What has happened to the love affair between Arsene and the Fans?

As with all great romances, the start of this special relationship was very sotto voce with an understated question ‘Arsene Who?’ which swiftly developed into the realisation that we were on the verge of a ‘new deal’ era managed by a footballing mastermind, and which was quickly symbolised by the long distance purchase of a footballing great, Patrick Vieira, before ever we had seen ‘The Professor’ in person.

A wonderful first seven years, or so, flew by, with Doubles, League titles and FA Cups. And then came the seemingly endless building of the Emirates, and with it the crunch of creative management cogs screeching to a juddering halt, and suddenly the trophies dried up!

That was then. Now, nearly 20 years on from the start of the Wenger dynasty, there is the most vitriolic, angry and abusive outpouring of hate filled demands for him to go, from some fans who should know better – with little thought for the joy and pride Arsene Wenger, one of the best ever managers in the history of Arsenal and indeed English football had given to us all.

So, what has gone wrong?

What is indisputable is that there has been a perceived 12 year period of gradual decline from the effortless winning of titles and the creation of the Invincibles team, caused, some will claim, by the sucking away from the football team of any available funds needed for the building of the new stadium, and the impact it had on the recruitment of quality players and the constant selling of the best Arsenal players, season after season, at a time when the oligarchs first showed their snotty noses and bags full of dollar notes to buy all the available talent in every transfer window.

But let’s stop for a moment and try to be objective about what football support is really all about, and how it can lend itself to the unpleasantness many of us will have witnessed.

Most will agree that the excitement, the energy and the anticipation of going to a football match, is hardly the same as that one would expect if going to sit discreetly watching tennis at ‘refined’ strawberry and champagne quaffing Wimbledon. [Just ask Ant and Duck who entertain us all so royally on the Vines’ magic match days!!] :-)

strawbs

We have all been to games, and have seen for ourselves fans, of both teams, raging at the ‘ridiculous’ decisions of the match officials, with gurning, puce faces screaming at the perceived ‘unfairness’ or ‘ridiculous’ fouls being called against their own team or demanding ‘red card’ dismissals for minor offences committed by the opposition. Much of this anger is engendered by a rank lack of knowledge of the laws of the game, it must be said. And, maybe, some of us (All?) may have even been personally involved in what is a decidedly de rigueur show of comradely brotherhood.

So, there we have it, the atmosphere at a football stadium can be tempestuous and lively, or downright villainous depending on your view of such matters. And that is the one-eyed, bias confirmation ethos under which all football managers work in public, including our own Arsene Wenger.

It is surely true, that many fans base their contentment, or otherwise, on winning games, no matter the manner by which it has been obtained, or the standard of the football on display, whereas others, perhaps more esoterically discerning, place much more store in the entertainment aspect of the games, while not eschewing a plumptious win.
In other words it would appeal more to this latter group, to draw a pulsating, entertaining and dramatic match, than to watch a dreadful, boring but victorious One-Nil to the Arsenal type of game.

So there it is! That is the core of the angry ‘for AW’ or ‘anti-AW’ split: because to some fans, football is enjoying an entertainment based on ‘let’s have a good day out, and cheer the boys on, come what may’ – while for others, they care only for the win, and to hell with how dull the game was.

Before having a look at how this affects the current situation of fans falling out over Wenger, it might help to recall that he is not the only manager who has fallen foul of some of his own club’s fans.

For example, it is often forgotten that old ‘Red Nose’ Ferguson, the longest serving manager in Premiership history, had a very similar experience to that now affecting Arsene.
When Manure lost their crown, and fell from the peak of their prowess by losing the Premiership to the Chavs in 2004/5, th bile of the Manure fans showed its ugly head the next season when they started to give him serious grief by claiming he was ‘deluded’, ‘past his sell by date’ etc, – and where else have we heard those words – he wrote, in his biography, that he was horrified by the anger and outright hostility that was directed at him, with snarling faces and obscene gestures evident in all parts of old Toilet, accompanied with yells of ‘Ferguson Out’.

Arsene_Wenger_and_Sir_Alex_Ferguson_PicGetty_188214616

So Arsene is not alone in having the fans, some of them at least, turning on him, no matter how successful he had previously been.

The last time I went to a game, courtesy of a spare ticket from a friend, we were seated not far from the dugout, and I was secretly delighted, not that I said so, as I had never been in that part of the ground before, or since.

The truth is that it is easier to see the manager and his reactions on TV rather than from where we were seated, but I was sickened and angered by the vile comments hurled at him, no matter that they were in the presence of women and children by supposedly rational adults, and it still sticks with me months later.

Ferguson being jeered by the Manure ‘faithful’ with his stunning record, is no different than AW with his own wonderful managerial record of Doubles, FA Cups and League titles, and he too has been subjected to a terrible and vicious campaign to oust him.

Yes, there have been other managers also subjected to their fans wrath, like the Wally with the Brolly, at Newcastle, and Fat Sam at West Ham both of whom have been subjected to the same vitriolic anger, but frankly, it goes without saying, that they have never been of the same managerial quality as Wenger, or had his quality of trophy achievements. Not that that excuses such personal diatribes – aimed at them, and others of that ilk.

The main charge against AW is that this was THE season when we would win the Premier League, especially with the Chavs sacking Moanhio, Van Gaal losing the plot at Manure, Liverpool switching managers, and Citeh — well …. Citeh were just being Citeh.

And then, damn it, at the turn of the year we were comfortably placed at, or near, the top of the table when suddenly Arsenal started slip-sliding away, while at the same time, little old, unfancied Leicester started a great run, which ultimately won them the Title.
It was a confluence of events that sealed the “Wenger Out’ tirade from those waiting for such an opportunity.

I am on record as saying that I felt Arsene should have retired 2 or 3 years ago, not from any acrimony on my part, but out of concern for his legacy and for him as a decent person, and an amazingly successful manager, as I feared what would happen once those bad boys started to motor, as even then the smouldering temper of the mob was sparking to life.
I wish he had gone then – head held high, and everyone lauding him and his achievements, and if he quietly raised his middle digit in salute who could blame him.

Sadly, although I wish it was otherwise, I think with the managerial changes at many other top clubs, and the promise of the oligarchs to spend big to recover from their much worse seasons than Arsenal have had, that things may well get worse for us next year, and therefore Arsene, too.

pep800-1430141381

With the new wave of upmarket managers coming to the premiership next season, such as Guardiola, Klopp, Conte, and probably Moanhio to freshen up their new clubs, and the managerial progression of Pocket Ino at the Spuds, and bearing in mind only one of them can win the Premier league, it is likely that Arsenal and Arsene will be under even more pressure from the fans — and the portents for the next season are not good.

Is the disgruntled reaction of the Gooner fans the fault of AW, at least in part?
Well the answer to that has to be yes.

To be objective, and certainly not condoning the behaviour of some fans, they do have a point, in that squad recruitment over a period of time has not been of the best quality, with one or two exceptions, and the ridiculous lack of outfield recruitment last summer did not convince anyone we could not improve or refresh the squad, and from the fans’ viewpoint, the medical treatment available for injured players has been unexpectedly poor, and all this has built up, and led to a general frustration and anger, especially as the lack of available players coming through the youth system has not given a safety valve, which although now apparently being addressed, seems to be a case of too little too late.

My feeling is that whatever success we manage to have during season 2016/17, the mob will be just waiting to pounce the minute that the results start to go against us, as inevitably they will, from time to time.

This is a no-win situation for Arsene, and I am quietly hoping, out of consideration for him, that he saves himself, and all the rest of us who admire and respect him as a brilliant manager, by biting the bullet and standing down this summer, so he does not have to suffer from the predictable and continuing trauma of being unfairly abused by irate and undeserving fans next season.

Written by RA

 

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245 Responses to What has happened to the love affair between Arsene and the Fans?

  1. chas says:

    Cheers, RA.

    An interesting review of Arsenal – The Wenger Years. 🙂

    I can see what you’re saying as regards him stepping down this summer to save himself further abuse, but can’t see it happening until the end of his contract.

    Then again, maybe Owen Coyle, Paul Lambert, Brendan Rodgers, Gary Monk, Michael Laudrup, Roberto Martinez, David Moyes or any of the others touted as a suitable replacement, will suddenly become available. 🙂

  2. njstone9 says:

    I respectfully disagree and offer this counterpoint:

    Wenger got us through Austerity. Now the money is available and we alone out of the big clubs (I’m excluding Spurs of course!) have managerial stability.

    Wenger should have a few years to spend the money his stewardship of the club has earned.

    And from the sounds of it he’s just made the first signing of our summer. Let’s hope for a few more big ones like this.

  3. RA says:

    Please don’t say that, even in jest, Chas – ‘null point’ to all of them.

    Well done, incidentally on reading through all that – I started scribing at 7:45 and it is amazing how one’s fingers forget how to type at that time in the morning – and one’s brain insists in thinking what the f*ck did you let yourself in for? 😀

  4. RA says:

    njs,

    Your opinion is as good as any – and there is no disagreement from me – I too was expressing an opinion based on the personal and professional stress Arsene has gone through in recent times, and will continue to endure unfortunately.

    I wish for his own good that Arsene chooses to go on his own terms, but if he wants to stay and tough it out – I will not be hurling verbal missiles at him – but many others will.

  5. If WENGER loves Arsenal more than himself, of course he should step down at the end of this season. If Arsenal do not start next season well, the bile & the vitriol will immediately be heaped upon him, and create a negativity which could disrupt the entire club for the whole season.
    That,and the uncertainty caused during a final year of a contract ,will cause a very unhealthy scenario which is not in the best interests of AFC.

  6. njstone9 says:

    Last season Wenger made a rod for his own back by only signing Cech.

    It didn’t help that all the other teams apart from Leicester and Spurs collapsed as well.

    I really, really, really hope that this is finally the season where the balance tips for us in terms of injuries and on the field luck.

    And also in terms of quality in the team. Cech, Ozil, Sanchez, hopefully Xhaka… with a striker now a must after Welbeck’s ill fortune and with Walcott seemingly on the way out… Surely we will score more goals and get more points next season.

    A stronger midfield will also help the defence look better as well. I reckon Chambers may get a run in the first team as well.

    I really want Wenger to go out on a high. If we can top 80 points next season, even if we don’t win the league people will feel good and maybe go all out for the FA Cup again so he can end his career with a trophy.

  7. chas says:

    Martin Wengrow

    So whenever the fan base want a change of manager (regardless of who that is), all they need to do is hurl vitriol, bile and abuse until it’s in the best interests of the Club for the said manager to leave.

    I don’t think that’s a good mode of practice for our Club.
    Do you, really?

