Arsenal and United fans clash – An interview with The Republik of Mancunia

Scott the Red from The Republik of Mancunia interviewed me over the weekend about my thoughts on the Arsenal v Manchester United game.

You can read a transcript of that interview below or view the article in it’s original form here.

Thanks to Scott for a really good set of questions.

* * *

Andrew Weber, from the popular Gunner blog, Arsenal FC Blog, has been big enough to have a quick chat with me following our 3-1 victory over them on Sunday.

Scott the Red: At the start of the season, did you think winning the league would be beyond United in light of Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure?

Andrew Weber: No, I didn’t. My prediction at the start of the season was that Arsenal and Manchester United would be up in the two spots with Chelsea third and Liverpool out of the Champions League places. I haven’t been far off, I have to say. United are always a threat for the league because they have a smart manager and a winning mentality. Most teams in England are still scared of them because of their recent history and it means they will generally get enough points to hover around the top, even if they lose the big games.

STR: We haven’t been brilliant in many of the big league games this year, losing away to both Liverpool and Chelsea, despite playing well against the latter. But our win over your lot this weekend was definitely our best performance in a big Premiership game this season. But why didn’t Wenger learn from the mistakes of last year’s CL semi?

AW: The game against United at Old Trafford earlier in this season suggested he had learnt his lesson. He played a possession game, we were far more secure at the back and only the most one-eyed United fans would say they deserved more than a draw out of that game. Why he decided to play an all-out attacking game at The Emirates is beyond me. It played to your strengths and meant that even with a lesser team than last season you were able to exploit our weaknesses.

STR: Over the past few years we’ve seen United get the results when they’ve mattered against Arsenal. There was the 4-0 in the FA Cup, our 2-1 towards the end of the 07-08 season, the Champions League semis last season, the point that won us the Premiership last season and now Sunday. Do you think Arsenal are missing big characters that would help you in these games?

AW: To be honest, I don’t feel we are. Cesc, Arshavin, Vermaelen, Song, van Persie and Bendtner are all players that I would consider big characters. They have more heart, soul and drive than a lot of our players have had inprevious seasons. They are the reason we’ve been able to grind out results and get near the top of the table despite a fairly horrid injury crisis. At the moment we are being let down by a small minority – Denilson and Almunia are struggling for confidence, Clichy is in a bit of a slump and if you have a couple of players underperforming it makes it hard to win the big games.

STR: I imagine Wenger brought Sol Campbell back to give you an old head at the back. You were “delighted” when Silvestre signed for the same reason, saying “He ticks all the right boxes – experienced, a Premiership player, a proven winner and of course French.” Are you as confident about Campbell, despite Silvestre’s lacking impact?

AW: I think Sol is a good signing. He appears psychologically revitalized since his break from the game and that is probably the most important thing. His opening two performances have been good and I wouldn’t have a problem with him playing a number of games before the end of the season. His pace isn’t great but if he plays alongside Gallas or Vermaelen, whoare both quite quick, it’s not too much of a problem.

STR: He hardly played a blinder in your FA Cup exit at the hands of Stoke. Regardless, I imagine the more important issue is hanging on to your best players rather than bringing in new faces. How long do you think you can hang on to Fabregas before he leaves for Barcelona?

AW: I really don’t think it’s as cut and dry as the media makes out. He is the Arsenal captain, a player who loves the club and will be around for awhile yet. I don’t think he would go anywhere until 26 or 27 if he does but if Arsenal are winning trophies by that point – which I suspect they will be – then he may not leave at all.

STR: Honestly, I think you are kidding yourself. There’s no doubt he feels a lot for the club, but you have to understand that Barcelona will always mean more to him. If you win things again, he can leave knowing that he has contributed to your success, and if you don’t win things, he can cite that as the reason for leaving. But with all the hype surrounding him, do you think he has been Arsenal’s best performer this season?

AW: You could pick any one of Song, Vermaelen or Fabregas. It feels like every single time I write a match report I make mention of how well that trio play. We’re still conceding goals at the back but Vermaelen’s no-nonsense approach has improved our defence, Song has provided us with a player whois able to assert himself physically in the midfield while Fabregas hashad his most productive season yet. The fans will surely vote Fabregas as the best but at this point in time Song would get my vote.

STR: You’ve told us about your great players, but which of ours do you think would get in to Arsenal’s starting XI?

AW: Evra and Rooney for sure. Vidic would be an amazing partner for Vermaelen. Whichever goalkeeper you want to give us! In midfield Fletcher would probably be a good addition alongside Cesc and Song while up front van Persie, Arshavin and Rooney would be my pick. I’ve picked five United and six Arsenal there so we must still be better team!

STR: Course you are. With this better team, fancy doing us a favour this weekend against Chelsea?

Of course – history proves it is possible. We won 2-1 last season at Stamford Bridge and we can do it again. The main thing is that we get our passing into a groove, don’t push forward too recklessly and a few of our big players fire. Bendtner will surely be starting too and although he polarizes opinion, my view on him is that he is a very dangerous player who will prove that if given a good run in the side.

