Arsenal Dig Themselves Into A Hole

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed: Summer transfer window points to an unmotivated football club in chaos

So, there was no supermarket sweep in the style of 2011 after all. The closing days of the transfer window saw the departures of The Ox, Kieran Gibbs and less predictably Gabriel. But Arsenal failed to add to the two players they signed earlier in the summer. There was a botched attempt to sell Sanchez to Manchester City on the proviso that Thomas Lemar would join from Monaco, a move apparently scuppered by Lemar’s reluctance to join the Gunners, aided by the fact he was on international duty.

Granted, I haven’t worked half a day in football, but given the club were interested in the player, wouldn’t it have made sense to sound him out before deadline day? This ‘catalyst for change’ that was last season’s descent to fifth place has brought in Huss Famy to improve contract negotiations and learn from Dick Law. The early work of Famy (have there been any extensions announced?) and the balls up of the summer transfer window by the pair of them hardly inspire. Then again, we all know who is really pulling the strings. I have been told that Famy is actually a fairly junior appointment rather than a prospective big hitter. No David Dein in the making.

Add to Sanchez the following list that, according to the BBC’s David Ornstein, the club offered out to potential buyers over the summer – Giroud, Wilshere, Elneny, Chambers, Jenkinson. Shkodran Mustafi and Hector Bellerin apparently requested to leave. Ozil is in the last year of his deal and has shown little sign of being willing to commit to more.

The CEO is trying to gee up staff with emails and staff meetings to re-assure everyone that actually, things aren’t so bad. His leaked email stated, “We have had a poor start to the season but have the quality to turn it around and turn around performances and compete for the title.” And if you believe that, then NetBet.co.uk will give you odds of 28/1 on Arsenal winning the Premier League title this season. However, there is an element of Comical Ali about Gazidis’ statements in recent months. Here’s another one from the email: “At the end of the window, reviewing all activity, we have once again improved the quality and depth of our squad.” All this while making almost £30 million in profit on the window and spending less than any other side in the Premier League. Not to mention the lack of motivation in the players. And if the quality is so good, why try and offload so many of them during the summer, only to find no takers?

Can you imagine the atmosphere at the club this week, as a good number of the squad return from international duty? Will they be motivated to put things right? Or just pass time until the manager finally gets the message. Apparently, the protests against Arsène Wenger really did impact on him last season. He may be arrogant, but his pride was hurt. And yet, it didn’t have to be like this. If he had the self-awareness to realize this is only going one way, he would have stated after the Bayern tie that this would be his final season, that he would do his best to ensure the club made it into the top four to give a successor the best possible start and leave Arsenal in some kind of good shape, then the huge section of the fanbase that had seen enough would have forgiven his misdemeanours and got behind the team. Instead, they focused their efforts on discontent, in the hope of change in the summer.

Even without revealing he would depart in advance, the FA Cup Final at least allowed the Frenchman the opportunity of going out on a high. But he was too foolish to take it. He decided to speak directly to Kroenke to ensure that board pressure would not make the American hesitate to give him a new deal. Ivan Gazidis has been made to look very stupid in recent months, but a bit of me wonders if there is, behind the balls-up of the transfer window, a hidden agenda to just let things slide now. Maybe it’s become personal. Maybe Gazidis has effectively withdrawn from the attempt to assist Wenger and just left him to f*** it up on his own, with the endgame that the manager’s position becomes untenable, and he has no choice but to resign.

Of course, a huge part of the problem is that the Emirates Stadium is like a shrine to the dictator that controls everything. His image is everywhere on the walls inside, there is a bust of him in the directors’ entrance, and a huge chain mail divide with his face on in club level. It’s difficult to sack someone like that, and let’s face it, the one thing that the end of May determined is that only Kroenke would have the power to end Wenger’s tenure, and he isn’t too worried about Arsenal drifting as long as they remain in the Premier League. So it will come down to Wenger calling time on himself. I suspect the players may force him into that position before too long with unmotivated performances. They are playing to get a new manager now. There is no fear for the man that picks the team because he will not make anyone accountable, not give anyone a rollocking for messing up, and it’s obvious those under him have no influence or gravitas. It took Petr Cech to give the players a dressing down after the Liverpool game. And you’ve got Lehmann and Bould on the coaching staff.

It’s a recipe for a car crash and the resultant pile up will not be easy viewing. It is utterly predictable. The season already looks a write off and it's less than a month old. I wonder how long this will go on?

Just a quick note to mention that we are recording the first Gooner podcast of the season this evening. Our panelists will be the Highbury Spy, Phil Wall and Tim Stillman. If you have any topics or questions you wish the panel to debate, and get a namecheck in the process, please either…
Email them to goonerpodcast@gmail.com
Tweet them to @GoonerPodcast
or just leave them in the comments below this article. Thanks.

