The damp squib continued …………….

With no-one volunteering to write a match report following yesterday’s last game of the season at Craven Cottage it seems the disinterest in the final moments of our season have been cemented in silence. To finish fourth after being second for most of the season is hard to swallow.

The 2010/2011 season is over, we can file it away as another trophy less one and hopefully move on to the next with hope in our hearts. We do need some changes in our team in order to feel any kind of positivity and although the spin is 50/50 at the moment whether Arsene Wenger will spend money or not we have to hope that the shortcomings will be addressed sooner rather than later.

The question of Cesc staying or going needs to be solved early – if he goes there will be money to spend but if he stays how will that permeate through the team? Many of us said last summer that having him was stay was better than letting him go but we have felt all season that he may have not really had his heart in it. If he stays should he be captain? How will his team-mates feel about another summer of will he/won’t he? Could all be academic of course.

The management must be worried about how poorly the team have faired in the last ten games, dropping points as if it really didn’t matter. The worry that this team could not be motivated to succeed when it mattered must be sorted.

Hopefully some new blood will help to get the mojo back into our squad and we have many weeks to debate and get excited about who we would like those players to be. In addition there’ll be much drawing up of wish lists of who should be moved on.

The transfer window doesn’t open until the 1st July and we know that we’re at the back of the queue as far as spending serious amounts of money goes and that’s why I feel it would be good to know about Cesc early on, if we can get Β£35-40m for him that’s money to spend.

It would be nice to think that Arsene will treat himself to a holiday but we know from the worry lines on his face that probably even that might not help.

Hopefully we’ll have some good news to cheer us up quite soon but until then feel free to be as positive or negative as the mood takes you.

See you in the comments



228 Responses to The damp squib continued …………….

  1. Morning all

    Sorry, I must be better organised and make sure there is a post before I make my coffee.

  2. kelsey says:

    Well done peaches.

    There will be so much negativity around blog world but we should remain restrained and hope that things pan out for the better .I think the transfer window opens on June 1st.

  3. If you’re sure kelsey, I’ll change it

  4. Rasp says:

    Thanks peaches for a perceptive introduction to our summer of potential discontent. The emotion I don’t want to experience again is deja vu (pun intended)

  5. Rasp says:

    No, I think it is July officially

  6. kelsey says:

    No i am not sure but Red Arse will know for sure.I thought he mentioned it last week or was it june 30th.I have June in my head not July.

  7. Actually, looking around the web it’s possible that the transfer window opens this Wednesday 25th May for domestic transfers and the 9th June for International ones.

  8. Red Arse says:

    Well done Peaches, a good Post in the circumstances.

    I have never been bothered to look back and nit pick, back bite or recriminate.

    That achieves nothing except to luxuriate in self indulgent 20/20 hindsight along with a large dollop of bitterness and regret. Pointless!

    Learn lessons? Certainly!

    No doubt many will soon be regaling us with suggestions for improving the team, and crucifying Arsene and Cesc.

    Can’t wait for the first part, do not have any interest in the second! πŸ™‚

  9. Morning RA – do you know when the transfer window opens?

  10. Red Arse says:

    As I understand it, The transfer window in England (Britain) is now open.

    In much of the rest of Europe, Germany, France, Italy it opens on the 1st July and closes on the 31st August 2011.

    Footballers contracts normally commence on the 1st June for standardisation, and to allow Bosman transfers.

    Does anyone know differently? πŸ™‚

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    I am afraid I am going to break ranks somewhat.
    I don’t think comments I made here a short while ago regarding Cesc went down too well. It was after he made public his feelings on one or two issues. My comment stated that he should never Captain Arsenal again. At that point in time, I had also decided that it was time for Arsene to move aside. I feel that there are too many areas in which he has failed to address fundamental problems, and it has nothing to do with transfer budgets. Arsenal have always maintained very high standards in terms of dignity and conduct both on and off the pitch, and I feel that not only has Arsene fallen short, but that this has permeated its way downwards into the dressing room. Tactically, I also feel that he has slipped below his own extraordinarily high standards.
    As I said, these feelings were a while ago, since when we have a new owner, and it is for this reason alone I am dithering. Perhaps what Arsene needs is a kick up the pants, firm guidance and a clean slate. I really hope that SK makes a significant impact, otherwise I think we could be in serious trouble. For me there is a lack of conviction, belief, direction and commitment and I always lay blame at the top first.
    My tin hat is firmly in place.

  12. Thanks for doing a ”knocked up in 20 minutes” post Peachy – you can join that exclusive list of authors now!
    Very restrained and reasonable views Peachy, yet I feel I’m going to be a bit unpopular by saying my patience with Wenger has almost been exhausted.

    There are so many reasons why I think AFC would be better off without him, but suffice to say it doesn’t matter whether Wenger changes his approach this summer or not, the BoD will decide if he goes or not and as a humbler blogger there’s not much point in getting worked up about it either way.

  13. angelicbeardy says:

    I hope Wenger seriously addresses the defence this summer, there is no way we go into anouther season with a defence which leaks silly goals, no team can win anything without a solid base to build upon. Personally i would sell Clinchy and get a more solid leftback who can actually defend and a tall cb with premier league experience under their belt, no more French tat who are not suited to the PL style of game. We also need a Flamini type midfielder who busts a gut chasing down the ball. If Wenger neglects the defense again this summer and next year we win nothing because of our defensive frailties again then he should just step down immediately.

  14. Dominic says:

    It’s not just a question of getting in new players, it’s how you use them.
    In the last few matches we have tried to revive the famous Arsenal off-side trap (as featured in the Full Monty), and it hasn’t worked. The players are not used to it and either don’t move out in time or don’t move out in line. As a result we’ve conceded unnecessary goals.
    Another problem is the way we do these little flicks in midfield without looking to see where our players are. Quite often the ball is played to the opposition who immediately bear down on an disorganised defence.
    These mistakes are not down to the quality of the players but rather to the quality of work done on the training ground.

  15. Red Arse says:

    Hi Micky, πŸ™‚

    I will skip the Cesc comment, but I am interested in your views regarding Arsene.

    All the points you mention might well resonate with some/many (?) of the disaffected fans this year, and there is no point in trying to gainsay them.

    What is self evident is that AW is showing clear signs of stress and anxiety, and I hope this will not adversely affect his health. If there was a suggestion that this could make him ill, then I hope he would stand down; for his benefit not that of his detractors.

    When, and if, he leaves any new manager would have his work cut out. I know we will get into the realms of speculation as to how this circumstance would affect the club, but for myself I foresee a bad period of adjusting to being ‘another runner’ with the rest of the middling clubs.

    OK, now I am reaching for my tin hat too! πŸ™‚

  16. micky and chary – I’m with you on feeling really disappointed that standards have dropped and that some of the ethos of Arsenal as we have grown to know it under AW has been chipped away.

    Is it a chicken and egg situation?

    Have poor performances by some players caused AW to dig his heels in and stick with them because his decisions have been questioned?


    Is it poor decision making by AW to play players out of position that has caused an overall malaise in the squad?


  17. Rasp says:

    No need for a tin hat micky, we are all wavering between the in/out as far as AW is concerned. The best I can muster is a 2 month window to show he can make changes.

    I see that even A Cultured Left Foot, one of the most staunchly pro Arsene sites has been openly critical lately.

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    I did comment on here very recently that I do have real concerns for his well being. I like the man very much, and as I said here, were I his brother/son/father I would definately be urging him to think carefully.
    I care for the health and happiness of everyone associated with the club.

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Back shortly.

  20. clockendjim says:

    If we sell all the dead wood ie Diaby, Almunia, Denilson, Bendtner, Rosicky, Eboue and possibly Arshavin & Song, this should provide almost enough funds to buy what we so deperately need.
    If we end up also saying goodbye to Fabregas, Clichy and Nasri then Wenger would have an enormous transfer kitty. This would be without using any of the profits for this season ie no cost at all. For crying out loud, as the fans chanted yesterday ‘spend some f*****g money’
    That is for :-
    1) An experienced goalkeeper. Wasn’t it ironic that Schwarzer made some magnificent saves yesterday to prevent an Arsenal victory.
    2) A commanding centre-half (maybe two Samba & Cahill please)
    3) A defensive midfielder. Scott Parker would be my choice, although if we bought two quality centre-halves, I think Vermaelen would make a superb DMF. After seeing Vermaelen outjumped by Zamora for Fulham’s second goal, I am not completely convinced by him in defence
    4) We still need that fox-in-the-box to finish off all the great approach work. I’m not suggesting re-signing Francis Jeffers though.
    I wish I knew Wenger’s intentions before renewing my Silver membership. I really dont think I can suffer the trip up from Portsmuth any more to see the likes of the Stoke, Sunderland, Aston Villa games etc.

  21. gunngunn says:

    Good morning.

    I am truely heart broken by my Arsenal, i could not even bear to watch the last two games (even the highlights). I love Arsenal and i hope the players step it up this coming season. In all honesty , it’s unhealthy to have someone in your squad who wants to leave. When someone says they’re leaving but they don’t say “when”, you become hesitant, distracted, it throws you off your game.

    No one gave us a prayer this season, according to our critics (who know so much about Arsenal) we were doomed from the start. Until our team is full of players who have dreamt of representing Arsenal from the womb, we will find it difficult to dominate europe.

  22. Peachy, I’m also quite disgusted with Cesc prancing off home to Barca before the season had even finished – and posting pics of himself at the Grand Prix on his Twitter account.

    Contrast that with Steven Gerrard – sitting amongst the away fans to watch β€œHis” team get beaten by Villa.

    Can anyone imagine any of our prima donna, cossetted/pampered mentally weak underachievers doing that?

    Ok, he’s a D-J bashing, penalty-area-diving β€˜dipper, but LFC can be proud of their captain, can we be of ours ?

    Who has let disrespect of our club, the club Cesc is Captain of FFS, become acceptable ?

    I refer you to my previous comment.

  23. Red Arse says:

    Hi CharyB, πŸ™‚

    I don’t agree with your views on Arsene, but I do agree with your sensible point that whatever we think about the situation, the real arbiters as to what will happen regarding the manager, will be the BoD. (Silent Stan).

    To that extent, you are also correct in suggesting there is no point getting worked up about whether he should or should not be removed from his job. Although, I suspect that might be wishful thinking. πŸ™‚

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    On a brighter note, I want to thank BigRaddy (I know he is away) for his excellent Pre-Matchers. Something I look forward to each week with great relish.
    Thanks Raddy.

