“I’m Finished With Supporting Arsenal”

If you have clicked on this article because you’re a frothing Wengerphobe and you want to praise me for expressing the sentiment contained in the headline I suggest you read no further.

I am not finished with supporting Arsenal and I never will be, even when they nail me down in a box and plant me.

The headline is in quotation marks because I have seen it expressed (in those words or similar) by many contributors to the Arsenal blogosphere.

If you share that sense of desperation – so powerful an antipathy to what is happening with the current Arsenal set-up that you are willing to turn your back on a lifetime of support –  I am also not here to make fun of you or attempt to argue you out of it. I am truly sad that you have come to such a despairing conclusion and can imagine that you have not reached it lightly.

Anyway, there is already too much dysfunctionality in the Arsenal family to throw fuel on those flames.

But I am fascinated with understanding what it is that can make people who – in some cases – have followed Arsenal for decades finally decide they can take no more.

Certainly anyone who HAS supported the club for decades has lived through far worse periods than anything we’re going through now (which, to be clear, is a run of poor performances on the back of a season where we finished third, albeit not convincingly, then sold our best player to one of our main rivals).

We have gone through bad periods in the past – periods when we were finishing much lower in the league than today, playing football that would make Tony Pubis wince and enduring the Sahara of all trophy droughts.

The supporters during those times did not do a Delap (throw in the towel). They looked forward to meeting up with their mates on match day, having a few beers, having a laugh and watching the game – win, lose or draw.

Obviously they (we) were gutted when we lost and overjoyed when we won. Most players would be given wholehearted support but even then there were always one or two who got a bit of stick.

Somehow though, however bad things were on the pitch, however clueless the manager, however donkey-like the players, it never took over our whole life. It didn’t leave us dejected the rest of the week, poring over the entrails of defeat like a Roman soothsayer.

The reasons offered for why people seem more upset in the modern era fall into three categories:

  • Expectations
  • Entitlement
  • Internet

Expectations: this theory has it that the agonies of today are a direct result of the ecstasies of the past. Until 2005 we had a run of regular trophy success going back almost 20 years, to when a young Arsenal team managed by George Graham lifted the League Cup in 1987.

In the first half of Arsene Wenger’s reign the pot-winning was enhanced by some of the greatest players and best football ever seen at Arsenal, culminating in the Invincibles of 2003-4.

According to this theory, we supporters have tasted the best and won’t settle for less.

But why didn’t the fans who experienced Double joy in 1971 – including clinching the title at the N17 public toilets – throw their toys out of the pram as the mid ‘70s descended into Spuddish levels of awfulness (we finished 16th in 1975 and 17th in 1976)? Perhaps the answer lies in the second theory:

Entitlement: it is accepted by many that we live in an age of entitlement. Modern technology and a steady increase (until recently) in standards of living over the past 20 years have created a society in which we expect to have what we want, when we want it. Anyone with teenage children will understand this very well indeed.

In extreme cases, entitlement is recognised by clinical psychologists as a symptom of narcissistic personality disorder, with individuals becoming more and more furious when they fail to get what they think is their right.

For Arsenal supporters the entitlement issues are compounded by repeated surveys showing we are among the six richest clubs in world football. By this argument, we should be winning major trophies regularly, regardless of stadium moves, petro-dollars and a club medical centre that resembles something from The Walking Dead.

One problem with the entitlement theory is that it’s not just younger supporters (members of the “entitlement generation”) who are turning their backs on supporting Arsenal. I have read comments from people doing just that who start by saying “I have been supporting Arsenal for more than 30 years but now I’ve had enough…”

Internet: back in the 1970s when I first started watching Arsenal on a regular basis (yes – I was there when we finished 17th!) I would be really peed off when we lost and would have a good moan with my mates in the pub.

But until the next game my only source of information, news or gossip about the Arsenal was whatever the national newspapers decided to print which, in those days, was not very much. Many newspapers had only a couple of pages devoted to sport (all sport – not just football) and footy coverage was mostly limited to match reports. There was no “insider” gossip, no guest columns by ex players, no “WAGs”.

Also it’s worth bearing in mind that there was virtually no live footy on TV: all we had were Match of the Day on Saturday night and The Big Match on Sunday lunchtimes.

Inevitably, therefore, I spent less time talking, thinking about or watching Arsenal than I do now. Today, apart from the massively increased press coverage and wall-to-wall TV exposure, the internet means I read, write and talk about Arsenal every single day – sometimes for several hours (don’t tell my boss… or my wife).

Which, in turn, means that every setback, every concern, every defeat is scrutinised and agonised over to a degree that would have been unthinkable in the ‘70s or ‘80s.

Quite aside from the mild mental derangement this causes me (and, I suspect, many other Gooners), it also means that more extreme viewpoints can reach a wider audience than they would have done in days past. Whether it’s the view that Arsene Wenger is the devil incarnate and should be lynched, or that Le Boss must be beatified by the Pope forthwith as a prelude to becoming Saint Arsene of Ashburton, those opinions – when expressed on the internet – can gain a following that they would not have done when expressed to a few people in the pub

This last theory – the internet – is the most convincing one for me. The first two theories may play their part as well, but it’s the sheer ubiquity of Arsenal in the modern fan’s world that makes the pain so hard to take: there is, literally, no escape.

One last theory: there is a final element which, I believe, plays a part in making people have such drastic reactions to footballing setbacks these days  – but it’s not an easy one to classify.

The element I have in mind is that, as a society, we are less sure of who we are these days. The class system that was still entrenched as I was growing up has gone (or at least become much more blurred and confused); we are a multicultural people in a multinational world; we are bombarded with entertainment in all forms (contrast that with the three TV channels of the 1970s and no such things as Talksport, computers or computer games); the “nuclear family” of two married parents and two or three kids – then the norm – is now in decline; even our external “enemies” are elusive, mysterious people hiding in shadows, not the mighty Soviet Bloc that threatened the childhoods of many of us.

I am not saying that any or all of these changes are bad things, just that they have left us (particularly, perhaps, the over 40s among us) feeling like there are fewer concrete things to hold on to than in our youth. We have changed from being a nation of people who all watched the same TV shows at the same time to a kaleidoscope society that has splintered into 10,000 niche interests and pastimes. As a result our sense of shared identity is more fragile than it ever used to be.

In those circumstances, the attachment we have to Arsenal becomes something stronger and more powerful than ever: the one solid part of our identity. But with such power over us, it also has the capacity to cause us pain like never before.

And maybe that’s why losing faith in Arsenal has changed from being what it once was – a wound capable of healing – to what it is now for some supporters – a death blow.

RockyLives

238 Responses to “I’m Finished With Supporting Arsenal”

  1. Goonercharlie says:

    Some good points . Entitlement part however missed out one of the biggest points . Ticket prices ……. Most expensive tickets in England and I’d probably bank also in the world. If we are to pay these prices ,value for money comes into it . Fans are paying for a product which is getting worst and worst . It may seem wrong to talk about as Arsenal as a business but I’m just taking the lead of the board who have used the club to benefit themselves .

  2. Rohan says:

    I echo your sentiments here ….. Arsenal for life

  3. swiller says:

    I think the age were men went to football as it was the only way they could get out of spending the day with the wife are over and that is why people want to see their team win all the time. If football was the only excuse you could use to save yourself from trawling after your lass you don’t care if you win, lose or draw as long as you get to spend some time with the lads and have a few beers.

  4. Gunnerblog says:

    Great piece. I don’t know if you’ve read So Paddy Got Up, but I wrote a chapter in there which touched on a similar thing with the internet. It allows consensus to form much quicker, and thus (I suppose) disenchantment to be more contagious.

    I’d say the only thing you missed was an economic factor – the fact many fans feel they’re being ‘priced out’.

  5. Sav from Australia says:

    Nice article Rocky. I agree with the expectations, entitlement and internet bit. I am not old enough to agree with the end bit lol.

    I saw a major change in football because of TV and ideas of entertainment shipped over from the US sports entertainment industry. Its been since then that I hear people use the word ‘fan’ rather than ‘supporter’. I think if the emphasis was on supporting rather than being a fan in search of entertainment and nothing else, then there would be less whingers.

  6. TA5 says:

    I clicked your link to give you a volley of abuse. I’m sick of the spotty students and their invented AKB sarcasm, two bob ‘fans’ who if push came to shove you definitely wouldn’t want to be next to you in the trenches. Deserters and mutineers who are so spoilt can’t see the wonders of Wenger. We can’t in the current environment keep up with chavski citeh or manure, but the only way we could possibly prevail is in the long term, but these ‘fans’ are either too dumb of just haven’t seen the bad times that every other club has seen, it doesn’t seem that long ago manure were in the second flight!
    So back the whole club. Your winging doesn’t help, your just whining liabilities.

  7. Max says:

    Absolutely fantastic article. Honestly couldn’t have out it any better myself.

    I wasn’t around for the double winning team of 71, nor for all the fallow years that followed. I’m 29 now and started supporting Arsenal 20 years ago, so I’ve lived through the sustained period of success (plus these last 7 years) and I can’t in a million years imagine turning my back on Arsenal. Even if our slide this season continued and we ended up in a relegation battle (a la ’76) I couldn’t possibly walk away from a life long love affair – no matter how peeved off I may be with the board and current ownership.

    One thing I will say is that I think people who make sweeping statements like “I’ve supported the club for 30 years but I’m done” shouldn’t have their statements taking totally seriously unless they act upon them.

    The football “family” is nothing if not reactionary. Everyone gets upset when things aren’t going well and people express things with various degrees of anger or upset. But I don’t think these things should always be taken at face value. I’m sure it’s only a very very small minority of those who make these kinds of statements that would actually follow through with them.

    Terrific article. Thanks for taking the time to write it – I read a lot of blogs and rarely comment but I felt compelled to make a comment expressing my gratitude for all the time/effort/thought you must have put into this.

  8. Sav from Australia says:

    Well said TA5!

  9. leonsalmeida says:

    refreshing after the bullshit that fellow gooners have been slinging

  10. Daniel Snowden says:

    For me, its the cash. I will always support Arsenal, but going to the matches no longer represents value for money. £62.50 to watch us lose to a good team? No thanks. for that sort of money I want to watch a winning team. I remember paying £16.50 to stand on the northbank lower 9wings) and watch us beat the Chavs, but the experiance is not four times better now, so I have stopped paying and gave up my season ticket.

  11. Goonerboy says:

    Players, managers, the board have always come and gone, and they still will. I will always love my club, but I certainly do not love this team, there is a huge distinction between both.

    With all these parasites and the dillusional Wenger at the club, I do not love the team or the set up.

    Arsenal FC forever

  12. hfdyhey says:

    Stupid headline employed to elicit clicks to your site. Another one for the hide pile in Newsnow.

  13. émirates. says:

    Good.

  14. Rasp says:

    hfdyhey, either you haven’t read the article or you haven’t understood. The title is intended to get the attention of people who think that way and the best means of trying to get them to reconsider their stance is to use a headline that they are likely to agree with and then hope they will read, understand and see the light … comprendez?

    If you look around the site you will see that we do not carry advertising, the sites who regularly put out misleading headlines earn revenue through hits – we don’t

  15. Rasp says:

    The simple truth is that whether you hate the current team, the Board, or the manager is irrelevant, you cannot stop supporting the Arsenal if you are a true fan – it doesn’t work that way.

  16. lawal says:

    Wow, just wow..We need more of this..too many negatives already did my brain….You’re awesome…

  17. Sam says:

    Perfectly summed up. A true reflection of how things are for me. I think the AKB’s are either much more easy going people by nature and therefore stress less when Arsenal lose or they are indifferent to the extent that Arsenal’s influence on there lives is limited. But no one who feels my pain when we lose can want for the status quo to continue. If I could click my fingers and not support Arsenal or any team for that matter, I would in heartbeat.
    How can I allow my happiness or sadness to rest with 11 men and 1 manager who have never met me or do not wish too.

  18. Red Arse says:

    A wonderful Rocky special! 🙂

    (I hope you weren’t referring to bloggers on AA — otherwise you will getting a reprimand in due course!) 🙂

    No, you are OK, Rock, I went back to re-read your Post and you have included the magic wording; “by many contributors to the Arsenal blogosphere”, if only I too had had the foresight!

  19. Lloyd Gooner from Zimbabwe says:

    Best article yet. We might be going through our worst starts in a long time, we might have lost to Manure again, we might be going through a bad patch and all of this compounded by the power of the internet but Arsenal needs our support after all is said and done. We need real supporters like you, the away fans at our games to carry the club through the tough times. We shouldn’t allow the ignorant, puerile, impressionable dilettante fans who liter the internet to sway our opinions into believing we need to ditch and destroy our club to satisfy their “entertainment” fix a la Lady Gaga, Beyonce nonsense. Good read and up the Arsenal

  20. leslie says:

    You made some good points but on a whole i feel you looked at things from one angle ignoring the other.Aside from the ticket prices,fans are just frustrated in the manner in which we keeping losing out in the last 7 years.What progress have we made in these years on the field of play?Yes Wenger has done alot for the club but currently i feel together with the board,they have lost the plot and the club is underachieving which has resulted in certain players leaving.

  21. Bradster says:

    I’ve supported Arsenal since the days Vinny Jones was a footballing thug and not a pretend thug in movies. So yeah I’ve seen some of the low days but those day we were not good enough but we at least tried. That’s what saddens me now about the team.
    I think Giroud would’ve loved our team back then, I don’t remember Smith scoring with anything else other than his head.
    so I agree on certain aspects that modern gooners have a problem of entitlement and how they chose Arsenal then (best in england) will be why they’ll move on now.
    My wish is a coach that has the balls to try something different when things are not going right, I thought Wenger was that guy.

