In Praise of Arsène Wenger

As an Arsenal supporter for the past 67 years I want to thank Arsène for his dedication to the Arsenal Football Club and his devotion to playing a calibre of football that is envied the world over. His 18 seasons in charge of Arsenal have been a revelation to many of us older fans who have witnessed many, many dark years where our support of the club was tested to the fullest.

Football fans are among the most fickle in sport and many of them only seem to care about winning trophies in order to give then the upper hand in bragging rights over the opposition.  Thankfully there are also supporters who can see beyond a piece of silverware and fully appreciate the transformation of Arsenal into a truly world class club with world class facilities and one of the world’s top teams.

I’ve tried to understand the mentality of the anti Arsène Wenger segment of Arsenal supporters – but I just don’t get it! It’s also beyond my comprehension how Arsène stands tall and proud in face of the inane nonsense that is levelled at him regardless of his actual list of successes and achievements. A lesser individual would have accepted one of the many offers he has received from the world’s top clubs.

If we put aside the lack of silverware, for a mere eight year period, we are among the top four clubs in the UK and the top ten clubs in the world of football.  So why are so many of our supporters against the manager with the longest tenure in our history and the most successful from every statistical standpoint. They choose to ignore the fact that Arsène has won more silverware than any previous Arsenal manager and his haul has only been exceeded by one other PL manager in football league history.

In the ninety two years before Arsène became our manager we managed to get into the top four on only twenty eight occasions or less than 29% of the time – during Arsène Wenger’s 18 year tenure we have been in the top four 100% of the time. However instead of applauding this incredible feat his detractors theorize that he and the Board of Directors are complacent and are satisfied to only finish in the top four – because it brings us a modicum of financial security.

I wonder how many of our current detractors have experienced being out of the running of everything before the end of October?  Or winning just one league title and 2 FA Cups in a thirty four year period under the stewardship of six different managers?

There is always a lot of chit chat about our “glorious history” when in  fact many, many years were nothing more than hum drum under the management of thirteen rather ordinary managers – twelve of them never even won a coin toss let alone a trophy!.

Of course I have to agree that we have had a few glorious spells – under Chapman, Allison, Whittaker, Mee and Graham – but none as glorious as the Wenger years.

I won’t bother to list his record as that is well known and the envy of all other PL managers.

I am personally fed up to the teeth with the negative, unjustified, views that are expressed against both our club and our manager. Wading through the negative comments is a laborious chore and has turned blogging into an unpleasant experience, so as a consequence I choose to blog far less than before.

I also feel that the issue is not really about the quality of our football or the calibre of our players but all to do with the lack of trophies – which in the writer’s opinion is very shallow indeed.


232 Responses to In Praise of Arsène Wenger

  1. wally says:

    Wenger has been very good for Arsenal. No doubt whatsoever.

    And he does have his failings.

    Wenger’s failings aren’t worthy of criticism? Why not?

  2. Big Lebowski says:

    I have also been a supporter since 1956, I believe that you are born to a team. As long as the team go out and try their best to win that is all I ask of them. Silverware is a bonus.

  3. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Wally,

    I don’t disagree but I also feel that his achievements are taken for granted.

  4. Steve jones says:

    As a younger fan I still think arsene wenger is more than capable of winning another league title. I think it is remarkable how well he has done at times when money has been tight , the new stadium which came with debt and all of his star players being sold. No other manager could do as well as him with these restrictions. I think wenger has seen a light at the end of the tunnel by staying at arsenal following the fa cup win. He sees how he he is going to be financially backed so we can challenge.

  5. GunnerN5 says:

    Big Leb, I was certainly born to Arsenal – in 1937 on Avenell Road.

  6. GunnerN5 says:

    Steve, you are truly a revelation among the younger fans. Keep the faith mate.

  7. RA says:


    A brilliant exposition of what you stand for and your determined support of what you believe in.

    I lean heavily in favour of all you have written.

    That said, many of the people I really like are also inclined to occasionally whinge, or moan or complain about the manager and his recent unsuccessful efforts to win trophies.

    Therefore there must be a causal effect at play. I suspect that there is an age related element involved, tho’ as one is either young, middle-aged or an older person, and none of us can be all three at the same time, that is conjecture and hard to prove.

    Youngster do not know or care, perhaps, what happened in the past, and relate only to the here and now, and compare there team against the current ‘best’ teams and their success.

    Actually, I think because we are all so different, there are people more prone to moan than others. They are not lesser people or fans, (my slightly moany friends in many ways are far better than me) but they are made that way.

    It’s a mind set thing. Some guys are delighted that they have paid jobs in tough economic times, others complain because they have to get to work early or because they don’t like the boss.

    Oddly enough, the fans who revere their teams, often themselves complain about those who they see complaining about their team, maybe because the complainers are not seen to be up to the standards expected from other fans. A bit deep? 🙂

    The one thing that has struck me about my friends, some of whom say unkind things about Arsenal, is that I think they get so pent up about what they see as detrimental to their aspirations for the club, that complaining is a way of venting and is probably a good healthy safety valve – usually they argue and debate among themselves and eventually the subject changes to other things, when my eyes go crossed, after they have chewed the fat off the bones. 🙂

    It is all down to human nature, GN5, and will never change, and in this day and age anything perceived as censorious makes matters worse. 🙂

    When we win the premiership this season – and that’s straight from the horses mouth Terry, so it must be right – all will be well with the world, again. 🙂

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Lovely post.

    I too am a Wengerite and find the carping and calls for his head difficult. The criticism, however, is often well-deserved – our Leader is a mere mortal.

    Some of his substitutions are baffling as is his loyalty to certain players but over the 18 years I cannot think of a single manager I would rather have been at The Arsenal.

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning, and thank you, GN5.

    I was born in the year 1476, and have lived through some pretty tough times I can tell you. No Ipads or nothing back then, rubbish it was.

    Mind you, given the average age on this site, we’ve all lived through the darker Arsenal years you so rightly describe, and I doubt one regular on this site really had their “support of the club … tested”.

    We just got on with it, met our mates on Saturday, and had a good time.

    Can I assume that when you talk about “the issue is not really about the quality of our football or the calibre of our players but all to do with the lack of trophies”, you are referring to the broader spectrum of Arsenal fans, rather than on this site?

    Back to the age thing, I reckon that (speaking for myself here) I am desperate for a CL Title before I peg it, then I’ll shove off happy 🙂

  10. Big Raddy says:

    RA. If I wasn’t ignoring you I could commend you on a fine comment but …..

  11. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all, A very heartfelt post N5
    You are older than me N5 and you have been to many more games than me and over the years you have probably been a lot loyal than i have been but where we seem to agree is how Arsenal have gone up in peoples appreciation since they were fiddled into the first division all those years ago.

    I believe that football hasn’t changed to much over the years fiddles happened then, and i am positive fiddles are still rife now, but your post is not about the credibility of football, its about a Man that came here all those years ago and was installed to lead Arsenal for the future.

    Many believe like you, that Arsene Wenger has been Magnificent for Arsenal, Many also like you, believe he is the best that we have had, I wouldn’t disagree with that, Top fours consecutive is a measure of the man’s consistency, and should never be forgotten.

    People like you and me, never will forget Wengers tenure here, How he was here to be part of the move from the marble halls to a hundred odd yards down the road which allowed another 30.000 to be seated and watch football in comfort in the most up to date stadia money could buy, All bloody great, but could we have done better, could Arsene had done better, Well of course he could. we would be foolish to say he did the best job he could have done.

    In fact we could have been top, not top 4 Ferguson did on several occasions we could have won titles lots of titles, cups and lots of them we could have been Champions league winners we have had seventeen consecutive seasons in it but still not looked like winning it, Yes the truth of the matter is that Wenger could have done a lot lot better but he didn’t, and that is the rub. Could somebody else had done better most certainly but who would it have been.

    As yesterdays post suggested, could our play this season be better than what it is, could another Manager motivated the players better could another Managers tactics be better, well of course they could have been, we are not stupid, we know we should be better, we know the performances are not good enough’ we know the players can play better, and we also know results should be better as well.

    20 teams in the Premier, and they all think their team should be better, but that is the same every season. All managers have a life span and the trick is finding when its time for change, is it now, next season or 8 years ago who knows , but being an Arsenal supporter all these years tells us of course things could be better, but they could also have been a lot worse as well.

    The secret is to never let your heart rule your head, change will come for better or worse, but come it will, whether we like it or not.

  12. Rasp says:

    Thanks for a very personal and passionate post GN5. Like Raddy I applaud RA’s response.

    There is nothing to disagree with because you are giving your opinion and by now we all know your standpoint is rock solid.

    I agree that Arsene has been our greatest manager and everything we have achieved in the last 18 years is down to him – I doubt any other manager would have had his vision and drive (and broad shoulders!)

    One of the most difficult decisions for a player, a manager or in any walk of life, is choosing the right time to walk away from something that has been so important to you. By the time we get to the end of his next 3 years, we will know if Arsene has made the right decision to continue.

    So I think Arsene, Micky and I all agree that winning the Champion’s League would be the absolute icing on the cake and a fitting climax to a magnificent career – unfortunately the way the team has played this season suggests we are a long way from that goal. In yesterday’s poll, two thirds of respondents thought that the team was performing at below 70% of its potential. It seems to me we are on our way to another reasonably comfortable top 4 finish – but surely we all hope for more than that?

  13. mickydidit89 says:

    On the Arsene specific issue, I have to say I wish he had stood down after the Cup win. Here’s why.

    I really want him to go out on a high. It was while watching the Anderlecht game in Belgium that something really dawned on me. The team were playing very badly, and instead of feeling sorry for myself, or my team, I was feeling sorry for the Manager, and I just though “this is a bad sign”.

    I think with levels of expectation in the modern game (and ludicrous money sloshing around has certainly changed those expectations), he’s going to find it hard to top an FAC Win in the next three years.

    Of course it’s possible, but blimey we’re up against it money wise.

    He certainly deserves to go out on a high. Fingers crossed.

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    Bloody hell Raddy

    The perfect time to ignore RA was immediately after he had submitted a thesis. That was an opportunity missed 🙂

    (oh, ok, good comment RA 😦 )

  15. GunnerN5 says:


    Thank you for your comments you are. as usual, correct in your feelings.

    Each to his own I guess, but I felt a need to give a voice to those of us who don’t see a bad loss. a poor draw. a gutsy win, or a poor season as the end of the football club.

    I’ve seen enough bad managers at Arsenal to more than fill a lifetime so when people criticize AW I would just love them to have lived through the 1953 – 1969 period, 16 seasons, 668 league games, average position 9th, trophy’s zero, hope – non existent.

