Poor JD

Arsene Wenger speaking after yesterday’s game:

“He has a dislocated shoulder. His season is over.”

Spread the (little bit of) Arsenal love (that’s still around) by leaving a comment.



  1. Andy, we are sad after the loss to MANUREs but the saddest part is losing JD to injury and since its confirmed his season is over, our title hopes are effectively over now!!
    God help Johan!! Let him come back stronger next season! We’ll rule the PremLeague.

    @jack daniels: ‘JD is sh**’???, you dont watch arsenal play. do you??

  2. Jack Daniels, eh? I think you’ve had a few too many glasses of your namesake; I’d drink more branch water with it if I were you.

  3. Huge losses in both respects. JD, if you are reading this, you don’t have to doubt the enormous support we have for you. Get well.

  4. it must have been very painful, I hope he got a local anesthesia as soon as possible,

    in fact, it looks like the last seasons, the furs are floating away (syn: hopes are dashed)

    nevertheless: I won’t give up until (after) the last match

  5. Season isn’t over yet. I dont think Squillaci is bad player. Wnger is pretty good at spotting talent. with little competition he may yet blossom.

    Whilst i take your point on Linighan who had a good final i wouldnt want him in the currrent side. An Adams, Vieira or Mclintock would foot the bill better

    Jaclk….As for commenst about Dourou,I think you should stick to the Chelsea blog wwhere you obviously belong

  6. i love wenger but… spotting talent in the defense is so-so. how about sylvestre? and there pretty much is no competition for a spot anymore so he’s playing. not good.

  7. Jet
    as much as it pains me i have to agree with you, but i am rootiing for Squillaci to be our main man now. we dont have much choice

  8. Dont really know what to say now!we are f****d!we are playing good good football but we are too fancy or classy at the ball.we play like we are competing for ball possession and not winning games,lets we what our old Arsene does when the transfer widow opens,the same bullshit of being spectators when we know we hav a chance to buy.lets wait and see.

  9. Really sad for him, last season outed because of injuries, then the comeback so powerfull as to be considered by all of us the central piece of our defence, and now this. And I’m afraid the consequences for the team will be devastating. I’m trying not to be pessimistic here, but it’s quite hard, with JD gone and Almunia as GK for the next few games, with our CMs unable to provide cover, dunno. It’s been a sh* week for us.

  10. I think the kid Miquel will do fine. He’s quick,reads and reacts well and is ultra hungry.
    Give him a chance and a little support.
    Does anybody know who are next #2 Goalie is?
    I know Crazy Jenzy is physically at the club in a “technical” position.
    I think if for some reason he were to put the kit back on some of our boys would be afraid to be afraid. If you know what I mean.

  11. well Man utd are still involved in the champions league and the fa cup that means they will have a long list of fixtures to play. we only have to win the next week game at the Hawthorns(West brom) and the title race is back on.The league title is definetely ours to loose.

    @ leftcoastgooner – latest rumors suggest it will be Jens lehmann on a short term deal

  12. If Wenger had done a bit of shoping before the WINDOW CLOSED,we wouldn’t be in this
    MESS,but you carn’t compete on four fronts with the playing staff as FRADGILE as ours,
    WENGER is one of the highest paid managers in the world when, is he going to stop
    making excuses,and telling lies,and start doing a proper job of managing,i would like to add, what i’m saying is what thousands of Arsenal supporters are thinking,SO PULL YOUR FINGER OUT, WENGER AND GET SPENDING.

  13. Im a 10 year old arsenal fan and im conserned about the injury’s that has been happening to the best players on the squad lately. I think we should of bought more substitutes when the windows where open. And i hope next season he will start paying attention and start acting like a manager. And i am also conserned to get a new goal keeper because personaly i think almunia is not doing a very good job. I think it is his age he has been playing for quite a wile in arsenal. So he needs to get some young fresh players for the new season. And he is one of the most paid manager’s in the world. i also think he is greedy with his money and needs to stop show off and get spending.

  14. What is it with some of these “supporters”? We took 18 shots, 11 of which were on goal, several of them brilliant saves by ManUre’s man-of-the-match. They played 7 defenders! Maybe we shouldn’t have attacked so much, but we did have many good chances and were unlucky. I would guess part of the reason we attacked so much was all the bad publicity from the Barca game. Wish our guys could block all that out, but I’m sure they’re aware. We had chances until JD went out. We still have Premiership in our sights, so let’s go Gooners!

  15. Well said if ever we need a positive attitude its now. the likes of almunia, Diaby denilson, Rosicky have little chance of performing with a negative attitude around there necks.

    As for buying players, whilst I agree we are stripped to the bone at least we are looking reasonably financially stable, Would I swop with MU (debst to the eyeballs) Chelski ( a Russian hobby) or Barca ( so much in debt they may implode) no thanks

    Come on you Reds

  16. i think the issue of injuries to arsenal player at the tale end of the season. based on my observation the arsenal medical teams are not competent enough bcos we play almost the same pattern with barcelona and they have less injury concern

  17. Tough Luck JD. Hope you will recover soon. You have done a good job this season. As per few comment up there. We are playing too classy football which can contribute to easy injury. Yes! I think our medical staff is not so good. Why Barcelona player can be stronger than us. Come on! the player are getting high paid salary, They should be able to take care of whatever needed for their future. Playing in EPL or others you must be competitive. Whatever the reason Arsene have to BEAR the responsibility not giving excuses only. Keep Rubbing your hair Arsene until u get the solution. We the Fan will always be with Arsenal. We SPEND to watch you all play. Either our Time, buying the merchandise or going to the game. WE need the RESULT!!!

  18. i have always wanted the gunners to win the premiership this year, and with the successive exits from the carling cup,ucl and the fa cup,i feel the opportunity is ripe no matter how big the odds are..the premiership is ours for the taking!!!

  19. Poor JD, but he is a strong man & will make a come back soon.
    All the best pal….may you get well soon.

    allow me to use this word for once, Mathematically – win all the remaining matches and stop this blame game of Wenger not paying attention to buying… how comes two weeks ago when we were running with the four competitions and were looking good nobody talked about buying. The future is bright for Arsenal & we can’t afford to lament now, lets give the boys some hope, love & all we need to offer, you never know what magic that can give.

  20. a team of third rate goalkeepers, french legion of no good deep defenders, a midfield of such mediocres diaby, denilson, rosikcy, song and a lightweight attack no doubt arsenal is out of three competitions in ten days. on top of that most of the players are injury prone due to their light frames and body and do not last the entire season. And not the least arsene has no strategy and plan b as it was shown against birmingham, barca and manu. With the present squad decimated by injuries and lack of quality especially upfront I am resigned to another trophy less season with arsene as usual giving all sorts of excuses and promising a better next season. with ces unsettled and hardly fit it will be better to offload him along a dozen others and built the team around nasri and wilshere with induction of a world class keeper, two bullying type central defenders, at least one combative midfielder in the mould of vieria and one muscular cf willing to take head on opposing defenders like drogba. Unless it is done next season could be even worse.

  21. More than a little (love that is). We love our Arsenal and the players come what may!! Part of the problem is the high standard we set for ourselves. Challenging on four fronts has been awesome and we will have another go next season! Rest up JD – we’ll need you for the new campaigns.

  22. @shambo, whats up dude, what say you about our performance. @ least i can say i think WHU played well made chances but i agree that the slightly better team wan on the day. Grants comments were wrong to make because our goal was a hand ball. Its a shame that so many people cant see why your team keep loosing important games. Arsene wont purchase or promote players who might question his judgement. Leaders, men, captains, fighters when the going gets tough. He wants a team full of pat rices who do just what they are told and say nothing even when they can see its not working. Sorry shambo, to go upstairs. He can control the books from there. I also sometimes wonder if A W Andrew Weber that is ever has a negative comment to make when it concerns his team. Just keeping it real.
    Up de ammers

  23. By the way good luck to JD during his recovery. The team will really miss his influence at the back. I really dont know how the defense will cope but perhaps it might force a leader to come out of his shell.

  24. In the last day or two something I’ve read elsewhere and heard from fellow Gooner’s is the oft cited:
    Look at our injuries! No other team could cope like we have!

    And United proved that wrong at the weekend. A combination of a thin squad, injuries (Ferdinand, Nani, Valencia just returning etc) and resting players for the mid-week Champions league game (Scholes, Giggs, Fletcher, Carrick, Berbatov) meant United lined up with 7 defenders. Seven. Playing the Brillo headed chuckle brothers on the fucking wings, whilst Wes Brown dicks about as a full back was/is/will never again be a 1st choice starter. And yet they beat an Arsenal team missing only Walcott, Fabregas and Song (you can’t even count Verm anymore, so long is it since he played). United’s ‘fringe’ fringe beat our mostly full strength team convincingly.

    Other teams can and do manage without key players. It’s not always pretty, but they do – certainly ‘big’ teams still win key games. Or draw, sometimes they draw, but they don’t throw it down the fucking drain, lose, and then blame injuries. They just get on with it.

    Our campaign this year has been hindered by the fringe players unwillingness or inability to perform against lower opposition. That we have had to throw Fabregas on in two legs against Leeds or play key players against Huddersfield and Leyton Orient has meant those key players, who could have been rested entirely have played more games. That only exacerbates the effect of many competitions.

    But we have to ask ourselves – do we want to duck out of those competitions early, do we want to concede our chances of silverware? Do we want to avoid games like those in the San Siro, beating Barca at home or knocking Real Madrid out of Europe? Or do we want to keep those games? If we do, then we need to stop whining about injuries. Injuries happen, and teams like Arsenal should be good enough to absorb the impact – it certainly shouldn’t mean we start losing games and it isn’t a good enough excuse.

    As I’ve mentioned our fringe isn’t good enough at all.

    Denilson hasn’t improved in the last 3-4 years. Diaby (even making allowances for injuries) has not improved in the last 3-4 years. Bendtner has not improved in the last 3-4 years. I don’t mind players making mistakes, or having bad games, as long as they improve and learn from them. Diaby is still conceding possession needlessly as often as he did 4 years ago. Denilson’s positioning has not improved in the last 4 years at all. Bentdner has the worst 1st touch in the squad, and that has not improved for years. These players have limitations that they have not overcome and that is where a large source of my personal frustration lies. They make the same mistakes repeatedly and if they cannot remove them from their game, it’s time to move on.

    Compare and contrast that to Walcott who has addressed his problems well – he’s not perfect but he’s already ironed out a lot of the issues in his game. Samir Nasri, this season in particular has stepped forward again, Djourou has become so indispensable that his shoulder injury at the weekend is a bigger blow that most other injuries. These are players who have all made mistakes but who have learned from them. These are players that are still improving. These are players who you struggle to remain angry with after a mistake because you know it will have a positive impact.

    Finally, we have some outstanding talent on loan currently – Lansbury and Bartley just two that appear to be making a big impact. Those players are currently improving massively whilst out on loan and you can only hope those players return to Arsenal and take any chances that are handed to them – that they take the Jack Wilshere route to the 1st team rather than the Carlos Vela route to West Brom.

    Until we cut loose the players who have stalled in their careers and replace them with the players we have who show the desire to go out and fight for Sheffield United, Norwich and Rangers we will consistently struggle with injuries – the players we have replaced our injured with this season have not been always been good enough.

    Arsenal have an excellent first 11. We have our faults, our inability to get behind defensive teams for example and our inability to beat the keeper when shooting, but these are problems that can be ironed out over time. What worries me is the pool of players beneath who need to perform in order for us to win a trophy.

  25. Get well soon JD, it’s frustrating that our squad is thin again 3/4 through the season. Is Arsenal a 3/4 season team *sigh* I hope not.

    For something unrelated, why do people slate Bendtner, do any of you Arsenal supporters realize Bendtner scored more goals than Walcott….something to think about for all you Walcott fanboys.

  26. I swear that some Gooners spit more venom than a King Cobra.

    The abuse that I have seen with my very own eyes towards Arsene Wenger is a sick joke. It sickens me more than Sambuca.

    Here is a man who has provided Arsenal Football Club, our club, with some of the best moments in its history.

    Yet that doesn’t stop people slagging him off with the kind of hate I would say should be reserved for the likes of Tottenham Hotspur or Chelsea though.

    Why has Arsene Wenger become so despised by some sections of Gooners? I really can’t get my head around it.

    Sure the man can frustrate. He has done my head in on more than one occasion but that doesn’t mean I will subject him with the kind of insults and vitriol I see thrown his way on a regular basis.

    Of course Arsene Wenger isn’t above the club, nobody is, so constructive criticism of him is fine in my book.

    However, he deserves a lot more respect from certain Gooners than he is currently getting at the moment.

    Listen, I’m no Wengerite. I don’t have a shrine to the man. But what I will say is be careful what you wish for.

    We are lucky that he doesn’t just walk away. I bet if he read half the shit written about him on the interweb he probably would be tempted.

    Who would blame him?

    I’m telling you now, if Wenger became available every club in the world would love to take him on. Even before the darling Jose Mourinho.

    Arsene has his faults. Even Stevie Wonder can see that but please show the man a bit more courtesy.

    I accept these are frustrating and annoying times. Its been a difficult two weeks but I bet these fans who slate Wenger will be praising him to the hilt if we win the title.

    Just like they did when we beat Barcelona at the Emirates.