  22. Jerks says:

    Ta5, the board don’t give a shit about you & the rest of the fans! Can’t you see what they are doing? You think STAN loves the arsenal? Saturdays game was the worst tactically I’ve ever seen I love wenger for what he’s done but he’s no longer on top!! He stays in the past, would ferguson pick that team if he was arsenal manager? Arsenal are in danger of dropping out of the top four and that’s a big problem. And what’s even more worrying is wenger thinks this team can win the league !

  23. LB says:

    Arsenal is in my blood, but, like many, I feel it hard to watch the team under-perform and then be expected to pay ludicrisly high gate/season ticket prices … so, I no longer do !! This is the only way that the board will sit up and take note: when gate receipts start taking a regular hit ; season ticket waiting lists suddenly start to evaporate; and, finally, the share price starts to take a proper walloping on the SE … Oh, we’ll see change then, and how ?!!

  24. Reddawn says:

    RockyLives …. thank you for such an interesting and well written post.
    Like you and many other fans I have been supporting and following Arsenal for many years and of course watched Arsenal’s fortunes ebb and flow. I, like many fans, found myself sucked into the intensity of modern football and all its ramifications. Why did I invest so much time and passion following my team, and yet, if I were allowed to walk into the Arsenal dressing room to meet the players I would be a total stranger to them, but to me, they would seem like close friends. This is obviously a one sided love affair that can only be fulfilled by my team winning and unfortunately, winning doesn’t happen every time. I’ve cut back on reading every blog or article about the Arsenal, because I know that most are reconstituted rubbish or just boring. I find myself more selective in what I read and also more laid back about my attitude towards the game. In short, I would never abandon Arsenal, but have been able to remove the intensity that made me a poor judge of enjoying the pleasure of the game.

  25. Goonie says:

    I clicked on this headline to have a go at you. But after reading further, I am sooo happy to know that there are fans out there like me who has ARSENAL in their heart. I was feeling down after Man u game. But this article made my day. Thanx.

  26. BG says:

    29 years of following Arsenal through thick and thin all the way from Brussels home/away but now I have no hope left with Wenger in charge and a board only intent on making money… And hope is what drives people! If you look at Arsenal now it is pathetic we reward a CEO for seriously downgrading our team and a manager that is much over rated and long past his sell by date! Let’s not forget he is still responsible for signing overpaid mediocre players (that is what the majority of his signings are)… Did you know Arsenal pay £320.000 a week on 5 players that won’t kick a ball for us anymore?? That is good management from someone who’s alledgedly god a degree in economics!!! We need change… WENGER OUT GAZIDIS OUT AND THE YANKS OUT (Althoug that will be harder) to get…

  27. Bryan says:

    Sadly we are now in an age where everybody wants everything yesterday & I think football is no different. The internet & more coverage definitely play a big part.
    From a personel point of view, I am more likely to give up going to the games if we carry on playing dull football as I have found most our home games boring to watch this year. Added with the fact we are charged very highly to watch an average team eventually somethings going to give.
    My more worrying concern is the lack of effort & commitment showed by this team,
    You get great performances like Liverpool & City away in which the team gave everything , then you get effortless performances like Stoke, Norwich, Schalke Reading (1st Half) & Man Utd

  28. Cid says:

    A key point is it’s not only Arsenal, I think. Look at the number of times a game ends with booing by the home fans, at any ground. QPR were booed off at 1-0 down at half time yesterday, came back out, scored, didn’t score again only because of some great work from Reading’s keeper…and then got booed off at 1-1 at the end. I grant you it’s not easy to avoid booing with Mark Hughes in charge but still, there’s a general malaise around top-flight football that isn’t restricted to just Arsenal. It’s just we only hear about Arsenal, because we only care about Arsenal.

  29. dave says:

    I will always be an Arsenal fan but i refuse to go to the Emirates at long as Wenger is in charge.It is full of the members of the Cult of Wenger.I support Arsenal FC not Arsene FC

  30. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    I endorse your analytical insight into the past to try and explain the current malaise, in that having radio and TV channels dedicated to football reporting on an almost 24/7 basis, they need to find things to talk about, as indeed do blogs.

    This enhances the ability of those who have no connection with our club to encourage the dissatisfied to air their views, at length, and to give them some sort of faux credibility.

    Back in the pre-’70s almost any club could win the old First Division title, based on guts, skill and luck and there wasn’t just a small moneyed ‘elite’ who year after year shared out the trophies between them.
    From the mid ’90s until the early 2000s that included us, of course, and gave rise, I suspect, in the mind of many to outrage when we slipped out of that group, with the arrival of even more moneyed clubs.

    This clear distortion of the financial resources by the Oily Barons, has been made even worse by the introduction of the Transfer Windows, where the juiciest wares are put on display, every few months, for the delectation and discernment of these self same Oily clubs to ponder over who to purchase.

    This has led to a swelling in the ranks of the fans of such clubs who delight in the treasures (trophies) such largesse brings, and to the disenchantment and dismay of the fans of clubs such as ours who are unable to match such profligacy.

    But, like you, I care nought for such easy acquisitions and store bought trophies, if the price of that means I would have to give up supporting my one and only club. Arsenal!

    Fie! to those who do not understand the totality of that support, and choose instead to stop supporting Arsenal, or worse, who switch allegiances and go in pursuit of Mamon, we are well rid of them!!

  31. BG says:

    In the 70ies and 80ies football was cheap nowadays you have to cut out a limb to follow your team and when you have to pay loads you expect some quality in return not a bunch of average overpaid players who obviously don’t give a f.ck about the club they represent! Still going but without any expectations it is not the same…

  32. The Realist says:

    As has been mentioned already, the cost is a big factor. Everything about going to watch The Arsenal these days feels like a rip off. When it costs me aroung two days wages to go to the Emirates factoring in the ticket price, the food (which is terrible), the beer not including a trip into the club shop; however, It’s not the losing that evokes the most frustration from me, it’s the way that we lose. The very least I EXPECT is to see DESIRE. I understand that players can have off days, but at least try? I do NOT EXPECT to see laughing and smiling when they walk off after suffering another embarrassing defeat.

  33. TA5 says:

    hfdyhey or whatever you tag is, READ the article before you judge as you clearly haven’t better still f**k off mug

  34. Ryan L says:

    Great article. Someone has already touched on the prices of tickets, but I also think some of what you outline is also a 2 way street in terms of what comes back from the club, the team, the board and the management and my overriding sentiment is, if you continually treat your supporter base as consumers, then its not long before they behave like consumers and when they do you can’t also then complain about that consumer type behaviour, and sadly I think that is the case today.

    For example if you buy a meal in restaurant and its crap, then you say its crap, you don’t make any allowances for the quality of previous meals or worry about if you are going to dent the confidence of the chef to perform for the rest of the night. Like I say, to me that is a sad situation but its something that Arsenal FC and other clubs also need to look at in their own outward behaviour and delivery.

    Unfortunately I don’t know the answers, but I do think it would help if they stopped the mixed messages, the spin and to be honest the downright bullshit – those changes alone would help carry much more favour with the supporter base. Also FFP and financial sustainability – I for one things its a must for football and have no issue with a club being ran in that manner, but if you need to constantly sell your best players and derive profits from the transfer window to deliver against that plan, then there is something seriously wrong with what you’re currently doing, which I think stems from wastage. I struggle to understand how we must get the benchmarking of players and staff contracts so wrong, which must be the case because we know that there are numerous players at the club or on loan, who the club would obviously have liked to have moved on but couldn’t and for my assumed reason that they are on wages that are at a significant premium to their actual market value. I dread to think how much money is spent in a year on players who the manager has no intention of ever playing – you know the usual suspects. Then there is the reoprted wages of Ivan Gazidis at £2.15million a year. Now I know a couple of CEO’s that run companies with much bigger revenues and profits than Arsenal and they aren’t on anywhere near that kind of money, and he is also apparently the highest paid Chief Exec in the PL, so how did the club arrive at that benchmarked position?? How is that financially prudent?

    I will leave it there, as probably boring everyone by now.

    COYG
    Cheers
    Ryan

  35. mark says:

    I have had enough of Wenger the board and our overpaid players taking the piss out of us.I will always have Arsenal in my blood but there comes a time when you say enough is enough.Arsenal used to be a football club now we are no different from Tesco’s its all about profits profits and more profits.Kroenke and Gazidis are killing what used to br a great club.4th is NOT a trophy

  36. Shard says:

    A very good article indeed. As soon as I read this bit about being fascinated to understand why some people react so strongly to football these days, I must admit, ‘the internet’ was the first thing that came to mind.

    i don’t have experience of the 70s, I don’t really know much about the class structure, or economics in Britain as it was, but based on my own experience of following the team from overseas in the past 10-15 years, the level of information available, and the associated artificial hype, really has created a different level of scrutiny. When we lost 6-1 to ManU a decade ago, I thought it was a terrible performance. I still think it was much worse than the 8-2 we saw last year. But I, and I would guess the team, was protected from the fallout because the internet wasn’t as omnipotent. Today, Internet is God, and popular perception is king. Which would make the mainstream media, the self appointed spirit, to complete the unholy trinity. Unfortunately, it is the more extreme of views that get more space in any media, and simplistic ‘solutions’ are what gain the most currency.

    The issue of entitlement also relates to the internet age. Nobody has to think or wait for anything anymore. If you don’t know something, you just pick at your phone and google’s your uncle. Everything is about convenience. Effort and thought are best discarded if there’s an easier way. We’ve all been victims to that, in one way or another. And I assure you, despite what I sound like there, I’m not an old man 🙂

    I am, however, old fashioned in one sense. I still think sport is about MORE than winning. And I am proud of having a manager at my club who always has maintained that it is never about winning ‘at all costs’. To some that shows weakness, but I think it shows strength and honour.

    That said.. I would like a win tomorrow. 🙂

  37. TA5 says:

    Sam true support is not a choice, anyone would think we support Barnet with all the constant negativity. I was born Arsenal, I get what you’re saying, and the pain of losing, but if you are a fan by choice, of any club, I’ve nothing in common with you, I’ve more in common with a die hard spud than a gooner by choice. They aren’t just my team they’re my tribe, my blood, it’s far more primitive than 11 men kicking a ball.

  38. andy1886 says:

    Thanks Rocky, as a Gooner for 40 odd years my history with the club mirrors yours and I can identify wholeheartedly with this post (Don Howe spending £40k on John Hawley to solve our goalscoring problems, lol). Certainly the internet has a lot to answer for, we are a much more fragmented group than ever before. For me it’s the frustration of seeing obvious problems not being addressed, the same old mistakes being repeated.

    That said, of course I can’t give up on the club, it’s like an addiction, even when you know it’s bad for you it’s impossible to stay away and I suspect many of those who say “I’m finished with Arsenal” are back on the blogs within the week. The only constant is change (even if it doesn’t feel like it right now). One day Arsene will be gone, Arsenal will remain. Will it be for the good? Who knows, we’ve seen ups and downs and surely will do again.

  39. Red Arse says:

    Ryan,

    Can I say that was a very insightful and, in my opinion, a very astute observation @ 11 a.m.

    If Arsenal are perceived by the Board as a business, then they must expect a backlash if what is on offer, at very high prices, does not meet expectations.

    But for me, Arsenal is first and foremost a football club. There is no football club without the fans!

    The owner must find a way of blending the essential business interests of the club, to ensure its future viability, with the reasonable expectations of the fans in the current climate, that stops them feeling disenfranchised and allows them some hope of competing for trophies.

    That is the key for me. I would love to win a trophy (ies) but first I want the club to be competing for trophies, not just making up the numbers!!

  40. Tom Bush says:

    I am a Nigerian,I have followed this team from 1993 and throughout these years my support the team has never waive red for once. I sink,swim and float with the Team! Thanks for the write up,at least we still have some die hard gooners around. Things will definitely get better. The gaffer cannot suddenly become a bad coach overnight,he will come good with our support. As long as Wenger remains our Coach he will have my support. UP GUNNERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. goonermichael says:

    Fantastic Rocky
    I also think the scum in the press make a contribution by twisting everything to wind us (and other club’s fans) up. The internet is full of trolls.

  42. dgoon4 says:

    Hahaha great crack! Like a couple of others on here I was about to give you some right shit about your headline! Ups and downs is what following any team is about not just the Arsenal. We have been very lucky to experience what we have in the past but it has been much worse. We are struggling through at the moment but just like last year we still trying to adjust and find our new identity after 2 key players left and it is going to take a bit of time. Still going to get top 4 and fulfil a cup double, ok maybe Im been greedy so I’ll settle for the one!
    COYG

  43. goonermichael says:

    Swiller that’s so funny. Just leave the bitch.

  44. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Rocky, great article. I will always be an Arsenal fan whilst alive, and whilst dead will follow the Club as a Ghoul.

    The only thing that could make me revolt is if i feel the Board hasnt got the ineterst of the club at heart, and judging by some of the posts some people think that already.

    Come that day, i will not fold, lose ineterst, or stop going to games. No, they will not get rid of me that easy.Instead i will become a masked vigalantie, and if i escape the clutches of the authorities for long enough, will pay a visit to those who have wronged the Club and on that day they will pay.

  45. TotalArsenal says:

    Rocky, what can I say other than MASTERPIECE! 🙂

  46. evonne says:

    Rasp, who are all these people?

  47. auron88 says:

    My problem is I have so much desire for us to do well. It’s just very tough supporting something that has less desire than you for success.

