Arsène: Listen to the Wisdom of the Fans!

That headline might strike some of you as a cheekily bold statement, or maybe an obviously sensible and earnest request, or perhaps just the fans’ conceited over estimation of their ability to advise a highly intelligent man, commended by many pundits and fans as one of the best Arsenal managers  ever, on how to do his job.

Before jumping to conclusions, let’s quietly have a look at how taking this advice could, should and would be beneficial to all involved – Arsene, the club and also devoted Gooners everywhere.

It has long been held that, in some circumstances, large groups of individuals often demonstrate more intelligence and problem solving ability than smaller groups, or even elite, professional groups and that this collective intelligence is far greater than that of the most intelligent person in any given group.

If we take our common interest in Arsenal and our concomitant desire for the club to successfully reach decisions enabling it to achieve the trophies many would love to see them collect, whilst also being run in a way that protects the future of the club, we, the fans, the owners, the coach and the players can be considered just such a group as we all have the same objectives.

What the heck am I talking about?

The example most frequently given, though there are many others, is that of an ox which was paraded at a County Fair, and offered to the person who could most accurately guess the butchered weight of the poor beast.

The competition was open to any individual, in what was a huge crowd, even including expert butchers and, to the surprise of the judges, it was the average of the guesses which were made that was much closer to the true weight of the ox, rather than any of the individual or expert estimates that were received!

Applying the theory to Arsenal, it suggests that a large, diverse collection of independent individuals or small groups representing such individuals, such as the many blogsites available on the internet, could collectively make better decisions for certain parts of the running of the club, such as transfer decisions, than any one individual or small group of experts, however clever they may be, and that includes Arsene!

The way forward for undertaking this decision making process would, most logically, have to be a forum, possibly the AST, representing the collective views of the many blogging sites found on the internet, which would collect and promulgate the disparate views and opinions, however strange, made by the many thousands of Gooners throughout the world, and distil them into viable decisions which could be presented to the club.

There are some simple criteria and safeguards which would need to be put into play, of course, and these would necessarily include, the need to have as many blogsites’ inputting their opinions as possible. Within each blogsite it would be critically important that no blogger should feel coerced, influenced or persuaded to change his/her mind because of the opinions of the more eloquent bloggers around them, and, finally, there would need to be a way of channelling the key decisions arrived at by each blogsite to the agreed Forum.

Many Gooners might find the following interesting, because it is not intuitive, but as a way of enfranchising as many as possible from all parts of the world, and to encourage them to participate fully, it might help to know the following.

  1. Groups/blogsites, are collectively more intelligent than the smartest person in them
  2. For the blog to be intelligent it must be diverse, independent and decentralized.
  3. To make the best decisions there must be disagreements, arguments and contests.
  4. Listening to too much outside information makes a group less intelligent.
  5. There is certainly no need to consult the ‘expert’ within the group.

All good?

Well, before Arsene starts reading the blogs in earnest, it is worth pointing out that there may be a fly in the ointment.

There is a psychological phenomenon that can occur within a group of people such as those frequenting a blogsite. That is the natural desire to be in harmony with others, especially when decision making, and this, unfortunately, overrides the pragmatic appraisal of realistic alternatives and devalues the expected output.

The effect is straightforward , in that members on a blogsite try to minimise conflict with those they consider as friends and acquaintances and therefore reach an unhappy and unsatisfactory compromise decision, on, for example, whether or not Arsenal need to give priority to buying a defender, or whether that priority should be for the purchasing of a world class centre forward, because it is very difficult to critically evaluate that decision while under the cosh of social pressures calling for uniformity.

However, the real cost of trying to achieve unanimity when fans are deeply involved in a cohesive ‘in’ group such as a blogsite is the loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking, because of an innate desire for collective optimism and the avoidance of collective conflict.

None of the difficulties mentioned, above, would justify Arsene Wenger in ignoring this request to listen to the fans, and to not carry out a conscientious in-depth and careful analysis of the views expressed on the fans’ blogs, even as they are, because despite all their imperfections, and without there being a real driver to put in place the Forum suggested above, there really is a highly motivated and intelligent decision making source out there that he should be tapping into.

Without going all Star Trek Voyager on you, although there is a lot to be said for looking at and listening to ‘7 of 9’, for some of us at least, the evidence all points to the collective intelligence being greater than the single entity, and among the myriad, disorganized, jumble of voices calling out, via the blogs, for this or that change at the club, and the prevarications on how the club should be run, some of which are pure nonsense, there is a nugget of pure decision making gold out there, among the frenetic voices of the fans, just waiting to be garnered.

Come on, Arsene, be bold, Listen to the Wisdom of the Fans, and we will conquer the world!

Written by Red Arse

209 Responses to Arsène: Listen to the Wisdom of the Fans!

  1. Red Arse says:



  2. WOW, my head, how it hurts.
    RedArse, thats an incredible post, i thoroughly enjoyed the read.
    I often wonder how many players and managers read blogs, i think we would be very surprised at the numbers.
    I just wish that if one blog was picked it would be this one.

  3. micro says:

    I have never read a bigger bullshit in these blogs than this. Arsenal has 22 coaches being managed by Wenger, and you want him to start running a club according to what every body else in the world, including some who cannot even run their own lives think? Its like Arsene creates the beautiful Arsenal, you get attracted, then now you feel you can take it up from there. I mean there are so many clubs needing help that if a blog can help you run a club no body would hire a manager. Why dont you try this experiment of yours with your village club and tell us how successful you get. Please fans, it is agreed you love Arsenal but use your brain for thinking, not your heart. It is either Wenger is in charge and when times comes for him to leave apply for the job if you think you ve got what it takes instead of hiding among bloggers. This is shocking, is this supposed to be an advice?

  4. RedA
    I think its going to be a case of spot the newbies today!

  5. richie says:

    @RA Sorry matey but I’d like to use your own phrase “What the heck am I talking about? Because just maybe all this joined up thinking is way beyond me? It seems to me that you are advocating democracy which is fine, people vote for a candidate and then your candidate makes a decision; in the end “one man” has to decide. Running a business by collective consensus is often a recipe for disaster, it’s sometimes called communism. I would go even further and state; In terms of managing a football club I would say it’s a ridiculous idea. Would the fans have collectively said replace Vieira with Cesc? Would the fans have sold a Song for a Santi? Going all the way back it wasn’t a collective idea to buy Vieira how could it have been? Most of the clubs supporters had never heard of him, or Toure or Anelka or Thierry. Sorry again RA the whole concept is lost on me.

  6. I’m ‘in’ with the ‘in’ crowd, Red Arse.
    Me and Bryan Ferry.

    Having read your fab post, and taking note especially of the section directly after the listing of 5 points, I now make a grovelling apology:
    @ MickeyDidIt69,
    Sorry for being a bit of a git yesterday.
    Hope I didn’t offend you. Your post was OK; I just didn’t like your lineup.

  7. Rasp says:

    Welcome micro, thanks for commenting. If you are new to this site you may be unaware that every post is written by a guest writer who has a style (and opinion) of their own.

    Red Arse likes to psychoanalyse the mindset of supporters and his piece today is bait to those who think they know better as well as a reasonable question to ask … does mass opinion generally portray an accurate picture? – you should judge it on that level.

  8. @ Ritchie (and Red Arse, and ALL in fact)

    Don’t know if I’m out of order suggesting this, but you might like to read :
    “Usmanov; Wikipedia; Facepalm
    “angryofislington” Wed 14th Nov 15.36

    Similar point(s) of post and comments re ‘fans’ involvement’ in club issues.

    (If I shouldn’t direct AA readers elsewhere let me know)

  9. Rasp says:

    Morning Big Al (is it morning where you are?),

    You always brighten our day with your comments, its about time we added your name to our list of authors don’t you think? A view from the Far East perhaps?

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody love it, RA.
    Now, let’s see if I understood this properly.
    I think that when you talk about flies in the ointment and the natural desire to be in harmony with others, am I right in thinking you are advocating the removal from the process of the happy clappy group huggy sort that like to get all in sync?
    In other words, your system works if we eliminate the weak from the collective think tank.
    (this isn’t what you meant at all, is it? 🙂 )

  11. Rasp says:

    Fans have always been involved in club issues, but their importance to the success of the club in terms of revenue diminishes every year.

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Big Al,
    No apology needed. If I’d just been to the plumber and been diagnosed to go see a deep sea diver, I’d be cross 🙂
    Having said that, when you say my post was “ok”… 🙂

  13. @ MickyDidIt89

    Strange… I didn’t type “OK”.
    I typed “fantastic”.

