Sack Wenger; Win Something – Written by redandwhiteviews

Written by redandwhiteviews

Unless you’ve been holidaying with Terry Waite’s old associates or staying with the Fritzls, you’ll know that Arsenal haven’t won anything for five years. You’ll know because every lazy football writer and commentator mentions it every five minutes.

My worry is that people believe the hype – because of his failure to bring ‘silverware’ to the Emirates in recent years, some ‘fans’ are even disappointed Wenger has signed a new deal. Time for a reality check:

No divine right to win the league

To begin with, and despite what the red scousers and the bare-chested idiots from Newcastle might tell you, no club has a divine right to win the league. It’s really hard to do and requires luck as well as momentum. The league invariably comes down to a few points (one point last year, none in ‘89), so a couple of bad games can put paid to your title hopes pretty quickly – in our case it used to be in November, but now seems to be March. So even if you’ve got the Chelsea open chequebook or the £60m-a-year the Mancs spend on players, you’re not guaranteed to win it anyway.

Shit cups are like chocolate teapots… pointless

Although Liverpool listed the Charity Shield among their ‘five cups’ and Spurs still boast of their success in the 1947 Norwich Hospital Charity Cup (click here if you don’t believe me), the Champions League is the only other trophy that really counts. But the Champions League is a cup competition. Any of the top sides can win it – which is why Porto did and we nearly did – and any side can lose it, which is why Chelsea, despite all their cash, never have. My point is that, however much you spend, there are no guarantees.

Building for the future…

To many, Wenger’s tighter than Beth Ditto’s waistband and needs to spend to win trophies. But the decision to build the Emirates has put massive constraints on Wenger. I honestly don’t think he’s got anywhere near the money people think. The board says there’s money to spend, but they would… otherwise clubs would target our players with even lower bids than they already do. That doesn’t mean the decision to build the Emirates was wrong. The 9,000 seats in the posh bit in the middle generate as much income as the whole of Highbury’s 38,000 seats used to. Once the stadium debt is paid for, we will have one of the world’s finest sporting arenas generating enough income to ensure our future for years to come. Around the same time, other clubs will hopefully be paying for the irrational management of their finances during the global financial crisis, and we will be in a position of most clubs’ envy – alive. Until then, the money is not available to take on the likes of Man U, Chelsea and, more notably, Man City in the transfer market. So the goalposts have moved.

The new goal

Our target during this period of paying for the stadium is to keep achieving Champions League football. Anything else will be a bonus. Wenger is spot on that 3rd or 4th in the league is better than winning the League Cup or the FA Cup. Anyone can get lucky and win a cup – Millwall made the final and Portsmouth won it – but a full season sets the men from the boys. The main thing, of course, is that the rewards are so much bigger. Would you really want Wenger fielding his best eleven in the Carling Cup on a Wednesday away at Wigan if there’s a six-pointer for a Champions League spot on the Saturday? Sack Wenger and you might just end up winning some shit… and missing out on the good stuff.

Show a little faith…

Wenger’s record speaks for itself but, if anyone thinks someone else could have done a better job on his watch, (including the idiots who have suggested Jumpy-up-and-down Martin O’Neill should be brought in to replace him), here are a few pointers.

For starters, what do Tottenham, Newcastle, ‘Boro, Sunderland, Villa, Everton, the Mancs, Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City all have in common? The answer is they all have a higher net spend than Arsenal since 2004. Where are their championships, FA Cups and Champions League finals? Newcastle, Boro and Sunderland have been relegated in that time. I don’t hear commentators banging on about their lack of silverware every two minutes.

Chelsea’s have spent £248m since 2004, recouping just £100m. Wenger’s net spend per season since 2004 has been £4m. He’s achieved Champions league football every year on that budget. Every year.

Before moving to the Emirates, we were no bigger than Leeds, Villa, Everton, Newcastle, Man City, Tottenham, West Ham, Liverpool and many others who had stadiums as big as ours and therefore the same income. Arsenal have been in the Champions League for 11 seasons running. Where have the others been? Newcastle have been to Bristol Rovers for league games. Leeds have been to Cheltenham, Hereford and Yeovil.

In summary, Arsenal made a decision some years ago that, rather than stand still with our peers, we would take a punt on building a big stadium to generate long-term higher income and the chance to compete at the very top.

What they saw in Wenger, a man who had already revolutionised British football with his views on fitness, training, diet and tactics, was a man who could not only steer us through the period in which we would have to pay for that plan, but who had the foresight to begin a youth policy which would also give the fans something enjoyable to watch and the chance of success every year without spending money – even if that success doesn’t always materialise. I’ll take security and hope over trips to Cheltenham, Hereford and Yeovil, Carling Cups and the Norwich Hospital Trophy any day. But the commentators aren’t interested in that, are they?

redandwhiteviews was previously known as heffer on this site. This article has been published on his site, but he has allowed us to reproduce it on here for our readers to enjoy.

214 Responses to Sack Wenger; Win Something – Written by redandwhiteviews

  1. tayo says:

    Beautiful!!!!!

  2. 26may1989 says:

    Nice post redandwhiteviews/heffer, I agree with 99% of that. That said, I do think that we now have more scope to spend money on players than we have at any time since 2004, and would like to see that happening to make good the gaps in our squad. We don’t need to spend huge amounts but more than we have been.

    But overall, the club has managed the financial issues surrounding the stadium very well and Wenger has been nothing short of a hero in that time. The pity of it is that so many Gooners are too easily swayed by the muppets on Sky or in the tabloids to see the reality of the last few years.

  3. kelsey says:

    Heffer with apologies,

    Very articulate and well thought out post.I had written a piece this morning,and we had a few gremlins so I reproduce my thoughts which I hope can add to today’s debate.

    If reports are correct Schwarzer is on his way to us and Given is going to Fulham to replace him.

    Is it a question of money that we won’t pay the asking price for Given, or is it the case that City claim that they won’t sell any of their players to any of their title opponents . If so,that is rubbish with Milner being mooted to leave Villa for City or are City really scared that as a unit or as a team we are a better outfit, and they just have a collection of over paid individuals.

    Toure and Adebayor were quick to jump ship primarily for the money.

    Add to that the on going saga with Barcelona,believing that they can dictate all the terms in the inevitable purchase of Cesc, makes me really annoyed that we are not only sometimes a feeder club for others, but we are being treated with absolutely no respect by these clubs,and they don’t understand the words “not for sale”.
    I don’t think Wenger is penny pinching, he just evaluates the true price of a player to the club,be it buying or selling, but the media always put a slant on it , that we are a soft touch and generally always take any opportunity to put us down and regularly say we haven’t got the crdentials to win anything.

    By my calculations, we will be debt free in about 18 months, and some big names will go to the wall, and it might take another couple of years, but we will rule again and leave others in our wake.

    My only doubt is that in theory that we are saving,as a takeover is fairly imminent,might just change things, but then Wenger wouldn’t have signed his new extension so quickly, which is not the way he usually works, if he wasn’t kept fully in the picture.This may sound like a contradiction, but i hope you understand what I mean.

    There is something going on at the club,that none of us know about,and hopefully it will be for the good.

    Personally,Istill believe worst way we will finish top 4 this season and then go into over drive next season.Watch this space.

  4. gman says:

    Disagree

    He needs to go- are we building a team for France- look at our back four- he continues to play diaby- he has to go!! See what happen to Wenger in France.

  5. Harry says:

    To be honest due to your title I nearly didnt read this article, as I am fed up with the negativity that manifests within the Emirates crowd…..

    I understand fans frustrations and we all want to win trophies and gloat to our mates, but football isnt that easy.

    At times Wenger doesnt do himself many favours and he must be more careful with definite statements he makes about what he is after, as when he doesnt go after them, it adds fuel to the fire.

    I think {hopefully} by the end of this week (or TW) if a new keeper comes in and another CB, most fans will back him……

    I certainly will, he makes mistakes, he is only human but I cannot think of one person who at the moment with these constraints do any better………

  6. beardy says:

    yes i agree with the above but as a football manager Wenger should still be able to spot weaknesses in the team and addresss them appropriately i.e a solid goalkeeper and our defensive weakness which has been a problem now for at least the last 3 seasons. It really doesn’t take millions to sort out these areas. Last season everyone could see that our goalies was a weakness and where exploiting them in games and Wenger has had all summer to sort out this problem and we still we go to Liverpool with a terrible keeper and nearly pay the price again.

  7. Justagooner71 says:

    What a great post at last someone posting something that makes sense about the Arsenal and Wenger I couldn’t agree more with what’s been stated.. Who else would of come close to winning a title twice in the last 3 seasons too on that budget? 08 admittedly we were closer until tiny taylor’s hack of Eduardo..but we are on the right path..keep the faith gooners and re read this post to help in times of need!

  8. Gooner1971 says:

    Excellent post. I’m not an ‘Arsene knows Best’ but I do believe our longer term future is much brighter than the likes of chelsea and those at the middle east lands.

    Five years.

  9. Jose Reyes says:

    i think sacking wenger would be a little harsh but i do think he needs a serious kick up the ar#e and needs to be told he has to buy a gk has to buy a cb and then has to win a trophy and be in the top 4.

  10. SCGunner says:

    Well said!! Bravo!

  11. andy1886 says:

    Although I agree with the main tone of this article, to suggest that the FA Cup isn’t worth winning (you say the CL is the only other comp worth winning) is downright ludicrous. Didn’t see the Chavs looking to unhappy as they lifted it.

    GG’s success started with the League Cup – winning becomes a habit.

    Also, to lump is in with the teams you suggest before moving to the Emirates is just daft. We’d won more trophies than all you mention (bar ‘Pool) put together, and our recent record prior to the move was better than all bar ManU and Chelsea.