    If you don’t think he is doing a good job that is fine. That is your opinion. I think he could do some things better too.

    But don’t slag him off. Don’t insult him. There is no need for that. He deserves so much better

  27. Throwing in the towel when we could still win the league!!!!!
    As for the mythical rise of Spurs due to going further than us in a knockout tournament – one I keep hearing – on such events, I politely point them to the league table,are they going to finish in the top 4 – I am not so sure, I remind them they will soon have to fork out for a new or revamped stadium, and they will soon loose their manager, to England or possibly HMP depending on court outcomes (ok maybe a little drastic there)
    Far too many knee jerk over reactions out there – just what the trolls, haters, media pundits and rivals who seek to undermine Wenger and the club desire.
    Gooners hold your nerve, ask questions after the season, if you cannot do so, you have no right to have a go at the players perceived lack mental strength. And if it is all getting too much for those with weak mentalities, there is always Man City.

  28. @DavidinLondon – a thoroughly sound analysis of our faults and strengths. You’ve addressed some of the technical shortcomings, but what is key to winning trophies is your first point, managing through injuries and secondly, the sheer mental toughness and constant presence of mind it takes to play in Europe, in two domestic cup competitions and 38 league games.

    We’ve eight games to go now. We’ve dropped all that other baggage, and despite our aforementioned weaknesses and mounting losses I still think the league is ours to lose, especially with Manchester United playing more F.A. cup and Champions League and being less rested come the match in May at the Emirates.

    Once last chance, a few more weeks, and eight more games for these guys to prove something to themselves (and to us) before we have to do it all over again in August.


  29. 1NTTA

    That’s TEN games to go.. Our team needs to fight for 10 more games this season. But yes, we can win the league. It’ll be tough, and we’ll need some luck to run our way with injuries and refereeing calls. But it can be done. Tt all starts against West Brom. If we can get a victory there, then maybe the international break will mean we get some of our injured players back.

    The time for questioning this team and Wenger will be after the season’s over. Not now surely. We still have a league to win.

  30. @Davidinlondon – quite an interesting point of view and I find myself agreeing with many things you’ve said, the exception being Bendtner, who I think has improved a bit over the last season, just not as much as we would expect from him, and Diaby who I feel still has a lot to prove after he gets a few games under the belt. I think the subject could point for a debate on it’s own, given recent injuries and lack of shape from some players, what options do we have for the rest of the season, what are our major weaknesses and how can we overcome them, is there is a winning strategy etc. I remember a while back Andy wrote a great topic on 5 things to improve our playing style, it would be nice to have an analysis of our squad in regards to the things to come, since the next matches are absolutely crucial to us and our only real chance of grabbing a trophy this year.

  31. 10 games to go? I’m already 2 weeks ahead of you guys:)
    Seriously, Shard’s last point is a good one – we’ll have 2 months to vent come the summer, but now is really the time to rally round the team.

    As for the constant criticism of Wenger, I am still a HUGE Wenger supporter, but after the last 2 weeks it’s inevitable that the vitriol has increased. Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in football with a worldwide following and charges its supporters handsomely and accordingly (really can’t believe the ticket pricing at the Em). Wenger is due his fair share and he’s paid a king’s ransom for it, but let’s have a go after it’s all over. For now it’s Victoria Concordia Crescit!


  32. I have great respect and admiration for Djourou for playing so well after his previous long lay off.We are all going to miss him.I would also like to say that I get really pissed off reading all the moaning and over critical posts from so called fans.Maybe I am naive but,I feel that we have been unlucky lately.Van der Sar being man of the match is just one example,doesn`t that tell you something about the game?I am Arsenal through and through wether we are 2nd or 2nd bottom.Yes,we could do with a couple of additions to our squad but,that`s for when the transfer window opens.What has our injuries and Barca`s got to do with our medics??? Surely they would pick up a few more if they played in the much harder PL all season.Stick by your team or,go support some one else!

  33. For the first time since the times of Henry i have seen Wenger have faith in mediocre players like Diaby and Rosicky. Almnia is a disgrace. We shall never win a game with Ros icky and Almnia in goal. Lets forget trophies and support the beautiful footie the team plays. Otherwise Wenger and the board are hypocites and dont mind about the emotions of fans who travel with the team only to be rewarded with mediocrity. There is simply no excuses to injuries. If a depleted team like United could humble us with no pressure at all then Wenger is the problem for the team and fans.

  34. @ FAMAN

    I completely agree with you mate. ARSENE WENGER has done a lot to ARSENAL FC; he doesnt deserve all the nonsense he gets from few Arsenal supporters.

    In my opinion he is a true legend. Moving to emirates, competing in the champions league each and every year, making the club financially robust and playing the kind of football that
    every one loves.

    i believe its just the matter of winning the first title and the rest will soon follow. we have to keep faith and believe in this team and hopefully by the end of may we will be THE BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

  35. YOU GUYS DESERVE EVERYTINNG YOU ARE GETTING AND MORE. Still want to shout out “there’s only one Arsene Wenger” or “in Arsene we trust” I have said it before and I wil say it again We will not win anything with this current squad or manager and for you lot to give the impression that nothing is wrong is just playing in tothe board aand managers hands.

  36. Those guys still making excuses for Wenger and his bunch of mediocre merry-men had better wake up soon. Unless of course you’re content with finishing 4th every year and winning nothing but the emirates cup. He’s got nearly 6 yrs to address the situation and every year, its groundhog day. Same old problems. Diaby + Denilson. Almunia. Decimated squad due to injuries. Getting consistently outwitted and outplayed each time we face a big team. No wonder Fabregas wants to leave and I dun blame him because he has more ambition than Wenger, the board and the rest of the squad put together

  37. @gunnerealist

    Why is ‘playing into their hands’ a bad thing?? Oh because they are out to destroy our club and not win anything? Of course..How could I be so stupid to not see that.

    Look nobody’s denying that there are problems. Nobody’s saying things are perfect (as if they ever are). But whatever the problems, whatever our past failures, or state of injuries. We are second in the league, 3 points behind with a game in hand. That league title is all that matters for the moment. If you really are Arsenal fans, that’s all that should matter to you too. The questions can be asked of Wenger later. And I feel they should be asked even if we do win the title. Some things need to change. The manager isn’t one of them.

    In the meantime. Back this team. Help them to win the league.

  38. @shard and others from his point of view, @ what point would you ever discuss why Arsenal keep failing to win big games. At what point would you ever discuss why you think your team is failing to bring home the silver ware.
    Do you not realise that Arsene (a good manager) once had a winning method by promoting a blend or good mixture of players who could cope with all type of football styles in order to win the big games. In the past 6 years he has gone away from that by using only light weight players (boys) who look more skily but are not physically strong enough. It’s quite clear that it’s not working. In order to make the team stronger physically do you think it would cost im anymore money than he would normally pay for a player. The answer is no it would not but perhaps Arsene has something against biger physical players. The likes of JET would be the type of bulk the team is missing to carry them through the tough physical games. Almost every player that has come into the team has made it more silky but softer. Why is it that Wenger keeps promoting the same type of player. Can anyone see what im trying to say….is there anyone who slightly agrees. We know the man has wan things in the past, but why is the change not working.
    I have a son at your Acadmy just off the A406 North Clr for those of you who know the area, and i see exactly what is happening. The stronger players (who can also play) are there but are being released after the scholar years because they dont play smooth enough….everyone is asking what is that all about. Why is it not working people.

  39. Anybody have any idea how much longer Theo is out for?

    I know he doesn’t have a lot of match experience but I would really enjoy seeing Ramsey in the Fabregas seat and have Wilshire in the defensive midfield again. It’s not that I don’t enjoy him in the central role, but we need him to help lock down our (even more so now…again) vulnerable backline. Beside, when Jack was in his old DMF position, he always made those surging runs and passes anyway. Whenever he is in that position, the opposition never seem to expect him to bring the ball out of our own end like he does.

    I’d like to see Ramsey get the opportunity to find his creativity again and use that pent up drive he has had to keep on the backburner for a year to instill some confidence and energy into our lagging side.

    I know our focus is on the season right now, but predictions on who has the chance to JOIN the club in the summer? Forget who is leaving. We all know who should go and who very well might go, but are there any rumours or thoughts that could see our numbers swell with some more experienced players?

  40. @icehammer

    Yes. Those are legitimate questions. While I think there are some answers even I could come up with for some of them, that would be pointless since I am not in the know. There are problems and the team hasn’t progressed as quickly as can be hoped for. You ask me at what point would I discuss them. I’m willing to discuss them throughout the season. At what point would I turn against the team? Never..

    But more importantly, at what point would I demand answers, and demand changes? I can tell you when I won’t. That is while we still have a possibility of winning the league. (and when said changes aren’t even possible anyway)
    However gloomy things are, I will back my team and hope they win. That is the only way I know that I can claim real disappointment at any failure, or real joy in our victory.

  41. Its so amusing hearing some of you guys comment here. Yes we are Arsenal supporters but that shouldn’t becloud our sense of good judgement and reasoning! For crying out loud, Wenger has done a lot for the club in the past but how does he rate in terms of performance in the last six years? Pep won six! trophies in one season and the man is yet to win one in six years. Ever heard of the law of diminishing returns? What really irks me is the fact that the bluntly refuses to strengthen the squad every January when even the blind can see the team needs reinforcement. Which army general ever goes to war without adequate troops? I hear people say the league is ours to loose and l have a good laugh. If you ask me, Arsenal won’t a tin cup talkless of silverware with this squad!

  42. I for one have already started Sharpening my AXE for wenger at the end of the season. BOY!!! i wish i could have been at one of those share holder meetings.

    BUT i agree that we must support the guys now cause fussing won’t make sense since nothing in-terms of man power can change.

    I have lately moved away from blaming the players simply because of this famous Quote” In whom much is given much is expected” And that goes for wenger.

    Let’s be frank Arsene wenger has been given the keys to Arsenal to do as he wants, Say as he wants, Buy as he wants when he wants, am sure you get the picture. Which other big club manager other than MAU (Which i must mention: If sir Alex goes 2 or 3 seasons without a trophy he will be replace i can put my house on that AND he would deserve even more chances than wenger) BUT other than these 2 which other big club
    allows the manager so much freedom??? Hence the microscopic investigation into the teams performances. He is under no pressure and can do as he likes YET the team has failed when it look easier to succeed.

    So when the team fails wenger must take 80% of the blame because he is in a position which no other manager is in.
    All he has done in the last 6 season is make excuses & most of all buy very average players and proclaim to the world how good they can be. I can mention a lot of successful players under wenger BUT there were and still is a lot of unsuccessful players as well. All he does is make excuses, it is excuse that has the world where it is today, If someone kills, the world would find a 1000 reasons why he did it and forget that point, Simple as that.

    And for those who say if wenger leaves Arsenal a whole list of clubs would line up to sign him, this is true, BUT i think the interesting thing would be how long would he last without success. Arsenal is the only club that proclaim in a sport that balancing the books is the only success of a football club and not wining trophies (UTTER RUBBISH)
    It must be a combination of both. Another way to make excuses for Arsenal.
    Where in the world would you hear a sports club boasting of success when they haven’t won anything????

    I want this team to win the league but its very unlikely, we are not good at taking opportunities, I would accept Barc beating us anyday BUT to looses the carling cup to BRUMS a team fighting relegation left a bad taste in my mouth and i think that basically summed up our season.

    So we can blame everything, you make your won luck. Last season we had the easiest last 10 fixtures of all the big four and we made a mess of it, What is different this season??

    I have a buddy who is a MAU fan and i have already conceeded the title to them because even if they loose we would only draw.

    They are still in three competitions you would think that would benefit us history says different.

    I hope if and when wenger decides to leave that we never give a manager so much Privilege ever again because at the end of the day if there is no Accountability than success would not be a priority.

    Arsenal i love you with all my heart……………..

    Regardless of what wenger says he had many resources available to him, he just refuses to use them.

  43. @kel

    Let me counter with a quote as well. ” Losing can never be explained, and winning doesn’t have to be”

    You say Wenger has made excuses. Any reason given for losses can be denounced as just an excuse. Just like I will always maintain that we should have won the league in 2008, and that regardless of whatever our failings were, the larger failings were of the referees that year, and essentially we were cheated out of it. But you and others will no doubt call that an excuse. Building the stadium and having funds restricted can be called an excuse. Maybe funds were available and Wenger chose not to use them. But why? I’m sure it’s not because he wants to massage his ego and not buy. It’s more likely that he thought we could compete, and that it will be more in the club’s long term interest to use that money to pay off the debts faster. Now you could argue that he was wrong about the being able to compete, but we’re using hindsight here ,which is fair enough I suppose. But why are we questioning the man’s intentions? That’s probably what I fail to understand.

    Also I think what we’re doing is grouping all the 6 years together as a basis of judgment only due to those being the trophyless years rather than any dispassionate, logical factor. There are essentially 2 rebuilding phases in there, and while mistakes have been made along the way, not all of them have been equal. Much of the criticism is misplaced in that regard. Or rather isn’t based on any basis other than a lack of a trophy which ignores the bad luck we’ve had along the way, as also much of the excellent work done.

