Did they really play for Arsenal?

This is a short starter for Rant Friday and concerns our ex-players who have become pundits.

Let’s start with a man who has a clear anti-Arsenal agenda, Stewart Robson. I have no idea why such an admired player (pre-injury) has turned into a man who cannot speak without being negative about our boys but whatever it is it must have been painful because he clearly hates his former employers.

Then there are the Sky boys. Smudger Smith was one of my heroes. Known as “The Professor” in the dressing room because he read broadsheet newspapers Smith rarely is complimentary about our boys, choosing instead to tell us how much better the opposition is and then laying into our lads, in particular JW.

Merse. Mercurial on the pitch and a buffoon off it. Is this illiterate the best Sky can come up with?

George Graham. I guess he has reason to be anti-AW but I hoped for better from a man who brought not only trophies but dishonour to the club.

O’Leary. Our appearance record holder and yet persona non grata at THOF. Why?

At least we have Ian Wright, Wright, Wright, TH14Β and Lee Dixon fighting our corner.

Want to moan about them apples??

written by Big Raddy



191 Responses to Did they really play for Arsenal?

  1. They’re all wankers Big Raddy. Give me Martin Keown any time, the guy has perspective. Nice post, serious questions, and I won’t mention the BJ ok πŸ™‚

  2. Mjc says:

    People always seem to forget that Merson always was and always will be a Chelsea fan.

  3. Eddie says:

    oh Raddy πŸ™‚ what a lovely Friday rant! Truly heart warming.

    I think that these pundits are true Arsenal fans, but not in the same camp as Wrighty, Thierry, Keown or Lee Dixon. If we were to go out for a pint together then Mers, O’Leary, Smudger and GG would be hanging about with Kelsey, Rasp, maybe Herb, who are all true Gunners, but more critical than the likes of GiE, chas or arnie. Do you know what I mean? you can be an Arsenal till I die, yet criticise the team when they truly deserve to be criticised. But I am talking about constructive criticism not rants to undermine the Club, that’s different and should not be a part of any Arsenal supporters’ life, especially when in the public eye.

    you were still in that geiser when ‘Arry said this about Tarrabt:

  4. Eddie says:

    mjc – really? I didn’t know that

  5. kelsey says:

    I don’t drink Evonne πŸ™‚

    Nevertheless your point is well made.

    I don’t think Alan Smith is too bad and neither is Charlie Nicholas.

    Frank McClintock, a charming man and of course Bob Wilson would always be polite and courteous, but seldom seen on TV

    It’s all about personalities and if Savage can get a top job on Radio 5 then you know the BBC has sunk to new depths.

  6. kelsey says:

    Off topic just read Wilshere is also out tomorrow after 5 yellow cards. Can anyone confirm ?

  7. Footballers are not renowned for being the most intellectual people on the planet πŸ™‚ so they go into punditry after their careers have finished. Why ex players then get into criticising their ex team is unknown. Perhaps they feel that to keep their jobs they need to go along with the majority in knocking the Arsenal and be entertaining to the masses.

    TH14 and Keown are amongst the minority who can string together more than a few words.

  8. Mjc says:

    He said it himself in an interview with 442, and he’s listed here:


  9. Kels… yes he is suspended from tomorrows game till the 1st Nov, but I think he also has an injury

  10. Eddie says:

    thanks mjc, I hate him now.

  11. kelsey says:


    you and Szsney share one thing in common.

    Can’t keep a clean sheet πŸ™‚

  12. Kels… that could be taken further but I don’t want to upset Peaches mum πŸ™‚ and I’m already scared of Eddie

  13. kelsey says:

    A few years ago when Savage was still playing top flight and as an international for Wales I witnessed him head but Gareth Barry in Linekars in Puerto Banus and then went outside and pissed allover a brand new Bentley Continental, and that was at three o clock in the afternoon.

  14. Kels

    “when Savage was still playing top flight..”

    A bit of a misnomer there me thunks πŸ™‚


    hahaha, Kelsey, about 25 years ago I saw the legend that was Jimmy Carter have a piss in a packed Muswell Hill dance floor.

    What fascinated me was the shape of his cock. It was more bent than a Uri Geller spoon.

    Cheers Raddy

    i like all those guys you mentioned except, Oleary and Graham.

    Merse and Smith are alright

    Oleary once got me thrown out of the QPR bar for daring to suggest he resembled a chipmunk

    Graham for taking a bung, which I wouldnt have minded if it involved buying Maradona, but John Jensen for f*ucks sake?, and of course going to Tottenham.

    The one ime not sure about is Robson. The guys a complete and total dickhead, but that type of rivetingly boring personality just leaves more available women to have sex with.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. I hadn’t factored that in. (last para)

    I find Smith hugely annoying. In trying to be even handed he becomes anti-AFC. At least with all the L’pool pundits they make their allegiances clear.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    It will not surprise you to know that this morning I received 5 emails from Spurs fans with the vid of Lamela. Don’t hear from them for years (re football) then a lucky goal against amateur opposition and they are cock-a hoop (with emphasis on the cock).


    Do you think so Raddy?

    Are you sure its not his Brummie accent? Scientific data tends to show that men who have been exposed to midland accents for a considerable amount of time are twice as likely to seek vengeance on furry animals.

  19. Sav from Australia says:

    Good post and a good point about these ex-players.

    Players like Henry, Bergkamp, etc. – that generation – nobobdy says a bad word about Wenger. Van Persie, Fabregas, etc., guys who even forced their way out – no bad words about Wenger. Of the English players, only Keown has had consistent fair things to say about Arsenal and the Boss.

    Anyways, I realised that there are two split views on Arsenal and Arsene Wenger – and I doubt anything will ever change this.


    There is “The Rest of the World” VS “The English Speaking World”

    The English speaking world (USA, Australia, South Africa, etc.) takes its lead from English football trolls, oh journalists. Hence the constant neverending negativity about Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.

    And then the rest of the world – seeing Arsenal and Arsene Wenger in their true light as a well run and innovative club and an evergreen genius manager and coach.

    I don’t think anyone takes the journalist trolls in England seriously overseas. I even heard as much from a South American journalist during a video during the world cup – can’t find a link sorry.

    I think the best thing is to not take the professional trolls seriously. They are tabloid hacks. Their opinions are irrelevant. Their agendas are irrelevant. The Arsenal bloggers (minus the trolling negative blogs/bloggers who we all know so well) produce so much and so far superior content to the professional hacks.

    We should just close ranks and tell the professional trolls to go eff themselves.


    Very nice comment Sav

    Arsene is a genius and hero. He should be lauded, not slandered.

  21. kelsey says:

    I think generally speaking the Northern European footballers are better educated than their British counterparts.Most speak fluent English and that can’t be said of quite a number of English footballers.

  22. GunnerN5 says:

    My rant ————————-

    Where are you Red Arse, I miss your excellent opinions and writing skills – blogging on AA is not the same without hearing from you.

    Come back————————

  23. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    a rant about our our ex players, when Gary Neville talks higher of Arsene Wenger than many of our ex players you realise there might be a reason.

    Neville has nothing to prove and no vested interest in the success or otherwise of Arsenal FC but he always seems to be complimentary of Arsene and the ethos at the club, why is that? Because perhaps he sees a bigger picture, I remember him standing on the touch line a couple of seasons back after the Emirates Cup saying that if we finished 4th it would be Wengers greatest ever achievement, we did. But to the likes of Merse who don’t think about anything other than results it’s not enough. Nevilles greatest moment for me as a commentator was against Milan at home after our 4-0 capitulation in the San Siro, he was cheering Ox on as he was tearing the full back a new one and you could tell he was just enjoying the football.

    I think Smith just tries to retain a professional balance and takes himself to far the other way for fear of being labelled bias towards Arsenal.

    Whenever I hear Keown speak he speaks sense with impartiality but also tries to explain it from the other side.

    Kelsey the reason you don’t like stats is that they don’t fit your view of the game.

    Shots from outside box

    1. WBA 56%
    2. Sunderland 53%
    3. QPR 52%
    4 Arsenal 49%
    Selected others:
    7. ManUre 48%
    10. Liverpool 46%
    15. Chavs 43%
    20. Man Shitty 32%

    Courtesy of Whoscored.com

    I’m not doing this out of disrespect just to try and encourage you to open your eyes to the fact that maybe just maybe you see what you want to see and nothing is going to change your mind.

    Also the most telling thing is those with shots inside the 18yard box, that’s Shitty, Southampton, Leicester, Chelsea, West Ham. We place a lowly 16th and is clearly the reason we are struggling. We need to make the one more pass its essential! The teams beneath us Newcastle, QPR, Silunderland and WBA.


    Agreed GN5

  25. kelsey says:

    Arsene Wenger has ruled out key Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny for another four weeks – at least.

    The centre-back has missed his side’s last two games with a chronic Achilles problem which forced him out of France’s recent internationals.

    Wenger admits he does not know when Koscielny will be back, but it will not be before next month’s Saturday Night Football game against Manchester United.

    Speaking at his press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Sunderland, Wenger said: “I cannot give you any date. I hope he will be available after the next international break.”

    Koscielny’s partnership with Per Mertesacker helped Arsenal keep 16 clean sheets in last season’s Premier League, but only Aston Villa have failed to score against them in the league this term.

    The Frenchman’s absence leaves Wenger with only Mertesacker as an established senior centre-half.

    His other options are teenager Calum Chambers, who was bought as a right-back, and second-choice left-back Nacho Monreal, who has filled in alongside the German twice in the past week.

    Arsenal are without Mathieu Debuchy, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud long-term, while back-up goalkeeper David Ospina was this week ruled out for up to three months.

    Theo Walcott is close to returning after nine months out and is expected to play again for the club’s U21 side on Saturday.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Given RA’s history of illness I hope he is well. Has anyone seen him on any other blog?

  27. GunnerN5 says:


    I hope he is just having a blogging sabbatical…..we all need one every so often.

  28. BR

    I’ve seen him……… he’s ok

  29. In fact he was around early this morning on another blog… and in fine form πŸ™‚

  30. GunnerN5 says:

    That’s good to hear NB, now all we have to do is convince him to get his Red Arse back over here!!!!!

  31. kelsey says:


    I am still not convinced. Answer my question.When did we last score a goal from outside the box in open play and you most probably will but it doesn’t happen very often.

    I disagree with you. I see enough games to form an opinion and IMO we are not playing well and our defence is shot to pieces by nearly every team we play.The results prove that.

    Attack wise we lost our leading goal scorer through injury.Ramsey is not firing and he was on fire but Sanchez is a joy to watch, yet we aren’t scoring enough, and conceding far too often. That is also a fact..

    When we put a consecutive amount of wins together and play with far more fluidity and concede less and show more motivation and urgency as a team, I will be happy,regardless where we finish this season.

    If you weren’t so big I would take that comment as an insult πŸ˜‰

    I really think so many supporters don’t want to face the truth and reality of our season so far hoping it will all come good when Walcott is back and we strengthen in January.

    I made several points earlier on GIE but you chose only to come back with the stats situation.

    Stats and possession are meaningless unless you win on a regular basis, not 2 wins in 8 games.

    lets resume this after Xmas, one of us will be right.

    Finally you yourself stated before the end of last season that you thought AW would leave.

  32. David Stewart says:

    We should not forget that the truely vile Stewart Robson is, and always has been, a West Ham fan.

    Merson, whilst annoying, always opines in exaggerated terms so everything will always be the “greatest” or “worst” thing ever. Never in-between the extremes. Still love the Merse, despite his somewhat misguided views.

  33. Block 007 says:

    Hi everyone…Can I ask your opinions on my views with what’s going at the club ?

    Before I start here is a bit about me. I’m 47 and work in the Financial Services Sector

    I brought my first season ticket at age 18 for the north bank (Β£50) I then watched Arsenal home and away missing maybe 4 – 5 games per season for the next 25 years

    So please do not say im not a true supporter …

    My view is the club is stale from top to bottom. The owner is not an Arsenal fan. He is an investor and the club is part of his portfolio. He ultimately drives everything at the club and he will never replace the Manager or authorise Gazidis to do so either. If I was in his shoes I would think the same as him and completely understand his stance

    Wenger has been fantastic for Arsenal and we wouldn’t be where we are now if it wasn’t for him. David Dein also deserve huge credit for recruiting him !! Unfortunately Wenger is living on his past achievements and does not seem to learn from his mistakes .

    in the last 5 years I have witnessed Wenger make more and more mistakes on and off the field. ( we know what they all are ) Players will never criticise him because he looks after them so well. However that doesn’t mean they agree with how he runs the team or have faith in him to deliver a premier league title.

    I know we need a new Manager which I think will happen sooner rather than later. I actually think Wenger will walk if we don’t make the top 4 this year. He would of gone if we lost the FA cup final.

    bye for now…

  34. kelsey says:

    and Block 007 and I are not related πŸ™‚

  35. GunnerN5 says:

    Kelsey – is he a chip off the old Block – or off his Block?

  36. kelsey says:


    you know my stance. I agree with most of the above comment,never doubt the crystal ball πŸ™‚

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    Personally what I find both the continued persecution of AW to be both stale and redundant he is the best manager in our history and still has a minimum of the next 3 seasons left on his contract. Leave him alone and let him do what he is best at while he remains in charge…………..

    He has earned and deserves far more respect than he receives. Let’s look a one very obvious and undeniable fact – we have an atrocious injury record. I wonder –

    a) what might our record would have looked like without the injuries to some of our best players.

    b) I wonder what the detractors opinions (of the same man) be if we had won some silverware without the injuries. Very different I would guess.

  38. Eddie says:

    Block 007 – hi! The answer will depend hugely on the nature of your job in the financial sector. If It could be beneficial to me in any shape or form I shall agree with everything you say. Otherwise – no, Wenger is not past his best, no Wenger does not live on his past achievements, if he didn’t win the FA cup doesn’t even need answering because he did win it πŸ™‚

  39. Block 007 says:

    Oh please

    every team has injuries. that’s the oldest excuse in the book

    come on GN5 you can do better that ?

  40. GunnerN5 says:

    Block 007.

    A FACT is not an EXCUSE it’s a valid reason that many of you will not accept because it does not fit in with your agenda..

    It’s obvious that our record would have been better without the injuries and your persecution would therefore be meaningless.

    Why not put the full force of your support behind the manager – instead of kicking him up the arse?

  41. My rant, the treatment of Chambers. Bought as back up right back and third choice centre back.

    He starts off playing well then after a few months of being first choice right back, and will now be both that and first choice centre back after Kozzer’s injury, cracks in his game are starting to show.

    Now who said playing a youngster so frequently early in his career may not allow him to progress at a good rate and sink-or-swim is not a good developmental approach ?

    Oh yes, that was me and I recall the response being that I was way off the mark.

    Redders is blogging away as usual, he was commenting on my match report over on another blog at the weekend.


    Theres no need for excuses 007

    Wenger has consistently got in the top four and won the cup last year in the most competitive league in the world, achieving it all during and now taking us out of austerity.

    If that’s the sign of a man who in the opinion of some expert Arsenal fans is a has been, then that’s there problem.

  43. GunnerN5 says:

    Hear, hear Terry …….

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Block 7.

    Here’s my tuppence worth .

    We are the 4th wealthiest club in the PL. We finish 3rd or 4th. Given the money invested by L’pool and Spurs we are punching our weight.

    As to the state of the club I disagree entirely. We have a foreign owner … so what. Name me big club (apart from Everton) who have a fan as their Chairman and don’t give me the Chelsea crook who tried to buy Spurs before the Chavs (god forbid!!).

    Does Kroenke care whether we win? Of course he does, why would he want to see the value of his investment decrease?

    AW is admired everywhere apart from within his own fan base.

    As to your statement about injuries…. losing 6 first team players would affect any managers plans, though I will concede he should have signed another defender in summer.

    Ultimately we look at the same coin from different sides, I prefer mine.

  45. Rasp says:

    Great rant Raddy, thanks.

    Mine is along the same lines as Chary’s. I predicted kozzer’s ‘mystery injury’ absence would be extended for months two weeks ago. He was overplayed when carrying an injury and now it is long term. I too can see Chambers play deteriorating. He’s 19, we should not be putting such pressure on him.

    There would have been plenty of prem experienced central defenders who would have been happy to join Arsenal – even as 3rd choice, but we chose to take a calculated risk and not replace Vermaelen – and once again, it has proved to be a mistake.

    It’s the not learning from mistakes that really disappoints me.

  46. GunnerN5 says:


    Chambers overplayed – my foot!

    I give you Tony Adams – he became a first team regular in 1985 at the age of 19 and was made captain at age 21 and remained Captain until he retired fourteen years later, 669 appearances and 10 major trophies, including League titles in three different decades. .

    I predict that Chambers will have the same impact at Arsenal.

  47. Rasp says:

    Hi GN5, he may survive the physical strain without injury but we can’t expect a consistently high standard with a young player – that comes with experience

  48. Block 007 says:

    thank you for your views
    only time will tell what happens
    I will still be going to the games and paying my money – will you ?

  49. Eddie says:

    Block 007 – no I won’t, because I can never get a fooking ticket!! Because there are 61k+ of those who want the entry even more than I do.
    As for Rasp – he probably will, unless he is working he will go. As for Raddy – if there are good flight connections from country of domicile then he will, as for Chary – who knows, sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t…..

  50. Rasp says:

    Actually Eddie I am pretty much priced out if going to games these days 😦

  51. GunnerN5 says:


    I live in Canada and I will only see i few more live games in my lifetime – but I get to see every single game on TV.

    When I lived in London I saw around 900 live games.

  52. Eddie says:

    rasp – and that’s why you need to work, just as I said πŸ™‚

    GN5 – Rocky flies over every now and then, why cannot you?

  53. GunnerN5 says:


    A consistently high standard is also a function of natural ability and Chambers is a pure natural. I’ve never seen an Arsenal player settle in so quickly at such a young age – and he’s now a full international.

    Our English international core is great to see –


    They can be our core for many years to come – compliments of Arsene Wenger.

    Oops I forgot – one cannot compliment AW as everything is his fault and those of us who think differently are obviously wrong.

  54. GunnerN5 says:


    Believe me if I could I would but circumstances are not on my side at the moment.

  55. Eddie says:

    😦 😦

  56. Evonne, I’m also hoping to go to West Brom away – as Ant & Deck won’t be it’d be nice to have some AA representation at the Baggies.
    Think I better practice my Brummie accent so I don;t get glassed asking for a pint pre match.

  57. Rasp says:

    GN5, there is no need for that. No one has told you you are wrong, they may have expressed a contrary opinion but that is a quite different thing


    007, Yeah, I go to every home game, am the same age as you and used to go away including Europe

    From the tone of your last post about paying your money it seemed you were to trying to score a cheap point

    Well my point is that you should get over yourself. Nobody cares wether you and I go to games or not, and it doesnt give us any right to pontificate to others who for one reason or another dont attend.

    Come on you Rip Roaring Gunners

  59. GunnerN5 says:


    Whether you want to believe it or not – even AA has an anti Arsene undertone…….always phrased nicely of course.

  60. Block 007 says:

    Terry its a free world and everyone has their opinions. We all think we are right..

    I will be the first to hold my hands up and admit to getting it wrong if Wenger wins the champions league or premiership in the next 3 years

    After all we are one of the biggest clubs in the world with a bigger wage bill than Chelsea and Bayern Munich. We also have a Manager with 18 years experience.

  61. Rasp says:

    GN5, we do not have a rule that says the site doesn’t tolerate anti Arsene undertones? They’re just opinions there must be no silly no calling or a general lack of respect – beyond that it is just opinions. I wrote all the tabs at the top of the page and the one about the site having no agenda and the tone of the debates being set by the bloggers still stands firm.

  62. kelsey says:

    I don’t think there is an anti Arsene undertone, I feel more of a split.

    I and several others feel there is no doubt that under the circumstances he has done a wonderful job but the signs now are that the game has passed him by, his quotes are quite bizarre and he isn’t buying players to make a more balanced team.His use of subs is very questionable but most importantly he has become too predictable in his game plan.

    I might be wrong, but there is a growing band of fans who feel as I do.

    I don’t like to label people as AKB etc but maybe his judgement isn’t as good as it was.

    By the way Rasp, you still haven’t answered me from yesterday πŸ™‚

  63. Off topic I know, but has anybody read this offering from the Telegraph this morning?

    Per Mertesacker has a delivered a blunt appraisal of Arsenal’s struggles this season, admitting that the squad lacks confidence and must work harder in training to have more variation in their playing style.
    β€œWe are not at our best,” Mertesacker, the Arsenal vice-captain, said. β€œFootball-wise we lack a few things. We have to be honest to ourselves and train harder. Everyone knows that it is a difficult start to the season for us and confidence is not how we want it. Again, it is away from home on Saturday and again I think we have to do better with our own possession, to put more pressure on them [opponents], not to lose so many balls in the middle of the park, to play more in wide areas.

    β€œI think it is better to expose them there, instead of playing one-twos through the middle. It doesn’t work as much as last season, so we have to work on that. The passing game is not as efficient as last year. But all of a sudden we lose players week-by-week.”

    It adds up a to fairly damning critique of a season that promised so much but which has so far delivered only two Premier League wins and a stuttering European campaign, that it should at least last into the New Year following the fortuitous 2 – 1 win against Anderlecht on Wednesday.

    Mertesacker is equally tough on his own performances and admits that he has found it difficult both physically and emotionally following the euphoria of winning the World Cup with Germany. The current absence of Laurent Koscielny at centre-half has also added to Mertesacker’s responsibilities, having partnered Nacho Monreal at centre-back for the past two games. Koscielny is likely to miss Saturday’s match at Sunderland but Theo Walcott is expected to return to the squad, although a final decision on his fitness will not be made until Friday morning.

    β€œFor me personally, it is difficult at the moment because that was really a long season last year, and to come back from the World Cup and get the motivation back – I am nearly back – but you can feel there is something missing at the moment,” Mertesacker said.
    β€œIt’s a bit of everything. Such a long season last year, without a winter break, and with a World Cup. That is nearly 100 days ago, so I think it is time to raise the game, raise the mentality, to come back and just think about Arsenal. It is going to start, the season is going to start.
    β€œWe didn’t even have time to celebrate properly [after the World Cup]. You realise, month after month, what happened, but we are still not there. Maybe in five or 10 years, we can really realise what was going on there.
    β€œWe came back to Berlin, got on the stage, waved our hands, showed the World Cup and then everyone disappeared to their family, to get some holidays, to get some rest, calm and it was very difficult to get into a proper holiday, where you feel the holiday. And then the restart [to the season] is even more in your head than anything else. That was really a problem. But I am happy not to get an injury yet. I am very confident that I have already done the dangerous period. I am really happy that I am slowly fit and ready for the proper fights during the winter period.”

    Mertesacker felt that Arsenal lacked β€œa bit of everything” for 85 minutes against Anderlecht and admitted that he even felt sorry for his opponents at the end of the game. He said that the quality of Arsenal’s finishing and their collective mentality gave him confidence.
    β€œWe came back – there was a bit of belief but not that [much] belief,” Mertesacker said. β€œSo it was a bit strange. But the character is good and the mentality is good. We had players to come in late who have a lot of qualities finishing-wise. The finishing is just great at the moment, and that keeps me believing that we are in a good mood.”
    The winning goal was scored by Lukas Podolski, who has been peripheral so far this season at Arsenal but was also part of Germany’s World Cup squad. β€œHe is in a difficult period, but how vital he is,” Mertesacker said. β€œHe showed with his clinical finish. You can wake him up any second in the day and he will score with his left foot. So that is a quality we need. We play a lot of football around the box, but when it comes to finishing and shooting, we lack that.”


    Fair enough 007

    I have a feeling Arsene will go out in a blaze of glory.

    We shall see

  65. Shard says:

    Block 007

    So a wage bill larger than Chelsea’s for a grand total of 2 months, is enough to wipe out the decade that they have massively outspent us? Do you think Chelsea’s wage bill and spending is down this year precisely because of the talent they were hoarding for years?

    Let’s be fair here. Even if you say Arsenal reach only par for the course in terms of their spending on wages (not on transfers over the years, we spent almost nothing), it takes an exceptional manager to achieve that. No one makes par every time unless they are brilliant.

    Now here’s the thing. I believe if Wenger’s priorities weren’t geared towards CL being essential (this was out of necessity) he would have won a few more trophies along the way. Why? Because he could then sacrifice the longer term to achieve in the immediate term.

    Now, he has 3 years to achieve his ultimate aim of winning the CL. He’s on record as saying that his job is now of less concern with the long term. But we are not Chelsea or ManCity, and even those clubs took 3 years of spending to elevate themselves to PL winner status. In a much less competitive league with more funds relative to anyone else. Yet we expect Wenger to produce this without those advantages, in a season (with a trophy!) and a bit?

  66. I’m firmly in the Kelsey camp on Wenger.

    Yes he is the greatest manager we have ever had.

    Yes he has worked absolute wonders with the limited cash resources put at his disposal.

    Yes he deserves our respect and support for his achievements.

    But! I, like Kelsey, think his time is coming to an end. I suspect that two things saved his bacon at the end of last season, the FA Cup win and the fiasco served up at Man U over the Ferguson replacement. If the Moyes appointment had gone smoothly then the board may have been encouraged to act. As it is United demonstrated just how serious a wrong appointment could be. With the jury still out, on Van Gaal, Kroenke and Gazidis have gone back to the drawing board.

    I suspect that Wenger is safe until the expiry of his present contract, many will say this is in Arsenal’s best interests, I beg to differ!

  67. LB says:

    Brilliant comment Shard.

  68. GunnerN5 says:


    If there is a split in opinion than it’s a very lopsided split as I can only think of a handful of AA bloggers who consistently support and fully appreciate Arsene, whereas the majority of bloggers are either 100% anti Arsene or flip flop based on individual results.

    I maintain that it’s an undertone more than a split.

  69. Bayonne Jean says:

    From AW pre match presser: Asked about the pizza fling episode at Old Toilet, his response was “It would make a good film.” Prodded further, he indicated “I know who I would give the role(s) to, and you know as well”

    -Who would you cast as the Purple Proboscis?
    -Who would you cast as AW?
    -Who would you cast as the thrower? (almost wrote “tosser”, but that would mean casting the entire ManUre retinue)
    -Any other roles where you have cast members in mind?
    -For dramatic effect, what toppings would be on the heaved pizza?

    And asked for his reaction to Lamela’s goal, which has Spud supporters all in a twitter, he had the perfect riposte:

    “I was watching another game…”

  70. RA says:

    Good afternoon, all you sexy and good looking people — well that would be Terrible Terry then. πŸ˜‰

    It is good to see that the Friday rumble is going well.

    In my flitting around other blog-sites I have arrived at the conclusion that there is a preponderance of disrespectful sentiments expressed about the manager, probably because of the unrealistic pre-season expectations that have now met with real life, in the form of some self confessed, disappointing levels of performances. (It is easy to forget that we have yet to lose).

    ‘Get over it’ – would be my advice to those who are fretting — it’s football – these things happen. πŸ™‚

    I have a sympathy for GN5’s politely phrased comment that anti-Arsene Wenger comments can be found almost anywhere, even here on AA, and surely he has the right to say that, even if some do not agree with him.

    The beauty of a civilised site is that others can politely say they disagree, if they want to. πŸ™‚

  71. kelsey says:


    What on November 5th πŸ™‚

  72. kelsey says:


    “yet to lose”.Think again my friend πŸ™‚

  73. Rasp says:

    GN5, for an undertone to exist we would have to be selective over the articles we publish and the authors we select – which we aren’t ……. or we’d have to exercise censorship over comments on the grounds of content – which we don’t.

    You are part of the site and you contribute to the general tone.Shard has just demonstrated beautifully how to deal with a comment with which he disagreed

    Undertone is not a word for those that disagree with your position but an allegation that we in somehow are exercising an agenda ….. not very fair I’d say.

  74. RA says:


    Oh, alright, you force me to face up to the reality that the evil Mourinho ‘personally’ beat us!!

    I have a mental block with that idiot.

    Anyway, it is good to see that you are back and firing on all cylinders, even if a lot of what you say is balderdash questionable. πŸ™‚

  75. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders, nice to see you, welcome back πŸ™‚

    We don’t censor anti-Arsene comments as long as the tone and the language is respectful. Would anyone seriously want us to?

  76. RA says:


    I am not sure why GN5 is being given a hard time.
    He expressed an opinion – so what? We all do it, without being lectured.

  77. RA says:


    I did not read GN5 to say that he wanted anyone censored – he was making an observation about a matter that does sit easily with him.

    Censorship is reprehensible, and provided that people make their comments, as you have pointed out, in accord with the site rules, there is no need to do so.

  78. Rasp says:

    Read back Redders ….

    GN5 wrote “Oops I forgot – one cannot compliment AW as everything is his fault and those of us who think differently are obviously wrong.”

    I replied with “GN5, there is no need for that. No one has told you you are wrong, they may have expressed a contrary opinion but that is a quite different thing”

    His response was “Rasp,

    Whether you want to believe it or not – even AA has an anti Arsene undertone…….always phrased nicely of course.”

    I have since explained the way the site is run and why there cannot possibly be an anti-Arsene undertone. It is a serious allegation about AA, we put a lot of effort into maintaining the unbiassed nature of the site so I think I have the right to explain our position.

  79. RA says:

    “that does sit easily” – should be – “that does not easily sit with him.

    I would also like to point out, GN5 has not asked me to speak up for him, and I may be wrong on all counts – and anyway, I would have charged him. πŸ˜‰

  80. RA says:

    Steady on, Rasper, that is known in the literary world as a piece of irony to make a point. Is all it wuz. πŸ™‚

    We have both done it.

    And, thank you for your welcome. πŸ™‚

  81. GunnerN5 says:


    You read far to much into a simple comment and have blown it out of all proportion.

    Undertone =
    A low or subdued utterance or accompanying sound.
    A quality underlying the surface of an utterance or action.

    I definitely believe that there is a subdued dislike of Arsene on AA.

    After every subdued performance by Arsenal there is an accompanying overreaction on AA, that invariably leads to AW being persecuted. Like it or not it’s a fact.


  82. Big Raddy says:

    Bayonne Good question.

    Proboscis: Mark Hughes
    AW: AW
    Thrower: JW
    Bloke who gets a good kicking: De Gea (needs to be out of action)
    Bloke who has to be held back: Santi Cazorla
    Referee cowering in the corner: Martin Atkinson
    Chap laughing: Ramsey
    Small bloke hiding behind Phil Jones as it kicks off: Januzaj
    Chap threatening to take on all-comers: Szczesny

  83. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Good to see you. Many have expressed how much they have missed ignoring your comments πŸ™‚

  84. kelsey says:

    Shard made a very valid point but we are talking about today,now, next week .

    No one is questioning what AW has done for the club in the past but there is definitely shall we say concern, in some quarters of the fan base.

    RA blogging is about opinions,facts and hunches to me.

  85. Rasp says:

    Guys, I’m pretty fed up with having to repeatedly point out that the site is not here to perfectly cater for the needs of any single one of you – yet I still get complaints about the way we do things.

    I’ve come pretty close to giving it all up recently. Maybe you’d prefer it if I just kept quiet behind the scenes apart from occasionally complimenting someone.

    Possibly people don’t like my comments because they are too definitive. Well believe it or not I also have opinions and once in a while I like to express them, but I really can’t be bothered any more.

  86. RA says:

    I know it is Friday but my last comment on the subject before I am invited OFF the site, lies in the meaning of what was intended.

    An ‘undertrone’ refers to a ‘feeling’ that there is an undercurrent of something.

    Others may disagree, because trying to quantify a person’s ‘feeling’ is very difficult, and that feeling may not equate with what another person feels.

    You may feel I am being disruptive, I may feel I am being discursive – both of us may be right – perhaps I am being both disruptive (unintentionally) and also discursive (intentionally).

    Neither ‘feeling’ is in breach of any of the AA rules. πŸ™‚

  87. GunnerN5 says:

    He will be happy now RA as he won’t have to chastise me any longer, I’ll sling my hook over a site that is far less judgmental……….

  88. Rasp says:

    I’m not accusing you or anyone else of anything Redders apart perhaps from expecting too much from a simple blog site that is run by the generosity of volunteers.

  89. RA says:


    Thank you, but I do not know why. And my friend Rasper may not agree with you. πŸ˜‰

    Rasp, i have often said how much I appreciate what you have done and still do for AA, and nothing has changed my mind on that – and i was itching to have a good old debate with someone – and you are always willing to speak your piece. Thank goodness.

    Perhaps I should have said what my intention was at the start, and perhaps too, a short time fighting the good fight on a couple of the sites has made me a little feisty.

    Sorry, if so.

  90. Shard says:


    It’s understandable that you have limited patience towards any allegations of favouritism, but I really do think that you are misunderstanding what GN5 said. I don’t think he implied that AA promotes an anti-Wenger stance. Merely that many on here have some anti-Wenger feelings bubbling under the surface.

    He might be right, or he might be wrong. But it has nothing to do with how the site is run. I also think that his use of sarcasm was not wrong and again, not aimed at the site or you.

    As for threatening to shut the site down, or shut up yourself. If you do that, I will wander around on the streets of London until I find you and make you listen to my attempts at playing Sikth on the guitar, until you are forced to relent just for your piece of mind πŸ˜›

  91. RA says:

    Whoa, GN5/Rasp,

    Please do not be offended, either of you – you are both an important and very necessary part of AA.

    Rasp was just stating the official blog policy, and GN5 had said nothing wrong, in my opinion.

    In trying to help both parties, I seem to have made little incident into something else, and screwed up.
    Sorry to you both.

    Listen, some people of my acquaintance have occasionally said (wrongly) that I am very intelligent and infuriatingly aggravating – well they were always wrong on the first part – and clearly always right on the second.

    You two stay – and I will sod off and harass the dark side. πŸ˜‰

  92. RA says:

    Anyway, with 100 responses so far today, it cannot all be bad. πŸ™‚

  93. RA says:

    What do you mean that I can’t count – it’s called optimism. πŸ™‚

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Rsp. Unlike you I have never considered stopping blogging on AA. I know you have many other pressing considerations upon your time and AA is purely an act of love.

    It is great that you have commented far more in recent times, we need your input


    you take things too much to heart (you are not the only one!!).

    There is no need (as I see it) to defend the ethics of the site nor the people who blog on it. We are all adults and if someone is unable to fight their corner it is not up to the moderators to protect them unless there is abuse, something I see very rarely on AA.

    All AA’ers think the same way …. we are immensely grateful that the site offers a place for safe blogging. Should you decide to walk away I will fully understand but sincerely hope it will not be for many a year.

  95. Shard says:


    When you say no one is questioning what Wenger has done in the past, I don’t think you are being correct. When a manager has faced years of allegations of being past it, when those allegations resurface a matter of months after winning a trophy in the first season that he finally had some money to spend on transfers, then I’d say there are plenty who are questioning what he has done.

    As for concern, I am concerned too. Wenger also said that he was concerned. We should be better, and I can understand why some have lost patience. I think it is mainly to do with the sameness. Always qualifying for the CL now depresses people, while the likes of Liverpool or Spurs rejoice in it. Because we always manage to do it. Wenger’s ‘faults’ and weaknesses are now too familiar because they are obsessed over every week for years. Sometimes they aren’t even true. Just truisms.

    So what do we want in a new manager? Someone who organises the defense better? Someone who’ll just go out and buy players? Someone who’ll trust his players less, and just assign them roles to perform on the pitch. Fine. Do all that, and while things might be different, I doubt it’ll make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. Wenger has strengths too you know, which someone with different strengths will struggle to replicate. While everyone seems intent to discount it because he dares to be different, I’d venture that Wenger’s uniqueness, while often frustrating, will be what gets us to bridge the still consequential gap between what we can spend compared to some other clubs.

    And while this is a matter of personal taste, I find it quite incredible that people are willing to give up on the manager just barely into this new era for our club, when he gave so much to get us here. Like I said, even richer clubs took 3 years of spending above others to win the league. The fact that it’s barely over a year that we’ve entered a similar phase and even those who profess to love Wenger are willing to write him off, tells me that it is yet again, about the past, rather than about the now or next week.

  96. Rasp says:

    Thank you for your kind words Shard, I would never ‘shut the site down’ even if I could – there are many others who keep it going. You are probably unaware of the number of times I’ve had to defend what we do on here in the last 5 years. Its not just the comments, its dealing with complaining emails and massaging egos.

    Redders, nothing personal – it never is with you πŸ˜›

  97. RA says:

    Hi, Shard,

    It’s all your fault – if you had turned up earlier i could have teased you instead of upsetting both GN5 and Rasper. πŸ˜€


  98. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Where is the Dark Side? Is it a society like the Hellfire Club? I want to go there

  99. Shard says:


    We know RA is a big hulking midwestern cowboy/farmer. He’s maintained his disguise well over the years on AA but has finally let it slip. He’s going to harass Darkseid, because he is in fact……….Superman. Hence the name Red Arse too.

    Now, what were you saying about teasing me Mr Clark Kent? πŸ™‚

  100. RA says:


    I am glad that after all this time you know me well. I am your biggest fan, and have also said that before too. πŸ™‚

    It would be an insult for me or anyone else to take you for granted, and in my case, I have withdrawn from Posting, as you know, so that would be even more ironic if I did put you off being the driving force of AA along with Peaches and Raddy et al.

    Have a drink (at least you have that – moi – I am not allowed to, and I am sick (strange word in the circumstances) of having so many blood treatments!

    You will feel much better tomorrow. πŸ˜€

    Raddish is right, by the way, listen to our Hippy – RKB – Raddish Knows Best.

  101. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. You are on fire today. Some great comments.

    RA. You haven’t answered my question Oh and I haven’t forgotten my promise, I have technical difficulties which will soon be conquered.

  102. RA says:

    By the way, it is now 101 hits! πŸ™‚

  103. RA says:

    I am pleased to hear that Raddy – I am very selective in my musical tastes and you have a style of singing/performing that should have had a much wider audience. C’est la vie. πŸ™‚

  104. PHEW… reading through the comments it got a bit hairy there…. oh no, the hairy one is Kelsey πŸ™‚

    This is a bloody good site, I sometimes see some heated debate but it always seems to be conducted calmly and without insults. I only visit three other Arsenal blogs but the banter on here is some of the best.
    RA… when we meet up then you won’t be joining me with a bottle of wine 😦 but I’m sure your company will be intoxicating enough πŸ™‚

    Big Raddy…. the dark side is up a sore arse πŸ™‚

  105. kelsey says:


    I respect your opinion as I do thers but just don’t agree, and there was no need for the sarcasm at the end of your comment, which wasn’t the first time.

  106. RA says:


    I cannot answer your question about the ‘dark side’ I am afraid.

    It is a place with no soul, and you would have to wear shorts over your pants as well – and they do not allow you to stuff socks down the front – some of us have no need – and it is essential to disport yourself well. πŸ™‚

    So, you leave my red jock shorts out of this, Shard. πŸ™‚

  107. People can be as sarcastic to me as much as they like…. sarcasm goes right over my head πŸ™‚ I’m a bit like Sheldon in Big Bang Theory. And If someone tells me I’ve been sarcastic thet it was purely by mistake. πŸ™‚

  108. Eddie says:

    shard at 6:06. I am in total agreement, BUT let’s look at Mourinho. How the hell does he do it? How many league titles and CL titles he won in 12 years in 4 different countries? And Porto was not a wealthy club during his reign there

    As much as it hurts me to say that, Mourinho is a better manager than Wenger, probably the best in the world. I still don’t want him at the Ems though, but cannot justify why, I just don’t

  109. RA says:


    I am sorry that I missed your comment earlier, as I was concerned to apologise to Rasp and GN5.

    Anyway, you and GN5 are institutions on AA .

    The comments from both of you chime with many people on here, and you must surely know that I have always delighted in chatting with you both.

    In your case I was being cheeky with my comment. It was intended to be funny – but I am not doing to well today, am I? 😦

  110. Shard says:


    I didn’t intend to be sarcastic towards you. That’s genuinely just the way I write. It’s not like I put much thought in it, and while you may find this hard to believe, I respect you as an Arsenal fan.

    As regards the point in itself though. Do you still disagree that it isn’t about the past with Wenger and his detractors? Because while I obviously do not know whether we will win or not, I see this as a new era for our club, and based on his track record, his weaknesses notwithstanding, I think 3 years is not an unreasonable length of time for Wenger to have.

  111. Shard says:


    Mourinho is an entirely different sort of manager to Wenger. Better or worse doesn’t get into it. If we had Mourinho as manager at any time in the past decade, where do you think we would be today as a club?

  112. GunnerN5 says:

    RA you are and always have been a total gent who has my utmost respect. You have not upset me in the least and I’m very happy to see you back blogging.

  113. RA says:


    i am looking forward to meeting up with you in the Sud – [it will have to be in the Spring now] and you are right, I am just as gabby and up for a laugh with or without alcohol, and you are a genuinely funny guy – we will have to get Terry and Glic to come as well. πŸ™‚

    This site is excellent and so is yours – (are you listening, Rasper, my darling?) In a purely heterosexual way – obviously! πŸ˜€

  114. RA says:

    That is a relief, GN5 – and I hope you and Rasp will remain friends – despite me! πŸ™‚

  115. kelsey says:


    There have always been detractors in the near 60 years I have supported Arsenal in good times and bad.

    Of course 3 years is not an unreasonable time but I have my doubts that he will stay the course.

    I can’t keep going over the same things that many others have stated but I honestly believe his judgement is not as it was and that could have an impact as to how the players perform. We will see, so lets leave it there.

  116. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, Nice one BR,
    Pundits and commentators ex Arsenal or not, not many sing Arsenals praises, but usually they are all ex players and all though many talk for the sake of it they do like to see goals .

    I see some supporters are arguing amongst themselves that we need change and some say it will come out in the wash, if you believe the other nights game was acceptable for a team of our standing, then you and i have different meanings of a well planned match.

    Arsenal have not played the same since the invincible’s Pundits and commentators alike had never witnessed history such as that, and many will never see it again, but it has to be said that was a long time ago and a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.

    We all realise that for many years we have pennypinched so what the manager and staff have achieved in those years is really amazing.

    Today we are in the market for players , we are one of the big boys again in the market, two seasons that has been the case and i find it refreshing to see quality players coming in.

    Now although we have players we are still suffering massively from injuries, Now most supporters would argue that all clubs are the same but i would like to say that nearly all ours are long time injuries.

    Of course the manager is not to know at the start of the season who or what position will suffer so it must be quite hard to tell what cover is needed.

    Many of us believe that a position with little cover will in sods law be the first position that it will happen, Defensive midfield is one of those positions. We have Flamster Arteta Diaby who lets face it are not spring chickens, so the chances of one or two even the three of them to be injured as it has and Wilshere who tackles once in 5 games ends up there, now that cannot be right.

    Wilshere like Ramsey have injury problems weaknesses that come round only to often Gnabry also a walking wounded Walcott how long will he be playing should he get through his reserve match.

    Debuchy joins plays a few games and is out for ever, Ospina played once injured for 3 months . Marquee players are not imune either Ozil shags his mates wife and his out for 3 months.

    Injuries we suffer is horrendous, excuses for injury for as long back as i can remember, Arsene has not found the reason and that is what he needs to do before we win the Premier.

    Commentators and Pundits know as well as we do can’t field a complete first team wins you very little.

  117. GunnerN5 says:


    I have never said or even implied anything negative about yourself or the manner in which AA is run, However I do take umbrage with a few of the bloggers – and they are very aware of that fact.

    Over the years I have done my level best to assist you and have been very complimentary of the work you have done,

    I’ve also authored over 100 articles in an effort to show my support.

    Your attack on me today was both unwarranted and unacceptable, I was simply making a point (in keeping with your ethos) and you took it on yourself to assume that it was on attack on both you and the site – when nothing was further from the truth.

  118. RA says:

    Before I go, this was posted on another site, and pretty much sums up what fandom means to some – well, me.

    — “I wonder if I am alone in feeling out of step with the footie world around me, or are there others out there who are equally bewildered by all the rage, vituperation and bile which is vomited at the club, the players and the manager – and dare I say it, at other fans too?

    I am just a fan. Specifically an Arsenal fan – I have known no other footballing state of being, and I will always be an Arsenal fan. Always!

    Am I an expert in running a football club? No!
    An expert in selecting the best players? No!
    Am I an accomplished, experienced manager who can easily tell why, when and how Mr Wenger makes mistakes in team selection, tactics, or man-management? No!

    Then what the hell am I?

    Well, I am just a fan. Not a good fan, or a bad fan, or somehow a better supporter than any other fan.

    You might say I am a simple β€˜binary’ fan, with only two states;

    [1] Is my state of exultation as Arsenal win.
    [0] Is my state of despair if Arsenal lose.

    That’s it – 0/1 β€” Zero/One — On/Off.
    Everything else is pretty much irrelevant.

    I blog for the companionship and enjoyment of other Arsenal fans – to chat – to be amused – to brag about our wins – to commiserate about our losses – and look forward, with hope, to the next game.

    I do not want to moan, or β€˜listen’ to other fans moaning, but, for reasons beyond my ken, many sites are full of people who seem to enjoy doing so – and in a free world who am I to argue with that?”

    Good night, guys. Sorry, again, for causing a glitch in the smooth running of the site. 😦

  119. Shard says:


    Could Wenger have demanded more funds, or at least placed the responsibility on the board? Could he have walked? Both things Mourinho would have done. Wenger had offers from Barcelona in 2002. He must have had a lot more after 2004. Bayern Munich say they always discuss Wenger whenever they change managers, including the time they appointed Pep. Real Madrid wanted Wenger before they hired Mourinho. PSG wanted Wenger, (and Mourinho recently boasted that they wanted him before Ancelotti – since Ancelotti’s success at Real reflects badly on Jose who’s time there was a failure)

    Better manager? I don’t think so. Give Wenger the money Mourinho has had, take away his responsibility towards his club’s future, and take away all intentions of playing a fair and beautiful game, and I am certain he’ll do better than Mourinho has done. But he’s not a tw** in it for self glorification to make up for his insecurities, he loves Arsenal, and he sacrificed himself for our betterment. If Mourinho can stay at a club for more than 5 years and build and rebuild a team without outspending everyone, then maybe we can start to compare them. Till then, I’ll remain forever glad that we had Wenger at the club, and grateful for what he’s done.

    PS. Porto won the Cl in a mad mad year. Monaco (not the Russian finded kind) were their final opponents. Deportivo overturned a 4 goal deficit to beat the (then) mighty Milan, we (our invincibles) lost to Chelsea to a last minute Wayne Bridge goal, which if scored today would lead to meltdown and allegations of mental weakness.

    PPS. Porto are wealthy without being wealthy because they make use of the Third Party Ownership system, to have players on their books that they cannot afford. Mourinho’s agent is a powerful mover in the South American-Portuguese TPO market and potentially, he virtually decides the destination of the title. Fifa is working on banning TPO.

  120. Big Raddy says:

    Steve. I have yet to read a single comment which stated Weds night’s performance was acceptable.

    We were crap but as Kipling says

    “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same”

    It is a question of perspective. We played crap but won, sometimes we play crap and lose. What is important is that we try to play the game the way it should be played – with artistry and an attempt to win by playing great football.

  121. Big Raddy says:

    RA. That is a fine comment. Who wrote it?

  122. Eddie says:

    I should have fecking known better than to take on Shard of all bloggers!!

    Righty oh, before Eastenders start at 8 – the fact that Wenger has been considered by other clubs before Mourinho does not make Wenger a better manager. The fact that those clubs chose someone else altogether doesn’t make Wenger a worse manager. It just means that the selection criteria were met but Mr X.

    Wenger might be more astute (some would call him Scroodge) than Mourinho, but so what? A manager should concentrate on football not on the money matters, in fact he should stay clear of it.

    As for him sacrificing himself for us – come on Shard, surely you don’t mean that?

    how did you know the PPS – by heart or did you google it?

  123. Shard says:


    If Wenger doesn’t stay the course with Arsenal, I fully expect him to sign for PSG or one of the more traditional giants, and win the CL with them. I believe winning the CL is a burning ambition for him, and given the fact that he gave up consistently challenging for it to stay with us and see us through our lean years, it saddens me that our fans aren’t more willing to stick by him, regardless of what his faults and weaknesses might be.

  124. Big Raddy

    I believe that fine comment was written on Positively Arsenal by a commetator. It sums up many Arsenal fans I think.

  125. Shard says:


    TPO is a fact of life in Iberia. Most Spanish clubs are against banning it since they rely on the ‘non-affordable’ footballers to live with the giants there. The only way they’ll survive without TPO is if the Spanish League rights are distributed more equitably. Something both those clubs continue to oppose. Now that they are both in debt and/or under the scanner of the EU in terms of using government funds, FIFA might have more leverage to push through a ban on TPO after reorganising the TV rights issue.

    Portuguese clubs make use of TPO too. Among them, Deco, who followed Mourinho to Chelsea. Also among them, Falcao, who moved to Atletico Madrid from Porto, who Monaco paid 50m for, (of which Atletico received only a tiny percentage). He is probably no longer owned by a third party since PL rules forbid it (The Tevez/West Ham affair) although maybe it is a loan for that reason since there might be a loophole in there.

    And yes Eddie. I mean it. I am sure he doesn’t regard it as a sacrifice actually. He didn’t do it just for us obviously, but he could have left us in the lurch at any time just before, or during the stadium project. He knew it would mean missing out on growth on his personal CV. But he chose to stay and is something we should be grateful for.

  126. RA says:


    Me, under another name! πŸ˜‰

  127. Shard says:

    A manager should stay clear of money matters. Only works if you have responsible owners and CEOs in charge. Some managers like Harry Redknapp seem to be especially favoured by owners who seem to bleed their clubs dry and leave them bankrupt.

    I don’t believe it is possible to isolate the manager from the finances. Not even video games do that Evonne. πŸ™‚

  128. Eddie says:

    Wenger stayed with us for his own reasons and we can only speculate what they were. Description of a sacrifice doesn’t fit with a chore that pays Β£4mil+ pa. He must have considered other jobs or offers and has decided that he has more chances of winning a trophy with us then with any other club. Or perhaps he knew that nowhere else he will have free hand in all aspects of the running of a club. Or his demands were not met by other teams. Who knows?

  129. Shard says:


    Yup. Who knows? And of course he didn’t ‘sacrifice’ himself. But he absolutely would have known that the chance of adding trophies (by which you and many others seem too willing to gauge the better manager) would be reduced with Arsenal. In that sense he sacrificed himself.

    Like I said, I doubt he’ll see it as a sacrifice, since he doesn’t seem to care about that sort of thing but relies more on internal motivations (paraphrasing..but his words), but his lack of trophies while someone else wins them in different circumstances with different objectives, should not be seen as a sign of inferior management either.

    Personally, I don’t think Mourinho can do what Wenger has done over the years, while Wenger has shown in the past in his early years with Arsenal and before that with Monaco, that he can do what Mourinho has done, on a much lesser budget (even though his early Arsenal teams were built through spending money)

    But in the end, it is all a personal opinion since there is no way to compare absolutely.

  130. Eddie says:

    very wise words shard, the last paragraph πŸ™‚

    I don’t care much for trophies, but to get a trophy you have to be better than other teams. We have very few trophies of late, which would indicate to me that we are not as good as other teams. And that is what hurts me – I don’t want to be forever in the shadow of the likes of Chelsea, City, United and the only fun I have is taunting spurs that they are in our shadow.

    I would love us to step out of the shadow, but it is not happening, is it?

  131. Shard says:

    It is. Arsenal’s rise is bound to happen. We’re now truly in the big leagues money wise, and that will start to show on the field too.

    Arsenal’s successes even beyond the Wenger years will owe a large part to him and his management. Good managers build trophy winning sides. Only the great managers build trophy winning clubs. πŸ™‚

    Enjoy Eastenders πŸ˜›

  132. Rasp says:

    GN5, I’ve always been very appreciative of your fantastic input to the blog and if you read back I’m sure you will see that I didn’t attack you.

    That’s me done now.

  133. arnie says:

    Brilliant stuff, Raddy. πŸ™‚ what a day’s blogging as well.

    I thought I had my early take on a rant, and ruffled enough feathers. Now I regret not being around much of the day.

    This Maureen-Wenger comparison is a bit strange. Chalk and cheese, as far as I am concerned. Maureen is a fantastic strategist and manager, and Wenger is as well. About their relative qualities as manager one may argue till the cows come home.

    But what Wenger will be remembered as is as an innovator, finding new ways to play the game and conduct a club. He is like the inventor of the laptop and Maureen is an expert programmer. If you see what I mean.

    Great comments all day from everyone, particularly Shard and Redders. Welcome back Redders.

    GN5 and Rasp, we all love you both. This is the space for you fantastic guys, and this space would be much reduced without your contributions. Long may these continue.

  134. aizedlittlemozart says:

    WoW!!! Just WoW!!! best comments roll i’ve read in a while on AA.

    evening all, been a while. I’m at a professional crossroads of sorts so have had very little time. I still read all posts & comments though.

    good comments-inducing post BR.

    Shard is now officially my best friend on AA *sorry BR*this Doc ain’t loyal*

    Shard- I agree with every, EVERY comment you have dropped today.

    Wenger did say *cant find link* that he was approached by Real three times!! that’s arguably the greatest club in the world going for our manager, 3 times!

    He was also the manager of the decade, during our trophyless period. Says a lot too.

    Look, I know he has his faults, but I really do believe, (unlike you here Shard), that he literally sacrificed for The Arsenal. he made a concious decision to stay with us knowing what it meant. The one thing I concede that he did not predict & which scrambled all permutations was the arrival of the oil, moneyLook, I know he has his faults, but I really do believe, (unlike you here Shard), that he literally sacrificed for The Arsenal. he made a concious decision to stay with us knowing what it meant. The Look, I know he has his faults, but I really do believe, (unlike you here Shard), that he literally sacrificed for The Arsenal. he made a concious decision to stay with us knowing what it meant. The one thing I concede that he did not predict & which scrambled all permutations was the arrival of the oil, moneyLook, I know he has his faults, but I really do believe, (unlike you here Shard), that he literally sacrificed for The Arsenal. he made a concious decision to stay with us knowing what it meant. The one t

  135. aizedlittlemozart says:

    WoW!!! Just WoW!!! best comments roll i’ve read in a while on AA.

    evening all, been a while. I’m at a professional crossroads of sorts so have had very little time. I still read all posts & comments though.

    good comments-inducing post BR.

    Shard is now officially my best friend on AA *sorry BR*this Doc ain’t loyal*

    Shard- I agree with every, EVERY comment you have dropped today.

    Wenger did say *cant find link* that he was approached by Real three times!! that’s arguably the greatest club in the world going for our manager, 3 times!

    He was also the manager of the decade, during our trophyless period. Says a lot too.

    Look, I know he has his faults, but I really do believe, (unlike you here Shard), that he literally sacrificed for The Arsenal. he made a concious decision to stay with us knowing what it meant. The one thing I concede that he did not predict & which scrambled all permutations was the arrival of the oil, moneybags .

    we know he sees out his contracts, so he WILL see out this 3 years. & i’m absolutely glad we’ve got him.

    PS. this might sound clichΓ©, but i’ve got my eyes on next season. it will be magical!!

  136. aizedlittlemozart says:

    sorry about the 1st scrambled comment, happens to me all the time

  137. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    Here’s astory from Amy Lawrence about Arsene Wenger that makes him different.

    When Edu first arrived at Arsenal his Mum was ill, Arsene told him not to worry about the football, always asked how his family was and gave him the time or encouragement to go home because something’s are more important. There were a lot of rumours that when we signed Edu his non appearance in an Arsenal shirt was because we bought the wrong one, and he wasn’t good enough, but no it was Arsene being Arsene and he should be celebrated for it.

  138. Big Raddy says:

    Another thing . Wenger builds a club, can the same be said of the eye-gouger?

    Mozart. I am hugely disappointed by your lack of loyalty 😦

  139. Shard says:

    Don’t listen to Raddy, aized. We’ll get along swimmingly πŸ™‚

  140. aizedlittlemozart says:

    AhA shard, but alas, I can’t “swim”, I fear I have Lead bones & will hit rock bottom faster than the nay sayers scream blue murder after an arsenal draw /loss. Nevertheless, I see a future full of agreements for us on AA. πŸ™‚

    BR, join the camp of Master Venger & I shall prove my loyalty beyond doubt *hahahaaahaha!!!!!*

    & BR, about building teams, seems only ancelotti was able to break the post-maureen hoodoo on the clubs he leaves with Madrid & the Decima. does that say more about ancelotti’s tact or the incompetence of the others who have come after the eye-plucker at his other clubs?

  141. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    Well that was some blogging last night.I don’t want to get to heavy with this,especially so early in the morning but it is no secret that GN5 and I are friends, sort of pen pal friends.

    We have nearly opposite views about AW and Arsenal in general and the same applied to the late dandan, but we respect each others opinions.Isn’t that what blogging is all about.

  142. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Dwarves and midgets have very little in common.

    And it’s Gameday – so I had better start writing

  143. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. You are another early-riser (so your wife tells me πŸ™‚ )

  144. chas says:
  145. chas says:
  146. chas says:

  147. chas says:

    Are the Everest rock chippings sedimentary?

  148. chas says:

  149. chas says:

    stereoscope photos

  150. Big Raddy says:

    chas. You are on top form but no Beatles pics?

  151. Big Raddy says:

    The stereoscope is spooky

  152. chas says:

  153. chas says:

  154. chas says:

    I hope I get a bit of this today.

  155. Big Raddy says:

    What kind of person puts a huge plastic fish in their hall?

  156. RA says:

    Whoever the fish person is they have class.

    A fish with a tie – says it all. Respect! πŸ™‚

    Good morning, dudes.

  157. kelsey says:

    let me know when I can talk about today’s game πŸ™‚

  158. Eddie says:

    I won!!! Every flipping morning I have to wrestle my dogs for a seat on the setee, the buggers won’t budge

    no point asking DidIt if we should be worried today so I will worry anyway

  159. Eddie says:

    go Kelsey, go!!!

  160. Eddie says:

    chas- how do I stop those photos shaking? they give me a headache

    The whole Pistorious thing is so disgusting that I cannot even laugh at the jokes. Tell me, anybody – you wake up at night, the person next to you is not in bed and you can hear the noises from the toilet. What do you think?

  161. chas says:

    Shouldn’t have had that curry?

  162. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. wait until the pre.match goes up. No need for repetition

  163. kelsey says:

    you have e mail, eddie

  164. Big Raddy says:

    Eddie. Dogs should never be allowed into furniture because when they go to other peoples homes they repeat the behaviour and when that happens in my home I get very, very unhappy.

  165. kelsey says:

    As you say ,bald eagle πŸ™‚

    Actually I was going to make some observations as to who should play and who shouldn’t.

    chas, are you going ?

  166. Eddie says:

    chas – exactly! And unless it was your curry she ate, you don’t start gunning them down

    Kels – reply on its way πŸ™‚

  167. chas says:

    yes, kelsey, pick up in 5 mins.

  168. kelsey says:

    Wrong Raddy.

    It is how you bring them up and train them.We only had six dogs in Spain .

    Many dog lovers put dogs before before people and many let their dogs sleep in or on their bed.

  169. kelsey says:

    Hope it is a pleasant experience chas. I reckon the stadium will be half full at best.

  170. arnie says:

    motning all. lovely batner. great pics, Chas.

    Lovely day’s blogging yesterday. Matchday!!!!!!!! πŸ™‚

  171. Eddie says:

    that’s ok Raddy, they don’t go to other homes πŸ™‚ they are a pain in the neck, so cuddly and loving, and pleading that I cannot refuse them πŸ™‚ but then they take liberties and don’t let ME sit on the settee, I have to bribe them with chicken! monsters. Pug sleeps in bed sometimes, but he is not really a dog. Even Peaches, who is not a great dog lover, allows her daughters pug to sleep in bed πŸ™‚

    enjoy the trip monster !!

  172. arnie says:

    My favourite contemporary film director is Alejandro Jodorowsky. Well, Tarantino and Greenaway as well.

    Anyway, AJ is a maverick creator, and innovator par excellence. His best ever creation, a film called ‘Dune’ was never made, so it was unsuccessful. But it will still probably be known in the history of film making as one of the greatest movies ever, made or not made.

    That to me is creation or innovation.

  173. Eddie says:

    arnie – never mind lovely, do you really think that Wenger is a better manager than Mourinho? And don’t give me the building the team and stadium, Mourinho did everything he could to get the team win games. I hate the guy, but I truly believe that he is the best tacticial out there.

  174. Big Raddy says:

    kelsey. I know you have enormous experience of the wonder of dogs. I have lived with dogs all my life (until coming here) and education is all. An obedient dog is both happy in itself and a joy to others.

    Eddie. Will you please stop this Me-rinho is better than AW crap. IF AW had taken the RM, Inter, Barca, BM, PSG jobs that he has been offered over the years he would have won far more silverware than the eye-gouger.

    And you know it ……

  175. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    Eddie blinding comment on Pistorious.
    As Gerald Nabaro stated Justice is what you can afford.

    Certain people get away with murder thats for sure, Princess Dianna Murdered, all the world knows that, and her boyfriend but who killed them runs free a brought and paid for killer that drove out of the tunnel never to be seen again.

    Surprisingly Dianna was still alive, but the Ambulance drove round for an hour looking for a hospital and couldn’t find one till she died.

    You couldn’t make these stories up if you tried.
    Pistorious case shows that justice will never be served the same as the American J Simpson, got money and you can buy anything you want.

    Animals on furniture, i dont like animals in houses, Animals should be free to roam the planet unless they endanger us and then they should get the treatment Pistorios and J simpson and Dianna’s killer didn’t get, A very slow Death

  176. Eddie says:

    no I don’t Raddy. I don’t know that Wenger was offered jobs at RM, Inter, Barca, BM, PSG – that is news to me. There were speculations that he was considered for those positions, but offers of jobs – nope, didn’t hear that one.

    Like I said – I hate Mourinho, but it is my opinion that he is a better tactician than Wenger

  177. GΓΆΓΆner In Exile says:

    Surely Dune was only a remake.

    Most creative film directors in my book are Nolan and Del Toro. Very hard to pick a bad film and Nolan is a Hollywood political tactician. “Yeah I’ll do Batman, has to be my way, and you have to give me the budget to make Inception”.

    But Del Toro…..just watch Pans Labyrinth, it’s subtitled from Spanish but it is an amazing film.

  178. arnie says:

    Evonne. About whether Wenger is a better manager than Maureen the jury is still out. I would say yes, but others may feel No. However, managing a team is like conducting an orchestra.

    Wenger’s greatest contribution to the game is not in managing and strategy. It is in bringing new innovation to the game. It is like creating the symphony that then is conducted at a performance.

    Was Beethoven the greatest conductor of his music? Certainly not, but does that make his contribution less? In fact, they will be known long after any individual conductor is gone.

    That, to me, is the difference between Wenger and Maureen. Wenger is a fantastic innovator, a bit of a maverick genius. At the end of his career, when we wants to do his final experiment to try and create a fantastic new way of playing the game, some people wants to kick him out. That is unfair by me!

    He has to have his chances, as many as he wants, because he is a genius!

  179. Eddie says:

    GiE πŸ™‚

  180. arnie says:

    That does not mean I will not be critical of the performance of our team, or Wenger’s decisions as a manager. As an innovator, he is par excellence!

  181. arnie says:

    GiE. David Lynch’s Dune was a remake. Jodorowsky’s Dune was planned in 1975, never made.

  182. arnie says:

    I like Nolan, but not my favourite! πŸ˜›

  183. Eddie says:

    arnie – same here. I don’t like the fact that I am at the stage that I blame Wenger for all the problems at the club, even if it is blatantly not his fault. I doubt he will achieve his aim if it really is to innovate a new way to play the ball. Neither will he win the CL.

  184. stevepalmer1 says:

    Managers are judged on their teams performances, They are sacked on a regular basis, I don’t think that what a manager has done in the past has much to do with present day. Top football is about results and if a manager cannot get the best from a certain group of players and they are judged at being good then the tactics must be wrong.

    Wenger has my utmost respect but and there is always a but, If you cannot make the grade then your usefullness has come to an end. New idea’s new tactics have to be applied. Wenger is struggling of that i am certain, can he redeem himself and how long does he get is up to his boss, but performances like the other night is not doing his credibillity any good at all.

    Wenger has until the end of the season in my eyes, Kroenke may see it different, but then he is the governer.

  185. arnie says:

    No, not here, Eddie. I believe he will win the CL. Let us see. πŸ™‚

  186. Big Raddy says:

    Ooops. I forgot to publish the post.

    New post ……

  187. JΓ€mie says:

    Hi guys,

    Just to weigh in on the Wenger debate, I also think he may be past his expiry date as a manager. It’s not his fault that we have more injuries than most teams (and Diaby contributes his fair share of injuries). It’s not bad luck either, so I applaud the signing of the Germany fitness coach.

    The one point I do fault Wenger on is transfers and tactics. Firstly, going into a season with two established CBs was not a wise choice. You could understand that if he planned to blood in some youth players, but if playing Monreal at CB was your plan, then its not a good plan.

    On the tactical front, football has evolved a lot. Now managers with weaker teams win games with tactics that basically attempt to exploit the other team’s weakness(es). Whatever reason he has for playing Ramsey or Wilshere together, it’s clearly not working. coupled with his love for playing a #10 out wide, this only leads to a cluster of our players playing 5 yard passes on the edge of the opposition box. This then leads to our fullbacks having to provide the width by moving up. At this point, lose the ball, and hello counter attack.

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