Arsenal’s Antithesis – The Problem With Manchester City

On Wednesday we entertain the Mancunian lottery winners in a second-v-third clash which could play a major part in deciding the destiny of the title.

It should also have everyone who loves football praying for an Arsenal win.

Simply put, Manchester City represent everything that’s wrong with the game in England.

They were acquired like a shiny bauble by a rich Sheikh from the United Arab Emirates who had no connection with English football, with Manchester or with the club itself.

Since then they have, in Arsène Wenger’s memorable phrase, indulged in ‘financial doping’ on an obscene scale and in a manner which few sports would allow.

Sheikh Mansour has already sunk more than £500m into the club and that’s before taking into account this year’s operating loss of £121m.

This kind of spending, dished out almost at random (Mansour could as easily have bought Leeds or Sheffield Wednesday or Everton) is a perversion of natural justice in football.

Sure, some clubs have always been richer than others (Manchester United and Arsenal being two obvious examples) but that’s because of the support they have managed to generate. Their wealth has grown organically over decades, not been imposed from above in a moment.

Instant money demands instant results, so the once charmingly unfashionable Citizens have gone all out to buy whatever talent they can for whatever money was demanded, skewing the transfer market in the process.

Now they have the most expensive squad in the EPL with the highest wage bill. If they were a normal business they would be bust a hundred times over.

What’s worse, their once-lovable supporters, whose sang-froid in the face of all manner of adversity made them among the most loyal and entertaining in the English top flight, have also been corrupted by the Sheikh’s billions.

They have taken to booing their own team despite having on-field success the like of which they haven’t seen for decades; whenever they play Arsenal they come on our blog sites and spout the sort of vile, jealous, acrimonious garbage you normally only hear from Spud saddoes; in short, they have gone from reaching for the moon to demanding the earth. From enfeeblement to entitlement in the space of a few, short, oil-rich months.

The club is being wrenched away from its own proud roots and history, but the supporters are jumping on for the ride. Don’t they realise that when the the train hits the buffers – when the Sheikh gets bored and decides to move into Formula 1 or the NFL – they’ll be in a far worse position than they were before the Arabs arrived?

Then there’s the squad. A rag-tag band of mercenaries whose attitude is best epitomised by a certain Emmanuel Adebayor – a man who spent most of his Arsenal career in the offside position and who, since his departure, has displayed as much class as a drug-addled hooker trying to score the next fix.

The gracelessness of the recent comments by Mario Balotelli on receiving the Golden Boy award sums up the arrogance of the entire club. On being asked about the runner-up in the awards (for Europe’s best young player) he said he had never heard of Jack Wilshere but next time he played against Arsenal he would show Jack his award to remind him who was the better player.

I would bet £1,000 right now that Balotelli’s career will be one of stop-starts, bust-ups with managers, irregular international appearances for Italy and multiple club changes, while Wilshere will go on to captain England and Arsenal and will remain a one club man for his entire career.

In summary, Citeh have followed the disgusting, money-is-the-answer-to-everything approach pioneered by Abramovich at Chelsea and taken it to a new level.

Much as I loathe ManUre and the Spuds, at least they have real history and they have developed (more or less) organically with rich owners who have also been fans (the Glazers aside).

Citeh’s template is no way to run our national sport. The new financial fair play rules being brought in by UEFA will attempt to address this but, to me at least, they seem so full of loopholes that nothing will really change.

On Wednesday we have the chance to give Manchester City a second helping of what money can’t buy: teamwork, integrity and strength, leading to a convincing Arsenal win.

When we put them to the sword, as I believe we will, it will be a victory for the best values of English football against the worst evils of the modern game.

RockyLives

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363 Responses to Arsenal’s Antithesis – The Problem With Manchester City

  1. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Another fine read and a subject close to my heart.

    Do you imagine Mansour had seen MC play live before his management team suggested he buy the club? I bet he had never heard of them.

    Back in the day, MC were my second favourite club and I had them as my reserve subbuteo team (oh, the wonder of youth). Now they represent (as you say) all that is wrong with the modern game – the greed of the agents, the outrageous wages, the pandering to the players by the management etc etc-.

    However, they will never emulate their city rivals who have history and class. Just like ourselves and the West London Billionaires

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great post Rocky,
    The short termism of the whole project just shows how ego driven it is. This is why it is so sweet watching the collapse of the Chelsea Ego Era. On the whole, I do not like to gloat over anothers’ misfortune, but there are exceptions.

  3. Truth says:

    Arsenal represent everything that is bad about football — you cheated your way into the first division after world war I.

  4. Cookster says:

    Bitter, biased comments! I smell fear.

  5. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My reserve subuteo team were Brighton and Hove Albion. I had an Everton set, on to which I painted white stripes. I used to regularly thrash Leeds United, driven by my Mother!

  6. m beany says:

    The problem with Arsenal – poor defense, even worse goalkeeper, a manager who has forgotten how to win things, a captain that wants to leave and the quietest away fans in the premiership.

  7. Morning all

    The fact that the chavs seem to have suffered the most from the emergence of citeh is quite amusing. Micky’s question about chav or spud for 4th place is a difficult one at the moment.

    I loved watching Villa equalise in injury time yesterday but the knowledge that the chavs had dropped 2 points was tarnished by who was still in 4th place.

  8. Rasp says:

    Morning,

    Another superb article Rocky. It’s OK for most teams to have a couple of mercenaries in the side (we’ve had gallas and Sylvestre) but not the majority of the eleven. They have spent a lot of money on mediocrity – Milner, Kolo (sorry but it’s true), LazyB, etc etc.

    To the citeh supporters with whom we’ve touched a nerve – keep it polite and we’ll allow your comments on…

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Wonderful start to the days blogging.

    This is an ARSENAL website – if you expect a MC fanclub, look elsewhere ….

    I love Truth. The man is a complete loon!!

  10. chas says:

    I was just about to say after reading the questions about whether money had been invested in the background at City, that, yes indeed it has.

    After all, money is no object.
    http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1313335_manchester_city_splash_the_cash_on_platt_lane_academy

  11. Melon Man says:

    “And what have City done with all that newly-acquired money? Have they tried to start a world class academy of football? Have they set up talent-spotting and hot-housing bases in Africa and South America? Have they created state-of-the-art training facilities to bring through the best youth in the country? Have they hell.”

    Wrong.

    You should take a tour of Eastlands or at least do some research on the fine work Brian Marwood (you do know who he is?) has been doing to ensure City have the finest Academy on the planet bar none, before regurgitating the same old nonsense about City killing football, blah, blah, blah.

    Of course you will get thousands of enraged City fans correcting you on your misconceptions, so well done, you went fishing and are certain to land a boatful.

    Happy New Year Gooners, five years and counting, it must be very satisfying sitting up there on that high horse of yours.

  12. faiz says:

    how many arsenal players are home grown..you also buy most of your team players…so does manc..but they are buying more expensive players then you..so plz…stop being a moron..such a sily post…

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Fear? What was the result on 24/10 at the City of Manchester stadium?

  14. Rasp says:

    I would just like to point out to the citeh supporters that you haven’t won anything yet. Arsenal’s success in the Premiership is palpable whereas yours is just an expectation – and that’s the point the article is making. Mansour’s money has corrupted your previously admirable football values.

    Congratulations on your new facilities and work in the community, I hope that the benefit remains long after your benefactor goes off in search of another plaything.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    Melon Man. Appropriate name. Brian Marwood played for us and won a League title with us.

    When was the last time MC won a title????

    And we will always be a bigger club than yours. We have history , a worldwide fanbase and haven’t needed a fickle billionaire to make our team

  16. Bluekingell says:

    I’ve just had the biggest laff in ages reading this drivel!!!
    organically grown money?? is that from the champions league for runners up?
    No development of football!! have you not heard of the award winning City In The Community scheme, Our sponsorship of Hyde building them a new stand for their dilapidated ground, We’ve spent millions on state of the art training facilities and wait till you see the plans for our new training complex with on-site accommodation for academy players.
    Yes we’ve skewed the market and attracted the kind of fair weather toss pot fans no one likes but the bitterness from the elitest Sky four has us giggling all the way. And yes Ive seen many an arrogant gooner after youve slapped us by the odd goal or four/five/six.
    PS Don’t forget you couldn’t compete in the transfer market before we was taken over and your only recent success is finishing in the top four but don’t let that cloud your judgement

  17. Rasp says:

    Truth,

    You’re an uneducated spud who uses a false email address and thinks he’s got a right to put vitriolic comments on an Arsenal site, think again if you can! All of your subsequent comments will end up in trash where they belong – go and blog with your own kind.

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    City Fans,
    If for no other reason, many people will make the comparison with Chelsea, and draw conclusions. As Big Raddy said, many people have always admired City as a proper club, but to compare the way Arsenal deal in the transfer market and wages with yourselves, is utterly nuts.

  19. Johnpb78 says:

    Poorly thought out, ill informed and overall, written with a huge tinge of bitterness. Are you sure you weren’t a Man U fan in a former life?

    IS your basis for the article that you believe everything you read in the papers or are you just plain ignorant to what has gone on at City.

    And as for your own “Youth Academy”, perhaps City should play you at your own game and illegally sign up all the world’s young talent.

    We really would be ruining football then wouldnt we?

  20. Simon says:

    Whilst the author does seem to have a reasonable grasp of the English language, he does seem to suffer from a lack of research to back up what he says. “Have they tried to start a world class academy of football? Have they set up talent-spotting and hot-housing bases in Africa and South America? Have they created state-of-the-art training facilities to bring through the best youth in the country? Have they hell”. The owners have done all this apart from the talent-spotting and hot-housing is in Asia rather than Africa or South America and is being run by Jim Cassell, who ran our outstanding football academy at City. The academy has been heavily invested in, with brand new, state of the art facilities. The club are rightly proud to have brought through the likes of Shaun Wright-Philips, Micah Richards, Steven Ireland, Joey Barton et al but are focussing on having an academy that will bring through players who will be the next Messi and Ronaldos.
    You have twisted Balotelli’s comments, though I admit that he is sometimes immature and he should engage brain before opening mouth, like someone else whose prose is on this page.
    With regard to the City fans attitude, I have seen no change in our loyal support, though it is difficult to have a sang-froid attitude when we are not faced with adversity!!
    I think that some bitterness against Adebayor has clouded your judgement but he could improve his work ethic and behaviour. As for the rest of the squad being mercenaries, what person in the world would continue to do their job if an offer of far more money, for doing the same thing, came up???
    I have no gripe with Arsenal and hope that the best team wins on Wednesday. I also don’t mind people levelling criticism at my club, if it is justified. What I can’t take is someone spouting their opinion, when it is factually incorrect. Some less educated people believe what they read and as a journalist, and I use the term loosely, you should at least do some research before you spew bile. Arsenal are a successful, well managed club and you have nothing to be jealous about!

  21. I’ve removed from the post the questions Rocky posed about investment in the club as research has shown that the Sheik has poured money into the existing infrastructure of ‘City in the Community’ which was set up in 1986.

    The facts that Citeh are an arab billionaires plaything and that his spending has undermined football in this country are still relevant.

  22. Rasp says:

    Citeh fans – brag when you’ve got something to brag about. I’d bet Colin Bell is uneasy about quick fix, money-made success, he was a proper footballer paying for a proper club. It’s not your fault that your club has been bought with oil millions – but get real, the values that made your club great take second place to arab impatience.

  23. Melon Man says:

    Big Raddy,

    entering into dialogue with Gooners is almost exactly like crossing logic swords with Spuds fans – you both bang on about your size, history (of winning trophies) and the way your super dooper owners have organically grown your PLC’s.

    Of course, we counter with the same arguments, which are becoming tedious in the extreme.

    Please do remind us which of your current first team squad are products of your local area?

    And then remind us which players you have paid massive sums of money for? ( Chamakh, Nasri etc.. there, I got the ball rolling for you).

    This myth you keep peddling about your teams full of local boys that would play for nothing but the love of the badge is exactly that, a big fairy story which you hope will become fact if you say it often enough.

    Remind me, who actually owns the Arsenal? Is he/she/it a local boy? Or is he a Yank or a Russki? Or both? How many shares do they own?

    You’d love it if you had enough money to get you to the next level, but your owners aren’t backing Wenger in the transfer market, so tough titties, you’ll always be everyone’s favourite second team from now on I suppose.

  24. Goatistuta says:

    Have they set up talent-spotting and hot-housing bases in Africa and South America? Errrrm, again it’s s yes but we have gone to the US, Asia and are looking at European agreements also

    And the sheer fact that you don’t know about Citys “world class” training facilities, well quite frankly shows your ignorance for the truth. But hey, who needs the truth when you have Internet blogs like this that lie and slag off good solid fans.

    To suggest that City supporters have lost their soul shows you have zero idea about us. I, like many 1000’s of others have been in the car early Saturday or Sunday, setting off for Grismby (stinks of fish) York etc. Nothing has changed in our eyes, yes we have money but to write and slate us for it is poor. 

    I hope we smash you on Wednesday now and take you out of the race. Good luck o bitter one!!!

  25. crossie says:

    Wow, suddenly you hate City a hell of a lot. Jealous eh? Would you like Shay Given on loan? really? f*ck off no chance. Nice to see we have really got up your noses, I really really hope you hate us. I dont even care if you do beat us on weds, because we will still finish above you. Fabregas is off in the summer, Van Persie will never bit fit again, Arseshavings has been found out, Rosicky is another sick note, all your big players are weak and would jump at the chance of a move to City, to earn some real wages.

    Your right you do have history, history of being a cheating, diving, bitter bunch of t*ats.

    Bring back Bruce Rioch.

    Do you want Adebayor back? We don’t even need your best players anymore, we have gone global.

    I suggest you all shut up before we consider unsettling your best players buy offering them double their wages. Don’t f*ck with us, we are here to stay.

  26. Gooner in Exile says:

    Woah Citeh fans must be trolling the web with an auto search for anything anti Man City to have found this article.

    I was going to come on and suggest that maybe Rocky you are a little harsh in your summation, most City fans I know tell me that the whole scheme is about advertising the UAE, I still don’t get how buying a football team and investing billions is any more effective advertising than sponsoring shirts, advertising hoardings or the TV output on any one channel without the need to actually buy a football team, they also tell me about all the development that City are doing around the stadium since the lottery was won, if it all comes to fruition it is only to be applauded.

    The problem is before the Billions arrived Citeh did have a very good Youth Academy, how many of those players are falling by the wayside because of the investment in Multi million pound and wages transfers.

    Arsene Wenger rebuilt our academy ground up which is why we are now seeing the likes of Wilshere, Lansbury, Eastmond, Gibbs and Frimpong emerging from the youth team, all English by the way, along with Sanchez Watt, JET et al. Wenger has always said it is about ability not nationality, now he has been able to properly school young English footballers we will not have so many foreign imports in the future.

    However the comments by Citeh fans on these very pages show they are now walking around with a chip on their shoulder, demanding success.

    @Faiz of the current Arsenal squad I don’t think they’re many that do not fulfil homegrown requirements, we are comfortably within the new rules.

    It appears Citeh as a club have lost their soul @Melon Man 5 years? Sorry I needed to get my almanac out to find out when Citeh last won a major domestic honour but it was actually before I was born, did it worry you in that time, or did you carry on supporting your team? Or have you only just come to the party.

    Take a long hard look at Chelsea fans right now, ask them if they’re happy, especially now Roman has a new play thing in the World Cup, which by the way is where all their transfer funds have obviously gone. Citeh fans need to hope Qatar do not do the deal with UAE to share on some of the World Cup matches, I feel the World Cup may do better advertising than Man City ever will.

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    City Fans,
    If you read through some of the dicussions Arsenal fans have over potential new owners o AFC, you will get an idea as to why so many of us are nervous about the Chelsea model. Abramovich clears off, and they are well and truly buggered.
    Mind you, finish above Utd, and I will giggle with you, so don’t allow your johnny-come-lately’s chaviness to ruin you. Good luck with that one, you will need it.

