Arsenal – Darwin or Lenin?

This attempt at a post was borne out of my genuine desire to know how people feel about this. And by this I mean the following: Whether Evolution is better than Revolution. I ask this fully aware of the difficulties in even deciding what counts as revolution, while what counts as evolution can also be disputed (such as by the creationists of Chelsea)

What does this have to do with Arsenal? Well, I doubt that needs explaining. I don’t think any gooner in the world is unaware about the differences of opinion among the fans, with it being debated (to be charitable) the club is either in terminal decline, the only remedy to which is letting the blood run on the streets, or is just short of mutating into a Santa-esque (red and white and spreading good cheer) version of the Incredible Hulk, smashing everyone in its path to victory.

I’m going to make it easy for everyone and just say that I believe an evolutionary process is the way to go. I mean, apart from the fact that I’m always right, it is the way humans, and indeed all creatures, have survived up to this point. You can’t argue against nature can you? For the more pedantic among you (cough..RA..cough), you can, but you’ll lose.

Having said that, revolutions, at varying scales, seem to be all the craze in human history. You just know that the first caveman who proclaimed himself king, was sought to be toppled (or clobbered) by someone the next day. A mini revolution if you will. These happen every day in one form or another, but they are so miniscule, and so much a part of life, that these never count as revolution, rather as part of the evolutionary process.

So herein we reach the problem of how to differentiate between Messrs Evo and Revo Lution? What makes a true revolution? In my view, it is the evolution of certain revolutionary ideas that makes revolution worth its name. The abolition of slavery, the writings of Voltaire and Rousseau in the French revolution, growth of socialist and communist ideas in the Russian revolution etc. It is these ideas that have survived rather than the revolution itself. Most revolutions tend to become the very thing they are supposed to have rebelled against, unless the ideas that produced them are adhered to in practice, and then built on. (Napolean followed the French revolution, The peasants were in many cases worse off under Soviet rule than Tsarist rule) Evolution (as regards political processes) is far less spectacular, but the stability it offers, provides the basis of meaningful, and usually irreversible change/progress.

So let’s return to Arsenal. What would count as revolution, and what is just part of our evolution as a club? We’ve sacked managers before and this is hardly a path breaking concept. So it shouldn’t count as revolution, should it? Except, it does. No other manager in our history, and perhaps no other manager in the world, with the exception of Sir Rednose at Red Mancs, has had the level of impact at a club that Wenger has had on ours. In fact, it could be argued that Wenger’s impact on Arsenal was in itself a revolution. The dietary and training regimen imposed on players, the ability to find players no one had ever heard of and to get them to play the brand of fast, free flowing football that we did, was unheard of in England in those days, leave alone the impact (not yet fully realised) of the building of the training ground and stadium and of overhauling our academy structure. So, has that revolution run its course, and is it time to indulge in another?

In my view, no. Especially, not without having an idea of what this revolution is supposed to entail. What ideas and philosophy does this new revolution expound and seek to uphold? Till now, I haven’t heard of one beyond the narrow aims of spending money, more trophies, better players etc. And until I hear a revolutionary alternative, an idea so moving, and a purpose so worthy and desirable so as to justify its cost, I’ll be sticking with the path our club is on now. Remember, without ideas, you are just a headless caveman looking for the pot of gold at the end of the windmill.

Written by Shard


133 Responses to Arsenal – Darwin or Lenin?

  1. Shubham says:

    Interesting post Shard pointing out very important aspects about the purpose of actions and its desired result and the ways to achieve the ends. Winning trophies and being glamorous club is not difficult if one throws money. But the thrill is in building a team that gradually evolves. Though patience in the Arsenal world is running dry, I would still give Wenger time till his contact period to make this dream happen.

  2. Manthan says:

    Rasp Sure it will be my pleasure to write a post.. will give a try if something intersting topic comes in my mind πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Coming to post…
    Great post Mate…. Anybody can win trophies by throwing money but that is volatile chesky,citeh are the example but winning trophy with money doesnt create history and no one will remember that victory in future…. True Victory is by winning something after hell lot of hardwork… There is a different feeling in the both the case suppose take first scenario tomrow arsenal throw money in tranfer market they bring world class player they build a team with all the stars and win PL and in second scenario arsenal win PL with same players what we have now and may be addition of some ( mixture of youth and experience).. The winning feeling will be different in both the case obviosly fans will be on cloud 9 but in the first case we know we invested money so we gonna win but in second case we fight hard and atlast achieve the result and statisfaction will be more in second case not in first… Anything which is earned by hardwork,dedication and effort is very valuable… Victory always taste good if it has been achieved after continous failure and I have a feeling we will one day…..

    Hope everybody understood what i told πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  3. Kgooner says:

    I may suffer from the memory lapses of a goldfish. . .but, blog post of the year! Well composed and deserves critical thought. Great post shard!
    Those calling for wenger’s head on a slate havent offered a solution to competitive ways, but rather a bandaid over a nasty wound rather than a trip to the hospital. Right now, if wenger is sacked, we wont become better over night and will go through a tough transition. Thats assuming we can muster a magic solution that will revive us to trophy glory. What if we don’t? Will they bear 10 years w\o a trophy?

    If i understood you rightly, we need a transition plan to minimize damage. Let wenger serve out his time while a successor and club matters are sorted out for a smooth transition.

    I’ll get back here later. Bank teller gave me bad news. Hav to walk halfway thro town to sort it out at some other branch

  4. Rasp says:

    Congratulations Shard, a very challenging post.

    I would look at it in a slightly different way. I think we need to stop being reactive and start being proactive and if that means radical change then so be it, if it means ‘tweaking’ then that’s fine too.

    It has been said many times in recent years that we were only 2 players short of a side that compete at the very top – but we haven’t signed those players. We’ve sold our best players and then reacted to the weakened state of the team by bringing players to plug a gap rather than take the squad to the next level. I accept that the financial constraints associated in building the Emirates were thee reason for this course of acion

    We do not have the excuse that the money is not available any more so my patience is running out and if we don’t use it to actually bring us back to where a club of our stature should be, then I will be in favour of revolution

  5. slime says:

    For all the tactical discussions and arguments about lack of effort, weak mentality and poor finishing, there is always one key factor that seems to get overlooked in the world of football……Luck.

    Luck plays a huge part in all games, and none more so than football. Wether it be injuries, the run of the ball, referee decisions, goal line mishaps or transfer dealings, luck effects everything.

    If you take the transfer side of things, we can see the difference it has made to Arsenal football club in the last few years. Wenger has always bought bad players during his time, even the great sides had duds like Pennant, Wright, Jeffers, Stepanovs etc sat on the bench, but he was fortunate enough to have bought enough quality players during this time to have a brilliant team. Unfortunately, during the last few years that balance has shifted, and more duds seem to have stepped through the door than ever. Has he changed his scouting policy? Probably not. It’s just the fact that no matter how long you scout a player for, there is no telling wether that player will be the real deal once he arrives (Reyes, Arshavin, Chamakh etc). Im not saying that theres no skill involved in signing players, thet would be ridiculous, but some of it is down to luck.

    If you take our injury record over the last 8 years it doesn’t take a genius to see how unlucky we have been. A prime example is the Eduardo injury, which had it not happened, we would’ve probably gone on and won the league that year. Again, not much we can do about it.

    The other part of bad luck has been the run of the ball. You can do everything right as a player in certain positions and still come off worse. Take Giroud’s strike against Bayern, for example. He couldn’t have hit that any sweeter with his wrong foot, yet it flies straight at the keeper. Yet, we have Blackburn and Bayern players, among others, scuffing shots into our top corners! Dreadful luck.

