Exclusive

Is This Arsenal’s Softest Ever Side?

By Dennis Star

Where is the fire and brimstone in the Gunners’ squad?

A team full of hard men that was hard to beat, managed by a tough-guy boss. That was Arsenal in the mid-80s to mid-90s when no-nonsense Scot George Graham led the side to two League titles, two European Cups and three domestic Cups.

Francis Coquelin – Not quite Peter Storey

After an adventurous playing style gave way a more pragmatic approach, built on a rock-solid defence, granite-jawed enforcers like Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Martin Keown came to the fore.

Adams had the kick of a mule - no pun intended, while Keown physically beasted opponents and, if ever the term non-nonsense defender was ever used to describe a player, then Steve Bould broke the mould. Put snarling left-back Nigel Winterburn and pugnacious, perm-haired Ray Parlour into the mix, and Arsenal were a team you took liberties with at your peril.

Comparing that team to the one under-achieving once again under Arsene Wenger is like comparing Tigers with pussycats. While the guys over at Big Free Bet fancy the Gunners to put their recent bad form behind them and beat Hull City 4-0 at the Emirates this weekend, it’s hard to find a punter who doesn’t believe their title chances have gone up in smoke following the 3-1 loss to leaders Chelsea.

Obviously modern-day rules don’t allow for hatchet men of old like Peter Storey - the yellow and red card count would be horrendous - but every team still needs a bit of fire and brimstone. When the going gets tough, as Alan Shearer alluded to in his recent column in The Sun, this Arsenal team seems incapable of rolling its sleeves up and getting stuck in.

Arsenal have been bullied off the park by less physical teams than Stoke City but it is outbursts against the Potters, for playing ‘rugby’ against goalkeepers, that are remembered best. Around that time, club legend Storey warned that the Gunners would continue to struggle while they had “a sot centre.” Unfortunately, his advice does not seem to have been heeded in the intervening seven years.

How Arsenal could have done with a bruising battler like Diego Costa upfront or a John Terry-type figure at the back, with a Kevin Nolan-esque midfielder snapping at everyone’s heels in midfield.

Instead, Arsenal have the silky skills of a Mesut Özil to drool over when the opposition is weak and the game is easy but the German regularly fails to turn up when the heat is on in the big games. Indeed, the aforementioned Keown, now a respected football pundit, recently labelled the playmaker “an expensive luxury” in his Mail on Sunday column. Francis Coquelin is arguably Arsenal’s most industrious player but his challenges are often reckless and his form of late has been a major concern.

To highlight, Arsenal’s big game-itis, they have now won just two of their last 22 matches away to top six Premier League opposition. It’s time for their under-achieving stars to put their hand up, as Tony Adams et al always used to do – and not just for offside.

9th February 2017 12:48:11

(7.5/10)

Comments and Reaction

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

NickT  13:07pm 9th Feb 2017

What I’m most sick of is hearing how we’re spoilt as Arsenal fans and that we have no divine right to win the PL or CL. Of course we don’t and these pundits and rival fans completely miss the point (at least for me they do!). I’m not moaning about the results themselves, any side can lose to any other at any time. The manner of the performances/defeats however is truly pathetic! I would rather support a technically inferior group of players who we’re obviously giving everything over this pampered group of technically gifted serial underachievers. There is no guts in this team and that is shameful……more than anything I’d just like to be proud to support them again…..and yes even if they were sh*t!!! - Post No. 103776


The Man From UNCLE  13:47pm 9th Feb 2017

Our present side is on a par with the early to mid-1980's just before GG entered the fray - good enough to beat most sides but not good enough to win the league, or even challenge. In the 35 years I've been seriously following the Reds, the stage has moved full circle. Anyone who seriously thinks football is better now than it was then is kidding themselves - though older fans who watched in the 60's and 70's may have another (valid) opinion on that. - Post No. 103777


mbg  13:55pm 9th Feb 2017

Of course it is, although it has been well pushed for the title by a few other of wengers twinkle toed little pansies, this group of wenger assembled nice smelling nice boys ? hazards goal tells and shows us all we need to know, not that we didn't know already, there's been numerous cases of meek surrender, afraid to put in a tackle, turning backs at free kicks, (from supposedly defenders too)has wally ever made a tackle ? it's different of course when a team as soft as them rolls over for them and then the bullying hard man comes out but it quickly disappears again when they come up against men. Underachieving stars to put their hand/hands up ? You have to have/had over achieving stars in the team in the first place, we don't, just soft centred nice smelling nice boys who crap themselves after one good hard tackle and would go sick up against a tony adams and his like, and second rate premadonnas who think they've arrived after years of being told they're world class by a past it old has been of a manager. wenger out. - Post No. 103778


jjetplane  14:36pm 9th Feb 2017

Not too keen on Dixon then? Always remember Dixon teaming up with Kanu on the Riverside and when he went ape **** when Ray scored in Cardiff. Wonderful to watch and tough with it. Now you get beasts like Hazard making 'the enforcer' trip over himself. - Post No. 103779


