Is Fourth really achievable?

I will start with Wenger’s words at the end of the AGM.

“There are five trophies,” the Arsenal manager told the club’s shareholders.

“The first is to win the Premiership, second is to win the Champions League, third is to qualify for the Champions League, fourth is to win the FA Cup, and fifth is to win the League Cup.”

The Frenchman added:

“I say that because if you want to attract the best players, they don’t ask if you won the League Cup, they ask if you play in the Champions League.”

Many will argue that two abysmal back to back results do not have an impact on the players or the fans. I strongly disagree and when we look at our ever growing list of injuries how many of these players would actually improve the team as a unit.

Walcott who has come in for a lot of criticism is a bit part player, yet I read “if only he had played against Schalke” Rosicky hasn’t kicked a ball since early June, Fabianski has a mystery injury, Podolski is carrying an injury yet played and was ineffectual.Gibbs is a big miss but his history of injuries doesn’t make pleasant reading and the same applies to Diaby, and regardless of what has been said about Santos, he is not the answer to our long tradition of left sided wing backs in fact as a defender he is useless. Sagna is a miss but young Jenkinson has improved game by game and to sub him on Wednesday was madness. Szczesny is still two to three weeks away from a return (which could mean anything) so Vito remains in goal and one can visibly see he is as nervous as hell.

Many think Jack will suddenly be our saviour after nearly missing 16 months of football. It just doesn’t work like that.

The Ox is a gifted young player but again Wenger will play him in a cameo role, as he does the once gifted Arshavin.

Recent buys such as Park, Squillacci and Chamakh have been a total disaster and one has to blame Wenger. Now one reads that Bould and Wenger are not agreeing on tactics, which may or may not be true, but I saw enough on Wednesday that Bould doesn’t know how to make the right tactical subsitutions or at the right time. Schalke are no Barcelona, just a fairly good Bundesliga side.

Why buy Giroud and either give him less than half a game or drop him altogether after so few matches when he is the nearest thing to a striker that we currently have?

I will not slate the new figure to be continuously berated Ramsey,  as was Denilson, as I feel that if our squad had sufficient quality he would be loaned out to get some confidence back.

Next we play QPR who though bottom of the league will think this couldn’t be a better time to play us. Then it gets better United and Schalke both away ( I am dismissing the Reading game even if some think it will give the returning players some game time).

There is absolutely no confidence or fluidity in this squad at present and as I mentioned on Wednesday it beggar’s belief when Vermaelen and Santos were at times our most advanced players.

I have supported the club long enough but to me the club is in complete shambles from the boardroom down. The signs were there last season and who will be the next of our diminishing players to be sold come next Summer.

I really have had enough of this financial stability comes first and foremost and that there is money available now as there has been for a while.

If the players give 100% and lose so be it, but I see that it is going to take quite a while to get the attractive winning Arsenal back on it’s feet and by then fourth will be out of sight.

I am sure most will disagree but I would have rather be told when we moved that finances are tight and that expectations by the fans should go on hold rather than be nearly totally reliant that the FPP will benefit us more than most other clubs.

I can’t watch this rubbish anymore with such a passion for a club I once loved.

Written by kelsey

154 Responses to Is Fourth really achievable?

  1. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. Firstly, a very good post.

    I agree with most of what you say in the first half of the post. There can be little argument that the team have problems and at present 4th place seems a challenge.

    Where I disagree is with your conclusions.

    I do not accept the club is a “complete shambles from the boardroom down”. The board has guided us through a very difficult time and we now are financially secure going forward. The team have given us a CL place 15 years running. We have a brilliant manager. The U-21’s are quality, we have a superb youth set up which is producing quality players. etc etc.

    In any team there are purchased players who do not work. Not everyone can be a Pires or a Vieira. The percentage of purchases who have either made huge profit or are continuing to contribute far exceeds the duds.

    But what worries me most is your final sentence. Do you really mean what you write? Is your love for AFC so fickle that a few poor season’s affects you so much? Think AC Milan away,, Barca at home, Man City last season, Southampton & WHU 2nd half this season etc etc.

    It is unquestionable that we are in a difficult place at the moment but Arsenal is for Life not for the short term, and I know that you know this is true …..

  2. John Gee says:

    Kelsey that is a dreadful article from a supposed Gooner. If you truly believe what you say you should pack your bags and go down the road. Then you would have something to moan about. Arsenal will be ok once Schezny, Sagna, Gibbs, Walcott, Wilshere, Ox, Diaby, Rosicky (have I forgotten anybody ?) are all available.

  3. kelsey says:

    I am putting forward an argument as to why we most probably won’t make fourth.

    As usual i don’t always make myself clear. I am talking about now not the past numbers of years.No dispute Raddy about getting CL qualification given the restrictions,but even you have to admit we got lucky at the end of last season to get qualification.
    If you have a set up where your best players leave season after season (which we all undestand as money rules all) we can’t compete but the quality of player in general that we now have is not as good as it was only 2 or 3 years ago.

  4. cin says:

    Is Fourth really achievable?

    It is a really good question this time. We were in almost similar situation last time and manged to get 4th because lot of other teams dropped points and we had one and only one RVP with us to save.

    But this time no RVP and it will be more competitive.

  5. chas says:

    kelsey, well done on getting a post out.

    I’d say that, yes, fourth is achievable. Whether we achieve it or not is another matter.

    If I believed all you say, I wouldn’t go on Saturday or next Tuesday (even though that game doesn’t count).

    I also know that you’ve felt like this for a long time now (judging by the usual tenor of your comments), so at least it gives you a chance to say what you really feel.

    It feels like we’re doomed at the moment. If we don’t improve against QPR, even weedonald is considering “a fan boycott and a bombardment of the BoD with angry e-mails”.

  6. jiiith says:

    off topic..
    walcott deserves a chance t pay up front…
    just read wat walcott want to say at

  7. Red Arse says:

    Steady on, Chas. Are you saying that weedonald is considering “a fan boycott and a bombardment of the BoD with angry e-mails”?

    Surely not.

    That would make him sound like the “whiny doomer” he so rudely and wrongly accused everyone of us on AA of being, and none of us have ever said such a thing.

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. I know you are talking of the present, but the same holds true.

    Fandom is not just about pleasure it is also about disappointment and pain. Yin & Yang. Unfortunately there seems to be more Yang at the moment 🙂

  9. Mayhem says:

    I actually agree with Kelsey. Its becoming unbearable to watch something you love so much, destroy itself. Especially when its so easy to fix.

    To the rest of the gooners, how much longer and how much worse would you like it to get before we act to stop this madness.

  10. Wombledin says:

    I feel without a doubt we will finish out of the top four this season. The reason is we are clearly weaker offensively, we were saved last season single-handedly by a red hot RVP, but Wenger’s glaring error in not adequately replacing RVP has left a glaring hole in attack. Defensively we are no stronger than last season, maybe even worse with no replacement for Song. As for our main rivals for 3rd and 4th? Top 3 seems beyond our reach with a resurgent Chelsea; Spuds will probably choke as usual but they have a great squad, and are stronger than us on paper, so they’ll push us all the way; Liverpool could go either way but do look improved from last season and will also push us hard. Everton’s bubble will eventually burst. So we are banking on the spuds and ‘pool being pants again but given our fragility now both offensively and defensively this season I have to tip it in favour of us finishing 5th, believe it or not. Sorry for being such a glass half empty fan and hope I’m totally wrong.

  11. Red Arse says:


    I applaud you for putting out a Post this morning, even fearing the reception it might get. I don’t know why you should fear that, personally.

    Forgive me for not understanding your follow up comment that “I am putting forward an argument as to why we most probably make fourth.”

    The content of your Post seems to be simply a list of heartfelt frustrations relating to your perceptions of prolonged player injuries; some ‘failed’ player purchases; a non specific allegation that the club are ‘in a shambles’; that you have little faith in FFP; that the fans should have been warned that finances {for player purchases?} would be restricted after/during the Emirates project; and then in summary you finish with the lamentation that you cannot watch this rubbish anymore.

    That is not an argument. It is a list of complaints.

  12. GoonerB says:

    Well done Kelsey to get the early post up as I remember you saying yesterday you may struggle for time. Anyway more for us to get our teeth into. I too share many of your frustrations and it is interesting to note, when you read different posts and responses, that many of our frustrations are similar but can be focused in slightly different areas.

    If I was to put it in a nutshell then my frustrations are all on things that the club and manager do wrong that end up hurting the team / club and that basically were avoidable mistakes. Some of the players leaving us I lay the blame more with the players being greedy little s–ts and also that some clubs are flinging wages at these players that they really can’t afford, sugar daddies aside. That problem ends up outside our clubs current control, but they are not blameless as someone has been allowing these players to wind down contracts to the point where they have us over a barrell, and that is negligence.

