When Arsenal finally wins the CL, we WILL do London proud

Johan Cruijff: “Chelsea winning the CL final is a defeat for proper football. I’d rather not win it than to have to play this way.”

Recently, I have been extremely grumpy and needed a bit of time to reflect on a bad week for honest, beautiful football, which started with the Northern Oilers succeeding in buying the title, and finished six days later, with the London Oilers getting their greasy hands on the ‘Cup with the big ears’.

Of course, these teams required incredible amounts of luck and it could easily have gone another way, but it happened nonetheless: sadly, Citeh and the Chavs have had a return on their £1bn investments this season.

In both events, the pain was somewhat mellowed through pleasant side-effects. Citeh’s win meant that Fergie and the red part of Manc-chester won nothing this season, and the chavs’ cashing in on the biggest ‘luck-cheque’ ever issued, meant the Spuds will not take part in next season’s Champions League, which could mean the beginning of the end, that never really began in the first place, for them. Dare I whisper it though: I feel it bit sorry for the Spuds having to miss out on CL footie, as the number six of the PL takes their spot despite their dismal domestic season.

It became clear to most, if not all of us, especially after such a difficult start, that we would not be challenging for the title this season. And although it hurts to see the Northern Oilers being successful in buying the PL title this season, with an incredible loss of £194m this year alone, it did not affect me anywhere near as much as seeing the Chavs take the CL-cup back to London – the first ‘local’ team to do so.

As a modern-era Gooner – I slowly but steadily converted to Goonerdom in the mid-nineties – I have build up a big loathing of the Chavs in recent years. The biggest reason for this is what they have done to football since the arrival of Abramovich and his brutal attempt to buy titles at any costs. Mourinho was brought in and his approach to the game, which is basically parasitical – they let others play entertaining football, whilst they grab as many cups as possible with boring, anti-football – did a lot of damage to the beautiful game in England.

Luckily, it was his ‘style’ of football combined with his loathsome, self-loving personality which did not meet with the long-term approval of the equally repulsive and egotistical Russian Oligarch, and he was sacked after only a few years in charge. After his departure, football in England was able to liberate itself again from the Portuguese Catenaccio-esque shackles, with which he was able to win a number of prizes whilst killing the beauty in the game with his uber-defensive, and therefore boring, football.

If every team would play the same football as Chelsea did under Mourinho nobody would watch football games anymore.

Now, the better part in me tells me to show some magnanimity – to congratulate our fellow Londoners with bringing the Cup back to the capital, but however hard I try I just cannot do it.

On Saturday, the chavs showed no desire to entertain their world audience, there was a total lack of adventure and courage, and although their game-plan might not have been written physically by Mourinho, it had all the hallmarks of that odious ex-Chav.

For the Southern Oilers to stick to such negative tactics in the final, I can only have disdain. They were exactly the same as in the semi-finals against Barcelona, and although it was not anything to sing high praises about, you can understand why RDM chose this strategy against the Catalans: it was their only chance and it fitted perfectly with their culture and style of players.

They still needed to cash-in a big part of this season’s enormous ‘luck-cheque’ though, and this combined with relentlessly and shamelessly parking the bus for 180 minutes paid-off for them handsomely. However, football died a little in those semi-final legs last month, as we witnessed a gross case of injustice. But that’s football.

Arsène Wenger would rather have quit football altogether if he was forced to play with such a philosophy and strategy. In our games with Barcelona, we always tried to escape their suffocation; we always wanted to play our game of football, even though the Catalans were successful for large parts in both encounters to force-feed their style of football to us. We never surrendered, we did not let them bully us, and we showed the rest of the world how Barcelona can be beaten in style.

The Chavs never had such desires, never tried to play attacking football, and the main reason is they lack the class of Arsenal, as almost always is the case with the nouveau -riche.

Bayern had been humiliated by Dortmund in the German cup final, only a week ago, and are nowhere near as strong as Barcelona. Yet, Chelsea chose not to play football, to let Bayern look after the entertainment side of things, to just wait and sit back – like a spider in the web: in order to pounce and kill off Bayern from a set-piece, or a risk-free counter-attack.

This was the football of cowards, of parasites, of the shameless – of those who have no pride, and of those who do not love the game for the beauty it ought to bring to people around the world.

They succeeded and (for this occasion only) the good guys lost. There is nothing for us to be magnanimous about: a team that approaches a final with such negativity deserves nothing but contempt. On top of this approach, they also enjoyed another dose of incredible luck, and it just seemed that whatever happened, and whoever they would play against, they would somehow always end up collecting this year’s CL-cup.

But what will the world remember from this game say in 24/25 years time? Well, let’s go back 24/25 years to illustrate how utterly empty and mortal the chavs’ capture of this year’s CL-cup soon will become.

On 25 May 1988, PSV Eindhoven won its only ever Europacup 1 (now CL) title, beating Benfica in the final on penalties (6-5), after a boring, goalless draw for 120 minutes. How many of us can still remember anything of this?

After relatively easy rounds against Galatasaray and Rapid Wien, PSV beat Bordeaux with the advantage of having scored the away-goal (1-1, 0-0), only to repeat exactly the same feat in the semi-final against the hot favourite, Real Madrid (1-1, 0-0). PSV were the first Dutch team to win the EC1 after the incredible successes of the total football machine of Ajax in the early seventies.

The contrast could not have been any bigger as Hiddink’s PSV were totally happy to sit back and defend solidly, hoping to pounce on any mistakes of the opponents via breaks and set-pieces – so very similar to the chavs, 24 years on.

Although PSV and their fans will always be able to claim they have won the biggest club competition in Europe, the rest of the world has long forgotten about it. The final and the previous rounds have almost totally been forgotten, and PSV’s winning of the cup has simply been reduced to a statistic – a written fact.

I have no doubt there will be plenty of Chavs saying they simply don’t care how they won the CL – that all that matters is they did it, and that Arsenal have never won it.

But I agree with Cruijff: Chelsea’s victory was a defeat for proper football.

And one thing I know for sure: as long as Arsene Wenger is our manager, we will always aim to do anything that we do with style, with respect to our opponents, with loyalty to our philosophy of playing the beautiful game, and with the sheer desire to play the sort of football that sets hearts on fire, and entertains a crowd, whether it’s a small or XXX-Large one. Wenger is not perfect, but you cannot fail him for his desire to play beautiful football.

One day, hopefully soon, Arsenal will win the CL and when we do so, it will be unforgettable, and just like we did with the Invincibles, Arsenal is likely to leave something behind for eternity, something utterly immortal, something to talk about for generations.

We will show the chavs how it should be done. Arsenal would aim to play proper, beautiful, entertaining football and do London proud across the globe. And that’s why there is nothing better in the world than to be a Gooner.

Written by TotalArsenal.


141 Responses to When Arsenal finally wins the CL, we WILL do London proud

  1. […] When Arsenal finally wins the CL, we WILL do London proud […]

  2. Gooner In Exile says:

    Lovely post TA and I couldn’t have said it better, but I have a busy day ahead so I’m
    outta here before the Chavs arrive.

  3. Morning all, an impassioned and extremely well thought out summation of the approach used by the John Terry managed team to win ‘ole Big Ears from TotalA, to which I doff my sombrero, it’s las perras cajones.

    While it would be nice to entertain on the way to a trophy I believe any southern Chavs managers remit is to win a trophy at ANY cost, so style/entertainment has never been a consideration.