  48. Simon says:

    I’m only in my early 20’s, I never knew the doldrums of the 70’s and grew up with the success of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I understand we can’t compete with the mega bucks of mansour and Abramovich, I also understand where the board is coming from, with respect to the financial management of the club. What I don’t agree with is the way they have handled the communication to the supporters and seemingly grouped their eggs in one basket relying on UEFA’s FFP regulations to level the playing field. I think it’s naive to think that the likes of the Manchester clubs and Chelsea, Barca etc won’t be able to find ways around it. Unfortunately, I unless the board changes the way it works, there will be a few more years of nearly but not quite!

  49. Ryan L says:

    Thanks Red Arse and I agrre wholeheartedly with your follow up comment. Its not an easy job, but I do think there are some very simple things the club could do (all be it over a longer term) and half truths and spin are definitely not on that list.

    Definitely time for some internal navel gazing by the club, there will always be extremities within ny fan base and there will alwyas be numerous reasons and rationale for any particular view point. But I don’t ever remember the supporter base being so disenfranchised as it seems to be now and its definitely not all about what is currently happening on the pitch. I just hope that there is someone in the highly paid ranks at our club that actually recognises this and has some sort of plan to address this – unfortunately my worry is, that this sadly sint the case and this then manifests itself both on the pitch and in the stands and in the blogosphere.

    Very sad.

  50. jack says:

    I would like to remind you fans did throw the towel in after the 71 double and in the pre George Graham.In the mid 70s gates were regularly under 20 thousand and even down to 15 thousands.And the season before George took over the average gate was 21thousand.I gave up my ST after 25 years because i was priced out.I know a Man Utd ST who pays 400 pounds less than i used to for
    mine.

  51. kelsey says:

    Great article RL and you have covered all the points and no doubt the Internet has changed people’s perception and it is very easy to have knee jerk reactions.i would also have mentioned the dreaded agents as let’s face it,many a footballer isn’t that bright intellectually and they can often be guided at will.

    Of course I support the club and by the way it was 1969 in brussels. I just don’t enjoy watching the team as much as I used to and that has nothing to do with winning trophies.
    I have never been to the emirates (horrible name) but by all accounts it is a wonderful stadium. I can’t answer about ticket prices,but I expect whoever puts on the shirt gives 100% and that is not always the case.
    I don’t like the fact that we have two major share holders who won’t even speak to each other and gazidis is not everyone’s cup of tea.
    I can understand players leaving to get as much money as possible,but I can’t stomach that we then strengthen our opposition.
    Can one really identify with players anymore. Club and fan are drifting further apart as the seasons roll on.

    After nearly watching for 60 years I don’t need to be reminded about the really bad days, but as has been mentioned before one could actually meet players and talk to them.it gave one a feeling of belonging to the club in a peculiar way.

    My main concern is that the club is putting a lot of emphasis on FPP working and that it has taken quite a few years for the club to realise that the wage structure is wrong. If we can’t compete with United,City and Chelsea then perhaps our scouting has to be looked into a bit more thoroughly as in the last few seasons we have bought as many good as bad players.

    Has AW really got his hands tied and is covering for the board or is he just being over frugal and perhaps we miss out on certain players because AW hasn’t got a man like Dein to discuss things with. whatever you may think of dein he is a football man and arsenal through and through.

    Society has changed and footballers are now celebrities and regardless how often they kiss the badge it is clear to me that they have perefected the art of acting.

  52. glic says:

    I saw that headline and was going to come on here and abuse you, I carried on reading and nothing`s changed, I still want to abuse you ! hahaha
    Great installment of the ” Rock Files “, your one of my favourite`s Rocky, class.
    We could be in the Blue Square League and I will die loving Arsenal. Times have changed and they will change in the future, infact I can see the day when the clocks will go forward an hour ! hahaha
    We all have our ups and down with our team and there is the word, ” team “, we expect Arsenal to pull together as a team, yet we forget that we are part of that team, without us there is no team , no Arsenal. If like me, you class Arsenal as part of your family, then get behind them , support then through thick and thin, like you would a son, father, sister, mother.
    Arsenal have been the one constant in my life, my first love. Growing up they were there. Friends, girlfriends came and gone, Arsenal there. So many jobs, Arsenal there. Marriage, Arsenal there ( telegram from Arsenal ). Children, Arsenal there. Bereavements, Arsenal there. Grand children. Arsenal there. Everything changes, I will have plenty of disapointments in life and Arsenal will be the cause of a few of them, but they will always be there in my heart.
    Now all we need to do is get rid of the manager and board !. hahaha
    Now after you`ve read this , you can get back to being mounted by a Canadian Mountie, they always get their man !. I told you I was going to abuse you ! . hahaha

  53. sube says:

    I have the same feeling for Arsenal as you do and it will last till I die. I was, I am and always will be an Arsenal fan.
    In my opinion, the main reason for such sentiments from (Arsenal fans is because “they expect” and like most football fans,they are not realists. I mean I never expected us to win anything this season from the start and I thought we will be competing to stay in the top 4 at most especially after we lost our best player in RVP. We have not won anything for 8 years and for the last few years it has been very evident that we have moved away from the top. Yet, I can’t see how fans are expecting us to win trophies or perform well.The main reason is because they are not realistic about their expectations.Now if we win the next match the same fans will again cry “title to Arsenal” before we lose again and the cycle begins.
    Just have minimum expectations and you will not be disappointed.
    Ofcourse you can always “hope” Arsenal wins but don’t confuse “hope” with “expectations”.

  54. WillGunner says:

    I hear why the sympathetic people are coming from but who wants to sit in the pub and watch their team get slapped around by the like on Man U and struggle against Norwich…….who?

  55. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsy, 🙂

    You ‘nearly’ watched for 60 years? Just think of all the things you ‘nearly’ missed! 🙂

    I agree with much of your comment, and part of what I was discussing with Ryan related to the Board and their need to find a way of bridging the growing chasm between many fans and the club.

    This has nothing to do with supporting the club – that is a given for most of us.

    I hate to say this, but Kroenke needs to take a leaf out of Abramovich’s book and make his vision and desire for the club known to us — and explain how he intends to fulfill it.

    Abramovich allegedly sacked Maureen because winning was not enough – he wanted them to play graceful football like Arsenal were at the time, and not the dour defensive crap Maureen was serving up.

    It has taken him some time to achieve his goal (no pun intended) because he, again allegedly, wanted Chelsea to break even financially — some hope — but he has now spent money on Mata, Hazard and Oscar, and I hate to say it, but they have transformed the playing style of that club. Hisssss!!

    We need Kroenke, who seems to have Eff all to say, to tell us what he wants to achieve — what is his vision — and how does he intend to do it, and non of the discredited FFP stuff, please!

    If that means he has to find an inspirational leader on the non-footballing side to lead that project — then, go get it done – now!!

  56. barry says:

    Between 1977 and 1996 i never missed a game.Then i got married and had a family.I had to choose family or football and there was no choice.I went to my first game at the Emirates against QPR.I hated it.This isnt the club i was brought up on.The Emirates is a soul less cash cow the ground is full of tourists and Wengerites.No disent is allowed.We used to be a football club

  57. Dan says:

    Nice article, I agree with a lot of it, but please excuse my following rant…

    An FA Cup over champions league qualification please Arsene.
    We have absolutely zero chance of winning the CL. We don’t use the money on transfers so what’s the point. We don’t sign the players that would insist on CL football as well so that argument does not stand up.
    We could maybe win the FA cup with a bit of luck, so for f**k sake can we just be realistic and fully concentrate on a competition we have some chance of winning?

    Why can’t we win the league? because the squad is not even close to being strong enough. To put into perspective, in 2002 these were our forwards:

    Henry
    Bergkamp
    Kanu
    Wiltord

    (Backup)
    Aliadiere
    Jeffers

    I don’t even need to list our lame duck forward lineup for this season, it’s pitiful. But this shows the vast difference in what we were to what we’ve become. What we actually need to be to win a title again. You can compare the midfield and defence as well and the difference in quality is the same.

    Of course we’ll always support Arsenal but let’s just be realistic on what this squad can achieve. Not the Champions league, but the FA Cup, so lets go all out for that and stop living in fantasy-land with the fairies. No matter what the outcome of a ridiculous meeting of pseudo-intellectual football managers in a conference in Geneva. We’re the ones that pay to watch the club we love. Without the supporters, there is no club.
    Up the Arse.

  58. Red Arse says:

    Hi Glicster, 🙂

    Well said, sir, and I want to hold the coats when Rock Star reads about you wanting the Mountie to abuse him as well as his horse!
    Fight!!

    Anyway, what’s all this about Rocky being your favourite?

    You told me last night I was your favourite — well after Terrynutkins, VCC and your personal mirror!! You Cornish crake!

  59. WiganGooner says:

    Stonkingly good article Rocky.

    You make a very clear point about objectivity and sense against a tide of emotion, hyperbole and fanaticism that can only be generated by a lifelong passion.

    I am in total and utter agreement with you. Take heed internet trolls, this man talks sense.

    WG

  60. Amos says:

    I totally i agree with you but i think in the current world the much you invest on quality players the more the return, but wenger every season tries to disapprove everyone instead of using the resources(limited) to create a better squad he stil retains the tried n failed formula

  61. mike says:

    Some of our fans make me laugh.They go on about the spending of City Chelsea and Utd while saying nothing about the outrageous ticket prices the club charges.Gazidis on 2.5m a year with a 600k bonus sums our club up.lt says something when Fergie is unhappy with a win over us
    Remember the move from highbury was to make u

  62. glic says:

    Hi Redders 🙂
    I did say, “one” of my fav`s and you know I like to put some of my “Fav`s ” in my movies !. hahaha

  63. gary says:

    Wengers own words were finishing 4th is now are 3rd priority after the prem and theCL.Given that we have no chance of ever winning the league or CL.We have moved from Highbury paying the highest ticket prices to finish 4th
    You talk about lowering our expectations what about lowering ticket prices

  64. WiganGooner says:

    @Gary

    Lets talk realism. Those ticket prices will NEVER be lowered.

    In business you never devalue your core product. EVER. It’s foolish and the knock on effect to your other products value is irreversible. If they dropped the ticket price they’d have to drop the price of food, drink, programs, replica kits, everything…

    Where do they stop, when they are bankrupt? Wages always go up, not down. Prices always go up – unfortunate fact, but true.

    WG

  65. WiganGooner says:

    Sorry..might have seemed a bit harsh there…but its true.

    WG

  66. Stephen says:

    More wenger comedy. Tactical
    summary of selection so far this
    season. Link here.

    http://iearn123.com/ref.php?page=act/ref&invcod=47707

  67. Rasp says:

    What a superb brilliantly expressed article Rocky – as good if not better than anything I’ve read in the Broadsheets, we’re very lucky to have your patronage.

    I agree with everything you have written, and you have said everything you want to say. The subject matter stands alone and other viewpoints which are also valid do not have to be used as a counter argument.

    We have started on a radical and brave journey led by Arsene Wenger that has transformed the club, but we still should not be afraid of further change. To some our aged Board is a symbol of our history and of long term stability, to others it is a an outdated institution that is holding us back.

    Similarly, it is possible that Arsene has taken the team as far as he can. Nothing can detract from his incredible achievements, but everything has a timescale and sooner or later we are going to have to embrace a successor. It would be a shame if that transition was as a result of failure to realise potential on the pitch.

  68. Rasp says:

    Hi Wiggy, you’re spot on about ticket prices of course, but I have to admit that I could have afforded to take my kids to a game 3 or 4 times a season 10 years ago – now that would be out of the question. It would be my entire Christmas budget and as such I couldn’t justify the expense.

  69. WiganGooner says:

    @Rasper

    Totally agree with you that it is an expensive day out nowadays..Highbury was a much cheaper experience, but I’m afraid it won’t ever change now as Arsenal prefer the occasional visitor to the season ticket holder.

    The occasional visitor spends more money on food, programs and memorabilia than a season ticket holder simply because of the occasion rather than just another trip to the Emirates.

    It always costs be an absolute fortune when I am able to get there, which is becoming less and less frequent at the moment. Two of three season tickets I had access to are no longer available.

    WG

  70. Rasp says:

    Thanks Wiggy, do let us know if you’re looking for tickets for a particular game, our ticket fairy is the best in the business and seldom disappoints 😛

  71. Morning all

    Thank you Rocky for an awesome post. How can anyone even think about not supporting their team, it’s like turning your back on one of your children, you may not always like them, they may do things to disappoint you but you’re always going to love them.

    I’m still licking my wounds but that’s endemic in all football supporters. One of the builders on my site is a spud and we always exchange in good banter on a Friday and sometimes have a laugh together after the weekend but guess what………? This morning neither of us have even mentioned football …….. not even an ‘oh dear, football eh?’ comment has passed between us. We’ve both stepped back, not from supporting our team, but from wanting to talk about football. Is this a bad thing?

    Obviously it won’t continue, because tomorrow I’ll be quick to remind him that we’ve got a Champions League game and he’ll remind me that his team are above us in the league and he’ll probably also tell me that we won’t be in the champions league after this season and I’ll tell him that they won’t either!! And so the banter returns. We’ll both start looking forward to the next game.

    But what of our team ………….will anyone have said to those that underperformed on Saturday ‘Blimey, you were pretty rubbish out there, what’s up with you? or to those that did work hard to no avail ‘Thank you, you put in a great shift on Saturday sorry that nothing came off for you’

    How much do they care? The sound bites from Arsenal.com will be filled with remorse but why have this team that were strong and filled with belief 2 months ago turned into shadows?

    This lack of confidence has nothing to do with money and all to do with motivation. Who’s gonna fix it?

  72. WiganGooner says:

    @Rasper

    I certainly will bear it in mind 🙂 Thank you very much

    WG

  73. Hendon gooner says:

    Here here Rocky! Well done for compiling such and educational article which I would get top marks in a PHD exam! One of my mates started supporting man shitty and our relationship has slowly declined as we have nothing in common now! Thank god I have a five year old son who is crazy about the Arsenal! I was sad when we lost on Saturday but my son told me not to be sad as it was all about the taking part!

