Arsenal Reduced From Invincibles To Invisibles

With the absence of a post and incensed by yet another load of inane drivel from the ex-spurts on TalkSport this morning; I was driven to offer these few words to spark debate today.

In the past few years we have had to produce a late season rally to even make the last four – culminating in last season’s epic last 10 games yielding 26 points with 8 wins and 2 draws.

So we have a history of ending the season strongly. After 20 games we are top of the league…… but it appears no-one gives us a cat in hells chance of winning the EPL. Micky Quinn surpassed even his own ludicrously high levels of ignorance when he didn’t even list The Arsenal as likely to finish in the top four.

Like most Arsenal supporters, I am happiest when we are the underdogs…. but the way we are being dismissed by the media is just disrespectful. We have the longest serving manager in the EPL and a stable squad with a level of depth that has surprised many of us. We have a very solid defence and plenty of goals coming from midfield. We have proved we can ‘win ugly’ and we have shown we can win without Giroud by playing in a different way. And yet, no-one thinks we can win the league.

I wouldn’t be disappointed if we finished 2nd or 3rd as I believe we will be even stronger next season and we are building a fantastic squad that will not be torn apart by the departure of ‘star players’, but logically, we should be favourites to come top.

It is the lack of respect for our manager and players that really hacks me off. There is only one way to get all those dinosaur ex-players and egotistical pundits to eat their words. The season starts tomorrow …… keep winning ….. keep believing …….. use their negativity to fuel our resolve …….. shove it right up their …. Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal



178 Responses to Arsenal Reduced From Invincibles To Invisibles

  1. Excellently put Rasp ………… we are the Invisible team in the top four and yet if we keep winning we will surely have the last laugh 😉

  2. The Cockie Monster says:

    Thank fcuk for the Chavs !. Until yesterday we were probably the shittest team ever to be top !, although we do have a game in hand !. Damn !.
    The Incontinencibles !.

  3. All i can say is COYG Lets start by beating the Villa tomorrow…
    Come on you RIP ROARING GUNNERS…. What better incentive can any team need than going back to the TOP of the League…………
    Were better off being UNDERDOGS That way all those who did’nt
    fancy The ARSENAL will end up eating a lot of HUMBLE PIE

  4. Nikk says:

    You are right, this ex player pundits are not academically gifted or should I say too thick to analysis and scrutinize statistical figures available today to form an informed opinion.

    Alas they follow the herd, rely on back pages of tabloids, club”s past reputation and chit chat in a pub over a few pints to form their opinion!

    Shearer, Owen, Hansen and dumb and dumber at talkshit are the worst one!

  5. Gööner In Exile says:

    Rasp that’s poetry sir…..chapeau

  6. Merwyn says:

    The best comment ever Rasp!! Clear analysis!! Go Gunners!!!

  7. Spectrum says:

    According to the well worn A.K.B.’s theory, we “just can’t compete ” with the big spending petro dollar clubs like City and Chelsea. That was merely one of their never ending excuses for failing to challenge for the title. And many are STILL claiming this fallacy to be the case.

    Well shock, horror ! Here we are 20 games in, and we’re ABOVE them on the table, and have been since early on. Now will you Wenger acolytes admit that it isn’t the financial situation that has held us back all these years. We’re winning matches because a) we’ve never had trouble scoring, but also more vitally – because b) we’re not LOSING THEM due to inappropriate tactics and defensive mistakes. Our new solidity at the back is what we’ve lacked until recently – when Bould was finally allowed more freedom by Wenger – after 10 years of neglect – to be more involved in the organising of it.

    That, and the dubious nature of the Ozil transfer, which boosted hugely the morale of the players – again after years of neglect from no WORLD CLASS signings – are the two chief reasons why we’re doing relatively better than in past campaigns. Will it last ? Let’s hope so. Though a club with our resources, realistically competing is the MINIMUM we should be expecting.

  8. Rasp says:

    Hi Spectrum, if ever there was proof that there are 2 ways of looking a situation, your comment sums it up.

    Using the same criteria …. we haven’t had the money over the last 5 or 6 seasons = we have over-performed by getting into the top 4 consistently

    We do have more money now = more lucrative contracts for Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere and Jenkinson plus a mere £40m spent on Ozil

    Yet still our financial clout is small compared to the oilers and chavs = we’re still over-performing.

    Why are we overperforming? … well its down to that manager who you constantly criticise

  9. Flavour says:

    Spectrum one of the two reason you gave was Ozil which still has to do with money. It was all about Money, Money and Money and nothing more. For the very first time we are able to keep players by improving their contracts meaning more money. That confidence is what is keeping the team. Ozil or no Ozil the statistic shows we are on fire before he joined. Joining Arsenal also increased that belief and fire from our very young and maturing players. We can keep denying this truth but it is the truth.

  10. Rasp says:

    Welcome Flavour – top comment

  11. Gooner in Exile says:

    Well done Spectrum on highlighting exactly what Rasp was talking about disrespect to Arsene Wenger, perhaps you should have a look at reading someone like Gary Neville who understands exactly what it is that Arsene Wenger has achieved over the seasons.

    Maybe what many of us have said for some time….the club will spend when it is safe to do so…has also come to pass.

    You start off saying that it was a fallacy that we couldn’t compete with the wealthy petrodollar clubs, and end with a point about us buying World Class talent which has helped the cause and possibility of winning a title……contradiction in terms don’t you think?

    I must have missed the part of the Ozil interview when he said he was coming to play for Steve Bould, no disrespect to him i’m sure he is a great coach, probably as good as Pat Rice.

    Maybe the reason we are defensively better is because of two players that Wenger was lambasted for signing by numpty pundits.

    Now bore off.

  12. Gooner in Exile says:

    Oh other’s have said what i did just more politely. 😀

    I think i’m in a mood after the lack of ROLFs yesterday

  13. Rasp says:

    😆 GiE, we can’t say it too loudly or too often.

    Supporters need to feel a part of the club. If every one of us believed that in some small way, our support could make the tiniest difference – then that makes it all worthwhile. I’ve never met a supporter who wanted anything other than their team to win …. the other lot have never known that feeling as they constantly wallow in their own self-righteousness.

  14. RC78 says:

    I think that many pundits still have in head the loss of the Carling Cup and the way we let the EPL slip our fingers a few years back…As a result, they do not really see us as “serious contenders” plus our team has depth but the same depth as City and Chelsea and in the end, the depth of the squad allows you to compete effectively as well…

    Although my head says that City will battle it out with Chelsea for the title, I really think that we have a serious chance to win the EPL if we recruit wisely during this transfer window. We do not need superstars at this stage, we could do with two solid players that add steel in the back and pace in the front to our squad. If we manage to get these two players, I think that we will have enough weapons to thwart The Sheikh City and Chelski’s plans to land the EPL…

    Come on gunners! Bring back the title to us

  15. RC78 says:

    plus our team has depth but NOT the same depth as City and Chelsea and in the end, the depth of the squad allows you to compete effectively as well…

  16. Gooner in Exile says:

    Was thinking a similar thing this morning Rasp after seeing the Pounds per Goals article from the Mirror.