  25. Morning RedA – it’s true, theoretically it’s much better to stay detached and unemotional about something you have no control over, i.e. if Wenger goes or not, but supporting a club is an irrational and emotive thing.

    Looking at Wenger’s haggard countenance and demoralised demeanour since March I think for the sake of his health, and ARC’s health, he should retire now as legacy will be tarnished further and all the good work he has done in the past will be forgotten and he’ll only be remembered for the seasons where we regressed despite him saying β€œWe are only 2% off being the best.”

    The man is 61 and he’s given so much of his life to football and AFC – he deserves a rest/retirement and new blood has to come in as I don’t see many guys in their 60’s change their ways of thinking, and change is desperately needed at AFC.

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Peaches

    Thanks for today’s post. Today is good for venting frustration and your balanced, gentle post accomodates this very well, as can be seen from the reactions until now.

    I have emailed you/Rasp a draft post for tomorrow or any other day you see fit.

  27. Hear, hear MDi89 – a big thanks to Radders in absentia for all his match previews during the season from me.

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Please, please, please will someone open a catering van near the ground selling shellfish and halves of something dark brown. Thank you.

  29. mickydidit89 says:

    Thursday is May 26. Just saying.

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, 1966,

    Great mini-debate about monsieur Wenger’s health and what he should do next. I just watched Wenger’s post-match interview on BBC, and he looked quite healthy to me. Of course, we only see the outside.

    What I do not get from him, after being in the UK for so long, is his apparent inability/unwillingness to be humble at times like this. He always seems to want to defend himself and the team. Why not say wholeheartedly: ‘yes, we are as disappointed as the fans at the way we let it all slip over the last few months: it is simply not good enough, and I am going to make sure we will change so we will do better next season. Apologies to the fans for letting you down, please bear with me, we will do better next season’?

  31. Morning TA – thank you for sending through a post. I have to admit to not feeling very gentle while I was writing it this morning – last night I wrote a really hard hitting negative post but I’m saving that one up πŸ˜›

  32. goonermichael says:

    Thanks for the post Peaches. Most people know I wanted Cesc to go last summer so I’m really not bothered about him going. I would have let Arsena go last summer too as I thought as things stood we wouldn’t win another trophy while he’s in charge. Since then I’ve changed my mind and think he may have decided to go back to his winning ways. I don’t think he’s become a bad manager but been trying to win without spending money (for whatever reason). So I’d give him until Christmas. If it hasn’t changed I’d sack him. On a different point. If you look at the sidebar showing the running points total. The last 6 hame have yielded less points with 3 losses 2 draws and 1 win. That is not good enough and we have definitely become end of season chokers. Last season was bad this season is depressing and I’m glad it’s over.

  33. micky – shellfish and half a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk?

  34. angelicbeardy says:

    Why doen’t Wenger resign with dignity, of course he won’t because he is earning 6mill a year without pressure from the board for success. Without pressure from above i doubt there will be any change what a lovely job where can i get a job like Wengers.
    Ancelotti was sacked one season after winning the double at Chelsea citing underperforming this season, if Wenger was at Chelsea they would have kicked his ass out of the club pretty quickly as well.

  35. Footy Fan says:

    Arsenal- The 1st team to finish 4th in a two horse race. How sick do you feel?
    We will win the quadruple, blah blah.

  36. You’re welcome gm.

    I pulled some figures last night on the last ten games of the past seven seasons – since the Invincibles. This season in infinitely worse as far as dropping points go in the final games – I’ll see if I can get them into a comment that makes sense.

  37. Footy Fan says:

    Lets see if Arse can qualify for the CL.
    Remember, you have a Emirates cup to win.

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Salvador Dali served guests Lobster in Chocolate Sauce. Something only he would do. Oh he and RA.

  39. Hi TotalA – I’ve seen Wenger look quite haunted quite frequently this season, and on match days when I look over to the dug out he has the look of a broken man who seems frozen by his own impotence to get his talented but underachieving players to improve.

    The thing about Wenger is he really does give his detractors plenty of ammo to dshoot him down with. I wish he would just dsay something along the lines of what you suggested β€œYes we are disppaointed and should have done better” than try and fob us off with β€œwe are a young team” or β€œOur schedule was bad” or β€œWe had injuries to key personnel”

    BTW – I looked at that Anvil link you put up the other day – I wondered whatever happened to them. At one point in the 80’s I believe they were about to be bigger than Metallica, and then they just disappeared.

    FootyFan, LOL, I”m sure we have an Ajax tournament trophy we have one in 4 chance of getting also.

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    I don’t know about these things, but I would imagine in a table of who spends how much, then fourth is probably highly respectable. The question is what do we do in order to move forwards and not backwards. I am certainly not blubbing about finishing fourth. Its the cracks that worry me.

  41. Season…….Form…….Points gained…Finished…Tot pts

    10/11…….W2 L3 D5……..9……………….4th……..68

    09/10…….W5 L3 D2…….18………………3rd……..75

    08/09…….W7 L1 D2…….22………………4th……..72

    07/08…….W5 L2 D3…….17………………3rd……..83

    06/07…….W3 L3 D4…….12……………….4th……..68

    05/06…….W7 L1 D1…….22………………4th……..67

    04/05…….W8 L1 D1…….25………………2nd……..83

  42. Footy Fan says:

    Arse are terrible, even spurs are better than you

  43. Lobster – firm favourite

    Chocolate sauce – have to admit to liking with most things

    …… but the two together, not sure …..

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Footy Fan,
    Yip, the stats sure support that theory. Brilliant.

  45. goonermichael says:

    Footy fan (sorry to take the baitpeaches)fuck off and play somewhere else.

  46. goonermichael says:

    I’ve eaten lobster raw while the head is still moving. A bit worrying really.

  47. mickydidit89 says:

    Off to plan my seafood shack, or Micky’s Bistro ’89 as it shall be known. Bye.

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh wait, Micky’s Shell Suits ’89. Yes.

  49. Footy Fan says:

    Lmao, “Arsenal, Greatest team in the world”.

    Maybe not. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Try and qualify for the Cl, if not, i will be back!!

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    1966, that’s what the film is all about: what actually happened to them back then and since then. I relived my rock years through it, and if you are the nostalgic type like me – and reading your posts and contributions, I think you might well be – you should really enjoy this film.

    I loved your Arshavin post btw. You described your combined admiration and simultaneous despair, when he is not performing, for the little Russian really well: it was a joy to read.

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    Peaches, I can see from your regular comments your natural disposition is not gentleness (despite your wonderfully gentle blogname!), and can well imagine that your next post will be a lot darker than today’s. Well done nevertheless.

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Footy Fan, hope you do realise with a name like that you have no personality or identity, and as you are nothing, anything you say is worthless: 1bn x 0 = still 0.

  53. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks for the post peaches – and I look forward to seeing your hard hitting one in due course!

    I believe (but could be wrong) that the earliest the international transfer window can open is 8 or 9 June – FIFA Regs mean it must close by 31 August and may not be open for any longer than 12 weeks. The Permier League Regs say that the domestic transfer window opens the day after the end of the season – i.e., today.

    Sorry to say it (again) but it’s now make or break time for Wenger. That’s not entirely fair, because the criticisms of everything that came before this season are based on fundamental misconceptions and ignorance, and up to the end of February this season things looked rosy; not perfect, but we were very well placed for this group of players to make a break through.

    And then, as peaches put it, “this team could not be motivated to succeed when it mattered”. The final eleven games were nothing short of relegation form, and having done much of the hard work, the players showed a very weak collective character.

    Chary’s right that the Board will make the decisions, but in the court of Arsenal public opinion, the future of the Wenger regime hangs in the balance. He needs to get the summer off to a very good start, both in selling and buying.

  54. kelsey says:

    I am going to stick by my guns that AW has lost part of the dressing room, and one could read that in a number of ways.
    This team beat United,chelsea and Barca at Home and lost to newcastle,WBA and Villa and one other team whose name escapes me for the moment.

    Work that out !!!!!!

    Then you have RVP in the form of his life having broken the record of the most league goals since the turn of the calender year.

    A complete conundrum.

  55. I’ll check out the full film when I can TotalA – it looks like a heady dose of nostalgia is what I need right at the moment.

    Glad you liked the Arshavin post, I’m always happiest writing about something that genuinely excites me and if I can empathise with the subject matter, so much the better.

  56. WiganGooner says:

    Great job Peaches, nice commenting guys, really coming up with some good threads.

    Arsene has had to fight the dressing room all season with the likes of Denilson, Bendtner sulking because they were not getting enough minutes.

    Bendtner has been awful this season and for him to whinge about not getting enough game time is laughable. He needed to put his work on the pitch, not in working his gob off.

    Denilson has also been so far below par that Arsene would pick anyone over him after that woeful xmas period.

    I feel sorry for Arsene, the players he put his faith in couldn’t be professional enough when called upon.

    This has been a season where our squad has let us down, not necessarily our first teamers like; Vermaelen (who hasn’t played), Cesc (22 games?) and RvP but more like Squillaci, Eboue, Denilson, Diaby, Bendtner just haven’t performed when put in to cover for injury.

    There just seems to be a lack of professionalism in their performances. No pride, no heart, just BS performances.


  57. 26may1989 says:

    Spot on, WG. There’s plenty of blame to go around but to my mind you’ve hit the main nail on the head.

  58. HCAA says:

    If Wenger was still having the same sort of impact at Arsenal after 15 years that Ferguson was having at Man Utd after 25 years, then you could make a legitimate case for him staying. Chelsea are looking for a new manager, but Abramovic isn’t looking at Wenger. And allowing Fabregas to go to the Spanish GP instead of attending our last crucial league game is endemic of the complete lack of discipline and focus currently sweeping through our club. Ferguson would have made him attend the season finale in club blazer and tie, and made sure he thanked the fans. Arsenal are in a mess, and next season we face the prospect of finishing outside the top 4, maybe even the top 5. I think Wenger is scared to spend big money because more times than not, he has got it totally wrong. Jeffers, Reyes, Richard Wright, Arshavin, Walcott etc. Time will tell for Vermaelen (great goal-line clearance, but was beaten by Zamora for 2nd goal), and Koscielny, who have only played a season each, but the defence sums up the whole under-achieving ethos that the outside world is laughing at. We played a side yesterday who Liverpool went to just over a week ago and won 5-2. We struggled to a 2-2 draw against 10-men. Wenger is the poison that is infecting our club, and I don’t even think he’s conscious of it.

