Six Irritating Things About Arsenal

I normally try to be upbeat on a Monday, but after Saturday’s humiliating exit from the FA Cup I am lost for words.

The performance wasn’t even that bad (if you don’t believe we have been much, much worse this season then you should cast your mind back to the games where we were losing without even having an attempt on goal until after the 90th minute). We were unlucky; their ‘keeper made some great saves; they only had one attack yadda yadda yadda.

It was the grim predictability of it all that made it so depressing. Not predictable in the sense that many of us predicted we would lose; but in the sense that none of us are surprised that we did.

So in the spirit of general gloominess I would like to have a moan about some of our team’s habits. I am not out to slaughter them as players – I quite like most of them – but they have certain traits that are annoying on a regular basis and particularly so after a loss like Saturday’s.

  • Ollie Giroud:  Flicking Annoying: Clever flicks are part of OG’s game and they have led to him setting up some fine goals for his team mates this year. But someone needs to tell him that you don’t have to do the first-touch-flick EVERY time the ball comes to you with your back to goal. Against Rovers Ollie tried flicks with his first touch on every such occasion. None of them came off. Granted, it is difficult with two or three defenders up your jaxey, in which case he should have varied his repertoire by holding up the ball from time to time, taking extra touches and playing it back out to the support players if nothing more progressive was on. The coaches should sit him down with videos of Alan Smith in his prime (the Arsenal Alan Smith, that is, not the little toe-rag from Leeds).
  • Backed Into A Corner: I watch every Arsenal game. I have never seen any team from any division or any country (or gender, including trans-sexuals) take corner kicks as consistently badly as we do. And this is not new. It is a problem we have had for at least three or four years. What’s mystifying about it is that we pride ourselves on having technically gifted players. Well, where are all their technical gifts when it comes to kicking a dead ball about 37 yards into the opposition six yard box? Now, I know it’s a skill that may not be valued at Arsenal because even if they did put in perfect crosses there would traditionally be no-one there to meet them, but even so. I would love a journalist to ask Arsene Wenger or Steve Bould why our corner-taking is so abysmal.
  • Szczesny: The Gift That Keeps Giving: A week ago against Sunderland our young Pole in Goal pulled off a string of top saves to help secure the three points. On Saturday he parried a catchable shot (Seaman, Lehmann or Jennings would surely have held it) into the path of an opponent who duly scored (albeit with a ridiculously lucky shank). And that sums up Szcz. One week brilliant, the next making mistakes that cost points – or lead to us exiting a cup competition.  I love his confidence and personality; I admire his passion but I really, really want him to start cutting out the avoidable errors.
  • There’s No “I” In “Teamwork”: …but there is an “Ork,” not that has anything to do with anything. My point about teamwork is that some of our younger players seem to feel that when they get a chance in the team their best way of impressing the manager and supporters is to go for personal glory. This usually manifests itself by taking on near-impossible shots, attempting ridiculously ambitious dribbles and generally hogging the ball when better options are available. It has been a characteristic of Aaron Ramsey’s play at times – and it is noticeable how much better he has become since simplifying his game – and now Oxlade-Chamberlain is caught in the same trap. In a generally energetic performance against Blackburn he too often tried the more difficult “Hollywood moves” when simpler, better options were available – what you might call “Holyhead moves”. In the old days Tony Adams would have pinned him up against the wall after the game. Even if we don’t have to go that far, someone should have a word…
  • Diaby Or Not Diaby – That Is The Question: I thought Diaby was poor against Blackburn. He had plenty of the ball, but too often seemed to slow the moves down or lose possession too easily. I honestly don’t know what to make of him. Against Liverpool early in the season he was unplayable – as good a midfield performance as I’ve seen from an Arsenal player whose first name did not begin with Cesc or Patrick. But at the weekend he seemed to not quite be anything: not a defensive midfielder (played too far forward); not a creative playmaker (he was too slow of thought and foot); not a “water carrier” (he spilled it). Maybe he’s still playing himself back into form after the latest injury or maybe being up against a park-the-bus team didn’t suit him, but if he is the phenomenon that we have been led to believe then he needs to start taking control of games like Saturday’s.
  • Sub Standard: I can’t help feeling that if our manager had not made three midfield substitutions at once we would still be in the cup.  We completely changed our midfield and within seconds, when Blackburn attacked, there was no midfield cover. Kazim-Richards was unmarked and unchallenged when Szczesny palmed the ball out to him. I have no doubt this was due to the confusion caused by the triple substitution. Sorry Arsene – that was a piece of really bad management.

OK, that’s my moan over. On the up side I still don’t feel we are a bad team, I still feel we can knock out Munich and I still expect a top four finish in the league.

Hopeless dreamer? Perhaps. Time will tell.


160 Responses to Six Irritating Things About Arsenal

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky …. only six? 😕

    I wouldn’t know where to start with my list at this time, but I’ll kick off with the PR which is quite simply appalling

  2. Manthan says:

    Great Post..
    About Olie it was a bad day for him can’t complaint every player has… Corners i do agree we never look therating.. I think we are taking corners for formality :D… Scez should have save that shot I agree with you he is not consitent… Please no daiby next season arsene should release him he is playing very slow as he is scared of picking up the injury…… 1 point noone has mentioned is about Monreal and Gerbv shot… Gerv should have put us 1-0 up he was clear through he could’nt finish… I thought he might have got improved after afcon but he is still the same very very poor finishin and same goes for monreal two very bad finishing…

  3. Manthan says:

    Chambrelin wanted to be in first team as this year there are very less match time he has got so he is going for glory but he is young and will approve as time will pass… Gerv should be sold next year any toughts??? he is not good for english football….

  4. Ozzie says:

    no “i” in teamwork…& no “f” in trophy either!…

  5. Obez says:

    I’m sorry but I’ve absolutely had enough of Arsene Wenger! He’s taken Arsenal as far as he can.
    He had the Invincibles….and then disbanded them in space of a couple of years for absolutely no reason whatsoever!!
    He started a stupid children’s policy with no adult to guide them and his fingered firmly stuck in his ears….as a result, we totally blew the next 5 / 6 years!
    He never always buys the right number of quality players and relies too much on numerous DUFFERS he’s bought over the years, as such opportunities of turning nearly-there-Arsenal-teams into winners go completely begging and the team disbands as folks bail out!
    He’s finally turned us into a Nursery school for breeding talent before we send them of to the main schools.

    The Arsenal Board who are a toothless bunch of accounting Gnomes have done absolutely nothing over the years as they have always been completely satisfied with the 4th Place trophies Wenger delivers to them.
    Well as a fan….This is simply not good enough!!


  6. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, and good morning to you, (when the sun reaches Canada!!) 🙂

    What a gifted writer of easily absorbed prose, and a high class football analyst you are!

    Rather than being a stilted match report, it was a fascinating insight into one fan’s take on incidental, though crucial, aspects of the game, and made all the more so by the randomness of the subject matter.

    That said, I am going to put an unsightly footprint, or two, on the pristine white snow fall of your conclusions, and demur at your uncertainty as to the worth of Diaby.

    I watched the game with some anxiety from the start, having forecast that these games have frequently ended in tears for us, so, through gritted teeth, I became more and more frustrated by the whole sorry performance, which was leavened only by one or two cameo moves worthy of the Arsenal.

    Against that background, Diaby was generally as apathetic as his team mates, but he still managed a couple of beautiful defence splitting passes against the massed ranks of the Blackburn defence, only for no one to capitalize on them. Can that be his fault?
    It would also be unfair to cast doubts on his defensive talents, as they were hardly needed in the circumstances of that game.

    Adding to my general admiration of the Rock-a-doodle enigma, can I add that your positivity as regards the CL and our finishing in the EPL top four shames me – as I do not see either of those things happening.

    [I am still seething at having an unspecified opinion rubbished as ‘nonsense’, with no explanation offered, on Saturday, so, if the opinions expressed above do not meet with the judgemental standards of the person concerned, can they keep it to themselves, please!]