    As you are aware i am not as regular as i would like to be at THOF, but the last thing i feel when i go through the turnstile is any sense that my ticket entitles me to goals, a win or a good game.

    It basically entitles me to a seat in a stadium to watch the team i care about (oh and these days running water in the toilets) (actually just access to a toilet is an improvement 😀 ) whatever i can do whilst in that seat to help the team is why I am there.

    Makes sense that many who complain about ticket prices have probably never even been to THOF, but with Arsenal_Tickets on twitter saying they now have 40,000 followers i guess it goes to show there are still more willing attendees than tickets available.

  17. Gooner in Exile says:

    RC78 i guess its a measure of the modern game that squads need to be so much bigger now, when you think about the early Wenger sides to now the change in quality required from 1-22+ is massive compared to probably in the early years needing quality from 1-15 where the replacements were utility players. I guess this is another effect of the mega rich clubs buying more and more players, meaning they could go deeper into the season with less effect from injuries, that then means everyone else has to follow suit.

    I do know that when you look at the squads of the top teams it has to be a shame that so many do not play each week….just how good and competitive could the PL be if some of that talent was distributed amongst the other 15 clubs.

  18. A. O. Anthony says:

    For whatever anyone like, let them say about the club, manager & players, 4 now, let them go on & talk. There is a reason 4 every situation. Arsenal fought in the past years to settle its debts at the costs of bulding a new stadium & did not drop from top 4, all through, it is a great achiavement, and now the club is now stabilised financially, people should watch out of arsenal from now, because the club is now ready to spend, & to win titles. Gunners 4ever.

  19. Rasp says:

    Hi RC78. Thanks for your post yesterday – you took our hits over 4 million in the process 😛

  20. arnie says:

    Absolutely brilliant, Rasp. The problem is that I have to agree with everything you say, so no debate, some discussion perhaps, some dialogue, maybe. 😀 😦

    Disrespect towards Arsenal – Arsene, the players and the fans. I am tempted to launch into my conspiracy theory again, but perhaps not!!!!! Back to “disrespect” later.

    GiE: Surely the ROLF moment will come today later in the afternoon. 😀 😀 😀

  21. The Cockie Monster says:

    On my way through N17, I happen to come across a copy of…. The Daily Turd and was interested to read an article about…Pounds per Shit and how the Spuds were bragging about being Top of the Pounds per Shit Table with over a £100m worth !.


    Excellent Rasp. I admire your tone my good man.

    Dont blame the pundits really. There mainly ex pros who at one time or another got transfered for big money themselves. This makes them salivate over Chelsea and City.

    In other words, these pundits are Dick Heads, and one thing my dear old mum taught me growing up was to avoid Dick Heads.

    Of course we all know why we have improved

    Arsene was sitting down having lunch whilst Steve Bould was indulging a game of pool. They were looking at each other nervously, tension mounting

    Just as Vic Ackers was about to pot the black, Bouldie grabed the ball “ime having that” and proceeded to insert into a dirty sock.

    Going over to were Arsene was lunching, “Not now Bould, i am having snails”. At that point Bouldie smacked poor Arsene over the head with the socked pool ball.

    “Right Wenger, ime the f*cking daddy now, and in future we defend with depth. Though, coz ime a reasonable geezer i will allow you to coach the lads when weve got the ball”

    Leaving poor Arsene on the floor, Bouldie proceeded to Ivan Gazidis office. “How can I help you Steve?”. Getting Ivan into a headlock “Listen Gazidis, ime taking over now. Now, weres all that money youve been hiding oer the last ten years?”

    “Its under the floor boards Steve. Please dont hurt me, Kronke made me do it”.

    Bouldie ripped up the floorboard, and “Loverleey, £42.5 million. Now go get me Ozil you slimey git”

    Simple as that.

  23. Rasp says:

    Brilliant TMHT, you explain the situation with such clarity 😆

  24. Spectrum says:

    Rasp – I just posted a very lengthy reply to you, and it hasn’t ( yet ) appeared. Perhaps your spam filter has rejected it because of its size. Can you please check ? Thanks.

  25. Rasp says:

    Hi Spectrum, your comment went into spam because it contains numerous links. Are you sure you wouldn’t like to post a more succinct comment – experience tells us the longer the comment, the more likely it is to be ignored.

  26. Rasp says:

    Ok, here is Spectrum’s comment in its entirety …..

  27. Spectrum says:

    Rasp – Fresh from one myth to another I see. The myth of “We haven’t had the money.” Was it on this site before, that I provided a compilation of evidence of the club’s OWN officials CLEARLY stating that this was not the case, and of course, everyone KNOWS it isn’t now. For those readers of yours who may have missed it last time – here’s a copy and pasted recap again ( seeing as how you brought this old chestnut up……)

    …….We have had funds SINCE WAY BACK IN 2005. Wenger CHOSE not to spend them when they were made available to him. He still does. see

    Still not convinced ? Well you should take it up with former director and largest shareholder the late Danny Fiszman, then – from 2007 -( quote ) “We are in a very strong financial situation and if he [Arsene] wanted to spend £100m, he could. he decides whether a players fee and salary is worth it. It is his decision and his decision only.”

    “…..if he [Arsene] wanted to spend £100m, he could”. ( Got that LOUD AND CLEAR A.K.B.’s ) ?

    ” Fiszman also quoted Wenger’s devious mind when it comes to his notorious reluctance to spend ” ; ( quoting Wenger ) “Can we say we are poor, because that perception helps me when buying players *.” ( full article here ) –

    *So you see, Wenger wants us TO THINK he / the club can’t afford to spend.

    The next year came this ; from 28th May 2008 ( quote ) “There is this constant thing that the Emirates is bleeding the club, that we’ve got these repayments — it’s total crap,’’ stressed Fiszman. “Look at our accounts and you will see our net payments are £20m and the revenue increase from the new stadium is close to £50m. Explain to me how that stadium bleeds the club if it’s producing an extra £30 m-a-year. Our wage bill is very similar to Manchester United’s and substantially above Liverpool’s. It’s substantially below Chelsea’s, but that is expected.’’

    Then Fiszman said this exactly three months later on 28th August 2008 – ( quote ) “It would be no problem at all,’’ said Fiszman, the club’s second largest shareholder. “It’s not our decision who he spends money on, nor will it ever be our decision. If he said to us ‘I want this guy and he’s £30 million, can I buy him?’ the answer is yes. Absolutely yes. We totally back him. It’s his decision. I’m unfortunately not good enough to be a manager myself but I’d love to be.’’

    Gazidis in 2010 – ( quote ) “We’re now coming to a period, with Highbury Square coming to its completion and some of our other property developments bearing fruit, where the financial health of the Club is secure,” explained the Chief Executive.