    Maureen Yo was aware of that when he took over the scummy denizens of the Fulham bus top and his ethos has stayed in the mind set of JT, Lumpus Maximus and Ca$hley.
    They don’t particularly care how they wil be remembered – just that they won trophies, even if one of them took full credit for the final even though his participation was limited to putting his kit on(& shin pads, don’t forget).

  4. Don’t worry GiE – if any chavs come here looking for aggro I’ll tin tack ’em 🙂

  5. sleepinggiant says:

    Sadly coudln’t agree less. Unlike you, I am a gooner since the 1970’s, and this ‘beautiful football’ nonsense has nothing whatsoever to do with being a Gooner. It is the very antithesis of what it is to be an Arsenal fan. Indeed, we used to laugh at small clubs in North London who used to make a familiar pathetic groping excuse that they would not sacrifice trophies for their ‘beautiful football’ . Make no mistake – those are the words of Spurs, not Arsenal. And they are absolute bollocks.

    Not that I am against beautiful football – far from it. But I want the team to play beautiful football only because I think is is more likely to be winning football. If I thought Stoke football was more likely to win the European Cup than our current sytle, then I would abandon our current style without a moments regret. Because THAT is what being an Arsenal fan has always been about. Being a pragmatic winning team.

    But the real point is not about the on the pitch style. You can win with many different styles. The crimes that are being committed are off the pitch. Arsenal will never ever ever win the European Cup until they stop making excuses and pretending that mediocrity is a success. Our refusal to compete for the most of a decade paved the way for another London club to win the European Cup, for the first time in 100 years putting our status as London’s toep cub in doubt. Again, these things can happen, but it is the refusal of our club, despite the obscene resources of the club and its shareholders, to comptete at the top level, that has basically invited the Chavs to take our crown. That is an unforgiveale sin, and a stain that will tarnish the current regime forever.

    If Usmanov takes over Arsenal, spends 500 million quid and wins the European Cup Twice (beause once will not be enough now), and Cruyff, Pele and the rest call it ‘a crime agains footbal’l, my answer would be screw them and screw football – This is for Arsenal and to hell with the rest of you and ‘football’. I honestly yearn for the days we were everybodys most hated team instead of the curse of the current team, where we are everybodys second favourite team. Patronising, insulting and a title for losers. Appripriate for the current shower but not the Arsenal way of old.

  6. LB says:

    Although I love the anti-chav stance I don’t think we quite have the expansive view from the moral high ground that you suggest we would take: I refer you to the last time we won a trophy.
    But, hey could I come up with something to write about this morning? No. So thank you TA for giving us something so well written to read.

  7. sleepinggiant – while I am happy to adopt a slightly more pragmatic style at times, I don’t think parking the bus, using the post to save goals then scoring from your only corner of the game is an approach that will succeed often. It’s not just us who hate negative play, look at Villa and the Barcodes whose fans were less than enamoured of the tactics adopted ny McLiesh and Fat Sam.

    As for playing like Stoke, well……my dislike of them is second only to the red Mancs and whisky breath himself.

    I can see attendances at the Grove dipping sharply if we employed a bunch of cloggers to don the blessed red and white.

    I’m sure you’ll agree the Chavs needed an extraordinary amount of luck to win last Saturday.

  8. LB says:


    You will find many people who have a lot of knowledge of the seventies onwards on this site.

    The first half of your comment gave me goose bumps as I knew exactly what you meant and if you had screamed from the North Bank on the pitch I promise you I would have followed.

    But the second half misses something so important: we do not have an owner that is prepared to spend £500 million without any care as to whether he ever gets it back or not.

    This is not the board’s fault this is an unfortunate fact we have had to live with and it is that fact that has stopped us from competing in the transfer market the way we used to.

    You make the assumption that Usmanov would spend such sums without a care………….are you sure that would happen?

    That said your comment is quality I hope I get to read more of them on this site.

  9. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chary at 10:02:

    “I can see attendances at the Grove dipping sharply if we employed a bunch of cloggers to don the blessed red and white.”

    This is the difference between us and Chavs, we need bums on seats and corporate more than the they do as they finance our on field activities. Give them a nice box and free flowing football & alcohol and even if they don’t support Arsenal they will sit and watch, and business in London will choose it as a destination in which to entertain their clients rather than Stamford Bridge.

    Jay losing fans? If thats true then they were not fans anyway.

  10. LB says:


    I have a theory about this: have you noticed how the volume is going up at the Emirates? Well, I would say it has and the reason I reckon this has happened is because slowly and slowly the glory hunters are disappearing and what remains are far closer relatives to the away support. So to sum up the quicker the “Jay” type fans FO the better.

  11. Big Raddy says:

    Sorry – Jay has disappeared. No idea why…..

    TA. Another beautifully written and considered post.

    Unfortunately, whilst wanting to agree with you I can’t. Flying home from Copenhagen after beating Parma 1-0 in a total one-sided Final (we had 2 shots), I didn’t give a sailor’s cuss about our luck or style of football. We won and I was deliriously happy.

    6 months on and I amongst others was delighted GG left and took his pragmatic football with him.

  12. sleepinggiant says:

    Hi LB – thanks for the kind words.

    You have very astutely pointed out the one thing that angers me about Arsenal, and the absolute root of our problems.

    We have an owner who is ‘UNWILLING’ to invest. A lot of apologists will say we ‘CANNOT’ compete. Utter garbage. Total lies. As we both know it is not a case of ‘CANNOT’ but ‘WILL NOT’. Every other problem that the club has stems from that – it is a simple lack of ambition. The clubs priorities are not on the pitch. Indeed, if we dare to question their tactics, their spindoctors will laughably tell us, in an underhand way, that we are lucky to have a club to support at all!!!!!!! Everyone accepts that we cannot win everything every year, but these golddigers need to be told that an Arsenal that rules out competing with the best is not the club we grew up with. We may not always have been the best, but the club never stamped out our hopes as ruthlessly as it does now, at the same time telling us how lucky we are, and how good it is to be mediocre!!

    As for Usmanov, well nobody knows what he would invest. The best we can do is us a bit of analogous reasoning – US businessmen owners at Man U, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Arsenal – little investment..

    Megarich (generally natrual resource funded) owners at Chavs, City, PSG, Anzhi and even Malaga (watch them go, by the way), mega investment.

    If they were honest with themselves, even the pro-regime fans would admit that an Usmanove takeover would almost certainly lead to massive investment, and this, will certain lead to increased on-pitch success.

    However, given how much money the club generates oranically, I would argue that even some reasonable investment of the Kroenke billions, necessarily on the megarich scale, just reasonable targeted investment, would push us back towards the top. Instead, we are told we should be glad we are mediocre…..

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Following on …..

    In other words, although I am proud of our football and delighted we have a worldwide reputation as a attractive football team I would swap some of our entertainment for a trophy.

  14. sleepinggiant says:

    Charybidis – Sorry, I thought I covered that in my comment. I am certainly not advocating that we play like Stoke, the opposite in fact – I said I , along with most fans want to continue to play good football. But ONLY because it is most likely to bring success. If another, less attractive style was more likely to bring increased success, then the current style should be binned without a second thought. But that is not the case, and the Stoke reference is only to illustrate a point (although if you work for the Murdoch Press, you would be writing ‘Fan advocates Pulis for the Emirates’ headlines!!)