  7. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Nice post
    The problems with our corner taking is easy to work out.
    Last season RVP took 90% of corners and most of them were spot on .
    And we have not had a decent keeper since Lehman he keeps buying Eastern block keepers why,has he a deal with an agent over there.

  8. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Good shout OBEZ I’m with u on that post
    Much love

  9. Rasp says:

    Morning Redders …. I’m sorry I didn’t read the exchanges you refer to in …….. “[I am still seething at having an unspecified opinion rubbished as ‘nonsense’, with no explanation offered, on Saturday, so, if the opinions expressed above do not meet with the judgemental standards of the person concerned, can they keep it to themselves, please!]” … can you give me the background please?

  10. kgooner says:

    Haven’t read the post, but i’ll come to it later. AM at the office and my attention is all over the place. I appreciate the post Rocky.

    Bayern Muchen going down! Lots we could all moan about, but one thing this team has been doing recently, is comebacks from woeful defeats. I expect the Baverians to suffer the wrath of our loss to Blackburn!

  11. Obez says:

    Beating Bayern over 2 legs is highly unlikely to say the least!

    I’m sorry but supporting our team doesn’t mean sticking our heads in the sand……….Arsenal are simply not good enough!

  12. kgooner says:

    @Obez we don’t have to beat them in both legs. Just win by a margin at home, and defend well away. I think supporting a team is like a child. Its yours and you accept it as it is. All through.

  13. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    I’m beginning to think that the Arsenal hierarchy actually do reside in Cloud Cuckoo Land. It must be obvious to all of them from the Chairman, the majority share owner, Wenger right down to the stadium cat that winning the Champions League is beyond the capabilities of our present squad. Why then did the manager put out a weakened side against Rovers when everybody knew that the FA Cup was our only chance of a trophy this season.

    The players are castigated for not taking the match seriously enough, what do we expect when the manager, by playing a weakened team, effectively says to them, this game isn’t very important.

    Am I wrong?

  14. Norfolk Gooner says:


    Sorry but I disagree, the child may be yours but you still try to educate it and help it develop.

  15. Obez says:

    @Norfolk Gooner

    Completely agree!


    I specifically referred to winning over both legs overall as there is always the possibility of AFC fluking one of the legs perhaps at home but over both legs…….highly uinlikely

  16. Red Arse says:

    I read through yesterday’s comments this morning, and was much taken by the correspondence between Shard and vp.

    In many ways it encapsulated the dichotomy between the two main camps of the Arsenal football fan base.

    On the one hand there was the emotive, passionate and trophy focussed arguments of vp, which relied to some extent on ‘filling in the spaces’ when referring to the motives and roles of the main players/antagonists in the Arsenal management hierarchy, whilst on the other, the cool, logical, analytical but no doubt equally passionate approach of Shard who eschewed relying on unprovable ‘facts’ concerning management motives and relied instead on evidence publicly available through statutory financial accounts, as well as known economic realities.

    Leaving aside the ‘niceties’ of their arguments, both, in their respective lights, are right, of course!

    There is no shame in wanting your club to win trophies, although others will say that simply supporting the team, and enjoying its brand of football, however unsuccessful that may be, is the most important issue and should be sufficient unto itself.

    In essence, the two are not mutually exclusive.

    You see, there is a deep pride, for many, in loyally supporting a club which has a special ethos, and puts at the forefront of its existence, a policy safeguarding its future longevity by carefully nurturing its financial stability through football generated revenues, while aiming to achieve on field success by these sustainable means.

    I repeat – both views are right – and are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

    Well done Shard and vp for encapsulating this! 🙂

  17. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasp, 🙂

    Your 10:04.

    It is only important to me — and the other person knows!

  18. Agree that Giroud is somewhat of an enigma at the minute. Unfortunately Diaby hasn’t regained his form from the start of the season too. Much needed rant though, and much much-needed spirit lifting if you need it over @

  19. SmartArse says:

    Top post.

    So it’s that time of year again chaps..the buds are poking through the ground , the earth is now starting to orbit closer to the sun again…. Which means one thing….we are getting knocked out of every competition we are in.

  20. Obez says:


    I haven’t abandoned AFC which is why I’m here venting a bit!


    As a father, I always want my child to do well and will consistently and doggedly pursue this objective.

    This son of mine AFC used to do well in class but for the last 8 years has been doing relatively badly.

    It is clear to all that the teaching methods of the teacher si the cause of this but unfortunately the school’s Governing Board are do not have enough bottle to do something about it!

    So, should I just accept it and be happy with mediocrity?

    Hell NO!

    We should never give up on our children but should do all we can to ensure we right the wrongs.

    Some of us have more influence on issues / events than others but in this case, People Power is the only way I see as of now…….

  21. Obez says:

    @Red Arse

    You must be a mediator in your professional life!


    Would be nice though to actually have your own opinion on the continuing demise of AFC at some point………

  22. dandan says:

    Morning Redders my we are a sensitive soul this morning, should you check back to Saturdays blog you will find I apologised in advance for making the nonsense remark, but obviously not enough
    I did not see your reply as I have more pressing things in my world than Arsenal at present and so only visit occasionally . .

    So enjoy your blogging Redders ignore irritants like me who fail to see the crisis that appears nailed on to so many folks, whilst I as I have always done will try to live by the Serenity Prayer “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.
    which I was delighted to see quoted by a blogger elsewhere in respect of the Arsenal fans yesterday.

    So on to the Germans and hopefully a win to boost the flagging spirits of suffering gooners everywhere and once again sorry if I came across as less than polite on Saturday

  23. I dont know anytime a team loses a match, we keep on hiting at d coach, wat did u expect wenger to do on saturday that were not done, was he d one dat ask gervinho to missed dat clear chance. Pls, let us not throw away a baby with d bath water, let give him d maximum support. God bless you all, happy gunners happy day. I wish u all d best.

  24. Obez says:


    He bought Gervinho……and all the other players come to think of it!

    No one ‘made’ him do it!

    The tactics are errrrrr…..all his own!

    Shock horror!

    The coaches are errrrr……all his choices!!

    Therefore without stretching logic or the supposition too much, THE FAULT IS HIS!!!

  25. Rob Lucchi says:

    wow Rocky, i’ve never seen you this mad! 🙂

  26. Big Raddy says:

    “including trans-sexuals”

    “the gift that keeps giving”

    Once again RL makes me LOL. Thank you

    I support AW but do not want him to sign another contract. There comes a time when age atrophies.

    For the Great Man’s health (and AW is a great man who will be remembered as AFC’s best ever manager), I hope he retires in 2014.

  27. Red Arse says:

    Hi Obez, 🙂

    Your 10:42

    No I do not have the skills to be a mediator, and you will often see me in the thick of things — can you believe it, some even think I am very self opinionated!! 😀

    I saw you letting off steam earlier, and this is a good place to do it!

    Everyone is very down after Saturday, with the realisation that our season, in trophy terms, is effectively over.

    Obviously if we thrash Bayern tomorrow – the sun will shine once again — and piggies will fly!! 🙂

  28. dandan says:

    Mickey Am returning to Devon Hotel 26/27/28 depending on circumstances will give you a shout. Cheers

  29. Obez says:

    @ Red Arse


    Good one matey!

  30. kelsey says:

    Thanks Rocky.

    I was actually going to write a post on similar lines about the pros and cons of the first team squad.
    Anyway there is still a lot of gossip/rumour call it what you will that Wenger has taken away the responsibility away from Bould re the defensive coaching and though the stats say we haven’t actually got a bad record this season in conceding goals a huge amount of them have been directly scored by unforced errors by our own players.
    The Daily Mail ( I know) says our Pole was slated by Wenger after the game yet one doesn’t ever hear such damming reporting when hart or reina make much bigger clangers. We were in for Schwarzer the season before this so one can assume that a mentor for Szsney was required but nothing has been done.
    I thought Rosicky was just putting his stamp on the game when he was subbed.I accept he has played little football since early june and his past history but why take him off ?
    Diaby is not the Diaby of old that we unfortunately haven’t seen too often and IMO his thrust has gone.
    We all know gibbs is injury prone yet like him or not Wenger releases Santos who was getting a lot of stick from the crowd and now we have no natural left back.
    The biggest worry for me is vermaelen (I am in no way blaming him for the goal) but he is going backwards at a rapid rate, or has he got other things on his mind.
    Corners, well we have a dreadful record something like 2 goals in over 200 corners,surely that can be taught.
    The OX is disappointing to some but he has time and if we had a stronger squad he would not have the burden of expectation when he plays.
    Gervinho will never cut it at Arsenal for that i am sure.
    giroud and Podolski need assessing at the end of the season but I would like to see more power shooting especially from podolski (did you see 2 of Wigan’s goals,that’s real finishing)
    Having said all that I can’t see Wenger changing his game plan ever, and that is a big worry to me.