    The frequent inability to bring in the required quality players, I think we know, annoys us all. Most of us on this site are more sensible and don’t advocate spending for the sake of it as you see other bloggers on other sites write, but there is a middle ground. The cases of Schwarzer and Mata spring to mind as being situations where our rigid stance has ended up potentially hurting us more than what we gained in making that stance. I don’t advocate bringing in a £35m striker but in January if we are looking at one for £15m and one for £22m there is often a reason why there is a difference. AW seems to always look at the price tag but sometimes that £22m player ends up being worth far more than the extra £7m you outlayed. We shouldn’t forget that they have not always done right in the transfer market but it is a case of the past is water under the bridge. It is out of the clubs control til January so we will need to judge them then. This issue will go up my list of frustrations if we don’t do the right thing in that transfer window but until then I will not berate them on this point.

    My main frustrations at the moment are with AW. At the risk of repeating the same points as before, I just don’t believe he is getting the best out of what he has available to him currently. For me he is far too rigid in both the system he favours and his stubborn refusal to change it either, when the available players would be better suited to another system, or during a game when it is not working out. I think players like AA have been under-utilised this season so far, players like Santi are being overplayed and relied upon, and he is not setting the team up to get the best out of Giroud. His policy of only subbing after a certain period regardless of what he is seeing seems bizarre and he seems to have pre-planned substitutions that once decided are written in stone, and there seems to be no thought given to how the game is tactically unfolding. Players are often played out of position to accommodate the system which often minimises their strengths and highlights any weaknesses in their games, where I would have thought it much better to adapt the system to the available players strengths and weaknesses. Santos is a poor full-back but arguably a half decent wing-back. If he is our only option currently then why not switch to a back 3 to balance the team, at least until the opportunity is there to improve our strength in this position.

    One final area that you hope AW has learned from (but I seriously doubt it) is that just because he has brought a player in it doesn’t mean that they will become a great player. When he has personally chosen a player they seem to become his pet project. He needs to be more pragmatic like you would see red-nose being. He has no issues holding up his hands and admitting a player wasn’t as good as he thought they would be. The priority is to a strong first team, not to worry about upsetting certain players by admitting you are not up to this level. Most of them will still find good employment at other clubs and still on wages that most of us can’t comprehend. Sometimes a player falls short of where you felt they could get to. Sometimes they are worth keeping and it is just that they need to play as a squad player or understudy and won’t hit their full potential for another 2-3 seasons. There is no shame in that, no-one is blaming you Arsene, as you cannot get it right every time. You have shown us enough times that you can take a player that people would turn their nose up at and make them a very good player. Jenkinson is starting to fit that bill. Similarly you have to accept when some players aren’t good enough and don’t keep flogging them in the first 11 in a desperate attempt to prove otherwise.

    Anyway, I didn’t intend to write this much. better go and get some work done. Catch up later.

  13. dgoon4 says:

    Yes we will get fourth.

    Did you really need it spelling out from the board, the club or the manager that we would have financial restrictions and be hindered for a number of years because of a relocation to a multi million pound stadium? Without a major benefactor that was always going to be the case.

    The last two performances have been abysmal but in reality lets not panic too much. We are 8 games in to the season. Last year was a real wake up call and we are no where near the level of that early season shambles.

    The Invincibles were a once in a lifetime privilege and we were lucky to experience that. Wenger has set his standards and our expectations extremely high because of this. Its not a god given right to win things either. Time to accept we are not as good as we once were. But we are not as bad as many would make out we are.


  14. Sparta mark says:

    Blimey, time to paint my room black. Wenger is right that qualification to the CL is more important that the romance of the fa cup these days and at the back, through the midfield and upfront we’ve overall got the best team we’ve had for a while. I like that the gaffer has started to give some careful criticism rather than mollycoddling underachievers. Maybe this is because we’ve now got a few older heads in the team who can rise to it rather than melting. Youth and consistency rarely go hand in hand and the last time wenger conseeded the title our famous team grabbed consistency and won the title. I like that he seems to be a little tougher with the staff. I don’t think it’s panic stations yet.

  15. dgoon4 says:


    Very articulate and well put. I’ve got so much arsenal frustration bubbling beneath the surface but without going round the town and houses, we have to stay rational because it is difficult not be overcome with emotional knee jerk reactions and comments. As fans we have to see the bigger picture and get behind the team.

    And Big Rad is right. The sweet wouldn’t taste so sweet without the sour..

  16. yoiii says:

    We all wish the best for AFC. And we are all frustrated presently. I totally get it. The miracle of last year might not repeat itself again. But all we can do is wish for the best. (and silently punch our bathroom door)

  17. Sorry about this KELSEY, et al
    I’ll be as brief as poss… just tying up a loose end from yesterday…

    Hi RED ARSE, sorry for delay (time difference: the bars were open).
    No, I didn’t misunderstand the gist of your blog, in fact I’m 99% in agreement with you, as it happens. Substitutions made too late, etc.

    I should actually have made myself clearer… to take Jenkinson (played OK) off instead of Santos (dreadful) wasn’t as daft as it seems. With so little time left, and needing to attack, who’s the better option if either WERE to attack? Answer, Santos.

    Sorry again Red Arse, but in my haste to post my comment to you, I failed to make myself clear by stupidly omitting the above.
    If I didn’t post this to you now you might think I’m disrespectful… I’m not, I was just in need of a beer. No need to reply, we’re done-and-dusted.

    Finally, a question I will pose to ALL as regards substitutions: why did Wenger not bring on Koscielny to partner Mertesacker, and move Vermaelen to left back to replace Santos (at half-time)?
    That to me was such an obvious substitution to make… my answer would be that I have doubts that Koscielny is actually 100% fit.

    Sorry again, Kelsey… as you were folks.

  18. Good post Kelsey, a post to galvanise those whose belief might be wavering.
    I prefer to think that we will get 4th, possibly 3rd or even 2nd hahaha.
    But the shake up needs to happen soon and thats whats bugging me, things were terrible against norwich and not much better v schalke.
    Usually a bad result is followed up with an improvement, against schalke it was not to be, we looked as toothless as before.
    I think we have the squad to compete, but the system might be the thing thats hampering us, or the inability to change it.
    Sustainability, living within means yaddah yaddah yaddah, i am actually proud of, i like us being different.
    Against QPR if there is no improvement and more dull play, then i will truly worry. Though i won’t abandon the cause, i may just melt away in to my everyday life and say “Its only football.”

  19. dandan says:

    Dgoon4 Thanks for saving me the need to write that which you have so succinctly laid down well done

    Kelsey my good friend you and I like others on here are not by any stretch of the imagination young supporters, so here is a thought for you.
    Through all the heartaches and the tears, through gloomy days and fruitless years;
    I do give thanks for now i know, these were the things that helped me grow

  20. Red Arse says:


    I usually like reading your comments, even where I might not always agree, but I am disappointed with your comment this morning.

    Forgive me for being brutally honest with you but this needs to be said.

    When I read a narrative, however long or short it is, that purports to show the author, in this case you, as knowing more than one of the best managers the game of football has ever known, or tries to explain why and where he goes wrong based on unjustifiable claims that he has an inability to learn from his ‘mistakes’, or he is too stubborn to change, or he is solely to blame for players such as Mata and Schwarzer not signing for Arsenal, because he is too frugal, my eyes glaze over, and I cast the comment, metaphorically, into the dustbin.

    Far better to say what you would do, with the advantage of hindsight.

    Give us your opinion by all means, or explain how you would have done things differently, and why.

    Then leave it to the other bloggers on AA to make their minds up as to whether or not they agree with you. No doubt you will find many that will or have similar reservations as to how events transpired – including me, possibly.

    It is completely unnecessary and unacceptable to many of us, if you try and justify your comments by impugning or ridiculing the supposed personal traits or abilities of our fine manager with his fantastic track record!

  21. Red Arse says:

    Big Al,

    Thanks for that, but I had no problem with your original comment, as you are sound in your opinions, beer or no beer!! 🙂

  22. kelsey says:


    I omitted the word won’t, has been ammended now.

    I wouldn’t say complaints just as i see it 🙂

  23. chas says:

    Big Al,
    Wenger was banned on Wednesday.

    A different issue is that it’s been said before that all substitutions are planned before the game and are actioned depending on various game scenarios.
    Perhaps Steve Bould did not have the licence to make a tactical half-time substitution as some have suggested already.

    Besides Santos was often isolated in a 2 on 1 position, so perhaps the solution was to have better cover from midfield?

  24. Rasp says:

    Sorry kelsey, couldn’t resist putting the pic up.

    I am taking your post very seriously and will respond in detail later, but congratulations on baring your chest and speaking from the heart.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Excellent rant Kelsey: bulldog spirit mixed with the adrenaline of the Toro! 🙂

    Fourth is a given: does anybody really believe the Spuds or Pool, or anybody else will finish above an Arsene Wenger team?!

    We are going to finish either second or third – apologies for the surety Chas! 🙂

  26. chas says:

    Haha, TA.
    You can’t apologise because you have confidence in your opinions.
    And I damn well hope you’re right. 🙂

  27. slimgingergooner says:

    One quick question,

    Are we in a worse position than this time last season when we were 10th with a goal difference of -5 and an injury list as long as my arm?

  28. Red Arse says:

    Jonathan, good comment.

