Exclusive

Gooner Survey Results – Part 2

By Mike Francis

Your views on the squad, transfers and the manager.

In the first part of our survey results we looked at how you had responded to the questions we posed about the 2012-13 season. We also asked whether you thought Arsenal could challenge for the title next season and discovered that over 40% were either “quite” or “extremely” optimistic. In part two of our results, we’ll find out what you think needs to happen to the squad during the summer for this to become more likely, as well as hearing your views on the manager.

Most Wanted: Gonzalo Higuain

Over the last 12 months we have signed four players for the first team squad so we asked whether you thought each of them had been a hit or a miss so far. As the convincing winner of our Player of the Season, there would have had to have been a bug in the survey for Santi Cazorla to have been classed as anything other than a hit, so it’s reassuring that over 98% of you said he was, but perhaps still a little worrying that seven people classed him as a miss. They are presumably the same fans who thought Liam Brady didn’t use his right foot enough and that Thierry Henry should concentrate on improving his heading technique!

The other three new signings had a much more mixed response. Lukas Podolski was regarded as a hit by 53% of voters, whilst Olivier Giroud got the thumbs up from 52% of you, although he also attracted the highest percentage of fans who felt he had been a miss (15%). Nacho Monreal was the last of the four players to be signed, back in January, and therefore had not had as much time to impress which is perhaps reflected in the fact that a majority (52%) were undecided about his worth to the squad, although 44% still felt he’d been a hit so far.

There has been much discussion on this site and others about how the perceived strength of the squad has been depleted in recent years. If the general view is that all four players we have signed in the last year are more “hit” than “miss” and we only lost two core first team players last summer, then perhaps it’s reasonable to conclude that the trend has been reversed.

Although I’ve just said we lost two core first team players last summer, there was really only one which bothered most people, so we asked that if, having won the title with Manchester United last season, was Robin Van Persie justified in deciding to leave Arsenal and 69% of you thought he was. That certainly should not be taken to mean that we are happy he went to Manchester United and played a key role in them winning the Premier League, but I think it does demonstrate the majority understand his reasons weren’t purely financially motivated, something which Ivan Gazidis confirmed during his Q&A session with supporters earlier this month. Van Persie was ambitious to win trophies and, after meeting with Arsène Wenger last summer, he clearly did not feel Arsenal provided his best chance of doing so.


A Mata of Regret

Over the last couple of years we’ve been linked with a lot of players, some of whom subsequently moved to clubs within the Premier League. We asked which player (from the list provided) would have made the most positive impact on the team last season. Two thirds of voters chose Juan Mata which is pretty depressing given that he is a player who, by all accounts, we had in the bag two summers ago until a last minute change of heart by the manager allowed Chelsea to snatch him away. His performances since have been excellent and it’s easy to imagine how comfortably he would have fitted into our line-up and style of play.

Four of the five most popular choices are actually plying their trade at Stamford Bridge with Eden Hazard (14%), Demba Ba (11%) and Gary Cahill (4%) making up the quartet. Of the four, I think only Hazard was an unrealistic proposition given the transfer fee and wages he commanded, but the others would all have been well within our budget. There’s a suggestion that one or two of these players will be made available by Mourinho for transfer this summer and whilst I’d still be tempted to take a punt on Demba Ba, I think the fact we now have Cazorla will mean we will not renew our interest in Mata.

In last years survey, when we asked you to identify the one area of the team which you felt needed addressing the most urgently, over a third of you chose defence. One year later and having made just one defensive signing in January, it is now the area you feel is least urgent. How has that happened? Has it been the impact of Steve Bould as some have suggested? Has it been that the defence has just been more settled, particularly in the second half of the season? Whatever it was, it resulted in us having the second best defensive record in the Premier League.

Instead, the area which you overwhelmingly feel needs to be addresses most urgently is the attack with 63% of the vote and there are plenty of strikers who have been linked to us recently, so here’s hoping we can rediscover what it’s like to have a truly world class finisher leading the forward line.

Interestingly, the second most popular answer for this question was the manager and that’s a topic we’ll return to a little later in this write-up.


Wishful Thinking

The next question about who do you want us to sign is one that has become more difficult to collate the results to over the years. In the first survey in 1989 we received votes for 72 players, the vast majority of whom played for English or Scottish clubs or were high profile internationals. Nowadays, with the increased awareness of overseas players and the constant stream of transfer rumours in the media (most of which is utter bullsh*t), votes are cast for players from every corner of the globe and include plenty of names (frequently misspelt) which draw blank looks from the staff at Gooner Towers and require a hasty bit of googling!

In recent seasons we’ve found that the names which have topped the list have been those which we have been most closely linked with in the press, so last year it was Cazorla and the year before it was Gary Cahill. Therefore it was no great surprise that this years most popular choices were (in order) Higuain, Rooney, Jovetic, Fabregas and Fellaini, all of whom received over 200 votes each.

I admire the optimism of those of you who are looking for us to sign Messi and/or Ronaldo, whilst the solitary vote for “a fit Diaby” raised a laugh and we were pleased to note our composite player from the front cover of issue 232 also got a vote.

Incredibly, there were just short of 300 different players suggested and whilst I’m not sure how many voters have worked half a day in football, we’d be delighted to share the full list with Arsène should he be interested!

The top eleven players in the voting would result in a team which paid little regard to defending, so we’ve instead tried to look for the most popular players in a vaguely traditional 4-4-2 formation and come up with this alternative Arsenal XI – Begovic, Richards, Baines, Williams, Ogbonna, Capoue, Fellaini, Fabregas, Bale (!), Rooney and Higuain. I suspect if we start the season with two or three out of that eleven, most people will be pretty happy.


Want You Back

We’ve had thousands of words written on this website and in the fanzine bemoaning how we have allowed so many top players to leave in recent seasons, so we queried which of them you would like to see return to the club, whilst accepting that some are more realistic than others. Not surprisingly given the rumours which have surfaced since the end of the season, Cesc was a popular option with 91% hoping to see him return from his sabbatical in Barcelona and lead us to the glory which eluded him previously, even though he has publicly denied wanting to leave his boyhood team (well he would, wouldn’t he).

Another former player who many will never feel able to welcome back is Robin van Persie, but he would be the second most popular returnee having received support from 27% of the voters, followed by Mathieu Flamini (16%) and Alex Song (13%), with Nasri (5%) and Adebayor (less than one in a hundred, which is still too much) bringing up the rear.


Please Don’t Go

In previous surveys we have asked which of the current squad you’d most like to leave, but when we thought about it this year, we decided that a question about loanees (coming up shortly) would probably serve the same purpose, so we opted only to ask which player you’d least like to leave and this seemed to confuse some people. Either that or there are more fans of Gervinho, Chamakh, Bendtner and “all the deadwood” than I thought since they all received votes! Top of the pile though was Jack Wilshere with a landslide 77%. Van Persie and Fabregas have topped this particular category in recent years, so we can only hope that this doesn’t jinx Jack into departing. I don’t think it will. At least not this year.

Santi Cazorla was a distant second with 14%, whilst Koscielny just edged out the Ox in third spot. Maybe we’ll manage to keep all of them for a change!


All a Loan

In recent seasons, if you’ve needed a player on loan, then Arsenal are definitely the club to speak to because we seem to have more than enough to go round. However, few have caught the eye with their performances away from their parent club and this is reflected in the results when we asked which of the long term loanees you’d like to see back at the club. The “Denchman” (Frimpong if you prefer) was the only one who came anywhere close to getting a majority in his favour with 48% believing he still has something to offer at Arsenal. Time will tell, but I do not think he has yet developed into the player he promised to be a few years ago and whilst injuries have undoubtedly played their part, I think his persona has also held him back so my money is that another season on loan will precede his departure from the club.

