61. charybdis1966 says:

    I’m looking on the upside of his goal glut Raspers, it can’t last.
    After results like Hull, Stoke and the Spammers, I admit “I believe” in our title tilt.

  62. Rasputin says:

    I believe chary 😛

    Do you remember the ‘Brother Lee Love’ sketches on the Kenny Everett TV show? – Arsenal should produce some of those big foam hands for us to wave every time we score.

  63. i think messi is a one of these players who hide’s in the big games he doesn’t look up enough
    watch “peter the rock” aka song will put him shut him up and if he gets past him sol will shove him up his bum.

  64. Rasputin says:

    He doesn’t look up RSD because he’s that good, he always instinctively knows where the goal is -like Rooney. We can beat Barça, but we certainly don’t want to take them lightly.

  65. charybdis1966 says:

    Yeah I do Raspers (I liken Chavski to the starlet sketch, I can imagine JT saying “It’s all done in the best POSSIBLE taste“ while crossing and uncrossing his legs after shagging another one of his team mates wife/girlfriend) but we must give out the hands in pairs, otherwise if they are only flat, singular ones the foam hands will be mistaken for the ones the Septics take to their matches.

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Gallas. No question. WG will be a big miss against Barca.

    DanDan. Super read as always, I love the way you take me back to my youth. Tommy Trinder (I much preferred the lugubrious humpur of Tony Hancock, to the cheeky chappy Trinder).

    I loved George Eastham who was a superb player – there isn’t a like for like player these days as that wing/midfield/inside forward role has disappeared. I guess the nearest would be a DB10 who could tackle.

    I remember all the fuss about €100 a week, it would have been about 4 years pocket money !!

  67. Rasputin says:

    Hi Raddy,

    Has the club said that Gallas definitely won’t be fit for Barça?

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Actually, working it out…… taking a top players wage at €160 k a week, I am worse off comparatively than when I was 9.y.o. !!

  69. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. No, but AW says two weeks, which takes us passed the Barca home game. And surely he won’t be risked without a PL game to warm up

  70. yes everyteam need a player with blinkers on
    but i think he still will get better messi
    thats a scary thought
    i m not taking them lightly it all i can think about but it think we can get 0-0 at home and 0-5 in camp nou 😉

  71. Rasputin says:

    Much as I love him, I wouldn’t want to see Messi up against Sol in a 1 on 1!

    I noticed on saturday, that Sol was getting drawn high up on the pitch chasing the ball. He was successful most of the time, but if they’d had anyone with Diaby’s skill in their side, Sol would have been left high and dry.

  72. Rasputin says:

    If we can keep a clean sheet at home (read tomorrow’s post!), we will be in the driving seat for the second leg.

  73. Livers says:

    Afternoon all, Great post DanDan a marvellous read 🙂

    London, I’d rather RVP. I think we average 1 goal less per game without him……Also we’ve been on a great winning run without Gallas and I’d whack Song at CB for the Barca games

  74. livers stats prove nout
    did you know according to pro logic we never lose when cesc doesnt play
    and when he does we never draw

  75. Livers says:

    Stats prove we score more with RVP…..not only a stat a fact ….RVP or Bendtner hmm, not close is it..

    Gallas or Campbell / Song

    Not that much difference IMHO

  76. and cesc or no cesc?

  77. dandan says:

    Afternoon all, thanks for the interest, sorry I put the extra L in Trinder and yes we are like his catchphrase says “Lucky People”

  78. Real Social Dad http://bit.ly/bHseUB Debbie Phillips Cervical Cancer Research please RT good spot mike

  79. afternoon dandan

  80. Livers says:

    RealSocialDad, obviously ProLogic don’t give accurate stats as Fabregas played at Villa Park in the 0-0 draw

  81. good spot mate stats are only a tool you can use them to prove anything you want just like quotes

  82. London says:

    Hi Livers

    The Boy Wonder is my favourite player but in this case I would go with Gallas. Its a pace thing or in the case of Sol the lack of it.

  83. more stats but sol is clocked as our 2nd fastest player
    apparently 22 mph
    must have been over 1 yard

  84. the world is going arsenal v barca mad!!

    can you imagine the build up on the day of the game?

    personally think there should be a national half-day holiday on the 31st.

    every man and his dog will be watching the game, reckon ITV will get a record audience.

  85. it is rocky rememberance day SFH so defo should be national holiday

  86. Rasputin says:

    Hi guys, I have a post going up tomorrow that could spark some ‘heated debate’ – so it would be good if you are around 🙄

  87. wow, yes RSD, forget about that

    OMG.. the emirates is going to be on fire that night

    an atmosphere that beat that famous last gasp utd 2-1 win

    that was utter chaos

  88. charybdis1966 says:

    Raspers, methinks you’re preparing an incendiary post. I’d put the devil emoticon here if I knew it/could be bothered to learn how to do it.

