The silliest silly season for some time?

By Peter Le Beau

Enough words, how about some action?

I have desisted from writing about developments at Arsenal for some time. This is partly because I simply don't know what is going on and partly because it is not appropriate to write too early in the close season about developments, but it is clear that the natives in Goonerland are splitting again into the different camps that divide our support.

Higuain – Seal the deal!

It is only July 9th as I write and there is plenty of time for things to alter fundamentally, but the euphoric early indications of the close season are giving way to real rumblings of discontent and apprehension. On recent evidence Arsenal don't do close seasons at all well.

The recent polls that showed a big positive shift in Wenger's popularity were interesting. Compared to before the Bayern away leg the increase in the number of fans who want to retain him was illuminating. There are three camps - two of which are very distinct ones. There are the AKBs who write blogs for Untold Arsenal and feel that Wenger is a misunderstood genius who has done wondrously well to retain Arsenal in the Champions League without access to the sort of budgets so many European superpowers have, in one corner. It was noticeable in the afterglow following our win at Newcastle that Gary Neville, that unlikely Wenger supporter, waxed eloquently about the scale of the job Wenger has done. As Phil Wall pointed out in his estimable blog shortly thereafter his analysis of our finances and outstanding debt was simplistic and slightly misleading but in fairness to Neville, we knew what he was getting at. Neville's admiration was sincere and meaningful but it was contingent on a big 'If' which I will analyse shortly.

On the other hand we have the disbelievers who have felt for many seasons that Wenger is a busted flush and that he can never reinvent himself as a trophy winner again. The two big criticisms are that he is a control freak who is far too conservative and parsimonious in the transfer market and whose increasing focus on less than stellar players on pretty stellar contracts has hurt us financially just as much as his prudence has protected us. The other is that tactically he is naive and has gone from innovator and trendsetter to dinosaur in terms of his ideas and approach. Their position isn't contingent on anything because they see what his supporters see as success - the 4th place trophy - as a self- limiting threshold that has restricted the horizons of a club that promised to dominate Europe at one point and was certainly superior to United for a number of seasons. The selling of a conveyor belt of top talent (I won't list them for every Arsenal fan knows who they are) has inevitably downgraded the ambitions and ability to compete of a club whose consistency has been interpreted in the more strident parts of the media as a sort of comfortable mediocrity. Tottenham, perpetually in Arsenal's shadow are however the thrusting new aspirant to the Big 4 notwithstanding the fact that they will inevitably have to sell Bale and finance the building of a new (identikit to our one) stadium in the most undesirable part of London. Their pain is before them even though their modern zenith has almost been reached. Wenger's zenith was to produce arguably the finest club team in Europe on a shoestring and pilot the club to an unbeaten season that may never be equalled. It's funny how objectivity deserts people in the media sometimes when there are banner headlines and trivial radio discussion forums to construct.

One of the problems with the media is that convenient cliches replace reality on an ongoing basis. Let's illustrate two.

Arsenal have got a poor back four - actually they had the second best defence in the League last season and over the last ten games arguably the best.

Wenger won't spend any money - well look at the wage bill and you can see that he does spend quite considerable sums which come back to bite us on the bum as we are left with a lot of very average performers unwilling to sacrifice bloated contracts for the chance to actually play. Arshavin's recent comments about how miserable he was conveniently forgot to mention that he turned down opportunities to play all over the place because he could sit in London and draw £90k a week for pitching up at Shenley for about 12 hours. Undoubtedly the socialist wage structure has cost us dear in limiting our ability to retain superstars and lumbering us with a lot of underwhelming performers.

In the middle of the Gooner nation are a lot of citizens who are very ambivalent towards Wenger. Few will forget or disregard the enormous achievements that he has accomplished at the club. At the height of our success about ten years or so ago we had an incomparable side playing possibly the finest football an English club side has ever produced. On the other hand, as we are continually reminded, we have gone eight years without silverware and after success like we enjoyed that feels like an eternity. Imagine then how it feels to fail even to challenge for the league title in over half a century, like our near neighbours!

The rally at the end of last season, the second in a row to deprive Tottenham of local bragging rights and £30 million in cash, undoubtedly restored a little bit of Wenger credibility. The oily Spinmeister, Ivan Gazidis seized on this rise in optimism and indicated to supporters that brighter times were just around the corner - next season to be precise. Without claiming it specifically, a magical cash stash of £70 million has appeared in Arsene's transfer kitty and he has since tried very hard to strip away a lot of the deadwood that remained in the dressing room. While I would still relish seeing the back of Fabianski, Santos, Park, Chamakh and Gervinho it has been a credible start but that list shows you how many substandard players we have accumulated.

And please sell Bendtner eventually for some cash and get him off the wage bill. A waste of rations as my old boss, a Gooner, used to describe those whose input had been lacking in some way!

This £70 million figure is fascinating. In reality it might be less but I suspect it could possibly be considerably more. Whatever the amount – which has obviously been taken from considered analysis by Arsenal watchers following the rash of new sponsorships (but for obvious reasons never confirmed by anyone close to the club) how has it been spent so far?

Well the answer is of course that it hasn't and therein lies the problem. I tell a lie in that it some of it may well have been used to pay off Denilson or to subsidise the wages of players on loan who are too expensively paid to be afforded by a large number of clubs in Europe. But lots of wages have also been saved. But as I write we are in interminable negotiations with Higuain, which have gone on in labyrinthine fashion for so long no-one can remember where we are. Part of the problem lies in the inaccuracy of the transfer media who recycle each other's fantasisings until a bridgehead of resentment and disaffection builds up based on the musing of someone from the Daily Star, Goal.com or a Spanish propaganda sheet. I like the look of Higuain very much. His record doesn’t need a You Tube video to sell it. I also like Fellaini and have obsessed about us buying him since he played so well in defensive midfield for Everton against us in April. I don’t want to produce a wish list of players as this almost defeats the object of what this article wants to say but for me a good, experienced back- up keeper like Schwarzer would do as would a top- class utility defender especially if Vermaelen has injury issues.

But apart from the Higuain saga, we have had the surely fallacious story of the Suarez bid, and extravagant links with Rooney and more feasibly Cesc Fabregas. Is this Wenger the wily old fox laying false trails to wrongfoot the opposition, is it the brainchild of Ivan trying to show that we are big potatoes again without having to actually prove it or has there been a rearrangement of the economic tectonic plates around Ashburton Grove which mean that we really are thinking on an unprecedented scale of acquisition? I have very well- connected friends who nod and wink to me that something spectacular is about to happen and that we should chill and let events take their course but the reservoir of faith in our buying ambition and capability has run very low over recent times. I just plead that given the disappointments that have been BENtley and BENdtner that we think carefully about an investment in the powerfully built BENtheke! And leave Ben Arfa well alone!

But the Arsenal hierarchy must realise that the new fund of goodwill that sprang up at the end of last season has been drawn down rapidly because we still seem unable to close deals quickly. There is still a feeling that Wenger nitpicks over reasons not to sign ready made but expensive superstars and we fear a repeat of the Mata debacle two years ago where we lost the chance to sign a genuine top talent through what appeared to be a combination of procrastination and dithering. Arsenal fans just can't go through that again!