    “That does not mean we have unlimited resources, but it does mean we have sufficient funds to invest “. ( end quote )

    Following on from that The Telegraph in 2011 – ( quote ) “Arsène Wenger will have a player budget of around £40 million this summer and will be allowed to spend it how he chooses. Those funds will cover transfer fees as well as the wages of new signings, giving the Arsenal manager the resources to retain the core of his squad but also add one or two proven and experienced players.

    More radical change would require the departure of existing players, with the money from any sales to be added to the transfer budget. The current budget of £40million would remain accessible to Wenger next year if he decides that he does not need reinforcements or is unable to sign any of his targets “. ( end quote ).

    Gazidis again in October 2012 – ( quote ) “In the next two years, we will have the financial resources to sit and compete among the leading clubs in the world, which is an extraordinary achievement.

    “……Financial success is relevant because it supports our football vision … the money we make is made available to our manager and he decides how to invest those funds “. ( end quote )

    2013, and back in February, Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood insists they can compete for the very best players in this summer’s transfer market.

    ( quote ) “Yesterday the club revealed a half-year pre-tax profit to the end of November of £17.8m and cash reserves of £123.3m.

    Hill-Wood told the Daily Star: “We are in a position where we can compete with most people. If there is someone we really want, then the price guide is secondary.” ( end quote )

    There are many such examples available. And just very recently, Wenger himself has confirmed ; ( quote ) “The second thing; can we afford them? Most of them, yes. A few of them, no. Can you afford Messi today? Certainly not. But we can afford 90 per cent of them.”

    So please, no more of this “we’re broke” and “we can’t compete” bleeding heart bull****. The stadium HAS NOT hampered us in spending. Funds have ALWAYS been offered to Wenger. But he’d rather develop kids ( i.e. his failed “Project Youth”) or try to win the league on the cheap by buying sub standard bargain basement players. Or having misguided and foolish faith in what he has – ( “this is my best ever squad” and “we have two good players for each position” e.t.c. ), as excuses not to spend.

    And if his incompetence hadn’t led to him developing his “socialist wage model”, we might have had even MORE funds at our disposal, and less deadwood on our books that we can’t sell because of their inflated salaries !

  28. Rasp says:

    I have long believed that Arsenal (and every other PL club) indulge in ‘constructive lying’. When directors claimed we had money to spend, they were allowing it to be interpreted as – we can if we want. And by this I think they meant that if the manager felt very strongly that we needed to spend -they would find some money. The annual accounts painted a very different picture during that period and the mathematics showed we were not earning the money that would allow us ‘Ozil-type’ signings – we were scarcely breaking even without selling a player or two.

    If you want, this was a collective effort by the board and management to keep the profile of the club up there with the big spenders. It worked as we kept the revenue coming in by making top 4 every year. Now we are moving into profit, we have proved that we are prepared to invest in the squad by signing Ozil.

  29. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rasp you were right i made it two sentences in……off for an afternoon nap zzzzzzz

  30. Rasp says:

    🙂 sleep well GiE

  31. kelsey says:

    Read back your own comments over the last few years. you change your views consistently, more than anyone else on AA.

    Anyway I have absolutely no respect for you especially the cowardly way you treated me and let Raddy do the dirty work and never even a curtosy of a response to any of my e mails to you.So I now know exactly your feelings, which to be honest I knew before, and now you know mine.

    However I am an unstable person, so please forgive me.

  32. Gooner in Exile says:

    No sod it…….if the board wanted to spend why did they extend his contract? if the board had the money why didn’t they tell Barca to f off, and City for that matter, why didn’t they say “hey Arsene…i know you mean well, but you really want this Nasri kid, and we think we want him too, we are going to offer him serious dosh and to hell with the consequences, we will do the same for BSR too”

    Arsene replied furiously…”Non! it is my way or i leave”

    Ivan : “Thanks for your service but there’s the door”

    I mean I don’t know the ins and outs but i’m pretty sure Arsene isn’t responsible for signing cheques, or contracts, i think that would be a Chief Executive’s job.

    But the one contract they kept signing when no others were being signed, was yes you guessed it Arsene’s.

    Spectrum it is my belief that you know bugger all about the way a company is run, or for that matter how Arsenal football club is run, you clearly know bugger all about financial management as anyone can cherry pick liquid assets at the end of the tax year and say “here it is i found £200m in the back pocket”…problem is you clearly have no idea how that cash is then used to pay the Creditors etc.

    All prize money is paid at the end of the financial year after May…..oh about the time our Financial Accounts are prepared….wonder if thats why there is so much cash in the bank?

    Really its like discussing finance with a 2 year old!

  33. I’m with you GIE !!!

  34. GunnerN5 says:


    Firstly – I fully agree with your comments and those that support you.

    Secondly – I will not waste either words or time instead I will let the league table do my talking for me as it is making absolute fools of the “experts” and AFC/Arsenal haters.

  35. Gooner in Exile says:

    Forgive me…Fiszman wants to say the club is wealthy….why?

    Because he will get more money for his shares

    Wenger wants to say the club is poor…why?

    Because he can get more players for less, i reckon 2010-2013 we have a net spend on transfers totally in line with what you have stated above…the most crucial part of your “long history” is this one from Gazidis…..

    “in October 2012 – ( quote ) “In the next two years, we will have the financial resources to sit and compete among the leading clubs in the world, which is an extraordinary achievement.”

    So what would that be 2014? oh right we’re here, he was right no one lied!

  36. Rasp says:

    Kelsey, I assume that you were aiming that comment at me.

    I certainly did not get Raddy to do anything. I don’t know why you have focused this all on me – you are incorrect. I haven’t described you as ‘unstable’ and I was not the driving force behind the events you refer to.

  37. Gooner in Exile says:

    Its all got a little fraught….need Toon Army to cheer us up come on the Barcodes!

  38. Spectrum says:

    Gooner in Exile – Zzzzzzz ? You’re right. This site is as dull as attending an afternoon tea with the Stepford Wives. They were oblivious to the facts too.

    But at least Rasp is somewhat more receptive. Rasp – so you think that Fiszman’s comment from 28th May 2008 ( above ) was part of this “constructive lying” pseudo conspiracy? Seemed a clear exposition of the true position at the time.

    You said ; “And by this I think they meant that if the manager felt very strongly that we needed to spend -they would find some money”. By your own admission then, the fact that Wenger has not spent on much needed strengthening of the team all this time, tells us he HAS had the funds, that not spending them was HIS DECISION and STILL IS. He didn’t even spend the money left over after Ozil, F.F.S. !

  39. Rasp says:

    This is my last comment in response to you on this topic Spectrum as I wish to avoid the inevitable repetitive arguments that result from your wish to bulldoze the views of others.

    I do not claim to explain every comment by every director – I’m not that sad that I feel the need to constantly justify my position.

    I believe that throughout the ‘years of austerity’ the management of the club used every tool at its disposal to promote Arsenal as a club in the ascendancy. It would all have been a lot easier had it not been for the unfortunate timing of the property crash in relation to the development of Highbury.