The first issue of The Gooner this season can be bought at Arsenal home and away fixtures until the home match v Brighton, when issue 267 will be released. If you are not able to get to any games, it can be bought online for £3.60 including postage here. The cost is higher if you are outside the UK due to the extra postage costs.

Alternatively, you can simply pay £3.60 (postage included) (or £18 for a six issue UK subscription which gets you all the remaining issues before we cease publication at the end of the current season) via online bank transfer to –
Account name: The Gooner
Sort Code: 20-76-90
Account Number: 03004112
Please follow up the payment with an email to thegoonerfanzine@btinternet.com stating your name and address, ideally with proof of payment such as a screen grab or pdf, or at least the reference that you used for payment (e.g. 266Smith). If the payment was made from an account with a different name, definitely inform us so we can match the received payment.

If you want to buy a six issue subscription to receive the current edition, you can subscribe through the Gooner’s online store here (or here for Europe and here for the Rest of the World)

You also can bypass the online store by simply making a PayPal payment to the email address thegoonerfanzine@btinternet.com. Pay either £3.60 or £18 for a seven issue subscription. If doing this, please make your payment a 'friends and family' / personal gift payment – this helps keep our costs down. (Overseas buyers add £1.25 per individual issue for Europe or £2.50 per issue for the rest of the world. Six issue subscription costs are £28 for Europe and £35 for the rest of the world).

Finally, you can pay by cheque made payable to ‘The Gooner’ to the address below, for either an individual issue or a subscription…
The Gooner
BCM Box 7499

The Gooner is also available in digital form, through The Gooner App on iPhones and iPads, the Exactly App for Android devices and now Kindle Fire owners can also get their fix by searching the Amazon App Store for The Gooner.

You can also subscribe at www.exacteditions.com and read it through your internet browser as well as receiving a code which will enable you to access issues on all the above devices.

All digital subscriptions include access to our digital back issue library which dates back to August 2010.

6th September 2017 10:13:13


Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

The Man From UNCLE  10:20am 6th Sep 2017

Can you imagine coming back from a few days holiday and getting a supposedly motivational email from the CEO? Mine would go straight to delete. We have a lot of players nearing the end of their contracts who aren't too bothered. Who reckons we're in for a repeat of the 1982/83 season? - Post No. 109651

Bard  10:34am 6th Sep 2017

A good summary Kev. I actually think the club are in a bigger mess than just not making top 4. Apart from the ones who want out there are whole number coming into the last days of their current contract and nothing is happening. The dysfunction is evident from top to bottom and I see a potential slide into mid table mediocrity never mind wining a title. From there its a life time getting back up into contention. Where Ivan stands in all this remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that Stan needs ousting. There needs to be a rebellion in the stands in the way the Liverpool fans got rid of Hicks and Gillett. I cant see it happening at the moment but I wouldnt be surprised if results dont go our way. No real Arsenal fan can be happy with where we are and where we are going. - Post No. 109652

RobG  10:43am 6th Sep 2017

Interesting thought on Gazedis. That had not occurred to me. I must remember to be more cynical 😎😉. - Post No. 109653

Gunner Rob  11:49am 6th Sep 2017

the problem is now becoming how long will it take to recover from this ever increasing shambles. if we slide into mid table or worse then it could take years to get the club competitive again. The thing that Wenger was so good at was maintaining the illusion of being a big club with the constant top 4 finishes. In truth we havent been a big club for at least a decade now, but a steeper decline is now more than likely if Wenger continues to remain - Post No. 109654

TonyEvans  12:30pm 6th Sep 2017

All I hope for is more performances like the one at Anfield, and we keep on losing. What else is going to shift him? Otherwise two or three wins will take the heat off again, until the next debacle, and so it goes on. Horrible to feel this way but, to a greater or lesser extent, most of us on this site have been in this position for quite a while now - pushed there by our utter desperation to see the back of Wenger once and for all. - Post No. 109656

Yes its Ron  12:35pm 6th Sep 2017

It looks that way Kev doesnt it. Arsene has always had a habit of pulling a result right out of the hat though when we least expect him to and its pacifies everybodys suicidal tendencies for a while longer!! Perhaps Chelsea will cop it at the Bridge like they did a few yrs back in that unpredictable 5-3 win we had there. It was the last time i enjoyed going to SB. Things are bad at Arsenal but i think the reality of things is often half way between the perceptions of us on the outside whats actual fact on the inside, never the two shall meet. Its right though, the Seasons a non goer in my view. We re a very ordinary and less than inspiring Club nowadays. Its the young kids who are starting their years of supporting us that i feel for. The Club doesn't seem to consider that theyre losing many potential youngsters due to their narrow minded corporate erectile dysfunction!. Whats there for them to hero worship? Nobody. Joe Baker for ever anyway!! - Post No. 109657

