So, Do You Think We Can Win The League?

I don’t know why but I am not as confident about winning the league this season as I was last which is unusual for me because when it comes to optimism and blind faith I make Stevie Wonder look like he has twenty, twenty vision.

This time last year I was getting quite excited, we had just managed to offload the disruptive Adebayor to City while fleecing them shortly after in the form of Toure. Our attack looked solid helped by the long awaited return of Eduardo. The midfield was bolstered by the return of Rosicky and the defence was augmented with Vermaelen. This gave us the partnership in central defence of Gallas and Vermaelen with Senderos, Silvestre and Song as cover all of which sat well with me. Manu had lost Tevez and Ronaldo, the dippers were totally reliant on the fitness of Gerrard and Torres and the chavs, well that one was always going to be the biggest hurdle to get over but nevertheless, I put my faith in my optimism and arrived at the conclusion that we were going to win the league.

This season, I am not so sure, we have Chamakh which is very exciting, although, for those expecting to see an out and out number nine alla Ian Wright I think you are going to be disappointed. From the five full games I have watched him he plays the channels, he is far more of a team player than the selfish Wright, although, that is not to suggest that being selfish is a bad thing for a striker, it just makes the point that they are very different. The clever advantage, above all, of having a player like Chamakh is that by reputation he will not expect to get an automatic starting place  – he will know that he will have to earn it; the other advantage is that the rest of the attack won’t feel threatened but he will keep them on their toes.

The midfield is so obviously reliant on Fabrégas that there seems little point of discussing the possibility of life after Cesc, as far as I am concerned — Denial is a river in Egypt — and Cesc will lead the good guys out at Anfield.

On a serious note there is only one issue out there that the Cesc bashers are still clinging to and that is what his father is rumoured to have said: the next time you get into a debate with one of them ask if there is a shred of evidence to show that Cesc’s father actually said that his son would like to leave and you will find out very quickly that there isn’t and do you know why that is true? Because if there was, those so called Arsenal supporters would be throwing it in our faces at every opportunity — Cesc has acted impeccably throughout this trying time.

I digress or perhaps I was just trying to put this off — the midfield — I have to admit that such a pivotal role falling to Diaby scares the life out of me the idea that he can stay focused for the whole season seems way beyond his capabilities but hey ho in Arsène we trust as they say.

The central defence: “we won’t win anything until we get four world class centre backs.” Don’t you just want to strangle people who make statements like that? It is about as banal as saying grass is green, it also suggests that such a revelation might not have crossed Wenger’s mind. Four world class CB’s at a club at any one time is a mirage, an impossible dream, you may be able to keep two happy but which two other self respecting world class players would be prepared to sit on the bench for what could be the best part of a season if not more, Chelsea with their inflated wages come close but even their situation is far from perfect.

When it comes to Wenger’s signings we as Arsenal supporters are used to having to make a leap of faith; there was a time when the names were so obscure that I was chuffed just to have heard of the country of origin never mind their pedigree.  Last year it was Vermaelen, although, in his case we had the reassuring knowledge that he was captain of Belgium and captain of Ajax. This year we are really being tested with the signing of Koscielny —  I have to admit I am nervous, this is possibly the biggest leap of faith we have ever been asked to make. Still we won’t have to wait long, his first appearance is on Saturday at Barnet when, if all goes well, people will return with glowing reports of how Wenger has unearthed yet another gem and this uncomfortable pessimism will evaporate………I certainly hope so.

Written by London

162 Responses to So, Do You Think We Can Win The League?

  1. shakyArsene says:

    We have very little chance of winning the league.

  2. clockendjim says:

    I will be quietly confident just as long as we sign a world-class goalkeeper. I honestly think we would have been champions if we had signed the likes of Shay Given at the beginning of the season.
    Almunia & Fabianski lost it for us

  3. Simon says:

    At the moment I don’t think we’ll win the league. We’ll be a threat as usual, but will remain a soft touch at times which will cost us. I have a feeling City will replace Spurs in 4th, with Spurs suffering due to extra CL games. City could even challenge. We’ll have to see how they gel. Liverpool should be more solid too under Hodgson. He’ll play the same team every week and bring consistency. As it stands….it’ll be Utd and Chelsea again with us taking third and City 4th.

    That could change if we make one or two key signings. Lets see what happens.

  4. beardy says:


  5. shakyArsene says:

    We need a goalkeep and another DCM. We won the most when we had 2 DCM.

  6. London says:

    Morning all

    I wonder if Almunia will play in goal on Saturday, what could we read into his absence.

  7. irishgunner says:

    I’m still the eternal optimist.

    Mancs haven’t strengthened at all, and despite having the names “Ferdinand” and “Vidic” as their center backs, have worries there through injury and lack of form.

    They look like relying on Rooney again (who looks like he couldn’t run another inch he’s so tired) unless they bag a transfer. Having said that, I think Valencia will be more important for them this season.

    Liverpool are only bothered about getting back into the top four.

    Spuds will try and get into the Champions League proper and will again worry about staying top four.

    Man City will push for the top four but won’t win the league.

    Its between us, the Chavs and Mancs.

  8. JSP says:

    In a word, and sorry to say, No.

    Even worried the Spuds will overtake us, and if they beat us to Joe Cole it just shows they have more commitment than we do. Mr Wenger, as much as I admire you and respect all you have done, please get your finger out quick before the Scum beat us to him!!

  9. Rasp says:

    Morning London,

    Great read and it asks the question that’s in all our minds. Personally I think you are being a little pessimistic about kozzers ability to fill Willy’s boots. I do think the fact that we paid £8m (ish) for him means that he has the quality and ability.

  10. simon says:

    There’s a difference between being a good side (which despite our limitations we undoubtedly are) and a great team. let’s face it to win the PL now, you have to be one of the best sides in Europe.

    To really compete wih the likes of Chelsea & particularly Man City’s ridiculous squad assembly, we need a minimum of a proper GK, another top class CB, another DMF.

    Without those & our usual injury list we cannot hope compete with the bigger squads over 60 matches.

  11. Dave says:

    As long as that senile twat Wenger is in charge we will never win a cup let alone the league again. Get him out the club now.

  12. irishgunner says:

    Man City are still a bunch of names in my opinion. I liked the look of Boateng in the WC but Lescott and Toure at the heart of any defence is laughable.

    It all depends on who they shed and keep to be honest.

  13. Rasp says:

    The biggest mistake AW could make would be to keep Almunia as our No.1 keeper next season. He will lose a lot of support from fans and they will begin to get on Almunias back when/if he makes gaffs.

  14. Rasp says:

    Hi Dave – I love your comedy channel on Sky too 🙄

  15. mjc says:

    The one thing that you haven’t factored in is the new 23-man squad rule.

    In past seasons we have come unstuck due to injuries and to Chelsea and ManU having a larger number of experienced players to call on.

    No team this season will come close to Arsenal in terms of the size of the pool players with Premiership experience. In addition to the 23 senior squad, Arsenal will be able to call on the following “youth” auxillaries (all born after 01/01/1989) who all have first team squad numbers:
    Wojciech Szczesny
    Kieran Gibbs
    Armand Traore
    Aaron Ramsey
    Jack Wilshere
    Theo Walcott

    Additionally, all the following have the possibility of stepping up to the first team this Summer, and many already have first team experience.
    Havard Nordtveit
    Kyle Bartley
    Kerrea Gilbert
    Gavin Hoyte
    Nacer Barazite
    Francis Coquelin
    Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
    Henri Lansbury
    Mark Randall
    Sanchez Watt
    Gilles Sunu

    The lists above allow the possibility of the nominal 23-man squad to be increased to up to 40.

    Find me another Premiership team that even comes close to these numbers…?

  16. London says:

    Morning Dave

    Even though I am a committed Wengerite I find it perfectly acceptable that Arsenal supporters want a change in management, what really gets up my nose is when people just whine about the club day in and day out.