Redshirtwhitesleeves  14:40pm 9th Feb 2017

I can speak for myself and my Gooner pals and say it's nothing to do with the fact that we are not winning trophies that makes us so angry, it's the loss of our identity. We were bought up watching hard men and hard teams that gave no quarter and fought to the vey end. With the likes of Adams, keown, bould, winterburn, Steve williams, Rocky etc we must have been horrible to play against. Nowadays we are the nicest, easiest team in the world, we literally just roll over and have our tummies tickled! Players like Walcott that I truly detest who are frightened of their own shadow and not fit to wear that shirt. It all comes from the manager of course. He inherited a team of men. When he finally (if ever!) goes he will leave behind a team of little boys, bottlers and cowards. It's what he has morphed the club into in the last decade, changing the DNA of our club to the extent we might never get back the Arsenal we all knew and loved - Post No. 103780


jeff wright  14:41pm 9th Feb 2017

This current lot just about shade the softest Wengo one over his others. Fabregas would walk into the team and this says alot about Ozil and co.Next thing someone will be posting that we miss Cazorla .Oh! I forgot they already have.. You couldnt make it up. Wengo's obsession,he does tend to get rather obsessed with things, has resulted in the over-kill of technical softies that he has assembled to play his tippy-tappy pass the parcel walk the ball in the net after 40 passing moves approach to the game.GK's have for donkeys years been just a side issue for Wengo in fact he seems to treat defending as though it is irrelevant and that's why the old clueless sufferers so many humiliating defeats.For Wengo little Jack's goal against ironically Bournemouth was what he had waited 16 years for .He probably sits in a darkened room in his lonely mansion watching replays of it over and over . Bould will have had the little technicians running around cones on the training ground all week in an attempt to replicate that goal to please Monsieur Wenger's aesthetic taste. You couldnt make it up. - Post No. 103781


Paulward  14:42pm 9th Feb 2017

Probably not, was even softer when Denilson Song Fabregas and Diaby were providing the midfield "muscle". Gallas and Clichy were very weak players in that era too, and the less said about Arshavin the better. Awful times indeed,only marginally better now. - Post No. 103782


GSPM  16:07pm 9th Feb 2017

For the 1000th time the problem is Wenger . If as a player you don't yet bollxed at half time , if there is no chat, discussion raised voices when things aren't going, if there is no fear of being subbed at HT , or any tactical change , how can the players build their ruthless streak , if they are on easy street with no pressure , where does strength & bottle come from ?? Some have it within, most do not. So let's get real , until manager/ regime mentality changes the players are not to blame....just look at CFC last season, what changed - the manager , and 1 player of note Kante, the rest is history. - Post No. 103784


MAF  16:27pm 9th Feb 2017

GSPM spot on again. Blimey can you imagine what Fergy would do with our current Dressing room ? can you imagine what Viera would do ?? Cry shout scream. Wenger is the most unconvincing not passionate soft Manager in the EPL and his Players Performances reflect him ! even guardiola gets mad ! - Post No. 103785


Arseneknewbest  16:44pm 9th Feb 2017

Wengo himself is soft, patrician and physically weak so its only natural that he reflects that back in his choice of players. That childish pushing thing (the old cliche "handbags" sounds too violent to describe it!) in the tunnel with the fourth official was ridiculously lightweight and effete. Wengo doesn't do confrontation, and while in the past he was content for others to do his bidding (PV, Bergo etc.) he considers it beneath him and not consistent with his corinthian bullsh*t ideals about how the game should be played. The natural reaction if you're playing or coaching football (which still just about remains a contact sport) is to use controlled aggression to seek an advantage over the opponents. I'm in no doubt that the will to win and the ability to raise your levels aggression when needed is key to winning. It usually worked for me on Hackney Marshes, Hoxton, Holland Park and Wormwood Scrubs to name but a few. Most managers and players would agree with that except our very own chihuahua of doom. How's this for an all-time XI who took no nonsense: Lehmann, Winterburn, TA, Frank McLintock, Viv Anderson, Rocky (Wrighty described him in his recent book as a genuine hard man), Steve Williams, Stefan Schwartz (one of the best tacklers I ever saw), PV, Wrighty, Bergo. And I'd have Storey on the bench in case it got even more tasty! Guest manager Neil Warnock... - Post No. 103786