    I think what may lie as the root cause of all the recent/current frustrations is that the two performances/results of the games against Norwich and schalke seem inexplicable in the light of our good early season form.

    It’s human nature to cast around to find fault or apportion blame, or by trying to rationalise something like the game of football that is impossible quantify in those terms.

    As an example of something that cannot be rationalized; I met and went out with a beautiful woman, who had the nicest personality, and had no ascertainable faults.

    Trouble is, when push came to shove, I simply could not commit to a permanent relationship. My friends thought i was crazy, I could not explain the whys or wherefores, she was upset, but i could not let it go on.

    The reasons for my decision on that personal matter, like the inexplicable Arsenal performances, lately, just cannot be rationalized.

    Sorry, Jonathan — but it is —- just football!! 🙂

  29. evonne says:

    Kelsey – very good post. I have no idea if 4th is achieveable and I am not even a hairdresser. The January transfer window might be our chance to buy a decent, proven striker. But as we know from the previous years, Wenger seldom buys in January; also some if not most of the injured players will be back on the pitch, so we are going to be told that we have enough quality players in zis team.

    I am very much pro-Wenger and still believe in him. However, I am begining to think that he is doing a marvellous job not for us the supporters, but for the board. And the two have different objectives, ie the board’s is predominantly preoccupied with the financial running of the Club, whereas we the fans want success on the pitch.

    My frustration is increasing, each time I get my hopes high, I get kicked in the teeth, which in turn results in growing indifference. I am not even sure what time is the game tomorrow

  30. evonne says:

    TA – what are you taking? I think I’ll have double 🙂

  31. dgoon4 says:

    Haha get in! Red Arse you big stud!

  32. richie says:

    @BR 7:21 Living in Avenal Rd I grew up watching my fare share of Arsenal games. I’ll soon have 50 years of watching our boys in the bag. I know only too well that’s not as long as some of my peers on AA and I never played the game above school boy level so would that qualify me as a technical adviser? I doubt it but I know one thing if Arsenal as a club had technical advisers at the game on Wednesday then either no one listened to their advice or we as a club need new technical advisers, because that’s wasn’t a Rubik cube, I mean the degree of difficulty it took to notice Shalke were targeting Santos was right up there with opening the curtains and knowing if its day or night. If we could get paid for that BR then the shareholders meeting didn’t address any of the clubs problems.

    @ Kelsey; certainly the team currently looks totally disjointed but as I wrote last post it’s so obviously a work in progress. Who doesn’t understand that the team that was set up to allow RvP to score prolifically has been broken up and this is a new configuration. We’ve managed to find a piece of the jigsaw puzzle that was missing last season. When Cesc left, Arsene had Mata lined up as his replacement but as is the case these days oily money spoke loudest and miraculously Arsene has now landed a great replacement. What a marvellous bit of business our qualified economist did in buying Santi for A Song. I’m sorry Kelsey but I’m not with you at all because if you’re an accountant then you’ll know that banks and businesses are deemed as stable if they hold a little in reserve. You’re fed up with the business model that’s holding a reserve just in case the nightmare scenario your predicting will happen happens? You’re fed up with the idea financial security comes first? So you like the risks the gambling bankers took that have us in this recession? I’m sorry again but I want to see out my soon to arrive 50th Anniversary of supporting Arsenal arrive in total financial security. I want the board to hold on to a rainy day reserve, that lend stability to the club. I want the books to balance even if it means selling a player that Arsene’s developed for £20mil come seasons end.

    Either you’re a Gooner and you support Arsenal FC or you don’t? Today its bloody freezing in London and it reminds me of how many days I spent standing on the north bank freezing my nuts off watching an abysmal team play abysmal football. I never once thought of throwing in the towel though. Twice I’ve walked the streets of Paris gutted after watching us lose in European finals 95 & 06 but I never considered giving it all up I still hope 3rd time lucky, so these two minor loses are water off a ducks back. Many didn’t like Arsene spelling out the realities of football when he told of his priority list but I enjoyed it. If we can qualify 3rd with the team we had after last seasons start, I think we have a better chance this season, because I think this team has a far better balance. Kelsey your glass is half empty mines half full.

  33. richie says:

    @mayhem10:46 And how exactly do you propose to act to stop the “madness” as you call it? What are you gonna do? What do you want other Gooners to do?

  34. Red Arse says:

    Good grief, richie, that’s brilliantly put, – and so rare!! 🙂 Respect!

  35. Red Arse says:

    dgoon4, 🙂

    You are a rascal!! 🙂

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas 🙂

    Evonne 🙂

  37. RedArse
    Thanks for your kind words – onwards and upwards!

  38. kelsey says:


    thanks for your comment. I have done nearly 60 years going to watch Arsenal so am well aware of the barren days, and there were numerous years.

    I maybe have pent up frustration but Wenger the magician is running out of balls to juggle.

    As Chas said, i don’t waiver from my opinions.

    January maybe to late to bridge the gap, yet i sincerely hope i am wrong.

    Maybe I am just old fashioned but I don’t like the direction the club is heading and neither do i lsee Kroenke as the man to make us a trophy winning club (not that i favour Usmanov either)

    I hope to be proved wrong but deep down I think the bubble has burst for this season. I would say at this moment of time I am less than glass half full .

    Actually we didn’t have a post for today so peaches just said write a good rant and make it up as you go along. 🙂

  39. @ Chas, 11.34am
    Fair comment, however…
    if you was at the game you will have missed what I saw on TV – with ten minutes or so left, Wenger talking (behind his hand) to Gazidis sitting alongside, and the latter reaching for his phone. Two minutes later the substitutions were ‘actioned’.
    Therefore, presumably they surely could have been ‘actioned’ at half-time or at any other time(?). That’s not intended as sarcasm, Chas; just an obvious point isn’t it.

    As regards your “…besides Santos…better cover from midfield?” comment, yes, good point. The midfield was (again) very poor. On that issue, I suggested (on this site) BEFORE the game that the lineup would probably be the same [as against Norwich] apart from possibly Arshavin replacing Podolski (if the latter was in fact carrying an injury).
    Even though Arshavin isn’t noted for his work-rate, he would surely be a better option than an injured player(!).

  40. Brigham says:

    Great post Ritchie, but I thought you might have got the spelling of ‘Avenell’ Road correct? 🙂

  41. “Living in Avenal Rd, in Glasgow, Scotland, I grew up watching my fare share of Arsenal games on TV… “

  42. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kelsey a quality rant, but I think you got a little carried away….a shambles from top to bottom? I think not, i think that’s Blackburn.

    I’m not going to say anymore…too busy to debate today, but I’ll just continue to support them….I don’t need trophies, CL football or anything else, I just want to support my club as I’ve always done….and I wish we didn’t have to talk about the BoD or the finances at all.

  43. Red Arse says:

    Big Al,

    Once again we appear to be in harmony!! 🙂

    Yesterday I suggested moving Santos forward, moving TV to left back and bringing Kozzer on. You have said the same.

    I also made a little comment about AW leaning in to cover his mouth while speaking to Gazidis, and seeing Gazidis fiddle with his cell phone. 2 or 3 minutes later the last two subs, including Corp Jenks getting the hook, occurred.

    Telepathy — separated by time and beer — can’t beat it!! 🙂

  44. Red Arse says:

    Excellent, GIE, 🙂

    There are so many of us with those type of views I wonder who the weedonald fellow was ranting at the other day!

    Still no apologies from that quarter!

  45. Great post Jack.The Arsenal is at a crossroads in its modern history.

  46. Big Raddy says:

    Gooner B. I may not agree with all you write but there is no doubting your passion for the Mighty Gunners.

    Richie. We have travelled similar paths. With our AFC DNA & technical abilities gainful employment at The Emirates is just a CV away 🙂

    Some excellent comments today.

  47. GoonerB says:

    RA (11.25), can I firstly say that I am normally a very positive fan. I took my line on how I would post today based on the latter part of Kelseys post where he was highlighting his current frustrations, so I thought I would post where my frustrations lie. I don’t want everyone to agree with my views, I hope some will, but it would be boring if we didn’t have different or opposing opinions on our club. I am also very thick skinned so if I defend my comments against what you said it is not through being upset and defensive it is just because i don’t agree with how you read my post and the angle you criticised it from.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but your suggestion seems to be that I am indicating I know more than Arsene Wenger, and that it cannot be claimed that he often fails to learn from prior mistakes as this would be unjustifiable. I presume you mean their is no obvious evidence of this in recent history. You also state that I am ridiculing our manager and that the way I have outlined my opinions is unacceptable to many out there.

    Can I firstly state overall that at no point did I say that I know more than Arsene Wenger. If I am speaking to friends I often say “obviously I hold no coaching badges, but I still feel that—–“. I would state for the record that everything I have said today, IMO, is just an opinion. They may be opinions that others disagree with, but still my opinion. In truth I don’t see a huge difference between the nature of the opinions I posted here and some that I have said before. I thought it was what blogging was about. I feel if I posted what I said on other certain sites, (I am sure you all know which ones), that they would laugh at me for not being critical enough. I don’t like those sites, I like this site for those reasons. On points such as him not learning from his mistakes, it is just how I feel about it. I feel there is a rigidness to Wenger currently that undoes us at times. I don’t have concrete evidence to back it up and as you say “justify” it, it is just how I am seeing things, and other AA members can either agree or disagree.

    I don’t think you will find many Arsenal fans out there that don’t currently have something critical to say about the club whether it be more aimed at the board, the manager or the players. People have different opinions on different parts of the club, and mine just recently are centered on our matchday tactics, and best use of subs and systems with the players we have available. As you said you have read some of my posts before and in these I have made the same points but stated what I thought should be done differently. I made these points yesterday and was conscious of not overly repeating them today for fear of sounding like a broken record. I have stated what I would do differently (at other times), and these opinions are there for other AA readers to decide whether they agree with me or not as you put it. I don’t see that I have done anything different to what you are actually suggesting I do, in putting my opinions out there and letting others decide if they agree or not.

    The danger, IMO, with the angle you took there RA is that if I cannot criticise the manager, (in a reasoned way), then AA may as well become a blog where you can criticise anything else about the club but leave him out of it. If we were to sit down and go through all the other comments today and yesterday, I think we would find that there are many that are also similarly crtitical of the manager but are for some reason deemed more acceptable.

    I think my comments today are based on my opinions and are not wild unjustifiable claims that ridicule our manager. His track record as you say is beyond question, but I also don’t think that it can be used to excuse any mistakes that may be happening now. I don’t know if these are genuine faults in him or whether I am wide of the mark. Again it is just how I see it currently. I am not anti Wenger. Far from it. If you were to ask me what I want for Christmas I want Arsene Wenger to lead this great club back to the top and win silverware again. I don’t want any other manager to do it, just him. I desperately want him to secure his legacy as our greatest ever manager, and when he eventually does leave, it is to a fan-fare and not on a sour note. My criticisms of him are actually born out of frustration that, IMO, he is himself creating avoidable problems that are not doing him or the club any favours. I kind of feel like I am looking at a family member that is being self destructive but in a way that is all so avoidable.

    Lastly my apologies for more often than not being long-winded. I am newer to this site than some of you and I can see that many of you actually know each other personally, and obviously don’t know anything about me. The problem is the nature of my work means I don’t have frequent access online, so i come and go randomly often at times with hours in between, so when I get on this site I tend to let all my feelings out in one hit with the knowledge it may be the only chance I get. Anyway off for a bit. Not sure how long, but I will check back in later, and R.A, no hard feelings.

  48. kelsey says:


    twice you have mentioned “I also made a little comment about AW leaning in to cover his mouth while speaking to Gazidis, and seeing Gazidis fiddle with his cell phone. 2 or 3 minutes later the last two subs, including Corp Jenks getting the hook, occurred.”

    It’s a good point but quite sad that a blind man could see that things needed changing on the pitch, yet Bould had done nothing and someone mentioned the other day that bould was being groomed as a future manager.
    I remember Mourinho at Chelsea giving a poor performance and at half time put all three subs on at once.

  49. allezkev says:

    Interesting post Kelsey, posted with feeling and good intentions…
    I went to West Ham and Norwich and cannot fathom how those two performances were so different…
    Not sure that the Interlull can fully explain the reasons…
    Sagna at left-back could be an option for QPR.
    I wouldn’t leave out Jenkinson that’s for sure…

  50. kelsey says:

    Gooner B,

    you don’t have to apologise as far as i am concerned. The beauty of this site is that we generally get good diverse opinions.

    I may have been a bit harsh in my post but they are my feelings as I dwell about Arsenal at present.. I see a pattern emerging at the club and as a fan I don’t like it.
    No one club has a devine right to win trophies and spending obscene amounts doesn’t always work but the general history and heritage of this great club has changed dramatically for me.

  51. LB says:

    Great debate starter Kelsey

    I don’t agree with a lot of it but I respect your views.

  52. Red Arse says:


    The point Big Al made was that Arsene, if indeed he was pulling the strings via Gazidis, (who knows – but is he any different in that respect to Mourinho or Ferguson?) then he could have done the same thing 10 minutes or 30 minutes before he eventually did.
    And that is the same point I had made yesterday.

    By deduction, (if that was the case) it means that Bould was NOT managing the team, per se, he was sitting waiting for Wenger’s instructions, even if they were via the back door because of UEFA rules!!

    The fact the changes came into play 2 or 3 minutes after that little cameo between Wenger and Gazidis tends to bear out the likelihood that Wenger was in charge, despite the UEFA rules.

    I don’t think GoonerB was apologising – he was explaining his position, which is fair enough. I will answer him shortly.

  53. richie says:

    @GoonerB You don’t believe AW is getting the best out of his players? Well if he ain’t I’d like to know who could? Your arguement is full of whole’s 1st you complain that we aren’t buying the right quality knowing as you should that without selling players we can’t buy. So you think we are buying sub standard and not getting the best out of sub standard? You can’t have it both ways. If we buy cheaply and we do because we can’t buy from the top shelf (Especially not buy and pay the wages expected). Surely to arrive top 4 every year Arsene must be getting the best out of low quality?

  54. goonerjake says:


    I wish i could say something to make you happy. Im mad with not winning anything and mad with the last two performances. However may i implore you not to give up. With what the club has done over the last few years since the stadium move is make sure we will survive as a club going forward.

    Winning a pot of silver is not everything or even the most important thing. The most important thing is the next game and to have a next game the club needs to exsist and for that to happen the club needs to be finantially stable.

    Yes a trophy would be nice but it is not why i love football. Watching, listening too and debating football is what i love football for.

    Thanks for your views


  55. slimgingergooner says:

    I agree with Allezkev that the Norwich and West Ham performances were not worlds apart, the Schalke one on the other hand is another matter.

    I believe most of the frustrations on here lie with the fact that we have (seemingly) seen very little progression from last season, a season which non of us wanted to be repeated. At the moment the team lacks tempo and cohesion, and maybe more importantly it lacks about 8 players through injury. Things will definately improve before Xmas, last season should’ve taught us that, and we should take what we learnt from last season into this one because it could be a very similar (horrible) experience.

    I’m not saying dont get angry at the recent performances, we were all fuming after the Schalke result, but lets not start looking for revolutions and upheaval when history has shown us that all that’s really needed is a couple of decent results together (against QPR and Reading would be nice) and a couple of players back from injury.

  56. Red Arse says:


    Oddly enough, in my response to your comment I was expressing my own opinion.

    Put plainly, I said that I enjoy reading your comments. What I do not enjoy is your criticism of our manager to make your point.

    If you had omitted all reference to AW from your original comment, you would still have got your message across.
    I would have read it with interest, even if I may not have agreed with all you wrote.

    If you also felt the need to do so, you could also have written your criticisms of Wenger in a second comment, and why not, if that is what you want to do. As I said, many on here might agree with you.

    I would not have read it, or, if I had, I would almost certainly not have agreed with you.

    The comment was meant as a well intentioned piece of advice.
    If it was of no interest to you – so be it.

  57. chas says:

    If you re-read, I think Allezkev was saying he couldn’t believe HOW incredibly different they were!

  58. Red Arse says:

    Very well said, richie. 🙂

  59. slimgingergooner says:

    In that case Chas I disagree with Allezkev! 🙂

    But the rest of my comment still stands!

  60. GoonerB – I’m so happy that you’ve found this site to comment on, you often say exactly what I want to but don’t have the time to write it 🙂

    I believe AW is able to work magic on players that end up really surprising us but that also some of what we have bought while we were strapped for cash just wasn’t good enough. These players have really hampered us because they are over-paid (and not very good) and so have been difficult to move on. Also the need to play them while deciding if they will improve has caused shift in the appreciation of AW’s skills.

    Can we get into Champions League again this season? I really hope so but we need to get back on track quickly before the others are too far in front.

  61. RA – this site doesn’t have a problem with bloggers criticising AW if indeed that is what they want to say. What we won’t allow is gratuitous lamblasting of him or the club or any players ie so and so is an idiot for example 😆

  62. You see, you all run and hide when my legs appear but you’re quite safe, tomorrow is a pre-match ……. no need for peachganging 🙂

    ……..although a volunteer for the match report would be good 🙂

  63. Red Arse says:

    Thank you, Peaches.

    Fortunately I was doing neither. But if ever I fail to maintain the standards I am sure you will let me know.

  64. RockyLives says:

    A good rant – and I know it expresses frustrations you have held for a long time.

    It has certainly produced some excellent comments, delivered in a mature and respectful manner.

    I have one question for you (with a couple of sub-questions):

    How did you feel when we were finishing mid table or lower at various points in the 70s, 80s and 90s (and playing dire football along the way)?

    You conclude the Post with: “I can’t watch this rubbish anymore with a passion for a club I once loved.”

    Did you feel that during those bad spells in earlier decades?

    If not, why not?

    I am not trying to be provocative – I am genuinely interested in why (relative) lack of success in the current era seems to affect us all so much more than it did in the past. I am thinking of a Post about the subject.

