Old wine, or new bottle, or old wine in new bottle?

End of the year, and part of the ritual is to take stock, and look forward towards the future with glorious plans and renewed expectations. And what a fantastic year this has been for Arsenal fans! At the midway stage in the Premier League last year, Arsenal was lying 7th, well off the pace for Champions League qualification, and even off Spursday football places. Qualifying second in their group, Arsenal faced a tough round of 16 encounter against Bayern Munich, one of the best teams in Europe at that stage. With significant changes to the Board, a new owner in tow, there were uncertain times for the club management. The fans were up in arms, with substantial ammunition provided by a negative press, dubious pundits and even the Arsenal Supporters Trust. Difficult times indeed!

But Arsenal managed to make a fantastic turnaround. Attaining qualification for CL was nothing short of a miracle! Yes, Arsenal lost out in a two leg epic battle against eventual winners Bayern, but before that showed their mettle in an amazing 2-0 away victory. Despite all the negativity, good progress was made in the summer transfer window. The progress continued in the current season, and Arsenal is sitting at the Top of the Premier League at the halfway stage. Qualification to the Champions League was gained from the aptly termed “Group of Death”. Grudging acknowledgement of Arsenal’s strength and mettle is gently arising from beneath the rubble of disdain and the green fumes of envy. Indeed, if the league was played over the calendar year, Arsenal would have been Champions of 2013. Oh, what a year this has been!!!


per and kosser

All in all, a good year in prospect. There are plenty of challenges yet to be met. Plenty of time still before we even begin to celebrate the achievements of this team. But, also plenty of positive vibes and expectation in tow. So AA ers, looking towards the future, what did we learn new about Arsenal this year, and what were we reminded of afresh, that we did not know with so much certainty one year back? Let us discuss. Here are a few of my tentative suggestions. It was not all rosy, though. Injuries continued through the year. The squad seems a bit thin. Progression to the round of 16 in the Champions League was gained, but only in second place. Like last year, we have drawn Bayern Munich. Lovely games in prospect, but significant challenges as well. And if the vitriol from the fans is a bit subdued due to the sustained run of fine results and resilience in the field of play, the negativity from the press and pundits continues unabated. Perhaps most importantly, whether by luck or design, Arsenal continues to be at the receiving end of poor refereeing decisions. Alas, some things never seem to change!

First, same time last year we did not know what a fantastic central defensive partnership, together with a very competent goalkeeper, we were developing. Indeed a large part of our success this year owes itself to the fantastic defensive pairing of Per and Kos. What a duo!!! And what a great leader in our beloved BFG! When Verms got injured, who would have thought we would have such a strong defence where even a fit squad captain cannot find a place?

Per and kossser 2

Second, one of the best revelations of the year was the discovery that Ramsey had developed into such a fantastic player. He was the subject of much of the blame and vitriol during our indifferent showing in 2012. Perhaps somewhat undeservedly. But our beloved Rambo rubbed all these adversities off his shirt, returned in style from his long standing injury, and has grown to the stature of one of the best midfielders in the League, perhaps in Europe as well.


He has shown a very mature head as well, leading for his country at a very young age. In tow, Jack Wilshere is developing into a fine player, if somewhat idiosyncratic on occasions. Together with Theo, the Ox, Gibbs and Jenks, they also form a British core to the team which had been somewhat deficient for a while. Who would have thought a year back that Rambo would develop into such a fantastic and dependable player, and Jack’s game will be coming along so nicely as well?

The English players

Third, one of the most encouraging developments of the year, at least for me, was the maturity with which the owner Kroenke, Gazidis and the Board conducted themselves. Perhaps the best development was that the Board did not interfere in footballing matters, leaving team and signing decisions to the people who know best, led by one Arsene Wenger. If you think that this is not a surprise, look around at other clubs. Several clubs have met with significant disasters as a result of owner power, such as the Spuds, Cardiff and even the Chavs, and in some others the environment is not very nice even if the performance has not been equally devastating.

The principles of the club, that a fantastic team can be developed without wasting money on the wasteful purchase of overpriced bench idols, was not compromised by a new owner and a new look Board. Surely, this was not a given at the start of the year, after the club had gone through a rather aggressive ownership contest and change of hands.

