Arsenal Arsenal’s Future

June 11, 2019

I have written 735 posts for AA.

This could be the last, it depends upon you.

The fact of the matter is that Chas and I have kept this fine blog running for a few years now and we are both feeling the strain. I need to stress that the following is my viewpoint and not Chas’s, but I think he is likely to agree.

When AA started, many moons ago, there were a group of bloggers who chose to write an unbiased blog which allowed Gooners to express their opinion without fear of threats, bullying, abuse or profanity. Through a weeding out process and the banning of a number of bloggers (most of whom can be found on AFCTV or Le Grove) we created a great blog, a blog where no-one has ever earned a single penny. It is a labour of love

But …

Slowly but surely the founders of the blog stopped contributing.  Others got bored, and sadly, one passed. Finally, it was just chas and I.

We put many hours into the blog, Fortunately, this season we have been helped by some fine posts from LBG and, in particular, GN5, but we still have to format, add pics and a header, write tags and categories and then publish. Neither Chas nor myself are willing to continue to do this.

In essence without more input from you, the reader and commentor, the blog will close. These are the options:-

1. We close the blog for summer. Start again at the start of the season and operate on one or two posts a week,

2. Through summer we have one post a week and try for more in August.

3. Some of you get involved and help us run the blog. We can give you access to the AA WordPress account and publish posts yourself.

4. We, as a group, move to another blog. Perhaps TA’s Bergkampesque (I haven’t asked him!) or another Arsenal blog which we agree upon.

5. We close the blog and say Goodbye to each other.

There have been bloggers who have been with us for many years and written thousands of comments, you know who you are ,and it would be sad to lose the camaraderie which AA has built all over the world but everything dies and perhaps it is time for AA to move to the Great Blog Heaven in the Sky.

It is up to you. Are you prepared to commit to helping run the blog (GN5 has already offered his assistance), not for a day or two but for the season?

Blogging has added much to my life, I am an ex-pat Gooner and have no outlet to discuss my passion but I recognise that the numbers who blog has diminished enormously – we are running at less than 20% of the viewers we had a few years ago though we still attract more than Barnet do for a home game.

This post will stay up for a few days so as many as possible can give their opinion, then we will make a decision as to the future.

Up the Gunners

BR

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Semi-Final beckons. Can we? Will we?

April 12, 2018

4-1 up, it can’t go wrong, can it? Given the results over the past two days anything can happen and with Mustafi in his current form we have to be concerned.

It may be unfair to spotlight one player in what has been an awful season for us at the back (43 PL goals conceded so far) but Mustafi’s inconsistencies are hardly of benefit to the confidence of the others. Take the S’ton game, both goals came directly from his shilly-shallying (now there’s a word!).

So what should we do? Drop him for Chambers? Probably not. Should AW select a team to PTB or play a normal attacking game? Will he include Elneny as an extra defender in place of the attacking Miki or give Iwobi a run? My guess is he will err on the side of caution.

We saw that CSKA Moskva are limited in their defensive abilities themselves with us carving out chance after chance at the Emirates. I expect us to score and then the tie is done but what if we don’t? Can the team keep a pacy Russian attack at bay? It is questionable.

My Team:

Cech

Koscielny   Mustafi    Monreal

Bellerin   Ramsey    Elneny    Kolasinac

Ozil      Welbeck

Lacazette

Jack has to be benched in a match of importance and with his form at such a low ebb. Kolasinac is the better defender and more likely to add some steel.

The first half of the home tie (which thanks to Chas and Peaches I was able to attend), was the best we have played in many a moon, the ingenuity, pace and sheer verve of the performance gave rise to hopes that next season could be so much better.

I expect CSKA to be very aggressive in an attempt to unseat our brave boys; they will have to start fast and stop our passing through midfield. Ramsey etc will need shin and calf and ankle pads. A strong, unbiased referee, please.

Concede early and the nerves will kick in, score early and the tie is over. I know what we all want.

COYRRG


To read or not to read – To blog or not to blog?

February 10, 2011

Written by CarlitoII

Fabrication. Bending the truth. Saying that which is not true. Lying. Fantasising. Add to this any number of adjectives that sum up what a football supporter has to put up with in the course of feeding his obsession. It is increasingly difficult to know what to believe. Does anyone really care about the truth?

A good story, as they say, has legs. But the “Fabregas to Barcelona” story of last summer was the most Godzilla-sized millipede ever witnessed. Similarly, the “Cesc disparages ref” story last week was a ridiculously nimble crustacean whereas the astonishing refereeing displayed by the same defamed ref was eel-like in its lack of limbs.

Never let a fact get in the way of a good story, it is said. The yards of column inches in our tabloid press devoted to “definite rumours” of Arsenal signings each transfer window demonstrate this perfectly. I will call out the free gossip rag on the tube for some of the more heinous examples but there are also a number of websites that seem to get a lot of coverage for breaking the ninth commandment as their stock in trade.

And herein lies the rub! We click on these websites or pick up these papers for the promise of the headline, the excitement of the story or the controversy of the author’s standpoint. These actions earn the “news” outlet their money – newspaper circulation and page clicks online attract advertising revenue. A worthy article saying that Mason had written nothing in his match report about any comments from Cesc might get a trickle of Gooners reading it but nothing like the avalanche of eejits who clicked on the “Cesc Ref Rant” headline.

But I can’t stop reading these lies, damned lies and transfer rumours. I want to know everything that’s going on with my club and have had to develop a “nonsense filter”. But now there are blogs (I know they’ve been here for a while but I’m new!) and twitter and facebook groups full of conjecture, speculation and supposition. How good is my filter now?

I have seen it argued recently that blogging is replacing journalism as a true conduit for news rather than rehashed press-statements. I find it hard to disagree that the overall standard of journalism has become sloppier, less investigative and less critical of the powers that be. I also think that in these times when anyone can cast aspersions on a man’s character, the paid journalists have a role to play in protecting the integrity of the information out there and not just picking up every rumour started in cyberspace.

Two articles recently have irked me. One claimed that Wenger was so thrifty because he was financially incentivised to make a profit on transfers. The other claimed that Rosicky was involved in deliberately throwing the Newcastle match. If either of these allegations appeared in a national newspaper they would expect to hear from the club’s lawyers but a website written by an anonymous author with an IP address outside the EU will probably be ignored. Yet some people will believe what they read, wherever they read it.

It obviously doesn’t help when managers deliberately obfuscate the truth, trying to send messages to future opponents, rivals in the transfer market, share holders etc. The number of wailing tweets I see complaining that “Wenger lied” just goes to show how powerful each written word is in fomenting opinion about anyone in the public eye. One of the dangers is the ‘witch-hunting’ tendency of the media to blame everything on foreigners, as has been much discussed on this forum lately.

I was going to end this piece by trying to decide whether it’s better to switch off the antenna that bring me this surplus of distortion and deception? Should I just get my Arsenal fix from arsenal.com, a reputable broadsheet and this fantastic forum of mainly sane people? I was going to ask whether the blogging community serves its purpose unless followed through with scrupulous attention to facts? But in both cases, I think I know the answer! You can fool some Gooners all of the time and all Gooners some of the time. But you can’t fool all Gooners all of the time!