ClockEnd_90  12:47pm 6th Sep 2017

If things weren't bad enough we've got Out-Law In-Famy on the negotiation front too! - Post No. 109658

markymark  12:57pm 6th Sep 2017

Yes it's Ron - I think you're right on that half way perception. I did pickup that Chips refused to talk about Arsenal when at the races . Saying he'd rather talk about happier subjects . So Chips has obviously gone off message again! I can't make my mind up about Ivan. Seeing him live saying he believed in Wenger as the best man to do the job, you'd have believed him. However he deftly dodged a question about the boards disagreement over Wengo's future saying they reached a united decision. This suggests there was dissent but those dissenters opted to stay rather than resign on principle. I have now heard that Nina Bracewell Smith is now suing her advisors who advised her to sell to Stan! I've got no clarification on this but it again suggests all is not a bed of roses at Board level , albeit ex board members. Lastly he seemed sincere in holding an post Mortem to have our wheels fell off last season, he was open about this so how this fits with his curren propoganda humph is hard to figure. I just get the feeling that events will conspire again to create a further crisis. Maybe just maybe that will be the end of Wengo. I also wonder with Amazon squeeze on Walmart and big retail units being seen as increasingly irrelevant whether this could guide Stan to sell if an over value bid was offered for Arsenal. - Post No. 109659

aero192  13:04pm 6th Sep 2017

I had a funny thought the other night, one I hadn't had since the mid 70's, so long as we don't go down I'll be happy, it won't be such of bad season after all! If the players can re-motivate and AW addresses the defensive maladies then we can bumble along but if not and (as I suspect) things get worse then the crowd will turn en masse and heaven only knows then... - Post No. 109660

Seven Kings Gooner1  13:05pm 6th Sep 2017

Good piece Kev - I am hoping IG is taking the p*ss and has a cunning plan to get rid of the whole Wenger circus but I won't hold my breathe. - Post No. 109661

Gaz  13:06pm 6th Sep 2017

Tony E-I'm right there too fella! Only thing that annoyed me about that Liverpool result was that they never scored a fifth and sixth to compound the humiliation! Thankfully more and more fans are beginning to realise that suggesting 'they want to win every game but they also want Wenger out' is no longer an option and if they want him out it's results that'll see to it. - Post No. 109662

Redshirtwhitesleeves  13:08pm 6th Sep 2017

Listening to latest Arseblog podcast, David ornstein elaborates on his comments about our summer transfer window and confirms Arsenal are seen as a laughing stock by the football world for their pathetic handling of transfers, both buying and selling, and our scouting network is widely considered as abysmal for such a big club. I seriously don't think we could be in worse hands than this awful trio of parasites running our club. I just hope we continue this terrible start to the season until there is no choice but to change the manager. It's the quickest possible way out of this mess as we all know the old git will never walk of his own accord - Post No. 109663

Yes its Ron  13:59pm 6th Sep 2017

Marky - i think in truth that theres been differences of opinion at board level for a good few years. It wdt be natural if there wasnt. No baord ever agrees things universally at all times, they only ever compromise and agree to differ. Its the difficulty in agreeing and compromising that gradually increases until the splits widen to the point of no agreements being reached. Then it splits and boards break up. In Arsenals case though, SK s holdings mean he can more or less disregard the board totally. There impotent. This is why he wont let the Uzbek near the boardroom. AFC real root problem is SK, not Arsene W. AW is just a bit part of the issues there, but a stubborn bit part wheil SK backs him vis the board members. Its a bit like a Prime Minister. The PM has so many powers of patronage that even stronger and better equipped cabinet members are in thrawl to the PM and dependent on scraps and minor concessions. Wengers like a Treasury Secretary, while he balances the books hes popular 'upstairs'. If he makes noises about spending SK will lose him. AW has 8 million reasons for keeping his head down and his mouth shut. The witch hunt v Wenger is all aimed at the wrong target. Hound Wenger out, however much hes past his prime and SK will simply find another Wenger. The protests are all totally misconceived. For all we know AW could behave like a totally different animal under a different owner. Few consider this and to say he wdt be so is pure speculation. Dont get me wrong, you know my take on Arsenes waning powers but the problem is in the USA. - Post No. 109664