Fourth, amid the mantra of financial fairplay and traditional hesitancy to spend big money, and the recovery from an expensive move to the Emirates, who would have thought that Arsenal would spend their money where it mattered most?


In the procurement of one Mesut Ozil, who despite his tentative adjustment to English football and the Arsenal way of playing the game, has given the team something really special, Arsenal showed purpose and ambition, and real ability to deliver trophies. This came together with the free transfer of one Mathieu Flamini – ah, what a fantastic transfer move!


Fifth, against the backdrop of significant unrest and disquiet among good-weather fans, ably supported by the press and pundits, who would have thought that the positive outlook of a sane fan-base would shine through? The struggle against the doubters and doomday-usherers still continues in earnest, in ArsenalArsenal and elsewhere, but The Home of Football still reverberates with the positive chants and outlook towards the new dawn awaiting in the New Year!!!!

AA ers, what do you think? My final thoughts are:

COYG! Onwards and Upwards!! A fantastic year 2014 awaits!!!!

Written by arnie

Arsenal Record 2013 Calendar Year

P W D L F A GD Pts
38 25 7 6 70 34 36 82

Where would 82 points put us in seasons past?

SEASON Winners P W D L F A GD Pts AFC on 82 points
2008-09 Utd 38 28 6 4 68 24 44 90 4th
2009-10 Chavs 38 27 5 6 103 32 71 86 3rd
2010-11 Utd 38 23 11 4 78 37 41 80 1st
2011-12 Oilers 38 28 5 5 94 29 65 89 3rd
2012-13 Utd 38 28 5 5 86 43 43 89 2nd

Chart by MickyDidIt

2013 Calendar Year League Table

P W D L F A GD Points vs Top 7 Total Home Total Away
Arsenal 38 25 7 6 70 33 37 82 10 19 19
Shitty 38 25 5 8 86 39 47 80 10 19 19
Chavs 38 23 8 7 71 40 31 77 10 20 18
ManUre 38 23 8 7 70 37 33 77 11 19 19
Spuds 38 21 10 7 55 46 9 73 10 19 19
Dippers 38 21 9 8 87 39 48 72 9 18 20
Everton 38 18 13 7 54 35 19 67 11 20 18
Toon 38 16 6 16 51 62 -11 54 13 19 19
Southampton 38 12 15 11 49 43 6 51 13 19 19
Villa 38 11 10 17 50 58 -8 43 11 20 18
Swansea 38 10 12 16 44 54 -10 42 12 18 20
Norwich 38 9 11 18 37 62 -25 38 12 20 18
Fulham 38 11 5 22 39 67 -28 38 12 19 19
West Ham 38 9 11 18 41 57 -16 38 12 19 19
Stokies 38 8 11 19 34 60 -26 35 11 19 19
WBA 38 7 13 18 45 61 -16 34 12 18 20
Sunderland 38 7 10 21 36 62 -26 31 12 19 19

Stat Overkill by GiE


90 Responses to Old wine, or new bottle, or old wine in new bottle?

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Before reading the post, I want to paste a chart.

    Raddy, are you around? I’ve got two versions, one on excel and one word, I’ll try each, but who knows what they’ll look like, so can you be on standby to delete?

  2. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky emailing you now, send me the excel one and I’ll add to the post.

  3. Gööner In Exile says:

    Arnie a cracking round up of the years events 2013 has been a very good year for us Gooners, let’s hope it continues into 2014.

  4. VCC says:

    Arnie, fine article on year 2013. Lets hope 2014 brings much of the same.

    As you say….Onwards and Upwards.

  5. Motning all, and thank you for a composed and level headed review of the year Mr Arnie (J Rimmer ?).

    I’m finally back from the Island of eternal spring to the island of eternal cloud and damp, and a ho ho ho it feels like now.

    A great position to be in as we head into yet another new year, (where does all that time go?) and things look a lot rosier than they have done in the goonerverse.

    Sadly the squad looks decimated for the Cardiff game, according to Wenger’s presser.

