Borussia Dortmund 2 a Bunch of Strangers in Blue 0

If you want to sugar coat that performance by telling yourself that it is a mini league and one loss doesn’t mean that we are out of the competition, then fill your boots.

But what I saw was a team that was completely outclassed in every department and in the end beaten comfortably by Borrusia’s B team — heaven help us when their key players return.

We can’t even use the excuse that we were missing key players; well, not missing in the sense that they were injured anyway. Let’s face it, the best thing to happen all game was the substitutions.

Özil and Ramsey were not clicking to put it politely and as much as I worried that Wenger would persevere until the bitter end, he changed them on the hour and the difference was instant. Hopefully Wenger will carry this into the weekend.

The case for Ozil being able to pull a rabbit out of the hat is all well and good but when our backs are against the wall we need every single player to pull in the same direction and his inability to add anything to the defensive cause is getting tired.

Ramsey slipped back into his dark days: Borrusia would make a simple pass for a team mate to run onto whereas the Aaron was trying to be too clever; the result being, that most things never came off and we almost always lost possession.

Arteta never comes back from an injury and hits the ground running; he always needs a few games to get himself back up to speed. The problem is that it is taking longer and longer after each time that he is sidelined.

I don’t blame Wenger for fielding the team he did; on paper, it is the best we have but it still isn’t working. Somewhere within that very talented squad there is a beast of a team desperate to get out I just hope Wenger can find it sooner rather than later.

Written very late by a very tired LB

And these thoughts from Shard ………………………..

It’s not often I feel let down by Arsenal. Every once in a while it happens though. This was one of those days. It wasn’t quite the stream of chilli and spicy food fueled, burning excrement that the Liverpool 5-1 defeat of last season was, but it was poo(r) all the same.

Of the players that took to the field, I thought only Szczesny, Gibbs, Kos, Wilshere and Ox could come away with some credit. That’s not to say that they all had good games. Just that they at least put something in the plus column, regardless of their negatives. Alexis tried but was ineffective. Bellerin was ok.

Regarding him playing, the commentators were making a big deal out of it, but I have no problem with that. At some point we have to accept that we are a club that is going to try and bring players through. That means trusting them to play, and on yesterday’s evidence, Bellerin doesn’t look out of his depth.

Raddy made a comment during the game saying ‘do we have a midfield?’ which I thought was accurate. Defensively they were bypassed with ease. Forget Aubemayang getting past Arteta and Mertesacker because of his pace to score his goal, in the first half, there were at least 3 incidents where the midfielders ignored runners and it was only the timely interception of Koscielny that ensured they weren’t through on goal. Arteta and Ramsey were both completely ineffective. Ramsey was invisible throughout the game, playing too high up the pitch. Arteta seemed poor not just physically, but mentally, seeming to not read the game well, and making a hash of simple passes, or just allowing the ball to run expecting Kos to do his dirty work for him.  Wilshere was just as bad defensively, though he managed to somehow get back in time to put Mkhitaryan off from scoring in the first half.

Which brings me to the midfield being absent in offense. For a virtual replica of that Mkhitaryan chance, see the cutback by Alexis, which went toward Welbeck but was blocked. The ball fell in virtually the same area as it did for Dortmund’s chance, but we had nobody making a run towards there and Dortmund cleared with ease.

So our midfield was doing absolutely nothing in defense, and barring a few decent dribbles by Wilshere, nothing in offense either. Mesut Ozil. Fantastic player, but absolutely cannot coast through the game and not put in any defensive effort, especially when he’s contributing nothing going forward. Playing on the wing is no excuse, being tired is no excuse, and I think it is not right that he is starting in front of Cazorla and the Ox, and even Rosicky.

We also saw that Welbeck isn’t going to be our saviour. He offers us something we lacked earlier, but the lack of a great first touch, and the missed chances suggest that we will need to be patient. It is something I can live with, because I think the reward will be there.

Seeing Wenger at the end, I could see how much it hurt him. I don’t know if the tactics were wrong, but when more than half your side don’t turn up, I don’t think any tactic is going to work very well. However, he needs to look at his squad, think about the system, and especially think about rotations. That is one aspect of his where I feel the criticisms are correct. He doesn’t use his entire squad enough.

I am not concerned about our overall direction. we are on the up. Comparisons with Dortmund are not really fair in my opinion. I see Dortmund as the Arsenal of the late 90s. Battling one major domestic opponent, losing key players to richer clubs, but still finding good players to maintain consistency, their style of play and continue building up. This current Arsenal team have been less settled and are still a little short of being the end product to then maintain. We are a little behind them on the team building curve.

What I do have concerns about is this season. On paper we are stronger than last season and looking to build on our wonderful FA Cup triumph. But I worry that this team has become so concerned with taking the next step that they might have forgotten what got them where they are. There was no team effort, no fight yesterday.

Individual players like Alexis and Wilshere kept trying in their own way, but there was none of that collective spirit that we saw last season and identified as the reason for our success. It seems like we’ll play well for a bit and then assume that the rest will just follow. A hard fought win against Crystal Palace. Tough games against Besiktas, Everton and then Besiktas again, and we seemed to think we just have to show up against Leicester. Slightly unlucky to draw against City after playing very well, and we go back to being useless the next game vs Dortmund. This makes me more concerned than any lack of signings, or playing youngsters. For the first time, I am worried about our entire season. It is up to our players to show us that this sort of performance is not part of a pattern. If it is, I fear that times will get worse before they get better.

Written by Shard

212 Responses to Borussia Dortmund 2 a Bunch of Strangers in Blue 0

  1. Pat7 says:

    To think i spent half the first half trying to find a bar with it on (Cyprus) as my usual one was showing Liverpool & Galatasaray like most others. I thought the bar owner was a gooner but sadly a ‘Pool but Gooners are well thought of here. I eventually went back to my preferred abode where 3 of the bar staff are Gooners and surprised to find it on (alongside Liverpool). Watching the match, i windered why I had chased about!

    I had more nergy than the team though Bellerin looked good and SirChesney did well I thought in the corcumstances. I thought we would play Rosicky and Ox like others to give us some energy but no, we were over-run, both by fresh players and their mamagers tactics – I can’t wait to pull him into our club – maybe it will happen sooner now?

    I can tell you the emotions of the Liverpool supporters were far worse than mine. We were playing a too team…… One walked off after about 70′ (before the goal) in disgust, later saw that they had scored only for the Bulgarians to bet an equaliser – yes i know they got lucky in the end…

    So, back to the drawing board for us, with fresh faces surely! Withdraw Jack due to his ankle to give Ramsey and hopefully Ozil if he plays proper positions and give us a chance against Villa who are very dangerous right now. We don’t want a repeat of last year!

  2. fatgingergooner says:

    We just don’t seem to have the balance of the team right. It’s always too attacking, or too defensive. You can’t play Özil in front of a young RB. If you are going to play Özil away from home then you need to think seriously about who goes alongside him. Telling Ramsey to be number 10 with Özil next to him as a RW is crazy! Which one of them is defending? That leaves a huge hole behind them with an ageing Arteta unable to get across and Bellerin and Merts exposed.

    As for Welbeck, I thought he did well, but needs a goal to kick start his Arsenal career. If he keeps missing chances and we drop points he will quickly become a target for certain fans. Personally I think he could be brilliant for us, but the quicker that goal comes the better.

    Piss poor performance, but early enough in the season to be rectified. With the other game being a draw it might actually be a good result in the long run as it might make the manager and players realise how much work needs to be done to be competitive.

  3. Pat7 says:

    Between the two of you, you’ve nailed it. I hope our grafters like Alexis, Welbeck and the ‘fresh blood’ get the rest they need before Villa plus a formation change!

  4. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning all.

    I’m still staggered by last night’s performance. I’ve really got nothing else to say on the subject.

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s post.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Two excellent posts. What a treat – shame about the circumstances 😦

    Before I lay into the team I must point out that Dortmund were fantastic last night and would probably have beaten any team in the world. Their dynamism from the very first minute was superb and a lesson to any pressing team. The simple passing leading to fast breaks was precise as was the angled runs of the attackers. Had we not been Gooners it would have been excellent viewing.

    But ……

    We are Gooners and we expect more.

    My first thought was about Welbeck. If Arsenal want to sup from the top table they do not sign Welby, they sign and pay the big money for Suarez, Benzema, Falcao etc – men who will take at least 50% of the chances on offer. Welbeck is not going to do that – no matter how much we believe in him.

    Arteta: How many years have we fans been asking for a proper DM? I admire MA as a player and a man, but he is not good enough …. never has been, in the position he is being asked to play in.

    Captaincy? We are under the cosh, we have so called “Captains all over the pitch”. Where were they? It needed for someone to stamp their authority on the game but no-one could or did.

    Ozil: Still on the beach.

    I will continue when I calm down……

  6. rellends says:

    i can see it. you can see it. the whole footballing world can see it. the only one who can’t is the manager. we need a defensive midfielder and have needed one ever since pv4 left in 2005. arteta was abysmal last night but it’s not his fault as he’s a square peg bashed into a round hole. i’m really worried about saturday as we look a million miles away from a clean sheet at the moment. cazorla did more in his brief cameo last night than ozil did all game and he needs to be taken out of the firing line. wholesale changes required on saturday whether or not the dictator in charge of the club has the balls to do it is another question entirely.

  7. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    I wasn’t going to comment but just couldn’t help myself.

    Shard is being polite.

    My crystal ball is working overtime and the result didn’t surprise me one little bit.
    I didn’t comment on Wilshere’s display against City as though he was outstanding I said to myself lets see him do it in a run of games and of course what happens he gets injured again.

    We haven’t played well in any of our games this season apart for a period against City and then nearly through away the one point we got.

    I blame Wenger and no one else. he didn’t buy in areas defensively that evey pundit and fan said he should and mark my words if he continues to play Ozil who most probably has become disenchanted playing on the wing, he will leave at the end of the season and heavens above the club will make a loss.

