Arsene’s fantastic Vision of Beautiful Football

So, here we are, a year on and openly or sneakily looking at the myriad of transfer rumours flowing around us, not just about Arsenal, but around all our rivals too – who is buying whom, who is asking for the humongously ridiculous salary and so on.

The season finished on something of a mixed bag of results – some terrific football to win the FA Cup at a canter from Chelsea, the Premier League champions, but all culminating in a somewhat disappointing relegation from the fabled ‘top four’ finish, and thus we are relegated to the Europa League, taking the place of the Spuds.

The cockles of the fans heart were warmed by the scintillating finish to the season by the way the team played at the season finale, and the captivating style of total football that was on show for all the world to see.

Where did this performance come from? Was it a one off? Will we treasure it and hold it to our manly chests as we slip back into the old slip slop ways of yore?

Not if Arsene Wenger has his way!

Looking back to last summer, we can remember the constant and probably unfair criticisms of Arsene for his apparently dilatory decisions in not addressing the perceived weaknesses of the team, at least as far as the fans were concerned.

Where is the desperately needed holding midfielder we need, many have asked, seemingly year on year, season on season? Where is the top notch CF we need? And why are our full backs encouraged to frequently desert their defensive duties and hare upfield in support of the attack?
[OK, that last one is not transfer related, but when were fans logical in their complaints?] 🙂

On the face of it, there appears to be a hotchpotch list of gripes that have resulted in the fulminating anger of the fans spilling over from time to time when results have not gone our way, and this has led to many supporters despairing of Arsene ever changing his spots.

The transfer acquisitions made last summer did cheer up the fans by addressing addressing some of the issues, but it did not take long for the moans to re-start after the first game we lost.

The suppurating anger of some fans has not been helped by Mr Wenger appearing to refuse to explain his vision, his strategy and his tactics in a way that would, perhaps, allow everyone to understand better what he is striving to achieve, and to explain his supposed reluctance to caulk over the defensive and offensive holes in his team by buying more suitably qualified players and addressing the long term issues concerning the fans.

Arsene, like many highly intelligent men when they are confronted with the seemingly incomprehensible angst of fans regarding, what appears to him, as a straightforward situation, sometimes shows an inability to understand why there is even a problem, when his vision, motives and methodology are so obvious to him.
Perhaps he needs to learn to use the English colloquialism “What’s your problem, mate?”

The answer, I believe, lies in his vision of the beautiful game. Football, so he advocates, is not broken down into the micro or macro analysis and management of defense and or offense, he really does see the game as being one unified, flowing, seamless whole. To him there is no need to assign specific responsibilities to one type of player or the other, because the whole team should be capable of defending and attacking as one smoothly working unit.

Every Wenger team is expected to play in a certain way — his way — conforming to his vision, and to hell with worrying about the opposition. He wants to win, and win beautifully, by playing football as an art form with each cog of the team working synchronically like a perfectly functioning and exquisite Rolex watch, and stuff the Timex teams which may be acceptable to the other clubs and other fans.

Therein lies the problem. Most fans want to win trophies to give them bragging rights, and it matters not to them if it was the result of a fluke deflection off someone’s ass, or a bad refereeing decision, or playing against 10 men or whatever advantage the Gods threw at them.
A win is a win, is a win, innit?

But maybe Arsene needs to promote and explain his vision to the fans better, and to reassure them that he does indeed want to win trophies, but also to win them in a style that would make them proud to support a club who fostered such a vision of perfection — a vision of playing beautiful footie.

Arsene also needs to appreciate, if he doesn’t already, that every Rolex or Hublot needs to be made of the very best of materials, and to have a thorough annual overhaul in order to hit the amazingly high standards of perfection they lay claim to, and so too does his Arsenal team. Hence the transfer turmoil every summer when defective parts need to be replaced.

Buying the very best players possible for his team, and leaving others to worry about the cost of doing so, is an essential requirement which not only will make his vision for Arsenal more achievable, but also marry up his desires with those of the loyal fans who crave success and would give their unstinting support to this magnificent project if this was the case. But ….. AW does care about the cost, unlike every other top manager – and that leads to its own problems.

There are very many of us who would love to see this man reach his visionary goal, and not appear in history as just another footballing Don Quixote, futilely tilting at windmills, and not just for his sake, but also for the sakes of those of us who have supported Arsenal all our lives, and will do so until the end.

Written by Zee

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196 Responses to Arsene’s fantastic Vision of Beautiful Football

  1. chas says:

    Loving this, RA.

    The suppurating anger turning into fulminating anger is the bit I’m not keen on.
    If your Arsenal-supporting life is dominated by anger, then why bother? Maybe you just like being on the verge of throttling someone.

    I’m not sure about Wenger having to explain his vision of the future to the fans. I don’t see other managers like Pep, Klopp and Pulis doing this.

    Did Conte explain how he stumbled on the back three formation for Chelsea just because he had to find a way of not playing the emerging liabilities, Ivanovic and Terry? 🙂

  2. Eddie says:

    beautifully biased post, thank you RA

    “Therein lies the problem. Most fans want to win trophies to give them bragging rights, and it matters not to them if it was the result of a fluke deflection off someone’s ass, or a bad refereeing decision, or playing against 10 men or whatever advantage the Gods threw at them.
    A win is a win, is a win, innit?”

    yeah, winning is dirty, we don’t want that. We want the team to feck about for 90+ minutes showing off their silky skills and dropping points. Of course, what else

    Wenger gets £22k every day of the year, he can buy a good Rolex watch a day. He is not winning big trophies, so why is getting paid crazy money?

  3. Arthur says:

    I think that Arsenal need a new PR team that can handle the negativity from the media that has existed for over 50 years. It is ridiculous that Arsene has to face the non-stop negativity on his own – he is a manager not a PR person.

    We need a new PR team that can get the media behind Arsenal. I can think of several ways of doing this and I am not even in PR.

    I can’t bear another 50 years of negative media pressure on Arsenal.

    The media is crucial for our team’s success. Just think what we could achieve if there was a positive atmosphere around the team.

    The Arsenal board has put all the pressure on Arsene. If they were smart they would know how to turn the media and blogs around. Instead they do nothing and let Arsene face the heat! And you guys join in.

  4. Eddie says:

    no Arthur, guys on this blog are very supportive of Arsene. Have you read the post? The author has a man crush on Wenger, can’t you tell?

    only I and Graham are anti AW

  5. chas says:

  6. Dab says:

    I don’t want to win at any cost. But not getting beaten 10-1 on aggregate by Bayern or 3-0 at home by Watford would certainly make me happier. An occasional credible title challenge would be nice as well.

    The main problem is this terrible ‘vision’ has been going for over a decade. No lessons learnt and no progress made. Once again we will be losing our best players to rivals.

    Not sure what Don Quixote has to do with anything, but we’ll done for reading it.

  7. chas says:

  8. Great stuff RedZee

    I agree on your assessment of Arsenes footballing principles. Journalistic articles over the years have attributed the birth of Wengers footballing philosophy to the 1970s when as a young man he became enthralled by Borussia Monchengladbachs total football and David Carradine’s seemless kicking of racist rednecks in the popular television programme Kung Fu.

    Inspired by Gunter Netzers uncanny ability to stop the oppositions striker whilst simultaneously scoring a Brian Talbot like thunderbolt and Caradines slow machine beating of a rapist has set the tone of Arsenes Arsenal teams.

    I laughed out loud at your Don Quixote comparison. I myself am known as the Bounds Green Quixote. Lack of windmills means I take my wrath out on the 102 Bus, halting the beast in full flow by spread eagling myself on the road. Yes, I have been beaten up by many a passenger. I also have a very flat body.

    I believe we should keep the faith. The change to a back 3 showed some really encouraging signs, and could be the structural platform for Arsenes philosophy to flourish? We will soon see.

  9. chas says:

    We lost 2-1 at home to Watford. But never let the facts get in the way.

  10. Eddie, your moaning seems to have got worse since you moved to Cuffley

    I use to go out with a lady from Cheshunt so had the unfortunate privilege to meet many a resident of near by Cuffley. They have a Tennis Club there, were 60 year old men in white shoes prance around the Clubs bar with an expression of money delights me and older women with dyed blonde hair vie to outdo each other in holiday destinations and size of house.

    Many are Totnumb fans. One, a retired 2nd hand car dealer, is a particularly despicable individual who revels in tales of his Majorca boat, walks around wearing a Sea Captains Cap. Imagine been lectured on the merits of Alan Mullerys brain by a man donning such attire?

    Another is a Black Cab driver. He stares at you with a smirk that shouts I bet you need a Sat Nav and who’s hobbies include racial phenotype classification. I have come close to beating this man with my tennis racket, but unfortunately I do not play tennis.

    Yes, Cuffley is full of horrible Bastards that need to be punnished.

  11. Zee says:

    Terry, you have the ability to make me smile before I have ever read your comments, and to laugh out loud when I do. Thank you sir.

  12. Zee says:

    Terry said, — “I have come close to beating this man with my tennis racket, but unfortunately I do not play tennis” – nor have a racket – well apart from the one where I get into the pub’s ‘all you can eat’ without paying. 😀

  13. Zee says:

    Terry,

    I think you have been bit hard on Eddie, when you said she is moaning more since she moved to Cuffley — the fact is she has always been a great moaner – just ask Chas. 😀

  14. Eddie says:

    Terry you nut-nut – yes, since I moved to Cuffley Arsenal have been losing more and more games. Maybe I should move back to North london

  15. Zee says:

    GN5,

    Can I say that you dealt with Graham and his personal comments very well. 😀

    For him to disrespect a life long Gooner and author like you is unacceptable.

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    Zee I thought my day was made as soon as I read your post but then up pops Terry to add his generous slice of unique humour.

    So a great start to July 2nd.

    We celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday yesterday and we feel very fortunate to live in a country where refugee families are welcome with open arms. When we first accepted refugee’s from Syria Prime Minister Trudeau met them at the airport and personally welcomed them to Canada – a year later he visited them in their homes to check on their Canadian experience.

    Quite a country and an incredible a leader – an extra plus is that we are Trump free.

    Even the disenchanted Spurs newbies in EN6 will not spoil my day – in fact I may dig out and read some English proverbs to help in giving me some relief.

  17. Zee says:

    GN5,

    It is a great country – and we should have invaded you years ago — maybe Trump will add that to his ‘to-do’ list – he is nutty enough to do anything! 🙂

    Glad you are on top form, and a touch of Terry does lift the spirits — and he has learned how to do it while he is lifting his clients wallets

    [Incidentally, I did not know my comment was converted by that rascal Chas into a Post.] 😀

  18. GunnerN5 says:

    Zee – I study people of your ilk every day and I’ve learned to temper my responses. They are just like back ground noise that one blocks out.

    Your post comes at a good time and as usual it’s superbly written.

  19. GunnerN5 says:

    Good for Chas he did the right thing in using a hidden comment as a headline post – it was well deserved.

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    Jigsol, don’t be turned away by those that wave the black flag, they are an ever decreasing group, but you can never please everybody.

    We welcome you to AA and hope you will stay around.

  21. GoonerB says:

    Thanks ZeeRA for a great post….although if I had written it, it would have been a bit shorter 🙂

    Anyway I don’t know much about this Quixote fellow but I do love the picture of you and your mate on your horses.

    I think one of the things that has bothered me in recent years is that when we go through chaotic and disorganised games, that seem devoid of tactical understanding and direction, there seems to be a choice made by many that this has to be accepted as the trade off to getting to see some games where it all clicks in Wengerball fashion.