    Anyway, thanks again for a fine Post.

  65. richie says:

    Can someone sensible please explain to me why some Gooners think the quality of our squad is on a downward spiral? I can’t see that our quality of player is going down! Song & Cesc go to Barca in comes Arteta & Carzorla. Who’s got the better combo?

    8 years of RvP= One great season and one good one.
    Let’s judge the Giro-Pod combo replacement in 8 years.

    We’ve been unlucky with Clichy’s replacement Gibs and his injuries otherwise I think
    No one would’ve complained because Gibs doesn’t have Clichy’s experience but when fit he’s a better player.

    A Gooner recently said to me Arsene didn’t replace like for like with Nasri and my reply was “be thankful” because Nasri never did it for us. We bought him in 08 and we had one good season 2010-11 and sold him 2011. In total he played for us 125 times and scored 27 goals and had 16 assists in other words he scored every 4th or 5th game and made an assist every 7th or 8th game hardly prolific! My guess is he won’t have any better stats a Money Citeh. Nasri is/was unfulfilled potential and Gooners we know all about unfulfilled potential don’t we? We had Reyes.

  66. @ Red Arse
    Sorry for delay but I’ve been preparing and cooking a green curry for longer than it should take.

    In response to your 12.38pm post to me, we’re in harmony to the approximate percentage of 99% only.

    RA: “Yesterday I suggested moving Santos forward, moving TV to left back and bringing Kozzer on. You have said the same. ”

    BA: Not quite… I suggested bringing on Kozzer and moving TV to left back. But I would have preferred subbing Santos for Arshavin.

    On his day Arshavin can do what was needed, we all know that – cynics may comment now.
    An added bonus would have been to ‘parade him in the shop window’, especially as this was a European game.

    Thanks again for a good post, Kelsey.
    That’s it for me folks. The bars are open, the beer is cold, the birds are hot… and they’re calling my name.
    Gotta go!

  67. richie says:

    @GB what stance did we take re-Mata? We were about to buy him for a price agreeable to his club personal terms were agreed when he came to London to sign.
    His father is his agent and by the time they landed at Heathrow Chelski’s scouts had heard about our deal from Valencia and offered double the transfer fee and double the personal terms. Not very surprisingly he didn’t sign for us. What stance should we have taken exactly?

  68. RockyLives says:

    Big Al 🙂
    What is it you like about Thailand?

  69. richie says:

    @Sparta Mark11:10 well said sir!

  70. chas says:

    I’m by no means sensible, but here goes.

    1994 Hiller, Selley, Morrow
    1998 Mendez, Helder, Kiwomya
    2001 Vivas, Malz, Stepanovs
    2007 Denilson, Baptista, Traore
    2012 Chamakh, Park, Squillaci

    If that doesn’t explain it, nothing will.

    Rocky, 🙂
    Big Al must hate the fact that he can’t freeze his tits off watching QPR this Saturday. I feel sorry for him.

  71. @ Red Arse, once again… sorry. Less haste, more speed!

    A correction:
    RA: “Yesterday I suggested moving Santos forward, moving TV to left back and bringing Kozzer on. You have said the same. ”

    BA: Not quite… I suggested REMOVING Santos (sustituting) for Kozzer and moving TV to left back.

    So MY ‘new’ backline would have been:
    Jenkinson – Mertesacker – Koscielny – Vermaelen

    And I would have preferred REMOVING (substituting) Podolski for Arshavin.

    OK, done. I’ll let you get on now, Red Arse… you’re in demand today!

  72. allezkev says:

    To be fair Chas, i only said different, not incredibly different…. 😉

    But the rest of my comment still stands…

  73. @ chas
    yellow smiley face to you too!

    To tell you the honest truth, I REALLY do miss going to the matches. TV coverage is an ‘OK’ substitute, but not the real deal. Yes, I’m envious, totally,

    Luckily, the coverage out here is superb.
    EVERY Premiership game live on it’s own designated channel. Plus FA Cup, League Cup, European Champions League, Charity Shield, even pre-season friendlies. Arsenal Ladies were on a couple of weeks ago.
    Arsenal 360, Arsenal World, Spanish League, Italian League. European Championships, World Cup.
    The ‘chat shows: pre-match on Friday, and post-match on Monday (host:John Dykes, Alan Curbishley, Andy Townsend, Craig Burley).
    And Arsenal News, hosted in turn by three birds.

    Anyway, thanks for concern, buddy.

    @ Rocky Lives – yellow smiley face with winking eye.

  74. richie says:

    @ binghham12:21 🙂 I’ve got no bloody excuses for that spelling I’ve moved and live in another part of Highbury now but I only lived there from the 50’s until 92 obviously not long enough to remember an “e” not an “a” and two L’s better hope me old mother doesn’t read this blog or I’ll get me ear clipped not remembering where I lived. 🙂

  75. weedonald says:

    I am very pleased to be the scapegoat, bete noire and outsider for Chas and RedArse regarding my (perhaps excessive) criticism of the negativism and knee-jerk, panicky dissing of the Team and Wenger over the last few days by some fans. My last post about bombarding the Board and boycotting the game was meant to be ironic (I’ll have to work on that a bit more) and a bit mocking of the powerlessness most Gooners feel when faced with what they see as a diminishing return on their emotional investment….otherwise know as dissatisfaction at AFC and AW’s performances.
    It is, of course, absurd for most Gooners to think they can easily change the direction, performances and management of the Arsenal by calling for wholesale changes of personnel, players, administration or whatever on this or any other blog. Some have even confused themselves with people who opinions Wenger/Kroenke or the BoD care about.
    I do not, unfortunately, have the privilege of attending live AFC games and may likely never but from watching AFC so far this season, it is apparent that the issues causing such concern among Gooners are remediable and manageable:

    1) The return of so many injured players will definitely strengthen the bench and the Team overall,
    2) Bould and Wenger are still experimenting with player combinations and even formations, this is having its consequences but once they get it ¨right¨ we can expect some good results,
    3) Podolski,Giroud,Gervinho ,Walcott, the Ox and Cazorla are talented players ,3 of whom are still adjusting to the EPL and to the Arsenal way of playing….they need time and tolerance…Wenger knows this but some Gooners don’t want to be patient.
    4) Mannone is definitely NOT a world class keeper but he is the only one we have at the moment. Our defense knows what they need to do to protect him but they are having a bad patch, and it coincides with our attackers shooting blanks (or not shooting at all!). They are in a sort of Football constipation cycle where the harder they try the less they achieve.
    5) The team has dropped in confidence and their energy-level, cohesiveness and chemistry have diminished after two frustrating defeats BUT AW has proven time and again that he can motivate his players to perform phoenix-like resurrections…why do some supporters write him off, once again, prematurely?
    6) Now is the time to get behind our Club and encourage them to greater heights, NOT the time to scream outrage and take umbrage at Kroenke’s business approach or Wenger’s seeming incompetence. It is always darkest before the dawn…and we’ve been through darker times as so many older Gooners have aptly pointed out.
    7)I do believe that supporters should express their positive criticisms and genuine concerns to the Club, through the legitimate avenues provided, including their members’ associations and other bodies as well as sharing in a rational, collaborative and well-informed debate on blogs like AA. There is a vast difference between such heated but balanced debate and the very negative and exaggerated rants some Gooners immerse themselves in.We all need a good rant once in a while but perhaps now is NOT the time to expose others to our rancour and vitriol, but rather take a step back and try to find a realistic and rational view of Arsenal’s current dilemma.

    I will NEVER boo my team ,management or players in public and I have rarely seen even the weakest EPL team get such treatment (but as I said before…I’m not there to see that) but it seems some Gooners ¨love ¨ their Club so much that they feel it deserves public humiliation and castigation as a sure-fire remedy to all the teams ills….a less than constructive approach.

  76. kelsey says:


    I will answer you about the downward spiral but individually it would take time. I think Wenger often plays players out of their natural position and therefore we don’t see the best of them.
    I also think in recent years the character of some of the players that he has bought have been a disruptive influence in the dressing room, more so than when he first was appointed.
    I also think that we have more players than ever who are suited to a cameo role and ultimately that is a decision that Wenger makes.

  77. TotalArsenal says:

    Hear, hear WeeD – agreed with all your seven steps. 🙂

  78. richie says:

    @Chas I remember our 94 midfield trio of David Ian and Steve from their heroic’s leading up to the final against Palma. But if your trying to convince me that they are/were a better midfields then than what we have now your having a giraffe. They were battlers I remember them for that, but the drunk was our only real midfielder footballer 🙂 I loved the Mers back then.

  79. kelsey says:


    that’s fairly easy to answer as the expectations were nearly not so high.
    When I say ““I can’t watch this rubbish anymore with a passion for a club I once loved.” it means exactly what it says. Of course I suppport the club but the passion has gone for me. it’s hard to describe on paper but I feel we are far too predictable as a team these days, we have many overpaid average players and even allowing for the fact that we can’t compete financially with other clubs, I keep thinking about RVP saying there is a lack of ambition at the club. There have been boardroom fallouts, and though I haven’t got a clue who could replace him, I think we have had the best of Wenger. I get the feeling he has become so obsessed with getting the best from his players that he can’t actually sometimes think clearly..He needs help, but being a stubborn man and also that much older, maybe it is becoming a bridge too far..
    i maybe completely wrong but i know for a fact that the the way fabregas left hurt him deeply.he and the board initially disagreed.

  80. chas says:


    Please forgive me if you thought for one second I was being serious. The good thing about my rather silly comments is that they’ve helped to bring you back to comment at an hour that isn’t between 3 and 4 in the morning. 🙂

    You’re certainly not any sort of bete noir or outsider for me personally and I do not think you need to give any apology for your whiny doomer comment either. There was a lot of whiny dooming on Sunday after the Norwich game and this has continued after our shocking performance against Schalke.

    Let’s just hope we can turn it around on Saturday else I will have had another wasted 270 mile round trip.

  81. Bryan says:

    Kelsey, that is exactly what I was saying on here yesterday, so I do agree with you.
    I do believe 4th place is possible as we have all been here before & obviously last season we started even worse & finished 3rd but the law of averages tells me that if we keep on doing it, we will lose out eventually & I would not be surprised if it is this season.
    We I’m sure will have good days again like Liverpool & City away but I feel we do have alot of problems with the running of this club, that really need to be sorted out

  82. VCC says:

    Kelsey……Fine post.

    As you say the last 2 games have been rubbish, no where near good enough. The second involved a strange decision to bring Jenkinson off and leave Santos on????? In mmost peoples eyes, Santos should have been substituted at half time. Thesed are things that frustrate us as Arsenal loving fans.

    I agree with you in that Wenger has a habit of putting square pegs in round holes, yes it worked once with Henry but he persists in doing so.

    Recent buys of Park,Squillacci and Chamahk are indeed open to question, they simply are well short of the standard we would expect, and imo the jury is still out on Giroud and Gervinho.

    Fortunes must change this Saturday if we are hoping to make the top 4.

  83. chas says:


    On the contrary, I was suggesting that there has always been dross in the Arsenal squad.
    In the Selley, Hiller, Morrow days the difference was that they were getting a regular game!
    Can you imagine what the Arsenal blogs would have been like if they were around in those last couple of Georgie Graham seasons?
    ” We want our 1989 to 1991 Arsenal back”

    Some are still using Park as an example of how weak the squad is, even though he’s not even in it. 🙂

  84. GoonerB says:

    RA and Richie I appreciate your return comments and I will try and answer you both together. The reason I am countering your comments about my original comment at 10.52 is only because I felt the way you have perceived them was not how I intended. That could easily be my fault in the way I posted it.

    Just to say this is one of 2 sites I very much like (sorry to be a blog bigamist Peaches), which are both very similar with the people who post on it. The points are well thought out with reasoned arguments, and generally an acceptance of each others views even if it is to agree to disagree. I believe there are a few AA’s that also post on that site and I have a sneaking recollection that even you RA have been on there in the past, although I will stand corrected if I have got that wrong. I have only commented on AA today but did glance at their post. It was a long but well balanced piece from someone who came across to me as a true gooner who was neither at one extreme or the other. It did however cover a subject that I don’t believe you RA will agree upon based upon your feelings on my original comment. That is not a criticism but the more you come on this site the more you start to understand where different bloggers opinions lye. For my part I feel I am neither a Wenger out or a so called AKB but something in between. I can’t stand the Wenger out brigade so if I was forced to choose a side I would be with the AKB’s because, as I have said, I am not anti Wenger and my big wish is that he is the one to lead us back to the glory days. I still don’t see though why we can’t talk about him critically on this site, as long as the argument and opinion is reasonable without going to an extreme (which I don’t believe I did). If we are talking about failings in tactics RA how can you do this without reference to the person ultimately responsible for these areas. Richie, you even said about how Schalke were targeting Santos and I believe you were exasperated as to why nothing was done about it. Does your analysis of it stop there, because you can’t go further without without questioning those responsible for these failings.

    RA it isn’t that your points and advice were of no interest to me. I took them on board but I just didn’t understand why you were so put out about the comments, seemingly purely because I used AW’s name in a negative context. It wasn’t what I would consider malicious or over the top.

    I will come back later but off for now. Will be interested on responses anyway.

  85. evonne says:

    Wee at 4:04 – that is an excellent comment, one of the best I have read these past few days

    Monster – behave!

    Rocky – why are you asking about Thailand? We all know the answer 🙂

  86. weedonald says:

    Thanks evonne…………chas……I’d gladly go 270 miles to see AFC but 2700 miles is too much!

  87. chas says:

    Sometimes I wish I lived 2700 miles away or even as much as 6000, then I could be out on the lash with Big Al. 🙂

  88. richie says:

    @Kelsey sure Arsene has brought in some disruptive bods Ade- Buy-me-for-more and Na$ri immediatly spring to mind. Playing someone out of their natural position normally comes about because he wants to give players pitch time and expirence, but when a player makes a position his own they are rarely moved Sagna (injuries apart) springs to mind. Of course with someone like Shava try him everywhere because he’s got great talent but we still ain’t sure where he plays best? He’s had extensive runs every position.

    When Arsene built the invincibles defence they didn’t move, nor did the midfield Gilberto Silva was like Gibralta unmoveable only the forward line was always fluid and interchangeable. Injuries (does any team have more) have caused Arsene to have to try to play players in different positions. If Rosicky was fit and Arsene played him Carzorla and Arteta and they kept swapping around would that bother you? I mean when all our full backs were out injuried the manager had no choice but to try out anyone fit. The only other player that I think should be given a shot at it in the centre rather than Gerv is Theo (is he good enough? who knows?) Players improve massively under Wengers tutelage (think Jenkinson) so why not Theo?

  89. richie says:

    @GB4:50 I’m AKB in chief but I criticise Arsene! But I only ever criticise him for decisions I know he’s made. For example I’ve hated the spend some f***ing money brigade for an age because I thought it was common knowledge that we as a club didn’t have it to spend. But in terms of the criticism I fired off for not doing something about the pressure Shalke were puting Santos under from the begining of the game “Let me make something very clear in case its not” The buck stops with Arsene he’s calling the shots!

  90. Red Arse says:


    If I had your email address, this would be preferably sorted out away from the public gaze.

    If I did not normally enjoy your comments, as I have previously said, I would not have bothered commenting. (I am beginning to wish I had not!)

    If you read my explanation, again, I simply said (from my point of view) that you could easily have split your long comment into two without losing the point you were making.

    A lot of your comment was an astute observation of the current position, as well as querying our tactical formation and the timing of substitutions, which was apposite.

    Secondly, I suggested that a separate comment about Mr Wenger could have been made to highlight his ‘mistakes’, ‘missed opportunities’ etc, if that was what you wanted to do.

    I did not say you should not or could not criticise AW!
    And I trust anyone else reading these exchanges between us understands that — it is quite clear in my previous comments.

    I am biased towards our manager and I will not apologise for that.

    However, I am not an ‘AKB’ nor a ‘Doomer’, (appalling soubriquet) and I have been known to question AW’s stance on a number of issues. (see my correspondence with Big Al, above, as an example).

    AW is not infallible, and all fans have the right to civilly question what is being done with the team or new player purchases or even player sales, as fans are a critically important part of Arsenal.

    I was NOT being critical of you or your comment, and I am becoming a bit tired of saying that I normally enjoy your stuff.

    I DID think you may have been overly personalizing your references regarding AW, (but I accept you and others may have different views on that).

    Can we now draw a line under that, as I will not be commenting further.

    And yes, GoonerB, I probably am the one and only Red Arse who you have seen and spoken to on another site. 🙂

    I stay with a site until I get the impression I am no longer welcome, then I move on!

  91. richie says:

    Sorry Chas I’m a little slow I got the wrong end of it! For a minute I thought you were a Jesper Jenson fan 🙂 🙂 🙂

  92. glic says:

    I dont know if that was a post from the heart or one from somebody who is a bit frustrated at this present time ?. A good post though.
    The only live games I watch are when I get my once/twice yearly trip to the Emirates. So in a way kelsey, I`m like you, I cant watch the rubbish anymore !, basically, I only watch Arsenal Player etc if we win ( I wont even watch the draws ! ) anything else is rubbish to me !. hahaha
    So the prescription from Dr glick to patient kelsey is ; an enema or as we gooners call it ; Up the Arse !, a win tomorrow against QPR.

    Just what the Doctor ordered !.

    DR glic will be holding a surgery tomorrow at the Tavern. Female patients will be seen by Dr glic ( Doctorship of Taxidermy ) and Males will be seen by TERRY MANCINI HAIRY TRANSVESTITE and his unglamorous Pug Ugly assistant VCC !.