    Shoddy 3rd World keyboards!:-)

  14. Shard says:

    My head’s exploding after reading this piece. Can the collective intelligence of bloggers on this site inform me what RA meant when he wrote this? I’d ask him, but he’s not as intelligent as all of us put together. In my view, he intends to literally blow our heads open, so that we are all more open minded.

  15. @ Rasp

    It’s 6pm here… I’m 7 hours ahead of UK.
    I watch a 3pm game at 10pm. I watch a 4pm Sunday game at 11pm. I watch an 8pm game at 3am.

    “You always brighten our day”
    You smooth-talking Raspard!

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    At 10:41, are you saying because of the increased revenue from other stuff, like sponsorship, tv and so on, the club listens to the fans less?

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I am struggling to think of a single example in the past 30 years where the club have acted on anything other than market forces or the wishes of the manager.

  18. Red Arse says:

    Well the reception, so far, is pretty much what I expected.

    Those who understand the science and the philosophy behind what was admittedly a quickly put together essay, get it. Those who don’t understand after reading it, sadly, never will.

    Shard, unsurprisingly, has hit the nail on the head in his last sentence. 🙂

  19. Rasp says:

    Micky @ 11:14 … yes, bloody right they don’t

  20. Rasp says:

    Morning RA, thanks for the post … well written and challenging as always. Like most of your stuff it can be taken on several levels. I quite understand why you wouldn’t want to spell out any deeper message … where would the fun be? 😆

  21. Red Arse says:


    You may well be right with your 11:16 a.m., that the club will do what they think is right for ‘the club’, which should include the best interests of the fans, but at the same time as the management believes it is complying with these best interests, they will no doubt disdain and disregard the advice, moans or the express wishes of those self same fans, (other than responding, perhaps surreptitiously, to their market pressures).

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ok, just had another read.
    Re: your guesstimates of the ox weight at a fair. If the weight was 100kg, and some at the extreme ends guessed 20kg and 180kg, we can assume that those people are either lunatics or stupid, which must mean its better to take a consensus from a smaller group of sane people and save time.
    Bit like the the Greeks intended with their version of Democracy.
    In other words, I strongly suggest The Board/Arsene take their advice from ArsenalArsenal only 🙂

  23. Red Arse says:


    You know me too well!! 😀

  24. Shard says:


    Hitting a nail on the head is one way to be open minded. Though it might also lead to an unbridgeable divide.. Oh, all this is giving me a splitting headache 🙂

  25. Rasp says:

    Micky football clubs in the past were more football club than business – now its the other way round. This is inevitable and irreversible. Naivety is very appealing (thats why we like puppies and kids) but it can never be regained. Football has lost its naivety and some of its appeal and replaced it with surgical analysis and high expectation to occupy the fans thinking. The tribalism remains and is the basis for all deep seated support.

  26. Red Arse says:


    I understand your point which approximates closely with the mathematical or accounting concept of ‘averaging’.

    However to do so implies that someone(s) would have to apply their own judgemental values as to what comprises lunacy or stupidity, and therefore devalues the whole process. 🙂

  27. Shard says:

    Can I also play around with the term ‘fly in the ointment’? Of course I can. I might be crazy, but I contribute to the superior collective intelligence – Unless Micky the Tyrant has his way 🙂

    There is a term in my language which translates as ‘Miser Flysucker’ (Heh..reads funny in English) The implication is that someone is so miserly that if there were to be a fly in their soup, they would suck the soup off the fly before discarding of its carcass. There’s a joke about Wenger’s transfer policies somewhere in there, just waiting to be exploited, by those so inclined. 🙂

  28. Red Arse says:


    One of the requirements of this form of intelligence gathering, as I mentioned in the Post, is that it is critically important for disagreements, arguments, and contested opinions to be encouraged during the process in order to arrive at a meaningful solution.

    It is a concept that I agree is difficult to encapsulate in writing a short article, and therefore perhaps even more difficult for the reader to comprehend.

    There are those who will be totally baffled by the very idea and think the author is guilty of obfuscation because they cannot grasp any process by which such a thought process can be implemented.

    I am reluctant to be drawn into anything involving business or accounting methodology, for the sake of the footie fans on here, by which I can show a variant of this logic is actually practised on a daily basis — but if anyone is too cheeky – I will!! 🙂

  29. Shard says:


    Hahaha. Ok. I’ll pipe down.

  30. Gunner-Mac says:

    Nice thought provoking post there RA.
    Hhmm ‘7 of 9’……Er anyway,may i advise Arsene to purchase Fellaini,Mbiwa,Ericksson and Llorente as soon as possible.
    Follow my singular advise and collectively we will succeed.

  31. Red Arse says:

    I like that Shard, and William Shakespeare obliquely referred to such a thing in the Merchant of Venice, when the definition of what was meant by someone owing a creditor a ‘pound of flesh’ revolved around whether or not that term included the blood.

    No, no, I am not going to digress into the works and meanings of Shakespeare, the subject under debate is difficult enough to explain.

    The crux of today’s Post is that one of the major purposes of fans forums and blogs, in general, is to spout out the views, opinions and grumbles of the fans who often feel disenfranchised by the activities of the club management. If no one at the club is inclined to listen they are missing a golden opportunity to learn something of value to the clubs and the fans, and one of the key purposes behind the viability of the blogs is lost to the fans.

    They may as well go and talk to the wall, with all their opinions and advice for all the effect it will have.

  32. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not rying to be difficult here, but football clubs have been business for over 100 years. Yes bigger business, but I still cannot think of a single example of where the club has taken into account thoughts or wishes of us, the fans, and I’m extending my 30 yr example to 100 yrs 🙂
    I remember going around the Marble Halls and Directors box back in the 80’s and thinking Wow. Us the fans were peeing up against the back of the North Bank.

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Follow my singular advise and collectively we will succeed” 🙂

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry Rasp for the copy paste 😦
    Work calls.

  35. Red Arse says:

    Nice try Gunner-Mac, but you are a singular entity and not a collective – tho’ the possibility of spit or multiple personality syndrome might overcome that shortcoming! 🙂

  36. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky, maybe I should qualify the ‘business’ argument by saying; we operate in a far more competitive and sophisticated business environment compared to 30+ years ago.

    Global markettng, merchandising and TV revenue now form a far greater proprtion of our income and exert a stronger influence on the way we conduct our business than ever before.

  37. Red Arse says:


    I agree with your 11:53, and unfortunately it is easier for them to carry on the way they have been for so long.

    Eventually, modern thinking and the need to recognize that fans have a lot to offer their clubs to the benefit of all, over and above shovelling their money to them, may become recognized.

  38. Gunner-Mac says:

    Wow RA you know me/us so well.

  39. Red Arse says:

    Sorry, Shard, I did not wish you to ‘pipe down’ that would defeat one of the main precepts of the article, and anyway I like chatting to you!! 🙂

  40. Red Arse says:

    Gunner-M 😀

  41. Shard says:

    I know you warned me, but a human being is a physical manifestation of multiple entities, both organic and inorganic. Also, a person incorporates all of the collective learning of the species, or at least of those connected to it genetically, as well as all the various media that enter said person’s sphere of consciousness. Therefore, Gunner-Mac is not just a singular entity, but a manifestation of all that has gone before, and all that has had an input into building what he calls his opinion. By that token, all humans are basically the same study you advocate. It’s just that there are a multitude of ‘studies’. No human may call their opinion their own, in the true sense of the word.

    Ok. Now I’m going to duck for cover before you bombard me with the laws of accounting, or meta-physics, or anything else you carry around in that wonderful brain of yours 🙂

  42. GoonerB says:

    RA you little tease. You have been harping on in the last few days about how you don’t do posts and hey presto.

    Anyway, I really liked the post. I actually feel completely harmonised. Seeing as 7 of 9 is already in use can I henceforth be known as 6 of 1 and 1/2 a dozen of the other.

    For those that have taken RA’s post a bit too literally, my take on it was that it was more a subliminal message that maybe the fans views should be more heeded by managers. It is easy to say they are the experts but one expert saying one thing while 100,000 saying the opposite should lead you to question whether the individual expert does actually know better in some cases. Very well written RA. By the way I got the weight of the cow spot on so, at least as far as cows are concerned, I consider myself an expert.

  43. gizzle says:

    bring hartem ben arfa and capoue.sell Gervinho, ramsey, djourou, chamakh and fabianski.arsenal players need to alwaes be on their toes and pressured by their subs so as to impruv.