JMascis666  16:51pm 9th Feb 2017

The poster "The Man From Uncle" made a very good point comparing the current crop to the early 80's sides that were good enough to mix it with anyone on their day but never good enough to win the league. It reminds me a little bit of the Arsenal sides under Billy Wright in the early to mid 60's. Tonnes of quality players like Joe Baker, Geoff Strong and George Eastham who could rip the opposition to pieces when they fancied it but would also go missing when their backs were against the wall. - Post No. 103787


David1  17:37pm 9th Feb 2017

True about the 80s comparison - Woodcock for Giroud and Charlie Nicholas for ozil. - Post No. 103788


mbg  17:46pm 9th Feb 2017

Redshirts, GSPM, two great posts, yes it's all down to the manager, players chosen, bought, trained, indoctrinated by a soft weakling become weak and soft themselves. wenger out now. - Post No. 103789


MAF  17:49pm 9th Feb 2017

Arseneknewbest. I was at OT when Viv Anderson and Rocky took on United in fitycuffs right in front of the dug out. you remember what happened next ? Fergy bought Viv anderson, of course he did because he saw the steel as well as the pace. I can vouch for Rocky as another ''Steel + Flair'' Player. Bottle was an Understatement, all Graham's Teams had deep mental strength and strong character. THIS IS THE REASON THE FANS ARE NOT BEHIND WENGERS TEAMS BECAUSE MOST OF US SIMPLY CANNOT ASSOCIATE WITH THE LILY LIVERED CHARACTERS WE HAVE TODAY WHO GET ROLLED OVER BY TEAMS THAT SHOW THE SPIRIT THAT WAS ALWAYS ASSOCIATED WITH ARSENAL ! I DONT WANT TO SEE MONREAL CRY+MOAN ANYMORE EVERYTIME SOMEONE GOES NEAR HIM. I MISS ASHLEY COLE PUTTING THE WIND UP RONALDO. ANOTHER STEEL+FLAIR PLAYER BUILT BY ARSENAL - Post No. 103790


mbg  18:16pm 9th Feb 2017

Hear TOF in the presser going to great lengths to tell those who will listen, Kos was misunderstood and misquoted when he said he (weng) had picked the wrong team, nice one Kos and nice timing after you got your new contract, and did you hear him blaming the players ? I pick zee team it's up to the players to be professional and perform, stopping just short of saying and i'm sure I could see it on his lips, it's not my fault if they don't, and on he rambled about him concentrating on playing matters and others on club matters, yea right, what an egoistic, arrogant b*****d he is. wenger out. - Post No. 103791


mad max  19:12pm 9th Feb 2017

I have 2 turn the volume down when he appears on sky sports news, it,s cringeworthy in the extreme,i no longer recognise the club I grew up with, the first captain I grew up with was the great frank mclintock he never accepted anything less than 100 per cent from his team mates, the current bunch are clueless like their senile so called manager - Post No. 103792


John F  23:52pm 9th Feb 2017

A lot of online papers reporting that Allegri has agreed to leave Juventus in the summer.Could it be true that he is coming to replace Wenger.Wengers press conference today was either that of a very deluded man or a rallying cry for his long goodbye with a parting shot about wanting us to be like Spud fans.Perhaps Wenger should go in the away entrance at the lane of pain to find out just what they are like. - Post No. 103793


mbg  23:55pm 9th Feb 2017

It now looks like there could be something in what Kos said after all (not misunderstood or lost in translation after all eh wenger ) about not picking the right team, GMS report dressing room unrest at TOF's failure to drop and keep picking certain players over and over even though they're playing shyte, I bet that's not all there's dressing room unrest about if the truth was known, apparently a players meeting was held (Kos nominated the spokesman/leak then ? ) Ozil (among others) apparently the chief suspect, players showing balls at last ? It will be good to hear what TOF has to say, or mumble about on this if true, no doubt if the right questions were asked it would get him well riled. wenger out. - Post No. 103794


Gaz  7:59am 10th Feb 2017

Just been clearing out a load of emails off my account and I found this one I sent to a Gooner pal in 2010!!!! 'things will never change under wenger which is why I'm now unfortunately counting down the four years until he leaves. Of course we'll beat the lesser sides and it should be enough to finish in the top four. Unfortunately we'll continue to lose to the likes of Chelsea and utd (whom we've beaten only 6 times in our last 33 games!!!!) and flatter to deceive Wenger WAS a great manager but nothing lasts for ever. And if it wasn't for those first 6 years I'm pretty certain his last 6 years would be getting fat more criticism from fans than it gets. - Post No. 103795


