A View From The Stands

Firstly let me say that I have not seen any highlights or read too much this morning so I am not in a position to comment on refereeing decisions or any controversial incidences. As you know they do not show anything controversial as a re-run so I will need others to fill me in on this. Certainly from the stands I was suspicious of off-side for their 3rd and with UEFA not using goal line technology I would welcome some feedback on their 2nd.

This was a strangely disjointed performance that left me slightly puzzled, and I know what you are thinking, a puzzled GoonerB with few tactical solutions is verging on a national crisis 🙂

Reading through some comments there does seem to be many feeling that this performance (or others like it) is down down to non recruitment of certain personnel or too much rotation and inexplicably not playing our strongest team.

The first may have some merit that we do lack certain qualities in the squad. It is probably, though, also about missing certain qualities through injuries. Notably I felt the way Olympiacos defended was made for Giroud’s presence in the box, but he wasn’t available. Theo wasn’t bad, but I do have a couple of gripes regarding him that I will comment on later, but I would have preferred Giroud to have been brought on up top (once we had seen how the game and their defensive line was developing) with Theo moved wide right (due to the Ox having an off game IMO).

I think the game also craved Jack’s intricate ability to operate in the tightest of spaces with those subtle 1-2’s, so he was also badly missed as an option. Add potential missing options in Welbeck and Rosicky and our options to change the game tactically were limited.

On the rotation side of things, I am sorry but it is necessary. When and how is a different matter, but I question why many feel we went in with a weakened team last night. With what we have, and had available, many would say that Walcott, Alexis and Ox is our strongest front 3….I do…. Many would say that Ozil is the best 1st choice starting option in that number 10 role….I do…. Many would say that Le Coq and Santi is the best CM pairing….I do…. Bellerin and Kos are generally considered 1st choice. Gabriel will now be considered by many as being ahead of Merts. Monreal was a massively improved player last year but for me there is not much difference between him and Gibbs, certainly not game altering differences.

That leaves the keeper. I get it that Cech is better and is truly world class but big teams win big prizes even with injuries to 1st choice keepers by having excellent ready made back-ups, even if slightly inferior to the first choice. Are we really saying that we have lost this game because our2nd choice keeper, the number 1 Columbian international keeper, is not good enough to help us beat Olympiacos at home??? I really struggle with that one, and if it is the case then he has no place being in the Arsenal squad at all. On paper it looked a strong, fine, and balanced line up to me so I am looking for answers to last night elsewhere.

So we once again we gifted some poor goals, I think everyone will agree there, and I just don’t think you can do that as often as we do in Europe, even against some lesser teams. Is this a personnel or training issue? We again left ourselves a mountain to climb and to be fair to Olympiacos they were very organised, compact, and solid in defence. We couldn’t easily find a way through tight central spaces and the fact we did twice should have been enough, if we did our job properly elsewhere.

The route through them seemed to be from the wide areas. We are good at this by and large, and mostly use the overlapping full-backs to good effect so all we then need are dangerous balls into the box (some aerial some low and powerful). I do however have an issue with theOx and our right flank last night, but will say more later. If we get into dangerous wide areas and get the balls in, we then just need players in the box to finish these good chances off…..errmm….seems to fall down at that point!

I have a big problem with this, especially with the aerial balls. The default seems to be that we miss a big CF in these instances so we can immediately jump on the Giroud bandwagon. Personally though I think many of the most prolific goal-scorers in the air are just technically good at it, and are good at finding and attacking space gaining a half yard on the defender. The height obviously does help at times but even as a biggie Giroud for me is an average threat in the air. Sanchez (all 5′ 6 1/2” of him according to Wiki) is good in the air and a good technical header of the ball. He has learnt this away from Arsenal. I then look at many of our attacking players that have been with us for some time, so their skill set is more shaped by Arsenal’s training of them, and I ask who else do we have that has good technique in with heading, regardless of size? It leaves me questioning our coaching and training unfortunately.

Was last night “just a bad day at the office”, or are we getting too many bad day’s at the office to keep saying this. What do you guys think?

Written by GoonerB

164 Responses to  A View From The Stands

  1. Bryan says:

    You know I actually think the weakened team debate is more appropriate for the game against Dinamo Zagreb away, than last nights comedy of errors, but maybe its brought up more as was a terrible mistake by Ospina for the goal.
    Lets not forget it was also rubbish keeping by the Olympiacos keeper for Theo’s goal

  2. GoonerB says:

    Sorry, no time to proof read and correct grammar. Hope you all still got the gist.

  3. puritan says:

    Hello fellow gooners the pain is immeasurable but Wenger if anything id a fighter and he will fix things

  4. RA says:

    Nice Post GoonerB, 🙂

    Erm, you said you had a couple of gripes about Theo [sacré bleu] and would get back to them – but didn’t – scared of Norfolk? 🙂

  5. GoonerB says:

    No getting back to them in comments soon RA. Thought it would be overkill on the post itself

  6. Malaysian gunner says:

    The buck stops with Wenger. To blame bad luck aint going to clear him.I believe he has been underperforming the last 5 years.
    The problem is he thinks his attacking style will vinciate him.
    Sadly it aint happening and will not happen .Enough time has been given and he has failed repeatedly.
    I have to agree with other fans his time’s up. Otherwise Arsenal risks going into meltdown.

  7. RA says:

    I gave some thought to the game last night and tried to work out where things went ass up by reading the comments here and elsewhere.

    1) – Dodgy keeper.
    2) – Defence poor defending free kicks – backs played like wingers.
    3) – Tiny and ineffective midfield — all went waltzing matilda upfield.
    4) – Other than Santi – forwards were poor – again.
    5) – Manager – left fans split on his team selection, tactics, etc.

    So there we have it. We need a new team and manager – or better analysis. 😀

    The game and the team are a bit like the parson’s nose – not to everyone’s taste it seems, and I find myself in agreement with some of the above but not with all of it.

  8. Rasp says:

    Thanks for stepping up GoonerB 🙂

    Speaking as one who watched the game on a screen I can say that from my perspective, the refereeing decisions were not too bad. The ball did cross the line for the Ospina fumble.

    Now down to your points on recruitment and team selection:

    Arsene and maybe one or two others may believe that there wasn’t a single player available to reinforce our squad in the areas required – I can tell you categorically that they are a small minority of Arsenal supporters…… I’ll put a poll up on the site if any wish to contest this view.

    As for rotation. Yes of course it is necessary, maybe 2 or 3 players when it suits the opposition and again most supporters would agree. But changing 6 players for the Zagreb game and 5 for Olympiacos is high risk. It didn’t pay off against Zagreb so Arsene decided to repeat the exercise … this is a trait of his.

    As for Ospina, he has looked shaky for a while. He dropped a ball in the box against the Totts and he did it twice yesterday – why take the risk in what AW himself called a ‘MWG’?

    I put up a comment when Alexis scored the equaliser saying “don’t forget Monaco” = don’t go mad and concede a sloppy goal straight away …… by the time I’d pushed the send button we were down 3:2.

    This is exactly what I mean by a lack of leadership on the pitch. Who was clapping their hands together and urging the players to concentrate when Olympiacos kicked off after we scored? No one.

    This has been a problem for several years. I remember the frustration on Sol Campbell’s face when he returned and tried to urge the players to remain solid. He could see it, we could see it.

    We do not have 11 captains, we have zero captains. Look at the old vids of Tony Adams and PV. They were always there when there was trouble, pulling players apart and taking charge – how we need a player like that these days.

  9. RA says:

    Santi = Sanchez – oy vez, already. 🙂

  10. GoonerB says:

    Just to add a couple of extra thoughts. Firstly Theo :

    He needs to work on all aspects of his game to be a top striker IMO, so I would like him to work on his movement to meet an aerial ball and his heading technique thereafter. As I said in the post many diminutive forward players score quite regularly with their head if they are good in the movement and technique areas, but also as said this does seem to be a more global Arsenal training issue than just Theo.

    I was watching Theo and his movement yesterday and I feel his movement when we are moving forward into their half or the last 3rd is very good. He is always trying for those angled runs to allow us to play forward defence splitting passes. As seen yesterday, they don’t always result in a direct shot on goal, but do pull the oppo defence apart and Theo is good at becoming provider in those instances as well.

    However his movement when we have been defending and break down the attack and need to look for a quick outlet is not so good. The times the defenders need to get it out quickly and want to hit the striker and get them to hold up play. Theo needs to do this by using his pace to exploit the channels, particularly the wide ones, when it is obvious this is going to be the best out ball.

