Arsenal Anger or: Are you even having fun anymore?

Arsenal will not win any silverware this season.

It will be the sixth season in a row that this has happened.

Our team has frustrated and delighted in equal measure but when you cut to the chase, have not done enough.

Too many mistakes have been made, too many good positions wasted.

Despite statements from the man in charge, too little mental strength has been seen.

The response from a typical Arsenal supporters has been one of frustration and disappointment. Very few will have been satisfied with the way things unfolded.

But there is a new type of response that is becoming more and more common amongst Arsenal supporters, particularly those who have a strong online presence.

White rage. Irrational reactions. Profanity-fueled outbursts. Statements of suicidal intentions.

Anger. Anger. More anger. Hate, even.

They take this club’s apparent lack of silverware as a personal insult.

How dare those overpaid posers piss on my money? How dare that grey-haired fool believe in such a bunch of losers?

Well, I would like to ask another question: why are you getting so angry about something you’re supposed to enjoy?

A reply comes back: ‘shut the f*ck up you c*nt’.

* * *

Brian Phillips from The Run of Play is my favourite online football writer.

In his recent masterpiece, entitled ‘Your Stupid Rage‘  he wrote:

“You condemn yourself to a life of always being at least a little angry about a thing you supposedly love, a life of storing up slights and spinning them into bitter little stories, a life of basically hostile, suspicious, and un-fun commitment to a thing that only exists to give you joy. The sole and entire point of sports is to enjoy sports; even if you think athletic competition has a deeper purpose, that it helps with moral instruction or enforcing community ties or whatever else, it’s only able to serve that purpose because it’s fun in the first place.”

He concluded:

“The secret is to care, I mean really care, about something other than your club. That thing can be the game itself, or the truth, or just being a reasonable person. You can care about something other than your club and still be totallysupercommitted to your club. It doesn’t mean not supporting your team through thick and thin; it just means being able to tell the difference between thick and thin, and not thinking that your favorite forum, or your group of like-minded supporters, is so important that it throws reality on the wrong end of a greater-than sign. It means doing this for fun, and not for revenge or for a sense of deep-down defining identity, even if you’re a crazy tattooed ultra. You can be a crazy tattooed ultra and still be fine, for that matter. You just can’t be an idiot.”

So think about that next time you want to abuse the manager or one of the players.

Or the board.

Or the referee.

Or the guy next to you at the pub who has a different opinion than you.

* * *

Earlier in the season my brother was watching the home fixture of the North London Derby at a pub in Australia.

When the final goal went in an opposition fan threw a pint glass into the Arsenal supporters.

As fate would have it, it hit him in the head.

Now the two supporters groups, who had always gotten along fine, have to sit in separate areas.

Does that sound like fun to you?

Spread your love of Arsenal (and in this case football in general) by leaving a comment.



  1. I am of the opinion that watching and enjoying football (particularly Arsenal) should always be accompanied with some cannabis. That way you can really be amazed at some defence splitting passes, be paranoid as hell as we’re losing 0-2 to Stoke at half time, and regardless of the result still chuckle at the game afterwards.

  2. Can’t actually believe that this is how our season has turned out, but i guess that is how it is. Next season, one more season of Faith

  3. @joSeph toke – Huge lulz…I’ll just leave it at that.

    @Andy – I agree entirely. Cliche’s exist for a reason; more often than not, they’re true. “It’s just a game”, “support through thick and thin” and so forth are overused because they’re always relevant. Regardless of the context.

    Arsenal, and my following of several sporting teams in general, are responsible for the highest highs I’ve experienced, as well as the most excruciatingly painful and frustrating moments of my 25 years of existence. More addictive than any drug, more up and down than any insane girlfriend and more beautiful than any supermodel.

    This season hurts more because I feel that we’ve come a lot closer than previous seasons, and have been more ‘worthy’ of silverware compared to the recent years (with exception to leading the league by 5 points in 2007/2008). But I still firmly believe that 2010/2011 has been Arsenal’s best, and most productive season since lifting the FA Cup.

    I’ve specifically reminisced about the Barca first-leg over the past 48 hours than I have any game this season, or last season. That 90 minutes will always remind me why I love this team, this club, this football code and sport in general.

    @Andy (again) – May I ask which pub your brother was at mate?

  4. I have been enraged by individual games, but the season as a whole has just been draining, to the point where it’s difficult to feel anything anymore. It’s like the kid who’s had a rough day, and his father lets him have a drink, and he hates it, and the kid says, “I thought this stuff was supposed to make you feel good!” And the father says, “No, it’s supposed to make you feel nothing.”

    Rage never solves anything. Controlled anger might, if that anger is directed toward a constructive solution, rather than something destructive. Hitting people or throwing things at them is not the answer. Cursing Wenger out, and drawing attention to the fact that you’re English and he’s French, is not the answer. This guy has found so many answers, and has earned the right to be allowed to find a few more. No matter how crazy he drives me sometimes.

  5. Thanks for the mid-week post Drew,
    I think disappointment more than anger is what I’m feeling but definitely not surprise.
    All of life is cyclical. Football is part of life.
    When Eduardo had his leg broken at St. Andrews and we couldn’t respond the schneid began that day.Some of the players have changed but the schneid has not been broken.
    We had a chance to break it against the Brums in the Carling Cup final and choked thereafter confirming the seal of the curse. This too will pass anon though it may not be possible to see how right now. We will return to greatness and again have our day.
    Until then I don’t see the point in demanding the kind of character from the team I’m not willing to exhibit myself. It’s certainly would be preferable to win but maybe how you deal with the results is a more viable test of self. Many,many turns of the great wheel still to come dudes. COYG!!!!

  6. @Andy – Ah, rowdy QLD’ers at it again 😉

    Hopefully the glass didn’t have XXXX in it, otherwise it could have done some real damage.