  44. Red Arse says:

    Shard that is brilliant — and i agree with you — it’s all gunner-Mac’s fault! 😀

  45. Red Arse says:


    I really do not like writing Posts, as the regulars on here well know, but I occasionally help out when asked, so all complaints should be addressed to Rocky for being devious, and Peaches for being gracious in her challenge! 🙂

  46. Red Arse says:

    Incidentally, GoonerB, I like your take on the subject of the Post.
    There are many thousands of ‘experts’ on blogs everywhere, each convinced they are right and all fulminating pointlessly because no one is listening.

    What does that tell us? 🙂

    In fact when writing the Post I did so because I was interested to find out how many people would read different things into it and bring their own personalities, experiences and thought processes to the party. I have not been disappointed — tho’ that is very likely not a universal feeling! 😀

  47. Red Arse says:

    You have all been stunned into silence, so perhaps I can demonstrate that the suggestion made in the Post is not without merit? [Neat double negative?] 😀

    I have previously implied that there are numerous modern examples of how collaboration of the masses has transformed ailing businesses.

    The first one that springs to mind and is oft quoted in business circles is that of the Canadian mining company Goldcorp.

    This was a company in norther Ontario, Canada, no doubt well known to Rocky and GN5, which was really struggling financially and unable to find gold on its own land.

    They appointed a new chief executive and he decided that he would put all its previously secret geological data online, and ask for help on where the gold was located. To entice bloggers, always a good thing, the company put up C$500,000 in prize money for the most accurate suggestions.

    The result was that they received submissions from people all over the world, some of them crackpot – such as find the crock at the end of the rainbow – yeah, right, but also wonderful ideas including people who used 3D computer modelling tools and reapraised geological surveys.

    What was the result, you ask, of all these millions of people putting their brains to work? Well they found no less thanb C$3bn worth of gold on the property that previously had produced sod all, and Goldcorp has now become one of Canada’s biggest mining companies. For prize money of C$500K and the brainpower of millions of people, many of them with little knowledge of mining!!

    So, this is all new, huh?

    No! A hundred years ago, an employee at Swan Vestas the matchstick makers, suggested, via the company’s ‘suggestion box’ that they should have only one sandpaper strip on the matchbox, instead of two, and when the company implemented the suggestion the lower costs resulted in na tremendous increase in the profits as a result of the lower production costs.

    OK, that was a relatively minor example, but it shows the idea is not as harebrained as some might have thought, but it shows how opening a problem out to a wider audience or the public [fans] and away from a small pool of workers [or core group] can lead to huge gains.

    This approach has recently snuck up on governments too.

    By making a problem or a decision accessible to a large range of people with a diverse range of skills rather than a small number, with supposedly expert knowledge, the wisdom of the crowd [fans] provides huge benefits.

    We have the technology, courtesy of the internet, to reach a huge pool of people and their multifarious talents and ideas in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.

    If it is done properly, it can mean massive collaboration between the fans and the club in a way that fosters [the fans] sense of belonging and a ‘buy-in’ of the club’s vision and direction.

    This type of “brain storming’ of the mass of fans works best when people don’t talk to each other, because people can be inhibited by others.

    Once the ideas are obtained, it is at this point smaller groups of committed fans [blogs] would have to be given the chance to filter out and discuss the ideas put forward, and there must be a system of feedback from the club to stop fans becoming cynical.

    Just a final example to reinforce the suggestion I made in the Post is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
    BP became desperate to find a solution to the problem and called on the public for ideas to stem the flow of oil after its in-house solutions failed.

    There were more than 100,000 responses from the public as a result of their plea, and it is rumoured it was one of these that enabled BP to find a viable plan to staunch the flow of oil.

    Hey, with a bit of intelligent brainy power by us fans that idea of advising arsenal is not so dumb after all.

    Now all we need to do is to persuade Arsene we can help.

    Listen to the Wisdom of the Fans, Arsene — you know it makes sense!! 🙂

  48. Red Arse says:


    Let’s move it on. 🙂

    The League Managers Association are compiling a business book on best management and leadership practices which will be used as a bible for all aspiring new managers.

    The ‘big three’ managers, comprising AW, FergieNose and Maureen will spearhead the book, and it is claimed that it will be the first time Arsene has ever revealed his innermost thoughts on coaching techniques etc.

    If we are quick we might get a chapter in based on fans’ management and leadership skills too!! 😀

  49. GoonerB says:

    That Goldcorp example is a brilliant story RA. I can’t find my wallet at the moment so I would like to ask the AA collective for help. The prize is a pint at the tavern when I am next down and a signed copy of my new best-seller “Arsenal formations since the 1890’s, What could have been done better?”.

  50. Red Arse says:

    If you are asking for help in finding your wallet GoonerB, then you have no probability of paying for the prize/price of a pint.

    Sadly, you have failed the inducement test, and will henceforth have to remain impecunious! 🙂

  51. GoonerB says:

    I still have some sheckles left in my pocket RA. Now if I could only find my wallet I could pay that girl from countdown to look up impecunious for me!

  52. Shard says:


    I think the club already monitor online fora and use it to gauge fans’ moods and concerns. The evidence for this can be the media watch section on the official site, which although it covers random transfer stories, often links to many blog stories as well. Arsenal has the largest number of blogs compared to all football clubs (I think) and like any good business, Arsenal also aim to get feedback from their customers (fans if you prefer) Even apart from that, though they receive a lot of ill will with it, Arsenal actually engage with fans more than most other clubs. The CEO making himself available for a Q&A session, the manager meeting with shareholders, the semi official status given to the AST and the AISA are examples of this. I think Arsenal can communicate their point of view better, but I think they – as an organisation- listen.

    As regards your original point of collective knowledge being better, I think the reason for that is because people can bring their own experiences into it. Also, ‘experts’ is a problematic term today because it entails specialisation. And Specialisation makes focusing on something outside your sphere of study difficult. In the real world however, such distinct spheres do not exist. So in that sense, someone who has no real expertise in the field, of say mining, can still contribute something of value which a specialist can’t. So far, we are agreed. But there are differences in the examples you give and as it concerns Arsenal.

    First, there was one specific ‘problem’ which needed to be solved in most of the cases you listed (I must say, the GoldCorp one was a fascinating story) In Arsenal’s case, identifying the problem is as problematic as finding any solution to a problem (this is also a very real world phenomenon, but often ignored)

    Second, and I say this with some trepidation, in those cases there wasn’t a large mass of people who felt entitled to have their views acted upon. They seemed content to ‘talk to a wall’ on the off chance that it might help. This seems to be opposite to Arsenal’s current situation.

    Thirdly, and this is where I disagree with the idea of collective intelligence is that, though ‘two heads are better than one’, and thus thousands are better than one as well, you will find many more examples of mass psychosis or hysteria, or a mass of people engaging in destructive action, than the constructive examples you give. When you factor in that there are various vested interests who would love to drive people’s opinions, it makes the collective intelligence less reliable, but also conversely, perhaps more powerful (and hence, dangerous)

    Fans do have a lot to offer clubs, and I think this is a fact Arsenal recognise and are not afraid to admit to. They freely admit to making changes within the stadium, to the ticketing system and membership schemes etc on the basis of fan interaction. But there is a danger in going too far with it. You do of course recognise this problem when you say ‘ works best when people don’t talk to each other’. But as we’ve already determined, nobody’s opinion is purely their own 🙂

    Also, not talking, especially on an emotive subject, leads to more discord than a unified will to move forward.

  53. chas says:

    Super stuff, RA.

    You had me believing that a consensus (or average) of opinions would arrive at a mean, ‘intelligent’ view, as per the weight of the ox.

    Then your last paragraph suggests that amongst the plethora of mind-numbingly idiotic views expounded on the various blogs, there is an occasional nugget of pure intelligence which might be of great value.

    Two quotes come to mind
    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.”

    Am I on the right track? 🙂

  54. chas says:

    Has anyone noticed that our own WG, Wigan Gooner has been mentioned a few times on the media watch page?

    Have they been in touch with you, Rasp and peaches?

  55. chas says:

    I’ve just fitted strobe lights in the bedroom.
    It makes the wife look like she’s moving during sex.

  56. GoonerB says:

    There were a number of us that were saying that would be a good idea for you Chas. See,the collective at work, spooky!

  57. Red Arse says:

    An excellent alternative viewpoint, Shard, and one I think which has much merit.

