Winning isn’t everything

Posted by dandan

It puzzles me to see the number of Doomers and Gooners who inhabit the blogosphere including this site occasionally. Wailing and pouring vitriol over any one, who dares to suggest that five years without a trophy is purely a natural pause in the circle of life of a top premiership club.

Now of course, many will leap on me crying idiot, top is top, how can you be a top club if you don’t win things. Easy; when the club down the road celebrates and does laps of honour on finishing below us in the league whilst “winning” the chance to qualify for a competition we have participated in for the past dozen years you know someone has got their priorities wrong.

Winning isn’t always about coming first. If it was 35,000 people wouldn’t run in the London marathon every year when only one can come first’ Ok there are several races in one so you can have perhaps three winners, but the point remains the same, winning isn’t every thing, there are many victories in that race.

For clubs like Arsenal winning is a burden, an expectation that is based on the fact that we have won before. Every year 20 clubs set out to win the Premier League, but in the 18 years of its lifetime 43 clubs have tried, but only 4, Man Utd, Arsenal Chelsea and Blackburn have ever won it. Note, that Liverpool is not among those illustrious few, although in the old first division they won no less than 18 titles.

Consider that, no premier league title ever for an undoubtedly top side. There I go again, a top side I say and they have never won the premier league. But travel the world as I have and what do you see, youngsters wherever you go wearing football shirts, Man Utd usually with a 7 on, Arsenal 10 or 14, Chelsea they go for 9, Real Madrid, Barcelona and surprise surprise, Liverpool 8.

Now I have met and chatted to people wearing these shirts all over Africa, in North and South America, even on Islands in the remote reaches of the oceans from St Helena to the Falkland Islands and Christmas Island to Fiji and Tahiti and many more. These guys can name the squad and quote enough statistics to make any anorak happy. So winning is also being known all round the world, building a fan base that can finance and refinance the club over and over again.

Winning isn’t short term. Winning is taking your turn with the rest of the elite and being there or there about’s enough to guarantee a large slice of the available TV coverage because that is how the fans worldwide get to know your club, until your boat comes in and you return to winning ways.

Liverpool have of course won the European Cup in 2005 and the FA cup in 2006 but would give their right arm for the league trophy and yet, do you hear the their fans abusing the manager the way that some of our fans do. If Rafa worked at the Emirates IMHO he would have been hung from the crossbar by now.

Arsenal are by any criteria, save the narrow one of current silverware , winners. Playing a brand of football that is beautiful to watch. They remain solvent and are fast approaching debt free. They will soon own their superb new stadium to go with the state of the art training complex and an academy filled with many of the world’s finest youngsters.

If the board are to be believed, this season a war chest is available to the manager, enough to finance the  purchase of the final players to turn this  team of potential  into the pot winners that so many crave.

168 Responses to Winning isn’t everything

  1. Rasputin says:

    Morning dandan,

    A brave post! 😉

    I agree with your assessment that the club has been and remains very successful.

    I think the argument you make is fine as long as it is a mindset held only by management, BUT the psyche you describe should never infiltrate the players.

    Football is a game. You play the game to win. If you win enough games, you win trophies. We need a team full of winners – be it the 50/50 tackle or the premiership. Every player that takes to the pitch in an Arsenal shirt should be thinking only that they must give their all in order to win the game.

    I’d hope that none of them think that losing is not so bad because the club is stable, we’re doing OK and I’m guaranteed to get my pay at the end of the month.

  2. Evo in Oz says:

    great post!

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Fine post DanDan. Great to read something positive. Particularly enjoyed your point about the Spuds and what an every season occurrence for us means to them.

    Much to ponder in your post that we can come back to during the coming days.

    Rasp. The hunger to win is endemic in the club. Check out the records of all the AFC teams up to the first team, their record is incredible. These lads are brought up on success at every level.

    And this is their careers., which is why I get so annoyed when people write that players do not try e.g. To say that Denilson who is at the start of his career does not put in effort is ludicrous – he wants to be the best footballer he can so that he can have the life he dreams of. Any lack of effort and he would be shown the door, as he should be. Lack of concentration , yes, but effort, no. (Sorry ….. but I have a bee in my bonnet ……. what a lovely expression)

  4. Rasputin says:

    Morning Evo,

    Hussey’s a winner isn’t he? – an awesome performance, Pakistan thought they’d won with 3 overs to go.

  5. TopCat says:

    Sorry you lost me after the headline. The reason why Wenger gets away with it is because of apologists and losers. People like you. Attack me which you no doubt will but also be aware that I will never be on this site again.

  6. Mustang says:

    Dandan morning, 
    yes winning isn’t everything but it is the manner of “not winning” that riles even the most loyal fan. The way we surrender to other teams, the way we show no bottle for a scrap, the way mediocre players are praised and rewarded, the way both the club and AW sell us countless spin, the way the club treats the FA cup as sone sort of a mock competition, the lack of passion from the players who show no understanding of what it means to player for the shirt. This is THE ARSENAL!! If the players give their all, their effort, show passion and we still don’t win anything the I’d agree that winning isn’t everything. But rather we would all praise their efforts and commitment, and that is what it is about.

  7. Evo in Oz says:

    Yep Hussey of old in that last over!

    Hasnt done that well in tests over the last year or so, but he is always dangerous and thats what makes him a ripper!

  8. Rasputin says:

    TopCat,

    If you’re still reading, you are not being attacked.

    We are offering you an open forum to state your views. If your opinion differs from the tone of the post, you’re perspective will be respected and others will no doubt agree with you – we only offer healthy debate, not abuse.

  9. I agree with rasp, the messages that have come out that finishing third is a good result for this season are completely wrong in my view. It lets the players think that the board are happy with us not winning anything IMO.

    The collapse against Wigan showed me that the group of players that were in that team didn’t have the desire to hold on to the lead or the fighting spirit to stay in the game.