Paulward  14:11pm 6th Sep 2017

May aswell blood Nelson, Maitland Niles and Reine Adelaide in the PL this season in my opinion . The first team squad looks a dangerous mix of the demotivated( Ozil, Sanchez), the too comfortable ( Walcott, Koscielny) and the not good enough( Xhaka, Mustafi etc). Feels a bit like that 85/86 era to me when the whole club was stagnant from the Neil/ Howe era.Oh for another George Graham to come and sort this mess out. - Post No. 109665

markymark  14:18pm 6th Sep 2017

Yes It's Ron - two things here I'd disagree on, there is no way Wenger could act any different unless he was forced to and as every major club would force him to change or more likely not employ him that will always go unanswered. 2nd point is though Kronke is completely mediocre and I'd like him gone there has never been any real pointer to him withholding funds. Therefore Benitez for instance might happily grab Arsenal , agree to a DOF and do deals. He wouldn't be my favourite but I reckon he could live happily under Kronke. A new guy is going to have a whole new set of rules to play with, DOF, needing to answer to Board etc. The new guy simply won't have the power. - Post No. 109666

Yes its Ron  14:32pm 6th Sep 2017

I hear you Marky. We re all just guessing though. AFC is like the old KGB, no news from them save for spin. I think cash has been withheld from time to time for the more expensive targets. It must have been. We ll never know though mate until after AWs gone. - Post No. 109667

The Man From UNCLE  14:48pm 6th Sep 2017

Not sure if financially we're still paying the price for The Wig moving the Rams back to Los Angeles last year. - Post No. 109668

Yes its Ron  15:11pm 6th Sep 2017

TMFU - Im almost sure we are, together with his Divorce that cost him a packet i believe. - Post No. 109669

markymark  15:42pm 6th Sep 2017

Ron - I'm going to have to disagree again, it's actually the "China Desk" in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - where a team of academics spend hours pouring over minutiae from the Comintern to look for hints in policy change. I'm just joshing, as usual you've hit nail on head. - Post No. 109670

Up For Grabs Now  16:23pm 6th Sep 2017

Comparing Ivan the terrible, with Comical Ali is pretty accurate Kev, as he sure is no Alistair Campbell is he! Even Campbell wouldn’t have tried to spin the lie that this was a good window for Arsenal. It was beyond appalling, whichever way you look at it, and I’m not surprised that all the other clubs around the world are laughing at our amateurish ineptitude. Under Stan’s ownership, we have fallen from being - The Bank of England club, oozing class from everything we did, to now becoming akin to a circus freak show. The rot started the day the club left Highbury, and today I simply no longer recognise in any shape or form the club I grew up with. Thanks for that Stan, Ivan and Wenger, the three of you have destroyed the club’s classy reputation in such a short space of time, it’s bordering on corporate malpractice. - Post No. 109671

Alsace  17:22pm 6th Sep 2017

It is in fact the biggest slowest car crash since Louis XIV locked the French Aristocracy in a gilded prison where he could watch them and hang the terrifying consequences. Did anyone watch both the England and the Wales Game. The Ox and Ramsey stank out both games with a total lack of the basics. Let's see what a season with a proper coach does for the OX. Kroenke humiliated not just Gazidis but the whole board as well. That totally stinks, but then by doing so, so does he. - Post No. 109672

Seven Kings Gooner1  17:43pm 6th Sep 2017

Paulward, putting the youngsters has really been the plan from day one of the transfer window, flog a few players to save Stan some money and then throw a new crop of the academy players under a bus. How have we let it come to this! - Post No. 109673

mbg  17:50pm 6th Sep 2017

Brilliant Caption Ed, seen Wrighty using something similar on twitter bet that went down well with the wengerites and the luvvies (what's left of them anyway) the only problem is it shouldn't be gunnersauras or any other proper gooner with a gun in his mouth, but the one that's reponsible for destroying this once proud club and driving them to it. We want wenger out we want wenger out. - Post No. 109674

mbg  18:56pm 6th Sep 2017

There's no doubt the wenger out protests impacted on the past it egoistic old fraud last season, he heard them and knew all about them (regardless what his fans, and a few of them on here tried to tell us) it was a massive blow to his ego alright and hurt him (good, not half enough), but the dictator was just to fooking arrogant to take it on board and do the decent thing, so lets step it up fifty fold this season and ram it home to him even more that the old past it dictator isn't wanted here anymore and drive him out back to where he belongs, nowhere. We want wenger out. - Post No. 109675

Goonhogday  21:28pm 6th Sep 2017

Agreed. It was yet another car crash of a summer transfer window. It's no surprise that we appear to be failing to sign new targets or attract a new manager at the moment. Kroenke has such a stranglehold on our club now. I wouldn't be surprised if he bottles sacking Wenger and just moves him into the boardroom where he'll continue to interfere with all decisions. No incoming manager worth their salt would put up with that! Kroenke out, Wenger out. - Post No. 109676