    I tried to couch my essay with suggestions, limited by space and time, for necessary checks and balances, aware that in an imperfect world it is all too easy for a good idea to be sidetracked for purposes not originally intended, by those with an agenda of their own, intentionally or otherwise.

    Within the article I obliquely touched briefly on the points you raised, but as it is a footie blog I am all to aware of imposing on others patience and goodwill.

    However, as you raised the topic [and others can skip thru’ here] 😀
    I can agree the phenomenon of of group/blog/mass thinking is well understood.

    For example [and this is NOT aimed at any specific group, Rasper] there are some key drivers that can taint any beneficial decision making process because of;

    Collective rationalization :– (This is where members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions, because they feel secure in their numbers).
    Belief in inherent morality :– (Where members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions).
    Direct pressure on dissenters :– ( Where pressure is put on members not to express arguments against any of the group’s views).
    Illusion of unanimity :– (The majority view and judgments are assumed [often wrongly] to be unanimous).

    Where the above symptoms exist in a group that is trying to make a decision, there is a reasonable chance that thinking error will occur.

    When groups are highly cohesive, and when they are under considerable pressure to make a quality decision or where pressures for unanimity seem overwhelming, members are less motivated to realistically appraise the alternative courses of action available to them.

    Such group pressures lead to carelessness and irrational thinking because they fail to consider all alternatives in their desire to maintain unanimity.

    Decisions made in these circumstances naturally have a low probability of achieving successful outcomes.

    Being aware of these potential pitfalls and having put in place the provisos I mentioned in the Post, and others if necessary, the outcome is likely to produce some extremely beneficial results.

    That said, I do not think we should impose further on the goodwill of our fellow bloggers, for a Post that was a continuum from a comment I made last Monday, and should really be read together, and only took me a bare 5 minutes to write! 🙂

    Suffice to say, the scientific and conceptual case has been made for this idea of fan enfranchisement to be given proper consideration, in the future — but I am not holding my breath!! 😀

  58. RockyLives says:

    Well Redders, where do I begin?

    Perhaps I should throw that question out to all the readers of this blog, collate the answers and go for the one in the middle…

    No, that will take too long.

    I love the concept of “the wisdom of crowds” and it has some real truth in it. But the wisdom of crowds, I feel, works only for certain types of problems in certain situations.

    As Shard points out, the Goldcorp example worked because that company had a single clear problem that needed solving. Likewise the “guess the weight of Oxlade Chamberlain” challenge to which you referred in your Post.

    Crowds can often display perverse and destructive “wisdom” (the “wisdom of the crowd” that followed Adolf Hitler, for example).

    So, where does this leave us?

    First, as you explain in the Post, we have to be certain that the “crowd” is thinking freely and is not in thrall to some charismatic, messianic leader like Herr Hitler, or cowed into expressing views that it (they) do not really feel.

    Secondly, we need to direct the crowd to tackle questions which might benefit from collective wisdom. But who chooses the questions? Tough one, eh?

    I seem to remember the club conducting a poll for a new song to play when the players took to the pitch. We ended up with the not-very-inspiring “The Wonder of You” by Elv the Pelv. (I like the song, incidentally, but not as the clarion call to which our gladiators take the field). Was that an example of the wisdom of crowds? No! Because the survey was skewed by the paltry range of song options that were put forward by the club. Perhaps if the club had just asked every fan to send in a suggestion and then picked the one with most votes we might have had a better result. I would have voted for “Good Old Arsenal”.

    Ironically, given what I have just said, some other very specific questions may be less useful in an Arsenal context.

    For example, if we wanted to know which striker would make the best addition to our squad in January, maybe the most popular suggestion from the fans would be the way forward. But that approach would never have found a Thierry Henry. When it comes to finding “hidden gems”, Arsene Wenger has specialist knowledge that is unavailable to the vast majority of supporters. The crowd would most likely pick the “flavour of the moment” foreign forward who is deemed to be the answer to our problems.

    However, if the club were to ask “the crowd” which area of the team most needed strengthening they would no doubt get a wide range of answers, but the most popular one might well be the one they should act on.

    By the way, whatever happened to that club (Ebbsfleet?) that was wholly owned by the fans and was being run on the basis of the whole fan base making all the decisions?

    Has crowd wisdom helped them prosper? (I have no idea).

    Wow – look at the length of this comment. I’m turning into GoonerB.

  59. RockyLives says:

    This quote (from one of your comments) strikes me as so true that it should be printed off and sent to every Board member at Arsenal:
    “one of the major purposes of fans forums and blogs, in general, is to spout out the views, opinions and grumbles of the fans who often feel disenfranchised by the activities of the club management. If no one at the club is inclined to listen they are missing a golden opportunity to learn something of value.”

  60. Red Arse says:

    Chas, a collective 😀

  61. RockyLives says:

    Thankyou for your correct use of the word “myriad” it’s one of my pet peeves that it gets used incorrectly so often.

    I know that makes me a boring grammar pedant, but there you go.

    “Myriad” is an adjective and should be used in the same was as “many” or “multitudinous”. Too many people use it as a noun, which it’s not.

    Saying “there were a myriad of options” is the equivalent of saying “there were a many of options,” i.e., wrong!

    Not that it really matters because all of language it mutable, constantly evolving blah blah… so if you want to use if as a noun go ahead, I’ll say no more.

  62. RockyLives says:

    Surprised no-one has mentioned Jung.

    Carl, that is. Not Ashley.

  63. RockyLives says:

    Oh, one more thing Redders.
    Well done 😀
    A tour de force.

    I love AA.

  64. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, re your @ 2:44

    No, haven’t been in touch with us … we’re far too subversive 🙄

  65. RockyLives says:

    (I’m back from my travels, in case you hadn’t noticed 🙂 )

  66. RockyLives says:

    Re the thing. I’m amazed they haven’t contact you – particularly when you look at some of the limpworts and fuddleheads they have invited in the past.

  67. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, a fine mess you have got me into, Stanley!! 🙂

    Some of the very pertinent questions you asked seemed to me were subsequently answered by your goodself during your musings, or in the contiguous reply I gave to Shard just earlier.

    I am sure you won’t be surprised if I point out that in making my case, I introduced a number of caveats, including;
    — “It has long been held that, in some circumstances” and,
    — “in certain parts of the running of the club, such as transfer decisions, etc”.

    The Wisdom of the Fans would not necessarily be too helpful in setting the Board’s salary levels!! 🙂

  68. Shard says:


    I was curious so I just ran a quick check. The Merriam-Webster dictionary seems to disagree with your contention about the usage of the word myriad.

    “Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. There is no reason to avoid it.”

  69. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, I don’t know what criteria they employ when selecting which sites to embrace. I suspect that someone at the club is employed to monitor media coverage of all things Arsenal and it may be a subjective judgement.

    Having said that, the Arsenal website has a section that reproduces unsubstantiated rumours and pretends to be impartial – how does that work?

  70. RockyLives says:

    You look very dashing in a caveat.

  71. Red Arse says:


    Are you suggesting that my friend, and yours, WG, is a limpwort or a fuddlehead?

    Can those terms be used as both noun and adjective, such as, “he is such a limpworty poltroon”, or “his fuddleheaded spelling knows no bounds”. 🙂

    Now that the Bookworm, aka Shard, has been peeking at dictionaries you will have to throw a couple of caveats of your own into your reply!! 🙂

  72. Red Arse says:


    I really enjoy a comedy show called “The Big Bang Theory”, or some such title, in which one of the characters is played by an Indian dude — everytime I read one of your comments I visualize you as the character he plays!

    Have you seen it? Are you like him? 😀

  73. RockyLives says:

    Well that pricks my bubble! A myriad of apologies.

    There was me relying on the original ancient Greek meaning, which is “10,000”.

    So I’m not sure that saying its usage in the 16th Century makes it the “older form”, given that the ancient Greeks were pottering about a good two thousand years before that…

    Thank goodness I added my final sentence…

  74. Red Arse says:

    Thank you for complimenting me on how I look in my caveat — but then you always say that when I am only wearing a caveat!! 😆

  75. RockyLives says:

    Of course I exempt our Wiggish friend from the ranks of Limpwortery and Fuddleheadedness.

    He is the shining example that shows that some wheat gets through along with a myriad of chaff.

  76. RockyLives says:

    Shard said: “a human being is a physical manifestation of multiple entities, both organic and inorganic. Also, a person incorporates all of the collective learning of the species”.

    One could go further… we are all made up recycled subatomic particles that have been around since the universe began.

    We are stardust.

