Editorial

Arsenal Revert To Flat Track Bully Mode

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed: Gunners take spoils v pointless Bournemouth

There are a good number of supporters who are convinced Arsène Wenger is still the best man for the Arsenal job who advocate that, when he finally steps down, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe would be his perfect successor. I can completely see where they are coming from after seeing the south coast side’s performance yesterday. It resembled a fair number of Arsenal away displays in recent seasons.

Alexis Sanchez, who has never been fully fit this season, started the game on the bench, and along with the now departed Oxlade-Chamberlain, (who has moved to get better coaching), were the only two changes from the Liverpool game. The two fresh faces were the two summer signings, Lacazette and Kolasinac. I am still scratching my head about the starting line-up at Anfield. The two aforementioned players were supposedly purchased to improve a squad that finished outside the top four last season. And yet neither started in one of the more difficult fixtures. The manager preferred to play a right back at left wing back and a wantaway player at right wing back instead of fielding Kolasinac. The inclusion of Sanchez from the kick off was less controversial, but there is little doubt that Lacazette would have added more to the team than one of Ozil or Welbeck.

Anyway, perhaps a lesson has been learned by Wenger some thirty years plus into his managerial career, even if it was one that appeared obvious to those of us who have not worked half a day in football. Starting players in their best positions generally gives you a better chance of more solidity. Still, the manager’s paid over £20k a day, so he knows best. Both of the new signings started yesterday and had a very positive impact on the team performance. There was an early goal for Welbeck set up by Kolasinac, and the lead was doubled when Lacazette combined with the former before unleashing an excellent shot from outside the area.

Bournemouth were woeful, and already look doomed to a return to the Championship. The third goal of the game looked like the kind Arsenal habitually give away, with possession conceded cheaply in their own half. Ramsey played the ball to Welbeck who finished clinically. 3-0 and things looked pretty safe. The Cherries were not about to pull back three goals as Arsenal managed to the Vitality Stadium last December. All of Arsenal’s attacking players had decent games, and the defenders didn’t have to do too much and could more or less take the afternoon off (much like they did against Liverpool), so rare were the visitor’s incursions.

It was a good, solid win, but it felt like Bournemouth were the absolutely perfect opposition given what had gone before this season. The one minus was the withdrawal of sub Francis Coquelin though injury, which will alter the manager’s plans for the Europa League and League Cup matches, as one assumes even if fit, the Frenchman would not have started at the Bridge next Sunday. That’s a game Arsenal need something from to get their season back on track, as a flat track bully win at home is not convincing anybody. If Eden Hazard starts against Arsenal, then it could turn into a hide behind the sofa job.

Alexis Sanchez came on as a sub, to a generally good reception, although there were definitely a number of boos. Still, it’s almost permanently panto season at the Emirates these days.

In the post match interviews with the BBC, the two managers had the following to say. With regard to the Liverpool defeat, Wenger said, “the real test is how you respond to it”. I’d be more interested to see the response next time his team faces a difficult away fixture, and at least I won’t have to wait long. Eddie Howe stated, “As the manager I have to take responsibility for what we’ve given this season,” words I can guarantee you will never hear from the lips of his opposite number.

The Fans Forum meeting with Ivan Gazidis and the representatives of the various and supporters demographic and approved fan groups took place at 10.45 am yesterday and was far more combative than the 90 minutes served up at 3 o’clock. This was mainly due to the refusal of Arsenal Supporters Trust board member Simon Hill to accept the CEO’s spin about the club going forward.

Gazidis, with Mark Gonnella (the man who likes to cut difficult press conferences and post-match interview short when the questions start getting awkard) chairing the meeting, attempted to keep things in the ‘Aren’t you enjoying the chance to sit in the boardroom, a free programme, tea and biscuits’ territory, but fortunately, Simon wasn’t having any of it.