  31. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, an interesting piece Rocky, in that win up at Anfield when Diaby was so magnificent my post match report not only focussed on the scintillating football we played but also on the fact that there were still things we could do better and now was the time to do that (point 1 on my list was finding Row Z when necessary).

    One of my irks with this seasons team is they can go two or three games putting wins on the table and then blow up in an unexplained way the next. Those little foibles you highlight are those little things that are much easier to correct when winning than losing, and would hopefully prevent the troublesome defeats.

    On Szczesny I agree he has to knock these errors out of his game, but we all need to remind ourselves they will happen, to any keeper but especially a young one. Joe Hart at 25 has made several this season and he is three seasons ahead of TPIG.

    Just checked the club website and see no mention of a new contract being offered to Arsene, has he ever signed one with more than a year remaining? The contradiction between the following continues to make me scratch my head:

    Gazidis says time for a change in wage structure
    Arsene won’t change wage structure
    BoD have made money available to spend
    Arsene won’t spend it
    Fan opinion on Wenger is at an all time low
    Wenger has too much control

    So the BoD who can quite happily let his contract run down or sack him as he has not carried out their wishes and fans have given up decide instead to offer him a 2 year extension…..yeah that makes complete sense to me.

    If you believe that they have offered him a contract, you have to stop believing that he has not been spending the money made available to him or restructuring the wage bill like Gazidis wants.

  32. Gooner In Exile says:

    And just to be sure Wenger has 0 shares in Arsenal plc and has no voting power on the Board level decisions, he hasn’t got the power to write his own contract.

    Does anyone really believe that given money to spend (and I mean enough to actually change the squad) like City and Chelsea that he wouldn’t do it? Out of some egotistical desire to win things only with a team that has developed organically rather than bought?

    I just don’t buy that, Wenger is a winner (in my opinion) who would jump at the chance to do it, or to have kept the likes of Nasri, Cesc and RvP if he was allowed to meet their wage demands.

  33. Merseforever says:


    I don’t think it’s not winning trophies that causes the anger (apart from the JCL’s and plastics who think supporting a club is only about the glory). I think it’s because there is a wide perception and feeling that the club hasn’t put its best foot forward in trying to win trophies but has instead pursued much more corporate aims. At least that is my misunderstanding of the anger, and I’m sure some on here would agree that this is the reason why the club is disappointing them.

    If I thought the club was making its best efforts to achieve success on the pitch and then coming up short, I would of course be dissapointed that we couldn’t win. but I wouldn’t be angry at the club. Look at the years 1998-2002. Didn’t win anything in those times, but I always felt the club was going all guns blazing towards trying to achieve something.

    On a side note, I think I’ve just about recovered from Elland road and villa park from 1999. Possibly the most depressed I’ve ever been as an arsenal supporter. Anyone here feel the same?

  34. Bryan says:

    Hi All,
    Rocky agree with most of your views on this one, especially the last bit about bad management.
    I felt those substititions should of come with half an hour left & not 20 mins & not when we were finally knocking on the door & gaining momentum that the substitutions completely destroyed it makes it even more annoying & as you said they scored straight after the changes were made.
    Also I feel we should of played our strongest side from the start, I don’t care that we have a CL game on Tues against Bayern because in all honesty I give us absolutely no chance over 2 legs against them & even if the impossible happens & we do knock them out, I give us no chance of winning the competition. But we did have a chance of winning the FA Cup, although probably slim because we would have to meet a top team sooner or later in it.
    I am angry with Wenger, he keeps on making these stupid mistakes, although I think he has achieved miracles getting us into CL place each year while only being allowed to spend tupence on players & sell our best players for millions to please & make the ambitiousless board richer.
    As for corners I think you are being more than generous saying for the last 3 or 4 years, how about the last 8 years & it still really annoys me the other way round that we don’t leave Theo in centre spot when teams have corners against us meaning they have to keep 2 defenders back, utter madness.
    I support Wenger & I didn’t boo him but sadly if we do not get a CL place this year, I think he has to go, the buck stops with him, he decided not to buy other than a forced upon him left back purchase.
    Ideally the whole board would go too, they totally lack ambition to move this club on. I would let the fat Russion bloke on the board too because at least he talks with love & ambition for the club, even if he is bullshitting, were used to that from the rest of them, so what difference will it make. & as for silent Stan, wished he would sod off, if you can say that knowing that he has only managed to watch the team live twice.
    Enough is enough, start treating your fans with the respect they deserve Arsenal board & not with contempt.
    OK theres my rave over too 😉

  35. Red Arse says:

    Hi GIE and Kelsey Hairy one, 🙂

    Don’t you both get the feeling that we are like footballing dogs, just chewing over the same old bones?

    Actually, hold on, isn’t that why we are all addicted to blogging? 🙂

    The subject matter of your comments is symptomatic of the problem all Arsenal fans are faced with, bloggers or not, we just do not know the provenance of the ‘rumours’ or the ‘facts’ that we chew over day after day.

    Rasp was saying, earlier, that if it was true that AW had been offered a 2 year contract extension, considering the disappointing/devastating result on Saturday, it was a monumental cock up by the PR department to announce such a thing for a manager who was roundly boo-ed by a number of fans on Saturday.

    “If” is the key word in that supposition.

    When it is used to introduce a conditional clause, it should always be treated with caution — but once the supposition is out there in the big, bad world it has tremendous power to do damage — even if untrue.

  36. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    GiE, your a champion. Your comments are spot on.
    Hats off mate.

    Kelsey, Steve Bould was brought in as an assistant manager, NOT a defensive coach.

    Rocky, great read thanks

  37. Manthan says:

    People here who wants #WENGEROUT… I think board tells he has money to spend but i guess they are faking… As sumome told arsene have no power over board system… A man who has build a history in Highbury Why he will sell his best players its not because arsene dont wanna buy its because of board who are unwilling to spend… Still #IN ARSENE I TRUST… I bet you if we get new manager we wont qualify for CL even… Still till date realmadrid and PSG are behind him…. He is genuis//////

  38. Red Arse says:


    I cannot speak for other fans because there is not a single beef that everyone agrees with.

    As I have said previously there are many, many shades of opinion, but underlying many of the complaints we see on AA is the hackneyed old ‘we haven’t won anything for 8 years’.
    That, with supporting although often conflicting reasons seems to be the moan that holds sway.

    Anyone who says he knows the definitive reason why Arsenal have struggled to win trophies is either a liar or terminally stupid, and I would prefer not to be seen as either.

    However, one of the incontrovertible ‘facts’ everyone can see for themselves, without the club’s PR guys putting their spin on it, is that we have slowly but steadily declined in terms of the player quality we have brought into the team compared with those who have left.

    And with that decline there is the inevitable effect on trophies or even the chance of challenging for trophies.

    Lets look at that in its totality over the last few years, rather than quarrel about specific players.

    Out: Adebarndoor, Gallas, Cesc, Nasri, Clichy, Van Perse.

    Ins: Squillaci, Chamakh, Gervinho, Santos, Giro, Mert, Arteta, Cazza, Vermalaen, Pod, Oxo.

    Now despite not liking some of the ‘Outs’ they were all top quality players, while only about 3 of the ‘Ins’ are top quality (ish).

    While if we go back to: Bergkamp, Viera, Pires, Henry, Campbell, Seaman etc etc, there is no comparison.

    That is where the problem is.

    That is only an opinion — of course!!

