Mr Wenger, Please do me a Favour……?

Written by Harry

All I ask of you in my hour of need, after the unexpected defeat at the hands of Bolton, as I sit here distraught and frustrated, even angry at the events of this season, I ask that you address the faithful the hordes of fans that support and follow this club of ours as soon as is practical…….

What do I want to hear?

  1. Admit you have made mistakes.
  2. Admit that you have been restricted in the transfer window since our move to the Emirates, but now you have the funds available to make the moves you truly want and if needed you will pay what it takes.
  3. Admit that some players that you have supported vehemently have let you down.
  4. Admit that we do have specific areas of concern that need fresh players in to improve us and take us up a level.
  5. State categorically that you will address all of the above points, that we will keep all of our star players and have a real and proper title tilt next season………

Hands Up, My mistake……

In the aftermath of the defeat today which ends any lingering hopes that we had in winning the title this season, it is so hard to put into words the events of the match, and how I am feeling……..

The Blogosphere is awash with AMG’s, Fire Him, Sack Him, Walk now, Do the right thing, I understand the frustration and indeed I have anger inside, but I believe we are so close, to being what we all want that we must manage our expectations and get behind the boss and the team that he has built, as I stated above he has made some errors and needs to address certain areas……….

So today started with a real belief that we had an outside chance of still winning the title, some doom merchants will crawl out saying we never had a chance and it was all over before today, well mathematically there is still a 150/1 chance even now, but even the most optimistic fan knows, that the silver polish will not be needed this season……

The match started bright and the team seemed to start with the same vigour that they tackled the Spuds with, Walcott seemed pivotal to our day, but after the first few attacks, Bolton’s resolve not to lose seemed to take hold and they harried and fought, giving little space for our players to exploit…….

I don’t want to dwell on the match too much but will just give detail on the key moments@

On 38 Mins:  Bolton took the lead when Cahill lost his marker Alex Song as a corner come over, his header was cleared from the goal by Nasri, but straight to Sturridge who just nodded in from point blank…….1-0……..

On 45 Mins: Fabregas flashed a 30yard low drive against the left hand upright to see it deflect back away from danger……..

We had other moments in the first half, but failed to counter Bolton’s aggressive pressing game……Sturridge and Davies were proving to be a handful…..

On 46Mins: No sooner had we all sat down ready for the 2nd half, Sturridge turned Djourou and pushed into the box from the left, Djourou was unlucky to see the Ref point to the spot as Sturridge fell over with no contact made…….

Kevin Davies stepped up and hit a poor penalty just to the right of centre, Szczesny held strong and saved well with his legs, the ball for once went to safety……..Game on? Well the players did seem to up their game……

On 48mins: Van Persie comes in from the left and touches the ball into Fabregas, who feeds back, Van Persie, curls a sweet shot into the bottom left  hand corner of the goal……1:1, game truly on?

Arsenal now really stepped up and created numerous chances that should have been converted, Nasri and Chamakh missing gilt edged chances……..

On 89 Mins: Another set piece sees Tamir Cohen nod in a glancing header at the near post……….2:1….Season over, 5 minutes of injury time, just prolongs the agony……


Szczesny: 7.5 …Saved a penalty and two other saves of real note, so did well but fumbled a few……..No chance for either goal….

Sagna: 7…I thought he did well defensively, but could do more in advanced positions……

Djourou: 5… Truly shocking, he is a liability at the moment, I have stuck up for JD many times and still have high hopes for him, but he is struggling at the moment……numerous mistakes, weak and poor positioning…….

Koscienly: 6…Steady but still learning to deal with the premiership, will develop, needs a bit more aggression for me…..

Clichy: 4…The root cause of our defensive fragility, harsh to blame one in all entirety, but I wanted him dropped weeks ago, he has no positional sense, slow in thought, restricts our play constantly and cannot cope with any pressure……..

Wilshere: 7…Jack tried and had some good moments, needs to be more selfish in front of goal, he has a great shot with minimal backlift needed, but never uses it…..Subbed first…

Fabregas: 7…Had a good game, but just not quite influential enough to get us a result, but at least he was having some shots, key role in the Van Persie goal……..

Song: 5…Has regressed alarmingly since about Christmas, but he has struggled with injuries, perhaps it has restricted hum?

Walcott: 7…Tried and looked good early doors, when the team was playing to his strengths, but as Bolton pressed, the team stopped trying to put Theo through…..

Van Persie: 8…A new record of 7 away games in a row with a goal, so well done to Robin, did well and dropped deeper when Chamakh came on and set up some good chances…..Didnt deserve to lose…..

Nasri: 7…Played well until when near the goal where his goal-den touch seems to have deserted him…


Chamakh: 4….Poor, Poor. Looks lost of any belief…….

Arshavin: 6…Better, but still he is a wasted talent…….

