Arsenal’s Season in Headlines, Part 2

For Part Deux in this occasional series based on viewing our season through the headlines of the daily posts here on Arsenal Arsenal, we have moved on to October and November.

You’ll see that the cautiously optimistic tone of the August and September headlines is carried on into October.

There are a few negative notes following the losses to West Brom at home and Chelsea away, but in general our strong away form and our good start to the Champions League is keeping spirits high.

Headlines like “Wenger’s Tactics Were Spot On” and “Another Step Upon the Road to European Glory” capture the warm glow, while with the brilliantly titled “Sheikh Rattled and Rolled” we reveled in trouncing the billionaires of Manchester City in their own back yard.

And then came November, falling on us like a humungous, steaming cowpat. Suddenly words like “failure, sunk, doom and gloom” are in the headlines as our league form continues to stutter and we blow our chances of topping our Champions League group by fielding a weak team. What would be the consequences of that, we all wondered… maybe we would end up drawing someone like Barcelona in the last 16…

Two pieces in particular in November laid out the problems that would come to nibble at our ankles repeatedly during the season before slapping us in the face in the final run-in. Take a bow Rasp, for “Arsenal: Why Don’t We Learn From Our Mistakes” and Kelsey for “Tippy Tappy Football to Nowhere.” In those two headlines (and articles) you wrote the story of our season.

In among the triumphalism and desperation there’s the usual AA mix of eclectic genius, so if you have a spare 15 minutes why not click on any of the headlines that takes your fancy. You will either get to relive part of our season or you’ll get a damned good read on a wide range of football and Arsenal related subjects.



Can We Dominate and Win at Stamford Bridge?

Staring Down the Barrel ……. Are You Feeling Lucky Punk?

Arsenal In Disgrace

Wenger Unbalanced Again

Keep it Tight or They’ll Kill Us

Wenger’s Tactics Were Spot On

Sick Note Cesc

I’m an Arsenal Supporter and Windows 7 Was My Idea

Jack Wilshere: The Surprise Star Of Arsenal’s Season

Thug Shawcross Happy to Keep On Breaking Legs

A Message to Henry Winter, Amy Lawrence, Patrick Barclay and Friends

Your Girlfriend is Right After All……Size Does Matter

Mr Wenger – Earn Your Corn….

No Subs at Half Time……. I Blame Hleb

Mr Wenger’s 800th game and Birmingham Preview

A Better Day at the Office ….. Three Points In the Bag

What’s Wrong With Rosicky?

Another Step Upon the Road to European Glory

Donetsk Forget To Mind The Gap In London As We Celebrate 6 Goals

Why We Failed to Win the Premiership Last Season ……. Where is Our Tone?

That Damned Abusive Offside Law

I Wonder What Happened to Mickey Boot?

In Cesc We Trust

Sheikh, Rattled and Rolled

Should Cesc Have Been Sent Off Against Manchester City?

A Striking Viking to Nik it

Wenger’s U-Turn? Do Me A Favour (and Player Ratings)

It’s like George Graham Never Existed

The Academy in Free Fall

One Nil to The Arsenal



Vermaelen’s Place in Jeopardy

Arsenal celebrate failure on the pitch ……

Big Night for Theo

Sunk By Our Former Comrade But Its Far From A Disaster

Are there just too many Arsenal Sites?

Manu’re Decomposing …….. Jack’s a Diamond

Another drop of Newcastle Brown …

Arsenal – a real firework display or just a damp squib

The Last Time We Were This Bad We Won The Double

No howlers at Wolves …….. please?

Fabulous Fabianski – at least for now – and three points in the bag

Musings of a true Gooner, banishes doom and gloom

Little and Large …….The Perfect Striker Partnership

Which Arsenal will turn up this afternoon?

Roll on Spurs, we just can’t wait.

Arsenal’s home form, is it a matter of concern ?

The Emirates Library …. sshhhhhh ……

Arsenal, Tottenham, Man City: Boo Boys Compared

Loan Players.

High Noon

Can you remember May 11th 1993?

Redknapp outthinks Wenger …… fact.

Strongest Squad Ever? My Arse(nal)

Braga to test the strength of Arsenal’s squad

Tippy Tappy football to Nowhere.

Arsenal …. Why don’t we learn from our mistakes?

Bendtner – Man or Mouth?

What’s with the negative vibes, man?

Arshavin lifts the November blues

We’re Better Without Cesc

Up for the Cup

131 Responses to Arsenal’s Season in Headlines, Part 2

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Nice post RL. Happy Days of innocence though it seems from the headlines that we were concerned about our prospects earlier than I remember 🙂

    I think we should sign Tevez

  2. Morning Raddy

    Are you sure you think we should sign Tevez? He keeps needing to go back to Argentina – his family aren’t in the UK I thought …………………..

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Rocky – what a library to choose from!

    I went to the Citeh away game, so took special pleasure in reading ‘Sheikh, Rattled and Rolled’ by Kelsey: great title and post!. The final paragraph below, summarised what I felt at the time myself:

    ‘It was good to see a real team that has been built with integrity and patience triumph instead of a cash rich hastily manufactured side who spent a further 100 million this summer and had 100 million pounds of talent sitting on the bench – a message of hope to all well run teams who aspire to compete with the billionnaires.’

    This is what we are up against next season,but hopefully this time we will go all the way.