  16. GunnerN5 says:


    Be assured that my comments are about blogging in general and not AA specific. Although I only comment on 3 sites I scan others periodically and the overall flavour is not very tasty.

    Knee jerk reactions to specific games or decisions are particularly upsetting to me.

  17. RA says:

    You are fine by me, GN5 and everyone else here knows that someone born in 1937 within a stone’s throw of the old ground, is always going to be steeped in the club, and long may that be the case.

    I know I can bug the guys on here with my poncey comments, (and I have tried to tone it down in recent times) but it is a reflection on your fine Post that I wanted to try and respond in kind. 😀

    Back later.

  18. mickydidit89 says:


    Phew, thank goodness.

    I am not going to give you advice, but sticking to this site (or one of our chums like that NB bloke) and you don’t half avoid the riff raff 🙂

  19. Martin says:

    Scraping through the final of the FA cup last year after 10 years winning no silverware (and not forgetting that awful performance against Birmingham in another final a few years ago) meant that we are now suffering another 3 years of Wenger. The football is boring and one dimensional and has been for a few years now. There is an obvious lack of tactics and ideas in our displays. The squad this year is terribly lacking in defensive players as had been the case for a number of years now and he still holds on to useless players like Dialby,Rosicky,Podalski,etc who give us very little. I have been supporting the club for over 60 years now and obviously I enjoyed the first 10 years of his tenure at the club but the last 10 years have been frustrating and I hope he goes in 2017 so that a new younger manager with dynamic ideas can take over. Incidentally I do not feel that Arsenal can be truly recognised as a World class club until they win the Chamions League – a trophy they will never win under Wenger!

  20. GunnerN5 says:


    I most certainly wish and hope for better and would love to see a CL trophy before my time is up.

    I’m not blind to the shortcomings of our manager or some of our players, but I also feel that our home fans leave a whole lot to be desired. Having lived through so many hellish seasons even a bad game under AW seems like a treat to me.

    Our fan base have been spoiled by AW and they don’t seem to realize that the invincible’s were a once in a lifetime team. When they started to leave the team our results waned and other clubs stated to lure in the best talent by using their limitless bank accounts.

    Arsene has been a total power house of a manager and simply deserves more from the club’s supporters.

  21. GunnerN5 says:

    You are welcome to your opinion Martin but our views are obviously a world apart.

  22. mickydidit89 says:


    I think he deserves more backing from the club itself, and I’m talking financially, but that’s a subject for another post.

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    We are in the same boat Raddy but at least you find a way to express your opinions.

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    I think the evidence is clear Micky that even when he has had the money he will only spend when he finds a player who fits his needs at the right price.

    Other managers just spend, spend, spend which is obvious by the events at Spurs and Liverpool. Spending up to the limit of your budget does not solve the problem if the players available do not fill the bill.

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    Fair point GN5, but I think there were many times over the past years when the club should have adopted a higher risk financial model to really back the manager. As I said, it’s for another post, and as I’ve been away for a few days and am way behind with work, I cant go into that side now

  26. Rasp says:

    I’ve just been listening to a wonderful interview on the Danny Baker show on TalkSport with Bob ‘Primrose’ Wilson.

    His family history is fascinating and laced with tragedy. Two of his brothers were killed in WW2 – one a tail gunner in a Lancaster and the other a Spitfire pilot.

    He got his middle name from his grandfather who was a Scottish Methodist minister with the surname Primrose.

    I cannot find a link to a recording of the interview but will keep looking.

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    Rasp this is from my series on Arsenal`s top 50 players.

    7. Bob Wilson: 1963 – 1974

    Bob played for 11 years appearing in 308 games.

    Bob was born in Chesterfield, he was the youngest child of six and had much older brothers (and an elder sister); two of his brothers were killed in the Second World War, one as a Spitfire pilot and the other as a rear- gunner in a Lancaster.

    He was a late starter as a professional player, as his father would not let him sign papers with Manchester United as he thought it wasn’t a reasonable job whilst he was a youth. He played in reserve games for Wolves as an amateur and made his debut for Arsenal as an amateur, and was the first amateur to have a transfer fee paid (around £6,500).

    Bob was forced to bide his time as understudy to Jim Furnell, and his early appearances for the Club did little to suggest he would make the grade. But a combination of intelligence and sheer hard graft ensured that he seized his chance when it came in March 1968.

    He gained his first honour in 1970, the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. The following year Bob was an ever-present in Bertie Mee’s Double-winning side, gaining the Player of the Year honour. Two years later injury forced Wilson out of the Arsenal side but he recovered to claim back his No 1 jersey. He held it until his retirement at the age of 32.

    Wilson was goalkeeping coach for 28 years, working with Pat Jennings, John Lukic and David Seaman. He also forged a successful broadcasting career with the BBC and later ITV. In 2007 Bob received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) as recognition for his work in the Willow Foundation which was set up in memory of his daughter Anna who passed away in 1968.

    He made no bones about the deep-seated passion for the Arsenal having the N5 postcode on his car number plate.

  28. Rasp says:

    Thanks GN5, my memory is not what it used to be …. but the ‘Primrose’ bit is a new revelation 😛

  29. double canister says:

    Thanks GunnerN5
    You speak for the huge majority of the fans.
    Arsene Wenger has been (and still is) the best manager we have had since Herbert Chapman and like Chapman before him, he has revolutionised our club.

    To those who say he’s lost it – Last year’s FA cup, won the hard way, and the continuing team rebuild and genuine competitive edge we have got back now show that he’s still hungry for more success. These things don’t happen overnight, and the financials at the club have had to have been rebuilt. We are still playing catch up on City and Chelsea who have had 10 years of vast spending done while we had to live with the stadium debt.

  30. Jämie says:

    I fully believe Arsene has been our best manager in our history.

    My only problem is with those who support him stating coming fourth as an accomplishment. IMO, it’s not. If the lack of trophies in the last ten or so years doesn’t mean Wenger is no longer good enough, then, why should we make coming fourth such a big deal. Why should coming fourth make him a great manager.

    If you look at most competitions, being stagnant only leads to regression. Most teams that end up mid table for a few consecutive years soon find themselves fighting relegation. This is because they fail to aim higher that a midtable finish every year. Even when you go into the season with hopes of finishing higher, you still have a subconscious acceptance of that midtable finish, and you find yourself celebrating that mediocre finish.
    (Im sure you all remember our players celebrating coming fourth a couple seasons ago)

    In our case, consistently coming fourth isn’t a good thing. We need to slip out of this funk. Id rather go trophyless and lose the title on the last day because the winning team was simply better, and then work during the summer to fix up our squad holes and match up to that team than comfortably come fourth and win a cup, only to proceed to the new season with a recurring problem and create a new one for ourselves(selling Verm and not signing a replacement).

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Double canister, nice to hear from a supporter with the same feelings. I missed out on Herbert Chapman`s teams but they were always brought up among fireside chats with my dad and his brothers, as a young kid I used to listen in total awe.

  32. GunnerN5 says:


    Vermaelen wanted to leave due to his limited opportunities as we had a great pairing in Mertesacker and Koscielny, Arsene’s hand was tied and he obviously could not find an adequate replacement.

    What was he to do – buy for the sake of buying?



    Thank Zeus for GN5

    Couldn’t agree more GN5. The most successful manager we have ever had and the most influential since Herbert Chapman.

    I only wish I could take my admiration further, but alas, this unnecessary restraining order is a large millstone around my neck.

    I love Arsene. At night I am heard to cry “your wanted Arsene”, but unfortunately in my dream like state the words are mangled to “Want Arse”, invariably resulting in a rude awakening as the wifes fist makes contact with my considerably large hooter.

    I try to live my life by the Wenger code. Such is the extent of the mans influence on me. I am sure you are all the same,

    I am very correct with my money, treating it as my own. Thats why I never give anyone a penny. Accusations of been a tight bastard are misunderstandings.

    When I meet a Portuguese man, I instantly assault him. When questioned by the police I give the right and proper defence that If I really wanted to assault him, his eye poking days would be over..

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring.

  34. kelsey says:

    GN5 my friend. I don’t even have to read your post as I and several other regulars know your stance.

    As you know I am in the Mickydidit camp, and we are not alone, and I think AW should have stepped down after the Cup Final, win or lose
    I will respond in a post later in the week for my reasons.

  35. Jämie says:


    I don’t think you can really sau that there were no good CBs available. Bayern, Chelsea and Man city signed Cbs this summer so that kind of squashes the lack of availability. The other scenario is that Arsene saw a player he liked and was fixated on that player all summer. Even then, you cant venture into anything without a back-up plan. And I say again, any manager who thinks fourth place is like a trophy has lost his competitive edge.

    Winning the league is a trophy. Also is winning the UCL or FA cup. Even finishing ahead of Spurs can be viewed as a kind of accomplishment. Finishing fourth is not, because it only has financial consequences(30 mil?). We don’t even seem like we can win it anymore. We are quickly becoming a money machine for the rich shareholders.

    As for your question about whether trophies are all that important, the trophies that we win won’t go home with any fan. They stay in the ‘trophy cabinet’. The joy of your team being the best team after 38 games is priceless. Even after the FA cup I felt like I was in heaven for days after. Do you wonder why I didn’t feel the same way after finding out how rich a club we are?

  36. GunnerN5 says:


    Your support is as solid as mine, but you are a lot funnier than me……….

  37. GunnerN5 says:


    Do you seriously believe that we could have competed against Bayern, Man C or Chelsea in buying players?

    Well at least you think one of AW’s successes is an achievement, Spurs have never placed higher than Arsenal in AW’s time at Arsenal – 18 out of 18.

    Trophy’s are, to me, the icing on the cake – but I would prefer that the club I support is not simply about the icing.

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Instant and robust clarification required right now, Crystals.

    Some foreigners may well read this blog and be confused by your line “I am in the Mickydidit camp” as they may be unclear on the difference between meanigs of camp and tent.

    “Foreigners, I speak to you with a clear conscience. Only Peaches and Eddie do I pathetically attempt to lure into my tent, and Ediie is not a tranny. Thank you”

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Jamie. Perhaps (none of us knows) Mr Wenger was trying to sign one of the CB’s who went elsewhere. He is not stupid and must be fully aware of the squad shortages in defence.

    Looking at the type of player AW likes I would guess that the MC CB Mangala would have been his man in target or Lovgren at L’pool but refused to get into an unwinnable bargaining situation.

    BTW would you be happy if we signed a dreadfully out of form Matt Hummels from BD? I would 😀

  40. mickydidit89 says:


    “I only wish I could take my admiration further, but alas, this unnecessary restraining order is a large millstone around my neck”

    ha ha ha 🙂

  41. Pat7 says:

    Great post GN5 and solid comments from the normal major contributors. Personally, i am a few years shorter in my support, possibly 55 as i can’t put an age on when an uncle took me to see a a couple of matches and then in Hornsey when we moved there from Kings X in ’61 someone asked me if I was Jewish, to which i replied No. He said You must be an Arsenal supporter then…….

