THE GOONER SURVEY 2012
By David Oudôt
Results from our end of season poll
(Ed’s note – Apologies these are appearing a little later online than intended. It’s been that kind of summer. The votes were cast in the period between the final match of last season and mid-June, providing a snapshot of Gooner opinion at the conclusion of a campaign packed with both highs and lows, and notably before that statement from captain Robin van Persie, and indeed his subsequent move. Also remember the commentary was written in the week before the Cologne friendly, when our former captain was still an Arsenal player, albeit a wantaway one.
These results were originally printed in the first issue of The Gooner this season, which can still be bought online here
Player of the Season
1. Robin van Persie (94.2%)
2. Laurent Koscielny (2.7%)
Robin van Persie got a voting percentage of 94.2 for this. I think that may even be more than Putin got (ordered?) in the last Russian General Elections. There was only one contender for this and whilst miserable sceptics could suggest it was ‘the best average player in a less than average team’, the fact that the two teams above us in the League are fighting it out for him with Juventus (the Champions of Italy) tells you everything. The guy is at the very peak of his career, went through the season injury-free for the first time in his career, was the top scorer in the League and also won both the PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year. RvP was immense and can easily be argued as the best centre forward in world football (Messi’s a winger before you start), and he made us the third-placed team in the country virtually single-handedly. In terms of second place in the poll, Koscielny beats Arteta but only by a head and the two of them both out-performed what people expected from them. People who are critical of both (including me) will be slightly sceptical of the fact that our best players after RvP were France’s fourth choice centre-half and an Everton player who nobody else has ever been anywhere near, but as we finished above Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea in a Champions League place, then something must have been right aside from the lone striker
Most Disappointing Player
1. Andrey Arshavin (25.2%)
2. Marouane Chamakh (24%)
It’s very hard to disagree with these as both players promised us a lot and delivered less than nothing. Andrey himself is a huge loss and massive disappointment as when we signed him he was brilliant and we built the attacking element of our team around him for the rest of that year (his four at Anfield were brilliant goals and will always be remembered). However he had clearly planned on doing that with Arsenal, outperforming for Russia at the 2010 World Cup and then getting poached by our parent club, Barcelona. Sadly, Russia didn’t qualify for South Africa, Wenger farmed him out to the left-wing which confused him, he put on weight, he looked bored and stopped performing (save for that winner against Barcelona – ironically – the season before last) and nobody wanted him at all. In his last full appearance for the club got booed louder than any noise I’ve ever heard at Home when he came on for the Ox, an 18 year old in his first season at Arsenal, and then got farmed out to his old club Zenit St Petersburg, where he may be back as you read this. The poor guy has won this award for two years in a row. Chamakh did exactly the same thing in terms of his start and what he became, but over a much shorter period. When he made his debut in 2010 he looked like the better version of Bendtner in that he was magic in the air, held the ball up brilliantly and offered us a different option up front for his first five months here. But since January 2011 he’s been a different player having slowed down, looked ignorant of how the team play, spends most of his time diving on the floor (presumably to prevent his ridiculous haircut getting damaged), and last season only started one League game. That was at home to Stoke and after an hour of doing absolutely naff all he got pulled off for RvP who scored the two goals to win the game. Sums it all up, sadly. Also, the fact that he is obviously available if someone offers us some money and not a single other club in England is close to having any interest tells you everything. Not even Hughes or Allardyce could be tempted to take him away.
Most Improved Player
1. Laurent Koscielny (63.5%)
2. Tomas Rosicky (25.2%)
After securing a ticket for my first Arsenal Cup Final in early 2011 I will always remember the ridiculous goal we gave away to Birmingham in the last five minutes when the goalkeeper went to collect a ground-cross and Florence Koscielny comes out of nowhere, kicks Szczesny in the head and sets up Martins to score the winner. I hated him, added him to the list of ‘Terrible Defenders Wenger has Bought’ and looked at what other centre-halves we could get in – heck, I preferred Squillaci. True story. But Koscielny’s been a different player this year. As earlier, I’m still slightly concerned about him but he was a thousand times better last year than he was in his first year and looked an awful lot like a young John Terry (who is a complete git, but a very good centre-half). At the age of 26 he’s still working towards his prime and if he improves again this year that will only be a good thing. Rosicky, on the other hand, should be nicknamed ‘Phoenix’ or ‘Lazarus’ as his improved performance last year was a better comeback than the Stone Roses this summer. In a year when we obviously and woefully missed the creativity of Wilshere, Fabregas and/or Nasri in the midfield, Rosicky’s performance when he got over yet another injury was great and he was the only player who got Player of the Month apart from RvP. He looked great and his performance against Milan in the home leg had the likes of Thiago Silva and Mexes bricking it. True, he seemed to fade away towards the end of the season but if he gets over his 483rd injury and able to come back (again) in August in the same form he’ll do as a substitute for us.