    We were absolutely humiliated last night an exact repeat of those away loses last season, nothing changes.
    As mentioned by many AW doesn’t do tactics or formation or adapt the style and usually subs at the wrong time. The game has passed him by and we are so predictable to play against.

    I fear that we are in for a very rough ride this season. Throw away your rose tinted glasses and take up surfing 🙂

  8. Shard says:


    I’m as annoyed by that performance as any, and as I suggested, I have concerns beyond the match, but calling Wenger a dictator just makes me roll my eyes.

    Arteta was abysmal and it is his fault. Even if we could manufacture a second coming of Vieira,and could do with him (who could not?) that doesn’t absolve Arteta from his responsibilities. He is supposed to cycle the ball around, pass well so as to not put his fellow midfielders in tight spots, and to read the danger. He is not incapable of these things, it is his role and something he is normally damn good at. It would be another thing if his lack of pace prevented him from reaching a position in time. But he was never out by one or two yards. He was out by miles. That has nothing to do with speed or lack thereof. His passing was woeful, his reading of the game was not there, and while he wasn’t alone in this (Ramsey and Wilshere hardly helped out) he was a liability in defense. He’s our captain, and that was a terrible performance he put on, both as player and captain.

  9. Rasp says:

    Thanks to LB and Shard for 2 great reports. LB’s perfectly reflects my feelings during and directly after the game.

    I have too many thoughts to put into one comment, but I’d like to make a few fundamental points ….

    1. Have we ever been a truly hard working/hard pressing side under AW? (with the odd exception in a high profile game)

    2. Do we allow the players too much freedom to express themselves? Surely when we are under pressure everyone should know their job. It was apparent from the weekend that no one had told Welbeck where to stand when defending corners.

    3. Unfortunately Mertesacker and Arteta are past their peak. Maybe Chambers is Merts replacement in waiting. What we really lacked last night was a quality DM.

    4. We now have pace in attack, but lack pace and power in the midfield and without that it is left for Koscielny to cover the ground for Merts. Debuchy had also been covering for Mert’s lack of pace so his loss is a double whammy.

  10. kelsey says:

    Oh I forgot.

    One day AW says the team are fatigued and then three days later says they have mental strength, so where was it last night ?
    The man and being stubborn is really beginning to annoy me.

    He will never change he was a great manager but obviously can’t motivate his players anymore, at least not on a consistent level.

    If you are all truly honest with yourselves surely you can see that.

    injuries are part and parcel for playing for Arsenal. God knows why.

  11. kelsey says:

    Micky say score more, I say repeatedly concede less. We will see who is right 🙂

  12. mickydidit89 says:

    Crystals Dearest, how lovely to hear from you. Rose tinters on AND surf I say 🙂

    Thank you LB and Shard.

    I have one word for that display. FLACID.

  13. Shard says:


    I said already that the post perhaps didn’t reflect how doomy I felt about that performance.

    All this talk of signings bores me. We have a squad which is more than capable of being better than that. Does that come down to the manager. Ultmately, yes. Just like not signing a Vieira replacement doesn’t take away Arteta’s responsibilities, Arteta’s performance doesn’t take away Wenger’s responsibility in both recruitment and tactics.

    However, tactically, in theory, the 4-1-4-1 should make us a little more secure in midfield. I think that system was made to cover for Arteta’s weaknesses rather than accommodate Wilshere as every other critic seems to think. If he were to accommodate anyone, it would be Ozil, and he isn’t doing that. I have no problem with that. Ozil should play for the team, and it’s not like he’s stuck on the left. He has a free-ish role. Except that he has to help out in defense. Boo hoo. Why should he not?

    In practice though, this formation is not working. Maybe it’s because Ramsey has had a sudden downturn in form, maybe it’s because WIlshere and Ramsey can’t play together, maybe because of Arteta getting too old. Maybe because of Ozil’s coasting. Or maybe they just need time. Probably a bit of all that.

    But like I said. To me, the single biggest worry is that twice in the season already, we’ve had two games where we seemed to go in thinking we’re better than we are and as a result not willing to fight our way out of any trouble. Like the game will go for us simply because we’re on the field, and both have come after decent performances where we achieved the minimum required.

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    My theory stands firm Crystals.

    I said yesterday two is the minimum usually required. 🙂

  15. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah Ha Crystals

    Last season’s final standings. Goals For and Goals Against. My theory would expect to see GF in descending order and GA whatever, and Lo and Behold, what do we find? 🙂

    City 102 37
    Pool 101 50
    Chavs 71 27
    Arsl 68 41
    Ever 61 39
    Spuds 55 51

    Crystal Ball you’re way out of that one oh hairy one 🙂

  16. mickydidit89 says:

    I’m waaiiting…..

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on out with yer hands up yer yellow bellied woofta and one move for the hair dryer and I’ll let yer have it

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Mmm, maybe today is not the day for my sort

    Later 🙂

  19. RA says:

    Well, first things first.

    LB, you continue to put up Posts of quality, and to have written that so soon after the match ended is a credit to you and the restraint you have shown.

    I agree with all the points you have made, although last night I might have let my disappointment get the better of me. 🙂

    Shard, your Post, too, is a model of restraint, and very aptly points out the challenges the team faces in ‘fixing’ the bits that are not working.

    I also agree with many of the points made in the comments your Posts have engendered, and I think I have already made my own views known in a fairly forthright way.

    Perhaps I will restate them in more moderate tones a bit later. 🙂

  20. RA says:

    Great to see you back, again, Crystals, and I hope all is well with you. 🙂

  21. RA says:


    Well, it all depends on who you are calling a woofta, and if you explain what it means, and also what your ‘sort’ is. 😉

  22. kelsey says:


    In every single PL game this season, admittedly we haven’t played many we have had initially total possession or been on the back foot, only to go behind and then composure is rattled and we chase the game and yet when we came back to go ahead against City we nearly blew it.
    Have we kept a clean sheet yet ?

    That is down to tactics,coaching,motivation or lack of it and there is only one person responsible as the buck starts with him.

    Last night’s defeat will hurt the team that were played off the park.It must affect them mentally so AW needs to show he can get them back on the right track.I am not sure he can do this anymor,but maybe I am wrong.

    Nice to see you RA 🙂

  23. RA says:

    Kelsey, dearest, @ 10:25

    Micky says score more, you say concede less, I say tomaytoe.

    And you are both wrong, not just because ‘score more’ or ‘concede less’ are transitive verbs that require an objective to do something to. 🙂

    No, it is much simpler than that — encapsulated in the the two little words “just win”! 🙂

  24. RA says:


    It is fun to tease you, even tho you often talk sense, and again I agree with much of your expressed sentiments.

    As a big Wenger man, (physically and emotionally) I have a hard job not criticising him for not buying a Defensive of Holding midfielder or whatever the combination of those terms means.

    I also feel bad for berating AW for remaining loyal to Arteta, but he must put sentiment aside and let him go. He was never a defensive midfielder anyway, as Mikel himself admitted, and although he is a good guy, and loyal to Arsenal as well as being very skilful, it has been clear for a couple of seasons that physically he has not been up to the job and that means his skill is negated.

    it seemed in the TW we were negotiating for the sort of midfielder we need, nothing transpired, and although we all want to get the best value for money, and cannot deny Arsenal need to do so too, sometimes (always?) the market dictates the cost, and to fail to secure a player with the requisite skills, may cost us far more in the longer term.

    Too many words? Serves you right for getting me started! 🙂

  25. kelsey says:

    I often talk sense RA, why thank you 🙂

  26. Bryan says:

    It was an abysmal performance & I also question Wenger’s tactics or should I say lack of them.
    There is no excuse, we have got good players so why do we keep on not turning up for games.
    I agree with Kelsey, we haven’t played well all season apart from periods against Man City & quite frankly I’m getting fed up of watching us.
    Moving on to Ozil, I believe if we are not going to play him in the hole, then we should not play him at all.
    He needs to be given a run of games there & if he doesn’t deliver we will have to off load him at the end of the. season.
    I have also not been convinced with Ramsey so far this season, he has scored a couple of important goals but apart from that has looked more like the player that everyone was knocking not long a go.

    The fact that we did not get a DM in in the window has proved utterly inexcusable & I think we will get a few more hidings from the big teams away again this year

  27. GoonerB says:

    Many thanks LB and Shard for your posts. How to keep this short(ish). Not sure if I can.

    I don’t like knee-jerk reactions just after one bad performance / result but also I don’t like people being accused of it if they bring valid criticism to the fore. That especially goes if what they are saying is a view that extends back some way and is not just a new emotionally driven opinion. That is why I have to concur with many peoples view of AW today.

    I can’t go with the Welbeck being not good enough scenario. It may turn out to be true but is surely too early to judge. He was feeding off scraps which puts extra pressure on any chances, and he snatched at the couple that came his way. Going with the long held idea that strikers need regular time up front to hone their clinical instincts then how much time has Danny had before this season? Not much. Remember TH14 when he arrived; games 8, goals 0.

    Danny was not the reason it went wrong yesterday IMO and he may still become the prolific clinical forward we need. Some don’t believe this but some who have played with him do.

    I also don’t quite subscribe to the often referred to players lack of effort whenever we get a footballing lesson, but am not so sure on this one. I just think we were so out-manouvered and pulled around that it looked like many players weren’t doing this or covering that and it had nothing to do with not running enough. If anything I think maybe we had to do too much running and I would be interested to see the stats on km covered for players like Ozil, Ramsey and Arteta.

    For me the failings all comes down to AW and the club. I have said on here before, as have others, that AW doesn’t seem to do tactics or consider them in how he sets a team up, and I still believe this is the case. He believes in his players ability and that should win the day.