    The Chavs were lucky, but they made thier own luck by insisting they were in the final shake up every yearz. It was only bad luck and referring bias that stopped them winning before now, curse them.

  15. That’s fair enough sleepinggiant, but even a nod towards the “direct” style wouldn’t go down well with significant sections of the Arsenal fanbase, IMO.

    However I agree, dam the chavs and their stinking luck; I’m sure Abramovich has made another Faustian pact to give his evil minions some devilish slices of luck on the way to their ill gotten gains.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    sleeping giant. Thank you for your comments. They make very interesting reading.

    Assuming we received this huge influx of money there is no guarantee of success. Barca won nothing this year, neither did PSG or Malaga or MU. Chelsea’s CL win was entirely down to luck, otherwise they would be playing in the Europa.

    With FFP around the corner it is too late for massive investment. I believe AFC are on the right path.

  17. wolfgang says:

    Cruff is entitled to his comments.The record shows Chelsea have won the 2012 cl.They don’t show Chelsea were outplayed. Same with the Dutch team of 1974 WV which shd have been the winners but sadly Germany won it.The Dutch played the better soccer but fans care only about winning.
    As for Arsenal winning the cl,pls don’t make me laugh.However in soccerr never take never for never.Unless Arsenal/Arsene can show a significant improvement in the defence,the y will probably get as far as the qf/sf.
    Of course with Bould coming on,he could surprise us.We will know for sure how the season will unfold after the first three to four months next season.

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Sleeping giant. Let’s be honest that semi-final v Barca in 2009 was one of the funniest matches ever ….. when Iniesta scored !!!!

    And we have been “in the shake up” for 15 years.

    Off out. Thanks for your comments

  19. Goonerism says:

    Sorry but I have to say I’m not in agreement. When Barca went up against Chelsea in the second leg and Terry was sent off I was delighted as I thought it would see them out of the competition. However Chelsea’s guts to pull off that win and then the subsequent win in the final actually made me have a sneaky admiration for them and also brought a reminder of what made me love Arsenal so much when I was kid in the mid to late 80s – the sheer bloody mindedness of the team!!
    There is no chance the current Arsenal team could do what they did and that was something we used to be able to do so well. There’s no point in saying Chelsea did a lot of damamge to the beautiful game in England – we had the same mentality and were hated for being like that at one point as well.

    Don’t get me wrong, I despise Chelsea more than Spurs and hate that they and City have blugeoned their way to titles with money but credit to Chelsea for their resolve in winning the CL. I’m just gutted that as Londdon’s biggest club that we didn’t do it first.

    Taking the moral high ground, as the likes of Cruyff do, over the type of football played seems a little precious to me. Yes I love some of our football but what I find unacceptable is that our team are unable to perform many of the basics that ANY professional football team should be able to do. Defensive and positional discipline have nothing to do with the amount of money you spend on a player and everything to do with coaching. Without those things we can play as much pretty football as we like and will never win anything.

    I took felt a little sorry for Spurs as I would of rather seen Chelsea miss out on CL football next season than them, but at the same time they have only themselves to blame as they were in a great position.

    Now imagine how bad you’d feel if we had finished fourth and we had to watch Chelsea lift the cup as well as have Spurs take our CL place…..

  20. sleepinggiant says:

    Raddy – Very interesting last point and the real fly in the ointment. I so hope you are correct, but I fear that MAn C have already shown that FFP will just be laughed at. For the record, I have written many times about how Arsenal need extra investment, but that is only because I dont think FFP will work. My ideal, like every other sensible peson’s, is for FFP to kick in and we see a level playing field.

    Where I differ from those who hang on every word of the current regime is that I believe it is Arsenals duty to strive to be competitive at the very top whatever the prevailing conditions are. That is the club we have chosen to support. We may not always succeed, of course, but thats another story

    I must take issue with your other points. The facts actually prove beyond doubt that that mega investment pays off. Just because Barca won nothing this years does not mean thier investment failed. They won absolutely everying last year and may win the cup this year. And they were only gazzumped by mega investing Madrid and Chelsea. Equally, Malaga have gone from being a third rate team to being a champions league team on the back of thier investment, overtaking traditional challengers like Athletico, Valencia and Sevilla on the way. Equally, even if the Chavs didnt win the CL or the cup this year, their investment has turned them from being a nothing of a club into one of the top 6 clubs in the world. And thier success proves the value of investment most of all – even if FFP comes in now, the success they have gained on the back of Abramovich’s billions has ensured their club a place at the top table of European football. It has turned a very minor London club into a global power,

    A megarich club will not win every trophy every year. But the facts prove beyond argument that the mega investment results in dramatic investment pretty much everywhere it happens.


    Thanks for the post TA. We will be winning the Champions league soon and in style my friend and its going to feel great.

    sleepinggiant, you suprise me. I read your post about Arsenals pragmatic history and could not agree with you more, for me its spot on. But then you go on and some ramble about Arsenal lacking ambition which for me is total and complete nonsense.To base your argument on the premise that owners should put there own personal money into the club has nothing to do with lack of ambition.

    When you look at the Club all you see is ambition. As ive said before the club strives to be the best at what ever it attempts, from the tea lady to the management and players. Thats what Arsenal is all about. Ambition is not about some guy giving you hand outs its about desire, work rate and ethos, and Arsenal have all these qualities in abundance.

  22. Danish Gooner says:

    Give it a rest with this sanctimonious crap.Chelsea how dispeciable they may be played to their strenghts and won it fair and square.Remember GG and his Cup Winners against one of europes finest at that time Parma,it was dire defensive football for 93 minutes and if you didnt turn out to be and Arsenal fan you would have been bored to death,noone complained at that time.Now there is this tendency to take the morale highground this piss posh sanctimonius crap because Wenger ditates that we play the right way,off course we dont,if we did ,we wouldnt have let in 49 goals,defending your goal is just as much an art form as scoring goals and going forward which we are no better at then Chelsea may i say is rather overrated if you cant defend just as effeciently.

  23. Danish Gooner says:

    You will be death and buried and so will i before we win the CL and that is a promise.

  24. Gooner Forever. North London by birth. A Gooner by the grace of God says:

    If The Iceman had been able to get on a plane we would have won the CL years ago.

  25. Olumide says:

    It’s a shame that most arsenal bloggers who hv blogged abt chelsea only saw negatives. Chelsea were missing 3 key players for d final match & still held on to win. They conceded in d 83rd min & still managed to win. That’s champions stuff, you remember our f.a cup win against man united in ’05? I bet you didn’t write this after dt day. Let’s look @ the future, in 20 years time d thing we’ll remember is dt chelsea were d 1st team from london 2 win champs lge(& mind you, they didn’t cheat like beautiful football playing barcelona used to do). Like some said, winning attracts enmity & it is evident here. But if you will choose beautiful football(& conceding 4 against milan) ahead of winning the uefa champs lge, then it looks like you’re a loser.

  26. wally says:

    Tactics are a bigger issue than investment. Not to rip the manager but Increased investment would not have prevented this team from shipping so many goals this season or last or the one before or…..That’s down to tactics which falls on the manager.
    Increased investment won’t mean a thing if the manager keeps running out the same XI for every game. Which of course leads to the team failing at the end each year from fatigue.

  27. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB re the fans that can FO, I thought it was interesting that as CL qualification became more likely (after the results against Spuds, Toon, City etc) the noise volume dropped markedly when it was Wigan but maybe that’s just because it was Wigan.