  28. Tim The Incredible Slug says:

    I believe the result was 0-3 Big Raddy. We had a man sent off after 4 minutes, and watching City play that day convinced me Mancini is creating the real deal. Not only did City match Arsenal for most of the game despite the imbalance in manpower, but on another day could have drawn or won the game. Know your football – 0-3 was flattering to Arsenal. Even though Arsenal themselves also played very well on the day.
    Face facts, 30 years ago City and Arsenal were pretty much equal as clubs. Graham brought you some success and then Wenger (for me a better manager than Ferguson)took you to the next level whilst we went backwards. Your article wrongly implies Arsenal have always been the greater of the 2 clubs. The Premier and Champions Leagues have a lot to answer for – their cock-eyed finances have propped up your club (new stadium) and the other “big 3” for a long time. If you were lucky enough to be doing well at the start of Murdoch’s vision of football, your club has lived off the back of the annual, self perpetuating finances ever since. Times are changing. Liverpool have already fallen, Chelsea are on the brink, and Manchester United – perhaps the most culpable of all clubs in the greed is good era – are also edging toward the abyss. Arsenal are lucky – you have Wenger. You will survive.

  29. PhilR says:

    Sorry to say this but your facts are on whole wrong.
    Yes we have spent money unwisely, but the investment in the club and the city of Manchester is huge. The youth team is strong and we don’t have to plunder and exploit the lower French league teams that you have done for years.
    As for wealthy owners look at yourselves and look at the turmoil your board has been in recently and how close were you to losing your manager. Ask yourself where is the money going.
    I look at the plans around the City stadium it’s amazing for what was a wasteland 10 years ago.
    As for proud roots is this not the kettle calling the pot black when you sold Highbury and developed the Emirates into possibly what is the quietest club in the Premiership.
    Just because our club has money don’t think City fans are completely happy with what is happening but you should look hard at your own club where you now have a younger generation of Arsenal fans that have never seen a trophy won (for the price of a decent goalkeeper).
    Your shareholders grow richer, your team has failings, and your season ticket prices are ridiculous. Wednesday night is important but not the decider. And I am guessing that for you it’s another “trophy less” year and for us another year moving closer to the premiership and a champions league position.
    For City fans what most of us want is a top 4 position and beating United as for Arsenal you really are not as important to us as you think because if I was you I would be looking down the road and at Harry the used car salesman.

  30. Rasp says:

    Nobody hates citeh, just what your current regime represents. The article makes it clear that before Mansour’s involvement, citeh were admired. Look at chelski’s demise for a glimpse of your future once the novelty has worn off.

  31. Zin zimmer says:

    Wow- just wow

    I’ve read some pony in my time but that takes the proverbial- firstly take a look at your own boardroom you pleb, educate yourself before spouting drivel. Secondly citys academy has been the shining light in English football for over a decade and continues to be the benchmark, more graduates play top flght football from our grass roots than any other top flight club FACT. Thirdly- do you smoke crack? Our faculties are not exclusive to Landon Bruv- try checking out the academies around he world since the takeover. And finally- unless your aware our owner already has a major footing in F1, owns a ikkle percentage of a small car company named Ferrari, and also built a track with some loose change he found down the couch. If you had any research capabilities you would also know that the fit and proper owners rules put in place by FIFA would never allow the good camel king to up sticks and do 1 (that’s leave to you Landon boys).

    Piss poor article- school report

    MUST DO BETTER

  32. tommy caton says:

    there are people who live their lives through the club they support because it gives them this feeling of power over other human beings, we see it in united fans all the time; weaslels who haven’t got a pot to p**s in who think they are important. This is the objection to city’s rise in the premiership because we are posing a threat to their importance; it is very sad that people openly admit they found us city fans cute b4 but now find us obscene. they are the same people who would have refused a place on a life boat from the titanic for the lower classes; football fans who think their club makes them ‘upper’ class

  33. pedmachine says:

    You sound very bitter. I’m glad you like watching your assassins and love your paint-dry manager. I think much of the football world wants City to win especially United & Chelski because they don’t see City as a threat. Me? I just hope de Jong flattens that dirty snidy Fabregas

  34. bluenova says:

    I think you might need to look up antithesis in the dictionary.

    Arsenal have been successful over the last decade relative to most of the Premiership because they have spent more money.

    Your turnover is THREE TIMES that of most clubs in the Premiership. That’s why you can afford to keep the likes of Fabregas – not pretty football.

    Before the “Premiership Years” Arsenal were a big club, but that meant having marginally more money, and there was still an element of excitement to the league. However you believe your wealth has been generated (and I assume selling flats, or charging more than double the price of Man City for season tickets is considered “organic”) it is so excessive that it has been distorting the Premiership for the last decade. If it takes one of the richest men in the world to shake things up a little then you should be grateful for the added excitement.

    The sooner we have six to eight clubs competing for the Champions League spots the better. Then the true financial realities of football might hit home to the Arsenal and Man Unites fans who’ve been riding the ‘organic’ wave for the past decade.

  35. Rasp says:

    pedmachine,

    De Jong is not a player of whom you should be proud. Luckily football won in the WC final and De Jong’s thuggery was not rewarded

  36. ProudToBeBlue says:

    It’s good to see that Arsenal fans can’t wait for Wednesday’s game. They will be even more hurt by the loss.

    Seriously, what has Manchester City done wrong? They got a new owner from abroad, big deal, so many teams do now. (By the way, do you think the Yanks who bought Liverpool or ManUtd had seen them play before? No, just like Mansour didn’t see City; maybe just Abramovich, having been a football fan, knew Chelsea before buying it) They got lucky that the new owner was super-rich, not their fault, and ambitious, so he went and tried to build a strong squad right away. Where’s the wrong in that? Any other club would have done the same in the same circumstances, even you “holy” Gunners. And if a fraction of the City fans has turned into bitter gloryhunters who boo their team if they don’t win 5-0, then so be it, the majority of Citizens knows very well of the times in the third tier of football, and dares not complain for what they have now; you’re generalising the behaviour of a small part of the fanbase.

    Arsenal-City will be a cracking game between possibly the two best clubs in England right now (since United keeps riding its luck to win games) and may the best one win, but I’m convinced that if they let us play eleven vs. eleven this time, then City will prevail. We gave you a good game even ten vs. eleven in October for most of the 90 minutes, before conceding two in the last part of the match to make it 0-3, after all.

  37. Gooner in Exile says:

    Erm the Arsenal Boardroom? The one that placed a lockdown on shares to ensure Usmanov could not get his greasy mits on the club, the one that had to get Kroenke, who doesn’t want to buy the club, involved to prevent Usmanov getting more shares. And the one that has launched Fanshare the ability for Arsenal fans to buy shares in their club.

    I’m not even going to go into transfer activity with Citeh fans because you think 2 = 1 when it comes to who has been bought, face it you have totally over spent on some very average players, and amongst them you have picked up some diamonds, Tevez, Toure (Yaya), and Silva.

    You let one of your best young talents in Stephen Ireland go, you let Richard Dunne go, Bellamy walk away on loan, and you got left with the likes of Adebayor and Santa Cruz, very wise spending indeed.

  38. Rasp says:

    Truth, I am allowing comments from your fellow supporters because they are keeping it polite and decent. Plenty of citeh fans have had the opportunity to have their say on this matter without censorship. I might have more respect for you if you weren’t hiding behind a false email address.

  39. City Gent says:

    In terms of money spent on players the only difference between City and United is that City have spent their money over a shorter period of time. The likes of United and Chelsea have actually spent more than City in the transfer market in the last fifteen years.
    Why should it matter that City have spent their money all at once? What difference does it make? At the end of the day rich clubs will try to buy success, whether it be long or short term. It’s always been the same.
    Wenger is a great manager and is very shrewd in the transfer market and doesn’t spend a lot of money. He picks out young players from the continent and polishes them up and makes them into great players. I greatly admire him. I also love the way he makes Arsenal play. But you haven’t won a trophy for a long time now have you? You spent a lot of money on that fine stadium but with all due respect to you, don’t you think a bit more cash on really world class players might just have got you a few trophies?
    What I’m saying is, being honest guys, can you Arsenal fans put your hands on your hearts and say you wouldn’t have been happy if City’s owners had taken over Arsenal instead?
    I think most football fans would like to see their club become wealthy. Wouldn’t they?
    After all the suffering we’ve been through we deserve a bit of something to shout about.
    Why don’t people like us anymore? We are the same fans we have always been. Is it a touch of jealousy?

  40. Tim The Incredible Slug says:

    Rasp – do some research of your own. How many Red cards has De Jong amassed in his years of thuggery? Oh what the heck I’ll save you the trouble. None.

  41. Melon Man says:

    “It appears Citeh as a club have lost their soul @Melon Man 5 years? Sorry I needed to get my almanac out to find out when Citeh last won a major domestic honour but it was actually before I was born, did it worry you in that time, or did you carry on supporting your team? Or have you only just come to the party.”

    I well remember Dennis Tueart’s magical overhead kick beating the barcodes to land us our last trophy, the bit about five years and counting was an ironic, self-deprecating jest, bringing to mind the thirty-four years potless, as our Evil neighbours keep on reminding us.

    So no, not lost our souls, or sense of humour.

    To suggest all City fans are new to the beautiful game, or have changed in character after a couple of years of investment, is plain stupid and insulting, like the article. No wonder City fans are pissed off and want to rebuke these falsehoods.

    I actually love to watch good football, and go out of my way to see the Arse, but deliberate smears, windups and lies from articles like this one tarnish the good image of your club, and I suggest you wind your collective necks in and have a word with yourselves next time you feel like pulling a cyber prank, it only makes you look petty and classless.

  42. Rasp says:

    I don’t bother to research other team’s players I’m only interested in Arsenal – are you saying the drop kick was accidental? We know only too well the impact a tackle from a player who has lost control can have on a fellow professional’s career.

  43. gaz says:

    Super Mario did a interveiw recently for NOTW he explains he doesnt talk to reporters that much because they manipulate thewords you say!, to the blogger who created the post do a bit of research before you vent your ANGER there seems to be a bit too much bitterness from you and we havnt won anything yet! i feel for you mate and all you other bitter people. Who owns your club by the way?.
    Lets all do the Poznan…….

  44. Buzz2 says:

    so you thought youd bother writing an article based on your assumptions than “bother to research other team’s players” as “I’m only interested in Arsenal” yet you assume so much….. well, i hope your not an aspiring journalist as, i think up paddling up the wrong creak

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    When I said “Good luck with that one, you will need it”…maybe its too late. The de Jong comment wass classy!

  46. SR says:

    I really think that the trouble with you fellas is thatl after a couple of barren years you actually thought that this would be your comeback year (it may well be). You’d organically grown a newish team using the finest Mr Wengers Duchy Original French compost and waited for the green shoots to show through after a few frosty winters. But what’s this? Some northerner on the next plot growing oversized veg! You now call a meeting with Mr Moyes,Mr Hughton,Mr O’Neill etc but find that this northerners only crime is using some ‘foreign muck’ to fertilise his crop! In time Mr Hughton and Mr O’Neill are asked to leave for growing sub-standard fayre and Mr Wenger is left nervous after some quite vicious criticism from his family for not reaping what he’d sown thus making them hungry at home. As for this northerner, he’d gone back in his shed quite oblivious to the commotion outside. Well, it’s not often that some complete strangers just gives you a billion bags of free fertiliser, and this northerner and his family weren’t in the position to say no! I suspect that deep down Mr Wengers family wouldn’t be either.

  47. City Gent – there is a huge difference between having obscene amounts of money to splash around and running a business where balancing the books is just as important as winning a trophy. Good luck to you guys that you got lucky and landed a billionaire, if you can win things for a few years like the chavs then I’m sure you’ll think its worth it.

  48. Citysince77 says:

    From 2001 to 2005 Arsenal won around 7 major trophys and were runners up around 6 times. Since the real emergence of Chelsea around that time, and the 6 years since, Arsenal have 2 runners up medals to their name. This article smells of the fear of yet another team emerging which will make it even harder for the likes of Arsenal to win another trophy for the next six years. Articles like this one are common place now, ill informed bile where the author has done no real background and claims we have no history to speak of and have done no real good with the money we now have. They always seem to mention how ‘Citeh’ used to be their second team and that the once lovable supporters of the team that you used to beat home and away had ‘sold out’. Arsenal are favourites for the midweek game but there’s every chance little ‘Citeh’ will get a result and this hollow and unfounded article is what I think it is, bilious rubbish. And just to let you know, if we have a spell like Chelsea have had for the last six years we will have won almost as many major trophys as you.

  49. Rasp says:

    Buzz,

    I didn’t write it. This is an Arsenal blog – are you getting the message? We talk about Arsenal because it is the club we support. I suggest you go and find a citeh site if you want to find someone who’s interested in researching your club.

    You are all conveniently overlooking the main thrust of the article – perhaps because you know there is more than a grain of truth to it?

  50. Rasp says:

    Hi City/77

    “if we have a spell like Chelsea have had for the last six years we will have won almost as many major trophys as you” …… thank you for confirming what the article is saying = if we buy success in the same way as chelski we will be happy – pretty hollow success in my opinion. The Arsenal succcess you seek to emulate has been earned not bought.

  51. m beany says:

    You’ve certainly got a reaction. That must be the key to internet blogging success. State a completely one sided and provocative argument in the headline and get it posted on multi-source news posting wesbite like newsnow. Well done, you’ve achieved something today. I’m just not sure I’d want to be associated with such drivel. Whenever a city fan does a similar thing I always think ‘you’ve let yourself down there’ and I suspect quite a lot of gooners are thinking the same right now.

  52. Tim The Incredible Slug says:

    Rasp is in immediate danger of disappearing up his beloved Arse – speaking of thuggery, which team received 73 (seventy-three) red cards between 1996 and 2008?

  53. tommy caton says:

    Doesn’t it irk you gooners that there are a good number of your fellow londoners that follow a manchester team? if those supporters followed their own team/local team manure wouldn’t be as successful as they are. there is certainly no support for arsenal to speak of in manchester. To get to my point, you must experience the same nauseating people that we encounter that masquerade as fans of united that try and ‘have it large’ over you? well its exactly these people that i will gladly see put in their place when City begin to win trophies. The trouble is you won’t see them, they’ll crawl back in their hovals and not be seen again, doesn’t that appeal to you? an end to these so called football fans of hollywood united and the emergence of fans that have stuck with their team through it all, viva the revolution

  54. City Gent says:

    To peachesgooner

    Yes, it’s a fasttrack to get us established quickly as a top club that will challenge for honours, but new FIFA regulations mean that we will have to become a club that supports itself from it’s own revenue very soon.
    We haven’t just simply been buying players, we have been trying to establish a good commercial infrstructure as well, to enable us us sustain ourselves.
    These are things that people don’t see.

  55. SR says:

    Goner In Exile, what you’ve actually done is highlight exactly why Mark Hughes had to go! It was a bad start with an inept manager for us. As for Steven Ireland, he’s available from villa already if you want him. I suspect not though! Good enough for citeh (?) but not Arsenal eh?!

  56. Melon Man says:

    “You are all conveniently overlooking the main thrust of the articel – perhaps because you know there is miore than a grain of truth to it?”

    The main thrust of the article seems to be your claim that “Manchester City represent everything that’s wrong with the game in England”, leading to “a perversion of natural justice in football.”

    And there it is – in your world, there is a natural order, where Arsenal are entitled to win everything, and City should know their place.

    We have argued until Blue in the face that the spending is no different morally to that of every other team in the top flight of football, and many in the lower leagues, but until we can shake you out of your upper class prejudices, we’ll always be the lower class, Northern upstarts.

    What City are doing is no different to that of Fulham, Wigan, Chelsea, Barca, Real, etc.. etc.. – just on a bigger scale. Even the Arse have to buy success.

    If you wish to paint yourselves as the Aristocracy of football, and we the revolting peasants, then so be it – if you know your French history, you’ll also know how that will end up for you.

    We could have been such good friends.

  57. Rasp says:

    tommy,

    I completely agree about ‘gloryhunter’ supporters. Whenever someone tells me they support manure I ask them if they’ve ever been to OT – the answer is invariably no. I think proper supporters all know about the highs and lows of follow a team. Maybe our romantic view of the ‘old citeh’ was unrealistic, but I personally see it as a shame that you have been pigeon-holed with chelski, but the fact remains that the transfer market and several player’s careers will be ruined by the money that is being flung around.

  58. 26may1989 says:

    Following on from a couple of things Micky and Raddy mentioned at the end of the previous post, the incoming signing we probably really need is another CB with Squillaci and Kos not looking quite strong enough and Nordtveit on his way out. I’m a bit suspicious of Mertesacker but would be happy for him to come in. Would prefer Cahill or Samba.