  39. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I’m not willing to wait another 8 years for a trophy I’m getting older and getting sick of waiting for a trophy.
    Football is a game were you try to win and we have not won anything again,we won’t win the CL unless we are all psychotic.

    He done all he can and I’d like to thank him for that,but we need a change in management .

  40. Janman says:

    Rocky, Nice post. One key point missed…..inability to defend set pieces + man to man marking versus zonal marking…so much work required in this area! Briefly back to the sad display against Blackburn, some folks want to put it down to a bad day at the office, I would concur with that if it was not for the fact that there has been far too many bad days at the office lately! Again, I am not in the Wenger out corner, the owner and/or BOD has to give him the tools that he needs to achieve success but I do believe he has taken us as far as he can and regretfully it is time for change.

  41. Janman says:

    Sheep Hagger. I am honestly not so concerned about the 8 year thing and no trophies. I am more concerned about the inability to recognize the shortfalls, identify the problem areas and take corrective action, the lack of response to those factors is my concern. If these factors were dealt with it would not be long before the odd trophy came along here and there.

  42. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    He has lost the plot AW it’s to bad as it Is every season .
    He’s the team manager so the buck stops with him and he’s not good enough.

  43. Janman says:

    Sheep Hagger. Someone said in an earlier comment that we should not always be looking for someone to blame and just accept that the team were shite on the day. I cannot concur with that at all. AFC is a business as much as it is a football club and therefore someone has to be held responsible and accountable when things are going wrong. If I took that attitude within my company I would have been out of business years ago. I repeat, analize the issues and fix them!

  44. Bryan says:

    I agree with you, it is being capable of challenging for a trophy more than it is winning it.
    Of course I want us to win one eventually as the end goal has to be that but most importantly it is having a team good enough to challenge, something we have clearly not had for a long time & the board has showed no ambition at all to change this.
    On top of that the odesity of telling us such crap as 4th place is a trophy, only expresses their lack of ambition even more, we should always be aiming for 1st place in everything we do, but quite clearly we do not

  45. Big Raddy says:

    Janman. We are dealing with human beings not robots. They have bad days.

    Why have we been so inconsistent? Well, the fact that Arsenal lead the League in individual errors which lead to goals is an indicator.

    If you assess AFC as a business (you may – I don’t) they are incredibly successful. Why sack someone who continually creates profit?

  46. RockyLives says:

    Hello All and thanks for the comments – some really good insight and discussion today about what it means to be an Arsenal fan.

    My irritations are exactly that – irritations. But they come to the surface when things go badly, as they did on Saturday.

    I’m afraid I’m not around until much later but I will enjoy reading all the new comments then.

    Oh, and we’re going to be beat Munch 2-0 tomorrow.

  47. slime says:

    The level of performance we are getting from our ‘reserve’ players is one of my irritations. If you look at the calibre of player on the bench during the Invincibles team they were not as talented as some of this bunch, yet they were able to cover when needed. I think it comes down to 2 things:

    1) players like Vieira, DB10, Campbell etc would not allow a sub standard performance from a reserve player. They would talk them through games and make sure they were only doing the things that they were capable of.

    2) the players coming in knew that they had to up their performance. They were coming into a team on a great run and wouldn’t want to let the team down. There was an atmosphere of invincibility which rubbed off on a players.

    The other issue is injuries. Very rarely during that run did we need to rely on lots of changes in games due to players missing. Now it seems we are unable to play the same 11 for more than 2 games at a time.

  48. goonerjake says:

    Fantastic post Rocky
    Some good and well informed comments from everyone else even though I don’t necessarilyt agree with them all.
    However I’m worried. Massive game tomorrow and no one seems excited. Come on let’s not let the media talksport robson and people loke morgen brinf us down. To quote dell boy how about abit of pmt positive mental atitude. Together .

  49. Janman says:

    Hello Big Raddy, Not suggesting they are robots! They are however highly trained fine tuned athletes that earn huge amounts of money to do the job they are paid for. My business comparison is simply that in business, when short falls are identified you fix them. Within that aspect there is no difference to how AFC should be run, you identify the problems and fix them. Are you suggesting there are no shortfalls or that the club are not aware of these shortfalls?

  50. Janman says:

    Big Raddy. One more thing, I have never said sack Wenger. What I have said is that I believe he has taken us as far as he can!

  51. Bryan says:

    Excited, I’m going to enjoy the game whatever tomorrow, I am expecting us to lose, so anything else we get is a bonus.
    Rocky’s 2-0 prediction would be fantastic but even if we manage not to concede (very unlikey) & do win 2-0, i still think they could turn it round at their place. Sadly as I stated earlier I give us no chance & unless there are changes at Arsenal soon believe it may be our last home game in the CL for some time

  52. Big Raddy says:

    Janman 2.14 😀

    You are right. Identify the problem and rectify it. But what if the problem is not so simple. We have 11 players and can lose if just one of them mis-performs. How do you solve that?

    Wenger is trying:-

    Santos is not doing well …. sign Monreal.

    Problems in the centre? ….. sign BFG

    Theo won’t sign? ….. PR goes into overtime about Zaha

    Arshavin not peforming?….. sign Podolski.

    To be quite honest, I am fearful for the future at AFC. I cannot recall a more negative attitude from the fans, and that has a direct effect upon the team. Yes, there are problems but I don’t think there is a simple solution.

  53. Bryan says:

    Big raddy, where have you been if you haven’t heard the 4th place is a trophy one, Mr Wenger himself told us that.
    I personelly would like to see the board go & I mean all of them.
    It is no surprise to me that since David Dein went we have not won anything, coincedence, I think not
    The reason we are in the state we are now is because we sell our best players every single season then replace them with averageness. It is obvious that you then become weaker & weaker as seasons go by.
    I believe that Wenger is given no support as the board constantly let him take the blame, with crap statements like, the money is there if he wants to spend it.
    It also is obvious that if you want to keep the best players you need to pay them best players wages.
    If you have read my posts before, I have banged on about the board & the transfer policy of our club over & over again.

  54. Big Raddy says:


    I am not looking for an argument, just presenting the other side of the coin.

  55. Bryan says:

    Big raddy
    I’m not arguing with you either lol you asked the question & I answered you even though the bit you wrote seems to of dissapeared from my screen now, which has confused my simple brain

  56. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I noticed it had been removed the 2-18 post
    It’s easy wat I want BR is a new manger

  57. slime says:


    If only football was so easy! How can you fix a dive, a bad ref decision, a slip?

    You can only fix so much at a football club using business, but you can’t fix it where it matters, on the field.

    You can think you are buying the perfect players, but as you said yourself yesterday, you don’t know how a player will perform for a club until he is on the pitch week in, week out.

    Business can’t solve that.

  58. Bryan says:

    Yep but you can certainly know when you have bought a useless player, like Gervinho so you don’t play him & sell him when you get the chance 😉

  59. Bayonne Jean says:

    Rocky, couldn’t agree more re AW’s awful subbing. When was the last time you saw a manager make ALL subs SIMULTANEOUSLY in a match that was still in the balance against moribund opposition? You stagger the subs so the individual can work into the match. It was clear earlier that some players were off the boil (OG; Ox; Diaby). Also, as the match wore on, the all too frequently seen at the Emirates opposition rope-a-dope strategy was working, with Arsenal falling into the tippy-tappy trap. What was needed was upping the tempo and have players moving with off the ball runs to get behind the defense. Put on Theo at 55 for Gervinho with orders to get out wide and run at the defense (and it would have been for OG if Gerv hadn’t fluffed his lines in the first half and his body language was showing he’d checked out ) Then Wilshere on for Diaby at 65 to really get moving, and if needed, put Santi on for Ox later if the defense still needed unlocking.

    And Theo is catching stick for not getting back to defend. Come on! He’s just on the pitch for less than a minute, nothing’s sorted out with three subs, and he, Jack and Santi were likely instructed to pick it up, get forward, and spare the side from enduring a replay….

    As for corners: how about some variety? If you know that your long range corner kicks are futile exercises, go with more frequency to the quick short corner. Barcelona do this all the time; they know it’s a weak point in their arsenal, so they adapt….