    Go on slaughter me for that but its how I saw it 😦

  10. dandan says:

    Morning TC I have been called many things in my lifetime, but a loser is a new one, No We wont attack you unless you constitute disagreement as an attack, you are welcome here and your opinion is as valid as the next one as long as it does not become personal.

  11. TH14 says:

    Discontent is rife as the weaknesses are the same each year and not enough is ever done to address these. Every season we always are short in the critical areas of the team, GK, CB and DM. I love the way Arsene has transformed Arsenal but starting this season with the same failings will surely mean another fuitless season. I really hope Arsene buys the players we need and moves on some that have had their chance but not delivered.

  12. Leon says:

    Though remaining solvent is very important – you only have to look at Portsmouth and Liverpool to see what happens if you don’t manage the finances of the club I believe it has become an obsession at Arsenal. The bank balance has taken priority over winning on the football pitch and we finish nowhere yet again. All Arsenal can claim to be is a well run business and that is all – to the paying punter who pays the most ludicrous ticket prices in the world they don’t want to read that winning isn’t everything and that 3rd us acceptable because it isn’t. It’s time to show a little ambition and spend some money on key world class players and at compete because if he doesn’t then it will prove without doubt that the whole point of the new stadium was to line the pockets of the board – we know that anyway.

  13. RockyLives says:

    What are you afraid of TopCat? Stay and debate?

  14. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for a good post Dandan. It’s refreshing to be offered some perspective:
    “When the club down the road celebrates and does laps of honour on finishing below us in the league whilst “winning” the chance to qualify for a competition we have participated in for the past dozen years you know someone has got their priorities wrong”.
    You, me, Arsene, the players, every Gooner – we all want to win the big prizes. But to think we have a right to win them is living in cloud cuckoo land.
    At the risk of being a stuck record, we have had to cope with fewer resources because of the stadium debt but this year we have money to strengthen and Arsene WILL significantly add to the team.

  15. Good points TH14 and Leon

    I’ve spent a few years saying that winning isn’t everything, the football we play is out of this world and trophies will come. Sometimes luck isn’t on our side – our injuries this season have been exhausting and often referees have made poor decisions or not protected our players but the title was ours (and the mancs) to lose and we lost it.

    Does that make me feel better – no it doesn’t because the fight went out of the team. The teams crowning glory this season and the point at which they stopped fighting was coming back from 2 down against Barcelona. After that they gave up.

  16. Ice says:

    Rubbish!

    Why are we here if we don’t want the team to win? Why shouldn’t people be disappointed with failure.

    You are right about one thing though. Expctation is based on the fact we’ve won before. We’re capable of it which is why it is so depressing to the team fail year on year.

  17. RockyLives says:

    Ice – who is not disappointed with failure? Certainly not the author of this blog who wsants us to win just as passionately as you do. It’s just a matter of putting it in perspective when we don’t succeed.

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Ice. I don’t think you have got the thrust of the post. Of course the writer wants Arsenal to win. He just points out that his passion for the club is not dependent upon it, which I think is right and just.

    Perhaps you are of the school who believes winning is everything and second is nowhere. There is a growing belief that the destination is all important, whereas some of us enjoy the journey…….

  19. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. There have been reasons for the collapse of our season, most of which have been discussed at length. Take the top 6 players out of any team and they will struggle. To go anywhere and play in the PL (not the CC) with a reserve side and one is looking for a beating.

  20. RockyLives says:

    Peaches – the message about finishing third has been much misconstrued. It does not mean that anyone at the club is satisfied with that outcome. But it is also not something to be entirely sniffed at. It keeps us in automatic CL group stage qualification, which guarantees many millions of pounds, which helps strengthen our arm when we go out to spend this summer. It is a STEPPING STONE.
    The D&Gers deliberately portray the ‘finishing third’ comment as if it’s the summit of Arsene’s ambition, which is clearly baloney.

  21. RockyLives says:

    BR – ditto

  22. dandan says:

    Morning Peaches, finishing third is no mean achievement look at the figures 43 of the 92 league clubs have had a go at the premiership and yet only 4 have won anything.
    It is very likely that a club will go to the wall this year, proof conclusive that stability is more important than winning cups, just look at Portsmouth.
    Of course it would be great to win something no fan worthy of the name would decry that and I believe we will this year, but in my humble opinion for many fans, reflected glory and bragging rights are more important than the security of what is supposed to be their club
    Also to suggest that these players do not fight or try is about as sensible as saying our world cup squads lose cos they only go along for the ride.
    All sides have bad days we got done 5 0 in our first double year. But players are professionals and fighting for their careers,
    Why prejudge what is going to happen the transfer window isn’t even open yet.

  23. Gooner4life&beyond says:

    I didn’t read much of it, but the reality is that no-one at the club should be happy or satisfied. That is the problem, even when we won the double, we should not have been satisfied. You should always want to do more, do better and if you don’t manage it, then fair enough.

    But it is not ok for anyone associated with the club to have this mentality that winning isn’t everything. It is, but it is life that you cannot always win. We’re just unhappy because it’s a long time since we actually really looked like winning anything, if you analyse the last 5 seasons you will see that is true, bar one appearance in the Carling Cup final.

    We may end up 10 years without a trophy, fair enough, but we shouldn’t just sit back and say it’s ok. We will always love and support the club, but you have to moan and complain a bit when things aren’t going right. Just wouldn’t be the same. Arsenal for every cup going, we deserve them. Lol.

  24. Gooner4life&beyond says:

    Damn, what a long post. Was not my intention.

  25. Mustang says:

    I think some of you are missing the point. The attitude of the club can be seen in the team selection during the cup games the constant reminder from Wenger that we have consistently qualified for the CL, not a bad feat I admit. But rewind season before last when it looked like we would be out of top 4, they bought AA and his addition pushed us into CL place. That gave an impression that the club is willing to invest to maitain a CL spot, why not give the extra push to win a trophy?