    As for conceding the title to ManU. If fans don;t believe in the team then who will? besides, ManU have shown plenty of frailties too, and lack of ‘mental strength’. They have missed opportunities to extend their lead. They have gotten lucky with some major calls. Lucky with some results. But no one will say that . I’m not knocking ManU here. They can grind out a result when needed and they probably have more experience down this stretch. But we have shown plenty of fight too, and I feel it is only the negatives which are highlighted.

  44. Howdy all,
    late morning west coast US. The news coming through here is that Crazy Jenzy is in contract talks with the club. I’m not sure what that means with but 10 games remaining but I think the side would at least be mentally tougher for his inclusion.
    When things just aren’t going your way maybe a giant wing-nut, whacko-psychotic, Nordrhein-Wetphalian is just the tonic.

  45. @kel

    Also..ManU and Alex Ferguson, DID go through a period of 3 years without a trophy.

  46. One more annoyance I’d like to stress. I keep reading about why Wenger sticks with this or that other guy instead of “shipping the lot out” in lieu of quality players.
    We do not have the money. The Emirates was bought on a plan that went bust with the real estate market in 2007. Instead of it being financed in principle by the sale of property at Highbury Square (as was originally planned) the Emirates is now paid off with ticket receipts and property rights goods.(Jerseys,scarfs,hats etc…) Highbury Square is still at 40% vacancy.Television rights money in English football is shared between ALL of the teams unlike in Spain where Barca and Real own their teams TV rights and so reap all the revenues. This produces a more equitable and competitive league but does not allow the “Big Four” to get fat on TV alone.
    Bottom line reads: This is the team we can presently afford. Wenger, if nothing else has always exhibited a good eye for talent. I doubt it has since gone blind. But,show me the Money.
    PS. The teams financial statement was made publicly available the day after the Carling Cup final. It is a long and dry document but with a cup of tea and a cookie (or biscuit I think you guys call them) it makes for very revealing reading. All of footie does not happen on the pitch.

  47. You are right on the money again, Kel.

    Arsenal and Man Utd are the only stupid damn clubs to give their managers so much leeway. It clearly doesn’t reap any rewards whatsoever, that’s why their current league form is so poor and they’ve both got no chance of winning anything this year. How dare the Arsenal board support a manager who has a genuine talent for working in the budgetary constraints that THEY impose, and for practically over achieving every season!?

    Get real, man. Arsene and Ferguson’s only real competitors in the league are two clubs who were bought out by mega-multi-super millionaires. As leftcoast mentioned, our club released their finance figures weeks ago and we have lost money because we haven’t sold any players. Where is this money that Wenger clearly has if we are operating at a loss?

    Look at Man Utd’s grass roots movement to oust the unpopular financiers of their team. They even set up a whole new football club in protest at the unnecessary debt saddled on their club through years of reckless management. Liverpool are in disarray because of utterly shoddy finances and irresponsible purchases. Would you rather a league win in, oh I don’t know, 2009 and a foreign backer and shit loads of debt, or would you rather be clean of that potentially club-destroying nonsense? I wonder how many fans who turn up at Old Trafford in yellow and green are thrilled at the way their club is run.

  48. @ Shard
    Thanks for you highlighting some very interesting points mate

    But tell me this:

    Do you really think everyone at Arsenal Buy into what wenger is doing???

    And most of all the players do they buy in to whats going on???
    If this philosophy does not work (And it has not so far) how do you justify this to the players???

    Wenger say his players are top quality BUT what have they won to show or prove this?

    You say we have had bad luck by this i think u mean injuries AND bad decisions BUT who hasn’t had that?. I can recall many games we won when we got all the big call.

    On the injury front we know this league is physically demanding YET wenger goes out and buys small players, he knows vanpercy is injury prone and what does he do? bring another un-prolific striker to the club and slow to boot to complement an already slow front line.

    So while i take your point its the blatant lack of investment in quality, here and there that has frustrated me

    I’ll tell u what
    Usually when a player leaves a club you tend to hear all what they had problems with at the club, so Having said this it appears more than likely especially if we don’t win the league that cesc will leave then we will hear what he really thought about wenger’s Arsenal project..
    By the way look at clichy he has been at Arsenal a long time and look at the level he is at?? and i can call other names. How do you justify that??? and gibbs seems to be no different

    So while wenger has done well financially, and i commend him, the bad decisions have have been glaring for all to see. Why would i buy a glass cup if i have young kids at home they will surly break it i need something more durable. Our injury problems are no curse, we just buy the wrong players.

    When you make the same mistakes every year do you deserve sympathy……….

  49. @kel

    I think almost everyone at the club buys into that philosophy.

    Most of the players at the club are themselves the beneficiaries of that policy so I see no reason for them to be against it. (That is not to say that every player is pulling his weight at the moment). I think your question is slightly wrong. Why does anything have to be justified to the players? It is they who have to justify themselves to Wenger and to us. Besides, I think the strategy is slightly more long term than the stage we have reached so far.

    Do you expect Wenger to say that his players are useless or not good enough in public?

    On the bad luck front, there are three factors that I think of right now. Injuries, decisions, and pure dumb luck..
    While it is true that every club has injuries, I think our club have had more injuries for a longer time. That may or may not be true, but combined with our other constraints it can prove a bigger hurdle. Let me give an example. Firstly, no team has suffered as many broken legs as us (which may be indicative of another challenge, but let that go) Now psychological impact aside, those players being sidelined means that we are denied their services for a long time, and their effectiveness is reduced even when they return. Moreover in that intervening period it is near impossible to buy another player as cover because we have budget constraints and we’re still paying the injured player his wages. However, one thing I’m willing to concede is that some other injuries may be a result of something we may be doing wrong. I’m sure the club is searching tirelessly to find such a cause, if it exists. But until we know the reason behind it there isn’t much that we can do.
    Decisions is the most contentious part of football I guess. It is my view that though we may not be the biggest sufferers (though I have a feeling media bias contributes to referees seeing games a certain way against us) but Manchester United receive the benefit of more dodgy calls than anybody else. Far more than can be expected, or in my view explained, by the usual vagaries of sport, or indeed by the tendency for the successful teams to get calls going their way. I have also noticed that many of ManU’s transgressions and instances where they might have gotten away with things are not made an issue of in the media and are also not shown in TV replays during the match. I know that it is the norm to denounce such statements as conspiracy theories, and if you are inclined to do so then feel free to discard the entire argument about decisions.
    The Carling Cup final loss, poorly as we played, was an example of bad luck insofar as the error that lead to it, and that the ball instead of going towards Szczesny’s right, went to his left and straight into the path of the Birmingham striker. There must be plenty of such examples for all teams, but we have had our share of it too.

    Much of the lack of investment is enforced, and the lack of quality will always be an issue when a team is facing so many injuries. It doesn’t excuse certain players playing below par of course.

    Also, I’d like to say I think our team doesn’t lack mental strength. A lack of killer instinct perhaps, and that is something that Wenger deserves part of the blame for. The other part resting with the players. Some of them have not stepped up when it matters and I think they will go in the summer. We have players coming through now, and the financial side should also be easing a bit, at least in relative terms since the other clubs will have to adjust to the financial fairplay rules, giving us more freedom to change things about.

    But on the whole, I think the sheer scale of the challenge we faced and the transition that we made has been forgotten. Part of the reason is that we haven’t won trophies and with the media constantly reminding us of that fact, trophies suddenly seem the immediate requirement. Also, a contributory factor for that feeling is that we have actually managed that transition period quite well. If we had dropped out of the top four once early on, then perhaps there would be a bigger appreciation of what we actually have. And how hard fought those achievements have been. The 6 years has not been a period of constant decline or stagnation. Trophies have nearly been delivered, lost as a result of a variety of factors, and while nearly isn’t good enough, that much has been achieved by not just a team, but a club in transition. Much of the groundwork has been laid, and I truly believe success isn’t far off. It might just come this season as well. But on the whole, we are very much a club on the up, not in decline.

  50. Great points have been made and for a change its a “discussion” not a fight.

    My biggest problem is not that we have not won anything, but its the manner in which we loose. Some players have no fight in them period.

    We have also lost too many games that we were suppose to win with ease. Granted, the last game @ Old Trafford was never going to be easy but looking at the ManU players on display it was embarrassing and we know we can do much better than that.

    Put some effort guys, its only 10 games left!!!!!

  51. @rooiseun
    Your absolutely right. We have a core, a cadre if you will of players that don’t have anywhere near the moxey required. But the fault is with THEM not the rest of the team or the coaches or fans or with the style of play or the colors of the jerseys.
    Backbone comes from home. It comes from Mom refusing to drive you to school because someone picks on you at the bus stop. It comes from Dad letting you know that your last name is HIS last name at that means you don’t run home scared as in FUCKING EVER.
    And, that though all fights are not fair and cannot always be won but that they must be
    fought because to run is cowardly and disgraceful. The same I should think goes for some of our supporters. Reads: If you want your team to stand up and fight don’t quit and run home sniveling yourselves.

  52. @ Shard, l am curious as to a number of thigs you have said thus far and l wud jus ask a few questions to buttress my point.
    1. If you say Wenger’s plan is long term, l guess six years doznt qualify for long term. In dat case how long is this ur long term?
    2. Following from the above izint it logical then to stop hoping for any silverware until this so callled long term plan materializes?
    3. The financial aspect you scored Wenger highly on, how does this profit the avereaghe ticket holder?
    4. Did luck have anything to do with our drawing a match against Newcastle when we were four goals up or loosing against Spurs when we were two goals up? Smthg United wud never do?
    I need answers bro

  53. @Nija Bloke

    Very good questions to ask. These are the questions every serious AFC supporter should think about.

    Someone pointed out above that even Man U suffered a 3 yr trophy drought. Well look what they won after that. 3 League titles and a CL trophy. I remember back in 2001 / 2002, Man U had a porous defence akin to our own now. Well what did they do? Yes, they bought Rio who’s the bedrock of their defence till today. They’ve made some serious errors in transfers dealings (eg Veron). What did they do? Yes, they discarded the deadwood and moved to sign better / more suitable players. Why? Because a culture of failure is not tolerated there.

    The point is, every other ambitious club has identified problems in their ranks and ruthlessly moved to rectify them. Cant say the same for our man Wenger, a 6.5 mil a yr manager! Still playing the same inept players, still defensively suspect, team choking year after year when it matters most. And he’s had 6 yrs (would Roman at Chelski wait 6 yrs??) and the same glaring problems are still around.

    I think Wenger’s loyalty to his players and his project have clouded his judgement at the expense of the supporters and the club’s success. And i get the niggly feeling that the board are happy to indulge him because they’re content with finishing 4th every year and pocketing the dividends. Unless a change is made soon, I can foresee this vicious cycle of mediocrity continuing for the next decade while MU, Chelski, MC and Pool sweep the lot between them.

  54. @nija bloke
    You ask a few questions which I will try my best to answer.
    1. 6 Years really isn’t that long in term’s of a club’s history. Think about it. I feel proud of our club’s achievements even in the 30s. I’m not saying we should rely on past glories only. But 6 years is not much to give if the club’s future can be secured. As for how long is long term.. All i can say is that we are close. Not just close to a trophy, which we have been a number of times even during the 6 years, but close to coming out of the transitory phase. Paying of the stadium debts quicker (at the cost of transfers at times) is actually a way to speed up that transition. I think for many players this season is the last chance saloon. They could have, and still can, come good, but if not, then in the off season a) we can afford to spend a bit more, and b) we have some reserves who now seem ready to take over.

    2. If it’s logic you’re after then being a football fan isn’t for you. Seriously, life of a sport’s fan has very few glory years. All the rest is pain. Pain..and hope.. It might be logical to not EXPECT trophies. No team can guarantee triumphs no matter how good they are. But to hope is all a fan has. It is hope and belief in the team that makes it’s victory your own, as also its disappointments. That is how I feel as a fan. If I give up while we still have a chance, then how can I expect better from my team?

    3. I don;t believe I mentioned the financial aspects as a credit to Wenger at all in the last post. I was only thinking of the output on the pitch. Let’s be honest. Our financial strength (or situation if you prefer) isn’t solely, or even primarily to do with Wenger. The board deserves the credit (or blame) for that. What Wenger has done is worked within those constraints to produce results on the pitch. And keeping those constraints in mind, I think he’s done a fantastic job, though not perfect by any stretch. If Wenger cared less about the club he could have demanded funds as an ultimatum like many other managers do. Wenger takes much of the blame only because he stands by the vision of the club. It is not only his vision.
    As far as the ticket holders and the prices etc are concerned. Would winning trophies mean the prices reduce? Do you buy the tickets only to see trophies? In that case I think you should just stop paying. Stop going to matches because as I said, no club guarantees trophies. If the prices seem unfair to you then nobody forces you to go. Rising prices of tickets are a legitimate concern, but it is a totally separate issue from the winning of trophies. Bottom line. If you do not feel you are getting your money’s worth then stop buying.

    4. Luck had pretty much everything to do with the Newcastle draw. Actually I don;t think that was luck. If we hadn’t started like a bat out of hell I think we would have lost that match. It’s not just the big calls in that match which were against us a-plenty. We were forced into submission as a result of the referee’s performance there. When even Andrew, who is at times for me frustratingly neutral in his analysis puts a headline saying ‘What would a fixed match look like’ then you know something was out of place.(not saying fixed necessarily, but the referee’s performance was horribly one sided) I look back on the Newcastle match as a point gained rather than two lost because I think we were meant to lose that game. Please I’m not making excuses for the team or Diaby in this case, but look back at that match again.
    The spurs match was a shame. A total shame. No excuses. We thought the match was over and we let them back in. Unacceptable.
    Something United would never do? Everton 3-3 draw? Fulham 2-2 draw? WBA only getting a win because they didn’t go down to 10 men and concede a penalty straight off, and STILL needing the opposition to miss a penalty at the end? I’m sorry. ManU’s mental strength as opposed to our weakness and fragility is a myth.

    One note on ManU’s fans and something we possibly could learn from them. They are blind bigots when it comes to their team. They refuse to see their players’ faults and claim persecution on the basis of very very little. If they can complain about that Chelsea match regarding referees, it absolutely shocks me that we still blame our team for the Newcastle game. Of course we can do better. When is that ever untrue? But very often we do enough, and more, and are denied by factors outside our control. Once again, I never excuse my team’s failings or try and hide them. I always WANT to blame my team for failures. Except. It is really not always their fault.

  55. @realistic_gooner

    I had pointed out those 3 years for ManU only as a response to kel’s assertion that he would bet his house that even Alex Ferguson would be fired if ManU went 2-3 years without a trophy. Our situation to ManU’s is very very different and I do not choose to draw parallels with them because they do not exist in such simple terms.

  56. @realistic_gooner

    One thing I missed in your earlier post.. you said “i get the niggly feeling that the board are happy to indulge him because they’re content with finishing 4th every year and pocketing the dividends.”

    Arsenal FC do NOT pay dividends. Somehow this idea is bandied about quite often that the board pockets the money. That is patently untrue. All the money stays within the club.

  57. @ Shard, whilst l agree with some of your postulations, l find it hard to accept the fact that you say fans do not pay to see success. If that be the case why do these fans pay so much esp @ the Emirates? Its like u paying for an exam and time after time you flunk it! My position is whatever philosophy Wenger is pursuing, it simply is not working! Now how do you explain dat season after season we face these injury worries at this time and yet we don’t reinforce the squad? Was it not Einstein that said doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is simply insanity? You cannot arrive at conclusions in certain areas of life(football inclusive) without applying logic except if you are saying my choice of word is wrong. Right now we have a goal keeping problem jus like Man U wud have at the end of the season but looking at the choices being made by both clubs, u can easily tell which of them wud end up having a dependable keeper.
    We all love this club no doubt but no father wud be happy having a child go to school and alwaz flunking his exams. Wenger should change his philosophy or like you rightly pointed out the fans sooner than later would stop coming to the stadium and that would be the death knell!

  58. I understand people have been calling for wengers head, there’s alot of us who are still very hurt from the past couple weeks we’ve had, but lets put things into perspective. The last 5 or six years we’ve been up there in the champions league spots, we may not have been as competitive for title but we’ve been up there, and we’ve come pretty close this year, and we’re still in with a shot of the league title. We’ve had plenty of youth players come to the 1st team, wilshere being our greatest prospect, we have players like the rejuevenated nasri, walcott, we will have these players the likes of djourou, kosc, schzezny, gibbs, frimpong, ramsey, rio, jet all who can play a part next season. In the past few seasons we’ve had to sell players for money, now, we have the financial strength to say no to the sale of fabregas (although the move may come from the players desire to go to spain) but my point is, we can keep our best players, and we can continue selling players who arent contributing like they should, and buying quality players instead, if you cannot look past these past few weeks and realise the future for afc is very very bright, then you shouldnt call yourself a fan. And as for wenger, he created this, he gives the club and our football style its identity and to call for him to leave is a massive mistake.

  59. @Nija Bloke

    Fans want to see success. Fans want the team to do well. Fans do not buy tickets only for that reason. Supporting a team is more an emotional investment rather than a financial one. Traditional economics do not work because of the overwhelming emotional aspect of it. I’m not criticising you if that is the way you view it. I’m just saying you have an option to not pay. taking your contention a bit further would mean that basically you are paying the club, and by extension the players for winning a trophy. Yet, I’m sure not many fans would say they want players who only play for the money. For the mercenary’s creed if you will.. What does pride in the shirt that we demand indicate? That there are things beyond money (or shiny silverware even) that the club represents. That is what I think we truly support. For the rest, as I said, you have an option of not paying.

    Logic is there of course. But again, the logic of the traditional economics of (material) returns in exchange for investment, does not apply for sports teams and their fans. The logic in supporting the team is a vague concept and again ,as I see it, is about what the club represents. Which can be different for each and every one of it’s fans of course.

    Regarding injuries, the Einstein quote seems to indicate that you think we are doing everything the same way. How do you know changes haven’t been made to the training regimes, to the medical techniques, to any of the other things that may be a factor? Maybe this season the injuries that are happening now are simply down to the number of games we have played.( 2 every week from Dec 27th) Regarding strengthening, while there was definitely scope to do so, again, we are constrained a bit in terms of our ability to do so. Which doesn’t making strengthening in terms of buying players impossible, but certainly doesn’t make it easy. Again, we have no way of knowing whether Wenger didn’t even try to strengthen. It’s just conjecture.

    You can’t blame Wenger for the injuries to 3 goalkeepers to happen at the same time. Fabiansky had his shoulder pulled out during training. Szczesny’s injury was simply a freak. Mannone went out on loan where he was injured. Almunia was our third choice. Tell me any other team has a more experienced or a better third choice. If anything, Wenger played safe in not selling him in January when I’m sure not many of us would have been upset to see him go. If anything, for that Wenger deserves credit.

    As for your analogy of failing an exam every year. How many children give that exam, and how many people are meant to pass it? Not winning a trophy in football is like blaming a child and calling him an utter fool, for not winning the Rhodes scholarship.

  60. Does this Strile provide anymore other than some Random Pictures of the previous match ,taken from some other site. It used to be my most visited blog at one time.

    NOW.. NO MORE than a Completely Boring website. Are u also one of those wannabe Fans who wouldn`t stand-up when the things are against ur Club!!!!

  61. U guys just don know how lucky we are that, every year in March we are still challenging for the league title.. So the Man in charge does do a few things right.
    Look at Man city.. They spent a fortune (no CL , below Arsenal).. Chelsea ranked below Arsenal, Liverpool ( way below).. Tottenham ( still below).. So why are we crying here?
    No manager in the world can be in charge with this current crop of players and be 2nd in the PL…not only second – but win the next 10 games and the title is Ours.. Think about, no need for Man utd to drop points … Just win all your games and you’re the champ! This is exactly where you ant to be in March!!

  62. Well shard infact reports are flying in he might be fit to actually start against Blackburn rover’s..
    And quite frankly by then we shld have a fit song, walcott, and cesc hopefully so for the first time an intl break might help arsenal, in the past we have always been screwed by the internationals, rvp getting injured and i always remember we always drew or lost after an international break.

    So lady luck might be shining on us for this one..

    BTW are diaby and denilson getting on people’s nerves they are on mine at least.

  63. A couple of points. It’s clear that our fully fit first eleven is as god as anyone’s Unfortunately we rarely get to see them. There are in my reckoning five or six players who have consistently underperformed and I think the time is up for them. They have let Wenger down big time and I don’t believe he is so naive as not to know it – but quite rightly he won’t say so in public. These players are Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Eboue, Vela and to a lesser extent, Bendtner. I still like NB 52 and think he has never been given a run of games and ends up playing when those other underperformers play so makes him look worse.
    My second point is to all the anti-Wenger crowd. Just how many of our established players do you seriously believe will stick around if he goes? My fear would be that Fab, Nasri, RVP, the likes of Song, Wilshire, will all up and leave as well. I don’t see us challenging for anything for some time if that happens. Be careful what you wish for. For me I’d just like to see a new defender, defensive midfielder and a goal scorer and a close hard look at our training and medical team. Ten games to go. No mid week distractions – it’s about as close to a silver lining as I can find!

    Also, I am with the guy who calls for more respect for Wenger. They bloke has had to put up with awful abuse from opposing fans. It’s hard to take when it’s from your own.

  64. Fair points some of you guys have made regarding Wenger, esp from Shaard. I hear you guys.

    However, I have to say, as much as I love the man for all he’s done for the club, I do feel he’s taken the club as far as he can. That is unless of course he suddenly shows a ruthless streak by discarding the deadwood and bringing in reinforcements (no one is asking him to sign a 50m striker for goodness sake!! Just some decent suitable cover which we obviously lack now!!). He also has a lot of work cut out for him in addressing the injury issues (incompetent medical team??) and he needs to bring in a new No 2 with good tactical acumen.

    Folks always think Arsene is indispensible to the club and often make the point: “Oh but if he leaves, who’s there to replace him? We’ll collapse and end up a mid table side”. Well, ever heard of the names Hiddink, Rijkaard, Mourinho, Van Gaal or even Guardiola??? These are the guys who have coped with the highest pressure jobs, won the best trophies. And most of them (if not all) are on a lower salary than Wenger. Are they not adequate replacements??

    Another point I always hear being bandied around is that our best players (RVP, Fab, Wilshere) will leave if Wenger leaves. Well Wenger was in charge when our best players Henry, Vieira and Cole left, wasn’t he? He was in charge when Hleb, Flamini and Adebayor all decided to seek greener pastures elsewhere, wasnt he? Contrary to popular opinion, I think our best and most ambitious players will want to leave if Wenger continues because they wouldn’t want to stick around winning sod all in the prime of their careers waiting for Wenger’s pet project to mature and for the likes of Diaby and Denilson to mature (they never will)!!

    Don’t get me wrong, Im not a negative hater, and Im not anti Wenger. In fact, I love the man, but I love my club more. I’ve patiently waited in hope for the past 5 yrs, but its becoming apparent to me and many others that Wenger’s myopia and stubborness will only stunt the development of AFC. Yes, we’re still in the running for the league title, and I will support the team all the way, but if we fall short again, then I hope someone upstairs (if they can be bothered at all) does something to address this farce.

  65. Dude u cannot sign half those managers u mentioned accept for one of them i like in their who is Guss Hiddink, i really admire this person as a manager and will tell all of you he is the best strategist in the game, i am sure he will outsmart utd, Chelsea and also have a game plan to beat barca.

    Don’t get me wrong i do not want wenger or anyone for that matter of fact out of the team accept for a maybe 3-4 players, but just agreeing with realistic_gooner if Hiddink was to join none of those players would leave trust me..

  66. @Aman

    If I were to choose from that list, Hiddink would be my first choice as well. I’m curious to know why you think we cant sign most of those names.

    Van Gaal – Out of Bayern in the summer
    Mourinho – Disgruntled at RM and wants to return to English football
    Guardiola – Unlikely, but not entirely impossible
    Rijkaard – Was last with Galatasaray, will come if offered the right terms

    Given that Wenger earns more than most of them currently, wage should be a non-issue. And if we truly believe we’re a big club with pedigree, why should we feel like we can’t get some of these names to manage us? Or is it because we’re already so innundated with this culture of “Finishing top 4 is a huge achievement already” that Wenger has propagated, so much so that we can’t believe no other world class name aside from Wenger would take the job at AFC??

  67. @realistic_gooner
    I strongly disagree with your contention that Arsene has taken this club as far as he can. You accuse him of stubborness, and call our clubs situation a farce. What part of our club do you find a farce? The lack of trophies for the past 6 years, in the meantime of which we have rebuilt a side completely, while having finances constricted due to us building a new stadium which was an absolute necessity to be able to compete financially in the future, at a time of global recession which impacted on our plans of selling property to put more money in our coffers, and still managing to COMPETE for trophies and never dropping out of the top 4, while having our players’ legs smashed I might add, I put to you the question…WHAT ABOUT OUR CLUB DO YOU CONTEND A FARCE?

    Wanting trophies is all well and good. But to want one just as a course of bragging rights is not something I would agree with. I want a trophy because it would be a vindication of all we have achieved as a club during these lean years. It would give a concrete validity, in others’ eyes, that we set on a path that was unique, and demeaned by everybody, and still came out on top. Even if the trophies don’t come immediately though, our achievements are still unquestionable. Those that deny them are either jealous and wary about what the future will hold for their interests (ie outsiders) or just people whose resolve has been broken by the outsiders’ jibes.

    The stubborness you accuse Wenger of is a resolve to see out the tough times in the knowledge that the success will follow. If you talk about ruthlessness, then Wenger has shown enough of a ruthless streak in the past. If you cannot see that his hands have been tied by the stadium move then I cannot say more. That they were tied with his knowledge and consent makes no difference to the fact that in a period when the market has gone crazy with both the number of people and the amounts in the transfer and wage market spiralling out of control, and when we could not (and in any case should not) tread down the same path, we still have managed to stay near the top, and been close to trophies too. No other manager would have been willing to even try that. Show me an example of a manager who has done that, and I’ll grant you your replacement.

    Wenger isn’t indispensible. No one is. But he is the closest that comes to it, and at this point, to remove him would result in going down a slope that might prove catastrophic. Not for him. For the club.