  74. LB says:

    Wooooo, I don’t think I have ever read a post that brought a tear to my eye but the first half of this one did.

    I have run out of superlatives.

  75. LB says:

    Hendon

    You didn’t say how you then went on to explain to your son how it is much more important than that: how it can completely ruin your week, how it can make you argue with your wife, shout at the kids and kick the cat, I could go on but I am sure you know the drill. Might as well start explaining it to them while they are young.

  76. Danish Gooner says:

    Bullshit.Will only ever get worse with Wengerites like you.

  77. LB says:

    I am just waiting for StonedTom and Ghost Face to turn up next and while I am thinking about it what about that guy who used to come on here and finish of all his comments with “In Arsene we rust”. I bet they will all be on here before the day is up.

  78. WiganGooner says:

    @Danish

    Absolutely struggling to find who you are referring to – especially in such a bullish manner….any pointers?

    WG

  79. Rasp says:

    Danish, can’t you see how poorly you represent your opinion with that comment? I can only assume you don’t want to be taken seriously or otherwise you would have taken a bit more time to offer something by way of justification for your view.

  80. dandan says:

    Rocky thanks a lot for a superb article, It is a mark of my age I suppose that I find all this talk of expectation and we pay top prices to see us win things, far more tiresome than the fact that we are not winning and are paying the people who run the club top dollar.
    Yanks out one subscriber says, then its Russians in I suppose, why should that be any different? Imagine we could have Chelsea,s reputation. Now wouldn’t that be lovely.
    I like Kelsey am a 60 year man and like him whatever he says on here, will stick with and love the club that drew us through the bitterest days of years gone bye, to stand in the rain, drink our half time Bovril and watch us struggle on a mud heap on which you could hardly stand let alone play football on,
    Today’s warm sheltered seat, choice of foods and most times a team that tries to play football are a million miles from those early days and the inherent dangers that came with them.
    Yes I stay at home these days but through Sky, ESPN, and the Internet see every game the Arsenal play. its not cheap, but it is a continuation of a lifetimes habit that brings much pleasure as well as much stick from my family and spud loving friends.
    Arsenal is part of what I have been and still am, a fan, a supporter a man in love with the club and quite frankly sad for those who feel that love has a price.
    Arsenal have without doubt given me far more than I have ever given them, win lose or draw, Arsenal have helped make the journey of a lifetime something I wouldn’t want to change in any way.
    Thanks again Rocky as ever great stuff.

  81. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan, that’s a wonderful comment, I like your Beatles line rejigged ‘Money can’t buy me love’

  82. Rasp says:

    On the subject of ‘falling out of love’, I have heard an increasing number of older supporters say they are ‘falling out of love with football’ due some of the things Rocky and Dandan have highlighted. I take this as meaning Arsenal is still their team but they have had to let go of the game in general because they just don’t like the way it is heading.

  83. WiganGooner says:

    @DanDan

    You’re a gent.

    WG

  84. Neamman says:

    Football is no longer the working mans game it once was..at least in the EPL. Thats why when I go back I see Arsenal but if they are away I go to Orient for some “old fashioned” football. I once lived in Chelmsford and it was nice to see they beat Colchester on saturday.

  85. chas says:

    Brilliant, Rocky.

    In a way, I can understand it when fans stop attending games because they don’t think they’re getting value for money any more.
    Some of the most vociferous internet critics of the current Arsenal set up have stopped going to games.

    What really gets my goat is when I’m told that I have to stop going else I’m supporting the current manager and his team, not Arsenal Football Club.

    There are three home games on the bounce after Schalke tomorrow. I’ll be there, willing the team to do well, regardless of who the current manager and players are. It doesn’t seem to me as though I have any other choice.

  86. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Great post.

    DanDan: Poetry …. a wonderful comment

  87. Neamman says:

    Well said Chas. Its not the players or manager we support, its the club. Be they EPL or league 2.

  88. Neamman says:

    well said Dan dan, great post as a 62 yr old I echo every word. We have seen the bad back in the 60s..too many of todays generation have been spoilt by AW and dont know how lucky they are. This MU dominance is unprecedented and when SAF goes you will see them slip back for a few years

  89. Neamman says:

    “I was born Arsenal, I get what you’re saying, and the pain of losing, but if you are a fan by choice, of any club, I’ve nothing in common with you, I’ve more in common with a die hard spud than a gooner by choice. They aren’t just my team they’re my tribe, my blood, it’s far more primitive than 11 men kicking a ball.”

    Another good post. In the old days your birthplace dictated your team. Im a Kentish Town boy so had two choices only.
    These days with the internet I cant blame people for choosing another team, its a different world. But once you choose it.. stick with them til u die!

  90. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Ok, since there are a lot more experienced Gooners than me on the site today, i have a question.

    When ever Arsenal have historicly had a team that fell short of a title team did they not always push the boat out and sign a big name striker. i can remember Malcolm Mcdonald, Charlie Nick, Ian Wright, Denis Bergkamp etc?

    I am all in favour of Arsenals model but for the first time i question its stringency. The Club is crying out for a world class striker, probably not affordable within our current financial parameters,therefore an investment in anticipation of future expected revenues should be sought.

    if this “investment” then breaks our outdated wage parity system then so be it. I openly admit that in the past i was wrong to defend this wage parity system as vociferously as i did. I underestimated the nature of change within the modern game, there is no turning back.

    What ever the mechanics of our finances or the principles of our self sustaining model, the stone cold reality is that the Club needs a world class striker.

  91. Rasp says:

    Well said TMHT. I am a big fan of Giroud, I consider him to be an excellent 2nd choice striker or foil to a goalscoring No.10 who I would expect to start most games with a strike partner. I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis of the financial options open to us.

  92. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for a lot of great comments.

    Particular thanks to the new (and occasional) visitors who have decided to comment today.

    The Post was not intended as an argument either for or against the current running of the club.

    It was inspired by the number of comments I have seen by people saying they have had enough (although as Rasp points out, some have had enough with modern football, not just with Arsenal).

    I wanted to explore the reasons why the pain affects us so much now, even though we have lived through less successful periods in the past.

    The final thought (about how society has changed) was partly inspired by a comment from Kelsey the other day with a funny description of what it was like being young in the 60s/70s compared with now (Kesley – you might re-post it if you have the time?).

    It’s a fine line though. I realise that oldies talking about the good old days puts us just half an inch away from the Four Yorkshiremen…

  93. WiganGooner says:

    @TMHT

    I think Giroud is an excellent striker, someone capable of being world-class given some actual real chances rather than scraps. If you can name a clear-cut chance he has squandered then I’d love to see it. Not that I doubt your notion, but I feel he is over-criticised when actually, his work-rate and assists speak for themselves.

    Isolation is his biggest problem, he has noone to play with because noone gets into the box.

    WG

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Neaman,

    I am sure it was meant harmlessly, but the quote in your 2.37 comment sickens me.

    I was brought up to love football. My dad became 70 last month and he loves football like nobody else. Until this day he does not support a particular team – he just loves football. He brought me up with exactly that philosophy: to look for the beauty in football and enjoy it while you can. To not let me get blinded by pure tribalism.

    I am an Arsenal supporter by choice, as I fell in love first with the football and eventually with the way the club is being managed. For me, Arsenal became the home of (beautiful) football, but it was especially the way my personal hero, DB10, had been welcomed to the club, and the way he was allowed to express himself as the purest of footballer, which made me put my football anchor down at Arsenal.

    My dad does not really understand my passion for anything Arsenal, but I still respect him for his choice to just enjoy football without a strong attachment to (our local) a club. I am, however, eternally grateful that he taught me to seek beauty in football first.

    Anybody who has the guts to tell me they are a far superior fan because they were born Arsenal, will be welcomed with the same level of disdain from me.

  95. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Wigan, i realy hope your right. Its probably to early to call one way or another but i tend to agree with Rasp that though he is a good player it should be as a 2nd choice striker

    The other thing is not directly related to the player himself but more with our style of play. We tend to play an expansive and fluid attcacking game were as Giroud has more the look of an orthodox get the ball in the box type forward.

    I realy hope Giroud shuts me up and starts looking like some of the great forwards weve had in the past, but at the moment i have big doubts.

  96. kelsey says:

    For RL:

    When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip flops and fluorescent ‘spokey dokey’s’ on our wheels. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags – riding in the passenger seat was a treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle and it tasted the same.

    We ate chips, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no-one actually died from this. We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

    We would leave home in the morning and could play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us and no one minded.

    We did not have Play stations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet chat rooms. We had friends we went outside and found them.

    We played elastics and street rounders, and sometimes that ball really hurt.

    We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones but there were no law suits. We had full on fist fights but no prosecution followed from other parents.

    We played knock-and-run and were actually afraid of the owners catching us. We walked to friend’s homes. We also, believe it or not, WALKED to school; we didn’t rely on mummy or daddy to drive us to school, which was just round the corner.

    We made up games with sticks and tennis balls.

    We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood.

    The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law unheard of.

    They actually sided with the law.

    This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

    We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And you’re one of them. Congratulations!

    Pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow as real kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives, for our own good. For those of you who aren’t old enough, thought you might like to read about us.

    This my friends, is surprisingly frightening……and it might put a smile on your face:

    The majority of students in universities today were born in 1983……..They are called youth.

    They have never heard of We are the World, We are the children, and the Uptown Girl they know is by Westlife not Billy Joel.

    They have never heard of Rick Astley, Bananarama, Nena or Belinda Carlisle.

    For them, there has always been only one Germany and one Vietnam. AIDS has existed since they were born.

    CD’s have existed since they were born.

    Michael Jackson has always been white.

    To them John Travolta has always been round in shape and they can’t imagine how this fat guy could be a god of dance.

    They believe that Charlie’s Angels and Mission Impossible are Films from last year.

    They can never imagine life before computers.

    They’ll never have pretended to be the A Team, RedHand Gang or the Famous Five.

    They’ll never have applied to be on Jim’ll Fix It or Why Don’t You.

    They can’t believe a black and white television ever existed and don’t even know how to switch on a TV without a remote control.

    And they will never understand how we could leave the house without a mobile phone. Now let’s check if we’re getting old…

  97. glic says:

    Stretch
    We had a World Class striker. We could have kept him for this whole season. We could have then given him the oppotunity to sign another contract with us after winning the league or go to someone like…..say…. Manu for free, but I doubt he would have wanted to leave us as the little boy him side of him would have kicked him in the bollocks internally !. If Van SpaceHopper still wanted to leave, we would have had loads of money from winning stuff to spend on another World Class striker !. So simple, but only the fans saw it !.
    Now if we dont get CL, will they spend on a “World Class” striker ?. I think we all know the answer to that question .
    Saying that, after not spending money on a “World Class” striker ( or any other position ) in 15 years of CL money and player sales money with a rumoured £160M in the bank, maybe Arsene will gobsmack us all and buy someone like Neymar in the Summer !. hahaha

  98. RockyLives says:

    A few replies to specific points:

    Tickets prices are clearly an issue for many (goonercharlie, Gunnerblog, BG, Daniel, gary and realist among others). The constant repetition in the media that we pay the highest prices in football is clearly adding to the sense of alienation felt by some supporters.

    Bryan, Leslie, Bradster, aaron88 and some regulars point out that it’s the idea of players not trying that galls more than the results (and the fact that we keep selling our best players). I’m not sure about that. I think the players want to win and try to win – it’s just that they are not always given the means to do it (motivation, tactics, ability of team mates etc).

    GM points out the role of the press in creating an agenda about Arsenal. It’s a very good point and I should have included it in the piece.

    Perhaps this problem could be countered by better communication from the club. As Ryan L and Simon mentioned, it doesn’t seem to be our strongest suit.

    Sav sees the Americanisation of sport (turning it into entertainment first, sport second) as part of the problem. I think there’s something in that, but I doubt there’s much we can do about it.

    Jack rightly points out that attendances dropped off in the 1970s when we were performing badly. It’s a valid point, but I believe attendances then were falling across the board (not just at Arsenal) partly because of hooliganism and the negative public image of the game at the time.

    Cid observed that the unrealistic expectations of fans are evident at other clubs too, so it’s more of a general modern malaise than a specific Arsenal thing. Good point.

    A few comments that tickled me:
    Hendon’s five year old (the wisdom of kids, eh?).
    Max’s line: “The football family is nothing if not reactionary” – so true!
    Swiller reminiscing about the days when footy was the only way to get a break from the misses 🙂

    Sorry to go on so long (especially after writing such a long Post). But in conclusion I agree with andy1886 that football is an addiction and I am certainly an addict; I also agree with Shard that it’s about more than just winning; and like Reddawn I have become more selective about what I read and listen to as a way of avoiding the constant sense of crisis and misery.

    Finally a word for Danish Gooner…
    Denmark regularly appears in surveys as the country with the happiest people in the world and the highest quality of life. Perhaps you should change your name?

  99. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Kelsey 🙂

    AA regulars – I’m not ignoring your comments 🙂 , but I wanted to specifically answer the new and irregular commenters who have taken the trouble to write something today.

  100. evonne says:

    Rocky – I am irregular 🙂

  101. Rasp says:

    Eat more prunes evonne 😕

  102. glic says:

    Thank you Rocky, for ignoring my abuse !…………………….this doesn`t mean I`m letting you off the hook !. hahaha

  103. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, The argument of wether we should have held on to Van persie for another year dosnt matter now. I cant believe ime saying this but we should “splash the cash” for a top forward, take a gamble, a punt, a chance, call it what you want.