    Now I’m not saying that all football is a game of luck, as what would be the point, but I think it’s certainly something that should be taken into account when assessing certain games and situations. I believe we are due a huge slice in the coming years, but as the wait goes on for it to materialise, one does start to worry that the current stadium and team may be cursed!

  6. Merseforever says:

    I don’t think we have a defined philosophy on the pitch any more either (which in itself is no bad thing). What is Arsenal’s philosophy? It should be to do the utmost it can to compete to the very best of its abilities. I loved the early Wenger era of fast free flowing football, but we haven’t seen it in years. Arguably Arsenal’s true philosophy is pragmatic, sometimes labelled ‘boring’ play. Even in the Fabregas era I always felt were too slow, too ponderous and not nearly direct enough. So many times this year commentators have said, ‘Arsenal aren’t playing like they normally do, Arsenal aren’t in gear yet etc…’ the point is, apart from against sides lower than us in the division (and even then not always) we don’t really play particularly attractive football any more. Would you say the football we play is anymore attractive than any other team in the top 6/7 in the table right now. I wouldn’t.

    People on here know that if we were to use the crude labels of ‘AKB’ and ‘Wenger Out’ I definitely fall into the latter. Being ultra critical I could easily say Arsenal’s philosophy on the pitch has become to be obsessed with posession, be too indirect, not take risks (apart from Jack), lack off the ball movement, never shoot and above all (and this is the most important part) have a terribly drilled and terribly performing defence.

    You say Wenger had a massive impact on our club in terms of the dietary changes he made and the European wide scouting system he had. He did, and it was amazing. But now everyman and his dog (in terms of football clubs) has the same thing. Other clubs have better scouting systems than us. Wenger was revolutionary when he arrived, he isn’t any more. Look at the fact that he hardly ever changes his backroom staff. Red nose changes them every 3-4 years. He knows how to delegate.

    I guess the point I’m trying to make is that in isolation, forgetting the fact that the we have a terrible board at Arsenal, Wenger has made too many poor football decisions in terms of transfers and on the pitch in the last few years for me to think he’s the best man for the job anymore. He’s not the only good manager in world football. There are plenty more out there, and frankly if we offer a salary of Β£7.5 million a year, I’m pretty sure a fair few would take the bait.

    It’s not the not winning trophies that bothers me, it’s the fact that club is stagnating. What improvements have we seen in defence in the last five years? None. There were players we could have signed but didn’t not because we didn’t have the money, but because Arsene dithered at the last second. Mata thought he was coming to us, but we didn’t want to meet his buy out claus, it expired and then Chelsea came in with a higher bid. Arsenal bid Β£3 million for Cahill. Arsene had a fantastic team in 2008 but refused to buy a new keeper. I think Rasp has it exactly right. Too reactive and not proactive.

  7. joe p says:

    The past is full of great memories, but Arsenal need to move on. I’m all for Wenger honouring his contract, but he must leave when contract expires in a dignified way and NOT have any say on his replacement.
    His due for retirement soon anyway so whether you want him to go or not, he’s off.
    Let’s look at the reality of the situation though; it has been a slow, almost camouflaged decline, starting to bear fruit from the ongoing collective mistakes made from the past 6 years. This is not the Arsene we knew, he is gone forever, never to return again.
    The fact that Bayern’s wages are lower than ours says it all.
    Go and support Arsene FC please.

  8. goonerjake says:

    Very Interesting Post,

    I suppose it come’s down to what you propose the true mark of success to be. I believe revolution is a easy concept to adopt as a lot of clubs go through it, by that I mean you go through bad periods and then a good period comes along for a while (late 80’s early 90’s) then inevitably a down turn of fortunes, then if your lucky another good period (late 90’s early 2000’s / Invincible’s for example). That’s where revolution gets it’s name it keeps on coming around.

    Where as evolution means to continually keep progressing, so in this sense it would take on the following. Mr Wenger to continue with the self sustaining / bringing through talent model and eventually develop the club to bring about sustained and continued success. (I WANT THIS)

  9. slime says:


    You said that you understand that we have had to sell our best players in order to find the stadium. The last player we sold was RvP at the beginning of this season.

    Then in the next sentence you say that the excuse is now invalid as we have money to spend, but your patience is wearing thin.

    You need to have more patience if you think that Wenger should’ve taken us back to where we should be only 7 months after selling another top player!

    I believe that we have now seen the last of our big player departures, as let’s be honest we haven’t got many left! πŸ˜‰ but we have to give Wenger a chance to rebuild. Too many people seem unsure as to when the selling of big players ended, and the rebuilding of the squad began. For me, that rebuild started in January, as that’s the only window we have had without big stars going out.

    The man deserves one full TW dictating the ins and outs on his terms to rebuild this squad and its fortunes. If no improvement after that, then get someone else. I would love to see fans reunite knowing that it’s possibly Wengers last year at the club.


    Nice Shard, viva la revolutionory.

    Back in Crete i knew this old boy that used to make clay pots. he was a lovely man, a bit eccentric. He had a Goat for a pet that used to sit in with him when he produced the pots.

    Whilst watching him painstakingly mould these pots and then hand craft them i said to him “Mr Goats, this is taking you ages, isnt there a faster process”? He replied “No my boy, the pot has a life of its own and will evolve in its own way. But if you give me a new clay that is better than the one i have then i will happily smash the pot and start all over again”

    So what is the point of this story? if your envoirement fundamentaly changes e.g. like chelsea or city then yes, you instigate revolution. If on the other hand the card hand you are dealt changes graduly with the next card then you evolve. Thats were Arsenal are.

    And the Goat seemed very happy with this too.

  11. Rasp says:

    Hi slime, the “I accept that the financial constraints associated in building the Emirates” bit was just a general reference to the lack of money up until 2011. The debt is manageable. We have wasted Β£30m+ of our annual wage bill in recent years on players who contribute nothing to the squad and cannot be sold on. This was as a result of poor decision making and a deeply flawed wage policy IMO.

    I have been very patient I think. Lewis Holtby is a player who would have strengthened our squad, he is a genuine wide player who can actually cross a ball – but we allowed the other lot get him on the cheap because we persistently undervalue our targets.

  12. dandan says:

    Some interesting thought processes there Shard and a different kind of post
    Revolution rarely achieves what the populace seeks look at the so called Arab spring, already it is in trouble and life has got worse for many and the protesters are on the move again.

    The Arab revolution at city has run out of steam and will have to relaunched this summer at great expense if it is to stay in the race, unless of course they are prepared to sit back, accept it will take time and concentrate on bringing youngsters through by way of the impressive, academy and community work they are ploughing money into at the moment.

    That would be a case of revolution morphing into evolution it would also mean a change of manager,Roberto Mancini is the archetypal money manager, developing players is a job for others to do for his benefit, chequebooks in his world are far more important than coaching manuals a Dictator by choice and inclination, a driver not a leader of men.

    Arsene too is a dictator albeit a benevolent one, capable of tough decisions when necessary, witness the number of youngsters sold on or let go as being not fit for purpose in his eyes, but capable of making decent livings elsewhere, alongside others who’s ability he had invested in, who now some say are on salary’s that preclude them from being moved on outside of the loan system.
    Meanwhile leading a revolution that has taken us from a fashionable club with aristocratic connections to a club at the leading edge of technology, who’s methods have been copied unashamedly throughout the leagues and changed the face of British football for ever.