    Of the managers you suggest, Hiddink and Van Gaal would be the two who I could think could come close to emulating what Wenger has done. And if he leaves those are the two that I would consider. Rijkaard and Guardiola?? I’m not so sure… Mourinho? Over my dead body.. I do not care if he guarantees us 5 consecutive titles. I do not want him at my club. He wins titles ONLY for himself. The club is just a tool in that regard and he doesn’t care about the long term future of the club. Let him stay at a club for a period greater than 5 years, and show that he can build and then rebuild a team, before he can even be considered for Arsenal.

    The 6 years without the trophy is just a statistic, moulded to have a swipe at us. Why 6? Why not 10 years? Why not 20? or 50? Let’s see which clubs are better in that regard? We have a proud history, and an immensely bright future ahead. We’re almost there. Have some faith..Show some steel and resolve.

  68. I sort of agree with Shard with his picks of manager but really should we discussing this because wenger isnt a coward and wont walk out of his team like a certain Harry who left Portsmouth for the shit hole called spuds, and eventually relegating the Pompey team by stealing players back to the scum.

    He wont just walk away trust me so this conversation is pretty much useless for the next 5 years at least

  69. Morning All I did kind of want United to progress to the next round, as they will surely now have to play at least three more games that us (2 in the CL and 1 in the FA cup)… which can only help us in the run in to the title… if we want it that is – I say that because it was amazing to see how much United wanted to win, compared to us at Barcelona when we gave us a long time before the final whistle… but more importantly, it made me think about the strikers we have – with the exception of Van Persie – and the likes of Bendtner, Chamakh and Vela just are not in the same league as the likes of Pandev, Eto’o, Hernandez etc…

    It’s a little frustrating because these players – Eto’o was a £7m signing for Real Madrid all those years ago, and Hernandez was an £8m signing last summer – compare and contrast to Bendtner (£500k), Chamakh (free) and Vela (£2.5m)… there is a saying that you get what you pay for and we’re starting to see that now as it becomes clear that some of our fringe players, well – most of our fringe players are not good enough. Whilst I’m not trying to be negative, or dismissive to the current squad, a few £7m – £8m signings instead of the £1.5m – £2.5m signings wouldn’t break the bank – heck if this article is to be believed, Blackburn are going to give us £15m for Niklas Bendtner….. sell, sell, sell…

    Anyway, we have the whole summer to talk about in’s and out’s – I hope that Arsene makes the right decisions – not just in transfers, but in pecking order – the likes of Denilson and Eboue would have been more suitable to Barcelona away (rather than Diaby and Rosicky) and let’s hope Ramsey and Wilshere do maintain their position ahead of Diaby in any pecking order we have…

  70. @theicehammer

    I guess I’m not as ice cool as you 🙂

    I admit I lost it a bit, but I felt it was a fair enough reaction to the use of the word farce.. In any case I stand by the points, regardless of how poorly I may have made them.

  71. @Aman

    You’re right. If he was going to walk away he probably would have by now. Though I’m not sure about the 5 years. His contract is up in 2014. That might just be it… I think it was pretty much a hypothetical situation that we were talking about with other managers anyway.

  72. @shard – The “Youth” experiment has been in full swing for six years now. Since our last trophy, the likes of Vieira, Henry, Bergkamp, Lauren, Cole, Campbell, Pires, Gilberto and Lehmann, to name a few have moved on or retired. All world class proven winners. They have been replaced by the likes of Bendtner, Diaby, Denilson, Eboue, Rosicky, Almunia and Arshavin to name a few.

    Diaby: No Patrick Vieira
    A few performances apart for Arshavin & Manuel, none of them can hold a candle to the aforementioned.

    Fact: Too many mature world class players were allowed to leave in to short a space of time.

    Fact: No older proven world class performers have come in to replace them.

    Fact: Too many under 21’s were brought into the first team together.

    Result: No trophies for six seasons. FACT.

    “But we can still win the league”, I hear you cry… wake up. This team failed to beat a team with the lowest goals scored total in the top flight that will probably be playing Europa League football alongside championship fixtures next term.

    Mr Wenger, your experiment has failed. Time to start spending the money we are all told exists or do one!

    We are starting to become a punchline for football fans everywhere, a joke. I have no doubt I shall be hung, drawn and quartered for this view. “Look at what Wenger has done for the club off the field”, people keep saying. I am a fan of football, and I want my team to win trophies. I want to see us beat Man Utd, and Chelsea and Tottenham. I want to see us winning cup finals and go on open top bus parades to Islington town hall. I don’t care about financial results for the third quarter or what type of king prawns are used in the half time sushi on Club Level, or whether there are any Arsenal measuring tapes left in the club shop…

    Arsenal was a football club not so long ago, but the board, the manager, and now even many of the fans only see the image. Lovely shiny stadium, with comfy seats, supermarket club shops and al-a-carte menus in the restaurants.

    I want the club to be successful on the pitch. At the moment I can only see a healthy bank balance and empty trophy cabinets in Arsenal’s future.

  73. @Shard

    As I’ve mentioned before, I enjoy reading your posts, and you do make good points. Your above post about Wenger and his merits are all true and valid, and I’d be the first to wholeheartedly agree with you about all he’s done for the club. But let me explain more clearly why I think he’s taken the club as far as he can AS A MANAGER.

    First, I’m sure we’ll all agree Wenger is being hired first and foremost, AS A MANAGER. His primary objective is to oversee day-to-day training, come out with tactics and a game plan to beat the opposition, rotate players accordingly, build a functional team that can play and adapt to his tactics, among other things. But most importantly, he’s being paid 6m a year to WIN GAMES and WIN TROPHIES. Its all well and good that he’s a visionary who has a grand long term plan for the club, but he should do all that if he wants to, without abandoning his core role. Otherwise, we should change his post to Director of Football or something.

    Now, here’s where he truly falls short. Speaking purely from a managerial perspective, would you consider Wenger a top class coach? Decent yes. World class? I think not. I think every serious gooner with blinkers off who’s followed this team for the past few years can see that Wenger is tactically limited.

    How many times have we seen the kind of aimless passing and possession with no end result? To top it off, we seldom score if we don’t walk the ball into the net because we’re piss poor at set pieces (both ends of the pitch), poor at crosses, and generally cant make our possession count esp against top opposition! In fact, we’re so one sided that Man U, Chelsea and some smart mid table clubs have us all figured out. Defend deep, get numbers behind the ball, then counterattack at pace. Even a RESERVE Man U team managed to execute that same old game plan to perfection just last week! How many games against big teams have we won recently over the past 3 or 4 yrs? I think i can count them with the fingers on one hand.

    Couple that with our defensive weakness (esp when defending counterattacks and at set pieces), our general weakness at set pieces, the lack of a plan B to our game, and it really makes you wonder what whether all the players do in training is to play 5-a-side all week passing in pretty little triangles.

    You ask me why I think this is a farce. A farce is when you have lazy and inept players like Diaby and Denilson who couldnt give two hoots about the shirt they’re representing strolling around for the past 4 yrs and earning in excess of 50k a week. Did you see the grin on Denilson’s face when he picked up his loser’s medal at Wembley two weeks ago? A farce is when you rely on the inept Almunia keep goal for 4 seasons. A farce is when you snatch defeat from the jaws of victory season after season (4-4 in Newcastle, 2-3 Spurs, 4-4 Spurs two seasons ago, 3-2 Wigan last season, 2-1 Man U two seasons ago). A farce is when you throw away trophies year after year despite being in a good position. A farce is when your medical team declares a player almost fit and he ends up being out for a lengthy period (Rosicky, Vermaelen). A farce is when your manager has funds to spend (the board themselves have come out on more than one occasion to declare that funds are available for Wenger) but blatantly refuses to sign necessary reinforcements even though a blind man and his dog can see the areas of the team that need strengthening. Need I go on??

    Enough is enough. Not 1 season or 2, but for 5 seasons, the same drama has replayed itself like a broken record; its like some horrible nightmare. I beg to differ from your implication that questioning Wenger and his philosophy is akin to ‘not showing steel and resolve’. If anything, I’m an objective realist who calls a spade a spade. I’m not about to kid myself and others that all is happy and well because it isnt. Not when my beloved AFC are concerned.

  74. @rbuxcey

    “Look at what Wenger has done for the club off the field”,

    Uhhhh.. I never said that. Wenger hasn’t done anything off the field. That has been the board’s job. Wenger has worked only on the football side of things, in the constraints that have existed. If you think he could have done a better job then I will agree with that. But I think on the whole he’s done a very good job indeed, and a lot of it is taken for granted.

    As for open top bus parades and trophies. Those have to be worked for. A lot harder especially if you go about things differently from what has become the standard practice in England.(some of it by necessity, most out of good sense) Victories don’t come about just because you demand it. It doesn’t come about just because you throw money at the problem. In fact, you could do everything right and they still may not come about because of something as simple as bad luck, or bad timing (like another team just having a golden period and being better than you exactly at the time that you peak)

    Ultimately all you are criticising is a lack of trophies. And trophies are not always the complete judge of a team. That isn’t the talk of a loser.Similarly, just demanding trophies isn’t the talk of a winner. Do you really think the fans like me do not want trophies? That we are ‘content’ to just finish 4th? That Wenger is?
    Look at trophies as the be all and end all, and yes Wenger and Arsenal have been a failure these past 6 years. Look at everything that has happened in that time frame, and we have actually overachieved. You call for money to be spent.The money that is there.. Why do you think that money is there in the first place? Because Arsenal, and Wenger, and by extension, we as fans have made sacrifices. Sacrifices to be stronger in the future.

    Fact: Too many mature world class players were allowed to leave in to short a space of time.
    True. Undeniably. How much of it was enforced though? We don;t know for sure, and for many of them it was probably the right time to go. I’d probably say Pires and Gilberto are the exceptions to that.

    Fact: No older proven world class performers have come in to replace them. (not exactly)
    Fact: Too many under 21’s were brought into the first team together. (No choice)

    It really isn’t very hard to understand. No money, or rather saving money meant that the options were limited. But if we have achieved all we have (on the field I mean) with a team with no mature world class players as you say, why would you throw in the towel when that team is starting to mature and when the financial sacrifices are starting to bear fruit?

    The “Youth” experiment has been in full swing for six years now.

    Actually. The youth experiment/project started way before the 6 years.
    Cesc, Clichy, Djourou, RVP. Senderos, Flamini all came to the club in 2003 I think it was. How many of those are ‘failures’? Also, many of the reserves, the likes of Wilshere joined the fairly new academy set up at around this time too.
    Another player who came then was Reyes, who would have been fantastic in my opinion if only he could adapt to life in England. But he was a big money signing. Which just proves that there is no guarantee of how a transfer will work out.
    Two years later it was Bendtner, Adebayor, Diaby, Walcott, Traore who were added, along with Rosicky and Hleb (both fairly experienced I think it is fair to say)

    This was the point that the likes of Vieira, henry, Campbell etc had to leave. The time we moved to a new stadium with pretty much a new team the work for which had started about 4 years before. Without that forethought we would surely have finished out of the top 4.

    Since then Song, Denilson, Fabiansky, Merida, Eduardo, Sagna, Ramsey, Nasri, Arshavin have come in. Some for fairly big money, some relatively cheap. Some experienced enough to slot straight in, some for the future.

    Most of the team we are seeing now are only the first and maybe the second part of the youth project (supplemented by periodic additions), NOT it’s culmination. Jack Wilshere’s teammates in the youth system coming through will probably be the end of the project.

    I’ve said this before. The 6 years are rather arbitrarily being clubbed together solely on the basis of the trophy count. The circumstances and the performances haven’t been a constant during that period.

    Let’s see what the results have been like. From memory..
    2006- 4th (barely), Champions League final (One Henry miss, and 2 offside goals, with an inspired Henrik Larsson making the difference), and the youth reaching the semi final of the carling cup.

    2007- 4th, final of carling cup

    2008- 3rd (should have been first. That year, I will always maintain that we ended up being cheated out of the title) , and a heartbreaking exit from the UCL by liverpool. Oh and carling semis I think.

    2009- Flamini left, Gilberto left, Hleb left, Rosicky injuries, minor rebuilding started. 4th, Semi finals FA Cup (i think), and semis of the champions league.

    2010- 3rd. Not a very good season..

    All in all that makes for painful reading (because it means so much for us that Arsenal should win) but not very poor reading. For me, we have made sacrifices in order to lay a foundation for the future. That future is almost here. The youth project is still on, and with a little bit of good fortune would have brought trophies even during it’s halfway point, despite clubs like Chelsea, man City, Tottenham, Liverpool also, outspending it. It is not time to change direction midway.
    A few more signings are required. A few players need to leave. But the best way to win trophies for us, is to stay the course. I don’t want Wenger to stay out of some sentimental reasons. I want Wenger to stay because his job is incomplete, and because I think no one else can complete it, or bring us success more quickly than him, while ensuring our future remains secure.

  75. @rbuxcey

    That’s exactly what i’m talking about. We’re threatening to become a world class financial institution masquerading as a football club

  76. @realistic_gooner
    “But most importantly, he’s being paid 6m a year to WIN GAMES and WIN TROPHIES.”

    Actually, a manager’s primary job is maximisation of resources. The resources that the board provides him with. I’d also dispute the 6 million figure you give. I don’t think anyone has any idea how much he earns. It’s another of those things bandied about.

    “Wenger is tactically limited.”
    I’m not sure it’s that he can’t adapt tactically, because he does do it at times, and with subtle tactics quite often. But yes, he’s not a coach that relies too much on tactics. I agree he could probably do with some newer faces on the bench to assist him. Even challenge him.