    We are golden…

  77. Red Arse says:


    I understand your dislike for certain word usage or combinations, but have given up railing against such perfidious behaviour “Myriad of” just sounds so …. naff!

    But then I have a dislike of the use of the word ‘of’ as in “he should of” or “we could of” — it makes me shudder to type that.

    It occurs, I suppose, because of the short cuts of speech transposing into the written language.

    “I should have”, metamorphosis into “I should’ve” and then becomes, “I should of” — aaargh!!

    It will become an accepted form of speech, eventually, if it hasn’t already!!

  78. GoonerB says:

    Rocky, you don’t want to turn into me. I’ve got impecunious and it is very bloody painful!

  79. Red Arse says:

    I refuse to acknowledge your ‘stardust’ ditty, on the grounds that you did not notice my wonderful and much wittier “Hair” response to your comment yesterday, regarding our footballers parts adding up to less than the whole.

    One has to have standards!

  80. Red Arse says:


    You know me from a previous life and therefore you will understand that any impecunious promulgation from me is not to be taken sitting down!! 😀

  81. GoonerB says:

    Glic. I am reading between the lines with your smiley and am sure that like me you need to hire the dictionary girl from countdown. If you can help me find my wallet I will hire her for the both of us. No sod it, you can go and speak to her and get the lowdown on the replies today, and I will talk numbers with Rachael Riley. “What do you think Rachael, 3 from the back, 5 across the middle and 2 big ones up front?” he said in his most perfidious accent.

  82. Red Arse says:

    Where the heck have Rhyle and D98 got to?

    I rather thought a many layered, wordy, unworthy Post would have got their combative, creative juices flowing! 🙂

  83. GoonerB says:

    RA, if you have just given me a solid dose of impecunious promulgation I don’t think I will be able to properly sit down for weeks!

  84. Shard says:


    I assure you. I do not need alcohol to talk to women. It does, however, play a part in them talking to me 🙂

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I love reading this.
    Must say, Glic’s wide-eyed smiley shows comedy timing at its best.

  86. RockyLives says:

    Sorry about yesterday Redders 😦
    I was rather occupied in your old stamping grounds (New York, I mean, not NASA).

  87. RockyLives says:

    I was suprised Glic didn’t pop up earlier when someone mentioned multiple personalities…

    One man and his mirror… 🙂

  88. glic says:

    My eye`s immediately went to 7 of 9 and this wont surprise you, I always called her 6 of 9……..mmmmm…. she will be assimulated ! hahaha
    Greaty Post Redders 🙂

    I think it`s a great idea, but is Arsene too stubborn to do it ?, for all we know, he may do it !, do you think he has a peek on Leg Over ? hahaha

    We did a similar thing at a Company where I worked. Being on the shop floor, we always had better ideas to how things should work than the management and It used to peeve us off when they would employ some Uni graduate for £1000`s when the shop floor ( the supporters ?) between us had better Ideas.
    Eventually, after a few sarcastic remarks to management over the years, they decided to take us on a two day team building exercise at a Golf Club and by the end, we gave them 100`s of ideas (which would be successfully implemented over the coming years) from our combined experience and knowledge against a few by a wet behind the ears uni-grad` and it was under their noses all the time !.
    Imo, having sack loads of diplomas and qualifications does`nt make someone more clever or intelligent, to me, it just says they had a better education. Personally, due to over the top strict teachers and illnesses and being truant, I had a shite education, but, believe me, I`m as sharp as any tool in the box !. hahaha

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry for copying Rocky in copying Shard’s line “Also, a person incorporates all of the collective learning of the species”.
    Tyrant though I may be at times, I really do like this line of thinking, and in some ways it is quite comforting, but you must admit to running into some unsavoury sorts on occasion and thinking “Nah”.
    I like your collective thinking gold mining example. Then came:
    Collective thinking Hitler example.
    What’s a boy to do?

  90. RockyLives says:

    Just don’t ask Adolf to help you find gold.

  91. Red Arse says:

    Apologies to any who might be offended but Glic’s humour just creases me up. He posted the following elsewhere but he is just so funny!! 😆

    — “Right, lets have a look at Redders’s post on AA.
    — Right, anti-brain frazzle glasses on…check,
    — Nuclear Dictionary…..check and,
    — Carol Vorderman….chic…..babe….f**k Redders, he can wait two minutes !……………………………………………………………………………….. See Carol, that’s how I came up with the mathematical answer of 69 !.
    Now Carol give me a Continent…”Australia”……. down under again !
    Now give me a Vowel……” I vowel to love you thy handsome bastard and have foursomes with your mirror “…….it`s the final countdown !.”

    He’s priceless!! :D’

  92. glic says:

    GoonerB hahaha
    Go and have a look on Bergkampesque. Vorderman was mentioned on there ! hahaha

  93. glic says:

    Dont bother GoonerB, Redders has just posted it ! hahaha

  94. Gooner In Exile says:

    Why didn’t someone tell me RA was posting today? I have been waiting for what seems an eternity for a longer version of the challenging comments and the day it gets posted I am amidst knocking holes in walls (for tumble dryer) and building flatpack nursery furniture.

    I have not had enough espresso refuel to truly comment so will read again (post ante natal class) and hope to offer something intelligent in respons.

    Open our minds to other possibilities and view points should be a default position but the lunatics are best left in the asylum.

    The problem with some views expressed about Arsenal is that they are from a position of little information/fact so unless Arsenal were to open up the public relations channel and share a little more information many of us are only responding to what we interpret rather than what we know, and that is no basis to form a consensus around.

  95. Shard says:


    “but you must admit to running into some unsavoury sorts on occasion and thinking “Nah”.”

    The mistake you are making is in assuming that these people (eg. Spurs fans) are of the same species. Owing to your reaction, we may now dub them ‘Homo-Spursien Nahnderthalensis’

  96. Red Arse says:

    I suspect from the responses today, it is not widely known that “collective intelligence” is embedded in business, economies, societies and nations.

    Of course, ‘intelligence’ is not the same thing as ‘common sense’ and that is why some of the horrendous consequences of groups making poor decisions have rocked the world — Hitler, Rwanda, and so on.

    As Shard and I discussed earlier, without the proper controls the group can also descend to the level of the most intelligent person in that group — and that can be pretty dreadful. 😦

  97. Shard says:


    I just know glic is going to come up with a joke about how his ‘collective intelligence” is embedded elsewhere 🙂

  98. Red Arse says:

    Hi GIE, 🙂

    You were much more gainfully employed bashing holes in walls than reading my rubbish!! 😀

  99. GoonerB says:

    Love it Glic.

  100. Red Arse says:


    Glic might have Carol Vorderman in mind — altho’ Terry would be a close second!! 😀

  101. kelsey says:

    Red arse,

    Thanks for stepping in at the last moment,much appreciated. Have a few minutes now but won’t be back on for a few days.mind you it will take me a few days to translate your post 🙂

  102. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    I am going to catch that woolly mammoth for you, and you can write your Post on him!! 🙂

    Hope all is well!

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Homo-Spursien Nahnderthalensis’

  104. chas says:

    Apparently, it’s damn near impossible for anyone to correctly call complex offside situations. The human eye isn’t designed for it (freezing a television picture frame just seems like cheating in comparison).

  105. Red Arse says:

    The Courts in this country can come up with some strange decisions, courtesy of the ECJ, but they are not alone. This is a true case settled in the US.

    “Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbour’s beagle – even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner’s fenced yard.

    Williams did not get the $500,000 he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.”


  106. Red Arse says:

    i wrote a Post on that very subject last year Chas. I am not sure anyone believed me!! 😀

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    This is a compliment coming up.
    On the back of your post, I think I might try listening to my customers, which will be a first.
    I have zero idea how many punters make up my core customer base (say 40,000, but I really have no idea), anyway I was talking about your post with my designer bloke, and we’re going to start putting those squiggly boxes (QR Codes) that people zap with their smart phones and they can leave comments and feedback.
    I promise not to be rude to them, and treat them as collections of cosmic particles and things 🙂
    If it goes tits up, can I have your email address and post code? 🙂

  108. Red Arse says:

    You’ll be fine, Micky, 🙂

    And DAMN – I should have included a Fee Note with the Post!! 😦

  109. chas says:

    I knew I’d seen a very good article on the subject somewhere before, RA.

  110. RockyLives says:

    Ask them if they know where there’s any gold buried.

  111. jnyc says:

    RA, very intelligent piece. I remember a professor teaching us about ” groupthink” that is when a small group however qualified or intelligent, seem to make very bad decisions. Sometimes the presidents cabinet or a corporation. Where they would have done much better getting outside opinions, even from people less qualified who could look at the problem from a different view. This could be part of the problem in Arsenal management. ??