Ramsey: Not enough time


Wenger: 6: I thought he selected his best team (aside I would have dropped Clichy) for the start. But again his use and awareness of substitutions was lacking. I would agree some players have let him down today and through the season, but rightly so, arsene retains a responsibility to sort this out…..


I do understand people’s thoughts on why they feel time has come for a change and not for one second do I see mediocrity as acceptable, I don’t think 3rd or 2nd can be truly seen as a successful achievement, So do I feel we have improved this season…?

Maybe, a little, but maybe we have a regressed in some areas..? But do I feel, Wenger for now is the one who I think should be allowed to continue to lead this team…..?

As long as  he heeds the advice at the beginning, by making the necessary changes, then yes, as disappointed as I am, he should continue with our full support………



76 Responses to Mr Wenger, Please do me a Favour……?

  1. Smudger says:

    You want Wenger to say “here is a list of players that have let me down” and then try to sell that very same list in the summer? I’m sure that won’t impact what clubs are willing to pay in the transfer window for them.

    He essentially did admit mistakes when he said to blame it on him.

    I know where you’re coming from, but Wenger’s public speaking has always been very supportive of his players and never admitting mistakes. Frustrating at times, yes, but don’t forget what Wenger has achieved using these methods. Just take his PR with a pinch of salt.

  2. dev says:

    even if he makes the necesasary changes, his tactical know how is poor. He will always get outwitted by more astute managers. His time is truly up..

  3. Wonderman says:

    Morning Harry, very good post at a very sensitive time. Firstly Song lost his marker for their first goal, Djourou allowed Sturidge to turn and get into the box for the non penalty,Djourou again allowed Cohen to get ahead of him and score the winner, whilst Nasri on the post does’nt even attempt to jump, but yet Clichy gets lower marks than all of them.Ratings are subjective I know but I think you were a little harsh on Clichy.

    I would also add to your list
    6.Accept that we do not have a leader on the pitch and get one. He does’nt have to be the best player on the pitch. But he has to know how to dig in, frustrate , time waste if need be, encourage when needed, bollock when required and organise

  4. north london is ours says:

    time is up for wenger. he has to go. there is no more talking to be done. he has failed us for the last time. he has to go. look at that lot down the lane last year. bottom of the table and with the same players and a board not scared to cut someone loose they make champs league with a team most thought to paly down the pub.

    show some balls yank and put wenger out of his misery.

  5. kanak bhide says:

    we need to,sign defenders.we dont have that luxury of good central defenders as manure & chelski have.
    get the likes of gary cahill in,we need a big centre back who can tackel,look at manure they have signed Smalling who is not at all small,they all have big & stron defenders who can win headers.who can shrugg off defenders,remember the days when TONY was at the back.
    we also need a leader in our team,a guy like scott parker,cesc is not a leader,he just gives up,just let him go.

  6. dandan says:

    Nice try Harry not easy,when you are upset.
    Perhaps we should adopt this song for the rest of the season

    So let the heartaches begin
    I can’t help it, I can’t win
    I’ve lost that faith for sure
    Tears won’t help anymore
    Yes let the heartaches begin
    I can’t help it, I can’t win
    We’ve lost this season for sure
    Now it’s gone
    I can’t hold back the tears anymore

    With apologies to Long John Baldry

  7. Harry says:

    @Wonderman: Thanks, believe me Clichy was lucky to get a 4, but as you say all subjective…I agree with your Point……..

    @Smudger: At least you understood where I was coming from, I do not literally mean, put a for sale sign on their backs, just let some move on where not required…

    @ North London and Dev: The last big outcry at wenger was 2002-03 when we threw the league away at Bolton, after been 2-0 up, what happended the next season? We are so close, for me he gets this summer to rebuild and add the missing ingredients, then thats it, if we fail miserably next season…….

  8. SUGA3 says:

    good read Harry, really admire your willingness to write a report, I have pretty much skipped the subject, hell, even avoided lambasting the manager…

    have a look, you may like the ‘custom’ artwork that was to be used on a better occasion, but hey 😉

  9. Gunner38 says:

    This is how I feel!!!!!!!!!

    I can take defeat. I can accept that our players are not quite good enough and I also acknowledge that Arsene Wenger has made some crucial errors of judgement both in transfers and tactics. However, what I can’t accept is the way that, over the past 18 months, my club, its players and management have been hounded, vilified and broken into pieces by all corners of the media. So called television pundits have slated Arsenal continuously – showing no mercy – I recall one game where Theo Walcott
    Scored an impressive hat-trick, only for Alan Hansen to rip into him and point out
    A whole host of failings in him, making our win and outstanding display feel tainted.
    Then there are the Sky TV ‘experts’ such as Phil Thompson – who when asked at the start of the season who would finish in the top four, he omitted Arsenal and when quizzed by Jeff Stelling he replied: ‘Arsenal are nowhere – not good enough.’ Then there is the internet – a platform for everyone to jump on the ‘Hate Arsenal’ bandwagon – and finally the press, who have hounded, upset and unsettled almost every Arsenal player, have constantly slated every performance and have lambasted one of the finest managers ever to grace these shores. It has conveniently not mentioned perfectly good ‘offside’ goals such as RVP at Spurs or Arshavin v Blackburn, or the incredible refereeing decisions – most notably Phil Dowd v Sunderland, Newcastle and Spurs at home. In short, what has transpired is an absolute disgrace and can only be compared to the bullying of a school child, first at school, then cyber bullying and finally hounded into complete submission.