    And re the idea of choosing between Spurs and Chelsea for 4th place (ha ha), I’d go for Spurs: all that cash really pisses me off, Chelsea deserve to suffer. And if their fans really are slagging off Abramovich, even funnier.

    Now I’ll have a look at this new post and all those comments already there.

  59. m beany – did you admire how Abramovitch turned the chavs into a title buying team? Probably it didn’t make any difference to you at the time as you weren’t in contention for any honours.

    Where we sit, we’ve seen our own excellent manager work wonders over the past 5 years without being able to spend fortunes on players. We’ve watched our young squad miss out on honours through inexperience.

    Football is a team sport and I don’t believe you can buy a team but with enough money you can get lucky and add perhaps a couple of magic players who help your team to gel.

  60. Rasp says:

    Melon Man,

    I don’t think the phrase ‘revolting peasants’ appeared anywhere except in your imagination. Maybe all prem football clubs will end up in the hands of billionnaires eventually, but it would herald the end of the football we know and love.

  61. Mr Noz says:

    Dear Rocky, harsh words from a City point of view. A lot of this stuff is down to our own background and point of view.Ten years ago we were at Wembley playing Gillingham in the old Division 2 play offs with 35000 loyal fans facing a 2-0 deficit with 5 minutes of normal time to go.We drew 2-2 and won the penalty shoot out. Our fans reacted as if we had won the Champions League. So this Club does have a significant history epitomised by one of the most loyal fan bases in the world.Our neighbours, United have been a global brand for over 20 years with a shrewd marketing strategy which brought them at times an almost unlimitless transfer pot.Records were broken for Ferdinand, Rooney, Berbatov and others and no one blinked. It was if it was their natural right to pick and choose the best players available.
    I suggest you watch the film Blue Moon Rising to get a group of City fan’s perspective on these issues.
    Ian Holloway said after the match against Blackpool that City were a class act and that he and his team had never received such consideration and courtesy at an away club.This does not smack of an arrogance founded on money alone.Last year my daughter won a compitition to be the City mascot and the Club bent it’s rules to allow 7 relatives to attend and we were staggered by the 5* treatment we received.The only disappointing part of the day was the visit to our Trophy Room which took about 30 seconds! Only later did I find out that our free day out contrasts with the practice at most clubs of charging the families of mascots considerable amounts of money for the privilige. I believe that at Chelsea it could amount to £1K for some events. Also note that our kids can watch games for £5, and if you have ever been to Eastlands you would have noticed that at least 10000 of the fans are below the age of 16.
    In addition, Sheik Mansour and his group have already invested significant funds into our training facilities and youth academy and have developed strong relationships with local schools. Their plans for the redevelopment of Eastlands and it’s surrounding area will bring billions into the local economy and create significant opportunites for local businesses and employment.
    To me this shows we are not a one trick poney and that the owners are in it for the long haul.
    From your perspective we have a team of overpaid mercenaries. Well if they are then I want us to win nothing this year.However, I would like you to look at the work rate of players sch as Tevez, Silva, Milner, Barry, Johnson and co.These are not here to sit back and comfortably sit on their fat salaries. They are professional sportsmen who have come to City to win trophies and are fully aware that the loyal fan base have seen no trophies for 34 years.
    Last year we did not quite make it.In a perverse kind of way I was glad. Money alone cannot build the team spirit and integrity needed to win success.However, our performance with 10 men against an Arsenal team which is probably one of the best passing teams in europe, if not the world, showed us that the team spirit has indeed developed and I thought that the way we refused to put 10 men behind the ball and actually tried to beat you was exemplary.
    So round 2 on wednesday. Should be a spectacle of excellent football. We have a tackling success rate of 90% currently and completed 34 passess before our second goal against Villa last week. We are very strong away from home.So we wont be rolling over. Lets hope the best team on the night is rewarded and all best wishes to Arsenal and their fans for the rest of the season. You have a great team very easy on the eye but from our point of view the Blue Moon is about to Rise and we can’t wait.

  62. Rasp says:

    Morning peaches,

    Credit to most of the citeh supporters who have come on, the majority have been polite which is more than can be said for spuds and the other mancs in the past.

  63. Melon Man says:

    “26may1989 says:
    January 3, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Following on from a couple of things Micky and Raddy mentioned at the end of the previous post, the incoming signing we probably really need is another CB with Squillaci and Kos not looking quite strong enough and Nordtveit on his way out. I’m a bit suspicious of Mertesacker but would be happy for him to come in. Would prefer Cahill or Samba. ”

    What’s this? Will these players be free, or homegrown organically?

    Shame 26may1989 hasn’t bothered to read the article and subsequent postings before sharing his Xmas wish list with us all!

    Of course, one shouldn’t generalise, not all City fans share the same opinions, as all Arsenal fans obviously don’t agree with the delusions of the author of this angling exercise!

  64. dandan says:

    I am an Arsenal fan and regular contributor to this site, who was born in London and moved to Manchester where I married raised my family. My eldest son is a dyed in the wool city man and delighted that his hopes of winning something have been rekindled and raised to a higher level
    He would however acknowledge his misgivings at the thought of his beloved city (as opposed to manky old Arsenal His words not mine)falling into the wrong hands and the underlying worry that the Sheiks, will like the nomads that spawned them, before the oil was found. strike their tents and head off to another oasis where the grass is greener and the returns better.
    Personally I hope this doesn’t happen, but do believe the pouring of so much money into your club is bad for English football in general and will force many smaller clubs into insolvency as they try to match the obscene OTT wages, agents are demanding for their players the moment it is mentioned that city might be interested. (not Arsenal we are self sufficient) It will also be interesting to see the politics within city unwind as the new squad rules around home grown players begin to bite.

    So Wednesday will be fun in this house as we watch the game, hopefully we will win, but whatever the result, you city fans will be welcomed back to this site after the game providing the banter remains civil.

  65. Gooner in Exile says:

    Tommy – “Doesn’t it irk you gooners that there are a good number of your fellow londoners that follow a manchester team?”

    Does it irk you that you are trying to generate support from outside of the City? Afterall that is the only way the club could be commercially viable to support the wages.

    If someone wants to support Man Utd because they have won things then so be it, I’ll stick to the club I was told to support, had no choice to support, i was born to support and worry about others shortcomings later 😉 I played football with a lad who supported Liverpool one week, and the following week was wearing an Everton shirt after they beat Liverpool in the FA Cup Final more fool him.

    I don’t think they are many johnny come latelys at City, there are probably more in Arsenals following who most of us hope will disappear rather than constantly slate Mr Wenger for being trophyless these last few years. But you all appear to be wearing a rather big chip on your shoulders in face of the criticism.

    If Erikkson had been allowed to continue at City I would guess that you would already have qualified for the CL, he was doing a fantastic job for your club playing good exciting football.

    I don’t deny that you have been lucky and I don’t deny that Sheikh Mansour is spending some money around the ground too, but you all have to hope and pray that this is not a short term thing and that he is prepared to write it all off and it is not a Directors Loan to be repaid when he leaves the club. I hope for your sakes that you are right.

  66. Rasp says:

    Melon Man,

    We have an ongoing dialogue which traverses posts so don’t criticise 26m – that’s a bit pathetic. He will undoubtedly read the post and all subsequent comments and provide you with a considered response.

  67. Morning dandan – they don’t seem to get the point about the money spoiling it for everyone else do they 😉

  68. Melon Man says:

    “In total, Arsenal F.C.’s board of directors currently hold 45.2% of the club’s shares; the largest shareholder on the board is American sports tycoon Stan Kroenke, who launched a bid for the club in 2007,[64] and in November 2009 increased his holding to 18,594 shares (29.9%).[65] Other directors with significant holdings are diamond dealer Danny Fiszman, who holds 10,025 shares (16.1%), and club chairman Peter Hill-Wood, who owns 400 (0.64%); the other directors each hold nominal amounts.[66] Former director Lady Bracewell-Smith (wife of the grandson of former chairman Sir Bracewell Smith) holds 9,893 shares (15.9%).[66]

    A rival bid to Kroenke’s came from Red & White Securities, which is co-owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov and London-based financier Farhad Moshiri.[67] Red & White launched its bid in August 2007, buying the stake held by former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, and as at February 2009 owned 15,555 shares (25.0%) in the club.[68] This led to press speculation of a bidding war between Kroenke and Usmanov.[67] However, Kroenke agreed not to purchase more than 29.9% of the club until at least September 2009,[69] while the rest of the board have first option on each others’ shares until October 2012.[70]”

    I lazily researched this little gem from Wikipedia, and what it tells me, is that your shareholders consist of at least two foreign billionaires.

    “Maybe all prem football clubs will end up in the hands of billionnaires eventually, but it would herald the end of the football we know and love.”

    And this quote is from Rasp, a couple of minutes ago.

    There is no difference in our two club’s spending morally speaking, only in the scale – our sugar daddy is bigger than your sugar daddies, and apparently a lot more focussed.

    Football as I knew it died the day the wages cap was lifted back in the olden days, yet it still continues to excite and fascinate us to this day – a Christmas miracle if you will!

  69. Gooner in Exile says:

    And I don’t think the author of this article assumed he would be casting a line for City fans to come on here, afterall this is an Arsenal blog, like the Champions League, ITS NOT FOR YOU right now so ignore and move on, be bigger than your silly ripostes about “but you spent this”, “raped youth teams”, “your owned by xxx”, “my dads bigger than your dad” “ner ner ner ner ner”. And concentrate on your own blogs and forums and enjoy the financial fair play rules.

  70. Rasp says:

    Your research unfortunately is flawed MM. Our club is not owned by any single billionnaire and there is an agreement in place to keep it that way. There is a clever balance between investors which maintains the status quo. None of the directors take a bean out of the club. It is possible that one of the larger shareholders could sell their shareholding and make a handsome profit and it is also possible that we could end up in the hands of a billionnaire in the future – something we’d all like to avoid.

    Our billionnaire investors do not pour money into the club (wiki our transfer spending profit/loss) and they certainly do not encourage us to buy players we cannot afford. Arsenal is run on a sound financial basis. The books balance due to prudence not benefactors.

  71. Dronny says:

    So guys, it’s fair to say had you been bought out you’d all go off and support Barnet or some other “proper” team. We hit the jackpot, we still have to pinch ourselves but don’t give us the sanctimonious bullsh*t.

    Get over it…..and to answer the Jack Willshere ‘one man club’ bit, I doubt it ‘cos if he’s good enough we’ll no doubt buy him 😉

  72. Melon Man says:

    “And I don’t think the author of this article assumed he would be casting a line for City fans to come on here,”

    Of course he did.

    It’s on Newsnow, with a link to Man City, and there’s previous history with this website and City fans, so don’t be so naive.

    All that time in exile has obviously befuddled your judgement.

    Anyway, it’s been surreal, may the best team win on Wednesday, providing it’s City!

  73. SR says:

    Peachesgooner, you don’t get the point that this was a situation that just washed over us. One day in debt, the next not. None of us were aware of the scale of investment to come. It is unprecedentedand not something any of us have taken lightly. It’s just so easy to write comments such as your last one. If this had happened to AFC and Wengers buys proved to be brilliant then you’d be fine with it and it would be us posting this article and you defending yourselves and that would be life. If it were up to me we’d be funding league 1 & 2 but that’s illegal.

  74. Great piece. I think Roberto Mancini was extremely ungracious in defeat last time around claiming they would have won with eleven men. Even with 10 we gave a masterclass is ball retention.

  75. Irishgunner says:

    Morning all – and a good morning to all the Chavs Mk II.

  76. Blueski says:

    “You let one of your best young talents in Stephen Ireland go, you let Richard Dunne go, Bellamy walk away on loan…”

    Stephen Ireland is a mess and we were glad to get rid – if you think he is that great, why don’t you have a word with Arse. And as for “OG” Dunnie; I am sure a reasonable offer would prise him free from Villa, should you feel the need to lose key games with some of Dunnie’s classics, not to mention his once-a-game clangers.

  77. Rasp says:

    Actually you’re wrong MM. The author is a lifelong gooner but new to blogging and I can tell you he has no idea how NN works, he is only just discovering other Arsenal sites.

    Give us some credit. We have provided a fair and open forum for you to have your say, I’d be surprised if Arsenal fans would be afforded the same privilege on many citeh sites. We are not afraid of debate, you guys have made some good points, but the central message of the article is well made and in my view, indisputable.

  78. Irishgunner says:

    SR – Proper name because it sounds like “Sr” and you are debating like a gentleman.

  79. Gooner in Exile says:

    Melon Man, lets look at how much those Billionaires have invested in the club! They have bought shares from other shareholders and as far as I am aware made no loans or money available to Wenger.

    Kroenke is on the board, Usmanov nowhere near it.

    Just had a quick look at the Accounts for 2009/10 there is no mention of a loan from Director or Shareholder, or of any related party transactions outstanding. That is because the club is self funded, and actually represents a business acquisition for both Kroenke and Usmanov, although it is thought that Usmanov will be forced to reduce his stake soon as it is unlikely his bid to takeover the club will fail.

    Ask Arsenal fans whether we want outside or foreign ownership and in the main the answer you will get is a resounding NO!

  80. City Gent says:

    Prudence doesn’t always ensure success though does it Rasp? If a club are ambitious and want to be the best in the land there has to be some outlay.
    The resulting success will then go a long way to balancing the books if managed correctly. And these ownwers at City know quite a bit about running a successful business.

  81. Irishgunner says:

    Blueski – For such a terrible defender, Richard Dunne made an odd choice as your continual player of the season?!

  82. Rasp says:

    Hi CityGent,

    It is a question of expectation. I consider Arsenal to be a great success as it stands at the moment. We have a wonderful stadium, a sound financial basis and we are in with a chance of winning major trophies. Your comment reeks of the short-termism of the impatient nouveau riche.

    Chelski’s success has not enabled them to balance the books and citeh’s expenditure is way more than them pro rata.

  83. Hboy says:

    These city fans are a scandal, how can they not look at the facts and hide their heads in shame? Do you smell fear, absolutely! Have we won less since Chelsea came on the scene with their billions, absolutely! Of-course we’re scared, who wouldn’t be. Its like playing marbles in the playground, we turn up with our pocket full, and the rich kid turns up with a lorry load. We’re trying to play fair here, we’re trying to win by normal means. One of your fans mentioned we’ve got massive turnover, yes, turnover, not expenditure and not loss. Our fans are paying 3-10 times more than you for our season tickets, we’re watching young unfinished players progressing over long periods, you’re buying star names by the bucket load until you find something that works. It stinks, you’re cheating. And you acuse us of just being bitter that we didn’t get the billionaire, you couldn’t be more wrong, we’re trying to stop the billionaires from taking over us. So scared of you guys? absolutely, jealous?, never. You’ve taken compliments about arsenal fans liking city and thrown it in our faces, we weren’t looking down on you, we were looking at you as a fellow traditional club that did things the right way, with loyal supporters and a great history, like Everton.
    Your comments today do add passion to our dislike of city now, you’re taking huge amounts of pride in the money of your owner, it’s not football, it’s just sad. The whole of the footballing world will be cheering us on against yourselves and you know it, the jealousy is all yours. Its a battle of good against evil, and as city fans you’re polishing the black boots of earth vader with gusto, good luck with that.

  84. City Gent says:

    Rasp: This is a fine site, but we have similar sites where the opinions of opposing team’s fans are respected and welcomed.

    Try http://www.mancityblues.com

    And why do you persist in calling us Citeh? Every time you type it it’s like it’s said with a sneer.

  85. SR – maybe you are surprised at the indecent amount of money that is sloshing around your club now and fair play to you if you feel some of it could be better utilised in the lower divisions.

  86. 26may1989 says:

    Have now caught up.

    First things first, Melon Man, go and crawl back under the rock you emerged from.

    My only problem with Rocky’s typically high quality post, with which I agree 100%, is that it was always bound to draw in lots of non-Arsenal fans, especially with Man City’s name being in the headline, guaranteeting it would hit their Newsnow page. It’s good to have reasonable debate with oppo fans, but it looks like the chance of an enjoyable, Arsenal-oriented discussion on here today has been lost with all of the deluded, self-justifying City fans bleating on here about the Sky elite, peddaling the usual crap about “It’s our turn now”.