The publicising of the Trust’s pre-submitted questions was compared by Gazidis as like sitting opposite ‘The Sun’, which is an interesting interpretation of a meeting that is supposed to respond to the answers of the Arsenal fanbase (the club is in the name – fan’s forum) and the contents of which are subsequently posted on the Arsenal website. So it’s hardly behind closed doors off the record stuff, and when he expressed that he could not be as candid in these meetings as people were tweeting his comments such as “catalyst for change” within half an hour of the meeting, doesn’t he realize the representatives are supposed to report back to the members (that’s Arsenal supporters) that they are actually representing? Mind you, the version of the meeting that will appear on the website, put together by Gonnella, probably won’t mention any of Simon Hill’s contribution, such as comments of Liverpool and Spurs over-taking Arsenal in the last two years despite financially dominating them, the club being a laughing stock amongst other clubs in Europe with their negotiating style (I have this on good authority to be true from other sources) and two of last year’s three transformational signings being made available for sale.

Gazidis stuck to three of this mantras -
1 - Arsenal outperform relative to their spend
2 - There is a lot of misinformation (the term ‘fake news’ was not used) about Arsenal’s transfer targets and players for sale in the media – but the club have a policy of not denying anything
3 - Three FA Cups in four seasons is evidence of success

Oh, and this gem – “Transfer windows success can only be judged after the end of the season that follows”. Judge me in May anyone?

“On every objective metric we’re not going backwards,” claimed the CEO. Finishing league position? Net transfer spend? Failing to secure your star players and letting them leave the club for nothing? Go figure.

Gonnella tried desperately to move the meeting on (only one non pre-submitted question was allowed) and wrapped it up double quick at 11.45 stating that they did have any time for more. Strange then, that Gazidis and he then spent at least half an hour chatting with the less challenging forum representatives over a cup of tea.

The overwhelming sense of Gazidis at present is one of him being in denial, of hiding behind deniability, of being paranoid, of being not in control. It’s not a case of strong leadership from the top, so with the de facto absence of the non-caring majority owner, the vacuum of power at the club has been filled by the first team coach, who has stated he wants to leave the club in a strong position when he finally packs his bags.

People, don’t be fooled by a home win against relegation fodder. This is only going one way…

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10th September 2017 12:03:19

(8.8/10)

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.

Jumpers For Goalposts  12:48pm 10th Sep 2017

Kev - your description of the Fans Forum says everything we need to know about the awful people running Arsenal. They're serving up overpriced rubbish but they're on the Gravy Train and they're not letting go. - Post No. 109729


Roy  15:05pm 10th Sep 2017

Yes JFG, all so very depressingly familiar isn't it ? Awful people indeed. Then of course there's Wengers latest gambit where he blames the media for turning the fans against him. Just another in a very long line of insults to our intelligence. But they do not care. The excuses for next weekend are no doubt already written. This is set up to be the longest endgame ever. Yawn - Post No. 109731


RobG  15:31pm 10th Sep 2017

That comment from Gazedis on transfer windows- 😖😖😖😖😖😖😖😖😖🙈🙈🙈🙈😡😡😡😡😡😡 if I wasn't angry enough !!!!!!! - Post No. 109732


mbg  17:11pm 10th Sep 2017

Yes wengers bullies strike again, but being a bully's weakling, one of these a bully loves to see and knows he can push around, walk around, run around while they stand there and allow you to do so and don't fight back certainly helps too, I wonder who was the first bully boy to come out and blow and bum about his work ? and how he and they have learned their lesson, we're up and running it's on, You couldn't make it up. We want wenger out. - Post No. 109733


Time for change  17:24pm 10th Sep 2017

Three cups in four years represents success. Ask Bayern's CEO of he'd accpt that, Gazidis. - Post No. 109734


Arseneknewbest  18:46pm 10th Sep 2017

Many thanks Kevin. The Gazidis stuff highlights how people like him attach no importance to the concept of being true to one's own self. He'll burn in a molten hot pool of badarse's bodily discharges for telling all those lies. It sounds like your bullsh*t detector was doing double bubble. A corporate pirate of the lowest calibre. And the gallows humour in your report of the game was much appreciated. I wonder how it would have panned out if we'd played citeh yesterday instead of our friends the bin dipperz? - Post No. 109735


mbg  19:36pm 10th Sep 2017

Howe will fit right in as our next manager alright if we want to carry on where this excuse for one left off, surrender and give in when real managers and proper teams who know what their doing come along, the only difference Howe will have the decency and honesty to take the blame and responsibility for it. wenger out now. - Post No. 109736