    What I really find incredible is that all Arsenal and their manager try to do is be the best that they can be. They are financially stable through careful management and planning, they encourage youth to develop and strive to entertain as much as they can. In the past 11 seasons they have never finished outside of the top four, have delivered Champions League football and served up some classic encounters against some of the finest teams in the World. They have always tried to maintain a workable wage structure (in a time when some players earn £220,000 a week) and where possible refuse to pay over-inflated transfer fees.

    So that is Arsenal’s crime! There are murderers who get better treatment – but now the press and everyone else have got what they have wanted. There is no way we can win the league now – I suppose we will have to settle for the disgrace of Champions League football again. But it won’t stop there, we have the summer to come, where every newspaper every day will try to convince Cesc Fabregas, Nasri and Robin Van Persie that Arsenal are finished. Hang your heads in shame all of you who have been instrumental in harassing and bullying one of the country’s finest managers into a wreck with your personal slurs and insults. I hope that you are contented with your efforts.

  10. SUGA3 says:

    as for AW, well, he does not look like he can stand the heat any further, does he?

  11. Gordon says:

    I’m on a blog-wide campaign telling Gooners to give up their cable football tv subscription and stop wasting money to go to games. Arsenal are only worth viewing on free streaming. Do the right thing and save yourself the money, just like Wenger would have done if he was a paying fan. Besides, who is Arsenal kidding when they claim they are playing out-of-this-world football? Only Barca can make that claim and Arsenal is a very very poor-man’s Barca for that matter. Their matches have been the most boring and so one-dimensional that you will be forgiven if you think you are watching repeats. And the worst part is Gooners are getting mugged worldwide watching repeats. Be a man, do the right thing. Like Wenger would have.

  12. Harry says:

    Suga3: Cheers, will do………

    @Gunner 38……Absolutely quality rant mate, I fully agree as well, but as mcuh as I agree, right now if all I did was blame everyone else I would get called a moaner or sore loser……..But your right, we have been slated throughtout more than any other club…….

    @Gordon, I actually feel sorrow for you……..

  13. Tom says:

    I’m a Bolton Fan, I love arsenal and love to watch them play but sometimes you try to play too much. With a couple of signings in summer eg. Central defender a league title will almost be a definite. I think Bolton played well after last weeks nightmare, Good Luck to arsenal next year and unlucky

  14. Harry says:

    Suga3: Great artwork from a truly better time, agreed, at least chelsea stops them winning the title next weekend at ours……..

  15. Harry says:

    Cheers tom, good luck to your team as well and well played yesterday…..

  16. theo says:

    @northlondon is ours: the tottenham team your talking about, cost more than 100 millions what our squad is so don’t let the media fool you about tottenham overachieving, they are not. When you spend 190 million to build a squad, you don’t act like you won the world cup when u get 4th place. As for arsenal, anything besides winning is considered a failure for them. Unfortunately a lot of our fans buy into this and turn against their team and the best manager in the history of this club

  17. Marky Gooner says:

    Harry and Gunner38 both of you get your heads out the sand. Its time for a change.

  18. SUGA3 says:


    I was to use the pic in the ManYoo preview, but since it’s a moot point now, well…

  19. Marky Gooner says:

    theo the best manager in our history is Herbert Chapman, get it right

  20. SUGA3 says:

    and I second that, GM…

    the fact that AW’s bust is somewhere in there like Champman’s is nothing short of laughable…

    and just look at the interior design in here:

    shameless or what?

  21. Red Arse says:

    Excellent effort in the circumstances Harry, and I agree with pretty much everything you wrote.

    Anything said now, about the game, is inevitably coloured by disappointment and disbelief at the result.

    Looking to the future, what can or should AW do?

    There is the usual rhetoric going the rounds, from — buy a huge CH, buy a hardman holding CMF, sack the manager etc, etc, so let’s take those as read.

    Perhaps what Arsene should do, at the end of the season, is;

    1) Most importantly: Carefully assess whether his health can stand the stress and strain he is clearly under.
    2) Where players such as Nasri and Clichy, are refusing to sign contract extensions because they want even more obscene money, let them go.
    3) Having admitted that we have ‘defensive frailties’ buy replacements who are both quality and value for money, not because they are cheap [and might do).
    4) Reassess the goal scorers available to us. Is playing Bendtner on the wing sensible? Is Chamakh ever going to adapt to the PL? Is RVP really a centre forward? Make the decision and sell/buy, as necessary.
    5) Reassess and evolve the tactics that have clearly been ‘found out’. The slow, crab like tippy tappy/no shoot approach does not work now. The all out attacking philosophy, regardless of circumstances, which leaves us open to break away goals, so often, must be replaced with sensible, patient defense when appropriate. There is skill in that too Arsene!
    6) Remind yourself, and thereby the fans, by your demeanour and manners, that it is only a bloody game so that we can all retain a sense of perspective, and not behave as if losing is a disaster.