  7. I enjoy seeing Arsenal win stuff – games, leagues, cups. Absolutely. I have supported Arsenal Since August 1970 – never waivered. Ever. I can remember years going by when finishing in the top four, playing European football and doing well in one or other or even both domestic cups seemed an impossible dream. Yet now that has been the norm almost every year since Arsene Wenger joined the club. Best not to forget a state-of-the-art stadium thrown in by the way.
    The problem is that during that time we have seen Manchester United rise to prominence with a sometimes objectionable but almost always incredibly clever manager at the helm. A club that pulled itself up by its own bootstraps, built a hugely profitable commercial machine and funded a dynasty of success.
    And we have seen “financially doped” clubs like Chelsea and now Manchester City appear on the scene.
    I believe that Arsene is guilty of pursuing a purist dream too far and too closely – releasing experienced players too soon and not establishing a genuine meritocracy amongst the younger players. Less ruthlessness culling older players and more moving some of the younger players on may well have delivered even greater “success” (you know – winning something shiny).
    I have always believed that sportsmanship was about being gracious in victory and accepting defeat to a better opponent but NEVER settling for it. The trouble is for some players (I mention no names) the measurement of success is what gets paid into the bank account above all else and this is rarely if ever affected by the result of the games themselves.
    Players have to need to play, want to win and give 100% for themselves, the team and the fans. Probably in that order. In my opinion not of all players can honestly tick those boxes all, or nearly all, of the time. And that makes the difference.

  8. Hey buddy you better get serious. It is not just a mere game but all about my money man. How do you tell me to go slow on my money yet something good can be done out of the cub even with the guys we have. Don’t say a thing. Let the Frenchman do one little thing, throw in the towel and quit. i am sick and tired of that grey haired man. Let him go and train Monaco or PSG afterall they are also performing poorly. Every time Arsenal loses, i lose a lot of money in my betting especially when it loses to small teams like Stoke City. Oh Gosh shut the f**k up.

  9. @Danny :

    We’ve won what, once at Stoke in three/four seasons? You’re an idiot if you put anything above $5 on an Arsenal victory.

    Bet against Arsenal – this way you’re smiling regardless of the result.

  10. My last day of posting about The Arsenal precisely because of what Andrew and Brian have brought up in their respective blogs – the season is over and for me it’s time to move on and enjoy the summer coaching my own kids and playing in my own house league.

    Also an excellent post by Michael Hart at 4:52 – I couldn’t agree more.

    While I think anger is naturally amplified by the very nature of blogging (the point for many is to vent, to shout at the world and release those emotions), I just don’t understand the offensive and aggressive degrees of some of commentary. It’s not even commentary really, at that point. I’ve mentioned my own summer activities, but It’s not about “getting a life”, but as has pointed out, it’s about getting some perspective and balance, about having a simple bit of genuine fun, which is what Andy’s blog has always been all about for me.



  11. The biggest problem we have is that a lot of fans feel nothing will change. He has created this monster of paying huge salaries to players who haven’t done a thing in their career. Our Wage bill is on a par with the Uniteds and Chelskis of the world but we do not pay the £100k+ per week that they do (maybe to Cesc). It is because we pay lads like Lansbury, JET, Eastmond, Randall etc etc around £15k a week. Now I’m not using those named players to slate them in anyway just saying that they are all players who have barely kicked a ball for the first team and are all around 20 yet all have huge contracts already. My point is that if Wenger thinks he can cut out the Denilsons, Diaby’s, Rosicky’s, Almunias etc out of the squad then he will have a hard time becuase that lot are on about £50k a week and apart from Almunia and Rosicky, who have one year left, they have a few years left to see out their contract. Bo one in their right mind will pay them the same wages so therefore personal terms will never get agreed and they’ll sit on their behind earning that money for doing nothing. We will still see the in the main same faces next year. Perhaps he can shift a couple but there will be no wholesale clearance. There never is. Secondly when cesc goes for £40m this money will not be invested wholly as he will say he has Nasri/Ramsey/wilshere/Lansbury to fill the void. Don’t get carried away with any rumours he will sign two players maximum and they will not be household names

  12. @daren
    sorry to say but you may be right.
    It took awhile to work into this situation and I don’t see a fast track back. All teams go through transitional stages. My worry is that Wenger may not possess the tactical or philosophical flexibility to guide the squad through a period which clearly calls for change.
    Something he seems insanely resistant to.

  13. Football has been a passion of mine since the age of 8, and I liked it because it’s fun and loved it even more when I made new friends. After playing for almost a great part of my life, I decided to follow my artistic career, but I couldn’t stop watching football. At the beginning I watched few teams for the love of the game and later started to really like Arsenal more then any other team, because of what? the game! the quality and the respect they have toward the game. Plus Wenger impressed me with his philosophy and presence. I quickly loved him! Since the invincible left and let this new generation of players play, we discovered many amazing players that had even played a big role in their international teams such as Cesc, Jack, Theo, Robin and many more. For me Arsenal is not a waist! never! I think they bring something very special to football. Arsene had pioneered the football world and many had followed his methods. He’s a genius to me! It doesn’t mean that he can’t fail. He’s human and we are here to support them when they fail. I understand when people get angry for a moment, but then clam down and relax after that. But I don’t get the people who keeps goin on and on, because they love insulting X and Y, blaming this on that person, etc. I’m the first one that wanna see Arsenal win it all, but you gotta be lying to yourself if you don’t realize that this team needs time. A mental time and a believe time! without us they won’t find it! The pressure is very high on the players and that’s the main reason why, in my opinion, they have failed to win anything. Andrew all u said is right, I think fans should always remember why we love this game? I strongly believe that this season is what is goin to bring success to Arsenal. Failure is part of life and it’s what makes us stronger. Otherwise we will never know how good winning feels, and will never fight for it as much if you were used to it. it’s all mental, that’s all it is!

  14. @leftcoastgooner

    Hey. How you doing mate. Daren is right because daren stole that write up. As regards worrying about Wenger being able to change, that is something I’m not really worried about. I think he’s shown enough in the past that he can change when there is a need to, and while people may point to the 6 years, I totally understand why he stuck with these players. He may not have been proven right, but that doesn’t mean he was wrong to try it. In my view Wenger has accepted that some of these players are simply going to have to go. His comments in the last few matches have exhibited some frustration with the players and I do think we’ll see a return to the ruthless side of Wenger.

    Are you trying to be funny?

    And a major thumbs up to joSeph toke for his comment.

  15. Andrew, that is a top post. i don’t know what else I can add to that really. But great work.

  16. Andy

    Great post – unfortunately I can’t be that rational.

    Maybe more pre match beer is the answer!

    BtW Whatever happened to your podcast. As an Aussie Gooner living in UK I loved hearing it. Any chance of bringing it back?

  17. Arsene, you should be ashame of what you have done to Arsenal for the last 2-3 years. We, as fans, totally understand why you could not buy players, spent big , during the time to build Emirates. But why not do that afterwards, too many inexperience players will give unstability to the results, do you understand? This is simple as 1+1. I don;t want to see you manage the team anymore, go back to France. Wait a sec, thank you for what you have done in early 2000s.

  18. Undoubtendly we will all be back on this blog in August with a sense of optimism that this year will be the year we break through and win something and anticipating the impact of the major new signings Wenger has brought in to strengthen the squad. Hmm, well maybe not that last part.

    It’s been a roller coaster season with plenty of hights (particularly if you adopt joSeph’s strategy) and rather too many lows. I am looking forward to a break from it all. My interest this season now is on my ancestral home team the mighty Swansea City and to see if they can get through the play offs and join the EPL elite.

    And given our recent history, I can’t believe that I would ever want Stoke to win anything but I hope they win the cup against the financial dopers. And Barca beat Manure in a classic. And Liverpool beat Spurs for 5th place!

    It’s been a pleasure reading your blog Andy and engaging in (mostly) informed and good natured banter with fellow Gooners.

  19. I now find it more fun when Arsenal loose than we win. It is good for football when new teams show you that you don’t stay on top as a right but as a merit. Know what? My joy will be fulfilled if Man City overtake us and we finish 4th. And I am as sure as winter that we cant win all the remaining games. A draw at home and a loss away will be great for football. Stupid ass-nil!

  20. previously there’s a site for andy carroll and fernando torres, and now there’s for us at … if only I can get to emirates, I’ll print this URL on a big banner and stuff it in front of wenger’s face

  21. Hmm, I managed to let everything slide more or less for this season. There have been great times, there have been awfull times, I think it’s my first season as a true fan of this club. It’s the first season I’ve written anything on a comments section and participated actively at it. It’s the first season I’ve felt part of a community, a large, worldwide fanbase where people are actively speaking their mind. It’s the first season when game after game I came here to check this blog and see what everybody was saying.

    If you ask me, I won 🙂 Maybe Arsenal will finish 3rd, maybe it let us all down, but the world doesn’t end today. I’m not trying to sound optimistical here, I’m just saying that as far as I’m concerned there’s a time to get angry and a time to let it go. I’m determined to look ahead, request that changes are being made this summer and that our team improves for the next season. As for the separate areas, I for one am in the really big one, the fan area.

  22. If you consider the abuse players and managers receive at match’s up and down the country a few spiteful comments online are no real big deal.

    The anger is genuine towards Wenger and the board. The club is not going forwards at best sideways. Fans pay a lot of money and invest a lot of time in Arsenal and yet the same mistakes are made. That is the failure to bring in quality players in key areas, last season no centre forward in January when he was too mean to bid for Chamakh and continued to play Arsharvin through the middle and only resulted in the player losing confidence. this season a quality keeper and CB.

    Wenger wont be gone this season but he will be judged by his transfer dealings in the summer and if the team does not improve next season things will get very sour indeed

  23. its sad that some people still dont get your point Andy.. keep the faith guys.. enjoy the game.. stop fretting about the silverware..

  24. what else do i have to say expect for my normal word which summarizes Arsenal’s crazy season but COMPLACENCY on the part of Wenger who has the bigest mouth of all the coaches in the premiership, sees the best in average players who are not worth Arsenal’s Jersey, Players who are so reluctant in chasing a lost ball(must the manger tell you to chase a ball you lost? no) its not their fault but i Blame wenger and the Board for all this shit. cos all this building the team around a player has to stop and employ a larger and competitive squad else throw Wenger to the waste bin

  25. Its amazing how some people still have hope, and can always find positives in a bad situation.
    BUT i want to ask a question, we finished 3rd last season and it looks likely that we may finished 3rd again, what does that represent.???

    Improvement would be 2nd and if god forbid we finished 4th (I won’t even contemplate that)
    The facts are simple this team has not improved simple and plain. Wenger can talk all he wants but the league table does not lie.

    Wenger and the board boast of doing things the right way, they may not spend millions on players but if that’s the case why is our wage bill so high (3rd)???
    and why do the fan have to pay more for tickets??? this is just very unfair,

    Arsene wenger and the board have been outsmarting the fans for the last 6 season simple and plain

    Some time ago i too shared the notion that we have to buy, but the events of the last 3 seasons have caused me to think about this deeper. All the players are not bad as some people have made them out to be (Some are for sure) this team should have at least one the title once. The fact that they have not won anything is not a coincidence something is wrong.

    People say buy cahill but if he comes and the teachings that are present remain he would fail. We can bring vidic, if the philosophy remains we will still be second best. And that’s the problem, don’t get me wrong wenger’s philosophy is not all wrong it just need some fine tuning BUT for someone so inteligent it been too long.

    I will take a bet for sure that may be 1 or 2 players might come in may be none cause depending on who he buys it could still represent none. Wenger will never change he has a point to prove, and when men have power unopposed they don’t listen to reason
    I read on another site that 3 years ago they interviewed clichy and sagna and the same comments they made back then is the same comments made this season. That says only one thing no improvement.

    How can i be Optomistic about this, people on this very blog wants readers to make logical comments and so fourth BUT when problems so easy to see are left unchecked and unaddressed how is that logical.

    I mentioned on many occasions that the players are not to blame, wenger buys them and coaches them (or don’t, looks that way) gives them huge contracts. Arsenal is the only team where a player can make mistakes weekin weekout and still play next week, so how can we blame the players .

    A lot of you come here saying the players have let him down, his job is to assemble the best team to win trophies and if does not happen its his fault not the player.
    There is going to be a head on collision at arsenal for sure because enough is enough…….

    The philosophy at Arsenal must change for us to go forward if it remains then we will continue to have seasons like this. It will be very hard to win the title next season because chlse, MAU will improve their playing staff with winners not inexperience players, so if we can’t pass the small test how can we expect to pass difficult ones….

  26. Agree with your article mate however my care and level of passion, along with others for their football club is something i dont think i will ever fully grasp why. You make sound points but let me take u back to when we spoke about Bendtner…u write above dont have an angry reaction if “the guy next to you at the pub who has a different opinion than you.” I said I think if he doesnt perform next season he should be sold. He has had more than enough time to prove himself and had a lot of games and that next season should be his final chance. Your response…”This really gets on my nerves. Hes fucking 22!”

    We all do have angry reactions at times cos it is a passion we all share, and for the vast majority, as long as it does not come to throwing a pint glass at someones head, we do all find it fun deep down. Otherwise we wouldnt all have such strong debates. Its voluntary.

  27. why would any arsenal fan want stoke to win the fa cup.
    the booing of a 21 year old footballer who was put out the game for a year shoul;d ensure that whilst man city are a bit fur coat and no knickers lately they are a proper football club whose supporters stayed loyal through the dark 3rd division days.
    like the guy above my 1st visit to arsenal was that fine raddy hat trick in august 70.
    i take issue with the guy who says we can,t place expectations on the players that we can,t fulfill
    i am as passionate in my support weather we are playin barcelona or farnborough and i know my role as a fan is to be 100 per cent behind them every game.
    i expect nothing less from everyone involved at the club

  28. I’m going to feel dirty cheering for Citeh on Saturday..

    Maybe we should cheer for the referee?

    No, that’s too low.

  29. @ John – Good points mate. I’ve got no issue with passion, just the blind rage and anger that comes into conversations that really, really takes the fun out of watching football.

  30. a wee tot of whiskey before during and after helps me loe my club – go Gunners! owuld need more than that if I was a spu*s fan at the moment!!!!

  31. A few weeks ago, I said third place would be stagnant. A few days ago, I thought it would be worse, but a quiz on Bleacher Report asking about top 10 players made me think deeper and broader. After 40+ years, I again have hope! Obvious to most people Jack Wilshere was our best game in and game out!
    My picks for the next two are the two who bottled the league cup trophy! Call off the goalie search: Szczesny is it for the decade to come. Reactions and spirit like Mad Jens and great angle-playing like Seaman. Koscielny fears no one, attacks with spirit, walks the ball up when the bus is parked and plays EPL like he’s always been there. These two, Djourou and TV5 make me confident about our defense despite all the bottled plays. We will be better next year, and critics will moan and groan at the first error. It’s a long season, and we did beat Barca, Chelsea and ManUre at home. Inconsistent? Yes! Heartbreaking? Yes! Giving up? No way! And no Jose, too, by the way! Maybe AW can take a lesson from him on how NOT to behave!

  32. @Beck
    I never said that I would be happy to cheer on Stoke. For me they are the lesser of two evils. And I did laugh at the Stoke fans cheering the other day against us singing 3-1 to the rugby team. At least there is still some humour left in the game. Having said all that, the k/o is in the middle of the night here so I doubt I will be watching it all!

  33. Coverage starts at 10:30PM here in Oz, with kickoff around 12AM I believe. To top it off, the Eurovision second Semi-Final is precedes it at 7:30.

    A night of comedy ensues : I’ll either be laughing at City for losing a cup final to Stoke, or chuckling at Stoke for being thumped in a final. Throw in some over-dramatic, corny Eurovision, as well as a six pack, and it should be a decent Saturday evening.

  34. Am now convinced that we arsenal fans are fools in our own rights. It is said twice beaten twice shy. How on earth can Wenger continue fooloing fans season in season out with mediocrity and hopelessness yet its obvious there is no statement of intent to challenge for honours.What is the justification for the high ticket prices. What are we paying to watch? Am buffled to see youths running and twisting the ball within their own half and getting twarted with ease when they try to penetrate the opponent box. We must call a spade a spade and stop wishful thinking that Wenger has fooled us all along.We cant compete with others due to the stupidity of the coach. We only have one recognised striker the rest are a mere joke. Fab needs to be replced immediately. There must be value for money enough of Wengers mediocrity. We go with our bunners in the remaining two games in absolute protest of what he has turned our club into. How could Stoke beat us with relative ease like that.The manager is really a big joke and i would on any day fancy his assistant coaching than him. He is absolute rubbish.

  35. @Andy: sorry to hear about your brother, thats seriously crap! Yes I probably winge and moan about our performances over the last couple of seasons in particular more than I should, but I’m not going to throw a pint glass at anyone over it. I love Arsenal and just think that our manager has got it wrong. The pub I watch the football at in Belfast covers all the matches, and in general everyone gets on fine (even the Mancs ha ha ha!) The overwhelming emotion of most gooners i know is dissapointment, we play great football but have nothing to show for it.

  36. @Ian Botanic Gooner,

    It’s similar over here (Sydney’ish), well it is where I’ve watched games. I even sat with a few Chelsea supporters for the game at the Bridge earlier in the season. Good sports who knew their football.

  37. Andy- This may sound weird, but did you ever make a video of yourself burning an Adebayor jersey?

    If so, you were on TV in the States this week, in a program about Man City fans called Blue Moon Rising.

    I swear it looked just like you.

  38. Alan Hansen on MOTD last night thinks that if Sir Alex was the manager of any of the top four clubs, he would have won the Premiership with them because he managed to do it with a ‘not the best’ Man U squad that ground out wins and fought hard for the title. This is a man who is being paid thousands for his opinion, £1000’s. Think what he is saying here. The players of any of these teams have the quality to win the league. Direction is lacking.
    Sir Alex keeps his players in check so that the fans are relieved of the stress and frustration of underachieving performances.
    A great manager but an arrogant so-and-so aswell. He gets the job done, love or hate him…………………

  39. @Antek

    IS Hansen really paid thousands of pounds for his opinions? Or is it for his past reputation? Does how much he get paid make his opinions more valid? Yet that is the stick Wenger is beaten with. He gets paid millions and has wrong opinions apparently..

    Where I do agree is that any team could have won it. Why ManU won in the end may be down to Alex Ferguson, but not in the way you’d think. It’s the referees and in my view the nexus that he has with them that made the difference. They wouldn’t even have been in the race at the end if they hadn’t been helped along since the start of the season. I have never seen such blatant manipulation. If that sounds bitter, it’s because I am. I am jealous of the plaudits they get. But that is only because they do not deserve to win. Not one bit.

  40. Win or loose, we just have to show our care, concern and support for the team just like an honest and devoted legal counsel
    to his client. After all its not always winning that counts but how you play any game in life.

  41. Shard, you are correct, there is talk of decisions going the bigger clubs ways more often than not and of course Fergie time.
    Also, perhaps it is not only Hansen living on his past reputation? Lets draw a graph.
    If ManU did not deserve to win, then who did?
    Looking forward to going to the pub later.

  42. Close decisions, tight calls, almost always go in favour of the big teams and big players, in all sports that I follow. In a way that is a right that has to be earned. It’s not perfect but it’s understandable. But what happens with ManU is not close or tight calls. There are blatantly wrong calls made which favour them. Consistently. Of course some decisions go against them too. But they are extremely rare, and usually far from critical. Who deserved to win is a question to which we’ll never know the answer. I would, as dispassionately as I can, say it was us. Despite our failings which are well documented by now. But it could have been Chelsea too. Like last year. They won because they played the best. Fair and square. And I have hated Chelsea for years now. But last year they deserved it. ManU do not deserve it. In fact 3 of their past 4 Premier League victories are tainted in my mind. Because I think they did not earn them unaided. As I said, I am bitter. But it’s not at their success. It’s at them succeeding by what appears to me foul means. Which goes against all I want to see in sport.

    Wenger living on past reputation is a separate discussion. Yet, his reputation for what it is worth is intact, and he is highly regarded throughout the world. What he has achieved is nothing short of fantastic. It’s not been all we’d want, and all he wants, but the fact remains that he has been doing a wonderful job for the club even these past few years.

  43. @Ooh2BeAGooner,

    Unless there is another Gooner who uploaded a video of them burning their Adebawhore shirt, I’m 99% it’d be Andy’s. What a great video it is too.

    In other news; Bent just scored. Quite a decent goal as well. Sod this I’m off to bed.

  44. And Bent has scored again.

    So far the only positives have been Chezzy screaming at our defense after conceding..

    Now I’m really off to bed.

  45. I don’t know what was wrong with this Chamack goal, Bendtner got a yellow?
    tsssssssss, all goes against them ………… 🙁

  46. Disgusting. I really don’t get why people still don’t see that referees really do not want us to win. That’s a strong statement, but what I’ve seen today, on top of everything that has happened this season, I really don’t care. It’s true. This isn’t sport anymore. It’s just sickening that they do this again and again and again, and yet nobody says we should hold them to account. I don’t care if you think it’s only mistakes, it just isn’t sport when you have referees deciding the outcome of the game.

    And since people are sure to ridicule me for not saying our team is useless. We were useless in defence today and started disappointingly with no urgency or seemingly any desire and shot ourselves in the foot because of it.

  47. Never mind geez, roast chicken for dinner. Did you see how empty the lower tiers were? I tried to get a ticket but the website said SOLD OUT. You mean to tell me it’s got that bad that paid for seats remain unoccupied because the payees just couldn’t be asked to attend the last game of the season? Cynical as I can be, I would never not go!

  48. There are just somethings in life that are unexplainable, we dont have to have rhyme or reason for loving something, or justify why we get so angry about something that we love,as long as we can admit we may have been wrong once the dust has settled.
    That said the fact that we get so frustrated or enraged doesnt mean that we love this thing any less, its down to the individual and Im sorry Andy but I just cant be as passive as you in this regard and more and more I find your articles are stretching to just paper over problems and serious issues and the source of the anger is being overlooked in favour of a ‘ wouldnt be great if we could all get along’ viewpoint.
    Now I know you dont like how I express my opinion, and often the opinion themselves, and you think im impulsive and extreme, but I found the Adebayour burning of an ARSENAL jersey extreme yet I could UNDERSTAND why you did it and in essence your act was born out of the way football also makes you feel or more so how it made you feel at that point in time and quiet frankly I cant get my head around how a man that could make such a bold statement like that back then cant now seem to be able understand where all this current mass dissapointment and anger is coming from.
    It is coming from years of knowing things wernt quite up to scratch but sticking with the man who told you things would get better in the future and to trust him, now people feel cheated by Wenger and feel all his promises were empty and that we were led up the garden path a bit and that he knew he was playing with our emotions and in a way I suppose, fooling us to serve his own purpose.
    I mean if he had just said years ago we needed to consolidate for a few seasons and that we wouldnt be active in the transfer market then I really feel as fans we could have excepted that and after our big move to the emirates,yes, it would be seen as success to keep getting champions league year after year, I mean its reasonable to have to count the pennys, but he didnt say that instead there were false dawns every september empty promises every May, I mean last May we were told the problems had been identified and Squillachi was bought. COME ON, please dont insult my intelligence Arsene, I will go to the games, buy the merchandise, do everything a fan does, but dont insult my intelligence.
    Like I said its unexplainable why we do what we do and say what we say when we love something so much but the big problem is there for all to see my friend and it was there today when 40,000 Arsenal fans voted with their feet and left before the players end of year lap, an inexplicable display of dissatisfaction but I dont think theres any need to pose the question of why?
    A 6% rise in ticket prices for a team and manager that arent delivering is ludicris, if anything the prices should be dropped and my heart did drop today when I seen the stadium with a bare five thousand fans in it on the final home game of the season with the boys walking around at the end, this could have been the last time we seen Cesc Fabregas in Arsenal colours on our groung and for me thats a sorry way to see him off, but who do you blame, 40,000 ‘fickle’ fans or the manager and board that have us scrambling for fourth place and longing for the seasons end before spurs or Liverpool come and beat us for 6th place.
    Wenger said he was confident and happy that Pat Rice would stay on another season and that it was important as Pat ‘knows how I work’,and I was happy, but I also couldnt help feel that ‘knowing how I work’ could also mean ‘doesnt question or push me on anything’ and Im sorry but thats no good thing for us as Wenger having no pressure hasnt necessarily worked so good recently.
    We also have all this boardroom movement and uncertainty.
    We also have uncertainty over Cesc and Nasris futures.
    We also have a huge flaw in our policy of ‘nurturing talent’, and this is found in the fact that we pay the third highest wages in the PL, really?????
    How did this happen that we buy young and have only one player (clichy) whos won a medal at Arsenal? We are rewarding Diabys, Denilsons and Walcotts before theyv ever acheived and thats folly. If you want the extra revenue that a 6% ticket hike will produce why dont you stop overpaying average footballers Arsene.
    Dude, wheres my club?

  49. Yes I agree the ref was a bit dodgy but let’s all try to be medieval a bit and stop the referee whining. If anything we could take a leaf out of ManU determination and never say die attitude.

    It’s a man’s game so let’s all chin up, look forward to the next season, stop this ref whining although it’s obvious there’s a conspiracy against us. The main problem isn’t the ref but the players and the lack of tactics from AW which is obvious for all to see. Whoever gives me the childish/idiotic statement that I want Arsene out is myopic and a water carrier. After 6yrs let’s not kid ourselves that this football Arsenal plays is superb because it is not. The fast counterattacking style of henry/bergkamp/pires/cole was superb that is definite.

    I’ve always presented my argument that to play tiki-taka ala Brazil 70s/Barca you have to have mobile fast midfielders that can interchange in any position at any time. Especially if its a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1. The players in Arsenal have the quality, it’s Arsene’s job to find out which players complement each other the best. One thing’s for sure is Squid dosen’t click with anyone. Verminator is still full of rage and definitely hate to lose.

    Let’s all beat our chest! Shout out loud “It’s time to take what’s ours back!!!” (back in this regards refers to the EPL title.)

  50. @Shambo

    I feel you. Same sentiments. I think Wenger has at most 1 more season left before he loses majority of the fans (I personally believe he has already lost the dressing room). I think this excerpt from a post I read on Le-grove sums it up best:

    “Arsenal aren’t a couple of players away from conquering, we’re a complete change of mindset away. In one summer, someone is going to have to alter the way we train to avoid niggly injuries, prepare the squad sufficiently enough so they know what they’re expecting each week, train the defence, flush out the dead wood and instill a bit of Arsenal pride into the squad.”

    Couldn’t agree more.

  51. @laninja

    Well said. We need to fix our problems (though I think the tactics bit is overrated). I just get annoyed when people don’t acknowledge that this team faces a disadvantage due to the referees. For the rest it is up to us to improve. (Another note on the refs. Apart from them damaging Arsenal, they are also damaging the game. ManU should not have won the title. I found it disgusting)

    That is an argument that really really confuses me. So the problem isn’t so much the lack of trophies, or the lack of investment in the team (which doesn’t solve all the problems anyway) , but that fans were given false hope? I just don’t get that. Firstly, if he says we are just looking to consolidate and thus our aim will be primarily top 4, what does that do for the players’ motivation? We might have dropped out of the Champions League places. Secondly, if he said we’re not going for the title, isn’t there a possibility that there would have been an uproar among the fans then? But this wasn’t even a secret. It is the manager’s job to try and bring the best out of his team and aim as high as he can. Even if that high aim isn’t achieved, I always think that’s better than aiming low. Surely the fans should be able to understand that their team right now is just not as good as some others, and what the reasons for that are.

    The reasonable gripe can be that the team doesn’t perform to it’s capability. For a while it was because they were young. But we nearly won the title in 2008. Mentally we couldn’t cope, but if the refs had not made those ‘errors’ then we would have been Champions. Anyway. Flamini left, Hleb left (threatening to leave under the Webster clause by buying out his contract), and we had another rebuilding phase. I think it was at that point that the young players started getting long term contracts which payed them more than they had ‘earned’ till that point. We locked down potentially good players so as to not lose them for no return. It is the reason that Denilson gets paid what he is. But it is also the reason we have been able to keep Cesc. It’s a bit damned if you do, damned if you don’t sort of thing.

    Anyway, I didn’t mean this post to get so long. As a last thing I’d say that while the Pat Rice thing can be read as what you said, I think it is unfair to blame this on Pat Rice or portray him as a yes man. Besides, Wenger didn’t rule out adding to the coaching staff for fresh ideas, despite Rice staying.

  52. Wowsers, Is this considered a free-fall yet or are we still waiting for the chute to pop open?
    I hope we can hold against Fulham but frankly even that looks somewhat beyond us.
    A few weeks ago it looked like one of our more assured fixtures. Ahhh, the good ole days.

  53. Shard,
    It wasnt really an argument mate, merely the ramblings of a bewildered exhausted fan.
    Im not arguing with fellow fans anymore, infighting is becoming a monster at our club.
    The only way I can explain to you the way I feel about certain topics is to compare it to the way you feel about refereeing decisions handing utd/ costing us the PL title.
    You feel very strongly on this and I could deconstruct this argument just as capably as you do most of mine,if only I had the energy or enthusiasm to do so, but I can see where your frustration is coming from and getting into it wouldnt serve either of us anygood. (no doubt a dozen instances of poor refereeing decisions are popping up in your mind already!)
    I dont think Pats a ‘yes man’ but the only time I see an Arsenal vocal presence on the line is when we are trailing and Wengers testiculating in the technical area, whats wrong with someone being on their feet, roaring instruction when the game is in the balance or when these guys need to be told to keep going at 1,2 or bloody 3-0 up, if there is a person there that does that, then I’d love to meet him and find out why he has been evading my gaze for so long!
    Shard, do you not think that Sunday was a terrible indictment of how the Wenger/ fans relationship has deteriorated, I personally feel very little connection with him or the players of late, and this is supposed to be the illusion that binds us, that we know Arsene Wenger the father figure, Cesc the little Bro and Jens the mad Uncle, that we know these people personally when we really dont, that this illusion has deteriorated has made it easy to distance ourselves from the Managers and teams plight and instead turn on them, Im guilty of this aswel but the thing is it is up to the manager and board to restore this.
    The identity of a club matters because who you follow is a reflection of yourself,or should be unless your a sheep (see utd, chelsea fans), if you didnt really love Arsenal for what it fundamentally represents you’d simply follow someone new and the Manager and board are the stewards or guardians of this identity, they are obliged to maintain and nurture it, and they have a huge job ahead this summer, there is no escaping that fact.

  54. Sell: Fabregas for £35 million (get Bojan on a season long loan with the option to purchase for £15 million). Make Vermaelen Captain and RVP vice captain. Sell Denilson, Eboue, Rosicky, Bendner, Arshavin, Clichy.

    Give: Chamakh, Diaby and walcott one more season to prove themselves.

    Build the team around: RVP, WILLS, NASRI, SAGNA, VERMS AND SZCEZNY.

    Buy a top striker to partner RVP, a general for CDM, A rock at the back for VERMS, A new Winger and a top goal Keeper.

  55. @shambo

    I agree about the club being a reflection of yourself. There has to be something to feel attached to them as you say. I also sense where your frustration comes from, and I do share it, believe it or not. I guess my frustration just manifests itself in a different way to you.. And by the way I did not mean argument as in fight, just as in a point of discussion.

    Regarding referees, I don’t care if you agree they are corrupt, bent, or just completely incapable. The way they referee out there, and not just our games, is not good enough. In my view it follows a pattern, but even if that’s not the case, I’d like to see a clamour for ref accountability the same way that people are calling for accountability from Wenger. Because we have dropped points due to our flaws and weaknesses. But we have also dropped points because of the referees all season long. It has been a factor which is hardly acknowledged, and if it is, it is only gingerly touched on as if it is something that we as fans should not talk about, since we’d be branded moaners, or delusional etc. It is not an either/or in my view. I see all our flaws and Wenger’s faults (ranting on the touchline is not one of them. I see no reason to typify that sort of behaviour as any more effective than his style), but I’d like a level playing field in terms of officiating to be able to say we got exactly what we deserved, without any doubt. (and no, it isn’t about one or two decisions being right or wrong)

    As an afterthought. About the disconnect, I can see why the fans will be unhappy, and also upset by the price rise. But fans must share a part of the responsibility for there being a disconnect. A lot of fans have been ever too eager to jump on their own teams back, even when things weren’t as they are now. They may have known, or rather expected a trophyless season, but I still don’t see why that should stop any fan from getting behind the team. It is something that hasn’t happened. That is not the cause of the problem, but it is also no solution.

    Anyway. huge job in the summer as you say. I’m looking forward to it now. Dear God I’m an addict aren’t I?

  56. Boy!!! wenger your dogs are dead this summer, you selfish, stubborn, tactically inept manager.
    We have blamed every single thing this season except poor management, and next season will be no different.
    4th place in the prem
    and by the way how much penalties have Arsenal won this season??? i heard 17 if that’s true then that’s very interesting……..
    Lets keep on blaming the players every year.
    When cesc leaves in the summer we will finally hear what he thinks of wenger and hi failed philosophy……..
    wenger you should be court-martialed

  57. If I am a reflection of the team I support then i think I am going to need to check myself in for rehab!

    I don’t buy the referee stuff. I think we have been hard done by on several occasions, but we have also managed to fuck it all up without assistance from the men in black. In fact, this season we have managed to turn that aspect of our game into an art form.

    Unfortunately i don’t think there is a simple fix to our problems. Getting rid of Wenger will hasten the departure of a lot of players and will probably see us drifting further out of contention.

    I have watched most of our games this season and to me we just don’t have that extra spark that sets us apart like we used to. Average teams are able to set themselves up against us quite easily and know that they can sneak goals against us on the break or from set pieces. FIrst thing that has to be fixed is how we set out our team defensively. When we play a high defensive line we always look vulnerable. And cut out the school boy errors.

    Second, we need more pace up front. We have looked most dangerous when Walcott is playing more centrally — but unfortunately I don’t think he is consistent enough to be our new Henry.

    Third, much as I love Song I think he can sometimes be a liability. I would like to see some stats but I reckon he must be close to the top of the league in committing fouls. and experience has shown that even a foul committed near the half way line is enough to put our defence under pressure cos we don’t deal effectively with long high balls in.

    if Fabregas were to go (I hope he stays but only if he is committed) then I would like to see RvP drop back and play Walcott and perhaps Chamakh further upfield. RvP is the only other player with the vision that Fabregas has. Nasri to me does not have that passing range. Where that leaves Wilshire I am not sure.

    Anyway these are just some idle ramblings and I am sure trucks can be driven through the holes in my logic but there you are.

    Go the Swans v Reading in the play off. At least I still have one bright spot on the horizon!

  58. Manchester City is now looking down on you …. and you keep rationalizing as to why this is so. But then, in this game, you need rationalization to keep your sanity.

  59. Why do so called supporters like you have such short memories? Look at where we were before Arsene – A Jobbing club that sometimes got lucky, but were never as successful as say l’pool, United, Forest, Leeds etc. We were playing at Highbury, the smallest (but nicest) stadium in the league. To be blunt, we were just another villa or Everton. Now however, due to the diligence shown by Arsene and the previous board, we are regulars in europe, we have the best stadium in the league which provides us with over £5 million every home match, we are a continued presence in the ‘top four’.

    I really believe that if one or two reffing decisions had not been so outrageously bad, we would have progressed to the final of the CL and that we would have won the league. We are so close. the difference between our success and failure is so small, its indeterminable.

    who is regularly winning cups? the financially irregular teams, thats who. now we cant all be that way, there arent enough oil billionaires out there, and even if we could, would we want to.

    I think that the answer to this question defines you as a supporter. Personally I wouldnt like to see us emulate chelsea, united or city. two of those clubs buy their trophies ( we can all do that) and the other has borrowed massively to buy theirs.

    can we not agree that when we win a cup, it will be worth 10 times as much because we won it fairly and honorably? Like, and I hate to say it, Birmingham. they havent sold their soul to the devil at the crossroads, they may carry some debt, but their spending pales into insignificance when compared to most teams in the league.

    I would like to cheer you up by listing a few positives of Arsenal at the moment. we have one of the top four managers in the world – let’s face it, if arsene goes, he will be snapped up far quicker than a decent replacement could be found. We have the best stadium in the league, We have zero real debt, a new owner with very deep pockets, Ramsay and Vermaelen have just come back and will be like two new signings next season. The FPP rules have the ability (maybe not the conviction) to really level the playing field in terms of financial doping. some reffing technology is being seriously considered by fifa and uefa, and to cap it all off the spuds have still won nothing, havent got champs league and finished below us in the league.

    We are the Arsenal, the mighty mighty Arsenal.

  60. I think Simon is spot on as it relates to the big picture. I too prefer a highly competitive team that is built to be sustainable vs. oil-money all stars. And yes, when we do win, it will be ever so sweet.

    Tactically, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where we need improvement situationally on both defense and offense and that is where our coaching’s focus needs to be (and very likely is).

    Also, I for one am looking forward to a Post-Fabregas Arsenal so that we can just get beyond him. He’s great, but the team is so much more than him. Nasri will step up and there will be others that will come along, too.

    Buck Up. I can hardly wait for the next season to start.


  61. It’s tough watching Arsenal go through everything this season and lose all 4 competitions. None of the players look like they are having any kind of fun. They just look tired, depressed, and waiting for the season to finally be over. Hopefully the issues can be ironed out this summer and our star players will have good backups and get a rest every few games. That was the problem this season. Not enough depth and good players off the bench, so the starting stars, like Fabregas, Nasri, RVP, Wilshere, had to continually play games, thus increasing injuries. I hope next season will be different. A few smart buys could change everything.

  62. Talking about the defensive line we really haven’t seen koscielny and vermaleen play for more than 5 matches (due to injury) together, should give it a go they could form a strong partnership.
    Arsene please spend and buy top quality players like
    1.Gervinho for Bendtner
    2.Fabregas for Ribery (unlikely i know) or Yoan Gourcuff
    3. Nasri for Eden Hazard,Oxlade-Chamberlain
    4. Mikel Arteta
    5.Leighton Baines for Clichy (Hope he doesn’t leave)
    6.Samba or Cahill
    7.Keisuke Honda ( why does everyone forget him top class-player)
    My only worry is that if we don’t win any silverware next season with fabregas and nasri still in the team, it could probably open the door for many to follow- van persie, fabregas, nasri, clichy and arshavin could probably and most likely exit the club if we go a 7th year without a trophy. Make changes Mr.Wenger and buy some quality players.

  63. I chose to be forever Arsenal fan. Also Arsenal Club is for people that can bring peace to and serves as a mediator for terrible misunderstanding. (i.e people without feeble mind). Make Arsenal your life supporting club and enjoy the rest of your life. God bless Arsenal fans and technical clue in Jesus name. from Mbajir shiaondo peter in Gboko Benue State, Nigeria. I remain ever The Gunners Fan.

  64. am a very strong arsenal supporter but the way arsen wenger is doing u now making the club in to trainning club , buy a player of less value and let him leave when his about to matuer its side to see that we last won a trophy six years ago and that doesnt bother him, my view is that arsen should leave get someone whose willing to win trophies rather than play school kids,its a man’s game we need trophies period ,the boad is to blame they not putting enough pressure on wenger his job is to win trophies thats why his the coach not a finacial dirctor,if l was to choose between fabregas and nasri l would fight to keep nasri let fabregas go if he wants we have nasri whats the problem.
    wenger needs to buy high profile players not players we have not heard of come on,if you cant deliever leave and a new coach is hired period…….we supporters want trophies not noy your stories wenger..

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  67. “How dare those overpaid posers piss on my money? How dare that grey-haired fool believe in such a bunch of losers?

    Well, I would like to ask another question: why are you getting so angry about something you’re supposed to enjoy?

    A reply comes back: ‘shut the f*ck up you c*nt’.”

    This piece had(s) me in tears, stuff is actually a million times more funny when its true.

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