  26. Big Raddy says:

    DD. 11.28. You are a treasure.

  27. Empress says:

    I would kiss you if I could.

  28. Rocky and dandan – my point is that we were still competing with 5 games to go, even with all our injuries we’d clawed ourselves back into the title race. It was a three-horse race at that stage and maybe the loss of Cesc was the final straw but it shouldn’t have been. The team had played without Cesc and won without Cesc during the season. Robin was back and Sol was trying to drive everyone forward with his passion.

    The collapse was sickening.

    The bottle went IMO and thats very hard to stomach.

  29. dandan says:

    Bloody hell glad the wife is out shopping LOL

  30. Its that cheeky grin that does it 😆

  31. Rasputin says:

    Welcome G4L,

    I think I echoed most of your points in my first comment of the day, but I also agree with dandan’s view – I don’t think the two ‘attitudes’ have to be exclusive.

  32. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    😯 evo

    If Australia plays that badly again, they should win 😆

  33. Colonel Mustard says:

    It not winning, its making the same mistakes year after year for the past 5 years. Its persisting with a failed policy with average player who dont give a toss or are’nt good enough….yes im looking at you Nasri, Diaby, Denilson, Almunia etc…

  34. Rasputin says:

    In terms of kudos = marketing revenue = success, we will fall behind next season if we don’t ‘give the impression’ of trying to buy some top players and win a trophy.

    This means that both sides of the football/business argument should be in agreement that next season we must show greater intent to win something, starting with reinforcing the squad significantly.

  35. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Speaking of:

    Easy; when the club down the road celebrates and does laps of honour on finishing below us in the league whilst “winning” the chance to qualify for a competition we have participated in for the past dozen years you know someone has got their priorities wrong.

    Bit like if England & Wales win the 20/20 World Cup. They are spuds & we are The Arsenal

  36. RockyLives says:

    Peaches, the end of season collapse was utterly depressing, not least because it seemed to highlight a lack of moral fibre in the squad. When we have our first team out I think we do have that moral fibre, so maybe AW has learnt something about the type of player he needs to bring in (ie, that they need character as much as they need technical ability). I think his comments indicate that he has identified this problem and will deal with it.

  37. Leon says:

    Premiership football is all about winning and nothing else otherwise is becomes nothing more than a friendly kick about in the park – the trouble we have at Arsenal is that we have a manager who has never had any pressure to succeed placed on him and a myopic set of supporters clinging onto past glories and who revere him like he was god himself. That is why it has been five years of no success and that is why it will be another five years if he stays. Look at the most successful teams – Man Utd – Chelsea – Barcelona etc would Wenger have lasted that long at these clubs ? I think not and for good reason – they think of what’s best for the club and not the manager sorry but it’s true.

  38. Rasputin says:

    Hi gg,

    Are you preparing your excuses for when England (with their 2 South Africans and Irishman) whip your asses in the T20 final 😆

  39. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    England & Wales = Spuds
    Australia = The Arsenal

    This must be potentially a big chance for Blighty (spuds) to get one over us (The Arsenal).

  40. Rasputin says:

    Nah GG

    Australia = Blackburn, England = Arsenal 😳

  41. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Ras

    Will your Queen declare a national holiday if you do whip our arses 😆

  42. Rasputin says:

    The league places don’t lie. We have been 3rd or 4th best for 5 years – and in the meantime we’ve built and pretty much paid off a stadium that hopefully will be used for the WC in 2018 except some t**t with cheese in his name and sawdust in his head seems to have blown it singlehanded.

  43. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Oh so Blackburn are very sucessful then 😉

  44. RockyLives says:

    Leon
    Wenger is the most successful manager in the PL with the exception of Old Rednose.
    Read the posts above: he has managed for the last five year under great financial limitations, during which time Arsenal have spent less than zero on new signings (net). He has kept us in the CL every year and in two different seasons we have been competitive for the Title for most of the season. No other coach could have pulled that off.
    Now the worst debts are gone and the cash from the Emms is starting to flow and we will really see the Wenger project coming to fruition.

  45. Rasputin says:

    She’s your queen too gg …. I’ve already pre-ordered the DVD …… I’ll just remind you that we won the rugby WC over there too 😆

    What am I saying? If I had to put dandan’s house on it I’d back you lot to win (as usual 😦 )

  46. Rasputin says:

    gg, could be a good day for you aussies, Webber is in pole for the Grand Prix and at Monaco it’s almost impossible to overtake.

  47. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Ras

    Seeing the look on all those cocky Pakistanis @ the end of the semi, priceless. That was our victory. You go ahead & give us a good whipping. Be our guest, after all winning isn’t everything 😆

  48. Rasputin says:

    The analogy with Blackburn was related to the brutality of the way in which Hussey clubbed the ball in the last over.

    I felt sorry for Pakistan because they’d put up a very good target and their bowler let them down in the last over. All he needed to do was to bowl straight, wicket to wicket and at the feet of the batsman.

  49. Rocky I hope you’re right about AW identifying the lack of moral fibre in some of our players and seeking to rectify that.

    I always want us to win everything and accept that obviously its not likely, but we were so close, against all the odds and just didn’t know how to battle until the end 😦

  50. But I’ll cheer up enormously if we buy Buffon 😆

  51. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Ras

    England & Wales seem like a well prepared unit & may win this Cup. But to be honest it hasn’t captured the imagination of Australians. Its only being shown on Pay TV, & receiving as much coverage as IPL, which is next to nothing.

    We have bigger fish to fry starting in November. It’s not going to be a very pleasant welacome waiting for your tourists then, let me tell you 😈

  52. Rasputin says:

    Back to the post…..

    ….. I think we need to show greater ambition, and the first and best way we can do that is to own up to our failings (AW has already admitted it’s the defence) and then do something about it by replacing players who can’t cut it.