    I could go on guys, but you can add your own suggestions to the list. One or two quality buys, and a fundamental change of tactics could make all the difference.

  22. Red Arse says:


    Excellent mature comment.

    It is all about perspective. In 10 years time when the stadium is paid for, and new commercial deals have been negotiated, we will reap the rewards of today’s management.

    I hope it is not at the expense of AW’s health and reputation.

  23. Rohan says:

    Fabregas out…we dont need a captain like that. Van Persie is excellent…but how many matches he played for us in all those years

  24. Gooner In Exile says:

    Harry good job in tough circumstances.

    I think AW has defended his players once too often, its time for a rocket, but rocket now is not going to get anyone anywhere and he knows it, the lads are running on empty, legs and heart.

    Gunner38 fair play to you and Theo, some positive comments that are unlikely to be aired around the web too much but definitely should be read by all.

  25. abiolakels says:

    I think its high time AW took d bull by the horn, by having plan B when the normal tactics is not yielding. Above all, sell uncommitted players.

  26. goonbub says:

    “north london is ours”stop talking shite

  27. goonbub says:

    oh p.s “THEO SAYS” you are spot on

  28. dandan says:

    Gunner38 100% mate well done, the screamers will scream and the changelings beat their chest, but in the final analysis your post is fact, without the negative spin so beloved of many a blogger.

    Gordon you sound like a typical cynic who as the saying goes knows the price of everything and the value of nothing’

    Suga you can now indulge your negative input with some support for a while, but the power of this blog is that it will come to its collective senses, evaluate the situation in a mature and reasoned way, discount the Anti Arsene/arsenal spin and look forward to an interesting break, transfer window and then a bright new season.

    Red Arse there will be much discussion along the lines of your post, but it will be easier when the purile dogs of war have had their fill of Red meat and rational people can get down to productive reasoned debate

  29. Harry says:

    Dandan””Red Arse there will be much discussion along the lines of your post, but it will be easier when the purile dogs of war have had their fill of Red meat and rational people can get down to productive reasoned debate””

    Quality quote…….

    Thanks GIE, next one is yours!! that was hard, I nearly wrote something along the lines of G38, but decided to leave that till end of the season as part of my review of “Actually what did go wrong”

  30. Harry says:

    Red Arse: Quality comment, but alas at No.6 it is where we will always have a problem with the sense of perspective….

  31. SUGA3 says:


    at this moment, I am establishing my position as interested observer, as more of the same input will produce more of the same output, serious changes must be made, otherwise we will be having the same conversation next year…

    the only difference being you singing from a whole different hymn sheet 😆

  32. Harry says:

    @Marky Gooner: Believe me big fella, my head is far from sand……Its very easy to listen to the press and not think for yourself and actually see what is happening…..

    The arguement for who is the better manager is almost impossible to compare, different eras, different pressures……..

    Chapman was without doubt a true visionary, who laid the foundations for our great club….

    But similarly Wenger is too, the evidence is clear as day, you cannot deny what he has done for us and he has won more titles for us than any other manager….

    Albeit Chapman was taken from us early at the age of 55 with pneumonia, who knows how dominant we would have become under him..

    All managers go through spells, even Man United fans were questioning Fergie 3 years ago……..

  33. Harry says:

    I promised myself that I would stay away from the newsnow reel today, but just read this…

    A spurs fan hitting the nail on the head……

  34. First thing, the season is NOT over, the title race for us is over. I know that it was a useless performance. When the time was crucial, they failed to deliver. But Bolton did after the Wembley shock. I’m not sure whether Arsenal would’ve done the same if they’d lost 5-0 to Stoke in a semi-final.

  35. dandan says:

    Harry. I would guess the vast majority of posters on here have many more years than I left to enjoy the fruits of the work done by the club in recent years. Which will indeed be productive if the work is continued. Which is why I marvel at the impatience of so many of them.
    I accept that much of it is the fault of my generation, our kids were given to much to soon and their kids even more. The instant society that has created, has become a noose around the neck of today’s debt ridden society that those must have cravings have spawned.
    Arsene is of my generation and understands that a debt and a credit limit are the same thing and something to be paid off and not lived up too.
    Unfortunately the economic strictures that the next couple of years will bring, will in my opinion make success even more imperative, as a supportive crutch to many younger gooners, as that may be the only success they will be able to lay claim to or identify with in these angry times
    Lets hope for their sakes I am wrong.