    I think this is ok for 90-95% of the time but the other 5-10% is when we are playing the best sides. They are the sides that can exploit even one weak chink in the armour, and without consideration of tactics I believe it only takes that one weakness against the best teams, to completely lose control of the game so that the rest of the team becomes so disjointed that they all get dragged away from what they should be doing in a game, and all end up looking highly ineffectual. That is what I believed happened last night and is why quality technical players like Sanchez looked largely ineffectual.

    I also said last season that IMO for Arsene, with his ideologies, to be successful again that he would have to have all areas of his team up to world class standard with no weak links. I actually felt before the summer we were only 3-4 players away from that and felt we would get those players. We didn’t and I actually don’t think the TW was as much a success as some do. We upgraded our attack and goal-scoring ability but failed with 2 other key areas. The other players that came in were more to replace key outgoing players.

    Last night I felt 2 key areas saw us lose control of the game. Firstly not enough protection, power and pace in front of the back 4 (Arteta), and secondly that in the BFG we are accomodating a CD without pace. These are areas of concern going back some 2 years or more. I actually would like to keep these 2 in the squad as I think they offer something across a season but are weak links against the best teams who have clinical pacy forwards and can counter at pace.

    Arteta is bypassed easily by better teams which eventually drags other midfielders, that are supposed to be getting us on the attacking front foot, back into permanent DM roles. Mertesacker likes to drop deep to cover his lack of pace which means the whole team sits deep inviting them to have a lot of the ball in the danger areas in and around our box. 1+1 = we can’t get out of our own half, and have no shape which also = all the players start to look ineffectual.

    AW has not become a bad coach and is still among the best out there but, where I would once hold him up as the best, I ask is he now surpassed by others? Are there a few younger coaches that have observed and implemented everything that AW was great at and added something new and more modern to it, to make it even better, something that AW is either unwilling to or unable to add?

    Last night I felt on paper we were perhaps the slightly superior player for player but, we didn’t just look slightly inferior to them, we looked like a team from a division below them. That is damning when you read off the names in both team line ups. I just felt that they looked like they were a team that had been better coached and the only conclusion I can reach with that is that it is because they do indeed have a better coach. I understand why so many would like to see Klopp arrive because he looks like an identikit young Arsene but with some extra new ideas.

    Somany people have been saying for ages that we need better tactical consideration to team set-up and play, yet it repeatedly seems to not happen. So many people have said we need a pacy powerhouse DM and another established high quality pacy CD, yet it has not happened. Failure on the tactical side therefore, and also failure on the recruitment side. Not knee-jerk reaction, but repetitive failings that have been highlighted for an awful long while.

  28. GoonerB says:

    BTW I also agree with those that refer to the FB’s both getting caught upfield leavig acres of attacking wide space for when the opposition counter-attacks. Add to that the lack of pace of Arteta to cover, Koscielny having to move across to cover and the BFG dropping back into our box playing advancing midfielders onside near our goal and it is easy to see why it is a combination of common repeated failings against the better sides.

    The weird thing is where our attack seems to be so reliant on full backs playing like high wingers, my recollection of last night was that their FB’s were more defensively disciplined and restrained, yet without seemingly hindering the potency of their attack. It would be interesting to compare one of those heat mappy things of our FB’s vs theirs to see if this was the case.

  29. GoonerB says:

    There you go, that has killed the blog. War and Peace RA?? Come on I know at least you will comment at some point.

  30. Pat7 says:

    That was a post GoonerB and a good one! – spot on to my reckoning. Welbeck will come good but he’s played four big games in two weeks plus had the excitement of being England’s hero, getting a great promotion…..let him settle and recover!

  31. The Cockie Monster says:

    I was hoping for a Bitch Fest !……..argue you bastards !. hahaha

    Season started 16th August and it looks like most agree that other than a spell against Mansour City we have been pants !….lucky for a late Ramsey winner on the 16th or we would be the score draw specialists !.
    I don’t take any of the bollox about fatigue/mental strength/spirit as Wenger has to say something in interviews and it`s either that or talking about the economy in which he is better qualified in than as a coach !.
    It`s all about balance !…..I know you would all like to see Rosicky, Santi, Ozil, Alexis, Ox, Wilshere, Theo, Welbeck, Ramsey, Gnabry and Igor Stepanovs in the same team, but it`s not like when we were all youngsters and all having the best players in one team !. This is something I learnt in my primary school, I was the best player and me and the second best player, Geoff, used to pick the teams, I would let Geoff pick the rest of the best players and I would pick the school bullies…….who were fcuking built like GIE even as 8 year olds !……we always won because I was the best player with 9 defensive midfield beasts and a goalie whose presence would make Geoff, his team and their parents wet their selves and hand over their sweets and car keys !.
    I`m not calling for a team of the like of Alexis up front with Adams, Keown, Storey, Roy Keane, Viera. Styles, Hunter, Chopper Harris, Bin Laden and Gaddafi behind, but one of balance, we need…….and Wenger himself has recently said we need a “PV4” type player !……….a DM beast who will strike fear into our opponents and our own players !, not Arteta, who likes to caress and tickle our diminutive midfielders testicles in his team talks, but one who will grab them by the bollox and demand their pocket money….oops, thought I was still in the school playground !….demand they put a shift in and fight for The Arsenal !.

    PS….,….and lets put an end to square pegs in round holes !… makes me think that Wenger has a strange four sided penis !, which would be OK if woman had square holes, but I`ve surveyed many and vertical bacon sandwiches they may be, but not square !.

  32. GoonerB says:

    One last point before I go, so you can all come out of hiding, is that there was obviously a common theme to our thumpings last year against the better teams in terms ofhow they unfolded. It is interesting to note that with the Everton 3-0, Liverpool 5-1 and Chelsea 6-0 that both Arteta and Mertesacker played the full 90 minutes in all 3 games.

  33. Pat7 says:

    Further to your War and Peace :-), how was it right to put Ozil in front of Bellerin and have Per being pulled out of position in order to cover out there – no wonder Kos ran out of energy in the end…..

  34. rellends says:

    i’m fed up with conceding goals like the first one we conceded last night. we have been conceding them over and over again for nearly 10 years now. we get a throw in deep in the opponent’s half in the dying seconds of a first a half in which we have been battered and within the blink of an eye the ball is in the back of our net. it was the same for man city’s first on saturday only i think on that occasion it was our free kick which ceded possession. we’ve not played well for 45 minutes yet alone a full 90 this season and we are repeating the same mistakes over and over again. after this kind of performance i always chant the mantra “the players owe us a big game after (insert shambles here)” but it never happens in the following game. i’d imagine we will hear the usual stuff in the press conference this week about mental strength and resilience but i’m already prepared for picking up nothing on saturday afternoon with chelsea rapidly disappearing over the horizon. premier league challengers? we are light years away from that.

  35. stevepalmer1 says:

    Afternoon all,
    And thank you guys for 2 heartfelt posts, i can feel your disappointment.

    This Arsenal team have a habit of not turning up, important games and against the premier leagues elite. I thought we had cracked that with the City game, started slow and picked up and should have gone on to win but we switch off and have to settle for a draw.

    Last night was a supporters nightmare, Aaron Ramsey the cocky kid from last year who thought he was the bee’s knee’s tweets were sorry. Sorry Aaron you were pants and have been since the season started, you think your a superstar and the truth of the matter you need to do a lot more, that was a pathetic performance, but you were lucky on the night because you were not alone.

    As the old saying goes, Your only as good as your last game, and if i had to assess the Arsenal team i would say there are no superstars in this team.

    Sanchez i have to say worked hard, his trouble is he works on his own a lot as the rest of the team are twiddling their thumbs. I cannot say to many good things about any of them Czezesney made a few saves but equally he lets himself down by amateurish rushing out, lucky to be allowed to stay on in my mind.

    Although i was disappointed with Arsenals performance, the Referee only seemed to whistle one way, in my opinion he certainly never liked Arsenal going forward not that it happened much that is.

    Danny my son you broke my heart last night, you were my shining light at the end of the tunnel, you were gifted at least 3 chances and you blew the lot, not being on target for a striker is the worst thing i can think of.

    Very difficult to pick a player out to say how bad he was when the whole team look like amateurs, but i would say that Mertsacker never pleases me in any game, The man never challenges as he knows that he is so slow her dare not take a chance. Merts wasn’t alone though no challenges from Midfield or defence last night as a forward runs towards them our defence backs off until its to late this was pathetic.

    Is it so hard to pass a ball to one of your own, i guess it must be because we hardly passed a straight ball,

    Dortmund has watched us play they know that should they chase us down we will try and find a hole to hide in all i can say is if they find that hole let me know as i would certainly like to be the one to fill it in.

    I love Arsenal, have all my life, but at times i could strangle every last one of them. Players make mistakes we all know that but if they try you feel with them, but when they dont turn up, they are a complete disgrace to the shirt they wear. Rant over till next time.

  36. The Cockie Monster says:

    That is a good last point, Go Boner !……..and if you had made that point before, you would have saved yourself all that previous writing !. Sometimes it`s the little simple things in life that are the most telling !………………well, that’s what my wife says and I have 3 kids to prove it !……………..yes, they do look like me !. hahaha

  37. GoonerB says:

    Cheers Pat7. You didn’t actually read the whole thing did you? Not without nodding off?

    Looks like Cockie has a bit of GoonerBitis now. Great point though Cockie and I fully agree about the balance thing and our lack of it. It has been a problem for some time and not just recently. I like the Bin Laden and Gaddafi idea. Shame R.A’s lot had them bumped off.

    p.s there is a small island in the Indian Ocean Cockie where 4 sided truncheons are all the rage and women have evolved to accomodate it. If you find yourself going this way let me know and I will forward you the details.

  38. GoonerB says:

    Steve, again I still think it is a bit early to dismiss Welbeck when he has only just started what should be a prolonged period up front. If we take this line we would have ditched and written off TH14 in 1999.

    Mertesacker is slow and we always knew that. Same with Arteta who is no natural DM but we always knew that. Not their fault which is why I struggle to blame the players. It is down to the manager and others to upgrade where necessary or to work out which games they are ok with and which games their limitations will be exposed.