  59. Did anyone else get scared when they saw Denilson on the bench yesterday and thought we may have to witness him getting outpaced by the Michael Jackson statue ?

  60. goonermichael says:

    Poison is a bit strong. Would rednose do that on an away game? I thiink he’s already gone. I wouldn’t have kept him last year anyway.

  61. WiganGooner says:

    @ HCAA

    “Wenger is the poison thats infecting our club”

    Are you pulling my plonker? The very reason we are so upset by only finishing 4th is because of the standards set by Arsene Wenger. The consistency that we have achieved in our seasons.

    Arsene isn’t the poison, bad personalities are.

    I think we will see a different squad mentality next year. I think Arsene will ask more of his players and if they don’t perform he will put someone else in.

    Arshavin wasn’t a bad transfer, he’s a good player and would be an asset to any team. Walcott equalised for us yesterday and looked lively from the second he hit the turf.

    Vermaelen yesterday played his second game back, he made an astonishing clearance on the goal line to stop a goal and the goal by Zamora was Djourou’s fault as he let him go.

    Your analysis is way off buddy, or at least, its not the same as mine so you’re wrong πŸ˜›


  62. TotalArsenal says:

    HCAA, you are correct: big money spendings do very often not work, and not only at Arsenal. Your current ‘Manager Supreme’ SAF got it wrong many, many times (Veron, Hargreaves, Berbatov, a few goalkeepers etc). Why do you even care whether Abramovic would look at Wenger to replace Ancelotti? What is the value of that? Do you really believe that Wenger would find it difficult to find another topclub if he decided to leave?

    I think you are also too harsh on both Reyes and Walcott, but yes Wenger did get it wrong a few times.

  63. HCAA says:


    Agree that players have let the club down regarding unprofessional performances. But Wenger has brought these players to the club, they are his personal choice. He works all week with them on the training pitch. The club’s whole mental philosophy is fostered by the manager. Compare our club’s overall attitude against that of Man Utd. And the cliches are true: Speculate to accumulate; if you think big you’ll be big. Wenger moved us to the Emirates to compete with the elite of Europe, and at this moment in time we are further away than we’ve ever been.

  64. WiganGooner says:


    You can’t say we are further away than we have ever been after the way we performed against Barca. Thats just mad.


  65. 26may1989 says:


    A lot of interesting points in all that. I really don’t see Wenger in the same terms as you do, but I do think his philosophy of protecting players at all costs is looking increasingly difficult to justify.

    The Fabregas example shows the problem. Wenger, I think it’s safe to say, only really thinks about the players; the fans just aren’t relevant to him. Which we didn’t mind when everything was going well, we just looked on him as a quirky genius who delivered magnificent football and more success than we’d ever had before.

    But when it comes to tough times (and however you look at it, these are the toughest times we’ve had since Wenger became our manager), indulging and accommodating players doesn’t look so clever. These players just don’t connect with the fans the way they should (one or two, like Szczesny, Wilshere and Eboue aside). As you say, having failed us (and Wenger) so badly, a bit of traditional conduct was in order, turning up to the final game, making statements (other than just on Twitter) acknowledging the failings. None of this costs anything, so why don’t they do it? Because they don’t see it as important, I suggest.

    His statement of thanks for the “amazing loyalty” of the fans was a pretty patronising effort that came across as having been drafted by an AFC PR bod. It also ignored that a big chunk of the fans is no longer loyal to Wenger.

  66. Geoff Strong says:


    “Speculate to accumulate”, Wengers’ speculation built us one of the best, if not the best, training facility in Europe. It was Wengers vision that gave us the Emirates, without that we would not have enough revenue to buy anybody.

    “further away than we have ever been”, when did you become an Arsenal fan ?

  67. (3^4+1)/4 + 11/2 I agree with that and some can also say his thanking of the away support is a sly dig at the home fans for being less than supportive lately.

    So no one liked my Denilson gag ?

    Shall I get my coat ?

  68. HCAA says:

    Hi TA,

    I am merely making a comparison between SAF and AW. He hasn’t spent a fortune on GK’s, and unlike our manager, eventually got it right. Agree on Veron. Hargreaves has been unlucky with injury, which is not the same as under-performing, and Berbatov is PL top-scorer. What exactly did Reyes do for us that we remember as being great? We paid Β£9m for Walcott when he was 17, five years ago. I can’t ever remember him stringing together two consecutive good performances during that time. The point about Abramovic is that during his 7 years at Chelsea he’s just sacked his 6th manager, and if Wenger is as good as some people perceive him to be, surely Abramovic would have appointed him and given him an open cheque-book to win the CL. I don’t think Wenger would be capable of managing a top-tier club. He’s not doing a great job here, and we’re a big club.

  69. 26may1989 says:


    I disagree that “The very reason we are so upset by only finishing 4th is because of the standards set by Arsene Wenger”: for me, the most upsetting thing has been watching the players throw a decent title chance (and at the very least, a top two place) down the swanny by virtue of a series of gutless, pathetic performances against sides they were perfectly capable of getting results from.

    You’re right that we’ve all got used to dining at the top table in a way that wasn’t true before Le Prof, and I am constantly badgering the jonny come latelys to understand what real mediocrity is about. But that doesn’t mean we should accept the players saying “Ooh no, we lost the League Cup Final to those nasty Brummies, boo hoo, we can’t face it anymore.” I can accept defeat and failure (there’s been plenty of it down the decades), but not that supine collapse.

    That’s not all Wenger’s fault, the players themselves have to take the biggest share of blame in my opinion. But uncomfortable as it is, how can we escape the conclusion that the collapse of form in the last quarter of the season calls into question our manager’s abilities? I hope he turns it around, I really do, because I think Wenger is the most intelligent, insightful and visionary operator in world football, and I feel privileged that he’s been manager of my side all these years. But he has now been put under enormous pressure, and it is clear that any failure to deliver radical change in the coming weeks risks an outright revolt amongst Arsenal fans.

  70. 26may1989 says:

    Chary: Get your coat? I thought you’d got it, put it on, and were now sloping off down to get a train from Accountant Central!

  71. HCAA says:

    Geoff Strong,

    One of the best if not the best training facilities in Europe. What exactly is it it producing? A Jack Wilshere every five years? Is it winning anything substantial, apart from your approval? So the Emirates is providing revenue to buy anybody, is it? Who exactly have we bought recently to take us to the next level?

  72. WiganGooner says:


    Really that just goes back to what I was saying. There is a lack of professionalism in the squad. They don’t know how to go out and get the job done.

    That’s a squad thing, its a mentality thing. All of which is something that cannot be trained. You can’t teach someone to want the ball more than someone else. You can guide, cajole and beg, but you can’t do more than tell players to try harder. You can’t make a winner.

    Arsene is not afraid to rip up the Arsenal way and start again and I wouldn’t be surprised if we did see a change in personality in the squad.

    What we have to do as fans is believe, he gave us hope this season with some of our performances and in others the players ripped it away. But its not all doom and gloom. Arsenal have the personnel to win the league, we just need a different mindset on the pitch and that needs to be bought.


  73. Evonne says:

    Chary – according to some Liverpool fans both Stevie and Jamie are injured each season around Christmas. Nobody is perfect

  74. Red Arse says:

    Hi 26, WG, πŸ™‚

    It seems to me that on reading your respective comments, you are not a million miles apart in your views.

    Different terminology, but at core …….!

  75. Evonne says:

    Our first signing Ricardo Alvarez: Prisoner 43A515. Convicted March 3, 1943 – Armed robbery. Sentence: 20 years. Convicted again June 6, 1961 – Murder in the first degree. Sentence: Life imprisonment in solitary confinement.

  76. We are on Accountants Anonymous here after all 26. πŸ™‚

  77. WiganGooner says:

    @HCAA – May 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    How many George Best’s have there been? How many Messi’s are there in the world right now? Is there really only one Stevie Gerrard?

    Of course there is only one. Top, Top players aren’t on every street corner waiting to be signed. If you get one top player every few years then your academy is doing well. The players who don’t make it get sold on or moved on free transfers and make room for the next batch.

    It’s a production line aiming for excellence from a massive pool of potential. Your point is foolish when you consider the players that the Arsenal academy has trained and then moved onto other clubs and those that we have retained.

    Just a few for your to consider; Seb Larrsson, Steve Sidwell, Jermaine Pennant, Matthew Upson – all players (up to this weekend) that are/were competing at the top level of English football. Arsenal’s academy is a success.


  78. True Evonne, they have their faults but honestly, how many of our present squad could you see standing with the away fans and willing the lads onto victory ? Jack yes and maybe Robin, but all the others ? They’\d rather be in their mock tudor mansions avoiding all contact wit the riff-raff such as the everyday fans.

  79. HCAA says:


    I don’t rate any of those four players. If our academy is/was as successful as you’re determined to prove, we wouldn’t be in danger of slipping out of the top4/5 next season.

  80. WiganGooner says:


    My point is that we have trained players who have performed at the top level and you cannot deny that the players have indeed performed in the Premier League.

    Perhaps you should consider the debut of young Kyle Bartley, he’s looking like an awesome prospect. Will that renew your faith? How about Kieron Gibbs?.


  81. HCAA says:

    Kyle Bartley a definite maybe, Gibbs, very unsure whether he can step up.

  82. 26may1989 says:


    To an extent, it’s a question of individual responsibility, which is why I will always criticise the players most for those last eleven games – regardless of what Wenger did or didn’t do, the players on the pitch could and should have done better than they did.

    But I really don’t agree that mentality can’t be improved through training. Management in any area of life is as much about psychology as anything else, and it therefore falls to the coaching staff to set the tone. When we look at United, we know what we see: a decent but ultimately limited group of players, but who we knew would knuckle down when the circumstances demanded. And boy did they.

    That’s no accident. They just know how to deal with the pressure of both expectation and disappointment. How did they react to us beating them? Went out and beat the Chavs. And did they lose it in March, when they lost to Chelsea and Pool in back to back matches? No, they just won the boring matches, several by one goal, until they lifted the title. How did they achieve that level of determination? I don’t know, but the end result is clear for all to see: year after year, they just grind it out, even after they lose players of the quality of Ronaldo without there being a replacement.

    I don’t want us to become carbon copies, as if we could, but I absolutely want to see some of that quality in our side. And that attitude of determination comes from both the coaching regime and from the individual characters of the players. Perhaps in all this trust and support given to the players, something’s been forgotten about a more basic way to get the best out of people.

  83. Red Arse says:

    Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of the club management, Arsene and the players, who do I have sympathy and indeed empathy with?

    I will tell you. πŸ™‚

    Someone, earlier today, said that making the trip up from Portsmouth every game to watch Arsenal play some dire football was becoming hard to bear, and clearly hard to justify the cost. [I feel sorry for him].

    Loyal fans going to games at every chance they get, (and there are many on here) paying ever rising ticket and train fare costs, and having their hopes dashed, time and again, by slip shod displays against mediocre opposition, but who still try to keep the faith in Wengerball. [I feel sorry for them].

    Many thousands of ardent fans, stuck at home watching the TV, and willing their team on, week after week, despite suffering the crass comments of biased Sky commentators, or seeing, in slow motion replays, the appalling inadequacies, of decision making, of certain referees, the gutless and stupidly inept performances of some players, while helplessly staring at the screen in horror. [I feel sorry for them].

    So, please, all of you, remember when I try to be even handed and balanced in my comments, which may not sit well with some, or all of you, I do it with a sense of humility for what you have all gone thru’ and the personal upsets recent events have caused you, and that I do not disrespect your opinions, even when I purport to disagree with them!! πŸ™‚

    It’s tough being a Gooner at the mo’, but it could be a hell of a lot worse. Just ask the West Ham, Birmingham and Blackpool, and Spurs fans!

  84. 26may1989 says:


    Despite having agreed with you on other points, I think you’re way off the mark on your critique of products of youth teams. The programme of producing players from the boys’ age teams and by recruiting from elsewhere in the 15-17 age range has been very successful.

    From the current first team squad the following have come through completely or partially via the youth and reserve teams: Wilshere, Szczesny, Walcott, Clichy, Djourou, Gibbs, Denilson, Song, Frimpong, Ramsey, Vela and Bendtner.

    Of the current reserves and youths, there are the following talents: Emmanuel-Thomas, Henderson, Lansbury, Miquel, Bartley, Freeman, Ebecilio, Eastmond, Wellington, Coquelin, Watt, Afobe and Miyaichi.

    And historically, there are the likes of Ashley Cole and Anelka to add to those listed before.

    There are significant problems with Arsenal right now, but the production of top quality players is certainly not one of them. In fact, arguably its level of success is one of our problems, since Wenger constantly feels he needs to give these great young talents a chance, and therefore prevents himself going out and spending once in a while.

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    Red Arsenic, you are on fire again. Thank you for your continuous compassion.

  86. Red Arse says:

    Not sure I agree with your 3;06, 26. Sorry. πŸ™‚

    I have an irrational dislike of Sir Fungus and his team, but to say that they are ‘an ultimately limited group of players’ is to only tell half the story.

    Who often pulls Manure out of the fire when they need a goal? That irascible, foul mouthed, firebrand Rooneyoh, or that effervescent bundle of goalscoring energy, Chick Pea!

    Who do we have in their positions? Chamakh, Bendy? Don’t think so. (they play a different format, so let’s not get bogged down in the ‘they are different types of players’ argument. The principle is still there).

    Who saves Utd when they are being over run at some stages of the game? Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Van the Sarny. Who is our equivalent? Squillaci? Kosser? Almunia/Fabianski? Clichy/Gibbs.

    The truth is that they do have players who, when the need is there, pull out something special. The common denominator is that they are all, with the exception of Chick Pea, are temperamentally volatile, angry, cocky, take no prisoners types. Do we have anyone like that? Don’t think so! 😦

  87. WiganGooner says:

    Agreed RA,

    Change of personality needed. Winners, snarly, angry players who aren’t afraid of putting their mates’s noses out of joint by demanding more, demanding that they put more in.

    Someone who’s been there and done it all so that our own players feel they cant answer back with their excuses.


  88. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HCAA,

    Reyes fitted very well into Arsenal, and was a very promising prospect. Unfortunately, he showed mental frailties/ became homesick, which is hard to predict. Theo is a slow developer, but will get there in the end, especially if we are willing to adjust our way of playing to accommodate his key strengths. He has not done that badly this season, if you look into it, so yes, I think you are being harsh on him.

    Wenger could go to Madrid, Bayern, any of the Italian clubs tomorrow. If Guardiola would leave Barca, Arsene would be on top of their list. No doubt about it. Am I right in saying that you think that Abramovic has done a good thing by sacking so many managers in the last few years, and Ancelotti now? I think it is a total disgrace and it has only reinforced my hatred for clubs who are managed by ego-centric sugar daddies.

  89. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, πŸ™‚

    I have not been feeling quite the ticket lately. 😦

    However, I have been indulging in a genteel English ritual of dunking my Rich Tea biscuits in my Earl grey tea while taking in the aphorisms of my esteemed AA colleagues, and keeping a wary eye on (2*13). πŸ™‚

  90. 26may1989 says:

    Hi RA

    I stick by my description of United: they have a very good CB pairing (though one that started to look interestingly disjointed in the last few games), a very good LB (Evra’s best season for quite a while this year) and three excellent attackers: Shrek of course, plus surprise package, that Garden Pea chap, and the much maligned but really pretty good Berbatov.

    But it’s the midfield I look at for a quality side. And after Nani, a dickhead but a pretty good one, what is there? Twitter’s best mate, Mr Giggs? Fletcher? Park? Not great quality. Plenty of guts, yes, hence my observations, but a very limited collection of talents. Were Eric Cantona still there, he’d be talking about being surrounded by a gaggle of water carriers.

    The real story of this season is that somehow Chelsea and Arsenal have conspired to hand the title to United, who both managed to win by nine points (greatest winning margin for donkeys) and managed to win accumulating only 80 points (lowest winning total for donkeys). Much too easy for them.

  91. HCAA says:


    of the first group of players you list, Szczesny has great potential, but isn’t quite ready (IMO), and we’re far too reliant on Wilshere (is there any other top club so over-reliant on a 19yr old kid?). Can we really count players bought in from other clubs as ‘our’ youth development? Ramsey cost Β£5m. Walcott cost Β£9m and after 5 years we’re still waiting for him to have 2 consecutive good games. Even 1 in 2 would do! As for the rest of your 1st list, don’t rate them as good enough to play in a top side. We couldn’t keep hold of (C)Ashley Cole, and we bought Anelka for Β£500k. As for your second list, they are only potential ‘maybe’s’ at this time, and whilst some have performed elsewhere, we need proof that they’ll be able to do it in an Arsenal shirt, and that could be a while off.

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    Red Arsenic, you are guilty of over-praising the MU lot. If they were that great, why can they do it only at home, in front of home fans? These fine characters you describe won only five away games and lost to us, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Wolves.

  93. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’m too bored of the debate, it’s very unhealthy to be so critical of a manager or our players

    We are going to have to support them all again in two months time so let’s get over our disappointment remember the good times.

    Destructive comments from inside our own fanbase are only going to fuel the fires raging to destroy our club from outside.

    It’s about time we all showed some unity in our common cause and said f*** everyone else we’re doing this our way and we don’t care what they think.

    The players let down the manager this year plain and simple, if you want evidence of that ask why Wenger let Pat Rice go and bark at the players for the first time in 15 years during the home match v Villa.

    Like I said we all need to cheer up and be a bit more positive, we are still the Arsenal πŸ™‚

  94. RockyLives says:

    So many good points on here today. My head is spinning and it’s difficult to know what to think about our collapse.

    For example, I know a little bit about footy. I played until my late 40s (CB, since you ask) and I’ve watched it all my life – but I honestly don’t know whether the likes of Djourou, Clichy, Koscielny and Squillaci are ‘not up to’ defending at the top level or are just not being coached properly.

    I veer between thinking it’s AW’s fault and then, on reading persuasive comments like those above about the sheer lack of effort of some of our squad players, thinking it’s the fault of a cosseted, over-protected bunch of players.

    But then if the players are cosseted and over-protected, whose fault is that? Must be the manager… but what if he happens to have a particularly spineless group of players etc etc etc AAAGGHH!

    Anyway, despite all the confusion, I think I am coming closer to TAKING A STAND and shall write a post about it in the next couple of days.

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, take it easy so you become ‘quite the ticket again’ soon.

  96. HCAA says:


    I think it’s disgusting the way Abramovic runs Chelsea, my point was that the world and his wife extol the virtues of Wenger, and a lot of people describe him as one of the best managers in the world. Abramovic will hire and fire managers until he gets the holy grail that is the CL, but he has never considered Wenger capable of delivering it, otherwise he would have installed him. Ancelotti has a better CV than Wenger.

  97. RockyLives says:

    I note that you can’t be bothered to look back, nit pick and back bite.

    Quite so, I say.

    With your recent health issues that all sounds far too gymnastic and could quite possibly result in you putting your neck out.

    And there are unguents for nits anyway, I believe. πŸ™‚

  98. 26may1989 says:

    HCAA, it’s only gossip, none of it can be proven, but my understanding is that Abramovich has tried getting Wenger to become Chelsea manager on more than one occasion over the past seven years.

  99. goonermichael says:

    Which great players have come from the manc or chavs academies lately? No one fit to wipe jacks arse.

  100. goonermichael says:

    Do you have it on definite authority that Abramovitch doesn’t think that Wenger can deliver. Did he tell you that? Did you read him quoted as saying that? Or do you just presume he thinks that becuase he hasn’t tried to poach him (just like alex the red nosed wanker BTW)?

  101. 26may1989 says:

    Fine piece of imagery there GM!

    Though to be fair to the south west London scum, Josh McEachran, Daniel Sturridge and Gael Kakuta look very useful.

  102. HCAA says:

    If Abramovich thought Wenger could bring him the CL, money would be no object. Look at the way they unsettled (C)Ashley Cole. Totally unprofessional and unscrupilous.

  103. Red Arse says:

    Totally agree with your 3;37, TA.

    Anyway, as an acknowledged acolyte of Arsene, I am, perforce, going to advance a contrary view of where he and the Arsenal Board may have erred.