    I have been an ardent supporter of Wenger until very, very recent times when i notice what I would call errors creeping in. I appreciate the facts which you state: the transformation of the club to world status, the ground and facilities, his achievements, even through the lean period BUT as i have commented before ONE man cannot do all in the modern game and whereas Fergie brought in highly qualified assistants and delegated, whilst motivating and spending to achieve his swansong, Wenger seems less and less capable unless we have a lot of luck.

    Since we allowed all other clubs to know what we were doing different the gap has closed to the point where ‘lower’ teams have not only taken that and other technology to higher levels and even with their lower team spend they are giving us serious problems.
    Tactics, speed of the game, ‘bending the rules’ has all moved on and we are not moving as fast.

    I, as an avid fan, want to see us compete at the top level and am disappointed when i, like many others that blog here, let alone on other sites much more, can see blatant ‘short soghtedness’: on the substitution, squad rotation, team deficiency area (CB & HM)/ two short of an EPL winning team for how many seasons etc. Brian Clough was fantastic for many years. Though Wenger has not the obvious weakness in that area and does his best, there comes a time………which others allude to. Personally I feel this season should be his last unless we see those ‘technical’ areas being addressed by ‘experts’ and some ‘younger team management’ rather than the one man band with ‘nodders’ about at the moment! Rant/input over :-)).

  42. jjgsol says:

    It is interesting to note that it is, by and large, the older supporters, who know what it is like to support our team during the not so good days, who maintain their support for AW, whilst it is the younger supportes, who have only seen the successes who are full of criticism.

    WE, no doubt, all feel the frustration at the lack of trophies, but the reallity it simply that for many years now, the winners of the EPL could only come from those teams that have the funds to fill their teams with expensive internationals, so that if one is injured or unfit, then there is another to fill his place.

    We have never been able to do that, and our ability to go even part of the way has been hampered by the cost of the new stadium.

    That AW has kept us at the top all of these years is a great tribute to him and the players that he has brought in.

    In the current financial atmosphere are we ever likley to win the CL? Not really. The EPL? Also not really, unless we can go thorugh a season with zero or only a few injuries.

    Will we all still suport the club notwthstanding? A resounding yes.

  43. GunnerN5 says:


    I respect your opinion but I don’t think AW will leave before the end of his contract – unless he is fired, and that will not happen.

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    Great comment jjgsol.

    Regardless of our diverse opinions we will remain as Arsenal supporters………

  45. Pat7 says:

    GN5, i think you are probably right unless his health suffers which i hope it does not. He deserves to go out on a high as Micky said! I just hope he sees or has seen the need to bring in advice!

  46. chas says:

    A fine post, GN5, ta.

    The wag who retweeted this said that he hoped Wenger would be announcing “Mind The Gap”

  47. chas says:

    I realise that the following quote (taken from the link) doesn’t make the current manager immune from criticism but adds just a little perspective.

    “In fact, even if he lost each of his next 130 games in charge, he would still have the highest win ratio of any Arsenal manager in history.”

    Perhaps, as with most relationships, familiarity breeds contempt.
    The sex moves from transcendental to same old same old, endearing little traits start to become major annoyances, the farting and belching begin to reach volcanic proportions and there emerges a hankering for a fresh young replacement.

    In some ways I can understand a desire for a change, even if it may not turn out for the better.

    Personally I’d support the manager even if it was Fat Sam Allahdyke.

  48. Pat7 says:

    Jigsol. There is a difference between having the personnel and using them properly. When Rosicky, Pod and Ramsey are sitting on the bench and the team is flagging, why inject them with a few minutes to go and save the players on the field delving into their reserves? That is performance management, just one facet where we are losing out: it affects their recovery and performance in the next game/s and is why we look slow, lethargic etc compared to others. It grinds into mental focus, reactions etc.

  49. arnie says:

    Absolutely brilliant stuff, GN5. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    And what a series of fantastic comments. And officially and unofficially, I am ignoring Redders. 😛

    The temptation is substantial to launch into a long diatribe, but contingent on circumstances, I will not. However, I still need to make a point that has not been made.

    An apology, though, I am not a Wengerite and I am not against change. Having said that, in my view, Arsene should be encouraged to continue as long as he wishes to. Why?

    We do not have that many people with new ideas and the innovative zeal to try these out. Such innovation is the only way we make progress.

    Arsene is a very rare gem who has demonstrated ability to make such innovations and successfully implement them. It is therefore of immense importance to society, and not only us as Arsenal fans, that he has a place to try these out. As long as he has teh desire to do so.

    As Arsenal fans we are very lucky that Arsene came to us, recieved the right support, and has continuously tried to do new things, or old things in a new way. And Arsenal way, and not by following the herd. It is our great previlege to offer him the support to continue to do this until his last breath, or untilo the time that he wishes to retire. We are a club with class, if we do not do so, that is not only our greatest misfortune, but a great dis-service to the football loving world.

    Will he succeed? Who knows. Innovation is always uncertain, and do we care so much? I dont. I am happy that we try to do things in a diferent way, a new way each time.

    When it is time for Arsene to finally retire, I hope we appoint another manager who is innovative and would try to do new things. Rather than one who will bring instant success by copying others. Even if that success does not come for a while. History will remember us for the beautiful game that we play, for our traditions, but most importantly for teh way we have tried to do things differently. In a uniquely Arsenal way. COYG. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  50. arnie says:

    oh dear, that was long! 😛

  51. GunnerN5 says:

    arnie, long yes, boring no,

    You have opened a dialogue on an aspect of AW’s management that either goes unnoticed or pilloried. He is a one off unique manager the like of which will be very difficult to replace.

    I don’t envy the next manager as he will always be compared to AW the same as Man U fans still relate to Fergy.

  52. Martin says:

    Sorry Arnie – the “beautiful game” is now a myth and has been replaced in the last seasons by monotonous tip tap passing with very little penetration and no variation in tatics!

  53. Eddie says:

    What a fantastic rant and it’s not even Friday! Well done GN5.
    I know, I know, I know – Wenger is a great manager and we should be forever Greatful and happy foe what he did for the Club. Greatful I am and will be, happy I aint. I don’t know why we are playing worse than we did last year, I have no idea whom to blame so I blame Wenger, because after all he is in charge of the show. If there is a problem he should fix it; then I will be happy with his rein again. Until then I can think of 2 manageress that I would like to see at the Ems as soon as next season. New brooms sweep clean if nothing else

  54. Eddie says:

    Micky. Eddie is not a trannie but a foreigner, and back home we were worn about your kind. Those English boarding schools were and still are devil’s idea of perversion. So thank you for the tent invitation, but Peaches will have to go alone

  55. GN5

    Glad to see you back in the fray 🙂

    Your post is passionate, consistant and convincing. I however, suffer ups and downs when it comes to the Arsenal and also with Mr Wenger. Not having supported them for as long as yourself but nearly 🙂 I too have experienced the barren periods prior to Arsene.

    I think chas may have sussed the cause of some fans unrest, familiarity, Wenger has been with us a long time. Most relationships don’t last that long, well mine don’t.

    GN5…. I try mate, I honestly do, to stay on Wengers side, support him through thick and thin, through the good and the bad. But I am weak, and I sometimes fall from the heights of support for the club, the players and the manager……….. will you forgive me?

  56. GunnerN5 says:

    Cally man you are duly forgiven………….

    Nice comment by the way.

  57. Sav from Australia says:

    Very well said GunnerN5.

    I am in your camp in terms of my appreciate for Arsene Wenger.

    I feel that the discontent online is from two main sources. One is the neverending propaganda war that the English ‘sport tabloid’ media wages against Arsenal and Arsene Wenger – this started back in 1996 apparently – and the traditional media is backed by many Arsenal blog sites.

    The other source is from online warriors on blogs and twitter who just love to spew nonsense after nonsense. They talk with such opinions but as many have said and noted, can you really understand the nature of the job without being in the job – can we preach to a heart surgeon just because we watched medical shows on TV, for instance. There’s a Brian Clough interview on Youtube that says this best, regarding professionals and opinions. I believe these online warriors are too entrenched and cannot save face unless Arsene Wenger is seen to fail. They want his failure. They are bitter old gits and silly children, as far as I can tell.

    Oh, there is a third element – albeit this is supposition. I do believe that some blog sites get raided by journalists who spam their opinions and pretend to be your normal ‘Joe Bloggs’ fan. These are the cut and paste specials, the subtle agenda drivers, the ones who try to change and steer the conversation. AA seems to have less of a problem as the regulars steer the conversation, thank goodness.

    Also, on a related point, I do wonder how people can judge Arsenal football performances without observing and taking into account the ‘match management’ of PGMOL – and sometimes UEFA – **coughs…Busacca…coughs8888 – that leads to:

    Sendings off incorrectly given against Arsenal players and not given for Arsenal, unfair yellows, fouls not given for Arsenal that break up Arsenal attacks, fouls given for Arsenal that are used to break up Arsenal attacks, fouls not given and allowed in such frequency that large portions of the squad are always out injured.

    The whole ‘injury crisis’ meme is the direct result of double standards by referees who encourage opponents to ‘rough up’ Arsenal whilst penalising Arsenal players for equal or lesser behaviour at the first offense.

    If we do not take into account all factors governing a football match, then we cannot be said to be objective. Instead we would be said to have an agenda.

    Therefore, once all factors are taken into affect – including the spending of certain clubs in the last 10 years – then the achievements of Arsenal and one Arsene Wenger come into their own. The man is a genius. The board seem to be doing a fine job. The team is on the up. The squad is slowly repairing. The season is still early. We still play the best football in England and amongst the most attractive in the world. The talent is there. The grit and determination is there. The Boss is as clever and hungry as ever. I really have nothing to complain about except the mood online.

    As with GN5, I prefer to limit the regions of the Internet I frequent to avoid shallow and baseless ‘opinions’ disguised as facts and certainties.

  58. That wasn’t from him, it was from me. 😀

  59. arnie says:

    cover blown! 😛

  60. arnie says:

    Sav. Top comment. And this is exactly how its done:

  61. Sav from Australia says:

    There is another point I wish to add in relation to GN5 ‘s post.

    Some of us are firmly in the camp of praising Wenger – but as BR says, still recognising he is just a mortal.

    Others are not in this camp, to various degrees at odds with the Boss.

    What would it take – I mean what would Arsenal and Arsene need to accomplish – to get those from other points of view back ‘in praise of Wenger’, as it were?