  39. The Cockie Monster says:

    hahaha Just googled ……The Square Peg in Square Hole Islands !….apparently their ruler….King Arnie the First m2….ruled with an iron fist and has now invaded Scotland !.

  40. stevepalmer1 says:

    GonnerB, take no notice of me mate just letting my frustrations out to other Gooners, if i was talking to a spud it was just one of those days, but when you talk to a Gooner they know your pain. 🙂

  41. Bryan says:

    I’m in the “give Wellbeck a chance” category, I think he’ll come good.
    Also I’m going to take a positive from last nights game, & that is Alexis Sanchez, damn I love this guy, yep he didn’t have a great game but boy does the guy work his socks off!
    His control & passing was off but sometimes he was stuck in the corner with 2 players, sometimes 3 & still managed to wriggle free.
    For a little guy he is so strong & tenacious & he will only get better with games

  42. Shard says:

    About the fullbacks being caught too far up the pitch, I’m not disputing that it can be an issue, but I would like to point out that the first goal yesterday, and City’s first goal, came from situations where we had enough bodies to cover.

  43. Pat7 says:

    I think we have Per’s replacement already in Chambers – not sure when Per’s contract runs out. I am sure this season will be learning time from the big man and maybe we look for another biggie in the meantime as our other CB back up or RB. Chambers can also give Kos a rest to keep all three fresh.

    Will Diaby play Saturday as DM?

  44. LB says:

    Just back from a four hour cycle, played Radiohead to help get me really depressed, got a bit bored of feeling doomy after three and a half hours, so switched to dance. Feeling I fine now.

    Looking forward to Villa.


    A couple of really good comments there I hope you come back when we win.

  45. sillyhat says:

    arteta was poor tonight no doubt about it. but when the captain doesn’t show up, there isn’t any player in the team other than mertesacker to pick up the baton and show some leadership. hopefully, sczcesny wilshere and ramsey can up their personal game as well as help out their captain and vice captain and sort out the issues. They are the future core of the team, now is when they learn their game from arteta BFG, and find their voice. if not, whether it is this or next season, when arteta hands over the armband, performances will not improve.

  46. The Cockie Monster says:

    Listening to music !……I always thought LB`s bike was a bit more on the Bradley Wiggins lines !…….but, hey, I kind of like it !.

  47. RA says:

    GonnerB, 🙂

    I do not think you need to explain or justify your views. There is nothing there that is offensive, in my view.

    Much of what you said I happen to agree with, and I am still the same supporter that I was yesterday, just chastened by that rather humiliating bashing.

    I think I may have been the only one who was banging on about the FBs being too far up field (certainly last night) and despite what my friend Shard says that is a ridiculous tactic when we were being swamped by Dortmund’s bigger, faster more athletic players.

    N.B (Nota bene) 🙂

    One of the two defenders tracking back trying to intercept Immobile was Gibbs, who had been caught out upfield, and just could not catch him. The stumble and mis-control Kozzer’s challenge induced in Immobile’s run actually worked for the Dortmund player to enable him to shoot unfettered, because Kozzer was always behind him.

    It is a nonsense tactic and no other top team would allow any of their defenders to cross the halfway line in those circumstances, but there was the greyhound Arteta well up in Dortmund’s half and never able to get back in time. Even Per went into their half on occasion.

    When we were thrashed by Citeh, the Chavs and ‘Pool last season, Wenger said we tried to go on the attack and score when we went one down and kept getting caught on the break, instead of being patient – yep – and last night we did out best to replicate that stupid tactic.

    They are observations, and they are critical, because I care. I want Arsenal to be the best, and you cannot be the best by sticking your head in the sand and your ass in the air.

    There you go, GoonerB Good. How’ them apples grab you?

    And I still love Arsenal!! 🙂

  48. RA says:

    Your comment earlier, Glic, was unnervingly sensible (as it has been in the past) and it is about time you wrote a sodding Post, like you promised years ago. Or are you like the song-man, Giant Raddish welching on a promise? 🙂

  49. RA says:


    As an addendum, to complete your comment, you should have agreed with what I said last night — bugger all the ‘getting back’ to defend, Gibbs should have clipped Immobile’s ankles, pulled down his shorts, or shown him one of Cockie’s dirty pics, and taken one for team.

    He would not have been sent off, as Kozzer was there with him. 🙂

  50. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Peaches/Rasp, Post emailed to arsenalnuts.

  51. Rasp says:

    Thanks NG 🙂

  52. GoonerB says:

    Good afternoon RA. I actually know we agree about many things, maybe not all, which is why I tagged you to my comment. I also believe you are one of the only ones with the patience to read them, another reason for tagging you in.

    Anyhow like you I still love Arsenal. I will go one further and say I still love Arsene. The guy is a legend and his legacy will be eternal IMO. I get more frustrated with Arsene i suppose because I feel a small change in policy or outlook here and there would see us avoid the repetitive mistakes, and I want him to go out on a high. The longer the repetitive problems go on though the more you wonder if this is it now.

    Little things like starting really well in the TW with everyone thinking wow he has changed his policy now, getting things done early, only for him to revert to type and try and leave it to the last day, (and then not pulling it off), for the 2-3 other key players that would have finished the team off.

    I feel similarly about Cockie and his sensible comments R.A. You read that sensible one and think “my god Cockie has turned the corner” only to read the next one and think “no we got it wrong, he is still a danger to the public”.

  53. rellends says:

    LB i’ll be happy to eat my hat if we win on saturday. i’m not a fickle fan as i have supported arsenal for through thick and some very thin times for almost 40 years. i just see the same mistakes being made over and over again both on and off the pitch and it just does not seem to change. aside from the shocking performance on the pitch, did anybody not find it incredibly unprofessional when podolski was looking for his shin pads? i used to run a pub side and would bollock substitutes for not being ready to come on because they were sorting out shin pads and tape so to see it happening with a champions league side is very poor. i just wonder who it is in the dressing room who gives them an earful for bollocks on the pitch and not having your kit ready when you’re supposed to come on. i’d like to see changes to the side come saturday but i’m not sure if wenger will do that. at least he had the balls to sub ozil last night as i was beginning to wonder if he has it written in to his contract that if fit he must start and can never be subbed. he should be included on the bench and lets start cazorla instead.

  54. RA says:


    And we both love that horrible Cockie too. 🙂

  55. GoonerB says:

    SteveP @1.39, of course I take notice of you, as your comments and posts make a lot of sense. I feel your pain. Weirdly though I wasn’t even angry or emotional. I found myself strangely calm and detached.

    Maybe it is because the faults and issues I see are the same ones I have been bothered about for the last couple of years. I might just be in cold calm acceptance mode now that these issues will never change under Arsene which in many ways is worse than being angry. The latter would be more in line with what happened being a shock that you expect to be put right and not happen again.

    Pat7 I agree with Chambers being Mertesackers future replacement but I doubt he was bought for that this season, which means that we left ourselves an established top CD short. They can win and lose you titles which is why the top ones are often priced as high as the strikers.

    Also I see Diaby as a DM but more a box to box one, but for some reason I have never seen Diaby as a holding midfielder, which I feel is the key area we are lacking in. I see Diaby and Wilshere actually playing the same position but with both of them requiring a holding midfielder, or if you like midfield minder, alongside them to give them the box to box freedom.

  56. GoonerB says:

    Rellends, we will win on saturday because Villa don’t have enough to exploit the couple of weak links we have. Chelsea after that though…shudder shudder. If we don’t get the set-up and tactics right then I can’t see it being pretty.

  57. kelsey says:

    Generally there are some very good comments today and everyone is dissapointed with the performance.

    I see no point in going through the whole team’s individual performance but wayward passing and getting beaten to the ball and gaping gaps in defence have been a trait all season regardless who we have played.

    We may well beat Villa but the consistenty and motivation levels have then to be maintained.
    I can’t remember when I last felt comfortable about us definitely winning a game.

    There is something fundamentally wrong and if AW can’t see it then we are in trouble.I sincerely hope I am wrong but I really think the ten years since we won the Title the game has changed dramatically but AW hasn’t.

  58. LB says:


    Why not go through each individual, I, for one, would be interested in your views.


    Evening all

    Terrible performance last night, but ime not worried. Our fortunes will turn around very quciky.

    In the early hours of Monday morning my dad passed away after a horrible illness.

    Of course I am devestated, but I can only handle it by telling silly jokes.

    I remember speaking to Cockie, aka GLIC, aka Cornwall, aka unfortunate facial features, about this and we both agreed that on our death bed, if asked what our last wishes were?, it would be “Wish it was you rather than me”

    My grief knows no bounds. Its a real tragedy when a 75 year old man passes on leaving a young 47 year old.

    Whos going to give me pocket money now?, iron my pants?, or make the bigger boys apologize for violating my wig?

    My old man taught me many great things. How to put off agressive people by feigning a limp, how to stare at attractive women using undectable slanty eye techniques, and general womanising.

    In fact, when I went to see him after he passed on, I was shocked to find he never had a women in the bed with him

    The best thing he taught me however, was a love of Arsenal. Dont get me wrong, he was a terrible moany git. He complained the 89 team needed Karl Heiz rumenegger in it, the 71 double were poofs for not winning the double the following year, and Arsene Wenger was untrustworthy because he was an anorak wearing German

    There were times in the past his Arsenal moaning got me so mad that i would run away from home. He would call the police reporting me missing but once they found out I was a middle age man, lost interest

    The way I see it, everything is there to suceed, and i fully expect us to turn our dodgy start around.

    All we need is a couple of tactical changes and I feel Arsene will implement them.

    Firstly, increase the percentage of vertical passes, especialy in our own half.

    To often we give the ball away in our own half and around the half way line, resulting in dangerous counter attacks on our goal. We need more balance in our approach. Play a bit more direct and get the enemy turning for a change. Nobody likes to be turned. Especially after a few drinks in a nightclub were the ratio of men to women is suspicously large.