    Money, in motor sport, (Ferrari, Mclaren), money in the NFL, (Big Blue) and in nearly every other sport, gives any team, in which it is invested, a distinct advantage over those teams who are less fortunate.

    So what’s new, you ask?

    Consider this. The Arsenal management decided to make the move from Highbury to the Emirates so that the extra income, from the larger stadium, would allow us to ‘compete’ in the transfer market.

    Among other considerations there were two key planks in achieving this very worthwhile aim.

    The first was to fund part of the new development by developing Highbury into apartments and houses.

    They could have sold the Freehold of Highbury to a property developer for a fixed sum and then also realised a share of the future profits on each home as it was sold. This would have given them a secured guaranteed, but inevitably discounted income.

    Instead, they decided to develop the property themselves, thereby cutting out the middleman and making a very handsome profit in a rising housing market.

    Unfortunately, the property market crashed during this process, so that the homes sold for much less than projected and also took much longer to sell, thereby creating a cashflow problem, well known to all accountants, but perhaps not so well known to the man in the street.

    The second plank, was to sell naming and other commercial ‘rights’ to the stadium and ancillary products.
    However, because of the profit shortfall and resultant cashflow matters referred to above, these negotiations were conducted under a strict time constraint, meaning that the highest income expected proved impossible to achieve.

    So what, you say?

    Well this is the nub. I imagine Arsene and the Board agreed that the obvious way to negotiate their way out of the funding impasse they were in, was for Arsene to develop a ‘Youth Project’ and keep transfer funding to a minimum.
    And this they achieved very successfully, by always making it into the CL every year, with the millions of pounds that competition generated.

    What was not achieved was the winning of trophies so desperately desired by the fans. The Board decided to continue with the ‘Youth Project’ and to pay off the debt on the stadium as fast as possible, rather than switch to a different transfer policy.

    This is akin to young Mr Bloggs buying a Β£500,000 house (stadium) with a 25 year mortgage, but choosing to repay the loan within 12 years instead.

    The upshot is that Mr Bloggs would have to go without holidays (transfers), and other nice to haves (dividends) for many years, but with the reward that he would be unencumbered by a mortgage at a much earlier age and could fund wonderful holidays (transfers) and all sorts of super goodies (dividends).

    The Board and Arsene, it would seem, could release the purse strings and invest in new players, now, if they wished, at the cost of deferring the repayment of the loan/mortgage on the Emirates for several more years.

    Perhaps that is the discussion going on now between Arsene and Silent Stan, in the face of the fans disquiet!

  104. goonermichael says:

    Kakuta was the subject of a ban for poaching (later rescinded)from a french club Danny sturridge is from Man City’s academy. Don’t know the other one

    I think red nose could probably deliver the CL why isn’t he unsettling him?

  105. 26may1989 says:

    HCAA@ 4.21pm (is that really the time already?): “If Abramovich thought Wenger could bring him the CL, money would be no object.” Which is one reason we should all be grateful to Wenger for what he has done over the past five or six years – he could easily have walked out on us, and earned just as much as he has done while also mopping up trophies he knew would become tougher to win with us. I don’t think he made his decision to stay as some act of charity, he saw a chance to play a leading role in a new phase in the club’s history. But make no mistake, virtually anyone else would have just left. And if we hadn’t had him, we wouldn’t be picking over the bones of a season in which we had a real chance of being champions, we’d be talking about needing to catch up with Spurs and Liverpool.

    RA@ 4.25pm: 100% agreed, very nice summary. For an accountant! πŸ˜‰

  106. Evonne says:

    Wilshere not in under-21 squad!!! Result !!!

  107. Red Arse says:


    Sorry to disagree but it is a somewhat sterile argument to say that Abramovich would have ‘installed’ Wenger at Chelsea if he was ‘that good’.

    That is to completely overlook and perhaps impugn the honesty and honourable behavious of a thoroughly decent man.

    Both Barca and Madrid (two of the three biggest clubs in the world, sod Chelsea) have tried to tempt him over the years, but he has always said to them that he had a contract with Arsenal, and would see it thru’.

    Do you really think Abramovich would whistle and Wenger would come arunning? Seriously?

    There are people in this world who cannot be simply ‘bought’, so go figure!

    GIE, we are not all savaging either the team or our inestimable manager”. So you can include me out! πŸ™‚

  108. 26may1989 says:

    GM: Correct, Chelsea were temporarily banned re Kakuta, but that doesn’t mean much in terms of the quality of the player. And as regards Sturridge, yes, he was at City till he was about 18, but he’s still developing at Chelsea. Perhaps I’m not enough of a purist, but I think even if a young player moves, the new club is rightly entitled to say it played a role in developing him if the player joins at an early stage. Or should we say Wilshere is really a Luton Town product because he spent time there when he was ten?

  109. RockyLives says:

    Excellent comment Redders

  110. HCAA says:


    Ferguson would never leave a club of Man Utd’s stature for Chelsea! Arsenal aren’t in Man Utd’s league! If Ferguson had wanted the Chelsea job, Abramovich would break his neck to make sure it happened. The reason he doesn’t pursue it is because he knows the answer he’d get.

  111. 26may1989 says:

    You seem to like Man U rather a lot HCAA….!

    But I agree, if Ferguson wanted to leave them, Abramovich would have likely found it difficult to resist, despite his penchant for continental style head coaches rather than British style managers.

  112. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, πŸ™‚

    Thanks for your helpful tips at 4:03.

    I have spoken to Nadja the blonde German lady, explained your concern, and she has agreed to lather me with unguents and do all the necessary back biting for me, instead.

    Apparently she has noticed I am a little wan (note to Micky — that’s ‘wan’– not ‘one’) and has been a bit concerned, so she is happy to take me in hand. Thanks Rocky! πŸ™‚

  113. Red Arse says:


    re your 3:48. You are correct, of course, I will have to be a bit more cautious in trying to show where they succeeded and we failed in the psychological aspects of their key players as opposed to ours.

    It was very remiss of me, after all they have only won the rubbishy EPL 3 years out of 4 and worse, they have only won the holy grail, the CL, once during that time.

    Silly me! πŸ™‚

  114. goonermichael says:

    You said money was no object. Barcaand Madrid are bigger than Chelsea in stature does that rule out anyone who works there? You could include bayern too. Sorry but I find that a bit offensive. How do you rate “stature”? Does that rule out Porto and Ajax? I’d argue we are bigger in stature than the chavs.

    Re Kakuta and Sturridge. We are talking about academy players and not Ramsey and Walcott.

  115. goonermichael says:

    So you not only know what abromovitch thinks about Wenger and Ferguson you also know what ferguson thinks. By the same token you know for a fact that Wenger would be tempted to go to the chavs.

  116. HCAA says:


    I hate Man Utd with as much passion as anyone, but I do recognise their manager’s ability. And if ever there was a model on which to measure how professional a football club should be run, then Ferguson’s club is it. If our BoD hadn’t f***** about in 1986, we’d probably be where they are today. I would love Wenger to be more like Ferguson, because our club would be a lot better for it. For a start you wouldn’t have professional footballers sulking like spoilt kids on over-inflated wage-packets. We wouldn’t be defending and rewarding failure so readily.

  117. TotalArsenal says:

    RA @5.07 touche, a fine riposte – I cannot argue against those facts. The fact that I had already forgotten this, shows you how much impression those great achievements by the Mancs have made on me…

    @4.25 that was brilliant: simple and yet so insightful.

  118. Red Arse says:

    (2*13), πŸ™‚

    I was becoming concerned that I could not find any dissenting comment from you, until I chanced across your 3:40 response to my perspicacious and beautifully constructed critique of the ‘special’ (angry, cocky, in your face) Manure players who have so often pulled their chestnuts out of the fire. (not sure of that analogy) πŸ™‚

    I only intended to show that they do have these type of players in their team, not that they are all like that. We, on the other hand, have zero, zilch, nada of this type of angry, competitive character in our squad, let alone the team.

    To demonstrate my authority in this area, I have played a card game called ‘Cheat’ in which the objective is to win by cheating, within certain rules, obviously.

    I am so competitive and determined to win that I shamelessly admit to cheating at ‘cheat’ so that i am a renowned champion of that game. So what, if the other players were only 10 years old.

    They need to learn to tuff it out and suck it up, which is what I did to their sweets that I won!! πŸ™‚

  119. 26may1989 says:

    “we’d probably be where they are today” – oh no we wouldn’t. We’d still have a ground with a capacity of 38,500, unless Fergie would have been willing to make sacrifices.

    But I agree, he is a great manager – I actually followed him well before he got to England, as Aberdeen is my Scottish team (family nonsense behind that one). What would have happened if he had become our manager in the 80s is one of those great “what ifs” – perhaps he would have succeeded, but remember his first years at United were anything but a success, and it took him five years before he took Britain’s biggest club to the title (in between George Graham’s two titles). Perhaps at our place he would have needed just as long to get going as he did at United, who knows.

    And you can’t see Fergie in isolation. One of his great qualities is his capacity to learn from others – and amongst those he has learned most from over the years has been Wenger. Fergie manages to assimilate the approaches of others while maintaining continuity of other qualities.

    He’s still an obnoxious old alcky though…..

  120. London says:

    My views on Fabregas might be a bit radical so don’t bite my head off.

    Perhaps our captain is……….injured!

  121. 26may1989 says:

    RA: Whisper it, but I think we were actually saying the same thing. Sorry about that, we haven’t had a good barney for a while now………

  122. Red Arse says:


    You have a point about Sir Fergynose.

    He has been successful over many years, much to my irritation.

    His tactical nous and management acumen is probably on a par with Arsene’s, but referring back to a point I made earlier, (not that there is any requirement for you to read it, but it helps), Ferguson, unlike Arsene, has had no compunction about spending money, big money, on players over the years.

    My argument has always been that before the Emirates project came on stream, Arsene found wonderful and inexpensive players thru his guile in the transfer market, and matched Fergybum for league titles and league and cup doubles.

    It is no coincidence that Arsenal’s malaise in securing trophies almost exactly matches the elapsed time for developing and bringing the Emirates up to speed.

    I rest my case, and perhaps you could switch to another topic, for a while, please? πŸ™‚

  123. TotalArsenal says:


    Do you really believe that Ferguson would have done better with the finances available over the last 10-15 years? Anyway, he is not our manager (thank god for that), and your vitriol towards Wenger is bordering on obsessive, which cannot be healthy for you!