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Promise-full season
    Own reflection in silver
    Triumph’s clutch

  5. redarse says:

    Hi Rocky, 🙂

    Excellent post. The library of past posts is really impressive and the 4 I looked at, so far, had an innocence and expectation that with hindsight was betrayed by our inexplicable collapse in the final few weeks.

    The writing standards and skills, not least by you, is truly exceptional.

  6. redarse says:

    Hi TA, 🙂

    Along with your Viking ancestry you must have some Japanese blood.
    You have really got into the haiku, and this morning’s effort is really well constructed and meaningful. 🙂

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And the Winning Title is: “I am an Arsenal Supporter and Windows 7 was my idea”.
    Stunningly Brilliant.

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    It would appear that Mrs Tevez likes to keep at least one Continents’ distance bewteen herself and her husband.

  9. goonermichael says:

    “We could even play Arsenal, but they are struggling to get in the top five now, aren’t they? Who knows?”

    That was Tony Adams apparently

  10. redarse says:

    Hi GM,

    Tony was reported this morning as saying George Graham was a better manager than Arsene, because he organised the squad etc. He maintained that Arsene is more of a psychotherapist.

    What is all that about.

    He also, allegedly, said he wants to manage Arsenal, and now your snippet.

    Is he back on the sauce, do you think?

  11. chas says:

    I think he should go back on the sauce, RA. 🙂

  12. redarse says:

    My memory of what I heard was said by Tony Adams has slightly let me down, so this is the bit that is relevant.

    “We, (his new club) have a good back four, everyone behind the ball, good at set plays, very George Graham. No disrespect to Arsene, but George’s coaching ability, defensive structure and technical ability, for me, is far better.

    “No injustice to Arsene, but it’s his strength, and that was George’s particular strength.They say coaches are the best thieves and I think he (Graham) stole it off Terry Venables.

    “I think Arsene Wenger is a magnificent physiologist and psychologist. Those are the areas where he excels. He’s a lovely man and he has the respect of all the players he’s ever worked with.

    “George was an outstanding coach – I think I won six or seven trophies under him, including the Cup Winners’ Cup against Parma with a team including Ian Selley and David Hillier in midfield and Steve Morrow at the back.

    “You kind of think the guy has got something.

    “That back four – Lee Dixon, Steve Bould, Nigel Winterburn and myself – doesn’t happen by luck. We worked hard on organisation. Morning and afternoon. We hated George for it, but we were on top of our game and we reaped the benefits.

    Read more:

    Actually, TA could have a point about the need to keep working at defensive drills. By implication he is saying the current squad don’t do this type of training. Anyone know differently?

  13. goonermichael says:

    I actually don’r care that Diaby wears a spud shirt. I’d like him to wear it permanently.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks RA, you are educating us all and that for an accountant! Tu es un homme de beaucoup de merite as Tolstoy would have put it.

  15. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, TA might be putting the finger on the sore spot. I am currently working on a post that probably will be sub-titled: ‘Ars-Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’, and the linked you’ve attached is very helpful.

  16. Red Arse says:


    If it’s Zen related, your haiku skills will stand you in good stead! 🙂

    Awake from dreams
    of Gunners transfers
    my heart rejoices

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Like it RA, it’s very quiet on here today. What’s going on?

  18. Red Arse says:

    After our unsuccessful season finale, how about;

    Finishing fourth
    all that remains
    of broken dreams

    More an a-a-a structure, 4-4-4

    (for those not attending poetry class yesterday, that represents syllables not a new team formation). 🙂

  19. Big Raddy says:

    These Haiku’s are great, keep them up.

    I am heading Blighty -wards this afternoon,. Typically the weather is due to be poor which is very annoying. as I always tell my Viking the weather is much milder in the UK, and it normally is.

    back at the keyboard on Tuesday unless I can hide away for a few minutes with a computer.

    Where is GIE? Being naughty I hope.

    Is it this w/e that Carlito jumps? If so, best of luck.

  20. Red Arse says:


    The other AA’ers are probably all reading the back copies of previous Posts, rather than chatting to you and me.

    Speaking of which, lunchtime calls! see you later! 🙂

  21. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Now 4-4-4 is a considerably better idea that any of the transfer drivel. Ox-Chamberlain…just what we need!

  22. Red Arse says:

    Hi Raddy, 🙂

    Before I go, I wish you an enjoyable break, altho’ the weather here is a typically English Summer at the mo’!

    I think GIE has swanned off to Wales for a short holiday, that or the poetry is driving him bonkers!! 🙂

    C U Tuesday.

  23. Red Arse says:

    Hi Micky, 🙂

    Oxface Chamberlain is apparently the subject of a counter bid by Manyoo, so we may not get him yet! 🙂

    Pinching Ronaldo, Stam, Horseface, the Raphael twins, Smalling, Jones, now Oxface — Fergie has definitely got it in for Arsene!! 🙂

    Def my last comment. Laters

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Have a nice w/e, and yes, I am sure it is Carlito’s biggy, so good luck to him.
    Broken dreams? I think we may be delighted with fourth next term!

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What this site desperately needs is a “source”. Can’t believe that between us we cannot unearth a mole. GM, for example, must cut someone’s hair who sleeps with someone’s brother for goodness sake.

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    It’s tough Micky89, I agree.

    Prospect named
    Gooners’ hearts anticipate
    Red Nose dagger

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    Have a good break BR – time to spoil your Viking

  28. RockyLives says:

    Greetings from Canada.

    Good luck Carlito – you’re a braver man than I.