Football is such big business now with such a lot of media projection and hype that many of the new Arsenal fans concerned by the apparent stasis in the club have no really positive memories of success and are assailed by a generally sceptical media whose default position is somewhere between the neutrals and those who believe Wenger is past his sell-by date. Current concerns and frustrations are largely the fault of Gazidis who promised a spectacular piece of good news in forty eight hours... four weeks ago. A real sign of ambition and commitment would do much to reassure supporters that all will be well and we are returning to the top table of potentially big- spenders, on the basis of a model of self-sufficiency that would make us all a bit prouder than just receiving the largesse of an oligarch. But one London club's oligarch has overseen the biggest trophy glut in his team's history while Arsenal have failed to win anything. Although there are many who would love the Arsenal model to prove successful enough to claim trophies in a way we could be genuinely proud of, modern society does not imbue many of its new football consumers with patience as a prerequisite, particularly when their team charges the highest season ticket prices in football and pays its manager over £7 million a year.

I referred to a big IF when I began this article. In fact there are two alternative ifs. One, if we can ramp up our investment into the side to higher levels with top quality talent there is a reason to have optimism that the squad can realistically compete for all trophies it plays for. The alternative if is the one that is starting to come into focus. If the club hierarchy can't get Wenger to let of the handbrake he seems to apply to his transfer policy and if we continue to worry more about saving half a million on a deal rather than bedding a player into the team in good time for the Champions League qualifier there will be no coming back for Wenger and Gazidis. Their credibility will dissolve like a Tottenham title challenge. Gazidis, particularly has talked the talk... almost too well for his own good. If he and Wenger can't now walk the walk they will find life very difficult indeed next season. I pray that they heed this message.

9th July 2013 09:00:00


Comments and Reaction

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

ppp  15:52pm 9th Jul 2013

Thanks for the article, it was a good one. I should point out that you're guilty of doing what you chastise the press for doing. You rightly have a swipe at the journalists for writing features in response to their own fantasies and passing them off as fact. You then go on to criticise the club for dithering over the potential transfer of Mata. How do you know we dithered? Did you read it in the paper? How do you know we even made a bid? Did you read that on the internet? Let's say we did bid, and then we dithered. How do you know Mata didn't just say "thanks but no thanks I'm going to Chelsea"? That seems perfectly plausible and is hardly something to attack Arsenal for. So the Spanish prancer chose to join the Peasant-Murderers, it's not our fault he's got a lack of character about him! - Post No. 39069

Ron  16:00pm 9th Jul 2013

Agood read and very well written Peter, but essentially, we re stuck with Wenger and the oily one.I still think he ll go next June and go he should in my view. The Club needs change, but i wdt be surprised if he went (to quote the odious Mrs Thatcher) 'on and on and on' either. Im past caring in truth and Arsenal arent buying anyone of note. Wenger could no longer cope with big personalities in his dressing room after 8 years of choirboys all dutifully singing from his hymnsheet anyway. - Post No. 39070

Big Andy  16:21pm 9th Jul 2013

I've been an Arsenal fan for 36 years and this is without doubt the most depressed I've ever felt. It's not the lack of success, it's the thought that we have absolutely no chance of achieving anything while Wenger and Kroenke are involved with the club. Wenger is well past it, and Kroenke has no interest in the club other than to make money out of it. We are no longer a football club - just a business which makes huge amounts of money for players, the manager and the owner. While us fans just get screwed over and over again. That's why I stopped going two years ago. And I won't be going back any time soon. - Post No. 39071

Yiannis  16:46pm 9th Jul 2013

At last some sensible reading in a sea of recycled reproduced rumors speculations and lies. I think that Wenger is clever enough to know what you closed the article with. Time has run out! I am pretty sure that he will land some top players in this window. It seems there no budget restrictions imposed by the board like in previous years. But only time will show who is right. And time is running out. Thank got we dont have to wait for months or years. In 39 days we kick off for the new campaign - Post No. 39072

goonergocarpfishing  16:58pm 9th Jul 2013

a really good read so thanks.I along with 95.5% of arsenal fans I know and work with are totally fed up and disinterested in what is going on at our club.we have totally lost faith with the once mighty mr wenger who again looks to promise plenty yet delivers nothing.if he fails to bring in not so much BIG NAMES but the type of players we need and in the right positions then after stating we can now spend big he would have (please god go) endure untold abuse from those who have had enough and cough up big money for their tickets.ive just seen the filth land a very good Brazilian midfielder who impressed in the confederations cup and who are now looking to buy benteke from villa.the way we are farting around with bids 4 to 5 million less then what clubs are expecting for their players it will be mata all over again,mr wenger got away with it last season by the filths ability to fall at the last hurdle and I cant see his luck continuing.so please prove me and tens of thousands of fans wrong mr wenger . ps look on you tube at our latest French freebie as I hope they can work on his touch and passing - Post No. 39073

Peter Le Beau  17:18pm 9th Jul 2013

PPP You make a generally great point about hearsay but... I used the case of Mata because I was privy to some information,ironically from a very well- placed Chelsea source that Arsenal were much quicker off the mark initially but failed to trigger Mata's buy- out clause ( as did Chelsea!) . I have also seen Mata himself admitting in an interview that he thought he was going to sign for Arsenal but then it fell through. So in that regrettable case I think there was a deal to be done...and he is a very good player although it is unlikely we would have signed Santi if we already had him! - Post No. 39074

sam  17:27pm 9th Jul 2013

so nice to read a balanced and detailed article during this time. All i want to know is what is going on at my football club, which unfortunately seems to mean constantly deciphering and dissecting media speculation, fans wishlists or just down right rubbish to ascertain any slither of truth i think may exist. Get your wallet out Wenger, now is the time! - Post No. 39075

Arseneknewbest  18:58pm 9th Jul 2013

Let's hope that yesterday's rumour about Arsenal bidding for a certain racist cannibal from Uruguay prove to be as credible as Wayne Rooney's pseudo-barnet (another unthinkable signing). On the other hand, if they are ploys to get Real Madrid to sell Higuian, then it's reassuring to suppose that someone's thinking strategically. But like many others on here, I'm sceptical that we're going to do much meaningful business in the next few weeks. More likely, it'll be panic buys after we find ourselves in mid-table towards the end of September. Please prove us wrong Sir Chips! - Post No. 39076

Mark from Aylesbury  19:06pm 9th Jul 2013

If we don't get a big name this time around, surely either Gazidis or Wenger need to walk. For what it is worth I've also heard inside gossip ( players agent) regarding Arsenals negotiation techniques and it is bad as we fear. It may be hear-say but apparently we are pissing off Everton with our refusal to pay the buyout clause with Fellani. If any of these tactics of ours actually worked then great. But they don't and only we seem to go down this route. It is desperately poor and contributing to a cycle of failure. Think Wenger has a big choice to make. - Post No. 39077

allybear  19:36pm 9th Jul 2013

Good article Peter i enjoyed it. For what its worth i cant stand Wenger and really think he is overated and that he has made some shocking signings and cant see why he has so many supporters over the last few years. This constant dithering in the transfer market is pathetic. However i dont believe a bid was made for Suarez. No faith in this manager! - Post No. 39078