  36. RockyLives says:

    Well done Harry – can’t have been easy putting a post together today.

    We all feel the frustration of stumbling on the home straight yet again, but in the welter of recrimination and condemnation it’s time once more to reach back to some lines of poetry that have been oft quoted on here:

    “IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating…

    …If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools…

    …Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

    Words for Arsene.

    Words for us.

    This is a time for cool heads, not snap judgements.

  37. harry says:

    Rocky, thanks it wasnt easy as much as i am realistic and managed my expectations, it still hurts, so near but yet so far…….

    Your comments provide wise words that all should read and heed……

  38. Gooner in Exile says:

    Do we need a John Still type? Access All Areas with Dagenham & Redbridge from 5Live

    I particularly enjoyed “its your job to do your job, not to do his job but to do your job, everyones got a job to do, do your job” rant.

    Do like the fact that they listen to Al Pacino “Any Given Sunday” rousing speech in their pre match.

  39. goonermichael says:

    Great post. I enjoyed it. I do think we have regressed though, Our points tally is down on last season and we have to win our remaining matches to match it. Last season was seen as a failure so this season is a catastrophe really. It is time for a fundamental chang. Either in management, assistant management or transfer policy or I fear we will slip further back.

  40. kelsey says:

    Great post and some really good comments. plenty of knee jerk reactions all over blog world. I watched Wenger as the cameras seemed to take a more than regular look at him during the game.I really feel for him.Never question his passion for the club, but I would just like to make this point that in these so called barren years (which is a ridiculous phrase), maybe we should have kept a few of the over thirty players to setlle and encourage this comparitively young team.Gallas is a good him or hate him, he would have added some stability to the defence.Obviously Wenger has his ways and I rspect that, but occasionally he might regret some of the things he has done these past few seasons,though we will never know.
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

  41. RockyLives says:

    All good points Kelsey, but I can’t help remembering how Gallas helped derail us after Eduardo’s leg break in 2007/8.

    One day AW’s memoirs will make fascinating reading (if they are honest and from the heart).

  42. kelsey says:

    No arguement there RL, but he wears his heart on his sleeve and has had a reasonably good season down the road.

  43. Gooner in Exile says:

    Kelsey the over 30’s issue is without doubt thorny.

    Clearly Gallas and Nasri had some strong ill feeling the other night, apparently that went on for a year as teammates at Arsenal, that coupled with the Brum hissy fit probably meant he was an unsettling influence in the camp.

    Don’t get me wrong I don’t think that every Prem League team should have friends on the pitch, famously Sheringham and Cole never spoke off the pitch yet they formed an impressive partnership for United.

    I think Gallas was not the right man for not carrying his sourness onto the pitch, as it was when he lost captaincy, as it was when he upset Toure enough to help him out of the door.

    I would have had Toure back in a heartbeat, he has been there and done it and he has an enjoyment and a love for the game and encourages his teammates rather than castigates them. He also leads with a never say die attitude to the game.

    But as ever Kelsey it was clearly a case of balancing the books removing high paid players from the squad to extend the current youngsters contracts with improved deals.

    As well as some honesty from Wenger regarding his players I would also like him to say openly that he has not had the financial support to strengthen where he thinks he needs to, by doing this the fans would be able to place their criticism (warranted or otherwise) for the lack of spending there rather than accepting that Wenger does not want to spend the money that is reported as available.

  44. Gooner in Exile says:

    By the way as some are already looking to next season, can we strike Carling Cup from the list of trophies we want to win please, let the Youth/Squad players get their experience and take it as far as they can, I might even suggest the same for the FA Cup, I really couldn’t care too much about either.

    Don’t get me wrong, that hasn’t always been the case but football has changed I grew up in an era where Cup Winners Cup was a worthwhile competition and one of only two routes into good European competition, with the devaluation of UEFA and ECWC into Europa League and the rise of the Champions League those two domestic cup tournaments have become less important as they represent entry into the time wasting Europa League. For a time we didn’t even have European football to aspire too so domestic honours were more important.

  45. Gooner in Exile says:

    Cesc on Twitter:

    “Russell Crowe. Amazing actor and good person. Perfect…. I am sure.
    😉 ”

    Recent tweets:
    “He who kneels before God …can stand before anyone !”

    “A lion does not turn around when a small dog barks !”

    Should we be worried about skipper?

  46. kelsey says:

    GIE, obviously there were issues with Gallas/Nasri/Toure as there were with Adebayor/Bendtner and I was only using Gallas as an example.
    Balancing the books is another subject but “project youth” jyst had too much emphasis on youth.

    With regards to domestic cups, I belive we just play too much football in England and the CL should be knock out from the beginning,but then again TV rights rule all.
    Two cups are not neccessary or perhaps the clubs in Europe shouldn’t participate in the CC but I suppose there are arguements for and against that.

    Finishing 4th so a team can participate in the CL just doesn’t ring true to me, yet in other countries only one or two teams get the privelage .i know i am in the minority on this one it’s just the way i feel.