    Evolution will now take over as as new stars are brought in to bolster and enhance the skilful graduates passing through our system to cement in place the skills now synonymous with the Arsenal way. At which point Arsene will either as his contract ends next year, re-sign and finish the job, or help in the recruitment of a manager in his own image to carry on the master plan which he has no doubt, whether it be obvious or not to us outsiders, laid down with the full support of the board and our American owner.

  13. kelsey says:

    Thanks for the post but unfortunatlely don’t have time to respond as i am literally waiting for a phone call that i have completed on a property.
    My response will be a sort of counter arguement which will be in a form of a post in the next few days.

  14. harry671 says:

    shard, nice one, For me its about evolution, revolution is great but the foundation is often unbalanced and often too wet to support the pillars that hold the roof up, so eventually will crash around you.

    Its the speed of the evolution and often the misguided messages that confuse and frustrate the gooner populous, which is the crux of the question and post…….

    I agree with Rasp, in that we have for too long been just two players short of a title winning / challenging (genuinely) team……

    I have heard comments of major surgey required and / or over 100million needed to be spent to catch Chelsea and the Manks, complete tosh…….thats like saying bale is equal to messi, but perception fuels discussion.

    Success is borne from two fundamental requirements, aptitude (ability) and attitude, the first one we have in abundance, throughout the squad.

    Its the second one that lets us done, the collective attitude is at times, well simply poor, motivationally we seem bereft, why is that? Belief seems to be fragile at best, Jack seems to be the only one who tries to inspire by action, which is what we need more of.

    The fans are generally flat, I have often berated the attitude of our fans at matches and thought the lack of atmosphere has been counter productive at times, but I have always caveated that with the players must make us fans believe, at times this season more than any other that I can remember, that believe is in short supply….hence the fans getting on their backs quicker. (Although I detest booing mid match, but fans have the right at the end to make their feelings felt)

    After a tumultuous personal year, and minimal visits to the home of the footballing gods, I am returning to the emirates tomorrow to give my support to my team, who need us more than ever now……

    Hope to catch up with Rasp, Peaches and the other AAers if chance permits………

    I have also two more spares up for grabs at face value (40), I will check back later, but you can get a message to me via Rasp and Peaches if you want them. The seats are in near the Red Action area………


    Nice post harry. Good luck to you, and enjoy your return to the Home of Football.

  16. nihirealist says:

    Thank you for the comments guys, and thanks Rasp for putting it up on the site.

    The idea was really to explore a question that I keep pondering from time to time. What does a revolution achieve? In my view, qualitatively, not much. Except some ideas, as I said in the post. Revolutions are sexy. They offer hope, they offer a break in monotony. It doesn’t make them worth much except the initial excitement. (thanks dandan for picking up on that)

    It is actually this monotony of finishing top 4 that has got Arsenal fans so eager for change, any change. Liverpool had a 5 (or is it 6) year wait for a trophy (League cup) , while going bankrupt, dropping out of the top 4, and giving up on building a new stadium. Yet the press, and crucially, their fans, have largely been accepting of their place in the changed football climate. (Hodgson excepted and I think that was because they till then hadn’t accepted their position in the hierarchy of things)

    However, change is inevitable. Arsenal and Wenger are changing. Wenger changed towards giving youth more of a chance when we no longer had the finances to buy like he did earlier. Arsenal went from paying British transfer records, and record salaries, to being ridiculed for not paying the going rate. Why? Because circumstances changed. (refer TMHT’s view on ceramics πŸ™‚ ) Circumstances are about to change again. FFP is coming into play, both in Europe and domestically (flawed as they are), new tv money is coming, commercial deals are about to come into effect, the board is changing, and yes, Wenger’s contract is up soon. The pace of this change is probably too gradual for some, but change is still coming. Would speeding up this change help or harm, or do nothing different? It’s hard to say. But in my view, rushing something through when it isn’t quite time, doesn’t lead to a positive outcome for any length of time.

    Oh, in case you didn’t realise. This is Shard’s new, hopefully temporary, alter-ego. πŸ™‚

  17. nihirealist says:


    I think Arsenal have changed their scouting policy. Once the richer clubs got into the action in the traditional markets, Arsenal’s policy of in-depth scouting probably had to change. There was an interesting piece on this by Tim@7amkickoff a few weeks ago. basically, Arsenal scout deeply and thoroughly for younger players, where there is less competition for them, such as for the Ox.. For the rest, Arsenal have probably tried to throw the net wider, but spread a little thinner.

  18. Merseforever says:

    Can I ask a question then of all those who are proclaiming the merits of evolution over revolution and using this as a justification for not replacing Arsene. What suggests to you, in terms of his recent transfers (players he’s let go as well as players he’s brought in), squad selection, tactics etc that he is still the best man for the job.

    I am grateful for all he has done for us, but I don’t feel we owe him anything. He’s best paid manager in the league. He’s been given a free hand in running most of the football club. For Christ’s sake he interviewed his Gazidis, his own boss. When he goes, which I hope is soon, I want a clean break. I don’t want him upstairs and I don’t want this mutated version of Wengerball which has become our style of play, to remain our style of play. It seems like mental fragility has now pervaded all levels of the club, right down to the youth teams…. If we really have to resign ourselves to not ever competing for signing big name players we have to have players and tactics that are flexible. Look at Juventus. Can play the posession game (their match against Chelsea at Turin) or sit back absorb pressure and be devastating on the break (against Celtic).

    I hope our next manager is a pragmatist, not an idealist because that’s exactly what we need. In a way I’m agreeing with everyone who says that revolutions are over-rated. That too is (rightly) taking pragmatism over idealism. But in my view it is quite clearly idealistic to believe that an undoubtedly great man who nevertheless has many flaws, is going to magically fix them.

  19. nihirealist says:


    About us not having money. The difference is that now we not only have the money, we have an assured amount coming to us for the foreseeable future. Hence I think, we’ll be spending more soon. If we’d spent earlier, it would have probably cost us less, but it would have meant depleting our reserves (which are only as sizeable as they are because we didn’t spend) As slime said, luck is a factor in winning or losing. We MIGHT have won some trophies if we did go all out then, or we mightn’t have. It would be a risk, and would probably prompt a firesale of our players if it didn’t work out and we couldn’t sustain ourselves. All at a quicker rate, and at lower prices received. It is the risk that Liverpool took essentially. And for a while, they challenged ManU for top spot in the league. Before going into administration. Was the chance of a few trophies an acceptable risk with that in mind? The board obviously didn’t think so, and neither do I.

  20. Rasp says:

    Great to hear from you Harry. Peaches will be at the game (and Tavern) tomorrow but unfortunately my own ‘tumultuous year’ continues. Hope to see you at a game some time in the future.

  21. Rasp says:

    Hi nihirealist, the mathematician in me will not accept the ‘luck’ theory. All teams/supporters going through a bad spell think they’re unlucky.

    If the opposition gets a lucky goal against you, but you win the game, you don’t consider yourself unlucky. Feeling unlucky is just an emotional reaction to circumstances that don’t go your way – moaning about your luck just makes others think you’re a loser.

    Manu have had worse luck than us with injuries in the last 2 seasons – but no one views them as losers..

  22. nihirealist says:


    Are you saying that increased spending on better players ensures victory?

  23. nihirealist says:

    Also Rasp. You can’t tell me you haven’t noticed the sort of refereeing decisions that have gone against Arsenal in the past few years. Some were very high profile, other more ‘subtle’, but refereeing is a factor not in Arsenal’s control, and it hasn’t been very fair.

    All fans or teams may feel they were unlucky when they lose, but does that mean that not even one of them actually was?