    Carlito jumps from ‘plane
    Starts high, then keeps on falling
    Much like Arsenal’s run-in

  29. Herb'sArmy says:

    All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace!

  30. RockyLives says:

    I like that Herb – where’s that from?

  31. dandan says:

    Carlito do you have an approximate schedule for tomorrow,

    I may wander down to Sibson with my Camera if time allows,

    Good luck anyway

  32. Carlito11 says:

    Thanks for all the words of support folks. I have yet to find out what happens if it’s rainy and thundery tomorrow- could be a damp sqib (like our season- I like the analogy RL!). Anyhow, bravery’s got nothing to do with it- the organiser got me sozzled and then proposed the idea to me in a very well-thought out way. Once I’d given my word there was no going back- stupidity is the greater part of valour! (and drunkeness!)

  33. Carlito11 says:

    Dandan- I will get back on the site this evening with details. Would be great to have some AAers in support!

  34. Herb'sArmy says:

    Three hour-long programmes available on BBC-I Player, and a must-watch for any/every accountant.

  35. dandan says:

    Big Raddy hope you noticed that article from the Times did not have any comment from me attached to it.

    I put it up, purely as it is a pay to view site and I thought many who might enjoy it, would not be able to see it.

  36. RockyLives says:

    I appreciate your reprinting of relevant Times articles. I don’t subscribe to their online content thing (I can’t imagine they’ll be able to keep charging if no-one else does) but I do like a lot of their sports journalism.

    I miss reading Simon Barnes in particular.

  37. London says:

    This is Jenkinson’s first interview, he has a much stronger Finish accent that I expected lol

  38. goonermichael says:

    God luck carlito

  39. shrek2be says:

    Greetings fellow Gooners!! Its been a long time since I posted here.
    Looking at the news on the internet , it seems Nasri ,Cesc & Clichy are leaving . Personally I would like Nasri to stay and hopefully get a good amount of cash for Cesc + Alcantara/Bojan being the deal mooted in the press. But I think the biggest thing I would like AW to do is buy specialist players for the positions we are lacking . If we are buying a central defender , lets make sure we buy only a guy who doesn’t know to do anything else apart from that . For far too long we have bought players who are played out of position. I believe that Jack/Ramsey should be be in the deep midfield playmaker position and Nasri should be the guy playing in the hole trequartista and we should be getting a proper winger who can dribble past opponents and score goals . Hopefully Hazard will sign with us and we can do away with Walcott’s inability to dribble past defenders and try to hone him as a substitute striker .

  40. London says:

    Notice the way he uses “we” at the end of the interview, spoken like a fan, you gotta love him for it.

  41. London says:

    HI Shrek

    Your world sounds so exciting what with the transfer comings and goings and all, unfortunately unless it is confirmed on I don’t believe a word I read on the internet.

  42. Rasp says:

    Talksport are reporting that we have as good as signed Gervinho

    Best of luck with the jump Carlito, no screaming like a baby on the way down though 😳

  43. WiganGooner says:

    Unfortunately I trust TalkSpite about as much as I trust SAF to leave Nasri alone.


  44. Rasp says:

    I’d prefer Benzema WG, but as you say, coming from TS, it is hardly a reliable report.

  45. Carlito11 says:

    Rasp have no fear, I shall maintain a dignified silence all the way down 😉 My preparations so far have involved packing a spare pair of pants!

  46. Herb'sArmy says:

    I know I’m a relative new-comer to the site Carlito, but good luck for the week-end.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Valour found Carlito11
    Way up high, above familiar
    Match made in heaven

  48. TotalArsenal says:


    Valour finds Carlito11
    Way up high, above familiar
    Match made in heaven

    Good luck tomorrow Carlito!

    Oh, and don’t worry AA’ers: this will be my last attempt at a heiku! Blame RA – he got me infected with the heiku-bug!

  49. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Whoa Carlito,
    Two pairs of pants. Make sure it is your AFC No1’s on the outside.
    Enjoy the ride.

  50. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I will buy you much pints of the black stuff if you do it. Same boozer, same time, first home game before we wobble down to the Tavern and join the lightweights!

  51. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Well in with the Jenkinson video. A true Gooner, fantastic.

  52. Carlito11 says:

    Micky it’s a cracking idea but the suits they make you wear are pretty bulky. I shall give it a go though! I’ve enjoyed the haikus- yet another unique day on AA! Thanks for all the wishes folks 🙂

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    So, Jenkinson is an Arsenal man. So are Bent and Young. There’s a thought, preferential shopping for Gooners. Would it make the difference when push comes to shove?

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Down to the Finsbury shop first thing for a set of fat man XXL pants. Jobs on!

  55. dandan says:

    Free falling, earthwards

    Bowel clenching progresion

    Chute opens, relief

  56. goonermichael says:

    LOL dandan

    Take your brown ones carlito 🙂

  57. goonermichael says:

    Anyone think Nasri will got ot the mancs? Anyone think they are even after him?

  58. SharkeySure says:

    Ahoy DanDan thats brilliant !!

  59. Carlito11 says:

    Dandan GM 🙂 – our bus leaves Kings Cross around 9.30, we should be at Sibson around midday and then we have a “briefing” before starting the jumps. I believe I will be jumping between 2 and 3pm…

  60. SharkeySure says:

    London, so true about the kid’s accent, I barely understood a word !!!

  61. Best of luck from me too Carlito 😛

    micky – how many weeks is it until we meet at The Tavern for the first pints of the season? Might have to start a countdown soon.

    Where’s Harry hiding?

    Anyone got a small post up their sleeve? We really need some

  62. Harry says:

    Harry’s Back…………………..I’m in the house……..

    Sorry guys, had some major fire fighting to do at work, at one point I felt like that I was a firefighter in the austrailian outback……..Missed you all……

    So whats the gossip? anyone with insider knowledge……….

    My thoughts on the happenings so far / rumours::::

    1. Phil Jones was a big miss, he is quality (Much better than Smalling who I wasnt bothered about last year)
    2. Henderson 20million……thats absurd………
    3. I do think Fab is going, thanks for the memories, we’ll survive, disappointed, but lets not drag it out and affect the team anymore…….
    4. The biggest prioirty for me is keeping Nasri……
    5. Clichy can go………Get Baines in……..
    6. Gervinho would be an interesting signing…….
    7. Jenkinson is a very highly rated prospect that we lined up 4 months ago, that people (press) compared this to United transfer splash and we are on the downward curve was hilarious……
    8. Oxlade-Chamberlain is worth going all out for….
    9. Cannot believe The annual opener at Barnet is off and we were going for a AA meeting…..

    Anyway Good luck Carlito……………….

    Still proud to be a Gooner……………….Dont write us off you Bar stewards in the press….

  63. Herb'sArmy says:


    Luzhny/Hoyte/Gilbert/ Stepanovs/Simek Upson/Cygan/ van Bronkhorst/Juan/
    Garry/Volz Tavlaridis/Squillaci Silvestre Grondin

    Pennant/Garde/ Inamoto/Ricketts/ Mendez/Bischoff/ Boa Morte/Thomas
    Larsson Svard Spicer/Merida

    Karbassiyoon/Lupoli/ Aliadiere/Diawara/
    Jeffers/Stokes Wreh/Owusu Abeyie

    In 15 years Wenger has bought/brought over 100 players to the club, and the players above are a stark example of not only a poor transfer policy, but why we’ve been six years without silver-ware. We all know the obvious successes, but there has been an awful lot of dross that have been allowed to wear our club’s shirt. Wenger has a monumental task this summer, because any more of the type listed above and we’ll be saying goodbye to CL football!

  64. goonermichael says:

    Look on the bright side Herb 🙂

  65. SharkeySure says:

    Howdy herb.

    Van Bronckhurst sold to Barcelona, captained his country in a WC Final.
    Pennant – generated around £6m in transfer fees to the Arsenal (initial fee plus sell on fees). Prem regular.

    Larsson – prem regular, Wreh, life saver in 1998 – wont have a bad word said about him.

    Yeah there’s one or two duds in thee, but ask yourself what their total net cost is. Thats fees in less fees out.

    Based on net cost the only dud is Richard Wright. He was decent money £8m ish?. and moved on for a pretty big loss. Likewise Jeffers.

    Squillaci’s not as bad as people like to think.

    The rest are all youth teamers. No Academy anywhere has 11 players who all make it into the first team. Often a kid like Wilshire or Fabregas is the star and most of the other players are not far off from simply being background extras.

    On that basis, you pretty much want to discount all youths/trainees as necessary overheads, or training material. You really do need to have more than just one or two legends in the making in any youth set up.

    Fergies flops. Veron, Taibi, Kleberson, Djemba Djemba, and countless other senior pros. Then throw in all the next ‘Ryan Giggs’ that have ended up in Leagues 1 and 2 if they’re lucky..not that I bother to count those of course 😉

  66. SharkeySure says:

    Too right GM. I’m never sure why any Arsenal fan goes out of his way to do down the club he says he loves.

    I gues in their minds they feel they are criticising Arsene Wenger separately from the club, but I still don’t get it.

    Thats why I had to bin the other site from my reading range. I wanna hear some good stuff about my club most days, and save the bad stuff for our dark days around a bad loss. I certainly can’t do gloom and doom all day every day.

    Thats why I love this site so much cos the range of topics covered is unbelievably broad. No one tells me ten times a day that Diaby’s inconsistent, or that we don’t defend set pieces very well.

  67. barumgooner says:

    Well said SS. Diaby isn’t inconsistent, sadly he is all too consistent but not in a way we would like. I too hate to read all the doom and gloom from fellow gooners, it’s bad enough to get forced it down our throats from the media. I must confess that Mr Diaby is the one player that does strike a nerve with me and sadly sums up all that is wrong with us at the moment but for richer, for poorer through good times and bad I gooner I am and a gooner I will forever be.

  68. 26may1989 says:

    Harry, I agree with every one of your 1-9 at 9.19pm, though I’d love to think we can squeeze a decent player out of Barca in part exchange for our Fab.

    Herb, Herb, Herb, what on earth are you on about? With the greatest of respect (really), I haven’t read a greater load of nonsense than your post since I last subjected myself to Myles Palmer’s claptrap. Sharkey’s addressed some of the points, but frankly he’s let you off a bit lightly (he’s a bit of a softy, that Sharkey).

    Do you really think every single young player who passes through a club is going to become Lionel Messi, Paolo Maldini or Zinedine Zidane? Signing young talent and sifting through them in the crucial 16-19 years to see the ones that might, just might, succeed is the name of the game. And whatever other criticisms can be made of Wenger, the man is a complete genius at that.