Arseneknewbest  7:49am 7th Sep 2017

At the very least - and it is only a small crumb of comfort - the continuing deterioration of the club provides a catharsis of sorts. No-one on here feels closer to the club as a result of its mismanagement (not that supporting a large team evers makes you feel connected to football). It wont be long before the tourists, bankers and johnny-come-latelys all decide that the spuds or chelsea represent more entertaining fare. Or alternatively, that they'll use the money given over to sason tickets for tarquin's piano lessons instead. They've already fully alienated lower income fans - I suspect that those with slightly more cash might also soon be jettisoning the ship of fools that passes for a club. A draw or win for plucky little Bournemouth (does that sound patronisingly Arsenal enough?), and wengo's knees will sink below the ordure around that terrible stadium. - Post No. 109677

Badarse  9:23am 7th Sep 2017

Morning Ron, I would have accompanied you and gone halves on the juice there and back, with dear old Feo in the boot. I am genuinely envious of your ability and commitment with the gee-tar. Yes Floyd were a bit special, and I emphasise that in an age when 'special' is overused. Well done fella, stick with it, I can hear the screetching strings coming across the website. I gave up the pavements a few years ago when the dodgy knee refused to bend, (been a specific with me all my life-no genuflecting). Now I spend my time writing, you know the type, 'Dear Lottery winner, please can I explain my needy circumstances...' Mark of Nark, please let me explain for the final time. I am not happy with the regime at AFC. I am not happy with much in modern society. I am not a grumpy old man because I am hugely impressed and pleased with much I see around me. I am very aware that most around me, and I mean most, not a few, or even many, but most, have been happily carried into a cul de sac by the puppet masters. They are being led deeper still. I am of the opinion that AFC represent today's football clubs and the policies which are of the zeitgeist, except with an extra spin. AFC has always been a little different due to our heritage, mind sets of the old Etonian board which in turn transmitted itself in a possibly warped fashion to the fans. Herbie, who was a pioneer of the highest level, a true visionary also played his part. His input was remarkably positive, however the downside was that the fortress mentality which settled on all Arsenal fans helped to set us apart. The white sleeves, the Marble Halls, Highbury, the teams that wiped the floor with the opposition, being first in most things. It's how religions are born, people close their minds and become insular. Arsenal fans still have that attitude, long may the positive aspects continue as it gives a specific identity, the negatives are a curse. I have a tenet which supports 'the club'. I shall not bad-mouth a man, even Feo. I know change is coming. I cannot hurry it along, neither can you, but it will occur. Meanwhile I am comfortable with my stance. I shall never be able to celebrate or wish for an Arsenal defeat. Some do. That is bizarre to me, then voting for 'Leave' is too. Hope this explains. By the way westlower supplied a new steed for you and we have a full set of armour ready and waiting for you for the next quest-minus the s*urs of course. - Post No. 109678

Exeter Ex  10:48am 7th Sep 2017

Badarse, you say you are not happy with the regime. How do you reconcile that with your stated, overt support for the manager, an integral part of that regime? This is where people continue to trip you up, and will continue to do so until you resolve this. Of course, the first step is to recognise the contradiction for yourself. - Post No. 109679

markymark  13:44pm 7th Sep 2017

Badarse - I'm still pretty happy to say you support the regime (my post claiming this is in previous thread ) how can you not be? Wengo had to ring Stan personally to smooth things over, without Stan's benevolence he'd probably have been toast. Stan may have even had to overrule his son to give you what you want. I do remember you saying you wanted him to have 3 more years so I presume you still feel this ? Alternative regimes are Usmanov and whatever he says he'd probably try and push him upstairs or out . Then there's Josh Kronke who hangs out with Thierry and lastly, Aliko Dangote who said he'd immediately sack Wenger. Just like you boys say supporting Arsenal and Arsene is one and the same. Then I'm afraid you cant wriggle out of not supporting the Board who in turn support Wengo.. - Post No. 109680

Seven Kings Gooner1  13:51pm 7th Sep 2017

Hi Ron, you say Kronke would just find another Wenger, I don't think he would succeed my friend, there is only one Arsene Wenger and don't we all know it. - Post No. 109681

mbg  16:09pm 7th Sep 2017

Paulward, hope for another George Graham ? hell bring back the one we have now, he'd sort this club and bunch of pansie nice boy players out in days, there'd be a spring in all our steps again that hasn't been seen in thirteen years. wenger out now. - Post No. 109682