    Our financial acumen should be applauded but everything must have a certain level of moderation about it. The rigidity and stringency (sounds a bit naughty…sorry cant help myself hahaha) of our financial model is beggining to hurt us.

  104. evonne says:

    Rasp 🙂

    I don’t expect many AA regulars to engage in the debate, because none of us has ever said that we won’t support Arsenal anymore. It would be like saying I won’t sneeze anymore – it is not something I have control over. Or I will stop diahhorea (if I followed Rasp’s advice) with will power – can’t be done, no matter how it hurts, and it bloody does hurt sometimes.

    The article is fantastic and the response unparalled, never seen so many new faces here. I hope they will come back

  105. evonne says:

    …damn, what did I say, foolish woman!! It hurts to support Arsenal, not have diahorrea 🙂

  106. kelsey says:

    metamusil evonne 🙂

  107. kelsey says:

    had a lovely day .root canal reatment and in the chair for an hour.getting there was the hardest part not the treatment, I will lie down for a bit now, laters.

  108. glic says:

    That coming from you Stretch, then I have to sit up and take notice. Have you any ideas who we can kidknap and chuck in the back of the Capri Ghia ?
    I`m with e va va vonne, she fancies a Brazillian………………………like Neymar ! . hahaha

  109. RockyLives says:

    Sorry to hear about your diarrhoea evonne.

    Does it run in the family?

    Kelsey – own hair, own teeth – now you’re really showing off 🙂

  110. VCC says:

    GLiC…..how do you know what Evonne has on her bikini line?

  111. glic says:

    Trust you VCC, to think everything I say is a innuendo ! hahaha
    You probably think ” innuendo” is an innuendo for, in your end o ! hahaha

  112. VCC says:

    Rocky…..sorry I never complemented you on a wonderful post. Yet again you pull a masterpiece out the bag.

    Peaches and Rasp will be delighted with the newbies you have attracted.

    Hope they stay.

  113. VCC says:

    Don’t know what you mean GLiC, I’m a good sweet innocent chap.

  114. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, some one like that Cavani, or that Messi bloke. We could fit him in the boot easy. hahaha

  115. Red Arse says:

    Glic, VCC, Enough of these platitudes for Rocky’s Post!

    He is not talking to us regulars who slaved over responses for seconds at a time! He only has time for his new friends.

    If you are not talking to us Rocker I withdraw my consent for you to read my invigorating and refreshingly boring comments.
    And if you have already done so — put them back!!

  116. glic says:

    Stretch
    Shall we use the Chloroform or do we use your prefered method of bashing over the head with Telescope ?
    When I say we, may I make it quite clear I have never handled Terry`s Telescope !. hahaha

  117. Rasp says:

    VCC @ 4:36, yes we are delighted with the comments from new bloggers. What we have found is that many people read the blog every day but do not comment except for once in a while when a topic close to their heart flushes them out. Rocky has once again demonstrated his uncanny knack of hitting on a subject foremost in supporter’s minds.

  118. Red Arse says:

    You are being too modest, Rasp.

    I recall the time when you wrote that you were going to buy everyone who came onto AA two bottles of Peroni you had thousands of responses.

    OK, you made them all disappear with a flick of the delete button, but it showed your very real power over the blogging masses! 🙂

  119. Rasp says:

    You misread it Redders, I said “I would be delighted to let everyone buy me 2 bottles of Peroni”

  120. Songinho says:

    We are used to playing with the best,that’s why we are in the CL.We’ll win trophies at some point.Remember the 18 year wait from 1971-1989? Keep the faith fellow Gooners

  121. VCC says:

    Rasp…….I’m delighted for you both. I know the hard work that goes into running such a site, you deserve every success.

  122. Red Arse says:

    Ah ……………… erm, of course I have never blogged on here, so that means I am off the hook — not that I am a cheapskate, of course!

    Well not much! 🙂

  123. Red Arse says:

    Oh stop sucking up to Rasp, VCC, there will be no Peronis for you, even if CharyB left any!

  124. goonermichael says:

    Kelsey
    I still do all of those.

  125. ces1ne says:

    This is going to be unstructured & a bit all over the place, plus it doesn’t pertain to todays post but hear me out…..

    –To all the usual suspects (Peaches,RA,Rocky, Raddy,TA, Kelsey, etc…), the newer but more frequent posters (Richie,Brian,etc…) & the hit/run commenters….
    Every since I lost power in NY last Monday bc of the hurricane (still don’t have it…a WEEK later, pathetic) obviously it’s been a bit rough, especially with the temperatures dropping below freezing at nite now.
    Not being able to get home wifi or TV has limited my access to all things Arsenal, but EVERY NITE, I drive around for a bit trying to find an internet connection for my iphone just to load the daily article & comments from this wonderful site. Once it’s done loading, I go back home, hunker down in my basement under some blankets for warmth & read the days’ post plus all the comments from the day (the time difference comes in handy bc I start reading when u guys/gals have finished posting). I know it’s a bit of a rough patch regarding the club ATM (although not as bad as some make it out to be), but I just want all of you to know that you have kept me (sort of) sane & VERY entertained during this rough patch in my life.
    Whether it’s 1 of Rockys excellent posts (outdid yourself today, take a bow son), the always great pre/post-matches, RA getting defensive & taking others comments a lil’ too personal 😉 or the funny/insightful/insane/thought provoking comments from 99% of people that come here…..you guys are the best.
    Been reading the site daily for about 4 seasons now & although I only drop a comment occasionally, I LOVE it here. So a big THANK YOU to everyone on here from a very cold/bored/frustrated Gooner in NY for entertaining me & giving me something to do with my nights.

  126. goonermichael says:

    and who the fuck is rick astley?

  127. goonermichael says:

    I’d just like to respnd for the last time about the top 4 VS Fa cup debate.

    If we won the Fa cup but came 5th the positives would be. No more “how many years since you won a trophy?” jokes. We’d all obviously be elatred and have some bragging rights over the clubs that are potless but that is basically it.

    Without Champions league we wouldn’t have Giroud, Cazorla or Podolski partly because we would lose a big slice of our revenue but also because most decent players want Champions league.

    We can’t shop in Harrods as the saying goes but we’d be at the pawn shop if we don’t qualify.

  128. VCC says:

    Red Arse 5:28 …….you never know when I might need a ticket, better to have friends and not enemies. Hahahahahahahha.

  129. Red Arse says:

    Hi ces1ne, 🙂

    As someone who left NY longer ago than I ever imagined, I feel for you guys! 😦

    Listen, I have a little quiz for you to while away a minute or two!! 🙂
    (incidentally, I went to bed last night [UK time] with the giants leading 20:4, and woke up to find they had lost!!! What happened??)

    Her we go!

    Don’t cheat before scrolling down to the answers!! 🙂

    1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

    Stop and think about it and decide on your answer before you scroll down.

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
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    ..

    The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door.
    This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.
    .
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    2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?
    .
    .
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    .
    .
    .
    Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?

    Wrong Answer.

    Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door.
    This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions..

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
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    ..
    3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals
    Attend …. Except one. Which animal does not attend?

    .
    .
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    .
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    .
    .
    .
    .
    Correct Answer : The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there.
    This tests your memory..
    Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and
    you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

    .
    .
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    Correct Answer:? You jump into the river and swim across.
    Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes. Sheesh!!

    According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the
    Professionals they tested got all questions wrong, but many preschoolers got several correct answers.
    Anderson Consulting says this conclusively proves the theory that most professionals do not have the brains of a four-year-old.

    >
    >

    Congratulations: ces1ne, or is it commiserations? 🙂

  130. Rasp says:

    Hi ces1ne, thank you for taking the time to say such nice things when all around you is in pandemonium. If you can keep the faith amid such hardship, those of us who are wavering should be ashamed.

    If the team can muster some of your spirit against Schalke, we’ll get all 3 points. Keep coming on whenever you can and let us know how its going over there. Best wishes from us all.

  131. GoonerB says:

    Excellent post Rocky and can I say some excellent responses in the most. The response highlighting that if the club acts purely like a business then they can’t expect many the fans to act differently (I think that was the point) was particularly astute. I can’t fault you on any point you made Rocky on entitlement, expectation and the internet. For me your post deals with the issues affecting most of us excellently, and in many ways splits it into 2 sections.

    Firstly are you happy with the way the club is being run currently and the way that first team affairs are being handled? For me the answer is no I am not happy and feel things could be done a lot better. I don’t really subscribe to the theory that we are currently completely hamstrung and at the mercy of the current financially inflated market, and that FFP will make it all better and we will be great again in 2 years. Secondly does my dissatisfaction with this mean I will give up on supporting Arsenal, no of course not. I will hopefully still be around and supporting them for many years to come when we have had other managers and other people on the board.

    I do however concur with Rasp’s view that we should not be afraid of change if things are not working out and those running the show don’t seem to be able to turn it around. Change comes inevitably anyway so it is just the timing of it that is to be decided. There is something not right about our club at the moment and the problem is in knowing who is more responsible for what has been going wrong. I don’t feel that things should be allowed to go on as they are too much longer. I can accept this is a transitional year (again), but feel that by the end of the season we need have completed good deals in the transfer window and have a team looking like it can compete again at the top level. None of this however will stop me supporting the club because it is bigger than any one person who works for it at any given time. Those personnel can change, and should change when needed, but your love and support of your football club which will still be here, even when Terry Mancini is a ghoul with the sexiest haircut in London, shouldn’t.

  132. Red Arse says:

    Look ces1ne,

    These might not make you smile, but they could make you feel superior!

    It’s freezing where I am with snow forecast.
    The TV weather girl said she was expecting 8 inches tonight!
    I thought to myself, fat chance with a face like that!

    A guy said to me “I hate all this terrorist business. I used to love the days when you could look at an unattended bag on a train or bus and think to yourself ……. I’m going to have that.”

    I played in a Trivia competition last night, and thought I had it in the bag until the very last question ……. which I got wrong. Damn!!
    The question was ‘Where do women have the curliest hair ?’
    — Apparently the correct answer was Fiji.

    Best I could do ces — good luck! 🙂

  133. Red Arse says:

    GoonerB Good! 🙂

  134. jnyc says:

    Very well written, thoughtful post Rocky.

  135. kelsey says:

    Gooner B you said

    “There is something not right about our club at the moment and the problem is in knowing who is more responsible for what has been going wrong.”

    I said the same thing early this morning and have been saying it for months, but i was told I was being negative or words to that effect.

  136. evonne says:

    we are not the only lot of miserable fickle supporters; QPR are calling for Mark Hughes’ head, Scum hate AVB’s guts, Sunderland fans boo the team every game, not to mention Jokes that want Arry to replace their current manager

  137. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    There is something not right about our club at the moment and the problem is in knowing who is more responsible for what has been going wrong.

    Can I have the £5 you promised me, now? 🙂

  138. jnyc says:

    CES, your comment about the site was really great. You showed how much we value coming together here daily. I hope to chat with you here with all of us more often.

  139. RockyLives says:

    A very humbling comment ces1ne!

    I don’t know what I would do without AA – so I am incredibly thankful to Peaches, Rasp and the other organisers.

    I hope everything gets back to normal as soon as possible for you in NY – although you have my sympathy for the fact that, just as you thought it couldn’t get any worse, you suddenly got hit by a barrage of Redders’ jokes 🙂

  140. 1967ers says:

    ces1ne – hear, hear! I also read a lot more than I post. It’s a great site and I’ve learned a ton. Hope you guys are recovering down in the States. That was a brutal storm.

    I’ve watched a lot of losing sports teams over the years. My hockey team last won before I was born and hasn’t made the playoffs in eight years. My baseball team hasn’t played a meaningful game since 1993. The local basketball team has been a disaster and the football side can’t be described in polite company. Even in this context, a segment of the fan base blows a gasket after every loss, demands everyone be fired/traded/set abaze (as though this would help) and threatens to never watch again if it doesn’t happen. If a person can’t gain any enjoyment out of the process of watching a sport and seeing a team develop, if they have to win to be happy, then odds are they’ll be miserable more often than not.

    From the outside, I see a team that lost its most significant offensive threat, was unable to fully replace him (was there anyone of consequence even available?), is trying to integrate a number of new players into a highly-structured game plan, has injuries at midfield and unproven (even if we hope for the best) goaltending. If this were a hockey team (they actually sound a lot like my Leafs). I’d expect this to be a trying season. Why would it be different in football?

  141. kelsey says:

    CES,

    great to hear from you.As rasp says many are like you and only read the site and only post occasionally if ever. you are always welcome.

    I see Bruce Springstein was singing for your president.

    I wonder who we would chose in the UK for Cameron 🙂 (The grateful dead )

  142. glic says:

    ces1ne, best of luck to you and our cousins across the pond, you deserve some.

  143. 1967ers says:

    @Red Arse – We don’t know the size of the fridge. If it’s big enough to handle the giraffe, it may well handle the elephant as well – unless there’s an overriding reason why a giraffe and elephant can’t share a refrigerator. Maybe they don’t get on with the rhino?

  144. glic says:

    I`m dyslexic, what are they doing inside the alligator ?

  145. RockyLives says:

    Glic
    They’re hiding from the Loin King. Is that you?

  146. GoonerB says:

    All this talk of animals has prompted me to put on my loin cloth and pretend to be Tarzan. I am currently wrestling with a plastic crocodile in the bath. Imagine that Glic, Tony Cotee in a loin cloth wrestling a plastic crocodile. Now don’t tell me that doesn’t do anything for you.

  147. glic says:

    No, it`s me !.

    Dont expect to see Eisfeld in the squad tomorrow or Yennaris, they are currently playing for the U-21`s away to Bolton. Eisfeld has scored, 2-1 to the Arse after 24 mins.
    Ohh and Ramsey is out with a groin injury.