  112. Red Arse says:

    A woman takes a lover home during the day, while her husband is at work.

    Her 9-year old son comes home unexpectedly, sees them, and hides in the bedroom closet.
    Then the woman’s husband also comes home.
    She puts her lover in the closet, not realizing that the little boy is in there already.

    The little boy says, ‘Dark in here.’

    The man says, ‘Yes, it is.’

    Boy – ‘I have a golf ball.’

    Man – ‘That’s nice.’

    Boy – ‘Want to buy it?’

    Man – ‘No, thanks.’

    Boy – ‘My dad’s outside.’

    Man – ‘OK, how much?’

    Boy – ‘$250’

    A few weeks later, it happens again that the boy and the lover, are in the closet together..

    Boy – ‘Dark in here.’

    Man – ‘Yes, it is.’

    Boy – ‘I have a sand wedge.
    ‘The lover, remembering the last time, asks the boy, ‘How much?’

    Boy – ‘$750’

    Man – ‘Sold.’

    A few days later, the boys father says to the boy, ‘Grab your sand wedge and golf ball, let’s go outside and have some short game practice. The boy says, ‘I can’t, I sold my ball and sand wedge dad.’

    The father says, ‘What?! How much did you sell them for?’

    Boy – ‘$1,000.’

    The father says, ‘That’s terrible to overcharge your friends like that. That is far more than those two things cost. I’m going to take you to church and make you confess.’

    They go to the church, and the father makes the little boy sit in the confession booth and he closes the door.

    The boy says, ‘Dark in here.’

    The priest says, ‘Don’t start that shit with me again. You’re in my closet now.’

  113. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Really enjoyed the post. I agree 🙂

    I had another big exam today and an RA post was just what was needed to help me relax into the evening (and an aquavit + a couple of glasses of red).

    There is much debate on the BBC website about whether last night’s goal (Ibra) was the best ever. Of course not, the best goal ever scored was at Anfield on 26 May 1989 by a gentleman named Michael Thomas

  114. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Love an early evening joke

  115. Red Arse says:

    Hi JNYC,

    You are right, groups can be a wonderful source of intelligent decision making, but also, if not properly controlled, they can also make a terrible mistake.

    Wisdom of the Group is an incontrovertible phenomenon, as epitomised by the “ox” example. The other phenomenon is the way groups can be swayed by inter-group factions or corrosive external influences among other factors.

    A really worthwhile study! Well, I think so!!! 😀

  116. RockyLives says:

    Redders 😀

    I’m sorry to disagree, but the best goal ever was scored at St James Park on March 3rd 2002, by none other than God himself.

  117. Red Arse says:

    Micky Thomas, now that is worth another drink, Raddy! 😀

    Hope the exams went well! 🙂

    Ibrahimovitch’s goal was wonderful to watch, but at that stage of the game it was a ‘shot to nothing’, whereas Micky’s goal had so much hanging on it — I went ape when he scored — whereas I quietly credited Ibra with a classy and probably unique goal.

    Different beasts!

  118. Red Arse says:

    that ran through my mind too, Rocky, but it was a great goal scored without the Micky Thomas tension.

    How lovely to have such goals to choose between! 🙂

  119. Big Raddy says:

    Exactly. That is why Micky’s goal was the best. Dennis’s is a thing of beauty but MT’s was so important and oh so dramatic.

    I have gone nuts about many goals (TA at Wembley vs the Spuds ++) but will never be so excited about a goal again. I am still celebrating!

  120. This post is far too cerebral to make sense to the ordinary man (myself). It somehow reminds me of a certain French football manager from Alsace.

  121. Really can anyone believe Arsene Wenger gives a hoot what anyone else thinks?

  122. Shard says:

    Tony Cummings,

    I think if we can expect anyone at Arsenal to give a hoot, it would be Arshavin. He’s the most owlish of them all 🙂

  123. Earlier this season I posted a comment on this site stating that M. Wenger should not be ashamed of using a formation his able assistant has some familiarity with. That means employing wing backs along with three center backs. My attention has been caught by a blog stating that ” due to concern over our recent leaking of goals “, the Great Man, in discussions after witnessing the feebleness of our defence in the game with Manure, conferred with his coaching staff about sending out a team playing 5-3-2!! It is a bold, if not Bould idea which would take a bit of time to perfect, but it is also a system that would make us more difficult to penetrate.
    Come on Arsene, listen to Me. Make our defence watertight and our forwards will flourish. If you do that, I will take back the statement I posted at 6.40 ;-).

  124. @ Shard
    You are sharp, but I believe there are many more owlhoots at Arsenal than only Andreiy. ;-0

  125. Red Arse says:


    Arshavin owl like? Surely he is more of a meerkat? Ask Rasp! 🙂

  126. RockyLives says:

    See Tony – AW does heed the blogosphere. The cheeky blighter has pinched your idea!

  127. Gooner In Exile says:

    I just read jnyc’s comment about a small group of individuals can make a hash of decision making and I remembered that often used phrase when bashing things decided on by groupthink or something similar:

    “A camel is a horse designed by a committee”

    I’m going to have to do some digging around as I don’t know current state of play but wasn’t Ebbsfleet sold to a group of fans that voted on key issues (some fans who just wanted to own a football club not actually fans of Ebbsfleet)

  128. jnyc says:

    RA, thanks for an interesting change of pace and discussion. I always enjoy your work 🙂

  129. Wow, what a clever bunch you are 😉 Although I would love to think that our collective commenting has some importance I do feel that mostly we are shouting at the dark.

    I did write a post during the collapse at the end of the 2010 season urging Arsene to feed the team more redmeat which I hoped would lead to the production of more testosterone. Micky was the only one to take it seriously but I still believe they have a namby pamby chicken and fish diet that might keep their blood pressure and colesterol down but doesn’t do much for their fighting spirit.

    Oh well, back to the drawing-board………..

    Thank you Redders for keeping us entertained today 🙂


    Thanks Redders, brilliant post. I was thinking of writing a similar thing using exactly the same words, but you beat me to it. hahaha

    I dont know about this group stuff. I just trust Arsene Wenger and despite our recent results still and will always have total faith in the guy. Of all the years following the Gunners no one has given me more reason to be grateful than him.

    In fact if i was ever fortuniate enough to meet the man, i think i would be overcome with emotion, burst into tears, and ask him to sign my bottom. hahahaha

  131. slimgingergooner says:

    The problem with listening to the fans, is that a lot of fans listen to the media! 😉

  132. Please do not be despondent dear peach. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t aware of your wise advice posted in 2010. Red meat should be a primary part of the team’s diet. Preferably raw. Up with the blood pressure. Up with the testosterone. Eat them alive I think. If Rocky is right, Arsene is taking note. No more mamby pamby light meat. Beefed up gunners is what we need. The disgusting totterers should be the first to feel the force of the new Might of Arsenal. We will go on from there. Fear not my Lady. Roll on Saturday.

  133. Was there a mention a few days earlier of a Christmas soiree? A great idea if ever there was one. A chance to see the faces of some of we great people who support this great club. rsvp. It would be a pleasure for me and those who are denied a chance to obtain easy access to watch the team we love.

  134. Gooner In Exile says:

    BSR ate horse placenta once……

  135. richie says:

    @Mickey 11:53 So someone else remembers the state of the carsey’s under the North bank, anyone remember the rubbish strewn earth under the Bank that everyone used to piss on rather than use the filthy stinking toilets, Dennis help you if you got caught short back then. In the 60’s my Grandfather used to take me into the civilized East Stand but I couldn’t sit still, not through excitement (we weren’t that good) but nervous tension had me like a cat on a hot tin roof, especially when we did score. In the East Stand there wasn’t any running around jumping up and down like a nutter that happened in the North Bank. Because my Grandfather was a commissionaire I didn’t have any problems leaving the lower East Stand through one gate into the school boys then, through the second gate into the NB, so that was always my route. The only good thing about the East Stand was the players bar, if we won everyone was on the piss, that was still how it went down in GG’s time pre 96. Can you imagine that now? Now after the game it’s not ice in the G&T for the players, it’s an ice bath. How things have changed talk about moved on.