  47. Mickeyk says:

    More of the same next season if wenger stays .get mourihno or else just hope we finish in the top four next season .Liverpool totts man city -man u chealsea will improve next season.we will get torn apart by man u in the next game .but should hold on to a top four finish.

  48. goonermichael says:

    Cesc is going and it’s for the best in my opinion. Maureen? do me a favour

  49. RockyLives says:

    Next season will be very interesting.

    I don’t see it being more of the same (ie being competitive in all competitions but ultimately flattering to deceive and collapsing on the run-in).

    I think we’ll either step up and win the league, or step down and finish between fifth and eighth. I guess it all comes down to what AW does in the summer (by which I don’t just mean transfers – I mean reappraising the whole approach).

  50. Harry says:

    Evening all, Kelsey, the over 30’s policy has ultimately has been the difference, probably more so than even buying in new players…….

    Players who could have given us longer: Silva (2 maybe 3) Pires (3 or 4), Bergkamp (1 or 2 Bit part), Vieria (ON his return to PL 2) Campbell should have stayed fullstop….

    Players who went too early due to contract issues: Edu, Flamini…….I understand about Gallas, but I did feel as RL said he was a destabilizer…..

    Fergie has rebuilt his teams by utilising his experience around them…Neville, Scholes and Giggs…..

    Now obviously we dont know the full inside to contracts, wages and finance, but surely we could have kept one or two over the years, it really would have made a difference……

    To think in the last 4 seasons we have had the league within touching distance 3 out of 4 seasons…..maybe even 4, so frustrating………

  51. Gooner in Exile says:

    GM I was thinking the same about Maureen, he does a very good job with money to spend or with a group of talented players at his disposal, but has he had the clubs or his interests at heart achieving it?

    Rocky, at the start of this season as Gunner38 said Phil Thompson and many others said we wouldn’t get anywhere yet we were definite title contenders until March.

    Why are we all so frustrated? Because we actually see this team has the ability to do it. We just need them to do it, and I still think they can, and I still believe the young players on the horizon with the desire of Jack are coming through, if we step down a season or too and people write us off as a spent force will I falter in my support? Absolutely not as many others won’t either, through thick and thin through win and loss I’ll be there.

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Very quickly evening all,
    I honestly believe Arsene could do with a year off, and the only manager who I believe could steer the ship through these turbulent waters while he re-charges his batteries is, and I have given this much thought, Herbert Chapman. Come back Bertie, I say.

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    On a less serious note, whatever it was that Dein used to do, I do think he took a huge amount of pressure of Arsene, and I hope that Stan addresses this. I want Old Arsene back with his power play, invincibles and calmness.

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    sorry, pressure “off” Arsene.

  55. mickydidit89 says:

    Three and out. Very good night anyone.

  56. 26may1989 says:

    Tough one to write up Harry, but well done.

    I have few specific answers but it is clear to me that the current squad, despite the fact that it could have won the title this season, needs serious change over the summer. It is simply inconceivable that the same squad will be put out in August, they are now damaged goods.

    I don’t really care whether Wenger departs from his established practice of publicly defending his players to the last, but he needs to show the clinical attitude he has shown when shipping out players before (Petit, Adebayor, Toure). I think he will, I think we may see the likes of Arshavin, Diaby and Denilson shifted out and some significant signings made.

    He should also be hard-nosed about demanding financial backing – I know he’s well paid but he has sacrificed a lot in terms of his CV and his reputation by putting up with no money while keeping our standards high with no cash; he could easily and understandably have left us high and dry in 2004/2005, so that he could go and manage Real or Chelsea and bag loads of trophies. With a new majority owner and the finances of the club pretty much sorted, now is the time for him to use the resources available and demand full backing. The parsimonious approach has served us well (better than many Arsenal fans realise) but the players in the current squad have failed us, and I’m afraid the reaction should be pretty brutal.

    I just hope Wenger remembers how to spend large amounts of money to good effect – he used to be able to mix and match inspired signings from nowhere with top quality signings, but in the last 6 years the only top name he’s gone for and got has been Arshavin.

    I mentioned this anecdote after the League Cup Final defeat, but it seems appropriate to recycle it now: in the summer of 1988, shortly after we lost the League Cup Final 3-2 to Luton, I met Alan “Smudger” Smith when he came into the Covent Garden clothes shop I was working in. We chatted (he had no air about him at all, and was even asking me, the wide-eyed 18 year-old fan, questions), and he said the players were all incredibly guilty about having lost the Final and said they wanted to make it up to the fans the following season, by winning the title. Well, they certainly loved up to that one! Whatever happens this summer, let’s just hope there’s some of that spirit in the current crop of players.

  57. Harry says:

    NIce one 26M, yeah without doubt the bitterness of defeat only serves to sweeten the taste of victory…..So lets hope the players really want to make amends…..