  24. Rasp says:

    Come on nihi, you’re better than that πŸ˜‰ Of course spending more doesn’t guarantee victory (before anyone quotes Torres at me).

    But spending more and spending wisely gives you a better chance than being frugal (when you don’t have to be) and settling for a lower standard.

  25. nihirealist says:


    No I know. It was rhetorical. But you see, that’s where the risk, or luck, comes in. You have a better chance, but at the end of the day, you don’t win 65% of a trophy. You either win or you don’t. Hence, making it a risk to chase after it by depleting your entire stock of reserves. Could we have taken more of a risk? That’s a judgment call, and obviously decided on factors we won’t know such as which players were available at what level of spend required.

  26. harry671 says:

    Merseforever, I can see why many and you are one of those that would see AW ousted from the club, I agree we dont owe him anything.

    Its not of unconditional love or because I am doing him a favour, believe me I have at times shown frustration with some of his decisions, but I still believe for now, there is enough there to keep him at the helm.

    I wrote an article, that some might remember where I commented that I had wrote three years earlier that Wenger had one more season to win something or he should maybe go, so I have been there, but he convinced me then that there was more to this and that said I brought into the slow process of evolution.

    At times you have to adjust as the landscape changes, he has had to do that several times, external influences beyond his control and the articfical bloating of the transfer market due to oil rich funds has made it harder.

    I have an article partly wrote that I might finish and post soon, about Porject Youth and Wengers seemingly stubborn policies, I believe he is a stubborn man, who takes this personally and has without doubt the future interests of this club at heart.

    Now, not one of us truly knows the extent that the board limit actions of the boss, and I agree that it seems that money is present to spend where required, he has at times held back when perhaps he should of gone for it and took a chance, there has been players available that are better than one or two of our squad players that we should have gone for, maybe we did? but the deal didnt materialise, who knows? I dont.

    Wenger, once said, not a quote, I saw the interview, he was clear that “one day the truth will come out” that statment alone gives me feeling about what he has had to battle against to keep us in the top 4, then couple that with what I think is a very good squad, with reasonable depth I have faith for now, he will turn this around. This squad truly has a feel of longevity about more so now than at any stage of the fabled Project Youth………But he has been buying older players of late? strange that…….

    Just think some fans, should maybe take a step back and look at the whole picture, then drill into the detail, you will find the devil…..

    Gibbs, Jenkinson, Wilshere, Walcott, Chamberlain, Ramsey all on long term deals, that is the best british core we had in years, all with potential to succeed at the highest level.

    We have experience around them to support and grow them, add a couple more and we will be challenging, so why chuck away wenger and possibly start again?

    Dont misunderstood, although I have been here before and let him off, I am in last chance saloon with Arsene, but I believe in what he is trying to build and can see some light at the end of the tunnel…….

    Remember, the taste of defeat surely only sweetens the taste of victory, to know and feel defeat often reveals the ones that want to truly win the most….

    At times this season we have ripped teams apart for short periods, even those that supposedly had ripped us apart, its coming, I am sure of it…….

    So for now, he has my support.

  27. harry671 says:

    Rasp, shame, hope all is well and catch up soon………

    And I agree we must spend wisely, but spend we must………

    Two inspirational types would do nicely, warriors of the game is what we need……..

    Hopefully next season we will see Joel Campbell back from loan, he is a star in the making…….

  28. Red Arse says:

    Shard you naughty boy! πŸ™‚

    Imagine confusing me with someone who is simply pedantic, when, as your Guru you should know, I am more of a pedagogue! πŸ™‚

    Interesting if somewhat confused choice, purportedly offering us the metaphysical as opposed to the merely physical changes inherent in any discussion of evolutionary change or revolutionary change.

    The major difference between the two concepts is mainly one of time scale, as Rocky, who is an expert on this subject would tell you. Eh, Rock? πŸ™‚

    Using such terminology in footballing terms is, of course, fraught with the possibility of misunderstanding, as one should really define what is meant in this particular context, before arriving at a conclusion.

    Let’s see.

    Evolutionary change, occurs gradually and is mostly imperceptible. It is a natural process helping the club, in this case, to adapt to emerging conditions in order to maintain a steady and controlled state of progress.

    Alternatively, the word β€˜revolution’ (derived from the Latin word β€˜revolutio’ meaning β€˜to turn around’), consists of a fundamental change in organizational structure or direction that takes place over a very short time scale, often with changes in the management power base, and can, at first, be seen to be both violent and uncontrolled.

    Most rational beings would prefer to be in control of their destiny, or that of their club, and want thoughtful, orderly, incremental changes over a calculated period, and therefore would choose evolution.

    However, the flaw in the choice you have presented us with, is that in human socio-economic relationships, unforeseen pressures can build up and inherent dissatisfaction and the outpouring of deep-felt objections to the status quo can ignite combustible revolutionary zeal because the people concerned simply cannot control their impatience and the force of this anger can be irresistible.

    So for me, the disciplined, orderly evolution of the club’s structure, management and objectives is the most appealing method, however, revolution cannot be ruled out because the conditions in which it can occur are not always controllable.

    Nonsense? Maybe!

  29. Red Arse says:

    I have been known to offer words of sympathy such as ‘hard luck’ or simply ‘unlucky’, when someone has been unsuccessful in this or that.

    However, there are well reported instances of men who have made it to the top of their sports who will have no truck with such a rationalization.

    Gary Player, when reproached for winning a golf tournament when the ball ran around the cup before falling in, said “it’s funny but the harder I practise the luckier I get!’

    Approaching the question of Lady Luck from another angle, one of the most famous ever cricketers, whom Rasper will know, Allan Border, once went into the dressing room having nicked a ball to slip and being given out, ‘hard luck, Allan’, said his team-mates.

    ‘That was not luck, I played liked a broken arse’ raged Border, ‘nothing to do with f**king luck!’.

    Luck can be useful as a palliative and to soften the blow of disappointment, but the ‘best’ just do not countenance it.

  30. Red Arse says:

    Ta ra! πŸ™‚

  31. nihirealist says:


    So I succeeded in drawing you out huh? πŸ™‚

    As regards your first post, didn’t you just say what I’d already said, albeit in a more unintelligible to the rest of humanity way? πŸ˜› Basically, we’re in agreement.

    About luck not being a factor. Sadly, we’re not. I know that’s not really what you are saying. You are simply saying that the drive to be at the top overcomes that factor. (Of course I wasn’t really talking about luck in that sense anyway so we’re even). But do the best not countenance luck, or those that get lucky are considered the best? Probably somewhere in between that lies the ‘truth’ (within quotations because I know your propensity towards pedantry, which you will now prove by calling it pedagogy again πŸ™‚ )

  32. Red Arse says:

    No Grasshopper, I will not gainsay you about your reference to ‘luck’. I was actually referring to the comments made by Rasp and Slime, and perhaps others.

    Luck is usually associated with ‘chance’ as in ‘success or failure apparently brought about by chance rather than through one’s own action’. I am uneasy with a definition that relies on another ephemeral condition.

    Chance is defined as ‘a possibility of something happening’.

    The definition of luck offends my need for certainty, πŸ™‚ so anyone who can work out the happenstance of ‘luck’ is a better man that me! πŸ˜€

    Off now, before I upset anyone!!!

  33. dandan says:

    Red Arse. to follow your cricket story, Jacques Rudolph of Yorkshire Fielded and threw the ball in from the boundary whilst attempting a run out, en route the ball hit and killed a pigeon in flight was A The pigeon, unlucky wrong place wrong time or B the batsman lucky making his ground with no problem and thus able to continue his innings. πŸ™‚

  34. Red Arse says:


    I would categorise that event as ‘happenstance’, a coincidence or conflation of circumstances.