  53. dandan says:

    GG9 Now when you talk about the Ashes, then winning is everything and we will, prepare for your media to do a Wenger on Ponting, you see there is some justice in this world LOL

  54. irishgunner says:

    Next year we WILL win a trophy. FACT!! Start dusting down the cabinet….

  55. Danish Gooner says:

    Are you Wenger in disguise ??

  56. Phillip says:

    This is the best blog article about Arsenal I have read since … well the best I have ever read, probably. I have recently stopped reading all these blogs, simply because as a lifelong Arsenal fan I have come to loathe many of the so-called ‘supporters’ of Arsenal. To me they seem like childish, stupid little glory hunters who can’t see the big picture and can’t appreciate the fantastic work AW has done – and IS STILL DOING – with this great club. We can’t spend billions like Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and the likes, but still we are very much a top club – proved by the fact that we year after year qualify not only for the CL, but actually reach the knock-out stages of that tournament. The trophies will come – just let AW work his magic with the limited funds he has available. Our players are young and improve in leaps and bounds – just look at how Song improved from last season to this season. I wish people would have a modicum of patience.

  57. irishgunner says:

    Well Phillip I hope you come back here again – every viewpoint is welcome on this blog and if you want to get something off your chest your more than welcome to write some posts.

  58. 7masters says:

    Dandan@

    You have a points but these the same thing Wenger has done to their players and it the same thing board has done to the manager. Namely rewarding a failures and it his seeped into their blood and Wigan game was an example.

    Most don’t care if Arsen never won for another decade but at least they shod effort not only the players but include both the manager and the board. They should address lack if squad depth and sign players they can afford at least, their fear of failure is worth than never trying to win. So many qualities players are available if the money is tight etc Stoke city Goalie Sorensen and others.

    It does not matter if the fail at least effort would have been made, I remember when I pass supported Arsenal in 80s we never won anything except milk cup funny thinks it was the league but they where joy to watch. Few good players came through etc David Rocastle and they signed more players some never made but by end of 1989 we dethroned Pool and they never recovered from it.

    Then United dominated while we started to challenge properly once Wenger came won double, few fa cups and numerous times we finished second sometimes by a single points. Then came the invisible seasons and. In 2005 we won FA cup despite united outplaying us completely. Viera went and emirates stadium started building process.

    We then lose Champion League to Barca unluckily, by now Wenger started to completely overhaul the team buying younger players. So mistakes went on with no one questioning his decisions.

    Then after almost going close to winning the team blew it again and again, then came out with line money not being availae fare enough but then he contrdict himself in press. Put it these way down the line people are angry not due to lack of trophy but lies geing peddled by Arsenal Ltd, including the manager who has become more isolated After David dein.

    All we are asking for it simple make effort, truth, sign players to cover problem areas, stop rewarding failures and mistakes,keep experienced players until they are replaced properly,stop selling players to bigger teams unless you found Replacement, sell tickets to real fans not corporate busybodies,take all competitions seriously,sort out the medical team,stop the manager interfering in aspect of the club and let him just do his job as we hired him for, stop him talking about other aspect of the club etc Finance.

    Hire new backroom team suitable for the job etc assistant manager who can help him instead of pat rice. Most of all no more lies

    Just a effort would be good enough at least you can say you tried your best instead making excuses after excuses and whinging like. fool.

    That a dandan winning is not all but only the elite athlete are accepted to win marathon not the 35000, if the elite Athlete fail to make effort despite leading the race towards the end then something us wrong etc training diet etc so he would address his weakness for next marathon instead of pocketing small turning up money. He is expected to make effort to win.

    Arsenal Are prestige club and players need to know that or they are simply not good enough. Full stop

  59. Big Raddy says:

    Here it is again! The “they make no effort” argument. It is clearly rubbish.

    Apart from the last 10 minutes at Wigan, give me an example of a player being lazy. Not an example of lack of concentration like Denilson not tracking back (just the once), but a lack of effort.

    Show me when a player didn’t chase a ball, jump for a header, try and tackle. I think you are writing of a players lack of ability, in which case call a spade a spade.

    If you think an individual isn’t trying, rather than generalising, name him. Then we can have a valid discussion.

  60. Gooner4life&beyond says:

    Hi Ras, thanks for the reply. I agree with you that the two attitudes are not exclusive. Unlike some, I have no problem with Arsenal not having picked up a trophy, it’s just the way certain things have happened and things that have been said.

    Arsene Wenger can bring us glory again, and he doesn’t have to spend mega money to do it, neither would I suggest that he should. But he does have to change a bit, if he can (or it’ll be bye bye). It’s mostly the annual capitulation of our challenges that I just can’t take.

  61. Gooner4life&beyond says:

    Big Raddy, do you watch Diaby, Nasri and Denilson? I have to disagree about tracking back, the players are not blind or busy brewing a cuppa, they can see when the opposing team is countering. Not tracking back or tracking back, but not getting stuck in is a lack of effort and commitment. Something all three of them have been guilty of. Diaby being the absolute worst.

  62. dandan says:

    7master. I am pleased you have supported Arsenal since the 80’s. I can go back to 1950 so am able to remember all the things you list.
    17 years standing on the terraces before that wonderful fairs cup night have put the past 5 years into perspective for me.
    I accept the world has changed and the “want it now society” has held sway since the digital revolution, but you only have to watch the news on a daily basis and you can see the tragedy of where that has led the world.
    Arsenals triumph is that Arsene and the board have resisted the urge to join the instant game, but instead have applied the values of prudence and good financial management to the club whilst maintaining a hold on the top four of the premier league our players with one or two exceptions, are not the world stars of today, but they may well be of the future.
    You berate the club from top to bottom, decry the corporates who’s cash has built the stadium that is our crowning glory, the staff that have organised the production line of young talent and the players who despite many injuries have kept the Arsenal name in the top 4 of the league for all of Wengers reign.
    My point for the marathon was that not only the elite are the winners.
    You are entitled to your opinion which we respect and are pleased you choose to air it here But in truth the doomers and whingers remind me of an old saying “Common sense today is less common than it used to be”

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Fairplay G4L. That is your opinion. I disagreee that they lack effort. Apart from the MU trackback I would say that Denilson is an incredibly hard worker – it is his job! Nasri seems to me to be all over the pitch, same with Diaby.