STR: You’ve had to play United and Chelsea in one week, but who do you think will win the league?

AW: You could really pick any of the top three at this stage, although the argument for Arsenal has probably weakened since the weekend. As I said before, United will always pick up points because of their character while Chelsea appear to be the best group of players in the Premiership. At this stage if I had to stick my nose out I’d probably say Chelsea out of the two of you, yet it could all change very quickly. In terms of Arsenal, things are certainly not over. If we get a result against Chelsea and are within 5 or 6 points of the top of the table after the Liverpool game then we stand a good chance. Our run-in is ridiculously easy compared to United and Chelsea and our recent run of results, prior to the weekend, shows we have the squad capable of putting a good run together. Bendtner will be back, reports are van Persie will be back in March and we will finish strongly.

STR: You’d drawn two of the past four in the run up to playing United but you’re right, things do change very quickly in the league. But if Arsenal are trophyless again this season, how long will Wenger have? It’s hard to believe that the last time you won a trophy was when we were robbed in the 2005 FA Cup final. It feels like forever ago though, given that we have won three league titles, the European Cup and two League Cups since then. It is interesting to note that since winning his first trophy in 1990, Fergie hasn’t ever gone longer than one season without winning something. How many seasons will Wenger get?

AW: The thing about Wenger – which I think United fans would understand abovemany others – is that his impact cannot really be measured simply by trophies. Sure, we want to win. Sure, we don’t want to be a feeder club or just a club that is worried about finances or blooding young players. But in a long-term way that is what the club and Wenger have decided to do and the fans must be patient with him to ensure he gets sufficient time to see his plan come to fruition. For me it’s not really about trophies, it’s about developing squads of players to their peak every three or so years and having a really good run at the title. That was what was so disappointing about last season. We were so close to the league in 2007/08 that to see us lose key players and basically have a year of no progress last season was disappointing. If we’d hung on to Flamini and Adebayor hadn’t had his head turned then we would have had a chance. As it is this season is pretty much what I expected last season and perhaps the next one will be our best shot at the league.

Have your say on the interview with Scott by leaving a comment.



  1. STR: I suppose that has to be the worry for Wenger. He will keep bringing through talented players, only for them to leave for a bigger a club/a club which provides them with a greater chance of winning something. But at least you’re not massively in debt eh?

  2. Just learnt that Weber n Wenger share an abbreviation AW…lol No wonder you back him up even wen he says he is not buying!!!!

  3. @ Mark – Scott didn’t actually ask that question, he tagged it on the end of his article. As such I didn’t feel it was appropriate for this blog because I didn’t get to address it.

  4. Andrew weber,you sound more like arsene wenger,You are seriously delusional if you think we will get a result next sunday,please wake up,the season is over for us move on.

  5. Ace – you’re exactly the sort of fan Arsenal could do without. Such pessimism will only promote a losing mentality.

  6. @ darragh,
    yeah,cos our collective positivity was really promoting wins…..the last time i felt so many fans up for a utd game was the champs league semi where we were left dissapointed aswel,there are plenty of positive gunners out there…im not sure the manager deserves them

  7. I’m sorry but I think there is a severe lack of perspective out there. I too feel uterly depressed about Sunday and that some questions need to be asked but asking for Wengers head is not the answer. Answer me this, who would be better out there? Hiddink or Mourinho? They don’t compare when you think of Arsenal up until 5 years ago. We are improving (despite the games against Chelsea and Man Utd) and Wenger knows that the likes of Almunia, Denilson etc. are not good enough.

    Only 30m was spent in the last transfer window…no-one bought!! We are not far off having a world class team and with the right purchases in the summer who knows…. I know its another year of hurt but given the titles and identity Wenger has given this club we owe him another season at least!

  8. The reason we are where we are is largely down to Wenger. Credit due. But the reason why we are likely to stay here is also because of Wenger.

    The big difference on Sunday was the fact that Ferguson’s team was an embodiment of his personal traits. Strong, arrogant, up for a fight and not bowing to anyone under any circumstances. Wengers team, sadly for us gooners, also embodies his personal traits. Too patient, not facing up to obvious challenges and away too easily upset.

    Our team and Wengers legacy is fast approaching a crossroads. Does he instil the mental attitude in his players that they need to kick on towards a title or do we play more of the waiting game in the hope that Liverpool and United don’t re-group after financial difficulties and regain a foothold at the top of the Premier League tree.

    Fiscal sensibility has kept Arsenal FC plc on a very steady footing and that is all very nice for the big business men who are involved to turn a buck, but eventually they will have to give the paying Emirates faithful something in return for their emotional, time consuming and monetary investment. The only currency they will soon be willing to accept is cold hard silverware.This in turn has given Wenger an obvious get out of jail card to bring his playing squad up to scratch. The very same money he has been minding to keep one set of masters happy is just what is required to satisfy the other set of masters.

