Will the atmosphere at The Emirates become poisonous?

When I lived in England I estimate that I watched over 800 games live at Highbury. Back in the early days the crowd consisted mainly of working class men hardened by the events of WW2 – typically they wore heavy leather soled boots and cheese cutter hats. At 3:00pm on Saturdays there was only thing on my family’s mind and that was, of course, going to watch and support the Arsenal.

People squeezed into the ground and pushed and shoved to get into their regular spots, ours was at the clock end and as many as 30 of our family were usually in attendance.

There was only one thing on our minds and that was to cheer on our side and barrack the referee for every perceived injustice. There was no separation of supporters so we intermingled with the away supporters; that only caused an issue when we were playing Tottenham – but even then there was rarely any serious trouble.

Very few supporters had any deep football knowledge of the game and it was rare to hear talk of things like – tactics, formations, transfers or club ownership. Instead the talk surrounded the game we had just watched and the player’s individual contributions. Media coverage was limited to newspapers, radio and early TV.

During the 60’s media coverage got more intense and fans began to read, hear and see more details about their own team and football in general. We began to see interviews with players and managers and heard about potential transfers and started to learn more about transfers and tactic’s – all of which was positive.

Fast forwarding to the current situation and we have intense 24/7 world wide instant media coverage and are inundated with the “expert” opinions of pundits who are usually ex players who dissect every aspect of the game. In order for these media outlets to survive and prosper they have to attract and grow audiences – one method they use is to pull in readers/viewers by creating self fulfilling headlines and show previews. This has both positive and negative consequences; some see through the thin veneer of fact and form their own opinions while others believe it as though it were the gospel.

While I have not set foot inside the Emirates stadium I’ve watched every single game on TV and as the years without winning either the PL or CL has grown so has the chorus of discontent. Our away supporters continue to be behind our team and show an amazing level of support, while our home fans are far less accepting and they make their negative feelings known.

My headline is intended to invite open dialogue on the positive or negative influence that our home support has on our players and therefore our results?

GunnerN5

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109 Responses to Will the atmosphere at The Emirates become poisonous?

  1. chas says:

    Cheers, GN5.

    From what I’ve seen of our away support, there is quite a large section of poisonous negativity amongst it also.

    ‘Spend some f@ckin money’ when we drew with Leicester the season before last and the more recent, ‘ Get out of our club, Stan Kroenke’ at Everton last season are token examples. A lot of the disgruntled ‘fans’ you see on Arsenal Fan TV are those who attend away games.

    Arsenal seem to attract toy-chuckers unfortunately. They seem to be of two types, either young and stupid or old and stupid. 😋

  2. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks for the input Chas,

    My perspective on both home and away games is only from TV coverage and I’m always amazed at the amount of vocal support given by our away supporters and I assume that includes the traveling Vines. It’s somewhat of a surprise to me that there is also unrest among the away fans – but I guess it’s only to be expected.

    My concern is really with the home supporters and the level of discontent at the Emirates. The negative effect it has on the players is very damaging and my fear is that if it gets any worse it will indeed become poisonous.

    I also feel that the level of dissatisfaction is driven by the negative media coverage.

  3. waldo says:

    I must say i’ve had a bit of an epiphany last nite. I now acknowledge just how misplaced my criticism has been. I’ve come round to understanding that the financial stability of the club 20 years from now is far more important than any player we could possibly acquire today that would improve the club. The club will still be here in 20 years, the player will not. Ergo.
    Someone needs to find a way to explain that to the muppets that think being competitive matters. Winning/losing doesn’t matter, merely that the club survive is what does.
    With that in mind I’ve put in an order to acquire shares in the company. It will serve to remind me next time I give tinkers damn about winning or losing.

  4. Naz says:

    Our current spending model does NOT impact our future stability, as with the regular flow of tv money in the EPL coupled with gate receipts, we’re in a healthy position!

    However, to have future access to the greater riches that success brings – overseas fans/merchandise sales, EPL and CL winners should be targeted. By not competing with the top team in the EPL or CL, it will limit the obvious earning power of AFC. You’ve got to “accumulate to speculate”…

  5. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one GN5.