    It was also a similar story with the FA cup, having thrown it away to liverpool, the players were determined to win it the following year against chelsea….

  58. Harry says:

    @Goonermichael 5.29pm: Thanks glad you enjoyed it, If we do end up on less points it can be said we have regressed and thats partly why I made that statement, but I also feel in many ways we have improved….

    Its all very surreal if we actually sit there and think deeply about it, Wenger against pretty much all odds has kept us in the top 4, whilst completely rebuilding from the bottom up and all whilst remaining financially viable, argumentively he might have been better off saying right, for next 5 years we will sit mid table, it will take time but we’ll get there….But that is not the man he is, he took the challenge on of keeping in there, the more I think about it the more I feel he deserves more from our fans…….

  59. Just back from cider country where I had the misfortune to drift into a bar moments before Cohen’s winner.

    I salute 2 gooners today – Harry for having the cajones to write a report where the temptation is to go into Mugabe media lockdown and GiE for his dedication to the cause(and to all the travelling gooners by association, as I wrote in my preview).

  60. Carlito11 says:

    Just back from a grey and wet Rome- whodathunkit eh? The slate-coloured sky matched my mood perfectly today but having read Harry’s excellent post and the extraordinary comments I feel soothed slightly and more balanced.
    I don’t have any answers except to say that I hold to my previous that having not brought home any silverware- Wenger must now be judged on what happens this summer. The place needs a massive shot in the arm to get us up for it again. One of the probs is that we often start brightly most seasons so even a good start to next season with new signings et al will not engender belief like we all had earlier in the season.
    I have always thought that the difference between us pushing on in the last few seasons was injuries- specifically RvP. I was sure that if he remained fit we would win the league this season. That we have failed in the run in with such a full squad is a real mystery to me and I cannot wait to read Wenger’s autobiography when he retires to find out the real reasons behind our lack of spirit. I hope that Wenger remains detached enough to see what is needed this summer…
    Despite all this, I’m reminded in the book I’ve nearly finished that SharkeySure lent me, that we have been through so much worse than our current malaise and will undoubtedly go through worse in the future again. Arsenal till I die!

    “There is neither happiness nor unhappiness in this world; there is only the comparison of one state with another. Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live…..the sum of all human wisdom will be contained in these two words: Wait and Hope.”
    — Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)

  61. SharkeySure says:

    Not long back from our travels to foreign climes (West Sussex !!), so it’ll be one post and out from me.

    Firstly – Harry, many thanks for a sterling write up in the worst of circumstances.

    First half it was very disappointing to see professional players ignore the golden rule of pass and then move. Our front 5 were especially guilty of this, and there was no ‘third man running’ way too often, therefore Bolton could just retain their shape due to our lack of movement.

    2nd half we were much better, and should have won, not comnfortably as we no longer seem to do comfortable, but won, nonetheless.

    Quick word on the ref. Yellow for Muamba’s first tackle, mark him as ‘poor’ for that. No yellow for Shitface’s tackle on Song, shocking. No 2nd yellow (or straight red?) for Muamba’s assault on ???, disgraceful. Not making excuses, yesterdays poor refereeing was merely a pimple on the backside of a season full of shocking decisions by referees and our own players alike.

    Lastly, I believe that we are only so close to all that we want to be vbecause we have Arsene Wenger, and personally find it a little churlish when people talk of handing his unfinished masterpiece over to someone else. Having said that, I’ve found myself questioning him much more than usual. Off the bat, my biggest bugbear of late, is his body language when things are going against us. He actually appears to stop managing the team other than when he’s making subs.

    Nite all

  62. Carlito11 says:

    btw the book wasn’t “The Count of Monte Cristo”!!1 It’s called “Rebels for the Cause” about the less than angelic characters in Arsenal’s past and it’s a cracking read 🙂

  63. SharkeySure says:


    Lets be clear, Arsene is clearly getting far more right than he is getting wrong. I know that doesn’t really need saying here on AA, but I thought I’d say it anyway !!

  64. Carlito11 says:

    Nite from me too- work tomorrow of course- is there to be no joy in the world? 😉

  65. SharkeySure says:

    Timing Carlito, poetic timing !!!

  66. Night guys – work for me tomorrow too (after my foreign excursion to deepest Somerset), much to my chagrin. 😦

  67. Jekyll says:

    What is most striking about so many of Wenger’s policies is how counter they run to the success of his early days. Over 30s policy: defence full of over 30s one of the best ever. No defensive drilling: See over 30s defence above. Small technical players possession football: Power playes breaking with pace.

    A mystery for me is why he went against the template that was so successful for him in this first half of his AFC career. This goes beyond any talk about ‘budget’. Perhaps it was because those first teams weren’t really ‘his’ teams. He has said as much about the ’98 team.

  68. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    You sound like some battered wife who, 4 the 6th time is begging her husband to stop beating her. Arsene Wenger is never going to change. We have been fed a heap of stalling tactics or bullshit for years now as to why the Club hasn’t won a Cup. This poop about not having any money 😆 Brum won the CC without having any money.

    Get it into your heads, Arsene Wenger is damaged goods, he is not the man to fix things. Its time for The Club to move away from Camp Youth Policy & bring in some grown ups to deal with the Cup void.

    And as for that boy king Cesc. He is not a captains arsehole. He lauds Barca coz he can’t control his emotions when his mateys from Catalonia come a knocking. He should be shipped out as well.

    There is no silverlining here with the current situation. Someone high up (like Stan) needs to give Arsene a tap on the shoulder & say “thanx but no thanx”.

    We love you Arsene mate but you are killing us. Go now while you still have some integrity.

    I don’t even watch Arsenal anymore, coz its the same old same old. Beautiful football my arse. Its a bloody nightmare 👿 & if you lot collectively can’t see it then you are living in La La Land.

  69. Gooner in Exile says:

    Jekyll I agree re the changes I’ve been thinking about it for some time. Some put it down to a desire to win CL.

    I can only think he struck a model that tore the existing PL to shreds, but everyone copied him, they adopted big strong and quick players too, I can only imagine he felt that he needed a new way to beat the teams he set the template for.

    As for your defence questions please font say he doesn’t know how to buy or shape a defence, Lauren, Campbell, Toure and Cole. That’s the Invincibles defence….all acquired or introduced by AW.

    Gnarley it’s so good for you that you can turn off like that. I can’t, the team and manager will have my full support while they’re in their jobs. The day I think I have the right to expect my team to win trophies is the day I might as well stop following football. I made my choice a long time ago, I’ll take what I get, I’ll always live them win lose draw or relegated. Unlike others I don’t need trophies to justify my support, I just need to see a red and white shirt and I’ll be smiling, I am the club the club is me…..Arsenal til I die.

  70. Gooner in Exile says:

    Just looked at ticket info page for Fulham away.

    £49!!!! £47 to watch with restricted view albeit a pillar but really £49 for a full price ticket. £35 at Bolton was a lot but £49 is outrageous.

    Just checked there website home fans pay between £30-£42 for Cat B games majority at £40, I’d say Arsenal tickets don’t seem overpriced in comparison.

  71. Harry says:

    @Carlito, Chary and Sharkey, many thanks……..It wasnt easy….
    @GnarleyGeorge9, lol, battered wife, ummmmmm…………
    @jekkyl: understand your view, but 03-04 was his team in its entirety…….
    @Carlito……Wait and Hope, the summer will be all telling, agree 100%, we need a big shot in the guns…
    @Sharkey, I topo have question him many times, but I do believe no other manager could have done what he has done, but its the feeling of almost been teased that frustrates…

    @GIE&Carlito: Arsenal till I die………….So true…

  72. Rasp says:

    Hi Harry,

    Thanks for the best Arsenal article on the net yesterday. Unfortunately I couldn’t get away from work to comment, but I have read through and I am bouyed by the mature way everyone has dealt with the disappointment.

  73. Morning all

    New Post

  74. GunnerPete says:

    I think this article says it all. We have to believe that Arsene took on the crap end of the stick to get the stadium built. The vast money raised selling our top players must have reduced our debt by 30% at least unless the money has gone elsewhere? Now after yet another humiliating season of failure ie; Failure to produce a squad that has enough quality to cover for our traditional major injuries. Failure to buy top quality when needed for 5 years. Failure to accept that certain favourite players bottle it in big and small games home and away. Failure to employ a defensive coach to iron out the fatal flaws that twice has lost us titles when defending leads were needed. Finally failure to bring in UK spirit and pride to fight for ‘our’ club when all about us (especially the press) are hoping for our team to fail. Failure to buy UK players for the same prices who are better than the foreigners purchased ie: Johnson (brum) Smalling (Manure) Johnson (City) Baines(Everton) Cahill, Jagielka, All better than AFC squad players.

    Now a miracle turnabout is needed but not expected ie; Arsene has to have a clear our first week after season end….Almunia, Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Eboue, Clichy, Squillaci, Vela, plus at least 6 loanies who everyone accepts will not even make our bench. This will take guts..has AW got it?

    Buys should include players know to be Gunners…Tarrabt…Richards…(Smalling if they can buy from us why not the other way around?) add Cahill and Jagielka and pay for them all by selling Cesc.

    The team for next year could look like this:


    Sagna..Cahill…Vermaelen.. Gibbs

    Djourou Wilshire Koscielny

    Walcott RVP

    Yes I know our present CB’s are listed as MDF but both are quick, both big, both skillful and both can attack. What would you rather have ? another 4 tip tappers who pass 20 times without a shot and a defence that CANNOT defend or a fast skillful team that no forward line would like to face. Another big advantage would be that IF we have major injuries we have a squad that can cover all areas.


  75. PR články says:

    PR články…

    […]Mr Wenger, Please do me a Favour……? « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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