We Used To Be Winners

Unsurprisingly no one leapt at the chance of writing a match report on last night’s game. The reason is obvious – we can no longer hide from the truth.

In simple terms, Bayern were a level above Arsenal. We had maybe 3 players worthy of the great Arsenal sides of the past – Bayern had 11 top players. Not only did they have the talent, they had the organisation, work rate and confidence to go with it. But most of all, they are a great team. We are an average team with some decent individuals.

We rarely perform as a cohesive unit and as a result are low in confidence, prone to mistakes and less than the sum of our parts. The movement from midfield that used to characterise AW’s teams is gone, we have players hiding from the ball and we have nowhere near the work rate that Bayern demonstrated last night.

Our players may be good enough to get us in the top four, but we are a long way short of being able to win the EPL or CL, there are at least a dozen better teams than us in Europe.

There are many great supporters on this site for whom I have the utmost respect so I am not going to risk upsetting you more than I have already with my recent observations on our plight by picking on any indiivuals.

These are the main factors that I believe have brought us to this point:

1. Although we have recently upped the price we are prepared to pay for players (£10-12m), this is not bringing in players of the level required to significantly improve the quality of the squad.

2. Our inability to sell on players who were overpaid in relation to their worth on the pitch continues to be major burden on our finances that affects our willingness to invest in the quality we require

3. Our coaching, particularly in terms of defending, has been pretty poor for several years.

4. The club’s pride in its prudent financial model and open admission that qualification for the CL is an acceptable level of success sends out the wrong message to the players, the supporters and the media.

There are a myriad of other points that could be added to this list. My conclusion is that we need a complete overhaul, a return to basics and a new spirit of leadership at the heart of the club.

We used to be winners – we are now perceived as losers.

Written by Rasp


194 Responses to We Used To Be Winners

  1. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Hi I did a quick post this morning what happened to that.

    Job description
    Football agent = getlayers better deals
    Football manager = to win trophies and get results
    Tyre fitter= to fit tyres to motor vehicles
    Nurse= help to aid recover get people better
    Chef= to cook meals.
    Road sweeper=sweep up rubbish

    If any of the above don’t do the job as described above what would happen.


  2. Rasp says:

    Sorry sheepy, there was a lack of communication between peaches and myself – I didn’t know you’d written a post, hopefully we can publish it later in the week.

  3. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    No problem Rasp .
    Nice post by the way,were do we go from here ?.

  4. Rasp says:

    I am inviting others to offer answers to that question sheepy. My answer is to get behind the team and the manager for the rest of the season and hope we make some major changes over the summer

  5. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    We need major changes .
    I can’t see us making the CL next season and that is a crisis for arsenal.
    And we got 3 hard premiership games coming up then BM away.
    I can’t see us improving to challenge for the title for a few years yet.

  6. Rasp
    That is a very good post. I disagree about most the players not being good enough though. I think a different manager with different coaching staff would get so much more from those players. I love Arsene but it really is time to change. Bayern aren’t that good but they are way better than us.

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning gm,

    We have seen that if we have players of a high standard, the richer clubs pluck them from our midst – how many of yesterday’s team would be coveted by any of the top teams do you think?

  8. Shard says:


    Tyre fitter- what if the axle’s broken, but you judge just the tyre fitter and sack him?
    Nurse- gets the most unwell patients who don’t get better because their illnesses are incurable. Sack her for being a failure?
    Chef- has no ingredients, and no budget to buy them
    Sweeper- has no broom or equipment.

    Everything has context. Your ‘analysis’lacks in it.


    Rasp, i agree with all your points, but surprise surprise i do not agree with your conclusion or your last sentence.

    In effect, what you are advocating is revoloutionary change were heads are bound to roll. As i said, i agree with your points about our problems but for me the soloutions to these difficultys lie in evolvement rather than drastic change.

    The price we pay for players will steadily increase and a closer financial parity will see more top class players become available to us.

    All clubs have players they would like to move on but cant. Its how it effects you that is important. As the club grows relative to its rivals, these negative impacts will diminish

    We have a very attcaking philosophy that i accept leaves us defensivly vulnerable. A bit of tinkering, the addition of the odd player or two, and even more importantly, players gaining more experince will resolve these issues.

    The clubs message that getting in the top four is a success is a sound one. Under the current envoirement it is. if you dont believe me then ask Munichs manager for his opinion. You operate within your envoirement and when the time is right the clubs expectaion levels will rise.

    “Arsenal are perceived as losers”, by who?, some idiot pundits or Tosser journilists? I wonder If you polled the other 19 premeirship clubs Boards and managers wether they belived Arsenal were losers what result you would get. You would be laughed at thats what.

    Arsenal are respected and regarded as a force to be reckoned with. Our rivals know our policies will see us emerge as a title challanging force again. Its just a question of when.

    “The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stiring”

  10. I understand what you are saying Rasp. Jack and Theo and Cazorla. We don’t need a team full of players that other teams would want to take though. We are way below the sum of our parts.

  11. Shard says:


    Good post. I think your last line is the most important. We are perceived as losers. It is that perception that is fighting difficult to fight against, rather than any deficiencies in themselves.

    Anyway, we all know the spiel by now. In my view, playing to a philosophy that we do, requires a squad staying together for some time. Something we haven’t had because teams come in and tap up our players offering them money that we simply can’t. With new money coming in soon, that aspect should improve, and so should recruitment.

  12. Shard says:

    proving difficult*

  13. Jeanette Kliger says:

    I think Arsène is a desperate man. He looks desperate and sounds desperate. Constantly referring to his 16 years of success has the sound of a desperate man. He looks old and worn, but, at the same time, he is a stubborn man.
    BUT – and it is an enormous BUT…
    who would all of you calling for his head appoint in his place?
    The only manager in the PL I would even consider is David Moyes, but, if Arsène stays on as director of football, he won’t have a free hand.
    I would love the idea of DB 10, but he hasn’t proved himself.
    So what do the other “reasonable, realistic” supporters think?

  14. Rasp says:

    Morning TMHT, I don’t think tweeking will do it any more unless it is multiple tweeking 😛

    As far as our perception as ‘losers’ is concerned – have you read the press today/listened to the radio etc etc? You could argue that the perception and the reality are two different things, but the perception is loud and clear.

  15. Rasp says:

    Hi Shard, good points, I agree with them all.

  16. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    At the start of the season Steve Bould was appointed to the post of Assistant Coach, or some such title, we all thought that his job was to be coaching the defence.

    The first two games seemed to bear this out. Now, however, it is clear that there has in fact been absolutely no improvement what so ever. Our defending is awful, last night’s performance was an utter shambles. Our ‘keeper was dreadful, yet again, supposedly International class defenders were appalling, yet again.

    If Bould is the defensive coach, then he should be sacked. if he isn’t the defensive coach then who the hell is? The responsibility is not all Bould’s, he was appointed by the manager.

    I have been a staunch supporter of Arsene Wenger for the last sixteen years, I honestly can’t see who would, or could, replace him but replaced he must be, he has in my opinion now passed his sell by date and can take the club no further.

  17. Rasp says:

    Morning Jeanette – would you be willing to develop your question into an article we can publish on the site?

  18. dandan says:

    Time now to settle down and be football supporters and not trophy seekers, last night was in many ways a blessing in disguise,the pressure is of inside the club,sure the press will rant and rave,we don’t ban them like Fergie. Heard a twenty year old girl on the radio last night saying she had been a fan for 12 years and was sick of it, sums up some of our support. Another guy like Rasp and to be fair to him he is reigning in his own suppressed anger,said let’s see the season out support the team and see what unfolds in the close season.
    My request ignore the gutter press don’t dance to their vitriolic rubbish, Matt law today keeps harping back to the Olympiakos game as the root of our demise, anything to destabilise the club and get the fan base at it.
    We are a great club, us fans have been spoiled over the years with more than our fair share of glory. so be patient enjoy your football wait for the wheel to turn as no doubt it will and recognise that Our turn will come again, maybe not tomorrow,but come again it will.
    Finally give our distinguished manager his due see his contract out and see where we are then.

  19. Jeanette Kliger says:

    Hi Rasp, I can have a go. How do I submit it for appraisal?

  20. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    “Sheep Hagger ™ says:
    February 20, 2013 at 9:35 am
    Job description

    Football manager = to win trophies and get results”

    You think thats the requirement at QPR, or Wigan, or Stockport.

    ‘Or get sacked’

    By your logic thats approx 86 sackings across the four League at each season’s end.

    Could you also explain how managers who’ve won trophies have also been moved on.

    It just not as simple as your comment suggests.

  21. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Jeanette Kliger has a point, if Wenger is to stand down as manager he has to make it a clean break.

    One other small point, perhaps the Roll of Honours around the stadium should be removed, the eight year gap is becoming an embarrassment.