  148. RockyLives says:

    GoonerB
    Is that Clive Allen I can see in there with you as well? Oh – my mistake – it’s a hippo. Silly me – Clive is much fatter than that 🙂

  149. glic says:

    Your right GoonerB, It doesn`t do anything for me, but if VCC`s reading, he probably had a semi just at the mention of my name and by the time he got to plastic, he would have dribbled over his carer !. hahaha

  150. glic says:

    Who say`s us men cant multi-task. I have live Arsenal tweets from Bolton on one link, while listening to Arsenal Forum on another and I`m commenting on this site and another, whilst admiring the chap in the mirror !.

  151. glic says:

    Oh and I`m doing my weights ! . What a guy !. hahaha

  152. glic says:

    Not forgetting , keeping my puppy amused !

  153. Gooner In Exile says:

    Just read the post and have to admit like LB I have run out of superlatives and it does make me wonder why the rest of us bother 😦

    For me I am probably from a generation of the lucky, 11 when we beat Liverpool in that League Cup and trophies a plenty since then. But I never ever felt like it has had to happen. I go far less frequently these days but whenever I go not once do I consider going to a game on the basis of we will get a win and goals to celebrate. I go because I can get a ticket and to enjoy the atmosphere of match day.

    I hear people complain about exorbitant alcohol and food prices and my mind boggles. No one forces you to drink or eat at the ground, no one forces you into the Armoury to spend money on merchandise, no one forces you to buy a programme. I get a ticket, pay for a train fare and set aside some money for beer in the Tavern anda couple of packs of cigs, all my choice.

    The ticket price debate is spurious at best, ask Spudders what they paid to sit in the Upper Tier and lose to Wigan. Ask Spudders what the true price of their cheapest Season Ticket is (here’s a clue it’s more than us, as is their top price ticket). Now I can understand people feel priced out but the recession is not of the clubs making and whilst tickets sell out the club will not complain.

    Thankfully the Ticket Exchange gives ST holders a way out, and good news AAers my parents got tickets for Spuds at home via the Exchange so the good luck charm is going to see a marvellous return to form.

    Also if tickets are priced so highly why do so many occupies of seats see it as a chore? I guess they do given the number of empty seats with 5 minutes to go, this isn’t just when we are losing, I have seen the stands empty when the team have achieved qualification to the Group Stages, fans ask for value for money performances from the team, I bet some of the team wish they had a little more appreciation when they get things right. Can’t wait to get away from the ground avoid the rush….what are you doing today that us more important than Arsenal.

    In my youth a trip to Highbury meant game over for anything else that day, a slow trudge through horse muck up Avenell Road, tube journey, pick up Chinese on way home with Dad, nice family night in.

    Ticket Prices are relative.
    These are prices for cheapest ticket at some upcoming games (chosen at random):

    Championship
    Peterborough vs Blackburn £20 (standing)
    Palace vs Ipswich £20
    Brighton vs Leeds £28

    League 1
    Stevenage vs Preston £17
    Crawley vs Shrewsbury £17 (standing)
    MK Dons vs orient £20

    League 2
    AFC Wimbledon vs Aldershot £16 (standing)
    Oxford Utd vs Dagenham & Redbridge £17
    Southend Utd vs Port Vale £19

    Premier League

    Arsenal £25.50
    Man Ure £30
    Everton £31
    Liverpool £39
    Spuds £32
    West Ham £36
    Reading £32
    Southampton £28
    Wigan £22
    WBA £25
    Villa £23
    Newcastle £31
    Norwich £28
    Chelsea £36
    City £36
    Sunderland £25
    QPR £25
    Fulham. £30
    Swansea £35
    Stoke £25

    I spy a dead horse in the distance off to flog it see you all later

  154. Rasp says:

    GiE & chas, I have updated your widgets.

    I see Arsenal are back in 4th GiE after we lost …. I love stats 🙂

  155. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    It’s amazing how everyone – from “supporters” to the national media is allowed to trot out the “priciest tickets in football” line day after day after day.

    This is where you’d think the Arsenal PR machine could actually do something useful for once: namely, put out a press release showing that, when you take into account the fact that our season tickets include European games etc, we offer better value than many other clubs.

    Given that they are unlikely to ever do something as straightforwardly sensible as that, perhaps you could do (another) piece for AA GiE and we could then send it to every Fleet Street sports desk.

  156. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp the beauty is we were actually no worse off than last season after Saturdays result, whereas Spuds are 3 points worse off having beaten Wigan at home last year 🙂

    I think I need to add the rest of the league in, guess Everton and Fulham would be contenders to take our 4th spot right now.

    I have to wonder why so many Liverpool fans are giving Rogers more time than Hodgson got, they are a long way behind where they were and really are a club in crisis.

  157. Gooner In Exile says:

    With a win at home against Fulham and Spuds we will be back to same points from same games as last year. Which wouldn’t be too much of a problem would it?

  158. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky a good idea I was thinking of something similar. Maybe a total to watch every PL game at home. I would bet our away fans could spend more going away (ticket prices alone) than going to the Emirates (if we assume they sit in Red Action).

  159. Shard says:

    Rocky,

    Just curious, there aren’t still any newspapers in Fleet Street, are there? I took a walk along there last winter, and visited a nice Irish pub (I forget the name).

  160. RockyLives says:

    I think we could have another widget (sorry Rasper!) where we name and shame every professional journalist (not bloggers and amateurs) who repeats the ticket price line.

    We could call it the “Lazy Hack stack” or something. And the Twatterers among the regulars could get it out there on Twatter every time it’s updated.

    OK, I’ll shut up now 🙂

  161. TotalArsenal says:

    Ces1ne, many thanks for your humbling, beautiful comment at 5.42. It puts everything in perspective again. I hope the team do us proud tomorrow, and will bring some warmth in your heart and body again. 🙂

  162. Bloody ell Gary Lineker is saying nice things about the Manager

    https://twitter.com/garylineker/status/265527983912144896

    Then again it is in reply to Piers Morgan I wish he would give up on supporting Arsenal

  163. RockyLives says:

    Shard
    No – it’s really quite sad. I spent many happy times getting merrily pissed there when I was supposed to be working.

    A lot of us used to drink in the White Hart, which was known as the “Stab in the Back” because all us hacks used to stitch each other up. Also the White Swan (better known as The Mucky Duck).

    El Vino as well, of course.

    We never used to call it Fleet Street – always “the Boulevard of Broken Dreams” 🙂

  164. RockyLives says:

    Shard
    If it was an Irish pub I’m guessing it was the Tipperary? Although most of the old pubs have probably been turned into “Filthy McNasty” type theme pubs these days, so who knows?.

    Last time I was drinking in Fleet Street the hacks and printers had all gone and it was full of City boys.

  165. evonne says:

    when was that Rocky? I worked for the London Evening Standard in 1989-90, nights, computer support. Have we met?

  166. Shard says:

    Rocky,

    The Tiperrary it was indeed. I thought it was a decent, quiet place. Not too much Irishness on display so as to make it a sort of ‘theme’.I went there twice as it turned out. It wasn’t anything special, but nice enough.

    The most fun I’ve had in pubs has been in Canterbury though. Did a pub hop there about 6-7 years ago. All those drinks might be why I liked the pubs there of course. 🙂

    So, I take it you are/were a journalist? Okay, that would explain a lot 🙂

  167. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, unfortunately it looks like W Brom are about to demote us to 7th (we were 6th at the same stage last year), but it could have been a lot worse had other results not gone our way I agree.

  168. RockyLives says:

    Shard
    At least the Tipp is a real pub – it’s had that name for as long as I’ve known it. Been in there quite a few time.

    evonne
    Never worked for the Standard, but I wrote a few freelance pieces for them. Were they in Kensington then?

  169. Rasp says:

    Rocky, I’m happy to put up your widget if you would care to furnish me with the names of the guilty journos 😛

  170. evonne says:

    no, in Fleet Street. I met many journalists, but none of them handsome, that explains why I didn’t remember meeting you 🙂

  171. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I am not in favour of “name and shame” , Rocky

    When i was about thirteen, something went wrong with our bogs at school, the sewage sytem apparently. Anyway, the boys bogs were out of order so we were allowed to use one girls toilet but the problem was a horrendous queue had formed for there use.

    I was in such need for action that i sneaked past the bog workers and did a very satisfying dump in the boys bog. Later on we were all called in for a special assembly. The head of year was at the front and to my horror so was the bog worker i sneaked past

    Anyway, the head of year “Mr Mcdonald” started going about responsibility and how some one in the Hall had none, and then the dreaded words “Stand up Mancini. I name and shame you Mancini for using the boys toilets when out of bounds, thus causing more blockage”

    It was bad for me after that Rocky. Older kids beat me up and i was know as Shyster.

    About 10 years later i was in town when i spotted Mcdonald. He looked old and frail and was hobbling along with a walking stick.

    I completely lost it and went for him. Before i could get him i was jumped on by some Builders and they grappled me to the floor. Whilst they held me down some woman walked past and asked what i had done. One of the builders said “The Bastard was trying to mug an old aged pensioner”, she replied ” Bloody hell, blokes like that should be named and shamed”. hahahahahaha

  172. RockyLives says:

    Haha evonne – I would certainly have remembered you!

    Terry
    Very funny!

  173. babakrdaemi says:

    Great post. Well said. I agree completely

  174. Tim Lovejoy supporting Wenger too:

  175. And even Lord Sugar putting Piers Morgan in his place:

  176. evonne says:

    did Lord Sugar really say that???

  177. Sonny says:

    Nice post…

    Personally I just think fans have had enough of being lied to by gazidis and co and seeing our beloved club being run buy a bunch of greedy selfish bastards.

    True fans will never stop supporting but after 8 years without a trophy,ridiculously high ticket prices and minimum money reinvested in the side i can understand why people are upset.

    Arsenal is more than a football club for most off us

  178. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Sonny
    People are frustrated – and certainly the club has handled the PR side of things badly.

    But the ticket prices issue is a bit of a red herring (take a look at the comment above from GiE @7.50pm).

  179. Dp3 says:

    Sorry mate but i thnk it is unacceptable when players or.constantly playing with no passion no love no effort especially on.the big games. Wenger acts too much as the perfect dad and wants the players to.become great…however they all leave us after we stick.by them…im fed up. will i stop supporting them…never…bt will i pay expensive tickets to watch a team pass the ball sideways with no pace and desire or.confidence that they can beat the team infront of them?? Wenger will always be a legend but he is becoming a joke. Guardiola would get out of these players than wenger currently is. Our team lacks fire!

  180. johnarsenal says:

    Arsenal could have done more this summer but the signing this summer have been positive but need more time to settle down and produce. The problem this season like last season was the late sale of our biggest stars.

    Once RVP made his intentions clear, we should have sold him. Then got in another striker because too much pressure has been put on Giroud. Song was and I still believe a massive mistake, it was a gamble and it has back fired massively. Our squad is not big enough with quality to start saying he’s not good enough for Arsenal (Walcott). This summer we need to go all out for Holtby, Llorente and bring in 3 or 4 smart signings in defence (left back) and in the forward areas. The biggest point about this team is a lack of pace and depth. This is true (last Wednesday being the key example).

    We need to win the race for fourth and win one of the domestic cups to get top players believing in the club once more. Hopefully Eisfeld gets a place on the bench against Fulham.

  181. Gooner In Exile says:

    I was chatting about Song today with my Dad, and I asked if he thought we missed him, we both decided we didn’t really….although I do think we need some height and expecting Diaby to have the same miracle that happened to RvP last season (stay fit) was one hope too far. According to press rumours we are in for Gourcoff, I hope it’s off the mark. Fellaini is a player I think could add something to our current squad, but his price goes up every game.

  182. desigunner says:

    Another excellent post Rocky…

    Agree with everything you said but I was wondering if there’s another factor that also makes an impact on how people think/feel about anything including Arsenal.

    This is related to the point you made about changes to the society. I feel, for whatever reasons – although media, entertainment, and marketing industries seem the chief culprits, people now take their own opinions too seriously.

    We have a lot of call-in shows, a number of avenues to express oneself, and in general an environment where many individuals or agencies keep telling us that our opinion matters. It doesn’t matter whether we know the first thing about the topic, there’s always someone willing to listen. All one needs to do is show some initiative and energy in finding a medium to offer an opinion. And in conjunction with the factors mentioned above, we often get into a situation where any opinion, however ignorant or thoughtless, tends to attract others who agree.

    How often have we heard arguments beginning with “I have been saying that for a long time….”, “I knew we were going to lose…”, etc. It’s almost as if there’s a compulsion to prove one’s point. I have even heard of fans hoping that a player struggles or the team loses just so they can put forward their version of the ‘I told you so’.

    Has these need to be right always existed in society? Or is it exaggerated as a result of marketing campaigns that give “you” the choice, that empower “you” to make decisions, media that tailors content for “you”, and so on?

    A related tendency is deriving broad, largely baseless conclusions, by extrapolating limited circumstantial evidence without regard to context or history. And this works both ways – How many predicted Gervinho will have a great season just because he had a couple of good pre-season games? How often do we see players completely written off just because they struggle over a short period?

    Don’t know if I’m making sense here or rambling but my biggest frustration with the Arsenalsphere is this obsession with hastily formed individual opinions and the need to be right.

  183. Gooner In Exile says:

    John I will agree we lack pace, but I think more than anything we have lost the confidence to attack in numbers, and that is costing us. The best form of defence is attack, I’d rather lose a game 1-0 to a counter attacking goal than surrender a game like we did Saturday afternoon. I note Arsene has said something similar, almost too focussed on not conceding, it doesn’t win you matches.