  136. richie says:

    The reason I brought the above up was when Mickey reminded me of the North Bank carsey’s. I remembered everybody used to think the board were piss takers charging for tickets without giving even the slightest in return by way of facilities. In other words relativity, because as in now everyone would complain in the pubs about “how come the board bought this player and not that one” It’s as plain as the nose on your face we need a striker, and the boards gone and purchased a cheap midfielder. Even though we’ve moved on, much remains the same for us plebs. I thought the last a fitting end to all this chatter about collectivism. There’s the owners, their board and their manager and then us, and we are only an after thought as we’ve always been, they’ve always banked on us not being able to stay away no matter how badly the team plays.

  137. richie says:


  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Richie,Ultimately I agree with you.
    I asked a few times on here yesterday for one example in the last 30 years (no answer, so I extended that to 100yrs) of where the AFC Board have listened to the fans.
    Having said all of that, look where we are without them listening. Pretty good system really.

  139. chas says:

    I’m not sure bsr actually ate horse placenta.
    Didn’t he just rub it over his ankle and wallet?

  140. chas says:

    “shouting at the dark” is very poetic.
    Definitely more lady-like than ‘pissing in the wind’.

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Chas,
    I am sooo excited about the game tomorrow. For once, I’m glad its an early saturday ko, simply so that the wait is less.

  142. Red Arse says:

    Morning Micky, 🙂

    This morning there are about 30 magpies on my lawn, with a murder of crows, doing something weird! ritual discombobulating some unfortunate mammal I suspect!

    It’s far too chilly to be discombobulated! 😆

  143. chas says:

    Morning Micky,
    The knot in our collective Arsenal stomach is certainly a hell of a lot bigger on North London derby day.
    I think the police insist on an early kick off, don’t they?
    It stops chary having too many bottles of Thunderbird and getting abusive to the spuds.
    Or the bin bag brigade getting too abusive to the board, manager and team.

  144. Red Arse says:

    Morning Chas, 🙂

    That sounds disgusting. Either eating or spreading placenta – makes me feel another cup of coffee is essential!! Or one of your cheery vids! 🙂

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just popped over to Sky football news, and the headline is “Suarez stays ” at Pool. Yeah right. There’s a player who is simply too good for them

  146. chas says:

    1 for sorrow
    2 for joy
    3 for a girl
    4 for a boy
    5 for silver
    6 for $3bn worth of gold.
    What’s 30 of the black and white buggers for?

  147. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Are the Bin Bag Brigade on the march again?
    Very few magpies here, but we have a rookery in trees about 100yds from the house. At least 400 of the noisy fellas.

  148. chas says:

    Is the collective noun for magpies, a ‘barcode’?

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    rooks is a parliament

  150. chas says:

    Not ’til the 1st December, Micky.
    Protesting before a spuds game would be too much!

  151. Rasp says:

    Morning Micky, we have a Rookery nearby too. The buggers drive me mad cawing in the early morning when they dig huge holes in my lawn every spring looking for leatherjackets

  152. chas says:

    Maybe it’s a Guy Fawkes if the intention was a murder in parliament?

  153. Rasp says:

    I love collective nouns. I’ve just looked up the ones for Rooks and come up with these: building, parliament, clamour and storytelling

  154. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Biker Birds Rasp?

  155. Rasp says:

    auks – a raft of auks
    bitterns – a siege of bitterns
    bobolinks – a chain of bobolinks
    bullfinches – a bellowing of bullfinches
    buzzards – a wake of buzzards

    A Murder Of Crows

    capons – a mews of capons
    chickens – a peep of chickens
    chicks – a clutch of chicks
    choughs – a clattering of choughs
    coots – a covert of coots
    coots – a raft of coots
    cormorants – a flight of cormorants
    cranes – a herd of cranes
    crows – a horde of crows
    crows – a hover of crows
    crows – a mob of crows
    crows – a murder of crows
    crows – a muster of crows
    crows – a parcel of crows
    crows – a parliament of crows
    curlews – a herd of curlews
    dotterel – a trip of dotterel
    doves – a dole of doves
    doves – a flight of doves
    doves – a piteousness of doves
    doves – a pitying of doves
    ducks (diving) – a dopping of ducks
    ducks (flying) – a plump of ducks
    ducks (on water) – a paddling of ducks
    ducks – a badling of ducks
    ducks – a flush of ducks
    ducks – a raft of ducks
    ducks – a sord of ducks
    ducks – a team of ducks
    ducks – a twack of ducks
    dunlin – a fling of dunlins
    eagles – a congress of eagles
    eagles – a convocation of eagles
    falcons – a cast of falcons
    finches – a charm of finches
    finches – a trembing of finches
    finches – a trimming of finches
    flamingoes – a stand of flamingoes

    A Charm Of Goldfinches
    A charm of goldfinches

    goldfinches – a drum of goldfinches
    goldfinches – a troubling of goldfinches
    goldfinches – a charm of goldfinches
    goldfinches – a chirm of goldfinches
    geese – a gaggle of geese
    geese (flying) – a wedge of geese
    geese – a nide of geese
    geese – a skein of geese
    geese (on water) – a plump of geese
    goshawks – a flight of goshawks
    grouse – a covey of grouse
    grouse – a lek of grouse
    grouse – a pack of grouse
    guillemots – a bazaar of guillemots
    guinea fowl – a confusion of guinea fowl
    gulls – a colony of gulls
    gulls – a screech of gulls
    hawks (tame) – a cast of hawks
    hawks (tame) -a lease of hawks
    hawks – a kettle of hawks
    hens – a brood of hens
    herons – a siege of herons
    hummingbirds – a charm of hummingbirds
    jackdaws – a clattering of jackdaws
    jackdaws – a train of jackdaws
    jays -a band of jays
    jays – a party of jays
    jays – a scold of jays
    lapwings – a desert of lapwings
    larks – a bevy of larks
    larks – an exaltation of larks
    larks – an exalting of larks
    magpies – a conventicle of magpies
    magpies – a tidings of magpies
    mallards – a sute of mallards
    mallards – a sord of mallards
    martins – a richness of martins
    mudhen- a fleet of mudhen

    A Watch Of Nightingales
    A watch of nightingales

    nightingales – a watch of nightingales
    owls – a parliament of owls
    owls – a stare of owls
    parrots – a company of parrots
    parrots – a prattle of parrots
    parrots – a pandemonium of parrots
    partridges – a covey of partridges
    peacocks – a muster of peacocks
    peacocks – a pride of peacocks
    peacocks – an ostentation of peacocks
    penguins – a colony of penguins
    penguins – a creche of penguins
    penguins – a huddle of penguins
    penguins – a parcel of penguins
    penguins – a rookery of penguins
    pheasants – a bouquet of pheasants
    pheasants – a covey of pheasants
    pheasants – a nide of pheasants
    pheasants -a nye of pheasants
    pigeons – a kit of pigeons
    pigeons – a loft of pigeons
    plovers – a congregation of plovers
    ptarmigan – a covey of ptarmigans

    A Bevy Of Quali
    A bevy of quail

    quail – a bevy of quail
    quail – a covey of quail
    ravens – an unkindness of ravens
    rooks – a building of rooks
    rooks – a clamour of rooks
    rooks – a parliament of rooks
    ruffs – a hill of ruffs

    A Wisp Of Snipe
    A wisp of snipe

    sandpipers – a fling of sandpipers
    sea fowl – a cloud of sea fowl
    seagulls – a flock of seagulls
    sheldrakes – a doading of sheldrakes
    skylarks – an exultation of skylarks
    snipe – a walk of snipe
    snipe – a wisp of snipe
    sparrows – a host of sparrows
    sparrows – a quarrel of sparrows
    sparrows – a ubiquity of sparrows
    starlings – a murmuration of starlings
    storks – a muster of storks
    storks – a phalanx of storks
    swallows – a flight of swallows
    swallows – a gulp of swallows
    swans – a gaggle of swans
    swans (flying) – a wedge of swans
    swans – a bank of swans
    swans – a bevy of swans
    swans – a whiteness of swans
    swans – a herd of swans
    swans – an eyrar of swans
    swans – a gargle of swans
    teal – a diving of teal
    teal – a spring of teal
    thrushes – a mutation of thrushes
    turkeys – a raffle of turkeys
    turkeys – a rafter of turkeys
    turtle doves – a dole of turtledoves
    turtle doves – a pitying of turtledoves

    A Coil Of Wigeon
    A coil of wigeon

    waterfowl – a knob of waterfowl
    waterfowl – a plump of waterfowl
    wigeon – a coil of wigeon
    woodpeckers – a descent of woodpeckers
    woodcocks – a fall of woodcocks
    wrens – a herd of wrens

  156. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Does anyone think the talk of AW changing formations has anything to do with saturday’s game, as our current set up looks unworkable to me without Santi or Rosicky in the AM role?