  22. Rasp says:

    Hi Jeannette, you just email your post (written in Word or similar) to arsenalnuts@live.co.uk (see Contact Us at the top of the page) and we’ll do the rest. We may tweak a few things and add a pic but it will be your words and your message.

  23. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Time for a swim, back later.


    Morning Rasp,

    Newspapers and Radio etc do not interest me. These people have there own agenda and i leave them to it.

    I dont believe our views differ so much on our current difficulties, but there is a divergence in solutions.

    “Paitence” has become a dirty word amonst Arsenal fans these days, and with several years of groundhog day i can understand why. But that dosnt mean these virtues should be abandand for a supposedly quick fix.

    We have some tremendous ingredients at the club to form a springboard for future success. Lets build on these and see were the journey takes us.

    On a side note, whilst watching the game last night it dawned on me that Munich are the blue print of what we are trying to acheive. A solid traditional club operating within its means with a Turnover not to disimilar to our own. They too have had there lean years but kept true to there vaules and from what i saw last night there current team is a credit to there club.

    We will get there. Keep the faith.

  25. Shard says:

    I only started supporting the club in 1997. I got the double in my first year. I had the double in 2002, and the Invincibles, or Immortals as Wenger called them. I see these 8 years as a rite of passage as a supporter. Pretty soon, I’ll have my own ‘Fever Pitch’ moment. Where it would all have been worth it. I also know that I’m getting off easy in terms of my rite of passage. The ones who started with the cup in 79 must have had it so much worse. With the exception of the sheer level of exasperating noise around the club. That is the only thing that steals my enjoyment from the games. Win, lose, or draw.

  26. Rasp says:

    Morning dandan, I don’t disagree with any of that. I’d just like to add that I haven’t once cried out for trophies, I just want to see us playing great football and being in a position to challenge for honours.

  27. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Good read Rasp.

    The first thing i would do if i was Arsene is to tell Stan Kroenke and the board that they can shove their pre-season money making tours to Africa and the likes up their arses. They must not get involved in footballing matters and buying players based purely on profits ie Park. Id love to see a pre-season back in Austria and out of the spotlight. Its time for these boys to get battle hardened old school.

    As for where we are now, id like Wenger to take the whole squad to one side and tell them that they are all accountable from here on in. Every player is in a last chance saloon. Any half arsed performances, late for training, talking to the media or any social networks will be reviewed and could result in a termination of employment. The players are to blame as much as anyone else. They are internationals for heavens sake.

  28. dandan says:

    TMHT it seems our song book is not a best seller at the moment never the less like you I will continue to sing from it, love your consistency. 🙂

  29. 26may1989 says:

    Hmmmm – I do like your post, Rasp, your passion demands respect. But I don’t see things as being as gloomy as you do.

    You and I have agreed about the “less than the sum of the parts” problem, something that is unacceptable, whatever the level, and we also agree that the club needs to grasp the nettle of managerial change.

    But at least a dozen better teams in Europe? No, I don’t agree. Eight or nine, yes, but I wouldn’t say we are any further down the pecking order than that. I know you could point to last-16 exits in the CL in the least three seasons (assuming no miracles for us in Munich!), but two of the teams (Barca and Bayern) are serial and recent finalists and winners, and the other (Milan) only went through by one goal, and I’d say we’re on a par with a team like that. Always worth remembering that Chelsea and City didn’t even get through the group stages, even with all the advantages they have over us.

    I agree with your points 1 and 2, but on the subject of coaching, just how does any of us know how good it is? We aren’t coaches, and we don’t go to London Colney every day, so we have no idea. Perhaps it is poor, perhaps it’s great, perhaps it’s improved in recent years, perhaps it’s got worse, none of us knows.

    On messages about finances, I know you have strong feelings about the club’s PR. For all its openness (I’ve commented on this in recent days, so won’t repeat myself here), I don’t think the club covers itself in glory when Gazidis speaks. And I don’t see much evidence that Gazidis justifies a large salary, given that he runs a pretty small organisation. But I think the PR thing gets over done. If things were going better on the pitch, no-one would give two hoots about PR. The trouble is we’re feeling frustrated about our relative decline at a time of structural change in the club and a fundamental shift in professional football caused by the anti-competitive purchasing of success by a number of rivals. Do I think comments (usually then taken out of context) about what counts as success mean much for our performances on the pitch? No, I don’t.


    Fine comment dandan

    Lets hold on to our dignity. In the ever changing world of football were supporters and there clubs have become ever more distant its important to be able to say to ourselves that we respect the club we follow.

    Thers a certain pride in been an Arsenal fan with its history traditions etc. Thats more important to me than winning trophies but ultimately it is those very same principles that will in the long run procure those trophies that we crave.

    Keep the faith

  31. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Morning Rasp

    “Unsurprisingly no one leapt at the chance of writing a match report on last night’s game. The reason is obvious – we can no longer hide from the truth.”

    Really not sure that’s a valid point. A match report is a match report, and no single match could ‘reveal the truth’. Did you get a match report after the Blackburrn game…??

    If 5th in the table makes us ‘losers’, you’re clearly using a different scaling to most.

    Last night was a great night out, playing one of Europes top teams in our fantastic stadium, in the CL knockout stages. We remain one of the privileged few, there’s no arguing with that.

    If you want to split that privileged few and put us in a second tier behind maybe 4 or 5 teams across Europe then I can agree with that, but lets not take what we have and where we are for granted.

    Thats what Charlton fans did.

  32. Rasp says:

    Hi again TMHT, much as we’d like, we cannot ignore the media or the effect it has on the game. The club use the media for its own purposes, as do players, agents and pretty much every other body remotely related to the game.

    What we should not ignore is the effect the perception of the Arsenal in the media has on the willingness of sponsors to spend their money with the club. The media is a necessary evil, and we need to improve our profile if we want to engage in lucrative sponsorship deals.

  33. 26may1989 says:

    Love what Shard, TMHT and Dandan are posting today!

  34. Rasp says:

    Hi Sharkey, I didn’t write a match report, I wrote a piece that opened the door for readers to discuss the way the club’s going without the vitriol that I expect is being spread elsewhere. It’s fine to disagree with my assessment.

    I agree with you that we are privileged to play in such a fantastic stadium in Europe – I haven’t said anything to the contrary.

  35. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    SharkeySuresGhost says:
    February 20, 2013 at 10

    Job description

    Football manager = to win trophies and get results”

    You think thats the requirement at QPR, or Wigan, or Stockport.

    ‘Or get sacked’

    Yes if they don’t get results they get sacked

    Case closed.

  36. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m, great to have your company last night.

    I didn’t want to write today but was left with little option. As you know from our chat over dinner, I dislike hypocrisy and therefore had to be honest in my feelings – but as you say, at least it gave the opportunity to others like yourself, dandan, Shard and TMHT to contribute with some great responses.

  37. 26may1989 says:

    Add Sharkey to that list:

    “Last night was a great night out, playing one of Europes top teams in our fantastic stadium, in the CL knockout stages. We remain one of the privileged few, there’s no arguing with that.

    If you want to split that privileged few and put us in a second tier behind maybe 4 or 5 teams across Europe then I can agree with that, but lets not take what we have and where we are for granted.”

    Spot on.

  38. Simon says:

    It seems that a few people on here share my view that whilst not against Wenger leaving there doesn’t seem to be anyone out there that is a realistic target and is better than Arsene.

    A couple have mentioned Moyes as a possible replacement and while there can be no doubt he has done an outstanding job at Everton, I’m not sure he is the right man, you only have to look at Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers to see how a successful manager at a smaller club hasn’t cut it in the big time.

    Also a while ago Roberto Martinez was an idea floating around but again could he cut it in the champions league?

    Personally, IF And a big IF Wenger leaves, I would like to see a manager with proven European pedigree, someone who could recognise the faults in his team and rectify them. However seeing as Wenger will probably have a say in who replaces him I doubt that would happen.

  39. Rasp says:

    Yes, sorry, add Sharkey to that list 🙂

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nice work Rasp,
    After your yah boo comment about going to the game AND eating inYildiz, I think you deserved having to pen some words 🙂
    Much appreciated though. Thanks.

  41. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, it was great to see you, Peaches and Chas prematch, and too briefly Sharkey given that we didn’t make it to the pub in time to join him.

    And if there’s any point to this blogging stuff, it has to be about being honest. We won’t agree on everything, but so what?! Frankly, I’ve learned a lot from those who’ve posted on AA, so I’m always delighted to see opinions expressed, whatever they are (almost…) and whoever gives them (almost….).