  184. big ernie says:

    I’ve been a gooner since the early 70’s and will always be ! We are in a mess at the moment, but it has been worse. The thing I loved about Saturday was the way all you could hear when we went 2-0 down was ‘we love you Arsenal we do’ those guys are the true supporters !

  185. RockyLives says:

    Good point Desi.
    The easy access to the means of mass distributing one’s own opinion (however ill informed, prejudiced or crazy) has not led to greater understanding. It has just created a Tower of Babel.

  186. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    Those comments from AW today struck me as very interesting and, I thought, provided some credence to rumors of a divide between Arsene and Bouldie.

    AW was effectively saying the players need to stop worrying so much about us conceding, and get on with the job of threatening the opposition goal.

    Bouldie, I imagine, is giving them a different message.

  187. Neamman says:

    Terry Yes in the 60s we were known as the moeny club, also Everton were as well. we got Joe Baker, McLintock, Ure, Gould, Ball..all big money signings at the time.

  188. RockyLives says:

    Well said Ernie

  189. Neamman says:

    Total Arsenal
    REREAD my 2.37 post. I said in this age of internet I CANNOT blame people choosing who they want to support. My point was the days of supporting your local team automatically are over. In my time ..eons ago.. if you were born in North London you basically kept in the area. I only went to West London to watch Arsenal or a specific blues group that I liked. The furthest west I got to hang out with friends was Kilburn. That was then, this is now and people are exposed to teams from all around the world.

  190. RockyLives says:

    Sorry Rasp
    Just spotted your comment about my “Lazy Hack” widget.

    Trouble is, I don’t get to see/ read enough of the British papers these days – but I’ll start making a list!

  191. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening Neamman, I read your post before I commented. I had a problem with the quote you used, but I understand now that you were actually distancing yourself from it. Cheers.

  192. Neamman says:

    No problem TA.

  193. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky I think saw’d have looked toothless in 4 consecutive games Mr Wenger is right on this one.

    Not sure if its Bouldie or the players themselves. Would Wenger have promoted Bouldie if he felt he would undermine his tactics or not be in tune with his own psychological take on the game? You could have the best defence in the league and get relegated if you can’t score, I’ve been there we had the 6th best defensive record but went down one season, continually losing games 1-0 or drawing 0-0.

  194. The Realist says:

    @GIE,

    On the basis it appears only I referenced the price of beer (granted I am reading on my tiny phone screen), 7:50 presumably was aimed at me? Apologies if it wasn’t but; whilst I referenced the cost of food and beer at the stadium, I never implied that I am forced to buy it? Indeed I don’t buy it from the ground, because I see it as a rip off or poor value for money.

    I too buy my ticket, along with my Dad, Brother, Uncles and friends, with on occassion around 16 of us turning up before kickoff, leaving after the final wistle, with no voice left (which used to be from cheering each time the net bulged at the good end; so naturally the last few games we’ve been to have caused no such effect).

    On match day, I/we give our all to encourage the players and as I mentioned, it’s not the winning or losing, it is the DESIRE that matters. That is what I EXPECT.

    Also, whilst you outlined the prices of various tickets, you have only quoted the cheapest tickets which may not be a true/fair reflection either, what is the average ticket? Or the most expensive? Who is the opponent? How many of the cheapest tickets are available?

    I will always support ‘The Arsenal’ and no amount of complaining I do means I am less of a supporter than anyone who refuses to say a bad word about the business/football club (not sure which way round they go these days).

    Come on you Gunners

    I know I am, I’m sure I am…

  195. Tom says:

    great article, lovely to read something intelligent and analytical from a reasonable standpoint. i get so sick of the media hysteria surrounding football. However im only 21 but have been watching arsenal since i could remember, i do not accept the assertion that everyone who isnt in their 40s feels entitled to some sort of gratification or award for supporting arsenal. i know there there are A LOT of people who are, and generally reading comments left on other blog sites, i cant help but feel people are getting stupider and more irrational in their responses, but to use term like ‘entitlement generation’ makes you look like a nostalgic old prick, if im totaly honest. I have to fully agree with your other premises though, the internet being the key factor, there is just no way people were able to see the vast array of opinions ‘back in the day’ and actualy as someone who should be saying the opposite, i actualy think its WORSE. anybody has a forum upon which to express their views, no matter how blighted/ignorant they are, its just a shame decent articles like this are outnumbered by the vast majority of sensationalist, re-hashed, shite which only feeds into peoples depression.
    To me, arsenal fans have always been the classiest, more inteligent , more reasonable groups of fans in the premiership. Its one of the reasons i love the club, but i cant help feel a bit depressed myself in the way we rip ourselves apart in times of relatively little disparity these days.

    i want to go back to being being 9 years old and watching overmars, henry, anelka and not giving a shit what the papers wrote or what people i dont know write on the internet

    now im just rambling…

  196. Neamman says:

    I dont understand why we changed either? Can the international break affect people’s confidence so much?

  197. Fishpie says:

    Rocky, good article and an argument that needed to be aired. But I don’t buy it. In previous barren spells in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, disgruntled crowds did vote with their feet and gates went down. These days the internet simply allows those fans to speak of their feelings publicly. As one post above puts it however in those days there was hope things would get better. It was almost like an unwritten part of the deal. If a Manger didn’t deliver, we replaced him. George Swindon and Billy wright both left after four years without silver ware. Even Mee and Neill who had bought success to the club previously ran out of time after a further 3/4 years. So fans always had hope and knew the club, having given a manger a fair chance (apart from Rioch), would seek out another guy after a few years. But not now. Wenger has had 7 years, twice as long as previous managers without winning anything, and there’s no sign the current Board are tired of him yet. I appreciate he has achieved 3rd or 4th place in the new super -rich, sugar-daddy era in each of those seasons but previously successful Mangers achieved actual trophy success when other clubs (mainly Utd, Liverpool and Spurs in those days) spent more than us then too. I go to every home-match with my son and what kills our hope is that Wenger has not resolved the same defensive frailties in those seven years nor has he created a “die for the team” spirit/culture and every season for 7 seasons the team fail to turn up with a fighting attitude in too many games. The same unresolved problems causing defeats and dropped points again and again. Wenger has had good enough attacking players in those 7 years to have won some trophies. But the truth is he has been incompetent at some very basic things for a long time now.
    He is the reason for the angst and protests. And the lack of hope is down to the fact that the club board and majority shareholder either don’t see it or don’t care. I don’t expect Arsenal to win things but I do expect the club to be run by a manager who knows how to correct weaknesses and sends out a team who can seriously challenge for honours. My head tells me to give up my season ticket because the club charges top dollar prices and persists on delivering unsuccessful and increasingly second rate (or even fourth rate) football … but my heart won’t let me. I admire the fans who gave up their season tickets because, if enough of them do it, they might be responsible for forcing a much needed change that those of who didn’t give up our tickets will benefit from.

  198. weedonald says:

    Great perspective Rocky and here is another point about the psychological makeup of our spoilt moaners and whiners:

    1) It is partially true that Narcissistic personality disorder has elements of entitlement to it but it is often accompanied by anti-social and isolationist behaviour that is antithetical to attending Football matches.
    2) The more common interpretation of this low tolerance for no immediate gratification and the lack of self-denial is known as arrested development (affective and emotional) and is seen in failed character formation from an early age (starting at 6-7 years).
    3) Our ¨success at any price¨ and ¨self-esteem is winning¨ proponents demand that their inflated egos be fed a continuous diet of tokens and tinsel in the form of trophies,titles and wins. Failing that, they descend into a vicious cycle of recriminations (always directed externally) and bitterness and defeatism.
    4) There is also an element of ¨failure¨being it’s own reward since success, to them, seems harder to predict or attend. The ¨I told you so¨ mentality is safer, more rewarding and less risky than the reverse as one can always predict disaster despite apparent success but predicting success in the disastrous times is more precarious.
    5) We also have to remember that many of the posts are written by so-called fans who may in fact be something entirely different. they may not even have attended a match, regardless of where they live, and many of them congregate at LeGrove and other hypercritical sites where they feel part of the ¨gang¨…it is a form of populism and cheap thrills available to anyone…one doesn’t have to explain their views, they just have to sound like the other whiners.

  199. shakshamboo says:

    United fan in peace here. The caption of the article just caught my attention.

    I still think Arsenal are a very good attacking team but they lack direction and leadership. Once they are under pressure and things are not going their way, they lose all their self belief.

    On a more technical note, I think the problem with Wenger is that he fails to realize the importance of having a strong, solid and stable defense required for a trophy winning side. He fails to recruit quality in that department. The current arsenal defenders are a not good enough when compared to other top sides. Second thing is that Wenger has failed to instill team work ethic. You attack as a team but defend as individuals. Maybe that has to do something with leadership.

  200. kelsey says:

    Good Morning

    I must say the standard of debate on here today has been of the highest order.Diverse comments,but in general well put and the length and detail of so many posts shows how many people take Arsenal and football as part of their lives.

    AA is becoming an addiction for more and more people.Well done.

  201. Samwise the Gooner says:

    Brilliant brilliant article….i believe the notion of the internet’s influence and bombardment of information was an excellent point… the paragraph that spoke mostly to me was ” In those circumstances, the attachment we have to Arsenal becomes something stronger and more powerful than ever: the one solid part of our identity. But with such power over us, it also has the capacity to cause us pain like never before.” …these are my , and i supposed many of us’s, sentiments…Arsenal till i die…

  202. Gooner In Exile says:

    Mak66 such a good comment you said it twice 🙂

    Really good point on what it would cost to stay at Highbury, however there is a small devils advocate…we wouldn’t need the high revenues to pay a stadium debt and we wouldn’t have needed to secure the long term sponsorship deals (although I doubt the club would ever have been allowed to sell stadium name rights).

    @The Realist….as you mentioned price of alcohol I guess it was aimed slightly at you, but not solely you were not the only one to mention it. Whilst I listed the cheapest price you are right to point out there are more expensive games, it has no effect on ST prices they did not go up with the introduction of Cat C and an inflated Cat A price, think they got Cat A prices a bit too high and probably made the Cat C a little too cheap, but it’s a case of economic forces and supply and demand.

    Last season I did an article comparing us Chavs, West Ham and Spuds, over a season far more fans get in for less than £40 at Emirates compared to those other grounds, ok I didnt compare to Man Utd and City but there not London clubs so irrelevant, local economy prevents higher prices. (West Ham were in the Championship and there was not a big discrepancy in price). 23000 fans fill the lower tier at the Emirates for less than £40 for every game except the Cat A ones.

    The oft mentioned headline price of £126, is for Cat A games only and applies to a very small section of the ground. (Half way line front of upper tier…the best seat in the house). My parents just got tickets for Spuds on the corner of upper tier towards the front and they are paying £80 a ticket, seems high but only as much as the whole of te Matthew Harding upper tier at Chelsea for regular games.

    Finally on ST prices if you look at the recent survey of football costs by the BBC compare Spuds cheaper and top price STs against ours (then take 7 cup games of our price, or as 7 games on to te Spuds PL only ST price) I think you will see that both at the cheapest and most expensive tickets Spuds fans would pay more than Arsenal fans if they were to get 7 cup games (don’t forget if Arsenal don’t have 7 cup home games the credit is put against the next seasons price) and the 7 cup credits are for FA Cup and CL. A Spud, ManUre and Liverpool ST do not have cup games, but the game is automatically debited from your credit/debit card including Capital One Cup. The ST holder has no choice so should not be using only PL prices as the headline price when comparing cost.

    When it comes to value for money at club bars and food stands there really is no difference at other clubs, we just don’t care about other clubs because we don’t go there. But we expect Arsenal to be kinder to us, my guess is you would get the same grumble at every PL ground. It’s a grumble that winds me up, i see people complain about cost of ticket + programme + I had to buy Tarquin something from club shop + Tarquin wanted Minstrels before game and Donuts in the second half etc etc. the club didnt force them to do any of it.

    So the question is do you think paying £20 to stand on the terraces at London Road to watch Peterborough play is any better value for money than paying £25.50 to watch Arsenal play, it’s hard to find an argument that says it is.

  203. Gooner In Exile says:

    Agree with Kelsey standard of comments today/ yesterday has been everything this site is about, no txt spk, not too much profanity, proper reasoned debate. Well played all.

    And to all the occasional or new bloggers please come again regularly, Rocky writes very good posts most Mondays but we also have Big Raddy pre matches any number of post match reporters and finally it could be you, see the list on the right, see the Be Our Guest and vent/reflect/opine on anything about Arsenal and your name can go on the list to the right. There are no ads here no one does this for money it’s about Arsenal fans shooting the breeze in a reasoned way with a good slice of humour thrown in.

  204. ignatzuk says:

    Not sure if someone else mentioned this already but as well as the internet, since Sky invented football player’s salaries have been doubling every couple of years, TV revenues, sponsorship and advertising have all exploded: there is simply a great deal more money in the sport and therefore it has become something else… not just quantatively different but qualitatively…

    A goal is no longer just a goal, it’s the opening credits on next season’s MOTD, it’s a Nike ad, it’s filmed and replayed in super-slow-mo with the individual raindrops coming down… football has been mythologised by the marketers: it’s been raised up to a symbolic world of heroes (originally this word referred to the sons of gods).

    Look at all the symbolism used in adverts over the last 20 years: footballers are giants among us, gladiators, warriors, superstars. Your team are your symbolic representatives and champions sent out to do battle on behalf of you and your tribe. I know nobody literally believes their teams are gods but all this works at a subconscious level. When your team loses, a primitive but powerful part of you feels like your gods are being defeated, the end is approaching and the sky is falling in.

    Human psyches have not changed much over 3000 years, we still need our tribes and tribes need myths and heroes: 20 years of cash-fuelled marketing have reinforced and exploited this story.