GoonGer  20:19pm 9th Jul 2013

Still not convinced about the back four,regardless of the stats.It is pretty well agreed that we must get a centre backt to strengthen.And I watched us get through a few games by the skin of our teeth,Fulham(A),Sunderland(A),West Brom(A),Wigan(A),even if we where down to 10 men in a couple of those. - Post No. 39079

ppp  21:55pm 9th Jul 2013

Peter thanks for the response. I believe you have good sources but don't you think the journo's who spend the summer winding us all up would say the same sort of thing if you questioned them about it? Anyway I know the Mata case had substance but none of us are privy to the reality of these transfer sagas. I'm convinced most of them are comletely manufactured. This Rooney nonsense is surely a transparent ruse by his agent to get him a better deal at United and the Suarez stuff is probably Arsenal and Liverpool agreeing to chat sh*t in the papers to further their own agendas. Anyway despite being in a state of almost constant disagreement with the more pessimistic Arsenal fans I have to say I'm pretty stressed at the moment regarding transfers and Ivan's "we're in the big time" speach hasn't helped. He should have saved it for the moment we actually signed a big name player.. or two.. or three please god! - Post No. 39080

kdmgooner  0:21am 10th Jul 2013

A good artical with balanced views so no problems there but as long as the evil Gazidis can continue to spin his lies people will fall for it. Here we are now way past July 1st with Higuain still not signed and zero happening with other areas of the team that badly want addressing. Good that some of the dross has gone but that is only Stan and his love child making sure that the money in equals or beats the money out. Dont be fooled that we are going to be signing anyone who is any good - Post No. 39082

DW Thomas  4:23am 10th Jul 2013

Great read! I loved most all you had to say. This is really the last chance saloon for Wenger and Gadzidis. If we don't seriously strengthen soon, they should pay for their bs with fans going off. Voice our discontent until real change and improvement occurs! - Post No. 39083

Der Projekt ist Kaput  7:55am 10th Jul 2013

Enjoyed the article. If the sources quoted in the piece and subsequent reactions are accurate - then further ammo for those of us who are driven to despair by what's happening at our club. I'm sorry to repeat myself, but we easily need 5 top players if we are to be genuine title or CL contenders. That I would guess would cost in the region of £100m. That simply ain't gonna happen as Wenger just won't do it (because it will be proof that his 'vision' is flawed) and it will severly dent the profit margin that was the sole reason for Kroenke buying the club. Sorry guys, but I can only see the 4th place trophy again next season. Vive la revolution. - Post No. 39084

nilz21  9:52am 10th Jul 2013

Great article sums it up nicely for our club...its now or never grazidis and wenger..put up or get out ! - Post No. 39085

GG89  10:19am 10th Jul 2013

We´re other clubs patsys.... Higuian wants more money and more game time at real, his dad is helping him by linking his son to other clubs.... suarez´s agent is playing off the club´s bid to prod real... Rooney is trying to wind up Moyes to get leverage at united... None of these players are coming to the grove.... A bit negative but realistic! - Post No. 39086

Ron  10:40am 10th Jul 2013

GG89 - Realistic. Not negative at all. Youre dead right fella. - Post No. 39087

KJF 26  10:55am 10th Jul 2013

Wenger Out. Wenger has become the Premier Leagues Guy Roux formally of Auxerre. A highly respected figure within the French game who nothing. Wenger has morphed into this persona of a football manager who has a “philosophy” but not a winning mentality and we the fans are meant to enjoy this psychic farce. Do people really still believe in this rubbish, really?!!! And who are the “board”? Who is Wenger to answer to when he had the say in their appointments! We were all hoping (praying) for at least 4 top quality signings to arrive this summer in all departments. How can that now happen when it takes the club the time of the next ice age to negotiate for one player to arrive! Pathetic. - Post No. 39088

Kilkenny cat  11:17am 10th Jul 2013

I think i,ll concentrate on the Kilkenny hurlers.A team of winners,and a manager who is a winner.As predicted we will by no one until the 3 stooges are gone.Everyone is strengthening their team/squad.We buy a french kid,who in 5 years time we wont be able to get rid of.Angry is an understatement. - Post No. 39089

Chipper Harris  12:11pm 10th Jul 2013

Judging by the number of season tickets that appear to be available this year (how many people have mahgically move dup the waiting list to be eligible but decided it is not worth the money any more?)it will not be long before pressure comes from the main shareholder as well as the fans. If the season tickets don't sell then surely one doesn't have to be a financial genius to realise that sooner or later this will hit the big money spinner i.e sponsorship. Okay,we got a good deal on sponsorship now but it can all turn sour quickly in the future if the football is not good enough to attract enough fans. And before people mention TV viewers, surely sponsors want such viewers to be viewing stadia that are full. - Post No. 39090

Wombledin  12:20pm 10th Jul 2013

A well written article but all rather pointless as long as we keep achieving a third or fourth place finish and mere CL qualification. As long as that keeps occurring then Clouseau has a job for life under silent Stan and Gazidass. - Post No. 39091

John Gooner  13:05pm 10th Jul 2013

A good article and a real antidote to the SR blog. Personally I do not feel much angst about this transfer window. I feel that it is down to Wenger and Gazidis to prove to us that they are fit for the job. If they fail to make the signings that are required, then hopefully it will hasten their exit and hail a new era of optimism at Arsenal. If they do make the signings, wash out the nonsense and mount a genuine challenge, then great, I will eat my words and go back to enjoying the gooner experience. - Post No. 39092

40SomethingGooner  13:12pm 10th Jul 2013

Great article Sir. I can't remember being quite so fed up in the summer - IF the press reports are true re: Rooney and recently Suarez it all feels like complete desparation as a result of the Higuain deal clogging up. With Liverpool and the spuds strenghtening their squads it feels like the Arse is moving backwards before we have even kicked a ball ! I fear if we don't make some signings in the next 2 to 3 weeks we will really struggle .....not sure I will want to splash out on 'A' category tickets this season... - Post No. 39093

maguiresbridge gooner  13:27pm 10th Jul 2013

The silliest season for some time ? i don't think so just more of the same,maybe it's just different for others who have finally woken up.None of us really know whats going on at the club Peter but most of us can make a very good guess along with what we see and witness on the pitch and that's certainly given us plenty to write about over the last eight seasons but not much to celebrate, although like you mention there are others who celebrate every year and probably still are.I don't know about the natives splitting again more like coming together as i've already mentioned with some having finally woken up,but one things for sure if ogl doesn't do what we all know needs to be done this summer there will be a hell of a lot bigger coming together than there is now.Wenger hasn't been a wily old fox for a long time now, not against opposition on the pitch anyway, but TKOS is certainly on top of his game with his spin trails.Good article Peter with a lot of effort to keep everybody happy which it did, especially with the last paragraph, but i can't help seeing an akb in there or maybe an ex one, and i'm not criticicing for being either. - Post No. 39094

billthered  14:59pm 10th Jul 2013

Well I finally done something about my frustrations with our club and not renewed my season ticket.It looks as if what Gazadis said was as usual total spin.Would it not be better for all concerned to have done business early so players can bed in with pre season training under way and players getting used to new surroundings and dressing room banter.It's going to feel strange to me come match days but I've made a stand and there's no going back.Last thought though I was always under the impression that we had a long waiting list but I have been bombarded with e mails from the club giving me more time to renew,all have fell on deaf ears. - Post No. 39095