    Consistently powerful attacking and defensive performance in the league?
    Winning the league in the 2 out of 3 years?
    Winning Champions League?
    Doing the double 3 years in a row?
    Just playing really well and finishing in the Top 2 whilst winning the FA Cup every 2 or 3 years?

  62. arnie says:

    Off topic, but nice one.


    That picture really angers me arnie. Ime all for homosexuality but only when the other geezer wants it

    No wonder we cant do Chelsea. All our players are worried about been bummed off. The FA should look into this.

  64. GunnerN5 says:

    Sav, we seem to be cut from the same cloth my friend.

    I’m naïve enough to have never thought about agenda driven seeding by journalists, but it does make sense as certain blogs just love feeding off of negative input.

    Thanks for your input.

  65. GunnerN5 says:

    Looks like gang rape to me Terry.


    Theres absolutely no excuse for it GN5. If they want some action why don’t they join a gay dating site or call Garth Crooks?

  67. Here’s something I wrote in June, about loyalty to your team and club:

    Some of you will call me weak, and yes, I agree, on occasion I have preferred to look for some nice sun dried tomatoes in virgin olive oil rather than eat luke warm tinned tomatoes at home. But with the Arsenal, I’ve been much stronger in my resiliation to stay faithful and loyal.

    So the question is, could I be unfaithful to my Arsenal? Would it be possible on occasion to share my spicy sausage with some Tottenham kosher potato tart , a Chelsea currant bun, Cardiff Welsh rarebit or some Norwich roast mutton dressed as lamb and cheat on my Gunners? No of course not, it would be unthinkable, it would be akin to being offered perfectly cooked Smoked Duck Breasts with a Ginger butter sauce and saying, “I’d rather have some spam with ketchup.” Or being invited to dine at a three star Michelin restaurant but turning it down and going to a hot dog stand on Tottenham High Road.

    I am proud to be a Gooner, my Greek Keftethes swell with pride when I tell people that the Arsenal are my team. My spicy chili sauce gets spicier when we win a game, but sometimes I’ve had to accept eating cold pizza that’s been left in the fridge for a day or two longer than it should have been.

    Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to sample some of the best culinary delights possible, with a dash of international influence and creativity. Hollandse Nieuwe Haring, Bûche Chocolat gourmande a la Française, Irish beef in Guinness, Swedish Meatballs, Romford Pie and Mash and of course, Spanish Tapas. But on other occasions, I’ve had a plate of unsavory overcooked sludge plonked in front of me which you wouldn’t even give to your dog……. but I’ve eaten it! My analogy here is the Arsenal, not women, well, if I’m truly honest…….. Damn, I’ve been a slut sometimes! But my point is, if your wife served you a load of trollop on a plate on a regular basis, you’d start to think, “Is she the right one for me?” and “maybe I should go out and find some Steak Diane or Crêpes Suzette”. Whereas the Arsenal serve up some unappetizing fodder on a regular basis but we go back for second and third helpings and over the last few years, that would be ‘fourth’ helpings as well. This is to me the essence of fan loyalty and faithfulness, no matter what’s on the menu, you’ll eat what ever is dished up. Never thinking that there might be some ‘Cordon bleu’ somewhere down the Fulham Road in a restaurant where they change their chef as regularly as they change the table napkins.

  68. arnie says:

    Look at Cahill. Clearly, he is enjoying it, even brushing up against BFG.

    And some fans would presumably have us doing the same rather than our own game. 😦

  69. RA says:


    — “the farting and belching begin to reach volcanic proportions”
    but I don’t care.

    As far as Big Brenda is concerned, I will stay for as long as I can hold my breath.
    [I have asked her to ease off on the garlic – that pervades the whole deal, and makes Vesuvius’ gases seem tame.]

  70. RA says:

    The fact of the matter is that eventually Mr Wenger will come to the end of his reign.

    Who can tell whether or not the end of his era will herald a new manager who sweeps all before him, or allows us to sink back into the ranks of the ‘also rans’ of the Premiership, like the Spuds and ‘Pool etc – only time will tell.

    But I am fairly sanguine about it.
    Why worry about something I/we have no control over – instead, when it happens, as it will, just enjoy the ride, and see where the new era takes us.

    I will not mope for Arsene, when he is gone. What would be the point?

    I will always thank my lucky stars he chose to come to Arsenal, and did not leave for huge money when the siren calls of the really wealthy clubs were calling out to him.

    I have loved the style of football he introduced, I have loved the Doubles and the Cups his teams won, and there may yet be more to come, but I will also welcome the new guy (woman?) who then manages the team, and away we go on a magical football broom ride. 🙂

    Where’s the problem? 🙂

  71. Big Raddy says:

    Some great comments today. NB and Sav plus many others.

    This is what makes AA such a pleasure.

  72. kelsey says:


    is a crawler 🙂

    A serious question.

    Why has there been and still exists an anti Arsenal agenda be it journalists,refs,some of our own fanbase, the media etc, regardless when we have done really well or not .

    To be honest I don’t think it is as bad as many think but I am sure someone will prove me wrong.

  73. arnie says:

    Arsenal wants to be different, Arsenal is quite distinctly anti-establishment. It is a malaise in modern society that wants everyone to be carbon copies of each other, some more efficient than others of course.

    Imagine what a poor EPL it would be if all clubs tried to do exactly the same, in exactly the same way. There would only be minor differences in efficiency and luck that would select the winner.

    We celebrate diversity, we Gooners reserve our right and willingness to be different, defiantly different.

  74. RA says:

    That is not altogether a serious question, Crystals, you trouble-maker.

    Actually, there are those who do postulate such a thing (look no further than Untold Arsenal – not sure of the name because they are always telling) but personally I think it is humbug.

    People make the occasional shitty comment about Arsenal, or harangue the manager on TV, and we have spent the day talking about why some fans castigate the club and the manager, but usually it is rival fans or journalists who are deeply attached to other clubs and are either jealous or trying to make a point.

    An agenda? I don’t believe it.

  75. RA says:


    You cannot be serious. ‘The Arsenal way’ is a synonym for doing things correctly as pillars of the establishment, and that has been the case since the shame brought on the club by Sir Henry Norris.

    What is all this ‘diversity’ stuff that you are so hung up on?

    Diverse from what? Why are we different in your eyes.
    We are at base a football club, and there are 92 others in professional UK football leagues.

    You will need to explain, please.

  76. Rasp says:

    I’m with you on that Redders. In fact, I wouldn’t say we are anti-establishment, quite the opposite we are old school and very much of the establishment – it is the others who have devalued our game.

  77. arnie says:

    We imported tiki-taka into the EPL, and would steadfastly do this till teh end of time. No matter what anyone else thinks about it. We will not pay any player disproportionately higher salaries, we operate a specific financial model, we try to use the academy in a specific way.

    I seriously think this makes us different.

  78. The Cockie Monster says:

    When put like that, GN5, it`s hard to say anything bad about Le Boss, so I wont !……….mind you, if we don’t beat Burnley, I`ll be back !. 😀

    This is what Rasper was talking about earlier !.

  79. Bouffant man

    The Wenger hating masses are but just a minority. They feed off each other, one negative comment begets another.

    I’ve been one of the less savoury commentators on Wenger and the last 8-9 years. You know I am. But at the end of the day, we support the team and the manager. I hope this winter though that he ditches the dodgy zipper, can’t face the press ridiculing that for another season. He’s asked for another three years, lets give the man the time to prove some of us doubters wrong.

    ah shit, I’m just a crawler………. put a nice plate of Oysters in front of me and I’ll crawl over and suck on the mollusques.

  80. stevepalmer1 says:

    Whilst all this Arsene adulation is going on, Many have touched on the subject of European football. Where most feel that Wenger is held in high esteem by his peers worldwide, EUFA have banned him more times from the touch lines than i think any other Manager.

    When i have seen the CL draws i have always felt that our groups have been loaded with possible trip up matches. I also feel that Arsenal are a club that does not seem to fit with EUFA many of us feel that had we won certain games we could have had easier games, but we always seem to meet the favourites before the finals and with pivotal sending off’s at certain times has helped put us out.

    I have always thought that English clubs in Europe seem to get the rough end of the stick but many will say that some English clubs have had their fair share of luck, But i still think the English are not well liked abroad, and the French are liked even less.

    17 years in Europe and even the couple of times we have done well a sending off throws a spanner in the works, is it me or are we and Wenger just unlucky.

  81. Rasp says:

    Thanks Cockie, I would encourage everyone to listen to that Bob Wilson interview if they get time …. a really great and humble man

  82. RA says:

    If you say so, arnie,

    But that is just your opinion and I do not understand why you should think your ‘explanation’ means that the club is ‘diverse’ because we copied tiki taka from Barca, or have a particular financial model.

    And so perhaps you should not try to include all of us in the ‘we are defiantly different’ category, because I am not, nor is it correct to say tthat Arsenal is anti-establishment, when it is not.

    Just saying.

  83. arnie says:

    Does this work, Redders? 😛 I can expand and so on, but you get the idea! 🙂

  84. RA says:

    Hi Glicster, 🙂

    Are you well?

    Your absence has been noticed lately – here and there – and we thought perhaps you were sulking because the Adonis (aka Terry) would not lend you his infamous telescope. 🙂

  85. Going back to GN5’s comment at 12;10pm

    I remember something about Bob Wilson being a PE teacher at Holloway boys school and it was him who noticed the talent of Charlie George? or is my memory failing me?

  86. GunnerN5 says:

    Today is a day when I’m proud to be a blogger on AA. It’s been an open dialogue on a very touchy subject and has been beautifully stick handled (had to slip in a little bit of hockey) by the AA faithful.

  87. RA says:


    No. I never did understand why you kept on repeating that ‘diversity’ stuff, and I do not think any further ‘expansion’ along the same lines would enlighten me any further.

    Sorry. 🙂

  88. RA says:

    Hi ya, Rasper,

    It is excellent that you bestirred Cockie Doodle Do into finding that tape of the Bob Wilson interview.

    I have heard him speak in a similar manner a number of times, and he seems a special kind of guy.

    His Willow Trust is terrific.

  89. arnie says:

    well, what would the hater-brigade want us to do? who do the journos hail as the next big thing? it is all the same, follow the Chavs into playing in a specific way and conduct your footballing affairs in a specific way. 🙂 The Abramovitch model is the mainstream now.

    It was different in the past, it will be different I am sure in the future as well. But why so many people are angry is because we do not seem to play the game in a way they think it should be played, and which is drummed into them by Murdoch’s pet numpties.

    You may think I am crazy, but I really believe this. We will not join the band-wagon!

  90. Rasp says:

    Incidentally, if you don’t get to hear the Bob Wilson interview, he agrees with me 😆 – we should introduce rugby style technology for game changing incidents.