  205. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    One of your very best posts, and that is up against some very serious opposition Quite simpy, brilliant..
    Interesting how the title attracted some excellent new faces who actually came on to have a go.
    I would happily settle for a draw tonight, which would set us up nicely for three home games against Fulham, That Lot and Montpellier which will see us 4th and CL Qualified.

  206. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    I think I’m referring to the right man..you. Did you go back and confirm that Santos and Pod were in tactical discussion before KO the other day.
    If so, maybe this is the source of an AW/SB hooha. SB in the stay back Santo camp, with AW insisting Santos is an integral part of his attack.
    Who knows?

  207. Mak66 says:

    Sorry for the double post, thought i had deleted it 1st time around. Gooner in exile thanks for the reply. I’ve never fallen for the most expensive match ticket nonsense that is hyped every time we play a big side at the Emirates. Thanks for confirming what I thought. As to your point about staying at Highbury and not needing the extra income. I am led to believe that the stadium debt is under control through property sales, TV revenue, ticket sales & sponsorship. The real need for additional revenue is the on going operating expense of Arsenal plc. The salaries of playing & non playing staff being the biggest item. In order to pay the 100 grand a week salaries of a squad of 50 players (exaggeration I know) we needed to move to a bigger ground. Remember our match income for CL games was hit by the reduction in capacity from 38,000 to about 32,000 each game. The move was inevitable.

    In terms of giving paying supporters value for money there is no doubt that the match day “experience” at the Emirates is second to none. In the 70’s when I started going to games paying customers (supporters) were treated like scum. Five quid to watch a game was like fifty quid today. What you got in return was to be treated like livestock being shipped to slaughter. Sadly one awful day in 1989 that came true for 96 unfortunate souls. I know that this will never happen again at a top flight ground in England. Regardless of how much t costs to get a beer or a bagel at the Emirates you can get one easily enough and not miss kick off or the start of the second half. You can even get to the gents and not risk God knows what diseases. I know it isn’t the same as the old days but in this regard it is truly better. I always wondered that if I had young kids if I would have taken them to Highbury say before they became adults! I wouldn’t hesitate to take a 5 years old to the Emirates.

    I think it is worth pointing out that what happens on the pitch is not what you pay for. It’s what you pray for!

    FYI new to this blog and loving the manner in which we speak.

  208. evonne says:

    weedonald – I cannot believe you said that 🙂 Has your theory got any scintific background? I must say, it sounds very plausible

    shamshamboo the Manc – I didn’t know there are nice Manks out there 🙂

  209. evonne says:

    come on Obama!! kick the bible basher’s arse, we don’t want another war

  210. Stefan says:

    The basis of your article assumes fans in the past weren’t bothered by the result, just were interested in having a jolly. How do you know lots of people didn’t turn away from Arsenal in the mid 70s? Pre-internet, we probably wouldn’t have heard about it, would we, just as we now here about any and every complaint?

    Anyway, I’m not assuming you’re wrong either, but that’s one big assumption.

    Nonetheless, good points on the reasons people ‘might’ be more fed up these days.

    I have to say, expectations should be high and that’s the crux of it for me. Not because of the trophies Wenger won for us early on, but because we have a massive budget, and Wenger is no longer able to spend it wisely, doesn’t seem to be able to motivate the team consistently, and almost seems to continue with bad team selection decisions/playing players out of position to prove everyone else wrong (but just proves us all right).

    To continue with the diatribe, no other club would allow a manager to stay on this long through a period of massive underachievement. Don’t talk to me about the money Chelsea and City have, I’m talking about our failure against the likes of Birmingham in the league cup*(in fact, Wenger has a shocking record in finals), and our performance levels in pretty much every other game we play.

    So, whilst I’m a fan of the club forever, this isn’t the same as supporting the current set up, so we really need to boycott and boo and moan until there is a management change. It might not happen soon enough, but we should try.

  211. evonne says:

    Stefan – what underachievement?
    errrrrmmmm – I think there are other managers in EPL that kept their jobs despite lack of silverware. Fergie went through dry spell of several years.

    Actually, there are so many points you got wrong in your comment, I won’t bother.

  212. evonne says:

    may7heaven – HOW would you keep R$P?

  213. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Stefan. There are many who contribute to the site who have stood/sat in a half empty Highbury and as you say there were extenuating circumstances .

    IMO there are manifold reasons behind the frustrations at the moment, and they are not all about the team.

    Are you correct that AW has a poor record in Finals? Without checking I believe he has a far better than 50% record.

    Weedonald. Love your comment. I will be thinking about it all day.

  214. evonne says:

    me too Raddy 🙂 it sounds very plausible, do you think it’s scintific or did wee made it all up?

  215. kelsey says:

    Stefan,

    your comment is similar too many I have read on many Arsenal sites but you have to look at the bigger picture as already explained in many comments above.

  216. Big Raddy says:

    May7. Is Sheik Mansour is a football man?

    No arguing about RvP 😦

  217. chas says:

    Does Kroenke benefit if Arsenal has £70 million in the bank rather than £7million?

    Surely only in terms of how much he could sell the club for?

    Asset strippers benefit because the money goes directly to them?

    Does anyone believe Arsenal actually wanted to sell Fabregas, Nasri and van Persie?
    Were they all to sign contract extensions but we cruelly ripped the paper contracts out of their grasp?

    Selling the Dutch traitor to the mancs was a huge mistake, but even then it looks as though he forced the move.

  218. evonne says:

    I said yesterday that the phenomenon of attacking the Club you are supposed to support is not exclusive to Arsenal. Spuds, QPR, Sunderland are all calling for managers’ heads. That’s freedom of speach for you 🙂

  219. evonne says:

    Chas – did you know that DidIt had Kelsey on a standby to bail you and Ant out from jail so that you wouldn’t miss the game?

  220. timao says:

    the players we have are not good enough. giroud unfortunately seems unlikely to be the striker we crave. podolski looks uninterested. diaby is injured yet again. yes, we have made another crop of bad signings and are suffering from an injury crisis.

    you cannot sell RVP and expect fans to be happy, and to Man Utd? that is unforgivable. with no chamakh and park on the books maybe we could have met RVP’s salary demands. but when we are paying people not to play of course we can’t afford to pay those who can.

    i hate to say it but our performances have become insipid. it is as if the club and everyone in it is waiting for 2014 and ffp, and in the meantime we are just going though the motions. that is not the Arsenal i want to support – last saturday was yet another day when it felt like our tradition and heritage was betrayed. how anyone can support this is a mystery to me. i’m not just losing interest in arsenal, i’m giving up on football altogether.

  221. Red Arse says:

    Morning people, 🙂

    Great Post yesterday generating some lively and fascinatingly varied comments.

    Hopefully another one coming up shortly!

  222. chas says:

    Haha, evonne, no I didn’t.
    I still haven’t read the weekend’s comments, only GIE’s excellent match report onwards.

  223. søren frey says:

    For me all of those are valid, but what really gets to me is that”our” players don’t care. Win or lose, they don’t give a toss. They are still laughing at the end of the game. Remember when van divinghorse missed that penalty? Remember Keown? I miss having players like that. Do you think van p***** wouldn’t have been serially fouled in those days had he committed a tackle like the one on Sagna? Adams and Keown would never have allowed Santos to disappear like he did.

  224. chas says:

    Rocky’s brilliant post at number three in the NN charts and still pulling in some excellent comments across the spectrum.

    http://twitpic.com/barfzx/full

  225. evonne says:

    timao – you really should call Samaritans before it’s too late. ‘I’m giving up on football altogether’ !!!!!!!!!! how dramatic is that?

  226. evonne says:

    s0ren -yeah, good old days 🙂 Sadly, some of the stunts that Keown and co pulled are no longer allowed

  227. kelsey says:

    Hi chas,

    sorry the weather was bad, it’s still raining today.
    So ramsey is out and walcott a doubt.
    What i would say is that the Wenger of old wouldn’t have made the statement last night before such a big game.It sounds like an excuse.Would have been better to say nothiing. SAF definitely wouldn’t have said that. It tells me that AW is increasingly facing more pressure not from the BoD but from himself, and perhaps that may impair his thinking and none of us know what he discusses with his new henchman,Bould.

  228. h4rj says:

    Excellent article. I think you can add that people are sometimes just venting. The Internet makes it look worse than it is but everyone reacts to defeat differently and sometimes just need to offload a bit.

    Every action has an equal reaction and you see the same reaction when we win, it is usually over the top and unrealistic but its just like people are relaying their hopes and fears rather than genuine beliefs.

    I think the die hard gooners, optimists and realists should just ignore the negative comments unless you hear them after a victory, that is a sign of genuine discontent.

  229. chas says:

    Hi, kelsey.
    The wet weather didn’t have too much effect as we were indoors a lot of the time! Got a bit of a soaking Saturday night but at least it was warm.

  230. Rasp says:

    Morning all, congratulations on an excellent debate following yesterday’s post. Today is matchday therefore courtesy of Big Raddy, we have a ……

    ….. New post ……..

  231. The Realist says:

    @GIE,

    I’ll be completely open about it, you’ll hate me for as I’m sure others will too…

    I have no idea what the tickets cost at the Emirates or any other ground, as a silver member I also have to pay some additional fee before the season starts just to be able to keep my membership and to apply for a ticket. Again I don’t even know what that costs; however, (not aimed at you solely) I also have not suggested that The Arsenal tickets are more or less expensive than competitors, merely that whatever way you look at it, it is/can be an expensive day out?

    It’s been great being able to just say a few bits without a response from what appears to be an illiterate extremist as can be the case on other sites, instead some constructive alternative viewpoints to consider.

    So in short thanks to Rocky, GIE and the rest of you as well. Have a top day, I’m off to day dream about playing in the final game of the season to secure fourth…

    I’ve saved a bookmark

    Come on you Gunners

    I know I am…..

  232. Tony says:

    Hi,

    Your article seems to have set a good tone to what is happening with not only our Gunners but also sport and life at the moment. Unfortunatly Business, profit, shareholder dividend along with the the deadly accountants bottom line is what is really at the bottom of our plight.

    I’m now 60 years of age being brought up on Seven Sisters Road and have supported Arsenal all my life and beleive me I’ve seen much worse than where we presently are.

    The problem is, support, expectations and life styles have changed, in the past support was always tribal. Now its sucess, sucess, sucess or your sacked or we go elsewhere you only have to look at how we have thrown out our industrial workbase because, the owners and their accountants can make more money overseas more quickly.

    In my day the football discussions and banter would start at work on a Saturday morning building up to the pub on the way and onto the match. The result what ever would then be discussed all week whether outside work or in it but, it made work less boring and added a bit of spice to the week as we wound each other up and added a bit of edge to the next game. It was also very affordable and didn’t bite into the household living costs.

    I now live up North near Manchester, UNFORTUNATLY and although from time to time I get to games I normally have to end up with the other fans as tickets are so hard to come by. Also the cost is a killer with travel costs, a meal and drink and the ticket and programme prices its not always accessable to me.

    So what’s my point, well, we live in a time period where life is fast much faster than in my day and results and sucess have to be almost instant which has effect on the expectations we hold. Arsenal have always been a big club but haven’t always been sucessful and we have to remember that but, the fans do need a belief that our players are working hard for the club and not just for the money.

    Lets just hope that we can get back to the good entertaining football ways which, our fans have both come to enjoy and expect whether cups and championships come or not.

  233. Wardy says:

    Its not the losses, its not that we dont have an adequate squad to challenge. Its the fact that there doesnt seem to be a desire in the squad, Gazidis does nothing but suck arse. Then, and this is the killer. The frickin lies all lies. they tell us we needed to move to compete. So we move and 6 yrs on they tell us we still cant compete. They tell us we need to be sustainable (sensible i agree) yet they continue to price out the fans that have been the core support for over a century. their excuse? We have the longest waiting list for season tickets. (what that says is we dont care if you cant afford it, we will find people that can) absolute disgrace WTF??? I will never stop supporting arsenal. its in my DNA but i cant stand having all this negative tripe that surrounds us. We are a laughing stock. All that before we get to dire straits that we call contracts. I admit players come and go but no one can tell me that as a club we do all we can to keep our best players. Wenger has this mindset that we can have a squad that challenges when we only have one or two genuine world class players. who at some point will leave in the search of silverware. Jack will be next along with santi and i fear those will be the straws that break the camels back. It really is a depressing time for gooners.
    Before people start berating me let me say that I WOULD RATHER SUFFER RELAGATION IF ALL WAS HONEST than be told a pack of lies and finnish 4th If my gilrlfriend lied to me as much as the arsenal hirachy i would have left her a long time ago…

  234. joe p says:

    Let’s look at your article from another angle. With the likes of the internet around now, the exposure of the inner workings of a team has increased exponentially with social media and the incoming digital age. More and more people are able to watch their favourite football teams on the other side of the globe. With this increased exposure comes accountability, it’s getting harder to pull the wool over people’s eyes. Back in the 1970’s arsenal supporters in a sense had a certain amount of cut-off from their team, but now they can eat, sleep and breathe their team if they choose. Mistakes are a part of life, and need to be learned from as well, if the same mistakes are done over and over again, the continual exposure to ones methods will get scrutinised until something will have to give.
    Let’s face facts, the quality of the team is in a slow decline, we have the highest ticket prices around and play some of the most boring football in the league.
    We might be still qualifying for Europe but if we continue on this path we won’t be soon.
    Most teams would kill to be in our position and make the most of it. Arsenal are ebbing away slowly.

  235. Hungarosaurus says:

    First time here, but not the last. Wonderful post, fantastic comments.

  236. Sensational writing fella.. Thought provoking stuff indeed.

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