Best Team Performance
1. Spurs (h) – 5-2 (62.4%)
2. Man City (h) – 1-0 (12.8%)
It’s a shame that the Man City game beats the AC Milan win at home (one of the only times the team got a mass standing ovation and not many people buggered off early just to get their train back to Surbiton) by three votes, but regardless of that the Spurs home game was something we’ll never forget. Arsenal being Arsenal go 2-0 down thanks to a flukey deflection and a stupid penalty, but five awesome goals from us straight after that was something we couldn’t have dreamt of. At 2-0 down everyone thought this weak Arsenal side with no strength of character that had just lost 4-0 in Milan and gone out of the FA Cup against Sunderland would perhaps go 5-0 down and the ground empty very, very early, but for the first time during the season we stepped up. It was as though Wenger was sitting on the bench seeing us overpower Spuds and saying to Rice, “That’s what I’ve been trying to get them to do all year!”
Worst Team Performance
1. Man Utd (a) – 8-2 (50.3%)
2. AC Milan (a) – 4-0 (30.9%)
In fairness there were a lot of poor performances from us last year, and what seemed like 276 games that were 0-0 at half-time without a shot on goal from either side, but these two stood out. The line-up we put out at Old Trafford reminded me of the team we put out there when we lost 6-1 to them over a decade ago (Grimandi and Stepanovs at centre back. Christ) and was the boot up the arse the Board needed to actually spend some money on some squad players. We were woeful that game and it was embarrassing to the extent that United fans didn’t mock us or big themselves up over the internet – they felt sorry for us and gave us sympathy. The AC Milan game was further embarrassment as Milan beat us like a ginger stepson as they went forward against us. When the opposition score goals and you have five defenders strewn on the ground across the pitch and they’re celebrating whilst laughing, that’s not a good thing. The game was a real low and we offered nothing for the 90 minutes, not even with us bringing Henry on out of sheer desperation and nothing else to do.
Best Arsenal Goal
1. Van Persie vs Everton (H) (51.7%)
Whilst the choice of your favourite goal is largely subjective (pick the best Henry goal for Arsenal ever, for example; there’ll be 35 potential winners for that), this goal against Everton was sublime, not doable for anyone else, and a cross between the skills of Bergkamp and Henry. The ball comes over his shoulder from 40 yards, there’s a defender on him and it’s a tight angle. Oh, and its 0-0 with 20 minutes left. Yet he lets the ball go on the volley, it goes across the keeper at such a pace he doesn’t move for it, and goes in off of the opposite post. It was untouchable. True quality.
Can the season be classed as a success because we have qualified for the Champions League despite a horrendous start?
1. Yes (60.5%)
2. No (39.5%)
The saddest thing is that if you offered us a third place finish at the start of the season we all would have snatched it, such is the weakness of the squad we had at the time and how much better than us City and United were. I think that the 40 per cent who were unhappy thought that the woefulness the team forced upon us time and time again is such that no credit should be given to the side at all and I don’t blame them either. If the options were ‘Yes’, ‘No’ and ‘Groundhog Day’ we may have ticked the latter.
At the end of August, did you think it was possible for Arsenal to finish as high as they have?
1. Yes (23.2%)
2. No (66.8%)
Weirdly that can be interpreted as a credit to Wenger as he’s done what ‘Arry did when he took over at Spuds (in case you didn’t know they only had two points then *YAWN*). August put us in the relegation places and we were so bad that Stoke looked like Brazil ’82 in comparison, so to use some cheap and average new signings to lift us up; credit is actually due to Wenger there.
Who do you blame for the fact that so much of last summer’s transfer dealings were left until the last minute?