Fozzy's mate  18:57pm 10th Jul 2013

What is ironic is that no matter how often in turns out to be spin Mr Self Sustainable/smole and mirrors manages to hoodwink so many every window. The message is spat out by the propaganda machine "arsenal are the big spenders". Some hope in vain that we will be but ignore the small print "Arsene doesn't go by price tags" and history. As the eurozone bail out fund grows even those who still believe the bloated balance will be spent on the team may lose interest as we all watch our cash reserves match that of FIFA. - Post No. 39096

johnnyh  19:04pm 10th Jul 2013

if we do buy higuain wenger will probably stick him out on the left wing! the manager is a conman.we should stop deluding ourselves,why the hell would any top class player want to play for us when the clubs only ambition is fourth place? WENGER,GAZIDIS AND KROENKE OUT NOW! - Post No. 39097

maguiresbridge gooner  20:43pm 10th Jul 2013

Fozzy's mate, yes how does he manage to do it, are arsenal fans really that gullible,or is TKOS a hypnotist as well, that when ever he speaks or tells them something he puts them into a trance and they believe him, then when all the season tickets are nicely renewed he clicks his fingers and they all wake up only to have forgotten everything, and say ah well definitely next season. Thankfully more and more fans are refusing to be hypnotised but others still remain in a trance and haven't woken up. - Post No. 39098

Arthur Pink  20:49pm 10th Jul 2013

Good balanced article, however you must learn that you must only talk negative about anything Arsenal on this site otherwise you will be engulfed by the nominal gloomer gooners, with their it must be my way or I'm off to sulk and no trophies no show brigade. - Post No. 39099

Joe S.  21:25pm 10th Jul 2013

Well let's look at the positives Arthur. We finished above the Spuds and so far haven't lost any players. But hey the dark clouds are setting in and me thinks nobody might want those players at this stage. As for the quality of the team we have and the direction it's heading, theres very little to say until the season kicks in. As for me I don't expect anything but it would be nice to see our club at least trying. - Post No. 39100

declan burke  23:17pm 10th Jul 2013

statistically we had the second best defensive record in the league ? ? ? Fine, but the fact for me is that in 35 years following the Arsenal, our defensive performance over the last few seasons was at times desperate, and at all times inconsistent. The most important statistic linked to ARSENAL now is that we have gone 8 years with no silverware, why ? because we couldn't or wouldn't invest in the right calibre of player to achieve success, will that change in the next few weeks ? we are told it will, but I like many fellow gooners have no longer any faith in Wenger and his board. Another trophyless season beckons - now that's a fact. - Post No. 39101

Block G Gooner  23:21pm 10th Jul 2013

Is anyone else beginning to regret renewing their season ticket.....or is it just me??????. - Post No. 39102

Reality Bites  0:53am 11th Jul 2013

Things looking very quiet. I believe it is possible that some running the club are trying to coax wenger into spending, remember Ivan's recent words should they come back to haunt him. The trouble is, even if Ivan does have such noble intentions, we know never to underestimate wengers desire and ability to kill a deal. Wenger would break off from anything to do with higuain and sign the likes of 2 goal loic remy in a heart beat, maybe he is just keeping that from a few at the moment. The Daily Hill Wood did recently mention the board were trying to discourage wenger from signing remy in favour of more ambitious targets. If we really are after top players, wenger must be kept well away, his first role should be greeting them to the club. Anything else, and the likes of sonogo, remy if his little legal situation gets sorted and maybe even Barry will be all we get...if we are lucky. I was told he had to be forcibly stopped from signing hoilett in the not too distant past. Does his ambition know no limits? - Post No. 39103

maguiresbridge gooner  9:08am 11th Jul 2013

Yiannis, recycled reproduced rumors,speculation and lies,a perfect description of what's been going on at Arsenal for the last eight seasons. - Post No. 39104

JAMIE  9:45am 11th Jul 2013

Can someone tell me why they think Arsenal have a divine right to always be winning trophies, then I will pick to pieces your ridiculous arguments. - Post No. 39105

Endless, Nameless  9:59am 11th Jul 2013

Block G Gooner: not me mate! - I smelt a massive rat when the Rooney rumours started round about the last week in May - you know, about a fortnight before ST renewal deadline day. Then the Higuan rumour started. Then the Cesc ones. I greeted all of them with deep suspicion - We just don't make those sort of signings anymore. Then the Sanogo rumours broke and my reaction was "that's more like it", and loans behold that deal was closed out very quickly. As for the others (if they are/were even for real) it's been far too long now and I cannot see anything or anyone of their ilk joining us now. That said I will be very pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. One good thing though if we start the season with the current squad - Wenger and Gazidis will have nowhere to hide and no excuses when the first wheels fall off the wagon. - Post No. 39106

Stroud Green Road Boy  10:11am 11th Jul 2013

JAMIE, what has your comment got to do with a debate on transfer speculation? Did you read the article and the ensuing comments? And there is a big difference between wanting the club to use the resources at their disposal to attempt to compete for trophies, and believing they have a 'divine right' to do so. - Post No. 39107

JAMIE  10:32am 11th Jul 2013

@SGRB. Just waking people up a bit. I did read the article and thought it pretty fair though the more accurate articles do tend to bring out the worst in the negative posters. Spending resources is fine though just chasing big names to keep the fickle fans happy and keep in with the Chelsea and Man City way is wrong Arsenal have never been about that. - Post No. 39108

Bard  10:44am 11th Jul 2013

Good article Peter. The problem for the faithful is our belief in hope over reality. We need and hope for a change. But there hasn't been any sign of that over the last 5-8 seasons, so why do we hope cling onto that hope now. I've posted before this transfer speculation is just that. The truth is as you say Peter Wenger is sadly a busted flush. He is not capable of changing. I agree it's one more season and he will go.y - Post No. 39109

John Gooner  10:47am 11th Jul 2013

Jamie, we have a divine right to expect our club to TRY to win trophies. No one can complain if you do everything in your power to win and fall short. Do you personally believe Arsenal have done everything in their power over the last 10 years? Pick that apart please... - Post No. 39110

Stroud Green Road Boy  11:03am 11th Jul 2013

Jamie, you are a football executive's dream fan - charge you top dollar, yet you believe it's 'wrong' to go for top players. What do you think it should be spent on then? More bonuses for Gazidis and Wenger? - Post No. 39111

JAMIE  11:36am 11th Jul 2013

@John Gooner.You quoted 'Everything in their power' That's a non sequitur if ever I heard one, would you care to define what you mean by that. @SGRB. So why are all these so called gooners who don't attend anymore whinging about Arsenal not buying top players, as by your reasoning only those who pay top dollar deserve top players. - Post No. 39112

maguiresbridge gooner  11:42am 11th Jul 2013

JAMIE, can someone tell me who has ever SAID we have a divine right to always be winning trophies, i certainly have never read it on here. - Post No. 39113

Rob  12:10pm 11th Jul 2013

A very well written piece Peter. But as always with the modern 'Arsenal' it's a case of plenty of hype from Gazedis and thus far zero achievement in the transfer market at least for incoming players. Although I take the point about pruning the deadwood. But who was and is responsible for all that deadwood ? Bendtner didn't write his own contract. Gervino didn't sign himself. The blunt truth is that since Dein left we haven't been able to put a big transfer together and are brushed aside with ease, if any 'target' is also targeted by another Club. Mata is the obvious example there. Dein isn't irreplaceable but he has not been replaced - and there's a clear distinction between the two. But you are right, this is Wenger's last chance. If he continue to dither and come kick off Sanogo is our only input, he'll have no place left to hide. Even the supine elements of Arsenal's fan base, will surely not put up with that. - Post No. 39114