    Rambo out for 3 weeks, Ozzy out for 2-3 and Rosicky, Theo, Vermaelen and Monreal doubtful with Olly and Gibbs out for the Cardiff game.

    Anyone left ? 😦

  6. Big Raddy says:

    arnie. I thought you said “a few lines”!

    It has been a great year to be a Gooner, much to discuss, some downs but far more ups.

    My hope for AFC in 2014 is to start beating Chelsea, MU and MC.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. Were you really stuck in Tenerife since Xmas?

    Thanks for the team news ahead of the game, it appears we will discover how strong the squad is.

  8. Actually I got back on Saturday, I should have been back on Xmas Eve, Radders, apparently Big Ron was at the hotel I stayed in although I didn’t see him myself.

    The AFC word of the day I think is “threadbare”.

    The starting XI will be quite easy to pick based on all those absences: Chesney, Sagna. BFG, Kozzer, Monreal(if he passes the fitness test), Santi, Arteta, Flamini, Bendy, the Pod and Gnabry would be my guess.

  9. Gooner in Exile says:

    Its home v Cardiff…no worries 😀

  10. mickydidit89 says:


    What a fabulous and uplifting year end report. Thank you very much.

    My highlights:

    Spuds and the news that Newcastle had scored.
    Dortmund away trip with Raddy.
    Mert and Kos development.
    Every Sz near howler. I love them.
    Arsene and Zipgate.
    That Goal.

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, and the small matter of signing Herr Mesut Ozil

  12. Gooner in Exile says:

    Which goal Micky?

    Jack against Norwich?
    Rambo against Norwich/L’pool/Dortmund?
    Mesut against Napoli?
    Phantom Newcastle Equaliser?

  13. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent choices Didit.

    Plus the second 5-2

  14. This goal …………….

  15. Gooner in Exile says:

    I need a tissue…..love the Emirates Orgasm


    Fantastic arnie, and underpinning it all great character and determination showed by management and players alike.

    Winning the league this year would be glorious, and I feel we will do it.

    Vindication though has already arrived. Next year we will be stronger and even stronger the year after that. Theres no stopping Arsenal, its like a force of nature.

    My New Year resolutions include indulging my favourite two passions, Arsenal Football Club and pretending ime some one ime not to make me feel big.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring..

  17. Rasp says:

    Thanks arnie, a suitably gushing report for a great year that at some stages promised to be a disaster. Top marks to AW for sticking to his guns and proving doubters like me wrong. All we have to do now is prove the doubting press and pundits wrong and keep it up to the end of the season …. onwards and upwards indeed! 😛

  18. Gööner In Exile says:

    Stat fans I’m going to put the full 2013 league table up in a minute.

  19. Gööner In Exile says:

    Can I be first to start some transfer speculation…..we need a big strong centre forward….there are rumours Napoli may offload Higuain?

  20. mickydidit89 says:


    Wow, thank you for putting up my chart. (it’s now at then end of Arnie’s post).

    Something very funny about an enormous unit like yourself wanting a tissue :-0

  21. mickydidit89 says:


    Yip. That goal 🙂

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    Damn, I watch that goal, and suddenly, nothing else really matters 🙂

  23. VCC says:

    mickydidit89…..10:54……Oh yes it does…….the EPL 2014 championship 😀

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    Well, looking at that brilliant chart I did up there, I’d say we need to score more 🙂

    (attention seeking tosser 🙂 )

  25. mickydidit89 says:


    Loving the Higuain story. Not fast enough for my liking, but definitely expensive enough 🙂

  26. Gooner in Exile says:

    Ozil to HIguain must have some previous 😀

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    Bloody hell Exile

    Took me ages to add up all the Arsenal numbers.

    You must be the Linford Christie of the abacus world 🙂

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    Mmm, didn’t Maureen sign Hig for Madrid? If so, could be a tube ride to Fulham Broadway for him.

  29. Gooner in Exile says:

    Haha Micky it’s all in my swingometer spreadsheets….

  30. Gooner in Exile says:

    He also signed Ozil i believe……..speaks volumes that Mesut didn’t want to go and play for the Eye-Gouging One

  31. Gööner In Exile says:

    I questioned Steve Clarkes sacking but when you look at their last 38 games it’s not hard to see why WBA Board thought there was something amiss.

  32. Gööner In Exile says:

    I see Martinez has upped the price for Barkley….”we can resist bids due to our strong financial position”.

    Only a couple of seasons back Everton fans leaked financial information following a meeting with the Board about why the club could not spend, though Kenwright is a true Blue he had been searching for a buyer which indicates to me he can’t find it anymore than he has.

    A big bid and they will have to sell I fear.

  33. Rasp says:

    I can see Barkley ending up at united. It would be a cert if Fergie was still in charge but maybe Gollum will put him off – let’s hope so. Much as we admire him, we can’t want him at Arsenal – we have the Ox, Eisfeld and Gnabry all of a similar ilk.

  34. RA says:

    Strewth, a monster Post arnie, aided and abetted by that delinquent GIE. Excellent stuff good sirs! 🙂

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    Team news: Who is fit to face Cardiff?

    Arsène Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of Wednesday’s game against Cardiff City at Emirates Stadium:

    on the team news…
    Starting of course first with Ramsey and Ozil who are out, and we lost Gibbs at Newcastle with a calf strain. We have as well Monreal and Vermaelen who are not certain to be ready because they have come just back from illness, then we have uncertainty about Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott. We lost Giroud to an ankle problem at Newcastle so this morning will be more medical checks to see who will be available for the game.

    on Ramsey and Ozil…
    Ramsey three weeks and Ozil has seen a specialist last night, I haven’t got a report yet.

    on Walcott and Rosicky…
    Walcott has a little shoulder problem. Rosicky got a little kick on his calf. They are all going to be assessed this morning.

    on Oxlade-Chamberlain…
    Alex is one week away from normal training.
    Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc.

  36. GunnerN5 says:


    My family did in fact stand under the clock at the North end but their were only 30+ of us not 300+.

    Incredible and indelible memories all the way back to the war years. My family has supported Arsenal for over 100 years with my maternal Grandfather having watched the very 1st game at Highbury. He lived just a few streets away on Stavordale Road, which is now a lot closer to The Emirates than it was Highbury.

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    Now I’m going to read the post.

  38. fatgingergooner says:

    Fantastic article Arnie and some great stats also.

    Just on those stats, I would be interested to know our record against Chelsea, City and Utd over the last few seasons, rather than the top 7, as it’s in those games that I still feel we lack something.

    As for 2013, Bayern away turned our whole season around. Great performance, but even greater management by Arsene to convince the team that the experience of a win against a pretty lacklustre Munich side on the night (who didn’t know wether to stick or twist) was something that could be carried into all away games for the rest of the year. A brilliant example of how managing the sides mentality is just as important as managing their ability.

    Newcastle away has to be up there, Espescially when you add the Spuds celebrating a mystery goal! That will long live in the memory.

    My other favourite moment was Mesut Özil signing. It finally felt like we had escaped the shackles of the stadium move and were starting to concentrate on being a football club again, rather than a business within football. Hopefully he will be the spark that begins an era of success.

  39. kelsey says:

    A very Happy and Healthy New year to you all, the owners, the moderators and the bloggers that make this site going on a day to day basis.

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    FG this is our complete PL record against these 5 teams.

    Overall W D L GF GA W%
    Chelsea 18 13 12 60 54 52%
    Liverpool 14 14 15 49 56 57%
    Man C 21 6 6 56 28 53%
    Man U 11 20 20 41 63 35%
    Totts 17 9 9 73 52 53%
    Total 81 62 62 279 253 50%
  41. GunnerN5 says:

    For those inflicted with stat-itis here is our complete PL record after the 1st 19 games. Push the title’s over one space.