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My dear Shard,
    Half the posters on this site started following The Arsenal during the 1907-8 season, and those were dark days indeed 🙂

  43. If we’d swapped CL groups with City who would be in the knockout stages now?

  44. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, the food was delicious in Yildiz – you really should try to get down there more often 😆

  45. Kunle says:

    Wat we arsenal fans are nt getting is d change of formation dat is keepin us trophyless,it will continue if wenger doesnt change d formation.since we moved from highbury to emirate we stopped winning trophies due to wenger strategy to change arsenal style of play to barca style.d change of formation(4 4 2) dat we are used to,is makin us decline every season.d 4 2 3 1 or 4 3 3 formation wenger changed into has nt won us any trophy at emirate.wenger is to blame becos he keeps playin 1 dimension formation every match,he makes wrong team selection always,he plans ahead 4 a match instead of d 1 in front of him.wenger does nt have anything to offer d squad,becos he does nt learn from mistakes.how can a good coach keep playing 1 dimension formation every match,atleast 4 4 2,4 1 3 2,3 5 2,4 3 1 2.formations dat can be played in different matches nt giving us opponent ideals of wat to face bt wenger make it eazy 4 our opponents to mark us out,when they know d formation they will face.wenger is no more wenger we use to know,no winning zeal in him. In football u plan to win d match in front of u then later u plan 4 d 1 ahead of u,wenger mentality is nt like dat he plans 4 d 1 ahead B/4 d 1 in front of him,is dat nt stupidity of a coach.wenger keeps repeatin d same mistake every season.I can recollect arsenal match wit birmingham city,when he benched fabregas in d final,fabregas wanted to play bt wenger kept him 4 barca match dat was still ahead.d same thing wit blackburn benching players becos of bayern.

  46. Rasp says:

    Right I’m off out for a while – ketchup later

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Interesting your comment about the Bayern Blueprint.
    I did 30 seconds in-depth research into just that following the game last night, and I couldn’t agree more.
    69,000 stadium. Some cheap standing areas. Great commercial deals. Self financing. Boris Becker a Director ( 🙂 ). Good mix of very highly paid players and more reasonable paid ie better spread within a similar budget to ours.
    Little not to like and aspire to.

  48. Shard says:


    I didn’t realise half the people on this site were so old 🙂

  49. I don’t know anything about the Bayern blueprint or how they are run. I talked to a Shalke fan recently and he says everyone hates Bayern as they take any decent player from the other German teams because the are so much richer than them.

  50. 26may1989 says:

    GM @11.12, interesting question: we might not have qualified (though worth remembering that we knocked Dortmund out of the CL only last season), but I very much doubt we’d have managed to finish bottom of the group, behind Ajax and without getting a single win. An utterly pathetic and embarrassing performance for the owners that have spent £1 billion so far. By contrast, we should hold our heads up with pride.

  51. Shard says:

    Bayern also operate in a domestic environment where there are financial restrictions on spending. So no other club can catch them up in the manner that City and Chelsea have done with us.

  52. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not naming names, but incontinent bed-wetters in some cases 🙂

  53. Manthan Davda says:

    Hi all,
    Raspy A great Post 🙂 🙂
    Honestly speaking none of us were confiednt about arsenal winning yesterday… We played well two defensive error caused us two goals… I am happy that we didn’t sat back and played negative football like chesky did last summer…. Honestly Bayern has more then two good players in a position and they are very good compard to arsenal… We atlleast played attacking football against a top europe cup….

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    An interesting point I read was that commercial sponsors need to have backed a club for 20 years, to prove longevity, before they are allowed to take a controlling interest in a club.
    And you are right, Shard, about their self-imposed restrictions on spending as a proportion of turnover.

  55. evonne says:

    Simon, Sharkey and 26may – all top comments.

    Rasp – thank you for the post. It is a pity that you failed to recognise the fact that although outplayed last night by one of the world’s greatest teams, we played some fantastic footy, and at times completely dominated the game. Despite the result I don’t think it was a slaughter and I was happy with our performance.

    I still think we need much stronger defence and a world class goal keeper, but other than that we are a bloody good team

  56. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, signing off, as my techy man is about to fiddle with my tools.

  57. Manthan says:


  58. Kunle says:

    Dis season is over 4 us wit trophies,again trophyless season.If wenger is still on d hot seat in arsenal he needs to change d following-1,change back to 4 4 2 formation we used at highbury dat brought us trophies.2,he needs to plan 4 d match in front of him nt d one ahead of him.3,he needs to get d team selection right.4,he needs to make team substitution early.5,he needs to stop zonal marking when cornerkicks are been played into d box.6,he needs to do extra practice on d defence,atleast to make them physical enough.Arsenal defence every season is d weakiest.6,he needs to change his policy in d transfer market,for instance we had d greatest chance to buy Ba into d club atleast he is better than giroud or theo in d attack.7,he needs to remove too much believe on d players,so as to have a strong commited team.d main thing wenger needs to change d formation back to 4 4 2 and buy creative wingers.lastly,stop convertin players to new positions.

  59. Manthan says:

    Agree mate we played well yesterday but opposition was two good I am too happy with the performance goals we conceded came from errors and last one was badluck… It was better game then expected I feel

  60. evonne says:

    Manthan – same here. I was petrified that we will be taken apart. Let’s not forget that BM have not conceded a goal since mid December, 18 games unbeaten, flying throught the german league, they are giants. We didn’t look like midgets by comparison, at times Germans look rattled and out of their comfort zone.

    BTW – they are huge, much taller than our guys, genetically bloody modified probably

  61. Manthan says:

    How many world class players BM have…
    Robben,Ribery,Neuer,Lahm,muller and many more who are national team first team player we have only poldi,Theo,Santi,JW out of them Santi,JW are world class so result was fair and we played welll

  62. kelsey says:

    Sorry don’t agree that the germans looked rattled. We didn’t have one shot in the first 45 minutes and the game was literally over after 20 minutes.Yes we played better in the second half but I always had the feeling that bayern could up their game if they wanted to.
    Our defence is a shambles collectively and when faced with a really good team,Walcott is not the solution to play through the middle..
    We do have a leader in Jack who is already blaming the players not his grandad 🙂 wenger..

    Kroenke was there for those who didn’t know as was Usmanov.

    We need at least 3 players but more importantly to get anywhere near the level of Bayern will need money,,time, continuous support from those attending, and a fresh face to adapt to new tactics.IMO

  63. smarsh says:

    Surely I agree with Rasp we are sending a wrong message by accepting top 4 finish n never blame Rvp or nasri we need a new spirit n start next season afresh n if good luck falls on us n finish in top 4 coz @ the moment we don’t deserve to b there

  64. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    “Newspapers and Radio etc do not interest me. These people have there own agenda and i leave them to it.”

    Well said Terry…thats it in a nutshell. The papers spend all their time trying to convince people that Arsenal are relegation fodder.

    How much is written about the malaise at QPR. how much was written about Tooots implosion last season. How much on Chelsea now playing on ‘Spursdays’, and CIteh not even managing to achieve that..??

    Nope Arsenal are cannon fodder in their eyes, and my sympathy and bemusement is extended to any Arsenal fan who over indulges them by tuning in or reading.

    Poser for you all:

    Pick 5 PL teams and name the year they last won a trophy..?? But ask any fan worldwide how long it is for Arsenal and they’ll all know.

  65. ArsenalForever says:

    I think TMHT made an excellent point that Bayern are the blueprint for what we should be aspiring to as a club. Their financial model and wages structure are similar to ours, and they have also moved to a new stadium in the past 10-20 years.

    One difference between them and us is time, and we will get there eventually… But another is the attitude at boardroom level, where the attitude is more driven towards challenging for trophies. Bayern are also offer proof of what can be achieved when fan ownership is implemented to some degree.

  66. 26may1989 says:

    Bloody right Sharkey. It’s like that running total of red cards under Wenger that the media used to keep. I checked those numbers once, using the PL database, and showed that in the same period Everton had more red cards, and various clubs had much worse disciplinary records calculated on a per season basis. But once the counting begins, the prats in the media and the fools who read/listen to them can’t stop themselves.

  67. 26may1989 says:

    Interesting comments about Bayern being a role model. I agree to an extent, but would look at other German clubs, in particular Dortmund, as better examples – as has been said already, Bayern, are the dominant club in Germany, and are able to mop up plenty of players (like Neuer or Gomez) from their rivals. They have brought some important players through (I think Lahm, Schweinsteiger and Kroos), but they are just as aggressive as Wenger is about nabbing youth players from other clubs.

    Dortmund on the other hand have built a great squad from an amazing generation of young players, a process that began when they were in the middle of a financial crisis.

    German clubs generally operate in a much more fan-friendly way, and I think their fans are excellent too. Bugger it, I’m moving over there…….

  68. JM says:

    An example that we could/should follow, starting from the board and management level:

    Bayern Munich board & management blueprint in depth –

    Supervisory board:

    (1) Uli Hoeneß (Club President), Former Bayern Munich and West Germany national team player.

    (2) Herbert Hainer (Club Vice-Chairman), CEO of Adidas-Group (Global Sports Brand) ( !! WOW !!)

    (3) Rupert Stadler (Club Vice-Chairman), Chairman of Audi AG (Global brand car-maker) (!! WOW !!)