Badarse  17:46pm 7th Sep 2017

Evening Mark of Nark. Firstly the three years was a wind-up. I never indulge in speculation. I do not subscribe to transfer rumours, talk radio, etc., So take the three years with a pinch of salt...and sprinkle it on your next bald egg. Seriously if you view things as you suggest it is fine by me. I believe that kind of thinking is a bit two-dimensional, binary even. Whatever happens to AFC is beyond my powers and as previously stated yours too. If I said, OK I hate AW and want him out now, would that float your boat? I think that's a little puerile to be honest. I will never boo at the stadium, though some think it is a legitimate action. That is the crossing point. I personally think it's quite easy to understand. I believe that AFC are steeped in current tradition and changing one man may, may not be the solution when you consider the board and it's objectives. If Kroenke sold up tomorrow I would be overjoyed, however I would have one eye on what came over the horizon in his place. Interesting times at the moment, and it is written in stone that interesting means positive, just interesting. In a way we are in the foxholes, I am opposed to the generals and their strategy as you are, but beyond killing the generals I see the politics of the day being responsible for the war we are in, the generals are just running things. Kill the generals and as likely as not new ones step into their shoes. As Paul Weller sang, 'Shout to the top'. - Post No. 109683

markymark  18:16pm 7th Sep 2017

Badarse - so let's get this right , your entire output of complete support for Wenger under all circumstances was a just a Wind-up?' I see, very interesting , are you sure? I mean that will be big news to a lot of posters on here. - Post No. 109684

Badarse  18:29pm 7th Sep 2017

Oh gosh Mark of Nark, no the three years comment was. I support the manager until he no longer is, then I shall support the new one. A case of, 'The king is dead, long live the king.' - Post No. 109685

Exeter Ex  18:47pm 7th Sep 2017

This should also be easy to understand - what's required to try to stop decline and change of course at AFC is, as a first step, withdrawal of support for the current manager by the supporter base. No individual can effect this, but a series of individual actions leads to a collective action - he loses that base. If you state you support the manager, you're supporting the manifest, ongoing decline of the team. The rest is sophistry. - Post No. 109686

Exeter Ex  19:53pm 7th Sep 2017

Badarse, your ‘generals and politicians’ analogy is easy enough to understand, not just to you personally. Changing the manager may or may not makes things better, as we don't know if the new man will do better or worse. Above him, changing the owner may or may not make things better, as the next owner may be no better, or even worse. And even beyond that, we have the issue of how football more broadly has gone in what many of us see as the wrong direction. It’s all on a scale far beyond the individual. So what you’ve deduced from all that is there’s nothing to be done, therefore all that’s left is to simply support the current manager. Even if you could, you wouldn't want to take the chance, take the risk of things getting worse, so instead you support the status quo and stand against those who would be willing to take that chance in the hope of a better future. It’s a fear of the unknown, ‘scared of the dark’, defeatist, negative outlook. As a further point, ‘I support whoever the manager is’ is a classic Wenger supporter stance. By this logic, no manager of Arsenal should ever have been sacked. The fans in the ‘60s were wrong to call for the sacking of Billy Wright – which led to the Bertie Mee era. The fans in the ‘80s were wrong to call for the sacking of Terry Neill – which led (after the Howe as manager mistake) to George Graham. But Wenger supporters don’t really believe this of course; they don't actually believe in the logic of their own argument. It’s just a cover for becoming so enamoured with the man long ago and so determined to hold on to that image of him and not admit that they were wrong, that he’s become more important to them than the club itself. That’s why they still support him in his late phase of manifest decline and harm towards the club they purport to support. In trying to protect their own ego, their support of the man has overtaken their support of the club. - Post No. 109687

mbg  19:55pm 7th Sep 2017

markymark, Exeter, don't confuse him lads. wenger out now. - Post No. 109688

markymark  20:51pm 7th Sep 2017

Badarse - can't help thinking this is disingenuous, all the quisling ( traitors ) , rabble , dark moanies remarks that were often fired at people who hadn't personally attacked you, the standing together with Jamerson and Colesey who were of course fanatical Wengerites, but it never was from you? A mere Chimera ? A simple joke ? If Kronke sacked Wenger tomorrow would you celebrate with us? I seem to have missed your mea culpa somewhere. Unless of course it's always been a joke . - Post No. 109689

Gaz  21:15pm 7th Sep 2017

Exeter Ex-great post fella... - Post No. 109690

mbg  23:57pm 7th Sep 2017

Hilarious isn't it ? all these AKB's who (where have they all gone ?) used to regurgitate be careful what you wish for in their sad retort to the WOB, we could do a this club, a that club, we could end up like this or that club, LOL, we're well on our f*****g way, or already f*****g have, and the weasel is still here, you couldn't make it up. We want wenger out now. - Post No. 109691

CBee  0:08am 8th Sep 2017

The latest podcast is great,thanks Kevin. Allthough the club is in a mess, there seemed to be an undercurrent of optimisim and lots of laughs. I guess its because we are all getting the sense that at long last the end of Wenger is in sight. What a joyous day that will be when it finally comes. - Post No. 109692

Badarse  8:48am 8th Sep 2017

He rocked in his bunk, then rolled out of bed-he was still a Rock 'n' Roller. He crept from the dorm leaving a cacophony of slumbering noises from the Online Gooner cast. Snores, whistles, wheezes, farts, and murmuring, this would be carried to the website in waking hours. He noted TOOAW up to his somnambulist activities, tying shoe laces together, turning one leg of trousers inside out. The man loved his raison d'etre, he was indeed a sultana. He left the dorm door ajar, it was a quality pesto and anyway he liked leaving random gifts. He straightened his Kroenke wig that he'd got from Junior Gunners, his Trump ginger candyfloss top-knot, and to complete his hirsute attire the Amy Winehouse syrup. It was balanced precariously but would serve to remind him there must be no flouncing. He looked in the Mirror, then discarded it; it had never been the same without Keith Waterhouse and Marje Proops. He bent himself to his task, put his shoulder to the wheel, his nose to the grindstone, his best foot forward, and fell on his head. He quickly bounced back to his feet and remembered no bouncing as well as flouncing as he left. He drew himself up to his full height, regarded the pencil mark on the wall and decided this drawing lark had to stop. He'd always been able to draw a good line, but never knew when to draw it. He shrugged, then muscle memory took over and he slid into a Ted Heath impersonation. He twirled his Kroenke moustache-also courtesy of his Junior Gunners pack-and twirled in his tutu. He loved a Twirl but knew Flake would always reign supreme. His bag carried an omelette sandwich, three bald eggs, a conker-well it was an ' eighter'-and a pic of he and westlower dressed as 'The Knights Who Say Neigh'. He knew he wasn't an AKB nor a number, though remembered well the clarion cry, 'Come in number 6, or are you in trouble number 9?'. Billy Joel's melancholic 'Piano Man' played in his head. With a heavy heart, a medium heavy liver, and a quite light spleen, he approached the street door. Opening it he gazed thoughtfully at the Milky Way, popping it back into his pocket he decided to munch on it later. Time had passed, tip, tip, tap, tap. His job achieved. There was nothing left unsaid to say. Stepping into the real world he closed the door, dropping a note with a one word message onto the mat. It just read 'Bye!'. - Post No. 109693

Hi Berry  9:27am 8th Sep 2017

Aero 192 - Have to agree with you completely....I can still remember looking at the league tables during the seventies and eighties and thinking 'if we could only get those extra six or seven points we would be realistically challenging for the title', but of course we never did - always frustratingly just out of reach of the biggest prize...not too different from now in many ways. The only difference between then and now is that we had a club steeped in history and, at times, the siege mentality that Badarse mentioned above along with approachable players we could identify with - we might have been boring, boring Arsenal but that was all part of what made us love the club. All that seems to have been been swept away now doesn't it and going to the Emirates is like watching Subutteo men playing in a 3D jigsaw stadium. - Post No. 109694

Yes its Ron  11:11am 8th Sep 2017

Hi Berry - true mate that. The late 70s though, Neills days and the 3 Cup Finals etc etc was for me perhaps the most enjoyable part of being a match going fan, despite the frustrations. That period and the peroid as a lad from 68 to 70 i recall with a deep fondness for going to the Arsenal. Our ideas and feelings for footie and the Club are all interlinked of course with whats happening in our lives generally of course i believe. This modern day product is all show biz, hype and glorified beach football in my view. I find the Emirates a ghastly place to be honest and i ll hold the same view of it once the Clubs fortunes do improve. Its a plasticised, surreal version of football for me, played by lightweight excuses for footballers, playing tip tap toe with what seems to be a type of beach ball for a ball. On the latter definition im not just speaking of many of our players, its the opponents as well. - Post No. 109695

Exeter Ex  11:40am 8th Sep 2017

The latest 'Farewell' post from Badarse. Would be a wise decision given the inability to counter points raised but we all know what happens next. Wasn't it 'job achieved' at the very start of the season as well? See you in a few days. - Post No. 109696

Hi Berry  12:28pm 8th Sep 2017

Ron - yes, it's difficult to equate today's game with that we grew up with isn't it. I remember so clearly my first game in 1965 - standing up against the fence behind the North Bank goal and the misty November day was very atmospheric as the light faded and the floodlights along the the top of those beautiful stands came on. Wonderful stuff...and a 3-2 win against W.Ham! I've taken my youngest daughter to the Emirates a few times and feel so sorry that she isn't old enough to have experienced Highbury. I can't stand the number of times you have to get up from your seat as people keep getting up to go to the toilet, buy a drink or a plate of chips. - Post No. 109697