  91. RA says:

    I am pleased that it has been a rewarding day as regards the comments pursuant to your Post, GN5, and you are correct that it is (sometimes) possible to have an adult conversation on a football blog, without an outbreak of chilli hot pepper heat! 😉

  92. RA says:

    And here was I thinking YOU agreed with HIM, Rasper. 😀

  93. Rasp says:

    You see what I did there Redders 🙂

  94. GN5 @5.52pm

    “Today is a day when I’m proud to be a blogger on AA. It’s been an open dialogue on a very touchy subject and has been beautifully stick handled (had to slip in a little bit of hockey) by the AA faithful.”

    Moi aussi… but then again I haven’t mention my C*”d%m being half full…. then Peaches would have intervened and I’d be banned 🙂 and sent to room 101 😀

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. The refusal to use technology is bewildering. The “it cannot work at grass-roots level” argument is complete and utter cobblers.

    Is there another worldwide pro sport which doesn’t use playbacks etc?

  96. Big Raddish
    “Is there another worldwide pro sport which doesn’t use playbacks etc?”

    Petanque 🙂

  97. jnyc says:

    For years the arsene haters said he had money but wouldnt spend it… they all claim to know the facts. I didnt, and i had my doubts even. But then he bought ozil after i was crazy angry about higuain. Then he bought alexis, and we spent second most money in europe this summer according to sky.

    He is a draw for top players,and the facts prove to me that he never really had money to spend for years. Even had to sell players he developed to try and balance the situation, and buy stategically to keep us in contention. . He bought ozil and we got the fa cup.
    I think it was allardyce who praised arsene in a thoughtful way for what he has accomplished.

    I actually believe wenger deserves these three years at least, to try and win with some actual funds to back him. He has been loyal, and i will be loyal to him also, knowing that he’s not perfect. I will be patient and optimistic, and hoefully we will all be rewarded.

  98. RA says:

    None spring to mind, Raddy.

    It is perverse to use that ‘grass roots’ tosh and then come up with a super-cool idea about goal line technology in the premier League, and of course all the grass roots lads on Hackney Marshes have put theirs up too. Not!

    Rugby (Union and League) and cricket and of course NFL etc do not equate a sensible and professional use of technology with the kids starting to learn the game, or amateurs playing for the fun of it being the base-line

  99. Rasp says:

    I agree Raddy, the game has got faster, the cheating more sophisticated and the financial consequences of incorrect decisions more damaging

  100. RA says:

    Hi, jnyc, and well said.

    No one is perfect, but at the level Arsene manages at, who is qualified, out of the moaners, to judge his performance?

    I suspect you and I after careful consideration would calculate the answer to be ……… None! 😉

  101. RA says:


    Petanque? Next you will be putting forward another sport at the same level…. pocket billiards. 🙂

  102. GoonerB says:

    Fantastic post GN5 and I think it was very timely to throw in a positive post from one of A.A’s stoical stalwarts.

    I would like to say comment of the day goes to R.A’s 10.54 which was brilliant. It was like reading poetry.

    B.R at 10.57, using a room 101 word Raddy…….

    I agree with Steve Jones at 10.20 that Arsene is capable of winning another EPL title, however, IMO, I feel that he will need to change certain practices for this to happen, and if this doesn’t happen we are equally as likely not to see another trophy in the next 3 years. Just my feeling on it.

    GN5, If someone could show me the future of the next 3 years with 2 possibilities. The first is with Arsene who continues with a certain managerial pathway and doesn’t win any more silverware. Then if they showed me a second future where Arsene is sacked at the end of this season and a new manager comes in who then does things differently and wins silverware within that same time frame, do you know what, I would pick the former scenario.

    I would like some more trophies in the next 3 years GN5, I cannot lie, but it is not that I crave silverware and trophies as a divine right. I can live without trophies for the 3 next years and know that trophies will come to Arsenal again in the future. I more crave the trophies so that Arsene can leave us on a real high.

    I feel Micky’s sentiment at 10.52 says it for me :

    “I really want him to go out on a high. It was while watching the Anderlecht game in Belgium that something really dawned on me. The team were playing very badly, and instead of feeling sorry for myself, or my team, I was feeling sorry for the Manager, and I just though “this is a bad sign”.”

    If he doesn’t end in a high I at least don’t want it to be in a low with fans turning against him. I will never personally do that, even if I get frustrated at times with what seems an unwillingness to do certain things differently. As I say, my frustrations are less to do with my personal gratification as a football fan GN5 and more to do with a desperation for Arsene to secure his legacy in true style.

    I think Pat7 said it how I feel with these comments at 1.42 :

    “I have been an ardent supporter of Wenger until very, very recent times when i notice what I would call errors creeping in. I appreciate the facts which you state: the transformation of the club to world status, the ground and facilities, his achievements, even through the lean period BUT as i have commented before ONE man cannot do all in the modern game and whereas Fergie brought in highly qualified assistants and delegated, whilst motivating and spending to achieve his swansong, Wenger seems less and less capable unless we have a lot of luck.”

    “Tactics, speed of the game, ‘bending the rules’ has all moved on and we are not moving as fast.”

    I actually voted 80-89% on yesterdays post because I feel we are actually very close, and I feel we are more towards the upper end of that percentage, but I do feel that Arsene has a stubborn streak to changing and improving certain aspects that puts him at a 5-10% disadvantage to a few other top ( and younger) coaches at rival clubs in the EPL and Europe.

    Hence my frustration at times and my dissection of Arsene’s decision making and tactics, (and I hope you can understand GN5 why I do this), but that will never lead me to call for his removal, and more importantly, will never alter my stance on his legendary status with our club.

  103. Redders

    I’ll have you know that the French are passionate about their ‘boules’ and in fact there are now World Championships. But the only time there is ‘replay’ for a decision is when the ref comes over with his tape measure, to see who has the closest ball.

    I bet whenever Arsene goes back to visit family in Alsace he plays the occasional game 🙂

  104. arnie says:

    curling! and shinty! 😛

  105. Before I bugger off to eat a very rare nice bit of steak……… very bloody.
    Can I just thank GN5 for generating an excellent debate. Overall very positive…. even the Cockie man had to concede. 🙂

    a bientot

  106. Without googling it, can anyone tell me why the game is called ‘petanque’? No fucking cheating right 🙂


    To be fair to our support if Arsene had been a bubble and managing in Greece he would have been sacked and reinstated five times by now

    In 1998 he would have been carried to the Acropolis were the mob would have demanded, bar the wearing of a zipper coat, a naked sculpture be ingrained to celebrate his greatness.

    From 1999 to 2001 a few people would have got pissed off and when visiting Platos taverna fellow diners would smash plates suspiciously in his directon. He would also get plebs telling him that because he is coming second his tactics are “scada” and that there cousin fat George the village idiot could do a better job.

    From 2002-2004, Arsene would have been elected President, Head of the Hellenic Armed forces, goat herder of the year and proclaimed a Deity on the level of Poseidon

    2005-2011 would have seen Arsene praised and lauded by the European elite for his handling of austerity and financial crisis. the demos however would turn against him. Accusing of him been a German spy, chicken thief, and having inappropriate relations with a worn out mule. This would eventuly lead to his excomunication from the Greek Orthodox church and the revoking of his right to gossip about his neighbours

    2012-2014. Opinion would be split over Arsene, and he would go into exile, but not before the country descends into a terrible civil war between those who demand a return to big strong players experiened in Greco Roman wrestling and fine oils, and those who believed the future lay with slim boyish looking young men often enjoyed by ancient Athenian aristocracy and Julien Clarey.

    So overall, our support aint to bad. hahaha

  108. RA says:


    I had heard that when the ref approached the balls with his tape measure, you kept saying ‘mine first, mine first’.

    Really NB have you no shame jumping the queue ahead of the Hippy! 🙂

  109. While my chips are frying, can In just say what a ficken good post from the bubble from Bounds Green ha ha ha

    Redders, I would never try to get some head from the hippy 🙂

    That’s it, I’m gone, Food awaits, Steak Frites. The French national dish 🙂

  110. RA says:


    That is so………….lovely, it brings a tear to the eye, and it just does not feel right to say that it is just………… whimsical bollix……….so i will not. 🙂

    Gotta say, I have a manly love for you and your humor. 😀

  111. RA says:

    Incidentally, thank you GoonerB for your kind words, both yesterday and re my comment this morning — not deserved, of course, but thank you anyway, sir. 🙂

    I’m off for steak frites too.

    Actually, i think Big Brenda is giving me her special signature dish – beans on sodding toast, again, and I had to cook that myself – but I love her — honest! 😉

  112. GunnerN5 says:

    Just got back in from picking up some groceries.

    Enjoy your bloody steak NB.

    Thank you for your input GoonerB. Frankly I never take umbrage at sensible comments about Arsene or Arsenal as it’s obvious to all of us that all is not right.

    I only get upset with the – after the fact – know it alls and those who think they know more than AW.

  113. Shard says:

    Wonderful, GN5.

    I’ve just read through the comments quickly, and the discussion has taken some interesting turns, I must say I agree with arnie.

    Now, I’m one of the younger fans, but the sense I’ve got about our history is that we’ve always been a club with a difference. I realise that this might simply be the ‘branding’, but Arsenal, whether by virtue of its London base, or its manager, or its culture, has dared to be different. To innovate. And it has been disliked for this as anyone who challenges status quo is.

    Chapman was a true innovator of the game. European matches, basically outlawed at the time until it later became mainstream. Floodlights. Denied permission at the time, but now very normal. Player numbers, white ball, the clock (all meant to enhance the spectators experience) All of them took time to find acceptance.

    The WM with the 3rd back. Its success forced people to notice, copy it, but use it more to kill the game rather than open it up, and bludgeon anyone who didn’t abide. Gradually, that innovative move led to the death of innovation as nothing else was accepted (until the Magyars showed up at Wembley and things began to change)

    Where am I going with this? We innovated not just with Arsene, but even to bring him here. First foreign manager, change in dietary regimes and training, foreign players coming in who could ‘do it on a cold night in Stoke’ and could delight while at it, and gradually, everyone learned. But not before they tried to dismiss it. Same with the Invincibles. Wenger was savaged for suggesting his team could go undefeated. Turns out, he spoke a year too early. But he could see it while no one could.

    Now, here’s where people say the rest caught up. After the Invincibles. Except, they haven’t. Why? Because Arsene remains an innovator and Arsenal retains its iconoclast nature. Which other club had the balls to try to build a new stadium, knowing that in the short to medium term, it would have to sacrifice some of its hard won success? Look at Liverpool, Everton, Spurs. All of them were at a similar financial level as us as we entered the new millennium. They now try to follow us in building a stadium but find it is not so easy.