TOOAW  19:49pm 10th Sep 2017

@time for change. For me, 3 cups in the last 4 seasons is altogether a decent return. If you bear in mind that the mighty Spurs have zilch in the last 9 seasons and the best team in the world if you believe the media (Liverpool) have lots of statistics to prove the media wrong and zero for the last 5 seasons and still waiting on a PL trophy. Unfortunately, people like yourself appear to have been brainwashed into believing that the crisis club is AFC and the beating stick is red hot. Proof is in the pudding in "Bournemouth were woeful" as opposed to us being excellent and outplaying our opponents. Just my positive take on it and not negativity that surrounds the minority of fans. Boring Boring Arsenal or boring boring arsenal fans. - Post No. 109737


mbg  22:52pm 10th Sep 2017

The fans forum meeting sounds very cosy, are these the same group/s that contain these guys who follow the club all over the world and have been writing nice blogs and match reports for years now and get to appear on the site and in the programme regardless of the shyte that's served for years now ? It's surprising what a nice cosy relationship with the club and a few invites into the inner circle now and again with some freebies thrown in like meeting a player, or an interview can do, if their waking up now and smelling the coffee and refusing the spin it's to fooking late, where were they three, four, years/seasons ago when a lot of us already had and were trying to do something about it. wenger out. - Post No. 109739


Time for change  23:19pm 10th Sep 2017

@TOOAW Chelsea has won two PL titles in the last four years. The FA Cup is a consolation prize (like it was in 2003 and 2005) and you know it. Arsenal beat the mighty Bournemouth yesterday. Bothered. - Post No. 109740


equalizer  0:16am 11th Sep 2017

@time for change, no matter how it's spun it's actually 3 FA cups in 14 years under this manager. Lets not forget the decade he spent banking the fans money to build up cash reserves that wouldn't buy a world class player in todays market. - Post No. 109741


Wengerballs  8:51am 11th Sep 2017

How long until the share price starts to fall, that's what I want to know. How long can the club sit outside the top four this season (if we lose to Chelsea this weekend this could be the first season under Wenger that we don't even get into the top 4!) before Kroenkes precious shares start dropping in value. Then things might start getting interesting. - Post No. 109742


peter wain  11:26am 11th Sep 2017

From a supporters point of view I do not see the benefit of these meetings. Gazidis/Wenger just lie and refuse to accept the evidence making up facts to suit their arguments. So why bother to give them oxygen. We know that the club is going backwards and that teams such as the scum and hoofball have overtaken us. This is because of the poor management throughout the club. We buy badly coach badly and do not secure the future or our main assets and despite what Wenger says no other club has these problems certainly not to the size we have them. On every metric you can judge Arsenal by we are failing and by some considerable margin. The catylst for change needs to start at the top and work down. What does Kroenke bring to Arsenal. What do the board do for the club? What has Gazidis every achieved at Arsenal. Finally when has Wenger ever learnt and changed in his twent years at the club. The answer is to all of these questions is a resounding nothing but nothing gets done about this. When are going to sign the defenders we need. When are our fullbacks going to be coached to their positional responsibilities so that they do not go charging up the field exposing our defence. When are we going to buy top top quality? All these are questions to which we need answers but we will not get them from the snake oil salesman and his cohorts. - Post No. 109746


GoonerRon  11:43am 11th Sep 2017

3 points and ongoing repairs to our goal difference. Nothing more to be deduced from the game really. - Post No. 109747


TonyEvans  12:22pm 11th Sep 2017

Just about the perfect opposition to give Wenger the chance to trot out the 'look at how we have responded' mantra he likes to use after a previous humiliating defeat; as if that excuses everything that went before. No doubt the team has also 'learned lessons' from the Anfield defeat, and we can all relax and look forward to the game at the Bridge! - Post No. 109748


Alsace  12:30pm 11th Sep 2017

I wonder idly whether TOOAW'S financial adviser finds it easy to sell him poorly performing funds at expensive commission? I wonder whether he walks past 5 Guys and drops into MACCIE Dees or Burgher Kong instead. I wonder whether he is too young to know that Neptune bars are not the same as they were 30 years ago, but that even if he wasn't and did know, that he would proclaim the latest version the superior and loveliest version? Does he, given the choice of a properly heated swimming pool or a life threateningly cold one, choose the latter because it has Arsene Wenger's face plastered over the bottom ? Does he think that Tony Blair was a straightforward kind of guy? Does he believe that the chocolate ration has gone up one day after it has been reduced the previous day? Is he a Goldfish with a keyboard. I have just watched VCR's of the 1993 League Cup Final and the 2002 FA Cup Final. Today's players and team are not fit to lick the boots of either (very different) Arsenal squad of those years. Arsenal is not a living entity anymore. It is a walking talking dead thing. Anyone who seriously thinks otherwise is either being perverse or misguided. There is only one thing better at Arsenal nowadays, and that is the hamburgers sold on the concourse. They are genuinely yummy. - Post No. 109749


Cyril  13:21pm 11th Sep 2017

What values is he going on about. The fact that you rinse me every year in May for my ST. The fact that we are lied to every year about spending and then fall short. The fact you are on more in a day then many of us earn in a year. The fact that the executive boxes make millions in business deals whilst entertaining, while the great unwashed are going potty with the on field shenanigans down below. The fact that you terminate every interview when anything remotely important is asked of you. I was there on Saturday and I was feeling sick to see Wenger up shaking his hands about when we were 3 up. Where are you when we are 3 nil down. It's become toxic in my head that I spent all game criticising him. Don't go then, is that the answer?. Values, my ARSENAL.....! - Post No. 109750


Redshirtwhitesleeves  14:11pm 11th Sep 2017

Nice one Cyril, it makes my blood boil when that idiot starts going on about 'values'. If you ask me him, Kroenke and Gazidis have stripped the club of all its traditional values in the name of greed and lining their own pockets. I hope and expect to get the usual spanking at the bridge next weekend- if a few more humiliations are what it takes to get rid of this lying parasite then I'm all for it - Post No. 109751


Alsace  14:54pm 11th Sep 2017

Incidentally, the wonderful thing is that whilst other fans and pundits once thought it a huge joke that Wenger was still hanging around, they are now getting utterly bored with it all and are professionally offended by his bulldish. What will happen one wonders when they actually get as angry as we all are? - Post No. 109752


TonyEvans  14:58pm 11th Sep 2017

Don't go is the answer, Cyril, the more absentees the better - fans staying away in droves, and more humiliating defeats is what it's going to take. Wenger clearly has no shame and no intention of leaving quietly - watch him sign yet another contract extension in two years time, given half a chance. Even with Wenger gone that still leaves the gruesome twosome in Kronke and Gazedis I know, but Wenger is the main man - the no trick pony that has made Arsenal such a soft touch laughing stock that I am no longer ' proud to say that name'. - Post No. 109753


mbg  15:05pm 11th Sep 2017

peter wain, and we'll never ever get those answers (just lies and spin)and we'll certainly never have them fulfilled as long as this old past it excuse for a manager is still here bumbling about because he doesn't have the know how, he doesn't have it in him. We want wenger out now. - Post No. 109754


mbg  15:51pm 11th Sep 2017

Sad state of affairs when we can't even get ourselves up to celebrate, cheer, a win anymore when we all know it's just a sham, we all know what's just around the corner, it won't make the blind it of difference, we're not going to win the prem anyway we all know the outcome and what's going to happen, (it doesn't stop the dimwits though who still get moist, at indeed do at anything now, and still think for the umpteenth time things are going to change, tee hee) and it's all because of arrogant egoistic past it old fraud who should have been put out to grass years ago, you have a hell of a lot to answer for wenger and I hope you do, and it will be thoroughly deserved. wenger out. - Post No. 109755


Yes its Ron  16:05pm 11th Sep 2017

Tony and MBG - Ive a sneaking feeling that some sort of a result is likely at the Bridge to ride to the regimes rescue. Its happened so, so often down the years where some how an impressive and unpredictable result is eeked out from somewhere to keep the ship afloat for another 9 months. Just you see lads. a draw or a 2 -1 to us. - Post No. 109756


TonyEvans  16:42pm 11th Sep 2017

Wouldn't surprise me at all, Ron. Wenger has the luck of the devil - just when you think it's all going to get really ugly, we either have a run of easy fixtures or we pull off a completely unexpected victory. - Post No. 109757


Radfordkennedy  17:05pm 11th Sep 2017

I'm sure I'm not the only one on here who has at sometime had to go on a training course(you know the one where grizzled old veterans gather round a table,and who have 200 years experience between them and receive a lecture on technical advancements by an 18 year old EXPERT!),and at some point in the proceedings when the lecturer sees people's eyes glazing over attempts to inject some brevity into things by asking in turn to go twice round the table and give them random words,which are then read back to the room,I'm convinced that how Gazidis prepares his press releases. - Post No. 109758


Exeter Ex  18:40pm 11th Sep 2017

Values... over and over Wenger repeats it... values, values. Values are the new top 4 now the days of the old one are over. Values are 'like a trophy'. Amazingly, it actually works on mugs like TOOAW who will parrot it back: "It's not all about winning, I'm proud to support a club with values". Ask these mug punters or Wenger himself what these values actually are, and see the panic in their eyes. - Post No. 109759


mbg  18:57pm 11th Sep 2017

So Man u approached and wanted TOF, LOL, well you old weasel if true you didn't say whether you were still in Contract at the time ? after all the complaining and excuse making diarrhoea coming from you gob a few days ago about your players been approached and tapped up is this what was happening to you ? and you seem quite happy about it and proud, it's ok if it happens/happened to you then, or is it just more of the usual s***e from your lying gob. wenger out now. - Post No. 109760


mbg  19:08pm 11th Sep 2017

Ron, was thinking long term, season wise in my post, and your dead right, it wouldn't surprise me either, he always gets that bit of luck when it's most needed, manages to do just enough or comes up smelling of roses somehow, but we all know how it's going to end. - Post No. 109761


CORNISH GOONER  19:15pm 11th Sep 2017

Compare & contrast: Arthur with 13 years of underachievement at London's "biggest" club & Frank DeBoer ridiculously sacked after 4 games!! I watched the Palace game, they were desperately unlucky, played attractive football against the Neanderthals & no evidence of him having lost the dressing room. "Funny old world, Saint". - Post No. 109762


mbg  23:11pm 11th Sep 2017

I see Mourinho is taking the piss out of TOF again (can you blame him ? everyone else is)according to Piers Morgan when they met in Harrods Morgan asked him how is wenger still in a job ? and Maureen shook his head and smirked I don't know, but i hope he stays forever, sad or what. We want wenger out. - Post No. 109763


Bard  10:12am 12th Sep 2017

Mbg; I read those comments about being tapped up Untd. What he omitted to mention was that he wouldnt have lasted 10 mins there as he would have to win something. Much better to stay at Arsenal where mediocrity is the name of the game and balancing the books is seen as another trophy. Values ? Will someone enlighten me as to exactly what Arsenal's values are ? - Post No. 109764


Scruff  13:49pm 12th Sep 2017

Go onto The Cockney Bible Facebook page and scroll down where you will find a couple of video's about Wenger and how humiliating we have become. There is a 'crimewatch' video which really is amusing. - Post No. 109765


A Cornish Gooner  15:15pm 12th Sep 2017

Cornish. After all the recent BS, how about the new Football sitcom 'Yes Manager'. Jim Hacker/Arsene Wenger, Sir Humphrey Appleby/Ivan Gazidis and Bernard Woolley/Steve Bould. - Post No. 109766


markymark  15:19pm 12th Sep 2017

Funny how those AKB's , Squeak , Colesore, Jamerson , Rev Brian , ToOaW . Try and get all macho , drop their H's like a Gangster B movie and randomly spout "you haven't lived Son!" Gibberish. Yet when challenged about winning they show as much testosterone as a ladies lacrosse team. In fact I reckon an average ladies lacrosse team has a far more aggressive winning mindset than the effete ballet dancing Wengerists. - Post No. 109767


A Cornish Gooner  15:30pm 12th Sep 2017

Markymark. Comparing Wengerists to effete ballet dancers is a bit harsh on effete ballet dancers. Isn't it? - Post No. 109768


mbg  18:19pm 12th Sep 2017

Bard, dead right, TOF wouldn't have got away with a quarter there what he has here since, (and still is) embarrassments, humiliations, lies, spin, stuffing's second third raters, especially with their fans, proper fans with proper ambition, like you say he'd have been under pressure there, they'd have seen through him straight away (unlike some of ours who've fallen in love with him and don't care about the club) and had him out in no time, and the same goes for these other so called big clubs who were supposedly after him, and he'd be a nobody now (although he more or less is now anyway) and i'll tell you what mate the arrogant old fraud knows/knew that to well, and that's why he stayed. wenger out. - Post No. 109769


markymark  19:09pm 12th Sep 2017

Cornish - it's a fair point you make.,The Royal Ballet Company are like Millwall when compared to our AKB brethren. - Post No. 109770


TOOAW  20:15pm 12th Sep 2017

Roll on the WBA match. You've given yourself enough time to gain 10,000 or maybe 20,000 demonstrators. Let's see. More than happy to get proved wrong but more than happy to take the pi -ss at the same time. See ya there Gooners. - Post No. 109771


David1  20:20pm 12th Sep 2017

On another matter, the shark jump moment for Fools and Horses was Miami Twice - Post No. 109772


markymark  21:39pm 12th Sep 2017

ToOaW - the only piss you'll be doing is down your leg after you've had a night on the whiskey. Glad to see you've made a reappearance, your defence of poor Badarse was legendary, you really did let him get fed to the Wolves didn't you. - Post No. 109773


mbg  22:27pm 12th Sep 2017

markyark, funny you should mention the word macho the first few lines of the song sung by Sinitta could certainly describe a lot of the nice smelling, lightweight dwarfs we have playing for us now and have had for years, as well as the weak manager, a few words changed here and there. I (we) don't want no seven stone weakling a boy (boys) who think they are men, i'm (we're)after a hunk of a guy/s an experienced man (men) of the world, there ain't no way i'll make do with anything less than i'm (we're) used to, he's (they've) got to be right right right (no second rate nice boys who can't fight)so Macho he's (they've)got to be so macho he's (they've got to be big and strong (not give in without a fight). wenger out. - Post No. 109774


GSPM  15:08pm 13th Sep 2017

went to the game, at least 10k empty seats. A poor team, beaten by an average team. I'll believe we will make progress when we beat any of the top 4 teams away. Until then , Groundhog seasons awaits . - Post No. 109778


markymark  19:23pm 13th Sep 2017

Just passing through Marylebone on my commute back home . Plenty of Spurs supporters including a strange pair . One was dressed in Vicars garb a bit podgy, bearded and going on and on about his life in general , his pal was stumbling all over the place , pissed as a fart. A skinny knock kneed oddball, I thought. I shouted and waived "Brian, ToOaW how are you?" The podgy one waived quizzically back and the skinny one shouted "cum on you Spurtzsshhh" and then fell over. Oh well; I hope they have a good game! - Post No. 109780


Moscowgooner  17:42pm 14th Sep 2017

Gazidis is a gutless coward, pure and simple. - Post No. 109792


Issue #267 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

6th November 2017

Arsene Beaten At His Own Game

Online Ed: Gunners second best at Etihad as manager blames officials

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