    Before the other 3 games ArsenalTickets on twitter was putting up loads of people looking to fill empty seats, nowhere near as many were available for the last two home games.

  28. Gooner In Exile says:

    Regarding personal investment by the owners I have one question. Was it necessary before Abramovich arrived at Chavs?

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thanks TA for another stonker.
    I am in two camps here. Love the beautiful football but, and its a big but, I hate the fact that I believe visiting teams probably think they are coming to Arsenal for what will be a lovely day out. They may lose, or maybe a draw, who knows even win, but one thing is for sure, it won’t hurt and everybody at The Grove will be very nice to us.
    I do think City are getting the mix about right. All sexy knickers up top, but jock straps and boxes at the back.

  30. oz gunner says:

    Great post TA. I love the style we play but personally i’d like a more well rounded style. Sometimes you have to sit in the trenches and hit on the counter, other times you can play all out attack. We should not be pigeon holed in our approach. Sometimes i think we are a touch to naive in thinking we can play our style every time. There is no bigger impact on a game than tactics, and we need a evolutionary game plan.

    @ TMHT

    your comments yesterday summed it up for beautifully. I’m sorry but if RVP leaves then the romantic notion of player loyalty is dead to me!

  31. goonermichael says:

    Raddy if you already have macs you’d be asking for trouble getting anything else. Apple have built all thier products like that.
    I have windows 7 and anything I plug into it works easily without downloading any software.

    Some said about flash dying earlier. That’s true but it’s not dead yet. The reason apple won’t have flash is because it uses a lot of battery and they want people to think thier batterys are superior (which is bollocks)

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And there was me thinking Mac’s were for hairdressers 🙂
    I tell you, I don’t kow what I’m talking about.

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great comment about the trophy hunters deserting and the atmosphere improving. Absolutely right. Thank god for LeGrove and its cleansing powers.

  34. bigC says:

    You are just saying nonsense the blues won cos they did what is needed to be done and arsenal can never obtain such with wenger in this life

  35. Big Raddy says:

    sleeping giant. I was grasping at straws about big money clubs 🙂

    But I think it is cynical to assume FFP will not work. Many very clever people have put huge amounts of time and effort int assuring it will.

    We have a lawyer on the site who is adamant it will work, and I share his viewpoint.

    In less than a decade Arsenal will be the pre-eminent force in Europe.

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Are you “overweight” and a skinhead or just overweight?

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, that’s it.
    I’ve been working since six and the sun is shining. I’m off. Bye bye.

  38. Big Raddy says:

    GM. I hate having a Corporation have me in their grip but I have spent my money and taken my choice …. it was the design that did it.

    Micky.12.52 Never thought about it in that light. We lose they leave but sadly the reverse is true…..

    DanishGooner. Do you go to the Southern Cross in Løngangstræde? If so, perhaps I can convince you that you are wrong to be so negative about our club.

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Didit. 😀 😀

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon all, thanks for your comments. Obviously, today’s post is a personal one, as it reflects on both how I think the game should be played and how I grew into becoming a Gooner. I have a lot of respect for Arsenal’s history, including the GG years, but just cannot relate to it much, as it was before my ‘support time’.

    I have played and loved football from the age of four or five, and just like my dad who is even crazier about football than I am, have always been a lover of football itself – off the beauty in the game. My dad, at almost seventy, still does not support a particular club, but thanks to DB10 and AW I found my home of football at Arsenal.

    I have no doubt that Wenger will always try to play good, beautiful football, which does not mean it will always work out. LB’s example of the 2005 FA Cup final is a relevant one. The DESIRE/AIM to play beautiful, winning football is all that matters for me, and I am convinced it will pay off for us rather sooner than later.

    Beautiful, total football should not be confused with frivolous, defence-neglecting football: it can only be successful with the right personnel in place and the whole team working as one, which includes defending as a team.

    If Arsenal were ever to adopt a Mourinho-like or Stoke-like style of football, I would still support the club, as it has become my club now, but I would never boost, or feel much pride about it, if it would lead to success.

    Would I want a mega-rich ego-tripper to pump into our club £500m – £1bn? Never. Let’s keep doing it the proper way – in the end the good guys will win. 🙂

  41. Gooner In Exile says:

    Actually GM the reason for no flash on iPhones is PR’d as security but any user knows its due to the fact that most Internet free games are flash enabled and that would mean no market for their app store games. And if you look at Apples share price it has a very similar trend to the App Store Revenues and the increase values happened soon after. I used to be similar to you about Macs and Apple in general but since my first iPhone I have become an Apple household, my soon to be 4 year old iMac still runs like the day I bought it (with a right click) and is on its 3rd OS, and will run the 4th when Mountain Lion is released for £80 in summer. I’ve never had a Windows PC capable of jumping from XP to Windows 8 and it would have cost me a great deal more than £80 per upgrade to do.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Oh no….. another 80 quid! I had better start saving.

  43. weedonald says:

    It seems to me that for a long while AFC were the boring defensive team winning 1-0 to the Arsenal while chants of boring,boring Arsenal resounded around Highbury? That said, we never had a sugar-daddy and unless Usmanov succeeds in getting a majority share, we never will. If Usmanov can manouveur into control of the Club then half the board will resign or be fired/kicked out/forced out and our Club will become a rich man’s bobble just like the Chav’s, Shitty, Anzhi and PSG to name a few. There are the Barcelona and Real models which rely on banks to finance them but that is equally dangerous and dishonest.
    The future in Europe for highly endebted,money-losing, single owner businesses is very grim indeed. The Euro zone crisis is far from spent and Football, now facing two left-hooks (EUFA’s FFP and the Euro crisis) could find itself, like many other over-extended and hyper inflated businesses, flat on its back. Wenger has warned of this coming disaster since 2008 and we are only months away from such an unfortunate event.

  44. jnyc says:

    Beautiful article TA, reminds me of another reason im a proud gunner. Wise Comments by Mickey and Raddy explain exactly how i feel. Id take a slight change in style for a little more success. It wouldnt have to be a total change in philosophy, because we are near the top as it is.
    —— i think that our goal must be – to find a way to push through goals against the many teams in PL who try to park the bus against us. Easier said than done, i know. We are better than them, and we have to make it unprofitable for them to play that way. Its less of a problem in europe than england. Maybe we need to experiment with formation changes against that strategy. Instead of just throwing on more attackers at 80 minutes. What do u think?

  45. RockyLives says:

    Brilliant comment. People wishing for a sugar daddy are simply deluded. They have been taken in by football’s own Ponzi scheme. Never mind “let’s all do the Poznan” – if the Euro crisis deepens it will be “let’s all do the Ponzi.”

    Excellent article as usual – and as usual it has prompted some soul searching.

    I really enjoyed the titles we won under GG, but we were playing outstanding football then. It was only in the early-mid 90s that we got really boring (but, like Chavski, we remained an effective cup team).

    Right now I would trade a bit of style for trophies. There’s also a bit of a myth about our style. This year and much of last we have been cavalier without being especially good to watch.

    Next season, as some have already said, it’s less about personnel and more about organization. Our personnel is good enough to compete with anyone but our tactical/defensive naivety will leave us disappointed again unless the shortcomings are addressed.

