Is there a correlation between Arsenal’s resources and their performance?

Herb is a long time reader of AA and occasional author for the site. He is aware that his views are not shared by the majority and so emailed this response to GN5’s post which asked the question “Who is Arsenal’s greatest manager?” …….. Ed

Most of us know that during our early years as Dial Square and Woolwich Arsenal we struggled to establish ourselves, and would have ceased to exist had it not been for Glasgow Rangers buying some shares. And the time leading up to WWI was quite desperate. As you’re aware, in 1913 that perception was about to change. We moved to the other side of the Thames because Tottenham didn’t have anyone to teach them how to play football. Highbury,

The Home of Football became our spiritual home, and our growth as a club between the two world wars was phenomenal. And it was all driven by businessman (and Conservative MP for Fulham during WWI), Henry Norris. My argument is simply based on Norris’ ownership. The club grew more in his time as owner than at any other time in the club’s history. He wanted Arsenal to be bigger and better than anyone else, his ambition was there for all to see. Of course you need the right ingredients to make it happen but that comes down to intelligence.

Herbert Chapman won the club it’s first major trophy – the FA Cup – quickly followed by Arsenal’s first title. Chapman’s. Arsenal is the last to win back-to-back titles. George Allison rightly gets an honourable mention in dispatches, but he didn’t have to tinker too much with what he inherited from Chapman. Arsenal ‘The Bank of England’ Football Club, the biggest most powerful football force in the world. So strong was Arsenal’s position it was impossible for any new owners to fail (to make piles of money!).

So what happened to building on that philosophy and huge advantage we had over everyone else?

Well, obviously we can’t control external forces such as what other club’s do, but what happened to Arsenal was the Hill-Wood’s and Bracewell-Smith’s.

I think it’s fair to say that neither the Hill-Wood’s, Bracewell-Smiths, or Stan Kroenke have given their generation of Arsenl supporters anything like the same club that Norris, Chapman or Allison gave to their generation. And within that premise is the crux of the problem.The whole dynamic paradigm that Norris, Chapman and Allison brought to Arsenal disappeared out of sight under new ownership, and as a whole, the club have never recovered the ground they willingly conceded. But they’ve made shed-loads of cash so the only real losers are the long-suffering fans.

This is where you can help me to better understand, because we live in a culture of ready-made manufactured excuses which are tactically designed to dumb-down the general public and mask people’s flaws.

My perception of The Arsenal is that they are a super-wealthy football club owned by aristocratic Old Etonians related to the Royal family. They are very much part of The Establishment and it is with that in mind that I firmly believe Arsenal should be serial contenders for major trophies every year i.e. PL title and CL.

The whole philosophy and drive of the club changed after WWII. Where once Arsenal had the same burning ambition as Manchester United, now seen at City and Chelsea, now there is no urgency to be the best. The cautious safety-first model isn’t exciting, and has brought limited success since the war.

Arsene Wenger has been wasteful in keeping Arsenal 3rd but mostly fourth and out of CL at the Round of 16. He loves repeatedly reminding people of ordinary achievements like consistently qualifying for CL, which would be more welcome if he tried actually winning the competition. Some laud him even more for the two recent FA Cups, and the signings of Ozil, Sanchez and Cech, and claim he has changed.

He doesn’t care for the FA Cup as seen when he put a second-string out against Blackburn in the 5th Rnd a few years ago, because he was saving the first-team to get put out of the CL against Bayern Munich. After the 5-1 mauling at Anfield we had them a week later in the 5th Rnd at The Emirates, which came as redemption for Arsene Wenger.

The Ox blatantly fouled Suarez in the penalty-area when it was 2-1, but Arsenal got away with it. Once Wigan beat City in the QF, we were left with a SF line-up of Hull, Sheffield Utd, Wigan and Arsenal, and even though they tried not to win it, fate inevitably intervened. Same story for this year’s cup too, sure we won at OT in the QF, but I see that with the same relevance as beating Chelsea in the Community Shield. Arsene Wenger will never field a team capable of beating Utd 8-2 or Chelsea 6-0.