Stroud Green Road Boy  12:15pm 11th Jul 2013

No Jamie, that's not my 'reasoning', or rather my point, at all. People are increasingly stopping going because they don't like being mugs whose money is taken and then not invested back into the playing squad. Your 'Arsenal have never been about that' line illustrates you've fallen for the spin coming out of the club, this 'we don't buy stars, we make them' sort of spiel which I'll translate for you: 'We don't invest your cash, we keep it'. - Post No. 39115

Der Projekt ist Kaput  12:37pm 11th Jul 2013

Jamie: You are correct in saying that Arsenal - like every other team in the world - do not have a divine right to win trophies. But a club like Arsenal should at least be a CONTENDER for trophies, particularly major ones. We're not even that and I for one cannot see that changing for as long as we have (to coin a suitable phrase) a busted flush like Wenger as manager and a club owner like Kroenke who looks at lining his own pockets over everything else. - Post No. 39116

JAMIE  12:39pm 11th Jul 2013

@SGRB. So what your basically saying is Arsenal charging high entrance fees-top dollar (which are no different to other London clubs) is not right unless trophies are being won. Though if Arsenal charge less to watch them and give away merchandise for peanuts then it's ok to not win anything. Though it's ok if you have a rich owner who bungs in his billions made by foul means, then charging more money for entrance fees and merchandise etc, is totally acceptable. Are you sure about that. - Post No. 39117

Stroud Green Road Boy  12:54pm 11th Jul 2013

Again, no Jamie, I'm not saying that at all. It's not right unless they are using all resources and doing all the can to TRY and win trophies. I shouldn't really need to spell that out for you again. And I don't know where you got the rest of your comment from, certainly nothing I've said or believe. You're either deliberately misinterpreting or are actually unable to follow what I and others are saying. Either way there is no point in debating further with you. - Post No. 39118

John Gooner  14:19pm 11th Jul 2013

Jamie, SGRB says it all really. You know what 'everything in their power means', you're just being wilfully ignorant to illustrate your point. Just in case I will spell it out for you - by 'everything in their power' I mean spending all of the funds that are available (for strengthening the squad) on strengthening the squad, it means showing the requisite ambition to keep the stars that we have 'made'. By 'ambition' I mean actually selling them a real plan for winning trophies, matching their ambitions with contracts which reflect their market worth, saying 'no' to Barca once in a while, not selling our best player and captain to Manchester United. Are any of these things ringing a bell for you? - Post No. 39119

garyfootscrayaustralia  15:32pm 11th Jul 2013

I see Jamie's back. Happy days. Meanwhile, back in the real world, it's evident that Michael Laudrup has no problems at all identifying and signing players. Maybe he could give our club's transfer team some tips. - Post No. 39120

DW Thomas  17:39pm 11th Jul 2013

If you dont agree that Arsenal, given our wage bill, ticket prices, stadium, history, and potential should be winning things or at least competing for first not fourth each season, then you dont have that winning desire as a fan imo. Sure, support the team through thicknand thin, but do not accept decisions like selling Rvp to your rivals and then watch him win his title. That among all the terrible other choices our club recently made have been utterly ridiculous. If Wenger had maintained more competitive seasons like 07-08 where we had a very good run and almost won, i could have more patience. But his continued failure repeating the same mistakes again and again has withered away my support for him. This summer is his last shot at repairing the damage he has allowed these last 8 seasons. - Post No. 39121

NW 68  20:19pm 11th Jul 2013

I would like to try and discribe Arsenals transfer policy in a slightly different way. One day i walk past a car showroom and sitting there is a Ferrari. I walk in the showroom and ask how much. The dealer tells me 100000 pounds. I say i don't value the car at that much and offer 50000 pounds. That night i'm down the pub and tell my mate i'm buying a Ferrari. Two days later i walk into the showroom and talk to the dealer and offer 50500. Again the answer is no. This goes on for a few weeks and i keep popping in and increase my offer. My final offer is 52500. the dealer explains he can move slightly on the price to say, 95000. I again explain i don't value the car at that price and the deal falls through. I go down the pub that evening and explain to my mate i couldn't buy the car as we couldn't strike a deal. My mate now believes i was buying the car but i was just unlucky. I then go out and buy a kit car version of the Ferrari for 10000 pounds. I explain to everyone it was better value and if i spend enough money it will be a Ferari. I know it won't in truth, but if i say it eenough times someone will eventualy believe me. I then charge people 2000 pounds to hire it and then i'm amazed when people start to complain and know one wants to hire it. I've bought some awful cars over the last 8 years and i keep doing it. - Post No. 39122

Block G Gooner  21:36pm 11th Jul 2013

Endless, Nameless, I have to admit I agree with you mate! I feel like a total mug at the moment and the more articles I read about Suarez, Ronney etc the more stupid I feel. As if Wenger and his cronies will spend money like that on top level players, they think we are all stupid and I have to admit that's how I feel currently. This is a blatant smoke screen before they trot out all the same old lame excuses around why they have only signed two third rate players from the French wilderness. Too painful to carry in typing....... - Post No. 39123

Kevin Kong  22:02pm 11th Jul 2013

This is probably completely Academic now, but 1 Million years ago last Saturday when the Higuain deal was meant to have gone through it was quoted in the Mail that he was going to be signed on a `3 year` deal. 23 mil for a 3 year deal? Does that sound in any way either realistic or wise? It just made me suspicious- like this whole thing has been set up to fail. - Post No. 39124

Ron  22:13pm 11th Jul 2013

NW - Dont forget to tell people a year or two later how hard you tried to get that Ferrari and very nearly did and how close you were. Oh and wear a smug grin when you tell the story, preferably in the company of the guy who did actually buy it! - Post No. 39125

Ron  22:26pm 11th Jul 2013

Block G - Don't feel like that matey. We've all been there. Its the Arsenal FC spin machine plus the power of the written press that dupes us all.Its very deceptive. Learn to laugh at it and Arsenal. If you don't, you're allowing them to control you. These football clubs, all of them aren't deserving of any respect and nor is football generally. Its just celeb culture dressed up as sport gone mad. The bosses and owners are just impresarios, chavs and spivs really who aren't bothered a monkeys by you as a fan. The days of clubs retaining the loyalty of long term fans are rapidly disappearing as older fans drift away. Those in the game are too stupid to see whats the end result will be. Laugh at them. Go to a game just when it suits you and learn to be open minded about the qualities of other teams. Its far better, you care less and it just flows over you. I wish id have learned this years ago. Id have saved a packet. I've learned it now and its very liberating. - Post No. 39126

JAMIE  22:50pm 11th Jul 2013

In the last eight years Arsenal's average finish has been 3.6 they have at best had the 4th highest resources sometimes lower. They have reached a champions league final, plus always qualified for the knockout stages. Regularly been in the title contention up until the latter weeks of season. Been in 2 league cup finals and numerous other semi-finals. Plus they have easily played the most entertaining football in England. Even though not as good as Wengers early years but still not awful. When Arsenal start to win things again the traitors will come out of their cloisters to share in our glory. Though the true Arsenal fans will remind them how pathetic and spineless they were when the team really needed them. - Post No. 39127

underacheiver  23:57pm 11th Jul 2013

LOL!! Well done Jamie. Keep taking that Prozac. - Post No. 39128

Steve Williams  1:05am 12th Jul 2013

Jamie not sure why someone as balanced as you needs Prozac but unfortunately that is the nature of this forum. A mixture of closet spurs fans and gooners who have long made up their mind. Not sure either are worthy of your valid opinions - Post No. 39129