    Only clubs that discovered a short cut found themselves jumping the curve (while some others just jumped off the cliff), and it is unfortunate that it came at the worst time for us. But we’ve managed to stay relevant during that time because of the much derided top 4 finishes.

    We’ve innovated by not playing by their rules, their financial dynamics, their version of tactics and their version of fairness. We’ve been punished for it, but we didn’t give in.

    We got a trophy last year just as we’re getting out of the financial tunnel. What is the next step and what do we have to do to take it? Continue along? Obviously Wenger felt different. He felt we needed to take a little step back and change things, and this is what causes some short term problems. And what problems they are. 3 points behind a mighty City, and 9 points behind a Chelsea who are supposed to be the new Invincibles. But people say it can’t be done, and that this isn’t progress. Some people never learn 🙂

    Anyone who says they want something new because it’s ‘same old same old’ isn’t paying attention. Apart from consistency in league finishes (which isn’t a bad thing) we’re not the same as we were 3, 5, or 8 years ago. This is new ground for Arsenal. It’s not going to be a quantum leap, rather a climb up the hill, but without the Sisyphean reset of the Dead/Brave years. At the very least, Wenger deserves those 3 years to build his house on top of the foundations he laid. Pity some want to deny him that.

  114. GunnerN5 says:

    Great post at 7:13, your sense of humour is indeed unique and of course extremely funny.

  115. Pat7 says:

    None of us can know more than AW as he is in the job with the facts at his disposal and the choices to make but he COULD as manager take in some younger people with the new necessary skills to aid him with his judgment just as referees should be using ‘rugby/tennis- like replays to judge those episodes. This would help him become a better manager and for me would help him not only advance the club which we all want (if we are true Arsenal supporters) but end his reign with the success that he deserves!

  116. GunnerN5 says:

    Wow – I was going to commend some folks on their great comments but I decided against as there many throughout the day so I will simply say thank you all for participating in an excellent day of blogging.

    it’s only 3:45pm here so there is lots of time left in my day………

  117. Gunnerjoe says:

    Gunner N5
    I know it’s late in the evening (work) but a very good post well done.
    By the I agree with everything you posted.

  118. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks Joe.

  119. Pat7 says:

    Shard, when i said others had caught up, i was referring to the playing style, diet and training. You only have to look how many times we have been outplayed by Arsenal style pass and move this year: teams like Swansea, Southampton come to mind, but they have taken it on and advanced it. They may not have the quality to maintain it for a season but you see the gaps reducing which is why the big guys are being toppled by the lesser ones…..i suggest we have to take onboard some of these developments which includes having the squad yo share the load rather than depend on the same few guys until they become stale, tire and break down.

  120. Pat7 says:

    GN5 keep up the good work! Night all!

  121. GoonerB says:

    Shard, Can I just ask you more about your following point :

    “We got a trophy last year just as we’re getting out of the financial tunnel. What is the next step and what do we have to do to take it? Continue along? Obviously Wenger felt different. He felt we needed to take a little step back and change things, and this is what causes some short term problems.”

    I remember seeing a similar comment about this the other day. It may have been you Shard but I can’t remember, so apologies if it was. I didn’t have the time to follow up on it at the time. Can you tell me what you mean by taking a step back and changing things that have caused short-term problems?

  122. arnie says:

    brilliant comments, Shard and GoonerB. 🙂

    Fair comment, Pat7. But why should we follow others, when we can innovate and develop new styles of playing the game? In what way are we less than others, that we need to follow the herd?

    In the long run, will people remember Swansea and Soton more than us? Do we not give spectators and fans more enjoyment? Do we not win more trophies? Do we not have a wider fanbase and a better stadium?

  123. GunnerN5 says:

    I hope all turns out well with your wife arnie.

  124. arnie says:

    Thank you, GN5. You know from experience how it is, and we try to draw some courage from top guys like you. 🙂

  125. GunnerN5 says:

    arnie, so many people take good health for granted – I know I did. It’s only when it hits home that you truly understand just how important and fragile it really is.

    I hope you get the best of good luck along with great medical care.

  126. GunnerN5 says:

    By the way — what? GunnerJoe

  127. stevepalmer1 says:

    Although i am talking to myself, i feel that even though this post has produced a lot of comments, i still believe we should remember that in nine years we have only picked up an FA cup which we struggled to win and a community shield which we won playing a depleted team. Trophies all the same yes, But why does our manager deserve another 3 years when other managers who also got top four and some who managed even more got sacked . Clubs and Owners expect more from their investments, why do we accept less than others.

  128. Big Raddy says:

    Joe. 8.15. That could be the best comment of the day if not the year. Brilliant. Just 3 words and yet it sums up all I think about the subject,. What the hell it sums up all I think about any subject.

    Thank you 🙂

  129. Big Raddy says:

    Steve, So much I disagree with!

    Owners are as you say investors. Who wouldn’t be happy with the massive increase in AFC shares over the past 9 years? I can recall when the shares were 3k now they are nearly 15k!

    If one assesses the last 9 years by trophies alone you are right but thankfully most don’t. Think of the changes that have happened at AFC over the last 9 years. New stadium, new owners, etc etc etc

    And some fantastic football which with a little more luck could have led to more trophies. I am thinking of the injuries to Eduardo and Theo both of which cost us the league. And what about TH14 missing two one on ones in the CL Final?

  130. RA says:

    Hi Shard,

    i was just about to close my machine down, when I saw your comment at 7:37 and had to respond.

    I am perplexed by your hanging your comments on the ‘diversity’ claims made by arnie, and then none too subtly changing it to a discussion on ‘innovation’.

    The two words are not synonyms.

    Technically, Ossie Ardiles was the first ‘foreign’ manager when he managed the Spuds, that is to say he was a non-british manager in the Premier League years, and there were others too, before the Premier league switchover. So the recruitment of Arsene was hardly innovative.

    Southampton and Newcastle United were among the forefront of clubs who built new or massively redeveloped stadia in the ‘First’ division/Premier League era, and like Arsenal’s decision to build a bigger stadium, that was simply driven by economic necessity not ‘innovation’, and certainly had nothing to do with ‘diversity’.

    The copying of tiki taki football from Barca, stated by arnie, was hardly innovative or diverse either.

    In fact, the key to ‘diversity’ as defined by arnie, with which I disagreed, was that Arsenal were ‘different’ and that was epitomised by being described as an anti-establishment club.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    What is innovative in that?

    I have not time ‘researched’ the above facts, but dragged them up from memory, as I am trying to follow your various points, because you have moved the discussion from the original ‘diversity’ points made by arnie, and changed them into something else, with somewhat spurious and inaccurate facts to support it.

    In essence your comments have revolved around innovation and made it appear that the original disagreement centred on whether or not Wenger should have another 3 years to move the club forward.

    Here’s some breaking news – Wenger signed a new 3 year contract extension last summer – and no one, as far as I know, disputed the benefit of that to the club. And that is that.

    Oh, and before I forget – sisyphean is an adjective that alludes to a task that is pointless and can never be completed – so what the heck do you mean by a ‘sisyphean reset’ in the context of Arsene Wenger’s managership.


  131. RA says:

    I agree with Raddy.

    Now – them;s the best words!! 😀

  132. GoonerB says:

    My assumption Steve, or at least the way I view it, is that it is very hard to hold AW to account for no trophies until maybe a couple of years ago. IMO he has had us punch above our weight (financial restrictions taken into account) for at least 7 of those 9 years even though it hadn’t yielded silverware.

    IMO the board have decided that AW deserves the chance to try and build the team he wants with financial restrictions now (somewhat) lifted and to see if he can finish his managerial career with us on a high.

    It probably also represents an acknowledgement of his loyalty to the club through the difficult period and keeping us near the top. How many other top managers could have achieved this, or more importantly, would have sacrificed their personal C.V to stick around and steer us through this period? What offers did he turn down to stay with us? Should we now not repay that loyalty?

  133. RA says:

    Good points, GoonerB.

    I have often tried to point out that of the three biggest spenders, Manure, City and Chelsea, only one of them can win the Premiership each year. That means that the other two will fail – having incurred great expense.

    if one of them wins each time over the next three years, two of them will fail dismally. If they share the trophy, all of them will have failed two years out of three.

    OK, we can expand that to the CL and the FA Cup, but the top foreign teams in the CL are just as wealthy, and just as desperate to win, so the chances are less there.

    With regard to the Cups, their oligarch owners will not see that as a good substitute result frothier monetary outlay.

    To bollock Arsene for being in the same boat, but with a lot less money, is just ridiculous.

  134. Big Raddy says:

    Bacary has really improved the MC defence!! Has he played in a winning team for them?

  135. GunnerN5 says:


    95% of the PL clubs fail to win the title each year the vast majority of the teams are perennial also ran’s who have no hope of winning squat.

    Only 5 different teams have won the PL in it’s 22 year history.

    Man U – 13
    Arsenal – 3
    Chelsea – 3
    Man C – 2
    Blackburn R. – 1

    Chelsea only broke into the top 4 in 2002/3 and won in 2004/5, 2005/6 and 2009/10 and finished 6th in 2011/12.

    Man C first appeared in the top 4 in 2010/11 7 won in 2011/12 & 2013/14

    Both clubs were marginal teams before the injection of cash.

    AW has only just received the cash he needed to buy high quality players and won the FA cup straight away.

  136. Big Raddy says:

    Can you name another club (or manager – AW) who have offered and played a re-match because they felt one of their players cheated to score a goal? (FAC vs Sheff Utd)

    How about that for “diversity”?


    I think one of the things that is frustrating some fans is that now we seem to have more money, we are not showing stastical improvement

    However, as Shard pointed out the other day it takes time for that newly accumalated wealth to have an impact

    Look, a couple of years ago i bought a white blazer and tested out in the local disco. The first night I didnt approach any women, i wanted the jacket to get a feeler.

    By the fourth night i was getting “go away” or “See that bouncer? hes got a very large fist”, and on one occasion “I am good friends with the super attendant of the Bounds Green police”

    It never worked out because been a fashion guru I made a cardinal mistake, the jacket needed red shoes, which I eagerly await delivery

    So the theory is sound. The club will get stronger and stronger. By the time Arsene calls it a day he will be leaving one hell of a legacy to his succsesor

  138. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thanks for including me, Arsenal fans seem easily pleased in my mind, Every supporter wants success. Of course many know that other clubs with loads of money are probably going to win the spoils while their clubs will be also rans but they would still like their teams to beat the top teams when they play.

    Many times i see supporters walking out of the stadiums when getting stuffed, its humiliating and hurtful i can feel for those people and i can understand why they have walked out.

    The first thing they think off outside the stadium is who’s fault it is and why is their team that bad. Eleven players to blame but most supporters turn against the manager.