The Mesut Ozil signing fell into his lap. He was under pressure after losing the opening game 3-1 at home against Villa, and for his embarrassing attempt at buying Luis Suarez. Ozil wasn’t what we needed, but it was a big enough name to appease restless supporters. Real Madrid were in the process of up-grading to CL winners, Ozil was surplus to requirements, Arsenal were desperate for a big-name, bingo! The player yet to have a game-changing performance for Arsenal, and who Arsene Wenger said would be Footballer of the Year this year. Pretty similar story with Alexis Sanchez. Barca were up-grading and showing us that with the right ambition Luis Suarez really can be signed. They had Pedro as back-up, so again he was offered to Arsenal. He refused to entertain Liverpool (who wanted him as part of the Suarez deal), so it really couldn’t have been easier. Apparently it was Abramovic and Cech who did most to push his transfer through to Arsenal. Cech and his family are settled in London and he wasn’t that keen to move away.

Is that Arsenal’s transfer policy? To wait until players just under elite-level are offered at cut-price?

Arsene Wenger shows no aggressiveness in the transfer-market in the way that other super-powers do, nor does he have the urgency to make us any better. Winning the FA Cup in2014 was like a genuine ‘Men In Black’ moment, where people are zapped to have their memory erased. Rewind four months. We’d been to OT and The Etihad and were top of the league. Arsene Wenger surrendered the PL title in the January TW with £150m* sitting in the bank, so the FA Cup isn’t really much in the way of compensation. Nice that he can pick and choose when to take the FA Cup seriously – especially if it massages his ego and puts him in the Record books.

I appreciate the huge cost of the stadium move – that rankles with supporters too – Arsenal wouldn’t have gone into such a project without examining all financial pit-falls and worse-case scenario’s. They needn’t have worried. It’s a proper cash-cow with a license to print money, and they don’t have to offer anything in return. When people say they want ‘their Arsenal’ back, they’re talking about the Arsenal that were at Highbury, the original crest with the cannon facing inwards, the siege mentality of us against the world. It has been replaced by a shiny new Corporate Arsenal that has no accountability, exists for the primary reason of making money, and are as far away from their supporters as they’ve ever been. And they’re just not that exciting anymore.

I’m not particularly intelligent, I just want to know why Arsenal refuse to compete at the highest level. It can only be down to the club structure, the administration, or the ability of the manager. I bet Carlo Ancelotti would win us the PL and CL.

It just seems (to me) that there is no correlation between Arsenal’s resources and their performance. This isn’t just a failing of Arsene Wenger, managers such as Billy Wright, Terry Neill and Don Howe should all have done a lot better. If you think I am being stupid/dumb or a bit mis-guided, please don’t hold back. I have no grudge or axe to grind with any other Arsenal fans, I just think some are very narrow and refuse to acknowledge the bigger picture which reveal a lot of the reasons for why Arsenal are where they are. If more people were aware of our history and where Arsenal originate from, I’m sure there would be a lot more understanding and fewer arguments.


54 Responses to Is there a correlation between Arsenal’s resources and their performance?

  1. We are not a superpower. We are not capable of matching the City’s, Chelseas and UTD’s of this world on the transfer battleground. This is what people are missing.

  2. Bvumai says:

    You are right somehow’but one man ‘s meat is another man’s poison.
    If you felt like Ozil or Sanchez were outcasts at their various they were or are gold at another team.
    No team would let such talent slip through their finger and regret it at later stage
    Surely the guys are tremendous for Arsenal and they would have been for any bigger club.

  3. chas says:

    Cheers, Herb.

    I’m so pleased I don’t share your jaundiced view of Arsenal Football Club’s activities since 1934.

    To answer the question posed in the last paragraph, I’d say there is almost a 100% correlation between Arsenal’s resources and their performance. Well, for the last 20 years there has been, anyway.

  4. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi everybody.
    Before you all sling your arrows, boulders and rotten-fruit before killing me off with your sharpened daggers, I have one caveat.
    It is this.
    This was a private e-mail sent to Rasp which wasn’t for public consumption.
    Rasp did ask if I wanted it used as a post to which I said no.
    Then after a small consideration, I said if he wanted to use some of the contents of the email to cobble a post together and present it as his own work, I’d be fine with that.
    Arguments tend to become circular with each trying to out-point the other and no-one being able to categorically prove they are right – or wrong.
    It was just a question that Rasp probably didn’t have time to answer, which is why you’re now reading.
    Good health and much happiness to all that know me, but please appreciate that I won’t be around to argue or fight a battle of wills, because this has been published at the discretion of the site admin.
    Thanks for your time.

  5. RA says:

    Well done, Herb, dipping your toe in the water again on AA has produced plenty to discuss/argue about.

    The early part of your well written Post is interesting and unlikely to cause any disagreements of note.

    However, after a promising start it soon becomes obvious that you are not comparing Herbert Chapman and Arsene Wenger, but simply making a personal attack on the club’s ethos and the current manager’s record.

    You say that, to you Arsenal seem to be run by old Etonians etc, and perhaps it was at one time, when the Hill Woods and/or Bracewell Smiths owned and administered the club in the pre-oligarch era, but not now, as it is currently owned jointly by an American entrepreneur, and a Russian oligarch in Kroenke and Usmanov respectively.
    A world away from the patriarchal ownership of the Hill Woods and Bracewell Smiths.

    They in turn were a world away from Sir Henry Norris who was somewhat notorious for his sharp practice, and indeed was publicly disgraced when he was found guilty of maladministration, while chairman of Arsenal, leading to his banning for life from football, by the FA.

    The rest of the Post really just repeats your already expressed views, which are not so much a eulogy for Herbert Chapman, an excellent and innovative manager, but an attack on the current manager, Arsene Wenger, based not on facts, but your assessment of his abilities, while conveniently omitting to mention his track record which looks something like this;

    Personal Worldwide Managerial honours:

    — French Manager of the Year: 2008
    — J. League Manager of the Year: 1995
    — Officer of the British Empire: 2003
    — Onze d’Or Coach of The Year: 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004
    — Premier League Manager of the Season: 1998, 2002, 2004
    — LMA Manager of the Year: 2001–02, 2003–04
    — IFFHS World Coach of the Decade: 2001–2010
    — BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award: 2002, 2004
    — Freedom of Islington: 2004
    — FWA Tribute Award: 2005
    — English Football Hall of Fame: 2006
    — Premier League Manager of the Month: March 1998, April 1998, October 2000, April 2002, September 2002, August 2003, February 2004, August 2004, September 2007, December 2007, February 2011, February 2012, September 2013, March 2015

    Arsenal under Wenger 1996 to date:

    FA Premier League (3): 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04

    FA Cup (6): 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2013–14, 2014–15

    FA Community Shield (6): 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2014, 2015

    Win % at Highbury, under Wenger: 70%

    Win % at Emirates, under Wenger: 68%

    A record to be proud of.

    Your views do not upset me, Herb, and I hope you will understand that in the intervening period from when you last advanced your views, which you have not changed – I still totally disagree with you, and the real ‘facts’ I have shown above speak for themselves.

    At least you are consistent. 🙂


    Nice to see you back Herb.

    You come over as a man with an axe to grind Herb. I don’t know why and to be honest I don’t care.

    Theres nothing circular in my argument. What you have written is a load of pony.

  7. Rasp says:

    Hi Herb,

    I got the impression that your email was intended as a post – it certainly reads that way – I’m sorry if you feel as though you’ve been misrepresented.

    I couldn’t alter your thoughts and present them as my own for the obvious reasons, but you should be happy that others are reading and considering your viewpoint even if they don’t ultimately agree.

    There is no need for aggression on either side as you say 🙂

  8. stevepalmer1 says:

    Afternoon all, Thank you Herb, for your view on things.

    Many supporters especially Arsenal supporters tend to feel that Arsenal has a God given right to be the top club. Herb you strike me as being one of those supporters.

    Now God forbid i should say your wrong, as Arsene and Stan donot include me on their private talks, so i like you have to go on what i see. Now Herb you say that we have not really done anything, don’t you feel that the players we have have not entertained us.

    Every week i see passing of the highest order, slick play that only really needs a finishing touch. Well of course you probably would not see it the same as me, because we have only won trophies for the last couple of seasons.

    I have to say that the long spell we had without a trophy was frustrating, but seeing i am only an ordinary man, i of course realised that the stadium had cost a packet, and so we had to have a lull in our activities.

    Arsenal wasn’t so lucky as Man City, to have a stadium built by the nation and then get brought by an Arab who wanted a plaything. Chelsea although they never had a stadium built by the public did manage to snag an Oligarch who was looking for a safe haven for Russia’s money, wha’ts a billion to store many more more billion. A man who sold Matches on street corners and then is a multi billionaire may seem like a football man to you, but to me he is as nasty as the Russian Mafia.

    City and Chavs honours may be high on your views but for me they are a sign of wealth thats come easy, Our little Charity Sheilds and FA cups mean so much more to me than anything those other clubs have won.

    Ok that makes me sound like a puritan, i can see that, but just the way i feel. Arsenal supporters can watch good football in a fantastic stadium they also see Champions league football every season they get value for money if they never the sixty thousand seater stadium would be empty.

    Every business is there to make a profit, Arsenal are no different, Most bosses invest in their businesses mainly to make more money, but they are also careful not to over spend. Most Bosses i know are very wealthy people, they get wealthy and want to stay wealthy, as they have probably had it tough getting there, they take their profits out of the business and bank it for when they retire, of course they want a comfortable retirement so they make sure theres plenty there.

    They provide a service that people pay for, for those who boss football clubs they provide entertainment, usually 90 minutes of attractive football with skill full players, no promises of trophies no free drinks no free hot dogs, 90 minutes of skilful football and thats what the fans get.

    Of course Herb, that is not enough for some so called supporters, they hate the fact that somebody who lays that entertainment on is also making money, and feels he should go out and spend nearly all of it in making your enjoyment even better, but should he ask you to pay an extra tenner to view you have a meltdown.

    Personall i like the way Arsenal are going, i feel we have a healthy club i feel we have a good team, and i also believe we have the best Manager, He has a job to do and in my humble opinion he is head and shoulders better than any other.

    In a league of twenty clubs top four is blinding for as long as we have been up there, i feel your post would be better with a Tottenham label as they are having it tougher. I have enough trouble spending my own money, i feel its no ones business about how they spend theirs. but thanks for the post..

  9. ‘afternoon all, I was looking forward to Herb’s post, something to make my blood boil perhaps? Something to have me nodding in agreement? But no neither of them, just a whinge about not very much really.

    Would we, could we have done better by changing the manager every couple of years? Or by buying players wholesale regardless of cost or quality? I suspect not.

    Overall the club is in good health financially speaking, it could do better ambitionwise, and I think the scouting and acquisition of new players could be improved. But they are arguments for another day, the sun is shining, the dog needs walking so it’s off to Marsham Heath where the yellow of the Gorse and the purple of the Heather are truly lovely at this time of year.

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    Herb, Herb, Herb!

    I’ve (fully) supported the Arsenal since the days I stood outside of Highbury, just after the end of WW11, and listened to the cheers and roars coming from inside the ground. After the game I would sit in our front room watching in wonderment at the hordes of people walking up Avenell Road.

    I was in awe then and now some 70 odd years later I’m still in awe, Arsenal have added a layer and dimension to my life that is truly irreplaceable and I will appreciate that until the day I die.

    Nothing will ever change my viewpoint, I’ve seen the best and worst of what Arsenal and football in general has had to offer us supporters for the last 7 decades and what we see today is undoubtedly a sport that improves year over year.

    I simply cannot understand your viewpoint as all you have done is to trash everything that the club has achieved in a futile attempt to offer an alternative opinion.

    Here is an example of what I mean – you throw in the words that we “willing conceded” simply to give the impression that yours is a strong case,

    “The whole dynamic paradigm that Norris, Chapman and Allison brought to Arsenal disappeared out of sight under new ownership, and as a whole, the club have never recovered the ground they willingly conceded. But they’ve made shed-loads of cash so the only real losers are the long-suffering fans”

    This is all I can say on this subject as I have to leave on a trip and will not be back until sometime on Friday.

  11. Yet another set back for Wilshere. Wenger speaking at his press conference today, “I expected him to be back and available after the international break but unfortunately he had a little setback,” Wenger said.

    Is there any point in persisting with our perenially injured mid-fielder?

    Can we afford another Diaby situation?

  12. Eddie says:

    Thanks for the unintentional post 🙂 I share your frustration Herb, like the rest of us I keep on hoping for the 1st in August and being relieved we are in the top 4 at the end of the season. Sadly I don’t believe we will win the league again given unfair advantage of Chelsea and City. Until another billionaire buys an EPL club, CFC and MC will share the trophy. Same in Europe – Spanish – German domination will be hard to brake.

    I don’t think it’s the lack of ambition, but a large dose of realism. Perhaps the board asked Wenger if buying say Benzema guarantees us first spot? Or the parties couldn’t agree terms? Who knows, lots of things could go wrong, so to say club lacks ambition is harsh.

    The only positive is that at least 17 other clubs share our pain

  13. Hi Eddie, I’m not sure their are seventeen clubs sharing our pain. Two at the most, of the rest some are just happy to survive as a Premiership club, others with the ambition to be top or qualify for the Europa League.

    Maybe we have hit the glass ceiling.

  14. Shard says:

    Apart from the arguments themselves, a couple of inconsistencies. Arsenal apparently have no ambition to be the best, yet you count them among the super powers in football. How can this be? Decades of incompetent and visionless leadership and management and yet the Arsenal are a super power?