1. Wenger (17.5%)
2. The Board (17.9%)
3. Both (64.6%)
Arsenal is a very weird football club in that whilst Wenger’s job title is ‘First Team Manager’ he’s responsible for so many things, and is far too involved with the transfer of players (unlike Spurs where Daniel Levy does everything and they don’t have the issues we do all the time). A friend of mine who works in the Corporate Dining section of the club is adamant that the menu for each home game is subject to Wenger’s approval. Here though there is frustration a) that Wenger does it; and b) the Board let him do it, will never interfere with it and our replacements for David Dein (Ivan Gazidis and Richard Law) are inept at their jobs. The fact that we had to cough up an extra €3m because Ju-Young Park gave up his national service to stay at Arsenal was a ridiculous and pointless thing to sign up for in relation to a guy who was brought in to sell shirts abroad for us rather than playing for the first team.
Whilst recognising that the summer transfer dealings will play a large part in how we fare next season, how optimistic are you about our prospects of competing for the Premier League title in 2012-13?
1. Extremely optimistic (4.3%)
2. Quite Optimistic (29.8%)
3. Unsure (25.4%)
4. Quite Pessimistic (25.5%)
5. Extremely Pessimistic (14.9%)
Based on last year’s disastrous defensive performances, scraping third place as a result of WBA employing Almunia in disguise as their keeper against us, you’d think that Wenger would acknowledge that this team is weak and needs to be improved in different areas. However, all the time you hear the Board and Manager saying how necessary it is for the club to comply with the Uefa financial rules and can only spend what they have… even though we ignore the huge £80m we’ve got in the bank account for the players we need and it being a coincidence that this happens to make a lot of money for Kroenke’s bottom line.
Which ONE area of the team do you think needs addressing the most urgently?
1. Defence (37.7%)
2. Midfield (36.2%)
3. Attack (24.5%)
4. Goalkeeper (1.6%)
We obviously needed new attackers as Wenger had bought Podolski and Giroud before the pre-season training had started, and Van Persie had played all 38 League games in a season for the first time ever and the reserves were only footballers because it said so on their passports. Aside from that there were huge faults in the 4-2-3-1 formation we persisted with the entire year, with the defence conceding a ridiculous 49 goals and us severely lacking creativity in the attacking three midfielders. When the midfield player with the most assists turns out to be Alex Song there is something wrong and strengthening obviously needed. Of course, Wenger coming out and saying the return of Wilshere and Diaby are ‘like new signings’ is predictable and frustrating (especially when Wilshere is out until October at the earliest), and our fans in love with Sagna, Vermaelen and Koscielny as top defenders is confusing. Hopefully Bouldy can actually coach some defending amongst the team.
Excluding those players who have already been signed, who would you most like Arsenal to buy this summer?
We go through loads of players here covering every position in the squad (between us we name an alternative team of Given – Vertonghen; Richards; Baines; Kompany – M’Vila; Alonso – Hazard; Kagawa; Messi – Torres) but the most popular names are all those the papers have spoken about for ages. With Alex Song being less than great, the signing of M’Vila would make sense but Wenger has made it clear that it won’t happen and the signing of Giroud happened as everyone in football expected. Santi Cazorla is now a done deal, which adds some creativity to the midfield that we need desperately. As I write this though there’s still a month until the Transfer Window closes, so an awful lot of things could happen between now and then. If M’Vila, a proper reserve goalkeeper and a creative midfield player come in it could make us all very attentive of the first game of the season with them all turning out.
Which current Arsenal player would you least like to see leave the club?
1. Van Persie (64.4%)
2. Wilshere (28.5%)
3. Szczesny (3.5%)
4. Vermaelen (1.4%)
This year we were a one man team. Evidently. He’s a player we don’t want to lose, can’t afford to lose and who a lot of clubs around the world have been linked to, such is his quality. It has been a huge blow for him to issue the statement saying that he will not re-sign and we now have to decide whether we sell him to make some money we want/need, or see if we can win the League/Champions League this year which would make him want to stay. Aside from RvP, the biggest desire is Wilshere and with him being ruled out until October at the earliest we would already have been without him for 15 months, and the sheer reliance we had on Ramsey in the position Jack was supposed to fill was unacceptable to the fans and unfair on Aaron. If Jack comes back and gets anywhere near touching the quality he has already shown us it will lift the team greatly and we just have to hope he has at least seven years left on his contract and will get a new one every two or three years.
Ignoring the players who have been on long term loans this season, which current Arsenal player would you most like to be sold?
1. Squillaci (36.9%)
2. Chamakh (23.8%)
3. Diaby (13.1%)
4. Almunia (11.9%)
5. Djourou (5.8%)
6. A.N. Other (4.2%)
7. Walcott (2.8%)
8. Fabianski (1.4%)
If you enter ‘Sebastian Squillaci’ into Google Translate it actually comes out as ‘Igors Stepanovs’. I can’t say I’m surprised, sadly. When he started out at the club he looked really quite good in the first three months and then around Christmas, but the own goal he scored for Wigan to give them a draw was the start of him slipping and sliding further and further down (I think that’s actually medically known as ‘Chamakh Syndrome’). It’s an annoying tragedy that he was about to sign for Bastia at the start of this summer and when they found out how much Arsenal are paying him they sent him back in a second, despite the fact we were offering him to them on a free transfer. Hopefully we’ll find someone who does take him though. The odd thing is that it looks as though that despite being terrible last season, Chamakh might have a future at Arsenal with Podolski and Giroud being ruled out for the start of the season, RvP set to leave and Park being shipped out somewhere else. We have no other centre forward apart from Benik Afobe who might be out on loan for the entire season. As a result we need a back-up forward, and Wenger might let Chamakh fill that role. Scary. The only player I feel sorry for amongst these is Diaby. I have been annoyed and frustrated by him since his attempts at comebacks after his leg was Shawcrossed up at Sunderland, but after having spent my summer reading all kinds of notes on the club (note to self – find a girlfriend) the number of people across Europe who have said that Diaby was the best midfielder in Europe is remarkable. Laurent Blanc has said he would have built the French team around him (and drop Nasri – serves him right), Wenger unsurprisingly praises him all the time, and all of the Arsenal squad refer to him as the best player we have. If his leg is now working and he has a brilliant comeback season it’ll only be a good thing for everyone to be pleasantly surprised and regret nominating him for a transfer.
Of the following players who have been out on long term loans this season, which would you like to see back at Arsenal next season?
1. Lansbury (47%)
2. Arshavin (23.1%)
3. Vela (13.8%)
4. Bendtner (13.2%)
5. Denilson (2.8%)
The fact that a midfield player with eight appearances in his five years as a professional here and only 20-odd appearances for West Ham in the Championship last season gets more than double the votes of the Captain of Russia and nearly four times more than Vela or Bendtner is a sad thing. I don’t blame people thinking this at all as Bendtner has shown he isn’t good enough (for Arsenal or Sunderland, sadly), Vela is nothing but a chip over the goalkeeper when the team is already 5-0 up (makes him our generation’s Graham Rix) and Denilson is utterly crap at football. It’s a shame about Andrey though. As mentioned above when he joined originally he was awesome and became our best attacking player very quickly. Yet here we are three years later and he’s bored, fat, his website has abandoned it’s hilarious updates, and the colossal sadness is that the only clubs interested him are Fulham and QPR. Going back to Lansbury, it’s very surprising that he has been beyond unlucky this pre-season by missing the Tour of Asia through a freakish last minute injury and Thomas Eisfeld goes on tour instead and impresses everyone. Which coincides with Henri not getting a squad number. Taxi for five, by the looks of it, sadly.
Of the following youngsters, which do you think will make more than FIVE Premier League starts for Arsenal next season?
1. Coquelin (34.6%)
2. Frimpong (21.1%)
3. Miyaichi (19.4%)
4. Miquel (8.8%)
5. Campbell (5.4%)
6. Lansbury 4.6(%)
7. Afobe (4%)
8. Bartley (1.6%)
9. Aneke (0.5%)
Coquelin came back from his year-long loan at Lorient and was below Frimpong in Wenger’s thoughts, but in each of his 17 performances last year he really stepped up and could play all over the park. The kid ticks a lot of Wenger’s boxes in terms of attitude, behaviour, performances and variety and in being given the 22 squad number there is a strong suggestion that Wenger will be featuring him this year. The big questions are whether he’ll overtake the still-injured (and potentially racist, oh dear) Frimpong to the extent that he disappears on loan for a full season, and whether Wenger wants to send Afobe, Aneke and/or Ryo out on loan for the season despite them having featured heavily on tour over pre-season. We shall wait and see.
Whilst accepting the two are not mutually exclusive, which of the following achievements do you regard as being most important?
1. Qualifying for the Champions League (72.9%)
2. Winning the League Cup or FA Cup (27.1%)
If you pay more money for a season ticket than any other sports club in the world you are entitled to want as many home games as possible, and the Champions League brings that. I don’t blame people for thinking that at all and partially agree with it myself. But it essentially makes the FA Cup and League Cup redundant, pointless, and justifies Wenger picking all the kids for them. Tricky choice to make, in fairness. If we’d won the League Cup against Birmingham it may have lifted the weight from our shoulders.
Steve Bould has been named as the new assistant manager replacing Pat Rice. Before the appointment was made, which of the following would have been your preference for the role?
1. Steve Bould (47.6%)
2. Martin Keown (26%)
3. Tony Adams (18.9%)
4. Other (7.6%)
After 16 years of having Pat Rice as a yes-man (who some people believe only got named as Assistant Manager to start with as Wenger misread ‘Pat Rice’ as ‘Patrice’ and thought he was a French coach) the fans want someone who can stand up, shout at the players, and educate them more than just putting the comes out for the pre-match warm-ups. Bouldy works for me. Interesting that we had any one of three defenders to choose from considering we can’t actually defend as a team.
Fans have been divided on the future of Arsène Wenger as manager for a while now. Where do you stand at the end of this season?
1. Let him see out his contract (2014) (33.1%)
2. Arsène knows and can stay as long as he wants (27.5%)
3. Time is up for Wenger now (19.9%)
4. Give him one more season (19.6%)
Despite the fans having stopped singing ‘One Arsène Wenger’ in games, Josep Guardiola being out of work, and us forgetting how to defend as a team or not buying any new players, 60.6 per cent of us are AKBs. I’m not winding you up at all, honest – purely playing Devil’s Advocate. The guy is clearly a football genius and actively wants us to win everything, but just his own way. If a lot of the things holding him back are club-led rather than him doing it his way, then we should sympathise him as he takes most of the criticism. Although the £160k a week he takes probably keeps him easy.
Do you believe Arsenal will win a trophy again under Arsène Wenger?
1. Yes (63.4%)
2. No (36.6%)
At this stage, we have to have hope. It’s the main reason for us besotted fans renewing our season tickets every year and turning up every fortnight. We HAVE to keep hoping and thinking that ‘this this year could be our year’, and if we get off to a good start then it could be something. I mean, in 1989 we were 16/1 outsiders before the season started. Although I can’t help but think of John Cleese in ‘Clockwise’: “It's not the despair. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.”
If Arsène left the club this summer who would you want to take over?
He got 33 per cent of the votes last year but with Guardiola leaving Barcelona he’s got way beyond 50 per cent now and quite rightly too. He’s had Barcelona looking better than Brazil ’82 and in Messi he has a player who could well go down in history as being better than Pele. If he could come over here and do exactly the same thing it’d make all of us incredibly happy and would justify everything to everyone. Other popular names this year are Mourinho (as per last year; at least we’d learn to defend), Moyes (runs a club with no money to spend very well) and Klopp (beat a very popular Bayern Munich team with a Dortmund side he built from the ground up).
The average voting Gooners come from across the whole spectrum of Arsenal fans. We’ve all been going for about 21 years on average, and there are season ticket holders, red and silver members, a few Diamond Clubbers and the majority of people who have responded to this survey love the club but aren’t members of it. Looking at the other questions, we average eight home games each and two away games and at least half of us have bought tickets at face value from our friends at some point – not surprising as we are the most expensive football club in Europe. The re-categorisation of half of our home games as new and relatively cheap ‘Grade C’ matches is strongly required and deserved, as despite the fact that the club refused to publish the attendances last season like a stroppy child, there were thousands of empty seats at every home game. Only 12 per cent of the fans made it clear that they were happy with the way the club treated us and that they appreciated our support and I don’t blame them at all. I hear the expression ‘love the team but hate the club’ an awful lot.
What do you think of next season's home kit design?
Only 22.9 per cent of us like the new shirt with poorly explained hoops on the sleeves. I appreciate that Chapman introduced hoops on our socks in 1934 but sticking them on the sleeves is desperation from the club in finding a new way to wangle £45 out of each of us AGAIN. Sadly, makes us look more like ManUtd as well.
The club renamed the bridges to the stadium after two directors – Danny Fiszman and Ken Friar. What is your view of this?
Half of us loved it, the other half had other fan-focused names for the bridges instead but at least the club are continuing to improve our new place into our ‘home’. After Keith Edelman had finished here we played in a grey stadium with the word EMIRATES the only feature on it, but with every year that goes past we do improve it further. Apparently there are other new things waiting for us this year and I’m looking forward to seeing them.
He was our best player, scored our best goal, is the player we want to stay more than anything and it’s no surprise that the ‘He scores when he wants…’ song is the favourite of the lot of us. Other particular nominations that have made me laugh are ‘Gareth Bale peels bananas with his feet’ (based on She’ll be coming round the mountain), and ‘I wanna dance with Koscielny’ (based on I Wanna Dance with Somebody).
Which is the best banner seen at Arsenal this season?
Actually, Van Persie can sod off to Juventus – he’s winning too many awards here. His ‘We don't need Batman, we've got Robin’ banner is loved by the majority of us and who can blame people for nominating that? The second place one may be a sly dig at that lot up the Seven Sisters Road as it simply reads ‘Class is Permanent’.
There will be no Emirates Cup tournament this year because of the London Olympics. What's your view on this?
Twenty per cent of us will miss it but over half of voters couldn’t care about it. Pre-season is overrated, we play a lot of kids and in a very dull fashion, and with hindsight the weather’s been crap all summer. If it had happened this summer it would’ve been lousy and nowhere near a full house.
In recent years, there has been an increasing number of players loaned out to clubs in the Premier League and lower divisions. Do you agree with the loan rules as they stand that a Premier League club can loan a player to another Premier League side?
Since the Premier League started this system and people kept flitting around we’ve seen Wilshere step up from Arsenal reserves to being a star at Bolton in a 6-month warm-up before the Arsenal first team, Miyaichi do the same last season, and Bendtner spend a season being crap at Sunderland and confirming to us that he should sod off. More than half of us like this and it certainly makes sense to me.
Are you in favour of using technology for any of the following (tick all that apply)?
1. Ball over the goal-line (39.6%)
2. Penalty decisions (20.4%)
3. Offside decisions (19.3%)
4. Diving (20.7%)
As we’ve seen three different parties come up with goal-line technology to show to Fifa, and vital situations showing incorrect decisions being made around the goal-line all the time it’s a reasonable thing to get this done in football now. The technology works and does not delay tennis or cricket so there’s no reason to not include it nowadays. Well apart from Platini, the most miserable man ever, and an inept git. He’s already ruled it out of the Champions League but the Premier League may experiment this season, hopefully.
Player wages continue to rise at an alarming rate. Is now the time to introduce a cap on player wages in the Premier League?
Two thirds of us want it to happen so very much and if it means we start getting value for money in terms of our ticket prices then that’ll only be a good thing. Sadly it won’t happen and players will continue to announce that they’re treated like dogs yet earn in a week what the likes of us get in five or six years.
Who have been the worst opposition fans this season?
1. Stoke (47%)
2. Spurs (26.4%)
3. Wigan (14.4%)
4. Blackburn (8%)
5. Others (4.2%)
The behaviour of Stoke fans in the penultimate away game of the season to abuse Wenger vocally, with hand gestures and throwing their arms in the air, and to boo Ramsey every time he touched the ball was aggressive, inhuman, unwelcome and 1960s-based. They’re animals and can sod right off. Spurs fans are still calling us gypsies and telling us to move out of North London (despite having been here for 100 years as of this season), but are our local rivals and will always be hated.
Worst Premier League Away Ground
1. Stoke (40.5%)
2. Spurs (23.4%)
3. QPR (18.7%)
4. Blackburn (9.2%)
5. Others (4.5%)
6. Chelsea (3.7%)
See previous question!
Most Despised Premier League Player
Really tight three-horse race here but John Terry (the non-racist racist chap who’s slept with his mate’s missus, sold tours around his training ground and the son of a thief and a coke dealer) beats Nasri and Joey Barton by a head. Cashley and Adebarndoor brought up the rear but despite them and Shame-ir being players who left in utter shame, it shows how despicable Terry is as a human being and how our society would be better off without him, let alone our football league.
Favourite Matchday pub
As per last year, thanks to the landlords and landladies that let us sell The Gooner in their pubs on match days. As for votes, The Twelve Pins is still the most popular, but the Gunners just off Blackstock Road has more fans than last year. Both brilliant places for different reasons and also glad that The Bank of Friendship and its classic set-up got the credit it deserved as well.
Favourite Unofficial Arsenal Website/Blog?
Arseblog is by far and away the most popular one out there and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s a brilliant site with hilarious blog, great podcast (although not presented as well as David Oudôt on ‘The Gooner Podcast’, obviously), loads of brilliant news you don’t get elsewhere and a faultless app for your interactive phone – streets ahead of the rest and has taken on the brilliant Tim Stillman for his own articles as well. The Blogger had the enormous honour of having his book chosen by the club to be given away as part of the Membership Pack too. Credit also to ANR, Le Grove and A Cultured Left Foot which also have plenty of followers and quite rightly so.
If you use Twitter, who is the best Arsenal fan to follow?
Same as previous question.
Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov own around 95% of Arsenal shares between them. They are both billionaires and in the case of Usmanov, richer than Roman Abramovich according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List. Bearing this in mind, should we continue to rely on the sustainability model or seek investment from our major shareholders?
1. Seek investment (49.7%)
2. Continue with self-sustaining model (41.7%)
3. Not sure (7.5%)
4. No view (1.1%)
Gooners are obviously split between Arsenal’s view of playing alongside these Uefa financial fair play regulations and trying to do what Chelsea and the Mancunian Clubs have done. The club itself fear the Uefa rules but as Chelsea and Man City are throwing money around all over the place and Uefa haven’t looked remotely close to imposing these rules of theirs (which have never been published), I don’t blame people for wanting to use Usmanov’s money to buy players like Mata and Hazard, players that we desperately wanted but ran away as soon as Chelsea offered more than the £4.85 we were willing to offer.
Stan Kroenke has been the majority shareholder of Arsenal for over a year. Are you happy with his ownership so far?
1. No (61.5%)
2. Not sure (23.6%)
3. Yes (9.1%)
4. No view (5.9%)
Apparently, spending hundreds of millions of pounds on a football club and sitting on your arse across the Atlantic looking after the other sports clubs you own, venturing over to see it twice a year and not spending any money on strengthening the team isn’t loved by the people who give you over £1,000 a year just to see them in the rain against Wigan on a Monday night. A quarter of us are still waiting to see what happens and I hope and pray he turns into the man David Dein wanted him to be in the first place.
Is it acceptable that a major shareholder like Alisher Usmanov, who holds close to 30 per cent of the shares in Arsenal, has no representation on the Board?
1. No (74.2%)
2. Yes (11.9%)
3. Not sure (9.5%)
4. No view (4.4%)
Nobody’s calling for a Russian Revolution here at all, just that Usmanov has some representation in the club that we all pump money into, including him. I suppose the thinking here is that it’ll be a first step up, allow us all to see what he’s like, whether he can work with Hill-Wood, Kroenke and/or Gazidis (who are all ignoring him, childishly) but the sad point is that after that there’s no way back from there onwards.
Peter Hill-Wood remains Chairman of the club despite having sold all his shares in 2011 to Stan Kroenke. Should he be replaced?
1. Yes (63.1%)
2. No (15.3%)
3. Not sure (15.1%)
4. No view (6.4%)
Ah, old man Peter. Still good value in that the papers know the flash restaurant in Chelsea he goes to for lunch every week and in speaking to him afterwards he gives them a half-pissed, slightly senile comment which may make sense but certainly does make you laugh! Apart from that he has been embarrassing in his words about Kroenke when Dein tried to get him involved in the first place and his attitude towards Van Persie this summer was naive. He’s our nice granddad, but it might be that time he gets put into a home.
Ivan Gazidis has been Chief Executive of Arsenal since Janaury 2009 and therefore has overall responsibility for running the club. In your view is he doing a good job?
1. No (52.9%)
2. Not sure (27%)
3. Yes (17.2%)
4. No view (2.9%)
When he first arrived, Ivan arrogantly professed that as the Deputy Commissioner of the MLS he handled more transfers than anyone else in the world so we fans should stop worrying about that kind of thing. And then last summer we missed the chance of buying Mata at an affordable price, Van Persie didn’t re-sign, and when he skipped out of National Service in South Korea we owed Monaco another €3m. Gazidis is to his position what I would be to a break dancing competition on the moon.
It is possible we will see changes to the Board of Directors in the coming months. In the future, should there be a fans’ representative on the Board?
1. Yes (75.3%)
2. No (11.6%)
3. Not sure (9%)
4. No view (4.1%)
See what happens at the AGM, but in the event that a representative of AISA or AST is successfully nominated onto the Board it will allow for far more information to come public and be known to us all. I’m not talking about sly little gossip or confidential financial information, just some common sense bits and bobs we frankly aren’t allowed right now. Makes us as supporters feel as though we’re being ignored and this presence will give us the step up we need and deserve.
Are Arsenal better off if supporters have the opportunity to own shares in the club?
1. Yes (72%)
2. Not sure (6.4%)
3. No (11.6%)
4. No view (4.8%)
Whilst Kroenke will state that he has ALWAYS admired and loved Arsenal he’s lying and there are loads of us who have been with Arsenal since we were born, and within that a small group who actually own a tiny portion of the club. It’s appropriate, it sounds right, and deserves to stretch on forever.
Best Gooner Cover
1. Issue 222 – Fairy-Tel Return
2. Issue 224 – That’s The Spirit
3. Issue 225 – Early Shopper
Fairy-Tel Return could easily make the poster of the year for everyone. Thierry’s one month cameo was most people’s highlight of the season and the Leeds game will go in everyone’s memory as a modern day ‘I was there’.
1. Talking Reds
2. Well Played/Pain in the Arse
3. The Spy
4. In the Away End
5. Mickey Cannon
Despite the fact he’s my editor I must confess that having his article in the front two pages is the appropriate place. Sums up the thoughts of any and all Arsenal fans in his page and a half and tells it honestly after being bombarded with emails, texts, phone calls and impromptu articles from all of us. Fair play, gaffer. Fair play.
12th September 2012
User Comment 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.
RGooner 15:39pm 12th Sep 2012
Are you really serious? English gooners are the most loyal fans in the whole world. I mean, Qualifying for the Champions League ahead of domestic cups? This is embarassing, absolutely embarassing. Arsenal supporters, particularly Londoners, you are the only ones to blame. - Post No. 28839
Paul 19:33pm 12th Sep 2012
@RGooner - What are you on about mate? How have you managed to blame English Gooners and Londoners in particular for the above results. I took the survey and I'm in the States so I guess anyone could answer it from anywhere. And the reality is that CL qualification is critical to our longer term chances of success. I'd love to win cups again - FA or League cups would do - but I'm realistic enough to realise that financially we need to be in the CL, not to mention the fact that we also need it to attract the best players (at least those who don't chase the money at City, Chelsea, Barca, RM, etc.). - Post No. 28842
Joe Fitzpatrick 22:19pm 12th Sep 2012
I'm absolutely fascinated with how knowledgeable and passionate the American fans actually are. I guess there is hope for promoting our club abroad after all. Spread the Gooner faith across the globe and embrace it!! - Post No. 28843
Johnny Gooner 23:38pm 12th Sep 2012
I dont think fans understand that our chances of winning the champions league are so so so far away... the group stages are disgusting, where our players just become fatigued versing low grade opposition THEN we get to the tail end against the big clubs and struggle with a squad that has no depth what so ever ... Do you people not remember the glorious days of the F.A Cup ?? How the hell could you want a champions league place over an F.A Cup trophy ? ... The day we beat Chelski with THAT Parlour strike and THAT Ljunberg goal is one of my favourite games ever... F.A Cup is glorious.. we need this current squad of players to realise this !!!! Arsene surely knows that his current team cannot compete for European glory !?.. I do hope I'm wrong guys but why do we want to be competiting in a competition over winning a major trophy when we only verse one quality team in the round of 16 and 3 shyt teams 3 times.. BECAUSE WE DONT MAKE IT ANY FURTHER !! - Post No. 28844
Stroud Green Road Boy 14:53pm 13th Sep 2012
Should not the comments under each poll result have been updated before posting online? Surely it would not have taken very long. - Post No. 28860
GoonerGoal! 20:46pm 14th Sep 2012
I’m not at all sure that Answers 1 and 4 to the question about the future of Arsène Wenger fall into the AKB category. Surely they are closer to the AMGs given that Answer 1 says “we only want him until 2014”, and Answer 2 basically says “if we win nothing this season, he should go immediately…” - Post No. 28884
9th December 2013
Online Ed: Spoils shared at home to Everton