    Often the question is asked as to whether you would prefer to see the dross that Maureen serves up instead just to win more games and not witness those terrible ones where we look so exposed.

    It is as if Arsenal fans have to choose between one or the other because we can’t have both. Well I have always thought we can. In general I prefer Arsene’s vision, (certainly compared to the moaning Portuguese drama queen), but I feel he has gone too much to the outer extremes with it. It is almost too Utopian in its ideology and I feel Arsene has, for some years, needed to reign it in slightly and apply a touch more pragmatism.

    We can have both if he just balances it a bit better. Personally I think the new formation has really made a huge difference. We have looked significantly more solid and difficult to break down since the change and……..more to the point I have been equally entertained by our attacking prowess in the new system.

    I think we enter the season stronger purely with the new formation. Now the key concern is to ensure we enter the season stronger with the squad and playing side. I believe we can do this even if we lose a player like Sanchez with the right additions, but if a player like him leaves it becomes a bigger ask. The club just have to make it happen….full stop.

  22. GunnerN5 says:

    With only this season left on their contracts the Sanchez/Ozil decision’s are out of Arsenal’s hands and the players are in the driver’s seat.

    It’s a critical period as we have no CL football this season and that will make it harder to attract the top class players that we need. The agents for Sanchez and Ozil will be very aware of this and will use it to their advantage in negotiations. If they both decide to leave then that will make it even more difficult to attract the talent we need.

    If we decide not to sell and keep them without new contracts then they will become free agents and we lose out on perhaps 100mill and if we miss out on the CL again then the cost could rise to 150mill.

    The very worst situation would be a combination of us losing them as free agents, missing out on the 2018/19 CL and not attracting new talent this season – that would be unthinkable.

  23. Zee says:

    Good point, GB, well at least about how well I look on the nag — but I wonder why you have hidden the fact that you are my mate on t’other one! 😀

    I do not see any point in raising the long and boring issue of whether or not money was available to AW over the whole of the last 10 years, and I do not intend to pursue that] however, if, [can I say that again ‘if’?] there had been money available to strengthen the team much earlier, I think we would have seen AW’s vision succeed long before now.

    In my fantasy world, I would like to think I had a hot line to Arsene, and that I could advise him from time to time.
    Part of that advice would have been – ‘look, Arsene, I love you, and I love your zeal and the vision that you follow – but I think for the next couple of years, you should forget austerity the dream and just tough it out, play hard and dirty, win a couple of Premier Leagues, just to spite that tart Maureen, and then get back to following your dream.

    Follow that dream, you gotta follow that dream
    Keep a-movin, move along, keep a moving, move along
    You’ve got to follow that dream wherever that dream may lead
    You’ve got to follow that dream to find the love you need

    When your fans gets restless, time to move along
    When your fans gets weary, time to sing a song
    But when your dream is calling you,
    There’s just one thing that you can do

    Well, you gotta follow that dream wherever that dream may lead
    You gotta follow that dream to find the love you need.

    We would have won hat loads of trophies by now!! 😀

  24. jjg says:

    GunnerN5

    Thanks for your comments.

    I understand the disappointment that our colleagues feel when we do not succeed to our expectations.

    I simply do not see the need for insults against those who may not see the situation as dire.

    We may never know what really happened in those few weeks when the team seemed to disintegrate. Perhaps, one day we will find out, but I have no doubt that something went wrong and it affected the whole team, until the change of formation seemed to extract them out of their torpor.

    If Sanchez and Ozil go, so be it, there will be someone as good out there, I have not doubt.

    What I also have no doubt about is that those people out there who think that we will spend £125m for an 18 year old are stark staring bonkers. My apologies if you think I am being insulting, but really!!!!!!!

  25. jjgsol says:

    Sorry, the last post was from me

  26. Eddie says:

    jjgsol – you forgot to add ‘no player is bigger than the club’

  27. chas says:

  28. chas says:

  29. chas says:

  30. RC78 says:

    Lacazette for 50 Mln EUR – too expensive for a good player but not a great one…
    He will have the same return as Giroud – 15 to 20 goals.

  31. GoonerB says:

    Morning all.

    RC, my assertion is that the squad should look to be stronger and better equipped going into next season than it ended up the previous season, especially in the most glaringly deficient areas of the squad. Every top team needs to endeavor towards this each season because it is rare (if not impossible) that you get a team that you can’t improve upon.

    I actually bow to your greater knowledge of ligue 1 players RC so it does perturb me a bit that your estimation of Lacazette is not that he will improve us. I am assuming that you feel he will struggle as a number 9 in the more physical and quicker EPL and thus not replicate his league 1 stats.

    I am actually assuming at this stage that Sanchez is leaving us so that puts us further on a backwards footing, unless…… you feel that Lacazette could be a better forward option in Sanchez’ role as one of our withdrawn number 10 strikers with him playing slightly from the left rather than number 9.

    I believe he played the wing forward / number 10 role initially anyway. That would still require us to get a top number 9, so I ask the question to you RC; if we lost Sanchez and replaced him with Lacazette in the left number 10 role and then got a striker like Mbappe, Cavani, Aubemayeng, Lewandowski, would we be stronger than we are now?

  32. RC78 says:

    Lacazette is a true 9 1/2 – a bit like Bergkamp if you wish but with a lot less talent and poise.

    I believe that he can be good in a system with 2 forwards but as a lone striker, he is going to struggle.

    In any case – he will struggle in terms of pace and physicality BUT he has great awareness for both passing and being placed in the right spot at the right time. He has got a very good conversion rate and he can create chances for others SO if he is associated with a striker up front, I think he will do well OTHERWISE he will struggle. He does not score much outside the box and is not an aerial threat either BUT he is good at pressing defenders and has got a good understanding of the game/situations.

    If we recruited Aubemayang as well, they would form a good duo.

    Sanchez is surely leaving – now the destination remains a question. AW will not sell him in the EPL so I suppose that Sanchez will go to Bayern, Juve or potentially PSG but I think Bayern will land him in the end since they are getting rid of Douglas Costa.

    If some of the rumors come true, AW is trying to have an attacking trio of 2-1 with Mahrez-Ozil providing for Lacazette.

    If Mahrez rediscover his 2015-2016 form, we would have a good striking force as Lacazette’s movement will open space for both Mahrez and Ozil.

    I am still not convinced by the Ramsey-Xhaka duo in the midfield. I think we need a more robust pair with players that have more engine. If we had Naingollan-Xhaka, I would feel more at ease. Otherwise, I would be keen to go back to a 4-3-2-1 formation:

    Cech – Bellerin, RECRUIT, Koscielny, Koli – Ramsey, Xhaka, BARKLEY OR NAINGOLLAN – Mahrez, Ozil – LACAZETTE

    ? – Chambs, Mustafi, Holding – Jenkinson, Ramsey, Coquelin, Monreal – Walcott, Oxlade – Wellbeck

  33. RC78 says:

    Mahrez to join us shortly as well

    – Wenger wants to keep Giroud but will sell Perez
    – Wenger wants to keep Oxlade at all costs so a bumper deal will be offered to Ox
    – Given Cazorla’s health, Wilshere is touted to stay BUT if he goes, it will be a sale and not a loan
    – Coquelin could be sold to make space for GUEYE

  34. wally says:

    Regularly selling your best players. That’s the ticket isn’t it.

  35. GoonerB says:

    There is something about a Lacazette, Ozil, Mahrez front 3 that doesn’t click for me, probably due to 2-3 factors.

    As you say Lacazette may struggle to lead the line and replicate his ligue 1 goal scoring stats. If he is not banging them in then who? Ozil has never been really prolific. Mahrez, as a left footer, likes to play slightly from the right the same as Ozil and I don’t see him thriving as much, at least not in a goal scoring sense, from the left of centre. This front 3 would be weaker than what we have ended this season with.

    I see Mahrez more as a challenge to Ozils position, so that is fine if Ozil is leaving, but we also have Iwobi and possibly even Jack who I think could play the role well. We still need a top striker that has the attributes to do it in the EPL even if Sanchez stays and we need a replacement at the left side number 10, ( preferably a right footer…no tittering Chas 🙂 ), but that could be Lacazette.

  36. GoonerB says:

    sorry that last bit was we need a replacement……..if Sanchez goes

  37. wally says:

    If Sanchez goes it’s back to square one. Same old. Same old. Lacalacalaca couldn’t hold his jockstrap. It isn’t even a like for like, it’s like for wannabe. The notion that he’s going to score and assist like sanchez is laughable. If gazidis thinks we’re going to get 85 points after selling sanchez he’s living in the same delusional world that wenger inhabits.
    A new project that will require a new conttract to see it through. It’s a bad joke that gets worse every time it’s repeated.
    Groundhog Day 8 coming soon.

  38. graham says:

    This site should be called THE ARSENAL LOVE IN SITE. It seems the majority of subscribers are as deluded as those that run the club. Dear Zee, I was merely stating a fact. GN5 may be a ‘superior’ life long Arsenal fan, but showing contempt and arrogance to others is childish, no matter how old you are! Good luck and Farewell to you all!

  39. Zee says:

    Graham,

    There is no need to go. Different views are not just acceptable they make the world go round.

    What we prefer is that no one gets personal and makes comments about others which are both hurtful and pointless.

    Your views are not unusual, so blast away at Arsenal, at Wenger or whatever else irks you.

  40. Eddie says:

    No Zee, every need to go.
    Time and time again good bloggers are chased away if they dare to have different opinion, so we can safely blog knowing that we all agree on arsenal matters. I find it bloody infuriating.

  41. Zee says:

    Personally I cannot make head nor tail of the various players we have been linked with, or why we are buying them.

    Earlier we were linked with some physically bigger, taller midfield players to help against corners and free kicks into the box, where we are pretty useless, usually, but that seems to have all gone quiet.

    I like RC’s ideas, (above) but if the reports about Mahrez turn out to be true, I think he is being bought to replace Oxo.

    I think Lacazette is a very good player, but a CF he is not. If both Giro and Sanchez move on we could be just as short on firepower next season as we have often been over the years.

    Who knows? Not me.

    Hi ya, GoonerB. 🙂

  42. Zee says:

    Eddie,

    Personally I do not care whether you or anyone else agrees with me or not, thank you. I can look after myself.

    If you care to look at the top of this page you will see a section called;

    About AA: [In there it says this:]

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

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

    All opinions and viewpoints can be freely expressed, all we ask is that no-one descends into insults and name-calling. We welcome comments from supporters of other clubs as long as they obey our rules and make it clear which team they support.

    Wit is preferable to sarcasm. When a discussion becomes an argument, it is time to agree to differ.

    Repeating the same point over and over again is just tedious and kills debate and drives good bloggers away …… agree to differ and move on.

    Have you ever read it?

  43. Big Raddy says:

    Sitting on my sunny terrace with rare net connection, it was a pleasure to read such a post.

    Have we signed anyone yet?

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    Enjoy your break Raddy.

    We have signed nobody but lost young Chris Willock to Benfica on a 5 year contract.

  45. GunnerN5 says:

    I live in a country where diversity is not a consideration it’s an embedded way of life. We never judge people by their colour, sex or religion; we applaud same sex marriage and fully support trans-gender people. Immigrants and refugee’s are not just accepted they are welcomed into communities all over the country.

    The rich don’t laud over those less fortunate and we take care of our veterans and pensioners plus we have adequate (not great) health coverage.