  8. Herb's Army says:

    Old Red Noses response was to meet the challenge head-on, win three PL titles in a row and his second CL.
    Arsenal are still waiting for their first CL, and haven’t won back-to-back titles since the 1930’s.
    Can you honestly say our manager is capable of responding with the same fire and determination?
    Why should he, that’s not what he’s paid for.
    Arsenal just aren’t that club.

  9. Chas, this behaviour towards WENGER is hardly new. It has been going on for years, and is not really different to the fans of other clubs when they believe that their manager is not delivering. At another major, ambitious club, WENGER would already have been replaced.

  10. chas says:

    Martin
    Not really an answer to my question.
    But if you think mob rule is the route we should be taking, then fine. 🙂

  11. Melvyn Marks says:

    To verbally abuse one of our greatest managers is totally unacceptable. His record should grant him total respect, but not immunity from being removed for the many mistakes over the past 8 years or so. That’s where the problem lies…the supporters know that our directors do not have the will or capability to address the obvious.

  12. RA says:

    Hi Herb,

    You ask; – “Can you honestly say our manager is capable of responding with the same fire and determination?”

    Not that the Post was altogether about that, but can you honestly say our manager is NOT capable of responding with the same fire and determination?

    I know you like asking unprovable questions, so I thought I would enter into the spirit of things and ask you one back – well it’s the same one you ask really. 🙂

  13. RA says:

    Melvyn,

    I understand your comment as I have heard something like it on many blogs.

    The fact is that these ‘mistakes’ or the inability of the directors (by which you mean Kroenke, the only one who has the authority) to deal with them, is highly subjective.

    Every one of us makes mistakes, including at work, and I suspect you may even admit to at least one yourself, but if your boss thinks there are mitigating circumstances for what happened, or that it was not your fault because you were doing what he wanted you to – he would not sack you.

    I am sure that you would be thrilled if someone from the office down the road said you should be sacked, without them knowing all the facts, you would be delighted that they told you to go.

    Or would you? 🙂

  14. RA says:

    By the way, Herb, how are you keeping?

    Yesterday, I used a broad brush summary of fan views, which the post was trying to explore the reasons for.

    In it I roughly suggested there are 3 broad groups of fans views.

    1. There are those who want AW to go, and go – immediately – and make sure he, and everyone else, knows what they think in graphic terms.

    2. There are those who want him stay.

    3. Then there are those who think AW should go – for what they see as ‘good’ reasons, and refuse to use unwarranted language about him – but, if he decides to stay and tough it out, will support his decision as he has earned a lot of browny points over the years.

    You do not use verbal abuse to my knowledge, but would I be correct in thinking you belong in the first group? 🙂

  15. Herb's Army says:

    Hi Redders

    You’ve lost none of your writing ability.
    I just thought it a bit disingenuous that you compared our manager’s situation with that of Ferguson, especially when Arsenal and United are two very different clubs, driven by very different philosophies.
    In our heart of hearts, if we dig deep enough, all of us could make a case for Arsene Wenger to stay, but Arsenal haven’t done anything different for a decade.
    Everything around us is changing in the PL, and while there’s a great deal of comfort in stability, as a club we haven’t pushed the boat out to take us to the next level.
    How many times/years do we have to lament about how the same injury problems crippled what was a promising season, or console ourselves with the wonderful football we witness when all the pressure of winning something meaningful is gone?
    It’s all well and good to say we were the best side in the calender year (Jan – Dec), unfortunately the season runs from August to May, when Arsene Wenger asks to be judged, but never actually faces that judgement.
    Our comments reflect the performance of the club, circular, raking over exactly the same issues because Arsenal offer nothing new or exciting to discuss. Whether Arsenal finish this season 2nd, 3rd or 4th, they’re still as far away from winning the PL as they were 10 years ago.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Redders for a well written tour de force post about the hottest Gooner topic around right now. ⚽️💣

    I reckon Arsene is as fit as ever, and, most importantly, as keen as ever. No chance he will go on his own account: his ‘grand projet’ is not completed yet, so he will stay on. Should he? There are pluses and minuses for us and him, as there would be with anybody new coming in.

    The BOD know they have the safest top four ticket in the world and have a justified loyalty towards Arsene as well, so no chance of him being sacked by them. But the lions are hungry and angry, so some clever PR and player acquisitions are needed.

  17. Good stuff RA,

    I’m not going to give much of an opinion as i’m tired of having the same discussion about Wenger. Ultimately he is still Arsenal manager and next season i will get behind him and the boys and hope we can improve. When he eventually leaves, he will be remembered as a great Arsenal manager and all the other stuff will be forgotten.

  18. Melvyn Marks says:

    RA,
    If I kept faith in my team at work who year after year who didn’t perform with the option of changing them, yes I would understand that I might be ‘asked to leave.’ We are not from ‘ down the road.’
    Surely we are closer than that, and to make that analogy in my opinion, reflects how the club might actually see us.

  19. RA says:

    Melvyn,

    The point I was trying to make, unsuccessfully it would seem, is that there are many, many opinions out there, all of which are thought of as correct by the person making them known, but they are often vastly different – so they cannot all be right.

    The reason for this must in part be because none of us really know what goes on ‘behind closed doors’ and therefore we all rely on observation and guesswork.

    Guesswork speaks for itself, but observation is a bit more tricky.

    It is widely accepted that if 20 people watch a simulated crime scene and are then asked to say what they saw, they are likely to give twenty different opinions on what happened.

    So too with football.

    The Post made my view clear as to what I think would be in the best interests of all parties, but I am happy to accept that I am not necessarily correct.

  20. RA says:

    Herb,

    If you allow bias confirmation to cloud your view, then inevitably you will believe that the Post was written as a defense of Arsene Wenger.

    In fact the headline gives the true intent – it was an attempt to explore and examine what has gone wrong with the relationship between AW and some, not all, fans, and to give it some context and not look at the situation in isolation.

    The paragraph on the other managers who suffered from attacks from their own fans, including that about which Ferguson himself wrote about, because it shocked him so much, was to give balance to the events surrounding Wenger,and to make clear that his situation is not unique, and has affected many other managers than the few I mentioned.

    Your response was to fail to see that the real point about the vicious attacks on Ferguson, was that the fans who did that were, in his case, wrong, and given time he was able prove they were wrong – whereas in the cases of McLaren and Allardyce the fans were possibly correct.

    What I meant by ‘bias confirmation’, if I might use your well known views, is that you do not think much of Wenger, and so reading the brief mention of Ferguson in the Post, which I have further explained above, you immediately used it to confirm your own bias, and completely missed the point that was really salient, and instead attacked Wenger by asking a nebulous question about his future ability.

    You are not alone – all of us to some degree are biased and can fall into the trap of using what we hear and read to become more fixed in our preconceived views, rather than allowing ourselves to think and see the broader picture.

    At the end of the Post, I made it clear that I thought Arsene should leave/retire/go but my reasons were also made clear, it was not for any personal hubris, but because it would be right for him personally, and also because I do not think the rift between AW and those fans who are ‘out to get him’ can be cemented over, whatever success he might have in the future, and will lead to more unpleasantness.

    Therefore, if I believe he should leave for the reasons given both above and within the Post, and you obviously want him to leave for your own reasons, what is it that you are disagreeing with?

  21. Herb's Army says:

    RA

    Am I in your ‘first’ category – the group that wants Wenger gone and behaves hatefully?
    Wow, ok. Et Tu Brute.
    You may recall earlier in the season when we thumped United 3-0, and followed that up by beating Bayern Munich 2-0 in the CL, that I allowed myself to get excited, gushing on this site about how something felt different, that we’d overcome a huge psychological obstacle, and that finally it looked like we had the players to step up and make the difference.
    How foolish does our annual collapse make me look?
    So what are our rivals doing to excite their supporters?
    Leicester – Not traditional rivals, but have shown you don’t need superstars and a big budget to win the PL, something we have often used as an excuse. It doesn’t matter whether they’re there next year, they’ve already made a massive statement.
    Tottenham – May or may not finish above Arsenal, but it has been a momentum that’s been gathering pace year on year, all on a much smaller budget than Arsenal. Pochettino recently said that he wants to take Tottenham into their new stadium as PL champions – whether it happens or not remains to be seen, but at least they’re laying the gauntlet down with statements of intent. I can’t remember the last time our manager said he and Arsenal were determined to win the title.
    City – Bringing in Pep Guardiola.
    United – Floundering a little since Ferguson left, and the fear factor has gone, but because of Ferguson’s work they are one of the biggest club’s in the world. We should be taking advantage of this because their sheer size tells us they won’t tolerate this malaise in the same way that we have at Arsenal.
    Chelsea – Got shot of the poisonous Mourinho and are welcoming Antonio Conte in the summer, who has a proven track-record with Juventus. And whilst we mock their revolving door, changing managers so frequently hasn’t done them much harm.
    Liverpool – The Klopp effect has transformed them, not so much in the PL, but they’re in yet another major European final with the promise of a NINTH European trophy and CL football next year, And that’s all before he has his first full proper transfer-window this summer.
    Meanwhile, over at Arsenal…

  22. njstone9 says:

    I would like to think that Wenger and the board have identified his likely successor and are working to a timetable so that Wenger can leave when that individual is ready.

    As I see it, I’d rather have Wenger in charge and the security of top 4, which in itself means we will win X number of games (that’s the entertainment part), than risk losing Wenger and having to appoint someone who isn’t the right fit.

    Other teams have fired many managers in the time Wenger has been at Arsenal. We can’t really compare ourselves with Chelsea or City because they’ve spent so much. Man U is relevant because we can see how far they have fallen after Ferguson and by and large we blame that on his successors.

    Liverpool is more apt. They have had more European success, yes, and Klopp looks like a good long term bet, but they’ve outspent us (as far as I know) and they don’t have a stadium like we do now. Who has the brighter prospects going forward? Will Liverpool be able to attract the calibre of player we will?

    Wenger deserves to have one last season.

    Other people may disagree and that’s fine.

  23. RA says:

    Herb,

    Not at all.

    I asked if you were in the 1st group, excluding the language, as you are not personally abusive at all.

    In other words you give the impression that you want Wenger to go, and go immediately. You do not belong in the 2nd group, and part of the 3rd group includes an acceptance of supporting him if he decides to stay.

    A rhetorical question, I thought, but wanted to give you the opportunity to clarify your view. There was no intent to be rude – sorry.