    But then I would! πŸ™‚

    I mentioned in my opening comment that I have myself used the ‘luck’ phraseology, but against that I was quoting gifted individual sportsmen at the top of their disciplines who eschewed any such concept.

    For myself, I have on more than one occasion considered Arsenal were very ‘unlucky’. πŸ™‚

  35. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson.
    Luck or not .?

  36. Afternoon all, interesting post from yet another debutante poster, which is all good news as Peachy will have a wider pool of “victims” to chose from when we need posts. πŸ™‚

    Great Stuff Shard.

    I would answer I’d probably like a phased revolution as I think evolution on it’s own won’t be sustainable and revolution, given the make up of the BoD at The arse, just won’t ever happen.

    What time is everyone getting to the Tavern tomorrow ?

  37. slime says:


    Sorry for the late reply.

    I agree the financial restraint was lifted around 2011, but the amount of big players leaving didn’t stop until RvP left the building. Has Wenger had a fair crack at using this extra money when first and foremost he has had to replace the people he was building the team around? I don’t think so.

    As for us wasting money on the wage bill, many would agree, including myself, but will the board? If Wengers goal was to finish 4th, and that is what his boss had set him, then these players were successful.

    We all judge Wenger on our own ambitions and beliefs about the team, but when doing his self assessment at the end of the season, if his target was 4th, then he’s done his job. What we want matters very little, as is shown by the boards constant backing of Wenger and the fact he believes he is doing enough to stay.

  38. Red Arse says:

    For anyone who may be interested, there are several mentions, in the blog world, of The Board and their power or authority, or not, over Arsene, and often it has been coupled with talk of The Board or the Shareholders sucking money out of the club that could/should be used on transfers etc.

    Here is a list of the Board members in the 2012 financial accounts:

    There are 6 directors on the Board of whom only 2 are executive (day to day working) and 4 non-executives (honorary or oversight capacity only).

    So the salaries etc are:

    From the Arsenal Holding PLC Financial Accounts for 2011/12

    PD Hill Wood 2012 = Β£67,000 β€” 2011 = Β£67,000

    KJ Friar OBE 2012 = Β£571,000 β€” 2011 = Β£571,000

    DD Fiszman – 2012 = Β£0…….– 2011 = Β£24,000

    Sir Chips Keswick – 2012 = Β£25,000 β€” 2011 = Β£25,000

    Lord Harris of Peckham – – – – – – – Did not take a salary.

    I Gazidis 2012 = Β£2,050,000 β€” 2011 = Β£1,729,000

    ES Kroenke 2012 = Β£25,000 β€” 2011 = Β£25,000

    Total Salaries for 2012 = Β£2,838,000 :-
    Total Salaries for 2011 = Β£2,547,000

    So the ‘executive’ Board are only Ken Friar and Ivan Gazidis.
    Gazidis is Kroenke’s appointment, and rumours that he was appointed by Arsene are just ********!

    And as for sucking money out of the club, the total paid to the directors is relative peanuts.

    In addition, there have been no dividends paid to shareholders for years.

    Hopefully we can lay to bed those claims that the Board/Shareholders are ‘lining their own pockets.

    Just saying.

  39. Red Arse says:

    Hi Slime, πŸ™‚

    In the last financial accounts, (from memory) we paid approx Β£143m in salaries to 500+ staff, of whom 70 were players.

    There is no analysis of which employee got what, which is perfectly normal in published accounts.

    So, any conjecture about players salaries is only that – conjecture, usually as a result of the media making guesses to justify their anti-Wenger agenda.

    They may be good guesses, or not, who knows? I would not rely on them, personally.

  40. nihirealist says:


    Thank you, but I’m not a debutante writer on this site πŸ™‚

  41. Ah sorry Shard, I must have missed your initial post – or forgotten you’d written one before(which is more likely) πŸ™‚

  42. nihirealist says:

    No worries chary. I don’t write very memorable stuff anyway πŸ™‚

    Urban legends have a life of their own. Whether it’s the board lining their own pockets, or Wenger interviewing Gazidis, no amount of nitpicking with facts can change that. Hence the chance of revolution that you referred to in your post πŸ˜€

  43. Rasp says:

    Thanks slime,

    As a supporter, are you really happy with your last paragraph @ 2:50?

  44. Red Arse says:


    “No amount of nitpicking with facts can change (urban legends)”

    I do not understand your reference to ‘nitpicking’ (looking for small errors to unnecessarily criticize – which I deny), because it cannot be right for someone to use factual inaccuracies to make a point, and this should never be condoned, otherwise therein lies the philosophy of despair.

    I do, admittedly, make attempts, however small, to change misconceptions, or mistakes, deliberate, or otherwise, because by acceding to such inaccurate statements denigrating honest men of integrity, by saying nothing, would make me as guilty as the perpetrators.

  45. Red Arse says:

    I am amused by your promptings, Nihilistic, as by now you must be building up a fairly comprehensive picture of what makes this particular dunderhead of an Arsenal fan tick! πŸ˜€

    Strangely enough, your promptings are very revealing, too! πŸ™‚

  46. slime says:


    Definately not. I hope it’s not the case, but you can’t help feel that it’s the way of things at the moment. Maybe I’ve got it wrong, maybe it’s just that the fans ambitions and the clubs realistic ambitions are out of sync, thus making it feel like we are getting a bum deal.

    It could all have been so different if the club had just explained to the fans what the expectations were from 2005-2011. If that had been done though, how many of our big players would’ve stayed then!?

    People come on here and say ‘its simple’, or ‘we should’ve done this’ etc but the truth of the matter is that it has been very very hard to run this club on a budget over the last 8 years whilst also trying to keep players and fans happy. Wenger hasn’t done so bad, has he?

  47. slime says:


    Just to touch on what I have just said, the best salesman in the world would’ve struggled over that 6 year period to sell an image of financial restraint to the board, an image of a club in contention to the players, and an image of ambition to the fans. Someone was always going to lose out, and seeing as its the board who run the club, it had to be the fans and the players.

  48. nihirealist says:

    Are they? Note to self: Must be more careful, especially when faced with 18 stone fair haired red arsed giants.

    It’s nihirealistic RA. I would have expected a pedant like yourself to get that right πŸ™‚

  49. Red Arse says:

    Nihilistic, πŸ™‚

    The clue is in my previous comment about your promptings being revealing.

    And stop calling me a pedant — it is bordering on rudeness, and retaliation may not be far off! πŸ™‚

  50. Red Arse says:


    You make an interesting point at 4:43, but one I do not quite understand.

    You said “the best salesman in the world would’ve struggled over that 6 year period to sell an image of financial restraint to the board”.

    Surely the whole Emirates project was Danny Fizzman’s baby, and as he was a major shareholder at the time, as well as the Chief Executive, I would imagine he was the one who reached agreement with Arsene to proceed, during the life of the project, with a youth policy, as money would clearly be in short supply.

    Arsene has done a fantastic job to keep us near the top over the following recent years by sticking to that policy for so long, tho it had started to unravel in recent times.

    Or have I misunderstood you?

  51. nihirealist says:


    Retaliation is kind of what I was hoping for. I seem to remember you wanting to find something to argue about with me. But instead I get vague threats. The days of you threatening to squash beetles and getting away with it are over πŸ™‚

    Oh well. Call me what you like. After all, as Christopher Marlowe said, ‘what’s in a name?’