    I noticed on a couple of occasions that there was going to be an obvious out-ball into a wide channel that Theo made no effort to go into. It looked lazy to me and if he truly wants to be that top striker he needs to take a leaf out of Suarez book and work harder for the team in this area IMO. I also don’t expect Theo to go into too much of a physical battle with defenders but would like to see him hassle them more. He is so quick that he can chase them down more giving them little time on the ball and this can result in turnover possession in dangerous areas.

    If he wants to be a truly world class striker at the highest level he needs to improve these things for me, otherwise he will fall short and likely not due to lack of talent but more due to lack of application and work-rate which would be a shame.

  11. Block 07 says:

    I was lucky enough to sell my ticket for last nights game. Wenger will say we will show good spirit and fight back. Unfortunately we have lost count of how many times he has said that. However I’m not stupid I know wenger will see out the remaining 1.5 yrs on his contract and the spineless arsenal board will be more than happy with this.

    It’s a shame so many people are scared of change.

  12. Rasp says:

    Hi again GoonerB, it occurred to me while watching the pre-match build up that Theo is physically about the same size as Wrighty. IW also didn’t score many goals with his head but he made a nuisance of himself and buzzed around defenders with only scoring on his mind.

    Theo’s runs and positioning are pretty good. His finishing is better than some would give credit and he is improving. Yesterday’s game would have been tailor made for Giroud to come on at 70 minutes and make an impact when we were firing balls into the box – its his bad that he couldn’t play!

  13. GoonerB says:

    Second thought on the Ox :

    I love the Ox and think he is a big talent for our future but yesterday he looked to be a bit of a passenger to me and I can’t help but think that we still don’t know his best position and this is now hampering him.

    We have often said that at times in a game we need to have more width, but as with everything there needs to be a balance in when and how often. I felt yesterday Ox stayed wide too often, particularly in the first half, and that didn’t allow Bellerin any opportunity to get forward and overlap. The Ox often got boxed in on the flank by 2-3 players with no-where to go.

    The other thing is that I, like many others, love a player that will run at the opposition. They are the bums off seats players and at the highest level can give you an advantage. However I wonder whether the Ox is just doing it too much rather than picking the moments. It seemed to be that he felt he had to do this every time he got the ball yesterday and my mind drifted to Forrest Gump.

    I noted one time when he had 3-4 of our players in advance of him where really he should have been looking for a ball to one of them as the then deeper sitting player, or a defence splitting pass into one of them, but he chose to run at the defenders. He duly lost possession and with those 3-4 other players of ours higher up the pitch than him we got exposed to the counter-attack.

    I am still not so sure that the Ox is not more cut out as a number 10 or, possibly even more controversially, maybe even a striker. I also wonder whether this is one of those times when we miss a quality left footer to play from the wide right, which is what most of the top teams tend to do with the wide areas (right footer left and left footer right). Perhaps Ox’s best position is wide left, but he isn’t getting that position right now.

  14. GoonerB says:

    Rasp, the leadership / captains or lack thereof concept. I tried for a while to convince myself it didn’t matter as much but I am now getting more convinced we have an issue here and that AW’s statements he makes about having “many captains on the pitch” is starting to look a bit silly.

  15. Does anyone believe that Cech “had a leetle calf strain”? If he was fit enough to be on the bench, then he was fit enough to play.

    Why would a ‘keeper of his calibre need to be rested before the Sunday game? I don’t think Jack Kelsey got too many days off in a season.

    As others have said, Ospina has been dodgy for a while now, is a MWG in the Champions League the time to play him in the hope that he will improve? I don’t think so!

    It has been suggested that Ospina has a contract clause that gurantees a start in cup competitions, I just can’t believe that any club would be daft enough to allow such a thing.

    By the way, thanks GoonerB for the match summary, there are one or two things I don’t agree with so I’ll be back in a bit.

  16. RC78 says:

    There are two major competitions for each club: EPL and CL.

    In these two competitions, you must play your starting GK…

    I think that yesterday was just a performance that is reflective of our season so far…Stupid goals allowed, poor defending at times, poor tracking from our midfielders and an inability to finish off promising moves…

    Again, the game showed that our squad is thin at CB, DM and F/WL for sure…

    BFG, Gabs and Chambers are not good enough really…and now that Kos is injured, Man Utd and other teams will have a field day…

    I think that most importantly our team is just playing in a disjointed manner, there is no sense of “defensive block” and no sense of “attacking block” and again, our FB are not brining enough to the game and our CMs are not creating enough havoc through shots outside the box or runs inside the box…

    I feel very sorry for Ox who has now deflected many shots that led to goals or who has lost possession leading to goals this year..He needs to learn to defend better…Ox best position is clearly “box to box” midfielder but he has to improve both his defensive display and his attacking brains (do not go for a run when you should pass…)…

    In all honesty, if we get a point against Munich, it will be a miracle…If we do so, we could maybe still finish second but I think that in the end, Zagreb or Olympiakos will just finish above us and this would largely due to poor performance from Ospina although the whole team is at fault…

    Now – it is OK to rotate some players esp. when playing vs a supposedly weaker team like Olympiakos but still, some positions you do not touch: GK, CB, CM, ST.

    Anyways – let us hope that our team wins vs Utd at home but without Kos, I fear the worse…If I were AW, I would actually beef up my midfield a lot more… and I would play OG for sure…

    Cech – Bellerin, BFG, Gabs (or Kos if fit), Monreal – Ramsey, Coq, Cazorla – Ox, Giroud, Sanchez

    I have Ozil and Walcott on the bench as my super subs. I think this is a game for Ox and Giroud to shine and to harrass the backline and DMs of Utd…

    De Gea – Darmian, Smalling, Jones, Blind – Schnederlin, Schweinsteiger, Herrera – Mata, Rooney, Depay

  17. RC78 says:

    GB – we need one captain and then one leader per line…

    Our captain is BFG for some reason but Cech or Sanchez would be better suited according to me…

    Cech leader at the back
    Ramsey in the middle
    Sanchez up front

  18. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi GoonerB, thanks for the post.
    At least you were in good company for the evening.
    Arsene isn’t important enough to make me angry.
    I read something last week from Philip Auclair* (sp*) about the CL final in 2006. On the eve of the final a journalist asked him how he planned to deal with Barcelona, and Arsene replied that he hadn’t even thought about it, and would look at it tomorrow (the day of the final).
    I noticed an exchange between Bryan and Shard, and Shard being offended by Bryan’s suggestion that Arsene isn’t delivering.
    This made me think about Ivan Gazidis and what he said (two/three years ago?) about Arsenal being like Bayern Munich.
    Arsenal pride themselves on their prudence and self-sustainability, but we’re not like Bayern Munich. No other club in world football behave like Arsenal.
    Bayern Munich signings the last three years:
    Douglas Costa, Gotze, Kimmich, Koman, Lewandowski, Thiago Alcantara, Vidal and Xabi Alonso. Net Spend – £56m.
    Arsenal signings during the same period:
    Cech, Chambers, Debuchy, Flamini, Gabriel Paulista Kallstrom (loan), Ospina, Ozil, Sanchez, Sanogo and Welbeck. Net Spend – £107m.
    Arsene has spent almost double the amount and Arsenal are still no closer.
    It is to AA’s credit that they are still going strong because Arsenal haven’t changed or moved forward in years, which must often result in repetitive conversation about the same issues like we’re stuck in an endless loop of being so close and knowing that we’re short in key areas.

  19. stevepalmer1 says:

    Goner B, For a man who had not read anything or seen anything, you certainly seem like you have not missed anything out.
    I have been against changes for the sake of them but even I know at times we will require them.

    Changes in the first CL match I felt were Un necercery. I made this comment prior to the match. 5 or six changes unsettles the balance as was seen in therror result. We carried on making changes in the following game and although upto the sending off we were playing good football a team finishing with nine men usually struggle to win which was the case ut we then went on to make ten changes andsuprisingly won. Last weekends game was changes again and I feel we did well.

    Of course your right. Banned players cannot play so problems start appearing not shown up last weekend but not having Giroud gave us no changes if we needed them and boy we did.

    You explained yourself well but what I feel you missed was a build up of confusion among through players, who’s playing and who is not, if you are not are you resting or are you dropped

    As you said through team barring a couple were fairly good last night but the confusion over a couple of weeks has confused me so had ibeenaplayer I am sure I would have been confused to

    Wennger hasbr

  20. stevepalmer1 says:

    Sorry tablet crap for typing

  21. Bryan says:

    Strangely enough Olympiacos had a guy on the pitch in Cambiasso looked more a captain than any of our players & he’s only been there for 5 minutes

  22. It seems that Theo is getting a bit of stick for not being Olly, but then Theo isn’t Olly. He’s not a centre forward and never will be, he’s more a Thierry Henry and I don’t recall him playing with his back to goal too often. I like Theo for what he is and wouldn’t want to see him try to change himself into something else.