  124. Red Arse says:


    Your 5:33, Damn! πŸ™‚

    Actually, I don’t really recall arguing with you about anything of import.

    You are far to knowledgeable to say anything daft, which for a lawyer is the highest accolade I can give you!! πŸ™‚

  125. Red Arse says:

    Hi London, πŸ™‚

    Re your 5:30. Steady on. We can’t have straightforward commonsense on here, can we?

    Cesc injured? Whatever next? πŸ™‚

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    26 @5.29 is spot-on: Ferguson learns from other managers and adjusts, Wenger does not focus on this at all. Ferguson knew the only way to ever beat Mourinho to the championship again, was by strengthening his defence. He bought Vidic and Ferdinand (the latter for a lot of money) and the rest is history.

  127. 26may1989 says:

    RA, I’m going to frame the last para of your 5.41pm and give it to my wife, who for some strange reason seems to doubt most of what I say…..

  128. TotalArsenal says:

    RA at 5.36 Spot on again. You should add to that the arrival of Mourinho, who with his strong focus on defense / clean sheets, brought a new epoch to the Premier League to which we were slow to react, possibly due to financial pressures.

  129. Evonne says:

    London – nonsence πŸ™‚ How could that happen??

  130. HCAA says:


    I don’t know what the point of your argument is. I agree, we’re historically a bigger club than Chelsea, and as RA points out, not everyone can be ‘bought’. Wenger probably wouldn’t have gone to Chelsea because of the project he had under-taken with us, which also removed the pressure of having to win major honours, a luxury he wouldn’t have had at Chelsea. Would Wenger have succeeded at Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich? We’ll ever know, but he wouldn’t have got away with his last 6 years record at any of those clubs. You could cite financial restrictions, but that shouldn’t affect the attitude and professionalism of the club. We could have won the title this year, but the group of players hand-picked by our manager didn’t want to compete for it. And although we have qualified for the right to ‘compete’ for the CL every year, but since 2006 we now look like a club making the numbers up. The most expensive club to watch in world football, who themselves watch other clubs leave them behind in the chase for meaningful silver-ware. Do we exist to uligise about ‘beautiful football’, or to fight for the right to win?

  131. kelsey says:

    Well at least they are both Welsh, but I doubt there will be a welcome in the hillside πŸ™‚

  132. Red Arse says:

    I see that a certain footballer has been named in the Commons as the naughty one.

    None of us knew that, did we? πŸ™‚

    Speaking of which, where are Carlito and Sharkey? are we that boring? OK, am I that boring? No need to respond ….. πŸ™‚

  133. kelsey says:

    200K in legal fees must be the most expensive bit of nookie ever πŸ˜‰

  134. 26may1989 says:

    Β£200k? Is that all? I would’ve billed much more ….. πŸ™‚

    Did anyone else see the front page of yesterday’s Sunday Herald? Hilarious. Here it is:

  135. Red Arse says:

    I have to go, despite the scintillating chat this p.m. πŸ™‚

    HCAA, I see you have refused my request to change the topic, for a while, so can I try you with another?

    Instead of simply broadcasting your views/opinions about Monsieur, could you read and respond to the counter arguments of your fellow bloggers, please?

    There is no ‘right’ or for that matter ‘wrong’ in these debates, but a debate by definition is an interactive and representational discourse, which although not necessarily logical, does require an amount of give and take.

    Your excellent poetry gives me confidence that you will agree to the merits of my request! πŸ™‚

  136. TotalArsenal says:

    HCAA, your last sentence is an important one: ‘Do we excist to uligise about ‘beautiful football’, or to fight for the right to win’. This would be a great title for a post…

    The answer can only be both imo: trophies through winning, yet beautiful football that will stay in our mind till we die. That is why you still remember the Oranje team and Ajax team from the 70’s. The Chelsea and MU teams from the last decade will be well forgotten in 10, let alone 40 years time. But, the Invincibles team might still be remembered as truly special.

  137. RockyLives says:

    Now you’re talking Redders!

  138. dandan says:

    GIE you got it in one my friend, boring, repetitive and boring and much of it not worthy of a dignified reply. Shame that so good a blog should be abused.

  139. HCAA says:


    As you can see, I am trying to respond to everyone asap, but when replying to more than one at a time, it requires clarity as well as a lot of typing.


    I think Wenger is a brilliant accountant, I don’t rate him quite as highly as a manager, and believe there are much better tacticians out there who would pick better players and who wouldn’t reward failure as generously as he does. Nor would they allow our club captain to go missing on the last day of the season (as well as sanctioning a green dinosaur as our club mascot!).

  140. HCAA says:


    You think this site is being abused? Look at colourful language and abuse trawled out on ‘Le Grove’. This is far more polite and civilised in comparison. I don’t see personal insults or foul language here, do you?

  141. johnQ says:

    Why the doom and gloom? Without wenger, we could easily be like this!

    and yes, they spend more than us on players!!

  142. Evening all

    Lively day I see, sorry I was missing for most of it.

    HCAA – your question about the merits of beautiful football versus winning trophies is one that has been asked many times recently. I always defended the beautiful football but as we haven’t seen much of that this season I’m moving towards ‘lets win something please’

    Redders – you must want to write a post now πŸ˜›

  143. I have to say that I feel it can’t be right for Cesc to not have been at the last game of the season – sorry I’m nailing that one to the mast. Whether he’s staying or going it was poor management IMHO

  144. Red Arse says:

    Just back to close down.

    Hi Dandan, πŸ™‚ Good to see you altho’ I have to go.

    Slightly surprised that you seem to have included us all in your comment, which I assume relates to the comments about the manager.

    Surely you did not mean we are all boring en masse? Well maybe me, but not everyone! πŸ™‚

  145. Red Arse says:

    Hi Peacher, πŸ™‚

    I would love to write a post, but I feel I am unable to communicate in a meaningful way. I will just have to subjugate my desire to write, to the greater good of the majority.

    I’ve really got to go, but before I do, I tried to find an avatar to match my nom de plume. All I could find was something that looked like a furry peach or a sideways split arse grin.

    Since then I have been having lascivious thoughts about peaches and by association …. you!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Nitey Nite!

  146. goonermichael says:

    The point of my argument HCAA is that you used the fact that because abramovic hadn’t poached Wenger he wasn’t that good. You said that they could get anyone. When I said they could get fergie if that was the case then you said fergie wouldn’t leave as they are a bigger club etc. All I was saying is you don’t actually know that it’s an opinion. I’ve just had a discussion with an Italian Inter fan who said if Rijkaard goes to the chavs they will finish mid table becuase he only did well as he had good players at barca. If we had got ferguson as manager we may not have been where the mancs are. Everything is genetics times environment. He was lucky (and so where united) that he didn’t get sacked as he was really close.

    I agree that Cesc wouldn’t be in Spain tweeting though.

  147. Oooh I say Redders, I don’t know what to think 😳

    We’ll have to find you an avatar though ……. keep thinking

  148. Hi gm

    I think that the point about AW not breaking his contract is probably the most important one to consider when thinking about him being poached.

  149. mickydidit89 says:

    Excellent. Rijkaard to the Chavs it is then.

  150. HCAA says:


    I didn’t say Abramovich could get anyone, what I said was he will continue to hire and fire managers until he gets the European Cup, and money is no object. All opinion is subjective. We are bigger than Chelsea, though neither of us are as big as Man Utd. Unfortunately that is a sad fact of life that we have to deal with. Back in 1986, most of the Man Utd board wanted Venables to replace Ron Atkinson. It was Bobby Charlton who nominated SAF. Who would you have rather had, George Graham or Ferguson? Back then, given George Graham’s connection with the double-winning side of ’71, most of us would probably have chosen Graham. Funny old game.

  151. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks for the Herald link. I have been chomping at the bit to know. Typical naughtie Frenchie. King Cantonna indeed.

  152. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on Arsene, buy those three agressive winners we need. Sign up everyone, then bugger off to that island of Rocky’s for six weeks with your women, then we can crack on with what we do best.

  153. goonermichael says:

    George Graham won the league. Something we hadn’t done for 17 years. Ferguson was on the point of getting sacked before the cup win. Ferguson may not have had the same backing, finances or coaches here so we’ll never know. Just becuase I detest him I’m not in denial about his achievements or abilitieas. ( i feel dirty saying that. Also Ferguson wanted to try managing Scotland If I remember corectly.

  154. goonermichael says:

    See you all later

  155. micky – the day hasn’t cooled your head then πŸ˜‰ Have you got horrible weather? Tonight they are showing ‘Fever Pitch’ at the Emirates, outside, on the pitch and its pouring – serves them right for forgetting that it was the 26th May!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  156. mickydidit89 says:

    I an ice cool down here. I was never cross, just think the new owner needs to stamp his authority on the place. That may filter down through the ranks. I do believe we need leadership from on high.

  157. mickydidit89 says:

    Fever Pitch tonight is a very odd choice of date. Oh the memories of that season. I did not miss one home game. Ahhhh

  158. dandan says:

    RA Look at GIE 3:50 That was what I was agreeing with.

  159. Gooner in Exile says:

    RA I am not calling people on the debate boring, far from it I know I’ve met quite a few.

    But it’s the same attack and defence of the manager we have had for the last few weeks.

    The malaise of the squad has transferred to this great blog unfortunately

    I’ll give three reasons why we should all be a little more cheerful and maybe even positive:

    1) we do not support West Ham, Birmingham or Blackpool

    2) we have found one future legend in Wilshere

    3) we have found one future GK legend in Szczesny

    4) we now know we have a 20 goal a season striker (RvP)

    Ok that’s four who is counting.

    5) Vermaelen will be fit for the new season

    6) We have found a future quality CB in Koscielny

    7) we have a magnificent stadium and are playing in the CL again whilst Spurs still play in a sh*thole and are play in Europa

    Okay 7 so far

    I’ll leave the rest to the more positive amongst you to continue on with….i’ve had enough with negativity πŸ™‚

  160. HCAA says:


    The deal with Ferguson was that he wanted the Arsenal job, and wanted to bring Walter Smith with him, (but Smith had already accepted Rangers offer to work as Assistant to Souness). The two parties (Arsenal and Ferguson) agreed in principal, but the deal fell through because Arsenal wanted to release a press-statement immediately, and Ferguson, who was in temporary charge of the Scotland national side, had a WC in Mexico to prepare for, so wanted to get that done before announcing that he was Arsenal’s new manager. Arsenal didn’t want to wait that long, so the whole thing collapsed.