  52. Red Arse says:

    A rose by any other name — is still a beetle! (source: Shakespeare) πŸ™‚

    As the only one who has spoken to me on AA today, Shard, I do not want you to get a bad reputation by association!! πŸ˜€

  53. Red Arse says:

    Sorry, I had forgotten, Dandan spoke to me too! πŸ™‚ Thank you DD. πŸ˜€

  54. nihirealist says:

    Maybe I can call myself Bad Arse next πŸ™‚

  55. slime says:

    Hi RA,

    Number 3 on your list today! πŸ˜†

    The point I was trying to make was that Arsene had 3 people to please. The board, the fans and the players. The board wanted him to keep us financially sound, the players wanted him to show that the club could be a force, and the fans wanted him to show ambition in the form of silverware. Those 3 things are almost impossible to juggle, as the boards wishes of reduced spending would almost automatically mean that the players and fans wishes would go unfulfilled.

  56. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. Fine well though out post.

    I am definitely a Darwinist. Too conservative to be a revolutionary – though I once had a Che Geuvara t-shirt.

    The development of AFC based around The Five + Theo will propel us to greatness.

  57. Red Arse says:

    I understand now, Slim, thanks, that is an almost impossible task, for anyone, and a great reflection on how brilliantly Arsene has done just that!

    Time now to spend a few bob, not just for the sake of it, but to improve the squad!

  58. Red Arse says:


    You can call yourself anything you like — and maybe get yourself a part in a spaghetti Western!! Bad ass Nihi. πŸ™‚

  59. dandan says:

    Redders/Rasp have just been watching Aussie v India test match Clark the Aussie capt, got an enormous inside edge on to pad and lobbed a catch that was swallowed. The umpire gave not out, now as you know, India refuse to use technology, in any other country they would have appealed and he would have been out.

    So as i see it Clark was lucky he smacked it and the umpire said no, he was also lucky there was no appeal cos India wont allow it. India were not lucky or unlucky cos the got what they deserved for denying the use of technology.

    Which just goes to prove that because some one is lucky it doesn’t mean someone has to be unlucky πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  60. nihirealist says:


    The viewers are still unlucky to have to view a flawed product when there is a solution πŸ™‚

  61. dandan says:

    Nihi You sir are not wrong πŸ™‚

  62. nihirealist says:


    The Lone Ranger had Tonto. Bad ass Nihi will need a sidekick. How about Pedant Macaque? Or Demagogue Dog?

  63. dandan says:

    Bad ass Nihi, How about Rootin Tootin Raspootin sounds a formidable combo to me.

  64. Red Arse says:

    No, Bad Ass, I will be Red Ned, the top honcho!!
    (It was my idea so if you don’t want to play — sling your hook! πŸ™‚

  65. nihirealist says:

    You’re welcome to join our merry band. We could call ourselves the terribly titled trio πŸ™‚

  66. nihirealist says:

    RA, I told you your days of throwing your weight around (heh) were over. Draw!!

  67. Red Arse says:

    Yup, I think the Rasper would be perfect – well spotted DD – Rootin Tootin Raspootin it is!! πŸ™‚

    It seems odd to me, luck aside, (and I am not bothered by most cricket, but I do support England — and they have their own Root-in Tootin Kid!) but why do India get their own way against the rules of the rest of the cricketing world?

    Looks like Bad Ass, comes from a long line of Bad Asses!! πŸ™‚

  68. Red Arse says:

    So that would be Dan Dan the Banjo Man! πŸ™‚

  69. Red Arse says:

    Throwing my weight around is not strictly an option anyway, Bad Ass, I have difficulty getting out of my chair these days!! πŸ™‚

  70. dandan says:

    Nihi, Desperado Dan has the ring of an old baddie don’t you think

  71. nihirealist says:

    I didn’t finish RA.. I meant draw.. yourself a nice warm bath and consider if you would have it in your heart to abdicate, your honchoness sir.

  72. Red Arse says:

    Desperado Dan is even better!

    I will be Sheriff Red, and I will string up the 3 of you!

    My game, remember!! πŸ˜€

  73. Red Arse says:

    Sadly, I have to go, the man with the straight jacket is here!

    Nite guys! πŸ™‚

  74. dandan says:

    Get rootin tootin in with his guitar then Red and we will have a real swinging combo. 😦

  75. nihirealist says:

    What a stimulating conversation. Just another day at AA πŸ™‚

  76. jnyc says:

    SHARD, a great post elicits the best responses as always. I have enjoyed reading every word. ——-
    Rasp, i am just about where you are with my patience in the current situation. And remember I am a big Arsene supporter. We cannot hide from the fact that this bad wage structure has done a lot of damage and held us back as you said.
    we also have to remember that we have some cash now, largely because of selling some players we should have kept. —-
    on balance, i would be satisfied with our squad and situation going forward the next few years, except for the fact that if we miss fourth, the financial hit we take will set us back badly. We are in a precarious situation with the table right now. Also partly here because of the plugging the holes as you mentioned. That is, too many new players in too short a time.

  77. Gooner In Exile says:

    Shard, superb post my friend, and has given people a lot to consider.

    For me even though I am in favour of Wenger I am in favour of a revolution of sorts, but not with another manager, I think Project Youth was very close to completion but along came City taking Adebayor and Toure, and then a couple of seasons later coming back to bully some more and taking Nasri and Clichy. Whilst others were tempted away also.

    Now we are in a position of trying to buy to replace these players grounded in a philosophy with players of a similar age (Cazorla, Pod etc) who are having to learn the teams approach on the job. We got away with it last year but may not this term.

    I would (as i have said before) prefer us to have blooded more youngsters brought up on a style of the play rather than satisfy the hunger for trophies and signings with the players that have arrived.

    I have a theory why the big money signings have not arrived either but I will leave that for a post.

  78. slime says:

    Anyone else enjoying the Rugby League tonight? It’s my 2nd sport. Absolutely brutal and lightning fast.

  79. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    No slime the wife got the remote till 10pm
    Whos wining Leeds or Melbourne I’m not a rugby fan despite being a taffy

  80. slime says:

    18-14 to Melbourne. 20 mins left. Been a cracking game so far.

  81. RockyLives says:

    Great Post Shard
    The things about revolutions is that they often have stop-start moments and false dawns.

    The Russian revolution happened in 1917, but the way was paved by the uprising of 1905.

    The French stormed the Bastille in 1789 but their Republican dreams were not properly realized until the 1840s.

    My point being, we may well be at a lull in what will turn out to have been a long revolutionary period for the Mighty Arse.

    The question is, will Arsene, having overseen stage one (changing the playing style and ethos), and overseen stage two (new stadium) be the man who oversees stage three (new glory years)?

    I honestly am on the fence about what the answer is…

  82. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Oscar peterious got bail.
    I thought he didn’t have a leg to stand on

  83. Sheep Hagger β„’ says:

    Peaches rasp aka the bosses
    I’ve done a pre match for tomorrow use it if u like .
    It’s not as heavy as today’s post it’s me,ranting.
    I’m off now I’m on call at ten pm.
    Much love
    Sheep Haggerβ„’

  84. Big Raddy says:

    SH. I too have written a Pre -Match – it is my job :-D.

    Perhaps yours can be used later in the morning ……

  85. Hi Sheep – I’ve sent you an email about your pre-match.

    Harry still has 2 spare tickets for tomorrow – don’t tell Micky – let me know if you’re interested and I’ll put you in touch.