    I thought the Coquelin/Ramsey swap was a bit odd. If Le Coq was struggling with an injury, or needed an extra thirty minutes rest before Sunday, perhaps Chambers would have been a better option than Ramsey who produced nothing of any worth during his run-out. He was neither fish nor fowl, he slowed the attacking build up with lateral or backward passes and failed to add anything significant to the defence. His one attempt at scoring was a wild half volley that all but cleared to stand behind the goal.

  23. RC78 says:

    Just throwing something in the mix…maybe our team should be playing as a 4-3-1-2 or or as a 4-4-1-1 rather than this 4-3-3…

    Cech – Bellerin, BFG, Kos, Monreal – Ramsey, Coq, Santi – Ozil – Walcott, Sanchez

    Cech – Bellerin, BFG, Kos, Monreal – Walcott, Ramsey, Coq, Ox – Sanchez – Giroud

  24. fatgingergooner says:

    Herbs Army,

    We didn’t have Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Alaba, Robben, Ribery and Muller already in our squad, so not really a fair comparison. I understand it was Arsenal who first came up with the ‘we are like Bayern’ quote though, not yourself.

    Bayern are different to us in the fact they have the pick of all players in the Bundesliga. Getting Götze and Lewandowski on frees is like us getting Hazard and Aguero for nothing! Wouldn’t happen.

  25. RC78 says:

    Top 3 teams in UEFA at the moment:
    Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid

    Teams completing the Top 7:
    Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, PSG, Juventus

    Other teams completing the Top 16:
    Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Sevilla, Dortmund, Porto, Benfica, Zenith and maybe Valencia or Leverkusen

    We are not in the Top 7 and even in the top 16, I would say that we are not at the top of the pack…

    The Top 3 teams are almost always in the semis of the CL and they win their leagues regularly…They have world-class players on every position and a deep squad and have an experience of winning trophines at national, European and country levels.

    Except Sanchez and maybe Cech, none of our players would command a starting spot in any of the top 3 teams…that is how far behind we are…

  26. Herb'sArmy says:


    I accept your point and would just say with that in mind, we really have no right being in the same competition as them.
    But we didn’t even win our CL group when we had Dortmund or Schalke.
    We’d have half a chance if our football club was run by football people, as seems to be the case in Germany.
    I think it’s really odd that Joachim Low can get a performance out of Ozil while we’re all still holding our breath waiting two years on.

  27. RC78 says:

    I think that on top of changing our formation, we shold rethink our coaching staff as we still suffer from the same frailties on set-pieces, on counters and we have a hard time breaking oppositions that are well organized with a bus parked in front of their goals…Somehow, we need to address that in our training and it also calls for different type of players…

    Sell Debuchy and get a Coleman
    Sell Gibbs and get a Baines or De Sciglio
    Bring in a CB that is not only strong but also authotitative
    Bring in a DM that can give impulse and drive to our midfield
    Ask our CMs to shoot from outside the box, same for our wingers and FB

    How frustrating this team is, I am going nuts here!

  28. kelsey says:

    Thanks for stepping in Gooner B.

    Firstly I admit not to be Theo’s biggest admirer but he has progressed but regardless where he plays or who he plays for be it us or England he drifts in and out of games far too much and after about 10 years at the club it’s a very slow progression.

    I agree a lot with Rasp but really at the end of the day there are no excuses and to me no surprises as we have been stop start all season.
    Do you blame AW for not boosting the squad, do you blame the players who can’t always motivate themselves, do you blame the fact there is no leader such as Adams in the side, or is it a bit of all three.

    I have said it many times, we are so predictable most of the time and I don’t think it will ever change as long as Wenger is in charge.

  29. RC78 says:

    I look at my home team, PSG, and I look at AFC and to be honest, I think that PSG may be better at almost every position…

    AFC – PSG

    Cech > Sirigu or Trapp
    Bellerin = Aurier
    BFG < Thiago Silva
    Kos – David Luiz
    Monreal < Maxwell
    Coq < Motta
    Ramsey – Verratti
    Santi – Matuidi
    Ozil < Di Maria
    Sanchez – Cavani
    Walcott < Ibrahimovic

    Best combined XI:
    Cech – Aurier, Thiago Silva, Koscielny, Maxwell – Ramsey, Motta, Matuidi – Di Maria, Ibra, Sanchez –

    Worse combined XI:
    Trapp – Bellerin, BFG, David Luiz, Monreal – Verratti, Coq, Santi – Ozil, Walcott, Cavani

  30. Gööner In Exile says:

    Get a performance out of Ozil?!?!?!?!?! Are you f’ing joking!!!!!

    I really don’t think some people know football at all, I suppose Sanchez is far better because he runs around a lot. Or because he wins the ball back much more…..i’m saving this up for a post because i think the under appreciation of our own players is one of the most damaging aspects of our club.

    If i was any of these players earning shed loads of money a week i really shouldn’t give a monkeys chuff what anyone thinks of my performance except the manager, but if i was Ospina or Giroud, or Rambo or any of our oft criticised players in press and by our own fans I would just pocket the money and deliver what has already been expected of me, why try and change the minds of people who don’t understand the game or who don’t support me in the case of my own fans.

    We wonder why our best players want to leave, have a look at ourselves sometime, i wouldn’t want to stick around a club with the level of flak directed our way.

    Compare Arsenal to Bayern Munich over three years….interesting…..lets try 6 so since 2010:

    Munich net spend £147m
    Arsenal net spend £90m

    Convenient choice of years Herb!

    GoonerB I shared your opinion on third goal being offside, and think it was very tight, but at first watch i thought the goalscorer was clearly in an offside position when the ball was played to the winger and therefore gained an advantage, but it was a gnats whisker actually and probably just on….sadly as i would have gone on about it.

    Biggest worry for me was where the hell was the midfield when they broke for the 3rd, i was screaming no in the build up and then the ball popped out to the edge of our area and i breathed a sigh of relief as i figured the next thing i was going to see was a red and white shirt pick up the ball, but no no one there at all….horriffic!

  31. The captaincy issue is a valid point. Wenger has more than once claimed that he has eleven captains on the pitch, which is total b******t.

    Last night we didn’t have a single one out there. OK, Cazorla wore the armband but he’s no sort of Adams or Vierra. In fact the only player who has shown the sort of fire required, over the past few years, is Flamini and he’s too prone to red and yellow cards to be effective.

    I get the impression that Wenger only plays Le Coq because of the persistent demands of the fans, he doesn’t really want to play a holding mid-fielder as it doesn’t suit his idea of the pretty football he wants the team to play.

    His readiness to hook Coquelin off last night and replace him with the ineffective Ramsey illustrates the point very clearly.

    Maybe that’s why there were no suitable candidates available during the summer transfer window.

  32. kelsey says:


    Hold on mate, don’t raise your tone to Herb or in fact anyone else please.You should know we all have different points of view but nevertheless respect the other’s persons point of view even if you don’t agree.

  33. It could be that Exile is right in a way, we criticise The Ox for comming in off his wing, the same for Ramsey, our full-backs get caught up-field too often.

    Surely if Wenger doesn’t want his players to do that he would be up on his feet screaming at them to obey his orders.

    No such thing ever happens, ergo the players are doing what he tells them.

    So don’t blame the players, it’s the manager at fault.

  34. Herb'sArmy says:


    The problem is that you’re a lot like Arsene in terms of blind loyalty.
    When did Ozil change a game that we came from behind to win? When did he control and dictate the pace and outcome of a game against any of our so-called rivals? Isn’t that what £42.5m buys you?

    He came to Arsenal because we blew the chance to buy Luis Suarez. Had Arsenal offered Liverpool £50m I personally think he would be an Arsenal player, and we’d all be celebrating a PL title. But that’s far too obvious a solution for Arsene, he wants to take the difficult route so he can prove the world wrong.

    As for the time-scale, the last three years is when Arsenal were released from their so-called financial restrictions. And it is during this period that Ivan – our resident spin-doctor – claimed Arsenal are like Bayern Munich, so it wasn’t relevant before that.

    But it’s never Arsene’s fault is it? He just coincidently happens to be the unluckiest football manager in the world. If we don’t blame Arsene and look away, perhaps our problems will magically disappear

    Meanwhile, while Arsenal languish somewhere between greatness and mediocrity, their supporters bicker and argue, the cycle continues and nothing at the club gets resolved.