    (4) Helmut Markwort (Member), Editor-in-Chief of FOCUS magazine (Media business) and politician ( !! WOW !!)

    (5) Karl Hopfner (Senior Vice-President of Bayern Munich), also on UEFA’s committee for club tournaments, a member of the board of the Deutsche Fußball Liga and the German Football Association. (!! WOW !!)

    (6) Dr. Edmund Stoiber (Member), Politician.

    (7) Dieter Rampl (Member), UniCredit Group Advisory board chairman (Continental Banking & Financial services)

    (8) Timotheus Höttges (Member), Deutsche Telekom AG chairman (German telecommunications company)

    (9) Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn (Member), Volkswagen AG chairman (Global brand car-maker) (!! WOW !!)

    Naturally, the sponsors/commercial partners would include Adidas, Audi, UniCredit Group, Deutsche Telekom AG, Volkswagen

    Executive board

    (a) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Chairman), Former Bayern Munich and West Germany national team legendary player.

    (b) Jan-Christian Dreesen (Deputy Chairman), responsibilities at FC Bayern include finance, bookkeeping, legal affairs and human resources.

    (c) Matthias Sammer (Sporting Director & Executive board member), Former Borussia Dortmund & Germany national team legendary player.

    (d) Andreas Jung (Deputy executive board member), A qualified sports scientist and sports manager, he was also an active member of the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer (German Cycling Association). Responsible at board level for sponsorship and events, brand management, new media and IT, merchandising and licenses, international relations, and marketing and PR for the Allianz Arena in Munich.

    Arsenal board & management:

    Peter-Hill Wood (Non-Executive Chairman)

    Ivan Gazidis (CEO, ED)

    Stuart Wisely (CFO)

    Stan Kroenke (ED, majority shareholder), also owner of Kroenke Sports Enterprises (inc. Denver Nuggets/NBA, Colorado Rapids/MLS, Colorado Avalanche/NHL, Colorado Mammoth of National Lacrosse League and St. Louis Rams/NFL)

    Ken Friar (Non-Executive member)

    Lord Harris of Peckham (Non-Executive member), also chairman of Carpetright plc (in carpet retailing).

    Sir John Keswick (Non-Executive member), also a member of the Keswick family which control Hong Kong company Jardine Matheson. Also a non-executive director of a number of companies including DeBeers Sa, Investec Bank, Persimmon plc. Also a director of the Bank of England.

  69. Rasp says:

    Back now and just re-read the post and corrected the dreadful error and replaced ‘admittance’ with ‘admission’ – my excuse is I wrote it straight onto the site post haste 😳

    I share everyone’s dislike of the press and it’s anti arsene/arsenal agenda – but it is a necessary evil and the primary vehicle by which information about the club is delivered, so we (Arsenal) have to try to get the press/media on our side. The message being sent out by TS today is one of sadness that we were unable to compete better against Bayern.

  70. wally says:

    Does anyone think the difference in the game last night was talent?

    Or was it how the team was organised, how it played as a unit?

  71. Rasp says:

    Excellent work JM – so what you’re highlighting is that Bayern is run by football people or those whose expertise can be used to the benefit of the club?

  72. I don’t agree Manthan I was expecting a better performance than that. Even though I thought we’d get a draw at best

  73. Rasp says:

    JM’s forensic comparison between the people running Bayern and Arsenal delivers a shocking message to me and goes a long way to explaining the difference in approach between the two clubs.

    I agree with 26m, if anyone, we should compare ourselves to B Dortmund unless huge sums of money suddenly become available to the manager.

  74. Joelkaro says:

    My first and maybe last post. Fast approaching 70 and Arsenal from boyhood. I have sat on the outside looking in here for sometime now and enjoyed the banter between some excellent minds. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of our team, and I applaud Dandan, TMHT and others for their comments above. Its now time to put the recent failures behind us, sit back and accept things haven’t gone our way this season. Lets get behind the team and the Manager and look to the future. Arsenal for ever and a day!

  75. Rasp says:

    Welcome Joelkaro – I hope that isn’t your last comment!
    I echoed your sentiments about getting behind the team and the manager at the start of the day – its the only choice if you support the club.

    We sent out several pleas starting yesterday evening asking for someone to write a few words about the game to spark a deabate today. The site is open to all. Its a shame that those worthy names you list didn’t turn one of their excellent comments into a short post as we would no doubt have produced something more pallatable to you and dandan etc.

    As it was I had no option, and I have to be honest when I write.

    So the message is – if anyone wants to shut me up, just send in a post 😆

  76. Merseforever says:

    Saw this on another arsenal website regarding Jack: the club just sees a big pile of cash running around the midfield and like Santos it just keeps getting bigger.

    Felt so bad for him yesterday. Ran his heart out and couldn’t even stand properly at the end. Looked like he was almost in tears as well. Thought at times he was a bit wasteful yesterday, but he’s 21. He shouldn’t have to be our leader and main man. I was there and thought it was disgraceful how Vermaelen went straight down the tunnel and Arsene too acting like a petulant child and refusing to shake Heynckes hand.

    I think Rasp is absolutely bang on with his last statement. No one fears us any more. Every one sees us as a team of light weight chokers who cannot get the job done. Flat track bullies who value style over substance.

    Someone mentioned Dortmund and they are everything I wish we could be. Homegrown (ie German not buying players at 16/17 and then calling them homegrown) players, an excellent dynamic style of play, a young fresh manager and by far the best stadium in Europe with a proper end for the home supporters as opposed to maximising Tarquin seating. I’ve been to the Westfalendion. Highly recommend it. Overall cost in the getting there and back as well as watching the match probably comes out cheaper than watching a category A game at Arsenal if you’re in one of the more expensive seats.

  77. Bryan says:

    All very true Rasp, there is no hiding from it.
    I also don’t think it helps us that we are constantly abused by the press, We apparently are the only team in England that haven’t won a trophty for 8 years.
    Over haul is deffinately the key here & I think we need to start from the back & for me that is the whole back 5.
    I believe Szes is a quality keeper in the waiting but not yet & we should have an experienced keeper ahead of him (Bergovic please 😉 ) but the back four are not good enough & I can not believe the demise of non captain material Verm, for me he has got worse each season.
    We have to pay big money for top defenders & stop worrying about buying yet another winger or midfielder (apart from a big DM of course)
    The players gave a lot of effort especially in the 2nd half but are miles behind the quality of Bayern, but it must be said that was one of the best performances I have witnessed from an away team in europe, they were phenominal & better than both Barca’s performances at our patch.

  78. Merseforever says:


    To be honest I think one of the reasons the press hounds us is because the club insists on preaching this holier than thou attitude while gentrifying the club’s support. A bit hypocritical no?

    Then again the press have always hounded us. 91 season anyone… We got so much crap for Adams and Merse, did anyone give united or spurs the same level of scrutiny and criticism for robson and gazza. The Press have never really shone the spotlight on how Yanited abandoned the unfortunate families of those killed in the Munich tragedy.

    It never bothered me that the press didn’t like Arsenal. If I remember correctly in ‘Fever Pitch’ Nick Hornby said that he always thought Millwall’s chant ‘No one likes us, we don’t care’ would have been very suitable for Arsenal (at that time, now we seem to suddenly care what the press says). As GG said, it’s part of our history. We won, the rest complained. I want to go back to that. I don’t want us to be anyone’s second team. I want people to hate us and fear us again. Anyone agree?

  79. JM says:

    Rasp says:
    February 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm & February 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm.

    I would have believed our club could engage a few bigwigs from London/England to further boost our financial profiles, examples:

    (1) Tate & Lyle/ ASR Group – multinational agribusiness listed in London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. (Sir Peter Gershon, Chairman; Javed Ahmed, CEO)

    (2) GKN plc – British multinational automotive and aerospace components company and listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. (Roy Brown
    ,Chairman; Nigel Stein, CEO)

    (3) HSBC Holdings plc – multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. As of 2012, it was the world’s third-largest publicly held bank and sixth-largest public company, according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine. (Douglas Flint, Group Chairman; Stuart Gulliver, Group Chief Executive)

    (4) Aviva plc – multinational insurance company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the sixth-largest insurance company in the world measured by net premium income and has around 43 million customers across 21 countries. (John McFarlane, Chairman; Mark Wilson,CEO)

    (5) Prudential plc – multinational life insurance and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. ( Paul Manduca, Chairman; Tidjane Thiam, Group Chief Executive)

    (6) Standard Chartered PLC – multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. ( John W. Peace, Chairman of the Board; Peter A. Sands, Group CEO)

    (7) InterContinental Hotels Group – multinational hotels company headquartered in Denham, United Kingdom. (Patrick Cescau ,Chairman; Richard Solomons, CEO)

    (8) Kingfisher plc – multinational retailing company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. (Daniel Bernard, Chairman; Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive)

    and also some experienced and respected former Arsenal + England legends to be involved in the executive management of our club.