  86. RockyLives says:

    BR does all the pre-matches, but I’m sure Peaches and Rasp would welcome posts for all the other days πŸ™‚

  87. weedonald says:

    Great post Shard. IMO it is both evolution and revolution in somewhat equal measures. Wenger needed to evolve and has but the EPL had a paradigm shift that he couldn’t keep up with. United had help in adapting to the City and Chelsea’s financial advantages which AFC didn’t have due to stadium and other investments. There is a revolution going on at the moment in the Football world and it is two-fold:

    1) The Game is in the throes of an ethical conundrum regarding match fixing, organized crime’s influences and corruption…it could bring this house of cards down like a nuclear blast would.

    2) The EUFA and the FA movement to install FFP regulations could have a drastic impact on how the top EPL teams manage them,selves, including the Arsenal.

    These are revolutions in that they can happen very quickly, impact many if not all in the Football world, and radically change the Game. The evolution I see is that of supporters and managers of some Clubs questioning ticket prices, players’ salaries and benefits, excessive agents’ fees, tapping up and the authorities lack of interest in applying the existing regulations, etc. Once this hits a crescendo, there will be difficult questions asked and if this becomes a political football (pardon the pun) then there is no end to what can transpire.

    Personally I see two or three areas of evolution in the Game being needed:

    1) Better shooting skills and ball handling training to bring British talent up to European standards (Spain,France,Holland).
    2) Revised tactics to model the German,Spanish and Italian approach to the game. Watching AC Milan handle Barca with ease, it is apparent we could certainly learn a thing or two from them.
    3) A complete overhaul of the PGMOL and officials management in the EPL….currently it is a disgrace for all EPL teams.

    There may be more needed but that would go a long way to sprucing up the game we all love. Interestingly enough Wenger has spoken about these ideas in the past but was ridiculed by the media and some of our ¨supporters¨.

  88. Gooner In Exile says:

    Donald point 3) needs a caveat I’ve added for you below:

    “3) A complete overhaul of the PGMOL and officials management in the EPL….currently it is a disgrace for all EPL teams, except teams playing in red shirts wearing black shorts and managed by a purple conked Caledonian alchie”

    Yep that definitely scans better now.

  89. weedonald says:

    Thanks Gooner In Exile for the caveat, however I also meant that this overhaul could address the Caledonian alchie’s influence as well, it being an aberration at best and a disgrace to the Beautiful Game at worst. LOL

  90. ash cole says:

    Yes you stick with the geriatrics path of 8 trophyless years to another 8 more. 8 more years! 8 more years! 8 more years!

    Ppl with half a brain usually change strategy when the results dont come. Rednose is there cause he keeps winning! Frenchnose on the other hand is the most unsuccessful manager in afc history! No afc manager has ever gone 8 trophyless season and while r.a. has collected (cough cough) 10 trophies wenger has produced 0 and (barf barf) on the pitch.

    But hey letting 3 consecutive stars (fabergast, nasri, rvp)walk away from your club 2 of which were captains for 3 consecutive seasons nothing wrong with that all!

    You know what happens when you refuse to change course well ahem cough cough you are seeing it. Its not accident that my name Ash Cole I was the first of many to start the exodus out of that massive toilet bowl called afc football club and go take a look even the diaspora that ended up at 3rd division teams like Portsmouth cough cough (kanu) have won a trophy. Its a simple and straightforward formula leave afc and win trophies for most the very next year!

    So back to you cough cough (Stan) u charge the highest gate in the country whilst putting crap on the field and these morons still worship wenger no wonder u dont want to let him go. Who else can have you progressively getting worse and worse every season and still increase gate prices. Incredible!

    So yah usually even if your favorite race car once won you the biggest race 10 years ago if continue driving out of sentimentality even though the oil light has been on for 4 years break pads all worn out etc etc your stubborn insistence to stay the course is neither evolution or revolution in fact its not even stagnation its simply regression! You need only look at the manner you are swiftly booted out of any opportunity to win a trophy. It used to be embarrassing defeats to local rivals and permanent 3rd place in the table but now you’ve come from Birmingham to having 8-2 jokes going 4-3 weeks turning you in 2-1 big joke, which is where u remain! It doesn’t quite end there after now cementing your status as the trophyless joke of the e.p.l. you reset your targets to 4th from 8 years ago pretending to trying to win the league to 8 years later aiming for 4th being embarrassed in cup ties by 2nd and 3rd division teams. I hope you can clearly understand the concept of regression, its not like Milan who had veterans got rid of them had to get new stars, teams have been relegated built and rebuilt in the 8 years you’ve doing what? Oh running a successful business model like Bayern? You have had teeny boppers for ages the club that will never grow up or mature cause when they do they want real grown up salaries. Only salary that goes up at the em8s is the managements.

    Hey Stan shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh after seeing your profit margins I agree Arsene Wenger deserves every penny of the 5 million contract in fact you would be a fool not to extend it.

    Loooooooooool I would 8-2 to be an afc season ticket holder, the fountain of youth and endless kids that come and go and win trophies elsewhere, the home where gradual regression is applauded and rewarded! The home of where ticky tacka football of Barca’s style produces nothing and the economics of Bayern means nothing! You spend like Bayern but you are crap, you play like Barca but again you are crap, Portsmouth, Birmingham have had more to cheer for. The afc the world class football with no trophies for 8 seasons that boast an economic model like Bayerns but opposite results, with one exception Arsene Wenger earns a world class manager salary and thank God Stan who else could produce such profit margins.

    Good day Stan!

  91. Gooner In Exile says:

    I’d get that cough looked at Ash.

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Before my rant, I must thank Magic and Shard for to superb pieces of writing. Although I’ve been tooling about the provinces, I have kept up with my AA homeworkd, and really really enjoyed reading them, and the comments they provoked.
    Thank you both.

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches, what, what and what why was I not informed of tickets for today????
    Had I known at 10 last night, I would be on my way now. Grrrrr
    Tried usual channels, and then pondered getting one of exchange.
    Opted against the idea on the grounds that I’ve been driving way too much, and the thought of a combined nine hour round trip was too much if I ended up sitting alone surrounded by Wenger out type doomers.

  94. Gooner In Exile says:

    Haven’t seen it mentioned above but apparently Arsene banned The Sun from his press conference.

  95. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right match day.
    Morning GiE,
    I’m thinking this really is the first must-win game of the season, given that will not know the W’Ham/Spuds score.

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I genuinely don’t understand these people who spend the entire season raging against the board, the club, the players and the manager
    What is the point of supporting a club?
    There are matches to enjoy, so given that they are going to change nothing now, why not get behing your team and cheer them on to win as many games as possible.

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We could easily be just two points behing Chelsea by tomorrow night after they have been beated by City.

  98. dandan says:

    Morning All. GIE Perhaps the great man read my post yesterday and decided to do a Fergie.

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo, and just one behind Spurs by monday night six days ahead of the NLD πŸ™‚
    Tasty 7 days.

  100. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning dandan,
    I read your comment about you coming back to Devon.
    I can’t remember the dates you mentioned, but email me if you have time to meet up, or as I said, you’d like my wife to pay a visit in the hospital.
    She can definately organise extra biscuits πŸ™‚

  101. dandan says:

    Aint life a bitch sometimes,I am away in hotels all next week and my front crown just dropped out, dentists don’t open weekends and I now talk with a lisp, god elp next doors cat if it comes near me. 😦

  102. Gooner In Exile says:

    Couldn’t agree more Micky on both counts….I also think its having a massive effect on the team, despite all this nonsense of they should give us something to cheer about.

    If you look at teams like Stoke it’s hard to imagine the locals turning up and not giving full voice to support their team no matter the opposition I think it’s what makes Britannia such a difficult place to win at.