    As regards your suggestion that AW was negligent in not spending every free penny after the purchase of Ozil … I would suggest you look at totnum’s signings for a true reflection of the efficacy of the spend for spending’s sake policy.

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    Spectrum, welcome back to AA, its been a while since you last made any comments. I sincerely hope you enjoy your time here and that its a very short stay……………..

  41. Gooner in Exile says:

    8 measly effing minutes!!!!!! Useless Pardew!

  42. Spectrum says:

    …….And if Wenger had utilised ALL the leftover money from the Ozil purchase and bought a striker AT THE TIME, instead of dithering as usual and making pretend/ derisory bids, we would likely be in a MUCH BETTER POSITION going into this crucial time of the season, wouldn’t we ?

  43. GunnerN5 says:

    I never did like Crumpets……….although they are not bad when the are well toasted, preferably burnt.

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    Man C really are a superb team, they look unbeatable.

  45. Please, Please, Please !!! Go back to play Fantasy Football where having money is enough to buy a player and let the grown ups talk real ! And who that miraculous striker might have been ?!

  46. chas says:

    Well done, Rasp.
    I like the disrespect. When they start saying we have a chance, I’ll be worried.

    p.s. I know my 2002 cup final post is shite but it would fill a space if you’re desperate.

  47. chas says:

    As for shite Arsenal fans, I have more respect for this dog as it talks more sense.

  48. Spectrum says:

    Rasp – Oh because the Spuds signings haven’t gelled ( yet ), you selectively hold that up as an example of failure in the market ? At least they SHOWED AMBITION didn’t they ? Why didn’t you mention the ones that have worked out well such as at Chelsea ? Eden Hazard is doing nicely right now, don’t you think? And that guy who left us because he wanted to win things – Nasri. He got his wish. He’s now doing well at the club we supposedly can’t mix it with !

    And that Suarez fellow. Isn’t he the league’s leading scorer ? You know – the one that PUBLICLY STATED THAT HE WANTED TO PLAY FOR US, but whom we missed out on as Wenger played silly buggers with a 50 million ( plus 1 ) joke bid, and was unsurprisingly told to get serious or p*** off. Wouldn’t the classy Uruguayan have come in handy right now ?

    The Suarez episode must be the manager’s biggest blunder since he sold Van Persie to United – and handed them the title as a result.

  49. Spectrum says:

    chas – Don’t confuse legitimate criticism of the man as “lack of respect.” He’s not untouchable. Though to people on this site he evidently is. Goodnight.

  50. chas says:

    I like that.

  51. chas says:

    Fuckin cheats

  52. 26may1989 says:

    City benefit from a poor ref decision again. How many points have they been gifted this season?

  53. Gooner in Exile says:

    Thats a really interesting one…..he moved out of the way of the ball, he doesn’t impede Hart, and he is not in Hart’s line of sight.

    But there is an argument as part of the Goalkeeper’s Union to say when you see the player there you are half expecting him to try and head it back across goal and therefore by being there and not playing he is interfering….but i must admit to not understanding the offside anymore 😦

  54. arnie says:

    Arsenal is the club we love (and the gits hate!0 is because we dare to be different. We play a fantastic brand of football without wasting money on superstar idols, who do little other than act in TV commercials and sign autographs.

    But what the ignorable others do is the dominant religion, at least at the moment. No wonder so many of the pressers and pundits on the payroll hate us, because Arsenal shows two fingers to the mantra!!!! So be it! We choose to be different and we do it well!!

    The more the disrespect, the more the resolve. We are getting there, we will get there!!!!! 😀 😀 😀


    hahaha, I love wankers like Spectrum and Sniffer. More available women for me.

  56. Joe says:

    I see refs are in man city pockets again another good goal disallowed if they win today that that’s the third result that man city have won thanks the bent referring in England.

  57. 26may1989 says:

    Exile, the FIFA guidance is (from memory) pretty clear on the interfering with play basis for offside: the player has to be blocking the line of the keeper’s vision. Just being there and thereabouts isn’t enough.

    Given that the linesman was on the “wrong” side from Tiote, perhaps the linesman thought it took a touch. Without that, there is no basis for the offside.

  58. chas says:

    Hart didn’t even see him there until the ball was nestling in the back of the net.

  59. So basically, no matter how many good signings we do, there will always be world class players we didn’t sign somewhere…
    We signed Ramsey. We didn’t sign Hazard !
    We signed Walcott. We didn’t sign Messi !


  60. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, we thought your post was too good for a quiet Sunday. In hindsight, I wish we’d used it. What has followed today is a perfect illustration of why I do most of my stuff behind the scenes these days 🙄

  61. RockyLives says:

    Brilliant Rasp

    Sorry I haven’t been around – work commitments taking over a bit.

    Bit of a shame to return today to find the blog infested with Speculum’s repetitive, delusional, boring bollix.

    Refs are definitely out to help Man City this year (and they have clearly decided to stop helping Utd). Corruption, or just officials believing the hype about the ‘best’ teams? Unlikely to be corruption but I wouldn’t rule it out 100% – it’s happened in plenty of other European leagues.

    There was no way Hart was getting near that ball, with or without the presence of other Toon players in the six yard box.

  62. Gooner in Exile says:

    As I said Chas that was right out of the Goalkeepers Union Handbook…defend a mate if in doubt.

  63. Rasp says:

    Benjamin, don’t worry, the vast majority are in agreement with you. If only buying players was as simple as going along a supermarket shelf.

    We have a policy of allowing comments of all shades of opinion as long as they are expressed in accordance with the guidelines set out. Sometimes it is better not to respond rather than fan the flames 🙂

  64. That’s why I like AA so much Rasp. Apologies for the “Moronic”. Apologies to AA, not to the moron.

  65. 26may1989 says:

    From the FIFA Guidelines: ‘“interfering with an opponent” means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or challenging an opponent for the ball.’ See The illustrations from page 110 onwards are helpful too.

    Ref and linesman got it wrong.

  66. arnie says:

    Welcome back, Rocky.

    Rasp, you guys do a fantastic job, in the foreground and behind the scenes. The vast majority in this space cannot thank you enough. never mind the delusional gits, AA has attracted quite a few fantastic fans in the past three or so months. Well done you guys. 😀 😀

    Sad to see another game dominated by ref decisions and controversies. The ref situation in the EPL needs an overhaul. One good thing that can come out of the overspending mantra is that there is pressure to obtain results. Hence some of the so called smaller clubs who are spending money will be continuing to put enormous pressure on the refs to shed their regional biases. Though indirectly, this can only be good news for Arsenal!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  67. Joe says:

    With all the money fools like zx spectrum wanted Arsenal to spend even when the like of Swiss rambler had been saying for years that most of are profits was coming from player sales. Maybe a small investment in to the back pockets of the refs instead of players would have been a better investment.