    Not all is perfect as our original peoples have been left out of most of what is good about Canada; Prime Minister Trudeau recognizes this and has set the ball rolling on making amends but he also realizes that this is a generation old issue that will take generations to put right.

    This is not an advert for my country or our Prime Minister but more a reflection of my own thoughts and preferences. Blogging could be the same but instead it’s strewn with insults and innuendos of a personal nature. My thoughts on Arsenal and its management are well known and should never create a fuss just because I vigorously defend my position.

    We are blessed here on AA to have some incredibly insightful and knowledgeable bloggers who are willing to express their views and write headline posts for our consideration and comments.

    I would suggest that those that are offended by my position simply ignore my comments.

    Respectfully,

    GunnerN5

  46. Herb's Army says:

    Hi Zee/Redders.

    Eddie makes a very valid point.
    Sure, people are free to express their opinions about all things Arsenal, but the nuts and bolts of the politics of Arsenal is never deeply discussed on ‘AA’ as it is on somewhere like ‘Le Grove’.
    Not only is criticism of the management structure not welcome here, it causes so much angst that ‘AA’ bloggers often come out in force to actively discourage it.
    That isn’t debate, that’s ordering people to toe the party line.
    You accused me of being repetitive, but Arsenal’s narrative has been amazingly repetitive over the last nine years with every season being almost identical.
    And I’ve seen you write this before.
    It doesn’t prevent it being a good read, but the manager’s decision to re-invent Arsenal tactically since the stadium move, hasn’t worked at the highest level.
    I see the philosophy as a hybrid of the Total Football from 1970’s Holland, and of course the Cruyff-inspired modern-day Barcelona.
    The main ingredients missing from Arsenal’s attempts to replicate this are the discipline and instructions that complement this style of football.
    For example, when Barca lose the ball, they swarm the opposition like worker Bee’s, and within no time they have the ball back.
    I can’t remember which commentator said it, (Andy Gray?) but they
    pointed out Barca play their football in the final third of the pitch – i.e. around the oppositions defensive area, which is quite different from what we’ve seen at Arsenal.
    Arsenal are capable of destroying anyone in a one-off game, but never consistently over a number of games.
    Arsenal haven’t been freshened up enough in the back-room areas over the last twenty-odd years, they’ve only changed when it’s been forced on them through staff retirements.
    As it stands, Arsenal are outside the top four, and without some radical change will find it increasingly difficult to get back into it.
    It depends on how much the club really want it, and whether or not they have the required intelligence to achieve it.

  47. Eddie says:

    RA – and which part do you think I skipped? None. Patronizing won’t get you very far with me.

    I am sick and tired of the same scenario – a new blogger joins in a discussion and boo boom, the old crew puts him/her in his/her place for as much as passing their view about Wenger. This blog is dying because of this behaviour, virtual bullying at its best. Fecking keyboard heros flexing their muscles, shameful.

    And it is boring reading the same views, same comments, same opinions of a handful of regulars.

    But do you know what? Have it your way – you can all agree now, I don’t want to be the odd one out. I am gone.

  48. chas says:

    So Graham calls GN5 a wee bit senile.
    A few come to GN5’s defence because of the personal abuse.

    Eddie’s view is that another good blogger is chased away by the Wengerites because of his anti-Wenger views.
    This is so patently complete and utter bullshit that it stinks to high heavens.
    Can’t you read, Eddie?
    🙂

  49. Not at all Eddie, I like Graham very much. Indeed, I like him so much, I would like to sleep with him

    I’ve never made anyone run away in my life. I let women come to me. Which they never do.

  50. wally says:

    Chas, I think you’re accurate and not complete. There is a line, which there should be, about making it personal. Graham crossed that line and he is new here.
    The manner in which he was dealt with is consistent with Eddie’s description. He got swarmed. And it was most likely because he’s anti wenger, not because of the slight offered. Cut the guy some slack and let it be known that you can have a different view but it cannot become shouting match which devolves to personal insults.
    If it persists it can be dealt with as a group but let’s all be reasonable about these things.

    BR, it appears we’ve signed lacazette. It appears sanchez wants out.

    And here’s something worth discussing. If Sanchez wants out what does that say about the club? More importantly about Wenger?
    Should the club make him play the final year and let him go on a free or should they sell him for as much as they can? And what does that say about our ambition? About where we are headed?

  51. Wally, I can guarantee, if someone had come on here and called you senile I would have given the same reaction, and I don’t even find you attractive.

    I genuinely would like Graham to come back and post. Diverse opinion promotes healthy debate.

  52. GoonerB says:

    Whose Graham?

  53. Zee says:

    Hi Herb,

    When you fell out with X or Y, in the distant past, I tried to find a solution to the unpleasant impasse by being an intermediary.

    There is an Alexander Pope saying that ‘fools rush in where angels fear to tread’ meaning that smart (wise) people see other people’s problems and carefully refuse to get involved.
    But there you go, I am clearly a fool, because – and today is an example – I tried to support GN5, and explain to Graham that there is nothing wrong with him having different opinions, but in accordance wth the AA rules that should not descend into personal abuse or insults. [The arbiter of the level of that abuse is the one being abused.]

    Someone not involved in that (Eddie) chose to intervene, and somehow I was blamed for chasing off a stranger, who she deemed to be a ‘good’ blogger, when actually I had specifically asked/invited him to stay @ 2:51. (what was that all about?).

    Now you bring up much the same thing, years later, when I was trying to calm down both you and those you were offending. (A couple of names that spring up were GIE and Kelsey).

    Remember, after your self imposed exile, I was the one who frequently invited you back on to AA.

    I guess Alexander Pope was right ‘fools do rush in ….. ‘ and I hold my hand up as I cannot deny I did try to help smooth things over today, and then two people who had fuck all to do with it, and have spectacularly fallen out with each other in the past have tried to fans the flames.

    Why?

  54. chas says:

    Swarmed by how many?

    From what I can see reading back GN5 defended himself, Terry said Graham was out of order for calling GN5 senile, Zee said something very similar to Terry.

    Two people is not a swarm.
    Not once were Graham’s views referenced by anyone else other than GN5 (who disagreed with them, so had every right to say so).

  55. Zee says:

    Chas,

    To be precise I made 2 comments, one to each of GN5 and Graham.

    The first, to,

    GN5, @ 12:29 on the 2/7/2017

    Can I say that you dealt with Graham and his personal comments very well. 😀

    For him to disrespect a life long Gooner and author like you is unacceptable.

    ——————————————————

    The second a day later, to,

    Graham, @2:51 3/7/2017

    There is no need to go. Different views are not just acceptable they make the world go round.

    A swarm?? One comment a day to different people? Someone needs to get a life.

    I’ll get me coat!! 😀

  56. Not surprising RedZee. It seems that if you have the audacity to defend someone from an insult you must be a Wengerite? Outrageous haha.

    I had a similar experience the other day down Wood Green high road. I saw a group of youths threatening a cyclist, quite ironic really, it’s usually me that threatens cyclists, and shouted out that I was calling the police and that Cops call me in to identity parades even when during the incident I’ve been holidaying in Borneo.

    They obviously sensed I meant business, one shouting “scarper lads, he’s a Wengerite”. As they ran away I heard one shouting “f*ucking Wenger bastard, he only stuck up for that Git on the bike coz I want Wenger out”

  57. Zee says:

    Terry,

    When Chas said I called you senile – I cannot remember saying it – who are you exactly? 😀

  58. GoonerB says:

    To be fair as with any argument there is always a bit of truth in both sides of the argument.

    I have seen evidence of both new or less frequent anti Wenger bloggers getting swarmed by pro Wengers and that isn’t right.

    Obvious insults have occasionally been used and that isn’t right either.

    Terry wants to sleep with Graham but doesn’t fancy Wally and that certainly isn’t right.

    All the above points just need to be slightly addressed to keep the blog both interesting but respectful…..apart from the last point with Terry.

    There you go, I have charged in like an angel so that Zee is not alone in his charge. I hope the pope appreciates it.

  59. Zee says:

    Terry @8:12 😀 😀

  60. Zee says:

    GoonerB,

    This is the most interesting bit of the day!! 😀

    Anyway what argument? Can three sentences split between two bloggers constitute an argument? You want a fight? just wait until I get Terry to hold me camel!! Then I’ll show yer.

    No! Not that Pope – and I went to a lot of bother typing out his full name – Alexander that is. It’s people like you, abusing people like me, abusing people like Terry, who was abusing Willy because he won’t sleep with him!

  61. Zee says:

    Umm — Willy = Wally ……… altho ……. 🙂

  62. chas mobile says:

    GoonerB
    Not like you to move the goalposts again. ☺

  63. Haha Cant remember RedZee, but who ever I am I don’t like it. The other day I just came out of the shower and completely forgot why I was there and who I was. At that point I caught a glimpse of this horrible looking man staring at me.

    I called the old bill in panic and they asked me to describe the intruder. I said I wasn’t sure because I was so frightened but he had horrible cold staring eyes. And then quickly recalled “Oh yeah, he was naked and had a very small cock”

    After that, they hanged up.

  64. Zee says:

    Terry, 😀 😀

    Stop it! Now I will have to tell my girlfriend – at least it will stop her trying to write to you using the name Wally. 😀

    Got to go — don’t worry about Eddie – she will be back tomorrow to see Chas’ excellent vids of cats dogs!

    Nite, nite!

  65. Herb's Army says:

    Zee,

    Eddie and I fell out only because she didn’t grasp the context of what I was saying at the time, and it got silly because other people got involved, so ended up looking a lot worse than it was.
    Kelsey and I never fell out, in fact I’ve spoken with him a few times, and we very much agree on the state of the club and its management. Why do you think he left ‘AA’?
    GiE was very much like yourself, always using the financial angle to excuse the club under-performing, but now we are flush with money, Leicester winning the PL, and Tottenham far out-performing Arsenal with a £60 million lower wage-bill, those arguments no longer hold true.
    I stand by my comment.
    It’s almost like some have buried their head in the sand and believe our manager is just as successful and relevant as he was before we left Highbury, when the whole world can see something isn’t quite right at Arsenal, and the one constant is the manager.
    Having a dream/vision is one thing, not being able to successfully execute it is quite another thing altogether, especially for the fourth/fifth highest paid manager in world football.
    That’s what you call a free pass to coast along without the worry or stress of needing to be the best.
    There isn’t another major football club in the world who allow their manager complete unregulated control, and Arsenal’s brand is beginning to shrink because of it.

  66. wally says:

    Terry, your sense of nobility is noted and appreciated. Should you require a letter of reference to the Society for the Prevention of Insult and Abuse to the Witless and Able Bodied I would be more than happy to oblige. Previous letters to other such supplication have borne little weight with the committee. Your case may be different and.turn the tide. Here’s hoping.

    In a related note you appear to be looking for love in all wrong places. I know a girl who lives on a hill. She won’t do it but her sister will. I am happy to write aether of reference for that as well.
    Don’t know if that will provide any satisfaction but you never can tell

  67. GunnerN5 says:

    All I know is that it’s all much ado about nothing more than differing opinions and people making mountains out of molehills.

    I ask ya!

    On another note I’ve never needed help in defending my position but it’s nice to see that others support my viewpoint.

  68. GunnerN5 says:

    Alexandre Lacazette is set to join Arsenal in the coming days for around £44million, according to Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

    The France striker has been linked with a move to the Gunners for much of this summer as they seek to lift themselves into Premier League title contention.

    The outspoken Aulas has previously insisted Lacazette is going nowhere this summer.

    But, quoted in Le Progres on Sunday, he said: “The transfer of Alexandre Lacazette to Arsenal could be completed in a day or two.

    “The 67million (euros, £58.75m) announced by sources in England is an unrealistic sum. Arsenal’s first offer was 45million and the transfer will be done for a fee of between 45 and 50million (£39.5m-44m).

    “Being close to 50million is something unique and would undoubtedly be a record for Arsenal, and also for Lyon of course.”

    Lacazette scored 37 goals in all competitions for Lyon last season, including 28 in 30 Ligue 1 games.

  69. GoonerB says:

    Me move goalposts Chas? I don’t even bloody like football.

  70. oz gunner says:

    I have also felt the effects of bullying, victimisation, and harassment at the hands of Zee. I read the Equality Act of 2010 and put on Christina Aquila’s “You are beautiful” and finally garnered enough courage to come back and post.

    “fulminating, suppurating, unstinting” – I look forward to your next post of made up words.

  71. Zee says:

    Hi Oz,

    Long time no see. 🙂

    You never came back and told me how things went with your thesis.

    I am sure you did well, and you are well on the way to the top.

    [Seem to remember some highly technical words in the draft you showed me and TA that had us struggling to understand!]

  72. GoonerB says:

    Ah, Dennis. Very similar to the Leicester goal that one. I was showing Bergkamp clips to my young 2nd cousin over from Oz the other day. He is a Utd fan and thought everything started and ended with Cantona and Zlatan. By the time I had shown him some of Dennis’ and Thierry’s finest moments he had a greater appreciation of football.

  73. GoonerB says:

    Oh, and morning all…are we all prepared to play nicely today 🙂

  74. RC78 says:

    – Lacazette to be announced today
    – Mahrez to follow soon after
    – With Koli having been signed, our summer transfer window may be finished in terms of arrivals….

    Here is next year most probably line up:
    Cech – Holding, Mustafi, Koscielny – Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Koli – Mahrez, Ozil – Lacazette

    ? – Chambers, BFG, Monreal – Jenkinson, El Neny or Wilshere, Coquelin, Oxlade – Iwobi, Walcott – Wellbeck

    Conclusion – we are still short of an EPL title winning squad

  75. RC78 says:

    Naingollan for 55 Mln EUR is worth it.

    If we get him in the middle of the park with Xhaka or Ramsey, we are covered there. We can then get rid of Coquelin or El Neny

    My only concern is how to keep Oxlade happy? He is a real good player but somehow we are not playing to his strengths….

    Other question – what do we do with Giroud and Walcott?

  76. Rasp says:

    Thanks Zee/Redders,

    I’m one who got so totally fed up with the Arsene in/out debate that it killed my passion for a while.

    The deal is done, he’s with us for 2 more years, it looks like he’s been given a substantial warchest and is pursuing the types of players that we need .. so all good so far.

    If he and the team continue with the mindset of the end of last season we’ll be watching some great football this coming campaign.

    The club’s PR in relation to the fans is poor IMO and the prolonged decision over AW’s future can’t have helped the players either. I don’t expect this to change … it appears to be ‘the Arsenal way’ which in most other aspects is admirable.

  77. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas your picture @ 6:44 brought back a few memories.

    I don’t know the specific year but it would have been in the late 40’s to early 60’s as I can identify Jack Kelsey and Alex Forbes, and a few educated guesses would be Dennis Evans, Jim Fotheringham, Cliff Holton, David Herd and Joe Haverty.

    I recognize most of the faces but I can’t put a name to them.

  78. GoonerB says:

    I think the 2nd from the left at the back is Billy (Flint) McCullough GN5 so that would be the 60’s if I am correct.

  79. GoonerB says:

    Late 50’s to mid 60’s more accurately

  80. GunnerN5 says:

    I think you are correct GB – so that rules of Alex Forbes but all of my other guesses are still in the running. Defiantly Jack Kelsey, I used to have an autographed picture of him on my bedroom wall – which I lost years ago.

  81. RC78 says:

    – Giroud wants to stay so that is good news and that means that Perez is out;

    I think that Giroud and Lacazette would do well together up front

  82. GunnerN5 says:

    GB – Billy McCullough played in 268 games from 1958 to 1966 and scored 5 goals. I must have watched all of the players in the picture but I cannot definitively remember them – other than Kelsey. The passage of time is taking it’s toll on my memory, I remember the face’s but cannot attach name’s – I need Chas to enlighten me.

  83. GunnerN5 says:

    I hope that news is correct RC78 as Giroud still has lots to offer – especially as a late substitute.

  84. GoonerB says:

    GN5, your 1.30 you may want to reconsider the wording. You are giving Graham ammunition to support his recent accusation 🙂

  85. GoonerB says:

    I hope Ollie stays but I remain convinced that we need to recruit a top 30+ a season striker, but that Ollie is an excellent option in the squad that can contribute positively across a season.

  86. GoonerB says:

    Just seen the first positive Sanchez report after all the negatives that Chilean sources state he is going to stay with us. Let it be true. Give him the big contract but give him the option of a £50m release clause. That would seem low by todays standards but it is our way of saying “let us convince you over the next year that you can achieve your ambitions at Arsenal. The clause could be made void if we win the EPL or ECL which would be an acceptable compromise.

  87. Rasp says:

    Hi GB, do you think that La Cazette is a Theo replacement then?

  88. Rasp says:

    Lacazette 🙂

  89. GunnerN5 says:

    GB, people don’t need ammunition as I’m an open book and an easy target. My views on Arsenal and our current manager are well established and well known.

    As we age we all suffer a certain deterioration in memory but mine is still very sharp. I’ve never had good face recognition, names, facts and data stick like glue but for some odd reason not faces.

    I would be over joyed if Sanchez, Ozil and Giroud stay with us and that AW can add a few more gems it would give us a real leg up for the season.

    Of particular concern to me is the fact that Sanchez and Mustafi will have to be given extended period’s to recover from the Confederation Cup and will miss out on some pre-season games and possibly early PL games as well.

  90. fred1266 says:

    Giroud is France number one and laca doesn’t even make the side so how is he even better than Giroud, this feels like another perez signing

  91. GoonerB says:

    GN5, you are right that if we retain Sanchez, Ozil and Giroud (and I would add Ox) then we don’t need much. I would go as far as to say that 1 very expensive number 9 is all we need to add.

    GN5 don’t let Terry know that you don’t have good face recognition, it tends to encourage his stalking fetish. Each day you will be startled by a face peering through your window explaining there presence away as being the milkman, postman, gasman. All the while you will have an uneasy feeling that all is not right and that you have a vague recognition of the faces at the window…..until……..it is too late, and you don’t want to know what that means. Even my camels shiver at the thought of it.

    Rasp, really good to see you back. Thought you had won the lottery and had abandoned us for cocktails in Barbados. In our front 3 Theo now looks the odd one out. If we accept we are playing that double number 10 behind a striker then I can only see Theo as a striker option. The number 10 wouldn’t suit him IMO. That puts him in competition (currently) with Giroud, Welbeck and Perez.

    If you also accept that we need a new top striker then the others become back up to that player. We only need 2 of the 4 really. Giroud has qualities that are extremely useful. Welbeck has a bit shown more of the modern strikers qualities than Theo in the way he works hard across the pitch up front but also has the qualities to play the left sided 10 role in Sanchez absence. I find it hard to see how Theo and Perez fit into the equation.

    It is a tad sad because Theo is probably a better natural finisher than Danny but his work rate lets him down. I am not talking about flying into tacklesOld British style, but more closing down defenders and forcing them into mistakes and offering himself for out balls into wide areas, rather than just hang around in the middle and only spring into action when the ball gets near the opposition box.

    Shame really because I think there was a very good striker in Theo. A mix of injuries and him not quite seizing the moment fully when it arrived, but I also suspect that he didn’t get quite enough from AW in terms of support and guidance in how to convert his attributes into those of a top modern striker.

  92. GoonerB says:

    To answer your question more accurately I don’t see Lacazette as a Theo replacement. If Sanchez goes then Lacazette could be a good option in the left side number 10 role, with his finishing ability and ability on the ball, but then we still need that other top number 9.

    If Sanchez stays then Lacazette has to be coming as a number 9 and at that cost he has to be the 1st choice number 9 that we have needed for the last 4 years. In this I share RC’s and Fred’s concerns that he will not be, and is not any better than Ollie. In this circumstance you question AW’s motives.

    However RC and Fred may be wrong and Lacazette may shine up front for us with the likes of Ozil and Sanchez behind him, especially dovetailing with Sanchez who likes to get into the number 9 position frequently. Also he is probably a better player for Ozil to find with defence splitting passes than Ollie.

    It may be that our set up with our players like Ozil, Sanchez and Rambo running from deep actually suits him a lot more than the French set up which may suit Giroud more.

  93. GunnerN5 says:

    We have all waited for more than a decade for Theo to grow into the player we all assumed he would become but we are still left waiting.

    His main asset has always been his speed but his habit of running up blind alleys has never been corrected. He does not seem to be equipped with same level of awareness as Welbeck nor the same natural instincts.

    I would hope that AW cuts him loose and uses his fee to aid in the purchase of a higher class of player.

    All accounts say that Lacazette is at the Arsenal training ground for his medical.

  94. Zee says:

    Hi ya, Rasper, 🙂

    Chas has been the lynchpin of AA recently and always keeps the blog site going with vids/chat etc in tandem with the inestimable Raddy, when you are unavailable.

    Micky is amazingly wealthy and has sodded off for 2 or 3 months to his ranch in Montana — or somewhere like that, and GB is good at old pics in the 40s when he was a youth, GN5 is always ready to chat, and Terry still makes us all laugh.

    Others like RC, Wally, Fred and Eddie keep the chat going — but it is nice to have you back. 🙂

  95. GoonerB says:

    GN5, I agree with you largely re Theo but he is one example (possibly the best example) I would use to ask whether AW is still that top coach that can develop a precocious talent to world class status. Is that ability a thing of the past because I haven’t really seen AW do this with any player in recent times.

    Not saying this is correct but just an observation or something that could be given consideration. Theo was a promising forward that played as striker at Southampton. AW brought him in and put him on the wing to develop other aspects of his game, and I believe always had the intention to change him back to striker at some point.

    Injuries have hampered this to some degree but Theo wanted to be a striker and I think the running up blind alleys was more to do with playing on the wing which was never really his intended best role anyway. He certainly needed some coaching to improve as a striker but there was raw ability for this role there.

    At the end of the 14-15 season and the start of the next AW played Theo in a few games up front and we were actually playing good football with him there. He got another injury and on his return was never considered for the strikers position again, despite that being where he was played before the injury, something that to this day perplexes me.

    It may be all down to Theo himself but I can’t help but wonder whether he has been slightly mismanaged, and not developed well enough or in the right way for him to show us his best. That ship may have sailed now.

  96. Aaron says:

    Laz will be in an Arsenal Jersey-sounds good as long as he is next to Sanchez!
    Theo has got to go, along with the other remaining deadwood. (Jack, Jenks, Gibbs and deb..)
    Keep Perez, as when normal defenses are packed the box, Laz, Perez and Sanchez can beat people off the dribble.
    Just need another deep lying Mid to take Santi’s place.
    Oh, and bring back Szcz to fight it out with Cech for the #1 keeper position.

  97. GunnerN5 says:

    RB,

    Players have the highest level of responsibility in their growth, attitude, fitness, diet and way of life are examples of what a manager/coaches would give training/advice on but only the players can take it to heart and make it happen. If they are not willing/able to make the lifestyle sacrifices that are required it cannot be blamed on the coach. Plus in some cases when they reach the high earnings levels a lot of players seem to have an “I’ve made it” attitude and reduce their overall levels of performance.

    Frankly there are too many variables to say it’s on the managers back when good prospects fall short.

  98. Zee says:

    GB,

    [Disclaimer: No Bullying was Done in the Writing of This Comment]

    Theo really looked to be on the way to stardom when he was a youth, and after joining Arsenal went straight into the England team for the World Cup. The problem was that the rest of the England team did not rate him, and he did not get a sniff of a chance of playing.

    That aside – probably the older players being a bit sniffy about a kid who had not put in the hard yards in the Premiership – but he played well for Arsenal at the start until the first of his many injuries to shoulders and thighs occurred.

    I noticed afterwards he was less than cavalier in tackling and often jumped over defenders tackles or simply never quite made it to intercept the ball, if there was a chance a defender might challenge him for it.

    I put it down to a natural concern not to damage the shoulders, legs and boomserdaisy and risk his career. The cost was to lose his England place at first, but in recent times it led to him becoming only a very well paid squad player for Arsenal, instead of a star.

    Your fears are well grounded GB, it is too late for Theo to change now – his remaining talent is that with a sight of goal, and no big bad defender in sight, he has a nice shot, and an eye for goal.
    That’s not enough, in my humble none-bullying opinion. 🙂

  99. Rasp says:

    Hi Zee and GB.

    GB, I get all your points re Theo and agree with GN5 about his worth to the side. Giroud is best suited to being an impact sub as his skill set has a significant hole in it …. he can’t really run with the ball …and Theo has an even bigger hole …. he can only run with the ball 🙂

    Zee, the blog has changed and blogging has changed. My comments haven’t always been welcome and my interaction with regulars is not what it was. A few years ago, we would have been more accepting of alternative views. It’s fine, things move on.

  100. Zee says:

    You know, if you look at the composition of the Invincibles and then at the players in recent teams, the real differences not in the make up at all — it is in the ethos of the teams.

    The invincible had an invisible element to them – that is sometimes described as mental strength – and that is a good enough description.

    There was an aura about that team invincible team that made them winners even before the game.

    I hope next season, with fresh blood being introduced this summer, that the 2017/18 team develop their own persona, and others start to fear them again. Their motto should be;

    Hic sunt Leones

    HERE BE LIONS

    Let’s hear you all shout it out loud and proud!!!

    HIC SUNT LEONES

  101. Rasp says:

    Voici les lions 🙂

  102. Zee says:

    Rasper,

    I know what you mean. After two anodyne comments, one to praise GN5 for his tact, and one to explain to the ‘new boy’ I was suddenly transformed, in the eyes of one or two, into Attila the Hun. 😀

    And this addressed to someone (me) who rarely blogs here anymore.

    If it wasn’t for my affection for you, Raddy, Chas, Terry, GN5, Micky, GB and one or two of the relatively new bloggers, I would never want to return.

    Oddly for a blog where relationships are formed in the aether, I mourn for the disappearance of some of the originals, Rocky, GIE, 26M, Total and Kelsey — even GLIC, and some others too.

    I must be going doolally. 😀 [Terry has a lot to answer for!]

  103. Rasp says:

    GB … IMO, Lacazette is a very good striker and has been bought either to play alongside Sanchez or to step into his shoes if we can’t keep hold of him. I don’t think there is a chance we will sign M’Bappe … but Mahrez?? … the obvious Theo replacement … maybe

  104. Rasp says:

    🙂 Redders, just so

  105. Zee says:

    Oi, Rasp — none of that French lingo — ‘voici les lions’ — it does not have the stirring gravitas of Latin.

    Nemine Timeas! Hic sunt Leones!

    Fear No man! Here Be Lions!

    And with that, I bid you adieu. 😀

  106. Herb's Army says:

    Hi Zee (again!)

    It appears the main thrust of Eddie’s comment yesterday has been completely bypassed, but her point remains valid.
    Of all the high-profile Arsenal blogs out there, there are very few who retain the unshakable belief that the incumbent manager is still the man to take Arsenal forward. Indeed it reached a point towards the end of last season where 80% of the fan-base wanted him gone.
    Only ‘AA’ and ‘Untold Arsenal’ point-blank refuse to have this debate.
    Out of desperation the tactical set-up was changed, we beat a few teams who had little to play for, rode our luck in two games against City, and a fortunate first goal against Chelsea in the Cup Final -(Sanchez brought the ball down with his hands that led to the goal) – and just as in 2014, the manager used his go-to Cup to justify a new contract.
    The ‘self-imposed’ exile I imposed on myself was an accumulation of things, but a large part was the stinging rebuke that you handed out, about being repetitive.
    But equally as repetitive is continually finding ways to praise a failing manager – as Eddie pointed out – which is probably why Kelsey and GliC found new places to blog.
    Why would people come here to debate when the only thing being said here is how wonderful the manager is.
    Many have seen with their own eyes that this is very wide of the mark.

  107. Rasp says:

    Hi Herb, I don’t think the point of blogging has to be about convincing someone else to come round to your (not meaning you personally) opinion. That doctrine will always fail.

    It would be healthier if everyone viewed it as an opportunity to air their opinion and leave it up to others if they choose to agree or not.

    IMO, AA should not be characterised as pro, anti, or any other part of the spectrum when it comes to an opinion on the manager.

  108. Rasp says:

    My opinion …. and you are under no pressure to agree with it, is that Arsene is going to be manager for the next two years, the new season hasn’t even started, so if you want the best for the team, we should get behind him.

  109. Herb's Army says:

    Hi Rasp,

    I agree with you whole-heartedly, as long as it’s respectful and never gets personal, feisty debate should always be welcomed.
    I’m glad ‘AA’ is still going, there have been many fine, intellectual writers that have passed through your virtual ‘doors’, and I include those who didn’t always agree with me.
    Perhaps ‘AA’ has a more entrenched view of the manager because of the loyal band of bloggers who have stayed the distance, but personally I find it impossible to justify keeping a manager on who is just treading water and has shown very little signs of improvement in a whole decade.
    Sadly the Emirates will be even more toxic next season if his performance mirrors those of the last ten years.

  110. graham says:

    Unintentionally back from the dead! My sincere apologies if my comments were misconstrued as being hurtful and disrespectful. The thing is, as I’ve found in my short experiences on the AA site, there seems to be too much love and affection between bloggers, rather than openly discussing the core problems that exist at AFC.

    I get fed up of those that say you should support the club through thick and thin when we have been constantly lied to and disrespected for so many years. Good luck to those that still trust in a manager and system that is flawed to the extreme and clearly, not fit for purpose!

    I ended my love affair with AW back in Feb 2008. Fed up and bored by his inabilities to act on our shortcomings and embarrassed by what was happening to my club. Does it not concern any of you ‘love birds’ that we have become the laughing stock of world football, ridiculed by all and sundrie and seen as a club set in a predictable and boring comfort zone.

    AW is not, and never has been, a born winner(a myth!), because, if he was, we would not be where we are. His condescending manner, arrogance, ignorance, contempt for others and disrespect of fans holds no bounds. It will not matter who comes or goes with Wenger at the helm, the outcome will be as predictable as our next implosion against Bayern Munich!!!!

    Our manager has no shame and no self respect and the worst part in all of this is that even if we had lost 6-0 to Chelsea in the Cup Final, which we all know could have happened, he would have still stayed!! Come on, grow up and think of the future progress and development of the club and accept that anyone, like myself(and Eddie) who have differing opinions and perceptions, also have the good of the club at heart!!

  111. VP of Oz says:

    I no longer go on any other blogs because many are one sided and not much thought is put into expressing their deep negativity. I find AA is much more moderate and articulate and hence is now part of my daily reading.
    I dont understand why the FA Cup wins are torn down in terms of a noted success. They are not the pinnacle but they are still trophies that are highly sought after within the EPL. Man City and Chelsea would have dearly wanted to win it so stop making excuses for their losses and give credit to an Arsenal success.
    Maybe Arsene didn’t re-sign for such a long period because he actually demanded a commitment to spend from the board before he signed and we are now seeing the fruits of this in TW so far.
    So many people have opinions but they are all they are. What I find grating is when certain fans opinions become their beliefs and they go to extreme attempts to convert others to the point that they actively campaign, hire planes etc.
    I am excited for the start of the new season because of the new players but mainly because its the Arsenal.

  112. VP of Oz says:

    My favourite headline on the Lacazette signing “thankyou Jamie Vardy”

  113. GunnerN5 says:

    “Hear Hear” VP.

    All indications are that Arsenal will announce the record signing of Lacazette tomorrow, he completed a successful medical today and met the team at training, according to Sky Sports.

    A much needed goal scoring specialist.

  114. graham says:

    Sorry Herb’s Army, missed you out!!

  115. Herb's Army says:

    Hi Graham,

    No problem, and I make you right.
    But there are two dynamics here.
    Arsenal are like a Private Gentleman’s Club, full of stuffy upper-class Old Etonians and the Kroenke’s.
    Their collective football knowledge could be written on the back of a postage stamp.
    The other dynamic is what you see on here.
    Arsenal supporters either too posh or too passive to demand change.
    The fault isn’t entirely the manager, his friendship with David Dein is the catalyst for the mess Arsenal are in today. Dein granted him a position of authority that he’d never experienced before, which he got away with at Highbury because of the structure already in place.
    Yes, he brought innovations and lessons with him that were unknown at that time, but once everyone else twigged on to them, he was exposed as a very ordinary manager incapable of breaking through a very limited glass-ceiling. His promise to make Arsenal one of the biggest clubs in the world has spectacularly back-fired and is as hollow and as dead in the water as our challenge for the PL title since moving to the soul-less soccer-bowl.
    Incredible loyalty and vastly over-rewarding mediocrity have been among his many failings, championing African footballers and again, being ridiculously cautious and only buying from the middle-shelf or the bargain-basement. He isn’t big enough or brave enough to put Arsenal up on that pedestal, but it’s also one of the reasons he’s stayed so long.
    There’s no pressure for him to succeed. He could finish 17th in the PL and still convince many Arsenal fans it was a successful season.
    Every major football club in the world are surrounded by football people, or people that know football.
    How long would our manager have lasted at Barca, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich? A year, two at the most.
    Football clubs with ambition like City, United, Chelsea, Liverpool, even Tottenham and Everton now, get real football people in to address obvious weaknesses.
    Arsenal only care about making their share-holders even wealthier than they are already because that’s all any of them know.
    If you get to the 5th Round of the Cup and you’re drawn to play a non-league side, and by some amazing stroke of good fortune you get drawn against another non-league side in the QF’s, someone is telling you your name is on the Cup, and it’s yours to lose.
    City and Chelsea may have wanted the FA Cup, but they have bigger fish to fry and will be back in CL next season.
    Both clubs have left Arsenal way behind for now and the forseeable future.

  116. Herb's Army says:

    Before we get all triumphant about beating City and Chelsea to win the FA Cup, it’s worth remembering that major refereeing decisions played a part in both games.
    In the semi-final, City had their first goal wrongly disallowed because the officials thought Gabriel Jesus’ cross had gone out of play. It hadn’t.
    In the final, Sanchez brought the ball under control with his hands which led directly to the first goal. Not quite as blatant as Koscielny’s winner at Burnley, but nonetheless, handball.
    So drawn against two non-league sides followed by two major mistakes from match officials to win the FA Cup is hardly cause for wild celebration.

  117. chas says:

    I’d like to take issue with 2 points.

    Firstly, that AA ‘point-blank refuse'(d) to have a Wenger out debate. Rasp’s 11.37 refutes that suggestion categorically.
    In fact, it was done so often, he started losing his passion for The Arsenal and football.
    Just because some put an opposite view doesn’t mean a discussion wasn’t had.

    Secondly, AA ‘has a more entrenched view of the manager because of the loyal band of bloggers who have stayed the distance’.

    Here’s my rough take on bloggers who’ve been around all season on here. (no offence intended to anyone….for instance, you’d be amazed to know that I don’t consider myself a Wengerite; I never extol his virtues, but since I always try to counter anyone using false info to justify their arguments, I realise I’m regarded as being Wenger In )

    BR – aye
    Micky – nay
    chas – aye
    Rasp – nay
    GN5 – aye
    Eddie – nay
    Terry – aye
    GoonerB – nay

    Off the top of my head, these are bloggers who’ve contributed on most days over the course of the last season and the “split” is 50:50. Where does the ‘entrenched view on AA’ idea come from?

    On a more personal note, for a few months this season I was edging towards thinking it was time for a managerial change. Like Rasp, the whole Wenger in/out debate was also killing my enthusiasm for going to games and I was considering giving up my season ticket as it was becoming less fun due to the general atmosphere at a lot of matches.

    I can’t believe that with Wenger signing a two year extension, we are still going to have the same situation throughout next season, too.

    I despair.

  118. Morning

    It looks like the ‘entrenched view’ is only in the minds of some 😉

    I would have rather the club had got their finger out and started the process of finding a new manager ………. they have to do this some time whether Arsene wants to stay or not. He’s not going to be the Boss forever.

    Looking forward to watching Lacazette in our Red and White

  119. Zee says:

    Morning Chas,

    I will not be drawn into a pointless discussion by people who have their own agenda in criticising this blog and its loyal bloggers.

    If they tried that criticism – for or against – on every other blog site I have visited, they would have a new one torn for them.
    Fortunately AA and those same loyal bloggers try to reason with them and direct them to “About AA” on the top ribbon, which explains all that is needed to know.

    I do not normally feel the need to register my own opinion – it is what it is – but I am on record, in Posts, as being concerned that a great manager is being vilified, but equally I have said that everyone, including AW ages and become set in their ways, and their is a case for bringing in new blood to the club, both for the team and the manager. No one goes on for ever. It is just a matter of time.

    Therefore, I am an ‘inbetweeny’ and my opinion switches on a daily basis, depending on my mood and events on that day.

    I believe in the ethos of the AA site, and everyone is welcome to their own opinions. My only personal reservation, still in accord with ‘About AA’ is that someone saying ‘I don’t like cabbage, I don’t like cabbage, I don’t like cabbage’ bores the ass off me, and I will simply ignore them. It’s easy to do.

    So, 50/50 yea or nay — + 1 inbetweener.

    And well done to you Chas!!

  120. Zee says:

    Chas,

    Did you notice I threw in a ‘their’ instead of ‘there’ above to give you something to chew on? 😀

  121. Zee says:

    Morning Peaches,

    We seem to have similar views — I had not read your apt comment before I wrote mine, as I was constantly interrupted by ‘phone calls while trying to type my comment, having read Chas’ ‘list’ at 6:58.

    I also agree with you about Lacazette. He is going to carry a heavy burden of fan expectations?? 😀

  122. Rasp says:

    Morning Chas, you are correct that up until the time the decision was given to extend Arsene’s contract, I would have preferred that the club looked for a fresh change of management. Now that he is here for another two years, I am not a nay any more, for me to debate is over, and it is pointless to continue with it.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just get back to enjoying the football 🙂

  123. Zee says:

    Anyone heard of Alex Golovin? He is being rumoured as a 21 year old replacement for Santi.

    I do not know anything about him, but if he is apparently a skilful midfielder on the books of CSKA Moscow, so, if true, maybe that signals the end of Jack Wilshire’s Arsenal career?

    Probably means the end of our interest in Lemar, too, as Monaco do not seem to want to sell him.

    [I could start my own little football rumour session, right here, and talk to myself.] 😀

  124. Zee says:

    The frenzy of rumours concerning potential transfers hither and thither must make the hearts of young players hoping to break into the first team squads sink with every new link to their position.

    Take, ‘The Jeff’, a really exciting prospect with an athletic physique and great skill, whom many of us think could be a real Arsenal star of the not too distant future, but if any of the rumours circulating about other young, skilful players supposedly interesting Arsenal, like Golovin, mentioned above, or Mahrez from Leicester or the now unlikely transfer of Lemar, I wonder how he will ever get into the team, and does that mean he will lose impetus and start thinking he has to get out?

    If Jack and Santi were fit that would seem even more difficult for the The Jeff to make his career at the Gunners.

    Others before him, like Akpom, and Total are unlikely to come back from their loan arrangements, and it just seems a pity that they are likely to join other youngsters with seemingly glittering careers awaiting, like Gnabry for example, who just do not get the chance anymore.

    For years Arsenal youngsters were able to strut their stuff in the ‘lower’ level cup matches, and let us have a better idea of their skills, but that all seems to have gone because of the demands by the fans for Arsenal to win something, anything, and now strong first team squad players are the norm in these cup games.

    Pity.

    Has Rasper’s new favourite player La Cassette been signed yet? 😀

  125. Rasp says:

    He’s slipped his disc 🙄

  126. Zee says:

    Touché 😀

  127. Zee says:

    I would never take on a Times Crossword master like you, Rasp.

    It is something I came to only after surfacing on AA (6/7 years ago?) and becoming aware of your interest in crossword puzzles that I tried to engage with it.

    It is not that I do not understand the structure of the clues that help to arrive at the solutions, but I often got the ‘right’ answers but not the way I was supposed to have done.

    There is no fun in that – people might think I was cheating – just because my brain seems to work differently to some others. 😀

  128. VP of Oz says:

    Zed, 9:36
    I was thinking similar but from a different angle.
    We might start seeing the Manu/Chelsea effect more often where they let young players go (aka Pogba and now possibly Lukaku) and then buy them back for world record prices.
    It’s insane
    Can you imagine the vitriol if Arsenal sold The Jeff and then we wanted to buy him back but could not afford the world record price, all because we could not Play him and develop him in the 1st team so he leaves
    Just a thought

  129. Zee says:

    There has been a lot of anxiety from some fans about Sanchez possibly/probably going to Citeh, but not me.

    In a perfect world where players’ contracts were not bought and sold for huge money by their ’employers’, I think they should be allowed to join or leave jobs like any other member of the community, with the appropriate notice given.

    But of course that is fantasy world stuff, and the hooks of the wealthy club owners of Real, Barça, Manure, City, PSG and the rest, with their influence both on governments and the judicial systems and on UEFA and FIFA would not permit that.

    So, if Arsenal (by which many would say Arsene) decides there is no point in keeping a reluctant and possibly malignant influence like Sanchez and decided to let him go to PSG for £50m there would be disappointment but acceptance.

    If however, he let him go to the club of his choice, and that was Citeh, the howls of outrage that Kroenke was only interested in the money would blast our eardrums, Twitter, and the blogs for years to come.

    The way around that would be to swap Sanchez for Aguerro or De Bruyne with a cash adjustment as necessary. In theory that could work out well for all parties, especially Arsenal and I would be happy to see either of the two I mentioned in the Arsenal shirt.

    For every problem there is a solution – with the right will. 😀

  130. Zee says:

    VP,

    I agree with you totally. That crazy business model could only be entertained by a very limited number of clubs.

    Taking a step back – the managers who let those two go are held in high regard, even tho to me they were plonkers.

    Ferguson let Pogba go – yet he is almost a god to some – Moaniho let De Bruyne and Lukaku go and between them those 3 could represent £300K of losses to their respective clubs.

    It’s a funny old world – as some one said. 🙂

  131. GoonerB says:

    Graham and Herb, to pick up on your comments from yesterday evening there are aspects of your comments that I agree with but quite a bit I don’t. Those who frequent this site that remain very pro Wenger will no doubt tell you that I am one that has been far from convinced about him over the last few seasons and that I still harbour doubts presently.

    To state my position I think there was a significant period after the stadium move where AW didn’t have much to work with financially. Compared to any other club operating in a similar financial bracket he actually did an excellent job in my opinion so I really can’t get your 2008 deadline Graham when it was so early on in the expensive stadium move.

    I wanted to see what he could do once the financial shackles were off and he could develop a team capable of challenging for the EPL with better players at his disposal. The F.A cup wins I have really enjoyed, and don’t sniff at them, but they are not the true reflection on a teams progress or standing. The league is, a sentiment AW has himself stated in the past.

    In that sense the project has been failing and shown little sign of progress. I have always said that I feel league points, season to season relative to what it takes to win the EPL, show where a team really is.

    I do feel a big mistake was made in the summer TW when we got Cech but no-one else. Instead of building on Sanchez and Ozil and pushing on with the development the breaks were seemingly applied. I don’t know why, but I do feel it was the time when we stopped looking like the club on the up and started to look like a club happy with where it had got to. Whether that was the intended message from the club or not it was how it came across.

    I also feel AW has sat on problems within the team with tactics and formations far too long before addressing them, so you see I do agree with a certain amount you are saying. These factors for me have resulted in a slow progression to this period where we have dropped away further in the league and have key players with 1 year left seemingly holding us over a barrel and also it seems far from convinced of where the club is going.

    We seem to be desperately trying to pull out all the stops now this summer, where I feel with a bit of better foresight over the last 2-3 seasons we would be sitting in a far stronger and less precarious position right now.

    It may be that we will suffer a set back going into next season because of this but it may also be that they pull it out of the bag (in a retaining and recruiting sense). If they do then added to the progress seen at the seasons end in the new formation, then I feel we can approach the new season with great confidence. We will now just have to wait and see. Expressing concerns is one thing, but too much negativity at this stage seems a bit pointless to me.

    Just to pick upon some points made in last nights comments. Graham you said we are the laughing stock of the world ridiculed by all and sundrie. Well I meet a lot of people in my line of work, counting many differing fans with different allegiences, who I can tell you really don’t see it that way.

    Perhaps the most telling is a friend of mine who is a Spurs season ticket holder. He was actually ridiculing me, but more regarding the Arsenal fans that have turned so publicly abusive and negative. As far as he was concerned he thought it was laughable that so many Arsenal fans had turned so publicly negative, and basically suggested the view was (among his Spurs pals) that the Arsenal fans behaviour was what was making us more of a laughing stock, and watching their hysterical melt-down was giving them (Spurs fans) the greatest pleasure.

    My view of Arsene is that he has shown to be overly stubborn and resistant to change away from his ideologies, and where it may have once served us well, these traits have hampered us in recent years. I have felt for some time that he has needed to show a bit more fluidity and adaptation in his methods and game management approach employing a bit more pragmatism, but I still assert that there is a huge amount that is positive about him.

    Also to summarise, using your own words Graham, you describe Arsene as not fit for purpose, and that it is a myth that he is a winner. He has no shame or self respect, is condescending, arrogant, ignorant and shows contempt and disrespect for others.