JAMIE  2:57am 12th Jul 2013

@JAMIE Yes, the club has fiinished roughly where it 'should' in the League if we are looking at finances alone. So why does the board, Arsene, and deluded fans spout this as some kind of brilliant success? Lets look at some of the other things you said. Yes, in the last eight years we have failed to win a single domestic cup - this is correct, often even failing against lower league teams and soon to be relegated teams because of poor player motivation/team selection. In Wengers 15 years of CL qualification we have only come close to winning it one ONE occasion. That game against Barcelona will be remembered by Arsenal fans in years to come. Every other failed campaign will be of interest only to the finance department/bank manager. Talk up the last 8years all you like, but the only fact that really matters to a football fan is we have won Jack **** in that time. And that is partly brcause we have been severely under investing in the squad compared to our rivals, and relative to what is necessary to fight on ALL fronts in this highly comopetitive era. All we are asking is that we spend the money available in a competent manner. Not underpaying our star players overpaying rubbish, and panic buying on the last day of transfer windows when the players cannot possibly integrate in time for the new campaign. - Post No. 39130

Peter Wain  8:04am 12th Jul 2013

Surely with our resources we should at least be competing to win trophies. My main complaint is that we are not competing to win anything and only are interested in 4 place. Whilst other clubs have had more cash we have spent a lot of our money on technically poor players and overpaid them If our transfer policy had been to buy top top quality which is what Wenger always says we would have purchased less but would have been able to compete for the league. Not necessarily win it but compete for it. - Post No. 39131

Fozzy's mate  8:58am 12th Jul 2013

Gazidis and Wenger have publicly judged success by finishing in the top 4 with a negative net spend in recent years. But as the cash reserves increase, sponsorship deals are renewed and the 2 years Gazidis says will see us being able to compete with everyone slips by this is a non existent argument. My first JG season ticket was 25 quid in 1986 now it costs 950. In the late 90s we were signing Wiltord for 13 million, 15 yrs later our big signings are of that value. Given what we spend we've done well but my criticism is that we don't use our resources. I don't think it will change with this regime at the helm. - Post No. 39132

JAMIE  9:56am 12th Jul 2013

Wenger has consistently produced great teams who play the game it is supposed to be played with flair and fairness. Not just buying success and playing dull anti-football as Man Utd, Chelsea and City have produced for the majority of their successes. Wenger saw that to compete with the money sides Arsenal had to move to a larger stadium, people love to moan about ticket prices but if Arsenal had stayed at Highbury they would have had to be even higher to compete and would be criticised for not moving. If Wenger had been on a level playing field with the other top managers he would easily out perform them as he showed in the past. The trouble with most fans on this site is they are blinkered with a sensationalist modern society 'give it me all now approach' forever navel gazing and speculating and believing what their carnal minds tell them. WAKE UP! and smell the coffee. - Post No. 39133

Top Gunner  9:58am 12th Jul 2013

Not sure if anyone picked this up. If you do a Google search, Gonzalo Higuain comes up as an Argentinian #9 forward and (wait for it) an Arsenal FC player. Check it out. - Post No. 39134

Endless, Nameless  10:30am 12th Jul 2013

NW 68 - brilliant analogy! Only you missed the bit where you go back to the dealership the day before they close for the Autumn to be told that a nice russian gentleman from the Kings Road has bought the Ferrari at the "list price". You then publicly that the Ferrari "was not available" to save face. Trouble is everyone already knows the truth. - Post No. 39135

nilz21  11:45am 12th Jul 2013

@ Jamie Under ferguson of late man utd hav'nt actually spent much more then us. Last season there wages were only 10 million more then ours..also your argument that man utd play boring football is foolish and flawed.Man utd have always played great football with the addition of being decisive and ruthless in the final 3rd unlike us. They have a massive revenue base and invest it back into there team. Their debt its easily managable because of there commercial revnue as ours now should be. Regarding wenger and level playing field is childish and naive football has changed and so should wenger with it. Cant have the same approach as 90's and then complain when you dam near have the resources at hand to compete with the best teams, who are in the same revenue bracket as you. And the claim of him out performing other managers is laughable as he does'nt even have a champions league medal. Your not a top manager until you have one of these on cv. Your the type of naive so called fan that in 2006 was saying its fine to take apart a experienced team and focus on youth. Cant spend because we are paying of a stadium. When that youth project was showing signs of flaws in 2008 you were saying they will come good just be patient..then watch us go ..when the majority of that youth project finally showed the world they were **** i.e denilson and bendter the line was wait till financial play kicks in. News to you financial fair play will in reality never kick in ..too many loop holes. Now we can sit on our own in the football world under the we are better and higher and mightier then everyone else..OR we can go back to being the club we were before wenger hijacked us to suit his own over inflated ego. We were the 2nd most successful team in english football based upon league titles in 1995. Man utd equaled it in 1996. SO we did exist before Wenger and were successful before he came..George Graham made us a name in europe by winning trophies before Wenger came along. Bottom line we are now producing enough self sustained money to compete with the best for the best. There is no more excuses of a brighter day tomorrow. Your ' patient ' looks like it will happily wait forever and fail to grasp the facts in front of your face. 8 years without a trophy does not cut it for a clubs that's know producing the revenue we are. And I wont even bring up the humiliation suffered by arsenal fans under Wenger in the past 8 years. Humiliation that would not have been tolerated at any of the top clubs that you claim would love to have Wenger. He's got it easy at arsenal because of fans like you which is why he'll renew his contract. Easy money. Any other top club he'd been shown up for his outdated methods in the 1st season. - Post No. 39136

DW Thomas  13:02pm 12th Jul 2013

Here's an example of why other teams value success more than us. Not saying that's the way to go, but...you can only fail for so long in my book before change is necessary, a rethink, new ideas. Mancini wins the league, then loses the FA cup and is out next season after failing on all fronts. Wow, i agree. Yet, Wenger wins nothing for 8 years, has several embarassing losses to teams, loses the CC final ridiculously, and all is well? By any rational mind, we as fans should at least be heavily questioning and criticizing the club at every step till success occurs. If we did have that Ferrari ( think Arsenal pre 2006) shouldn't we maintain it, replace old parts with good new ones, shine it up, etc., etc? The club is being run purely for financial success first, trophies second and that to me is where the true issue lies. - Post No. 39137

WeAreBuildingATeamToContaminate  13:03pm 12th Jul 2013

"JAMIE @09.56: Wenger has consistently produced great teams who play the game it is supposed to be played with flair and fairness. " Jesus wept mate what have you been watching for the last 4/5 seasons? Our play during that time has been awful on numerous occasions. Still, keep on with the faith man you are just the kind of fan that Ivan and his cronies want at E******S Stadium. Peter Le Beau - very good article. Every close season a big name is aired, and we end up with.................. - Post No. 39138

ApolloGooner  13:32pm 12th Jul 2013

Peter – excellent piece sir! - Post No. 39139

CanadaGooner  13:37pm 12th Jul 2013

@Peter Le Beau: I salute you sir! Excellent article. The poll you mentioned further underlines the fact that Arsenal followership is now probably 30% long-term fans (i.e. 20+ years of following the club) and 70% Wenger-era fans. I can further assure you (and agree with your sentiments), that in the final day of the transfer deadline window, Wenger will try to complete some last-minute deals in order to get the lowest price for players the selling clubs want rid of anyway (similar to the ones he's bought in recent years). The Arsenal board are not interested in improving the team's performance on the pitch, infact, they are quite content with where we're at, and as such, only a FOOL, will expect us to do any better this season. As some of us have pointed out quite a few times now, the only way we will win anything this season, is if Wenger wants a new contract and decides to win something in order to further pull the wool over the eyes of the 70% he currently controls (and perhaps add another 10% of the fans who are currently anti-wenger). We are indeed, in a HOPELESS situation, an must wait for this mess to play itself out before Arsenal can return to winning or atleast being competitive. - Post No. 39140

ApolloGooner  13:43pm 12th Jul 2013

JAMIE@ 9.56 - Wenger's teams play the game how it is supposed to be played do they? You seem to be interested in the divine right thing ... so what gives you the divine right to say that is how football should be played? - Post No. 39141

MARCUS  13:44pm 12th Jul 2013

Wenger is a busted flush. I for one have been calling for his sacking since 2009. He is way past it and needs to go and take kronke with him, oh yeah also Gazidis thanks - Post No. 39142

JAMIE  13:49pm 12th Jul 2013

Your all the medias anti Arsenal bitches. No originality just all coming out with the same old tired arguments, too much listening to Adrian Durham, Stewart Robson and all those other loud mouth fools. The blind leading the blind and all falling into the ditch. - Post No. 39143

Alan Aylesbury Gooner  13:52pm 12th Jul 2013

Excellent article and like the 81.23% in the gooner poll i do think that Wenger will not pay the going rate to get the quality we need. Anyway yesterday afternoon I got a call from a very nice girl at the Arsenal wanting to know if I would be interested in a season ticket for the forthcoming season. I said there must be some mistake as when I last checked the waiting list I was some 22,000 or so down the list, wishing I could get my £15 back there was no mistake she said. A sad state of affairs but also very understandable. - Post No. 39144

CT Gooner  14:07pm 12th Jul 2013

@ Jamie: I appreciate you trying to get a discussion going, but when I try to understand the counter arguments you make, I'm left wondering why you support Arsene FC over Arsenal FC? You'll say that's my interpretation, but it feels to me that many of arsene's flaws are ignored and I'm very interested to know why? I'm referring to tactical ineptitude, playing favorite players, unwise use of limited resources. Yes, we all recognize the resources are limited, but does that give our manager a free pass for replacing clichy with santos and signing other second rate players he never plays.... - Post No. 39145

Jan  14:10pm 12th Jul 2013

@Alan A Gooner.Not the old ticket waiting list lie. Whatever next will the AAA try. - Post No. 39146

Mkherd89  14:26pm 12th Jul 2013

will this site lighten up,so ****ing miserable - Post No. 39147

ApolloGooner  14:31pm 12th Jul 2013

JAMIE, (or anyone else for that matter), what is your view on our manager taking a £7.5m salary from a club with the financial restrictions you regularly like to remind us of? Surely a man of Wenger's integrity would be willing to accept somewhat less than this during these so-called tough times - even if it was just as a gesture to show that it isn't just fans who are making sacrifices? But he doesn't. In fact over the long period where there has been a severe lack of investment in the squad, the employees of the club (the ones who make these key decisions) have made no personal or professional sacrifices whatsoever. On the contrary they have all made huge personal gains ... at the expense of the supporters. To me and I'm sure others, Wenger, Gazidis etc. look like self-serving hypocrites for taking the extortionate salaries and bonuses they do while at the same time preaching financial prudence. - Post No. 39148

nilz21  14:38pm 12th Jul 2013

@ApolloGooner excellent points. Grazidiz and wenger both get bonuses for arsenal getting 4th place. Sums the ambition up - Post No. 39149

Siggi 1990  15:01pm 12th Jul 2013

@ Mkherd89 - most sensible thing anyone has put on here. And I mean ever. - Post No. 39150

Ron  15:31pm 12th Jul 2013

Jamie - Youve fallen into the trap of believing that Arsenal really are a prudent, 'self sustaining' Club and that Wengers preaching about other Clubs 'financial doping' and how FFP is wonderful etc somehow really does give him and Arsenal the moral highground. The facts show its all a big myth. The Club makes a profit only by selling its best players. Take that away and the financial landscape there is pretty ordinary. Arsenal are essentially a prodution line for the real game players in football, pretty much like Ajax, but Arsenal are too gutless to admit it to their fans. Instead they keep you beguiled by false promises and tempt you every year with sweets yet all youre gonna get is vinegar. Arsenals spending on wages is obscene and very much so spent on players who the manager is too frightened to use as theyre liabilities. You might need them naming, most dont, we know who they are and there are lots of them. Hes spent shed loads on high and low priced duds and has done for years. There have been many buys in total when fewer buys of better quality would have reaped dividends on the pitch. Wenger is cluless in the transfer market and has convinced himself that hes such a great coach that he can make a silk purse from a sows ear. He did once or twice but he cant now. His 'project youth' failed abysmally and his 'project make do and mend' is also failing. In that poor EPL, getting 4th every season isnt so difficult once you by pass Spurs and hes convinced you and others plus the board that its a miracle. That its believed by the Board is beacuse they know little of football and its suits their limited ambition. Thats its believed by you Arsene supporters is due to you knowing no better and being hoodwinked into thinking that the Clubs self imposed glass ceiling is unbreakable. You deserve to be charged top whack for tickets and Season tickets and the rip off charges the Club makes in that glass bowl for your sheer stupidity in not being willing to question what youre getting for your cash (if you actually do go to games which i have some doubts). Many of us who do challenge the Club do go to games, that why we make a noise. The Board loves your type though so hey ho youre happy. They laugh their nuts off you at the same time though.Best advice to you seeing as you come on here all condescending and taking to task any views other than your own is that you really ought to smell your own coffee. Your blind allegiance to the regime at the Club is utterly predictable amongst fans whove only known Wenger and smacks of the fear of change. Arsenal existed long before it became the EPL s version of the French Republic and will be there long after Wengers slung his hook.The facts are that the Club has failed for getting on 9 years. What they have 'achieved' is their definition of achievment only.In beteenn there has been a lot of embrrrassment on the pitch that many of us were there to witness. Hes should have had gone after the 8-2 mauling at OT in truth. For such a Club as Arsenal to take that was totally unacceptable. For him it was hardly a blip on his deluded Wenger richter scale. Thats what the Club are now. Also rans. Youre happy, We re not but i tell yu now, that Club wont be challenging for the top pots under Wenger and this Board. They dont want to challenge. The pressure would see them off and the people Wenger needs in his dressing room wouldnt idly swallow all that Wenger preaches, like good choir boys. Thats why there are no such players in there,its not due totally to cash constraints. The whole Club is a cozy holiday camp for the 2nd rated, top to bottom. - Post No. 39151

Canterbury Gooner  15:39pm 12th Jul 2013

Jan, a lie? I've asked the box office and they said there's been a massive shift in numbers. Hundreds of people have said the same thing, about being offered season tickets when previously being so far down the list. - Post No. 39152