    Before the abusive, predictable responses begin (and before I head off for a nice bank holiday fry-up), I’ll say this: Rocky was on the button when he said “This kind of spending, dished out almost at random (Mansour could as easily have bought Leeds or Sheffield Wednesday or Everton) is a perversion of natural justice in football.” In fact, the Abu Dhabi UNITED Group (got to love that name for an indication of just how much MCFC and their fans matter in this “new order”) could have pumped all that cash into Torquay United or Hartlepool – Milner, Yaya, Tevez, Adebayor, they could all be playing for Grimsby or Leyton Orient, and they could be on the march to silverware. What would that have meant? Bugger all, it’s nothing to do with any sort of application of skill or intelligence, it’s nothing to do with the fans or the club, it’s all to do with the cash and the egos of a few mega-rich individuals.

    We all used to like City, not because they were glorious failures (most clubs are failures for most of their histories), but because there was a wise-cracking class about the club and its fans. All that’s gone now.

    City have some excellent players, and despite all the in-fighting, they may well win silverware. Yaya is fantastic (wish we’d signed him when we had the chance), Hart is great and Tevez is superb. Yes, we hate Adebayor, but I assume City fans are beginning to understand and empathise with the reasoning. Wednesday is a big, big game. City have the second best away record in the league (after us), we have a poor home record, but form suggests it could be very interesting. It won’t decide anything but it will be a major staging post in deciding where the title ends up this year (not least because United are going to have a tougher second half of the season than many pundits would have us believe).

    OK, City “guests”, post your idiotic and insulting responses, there’s a plate of sausages and eggs that’s got my name on it.

  87. City Gent says:

    But with all due respect Rasp, Arsenal have not been ‘successful’ of late have they? I’m not saying that in a derisory way, I’m just stating a fact.
    Could the reason be simply that the club have not spent enough money on players?

  88. Melon Man says:

    I will take you at your word Rasp, I was crediting Rockylives with far too much cunning, I genuinely believed such a ridiculously uninformed rant was part and parcel of the pre-match windup so beloved online.

    This is worse!

    If he really thinks those things about City and the fans, then he is really letting you guys down with his ignorance of City and football history, in particular the flow of money within the game.

    One last myth to explode – who exactly is having to pay their players more money in wages because of City’s spending?

    Arsenal? Liverpool? Blackburn? Bolton? Blackpool, Villa etc..?

    Manure are paying Rooney more, because I genuinely believe he was a target, oh and Chelsea offered JT a new improved contract, anyone else? A handful of players globally are millking the City phenomenon at best – as they do when Real or Manure or Arsenal come a knockin.

    I do not believe there is an upwards wage spiral because of City, we are operating in virtual isolation in the transfer market in this respect, and no-one has published any hard facts to back up this “City are ruining football” cobblers.

    Still, thanks for the platform to redress these misconceptions.

  89. Gooner in Exile says:

    Based on 2009/10 figures

    Prize money for winning CL £25m plus Market Pool Revenues (estimated at anything from £10m to £20m depending on where finished in EPL)

    Prize Money for FA Cup £3.4m
    Prize Money for PL Winners £16million plus £14m TV Rights.

    Total of all that lot £78million.

    How many times do City need to win that lot consecutively to repay for the initial outlay?

  90. SR says:

    Irishgunner, cheers. I’m holding it together!

    City Gent, fully agree with the Citeh comments my friend.

  91. Irishgunner says:

    City Gent – Not successful in terms of winning trophies, but as a whole I feel we have. We’ve built a new stadium and paid for it, while challenging for trophies (agreed we’ve not won one) and continually getting past the group stages of the Champions League – Liverpool have done none of the above, so when you compare like with like we’ve been successful.

  92. Rasp says:

    City Gent,

    Fair enough, no need to be sensitive about it, we have nicknames for most teams (it’s common in the blogosphere) – toon, baggies etc. ‘Citeh’ is not intended to be derogatory it’s just that Manchester City is a bit long winded.

    Beyond my loyalty to Arsenal, I do feel an affinity with genuine supporters from other clubs and this blog has seen many great exchanges take place. The exception is totnum (and presumable manure for you) although I have on the rare occassion managed to have a sensible conversation with one of the London blues.

  93. City Gent says:

    26May….We are still the same people. The wisecracks are still there. We still have a sense of humour. Becoming a wealthy club hasn’t changed us. We are still grounded. We are still philosophical. We are just riding the roller coaster that is Manchester City.
    It could all end tommorrow, but sod it, we are going to enjoy it while it lasts. Who wouldn’t?

  94. Irishgunner says:

    SR – My despise of Manchester United and Red Nose outweighs my moral objections to the money ye guys now have. If Chary is about he’d join me in saying that I’m sure. Anything to wind up Red Nose is good in my book.

  95. Melon Man says:

    “OK, City “guests”, post your idiotic and insulting responses, there’s a plate of sausages and eggs that’s got my name on it.”

    That just goes to show how posh you Southerners are.

    We can only dream of monogrammed chinaware oop north, in our poorly insulated caves.

  96. Bluez says:

    The OP makes some points which are correct, but its a shame he didn’t take a little step back and see the bigger picture. Would City fans like an organic growth and to see Academy kids coming through, of course we would.
    Platini made that a little more difficult by introducing the fair play rules. While they are supposed to protect clubs from living beyond their means, there were actually designed to keep the status quo at the top and prevent small clubs becoming big by way of wealthy owners. Hence the fact that 700 mil debt is ok if you can make the interest payments, yet no debt but a generous owner is bad. So no more Blackburns etc.
    That meant the emphasis was top 4 this year or be financially tied by the fact you can’t buy players even if you can afford it.
    No doubt Aresenal play good football, but its not that long ago they were the favorite punch bag of the press for fielding a completely non-english side “all thats bad with football, terrible day for English football etc”. Now you seem quite happy to jump on the latest Newspaper witch hunt.
    Considering how much Arsenal have benefitted from the Sheiks money (Toure, Adebayor) it also is a little hard for you to then take the moral high ground “Your money is bad for football but we will take some of that anyway”

    The press always has an agrenda, and most often its fans that suffer. Shame other fans have to join in, especially those which have suffered at the hands of teh press in the recent past.

  97. City Gent says:

    You’re right Irishgunner. Success is relative. And i think Arsenal have done well and have a lot to be proud of. I certainly love watching them play.

    But there is a banner up at Old Trafford reminding us that we haven’t won anything for thirty odd years. So I suppose we think of ‘success’ as winning trophies. If only to get those buggers off our backs!
    Isn’t that how you get one of these ‘histories’ everybody keeps talking about? Winning honours.

  98. Rasp says:

    City Gent, re your @ 11:59

    I repeat, I consider us to be successful. We have been building a team on a shoestring budget whilst funding a magnificent new stadium and most other clubs have been descending into debt. Your suggestion that we could have already won something in that period if we’d spent more on players hits at the heart of the topic. We couldn’t afford to spend – so we didn’t … simples

  99. Irishgunner says:

    City Gent – That’s true. I suppose it is measured differently from club to club. Previously for Man City making the Champions League would have been a success, now because of the wealth and resources it has been heightened to ye guys making the Champions League as champions.

  100. Rasp says:

    😆 Melon Man, I’m beginning to like you….

  101. Bri-Bees says:

    I suppose this could be looked at from a different perspective, countering the author of this diatribes main point. City are everything that is wrong with football? Football is a business now, clubs need money to survive. Is it instead more acceptable that Wenger has a huge squad of youngsters from all over the World, many of which will fall by the wayside due to having their first team opportunities stifled greatly by the vast numbers of kids at the club? Is that progress? Ruining careers before they even begin? Is it right that Wenger can poach kids from clubs before the ‘selling club’ can get a fair compensation for their players? As I said, clubs need money, and the premium MCFC pay to clubs selling to us will assist their financial survival, the same cannot be said for AFC who would rather cherry pick youth players, of which only a very small percentage will amount to anything due to their sausage machine academy.

    My point being, at least MCFC pay a premium that helps the selling clubs financially, and we also integrate youth players into our squad. The whole mercenary thing is football now. For example it’s just a matter of time before your captain (a mercenary) returns to the only club he loves because he’s picking up a a wage in London.

    All this vitriolic nonsense being spouted about MCFC stems from one thing, jealousy and intimidation because we all know football is money, and we all know where the money is at! If MCFC is what is wrong with football then don’t love football because it’s all the same, a rat race. I personally think MCFC deserve what we have after all this time, we’re only going to become more prevalent in your thoughts so maybe it’s time to just bend over and accept the innevitable

  102. MickyDidIt89 says:

    City Fans,
    For what its worth, as I think I implied earlier, I would be delighted if you finished above Utd, Chelsea and Totteringham, but could you stop there? Cheers.

  103. City Gent says:

    But Rasp, isn’t it one of the first rules of business that you have to speculate to accumulate?
    I’m not suggesting Arsenal should have got themselves into huge financial difficulties, but 15-20m on a world class goalkeeper for instance might just have won them a pot or two in the last five years and therefore brought in more commercial revenue on the back of that success.

  104. Rasp says:

    Not a bad comment until the last line BB, I’ll allow it once but keep it respectful if you wish to come on again.

  105. Irishgunner says:

    Bri-Brees – Arsenal have always paid fairly for the young players we buy. Any regular here correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it Coquelin that we could have got for next to nothing but gave Stade Lavallois enough money with which to build a state of the art training ground?

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bri-Bees,
    You can leave out all that “bend over” business, or we’ll send over our very own Red Arse!

  107. Melon Man says:

    Thanks Rasp,

    Happy New Year to all, off to take the whippets for a walk, then it’s black puddings all round as a bank holiday treat!

  108. Bri-Bees – the point is that it might not have been City that the Sheik decided to invest his money in and so whatever short-term success you have is sadly just about the money thats been invested in your club.

  109. Tim The Incredible Slug says:

    MelonMan – you have a cave? Luxury!

  110. Rasp says:

    City Gent,

    I would call spending £400m on a new stadium a very high level of speculation and one that nearly backfired. The club chose to develop the Highbury flats themselves instead of taking a guaranteed profit from a developer. The housing market plummetted and for a long time it seemed we would make a loss on the project. As it is, we are only just breaking even now.

    Arsenal is building for the future. We have paid off the loans and the mortgage is manageable – just! There are not that many world class players available out there and if we were interested, we wouldn’t stand a chance if city, manure, chelsky, barca, inter or several others were in the bidding.

  111. Rasp says:

    Cheers Melon Man have a good day, and may the best team win on wednesday.

  112. City Gent says:

    Rasp, you know your club better than I do my friend. I bow to your superior knowledge and I admire your patience.

  113. Irish – aren’t we in enough trouble already today, can’t find anything about that Coquelin deal 😉

  114. Rasp says:

    We haven’t got any choice but to be patient CG, but I do feel we are about to reap the reward for that patience, if not this season, then next.

    By the way, I’d like to tell all you City fans how delighted I would be if you push totnum out of a CL place for next season. Their level of carping is on a whole different stratosphere.

  115. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi all, are we allowing peado based log ins now who refer to our players as “assassins”(see 10.38) and “snidy”?

    Some hilarious comments coming from the Arab teams fans there, they are actually attempting to occupy the moral high ground. I hear “Two and a half men” is running out of laughs in season 9, some of the Citeh mob should try for a gig there.

    No really, I jest not if you scroll back up we are derided for not winning anything for 5 years yet their trophy drought goes back many generations.

    Bizarrely one of them says five years IS a generation also; yeah if you are a jack rabbit !

    If their deluded appreciation of time is not enough an other fulfills the well known category of “bitter blue” by moaning about the us being promoted in 1919 at the expense of the Spuds. anyway, the football league were happy to accept that as we had joined 15 years before the Spuds(who were originally a cricket club anyway.) You have to marvel at someone who needs to use a 91 year old rumour to justify their clubs pornographic levels of spending.

    Another holds up Joey Barton, that paragon of virtue and exemplary professional conduct, as a shining example of their youth academy.

    So much nonsense spouted by the Middle Eastlanders(who play in a council house it must be said – so much for their noveau riche smugness)that a quiet sleepy day can be changed into one of such comedic value.

    The fact so many of them are as touchy about their lack of class proves how much of a raw nerve Rocky’s post has hit.

    Just goes to prove money can’t buy you class.

  116. charybdis1966 says:

    Yes Maire(Irish) – I do despise more Old purple Nose more than anyone else and secretly applaud anything that winds him up – the Tevez poster was comedy gold. 🙂

  117. chary!!!!!!!! you’re late to the party, r u going on Wednesday?

  118. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches – Ha ha I like to think I’m right 😉

    (PS Got my new laptop woohoo – My old one has pretty much given up, I downloaded Rhianna’s album to see what it was like and my computer all but packed in cos it was so awful, I think I offended my laptop ha ha lesson learnt).

  119. Gooner in Exile says:



    Enuff said

  120. charybdis1966 says:

    Well bit of a late riser on non work days, truth to be told Peachy, I fear I’m going to hauled off for some Bank Holiday shopping imminently.

    I was hoping to go on Wednesday but alas my next visit probably won’t be till the Toffees game on the 1st of Feb.

  121. All that GaGa Irish 😆

  122. Irishgunner says:

    ha ha Chary I knew you would 😉

  123. Gooner in Exile says:



    trying again, one of the mods here can probably delete my failed link at 12:45

  124. Gooner in Exile says:

    I was trying to embed it but it doesn’t seem to work, Peaches, Rasp anyone…. could you clean up my mess please.

  125. Irishgunner says:

    Peaches – 😆 To be honest, I overplayed her, still listen to her but not as much. Imelda May and her rockabilly is my current music of choice.

  126. Pete says:

    I had similar feelings about Arsenal a few years back when they bought Reyes for 17 million in January 2004 when City spent 8 million on 8 players that season. It wound me up that Arsenal were buying success and that we could not compete with those sums of money. I remember thinking that splashing out that amount of money on a foreign player represented all that was wrong with the game and that it was a disgrace that Wenger was not investing that 17 million in the academy.

  127. City Gent says:

    Peachesgooner. City’s owners do have a long term plan you know. They are investing for our future. It isn’t about short term success. They are intent on building a world wide business empire here and they have the credentials to do it.
    People will scoff at that because it is still in its infancy and all they see at the moment is the money spent on players.
    But that initial outlay is merely an acorn.

    The transformation of this club of ours behind the scenes is breathtaking and unprecedented. But what I like is that they have respected the very fabric of the club and although they’d eliminated a lot of the old ‘typical City’ shoot themselves in the foot ethos they have still maintained its positive aspects, its friendliness, its humour and its charm.

    I’m not being patronising, but you have to be part of it to fully understand what is going on.
    They are doing a magnificent job and putting a lot back into the community and football generally. Things that go unnoticed.

    These are very exciting times to be a City fan.
    We’ve suffered long enough, try not to begrudge us this.

  128. GiE – sometimes it doesn’t let a link go up but its so good you have it twice 😆

  129. Irishgunner says:

    I think it would just marvelous to see the chavs not make the CL this year, and then the Mancs from Old Toilet not make it the next – sure wasn’t it us that hadn’t a hope of staying top 4? 😆

  130. charybdis1966 says:

    GiE – how’s this ?

  131. charybdis1966 says:

    By the Way GiE – I’ve read your comments on our superlative away support and what it’s like to be part of it.
    Absolutely top class insight into what is a special section of our support.
    I look forward to a post(s) from you in future – it’ll give us tired old timers a chance to see a fresh perspective !

  132. feedbaQ says:

    the problems with arsenal is they consider themselves virgin angels who can do no evil anything not arsenal is considerd anti football, they claim dicisions by the refferrees always benefit other teams but arsenal man utd were denied three points @ brum no one said a word but neville gets away with a red card and a penalty the whole arsenal club goes wild, even your young goalkeeper tweets about it the whole day!
    Talking about city been the vilians is rather baseless and quiet frankly arsenal like, and this artical has fear written all over it and u knw it, city are ready to be considerd a force in the league and lets not talk about the 3 nil u got last year may i remind u city were down to 10 men and i dont expect the same excuse ths time around, i hope tevez, balottelli, silva, johnson, barry and yaya all play, this will be a massive game and a big favour to man utd whatever scoreline!

  133. City Gent – you’ve pleaded a very good case but I’m sticking with my principles of growth and sustainability. Good luck to you and your team though and do try to keep those spuds out of the top four please 😀

  134. charybdis1966 says:

    feedbaQ – if you find us so reprehensible and anti football why are you spending time on an Arsenal blog?
    Are you expecting to find an anti arsenal article here?