    W D L PTs GF GA
    1992/3 9 2 8 29 22 20
    1993/4 8 7 4 31 18 11
    1994/5 6 6 7 24 23 22
    1995/6 8 7 4 31 24 15
    1996/7 10 6 3 36 35 18
    1997/8 9 6 4 33 34 22
    1998/9 8 8 3 32 21 11
    1999/0 11 3 5 36 34 20
    2000/1 10 5 4 35 30 18
    2001/2 10 6 3 36 39 23
    2002/3 12 3 4 39 39 20
    2003/4 13 6 0 45 35 12
    2004/5 12 5 2 41 47 22
    2005/6 10 3 6 33 27 15
    2006/7 9 6 4 33 35 17
    2007/8 13 5 1 44 36 15
    2008/9 9 5 5 32 32 23
    2009/10 13 2 4 41 51 21
    2010/11 11 3 5 36 39 22
    2011/12 11 3 5 36 35 26
    2012/13 9 6 4 33 39 21
    2013/14 13 3 3 42 37 18

  42. GunnerN5 says:

    I obviously need a lesson in how to keep the column’s in line.

  43. Belfastgooner says:

    GN5 I think those winning percentage figures are incorrect.
    Using your table the figures should be
    vs Chelsea 42%
    Vs Liverpool 33%
    vs Man city 64%
    Vs Man U 22%
    vs Totts 49%
    Average win % only 42.

    These figures are a historical anomaly and very soon to be revised upwards 🙂
    Good luck in 2014 for all the AAers

  44. Great post, Arnie. The best single moment for me was Jack’s goal V. Norwich. Probably the best team goal I have ever seen Arsenal score in 62 years of support and thousands of matches.
    Can’t remember anything better including the invincibles etc. Anybody think they’ve seen anything to beat it ?

  45. GunnerN5 says:

    Belfast Gooner,

    They are expressed as a % of points won not games won, so they are in fact correct.

  46. GunnerN5 says:

    Walcott, Wilshere and Vermaelen are all training today so maybe the injuries are not quite as bad as first thought. Let’s hope anyway.

  47. JanMan says:

    Arnie, Interesting post with some good “factual data” charts. (Thanks also GIE)
    Does not appear to be as many injuries as first feared so we should not have any worries for tomorrow. The German sports news is reporting that Ballotelli may well sign for Chelsea in the coming days!
    Happy New Year to everyone on AA and especially to those of you that take the time to write a daily post. Hats off to you all.

  48. arnie says:

    Motning EST and afternoon GMT everyone. Thanks a lot, everyone, for your kind comments. Good stats as well, Micky and GiE. I will go through the comments now. Back later. 😀 😀 😀

  49. evonne says:

    ahhhhhh, what a lovely post from arnie! I am glad you wrote the last post of the year, it is good to finish on a high note 🙂

    you are so right about the importance of the dignity and class shown by the owner and the boards. I would hate to be a Chav or a Cardiff fan; their glory hunters are probably pleased, but the true fans suffer, no doubt about it. Yes, we can be proud of this year’s achievements and look forward to the next one’s – happy New Year Gunners around the world!!

  50. arnie says:

    Evonne: Thanks a lot. Not so much end of the year, but the beginning of a new dawn. Work in progress, yes, but progress nevertheless. As Terry says: “The ghosts of the 30s are stirring”.

    Raddy: I intended to write a few lines, but as ever, my thoughts became somewhat elaborate and expansive. I am so glad you all like this.

    My personal highlight for the year, beyond the team and its development, is that I happened to discover AA. Keep up the good work, guys. Great fun!!! 😀 😀

  51. arnie says:

    Peaches: Lovely photos to go with the post. Thanks a lot, indeed. You guys do a fantastic job on maintaining this space. Great great stuff. 😀 😀

    Micky: I had to traverse more than a 1000 miles to recount the progress over the year! Many more miles to go still!!!

    “And miles to go before I sleep”!!!! 😀 😀

  52. r0blucci says:

    Last stats of this year:) @Arsenal have had 83% succes. rate in BPL in 2013 when Rosicky started, while only 65% without him in first XI.

  53. r0blucci says:

    anyway, hepi new year to all of you guys at ArsenalArsenal. Its ben an enjayable ride with you guys, heres hoping for more success for Arsenal in years to come..

  54. chas says:

    Flippin superb, arnie.
    You are a true spiritual gooner approaching the seventh plain of nirvana.
    What a beard, too. 🙂

  55. chas says:

    Look at the feckin biceps on that…….