  60. Bryan says:

    Think we really do need to sign a more experienced keeper too, love Szczesny but think he is not mature enough & needs to be 2nd choice, keepers get better once past 25, Berkovic would be my choice, he has everything, he looks big in the goal & commands the box, looks like a world class keeper to me

  61. slime says:


    Like when RvP was injured all the time!?

    Works both ways, which makes it a very difficult job, and one worthy of 6m a year (apparently!).

  62. Red Arse says:


    You said you did not think Arsenal was not a business entity — what is it then?

    Presumably you do not think it is a social or sports club – or do you? 🙂

  63. tomstoned says:

    Good post Rocky
    ive been negative for a long time,but always realizing that most of The Arsenals shortcomings in this period was down to the move to Emirates,..still it felt like we was dwindling downward in a fast pace,and panic buys like park etc…just improved the feeling of desperation,..
    however this summer i could see a plan,a solid plan to rebuild,the buys of podolski,cazorla,giroud,it continued with a swift reaction to gibbs injury in january(nacho) im convinced and very positive,we’re on our way to once again compeeting amongst the very best,
    to me my main concern with The Arsenal of late has been the lack of funds and a clear plan,now im more psotive than ever before because i can see that plan..
    time to get behind the team the rest of this season will be a battle and be honest i hard times where do we the Gooners stand…it shouldnt be a question at all.when Your loved ones suffer what do You do ? stand firm behind them of course..time to man up,time to show that we the Gooners are the best feckin supporters in the world…!!!!!!!!

  64. Red Arse says:


    Always helpful, I thought you might like to share Gazidis’s comments on helping A Level students with the work in the community. 🙂

    — “Ivan Gazidis, CEO of Arsenal Football Club said: “This is another example of Arsenal in the Community successfully working with partners to produce a meaningful piece of work. We hope this project will offer students the opportunity to see a dynamic business [AFC] in action and understand the operational side of a football club.”

    He needs to be told, Randy, (and me too!). 😀

  65. Red Arse says:

    Well said, Tomstoned! 🙂

  66. Bryan says:

    Yeh but he wanted the money after completing his 1st full season, has he been injured for Manure yet, no & would you still like him in our team, unless you have lost the plot I think you would answer Yes, so wasn’t the best thought out comment was it 😉

  67. Big Raddy says:

    RA. You are being mendacious. I wrote”assess” meaning the business model is not part of my appreciation of a football team.

    When fans say they want their Arsenal back they are not talking about a business (well, I don’t think so!),

    But then given your profession you probably enjoy the discussion of business models, & profit & loss.

  68. Big Raddy says:

    RA. 3.25. There’s the rub …..

    Tomstoned. Nice work.

  69. Red Arse says:


    You may already have heard the following, but it shows the dangers of taking rumours too literally. 🙂

    — “Gunners boss Arsene Wenger reacted angrily at his Press conference this morning when asked about reports of a new contract being offered to him.

    The club and its manager have come in for a barrage of criticism since Saturday`s F.A. Cup exit at the hands of Blackburn Rovers.

    The Sun and the Daily Telegraph this morning reported that the Arsenal board were set to offer Wenger a two year extension to his current deal, which ends in 2014.

    When asked about the reports in a tetchy press conference, Wenger said, “That is the wrong information. I’ve worked for 16 years in England, and I think I deserve a bit more credit than wrong information with only one intention – to cause harm.

    This is the wrong information that comes from nowhere. It is completely wrong.”

    That should make you happy! 🙂

  70. slime says:


    If you read my comment again I never mentioned how much RvP earns. I mentioned how much AW earns. The point I was making is that you say Wenger should sell Gerv cos he’s no good, but if you’d asked many a Gooner about RvP when he was injured all the time they would’ve said sell him. Like I said, it can work both ways.

  71. Red Arse says:

    Steady on, Raddy. I was genuinely curious as to what you meant

    To call me mendacious [untruthful – lying] is ridiculous!

  72. Bryan says:

    Sorry Slime I did read your comment but interpreted it as what RVP was asking for as don’t think its that clear but maybe thats me being thick 😉
    I do dissagree with you that asking any gooner about RVP 7 selling him because I can remeber a conversation I had with my friend who lives in Oz, where we both said if he could stay injury free for a whole season he would finish top scorer.
    Most of us fans can see a world class player & I would never ever of wanted us to sell RVP

  73. Bryan says:

    Tomstoned, I like your positiveness
    & I can see what your saying but I think we have already shown how patient & understanding us supporters can be but eventually something has got to give. When a family member is in trouble, yes you support them but the problem isn’t normally being caused by another or a bunch of family members (the board in this case).
    I have been incredibly patient with Wenger & have stuck up for him in heated discussions many a time but eventually you have got to see some light. I really wished I could & I will gladly be proved wrong but I can’t at the moment. & even though we have made some better signings of late not one of them are of the level that has made me think wow we just signed him (think Dennis Bergkamp) this is our club & we all love it deeply so it hurts even more to watch people from within making a total pigs ear & crippling it.

  74. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Me bad. I meant that you were choosing to view my comment in a particular light.

    Sorry for using a word which offends.

  75. Rasp says:

    Thanks Redders – it comes as no surprise …..however ….. my first comment of the day referred to our appalling PR and I stand by that statement.

    For AW and IG (and others I expect) to publicly assert that 4th place is our 3rd highest objective was a huge PR blunder .. it was WRONG in every way.

    I don’t care that they believe this in private but I care very deeply that they would give our detractors the ammunition by which to highlight our lack of confidence in our ability and to run the risk of such an uninspiring ambition getting into the minds of the players.

  76. tomstoned says:

    Bryan mate
    i understand your views and have been there myself,…but this summer things changed,,it wasnt that easy to spot,but but..from this summer we saw a clear plan..from taking a close look at our wage bill construction,..buying rock solid players..getting rid of some deadweight,..not selling walcott…tying down wilshere etc .swift reaction to gibbs injury(nacho)quality player,,its very very positive signs mate…
    in fact The Arsenal havent showed this much determination since very positive at the moment NashuaGunners..we’re moving forwards and upwards..
    c’mon Bryan…lets do what we do best mate..Be Gooners :)…the changes are ongoing and will once again lead us to the top !!..

  77. Bryan says:

    I think we are all a bit wound up with our current predicament.
    I’m sure I speak for everyone on here (after reading through haha) when I say any of my comments (yours) towards others are not meant to offend & are just out of frustration.
    Afterall we are all brothers in Arms 😀

    OK thats my diplomat bit out the way 😉

  78. Bryan says:

    Yeh again I get you Tombstoned but the sadest thing about that is when they finally make an effort to keep there best players, the players they managed to keep aren’t on the same level as the ones we have already lost ie Cesc & RVP as much as I like Theo

  79. tomstoned says:

    im sorry Bryan was answering a post at the HH at the same time and got confused mate…darn im getting old ;)…so You and NashuaGunners became one…silly mistake wont happen again Bryan…

  80. Red Arse says:

    Pleased that it was a misunderstanding, Raddy, as that would have meant the permanent end of my AA blogging. No loss you might say.

    You have already answered my question regarding whether or not Arsenal is a business, and I have already explained that I was curious in a light-hearted way — see smileys @ 3:18 and 3:25.

    i am mystified as to the cause, but you and Dandan seem to have had enough of me, and the feeling is beginning to feel mutual frankly.

  81. tomstoned says:

    i would tend to disagree Bryan…Wilshere is better than both cesc and rvp..cazorla ??..but look to the future Bryan dont get carried away holding on to the past…we’re on our way..
    im sure you do see a big difference in The Arsenals approach..
    why did it take so long ?,could it be handled in a better way?whos to blame?..all interesting questions Bryan..but you can never change the past mate..but we can change the future :)stay positive !!

  82. Bryan says:

    We all become one on matchday so no problem at all Mr Tombstoned 😀

  83. Red Arse says:


    I am as one with you on the PR aspect, the paucity of the information we get and its ambiguous and sometimes misleading nature leave much to be desired, and like you I have been saying so for some years. (on other blogs I frequent).