    And if wenger were so concerned about the fan unrest that he shattered our transfer record, nearly tripled it, simply to buy someone ‘not needed’, why wouldn’t he do that all the time to keep the pressure off him. Why wouldn’t he publicly demand more signings like other managers do?

    No one has done more for the growth, and sustained success of this club, both in the present and way way imto the future, than Arsene Wenger. It is a shame that so many Arsenal fans can’t see that.

    In yur case Herb. It’s even more weird because you go back to the 30s to make your case that Arsenal should by rights be on top. As if the world war, change in contract laws, transfer rules, globalisation of the game, the increased money, the power, prestige and history of the other clubs, and examples of genuinely bad ownership and management shouldn’t be taken into account at all. You offer no frame of reference other than the imagined superiority of Arsenal as a universal law, and allow this to inform you.

    The greatest club in the world is an oft used mantra. The road to actually achieving that is where we really are. It’s a great, but long and arduous journey. It’s not going to become any easier or quicker by screaming ‘are we there yet?’ ever so often. Look out the window, enjoy the view and see the changing landscape to understand that we are moving forward. It’s a lot more fun that way if nothing else.

  15. Well, thanks for that Herb. I was looking forward to your post… though apparently Rasp took a liberty with sharing it 😀

    Nothing new from your side of the fence really, we all probably have some question marks over the financial side of the club and some of Wengers transfer decisions, but isn’t that football? I’m not sure how long you have been supporting the club Herb, but I just can’t understand how you can support them with that type of attitude, it’s beyond belief.

    I haven’t supported the gunners for as long as GN5 or JC, but I’ve been through the rough and the smooth and ultimately, I still support them 100%… and think Wenger is the best of all the managers in our great history.

    However, this little thing over Welbeck and his surgery does baffle me. Arsene obviously knew the extent of the poroblem when he held a news conference on the 27th august… a few days before the TW deadline, but said he had not heard anything about the complications. He may have lied, he may have bent the truth slightly, but what I believe is that he was in the market looking and he didn’t want another club holding us to ransom because Welbeck wouldn’t be available till after Christmas. Only a madman would have revealed the welbeck situation before the end of the TW. Herb my man, this is what’s called trust in a manager and a team and a club… you just have to believe man, GN5 has done for 7 decades and JC has done for even longer… that is what support is all about… and shake it all about 😀

  16. LB (London) says:

    A very passionate post Herb, you clearly feel strongly about how the club has not progressed as well you seem to think it should.

    It is quite amazing how you cannot see what so many other Arsenal supporters can, maybe you would say the same to me that it is amazing that I cannot see what so many other Arsenal supporters can see.

    It is really mystifying though that you cannot see how Man City’s spending power and Chelsea before that have affected our ability to compete in the transfer market, there is only a finite amount of top talent to go round. Do you think that Bergkamp and Henry would come to Arsenal if they were available today. Impossible, they would almost certainly be at Man City or PSG.

    Second point that caught my eye was this: “Arsenal wouldn’t have gone into such a project without examining all financial pit-falls and worse-case scenario’s.”
    Credit crisis Herb, I agree that the club should have tried to cover themselves against as many eventualities as they could but as you are aware the 2008 global melt down caught larger institutions than Arsenal out. I personally believe that was the reason for Hill-Wood’s u-turn on Kroenke, he knew that Arsenal needed more financial protection than it had, we survived, the rest is history.

    And lastly, why be so negative about how we acquire our players, one mans junk is another mans gold. Ozil and Sanchez have been a joy to watch, I can’t wait for Real Madrid’s next fire sale, I am hoping we pick up Isco in that. Oh well, we can dream………….

    Good to see you back Herb

  17. RA says:

    Can I say, Herb, that altho you have not, apparently, won your case, what LB has just said, and others before him, is very apposite – we all think it is good to see you back on AA.

    You have a wealth of knowledge on other topics and I would like to hear what you think – and so would many others.

    Don’t be a stranger! 🙂

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Thank you Herb, and really appreciate your post.

    Ok, so I was expecting a more direct “should Arsene be sacked before breakfast?”, but hey 🙂

    While I don’t share your level of overall doom and despair, and nothing that ever happens will stop me eagerly awaiting the next game and the zillions of goals we’ll score, I do share bits of gists of your post.

    Let’s start post war. Italy have had their Milans and Juves who at various times have shone brightly amongst the European elite, as have two from Spain and ditto Germany.

    England have also had a brace in Utd and Pool who reached the very top of European football.

    For many years, even decades, Arsenal were the most powerful of London football teams, but never has a London Club consistently topped Europe. I would love more than anything to see Arsenal bringing home ‘Ol Big Ears before I snuff it.

    LB is bang on about the unforeseen ’08 crash, and the effect it had directly on Arsenal, however it was during the Hill Wood, Bracewell and Dein era that we really did look like pushing with the much needed stadium move being the catalyst.

    Wallop, along came oil.

    So, here we are in 2015, and I believe Arsenal are well placed for another push. Utd are by a margin the biggest club in England, and there’s no reason to suppose that City can’t join them. However Chelsea and Spurs have expensive development costs to suck up, so now is the time for Arsenal to really seize the moment.

    My question is, do we as a Club have the appetite for the challenge? Personally, I feel we need to be more ruthless and aggressive in grasping the opportunity, and I wonder whether the current owners/board see “our moment”, even if it entails an increased element of risk.

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    Now, where’s Crystals 🙂

  20. 1979Gunner says:

    Interesting ‘post’ Herb. I actually can understand your point of view but then I thought it sounded so much like friends if mine who support other clubs when they’re having a go at me about Arsenal. I defend the club and manager using all the points already on here. Although we’re not perfect, we’re doing ok.

  21. Rasp says:

    Great responses to Herb’s ‘unintentional post’ 🙂 I’m with the majority responses, I’m far from happy with some aspects of the way we do business but I bet the majority of fans of other EPL clubs would have a lot more to moan about if they had a mind.

    I’ve realised that there really is no right time to moan about the Arsenal – over the transfer window you keep quiet because you’re hoping for Micky’s obscenely expensive acquisition, and in season we just have to get behind the team because there is nothing to be gained from negativity.

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    Utter codswallop Rasp, always time and space for a moan 🙂

    As for the window, complete disaster. No excuse at all in my book. Chelsea and Utd are there for the taking, then who knows with City. A cheeky win at home and turning a few draws into wins and bingo.

    I still believe we could and should have upgraded a striker, and if that had been at an unreasonable £70m, then yes, we could have made those numbers work.

    See how easy that was? 🙂

  23. Very interesting post Herbie.

  24. Don’t forget tomorrow is RANT FRIDAY.

    If there isn’t a post in the cupboard can we have a day where we can put up our personal moans. Football related of course.

    My one would be about Rooney and his “All time highest scorer record”. The fact is he’sbeen fed penalties in too many meaningless friendlies.

    Oops, I’ve just let the cat out of the bag. 😀

  25. Herb'sArmy says:

    Ross Thomas – I know we’re not a super-power, but during the 1930’s we were the only super-power. The Hill-Wood’s and Bracewell-Smith’s failed to pick up that baton when they took over after WWII. Stan Kroenke has merely picked up from where they took over, and apart from planting his son on Arsenal’s BoD is very much an absent owner.

    Bmuvai – I agree, the signings of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and even Petr Cech are stand-out signings, but Ozil and Sanchez haven’t taken us to the next level. Ozil must be doing something right because he’s a first-pick for Joachim Low. We’ve rarely ever seen the Ozil of Germany do it for Arsenal. The CL home game against Napoli, and…
    Sanchez is immense, but needs help, which as usual was missing when it really counted last season (unless you celebrate the now redundant FA Cup).

    Chas – Me too, because it would mean depriving the club of one of it’s best supporters. Your holistic approach to supporting Arsenal is fantastic, and folk like you are the life-blood of the club.

    RA – I know this is a very Pro-Arsene blog, you don’t need to list his many accolades, which of those are relevant now? Next year is the 10 year anniversary at The Emirates, which in 2006 was meant to herald the new dawn of competing with the elite. We’re still miles away.
    Thanks for your words of support, much appreciated.

    Terry – Hi mate, you and Cockie are still the best comedy duo in Blogland. The ghosts of the thirties have never been more at peace. Yours, and others staunch defence is admirable, but you’re defending someone who is paid a King’s ransom to continually fall short, and who at least half the fan-base would remove tomorrow.
    What’s Theo on now, £140,000 a week? Wow! That kind of sums up Arsene Wenger’s post 2006 Arsenal. Grossly over-rewarding lots of ordinary footballers.

    Steve – no, nobody has a god-given right to anything, but if you had read what was written, my lament is that Arsenal have been that club. It isn’t the supporters who drive the club’s philosophy or ambition. The stark difference between Chelsea, City and Arsenal is that they have owners who are prepared to invest millions into their playing squads. Stan Kroenke just wants to make money, so Arsenal are happy to finish below them so that Arsene can take the moral high-ground to excuse the Kroenke’s lack of investment. The fans of all his American Sports Franchises despise him and his son Josh. As for the Tottenham reference, does anyone care that they’re having it rough? I’m just grateful Abramovich didn’t buy them, as he originally intended.

    Norfolk Gooner – Yep sorry, just another whinge, but as I said at the top, it was a private e-mail that was never meant to be a post for the very reasons you pointed out.

    GunnerN5 – Have a safe journey. I know better than to try and preach to an Arsenal fan of your experience. Doesn’t mean we have to agree, but I respect your views.

    Eddie/Evonne – Yes sadly money has ruined the people’s sport, and it is difficult to see Arsenal winning a PL title any time in the immediate future I don’t think we’ll ever win CL, Arsenal just aren’t set up for it.

    Shard – Hi, hope you’re good too. You’re in with a good crowd here, I read of your recent Emirates sojourn where you met up with AA regulars, sounds like they made you very welcome. But you need to read properly. Arsenal have all the potential to be a super-power, but they’ve still got the hand-brake on and are clinging on to it for dear life in case there’s a major apocalypse lurking in the dark shadows just waiting to destroy all their caution.

    northbank 1969 – Don’t recall speaking before, but thanks for the input.

    LB – Wow, thanks for the kind words, hope you’re well, I enjoyed watching the cycling clips you put up way back when.
    I assumed that football was its own unique market, and quite seperate from the normal global financial machinery. I hadn’t factored in that it might have affected Arsenal, but spending in football didn’t slow down as a consequence of the 2008 crash. I completely agree with you on Isco (originally scouted by Cockie, I think?).
    Micky – how are you? Good to see you keeping order on AA. Carlos Bacca (scorer of two goals in the Europa League final) went to Milan for £13m. I don’t think Karim Benzema would leave Madrid for Arsenal unless they made it patently clear they didn’t want him, it would be a big step down.
    As for Utd and Liverpool, we were there before them in terms of power (we just didn’t have European football at the time!). Utd grew from their Munich Air disaster, Liverpool did it more organically by appointing the right people, they’ve never really been a bigger club financially.

    1979Gunner and Martin Wengrow – thanks for commenting.

    Rasp – last but by no means least. You’re a rascal!
    As I said to you, I really didn’t want this to be used as post material, but I appreciate all the feedback and sentiments, even though I know I let the holistic supporters down.

  26. chas says:

    Rooney has 6 pens out of 50
    Charlton 3 out of 49

    Trying to compare the two is almost impossible.
    Bit like Chapman and Wenger. 🙂

  27. chas says:

    Ooops, forgot to mention that apparently Sir Bobby scored nearly 75% of his goals in ‘meaningless friendlies’. 🙂

    (p.s. sorry about the five pages to scroll through on that link)

  28. chas says:

    Not that I #believeintheweave, I hasten to add.
    Just trying to add some perspective. 🙂

  29. chas says:

    Cheers, Herb.
    Though, I’m not any kind of best supporter.

    As for the Club, well, they wouldn’t miss me at all if I stopped going to games, so I can’t be part of its life-blood.
    It’s what the Club means to me that’s important in our relationship.
    It’s odd how I can feel strongly for an institution regardless of who the players, manager or fans actually are.

    I’ve just had a massive revelation; my whole football-obsessed life is built on some abstract fabrication.
    Like most of us I assume. 🙂

  30. Shard says:

    Hey herb. Hope you’re well. I probably do need to read better. If it’s any excuse I’m not on my computer. Mobile devices aren’t very conveniemt to use for me. Big disincentive to blogging.

    The point however, is still the same. Arsenal would not be where they stand if they were as poorly managed as you say. Finances is a very odd stick to beat wenger with because in any financial measure, he comes out well on top.

    Look, this is the thing. If you believe kroenke or someone else should be putting their personal wealth into running the club, you will obviously be unhappy. Like it or not, this is just not Arsenal’s reality. Frankly, I am rather happy about this because the examples of bad owners are much more prevalent than the decade of involvement of abramovich and abu dhabi. And we don’t know their endgame either.

    If football goes down the american system, with salary caps, clearly enforced rules on contracts and transfers, then I’d be for owners spending their own money. Because then, they can lehitimately hope to make money. It would be a win-win. In fact, if the oligarch model continues, this is the only way it can go because the ever increasing expenses with ever dexreasing chances of victory will mean that it can’t continue. Or maybe, with the new tv deal, the gaps beyween clubs will be reduced enough so as to render the oil money as close to redundant as possible. I would like that. A league where any team could win. Where you have 12 different winners in 20 years.

    As of now, Arsenal have continued on a path of sustained growth rather than inorganic cash injections. It seems this is what angers you more than anything wenger may or may not have done. Those are just the rationalisatioms for your fundamental difference of opinion. Nothing I say will change your mind. Still, it’s good to hear different views, so thank you.

  31. Shard says:


    Has jc received a card from India yet?

  32. chas says:

    Not that I’m aware of, Shard. Seeing him Saturday for the first time since West Ham, so you never know. 🙂

  33. Shard says:

    I live in hope 🙂

    Not just that it’ll reach him. But also that it will be at least worthy of belonging in that group of cards we saw that day. I have my excuses ready anyway, just in case 🙂

  34. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hey no problem Chas.
    You put some mileage in following Arsenal and I’ve seen from your pictures what a buzz you get from it. That’s true, loyal support and adds to the ingredients that makes Arsenal such a classy club.
    I know my negativity grates you and a lot of others on here, and my ignorance has displayed itself too often.
    This a nice mix of people who take organic pleasure from supporting Arsenal without getting bogged down in club politics, and that’s how it should be.


    Herb, I like you and have missed you on the blogs but for the life of me have no idea why? You remind me of this old pair of underpants that are so crusty that when i when walk it sounds as though someone is eating a bowl of corn flakes.

    Its embarressing and destroying my love life. No one wants to date a man who has a cereal eating lodger down there trousers.

    But I cant throw them away. When you examine them closely you can see they have formed an image of Jesus.

    We will never agree on Wenger. I guess my views can be viewed as over the top as yours, just at the other end of the spectrum.

    In future I will try my best not to get personal, its unfair on you, and look forward to seeing you on the board more often.

    But I promise nothing. hahaha

  36. chas says:

    This could be a good photo to put up on the wall of Ian’s Hair.

  37. Eddie says:

    Chas – i like what you said about the club – you need them more than they need you. I completely agree, I need my Arsenal

  38. chas says:

    Cheers, Eddie.

    Yeah, it’s definitely a one-sided relationship.

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    Bit worried about you. It’s the use of words holistic and organic that set alarm bells ringing.
    Have you recently looked up into the sky above, seen eagles circling, and interpreted it as a sign from the ancients or some such shit?

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    Evil blued eyed cat, nice green eyed cat, Strummer and Dave. Nice 🙂

    Morning Eddie

  41. chas says:

    It’s the Big Radford effect.
    The hippy essence seeps into your psyche.

  42. chas says:

    It sounds like Terry’s pants are a bit organic

  43. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha true

    Talking of Lefties, I think our chances of getting a PM out of The Hippy are exceedingly slim what with the mushroom season being in full swing

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    Are you going to the game?

  45. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all, Beautiful day here, may go fishing.
    Thank you for your answer Herb, You may be right on taking more notice of your written word, and should i have interpreted wrongly i apologise.

    Herb Mate, I have been an Arsenal supporter, as you have, all my life, and if i speak the truth, Have read so many stories of Arsenals deficiencies, how they do everything wrong and how Wenger has not lived up to expectations, that i now have a built in sense that as soon as i hear the first part of what a person says, interpret that as an Arsenal Knock. Chas when he said what he did at 11.52 is me to a tee, I know they couldn’t care less whether i support Arsenal or anybody else, but it makes no difference to me, as its in the blood.

    To late for many of us to change allegiance, even if we felt we had made a mistake. Its now ingrained. Many people are from foreign parts wherever they have settled, they still deep down believe in their countries. I am an Englishman and i too am proud of it, why i am proud i don’t really know, as we do some things i can’t understand, but that doesn’t interfere with my beliefs.

    I feel the same with Arsenal. Why should i feel so passionate about some thing that couldn’t give a shit about me. Chas comment has explained that well, you are what you are and you have your own thoughts and that makes you who you are.

    We disagree some what, but thats how it should be, wouldn’t be right if we agreed with everything, For a person to write about a subject with so much detail only goes to prove that you have been caught up the same as the rest of us, just different mindset thats all. Good on ya mate.

  46. Eddie says:

    No Micky, I am still sitting in a basket by the polski sea. Watching seagulls, listening to the waves soaking up the sun and drawing circles in the sand…..I’m fecking bored out of my head

  47. RA says:


    ‘sitting in a basket by the polls sea’ — and Micky is a basket case – good match, methinks! 😀

  48. Morning all

    Just juggling my life and sorting a post. Back in a bit.

  49. We have a New Post …………………..

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