    Part of the problem in debating with you Herb is that it is like walking on eggshells, and I am not the most patient person in the world. 🙂

  24. Rasp says:

    Thanks for yet another forensic dissection of a problem redders 🙂

    I think one problem is that there aren’t enough footballing people in the upper management or on the Board – so they are not really qualified to make a judgement on whether Arsene is doing a good job or not. One thing is for sure, Stan will be happy.

    The last 2 paragraphs of your post sum up my feelings on the matter – but it aint gonna happen!

  25. Herb's Army says:

    Anyway, good to see you’re still about taking on all-comers.
    I hope your health is holding up 🙂
    I don’t like posting too much because I know it upsets people like you and GN5, (as well as a few others), and you both contribute to the site far more than I do.

  26. RA says:

    Herb,

    Most of us were expecting a great Arsenal season, despite the lack of any summer signings except for Cech, and had high hopes of a Premiership title, and said so – but things go wrong, and we were all wrong in that respect.

    Your point about the other clubs improving for next year was covered, in brief, in my already overlong Post, so my view is that with all these high powered managers coming into play next year, the future could be a little trying for us.

    We appear to be in agreement. So, on that positive note, I will draw a line. 😀

  27. RA says:

    Herb,

    You are hopeless!! 🙂

    I can only repeat that you do NOT upset me. My only concern is that we often exchange views perfectly well but get into misunderstandings too easily.

    My fault probably. 😀

  28. Herb's Army says:

    Indeed RA, but to refer to fans as ‘undeserving’ is a little disrespectful in terms of what they are expected to tolerate.

  29. chas says:

    Who do you think, Rasp?
    Alan Smith, Paul Merson, Stewart Robson……… 😆

    Maybe part of it comes down to where you stand with regard to the fans having a say in the running of the Club.

    Personally, I think we should have no say at all.
    What a mess we’d be in if the Club followed the whims of the fanbase.
    The managers mentioned earlier like Owen Coyle and Paul Lambert would have been offered the job years ago.

    Look what happened with the AST.
    Arsenal Supporters Trust, my arse. They do a good job campaigning about ticket prices and then think they can decide who our transfer targets should be. 🙂

  30. Rasp says:

    Hi chas

    I have said for a long time that we should extend the Board to accommodate some ‘greats’. Bob Wilson would be my first choice (I don’t know whether he’d accept the post)

    Obviously none of your suggestions as you were being flippant 🙄

    But there are people with integrity out there who haven’t been making a living out of slagging the club off who could be valuable in the decision making processes of the Board when it comes to footballing matters.

  31. Rasp says:

    There is a serious point here. Who apart from Arsene has the knowledge to appoint his eventual successor?

  32. Rasp says:

    I’ve just read the last part of your comment. A fan’s representative on the Board with no voting rights might not be a bad thing, but I agree, no way should the fans be making decisions such as who the next manager should be.

  33. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    Firstly a brilliant piece of writing that will bring you a cascade of varying views – so you will have to remain on your toes all day to
    scribe your responses.

    Nobody has to guess what camp I’m in but that does not mean that I’m blind to the issues that have created our inability to win the major trophies in the recent past. The difference is that I do not share in the popular media/black flag/white card driven reasons for our “decline”.

    Arsene is on record as saying that he always honours his contracts – so that makes it a given that he will remain for at least another season – he is a man of his word. It would shake the arthritis right out of my bones if he was not offered another contract as he obviously has the respect of both the BOD and the owner. It’s nigh on impossible to replace a club legend – just ask the Man U supporters.

    Although I fully understand your compassionate reasoning behind feeling the AW should retire I simply cannot see it happening as he is a very proud man and will want to prove his critics wrong.

  34. Herb's Army says:

    Don’t forget Roberto Martinez, Chas.
    Lambert has been a bit unlucky after leaving Norwich to go on to manage two clubs in deep decline.
    Coyle was obviously a one-season wonder who was in the right place at the right time.
    My other choices would have been Pep, Klopp or Ancelotti, but again, we’re just not that sort of club.

  35. Rasp says:

    BTW, did you read that Fergie had lunch with Pochetino yesterday in London?

  36. chas says:

    I’m certainly not going to mourn the demise of Fletch and Sav, but this article linked below does seem to make a valid point that humour and fun in football are disappearing to be replaced by everyone having to have a deadly serious opinion on everything.

    This morning on twitter there has been a back and forth debate about Xhaka versus Kante and their respective merits and possible benefits to Arsenal. This, resulting from newspaper speculation that a bid has been lodged for Xhaka and other bullshit about us going for Mahrez and Kante.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2016/05/10/footballs-lighter-side-is-giving-way-to-a-rise-in-competitive-se/

    Maybe all the anger and fury we are seeing is because there’s no chuffin escape from it.

    note to self – take a few days off the internet.

  37. chas says:

    Rasp
    If there’s no way fans should be making decisions as to who the next manager should be, then surely they should also not be involved in the decision as to when the current one leaves?

  38. Rasp says:

    I guess that’s a reasonable conclusion chas. I have never said that the fans should be allowed to drive out the manager. I’m not denying that if they start to cause too much negative publicity that may eventually be the outcome.

    I have said a few times that the Board would benefit from reinforcements with a sound knowledge of football and an allegiance to the club 😆

  39. Rasp says:

    My instincts tell me we will sign Xhaka and I think that is a very smart move – he’ll make our squad/team stronger.

  40. RA says:

    Well, I have been castigated on other blogsites for being too flippant. 🙂

    So that puts me into the exalted company of Sav and Fletch (who they? Nah, don’t bother i am happy being ignorant) 🙂

  41. Rasp says:

    Robbie Savage and Darren Fletcher ….. 2 muppets on Sky Sports

  42. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one Redders. If I was Kronke I would immediately offer Arsene a new 5 year contract. Also, on my ranch, whilst playing the High Chaparral theme tune, I would make love to a beautiful Mexican women then send the video of my lustful interracial exploits to all the doomers.

    Arsenes doing a great job. I have my own business and aspire to be like Arsene but cant quite cut it.

    I often shut my door and have a little kip, so many time the staff knocking on the door hear the startled cry of “How much is the extras”. I also lie and pull a sicky but am starting to suspect theres nothing wrong with me, so now fear the sack

    The biggest problem however is that I sexually harass the staff. Sneaking up behind them and giving unwanted massages or pretending a paper clip has fallen down there bottom. I have two beautiful and intelligent women employees, but they know Johns wife so am worried that they might tell her the reason John has a first class stamp on his groin is because of me.

    If only we were all like Arsene? There would always be paper clips in the tray and at the sight of a post man, John would no longer have a panic attack.

  43. RA says:

    Hiya, GN5, 🙂

    I hope you haven’t forgotten my request for another of your super Posts – it’s been too long! 🙂

    You are correct about Arsene’s contractual situation. It is unlikely that he would leave this summer, and I would prefer he did not really, except the rancour from certain fans is unlikely to go away, and will explode the moment the Arsenal hit a sticky patch next season.

    We will see.

  44. RA says:

    Terry,

    😀 😀

    Working for you must be amazing – but you know the minute you want to sack one of your harem they are going to sue you for $20m for paper clip harassment!

  45. Melvyn Marks says:

    RA
    Your point was well made.Sorry I don’t agree with it.
    Apart from my ignorance of what goes on behind closed doors,I have the advantage of seeing what has been happening on the pitch. Anyway I expect more of the same next year,who wouldn’t ?

  46. RA says:

    Thanx, Rasper,

    Savage – now you give his name, I know it – he is the girly one in Come Up Dancing – the other one I do not know – and do not wish to. 🙂

  47. RA says:

    Fair enough, Melvyn. 🙂

    There is no pretending that everything is fine in the Arsenal camp – it is not.

    The Post, as I said to someone earlier, was not intended to persuade or cajole people to believing that Up was Down, everyone will have their own views and that is perfectly acceptable.

    It was simply trying to make some rational sense out of what has happened, and to hear from others, including you, what your own take was on things, and what you might want to see in the future – other than the obvious “Wenger Out’ demand.

    Failing that – you get the pleasure of a moment in the life of Terry Mancini @ 1:59 – no charge. 🙂

  48. RA says:

    Chas,

    You have mentioned the lack of any real footballing men on the BoD at Arsenal, and I agree with you – both times. 🙂

    But if they were to pass legislation that Fans should be included on the Board of Footie Clubs, a bit like they do in Germany, can you imagine the bloodshed over here caused by the fighting to get onto the recruitment list?

    And no one would be happy with whoever got elected to ‘represent’ the fans.

    As for finding a replacement for Arsenal, the BoD would use head-hunters, but in reality it would be selecting from just a very few top quality established mangers.

  49. RA says:

    Apologies, apologies, that 2:23 should have been addressed to both Chas and the Rasper as I am not sure which one of you said what – but it was interesting. 😀

  50. chas says:

    RA
    Not surprisingly, it was Rasp making the sensible point about the lack of footballing men on the board. 🙂

  51. Rasp says:

    Oh bum 😦 😦

    Welbeck has undergone knee surgery and is expected to be out for up to 9 months = the majority of next season.

    Maybe we will buy a top striker now.

  52. Rasp says:

    …. or maybe keep Walcott?

  53. RA says:

    Rasper.

    Forgive me for being contradictory, but ‘top striker’ and ‘Walcott’ are polar opposites, nicht var? 🙂

  54. Rasp says:

    You made that link Redders – not me 🙂

  55. RA says:

    Rasp,

    I am impressed that so many peeps managed to read thru my rushed tome. And rightly so, as it took me 25 minutes to write as my fingers refused to comply with the appropriate letters on the keyboard. 🙂

    Part of the problem with being a self-taught typist – eventually the fingers and brain cease to work together and the eyes are needed to look at the keyboard and god knows what is going onto the screen. 😀

  56. RA says:

    I can read you like a book, Rasp, or perhaps a prized Angel Fish without its halo. 🙂

  57. RA says:

    Sadly, Rasp, your news on poor old Danny brings me around full circle to a comment I made – somewhere, I know not where – and that is that AW needs to be totally objective with these recurring longterm injuries to players who appear to have a genetic problem with their ambulatory apparatus.

    Joking aside, we have had far more than our fair share of these, and persevering with players who have had more than two such injuries is simply unprofessional.

    I think we would/could/should have bought an upgraded striker to replace one of our supposed goal scorers, even with a fit Welly in the squad, precisely because of his injury record, and now we need two.

    Danny wont want to hear this, but he should be put out to pasture with Rosicky, Arteta and Theo so that we can move on.

    Incidentally, I suspect we were allowed to sign Welly because Manure were well aware of his likely relapse into a chronic injury case.

  58. LB says:

    He injured the other knee………….