  157. Rasp says:

    Do I win the prize for the longest ever comment? 😳

  158. chas says:

    GoonerB’s had loads longer than that.

  159. Rasp says:

    Micky, I believe the collective noun for Biker Birds is ….. an orgy

  160. Rasp says:

    chas …. wait till you read GoonerB’s post today, you’ll get RSI from scrolling down 😛

  161. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Whoop of gorillas and crash of rhinos take some beating
    My children have the whole list

  162. Gooner In Exile says:

    MickyDidIt89 says:
    November 16, 2012 at 7:28 am (Edit)
    Biker Birds Rasp?


  163. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ROLF’S for everyone

  164. chas says:

    I hope you’ve added some paragraph breaks. 🙂

    We can’t play 5 at the back against the spuds with their one up top.

  165. Gooner In Exile says:

    MickyDidIt89 says:
    November 16, 2012 at 7:36 am (Edit)
    Whoop of gorillas and crash of rhinos take some beating
    My children have the whole list

    Novelty bog roll?

  166. Gooner In Exile says:

    As for changing formation, I don’t think we would after international break.

    Today is probably the first training session Arsene has had with players since last Friday. And probably first time he has seen them since Saturday around 5pm…..scary

  167. chas says:

    Gareth Bale pre-match interview.

  168. Red Arse says:

    Rasp, 🙂

    That made my head spin. There were so many I did not knowtwo thirds of them!

    Sorry I mentioned those b magpies now! 🙂
    I went to look at what they were up to but whatever they were devouring was long gone. Maybe they were black and white vultures!
    How come you haven’t listed the collective noun for vultures? Vulturist!! 😀

  169. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great idea GiE 🙂
    Who is going to play AM?
    AA or Ox?

  170. Rasp says:

    Are we assuming that Santi will play no part on saturday?

  171. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Santi played wednesday (how long?) then flight back on thursday. I would of thought he could re-adjust post jetlag in time for a 90 minute hoorah, but then again, these footballers are delicate flowers.

  172. chas says:

    Santi was an unused sub apparently.

  173. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sleeping pills and then caffiene tablets seem to be pretty normal according to England internationals, should be fine.

  174. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Being in Panama for such a short period of time, he could have kept the body clock on London time.
    Let’s hope he plays.

  175. chas says:

    David De Gea and his family over from Spain go for their traditional meal.

  176. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great news Chas

  177. chas says:

    11 hour flight times 2 .
    Still at least he would have had plenty of leg room.

  178. Red Arse says:

    Chas, [De Gea] 😀

    Now that gets me back on track after all that gory placenta stuff!!

  179. Red Arse says:

    A quarrel of bloggers?

    A yack of bloggers?

    A smooch of bloggers?

    Where’s Rasp got to with his collective noun book? 🙂

  180. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Some great stuff this morning. Sorry I woke up so late (not really :-))

    So…. it’s a Whoop of Bales

  181. chas says:

    A cacophony of bloggers (LG)

    A symphony of bloggers (AA)

    A futility of bloggers

  182. Big Raddy says:

    chas 8.06. ROLF

  183. Rasp says:

    A rant of bloggers?

  184. Big Raddy says:

    A fulitity …… !

    An exhalation of Bloggers

    A resentment of bloggers

  185. Rasp says:

    A sewer of totnum fans?

  186. Rasp says:

    Just going to walk the dog … can’t wait to read where this is going 😆

  187. slimgingergooner says:

    A gaggle of Gooners!?

    Santi didn’t play Wednesday thank The Lord Dennis.

  188. slimgingergooner says:

    Surely we are a bevy of bloggers, after all, we are a good looking bunch! 😆

  189. Big Raddy says:

    A Zoo of Tottenham fans

    A Grunt of ….

  190. Big Raddy says:

    An Ignorance of ……

  191. chas says:

    A plastic of chelsea supporters

    A Surrey of mancs

  192. chas says:

    If teams sing at us in the future, ‘where were you when you were sh*t?’

    A lot will have to reply, ‘outside the stadium protesting’.

  193. Red Arse says:

    A Surrey of Mancs ………… excellent! 🙂

    A huddle of bloggers?

    A wisdom of bloggers?

    A lollop of bloggers?

  194. Red Arse says:

    A constipation of bloggers?

  195. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A Regiment of Gunners
    Bit obvious

  196. Red Arse says:


    A good looking bunch? Have you met Glic and his cracked mirror, yet? 😀

  197. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In line with your group thinky model
    A cuddle of bloggers

  198. Red Arse says:

    Having digested Rasp’s dictionary of collective nouns fro birds, the one that has been niggling at the forefront of my memory, among some lovely words is “herd”.

    A herd of swans? How strange sounding – how inelegant for beautiful creatures.
    A herd of wrens? What a noun for those tiny sweet little critturs.

    Whoever coined that term is a herd of bollix!

  199. Big Raddy says:

    A Slick of MC fans

    A Court of Liverpool fans

    Gooners? Surely, an Armoury

  200. Red Arse says:

    You are a semi-plagiarist Micky!

    You pinched my ‘huddle’ and cuddled it. Next Raddy will suggest a ‘muddle’ and heaven knows where Chas will take it!!

    But I do like ‘cuddle’! 😀

  201. Red Arse says:

    An [oily] slick of MC fans — I like that Raddy! 🙂

  202. glic says:

    A load of Bollocks ? hahaha

  203. Red Arse says:

    Or in some cases, according to VCC, “a little of bollocks”! 🙂

  204. Rasp says:

    OK folks time to welcome the 62nd writer to the ranks of AA….

    … New post …..

  205. chipper30 says:

    If I may give my 2cts:
    I’ve been reading this blog for a long time now, and this seems a very adequate moment for my first comment.

    One problem I see with RA’s suggestion is to “quantify” each voice: How do you create a collective opinion? It is hard to know how many, not unlike me, quiet Arsenal fans there are around the world.

    While I can’t be entirely happy with Arsenal’s results in the last years, this doesn’t mean that I feel the need to express my voice and expect a professional like Arsene Wenger to listen to it.
    I am still glad to be an Arsenal’s fan and not a City one for example. We have a different way to work, and I believe a different way to measure success. We have not had silverware for years, but we have a more “fair” or “classy” approach to building a team and I enjoy that.

    So by giving power to the bloggers, you may just be giving power to the loudest. And it is natural to believe that one is usually louder when unhappy . So what you are offering is to change from a “monarchy” type where a manager rules, to a “democracy” where the common voice rules.

    But how do you assure that everyone gets a vote? You may just end up with a “Aristocracy” (or Kratocracy) where the unhappiest, loudest get a vote to go against the current ruler.
    Until he quits because he can’t do his job, is replaced by someone that the “crowd” has elected and a new form of unhappy voice comes out to impeach him as well.
    You may just end up with a long time of undecisions and anarchy.

    I’m not saying that fans, or bloggers for that matter, should be ignored. But professionals are often professionals because that’s what they do the best. It’s their job, and in Arsene’s case probably his life too.

    I’m a fan, that’s my part, I support my team, I may not always agree, and I am certainly not always satisfied and often disappointed. But I certainly don’t think it’s my place to tell someone like Wenger how he could do his job better. I would hate it if he told me how to do mine, and I’m actually sure he would be better at my job than me at his.

    I also want to point that what is often described as “the fans” on blogs or TV annoys me profoundly. Who defines what a “fan” is? Those in the stadium? those bringing money to the club through merchandise? those watching each game on TV?
    I’m not happy at not being counted as a fan just because I am actually more satisfied with the way this club is run than the way others, more “successful”, are, and because I do not express my voice more loudly in stadiums or blogs.

    If we create a “democratic” way to run a club, either as a common vote, or as a regular election, we may have a president who is more thinking about his next re-election without thinking about debt (sounds familiar?). I’d rather have a boss who can think long-term. It’s a football club, not a country.

    Anyway! Looks like my 2 cts became longer than expected! So I will cut off now by adding a big thanks to all the contributors on this blog who I have quietly followed for months now and I enjoy reading almost all posts. I hope my comment will not be understood as a complaint that bloggers are too loud 😉 but rather to keep in mind that more passive fans like me should not be counted out nor forgotten in opinions nor decisions.

    Long live Arsenal!

  206. Austin says:

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.

  207. Jamal says:

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I am having problems with your RSS.
    I don’t know why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having
    similar RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond?

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