    Mmmm Graham, big claims that I feel are more a random spewing out based on your extreme frustration. They unfortunately don’t come across as measured considered views to me, and this from someone who may agree with many of your views. It doesn’t mean that hidden somewhere deep within what I can only view as a rant, that you don’t have some valid points, but it becomes hard to see the worth in them.

    Graham I don’t know you and in bloggers world we can only form an opinion on someone based on how they portray their comments, but I see you as a blogger that has made his mind up so long ago and has drawn a line under it, and that there is no room for change of opinion or a more considered viewpoint anymore looking at issues from different angles. Your mind is made up and that is it and you have your entrenched view and nothing at this stage will alter it, even if there were positive reasons to do so.

    Any positives will be passed off as some form of luck, and in this you have become the polar opposite of what you claim is wrong with pro Wenger bloggers.Your opinion seems to be that they feel he can do no wrong, but if you step back and look at yourself you yourself come across as a blogger for whom the club and manager can do no right, so in reality you are the same but at the opposite end.

    I kind of feel that you do frequent certain sites more which only spout those constant negatives regardless of anything else, which is your right if it suits you. However I do feel that these sites fuel what I can best describe as a Lemming effect negativity, where one rant fuels the next rant and so on until every person is literally brainwashed into only being able to put across negative rants with any ability to step back and submit a balanced comment literally stripped away.

    I found it interesting that you used the words in your comment that people on here should “grow up”, and then indicate that there is no open discussion of the problems on here but that you are obviously then openly discussing them elsewhere in an unbiased way that looks at the discussion from different angles and accepts different viewpoints. Can you really step back and look at it and say you do this.

    When I have on occasion visited those sites or observed people like yourself on here who are likely normally on those sites, I tend to feel the comments come across as a kind of bloggers version of pinning someone up against the wall and shouting in their face to literally bully them into agreeing with you. Not at all like the nice sit down open discussion you make reference to.

    Graham, none of this was a personal attack, just an observation, and this from someone who may actually agree with some of your criticisms. Feel free to take it any way you wish.

    Herb, you actually do normally come out with a lot of valid points for me, even if they extend more towards the negative than some on here and I don’t always agree with all you say. In this case I didn’t agree with a lot of what you said or how you presented it. I kind of feel that you seized on Graham’s response viewing him as some kind of kindred spirit in that Lemming negative effect I mentioned, and as such lost some of your normal balanced way of presenting things.

    I mentioned about the inability to see any positives and to seize upon the lucky card and I think you did this with the F.A cup Herb. I can’t agree with you, we earned that cup and were the worthy winners from start to finish.

  132. GunnerN5 says:

    Thank goodness that the loyal bloggers of AA show their class and make their views known in a cool calm and collected manner.

    I, for one, enjoy a vigorous discussion but I shy away from debates as in my opinion a debate seems to imply that a winner is needed – whereas a discussion is more of an open dialogue involving an expression of different views where participants often agree to disagree.

    I’m in complete agreement with Chas’s analysis. I’m a big fan of loyalty as in the end result it usually reaps rewards.

    For me the FA Cup has never lost any of it’s glamour and in my youth I would go to as many away games as I could and I loved visiting the grounds of clubs that I never thought I’d get to see.
    It was glamorous when I saw the 1st cup win of my life (on Pathe News) in 1950 – and it has retained it’s fascination in all of the 12 out of our 13 FA Cups that I have witnessed.

  133. GunnerN5 says:

    Sorry Chas my comment seems to imply that you agree with loyalty and I did not intend to say that it’s just poorly constructed.

  134. Rasp says:

    It’s looking like ‘The Casette’ is loaded … we just need to push the ‘play’ button now and relax and listen to the sweet music of 20+ goals a season 🙂 🙂

  135. Rasp says:

    … or am I fast forwarding?

  136. GunnerN5 says:

    GB,

    Great comment.

    It could be construed as a summary for the “defense” now it would be good to read an equally eloquent summation from the “prosecution”.

  137. GoonerB says:

    Recent rumours are that Bellerin is asking for a transfer. Now I can understand that the Barca boy would want to return to Barca if possible. It is also likely that Barca have given him a now or never ultimatum, putting further pressure on him. He ought to consider what that means if that club is prepared to heap that unnecessary pressure on him at his age.

    The simple fact is that we don’t need any extra unnecessary changes this summer as there is enough to deal with. The club comes first and he stays for at least another year. If we sanction this we will look weak.

  138. GunnerN5 says:

    All quiet on Arsenal.com Rasp but the rest of the footballing world thinks it’s a done deal, which would please this punter.

  139. GoonerB says:

    Lacazette was always on my list of strikers for consideration GN5 but he was in the “I am not totally certain about him in the EPL bracket”. There were others I felt a bit more certain about. It certainly depends on if his skill set adapts to the EPL and that he can more seamlessly transfer his league 1 abilities to the EPL. It also kind of depends on the formation of players around him and that is where the Ozil’s and Sancez’ and what happens with them come into play. I would be far more confident of Lacazette up front if Ozil and Sanchez were operating behind him.

  140. GunnerN5 says:

    GB, this is where my faith in Arsene shows through, I cannot see him spending 50mil on an iffy choice – he would have to be 100% convinced that he will fit it his plans. Plus Arsene will know better than anybody which players he wants to retain and which are likely to depart – therefore he will have taken everything into consideration before putting his signature on a contract.

    That said the best laid plans of mice and men………..

  141. Herb's Army says:

    Hi Chas.

    Firstly, I apologise if my comments caused you or others any offence.
    When you say ‘AA’ have had many debates about the manager’s position, there is a few dissenters who occasionally leave a comment, which if not given short shrift, is often ignored.
    For a proper, reasonable debate to happen, both sides of the argument need to be fairly represented, otherwise one side gets swamped and it becomes a very uneven contest.
    For example, I remember reading both Peaches and BR saying how delighted they were when the manager signed a new contract in 2014.
    That’s two founder members of this site, and they’ve attracted many like-minded people to visit and offer their opinion. One who immediately springs to mind is LB.
    So I think it’s reasonable to say that there is/has been a bias towards the manager on this forum, and for that reason, debates have been half-hearted, or just fizzled out because of a lack of representation.
    The second bit?
    Don’t take it so personally. I didn’t say all the regulars were happy with the manager, but the tone of the blog is dictated by the comments, and some comment more than others. I’ve mentioned GoonerB as someone who articulately and routinely questions the manager’s methods.
    I think the published Post above could be used as an example of how much love there is for the manager on here.
    No matter how unpalatable and distasteful it may be, the club has failed to reach its potential and have regressed since 2014.
    They waste money at an alarming rate and are said to be close to breaking FFP regulations, as well as getting themselves into all sorts of tricky situations with players contracts.
    Arsenal are not a well-run football club.
    If people want to read that as ‘dooming’ or negativity, that’s their choice, but I don’t think it’s negative to want what’s best for the club and to want it to be run with more efficiency.
    I’ve said far too much and over-stayed my welcome, but it’s good to see people still have passion, whichever side of the divide they’re on.

  142. Zee says:

    Hi GoonerB a long ‘un, 🙂

    I have just got thru reading your 12:33 — not because I have just got back, as I started to read it at 12:35, and had to go off and have a coffee or two to stop my eyes crossing zzzzzzzz

    Joking aside, that was a fair and balanced comment/Post/epic from a rebel. 😀

    Well done, but I fear you are wasting your time – we espouse free speech/writing on here, and rightly so, but it does not mean there is an obligation to read the trite and boring, and I won’t and don’t.

    And yes, I realise that cuts two ways – I am often ignored – and rightly so. 😀

  143. VP of Oz says:

    After reading the following on apple news, I like the boys sense of occasion and focus on what is important –
    TENNIS STAR’S BIZARRE LACAZETTE CELEBRATION
    Moments after being knocked out of Wimbledon,James Ward’smind was focused on the latest Arsenal transfer news during his press conference.
    The British tennis player was eliminated by Marcos Baghdatis in straight sets – 6-4 6-4 6-3 – but Ward’s mood was brightened by reports that Alexandre Lacazette’s set to join the Gunners.
    The 30-year-old is a big Arsenal fan and admitted the news added a “touch” to his day.
    “I went to every game last season, which was nice,” said Ward, who recently recovered from a long-term injury.
    “That was the only plus, I think, of not being able to play.
    “I think we signed Lacazette today, which is a touch.
    “We will see if we get Riyad Mahrez next, then I might try and get over there as much as possible.
    “But yes, we’ll see what happens. Arsenal is another subject we will leave for another time.”
    According to the latest reports, Lacazette has completed his medical ahead of a move to The Emirates.

  144. GunnerN5 says:

    Good to see that one of our “must keeps” seems to be committed.

    …………………………………………………………………………………….

    @MesutOzil1088’s avatar
    21 hours ago
    Mesut Özil
    @MesutOzil1088
    Holiday is over and I’m back at @Arsenal training ground with fully charged batteries 🔋⚽✨ #YaGunnersYa #training #London https://t.co/niNeYjeiN9

  145. wally says:

    I take objection to the notion that ‘we’ must get behind the manager.

    What an utter load of crap.

    The manager’s responsibility is to deliver a winning product. If he delivers that winning product he will get plenty of support. If he doesn’t deliver, and fails to deliver repeatedly despite a multitiude of chances ‘we’ will lose faith in his ability to deliver said winning product. We wiil seek to acquire a manager who is capable of getting the job done.
    ‘We’ owe wenger nothing. NOTHING! He owes us! We pay his wages, we supply him with the werewithal to get the job done. If can’t do it there are others out there who have demonstrated they can. Who would retain a gardener who comes round once every 3 months to have a look at the garden and trim a little here and there, turn a shovel in the corner and tell us it’s going to look beautiful one day? That’s wenger isn’t it.
    The manager will do whatever the fook he wants regardless of what we think, say or do. And if he gets ridiculed and derided that’s on him isn’t it. He’s the one that wants to press on, he’s the one who thinks arsenal need him more that arsenal need change. He’s not our grandfather or beloved uncle or anything like that. He”s an employee. No employee who isn’t doing their job should be kept on, kept protected or allowed to go on doing shite for work and calling it progress.

    Of other things if we make sanchez play it out who thinks that’s a good idea? Then you have three out of contract starters next year. Talk about rebuilding the team! and zero pinch with which to do it. We will be well and truly….

    If he stays what does that mean for giroud who has stated he’s not content with the role he had last year? He’s surely not a starter. Would you stay if you were giroud?

    There are so many balls in the air currently einstein would have a difficult time keep track of the myriad of possibilities.

  146. GunnerN5 says:

    A well balanced interview on Sky Sports.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………..

    Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal transfer may persuade Alexis Sanchez to stay, says Nigel Winterburn

    By Nadeem Badshah

    A deal for Alexandre Lacazette to join Arsenal may persuade Alexis Sanchez to stay at the club, according to Nigel Winterburn.

    Lacazette completed a medical ahead of a £52m switch from Lyon on Tuesday, according to Sky sources.

    Sanchez has yet to reveal whether he will extend his Arsenal contract which expires next summer, and Winterburn believes it is crucial that Arsene Wenger retains his attacking players.

    “I think it was obvious to Arsenal fans and to Arsene Wenger that one of those areas to strengthen is the centre forward position”, Winterburn told Sky Sports News HQ.

    Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez says he has decided where he will be playing next season

    “I am hoping Giroud will stay, I still feel he is valuable to the team as well. Arsenal know they need quality to help them challenge for the title.”

    Winterburn added: “I hope the Lacazette deal leaves [Sanchez] at the club. He can play on the left, up front or in the hole.