  59. RA says:

    In case you are reading this Corky the Camel, can I say we have noted that the Tonee Cottee lookie likee Wormer that you own, has not shown up today.

    OK so there are mitigating circumstances in that he is good at dishing out long rambling comments – enough to put us all to sleep – but he is not too good at taking them, and has probably nodded off after the second paragraph today.

    Tell him he will get what for when he does show up! I have arranged for Terry to take him down to his love cellar and will be made to wear one of Mancini’s hair pieces. 🙂

  60. RA says:

    Was that his own – or someone else’s, LB? 🙂

  61. GoonerB says:

    I would keep Walcott as a striker option over Giroud……and now I will disappear in a puff of smoke 🙂

  62. RA says:

    Blimey, GB has woken up and gone for a piggy. 🙂

  63. RA says:

    Umm – piggy = ciggy — altho you never know! 😀

  64. RA says:

    And you can keep Walcott, GB, if Corky lets you – probably plenty of room for a little one in the shed.

  65. Rasp says:

    Hi GoonerB, I watched Walcott closely last game when he came on, particularly when we were not in possession. He was truly dreadful. You could see he was positioning himself so as not to be in a position to make a tackle. He generally just moved into space and made no attempt to track back. Welbeck, Campbell, Alexis and Ozil work much harder for the team.

    Now he may have been following instructions (but I doubt it) but let me ask you, have you seen him use his pace to beat a defender even once since he returned from his latest injury? He now attempts intricate passing, but I must say his runs into the box are more intelligent these days.

  66. mickydidit89 says:

    Thank you very much RA. Really excellent read.

    Too tied up to get stuck in, but had to say thanks

  67. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh no, just zoomed through comments and read about Danny. That’s terrible news. So sorry for him.

  68. RA says:

    Thank you Micky, for your thanks – appreciated, much! 😀

  69. LB says:

    Superb read RA

  70. GoonerB says:

    Here’s the thing Rasp. I said keep Walcott as a striker option not a winger option. I also said option rather than ultimate solution and I feel my opinions on this area are actually translated as GoonerB loves Walcott and thinks he is the ultimate answer, when I am really just looking at what he can do for us and in what position when he is an option to us and other options are not available.

    I am also on record as saying that all Walcotts key deficiencies are enhanced in the wing position or other deeper roles, but are deficiencies less relevant to a striker. I feel his key strengths (he does actually have some) are taylor made to a striker.

    I feel our team plays better with a more mobile focal point to the attack to work off, so yes as a striker I feel Wenger has messed up in not playing him there again when we had limited options.

    I felt Walcott did fairly well early season when played at number 9 but more importantly the team played very well on consistent occasions when he lead the line which influences my opinion above.

    I feel one of AW’s biggest mistakes this season was to return to playing Giroud as the consistent striker from the turn of the year rather than using Walcott more as an option. This coincided with our worst run and most barren attacking period.

    The one thing I have requested is that when I mention Theo up top that any alternative views to mine are based on his actual performances as a number 9. All his performances since return from injury have been as a winger yet when I mention him as a possibility at striker I get jumped on, but mainly with references to his recent performances, but, these are from an entirely different position to what I am suggesting.

    I can remember you yourself Rasp actually giving a reasonable thumbs up early season to Walcott at number 9 and Giroud as impact sub from the bench ( and don’t pretend you didn’t cause I can see your nose growing 🙂 ). I even remember RA saying he played better as a number 9 than he thought he would. It was always a position that would ultimately likely require an upgrade, but that is a different argument when TW’s are open.

    I feel the reason we said this and thought this because it showed to be working and was the set up we saw in some of our best performances, so based on the options available, it looked the best one for us. Arsene had the same options and choices from the turn of the year but opted for a different one, the same one we have seen for the last 3 seasons.

    To date I can only recall FGG actually acknowledging the discrepancy in trying to assess Theo’s potential value to us as a number 9 based on him playing as a winger. I have more directed this comment at yourself Rasp only because I know you give consideration to my views and don’t just immediately fall off your chair in a fit of laughter ( although feel free to do this if you wish 🙂 ).

    Now I really am sorry, I must disperse for a tiny bit but will look back later with relish t see how many people ignored me. 🙂 Oh and fine post RA (will say more later when time). Have you ever considered RA where I developed my penchant for worded long uns? 🙂

  71. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    As usual when I read this blog I can understand and have sympathy for the concerns and thoughts of most…except your good self Herb 🙂

    For someone who’s constantly sticking the knife into the club, I can’t deny that you’re polite and respectful about it.

    You mention a few clubs in your list and I’d guess if I put forward the name of any club in all the divisions you’d have an excuse or compliment to make for each one…except Arsenal…or at least sometimes that how it feels.

    United are pretty rubbish but they were good a few years back so they’re fine.

    Spurs have had one decent season in years but you’ve no problem speculating that their future can only be bright.

    Leicester have won the title once so whatever they do next is fine because they made a statement.

    Liverpool have underperformed for years and are about 20 points behind Leicester but because they’ve reached a final in a tournament that’s been the but of jokes for years you break out the CAPITALS for another POSSIBLE addition to their trophy list.

    I don’t expect to change your mind or anything but it’s just so weird to me as an Arsenal fan to hear another Arsenal fan have such an easy time praising any team at all and have nothing but backhanded compliments at best for the team he…loves?

    Agree with RA that for his own sake I’d be happy to see Arsene retire if only to see the abuse towards him end…but only if that’s what he himself wants.
    I thought he should retire after the Hull cup win as I thought the chance of further trophies was slim…and then he proved me wrong and won it again so what do I know?

    A year or two ago I decided my stance on Arsene was going to be that he’s done so much for Arsenal, most of the time with one hand tied behind his back that, for me, he’s earned the respect to have another few goes at the thing if that’s what he wants. I know that’s too sentimental for some but that’s just me.

    I also agree with Rasp that maybe we don’t have enough football men behind the scenes and I hope they’re preparing now for life after Arsene.

    Mostly though as usually happens I find myself agreeing very much with chas. I don’t go to games myself and I’ve only ever seen Arsenal once, in Dublin, against Bohemians years ago. Perry Groves and Alan Smith scored in a 2-0 win…I think.

    Maybe because I don’t go to games I’ve never felt like Arsenal ever owed me anything but if going to games ever made me as angry and entitled as some fans I’d prefer never to see Arsenal live again.

    Probably my favourite thing chas ever put up was that graph that charted Arsenals finishing position every year. I always think about it when people go on about how terrible supporting modern Arsenal is. It really is a great graph 🙂

  72. RA says:

    Thank you too, LB.

    As you are such a devoted Arsenal man, it is a true litmus test for a Post to pass your standards. 😀

    But then you understand the nuances affecting the poor treatment of Arsene far better than most others.

  73. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    Thanks for the great post RA.

  74. Terrible news. It’s always the good guys that get injured, Theo, Danny, Santi, Elton Johns feelings.

    This will force Arsene into a place he does not know, the transfer market. Poor Arsene won’t know what to do. Offering out Martinez for a ruck, winner takes Lukaku? Or tempting Koeman with a weeks free pass to Amsterdams red light district in exchange for Mane?

    By the looks of Koeman, we will definately get Mane.

    Danny tackled with his wrong foot. When I broke my leg I done the same, but my excuse was I was so shit, I got confused.

    Danny will be back

  75. chas says:

    Cheers, man.
    This one?
    We have had it hard recently – just haven’t kicked on. 😆

  76. RA says:

    A great observation Jeremy.

    Herb has a love of Arsenal, but his expectations are so high he becomes their worst critic — and oddly enough, he spoils the joy of supporting a wonderful team and manager.

    Your attitude is spot on, if I may say so. 😀

  77. LB says:

    I was hoping that the sale of Walcott would force AW into the market, Welbeck’s injury is such bad news.

  78. RA says:

    Terry, you naughty boy!

    Arsene will surprise you with his knowledge of the transfer market – like he has done with El Nenny who is going to be brilliant.

    How are your injuries after the bust up with that dress dummy in Marks & Spencer? 🙂

  79. We’ve made it up Redders. I take him to discos and chat up birds by claiming my mate wants to talk to them. It never works though, he always ends up pulling while ime left with nothing. I think its the £39.99 sweater and rigid stare that does it?

    Of course ime only joking. Arsene will probably make us a killing by selling Walcott to West Ham for £20 million, and they, soon realising he’s as rigid as my Marks & Spencer mate, will sell him to John Lewis,

    Genius from Arsene

  80. Gutted for Welbs. Another 9 months out and question marks will now be raised about wether he will ever fulfill his promise. Fortunately hes come back from the last injury strong and performed well so at least he knows in his own mind he can do it.

    I think a new striker is nailed on now if it wasnt already

  81. Herb's Army says:

    It would be interesting to know what you consider to be my expectations are of Arsenal are, Redders, given the club’s substantial wealth, where they were immediately prior to WWII, and where they are now.
    Jeremy, it seems you are determined to illicit a response from me as that’s the second time you’ve made the same point regarding me praising ‘every other club in every other division’, but it will have to wait because I don’t have time right now.

  82. RA says:

    Terry, darling, I thought your friend the dummy was for displaying women’s dresses and the like – as Chas has shown – what a shock to learn it was a male model displaying tiny swimming thongs. 🙂

  83. We definitely need a striker Ginge. Theo is the most rigid man since Rudolph Hess realised he was a bit of a twat, and Giroud only failed to get the part of Frankenstein because he was slightly to dexterous

    I pinned a lot of hope on Danny, but now we are desperately short

  84. RA says:

    OK, Herb,

    I withdraw my original perfectly honest comment – and I do not do that for many people – but that is it – you have exhausted my patience with your prickly comments – just too much.

    Here is the amended comment;

    -“Herb has a love of Arsenal, but his expectations are so high low, he becomes their worst best critic — and oddly enough, he does not spoil the joy of supporting a wonderful crap team and manager.”

    No more conversation, Herb, you are impossible to like – and you do not upset me – but your continual and unwarranted nit picking does bore the ass off me.

    Goodbye.

  85. Aaron says:

    Need 2 strikers now, mandatory! Walcott does not count and hope for him to be sold! (Get well soon Danny)
    2 mids now, mandatory, Jack does not count as he will become injured and Santi will need rotating and Ramsey will not last the whole season either.
    And at least one more defender, mandatory, if any of our inside or outside backs get injured for 1-2 months. Highly probable
    Or Arsenal will not compete!