    You say that your comical list shows why we’ve gone six seasons without silverware. Really? You really believe that? Well look at the list again: virtually every player on it was with us while we were winning trophies (Silvestre, Squillaci and Merida look to be the only exceptions).

    Sorry, mate, you’re probably a top guy, and I hope your list was just a tongue-in-cheek wind-up, because if it isn’t you just made yourself look very silly.

  69. barumgooner says:

    To me the best thing about this site is that you can have an opinion whether positive or negative and generally nobody gets too heated about it. I think its fair to say that none of us are truly happy with the position the club are in at the moment and we all have varying ideas on what should be done to improve. Truth is it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference what we think but it makes us feel a bit better to put our thoughts down for others to see. For me we must keep Nasri at all costs, let Cesc go coz im bored of it all now, let Clichy go and replace with Baines, buy Cahill and Parker (make him captain) and switch back to 4-4-2 but as I say It’ll never happen. Oh and pay spurs to give Diaby his dream of wearing a spud kit every week.

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi BarumG, I know it is hard to see positives at the moment, but you could make yourself a bit happier by sitting back and see what will happen over the next three months. It is a long time to go, and yes a few players could leave, and a few quality signings might come in: who knows?

    If I look at the worse case scenario that it is being pictured by the desperate media: Cesc, Nasri, Bendtner and Clichy leaving, I am still not getting upset. I trust the Arsenal board to replace these players with quality if they indeed were to leave. Don’t believe anything that you read though, unless it is on the BBC or Arsenal official websites.

    I am not sure about Parker at Arsenal and especially not as captain. There is so much quality in our midfield (even without Cesc and Nasri), he would struggle to make a mark. Yes, he has got personality and desire, but that is not enough to really make a difference for us. What do you like about him?

  71. Herb'sArmy says:

    And that 26 is why we have come to accept the mediocre and mentally register it as success. Big up to you!

  72. goonermichael says:

    I wouldn’t trust the bbc either. They are manc lovers like the rest.

  73. goonermichael says:

    Uyou could write a long list of shit manc players too.

  74. Herb'sArmy says:


    Chapman like Ferguson wasn’t afraid to spend money. With the money Chapman spent to build his side we won the title five times between 1931-1939. 100 players is far too many to justify no silver-ware in six years.

  75. 26may1989 says:

    That’s right, Herb, there’s no point signing a single player unless we know he’ll be a footballing genius.

    Tell me, which club should we be emulating? Because I’m having trouble thinking of one that meets your standards of excellence.

  76. goonermichael says:

    He’s bought 100 players in six years?

  77. goonermichael says:

    Comparing wenger with Chapman is a bit unfair really.

  78. 26may1989 says:

    Herbert Chapman died in January 1934. He was an Arsenal great and laid the foundations for our first period of greatness but he only won two titles for us. And how long did he take to win his first one? Six years. Wenger? Won it in his second season.

  79. Herb'sArmy says:


    When was the last good signing we made that led to us winning something that wasn’t the Emirates Cup?
    GM – He’s b(r)ought 100+ players during the 15 years he’s been in charge. Can’t be many other clubs who have been so wasteful.

  80. Herb'sArmy says:


    The team he built and his brand of football won five titles in eight years. Shame we can’t say the same of Wenger.

  81. 26may1989 says:

    Oh, so that’s the test now? Funny, that’s not what you argued before Herb.

    We haven’t won anything for six seasons, but then five of those required the manager to work without additional funding. In that context, and while the club was going through the structural uncertainty created by a once-in-a-generation capital project, achieving top four football alongside three genuine cracks at the title (2005, 2008 and 2010), an FA Cup win (2005), a CL Final (2006) and a League Cup Final (2007) represents real success. There’s a reason a stalwart like Nigel Winterburn called Arsenal fans spoilt, and expecting success in the conditions that pertained until May 2010 is it.

    The season just finished represents the first real season of real failure, since the stadium debt ceased to be a real problem in May last year; but even this season saw us put together three-quarters of a title-winning season before the collapse in the last quarter. Wenger’s judgment is one factor that deserves to be questioned in light of that failure, but it is indisputable that he put out a squad that was in a winning position and, if they had won games against the likes of Blackburn, West Brom and Sunderland, we’d be champions.

    You hate Wenger, I don’t get that, but as I’ve said before, it’s your right. I just wish you’d come up with one decent argument to support what you say.

  82. 26may1989 says:

    Herb, unless you’re at least 90 years old, you really don’t have a clue what brand of football was being played by Arsenal between 1934 and 1939.

  83. Herb'sArmy says:

    The W-M formation, 26. I don’t hate Wenger, I hate the ordinary players he thinks are good enough to wear our shirt.

  84. 26may1989 says:

    And Herb, as for your 100 player nonsense, Ferguson has had almost that many who have made fewer than 25 appearances for United in his 25 years see ). So if you want to do a like for like comparison, you’d need to add the dozens of players United have had on their books without making any senior appearances. Pro rata, that’s going to be at least as many as the 100 at Arsenal you keep going on about.

  85. goonermichael says:

    When chapman was manager who was he up against? I’ve read threee books about him and it seems huddersfield were the big boys then. Partly I assume because he helped to make them big. Did he have an arch enemy (for want of netter words) like sir drinkalot? was he up against a club with unlimited spending power like the chavs?

  86. Herb'sArmy says:

    Ferguson has been there 25 years, 10 years longer. See any other top club struggling to hold on to their top players this summer?