  68. Rasp says:

    Thanks Benjamin and arnie 😛

    Hi Rocky, its always good to have your company. I believe Raddy is away and Redders can’t always get on so we are short of a few regulars – as you’ve seen, we’ve unearthed some really great new bloggers …. but we still need you 😕

  69. RC78 says:

    Hey there – 4 millions hits! Well done to Rasp and the AA team 🙂

    I think that everybody agrees that we are in need of reinforcement but there is some discrepancy in the way the funds should be spent at this stage. Some people are quite critical of our last transfer window and of AW’s transfer records recently but I think that we cannot solve all our problms by piling up plyaers as mentionned by Rasp and Benjamin.

    At this stage of the season, I am realistic and I believe that we cannot land a top quality player but we could get solid players like Amorebiata, Mirallas or Berbatov. They are not Top Players but they would add this little “plus” to our team that oculd land us a gong by the end of the year.

    AW said the key is to have Podolski fit at this stage but I would like to see that happen…so far, he has not been fit for us…

  70. 26may1989 says:

    Which Wenger-hater was it not long ago, that was saying Paul Lambert was the best manager around?

  71. Rasp says:

    Arsenal supporters should be as enraged as the toon army over that disallowed goal – who knows how significant those 2 points could be come the end of the season?

  72. Draxler. The clause will be the same in the summer but with more rival teams to up the price. So why not pay now and make his addition the little plus that will get us the EPL and the money to pay for Costa and Gundogan in the summer ?

  73. 26may1989 says:

    Benjamin, I read that the contract Draxler and Schalke signed last summer had a buy-out clause that only came into effect in the summer of 2014.

  74. RockyLives says:

    Toon deserve a point from this game. Not sure they’re going to get it though 😦

    I have been reading and I have really enjoyed seeing some great new contributors (RC78 I liked your well-observed maiden Post yesterday – apologies for being too busy to comment).

  75. RockyLives says:

    You could probably tot up quite a few points that have been gifted to both the Chavs and the Manc Chavs this season (i.e. key errors that have directly affected results).

    I can’t think of any such decisions that have handed points to us this year (although you could certainly argue that the ref in the opening game of the season cost us at least 2 points).

  76. The ref also cost us 2 points against the Chavs. You could say 3 considering it gave them one.

  77. Rasp says:

    The totts have also had quite a few wrong decisions go their way. But even said, we’re up there at the top despite all this. You can see the effect injustice has had on the Newcastle players (55% possession), there is nothing like a few bad decisions to maximise the player’s effort.

  78. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, going back to your post, all good stuff. I don’t feel too aggrieved by the pundits these days. They’ve had to moderate their dismissiveness this season, with us getting to the halfway mark still on top. But our recent history also justifies a negative view of our chances when we’re stacked up against the Oilers. We haven’t had enough mental strength before, and the squad hasn’t had enough depth in it. That’s changed now.

    As you know, I take the view that history will judge Wenger very, very well, and that what he has done for Arsenal in the stadium-building period will be seen as his greatest achievement. With no money, and with the Oiler Syndrome arriving, he kept us relevant and battling it out at the top. No other manager could have achieved that, and it’s always worth remembering that Wenger had offers to go to Chelsea, Madrid and possibly City, all of which would have been easier jobs. He stayed loyal to us, and he deserves maximum respect from everyone who actually understands football. Some people may either not understand enough about finances, or choose to take as being literally true the bland corporate quotes of directors and chief execs, but the truth is very simple: for seven or eight years, there was no money.

    Anyway, back to Nouveau Château against the Northern Oilers…..

  79. 26may1989 says:

    The officials in our game against City were hands down the worst I have seen in years. We made plenty of mistakes on the day but I maintain that City wouldn’t have got three points without the assistance from incompetent/biased officials.

  80. Nouveau Chateau, very good ! Has a Beaujolais Nouveau taste… Come on Remy !!!

  81. Talking about Remy, anyone remember another striker with a first name as a family name ? Could be fate…

  82. 26may1989 says:

    Benjamin, that is close to sacrilege, there will never be another TH14!

  83. Rasp says:

    Thanks 26m, amen to that ….. there was no money!

    I agree history will judge Wenger very well, and so it should. Ironically, those who serve in times of austerity are often deposed when the good times return. If AW can return Arsenal to a title winning side, he should be recognised as the greatest Arsenal manager.

    I’ve had serious doubts about him in the last couple of years, and he is by no means perfect – who is. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have been proved wrong. How others can cling on to their entrenched views is beyond me.

  84. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rocky the only “in our favour” decision i can think of is Atkinson’s decision to call it back at Sunderland away, there is an argument to say we had stopped playing but…..

  85. We HAD stopped playing.

  86. 26may1989 says:

    An argument, Exile? We’d stopped play 100%!!

  87. Sorry 26m. I won’t do it again. But technically, if Theo changes his name in Halcott…

  88. Actually, Theo might rather ask Thierry to adopt him. Theo Henry : TH14 !

  89. 26may1989 says:

    Game over.

  90. Gooner in Exile says:

    Not bias on here at all is it? 😀

  91. 26may1989 says:

    OK, so looking forward to next weekend, City have a nailed on three points, being at home to Cardiff, and we’ve got Fulham at home, but at least Chelsea have to play United, a good chance of the Chavs dropping points in that one.

  92. 26may1989 says:

    Biased? Moi???!

  93. 26may1989 says:

    Have to say, I thought that was the best I’ve seen Demichelis play since he joined City.

  94. Kieran visiting Theo at the hospital… Good kids. Gotta love them.
    Could we have the picture here please someone ?

  95. Almost as cute as Cumberbatch and Freeman…

  96. RA says:

    Hi Fellars, 🙂

    I thought I would read the Rasper’s very good Post and AA’ers comments before making my own contribution, but there was a skunk on the loose and decided to have breakfast instead. 🙂

    That odious antipodean Speculum says we are all delusional and dull, yet he cannot stay away from the site. Antediluvian perversity or what?

  97. chas says:

  98. Big Raddy says:


    In the beautiful Alps for a weeks skiing and the first time I go on AA, I find I have to trash a comment.

    To the person who wrote it, please keep personal grievances off the site. You know each others email addresses.

    Crap results this weekend but nothing we didn’t expect. A win tomorrow and all is hunky dory once more.

    Right off for some after ski alcohol.

  99. Thanks Chas ! Aren’t they cute ?!

  100. arnie says:

    Ha ha ha, Rocky, Redders and Raddy return from their holidays together!!! Welcome back. This space had been a bit lonely without you guys. Good breaks? 😀 😀 😀

  101. Big Raddy says:

    Hi Arnie,

    Hope I can get back on tomorrow for the game. Internet in this town is, at best, poor.

    Back home on Friday

  102. arnie says:

    Raddy: Oh dear! What about the pre-match post and banter? What will be do? 😦 😀 😛

  103. Rasp says:

    Who’s going to write the pre-match? 😦

  104. arnie says:

    Raddy: wish you a good break!!!!!! 😀 😀

  105. RockyLives says:

    I’ll do the pre-match Rasp.

  106. arnie says:

    Rocky, Rocky, Rocky!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  107. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky, I’m going to carve your visage on Mount Rushmore 😛

  108. Rasp says:

    Great comeback by Stoke …. hope they can keep it up in the second half

  109. RockyLives says:

    Well, it is Monday tomorrow…

  110. RockyLives says:

    Won’t be a Raddy special though 😦

  111. arnie says:

    Stoke were so stunningly poor in the first 15 mins, I never thought this game could yet deliver a ROLF, but was I wrong!!!! 2-2. Come on, Crouchy and co, Shiiitecross in tow!!!! 😀

  112. arnie says:

    If Shiitecross was not there, it would have been 2-0 Stoke!!!! 😦

  113. RA says:


    Having watched recordings of the games this weekend I was inclined to write a little comment about refereeing in the context of the overarching societal environment in which the referee and we ourselves find ourselves.

    It turned out a little longer than I intended, and so I thought I would send it to you as a ‘filler’ when the site is quiet.

    I do not have access to email at the moment, so I am going to post it onto AA direct. If you like you can do a Raddy and expunge it for use at a later date, or just leave it to wither on the vine. Either way is fine by me, as I suspect it is amazingly boring.

    Hopefully Shard, the referee persecutor will not understand it and will not try to deconstruct it — although being selfish that would give me some pleasure to take on a newbie civil servant! 🙂

  114. RC78 says:

    If needed, I can try to write smt up later tonight about the pre-match…lemme know – it will be quick and easy but it can help steer the debate on that match…

  115. arnie says:

    Apparently, more ref shockers!!!!!! Oh dear!!!!!! Redders, your post may have to be expedited!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  116. Bayonne Jean says:

    Anthony Taylor strikes again! Misses blatant handball block of a clearance by Stirling who breaks into the box and then awards softest of penalties, just like the one against Koscielny vs. Villa.

  117. Hold tight RA and I’ll have instructions for you

  118. RC78 says:

    People say that in a season, the ref mistakes even up but I always feel that the refs are quite harsh on us and lenient on Man Utd, City and Chelsea…

  119. Gööner In Exile says:

    How many mistakes does a referee have to make in a season before he is demoted?

    Clearly Taylor is on some kind of accelerated development promotion as maybe he is Mike Riley’s love child.

    But he gets so many wrong it’s unbelievable.

    Clear handball from Sterling, maybe he thought Stoke had possession so was going to play advantage but Stoke don’t make use of the ball, Sterling runs through and at that point he could of exercised common sense and made no ca for the penalty either.

    Problem is with my negative hat on if this is in the papers tomorrow morning about big clubs getting all the decisions what are the chances of us getting any decisions our way tomorrow? 50:50 or nailed on?

  120. RA says:

    Sorry, Peaches, I read your request after the fact. 😦

  121. Don’t worry I’ve moved it 😉

  122. fatgingergooner says:

    I hope the refereeing bias towards the top teams continues into tomorrow night!

  123. evonne says:

    good post Rasp and an excellent title you have almost fooled me.

    Uncharacteristically for me (gosh, that’s a long word) I totally agree with you. We will be there on top, but probably below Shitty. But the next season is definitely ours. That loss to Villa is gonna cost us, won’t make the same mistake next year

    Cheers Rasp!

  124. fatgingergooner says:

    I reckon by the time Fifa 2020 comes out, diving will be listed as a player attribute!!

    It’s like watching a soap opera sometimes. Can’t wait for the Rugby League season to begin so I watch a contact sport.

  125. The Cockie Monster says:

    So in the end not too many ROLFS there for GIE…….or should that be JIE ( Jinx In Exile ) ! hahaha. Always on to a loser there Jinx !. May I suggest, count to ten before fingers engage !. hahaha

  126. RA says:

    Hi RCA78 @ 5:48

    I would not attach to much credibility to the theory of events such as refereeing mistakes evening out.

    Probability law is used by gamblers to help predict the average chances of an event occurring but it does not enable them to do so in any meaningful way, and further, it is a fallacy to say that the number of refereeing mistakes that occur in the first period of the season will reverse themselves in the final period of the season.

    It is something that acts as a comfort blanket for anxious fans, but statistically there is no discernible connection between the two events.

    Sorry. 🙂

  127. Big Raddy says:

    Oi, I have written the PM but would love to read Rocky,

  128. dandan says:

    Spectrum’s your occasional appearances on site purely to regurgitate the same nonsensical turgid bile, surely only serves to emphasise the quality that as a rule places AA in the upper echelon of Arsenal blogs.
    Sure it has its faults and yes we are all capable of being oversensitive souls when a comment appears that is so manifestly different to our own opinions, as to ruffle our feathers and in some cases trigger less than desirable comment
    However I do find it sad when stalwarts of the site, Arsenal men to the core of many years standing and fellow bloggers since the inception of the social media phenomena allow themselves to become embroiled in a private debate in public.
    Please guys take a deep breath, remember the good times shared and how you were all founder members of this enterprise. Take a step back and keep both your own and the reputation of the blog you nursed from birth at its current respected status.
    I for one have enjoyed your cyber company and the surprise of seeing my first ever attempt at a lead article published was a thrill that really amazed me. Without your forethought that would never have happened and the length of the authors roll of honour shows I am sure that I am not alone.

  129. arnie says:

    A little bit of honesty, I think.

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, speaking to Sky Sports: “I thought it [the penalty] was soft if I am being honest. I would call that a Spanish penalty, it is one where the attacker goes into the defender – who does not get the ball – and the contact puts him over. … If we get that wee bit of fortune, we will take it.”

  130. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Arnie wait and see what the hypocritical creep says when it happens the other way round. “Wee bit of fortune” my a**e. Bought and paid for!

  131. arnie says:

    NG: I havent forgotten the “lack of class” statement from the summer. Not yet anyway. But this is one of those days. Respect and disrespect are in the air!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  132. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I’m so relieved to learn that you are not one to hold a grudge Arnie. 😀

    I can hear the cutlery rattling and smell the roast lamb, it’s time to go.

    G’night all.

  133. Gööner In Exile says:

    £8000 fine clearly also gets you a decision or two.

  134. RockyLives says:

    Phew, that’s a relief BR 🙂

    I was getting quite worried about filling your estimable shoes after hastily agreeing to do the PM.

    I am sure my relief is shared by the rest of AA.

  135. Räsp says:

    dandan @ 6:29….. I haven’t been embroiled in anything nor have I brought anything personal onto the site, but I am well and truly fed up with being accused of things I haven’t done and being criticized by some because they don’t like the way things are done on here.

  136. dandan says:

    Rasp. I deliberately mentioned no names, but made my comments a generalization and I thought a complimentary one to the guys including you who started the blog.
    Spectrum of course was a different matter.

  137. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, it is a pity, you don’t deserve the brickbats, but don’t worry, there are plenty of us who know all the organisers, you included, do a fab job.

    I just wanted to thank Terry for his 12.41pm comment, and the Arsenalisation of that early 80s classic, “Scum”. “Who’s the daddy now?” Terry, your creativity never ceases to amaze, but that one was especially good! (You sure you’re an accountant?)