    One finds it hard to believe that in the next week Denilson will raise his standards to join Song and to a lesser extent Diaby as acceptable Arsenal midfielders. Of course Fabregas, Nasri and Arshavin are already there but we need more and the quickest and surest way out is to get out the cheque book. If Arsenal, as a club, don’t stride forward soon they will have missed a boat of opportunity now that the two traditional super powers in English football are ironically beginning to sink into the very trap Wenger has spent so long trying to avoid.

    In the more short-term I don’t thinking losing yesterday is a complete disaster as such. If we can come away with something at Stamford Bridge and beat a suspect Liverpool team, both of which are possible, then we are worst case scenario 8 points adrift with United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Aston Villa all out of the way while they must all still play each other. Chelsea and United will drop points between now and May. The question is will we be there to take advantage.

    Whats that they say about falling off a horse.

  9. Weber, only a spoilt aussie mug like you would do an interview with that scum. They are laughing at Arsenal support cos of prinks like you.
    Stay down under

  10. Tekla – I largely agree with you and as Wrighty’s blog said lets judge Wenger in May not February.

    I hope that I am wrong and we win something this season or that Wenger also sees sense in the summer and spends…wisely not tightly. If we do not soon then the stadium will start to empty.

  11. Yes Sunday 31 January was the end of the world. We lost a home game against Manchester United with 1 goal against 3. The result made me sleep bad and again I was thinking: what if. And yes it did hurt me deep that defeat and I really didn’t think it was that deserved but I will try to analyze that.

    Let’s start with the game. The first half our until Nani missed his cross, I will never believe he did it to score, we had more possession and were rather in control and had some good chances which we didn’t take. I know football is about taking your chances but these things can happen sometimes.

    Sometimes the ball flies in from the goal line from an impossible angle and on the other side the ball always hits someone or a shot goes wide as you were sure we would score.

    In such a game the first goal is vital and if we would have scored we would have won. Now they did score and for some reason a part of the team panicked and we ran out of position and gave them the second goal on a plate.

    If we would have stayed calmer in those first minutes after the first goal we would have come back. But we committed ourselves too much and too early and paid the price.

    United could play their favourite game on the counter and a for a few players the two goals in quick concession was a mental blow. They tried but maybe we didn’t believe in ourselves until our goal but then we had, again, made a terrible mistake by letting them score their second on yet another counter.

    So yes we paid the price for the fact we ran out of position against one of the best teams in the league. And we lost 3 points. If I should believe some blogs we lost 30 points in this game.

    But let us sit back and look at how a season goes sometimes. Last year in March Liverpool went to United and won 1-4. I know how the rivalry is between those two teams and apart from losing to City this is the game they never want to lose. But they did and they were well beaten with an even bigger score line then our defeat.

    And what did the MU fans do? They went into hiding, had a bad taste in their mouth, and felt miserable for a few days. But I really don’t think they asked the head of Ferguson or one of their players. No they got behind the team in those difficult days and supported them and let them feel they still believed in them.

    They knew that they had lost a battle but the war was still going on and they had only lost 3 points. Nothing more, nothing less. And at the end of the season, just 2 months later they were the champions and the humiliation against Liverpool was a long forgotten memory.

    So shit happens sometimes and Sunday was a shit day for us, but if you step in to a dog shit on the street, you swear a bit, and then you have 2 options. Either you clean it up and carry on or you could go and sit in a corner ask for the prime minister to resign as he was clearly incompetent to deal with dog shit in the streets. Once again these things happen sometimes and it is all part of the game and part of being a fan.

    The next day on the internet you could see what one could see coming if one understand the way the brains of the D and G brigade works. Of course the D and G brigade was asking for the sacking of everyone involved .

    Wenger had to be sacked and all the team had to be sold or even given away to the spuds, the board had to replaced by some craze billionaire who would spent billions of money and buy all the shining superstars of the world at any cost. The only player who didn’t have to be given away was Cesc but according to them he is off to Barcelona anyway now. Pat Rice had to be given the empty (I read the book Making The Arsenal), the ground staff had to go, the ball boys had to go. If we would let the D&G brigade do we wouldn’t have a team to play on Sunday.

    We would be like Chelsea in 1905 (sorry I’m on your territory again Tony), who in fact had a Football League club but no players, no officials, no staff, and no support.

    When I see those things on the internet I really don’t know what is the worst thing: losing against MU with 1-3 or seeing all those so called fans asking the sacking of everyone involved ?

    Yes I usually don’t sleep after a defeat and relive the game over and over again in my head. Yes it saddens me deeply to see our team lose but please keep some perspective on the facts. Like I said last year United had the same with the defeat against Liverpool. Those things happen to everyone at times.

    The fixture list is difficult for us for the moment. We have still a fair number of important players out, the ones that have come back after months on the side line are not completely ready to compete at the highest level and we have some players that had to play so many games they are a bit tired.

    And don’t forget players like Arshavin who are playing with pain every game but as we are short they play and others had to be prepared to play like Vermaelen. And in that period we have to play 4 top teams in a row. So even if we only get 5 or 6 points from those games then nothing is lost.

    The other top teams have to play each other and in those games one or even the two teams will lose points. And then comes our moment. We then have to be ready and take all the points against the lower placed teams. This also will not be easy but WE can help our team, WE can help our players. Instead of asking all the players to be given away to the spuds – no real Arsenal fan can say such a thing I think – we should say: okay, bad day at the office but we are still behind you. Come on you Gunners we support you.

    I once wrote some lyrics of what it means to me being a Gooner and somewhere in there I say something about losing a game, a thing that belongs to football like the ball, and I just want to share it with you:

    And if defeat hurts us so bad, on a rare and seldom day

    We will not desert you, our Gunners in arms.

  12. @darragh, webber and all the other bubbleheaded arsene worshipers as i have said before you guys are doing serious damage to the club. Does not common sense tell you that agreeing with Arsene’s every word is making it easierfor him to stay, the man has had 5 going on 6 years to get a team capable of winning stuff which for most managers would be enough he has entered 24 competions in that time and has not won any and all i hear from you guys is that he should be given another chance, what a joke you fuckers are.

  13. I have lost the faith. I now no longer believe that Arsenal can win the league this season. Sunday has sent me into a pit of despair so large that I struggle to think of what possible, rational course of action there is left to take…

    Oh! I know! Let’s sack the manager, the board, sell all of our players and burn the stadium down in protest at the single greatest injustice Western civilization has ever seen!

    Jesus wept! What is this? The annual Geordies’ and Scousers’ whinge at why they deserve to win everything because they’re so special? Frankly, I’m disgusted at commentators such as Christian Alibert (Taxi For Wenger).

    So, Arsène’s unfit to live and should be sent to Siberia by close of business tomorrow? Damn right he should – and while we’re at it, let’s get Rafa Benitez in to sort out this mess we’re in. After all, he knows how to spunk money up the walls, which is clearly the answer to all of our problems. £20m is a bargain for a player of Aquilani’s standard. For that matter, what about ‘arry? Alright, he’s got a murky past when it comes to wheeling and dealing, but at least he knows his way around a bunch of used fivers, no questions asked. Oh, and Roberto Mancini! Who can forget his master-stroke at signing Paddy V to a £150,000/week contract when he’s over the hill and injured? Quality stuff. Wenger’s put to shame by purchases such as Vermaelen and Arshavin; they’re simply awful and not fit to wear the shirt – done nothing all season, the pair of them.

    The League Cup: that Holy Grail of footballing excellence before which we all prostrate ourselves because we are not worthy. You know, it’s never done anything for the club. Not a jot. In fact, one of the worst matches I ever saw was in the League Cup – Arsenal vs. Rotherham. Not one of those players ever did anything with himself after that. Definitely not that scraggly little lispy Spanish tosser whose name I forget… something like ‘Fabregash’ – anyway, it doesn’t matter ‘cause we haven’t heard of him since, the poxy no-hoper.

    And how dare Wenger run the club on a sound financial keel? What does he know? Personally, I’d love to be hundreds of millions in debt with no way of paying it back, just like Utd and the Hoof are. Did you know that Utd may have to sell Old Trafford just to stay afloat? No? Well, it’s a small matter anyway. Let’s just forget small details like that and pray for the day that our saviour, Usmanov the ex-prison bird, comes in to be our sugar-daddy, just like Chelski and City have! God, I truly cannot wait for the day when we are more like Chelsea in every way – including having f**k all future if a certain Russian decides to pull the plug.

    As to the players, this is a criticism to respond to seriously. Wenger has always had one major blind spot: goalkeepers. We all know Manuel is not good enough. Full stop. As for the others, well, who can ignore Song’s progress to being one of the best midfielders around? A year or two ago however, I suspect that many of the current critics were calling for him to be shipped out. Denilson has showed some class at times, but in recent matches has fallen off the pace. Why this is we do not know – but perhaps there is behind-the-scenes stuff going on with him. Let us wait and see. Clichy? Well, we’ve got a great replacement for him, but he’s in with the physio for the rest of the season. This is clearly Wenger’s fault! As to not having bought ‘a world-class striker’, well, we do have one; RVP. Sad thing is that he’s been out for virtually the entire season with torn ligaments – but, of course, that’s Wenger’s fault. But we should have bought a £30m striker in January – they’re easy enough to find as a short-term solution. Did anyone else notice the dearth of major signings? Perhaps the old guy is onto something when he says that there’s not much money around at the moment…

    Ah, the Cup. I love it. As an Englishman, I am attached to it at the hip. If it were up to me, we’d go for it all guns blazing every season. But it’s not up to me: it’s up to one of the most proven managers in the world who has the club’s best interests at heart. Our club’s best interests at heart. He has turned this club from a good English side into a European powerhouse. So he might have slipped up? He’s human then. Lest we forget, we were 1-1 with 15 mins to go. Had that all turned out ok, no-one would have said a thing.

    To all those calling for a taxi for Wenger, shut up, f**k off, and go and support United – after all, they beat us at the weekend, so that means you’ve a better band-wagon to jump onto now.

    In God I trust, and I hope you do too.

  14. Just give the green light Andrew I’m ready to pound Scott (clenches knuckle duster fists). It’ll be over before you can say ‘we are the champions’. 😛

    I take my hats off to you for answering the questions, I would just ddos republik of manU blog. Seriously though there are some things that we could learn from other teams in the league even the lower tiers.

    Oh its Walter again, your trying to challenge Shambo for the longest paragraph contest? hehe. Sup Shambo, I don’t think Cesc would leave unless Arsene sells him. Arsene is ruthless when selling players not so when buying but who cares right. I could see Arshavin leaving though, such a pity he was forging a good partnership with RVP. Lets all recover and look forward to Chelsea, Come On we support Arsenal, why we behaving like spurs fans.

  15. Dear Walter,

    Thank you for putting into words what so many of us have felt. It was a joy to read. Bravo!

    I hope the more reasonable Arsenal blogs post a link to this article.
    And I really hope this article somehow reaches AW’s eyes.

    to be honest i don’t recall Ferguson speaking ill of individual players ever. And I wonder what is worse – Man U being beaten by Burnley or Arsenal being beaten by Man U.

    I don’t agree with the Lightweight Denilson story either. The fact is that Denilson, like Gilberto before him, is a type of player you don’t find in England, and rarely in Europe. Both played in a very different way from other midfielders, with an extraordinary ability to know where the ball will be after the next bounce, rather than how to tackle.

    I recall that Song was hounded by our “supporters” and nearly left the club – now he is adored. Wenger was criticised for ever playing Song, who was not fit to wear the shirt, now without even blinking those same supporters say how wonderful he is.

    And what of our recent results. I can’t recall the exact number but it is something like Played 11, Won 7, Drawn 3, Lost 1. Some people think that is the right time to sack the playing staff and the manager. To me, it is not.

  16. Rational analysis walter.. I was so annoyed i deleted my fm10 and some of my arsenal clips. truth be told, by May we should be able to rationally judge this team, till then all we can offer is our support.. Gunners 4 life..

  17. its actually getting a bit ridiculous some of the comments defending denilson and the manager….i dont want the manager gone but for christsakes hes starting to take the piss out of the paying fan, and as for denilson your wel off,you can list his attributes,and from the look of it make up some aswel,but unless you go out with honesty of effort and work rate your not gonna hav an impact in this league……i said months ago his jogging back is infuriating when you wer all shouting about his stats,hes no drive
    another thing im sick of hearing lads counter argument for us not spending including other teams debt,who cares where utd,chels,pool and city will be in years,i only care about arsenal.before we sold ade and toure we were told we had 30m to spend,shareholders themselves wer up in arms over wengers refusal to strengthen at a club meeting a while ago….yet you fools still come on here sayin were watchin our money and in 5 years wel still be the soundest team in the league….thats cool,but wel also be fifth or sixth….get off the fence and look at the real picture,shower of yes men…your hurting the club as much as wengers stubborn reluctance to admit some players are not good enough.
    the defeat hurt on sunday but reading some of the stuff being thrown around since is worse….

  18. why wait til may?????????????
    why not wait till 2015….that will give us an even broader view of how wev progressed in 10 years without a trophy….clowns!
    as the utd fan above stated in that interview ‘wev won 3 league titles,1 european cup and 2 league cups since your last trophy when you robbed us in the fa cup’…….he didnt even mention their world club title, thats 7 trophies theyv won since we last won ONE and their in the hunt for the league,CL and in a league cup final again
    wots that you say?? ‘go support utd then shambo!’……because i state the facts…..heres another one…..wenger got a monopoly game when he was seven,still has it,he never even opened it……that monopoly money will be worth a fortune in 4 years…..youll see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Good read Andy and I almost completely agree with what you said. That ‘scott the red’ bloke is a smug little c**t though

  20. I didn’t necessarily fully agree with your analysis on Sunday’s match, but I do give full ratings on proudly & respectfully answering the questions put to you that oozed such smarm and arrogance as to only confirm the commonly held view of Utd Supporters.

    Utter ****s

    I don’t think I would have done the interview
    Props for you though
    Gunner Till I Die!!

  21. Lucky you Anti-wengerites didn’t grow up in the sixties and seventies when there was a 20 year wait between first division honours.

    Get some perspective – losing to United sucked, everyone agreed, but it doesn’t mean we’ve thrown the chance away. Hypothetically, come Sunday, if Arsenal beat Chelsea, you downers would be singing Wengers praises.

    Alternatively, if you don’t like Wenger, how about you go support another recent trophy-winning club – Portsmouth.

  22. Whoa, what an emotional torrent today! I guess I feel better knowing it’s not just me.
    Look, if we beat Chelsea all may yet be well. If, on the other hand we lose 3-1 again nothing will calm the tirade.
    Winning is the standard that all supporters hold their teams and their coaches by. Perhaps it’s harsh but I think fair.
    Mr. Wenger and co.must win something and soon or leave town.

  23. I’ve read his blog occasionally. All the United supporters I know are like that. It’s somewhat tongue in cheek, but their success really has gone to the heads. I’d be as mad as a rat if Arsenal were winning all those trophies.