  46. Timmy says:

    Interesting arguments here

    Please may I ask which of us would rather care less for our kids to bring good report cards at the end of the school year even if the method of achieving it is below par

  47. weedonald says:

    JNYC….that has been our problem since I first began watching AFC in 2001! We out-shoot and outmaneuver every team we play against and have 3 scoring chances to their 1 but they almost inevitably score on that 1 chance while we miss 2 our of 3 chances in every game!
    I have given this issue a great deal of thought and the answer is evident! We need to clone RVP two more times. His shot to goal ratio was the best in the EPL last season and if we could find another scorer like him, we’d be breaking down park the bus defenses at will like the Invincibles did with the Henry, Viera, Pires, Bergkamp,Ljunberg cabal. Podolski will certainly add that long range left-footed threat we’ve lacked and Wilshere can play the Pires role to perfection but we need 1 more attacking midfielder or winger to take us to where we can win every game against weaker opponents that flood their penalty area like the Chavs did in the CL final. The Ox, Ryo, Benayoun, Rosicky and or Gervinho could fill in this missing link and my guess is we will see a Wengeresque tactical adaptation for AFC next season with Song returning ,beside Arteta, to his DM role and a 4-2-3-1 setup like this:


    Sagna /Jenks Per/Verm Kos/Djourou Gibbs/Santos

    Arteta/Frimpong Song/Diaby

    Walcott /Ox Wilshere/Ramsey/Rosicky Podolski*/Ryo/Gerv


    * Podolski can play across the front 4 and can spell RVP as needed

    Each of these give AFC many options but the most versatile will be Podolski who loves to play across the front 4 and has a very accurate loing distance left foot, something we’ve lacked until Arteta came in.


    weedonald, i like the cut of your jib my dear fellow. We have been crying out for someone like Poldoski. The guys efficent, he sees the goal and wants to have a pop and hopefuly that will restore some balance to our attack. If we can sort out the balance in the middle, hopefuly with the return of Jack, we can do great things next year.

  49. Hi guys, don’t forget we need posts for the next few days ……… they don’t have to be long just something to start the day’s chatting …..

  50. oz gunner says:

    peaches did you get my one from 2 weeks ago?

  51. Reddawn says:

    weedonald, I think you have. Ramsey is not an asset, but a liability.

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Reddawn. Not the Ramsey debate again ….. please.

    Peaches. And I have left a couple, as has Micky.

  53. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, 🙂

    I have been keeping a low profile today. Many of the regulars have given you the praise and credit you deserve for a Post that never lost its grip from start to finish, and I thought it time to add my own hallelujahs!! 🙂

    Many of the ‘irregulars’ have come on to voice the usual tired old criticisms and tell us how in their never never world, that ignores reality, all will be well if someone hurls the odd £1billion pocket money at the ‘problem’.

    The reality is that the FFP will bite arses, the Euro monetary crisis will take even more large corporations down, and guess what? all the clubs owned by American ‘business’ men who are investing in Premier League clubs are doing so for ‘business’ reasons, (OK the Russian is in it for ego purposes, and to the Oilers it IS pocket money) and they are not going to waste £1,000,000,000 (that’s one thousand, thousand, thousand Pound — another way of saying £1 billion)) on a whim with no guarantee of success or a return on their investments!

    Anyway, you are a better man than me for giving up your time and effort to write such a sterling epistle. 🙂

  54. Red Arse says:

    Weedonald, 🙂

    I found your comment refreshing and interesting. Thank you. 🙂

    Keep visiting AA. 😉

  55. oluwaseun Adeleye says:

    I was just saying all of these to my fellow gunners on my blackberry messenger yesterday, GGMAB 1 day (God goon make arsenal bigger), long live beautiful, long live Arsene Wenger and long live arsenal football club

  56. weedonald says:

    TA’s view is interesting but rather partisan….I look at Football as a universal business and sport in the same breath. Does anyone know how much FIFA could collect if they charged every person that plays the game 1$? Over 29,000,000 in one shot! 1 in 20 people play Football worldwide and there are more nations registered with FIFA than the UN!
    The truth is that every amateur person playing the game pays on average about 3$ per year in fees rebated to FIFA from their local and national associations …so do the math. This amount (87M$) per year is above and beyond the $ they make from broadcasting deals, professional and league fees, etc.
    nobody should try and convince me that this isn’t the raison d’etre for FIFA,EUFA and the National Associations…well before Football in order of priority. That said, there is a continuing conflict between the Big 8 money Clubs: Real,Barca,Manure,Shitty, PSG,Chelski,AC and Inter Milan, to get a better share of the $$$ that the robber-barons at FIFA and EUFA reserve for themselves. threats abound about forming a superleague¨¨which could very well occur even if it isn’t FIFA or EUFa sanctioned. this is more a threat than a viable option but FIFA/EUFa being the money grubbing hogs they are, will take it seriously as they know the cream off the top is better than the bitter milk at the bottom!

  57. Dear Mr Oz Gunner

    A thousand apologies, I forgot to put it into drafts 😳

    Can we use it tomorrow please, are you around to entertain your public?



  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I call your earlier request for a post a completely wasted Nag 🙂

  59. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Interesting points about global finances in the game. Do you think the authorities have the power over the “super clubs” to make Fair Play work?

  60. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wish I could stay and discuss, but the bbq is on fire!

  61. weedonald says:

    Micky…….there is NO way in hell tht the super 8 will allow EUFor FIFa to handle their financial affairs in any way other than doing it their way…they think FFP is a joke and so do Imunless proven to the contraryé1


    Think You have that one wrong weedonald. FFP is a compromise between the big clubs and uefa. what might suprise you is that FFP is not uefas baby, its actuluy clubs like Man Utd, Barca, Madrid, Arsenal, Milan, Munich etc who have been pushing uefa for some form of regulation for quite a long time now. Each of those clubs has there own agenda but in essence the rules suit there purposes.

  63. 26may1989 says:

    Evening all.

    Really interesting exchanges today – as well as Total’s typically excellent post, I found the comments from two people I haven’t seen here before (but I may have missed), sleepingiant and Goonerism, really interesting. The exchanges virtually encapsulate the existential debate we, as Arsenal fans, get into.

    The reference to the cup win in Copenhagen in 1994 sums up much of it for me. Many Gooners (probably most) delight in the perversity of us winning that night, beating one of the most talented and creative sides around at the time (Zola, Brolin, Asprilla, Minotti etc) with a display of stunning utilitarianism and a side that had space in it for the likes of Selley, Morrow and McGoldrick. Personally, I didn’t; after almost 20 years of following my beloved Arsenal, I’d switched off after the scandalously dull and negative FA Cup Final saga against Sheff Weds the year before. I’d come to hate George Graham and what he’d done to a side that had played with such verve and energy between 1986 and 1991. The legacy for me (and some others) was that the quality of footbll, as well as winning trophies, had come to matter. So the arrival of Dennis Bergkamp and then the Wenger Revolution were joyous experiences for me. You can call me a naive purist, I don’t care, but quality and creativity matter to me as much as winning pots.

    I do agree with Goonerism, that it is bloody annoying when any professional footballer fails to do the basics, and I love intelligent, committed defending as much as the next Scottish centre back. But the game has to be more than defending: Total’s reference to parasitic behaviour by the likes of Mourinho captures it; they can afford to pretend the game is about winning at any cost, but the truth is that what pays players’ and managers’ wages is exciting football. Which is why, for example, last season almost half of the lowest attendances at PL grounds were when Stoke City turned up. People want to see something they can enjoy – not much of a surprise is it?