  93. evonne says:

    you’d miss me if you went to Thailand monster 🙂

    Where is GN5, he is good with stats. I’d like to know how our injuries compare with the rest of the league. We seem to be getting more than others, but that might not be true. I wish I could see how many weeks in total all the injured players missed

  94. GoonerB says:

    RA, no problems and I hope we can continue our dialogue in future debates. Sometimes we will always see eye to eye and sometimes not. I didn’t mean to make it a drawn out affair. We both seem overall pro Wenger so we must have a reasonable amount in common, and obviosly I agree there is absolutely no need to apologise for your support of AW. I mostly wish I didn’t have the reservations I am currently experiencing and hope it turns out to be an over-reaction on my part. I don’t mind the humble pie if the result is a resurgent Arsenal with AW at the helm. When my belief starts to waver a bit it is maybe only people like yourself that can draw me back a little. As I said the only person I really want to see leading us to glory is him. One question, did the other site make you unwelcome or am I over-reading into that final bit?

    Richie a quick bit of info from you if I may. Where i mentioned Mata it was because I had believed that we had him in the bag and there was some small discrepency that we were refusing to agree to, what I would term nit-picking, and that allowed Chelsea to come in and Gazump us. Do you have knowledge of it happening differently to that. As I said I tend to only get frustrated with the things that are within our control and that I would consider avoidable, but if it was different and in the end was a situation we couldn’t compete with then that is different. I am happy to hold my hands up if someone can show me I had the wrong end of things.

  95. Red Arse says:

    Well said, GB, and agreed! 🙂

    No, I have never been made to feel I have overstayed my welcome at any site — yet.

    (altho’ I chose to give LG a red card, but I was never a regular!) 🙂

  96. evonne says:

    GoonerB – my guess is that the “small discrepancy” with Mata that you menitoned, amounted to some £5m and to Wenger who is very good with figures it was probably too much of a discrepancy 🙂 Yeah, what a pity we didn’t get him. But then again, we lost out on Torres, what a good job we didn’t get HIM

  97. jnyc says:

    You all know that im an arsene lover, but i do feel free to complain when i dont agree with some things. For example, would we be seeing anything of the excellent jenkinson, if sagna hadnt been badly injured? Answer- no. Because arsene doesnt rotate hardly at all. How many minutes has santi played this season- then two full matches for spain last week. The players will never want to sit. And they will never complain about over playing. The manager needs to trust his backups, even if its arshavin, coquelin, yennaris, eisfeld, gnabry, whomever. They may produce better because of motivation, pride– better than a great but fatigued player like santi. Same goes for arteta, podolski, all playing alot. Luckily no spain for mikel. I think we have a good group of players to pick from.

  98. LB says:


    Common sense answers the Mata question. Here are a few facts:

    Mata was known as a special talent by every single club in Europe long before the average supporter realised as much in the UK.

    Despite being in debt Valencia had no reason to sell to sell such a prized asset on a first come first served basis. Why should they?

    Chelsea were without a manager.

    Arsenal approched Valencia about buying Mata.

    Negotiations were advanced.

    Now the common sense part. If you were Valencia would you sell Mata before you knew if the new Chelsea manager might be interested?

    Nor would I.

    AVB was interested and from that moment we had to withdraw as we cannot compete with a billionaire owner who treats his club as a play thing.

    The annoying part about this all is that the urban myth that has done the rounds for so long: “Arsenal stalled, wouldn’t agree to a small increase of this or that” was started by Arsenal fans, then picked up by other Arsenal fans and is still repeted by naive Arsenal fans today.

    In a nut shell, it insults Arsenal intelligence or to use the vernacular: it’s bollacks.

  99. chas says:

    Yeah but we should have spent the extra 50p on Schwarzer.
    You can’t deny that (even if Mark Hughes didn’t want to sell).

  100. LB says:

    2700 miles away…….where on earth does Weedonald live?

  101. chas says:

    My guess is Burkino Faso.

  102. chas says:

  103. GoonerB says:

    Thanks for the feedback LB on the Mata situation. If that is the case I can put that one in the case closed box. RA I will admit I occasionally take a peek at LG but not often and have hardly ever commented. I am with you on that one. I have made a point of not peeking recently after the recent 2 results and the AGM, as I felt I could fairly accurately predict the line it would take and I don’t think I could stomach it. I feel a bit guilty that I haven’t had your conviction of a complete red card but something keeps me wanting to see how they react. It never seems to sway me to their way of thinking, if anything it strengthens my conviction on my own beliefs.

    So Glic and Terry Mancini are in the Tavern tomorrow. I am not sure yet but I may end up frequenting that establishment myself at some point. How would one recognise a fellow AA’er if you wanted to say hello. Is there a secret handshake or code. If I do get there I would be happy to come and say a quick hello

  104. kelsey says:

    If you see a lop sided wig with an Arsenal scarf holding it together, its terry 😉

  105. kelsey says:

    Thanks for all your comments.pretty civil all round. maybe GLIC is right about me. Goodnight everyone.


    Good Evening

    Kelsey, you cheeky Bugger. How many times do i have to tell you its a perfectly respectable hair transplant. Every thing is fine….unless it rains. hahaha

    I realy like your post. Its funny how people who want exactly the same thing. i.e. Arsenal to be at the very top and winning trophies, can differ so drasticly as to the means of acheiving that goal.

    I respect your cynicsim concerning the direction the Club is taking. You have banged on for a while now that you believe there is something wrong at the higher levels of the club and you may be right.

    You know my views. Arsenal are on the right path and if they dont blink, and i dont think they will, we will both get what we want, Arsenal at the very top.

  107. GoonerB – do you use a hooky email address when you comment? I emailed you yesterday and no reply. If you would care to email me

    I’ll exchange numbers with you and then you’ll be able to find us at The Tavern.

  108. richie says:

    @ GB&LB I mentioned on the blog earlier that I lived in Avenell Rd 🙂 (Brigham) I’ve also mentioned on the blog that my grandmother’s house was opposite the ground and that various footballers lodged with her. Most weren’t local lads Charlie G apart and they weren’t paid like now so renting was the only option. I knew (first name terms) virtually the whole of our first double team. On any given day half of them might’ve been playing cards or I kid you not subbuteo in my Gran’s living room. Highbury was pretty provincial back then Pat Rice’s brother used to cut my hair he had a barbers in Gillespie Rd next to the bookies (very convenient coz if it wasn’t cards or subbuteo it was the Gee gees) not a 100m from my Gran’s front door.

    That’s a long winded way to explain that living in such close proximity to Highbury stadium means I have lots of connections to the club. In 06 when I needed a ticket for Paris I rang my old barbers bro’ naturally. Unfortunately his recent retirement closes another Arsenal contact door in my family’s house Re the Mata saga I was complaining about how Cesc’s going, was gonna leave a huge creative hole in our midfield. I was told before any news broke in the media. Not to worry Arsene already has the player he wants to be Cesc’s replacement, typical Arsene he’s got him at the right price because Valencia are cash strapped and need to sell, it’s a done deal he arrives to sign this weekend.

    When the weekend arrived the rumour hit the net that Chelski had gazumped us, I rang Pat who confirmed that Chelski’s scouts hearing from Valencia that we were about to sign JM, offered the club double our previously accepted offer. Then they sweetened the deal further by offering JM’s Dad who is also his agent personal terms double what we were proposing. I’ve told this storey before on AA but obviously what I don’t know when considering the murky world that agents live in, is what went on behind the scene. The back storey if you will. Valencia may well have tipped off Chelski in an attempt to get more money. JM’s Dad could still have been peddling him while we thought we were agreeing personal terms.

    I can only say what I was told at the time and it rang true to me then, as it does now, also I feel it’s the simplest therefore most logical scenario. Especially given the facts that Abromovich previously poached Arsene’s scouts, because he wanted some of the previously unheard of types of players Arsenal were finding so cheaply. We all know Roman loved the football Arsene had us playing and hated Mourinho’s percentage game.

  109. richie says:

    @Chas 7:20 🙂 brilliant retort to the type of rumour thats started in the bargin basement of blogshere LG or AT (which hopefully now is no more)

  110. richie says:

    You see TA back on land back on richie time.

  111. JM says:

    Juan Mata’s sale to Chelsea:

    (1) Valencia getting more $$ from Chelsea
    (2) Mata’s agent/consultant (i.e. his dad) getting more $$ from Chelsea.
    (3) On a personal level, Fabregas is leaving Arsenal; while Torres is at Chelsea (i.e. Spanish connection for Juan Mata)

    When looking at player transfer(s), there will always be 3 main issues to be ironed out:

    (1) Selling club’s transfer fee (includes add-ons, e.g. player’s future sell-on fee, a set number of internationals call-ups fee etc)

    (2) Player’s personal terms (e.g. wages, match bonuses, goal/assist bonuses = contractual terms etc; and non-financial ones like which other players is/are @the buying club, esp “star” players presence)

    (3) Player’s agent(s)/agency’s fee (e.g. If player is represented by a “Super Agent” -> read Pinhas Zahavi, Alain Migliaccio, Jorge Mendes etc etc., their pocketed fees could be as high as 10-20% of what the selling club received for the transfer fee). Furthermore, they could prove a nuisance in a long run for the club. (e.g. annually getting their clients to ask for an improved contract, not wanting to negotiate or extend contract etc)


    @kelsey’s post,

    We are still early days to predict if our club shall get 4th (or better) at the end of the season. I would be happy if we could maintain 3rd & get good results in the other 3 cup competitions.
    This weekend London derby against QPR comes at an excellent time & opportunity for the team to rediscover their belief in playing to their best abilities (It could have been worse if we were playing Man Utd, esp. after 2 defeats)

  112. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Richie, you have been in fine form today, judging by some of your comments. 🙂

    Catch up with tomorrow!