Of the remaining names put forward Bendtner still has a few (9%) fans, Djourou has less (7%), whilst Denilson, Santos and Chamakh barely registered. At the time of writing, only Denilson has definitely left the club, but there’s little question that we are seeking deals for all of the others to exit.


Young Guns

Assuming we are successful in off-loading some of the deadwood, there may be more opportunities for some of the youngsters who are forever being touted as the next great product from our youth team. With that in mind we asked which of the most promising young players you thought would make five or more appearances for Arsenal next season. Two names stood out - Serge Gnabry (with 52%) who caught the eye in a couple of games last season and Thomas Eisfeld (44%) who impressed as a substitute in that crazy 7-5 game away to Reading in the League Cup. It surprised some observers that neither really figured in the first team squad as the season progressed, but I think this was largely due to both players suffering injuries and a reluctance to pitch them into games which were critical.

Ignasi Miquel (25%), Frimpong (21%), Miyaichi (20%) and Yennaris (18%) were the others who people felt were most likely to meet the criteria outlined in the question, but there are not high hopes for our young forwards Benik Afobe (7%) and Joel Campbell (6%) or promising midfielder Chuks Aneke (4%) to break through next season.

More informed people than me can advise on how much our youth academy costs to run each year and whether we are getting a decent return on that investment, but it seems as though relatively few players have come through the ranks to become regulars in the first team in recent times. Therefore, we posed the question how effective do you feel our youth development has been in the last decade and just shy of a majority (48%) believed it had been either “very” or “quite” effective, whilst 30% thought it had been “not very” or “not at all” effective with the rest not committing themselves either way.

I think what we can say is that a high proportion of our young players do go on to a make a decent living from football, albeit at a lower level than Arsenal, and maybe this reflects a degree of success because the standard required to make the first team is now so high. However, what I think is obvious is that fans love nothing more than to see a home-grown player come through the ranks to be a top player and that’s why we are so desperate to see Jack Wilshere develop into the world class star that he seems destined to become and also played a part in why it was so hurtful to see Ashley Cole depart in the way he did.


Leader of the Pack

Next, we asked you to consider who should be club captain given that the man who holds the role currently, Thomas Vermaelen, was not a first choice player at the end of the season and there was speculation he could depart during the summer. The player who was his deputy throughout the season and therefore wore the captain’s armband frequently was Mikel Arteta and he topped our poll with 56%. In second place was Jack Wilshere with 29% and I know there are plenty of fans who would love to see the captaincy held by a player who plays with his heart on his sleeve. On the flip-side there are those who think we are already piling too much pressure on Jack’s young shoulders and he’d be better off focussing on his play without the distractions the captaincy would bring.

The increased respect for the BFG led to him creeping into third spot with 6% ahead of Vermaelen and Koscielny with 4% each, whilst there were also votes for Cesc, Rooney and Ashley Williams.


Should He Stay Or Should He Go Now?

Now on to the question which probably divides opinion more than any other. Some believe the fanzine and this website have been overly critical Arsène Wenger. Whilst there are undoubtedly contributors who believe he is no longer up to the job, we have always tried to give equal prominence to those who still think he knows best and deserves the opportunity to prove this is the case now that the financial shackles are being loosened.

A small majority (51%) opted for the middle ground of giving him next season to prove whether he’s worth a new contract, although this throws up its own problems as press conferences for the next nine months would be dominated by questions about whether or not he’ll stay beyond the end of the season.

Fewer than one in five voters (18%) wanted Arsène to be shown the door immediately which is 2% less than those who felt his time was up 12 months ago. A further 13% believe that he should depart next summer, which leaves 18% who are staunch members of the Arsène Knows Brigade and are happy for him to stay at the helm for as long as he wants.

We also cross referenced the responses from some questions which appeared later in the survey and in general terms the later you started supporting Arsenal, the more supportive of the manager you would be. For example, 25% of people who first attended an Arsenal game after 2000 are happy for Arsène to stay as long as he likes, but only 11% who first attended an Arsenal game prior to 1980 agree. It’s a debate which has raged on websites and social networks for months now and will no doubt continue until the time when he clears his desk.

The next question concerned whether Arsène should be offered a place on the Board when he does step down as manager and 64% of you said you would support this. Given the lack of a football person on the Board I can certainly see the attraction although the concern would be how much he might interfere with the work of his predecessor. It will be interesting to watch how Manchester United cope with a similar scenario in the coming months as I find it hard to believe Ferguson will be able to resist having his say.

Finally on the topic of the manager, we asked you to consider who you would like to see take over if Arsène was to leave the club in the next year. The top three in this category 12 months ago will all start the new season at new clubs – Guardiola, Mourinho and Moyes – which perhaps affected the way the voting went this time round as two of the three (and probably all of them if truth be known) had already agreed to join other clubs before the season ended. Therefore, the run-away winner was Borussia Dortmund’s manager Jurgen Klopp who polled over 50% of the vote.

He has built an exciting team on relatively limited resources to challenge the very best in Europe, even though they came up just short in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich. The challenge for Klopp now will be whether he can keep the nucleus of the team together, having already lost Goetze to Munich, and maintain the sides development. If he fails, he may be open to a move next summer.

In second place was Swansea’s Michael Laudrup, who was the only other name to get more than 100 votes, whilst Dennis Bergkamp came third.

That concludes the second part of the survey results. In part three, we’ll look at how you responded to questions on ticketing, merchandise and your favourite Arsenal Twitter accounts.

29th June 2013

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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.

Daniel  15:26pm 29th Jun 2013

I love it - Post No. 38882


BADARSE  17:19pm 29th Jun 2013

Once more a very interesting bunch of survey results. The 'Give Arsene the sack right now,' brigade will be disappointed to see less than one Gonner in five are ready to travel this road at the moment. As I have insisted before on these postings, that mentality, which is perfectly relevant, is unrepresentative of Gooners as a whole. It just happens to be a majority view on these pages. Thank you Mike, a complex list made simple. - Post No. 38883


Reg  18:22pm 29th Jun 2013

@ BADARSE. You can also argue that it is hardly a endorsement of Wenger that only 18% want him to stay indefinitely. Think it proves what we all know that the fan base is very divided with the majority showing Wenger respect and sitting on their hands. A new contract might be the acid test. - Post No. 38885


BADARSE  19:02pm 29th Jun 2013

The important word to me in your post Reg, was 'respect'. I am quite clearly behind Arsene Wenger, for what I believe to be the right reasons. However, many supporters who agree with me, are also, like me, prepared to reassess this season. I just think as Arsenal fans, we should be respectful. With falling standards everywhere, we certainly don't need to act like other second class outfits in football. If, when, the time is right for change, I will accept and stand behind my club, and the new man. Your comments are sensible, and I would not disagree with your observation. - Post No. 38887


Reg  19:19pm 29th Jun 2013

@ BADARSDE. I think Arsenal fans have been unbelievably respectful of Wenger over the last few years. For me, and I'm on the Wenger out side, It's been the supporters who have grabbed the moral high ground. Yes we moan on sites like this but the club have fed us spin and lies for many years now and Wenger has been a willing part of that. I've really hated the last few years and I'd like an end to it and someone who can unite the club. - Post No. 38888


BADARSE  20:18pm 29th Jun 2013

Reg, we are even closer than I first thought. Nothing wrong with those desires. I too want us to be a unit again. This whole band of puppet-masters manipulating the club are to be shunned and avoided. The key aspect is when the change should occur. I still think it needs to be an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary development. Change is happening at this moment, in very unnoticed ways. Stick with it Gooner, no matter what the future holds. Even though I may want to take a slightly different route to goal, we tread a similar path, and that angst you feel? So do I. - Post No. 38889


GG89  23:14pm 29th Jun 2013

We`re miles from a trophy... stop kidding yourselves, we have one guy who´s up for it (JW) and got what it takes... Higuan is a poor mans Benzema... we need The Ox, TW etc to step up... AW won´t buy ten guys of JWs calibre... 18% only want AW out and that´s on the gooner, imagine a more conservative site, We´re MILES and MILES and MILES from anything... - Post No. 38890


John Gooner  0:58am 30th Jun 2013

Good work. It seems that the majority of fans just want Wenger to have his last season (probably out of the respect that he has earned) and then toddle off to PSG with his head held high. I can personally understand that view point, it's just a matter of how quickly you want to see improvement on the pitch. If you can stand another season of dross and celebrating the fourth place trophy with the promise of a new manager in 2014, then fair enough. We have waited 8 years, what's one more? Personally I'm not that patient and you raised a good point as to whether a manager can really do his job properly with months left on his contract; I say no, but then maybe AW has hidden depths. - Post No. 38891


Danny  1:23am 30th Jun 2013

I just Wenger out NOW!. He is the cancer of the club. No ambition, no tactically awareness and most importantly a loser if you listen and read what he says, the views and valves are his and the board love him for that we need a change now!. i ask the AKB idiots, do you want Arsenal to compete or not. If so, we need to cut out the cancer. - Post No. 38892


WeAreBuildingATeamToDominate  8:14am 30th Jun 2013

FFS people get your heads out of the sand. AFC are currently at least three seasons behind MU and Chelsea. Even if Mata had come in 2011, who is to say that he wouldn't have been sold in the meantime? And I am sorry but can someone pleeeeeeeeeeeze explain the love for Cazorla.....I see a decent player who can pass the ball nicely then disappears when it time to play with the big boys....maybe with a DM partnering him he will be better. And I know it's only transfer rumours so you can't really believe it too much, but apparently OGL is refusing to pay what Swansea want for Danny Williams? Christ's sake, will somebody change the record. Even with a supposed £70m to spend, what will that get you nowadays? 2/3 players? We need at least 5 to even think about challenging for 3rd place! - Post No. 38893


Gaz  9:02am 30th Jun 2013

The 'should Wenger stay or go' result doesn't surprise me one bit. Efectively 20% want him gone now, 20% want him to stay (forever!!!), and the rest will simply 'go with the flow'. Personally I'm now just waiting to see what transfer business gets done this summer and I think there are a lot of fans like me. Sign Higuain and/or Rooney alongside Fellani and Wenger will get another year of my support and I'll go into this coming season with some optimism. If we miss out on these big names and end up with this Grenier chap from Lyon and the keeper from QPR then I'll go into the season with little or no hope and I'll be waiting for the moment Wenger leaves. There'll be no real interest in the coming season and I'll be dreading the news that Wengers signed a new deal. Personally I think the faith shown in Wenger by the majority of fans is incredible and if anything its THEM more than anyone who deserve to see the likes of Rooney signed. As it is even if we make these big signings I'm still unsure Wengers the right man to get the best out of them. As I've said before the money issues always been something of a red herring as far as Wengers concerned and its his general managing thats let us down recently. I mean you only have to look at our defeats versus those Clubs with a fraction of our finances to prove that point. Anyway the clock is ticking and hopefully we'll see some big names coming in soon. If not-and with Gazidis firmly laying the blame at his door-time might really run out for Wenger this season... - Post No. 38894


Paddy  9:57am 30th Jun 2013

I think what this survey shows is that in general Arsenal fans are a pretty sensible bunch. Like any group of people there are those at the extremes, but not surprisingly, when you take an opinion poll it reflects the overall view. I'm not saying that's necessarily right by the way as I'm personally of the opinion that Wenger can stay as long as he believes he's capable of being successful, which admittedly isn't quite the same as "long as he likes", but I completely understand the view of those who think his time is up or may be coming to an end. And for the record I attended my first game in 1978 when I was four. - Post No. 38895


Wenger Must Go  12:19pm 30th Jun 2013

Wenger can stay as long as he likes? Yay more top four ghost trophies to look forward to whilst Swansea & Wigan win actual ones {!!} - Post No. 38896


Green Hut  12:37pm 30th Jun 2013

So 31% definitely want him gone by next Summer, an invertebrate 51% of Arsenal fans on here want to wait and see for yet another year (by which time it will be too late as during the season he will be offered another £21m three year contract so thanks for that), and 18% are either the most devout Wenger disciples or wind-up merchants. Add to that the fact that 65% wanted Wenger gone as of now in a yes/no poll on this site a few weeks ago, it's bizarre that some try to deny that Wenger has created a deeply divided fanbase often as much at odds with each other as with the manager. - Post No. 38897


Stroud Green Road Boy  13:58pm 30th Jun 2013

So for 18% their support for the manager is not at all contingent on performance. It wouldn't matter how bad things got, they'd still want Wenger as manager. Their support for the man is unconditional. It just proves what some of us have been saying for some time - he has a cult following. A significant proportion of modern day Arsenal 'fans' are in fact just Arsene fans. - Post No. 38898


maguiresbridge gooner  15:09pm 30th Jun 2013

So it's felt the defence is the least urgent, lets hope they were taking the back four into consideration not the back five. - Post No. 38899


Eddie  17:32pm 30th Jun 2013

A depressing read.Nothing will ever change as long as the fans back the shambles that our club has become.I refuse to believe any other clubs supporters would put up with the bull Wenger and Gazidis feed us.Arsenal are no longer a football club face facts we are a bank.Felliani has a buy out clause of £24m we wont pay that,Swansea want £10m for Williams we wont pay that.All this £70m was a con to get ST's renewned.And once again it worked.Gazidis could sell sand to the Arabs. - Post No. 38900


maguiresbridge gooner  18:04pm 30th Jun 2013

Paddy, believing your capable and being capable are two completely different things. - Post No. 38901


BADARSE  9:44am 1st Jul 2013

Paddy, am in Dublin as I post this. Enjoyed reading your contribution. Figures and statistics! In reality they neither prove, nor disprove. They just suggest, whether it be a trend, or a rough determination of those that bothered to vote, in any random poll. As a principle I believe in a majority rule. However in virtually all circumstances a vote can be coloured or influenced by those who shout loudest. Our vote doesn't really count, I would just ask all those with the, 'Off with his head!' view, what they would have done this morning if the poll said perhaps, 90% want Arsene Wenger to go now? - Post No. 38902


garyfootscrayaustralia  13:13pm 1st Jul 2013

@ Eddie - I concur with your view of Gazidis. I often repeat my lack of trust or belief in anything he says, in fact I repeat it so often that I run the risk of sounding as pre - programmed as he does. When I used to work for a corporate financier, there were plenty of smarmy suckups like him around. Unfortunately people like Gazidis will massage whichever ego they need to in order to cover their own arse, yet are adept at remaining unaccountable. - Post No. 38903


Ron  14:42pm 1st Jul 2013

Eddie - About right fella. Im not totally convinced this so caled commitment to buy Higuain stuff is genuine either. We ve seen all this drawn out stuff with other players so often. Whats the betting that if there have really been any talks, Arsenal are stalling it over some trifling contract clause or baulking on a small wage issue? - Post No. 38904


maguiresbridge gooner  15:41pm 1st Jul 2013

Eddie, myself and others have been saying the same for ages/years. As for TKOS fans still lap it up. - Post No. 38905


jjetplane  17:58pm 1st Jul 2013

Badarse (hmmm) You can insist all you want but your views sound no more convincing than Wenger himself. Even if there was any light at the end of a now over-priced tunnel, plenty of people on here (gooner being an over-used term) feel any more of this corporate over-kill and not only Arsenal but all the rest will be breaking half sweat for the tv men only who will be too busy stuffing themselves to worry what is going on on the pitch. Look at Brazil - real football fans are beginning to voice their dismay with the whole circus ... - Post No. 38906


I am the AKB idiot  21:00pm 1st Jul 2013

@Danny - in answer to your penetrating insight and pertinent question, 'do you want Arsenal to compete or not?' .... hmmmm. Well now. That's a tough one. I'll need to think it over and get back to you. Actually, I think I know. No. Sorry, still not sure. PS. AKB's don't exist any longer. There's only those who want him out and those who don't and remain loyal to him, but accept he's not perfect and doesn't always know best. - Post No. 38907


Seven Kings Gooner  21:20pm 1st Jul 2013

Eddie : "Gazidis could sell sand to Arabs" not so I am afraid, it is just some Gooners are so gullible. If I had to sell a 1,000 bottles of "Doctor Good" medicine that guaranteed to make you live 20 years longer, I would pitch my wagon outside the Em*rites because unfortunately so many Arsenal fans will believe anything the board tells them. Come on guys please wake up! - Post No. 38908


maguiresbridge gooner  21:38pm 1st Jul 2013

Seven Kings Gooner, you'd need to bring some barriers to manage the queue. - Post No. 38909


BADARSE  22:55pm 1st Jul 2013

@jjetplane. Look, I am an observer. Sounds mundane, but most aren't, and I do mean most! I have been around long enough, and observing along the way, to form a valid and reasonable opinion. What passes for our club's ethics, and all that is representative of the modern A.F.C, sticks in my craw. I don't know how many times I have to say this, or how I need to explain it, but it still hasn't registered with some. So for sake of argument let's say we agree on all things that are wrong with the club, it's personnel, in fact it's whole ethos. So where is the disagreement? You want a change of manager now? You believe this will probably make everything OK, or at least improve matters. I don't! I want a respectable conclusion, rather than a revolution. My general reasons for not being surprised by the chicanery of my club is that I see it's behaviour repeated everywhere in modern life. Do you? It's everywhere. The young are being spoon-fed it daily. 'because I'm worth it!' for goodness sake! No one is worth it, whatever 'it' happens to be, but that mindset seems to have been adopted by a huge army, and I am not talking of the club, I'm talking of society. Now you, and others, either understand what I am talking about, or you don't, and I am talking 'Double Dutch'. You either see there is this insidious affect which taints just about everything, or you exist in a bubble. People are reduced to acronyms, JCLs, AKBs. How insulting! I would talk, discuss for as long as possible, but if I met blind ignorance, or rudeness, I would walk away. If I can't be afforded respect, I don't give it. In other words the approach of, 'I don't know, understand, or care what's going on in our society, or the world in general, I just want Arsenal to change the manager, and for us to win lots of things!', is puerile. We have mayhem in all places. Egypt erupts, people overthrown, rejoicing, short-term euphoria, problems, uprising, more riots, more changes demanded, and the country is in danger of total, and utter implosion. I want to guard against any microcosmic similarities with my club, in any way I can. My view is part of that defence. You may not agree, but my attitude is based on my views, observations, and assessments. I hold this position with sincerity. It is far from an ostrich burying it's head syndrome. I see it as the right and sensible way ahead. If it all goes differently, so be it, but to coin a phrase close to my heart, 'not in my name.' - Post No. 38910


Danny  3:40am 2nd Jul 2013

we need to boot out wenger, before a change to happen at the arsenal. wenger is not part of the problem, he is the problem - Post No. 38911


garyfootscrayaustralia  3:57am 2nd Jul 2013

@ Seven Kings Gooner - right you are about a section of E*****s punters forking out for whatever is wafted in front of them, but I'm sure you're well aware that there's a fair chunk of tourist day trippers that are already in that zone of being very easy to separate from their holiday money when they show up for their "Premiership customer experience". People from my neck of the woods, for example. Those peeps ringing the catering and Armoury tills all day (or Wednesday night) more than makes up for the likes of my dad missing out, who was a North Bank regular from the late sixties to mid - seventies, but can now only afford one or two trips to the new bowl each season. His love for The Arsenal still knows no bounds, can't say the same for his wallet. - Post No. 38912


Seven Kings Gooner  8:46am 2nd Jul 2013

Maguiresbridge Gooner: Do I detect the beginning of a lucrative business plan? I'll bring the bottles you bring the barriers! - Post No. 38914


Arsenal Fans Get The Club They Deserve  8:52am 2nd Jul 2013

BADARSE- What ridiculous comments. When has anyone implied that they have no inkling or feeling for what happens in the wider world? This is an Arsenal messageboard and people talk about Arsenal, not Egypt, Syria or the Gaza Strip. And removing Arsene Wenger from his position wouldn't be remotely revolutionary, many have had issues with him since 2008 and are simply at the end of their tether with his parsimony, amongst many other things. A new manager may not solve everything but it would give us hope, something that has all but disappeared in recent years, and save us from the death of a thousand cuts (simply a figure of speech, not meant in any historical or military context) we are suffering under Wenger. - Post No. 38917


BADARSE  9:20am 2nd Jul 2013

@AFGTCT Deserve. I never implied people have no awareness or concerns for things in the wider world. If it was construed as such I apologise. I do not insult as a natural action, unlike many who post on this 'Arsenal messageboard'. I was trying to draw a parallel between the way the world moves, with it's corporate ugliness, and the football club that I love. I was also trying to say that many people in 2013, have a quick-fix mentality, and often their actions, or noisy inactions, are driven by an urgency of being a winner. This is the drivel fed by the media, which sadly does influence young minds, and even more sadly, quite a few older minds. The abjection felt by anti-Wenger posters do not occupy a unique position within the club, or even experience a unique emotion. We all do. I am offering my view, different to yours, and trying to explain why I think some may hold it. More than this to serve as a balance for any younger, more impressionable, fans. I would never insult people's intelligence, I appreciate that above perhaps all things, so again I apologise, but this one is a personal one to you, as you clearly missed what I wanted to impart, and truthfully didn't want that. - Post No. 38919


Jumpers for Goalposts  10:32am 2nd Jul 2013

Thanks Mike - excellent summary! The main talking point is (as usual) Wenger. As someone that used to be one of his biggest supporters, I find it impossible to believe that so many people still support him. This summer is panning out just like every other, with the promise of millions to spend and big names arriving but so far the only arrival is yet another French / African from Ligue 1 that nobody has ever heard of. Why do people still lap up this bull****?? Arsenal will not returning to winning ways until Kroenke and Wenger are gone. And those of you slagging off Gazidis - he's the wrong target cos he is merely Kroenke's mouthpiece. - Post No. 38922


Arsenal Fans Get The Club They Deserve  10:33am 2nd Jul 2013

BADARSE- And you clearly missed my point, being that the anti-Wenger sentiment amongst fans couldn't be less of a knee-jerk reaction or an urgency to find a quick-fix solution. It has been building gradually for a long time and fans who are perfectly capable of making up their own minds without media interference have decided that a new manager for our football club would be the best way forward. It has nothing to do with corporate ugliness or chicanery at Arsenal. As for your disappointment with modern life, well from my fairly long memory I can remember people ALWAYS being disappointed with modern life. Things were always better yesterday. - Post No. 38923


David  12:54pm 2nd Jul 2013

I had a freind who once picked up some top quality DVDs from a car boot sale; just as good as from the shops the bloke told him - mint, and a 1/4 of the price! And the first lot really were. However, with each subsequent visit, the copies became less and less minty. He even came back with Master and Commander, the Fear Side of the World, Roy instead of Ray, and most laughably, Allen instead of Alien. However, because the first lot were genuinely good copies, my friend was convinced that he could still get the bargains from the same stall. Once upon a time a similar stall gave us Henry, Overmars, Petit, Viera etc. After 8 years of being sold cheap junk, surely the area's a no-go for le boss? The man has to go. - Post No. 38927


BADARSE  12:55pm 2nd Jul 2013

@AFGTCT Deserve. Point taken. Though you classify yourself as one of a bloc of fans who are generally disgruntled, have wearily put up with a soul-destroying policy, and have had enough. I have no issue with that whatsoever. In fact as I have stated a number of times, it has been my pathway too. Do you think the debacle at Wigan a few seasons ago, or the fiasco at Newcastle hurt you more than me? Or do you see yourself as a victim, and me causing your problem? I would never deign to suggest you are amongst the quick-fix merchants, but at least recognise they exist. It is fundamentally simple, he stays, or goes. I believe he will stay. I think the alternative is the wrong way, but for the umpteenth time, I respect people who disagree, and whichever way the cookie crumbles I will remain an AFC fan. As for the warm glow of yesterday, that has been answered recently. Of course rose-coloured, nostalgic, specs can distort, but if you are aware you are wearing them and take them off, sometimes we see disparities. Often it's the only way to learn, through comparisons, and what has gone before. I do not believe we could have a bloodless coup at Arsenal, so I oppose. If it happens in a civilised manner I would await the new man with a certain trepidation, not negativity. - Post No. 38928


Arsenal Fans Get The Club They Deserve  13:38pm 2nd Jul 2013

BADARSE- Yes I do believe that the fans are the second biggest problem at Arsenal. There are fans who genuinely believe that Wenger's beliefs and philosophies can win Arsenal the league title in a football world where French football is poor imatation of old and where you need to utilise all the financial resources at your disposal to compete, there are fans who don't want to burden their consciences and sully their memories of the good times by turning against Wenger in his latter unsuccessful years, and there are fans who simply blame the board for everything. Three reasons why positive change won't occur any time soon. - Post No. 38930


BADARSE  14:15pm 2nd Jul 2013

@ AFGTCTDeserve. I am sure you are right about the three very valid reasons that you have listed. Do you also recognise that there may be other factors involved? People resist change, that is a human trait, and also plays it's part, whether at grassroots level, or possibly right the way through to majority shareholder. Do you also recognise that if it was possible to overthrow the manager, and that's what you are proffering, that the fall-out would seriously disrupt? Finally, though I am sure there are many other considerations, do you accept that many people, weaned on success crave more, like a drug? That craving of course may well distort rationalities. Finally, what would you have fans do, if you could orchestrate procedures? - Post No. 38932


Arsenal Fans Get The Club They Deserve  17:47pm 2nd Jul 2013

BADARSE- I agree people often resist change in life, but it's difficult to sustain that argument within the football world when Alan Pardew is the second longest serving manager in the Premier League at 2 years 7 months, and surely if as you say, that people weaned on success crave more, they would be desparate for change after 8 years without any, even if that means replacing the manager who brought them trophies all those many moons ago. The reason that Wenger has never been in any danger of being sacked, and the reason he will be offered a new megabucks (non-socialist) contract during the coming season is because Kroenke sees that the fans still back Wenger. And the biggest reason for that of the three I mentioned in an earlier post is guilt, disguised as loyalty. Fans don't want to have to admit in 10 or 20 years time that they turned against Wenger at the end, so they can keep their memories pure and sunny. This comes across in so many conversations I have with fans who still back Wenger, they will agree with virtually all the negatives about the man I bring to the table, but they still back him unreservedly, regardless and whatever. As for my wish to 'overthrow' the manager (you make it sound like the Gooner Spring), yes I'm perfectly aware that it would disrupt, but disrupt what? A masterplan to finish high enough in the league to enter a European competition that we have no chance of winning in return for £25m that the manager won't feel the need to spend? Whilst all the time disregarding and disrespecting our cup competitions? If it's all the same to you I'm quite happy to disrupt all that. And I'm more than happy to take one step back in order to take two or three forward. No guarantees obviously, but nothing could be more depressing than watching our unnecessary decline of the last few years. How would I orchestrate procedures? I would and will continue to make vociferous protest inside the ground during the game when I feel Wenger's decisions and actions are to the detriment of the team, and I will continue to encourage others to join me. We put our point across clearly at the home games v Man Utd last season and v Swansea this season, and Villa away this season. And huge respect to the guys with the 'Thanks for the memories' and 'Arsenal FC not Arsene FC' flags at Wigan, Reading and Brighton. Marches outside the ground are pointless and will be ignored, as will petitions and e-mails to the club. We are still in the minority and probably always will be as so many fans cannot seem to distinguish gratitude from blind loyalty, and many are easily swayed by very little. I was saddened (but not surprised) to read the latest BSM poll results on Wenger. From a mid-season position of 46% backing him conditionally and 46% wanting him gone, 9% changed their position from wanting him gone to 'don't know' on the basis of a decent late-season run with mostly average performances and a place in the unwinnable Champions League. Haven't these people known Wenger as a manager for long enough to form a firm opinion? As I said, with fans like these, there is little hope. - Post No. 38934


Ken  18:08pm 2nd Jul 2013

I think a lot of people would agree with me the club needs a change. We have kept faith with M.R. WENGER, It's getting to the point now were we are just another club in the pl and getting left behind with the likes of West Ham and Fulham. - Post No. 38935


BADARSE  20:07pm 2nd Jul 2013

Well AFGTCTDeserve, what a reply! I am impressed, seriously. That is not a wind-up. I have posted it so it is out there now. Your arguments are persuasive, mainly because I see them as truths. I applaud your commitment,I think you will fail in your endeavours, though I would argue with anyone that you have been a success in your personal quest. My fears are that were they to succeed we would be dancing with the devil. So many unknowns, and so many possibilities that we may slide away into oblivion. I hope, we can go on from here; there are many circumstances that you might lay at his door, I am not that certain he is the main culprit in this intrigue we call Arsenal F.C., and that without him things would be better, unless it happened seamlessly. Oh dear, all I can offer is respect fella, but hope that you fail. Either way I hope we both finish as winners one way or the other. Thanks for the explanation. - Post No. 38936


Alsace Lorraine de Totteridge  9:01am 3rd Jul 2013

Well this does make depressing reading. Apparently only 1% of Arsenal fans want to put Arsene Wenger in a wicker cage, douse it in petrol, and hit the cage with depleted uranium tank rounds followed by a weenseiest thermo nuclear strike just to make sure that none of THOSE substitutions happen ever again. Still, one never gets anywhere in a campaign with a faint heart. More seriously, isn't it nice that everyone is so content. I do however feel that the North Bank that I stepped out onto in 1981 would not have voted similarly. They would have had firmer views. But that was a long time ago when football was a noisier more passionate and dangerous place. There is something to be said for everyone dozing quietly by their televisions and in their seats in the stadium while well paid no hopers strut and fret their stuff, achieving nothing. We shall just have to wait for them all to wake up and smell the coffee. - Post No. 38945


What did the Romans ever do for us?  10:01am 3rd Jul 2013

To paraphrase The life of Brian sketch, what did Arsene Wenger ever do for us? ... well, apart from the unbeaten season, the two doubles, the new state of art training facilities, a 60,000 stadium 500 yards from the old one, champions league football every season, league finishes above that lot EVERY season, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, RVP and Patrick Vieira, clinching titles in the backyards of Man U and Tottenham and 4 FA cups, absolutely NOTHING. - Post No. 38949


BADARSE  11:23am 3rd Jul 2013

@ A L de Totteridge, as I have tried to moderately suggest, voting polls mean little. So in '81, an era I lived through too, fans would have voted differently! Not too sure of that. People's expectations, and views differed wildly then. Even with different voting patterns then, what would that have proved, or more importantly, achieved? Let's rewind. In '79 a Cup win, by a slender, but magnificent margin. The proverbial desert, until another slender, and almost as magnificent Cup win in '87. Nothing much to shout about happened in between, apart from two disappointing cup defeats, in quick succession, except football life at Arsenal. That is reality-nothing much to shout about, then a highlight. The mundanity, and ordinariness emphasises the exhilarating achievements. Dozing by telly sets sadly is the present, and will undoubtedly become more so in the future. That's why I grab my enjoyment in both hands, and wring the juices as much as I can, whenever, and wherever the occasion presents itself. I am hoping for more wringing of juices soon, but am not holding my breath, just living the life. - Post No. 38950


BADARSE  14:09pm 3rd Jul 2013

@WDTRomansEDFU. No, he was just a very naughty boy, apart from three consecutive FA cup finals-a record,49 game unbeaten-a record, an honourable, replayed FA cup tie, never done before, or since, and an almost debt-free club in one of the most financially dysfunctional eras ever, and he gave us running water. Oh, no. He used to run and kick that. Told you he was a very naughty boy! - Post No. 38955


Ron  15:03pm 3rd Jul 2013

What did the Romans etc etc ...... Whichever side of the Arsene fence we sit (im of the view hes going anyway next June and think its best for him and the Club)theres a highly persuasive argument (whether we like it or not) that says that his management since the move to the soulless lounge has in its acheivements surpassed whatever went before 2005 ie top 4 each season and CL with an ever declining team vis the Abram and Man C emergence. Do i agree with that view as a fan? No. Not at all, its rubbish. Would i agree as a shareholder? Of course i would. Herein lies the conundrum for the fans and the Board. Basically, the ground move has kept Wenger in work. No ground move and the same record since 2005 and he would have been sacked by 2008 i reckon. - Post No. 38957


BADARSE  17:05pm 3rd Jul 2013

@Ron, we disagree on the immediate way forward, probably on little else; already I have much respect for you. In your last post you are right on the money.Respect! - Post No. 38958


maguiresbridge gooner  17:17pm 3rd Jul 2013

What did the Romans ever do, It's never been disputed what Arsene Wenger did for us and it never will be, and indeed it will never be forgotten ,unfortunately neither will the last eight years where a hell of a lot can be disputed, you can only dine out on long past glories for so long. - Post No. 38959


Rocky RIP  19:39pm 3rd Jul 2013

@BADARSE - you wrote 'apart from three consecutive FA cup finals-a record' Was that a typo? Or have I missed something? 1978 Arsenal v Ipswich, 1979 Arsenal v Man U and 1980 Arsenal v West Ham. That's not to impugn the achievement of 2001/02/03. History will probably remember 2 Arsene Wengers. The Highbury one and The Emirates one. 2 very different eras. From the very first league game there v Villa things felt immediately different. We felt more lightweight with no Bergkamp, Pires and Cole (plus Vieira had already left.)And Sol Campbell of course. I hate to say it but selling A$hley Cole was a watershed moment which seemed to exemplify much of what followed. However, we are The Arsenal. We WILL return. We WILL sing Arsenal are back! Arsenal are back! 'ello, 'ello. - Post No. 38960


BADARSE  20:46pm 3rd Jul 2013

@Rocky RIP, thanks for being vigilant. Not a typo buddy, knew it, but then overlooked and forgot to mention 78-80, senility! Good opportunity to say the first team to go to 3 FA cup finals in succession, and the first team to repeat the feat. Yes the difference between the two eras, the two stadiums is palpable. Still my friend, the chaps who celebrated the 33-35 three on the bounce championships may have winced at the 78-80 period. Not saying they would, just putting it out there. In another post to someone, I touched on a real fear that we could slide into obscurity, if we made the wrong call on which direction to take in the immediate future. I do fear this. Life is so precariously balanced, ground being shifted beneath our feet, property crashes, financial meltdowns. I just want the generations yet unborn, to be treated to the privilege of being an Arsenal fan, as I was. And make no mistake out there in 'postland', it has been an absolute privilege, even though I'll never get to sing and dance on the North Bank again, and everything has become sanitised, it still remains, 'my Arsenal.' Heard that fiend (Gary G), in your song Rocky RIP, but it stirred the memories all the same, hey, and you've got a good voice dude! - Post No. 38961


BADARSE  21:01pm 3rd Jul 2013

@maguiresbridge gooner-touché! - Post No. 38963


Green Hut  22:24pm 3rd Jul 2013

BADARSE- Four clubs reached three consecutive FA Cup Finals before Terry Neill's Arsenal, and another two before Wenger's Arsenal. I'm all for bigging up achievements but facts need to be correct. And if everyone is as terrified of the future as you seem to be, the club will never move forward. The only arguments I ever hear from Wenger supporters for sticking with him are 1. He was successful for the first half of his tenure, and 2. The next man might not be as good. Nothing positive about the here and now. What do you think will happen when Wenger The Comfort Blanket leaves? Will it be akin to the ravens leaving the Tower Of London? Will the stadium fall down? Will all that filthy lucre that Wenger rufuses to spend disappear and we get relegated? Or maybe we just might not win stuff for a few years, which would obviously be terrible after the last eight years of glory. Then again, maybe this big club on paper might aquire a big club mentality and reach the heights that so many fans are scared even to dream of. - Post No. 38966


Paul Heaton  0:16am 4th Jul 2013

Green Hut. Spot on. The fear of change that so many - including the board - have is paralysing the club. The idea that we might get relegated is ridiculous. It hasn't happened in over 100 years and with our resources we really ought to be able to appoint any one of 100 managers and stay in the league. Given that, what is it that people are so scared of? How many fewer trophies might we win in the next 8 years than we've won in the last 8? The only possible answer is that they fear dropping out of the top 4. Is it because the Champions League is the pinical of football and that we might, just maybe, be able to win it? No. It's because qualifying for the Champions League allows them to continue kidding themselves that things will improve "next year". That the "deadwood" will be gone and the purse strings will be loosened. That Wenger will throw off the bonds of financial restraint and recapture past glories. Instead, what do we get? The annual mad scramble for the last Champions League place, pitiful domestic Cup defeats and a footballing lesson whenever we play a good side in Europe. So if having a new manager means that we finish 5th or 6th for a year or two then so be it. Personally I would consider that a small price to pay for my hope to be rekindled. Also, who knows, the new manager might just improve on Wenger's fantastic record of getting to one FA Cup Semi Final in the last 8 seasons. A massive 'ask' but we can only dream. - Post No. 38967


BADARSE  2:17am 4th Jul 2013

@Green Hut, I did mean in the modern game. It is always difficult to compare like with like but to count FA Cup appearances two millennia ago is impossible, though strictly speaking they are appearances all the same. However I know of Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and WBA, who achieved this, before, then just after we had formed as Dial Square, but who were the fourth team? Of course the comparisons are odious; few teams entering, some just to make up the numbers, teams getting byes and walkovers, even into quarter and semi-finals I believe, but as I intimated I stand corrected. I accept that after we achieved the first modern day feat, both Everton, then Manchester United did. That wasn't in question. However, we did then become the only club to repeat that specific milestone, and that position remains unique. As to the other points in your post, you make it sound as if I personally am afraid-terrified no less. These are figures of speech. I've been around long enough, and suffered many blows and knockdowns, and climbed to my feet again, in both my life, and experiencing life through Arsenal. Do you really believe that Arsene Wenger is the only culprit? He decided policy, everyone gave him free rein, and have just accepted it? Or is it far more complex a problem than you seem to think? If he was allowed total licence by his boss, board and owners, does that not speak volumes of the men behind him? And you think I shouldn't be worried about my team? Leeds thought they were a big team. Portsmouth were happy to get to an FA cup final, where are they now? Glasgow Rangers, Hearts now? Football is on the brink, make no mistake. I expect a conclusion one way or another soon. I hope I am around to see it. You cite two reasons,1)Past success, 2)New man might be worse. Surely you have read, reread, and absorbed the other points, I, and people like myself, have posted before? I don't see it as black and white. I think that is very naïve. The problems are multi-layered, the charge of the light brigade won't do it. I think having said all that, we are moving towards a denouement. I am half expecting Steve Bould to possibly be eased into the position. I don't know if he will, or if he will be a success if given the job one day. Who knows? I know you care about Arsenal, do you know I do too? Still, I am not going to carry a banner to rid Arsenal F.C of Arsene Wenger. There are far more important issues happening in the world, for me to give my rebellious side an airing. - Post No. 38968


BADARSE  2:33am 4th Jul 2013

@Paul Heaton, as you regard Green Hut as, 'spot on', I guess my response to him is for you too. As we are ready to nit-pick, can I just mention alongside the, 'one FA Cup S/F', you lay two League Cup Finals, and a Champions' League final. Just so we are on the same page. - Post No. 38969


Green Hut  7:53am 4th Jul 2013

BADARSE- Old Etonians were the fourth team, which I'm sure you were aware of after checking, but yes simply their name does make comparisons seem more odious, which they often are. The reason I questioned your stat was that I WAS aware of Blackburn winning the FA Cup three years in a row, a decent achievement in any era. But as you say, I am nit picking and the point is irrelevant and very boring. I will respond in detail to your reply after work, please bear with me. - Post No. 38970


BADARSE  8:08am 4th Jul 2013

@Green Hut, of course Old Etonians. Dementia! With a broader view, we seem to share the same goal, I think we have trodden this way before. Thanks for the courtesy, and the quick response. - Post No. 38971


Ron  13:38pm 4th Jul 2013

Green Hut/BADARSE - A good debate you 2 are having and your both posters ive got time for and respect. I reckon you can both be only nearly right though guys. The conundrum we all have and we'll never know until AWs memoirs are written is who is the real force behind the dull policy of the last 9 years? Is it Wenger who has dictated policy totally? or is it the Board whove so hamstrung him that hes had to roll along and sing their hymn with them in full? We just dont know. I think its a lot of both, which is why the Club seems paralysed in its ways and methods and so impermeable to change or at least the desire to change. If the Board have really dictated 100% to AW it seems odd hes never spoken out at all in his own defence when attacked by fans and media, although his wage (silence money) has a lot to say on that score i suppose. If its Wenger, then surely the Board dont want fan amd media flak so why havent they buttonholed him? I suppose the profits they make that says a lot on that score plus the fans arent really that restless, not in the ground anyway at least. No lads, we re so disadvantaged in the knowledge stakes that theres no right or wrong answer to have and its an answer that you two are locking horns over admirably and ending up with the same brand of frustration. If im right and they do have commonality of purpose, i warn you now that with the health of that Club Wenger could be there for another 10 years barring a catastrophic season or two. Hes got so much goodwill, we could actually fall to Evertonesque levels for a year or two and still be given latitude to try and recover. As it is im of the view he 'll go soon ( June 2014) of his own accord and im betting the Board already know, just as they knew Rioch was on his bike and Wenger was winging in, without telling anybody. All we can do is watch and hope that the right choices are made when they make them. AW s transfer policy for 3 years now has been to tinker and make do, patch and sellotape. It smacks of knowing hes warming a seat for his evetual successor while making shareholders feel that theyre safe and stable. - Post No. 38980


Alsace Lorraine de Totteridge  16:41pm 4th Jul 2013

The difference between times when we were rubbish in the past and now is that we didn't have an annual wages budget of £150 million ( or the equuvalent inflation watchers). We could be winning things and the reason we aren't is staring one in the face. - Post No. 38982


BADARSE  17:32pm 4th Jul 2013

A L de Totteridge. It is always like trying to grab a handful of smoke, when you try to compare today and a former time. I think you have to just use very rough guidelines. Comparing wages is often a slippery slope. Sometimes certain career-people, professions, or work practises exist in a bubble. Like traders, and some IT personnel. Top footballers today occupy these exalted positions. It's almost a syndrome kind of like, 'The Emperor's new clothes.' Clubs outbid each other, sign the player, if they win the auction, then pay an unrealistic salary, knowing if they don't some other club will. The competition, created by the astronomical rewards from TV,CL, and all sponsorships, blurs the vision. I think if you travel this route, as I've just ventured to explain, you can be left at the gate as Arsene Wenger appears to have been. You have to move with the times, even if the dictates are insane, unless you think you can wing it. If you do, and it gets you a nod of approval from the men above, you may go that way again. It's all conjecture of course, but who really knows? So comparing yesterday's wages with today's is fraught with inconsistencies, and convoluted answers. Much today is what we call 'overpriced', which means, 'Not value for money', and we remember, are just customers. - Post No. 38984


Green Hut  18:30pm 4th Jul 2013

BADARSE- Well yes, your comments do make it sound like you're very fearful of a future without Wenger. If you say that's not true then I accept that, but you haven't done so. And with respect, you're not the only person on here to experience life-changing crises, but it doesn't automatically immune you from the extreme emotions that mere football can evoke, be it fear, anger, frustration or if I can remember, joy. No, of course I don't believe Wenger is 100% to blame, but he is by far the biggest problem at the football club, for the many reasons that I've repeated numerous times. I also don't believe, as many say, that with extreme opinions on both sides the truth must lie 'somewhere in the middle'. Why? That's just a lazy, ridiculous generalisation. Yes Kroenke should be firmer with him but as I and many others have said, until the majority of fans turn against Wenger, which is unlikely ever to happen in any real sense, nothing will change. And until Wenger spends every penny he has and asks the board for more, Kroenke hasn't been tested. Wenger has, and unfortunately he's been found wanting again and again. Re the apocalyptic picture you paint of life after Wenger, well I'm sorry but it doesn't bear relation to any rational reality I'm aware of. Arsenal's financial position is a million miles away from that of all the clubs you mentioned at their peak, and if there's one club that CAN afford to speculate to accumulate, it is Arsenal. Really, I don't know how some fans manage to leave their house every morning, what with the risks crossing the road and all that pollution. Re the reasons given by Wenger supporters for keeping the status quo, yes I apologise I forgot the one about it all being Kroenke's fault but still yet to hear anything positive on Wenger, tactics, player aquisition, motivation, etc etc. I just don't see changing our manager as the same gut-wrenching event that will shake our club to it's foundations as you do. It happens somewhere almost every week, and often it's for the better. I do have one question for you though, something Ron touched on. Take yourself back to the Summer of 1996 and Arsenal have just finished 5th. There had been rumblings of dressing room discord at the new manager's military manner but the fact is that Bruce Rioch lifted the team from the 12th place flirting-with-relegation chaos of the previous season to UEFA Cup qualification. If you had been able to choose what was to follow, would you have taken the 'be careful what you wish for' route and persevered with what you knew best even though you could see it's limitations, or would you have taken the ambitious route into a brave new world and chanced your arm on the virtually unknown Frenchman? I know what most of Arsenal's fanbase of 2013 would have chosen. - Post No. 38985


Green Hut  19:23pm 4th Jul 2013

Ron- I'm afraid you answered your own question. You talk of a 9-year (non)spending policy, well Kroenke's been on the board for less than 5 of those. The fact is that Wenger's principles and practices have been instigated and maintained from his first day at the football club, whoever sits on the board. He made a transfer profit in 3 of his first 5 years at Highbury, and spent a net total of £3.5m during that time. Fantastic when French football was the best in the world and his nationality and contacts meant that he was always one step ahead of other English club managers in bringing in trophy-winning players like Vieira, Petit, Anelka, Henry and Pires relatively cheaply. Circumstances suited his ways, he was very successful and was given huge and rightful adulation and praise for his achievements. Fast forward a few years and a very different set of circumstances dictate different management skills, but Wenger is either unwilling or unable to change, season after season after season. - Post No. 38986


BADARSE  19:43pm 4th Jul 2013

Green Hut, you are a very eloquent individual. You debate well enough. The problem is the black and white choice offered. So stark and unrelenting. You are wise enough to accept other fingers in the pie, but believe Arsene Wenger to be in up to his armpits. I don't understand how you can conclude that. I think the odds are that he may well be the guiltiest, but it isn't proven, and I cannot make these assumptions, so I don't jump in. It is always difficult to present yourself via posting, at least for me, as a novice. The fear of Armageddon is a little overstated, but I see many possible pitfalls. This would be a tearing of the fabric in my opinion, and lining up a dozen other clubs ridding themselves of a manager without consequences, as an example of normalcy, doesn't remove my misgivings.We will chase our tails on this one indefinitely I am afraid. Kroenke and fault? I don't see fault as a tangible component in this. Kroenke is a big wheel, he plays his game, working the odds probably, yet I don't see him as a villain. He isn't helping us, it's true. Shows no vibrancy, no rallying calls, just skims over the surface. It seems everyone has settled into a form of complacency, just aspiring to meet the requisite standard. It pains me, but I see it as endemic in the mindset of Arsenal FC. A coup? I don't think if it happened Arsene Wenger would be hung out to dry by the board. Though it happening is so remote it's virtually inconceivable. Hindsight is a wonderful advantage to make those reflective judgements, also pointed arguments. Bruce Rioch? I did not want him to go. He went, but not by my hands. A blessing that he went? How could I say otherwise, but in a discussion then I would have nailed my colours up to defend the man. A nice exchange Green Hut, I have a lot of admiration for you, but I'm unable to give you what you really want, me as a convert. I bet you have influenced quite a few though, you have a persuasive style. Oh, and you know your stuff, that's the highest compliment I can pay. - Post No. 38987


Chris  20:43pm 4th Jul 2013

Alsace - indeed it is, if you're looking at a copy of the recent accounts of Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd.... When was the last time a team spending less (wages + net transfers)finished above Arsenal? - Post No. 38988


Petrovic  8:51am 5th Jul 2013

Arsenal does however consistently win the Chartered Accountants League trophy for shareholder return. Resistance is futile mediocrity is inevitable!! - Post No. 38995


BADARSE  9:45am 5th Jul 2013

@Petrovic, if the resistance ended here, and the posting on the website abated, it would be like a ghost town, until people found another way to enjoy it. I don't agree with the reasons, but would defend and encourage their right to rail against the situation. Mediocrity? That's an hilarious description. Try telling them that that is our plight at the Cottage, or Upton Park, or even at WHL, they would give a king's ransom to trade places with us. - Post No. 38997


Green Hut  10:02am 5th Jul 2013

Chris- I can name you a few clubs that have spent less than Arsenal and won trophies if it helps. - Post No. 38998


Chris  10:31am 5th Jul 2013

Green Hut - no that doesn't help answer my question and I don't rate Swansea / Birmingham etc winning cups as evidence that any team spending less has finished above Arsneal in the league in recent years. In fact, has it ever happened under Wenger? At this point, feel free to answer your own question :-) - Post No. 39000


Stroud Green Road Boy  10:32am 5th Jul 2013

Mediocrity is a relative term. For London's biggest club and the third biggest in the country (Man C and Chelsea are not big clubs, they have big owners), what's been happening the past few years is mediocre. And the fact Arsenal have been mediocre for periods in their history before does not justify mediocrity now and mean we should just accept it. - Post No. 39001


Stroud Green Road Boy  10:47am 5th Jul 2013

Chris - I think the point of Green Hut's comment is that others don't choose to look at how AFC do in the league alone when making their assessment. You've been focusing on this one narrow stat for a long time in order to 'prove' that Wenger 'over-achieves', but others will look at how Arsenal do in all their games over a season. The team with the 4th biggest resources in the league finishing 3rd or 4th every season whilst winning nothing really isn't that amazing. It looks even less amazing when they get knocked out of both domestic cups by lower league competition. Afraid you can't exclude these results when making an overall assessment. - Post No. 39002


Green Hut  11:02am 5th Jul 2013

Chris- And finishing a couple of places above Villa, Newcastle and Everton has achieved what exactly? - Post No. 39003


BADARSE  12:16pm 5th Jul 2013

SGR Boy, of course mediocrity is a relative term, that's what I tried to draw attention to by mentioning those very clubs. There is a case to be answered though, if we are not mediocre compared to those with less resources then we cannot be mediocre compared to those with full pockets, which in another post kind of covered that, I think. So in many ways we are hitting par perhaps. If you want an overall assessment rather than just league positions it becomes a little convoluted. A bit like who is the best player, or the best goal scored, but taking your point I guess you have to weigh the fact that those eight barren seasons also gave us two League cup finals (despite the ignominious outcomes), a CL final, and at least two real tilts at the title. One thing I really liked is your assessment of the Oilers and Chavs. I heard my own voice leaping out of the screen. I always maintain to all and sundry that Chelsea are a little club, always have been, and always will have a little club's mentality. - Post No. 39004


Chris  13:04pm 5th Jul 2013

Stroud Green Road Boy (& Green Hut) - Fair enough, but clearly Wenger prioritises the league, so that we can finsih in the CL places. Without the CL money, we'd have to sell at least one more top player per year to make up the 30m+ lost. So really, I think he's performied quite a clever strategic juggling trick - like it or not, without CL qualification the budget would be lower and the decline would have been greater.... - Post No. 39006


Chris  13:15pm 5th Jul 2013

PS Stroud Green Road Boy - you mean FIFTH biggest resources, and you mean placed 3.5 on average over the plast few seasons..... Chelses, Man City and Livepool have all spent more and finsihed behind us at least once in the past few seasons Liverpool every season of course) - Post No. 39007


Green Hut  14:38pm 5th Jul 2013

Chris- Champions League money has been spent on the outrageous wages of Chamakh, Park, Vela, Almunia, Bendtner, Djourou, Denilson, Diaby and Santos. And yes we finished above Chelsea last season, the season they won the Champions League. Ridiculous argument. - Post No. 39013


Stroud Green Road Boy  15:38pm 5th Jul 2013

Whatever Wenger's priorities, certain results are inexcusable. Try as I might I cannot see losing to Blackburn and Bradford as part of a 'clever strategic juggling trick'. And it's really not that convoluted to take the whole picture into consideration. 3rd or 4th and no trophies - very simple. As you say Badarse, par at best - I would add, whilst on a downward curve. Wenger isn't doing anything to warrant claims of 'over-achievement'. And Liverpool have less resources than Arsenal. They spend more of what they've got. - Post No. 39017


BADARSE  15:48pm 5th Jul 2013

I wouldn't argue with your description-the downward curve-SGR Boy. Then again I agree with a lot of your reasoning, also that of Green Hut's. I've tried, rather clumsily, or vaguely perhaps, on occasions, to intimate that my diagnosis of the patient is similar to yours, it's the treatment plan I differ with. - Post No. 39019


alsace lorraine de totteridge  17:21pm 5th Jul 2013

@ Badarse. Of course you are right old boy, in what you say, but I think that my point can be more concisely put. Whilst we can't get and pay the Ronaldo's of this world, £150 million wage bill will buy us a very solid team which if properly coached and motivated will or should do something. The proof of this theory is George Graham 87-91. He didn't have masses to spend, but he did decide to try and live up to what Liverpool were doing in order to try and beat them. He had sufficient clout from the club's resources at the time, but spent them in a different way and established a different modus operandi. - Post No. 39022


BADARSE  18:54pm 5th Jul 2013

@A L de Totteridge. A great example of a very different style and manner. 'The Stroller' applied brilliant techniques, and I think, although we regard him highly at the Arsenal, he was underrated. I think what he set out to do, and achieved was phenomenal. Yet again, there is a but. I think the overpaying of players was a vain attempt to buy loyalty in a frenzy of a marketplace. Arsenal way back competed in a different environment. You weren't regularly outbid, and certainly not by overtly wealthy competitors, and a wider market of continental clubs too. A contract at AFC for £700 per week, wasn't likely to go pop if say Everton offered £750. This has distorted our wages bill, and am sure the powers that be curse it's very inception. Still, an interesting debate. If nothing it gave me an opportunity to celebrate GG again. - Post No. 39026


Issue #242 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th April 2014

A Vital Three Points

Online Ed: Arsenal overcome Hammers

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