  86. RA says:

    Terry,

    I know I have said in the past that we have a high number of midgets in the team (sorry, I was only joking) but for you to say “we are desperately short” is a bit of a tall tale! 😀

  87. Rasp says:

    Hi GB, sorry to take so long to reply. I agree a more mobile striker gives a better outlet to the likes of Ozil. I also agree that Theo’s deficiencies are highlighted when he plays wide = fails to help out the full backs defensively. He may be worth keeping as an impact sub, but his lack of work rate and general small cojones drives me to distraction 😦

  88. RA says:

    Aaron,

    I understand your concerns, and I said earlier, as did Terry Titmouse, that we need to really get into solving the striker problem – tho I thought Giro lately has been our best forward player – tho that is subjective, admittedly.

    AW will address the striker, midfield and CB situation, especially as there are doubts about Per, but there are also other matters too, like trying to find room for our returning loanees, at least two or three of whom are very promising – provided they are not sold. 🙂

    I am talking about Akpom, Zellalem and Toral.

    Let’s wait and see what Arsene comes up with

  89. Maybe we can get them to play with secret in steps Redders. It won’t work for Theo, to rigid so he will fall over, but Jacks flat footed so will do him good. Probably start beating Andy Carroll in the air

    Don’t think Mertsacker should wear them though? Santi might have an accident looking at him.

    I wear them at discos. Makes me six inches taller. I once wore them at London Zoo and attracted a Kangaroo.

  90. RA says:

    Rasper,

    I have only just noticed the AA top banner – thank you – but it is not working is it? 😀

  91. RA says:

    Terry,

    — “Don’t think Mertsacker should wear them though? Santi might have an accident looking at him.”

    Priceless! 😀 😀

  92. Rasp says:

    We’ve used that before Redders, I think it sums up your palliative approach to blogging 🙂

  93. Herb's Army says:

    Very mature, RA.
    You have written many things, some I agree with, some not so much, but I don’t feel the need to constantly refer to them, nor do I represent what I ‘think’ are your views to other bloggers.
    It wasn’t a particularly prickly comment, but at the same time we’re not here to massage ego’s, we’re here to discuss and disect all things Arsenal. You’re content with the club stasis treading water and that’s fine, there are many more Arsenal fans who believe we could and should be more efficient and doing a lot better.
    That’s exactly what this boils down to.
    I don’t have a problem with different opinions, but there’s no moral higher ground.
    Perhaps it’s just that I fall considerably short of your intellectual level, and that’s my bad. To take it so personal is a bit much, but that’s your choice and I’m ok with that, so you take care and look after yourself.

  94. RA says:

    Oh, stop it, Herb.

    Don’t go looking for problems where none exist, problems outside of our control find all of us – and that is enough to cope with.

    Plenty of others on here for you to chat with, so do not disappear from AA because you cannot get on with me.

    Life is too short for pointless squabbles.

  95. RA says:

    Rasper,

    My Post writing days are few and far between, but thank you for the banner, if I saw it before it slipped my mind.

    Palliative? Yew’re avin a laff. 😀

  96. RA says:

    Do any of you remember the clamour some fans, including me, made when Arsenal were heavily linked with the HM M’Villa, and the disappointment when we did not go for him?

    There were the usual murmurings of ‘Wenger’s too mean’, ‘too slow to make up his mind’ etc, well M’Villa has drifted aimlessly in Russia since and now he is with Sunderland I am glad we did not get him to be honest.

    Serves me right for doubting Arsene’s judgement.

    As I type that, Van Anholt scores a soft goal for Sunderland and M’Villa will probably prove me wrong — again. 🙂

    Worse, it means that then barcodes are relegated if it stays like this, and won’t bother against the Spuds on Sunday – and our chance of second place will disappear.

  97. fatgingergooner says:

    I still believe 1 striker is enough, but the Welbs injury probably means we also get a RW and definitely keep Giroud for another season. At some point we have to bring Akpom into the side, so the Welbeck injury could be good for his chances.

    ST New Signing, Giroud, Akpom

    RW New Signing, Ox, Campbell

    LW Sanchez, Iwobi, JRA or Wellington

    I don’t think that is too bad. I’d be very worried if Wenger decides to stick with Walcott or classes Ox as first choice RW going into next season.

  98. chas says:

    Yep, looks like Newcastle will only have home pride to play for on Sunday.

  99. chas says:

    RA
    Do you remember that there was another one before M’Vila called Lorik Cana?
    Le Grove were desperate for us to sign him.
    Mainly because he was a big old unit. 🙂
    He also ended up at Sunderland briefly before being flogged to the Turks.

    Thank Dennis the fans have no say.

  100. RA says:

    I vaguely remember the name, Chas, but there is always another ‘beast’ or summat — that becomes the flavour of the month.

    And I have never bothered with LG as I cannot write moronic sentences of less than5 words, and including two expletives which seems to be de rigour on there. 🙂

  101. RA says:

    Bloody hell — de rigour = de rigueur —– shitty auto corrector cannot spell as well as me! 🙂

  102. GoonerB says:

    De Rigour RA. That is exactly the type of spelling you find on LG 🙂

  103. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    That’s the one chas 🙂

    It’s such a good visual representation, especially when people go overboard about how bad we have it as it shows how historically we’ve mostly been much much worse most of the time. Things could be better of course but things could also be Eddie McGoidrick!

    Herb I really don’t mean to single you out for any sort of abuse or to provoke you. I’ve been reading the blog for years and I remember the time recently when you were a bit more accepting of Arsenal and even though I only know you from your comments it was great to see, if only because you finally seemed to get a little enjoyment out of following Arsenal.

    It’s funny because I’ve probably addressed you more than anybody else online about Arsenal even though I almost completely disagree with everything you say. Your comments sort of bring it out of me 🙂

    The last thing I wanted to do is stir up any ill feeling with my comment earlier, especially when the friendly banter is the main reason I enjoy the blog.

    Peace out

  104. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    Newcastle finally got a half decent manager but I wonder will he stay now they’re relegated

  105. RockyLives says:

    Brilliant essay Redders – well played Sir

  106. GoonerB says:

    RA I enjoyed your post and the comments and discussions coupled with G.G’s yesterday. I think a few people said it yesterday that many fans feel we have been stagnating for a while and keep undermining ourselves with consistent failings that we seem to not learn from and hence address. I think many feel frustrated and helpless in how to affect this hence the banners.

    I am personally not a fan of the banners because I don’t believe in the atmosphere it creates as being helpful and, taken as a whole, Arsene Wenger has done so much for the club that I find it disrespectful. They have a right to do it and probably feel it is the only way but I feel there must be other ways to make their voice heard that are less cringe-worthy.

    If I had been at that game when the one Arsene Wenger rang out I would have been inclined to join in, but probably more as a protest to the protest (or at least the type of protest). It probably wouldn’t of represented my thoughts of whether Arsene is still operating at the highest levels of the game, as he once did, and whether he has the ability to produce and oversee a title winning team. I would have sung it as an endorsement and thanks to what he has done.

    It made me wonder if everyone singing it were doing it as a full endorsement of his continued tenure or whether it was more to back a man they have great feelings for and wanted to show him some love and counter the negative stuff being chucked at him.

    I think the 12 year significance that some adhere to is ridiculous because it includes the very difficult austere years when Arsene kept us so competitive and really had us punching above our weight. In comparisons with other great managers I still feel he is the only one who had the particular skill set to see us through that period, and I still feel he selflessly sacrificed himself for the club. That doesn’t deserve negative unappreciative banners being waved in his face.

    I feel the real assessment period is about 3 years now. This is when I believe we moved out of the austere years and started the project to challenge (seriously challenge) for the 2 big prizes. So not as long as some believe but maybe not as short as others believe.

    I do feel that this season represents the culmination of a 3 year period of 2 steps forward 2 steps back and this season has perturbed me a bit and what it may mean to us going forwards. It potentially indicates flaws in our coaching and preparation, and the outlook on how we should play that may continue to go unaddressed.

    The main faults with us do also seem to be ones that have consistently recurred over the last few years. It does look to me as if Arsene is missing a few things in his repertoire now, and I do sometimes wonder whether he has actually been changed (almost damaged) in his coaching outlook through the austere years to a point where his ethos has traveled too far down a different pathway and now he can’t get himself back to what is required of a top championship winning coach.

    A unique set of circumstances happened with our main and traditional rivals this year, and not circumstances I feel will happen again any time soon all at the same time. Each of our traditional rivals all had some issues that have undermined them this year.

    I felt we on the other hand were the most stable of these teams and the most advanced (time wise) in the development of a title winning squad, so I do see this year as a massive disappointment (perhaps the biggest one for me in his tenure) and wonder whether it points towards danger going forwards. What he has done in the past is one thing. Where we are now and going forwards another.

    It could be that significant investment in the right players will add the icing on the cake and see Arsene lift one of the 2 big prizes in his last year. Just because I have reservations about his top level coaching abilities in the here and now that would still be my greatest wish. No problems with egg on my face. What a delicious egg to have to lick off.

    Meeting a lot of different gooners so many of the ones that have resolutely stood behind him are now questioning things along the same lines as me. Similarly many of the ones that have sought his removal for a good few ears now actually still talk very highly of what he has done for us, and it is my belief that in 20 years time they will still consider him our greatest ever manager on reflection even if another replaces him and wins a couple more EPL’s and maybe even the ECL.

    I don’t think it will go unrecognised even with those fans that Arsene provided the platform for any success we may enjoy in the future. Anyway, fine post RA and again thanks to GG yesterday.

  107. Aaron says:

    Think Arsene can still obtain a EPL and CL title, but not in same year, if and only if he gets money to spend on more than 1 player per year
    .
    RA- Akpom, Zellalem and Toral are not EPL full 90 minutes ready, nor can Ox last or score, need some outside help. Elany fit in nicely, but he is a solid guy who can run forever and pass precisely and quickly before getting laid out.
    Need cover for Danny, Jack, Ox, Ramsey and Walcott-they will not make it thorugh the season without injury or scoring, and Arteta and Rosicky were very good players who will need to be replaced TODAY, as they are moving on.

    And the people that feel the need to protest with banners at the games, just go away or go to a pub and give your lousy 2 cents. The home field is supposed to be about backing your team no matter what, a fortress of fear for other teams, and one that gets behind the team not on when they don’t perform supernaturally.
    Don’t condone what went on with regards to the manure bus on the way to the game, but laughed out loud at the result!

  108. chas says:

    Yuck

  109. mickydidit89 says:

    I am trying very hard to be brave about the Danny news.

    Chas
    Re The Toon bothering or not on Saturday, we’re in the strange position where only City of the top four actually need to make an effort.

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    I reckon NU will benefit from having no pressure on their shoulders and play better in front of the home crowd as a result, Chas/Micky. StT day is still on. 😳

  111. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas at 6.06: spot on.