  80. Jamie says:

    In my opinion, our loss yesterday was plainly due to a tactical error. Playing walcott through the middle was costly. Given, he has pace, but he lacks physical presence. Playing without a right winger meant Sagna struggled, and with Pod being neither the fastest player around, nor the trickiest, we had to attack more through the middle, and Bayern were up to the task. Zonal marking for corners seems not to be working either. I would prefer to see Wenger achieve something with this current crop of players before seeing out his contract, but he may need to be a little more flexible with his tactics in order to do that

  81. Bryan says:

    It does bother me, Its hard to take that something you love is always hounded the way it is & it puts more pressure on the team than other teams.
    I like to listen to football chat on the radio on my way home from work but often have to turn it off as Mr Durham just seems to do all in his power to wind us gooners up.
    I watch as Spurs constantly spend more than us on players but apparently they have done well & get congratulated when they get into CL but we some how have under achieved, I just don’t get it.
    Lets be realistic here, we can not compete on the money side with Man U, Chelsea & Man City, so when we have acieved higher than 4th we have done well.
    I’m not happy with that & I think we could do a better job on transfers & keeping players but I am fed up of getting it rammed down my throat by the media.
    On another note I have noticed recently the amount of people moaning about the new stadium, for me it is a fantastic stadium & it is the fans (that includes me) that are to blame for not generating the atmosphere in it, nothing to do with having big ends lol

  82. JM says:

    Other news of interest:

    Manchester Utd chief executive David Gill to step down on 30 June 2013. Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward would replace Gill.

    Quote from Gill,
    [“I’ve experienced some incredible highs, such as the Treble in 1999 and the League and Champions League double in 2008, and lows, like losing the title with the last kick of the season last year,” he said.

    “But that is what makes this club and this sport so compelling. It has been a very hard decision because I love this club and, as the fans’ banner says, it is, ‘more than a religion’.

    “However, I have always been conscious of the fact that, as a member of staff, I was always just a temporary custodian of this marvellous institution.

    “I am also of the view that all businesses need to refresh themselves with new management and ideas and after 10 years in charge, I believe it is appropriate for someone new to pick up the baton.”]

    Gill is stepping down in part to advance his bid for election to the executive committee of European football’s governing body, UEFA. (which if successful, could be helpful to Man. Utd. indirectly in their bid for future European domination and status on par with Real Madrid – 9x winners, AC Milan – 7x winners etc)

    What about Arsenal FC? A “refresh with new management and ideas too?”

  83. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Careful everyone, an ex-England manager is about to become available. He is having “crisis talks” with the owner of his present club. That generally means he’s about to be given the elbow. He has previous Premiership experience, he is……wait for it…..Steve (I talk Double Dutch) McClaren!

    He would be cheap, the answer to all our prayers?

    I sincerely hope not!

  84. vp says:

    A commendable post Rasp on extremely sensitive subject matter. Agree with all four of the above mentioned points made. Think points 1-3 speak for themself. Really glad that you raised Point 4. Not many people would. The need for a ‘winning culture’ being cascaded from the top-down is something that I have shared heated exchanges with fellow supporters on numerous occasions. But after our last AGM, I think that more and more people are acknowledging this as an issue. Ultimately, this can only be a good thing. The ‘’Lets accept second best mentality’’ has inevitably filtered down to the fan base. My worry is not for the current fans, we’ll support the team regardless, but for the younger fans that are embarking on submitting their lifetime allegiance to a cause. The people up-top have lost their ability to inspire and they need to get it back, and soon, before it filters down to the younger generation. A few more years of this and we’ll be flirting with the possibility of losing out on an entire generation of supporters. This will heavily discount the impressive projected long-term cash flows in years to come. We cannot solely rely on the FFP to help us realize these gains!

    I don’t believe that there are too many fans amongst who don’t believe we can do more/ better but are made to feel a tad bit ungrateful for thinking this. Our expectations are born from moral reasoning, just as much as they are Accounting and Economic reality. I think that our club understand this better than most.

    There’s no shame in losing to a team of Bayern’s Caliber. The only disappointing thing for me was that the tie was over in 20mins. I think that’s there’s teams with less better players than us that would have given them more of a game. 20 February and the season is already over! and if I’m honest the only game left that I was looking forward to. All that remains now is to achieve the expected.

  85. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Rasp 10.59, Apologies my point was perhaps unclear.

    More simply put – maybe you weren’t offered a match report because people were busy, or had less time to write one, due to it being an evening game. Maybe there’s a pattern..??

    In any case, I’m not sure ANY conclusions can be drawn either way.

    Definitely a good conversation starter though. Thanks

  86. JM says:

    Speaking of Dortmund ….

    Borussia Dortmund board & management blueprint –

    Supervisory board:

    (1) Gerd Pieper (Club Chairman), President of IHK im mittleren Ruhrgebiet zu Bochum.

    (2) Harald Heinze (Club Vice-Chairman), relationships with EMS New Media AG & Dortmunder Stadtwerke AG (provider of public transport, energy services, telecommunication services and real estate development services in Europe.

    (3) Friedrich Merz (Member), relationship with Robert Bosch GmbH (multinational engineering and electronics company headquartered in Gerlingen, near Stuttgart. It is the world’s largest supplier of automotive components.) & AXA Lebensversicherung AG (provider of life and pension insurance services and related products. It offers individual and group insurances through various distribution channels primarily to private customers. The company is headquartered in Cologne, Germany.)

    (4) Christian Kullmann (Member). Head of Corporate Communication Division and Board Office of “Evonik Industries AG”, Essen.

    (5) Bernd Geske (Member), Chief Executive Officer of “Othmar von Diemar Vermögensverwaltung + Beratung”, Cologne.

    (6) Peer Steinbrück (Member), politician, relationships with European Investment Bank (EIB)(European Union’s nonprofit long-term lending institution) & ThyssenKrupp Services AG (provider of process services for manufacturing and processing industries in Germany and internationally.)

    and 12 other respectable members in their Advisory Board.


    (a) Hans-Joachim Watzke (Chairman)

    (b) Thomas Treß (CFO)

  87. 26may1989 says:

    I don’t get this idea that we lost because we had Theo up front because:

    (a) What option was there? Giroud has many qualities but mobility isn’t one of them and that is what would have been needed against such a dynamic, fit and intense defence; and

    (b) We lost the match in midfield, we were never able to control the game, so it didn’t really matter what Theo did or didn’t do.

    I would agree absolutely that yesterday was a great demonstration of why we need to pony up and buy a top quality striker, but without that player in the squad, Theo looked the right selection to me. Unless we were going to play a six-man midfield and ditch having a striker at all. Starting with 442 would have been a big gamble, things would have been even worse in midfield than they were.

  88. Bryan says:

    I don’t also don’t believe that we lost because of Theo upfront, for me it was still the wrong choice but we lost because they are streets ahead of us in class, in every position.
    I think we should of played Giroud up top, against a big team like Bayern, I thought that was the obviuos need but we all see things differently I guess.
    I was extremely dissapointed with Pod & Carzorla’s performances if I’m honest & Verm has been a poor centre back this year without him having to be played as a LB which he certainly is not.
    Still can not for the likes of me understand Ramsey’s continued inclusions, would of prefered Le Coq firstly in DM role or Rosicky even (not as DM obviuosly)
    We lost because we are not a good enough team, plain & simple

  89. dandan says:

    Its us the olduns what wears the “rose Tinted spec’s,” it’s us the media bovver boys love to quote, complacent we is, stuck in the past. Old fogies who can afford the silly prices the Arsenal charges, cos we ad it easy and any way everybody knows a fool and is money are soon parted. Obvious aint it, any one who can settle for this Arsene tippy tappy stuff, just got to be a senile old fool
    I tell yer if the Alzheimer’s adnt got me and I could remember the words, I’d give you lot a right tongue lashing. Always moaning aint yer just cos we aint won nuffink, ow long since them ammers did anything worthwhile and the skinny chicken mob what would they give just to finish in front of us.
    Its cost the Chavs zillions to win some bits a tin at last and are they appy, nah!! No way. 9 managers they have had while Mr Wenger has been building our marvellous club. NINE managers bloody hell our local pole dancing joint aint had that many and that place is as dodgy as a the news of the screws news room.
    The press and the Knockers don’t talk about those clubs do they, the footy clubs I mean,: Thought Knockers and pole dancing might ave confused you: we get like that when we are old. I mean me GN5 and our new mate Joelkaro and even young Kelsey ave a bit of experience between us don’t we, we ave all been watching the boys for 60 years or so. If we ad a quid for every time those poncy posers from Fleet Street and Wapping had called a crises at the club we could buy the bloody place.
    Funny after all those years, of Drama, Pain, Expectation, Disappointment, exultation, joy, triumph, Some things are crystal clear in these befuddled brains of ours, like the image of Frank McClintock lifting the Fairs Cup or Gus Ceaser giving the League cup away to Luton. But above all, we know we are so very fortunate to belong to a special club that deserves more than the dogs abuse and disrespect that so many of our younger fans not only see fit to dole out. But also continue to support and indeed encourage those media outlets both printed and audio whose only purpose in life is to make money by spreading mischief and lets be generous and call it disinformation and not the downright lies they surely are. Like the recent two year AW contract extension, published immediately prior to an important game to cause the maximum discontent in the event that we should lose,
    As Joelkaro said earlier today Arsenal for ever and a day.

  90. 26may1989 says:

    Dandan 🙂

    I forgot to mention earlier, there was an unsavoury incident during the first half last night, when one of the Bayern entourage threw a full Pepsi bottle into the crowd, near where I sit. I don’t think anyone was hurt but a lot of fans in the vicinity were pretty upset about it. However, the stewards didn’t seem to understand very quickly why the fans were wound up. Eventually it clicked and I was told by our nearby steward that the perp (as they say in CSI…) was told not to come back out at halftime.

  91. 26may1989 says:

    Just to be clear, when I said “one of the Bayern entourage”, I meant one of their coaching staff.

  92. dandan says:

    Will UEFA do anything about that I wonder, somehow I doubt it.

  93. 26may1989 says:

    Doubt it too, but a number of us made the complaint to the club officially.

  94. Gooner In Exile says:

    People are questioning whether we can attract sponsors given our current predicament, the amount we are talked about in the press and media in “decline” means its a win win for sponsors. They are in the papers no matter what.

    Rasp thanks for putting up some thoughts on last night it was a humbling game, but as others have said we cannot avoid the fact that Bayern are clearly one of the best sides in Europe.

    We have to aim for that standing, but it will take some time.

  95. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, thanks, actually they weren’t specifically thoughts on last night although the game was the catalyst for the post.

    I haven’t made any comments on the game pre se yet, but I will repeat something I said repeatedly to chas during the game – I thought kozzer was immense and up there with Jack for Arsenal MotM.

  96. dandan says:

    GIE. You are of course completely correct, their is an old saying in Awareness advertising “that only no news is bad news” anything else creates awareness and must therefore automatically be good news

  97. Rasp says:

    dandan, I hear what you and GiE are saying but it depends on the branding – a sports company will want to be associated with a winning mentality, McDonalds will probably just be happy with high exposure. Also, we are making the news because of our perceived failures compared to past glories and if that situation continues, the media will lose interest in us.

  98. jnyc says:

    Nice post Rasp. Especially the title. It describes exactly what i have been thinking and feeling. To the substance of what u said, i want to reiterate what i have been saying– that is that Arsene has broken his own rule of adding too many new players to the team at the same time, and now over a couple of years. Its the only explanation i can think of for the underperformance of this group. A group that i like.

  99. 26may1989 says:

    Completely agree Rasp, Kos was good last night. I came away from the game thinking that he and Wilshere were the only Arsenal players who would get onto the Bayern bench…….

  100. 26may1989 says:

    Guess what just got played on Radio 6: “Saturday Night (Beneath the Plastic Palm Trees)” by some band called the Leyton Buzzards…. Whatever happened to them?????

    They got very good treatment from Steve Lamacq, when he said they were one of the few good bands to compete in (and win) a battle of the bands competition.

  101. dandan says:

    Rasp. Awareness advertising is one of those areas where you can get really lucky, About 15/20 years ago a baseball player had equalled the most home run hits in a season ( I think ) could have been career, and the whole of America was supposedly waiting for this record to be broken.
    Finally he did it hitting the ball out of the playing area clearing the crowd, before hitting slap bang in the centre of an advertising hoarding fixed to the stand. That advert was for our latest product not only was it shown continuously on American TV but all around the world in news bulletins. We calculated that the amount of money we would have to have paid for that much TV exposure would have been more than 5 years world wide advertising budget for the Whole of International corporation for whom I worked

  102. Rasp says:

    Haha, nice story dandan 😛 I guess that although most of Lance Armstrong’s sponsors have pulled out now, they must have gained a huge amount of extra exposure they hadn’t had to pay for in recent months.

  103. 20/20Vision says:

    ArsenalBayern Munich
    10(3) Shots (on goal) 17(6)
    14 Fouls 19
    2 Corner kicks 8
    3 Offsides 2
    58% Time of Possession 42%
    5 Yellow Cards 3
    0 Red Cards 0
    3 Saves 2

    Outclassed ITV pundits? It was hardly Chelski v Barca last season was it? (Bayern’s first conceded goal for 650 minutes?)

  104. 20/20Vision says:

    26thMay’ action or omission endangering life or limb in any workplace usually results in instant dismissal. (I was a shop steward 12 years)


    20/20, thats not true. The other day one of my staff made a terrible mistake that cost me £1.99 in postage. I got him in a headlock and held him there for a good 20 minutes, i had to let him go becuase his work experience time ended and his mum was coming to pick him up. hahaha

  106. barumgooner says:

    Nicely written Rasp but I dont really agree. The main thing that crossed my mind watching the game was that as individuals they were not much different than us but as a whole they looked like a team, organised and disciplined with a gameplan, strategy and tactics. I am getting bored at myself for continually saying it but Arsene has sadly lost the ability to manage a football team… club ?yes without doubt one of the best but a team of players ? Not a hope. In all of the big games this year we have started slow and looked ill-prepared. The defending staff (including coach) have improved yet we now use zonal marking which is just bowlax. I am 100% sure that if it were possible to turn back time and start this season again with AW at Manutd and AF at The Arsenal we would be top by a country mile and the Mancs would be mid-table at best. We could buy half a dozen £20m players and still we would be behind an average team with a good coach. Just look at Mancity and Chelski, they have spent a fortune, their players are better than Utds but they (like us) have a weak link…the manager.

  107. Rasp says:

    Thanks Barum,

    I wrote …… ‘Not only did they have the talent, they had the organisation, work rate and confidence to go with it. But most of all, they are a great team.

    And also ….. ‘Our coaching, particularly in terms of defending, has been pretty poor for several years’ – so I don’t see that there is much we disagree on.

  108. Big Raddy says:

    Some super stuff on here today.

    My thoughts keep referring back to a “slime” comment during the match.

    He bemoaned our luck “The Giroud shot and their 3rd sums up our luck this season. Ridiculous”

    6″ either side of Neuer and we are 2-2 and hot to trot. 6″ the other side of the post and BM are still 2-1 and we remain in the tie.

    Check the records of the Blackburn (AFC 26 shots/ B’burn 6) and Bradford (AFC 28 shots/ B’ford 5) games – we were totally on top and with better fortune would have easily won both ties.

    I am not trying to paper over the cracks but Lady Luck has deserted us at the moment.

    That is not to say that we deserved anything from the game but to point out that we were not annihilated. I said at half-time that BM’s first half was the best I have seen at THOF – they were magnificent.

  109. barumgooner says:

    Fair enough Rasp. The only real difference may be that I truly believe the first choice players we have are more than capable of winning the league.

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Very good intro to the day. I

    know you have been frustrated with AFC’s direction and thought you were restrained in your post. I expected both barrels 🙂

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Barum. Do you think that if Heynkes was managing AFC that we could play as well as BM?

    I dont, but I do think that if AW managed BM they would be just as good.

  112. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy, chas and I sat near some real f***wits last night. They moaned and screamed at the players throughout the game. One of them didn’t appear to celebrate our goal at all. I sang so hard that I lost my voice half way through the second half, I never once groaned and gave all the support I could muster. There is no way I want anything bad for Arsenal but I suspect there are some that would revel in a drubbing at Bayern … I expect us to win 4 nil 😛

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. I would expect nothing less from you than vocal and absolute support. I am deeply envious and would have loved to be at your side singing along.

    The THOF sounded great last night and were giving wonderful support until the 3rd went in. Then it felt like the bubble burst both on and off the pitch

  114. barumgooner says:

    Good point Raddy. I’m not doubting that they are a quality group of players, merely saying that our players are not that far off in class/ability. On a one-off game then no but given time I’m sure Heynkes could improve us with a bit of tactical knowledge and Arsene could make them worse by trying to prove how clever he is.

  115. barumgooner says:

    My best mate is a bit like that, we have both been supporters pretty much all of our lives and grown up together watching them from afar but he is very much a glass-half-empty kinda supporter and believe it or not I am the one who can always see the positives in us and will cheer us on whatever. He is beginning to win me over at the moment and this worries me.