    Secondly, lets take a few risks in selection. Gamble on finding the right balance.

    If this means giving Chambers a go in midfield, or dropping Ozil for not fitting in, then so be it.

    We all have to sacraficed sometime. I was a great asset to the local Bounds Green Subboteo team, but was axed for the right reasons.

    Well, actually, I was caught red handed putting a mild adhesive on my opponents players bases, but thats another story.

    I havent given up yet. Things can surprise in football and now again its just the odd tactical tweak, or a little bit of glue, that can make all the difference.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  60. GoonerB says:

    Terry, sorry to hear about your father. The rest of your comment is genius and will bring a smile to all today. I will remain sceptical on Arsene tweaking tactiaclly though. Historically he has rarely done it so why now?


    Thanks GB

    His most memorable tweak was 97/98. We were a bit crap up to December and then Wrighty got injured, Anelka took his place and our attcak was transformed

    But the big turning point was a simple middle adjustment of playing Ray Parlour wide right but tucking in, thus allowing Marc Overmars to concentrate on attack .

    Ok, I know it was 16 years ago, but it dont take much to change our fortunes and the important factor is that we have the quality there to do it.

  62. GoonerB says:

    I hope you are right Terry. I think we are fine in attack but lack the platform in CD and holding midfield to make it happen, and that inadvertantly affects the efficiency of our attacking players. Don’t get me wrong I feel this is only mainly an issue against top opposition so will not be a feature in all games, but that is enough to prevent us mounting a proper EPL and ECL challenge.

    I felt last night that our attacking players were dragged deep to help out too much, and that we played too deep due to Merts lack of pace. I don’t see what personnel we have in the squad to change that. If anyone does I would love to hear about how they would do it.

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. Sorry to read about your sad loss.

    All I can say is that your father would be so proud that you could write such a brilliant comment. He must have been a wonderful Dad to give his son such a wonderful sense of humour.

    I am sure that wherever he is, he is looking down with pride that he brought up such a son, and doubly proud that his son is a Gooner.

    I wish you long life


    Know what you mean GB. I would feel a lot more comfortable adopting a slightly different approach if we had a more “balanced” squad.

    To many small technical players and not enough powerful, large, and experinced scaffolder types is a problem

    Does anyone know if Chambers has an NVQ in bricklaying?

    However, maybe this can be compensated for by playing, especially against the better sides, a more direct approach thus negating the nemesis of dangerous counter attacks.

    I think its possible, but we shall see.

  65. RockyLives says:

    Sorry to hear about your Dad, Terry.


    Thanks Raddy & Rocky, very kind of you.

  67. RA says:

    Oh, Terry,

    I am so sorry about your dad, and having lost both my parents within a short time of each other, I started to write down where I had put them before I forgot again.

    You know I treasure your humour and humility, and like our humble and modest friend Glicster (and let’s face it, he has a lot to be humble and modest about) on your death bed he might ask you for answers, and again you will agree, he has a lot to answer for, so don’t let him rifle thru your pockets. 🙂

    Chin up, Terry Mancini, these things happen to all of us, and humour defeated me on the death of my parents, but I wish I could have dealt with it the way you are doing. 🙂

  68. Eddie says:

    2 excellent posts from LB and Shard – thank you guys. Interesting how we all see the same game and different reasons for it going tits up. And there is of course Mr Wenger who had seen a different thing altogether – he saw our team creating lots of opportunities, but putting on an average performance. For the life of me I cannot understand why his wife let such positive guy go? He is every woman’s dream – you put a kipper in front of him and he thinks he ate oysters

    I think it was a bleep.

  69. Eddie says:

    mr Transplant – sincere apologies xx


    Cheers Redders

    Losing a parent is a terrible experince, but part of the cycle of life I guess.

    I blame the doctors. If they had shown him a picture of a lingerie model or told him that really we had beaten Leicster 5-0, they would probably have been able to recusitate him. haha

    Anyway, got to go. Will be hard, but will try to get on and comment when I can.

    Keep the faith


    Thanks evonne

    Those kisses? Any chance of a date? haha

    Really gone now.

    Come on you Rip Roaring Gunners

  72. VCC says:

    Terry. I’m saddened to hear of your loss. I too lost my Dad when I was 47. That was 17 years ago.

    Your Father has given you many good things in life, least of all your humour. It will help soften the blow of a huge lose to you.

    Your Arsenal family are here if needed. God Bless.

  73. RockyLives says:

    One thing Terry, I’m really glad your old fella saw us end our silverware drought before he moved on to the great terrace in the sky!

  74. Eddie says:

    you don’t wanna kiss me Terry, I bark. All the time

    I was in this beautiful house today really enjoying myself until I spotted a skinny chicken outside the fridge. It was on a letter head sent to the owner, attached to the said fridge with a magnet, as if it was of importance. The owner promptly covered the chicken with little magnet, but it was too late – I’ve seen it. Unbelievable really

  75. GoonerB says:

    Mmm, fraternising with the enemy Eddie?

  76. Eddie says:

    GB – that’s the problem. The ‘enemy’ pretends to be a Gunner, season ticket, talks the talk and then there is the skinny chicken in the kitchen. Not good

  77. GoonerB says:

    Eddie, I have faith in your Jedi powers to bring said person back from the dark side.

  78. fatgingergooner says:

    German teams 7 points
    English teams 1 point.

    Maybe not such a terrible result by us after all, but still a terrible performance!

  79. Rasp says:

    Terry, so sorry to hear of your sad loss.

  80. Shard says:

    Sorry for your loss TMHT. You’re a trooper for dealing with it the way you are. All the very best to you.

  81. 1979Gunner says:

    My posts aren’t showing;-(

  82. Shard says:

    What’s with this Ozil needs to play through the centre business? The question we should be asking is if he has (or lacks) the tools to play in certain areas and contribute to the team.

    As far as I’m concerned, there is no acceptable reason that Ozil cannot play the role that he is asked to play. It might not be his best position, but why should that matter as long as it helps Arsenal?

  83. Gööner In Exile says:

    First things first Terry condolences my friend. My Dad fell ill this year and whilst he is back on his feet and on my case now it certainly made me appreciate him more and what him not being around would be like.

    Back to the football, despite our woeful performance perhaps tonight’s games and Liverpool’s struggles last night against a team with zero CL experience should be used to put it into context.

    1) the competitiveness of the EPL will make it difficult for any English club to compete in the CL.

    2) the EPL refusal to amend fixture times or even consider fixtures around CL weeks hinders further any chances of success (we had one training day between Saturday and Tuesday.

    3) squad rotation (Chavs started Drog up top) can be as harmful as not rotating

    4) no one strengthened at the back in the transfer window… one, there is a severe lack of talent available.

  84. arnie says:

    Well, I stayed away all day because I knew I could not deal with this. There were things to do during the day and I just wanted to take my mind off the shambles.

    Not for a long time have I felt so utterly miserable and deflated after an Arsenal game. This includes the thrashing against Pool last year and ManUre the previous year.

    Why? Because we were completely outplayed from the word GO, but the succer punches came in a short 3 minute period of madness in the middle.

    I can understand why a team can be decimated by an early onslaught and then lose their feet, but not why a team can somehow survive almost up to half time and then give all the hard work away in 3 minutes of utter madness.

  85. arnie says:

    And then came the sad news from Terry. What can I say? I lost me dad when I was 22, and my life has never been the same again. Like everyone else on here, I wish you and your loved ones strength to deal with the loss.

  86. arnie says:

    Thanks to LB and Shard for two balanced and thought provoking takes on the game. 🙂 🙂 🙂 And thanks everyone for some fantastic comments. 🙂

    OK, my tuppence worth.

    I do not think it was wrong that our MFs played deep. At the moment, Alexis is our only player who has the stomach to challenge for 50-50 balls in the MF. He had to play deep yesterday because Dortmund pressed higher up. Hence the midfield possession game was played out well within our half.

    Ozil needs space to play his game. He was squeezed out because of the above reason. This is not to excuse his poor performance. But it was not his game. He should either not have been selected or subbed earlier.

    However, I am baffled as to why, when the MFs are playing deeper, the FBs should move so far forward. Maybe, it was to spread the game wide, but this strategy misfired on the day.

    To all who lauded Welby as an upgrade on Giro, I ask again: really? I am not convinced, I have never been convinced. Maybe, he will improve, but 20 goals and some fantastic assists in a year. Really? Think twice my friends. Giro is an irreparable loss this year.

    IMO, Alexis had a decent game. However, none of his balls within the box fell to Welby. Why? Because, Welbeck did not make the effort to stretch in front of his marker to intercept these crosses. Together, neither of Rambo or Jack took up vacant positions in the box.

    Nevertheless, Welbeck worked very hard to rush into the box umpteen times. This is why he got so many chances. Alas! If he does not do the trick on Saturday, I think we should go back to rotation between Sanogo and Campbell.

    Finally, it is not only the fact that Dortmund played very well. Yes, they were efficient in a workman-like fashion. Nothing wrong with that, of course. What mattered more is that they analysed our game carefully and had an excellent strategy. Hats off, not so much to the players, but to Klopp.

    On the other hand, we had no strategy. We did not analyse well enough the game that BvB second-11 might play. Poor poor Arsene. Poor poor Bouldie.

    Will we bounce back? Yes, we will. Plenty to fight for. COYG.

  87. kelsey says:


    like the others on here,I am saddened by the loss of your Dad.I too wish you a long lfe.

    I lost both my parents when in my twenties and nearly 40 years on I think about them every day. Bless you.

  88. mickydidit89 says:


    Very sorry to hear the sad news about your Dad.

  89. mickydidit89 says:

    Come on out now Chas, the bitch fest is over 🙂

    Mind you, I love your atty: “Wenger is at least 10 years past his sell by date”, and yet, a kind of “so what” 🙂

    He’s our Manager, and there’s a match on Saturday, pies to be eaten, and ubiquitous fluid to drink if a little thirsty 🙂

  90. mickydidit89 says:

    Right, I hold back no longer

    Scottish Independence

    If YES, and therefore a new Union Flag without the blue bit, how many flags of the world will need to be changed. ie Aus, Kiwi etc

  91. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Forgotten? More like never knew Didit!

  92. mickydidit89 says:


    Had some old mate over last night with his missis, and he’s a hard core anti establishment leftie, and for the YES campaign as much as anything to simply kick Westminster and England in the nuts.

    Ok, fair enough, but could prove to be one hell of an own goal if you end up bankrupt with no welfare or NHS etc

    Biggest Constitutional Day for 300 yrs

  93. mickydidit89 says:


    It’s only because of the surf connection I know about Hawaii and their flag.

    Some Queen, or Princess, of theirs visited England in Victorian times, and was probably first person to surf in this country

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Well it was an eye opener for me.

    As you say, a Yes vote carries huge ongoing impact. I wonder whether there are plans in place at Westminster

  95. mickydidit89 says:

    I have a real problem entering the Managerial debate, for the simple reason, that I genuinely believe that if I put my mind to it, I could do a better job.

    I just don’t see your Maureens or Klopps as being that clever. Football is quite simply not very complex 🙂

  96. mickydidit89 says:


    I reckon part of the problem is the sheer arrogance of all at Westminster, and so no, I don’t think they gave it a moments thought.

    Cameron up their yesterday warning them of security and risk of terrorism. “You what Dave”

    Like bloody Isis or someone’s going to invade bloody Scotland. No, reckon there’s sheer last minute panic from all parties.

  97. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I think you have all the qualities to become a top PL manager. You just need to get your badges which if Mark Hughes has got them must be at best 11+ standard.

    Don’t dilly-dally, apply today

  98. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Peaches, updated version of the post emailed .

  99. mickydidit89 says:

    Seriously Raddy, if Mike in the village has badges, I very much doubt you even need 11+ level brains 🙂

  100. Norfolk Gooner says:

    and Hawaii, Micky

  101. chas says:

    Sorry to hear of your loss, Terry.
    Mr Terry Mancini Hair Transplant Senior must have been a right character.

  102. chas says:

    I’m a bit disturbed by the news that it’s been me keeping people away from commenting,

    Anyway, here’s my contribution to the Scotland vote.

    I think they’ll vote No with a few last minute nerves about businesses pulling out,
    Someone said that if there’s a Yes vote we’ll never have a Labour government again. As if we’ve had anything resembling a Labour government in the last 20 years anyway!

  103. mickydidit89 says:


    They’ve given the vote to 16 yr olds with one outcome in mind.

    And of course, traditionally, people prefer a YES tick (appears more positive) than a NO

    Must go. Back in a few hours.

  104. arnie says:

    motning all. Referendum. Back to Scotland later in the day to vote. But before that, panel in Durham on the day’s main non-football event. 🙂 and 😦

  105. RA says:

    I asked why the Hawiian State Flag had the Union Flag in the top ‘left’ corner, and the answers given were that Captain Cook was the culprit and others that the Royal family of Hawaii felt kinship to the Royal family in the UK.

    Of course it was more to do with them there Brits sailing around the world, and making friends. 🙂

    Hawaii is a group of islands and was a Kingdom until them pesky Yanks came and sneakily duffed them up and ate the king, before eventually saying ‘this is a great holiday destination, let’s make it a State’.

    King Kamehameha 1st was a great surfer and also was another crystal ball scryer and said ‘Lo, there will come a rubber suited Surf dude based in Devon who will be hopeless, so to cheer him up, let’s fly the flag of Devon’.

    That’s it. 🙂

  106. RA says:

    It’s a matter of indifference to me, but I am puzzled by the desire of many Scots to reclaim independence – either way, I wish them luck.

    My puzzlement is only that I think the Scots played a great game, when, because of politics and religion, they joined the crowns of the two countries by King James the VI of Scotland becoming King James the 1st of England in 1603 and six later Scottish Stuart kings reigned for years.

    I thought they had won! 🙂

  107. Rasp says:

    Morning all ….. rant coming ……

    I really hope the sweaties vote yes. Every time I meet a scot down here all he wants to talk about is how great Scotland is and how fantastic the scots are – if the English behaved in that way we’d be accused of being jingoists, but they’re just patriotic apparently.

    I also don’t like the fact that their parliament gives them the power to spend money from our exchequer without us being able to have a vote on it – i.e. free university education. My family currently owes £90k in student loans, if we were in Scotland it would be zero.

    So let them have their independence, let them fund their own police, health service etc etc and let’s take the financial burden of supporting Scotland off our shoulders.

    The first thing they’ll realise is how important tourism is to their economy and then maybe they’ll be a bit more welcoming to their former benefactors. At a time when we are supposed to be becoming more integrated across the world, the scots want to be separate – well let’s bloody well let them!!!

  108. Rasp says:

    …. actually I’m thinking of starting a Scotland out campaign that we can have a vote on – let’s kick them out even if they decide they want to stay ….. Scotland out, Scotland out …. 😛

  109. Rasp says:

    That shut you all up 😆

  110. kelsey says:

    Maybe they could have a vote on Australian Independence for Earls Court.
    Bloody thousands of them live there and most just complain how much better it is to live in Aussie 🙂

  111. Rasp says:

    … and lastly, why are 16 year olds allowed to vote in Scotland on this matter? Would it maybe be because the research shows that they are more likely to vote yes?

  112. Rasp says:

    Exactly Kelsey, if they don’t like it they know what they can do 😆

    My soapbox is in splinters 😦

  113. The Cockie Monster says:

    One of the greatest feeling`s and days in my life was taking my son to his first game at the Emirates, bonding of the highest calibre !.
    So Stretch, my oldest/longest blogging buddy, your dad would have felt that same proud feeling when taking you to your first Arsenal game, walking along Blackstock Road hand in hand, buying you a programme for you to read whilst he popped into the local massage parlour for a pre-match lesson on what hand signals to abuse the Reff` with !. Then for you to pop in and tell him when it was nearly kick off in true Cretan style passed down over the years of telling the time by using your member as a Sun Dial with the sun casting a shadow over the pavement crack !……” well done my son, our first game together and you have learnt to tell the time !… you think the nice policeman will lend us a transistor radio in this cell ? “.
    RiP Transplant Snr .

    I know nothing about politics, but I do know that Glaswegians have a life expectancy of just over 50 years !… if all the English move out of Scotland, then the scots will be extinct in a few years time and we can just invade them and take over again .

  114. Rasp says:

    Brilliant cockie 😛

    But actually you make a good point, a lot of their collective ‘chip on shoulderism’ derives from the way the English behaved in the past. What a shame that some parts of the world can’t move on from historical wrong doings. Germany has put its past behind it whereas in places like Ireland and parts of the middle east it still creates conflict.

  115. Morning all

    Best wishes to Terry on the sad loss of your dad xx

  116. Gööner In Exile says:

    Chas I think England will still get change in ruling party whatever the flavour (or lack of real difference)

    But Scotland will be facing an eternity of Labour/Socialism and whilst that might not be a bad thing it will mean businesses will think twice about their involvement in the area.

    It is a big day as Micky says.

  117. The Cockie Monster says:

    Hi Rasp 🙂

    It always makes me think…..why cant we all just get on !. If I can be nice and sociable to all the spuds I know, then I`m sure I can get on with anybody !. 🙂

  118. RA says:

    Very interesting, Rasper, and good morning. 🙂

    When people get divorced they usually both have their say in breaking up. You English are having no say in this break up of the Union and that is very odd.

    Apart from my mention of the Stuart kings ruling both countries, there is a form of continuation of that with Scottish MPs voting on matters that are exclusively English, but not vice versa — that would go down well in the US (not) if anyone tried it — hands off you Canadans. 🙂

  119. Eddie says:

    surely 16 year olds will vote No. they would hate to appear positive and they are not patriotically inclined

    nice rant Rasp 🙂 It’s not just the Scotts – that is every bloody foreigner in this country (bar moi) complaining and criticizing this country. I’d give Scotts independence, but I am alarmed why this government is bending backwards not to let them go

  120. Rasp says:

    Hi Cockie,

    I’m not particularly well travelled, but the north west coast of Scotland is by far the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen and the people up their are fantastic, intelligent and welcoming. I love Scotland, but the politically motivated nationalists get right up my nose I have to say.

  121. Rasp says:

    Quite right Eddie, we’ve pledged them even more autonomy if they vote No so they’ll be able to pluck more money out of our pockets to fund their ‘scottishness’ …. where’s the democracy?

  122. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders, exactly. They’ve re-written history (Braveheart) in some cases and forgotten that many of their folk heroes were either traitors or ran away!

  123. Eddie says:

    I am not money driven, so that is always the last consideration in making decisions. I would give them the independence because that is what they want, their own country, I understand that bit.

    But I would cut off all the support and help, surely they don’t expect to be still helped?

    14th richest country in the world. Let us see it

  124. Gööner In Exile says:

    I am backing the Yes vote as I’d like to see the back of Salmond and his deputy first minister

  125. Rasp says:

    I hope you’re all enjoying this 😛

    I don’t wake up every morning and think ‘those bastard Romans, French and Vikings, came over here, raped, pillaged and taxed us to death and drove our poor indigenous druids underground’ 😆

  126. Rasp says:

    Hear hear GiE, Scotland out, Scotland out …..

  127. RA says:

    I am beginning to understand why the ruling political elite did not want the English to have a vote. 🙂

  128. arnie says:

    Listening. In a panel led by Andy Hughes-Hallett, Tim Worrall and Peter Sinclair. I am partisan, somewhat, even if undecided so far, so better stay silent.

    Just to say there are strong reasons for Westminster to bend over backwards. The problem is that the English have only just begun to realise that the desire for independence is so big in Scotland. Really? Part of, erm leader of, a union? Why did it take so long to realise this?

  129. Rasp says:

    But arnie, you have a vote!

  130. Rasp says:

    At least Sean Connery doesn’t get a vote ….

  131. Eddie says:

    RA – Eddie is not English and she would vote YES 🙂

  132. Rasp says:

    Redders, we might get a vote in a referendum on Independence for England?

  133. RA says:

    And nor do the millions of Scots living in England, as i understand it, Rasper. 🙂

  134. Rasp says:

    Correct Redders. The whole voting system is rigged to help the Yes vote – I hope they succeed.

    Scotland deserve Alex Salmond.

  135. Eddie says:

    Sean Connery thinks it is ok to slap a woman if she misbehaves. Hate him

  136. Blimey, shall we keep the Scotland debate going a bit longer or have you all had your say now 😉

  137. Rasp says:

    Well we don’t want to talk about Arsenal peaches – that is too depressing 😕

  138. RA says:

    It’s not for me to say, Rasp, but a referendum for England will never happen, but they (the politicians) might allow the Regions to have a bit more say on local matters, if only to head off a lot of dissatisfaction at what is going on.

    Hope you have deep pockets, because the Welsh and the Northern Irish will want more dose next. 😉

  139. Well, Norfolk has written a bloomin’ good rant and I think we should let him have his say, maybe I’ll wait until 10 ………………..

  140. Eddie says:

    I vote YEs for Norfolk blooming doom

  141. RA says:


    If the English/British people had a vote they would stop the millions of immigrants flowing into the UK from Europe.

    They won’t get a vote, of course. 🙂

  142. Rasp says:

    My last comment …. and this one without my tongue in my cheek.

    Scotland are voting on what’s best for Scotland, not what’s best for the UK. That says it all. They are not worried about the people in Wales, Northern Ireland, Cumbria, the north East, no, they want what’s best for Scotland (or what they think is best) and bugger everyone else.

    Let’s say their oil revenues etc were so massive that they were paying more into the union than they were taking out – what’s wrong with dispersing some of that wealth to other parts of the UK where there is need? ….. isn’t that socialism?

  143. arnie says:

    Yes, right as well, why should non-residents have a vote? Some of you would have a vote in London’s referendum vote.

    If the devo-max option was there, it would in all likelihood win. Who takes responsibility for not allowing it as an option? Who takes responsibility for bringing it back in as an assured promise right at the end? What about Constitutional reform? Shambles.

  144. arnie says:

    Think about this, Rasp, your questions actually apply to London, not so much to Scotland. Not to the other deprived regions of the UK, but London. Socialism? You must be joking. Scotland is a socialist country, not England. Not in a million years.

  145. Rasp says:

    Norfolk in, Norfolk in 😛 ……… I’m all ranted out now

  146. RA says:

    My final comment, because I cannot help but be interested in things happening about me, is that if the Scots do not get independence this time, this will all happen again in the near future, on the grounds that the country (Scotland) is split.

    If they do get independence – that should be the end of the interminable political wrangling.

  147. mickydidit89 says:

    Back and love the debate.

    I think we’re on safe ground as it is not so much political as constitutional.

  148. arnie says:

    where is Micky? bug***d off? he was the one who desired this discussion most urgently, I thought.

  149. arnie says:

    snap. 🙂

  150. Rasp says:

    You’ve completely lost me arnie. I don’t get your analogy?

    For a country that is apparently not socialist, we spend a hell of a lot of money supporting those in need. There are degrees. Pure socialism never works because it is against human nature. We all look over our shoulders to see how we’re doing compared to the next bloke. If we’re doing better we want to preserve it, it we’re not, we want a bit of what he’s got. Darwin called it survival of the fittest.

    Supporting those in need whilst encouraging enterprise is always a conundrum. A mature society should feel a collective responsibility.

  151. Eddie says:

    he is on the phone to urge uncle Ernest to vote yes

  152. Eddie says:

    no, no, don’t start me on the socialist route arnie or you will regret it 🙂 It is a beautiful ideology meeting reality of human nature, completely unworkable and devastating countries and individuals.

  153. mickydidit89 says:


    Earnest is not very helpful on what he sees as trivial issues. 🙄

  154. mickydidit89 says:

    Look, People in Authority, can we carry on or are we new posting, because I’m ready to launch into the oil/rbs/debt/revenue issue 🙂

    In short, I reckon the Jocks will be skint within three years of independence

    That’ll do it. New Post will appear after that threat 🙂

  155. arnie says:

    In Scotland, higher education, as you know, is free. Public transport, well, it costs about £15-20 return from Dundee to Edinburgh (65 miles), £10 by bus. NHS is better organised, free care for the elderly and the underprivileged, much more than in London or most other places down south.

    The problem is that the English people who do not travel up north know pretty much nothing about how economy and society and governance is organised in Scotland since the Scottish Parliament came into being.

    Sorry not constructing arguments well because I am also listening to the debate here in Durham.

  156. Go Micky ………… get it off your chest ……………

  157. arnie says:

    Can I mention perhaps the most contentious and left-under-the-carpet issue. The so-called British Army, which is essentially Scottish, and the related issues about deterrents of various kinds, including the Trident.

    Its gone all tits up, has it not! I hope the English people are very angry with their parliamentarians.

  158. Rasp says:

    arnie, what point are you making? It appears that you are saying that Scotland has already looked after itself very nicely thank you very much and thus far this has been funded by UK coffers – therefore areas where those services are not of such a high standard are being deprived?

  159. Shard says:

    I know next to nthing about the issue although I still have an opinion 🙂

    But just butting in to be annoying and tell Rasp that Darwin never used the phrase ‘Survival of the fittest’. That was Herbert Spencer who coined that term based on Darwin’s theories 🙂

    Oh also. All these socialism, capitalism, industrialism.. These isms don’t work. None of them. It is not only socialism that is flawed. They all are. But we need little bits of them all the time.

    Ok..Scurrying back.


    Thanks for the kind words everybody

    Ironic that calls for “self rule” seem to be on the rise the world over, yet economic globalisation effectively means true independence is redundant.

    For me, independence and the ability of nation states to control there own affairs is an illusion.

    We are living in very strange times

  161. arnie says:

    Scotland is one of the best performing regions in the UK, many English people may not know that net transfers go from Scotland to rUK, not the other way round.

  162. Eddie says:

    arnie – that sounds like Poland in grew up in and escaped as soon as I could. Somebody somewhere has to pay for cheap buses, free education and NHS full of drunk patients. That someone works very hard all week long and hasn’t got a pot to piss in. But he is proud of the cheap buses, drunks that went on a detox and art students that will never find work. Is he really? is he feck. But he has no say in a socialist country

  163. Rasp says:

    The British army is essentially Scottish? Granted there is a much higher percentage of Scots regiments pro rata and therefore Scottish personnel – but maybe that had a lot to do with the employment situation historically. Exactly how do they plan to split up the equipment, etc. after the split. Not been thought out as you say.

  164. Rasp says:

    Thanks Shard, very helpful 🙄 Its a well oiled tactic to focus on a minor irrelevancy to distract from the main point, you are an expert at the art.

  165. mickydidit89 says:


    Some Jocks say we have x many barrels of oil under the sea
    Say $100 a barrel. We’re rich
    Well, 90% does to BP or whoever gets the stuff out
    10% tax to Scottish Govt. Say £5bn per annum
    Last RBS bailout £40bn. Another required soon.
    No post independence central bank.
    Therefore, no bail-OUT. Bail-IN. See Cyprus for details.

    Utterly buggered. Am I right?

  166. Norfolk Gooner says:

    If the Scots get independence that will allow us (The English) to chuck all the MPs representing Scottish constituences out of OUR parliament. That will mean that the Labour party will lose it’s inbuilt advantage and so will never again get a majority and so won’t be able to form a government.

    Home Rule for Scotland! And Home Rule for a Conservative England!!!

  167. kelsey says:

    I think we should just build a wall like in Berlin. That will tell them 🙂

    In the western world come to Scotland were men wear skirts. 🙂

  168. Rasp says:

    I hate party politics – it’s anti-democratic. I don’t have a better alternative, but towing any ‘party line’ inevitably limits free thinking.

  169. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Terry, So sorry to hear of your loss. As someone orphaned in his fifties I know what it is to lose parents. Chin up mate.

  170. mickydidit89 says:

    Looks like I’m alone in the NO camp 🙂

    Better together I say.

  171. Norfolk Gooner says:

    We had one, Kelsey Hadrian built in in 122AD, he must have been some bricklayer. 😀

  172. mickydidit89 says:

    Mind you, if I was Scottish and I was going to be in charge, I’d vote YES.

    Then I’d be King of Scotland AND Manager of Arsenal, so all would be well 🙂

  173. Rasp says:

    Hi micky, before all this ‘we want what’s best for Scotland and sod you’ stuff, I’d have definitely wanted Scotland to stay part of the union.

    From what arnie says, they’re already doing quite nicely. Norfolk’s point about a large portion of Labour support coming from north of the border is also true. I didn’t think that anything was broken and required fixing. But if a significant number of Scots feel that they’d be better off without us and only they have a say in the matter, then we’re not being given a choice.

  174. mickydidit89 says:


    They may well be doing nicely as you say, but they have a central bank. Right now, they, like us, are technically bankrupt.

    The solution for them is to form their own currency, but outside of the corrupt banking world.

    Its called a Crypto Currency.

    Iceland are in the process, and its genius. Trouble is, I doubt Salmond and his mates will do it.

    Here’s something about it.

  175. GoonerB says:

    I find it all very interesting and sad really. as someone of mostly Scottish blood but born and bred down here I have always had an affinity to both sides. I like Rasp was horrified originally to think of a break up but I feel the whole thing has become a bit anti-English.

    All this “you should have woken up sooner”, “you should have realised how we really felt up here” e.t.c, e.t.c. Too much violin music and indignation and centuries old dislike coming to the fore I think.

    I think it will go badly even if it is a no vote. Everyone is so concerned about the feelings of the poor Scots that no-one is questioning how the English are or will feel with this. I think in the cold light of day many will become resentful of the extra perks that seem to be on offer from UK tax coffers to people who literally to the tune of 50% wanted to stick 2 fingers up and say now sod off.

    I think there will be a further fall out. It may well be that the English become so disillusioned that even if the no vote is narrowly pushed through they may start to demand their own referendum to split from Scotland. It will not happen you say. I bet UKIP would take it up if they thought it would get them into power.

    I am sorry but either way now Alex salmond et al have only served to push neighbourly relations and trust back generations if not centuries.

  176. arnie says:

    For whatever it is worth, I’m in the NO camp as well. But does that matter zilch. Sorry, I am trying to fend too many of you guys at the same time, impossible to do while also attending a conference.

    Micky. Independence will have costs. Presumably, the obstinate Scots are happy with that, at least some of them. There are others who find a purpose in life in having a chance to work hard and build an economy and society. No such opportunity came along in a long time, certainly not since the Thatcher recession.

    Norfolk. I suppose there is sufficient talent in politics down south, or are the English hoping for some immigration from Botland? I suppose the best political talent in the UK is in Westminster. Or do you think it is not a competitive market?

  177. arnie says:

    I did not say Scotland is doing nicely. No region in the UK is, except perhaps London and the South East. Scotland is the leader of the chasing pack, has been for a long time now, and continues to be. One of the main problems is that there is a lot of geographical inequality in the UK, and London cares zilch about it.

  178. kelsey says:

    There is a man who lives in Carlisle and has geographically the last house in England but his sort code is Scottish.

    He is elderly and needs NHS knee replacement and the English nor the Scottish will deal with him. This is absolutely true.

  179. kelsey says:

    Ah arnie

    but only one in three people who live in London are Londoners. 🙂

  180. Rasp says:

    Speaking from my own corner of the South East, I can’t categorically say I am not doing very nicely. I’ve never been poorer or had to work harder!

  181. Rasp says:

    …… They have closed down the casualty departments at all the nearest hospitals (30 miles) I will have to keep working for ever because the government pension and my personal pension are worth a pittance and none of my children will be able to buy a house. So actually we’re not all drowning in money in the south east

  182. arnie says:

    What was the problem with allowing the Scots to raise their own taxes? At least, there were some entrepreneurial people up north who wanted to be progressive, and were repeatedly frustrated by restrictions put up by Westminster. The problem is Westminster (apols Kelsey, not London perhaps 😛 ) never understood, or tried to understand, Scottish aspirations.

    Constitutional reforms was the way to go. Alas!

  183. kelsey says:

    Absolutely right,Rasp.

    It’s all Russian and Chinese money now that is inflating property prices and you have to be Mummy and Daddy Bank to help your kids, if you can afford it, yet many illegal immigrants and non Brits bleed the system dry.

  184. arnie says:

    with due respect, Rasp, in terms of public services, we do a bit better up here in Botland. And sorry, this is not because of money coming from down south, Botland has net outward transfers.

    Evonne, entrepreneurship is not therefore restricted to the extent you think, or what happened in Poland perhaps.

  185. mickydidit89 says:


    Not sure the immigrants bleeding the system is really relevant

    I reckon the sum total of that particular cost is less than the bonus’ alone in one single bank in just one year.

    These are the people who are bleeding the system, and all paid for by you and me.

  186. arnie says:

    Off on a tangent, but I think the main problem is a culture of self-centred opportunism. Everyone, or almost everyone, thinks it is their birthright to exploit the welfare state without contributing enough towards it sustenance. Unfortunately, it is the same story across Europe. It is society, not individuals. IMO. 😦

  187. mickydidit89 says:

    I think Arnie’s word “shambles” best describes the whole sorry state of affairs.

    However, we are where we are, and it is going to be fascinating.

  188. Rasp says:

    arnie, even if your assertion that Scotland has net outward transfers is correct at this time, there have been decades when subsidies have been pushed Scotland’s way, when industry and commerce have received financial incentives to locate in Scotland.

    It seems that once they perceive they’re paying into other parts of the UK, they want it all to themselves. In short they are behaving like RVP, whereas England has been Tony Adams.

  189. Rasp says:

    micky, thanks for the banking info … unfortunately its gone straight over my head 😦

  190. arnie says:

    sorry, Rasp, the Scots wanted fiscal devolution not independence. They were pushed into this situation by the decision of Westminster (or shall we say Tories) to not allow them the option of devo-max.

  191. mickydidit89 says:


    In the UK there is no democracy whatsoever. We live in a Plutocracy and are governed by wealthy institutions and corporations.

    Corrupt to the core.

  192. Rasp says:

    its the same thing arnie, it shows they want to look after themselves whereas we are charged with trying to look after everyone.

  193. arnie says:

    Micky. agreed. unfortunately. and very soon, even if YES happens, the same will happen in Botland. However, hopefully, some new institutions will be built in the interim. Institutional change is needed.

  194. mickydidit89 says:


    In short, successive governments are in bed with bankers and are shafting you and your children very big time.

    There is an alternative. The Jocks have an opportunity, but my doom side says that they’ll screw it up big styley, will beg to join the even more corrupt EU, then told to bend over.

  195. arnie says:

    Beg to differ, it is not the same thing, Rasp.

    London only looks after itself, I mean big firms. As Micky puts it.

    Just look at what has happened to spatial inequality since the decimation of industry and communities everywhere in the country since the Thatcher recession.

  196. arnie says:

    Yes, Micky, I agree again. Unfortunate, but true I think. But as I said, hopefully some good institutions will be built in the interim.

  197. Rasp says:

    From the independent ….

    …… After Scottish and Welsh devolution was put into place, the nations’ MPs retained the right to vote in Westminster like any English MP, but English MPs were no longer allowed to vote on a number devolved policy areas. This mean Scottish and Welsh MPs could sway controversial votes in Westminster, when the policy had no bearing on their constituents.

    This problem was raised in 1977 by Tam Dalyell, the then Labour MP for West Lothian, when Jim Callaghan’s Government proposed Scottish devolution – hence why it is known as the West Lothian question.

    If Scotland was granted devo-max – the issued raised West Lothian question would deepen.

    In response, English MPs have called for constitutional changes, including the creation of an English Parliament

  198. Right then ……….. are we done for now, I’m sure we’ll return to this later in the day …………..

    Ready for a New Post? ………….

  199. mickydidit89 says:

    You say “hopefully”. Mmmm, the optimist.
    I say, yes that may happen, but they will be totally overshadowed by whatever fiscal system is installed.
    Options include making Scotland some kind of corrupt banking/tax haven (London?) and thus in the process attracting the same corrupt charlatans they’re trying to get away from. Eh?

  200. They just want to lock the doors and not let anyone else in, count their money and only spend it on themselves.

  201. arnie says:

    Micky. Agreed. too much agreement. 😦

    Peaches. perhaps best to put Norfolk’s post up now. I will be driving up north at 11:45, have a meeting in Edinburgh and then up to Dundee to vote. Join you guys only much much later. 🙂

  202. Rasp says:

    Maybe it is not exactly the same thing arnie, but the power of the banks has been ever thus. America is run by the pharmaceutical, oil, tobacco and arms industries (to name but a few).

    Money makes the world go round. As I said earlier, a mature society should have a collective conscience and recognise the need to look after everyone.

    Scotland wants it all its own way. Alex Salmond would not have been happy with Devo Max, he wants independence at any cost. What would he have done with his life if he hadn’t been born in Scotland?

  203. arnie says:

    I believe firmly that the Scottish population would have voted for devo-max. Sod Salmond, it is the people that matter. 😛

  204. arnie says:

    harsh perhaps, given that he is one of our students, and he is a clever guy. But this is my view, at least at the moment.

  205. arnie – enjoy your drive, I’m going to publish the new post now.

  206. …………..New Post everyone ……………….

  207. mickydidit89 says:

    The power of the banks has not been ever thus as you say.
    De-regulation and technology dramatically altered their power.

  208. Rasp says:

    OK thanks micky, I bow to your greater knowledge

    As a mere voter (who seldom exercises his right, due to frustration at the alternatives) I feel powerless to do anything other than try to understand with little hope of ever changing anything.

  209. RA says:


    I do not have a horse in this race, yet I am pretty cross, on behalf of my English friends, with your ‘know it all’ attitude and the ease with which you whinge and blame the English people ‘in the South’.

    How long have you lived in England to know?

    I understood you to say that you have lived in Scotland for 10 years, so what in God’s name makes you such a expert in the history, the relationship and the integral economics of England and Scotland?

    For instance have you ever heard of the Barnett Formula?

    It’s the way in which the UK Treasury puts money into Scotland, that is to say how much public money is paid out of taxes into Scotland.

    It is named after the Treasury Minister under Harold Wilson, Joel Barnett, and it means money is allocated to Scotland to make sure that its needs are met, altho’ not allocated according to each need, it’s allocated using a formula related to the population as a whole.

    In essence it means that in Scotland there is about £1,400 more public money spent per head on them each year, compared with the population in England.

    Vote whichever way you want, but spare us the self important diatribes against the English people please. I like them.

  210. arnie says:

    Redders. That is an inappropriate rant, if I may say so. And not even a smiley? 😦

    AA is a space that thrives on alternate views and discussion of these. In some ways, because I live in Scotland, I thought it to be part of the fun that I represent some of the views north of the border. To my mind, I was simply trying to represent these. At substantial cost to my own interests.

    Anyway, I have lived part of my life in England as well, albeit within the triangle down in the south that in my view may well represent another country. But I am not an expert, simply a keen observer and student of social, political and economic life in the UK, well maybe not that much NI. And yes, I know about the Barnett formula. It is part of my job to know exactly how it is calculated.

    Apologies gratefully accepted, just in case any were forthcoming. 🙂

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