  24. evening chaps,bit busy yesterday couldn,t post but here i am today, @ walter you say utd fans didnt call for fergie,s head after the liverpool game last season i dont see a comparison as they have won numerous trophies over the last 4/5 seasons and we,ve won what?? i,m sick and tired of seeing this “IN ARSENE WE TRUST” because at this moment in time i dont trust him one bit, there are people out there who seem to think wenger is the be all and end all for arsenal well sorry to piss on your parade but arsenal fc was around before wenger arrived and will be long after he leaves.arsene wenger has gone on a personal quest to fullfill his ideological version of team building and by doing that he has sacrificed buying proven talent(with the exception of aa) whilst i fully appreciate all he has done for the club its time to stop living in the past. utd came to the emirates last season with the soon to be world player of the year and their 1st choice cbs ferd/vidic and played us off the park,this season they put out the worst utd team in years and still wiped the floor with us so where,s the improvement and has our manager learnt from last season??we give up 2 competitions every season the cc and fa cup which would be acceptable if we were winning trophies on a regular basis,we dont defend as a unit thats why we concede so many goals and the reality is we are still way behind chelski and utd and soon to be caught by pool,shity,villa and them lot down the road if something isn,t done asap. wenger needs to change his approach and fast i dont want to see almunia or denilson in an arsenal shirt EVER AGAIN.cesc needs to do whats best for his career and it wouldn,t suprise me in the slightest if he,s on the first flight to catalunya as soon as the season finishes,the man is a top player who wants to win trophies which seems very unlikely for the foreseeable future at arsenal if that happens wenger only has himself to blame. it hurts to lose to utd or chelski anytime but to see our beloved team humilated on our own turf for the 2nd season running ,well thats a step to far…..

  25. @georgetown,
    totally agree with you mate,well said…..where would we be without cescs goals and contribution????mid table is where…..if we beat chelsea by ten goals sunday it still wont change the fact that we were mauled by them and utd at home this season and that the managers gameplan is flawed.AW said we wud hav to win our home games this season didnt he?
    im a fan since i was 5 and their have only been two signings made where you knew wot the guy was capable of and that as fans cud get really excited about….bergkamp and arsha,sure you can point to thierry,overmars,paddy,etc but im talkin bout the finished product not gambles,you can also point to stepanovs,jeffers,reyes as flops but dont you think its time the fans got a torres or rooney???
    you can talk all day about value but other managers are as good,martin o neill has been a revelation with his signings at villa,spuds got krankjaer for 2m and kaboul for 2.5,man city got given for a reported 5m,darren bent has proved a snip for sunderland,but you all think AW is the only one who gets bargains…..wot he is is the only one who wont trust his own judgement to get us a dzeko or villa and put us on par with utd and chelsea… many PL goals hav been scored by our strikers???il bet rooney has scored double on his own…….’wots that you say???’ ‘but our strikers were injured???’……..then why wernt they replaced

  26. Well, I’m not shocked at the Man U result but have any of you looked at the fixture lists for Arsenal, Many U and Chelsea on the run in? Arsenal will have played all the big boys (bar Man City if you can call them a big boy) after the Liverpool game.

    If somehow we can win against Chelsea, I think the title is up for grabs! Even a draw will sit well with us. Chelsea, Liverpool and Man U all still have to play each other on the run in.
    If indeed, as Andrew Webber puts it, Arsenal are playing better tactically against the ‘lesser’ clubs this season then we should be lining ourselves up nicely. Yes we can’t win against the big two at the moment (let’s see on Sunday) but what does that matter? There have been plenty of surprise results this season starting with Hull getting a draw today against Chelsea. There’s always going to be the Burnley 1-0 Man U results in and out.

    I say give it a month. And get your prayer mats out about the fitness of Vermaelen, Fab, Song and the Arse-shaver. AND, Van Persie is running again!

  27. I usually don’t mind criticism I get on the blog but today I have to say I’m both shocked and a little hurt.

    Apparently I’m “delusional”, a “spoilt aussie mug”, a “prick”, a “bubbledheaded arsene worshipper” and “a joke” – for answering questions about our club to a Manchester United supporter quite honestly.

    Can’t see how I how I’ve absent-mindedly followed Wenger or praised him for the weekend’s game, in fact I seriously criticised his approach and tactics during the game. But just because I haven’t lost perspective (if we beat Chelsea we’ll be 3/4 points off the top, if we draw then 6 points) I’m being called a Wenger Worshipper.

    The spite that has come out of one bad performance has been sickening. For me to get the criticism that I have is ridiculous and unfair.

  28. rooney 20
    defoe 15
    drogba 14, bent 14
    tevez 12, torres 12
    saha 11, CESC 11
    agbonlahor 10
    anelka 8
    thats the top 10 PL goalscorers…our little magician is the only midfielder up there,next is??????……arhavin with 7…the only two midfielders in the top 20 come from our club.
    imagine wot we cud achieve with the goals provided from any of the marksmen above….if your honest with yourselves youl also admit our other main goalsource RvP isnt a 20 a season man for numerous reasons,hes has contributed 7 and verm has chipped in with 7……we need a ruthless goalscorer even when everyone is fit
    next year barcelona will be the undisputed world champs…iniesta,fabregas,xavi,messi,ibrahimovic,henry
    and wel be down our leading goalscorer….wots to keep the guy here???the same empty promises were all taking in

  29. andy the dudes who wrote that crap wernt regular posters so i wouldnt lose any sleep mate…keep up the honest work,we appreciate it

  30. Chelsea is still choking against the small teams. We still have a chance of winning the title, but we have to get at least a point at stamford bridge first and stop defending like a bunch of ametures.

    @ Andy – those mugs who hurled insults at you are brainless, don’t worry yourself over them. They aren’t regulars anyway

  31. @ shambo – Firstly, thanks for the supportive comment. I realise that now.

    Secondly, you’ll notice that Manchester United have only one player in that list. He might be the man at the top but he’s obviously not getting TOO much support from the players around him, yet they’re still challenging for honours.

    If van Persie didn’t get injured he would be up near the top, no question. In fact, you can essentially add Arshavin’s 9 goals with van Persie’s 8 to have a proper representation of what the player playing in the strikers’ position is doing.

    Then you’d be looking at having one striker right near the top, a midfielder who is dominating and plenty of goals from the players around them.

    Goalscoring really isn’t our issue – you know that. We’ve scored plenty and we will continue to score plenty.

  32. @andy like shambo said those comment weren,t from real arsenal fans, the regular readers on the blog appreciate the fantastic work you put in to give the fans the oppourtinity to share out thoughts and feelings. keep doing what you do.

  33. hope your right andy but its alot to ask for so many goals to come from midfileld,but like you i hav great hope for nic
    nite all

  34. Well..I believe we can still win the League. There are plenty of games left and Both Chelsea and United are prone to drop points to weaker challengers. Chelsea dropped 2 point just today to Hull. So , be optimistic, it can still happen. I believe AW is a great manager, but he did make a tactical mistake against United, but like anyone else he’s entitled to a mistake. However, there is no denying that we are hurting for the Pure Striker position. Oh well, we missed the chance and we just need to move on. Generally, Chelsea have better overall quality than Arsenal, but with a little luck and no more injuries we do have a good chance. I would give Theo Walcot and Vela more chances to play, I think they can positively surprise us. One big problem other than the goal keeping is the poor quality of crossing from both right and left..its almost non-existent…and the corner kicks are poor too and again, there is no STRIKER to take advantage of them anyway!!

  35. “For me it’s not really about trophies, it’s about developing squads of players to their peak every three or so years and having a really good run at the title.”

    Not sure I can agree with you there AW. If we don’t judge Wenger on trophies, what do we judge him on? Finances? He isn’t paid to crunch numbers and feasibility of sustainability, he is here for trophies. Youth development? None of the players who played yesterday were at the club at 15, all have come in from other places.

    We need to put Wenger under pressure I am afraid. He is the coach, but he is not a God who must be trusted all the time. 5 years is way too long to win nothing, even a Carling Cup would do. Also we don’t play nice football, look how many touches our full backs get, more than Nasri in many games, always to Sagna for crosses, that sucks.

  36. I commented, that Arsenal needed a striker big time. Last season, RvP, Adebayor and Bendtner scored close to 65% of the teams goals. A striker is there to make the difference in games that are tight. As we have seen, in the tight games, who is going to consistently make the difference? If having no striker wasn’t so vital, Barcelona who create so many good midfielders wouldn’t break the bank to buy strikers. We need a striker, enough of Arshavin there, get a real striker, also looks very expensive selling Adebayor and not getting a replacement.

    Also, all good and well smashing Everton-Pompey-Hull for 4 goals or more, but when teams figure you out and stop you and take advantage of your defence, you will lose. Arsenal still can’t defend. What is bad, they never learn, Chelsea did it and they never learned. Interesting to see what they do on Sunday, they need to sit deep and keep the ball and defend intelligently, and forget about all out attack, this is chess not checkers.

  37. I agree that we are shocking at crosses and Fab is to blame as much as Sagna. Have you had a look at how bad Fab is a corners lately? Every one goes straight onto the head of the first defender. Even my 8 year old gets it to the back post.

    Anyway, I can’t complain too much about the boys. They do their best in the circumstances and other than the odd crap game here and there, they are trully brilliant!

  38. look we lost and it hurts but most of you guy are young and are in [we want it now generation] fine have a look at your self ,in debt for many a year, hoping for an inheritance well with Arsene there will be an inheritance an Arsenal club which is young and all levels of our teams play the same way which makes it easier to improve and step up to the first team.dominance has cycle’s m/u have been on a good run but its near over from the worlds riches to how knows maybe a Leeds financial we are on the up other clubs are copying our system because it is the way forward so be patient it will happen so just support the players and the manager we are on the right track you forget you have to sacrifice to get ahead

  39. Do you suppose the Chelski fans will be calling for Ancelottis head after failing to beat Hull and a not very good performance at that, cant believe that with our crap team we could be only 3 points behind them by sunday night. Just shows though how much better you can be if you spend the odd 200 nillion

  40. Do you suppose the Chelski fans will be calling for Ancelottis head after failing to beat Hull and a not very good performance at that, cant believe that with our crap team we could be only 3 points behind them by sunday night. Just shows though how much better you can be if you spend the odd 200 billion

  41. Good and bad comments.The defeat against manu very painful and made meet said and i know that is the way every true gooner should feel. But sincerely i still have lots of hope about our chances in the premiership this season, a couple of good runs will make us forget this manu defeat. Let support the players and the manager that is why we are called supporters.