  138. GunnerN5 says:


    Your comments @6:29 are the voice of reason and civility.

    I must say, as you all know, I have also experienced my own ups and downs on AA. However once I have had time to take a deep breath and reflect I always come to the same conclusion – AA is where I prefer to blog as I enjoy the company of many Arsenal fans who are rational thinkers.

    I believe today’s situation evolved from a misunderstood comment that had the appearance of being a subliminal slur – I feel it was simply a general comment that belongs to many, many bloggers and not any one person in particular.

    I hope that reason will prevail.

  139. chas says:

    View from out of the gym studio window this morning.
    Waddya mean you didn’t see the sunrise? 🙂

  140. chas says:

    View looking inside at misaligned mirrors.

  141. chas says:

    Personally I’m pleased that troll and drama queen Sunday is over.

  142. Räsp says:

    GN5 @ 7:50, I appreciate your sentiments but that is not the case

  143. Gooner in Exile says:

    Terry, your creativity never ceases to amaze, but that one was especially good! (You sure you’re an accountant?)

    The personal slurs continue 😀

  144. chas says:

    Terry must be an accountant.
    He can’t spell for toffee but is sure good with figures. (or so he says)

  145. GunnerN5 says:


    Send me an email as I’m now very confused.

  146. 26may1989 says:

    If the cap fits, Exile……. 🙂

  147. RA says:

    Hello Rasper,

    I do not know what has set the cat among the pigeons, and frankly I do not care.

    You are one of the nicest and most personable guys I have had the pleasure of ‘chatting’ to on the blogs, even though we had the occasional minor misunderstanding in the early days, probably because of my attempt at humour.

    I have never had any reason to change my mind about you, other than my admiration for your administration skills has grown.

    The chances are that Dandan was referring to my 4:09 and not about you, but that’s OK, because I was speaking as I found it. 🙂

  148. RA says:


    As I thought Big Radish had absconded to Italy, I was looking forward to seeing a Rockadillo pre-match, and I am sure that it would have been up to your usual high standards – so ‘relief’ is not in my lexicon where you are concerned. 🙂

    Some of us can be modest because we have much to be modest about – not the case where you and your Posts are concerned.

  149. The Cockie Monster says:

    Personally, I love it when there`s hand bags on here. It makes a change from all the cyber fellatioing which gets a bit boring after a while and allows me to get the popcorn out and enjoy !
    For the sake of entertainment, more hand bags please !. hahaha

  150. arnie says:

    If Terry were a writer, I believe he would have been one of the best. If he were a comedian, he would probably be one of the best ever. A topmost exponent of the very best traditions of British humour. We are all very honoured to have him amongst us!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  151. evonne says:

    cockie – me too, I love handbags 🙂 There is something hilarious about grown up and otherwise witty men having a cyber fight, magic.
    I know, I know, I took part in a fight once, but that was at the beginning of my blogging life. I am very experienced now and learnt not to treat anything here seriously. Sorted.

    Why don’t you just kiss and make up? Come on, we have a big game on our hands tomorrow, that’s the priority, surely?

  152. JanMan says:

    What a shame. AA are now censoring and deleting posts!!

  153. Janman – I have emailed you but it has been returned. Please email and I will explain

  154. JanMan says:

    Peaches. Just emailed you as requested.

  155. Thanks for the Post, Rasp.
    Hi 26May – Your 3.23pm refers to me, and I take exception to being called a ‘Wenger-hater’. So let me clarify my position.
    Paul Lambert is the victim of broken promises and severe over-spending by Martin O’Neill, as well as the £24m Gerard Houllier paid for Darren Bent. He took over a club that were heading for the Championship and in all sorts of disarray after Alex McLeish’s tenure. He’s been given nowhere near the same amount of funds O’Neill and Houllier were afforded, and his first remit was to slash the wage-bill. Aston Villa are no-where near the level Arsenal are at in terms of resources, for a start Villa have never had CL revenue.
    Lambert is early into his managerial career, and after serving a brilliant apprenticeship at Norwich, has at least stabilised Villa without spending significant sums of money.
    Arsene Wenger hater? Sorry, you’ve got the wrong man. Between September 1996 and 2006 there was no-one better, he jousted with and often out-witted the games most celebrated managers. Since moving to The Emirates that gift has mysteriously disappeared. He has taken us into seasons completely under-prepared, and has often failed to strengthen in key areas. Decisions such as allowing Manuel Almunia to be the club’s first-choice GK for four years, or bringing back retired and virtually retired players is not what big clubs do. I don’t think there’s any other major Football Club in the world who has or would tolerate the situation with Abou Diaby.
    Arsene Wenger is a good manager, he isn’t the best, too many times he has left the squad wafer-thin, with back-ups that are either not good enough or just too immature to cope with the responsibility of wearing the club shirt. Playing Bendtner as a winger when real wingers like Adam Johnson were available for reasonable money is strange logic, a player whose fluidity would flourish in our set-up. He has shown a remarkable flexibility of faith in some fairly mediocre players down the years often rewarding them with over-generous contracts.
    He has often repeated past mistakes and refused to address them, he hasn’t always been the best investor of Arsenal’s money, and his record in Europe is poor. Could Arsenal with all their resources have a better manager? Undoubtedly.
    Herbert Chapman’s Arsenal dominated football, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal never has.
    You say no other manager could have done what Wenger did to steer us through a stadium move, which is a false premise, because no other top club or manager were put in that situation, therefore cannot be judged in comparison.

  156. GunnerN5 says:


    I am an advocate of Chapman but to say his team dominated football is a stretch to far. That could only be factual if one were to include the results of George Allison and Tom Whittaker on the, very, broad assumption that their teams included Chapman’s player’s and they employed his tactics.

  157. JanMan says:

    Thank you for your mail.
    Fingers crossed for three points tomorrow evening.

  158. Gööner In Exile says:

    Cough….Paul Scholes….cough


    Herb, what about Owen Hargreaves and Darren Fletcher? There at home all day nursing there injuries

    Bet you any money Fletcher can recite every Jeremy Kyle show and Hargreaves is world sudoko champion

  160. Gööner In Exile says:

    Sorry Herb but when you suggest Lambert could do a better job than Wenger or that we should sign players like Johnson your arguments fall down.

    Johnson has been tested measured and found out at the top level, he was found not to be good enough, and when City released him there was such a flurry of activity for his signature that he ended up at Sunderland.

    You think Theo is overrated yet you suggest Johnson? Come on man take a while to look at the kid play over a season rather than a highlight reel…..or the occasional good goal.

    How many times has Bendtner played on the wing for Arsenal? And who was injured that required him to be played there?


    As for Spectrum and Sniffer? Well, any man who has experinced the delights of a womens body would not post like them

  162. Räsp says:

    Apparently we’ve signed Rennes striker Paul-Georges Ntep

  163. arnie says:

    Rasp, thanks. I was suspecting this, but expecting the news later next week. I think this is good news. 😀 😀

  164. 26may1989 says:

    Herb/WATA: Apologies if I offended you. Much as it is about subjective judgment, and I wouldn’t call Lambert a bad manager or a player like Adam Johnson a bad player. But neither one is of a special quality either. But you like them, fair enough.

    My main criticism of your take on things goes back to the theme that Rasp struck with his post at the top of the page, namely respect. Of course Wenger has made mistakes. There will always be mistakes, that is a guaranteed feature of any job that depends on judgment and prediction, including that of the manager of a football club: the brilliant 16-year old, whom every big club in Europe wants, could be the next Cesc Fabregas or could be the next Fran Merida. The player plagued by seemingly never-ending injuries could be Abou Diaby or he could be Tomas Rosicky. That brilliant winger could be the next Thierry Henry or could be Gervinho. There’s no certainty but looking back at the last 16/17 years, one thing we can say is that Wenger and his scouts get it right a hell of a lot of the time, and our club would be in a much worse position without that. To my mind, that deserves respect.

    And as for my suggestion, that no other manager could have done what Wenger did to steer us through a stadium move while keeping us near the top, I don’t agree there is a false premise. Based on a hypothetical scenario, that managers at Wenger’s level (the likes of Ferguson, Mourinho, Ancelotti, Guardiola, Hiddink, Benitez etc) were in the same position, of having a tiny budget to fund transfers and wages for a period of years, against the backdrop of the uncertainty and instability that comes from a major infrastructure project, spiced up by the collapse of the broader global economy and the arrival in the PL of oil money, I say that none of them would have accepted those conditions of service, still less been able to achieve the consistency we enjoyed. Plenty of people, you included, wouldn’t agree with my conclusion, which is fine; but that doesn’t make my proposition one based on a false premise, it’s just you coming to a different conclusion to me.

    However much I may not agree with some of Wenger’s decisions down the years (his faith in the dignified but poor Almunia being top of that list), I know my beloved club would today be much, much worse off if he hadn’t stayed loyal to us in 2005. For that, as much as everything he did from 1996 to 2005, he will always have my gratitude and respect.

  165. 26may1989 says:

    The story about Ntep suggests he’s been loaned back to Rennes for the remainder of the season, so would be one for the future.

  166. You’ve found one solitary example, Gooner In Exile – Paul Scholes. Didn’t he help them win a title? And they didn’t do it with multiple players. Do Bayern Munich, Madrid or Barcelona do it, clubs Ivan Gazidis names as our rivals?
    I’ve never said Lambert could do a better job, but Arsene Wenger could and should have done his a lot better.
    Neither Hargreaves or Fletcher have been allowed to nurse eight-year long injuries whilst being rewarded new contracts.
    I assumed after Chapman’s passing GunnerN5 that George Allison inherited Chapman’s players therefore his tactics. Why would you change something that works so effectively? Tom Whittaker didn’t arrive until after WWII, with the world a very different place and most of Chapman’s players retired. Chapman had to build Arsenal from scratch, a club that had no major trophy when he took over, he wasn’t joining an established set-up that were already a power-horse. He more than any other manager established Arsenal’s prestigious identity, and Arsenal are the club they are today as a direct result of Chapman’s influence.

  167. Shard TRP says:

    Apologies for missing out on the handbags earlier, but RA, you’ve asked for it now.. You’re lucky your comment has already been removed or I would have torn your view apart I’m sure. 🙂 The refs in the league make it too easy anyway. City and Liverpool got a crucial goal advantage yesterday. A goal worth potentially 2 or 3 points. When was the last time Arsenal got as priceless a reward due to a referee? But we’ve had the officials in the ManCity game giving everything City’s way, the Dean effect vs Chelsea, and of course Anthony Villa in the opening game.

    Anyway, moving on to Rasp’s post about the pundits. Partly, as I think 26m suggested in the comments above, it is understandable. Arsenal do not play by the conventional rules, and it is more high risk for a pundit to stand alone. Plus, I suspect a lot of their ramblings are a result of the editorial stance of the broadcaster rather than just their personal views.

    While I can ignore the pundits, the combined media stance on Arsenal- disrespect as Rasp puts it- I feel makes it easier for the referees to get away with cheating us too. They have virtually no consequences for giving things against Arsenal. “When in doubt, go against Arsenal” seems like a motto that would serve them well, since there is unlikely to be a furore over an ‘also-ran’, ‘miserly’ club or manager ‘making excuses’. And that’s for the refs that I believe are fair. There are some refs who quite simply aren’t. Despite the horrendous refereeing in the 4-4 by Phil Dowd, I believe he’s not normally a cheat. He didn’t do a very good job of hiding it there anyway. Now Dean is a master at tilting games. And that seems to correlate with his standing being high in the ref world. AT least the media have started mentioning the refs and the PGMOL, but I believe that to be more of a ‘safety valve’ than a genuine discussion.

    As for the roundabout discussion on finances. ‘There was no money’ is an over-simplification, but in effect, it is true. We did have some money at all times. We ‘could’ have borrowed money and somehow made it available. We did in fact try to sign Reina for 20m, Phil Jones for 20m, Gotze and Hazard for 30m, all a few seasons before we got Ozil. We had money, but not to burn. Spending it on flavours of the month like ..oh I don’t know..Samba, Lorik Cana, etc wouldn’t have been the best use of it. And that’s even with the use of hindsight. Could have done better is always true. Has done very well is true in this case.

  168. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Match Day. Oh Yesssss

    Trouble getting on earlier, and now school run.

    Today, Oliie’s goal scoring run begins in earnest

  169. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That’s not a gym as there are no instruments of torture. Looks more like a ballet studio. Anything you’d like to discuss?

  170. chas says:

    You’re right it is a studio at the gym.
    You should see my demi-plié.

  171. Gööner In Exile says:

    This Paul George-Ntep playing in Ligue 2 (which is where Kozzer spent a lot of time so may not be a bad thing), 21, and my biggest concern is he is Cameroon born…..this year we haven’t had African Cup distractions (because it hasn’t been played) but at the moment we only have Frimpomg likely to be called up for it?

    So 1) YouTube compilations please
    2) Has he declared himself French for the purposes of International football.

    And 3) whilst thinking about ACN I also wandered to the possibility of the PL continuing whilst the World Cup was played in Dubai, but that’s 8 years away so surely we won’t be planning to sign the best of the non internationals yet?

  172. LB says:

    Superb conversation starter Rasp and some punchy comments, not a day for the faint hearted blogger.

    Been climbing the most ludicrously steep hills in Tenerife.

    But, back for the game, funny how that works.

  173. Morning all

    Just sorting the post. I’m going to pack it with some fairy dust in the hope that tempers will will be calmed.

    Back in a bit

  174. Fantastic post Rasp …….. got 5,000 hits yesterday

  175. arnie says:

    Motning all.

    Top comment, Shard. 😀 😀

    Interesting point, GiE. Is avoiding the African Nations Cup then an additional incentive for African players to declare themselves eligible for England, France, and the like? Interesting. 😀

  176. We have a New Post ………………….

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