    On Tuesday night the crowd started positively so did the team, Bayern scored and it went quiet instantly and the tean hid. Now I remember in my North Bank days (standing so before Arsene) if the opposition scored it would be met with song from the North Bank, “we’re gonna win 3-1” or just plain old “Arrrr-se-nal, Arsenal Arsenal” something to let the players know we were still behind them.

    At 2-0 down the crowd seemed to start getting back into it and the players did too, and up until the third Bayern goal there was a joint effort from players, and fans alike.

    Today Villa will bring their typically noisy away support, and they will sing their song about going to the judge (to the tune of Kum Ba Yah) and it ends like this…..

    “Shit support M’lord, shit support
    Oooo ohhh shit support”

    We need to drown that out quick smart and the fans need to make some noise today.

    But as you said being surrounded by whingeing folks makes it very hard to join in, or start a song.

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “Come here Puthy” πŸ™‚

  104. dandan says:

    Mickey was going to give you a ring once I have seen the lie of the land. I am in Pool Monday night, have to visit a terminal friend and back down your end, Tues Wed Thurs. Will call then all being well

  105. dandan says:

    MIcky πŸ™‚

  106. kelsey says:

    Taking abiut bitches I see there is a breakaway group that has left ACLF as the very pro wenger site has mellowed quite a bit recently and I know your friend spectrum has gone back to his rightful place and we all know where that is.

    More interesting who is the Arsenal attacker that has slept with the 51 year old counsillor or was it MP.Strange comment he made,can’t find the link for the moment.

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    All true GiE,
    I go to games because I enjoy the whole experience, but the thought of sitting amongst the sort that Chas, Ant and Rasp encountered the other night is not worth it if I was sitting alone.
    Mind you, had Peache’s “Don’t tell Micky” idea never happened, I would be sitting there with a positive, Arsenal loving AA’er.

  108. kelsey says:

    Can I ask one little question .Gibbs is a good prospect but is injury prone so why did we ship Santos out so quickly (which is not usual for Wenger) regardless of how good or bad we think he is, and not get a replacement for him.
    Some will answer that vermaelen can fill in, but that doesn’t leave much room to have others to play in the back 4

  109. nihirealist says:

    Morning kelsey,
    I agree it is strange. I can only conclude that his last performance left Wenger feeling he’s more of a liability than an asset, even as cover. I normally have a lot of patience for players, but after he gave away that chance right at the end against Liverpool, I thought Santos was just done. And it seems to be the case. There is also the other aspect that loaning him out, where his performances might improve, would make it easier to sell him, so as to be able to make a push for purchases next season.

  110. Red Arse says:

    Morning All. πŸ™‚

    Kelsey, you can ask nice big questions, especially with the promise of a blockbuster Post from you this week! πŸ™‚

    Actually, Santos left and Nacho came in as a replacement – or don”t you count him?? πŸ™‚

  111. nihirealist says:

    Yes, I’m looking forward to kelsey’s promised post. My intention in writing about this subject was really to further discussion and see what people think. So now you’ve got to deliver Kelsey πŸ™‚

    Also looking forward to GIE’s thoughts on why we haven’t bought big. He left it on a cliffhanger there πŸ™‚

  112. nihirealist says:


    Thanks…I think πŸ™‚

    If you ask me will Arsene be the man to lead us, I’ll join you on the fence. If the question instead is should he be the man, I have no doubt he should be the one to do it.

  113. nihirealist says:


    Thanks for the response. Great comment. I disagree with point 1 of your revolution. Not that corruption and match fixing doesn’t exist in the game, but that this’ll bring the whole edifice down. Maybe that’s just the rediscovered cynic in me talking, but in my view the entire footballing structure supports corruption. They aren’t going to clean up house, and they have enough influence and money to not let anyone else do it either, beyond a few token gestures.

  114. Red Arse says:


    An acquaintance of mine had a similar problem with a front crown coming adrift on holiday in Africa, (fooling around with a baseball in the kisser) and he had a ‘temporary’ glued on and I could not see the ‘join’ πŸ™‚ and he had it fixed when he returned home.

    Maybe you could get someone in the wilds of Devon to do something like that.

  115. nihirealist says:

    Hi ash cole,
    I think you mistook who RA referred to. It isn’t Roman Abramovich. It is our very own Red Arse, who I’ve been giving grief about being a pedant all through the comments section.

    But as to the rest of your comment, if you’d actually like a response rather than to just rant, then perhaps you should phrase things so they are less..what’s the word… ash cole-y? Yeah. That should do…

  116. Red Arse says:

    I agree, Nihinackinoo, WeeD’s point was very interesting, especially with no rude remarks about Rasp contained therein. πŸ™‚

  117. nihirealist says:

    Oh Scarlet bottom, you trouble maker πŸ™‚

  118. Red Arse says:

    Shard πŸ™‚

    My very thoughts!!

  119. Red Arse says:

    Did you notice, Nihi, that Kelsey snuck on for a ‘little question’, and at the mention of a Post from him — he disappeared!! πŸ˜€

  120. nihirealist says:

    Haha. Who can blame him for that? I’d do the same πŸ˜€

  121. Red Arse says:

    I suppose it is pleasantly hot in India, at the moment, whereas here it is snowing ‘prettily’, that is to say it looks like a picture postcard, but luckily it is not settling.

    Think I prefer the warmth!! I will swap you! πŸ™‚

  122. nihirealist says:

    It rained a little today morning here RA, so the temperature is about 20 C. Which is nice. Although, having been to England in both summer and winter, I must say that for some weird reason, the temperature feels higher than it is there. I’ve dealt with 47C heat here, but at 26C there, my head spun around for a second from the heat of the sun. Must be something to do with the latitude. Why don’t you tell me what, all knowing one?

    Oh, by the way, you are welcome here. I am planning to go to England in June if everything works out. Off season sadly, but still.

  123. Red Arse says:


    I suspect that when your head spun around, however briefly, it was not the sun, it was, in fact, the lager that you were imbibing! πŸ™‚

    Have to venture out into the snow now, so before GN5 tells me I am a wimp, I am putting on a tee shirt and shorts for a stroll to the shops! πŸ™‚

    Ta ra, for now!

  124. nihirealist says:

    Normally that would be a good guess RA, but not so in this case. πŸ™‚

  125. kelsey says:

    I haven’t disappeared RA πŸ™‚

    Yes but that again was a last minute signing from my beloved Malaga, should have lined up someone earlier and not cup tied. I have lots more on Wenger to talk about but not today.

  126. Mallard says:

    Great post, shard.
    Vive la evolution!

  127. Micky – I’m truly sorry, Harry told of his spare tickets on Thursday and I thought you couldn’t make it as you hadn’t jumped on them. My ‘don’t tell Micky’ was to not rub salt in when I mentioned them again last night 😳

  128. New Post …………………

  129. Domhuail says:

    Nihirealist……I hope you’re wrong and that the nobler part of the game, which in my mind represents the vast majority of participants and community will not only survive and thrive but eventually eliminate the corrupted and profiteers. From my 50 years of experience in amateur and professional Football, it seems that where there is money there is rot as well but once a light is shone on the rot, it shrinks away and usually diminishes if not disappears almost entirely.
    My real fear is that the upcoming revelations and repercussions will shake the game to its foundations and do as much damage to the positive side of Football as it will to the evil.

  130. Domhuail says:

    Red Arse…..I only respond to those who demean me and since it seems I am at the moment,no longer the bete noire for Rasp, then all is well. I have written a few articles for the more erudite sites like AA,UA, LadyArse and do recognize Ashcole from DKD’s old site, where he was a regular chattering Chav with little of any real import to add to the conversation. I see nothing has changed.

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