Alan Aylesbury Gooner  15:44pm 12th Jul 2013

@Jan please excuse my ignorance but what does AAA stand for? - Post No. 39153

maguiresbridge gooner  15:48pm 12th Jul 2013

Ron, well said mate you've saved a lot of fans the bother. - Post No. 39154

UB10  16:56pm 12th Jul 2013

Wow Ron! Harsh but fair. Old Nescafe Jamie should have got the message. - Post No. 39160

NW68  18:37pm 12th Jul 2013

Ron. I agree with everything you say. I think being an Arsenal supporter for 40+ years you realise that the club will go on. Maybe some of the younger supporters who have only known Wenger are just worried of change. Maybe Jamie is one of those supporters. I'm sorry Jamie but i just can't agree with your point of view. - Post No. 39163

Jan  20:34pm 12th Jul 2013

@Alan Aysbury. AAA Stands for Anti Arsenal Arsenal well known saying on the pro Arsenal sites. So called Arsenal fans who dominate the forums only with negatives they can think of against Arsenal. These are the people who are trying to ruin our great club. Many of them are supporters of other teams while some are backers of Usmanov and continuously try to discredit the board and the manager. Some sadly are just boring old farts who have been Arsenal fans since the 60's but just love being negative and have always been poor fans. I know of one particular pro Arsenal site who managed to weed them out completely, true gooners won't tolerate their sort. - Post No. 39173

JAMIE  21:08pm 12th Jul 2013

Ron when are you and your like ever ever going to stop your constant slagging of about everything Arsenal. They should have a special section at the Emerites called the 'No Fun Zone' where you and your mates like Big Andy, Mark, Nilz,40something, fozzy's mate, Maguirebridge, Stroud, billthereddevil and the rest of you half wits can slag off Arsenal and praise up Manure and the Spuds and talk about the great Arsenal sides you were watching/slagging of back in the 60's and 70's when you for the most part supported only when you felt like it. - Post No. 39174

ApolloGooner  21:08pm 12th Jul 2013

Jan @ 20.34 The OnlineGooner is a Pro-Arsenal site just like every other Arsenal site is. What a ridiculous thing to infer that some sites are pro-Arsenal and some are not. We all follow Arsenal and want Arsenal to be successful. Why cant some people distinguish between criticism of INDIVIDUALS (i.e. people who just work at the club) and criticism of the club itself? Many Arsenal fans believe the continued presence of Wenger and co. is detrimental to the clubs fortunes. I am one of them. We want them out so that the club can progress. How on earth is that being Anti-Arsenal or in any way similar to how fans of opposition clubs behave? To think supporting a club means to pretend everything is rosy and that everyone working there is doing an acceptable job is almost childlike in its simplicity. But it seems some fans expect everyone to be like this. Really it is quite ridiculous. - Post No. 39175

MARCUS  23:27pm 12th Jul 2013

WOW. There seems to be alot of deluded wenger fanboys out there who still keep sticking their head in the sand smh. These are the folks that are keeping wenger and co in the job smh. Look when people who criticize wenger and co we are called NON ARSENAL SUPPORTERS lool. LOOK FOLKS THIS IS ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB NOT ARSENE FC. We as fans have the right to say what we like and if that hurts your feeling so be it. We will not be taken for mugs where you can charge the highest tickets in the country to finish 4th sorry that is a piss take. - Post No. 39178

JAMIE  8:55am 13th Jul 2013

Marcus. You've fallen for the lie that Arsenal charge the highest ticket prices. Arsenal charge £1900 for their most expensive season tickets and that includes 26 games. Spurs charge £1800 for 19 games.(I will let you do the maths).Also Arsenal's cheapest ticket which you all conveniently overlook is some £11 cheaper than Chelsea and is also cheaper than Spurs and West Ham, so there goes another AAA myth. Also most of the people who buy the dearer tickets are what you would call AKB's and if their happy to pay what's the problem. Plus if you look at the fact that Arsenal have 43,000 season ticket holders and over 40,000 on the waiting list, while Chelsea have 25,000 season ticket holders and none on the waiting list, please tell me why a team who wins things so often has so little interest in people watching them. Could it not be in reality most people look at the Chelsea way as a bit fake and not worth backing. - Post No. 39182

Alan Aylesbury Gooner  19:46pm 13th Jul 2013

@ Jan: Thanks for getting back to me, but believe me when I say I am not anti-Arsenal have been a supporter since the 70's so not quite an old fart then not that it should matter when someone started supporting the club. I and many more on this site genuinely care about our club so just because u don't agree with what is said does not make us anti-Arsenal. PS. Thanks to Apollo Gooner for your comment. - Post No. 39197

maguiresbridge gooner  23:06pm 13th Jul 2013

Alan Aylesbury Gooner, it all boils down to the fact that whoever isn't a wengerite,and doesn't worship their messiah then you cant be a true arsenal supporter. - Post No. 39202

ApolloGooner  0:21am 14th Jul 2013

@ Alan Aylesbury Gooner and Maguiresbridge Gooner - You know what's funny guys? Those of us who criticise the job club employees are doing are regularly accused of not being real fans. Or even worse, accused of being fans of opposition clubs going on to Arsenal websites to slate the club. However, ... last season both Spurs and Chelsea fans were clearly heard chanting ''Arsene Wenger, we want you to stay''. So if there is one group of Arsenal fans behaving like Spurs and Chelsea fans it certainly isn't those of us who Wenger to leave is it?! - Post No. 39204

Spectrum  11:14am 14th Jul 2013

Marcus - You're right. Paying the highest ticket prices in the country to finish fourth, is, of course, a piss take. But the EVEN BIGGER piss take is Wenger being offered ( and likely accepting ) a new contract. That is not only disgraceful, but shameful too. But I could see this coming, as it's plain that the board are happy for their bagman to keep the profits rolling in, whilst throwing scraps off the table for the gullible sychophants like Jan, Jamie e.t.c. to gratefully lap up. There is so much wrong at this club, yet the closeted and ignorant A.K.B.'s think that everything is just fine and that we only need to "keep faith" with Wenger and he will lead us out of the wilderness we have been aimlessly wandering in for going on nine years now. I honestly think they're dimwits. How else can you explain their lack of awareness of the problems that are manifest at the club, and the root causes of them ? And worse - their evident indifference to do anything about them ? They are all under the spell of the cult of Wenger. It's like they all have "Stockholm syndrome" - a phenomenon where victims grow to love and bond with their captor, even despite their being abused. Eventually they are so emotionally attached to that captor that they refuse to be parted from him. Fear of change does that to you. The only way things WILL change is when the board and manager do. But it appears the Arsenal establishment is digging in to become more entrenched than ever. No wonder we realists have lost hope and are so disenchanted with our future prospects. What a sad small thinking club we've become. Content to reward failure with even more of it. And the A.K.B.'s quite happy to go along for the ride ( or should that be "taken for a ride.") ? Is it any wonder then, that - "In Arsene we rust." - Post No. 39207

maguiresbridge gooner  14:11pm 14th Jul 2013

Apollo, yes the wengerites get to that stage pretty quick nowadays,(i wonder why) but at the end of the day we all know who the real fans are. - Post No. 39210

The Noise  12:39pm 15th Jul 2013

Jamie... We have 40,000 on the season ticket waiting list, do we? That's strange because I've heard of 3 pals being offered ST's this summer and they were 25,000th on the list only last year... Perhaps it's YOU who needs to see through the myths. - Post No. 39230

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds