Remembering Rocky Rocastle

Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of Arsenal legend David “Rocky” Rocastle.

I feel too young to comment on Rocky and the impact of his career personally, so instead I’ve included three of the best tribute posts below:

I’ve also found this lovely little tribute video:

There will be a tribute to Rocky at the Emirates at the game against Blackburn on Saturday. I’m looking forward to it.

Spread the love for Rocky Rocastle by leaving a comment.



  1. I wish I’d seen him play too Andrew.. But he’ll always be in our hearts.. RIP Rocky.. A true Arsenal legend.

  2. Ohhhhhhhh ROCKY ROCKY, ROCKY ROCKY ROCKY ROCKY ROCASTLE;) Awesome player, awesome facility, awesome abundance of ideas, awesome legend. RIP Rocky.

  3. LEGEND,
    Check out the emotion at 2.00 on that video, fist clenched determination,rallying his fellow players, how he could have thought this current crop a thing or two.
    Rip Rocky.

  4. Wasn’t going to comment until after we beat both the “Blacks”, but this is worth breaking silence for. Rocky really was the player who best represented the transition from 1nil to the Arsenal to the beautiful game. Never understood how he could be sold to Leeds cloggers. At least Wenger could never be accused of anything of this magnitude. We may need every bit of the emotion to win Saturday. C’mon you Gooners!

  5. Just on that fist clenched determination, apparently he sat in his manager’s office(agent, as they’re called now), before that game, and said “we will win tomorrow”, he even said when the goals would be scored. Talk about belief! The other boys said it all.
    David “Rocky” Rocastle – LEGEND!

  6. Here’s hoping the spirit of Rocky can outdo the real life animus of Phil Dowd!

  7. I am a Liverpool fan who got to know Dave a little when we where neighbours living in Sabah, Malaysia in about 1997/8. What a lovely guy he was a true gent and a great ambassador for Arsenal and football.I had known him as a fierce competitor when representing Arsenal and it was nice to get to know the other side of him.
    Couldn’t believe it when he passed so soon, can’t believe it has been ten years so quickly.

    My thoughts are with his lovely family at this time and i am sure you guys will do his memory proud this weekend.

  8. After watching the WBA game late on the Saturday evening without knowing what the score was (I purposely stayed away from the scorelines so I could watch the game without knowing the result) I needed a couple of weeks off from football just to recover from the frustration of realising I wasn’t even surprised by the events that unfolded before my very eyes from the Hawthorns. Almunia is a damn poor keeper and Sebastien is a pretty ropey centre half but we knew that anyway so what was the surprise? The sad fact is the cock-ups that cost us yet another two points in this strange title race were of no surprise value whatsoever. These cock-ups have become so commonplace at our club these days that it is more of a surprise when they don’t happen than when they do.

    Sure we rallied late and grabbed a point from a game that could have been lost but let’s be honest WBA were there for the taking from the first whistle not just for the last 20 minutes. We went into the game three points off the top with a game in hand so why is it then that we only seem to begin to care when the game looks lost? Why can’t we be raring to go from the first whistle and get the job done against inferior opposition? The only answer to this question can be one of mentality and let’s face facts – our mentality as a club stinks.

    It is a fact that winners, when push comes to shove, go up a gear. They raise their game to a new level through heightened efforts and enthusiasm for the job at hand. If a club averaged two points a game all season and they had a winning mentality they would go up a notch in the final games of the season and average above two points a game in the title run-in. Here is where we fall well short as a club. We have averaged exactly two points a game as things stand from the start of the Premier League season to now. 29 games and 58 points amassed in those games. Who reckons come the end of the season we will finish with a total of above 76 points then? That would be the total we would end up on if we maintain our current levels of points taken per game played. If we show ourselves to have a winning mentality we should end up with more than 76 points. If we show more of a loser’s mentality over the coming nine matches we would end up with a total below 76 points and if we maintain our current levels we would end up with exactly 76 points.

    I have followed The Arsenal week in week out since I was six years old in 1987. That is 24 years of weekly Arsenal experience and I feel like I can see a winning team when I watch one. And this current bunch of players would leave me with one prediction for the rest of the season, one prediction that I am making with almost 100% confidence in what I am writing. They will not end the season with more than 76 points. In all probability a little bit less as the mentality at our club is not a winning one and hasn’t been for some time. We are happy to finish fourth every season and it shows in our play come April and May every season without fail.

    I make a prediction that we finish a minimum of six points off the top come May and we also have to scrap it out with Chelsea for the runners up spot. We will finish above City and Spurs who will battle it out for the final Champions League place the same as what they did last season. If we had the same mentality as we did when AW first took charge I would be pretty damn confident right now about winning the title. We sit five points off the top with a game in hand but vitally we are the only team out of all competitions other than the Premier League that still has a chance of winning the title. That makes a massive difference as United will know that when they take on West Ham at Upton Park tomorrow lunchtime as they have a quarter final in the Champions League to worry about with Chelsea only four days later.

    What is the bigger game to them? Playing Chelsea that close makes them more likely to drop points at West Ham whereas we do not have any such problems for the rest of the season. Does this make us favourites? No it does not as you have one very important factor to take into account. History. United are proven over the distance time and time again whereas we are an unknown, in actual fact we are worse than that. We have failed to stay the distance on more than one occasion which makes us someone to take on in my book every time. Whereas United will go up a gear right now or at a bare minimum maintain their points per game ratio from now until the end of the season, we will (and this has been proved in recent seasons) for want of a better phrase ‘go to pot’. Time and time again when push comes to shove we fall well below our usual points per game ratio and fall by the wayside as other competitors rush past us well before the winning line.

    If you take into account the calibre of opponents we have to face you would give us a hope of success as I have at earlier stages of the season but as we look at recent results the wheels have already come off with alarming regularity. The fact is we would have beaten Sunderland if the game was played in January at a time when results seem to mean less. That as a statement sums up why our fixture list is of little importance when looking at what kind of chance we realistically have of winning the title. I predict that we fail to beat Spurs, United, Fulham, Stoke and Liverpool. I would be surprised if we amass more than five points from those five matches. I predict wins against Blackburn, Blackpool, Villa and Bolton, Which would give us a maximum of a further 17 points from our remaining nine matches. Who thinks we will gain more? Who would feel confident of that total being higher than 18? Not me from what I have seen over the past five seasons and also from what I have seen recently against WBA, Sunderland and Birmingham. The last time we won a league game comfortably was at home to Wolves and that was some time ago now, back when results seemed to mean less. Back in the comfort zone if you like. Back when players like Samir Nasri were banging goals in for fun. When was the last time he scored by the way? Player of the season? Or player of the part of the season that doesn’t count for much?

    This is the players’ chance to prove me wrong, put in a good rally till the end of the season, amass more than two points a game over the last nine matches and then stand a great chance of title success. But based on my knowledge of the game and the mentality of teams that win things on a regular basis I don’t think that will happen and I don’t just see that as down to players like Almunia and Squillaci etc. I personally feel it is a club ethos kind of matter that has spread throughout the entire playing squad so that when it really matters, they go missing. And I would include our big name players in that. Cesc, Samir, Andrei – I would include them all as I don’t recall them going up a notch when it mattered most at anytime in the past or in recent history this season either.

    Prove me wrong and I will gladly say ‘I was wrong’ and eat some humble pie. But I do have the strong feeling that come the end of May if you look up the final standings of the Premier League the number at the end of the column that starts with the word Arsenal will be lower than a 76.

  9. @Steve Top of the morning mate,
    You may be totally correct in your predictions. Clearly, you’ve given it good rational analysis which considering the madness of the 3 weeks preceding the break couldn’t have been easy.
    But if a winning side was a given we wouldn’t have to be so devout but alas, we do.
    Hang in there, keep some kind of hope and perhaps you may be proven wrong after all. Stranger things have happened.

  10. Half time and what we are seeing is another blue bus full of thugs keeping Arsenal with relative ease, They are greatly helped by the senseless continuous passing and hardly any attempt to score. Any guess as to who will leave the Emirates laughing? Yea, you are so right.

  11. Well it could have been worse I guess.
    It’s true Wilshere failed to score but then again so did Almunia.
    So you see it all evens out in the end.

  12. This team is just miserable crap, managed by one who cannot even begin to motivate his players the way AF galvanises Manure at half time. Arsenal don’t even merit second place, which they hold only because the teams behind them are just as errant. Song did not put one foot right, Van Persie best moves were to pass the ball back, and our best attacker is then replaced by Bendtner – what a joke. Besides, whenever the ball came within twenty yards of Almunia, you could touch the panic in the players – never mind the poor sods at the Emirates. Time for a totally fresh start; sell Fabregas while he is worth something, sack half the team and get Mourinho to build a proper team.

  13. This is the worst Arsenal performance I ve ever seen.. Crap is an understatement..
    Title destinity within our hands, playing the worst PL team at home, down a man with our full strenght squad.. And we almost lost the game… I mean what possible excuse we could have.. we barely had any clear cut chances for 90 minutes! We dont have to worry aboutr multiple games in the week.. just one game , once a week…and Agaisnt a poor Blackburn side at HOME!!!
    Come on, this is just a pile of horse shit! TERRIBLE! GARBAGE! Feel bad for the people that were there and paid $$$ to see that performance. A refund should be claimed.. AWFUL… SIMPLY AWFUL!! Im at loss of words and excuses!!!

  14. this team sucks. come on, blackburn? and about 15 minutes vs 10 men? i’m not for sacking wenger, but he NEEDS to buy in the summer. like everyone has known for years. i do say there are plenty of folks not worth keeping around. the season is over. i said it was after the CC loss, hoping it wasn’t true, but i’m proved right. just pathetic to have so much talent and they can’t put 1 in the net.

  15. Maybe I’m being too superstitious, but I think Andy should watch all further games from Berlin, not Emirates ;).

    Thankfully it was a late kickoff here in Oz, and after a big Friday night supporting my other team in another code, I wasn’t up for a 2:30AM wakeup. Thank god for hangovers as I wouldn’t have been able to tolerate the “performance” from Arsenal.

  16. I haven’t sent messages in a long while becoz my messages will only upset wenger fan
    but I realise that maybe the main players didn’t perform as usually as they are whilshere and van persie, I still want to be an arsenal supporter but wenger only upsets
    a person even more becoz he refuses blame his players and still is stubborn as before and his players still don’t think anything is wrong with them example alumnia
    I don’t see what is wenger is trying to prove by staying on as he does not want to do anything different than last season,The players yesterday knew the blackburn rovers players system when playing them and major importance unless another empty trophy
    cabinet was destine and still they played like nothing to play for, there just make
    Manu run for titles look so easy. It’s a smack on the face for arsenal fans yet again
    and wenger don’t give a rat bottom about the fans.

  17. And this is the response from the A team? Doesn’t look good, especially with tougher matches (home or away doesn’t matter if this is the best we can muster) coming up. With only one trophy to go for, you would imagine the team to show some urgency and desire. Doesn’t seem to work that way with these guys, wonder why.

  18. @Dennis10
    Hey Denny, I just watched the game again no volume.
    You’re right, there’s just something about the chemistry of this squad. I don’t know why but they don’t seem to know how to get and stay after it.
    Our old hockey coach used to call it knowing the difference between “Here Boy” and “Sick ’em”. We have had teams is the past who knew. I’m not so sure about this lot.
    And, though I’m by no means a devout Wengerite I’m not sure it’s all his doing.

  19. I saw Rocastle play several times at Highbury and count myself lucky to have done so. He was a gifted footballer and a great athlete, but above all else a really nice and down to earth man. He was taken from us early and as a supporter he was one of my favourite all time Arsenal players but my deepest sympathies go to his family who will never get over the loss. Gone but never forgotten “ROCASTLE 7”

  20. @Steven – That was spot on. Just beautiful. I usually prefer to talk about tactics which people find very hard to come to terms with.
    Excellent analysis there. Just had to respond.

    For our last game, dont know why Song was not taken out instead of Arshavin. What did he have to offer on the pitch. We won the Barca game cos Song was off. How does the manager expect us to win when Arshavin, Walcott and Nasri are not playing?

    RVP CANNOT play on the wings, playing Chamakh means RVP has to shift from the middle…Did you see the header they both went for? Just terrible play.

    There was a lot of times when Song or Wilshere was in the middle with shooting opportunities, Arshavin, Nasri or FABs would’ve had a crack….But they were all in the box, no one comes outside to try and do something different.

    Same thing over and over again, same comments year in year out…Same old promises, same old failures. I’m TIRED.

  21. Well that’s the season buggered.

    Pathetic, limp display all round. No ticker, no urgency and no balls.

    And that was without Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky and Bendtner for most of the game. I despair!

  22. Outshot them 22-7. Only 5(!) on goal! West Coast Gooner said it best: “Wilshere didn’t score, but neither did Almunia” Both Manc teams won, all 3 London teams drew, Scouse lost. Stagnation is what we have , already! Even second place will be no consolation(up from 3rd?!, my ass!) With all the New York Yankee s..t I have to listen to for the next 6 months, c’mon Man$ity in the FA Cup and c’mon Chelski in CL.
    Play the 20 year old in goal, not Mad Jens, or maybe we can get Adams and Keown back? They’re only 44!

  23. The only positive I can find from this performance is that it occurred against Blackburn, not Man-Poo (which is around the corner), or even Blackpool this weekend.

    Two more positives : No injuries and a clean sheet.

  24. I don’t know, there are so many people complaining about so many different things… We didn’t buy a defender, Wenger is a poor tactician, everybody will improve except us, we have useless players and injury prone players, we need experience and on and on and on…. I’ll try to answer some of these critics.
    1.We didn’t buy a defender. As far as I see, our last results don’t have anything to do with the lack of a defender. With S’land and Blackburn it’s our attack that let us down, and with WBA the culprits are Ramsey and Almunia…
    2. AW is a poor tactician. That’s easy to say, but it’s very difficult to say what’s the right tactics. But I heard that we should bring Rafa Benitez (lol). Please, don’t!
    3.Useless players plus injury prone players. The useless players are backup players. Btw, which world class player will come to Arsenal to be a better backup than Denilson? Maybe Pirlo – he’s at the end of his contract (joking). About injury pronenenss, how injury prone are Lampard (3 months out this season), Rio Ferdinand (when did he play last?), Alex, Gerrard and the list may continue.
    4.Everybody is improving and will improve. Crap. Chelsea went backwards, Liverpool is a horror show without Stevie G, the Spuds are exactly the same as last year (minus 50 millions spent), Man C a bit better (minus how much, 100 millions?) and Man Utd plays pretty much the same.
    5.Experience. Easier to say than done. In what area of the pitch do we need that experience? Which is the player that will come to Arsenal, play as a starter and will improve the team? Neymar (19 or 20 yers old)? Hazard? Cahill (invaluable mid-table PL experience, exactly what we need)? Torres (obviously improved Chesea)? It’s easy to play football manager, but a bit more difficult to be a real manager…
    In the end, it seems that many people just hope that a new manager will bring a trophy, although it’s not clear what Wenger did wrong. I sincerely believe that a new manager will be a disaster (e.g. don’t even think that Nasri will sign an extension without Wenger and Fabregas will be as good as gone).

  25. @Paresh
    I’m quite agree with some of your explanations here. But I really think we need a back up players who can play and prove something, give extra dimension, give extra strength and most importantly, their ability is not too far away from our first team player, then give some competition in our squad. By that, I didn’t mean we need a world class player. Man Utd can win matches without their first team. It because they have many back ups who want to prove something to their manager. That’s the kind of player we need.
    Also, this kind of result happen for almost every season. They need something to motivate them. If Wenger mention about experiences, I think most of the players faces the same situation every year. So it’s bullshit. I think they should learn from those situation to avoid the same thing happen again and again. I’m not calling for the sack of manager. He’s great manager I ever seen and I can’t think of any replacement as good as Wenger. However, he need to change his approach on players. Go to the transfer market and put some effort to buy some players. And he also need to motivate players more than what he’s doing now. I guess so. So all the best, mathematically, i gave up on EPL and still waiting and counting.

  26. @paresh

    I’d be definitely worried if we bought any players who would be willing to be bench-warmers. Maybe thats the reason why we’re struggling to progress? Becos we’re choke full of guys content to warm the bench while drawing their massive pay, and guys who stroll around out in the field knowing that their place in the team will never be at stake by the guys who are willing to warm the bench. Plus they will always be sheltered by their nice papa Wenger who in turn is never under pressure to deliver cos he has a job for life at the club. What a happy nice little family we’ve got here

  27. I cant believe another season is going without a trophy. It just defeats logic how patient arsenal fans can be bearing in mind the higj ticketprices paid and the players having fan. I would have no reservations in selling fabregas. We have so many other mediocres we shouldnt hesitate in selling.@ Paresh apart from v.persie which other backup arsenal striker is better than the 3 united strikers . Non.It is unforgivable to glorify a coach and a team who have no other game to worry about but the premiership only to perform like that. Its only arshavin i saw playing football. United ripped this Blackburn team apart. Why should arsenal fail.Wenger is a big joke to the fans and he cant hide any more with no excuses. It will be embarrassing if we loose Nasri or clichy. I nolonger have passion for Cesc if you consider how much he has contributed since the Barcelona campaign up to now. We must accept he is simply not with us. Wenger should be looking for a bigger club to coach otherthan aresnal if he cant buy sensible players. United deserve to win this trophy and we shall have cheated them if we come anywhere near them. We must protest with burners for his exit cause blackpool may not be a joke. Enough is enough.

  28. @kel

    If there’s one rule about transfer rumours, it is that you should never listen to what Balague has to say. The man has no inside knowledge, no sources, and never comes out with anything that is both true and unique.. This is a ‘story’ that did the rounds about two weeks ago I think, because Wenger himself spoke about Stojkovic.. By the way, check out Piksi’s skills

  29. I thought a lot of what he said about the transfers and injuries were very interesting. He even mentioned Messi being injury prone and Barc has quickly sought that out.

    Can’t say the same for us …………….

  30. I thought a lot of what he said about the transfers and injuries were very interesting. He even mentioned Messi being injury prone and Barc has quickly sought that out.

    Can’t say the same for us …………….

  31. @kel

    Interesting it may have been, but it’s nothing we haven’t heard before. He didn’t offer any suggestions as to what the cause could be, or even what the causes were in Messi’s case. So I don’t think we learned anything there. I agree about the injury situation being a problem though. I don’t know what the club should do about it.. They should do something to sort it, but what? I hope we find the solution soon. But Messi situation, and even with Milan or Inter cannot be a direct comparision. We should probably look at ManU, Chelsea, or Liverpool’s injury situation as a better gauge to the severity of our problems. England is much much more taxing on the players’ bodies.

  32. Why are we even talking about Messi?

    In the rain on in the snow
    I got the funky flow
    But now I really got to go

  33. Lucky I went 4 free on saturday but still cannot understand people who defend (in arsene we trust)! If you’re offered a well paid job that ur not qualified to do but the interviewer says ur, would u still take the job? Yes. So stop blaming the players when its clearly a managment fault. I cannot believe u-all can’t see this. Change ofe strategy or manager. I go with manager.

  34. @cannot understand
    In my view, these were and are the choices facing the club..

    Build a new stadium, or use Wembley?

    Get in a sugar daddy, or rely on own resources?

    Use your resources to invest in youth and form a core for the club for the future as well, or buy ready made players and risk going into debt?

    Once you invest in youth do you give them a chance to mature, or dismantle midway?

    Change of strategy or manager, or certain smaller changes to further build on the strategy that you have chosen before?

  35. The sad thing is he died a sad man, football wise given the current Arsenal crop’s performance.

    Emmanuel, Kenya.

  36. As I have mentioned before week by week there is more fighting amongst our own fans. This season I have seen various heated arguments and fights break out the grove.
    Has it really got so low that we gooners are turning on each other? Its not just on the O.G where heated debates break out anymore. This isn’t a good thing and there shouldn’t be such a huge divide amongst Arsenal fans???
    I myself have been in a few heated arguments at the grove and its always a Wenger apologist turning around shouting back at us, getting angry with what we are saying.
    Twice its nearly turned into a fight with the AKB’s actually wanting to fight due to hearing negative comments made about the Le Boss.
    Every game I hear the same shouting at one another and on occasion’s stewards running in too split fights up. Every time the arguments are about Wenger , why he didn’t sign anyone or basically someone shouting out abuse aimed at the Manager.
    During the Blackburn game it got so bad that stewards had to run in and calm things down and split up various fights. All of this caused by someone who got that angry with what he was hearing he wanted to fight everyone in close proximity.
    It doesn’t stop there , the heated exchanges continue outside also. During the cup final there were reports of various fights in the ground and on route back to the station. Saw a few myself on the way out and know of friends that got in fights on the way back to Wembley park! Even in the ground there were fans shouting at one another regarding Wenger!

    Its got to the point now that I know the next home game if we don’t win it will kick off again, and again all down to the divide in fans over the Manager.

    I have never seen this kind of thing before in all my years of going the arsenal. The divide is so strong now that at games its like we have home and away fans standing together.

    Has it really got that bad that not only is the Le Boss killing the club he is also causing us to fight each other?

  37. @jumshed

    Sure. Wenger is now responsible for people acting like idiots? What else can we pin on him..

    Also, I find it interesting how you seem to indicate it is the people who have a different point of view from yourself that are picking the fights..

    In any case, fans should not be fighting amongst each other, even when they disagree. I feel you have full right to voice your views. But might I suggest not doing it in the stadium. I presume you want what is best for Arsenal. Having the crowd against it will not help the team perform better.

  38. For cryin out loud Shard will you stop taking what jumshed said out of context. Wenger is not being blamed for people acting like idiots or whatever point it is your trying to make, the FACT is that there is a huge divide and huge amounts of in-fighting going on among Arsenal fans and Wengers policies and years of stubborness are the key talking points, THAT IS ALL.
    Im glad to see that not many people came on a page dedicated to Rocky moaning about the Blackburn game, shows we have some pride left in us as Arsenal fans, that itself has cheered me up a bit today as I was expecting loads of giving out.
    Shard my friend I think even you must now concede we need to re-evaluate in the summer and investment will have to be a priority, we have to find winners.

  39. @shambogunner
    Has it really got that bad that not only is the Le Boss killing the club he is also causing us to fight each other?

    What from that did I take out of context? It states an ‘alleged crime’ (killing our club) and links it with another (infighting) while naming the manger as responsible for one, and clearly by extension for the other.

    Shambo.. I have never denied that we must re-evaluate in the summer. I have said before that even if we win the league some changes still need to be made. And yes, some money does need to be spent.. But if you’ve read what Martin Keown said recently, I pretty much agree with everything.

  40. People are relucatant to blog cause we are in a hopeless state orchestrated by a despote in Wenger. He is simply a big joke for a club of our ambitions .He doesnt have what it takes to lead us further .The earlier we get rid of him the better we start winning. I saw Totenham play but i believe they did better than us defensively. Most of the goals conceeded werent stupid goals like those conceeded by arsenal considering that they even went down to ten men just in the opening stages of the game. Arsenal would have shipped 5 goals in Spain. We must stop fooling our selves and dictate the terms for Wenger by protesting. Even if we won the league which i dont dream about i dont rate Wenger the suitable person to coach our team. We have become a laughing stoke and out of the top ten clubs in the world due to his stupid policies. We come with our banners on Sunday. Enough is enough. Those fans who fight are passionate about the club and they are venting their frustration against Wenger.

  41. Lefty – I don’t spell good but neither do I fold my scarf in half and loop it through.

  42. Lefty – yes, I don’t spell good, but neither do I fold my scarf in half and loop it through.

  43. Just look at Mr alex furguson, hate him as i do one must admit he is one of the best managers in the world, second only to the special one and thats not Grant. The only way Wenger is interested in wining is with the same players or kind of players he promotes. He has missed so many opportunities its a joke. He must be sent upstairs.

  44. @theicehammer

    I already know you think Wenger should not manage Arsenal anymore. But I still haven’t heard an argument that takes his lack of trophies in recent seasons, his prior track record, his compulsions with the building of the Emirates restricting funds, while the rest of the league suddenly spent like crazy, and any other factors you might like to add against him, all together and makes a convincing case for him to go.

    I am sure you, and other people here, have this idea of me being an AKB or a Wenger apologist or whatever. If I appear that way, it’s only because I believe that he has been good for Arsenal even in these 6 years and remains the best manager for us, his mistakes notwithstanding. I am not here to only put forth my point of view. I am open to being convinced and brought around to your point of view. But as I said, I am not convinced. It’s probably too presumptuous of me to think that anyone would want to make an effort to convince me, but until I hear an argument that takes all the issues in a logical way, puts it into context, and offers alternatives to any mistakes that might have been made, I will hold my point of view, and respectfully, disagree about it being time to call it a day and send him upstairs.

    As an aside.. You actually rate Mourinho higher than Alex Ferguson?

  45. Are these players worth these salaries?????
    Diaby £ 3,120,000.00
    Denilson £ 2,080,000.00
    Bendtner £ 2,600,000.00
    Rosicky £ 3,120,000.00
    Eboue £ 2,080,000.00
    Song £ 3,120,000.00

    Some months ago i mentioned that wenger has lost the dressing room at Arsenal and no-one took me seriously. He seems unable to motivate and inspire them.

    On some of the blogs the players are still being blamed, ON HERE AS USUAL, BUT who bought them??? When a player plays rubbish for three weeks and STILL plays the very next game, even starts, is it the players fault????
    I’v said before a lot of players at this club would never cut it at any other big club because they won’t be presented with many opportunities. Robin Vanpersie is a prime example he should have been sold already his games ratio for us is shocking, BUT whose to blame?????

    The players are a reflection of the manager, when the going gets tough they can’t cut it, This season more than most wenger has made some comical errors from the goal keeping issue to all the rest “How has almunia after all the mistakes he made last year be in goal now”, (some will say he’s a #3 ) he should not be at the club full stop.
    Couple this with bad or no tactics, bad player management, and of late (Shocking substitutions) compounded by no trophies in 6 years, someones head should be cut off.

    Strange enough i did some research on our greatest ever manager’s early days at french club MONACO and interestingly it mirrors his Arsenal career.

    Apparently monaco were struggling before wenger came to the club.
    In his first season he won the league, and later on he won two french cups.
    He signed some good players in george weah, Youri Djorkaeff and some others.
    The team apparently played some good attacking football and maintained a high league standard and even went deep in Europe. BUT that was it, nothing else, he eventually got fired and ended up in japan. Now does this not mirror us at all, amazing, almost to detail the only difference is the stadium, and all this profit that we don’t see.
    The excuses is we have to pay for the stadium.
    As mentioned wenger is one of a only two managers i know who has the power to do as he likes without questions so when things go wrong then he must be a man and shoulder the blame. All this talk about players letting him down, what else do you expect
    when the going gets tough wenger bottles it by making bizzar substitutions, and poor player investment (don’t have time to mention the rest) so every season when it come to crunch time and the players for the last 5 or 6 years crumble and fall just take a look at wenger because the players are just following what the manager does…………

  46. Kel,

    Since Arsenal do not release information on individual’s salaries and contract details, those figures you give can only be guesses. Educated guesses at best. As such they are not reliable.. But let’s say they are correct. By themselves those figures mean nothing. Unless you put those figures along with figures for what certain players earn at other clubs (with margins of error for the estimations), there is no scale of comparison. I’d be suprised if players at clubs like Spurs, Liverpool or even Villa were paid much less. That IS just guesswork on my part, but to me it seems logical.It is just crazy the amount footballers are paid.

    The problem I have in trying to ‘defend’ Arsene Wenger and his team selections etc.. that by definition then, I have to be on the defensive. While in actual fact, there really is no such reason for me to be so.. Really, if the players are so bad, Wenger knows no tactics, Wenger is just a bottler, and Wenger has lost the dressing room (though you say players are only following the manager’s faults, which is a bit of a contradiction), then explain to me how we are 2nd in the league? Or even would be 4th for that matter? If Wenger is a bottler, then how has he won things before, and won both in grand style with a romp, and close contests?

    You see, one of the top managers in the game (Whatever the British media might say, Wenger is very highly regarded in world football) really does know a bit more about managing a club than we do. It’s almost egomaniacal to assume that any of us could know better. That’s not to say that we cannot question his decisions, but while questioning them, also remembr that even when we see a poor substitution etc. that he is privy to a lot more information than we are. For example, By general consensus, Arshavin should not have been substituted at the weekend (the same Arshavin who was also by general consensus useless a few weeks ago). But he had played 2 games with Russia, one of which was in Qatar. Is it possible that there was a risk of injury if he strained himself too much?

    In the end, you have an opinion on what to do with regard to tactics, as do literally thousands of people. But they are just opinions. They are not facts. Of course if a manager makes too many decisions which are proved wrong/ineffective then he must be questioned (while still keeping in mind that we do not have the complete inside information) But again, if that is the case here, then how are we 2nd right now? Is it something that is so easy to achieve that no tactics are required?

    As for purchasing players, and when to buy or sell. Name me one manager that hasn’t made mistakes in that regard. Just one.. On the whole, I do not think there are many people who do a better job at that than Wenger.

    Is it more logical to assume that somehow, Wenger has lost it. That he is too stubborn, or isn’t interested in winning, that he is too vain to consider changing certain things, in order to win? Or is it more logical that his ability to work has been compromised these past few years? For me it is the latter. Wenger has won before. The trophies have not come in the period that we know there have cuts on spending. Is that a coincidence?

    Of course, you allege it isn’t a coincidence at all since the same thing happened at Monaco. I would have to disagree. Yes, Monaco were struggling. Wenger brought in some unknown gems along with some shrewd buys. Monaco won the league in his first year in charge. They won 2 french cups. All interesting as to comparison with Arsenal, and how he brought success here. But why was he fired? Monaco were a small club that was overachieving. They were short of money and pretty much year on year sold their best players. In the meanwhile, Bayern Munich came calling for Wenger. He wasn’t allowed to hold discussions, and he didn’t push for it. A few weeks later, Monaco fired him. I have no idea what went on there, but I do not think Wenger’s football achievements or lack of, were the main reason. If they were so bad anyway, then why were Bayern sniffing around for him…Also, I might add, Wenger and Monaco finished 2nd in 1993, in a season that marseille won the league due to match fixing. (any chance there’s a parallel there?) Since Wenger’s departure, Monaco have not done any better in the league, and with the exception of one year in which they reached the UCL final, are nowhere to be seen in Europe.

    In closing I’d just like to say that it is very easy to take what we have for granted. It isn’t all we want, but just wanting more isn’t enough. It requires patience and hard work. If we do get rid of half a team and the manager, we would have gone back to where we were once the invincibles were broken up so quickly.You may argue that you have rightly lost patience, but in any sport, destroying teams and starting from scratch is something that should not be done flippantly. It is highly risky, and more often than not does not end well.

  47. @shard
    If Bayern Munchen wanted wenger so bad and monaco were a small club they would have surly got him, “they didn’t want him”
    AND since he was so good why did end up in japan and not in Europe???? doesn’t make sense, then when they get to keep him he gets fired that doesn’t add up, may be he had taken them as far as he could. Don’t get me wrong i respect wenger for what he has given us but he has lost his cutting edge so i can no longer say he is a great manager, he was, but not now. The great mangers will do what sir Alex did at westham and blackpool in the second half and will make shrude Acquisitions like the mexican who has scored goals all season unlike chamaka.
    When you compare vela and hernandez you wonder what the hell are arsenal scouts really doing and to boot vela played in spain so he should be better “a Next flop”

    When a team come out lackluster in first half and plays almost they same way the second then that’s a managerial problem for sure.
    The easiest excuse to make is arsene is operating under constraints but the problem with that is he has never been a buying manager so this notion of lack of funds has no spine with me, he does not spend, some may call it not paying over the odds, i call it unambitious, because its not working.

    You ask how come were 2nd if wenger is so bad????
    Yes were second whether we end up there is another matter.
    BUT when you get a chance to win something after so long and you get a team fighting relegation in a final and they beat us, that’s not bad?? Someone said they were at the game and during the warm up arsenal players were going through the motions while brums had an intense warm up, so we lost the game before we took the pitch. When two years in a row we blow a 2 nil lead to spurs, when you get beat by a teams with seven defenders, when you find ways to blow a 4 nil lead, when we struggle against midtable and teams next to bottom only for the very next week they get destroy by other teams, when players are at the club for 4 and 5 years and only improved minimally. and man i can go on. When every year we keep making the same mistakes by doing the same things. Most of the players that we buy have never come out to be world beaters AND as is the trend now gone are the days when players are said to peak at 26 and 27 its now more like 22 and 23 , so where does that put us.
    Am not saying clear out the players because they didn’t buy themselves the manager should be shown the door.
    And all this rubbish about new players next season that’s garbage am willing to bet the only player who will leave is Almunia but all the rest will stay, then he will buy some young small noname player then say he has improved this squad.

    AND to compound all this they want more money for tickets , both the board and wenger
    need to be taken to Arkham Asylum because they have all gone MAD
    No more time for round table talk, Action.

    On fighting
    Am not saying fighting is right but the fans want to be heard and shown some appreciation, were all sick and tired of excuses. He’s lucky this weeks game is on the road because if it were at home it would be more the same, If we fail to beat blackpool
    after a whole week of rest and only one target to focus on then i think that will be the last straw…………

  48. @kel

    I’m not going to argue specific incidents any more. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude. It’s just that I can’t keep going over it again. But if losing in the final is bad, how much worse is not getting there? I’m not denying there are problems, or that mistakes have been made. But despite all the problems and how bad you say we are, we have still never dropped out of the top 4. Surely, there’s something good about us? We’re still at least mathematically, in with a chance of the title. You don’t get in that position by being useless. Actually, I have a sneaky feeling that most of the ire doesn’t come from us being useless, but from us being close a few times. Also, I disagree that Wenger has never been a buying manager. He has always bought players, and he has bought players even during this phase. Obviously transfer fees and wages have skyrocketed at the time when we need to watch our finances, making it even harder to purchase the right players.

    Anyway, all I want to correct you on is the whole Bayern Munich, Monaco and japan thing. Bayern wanted him. He was undecided on whether to break a contract and go, and Monaco denied Bayern the right to talk to him. So Wenger didn’t force the issue. After he was fired just a few weeks later (I have no idea why he was fired then), he decided he did not want to stay in Europe. He says he was disillusioned with things and wanted to get away from it for a while. So he went to Japan where they were setting up a new league I’m sure he would have had plenty of offers from clubs in Europe. Do you think Arsenal signed him only on the basis of winning the Japanese Cup? Even to come to Arsenal, Wenger refused to break his contract. That is why he joined in September 96 and not before the season.

    Anyway, I’ve made my points as best as I could, and it’s entirely your call if you believe the manager should go. Realistically, I don’t see it happening anyway. I just hope that doesn’t mean that you, or others of your belief, resort to abuse, either of the club or the manager. Keep away from cliches, argue your position clearly and logically, and I’m sure you will find people to listen and debate. I’m still listening too. In any case, I wish everyone does question the club and the manager, even in the good times, so that they are kept on their toes. Just remember, that they all represent Arsenal too.

    P.S. I get the whole being unhappy bit, but isn’t it sad that you feel it’s ok and even good to make the team more uncomfortable at home, and basically do the opposition’s job? I have a problem with that because I feel as supporters, we are lacking the very fight and desire that we demand the players show. Yes, it’s a two way street, but we are ‘fans’, ‘supporters’. The least we can do is get behind the team, no matter how horrible we think they are, at least till the end of the season.

  49. One last thing.. I’m not accusing anyone in particular, but I have come across these sort of posts and articles a lot recently. There seems to be some sort of effort at rewriting the past so as to deny, distort or belittle Wenger’s contribution to Arsenal and the capabilities he has demonstrated before. Such as Wenger only won those titles because he had Graham’s defense, Wenger never used to buy so money is not an issue anyway, etc. Basically trying to paint a picture of the past to suit the viewpoint that one holds today. As I said, I’m not accusing anyone. It’s just something I’ve observed, and I find it very disturbing.

  50. @ shard
    Mate for the record i vent my frustration on Arsenal fc Blogs, where else should this be done??? on MAU’s blog or Spurs???? I think its best to keep your business in house.

    And also i don’t buy the reasons you gave me for the Monaco, and japan issue with wenger. You mention logical apply your logic to that situation. The easy way out is to give me the excuse you just gave, sorry don’t buy that….
    In a perfect world you want every body to love every body and to agree with what each other says BUT that would never happen, so if my opinion differs from yours and all others who hold the manager as a God then so be it, I respect that but my view are mine and until something is done differently i can’t see anything else, for sure.
    My views didn’t weren’t formed overnite that’s for sure

  51. @kel

    That is the story as I’ve known it for over 10 years now. It is not an excuse (what would I be excusing anyway?).. Also, I do not view Wenger as a god. Just as your views weren’t formed overnight, my views are not founded on some deep seated desire to find a symbol of greatness, magnificence and good heartedness in anybody, least of all in somebody who is a football manager..

  52. I think one of your comments Shard hit the nail on the head – ‘Actually, I have a sneaky feeling that most of the ire doesn’t come from us being useless, but from us being close a few times”.

    That pretty much sums us up. We are the nearly men – which I think is why fans are getting pissed off. We can see that we have the makings of a great team, we play (when we are on form) the most attractive football in the league, but we keep falling down when the pressure is on. I personally think we are a central defender, defensive midfielder and goal scorer light. I actually think the young Polish kid is going to be a top keeper and Fabianski has shown enough this season before the injury that he is a capable back up. But our outfield is just not quite there. i am not for sacking Wenger but I am for replacing Rice with someone younger, more tactically astute defensively that Wenger can rely upon and shoulder the burden. For all his faults you only have to see the tension in the man’s face every matchday to know he cares, he really wants this team to succeed (not settle for 4th).

    And I can’t believe I am going to say this but after seeing him against Spuds, I wish Adebayor had kissed and made up – I’d take him over Chamakh and NB52 anyday!

  53. And another thing – for those who do want to sack Wenger, who would you replace him with?

    I don’t want Mourinho because he is a knob and won’t come unless we have unlimited funds to splash around.

    Benitez? F*ck off!!

    Hiddink ?

    Adams?!! look what a great job he did at Weymouth.

    I can’t think of anyone – mind you I had no idea who Wenger was when he signed!

  54. PRO Wenger VS ANTI Wenger…a political campaign in every Arsenal blog around the world…personally I think sack the manager is a really bad idea so I think I’m a PRO.
    For those who want to sack Wenger:

    * Wenger isn’t a destroyer is a builder, just look around you:
    a) New Stadium
    b) Economical stable situation
    c) Creating youth talents (Jack, Djorou and WS are just the beggining more to come from Ramsey, JET, Lansbury, Vela, Miyashi, Frimpong….)
    d) “Wengerball” or Total Football is here to stay and give us a football identity all over the world.
    e) Football schools over the world to find talents.
    f) He put Arsenal on football’s radar, nobody knows the club “London outside” before our Invencibles.
    g) Playing highest level since I have memory….when was the last time you watch UCL without Gunner’s participation?

    * Arsene BIG FAULT?
    Wenger isn’t a arabian guy with petrodolars to spend like a crazy, buying players like candys…What a shame!

    * Wenger REAL faults to change immediately:
    a) Trust too much and believe in players with low quality who never show loyalty to him (Almunia, Denilson, Flamini…..)
    b) Have a plan B and C for injuries and departures.
    c) Make the Emirates a fortress, make me feel it’s our “home”

    Winning is always good BUT it’s a lier concept at he same time, what if you won running into a big financial debt? (Chelsea, MU, Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona,) destroying your youth system? (How many youth players do you watch play from youth system academies of clubs like Chelsea, Real Madrid, City)…stop thinking just in the present what about our future?

    BIG changes are coming in the club, NOT the manager as some people want….players going out and fresh and youth people from our academy wanting glory replacing them….and of course maybe 1 or 2 players at 1000000000$ to reinforce the team.

  55. Cisco de Tours

    Halfway through your post, I thought of the Martin Keown article you linked to. (I put a link above as well) I really do agree with Keown there. I’ve been saying all along that certain players are afforded seemingly too many opportunities, but that that is Wenger’s way. He does see something in them, and backs them .But once he does lose faith then he is equally ruthless. I’m struggling to think of examples right now, but that is the view I’ve held for some time.

    I disagree about point b) of Wenger’s faults though. I think he does have a plan for departures. Injuries is arguable, in the sense that he doesn’t necessarily buy cover to budget for them. As for point c) the fans have a big role to play in that. Yes the fans need some energy from the team, but it should work the other way around more often.

  56. @Terry

    I know. It really hurts to get that close and not make it. We don’t always choke though. Results and trophies do not always follow performances. There are too many variables and the margins are indescribably small at the top level. You do not win things without luck going your way. And for whatever reason these past few years luck has deserted us. I’m not saying it’s only down to luck, but it is a huge factor in any success. For the rest, I think it’s far better to challenge and fall short than be without a chance, regardless of how much it hurts.

    While I see the reasoning behind wanting a new assistant, to perhaps change things around a little, I’m still loathe to advocate something that I have no idea about. We do not know the dynamic of the relationship between Wenger and Rice, or indeed between Rice and the players. Look at what happened once Chelsea got rid of Wilkins. It’s always a risk.. But I would say that we need to get in some new faces into the coaching staff. They don’t have to be designated as Wenger’s assistant. They just have to have the right to challenge him, and give him some new ideas.

  57. @shard, we all know wenger is a great coach, and frankly speaking if we sack him we are not going to get a better coach, but his stubborness is killing us. Nobody is saying he should go out and wreck the club financially, we are onl saying he has a great young squad here, all he needs is a few additions, top quality players, nt mediocres. The people that gave him the coach of the decade no what they are doing. I’m a devout arsenal fan, and every week i pay alot of money to watch them play, every week i leave there frustrated, and every week i vow nt to watch there match anymore. u av to understand that i’m a nigerian, nobody deserves to be supporting Nigeria with all there eratic behaviour and still be supporting arsenal. The annoying part is that, i know no matter what happens i’m always gonna be an arsenal fan. I guess blaming wenger is jst a way of venting the pent up frustration.

  58. and for GOD’s sake can someone please fire all the medical staff, how can players be having the same injuries season in season out and nobody is doing anything about it. If it’s the players that are too fragile then get in players that dont have biscuit bones. If it’s the coaching crew that are giving out the wrong training schemes then by all means sack them!!!!

  59. @dejavu

    As I see it, Wenger not buying players that we feel we need is a combination of his budget being restricted, his belief in the group of players (and the ones coming through), and also, in some small part, the stubbornness he is so often accused of. But to have a vision, you do have to be just a little stubborn. The problem comes if that focus on your vision is actually causing harm. I don’t think that’s the case here, and as I said before, and more importantly as Martin Keown says, Wenger gives a player a certain amount of time to prove himself, and then can be very ruthless. Denilson is one name that has cropped up for long as ‘useless’. I think a lot of that, for the longest time has been unfair, and even wrong. But, for whatever reason, Denilson has not only stagnated, he has regressed. I think he should go in the summer, and will. I do not think he should have gone the year before. I really don’t. But this year, there will be players leaving and coming in, in my view. Anyway. Still 8 games to go, and I’m looking forward to watching football rather than discussing it endlessly 🙂

    Oh and every country has problems. So no need to get too disheartened there. But yes, Arsenal do make it really tough to just lay back and relax..

  60. @shard i guess u ar rite. its jst that, this players are leaving jst as they are getting to their peak, and it is unbalancing our team.

  61. What, still no Andrew?
    Come on mate the came wasn’t that bad.
    If you don’t show soon we’ll have to change the name of the post to the shard and kel blog.
    Hmmm… There something about the sound of that.
    Well gang can we beat Blackpool or what?
    That’s what I wanna know!!!

  62. Or Andrew could install a chatbox on the right and limit it to two person. Whilst the rest of us talk about page3 girls or Hannah Montana 🙂 :-$ 😐 😀

  63. Is Hannah still a girl?
    or is it one of those things like being in the group Menudo. Once your 17 your replaced with a 13 year old.
    Or Jens Lehmann.

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