  113. richie says:

    @TA I might’ve been in fine form since my return but the teams form hasn’t! I feal like a jinx we’ve lost 2 in 2 I might have leave if we don’t win the next one. This has all come as a shock too because I like the balance of the team and the player we have.

  114. richie says:

    @JM yes you make good points but Chelski isn’t known for its Spanish connections I mean yes they’ve got Torres if Mata wanted to speak Spanish, but he could’ve spoken to Arteta and Miguel at the Arse, plus Arsene speaks Spanish and we’ve got some other youngsters. My point was I wasn’t told that Valencia wanted another €5mil and Arsene’s holding out. I was told the deals done JM is coming to the Emirates this weekend to sign. He certainly came to London on cue, but he didn’t arrive at the Emirates as expected.
    He got way laid in West London.

    I know if we’d bought Mata we wouldn’t have bought Carzorla but if we had? A Spanish midfield of Arteta Carzorla & Mata would’ve been mouth watering!

  115. JM says:


    Arteta was not @Arsenal until very late before the transfer window ended, and after Fabregas has well left our club.
    On a personal level, esp. since Torres & Mata are both together in the Spanish national team as well (i.e. the Spanish connection at club & national level). This is though only 1/3 of deal, the other 2/3 being Valencia & Mata’s agent dad getting more $$ package from Chelsea than us.

  116. JM says:

    Add-on to my 3:24 am post:

    The player connection could be applied to us this season when Podolski signed for our club, 1/3 of reasons is Mertesacker is around and talked to him. (i.e. The German connection at club & national levels).

    Also quite similar in 1/3 of Giroud’s case: Koscielny is around (i.e. The French connection at club & national levels).

  117. weedonald says:

    I live across the pond mate….I am a colonial!

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all.
    Back home and off the mobile 🙂
    May I congratulate everyone on a superb few days of posts and comments.
    No one person, from Chairman to Manager to any Player is bigger than the club, but what they all have in common is that they are human beings, and as such, should be treated with dignity and simple good manners.
    What I like more than anything about this site is that people uphold those principles, and while there will inevitably, and rightly so, be differing views on what is best for The Club we love, we treat those people with Arsenal-like standards of respect.
    Right…MATCH DAY….and the best way to progress is to win today

  119. chas says:

    The strange thing is that you could tell richie’s story to the whole of the Arsenal blogosphere a million times, that Mata was a done deal, price and all, and that the chavs stepped in at the last minute and blew us out of the water with a ‘double everyones money’ offer and you’d still get people saying that it was Wenger’s tightness that caused us to lose him.

    In the end you believe what you want to believe.

  120. chas says:

    Morning Micky,
    How was ‘The Birmingham’?

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahoy Chas,
    Truth counts. Trouble starts with people believing they have a right to truth and transparency, which not only they don’t, but it would be impossible, irresponsible and counter productive.

    Apart from Jack, do we have anyone fit and available who was not in contention on wednesday?

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha have a good memory 🙂
    Never stopped there before. Spent a nice few hours around the Canals, but there is a rudeness in the air. Well I found that anyway. Maybe they just didn’t like my shoes or something.

  123. JM says:

    Apart from Wilshere, Sagna, Frimpong & Walcott could be ready. (Refer to training pictures posted on the club’s website)

    Gibbs is still not ready as are our 2 GKs, AoC is only @60% fit.

  124. chas says:

    I’m never sure about ‘truth’.
    Everything is coloured by your own perception.

    I think Bacary and Frimpong are available and the Ox has a 60:40 chance or something like that.

  125. chas says:

    Thanks for that, JM.
    I had no idea Walcott was anywhere near playing again.

  126. chas says:

    I bet you’d be rude if you had to live there. 🙂

  127. chas says:

    I really doubt there would be much overlap at all between Tim Payton’s perception of reality and mine.
    When I see Tim Payton’s tweets and comments in the media they seem to come from exactly the same place as someone’s like Stewart Robson’s do.

  128. chas says:

    Did you like the Beefeater?

  129. MickyDidIt89 says:

    JM and Chas,
    Thanks for the update.
    I can safely say, it would be the last place that I have ever visited, that I would choose to live.
    As for the Beefeater, I have seen it before, and it is brilliant 🙂
    Raddy has much to learn that will never come from the classroom, although little of any value ever came from a classroom!

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Are we thinking that Jack will start today?

  131. chas says:

    If I say no, there’s more chance he will, so no.

  132. chas says:

    QPR are 8-1 against to beat us today.
    You can get 4-1 against the draw.
    I so hope the bookies are right.

  133. evonne says:

    Morning all
    Chas, for once I do not envy you. I wouldn’t go to the game even if You promised to hold my hand
    Poor Raddy, what will he write in the PM? I’d concentrate on the beard if I was him

  134. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Evonne,
    Methinks Raddy has to go with the new beginning stuff. Rediscover the old Arsenal we know and love…and then, and only then, a Big Game Hunter with a waxed tache 🙂

  135. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I expected an onslaught yesterday but on the whole I didn’t get it, but I must emphasize that i have another post in my mind which really will show what I think of each member of the squad.

    personal issues at the moment may make me say things in a knee jerk reaction but I believe I am generally consistent in my views.

    Sometimes i talk to a few people and we are in agreement about certain players yet when they post they mellow down their thoughts considerably. I just say it like it is, but that doesn’t mean I am right.

    Raddy my understanding is that Sagna,Wilshere,Walcott possibly, and Gnarby are in the squad. Podolski may not be fit.Gibbs is definately out and the Ox i am not sure about.

  136. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, everyone fit and ready for the fight?

    Not sure I am.

    Micky very true on transparency, the fly on the wall docusoap Being Liverpool is a case in point, whilst it is clearly an ad campaign for Brand Scouser it reveals a lot of things I wouldn’t want to know if I was a Liverpool fan.

    1st how many times Brendan Rodgers says “ok”, and his “two things” motivational speak before every game, layered with a good slice of mature cheddar, every time I see him I am reminded of David Brent and the teacher in South Park.

    Seeing apprentices like Jay Spearing driving a Range Rover and living in a sizeable house without yet achieving (I know that applies to all fans of all clubs) be good if they were back lodging with people like Richies nan.

  137. evonne says:

    brrrr…waxed tache…..brrrrr, no idea how hairy men find wives, they look dirty. Or do the wives have taches too?

  138. evonne says:

    I am not going to watch, I cannot face it
    There is me a week ago looking at the list of fixtures and dreading 3rd November. I thought we were going to have an easy, confidence building ride till then. And then the wheel came off, not sure if they are back on. Actually, I am sure they aint

  139. Gooner In Exile says:

    So Liverpool didn’t get Demosey because Fulham would not agree the traded player valuation….my guess Downing plus cash was offered.

  140. chas says:

    The first email question on OxTV episode 6 is something like, ‘How does it feel to be a famous football star?’

    I was so hoping Alex would reply by saying he wasn’t a famous football star but just a budding young 19 year old professional trying to make a successful football career for himself.

    He does seem very grounded though all things considered. It must be very difficult having so much so young rather than playing Subbuteo in richies nan’s front room.

  141. chas says:

    Haha, Downing as part of the deal would definitely put you off.

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m not so sure “difficult” is the right word for being so rich so young, but a few games of subbuteo in Richie’s Nans’ front room is a bloody good idea. 🙂

  143. Gooner In Exile says:

    Come on Chas they don’t have to be stuck that far in the past, at least let them play FIFA13

  144. GoonerB says:

    Good morning everyone. Great story Richie about Juan Mata and your hair-cuts. What were you and JM doing up so late, it must have been well past your bed-time. Peaches if you check in here I have sent you an e-mail. Anyway off to work for a short time, Joy!!

  145. chas says:

    I meant difficult to stay grounded of course.
    The Ox seems fairly intelligent so he has a chance others like Bentley can’t handle it.

  146. kelsey says:

    I wouldn’t hazard a guess at the score today, I bet most of you are ar nervous as I am. I just have a feling we might pick up another injury as Hughes being hughes will try and kick Santi out of the game.

    Is kos fit and will santos be dropped ?

  147. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I know what you meant Chas. Didn’t mean to come over all picky.
    The long wait until The Big Raddy continues 😦

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Kelsey,
    We have no option other than to believe in a stylish and comprehensive victory.
    Followed, naturally, by a Spurs defeat and the ineviatble mass brawl, red card and injury laiden, ugly draw between The Chavs and Mancs tomorrow. Points deductions par for the course.

  149. Rasp says:

    Morning all…..

    …. New post ……..

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