  89. nah im off rasp lol

  90. London says:

    Heated debate, moi?

  91. im rolling away so no home time for me but camp nou will be nice

  92. i have a rocky rememberance piece all done and dusted if anyone wants to simo post by the way is revisionist…

  93. Rasputin says:

    Thanks fellas 😆

  94. Rasputin says:

    Not so much an incendiary chary, just a topic that polarises opinion I think. I’m hoping bloggers can debate the subject without attacking other sites!

  95. lol, i am going to savour this one, rasp 😆

    i wonder what it could be about

  96. Big Raddy says:

    RsD. What does “simo post btw is revisionist” mean?

    The AFC v Barca game is THE game of the season (unless there is a repeat of last years final). Of course the media are going nuts.

    We are the Young Pretenders to the Crown.

  97. forget the media, BR

    every tom, dick and abdul is going on about it, even those who hate football.

  98. Big Raddy says:

    Tomorrows post is sure to be more interesting than today’s cricket.

    I hate teams that play safe – sport is an entertainment, and 250 runs in a day against a very mediocre Bangla attack is poor fare indeed.

    BTW. Apart from SH’s tip, I had a terrible Cheltenham ( as per normal)

  99. Big Raddy says:

    t is even front page here. Billed as NB v Messi 🙂

    Another case of Nationalistic pride overcoming reality!

  100. simo post is that it will be on my blog anyway but i dont do nn cos of……..

    and revisionist is a marx term
    but is hyperbowl revisionism that the media give us day in and out. re worded quotes

  101. charybdis1966 says:

    Oh right Raspers – I’d had one forming in my mind along the lines of “ Why “Sir” Alex Fungus is a fraud” or “Mank glory-hunters- United ? Over-rated, definitely” – both of those would have been rants close to my heart. I may write those one day if I wasn’t so dam lazy.

  102. why even watch a test against bangla have they even got a test team jesus
    dont think i’ll both till over xmas for england anyway

  103. Rasputin says:

    Let me have one of those rants for friday chary – I’ve already got mine lined up 👿

  104. charybdis1966 says:

    I don’t know Raspers, it may not fit into the format of a short post. I’d take a larger canvas to explain myself, hence my laziness in starting such a rant that would be Brucknerian in scale.

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks for the explanation RsD.

    Get on the keyboard Chary. Your post would have me laughing for a week. You have a remarkable use of language when referring to Our Friends from the North 🙂

  106. charybdis1966 says:

    I will do it one day Radders, and you’re right mention of the Manskummers is some tonic for my invective inspired writing.

  107. just cos its getting close

    oh rocky rocky..

  108. dandan says:

    Ian whatmore has resigned as the chief exec. of the FA.
    What price DD for the Job now.

  109. Big Raddy says:

    Fair bet DanDan.

    Not having a job must have been difficult for him, though working his way through the €70m+ must take time 😉

  110. dandan says:

    Just heard Harry Carpenter has died he was an original, suppose that leaves just Murray Walker and David Coleman of the originals.

    Life is very short

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Carpe diem DanDan. It is the only way to live…..

  112. Raddy – I love the idea that the whole of Denmark will be cheering for the Arsenal because of Nik 😛

  113. trust me peaches the whole of sweden aint and that includes the arsenal swedish supporters club.

  114. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Stan Collymore has tipped The Arsenal to be Champions on Talkshite. I heard him say it 😯

  115. Big Raddy says:


    Whilst being unable to speak for the whole of Denmark, I can represent a common view & that is that no-one gives a monkey’s cuss what the Swede’s think !!

  116. I dont speak for the whole sweden as i only defected here 6 months ago but…..
    and your ……………

  117. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Gee skandi expats having a Viking spat 😆

  118. apparently the war still raging.
    fer de der de…..

  119. Alfa says:


    good article and I agree with the sentiment – Arsenal are the best run club in the EPL and have been for ever. Man U are in a disastrous situation as are Liverpool that will only be resolved when they get bought out.

    I just don’t think we should accept that everything that the board or even Arsene does is for the best, without questioning it.

    For instance, take Barcelona. They made a smaller profit than us last year but still healthy at about £15m. They are forecasting that to be up to £20m this year. They are just as financially stable as we are, and have more cash in the bank than we do. Yet they won six trophies last season.

    Are we about to enter the same golden period as our youngsters mature? Or, in order to keep the financial stability, are we going to carry on selling as we have done (and as you pointed out)?

  120. Alfa says:

    And by the way, Barcelona can afford to give a percentage of their gate receipts to their charitable foundation (like Arsenal in the Community) and give away their shirt sponsorship to UNICEF.

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