    Performances i have watched this season have been poor. we have spent money but we have still been poor. Wenger is the figure head the players are supposedly doing what he has instructed and he takes the blame.

    At present i see Wenger as the problem, who else can i blame, he buys he picks and he instructs it has to fall on his head. Carry on as we are and Wenger will have to go doesn’t matter how well you think of him. Football is about the here and now, not 3 years time.

  139. stevepalmer1 says:

    Clubs like Southampton has caught my eye, for years now they sell their youngsters many to us and we still struggle while they are high flying at the moment.

    I noticed they are trying to get one of their youngsters back and are prepared to bid for him. Now that is a club who sold to survive, usually that means that your club go downhill but them they have excelled and are looking to improve.

    A fundamental flaw with Wenger is he leaves holes weaknesses that stop us winning defence, strikers, midfield, and then moans about injuries.

    In my mind he is the problem he causes the problem, i have supported him through the penny pinching years but he still leaves stupid holes.

  140. arnie says:

    Redders. I did not use the word “diversity” in that sense. It is in teh sense of diversity of views, methods, ways of playing the game etc. Yes, we celebrate that diversity in the EPL. That the Arsenal is the Arsenal and not the Chavs, or Newcastle, or ANO is an important aspect of diversity that should be preserved.

    If everyone tries to follow the mainstream mantra without trying to innovate, this diversity gets lost, to the detriment of all football fans.

    Dont know why this simple idea is so difficult to communicate. Maybe most people do not understand the value of being different. For me, this is very important! 🙂

  141. stevepalmer1 says:

    Many believe he has a long term plan, buy players that will gel eventually. He goes for Suarez when we needed a forward and ends up with Ozil who we didn’t need. We still needed a striker in the last window, and he leaves it till the last seconds to get Welbeck anything could have happened and we would have been short yet again Defensive midfield we needed a player as we cannot rely on Diaby Flamster and Arteta are past it we all know that and another gaping hole.

    That is almost incompetence for a Manager of his standing and i expect more.

  142. GunnerN5 says:


    I find your views to be very extreme.
    Anyway supper is on the table, good night all.

  143. stevepalmer1 says:

    Nte Gn5 night steve, nte mate

  144. arnie says:

    Raddy @ 9:37. 🙂

  145. mickydidit89 says:

  146. chas says:

  147. arnie says:

    motning Micky, motning Chas, motning all.

    a little bit OTT last night, just a little bit, but hey, who cares! 😛

  148. mickydidit89 says:

    I am completely with you on the value of being different, however, I am really struggling with your infatuation with Diversity 🙂

  149. chas says:

    What were you doing that was OTT?

  150. chas says:

  151. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah ha
    Motning to you too Arnie
    Hope you got my message yesterday about your Wife.

  152. arnie says:

    My not ignoring Redders was a bit OTT, I think. 😛

    Micky, too many things going on. I have been speed reading and have to confess, I missed your message. Thanks a lot. 🙂

    hmm, “diversity” has become a loaded word, has it not! too much diversity training around. perhaps I should use Variety. As in “Variety is the spice of life”. But its not quite the same, is it! hmmm.

  153. chas says:

    Off to Berlin this weekend. Missing the football. Sacrilege.

  154. chas says:

    Use whatever word you like.
    If it gets up Micky and RA’s collective probosci, then it’s all good with me. 🙂

  155. arnie says:

    Ok, guys, in a hurry this morning. But I promise some vids tomorrow morning.

    oh dear, I can hear Evonne shriek!!!!

    please continue the batner. I will catch up on the other side, I mean when I reach Edinburgh. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  156. arnie says:

    ah yes, Berlin.

    Chas. My favs:

    Brandenburg gate and surroundings, GDR Museum, Erotic Museum, a leisurely and aimless walk in East Berlin (just like that!), open air art on the Berlin Wall, Potsdam.

    Plenty of beer. Food is actually good in Berlin. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  157. chas says:

  158. chas says:

    Is banter a banned word?

  159. mickydidit89 says:

    Inappropriate comment coming up for the time of day, I know, but:

    Is Theo likely to start this weekend?

  160. RA says:



  161. RA says:

    Sorry, ‘Yes’ referred to Theo.

    Billy Banter is OK. 🙂

  162. kelsey says:

    I have to say that GN5’s post was really well received and there are a lot more regulars and a few others who agree with him than I initially thought.

    Now I have to concentrate of taking legal action with Fiat. They issued a recall on a model that I bought for my daughter saying everything was under warranty and it was a fault with some models.

    Two days after taking the car to the authorised Fiat dealer where we bought the car we received a call from their service dept to say it was two days work and despite a memo sent to all dealers but not made public we would have to pay 950.00 for a car one year old with 2200 miles on the clock.

    I wrote to the MD of the car group and phoned Fiat who issued a case number and they are now only prepared to pay 50% of the cost but crystals isn’t having it.

  163. kelsey says:

    I like the comment yesterday if we lost the next 130 games,Wenger would still be our greatest manager ever 🙂

  164. mickydidit89 says:


    All regulars and the vast majority of visitors are pretty civil people, so it doesn’t surprise me the level of polite chat.

    Everyone agrees the most important in these final Arsene years is that he should be treated with respect, but that’s no different to anyone else.

    People will differ on expectations, tactical bollocks, transfers, managers, players and so on, but this is simply football chit chat familiar to any football fan in boozers the length and breadth of this fine island.

  165. mickydidit89 says:

    I wouldn’t mind starting a fight on here, and here’s how I’d do it.

    Massive vote, and subject is, which of the regualrs would make the best manager of AFC.

    Then, you could submit your own personal one sentence claim for the honour.

    Ooo, and to make it even more prickly, you could vote for the blogger you’d least like as boss.


  166. RA says:


    That is really not acceptable for FIAT to try that on.

    I had a similar problem with a Volvo I had that had a faulty ‘????’.

    That failing part caused the engine to cut out for no apparent reason, and that meant the power steering also cut out so going around a corner it was almost impossible to stop it veering across the road.

    At the time the car was 4 years old, and outside the warranty period.

    To cut a long story short the part and the labour were charged at over £2,000. Getting no where with the dealers I found that there were cases in the US where Volvo had coughed up and recalled the cars concerned.
    I told Volvo I knew. I also told the BBC TV Watchdog.
    The next day they fixed it free of charge.

    In your case, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 applies to ‘Used Car’ sales and you should mention that to them – and have a read yourself. 🙂

    Hope you get it sorted without too much stress.

  167. chas mobile says:

    Sound like a great idea for today’s post. I’d go Terry
    and the troll.

  168. RA says:


    I could never be a football manager.

    Apart from the obvious drawback that I know bugger all about the technicalities of football, or coaching players or dealing with the media or the owners wanting instant success, etc etc — I would never be able to put up with the personalised abuse from fans, and Mr Wenger (and other managers) must have tremendous mental strength to survive it, and good for them.

  169. kelsey says:

    Thanks RA

    I have the car back where there was an oil leak in the casing which required taking the engine out. They have let us take the car away which to me is an admission and are trying to do a deal with me.

  170. kelsey says:

    That would really stir things up Micky

    peaches and evonne would be a good duo. We might finish up with a crap team but thay would be good looking. 🙂

  171. RA says:

    Terry as Manager would be fantastic!

    He would run riot with all the players wives, pick fights with small managers like Maureenio, be rude to Fat Sam and run rings around him, and resort to Greek when being interviewed by TV.

    He would look after his mates, so tickets all round.

    Ohh, and obviously he would take us straight down to the 3rd Division, double quick. 🙂

  172. Eddie says:

    Kelsey – I completely agree and would like to put me name forward for the managerial position at the AFC. Just me, I’m not sure that I could tolerate peaches’ sense and sensibility.

    I cannot promise you trophies, but you will never be bored – I will run riot at the Ems!!!

  173. mickydidit89 says:

    Mmm, maybe I’ll do it for Friday.

    ps RA, none of the failings you list really matter anyway 🙂

  174. RA says:


    I should have said, although you seem to have things well in hand. that you should really put pressure on FIAT’s Customer Services people and don’t let them brush you off and make you only deal with the garage.

  175. mickydidit89 says:


    You’d run riot at a near empty Ems, apart from the din of howling hounds

  176. RA says:

    Failings, Micky? Failings? They are wonderful Terry attributes, and someone would make a TV series out of it. 🙂

    Mind, the 3rd Division might see him get the elbow.

  177. mickydidit89 says:

    I was referring to you and your reasons for not going up for selection

  178. RA says:

    We would also need an assistant manager/coach.

    Ant and Duck would be perfect! 🙂

  179. Big Raddy says:

    I would choose kelsey. He deserves the abuse 😀

    Though GIE is best with the tactics so would be coach

    LB is fitness coach

    Chas – Video analysis

    Terry. Youth team coach (he has the touch!!)

    Micky can drive the team bus 🙂 🙂

    I could go on but I have a life.

  180. Good Morning Arse Warriors 🙂

    Lovely day here in the south, balcony doors open and just enjoying my first glass of rose of the day with some excellent Pelardon goats cheese and a baguette. Mon dieu c’est bonne 🙂

    Great debate yesterday… some diverse comments and good banter.

    Micky, Big Raddish would be my suggestion for who I’d least like as boss. Imagine, we have a new regime boys, I want everyone to grow their hair long, wear flowers in your hair and chill out man! smoke some green stuff in the morning before training and just play it as you feel, my tactics will soon become apparent to you in a transcendental haze, a little tip here, a little tap there, go with the flow and listen to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Our summer training camp is being moved from Austria to Marrakesh. We will be aiming to win the EPL this season but hey, if we don’t, who gives a fuck, man, revolution is just a state of mind.

  181. RA says:

    I would end up in jail, Micky.

    The red mist would descend and ………

    I don’t know how Arsene has not done that already — a leetle push is nothing! 🙂

  182. Big Raddy says:

    NB. Astonishing how you know me so well yet we have never met. That is exactly what I would do.

    The kit would have white flared trousers, red velvet shirts and I would change the club badge to a marijuana leaf.

    This is going to keep me amused throughout the day … thanks (seriously )

    BTW I am deeply envious of your breakfast, my earl grey tea and muesli suffers by comparison

  183. kelsey says:

    Looking at the world through the sunset in your eyes
    Traveling the train through clear Moroccan skies
    Ducks and pigs and chickens call
    Animal carpet wall to wall
    American ladies five-foot tall in blue

    Sweeping cobwebs from the edges of my mind
    Had to get away to see what we could find
    Hope the days that lie ahead
    Bring us back to where they’ve led
    Listen not to what’s been said to you

    Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
    Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
    They’re taking me to Marrakesh
    All aboard the train, all aboard the train

    I’ve been saving all my money just to take you there
    I smell the garden in your hair

    Take the train from Casablanca going south
    Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my mouth
    Colored cottons hang in the air
    Charming cobras in the square
    Striped djellebas we can wear at home Well, let me hear you now

    Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
    Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
    They’re taking me to Marrakesh

    Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
    Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express
    They’re taking me to Marrakesh
    All on board the train, all on board the train
    All on board

    NB that is a great song as is Ventura Highway by America.