    Again it is an old bone to chew, and I do not wish to leave myself exposed for yet more ‘nonsense’ remarks, so I had better leave it at that.

  84. Bryan says:

    Wilshire looks like he is going to be a absolute world beater but Wilshire is at the start of his career at Arsenal, if he is still here in 5 years time then we can say that. Cesc & RVP are better than him, he may become better than them both but only time will tell.
    Yes we have signed a few better players of late, I will not argue with that, I may say that they have had to bow to pressure because that is my belief but again they have to raise the bar higher still for me as as sad as it is, football has changed alot & you have got to spend big to challenge, of that their is no doubt

  85. Bryan says:

    that was in reply to you Tombstoned 😉

  86. slime says:

    I’m with Tomstoned in that I feel there has been a definite change in policy at the club in recent years when it comes to transfers. I am not quite so sure we have seen the change needed in the wage structure as yet, but maybe the Theo contract and a few big signings will change that.

    I am 100% sure that the actions of Nasri, RvP and Cesc has set the clubs, and Wengers, plans back at least 3 years. Had we still had those players we would be looking at a squad capable of winning trophies, but instead we are looking at a squad short of 3 top class players. Hmmm, I wonder who could’ve filled that gap!

  87. Bryan says:

    If it is any consolation, I enjoy reading your views even when I often dissagree with them, they are always well written & thought out & sometimes far to intelligent for my liking 😀

  88. Bryan says:

    Yes Slime that is true but why when we sold those players didn’t we take the money & buy another world class player, then maybe we would not be set back 3 years

  89. evonne says:

    Rocky – great irritations shared by me. I might add one more – the slow starts to the games, as if we needed time to warm up. Why can’t we start like demons, get the first goal as if the house was on fire and put the 10 defenders from the opposition on the back foot? Why wait till last 20 mins to see some urgency?

    Off to fight Wenger’s corner with an army of angry polish gunners, all men of course, so I am waiting to be sent back to the ironing board,, at which point I will lose my temper and come back here. Laters

  90. Shard says:

    A good post Rocky. In the spirit of general gloominess 🙂 I agree with all your points, though perhaps with not the same intensity, except the last one. Second guessing a manager, with hindsight is something I’ve never felt has much value. Ultimately, decisions like substitutions are as much guided by knowledge/information, as by simple gut feel. It is unusual for Wenger to make all 3 changes together, but blaming the loss on that, is..I don’t know. It just seems strange. Anyway. Thanks for a very readable post.

    As for you being a hopeless dreamer. I’m quite confident of a top 4 finish. With Bayern, I don’t know why people are scared, or saying how we have zero chance of winning. We’re the underdogs. We’re not expected to get through. Shouldn’t we be enjoying the football on display, and encourage our team to play with no fear? Nothing to lose and all that.

  91. Bryan says:

    Trouble is Shard, this team does play with fear far too often, crapped themselves agaisnt Man City at home & there are many more occasions I could mention

  92. tomstoned says:

    Bryan…your spot on of course..and we all more or less accept that,then again the future is whats its all about…and the proof are there we’re slowly changing for the better….
    Slime..of course things would have been different if the players you mentioned had any sort of loyalty to The Arsenal…well they didnt..can one blame them..not sure…in a perfect world..they would have stayed and proved to love The Arsenal like we do..or like Wilshere does ;)..
    well off…work..have a great evning Bryan,Red Arse,Slime Big Raddy and all Gooners alike 🙂

  93. Red Arse says:

    Thank you, Bryan, and I would like to respond in kind. 🙂

    Do not be misled by any apparent intelligence, it is entirely erroneous! 🙂

  94. Shard says:

    Which reminds me. The game on Saturday. What was up with the crowd? Maybe it was just how it came across on tv, but it certainly didn’t seem that the fans were there when the players needed them to provide a lift. While our general play was decent, it was still frustrating Still, having the crowd moan and groan at every misplaced pass, or simply at every move that didn’t come off, when there were 40 mins left, had me feeling we won’t win this, and I was expecting a replay. I think that the crowd’s reaction was part of the reason why the players slowed the game down. I felt they were trying to force themselves to be calm, and that just went the other way completely. It doesn’t excuse the players. Wenger is right when he says it is up to the team to lift the crowd. But it is something that I felt quite annoyed about. Unfashionable as it is to say anything against ‘the fans’. (Oh. To be fair, there were moments of singing, but I think that was mostly in response to the groans and an unsuccessful effort to drown those out.)

    The crowd does have an impact on the field. On the players, on the opposition, on the refs. One goal which we conceded which was attributable to the crowd’s influence was the second we conceded against Swansea. Jenkinson only tried what he did, because he knew if he passed all the way back to Szczesny, there will be loud groans.

  95. Red Arse says:

    Oh, you are beginning to sound too English, Shard, and if I had the energy, I would find something to argue about with you!! 🙂

  96. Shard says:


    All the more reason to not add to it.

  97. Red Arse says:

    Here is a thing, and perfectly true!

    — “In a trial, in a small Mississippi town the prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a very elderly grandmother to the stand.
    He asked her, “Mrs Jones, do you know me?” She replied, “Oh yes, I know you Mr Williams, since you were a boy. And frankly, you have been a big disappointment to me. You lie and cheat on your wife, as well as manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you are a big shot and do not have the brains to realize you will never amount to anything more than a two bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you!”

    The lawyer was stunned and did not know what to do, so he pointed across the room and asked, “Mrs Jones do you know the defense attorney?”

    She again replied, “Yes, I do. I have known Mr Bradley since he was a boy, too. He is lazy, bigoted, and he has a drink problem. He cannot build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is the worst in the whole State. Not to mention he has also cheated on his wife, with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him alright.”

    The defense attorney nearly died on the spot.

    The Judge asked both counsellors to approach the bench and said in a very quiet voice, “If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I’ll send both of you to the electric chair!”

  98. Shard says:

    Too English you say RA? I have no idea what you mean by that. haha. But i’m always up for arguing with you. Even if it’s about a woodpecker 🙂

  99. Red Arse says:

    You might regret that, Shard, old bean, when I invade your habitat on Untold Arsenal. 🙂

  100. Shard says:


    I’m the sort of beetle which isn’t confined to one ecosystem. This is as much my habitat, as is Untold. I’ve just been less of a cyber beetle these days. You are welcome to invade wherever and whenever you please.

    So apparently today I’m an old bean, not an old stick. I look forward to what it will be tomorrow. 🙂

  101. slime says:


    I asked the same question myself, and the only answer I can come up with is 2 fold.

    Firstly, Wenger thought Wilshere could replace Cesc. This obviously didn’t happen due to a 14 month injury lay off which meant we went a whole season without a Cesc replacement.

    Secondly, world class players are not just sitting around waiting to be bought. Clubs want to keep them and there aren’t that many that could’ve replaced Cesc or RvP. It took us 2 years to get Cazorla if things are to be believed, and Mata went to Chelsea. So we were trying!

  102. Janman says:

    Slime, I just wanted to reply to your @2.48. I disagree (not arguing) With the right business concept (way of thinking) you can correct the problem on the field. The person in charge knows if the players are strong enough, he knows if the depth of the squad is adequate to allow for up to three games in a week, he knows if the squad is strong enough, obviously it is not…or why is it that so many players are played out of position in an attempt to compensate? I think everyone on here agrees we a a few players short and have said so for several years. So in the business format you recognize those issues which are key issues for all to see and take the corrective action required. It is not rocket science but something very simple for the coach/manager/BOD to correct. Like I said, in business if there is a problem you fix it, therefore why isn’t the problem on the field which is there for all to see, being fixed? I certainly do not expect us to win every game or every trophy year after year but I do expect for the basic deficiencies to be taken care of, that’s all I am saying.

  103. slime says:


    I understand what you are saying, although I have to disagree for the reasons given earlier. I have enjoyed the debate, though. Hopefully we will both get our wish and Wenger brings in the right players to take us forward.

  104. Janman says:

    Hello Slime, well we both agree on that point. Nice chatting with you.

  105. vp says:


    Think your well within your rights to criticize the board. Good luck to you because your going to need it. I totally see where your coming from and share your frustrations. I can understand why a lot of the fans don’t buy it. They want ‘hard evidence’. But what they don’t understand is that hard evidence is difficult to come by at the best of times but even more so when you go searching for it in a closely knit club that’s governed like ours. In my opinion here’s the two main problems:

    a) Poor transparency (communication outside statutory duties)
    b) weak distribution channels of accountability (nobody know who’s responsible for what i.e. is Wenger not spending or board not providing)

    We’re an insider dominated organisation-very rare for an entity of our size. If most other businesses were run in this manor there would be endless allegations of concealment-which is why they are not.
    If the club care enough about the fan base and have nothing to hide they would make a greater effort with these two things. Why wouldn’t they want to quell allegations if everything’s above board? This is not a question of comparative advantage being compromised and i am not suggesting they open their prime Accounting books of entry to the public.Simple reassurances and a word or two from the owner would be a good start.

    The club’s been governing itself like this for years. That’s why organizations like the black scarf movement are fighting tooth and nail to get an independent Usmanov representative on the board. There is huge familiarity threat within the board right now, and I think that this is what you are getting at.

    Ultimately, i don’t think changes at board level will change things that much if Kroenke is still at the helm. The only real way to change the effectiveness of the board would be if:

    1) A new owner comes in, or
    2) An independent representative is given a seat

    Unfortunately, i don’t expect neither to happen any time soon, and people like us will just have to continue screaming that little bit more louder.

  106. Shard says:


    I’m sorry, but the statement about rocket science really bugs me every time I hear it. Building a football team is actually more complicated than rocket science. Because it hasn’t been perfected to a science yet. There are too many variables, too many intangibles for it to be so. It is not ‘very simple’ as you seem to believe.

  107. Janman says:

    Shard, Ok, sorry for the rocket science comment but the principles of my statement cannot be ignored or over looked. The basic issues are there for all to see and these issues in my humble opinion are not hard to correct/compensate, or do you disagree?

  108. Shard says:


    I do disagree. Also about the players being played out of position bit. But sorry I don’t have time for a proper debate right now. Maybe sometime later 🙂

  109. kelsey says:

    If this site went the same way as Untold arsenal i would give up my season ticket on here 🙂
    Diverse opinions are the spice of life and a blind man can see that not is all ok at our club.
    Anyway I would rather talk about the football we play,the players we see and the finance is completely out of our hands.

  110. Janman says:

    Shard, No problem, we simply both have total different opinions. Whenever you have time I would be curious to know why you disagree that the obvious facts which appear to be apparent cannot be corrected? Also the fact you do not agree that players have been played out of position? Thanks.

  111. Janman says:

    Different subject. I have just seen the press conference from Mr. Wenger, he was not a happy camper and truly irritated at the press and their questions. First time I have seen him lose his cool like that. I truly feel for the man and hope that the team gives him the performance tomorrow that he (and the fans) deserve! I said already, 3-1 to the Arsenal, unfortunately the away goal could prove to be too damaging in the 2nd leg. So hopefully it will be 2-0 to the Arsenal, why not? stranger things in football have happened!

  112. kelsey says:

    He certainly was jumpy today. press gang warfare is growing.Has he got the balls to stomach it ?

  113. Janman says:

    Kelsey, Not too sure how to take his reaction. Is it just true anger and frustration or has the pressure on him taken over and got to him?

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Even when you paint a gloomy picture, the brush strokes are always a joy. Thank you.

  115. goonerjake says:

    On the press conference.

    I think more than ever journelists are trying to push and push at press conferences to get a ‘negative’ reaction so they have got something to publish in their squalid little rags.

    The media like talksport also have their own agenda to get more listeners phoning in to contribute to a non story, Durham for one is someone with a anti Wenger agenda who is trying his best to get rid of Wenger so he can give himself a pat on the back as he’s been tring foe ages.

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bet you all anything Arsene puts out his strongest XI tomorrow.
    Can’t wait. Hope the Germans bring some of those top heavy Bavarian barmaids with them. Yodelay

  117. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The Club should show some balls and solidarity to AW and ban journos

  118. goonerjake says:


    You sir are a genuine gooner. Couldn’t agree more, especially on the solidarity!

  119. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Be a tough game tomorrow he got to play his first eleven,
    Plus they won 6-1 on the weekend and they got a big lead in bunderliga.
    We can pray

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just watched the interview.
    Why the f..k would Arsene want to talk about Blackburn on the eve of a Champions League game against giants like Bayern?
    All teams in England, bar Utd, would give anything to be in our shoes tomorrow.
    Really, I do dispair.

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I meant to put a sarcastic smiley after my comment about picking a strong team 🙂
    I’m all for a bit of criticism, but I don’t understand not look forward to a fixture like tomorrow, and as always, I go into any game convinced we will win.

  122. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bring on the Big Raddy in the morning.
    Nite all.

  123. goonerjake says:


    absolutely, why cant jorno’s just ask relevant questions, after all they are guests at the club. If I was invited round someone’s place and deliberately said things to wind up the host, surely he has a right to be wound up and retaliate.

    Jorno’s remember you are guests.!!!!!!!!!!

  124. Gooner In Exile says:

    I know in the EPL the only people that have to be allowed in are TV journalists (they’ve paid for the right), that’s why Fergie gets away with banning hacks who report things like injuries not in the public domain, I believe he banned a journo who reported a Rio Ferdinand injury, even though Rio had been seen leaving the ground with his ankle in a brace. 😀

    I would assume the same applies to CL.

    It’s funny when you think that the papers put nothing in to our game (financially) but are allowed to feed off it.

  125. evonne says:

    Micky – no, I am not looking forward to the game; you clearly have balls that I don’t 🙂 Nervous as hell already

    GiE – excellent observation in your last para. Bloody parasites the lot of them….well, except Rocky and Irish

  126. 26may1989 says:

    Evening all. Having bunked off my AA duties since 5pm on Saturday, I just want to catch up a bit. Although I don’t agree with every word (especially the bit about bringing on the subs), Rocky’s post is great, a heartfelt missive from one who usually takes an optimistic approach but clearly feels completely let down on this occasion. I don’t, but I have in the past, I understand that feeling!

    I have a few comments on the Blackburn game generally and the comments prompted on this thread:

    1. TEAM SELECTION: I really don’t understand how anyone can put any part of the blame on the team that was put out on Saturday. That starting XI was more than capable of winning the game, and the fact we had a stunningly strong bench to deal with any difficulties just underlines that the selection was fine. Just how often do people (here and elsewhere) go on about various players being in the “red zone”? Well guess what, choosing a different blend of highly skilled, international-capped players to play a team from the division below, and resting a few key players along the way, deals with precisely those concerns. It might be hard for some to swallow but the fact the result went wrong does not make the team selection wrong.

    2. SZCZESNY: This isn’t a fashionable thing to say, but I don’t think Szczesny really made a mistake on Saturday. The shot he saved was taken early and was hit hard from an acute angle, it was the sole moment of attacking quality Blackburn produced in the entire match. Despite the shot being taken early, Szczesny made the save and got strong hands on it, meaning when it reached Kazim-Richards he didn’t have time to control it or get a real shot in – it was just a fluke that his mis-kick found the net. 98 times out of 100 that would not have been a goal, and I very much doubt Szczesny would have got any criticism.

    3. @MERSEFOREVER 12.32pm: Driving back from the replay at Villa Park in 1999? Yup, that was a pretty depressing night.

    4. @TOMSTONED: I never thought I’d say this about some of your posts (sorry!), but hear bloody hear! For all the annoyance at losing a cup tie we dominated and should have won against inferior opposition that didn’t even play well on the day, we should all keep a bit of perspective about the progress that has genuinely been made.

    5. THE CROWD AND FANS: Raddy (2.28pm) and Shard (4.41pm) make some excellent points about the negativity of our crowd and fans. It’s come to be the way in so many matches these days. Nights like home to Milan last season are amazing exceptions, but our traditional quietness has been supplemented with so much negativity in recent seasons. That is the main reason I’ve come to the view that we need to change manager – not because I think there’s much wrong with Le Prof, but the dynamic between fans, players and manager has become chronically depressed – by which I mean that we have moments of hope, when the results are going well, but as soon as we take a knock, the mood instantly shifts back to one of deep angst and aggression, with Wenger being the focus of so much hate. I don’t like it, but the cycle of hope-then-negativity seems to have become one we can’t escape from. We used to lose games back in the good old days, even ones against lesser sides, but the fans seemed to give so much more slack to the manager then, even when we didn’t win trophies. The only cure, it seems to me, is for the club to move on, with a new manager.

  127. 26may1989 says:

    Looking at Bryan’s complaints about what Wenger said at the 2012 AGM about fourth place supposedly being like a trophy, I think it’s worth looking at what he actually said:

    “For me there are five trophies every season: Premier League, Champions League, the third is to qualify for the Champions League. The fourth is the FA Cup and then the League Cup. When you look to sign a player, he does not ask if you have won the League Cup recently. He asks if you are in the Champions League.”

    So, when he equated CL qualification with a trophy, he was saying that it was his third priority after going for the PL and CL titles. It’s one of the difficult features of the game as it is today that the domestic cups have lost some of their significance. I love it when we win those pots, but it seems almost self-evident that winning the FA Cup or League Cup now just isn’t the same as it was in the 1970s and 1980s etc. And understandably, Wenger finds proof of that view in the views of those he works so hard to recruit, top quality players. We all love Cazorla, for example – does anyone think he would have been that impressed with us if we hadn’t qualified for the CL for the past four or five seasons but had won a League Cup or two?

    Wenger has to prioritise, and it seems perfectly legitimate to me to put CL qualification ahead of the domestic cups, much as I would also like us to be winning those.

  128. RockyLives says:

    Evening all.

    Sorry I haven’t been around today. I have just read all the comments and they make for good reading. Best of all, there were some intense disagreements that were argued in a good spirit.

    On balance I share tomstoned’s positivity. Good building blocks are being put in place, but the foundations are still a bit shaky because of the years when we didn’t have the dosh to do running repairs.

    That said, I’m also no stranger to the thoughts expressed by those who are more pessimistic about our future under AW. Whereas I was once 90% certain he could put things right, I’m now more 55% 🙂

  129. 26may1989 says:

    Just don’t get this transparency and accountability complaint: as Exile so rightly points out when this point comes up, just which club provides more information or access than Arsenal? Which club makes its manager available at AGMs for Q&A sessions? Which other club’s manager engages in full and honest discussions with journalists (rather than threaten them with being banned from press conferences)? Which other club even posts its financial reports on its website every six months?

    Things aren’t perfect at the club but transparency and accountability as a basis for criticism seems a million miles from being justified.

  130. Gooner In Exile says:

    26 your comments on the crowd ring true….I know not every game can be an amazing atmosphere but I really think its one thing we can learn from others. (To be honest Spain and Italy spring to mind).

    I doubt Mourinhos approval rating at Madrid is very high at present yet against ManUre the fans created a pressure to suppress the opposition and encourage their own team. Any shot is treated with an ooooohhhhh as if it was so close, even just missed passes are treated the same, Barca fans also do this well. Then when the opposition have the ball they create an absolute racket of boos and whistles that must play heavy on the opponents.

    The only time in memory that I have heard an Emirates crowd do that was last season against Milan and it very nearly worked, you could see the lift it gave our players and the pressure created on Milan. Didnt stop BSR missing that gift for us to level it, but we nearly had it.

    The same for the Newcastle game, but we don’t seem to be able to muster that intensity for more than a handful of games and its a shame.

    That is the power of the 12th man and it is still a shame that so few are confident enough to let rip at our own ground.

  131. 26may1989 says:

    Well Exile, let’s just hope everyone arrives tomorrow in the right frame of mind!

  132. 26may1989 says:

    Roberto Mancini: “In the last 15 months I am the best manager in England.” Absolutely right, Mr Mankini. Oh except Ferguson, Rodgers, Pardew, Villas Boas, Laudrup, Martinez, Moyes, Clarke, Hughton, Pochettino, McDermott and pretty much every manager working outside the PL. But other than those, yes, you are the best manager in England…..

    What a dork.

  133. Sav from Australia says:

    Can anyone recommend a good live-text website for the match tommorrow? I usually read BBC Sport – anything better around?
    Cheers in advance.

  134. kelsey says:

    Sav,, works for me but don’t download anything .Look for the little x that appears from time to time and delete them.

  135. kgooner says:

    We need the 12th man to step up in a notch. . .or two. . .or three tonight @GiE

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Attack attack attack
    As long as the lads come out all guns blazing then the crowd will be onside
    Breach The Hun’s defence early and all will be well

  137. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I saw your comment about me having bigger balls than you
    I’ m curious. Perhaps if you are coming to the Villa game, we could slip off to the bogs for a full and meaningful inspection

  138. Big Raddy says:

    That’ll be the Gents then.

    Good points about the crowd and also transparency

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy ROLF
    Although Im actually comfortable in either on this occasion
    Having said that, if she’s bringing the dogs then the offer is off

  140. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all….5-0 to the good guys 🙂

    Thinking about Arsene’s little eruption at the press conference I think that as much as it rubbishes the contract offer story he is also well aware of how a large section of the fanbase feel and how a story like contract renewal is sure to provoke greater fragmentation between the sack him/keep him divisions.

    When will we supporters realise that we have as much to do with fuelling the image of a club in crisis as the club itself.

    Apart from Usmanov pretty much all involved in the team, coaching staff and board are presenting a united stance….I think DanDan said earlier that it is time for us the supporters to adopt a backs to the wall spirit with our club rather than join the feeding frenzy ripping it apart.

  141. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Thanks Micky, I haven’t had my breakfast yet 😉

    I shall leave my comments until after the new post is up

  142. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Too true GIE
    I watched the interview and thought how dare you come here and have a go at My club and My people
    Time to keep the upper lips stiff and look after our own
    Ps 5-0. Doomer

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The very thought of Evonnes dogs locked on to me undercarriage has put me right off the bacon and eggs as well

  144. evonne says:

    Micky and Raddy 🙂 🙂

    26may and GiE – I wish you guys could speak my language. I am having dreadful time on the uber negative polish blog 😦 They are like like LG without swearing.

    Game day oooooohhh should I buy a new sofa??

  145. evonne says:

    Micky – my dogs are pussycats by comparison to the owner 🙂

  146. Sav from Australia says:

    Cheers Kelsey.

  147. evonne says:

    Sav – is usually good; i prefer the sopcast streams, work better, but be prepared for a rumanian or arabic commentary (mind you, it is probably better than some of the shite from some of the English pundits lovely Gary Neville excluded)

  148. evonne says:

    respect to Mitch Winehouse Amy’s dad, one terrific guy

  149. Sav from Australia says:

    Thanks Evonne.

  150. Big Raddy says:

    PM.Done. Now time to relax.

    Fab Explorer today and one I am sure you will enjoy. I will be sad at season’s end and I have to find a new theme. The research is so interesting and I learn something new each pre-match.

    More interesting (to me) than regurgitating stats about the game which are available on any AFC website

  151. kelsey says:

    Manuel Neuer: The Bayern keeper has been behind Europe’s meanest defence – even with a missing finger. Neuer is trying out a new glove – on the right hand only – which connects the index and middle together into one slot. Kept a clean sheet at Wolfsburg at the weekend.

    Did you know he had a finger missing 🙂

  152. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. Why do you say that about Mitch Winehouse?

  153. kelsey says:

    Reports suggesting Gervinho is not even in the squad. Do we get a choice of 7 subs as supposed to 5 in CL

  154. evonne says:

    BR – he is to collect a BRITs award for Amy tomorrow. He talked on BBC this morning about his Roundhouse project for kids in Camden. He is completely committed to saving other kids, after he lost his faith to save Amy.

  155. Rasp says:

    Morning all …..

    …….. New post ……..

  156. chimango22 says:

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