    Raddy (@12.59): Just for the record (‘cos I don’t want to get caned if it all goes wrong on the FFP front), my view on FFP is that it CAN work, that the structures and rules are there to deal with the likes of City, PSG, Malaga, Anzhi and Chelsea, but it does require UEFA having the guts to see it through. The more interesting aspect, touched on in yesterday’s discussion, is that there is evidence that it is already starting to moderate behaviour. City will of course be the biggest challenge, since it is virtually inconceivable that they will get close to the financial criteria set out in the FFP rules in time for 2014 – most of their argument will be that (a) their various commercial deals from the Abu Dhabi Government (it is certainly not just Etihad Airlines) are true commercial deals rather than inflated backdoor subsidies and (b) they will be on a downward trend in terms of sunk costs, suggesting they will fall into line soon after 2014. Personally, I think UEFA should take a really firm hand on both those points, and keep them out of European football for a long time, but that isn’t a certainty.

  64. Big Raddy says:

    weedonald (fine name). FFP is certain to have an effect.

    On what basis do you say they think it is a joke? I can find nothing official to back up your opinion, what you really mean is that YOU think it is a joke.

  65. Big Raddy says:

    see above 🙂


    26 & Raddy, when people think of FFP they tend to focus on the economics of its workings and that its owner and creator is Uefa. What is overlooked is the persuasive factor that it is in reality a political creation instigated by a collusion of Europes largest clubs who have taken there agreed proposals to Uefa in order to safeguard there own interests. In other words bad news for suger daddy clubs, and they know it.

  67. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Brilliant comments from all. I am genuinely learning something here, but sadly am in and out, but thank you for some great contributions.
    Out of interest, can independent TV deals pose a problem?
    I am afraid I have been fundamentally lazy on these issues.

  68. weedonald says:

    TMHT…love your nickname! I get the impression that many knowledgeable Footballers like yourself and others on this blog place a great deal of trust and confidence in Platini and the big 8 Clubs…but is that justified? Football is almost universally corrupted, including EUFA and most certainly FIFA. Not too many of us would consider them paragons of virtue and propriety in financial and other areas?
    I agree that FFP is a compromise but that is not the point, it and any other regulations are only as good as the governing body’s intent to enforce them. The rules do suit their purposes, that is certain but in which way? I have read the FFP regulations and interpretations on the EUFA website, actually edited by Platini himself and I came away(maybe its just me and the paranoia I suffer from:) with the distinct feeling that they were made to avoid upsetting the applecart and to offer countless loopholes through which the clever,slimy and palm-greasing lawyers can wiggle through to allow the big spenders to continue their profligate ways.
    Only time will tell if they have the stones to rigourously apply these regulations against the likes of Real,Barca,City,United or whoever the big spenders are or will be. Sorry to say but i have NO confidence in anything significantly changing for the better but if it did, I would be as pleased as punch…however I am not holding my breath, just like i am not for the Spuds winning the EPL in the near future!

  69. 26may1989 says:

    Absolutely right TMHT; which is another reason to think that there is a decent chance of FFP being enforced, since the established big clubs want it that way.

    Chelsea are in an interesting position on this, since Abramovich was one of the instigators of FFP (no doubt seeking to pull up the ladder after he’d climbed into the elite group), but they are now as vulnerable as City. With the failure to bring through a new generation of young players, and the old guard getting, well, older, they need to spend a lot of cash to sort out their squad. But they have limited financial space within FFP, their wage bill being way too high, so there are contradictory pressures not to spend. A rock and a hard place I believe it is called. Such a shame…..


    weedonald, thanks for the response. you make some excellent points. Its not however that i put my faith in football coruption, of which i agree there is plenty, its more the reality of the power of politics that persuades me. If you look at the finances of the big 2 in Spain, Utd, Munich, Milan and a host of other big clubs there finances comply with ffp and combined they possess the clout, not any umbrella body.


    26, spot on. Interesting times ahead. Chelseas rush to a new stadium and Citys mega 20 year sponsership deal, indicating they need cash now not tommorow, are practical examples of how the reality of ffp is effecting clubs strategys.


    weedonald, i like you, so for Gods sake whatever you do dont hold your breath waiting for spuds to win the title. hahaha

  73. 1tourettesgooner says:

    Usual standards Total.

    Swings and roundabouts, We will play the beautiful game and lose, we will play shite and win. We are on the righteous path though, because we are the good guys and when FFP kicks in properly, we will give everyone a run for their money.

    Have you changed your tune ? I once asked, ” am I being too gullible, taking UEFA`s word and to expect FFP to work ? “, you replied , ” yes ! “.
    My new question to you is, What has made you change your opinion ?. Dont make it too complicated though ! 🙂

    No doubt, there are some very clever people on this site, but I usually see things in a more simple light ( being simple helps ).
    So here goes ( and I have said this before ).
    My mate Terry and my learned friend 26 have between them named the teams which come into the equation.

    Group A : Arsenal, ManU, Real Madrid, Barca , The Milans, Bayern,`Pool, etc.

    Group B : Chavs, City, Malaga, PSG, Anzhi Panzi

    Do you honestly think UEFA, SKY, FIFA whoever etc, should/would worry about upsetting the Teams in group B when you look at the Powerhouses in group A ?.
    As 26 said, Hit them hard, not in the pocket, it will mean fuck all, but in the fine of no CL, deduct points in their domestic leagues and if they dont like it , they can form their own breakaway league, who will miss them ?, they wouldn`t even make C5 on a Spursdays, maybe Dave on a Friday !.
    Or am I being too gullible again ?.


    Another way of looking at FFP is like this. i used to know this kid at school who was a horrible bully. his name was Roman and he looked a bit arabic. He would bully this nerdy kid called Arsene to do his homework and would win prizes for it. He also bullied siralex coz he was a bit red looking, but in fairness he deserved it. Anyway one day these 2 and a host of other bullied kids ganed up on Roman and he took a right pasting. He never bullied any one again after that..and his grades wfrom that day forwrd were shit.


    Totally agree Cornwa…err Touretts. Looks like Dave will have to fit them in between ‘Have i got news for you’ and ‘top gear’ hahahaha


    “They” Cornwall hahahaha. They dont like it when you talk about them. hahahaha. Sounds like my cousin Pete, hes so paranoid we call him Petranoid. He actuly thought for about a month that the lecturer on some computer course he was on was after him. following him in the street, parking outside his house etc. He also thought aliens were after him, still does. If hes a passenger in a car he spends the whole jouney sweating and straing at the sky. hahahahaha

  77. glic says:

    Has it been Hot up your end today ?, I was well peed off, my Air conditioning is on the blink and my 200gm bar of Galaxy melted on the way too Stoke. It might have been cousin pete`s little aliens effing about in my cooler !.

  78. weedonald says:

    glic………..I think your cousin is right and he should nominate his little alien to work with the PGMOL and FA! they’d fit in perfectly.

  79. glic says:

    Sorry Weedy, It`s TMHT`s cousin, but you never know , me and Terry might be related as my niece and nephew are half Greek.
    It will eventually come to me but whats PGMOL ( I feel like i`m being suckered into a punchline here 🙂 ).