  17. irishgunner says:

    ” Hi Dave – I love your comedy channel on Sky too ” *boom boom* 😆

  18. Daxxjoker says:

    OFC we can not ! ! !
    With this squad – top 4 finish would be an amazing achievement !
    We’ve been a second class football club for some years now – and the difference between Barca,Inter,Chelsea & ManUtd and us is only getting bigger !

  19. London says:


    That is a great comment, you don’t fancy turning that into a head line post do you? Have a look in “Be our guest” above and see what you think.

  20. Dave says:

    Good write up. Couldn’t agree more. TIME TO BACK UP THIS NEW ARSENAL OUTFIT WITH THE TWELTH MAN. This new Arsenal squad is the nuts. The time is NOW. Anyone who knows anything about good football KNOWS we have the making of a top team that’s ready. He’s taken the youngsters to fruition, and fine tuned the squad at the right time. Any one who moans now, is not a supporter. BIG UP the Arsenal away crowd. C MON YOU GOONERS! Oh, and **** Barca the arrogant twats. Lets play em without six first team players missing and Chamakh in the air. Man U skint, Liverpool totally screwed, Chelsea loosing pace at the back, Man City not settled and everyone else just not good enuff. The future is ARSENAL

  21. London says:


    You must mean man city rather than manu because they are going backwards.

  22. mjc says:

    London – would be happy to.
    First off, I’d correct 23-man squad to read 25-man squad…!!!
    Give me a couple of hours ad I’ll write it up in full.

  23. colin says:

    Look, lay off Almunia he’s not the reason we faultered last season, it was Cesc’s desire to play for Barca that upset the team! Sell the judas!!

  24. Dave says:

    mjc…Yeah the rest of the PL must be bricking it. Hoyte and Gilbert. They can come on my comedy channel along with the clowns Fabianski and Almunia.

  25. SOBIN THE GOONER says:

    I think we have to bring a quality goal keeper,if sol goes then two CB,and a CDM .
    Iam looking forward to next season.COME ON ARSENAL

  26. Rasp says:


    I’m sorry but that’s ludicrous. Cesc drove the team, Almunia created uncertainty and frailty in the defence.

  27. irishgunner says:

    Gilbert is gone isn’t he?

  28. Fatginger says:

    Injuries cost us the title last season, simple as that. If Van Persie had played an extra 10 games last season then we wouldve won a trophy. Aslong as we can keep our key players fit for long periods then I av no doubt we can win the league. We need a goalkeeper and another centre half and we are all set.
    Chamakh will give us a presence in the away games when we are supposed to be a soft touch, n if Wenger is happy to pay out 10million on this Koscielny then that’s good enough for me. All the articles coming out about him indicate he’s a battler and a fighter, which is what we used to love Toure for before his demise. With Vermaelen as partner then there will be no lack of effort or passion at the back. The part of our tram that has worried me in recent times is the full backs, too worried about attacking and not getting back quick enough. If we are going to play that way then another DM is needed to play with Song, then Fab pulling the strings. Much like Brazil at the World Cup.
    However, I ain’t stupid enough to think AW will buy a CB GK and DM so I guess will have to be 1 out of 3, or can we even dream bout 2 out of 3?????? A step too far I think!!!!

  29. London says:

    Morning Colin

    Read this and if you still feel the same way come back and we can debate it.

  30. iamgooner says:

    no we cant, i will back the arsenal all the way but i like alot of gooners will support in denial this season

    van persie an bendtner walcot rosicy and diaby an denilson are all gonna hav injuries as per usual

    and im not being an anti arsenal fan, its just a simple fact and its truely a sad thing to see as we have the stadium we have the history an we have the money

  31. Danish Gooner says:

    If we signed the needed players but we never ever do.Goalie,another Centre back,wenger dropping his eternal belief in the worst midfield trio since the days of Jensen,Selley and Morrow(Song,Denilson and Diaby,we seriously need a brute force with a bit of technical abiltiy and experience like Inler,Arteta or even the technically gifted Schweinsteiger.

  32. irishgunner says:

    It was partly Almunia’s fault but at the end of the day its Wenger’s fault because his frailties have been obvious for some time.

  33. London says:

    Morning FatGinger

    Excellent comment, I think this is your first time on here — hope you come back.

  34. chippy says:

    Denial is a river in Egypt

    Wet myself 🙂 🙂

    If we keep young Cesc and add 2-3 more players to the mix, A Keeper,Extra Centrehalf and another DM we are in good shape and far better shape than the Red Mancs or scousers thats for sure, Chelsea will be the ones to beat again this season due to the squad and experience and i really can see City giving it a good go as Mancini seems to have bought Good Players but also Young hungry ones and added to the squad from last season they will be a danger this year,

    Should be a good race again next year,

  35. colin says:

    I seriously don’t blame Cesc if he goes, shallow promises of world class signings….an unheard of french/pole and a guy that scores 10 goals a season in the two bob french league! Oh and looking to buy a 37yr old aussie has been… that’ll clinch it!

  36. London says:

    Morning Chippy

    Glad you liked that one 😉

  37. chippy says:

    Morning Mate,
    My tea hit the monitor i liked it that much 🙂

  38. irishgunner says:

    Do ye guys want to start a fantasy football league this season?


  39. Andy Mack says:

    I’m more confident than this time last year. The GK and CB situation is a little worrying but generally we have a young team with another years experience. TW and Diaby (and quite a few others) really need to take the next step and this could be the year. Last year I felt 3rd or 4th was the best we could do but with a little injury luck (for a change) we whould be fighting for the no1 spot. As has been said already, Manure haven’t added anything notable to their squad. The Chavs are another year older but the will probably have essien for more of the season (and anyone that thinks he’s less that world class is not a football fan). The scousers, spuds and citeh will be fighting for 4th despite each one of them showing the odd game of top 3 potential.
    Or maybe not.
    I’m glad JD is back. He’s got loads of potential and really needs to step up. I think AW sees AS as a dual purpose player – DM of CB and may well look for another DM. AA had a poor year and really needs to show he’s top class if he want to earn more money elsewhere.
    We will see.

  40. London says:

    Morning Irish

    I have never done one of those things, I just can’t bring myself to wish mancs and chavs well.

  41. nickoman says:

    Too many of u gooners are still deluded we will not win anything with the likes of fabianski and almunia in goal, clichy and sagna fullbacks who cant defend, song and deilson in holding midfield no pace and average at best and a shortage of quality cover at central defence. Bring in hart, van der wiel, zapata and melho and we will have a chance

  42. Andy Mack says:

    Colin, exactly how do you know anyone promised ‘world class signings’?
    We’d all be really interested to know.

  43. irishgunner says:

    Morning London,

    They are a bit of craic and you don’t need to add Manc or chav players – your team can be a wonder of Blackpool, Wigan and Wolves players 😉

  44. Ian says:

    So we buy a CH who has one season experience in a 2 bob French league and a freebie CF who scores 1 goal in 4. Have I confidence that we will win the league? hahahahahaha. I’d be happy to finish top half of the league with those additions to the clowns we already have like Almunia, Eboue, Diaby, Rosicky and Bedntner. As long as Wenger stays then the club will go backwards. The “In Arsene we trust” scmucks can kiss my arse.

  45. Mikey-47 says:

    Not a ‘cat in hell’ with the current squad. We need a world class Keeper and some steel in the midfield. I don’t know how much longer we can endure the trophyless seasons. At this rate even S**ds will overtake us let alone one or few others. Come on Arsene splash the cash.