  184. Eddie says:

    Aha Micky, then we would see begging Wenger to return 🙂 mission accomplished.

    Arnie – while walking in Central Warsaw yesterday I could hear ‘your’ music somewhere. I could not believe it – a ‘Bollywood’ restaurant in the poshest part of town.

  185. kelsey says:

    Well we share the same taste in music NB

    Terry as Manager. He would be asking for a CV first to establish if the players were gay,straight or bisexual. This plays heavily on his mind. GLIC would do the medicals.Playing ability is not a high priority.

  186. GoonerB says:

    Morning all

    RA, I know you profess to know nowt about all the technicalities of the game but I have been reading your comments long enough to know this stance is tactical bollix. You try and disguise it well but GoonerB has spotted your technical knowledge 🙂

    Coming from the good old U.S.of.A I see you standing by the side of the training ground, big reflective aviators adorning your face, cigar hanging out the side of your mouth, while getting all Louis Gossett Jr on their arse and shouting how you have never seen such a useless bunch of soccerball players in all your life. 🙂

  187. mickydidit89 says:


    You what? I said I wanted a fight and you kick off by voting Exile ahead of me on tactics bollocks. You want Wimbledon circa Dave Bassett, you go right ahead. Bastard

    Mind you, NB has perception. Lots of it 🙂

  188. GoonerB says:

    I like the Alan Latchley approach myself. If you don’t know what I mean I will need to plead with Chas to find some footage of his one and only interview.

  189. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. The driver has no input into tactics. Shut up , head forward and keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. (which reminds me of this …..)

  190. Big Raddy says:

    GB is the voice of reason on the site – he can be MD. He would do a fine job.

  191. Kels

    I remember when I was younger, we all listened to the Who, the Stones, Desmond Dekker and ska and bluebeat. I was a bit weird back then because I enjoyed classical as well. But then I discovered Creedence Clearwater and introduced it to all my mates when they came round to my house. They thought I was radio rental 🙂

  192. Big Raddy says:

    CCR. Now we are talking! John Fogerty has one of the finest voices ever and Born on the Bayou would be in my Desert Island Discs

  193. ha ha……. having a hippy day on AA 🙂

  194. kelsey says:

    sixties pop music was great and the 4 seasons had a number of hits as you all know but one would never call them a huge group with world wide appeal yet Jersey Boys is breaking all records and being staged live in a number of countries. My kids have both seen the show twice. I wonder why it is such a huge hit.

  195. kelsey says:

    I have about 800 LP’s from the sixties and seventies covering all types of music.
    Did any of you you ever go to the marque or The Whisky a go go. ? I saw the Jam, The Who and there used to be a club in Belsize Park called the Country Club and every top group played there including the Stones.I am sure Raddy went.

  196. GoonerB says:

    B.R, the voice of reason…. You are too kind sir. I must show that to the wife, it completely contrasts with her opinion of me.

    Off for most of today so may see you all a bit later.

  197. Rasp says:

    I went to all those Kelsey and played a few – the Marquee and The 100 Club, The Nashville Rooms, The Brecknock, Hope and Anchor …. there were too many great venues to list

  198. Rasp says:

    I’m disappointed there is no place for peaches and I in the new Arsenal administration 😦

  199. kelsey says:

    Spurs will be looking for a new manager yet again Rasp. Well paid but a short career.

  200. Eddie says:

    Chas for our new manager – at least he will attend all the games, keep the players well fed and ‘watered’ and tweet embarrassing photos of them for all to enjoy

    Rasp – peaches was offered a position 🙂

  201. Eddie says:

    Kelsey 🙂 you are in good form today 🙂

  202. Morning all

    Just in the cupboard sorting today’s post ………. Back in a bit

  203. RC78 says:

    1) There is a rumour that Paul Clement would replace AW at the end of his contract…How do you rate Paul Clement?

    2) On another note, there is a player that I believe is keen to join us and is not too expensive and that would do us good and I am not saying this because of his goal vs City yestersday but because I have seen him grow in the EPL since his move from the French League and I think he will bring that steel and drive in midfield but that would mean getting rid of 1/2 players and that would also mean that Ox would be only used as a Winger although I see him ultimately as a box-to-box…but here is the name; Sissoko. What do you think of him? He is strong, can play HM, M, CAM, RAM and he has a good crossing and shooting range…

  204. Shard says:


    I’m sorry you feel I make specious arguments, but my comment was not a straight reply to arnie, rather a response to all the views I’d just read through quickly late at night. So if there’s some muddling there, maybe that was why.

    For the record, I don’t agree with arnie on everything. For instance, that Arsenal is anti establishment. I’d say it’s more the reverse. The establishment is anti-Arsenal. Why this should be so, I don’t know beyond some guesses. But us being different is a plausible reason. You’ll challenge and disagree with both those assertions. That’s your right, but doesn’t make you right 😛

    As for your points about building new stadia being only about economics. Sure. But what set us apart from others of our stature is that we were prepared for the consequences and did enough to stay consistent. Liverpool and Spurs had the same economic necessities and seem unable to get it done.

    As for tiki taka, I disagree that we copied it from Barcelona, though their success would have made Wenger tweak his own systems to replicate the success. What would you say was the first iteration of Arsenal’s tiki taka? I would say 2007-08. Was Barca’s tiki-taka really a popular thing then? Something to be copied? No RA. I disagree. We never really copied Barcelona. They just developed similarly at that time because football was ripe for something new to come along. Except in England of course where Arsenal’s broken legs were blamed on their tiki taka passing.

    Anyway. I think arnie did mean about Arsenal being different, and he did say that this morning. Being different also means innovating, and I think Arsenal and Arsene have done that, been pounded for it, have been copied and maybe surpassed at their game, but are in the process of getting ahead again. We will see.

  205. There’s your answer Rasp, I’m always in the cupboard 😉

  206. RA says:

    NB and Kelsey,

    What a musical combo and a more unlikely pairing I could never imagine. Excellent 🙂

    Actually, Kelsey, I loved the Four Seasons – great to jog to and make some crazy switches midstride – and I still do.

    I can just imagine Big Randy giving himself a hernia singing ‘Sherry’ or ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry’, or ‘Oh, Carol’ (i was such a Fool).

    How dare you not get it? 🙂

  207. kelsey says:


    That was started on LG and then tweeted.People are so gullable but having said that I would wager if things go pear shaped this season and the fans get disgruntled AW may well leave.

  208. Shard says:


    You favourably compare Southampton to us today. Why? They sold us some players and were relegated. They are back (after investment from their owner I believe) and are now doing very well despite selling players. This deserves credit. But coming from the 3rd tier to be a PL mid table club (clubs that have done it are many. Fulham, Bolton, Swansea etc) is easier than breaking into the EPL top 4, which is easier than taking the next step up to Champions and regular challenger and winner status, And this is the gap we’ve been trying to bridge while also not falling behind in our effort to make the jump.

    Soton have done well. Very well, but their example does not show Arsenal in a poor light.

  209. kelsey says:

    Oh carol was not a 4 Seasons hit RA 🙂 it was neil Sedaka, another shirt lifter.

  210. And I’ll finish my morning with this:

    Just so Peaches doesn’t feel left out 🙂

  211. Morning again

    We have a New Post ………………..

  212. RA says:

    Not to worry, Shard. 🙂

    It is not worth going over it all again, and in any case, I know you well enough to know that you are well able to argue your case – else I would not bother to respond.

    arnie had very little to do with the discussion last night, so perhaps we should have left his comments aside.

    My hope is that we will continue to ‘argue’, even tho’ I actually agreed with a lot of what you said, and also the spirit in which it was said, but that does not get in the way of a good old-fashioned debate.

    I am sure that you know me well enough to understand that I love debating – I love it – and I know you do too. 🙂

  213. RA says:


    ‘Oh Carol’ was written by Howard Greenfield and Neil Sedaka for the Four Seasons (not sure it was a hit – before my time) and I have it on an old album I bought in a Hospice shop – 10p. 🙂

    Neil Sedaka covered it I think – I have that too. Bugger I am giving away all my secret vices. 🙂

  214. Shard says:

    They may not have the quality to maintain it for a season but you see the gaps reducing which is why the big guys are being toppled by the lesser ones…


    Maintaining the quality for the season is the whole point. Who topped the league the longest last year?

    Secondly, although it is a tougher league now, and with the new TV deal, even some midtable clubs can pick up some fantastic players thereby making each game tougher to win, the big clubs are all getting more points than ever before. A bit of a paradox there I’m afraid.

    But as regards your main point about rotation, I don’t disagree at all. It is one of the frustrations I’ve had with Wenger since way before. At the same time, we must also accept that rotation has its own risks, though the potential reward of sustaining the charge the whole year might make it worth it.

    In that sense there’s another irony. Wenger cares about winning football matches in the immediate term, and gets blamed for not rotating, and Wenger cares about the club in the medium to long term and gets blamed for not caring enough about the short term.

    That will go away though. Arsenal NOW don’t need a manager to worry too much about the long term, and who can concentrate more on the short term. I think Wenger sees it that way too and has said as much. So that frustration in general terms will go away, though I fear his preference for keeping a more established first 11 will remain and is just something we have to get used to.

  215. Shard says:


    Yes I do, with people such as yourself. However, my mind has been elsewhere the past few weeks. Trying to kick start a new career path isn’t easy and there usually isn’t much space in my brain to think about football and what I want to say very clearly. Hence I’ve been less active on here though I read almost every day and every comment. Even the guff ones 🙂

  216. kelsey says:

    Oh good as you read the guff ones Shard you must have read mine 😉

  217. RA says:

    You have my sympathy, Shard, I had the same problems at the start, tho blogging did not exist then.

    Your career and family come first – Arsenal and blogging have their place after that. 🙂

    My career came to a bit of a halt some 3 years ago because of illness and that is not going to go away. So, I have more time to blog and bug. 🙂

    Remember, if you think I am being difficult when we are debating, it is because you are winning!! 🙂

  218. Big Raddy says:

    Love that Family track. Thanks Rasp.

    The first time I saw Santana was amazing. My first introduction to Latin rhythms and the effect they have upon the body.

    And I bet I am the only one on here who went to a Hendrix concert. Royal Albert Hall ’69

  219. arnie says:

    why/ where has today’s post vanished?

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