    You complete nin compoop.

    Go find your brain cell some company.

  135. Irishgunner says:

    FeedbaQ – We all realised that the Mancs got 2 points robbed off them against Birmingham, we acknowledged it and then laughed till we couldn’t laugh anymore.

    And for a person talking so much about over looking things, you seemed to have overlooked the result earlier this season.

  136. charybdis1966 says:

    Anyway, off now to the aforementioned shopping.

    What fun ?!

  137. City Gent says:

    Ok mate, we will do our best. We’re not too keen on spuds ourselves as it happens. Haha.

    Good luck on Wednesday. I’m sure it will be a great game.

  138. dandan says:

    Peaches now I am scared, Irish not going GAGA any more god elp us, what next, TR gonna be dumped. LOL

  139. Rasp says:

    Hi chary,

    Nice to have the site Rottweiler back in attendance. I’d just made some new friends and here you are biting their backsides 😆

    Seriously CG and MM and one or two others have made it good sport this morning, so credit to them.

    You’d have had much more fun with some of the ones who have been binned – maybe we should set up a parallel site with all the nasty stuff in so you can go and vent your spleen when you feel the need 😛

  140. So many moral dilemmas – chavs v spuds for 4th spot, beating citeh putting a smile on SAF’s face, where will it all end 🙄

    1. Arsenal
    2. Citeh
    3. Sunderland
    4. Manks

  141. Rasp says:

    Thanks for your company City Gent.

  142. dandan says:

    Rasp Cricket in the balance again lets hope the rain goes away

  143. Irishgunner says:

    Dandan – Wait till May and her new album is out, then I’ll go Gaga again 😆

    As for TR7, if I couldn’t find it in me to dump him after his last haircut, I never will.

  144. What is so frustrating is that City fans try and justify the unjustifiable. They are deluded fools with delusions of granger…

    Manchester City died along time ago…
    as have Chelsea…
    as have United…
    as have Liverpool…

    Modern football died when Sky and football agents came along…

  145. dandan says:

    He loves you Irish LOL

  146. Glowey says:

    Like all the blogs by the Sky4 supporters, this one claims any success is organically grown not bought and, makes it appear that football only started in 1992 with the inception of the Premier League.

    The only reason the Sky 4 have kept ahead of the rest is the prize money from the Prem and Champs League, which has allowed them to outspend the rest until Roman came along and then Sheik Mansour. Even the prize money from the Prem and Champs League hasn’t been enough in the last couple of seasons, hence the demise of Liverpool and the weakening of Man U’s position of late.

    So now City have the cash to buy the worlds best players and play catch up with the likes of Arsenal and, you just don’t like it, I don’t want to be inflamatory but, it definately smacks of running scared and jealousy.

    As for City being other clubs favourite second team and our supporters selling their soul, do me a favour! Of course we were a favourite second team, we had fantastic support whilst in the 1st division etc and weren’t a threat to anyone, it’s hardly surprising we’re no longer everyones favourite now we are challenging at the top. As for selling our souls, I suggest you try to speak to a few, you’ll still find the same sense of self deprecating humour and, the same insecurities where we’ll shoot ourselves in the foot (again) or, that all this is just a dream and we’ll wake up to find ourselves in the Northern Prem.

  147. Irishgunner says:

    I know he does really Dandan ha ha

  148. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan,

    Yes at 100 for 1 I had the aussies in front but the last wicket of their newbie gave us the advantage I think. Swanny is going to be important in their second innings – the best spinner in the world! Have you watched any of Graham Swann’s reports on youtube? – hilarious especially when they all do ‘the sprinkler’

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Irish,
    Don’t you think TR looks like Fergal Sharkey from the Undertones, or are you too young and firm buttocked to know what I’m on about?

  150. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    I love the idea of a paralell blog comprising Chary and all binders.

  151. Rasp says:

    Glowey,

    We haven’t bought ‘the world’s best players’ and neither had you until Tevez and Silva joined, a lot of your money had been wasted on mediocrity. We fully admit that we can’t compete with City’s money.

    The point of the article was to highlight that we have achieved our current status without huge ‘gifts’ whereas the whole ethos of City has changed and it’s become a bit crass.

  152. MickyDidIt89 says:

    sp oops

  153. Irishgunner says:

    MIDI – Yep I know Mr.A Good Heart Sharkey and you have offended Rosexy by the comparison!

  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Good Heart?

  155. Rasp says:

    A couple of points about the impact of City’s new found wealth:

    How many players will they sell for more than they paid?

    How many players will they allow to leave to go to the club they want – Shay Given. I can’t see City selling anyone to a rival. That is tantamount to having a stable full of racehorses just because you don’t want anyone else to see them run.

    How many player’s careers are stagnating because they can’t/won’t be sold – SWP?

  156. Irishgunner says:

    A good heart is hard to find.

  157. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    I hear what you are saying, however, if it is a “win at all cost” philosophy, then hindering the opposition is part of it. Football has undoubtedly become more business and as a result considerably more ruthless.

  158. Rasp says:

    I know Micky. We are probably swimming against the tide at Arsenal but I would like to hold on to the romantic notion that we can compete without outside assistance.

  159. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Irish,
    I only remember Teenage Kicks!

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    One of the City boys on earlier made a point that made me think. Was it just good timing that we were a top four (CL) team when the whole Sky thing took off? I think he had a point.

  161. Rasp says:

    It probably helped, but it wasn’t just us, the money was there for anyone who could compete. I think the parachute payments are very generous. The Sky money is spread around more now.

  162. Mr Technophobe – how’re we doing with your Gravatar?

  163. jj says:

    careers are stagnating SWP? he is finished thanks to his greedy step dad.. he gets 60k a week but wants 100k per week…just not up to it put a 5 million quid bid id & you pay him what he thinks he should be on..

    Shay Given. I can’t see City selling anyione to a rival try us out put a 15 million quid bid in…ahh you want him on loan and city pay half his 100 k a week wages..eh… no thanks

    How many players will they sell for more than they paid? well if we wanted to sell Tevez YAYA balotelli Adam Johnson ,silva,hart,Given,De Jong,Kompany,even Botang & Kolerov we would get a very good pay day..Just like if we sold Richards,Onuha,Ireland Barton,Weiss,M.Johnson,SWP,all of whom cost nowt but if we sell them the going rate..BUT we dont need the money hehehe

    The ones you are talking about are Lescott Milner,Ade,Kolo,Bridge i would guess think only Kolo & Milner, Lescott will still be with city next year.
    and thats more to do with the new UK based player rule.

    ps why do u delete my post btw?

  164. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    But had it happened in the early 80’s!! Yikes.
    .
    Peaches,
    Ah, that old chestnut. I did try, but then gravatar.com kept telling me my password was wrong. Oh, and my user name was wrong also. It really holds a grudge and I told it in no uncertain terms exactly what I thought. I believe we have fallen out.

  165. Rasp says:

    jj,

    We’ve reluctantly had to put the moderation on as it began to get a bit unpleasant, but your fellow supporters have had their say.

    You’ve got it wrong about SWP, Ian Wright wanted him to come to Arsenal before he chose chelski, but SWP himself plumped for the money so maybe he’s got what he deserves.

    The players who you value at more than you paid are not ones you would consider selling. The wages issue is one that doesn’t make you look good. It is your fault that you are paying average players excessive wages and therefore cannot move them on – hence the stagnation of careers.

  166. Rasp says:

    Where’s Rocky – I need a break 😳

  167. Would you like me to try to smooth things out for you – I believe I have the power 🙂 Did you accept any offers from them?

  168. jj says:

    The wages issue is one that doesn’t make you look good. It is your fault that you are paying average players excessive wages and therefore cannot move them on – hence the stagnation of careers WHO are you talking about?

    Bridge ..not good enough bought by MH for 10 million city want to sell him.

    SWP not good enough on 60 k a week but wants 100k a week city are looking to sell him think he might end up at Villa

    RSC alway on the treatment table we paid over the odds and will be sold to Fulham i hope

    Ade enough said waste of space cost to much when we bought him BUT its easy with hindsight.

    So thats 4 players we want to get rid of…spend a bit of your 50 million profit.. (is your club a bank?)

    Given think we paid 8 million for him will sell him for 15-12 milllion but he is on 100 k a week.. if he wants to stay he can no problem.

    Lescott we paid over the odds for him but he is in the team and playing well we are happy with him..

    Everyone else will be staying maybe M johnson will go out on loan..

  169. You write with such authority jj, surely that is all speculation on your part? The fact that players don’t want to leave for a lesser salary because you are overpaying them is entirely City’s fault

  170. Red Arse says:

    Hi Guys and Gals,

    Have come very late to the party. 🙂

    Excellent Post Rocky. One of the key elements of a Gooners Post is to stimulate debate, and you certainly succeeded in that.

    However, an unwanted bye-product of a Post like this is to engage the tribalism of other clubs, in this case Citeh, which is never pretty, although some of the more mature responses can be informative and amusing.

    Personally, I would have preferred to chat with fellow Gooners, as there has been nothing but predictable, (hence boring) rhetoric bandied about by defensive Blues fans.

    The purpose of debating is for each side to present arguments with the intention on persuading the other party you have a strong (winning) case.

    This is impossible in inter-club squabbles as it becomes a debate of the deaf, with no one prepared to listen, and where the major attribute brought to the table is the ability to stay on “transmit” coupled with the steadfast refusal to “receive” the other party’s argument. Neither of which have any intrinsic cerebral value!

    I’m off to do something interesting instead. 🙂

  171. jj says:

    ALL FOOTBALL TALK IS SPECULATION! until after 90 mins of play..

    west ham wanted bridge on loan and will pay all his wages 95k a week..but city want a fee..

    Lazio want RSC on loan with a view to buy in the summer.. this still might happen this month
    http://www.goal.com/en/news/11/transfer-zone/2011/01/03/2287768/lazio-coach-edy-reja-asks-for-a-striker-manchester-citys

    ADE to real madrid on loan its being talked about in the Spanish press today
    http://www.afrikansoccer.com/2011/01/man-city-offer-adebayor-to-real-mandrid/

    We have just bought (27 mil +)Dzeko,& put a bid in for Lukaku (15 mil) and want Luiz.. all for this month…

    And a couple of BIG names are being spoke about Kaka & Inesta..mmmmmmmm

  172. 26may1989 says:

    Back after that very nice fry up. My favourite comments on all this:

    Melon Man: “our sugar daddy is bigger than your sugar daddies, and apparently a lot more focussed”. Shows where he’s coming from. But fair’s fair, “We can only dream of monogrammed chinaware oop north, in our poorly insulated caves”, hats off on that one.

    Dronny: “to answer the Jack Willshere ‘one man club’ bit, I doubt it ‘cos if he’s good enough we’ll no doubt buy him”. City Gent, you really think City fans are just the same when you read stuff like that?!

    Blueski: “Stephen Ireland is a mess and we were glad to get rid – if you think he is that great, why don’t you have a word with Arse. And as for “OG” Dunnie; I am sure a reasonable offer would prise him free from Villa, should you feel the need to lose key games with some of Dunnie’s classics, not to mention his once-a-game clangers.” Not exactly what City fans were saying at the time, is it?

    Bluez: “Now you seem quite happy to jump on the latest Newspaper witch hunt.” If only, the reality is the media are utterly craven about City’s money and are scared stiff about criticising the Club.

    Bri-Bees: “My point being, at least MCFC pay a premium that helps the selling clubs financially, and we also integrate youth players into our squad.” Brilliant, you couldn’t make this stuff up: City’s money is all about helping everyone else, why didn’t I see that before?

    Love Hboy at 11:57, captures the points beautifully.

    OK, over and out till I switch the cricket on tonight. Good day one and all.

  173. Big Raddy says:

    Contrary to RA’s assertion I think today’s discussion has been very interesting.

    It is always good to hear what other team’s fans think of their club (+ ours) and I have learned much about MC today.

    It is a testament to this site that such a discussion can take place.

  174. dandan says:

    About to watch Aaron Ramsey play for forest against Ipswitch Live Now

  175. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh Peaches,
    “Did you accept any offers from them?”. I cannot be sure. The further I went with them, the less forthcoming they were with the offers.

  176. RockyLives says:

    Ahem… hello everyone.

    Have just read through all the comments and have a few thoughts to add:

    1) Nothing I’ve read has shifted me a single iota from my view that clubs being given vast sums of wealth – way beyond the means of virtually all their rivals – is bad for the sport. I don’t blame Man City’s fans for the fact their club was bought in this way (it could just as easily have been Newcastle or Everton).

    2) My original piece accused City of not investing in a youth academy etc (this fact based on an article I read). City fans were quick to point out the amount of spending on infrastructure by Sheikh Mansour and Peaches amended the article accordingly. That part of my piece was wrong – hands up to that.

    3) The City supporters who have come on here have, for the most part, entered the debate in a good spirit, avoided abuse and shown the sense of humour that I always associate with them.

    4) The blog was not intended to stir up City fans (it was meant to reopen the debate about how Arsenal is run and should be run in the future; whether or not it would be a good thing if Usmanov took over our club and pumped in a few hundred million etc etc). However, the excellent debate with City supporters has been a pleasant by-product.

    5) As a club I much prefer City to ManUre and the Spuds, but because of my in-principle objection to the way they are run now, I hope they fail to make the top four this year (although I think they will, at the expense of the Spuds).

    6) Wednesday’s game should be a cracker.

    7) Rasp, Peaches, Sharkey, Micky, GiE and the rest of you AA regulars: thanks for taking on the debate while waiting for Canada to wake up!

  177. mickydidit89 says:

    Testing gravatar

  178. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooo er missis. In moderation. Its a dark and lonely place. Anyone out there? echo echo!

  179. RockyLives says:

    7) ctd… and Br and Dandan and Irish and Chary and 26May…

  180. mickydidit89 says:

    can anyone hear me? Or indeed see me, with my new out of focus but what the heck gravatar. So grown up.

  181. Irishgunner says:

    😆 RockyL

    Good post today as well – they’re always good with a healthy debate ensues

  182. Micky – I do believe you did it 😉

    Afternoon Rocky 😀

  183. Irishgunner says:

    Nice chat everyone – have to be off, gotta go home for work tomorrow 😦

  184. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. That’s a lovely gravatar. Who is it?

  185. Big Raddy says:

    Seeya Irish. Don’t work too hard

  186. Bye Irish, see you soon.

  187. Irishgunner says:

    Bye guys – if I don’t see ye tomorrow catch ye for the game. At least I’m going back to the land of being able to watch games on the internet (although my house has no water or heat – woah is me 😆 )

    Laters 🙂

  188. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow, look at THAT Gravatar, and I’m out of moderation. Welcome back the new Micky.

  189. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The bastard has gone! That really is it!

  190. RockyLives says:

    Micky… gravatar, no gravatar… what’s going on?

  191. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky, Rocky. If only my life were that simple!

  192. Rasp says:

    Micky,

    It can take several days for a gravatar to stabilise. I’m surprised it came up so quickly, but have faith it should return. Anyway, what’s all this about white truffles?

  193. mickydidit89 says:

  194. mickydidit89 says:

    I AM BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  195. Shashi says:

    Wanted to state that as an Arsenal fan I was disappointed by the article as it carrying on the same witchhunt that the media have been engaged in. I also enjoyed the contributions of the Manchester city fans as it gave very persuasive arguments.

  196. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry all, I am now lower cased ‘m’ micky. Small price to pay I say.

  197. Big Raddy says:

    He is back but minus the Capital letters!!

  198. mickydidit89 says:

    Where were we?

  199. London says:

    It used to be like driving down pleasant country lanes now it’s the M25. Clever post Rocky.

    COYRRG

  200. Big Raddy says:

    We were doing “why MC are no longer one of our favourite clubs”. Apparently it is due to fear and jealousy.

  201. RockyLives says:

    Cheers London.

    Micky – who’s that in your gravatar pic?

  202. gunnern5 says:

    I accept that I’m most likely in the minority but I don’t enjoy posts that create negative – tit, tat – to and fro responses.

    I got fed up and stopped reading the posts about a quarter of the way through as the rest were bound to be variations of the first 25%.

    We have enough ghosts in our own closet that I would far sooner we openly dialogue then picking on other clubs obvious achilles heels

    Most of the Man C posters (that were allowed on) were very courteous in their comments and were IMHO more considerate than our own posters.

    I was under the impression that this was a democratic site where diverse opinions would be allowed but that does not appear to be the case.

    The case in point being that;

    A) you headline a controversial piece and then block out the obvious types of responses that could only be expected.

    B) you amended the post after the fact when it was pointed out that there were incorrect inclusions.

    Both of these points reek of biased cleansing which drives me insane. If you don’t want a fire then don’t strike a match!

    In fact days like this will not encourage me to continue participating.

    No disrespect intended – simply my honest opinion.

  203. RockyLives says:

    Hi Gn5
    I think that’s fair criticism up to a point, not least because tit-for-tatism does get boring after a while.

    I was expressing an honest opinion about the damage that’s done to the game by what the UAE investors are doing at City – it wasn’t intended to goad City supporters even though it had that effect (thanks to Newsnow I suppose).

    I’m not sure about your Point A – because almost all the City responses were allowed on (except the abusive ones).

    As for Point B – I made a mistake, City fans were given ample space to highlight it, Peaches corrected it and I held my hands up to it when I came online. I don’t think that’s biased cleansing – it seems like a mature and responsible thing to do when a mistake is pointed out.

    If it discourages you from participating that’s a shame because your contributions are first rate. If you feel that way, blame me, not the site, and keep giving the rest of the AA community the benefit of your thoughts.

  204. mickydidit89 says:

    BR/Rocky,
    Some bloke with dirty fingers holding an enormous white truffle. Very very rare that large, probably worth about £10k!

  205. RockyLives says:

    Wow

  206. mickydidit89 says:

    How was todays post linked to a City site? I don’t know what Newsnow is, incidently.
    Another question. How come Wellington can work in Spain/Portugal, but not UK. Surely under freedom of movement of labour within the EU, he can move wherever he likes?

  207. Rasp says:

    Rocky,

    The stated aim of the site is to accept and encourage all well written, courteous articles and comments. Your post today was not contrary to any of those ideals. A by-product of this is that it leads to a range of posts some of which will not suit everyone’s tastes – myself included. I think we were honest and open in the way we dealt with today’s banter.

    GN5,

    I’m sorry today’s post was not to your liking but you will be aware that tomorrow’s may well be -it’s the old ‘can’t please all the people’ syndrome. We are attempting a tricky balancing act on AA and sometimes people take it too seriously. I wanted to say to Ghostface the other day that one of the great things about the blog is that I consider each and every one of our regulars to be friends who I am free to disagree with, and so aggressive and argumentative comments are discouraged.

  208. Big Raddy says:

    RL re: your well mannered response to G5, I would like to make this point.

    Football for me has always been about passion and tribalism. Inevitably this leads to bias and so it should be. I have no qualms about being very anti-N17 and will remain so until my dying breath. Same goes for MU.

    Banter is part and parcel of the life of a committed fan and it is very enjoyable to trade insults as long as they do not become personally abusive.

    Whilst I understand G5’s point of view, I hope we are able to retain a sense of humour about this and if we occasionally upset an opposition fan, then so be it!!

    My name is Big Raddy and I am Biased

  209. gunnern5 says:

    Rocky:

    My expressed opinion has little to do with your post and mostly due to censorship – which I deplore.

    Your post was accepted and posted by AA therefore they become responsible for the content.

    Errors and omissions are all part of a post and after the fact cleansing is as wrong as omitting what are deemed to be unacceptable responses.

    We are not children and if all we read are filtered views then we might as well live in China. I’m more than capable of making my own decisions on the content of a post and I don’t want to only read another persons view of what is right and wrong.

    Civility is one thing censorship is another.

    Again I repeat if we don’t want a fire then we should not strike matches.

  210. mickydidit89 says:

    BR,
    “My name is Big Raddy and I am Biased”. Today you have taken a big step, my friend!!

  211. mickydidit89 says:

    G5,
    I would never speak for anyone else, but I have a feeling the post was edited as they felt something said was factually incorrect, rather than censoring an opinion. I think it was a tactful decision rather than anything sinister.

  212. Rasp says:

    GN5,

    Forgive me for stepping in when you are addressing Rocky. The only comments that were taken out were those that were badly written and abusive. The City fans were represented much better and the viewpoint expressed far more clearly by those comments we allowed on – in short we helped the City fans, we didn’t restrict them.

    To reinforce the ‘can’t keep all the people happy’ situation, I can tell you that I know of another regular on here who would have been very unhappy with us had we not taken out the comments littered with profanity.

  213. RockyLives says:

    Gn5 – the only excluded posts were for abusive language. That’s one of the tenets of this site. The mission statement in the ‘About AA’ section says the following:
    “All opinions and viewpoints can be freely expressed, all we ask is that no-one descends into insults and name-calling.”

    And I respect your view about revising when a mistake is pointed out, but I disagree entirely. I see it as reasonable to correct an error and apologise. It’s not airbrushing history, just attempting to make the post more accurate.

  214. gunnern5 says:

    I’ve read the comments in disagreement with my own – and you are all welcome to your own opinion, but mine remains unchanged – maybe softened, but unchanged.

  215. RockyLives says:

    Respect that Gn5
    I’d be gutted if something I wrote led directly or indirectly to a good contributor leaving the site.

  216. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Thanks…… I wrote that comment standing up 😉

  217. London says:

    Can we simplify this a bit:

    Do we want comments full of expletives?

    Do we want accidental mistakes to remain in the head line post?

    I fail to see how the answer could be anything other than no in both cases; or, am I missing something?

  218. Well said London – where have you been all day 😛

  219. London says:

    Hi Rasp

    I got up early and cycled to Brighton, I was going to cycle back but it started snowing so I made the girly decision to take the train.

  220. London says:

    Oops, I meant hi Peaches and now after that error I am going to change the word girly.

  221. mickydidit89 says:

    Rasp/Peaches,
    Sorry if I appeared to be speaking on your behalf 5:09.

  222. mickydidit89 says:

    I do wish 26 May and RA would make the effort and get themselves a Gravatar. Its not rocket science, you know!

  223. London says:

    Hi Micky

    I know this is a bit off subject but sod it.

    If you could eat anywhere in the world where would it be?

    Starter: Japan…Sashimi
    Pasta course…has to be Italy
    Main: Argentina….the beef
    Cheese….France
    Desert….France again.

    What would you change?

  224. Big Raddy says:

    London. As a cyclist I am seriously impressed with your tour to Brighton. Even to contemplate the return is above the call of duty.

    Which bike do you have – a racer or a city model?. We have disposed of our car in order to spend more time cycling, however Denmark is as flat as the latest model of Victoria Beckham, so it is a relatively effortless sport.

    I ride an 8 gear Raleigh town bike. Comfort and speed.

    Can’t beter the dinner choice. Though Japanese Wagyu beef is tops. Desert.? If it was just a 3 course meal, an English pud with custard is unbeatable.

  225. mickydidit89 says:

    Jeepers London,
    You have absolutely no idea how long I could take to answer that one.
    The most highly acclaimed restaurants are in California, Spain and Denmark. The best beef is Welsh (and I could tell you very precisely why)…. so you see it could take a long time. However, I could talk all day about food!!!

  226. Big Raddy says:

    Or Italian gelati

  227. mickydidit89 says:

    BR,
    The greatest English dessert is Creme Brulee!!

  228. Big Raddy says:

    And the wine…..

    I had a fantastic merlot from Switzerland (thankfully I wasn’t paying!) last week. And tonight am imbibing an Italian Cab Sauv/Merlot mix.

    No Micky. The best English pud is my Mum’s Spotted Dick and custard.

  229. London says:

    Wow, Arsenal, food and cycling I am in heaven.

    Things get a bit quiet around now so I feel it’s alright to talk about things non Arsenal.

    BR

    I am a recent convert (6 months) to cycling but I am absolutely loving it. I have a hand made in Italy, carbon fibre Condor which is probably the best cycle shop in town (Greys Inn Road) with Shimano Dura Ace everything on it. I am training for a four day Chamonix to Nice trip with a group of friends in June.

    Micky

    Talk away about food I am sure most people would be happy to join in.

  230. Big Raddy says:

    I have booked into Noma (supposedly the best restaurant in the world) in Copenhagen.- there is a 5 month waiting list – I will write a post dinner report .

  231. mickydidit89 says:

    The reason Creme Brullee is the greatest English pud, is that nothing cheeses off French Chef’s more than discovering its true origin. Over a hundred years ago, some drunken students at Trinity College Cambridge were doing what drunken students do. They put some custard into the oven for fun. Creme Brullee. Burnt custard. True.

  232. London says:

    Now that is the best story of the day.

  233. mickydidit89 says:

    BR,
    I am never speaking to you again. Goodbye. 🙂

  234. Is that Kobi beef micky?

  235. mickydidit89 says:

    Actually, a five month waiting list is not bad, El Bulli, the World No2, is a year. Please write a post on it. You can sneek something Arsenalistic in.

  236. London says:

    Say Bendter was in there at the same time lol

  237. mickydidit89 says:

    Back in 20, with why Welsh Beef is the best.

  238. Big Raddy says:

    Oooh London. It must be a dream to ride. I have a Bianchi in Italy which I use for the runs down to the coast and back into the mountains. It is fantastic but scares the crap out of me downhill!

    Chamonix to Nice is a long ride and will push you to the limits. I have done the drive a few times to go skiing, and to do it in 4 days is a major undertaking – it is an 8 hour drive using motorways – and that is through the tunnel.

  239. Gooner in Exile says:

    Me and the wife spent our honeymoon in Gavi this year, its in the heart of the Piedmont region. We stayed on a vineyard called Villa Sparina at their hotel L’Ostelliere.

    It is probably the best food I have ever eaten, we were planning to do a few Michelin star restaurants this year (was even considering Purnells on NYE before Brum game), but with news just before Christmas of an impending Junior Gunner being delivered around August this year, fancy nosh and wine are off the menu for a while.

  240. London says:

    “I have a Bianchi in Italy which I use for the runs down to the coast and back into the mountains.”

    That makes two of us who are never speaking to you again 😉

  241. Big Raddy says:

    The country road up to our village is a steady rise (up to 1500 ft) for 25 kms and is used as a training run for the local bike clubs. Cycling is a huge sport in Italy and everyday we see as many cyclists as cars.

    What is amazing is how many of the cyclists are over retirement age, which gives me hope as they fly past me.

  242. London says:

    Sounds like congratulations are in order GIE

  243. mickydidit89 says:

    GiE,
    You want to go to the town of Alba which is the centre of the Piedmont region. They have a White Truffle (Tuber Magnatum) Festival in September.

  244. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Gavi is one of my favourite wines. You lucky fella.

    And congratulations on the Junior Gunner

  245. 26may1989 says:

    Very good Micky, you belatedly get in on this gravatar mularkey and instantly you’re lecturing fine, upstanding individuals such as Señor Arse et moi! Reminds me of football fans whose club suddenly becomes rich talking in blasé terms about signing Iniesta or Kaka…..,

  246. London – can we have a food orgy then?

    Starter – Italy
    Pasta – Italy
    Fish – Spain
    Desert – my kitchen – always serves the best desert but if I had to go somewhere hmmmnnnn Italy

  247. Congrats GiE – thats 2 honeymooners!!!!!! Must say something really nice about us 😀

  248. mickydidit89 says:

    Welsh Beef. There are many discussions amongst top chefs over whether grain fed or grass fed beef is best. They are both wrong. The best is Moorland fed. Heather, wild thyme etc. The old fashioned breeds (usually referred to as rare breeds) are slower growing beasts and produce superior meat. Only a few of these breeds can survive the harsh environment of the Moors (Dartmoor, Brecon and so on). These include the Welsh Black. The next key thing about flavour is the slaughter. This must be done one at a time rather than a large commercial slaughterhouse, as the animals sense fear, and there is an adrenalin rush which tightens the muscles and ruins the flavour. Nothing is truer than the adage about a happy animal.
    To prove a point, a few years ago, seven top London chefs were assembled for a blind tasting. Argentinian beef (Aberdeen Angus) and six others, including Welsh Black, were served. All seven went for the Welsh!!

  249. Rasp says my chocolate legs have to go as no-one takes me seriously …….. so I too will be choosing a new Gravatar 😦

  250. mickydidit89 says:

    26May,
    🙂

  251. M/mickey – to get your capitals back go to my profile and although you’ll still need to sign in in lower case you can use capitals on the line – ‘Display name publicly as’ ……………. and low and behold you’ll return to MickyDidIt89 and if you link your name to the site you can be in Blue although London quite rightly objects to the Blue and thinks we should be in RED.

  252. Maybe I should change my name aswell 😦

  253. mickydidit89 says:

    Peaches,
    Hang on a minute. Its taken me two weeks to get this far, and you “peachesgooner” are moaning about my little letters!!!

  254. London says:

    The name Peaches makes you sound friendly.

  255. mickydidit89 says:

    You’ve done it again 🙂

  256. mickydidit89 says:

    Peaches,
    If Rasp is whinging about your chocolate legs, what the hell is he saying about my truffle?

  257. Possibly too friendly London 😉 – keeping the name just melting the legs.

    Thought you wanted your capitals back – I’ve let Rasp take most of the flak today so I thought I’d impose myself – I’ve always been lower case, it was my choice.

  258. 26may1989 says:

    Raddy and London, since you seem to have formed the AA Cycling Subcommittee, can I get some advice? I want to get a decent but not too flashy touring bike so I can do some proper weekend riding. My objective is to do a long ride, possibly the Geneva to Nice ride, later this year. Any tips on which brands to go for?

  259. SR says:

    Red Arse, judging by your only unhelpful comment I think most on this thread are glad you arrived late.

  260. London says:

    Ohhhhh my days, what a wonderful question, this could take longer than Micky and his food but I have to go out right now back later.

  261. Rasp says:

    I’ve got a knackered mountain bike and quite like cheese on toast in Bognor 😳

  262. 26may1989 says:

    Actually SR, I think you’ll find Red Arse is one of the most popular regulars on this site, and if he feels the debate today hasn’t been that interesting (despite Rocky’s excellent post), fair play to him. Going back to the first 100 or so comments on this thread, “a debate amongst the deaf” sounds like a pretty fair description.

  263. RockyLives says:

    In Peaches’ and Micky’s gravatars we’re half way to a decent meal already.

    For me:
    Starters: antipasti at the Bella Italia in Cisternino, Puglia.
    Entree: a selection of sushi from KatSuYa in Burbank, Los Angeles. Any one of several fine New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.
    Pudding: don’t care for pudding all that much, so it will have to be Peaches’ chocolate legs. 🙂 washed down with a fine Barsac.
    Cheese: Cabot extra sharp cheddar, and cropwell bishop stilton.

  264. Sorry Rocky, it’s a good post but not a great post. For a start you are not taking into consideration the plans that the owners of Manchester City have for regeneration of a decaying part of the city. This is a long term project, make no doubt about it. So jibes like rich man’s ‘shiny bauble’ are not warranted.
    As a City supporter it makes me laugh how we were everyone’s second favourite team when we were crap. make no mistake, had we been good you lot would not have loved us.
    You say we have no history. Well, we had enough history to dig our annoying neighbours out of the shit twice – in the early years, with an enforced transfer of our players and in 1945 when, with no ground they would have gone under had we not agreed to share ours.
    Had Sheikh Mansoor not come along we would have drifted along as usual, shuttling between The Prem and the Championship. If his money was to make a difference something had to be done quickly – will not be possible to make strides quickly once the Twatini Rules come into play and the Sheik entrusted his money to the likeable but deeply flawed Hughes and then to Roberto Mancini who has developed a competitive team in a short space of time.
    Of course there is a huge vested interest in maintaining the status quo, aka’the Sky Four’ but I’d contend that widening the band to include ourselves and Spurs is no bad thing.
    For those with longer memories, there have always been rich and poor. Arsenal were by far the richest club in the 1940s, followed, amazingly, by Sunderland in the 1950s.
    Bring back the minimum wage, abolish transfers before contracts had run their course, we’d be back to square one but there would still be rich and poor.
    Reading the posts on this thread by City fans the arguments seem reasoned and temperate and worthy of consideration. And so, far from wanting to preserve the site for the faithful I’m happy to extend an invitation to Arsenal fans on here to visit our http://www.izzett.com and post if they wish.

  265. Sorry, should have added that Arsenal are, in fact, my second favourite team. I am a great admirer of Arsene Wenger and I love the way you guys play football.

  266. Cheese – I never eat cheese out – I think its a girl thing – desert is ok but cheese is just too much fat 🙄

    My dad introduced me to Stilton when I was a little girl and so thats my eating out cheese I suppose unless I’m really naughty and do the Baked Camembert or Fried Brie – so naughty I’m loosening my jeans as I write that 😳

  267. Gooner in Exile says:

    @micky didn’t get to Alba, we were there for a week and I was driving, we visited San Siro for Muse gig (but to see Kasabian support really), rest of the time just drank Gavi! Realised I said this year when I menat last year (2010)

    @BigRaddy Ours too, which is why we went, as a self employed sort I can’t often take more than a week off work even for honeymoon, and the other half’s favourite wine is New Zealand Sauvignon but I thought the flights for one week would be a bit exrtavagant, so headed to Gavi instead. The Villa Sparina Gavi is difficult to get hold of over here it was £30 a bottle but bloody fantastic with food from the region, but you can get their Gavi Brut here which is one of the best sparklings I’ve tasted for about £11 a bottle.

    I hope the citeh fans don’t come back this evening for another fight we really will look like posh snobs 🙂

  268. RockyLives says:

    GiE: 🙂 🙂

  269. I’ve just let a citeh supporter on at 7.47

  270. dandan – have you been in drafts or is that you Rasp?

  271. Sorry to post three in quick succession but owing to my day job – food and wine writer/restaurant critic – I couldn’t let this one pass: first mention of crême brulée was in 1691 – in the first edition of French chef François Massailot’s cookbook ‘Nouveau cuisinier royal et bourgeois’.
    One up to Arsene’s boys! And thanks peachesgooner for ‘letting me on’

  272. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. I spent two weeks in the Marlborough region of South Island NZ for that very reason!!

    26. As always budget is all. If you have the money get a bike made for you – there are lots of specialst shops in the UK. A touring bike is best for long distance, both light and fast.

    My recommendation is to chat to your local bike shop, the staff are invariably cycling nuts

    Try this site….

    http://www.evanscycles.com/categories/complete-bikes/touring-bikes

  273. bluevalentine – I couldn’t refuse when you said Arsenal were your second team. As you see we’ve descended into delirium this evening after a hard days blogging, goodness knows how we’ll cope on Wednesday.

    Is that true 1691?

  274. Gooner in Exile says:

    @Big Raddy I’m not telling my missus that she will be very very jealous. If you went anywhere near Brent Marris’s Ned vineyard she may well want your blood.

  275. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. I was shocked to find that the wines are more expensive from the vineyards than they are in Denmark! Didn’t stop us from getting stuck in though!

    Peaches. Ask Kelsey. He will remember!

  276. 26may1989 says:

    @Bluevalentine, we always want our own team to win, but I agree with you, it’s a good thing for the “Sky 4” to be broken up. But that does not excuse what is happening at MCFC.

    It may sound strange coming from a Gooner but I respect what Spurs have done in establishing themselves as genuine contenders – they have used the resources available to them to build a side based on smart signings and young players, and they are playing with a confidence and a verve that lifts the PL.

    But just because City have arrived at the top table at the same time as Spurs does not mean you should be equated with them. Sorry to say it, because you and City Gent seem like decent sorts, but on a sporting level City (and before them, Chelsea) deserve zero respect, whatever is achieved. Rocky’s original point, that the zillions being piled into City are bad for the game, is spot on – here’s hoping UEFA actually enforce the financial fair play regulations.

    And no need to feel too sorry for yourselves about having had United as tenants after WWII – we were also “guests” at White Hart Lane.

    Excellent comment on crême brulée though, never thought I’d see a 17th century French cook book cited on this website!

  277. Big Raddy says:

    26. Great comment

  278. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers Raddy.

  279. 26may1989 says:

    And thanks again Raddy (I was thanking you re bike tips before). So much politeness on here…..

  280. ‘by far the politest blog’

  281. Rasp says:

    Thanks to bluevalentine for his well written and informed comment – are you sure you don’t want to change allegiance and become a gooner? I have been impressed by most of the City fans today.

    I am certainly not jealous of their money and indeed would feel somewhat insecure if we had a single billionnaire owner – the short term future is rosy but the long term is fraught with danger. We look to chelski in the next 5 years to see what may happen when a plaything is dispensed with.

  282. Joe Royle says:

    Sorry for some of the aggressive comments from blues. I guess a fair few of us these days feel we’re under attack (rightly or wrongly).

    Haven’t lots of clubs initially made the leap to success via spending big?
    I’m not that well up on Arsenal history but didn’t some of your initial success in the 30’s spring from a new wealthy owner moving from Glossop to Arsenal?
    This may not be the case perhaps just coincidental timing (as stated I don’t know the details) – but there have been teams throughout the league history who have spent big money to make the jump from also rans. Hasn’t it always been part of our league?
    ‘History’ doesn’t just spring organically from a vaccuum as much as fans of some clubs might want to state this to others. Usually someone at some time or other spent big money to build a team and then the club.

    Obviously the levels of spending required in this era to break through to the top echelons of the league seem stratospheric, but I think that can be attributed to the rewards of the Champions League freezing out any clubs outside the top 4 at the moment of it’s inception.

  283. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Extremely well written post that RL. Bang on all the way. But It should have been posted, post game coz I am a great believer in Karma 😉 Heres hoping City don’t get some Instant Karma.

    Arsenal people shouldn’t get cought up in this “Northern Chav” (thanx Geoff for that term) thing, coz their battle is with their neighbours Manchester United. If Arsenal people get caught up in it, it deflects the crap away from old sweaty sock.

    Me? I want all the shit to be poured on the Jock and his sheltered worshop of a club. We have a Title to win, & the best way to do it is to be strong; banding together & giving nothing away mentally, least of all our opinions about a sad, vulgar lot of arabs who are still & always will be considered camel shaggers.

    Never give a sucker an even break, & I don’t intend giving it to the Northern Chavs. 3 points is all that matters, nothing else.

    English football shows it has been littered by the Chav & Northern Chav types who come & go, but The Arsenal lives on proud & strong 😆 & no amount of arab money will change it.

    COYRRR

  284. 26may1989 says:

    Joe Royle (surely not that one….)

    You ask whether some of our initial success in the 1930s came from a new wealthy owner moving from Glossop to Arsenal. There are two different strands here: the Glossop connection is Samuel Hill-Wood, who became club chairman in the late 1920s, just as Arsenal’s first period of success kicked in. But that wasn’t the result of an injection of cash.

    There was however the Henry Norris period, that started just before WWI. He was a properly corrupt individual (just ask Spurs fans about Norris managing to have Arsenal bumped up to the First Division when pro football restarted after the war, despite Spurs being better placed than us). He also pumped lots of cash into the club and moved it from Woolwich, in south east London, to much more prosperous north London. However, Norris’s attempts to build a mega club in an era dominated by clubs from the north and the midlands failed, and even after the move to Highbury, and various big money signings, Arsenal failed to achieve success before the end of the 1920s, after Norris left (in some disgrace I think).

    If we’re going to dredge history, yes, there are points that can be made about Arsenal, since the foundations of the great 1930s side were the nefarious activities of Norris in the preceding 20 years, but it’s a bit of a stretch. I’d also say the splurging of hundreds of millions of pounds by Mansour puts everything but Abramovich into the shade.

  285. Morning gnarley – of course you are right and we should just stick to worrying about ourselves and bagging those three points.

  286. 26may1989 says:

    Peaches and Rasp, I don’t know if you’re around but Newsnow has just received a headline for AA (“What the papers don’t say”). Clicking on it produces an empty page. Just wanted to flag it in case there’s a tech problem.

  287. Thanks 26may, we’ve published tomorrows post in error, hopefully by the morning NN will have taken it off and we can go again 😦

  288. Melon Man says:

    Oh Dear!

    You were all doing so well, what with the cycling and the michelin star restaurants and whatnot.

    Then gnarleygeorge9 had to spoil it all with his vulgar camel shagging stereotype.

    I have it on good authority that the Sheikh is more like Steve Coogan’s Paul Calf, or Liam Gallagher, whichever.

  289. 26may1989 says:

    It’ll all come out in the wash then!

  290. charybdis1966 says:

    Evening Gnarley, agree with your sentiments there, especially your third paragraph.

    To quote Commander Adama from my gravatar’s origin I hate them(ManUre) “with every fibre of my existence” and anyone who can wind him, and his band of mini-me’s(whether cronies, players or ex-players who become mangers)up should be encouraged.

    The day that mean-minded alcoholic, mealy-mouthed hypocritical scots cnut retires will be the day that some semblance of justice and peace will return to the universe(ok, English football.)

  291. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Listen Melon Head, by Friday the Sheikh will be more like Big Yellow, Lassie & Rin Tin Tin, licking his wounds. Bring it on 😈

  292. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    G’Day peaches/chary. Seems like I missed the banter 😦

    I would love nothing more than to draw from the treasure chest of Arsenal’s long & illustrious history in getting 3 points.

    “One Nil to The Arsenal”, coz that will do nicely 😈

  293. Melon Man says:

    I was only kidding about the Sheikh being like the aforementioned Messrs Calf and Gallagher.

    Apparently his sense of humour is more akin to that of Bernard Manning, or Cannon and Ball, I forget which.

  294. Melon Man says:

    Soz, got to go now, my mum won’t let me stay up too late on a night before school.

    L8rz.

  295. charybdis1966 says:

    It got a bit feisty earlier Gnarley, all good craick(sp?) though.

    The shame of it is that the Whore won’t even be in the squad let alone playing at the Grove on Wednesday.

    I went to the corresponding fixture last season, which was a snooze-fest enlivened only by the abuse me and the North bank boys doled out to the Whore while Given was getting treatment in front of us.

  296. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Chary

    The best way to hurt Jocky Ferguson is to do him @ Ashburton Grove, then win The Title.

  297. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I see that other wannaway Hleb has been saying he loves The Arsenal 😆 What an idiot!

  298. charybdis1966 says:

    He realised it too late, Gnarley – a win against ManUre is the sweetest feeling of all, more so than beating the Bus stop from Fulham and those reprobates from the Middlesex Swamps, aka the Stratford Wanderers.

  299. Stratford Wanderers 😆 😆 😆

  300. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Ok chary, its time for some sunshine so I’ll catch you later.

  301. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    & bye to u too peaches 😎

  302. charybdis1966 says:

    Yup, time to hit the pillow now here in dark, cold Blighty, catch you later Gnarley, Peachy.

  303. Nite chary, have a nice day in the sunshine gnarley ….

  304. Peaches, Rasp

    We very nearly DID become Gooners when City plummetted into the old Div 2. My daughter. son-in-law and I held an emergency meeting. We needed another team to support, because we were never more going to see our team on TV again. We held a secret ballot and voted 3-0 for Arsenal. But the minute the season kicked off we reverted, as good football supporters must and went to Lincoln and Gillingham.

    I think the main reason I’m euphoric about Sheikh Marracas’ zillions is that never again will I have to watch the likes of Ged Brannon, David Brightwell, Fat Bob Taylor, Jamie Pollock and Lee Badbuy (own goal for Bournemouth today), Michael Frontzeck, and Alan Ball’s top pick ‘Buster’ Phillips. Winning things, assuming we do, will merely be a pleasant frisson by comparison. If that makes me a ‘Northern chav’, so be it, it’s a small price to pay!

    I like this site, by the way, it reminds me of a younger, more virile version of our own dear http://www.izzett.com Hope nobody objects but I’ve put a link up under ‘Other Club’s Sites that won’t Do Your Head In’

  305. 26may1989 says:

    Oh Bluevalentine, if Mansour bails on you, it could get a lot worse than Ged Brannon and Jamie Pollock. A hell of a lot worse. Leeds dropping two divisions could easily be exceeded. The trouble from your point of view is that City fans no longer matter, you have no bearing on the future of the club.

    But excellent choice of back-up team! I still hope your club crashes and burns (sorry) but clearly yours is a family of taste!

  306. gunnern5 says:

    Are we a bunch of soft elitist ninnies or are we capable of making our own conclusions as to whether we read a post or not?

    After all what difference does it really make if I type f**k it all or f**k it all?

    Frankly I have no f***ing idea!

    I guess that only the Queens English is spoken by our Managers and fans at the games – some f***ing hope!

    If you don’t like certain words then delete them and let the posts flow.

  307. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    How could anyone ever want to pull stumps on their club just coz things get a bit hard. I guess there is the difference between Arsenal & Manchester City, end of!!

  308. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    G5
    😀

  309. jeffers says:

    I think part of the point of it is that clubs have an identity. You dont just love your club for what it does on the pitch, but what it does off it, and the history and charachter of the club.

    The problem with these kind of billionaire investments is that it completely changes the face of your club overnight. It’s like the wife you fell in love with going out and having a load of plastic surgery to tart herself up. It probably looks nice when you 1st see it, but you cant help but think, where has the wife I know and love gone?

    To a certain extent we have had that with the Arsenal in recent history, with the change of badge, stadium etc. thankfully I feel we have just about managed to hold onto our identity, though i am sure others would disagree.

    In terms of the money, sadly as much as City fans would like to disagree, it is ruining not just the transfer market, but football in general. Players move for money, world class players know they can get unbelievable money at 2 premier league clubs. They do not want to go elsewhere if they in with a chance of hitting the jackpot.

    When you see what happened with Rooney recently, you can’t help but feel a bit sad that a fat, scummy, adulterous prick can dictate to one of the worlds biggest clubs. Of course it was hilarious that it happened to united, but laughter aside, its sad for football. It could have been any player at any club and it is us, the normal football fans who will end up paying. How many bog avergage players are on 50+K a week now? Thats my season ticket paying for their champage in China Whites.

    Abramovic, started this and just as that particular obomination is subsiding sadly another comes along.

    In terms of competition, its great to see the league more interesting, but (its terrible to say this),the way that Spurs are mounting their challenge is alot more watchable and must be alot more satisfying for their fans than city seeing the club transformed before their eyes by an oil sheik.

  310. London says:

    “food and wine writer/restaurant critic” that there in itself practically qualifies you for honoury gooner status.

  311. SharkeySure says:

    Top quality post Rocky, and talk about a ‘game of two halves’ on AA today !! I’ve read all the comments today in various clumps on my mobile between approx 2pm and 10pm

    Also, Can I respectfully add that Peaches removal of the offending incorrect line(s) in such a clear and transparent manner does the site much credit imho. On many sites the post would have been corrected in stealth mode, with all reference to the original expunged forever more.

    Nite all

  312. The ‘difference’, gnarly, is that you lot have not had to ensure 29 years of rarely interrupted dross since Rue Morgue 1980. It doesn’t ultimately make you desert your beloved but it does make you think “What the feck am I doing here?”, if only momentarily. That’s the point I was making.
    Anyhow, here’s to a great game on Wednesday between two fine sides and Baconface’s boys have surely got to come a cropper soon.
    To Mickydidit89 – the other thing that makes a huge difference to the flavour of beef is ‘dry ageing’ for at least 21 days, preferably more. Butchers don’t like it because the meat shrinks and there’s less profit; nor do the ‘Health Police’.

  313. Ed Sokolowski says:

    So you think its possible for teams in this day and age to compete for the title without being able to generate large amount of support and income? And you’d rather have not sold abebayour for an over inflated price to repair your leaky defence/questionable strike force? This post is the typical jealous scared kind of post that came about when abramovich went to chelsea. No team should be guaranteed infinite success which is something fans of arsenal/Liverpool/utd have a tough time getting to grips with.let see arsenal not be such a big club for a while.

    And you’ve completely forgotten to mention how arsenal got bought out as their woolwich team struggled financially, only to be moved,had a new stadium built for and brought in the best manager and players in the country to bring instant success.

    Arsenal aren’t as good for English football as you like to think.

  314. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Yep bluev, it’ll be on alright. It should be a ripper of a game 🙂

  315. lancs_blue says:

    “Much as I loathe ManUre and the Spuds, at least they have real history and they have developed (more or less) organically with rich owners who have also been fans (the Glazers aside).”

    This had me in stitches! Do some research on Man Utd please! When Louis Edwards joined the board shortly after the Munich disaster all he saw was a commercial opportunity that could be milked from the worldwide sympathy so he stsrted buying up shares at every opportunity, eventually gaining control a few years later. Credit to Edwards he made a good job of running a highly profitable BUSINESS but that’s really all it was to him, and his son Martin who inherited the club was far more interested in Rugby Union than football so let’s forget this bit about them being run by “fans” prior to the stock market flotation and subsequent buy-out by the Glazers. Don’t forget that Martin Edwards would cheerfully have sold the club to Michael Knighton in 1989 if Knighton had managed to secure the funds to buy it! If you dig deeply enough you’ll find that all successful clubs have bought success to one degree or another, you’re naive if you believe otherwise.

  316. […] Arsenal’s Antithesis – The Problem With Manchester City On Wednesday we entertain the Mancunian lottery winners in a second-v-third clash which could play a major part in […] […]

  317. Arsene knows says:

    It’s the most important issue of them all for the game and it’s going to be stopped by uefa or the game will die… So great post and great banter from both fans.. For me it’s not about city & chavs, good for them if they like it, its not about them it’s about the amount of loss, just as obscene when Madrid were bailed out by the Madrid council buying their training ground….
    ….but I laugh when I hear em say we are a ‘rich club’ it’s beyond the bizarre, they are both totally broke clubs, as are manu, they are now just a rich toy….. I pray usmanov does not turn us into the same, if they do I may pack it in…

  318. RockyLives says:

    Well said AK. If Usmanov took over the Arse and poured hundreds of millions is I would not stop supporting my lifelong team, but I would also know that they would never again be the club I fell in love with.

  319. RockyLives says:

    Rasp, Peaches – I liked that Citeh fan bluevalentine and checked out his (her?) blog – it’s not bad.
    Maybe we should have a separate part of pour blogroll for good sites for other clubs…
    Just a thought.

  320. arsene knows says:

    few more afterthoughts…. of course we are sponsored by emirates a (poorer) neighbour of ‘ethiad fc’ odd nobody pointed that out, well i have now.. they pumped 100 millon into our club without which we may not have moved, but its into the club not players… anwyay lets not forget that, we cant be hypocrits….

    what are we all actually supporting anyway? well it all started as your local team playing another local team and basically its still the same but if this nonsense is not stopped it could all unravel, just like the world cup, look who won it, abramovich and arab oil, strike a chord anyone? im very worried about my arsenal becoming the same, it could happen and if it does what will it mean… the sky big four i have read on many city posts tonight? wow this is bizarre, sky pay everyone…

    … but this issue about money is just about one word: SCALE, nothing else.. most clubs spend on players within their means most of which are for perspective tens of millions or in extreme cases a few tens of million pounds …. so how can there be a ‘competition’ between that and a billion pounds being pumped into players for two clubs who play in blue? well they have to win as the chavs did and citeh will, big deal, so would blackburn, oh yeah they did!

    im not bitter or jealous like all the cfc and mcfc fans say, im the opposite, i think it means nothing at all

  321. RockyLives says:

    Really good points AK.
    Are you up late, or based outside the UK?

  322. arsene knows says:

    in usa for new years, back for leeds and upton park away and look what happened to them!

  323. RockyLives says:

    Ha ha.
    You should consider writing a post for AA. You have a good way with words and guest writers are always welcome.

    where in US?

  324. arsene knows says:

    miami, great irish pub in south beach, the playwright five to one afc v chavs, the pub was full and erupted when we scored all 3 times, will be there for city…

    i do enjoy the odd bit of banter… happy to post

    very bad news about wellington, the inside track is they rate him VERY highly, been going home and away since the late 60’s

  325. RockyLives says:

    I’ve recently moved to Canada, but still have my season ticket at The Grove (rented out to a mate, but mine whenever I get back 🙂 ).

    I’ll suggest to some of the site organisers that they drop you a line – or you could just use the link in the Be My Guest section at the top of the blog to post if you have something on your mind. Your SCALE point above seems like fruitful ground for a piece…

    Anyway, off to bed now. Hope you come back on here soon.

  326. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Great news about David Silva 😈

  327. RockyLives says:

    gnarley – what’s the news?

  328. RockyLives says:

    OK – just read it – knee injury means he’ll miss the game.
    Balotelli is the most likely to replace him which should be interesting. He’ll either be brilliant or pants.

  329. RockyLives says:

    Now I’m really going to bed. Nite all.

  330. Melon Man says:

    Morning Gooners,
    glad to see Arsene Knows posts, he seems far more objective than many on here.

    I would like to pose this question to you all –

    Can you show me the proof that Man City are having a destabilising, negative effect on English/ World football, as many of you posters are intimating?

    We all seem to have swallowed this myth, hook, line and sinker, without examining the facts.

    I would counter that the wage bills of those clubs geographically closest to Eastlands have, over the last couple of years, remained stagnant, or even decreased overall. Clubs such as Bury, Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale, Altrincham are so far removed from City’s transfer radar they can surely be only affected by the global credit crunch, nothing else.

    Clubs such as Leeds, Sheffields United and Wednesday, Bolton, Bury, Blackburn, Wigan, again are not on the radar now, with the exception of the purchase of Roque Santa Cruz, which can only have filled the coffers of Blackburn, not increased their wage bill on the whole.

    Only teams who have players City would want to poach, may have the problem of having to raise wages to counter moves from City – and as a percentage of all the players in all the clubs in all the world, this is a mere drop in the ocean – a handful of clubs and a handful of players every transfer window, if that.

    The only teams I can envisage have been adversely affected by City’s overtures are United with Rooney, and Chelsea with John Terry. Maybe Barca. I think those three can juggle their books to compensate, or sell their players, like others have had to sell to them in the past, and indeed the present.

    Can you tell me, hand on heart, that the Arsenal’s wage bill has soared as feared because of City? Has Spurs’ finances gone into meltdown?

    Of course not.

    There will always be big fish trying to swallow the little fish, it happenend in the past to us with Shaun Wright-Phillips and Chelsea, and we did it in the 80’s signing players like Steve Daley and Trevor Francis, it’s nothing new.

    To peddle this myth that football will collapse because one club, or two, or three (in the world) are throwing their financial muscle around is plain wrong, and an affront to those of us who like to analyse the truth of situations.

    City fans understand life deals you some bizarre breaks, and often kicks you in the nuts, but we will always support our club, even if it all goes horribly wrong (again!).

    If we have to start again, groundsharing with Wythenshawe Town FC, (I’ve got an in there through my dad, probably get a discount) then that’s fine – it’ll be just like supporting a football club – not difficult, and often sublime.

    Got to go to work now, please do feel free to do your research and show me why City are definitely the problem, but I fully expect a deafening cyber-silence on that one.

  331. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    You still lost 😉 type in man city, that should help you find your way back from where you came from 😆

  332. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    ….or if that doesn’t do it type in Arab hobbies. Then scoll down past L for love of camel shagging then you should find M for Manchester City Football Club 😆

  333. Rasp says:

    Morning Melon Man,

    Thanks for making yesterday such a memorable one. You are welcome to join in our debates in the future on any topic. Obviously we won’t always see eye to eye on footballing matters involving our two teams but I think we are kinderd spirits in many ways.

  334. Rasp says:

    Morning/evening gnarley,

    The cricket is finely balanced. I understand Ponting has had an operation on his hand having played the last test with the injury – no great loss to your team I think. Both teams are playing this game for pride, I hope there is a result.

  335. Rasp says:

    GN5 re question your @11:15

    “Are we a bunch of soft elitist ninnies”

    The answer is no. We are decent human beings and will not publish material that is incoherent abuse or is likely to offend those who cannot defend themselves. There is a particularly nasty racist and anti semitic comment in ‘pending’ at the moment, I will email it to you if you want proof of the sort of stuff we chose not to allow on yesterday.

  336. Mean Lean says:

    A very good read and I very much agree with you. Every neutral fan should be supporting Arsenal but with the media portraying us as they do, I cannot see that happening.

    It would be great to beat them home and away to show that you don’t need money to be successful, you need a quality manager and a long term plan.

  337. mickydidit89 says:

    340!!!!

  338. Rasp says:

    Thanks Mean Lean and welcome,

    It seems as if every game is make or break these days, but a win on Wednesday is important on many levels. It’s a 6 pointer, it’s important for us to maintain a winning momentum and as you quite rightly say, it’s important to prove that the time we’ve invested in building (not buying) a team has been worthwhile.

  339. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky,

    Welcome back to the site for football gourmets 😆

  340. Morning all

    There’s a NEW POST

  341. One last spar before I retire to my armchair to enjoy the last of the Ferreira ’76 with a brace of Robert Ditty’s oatcakes and a slice of Crozier Blue (fine Irish cheese only ‘in season’ at this time of year, if you don’t know it) in the snug of the Gale & Porter, Izzett Magna with my City supporting cronies.

    No football supporter deserves to be stigmatized because of the team he/she supports.* Most of us pick our teams at the age of 8, for one of three reasons (a) dad supports them (b) they are local (c) they are currently successful – no kid wants to go to school supporting a duff team and hand over bragging rights to pals. Most of us also stick with that team through thick and thin all our lives. It’s not entirely logical – we end up getting a lot of heartbreak (double relegations in City’s case) and also a fair bit of unease – I even know Manure supporters who were upset because their club was run by a butcher who sold dodgy meat to schools and hospitals.We had, however briefly, a guy who I suspected (rightly as it turned out) was a human rights abuser on a big scale. Curiously, your loyalty doesn’t fail, though it might wobble a bit. Nor does it when they flog your favourite player or put up the price of your season ticket.
    Although City fans came closer than any others when our protests managed to get rid of a chairman (P.Swales) as supporters of a club we don’t have any control over who owns our club. If Pol Pot came back to earth with a big bag of readies and bought Arsenal I suspect 99%+ supporters would still be wearing red.
    Okay, we got lucky, we did, as Rocky says “win the lottery” which enabled us to compete. But come on, guys, it was hardly a level playing field before the good Sheikh got his chequebook out was it? And it will only ever be if the Prem takes really stringent steps to equal things up. Steps I suspect that would be greeted with protest and dismay by the likes of Arsenal, The Rags, The Dippers, Chelski, City Spuds and any other club currently with a few bob.
    If it happens and if MCFC become a Div 2 banana republic, I’ll still love them.

    So farewell and good wishes for the season, if not for Wednesday night. I think you’ve got lucky, though any neutrals watching won’t have – Silva and Balotelli are unfit to play, so Mancini will be back to 3 DMFs I suspect, with Yaya dropping back alongside DJ and Baz and Milner in for Johnson. I believe that, at full strength, we could really take you on and it would be a hell of a ding-dong. Scarf Ace might be tempted to get Adebayor out of mothballs but I doubt it. Curious enigma, I wonder if some manager somewhere will get the best out of him… but that’s a topic for another day.

    ps any of the gastronauts among AA-ers are more than welcome to drop in on my own http://www.forkncork.com

    * sorry I’ll amend that; make it “no football supporter except for Stretford United supporters…”

  342. MancAl says:

    Arsenal have apparently done everything right without ‘financial doping’ right? What a load of rubbish.

    The fact that the club is in London and can charge £100 for a normal ticket, and 1000s for a season ticket. The fact that the Emirates was built with the help of ‘redevelopment grants’and because Highbury was in London, it can be turned into property sold for a vast sum of money only possible in London (which covered a lot of the new stadium cost). So 60000 tickets at the prices only possible at a club in an affluent part of London looks a bit like an advantage over the rest of the clubs in much poorer parts of the country doesn’t it?

    London based clubs have had a massive financial advantage for years, even before the premier league money came into force. But don’t let the truth ruin a good rant eh?!?

  343. Rasp says:

    Thanks bluevalentine, I have reproduced your comment on today’s post which is on an entirely different subject, but some of the AA’ers you corresponded with yesterday will no doubt be interested in what you say.

    Good luck for the season too – except tomorrow, I expect a draw and honours even.

  344. jj says:

    this “organic growth” bollocks – ha ha. Mega money from the organic cash cow that was the closed shop of the chumps league more like.

    Complete hypocrisy from a club that has been at the forefront of demeaning traditional domestic competitions – competitions that mean much more to football fans up and down the country than watching a completely foreign team play someone like Sparta Prague on a Tuesday night in some CL group stage. A club that constantly whinges about the number of games but strangley were one of the first to object when there was a move to reduce the number of CL games..

    Hope their snide little team has something to whinge about come Thursday morning

  345. jj says:

    Looks like we got a good un…shame he wont be with us tomorrow..

    our 3 best players missing from a game we should win… at least we start 11 v 11…not like at our place 10 v 11 and you got the goals but it was never a 3 nil

  346. arsene knows says:

    for all afc fans on this arsenal blog, we have done so well to compete against richer clubs than us over the decades, in the 70’s we won the double even though our team was mostly home grown and no stars and a nobody manager in bertie, spurs and chalesea and others bought all the stars, in the 80’s liverpool bought all the stars and the arse in 89 at anfield stopped that train forever at least up to now with again a home grown team of no stars with GG a 71 legend, in the 90’s we bought in an unknown from japan, arsene, again on a shoestring budget we competed with manutd who outspent us by 200 million and still we competed won the double again and some and now in the 2000’s the chavs paid 500m more than us and still we compete, and now citeh and their half a billion and yes we are still in there competing… focus on us, our amazing young squad, our values, our history, our stadium our club in our capital city… see you in the nou camp another who spend what they cant afford!
    brilliant, arsenal knows!

    for all citeh fans, good luck to you all, most of you will love it and why not, you were a club who could not compete for your own reasons, i dont know why, a big club in utds shadow, some may but most arsenal fans would not want it, the board and most real fans have fought off it happening with usmanov, we love our clubs values as much as our red shirts and our tradition, we have always done things in the main the arsenal way, does not mean we are always the best or buy the best but we are proud of the club

    arsene knows!

  347. Melon Man says:

    Well I’m back from a hard couple of hours toil.

    As I suspected, not one reply to my question from this morning.

    Come on, who has bitten the dust as a direct or even indirect result of City’s spendng?

    Show me the bodies!!!!

    I have thought about this long and hard, and I can’t think of one club remotely financially inconvenienced by City’s splurges over the last two or three seasons, in fact, several clubs have suckled on the teat of the City cash cow, draining it for all they can squeeze out – surely a boon in these times of financial austerity?

    The only real grievance football fans can have with City, is that we’re buying the best players now, and you can’t compete, unlike in the past, when we were the ones having to mend and make do with what we could.

    The days of homegrown football teams are long gone at the top table, so how you have the nerve to suggest your club has built organically on the back of all the foreign talent you’ve either paid for or scouted is beyond me.

    Was Andrei Arshavin free, or did he cost approx £15 million pounds? Was he the established Captain of the Russian national team? Was he part of the Zenit team that won the Uefa cup? How was Arshavin part of your organically built team? He was already a superstar, and you bought him using your superior financial muscle to outbid other interested clubs, like Spuds.
    Some of you Arsenal fans realise the hypocisy of pointing the finger at City, when you club acts in exactly the same manner, only on a smaller scale, others seem to want to hang onto this ugly superiority complex you have; I suggest you revisit your misconceptions about Man City before hurling unfounded accusations.
    Thanks for the welcome back Rasp, gnarleygeorge9 try not to be such a plonker to your guests, it shows a complete lack of class.

  348. kippaxcorner says:

    What a shitty, bile filled article that is. I hope you die of cancer for it.

    Fucking arseholes.

  349. Melon Man says:

    Oh FFS kippaxcorner, it is a shitty bile filled article, but if you ever knew someone who has died of cancer, you wouldn’t say that, it the worst thing I’ve ever seen, you should take that back.
    I was trying to get some sense into the readers with logic and fact first without resorting to abuse – save that for the match.

  350. A post full of wit, humanity, sound reasoning and good taste, kippaxcorner. Are you sure you’re not a mole off Republik of Mancunia?

  351. Jumpers For Goalposts says:

    As an arsenal fan you should be truly ashamed at this blog. City are the ones getting football back into the local community, getting youngsters and those less fortunate involved.

    If you had actually done your research instead of producing drivel like this then you would have realised from the start that you have nothing to back up your theory.

    Oh and heres greed for you, how Arsenal are pricing out football fans in the pursuit of a quick quid.
    http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2011/01/05/debut-at-arsenal-v-man-city-the-premier-league%E2%80%99s-first-100-%E2%80%98ordinary%E2%80%99-match-ticket-050102/?

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