  46. D B says:

    I am saddened by the fact that wenger has taken us for twats again this summer.

    again he has told us he will sign quality, yet nobody has heard of Koscielny. yes he may be good at some stage of his career but is he going to be a gallas replacement? is he going to be a vidic? terry? ferdinand? carvalho? these are the teams we are meant to be competing against.

    wenger said he wants to sort transfers prior to pre-season… so… does that mean he is finished purchasing? have we got to put up with almunia and flapihandski again? because if we do i am afraid we wont only not clinch the title, but we wont win fuck all else. and im tired of saying it year in year out.

    god i just hope i am made to eat my words and i am so so wrong!

    could yap on for ages moaning about wenger, but instead please can somebody explain to me why he might not think it is beneficial to the squad to sign likes of subotic, tasci, gourcuff, ozil, remy, sketelenberg, wiel?? because these aren’t mad transfer targets – we were the greatest team in the country a few years back, nearly the greatest in world football in terms of playing style. and now we are relying on unproven players to do the business. i dont understand it.

    does anybody else really think it is wrong to bring in someone like ozil or gourcuff – because it will kill diaby, nasri or denilson!!? so what!? they have had ages to prove it now and just havenent. an nobody can tell me they have because they havenet won fuck all and cant get in national teams (diaby sometimes)

  47. Ash says:

    Need a decent keeper. Frey please.

  48. irishgunner says:

    ” sketelenberg” – Mr. Can’t read the trajectory of the ball Sketelenberg? – How is he in any way better than Almunia?

    Its like when people call for Melo, just cos they have read it somewhere else and he seems to be a favourite of some blogs. He’s no better than Denilson.

    Its like when people wanted Cana – he spent a season at Sunderland, most of it suspended and as far as I know, he’s gone to Turkey now. Learnt my lesson then.

  49. Paul S says:

    Too much sub standard dross in our squad to even dream of winning the league. Wenger is on a different planet if he thinks the current squad is good enough. For me he would have finally lost his mind if he starts with any of the current clowns we have masquerading as goalkeepers. Then you have outfield garbage like Eboue and Denilson who Wenger seems to rate highly. This club will not win anything as long as Wenger is in charge and he continues to rate the dross while keeping the cheque book covered in dust.

  50. Pass and move says:

    Spurs will over take us,rednapp sets his side up
    to counter other sides wenger only thinks about us,if fab go’s they will have a better side and deep down we all no it.if bale and Lennon say fit the will roast teams all day long(and luis fab has said he would go to spuds)if they get him we are fucked,as for city they will start off slow again and come good after xmas.:-(

  51. Mike E says:

    sadly no chance.

    we will really struggle to be top four.

  52. landon says:

    I am an arsenal supporter through and through. It is disheartening sometimes to see in recent times areseason petter out nothing, but I am a believer that at a point something is got to give. People seem not to understand that with every season that have passed this team have gained more experience.
    I am looking forward to this season with an open mind, I don’t believe in the rubbish that people spout about man u and chelsea being much of a threat this season, infact the the main threat will come from man city, spurs and everton. This three clubs are improving whether we think so or not. I have a senaky feeling we will come good this season. Wenger is going to sign a keeper and another defend that is almost definite. I think as a group of supporter we need to support the team much more vociferously this season, they have the english media,Refs, etc all against them, so we shouldn’t just keep on moaning and moaning, when things don’t go right on the pitch sometimes. so lets just wait and see, be open minded, not start the season with negativity!!

  53. kelsey says:

    Morning all,

    An unusual post from the new look London .

    Yes we can win the league,and I agree that the timing of crucial injuries when we were more or less top of the league,didn’t help our cause and we finished with a disastrous run of only 1 win in our last 7 games, yet many fans would bite their hand off to finish third.

    I forsee several changes to the traditional top 4,which as we all know was broken by Spurs last season.
    It still hurts as to how badly we performed against United and Chelsea at home, the gulf was tremendous, and hopefully lessons will be learnt.

    As to our 2 new signings(so far)I am in no position to judge as yet, as to how they will blend into the team.

    Certain players have to stand up and be counted this season, and avoiding the obvious candidates I would be looking at Vela,Walcott and Diaby.

    A fit and rested Arshavin could be our wild card .

    I still feel we will be buying a new keeper and a centre back, as this season for the first time in many a year there will be more players leaving and possibly more coming in.

    if it was up to me, Wilshere would be back in the squad and used more frequently in a cameo role much like Walcott, instead of playing hoof ball at Bolton.

  54. landon says:

    Re: D.B
    Wenger said he will sign quality and he signed Koz, you said he has taken us for twats. What makes you sure Koz is not quality or chamakh is not quality….. because they are cheap or not household names does not mean they are rubbish…. intelligent pple based their opinion or judgement on evidence, but you are throwing your toys out of the pram cos Arsenal is doing things is way. players like toure, gilberto, bergkamp, henry, were all bought on the cheap and were relatively unknown before they joined the Arsenal. Patience is a virtue my friend.

  55. arsenal fan says:

    we can win if we get a cb and a gk not because we are that good because others are bad.anyway we were there till the end without rvp gallas fabregas and likes of ansri helped us this time fabregas and wilshere will get us through mark my words

  56. landon says:

    I mean arsene is doing things is way

  57. arsenal fan says:

    five years is not patience 1….2…..3 years is enough patience if we dont win this time it will be never

  58. Graeme Green says:

    We have dropped to 4th in the betting, behind Man City, who put 7 goals past us in two games. Tottenham beat us in the league, which came a week after Barcelona crushed us in CL. I think Campbell’s best days are gone, but surely he would have been better alongside Vermaelen than Silvestre, or wasn’t he eligible for CL? Wigan came from 2-0 down to beat us, Chelsea beat them 8-0! Ancelotti & Fergie have both won the CL twice, & despite losing talisman Ronaldo, Man Utd’s Lge win at the Emirates was far too comfortable. We didn’t even look like threatening Chelsea in the two Lge games, and we couldn’t even take revenge on Man City when they had nothing left to play for. Man Utd have added Mexican striker Javier Hernandez, who it appears is better than Vela. After the way we collapsed at the end of the season, I am very despondent. If we have funds why doesn’t AW just go out & buy a world-class Goalkeeper, hopefully better than Schwarzer? Someone who breeds confidence in our leaky defence. We may have bought Vermaelen but we still conceded over 40 goals in PL. AW should be buying both Micah Richards and Tadsci from Stuttgart. Otherwise I can see another season of excuses and using the bad-luck card when things de-rail. Furthermore, if we were challenging Europe’s elite, Cesc Fabregas’ loyalty and ‘will-he-wont-he-stay’ wouldn’t even be a topic of conversation. I don’t think AW has the capability to win the CL, and that’s the direction we should be going.

  59. irishgunner says:

    Kelsey – In regards to Chelsea last season, I think there was a definite gulf in class but with the Mancs last season, away at least – it was stupidity that cost us.

  60. irishgunner says:

    That comeback win for Wigan was horrific, absolutely horrific.

  61. arsenal fan says:

    i think aw cant handle big players thats why he doest buy them cmon AW bring in players like tasci ozil gourcuff and blend them with likes of arshavin fab and rvp not when they are gone we still believe u

  62. kelsey says:

    Hi irish,

    that’s why I only mentioned the HOME games.

  63. landon says:

    Re: kelsey
    I agree with our post about some players needing to stand up to be counted this season because in my opinion this season is very very important for arsenal and to arsene.

    They have to repay that faith arsene has put in them, because believe it or not wenger is very ambitious, i know pple think he is content just settling for fourth or third but that is not the case, I think he knows now he has put us in a strong financial situation, it is time build on that by delivering silverware.

    Everyone please get behind the team!!!

  64. mjc says:

    arsenal fan – so you reckon Ozil and Gourcuff are “big players”, but Cesc and Arshavin and Rosicky aren’t. That’s just silly.

  65. irishgunner says:

    Ah okay see that now Kelsey 😳

  66. 26may1989 says:

    London, you and me both, I was full of confidence last summer, despite all the doom-mongers and plenty of pundits saying we’d finish 6th or 7th, and that Liverpool would win the league. The league table for last season shows what they know. But like you, I was ultimately shown to be over-optimistic last season. I thought we should expect to finish no lower than 2nd, given United’s weakening. And with the Chavs blowing hot and cold throughout the season, I thought we could win.

    But the brutal truth is we were undone by a lack of defensive nous and ability, as well as injuries. So many of our goals conceded last year were incredibly soft, from GK errors, appalling positional play from the defensive line or a lack of cover from midfield. Frankly, I can cope with conceding goals like those that Messi scored at the Nou Camp, because they were more to do with the genius he and his teammates have than they were reflections of our players’ failings. But they were the exception: the majority of the goals we let in last season could have been avoided. And to me, that is what cost us last year, even with injuries and disappointing performances in the creative departments.

    So the question is, what’s different this year? And so far, the answer has to be not enough. The World Cup was always going to postpone transfer activity but now is the critical period, and I’m sure Wenger et al are working their arses off trying to shore up the squad in the weak areas. Even with our strengthening financial position (and weakening elsewhere), there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to get what we need but our success in 2010-2011 depends on it.

    As others have said, we also need to look at our rivals. And so far, it’s largely heartening. United have so far done nothing meaningful to strengthen a squad that was patchy last year (though Rooney did brilliantly to drag them almost to winning the title). Chelsea are still the strongest but having lost Ballack and swapped Joe C for Benayoun are weaker. Who knows with City, I hope they fail, because money bags clubs disgust me, but the fact is they will have a great line up and they could knit together. Liverpool are irrelevant and Spurs will do well but CL stuff will take its toll.

    As things stand, and assuming Wenger succeeds in strengthening the backline, my prediction is:

    1. Chelsea
    2. Arsenal
    3. United
    4. City
    5. Spurs
    6. Liverpool

    PS: Very good points from MJC re squad size. Similar rules have of course been in place for UEFA competitions for quite a while, and our squad is superbly well structured to get the best out of the system. The trouble is only 11 players are allowed on the pitch! Chelsea have had a smaller squad available for the CL for the last few years (and even had to leave Ballack out at one stage, because they had screwed up their squad structure) but have suffered fewer major injuries, so have been able to do better in CL than us.

  67. kelsey says:

    A lot of negativity on here today, but surely one has to see the bigger picture.

    Personally I believe that the “acting as estate agents” re highbury Square was a wrong move, they could have just sold the land, but then on the other hand, no one expected the world wide recession at the time.

    We all know Almunia is not the best, and possibly Fabianski is mentally shot, but I think the key to this season is twofold.

    Less injuries to key players and possibly a change of tactics or plan B. All out attack and then getting caught on the counter attack was our downfall many times last season, ironically exactly what we sometimes do ourselves.

    The defence is the key,to any club having ultimate success, and hopefully that will be addressed this coming season . One has to have an understanding between the last line of defence and the keeper, and that is an issue I am sure the boss now sees as a major factor to address.

  68. ed says:

    Not a prayer unless he signs another central defender, a defensive midfielder, and a world class goal keeper. Get them in and i dont think you will see us for smoke !!!

  69. 26may1989 says:


    With the benefit of hindsight, you’re of course right that the “estate agents” decision was not profitable (and the Club have, having been burnt by the recession, taken a very different path with the Queensland Road land, which they have sold to a developer).

    But based on the information the Club had when the decision was taken, their call was reasonable. I’m certain if there had been no recession and they had sold the land rather than developed it themselves, plenty of fans and journalists would be banging on about missed opportunities as some developer or another banked millions from the developments.

    The Club fails in plenty of respects, but the way they approached the stadium move, including the developments, is, in my opinion, exemplary. It was based on reasonable decisions and with careful protections in place – as it happens, those protections have had to be used.

  70. mjc says:

    26May1989 – I completely agree with your comment regarding only 11 players on the pitch, although it is worth extending that to the seven players on the bench – so 18 maximum can contribute on matchday.

    So is it really beyond the realms of possibility that the new rule will start to cause real problems this season? I believe that we will see an increading number of case of two issues caused by this rule:

    1) Players being played out of position – this is something that we hve seen at both ManU and Chelsea in recent years, even with their massive squads;

    2) Inclusion of completely untried youngsters (if only on the bench) – this has happended to Everton and a number of the smaller clubs in the last couple of seasons, and will likely happen to any club with a weak youth policy and seven or more injuries.

    Arsenal look to me to be fairly well insured against the first in that almost every Arsenal outfield player has experience in two, three or even four positions.

    With regards to the second issue, Arsenal have more experience within the Under-21 group than any other club.

  71. landon says:

    you make very good points 26may1989. But arsene is trying to address the defensive issues you highlighted hence the signing of a new defender with another one in the pipeline and also a GK. I think the problem pple have is that we are not signing ‘big names’. That is not how arsene rolls. pple will have to just deal with that.
    Graeme green, said man u’s new signing javier is better than Carlos, on what evidence is that, I am sure before the world cup you didn’t even know who he was so he had two good games and he is suddenly a big player and better than Vela, who has been brilliant for the mexico team. The truth is if wenger had signed javier earlier,you ould have said rubbish signing he is not good.

    Pple going on about Ozil,we don’t need him. Moerover with regards to player purchasing this is not football manager, it is real life, a lot of things come into play with regards to getting a player, it is not as simple as saying I want you, so pack your bags and coms with me.

  72. Jay says:

    I like the addition of Chamakh, and hopefully RVP can be fit for the whole season as I think those two plus Arshavin will get a lot of goals combined.

    I also hope Wilshere makes it into the first team. He proved with Bolton that he is a difference maker on the pitch, which is why they are so desperate to have him back. In every Bolton match I saw, Wilshere would show two or three moments of real class that would create some of their team’s best chances. I think he could link up well with Cesc, Nasri, RVP and Arshavin to create the dynamic that we’ve all been hoping to see more from Walcott.

    On defence, Djourou is a very good player when healthy. His return along with Koscielny gives me confidence that we can be better. As long as we get a decent GK then I think we can really challenge for the title this year.

  73. GoonerForLife says:

    Sadly We won’t win thing. The squad isn’t looking very good to be totally honest.

    I’ll be supporting the mighty Red and White all the way, but, i believe this will be another barren season.

  74. SOLA says:

    For me i don’t trust AW, and i will never trust him. He is an old man that tell lies all the time, before the world cup, he promised to buy all the players that we need for the season, nothing happened before or after the world now, they are back in training now, so what next? may be his not going to buy anymore players who knows.

    If Wenger refuse to buy world glass keeper, and CH and One DM, also one more stiker then it would be doom for Arsenal, i said the this last year, i am saying it again, there is not short cut in trees, to win things you have to invest, and this is the time now MR WENGER, alot of good players are still out there now before is too later.

    MR WENGER, we still need striker, because Bendtner would be a disappiontment again, SO WE NEED, KEEPER, ONE CH, DM AND ONE MORE STRIKER, if u listen to us, you will win something next season. Some world class players. Alright Mr Wenger?

  75. colin says:

    Andy mack…we were assured that wenger had in excess of £30m so what’s he gonna buy….you really are a deluded cnt!

  76. mjc says:

    SOLA – with regard to strikers, who do you suggest should replace Bendtner?
    Please bear in mind that Bendtner is classified as “home-grown”, and as we are a bit short of these, please suggest a replacement that is also “home-grown”.
    Heskey, perhaps?
    Or can you think of someone “world-class”?

  77. SharkeySure says:

    London..brilliant post…AGAIN !

    Some very good comments and sonme very stooopid ones as well.

    Stoopid ones are the ones referring to our manager as a senile twat. If the poster said he wanted Arsene out, then thats an opinion, calling him names is just stoopid.

    Perhaps the person who wrote it would care to share his own football management Cv with us..??

  78. Graeme Green says:

    Sorry, but the four goals Messi scored against us was definitely a reflection of how poor we were. Two left-footed Centre-backs, Silvestre & Vermaelen? The same Messi who couldn’t break-down 10-man Inter Milan at the Nou Camp? For those writing off Ferdinand or Vidic, Man Utd have O’Shea, Evans & Brown as back-up. Even Spurs have stronger defensive options than us! I really hope we don’t re-sign Sol Campbell, because at 35 it shows a lack of ambition. Please let him go to Sunderland or Celtic. None of our rivals are signing 35 year-old Centre-backs! I never took to Gallas either. Whenever he faced Rooney or Drogba, he wilted. I do think Wenger wears blinkers sometimes, and defends the indefensible. The stark truth is that if we want to realistically compete for trophies we need major surgery. Players with the aura and ability of Vieira, Pires and Henry. Where’s our 20+ goal per season striker? A Goalkeeper as competent as Cech or van der Sar? A Centre-back of Tony Adams vintage? We don’t play football like Spain, they dont have defensive frailties. Almunia has never been picked for Spain, & wouldn’t be even if Casillas and Reina were injured, yet we’ve had to put up with him for years! History records winners not potential. We will only deserve to be called a big club if/when we can show off a European Cup in our list of honours. If Wenger cant deliver that he should go.

  79. 26may1989 says:


    Calm down mate.

    I’m sure the tabloid editors are delighted to read posts like yours, just shows what they publish hits home with some readers. When Wenger is quoted, you should read what he actually says, rather than rely on journos and pundits to interpret it for you, they are often very different things.

    Wenger’s no liar, and while all of us want Arsenal to win every match and every trophy, and it has been hard to see the club not win a trophy for a while, I believe there is not a single manager who could have done what Wenger has done in the last five years, i.e. keep us competitive (including having a couple of good cracks at the title) without any money and against the backdrop of the uncertainty of building a new stadium. Ferguson couldn’t have done it, nor could Mourinho, Ancelotti, Redknapp, Benitez or anyone else. They are all excellent managers but all need money to succeed.

    Wenger has taken a lot of hits in the last few years from the likes of you, who either forget what the club was like before 1987 or weren’t around to see what mediocrity really looks like. But I firmly believe Wenger will be judged well by history.

  80. SharkeySure says:

    Can we win the League..of course we can !!

    My own dream for the summer even more so than new players was the creation of a winning mentality and increase in mental toughness in the squad.

    It’s strongly rumoured that Arsene has been losing patience with one or two players, and this can only be commended…if true !

    Even in the glory years Arsene’s biggest fault in my eyes has been his acceptance of sub standard performances from too many players. Play poorly, stay on pitch for 90mins or most of them anyway, then get picked again, and again.

    AdeNuff at OT in the Cl semi was as horrible a performance as I’ve seen in the last x? years. AdeNuff started the return leg only a week later – and showed the same lack of effort.

    If Arsene sorts that side of things out, then we can mount a really strong challenge this season.

    Arsene’s descriptions of Kozzers willingness to fight and warrior spirt, leave me hopeful that we are moving in the right direction in that respect.

    Chamakh also looks a good fit for an increase in the ‘never say die’ attitude of the squad. Keown and/or Campbell would help as well….

  81. Gadget says:

    Lots of muppets on here it looks like.

    We have just as good a chance of winning the league as our competitors. Everybody is going to drop points in this highly competative league of ours, so we just need to drop less. There are about 8 teams who look like they will be challenging for the title. This might mean such a mini-league will be more important than recent years, but as of with the exception of the season gone, I believe we topped the mini-league of 4 quite consistently.

    World-class keepers? The world cup’s just gone and I didn’t see a single world class keeper. Go figure.

    New players are new players. Can’t judge how they’ll perform until they play. Simple as. Who would have thought Shevchenko or Mutu would have had such turgid performances at Chelsea? There are countless more examples I can point to of “amazing” players stinking over here. Conversely I can’t point to a top of Wenger’s unknowns who lit the place on fire. Yeah, he’s had a few who smelly ones too, but on the whole, he knows what attributes he’s looking for in a player, so I’d take his judgements over anyone elses.

    Only one team can win a trophy. If you only care about the destination, can you truely enjoy the ride?

  82. fatgingergooner says:

    why do people keep coming up with the same shit names that AW should sign just because we have been linked with them in a newspaper or on a crap blog. Players like Melo, Stekelenburg, Remy, Van Der Wiel etc etc etc. None of you have hardly seen these players, but you would have them in the squad just because you are all obsessed with signing players. New players dont always bring success, look at Chelsea when they first came into money, they bought anyone and everyone, and it wasnt until they got a quality coach in Mourinho that they had success.

    Its true that we do need to strengthen in certain areas, but calling for players like Hazard and Remy, who we dont even need is just ridiculous. We need quality, not quantity.

  83. Gadget says:

    correction: Conversely, I can…

  84. SPECTRUM says:

    Wenger should have been pouncing on his transfer targets early on in the window.But so far he’s only spent on one new face, and then it’s a virtual unknown.Where is the ambition that a few big name signings would show ? Even now that he has the money to spend, Wenger hunts around in the bargain bin.Perhaps he should be the club treasurer, not the coach ?
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  85. 26may1989 says:

    Gadget and fatgingergooner, you are stars!

  86. SharkeySure says:

    “When Wenger is quoted, you should read what he actually says, rather than rely on journos and pundits to interpret it for you, they are often very different things.” – Well said 26M!!

    Thats it right there Sola, and anyone else who doesn’t understand how the media report ‘news’. Their misinterpretations get taken as gospel, and regurgitated as ‘fact’ by those too blinkered to even scratch the surface of a ‘report’.

    Even more insidious is when Arsenal blog writers themselves twist Arsene’s words against him.

    Seriously Sola, go look for the quotes and re-read them til you work out what Arsene really said about buying players and the World Cup.

    Oh, and as for the bit ‘about listen to us’ !! Do you really thnk Arsene to have fan phone ins for signings and team selections. Lol….

    If you weren’t serious, I’d actually find your comments highly entertaining

  87. SharkeySure says:

    Gadget – its just one of those days today. I guess the title of the post drew in some of the less enlightend among us.

    Very good reponse to it all from your good self !

  88. irishgunner says:

    Gadget and fatgingergooner – its good to see a bit of rational thought.

  89. London says:

    Top comment Gadget @ 1:47

  90. Graeme Green says:

    Players with a winning mentality would help! We could have had van der Sar for £2m from Fulham. We were offered Drogba for £100,000. Chelsea payed £24m & he’s destroyed us every time he’s faced us for the past six years. When Juve were demoted to Serie B in 2006, Buffon was ready to come to Arsenal. Mourinho didn’t spend big when Porto won European Cup in 2004. As for Shevchenko, that was Abramovic’s doing. It’s not ‘Football Manager’, but a club needs to evolve, and the way to do that is by addressing weaknesses. We are as one in recognising that Almunia & Fabianski are not up to the standards expected, as we are in recognising that we need a good quality Centre-back. IF we signed the right two players, then we would be serious title-contenders.

  91. irishgunner says:

    ” When Juve were demoted to Serie B in 2006, Buffon was ready to come to Arsenal. ” – That is complete bollocks. Where did you get that from?

    At the time, Buffon was the best keeper in the world and could have had his pick of clubs but chose to remain loyal to Juventus.

  92. Graeme Green says:

    Who knows? Maybe I dreamt it all! Maybe I’m dreaming that our defence has been allowed to deteriorate over the last four years! If we are all true red-blooded die-hard Arsenal supporters, all of us want the best for the club. We want the best players playing the best football, and we want to be serious contenders in whatever competition we are in, the Emirates Cup, the League and F.A. Cup, the Premier League and the European Cup. You can ask no more of your club than that.

  93. 26may1989 says:

    Graeme Green (great name by the way):

    Not sure what point you’re really trying to make, but if you’re trying to list sigings Wenger has missed out on, I think your list is defective:

    Van der Sar: I like him too but when he moved to United (2005), we had Lehmann.

    Drogba: I take some pride in having said a couple of years before he went to Chelsea that Drogba is a fantastic player, but I don’t see how he can be used to criticise Wenger. For one thing, how do you know we were offered him for £100k? Unless you’re an official at Arsenal, Guingamp, Le Mans or Marseille, it’s guesswork/tabloid gossip. When the Chavs signed him in 2004, we had someone called Thierry Henry leading the line, with Bergkamp, van Persie and Reyes as the other strikers, so by then we weren’t exactly going to sign another striker. Maybe we could have signed him earlier but the fact that no-one outside France looked at him before he was 25 and had played for a big French club, Marseille, suggests it wasn’t clear to experts (which would not include you or me) that he was going to develop into the fantastic player he is.

    Buffon: Again, pure guesswork/gossip on your part, you’ve no idea why Arsenal (or any other team) didn’t pick up Buffon when Juve were relegated in 2006. And again, we had Lehmann at the time.

    Fair point re Mourinho though, his greatest achievement is certainly winning the European Cup with Porto and therefore with not a lot of cash. I don’t deny he is a great manager (even if he is a prick and a prick who was punished for blatantly tapping up one of our players) but since his Porto days, it is clear he requires money. I maintain that Mourinho could not have done what Wenger has done for us in the last few years.

    I laugh at all these people who think they can do better than Wenger. Just look at some of the signings he has made for us (a number at small or low cost): Fabregas, Henry, Toure, Vieira, Petit, Vermaelen, Pires, Adebayor, Sagna, Clichy, Hleb, van Persie, Gilberto, Edu, Kanu, Ljungberg, Overmars, Lauren, Wiltord, Arshavin, Flamini, Diarra, Campbell, Song, Walcott, Gallas, Lehmann, Nasri, Rosicky etc etc.

    But don’t think I’m happy with the way things are. We should have done better last season and ultimately let ourselves down. I just think it’s no good getting hysterical about these things and ignoring all the good stuff just beceause it doesn’t happen the way we want it to.

  94. Livers says:

    There really is a new type of Blogger on here these day 😉

  95. 26may1989 says:

    Graeme Green

    “If we are all true red-blooded die-hard Arsenal supporters, all of us want the best for the club. We want the best players playing the best football, and we want to be serious contenders in whatever competition we are in, the Emirates Cup, the League and F.A. Cup, the Premier League and the European Cup.”

    In the words of Basil Fawlty, is that a statement of the bleedin’ obvious? Or a crude attempt to imply that you are a “true red-blooded die-hard Arsenal supporter” but those who say something different aren’t?

  96. irishgunner says:

    Graeme – You can’t just add bits on. A blind man knows that we have problems with our defence, but your claim that Buffon would have signed for us is wide of the mark.

  97. Hey irish – just got in – did you realise we were heading to 20,000 comments today and you were the 20,000th blogger 🙂

  98. SharkeySure says:

    Whilst I also want the best players at Arsenal, I wouldn’t want it on the basis that we were so financially dominant that we simply bought them all, in the way that Chelseas did and Man Sheiky are now trying to do. It diminishes their achievements a great deal in my eyes.

    Those guys only say – to win we must have the best players. They have no ethos of improving the players they already have, they simply splash the cash buying every ‘big name’ and hope the gamble pays off.

  99. irishgunner says:

    Hiya Peaches

    WOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO – Do I win Rosicky as a prize???

    You going to Barnet tomorrow?

  100. SharkeySure says:

    Alright Peaches…where’s ‘the tall guy’ these days..??

  101. Gadget says:

    Thanks for the words of approval, but the truth is I’ve only spoke of the obvious and history.

    Graeme Green seems to have a penchant for sensationalist waffle.

    @ 2.51:
    Winning mentality? What is it exactly? It can’t possibly be a desire to win, because I can’t think of anybody who actually wants to lose.

    The difficulty in getting the right two players is first defining the characteristics of the right player, then finding such, and finally them wanting to play for us.

    I’ve got to run so I’ll end this now, but I’m not the manager, and I shall not profess to know what’s best for the club, however, I will leave it in the hands of those who have and who are doing great jobs at allowing us to play beautiful football, strengthen the foundations, and keep us competative at the same time.

  102. Graeme Green says:

    Arsene Wenger once told a press-conference that he could have had Drogba for £100,000 when he was at Lorient. He was available around the same time that we bought Kanu for £4m. Kanu cant really be qualified as a success, can he? Overmars and Petit skipped off to Barca, Hleb too, Flamini left for free, we only had Diarra for 6 months, I never rated Gallas, Rosicky & van Persie are forever injured, Arshavin was poor last season, Walcott still has a lot to prove, and the only good thing about Adebayor was Man City giving us £25m. Dont forget Richard Wright, Reyes cost a small fortune, and Jeffers. And I would definitely pick van der Sar over Lehmann. We wasted van Bronkhorst, who cost £8m. Everywhere else he played in his career was at left-back, notably Rangers, Barcelona (CL Final 2006), and Holland (2010 WC Final as capt). Wenger tried to play him in Petit’s role, it didn’t work so he rarely played & was sold. Again, I would have picked him ahead of Clichy. Yes Wenger has got some right, but a lot more wrong, and he has never constructed a solid defence. He allowed Seaman to go on a season too long. My main point is that I want us to compete for every cup available, and we cant do that with a Goalkeeper as poor as Almunia, or a defensive unit as naive as ours.

  103. irishgunner says:

    ” My main point is that I want us to compete for every cup available, and we cant do that with a Goalkeeper as poor as Almunia, or a defensive unit as naive as ours.” – This I agree with.

    As for the transfers part, you could go through Mourinho and Ferguson as well and pick out the players they missed. Its a bit pointless in my opinion.

  104. dandan says:

    Great READ LONDON, super post Gadgeet.

    We will have a great year, if lady luck smiles we may even win something.

    But most of all we will see good football played in a super stadium and each week will be more debt free.
    What an atrocious way to run a business.

    Who else in the premier league can say that and when Cesc leaves next year we will have the ability to fill his place either Internally if little Jack keeps progressing or by buying who we like in a market which will have been brought down to earth by economic outlook that will decimate so many so called big clubs.

    Arsenal fans will thank AW for his prudence the man is a superstar.

  105. Def Rosicky is all yours – I’ll pick him up tomorrow for you – only you’ll have to come and get him from me 😉

    Yep we have a small party going to Barnet, me, Rasp, chary and goonermichael plus Rasps daughter – the famous MRS FAB 😉

  106. SharkeySure says:

    “Yes Wenger has got some right, but a lot more wrong”

    Graeme – that leaves me speechless (well almost !!)

    Count up his trophyless years and compare them to his ‘won trophy’ years. Add a point for trophy years with more than one trophy. Let me know how you get on with that….

    Seriously, you’re disappointed with the last five years, but now you seem obsessed with doing Wenger down for his entire tenure.

    Yours is a very revisonist take on almost every point.

    At the end of 2004 whilst celebrating Arsene’s greatest achievement, were you a) crying out for Van Der Sar or Buffon, or for Carrick or Lampard, or Drogba. B)on blogs talking about Arsene being a bit hit and miss in the transfer market, c)bemoaning GVB having been played out od position..??

    I suspect its none of the above !!

    Not even ‘hindsight’ covers you for those !!

  107. Hi Sharkey – I’ve texted him a couple of times but he must be laying low 😉 I’m sure he’ll catch up with us soon

  108. irishgunner says:

    I suppose if I have to go collect Rosicky I might as well go to a game too 😉

  109. SharkeySure says:

    Irish…thats ‘collect wots left of Rosicky’ if Peaches has had first dibs on him.

    Another 18mth injury lay off for our impish Czech..??

  110. SharkeySure says:

    Peaches – it must be pretty hard hard to ‘lay low’ when you’re the size ‘the tall guy’ he is.

  111. irishgunner says:

    Sharkeysure – Peaches knows better than to do anything to my man… She’s still upset that Campbell is flirting elsewhere

  112. SharkeySure says:

    Campbell flirting…who with…?? Gerard Pique…??

  113. irishgunner says:

    The only person Pique has eyes for is Puyol …. and Imbrahimovich

  114. SPECTRUM says:

    SharkeySure – “Read what he (Wenger ) actually says” ? Well here’s a quote during last season ; “Judge me in May”.
    May has come and gone.But Wenger’s still here.My verdict’s in. As you seem to be his defence lawyer, perhaps you’d like a re-trial ?
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  115. Graeme Green says:

    Agreed 2004 was a ground-breaking year, and 49 games unbeaten in the top Division is incredible, something Busby, Shankly or Fergie have never achieved. Tinged only with the disappointment of going out to Chelsea in CL. My concern is that since the days of Vieira, Pires & Henry, we haven’t really closed the gap between us & the top two, and in failing to close that gap, we have been caught by the chasing pack. Arsene Wenger has undoubtedly revolutionised Arsenal, and to have taken us to a level where success is expected reflects his remarkable work. I just feel that since 2006 CL Final we have stuttered, and every time they had to step up and cement a sustained challenge, they’ve gone missing. Football is all about opinions, and I love Arsenal with as much passion as anyone, so if I’ve upset anyone I sincerely apologise.

  116. SharkeySure says:

    And how have you judged him Spectrum.??

    Complete failure…??

    Here’s a game for you to play…??

    Plot your ‘happiness’ throughtout the season on a week to week graph, having first plotted your expectations.

    Then look for any points where his ‘point in time’ achievements (ie League position) exceeded your expectations.

    If at the end of Aug 09 you were predicting Armageddon (5th, 6th etc), then overall you’ve got to be happy, and your verdict can only be one of unadulterated joy. Yes.??

    If you’re not one of those who were calling for his head due to lack of big name signings, and a ‘certainty’ that we’d be overtaken by both the Spuds and Man Sheiky then please forgive me.

  117. irishgunner says:

    Graeme – You’ve just given very valid reasons so I don’t see how anyone can be upset, hence I don’t see the need for you to apologise.

  118. andy says:

    Yes London I believe we can. It would be unimaginable for us to have another season with so many injuries, the squad has not been weakened except possibly Gallas but his body has begun to join his head and give up now anyway. I think AA and TW will come good this year and prove some of their doubters wrong. We have a wealth of young talent just itching to get into the first team. Our problems are the same as last year, no dominant keeper, light in defensive midfield and now we are light in CD . IF we buy an experienced keeper and either another CD or DM we wont just win it we will stroll it IMO.

  119. SPECTRUM says:

    SharkeySure – “Unadulterated joy” at finishing 4th ? Yep, it’s better than 5th or 6th.But then your expectations are set a lot lower than mine.What’s wrong with aiming for 1st ? Oh I forgot – 4th is our new benchmark now, is it ?
    Wenger condemns himself with HIS OWN words ,repeat – HIS OWN WORDS ; “Judge me in May”. Then again,(as his lawyer),you could mention that he didn’t say WHICH May. Perhaps he meant 2015.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  120. 26may1989 says:

    Graeme Green

    “My concern is that since the days of Vieira, Pires & Henry, we haven’t really closed the gap between us & the top two…. I just feel that since 2006 CL Final we have stuttered.”

    Actually, I wouldn’t say it is a case of us not closing the gap on the Chavs and United, it is a case of being the top dogs and having been overtaken.

    But the point I will always come back to on this is: what happened between 2005 and 2010? Answer: construction of a new stadium, financing etc etc. Everything since 2005 has to be judged through that prism. It is a fact that we have only now got rid of most of the debt and uncertainty that came with the project, so it will only be in the next few seasons that Wenger will return to the position he had up to 2004 in terms of a budget (and, depite the economic downturn, will see the available funds increase).

    It’s the failure of many of Wenger’s critics to take this factor into account that really bugs me. Of course he’s made mistakes, his job is all about applying judgment, which can never be perfect. Given your last post, I assume you don’t really think he’s got more wrong than right; it’s just plain wrong after all. But I’m happy to debate the mistakes Wenger has made in his 13 years in post – I just object to not taking into account the specific circumstances of the last five years.

  121. 26may1989 says:


    Leaving aside your mangling of what Sharkey actually said, it’s fair enough to answer Wenger’s invitation at the start of the season to judge him in May. And a reasonable assessment of the team’s performance would be good but should do better.

    To pretend last season was a complete failure is as ridiculous as thinking it was a blinding success. We were genuinely in the hunt for the title till late on (despite plenty of predictions we’d finish well behind City and Liverpool, never mind United and Chelsea), and got to the CL quarter finals (you might recall that Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan all went out the round before, while United went out in the QFs as well). That wasn’t good enough, but then if you recall, the Henry/Pires/Bergkamp/Vieira team routinely failed to do well in the CL.

  122. irishgunner says:

    The “Judge me in May” bashing of Wenger is a common theme on another blog, I’ll let all your imaginations run wild as ye guess which one 😆

  123. 26may1989 says:


  124. irishgunner says:

    Near enough 26May 😀

  125. andy says:

    The reasons for our failings in the last few years have been a lack of players of the required calibre. It sounds obvious I know, my point is that the starting 11 are very good but their replacements have not lived up to expectations. Strength in depth and sensible rotation is all we need to turn things around. For the first time in a while I think we are beginning to see a true squad. Yes some of the youngsters are probably a season away yet but we are getting there and with a slice of luck (injuries), a bit of fight and a lot of belief it will be our time. Oh and two (or three if i’m being greedy)more additions of course.

  126. 26may1989 says:

    I gave up on that one a while ago Irish – some great people there but christ, a lot of crap gets said there as well, and plenty of ego-maniacs. Am glad I found this one, works much better for dealing with my unhealthy Arsenal obsession.

  127. SharkeySure says:

    Spectrum – The ‘unaldulterated joy’ was not mine, it was suggested as being yours. If you’d completed the exercise I gave you, or even gave it a moments thought. Read it again and you’ll see that.

    Oh, and who exactly finished fourth..?? Like I say, if you’d completed your ‘homework’, you’d have seen we finished 3rd. You’d have also seen that at certain points even the most optimistic expectations were being exceeded…

    Do not confuse what you wanted and what you expected. I suspect our ‘wants’ are exactly the same, but our expectations differ. 1st place for ‘wanted’ – agreed?

    My expectation was a good challenge with the squad we had based on what I saw in the last third of the prior season. I had no genuine fear that we’d not AT LEAST get a CL spot.

    Can you say the same..?? I posited what I thought your expectations might have been (6th, 7th), but in your haste to ‘mangle’ (cheers 26m) my words you didn’t bother to confirm or correct my guesstimate.

    Oh, and the patronising tone is in response to your ‘oh so witty’/silly comments about me being Arsene’s lawyer. I’ll continue to follow your lead in that respect…but only so far.

  128. irishgunner says:

    Ditto for me 26may.

    Both sides of the argument are welcome here as long as its argued diplomatically and doesn’t dissolve into slanging and general childish behaviour.

  129. Mayank says:

    Bah! We have as good a chance as last year of winning the league. Let’s evaluate. The attack is stronger and the MF unchanged (I know, I know). The GK situation can only get better.

    Which brings us to the defence. My defence of the defence goes like this, we still have our best defender who’s a year older. And hopefully has improved his communication with Gael. We’ve replaced Sol and Silv with Kos/JD. Now when (if?) we bring in the other CB, what we lose in talent (Gallas) we’ll make up in fitness. Gallas has never completed a season with us and is a main reason for our annual end of season collapse.

    Now for the teams around us, City are undeniably stronger but won’t win anything till the same group of players play together for a few seasons. Man U don’t seem like buying anyone of note. Even Hernandez may be sent out on loan. Chelsea are surely getting too old for this and have lost Ballack and Cole while getting Benayoun.

    Now we won’t walk the league but we have as good a chance as any of winning it. The CL is another matter.

  130. SharkeySure says:

    Graeme – if you still around.

    Seriously, no offence taken by me. None at all.

    People might disagree with you all day long on here about and across a wide variety of topics, but its all done respectfully, and without the anger and vitriol of so many sites.

    Today we’re on opposing sides of the main argument/debate, tomorrow we may concur.

    So stick that apology of yours right up your arse you dozy…oops. Only kidding pal 😉

  131. Mayank says:

    This is getting boring, let’s talk about Cesc baby! 😉

  132. SPECTRUM says:

    SharkeySure – O.K we finished 3rd. Same principle applies.The “most optimistic expectation” for our club ( or any club for that matter ) is to finish 1st.That’s what I wanted AND expected.Especially after Wenger’s “I believe in this team” emphasis for the last few seasons.And his misguided obsession with the young players supposedly coming good ( we’re still waiting for that one to eventuate ).
    If Wenger had covered for injuries as any prudent manager should have,bought some required key players when he should have ( he was told he WOULD be given money if he needed it – remember ? ),we might have got there.Wenger must have thought we could too, or why would he challenge us to “Judge me in May” ?
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  133. irishgunner says:


    I’m so gutted that the blasted FAI stopped Limerick FC (my home club) from playing Barcelona. I was aiming for a ticket behind the away dugout – the abuse would have been massive.

  134. Mayank says:

    Lol, that chant will be a bit ironic this year.

    SS, how goes it?

  135. 26may1989 says:

    Irish, why did the FAI do that?? Did they realise Henry’s left?

    Spectrum, whatever mate, there’s obviously not a lot anyone can say in the face of anti-Wenger fundamentalism. Have a lovely weekend, and just think, if Barnet win tomorrow, you can have loads of fun.

  136. andy says:

    For arguments sake lets say that AW buys Given and Mertesacker. Does that make him a good manager and us a premiership winning team ?

  137. SharkeySure says:

    Spectrum – Most optimistic expectation for any club is 1st..?? You really believe that.??

    If you move far enough along the expectation spectrum you get to a point at one end which represents fantasy or dreams ie Spuds getting relegated, Blackpool winning the League.

    Just cos it can happen (N.Forest 78?) that doesn’t make it a valid expectation.

    Finishing is what you wanted, fine. But I refuse to believe that anyone ‘expected’ us to finish first, perhaps not even Arsene himself.

    Hope to finish 1st, had a chance of finishing 1st, but claim you EXPECTED to finish 1st – in Aug 2009. We might need to leave this argument there, cos I’m in the realms of disbelief of that as a genuine expectation.

    I’m not sure that’s valid at the start of the season for any team, even in the ‘two horse’ leagues like Spain and Scotland, other than when Lyon and Rangers won it year after year.

  138. irishgunner says:

    26may – Apparently if a crowd attending a friendly game is over 20,000 people (which it would have been) a 3rd party needs to be brought in to oversee this, because Limerick hadn’t done this it wasn’t allowed.

    Basically it was all rubbish because the FAI want everything in Dublin and are trying to get Barcelona to play in the new Aviva Stadium next year. Needless to say, Barcelona told them to shove it.

  139. irishgunner says:

    Anyways I must be off folks, hope to catch some people around game time tomorrow.

  140. SharkeySure says:

    Typinsons is corrections offered. I never do.

  141. Mayank – I can’t wait to sing Cesc’s chant – I hope they can hear it Finsbury Park when he leads the team out against Blackpool (?)

  142. SharkeySure says:

    Andy, that would improve our chances, but there’s no guarantees. We all know that football just isn’t that simple.

    Look no further than Keegan signing Faustino Asprilla when Newcastle were x points clear.

    Thats a pretty good example of how its about a lot more than just buying shiny new players.

  143. Mayank says:

    Well C. Ronaldo was welcomed back with open arms and it helped them to another title. That’s all I care about with regards to Cesc, that he takes us to a title.

  144. SharkeySure says:

    Yeah I’m cool Mayank.

    Hiding out over these days….

    I still read the madhouse posts most days just for a laugh. But I refuse to post there any more.

    I play a game called ‘spot the full stop’ on Geoffs posts, its great fun. Give it a try… lol

    I’ll stop there Peaches. Sorry Miss

  145. SharkeySure says:

    Cesc’s chant Peaches.

    Share please.

    Anyways night all, I’m off to take adavantage of the free footie facilities that Millwall offer as part of their Care in the Community programme !!

  146. SPECTRUM says:

    SharkeySure – I think we can agree that we should not “expect” anything, in football, at least.I believe you introduced the term “expect” into the discussion, and I simply picked up on it.Let’s use “aim” instead.All clubs should aim to finish 1st.Only the best will, of course.But with Arsenal’s resources there is good reason to think we should not only be competing on all fronts, but going further and winning some of them.For the reasons I have given, and others, Wenger is letting us down badly, and needs to move on.
    “In Arsene we rust”.

  147. Mayank says:

    Spot the full stop? What does that mean? Wait don’t go! This is going to bug me.

  148. Mayank says:

    Wait I think I got it. 🙂

  149. Sharkey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ‘We’ve got Cesc Fabregas,
    We’ve got Cesc Fabregas,
    We’ve got Cesc Fabregas,
    We’ve got Cesc Fabregas’

  150. Jay-Jay says:

    Can we win the league?

    Everytime I get asked that question I say no, and theam go very close to proving me wrong.

    As far as I’m concerned, the squad still needs a little bit of investment and if we do strengthen – a new keeper is a must – then we have a good shot.

    If we can avoid the usual catalouge of bloody injuries, then we have a better chance.

  151. goonermichael says:

    “in Arsene we rust” was quite amusing first time. Now it’s boring

  152. goonermichael says:

    I’m off see you tomorrow Peaches

  153. London says:

    Most days this site un-earths a gem…today’s is:

    “Anti-Wenger fundamentalism.”

    Absolutely, brilliant.

    26th, top drawer.

  154. 26may1989 says:

    Very kind London! Have a good eve, and to anyone who’s off to Underhill tomorrow, enjoy, I look forward to hearing all about it. I have won’t be there as I have to bloody go to bloody work. Bloody.

  155. Rasp says:

    Evening London,

    A very lively and interesting day’s blogging in response to your article – you must be very pleased 😉

  156. Rasp says:

    Evening 26m – you’ll be there in spirit! I’ll drink a Peroni in your honour 😛

  157. Graeme Green says:

    I’d just like to add London, that I’m not an anti-Wenger fundamentalist, he has done wonders for our club. He’s given us two ‘doubles’ as well as a complete season unbeaten in the Premier Lge. The only other team unbeaten in a league programme was Preston in 1888, and they only played 22 games! And he has moved us to a fantastic new Stadium. But he won’t compete in the League Cup – which is still good enough for Chelsea & Man Utd to win, and he has recently adopted that attitude in the FA Cup. That’s ok if it’s subsidised with Premier and European titles, but it hasn’t been. Chelsea, Liverpool & Man Utd have all knocked us out of the CL, and that is almost as painful as never having won it. But if he brings silver-ware this season all will be forgiven.

  158. London says:

    Graeme Green

    It wasn’t my intention to be disrespectful to you when complementing 26th, I just liked the expression that’s all. Actually, when I think about it, I would like to thank you for entering into today’s blogging in such a good spirit, I hope you feel welcome enough to return.

    As for the value of winning the League Cup….if you are interested my view is in here.

  159. 26may1989 says:

    Just to keep the love in going, my reference to fundamentalism wasn’t a response to anything Graeme Green said. It was just a sign-off to Spectrum. For whom I of course have enormous respect.

    I like your last post GG. Most of it at least!

  160. Rasp says:

    New post …….

  161. Andy Mack says:

    Colin, was there or was there not a promise?
    Either answer the question or admit you’re guessing.

  162. […] London пишет: Not a ‘cat in hell‘ with the current squad. We need a world class Keeper and some steel in the midfield. I don’t know how much longer we can endure the trophyless seasons. At this rate even S**ds will overtake us let alone one or few others . ….. As for Shevchenko, that was Abramovic’s doing. It’s not ‘Football Manager’, but a club needs to evolve, and the way to do that is by addressing weaknesses. We are as one in recognising that Almunia & Fabianski are not up to the … […]

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