    “How many times have we seen the kind of aimless passing and possession with no end result? To top it off, we seldom score if we don’t walk the ball into the net because we’re piss poor at set pieces (both ends of the pitch),”
    I think a lot of that is opinion and perception rather than fact. I would like to see some statistics to confirm whether that’s true, but I know a lot of our supposed issues are only the result of lazy analysis by TV pundits being repeatedly proclaimed as fact. Even if some of it is true, I think it is over emphasised. An example, that we pass the ball into the net. I think last year we were the team that took the most shots from outside the box. Some of the issues on set pieces were there and height was an issue for a while too which would probably have contributed. Again, I’d like to see some figures to confirm that. But visibly, much of those issues have been sorted out this season.

    “In fact, we’re so one sided that Man U, Chelsea and some smart mid table clubs have us all figured out. Defend deep, get numbers behind the ball, then counterattack at pace. Even a RESERVE Man U team managed to execute that same old game plan to perfection just last week! How many games against big teams have we won recently over the past 3 or 4 yrs? I think i can count them with the fingers on one hand.”

    You’re right. Those defeats were very annoying, and we were caught on the counter repeatedly. The FA cup loss this week was even more annoying because I thought we had conquered those issues as evidenced during the Chelsea victory and even during the ManU loss earlier in the season. As for how many big games have we won. A few years ago we were winning the big games but losing to the lower opposition. I don’t know why that was, but there you go.

    The one sided nature of our attack is something I agree with. We lack the pace that earlier teams used to have. I think that is more to do with the type of players that we have at the club. Just to be clear. That is Wenger’s fault. We’ve been stuck with too many similar players and lack pace to be a genuine threat on the counter.

    Ok. SO what do we have. Tactically deficient. Defensive weaknesses, One dimensional attack.. The first I would agree with to the extent that he needs someone who’s perhaps of a different mindset working with him. Defensive weaknesses are I think over emphasised. Our defense isn’t bad this season, and I don’t think it has been in too many seasons past. One dimensional attack. as I said I think there are too many similar players and that means we are one dimensional. Agreed. (though we still score a fair few goals)
    Wenger should not have allowed such a situation to develop. But I have to keep returning to the ability to act being curbed. Ok. Let me explain. He could have jettisoned a few players off earlier. It would have cost him more to replace them with people who may or may not have done even as good a job. Should he have done it? Possibly in the case of a few players. Not in the case of others. If he would have done it, the ‘youth project’ or period of curtailed spendiing would be expanded. (Since you aren’t paying off the debts as quickly) It’s essentially a juggling act. He probably erred on the side of caution and didn’t spend money. Despite that, we have competed for trophies. We didn’t win them so he was wrong is too simplistic an argument. He wasn’t necessarily wrong AT THE TIME. A more specific example. Defensive Mid at the start of the season (or in january) Most definitely would have improved the squad. But any DM that would have improved the squad would mean that Frimpong and Coquelin will be frozen out. We have players who are almost ready to step in. To bring in someone now would be spending money on something that we won’t REQUIRE pretty soon. I think Denilson will go in the summer, because NOW we can afford to let him go. We know that his leaving doesn’t mean we have to buy a 15-20 million pound replacement. We have lansbury, and the earlier mentioned players coming in.

    Essentially, there are a lot of things he could have done differently. Some players have stepped up (Nasri, Walcott), some haven’t. His persistence with some players has been proved right (Song, Djourou) and not with others. But it is only now that we are in a position to say to them that they should go. because now we have reserves waiting, and we have some easing in the finances. You are judging Wenger on a mission that is still incomplete. And this is where you have to consider his past record. We know he’s won trophies for us before. We know he’s put a lot of effort in building and rebuilding this team in a period where his effectiveness was compromised as a result of the club’s progression (and that is what it is). I think he deserves a chance to win trophies for us again when the constraints he’s worked through are easing. Especially when you consider that even during those years, he hasn’t underachieved. Quite the opposite in fact.

  77. Two points.
    !) A couple of consecutive wins in the league and perhaps if (a big if understandably) United should lose or draw one and all the doomers will pipe down.( At least until things get tough again.)
    2) We do not, repeat do not have the money to buy top shelf players.
    Take some time and read the financial statement all the way through. We’ll get by and be able to make some minor transfers (if we can unload some deadwood) But until The Emirates debt level is greatly reduced it ain’t on. We will have to go with what we can afford which until 2015-16. The 19 teams below us in the league would gladly exchanges places with us in the table. The one above us would gladly exchange places with us in the financial ledgers. Footie like all of life is a relative proposition. Try and hang in there.

  78. @shard

    Thanks for the very level headed and objective replies to my post. You don’t get that much nowadays. I do apologise if I sound like an angry hater in some of my earlier posts; its just that frustration sometimes get the better of me because I do care about the club. Its hard to swallow when our rivals are sweeping the lot between them and opposing fans stick the knife in at every opportunity.

    Fair point you make about Wenger working through financial constraints, esp at the start of these barren 5 yrs. I do feel he could have managed the transition better. For example, letting players go who still had much to give, guys like Bobby Pires for example. I also felt he could have done more to hold on to guys like Vieira and Henry to be mentors to the up and coming, who were pretty much thrown into the deep end after these guys left. Well, in any case, too late for all of that.

    Very good point on Wenger needing some fresh faces among the coaching staff. Its something I’ve been crying for some time already. We need a carlos queiroz kind of guy, someone tactically astute who Wenger will actually listen to! Another thing Arsene needs to do is to sort out the injury issues. Is it incompetent medical staff, training methods or are our players just made of glass??? Its ridiculous that our best forward (RVP) cant complete half a season for us without getting injured!!!

    I also maintain that Arsene is stubborn and has blind spots which he refuses to address, knowingly or otherwise. For example, his current obsession with playing slow tippy tappy football with no end result, esp against the big teams who have us figured out. Also, his preference for buying small, nimble AMs and playing them all over the pitch. His aversion to paying that bit extra for genuine quality. His constant mollycoddling of players who let him down.

    If Wenger were to continue (and he most likely will), my only hope is that you’re right. That the likes of Frimpong, Coquelin, Lansbury and JET will turn out to be Wilsheres, Nasris and Songs rather than Diabys or Denilsons. Otherwise, my greatest fear will come true; our best players will become disillusioned and leave for greener pastures and we’ll forever be stuck in this transition phase, where our young and promising players end up stunted due to a lack of proper space and time for development, and where the mediocre and underperforming players are constantly rewarded with lucrative new contracts.

  79. I’m gonna jump in with a personal opinion vis-a-vis Wenger and his place at Arsenal. I won’t have the extensive arguments you guys have nor do I want to, it’s a joy just to read the above replies 🙂 I’m a fan of Arsenal for only a couple of years – before that I only watched UCL matches and nothing else – so I still have to see this club win a trophy. I consider even this present period as still being one of getting in touch with the values of the club, with how things are done, what are the strategies and so on.

    Therefore I can only say what I feel and not bring a point of view with the pretext of being objective. And what I feel is that despite all the losses, despite all the bad moments, despite the anger I felt sometimes towards the players or the manager, Wenger’s place is at Arsenal. I always liked this idea of a club that has tradition, of a club that has his very own values and mentality. I found myself asking the other day how I came to be an Arsenal fan, why not a Chelsea fan, why not a Man Utd fan, since there were so many of those around me at that time. And in a way there was this need to be apart, to be unlike everybody else, to find in a football club a set of values that in a way reflected my own.

    And for Arsenal it was not like I wanted to be a fan of something – looking back, I really didn’t, too many headaches – but more like it just happened. Here I was, seeing this wonderful club with young talented players, here was this manager sticking up to them and promoting human values while keeping a balance of economical ones, here was a football club a bit different from everything I’ve seen before. Almost every player was younger than I was and had the desire to win everything, to go forward, to prove themselves, it was inspiring, really. Our 4-6 million euros players could fight toe to toe with players that were in the market for 30 millions, it wasn’t a team built first and foremost on spending money, but on spotting and fulfilling potential.

    I found myself synchronising my heart with theirs, Arsenal’s winnings were not just goals and points, were the confirmation of much more, of a way of life if you will. We all say that Wenger is stubborn, but maybe he is like that because he wants to stick to the club’s values, to his values, maybe he just wants to keep alive those things we love first and foremost at this club. I’m not trying to be his advocate, nor could I, but for me Wenger = Arsenal and will be so for years to come.

  80. After the season i believe Arsene should make a firm stance on the underperforming players.He changed the defensive line up last season and this season its time he take his decision on Diaby,Denilson,Bendtner and Rosicky.We really need someone to replace fabregas , Wilshere,Nasri,Walcott and Song.We need someone like Eduardo (before injury) and pace in the striking department like Henry and aggressive players in midfield.

  81. You Know the more I think about some of the reasons given for our lack of success on the pitch, its hard to agree with most of the reasons.

    You say we have to clear up the debt for that stadium before we can have cash available to buy quality players , BUT that makes no sense simple because Arsenal under wenger have never been a buying club he has never bought expensive players. So to make all the excuses that have been made just highlights my point we’re full of Sh*t.

    The world is not a good place because of the excuse culture that has been adopted, let me give you a example,

    In my country we have had a problem over the last 20 years with murders, some brutal one’s at that, there is a cry from the population to reinstate the death penalty, BUT there are a whole lot of people who say lets setup rehab centers, lets try to find out why they kill.

    The round table talk that the human rights people want has been going on for for about 12 years now and the crime problem has gotten worst. Just 2 weeks ago a 3 year old was found dead in a pond after just wondering away from his home, So while they debate the murders continue to murder. That’s the point we make excuses and forget the real; issue.

    This season MAU haven’t played well SO too CHL and the pool so if anything this should have been our season BUT instead Rubbish players compounded by bad tactics
    and to make matters worst rise in ticket prices I think the Arsenal board have totally lost the plot. The fans are being sold short for the last 6 season and you want to raise the tickets. I read some where that if Arsenal boast so much financial stability why are the tickets being raised? Very Interesting don’t you think.

    Boy!!! am sharpening by Blade for wenger at the End of the season because frankly am tired of excuses. MAU are still in 3 competitions and have a whole heap of injuries so we can’t make any excuse this time, they played 7 defenders against us and still won

    All the problems that we have are all wenger’s fault because he refuses to deal with the real issues………….

  82. @realistic_gooner

    You don’t have to keep thanking me for being civil. Or apologise for having a different point of view. We’re all on here to debate, and because we care about our club. (ok maybe there’ll be a few trolls in there but whatever)

    I completely agree that certain things could have been better managed. I think Thierry and Vieira (God bless them) would have been nearly impossible to keep, due to their wages and due to their own desire to leave. Pires probably left 2 years too early, but I could understand why. Namely Reyes. I think Reyes not settling cost us our left winger for a few years. (And then it was Rosicky’s horrible injury run) Gilberto is the inexplicable transfer for me. We all expected he’d be made captain after Henry left, but the armband went to Gallas (another mistake) and then he was allowed to leave, while Flamini’s contract was in doubt and Lassana Diarra wasn’t best pleased with his stock. (Cost us a DM till Song’s emergence)

    About Arsene’s blind spots.. I think everyone has them and getting in another manager might address those blind spots but new ones would come up. I’m not so sure the tippy tappy football as you put it is a blind spot or even a weakness of his. I honestly feel its that many of the players aren’t executing his vision properly. I mean, at our best we are very good. Almost unstoppable at times. Its just that we’re rarely at our best. I do believe that there will be a semi clearout in the summer. And if there isn’t then Wenger needs to be asked why.. But I’d say he’s lost his patience with some of them. Wenger will always stick by his players no matter what, but he’s equally ruthless once he’s convinced they aren’t going to step up.

    As for his aversion to paying extra for quality, I think that’s partly a myth, kept up in part by Wenger and the club themselves so as to have a better bargaining position. If Chelsea or now Man City go in for a player, they will immediately be quoted a sky high price. If we go in for a player, and they are willing to do business, then they know we won’t pay through our nose, so they would quote a more realistic price. But of course, to a certain extent, that facade has to be maintained in fact as well. So it’s not just about being to afford, and hence paying for JUST ONE 20-30 m pound player. It’s if you do that, then EVERY player you buy will cost you something like 5-10 m extra. And that we cannot afford.

    I agree with needing to do something about curbing injuries, and the club have admitted as much. But until you can find out the cause (which can be a lot harder than you might imagine) then I don’t know what you can do. The club’s medical team didn’t suddenly get worse in the last few years. (though Gary Lewin left) So I don’t know what the reason for that is. Though, not all of the injuries can be blamed on the medical team. Rosicky for example. It sounds silly that they could not find anything wrong with him for the longest time, but it actually isn’t. The body is much more complex than is acknowledged, and all of medical science (as any other practical science) is based on percentages and probabilities. Not certainties. Not facts.

    Wenger as you say, is in all probability going to stay for the foreseeable future. I truly believe that the evolution of this team isn’t complete and also that we are not far off. I mean.Even this season.. We have the title in our hands. Weren’t we expected to drop out of the top 4 yet again at the start of the year? 3/4ths of the way through, we have a very good chance to finish top of the pile in England. I don’t know whether we’ll win it or not. But I hope all Arsenal fans, even the ones that want Wenger out, will be willing this team to win, backing them to the hilt, even if they have to eat humble pie later. I hope I’m right about Wenger. I hope you (not just you realistic_gooner) hope you’re wrong.

  83. @kel

    Just as a matter of interest…Would you be raising all those points, however valid they are or may seem to you, if we had won, say the league, 3 years ago?

  84. @Nicholas
    That’s a very good post. I’m glad you’re able to appreciate the importance of a club’s culture. It’s not something that’s immediately apparent to someone new to the concept. And hopefully, you’ll see us win the league this season.

  85. Civility is one thing objectivity is another.Arsenal have played 46 games this year and of them have lost 7. not 27 or 17 but 7 of 46.
    Can’t tell that by listening to the likes of it.
    Once more: 7 losses out of 46 matches played. Your right people need to go and things need to get on the up.
    You have access to the same web as I.
    Look it up and get back on the numbers.
    Good god,3 points back with a game in hand. can you hang in there or what?
    What will you write if by some chance (and no I don’t expect it) we win?

  86. PS Shard & Nick and all,
    Thanks for helping me keep faith during this barren time. There will be a point when besides just playing quality footy we will win something. Maybe,,just maybe, this year. (although to be honest I feel kind of shaky just saying it.) But when that day comes and it will come there will be some gooners around that will remember that when things were down they stayed with it. Oh yeah, Broken ankles to the bandwagon jumpers.

  87. Before I get killed,
    Correction, we have lost 11 games
    5 in the league
    2 in the Carling cup Ipswich,Birmingham
    3 in CL Braga,Shaktar,Barca
    1 in FA cup Manu
    Still not too bad.

  88. Three points against the Baggies is all that matters for now. Ten games to go, the title is ours to lose. Please don’t fuck up this weekend lads!

  89. @leftcoastgooner
    No worries. You’ve probably been fighting to get across a similar point of view for longer.. I’d actually stopped commenting on this blog because I felt it had become too negative in the posts that were put up. I couldn’t bother myself with trying to respond to all of them, and I figured I’d just slink away.. But at this point when the media is slaughtering us and basically hoping we’ll come apart, JUST LIKE THEY PREDICTED (and do every season), I felt that we have to stand by our team, and try and galvanise them. We have a chance at the title. No matter how slim it may be, it’s there. I just felt I had to try and convince a few people to calm down a bit and look at things from a different perspective than the one the media harps on about. Well, I may or may not have done that, but at least I can’t be accused of just being a fair weather fan 🙂

  90. @realistic_gooner

    I realised that I didn’t address the part where you explained what you find a farce. And I had a feeling that you might be justified in some of it, so I decided to go back and have a look..

    “You ask me why I think this is a farce. A farce is when you have lazy and inept players like Diaby and Denilson who couldnt give two hoots about the shirt they’re representing strolling around for the past 4 yrs and earning in excess of 50k a week. Did you see the grin on Denilson’s face when he picked up his loser’s medal at Wembley two weeks ago?”

    Well. I tried finding statistics for distance covered/sprints by the players but they seem to not be there online. If anyone has any idea then please let me know.

    Anyway. Why I wanted stats was to find out if you’re idea of Denilson and Diaby being lazy is actually true. In my view, Denilson has regressed. He was playing quite well in seasons past and was often unfairly maligned. However I think his head has gone with him dropping down the pecking order (37 starts in 2008-09 followed by 20 and then 15 so far this season) Conversely you could argue that his performance dropping is actually the reason he’s not been starting. Which would mean that the manager sees his flaws. I think his unwillingness/inablility to sprint back to defend and overall regression in his passing capability means that he should be sold in the summer.
    And no.. I didn’t see Denilson grinning. I didn’t watch till that point.
    My view of Diaby is not the same though. I never got the impression he was lazy. Sometimes he tends to dawdle on the ball, but he’s also capable of amazing dribbling. I think he’s capability wise our best dribbler. But he’s always been inconsistent. It’s not easy to catch some good form if you’re always having to sit out after a few games and I’m sure much of that is down to the assault he suffered by Dan Smith in his first year here. My view on him though is that he does care. I would keep him for one more season. Bags of ability, but lack of availability.(and perhaps, a little mentally suspect)
    I’ll say this realistic_gooner.. Stop throwing about figures which are not known to be true, as a basis of your arguments. I’ve heard anywhere from 35-60 k for Denilson, which just goes to show that no one seems to know what he’s paid.
    (Just a thought. I don’t think we should indulge in micro management. Criticise Wenger if he plays Denilson if you think Denilson isn’t up to it and shows lack of effort. But what he’s payed by the club shouldn’t enter into that discussion. Especially when all players’ salaries are just unbelievable in today’s world.)

    “A farce is when you rely on the inept Almunia keep goal for 4 seasons”
    Firstly it’s 3 seasons that he’s been first choice. 2007-08: 29 starts, goals against 24. 2008-09: 32 and 26 . 2009-10: 29 and 31
    So I think it was last season that was poor. I think he’s received a lot of unfair stick. He did quite well the 2 seasons before. Of course, he’s not a world class keeper. But if you look at someone like Reina who is considered world class, the difference is that Reina can actually pull off some stunning saves, while Almunia probably does less of that. However, I think Almunia drops less clangers than Reina. No data for that, but that’s just the feeling I got.

    Reina’s stats for the same period: played 38 in all seasons.. conceded 28, 27, 35.. So better than Manuel, but considering how defensive Liverpool play, not that much better so as to contend Almunia’s presence a farce.

    “A farce is when you snatch defeat from the jaws of victory season after season (4-4 in Newcastle, 2-3 Spurs, 4-4 Spurs two seasons ago, 3-2 Wigan last season, 2-1 Man U two seasons ago)”
    I’m not arguing against the absolute horror shows that 3 of those 5 games were (the newcastle and ManU games being the exceptions) Those were terrible displays. But in effect, over 3 seasons, that’s 104 league games so far. Out of which you name 5 games as an example of a farcical display, and I agree with 3 of them. Hardly enough to paint the entire direction of the club as a farce. Name some more results if you wish, and we can discuss the merits of each, but i don’t think you’ll get anywhere close to justifying that objectively.
    (p.s. The Newcastle game was a farce, but not on account of our performance)

    “A farce is when your medical team declares a player almost fit and he ends up being out for a lengthy period (Rosicky, Vermaelen).”
    this is a farcical situation, but I don’t know on what basis you can claim our medical team being a farce. Do you know if they committed any serious oversight or negligence? Or is your accusation borne only out of a sense of frustration that those players have been out injured for so long. I’ve mentioned in one of my earlier posts about medicine not being an exact science, and at least Rosicky had a very rare, hard to detect condition. Vermaelen’s injury is equally perplexing and reportedly they figured it’s some muscle (tendon i think) behind the Achilles only after they ruled out pretty much everything else. I’m no doctor but I have suffered some injuries and I know that they can be hard to fix, especially to come back to that level of fitness. So I disagree with it being a farce as far as blame attached to the club or Wenger goes. (Improvement definitely required though. I’m sure the club itself is open to suggestions as to what improvements can be made to help the injury situation)

    “A farce is when your manager has funds to spend (the board themselves have come out on more than one occasion to declare that funds are available for Wenger) but blatantly refuses to sign necessary reinforcements even though a blind man and his dog can see the areas of the team that need strengthening. Need I go on??”
    The board have said there are funds. They have also said that there is actually no pre defined budget handed to the manager. The manager and the board get together and discuss what direction the club should take. In some cases they may decide that a purchase is required, such as Arshavin for example, and at others they may feel that we can cope and the money is better used in clearing the debt. I would not agree with all of those decisions. We should have gotten in a striker last year for instance.. Even accounting for those mistakes, I still fail to see how you can call it a farce though. It’s a juggling act with no perfectly right or perfectly wrong answer. It’s a decision that has to be taken and it is their prerogative. No matter what the blind man and his dog might say.

    Phew!! So there we go…. Anyway. I felt compelled to take a more detailed look at your statements mainly to satisfy myself. I sort of glossed over them at the time and I wanted to see what merits you’re arguments had. They are not without merit at all. But I think you are far from correct when you take those examples as showing our club to be a farce, or to use those arguments as a basis for the demand to sack Wenger.

  91. Look at these tickets prices:

    Arsenal: £893-£1,825

    Liverpool: £680-£785

    Tottenham: £650-£1,175

    Chelsea: £550-£1,210

    Manchester United: £513-£931

    Manchester City: £420-£515

    We haven’t won a thing in six years and they want to raise ticket and you tell me that Arsenal haven’t lost the plot

  92. No club is perfect of course, including ours, but to categorize Arsenal as a farce is hyperbole driven by anger and disappointment (to which any supporter has a right), but is ultimately unfair and inaccurate.

    We have been in cup finals, are always in the Champions League and I can’t even remember the last time we finished lower than 4th. And we’ve managed this while being fiscally conservative and shifting from Highbury to the Emirates while our rivals have spent literally billions of pounds (800 m by Man City alone). What Arsenal has done these last few years is without question one of the greatest achievements in modern sports. But they don’t give a trophy for this kind of consistent on and off pitch excellence, so the media must be right – we are LOSERS.

    Don’t believe it, especially now. With only a few games left in the 2010-2011 campaign there’s never been a better time to be a Gooner.


  93. Good, attractive blog. I would like to add to add a couple of observations. Firstly, I am no longer angry when we lose to top level clubs, especially when Theo Walcott is injured. We simply are not fast enough to hurt teams on the counter. Our technical abilty is excellent, but good teams can press us 15 to 30 yards further up the pitch knowing that we cannot get behind them with pace or with the long ball.
    Secondly, I would love us to find a way in which we could utilize Kieran Gibbs at his natural left wing position, where he played for England and Arsenal youth sides. I would dare teams to try and push up the field against a left-sided triangle of Cichy, Gibbs, and Nasri.

  94. @kel

    Are those prices for real?? But what are they??Season ticket prices? Club level? What? In any case, if the comparision between clubs is on an equal footing regarding the type of seats and categories, then that means that our lowest priced tickets are almost as much as the highest at Old Trafford.. I find that a little hard to believe frankly. ManU have increased their ticket prices quite a bit in the last few years. did they reduce them at any point, since their season tickets didn’t sell out?

    Anyway, I would be staggered if those figures are real, but I do not think it is right on the club’s part to charge supporters so highly in comparision with other clubs. I can only imagine that there is a huge demand for our matches for them to feel that they can hike prices even further, and that being the case, I still don’t think they should price supporters out of their tickets. But I reject absolutely the contention that lack of trophies means that the hike is unjustified. that sort of link is tenuous at best. In fact, I don’t think it’s valid at all.

  95. @ kel – I was looking at those numbers the other day, when the news of a raising in ticket price finally reached to me, and I was quite staggered. And it is not like the board couldn’t justify those numbers, I’m sure they have a couple of reasons, but what drew my attention was the direct comparison between us and Man Utd. Their highest price is somewhere near our lowest. One explanation I could find was this is actually a part of our plan for self-sustaining, because from what I understood Arsenal is a debt-free club, while Man Utd or Chelsea, Liverpool are nowhere near that. And maybe the correct strategy would be for everyone to employ prices similar to ours, not the other way around. But then again, I might be mistaking, any correction is welcome 🙂 On a side note though, not being from England I obviously don’t go to the stadium and pay that price, but I can understant that it can weight quite a lot to fuel the fans’ disappointment, and for a good reason when you relate that to our lack of trophies.

  96. @Nicholas

    The ManU prices caught our eye at almost the same time. Our conclusions regarding the supporters’ view on it though end up being quite different. Oh well 🙂

    One thing I noticed in those figures though, that the London based clubs charge higher…
    among them Chelsea’s lowest priced ticket is lower than Tottenham’s, while the highest are pretty much the same.. Despite Chelsea being more succesful recently.

  97. @ Shard – I didn’t look at that anual financial report of the club because quite franky those kind of things bore me to death, but if someone is more inclined than me, there would be a curiosity. Making a calculation by multiplying the number of seats, which is about 60.000 – I think even a bit more – and a price of let’s say £1200, not the cheapest nor the most expensive, it gets to somewhere near £72 million per season. I think this income sould be present in that financial report and by comparing it with the others we would see if this is indeed the main part of that plan for self-sustaining. Hm, I think I’m gonna browse the official site for a bit after all 🙂

  98. @Nicholas

    I believe we earn something like 3 million pounds per home match in the league.(Turnover, not profit) Plus the FA, Carling and UCL ties. I think your estimate of 72m might be very close to the actual figure.. I’m not sure all clubs break down their accounts to reveal to you their match day income though.. Accounting practices may actually be standardised as part of the changes suggested by the Parliamentary committee looking at football in England. But as of now, clubs do not all have easily comparable accounts.

  99. @ Shard
    I found those financial results and with this I remembered why they bored me in the first place. However, I tried to make some sense out of them and even though I didn’t fully understood everything, there are a couple of things quite clear, like the profit decrease from the last year (12.6m next to 29.3) (http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-holdings-plc-half-yearly-results). We all knew that by now, there’s nothing new, but with this new ticket price increase and the numbers kel showed us, I’m thinking they try to find a way to manage their long-term strategy, because one of the more concerning things this year was a serious drop in revenues from the apartaments in Highbury.

    So maybe they’re afraid that it’ll be worse in the coming year and try to balance that in a way, starting now. I’m not sure if it’s the most efficient metod though and there are plenty of reasons to go with that, not the least important being player wages. I read a very interesting thing the other day on arseblog, how many long term deals were signed in the last couple of months, and one of the examples given there was of Carlos Vela, who’s not even playing for Arsenal, is on loan, but the club’s still paying him. And it’s little things like this that makes you question the board’s decision, specially since it kinda goes through your pocket.

    Now, I think many of the fans that go to the stadium and pay up those £893-£1,825 know these things and from my point of view at least, they have the right to be unhappy, specially since there’s always an option. The way I see it, there’s also a trick we all willingly accept: the trophy. Win a trophy and the fans will say “it was worth it, it was worth paying 6% more for the ticket” – I’m putting this on a very basic level – it’s our mental hook. In the end, with or without trophy, the people that go to the stadium will still pay 6% more, but there’s the next question: what will be the cost?

    realistic_gunner said above that our manager is paid to win trophies and I read your answer and while he is not payed only for that, it still is a part of what we expect from him. And we all expect that, I think. Ok, it’s an assumption, of course, since I can’t talk on behalf of everybody, but I think it’s safe to say that a majority of the people who go to the stadium and pay those prices expect it. The trophy would solve matters that would otherwise get worse, at least that’s how I would put it in an objective view.

  100. @Nicholas

    I’d submitted my post but I can’t see it up on screen and still the site is telling me that I have already uploaded the text.. I’ll try and answer again in a bit.. Cheers 🙂

  101. @nicholas

    I see what you mean by it being boring. And now to even try and answer I have to sift through it and try and make sense 🙂

    Ok so I took the coward’s way out and resorted to what the Arsenal Supporter’s trust had to say.

    The views of the AST in the first link and the entire piece of the second link, make very good sense to me. And that is a view that I back 100%. I’ve already pointed out, supporters should not be priced out of their seats.. Question is, is it possible to avoid.

    I have no idea. I think you might be right that the club are trying to bridge the gap from the drop in property prices and from player sales etc. With the stadium naming rights and I think the catering rights sold till 2021 (?) and the shirt sponsors till 2014 I don’t know how many options the club has. I really hope that they find a way to avoid this increase.. Even if we win the league.

    As I said I don’t think the trophies should be linked with this. None of the people speaking out (except the people at Le grove) hold that as a contention. Arsenal do not owe us trophies as a matter of right for us. But I think they do owe fans a certain care, so as to assure access to the club while not treating them solely as commodities.. The traditional economics model doesn’t apply to the clubs either in my view.

    I’m glad that you brought up the bit about trophies being expected from Wenger. That is true. But this is something I really want an answer to. Though I had originally put the question to kel (albeit in another form) I’d welcome an answer from anyone who feels the same way. If 6 years without a trophy constitutes abject failure, what constitutes success? What I mean by that is, would we be ‘protesting’ the same way if we had won the Champions league in 2006 and nothing else since?(5 years) What about the Carling Cup in 2007?(4 years) Or the league in 2008? (3 years) and even the carling this year.. I’m not trying to argue or make any point with that. I just genuinely want to know, at what point do we say it is unacceptable that there are no trophies, and which trophy will buy you how much time.. I hope people will be as honest as they can about their answers.

    Regarding the new deals. I read Arseblog too and I came across that. I think the Vela example is a bit misinterpreted by you. I don’t think he meant that we’re paying him for not playing for us( I’m sure we don’t pay wages for the loanee), but that he has hardly played for us, which means he hasn’t performed to an acceptable level, and still he gets a new deal, which is not a very good motivator. I agree with that. Very much so. But in today’s market scenario, most players are put on longer contracts to either ward off potential suitors, or to get a reasonable price when he’s sold. So it’s not ideal by any stretch, but is understandable.

  102. @nicholas

    for the links, since I’m not able to put them here for some reason, please go to the Arsenal Supporters Trust website and follow the links to the John Cross article, and the open letter to Ivan Gazidis… That is if you can be bothered 🙂

  103. @ Shard
    You know, that question about us protesting against the lack of a trophy is a very interesting one. I was thinking these days of something similar, although not generalizing, but keeping it for myself, and there was this question: if we win a trophy this year, for how many years will I be happy, fully supportive no matter what and not asking about any other trophy. In the end, as I’ve found strolling through various answers, it wasn’t an easy call if I were to be honest with myself. The first reaction was: forever! Of course, after that I was opening my eyes and let me say what I thought: well, we get the EPL this year, I’m willing to forgive everyone if we don’t repeat this performance the next season. The FA Cup, Carling? Heck, I wouldn’t care about those either. And then the true question emerged: what about UCL? Wouldn’t it be nice to go in the final, wouldn’t it be nice to meet Barcelona again and win? And now the best part: shouldn’t we?

    And maybe it’s in the human nature not to be content with what we have, but boy, as a fan of this team, it gets to the point of being logical 🙂 It’s meant to be a bit as a joke but I think there’s relevance to it. We’ll always want more, we’ll always want 2 in a row, 4 in a row, all the trophies in a season, regarding of what we can really get. And that would bring me to the second part of my answer, and exacty how realistical are we now and what separates this year from the last two, in my opinion. Unfortunately, it’s midnight here and I’m dead tired, in the morning I have to be at work, just wanted to post a quick reply and I’ll come with the part 2 as soon as the boss looks the other way tomorrow. Cheers 🙂

  104. On a totally unrelated comment, Jens Lehman aka Mad Jens aka Psycho Keeper aka best penalty stopper since Oliver Kahn has signed a rolling deal with us.

    This sure bring back alot of intense memories, to say Jens is a livewire is a huge understatement.


  106. @ Shard
    Ok, now I can add the second part to my reply. I think what makes the search for a trophy more urgent this year as opposed to the last or the last two years it that this time we know, beyound the shadow of a doubt, that it’s highly possible. And I think us wanting that title is a way of making our players more aware of their task so that they don’t fail, so they could grab this opportunity that is right there, we want them to focus and so we say “focus, guys!” but also say “bring us the title”.

    Again, these things aren’t new, they happen every year, I’m sure, but in the last season our hopes were blown away sometime february, I think, and two years before at the end of january. We’re putting the pressure now because we remember what happened, because we hope that by doing this we add another level of motivation. Truth be told, very few people will stop being fans of Arsenal if we don’t win this year and I think we will all support this team even stronger the next season, but we’ll demand some major changes in case of failure to win EPL.

    What would our reaction be though if we would’ve won a trophy 2 or 3 years ago? Like you said, it’s a question for everyone, and it’s hard to have a statistic about this, but I think our reaction would be as loud as it is now. We will want this team to be better and better, maybe the difference would be that we won’t ask for Wenger to leave but other than that we would probably be like “look at these players, 3 years ago they were winning the trophy, how can they play so bad now?”. I don’t have the time to look again through all the replies above, but one of us fellow gunners said that winning a trophy this year would be a confirmation for our playing style, for our beautiful football or something in the lines of this and to me it seems like a healthy positive attidune towards the end of this season, towards Wenger and the club.
    PS – I hope my english isn’t worse than usual, but it’s quite hectic at work and I don’t have the time to check and recheck every word or sentence

  107. Could I have one more season to prove that apart from making the shareholders happy, I could provide a result for you supporters who pay for all of this? Just one more season, it’s only been half a decade.

  108. @Nicholas

    The fact that we’re really in with a chance this year is actually more a reason I think we should be supportive. It’s progress. Real progress, and measurable in terms of points and other statistics too I’m sure. The trophy will be a confirmation of that progress, but even without a trophy, that progress is there. I see no reason to throw a strop if the trophy doesn’t materialise.

    That said, I do believe that certain things have to change. The team needs bit of a shake up. Not necessarily major, but a certain tweaking is required and while I obviously know nothing of it, I just have a feeling that there will be changes this summer. Some players will leave, some will come in, and I think there will be one major signing. But as I said, that’s just a feeling.

    Why I wanted to know what people think would be the reaction if we had won a trophy sometime during these 6 years is because I just can’t think along those lines. I don’t judge my team solely on trophies however much I want them to win. As long as the team plays with all they have, regardless of the result, I feel satisfied. Results and trophies do not always follow as a result of performances. There are other factors which affect that, and while those factors are there for every team, every year, in certain cases those factors can be decisive in the final destination of the trophy.

    Calling for changes is something that should be done and I’m not against that. Even calling for Wenger’s head if that is what people believe. But it should be a reasoned discussion and statement of why they feel that he should go. Simply shouting about a lack of trophies and ignoring everything else is not good enough in my view. And I must strongly say, no matter how much people want him gone, Arsenal fans should always talk about him respectfully. He is our most successful manager you know. There is no call for anyone to resort to the sort of insults that are going around.

    But mainly, the time for discussing the shortcomings and calling for changes is NOT when the title is there for the taking. We aren’t urging them to focus, we’re destroying their already fragile confidence.The press gives them enough pressure. We as fans should form a wall around them. Protect them. Support them. Once the season is done, we can ask all the questions we want.

    As for always wanting more, that is actually a good thing. But expecting more, or being angry that you don’t have more is not.

  109. I have to agree that this year seems to be the best of the last three and not to the point of trophies or standings, but because of how our team performs, because to me it seems clar that there is an evolution, it’s enough just to look at Nasri, Wilshere, Koscielny, Fabianski and a couple more of our players, to look at our best performances, and no matter what, I won’t ask for Wenger’s head. It’s like you said, I don’t find it to be a reasonable request. On the other hand, I think I can understand and to a certain point relate to the fans anger for the lack of a trophy because at the end of the day maybe we all need something to show the world.

    I don’t know if it happened to you, but I got into some arguments with Man Utd fans and I was telling them about Arsenal and what great football we play and about Wenger’s philosophy for the game and so on and so forth. And they were like “ok, but you didn’t win anything in the last couple of years. show us a trophy”. Now, not that we should fall for such an insipid challenge, but I think the trophy is the way to shut their mouth. You, me, almost all of Arsenal’s fans know this team, we know what defines this club, I think our love for Arsenal is in the end independent of a trophy. But it’s the best way to shut everybody up. Of course, you could argue that it’s not why we play football, to please or displease others, and I would definitely agree, it’s a matter of our own identity not to fall for such petty attacks. But at the same time, a trophy would make justice. It’s the material proof for all our love for this club, it’s a gift the players and manager would do to all the fans for being there and we would be able to show that gift to the whole world in a moment of supreme glory.

    As for the time we chose to call for changes, I agree with you on a certain angle: that we shouldn’t demand for someone’s head just yet. Kel said a great thing, that he’s sharpening his axe for THE END of the season and maybe that’s what we should all do. And if I’m to stick to that, I have to admit that saying all those things about Denilson wasn’t the best thing to do from my part, not at this point, but ar the same time as a fan I have the right to be angry.

    What it is the perfect time though is to be fully supportive, but that doesn’t mean turning a blind eye either. Of course, ideally, we should reasonably point the mistakes our players make and tell them they should fix them, not ask for their heads, calling them incompetent and things like that. One of us gunners said in a prior topic about Denilson that he is a tweet-a-holic if I remember correctly, and that he kinda knows everything the fans say about him. It made me think about what we do and how we behave, it made me ask myself what if it was me there, on the pitch, and after the game everybody was cursing me when all I did was try to give my best.

    Oh, I forgot something earlier, thank you for pointing out my mistake in the Vela case 🙂

  110. Now Now lets all take a little break here the CL draw is out and what are the odds of this happening -:

    Barcelona VS Shakhtar Donetsk

    Now i know alot of people have been on wengers back that it was our fault that we finished 2nd and got the reward of barca else we wld have been facing roma, now shakhtar are the ones facing barca could have been us at this stage, so wld it really have changed our fortunes?

  111. @ Aman – A friend of mine said that there’s a chance, if Barca and Real go to the next stage of the UCL, for them to meet 3 times in a month (championship, cup, UCL); that would be interesting to watch. After we lost against Barca I couldn’t watch another UCL game, but that’s gonna change with the next round, I’m actually looking forward to seeing how can a team beat Barca, if that happens, of course; what about the other clash, Chelsea – Man Utd, we’re in for some tough games and quality football, that’s for sure

  112. @Nicholas, that was never gonna happen, Barca and RM if they even progress will only meet in the finals, its all rigged these are the two teams which generate the max cash, utd, chelsea i see chelsea edging this one, and lets be quite frank i dont think any team can beat barca in the UCL now, not even RM, as history has suggested its either barca who have gone on to win the UCL, or the team which end up beating barca over the 2 legs go on to win the UCL, anyone rooting for Shakhtar? (i will be their home record is something to go by), and i hope ronaldo or Ozil tear a hole so big in redknaps and spurs fans face that they stop singing forever are you watching Arsenal.

  113. Hi everyone

    How long are we going to wait before we see that arsene wenger is doing the same mistakes and we keep forgiving him.

    I do not fault him with training up young players but the least we need is an experienced goal keeper I can’t remember the last time we had a good one. The other thing is for example the Barcelona champions league match when he tried to outskill them this is next to impossible, my point he makes a lot of strategic errors and everyone forgives him because surely “wenger” can’t make a mistake. Come on lets wake up.

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