    In my early twenties and unhappily married to my first wife (thank god i remarried and was unhappily married to my second wife other wise i would have thought there was something wrong with her) we often visited her much better looking sister, who I sexually admired.

    The sister had a six year old son called Charles. Little Charlie was one of those kids who made you long for Victorian Sweatshops. He was hyperactive, aggressive, and always had dog shit on his shoe. Though I had never been intimate with the sister in law, I often wondered whether Charlie was mine?

    One day sitting round her house little Charlie came steaming in to the living room, bringing a bit of the neighbours dog with him, and commenced diving to the floor where he flailed his arms and legs and yelled “mummy, theres no ants to kill in the garden”.

    “Ahh” the sister in law said “Charlies feeling tired and a bit lonely”. My instant reaction was to respond with “No hes not, hes a little runt devoid of respect and stinks of dog shit. Hes also a threat to insectoids”

    Obviously this didn’t go down well. The only consolation was that the ex wife went a week without talking to me.

    A few years back i was just moving towards my seat at the Grove were I noticed an odious little twat holding a banner “Spend our money”. As i drew closer I realised it was Charlie, the smell of dog shit was undeniable.

    Yes GN5, there will always be those who think they are owed something or are magnetically draw to dog excrement. They feel this because they fork out for season tickets and have the secret knowledge required to make Arsenal great.

    My reality asks me what kind of people turn up at football to spew negative emotions? I suspect the same kind of people who are generally dissatisfied with there job, sex life, lack of intimacy etc

    They should know that next time they vent spleen, I am watching and conscious that when ever it takes my fancy, I may sleep with there wife.

  6. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s a joy to read your comments Terry, you should give some thought to writing some humorous posts.

    I’m now stuck with a mental image of your vented spleen………….

  7. RC78 says:

    Great post.

    IMHO, fans should support from first to last minute.

    If they are discontent, then I could accept some booing once the final whistle has been blown. They pay a lot of money to be entertained and to watch their team win. If the team fails to deliver, then we cannot prevent them from booing. However, I am not keen on all those negative banners and posters as they do not add any value. I would be happier if they made some positive comments or came up with some constructive solutions (NOT SACK WENGER, WENGER OUT) on their banners and posters…

    Plus for a club like AFC – not to have won the league in over a decade and not to have won the Champions League either is very upsetting. Again – I don’t agree with the booing before and during the game BUT after it, I can understand it.

  8. GunnerN5 says:

    It would be fantastic if our fans held their emotions back until after the game but we are a long way from that as currently they moan and groan at a simple misdirected pass. Unfortunately they don’t understand that their moans and groans have a negative effect on the players and potentially the result..

    You are right fans do spend a lot of money on tickets but they will always be disappointed if all they expect is a victory, to me it makes no sense to waste money if your expectation is negative.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Great nostalgic post, GN5. ⚽️😀

    Not sure what to do to improve things. Maybe we have to accept it as it is.

  10. fatgingergooner says:

    The problem with Arsenal fans is they seem all too keen to attack their own club. It’s ok being frustrated with the manager or the board, but the level of disrespect shown is appalling and it’s exactly why other fans and media are all too happy to laugh at us.

    Other teams fans were shocked at how we could boo our own team off after 1 game of the season. 1 game! The levels of frustration just do not match up with the issues at the club. You’d think we were getting relegated every season the way it’s portrayed by our fans and the media.

    The reality is that we are a top 4 PL club and top 10 European club. We are not invincible and we are not an all-conquering side who should be winning every game. Should we be striving for this? Of course. But that doesn’t mean we should boo and hiss every time we losing a f**king game.

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    TA – way back in the post WW2 years we considered ourselves to be very fortunate to be in the ground watching the game, no matter how we managed to get inside. We did not think of ourselves as judge and jury as we were there to give our support. Unless I managed to wrangle my way to the railing around the ground all I could see was the back of the person in front of me – but who cared I was inside Highbury.

    Today fans seem to feel that they are “owed” as they have paid for their seat and need to be entertained by a decisive win.

    When I watch other PL teams home games I find myself yerrning that our supporters would be as effusive.