  116. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Good game on sky tonight ac meelan v barc .
    May watch it nothing else on any one else watching it

  117. weedonald says:

    Well this is a great site to ventilate on and Rasp has done that with a vengeance….along with all the others coming to whine about how we used to be and what shite we are now. OK…..if that’s the way you want to treat your beloved Club, that’s fine. We ran up against a better team yesterday and they were able to come away with a convincing win in the CL. So what? Chealsea and City, both have spent billions and are OUT quite awhile ago against inferior opponents according to the ITK and pundits….di they get ribbed and ridiculed by their own fans and the media….not anyway near how you lads treat your beloved team.
    I am beginning to believe that a small minority of whiny, gloomy, pessimists are hogging the stage and preventing the majority of loyal and patient supporters from being seen. It is both hypocritical and cheap thrills to come here and rant about Wenger, our ¨deadwood¨, our poor form, our ¨lackluster¨ team, our retarded players etc. but the real problem is that the weekly targets seem to change, depending on the results. For a long time Szcesny was a world beater, now he’s a useless nit. Cazorla was the buy of the century now he’s a jaded Spaniard, Vermaelen was a rock in defense now he’s on his way out, and all of this is about knee-jerk reactions to a loss.
    Our current ¨hero¨ and golden boy is Wilshere. He deserves the accolades but so do others who try very,very hard and give 100% every game but just aren’t getting the results. Ramsey never slacks off, he works his socks off. Koscielny is always there for a game, he doesn’t back off, Sagna has had his ups and downs this season but he definitely wants to win every game and goes out with that attitude. Yes, the team has let Wenger down on too many occasions this season but they don’t go out on the pitch saying to each other, ¨let’s not try too hard and let’s fuck up so Arsene can look like a fool¨…..but way too many on this and other sites seem to believe that is exactly what they do. Too many also hope that is what they say….LeGrove mentality for sure. They also firmly believe that Wenger is an ignoramus and brain-dead antique who needs to be taken out to pasture and shot like an old nag. This, along with selling the entire team (expect Wilshere and Walcott of course) will solve ALL the Arsenal’s poroblems in one go.
    The title should read: ¨We the fans used to be winners¨ because the whiners and doom-sayers are in the driver’s seat and want to run us right off the cliff into deficit spending and the managerial merry-go-round that have worked so well for City,Chelsea and Real.

  118. Rasp says:

    Some reasonable points there Donald, what a shame you resort to your chosen type of mild insults against those with whom you disagree. I notice you don’t disperse your wisdom on sites where you would receive a much more abrupt response – were you the playground bully by any chance?

  119. barumgooner says:

    Nicely put wd but surely you can see that as a very well paid manager of one of the worlds greatest clubs Wengers performance of late has been far from acceptable. Do you truly believe that he can turn it around and become the manager that he once was ? I will be as happy as the next man if that happens but in my opinion he simply hasn’t got it in him anymore to win at the highest level and I for one am bored of the clubs failure to challenge for honours. There appears to be an acceptance that as long as we get the money from the cl and sky then thats enough. To many that may be so but for me its not. I dont believe it’s the players letting AW down but the other way around, quality players like we have deserve a chance at winning trophies.

  120. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Calm down Donald no need to swear my grandson reads this site.
    Please think before u type.

  121. Rasp says:

    Don’t worry Sheepy, Donald never comes on when were celebrating something good about Arsenal, he only comments in an attempt to censor a debate he is uncomfortable with and unfortunately he thinks being condescending will win him the argument

  122. Janman says:

    Rasp. Great post and in my opinion your comments are spot on. Bayern showed the different in class/skill/technical ability and sadly revealed just how far behind Arsenal are at the moment. Yes we tried hard, we did our best and we had “some” moments where we did rather well but overall there is just no comparison and yes, there are at least 10 teams throughout Europe that are better than us. Reference the comments about Theo up front or Giroud, it really makes no difference because at the end of the day they are just not good enough, good enough for a top four team in the EPL yes but beyond that…sorry. At least three top quality additions need to be made and the defense needs so much work. If Bould is not involved as some seem to think then what is the point of him being there? I love and respect AFC and always will no matter what but the facts are there for all to see and there can be no more excuses we are simply not good enough. This is nothing I itend to further discuss it is nothing more than my humble opinion and I will respect any one who has a different opinion.

  123. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    He’s bright he’s only 10 he can read and right better than me
    Odd eh.

  124. Gooner In Exile says:

    “He’s bright he’s only 10 he can read and right better than me”

    I’m sure that was intentional 😀

  125. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    It was not my first launauge english its welsh that’s y my spelling pants
    Sheepy 🙈

  126. Gooner In Exile says:

    Donald I don’t think there is anyone here hoping to lose to prove a point, I think there are many upset at where the club are compared to where some expect it to be.

    I have been surprised by just how many comments from people on twitter believe we wouldn’t be in this situation if Dein was still at the club, they seem to disregard the fact that Dein brought Kroenke in. Because the board didnt cave in with him he went and found a bigger billionaire who he thought could buy him back in in entirety.

    Now given PHW recent ill health and Dein’s love for the club, how would people take it if Dein took the Chairmans role but ownership control stayed with Kroenke?

    In my opinion we are at an impasse largely caused by Dein who got two wealthy individuals to buy his shares and now neither can really move without the other yielding. If Kroenke invested heavily any cost of buying Usmanovs stake could increase.

  127. Janman says:

    I actually came up with 11 (only my opinion)

    Real Madrid
    Bayern Munich
    Ac Milan
    Inter Milan
    Man Utd
    Man City

  128. Shard says:


    I know the generally accepted truth is that Dein brought Kroenke in, with PHW’s we don’t need his money and his sort quote the reference point for the board’s opposition to him, but I remember checking on this a few years ago. I seem to remember that before this incident, Fiszman had already sold some of his shares to Kroenke. That in itself doesn’t mean anything, but the idea that Kroenke was an outsider and an unknown, introduced to the board by Dein, is I think not the complete truth.

  129. Janman says:

    GIE: I concur that Dein is not the answer also what has Kroenke brought to the club…nothing!

  130. Shard says:

    Kroenke has brought some professionalism in the marketing department Janman.

  131. Janman says:

    Shard. Hmmmmmm that is really impressive! I would have hoped to have seen some personal investment into the team. He could have bought in at least one player surely? (I am just being sarcastic, sorry)

  132. Janman says:

    Rasp. You said in your post at least a dozen teams, I came up with 11, name your teams?

  133. Shard says:


    Which part are you being sarcastic about? About it being impressive (I get the sarcasm there), or the part about hoping for personal investment (I don’t get the sarcasm there because if you believe its not impressive, the latter is what you believe) So..I’m confused.

  134. Rasp says:

    Hi janman, I wrote the post in 2 minutes in a tearing hurry when it was apparent we had nothing to publish this morning, I agree with you about the 11 – and I pray totnum don’t make up the 12th come the end if the season

  135. Fantastic game in Milan ……. the Barca lot are two down 🙂

  136. Rasp says:

    Can anyone tell me who got the assist for giroud’s goal yesterday?

  137. Janman says:

    Thanks Rasp

    Shard: Reference marketing.

  138. Janman says:

    Rasp. Girouds goal? It was Poldi who scored.

  139. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Good game peaches cese playing

  140. Poldi’s goal Rasp – from a corner 🙂

  141. Shard says:

    Heh. Barca going long ball.. I suddenly realised today that Italian football is making quite a comeback. Not just because of the result right now, but there are some teams in Italy who have a very good collection of players.

  142. Theo has the assist Rasp, no-one else touched the ball.

  143. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    “Thank you and goodnight – much love”,
    Sheep Hagger™.

  144. I thought Milan looked good, they are a pretty young team now, lots of changes from the team that beat us last season.

  145. Shard says:


    You can choose to dismiss it, but marketing is the underlying factor behind ManU’s success.

  146. slime says:

    That Niang looked good when he came on. We had him on trial. I still think El Sharaawy is going to be a world beater. Was brilliant.

  147. Rasp says:

    Silly me, of course it was pod, I should know, I was there 😦

  148. Gooner In Exile says:

    Theo assist?

    It was a left footer for the corner surely?

  149. Rasp says:

    Oh no GiE, don’t say that, I’ve just updated all the widgets 😦

  150. Janman says:

    Shard. When did I say I was dismissing it? Big difference between simply being sarcastic about a subject versus totally dismissing it!

  151. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sorry Rasp, scratch it off for Theo, BBC says Wilshere assist for the corner….I concur.

  152. Gooner In Exile says:

    See both Vermaelen and Wilshere have come out in support of Arsene, Tommy also had the following to say:

    “The fans must not forget that we need them because they belong to the team and to the club, Sometimes, as a player, you are frustrated as well. If you lose you get frustrated but it’s not the right thing to act on. We have to stick together, work hard. We need each other.”

  153. Shard says:


    I don’t think the difference between the two is that big, but whatever..Let’s just move on.

  154. Sorry Rasp, my fault 😦

  155. slime says:

    I see Barca are in crisis….!

  156. Shard says:

    AA admins,

    There should be an article I sent in the arsenalnuts inbox. Whether it’s good enough to be a post is another matter.. That’s for you to decide.. Anyway. It’s goodnight from me.