  42. Wow!Such a torrent of abuse..Towards Wenger.Towards Andy even. Anyone taking a rational view is called all those things Andy. Some people get a boost to their own self esteem by abusing others.No worries. We all come here to read what you have to say.Appreciate your work.

    As for Wenger. Ya i was upset that he didn’t buy a striker in January. Striker might just have put one of the chances away in the Man U match.(maybe in the Villa game as well).And yes, its my right to criticise him. I invest time, money and above all emotion in supporting my team and expect something in return..evntually.

    To call for Wenger’s head isnt just over the top its stupid shit-stirring. Criticising without acknowledging all he’s done and is doing is just plain wrong. He basically has built not just this team but this club from scratch( I use that term loosely cos we have a proud history beyond wenger), he’s won us titles before and hopefully will again.(noone-not even mourinho-can provide a guarantee).He knows more about football than anyone here, he obviously cares about the club at least as much s we do, and he wants to win as much probably more. Only difference is, he’s willing to work towards it rather than demanding it as a right n throwing a tantrum if it doesnt happen.

    We aren’t even out of the title race this year. Losing to United stung badly but it’s how we come back that matters. (For all the ManU lovers-Even Ferguson says that) Of course we could all give up and blame the manager and the players. But we are fans. We must support them and believe even when we find it hard to.

    Ultimately it’ll be up to the team to prove worthy of that support, but that time will be in May.Not now. Get behind them. We still have a chance!

  43. I think you have to look at the big picture. The fans from 95% of the clubs in England would give their left testicle for their club to have the results Arsenal have had in the last 5 years. Are we forgetting how well the club has done in the Champions League in recent history? How Arsenal is one of the top 4 clubs in England and arguably top 8 in Europe? And we all know the finances are good.

    As gutting as it was, it’s still just one game in a long season. The players and the fans have to move on and put it out of our minds like a top golfer forgets about a double bogey before the next hole. Time to focus on Chelsea away. I just pray that Arsene comes up with a better game plan for Chelsea because the only teams that have hurt us this season (Manure, Chelski, Man Shitty) have all sat back and hit us on the counter attack. Chelskis manager is a bloody Italian and that’s the only way they play.

    The wheel will turn for Manure. Ferguson will have a stroke or liver failure with any luck and their squad and finances will fall apart like it did at the end of Liverpool’s reign in the 80s.

  44. Andy- When you kindly offer a forum for people to express their views you have to sadly put up with the tosh along with the good. I’m not saying everyone who doesn’t agree with you is wrong but they could at the very least try to put forth some intelligent arguements.

    You are a scholar and a gentleman sir! I think your interview was respectfull and a good example of how fans should interact together. Keep it up Andy, for every negative comment you get there are many more of us enjoying your blog.

    Haters gonna hate my friend…ignore them

  45. Good contribution Andy.

    Good result for us last night too – thank you Phil Orange and Brian Horspit.

    I’d say that things are looking up. Roll on Sunday….

  46. Last night’s result is extremely significant. I think Arsenal can now afford to draw at the Bridge and still be in the race, albeit heavy 3rd favourites. However, you have to respect United. They will be top come Sunday. I was one of the people who thought they would be severely weakened by Ronaldo’s departure, and in some ways they are, but to still be around the top, to rip Arsenal to shreds and do it all without Ronaldo speaks volume for what kind of club they are…However, you still get blighted, ridiculous numtpys such as benjamin on this forum who blindly state that Fletcher ‘owned’ song the other night…what planet are these kind of people on?Anyway, massive weekend in store. Could be a defining one

  47. Chelsea losing two points and i think they will tumble. As far as Manu is concerned they will lose.It will happen soon. I predict they are going to lose in Villa park. As far as Arsenal is concerned I think 4 Is the min point which we should get out of the Chelsea and Liverpool. Still in the title race. Just the squad need to believe. Please Arsenal give us some thing this season. Just to shut-up all the Anti-Arsenal Public even the Football Pundit.

  48. @Andy, great interview and very balanced view of the past, the present, and the future. His questions are typical to the current media induced opinion out there. Some people glot when they win and crashed when they lose. That is a personality disorder. Keeping it in an even keel is the order of the day. Thanks AW. Take your pick. It could be Andy Webber or Arsene Wenger. 🙂

  49. Cheers mate.

    Just wanted to say apologies for the lack of a post over the past day or so. I’m working on something decent for today though. Something to get us very excited about Chelsea!

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