  112. mickydidit89 says:

    I agree Total, and never forget the Spuds’ extraordinary capability to implode when it really matters 🙂

    Having said that, they blew the league, so I’m really not bothered if they come 2nd. Not sure how much our lot will be bothered either what with playing at home and all that

    Some will have packed their speedos already

  113. TotalArsenal says:

    1. Wenger honours contracts
    2. The BOD would be daft to sack have him (and see him join a rival)
    3. He is as keen as ever
    4. The pro Wenger fans totally overwhelmed the WO brigade at our last game
    5. Four cups in the last three years IS progress and next year Chavs, Citeh, Manure go through new trainer transitions, so stability supported by clever investment is the best strategy

    You can pull your own conclusions, but the issue is dead in the water. 😳

  114. mickydidit89 says:

    Actually, thinking of pulling sickies and bunking off on holiday early, how many believe the Mesut hip injury?
    I don’t

  115. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky agreed. It also feels that, as the Americans like to say, second placed is the first LOSER this year and will be ridiculed a lot more than the others (former champions Chavs cannot believe their luck!), so maybe we should let them have the poisoned chalice 😂

  116. VP of Oz says:

    Ricky Bobby: If you ain’t first, you’re last. You know, you know what I’m talking about?
    [to television camera]
    Ricky Bobby: That there is trademarked, not to be used without written permission of Ricky Bobby, Inc.

  117. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    Surely that picture of Big Sam (I’m too lazy to look up how to spell his name) warrants some kind of prior warning 🙂

    Piers Morgan is the absolute worst.

    Second would be nice but I’m not too bothered. Them winning it was the real worry and seemed scarily possible not so long ago.

    Just no champions league qualifier now please and thank you.

  118. chas says:

    Hmmmmmmm, that went well.

  119. chas says:

  120. Herb's Army says:

    It’s like we’re watching the end of civilised culture.
    Everybody angry all the time, and at a time when humans are facing their biggest challenge – the need to feel relevant.
    We’ve slept-walked into an age where we’re completely dependent on machines and technology, and most of us are at the mercy of decisions made autonomously.
    The consequences of this are that people no longer feel the need to engage with other people, and human relationships are just simply breaking down. The efficiency of the machine means we no longer take humans at face-value, we can’t even laugh with or at each other anymore for fear of causing offence.
    We’ve become over-sensitive because we are over-saturated with sanitisation. It is unnatural, and has caused too many schisms and divisions among the human-race.
    But it’s much deeper than that.
    We exist in a culture where money is everything. Nothing has caused more heart-break, consternation or deep-rooted division than the eternal moral rights and wrongs of the ‘Have’s’ and ‘Have Not’s’. Essentially what technology and the take-over of machines has done is remove human emotion. Like a guilt-free App, because no-one’s accountable anymore. If something is wrong and not working, it’s someone else’s fault. I’m not accepting responsibility, you’re not accepting responsibility, nobody is responsible.
    So apart from the obvious need for pro-creation, our input to life itself has become less and less important. We’ve never been more lost and confused than we are now in determining what life really means. It has to be more than just consuming and collecting money, or are we merely shallow vessels who deserve to have our conscience and humanity surgically removed?
    Why do I say this?
    Because I saw this earlier, and for the life of me just couldn’t make sense of what it means or represents.
    Forbes’ Top 10 Richest Clubs.

    1. Real Madrid £2.52 bn
    2. Barcelona £2.46 bn
    3. Manchester Utd £2.3 bn
    4. Bayern Munich £1.85 bn
    5. Arsenal £1.4 bn
    6. Manchester City £1.33 bn
    7. Chelsea £1.15 bn
    8. Liverpool £1.07 bn
    9. Juventus £900 m
    10. Tottenham £704 m

    Apart from telling us that Arsenal are the fifth wealthiest club in the world, we also see six PL representatives.
    There is so much money in the PL that it has become almost impossible to judge any club’s performances.
    We reward failure, so that the perception has become that even when a PL club under-performs they are successful simply because of the money they generate.
    How can 10+ years of ‘settling’ for a top-four finish be deemed as failure when you look at the table above?
    This is why there are no proper in-depth conversations and why it’s impossible to measure genuine success.
    There’s no need for conversation.
    We’re all acutely aware of the general malaise at Arsenal, and there are many who politely accept it, but the table above dismisses any notion that Arsenal are failing.
    Regardless of what they offer on the pitch, Arsenal will still be in Forbes’ top-ten rich list next year even if they finish 20th in the PL, and if anyone dares to suggest the club is failing, or letting it’s fan-base down, they’ll just point to the table above and any debate is killed, stone-dead.
    How incredibly sad football and human-life has become.

  121. chas says:

    Herb

    The first part of your comment seems like it should say ‘I’ instead of ‘We’.

    As far the second part, I thought it was ‘most valuable’ rather than ‘richest’.

    Interesting that Newcastle make it into the rankings in 20th spot. I’d imagine their fans might make an argument that they’ve been let down by their club.

    What I’d also like to know is, why the hell are we only 5th?
    We were 3rd in 2007.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbes%27_list_of_the_most_valuable_football_clubs#2007_rankings

  122. mickydidit89 says:

    Herb
    I was quite enjoying your comment until about two thirds of the way through when you introduced football 🙂

    Morning Chas.
    Wazzzaaaaa and all that

  123. chas says:

    Hey, Micky.
    You’re up early.

    What shall we talk about?

  124. chas says:

  125. mickydidit89 says:

    Busy time of year
    Evenings long, surf is good, double viola lesson today and lots to do outside.
    Oh, and work 🙂

  126. chas says:

    You really have trouble engaging with life outside of the machines, don’t you?

  127. mickydidit89 says:

    Stephanie Gilmore at Kelly Slaters unbelievable new wave farm in California

    It’s entirely solar powered

    http://www.worldsurfleague.com/posts/202062/stephanie-gilmore-at-slaters-surf-ranch

  128. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas ha ha at 6:46

    Actually Herb does make some valid points. Had a long chat with my daughter last night about the superficiality of all her online “friends” and the bullshit world it is

  129. mickydidit89 says:

    Here it is
    ps Kelly Slater was 11 times world champion

    http://www.kswaveco.com/

  130. chas says:

    “There are now over 30 million dead people on Facebook, so what happens when we leave that digital representation of ourselves behind?”

  131. chas says:

  132. chas says:

    Choose DIY and wondering who the f*ck you are on a Sunday morning 😆

  133. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    On that subject of digital signals and all that, my wife told me some good news yesterday
    Apparently Waterstones were near to shutting down post ipad and kindle. Just recently, the decline in book sales turned around and people are once again buying.

  134. mickydidit89 says:

    Out of that Trainspotting clip, I think the one that got me most was “gameshows”

    THAT is jump time 🙂

  135. chas says:

    Are you kidding me, who wants to get out of this barrel? 🙂

  136. chas says:

    Micky
    I don’t doubt for one second that your kids will have an extremely well-rounded view of the good things in life. What more can you do?

  137. chas says:

    Herb
    Thank you very much for your comment.
    It has generated a very pleasant morning chit-chat for me, in particular.

  138. chas says:

    I imagine Micky’s off on the school run.
    Either that or looking at Iggy videos. 🙂

  139. mickydidit89 says:

    Might be surf/camping/beach bbq here tomorrow

    Probably wouldn’t be the worst day of our lives 🙂

    http://magicseaweed.com/Praa-Sands-Surf-Report/8/

  140. mickydidit89 says:

    Not yet Chas. Leave 8ish. Still planning the weekend

  141. chas says:

    Is Praa Sands where that John Fowler Holiday Park is?
    I camped there with an ex a long time ago and had a brilliant time.

    We recommended it to friends. They booked to stay in the chalets and had to find somewhere else as they were disgusted at how filthy they were.
    Haha, horses for courses, I suppose. 🙂

  142. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t know
    We always find tent onlt places
    Like this

    http://treenfarmcampsite.com/

  143. chas says:

    I found a frame for my Ali poster in a local charity shop £3.99.
    What do you think?
    (The wall it will hang on needs redecorating)

  144. chas says:

    I really think the fans would look ace in this kit.

  145. mickydidit89 says:

    Nice
    First book I ever read was either Muhammad Ali: My own story, or the Kon Tiki Expedition. Can’t remember. I was 15 though 🙄

    Right, now to prep for the off . Later

  146. chas says:

    Ta-Ra

  147. mickydidit89 says:

    “look ace” ha ha ha bye

    ‘king hate the fans 🙂

  148. chas says:

    TA
    Heard about the rumoured 2 year extension?
    Haha.

  149. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas, for whom, what? Monsieur Venga?

  150. TotalArsenal says:

    That kit gives me the creepies! Human abattoir 😱

  151. chas says:

    Beware bad language all over the shop….

  152. TotalArsenal says:

    Ok cheers, Chas…more oil to n the fire..

  153. Eddie says:

    Wenger should go to Everton, perfect new opportunity for him. And if he doesn’t win anything there, nobody will complain, they are used to it.

    If he really extends his contract for 2 more years it will be awful. Lets face it – nothing will change. We will fight for the top 4 spot, maybe a lesser cup, blaming injuries and refs for our misfortunes…

    And micky -not sure why are you so worried about Welbeck. We still have Theo and OG. Wenger will probably buy us an unheard teenage striker – happy dayz.

  154. Eddie says:

    I know that my opinions are intelligent and corrupt, but majority of the fans I talk to seem to share it. Not on AA of course, but in the real world, you know in North London. Not abroad, or up north or down south, no, here in North London where majority of the fans live and voice their opinions.

  155. Eddie says:

    my opinions are UNINTELLIGENT

  156. chas says:

    No they’re not!

  157. Eddie says:

    oh shut up chas. Get off your happy pony and face the facts.

  158. Eddie says:

    it has only dawned on me this morning that NONE of you happy clappy fans are anywhere near the fan base!! Perhaps that explains why are you so out of touch with what the majority of Gunners think and how hurt they are.

    Let’s face it – how many Gunners are there in Nottingham, or Copenhagen, or Norwich or Cornwall? Not many 🙂

  159. chas says:

    Eddie
    A large proportion of AAers would agree with the middle paragraph of your 8.46, so I don’t really understand your 8.49.