    “Arsenal cannot afford to bring in Lacazette then two weeks later Sanchez leaves.

    Alexandre Lacazette was the second top scorer in Ligue 1 last season with 28 goals

    “I am hoping Wenger can persuade him to stay for another season, see what happens with the team then sign a new contract.”

    Giroud played down talk of a summer transfer away from Arsenal by insisting he wants to “carry on his good journey” at the club.

    Arsenal won the FA Cup last year but finished in fifth place in the Premier League, the first time they have failed to qualify for the Champions League since 1997.

    And Winterburn, who played for the club from 1987 to 2000, believes they need at least two more signings to challenge for the title.

    “I am hoping they will back that up with a couple more major signings,” he said. “If you look at the end of last season Wenger said he thought the team was strong enough to challenge for the title.

    “Over the last two seasons that hasn’t proven to be the case.

    “There becomes a point when you have to start mixing it up, maybe one or two players will move on and you bring in fresh faces and set new challenges.”

    Arsenal begin their Premier League campaign against Leicester City.

  147. Rasp says:

    Hi Wally, I think you’re missing the point. My reason for saying that we should get behind the manager is simply that if we all create a positive and supportive atmosphere around the club, this can only help the players to perform on the pitch ….. and isn’t that what we all want? You may be making this too personal, supporting the manager who ever he is, is just a part of supporting a football club.

  148. Great comment GB.

    I just feel that Herb and Graham talk crap. They probably feel I talk crap? And they would be right.

    Lacassete?. Youtube makes him look like Pele but I remember seeing a video of Sanago and thinking this guys the new Glen Helder, and I was right.

    So I don’t know what to think? Which in itself is rather exciting.

  149. Zee says:

    Well it’s happened, guys,

    La Cas has officially joined the Arsenal for £52m. 😀

  150. Zee says:

    Terry,

    We need GLIC back to take care of you!! 🙂

    And I don’t think you talk cr*p, you are just funny. 🙂

    It’s just the way you walk.

  151. Zee says:

    That’ll make you keep your season ticket, Chas. 🙂

    I gave up my two season tickets some years back, my dad’s really before he died, and I applied again last year, pleading insanity for giving the originals up — got a nice letter back saying I could join the waiting list.

    Thousands upon thousands of fans ahead of me – makes me realise I must have been mad giving them up – work and medical problems at the time – so all the forecasts saying droves of empty seats were caused by angry fans deserting the Arsenal are just ********.

    Damn!

    I’ll entice Terry out for a drink and pinch his! 😀

  152. I miss Glic RedZee. The guy cracks me up. Emailed him recently and he’s in good form.

    Definitely go for a drink. You know those overgrown kids with there keys attached by chain to pocket? That’s me with my tickets so if you nick them, you will have to remove my trousers haha.

  153. Zee says:

    That is the sort of challenge I need GLIC for, Terry – off in a trice and you would never know until you were arrested for having a small Weiner when approaching the stadium. 😀

  154. GunnerN5 says:

    We’ve signed Kolasinac & Lacazette and just lost only one for the future in Wilcock. So far so good and if Arsene persuades Sanchez and Ozil to stay we could be in for a great season.

  155. GunnerN5 says:

    Herb, Graham, obviously our viewpoints are totally opposite but we have one binding factor and that is our wish for a successful season ahead. I hope you both stick around and enjoy a season blogging on AA, when I disagree with your comments I will keep my fingers off of the keyboard – unless they get too outrageous.

    Cheers.

  156. chas mobile says:

  157. Massive 😁😁😁

  158. Is Lacazette official yet? Why does it take so long?

  159. Silly me, just read back 😁😁😁

  160. GunnerN5 says:

    Peaches – yes it was announced on Arsenal.com, go there and you will see lots of pictures taken yesterday.

  161. VP of Oz says:

    So Nigel Winterburn is also a believer that –
    they need at least two more signings to challenge for the title.

    I wonder if our beloved Uncle Arsene also agree’s with this and goes after two more

  162. GoonerB says:

    evening all.

    Which 2 though VP? In what positions?

  163. GoonerB says:

    Terry, I have the feeling you are someone who wears layers of trousers to cover all eventualities. 1st under-layer John Travolta Saturday night fever strides. 2nd layer Jane Fonda 80’s workout pink leg warmers. 3rd layer original Greek sheep farmers peasant trousers once worn by Demis Roussos in one of his famous videos.

    Yeh, I reckon Zee will have his work cut out getting hold of your tickets Terry.

  164. chas mobile says:

    Also a believer that we need 4 signings?

  165. GunnerN5 says:

    What positions are you concerned about Chas?

    I would like to see the addition of another tricky winger (dare I say like Sanchez) and another goalkeeper, I like Martinez so I think we need another understudy for when Cech’s time is up.

  166. GoonerB says:

    No way Chas, we are always 2 short…you know that 🙂

  167. GoonerB says:

    We need to start a discussion / post (now we have Lacazette) on what options could be available if Sanchez departs.

  168. GunnerN5 says:

    I agree GP – you should step up to the bar and start writing that post.

  169. GunnerN5 says:

    RC78 would also make a good author for that post.

  170. fred1266 says:

    The Mahrez talk has subsided hmm

  171. GunnerN5 says:

    Jens Lehmann took his 1st training session today in his new position of our new (additional) 1st team coach.

    Chas will undoubtedly find us an image.

  172. kelsey says:

    Good morning to all friends and foe
    .
    I was informed my name was mentioned on here more than once and I presume Zee is Red Arse or Henry B, as I have lost count.
    I would just like to say that Herb is 100% correct.We think the same and have kept in correspodence for a number of years.

    I haven’t changed my stance once in the last 4 to 5 years and I am glad to Welcome t Lacazette and if he can even produce 75% of the goals scored in the French league,he will be a huge bonus and it appears a true CF.We hopefully are still in the market for Mahrez as in all probability we wont let Sanchez run down his contract and walk away on a free,as that is not the Arsenal way.We need to sell several players and it’s the saving of wages that is most important not what we get and a decision has to be made on particularly Wilshere and it looks like the player we arguably missed the most last season Santi Cazorla maybe coming to the end of his playing days.We have already tried to sell Gibbs and Jenkinson and in all probability add the two keepers,Ospina and Szczesny to the list which leaves Joel Campbell who seems to have missed his chance and should have been sold at a premium after the last WC, but more importantly The Ox and Giroud.Our attack force needs a real hard think as I can’t see Perez as a long term Arsenal player,but Walcott, like him or not in all probability will stay.

    More importantly something which hasn’t been discussed is this new rule which roughly means that a club’s wage bill has to be a certain percentage of actual turnover or is it turnover as in gate receipts or overall.Perhaps someone can explain this further.
    If this is true, and we are still to buy, several players have to be sold.
    I wish you all a pleasant summer.

  173. graham says:

    Walcott’s mistake was staying when he could have left a couple of years back. SORRY TMHT, MORE CRAP FROM ME!

    Total mismanagement from day one. Never a natural wide player. Should have been used down the middle more. Trouble is, Walcott always had the pressure of #14 to live up to. Wenger’s inabilities to see the obvious have never been so apparent than with this kid. Saw Walcott as a fifteen year old at Southampton destroy a defence playing down the centre. How many times did Wenger substitute him over the years when he was our only outlet. You could actually see opposing defenders smile when he was taken off. Walcott too nice to complain, just kept on accepting it. As with so many players over the past decade, Wenger totally screwed him up.

    Ask yourself this, give me three good (footballing)reasons why Sanchez would want to stay?

  174. Morning all

    Has anyone got time to write a few words about Lacazette for a welcoming post …….

  175. Rasp says:

    Morning … nice to see Kelsey’s name up there … it’s like the old days 🙂 🙂

    I love the garden sculpture chas

  176. Walcott down the middle!!!! Maybe in a two up front but never on his own ………

    Doesn’t work hard enough
    Get’s knocked off the ball
    Isn’t clever enough to deceive centre-backs
    Has poached a few goals by being in the right place but isn’t consistent enough

    Walcott and Sagna had a great understanding and I thought he and Hector could develop in the same way but sadly it’s only happened in flashes.

    Maybe it’s because Hector is so young but neither Theo nor The Ox seem to trust him.

    Shame really …….

    Sanchez loves playing with Ozil
    He now has a proper quick goal scoring CF in front of him

  177. graham says:

    A further word of advice for any talented player wishing to progress their career, stay well away from Arsene FC!!

  178. Rasp says:

    You could have turned the comment into a short post peaches, it sets the scene for Lacazette to slot into the team

  179. GoonerB says:

    morning all, sending over a (kind of ) post

  180. GoonerB says:

    The thingy I sent is not about Lacazette but more about what happens if Sanchez goes. It is about the forward areas though so should spark some chat about Lacazette.

  181. GoonerB says:

    There you go again Graham, having me agree with some of the things you say. I just wish I didn’t have a mental image of Frank Rottweiler when I read your comments 🙂

    I actually agree that Theo should have been given a go down the centre. He kind of was given a go at the end of the 14-15 season and the start of the 15-16 season. He started in a couple of games and the F.A cup when we beat Villa.

    He actually showed some aptitude for playing up top. The start of the following season he was putting in quite a few impressive performances up top and it seemed he had become 1st choice over Ollie, until injury cut it short.

    The thing is when he returned from injury AW never played him there again and favoured Ollie shunting Theo wide again. We were top of the league at that time (around x-mas) but then went on a bad run with Ollie not scoring for maybe 10 games but still getting the nod.

    With Theo looking pretty decent up top prior to injury that is a chain of events I will never understand from AW.

  182. Thanks GoonerB ……. on it

  183. There’s a New Post everyone ………………….

  184. Rasp says:

    Morning GB, I’m afraid I can’t agree about Theo. It’s not simply that he’s completely lacking defensively … that he has very few tricks … that his close control is poor .. that he is a passenger for large parts of the game …. my main problem is that he is seriously lacking in the testicle department.

    I don’t want to keep banging on about this …. but … he was captain, we’d just lost to a team we should have beaten (given the quality of players on both sides), and in his interview after the match he said .. “we knew after 10 minutes they were more up for it than us” … that is so wrong on so many levels.

  185. graham says:

    Good afternoon Peaches gooner: TW has just had the life sucked out of him! Remember, Arshavin? Your take on Walcott can be said of many Arsenal players over the past decade. When your psychologically demotivated, your confidence is drained. The only player I’ve seen put in consistent shifts over the past few seasons is the one that wants to get away!! Interesting, our only born winner!!!!

    Yet more crap from Graham!

  186. graham says:

    Rasp: Walcott should never have been made captain in the first place, but what does that say about Wenger? As I said, Walcott has been demotivated for far too long. A manager who is unable to read body language and act accordingly is, as previously highlighted, NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE!. I don’t know of anyone who wasn’t bewildered when he led the team out against Palace. Maybe it was Wenger’s delusional way of showing us all that he was in control, no matter what!

    My goodness GoonerB, do we actually agree on something. Yep, I am, with regards our manager, like a dog on a bone that will just not let go! Your right,, Wenger mucked around with Walcott so much, he didn’t know whether he was coming or going.

    Going now to finish erecting fence in back garden that I started putting up two weeks back. Don’t worry folks, won’t test it by SITTING ON IT!! Not my way of doing things. Of course, you all knew that anyway!

    Have a great evening everyone and welcome Mr Lacazette.

    Graham Crap(Getting to like it!)

  187. […] via Arsene’s fantastic Vision of Beautiful Football — […]

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