Ready or not, here we go

The new season is upon us. Are we ready?

This article has been written by leftcoastgooner, who will be taking on blogging duties for (at least) the early part of this season. A quick word to say a very personal word of thanks from me (Andy) and welcome to the new season.

————

It’s here finally and at last.

Three months and a day since we saved our Champions league blushes with an incredibly tense 0-1 win at St. James’ Park courtesy of a Laurent Koscielny goal from a Walcott free kick that pinged off the backside of the Magpie’s Yanga Mbia. That’s how close we were to NOT qualifying for the Champions League let alone bringing home any silverware.

So, with a stated transfer chest of 70-80 million pounds and one helluva scare you might have thought we’d go right out and start strengthening the squad forthwith and with haste, or at least reasonably promptly and with celerity. How about slowly but surely? Okay, how about hardly at all and with a good deal of fuss?

The plain truth is this summer transfer activity–maybe activity isn’t the right word after all–looks strangely like last year’s and the year before. Now before you Le Grove types start heaping on “and on the year before that and the year before that and of course the year before that” please be reasonable. You know we haven’t had the money. Sure the Gaffer and his erstwhile boss Ivan have done their best to assure that the team has been solid and solvent but that’s not like having money to spend–and you know it.

We bought our spaceship on Holloway just as the entire global banking system took a credit kick in the groin area. The culprit; poor real estate speculation and billions of dollars of debt repackaged, resold and lost. Face it, we took a hit too but we have had the benefit of good financial people and a prudent manager. Finally this season, we the help of some new sponsorship deals it looks like we had the clout to spend with the big hitters again or at the very least compete for the quality additions we need without having to sell our best players. Add to this the exits of (and I will only name) Arshavin, Chamakh, Denilson, Djourou, Gervinho, Mannone, Santos and last and certainly least Squillaci. Not only does this free up salary space for us but in some of these instances the “deadwood” effect had become stultifying.

Even today Arsene says “we will be active before the deadline”. But the season will be here before the deadline.

I for one will always associate a number of these names with that dark, dreary and utterly hateful afternoon known only as the “Beer Cup Final”. For those who don’t remember, this was the day we rewarded Birmingham for breaking Eduardo’s leg and costing us the Premiership by gifting them a trophy. Sure they were relegated, Alex MacLeish thrice fired since including a meagre 6 week-stint at Nottingham Forest served up with a greater plague of boils than ever but that’s small satisfaction for this Gooner. I wanted that cheap piece of silverware and remain embittered by the result to this very moment.

Aaron+Ramsey+Arsenal+v+Galatasaray+Emirates+eWOMYg-jpjix

But a pre-season post should be about fresh starts and going forward with a positive attitude. We do have a good side indeed and it looks as if they have gleaned a formula for winning. Strangely enough with all last year’s talk about what version of “Wengerball” we might be treated or subjected to as the case might have been, the change came at the back. Kos and Mertesacker became a competent and established defensive pairing in the league. Sagna’s late season resurgence with relief from Carl Jenkinson and the platooning of Gibbs–who it seems is easily injured and could use the breaks and a surprisingly effective Nacho Monreal on the left–gave the backline the strength and flexibility we frankly haven’t enjoyed since Sol and Kolo weighed anchor in front of Crazy Jens.

The mental strength we had heard so much about but had previously seen so little of became more and more evident from the second Bayern tie until the end of the season. But there was more to it than that. Aaron Ramsey grew up and played like a man, The Ox contributed nearly every time he appeared from the pine. Van Persie was hardly missed. Giroud, Podolski, Cazorla and especially Theo more than made up for the Dutch skunk’s tallies.

We have many good reasons to be optimistic about the season. But we need more. We have not had a real holding midfielder since the departure of Gilberto Silva. Song did the job it’s true but he was never a holding midfielder any more than Arteta is. With no signing still of Luiz Gustavo and the 20-year-old Colombian Sebastian Peres apparently unable to obtain a work permit we are perilously thin in this area. In addition to our usual injuries to Diaby and Rosicky, Bacary Sagna picked up an ankle injury in a meaningless French friendly.

Already before the first kick of the old pelota we could use some help. But who has faith will we get it in time? Even today Arsene says and I quote “we will be active before the deadline”. But the season will be here before the deadline.

Will we be ready?

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273 Responses to “Ready or not, here we go”

  1. Kayboy
    August 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    It’s certain we are not ready. having just 18 players of which 6 are out injured. nonsense !

  2. Retsub
    August 16, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    Lefty

    You are the. Man, congratulations on carrying this through. I never doubted for a minute (well maybe a bit). Will provide some comments later.

    Happy to help out if needed, but judging by the quality of your piece you don’t need help

  3. leftcoastgooner
    August 16, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    The blog being back is the good news the bad news is that Arteta looks out 4-6 weeks.
    Maybe we should dawdle a little more until some one else gets injured.

  4. Andrew Weber
    August 16, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    I’m going to double-up on my thank-you to Lefty. Thanks!

    To everybody else: I had been very confused as to what to do with this blog. I went into a state of paralysis at a point last season, working too hard on other ventures and basically running out of puff. The same thing happened the season before and it seems, if I honestly listen to myself, that my passion for writing and running the blog has exhausted itself.

    I didn’t want to make any promises and I still don’t. I’m not sure how things will progress but for the time being, Lefty is happy to provide the content then I am happy to edit and post it to spark the conversation again.

    Enjoy the first game lads. I might even miss it, given I’m currently in a forest in Sweden fishing, picking berries and relaxing, all but removed from the internet world.

    All the best,
    Andy

  5. Retsub
    August 16, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    Yes we are definitely to light from a squad perspective. Wenger has stated quality over quantity, but this does mean we don’t have a lot of depth. If we are going to challenge this year we need to get a flying start. The other big boys are all playing each other early on, which may help.

    Coyg

  6. kel
    August 17, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Well done lefty, well done!!!!! great write up…

    Well wenger has finally confirmed what i thought a long time ago that he lost it, and that power does really corrupt, when men get power they listen to noone else around them and am afraid this is what has happened to Arsene

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/10246932/Arsenal-manager-Arsene-Wenger-admits-transfer-window-frustration-but-wont-buy-for-the-sake-of-it.html

    Even if you intend to buy why wait so late??? make no sense, no sense at all.
    The Fans are to blame ultimately Because they keep going back and as long as the money keeps rolling in wenger will remain, until GOD says other wise as with peterhill wood.

  7. Shard
    August 17, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    Oh, just when I was gathering the gumption to start being more regular on bergkampesque, up pops leftcoastgooner (with a puffless Andy as editor – there’s nuffin like a puffin Andy) to give us something to cheer before the season starts.

    We are ready. Not for the season, but for Villa. It doesn’t matter who’s injured, who’s out, who we’ve been linked with. No excuses. We start the season tomorrow, and the players must deliver a victory. And although, for some reason this becomes a controversial statement, the fans at the stadium must do everything they can to help the players. I’m excited the football’s back, even if it’s been a case of continuous waiting for any real transfer to take place.

    On which note, kel, I don’t see how Wenger confirmed anything you say. It’s called confirmation bias. We all do it to an extent. See things in only the way we want to, but this is an honest question, how did Wenger prove anything about power and corruption? That’s just bizarre.

    As to why leave it so late. He did explain that. It isn’t only a question of Arsenal doing transfers. Other parties have to agree. Often, it isn’t in their best interests to reach an agreement quickly. Plus, we have the added uncertainty of the CL. Players might wish to wait till it’s confirmed we’ll be in the CL proper before joining us. Of course we could get other players in, but let me ask you a question I asked someone else today.

    Arteta’s injured for the Villa game. We are light in midfield options. Let’s say you want to buy Fellaini, but Everton are as of now refusing to negotiate (this is just an example) or the player says he’s going to wait till you qualify for the CL before even considering joining you. But gives encouragement that if you do, you have a chance of getting him. Clear so far?

    In this situation, where it is impossible to get in the player you want before the first game of the season, you also have Flamini training with you, willing to be signed up as part of your squad. He’s available, cost isn’t a problem, and neither is his willingness to play for you. You have an urgent need in midfield. Do you sign up Flamini, or don’t you?

  8. shambo
    August 17, 2013 at 5:07 am #

    Woohoo!
    Well done Lefty!!!…and well done Andy for not giving up on the blog! I think everyone appreciated you were in a transitional phase but Im glad to see you will still be around because I believe this is something worth saving, you are an excellent writer and you have developed a community here that kept posting 5mths after the last entry!!!!! You should be proud that so many take pride in something you created. If your ever on the Emerald Isle again with work be sure to let me know we could habe a few bevvies.
    That said, well done Lefty!!! And to all my bros, Ice, Shard, kel, Goonerboss, Retsub, terry, delano etc, etc…. just remember im nearly always right

  9. shambo
    August 17, 2013 at 5:18 am #

    Shard,
    You sign Flamini.
    Then the board/ owner go and asks the manager why, with the season underway, we ended up with that scenario.
    One of those two things will happen…and it wont be the one where the manager has to explain himself, which is the biggest problem at the club right now, Culpability, Id like to think this is actually a word, if it is then it is to Wenger what kryptonite is to Superman

  10. Terry
    August 17, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    Nice one Seňor Izquierda! I can’t wait for the season to start. On the positive side we are a settled team, haven’t had the big distractions of the last two or three summers. But on the other hand, we clearly need to strengthen the squad and if that happens it looks like it will be after the ECL qualifiers and after the Spuds game. We are as usual now only an injury or two from calamity. I am worried about Arteta’s absence and heaven help us if we lose or centre backs. But lets hope we can kick off with a solid win against the Villans!

  11. kel
    August 17, 2013 at 5:43 am #

    @ Shard
    Arsenal have been able to compete with the big spenders for at least the last 3 or 4 seasons, ask swiss Ramble BUT this season it was mad a lot clearer when People inside Namely Ivan came out and said so, so financial issues are now aside.
    ” power and corruption”
    Personalize Power: using ones position and influence for personal gain. When this type of power dominate, the leader usually gains and its the followers that pay the price, rings a bell!!!!
    AS a matter of fact the more power a person poses es the more they focus on their own egocentric desires and are less able to see other perspectives. power leads men towards arrogance something wenger has been guilty of on many occasions e.g saying he does not care what other people thinks referring to the fans when quizzed by a journalist and based on his actions he really does not care, What kind of person would not care what the fan of a team who have not won a single trophy in 9 years and pay so much to see average football think??? simple answer, one that has personalized power.

    Ivan put the ball in wenger’s court when speaking to journalist, he said ” What may seem a good thing to you and me may not be the same with Arsene” something to that effect.
    Who in their right mind would look at this team and not try to improve it and I don’t mean with 15 million dollar players because while some may be good your not going to get top class players for that fee and based on the past you must see the point. Now you may argue that they tried to sign Higuain BUT yet Real madrid’s President came out and said we never made an offer, how could you sign a player that’s under contract when you have not gone to the club he’s contracted to??? where did the 23£ come from did Arsenal invent or did they make their own valuation of the player????? because they did not talk to madrid. Arsenal have a habit of making their own valuation of players so you make your guess as to what happened, so loose out on Higuain and turn to suarez and get caught up in the most contentious transfer of the summer one that we will ultimately loose because we are shocking when it comes to transfers, all lies and more lies.

    And to compound that you are using the fact that were not yet confirmed in the CL as an excuse for transfers, what madness!!!! quite shocking, as a matter of fact if the right players were bought early then we would have a much better squad and confirm our qualification, if the price is right the players will move and arsenal have the CL qualification so it not as if were spur in 5th. It appears that we have not been after anybody, other than suarez and even that i question because i have a feeling we knew we would not get him so just try to send a message.
    You also mentioned Falmini and i would use him no doubt BUT i think your missing the point, which is, Arsenal have made a mess of the summer and its not the first time as well so its a habit. You mentioned Fellaini who by the way has a buy out clause in his contract and am almost sure if we wanted him he would be with us already the fact is we don’t, everything we do interms of buying players always seem to be CHEAP and free options, ironic you mention Flamini he would fit wengers bill, free, so no spending and of course the new plan is to buy 26 and 27 year olds that nobody else wants so where’s the difference.

    New players may come in BUT they will be for 15mill and 14, so where is the difference from last season, and if we do well then maybe noone will come in, either way i don’t care what he does if we do well i cheer the team if we piss our pants i boo wenger from here to Mars because he deserves that and more, I’v lost all respect for him because all he want is to satisfy his own ego he does not care one iota about the fans. The only light at the end is that all the power hungry men of history have always become unstuck and wenger will meet the same faith, hillwood thought he would never leave BUT higher powers dealt with that, you see when you lie and deceive the fans most of whom are poor people there’s only one place for you and when you fall it as hard as hell.
    Still i which the guys well tomorrow i don’t blame them at all because i think most of them are honest BUT in football Honesty alone won’t do, Its planning, preparation, and most of all the right attitude.

  12. Shard
    August 17, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    Hi Shambo.

    That is a lot of assumptions in one paragraph. The assumption that the manager isn’t accountable to the board. The assumption that the board and the manager are at loggerheads over transfers, and the assumption that the manager is responsible for holding deals up. Any evidence to back that up?

  13. Shard
    August 17, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    Hi kel

    I asked you to explain how Wenger’s comments in the article you linked to ‘proved’ your complaints about power and corruption. Not to go on a diatribe about your ideas of what goes on in Wenger’s mind. The truth is, that like any of us, you don’t know. You’re simply guessing. If Wenger were such an egotist, he could always demand more from the club, financially.

    As for Swiss Ramble, You are misunderstanding what he’s said. He’s said we have cash in the bank. He’s also said that Arsenal have needed to find 20m pounds every season. There’s no real point going over this again with you, but the fact is that the cash reserves aren’t all there simply for transfers. A certain part cannot be spent according to the terms of the stadium loan. (Something like 35m if I remember Swiss Ramble correctly) A lot of it goes towards financing the running of the club throughout the year. What is left has been used to improve and extend contracts, it has gone into building club infrastructure etc.

    And lastly, if you are running a household, and have significant savings, but have no idea where (and how much) you next paycheque is coming from, would you still spend all your savings? If yes, that would be highly irresponsible.

    As for this transfer window, I am worried about no players (except Sanogo) having come in. I would have expected more. And yes, I blame the club for this. That blame is also balanced by the fact that it isn’t entirely in their hands. Money is not the issue anymore, and while money will make it easier to tide over other issues, they don’t just disappear. Why did Suarez want to leave Liverpool and join us? Because of CL. If we’re looking at players of that quality, then they would all demand CL before they signed.

    Even if we threw some extra cash at them, it doesn;t mean they’ll accept. ecause CL offers the the opportunity at greater exposure and hence even greater amounts of money through sponsors and even through other clubs then coming in for them.

    Blame the club, but in proportion, and based on some level of facts and understanding of how things work, rather than just blame for the sake of it.

    Oh, and as for Ivan’s comments. There is no need to read anything sinister in them. Wenger rarely buys the player that there is a clamour in the media to buy. Remember Felipe Melo? Dodged a bullet there. What about Christopher Samba? There are so many examples of players who were essential buys according to the media and as a result fans, but who were not even worthy of being linked to us. The truth is, neither the media, nor fans know what is required in terms of personnel. The media is anyway the agents playground who manufacture stories to tout their clients around and raise their profile. Don’t get played by them. Wenger doesn’t. And that is a good thing.

    I am happy though that you will be cheering the club tomorrow. I don’t doubt your commitment to the club.

  14. leftcoastgooner
    August 17, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Felipe was and is a fine holding midfielder. If you want to bag on some lame defensive talent try squillacci,denilson and almunia.
    Bargain basement purchases by the low-budge meister.
    i can come up with a long list on short notice of Wenger buys that never even came close to scratching the 1st XI.
    He has some good conceptual ideas but the man has proved himself no transfer guru.

  15. Shard
    August 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    leftcoast

    Felipe Meh-lo. But you’re entitled to your opinion. The point still stands. The media hypes players and some fans believe that buying those players is a must. That is rarely true.

    Every manager has a list of failed transfers. That should actually serve as a lesson to understand that all transfers are risks. Regardless of the money. Sometimes the risk can be worth it, despite how expensive the player is, sometimes you can get an absolute steal. It isn’t a science.

    Besides a players ability, there are plenty of other factors that contribute to whether he works out at his new club. Personal problems (of many sorts), injuries to the player or to teammates who were supposed to help them settle, or just a lack of confidence due to a bad start. Squillaci was exactly the sort of player we were crying out for. An experienced international defender, with experience in Europe, and still at a good age. He wasn’t as bad as is made out when he started. It’s when Vermaelen got injured and he and Djourou had to play together that his decline started. But hey ho. Transfer doesn’t work out. Big deal. You seriously expect a manager to get all his signings perfect?

    Wenger has had to change his transfer policies. He didn’t start out with being low budget-meister as you dub him. He’s now getting back to being in the position financially that he was in when he first joined us. He’s adapted decently but not brilliantly to low budget shopping. (what he’s done with them is brilliant) Can he adapt back to having the funds? We’ll see.

  16. Andrew Weber
    August 17, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

    Thanks, Shambo. Thanks a lot.

    Predictions for the opening day of the season? I’m quite happy to be playing Villa to be honest. 2-0 anyone?

  17. leftcoastgooner
    August 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    @Shard
    Nobody even knew who Squillacci was when we brought him in the side.
    Everyone wanted the gaffer to spend a few bucks and get somebody more established and you know it.
    You are right, Wenger did not start as a cheapster and perhaps financial circumstances with the new stadium forced him to play a lower hand. But even you will have to admit he’s making a hash of this and quite a few recent windows.
    All that aside I hope we play well, keep a clean sheet and get all 3 points today. Come on You Gunners!

  18. Shard
    August 17, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    lefty

    I knew squillacci for years before we bought him. And I’m not even very well aware of players generally. He was a French international, and he was in the Monaco team that went to the final of the CL, as well as part of a good Sevilla side.

    This window, so far, definitely poor. Let’s hope the football won’t be. Just about 2 and a half hours to go. I’m positively jumping with excitement. A win, no injuries/suspensions and a clean sheet would be nice.

  19. shambo
    August 18, 2013 at 12:19 am #

    Chim, chiminee, chim, chiminee, chim-chim- GIROUD!!!!!!!
    Shard, there is no disputing you are all about the cold hard facts bro. Me, I like to gather credible info, read between the lines and draw my own conclusions, no doubt facts are preferable but when none are forthcoming because Wenger and the Board are so cryptic and everything they say is deliberate, well then thats when one must draw their own conclusions and right now, most certainly, yes I do believe there is a difference of opinion between the manager and board because the board are worried about fan backlash, something Wenger gives little worry to.
    Anywho were off to a flyer!

  20. delano
    August 18, 2013 at 1:44 am #

    Guys this is the most Horrible game am watching.It has made WENGER look the ugliest manager to grace the club.
    United thumping at O/T was acceptable but a mediocre Aston Villa is unacceptable. The standards have dropped and Wenger is surely responsible for all this mediocrity.
    There is nothing more to hide. We have no game plan and the HIGH line has made us look so stupid and conceeding goals for fun.It’s a big shame .
    Am nevertheless Happy with the new blog

  21. delano
    August 18, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    Guys Goal number three

  22. delano
    August 18, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    Guys this is just enough and i can,t take it any more

  23. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    Fixed game. That’s all.

  24. shambo
    August 18, 2013 at 2:25 am #

    Shard,
    You are an intelligent man, you defuse alot of anger on here and debunk alot of stuff we say in anger with fact and reason, I dont think you are total pro Wenger no matter what, but you cant believe something so stupid and Im surprised to see you wrote that.
    Decisions will go against you in games but the fact is Aston Villa came with a gameplan, executed it and wanted it more despite goin behind very early away from home.
    Arsenal by contrast delivered more of what we have been getting the last few years and this manager simply has no answers when posed a serious question.
    For me there are huge issues with tactics and motivation here, the high line and zonal marking is suicide but he will not entertain a different approach.
    There is no anger from me, we are a long ways away from what we once were. A villa team only finding their feet with young guys thrown in and a manager who only barely avoided relegation came with only two players capable of a threat. Benteke and Agbonlehor, as is the norm for Wenger, no man to man or counteraction to nullify or decrease the threat they posed was implented.
    For the hundreth time you cannot just senda team out and tell them to play their way and that should be enough, you have to earn the right to impose your game first and often this is acheived by taking the sting out of the opponent by implementing a plan based on their strong points.
    Utd do this every week, they grind. We used to win the battle first, then the game.
    Its groundhog day.

  25. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 2:46 am #

    Shambo

    I didn’t read all you wrote. I don’t care what you say about Wenger or Arsenal. I’ll agree to all our flaws. But what I saw today, was not football. It is not what I care to watch. And I have seen this too many times over the past few years to worry about what people will think of me saying it like it is. This match, like others before, was fixed. Arsenal and Wenger can be the most terrible club and manager in the world. That won’t change the fact that this referee was corrupt and he had an agenda.

  26. delano
    August 18, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    @shambo.You are spot on. But who can help or tell Wenger on his game plan. I have always branded him as the laziest coach after the invincibles. The teams is always beaten thoroughly whenever we plan a highline game. He never learns nor takes time to study the opponent. Two penalties were a true reflection of the highline. Despite taking the lead we couldn’t even sit back to defend the lead. In truth and faireness the CLUB needs a new manager . This guy is senile or mad if only him could have seen any merit in this team.Am very sure we wont be in the champions league this time round and it will help us fight for may be Top 4 again without so much engagements.

  27. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    I just saw you mentioned Utd. They are the beneficiaries of any fix generally. That is the secret behind their succes and their ‘mental strength’. Imagine the confidence it gives you to go out on the field knowing not just that you have the ability to beat most teams (they do) but that even if things go wrong, you will be bailed out.

    Reverse that and that is the affect it has on Arsenal. See Koscielny’s reaction to the wrongly awarded penalty. He’s seen it enough to recognise a fix. As have Rosicky, Wilshere etc. They all knew it. Which is why they didn;t even bother chasing back for the 3rd goal. They gave up. Normally not something I’d give anyone a fee ride for, but today, I understand it and don’t blame them for it at all.

    I agree it was a stupid way to give up the first penalty. etc etc. But the real thing to be drawn fro today’s match is that we were subjected to match fixing. What it means for Arsenal makes me mad. But what it means for me as a spectator makes me absolutely livid.

  28. GunnerBoss
    August 18, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    At last

  29. GunnerBoss
    August 18, 2013 at 3:09 am #

    “And lastly, if you are running a household, and have significant savings, but have no idea where (and how much) you next paycheque is coming from, would you still spend all your savings? If yes, that would be highly irresponsible. ”
    I just read this and this is sick, utterly absurd…..what does this mean? Even Swansea bought an unknown African striker with record money. Where did theirs come from and how do they know they will recoup? What are we doing with champs league qualification money? Tv money? Kel is completely right. Are we seeing Spurs spend? I’m very sure they dont know where their next paycheck will come from…..but they know they will get something from qualifying for the Europa league at least……

  30. shambo
    August 18, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    My god Shard.
    And who are the fixers?
    They didnt chase back because they dont have the belief, they are proven to lack bottle. The track record is there, big cup games, cup games vs poor opposition, you name it.
    Where is your rational gone,
    This is not an everyone out to get Arsenal thing, this is a slow rot and breeding of mediocrity come to its destination.
    Wenger is the root cause because he sacrificed his standards and then ignored the fans and anyone who had anything to say contrary to his own ideas.
    Arsenal, fix or no, still didnt do enough to merit a win there today, at home, on the first day of the season.
    They are not winners and despite what Mertesacker and Walcott say, they dont really believe they can win the PL.
    I could even lower my ideas of what we are capable of if the man would just stop saying we are contenders.
    Iv already seen enough today to say we will not win this League.
    A ridiculous statement after one game?
    Itd be insane to say otherwise.

  31. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 3:17 am #

    So keeping good house makes you sick instead of making you proud? I’m not in the mood GBoss. Spurs are financed by Joe Lewis, who owns them, through offshore accounts. They aren’t exactly a sugar daddy club but they aren’t far from it. No other club has the commitments (loan payments) and the restrictions (long term commercial deals) that we’ve had, at the scale we’ve had. None. That is a fact. But you can choose to ignore all of that and paint the club you claim to love in a bad light simply because that is what everyone does.

    The level of propaganda surrounding Arsenal is simply amazing. Arsenal lose today, and despite what happened in the game, the message people take out of the game is…should have made signings… The game doesn;t matter anymore to anyone it seems. People would just be happy watching sacks of money running around if the media told them that’s what matters. Arsenal need signings, I’ll say it as much as anyone. But if you are a football fan, let alone an Arsenal fan, you should be more concerned about the game being in danger through corrupt refereeing performances like today’s. That’s the truth, and just because it isn’t repeated ad infinitum in the media doesn’t make it less so.

  32. Retsub
    August 18, 2013 at 3:20 am #

    Shard
    I didn’t see the game (laptop being repaired) but listened on the radio. I have seen some of the highlights however. I don’t honestly believe the match was fixed I just think the ref was diabolical. That said we should have had enough to beat them. I have seen this team go to pieces before and my belief is we are lacking a strong leader. Seems to me when the ball doesn’t run for us some of the players run around like headless chickens. Never saw that under a Vieira or an Adams.

    I will always be a Wenger fan whatever happens, but this squad is far too thin and with the injuries we took today, Turkey is an accident waiting to happen

    I don’t think we should buy for the sake of spending money, but the time to spend is right now.

  33. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 3:23 am #

    Shambo

    I am a rational person. I hope I’ve shown that over the years. Which is why you shouldn’t just dismiss match fixing out of the blue. If you are serious about exploring the possibility then jus consider that in an environment that there is tons of money floating around, with virtually no accountability from anyone involved, has a very strong old boys network, where the media is uninterested in exploring any of the real issues around football, and in fact deliberately avoids that discussion, why would corruption not exist?

    Would it shock you to know that the Chinese league was fixed? That the German league and Italian leagues were fixed? That other sports have been fixed? Why can;t the English Premier League be fixed? Just because it hasn’t been ‘proven’ yet? Who’s going to prove it when nobody is even looking? Despite all the ‘evidence’ that is there to see.

    But sure, I get the needto ignore it. It’s not fun. It’s depressing. It’s much better to just watch the game and confine yourself to that. I wish I could just watch a game of football. That’s why I’m angry. I can’t. I can;t ignore the financial situation, I can’t ignore the media propaganda, and I can;t ignore the corrupt decisions of the referee. I’m not built that way. Good for you if you are.

  34. KC
    August 18, 2013 at 3:24 am #

    The ref was a joke, yes, but do not overlook the fact that it would’ve been a justified decision to send Szczesny off after his foul for the penalty.

    Bad refereeing cannot become a way to excuse the mediocrity of this team.

    Sorry but players lime Ramsey, Mertesacker, Podolski, and Sagna are not trophy-winning caliber. I ask you which of those players would walk into one of Real, Barca, United, City, Bayern, or Chelsea…? None of them. In fact, we do not possess one player on this team that could likely walk into a starting role on any of those teams.

    We have declined to the point where we are satisfied to pursue 2nd tier players. The result is the first tier players — Higuain, Suarez, Gustavo, choose not to come to us!

    Dump the manager if you want but either way, several of these 2nd tier players must be replaced with top level talent.

  35. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 3:32 am #

    Retsub

    I believe the game was fixed, and why I am repeatedly saying that is because it is ridiculous that some blatant lies about Arsenal are ok to say without any self consciousness simply because they have become accepted truth through repetition, and yet despite quite a bit of evidence to suggest that football is quite prone to fixing and corruption, I am supposed to feel like an idiot for even suggesting it. I’ve had enough. I just want a game of football. Not what I saw today.

    People will refuse to accept it because they aren’t conditioned to. In fact they are conditioned to think of anyone mentioning the possibility as being an irrational, tin foil hat wearing idiot. Note shambo’s response about my rationality. That conditioning is exactly what helps any fixing that exists go on in plain view, and as someone who loves the game, it makes me sick.

  36. shambo
    August 18, 2013 at 3:40 am #

    “The game doesnt seem to matter to anyone it seems”.
    Shard Iv been saying that about Wenger and the board everytime they preach about their business model.
    Look Im not looking to rise you or argue with you, you are clearly pissed but if you want to talk about the football match itselfwell then we have to look at the team selection, formation, tactics, substitions and squad selection. The squad selection was a no brainer because we have nobody to call on….whos is responsible Shard?
    And dont tell me we cant legislate for injuries budfy because we have this problem every freakin year.
    I think even you are so exhasperated now that you cant even put your finger on what is actually happening.
    And about Spurs, its irrelevent where their money comes from. They are intent, they are ambitious and their not aiming to finish ahead of Arsenal anymore they are trying to bridhe the gap with the top three, where we are not trying to do this, we are hoping that something amazing has happened over the summer with our personnel and something dreadful to the teams that finished 10 points plus above is.
    Nobody fears us, we carry a shodow of the threat we once posed. We are predictable and we are now a pretty standard PL side.
    This is what is eating away at us all and the man needs to stop saying 6 teams can win the league and we are one because its insulting.

  37. shambo
    August 18, 2013 at 3:49 am #

    Shard I get you man, I do.
    But what your saying if it is the case is outside anyones control and like you said not investigated.
    But what I cannot ignore is the failure of the people responsible for maintaing this clubs standards, there are so many instances where they have failed us spectacularly, it turns my stomach watching Van Persie succeed at Utd, why didnt we say no like liverpool did with Suarez, because they couldnt say no to the cash.
    Us Arsenal fans have been through the ringer the last five or so years and its time we got something back, is that not a fair point?

  38. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 3:51 am #

    its irrelevent where their money comes from.

    That was exactly my point to you at 3.23. It is not irrelevant. I wish I could ignore everything else that surrounds the game. But I can’t, because it affects the game. And in ways that you seem unwilling to consider. In which case, there’s no point talking about it.

    Just remember that money rules the world. This, sadly, includes sport. Money is also the root of evil (to ‘coin’ another cliche) To brush aside the influence it has on the game, both through football directly, and indirectly, is something I cannot do. You apparently can. All the best to you with that.

    We’ll have common points on Arsenal, but it seems never on the environment in which that exists.

    If you’ll notice I did say that this transfer window has been a complete disappointment. Contrary to what you probably think, I don’t see it as my job to defend everything about the club. I see it as my job to bring some balance into the distorted narrative of the club. But it’s gotten too much for me before, and things like today’s referee performance, and people’s reaction to it, is enough to make me start to lose faith in the point of it all.

    Hasta luego. Till I feel up to it again.

  39. GunnerBoss
    August 18, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    “Why did Suarez want to leave Liverpool and join us? Because of CL. If we’re looking at players of that quality, then they would all demand CL before they signed.” Again, what does this mean? Where is Falcao (the hottest property on the planet this window, Cavani who?)? If you want a player, you will get him. Adding one pound to a transfer fee seems unserious to me at best. I like the fact that we do not want to pay over the odds for anyone, but someone good has to come in and get the confidence and competition up in the squad for goodness sakes. I clearly see no risks in getting a proven player to come in and boost the squad. You have him, you have the effect that comes with having him and you still make money off him.

    I have tried to stay away from venting or anything of the sort to maintain a fresh perspective in my mind about things and try to see reasons for and against every actions we take. Everything is pretty clear now from almost a neutral point of view to me.

    1. I think the team is good. I think haggling for Higuan and the Bayern DM guy can be justified. I dont think they are much better than what we have…totally justifiable. But, what of Rooney and Suarez…..no arguments here at all.
    2. I think the team has been dealt with cruel injuries yet again(its not that we do not expect this). The problem is we always feel someone coming back from an injury is like a new signing. How often does this need to happen for us to know Arsene better?
    3. Wenger knows he does not have what it takes to win the EPL playerwise, but he refuses to justify the ends when stacked up with the means. Real magreed(2nd la liga) have bought a lot of players and sold too…….Shitty(2nd EPL) have bought a lot of players and sold too…….Napoli(2nd Serie A) have bought a lot of players and sold too……WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO BUY THE PLAYERS WE CLEARLY NEED? A change of manager? Maybe we should take 2nd this season, so we can buy in next season window?

    Finally, I think Wenger is either becoming very reactive and slow to the market as regards the team or he is becoming too over-confident (a sign of some form of …….). I also think it is clearly showing he cannot utilize or motivate inexperienced players into a combative tactical unit (Juventus anyone) …..
    Like I always say, all our plans and dealings will always be acceptable as long as we are winning. When we lose, we look plain silly. We are patient with this guy because of how we played towards the end of last season. Now instead of adding to that and creating the fear people want to associate us with, it now seems we CANNOT attract big name signings once again. If we fail to win our top four trophy this year, Wenger will leave us HIGH and very DRY.

    Shout out to Lefty, well done, well done, well done….Nice post, but even nicer the work you put in. Kudos man. Shout out to tha boss… Andy, Andy, Andy, Andy…nice to see the Arsenal fever still grips you. Thanks for giving us the community back, you are a legend. Shout out to Shambo….everything always in perspective. Shout out to Retsub, I would not mind you, Shard and Shambo putting up posts now and again to complement lefty….I think you guys would do an awesome job. Big shout outs to Terry, Delano and everyone else.

    Cheers to a new blog……

  40. GunnerBoss
    August 18, 2013 at 4:00 am #

    Where are my previous posts? Who is deleting my posts? What does this mean?

  41. GunnerBoss
    August 18, 2013 at 4:12 am #

    Big Oops! Comments coming in real thick and fast…..My bad

  42. Gunfest
    August 18, 2013 at 5:19 am #

    Great to see a new article, thank you Lefty!
    We will not win the EPL again under Wenger. He does not have the fire in his belly. Selling RVP to Manure was criminal! Do you think United will sell us Rooney?!

    As currently constituted we are not good enough to finish in the top 3 , let’s not pretend that we are a title contender …after the first weekend of football , we will find ourselves at bottom of the table, let’s the panic buys begin!

  43. delano
    August 18, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    @Shard i just don’t know whether you are trying to quench your anger through such a lame excuse or you are serious. On the pitch we saw Gibbs bleeding and Sagna falling dangerously,Rosicky could have been sent off easily for two bookable offences.I just dont feel there was match fixing.
    ITS all about the mediocrity by the coach. How could this same squad beat Manchester City convincingly and fail to beat a mediocre squad like A.Villa. The discipline and tactics at the Emirates have been deplorable and gone through the window ever since 2006.It just all seems a joke. How could this team put up a Ten game unbeaten run and just can’t even match that in the first game. Even Suarez must be wondering what a mistake he was making comming to the Emirates.Am surely believing Liverpool and Spurs are going to be too much for us in the top four race.At this rate no player is going to come cheaply as most have now started their leagues.
    Did any of you guys notice the absence of a Defensive midfielder and how a Gustavo could have remedied the problem.Frimpong was available.I rather play him there than Rosicky or Ramsey.The squad is just a joke and am regretting why Gervinho could be left to go at just 8million pounds. He is far better than many players who were on the pitch today.

  44. Gunfest
    August 18, 2013 at 6:07 am #

    I have no patience for all moaning about refs or injuries, excuses are for losers!
    Wouldn’t Simon Mignolet have been an upgrade for GK?!

    @ Delano, I was glad to see Gervinho go to a team where he is wanted. He had become a scapegoat by a section of our fans for the mediocrity in our squad. He is a good player , creative with ball to his feet. He was low on confidence , he is emotionally fragile and he needs constant positive reinforcement. At Roma , he should do well under Rudy Garcia who managed him in France and knows him well.

  45. leftcoastgooner
    August 18, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    We were not ready.
    No sense blaming the refs.
    They were poor it’s true but we were not prepared today.
    I’m a little bent out of shape right now and can’t really think straight.
    I dunno sort of in shock. I know we have problems but I thought we were MUCH better than this. Maybe we are and time will tell but right now it just feels black.

  46. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    Yes let’s not blame the referee who had an absolutely one sided shocker of a game and whose performance played a big part in the result.

    Let’s instead blame Arsenal who were allowed to be kicked to pieces without control, who were only given fouls when they should have had advantage instead, and who were called for fouls when they had the temerity to challenge Aston Villa for the ball. It would appear to make us bad sports to ‘blame the referee’. It’s much more acceptable to blame our own team. We wouldn’t want to appear like we’re making excuses would we? So let’s just go with the overwhelming narrative, and no matter what pattern the game took, we had our narrative set from before. Lack of signings.

    I’m fighting a losing battle against the established narrative. I know it. But it is the truth that Tayor’s performance was the main story of the match, and while Arsenal’s lack of squad depth is an issue, and their other weaknesses showed up a few times, it is impossible to judge the performance in any objective way because of the conditions that they were subjected to by a clearly agenda driven ref. To deny that can only be wilfully closing your eyes to something which doesn’t fit into the story you want to tell.

    The story of Arsenal’s transfer woes is not the story of Arsenal’s opening match.

  47. Gunfest
    August 18, 2013 at 8:14 am #

    No the referee is not the main story!
    Was the referee responsible for our midfield and defense left in shambles for their first penalty?
    What about their third goal , was that the ref’s fault too?
    Yes the second penalty was a mistake, and Kos ejection was costly, but we lost because we were not good enough!
    We created very little after our goal.

  48. Rooiseun
    August 18, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Ref was shit, it was not fixed. Schezny should have walked for that penalty. That ws a straight red. But why did Kozzer had to wait and challenge inside the box anyway, granted it was a good challenge. In that position u r always opening your self for trouble.

  49. Rooiseun
    August 18, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    What about missed opportunities. How many chances do we need per game?

  50. vcc
    August 18, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Shard have you got any evidence of this match fixing then. Otherwse what you are saying is blatant slander. You should post on untold arsenal you will feel out home on that site.

  51. vcc
    August 18, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    I meant to say libel not slander.

  52. kel
    August 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    @ shard
    Sometimes you make me wonder what your smoking!!!!
    I did not see the game so i can’t comment, BUT let me ask you this how many times have we benefited from bad decisions in the past, I would say a whole lot, Last season against QPR comes to mind and they were a few others last season alone, these things tend to work themselves out in the end.

    BUT honestly i did not think we would loose to villa. The only regret i have is that the transfer window is not closed so that wenger can get his wish and go into this season with this squad If we loose in Turkey expect the panic Button to fully in gear.
    Yes wenger go into this season with this squad they are good enough finish off your self this season that’s all i want so that we can RUN you out of town next season Your done.
    And by the way in wenger post match interview today he called the referee “STUBBORN ” HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH !!!!!! how Ironic don’t you think???? Pot telling kettle he bottom Black
    Wenger your an idiot

  53. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    vcc

    The match is clear evidence of the referee calling the game against Arsenal. You can shut your eyes to it and focus only on the team. But that is not the truth.

    It’s like if we don’t make any signings in this transfer window, and then we lose a game, and I say, forget the transfer window. Yes it was bad, but if the likes of Gnabry, Eisfeld and Akpom had played better, we’d have won. Let’s focus on that. It is obviously true, but it ignores the reality of the situation. Which is what you are doing with the referee. It is true that if Arsenal had played better, or had more options on the bench, it would have helped their cause, but that is not the reason they lost to Villa. The reality is that the referee was the prime mover in that result. Arsenal were just unable to stop him. And that my friends, isn’t football.

  54. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    kel

    Like Wenger, I am not talking about some bad decisions. I am talking about the way the entire match was refereed. Just like Dowd at Newcastle.

  55. delano
    August 18, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    Even if the game was fixed as Shard would want it to appear Villa created the beater chances and could have easily scored 5 goals.Wait a minute guys. Is Wilshere worth the hype or its the mediocrity of players surrounding him.
    I could be tempted to think Wenger wanted such a result so that he could force the board into panic. Logically it makes sense.Cause a week ago an almost same team thumped ManShitty on just counterattacks. Why all of the sudden play a high line in a competitive game of this stature.

  56. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    delano

    Firstly, this is a fine example of how ‘evidence’ is only required when it comes to things which show Arsenal in a better light, or at least in not a bad light. Nobody asks for proof of Arsene Wenger having too much power, or proof that Wenger and the board are at loggerheads, or that Wenger refuses to spend money. No proof is apparently required for such theories, but any evidence to suggest that the referee made Arsenal play on a tilted pitch is ignored and rallied against. Why? I can only conclude because people are conditioned to think of it as silly. Despite it clearly not being so.

    Apologies, that wasn’t a rant at you delano.

    But to move onto your analysis of Wilshere. Fine. I will try for a second to ignore the referee’s effect and analyse the team. The first goal was a thing of beauty. After that, we seemed to slow down a bit, but were well in control and keeping Villa on the run. At the point when things started to go against us, we lost composure and concentration, and allowed Agbonlahor to run through our midfield and defense. Wilshere was particularly culpable in this, and Mertesacker didn’t have a good game either. Per also backed off when he showed have closed Delph down for the shot that hit the bar. The tackle for the second penalty was clean but our midfield was too easy to play through, once again I think because Wilshere’s positioning is suspect.

    As to our lack of creativity, I don’t think that is possible to judge because of the way the match was ruined, but even so, we did have chances to score, such as through Rosicky, who played very well and with a lot of heart, but was poor in finishing.

    Arsenal can and must do better, including in coping with injustices.

  57. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    GunnerBoss

    As to your response to my point about Suarez only wanting to join us for CL. You bring up Falcao. You quote me about Suarez wanting CL part, but not what I said in its entirety.

    I said “Why did Suarez want to leave Liverpool and join us? Because of CL. If we’re looking at players of that quality, then they would all demand CL before they signed.

    Even if we threw some extra cash at them, it doesn;t mean they’ll accept. ecause CL offers the the opportunity at greater exposure and hence even greater amounts of money through sponsors and even through other clubs then coming in for them.”

    That second paragraph shows that even th CL is about the money. Falcao is getting some insane amount of money TAX FREE at Monaco. If he joins a CL club, he can’t hope to get that much even in a few years. Even the oil rich clubs like PSG, and Chelsea couldn’t compete with that. You really expect Arsenal to be able to offer that sort of money to tempt quality players without CL football? We’re rich, we’re not Fort Knox.

    I want Arsenal to buy players. Lots of players. All quality players. But we haven’t so far. We don’t know the reason for this. It may or may not be incompetence. There is a logical explanation, such as the lack of CL, that might explain why this has not happened yet, without it being a case of incompetence. Is it ideal? No. Does teh club deserve blame? Yes. But what the club is being blamed for is not the lack of signings before the season began. They are being blamed for the media built up narrative of ’8 years without a trophy’. It is not in proportion with the issue, and with the club’s culpability.

  58. Jay
    August 18, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Shard, I’m beginning to wonder whether you are actually Arsene Wenger writing under a pseudonym.

  59. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    Jay

    What a brilliant comeback, which precludes you from making any argument of your own that holds up under scrutiny. Typical of the attitude of taking potshots that so many of our ‘supporters’ seem to revel in. It’s the easiest thing in the world to do.

  60. Jay
    August 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    People compare this period of Wenger’s reign to the final days of Clough. It’s more like the dying days of Thatcher’s reign. It took a disaffected Geoffrey Howe to stand up and challenge her in parliament and that encouraged others to come out of the woodwork and call for her resignation. Are there any disaffected members of the Arsenal board? I can’t believe there aren’t some uneasy people there, despite the notion they are comfortable because of the club’s financial health Otherwise it has to come from more vocal and visible fan dissent. You rarely see an adverse banner raised at the Emirates. Would they be confiscated before entry? There were cries of “Spend some f***ing money” at the end of yesterday’s game but only when it became obvious we would lose the game. I don’t think enough fans would stay away from any of the matches and show their feelings by leaving a half empty stadium to make it register with the board but more displays of dissatisfaction through banners and chants would help. And no, I don’t think it would be disloyal to the players. They need to see things change in the club and it won’t happen until Wenger admits he has lost his touch, lost the plot and become corrupted by his own absolute power. Nobody will gainsay him, but the fans have voices and a significant number would drown out the platitudes of Shard and the AKBs and the corporate fat cats.

  61. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Jay

    Ok. An argument at least. What is the basis of your belief that Wenger has ‘lost his touch, lost the plot, and become corrupted by his own absolute power’.

    All of those are just nice sounding, rabble rousing words. But what do you mean when you say, lost his touch? What specifically is the plot that he’s lost? Why do you feel that is the case?

    And lastly, what is the evidence that Wenger enjoys ‘absolute power’, let alone that he’s been ‘corrupted’ by it? You believe this just because it is repeated continuously? That just makes it AN explanation (and not a very good one at that), not THE explanation. If that’s not the only reason you say it then please tell me how you arrive at that conclusion. I’m not even saying how you know. I accept you can’t know. But what evidence has led you to conclude that Wenger has absolute power? And please..stay on point when you answer, rather than ramble on with other cliches.

  62. Gunfest
    August 18, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    Well said Jay,.
    Shard , you have written a lot about your baseless accusations of the match being fixed…the proof that you are wrong is that our GK was not red carded on the first penalty, he only received a yellow card!

    Nothing is more infuriating to me than people who spend time blaming others for their own failures instead of taking personal responsibility !

    We have a manager who has lost perspective, he is an idiot savant…he thinks that he is smart , he could put on a bid on Higuain or Suarez and create pressure on their club to sell.
    Any credible manager who’ve had a list of transfer targets prior to the end of last season. Did Wenger put on a bid for Fellaini? Or another midfield player?

    The incompetence of our manager is demonstrated by Rogers reaction to our bid on Suarez, he is showing us what we should have done with RVP…he does not want to sell to a rival English club, who would be stupid enough to do that? We did!
    How much RVP is worth on the transfer market today? Not 25 million pounds !

  63. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    If I want to swing a match a certain way, I don’t need to send someone off immediately. Especially if this act of ‘mercy’ acts as ‘proof’ against all my other actions.

    By the way, the rule is to give a red card for denial of clear goal scoring opportunity, and the directive is generally that if the striker is heading away from goal, a red card is not given. Also, since the referee also played advantage, there was still a goal scoring opportunity for the guy following up. Which he failed to take, and then the referee pulled back for the original foul. Which was typical of how the advantage rule was working for them, and entirely different to how it was working for Arsenal.

    RVP had one year on his contract left. He released a statement that made it clear he will not want to stay. He didn’t have a World Cup to play the following year. Liverpool don’t have the limitation of tied up commercial deals or paying for a stadium and they are financed by John Henry, rather than being completely self financed.

  64. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    I see also that nobody has taken note of my assessment of the players yesterday. Instead, I am accused of being an apologist. Maybe I should call all of you referee apologists. Since when did referees influencing outcomes so deliberately become an accepted part of the game?

  65. vcc
    August 18, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    Shard you just come across as someone who is deluded like your lord wenger. He unlike ceaser has failed to cross the rubicon. He dithered changed course of direction and now he has lost his crown.

    The best comment i read yesterday was on le-grove. One guy said wenger has been the best thing and worst thing that had happened to arsenal and that we all loved him once.

    He needs a new challenge and arsenal need a new manager.

  66. delano
    August 18, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    Ha ha Shard i have learn,t not to take you seriously on the fixing incident as it has no basis in equity or practice on the pitch .We all saw what happened,But then again am beginning to realise what a stupid mistake it was to Sell V. persie to United when Juventus also wanted him. At one point you say V.persie made it clear he didnt want to stay. I tell you Suarez has done more than enough than Persie did.If going to the extent of biting some one wasn,t enough then what else could he have done. But they sturbbonly refused to sell. They for now are very very strong compared to our bunch of idiots.They have assembled well.Spurs have got Capoue in and some fantastic buys.It will be threatening if Gareth Bale stays to say the least.They will be up there for the second spot. Am fearing for the worst as we have no star player nor even the squad itself to lay a basis for competition.All the wing backs got injured in just one game and the replacements apart from Jenkins were shocking.
    The system of play didnt even help on the injuries. Our players had to run acres back to cover up Aston Villa attackers. I believe a conservative boring 442 or counter attacking game could have costed us little energy and just hit this young Villa side on lightening counter attacks.But this moron of a coach couldn’t care risking an opening game of the season. There was no game plan to deal with two average Villa attackers.He believed the papering wall of Ramsey and wilshere would do a Song kind of thing to our defense. There was no leadership on the pitch and the team was always in wonderland.Metasacker must be the worst Captain in game.But i dont blame him as it was the coach’s strategy to play highline.We have experimented this Highline of superior teams like Bayern Munich,AC Millan ,Spurs and it has costed us dearly.The coach still never learns and he does the same regardless of the opposition.To me Wenger lost it in 2006 and he should have gone then.Otherwise he is living on borrowed time now.We wont win the league and i have all reservations that we shall be in the Top 4 again.

  67. Retsub
    August 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    I don’t actually agree with Shard on this, but if you have read his posts over a period of time you will know he is an intelligent guy. Who has a sound knowledge of football.

    Somewhat similar to Wenger you might say. Listen no one was happy about yesterday and our lack of activity in the market. We may well be in trouble onWednesday and the blame must lie with management.

    But…. Every year some of you sound off about how crap we are and how wonderful the likes of Spurs, Newcastle, Everton are. Well guess what folks it’s been many a year since any of them finished above us. There are 92 teams in the league I guess that means 88 of them are crap with deluded managers??

  68. Retsub
    August 18, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Lefty 67 posts you are the man

  69. Jay
    August 18, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    Shard, just read what Gunfest and Delano have said and that will tell you some of what you fail to grasp about Wenger’s ineptitude. I am 100% in agreement with them so no point in wasting time repeating what the majority of fans understandably think about this needless insane mess. They love Arsenal football club just as much as you, but cannot bear to see it so tragically and farcically destroyed by Wenger’s stubbornness and arrogance. Oh and by the way, you were so keen for me to back up my arguments, can you back up your argument re conspiracy theories about the referee without sounding more than a bit paranoid?

  70. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Jay

    I can’t, except through what is circumstantial evidence. If you want, there are statistics available to show the bias of certain refs. But nothing what you would call ‘proof’ . However, that was exactly my point. All of you seem so ready to brush off my statement about match fixing and corrupt refs, and yet seem so willing to castigate Wenger and cast aspersions on his character or sanity with what, at best, is the same standard of proof. Thank you for reaffirming my point.

  71. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Retsub

    Somewhat similar to Wenger? I’m not worthy. And to most people on here, that isn’t an endorsement. But thank you :)

    I’m happy enough for people to not agree with me about referees. I am not happy that talking about it is deemed to be a sign of paranoia or excuse making.

  72. Gunfest
    August 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Agree with Jay and Delano 100%.

    On a different note, it is great to see that Lefty was able to write this article, it would have been sad to see this blog die out.
    I know last year some of you volunteered to write articles. My suggestion is some of you should contact Andy , so that there are multiple people writing , even editing and posting articles. I may disagree with Shard on Wenger, but he is a very good writer, he could do the job.

    Let’s organize ourselves so that if Andy decides to leave again, this blog can be sustained for generation of Gooners to come!

  73. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    delano

    I also said a lot of other differences with Van Persie and Suarez. Not just one. Suarez in his statement never disrespected the club. Refused to say he felt betrayed. He didn’t question their ambition. All he did was say he wants to leave and that this was promised to him. It wasn’t quite the same level of invective. But the main difference is simlpy in the years left on his contract, combined with the fact that there is a world cup at the end of this year. So Suarez’s option of not putting in effort is sort of limited. Unless he’s willing to risk not making the squad for the World Cup in South America.

    Also, I remain unconvinced that it is in Liverpool’s best long term interests to hold on to him. But it is a calculated risk, and I can’t blame them for taking it in the hope it works out.

    As to the question of the high line. Firstly, I hate micro management and there is literally no point in getting into that. Once someone is in that position, it is his call to make, and there is nothing wrong with it, because there is no right and wrong. Only opinions. The manager’s opinion in tactics is what counts. He does have more knowledge and experience than any of us, and crucially, also has access to more information. That doesn’t mean you accept everything he does. It just means that you have to accept that your criticism is starting from a point of relative ignorance compared to him.

    Secondly, I suspect that you are wrong about us playing a suicidal high line yesterday, except when we went down to that penalty. But I will be watching the match in its entirety again tomorrow, so we’ll talk about it then. You might be right. (Although there is nothing wrong with a high line. It makes perfect sense. provided, the attack and midfield puts pressure on the opposition and doesn’t give them time to pick out their pass. That actually might be the real problem)

  74. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    VCC

    The problem with people like you is that just because you are unable to understand someone else’s rationale, you conclude that they are deluded.

    Why are you so strongly of the belief that a referee CANNOT be corrupt? Or are you simply arguing against the point on principle that anything which doesn’t put 100% of the blame on Arsenal has to be proven wrong?

  75. shambo
    August 18, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    Hello everyone,
    HappySunday to you all.
    First things first, Shard, i re-read all the comments yesterday. Like I said you were highly charged yesterday and thats fine, but dont for a second think that I dont want and expect a certain standard for our Club, I let the condescending tone go in an earlier post yesterday where you said something to the effect of “maybe your ok with this, fair play of you are” and then you wrote something similar ten mins later and little snipes like that dont suit you. That is all.
    On when I questioned your rational. It was that you were so un-Shard-like yesterday and your usual composure was nowhere to be found. You were accusing everyone of lacking and openess to your opinion on match fixing, which to me is a desperate attempt to deflect what is really going on and if thats your coping mechanism, fine but stop ramming the match fixing thing down our throats, its baseless. Yes he had a shocker, but Schezza should have saw red for a foul where a villa player ran untackled for 35 yards, criminal.
    There are things in this world outside our control that we know make it a worse place, but we limit this to what we ourselves can control or influence, it sounds preachy but here me out.
    If I take that the ref was paid off or had an agenda yesterday as a reality, as it is in other sports and has occured in football, then yes I am livid. But we cannot control this. As a fan, as millions of fans, as a Manager, owner or club as a whole. WE CANNOT CONTROL THIS OUTSIDE INFLUENCE.
    Now please listen carefully as Im tired making this point.
    There are things that we as a club CAN CONTROL and INFLUENCE to ensure we run efficiently on so many different levels, least of all keeping the paying customer, every single one of us, satisfied. It doesnt have to be happy, it doesnt have to be ecstatic, it doesnt have to be 2 trophies a year, or even on. We just want to be satisfied that if we are paying huge ticket prices that we are getting value, if we are no longer in the elite that we will try to return, slowly is fine. If we dont have money, then dont say weve a 70m warchest. If we need to sell a big name to repay debt, say it. If we are not contenders, DO NOT say we are. We are Arsenal supporters we have the best interests of the club at heart but gives us some respect and tell us, ok dont say were not contenders as it puts out a bad message, but dont say we are when other teams and fans are sniggering at us.
    The stadium move and the debt burden and risk, and pros and cons, you know more than me on this topic, but I have asked this so manys times Id like a response.
    Was there no contingency plan in place to ensure that the on field standards would not be put in jepordy by any potential unforeseen financial outlay?
    Was it part of the plan to have to sell our best every season for 7 years to sustain the move?
    No.
    Adebayour, Nasri left for greed.
    Toure, Clichy, Van Percy, Gallas left because our ambitions did not match theirs.
    Fabregas the same but his heart was in Barce at that time.
    Collectively this players won nothing with us but all bar Gallas have since won trophies.
    For whatever reason they were sold, but they were not replaced with like, the were replaced with lesser likes to the point where weve had to end massive contracts like Chamakh and Arshavin because nobody wanted to buy them at even knock down fees, let alone match their obscene wage packets.
    Shard, when we were planning to move, would you not say it would be absolute folly and detrimental to this club, finacial pitfalls and bumps along the way taken into account, that the people in charge of our Club would not have forecast that they would, along with these pitfalls still have to spend, I dont know, lets say 15m on the squad WITHOUT having to sell our best, because this is a big reason why were here.
    Was it always the case the we were going to have to sell big and buy not just small but poorly to facilitate a move?
    If you believe this then, yes, most definately Wenger and the board have had a hard task and have done very well getting CL football.
    But I dont for a second believe that they would risk everything on this move without a contingency of at least 70/80 million in reserve for unforeseen moving costs or team issues such as long term injuries or losing BIG NAME players.
    If they went ahead knowing they could not cover these risks it was pure folly, if they didnt and like I said planned for the worse, whilst actually garnering huge profit on sales of Ade, Toure, Nasri, etc etc then it is Wenger and the board who are responsible for our transfer failings and slow rot, which is not the reason Villa beat Arsenal yesterday but it is the reason why they, and wteams like them, have no fear and are capability now on any given day to beat us. Wigan, Villa, Bradford, relegated managerless no diection blackburn in the fa cup.
    Its not coincidence.

  76. vcc
    August 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

    Ha people like me. You do not even know me! Who is making assumptions now.

    Like I said you should post on untold you would feel at home there.

    Anyone that publicly claims the match was fixed without any evidence in order to deflect the attention away from our incompetent manager is DELUDED.

    I support Arsenal FC not Arsene FC.

  77. shambo
    August 18, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    Gunfest,
    Agree Shard should write, but also this is Andrew Webbers brainchild, his creation and the reason you, I and everyone else loveit is because he set the statis quo, lets not be to eager to dilute that for the sake of sustaining it.
    It will be alive and well as long as Andy wants and it will end, if and when he wants, the guy is just on a break.
    Again, though, Yes. Shard and Lefty would ne enough and they respect the integrity of the place so Id like to see that happen.

  78. dutch
    August 18, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    Give that man n bell’s! “leftcoastgooner”
    Had a bad date, girls with baggage are as worst as girls with it,anyway my hurt quickly heal with this fresh blog i can always make it up with her another time.This season as been as excepted with so many people crictising the manager who wants to be all, but my point is the blame should be thrown at the board, manager and the fans that accept this nonsense,how is the poster “arsenal cant buy class” going to change wenger approach when we start getting these wins of one goal more and the hate of wenger will dissappear and reappear when we are knock out of all the cups except the wenger cup which by history seems we are on roll for.Wish i had the statistic of how many fans have that image and belief of “in wenger we rust” than some time ago!

  79. dutch
    August 18, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    meant girls with no baggage is worst than those with it

  80. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    Shambo

    I said maybe you’re ok with not looking at other aspects of the game that affect the game indirectly. Like finances, like referees.

    I agree with you almost completely in your paragraph about things we can and can’t control. If you care to read, I have said Arsenal need to be able to cope better with these things. I have criticised our defensive failing in the game. But where I’m coming from on this is like the example I gave you. If we don’t buy anyone this transfer window. When we next lose. It is entirely correct for me to say that we lost because players like Gnabry didn’t play well. So it is their fault. If they played better, they would have won. That is true, I hope you agree? Arsenal could have, and should have done better yesterday, and in the transfer market before that. That is completely true. And yet, it ignores the real cause of the defeat yesterday. That was a corrupt performance and just because it is demeaned as paranoia or excuse making, doesn’t mean I should give in to that pressure and give up a legitimately held, considered view. That is my annoyance. Look at the comments. Can you honestly say they display open mindedness about the effect of the referee on Arsenal yesterday?

    As to the contingency plan. I have no idea. I do know that we’d been making plans to move stadium by November or December 2000. We received final planning permission (and this entire process also has associated costs) in either end 2001 or early 2002. The building of the Emirates, if I recall correctly, started in 2003, with the plan to open by 2006. It was a fantastic achievement to conclude the building and open it on time, and on budget. Agreed so far?

    Was it possible to predict in 2000, or even in 2003, just how much football will change with the coming of Abramovich? I don’t think so. I’m sure we had contingency plans, but you must remember that wages in football were much much lower in that time. Henry at 100k per week was in the top 20 earners in world football in 2002. There is no way our contingency plan could budget to pay mid level players 100k+, which is what happened with inflation in football in exactly the years we had our cash flow restricted, and the most need to pay for the stadium. Moreover, our plan to sell apartments at Highbury brought less profits than anticipated because of the financial crash of the global economy in 2008.

    I genuinely feel people don’t understand how horribly bad it could have gone for Arsenal. How much money was needed to simply keep the club ticking over. Which is why getting the CL spot became so essential. It was pretty much a question of survival. And though we never fell out of it, the board budgeted to miss out on it once every 4 years (at least what I’d read at the time) That is a conservative policy, but it is very sensible. It is ok if you disagree, but you would then be taking a very very big risk with the future of the club. To get what? A trophy here and there? I don’t think it would have been worth the risk.

    Selling players. Faced with having an unhappy player, Arsenal could either essentially write off the multi million salaries as a bad investment, or cash in, and hope to start again. Once again, they chose the safer option. It doesn’t make them malafide in intentions. It just makes them very cautious with the security of the club. Besides that, having an unhappy football player damages team morale, and it affects the playing side negatively. So it is ALSO a football decision. (Cue howls of derision, but look at it objectively and it makes sense)

    And this is the thing. I agree with the anger towards the club for this transfer window. As long asthat is what the complaint is about. But as you well know, that is not what the real source of the anger is. The real source of the anger is the constant niggling away over the years about the ‘haven’t won a trophy since’ line. That is why it is ridiculously disproportionate to the problem this summer, and it ignores the difficulties, and indeed the wonderful achievements of those 8 years. To castigate a club for 8 years (actually more like 12 years) of the single greatest transition in the club’s history, which actually is ignored in its magnitude simply because of how smoothly it went, simply because the media chips away at you for the lack of trophies, is to be extremely unfair in my opinion. And it saddens me that people are so willing to see ‘mismanagement’ at every corner, whether there be any evidence of it or not. Turn the microscope like that on ANY organisation, and you’ll see cracks.

  81. Shard
    August 18, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    VCC

    It wasn’t an assumption. It was what you displayed and continue to display. As I said, I haven’t deflected attention away from Arsenal’s failings. I even mentioned them. I simply say that it is not the real story of the game yesterday.

    So, why are you so certain of there being no problems with the refereeing? You do realise that both can be true. Referees can be corrupt and affect the game and Arsenal can be at fault? It isn’t an either or, and the sooner you realise that the easier you will find understanding instead of indulging in calling me names and then acting hurt over me taking umbrage at that.

  82. GunnerBoss
    August 19, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    Shout out to Gunfest

  83. Vcc
    August 19, 2013 at 2:03 am #

    No you did not hurt me with your snide comment. The referee may have a bad game but to call him corrupt and the match was fixed is as I said before is deluded. Why not go to the press with your theory.

    You are just a sad old snobby akb who uses his intellect and good use of vocabulary to bully people on here. Your Lord Wenger is running out of time.

    I bet your reply will be something on the lines of I am so superior I do not reduce my arguement to name calling bla bla bla bla………..

  84. Shard
    August 19, 2013 at 2:27 am #

    VCC

    Why is it deluded? Just because the press doesn’t say it?
    You’re the only one obsessed by Wenger. You are obsessed by your dislike of him, but that is still obsession.

    Oh my intellect and vocabulary is too much to handle? Perhaps I should dumb myself down for your sake, and then we can all be happy and united in our obsession with and hatred of one football manager instead of examining anything in detail and context, and sing kumbaya.

    So far the only one doing the bullying is you? And why? Let’s say I am wrong about the referee. Let’s say that performance was not corrupt. Why does it make you so angry? Like I said, it’s not like your theory cannot be right just because mine is. Arsenal can still be bad, meaning you can still delight in that.

    If the idea that the referee was corrupt is deluded, so is the idea that Wenger is incompetent. There is no ‘proof’ for either. You just show off your bravado because you have the luxury of echoing every single news outlet. That doesn’t make you right. It just makes you an echo. Either show me the same level of proof for your theory that you demand from me, or admit that your crassness is a result of your inability to do so. Although I suspect either is beyond you.

    And just to prove that I’m not superior..since the thought seems to hurt your ego despite me never having mentioned anything of the sort.. Your brain is a pestilential spreader of diseased thoughts which despite your ignorance of it, is only a tool to echo popular opinions rather than original thoughts. In short, your an idiot.. There. See. Now we’re on the same level. I called you names too.

  85. Shard
    August 19, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    And what’s more I made a grammatical error while doing it. You really did succeed in proving I’m not superior. Good job. Rejoice!

  86. shambo
    August 19, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    Shard,
    I dont, nor do I suspect the Arsenal fans majority, base my feelings on what has happened or continues happening at our club on what some often biased,misinformed, ignorant, not that bright-to-begin-with former footballer whos attempt at being a pundit/ tabloid journalist involves regurgitating blatant mis information surrounding our club thstis designed to provoke moreso than stir up an intelligent debate. There are a thousand football pundits, name five credible ones.
    You are not the only person aware of this, these guys are not causing the division between our fans to the extent you think, I would say its minimal. Its Wenger and Gazidis propaganda and Stan Kroenkes indifference that is causing the division between our fans and whether your right, vcc, kel or me, its a serious serious problem now as we are not as one as a club.
    Personally my frustration with you is a small and simple one, and its not your opinions at all. Its this, if all Arsenal fans shared your opinion, we would never get put of this mess, there has been any amount of patience given and what progress has there been. You are a great fan but how can you not at this stage be demanding more, and if Im being unkind which maybe I am, please tell me what you want from Wenger and the board in the short term?
    As for the transfers vs player performance argument, absolutely agree with you that team we put out without additions should have beaten Villa, but sometimes I get a sense of naivety from you when it comes to the on-field 90 mins stuff, quite often you dont have to have played the game to understand the significance of the stuff you dont see happening. Preperation, Focus, motivation, pep talks and rollickings, tactics, training ground drills and scenarios.
    This is Wengers job, he gets a huge salary for this, for making big calls, making big signings and selling big players, of which he is more adept at one than the other in that regard.
    For ypu to say that Eisfiel, Gnabry and co didnt perform is a failure on his part to prepare them, to motivate them. I
    f their not ready, he shouldnt play them, thats his fault.
    If their carrying a knock and play poorly, his fault.
    If Theo Walcott is allowed to play like that yesterday and lose possesion and have absolutely, and I mean this, absolutely no desire to get the ball back or get back and help Jenkinson out and he still gets 90mins, what message is that sending out.Look at Barcelona, and please dont insult me by telling me to support them when it is apparent to all that they set the standard for working without the ball, would you say Pedro amd Walcott are pretty similar???? I would say so, but not without the ball their not, one is tactically aware because the tactics have been made known to him and he is willing to run himself into the ground when not in possession. That is desire, thats when you earn the right to play your game.
    Theo Walcott is fast with the ball, but ome of the slowest in the world without it, he is reactive instead of anticipating and positioning himself where he can aid the team defensively, he has made zero progression in this department in his years at the club and this is a coaching issue, I would ask all readers and posters on herrme to watch Theo without the ball in any Arsenal game and tell me different, because it is a systematic problem throughout Wengers teams in recent years, nobody knows where they should be.
    The third goal yesterday was the worst concession I have ever seen at any level of football.. nobody back and there fuckin fullback runs the length to score, its pathetic to begin to defend this type of thing, defending it and turning a blind eye to it has got us where we are.
    And by the way we have 13 fit players for the CL qualifier.
    Whos fault is that or is it just plain bad luck?

  87. shambo
    August 19, 2013 at 4:07 am #

    Apologies I meant to write above:
    Quite often you dont have to have played the game to understand the significance of the small stuff you dont see happening- but quite often you DO.

  88. GunnerBoss
    August 19, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    This is the Shard I know, you guys keep on trying. Atleast, he said I was right and he was wrong once upon a time after days and days of argument. He is an extremely tough cookie and I immediately began to respect the power of superior arguments.
    When people argue, it is the supporting data that should supposedly win the argument….

    Somehow Shard makes a point about referees in an uncertain way(pissing a lot of people off), but he somehow cannot back his theory up. Well, I remember Ferguson saying he knows he used to put indirect pressure on the referees….So, somehow it could be that the referees are used to blowing against us because Wenger cannot push his weight around or because people do not take us serious(because we no longer have high profile players the likes of Viera, Adams etc who could scream into the referees face) its not like we have a Messi who needs PROTECTION in our squad etc.

    Then we also have the argument of player mediocrity( I dont know who should doubt this)…People generally feel Villa should’ve been put to the sword irrespective of suicidal refereeing decisions. A backup to this should not be that Wenger seems to have underestimated the opponents on the day, because this is another argument on its own.
    Someone clearly stated here that we punished shittey on counters and cannot fathom why we let Villa do the same to us when we should’ve been very cautious on the first day of the season. So, tactical miscalculations(if there is any) have to go with the underestimation of opponents theory which like the referee thing we have been very gullible of committing ever since the end of the invincibles era, I dont know why we keep on feeling we need to turn up and the opponents do some kamikaze on themselves.

    Now, from a not so neutral point of view I would like us to see things and weigh them because some arguments are heavier than some and whilst someone can be right with his argument does not mean the other person is not right with his…

    I want to let us know one thing, there will be NOTHING like playing CATCHUP with anyone this season…maybe we can catch up with Everton or Liverpool if they overtake us, but not an over inspired Spurs. So, if we cannot hit the ground running this season, DOOM might be waiting at the end.

  89. shambo
    August 19, 2013 at 4:45 am #

    Gunnerboss,
    Bang. On.
    It has become apparent to me in recent years that yes, officials find it easier to piss on Arsenal than other teams, I agree to your reasons behind this bro, but also I think they know they wont get slated by the media either because they will use the same reasons Shard states as our failings, whereas a big decision going against Rooney or Lampard will make the 5 o clock news.
    You combat this by having big players and leaders who influence the ref during the game. Purists might not like thos but its a massive part of the game and won us games during the eras of the players youve mentioned.
    We have no authoritarian players in our squad.
    Agbonlahor and Benteke bossed us and the referee in OUR ground yesterday. That referee facing the same decisions in a game at Old Trafford makes alot of different decisions, because Rio Ferdinand is glaring at him. Fact, not a nice one but a fact nonetheless and this comes not from match fixing and a desire to not be beaten.
    Arsenal do not have this desire individually or as a team, sure Wilshere and Rosicky moaned yesterday but they did not put a stamp on the game.
    This is what Wenger has assembled, this even with four or five necessary additions is what weve got and Im telling you its not enough.
    Financially we are told we need CL football, but for footballing reasons we need Europa football to rebuild this football team, and we may yet get it.

  90. GunnerBoss
    August 19, 2013 at 4:54 am #

    Retsub – Lefty did wonderfully well, beautiful post and all, but the amount of comments after congrats and all would’ve been less than half if we had won the game.

    Delano – Wilshere is clearly over rated. I’m talking about a fully fit person here. Openly said it from last season…he cannot pass the ball (half the squad is guilty of this malaise). Wilshere is excellent when running with ball at his feet, but can he lay the killer pass? Not yet and for a midfielder, not good enough…end of story.
    Ramsey(who has really improved in my opinion), is not so good with the ball at his feet, cannot pass the ball, but runs tirelessly (which is a very good attribute if utilized properly). Problem is how he can adapt his game so it doesnt look like he is aimless on the pitch. I’ve said it before, we have to let the ball do the running for us……when we learn this, it would have showed with a trophy for the cabinet. We cannot be laying passes and making our people run into horrible 50/50 tackles just because we could not direct the ball to their feet. How many times have we been guilty of this? Putting the ball at ur mans feet makes him execute the ball with confidence depending on what he was thinking to do with the ball. Making ur man run for the ball makes the opponent aware of him and easily see what he wants to or can do next (unless he geniously hides that with some magical feet movement or ball execution).

  91. kel
    August 19, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    @ shambo
    Who’s fit for the cl game in the week???

  92. GunnerBoss
    August 19, 2013 at 5:22 am #

    LUIS GUSTAVO – Doubt he is 50percent better than what we have at the moment, but we claim we want to buy eventhough we know we NEED to buy(arguable right? WRONG). If we had him, he would have played his heart out because he has a reputation to protect, he just won the Confed cup as a very ACTIVE participant, he also wants to keep his place for the WC. I’m still not saying we should have gotten him(especially for the price quoted), but if we dont get ANYONE at all later, then we look plain silly.
    Exactly same argument with HIGUAIN.

    Now, what about Suarez and Rooney, for goodness sakes these guys are worth 50 mil for us. They could be worth less to other teams who might not require their style of play or who feel they will struggle to adapt or fit in with their philosophy etc.
    For us, its bingo.
    How we have not made atleast 45mill pound bids for any of these two is absurd. Getting ANYONE at all like I said earlier is indirect squad motivation, something the manger/psychologist cannot achieve. Its completely, intangibly alive. Okay, RVP went to Manure, maybe Rooney could not motivate himself to partner VP cos he felt(as a top player), RVP was taking his spot. Same cannot be said for us cos we DO NOT have that top player(bar one – Cazorla). So, any new buys WILL have that motivating effect on the rest unless they are just comfortable taking home the salary.

    Fellaini, anyone who has a footballing name will do right now. Wilian is bandied around right now, Liverpool is associated with him…..are we saying he is no good for us? Falcao of all people is offered to maGREED and they have seemingly resisted cos of Bale money.
    We have tried to be patient, but its not working so far. What is working is them waiting to get the most out of our so called miserly TRANSFER MONEY. Right now, spending 50 mill on Suarez or Rooney will only ensure to keep us in the top four, it will maintain status quo cos we all know they will fit our pattern. Getting them both will ensure the EPL, but we are not PSG, are we?

    Cheers guys

  93. Gunfest
    August 19, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    Great analysis Gunnerboss!
    As I have said for the last 5 years the quality of players is not good enough. The spine of this team is weak. M. The big German is not a long term solution , he has been steady for us , but he is so slow that it forces other CBs playing along side him to be more aggressive , so they wont be exposed.
    Rociski was our best player yesterday that tells you all you need to know about our performance.

  94. shambo
    August 19, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    Southampton sign Osvaldo for £15m. Wow.

  95. Gunfest
    August 19, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    @Shambo …and we are the 6th biggest revenue generating football club club not in the EPL but on this planet! We were 5th , we have just been surpassed by Chelsea last year.

  96. shambo
    August 19, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    Gunfest,
    Its hard to comprehend.
    All I know is that we are in big trouble.
    I dont even know where Wenger will start to fix this because they have made such a mess if another window that was supposed to launch us back into the mix, instead we are in nomans land and no signings imminent.
    Iv said all summer I expect a bid for richards and maybe Muniain…wouldnt be surprised if a new bid was made for Bender and Lopez of Athletico.
    I fully expect us to end this transfer window without a marquee centre forward whilst having to watch Negredo, Soldado,etc etc bang goals in.
    Just a question aswel here.
    Why did Arsenal fail in their pursuit for Jovetic, it was said Fiorentina wanted 28m but City got him for 23, even if it turned out they offered him bigger wages surely we could have had a deal tied up way before City came on the scene or were they penny pinching again?

  97. Gunfest
    August 19, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Our once glorious reputation has now been sullied so much that only a change of manager could one day repair.
    You don’t hear top world class players saying anymore that they wish to come to Arsenal, we are now seen as a feeder club which lack ambition to accomplish big things.

    If you are a top class player and you have a choice which teams to play for in the EPL and win trophies, they are only 3 teams, Chelski, Manure and shitty.

    Many forget that the end of our reign started shortly before Henry went to Barca. Henry who was very intelligent, could see that the players leaving like Viera, Pires, Campbell, Kanu ,Cole were being replaced by lower quality players…then those players have now been replaced by even worst quality players.

    Even Fabregas’s team with Clichy, Song, RVP, was not good enough to win league and we are now weaker . Our manager has the temerity to tell us that we are a contender for the league. He is either a lier or senile , neither is enviable!

  98. leftcoastgooner
    August 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    @Dutch
    Alas and anon the return of the rare yet ubiquitous “Flying Dutchman”
    Dude where have you been? And why does it take humbling at the hands of the skill-free Villans to get you to surface?
    And what’s all this about jaded women with baggage.
    Have you been traveling by horse and buggy?
    Would you by any chance be heading to Turkey by wagon train?
    If so please bring a clean change strip.
    We need help.

  99. kel
    August 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    Apparently its been confirmed that there a new contarct on the table for wenger, amazing!!!!!

  100. Shard
    August 19, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Shambo

    First the disagreement. I think you misunderstood me when I brought up Gnabry etc. The point was making is that just as it would be wrong to blame Gnabry for our failings if we don’t buy players in this transfer window, it is wrong to blame the players for the loss against Villa. It is true that if Arsenal played better or had better players, they might have won. Just like it would be true that if Gnabry plays better, then Arsenal would win regardless of opposition etc. Both statements are true, and both ignore the real issue. The example of Gnabry ignores Arsenal’s lack of doing adequate business, and blaming players for Villa ignores the impact the referee has on the game.

    That doesn’t mean I am absolving players of all responsibility. I have said repeatedly that we need to deal with it better and keep our focus. I have said repeatedly we made defensive errors that we should not be making. But still, I put that defeat down to the referee’s performance.

    Also, it turns out I am not as good a writer as people seem to think, because my point about the media is not meant to say that everyone just parrots them. It is though that whether you believe the media or not (or to whatever extent) they have a way of distorting the parameters of any debate. It affects all of us, even me. I could expand on that, but I suspect that won’t bring more clarity to what I mean, so I’ll leave it at that.

    And now the agreement. I basically agree with you about Walcott, although he has improved a lot at the attacking end. Is that enough to balance out his defensive problems. I think only when Sagna is playing behind him. Otherwise, he does tend to be a liability. Playing Walcott as a starter is something Wenger wouldn;t do if he had the luxury of getting an upgrade. He doesn’t because there are many other areas of the squad that need it more urgently.

    And once again, the difference between me and some other posters here is not in the facts. I think no one will agree with what I said above about upgrades. It is simply about blame. I hate putting blame unless I am sure. (And yes, I include referees in that criteria) I am not sure how many options Wenger had over the years to add better players to his squad.

    Which brings us to your question to me. What I want from Arsenal and Wenger in the short term, is to deliver us the requisite quality before the transfer window ends. Of course, in the even shorter term, it is to qualify for the CL (which will take a miracle) mainly because i think the latter will affect their ability to do the former.

    I also agree with GunnerBoss and your stand on referees. I absolutely do. Referees are human and are open to being pressurised by the aura of big players, or canonised managers, as well as by an aggressive crowd. To buy big name players would help our cause in that regard as well. Undoubtedly. I reiterate, I agree with your and Gunnerboss’ take on this completely.

    You just don’t go as far as I do on this. (that isn’t a criticism. Not in the least) I also feel that just as the referees being human are open to bias, and to being pressured, I feel they are also open to corruption. I am confident that the conditions for corruption to thrive exist in a league like the EPL and within the PGMOL (the referees’ organisation, headed by Mike Riley by the way), and I have seen enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that this is going on. We don’t differ. just go further than you with the same thought. I do agree with you that Arsenal should be doing what they can, which would be buying better players and staying more focused. But I also don’t agree that we, the fans, should just accept refereeing performances like that because for me, a game of football is between two teams, not between a team and the referee. Mistakes is one thing. Bias happens and is unavoidable. This was deliberate, and I hate seeing that happen in any game, even not involving Arsenal.

    Gunfest
    I guess where we differ is that I don’t think Wenger is actually responsible for the loss in prestige. At least not entirely. Undeniable we’ve lost big players, but do you think Wenger wanted to lose them? And even with lesser players, he’s managed to keep us at the same level. At this point, if our stock is low, do you really believe that the mood around the club has nothing to do with the reporting of Arsenal?

    And please…Please..everyone. Stop thinking of me as being in an argument with you. As long as I see a balanced viewpoint, I have no problem accepting Arsenal’s flaws. I just hate seeing Arsenal villified with no sense of context or balance in the debate, because I think that is unfair, and that it hurts Arsenal, which is sort of the point I was making to Gunfest right now.

  101. Shard
    August 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    “I think no one will agree with what I said above about upgrades.”

    What I meant to say was DISagree.

  102. delano
    August 19, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    @Gunnerboss am beginning to get the real you now. @ Kelthe contract was always expected and i expect the stupid moron to sign it immediately otherwise no sensible board would love to take on this guy on such evidence. Wengers agements have fled the scene with Fergie being the last.Jupp Hykes has left but a close scrutiny at them shows a gulf in class and what they have amassed at their clubs. Guys what hurts most is how clueless the coach is when it comes to tactics. I always comment on tactics as i feel it is his undoing.He is still insulated in the vessel of the invincibles and failinf to realise that the players available are championship players.
    I wonder what Rosicky is still doing at arsenal.With due respect for age this guy last played his best game while at Dortmund.This guy had the chance to level the game but he could only blast the ball like a defender miles away. I hate being personal but Rosicky has no right to start a game at the Emirates.The mere fact that it is him who was the best tells you how the standards have dropped.We are a joke of the century and i would care less in Fernabache had a field day on us come Wednesday.There will be no better lesson to buy than being effectively evicted out of Europe and then may be we have a chance in Europa which i think is also light years ahead of us.
    We shall continue suffering injuries because of a conservative senile coach.He knows no one apart from himself. I suspect Bould will take charge of the Fernabache game because surely Wenger has no moral authority to take us further.I expect a better defensive display on Wednesday courtesy of Bould.The looks on his face command respect during a game but Wenger is shocking with stupid aimless gestures and acts on the touch line in face of mediocrity by his players.Change is comming guys.

  103. kel
    August 19, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    @ delano
    “Change is coming”
    Not from those money grabbing people in charge. The owner, and the board members all put together does not have a clue about football, what a mess and this is a very significant reason why we are where we are.
    The only people who have the power to effect change are the fans and until the club starts feeling it in the pocket wenegr will stay. Stop going to the games, don’t buy any merchandise that’s the only way, Booing will not work at the games either because wenger has no shame what so ever. Arsene Wenger will never give up at Arsenal that easy because he knows that the power he has at Arsenal he will never get anywhere else, at any top club he would be fired in 2 seasons max.
    Arsenal is no longer a job for wenegr it become his toy, his plaything, hence doing what he wants and feels, so much glaring problems in the squad and he acknowledges some of them BUT fails to fix them.
    I wish the guys well in Turkey because regardless of the results its not their fault the fault lies squarely at the foot of the manager the man in charge of all footballing matters at the club. I just wished the transfer window was closed so he could buy noone and go into the rest of the season with this squad, because you can bet your bottom dollar the panic buys will soon start

  104. shambo
    August 20, 2013 at 1:20 am #

    Its been reported Newcastle have announced they have rejected a 10m bid for Cabaye from us.
    10m seems low even for Wenger and Gazidis for a French International and proven PL player.
    Im still waiting for Wenger and Gazidis to learn that derogatory bids, especially opening offers can create resentment and insult the selling club to the point that they will refuse to do business with you solely on this basis, or they will push their initial fee up even more just to make it even more difficult
    Weve heard about the amount of failures of bids and negotiations, but its the stuff we havnt heard that has stayed under wraps that would be interesting.

  105. delano
    August 20, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    I for long thought it is African dictators who are shameless.But Wenger proved me wrong. No sane white Man (with no intention of being racist here) can Captain a Ship or Craft where passengers have no confidence in him and doesn’t resign.Am shocked Wenger is clinging on to the post and yet it is glarlingly clear he is spent.
    His conscience tells him he its time to go but the Fat cats in the board continue to convince him. In the alternative wenger just wields alot of power that he is un touchable and answerable to no one unless its a revenue matter. He just needs direct verbal attacks at him on and off the pitch.
    Guys just look at Dortmund.They are not the richest at all and the salaries we pay at the Emirates all combined are superior to Dortmund’s.But you can’t mention the two clubs in the same breath. How is it possible that Dortmund can get cheap young players from all over,massively talented and arsenal can also buy mediocrity from France.Wenger is being patriotic but at a cost to so many fans world over who top dollar to be embraced with mediocrity. Very basic players with nothing exceptional to look at. Most are overrated and popularised by an idiotic coach.He was quick to point out Ramsey as a world beater and flying because he scored against City a team which was just experimenting its systems and we were all over the cloud about the win.Sorry. The coach must leave.He has already corrupted our minds by writting us off the trophy so that a Spirited fight for Top 4 will like a Trophy or a great achievement.I doubt whether he will get lucky twice.I have a feeling the board have suspended the contract extension until further notice .Like Kel said just boycott these useless games at the Emirates to send a message to these fat cats and this French moron.

  106. Rooiseun
    August 20, 2013 at 5:50 am #

    I wonder if Arsenal make these bids with the intention to complete them. I’m starting to think that it’s all a show. We hear about these difficult players to sign, some even go as far as telling us that “it involves 2 teams and the player to conclude a transfer”. As if it only applies to arsenal.

    Many players have moved this summer, players we could have signed but we stood by. Just when the Higuain deal was good to go we walked away. And offered more money elsewhere. I honestly think Wenger is playing a bluffing game with the fans and its going to catch up with him. He has no intention of spending the money.

  107. Rooiseun
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    I forgot to say thanks Lefty for keeping this place alive.

  108. Gunfest
    August 20, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Seriously Cabaye is a good player , but is he what we need ? Isn’t just replica of Arteta. Everton has rejected a 16 million bid for Fallini , why not bid 20 million for him , getting a player like him would instantly make other star players take notice .

  109. kel
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    Hey Guys This is Passion
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gSFEaI4HdA

    wenger out!!

  110. Ray
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    The fact that Wenger has yet to sign anyone shows a clear lack of planning. I think letting go of Higuain for the sake of an imaginary clause in Suarez’s contract was a terrible move, and its hard to forgive Wenger for it. He needs to get Rooney to make up for this otherwise he’ll have let the fans down badly.

  111. Raad
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    The fact that Wenger has yet to sign anyone shows a clear lack of planning. I think letting go of Higuain for the sake of an imaginary clause in Suarez’s contract was a terrible move, and its hard to forgive Wenger for it. He needs to get Rooney to make up for this otherwise he’ll have let the fans down badly

  112. kel
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    More Passion

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RW4TpY_8zU8

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    If what this guy says about RVP is true Then WOW!!!!!!

  114. kel
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpB2V41XRkI

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    Not seen ur video yet, but I heard we sold him and expected add-ons for him winning certain stuff etc

    Sounds completely absurd. More money if he wins the league….more money if he wins any awards…..more money if he is top scorer etc. Sounds sick given we know first hand about his capabilities

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