  157. weedonald says:

    Rasp: if anyone believes in bullying here it’s you. You make snide comments when others bring you up on your vaunted opinions, but can’t take the heat regardless. I don’t insult others… I reply to their opinions with respect…if you want to take umbrage, that’s fine. Your are clearly in error when you say that I don’t disperse my wisdom on sites where I would receive a much more abrupt response (any response is no threat to me) – I write at will on a number of very controversial sites, and have even posted on LeGrove, where vitriol, rancour and ridicule is a way of life, so don’t judge me or others based on your limited knowledge of me.
    Who’s being condescending now Rasp? Your statement that I don’t come on AA when we win is ridiculously and patently wrong and I have no problem with dissenting opinion, just endless negativism that feeds the media frenzy and the minority anti-Arsenal whiners who can’t find anything to praise AFC or Wenger, regardless.
    I know you think you’re a privileged guardian of all that is AA and a founder of the original crew, but so what….since I’ve started posting on this site you seem determined to demean my views and right to post what I like, when i like….ok, again that is your thing…I don’t worry about it or your sanctimonious attitude….its all smoke and mirrors.
    To those who might have been offended by some of the language I used in my first post, my apologies. It was written in a mix of despair at how our ¨fans¨seem to love to demean their beloved Club and a frustration at how populism seems to be more important than honesty with some posters.

  158. Rasp says:

    No sorry Donald it’s much simpler than that, you’re just rude in the way you attack those whose opinions you disagree with. I’m sure you don’t talk to people in the street in the way you address them in writing so why not try to be more courteous in your blogging. Many others made similar points to you yesterday without using insulting terminology. You may think you are the self appointed protector of arsenal but don’t come on here and lecture us, you’re as bad as spectrum, you never want to hear what others say, you just want to shove your opinions down our throats.

  159. slime says:

    Did anyone see the Milan game last night? They showed exactly what can be done with organisation, defensive leadership, and the willingness to work your nuts off. The ability of their team is nowhere near that of the opposition, yet they won 2-0 with barely a shot registered against them.

    This made me think of the way we played against Bayern and where we might be going wrong. One of the things that became apparent is the philosophy of Wenger. He has always been of the opinion that if we implement our own game to its maximum, then we can beat ANY team, including Bayern. This is brilliant for the 5% of the time we are on the top of our game, but what about the rest!?

    Wengers recent tactical lapses are born of the fact that he rates his players too highly. Giving them the freedom to express themselves and influence a game is brilliant, but there have to be times when you hold your hands up and say ‘these are better than us at the moment, be it due to form, confidence, or ability, and therefore we need to stop them playing first’.

    You only have to look at the way Phil Jones marked Ronaldo out of most of the Man Utd v Real Madrid first leg to see that these tactics can be used to good effect. Or look at the way Milan worked tirelessly to pack the midfield and stop Messi being 1v1 with any player.

    Wenger needs to learn that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and at the moment all the eyes watching his Arsenal team would see victory as beautiful, in any shape or form.

    Milan showed last night that winning ugly can be beautiful.

  160. dandan says:

    Morning Rasp seems all is well in the world 🙂 AW has money to spend the board and players still love him and the press is reduced to sniping by those facts. As for weedonald well we get them from time to time,people’s environment’s are often revealed by how they express themselves.
    Just think how my poor family must suffer. 😦

  161. Rasp says:

    Morning dandan, I know you are an old fashioned gentleman so I’m sure your family cherish you 😛 ,Yes, the news looks good and we have games to win and a team to support.

    I knew everywhere yesterday would be buzzing with critical analysis and we couldn’t ignore what was happening, but in the main I am proud of the mature way bloggers addressed the subject.

    We have a new writer today, she’s written from the heart and I hope she will be well received on AA.

  162. Rasp says:

    Morning slime, I agree we could learn a thing or two from Milan in their tactics. Do we ever resort to man marking when the opposition have a ‘danger man’?

  163. mallard says:

    Thanks for the post, Rasp.
    I agree with most of it apart from the club openly admitting that CL qualification being an acceptable level of success bit and the ‘losers’ bit.

    Great to see you, peaches and 26 on Tuesday.

    Both Ant and me couldn’t believe how nice it was to sit alongside such a positive and wholehearted supporter as yourself. (This, bearing in mind your ‘tell it like it is, lost my tail, Eeyore’ blogging persona 🙂 )

  164. mallard says:

    As for the game, BR’s 6.09 sums up the turning point for me.

    Giroud scores at 2-1 down and who knows what would have happened. As it was, the Bayern 3rd goal was spawny to the nth degree and killed our revival.
    As for the game being over after 20 minutes. Well that’s patently ridiculous.

  165. Rasp says:

    Morning mallard, great to have your company at the game too. I like to add a tad of controversy to a post otherwise it becomes a bit insipid, its no good covering all the bases and leaving no room for disagreement 😕

    It is often the case that other bloggers think they know you or can read your mind, I’m sure many assume I spend all game slagging off the players – like you, the only slagging off I dispensed was directed at that numbskull sat in front of us – I despair, why does he even bother coming to games?

  166. evonne says:

    slime at 7:50 – great comment. I watched the game and enjoyed it thoroughly. I felt sorry for the Catalans, because Milan concentrated on stopping Barca playing rather than playing themselves. Fair play to the Italians, they succeeded.

    Cesc is getting fat and was subed 😦 is he becoming a FSBW?

  167. kelsey says:

    Rasp and others Good morning.

    Am i justified Rasp to do a post which disagrees with a lot that people are saying on here. I don’t want to waste my time if you decide not to use it. The ball is in your court.

  168. mallard says:

    Some people feed off the misery, Rasp.
    Sad f*ckers.

  169. kelsey says:

    Mallard when you said

    “As for the game being over after 20 minutes. Well that’s patently ridiculous.” in theory you are right but in reality you are way off the mark.

  170. mallard says:

    Alex Song played well last night I thought.

    As Rasp has just said, what’s the point of a post which everyone agrees with. There’d be nothing to discuss.
    It seems strange that you still don’t seem to understand that AA is for all viewpoints (especially being a founding father 🙂 ). It’s how they are presented that causes the disagreement.

  171. mallard says:

    We were a gnat’s cock hair away from being 2-2.
    There’s only one person who’s way off the mark.

  172. mallard says:

    Off to the gym. byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

  173. David says:

    Bayern Munich’s payroll is smaller than ours
    Wenger has squandered money away and overpaid poor players that’s why we cannot compete.His tactics are old and now outdated.
    We do not have a winning mentality and it can be seem on the pitch,
    4th is not a target. but for our overpaid manager it is an easier option than to try to win the league as we used to.

  174. kelsey says:

    Don’ty lecture me mallard if you don’t mind, and quite frankly i don’t like your way of addressing me.

  175. evonne says:

    Hi Kelsey, I am looking forward to reading your post 🙂

    WeeD – I liked your comment; I also said that the doom and gloom is damaging to the Club and spreads like a disease amongst even the most loyal fans. If we cannot respect our own club and its manager, then we don’t deserve the respect of others. Notice how the evil media concentrate on Arsenal fans booing their own team, they just love it. They would not utter a word if we applauded the lads off the pitch

  176. evonne says:

    David – did you copy and paste some old slogans from lesser sites?

  177. Rasp says:

    Morning Kelsey, of course you can write on any topic you choose, you know we do not exercise censorship in terms of content 🙂

  178. evonne says:

    Rasp – I was referring to WeeD’s fist comment.
    WeeD – re Rasp – like him or not ( I do) this site depends on him. He is doing a sterling job at his own time and expense.
    I think we all feel a bit tender lately, understandably, but scratching each others eyes won’t win us trophies. Unity is the name of the game

  179. David says:

    Evonne no but nothing lasts forever, Bobby Robson was man enough to leave Newcastle when he was in the same position. Wenger is not like Fergie he has been unable to sustain a team that can a least challenge for a title.Look at the dross in our squad that we cannot sell because they are overpaid. That money could have brought 3 world class players without any extra cost.

  180. Mallard says:

    My apologies, kelsey. I only thought I was reiterating what Rasp, BR and other respected members have said many times before.
    As far as the match goes, we disagree in our assessment of it. Surely that’s allowed isn’t it.

  181. Manthan says:

    GudMOrning all hope all are doing good,

    There is a point in the david comments “We pay High Wages to poor players” I agree with you santos,squillaci,Gerv dont deserve the pay aresenal give them…

    I guess Gerv will be way out of arsenal next season he cant improve and Arsene dont see him as future of arsenal now he was out of CL first leg too any toughts????

  182. evonne says:

    David – EX-AC-Ly!!! and what happened to Newcastle when sir Bobby resigned??

  183. Manthan says:

    I feel Arsene has learnt from his mistake if you see dis winter window he has loaned out most of the fringe players Djouro,Santos,chamakh May be as now funds are availble he want to built a new team next year… Asharvin n squallci will be free agent next season so we dont have more fringe player left…

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  185. David says:

    Evonne stick your head over the parapet and smell the coffee

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