    Financially we were already stronger than almost all of the above, only Liverpool could compare.

    Net spend is one thing, as has been frequently pointed out the real test is player’s wages, on which we are usually rated 3rd or 4th which makes our league performances par for the course.

    Yes we have no divine right to win the league. What frustrates many is that over the last 2 or 3 years just a small investment (less than the spend of teams like Villa and the Spuds) COULD have made the league title achieveable.

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Gman. Thankfully you are in the minority.

    Heffer. Tremendous post, well done.

    Kelsey. I do not agree that big clubs will go to the wall. No PL club will fail IMO. What will happen is they will be bailed out, which is a direct reflection upon current attitudes towards debt. Just look at the EU and in particular the Greek economy ( – or in our cases the UK 😦 ).

  13. tommystout says:

    fab post heffer
    i just wish the main stream tabloids and the cretins on talkshite would be forced to read it so that they can understand what we are doing here and leave us alone!
    Am i the only one here that would prefer scwartzer over given???
    he has the better chance of bossing his box, he is the bigger keeper, not as injury prone and has a better shot stop %.

  14. Big Raddy says:

    Good points Andy1886.

    It was very frustrating to see us lose a title because of a long term injury to RvP, and the lack of decent replacements Mad Jens and Sol.

  15. James Fernie says:

    @gman

    …if we’re building a team for France, we’re not doing a very good job.

    You sir, are an idiot.

  16. Scooch says:

    Fantastic article! It amazes me that supporting your club is something that should be fun. Yeah there’ll be times when you don’t win and you can get pissed off. But too many “supporters” expect us to win everything, buy everyone and never concede a goal or miss a shot. When supporting your club if you end up moaning and pulling your hair out more often than feeling good then maybe it’s time to find another hobby (or support the Spuds or Newcaslte!!!)

  17. goonerjay says:

    Yes its all true. A great club and a great ground and yes a great manager.
    We only had 35 m euros this year for transfers which includes salaries- so we did not have this war chest available.
    What you dont mention is that we paid off 100m GBP off our debt last year- that did not have to be paid off- if it was as well structured as was argued at the previous agm. That was 88m from one off capital receipt and 12 m from the sale of players. Thats 100m that could have been invested in the team. Its evidence that the club prioritises reducing its capital debt to strengthening the team.

    There are many AKB out there who argue that this was entirely the right thing to do by the Board. But then the AKB have deluded themselves into believing that winning doesnt matter- that anyone who wants to see a competitive team is a “short-termist”- who “doesnt get the big picture”. deluded arrogant over optimistic tosh.

    What I want to know from you is when are these great revenues- which are financed by supporters- going to be invested in the team?

  18. Andy Mack says:

    Hi,
    Excellent post. I just have to add that I think AW has money for a really world class player as proved by AA (come on AA, live up to your reputation!). but there are so many reasonable players being hailed as ‘talent’ ‘ and costing far more than their true value. Also AW is very aware of how much money effects team spirit. Most of the squad can see why Cesc, AA and RvP get the big salaries but bring in Balotelli (or others with unproven potential)and pay him the same money as RvP causes friction throughout the team (as shown by Greedybarndor). Hopefully Gibbs/jack/Frimpong/JET etc can see that they’re paid approriately for their age, talent and position in the squad whilst seeing a career path with us.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    TS. I would be delighted with either but cannot imagine that MC will sell to us.

  20. SharkeySure says:

    I salute you Heff, what a read that was. Brilliant.

  21. jazbo says:

    gman

    Get your head out of your backside and just try to understand what the adults are talking about.

    Arsene Wenger has be the best thing to have happened to Arsenal football club in my 50 years plus of life.

    Long may he remain giving us the the golden years to remember long after he’s gone because these times are the greatest in the clubs long history, this is the golden age of Arsenal

  22. steve says:

    spot on who the fxxk are we going to get better than aw

  23. shay says:

    NO WENGER, NO ARSENAL. THE STADIUM WAS HIS IDEA, AND THERE WOULD NEVER BE SOMEONE BETTER LIKE HIM

  24. Jenkinson says:

    Beardy,
    On goalkeepers.
    In fact Almunia was one of Arsenal’s best players in the season before last. He is a good keeper and we will get back at least what we paid for him when he moves on.
    As for the thought that Arsene should have sorted out the keeper situation much earlier in the transfer window, clearly he did. The offer for Schwarzer went in in May and the deal has been held up by Hodgson’s departure ad the eventual arrival of Mr Angry Hughes. It will happen though.
    I’m sure also that Arsene knows who he is going to sign as a centreback.

  25. jman says:

    First of all..great post…been awhile since i read something as inspiring as this.i’ve always had this doubt that we actually have the kind of spending money as promised by chairman,etc.Im sure wenger would love to buy some of the so called big players,but its not just about the signing fee,they also have to discuss the salaries and its not as easy as we see it.big players obviously demand big money and maybe we dont have that kind of money to spend right now.Considering the players we have and how well we do,that in itself is an amazing feat.we got brilliant players that no one else would have ever signed…thanks to the bossmans knack of picking diamonds in the rough..Luck does play a major factor in winning trophies and we all know we havent been as lucky as other teams in the recent years,what with injuries et al.Im sure our time will come soon…the season is only started and long way to go.Gman,im pretty sure ur a spuds fan trying to stir up thngs in here..no matter how hard u try,,spuds will never be as great as the arsenal..goooo gunners!!!!

  26. Gooner64 says:

    Interesting post redandwhiteviews I agree with most of your post. AW and the board have built for the future. Our youth policy begins to bear fruit. We are in a sound financial position. A football club, even though it has huge emotional capital still needs to be run like any other business.That means profitably. What some people don’t seem to realise is that football clubs have to live within their means. Leeds and Portsmouth stand out as examples of what can happen when ambition outstrips the finances available. I’ve followed Arsenal for 41 years and I want to follow them for another 41 and my kids and grandkids to follow them for generations to come. For that to happen we have to have a sensible business plan. AW is guiding us to a bright future. The economic model at Arsenal is one that is going to be repeated again and again for one simple reason it works.

  27. Robert SA says:

    Excellent article. Someone who understands what is happening and can see the bigger picture. I wish some Gooners would stop being so narrow minded and see what Wenger has done and is doing. He is in the top 3 best managers in the world. Thank you sir for pointing out all that is good with Wenger.

  28. Cid says:

    Yet again a blogger has missed the point that many Arsenal fans try to make about the transfer policy.

    Not one sensible fan has said we want to abandon an intelligent transfer policy and spend anywhere near the type of money that other clubs do.

    We do however need to spend somewhere in the region of £5-7m on a goalkeeper, an amount that wouldn’t get you a world-beating outfield player but would get you someone pretty decent – I would suggest that City would want about £6m for Shay Given, for example. Is that too much to ask? Really?

    And Wenger himself says we need another defender. Is spending a similar amount on a decent centre-back really going to break the bank? For the two players combined we’d be looking at less than £15m, less than Arshavin cost for two players who would likely prove far more important over the next few years.

    All the people accused of being ungrateful bastards at the moment want is limited, targeted spending in the precise areas we need it, not some “Screw the finances! Let’s buy David Villa!” policy.

  29. adrian says:

    It is important to state that Arsene has led the club through the transition to the emirates stadium and a firmer financial footing. The one interesting aspect of recent times is Arsene’s decision to sign a new contract this early in the season. Does this mean he is protecting himself from the sack? On balance he is a positive influence, but a time is coming when he will no longer be able make a positive difference. Change is on its way over the next few seasons.

  30. Bryan says:

    Absolutely spot on, I have said for years that I don’t believe Wenger is given the funds that people mention.
    I just wish that the bigwigs upstairs would not let Wenger take the total blame for that.
    I do though believe we should take the FA Cup more seriously because I still think it a great trophy to win & also think it could act as a catalyst for this great young side to go on & win the bigger & better trophys.
    Well said though, a great piece 😉

  31. Andy Mack says:

    goonerjay, can i give you a little advice about life.
    There is no such thing as good debt, unless the money is owed to you and it’s called good credit. There is only bad debt and reasonable debt. Pay crdit cards, mortgage etc as soon as you can. You’ll save a fortune in the long run.

  32. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, and glad to see you have a debut post Hef, or should I say Hugh.
    While I don’t want to see Wenger sacked right now I’m not calling for his head on the perceived basis of money not being spent leading to a lack of trophies,, it’s for other reasons.
    As we don’t know the exact extent of his ability to spend I’m putting that argument aside, for me his annoying weaknesses are his tactical niavete ,inability to ensure we fight for possession when the opposition have the ball and his apparent disinterest in the defensive side of the game. His substitutions are generally predictable and/or too late to make any difference and he has an inconsistency when dropping underperforming players.
    All these failings are nothing to do with spending power and to address those concerns would cost nothing.

  33. Gunner90 says:

    My main criticsm of Wenger is that he has failed to address the squad deficiencies that are obvious to anybody who knows football. Almunia and Fabianski should have been replaced 2 years ago and the CB situation has also been ignored since the Invincibles season. Big money was not required to sort those positions out. I hope the GK and CB situation is resolved before the end of this month as there are only two fit CB’s at the moment and one is banned on saturday.

  34. gman says:

    There are better managers than Arsene- you need to see his c.v on the other clubs- and arsenal are going that way- no point having a great stadium with no trophies – just like some other P.L clubs- why do we keep buying french players for example- there is a good article on whay winning a league cup would help the confidence of the players

    see this artice:
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/sport/jeremywilson/100011706/why-arsenal-are-so-wrong-to-dismiss-importance-of-winning-fa-cup-or-league-cup/?

    I have been a season ticket holder for 20 odd years and am getting frustrated with Wenger’s stuborness- I rather have someone like Mourinho – proven and not stuborn constant winner

  35. Edmund Simpson says:

    Excellent article and a fitting reposte to the troglodyte “Wenger Out” brigade who have already started quacking. What some people (usually Biff in Ohio, or Ling from Hong Kong) are too stupid to realise is that Wenger has laid the solid foundations for the future. Woulds any of us like to be in the same position as Liverpool, Villa or yes even ManShitty for Christ’s sake (stuff their riches, they are a an oilshiek’s toy). AW’s track record with a miniscule budget as we struggled to finance the new stadium is nothing less than miraculous. Yes he has made mistakes (who doesn’t?) but they pale into insignificance compared with his astonishing achievements. We are living through a golden era at the club, but some knuckleheads and most of our abysmal press are just too myopic too realise that.

  36. perrygrovesworld says:

    couldn’t put it better. There is no real ‘Arsene Knows Brigade’ but there is a Common Sense Brigade who follow The Arsenal. People who have the brains to figure it out for themselves. Am I right in thinking that the historic way of supporting a club ie. Getting behind the team and the manager is an outmoded concept, or is it just the internet? anyhow thanks for the common sense.

  37. kelsey says:

    I can’t disagree with anything that you write,heffer and as Wenger lives and breaths Arsenal 24/7 his commitment is beyond doubt.

    As i wrote earlier,I am positive he is kept fully up to date with every aspect of running the club, and a manager is like a politician,he will never divulge anything to the media that he doesn’t want to.

    He is an extremely intelligent man, yet at times stubborn.My only gripe, and it is a small one,is that for a man who speaks numerous languages,it would be nice if he occasionally changed his wording when interviewed, as he more or less says the same thing on every occasion.

  38. kelsey says:

    Raddy,

    if you are still there, don’t be so sure that a PL club won’t go bust in the not too distant future or go into administration in a bigger way than Portsmouth.
    I would rather see us run as a business, remain solvent, even if it means waiting a few more years.

    Chelsea were on the brink of going bust under Bates, and Abromovich came along and rescued a sinking ship with debts i believe of some 90 million.

  39. arsenaldejectedfan says:

    i dont agree,i have been called a doom & gloomer before but i stick to my gunz.wenger has gone stale.he was great & he has done great things 4 the club.that said of late he has done nothing except make money for the board.he waisted summer holding on to cheque fab who dont want to be here then the next person he signed was himself……..where is the ambition?where is the keeper?where is the dm?where is the cb?wenger is just aman he is not arsenal.what happens in a year when cheque goes? what happen when wenger goes in 3 years?we have regressed the last 4 seasons & it is down to wengers stubbornness. b4 the world cup he was boasting about having the funds to comoete,he is all big talk

  40. Goonerpower says:

    In-Wenger-We-Trust!!!!!!! Good article 🙂

  41. Ben says:

    Wow, you really put my thoughts in words. Brilliant! I really hope we could win something this year, not for anyone sake, just we deserve it!!

  42. D Buzzz says:

    We all understand the long term benefits but why on earth cam he not speed up the winning process?? All it would take is somebody like akinfeev, sketlwnberg or eduardo and subotic??
    Where has gallas’ 100k a week gone? Chamakh has taken eduardos 60k and koz has taken senderos and silvestre combined. Plus 80k a week saved from the unreplaced adebayor, no body can tell me that those signing are unfeasible. I just don’t understand the bloke

  43. 26may1989 says:

    Goonerjay

    You raise a fair point when you ask when the Ashburton revenues will be translated into investment in the team – with the sale of the flats and Queensland Road, fans have a right to ask. But you are wrong to think that there is a choice between reducing the debt the developments required and spending on the squad – the club’s stated intention was to get rid of the debt as quickly as possible, so that the club is not vulnerable and has maximum room for manoeuvre.

    And if you seriously think there is a single Arsenal fan, whether pro or anti Wenger, who wants anything other than success in every competition, you are well off the mark. We all want Arsenal to be the best, to win everything, some of us just have a different opinion about how to achieve that.

    What I want to know from you is when are these great revenues- which are financed by supporters- going to be invested in the team?

    Cid

    I agree, some targeted spending is precisely what we need. But do you really think City are holding out for more money for Given? They don’t care about money, it’s no longer a relevant consideration for them. They would sell Given to us either because they are mad or because Given puts them under too much internal pressure.

    Chary

    Sunday’s performance wasn’t exactly fantastic but it undercut some of your arguments didn’t it – substitutions that were both timely and effective, Rosicky and Walcott significantly improving what was happening.

  44. dandan says:

    Great Article Heffer, Morning all, Gman and DAF thanks for your contributions I needed a laugh this morning.

  45. BigL says:

    Not really in agreement.
    True we have no divine right to win anything, but the manager has a duty to ensure that we are a strong as possible with the resources available.

    Your transfer bar on the right hand side tells the whole story.

    As for chocolate trophies. There used to be a time when we’d compete for the double each season and grab at everything. These days our squad is too weak to complete for anything.

    I feel there is a bit of Wengerness about you redefining success by calling trophies shit. About now I’d take any piece of silver as it would give the team a boost

  46. James says:

    I think fans would just like to compete for trophies, not necessarily win – nobody EXPECTS to win trophies. We’re charged huge amounts of money on the premise of winning something – from the managers own mouth – and then we don’t even compete. Every year Wenger says this year will be different and he does sod all in the transfer market to ensure we compete. Nobody is asking for him to spend £100m. Just buy 2 or 3 top class players in key positions so we can COMPETE!! Is that too much to ask?

  47. Red Arse says:

    Hugh Heffner,

    It’s not just your bunnies I like! 🙂

    Excellent post. Regardless of either AKB’s or Doomers, we need more upbeat but realistic stuff like this.

    We are called supporters, because that is our job within the Arsenal footie world. Not to be destructive moaners, and frothing inarticulate loons. 🙂

    Just got a new laptop and have not beaten the b*stard into submission yet. Can hardly read the liliputian words that I am typing! 😦

  48. charybdis1966 says:

    26May89 –I wasn’t talking about his substitutions on Sunday only – to me he has shown a general tendency to leave substitutions too late, they are nearly always after 65-70 minutes.
    We did see an improved attitude to regaining possession temporarily last season but it didn’t last, but my main gripe is that he doesn’t attempt to adjust our approach to take into account the opposition and therefore we become predictable – it’s why ole 65% proof nose knows how to play us as we never change our strategy. Until we become less predictable we will regularly get taken from behind(after lubing ourselves up) by the Prawn palace mob and the chavs from the bus stop in Fulham.
    I’ll never forgive him for leaving Arshavin on the bench till, you’ve guessed it, the 75th minute, in that FA Cup semi match against the Chavs when he was in a rich vein of form.
    I’m sure there are more examples of his tactical ineptitude it’s just that one sticks out in particular.

  49. gorkhaligunner says:

    you nailed it redandwhiteviews great thumbs up 2 this one……..

  50. dandan says:

    James the transfer window has not closed yet, we will have a GK and CB and IMHO we will compete

  51. jena says:

    you are wrriting bull. no on is aking Wneger toi compete with city in the transfer market. Just decent signings to plug the holes in the team. We can get a better keeper that Almunia for 5 million pounds. So wahy is he not buying. There is no point in defending Wenger’s stupidity and stubborness really. If Kosclieny had broken a leg at ANfield, we would have no CD to play with TV this weekend. And people like yu keep defending him. For what .
    I dont care about blancing books but i care about what happens on the picth and right now the team is desperately short and we cant spend a few bucks to plug the holes.
    pliz stop defending the indefensible.

  52. Pat7 says:

    Great post – agree entirely with most of it & good to have a cheerful post in all of the negativity.

    I do think AW could have done better by sorting the problem that has been with us for the last 3 years, that of GK & DM with CB added to that now.

    Possibly the DM has moved down the priority list now with Frimpong & Eastmond coming up to compete with the improved Song & erratic Denilson.

    For the sake of a few million spent on those positions we could have more than recouped this by improved positioning in the EPL & CL and clutched a few trophies into the bargain!

  53. dandan says:

    Jena I hope your firm, if you are old enough to work, has a different ethos to you or you will soon be joining the dole queue.
    As has been stated earlier today, some big clubs are near to going broke right now, also only four clubs have won the premier league, speaks volumes as to how bad a manager AW is. 7 trophies in 14 years terrible record
    I am afraid spend and sod the consequences is the indefensible pitch at present.

  54. JOEL says:

    It seems that most of the people commenting on this article didn’t watch the game on Sunday-WE CREATED ONLY ONE OR TWO CLEARCUT CHANCES AND WERE LUCKY TO DRAW AGAINST A SIDE WHICH HAD 10 MEN FOR HALF THE MATCH!!!!

  55. Shola Thompson says:

    This is probably the best post I ever read concerning wenger, he’s a great coach and he’s made sure arsenal’s future is rock solid….Keep the faith! Love Arsenal….Respect Wenger

  56. Red Arse says:

    CharyB,

    I agree that Arsene’s late substitutions can be v. puzzling. I would say he generally leaves them even later than you suggest.

    Question is why does he do this?

    He has to look at the overall game from his own perspective.

    Like any business leader/General, he will have worked out his Policy, Strategy and Tactics.

    In simplistic terms his Policy = is to win the PL; his Strategy = deploy his available resources as appropriate to beat his opponent; his Tactics = are to deploy his resources to achieve victory.

    In his position we would all come up with a similar Policy and Strategy, but if 1,000 of us decided Tactics I suspect the results would vary widely.

    If you can understand what I am talking about perhaps you would explain it to me. I lost myself after typing CharyB. 🙂

  57. Red Arse says:

    Hi Pat7,

    How’s Cyprus? Good to see you on the site.

  58. JB says:

    Excellent, balanced article, and it is fantastic to read about a view that extends beyond the end of this season. Wenger is perhaps the only manager in the world who could have done what he has done over the last 10 years for Arsenal. Trophies aside, he has been a complete success, securing lucrative champions league positions and ensuring that the stadium debt is paid off as quickly as possible.
    I think that criticism towards wenger goes over board. I have no doubt that he is aware that we need a CB, he has never gone into a season with 3 CBs. But, panic buying is worse for the club than not buying anyone, it costs money and is of no benefit. I am sure that he has his targets, and that we will see a signature shortly. I would love to see Wenger with our budget in four years time. Trophies are coming, I can smell them.

  59. Red Arse says:

    JB,

    Well said.

    Arsene was quoted as saying that he has tried to buy players but that other clubs are simply not interested in selling. He is probably as frustrated as we are.

    Then, we did not want to sell Cesc, of course, so it is not altogether surprising.

  60. Danish Gooner says:

    Yeah,that is really hard.That is why United have won it 11 out of 18 times.Hunger and application that is what we need and that is exactly what United have had in all those years.

  61. James says:

    JB, you’re wrong. Last season Wenger went into the campaign with 3 centre backs – Gallas, Vermaelen and Silvestre. Djourou was already injured for the season and Senderos was on loan and never going to be considered. Song is not a CB. Campbell did not arrive until January and was not planned for.

    So, yes, last season Wenger fucked up and Arsenal paid for it, because Arsenal went into the season with only 3 centre backs and Silvestre was total shit.

  62. 26may1989 says:

    James

    You say you just want us to compete. Here are our finishes since we last won the league: 2nd, 4th, 4th, 3rd, 4th and 3rd. Now I’m not saying that’s good enough (I’m particularly disappointed by last season’s effort) but to say we’ve not been competing is rubbish. In 2008 we were within touching distance of the title, and last year, until the collapse at the end of the season, we were very much in the mix.

    And then there’s the fact in that period we got to a League Cup Final (2007), a European Cup Final (2006) and various semis and quarter finals. (Worth remembering that we got to the European Cup quarters last year, which was a round better than Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan, and was the same as Man U.)

    So we have been competing, despite working within severe financial constraints that managers like Mourinho, Ferguson, Ancelotti and Benitez would have refused to work under. What you’re really impatient for is silverware. Fair enough, but best to be straight about that.

  63. Pat7 says:

    Hi RA. Absolutely fab mate. Mid-30s where we are & was out on a neighbour’s terrace until gone 9.30pm last night in shorts & t-shirt still sweating despite a fan, probably 30C.

    Got back ‘home’ just in time to see ManUre! Concrete got poured on our new house’s foundations this morning so getting exciting!

  64. charybdis1966 says:

    I think I can see what you’re getting at RedA – although I’d struggle to explain it any more clearly than you have.
    But his substitutions are just one example of his various weaknesses as a manager, weaknesses that may be addressed by having a number 2 off who he can bounce ideas off.
    At the moment it seems that Wenger is the sole decision maker for on field tactics/substitutions and strategy and no one wants to suggest an alternative view.
    Essentially I’m saying I feel that post 2005 Wenger’s failings as a manager have been brought into sharp relief and maybe he has gone a bit stale.

  65. 26may1989 says:

    James

    Wrong again: Djourou got injured a week after the summer transfer window closed last year, so Wenger quite rightly calculated he had enough CB cover. Plus Senderos came back from loan last summer. Oh dear, those pesky facts, they do get in the way, don’t they….

    Jena

    It’s precisely because you (and others) don’t care about balancing the books that the club should care about it. Critics of Wenger and the club have good points to make, but points like yours are just ridiculous.

  66. Bryan says:

    After having read through afew of the comments, Someone saying they would like someone like Mourinho only makes me laugh. Big difference is Mourinho has always had bucket loads of money to spend & as I am a season ticket holder & have been for the past 25 years, I sure as hell dont want to watch the sort of boring football Mourinho’s teams play. Dont get me wrong Mourinho is a brilliant manager but I actually believe that now we are charged vast sums of money to watch our teams it is also down to the managers to provide entertaining football for us to watch.

  67. 26may1989 says:

    Chary

    You may be right, Wenger may not be as good now as he was up to 2005 or so. But the question for us is “Who is the best person to be our manager?”

    Since the stadium project began, I see absolutely no room for debate on the point: Wenger has achieved the incredible feat of keeping us in the top four, getting us into the latter stages of the CL consistently, enabling us to challenge for the title properly a couple of times, and building the playing foundations for a generation to come. We’ve all been navel-gazing this summer about whether Cesc would leave – but would he have been here in the first place without Wenger? And would he have stayed if Wenger had gone (or would he have followed Pique back to Barca when he left United after a couple of years)? And what about van Persie, Nasri, Vermaelen, Ramsey, Wilshere etc etc?

    And then there’s the Chelsea factor: the fact is they bought their way to competitiveness, and in doing so have mopped up silverware we could have won were it not for the financial doping. If Abramovich had spunked his money elsewhere, and we had won a couple of pots over the last few years as a result, would there be so many complaints now about Wenger?

    Although he has flaws (and tactics is one of them, I admit), I will always defend Wenger’s record over the past few years – we would have slipped far, far lower than we have done and we wouldn’t be in nearly as good a position as we are without his contribution. The challenge is now: with the foundations set and the resources increasingly coming on stream, I believe we should be aiming to win the league within the next three seasons, and if we don’t, that would consitute a real failure. I just won’t accept anyone telling me that the last few years have, when judged in their proper context, been anything other than a success.

  68. Red Arse says:

    You tell them 26May.

    And before you sort me out too, ….. I’m off! 🙂

    Pat7, you lucky so and so. Weather here is dire. But I am coming out next month, and it will probably piddle down over there too! 🙂

  69. Maciek says:

    Hello!

    To some extent you are right.

    But noone is expecting 20m pounds players.

    Today we can read, that we have made 2m bid for Mark Swartzer.
    Why only 2m when we can spend 4m for example and have him before Saturday’s game?

    Why have only 3 defenders when we do know that Koscielny is good, but unproven and Djourou is average and injury prone.

    You say that we have very little money to spend, so why have we decided to spend 100m to clear some of our debt if we know that we can clear it up in 20 years time, very easly?

    Sometimes you must spend 30m in one transfer window and then you can expect big things from your team.

    For example: Zaqpata for 12m, Inler for 15m and Given for 5m and there you go.

    You can sell Almunia and fabianski for combined 6m and Denilson for 5m and some of the money can be recoup.

    At the moment we can’t even win against average 10 men LFC team.

    Nothing will change as long as Wenger and Hill-Wood are in charhe.

    You will abuse me, but hey, everyone is entitled to his own opinion.

    Peace!

  70. goonerwife says:

    To all the Jena type folks

    1. You get no prizes for your negative ‘reality’. You are sacked. thats right, sacked from being an arsenal supporter for doing your job wrongly and being too stubborn to listen to good ole common sense (i wish)

    2. I can defend this arsenal team all i want, it makes me happy, keeps me positive about the team and actually doesnt affect anything in my personal life one way or the other. If that makes me delusional, so be it.

    3. I would rather do my best to lift up players like Almunia instead of cyber-bullying them. defeats the purpose.

    4. its time for some of our fans to stop being so lilly livered, man up and be the 12th man. instead of using your negativity to take them down to 10 men. Do your part as well. Just support.You dont even have to get up and run around a pitch. Or manage anything. All you gotta do is support. How hard is that?

  71. Maciek says:

    *in charge

  72. goonerwife says:

    Oh, and that Mourinhio comment. That person is gone. there is no help for them anymore.

  73. SharkeySure says:

    GoonerWife…thats the spirit !!

    Danish G – “Hunger and application” – agreed !

    Maciek, half decent post, but as soon as you started listing your ins and outs with your own fees attached, I lost interest. It starts to sound a bit Champ Mng’ish…no offence.

    At least you didn’t add that your signings would guarantee us the League by 10 points, as thats what usually follows.

    Ps. You won’t get abused over here Maciek, you may get the odd disimissive response (mine? Lol), but no worse than that normally.

  74. hmp says:

    excellent article..
    this will get the headless chickens back in line..

  75. SharkeySure says:

    26M – “keeping us in the top four, getting us into the latter stages of the CL consistently, enabling us to challenge for the title properly a couple of times, and building the playing foundations for a generation to come”

    Its amazing that you actually have to spell that out on an Arsenal blog.

    Whatever you do though, don’t post that on the ‘other site’

  76. Maciek says:

    Sharkey, thanks mate.

    That’s the kind of answer I do expect.

    Respect man!

    Yes, I have made a misteke writing names of players I would like to see playing for us.

    All I wanted to say, is that we do need a world class gk, cdm and cb.

    The debt should be cleared out, but not at any price. Our revenue is huge, and our worldwide support is 4th in the world( 30m or even more)only behind Barca and MU , and Real, so we can attract supporters.

    The problem is, we are a huge brand Club with small club mentality.

    Yes, we do have a world class stadium, youth system and many more great things, but our team is good at best and there are 4-5 average players who are not good enough. We must get rid of them and add quality.

    And we still need to win the CL.

    I love Arsenal, but I’m sick of ARSENE FC.

    Peace, and thank you for your great response.

    Best wishes!

  77. forza forza says:

    this is by far the worse article i have read on here,tut,tut.

  78. forza forza says:

    these do gooders must love it when united and the chavs hammer us,as long as they get to defend these average bunch,all the better for them.

  79. SharkeySure says:

    No worries Maciek, on here we don’t even abuse Forza Forza !!!

    There’s also a guy called ‘Frothing Inarticulate Loon’ who gets a free pass.

  80. Bryan says:

    Personelly I dont think any of us should abuse anyone as we are all supporting the same team (I Hope :-P).

    Maciek, the players that you listed are all players Wengers been interested in.
    I dont think any of us would even mention Inler if Wenger hadn’t already of brought him to our attention.
    Inler in my opinion isn’t worth 15m though.

    For me the most frustrating position is goalkeeper & I’ll be really unhappy if we sign Shwarzer as I think he’s worse than Almunia lol

  81. kelsey says:

    forza forza,

    have to smile when you come on here or anywhere else.
    Will nothing ever change your negative support 🙂

  82. SharkeySure says:

    Bryan – I was just clarifying for Maciek’s benefit that no one gets abused on this site. It seems to regulate itself.

    When I see lists of must haves and must get shot of’s, I just glaze over a bit. I’m not disputing whether the individuals are good enough or not. Just that I really don’t like those ‘swap shop’ style lists

  83. Frothing Inarticulate Loon says:

    Leave him alone Kelsey, Forza’s a good mate of mine ! 😉

  84. Frothing Inarticulate Loon says:

    Afternoon Red Arse !

  85. kelsey says:

    Brian said

    Personelly I dont think any of us should abuse anyone as we are all supporting the same team (I Hope 😛 ).
    —————————————————–

    Well said, thankfully there is a small minority who want mangaer and players sacked if we have a bad 20 miinutes let alone a whole game, usually with the odd swear word thrown in for good measure.

    Afternoon everyone else.

  86. 26may1989 says:

    Sharkey, cheers matey, and no worries, I gave up on that other blog ages ago – some good people there but not enough. Shame really, I used to write for their fanzine in pre-blog days.

  87. Frothing Inarticulate Loon says:

    26M. LG had a fanzine..?? Or do you mean OG..??

  88. joshhhhh says:

    Super post. I was really happy with the performance considering the circumstances. You could see in the final third we were a touch away from creating chance after chance. Unfortunately we weren’t sharp enough, with the likes of RVP and Diaby coming through preseason with zero minutes. It was Chamakh’s first EPL game, and i thought he did great considering. Cesc will be back soon, RVP firing, with Chamakh mixing it up. Arshaivn and Nasri getting back into form, with Song suring things up, i’m optimistic.

    By the way. Check out this Koscielny reel from the l’pool game. He had a stormer! Interceptions, alertness, concentration, commanding in the air, fast. He has the makings of a special defender.

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/6591593/

  89. 26may1989 says:

    I did mean OG. Post on LG? Why does anyone bother???

  90. goonergerry says:

    Andy Mack-Of course no debt is good. But that does not mean that the decision to eradicate an already well managed reducing debt is the right one. That decision was made by the Board – not AW-at the expense of strengthening the team. Have you forgotten that AW had stated 2 years earlier that this money would be able to be invested in the team?
    Did you notice that Arsenal played half of last season without a centre-forward? and with liability centrebacks? Why- because of the decision not to replace Adebayor and Toure.-left the manager with no alternative.
    Many AKB are assuming that when the debt is paid off on the stadium- how many years? That surpluses generated by the clubs incomes will be spent on the team. There is no evidence of that at all. The purpose of increasing the income of the club is to increase profits for shareholders and increase the value of the holding – nothing else. That why the pure business model advocated by people like you is wrong.

  91. SharkeySure says:

    26M – God only knows. I have to confess to having a scan when I can be arsed. I use the search function to find each instance of ‘Jaguar’, and just read through his comments and the responses to him.

    That guys a complete legend/bellend, and some of the put downs he receives are absolutely legendary. ie ‘Jaguar – how many times a day do you self harm..??’

    The two ringmasters (circus analogy!) over there should really be embarrassed about the merry band of followers that generate and maintain !

  92. steve says:

    what a great article i completely agree – hey gmail – you say wenger should go – and replace him with who exactly mate?? If you think anyone else could do a better job i would love to hear your suggestions. Or maybe you are offering yourself for the job. And we have been trying to get defenders and a goalkeeper. The issue is no one wants to sell. The german and french leagues are good financially – and the italian league is full of rubbish. You just band around numbers like yes if we just paid this for this the the world shall be good. We keep our dealings to ourselves so how on earth do you know whats going on behind the scenes mate. Have chelsea ever won the CL – no and how much money have they pumped in. Did MC get CL last year NO and how much money did they pump in. Look at our team and the players who have and are coming through and if i was you i would be in awe at the genius of a man who has brought our club from a mid table standard to be loved through out the world with the football we play. And i sh1t you not mate if wenger goes and we get a martin o’tw1t as our manager forget about anything other than europa mate if that.

  93. 26may1989 says:

    Goonergerry

    When Wenger and the club spoke of money from the property development being available for reinvestment in the team, they were speaking before the credit crunch and the crash in the property market. After the crash, having been stung once, the club decided to offload its exposure on property quicker than had originally been planned. Bearing in mind the situations as they stood at each point in time, all reasonable decisions in my opinion.

    But I do agree with you that the directors and shareholders may be looking, in part, at ways of increasing shareholder value to an extent that may be impacting Wenger’s transfer funds. The approach on the debt has been a good one in general terms, and I’m delighted stability and caution have been watch-words through the process, but the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (which does an excellent job on club finances) is keeping a very close eye on what funds are and are not being released for developing the squad. The real point now is that, with the debt on its way out, the club will have no place to hide (if that is what it has been doing, even if only partly) on funds for transfers and wages.

    On players, small point, but Toure was replaced by the far better Vermaelen and with the shift to one striker, it seems pretty resonable to have gone into last season with RvP, Eduardo and Bendtner supplemented by Vela, Arshavin, Walcott and the kids.

  94. Red Arse says:

    Frothing Inarticulate Loon,

    You arrived right on schedule! 🙂

    Fortunately, I had just popped out for lunch. But remember, you can always ask for my mate Charybdis, he would be happy to chat to you, in your own way! 😉

  95. Lee says:

    Great post! someone finally making sense & understands the reality of football. pleasure to read Thank you

  96. charybdis1966 says:

    Ah come on S Sure, before one of the guv’nors come on here, remember the house rules about not slagging off other blogs.
    Glad to talk to FIL, or as they say in Sweden: oartikulerade byfånen

  97. redandwhiteviews says:

    Good afternoon.

    Thanks for a varied and indepth response to the post. The debate has been good.

    I’ll pick up a few points:

    It’s true the League Cup started it all of with GG and that we enjoyed winning FA Cups. But times have changed a lot. All the big teams rest their best players for cup games when they are competing for the big trophies – that must tell you something about them.

    To those who said they are not asking for huge expenditure, just £5m here, £6m there – that is what you have. He has bought Koscielny this way and I believe he will strengthen further before the window closes. There is no doubt he needs a new keeper and I expect him to do some business. What’s amazing is that he has achieved what he has considering the money he has spent.

    The point of the post was not really about tactics and Wenger’s weaknesses – I know there are some, all managers have them and Wenger is stubborn. It was more to say: You should be thankful for the job he has done through this period and, before you start calling for someone else to come in, think about who could do better within our constraints. Because I couldn’t identify a manager I would expect to do a better job. Certainly not Mourhino. That’s an absurd claim. And, by the way, he wouldn’t do it anyway.

  98. Red Arse says:

    26May,

    very comprehensive summary of the financial realite. (not a typo, just no e acute …. anyone?).

    In addition, I am sure you know that when the property bubble burst, far from the expected bonanza profits, Arsenal almost caught a cold and a £100m loss.

    They were mightily relieved when the market picked up enough to at least break even.

  99. Lee says:

    meant great article

  100. charybdis1966 says:

    Wait a minute Red A- are you saying me & FIL are of a like mind ? 😦

  101. Red Arse says:

    CharyB, my dear boy, who could possibly imagine such a thing. 🙂

    I am sure that old SharkeySure agrees with me. 🙂

  102. Big Raddy says:

    Some great stuff written today.

    Particularly enjoyed Goonerwife – bet her house is shipshape!!

    As to finance, I look to Wenger who recently stated that if the Youth policy failed to reach fruition this season, he would have to buy experienced players. This tells me that his parsimony is a deliberate policy and that money would be available should he need it.

  103. Red Arse says:

    Hi Big Raddy,

    I have to admit I’ve read with both interest and amusement a number of the comments today. Especially Goonerwife. She was excellent and should be the template for all gooner wives. 🙂

    This is a really first class site.

    The reason it has attracted the FILs today is that the headline was like manna from heaven for them.

    Their disappointment when they realised it was intended to be a rhetorical question in the negative was manifest and a joy to behold. 🙂

  104. redandwhiteviews says:

    Just on that big raddy – aside from my clear thoughts on the lack of money etc, I wouldn’t guarantee that, even once the money is there, Wenger will spend. He has said previously that he would think twice about a major signing because of the message it would send out to the young players he is bringing through – like Gibbs, Wilshere and Frimpong. That generates a whole new debate:

    The youth development policy was introduced to get us through the financially tight period of paying for the new stadium. Once the stadium is built, and if the youth policy is not generating success, should he continue – or throw the kids out and start buying?

    I suspect a balance of both…

  105. SharkeySure says:

    Fair do’s Chary, I kind of digressed to it and honestly wasn’t gonna take it any further.

  106. SharkeySure says:

    Funnily enough Red Arse, I’m surprisd that for a non moderated site, we didn’t actually see more FILs, given the headline.

  107. Rasp says:

    Hi redandwhiteviews,

    Thanks for the article. The quality of the responses defines it as a great success. I am delighted so many articulate, like-minded bloggers have taken the time to comment.

    Great stuff, hope we get to publish more from you.

    An open message to all the new bloggers: I don’t know where you’ve been hiding, but please feel free to contribute to Arsenal Arsenal, you won’t always read posts that attract the level of universal agreement as today’s but the spirit and quality of debate will be maintained.

  108. Rasp says:

    redandwhiteviews,

    Your post has attracted the attention of none other than the BBC via 606 = 5 Live I believe! They have linked to the article…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A73084467

  109. Alex says:

    Nice flowery words.

    Still. We have had a serious goalkeeping issue since Jens left. It peaked last season, and especially right at the end (so it was still fresh in our memories). He had ALL summer to address it. He hasn’t

    He got rid of two excellent experienced defenders in Gallas and Campbell, and two other senior defenders in Senderos and Silvestre. For those that struggle with maths – that’s four, yes 4. He brought in a good ‘prospect’ in Koscielny (a gamble since he cannot know whether he would be a Vermaelen or a Senderos).

    We are now in the season proper, and have less than 2 weeks to the transfer deadline. Clubs in England and Europe have started EUFA competitions and the better players will be cup-tied.

    With Djourou injured (again) – we enter the season (!) against Liverpool (!) with only two fit centre-backs (!).

    How are alarm bells not ringing ???

    This is gross negligence of the highest order. He knew that all but Campbell would leave before the season finished last year. We need at least 5 CB’s in the squad for 4 competitions.

    I f*cking hate the Wenger-knows brigade.

    The issues with the team are glaringly obvious for all to see and have been since the Invincibles.

    * Can’t defend set pieces
    * No defensive coach
    * Goalkeeper cannot handle crosses
    * Goalkeeper doesn’t speak the same language as defence
    * Can’t get a corner past the first defender
    * Can’t score from free-kicks
    * Wingbacks have a < 5% cross-completion ratio
    * 5 out of 6 of the midfield/attack are centre mids playing out of position
    * 4 out of 6 of the midfield/attack are the same height as Cheryl Tweedy
    * Cotton-wool wrapped players don't display any aggression/passion/bite
    * Cotton-wool wrapped players aren't held accountable for their blunders

    Buying players isn't always the answer, but in this case:

    * We NEED a GK capable of EARNING us 10-12pts a season.

    * We NEED at least 2 more MONSTER aggressive, fearless, CB's and 3rd for cover

    * We NEED cover for Alex Song in defensive midfield

    * We SHOULD invest in a GK coach (like Seaman) and a defensive coach (Graham, Keown, Adams) to drill the defenders and let Wenger coach the forward players.

    * We should put the fullbacks and wingers on EXTRA crossing training

    * We should put the midfielders on EXTRA corner-kick training.

  110. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent news, not only do we now know what additional players we need, we also know what’s wrong on the training field and how to fix it. Alex, where have you been hiding?? Sack Wenger now, we have his replacement!

  111. Rasp says:

    Hi Alex and welcome,

    You’ve pretty much summed up the opposing view to those expressed in the post. Apart from ‘hating other gooners that don’t share your opinion’ I’d say there is a level of truth to your points. I think the article doesn’t seek to deny the ‘imperfections’ but reminds us of all the achievements to date and potential yet to be realised that Arsè has brought to the club.

  112. charybdis1966 says:

    Alex, I have to say I agree with ¾’s of your points(although I dare say Ms Tweedy towers over most of our midfield), but I suspect I may be in a minority here.

  113. SharkeySure says:

    Alex, some good points mostly well made, but I fear that an alien reading your comments would expect us to have finished mid table or worst last season.

    For what its worth I really don’t like the sensationalist approach to highlighting any problems we have.

    Do you really believe that the lack of communication between GK and defence is solely down to language difficulties..?? You do know that Lehmann was German right..??

    And don’t get me started on the “at least 2 more MONSTER aggressive, fearless, CB’s and 3rd for cover”. Lol.

    Monsters, thats a good ‘un.

  114. Big Raddy says:

    Amazing we came 3rd really.

    Alex, all that you write is to a certain extent true, BUT ;-

    Firstly, no-one who has written on here is what you call “the Wenger Knows Brigade”. It is simplistic and insulting to band all different viewpoints under one quite frankly ridiculous banner. We all want the best for our club and most believe AW is the best manager or AFC. That is not to say that he is above criticism.

    Agreed about the GK.
    We need cover of a DM/CB & I believe we will have one soon.
    Your argument about the CB’s: Sol was over the hill and not worth a full time contract. Sure he rose to the occasion for a few games, but he was offered a contract which he turned down.
    WG needed to go. He is clearly a disruptive element and is on the downward slope. Much better to sign Kos and build for the future. Silvestre and Senderos were fringe players, better to develop Nordveldt or would you have AW give another contract to Silvestre?

    I was going to reply to all your post but can’t be bothered. They have all been discussed ad infinitum in the recent past on this site.

    But I get really pee’d off with fans labelling and berating other fans. This site doesn’t run this way and is much the better for it

  115. Frothing Inarticulate Loon says:

    How about signing the Honey Monster..??.

    A. He’s a monster.
    B. He’s taller than Tweedy
    C. He speaks English
    d. He once played in goal in a TV ad if my memory serves me right.

    Arsene.. are you deaf or what…get him signed already !!

  116. Big Raddy says:

    SS. Do you imagine that anyone understood Seaman?

  117. goonergerry says:

    26 May 1989. There are many AKB who argue the big picture- they really mean the long -term- and think the investment in the team is short-termism- it isn’t – its about values and priorities. Even when the team promises so much, fails each year at the end of the season for the same reasons- they don’t get it? The reasons for failure are rationalised away to the point that winning itself is not considered relevant.
    The team will never win anything again unless the youth policy can be properly augmented by investment in the squad? Do we want to have to sell all the star players that Wenger creates to ensure we carry zero financial risk? Yeah lets sell Fabregas to Man City for 100m- and sink that into the debt “problem”.

    In terms of risk management- the zero team investment strategy is the highest risk strategy of all for a club in Arsenal’s position. If Arsenal become a mid table side the current model will collapse in a heap.

    In order to win a major trophy greater commercial revenue performance and greater financial risk has to be born by the club and greater investment in players and salaries at the top level has to occur.

    This does not mean going from a well run club to Tottenham it means what it says a gradual, graduated increase.

    We are not going to achieve success on the cheap. But who is going to be able to argue for this on the Board apart from Wenger?- where are the football men on the Board?

  118. Afternoon all

    Well said Alex, I too am looking for all those things to be corrected but I can’t see Arsene doing them as I believe he obviously has has a different agenda.

    You don’t become a supporter and want your team to fail so I reckon everyone who bothers to post a comment gets the same gut wrenching feeling when things appear to be going wrong. It’s right to sing Arsenes praises for what he has achieved but with a couple of additions to the squad and a bit more attention to detail maybe we could enjoy some stressfree football sometimes.

    Would I enjoy that – I think I might, just once in a while.

  119. charybdis1966 says:

    I think a majority of Alex’s points are tactically linked as are my primary complaints about Wenger – he could improve things significantly at no extra cost, but I fear what has happened is that he doesn’t like to bother himself with things that don’t interest him, e.g. defence. He loves the midf eild triangles and attacking play and, as I see it, thinks that defending is beneath his dignity to contemplate.
    OK, that sounds harsh but I’m exaggerating a tad to make my point.

  120. charybdis1966 says:

    Call me a crazy but I like the cut of Alex’s jib.

  121. kelsey says:

    According to the oracle that is The Daily Mail, Given has been offered 80K a week or is it 80K a week more to stay at City.

    This is the trouble when a club has unlimited wealth and literally is trying to do a Murdoch with the premier league.

  122. tommystout says:

    rumours are kicking about that schwarzer is at colney 🙂

  123. chary – we’re clearly more than just road beer mates 😉

  124. Alex says:

    I didn’t suggest we should keep Campbell or Gallas, but I personally thought they were excellent defenders (Gallas’s disruption and Campbell’s mental health aside) – and the maths speaks for itself:

    Defenders: Minus 4 Plus 1

    I have been pleasantly surprised by Koscielnys (sp) progress – but in truth he’s barely been tested, and no-one can predict whether he’d be a success.

    All this aside – had Cole’s tackle taken him out of the game on Sunday – we would have had ONE fit CB. (even as a fill-in Song who was on the bench but hasn’t played one minute of pre-season games) – how is that a situation that anyone associated with the club be happy with (nee tolerant of)??

    We all want to show solidarity with the manager/club, but if you look at the litany of problems we have, and you’re honest with yourselves – you will also be disappointed that he hasn’t addressed them in 7 years

    How much longer will his fantastic (if a while ago now) achievements of yesteryear curry your good favour?

    How long will ‘winners’ like Fabregas and Van Persie be content to contend a league season with a substandard squad ?

  125. 26may1989 says:

    Chary, you’re crazy.

    Kelsey, great to see Abu Dhabi’s oil wealth being spent on such things isn’t it, especially when 20 million fellow-muslims in Pakistan have been made homeless by the floods and the UN is calling for a contributions to a relief fund of £250 million, which is roughly what the Abu Dhabi United Group has spent on City transfer fees in the last 12 months. It’s a sick, sick world.

  126. charybdis1966 says:

    Yeah Peachy, great minds and all that. Will you be at the usual place for the pre match peronis on Saturday?

    TommyS – apparently Talkshite are saying Given to us now, but I suspect they’re regurgitating the Warren Barton based rumour.

  127. Big Raddy says:

    Chary.

    A new defensive coach would appear to be the answer – or one that AW will listen to!

    It is not true to say that AW doesn’t buy. Nasri, Chamakh, AA, Kos, TV make up almost half the tam, and they have been bought within the last two years

  128. Alex says:

    And please remember, I’m not calling for ManCity levels of investment here. A GK and enough CB’s to contend 4 competitions.

    a defensive coach will cost a paltry amount and reap huge dividends.

    And under the ‘costs nothing’ bracket:

    getting the fullbacks to train on crossing, corner taking training to beat the 1st defender and defending set-pieces (surely even the most rose-tinted amongst us cannot be happy with our efforts over recent years)

  129. tommystout says:

    charey
    Talkshite have been slow all day with breaking news. Wouldnt surprise me at all if it was yesterdays barton statement as you say.
    Wish there was arsenal radio or somat, that would be a welcome alternative 🙂

  130. SharkeySure says:

    Alex – “I didn’t suggest we should keep Campbell or Gallas,” – wot else could “got rid of two excellent experienced defenders in Gallas and Campbell” mean..???

    Fair do’s re some of your other rebuttals/responses, but I’m not having that one.

  131. Big Raddy says:

    Alex. Real Madrid are a fine example that buying doesn’t bring success. We got further in the CL and won as many Cups as them last season.

    And would you really have continued with Silvestre, Sol and Swiss Phil. ? Your argument is spurious, effectively we lost a 32 y.o. CB and replaced him with a man much younger.

    We do NOT have a sub-standard squad. Sure there are some players that I would prefer were sold but our 25 man squad is excellent and with the addition of a GK and CB/DM will be even better.

  132. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks for the reminder Alex, I definitely need to keep front and centre what your requirements are, that’s the important thing.

    Since you’re obviously at Colney now (how else would you know so much about Arsenal’s training methods), could you confirm whether Mark Schwarzer is there too?

  133. Irishgunner says:

    Afternoon all,

    Kelsey I think Citeh could offer Given a million quid a week and he’ll turn it down. He knew since the summer that he could be under threat from Hart and said all along he wants to play because he know he hasn’t got much time left. He said he’s already a millionaire so what would he do with more money?!

  134. charybdis1966 says:

    As the new GK rumours gather pace Arsecom’s latest headline says that Fabianski is determined to win over the fans. Hmmm…

  135. Hi irish – where’ve you been? I agree Given wants to play otherwise he’d take the money and sit on the bench at Citeh.

  136. Alex says:

    @SharkeySure:

    Clearly I am aggrieved at losing 4 central defenders (two of whom I subjectively rated as excellent and experienced) and not replacing them commensurately.

    Two quotes taken ‘in context’

    [quote1]
    “He got rid of two excellent experienced defenders in Gallas and Campbell, and two other senior defenders in Senderos and Silvestre. For those that struggle with maths – that’s four, yes 4. He brought in a good ‘prospect’ in Koscielny (a gamble since he cannot know whether he would be a Vermaelen or a Senderos)”

    [quote2]
    “I didn’t suggest we should keep Campbell or Gallas, but I personally thought they were excellent defenders (Gallas’s disruption and Campbell’s mental health aside) – and the maths speaks for itself:

    Defenders: Minus 4 Plus 1”

  137. 😆 – why do you even look chary 😆

  138. Big Raddy says:

    Afternoon Irish. Did you get to see Lady Gaga?

  139. Well defended Alex – the thought of losing 2 experienced centre-backs – Sol and Gallas – that had been a great asset to the side was bad enough add to them Silvestre – experienced but rubbish and Big Phil I’m not sure how any rose-tinted spectacles could make that look good.

  140. charybdis1966 says:

    I live in the vain hope that we have a new signing to give us some hope of salvation Peachy.

  141. She’s counting the days Raddy – its not till October 😦

  142. chary I’ll meet you at the normal place and we can bemoan our lack of signings ………… AGAIN 😆

  143. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches – I’m been worked to the bone lately, by that I mean I’ve to stay in til 3 ha ha

    Big Raddy – Her Gaganess is on today 10 weeks woop woop 😀

  144. Alex says:

    @BigRaddy:

    I never eschewed Real Madrid’s buying policy, I think you’ll find I make a point of saying we don’t.

    I do feel we need to invest in more than 3 central defenders (certainly a phrase that has never been uttered by the powers-that-be at Real Madrid!!)

    I feel, and I’m not alone, that our GK is a liability. We miraculously pulled back into the title race last season with a phenomenal effort from our outfield players. We were chronically let down by both Almunia and Fabianski. Neither has really ever suggested with their form, that they are consistently capable of doing otherwise.

  145. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches – Its not THAT far away. We’re half way through August, which makes it nearly September and by the time we get to October I might just die of the excitement ha ha

    She’s so great 😳

    Also, I think I’ll go to that Wigan away game I was telling you about so it’ll probably be the New year before I get to the Grove again

  146. charybdis1966 says:

    Cool Peachy, I’m aiming for 1.30-1.45ish.

  147. Irishgunner says:

    Did Gallas get a club??

    I’d rather we take him back than get no-one at all.

  148. SharkeySure says:

    Alex – you’ve lost me, and perhaps I’ve managed to lose you too. I’m happy to leave it there.

    Peaches – for what its worth, Alex’s quote was that AW ‘got rid of two excellent defenders’. He didn’t. They were offered contracts and chose to leave.

    If the comment was that we shoud have been better prepared for that probability/possibility, then I would have agreed with it.

  149. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches/Alex.

    We replaced one PLAYING CB with another. We now have JD on the bench alongside Nordvelt instead of two aged CB’s. Sure they had experience but I am amazed you would choose to keep them in what is a developing team. Sol did well, Fishface was a liability, Swiss didn’t ever play. What good is experience if it is allied to lack of pace and athleticism?

    AW was right to get shot of them, and I will bet DanDan’s house that we sign a DM/CB before the closure of the t’fer window.

    .

  150. Big Raddy says:

    Alex. No argument regarding the GK situation 🙂

  151. 26may1989 says:

    Peaches, it’s not a question of making it look good, of course it was and is a problem – as Wenger himself has said.

    But not everything is controllable: Gallas, Campbell and probably Silvestre were offered contracts but decided to go elsewhere. Gallas is a loss given that he gave us his best season last year, but Campbell will be seen not to be, he was physically at his very limits last season and not really what we need. And Silvestre? Come on, no Arsenal fan can be anything other than pleased he’s gone, regardless of numbers.

    The only CB Wenger got rid of was Senderos. But he barely played last year (whether for us or Everton) and has now been ruled out for the season, so not exactly a loss is he?

    We need another CB, of course we do, but if and when that business is done, we will have what we need: Vermaelen, Koscielny, AN Other, Djourou, Nordtveit and Song. (Alex, if you’re struggling with the maths, that’s six.) There’s a problem but overblown hysteria and exaggeration is ridiculous.

  152. Big Raddy says:

    And Leonard Cohen was brilliant plus it didn’t rain in Odense. A rarity for Danish summer

  153. dandan says:

    We are IMHO just a Gk and centre back,away from a full strength squad, Chary and Alex do you hold many coaching badges as it seems your depth of knowledge far out weighs the consensus of opinion around Arsenal that more or less concurs with my opening statement. I note Sandy Barclay of the times has expressed that opinion over the last couple of days. Not that I think he is an oracle but he is certainly a far more studious football man than many commentators

    And as for stress at football isn’t that the opium that hooks us on footy in the first place, without it what entertainment value would there be and why would we bother to watch. The oohs and the aahs are the sounds of stress being released from the collective voice of the anxious faithful.

  154. 26may1989 says:

    Completely agree Dandan.

  155. charybdis1966 says:

    Dandan, there’s no need to take that tone, what depth of knowledge do you refer to? I simply stating how I perceive the coaching must go based on what we see on match days.
    I’m quite sure I didn’t state categorically that my perception was gospel; if I did I apologise for the ambiguity.

  156. charybdis1966 says:

    26May – just saw your 4.14 – LOL, a nut job for sure. 🙂

  157. SharkeySure says:

    “struggling with the maths” – Lol

    I’ve enjoyed that comment from ALL who’ve used it today….

  158. Struggling with the Maths says:

    Hola amigos.. !!

    Que pasa..?? Donde este GK y CB..??

  159. Alex says:

    @SharkeySure:

    I see.

    You’re issue was with the phrase “got rid”.

    All 4 were out of contract. Silv and Send were not offered new contracts. Gallas and Campbell were, but Gallas refused AW’s offer prior to the end of the season – and a that ended Arsenal’s interest.

    So you’re correct. He only got rid of three, with Campbell undecided until July 27th.

  160. Struggling with the Maths says:

    Nope, its not worked, I’m still struggling with the maths Alex 😉

  161. dandan says:

    Chary it was not meant to be offensive and if it was I apologize. The depth of knowledge referred to the collective opinion of most football commentators that our squad is grown up and powerful and just lacks the component parts I mentioned.

  162. SharkeySure says:

    Lol !

    Well its funny to me…

    Maybe I should just quit whilst I’m behind !!

  163. Alex says:

    @26May1989:

    “We need another CB, of course we do, but if and when that business is done, we will have what we need: Vermaelen, Koscielny, AN Other, Djourou, Nordtveit and Song. (Alex, if you’re struggling with the maths, that’s six.) ”

    Am I the only one who finds it amusing that you suggest I am struggling with maths when you include the wholly fictional “AN Other” in your definitive list of 6 for me?

    That’s like me including the fictional $10M on deposit in my bank account and asking the bank if they are struggling with maths because they haven’t paid me my interest on it yet..

    Defence was a problem last season (both GK and outfield).

    Djourou has an DarrenAnderton-esque injury record for a defender that hardly plays. 46 senior caps (including subs)

    Nordtveit has zero appearances for Arsenal and a grand total of 49 senior caps (including sub).

    We *need* Song in defensive midfield (sure, he can be drafted in to play CB – although this is not his best position, and it vacates another role we have no cover for).

  164. Alex says:

    I’m going to retire the “struggling with maths” comment from my future posts now, so it is appropriately (and fondly it seems) remembered.

    😛

  165. Big Raddy says:

    Nice Alex. Been good bantering with you.

    Can you retire the AKB epithet as well?

  166. 26may1989 says:

    Alex, if you’re struggling with English, the key words are “if and when that business is done”.

  167. Big Raddy says:

    Aren’t the Spuds playing tonight? Be very funny if they get smacked.

  168. Big Raddy says:

    Easy 26. We are all mates on here…..

  169. Irishgunner says:

    BR – yes they are, come on Young Boys of Berne woop woop 😕

  170. kelsey says:

    A naturally gifted sportsman can be coached to the extent that he gets better and to iron out any defeciencies they may have,but a run of the mill average player in football and here we are talking about keepers is a different scenario.there has to be a basis of something good to improve and in almunia’s case at the age of about 32 that is nearly impossible.

    In both cases,the natural and the promising sportsman with any amount of coaching does not give a guarantee.

  171. SharkeySure says:

    Alex, its been good fun, hope to see you back here soon. We’re not the worst bunch …honest !!

    Anyway its off home to practise my maths for me !

    Nite all

  172. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey.

    You are right and at 32 Almunia is as good as he is ever gong to be. Whereas Flapianski still has room time to develop, preferably at another club.

    Can you believe that Jerzy Dudek is RM’s back up GK? The man must be as old as you !!

  173. kelsey says:

    Old as me BR. last night a one two between the 35 year old scholes and the 36 year old giggs = three nil.

  174. Red Arse says:

    I’m back and I’ve missed F I L again. Sod it.

    Alex, if you are still, I think your points are valid, although I don’t altogether agree with them. But so what if I do or don’t, it’s all grist to the mill and debate is what this site is about.

    Thing is though, there is nothing new in any of it, and I am not keen to be referred to as an AKB, either.

    In the first place it is not true, in the second that term is always used in a pejorative and superior tone and is always likely to cause offence. Me no like. 🙂

  175. dandan says:

    Could be that Traore in on his way to Benfica, that means surely that we need to hang on to both Gibbs and Clichy

  176. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    I had high hopes for the young Traore, but as time went by I came to the conclusion that he wasunlikely to make it at the v. top.

    That is disapppointing, because physically, and speed wise he has all the makings.

    Hope I am wrong.

  177. Irishgunner says:

    ” In other news, Nottingham Forest defender Chris Gunter could find himself under scrutiny from the FA when they investigate further into his stamp on Arsenal loanee Sanchez Watt during Sunday’s Championship fixture between Forest and Leeds. Watt may also face disciplinary action after it was claimed by Forest that he had stood on Gunter’s foot initially, which prompted a retaliation from the former Tottenham Hotspur player.”

    From Jeorge Bird’s blog.

    Watt seems to be doing well for Leeds.

  178. dandan says:

    Interesting that the Newcastle blogs think that Given is comming to the Emirate and the Fulham ones Schwartzer. Wonder who is right

  179. Red Arse says:

    Lady Pants, oops Irish,

    I saw the Leeds/Forest game on Sunday and I thought anything Watt did was pure accident. He may have unintentionally trodden on his toe, but that was all.

    That slimy toad Gunter snuck up behind Watt and clearly and cowardly stamped on his foot then ran away.

  180. dandan says:

    Absolutely Red Arse you got it in one

  181. Red Arse says:

    My English has gone to pot, but I have had to have a whiskey to calm my nerves after a day of trying to work out why Windows 7 won’t let me run Internet Explorer.

    Total bummer! Any experts out there? I suppose they have all buggered off home now I need one. 🙂

  182. dandan says:

    Dont ask me, would be like the blind leading the blind, but Rasp is your man Red

  183. Red Arse says:

    Thanks Dandan, I appreciate that. I can’t believe that even John Lewis support could not work it out.

    I will ask Rasp, in case it is straight forward.

  184. Red Arse says:

    Think I’ll have to go and get some grub. The whisky is beginning to work all too well on an empty stomach.

    See you tomorrow. 🙂

  185. dandan says:

    Anelka banned by France for 18 matches, for world cup carve up.

  186. gunnern5 says:

    The wee boys are enjoying mashing the spuds 3-0 after 32 minutes.

  187. charybdis1966 says:

    Spuds 3 nil down – ha ha ha Defoe, you’ll definitely go further than us in the Champions League with form like that.

  188. Evening gooners – enjoying the tv 😉

    dandan – have you got company for this match, any spuds at your house? I’ve got one at my house – bit glum

  189. dandan says:

    Arry is definitely not appy.LOL

  190. dandan says:

    No my brother is nearer Kelsey than me right now.

  191. charybdis1966 says:

    Normally I’d say “Poor you Peachy, having a spud in the house”, but I’ll bet it’s just swe-eet this evening.

  192. 26may1989 says:

    Bloody hell, 3-0 ….

    Oh, 3-1 now. Still funny.

  193. Alex says:

    I take it all back…

    Our defence with Vermaelen and Koscielny on crutches is still better than Spurs..

  194. dandan says:

    Will be a hairy second half all it will need is a breakaway from the swiss and Arry will go Ape

  195. kelsey says:

    Talk about a a non existant defence, Dawson having yet another blinder 😉 unfortunately the away goal might just see them through.
    Most impressed with the Young Boys playmaker.

  196. charybdis1966 says:

    OK, 3-2 still funny, but if you want another laugh, fast forward to 3:22

    just like ‘arry twitching after half an hour ?

  197. Big Raddy says:

    This appears to be a fine idea and a way to involve fans further in the running of the club. Alternatively, it could be another way of ripping off the fans. As it is run and set up by the admirable AST, the scheme should be commended.

    Will you buy? Should I?

    http://www.arsenalfanshare.com/

  198. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning Radders, did you know about the option to buy part shares that were sent out with the membership packs for this season ? I think the minimum buy was £90.

  199. kelsey says:

    Morning BR,

    IMO this idea is a bit too late in the day when one looks at the current share holding.I don’t see people junping at this for a chance to have any real say in the club, except for those who just want to say they have a tiny shareholding in the club they support for pure prestige.

    Though the timing is interesting.

  200. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. I haven’t been back to Blighty to pick up my pack yet. Was it a good one this year?

    The first 2 years were great and I am still using my AFC mousemat.

  201. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    I think the fanshare thing is a great idea. You’re probably correct kelsey, it may be a bit late, but someone said yesterday that Arsene wouldn’t have signed a new contract if he wasn’t happy with the future prospects for the club. Arsenal have a fanbase running into the millions and if the reaction to blogs is anything to go by, there are many fans who want to have their say in how the club is run. I think we should give the idea our full support and promote it on the site.

  202. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey,

    Let us assume sales of 5,000 – not too many. At €20 a month that is €100k p.m. and €1.2m a year.

    At €10k a share, that is 120 shares (if available). Over 10 years they could make a difference.

  203. charybdis1966 says:

    Radders, you had the usual DVD and yearbook, but there was a paperback version of Eddie Hapgood’s autobiography which is interesting. I’m sure there was a little something else but it slips my mind whatever it was.

  204. charybdis1966 says:

    I’ve remembered now, it’s a panoramic picture of all the Arsenal squads to play at Highbury, joined up somehow with black and white at the left, then going to colour by the time you get to the squad of the fifties and finishing with the 2005-06 squad, our last one at Highbury.
    It unrolls to a width of 18″ and is 6″(approx) high.

  205. kelsey says:

    It was me who said that rasp.

    I suppose those figures on paper look good Raddy, but ….
    Morning chary.

  206. Rasp says:

    New post……

  207. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning kelsey, come to think of it the fanshare thing and the slip of paper I alluded to earlier could be one and the same thing – maybe AFC gave AST permission to put that flyer in the membership packs.

  208. Andy Mack says:

    I’m really impressed that so many supporters on here know that decent CBs are actually available to buy.
    ‘We only need to spend 6-10m’ seems to be the generic comment, but when the team owner of his existing club heard that we may be interested in spahic (or whatever his name is), he advises the press that the price is 27m…..
    I feel cetain that AW is in negotiation for a number of players (particularly CBs) but he doesn’t want a repetition of the Essien situation where he offered 8-9m and was probably prepared to increase to 14-5m but Chavski topped it with 24m without blinking an eye.

    I guess we could put an offer in for bramble and woodgate…..;-D

  209. Alec Gold says:

    The reason we should be appreciative of Mr Wenger is, not for the players that he should or should not have bought, or the cups that we have won or not won, or the money we have spent or not spent or even for the games we have won or not won. It is because he has developed a style of team play at Arsenal that is second to none. It not only entertains you, it excites you and thrills you and yet, this is still not enough for his detractors. Every manager in the Premier league must know that to get eleven players with their varying degrees of talent and temperament all performing at their best and as a team is hard enough, but to do it with style has become the Arsenal way. Mr Wenger, I thank you.

  210. ian new says:

    Wenger should be sacked now. He has shown nothing at all this season in terms of the team being a force to be reckon with by the end of the season.

    bring back tony adams and stop playing this fancy football that worked great for years because we had world class players

  211. Jonathan Gooner A says:

    Carling cup final with Birmingham and we still BLEW it. Weak premier league this season and now Man City are chasing us for 3rd position. Barca hammered us in the CL (like they did last season – what happened to learning from your past failures??)….for those of you that agreed with this article at the time, do you still agree with it now?

  212. Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too. This kind of
    clever work and coverage! Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve added you guys to my personal blogroll.

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