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    FGG,

    The only thing they seem to respect is their right to complain………………

  13. fatgingergooner says:

    GN5,

    I don’t mind a bit of complaining, I do it all the time! I just wish people would complain about factual things rather than made up events that support their disgruntled view. I’d also like it if there was a bit of perspective from time to time.

    I suppose I better get used to it as football continues to be in its own world where greed is promoted, tweets are headline news, and fans know more than those in charge.

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    We are like peas in a pod FGG.

  15. LB says:

    “toy-chuckers”

    Brilliant………………..

    Off to read the post now.

  16. LB says:

    I had high hopes for the Emirates this season, I really thought that the people who were so dead against how things were being run would simply not turn up; after all, what is the point of paying all that money for a season ticket if you are unhappy and just want to complain?

    The stadium has still not been cleansed but it did strike me that things were a bit better, that is until Liverpool’s forth goal went in and then there was a tangible wave of discontent aimed at Arsene Wenger.

    People started walking out swearing as they went, it made me angry at the time and I remember shouting moments later when Oxlaide-Chamberlain scored: don’t come back you are not welcome.
    I have to be careful there are some really aggressive anti Wengerites in there that are spoiling for a fight or there were last season, it is too early to tell if they have all gone as I had hoped, we shall see.

    I have to say that there is part of me that is not looking forward to the next home game, it is a sad state of affairs when you are concerned about cheering the team and the manager who you believe is trying to get the best from them.

  17. LB says:

    Thanks for the read GN5

  18. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi LB,

    I just got back from a grocery trip, Rack of Lamb for dinner tonight.

    I really envy you being able to go to home games, although I have never been inside the Emirates as street urchins we used to play all around the area. The Drayton Park pub was my granddads local, he lived on Stavordale Road just across Martineau Road. He was a regular at Highbury and would be amazed to know that Arsenal’s ground is now at the end of his road.

    It must be very difficult for you to stay quiet listening to the complainers – just spoiled brats, lets hope that AW has saved his best for last 🙂 🙂

  19. fatgingergooner says:

    Anyone other than me think Wenger will stay longer than this season?

  20. chas says:

    I think he’ll stay, fgg.

    He likes it, the players like him, Stan likes him, it’s only the fans who want him to finish.

  21. Eddie says:

    Thank you GN5, great post
    I only wish I was around in those days, sounds great. And 30 members of your family in attendance!!! Wow wow wow, I don’t think I have 30 members of my family in total. you are a lucky man, lived through some great times, witnessed history and can write about it now.

    No idea if the players care about our support or not. I would like to think that they care about us and want us to be behind them, but I am not convinced. Sorry, but most of them probably don’t give 2 hoots about what we think.

    Still, booing and constant criticism is seldom productive, plus people get immune to negativity, so there is absolutely no point in stressing our precious darlings, we are stuck with them for richer for poorer, so let’s give our best, hoping they will too.

    Come on Arsenal!!!

  22. LBG says:

    GN5 Thanks for a memory provoking post. Feeling in tune with those who go back a little way into Arsenal history.
    The bitter toy chuckers have no memory of previous long spells without success, and have been spoilt.
    I watched the Gunners during the 60’s. We just loved to be at the Home of Football and I honestly don’t remember criticising or complaining. Watched Don Rodgers destroy our dreams on the cabbage patch, and Jack Charlton foul Furnell on the line, before going onto the pitch in 69 to celebrate a joyous win in the Fairs Cup, and the start of something much better!
    The Wenger haters won’t go away no matter who he spends the money on or, I believe, even if we were to win the Premier League.
    They are bitter and, unless challenged, aggressive towards those that disagree.
    The solution is simple! Go and support somebody else. We don’t want “your” money!

  23. Eddie says:

    I hope you are wrong chas,

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed GN5

    The paradox is that people are much more likely to express their opinions nowadays but are listened to less and less. In that respect the internet is a marvellous thing – you only have to make sure you don’t visit those sites where dark side keeps all its followers. 🙂

  25. LB says:

    Yes Slim, me.

    There isn’t the slightest doubt in my mind that he will sign a new contract.

  26. LB says:

    I hadn’t seen Chas’ comment when I wrote that.