Yes its Ron  12:50pm 8th Sep 2017

Yes, it was a special and unique ground for sure. The only ground where i could actually smell the grass! I ll always recall that. I was very lucky as my first trip was a 4-0 v Spurs in 67. Recall GG scoring unless im mistaken and seeing a penalty scored. It was about a year before i went again then. Do you recall how pens were a special sight to see in matches? So dramatic and often so controversial. Now, we just wonder when ones going to be given due to some dive or feeble handball and players just accept it knowing they ll get their own back later on if they're lucky and con a pen themselves or the week willed ref will 'even it up'. Its pathetic really. Football is eating itself alive and doesnt realise it in my view. Im truly glad i dont go to games there now. - Post No. 109698

markymark  14:12pm 8th Sep 2017

The life stages of a Badarse. Stage 1:) Talks about curly whirlies , the reduction in size of Wagon Wheels and general life in the 'good old days' Stage 2:) Randomly rants about dark moany's, stupid old men and quislings Stage 3:) Starts kissing and cuddling with nearest available racist who happens to like Wengo. Stage 4:) Writes nonsensical poem, denies ever supporting Wenger and flutters off. The end or at least until next time. - Post No. 109699

mbg  17:34pm 8th Sep 2017

I see the arrogant egoistic old fraud is in full blame others mode (yet again)it didn't take long after he popped his big hooter up out of his hole after the break, my players are always being tapped up which unsettles them blah, the legends didn't help criticising blah blah, (even though they were just telling the truth)I guess he hasn't had a chance to wheel his nice boy luvvies out to do the job for him yet. we want wenger out we want wenger out. - Post No. 109700

mbg  17:57pm 8th Sep 2017

markymark, yes did you ever speed read such shyte in your life ? God only knows what he thinks it is/does idoubt he even does himself, yeah bye (as if we care) until some puppy pisses on his leg and he bites back. wenger out now. - Post No. 109701

CORNISH GOONER  19:49pm 8th Sep 2017

How are the mighty fallen. I still have a copy of a Gooner calendar from way back which consisted entirely of memorable quotations from the (then) Great Leader. Listening to him now & his endless stream of rubbish I am reminded of some other memorable lines from the great musician, Mose Allison. "Your mind is on vacation but your mouth is working overtime". How did it come to this? Ron, you are so right about the modern football "industry" but compared to the injustices, unfairness, corruption & sheer stupidity of what is all around us in the bigger picture it's pretty harmless isn't it? But as long as the present AFC regime continues what hope do us Gooners have? Oh, I forgot - tonking Bournemouth tomorrow & everything will be ticktety boo & Mr Badarse will return from his latest "retirement". - Post No. 109702

Yes its Ron  20:41pm 8th Sep 2017

Hi CG - You are right, its harmless and to a degree its a type of escapism really from the crap we re surrounded with and fed these days. As a football made kid and bloke though for so long, the fake aspects of football are so disappointing to me personally. Im sure many of us feel the same way. Dont get me wrong, the modern game doesn't make me bitter etc and i enjoy the odd game ,but the way its been sacrificed to consumerism and its rules distorted to suit the modern day craving for false thrills and soap opera imagery of everything sucks i think. Stuff like solid defending and the games physical aspects have all been jettisoned to make scoring goals easier for the TV football addicts is the ruination of it. The way that the managers have all become the central plank of it sucks too. The best Managers yrs ago were hardly ever heard from. Now, utter w------s like Mourinho and Allardyce are lionized and yr Peps are elevated to semi Gods. The players are almost sideline features of it. In the main though my interest is still there bubbling along ironically, im dome with it by and large. I go see the odd away game when a cheap ticket comes my way but i cant honestly recall the last really good match i saw and enjoyed. I do think football needs to have a good long look at itself. - Post No. 109704

mbg  22:46pm 8th Sep 2017

I see the idiot in a hat has spoken out, it hasn't went down well with the wengerites either (well done Cech) saying Arsenal have no winning mentality i'm sure that went down well with TOF too, Ouch,(tell us something we don't know Peter) unlike his old boss Jose, Ouch, but shouldn't he have been comparing and using the name wenger instead of Arsenal ? but don't worry Peter we all know what you really mean, he went on to say when Jose arrived at Chelsea he brought the main thing where it wasn't acceptable to finish second, Ouch and Ouch again, he left this to last, my dream would be to win as much with Arsenal as I did with Chelsea Ouch, but I don't think I have ten years ahead of me for that, Ouch, i'm sure that went down well with TOF's croissant this morning that's him on the bench with Sanchez tomorrow, I guess he wants out too. wenger out. - Post No. 109705

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds