Arsenal celebrate failure on the pitch ……

…but off it, the football world celebrates complete incompetence and negligence.

Following the defeat at Chelsea I decided to give myself a little time to mull things over. A chance to let the hysteria die down. Losing the last game before the international break gives everyone two weeks to dwell on the shortcomings – in our case that we’re still unable to rough it against tough tacklers, that we flatter to deceive against the Mancs and Chelsea, and that Wenger’s refusal to ‘buy big’ means we haven’t won a trophy in five seasons, obviously.

I don’t mind that criticism so much. In fact, I don’t even mind the media ignoring that we took to the field against Chelsea like Christopher Reeve – with our entire spine missing (the loss of Almunia, Vermaelen, Fabregas and van Persie hardly got a mention).

And I can just about handle Mr know-everything-about-management (despite never being a manager) Andy Gray gleaming: “You have to ask how long the Arsenal fans and players will put up with this? How long can Arsene Wenger keep persuading them this is the right way?” – while ignoring what the fans of Liverpool, Everton, Middlesboro, Newcastle, Sunderland (and all those other clubs that have spent more than us over the past five years) are currently putting up with.

I can handle all of that… just.

But what I don’t understand is the media constantly waxing lyrical about Chelsea and all they achieve.

It’s true that Arsenal haven’t won a trophy for five years. And it’s true that, in that time, Chelsea won the Premier League in 2006 and last season; three FA Cups; and a League Cup.

Ignore the League Cup because it doesn’t count. Add in that Chelsea have spent more than £300m over the past five years, failed to win the league for three successive seasons between 2006-09, and still haven’t won the Champions League – and I’d suggest it’s not a great return. But you don’t hear that said in the media.

What you also don’t hear is criticism of, and this is my main point, is how Chelsea have achieved their success – and just how bad it is for football.

Chelsea’s business plan since Abramovic came in has simply been to “achieve world domination” – which doesn’t appear to be happening – and relies solely on the hope that Roman Abramovic won’t walk away.

If he does, Chelsea are dead. Chelsea say the loans given to them by Abramovic have now been turned into shares, and that the club is effectively running as a profit-making business. The truth, however, is very different.

It is true that the loans from the holding company to Chelsea FC plc were fully converted to shares. However, Abramovich’s loan to Chelsea Limited, the holding company which owns Chelsea FC plc, was not. That loan remains owing. In fact, it increased in the previous financial year because Abramovich loaned another £25m for extravagant spending and to cover the dismissal of Luiz Felipe Scolari and his coaching team – all of which produced losses of £47m.

The result is that the accounts of Chelsea Limited (whose name was changed during the year to Fordstam Limited), show the loan to Abramovic still outstanding. The total figure owed? Wait for it… £726m. The good news for Chelsea fans is the loan is interest free. The bad news is that it is repayable if Abramovich gives 18 months’ notice.

So if the Roman gets bored; or fed up that they still can’t win the Champions League; or if they do win the Champions League and then he feels he’s achieved all he can with that toy, what will happen to Chelsea? Do you think the club will attract a buyer willing to pay off a three-quarters-of-a-billion-pound debt to take the helm? Looking at the debacle at Anfield this past couple of weeks, I would say not.

Those activities at Anfield have finally started to persuade fans that winning silver cups in the immediate future is not all football is about. Supporters are taking an interest in the long-term futures of their clubs, and seeing that the Arsenal way – while painful for half a dozen years or so on the pitch – is putting the club in good stead off the pitch for generations to come. Online discussions like this one on BBC this week are now riddled with praise for what has become known as “the Arsenal model”.

I just hope that now the fans are seeing the light, the media might follow. I suspect Andy Gray and co will just continue to focus on the one measure of success they care about – titles and trophies. Don’t get me wrong. I would love Arsenal to have won the silverware Chelsea have since 2005. But not at their price.

I know that in ten years I will still be watching my team from where I watch it now. I wonder if Chelsea fans will be watching some re-formed non-league version of their club because they wanted ten years of success but then Abramovic walked away – and took their history with him?

Written by redandwhiteviews

The author of this article has his own site redandwhiteviews.

63 Responses to Arsenal celebrate failure on the pitch ……

  1. Carlito11 says:

    I hope Abramovitch does do one but I fear he’ll stick around longer than we might think!
    Anyone see Diaby’s interview saying that we don’t put enough pressure on the team to succeed and that team is too inconsistent? Says more about the player’s mentality than it does about us I feel

  2. Carlito11 says:

    Good post btw, sorry I didn’t acknowledge it 🙂 – took a look at your blog too- love the Wenger quotes!

  3. goodkindagoon says:

    thx god! excellent post! very happy other people realize this. We get no credit in the media. We spend less money than teams like Sunderland, remain competitive but all the praise is for team´s with financial sugar daddies or Man U who have got themselves in a horrible mess.

  4. Rasp says:

    Morning,

    Thanks for the excellent post r&wv,

    I guess the Premiership will eventually be polarised into 2 categories: those who have to do things properly (Arsenal) = balance the books; and those who have wealthy owners who are happy to pay for their indulgence.

    Hi Carlito,
    I think Diaby is a plank. That is tantamount to admitting that the coaching and player’s desire is not sufficient to motivate them. There have been times when I have watched Diaby sauntering about the pitch and thought, ‘you need to work harder son’ ….. alternatively it could be a deliberate misquote 😉

  5. Smith14 says:

    Excellent post. I think it’s true, whether Abramovic stays or not, the foundations on which they’ve built their success – and it’s not the success they wanted – is very shady and simply isn’t good for Football. They ruined the transfer market, only for City to make it worse, and bred a culture wherby short sighted fans demand money, investment and instant success. I would rather do things our way and get the success we deserve later, staying stable and free from the taint of ridiculous expenditure. I simply wouldn’t be happy with a rich benefactor pushing us into unstable territory. Thankfully, we have a manager who values a sporting project rather than a financial one. As you say, the Liverpool thing seems to have pushed more fans towards the belief that the Arsenal model is the way to go.

  6. Goonerism says:

    Great post, and whilst you talk of pain on the pitch for half a dozen years let’s be honest it’s not THAT painful.
    We still see some great performances and great players and we still compete at the highlest level, it’s not like we are a Newcastle or even a Liverpool, the club is in great shape and them team is not awful, it’s just not in the same class as 2004 but it may get there 🙂

  7. 26may1989 says:

    Redandwhite, that is a fantastic post – I am constantly disgusted by the sycophantic, craven approach of all the pundits and journos in Football Land, which is matched by almost everyone within football (players, coaches and administrators). They seem incapable of calling it as it is, that all this “success” is nothing of the sort.

    Whether Abramovich or the Abu Dhabi United Group actually leave their ego-vessels high and dry by abandoning them isn’t really the point – it’s the fact that they have made Chelsea and City utterly dependent on cash injections. Remember Peter Kenyon saying Chelsea would break even by 2009-10? What a joke, their transfer expenditure may have come down (relative to the lunatic levels it was at) but, with their wage bill, aging squad, small stadium and enormous debt, they are as far from real self-sufficiency as ever. And City look like they are determined to spend at even more ludicrous levels than their inspiration at the Bridge.

    What Abramovich and ADUG have done cheapens anything they “achieve” to the point where it deserves no respect – after all, it has nothing to do with the club or the fans (the same “achievements” could be those of Hartlepool or Yeovil or Dagenham & Redbridge). The Platini Regs will help, if they are enforced, but it is likely to be too little, too late.

    I am often accused of sour grapes whenever I make any of these points when talking to Chavs etc, and the real challenge would arise if we were ever sugar-daddied – would I be as critical then? I think I would, but of course I can’t be sure. And watching City fans underlines how worried we should be about our own reaction – they have all jumped on the cash bandwagon, bleating about how it’s their turn and they’ve suffered so much in years gone past.

    Which is why the authorities need to do more, not less, to control financial excess.

    Thanks again, great post. I expect we’ll have one or two visitors here today, telling us we’re whingers etc. Bring it on.

  8. tommystout says:

    fabulous and informative post, i didnt know that abram had written his financial dealings in as a loan that would be repayable on his exit – wow. what if he dies? gets bored? what if he wins the champions league and thinks job done and walks away?
    it would be back to us and manure again in the head to head that we so enjoyed.
    anyway
    glad jacks signed a new deal, hope chezzer does the same and finally yep diaby is a plank.

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Excellent post. Thanks.
    I don’t want to sound too old git’ish with all the “back in the days” stuff, but there is no doubt that since ’89 and then the arrival of Wenger, combined with the move to the fabulous new stadium, we have attracted maybe twenty odd thousand new regulars. New fans are to be welcomed, and this is what success brings, however what terrifies me is the element with the “win at any price” mentality. All too many fans would happily see our club flogged to a foreign buyer with no regard for his background or even his club loyalties. Quite often the same fans who refer to Chelsea as Chavs. Mmmm.
    We will start winning again, and boy how sweet will it taste.

  10. T_arsenal says:

    What hell us wrong with diaby he doent need a pressure from the fan playing for arsenal is enough pressure to bring trophies can you imagen veira sying this I still question someof arsenal players mentality to blame the fan?? he should thank the fan for been patience about this n tell us u do your best to win everything for arsenal
    that what we eante to hear not this bullshite

  11. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah, Diaby, Diaby, our man called Diaby.
    I actually feel sorry for the man, and here’s why. My son is blessed with incredible natural musical talent. Like all children, he is easily influenced by his peers who all too easily cannot be “bovvered” when the going gets tough. I feed my children, keep them warm and they are smothered with love, but ultimately they will find happiness through their own achievements. Now, back to Diaby. The fella has talent in abundance, but I feel that without Arsene injecting a little tough love, the guy will look back on his career with far too many regrets. Yes, he will have food and be warm, but at this rate, he will know that he could have banked so many more memories.

  12. gunnern5 says:

    A good article that get’s one’s thought processes buzzing.

    While I love the euphoria and bragging rights that go along with trophies they have never equaled the be all and end all for me.

    In my years of supporting I’ve seen some pretty awful teams and many, many years where we were simply no hopes from the start of the season. Just try to imagine that feeling and you will all better appreciate just how far AW has brought us in his tenure.

    Now to the article, obviously I’m delighted at the place we are in today as the whole Arsenal backroom have done a superb job in getting us where we are – with the most praise due to AW.

    But I am not at all smug about where we find ourselves as my instinct, for the past few years, was that the board were priming us to be taken over.

    The prime candidates would be Kroenke or Usmanov but neither has made the move to obtain 30% of the shares (and therefore have to offer to buy out the remaining shares)and I wonder why, are they just biding their time or are they simply happy to be large shareholders?

    If my numbers are correct Kroenke only needs 10 more shares and has stopped at that point – so he could easily put himself into a complete offer position. Usmanov needs 2178 and with Lady Nina still holding 9893 shares he could buy her out and make an offer for the balance of the shares at any time.

    So I’m not at all smug as at any time our fortunes could change and we could find ourselves with either Russian or American ownership and they don’t buy for the love of the team – it’s for the love of money.

  13. Carlito11 says:

    Rasp, T_arsenal- I fully agree- Diaby’s comments speak to the lack of effort and drive we see in his sporadic performances. Easy to see why he’s “an enigma” now. As regards the team’s “lack of consistency”, I would say that he and the ruddy faced mascot who often manages to play on the left wing are the only ones we’d aim the charge “inconsistent” at!

  14. kelsey says:

    I like to think I am pretty clued up on finances myself,but your article offers more depth than I could have achieved.

    If I am correct, Chelsea were in debt to the tune of some 89 million under the leadership(for want of a better word) of Ken Bates,and were in a desperate financial state, and I believe Abramovich came in with literally a rescue act, having failed in his attempt to buy the club he really wanted, that being Spurs.

  15. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Ruddy faced mascot” 🙂

  16. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi all, gunnerN5 I said something similar in a post of mine a while back, I got a fair amount of stick for being negative(granted a few of the other things I said could be construed as being less than happy) as I felt we may have been made attractive for a takeover as we are relatively debt free and have healthy income streams.
    Of course we are in a better place financially than most but I have this nagging feeling that we are being plumped up like a chicken before slaughter.
    I hope it’s just normal, run of the mill paranoia and nothing more substantial than that.

  17. Carlito11 says:

    Gunnern5- you’ve got the O’Jay’s going round in my head now…
    “For the love of money
    People will steal from their mother
    For the love of money
    People will rob their own brother
    For the love of money
    People can’t even walk the street
    Because they never know who in the world they’re gonna beat
    For that lean, mean, mean green
    Almighty dollar…”
    Apologies for the musical interlude! 😉

  18. Carlito11 says:

    Chary: “normal, run of the mill paranoia” 😀

  19. RockyLives says:

    Wow. Great post and discussion.

    If we win the League or the CL with this team it will surely be Wenger’s greatest achievement.

  20. Carlito11 says:

    Micky- is the “tough love” you suggest dropping the man until he grows a pair?

  21. gunnern5 says:

    charybis: To be ostracized for being paranoid about a potential takeover is very odd – we must have a flock of ostrich supporters.

    I live in anticipation that it will happen and I’m shocked that it has not already taken place.

    It seems like Kroenke has been positioned as the “American White Knight” vs the “Russian Tsar”

  22. charybdis1966 says:

    It seemed a case of shooting the messenger N5. If you’re interested and you’ve not already seen it it’s over here : https://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/exploited-gooners-%e2%80%93-the-final-fanshare-straw/

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Carlito,
    I was thinking more in terms of something metalic and very hot!

  24. charybdis1966 says:

    MDi89 – the mind boggles, do you mean Megan Fox in a baco-foil jumpsuit ?

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Charybdis,
    If you run a bad business, you are ready for a takeover as there is potential. Works both ways. I am very happy with the Arsenal debt free model. Imagine being a Manc….ooops, sorry. Wrong man to throw that at!

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Charybdis,
    A mind reader as well as a wise old sage!

  27. Smith14 says:

    Chary & GunnerN5,

    I definitely see your point about Arsenal being ripe for a takeover. We’re sustainable, have a great stadium, a good pool of players and fans etc so would be attractive to potential owners. The only thing that reassures me that we’re not just going to be sold is the fact that the club is still run by people like Hill Wood and Wenger who do have the club at heart. We have also introduced the Fan Share scheme which, whilst it isn’t as powerful as it could be, is still something that they needn’t have done if they are seriously thinking about selling out.

    I suppose no one’s safe but we aren’t in a position where the current ownership needs to change. We aren’t in a postion to have to court dodgy takeovers as we are a profitable business.

    I also have faith in the fans that we wouldn’t fall over ourselves to demand a sugar daddy and then moan when it doesn’t work out, like Liverpool, United and Pompey. I think we all know the warning signs so would be ahead of the game if something dodgy started happening. I hope so anyway!

  28. charybdis1966 says:

    LOL MDi89, I’m just thinking about MF now…and the opening sequence to the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century film from 1979.

    Agreed Smith14, I fear it, but hope it won’t happen.

  29. gunnern5 says:

    Smith14: I recognize that is all hypothetical but Wenger and Hill- Wood only hold emotional power which will mean sod all if either Usmanov or Kroenke decide to make a move.

    Hill- Wood owns 400 shares and Wenger has none and it’s shares that will make the difference not feelings.

  30. Neamman says:

    I am happy for one thing.
    Oh good evening all from China.

    I believe that the world economy is about to crash dive into oblivion, and at that time the sugar daddies will be desperate for cash. Chelsea and MC will be seen as ATMs and we will be in a much better financial situatin as long as the board hasn’t sold out to Kroenke or Usamanov. In the near future football is going to be uneconomic and any team with negative cash flow is going to go under.

    Ok Come on Gers… give us a point!!

  31. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Neamman,
    Can you leave out all that nasty, rather unsavoury and smutty scotish talk!

  32. gunnern5 says:

    Neamman: I had lunch in the Mad Hatter yesterday, the decor has been improved but the food is still average to poor. However it remains a fabulous football pub with an unbeatable atmosphere. It’s so good that on big match days they have been forced to pre sell tickets to stay within the legal customer limit, the ticket buy’s your first drink.

  33. Smith14 says:

    GunnerN5 – I suppose the point I was making is that Usmanov or Kroenke could make a takeover bid but it doesn’t mean everyone would have to take it.

    I realise Wenger and Hill Wood aren’t significant shareholders but they do hold influence which, when things are going well, like at the moment, counts for a lot. No one needs to sell up. The fact we have a degree of plurality in ownership means someone with loads of money can’t just turn up and buy the club.

    As I said before, everyone’s vulnerable but we’re in a safer postion than most.

  34. Afternoon Gooners.

    Thanks for your comments on my post. I’m pleased with the debate not least because it conjured the phrase “Megan Fox in a baco-foil jumpsuit”.

    I’m aware that we too are in distinct danger of being taken over and also that we will be able to do very little about it if it happens. But the point of the post is not to gloat – instead to point out the apparent reluctance of the media to talk about Chelsea’s potential plight or indeed that what they have won is the result of very bad practices.

    It amazes me that the media waxes so lyrical about Chelsea’s success. I’d be tempted to say they should win everything – after all they’ve spent over £300m.

    Many of my blogs focus on media coverage of Arsenal (http://redandwhiteviews.blogspot.com) because I am convinced there is a media bias toward us – and I feel this is just another example of the media focusing on the Arsenal as a negative (failing to win a trophy) than a positive (that we’re a tightly run ship, producing a profit, not jeopardising our future).

  35. gunnern5 says:

    Smith14: I don’t disagree completely with your point of view it’s just that in the end it’s money that talks and if (a big if) the potential buyer sweetens the pot enough – money will talk.

  36. Smith14 says:

    gunnern5 – Unfortunately I can’t diasgree with that. I just like to think we’ve got enough in place to make it harder and to at least be a bit picky about who does come in to try to buy us out. Unlike some other clubs we don’t have to just take the cash from whoever offers it. You can see we are already more accomodating to Kroenke than Usmanov so we at least have a chance to discriminate a bit.

  37. gunnern5 says:

    redandwhiteviews: Thank you for provoking the dialogue. My personal views are very much in line with your own on the media bias, not so much with the Chelsea scenario – as we could end up in the situation.

    I would like to know the basis for the bias as for the life of me I can’t understand why.
    Every type of media shows contempt for the things we do right and lambastes the things we do wrong.

    The most recent example being how quickly that they shoved AW’s words back down his throat after Jack got his red card.

    Now living in Canada I only see games on TV or the internet and the TV commentary is so bad that I have now formed the habit of muting the TV and listening to the commentary from Arsenal TV – still biased, but a far more acceptable bias.

    The bias is even worse when we play Man U. Scholes makes “clumsy” tackles and we are clinical, they make “unusually poor passes” and we give the ball away again– I could go on and on but you obviously see it the same way. Ugh………

  38. I do indeed Gunner5. The whole Eduardo diving thing was incredible. That twat Collymore calling for him to be banned for ten games, while Rooney and Owen are ‘clever’ because “if there’s contact you have every right to go over (as long as they’re English).

  39. gunnern5 says:

    redandwhite: Of course there was also Henry who they wanted banned from the World Cup for the unforgivable sin of handling the ball…………….not English ex Arsenal, so we understand….I guess Irish eye’s were not smiling.

  40. Smith14 says:

    redandwhite and GunnerN5, I totally agree.

    Last night on TalkSport they were praising Harry Redknapp for his honesty, for standing up to what they perceived to be a bad refereeing decision at the weekend and threatening to stop talking to the media.

    It might be slightly paranoid but can you imagine the pasting Wenger would have got if he’d said all that rubbish and threatend to refuse to talk to the press? All he has to do is present an honest opinion and he gets hammered.

    I personally think we still suffers from xenophobia. Too many people don’t like the fact it took a Frenchman and a list of French players to revolutionise the game in England. One rule for Wenger, one for everyone else.

    You only have to look at the national team, the majority of English players and managers to see that Wenger’s style is so far advanced from what we’re used to in this country.

  41. Neamman says:

    G5
    Yes the Mad Hatter is the best football pub in the area but I think all of them have suffered since Setenta started showing so many games. Why pay the money when you can see it at home? I usually only go now for the big games to get the atmosphere. I go to Abbey Road on Erin Mills, its closer and the food is great. Plus you can get Tennants, Harp and many British beers.

    MickeyDidit
    Smutty..??? Gers get a point??? You are joking right?
    If you can show me how its smutty and unsavoury to wish a British team well I may consider it. Til then.. sorry…. They are British and not in the EPL so I can and will wish them well.
    If you want to wish any other non EPL club well.. good for you …I couldnt care less.

    Arsenal are the best team in the world but Rangers are a close second!!!
    :>)

  42. Neamman says:

    Re media bias I used to think the media were biased until I started trolling Spuds boards and other teams. EVERY fan seems to think the media is against his team.
    I guess we all have thin skins sometimes.

  43. Red Arse says:

    I enjoyed your Post R&W. Well done. 🙂

    Neamman, I suspect Micky had tongue firmly in cheek.

    The potential take over of Arsenal probably deserves an article on its own right. But consider; (all figures guestimates) if Kroenke bought the 10 shares necessary to reach 29%, he would be obliged to bid for the remainder of the shares.

    He could (probably) buy the shares of Fizman and Lady Nina, (16 + 16) making his holding 61%, at a cost of (say) £150m. Even if he hoovered up another 10% at a cost of (say) £50m, his shareholding at 71%, at an additional cost of (say) £200m, would still not give him absolute control.

    This is on the premise that Usmanov would not sell his blocking shares to Kroenke.

    The reverse might hold true if Usmanov made a bid.

    It has become a bit of a Mexican standoff, with neither willing to pump in £200m to £300m more into their share purchases, without any guarantee of achieving total ownership.

    The only solution might be to sweeten the pot, so that either Usmanov or Kroenke could justify selling on the back of a very handsome profit. The drawback is that any such improved offer would also have to be made to Fizman and Lady Nina and others making the deal prohibitivelt expensive.

    The aforegoing probably explains why neither Kroenke nor Usmanov are prepared to buy Lady Nina’s stake, because that would trigger the problem I have outlined.

    At the moment, I believe the Arsenal director/shareholders have forsworn taking their dividends. That means both sides have an enormous amount of money tied up not earning a return.

    Something’s got to give.

    {Disclaimer: I know bugger all about the Arsenal political scene and the agenda of the shareholders, and frankly could care less. Over to some one who does know and does care!} 🙂

  44. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Neamman,
    Actually RedArse is wrong and I was not being tongue in cheek, just extremely polite! However, as they say, never discuss religion or politics, but I will say that to many Arsenal Fans, saying Rangers are a second team is just like saying Tottenham are your second team, which is fair enough, just might not go down too well.
    I mean absolutely no offence. Personally I cant stand Celtic either, and just to respond to your other comment, whenever Man Utd, Spurs or Chelsea play in Europe, I always hope they lose 10-0. At least!

  45. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    When I used the vernacular – tongue in cheek– I was of course writing it – tongue in cheek – because my definition of – tongue in cheek – is “not giving offence”, because I certainly did not intend to give offence, and that is, of course – tongue in cheek – ! Alles clar, mein herr? 🙂

  46. charybdis1966 says:

    So Twitchy only “warned but not charged” by the FA over his comments about the ref in the Mank game.
    Looks like his tactic of threatening a TV interview boycott worked then.
    The Twitcher strikes again !

  47. Red Arse says:

    CharyB,

    The lily livered FA were in a bit of a bind. Old Purple Schnoz has been giving them the finger for years re the BBC, so if they had gone for ‘Arry, it would have highlighted their impotence over disciplining Sir Schnoz.

  48. Neamman says:

    MDIt89
    No offence taken, and certainly no religious or political points meant on my part.
    As you say Rangers, for family reasons, are my second team, I guess along with Orient. As for the politics of it.. I come from an Orange/Green family, with relatives on both sides of the divide. I have NO time for the Rangers idiots who attacked Anthony Stokes house on the weekend or the Celtic ones who attacked Nacho Novo’s last year.
    Actually I would support any British or Irish team in the CL as long as they are not EPL or as long as they are not playing us.
    I am truly happy if a small team, and sadly all Scottish teams are “small” financially, can get into or through the group stages. For Rangers this is huge as it will mean another few million pared off their debt.
    Now I AM truly p*ss*d off that the spuds and MU won last night. Come on Moscow!!!!

  49. Neamman says:

    As a follow up some years back, about 10 I think, there was actually a survey done by the supporters club or maybe AFC itself on who was your second club. Rangers and Celtic both got huge support although there were many Greek, Cypiot, Israeli, Turkish and other European teams that reflected the multicultural nature of our fans these days.
    There is a large amount of support for Arsenal on both sides of the divide in NI.
    That being said, my old man was a Spurs fanatic.. he got married in the morning and was at WHL in the afternoon. I hate spurs as a club but have no problem with spurs fans.
    Hey, I am even friends with Celtic fans.. hahahahah

  50. Statics says:

    now benitez really have ruined my weekend!!

  51. Statics says:

    now benitez really have ruined my day!!

  52. Neamman says:

    yeah its worrying spurs are doing so well. Looks like they could top their group! If that happens the chances of us drawing someone tough like Inter in the next round increases.

  53. RockyLives says:

    Inter under Benitez is not tough.

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Neamman,
    Good points. You are right that Arsenal fans, like most clubs from Cities these days have a broad multicultural base. Arsenal’s Irish connection goes back to the 70’s when we had so many players from both the North and South in our team. On a different note, I did read through your links from the other day on financial meltdown. I have a very good chum who I think is the worlds’ expert in disaster prophecy!

    Rocky,
    You are right about Benitez.

    I must say this Bale fella would look very dashing in red and white!

  55. MickyDidIt89 says:

    All this talk of Bale, does highlight to me how much the CL means. The thought of either Chelsea or Spurs lifting the “One with the Big Ears” before us fills me with absolute horror. I know alot of fans who will always put the league first (best team over the season, CL just cup competition and needs luck etc), but for me it is the one we need. Every great club has won it.

  56. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I really do wish City would get their shit together a tad, as I would hate to see a repeat of Spurs in the CL next season.

  57. Big Raddy says:

    I was going to congratulate Spurs in today’s post, but then I realised what a foolish mistake that would be. A one-off victory against a Benitez side who weren’t up to the fight is insignificant to anyone outside the fools who support that little club in N17.

    Great match here last night. I live about 400 yards from the Parken where FCK very nearly beat Barca (who were very ordinary). Messi was anonymous apart from the goal and had we played them we would have won by at least 4 :-).

    Interesting aout second clubs….

    Mine have always been Barnet, then Brighton then Man City.

  58. Neamman says:

    MDI, I would love to chat to him sometime. Does he have a website?
    As for the spuds, the EPL is always my number 1. The way I lok at it is Notts Forest won it twice, and that doesnt make them a big club

  59. Neamman says:

    It being the CL

  60. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, looks like the fat spanish waiter is screwing over Inter the same way he has with the ‘dippers.

    Radders, do you know what all the argie-bargy was about with Gaurdiola at the final whistle ?

  61. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

  62. SharkeySure says:

    Great post RWV !!! Masterpiece really…

    I echo your sentiments – it can never JUST be about trophies !!

  63. […] Arsenal celebrate failure on the pitch …… […]

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