  56. chas says:


    Apologies, I was using poetic licence to illustrate the enormity of the GN5 clan 🙂

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Mr & Mrs BR heading out into the firework laden night to party with the rest of the loons (it really is mad here – everyone is firework obsessed).

    I wish you a happy and safe evening and see you next year

  58. mickydidit89 says:


    Them ain’t biceps, them be “bingo wings” 🙂

    Happy New Year all.

    Over and out for 2013.

  59. RockyLives says:

    What a cracker to end the year with!

    Well done Arnie (and Micky and GiE).

    We have finished top of each of the last two ‘half seasons’ in the EPL. If we can do it one more time, glory awaits for this hard working and talented group of players.

    HNY to all you AA-ers.

  60. RockyLives says:

    I can do a Post for tomorrow if required.

  61. RockyLives says:

    Sill me – it’s a BR pre-match day.

    Scrub that.

  62. RockyLives says:

    Even silly me.

    I haven’t even started drinking yet.

  63. evonne says:

    Rocky 🙂 🙂 Happy New Year to you and your family xx

  64. RockyLives says:

    Same to you and yours evonne

    From me and the fairies 😀 😀 (but not Micky’s sort of fairies)

  65. evonne says:

    he he he he 🙂 I love a good fairy tale with a happy ending, but believing in it is a different ball game, certainly not footy!

    I wish all AAers that their team reaches new heights this coming year!!

    See you all next year xx

  66. LB says:

    Top of the League: This is how I feel. HNY

  67. arnie says:

    Chas: 😀 😀 Thank you, mate. The beard is now suitable trimmed in preparation for year end festivities!!!!!

    Rocky: good fun!!!! two down, one to go!!!

  68. LB says:

    The signing of Mesut Ozil

    Jack Wilshere’s goal against Norwich.

    Ollie’s goal against spuds.

    Happy, happy, happy.

  69. I’m late and early 😉

    Happy New Year to all my favourite Gooners, looking forward to trip to the Tavern in a few hours and then on to THOF.

    Come on you reds ………….

  70. arnie says:

    Peaches: COYG!!!!!!! Happy New Year 2014, all …… 😀 😀 😀

  71. jnyc says:

    Incredible post and team effort boys. Worthy of our great team play. Also thoroughly enjoyable comments also. Let’s get the next half started!

  72. Gööner In Exile says:

    Happy New Year AAers.

  73. kelsey says:

    Happy New Year everyone.

    I don’t envy Raddy picking his line up for today as there is uncertainty about so many players, though Ramsey,Giroud and Ozil are all definitely out.
    Regardless of the mess that Cardiff are in, they are not to be taken likely and we need a resounding win to lay down our intentions for the rest of the season.

  74. chas says:

    Happy New Year everybody peeps.

    These are the most crucial 3 points we’ve played for since Sunday.

    Massive, must win game. Turning point of the season.
    If we can win with no players, then everyone’ll know we mean business.

    Motning, kelsey. Hope 2014 is better then 2013 for you.

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    Indeedy, Happy New Year all.

  76. Rasp says:

    Peace happiness and harmony to everyone in the new year 😀

  77. chas says:

    Sometimes stats seem to confirm your suspicions about referees.

  78. mickydidit89 says:

    Just plain weird 🙂

    Stop taking the peace 🙂

  79. chas says:

  80. Never mind the rodents and the sheep …….. I want to see Micky on a surfboard, he must have bought that camera for his son by now 😉

  81. Who will be the emergency centre forward today? 😉

    I vote for Koscielny he’s very good at scoring crucial goals

  82. Rasp says:

    Morning peaches, let’s hope that the striking viking will uncharacteristically have resisted the temptation to party last night and will lead the line as effectively as OG 😕

  83. chas says:

  84. evonne says:

    all the best guys!
    Let’s start the new year on the high – 5:0 ? 😉

    Peaches – and so is Bendtner

    LB – happy vid is fab

  85. evonne says:

    Rasp – are you going to the game?

  86. Rasp says:

    Morning evonne, no sadly I shan’t be there today – are you going to any more games soon?

  87. Rasp says:

    OK, New Year ……

    …. New post ……

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