    Off the top of my head I’d say all of these would feel similar to some extent. (apologies if being included in this list offends anyone)

    Rasp
    Micky
    Kelsey
    GoonerB
    Herb
    Wally
    Gooner Guest
    Martin Wengrow
    Melvyn Marks
    D-Money
    Femi
    Begeegs
    Yourself

    Plus most of those who went off to pastures new (except GN5)

  160. Eddie says:

    I feel much better now. Cheerio 🙂

  161. chas says:

    Eddie
    Including Cornwall in your 9.14am undermined it a little.
    Micky started a WengerOut campaign on here before Marmite was born.
    He may be happy clappy but that’s because he goes surfing and has campfires when camping with his lovely wife and kids. 🙂

  162. chas says:

    Right, all alone again.

    I suppose I’ll just have to disengage with the machine and go and talk to some real, flesh and blood people.

  163. Eddie says:

    and the happy clappy ones – where do they reside ?

  164. chas says:

  165. Eddie says:

    good man Wenger, he knows he overstayed his welcome

  166. fatgingergooner says:

    Eddie,

    Being close to something doesn’t always mean you’ve got the best view. Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective.

  167. Eddie says:

    fattie – I never said that being close to the Ems makes my opinion more intelligent than say Chas’s from the sticks. All I said is that majority of the Gunners I speak to on daily basis (dog walkers, neighbours, my ex gardener, ‘friends’, etc etc etc many, many of them here in North London) are very anti Wenger and share many of my opinions.

    Here on AA you have a bunch of detached fans who only feed here from one another and who don’t seem to agree that there is anything wrong at the club and Wenger should extend his contract indefinitely.

  168. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Yes, its true Eddie

    Back here in Bounds Green, every night I have to contend with hoards of angry anti Wengerites mobbing up outside my house.

    They know my weaknesses so attempt to lure me out with “Transplant, weve found a five note outside your house, it may belong to you?”, or “Mancini, theres a women out here that is attracted to hairy backs”

    I have to go through this torture every night. The only consolation is that in the morning I find the bastards have done my gardening and taken the dog for a walk

  169. GoonerB says:

    Right Chas, offended I am 🙂

  170. Eddie says:

    Terry 🙂 you are a silly sausage 🙂 But you know what I am talking about – start an Arsenal debate or have it started on you and it’s sheer anger and frustration. I don’t know ONE single fan outside of this blog that is content with what is happening at the club.

    It might be that London is a nasty place altogether and they are happier in the sticks?

  171. GoonerB says:

    Actually I am in awe of Chas and Ants dedication far more so than someone living locally. To support without question is a rare commodity and not a strength of character I possess.

    Terry, well he is just bonkers anyway but a top chap whom I still owe a Brandy

  172. chas mobile says:

    GoonerB
    I’m mortally offended that you think that we support without question.
    Do you honestly think we are that stupid?

    How you choose to support your Club is your choice alone. Exactly the same as how you choose to blog.
    Some prefer to look for the positive, others disassemble, criticise and write ten thousand word discourses to share with the world. 🙂

  173. chas mobile says:

    To tell the truth (yep, rare, I know), I’m sick of being confronted in Nottingham by those who know I support Arsenal with the question, ‘are you Wenger in or Wenger out?’.

    They seem to be confused when they get the answer, ‘Neither’.

    Where living in the sticks helps, I suppose, is that most of them support other teams.
    Worst of all is being asked that question by someone who doesn’t even like football, but thinks you might find the conversation ‘interesting’.

  174. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    Great comment Herb. The amount of money in the premier league is nuts. I read recently that Villa will earn more money for getting relegated than Real or Athletico will get for winning the champions league.

  175. Eddie says:

    GoonerB – again, I NEVER said that anybody living in N5 is a better supporter than chas & co because of the proximity of the stadium !!!!!!!!!!

    It must be my broken English, nobody seems to understand what I am saying. Never mind, have a good deluded weekend.

  176. fatgingergooner says:

    Eddie,

    The arguments and discussions about Wenger are just as rife anywhere else you go. I have discussions/arguments at work and there are 3 of us who are Gooners! What I meant by my comment had nothing to do with geography, it was more to do with who you surround yourself with and how their views can seem like the majority because that’s what you see. The bigger picture seems to show that Arsene is still wanted at Arsenal, as shown by the failed protests.

  177. TotalArsenal says:

    Eddie, distance makes the heart grow stronger 😝

    You should try it.

  178. TotalArsenal says:

    I am neither a Wenger in or a Wenger Out.

    Am a realist… Or am I:

    1. He is staying at least another year
    2. Fans don’t decide who manages our players – and God help us if they did
    3. From 13 August I will be supporting our boys again and after a few good results…. I start dreaming again 😄😄😄

    And it goes on and on and on and on… 😍

  179. fatgingergooner says:

    I’m with you on that Total.

    I can’t be bothered to waste energy anymore on stressing about Wenger. Whilst he’s here I’ll support him, when he’s gone I’ll celebrate him.

  180. JM says:

    Martin Keown, while in his ambassador with the club in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa as part of a partnership between Arsenal and Ethiopian brewery Dashen to develop grassroots soccer:

    On Arsenal likely to strengthen forward line –
    “What Wenger will do in the summer is he will re-balance, take time out to consider and he will then decide what changes are necessary if he wants to do that.”
    “There was lots of talk of a centre forward coming to the club and that did not happen. I would assume that that would be an area of priority.”

    On Arsenal’s missed “best” chance in years to win the league and setting the records right next season –
    “I think if you were still a competitor you would watch those television shots of the (Leicester) players celebrating with the trophy and picking it up and thinking that that should have been you. It must hurt.”
    “You use that energy for next season to make sure that you are the one picking the trophy up.”

    – reported by Reuters

  181. TotalArsenal says:

    That last sentence is the essence, FGG. Nicely put! 😀

  182. wally says:

    Herb,
    Well said. it’s an age of celebrity, narcissism, and self-promotion. People build monuments to themselves on Facebook and think that establishes their sense of self-esteem. They think that by merely showing up they’ve succeeded, they’ve established value.
    People think opinion passes for deep-thinking and insight. Little do they know or could they establish it if so required.
    This too will pass, hopefully without doing too much damage.

  183. Ant says:

    Eddie,
    I have spoken to three people today in Nottingham who are Arsenal fans and all were offended at the Wenger protest and think he should stay.
    I estimate that there are at least 10,000 Arsenal fans in Nottingham alone.
    But it’s not where you live but how you think..

  184. Eddie says:

    fattie – “I can’t be bothered to waste energy anymore on stressing about Wenger”. That is why you is overweighed (by your own admission) 🙂 🙂 🙂

  185. Eddie says:

    ant – if they are 10,000 of them in Nottinham why did you only speak to 3?? Lazy bugger

  186. GoonerB says:

    Eddie my comment earlier wasn’t actually referencing what you had said earlier on, although I can see why you perceived it that way. Also it wasn’t meant to be a comparison of fans based on Geographical location. I was trying to compliment the Vines bros loyal support and the hours and miles they put in…..but then they thought I was indicating they were stupid 😦

    I understood fully what you were saying in Polglish 🙂 I myself am on record as expressing doubts about Arsene Wengers ability as a top coach now, and where this leaves us moving forwards. Also I find deluded weekends are absolutely the most enjoyable and I intend to carry on with them as long as humanely possible….including this one 🙂

  187. LB says:

    “I can’t be bothered to waste energy anymore on stressing about Wenger. Whilst he’s here I’ll support him, when he’s gone I’ll celebrate him.”

    Welcome to the bright side Slim, it’s so much easier over here: sun beds, colourful drinks with little umbrellas, the lot.

  188. Ant says:

    Eddie- I am speaking to the other 9,997 tomorrow but I have to read a Goooner B comment first so it won’t be until midday.

  189. GoonerB says:

    Get cracking Ant

  190. Eddie says:

    a must win game tomorrow 🙂

  191. It’s true London is a nasty place Eddie

    The othe day I was walking down Commerce Road Wood Green when the bloke walking the other way, for no reason, started growling and approaching me aggressively

    I instinctively put my hands up and said “Hold it right there. I have an arthritic ankle and for increased compensation, I am not afraid to use it”

    That seemed to confuse him, so he walked by and started on a lamppost.

    It’s also true that many London Gooners moan about Arsene. The other day the Butcher and the second hand car dealer were having a pop. Even the Newsagent was at it, and he’s a QPR fan.

    It’s easy to dismiss these people as uneducated working class?…..So I do.

    Anyway, I will always respect Arsene. Call me an AKB, a Wengerite, an “are you sure your not gay Terry?”, I don’t care. Arsene is a legend and to the day he leaves, I will fully support him.

    Herb, I want to go on the record here and say that I very much enjoy money. I also like to procreate.

    Know what you mean about technology though. When taunting someone with the size of my wallet, I like to see there face, much more satisfying than cyber space taunting

  192. fatgingergooner says:

    What do we think are the odds of a midfield 3 of Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky on Sunday?

    Are they all fit?

    It’s a shame we need a point on Sunday as surely they would’ve all started had the game been meaningless.

    Rosicky was such a special talent when he signed. A career effected by injuries. I remember Flamini being pretty special aswell for a season or 2 playing next to Fabregas. Such a shame he decided not to stay first time round.

  193. fatgingergooner says:

    I see West Brom have installed 96 red seats in the away end that will remain empty and have the names of the people who died at Hillsborough on them. A nice gesture.

    Now, I know the Hillsborough disaster is a very sensitive subject, so if this upsets anyone then apologies, but i don’t understand why all of a sudden clubs are doing ‘gestures’ every time Liverpool play. It happened in 1989, so where have these ‘gestures’ been in the last 27 years?

  194. JM says:

    AW on if he could yet decide to remain in the Emirates Stadium hot-seat beyond next season:

    “I will wait very late, yes,” – (until the end of the campaign next season)
    “It’s not about me, it’s about the club. My role is just to serve the club as well as I can and after see where I stand and where the club is.
    “I have to forget about myself even if people who want to create unrest don’t. I will continue to give my absolute best to do well next season and then after that, we’ll see.”

    AW does not anticipate talks with the board during next season and there would be no impact on his players, or his own work, over the course of the year:

    “My appetite is stronger than ever,”
    “I believe I am a professional man who respects his contract and stays until the end, whether it is one year or two years or three years – that doesn’t change.
    “Even if I decide in January that I will not extend my contract, that will not affect my attitude.
    “You know you have not, before the season starts already, to look for excuses. We want to be committed.
    “It can (affect the players) yes. But the players are like me – they are professional.
    “When you are a professional, you sign a contract, you never know. To be professional is to give your best as long as you have the contract. It is for one penny or £200m, it is exactly the same.
    “When I sign a contract and I agree the money that I work for, I will give my best until the last minute of the season.
    “And I never re-negotiated any contract that I signed because that is the way I have behaved my whole life.”

    AW would take the fans’ input into consideration in his decision:
    “What you want is for your supporters to be happy. That is why you work very hard.”