  27. LB says:

    Chas

    Some fans……………….

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    Eddie,

    Our family was huge as my parents both had 13 other siblings, so in all I had 26 aunts and uncles who all lived in either N5 or N7.

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    LBG,

    In the first 22 seasons that I supported Arsenal we won 2 league titles and 1 FA Cup that included 16 consecutive seasons when we drew a complete blank. I wonder how many of today’s “supporters” would still be supporters under those circumstances?

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    “Cazorla oozed class, controlling the ball instantly, turning on a peseta and always looking for the killer thrust. He’s a real midfield matador and could become our most important player this season, even if he could not apply the “coup de gras” to Sunderland’s bull.”

    Read this beautiful paragraph in an old match report on AA…. Have a guess who wrote it and when?

  31. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Rocky Lives? Chapeau to him wherever he is.

    GN%. Great read. I started in the early ’60’s and no-one booed. You would have got a kicking if you slated any Arsenal player let alone booed.

    We had a section of the crowd who grumbled when Jon Sammels lofted a pass into Row Z but no-one booed him. And I cannot ever remember an AFC player being booed at Highbury.

    However times change. I love TA’s comment of 8.14 – so true.

    And I too believe AW will sign a rolling year contract unless we win the title or finish lower than 4th.

  32. GunnerN5 says:

    Either Rocky or LB.

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeah it was easy, it is Rocky. Shame he is not doing those match reviews anymore. 😦

  34. VP of Oz says:

    Was anyone in attendance this year when Arsenal lost to Watford in the FA Cup? What was the atmosphere like?
    Before the game, I was reading online how so many people wanted Arsenal to lose because they wanted Wenger out and winning a 3rd successive FA Cup would lead to him staying longer. WTF?

    Going for a 3 peat and after not losing for 37 months, the team is booed off.

  35. LB says:

    I was going to say — I wish it was mine.

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    VP. No, I wasn’t at that game.

    Wenger says the money is available. Have we heard this before?

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    LB, it could have been you! 😀

  38. Eddie says:

    see, this is what happens to deluded fans – egg on the face and shirt he may as well bin

  39. fatgingergooner says:

    Eddie,

    Maybe he’s called Steve Mahrez and is 26 years old. 😂

  40. chas mobile says:

    VP
    The atmosphere at that Watford game wasn’t any worse than any other time we lose.
    It was poor though.

  41. Eddie says:

    fattie – or maybe he is just a full kit **** called Azad Balal 🙂

  42. chas says:

    Hull City away sold out to 25+ credits.
    Ant and me have only 16 and 17 respectively.
    We thought with it being a long trek from London we might stand a chance.

    http://www.arsenal.com/match/report/1617/tickets/first-team/hull-city-v-arsenal-tickets

    2,500 seats, a chunk of those going will be going to moan all the way through the game and hold up banners at the end.
    I just don’t understand.

  43. GoonerB says:

    Morning all

    Thanks for the post GN5. Don’t agree with the booing and I fully concur with your sentiments. Once in the stadium the team needs to be supported.

    I do, however, think that the level of dissatisfaction is reaching a critical level. Even among more moderate fans I know and meet, that would never boo, there is a lot of disenchantment. Is this an unrealistic level of frustration relative to the issues at the club as FGG says?

    I am not so sure. To me there definitely seems to be something very wrong with the way we have been approaching the transfer market and balancing the squad following the purchase of Sanchez. It all started well with Ozil and then Sanchez but then after him we had momentum towards building the top side we all want, and likely needed 2 more stellar signings to get this but suddenly put the handbrake on.

    There seem to be many excuses and / or explanations emanating from behind the scenes for this but I feel we have completely mis-judged the market and when to go in hard for the players we need. I actually feel we have left things too long (even going back 18 months) and are now in a very difficult situation to compete for what we need.

    If things go wrong in this TW and in the coming season it will possibly be largely of our own making. I think many fans see it this way and feel we have undermined ourselves unnecessarily by dithering here and there over the last 2 years. It is this longer time frame that is relevant to the current reaction of many fans, not purely an over-reaction to the first game of the season. This is a rolling longer term disenchantment.

    I actually personally think the majority feel this way now. Not all of them will boo their team, which in my opinion shouldn’t happen anyway, but obviously some fans feel a helplessness and can see no other way to try and force the powers that be into action.

    It is a bit patronising to label all the unhappy fans as spoiled and accuse them all of being brain-washed by the media, inferring they don’t have the intelligence or foresight to analyse the situation themselves and make an intelligent informed opinion of their own. Even though I wouldn’t boo my team I do get their worry and the way they currently feel.

    I do fear for the immediate future myself. I fear that both Sanchez and Ozil will be looking at other options now. I have not based this on media reports just a gut feeling. They can hold us over a barrell with contracts anyway if they are not happy. This would be disastrous not just in potential loss of world class playing personnel that will be difficult to compensate for, but also in the damage to the image of the club, which could take a few years to overcome or a bout of extreme spending, which we know is unlikely.

    I may of course be wrong in all this but I think we are in a slightly precarious position on many aspects and it will take some very decisive actions right now to get us stable again.

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    GB,

    Your opinions are always respected and well stated. However I believe that you are underestimating the amount of influence the media has had in gradually forming peoples opinions.

    Just try to imagine yourself as a supporter in the 40’s when newspapers were the only form of mass communication. We got game reports for the teams in our region in the late editions of the Saturday and the Sunday morning newspapers but we only got the results and standings for the rest of the country. Beside that we got articles mainly on a Friday/Saturday about events that were occurring around the various leagues giving brief details about – transfers, management, players and football in general. Just try forming a meaningful/knowledgeable opinion from those scant details.

    In the 50’s we got radio coverage and very limited TV so we began to learn more.

    The 60’s, 70’s gave us extensive TV coverage on an international basis and our general knowledge increased.

    The 80’s gave us the early computer start ups TV coverage ruled the waves and we now had the early spreadsheet data bases – which began to give more detailed accounting.

    The 90’s gave us the internet and very early blogs – where we began to “meet” other supporters and started to share different viewpoints.

    The 2000’s have given us 24/7 wall to wall coverage of games and
    opinions by various “experts” and now supporters think that they are also “experts” based on the information they receive – or are fed.

    This is all from the top of my head and without to much in depth thought but I’ve tried to lay out the various inputs that have been available from which we could form our opinions over the different decades.

    Having lived through them all I’ve been able to observe the manner in which fan support has changed – and it’s not been good to observe!

    Maybe one of these fine days I will write a post on the subject.

  45. VP of Oz says:

    lot of talk that we stopped after Ozil and Sanchez. Does that mean no-one rates Welbeck, Cech and Xhaka.
    All the big clubs spent a lot more on transfers but finished below Arsenal but its Wenger that has lost the plot?
    So is it about player transfers, managers performance, teams performance or fans following the media hype rather than following the team. #brainwashed

  46. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    Really nice article and I agree wholeheartedly with most of the sentiments in the comments, especially Terry’s threat to show the worst of the moaner’s wives and girlfriends a good night out.

    After the release of some joy and fun and perspective after the final game last season I did hope that people would be a little more relaxed. Sure the fun was mostly at the expense of Spurs, but even then, it seemed like after so much anger and complaining and vitriol throughout pretty much the whole campaign, more people might have learned to enjoy the little victories more.

    A season with so much anger and frustration and predictions of doom, had ended with us in 2nd place, our best position in years, and with us all having a hilariously enjoyable laugh at Spurs. Was all the negativity and anger warranted, meaningful, necessary or even beneficial to anyone in any way when Arteta scored that goal, burst into tears, the fans came together, and Spurs collapsed? I hoped that more people would come to think that ultimately no, none of that had really been worth it.

  47. GunnerN5 says:

    Jeremy,

    I can only think that a large % of the disgruntled supporters are simply trophy hunters who want bragging rights over other clubs.

    I watch watch each game in the knowledge that we can win lose or draw but is we lose it most certainly changes my frame of mind.

  48. chas says:

    I know you’re all desperate for a plum wine update, so here goes.

    First the largest bits of plum from the fermentation bin……

  49. chas says:

    Second, the siphoned off first stage into demi-johns complete with bubble traps………

  50. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    I agree it certainly seems like that.
    I’m starting to think there’s a lot of people who genuinely don’t see themselves as trophy hunters (who does I guess). They say they just want Arsenal to compete for the league and win the odd cup and it seems to me that’s exactly what we’ve done/been doing.

    That’s when winning trophies seems to become winning ‘the big’ trophies and competing for the league becomes competing ‘strongly’ for the league. I wouldn’t be surprised if for some of them losing the league by one point on the final day was suddenly not ‘competing strongly’ for the league but in fact ‘throwing away the league’ or ‘bottling it’.

    As you say, a lot of them ultimately just want bragging rights. Well dude, we’ve won 2 trophies in the last 3 years, almost did the fa cup treble, finished 4th, 3rd and 2nd the last three years despite being comprehensively outspent by at least 3 other teams. We’ve got a lovely stadium and we’ve got Mesut Ozil. Why not brag about all that?

  51. chas says:

    I know it’s going to be ok because, unlike my bramble wine from last year it doesn’t taste like lighter fuel.
    The bramble wine was most palatable after a year in the bottle, by the way.

    It also has an alcohol content already, as I’m feeling a bit pissed just from what’s been swallowed in the siphoning process.

    Cue one of my favourite scenes from Laurel and Hardy.

  52. chas says:

    Sorry, Jeremy, I had no intention of putting my nonsense around your sensible comment. 🙂

    “Bottling it” 😆

  53. Gööner In Exile says:

    Afternoon all, very enjoyable read GN5 i was one of the lucky ones, starting my trips to the Emirates in the 80’s I only had to wait a few years for Littlewoods Cup success then the Leagues then the cup double and of course the ECWC. I stopped going during most of our successful years didn’t get to see DB10 in the flesh or PV4 or TH14 until his 2 months of honour return.

    I have a theory on the apparent difference between the negativity at home (or deafening silence unless wronged by ref/score a goal/concede a goal coupled with the respective response to any of those situations) and the positivity away from home, generally singing their hearts out for 90 minutes.

    Two things occur, away fans are historically noisier than home support, they have to be they arrive in small number and have to make their presence felt. Home fans are complacent at the ground, there’s 58000 of us we can out noise the away.

    Secondly away games tend to be a standing affair, no matter how many times the stewards ask the fans ignore or make a quick effort to sit until someone sings Stand Up if you Hate Tottenham, and then all back up again.

    If I went back to my time as a youth I would generally say I had more fun on the terraces than in the seats, there were more grumbles in the seats, firstly they could see more of what was going wrong as you were not unsighted by the comedy Arsenal hat of the man in front or making sure you knew where the floor and barriers were when another surge occurred on the terrace.

    When you stand you are more positive, to retain the energy to stand you do positive things like sing and clap, the home fans don’t need to do that, sit down and you lose that energy and therefore ability/inclination to sing.

  54. Jeremy O Dwyer says:

    No problem chas.
    Your wine pics are way better 🙂

  55. GunnerN5 says:

    Interesting GIE because by the 80’s I was in Canada and all I could do was watch the games on TV, other than the times I went home on business or family visits then I made sure that I had tickets to Highbury. The Emirates is on my bucket list of things to do before I kick the bucket myself.

    I can accept discontent and differing opinions but not booing or constant repetitive negativism – I particularly abhor the booing of our players, those type of “supporters” should be ashamed of themselves 😦 😦

  56. LBG says:

    So priorities, Chas the genius of getting his finger stuck in the bottle, then having to line the pipe up from above in order to get it into the bottle.
    Balague says in his opinion Mustafi is not good enough for Arsenal and definitely not worth what is being asked for him.
    More good news!

  57. chas says:

    So Arsenal’s scouting is shite or Mustafi is only desirable at the right price.
    Or maybe Arsenal’s scouting is good and Balague’s is the scouting that’s shite.
    Or maybe Balague has nailed it, in that he isn’t worth the punt at the current asking price.

    ?

  58. chas says:

    Flippin heck, that plum wine is strong.

  59. Gööner In Exile says:

    Serious question…..Joe Hart is apparently available? I’ve always had doubts about parts of his game, but for me Cech is on last legs, I’d put in an offer, Arsene won’t because he has I would imagine promised Cech the shirt for at least two seasons.

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Being a wino, I wouldn’t even sniff a bramble wine. Plums make a decent brandy though it is best as a flambe´ for puddings.

    Plum wine? Best served at air temperature on the steps of a railway station to the other alkies 😀

  61. chas says:

    This is the equivalent of the 11 fat giraffes the other day……..

    12 deeply regrettable haircuts of our time.
    Looks a bit like someone’s thrown a hoop over him at the fair.

  62. chas says:

    BR
    Your description of plum wine has made me desire it even more. 🙂

  63. chas says:

    GIE
    Joe Hart, not for me.
    Can you imagine the outcry if we signed another keeper in the current transfer-obsessed climate?
    A few exploded heads would be the consequence.

    Maybe Spunky is the last Arsenal keeper I want to see playing for England.

  64. chas says:

  65. Big Raddy says:

    chas. 6.46 🙂

    Watching MU. Their team is awesome on paper. Let’s see if they can do it on the pitch

  66. TotalArsenal says:

    Just names, Raddy. 😜

  67. chas says:

  68. chas says:

    Just names, Raddy, just names.

  69. chas says:

    Jamie Vardy homebrew?

  70. chas says:

  71. Big Raddy says:

    I wish we had signed the big-nosed Swede

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Has to be Vardy’s dad

  73. TotalArsenal says:

    Ibrahimovic looks like a knackered Giroud to me. Saints with the better football but lacking confidence up front, what a shame! 😕

  74. fatgingergooner says:

    BR,

    Uniteds first XI is probably best in this league but still a way off the likes of Barca, Madrid and Bayern. Plus they still have to rely on a lot of average squad players. Be interesting watching them this season, espescially if they get injuries.

  75. fatgingergooner says:

    Saints look pretty limp up front. You can see the gaps left by Pelle and Mane. They could do with a focal point for Long, Redmond and Tadic to run off.

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    Really FGG? Who would you swap for Arsenal best 11? Maybe the goalkeeper that is it?!

  77. Big Raddy says:

    TA. I love your positive AFC viewpoint!

    I have a feeling that AW would have signed Pogba rather than Xhaka or Elneny.

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    BR

    Pogba is a great talent but I mean it when I say Elneny and Xhaka are at least as good, and more importantly, fit into our team. Where would you play Pogba, what is his added value? Arsenal have seven Pogba’s 😜

  79. TotalArsenal says:

    The new MU CB looks good too but early days. A better team would not have lost to this MU but the Saints are blunt up front unfortunately.

  80. fatgingergooner says:

    Difficult but it would be something along the lines of:

    De Gea
    Bellerin Bailly Koscielny Shaw
    Pogba Cazorla
    Mkhitaryan Özil Sanchez
    Ibrahimovic

  81. TotalArsenal says:

    No Rambo, Elneny, Jack or Xhaka or indeed Giroud…. I guess it comes down to preferences, FGG. And once Nacho is in the grove he can take on the talented Shaw.

    Let’s get a really good CB and we can go far this season.

  82. fatgingergooner says:

    Total,

    If we had a team of:

    Cech
    Bellerin Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
    Xhaka Cazorla
    Walcott Özil Sanchez
    Giroud

    Then I would fancy us against every team in this league, but with Arsenal the issue is always injuries stretching our squad and then us running out of gas a consequence. If that changes and we are more clinical then we have a chance. The reason the likes of Wilshere, Ramsey etc don’t get in is because they don’t play enough. Looking at the United team now they are a big set of lads who are clinical and look like they have players who can easily play 40-50 games a season. I don’t see that with us just yet, but the addition of Xhaka a quality CB will help.

    I’m looking forward to the season but if we sign the 2 players we need then I will get very excited!

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair enough FGG. I would play Elneny instead of Santi, especially if we play Theo on the wing.

    Also believe that our strongest team would incorporate one of Rambo or Jack.

    I think MU have everything going for them at the moment but it is unlikely to last. Well that is what I am hoping.. 😀

  84. GunnerN5 says:

    It can’t last TA – can it? Please say no………….

  85. fatgingergooner says:

    Total,

    Having spent about £350m-£400m NET in the last few years it’s no surprise that they have managed to build back up after the loss of SAF. I worry about what happens to us after Wenger goes because if we go backwards it could be a long time before we climb back up. We may have money but we will not/can not spend those sorts of figures.

    That’s for another day though. We have a good squad that is just lacking a couple of players and a lot of luck. How often have we said that though?

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    GN5/FGG 🙂

    Didn’t Man City win the first five games last season and then just finish fourth in the end?

    MU had easy opposition who each gave them an easy goal that helped them tremendously. What was Clasie thinking when he made that stupid, unnecessary foul?

    Having lived near Manchester and having had many MU supporters as colleagues, I cannot stand them. Such arrogance and lack of respect for what Arsenal have achieved/ the sort of football we have played. This is totally different in Liverpool for example.

    I also despise Mourinho. So I am desperate to see them fail once again this season. But having looked at the way they played in the last two games, there is good reason to believe they are not a solid team with quality in all positions. Today they gave away a lot of possession and made a lot of mistakes, and a better team would have punished them. Early days and let’s hope they get found out sooner rather than later. 🙂

    FGG, I think you put too much belief in the god of player purchases. I reckon keeping a squad and growing them into something special is what Wenger is really about, and this is also our best chance to win the big silverware again. I reckon if we can finally get a full season out of Jack or Rambo, or ideally both, and also see either Iwobi, Ox, Gnabry or Joel break through, or ideally more than one of them, we can have a fabulous season. But yes, a reduction in injuries will be key..

  87. TotalArsenal says:

    Last one from me before I hit the sack. What if we play MU with 4-5-1 or even 4-6-0 and aim to control the midfield totally…

    Cech
    Bel – new Signing – Koz – Nacho
    ———–Xhaka——Elneny——-
    Rambo———-Ozil———-Jack
    —————–Alexis—————-

    Add Santi, Giroud and Le Coq if and when required.

    Are we then still worried about playing MU away or at home?

  88. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Match Day!

    TA. Thank you. I slaaped lekker

  89. Eddie says:

    do you know what? I’d just take the Manu manager.

    I don’t think Wenger gets the most of the players and the never ending injuries at Arsenal are not coincidental

    Wenger out.

  90. chas says:

  91. Eddie says:

    never mind the dog, check Ash Warner’s photo

  92. Eddie says:

    …and just before we start talking footy for the rest of the weekend, a quick question for you – why are you making plum wine? What the feck possessed you to do that? Supermarket plonk not good enough?

  93. Eddie says:

    Max Whitlock, silly boy 🙂

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Raddy, I bet you are not averse to a bit of lekker slapping in the bedroom 😳😀

  95. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne, our Chas lives for experiences and you are the material girl. 😀

  96. Eddie says:

    me, materialistic? not sure I am, maybe

    Anyway, I hope Raddy had less slapping in the bedroom and more good sleep to write a proper PM, ie a bit of hatred towards the opposition adds the edge to his writtings

  97. mickydidit89 says:

    Brief motning all

    Mesut bothers to rock up, we score three. At least

  98. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne, how many scented candles do you possess and how much did you spent on plants this week?

    A bit of slapping is ideal for a writing edge 😜

  99. Eddie says:

    scented candles – ZERO. Who do you take me for?? Next you will accuse me of wearing flowery dresses, pssshhhh…

    Plants – it wasn’t me, it was Peaches who made me do it. I spent about £300 on architectural plants worth over £600. I happen to know about someone here who spent £11k on plants last month, there.

  100. Eddie says:

    aha, the photo is of Gene Wilder, got it. yours sincerely Doughnut

  101. LB says:

    “Having lived near Manchester and having had many MU supporters as colleagues, I cannot stand them.” (TA)

    Top comment.

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    Eddie, zero scented candles? I take it all back. And you are perfect for Chas 😀⚽️

  103. Eddie says:

    feck off.

    where is our PM??

  104. chas says:

    I’ve no idea if this was ready for publishing…..sorry, if not

    New Post

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