    Now if you were to mention Arshavin, …… 🙂

    However, I would agree that they lack fight.

  64. irishgunner says:

    Nasri normally does his fair share of getting stuck in. I don’t think Denilson is a “getting stuck in” type of player – he more intercepts or tries to read a pass as opposed to Song who tries to go through man and ball.

  65. Mayank says:

    On the commitment thing, I think it’s more about the lack of experience and getting carried away attacking than not caring.
    If they didn’t care why would they spend energy in attack. That drains you more since you’re moving faster than the defenders.

    Thing is, most of the players in MF for top teams don’t really relish a tackle except the DM of course. But most of the experienced ones are better at disciplining themselves and also sensing danger.

  66. Rasputin says:

    Thanks G4L,

    I agree that 3 carefully selected players in the £10-15m bracket and a season minus the excessive injuries, would be enough to put us in contention.

  67. Rasputin says:

    ….. plus Chamakh on a free …..

  68. 7masters says:

    Guys

    Don’t get me wrong it only take three or three players to destabise the team. Dandan collective effort and dignity in playing for your team is hardly instant culture. Look at Vermalean despite even conceding soft goals some not his faults he makes everyone happy me included.

    So Randy please rewind back to whole seasons and you would notice how many soft goals including the worse from Aluminia, Fabianski you guys are mixings things up. Not all Arsenal players are bad but few dead weights are dragging everyone down including Diaby, Denilson ( who played great game against barca and maybe Spanish football suits fine) then calamities goalies, add Wenger baffling tactics seesawing between 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 does not help. It obvious The team is to rigid to change formation when things are nor going their like United do.

    Randy effort is not merely turning up and stroking the ball but rolling your sleeves and getting into the mixes. Lord at these rate we have to many cindrellas who are scared to do hard work.

    In short Arsenal lack goalies,defence,midfield unit Able to play in tight unit and supply ball for strikers it not excarly a rocket science is it?

    Football is fun to watch and you don’t win everytime but at least go Down with dignity instead just lazily rolling your eyes like a kid.

  69. irishgunner says:

    Buffon is going to be more than £10-15mil 😦

  70. Rohan says:

    Great post! I loved but I think as someone said earlier that for the players this season SHOULD be seen as a disappointment. For them, only winning should represent success anything else is failure. Only then will we breed the winning mentality that is a hallmark of all great teams.
    Yes, we’ve done well in the past few years but we’d be lying to ourselves if we’re happy with the last few years..Yes, we’re in a great position but I honestly expected a bit more… Maybe that’s just me..After all the fruits of project youth are only just starting to be reaped. The next 5 years imo will be the most important in Arsenal’s history.

  71. Rohan says:

    Yeah I don’t understand the Nasri hate either…Yes he hasn’t performed as well as we would have lacked..maybe delivered is a better word… However he does work reasonably hard imo and has provided us with a few moments of absolute quality…He’ll make it imo..Next season will be his arrival.
    Same with Rosicky. We’ll see the Rosicky of old..This season was just him getting acclimatized again…

  72. Rasputin says:

    Hi Irish,

    Buffon haha, there’s more chance of an Irishman scoring the winning runs in the T20 final for England …. 😳

  73. irishgunner says:

    Rosicky played more than I expected him to this season and I think it took its told on the second half of the season because he was quite good up until Christmas.

  74. Rohan says:

    Wasn’t he more or less injured before Christmas with little niggles.? I’d say it’s the period just after Christmas in January and the first half of Feb where he was at his best scoring crucial goals against Everton and Bolton.

  75. irishgunner says:

    Rasp – you mention cricket to me and this is my brain activity =

    (vacuum)

    (vacuum)

    (vacuum)

    I get what you mean though 😉 I think 😆

  76. Mayank says:

    Chamakh is going to eat into the budget with his wages and singing on bonus.

  77. irishgunner says:

    Rohan – yeah sorry I should have said after the Christmas period, he was a bit disappointing in the last couple of weeks but he must have been spent, it was a long season for Super Tom.

  78. Mayank says:

    signing on*
    unless of course he is a crooner.

  79. Rohan says:

    Any idea whether Ramsey will be ready to take part in pre-season?

  80. Rasputin says:

    I hope he can sing ‘The Wonder of You’ Mayank 😆

    No, I take your point. I think a new GK and CB are essential, Chamakh is coming = 3, and either back-up/utility midfielder RB to cover for Song/Sagna or a proper winger – I won’t be greedy and hope for both.

  81. Rasputin says:

    Hi Rohan,

    I spoke to Pat Rice last week and he told me that Ramsey is already back in training, doing very well and his head’s in the right place. It is possible he could be available from the start of the season.

  82. Rohan says:

    Oops where’s my manners..Hello all.
    That’s great to know Rasputin…back in training already??? wow..jeez, is he bionic or something. 😀

  83. Mayank says:

    Ahh The wonder of you… We should have a poll here for a new song, surely Elvis can’t be pumping up or the lads before a match.

    Wingers will have no place in the modern game imo, it’ll all be about attacking wing-backs.

  84. dandan says:

    Attacking wing backs Sir Alf Where Are You

  85. irishgunner says:

    YOU’LL NEVER KNOW THE REASON WHY I LOVE YOU LIKE I DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  86. Rasputin says:

    I agree Mayank, it’s dreadful – hardly a tune to strike fear into the hearts of the opposition!

    Rohan, he only had a cast on for 6 weeks I believe and was encouraged to start using the leg ASAP. I was told he was on nthe piutch for the lap of appreciation at the last home game.

  87. dandan says:

    That is the best bit of news I have had this week Rasp. He will be a fine player in years to come

  88. irishgunner says:

    THAT’S THE WONDER, THE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONDER OF YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU

  89. Rasputin says:

    All the right notes Irish – but not necessarily in the right order 🙄

  90. Rasputin says:

    Definitely dandan,

    He had just emerged as a first team regular and was cutting out those nervy early mistakes when he was butchered by a talentless meathead. I think Ramsey will add extra steel to our midfield as well as being potent in attack.

  91. dandan says:

    Oz 8 for 3 after 2 overs. yeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssss

  92. Rasputin says:

    Australia 10 or 3 in the cricket 😛

  93. irishgunner says:

    😳

    Dandan – Who’s winning Australia or England?

  94. dandan says:

    England had better, rasp has put my house on it

  95. irishgunner says:

    I don’t get cricket… someone tried to explain it to me once but I feel asleep..

  96. Rasputin says:

    I’m not answering in case I jinx them Irish. …

  97. Gooner4life&beyond says:

    Ok, then say you guys are right and it isn’t a lack of effort. It must then be a lack of ability? Those three go missing too much in games and for Denilson and Diaby that is definitely not good enough, I don’t even know if they are on the pitch sometimes.

    If it’s a case of time, and waiting for them to get good at what they are supposed to be doing, fine. But some cheap and older heads in the mean time would be great. It might not bring silverware, but that’s not the point really. Just some improvement will make me happy, too many diabolical games in recent seasons with many of the usual suspects involved.

    Sometimes with players they just can’t cut it when they are truly under pressure, such as Fabianski the new Manninger.

  98. irishgunner says:

    Ha ha okay Rasp, so England are winning?

    AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE 😀

    I was going to adopt them for the World Cup but I think I’ll go for North Korea.

  99. Irish – well done for dropping those important lyrics into the blog – maybe you have to be a girl to appreciate how the words of the song relate to the players and supporters of Arsenal 😆

    When no-one else can understand me,
    When everything I do is wrong,
    You give me love and conselation,
    You give me hope to carry on.

    It works both ways you see 😉

  100. Rasputin says:

    G4L,

    Without the injuries, I think Denilson and Diaby would have started most games on the bench in the second half of the season. I agree that they have not (and possibly will never) reached the level of consistent quality that we need to overcome the better teams.

    I think Ramsey had gone above Denilson in the pecking order and as long as Song is fit, Diaby will either be played higher up the pitch or from the bench.

  101. irishgunner says:

    :mrgreen:

    AND YOU’RE ALWAYS THERE TO LEND A HAND
    IN EVERYTHING I DO
    THAT’S THE WONDER

    (EVERYONE TOGETHER NOW)

    THE WOOOOOOOOOOOOONDER OF YOOOOOOOOOOOU

  102. irishgunner says:

    Peaches – I do think you need to be a girl to understand, men just won’t let their feelings shine through 🙂

  103. Rasputin says:

    I thought you’d just support any team that played against France Irish….

    peaches, yes and the opposition players hear those words and they think “what a bunch of pussies” 😯

  104. Mayank says:

    Guess that’s why our ladies team conquers all, they’re the only ones who get the Song.

  105. Mayank says:

    *song
    I’m so used to capitalising Song.

  106. irishgunner says:

    Yes – that too Rasp obviously. But I need an underdog team and they are them. In ’98 it was Jamaica – it was 98 they qualified??

    Then it was Togo.

    I’m sick of supporting other teams in big tourneys 😦 Trapattoni will lead us to the promised lead…

  107. No rasp – WE ARE THE ARSENAL – just in touch with our feelings 😳

  108. Rasputin says:

    Alternative lyrics

    You give me seats and won’t allow standing
    You give me beer that’s not very strong
    You give me a heart attack when defending
    You give me Alexander Song (and that’s a good thing!)

    I guess I’ll never know, the reason why, Pat Rice sits next to you

    It’s no Wonder, I’m gooner through and through

  109. irishgunner says:

    What song should be our “running out onto the pitch” tune?

  110. irishgunner says:

    😆

    Arsenal’s Got Talent winner is RASP *clap clap*

    😀

  111. irishgunner says:

    Actually that is brilliant Rasp, it would catch on you know. Try it at the Emirates Cup.

  112. Why did we stop pressing players for possession? At the start of the season we were all over the opposition to win back the ball – hounding in ones and twos and then it all stopped.

    Could they have been told not to waste their energy as the opposition would lose possession eventually? Fine against the lower teams but not clever against other top teams.

    I know we used to be happy to let the opposition keep the ball but that was when we’d hit them on the break ha ha but we don’t do that any more 🙄

  113. Did you make that up Rasputin 😀

  114. Rasputin says:

    Aussies 54 for 4 🙂

    Irish, perhaps we should come onto the pitch to the opening power chords of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ seeing as Roger Daltrey is a Gooner – or Baba O’Riley even.

  115. Rasputin says:

    No, I learnt it from you peaches 😛

  116. irishgunner says:

    I think something that makes you angry and wound up – like you want to kill someone – but not of course…

    Peaches – we really only did that for about 6-7 games and it stopped..weirdly stopped cos it was working.

  117. irishgunner says:

    Smack My Bitch Up – Prodigy
    Du Hast – Rammstein

  118. Exactly Irish – it was working and it stopped, how bizarre.

  119. Rasputin says:

    Gotta go – ketchup later

  120. irishgunner says:

    Can’t understand it either Peaches – its like we tried it, it worked, so we stopped!!

  121. Mayank says:

    We stopped because you need a big squad so you can rest players to keep them fresh.

    Song suggestion 😀

  122. Rasputin says:

    I like the music Mayank – not sure about the lyrics 😉

  123. Gooner4life&beyond says:

    Ras
    Yes, I’d have to say you’re pretty much spot on there. It’s a shame as I really thought they’d be big stars for us, but such as life.

    What I really dislike though, is that the season has just ended and I can’t wait for next season. Lol. It will be exciting as usual and who knows what will happen.

    I’m going to enjoy the World Cup in the meantime and I’ll be rooting for Holland, France, Spain and for the likes of Cameroon to do well too. Maybe Walcott and Diaby will have a footballing epiphany and come back as Henry and Vieira Mark II respectively.

  124. Rasputin says:

    97 for 5 off 16, but now both Hussies in 😦

  125. irishgunner says:

    G4L – I don’t think Cameroon has what it takes to get beyond Denmark and Holland. Pity Song and his boys got such a tough group.

  126. irishgunner says:

    THIS is a song to get the blood pumping: (ya don’t want to know what the lyrics are in English though ha ha)

  127. Mayank says:

    You hate me?
    Google translator says it’s you have me…
    If Stan takes over we can play Amerika.

  128. irishgunner says:

    Mayank – yep Us against the world stuff

    Ha ha check out ALL the lyrics – top notch stuff 🙂

    I love Amerika too – have it on my ipod, its a great walking song.

  129. Andy Mack says:

    Dandan, excellent post. Nice to see a real supporter rather than the glory hunter fan we seem to have picked up in recent years. They don’t seem to grasp that we’re the only team to have moved into the global ‘big team’ list in recent years without a sugar daddy. AW has pushed this side from a team that rarely did better than mid-table in the league (look at the stats) but did quite well in the cup(s), into a team with genuine potential to be regular league winners and occassional european winners. I say potential because we’re clearly not there yet but with the new stadium and the youth system, we have a better chance than anyone else (even citeh) as our team grow together rather than being bought together.
    Real Madrid, Barca, Juve, Milan, Bayern, Scoucers and ManUSA have spent decades to get to their ‘big club’ position whilst the Chavs need the russian to hang around for a long time to come before they can really say they’re there to stay. And the jury is still out on Citeh. Meanwhile we have a bunch of Glory hunting supporters acting like spoilt whinging children.
    It’s really embarrassing.

  130. London says:

    Hi all

    Just had a very pleasant weekend in Prague: something for everyone there, from the stag night to the high brow, cultural experience — a beautiful city.

    Excellent post as always Dandan.

    The polarisation of Arsenal fans on the blogsphere is getting me down. It is fairly obvious by now that we will never see eye to eye. As bizarre as it may seem I have respect for those fans who can stand up and say that they want to see Wenger gone but I just don’t understand those who just want to moan. What do you hope to achieve? Once you have said that you are unhappy about the collapse, what do you do then? There surely are only two choices: have the guts to say that you want Wenger sacked or look for the silver lining which is what I read into today’s fine post.

  131. Leon says:

    Song for Arsenal

    Fuck em all
    Fuck em all
    United – West Ham – Liverpool
    Because we are the Arsenal
    We are the best
    We are the Arsenal
    Now fuck of the rest
    Fuck em all

    Apologies for the profanities !

  132. Big Raddy says:

    Could we really be on the verge of winning a major International final against the Aussies??

    Come on England……. (and our South Africans)

  133. first class post, dandan

    first class comments, london @6.38

  134. Big Raddy says:

    Fantastic.

    Sorry to all you non-cricket lovers, but to beat the Aussies in a Final for the first time in Ltd overs is just bloody brilliant.

    Now for the double in South Africa….. oh,and the Ashes

  135. RockyLives says:

    On the song front, how about another Who offering that feels strangely appropriate for Arsene’s prodigies: The Kids Are Alright.

  136. RockyLives says:

    Great win that one BR. English cricket on the up?

  137. dandan says:

    I wanna see that little Irishman in the test team for the Ashes, the Aussies have no chance of winding him up. He is such cool class, Now Irish their is a fellow worth chasing LOL

  138. RockyLives says:

    An Irishman with a Welsh name playing for England – now there’s something.

  139. desigunner says:

    Nice Article.

    I think disaster and absolute glory are two ends of the spectrum and we are somewhere in the middle with a slight tilt towards glory.

    Some people measure it only in terms of trophies and consider it a disaster when we don’t get some silverware.

    That doesn’t mean we should be happy with what we have, and I’m sure Wenger and the players try to be better each year. It certainly doesn’t mean that we give up all that we have and start from scratch because many clubs have spent hundreds of millions and years of effort but have not reached where we are

    Not sure how many are comfortable being in grey areas but that’s where reality generally resides.

  140. RockyLives says:

    I’m with you in the grey zone Desi (with a slight leaning towards the white).

  141. dandan says:

    OK one guess, what will David Deins next job be, hands up the new chairman of the England 2018 world cup bid

  142. London says:

    Top comment there Leon, as for the profanities, we are football supporters not a knitting circle.

  143. peachesgooner says:

    Good call dandan – I expect DD is practising his smile for the cameras already 😉

  144. Gooner4life&beyond says:

    irishgunner,
    I know, but I live in hope. I’m not exactly African, but it would be nice to see one of the countries do well. It’s rather pathetic to see them all go out early and the caribbean teams have no chance. Lol.

    Maybe, just maybe, Cameroon might squeeze through. I’d make a bet, except I need the money.

  145. andy says:

    Good article dandan. I’ve only just logged on and aint gona read all 149 posts so apologise for repeating whats probably already been said. I for 1 dont expect us to win everything every season but do feel aggrieved when we belittle the FA cup and even the league cup. They are competitions and fans like a cup final, ultimately like it or not the fan is the customer and AW has to answer to them. Yes if you prioritise then it should be prem CL FA and then league cup but challenge for them all (i hate to say it but chelsea do). I accept that success can be your own downfall and expectancy levels increase year upon year and there are mitigating circumstances to the lack of movement in recent transfer windows but to accept that 3rd is ok is not the attitude of a winner. Lets hope that behind closed doors its very different (and i think to be fair it probably is)

  146. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Woke up this morning & turned on the tele, to Fox Sports, & I couldn’t believe my eyes 😯 Mark Webber wins in Monte Carlo & leads the drivers championship :mrgreen:

    ………& England & Wales won the 20/20 Cup. But I know that winning isn’t everything 😆

    To those English who do get the buzz from being a winner, may I say congratulations, England & Wales were by far the better team.

  147. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Its footy season here, & having just become a foundation member of the new RFC Social Club, an evo drop punt from the MCG, (bottom right corner is the home of the Mighty Tigers, lights obviously not on)

    my attentions will be focused more on getting my beloved Tigers a win. I will be keeping an eye on blog world for any “possible” signings, & will get back into the swing of things come August.

    Once again, well done England & Wales.

  148. matt says:

    Yes but you miss the point as always……. Liverpool not winning the championship proves how quickly and easy it is for time to go by if yo0u just sit back and accept the situation. Liverpool fell into the trap in the early 90’s of believing every year that it would happen next year but now it’s 19 years later and they are further away than ever. If you are complacent this is what can happen…. and the writing is on the wall with Arsene being given yet another season after more failed promises after 4 previous years of failure! How much longer are you prepared to let things drift with this akb attitude before action is taken. Bear in mind next season both Man U and Chelski will be stronger, Man City will spend billions and be stronger, and even sp*rs will spend and be more of a threat so have a long hard think about it before you accept things because of how good things were up to 5 years ago…. football is about here and now otherwise it will be us looking back in 10 or 20 years time and wondering how come it has been so long since we won the league!!!!!!!

  149. Leon says:

    Good post Matt – the Arsene Knows Best is irritating to say the least. If he knew best shouldn’t we have won something by now ?

  150. andy says:

    Good point matt. dead right. Average also-rans are not what we want to be. I think big Sol may have just opened his eyes a bit and showed him that there aren’t the winners left in the side.. It would be interesting to see how many winners medals won by players in our squad compared to Utd and Chelsea ?

  151. Rasputin says:

    Very good points all round, matt, leon and andy – and especially gg9 as regards the cricket 😛

    Us poor folk in blighty don’t get much of a chance to blog with you guys in different time zones since we’re in the land of nod – we can hand the site over to you at night time (BST).

    Let us know if any of you would like to put a post up aimed at your time zones for discussion amongst the antipodeans/those in Asia, USA etc.

  152. Sing says:

    Winning is everything when so small adjustments need be made. Everyone says the same, EVERYONE CAN SEE IT, it’s in every fucking Blog around the world, but year in year out he does not spend where it’s needed. It’s always “We lack abit of sharpness” when half the squad is dead, and the only player left on the bench is the TeaLady. “Oh we have so many injuries”… You’ve got porcelain, you moron.
    Yet he does not strengthen and makes sure to mention “expensive worldclass player”, which none expect, everytime transfers and talk of merely cannon fodder come up.

    That’s not good enough. That is NEGLECT.

  153. dandan says:

    Morning sing, you seem to be a man of strong opinions. why not accept the challenge of submitting a post for consideration under the be our guest tag at the top. All shades of opinion are accepted here as long as they are not insulting.

  154. RockyLives says:

    Sing, have a read through the responses (above) to Dandan’s post and you’ll hear some explanations for why we have been unsuccessful in the last five years and why we can reasonably expect that to change now.
    Or don’t, if you prefer a closed mind.

  155. Big Raddy says:

    I would like to take issue with Matt’s point about Liverpool being complacent. In the past 20 years they have signed some of the best talent in the world and at vast expense. Check out how much their team has cost-

    What is wrong at Liverpool is not complacency, it is bad management, from the Chairman down to the team manager. We have addressed these issues which is why we are contenders and the Scouse are not. Had Wenger spent as Benitez has, AFC would be drinking champagne and smoking fine cigars, but instead we have a club that is financially secure and has potential to kick on. Something L’pool cannot aspire to.

  156. RockyLives says:

    Great point BR. Liverpool’s problem is that they have gone for the knee-jerk, fan-appeasing approach of massive signings every year. Now look where it’s left them: well out of the top four and with finances in such a parlous state that they expect a long period in the wilderness.
    Their only hope is that, being one of the better known football ‘brands’ worldwide, some billionaire will come in, clear the debt and give them more hundreds of millions to play with. Then they won’t be financially bankrupt, but maybe they’ll be morally bankrupt.

  157. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Unfortunately, “morally bankrupt” isn’t written on this years PL trophy and FA Cup!

  158. andy says:

    The single worst mistake AW has made in my opinion is the refusal to keep the older players on whilst introducing the youngsters. You only have to look at Utd and see the likes of Scholes Giggs and Neville still there or the impact Sol has had on us. It’s like having extra coaching staff to help the younger players to learn. This I feel has been our downfall for the past 4-5 seasons and is why we have struggled. I’m not a massive fan of WG but the guy is a winner and has seen and done it all before and if he goes it doesnt matter that much but it is an example of experienced winning mentality leaving the club.

  159. dandan says:

    Rasp Have just re-read all the above post’s. we do seem to have somewhat polarised opinion’s among our posters.
    In the final analysis I would hope that the purchases Arsene proposes will bring the fans more together, Although I do believe there is a definite section of glory hunters among the fans who no matter what Wenger does, think that only a trophy is acceptable and I don’t just mean next season but every season.
    I was interested to see that your first post seemed to position my Article as a management view, could it be that a lifetime as a career manager is affecting my leisure obsession and I am no longer one of the lads, LOL

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