    – reported by PA Sport, Skysports

  195. chas mobile says:

    FGG
    Have you watched the Hillsborough documentary on IPlayer yet?

    Maybe these gestures are now being made because it has taken 27 years for the truth to finally come out.

    It really could have been any of us that have attended football games.

  196. JM says:

    @Fgg 9:58 pm

    On the midfield trio of Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky playing on Sunday vs Aston Villa.

    AW:
    “maybe one or two” of the outgoing players could feature on Sunday, but Flamini could miss the game with an ankle problem.

    There is not much room on the Arsenal bench, as Mesut Ozil is expected back, while Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla are also back fit. Then there are Elneny, Ramsey and Coquelin in contention for starting places.

  197. mickydidit89 says:

    FGG “I can’t be bothered to waste energy anymore on stressing about Wenger. Whilst he’s here I’ll support him, when he’s gone I’ll celebrate him.”

    Perfectly reasonable you’d have thought. Well, until Eddie comes in with the finest counter punch ever thrown

    “That is why you is overweight”

    It is the perfect reply

  198. chas says:

    I quite liked “Get off your happy pony and face the facts.”

  199. mickydidit89 says:

    AW:
    “maybe one or two” of the outgoing players could feature on Sunday

    Here’s to hoping Ollie and Theo are in the First XI 🙂

  200. mickydidit89 says:

    Yes agree Chas, that too was a fine comment. Eddie was on top form.

    Ant was lazy for only speaking to 2 of the 10000 Gunners in Nottingaham. Hard to argue with her 🙂

  201. mickydidit89 says:

    Where the bloody hell are the waves? Camping mission in serious jeopardy

  202. mickydidit89 says:

    Great version

  203. TotalArsenal says:

    Chas @7.33 love it. The most significant part is in bold. 🙃

    Also shows how good a season the Foxes have had… It was written in the stars.

  204. mickydidit89 says:

  205. mickydidit89 says:

    Total
    Written in the Stars
    You sound like Erik. Pretty sure the stars said the foxes were going down 🙂

  206. fatgingergooner says:

    Micky, 7.36am 😂 and yes, Eddie was not to be messed with yesterday! Top form. 😄

    Although I would like to confirm that my wobbly bits were actually formed through a diet of alcohol, ice cream and childhood issues. Only the alcohol was Wenger related! 😄

  207. TotalArsenal says:

    Indeed, we have to give Spacist Evonne 🙃 sincere credit for some fine hip-shot one-liners as well as introducing to us the theory that the closer you live to Ashburton Grove the more miserable about Arsenal you are likely to be… She got me thinking there. 👀

  208. TotalArsenal says:

    Micky 😄

    I think from January onwards a Hollywoodesque form of near national desire for a David and Goliath romance ensued: a force a single club was helpless against. But it is easier to blame Venga 😜

  209. Eddie says:

    ta – you skipped the vital bit in the middle of my argument, but I can’t be bothered explaining it again. The fact is that there is a grain of truth in your summary – I have recently moved 6 miles further away from the Ems and today I am going to be celebrating with thousands of Spuds around me. yes, they will be celebrating finishing above the mighty Arsenal.

    And don’t tell me it is nothing to celebrate because we were all congratulating each other on St Totteringham’s day.

  210. Herb's Army says:

    That is a very good point, TA.
    Sometimes such is the desire for something out of the ordinary to transpire, the whole energy takes on a life of its own and nothing will stop it.
    Leicester became everyone’s ‘second’ team and had a whole nation willing them on to do the impossible.
    It’s like something that would only happen within the fantasy-zone of an old football comic-book.
    Morning everyone, let’s hope Newcastle find whatever it was they had at WHL, and do the double over our noisy neighbours.

    Chas, glad I helped get your day off to a good start yesterday, that has to be a first.

    Micky, sorry. I was getting bogged-down with leftie-rhetoric, and this being an Arsenal blog felt I should try and relate it to football.
    Not a great excuse, I know, but it’s all I’ve got. Hope you’re well.

    Jeremy, I’m glad to finally write something that didn’t offend you. Sometimes – not often – my brain clicks into gear and produces something relatively cohesive.

    Wally, totally agree, humanity is in a dark place. But we haven’t got a clue how to treat each other, and successive rulers have never got the balance right between genuine social care and an over-bearing, all-controlling ‘nanny-state’, so to expect better is asking for the impossible. Think back over history and try remembering the last day there wasn’t a war being fought somewhere in the world.

    Terry, how are you?
    There’s nothing wrong with liking money, it’s more that we’ve been programmed to think of it as more important than human life. We are programmed to become dependent on money, and thus divide people up with a farcical ego-driven value system that in Britain is based on blood-lines and birth-rights rather than intelligence. We have a class-structure that allows certain people to become ridiculously wealthy without ever doing a day’s work, and those opportunities are only available to a tiny minority.
    As a species, we are defined by our gluttony and greed, and the billions of people who don’t get to share the pot of gold are still forced to celebrate this as though it is the ultimate accolade of all human-achievement.

  211. chas mobile says:

    Eddie
    Does living close to north London also make you not know which day we are playing on?

    Mind you, Micky never knows, so that’s blown that theory.

  212. Eddie says:

    oh shit, it is tomorrow 🙂

    it is not so much that I don’t know when we are playing as I simply don’t know what day of the week it is. It seems like a never ending uphill struggle Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…Sunday, Monday… It doesn’t matter much to me if it is midweek or weekend. Same poo

    On a positive note – Wenger has allegedly said yesterday that ‘we’ have strikers on the radar. Fooking liar! We have Walcott and OG and that’s it.

  213. chas says:

    Season ticket renewals are due by 1st June.
    He’s bound to say we’re looking at Messi.

  214. fatgingergooner says:

    Eddie,

    One thing I will agree with you on regarding proximity to Em’s is the importance of finishing above Spurs. Whilst I’d love nothing more than to finish above them, it has pretty much zero consequences for me if we don’t because I see no Spurs fans in Leeds!

  215. chas says:

    Me neither.

  216. GoonerB says:

    Good point FGG. I have a load of Spuds I know I run into regularly. Having said that them being above us isn’t really bothering me that much. Not actually winning the league bothers me. The difference between 2nd and 3rd and who occupies them is largely irrelevant to me.

    I have already come to terms with finishing below them and am happy to say that if they finish above us it is because they deserved to. I find being honest with them like that surprises them and puts them on the back foot and knocks the gloating on the head.

    Important game for Hull at the moment. Akpom is on the subs bench. Not sure what that says about his readiness for 1st team action at Arsenal if he doesn’t make Hulls first team in an important game like this. Any ideas?

  217. chas says:

    Let em have a bit of purple for once…….

  218. GunnerN5 says:

    I went to visit my daughter last night, while there I asked if she had a newspaper. She said Dad this is the 21st century we no longer cut down trees to create newsprint – Here use my iPad.

    I tell you what – that pesky fly never knew what hit him……………

  219. kelsey says:

    Congratulations to our ladies team for winning the Cup Final with a very very good goal and a special word for their manager Mr Losa 🙂

  220. LB says:

    It was a bit of a shock to receive a season ticket renewal demand before the season has even finished; in fact, I was annoyed.

    It might be leaked that we are looking at Messi but I would be happy with Granit and Morata. The signing of those two would mean that we would have replaced the spine of the team which is what Thierry Henry was advocating last season. Not that much of a left field idea I accept but someone has to say it.

    The problem with those two signings of course is that we know their names and are expectant that they will sign and when was the last time that happend? Well, I can’t remember a situation of the top of my head, far more likely that there will be signings that we weren’t expecting but I do expect there to be fairly big changes over the summer.

    On the subject of changes, I have never said this before but I am now persuaded that Thierry Henry will be Arsenal’s next manager. I am not trying to say that it is the right move or the wrong move but I think from the board’s point of view he is a safe name; we would all give him a chance and would all want him to do well and if he fails; well, then the board could move for the experienced option.

    Is it possible that the Newcastle players put in a special performance, many will be looking for a new job and know that they need to impress, fingers crossed.

    On reflection I think the principal reason that I started blogging was because I saw the club under threat, back then the term Troll had not even been coined, as I saw it the poison emanated from Le Grove and people like Pier Morgan jumped on the band wagon along with many others who really should have known better. But then there was the change, a sea change in fact which occurred against Norwich only a few games ago, the silent majority were no longer silent – “One Arsene Wenger” was sung loud and proud, the point was made.

    The upshot is that I no longer perceive the club to be under threat and as such I am at peace.

  221. chas mobile says:

    LB
    Messi’s over rated and over the hill as well. 🙂

    Agree about season ticket renewal email. Even more surprised to see on Twitter people paying it straightaway. No money till one day before the deadline, surely?
    Someone on there suggested you now have to opt out of the c1cup games but that disagrees with the email.

    Cmon Newcastle – show some pride. 🙂

  222. GoonerB says:

    LB, I think Thierry could be a shout as Arsenal manager in the future but I don’t think it is the right way to go at the moment. I know you weren’t necessarily saying he was your preference and were just saying what you thought would happen.

    I think the ex great player straight to manager at a big club is risky. I absolutely love Thierry and have rarely disagreed with his views, which mostly sound spot on for me, but I prefer an ex great player to have cut their managerial teeth somewhere else and shown they have something of the manager about them.

    Once someone has proven they can manage and keep harmony in a dressing room, that players like them and enjoy playing for them, that they can manage good and difficult periods and have the tactical and man management skills necessary then it becomes the dream to have that ex great player manage the side to great success.

    Personally I think Koeman looks like a very good punt. If Thierry could be alongside him for a bit then that may be a good scenario, but then I still feel Thierry would need to go somewhere like France or Spain and show he has something about him with one of the moderately big sides.

  223. Eddie says:

    I received a Silver membership renewal demand saying that I have to pay before 3rd June or else. In fear of forgetting what date it was I paid straight away.

    TH14 the next manager?? Dear God LB, have you been drinking? He is a terrible match day pundit, was a poor skipper and is French. But you might be right, our BoD might want to please the fans. Not this fan, perish the thought…

  224. fatgingergooner says:

    What are our thoughts on Bergkamp possibly going to someone like Everton as De Boers assistant? Or do we think he will stay at Ajax? I would say he is ahead of Thierry in the management stakes, maybe even Vieira too if Wenger leaves.

  225. GunnerN5 says:

    When AW decides to retire I feel that Bergkamp would be an ideal choice but being a non flyer makes him a non starter, so at best he could be an assistant.

  226. Aaron says:

    Unless the new guy has had his feet to the flames forget about it!

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