  35. LB says:


  36. GunnerN5 says:

    Well, well, well – I see the pages are dripping with blood again, I guess we must have lost a game!!

    Where do you cynic’s get off being so critical of the best manager in the history of our club?

    As I saw it we lost by a deflected goal, a goalkeeping error and a defensive lapse and here we go again the “after the fact experts” are having a field day.

    You pick apart everything from the manager to the selection and some even go as far as stating that our manager shows no ambition that Ozil is a dud etc.

    I find the low level of rhetoric on here as bad as the crowds lack of support at the Emirates. Its got to the point where the nay sayers are just waiting in the wings sharpening their knives in anticipation of their next “I told you so”

    I couldn’t imagine being a player at the Emirates waiting for the moans and groans and boos – oh I know it’s not you – it’s the guy next to you!!

    I’ve got a novel suggestion for you – TRY GETTING BEHIND OUR TEAM AN GIVING THEM SOME SUPPORT!!!

    Thank goodness to the likes of GIE and Terry.

  37. GunnerN5 says:

    HERB, How dare you tell us that we show blind loyalty – frankly your dour viewpoint makes me wonder if you support our team or just have this blind need to sound authoritative and be right.

  38. Bryan says:

    I just think he takes Coq off when we are chasing the game with 20 mins to go to have more creativity to be fair, I do think Arsene likes him starting.

    I also agree that your seeing something from Ozil that alot are not, he’s not someone you would want in the trenches with you, thats for sure.
    If you have a great team, he’s great to add to it but if you haven’t he is a luxery player.

    Really?? its nots just this game, its been happening for years.
    I’ve been behind Wenger until now but no more as I just don’t believe we will ever win leagues or CL’s with him in charge.
    Arsene is the best manager in our history but IMO he is dated & has not moved with the times.
    If you want to challenge for the big trophies, you have to spend big money, thats how it is sadly…..fact
    & what about Theo’s goal, that was joke keeping too & lapse in defending isn’t an excuse

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    I’ve been on AA from about 5/6 months after it’s inception and I’ve enjoyed (to the most part) the dialogue with mostly like minded people and I’ve done my level best to be an active participant – but it’s times like this that I question my loyalty to the site.

  40. mickydidit89 says:


    Thank you very much
    Back on the internet with so much work to catch up on, and its bloody slow with the one finger

    I loved watching the red shirts swarming forward last night, and, well… that’s it really. We’re not very good in Europe.

    I’m most concerned about The Ox’s development, like what you is, cos like you I’M a fan

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    Bryan, We are welcome to our sour point of view but do not and will never agree.

  42. GunnerN5 says:

    your sour

  43. Bryan says:

    My Sour point of view ?
    we have been failing for years, name me any other big club that would carry on with the same manager, there just is not one.
    Our aim to qualify for the CL every year but to never have any chance of winning it is totally satisfactory to you then I take.

  44. mickydidit89 says:

    GN5 Howdee

    Outside AA, I reckon I have about 8 friends with ST’s, who go to every home game, and have done for decades. Fact is, every single one thinks we’re stale (I think is the right word).

    Of course they’re all loyal supporters, hence the devotion, and none boo’ing types,

    Jesus, now I think about it, they’re a bit like Chas and his sort 🙄

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    Amazed how little flak Gunnersaurus gets

    Little green shit

    “lucky” mascot, my arse

  46. Bryan says:

    I’m one of those Micky, I will not boo them or shout horrible things at Wenger, as he has my respect but I just feel we have to make a change as we are stale 😉

    Gunnersaurus is a legend 😉

  47. mickydidit89 says:


    Some like a moan, some don’t. Football offers something for everyone and all personalities.

    Nothing is personal, and its civil here

  48. Herb'sArmy says:

    Us? Whose us?

    I don’t recall you being part of the above conversations, GN5.
    But feel free to wade in with your big steel-toe cap boots and tell us all how we should think.
    It is subject to opinion whether or not Arsene is Arsenal’s greatest manager, you oft repeating it doesn’t make it fact.
    The injection of money has skewed opinion and made it almost impossible to judge.
    Arsene had the blue-print for success, but in all the excitement of the stadium move, he left it behind at Highbury.
    Still, the big boys allowed us a couple of FA Cups to soften the blow, so it’s all good.

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    🙂 Bryan

  50. Rasp says:

    Maybe we should rotate Gunnersaurus with Mr Blobby and rest him for the important games 🙂

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    Tell you what’s pissing me off about the thought of not qualifying, and that is I recently watched the hairy bikers telly show as they were in St Petersburg. Come 2nd in the Group, and I fancy a trip there as Zenit are topping their Group

  52. mickydidit89 says:

    Loved the cat on the bed pic earlier. Quality 🙂

  53. RA says:

    Wow, been away for a while, and ……

    Some very cranky peeps on here today. Take a breath guys and perhaps read the ‘about AA bible’ at the top.

    Here is a taster;

    — This site was set up in February 2010 by a group of nomadic bloggers who rarely agree over the complexities of how our club should be run, but are united in their attitude towards healthy debate and the need for a forum where we can all air those views without ridicule.

    The character and standpoint of the site is created by you, the bloggers – there is no single site owner with a drum to bang!

    All opinions and viewpoints can be freely expressed, all we ask is that no-one descends into insults and name-calling.”

    Irritating tho we can all be, at times, the highlighted bit above says all the site stands for. Say what you civilly want, disagree or agree as you wish,or just leave it alone.

    There are no ‘bosses’ tho we all defer to Rasp, Peaches and the Hippo, and there are no brownie points for taking the moral high ground – we are all supporters, we are all passionate, we are all different – and well, GoonerB is very different – but so what? 😀

    Sometimes a little levity doesn’t hurt, but when Rasp’s feet leave the floor, perhaps the levity has gone too far. 😀

  54. LB says:

    Ozil was magnificent last night, the lung busting runs he made into space on breaks in the first half were incredible. The only reason they were wasted is because Walcott doesn’t have the skill set to be able to make the kind of pass that would find him and Sanchez is often too greedy.

  55. RA says:


    That is your best pose ever. You are furrier than I imagined. Ommmmm. 🙂

  56. Rasp says:

    😆 Redders, well done!

    Here’s a question:

    Which would folks prefer as an outcome this season? Getting through to the QF’s of the CL or winning the Europa Cup?

  57. LB says:

    If you look in the cat’s right eye you can see the reflection of him holding an Iphone 6

  58. RA says:

    I don’t know if you went last night, LB, but whether you did or not, I think you are spot on!!

    [No offense intended to anyone who disagrees!] 🙂

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    “We all defer to Raddy”

    You are kidding there RA surely

  60. LB says:


    I thought you question above was good: do you believe that there were strikers available in the transfer window that are better than the ones we have at the club already?

  61. mickydidit89 says:

    Zero chance of winning the Europa as if we ever entered the wretched thing, I’d set fire to important things at The Ems and we’d be banned
    So last 8 for me, and one good away trip

  62. LB says:


    I did go, if you went you would have seen the same but I am surprised they showed Ozil’s runs on the TV if that is where you saw it. Normally they focus on the player with the ball.

    Still I am pleased that you agree.

  63. RA says:


    Getting thru to the QFs and maintain our tradition of being beaten there, of course! 🙂


    If we do get to go to St Petersboig I have a fiend that wants me to go with her group – I might see you there. Did I say fiend? I think I meant friend. Nope I meant fiend. 😀

  64. LB says:

    I think we should decline entry to the Europa if it comes our way. It might be acceptable for Johnny N17 but we should hold ourselves to higher standards.

    Another brandy major?

  65. mickydidit89 says:

    Eastwards we shall march then RA. “Her” an all

  66. That’s a no brainer Rasp, the Qualifiers as that would take a miracle and there hasn’t been one of those since the feeding of the five thousand.

  67. RA says:


    Again you are right about the TV’s limited focus, but on the longer shots you could see Mesut hammering away making up ground, and often just not being found by the player with the ball – but that happens. He is pure class. 🙂

  68. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, well of course I can’t know for sure. Obviously Martial was available but then we wouldn’t have been able to outbid Utd. I think the position of striker would have been the most difficult to fill. That Soldado seems to be performing now he’s found a decent club 🙂

    Although not a striker, Mahrez gets goals and is already in tune with the EPL

    I’m pretty sure we could have found a strong midfielder and a CB who would have improved the squad.

  69. stevepalmer1 says:

    Evening all, we all blog because we all support the same club, Of course we are going to have differing opinions that is what’s so good about blogging. Personally i like to hear different supporters views, no body can know everything even if they think they do.

    Over the years i have learned bundles by people i don’t agree with, mind you they could well be right because not many agree with me..Coming home tonight, i had talk shite on , they are revelling in our discomfort, they are on there, snagging unsuspecting supporters, with just the one aim, and that is, is it time for Wenger to go.

    They ask these poor saps questions, but it always comes back to is it time for him to go, and how rude he was to the media, Wenger is stubborn no doubt about that, he also knows when a media presenter is trying to make him out as public enemy number one. I feel that the way these people ask questions, are they supporters themselves or just a well paid easy job.

    We all know it doesn’t matter how bad they make Wenger sound , or try and trap him with dodgy questions, he will still be held in high esteem in the Arsenal boardroom, dont they realise by now that the hierarchy at Arsenal have no intention at all in Hiring an Arsenal saviour.

    On the radio they was asking who could come in to take us to the next level, bugger me i thought are there that many out there that could do that, and if they can why would they want to come to us after all, they are top managers so should be winning everything

    I thought for a minute and started to go through some of the premier Managers, and almost gave up on that as most are behind us many not involved in Europe at all so they can’t be that good, Who wins the leagues and the cups on a regular basis and i dont see many there, who won the league last season he must be at the top of the league but i find he can’t win a game to save his life why the hell would anyone want him.

    On that basis, it has to be a foreign club manager we would want, and then my mind went blank.

    Wenger of course is far from perfect, many supporters have got the same thoughts as talk Shite, they say change him and replace with a modern Manager who is inventive can motivate a tactical genius, some one who will buy A HM and a striker and he will come in and snap his fingers and win every thing.

    All this sounds too good to be true, and i reckon if it sounds to good to be true then it must be a load of crap.

  70. Rasp says:

    OK, it’s official then – we are Champion’s League snobs 🙂

  71. LB says:


    I meant it as a poll, I think that is what you suggested above. Seemed like a good idea……

  72. RA says:

    No, Micky, I always defer to Raddy, it’s both an age respect thing, and he can also be a bit scary – don’t you think? 🙂

  73. Rasp says:

    I’d actually prefer to win the EC – it’s a decent trophy and it gets you automatically into the CL next season.

  74. Rasp says:

    Oh sorry LB. I can do that but it would need to be put on the end of a post discussing the topic don’t you think?

  75. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi LB

    I don’t doubt what you say, but to unlock Ozil’s best attributes the whole team needs to be better balanced and more tuned in to his wave-length.
    If we don’t have players that can adapt to Ozil’s talent then essentially he is wasted, which in turn is not the best use of £42m.

  76. fatgingergooner says:

    Didn’t Liverpool come within a whisper of the PL not long ago when they weren’t in Europe for most of the season and we’re playing 1 game a week?

    Just a thought 😃

  77. RA says:

    Steve, Well said, sir. 😀

  78. mickydidit89 says:

    “Respect Him”
    Seriously, have you lost your marbles completely this time
    Nice chap ‘n all that, but respect?

  79. RA says:

    Micky @ 4:45,

    Chas is Jesus? OMG – and he doesn’t like me. I am doomed, doomed! 😦

  80. fatgingergooner says:


    You will see Klopps name thrown around but I’m with you on this one. Getting a new tactical genius who works wonders in the transfer market sounds great, until you have to find them! It’s almost as tough as looking for a decent striker to buy! 😄

  81. RA says:

    Yeah, well, Micky, you know … for a guy in his seventies he does sing awfully well. [Hold on – is that awfully well, or is it, well – awfully?]

    No I guess you have converted me — no respect for the Hippo – Hippo’s Out and all that stuff.

  82. mickydidit89 says:

    In his seventies!!!!
    So looking forward to him find that out
    There’ll be bust bongs and weeja boards all over Copenhagen 🙂

  83. GunnerN5 says:

    This is our historic record broken out into 10 year segments with the exception of the final segmant which is 11 seasons plus 2015/16 to date.

    You decide the best period in our history – I purposely choose not to include the number of trophies won, but I also have that record.

    WIN% Pts %
    1893 1903 57.23% 49.06%
    1903 1913 48.66% 36.56%
    1913 1927 50.73% 40.05%
    1927 1937 61.55% 47.38%
    1937 1954 58.81% 45.71%
    1954 1964 52.62% 41.43%
    1964 1974 57.38% 43.81%
    1974 1984 53.11% 40.71%
    1984 1994 56.73% 47.54%
    1994 2004 63.89% 54.95%
    2004 2016 64.70% 56.84%

  84. stevepalmer1 says:

    FGG, not used to Gooners agreeing 🙂

  85. GunnerN5 says:

    I was in the process of writing a post showing the complete details and highlights in those 10 year segments – but I’ve now lost the appetite to complete it – way too many critics and know it all’s for my taste.

  86. RA says:


    I am a little surprised by the last two periods in the table.

    Between 1994 and 2004 we had the Invincibles era and also won two doubles etc, so you would imagine the win % and the points % would be greater than the supposedly less successful 2004/05 to 2016 period which has caused so much angst with the fans.

    Did you include the CL in your figures that may explain the deviation from that anticipated.

    Anyway, well done for having the data. 🙂

  87. RA says:

    Oh, God, Micky, don’t tell me the Hippo is older than that? Another one of my mistooks? 😀

  88. GunnerN5 says:

    League results only RA.

  89. LB says:


    Rest in the contentment of knowing you are right.

  90. GunnerN5 says:

    RA – 2004/5 to 2016 to only considered less successful in the eyes of the trophy hunters – hence my angst.

    As Sgt Joe Friday would say – give me the facts, only the facts.

  91. RA says:

    That’s interesting, GN5. Thank you.

  92. GunnerN5 says:

    Quite honestly LB I have no wish to be right, I just want folks to appreciate the facts and to not get carried away with personal opinions.

  93. stevepalmer1 says:

    GN5 never ever not write something you believe in, because some one may criticise, you have seen more than some will ever see. Opinions differ and there will be critics, but stand your ground son and write your piece, i may not understand it as you know i am thick, but you could explain it in terms i may take in. hope your well mate.

  94. Herb'sArmy says:

    Your stats are very interesting, GN5, because it reveals how much Arsenal’s performance has improved with the new PL money, which started in 1992.
    What it doesn’t account for is the extra revenue that 16 other PL clubs don’t receive from CL.
    Since the introduction of money, rich clubs – like Arsenal – have become significantly richer, which in turn eradicates the odds of shock results, and made football more predictable.
    Naturally shock results still happen, but with far less regularity, particularly among the top clubs.
    Arsenal still pretty much beat who they’re expected to beat in the PL, but consistently struggle against sides they’re supposed to be competing with.
    The extra CL money skews your stats as it is impossible to know how much it helped. For example, would we have had the Invincibles without that help? Probably not.

  95. RA says:


    That later period period would contain the high spending of the new boys, Citeh, as well as Mourhino’s first successful and high spending spell at the Chavs, as well as the continuation of Manure’s successful runs.
    I must say the info that the last 10 years were better from a win and points % runs counter intuitively to the view normally understood, but it does make sense when viewed in that way.

    That presumably shows that latterly Arsenal were better than in the first Wenger period, but had to work harder to achieve lower positions in the PL because of the influx of the oligarch spending which pushed the points needed to win the Prem to a new level.

    I have always maintained that there is a correlation between the amount of money spent and the success of the club(s) doing the spending, but I have never seen and therefore never examined the data, but it would shine a light on the understanding of those denigrating Wenger.

    However, there are none so deaf as those who do wish to hear. 😀

  96. RA says:

    Correction: ‘who do NOT wish etc.’ 🙂

  97. GunnerN5 says:

    RA – you are a shining light while others still try to be right – thank you.

    Steve – I’ve put way to much work into the post – so in all likelihood it will get finished – thank you also.

  98. RA says:


    Seriously – you are being provocative to GN5

    Stop knocking the data and then making spurious conclusions that are by definition untenable.

  99. Big Raddy says:

    Delighted to see people are a little tetchy today – I know I am. A loss like last night reverberates throughout the week.

    Thinking of which who the f**k says I am in my seventies. B’strd.

    My serenity is well and truly shattered and I have been subject to some negative vibes, man.

    And I effing hate Gunnersaurus, ugly little flea ridden twat.

    Where is Terry when we need him? Probably being greased up by some fat lesser in Tenerife.

  100. The Cockie Monster says:

    Ok……lets answer Raspberry berets question and after a lot of thought process that took me all of 10 seconds !.

    Basically the Europa League is a competition for those who are not good enough to get into the Champions League………………also those who were shite in the group stages of the CL who had no chance of winning the cash cow in the first place !……teams like us !.
    Now this season they add CL qualification into the mix, but it will always be known to me as the…… YANGETGITCLC or (anagram)Get Clingy Cat…………..You Are Not Good Enough To Get Into The Champions League Cup.
    Personally I`d rather win the COC !

    As for this blogging thingy……wouldn`t it be boring if we all agreed with each other !………….I like hearing GIE`s optimism and Herb`s pessimism ( hope that’s OK Herbie Baby to class it as such, just my opinion ! 😀 ) …….I`m probably somewhere in between !.

  101. RA says:

    I hate to be a stoolie, Raddish — but it was Micky — you know he is jealous of your ability to fleece the tourists in Denmark at your age.

  102. Herb'sArmy says:

    No RA, I’m not, I’m pointing out that since 1992 the financial landscape changed, and Arsenal have been significantly helped with that change. For a start it allowed us to bring in Dennis Bergkamp.
    A fair-minded discussion is fine, but you can’t ignore facts to suit your own agenda.

  103. RA says:

    “A fat lesser” 😀

    Are they small lezzers?

  104. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Bloody spellcheck 😀

    Wait ’til I meet up with that Didit swine – I will break his other arm, then let’s see how he blogs ( I was going write something else but it would have been too cruel to a man whom I have a modicum of respect for).

  105. RA says:


    Don’t misunderstand my desire for everybody to play nice on AA, with wanting to indulge you in your relentlessly negative comments and circular arguments.

    I will not.

    I have defended the ‘rights’ of bloggers, within the AA rules, to express their opinions, including you, but we have travelled this route with you a number of times in the past, and it always seems to end in tears.

    Deliberately provocative comments by you to those you know will be antagonised by them is not playing by the rules.

    Please reconsider, before you start another row with someone.

    Steve is a nice guy, for example, and is always up for a chat, talk to him instead. 🙂

  106. RA says:

    He’s got zilch respect for you Biggy. You should hear the tales he told about you when you were not here!! Shameful!

    I would bash him when you get to St Petersburg, after we get to the QFs, if I were you, altho that is unlikely becos he said you is a rotten driver/navigator. 🙂

    Incidentally, not that anyone will give a rat’s ass, but I still think we will qualify from our group and I might see you in St Pete’s if I have nothing to say about it! I am being pursued by a fiend. 😀

  107. RA says:

    That’s it – off to see the fiend – everybody be good – or wicked in Cockie’s case. Sayonara. 😀

  108. stevepalmer1 says:

    GN5, i am not into stats like many on here, so a simple question, have you calculated the points as i remember the value of points changed, although i cant remember when.

  109. Big Raddy says:

    Vi ses RA.

    Footie tonight. Would be great if Bendtner scored , unfortunately he is unlikely to start

  110. Herb'sArmy says:

    With the greatest of respect, I didn’t ask you to be my advocate, or referee any debate, and you don’t have to read my ‘circular’ negativity.
    Do you have an opinion on our malaise apart from your ‘circular’ financial argument?
    Has something significant changed at Arsenal since I last blogged regularly a while ago?
    Are the club any closer to success than five years ago?
    Has Arsene found the blue-print that he lost?
    Instead of criticising me why don’t you formulate an opinion to counter my negativity, like for example, the virtues of playing Bendtner on the wing, or almost ten years on, still trying to work out what Theo gives us?
    Why are Arsenal as far away from success now as when they moved to The Emirates?
    Perhaps if you offered a definitive reason for that, people like me will stop boring your highly intellectual cranium.

  111. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh alright Big, I’ll match your modicum, but not a grain more 🙂

  112. kelsey says:

    Keep it light hearted micky, best way 🙂

  113. GunnerN5 says:

    Perhaps if you offered a definitive reason for that, people like me will stop boring your highly intellectual cranium.

    Not the least bit provocative I assume.

  114. GunnerN5 says:

    Steve I have all seasons converted to 2 points for a win and 1 for a draw to simplify the comparisons.

  115. GunnerN5 says:

    3 points for a win an 1 for a draw……………..

  116. stevepalmer1 says:

    Herb, sorry for butting in, but when i am reading these little feuds that you seem to like, i have to ask you is third place so bad, The way i see it, there is always a winner in the league, and the cups, we are normally in the top 4 in the league, There are 19 clubs that can win those trophies and many of those clubs have won nothing for years. Some of those clubs have history as well as we do but that has made no difference in them winning trophies. The wealthy clubs spend spend spend, before they spent they had forty years of nothing many spending some of those years in lower divisions, Whats so wrong with consistency may i ask, what is wrong with a club who supports themselves is it so wrong to make a profit,

    There is nothing wrong with Arsenal football club in fact you should be proud of them. We have not relied on handouts to win trophies we are now winning trophies every year while keeping to all the rules the FA has introduced, we are the only club that has worked to our budget and spent our own money. Without huge amounts of money those trophy winning clubs would still be round the bottom of the league, but they are not they spend and have managed to stay above all and sundry by spending. While we stay in fourth using our own money and still make proftit.

    I find it iritating when somebody keeps going on about how wrong we do things when i believe we should be proud of our club.

    Yes i am envious when these rich clubs buy trophies but i am more proud that we keep to our principles. Sorry i do moan alot but i do like to come across as constructive, i dont believe that is your forte..

  117. GunnerN5 says:

    Lovely stuff Steve.

  118. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thank you GN5

  119. GunnerN5 says:

    Steve from my 1st game on Nov 22, 1947 to this day I could not be any prouder than I am today – the achievements and quality of our club and our game have been superb.

    In my estimation it’s the supporters continuous clamoring for trophy’s (fed by the media hype) that has changed.

    I love it when we win trophy’s and I’m always disappointed when we lose games but I keep it all in perspective.

  120. Shard says:


    As far away from success? Is the FA cup no longer a success because Arsenal have now won it?

    If you think the PL money suddenly made us bigger, go back and look at the finances. We were slightly smaller than Liverpool and Spurs and slightly bigger than Villa and Everton. This was as late as 98 If memory serves. In 2001, the year before our double, we had less revenue than ManU’s comercial revenue alone.

  121. Herb'sArmy says:


    I don’t mind being called out on something when I’m clearly wrong.
    If my points are ‘circular and boring’ it’s because the club are behaving in exactly the same way.
    Are Arsenal still going into every season short of numbers and repeating basic mistakes that an experienced manager should have learned from?
    If that changed, so would my views and comments.
    It’s difficult to find something different to discuss when the club is doing exactly the same thing for ten years.
    It’s nothing to do with being ‘a know-it-all’, we can only comment on what is presented to us.
    You maybe happy with the club and how they operate, but there’s a growing majority that aren’t.
    I’m genuinely worried that Arsenal will become irrelevant if they don’t address strategic issues, and there doesn’t appear to be much light at the end of this long tunnel.

  122. GunnerN5 says:

    And the beat goes on and on and on…………………..and on!!!

  123. stevepalmer1 says:

    Catch you guys later football to watch.

  124. Shard says:

    Oh and I hate the argument that no big club would do what we’re doing hence we’re wrong. It makes no sense, except offering the security of being one of the herd. No club showed faith in a foreign manager before us. No club showed as much ambition in building a stadium while at the top. Hell, no club had changed the standard formation before Herb Chapman’s WM. Why should we do what everyone else does just because they do it?

    Innovation doesn’t always work, for vaeious reasons, but when it does, the payoff is huge. Which is why Arsenal are even in the conversation of top clubs.

    I’m a new supporter compares to many on here, and I remember when we played Bayern Munich 12 or so years ago, I was in awe of their name. This is no longer the case.

    Btw, Gazidis had said we aim to be at Bayern’s (financial) level in a few years. Which we aren’t too far off now, and will overtake with the new tv deal I think.

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Herb. I really enjoy that you defend your opinion.

    I may not agree but that matters little. We need differences of opinion

  126. fatgingergooner says:

    Ah, perspective, very nice Steve.

    one of the reasons I use this blog is because there is always someone available to put my own mixed emotions into perspective when the media craziness starts to take over.

    Today Steve, that someone is you. Thanks!

  127. GunnerN5 says:

    Man U down 0-1 but their crowd are right behind them urging them on – it makes all the difference to the players knowing that.

  128. Shard says:


    Just to add to your point about Bayern having their pick of the German talent, it should be noted that Germany currently have a great generation of players.

    Also, I second your appreciation of Steve’s comment.

  129. I’m not sure if those appear where I expect them. But basically there’s a discussion going on on Twitter about whether it was the right death bed decision for Danny Fiszman to sell to Kroenke and about bank loans keeping us strapped for cash during the build and the clubs reliance on FFP.

  130. Herb'sArmy says:

    Thanks BR.

    I really never set out to cause internal arguments, I just see Arsenal very differently to the general consensus on here.

    It would be silly to say that twenty years of continuous CL money hasn’t given us a huge advantage over the majority of PL clubs, and something you need to factor in to your win-ratio stats, GN5.

    If we’re doing so well, how come so many fans want Arsene sacked?
    As Micky says about his season-ticket holding friends, Arsenal are stale, and have been for many years now.

    People tend to be less imaginative and would rather stick to the familiar warm script because the thought of change terrifies them.

    Arsenal will never win another PL or a CL with Arsene, but as long as we finish top four and keep qualifying for a tournament that we have no intention of winning, there are those that will wet themselves with joy and try to convince everyone else what a fantastic club we are, and how grateful we should be that we’re not Hartlepool or Rochdale.

  131. Big Raddy says:

    The difficulty is that however much we think AFC are the best club in the PL , they are the 4th most attractive.

    Whatever AFC offer for a player they will be trumped by the other 3, not just in transfer fee which interests the selling club but also in wages which interests the player and more importantly, his agent.

    Why didn’t we get Schneiderlin/Kondogbia? Because others would pay more in both fees and wages.

    So …. we are the 4th biggest club and finish 3rd or 4th every season. It is a pipe dream to expect more.

    But, and this must be remembered we have won the FAC in the last two seasons which is mustard

  132. Shard says:


    I don’t think FFP was the reasoning behind our decision. I may be wrong but I don’t remember the argument ever being about ffp at the time. Rather about the morality (ans dangers) of going the billionaire route.

  133. Eddie says:

    Spot on Raddy, my belief too. The reason we didn’t get say Benzema is simple – he wasn’t interested in arsenal. His agent generated a lot spiel about arsenal wanting him and then they at and waited for better offers. No offers arrived so they public ally humiliated Arsenal by saying benzema us not going anywhere

  134. Shard says:


    Personally, I am not afraid of change in this regard. Wenger doesn’t have long left in his career anyway. That change is coming soon enough.

    I just don’t think the time is right for that change.

    Nor do I believe that we can’t win the big prizes under Wenger.

    I could just as well say that it’s braver to stick with a plan and see it through despite everyone telling you you’re wrong.

    This isn’t about bravery.

  135. You’re right shard, FFP came in later but it did suit our cash strapped profile if other clubs were also going to be hampered in their spending.

  136. Shard says:


    Yeah, I agree that we were hoping that will come about. But I don’t think that outcome will make any difference to how we operate. Unless football goes through some major changes, which isn’t entirely impossible.

    If certain clubs are really going to keep spending their owners’ money instead of their own, there will have to be changes. Ffp sought to curb it, but maybe the change will be to promote it, like in US sports. In which case too, ultimately the free for all cannot continue. It’s the reason the EPL shared tv revenues more equitably, and one of the reasons why it is now the richest leagues in the world.

  137. neamman says:

    Someone else said it.. we need a take charge leader full of passion. I don’t see one in our side, also we need someone imposing in the midfield. I like Coq I think he does a great job except for intimidation.. but we need size.. or better yet.. a new Peter Storey..

  138. kelsey says:


    I have said the same thing twice this past 2 weeks but in didderent terminology.Many players or agents or both don’t find Arsenal an attractive proposition regardless of what we might pay, is that a reflection on the club the way it is run or Wenger.
    I don’t like to see people losing there rag on here, we all support in different ways.

    GN5 is passionate and it is a labour of love to produce stat after stat but for all intensive purposes this is a daily blog and I and several others can see a picture forming at the club which doesn’t look great.That’s nothing to do about supporting.All clubs have crap players and managers,we have been very fortunate with AW but enough is enough and hopefully he will see the light and leave with his head held high at the end of this season or most probably next,regardless where we finish.
    Some people age quicker than others and to an extent the game has now passed him by as results this season show.I am disappointed especially after the pre season, but not strengthening which was imperative will cost us dear.

  139. mickydidit89 says:

    Bet that Marcotti chat on Twitter that Peaches put up was interesting.

  140. mickydidit89 says:

    Ok then, have we signed anyone yet? 🙂

  141. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Steve P has written a fine and long comment which is to be today’s post.

    Peaches/Rasp. Can you please do what’s necessary and publish (it is in the loading bay)?

    Micky. I hope so

    Off to work, back to banter later 🙂

  142. mickydidit89 says:


    Just read your 7:33

    “say we went down a division would that worry you at all”

    I think we all know who’d still trot along to every game, crinkling his crisp packet during the long dull moments, idly passing the time away without a care in the world 🙂

  143. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning Micky, how’s the arm mate. Arsenal supporters are like many others Micky, they love the game of football, Many play and many watch, the ones like me are to old to take part, but we can talk a fine old game.

    My memories are ancient and i believe i could do better than our current crop what a load of tosh that is, even at my best i couldn’t have lived with this pace to day, but even so we have opinions. Most of the time we talk shite but we still love it.

  144. Morning all

    I can sort the post.

  145. mickydidit89 says:


    Much truth, and naturally supporters come in all sorts

    Some are critical, some don’t care that much, for some a sport that matters like life, some follow but not too bothered. And so it goes on.

  146. LB says:

    “Whatever AFC offer for a player they will be trumped by the other 3, not just in transfer fee which interests the selling club but also in wages which interests the player and more importantly, his agent.” (BR)

    If you understand the meaning of this you will be one side of the Wenger division, if you don’t you will be on the other.

    That one sentence brings the fault line that divides the Arsenal support perfectly into focus.

  147. stevepalmer1 says:

    I watched the United game last night, seems that even the teams you think will be easy, are so much better than they should be, United had their hands full, and i can see a fine old battle on Sunday.

    I feel that the confidence is building in this United team, and it will be no stroll in the park match.

    I hope we have the man power available to field a side that will push them all the way, but Playing at home does not fill me with confidence.

  148. stevepalmer1 says:

    LB, you always talk sense, the trouble with the ones who care, is that we take it to heart, we have to remember it is just a game of football. Money is the root of all evil, but it does buy you trophies, that has been proved. The rest of the pack pick up whats left, we fall in that catagory, but we can make it fffing hard for them, and i believe they know that.

  149. Gööner In Exile says:

    If players don’t come for money or football or trophies how did we sign Alexis? Oh that’s right the manager chatted to him all the way through the World Cup and sold our club.

  150. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kelsey you judge on the opening of the season, so the game has also passed Maureen by too? 5 defeats in 11.

    Of course not its a blip, bookmakers talk about a “regression to the mean”, bookmakers don’t lose money, how many are giving long odds on us being in the top 4? What are the odds like for those clubs that change managers regularly……I ask that question because someone said any other club would not allow this to go on so long, well apart from City and Chavs who can afford to change managers like the wind and embrace their spending requirements not one of the other clubs in our vicinity who regularly change manager can point to a real turnaround and trophies.

  151. Shard says:


    Don’t you remember? He just wanted to live in London 🙂

  152. chas says:

    I forgot to thank you for yesterday’s post, so ta.

    Like you I was perplexed by the team’s performance and result.

    In the space of 4 days I’d seen a superb, richly entertaining away game at Leicester followed by one of those ‘what can go wrong will go wrong’ performances at home in the CL.

    As was said on Sunday, the Leicester game was one of fine margins with them scoring and hitting the woodwork twice before we scored, so it could have been very different. Overall we did deserve to win the game fairly comfortably, though, as the number of chances we had was that much greater than Leicester’s.

    Again, Tuesday’s debacle was one of fine margins. They scored a deflected goal and a gift from Ospina, whereas we could have had several more than two.

    What I don’t understand is how we can go from everyone being optimistic and thinking we may be in with a title shout after Saturday, to WengerOut petitions as there were yesterday.
    I suppose the two results were at the opposite ends of the spectrum, but do the supporters’ reaction really have to be as well?

    Thanks again, I enjoyed the pre-match drink. 🙂

  153. Just sorting the new post, back in a bit ………………

  154. kelsey says:

    I get the feeling that you are shouting at me and you know better than me and most on here. If you were to take a deep breath and actually read what I said you might understand my point of view.
    Of course Sanchez was a great buy we all know that, I won’t bother to repeat what I said and as I said yesterday watch your tone on here,please.

    We are practically out of the CL and we aren’t playing well.I am not interested in other clubs.
    It might well turn out to our advantage if all the teams in contention are dropping unexpected points, but we will see.
    I am not wishing that we do badly,I just feel we will struggle this season, and if I am wrong,so what.

  155. We have a New Post …………………..

  156. RA says:

    The Arsene Wenger Conundrum:

    Sometimes the unpalatable needs to be acknowledged and faced, to the despair of some and the delight of others – but faced it must be.

    All fans live in the here and now, that’s life as we know it, and we tend to think we are the only ones in history to experience tremendous football highs and also the corresponding dispiriting lows – but that is not the case is it?

    Our parents and their parents and so on, back into the dim and distant past no doubt also ran the gamut of life’s ups and downs, and saw unpleasantness between the feuding doubters and the believers back in their era. So we are not too different.

    Why am I pointing out the bleeding obvious?
    Well it is because it seems to be readily forgotten that modern day professional football managers are not immune to this irrefutable law of life, and are subject to its intense stresses and strains, however well remunerated they might be, and so it has been from the mid-nineteenth century when football first became organised.

    In other words, there comes a time in all our lives, and specifically in the career of every football manager’s life, however humble or exalted he/she maybe, when his problem becomes the team’s problem and, by the nature of these things, also the fans problem, as a consequence.

    In essence, at some point in his career, the manager can become the problem and not the solution.

    There is a clear cycle to the careers of all managers.

    Initially the appointment of a new manager leads to the dead cat bounce of instant improvements in the results of the club, and the appointment soon proves popular with the fans, and things look up for the club— the manager is acclaimed for the personnel changes he makes; things go well; results are satisfactory; the club starts to look a good contender for the higher echelons of the league; attendances rise in proportion to the success; there is a feel good factor for the fans; and progress is tangible.
    Who knows, maybe there are honours that will be won; a title will become a possibility; a nice Cup win or two, maybe, and everyone will be deliriously happy! What could go wrong, baby?

    But there will come a time when, insidiously, things start to wobble, hiccups occur and dissatisfaction begins to creep in when the expected, nay demanded, progress stalls.

    The causes can be manifold – maybe an important player, or two, leaves to pursue wealth and trophies elsewhere. Maybe there are too many injuries for the team to cope with. Maybe the club still cannot compete financially, despite raising their commercial game.
    Possibly behind the scenes there are secret disagreements between the manager and the board. Maybe the players begin to ‘cock a deaf un’ to coaching instructions they once heard loud and clear. Maybe they become too casual, lack discipline, or become too arrogant? Who knows? – maybe all of these, or just some – but once started the rot is there and hard to eradicate.

    Eventually, the recognition by the board, and the fans, is that the stardust, the magic, has gone and that things have become the same old, same old, and the slippery slope leads in an overwhelmingly irresistible downwards spiral to the inevitable conclusion.
    Bye! See ya!

    This process is compounded, inevitably, by some managers being limited in that they find it hard to maintain success, and their shelf life, or sell by date, whatever, is only possible for two or three years, at most, and then they are gone – to spend more time with their families, or to milk another club, who have more money than sense, and who think they can revive their fortunes with a new man at the helm.

    And then? …. Then there is Arsene!
    This paragon – This dedicated, wonderful Arsenal manager who clearly loves the role more than his own marriage, it seems. What of him?

    The glorious early years of ‘Arsene Who?’ as he was first known, majestically set the template for the Arse and all the other clubs in the Premiership with his critically successful years covering the end of the old century and the beginning of the new, with a Double here and a Double there, and the occasional Cup trophy thrown in for good measure, and all that made possible by an intense and special relationship with his players based on mutual loyalty and continued ‘Invincible’ achievements. [OK, I admit it – a little poetic licence there!]

    This relationship somehow survived the deep lying strains placed upon it by the emotional and stressful move from the much loved Highbury to the, as yet, so-so Emirates Stadium, and the outside pressures of ‘no-where’ clubs suddenly coming back to life with the injection of astounding monetary investments hurled them to unexpected trophy success. Bastards!

    This incredible relationship between manager, club, team and fans, has been nurtured by the sometimes reluctant recognition that Wenger has laboured under self imposed, severe financial restrictions for many years compared with the other top clubs, and yet … and yet …

    It has been universally recognised that, despite those restrictions, and despite the vast financial advantages of Arsenal’s rivals, Wenger brilliantly and adroitly has kept the Gunners in the mix, fighting the seemingly impossible fight for annual CL qualification and enabling the team to punch well above their weight for the Premiership title and CL qualification throughout those seemingly sterile years.

    Without him things could have turned out very differently, and Arsenal could, for example, have had the woeful plodding undistinguished, dis-spiriting history that has befallen our neighbours, Tottering Hotspurs, over the past two decades and shown the Cockerel lovers for what they are — that they do indeed behave like vainglorious cocks of the walk.

    Instead it is Arsenal who have remained the real footballing powerhouse in North London, famous worldwide for the wonderful, free-flowing football that all fans of the beautiful game love.

    But —- and this pains me to say — have many fans now decided that the time has come, at last, for the Arsenal family as a whole to face head on what they see as the truth that Arsene is in the process, after all these years, of slowly, slowly declining and becoming himself the problem and not the solver of problems as far as the lack of advancement of the Arsenal project is concerned?

    For how many seasons have many of the more vocal fans lamented Arsenal’s failure to mount a prolonged and successful challenge for the EPL title, or ever more disappointingly failed to get past the group stages of the CL, by losing to supposedly weaker teams?

    Over the past two years the unrest has subsided to a degree with the protests becoming less vitriolic, as we have seen the increase in the money available to the club for transfers enabling all fans to live in hope that a ‘great’ player will be purchased to take us on to greater glory.

    Sadly the (2 : 3) loss to Olympiacos recently, coupled with the lack of spending in the transfer window last summer, with seemingly adverse effects in key areas, deemed to be weak, are symptomatic of the fans newly awakened frustration and anger with the manager.

    On the other side of the coin, many of us do not want to consider the possibility that we are in the end game of Arsene’s incredible Arsenal career, because we know how much we owe this fantastic manager.

    We also know that all the other clubs in the Premier League owe him thanks for revolutionising the training regimes and the diet regimes and the life style regimes of the modern player, that are now de rigueur.

    Let’s face it, the man built the modern Arsenal. He is, without doubt, one of the greatest figures ever seen in the game in this country.

    And yet, — and yet — there is a malaise gripping Arsenal and its fans — there are some world class players in the first team squad, and we are brimming with superb young talent coming through the enhanced youth system, and yet – and yet —-many fans look at the poor CL games which seem to be re-runs of the poor CL games seen last season, and the season before that, and wonder.
    As regards the Premier League, very few fans are now surprised when we are beaten by ‘lesser’ teams, and look, somehow, just as hopeless in certain areas of the team as we have ever done.

    It is claimed by many pundits, including ex-Arsenal players, that we need a new super-duper centre-forward in order to progress, and so too by the fans, as well as by Arsene himself who has admitted as much, before adding the addendum, ‘there is no one available to sign’ which is sometimes taken as code for ‘he is too expensive’. Or is that just becoming folklore?

    Over the years we have come within an inch of attaining trophies, while just needing one or two more top, top players to clinch them, only to see that another top, top player we already had has been sold instead, and that became yet another problem to fix before we could achieve the craved for success.

    One step forward, and two back, on a regular basis – it seems to some.

    That feeling of magic, that symbolised the early Wenger years, of constant progress onward and upward, has now, in the eyes of some, sadly flickered and almost gone out.

    The magic seems to have been replaced, instead, by a reluctant acceptance, possibly even by those of us who love and respect Arsene, and who admire his great achievements, and for what he once brought to the club, and also into our lives as devoted Gooners, but not necessarily for what he may yet still achieve, as hope begins to flutter and fade.

    It seems that a majority of red blooded Arsenal fans, perhaps with an element of personal guilt involved, think that this dying of the Arsene magic is the reality, and many long for a managerial change, despite not wanting to openly say so, because everyone wishes it could be otherwise.

    All of us have our time in the sun, but, deep down, all of us also know that we eventually have to accept that our day is done because of our declining physical and mental strength and need to face up to life’s changes, and say a fond farewell to our friends, our colleagues and our jobs, and sashay quietly into the sunset.

    I hope Arsene, a man I revere for what he has done for us — manages to climb the last summit and wins the Premier League and also wins the Champions League before his personal day is done.

    That is the Arsene conundrum — will he stay to prove his doubters wrong, or will they get their way and see off a great man.

    Be careful what you wish for — a truly great manager like Arsene comes around but once in a lifetime!

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