  87. goonermichael says:

    Ferguson didn’t win anything for how many years? How do you know we’re struggling to hold on to our top players? Why is nani leaving the mancs. Why did the ladyboy leave?

  88. goonermichael says:

    How much did the mancs have to pay rooney to keep him? Where is Tevez going to play next season?

  89. 26may1989 says:

    Pro rata, Herb, check what it means.

    I’m a bit bored of all this now, as I expect anyone reading this exchange is.

    Good night, and GM, look forward to seeing you back soon.

  90. Herb'sArmy says:


    Ferguson had to de-construct what he had inherited from Ron Atkinson, and it took him 3 and half years (1990 FA Cup). Since 1993 he has won 12 PL titles. Does it matter how much they’re paying Rooney? If they couldn’t afford it they wouldn’t pay it. Do we have a player of his quality? Man City are new-comers and are still getting used to being super-rich
    How do I know we’re struggling? Clichy and Nasri’s unsigned contracts?

  91. Herb'sArmy says:

    Goodnight 26. Perhaps I should considerably lower my expectations and hope we hang-on to a top five finish next season.

  92. goonermichael says:

    Van Persie is better than rooney. You said “see any other top clubs struggling to hold on to thier best players?” I mentioned rooney as it is exactly the same situation as Nasri. If we pay him more he stays if we don’t he fucks off. But you are like so many other bloggers and change the rules when it comes to the mancs. You are an Arsenal fan but you seriuosly ask if we have a player of the quality of that overated piece of shit rooney. You also said top clubs but we’ll discount the other mancs because they are “newcomers” I really couldn’t give ashit how negative you are about Arsenal but it starts pissing me off when you won’t apply the same rules to the other clubs especially the mancs.

    Sorry for my swearing but I’m actually holding back.

  93. goonermichael says:

    I am fucking discusted actually

  94. Herb'sArmy says:

    That’s why they’re winning and we’re still considerably below their level. I don’t know what rules you refer to, but apart from Ronaldo, players usually leave when Ferguson gets rid. Can you think of any who were allowed to run their contract down? Do you see it happening at Chelsea,,Liverpool or Tottenham? No? So just us then! Goodnight to you too.

  95. dandan says:

    Herb,Please put another record on mate, We are a pretty easy going mob on here just give the negativity a rest now. Write about a some good times you have had at the Arsenal for a change’

    You Know, I sometime wonder, ( One) do you get stuck into the alcopops of an evening as your rhetoric gets more histrionic and nonsensical as the hour gets later, or (two) are you actually a Manc.

    Either way just respect we are in a period of change and in a months time all will be much clearer and your constant regurgitation’s will be even more unnecessary.

    And yes I do think Arsene is the bee’s knee’s

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bon Matin dandan,
    GM said Nani has left Utd. Where has he gone? I was staggered he did not start the CL Final

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Any arboralists here?

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    peachesgooner says:
    June 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    “micky – how many weeks is it until we meet at The Tavern for the first pints of the season? Might have to start a countdown soon.”
    When does fixture list come out, and anyone with two spares?

  99. Evonne says:

    Morning Micky
    I have just read the trail of last night’s blog. Phew, GM got pretty upset?
    Well, he is right. I am sure some of AAers would put his words more eloquently, but the meaning would be the same

    GM – I am with you on this one 🙂

  100. Morning all

    Late night blogging either turns into a music love-in or a great big heated row.

    It’s a shame that Herb is still so upset by the lack of fight in the latter part of the season but unsurprisingly he’s not alone – but we do have to look forward and hope that all the stuff in the press is mostly rumour mongering and come the start of the season we’re all feeling positive.

    micky – what d’you need a tree person for?

  101. 26may1989 says:

    Good morning.

    Unsurprisingly, I think GM was absolutely right. But if Herb’s criticisms had been of the players’ disintegratation in the last ten games (other than beating his beloved Man U of course), and of Wenger’s inability to arrest the decline, I’d have had some sympathy.

    But unremitting negativity is as inaccurate as blinkered positivity. And the basis of Herb’s arguments, and his inability to stick with one line of argument, made him an irritating person to have a late night exchange. Can’t speak for GM, but beer may have contributed to my intolerance too.

    Hopefully the next meeting of AA Insomniacs will be musical, perhaps about the late, great Gil Scott Heron.

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Evonne, I looked up the Tatra mountains the other day, as you suggested. Pretty impressive indeed; I did not know there are mountains up to 2500 above sea level in Poland!

    Did you watch the Poland – France friendly two days ago? How did ‘Lucky’ do?

  103. dandan says:

    I couldn’t sleep, got up at 4.30 to that nonsense on AA went away and left it and then am sorry to say came back and reacted.

  104. goonermichael says:

    Good morning. Sorry about last night. I don’t drink that much and apart from a bottle of tiger at the chinese didn’t last night, I don’t really care about people being negative that much but the rules should be the same for all clubs in an argument. rooney went public and said he was leaving. It took 200k a week and death threats to keep him. Nasri wants 110k a week. if we pay it he stays if we don’t he probably goes. I can’t see the difference apart from the fact that one wears an Arsenal shirt and one is scum. Also to ask have we got a playuer of shrks quality.

  105. Gooner in Exile says:

    Good morning all!!!

    I have an Internet connection again!!

    A week in Wales has given me a well earned rest and only being able to get sports info from Text has been a trip back in time!!

  106. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi 26, I read some of the comments between GM, Herb and you last night and decided to stay out of it. Herb’s contributions are often fantastic and full of (historic) insight, and he is a great contributor to AA. However, sometimes he starts a discussion with only one thing in mind: to show other AA’ers that Arsene is a failure and that so many of us are letting him get away with it, whih infuriates him. He is rather fixated with this view and there is nothing anybody can do to change his mind. You try to argue with him on the content and facts of the actual argument which is of course the right thing to do – and to be fair, Herb does this as well – but it is not going to change his mind regarding his stance on Wenger.

    I would say to you and GM, best is to ignore Herb when he is in this sort of mood, or try to change the subject to something you can both have a meaningful debate on.

  107. 26may1989 says:

    Wise words Total. Trouble is I often can’t resist!

  108. goonermichael says:

    You saying I’m not eloquent? 😉

  109. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    I’ve just read through all of least night’s debate.

    The problem is that there is more than a grain of truth to what Herb says and we all know it – and it hurts, most of us just want to remain friends and hope for the best.

    The only divergence is our way of dealing with that knowledge. If we dispense with crystal balls, hindsight, blind faith and simplistic answers, it is our obsession with Arsenal that binds us. The passion and commitment is equal on both sides.

    BTW, I think Micky deserves great credit for his bravery and honesty in stating that he feels it’s time AW went, and in doing so without even ruffling a single feather.

  110. goonermichael says:

    I broadly agree with most of what Herb says. It’s the one rule for us and one for the other teams that I disagree with. If I wanted to talk about how great the mancs are I’d be on republik of mancunia.

  111. goonermichael says:

    Manchester United have off-loaded £7.4m winger Bebe to Turkish club Besiktas on a season-long loan with a view to a £2m permanent move.

    We can add that to last nights list of shit mancs that I mentioned.

  112. goonermichael says:

    Darron Gibson could also move to Sunderland after the Manchester United and Republic of Ireland international midfielder said he would welcome the chance to play under manager Steve Bruce.
    Full story:

    And another one

  113. Goonerwife says:

    herb might be on the wrong site. i agree that if he want to talk about how great the mancs are he needs to bounce.

    once hate sets into people its hard to turn the evil tide. If he hates Wenger, thats his problem. Please dont make it ours. People are so disrespectful.

  114. barumgooner says:

    Hi total, sorry i didnt answer last night, went to bed. I think you misunderstand me, i’m not that negative about the situationand i agree with what you say about should all the stories be true it still isn’t that bad and life will go on. In answer to your question what i like about parker is that he could be a mentor to the likes of Jack and Aaron and true that he is no better in ability he has imo something we lack at the club, grit and determination and leadership which can be infectious and change the whole persona within the squad. I think even if he is only at the club for 2 yrs it will be money well spent. Just my view of course.

  115. Herb'sArmy says:

    Morning all.
    Firstly, please stop referring to me as a ‘Manc-lover’, it is insulting and disrespectful. I stand by what I said, 100+ players in 15 years is far too many, and of those, we’d be lucky if we could say 30 of those have been a genuine success.
    Two things for you GM. Nasri and Rooney’s situation is completely different. Rooney’s contract wasn’t running down, he just wanted more money, which they were happy to pay.. And technically van Persie may be better than Rooney, but for their overall contribution to their club’s cause and the impact it has on their club’s season, Rooney wins every time. Especially bearing in mind we’ve only had an average of 22 games from van Persie since he joined in 2003.
    Wenger needs to seriously allign his transfer policy, or we as a club will suffer, and who knows how long it might take us to recover.

  116. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, “we all know it”? Sorry, not me. There are criticisms to make of the manager, the club and the players but, even without the beer, I disagree with everything Herb said last night. I find an argument that recruiting young players who don’t all succeed shows the manager to be a failure so staggeringly wrong-headed as to be silly, esp when the real objective of the exercise, unearthing or developing a few gems like Cesc, Vieira, Wilshere, Petit, Szczesny, Cole, Anelka or Henry has been realised in style. I respect arguments that I may not agree with when they are thought through and justified. I didn’t, and don’t, respect Herb’s arguments last night.

  117. goonermichael says:

    So the number of games someone plays is an indicator of quality now? You are looking through manc tinted glasse s if you think rooneys contribution this season was anywhere near Robin’s. Funny enough I stooped posting on another site because of stuff like this. If we’d given Nasri a new contract last season Wenger would have been slaughtered for rewarding mediocrity. Rooney’s contribition this season (and to england) was rubbish. If you can’t see that then you must be blind

  118. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m,

    I know that the team has underperformed and that AW has to take the lion’s share of the responsibility for that.

    I also know that there have been perennial problems with our defense that have not been addressed and again the buck has to stop with AW.

    I know that there have been various patterns in our play and performance that the manager has either ignored or simply cannot correct – the losing from a strong winning position and tailing off at the end of the season are two of the worst.

    Despite all this, I want him to put it right and to be strong and decisive in letting weak players go and bringing in players of top first team calibre. If he has failed to do this by the end of the summer he will lose my support.

    If AW is handcuffed by a Board and owner that are denying him the funds to make our team great again, he should resign as he has set higher standards than we are presently achieving and he desperately needs the backing (financial) of the Board this summer.

  119. Herb'sArmy says:

    Take your blinkers off man! They’ve just won their 12th PL title since 1993, and in the second half of the season, Rooney’s contribution was at the hub of it. Look how easily they beat us in the FA Cup at OT. Read ‘Arsenal’s loss of Identity’ – The Online Gooner.. There really is none so blind as them that don’t want to see1

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks Rasp,
    My “breakings ranks” comment was one aimed from someone who really cares about Arsene. As I remember, it was the advice I would give as a father, brother or son to someone close who I feel is genuinely suffering from what I see as his almost obsessional love and commitment to our club. Having said this, while he is our manager, I am 100% behind him.
    Anyone with two spares for the first home game?

  121. goonermichael says:

    You think I’m wearing blinkers?

  122. goonermichael says:

    I have to go

  123. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Goonerwife,

    Disrespectful? Towards who exactly? I haven’t been abusive or aimed a foul-mouthed tirade at anybody. Nor have I said that I hate Wenger. I want him to change his transfer policy and his whole tactical philosophy because it is strangling the life out of our club. Do I like Manchester Utd? No, never have, never will. Would I exchange Wenger for Ferguson? In a heart-beat.

  124. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, as usual, I agree with you, save that I blame the players more than the manager for not seeing our challenge through to the end this season. Had they done their jobs, Wenger wouldn’t be slated as much this summer.

    But as I say, Wenger, as he no doubt knows only too well, should be queried for the collapse as well. But like Goonerwife, I’d like to see a bit of respect in that. I guess I’m a bit old fashioned that way, hence my intolerance for poorly justified attacks.

  125. goonermichael says:

    What name do you use on LG?

  126. Herb'sArmy says:


    Wenger buys the players and he selects them. They are his personal choice, and as has been proved, they are not good enough. How many players at any other club would be allowed to openly display a complete lack of discipline and respect for their club the way our players do? Fabregas, our so-called captain was at the Spanish GP while we were playing Fulham, Bendtner and Denilson have both publicly stated they want out, Clichy and Nasri both stalling over contract negotiations, followed by Diaby’s revelations that when he’s at home he wears a Tottenham shirt! Do you see any other club with similar disciplinary problems? Respect is a two-way street, and the fact that these players can behave in such a manner towards our club and the supporters is a direct reflection on the manager and the way in which the club is run.

  127. Herb'sArmy says:

    Is that your way of side-stepping the debate GM?

  128. Rasp says:

    Short and not very inspiring new post………

  129. Herb'sArmy says:

    If you think someone shook the Idiot-tree and I fell out and hit every branch on the way down, just say that. I am of the opinion that Wenger is not tactically astute enough to take us to the next level, he couldn’t do it with Monaco and he can’t do it for us. If you’ve seen something to the contrary and believe he can, you are entitld to your opinion. Aren’t these sites about thrashing ideas about and debating them? It is my humble opinion that Wenger and consequently Arsenal have stagnated, and that for a few years now he has failed to bring anything new to the table. If you’re happy with that, fine, I personally expect better of someone who is the best paid club manager in the country.

  130. 26may1989 says:


    So if the players who took to the pitch against West Brom, Sunderland, Blackburn etc (the same players who beat the team that won the title a few weeks later) had won those games, and we’d at least finished as close runners up and possibly champions, would you say the same things about Wenger? I don’t shrink from saying there are and were weaknesses; your problem is you cast it all in such negative terms that you don’t take into account the reality that Wenger fielded a team that was in a prime position to win; i.e. he did much of his job, which can’t be said for the players. Bottom line, I don’t go along with this argument that it’s all about the manager: it’s a crucial part, of course, but players carry the responsibility for what they do individually and collectively on the pitch.

    You’re right about one thing: players should respect the fans, who pay their appalling salaries. Which is why Rooney shouldn’t openly threaten to go to his club’s main rivals as a means of extracting more of their cash. And why Tevez shouldn’t publicly (but amusingly) slag off the city in which he has worked for the past few years (staggeringly, even complaining about house prices). And why Ronaldo openly engineered his dream move away from the club that developed him into being one of the best in the world. So it seems we aren’t the only ones to suffer from the effects of player power; not a huge shock there.

    I do think Arsenal are too easy-going on the players, though I wouldn’t say it’s a disciplinary problem. I see their abject surrender in the last ten games (and it is the way they gave up points that hurts as much as the fact they failed) and I see a group of young men who don’t understand how much our club means to us. They seem to think it’s ok to live in a bubble, in which they are given fantastic levels of support and loyalty by Wenger, with all the rewards and amenities they could want from the club (using our money). What the players did in the last ten games of the season frankly embarrasses me, which is why I want to see changes this summer (a few big signings, more sales and some promotions from the ranks). And I also want to see some real pressure applied to the players, who should understand that giving up in the way they did just isn’t acceptable. There are no guarantees about winning trophies, especially with Chelsea and City cheating their way to the top, but the players can’t be allowed to cave in the way they did, just because they lost a Final in unfortunate circumstances.

    But failing to acknowledge all that Wenger has done, especially from 2004 to 2010, won’t do. He could have walked out in 2004, when told he would have no money to spend for the next five years, and we would have had managers of a far lower quality, meaning the playing staff would have been worse, we would have dropped down to midtable and it would have taken years to build back up. He stayed and kept us at the level we are at. Whatever the failures of this one season, that deserves respect.

  131. Evonne says:

    GM – no, no, no, of course you are eloquent, but RA or 26may &co would use 4 syllable words instead of plain and simple feck 🙂

    Total – I didn’t even know they were playing (shame, shame, but I have no interest in internationals); my mother told me that Szczesny was very good against Argentina (Poland won)

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