    Cornwall, yeah it was a proper summer day, but i didnt see it, was stuck in the office all day. I dread to think if Pete was stuck in the car with you on such a long journey. The ‘Galaxy’ would have got him thinking about ET again. If you combine the sweating, anxiety and fear of aliens he would probably have self combusted 2 miles into the trip hahaha


    weedonald, your user name makes me think of Scotland. Are you scotish?

  82. glic says:

    Has he had any , ” close encounters of a furred kind ” and have you conveyed your thoughts about Gordon Brown to him ?, better not that might push him over the edge ! 😆


    hahahahaha, he was the one that conviced me about Brown. Hes a nightmare in a bar or club, when a girl talks to him he replys in nervous laughs accompanied with two word responses. “eheeh names Pete” “eheeh your nice” “eheeh aliens coming”. hahahaha

  84. glic says:

    Sounds like a fun guy to me ! 😆
    Most of the places I`ve ever worked in, I`ve always been looked upon as the nutter ! 😆


    Cornwall, the funniest thing about him is his obsession that his wife is cheating on him. Every month, without fail, its someone new. A bloke at work, the bloke that works at the petrol station, the postman, the neigbour, the list is endless. weve started taking bets on when he he will finaly claim shes having an affair with an alien. hahahaha

  86. glic says:

    I think you better put him in touch with the MiB ! 🙂
    Did you notice that, ” they ” have binned my ,” they ” comment ! 😆
    Bless `em ! 😆
    I think “they” should work for UEFA`s FFP panel, nothing get`s by ” Them “, ” they ” would be brilliant !. 😆
    Quick , call Pete, I think the Aliens run AA, Them and They ! . 🙂

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    Some more excellent comments this afternoon and evening! Re adjusting our style to be more successful in the future: isn’t that what Arsene has done this season in order to accommodate for the departure of Cesc and injuries to both Jack and Diaby?

    We played very un-Arsene like during the last season: often very solid and a tat unadventurous – Rocky is right – and by sacrificing Arteta in a more deeper role we had a few periods of games this season in which we hardly conceded any goals.

    Wenger’s challenge is to build further on that this summer, add more creativity in midfield, and regain our dominance – our ability to boss teams all over the pitch again.

    I don’t think we have had to deal with too many teams who park the bus at the Home of Football this season – they think they can get something by attacking us early, and many teams are far better capable now to hold on to the ball/pass it round.

    This means we need to get back to a stronger version of Wengerball again in order to keep competing. It is also our only chance/strategy against the Oil-for-cups barons. So for me, no adjustment to style but rather further expand on it, improve it, enhance it; by keeping a group of players together, train hard and stick to our philosophy, even when it is not going our way.

    I read an interesting stat today: which national team achieved most clean sheets in all European Championships until now? It is Holland. Playing attacking football is indeed often the best defence…. 🙂


    I had one binned the other day Cornwall, but i admit it was a bit naughty hahaha. No one else has commented since weedy about an hour ago. Ime getting a touch of the Pete paranoia. hahaha


    TA, exactly. To change the style or philosophy of playing at this stage would in my opinion be a mistake. We can win things with our passing, possesion game but only if we take it up a level.Your Dutch stat dosnt surprise me. If you keep possesion of the ball the opposition cant hurt you. Onwards and upwards.

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    Onwards and upwards Terry!

    What do you reckon Greece’s chances are this summer? Their group looks not impossible… 🙂


    They will definatly win it TA, there so skint they will need the prize money for the plane tickets back to Athens hahahaha. There a bit out classed to be fair, but i thought that in 2004 so you never know.

    I realy hope England can pull it off this time, expectations are lower so that might work in there favour. Looking at that wembley game though against the dutch TA, i must say your boys and the Spanish are the favourites.

  92. chas says:

    Cracking post, TA.

    Completely agree about the chavs. I don’t mind them being pleased about their pathetically flukey win in the CL, but don’t expect us to say anything except the truth………they’re a spawny bunch of a sugar-daddy’s playthings who got far more than they deserved this season.

  93. weedonald says:

    TMHT….my mother was a Scot from Fort William originally but moved to Aberdeen as a wee bairn and then to Canada during WW1. She always called me weedonald after the comic character ¨or Willie¨, which she continued to read in Canada. My father was from Innis Fail but lived most of his misspent youth in and around County Clare, until the Republicans booted him out after the troubles and he came to Canada as well. Therefore I have strong Celtic roots, both my parents being native Gaelic speakers but never teaching me a word, other than the occasion vulgarity. My mother supported Rangers and my father didn’t care for Football until I started playing it in university. My Scots grandfather would come to some of my games, especially when we played Celtic in my local league, with a brick in one pocket and a flask in the other…a true blue old firm supporter if ever there was one. I ,of course removed the brick but let him keep the flask as that would have been sacrilege to remove it.

  94. weedonald says:

    Big Raddy…….I read the entire proposed FFP regulations and subsequent ¨interpretations¨ on the EUFA website. I presume it is still there. I also followed Platini’s regular explanations to us commoners regarding the FFP intent and application.
    I am not a lawyer, nor well versed in the legal side of Football but as a former national referee and founder of women’s Football in my province, I know that successful teams will bend the rules to suit their self-interest. These regulations are so full of loopholes that given time and a clever financial advisor,lawyer and Board, any team could escape the nefarious consequences of infringing the spirit these regulations intend.
    Of course that is my opinion, based on my experience with International,national and local Football associations, including the referee’s Association in my home country and FIFA’s wonderful record of honest,open,transparency. The most depressing aspect of Football for me is and was the politics and backbiting both with the referees and to a lesser extent, the Clubs. Having seen how subtle and all encompassing the corruption is in the professional levels, where victory means $$$ and defeat can mean financial disaster, I really doubt EUFA’s ability to make a difference with FFP.


    Wow, thats a great story weedonald. Your user name has great meaning. Better than mine, a combination of been folicaly chalanged and growing up watching Terry Mancini getting roasted by every striker known to man. hahahaha

  96. Gooner In Exile says:

    No one as far as I can see has picked up that Neil Banfield is now first team coach, as well as Bouldy being Asst Manager. Further good news for the young players coming through the system.

    This quote from Bould:

    “There is a brand and philosophy that we have to play,” he said. “That is No 1 whether it is youth players, reserve players or first-team players.

    “All of our kids have to be technically sound and able to play and that is the basis we all work off. First and foremost is the philosophy of the football club and the manager.”

  97. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Terry, what’s the chance of the entire Greek team staying behind in Poland after the tournament? Polish women, as I am sure you know, are amongst the most beautiful ones in the world…. 🙂

    If Holland can get through their group then they have a good chance, but that is a big IF: Denmark, Portugal and Germany are all difficult opponents.

  98. Gooner In Exile says:


    Not much chance of them staying TA, they couldnt afford the cost of accomodation. hahahaha

    I forgot about Hollands group. The proverbial “Group of Death” indeed.

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    Yep Terry – group of death but a nice one for Arsenal supporters as well. Bendtner vs RvP, RvP vs Podolski/Mertesacker(?)!

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, Bould summed it nicely in that quote. 🙂

    What do you know about Neil Banfield – what sort of coach is he?

  102. Gooner In Exile says:

    We saw his team decimate Norwich playing the sexy football TA!

    He’s been at the club 14 years, started coaching the u14’s when
    Bould started coaching the u12s, got to love that like our players they have been able to develop at the club and make the final step to the 1st team.

  103. Gooner In Exile says:

    I also love Banfields humility.

    “The manager invited me into his office, and with Steve Bould going up to be assistant manager I thought that he may have pulled me in to explain his decision. To me it was a logical move anyway, but I thought it was nice of him to explain it to me.

    “Then he told me he wanted me to become first-team coach, and you could have knocked me over. I was a bit gobsmacked to be honest, but after the initial surprise and sense of achievement inside, I was just delighted.”

    Here’s another quote about his philosophy:

    “I am demanding but patient. One of the biggest things is being honest with players. They know they will get honesty from me, they won’t get any flannel: it will be straight down the line, good and bad. They know I am trying to help them.”

  104. TotalArsenal says:

    GiE, that was my best Arsenal-live game of the season.

    Great to see our coaches being promoted – a touch of class.

  105. Gooner In Exile says:

    So let’s think about who in the first team squad and fringes that they have coached at some point:


    The final step of project youth?

  106. Gooner In Exile says:

    Might be for me too, TA, altho Dortmund home might have shaded it.

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    I forgot you went to Dortmund home game. I would have loved to be there, what a great game that was, especially with the great away support.

    You know when Dortmund played Bayern at home for the league a few weeks ago, there were apparently over 450,000 ticket request just for that game. Amazing!

    Off to bed now. Looking fwd to Oz’s post tomorrow.

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all.
    Window opens June 1. Euos KO June 8. Therefore all players will be in their training camps. Does this more or less rule out any transfers before the Tournament?

  109. henrychan - indonesia says:

    For me.. That’s football..
    We can’t hope every team do the same way as we -arsenal did..
    Some do attacking football.. some the opposite way..

    I pretty sure if every team play the same -attacking football, than we don’t need M’villa, Mbiwa, Vertonghen, Van der weil, and other good (and expensive) defender..

    How can small club beat the giant (with the ‘money-power’ the have), if they must do offensively as the giant did..??
    No way.. with their minimalist squad.. they must do the deffensive games.. And try to counter attack..

    But offcourse, it not suppose to happened to Chealsea..
    They have a qualified team to do the offensive football..
    They have Drogba and Torres.. the most expensive strikers in EPL.. And Struridge and Kalou..
    They have Matta, Lampard, Malouda and Ramires..
    And they also they have Terry, Cahill, David Luiz, Cole, Ivanovic and Bosingwa..
    They should not played that negative football..
    Why should they..???

    But as we know.. Clubs and also Fans only want Trophy..
    And that maybe.. do happen to us also.. the gunners..
    We care a lot for the trophy.. and we probably will do the same as chelsea fans.. and we (maybe) will close our eyes.. however bad our team did.. No matter how negative they play.. if they win UCL or EPL.. hehehe..

    But.. I hope nothing extremely happens to us..
    We must still play an good football.. an attacking football..
    Cause that was Gunners is all about.. Attacking football..
    Go Gunners..

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Henrychan,
    Good points.
    We were playing both our most attractive football as well as our most effective when we had a rock solid no frills defence. We then added some flair up top and were both a great offensive as well ascounter attacking team. I believe what we lack most of all is a specialist AM who can both control the tempo of the game as well as moving thigs forwards at lighting speed when needed.
    I don’t think we are far off.

  111. Big Raddy says:

    A specialist AM is a rare commodity, hence the expense and the reason why everyone was so excited by the astonishing start to JW’s career.

    Get him fit, relaxed and signed to a 15 year contract, and we have the answer. Though in al probability AW wants all his MF’s to have attacking ability.

  112. chas says:

    Anyone in mind for the AM role, Micky? 🙂

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rare indeed BR.
    I don’t see JW as an AM at all. Ox on the other hand….
    I will be fascinated to see if/where Roy plays him for England.

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Belhanda from Montpellier.

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    12/1 France to win. Off to the bookies later!

  116. chas says:

    Haha, the Ox. 🙂
    Don’t know anything about Belhanda or Giroud at Montpelier. Belhanda is Moroccan, so ACN this season?

  117. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. 7.08

    Netither do I now I come to think about it …..

    Note to self -Drink coffee before commenting

  118. LB says:

    Morning all

    GIE, can you explain something to me: if Banfield has moved up to first team coach who was doing that job before seeing as Bould has replaced Rice.

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    By 7:08 I have over a litre of coffee sloshing about my veins. Hardly surprising I’m on the money so early 🙂

    Good link, but what the hell do you mean by smileying my Ox as AM suggestion?

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    School running for me. Bye.

  121. Red Arse says:

    Morning People, 🙂

    Read two articles yesterday that made me smirk.

    a) Arsenal are preparing to offer £6.5m + Chamakh to Montpelier for Giroud.

    b) Man Utd have been quoted £30m for Giroud.

    So that makes Chamakh worth £23.5m. Seems fair to me! 🙄

  122. henrychan - indonesia says:

    hehehe.. the second is false.. 30mil is too much for Giroud..
    It’s about 12mil.. So Chamnk is equal to 5,5mil.. hehehe..

  123. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB, interesting question, I always thought Boro Primorac was 1st team coach (wiki agrees), but I see no announcement on that side of things.

  124. Adrian says:

    Might be slightly off topic, but can someone tell me what in the world the board and wenger is doing atm? Wenger was keen to sort out rvp’s contract asap before the euros and yet here we are, in the dark about his contract and hes even been handed a media ban. Theo walcott and alex song both have one year left on their contracts respectively and yet I don’t see wenger approaching them for a renewal anytime soon. Wow.

  125. Big Raddy says:

    So what does a Primorac do?

    RA. Seems cheap. I am sure MC will be prepared to offer Dzeko and at least €10m for our MC

  126. Big Raddy says:

    Adrian. Hoiildaying after a testing season??

  127. Red Arse says:

    I suppose it is possible to have more than one first team coach, but Boro Primorac seems to have a ‘floating’ role as coach.

    Arsenal say: “Boro tends to stay out of the limelight, but can be found at first-team, Reserve and Academy matches alike – providing an important and hugely positive influence on the Gunners’ players and staff.

  128. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA 😀 just think if we give them Park & Cham they’ll be paying us.

  129. Red Arse says:


    We are in the dark, but that does not mean Arsenal/Arsene are.

    I don’t know any company that discusses private employee contract negotiations with the media. Does yours? 🙂

  130. Red Arse says:


    I have suggested (elsewhere) that we will pay the asking price for Giroud (£15m) + another £15m for them to take Park and Cham.

    Just waiting for it to hit the national press any minute now! 🙂

  131. Gooner In Exile says:

    Raddy I have no idea.

    I thought Primorac was more fitness coaching but Banfield is a football coach. I also thought Wenger did most football coaching so maybe he is taking a back seat from that now and concentrating on managing players (more similar to Fergie and old school ways).

    Ray Wilkins spoke of his time working for Ancellotti and said the European managers are more hands on than a traditional British manager, so his job was to get the players ready to be coached. Whereas at United Phelan and Querioz before him did the coaching.

  132. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA, no Bendtner?

  133. Red Arse says:


    I think you have that right. No, – Bendtner! 🙂

  134. Morning all

    Just discovered that oz isn’t around for the next few days so Raddy are you about can I use one of yours?

  135. Looks like the executive decision is all mine ……………….

    New Post …………………..

  136. Instant Girlfriend Online…

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  137. BG says:

    Johan Cruijff: “Chelsea winning the CL final is a defeat for proper football. I’d rather not win it than to have to play this way.”


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