  161. mickydidit89 says:

    Its all very well being positive, but we do still have German Sausages in the Hot Dogs.

  162. Great positive points GiE, I accept all of them and agree they should make me feel a lot better but they don’t because the other disappointments take the shine off of the good things.

    My biggest worry is whether we have failed because AW wouldn’t change things, if that is the case then even though I love the man I don’t think he’ll change things now and we will continue to be disappointed. I’m just being realistic, I’ll give him more time though 😦

  163. Evonne says:

    GiE – reasons to be cheerful are three πŸ™‚

  164. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, I never knew any of that. Interesting stuff. Sounds like it was a close shave then πŸ™‚

  165. Hi Evonne – I’m gathering avatars – would you like one too?

  166. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HCAA @ 6.32,

    I have to give it you, you stick to your line of thought come what may. Have you ever been described as ‘pitbullish’?

    I agree with you that Arsene is not the best tactician in the world, as in the sense of preparing for a game with a specific strategy to beat our opponent. But he is fantastic in instructing our players to play in an all-domineering/totalfootball style/way, which when played out well, forces other teams to try to adapt to us (comparable with Barca at the moment) rather than vice versa. His strategic approach is more deductive than inductive, and as the years between 1996 and 2005 have shown, once he gets it right, it is bl**dy awesome, to which I think you should give a bit more recognition. To describe Arsene as a brilliant accountant but not a brilliant manager is just wrong.

  167. micky – lobster in chocolate sauce?????????

  168. Gooner in Exile says:

    Oh go on then someone has riled me enough to chip into the debate.

    What was the one thing I was always coached:

    “don’t worry about the opposition let them worry about us”

  169. mickydidit89 says:

    Leave it out. I have sooo moved on in the last few hours. In fact today I have designed a Flag, and I am very pleased with the result. How’s that eh?

  170. Well done – a Flag for what?

  171. dandan says:

    GIE. Thanks for that, I cant be bothered, with it, some should practice what they preach, I spent a working life fighting defeatism, buggered if I need it in retirement.

    No of course not all RA but enough.

    HCAA bad language is only one of the criteria by which to measure abuse, a lack of generosity of spirit is to my mind a greater abuse by far.

  172. And the problem with

    β€œdon’t worry about the opposition let them worry about us”

    is that they’ve nearly all worked out how to play against us whereas we don’t have clue how to play against them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  173. mickydidit89 says:

    I have created a new Sauce for the American market. Clever people do the label branding design stuff, but because it is my brand and I think I know best, I have final say, and I say Americans like Flags, so made my own, and on the label it will do!

  174. mickydidit89 says:

    will go

  175. London says:

    You are a shinning star Dandan.

  176. Gooner in Exile says:

    But they’re still worrying about us peaches πŸ˜‰ Otherwise they would come with attack in mind.

    Infect I put Villas goals down to the fact they passed forward in the first ten minutes, our defence wasn’t expecting that until the 60th minute at least πŸ™‚

  177. HCAA says:

    MDI89, very close, ultimately not close enough.
    Dandan, generosity of spirit. I think Arsene Wenger is a principled, articulate intelligent man, and would never wish him any bad. Personally, I think Herbert Chapman stands up as our greatest manager, but acknowledge that Arsene Wenger has had a major impact in shaping the future of our club. There is no doubt that when he arrived in 1996 he set out to fundamentally change our club, which he has successfully over-seen. No-one knows if any other manager could have achieved such a huge task, because no other manager has faced the same situation. But for that alone he deserves tremendous credit. The question then is how long is that gratitude supposed to be extended for? All I’ve heard to counter the fact that some of our players are poor as well as unprofessional is “We’ve got no money” or “Arsene has been working with considerable financial restraint and we’ve chosen the self-sustaining business model rather than the Chelsea and Man City way..” I accept that all as valid, and I even accept that winning and losing is part of football’s emotional journey. You can only truly appreciate the highs if you’ve really plummeted to the depths of despair and vise-versa. But to watch exactly the same thing happen for three or four years without altering and attempting to fix it, and then expecting people to be grateful for that non-interference is plain madness. To ask for people’s patience for a couple of years is not unreasonable after what he has contributed, but to still have those problems after 4 or 5 years is stretching a point too far. Absolute bonkers!

  178. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi, How Can Arsenal Achieve (Again), fair points in your last comment. Our patience is running thin, because our expectations have been raised so high over the last 10 years.

  179. Evonne says:

    Peaches, yes please, Dennis the Menace. I am mailing you the image now

  180. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’m pretty sure on a pure trophies comparison AW has more than HC.

    HC had five barren years as Arsenal manager before bringing success.

    I would have loved to been alive to see him take our club to the great heights and set us up for the future, but he is not in numbers of trophies our most successful manager, that is our current manager.

  181. HCAA says:

    Chapman won three successive titles with Huddersfield before coming to us. He built a dynasty at Arsenal that lasted beyond his untimely death that allowed Arsenal to dominate in the way that Liverpool did in the ’70’s and 80’s. During Wenger’s time at Arsenal, Man Utd have dominated. Had Wenger’s Arsenal dominated the way Chapman’s Arsenal did, your argument would hold a lot more weight.

  182. Gooner in Exile says:

    We’re talking about Arsenals most successful manager aren’t we?

    With all due respect don’t use stats at another club to justify HCs greatness for us.

  183. HCAA says:

    I don’t have to. Chapman’s Arsenal dominated in a way that Wenger’s Arsenal never has. It was his team that wo 3 consecutive titles for Arsenal. No manager since has won 2 successive titles, let alone 3! Before Chapman came along we didn’t have a single trophy to our name, and he had far more re-building to do than Wenger (player-wise), that wins it for me.

  184. 26may1989 says:

    Says quite a lot about the history of Arsenal that we can genuinely debate which of two giants has had the most impressive impact on the club and the broader game. How many others clubs can boast that?

  185. HCAA says:


    Not many. Man Utd – Busby (who won European Cup 10 years after Munich, losing 8 first-team players and being on a life-support machine for 3 months), and Ferguson. Liverpool – Shankly and Paisley (Dalglish is their only manager to win the ‘double’). Ipswich – Alf Ramsey, 60-61 Div 2 Champions, 61-62 Div 1 Champions (which today would be the equivalent of Warnock taking QPR to the PL title next season)- Bobby Robson, who beat us to the FA Cup ’78, and won them the UEFA Cup in 1981. Apart from them, not many.

  186. 26may1989 says:

    Good call re Ipswich, I hadn’t thought of them, but it’s probably the most impressive pairing of the lot, given the size of the club.

    Not sure about Liverpool though: their dominance of the 70s and 80s remains, for me, the most impressive period as bosses of the English game, in no small part given their extraordinary record in European football. But the only individual manager I would identify with that is Shankly, the one who laid the foundations. What followed him under Paisley saw most of the silverware won but was more the Boot Room than Paisley individually. At least that’s the way I remember it. And the appointment of Dalglish was to my mind the moment Liverpool lost touch with their traditions and began their downward slide.

    Other than Bill Nicholson and Brian Clough, I’m struggling to think of other truly great managers in English football history. The likes of Revie, Mourinho and Graham go in the bin for me.

  187. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’m glad you have such vivid memories of the playing staff back then, good for you.

    I do not deny that Chapman was a great part of Arsenals history, but it would also be great that you could recognise what Wenger has done for us also in a vastly different era.

    Would a fan of today have allowed Chapman five trophyless years if he had taken over when Wenger did? Wenger also revolutionised the English game as Chapman had done back in the thirties (and earlier although not at Arsenal)

    I am really sorry that the club does not continue to do what you witnessed in the 30’s but in the intervening years you must have also appreciated and continued to support a club despite trophyless periods.

    26 I don’t think the two can be compared they should both be judged of their time against their peers. I just am a little bored with the argument that Wenger is not as successful as Chapman, thankfully the club did not show so little faith in Chapman between 1925-1930 at lack of trophies and allowed him to continue his project.

    And I’ll admit SAF is doing a marvellous job for United I don’t need reminding doesn’t mean I ever wanted him to manage Arsenal, it would not be difficult to assemble the sides he has with the money he has spent. We spent Β£9m on a teenager called Walcott they spent Β£30m on one called Rooney. That’s the difference we are talking about here. And I know HCAA will tell me that’s because Wenger us an accountant more than a football manager, but he is doing the job the way the board (his employers) ask him to do it. if he weren’t they would have sacked him a long time ago. They are ruthless when they want to be witness the removal of Don Howe and Bruce Rioch.

    I’ll take loyalty from the board and manager over the uncertain chase for glory that Abramovich gives Chelsea fans.

  188. HCAA says:

    Yes 26, have to agree with you. Liverpool always promoted from inside, Dalglish allowed the side to age, leaving them in a bit of a mess (and probably made Ferguson’s job a bit easier). Revie’s Leeds were a dirty side, as Cloughie often pointed out, and the way he left England was shameful. Graham undid all his good work by playing ugly, horrible football, and then taking a ‘bung’, and Mourinho’s Chelsea was all Abramovich’s money. As you say, taking into consideration the size of the club, Ipswich probably have the stand-out pairing.

  189. 26may1989 says:

    Evening Exile.

    I don’t see this as a Wenger bashing exercise, far from it. I just like dwelling on the minutiae of the club’s history, even the stuff dating well before I was born!

    Of course you’re right, two managers operating in such different eras as the 1920s/1930s and the 1990s/2010s can’t be precisely judged or meaningfully compared, not least given that there’s so little direct or visually recorded material from the earlier period. But accepting those limitations, I still think we can easily see that Chapman was the “Special One” of his era; in fact, far more of a Special One than that egomaniac now in Madrid.

    Having just checked the wiki entry for Chapman, I see that Arsenal were relegation candidates when Chapman arrived from his triumphs at Huddersfield, where he’d already won two titles (their third was won by his replacement). I recall that Henry Norris’s cheating and sugar-daddyism from 1918 had pretty much failed to deliver Arsenal as a serious football force. So the expectations of Arsenal’s still new North London fans must have been fairly low. But Arsenal zoomed up the table in Chapman’s first season, and they finished second. He also got Arsenal to their first FA Cup Final (1929) and then the real glory days began, with the FA Cup in 1931 and then numerous titles through the 1930s. Chapman of course died midway through the season, in 1934.

    And when you read stuff that Chapman said, you know he was something out of the ordinary, someone who thought deeply and creatively about the game. Much like Mr Wenger! It’s a shame there’s so little video coverage available to make direct judgments of Chapman but his record is a relic we can all be proud of, it continues to say a lot about what is special about our club.

  190. HCAA says:


    I wasn’t around in the 1930’s! My earliest memories are Bertie Mee’s side beating Anderlecht in the old Fairs Cup, 1970. Please read my 9:31, which was written for Dandan (though why bother trying to be well-mannered when people can’t be bothered to respond!), and you’ll see that I was acknowledging the effort that Wenger has put into the club. Then maybe you can address the issue that I raised in that post. People are quick to shoot other people down without clarifying their own solution.

  191. HCAA says:


    First FA Cup final, 1927, the only time the FA Cup has left England. We were beaten by Cardiff! (It was blamed on a GK’s jersey being washed, and Arsenal vowed never to wash a GK’s jersey again on the eve of a major cup-final. Not sure it still happens today though!)

  192. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry, got the year wrong! That was the Zeppelin Final wasn’t it? Or have I got that wrong too??

  193. HCAA says:

    You’re only a year out, 26. 1930 was the Zeppelin final, our first trophy! We beat Huddersfield 2-0.

  194. 26may1989 says:

    Bleedin hell, got to check those facts……

  195. HCAA says:

    Shame there was no European Cup back then. We’d have probably done a Real Madrid!

  196. 26may1989 says:

    Agreed HCAA.

    Night all.

  197. HCAA says:

    Take it easy everyone.

  198. dandan says:

    HCAA. I did not read your posts until this morning having left the computer to attend to my wife and then gone to bed. Consequently I was hard presses to reply,but as ever you chose to believe that my actions were deliberate and disrespectful as I said, Generosity of spirit.

    As for your definition of madness that only prevails if one accepts your criteria which I for one do not.

    So Bonkers I may well be, maybe to your eyes naive, but then I have no inside knowledge of the funding available to him or the boardroom planning he was working to.

    What I do know is as one who watched Arsenal labour for many years before that Glorious Fairs cup night, that is your earliest memory. Wengers teams play the best football I have ever seen from an Arsenal side and would no more swap that style for trophies, than I would risk us doing a Charlton by removing the man who has orchestrated it, football is a game of cycles and you will get your wish no doubt in the fullness of time.

  199. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning dandan.
    Am I alone in thinking it is a shame that Vela was never given a good run in the side playing central alongside RvP, or when injured Chamakh?

  200. Gooner in Exile says:

    HCAA – you asked me to respond to your 9:31, you say we have watched the same thing for three years without trying to fix it.

    For the last four seasons before this one winning the PL would have been a minor miracle due to age of players in the main, Wenger has been building this squad under the hard to ignore financial constraint from the board.

    In all this years we also suffered from injuries which our squad could not cope with.

    He strengthened at the back, we had players returning from injury and the squad was reaching maturity.

    This year we had none of those previous excuses which is why I think so many fans are disappointed, we had the best chance in a long while to win the PL. The run in was comfortable, the players were fit, unbeaten in the new year we were well placed.

    I’m sure when Wenger looked through the squad he thought he had the personnel to do it, man for man there are not many players who could walk into our team to play the way we do.

    I saw Arsenal tear Birmingham apart on New Years Eve, silky football, being kicked off the park by Lee Bowyer and friends, dispatching West Ham with ease around the same period, City so fearful they put ten men behind the ball at the Emirates and wasted time from the first minute. We also saw the players show heart to come back from an atrociously awarded goal against Everton to win 2-1 at the Emirates.

    We suffered a major mental setback losing the CC and also when drawing 4-4 with Newcastle.

    Then we lost form for whatever reason, confidence, fatigue, pressure and it has been downhill since then.

    For me there is nothing philosophically wrong with Wengers approach to tactics, those tactics got us to 2nd and in good position to strike for the title. In fact I’ll go one further if we get the penalty against Sunderland or AA23 had not been ruled offside incorrectly in the same game we could be having a very different end of season discussion.

    But does anyone really believe AW is happy with what he has seen in the last few games? Your theory is he is sitting in an ivory tower counting beans rather than coaching to improve the team. Mine is that he is working everyday to improve the team and his frustrated fretful antics on the touchline is at his teams complete change of attitude and failure to do the basics things well.

    The difference between our squad and ManU is that they continue to do the basic things right when the form is off and hence grind out results we haven’t found that mental strength yet. We may not be able to find it as Wenger himself has said something mentally has gone.

    New season for me will bring fresh hope, people said we would finish nowhere this year yet again they were proven wrong, we were one or two performances in March away from a much happier end of season.

  201. 26may1989 says:

    Good morning micky. Good point but then Vela hasn’t gone yet (or have I missed something?). It was interesting to see that we started with two up front on Sunday. Perhaps that’s an indication of what Wenger plans for us for next season. In which case there will be a greater need for strikers.

  202. Gooner in Exile says:

    Interesting Micky, Vela out left with Walcott out right would have given us much pace, and also the ability to switch and hence cut in in their favoured foots for goal scoring opportunities.

    I think however he is gone come August unless AA23 moves away to free up a squad berth. Vela is one of the best finishers at the club but seems to lack the ability to find the required space in the heat of the PL.

  203. Evonne says:

    Morning all, just catching up with last night’s excitement on this blog

    Has anyone watched the Panorama last night? I knew that there will be a revenge on Sep bloody Blatter for the WC bid, deservedly so

  204. Evonne says:

    Peaches – why am I still a boring green square? I was hoping to be Dennis the Menace today

  205. mickydidit89 says:

    Hi 26 and GiE,
    I am with dandan to a degree in that our 4-3-3 formation took us to the brink of success, although with the right signings I believe we could switch to 4-4-2 as the situation calls.
    On the Vela issue, I can asume that Arsene does not see in training what I think I see on the pitch. Then again, I am a blinkered Flag Designer while he is a Football Manager.
    School run, bye.

  206. London says:


    I have one question for you: How many games did you go to this season?

  207. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Yes i saw the Panorama programme last night and corrupt is putting it mildly.FIFA have until December 31st this year to respond to various allegations and if they cannot substantiate why various payments were made to high ranking FIFA members they will lose their sanctuary of being in Switzerland.

  208. Evonne says:

    ….and the knives are out again

    HCAA has exceptional knowledge of football and Arsenal in particular. It is a pleasure to read his arguments backed by facts. His opinion is possibly more in tune with majority of the fans at the moment, than this blog, which is the only site I came accross that defends AW vehemently.

  209. Having had a good look round various so called Arsenal blogs I have come to the conclusion that many so called fans who want instant success or feel our great club is not being run in the correct way,should change their allegance to Chelsea,City or United because IMO they don’t know the definition of support.

  210. Evonne says:

    Morning Kelsey – the bit I found most interesting was the closing comments from one of the FIFA officials, who was more or less saying that there are no rules or regulations stopping FIFA officials from taking bribes and until the process is regulated, they are doing nothing wrong.

  211. Evonne says:

    Kelsey!!!! You know you cannot change alliance and start supporting another club! But that does not necessarily mean that you cannot be dissatisfied or want a change. In fact if you genuinly have the Club’s best interest at heart you would always think of ways to improve it

    BUT you are right that we should support Arsenal through thick and thin, not just on a good run

  212. kelsey says:

    Evonne only because they work behind closed doors in a so called tax haven.Look at all those miserable old sods, i bet none of them could name half the players in any International is purely for self gain, no interest in the game itself.

  213. kelsey says:

    Of course there are several issues to be addressed at the club, and no doubt pressure is now being applied to Wenger more so than ever by fans and possible the BoD but so many that are disenchanted aren’t really supporters.
    Those that attend games can complain as much as they like about the cost for no real recent return with regards to trophies, but they have the option to attend or not to.
    I am sure things will be addressed this Summer and those players who want out,let them go.

  214. Evonne says:

    Kelsey – you are probably right, a bunch of crooks. David Mellor (whom I dislike for obvious reasons) said that FIFA needs to be rebuilt from scratch in order to be functional again

  215. Carlito11 says:

    So Jack’s decided to stay put, rather than go to the U21s, after seeing “sports science evidence” the Metro reported this morning. One less thing to worry about πŸ™‚

  216. goonermichael says:

    Brian Clough took a team from the second division to the league title then the European cup and successfully defended it. This was done when English football was totally dominated by liverpool. He took them down in the end so he truly had everything. Wenger has won all his trophies with us at a time when the mancs have dominated, whenever we’ve won we’ve always had them breathing down our necks. Chapman had already won the league with Huddersfield and as far as I’ve read didn’t have another club that was dominant. He was a true visionary though with the Numbers, station name etc. Wenger changed diets and training. The players from GG’s time always say Wenger gave thier careers anither 3 years.

  217. goonermichael says:

    fifa are scum. jack warner is filth and blatter is a ****

  218. Evonne says:

    GM – bad hair day? πŸ™‚ Agreed re FIFA; sadly I doubt very much anything will change in my lifetime

  219. goonermichael says:

    sorry meant to say 2 years

  220. goonermichael says:

    Just like to get it out of my system Evonne πŸ™‚

  221. Evonne says:

    GM – good on you!

  222. goonermichael says:

    Off to work now see you later

  223. Red Arse says:

    Morning, πŸ™‚

    I asked, politely, at least twice yesterday for one person to change the subject, (denigration of Arsene).

    Can I ask, with respect, that there be a moratorium on this today. like Dandan and GIE, I found it excruciatingly stultifying, and there are so many other things to talk about.

    [GIE, Dandan, I was not disagreeing with either of you yesterday, I was slightly cavilling at what appeared to be blanket condemnation of everyone on the site because of the AW diatribe.]

    Enough about Wenger!!

  224. TotalArsenal says:

    Gilberto has left Panathinaikos, and is going back to Gremio/Brazil.

  225. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, πŸ™‚

    You speak great sense, as usual!

  226. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    New post…..

  227. Morning RedA – ok, no more slagging off of our favourite Alsacian then, but you’ll be sorry as I’ll now be whingeing on about the other thing that has hacked me off at the moment, KK DownIng quitting from the Epitah 2011 tour !

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