Hi Berry  8:10am 10th Feb 2017

"Of course, our fans have been consistent and have a high level of expectation, as I have as well," he said. "But I don't feel it is absolutely clear." (Whatever the last bit of that sentence means). "You cannot be a fan until last Tuesday and not be a fan anymore and not be behind the team this Saturday. It doesn't make sense." This guy just doesn't get it does he? The above remarks are so typical of the kind of black or white/with us or against us divisiveness that he has bred at the club.....it's not the team, it's you....it's not the results, it's the performances and weakness of the players when the going gets tough that filters down from your philosophy. The Untold banner at the Emirates proclaims: 'Football should be an art'....actually, no - football is a competitive sport. - Post No. 103796


Cyril  9:05am 10th Feb 2017

The frustration for me is that I don't have a say anymore. I can't possibly have when the manager tells us it was an even game against Chelsea. How can I or many people countenance that. It's futile. I feel like the inadequate person in the gallery trying to understand what the hell they are getting from looking at an unmade bed. I don't get IT anymore. Basket weaving classes for me I think - Strewth! - Post No. 103797


The Man From UNCLE  9:46am 10th Feb 2017

Birmingham City used to have a fanzine called "Tired And Weary" which summed up their attitude to the club and the football on show. It would make a great banner to take to The E******s tomorrow. Just a thought. BTW I'm Ilya Kuriakin not that other bloke. - Post No. 103798


John F  9:46am 10th Feb 2017

Cyril, I think Wenger was giving his version of alternative facts.Wenger,Trump and Hunt must of attended the same media training course in North Korea.He couldn't help but add a few little digs at the fans as well just to show who is in charge. - Post No. 103799


Cyril  10:18am 10th Feb 2017

John F - Just had a cuppa so 'I'm in the mood to Bercow' . I wrote to Wenger personally about tactics and would love to have seen his face reading my letter. He wants us to be like the spuds fans does he. Well give us something to get the mojo going. They have Wanyama and Dembele bossing the midfield like paddy and manu and three flying attacking players who go everywhere chasing the ball, Kane, Alli, Ericsson, Son and Lamela and have great fullbacks. No wonder they are buzzing. PAIN. Mr Wenger, PLEASE LISTEN TO US. You walked off before the end of the half at Chelsea. You must have known there would be added injury time, which was 5 mins or so. That struck a real chord for me. To the right honourable gooner world, I give up! - Post No. 103800


mad max  10:40am 10th Feb 2017

things will never change until the fans at the concrete bowl start protesting, but they wont, its just a continuous nightmare - Post No. 103801


Bob Bayliss  11:12am 10th Feb 2017

Dennis, you are spot on. The biggest indictment of Wenger is that he is not being outspent by Chelsea, he is being outmuscled by Chelsea, and has been for the last 12 years (Drogba, Terry, now Costa). What saddens me is how many of our supporters did not recognise that Hector Bellerin's so-called "challenge" on Alonso was feeble and were more interested in whether the Chelsea man's challenge was illegal. It wasn't, he was simply more physically determined. It typified Wenger and his modern-day apologists. - Post No. 103802


TonyEvans  12:01pm 10th Feb 2017

Take your pick Dennis - it could be anyone of them from the last God knows how long. Certainly up there with the worst of them though. I, like many others, loved the fact that we were no pushovers physically - right from the day I first went to Highbury when I loved our 70/71 team under big Frank. We may have been crap at times over the years since then, but nobody bullied us; in stark contrast to Wenger's apology of a team. Why Wenger abandoned that wonderful balance of flair and physicality we had during his successful years, and proceeded to assemble this lightweight bunch of pansies has always been a mystery to me, and it has alienated so many fans of my generation. He simply has to go at the end of the season, and to say we should be more like Spuds fans today makes that even more necessary! He has obviously failed to notice that the Spuds look more like an Arsenal team than we do at the moment! - Post No. 103803


jjetplane  12:05pm 10th Feb 2017

Monreal is like one of those life type coaches who would look at home in LA. Even when we had the likes of Freddie with red hair or Bobby with his hair tied back, they looked great because they were great players with nasty streaks. Which brings me to Giroud - what a cock! - Post No. 103804


Highbury Boy  12:36pm 10th Feb 2017

If Wenger wants us to be more content like Spurs fans,and yes tomorrow afternoon we could be level on points with them,should he not be happy with the same annual salary package as their manager? - Post No. 103805


jjetplane  13:09pm 10th Feb 2017

Love Dailymash who report Wenger will be sacked by the board if he goes another 12 years without a PL. Roll on 2028. Spuds love Wenger now and he loves them .... - Post No. 103806


RegW  13:28pm 10th Feb 2017

Clouseau has created the 21st century Spurs, easy on the eye but no top side takes them seriously! Plus we win the cup when the year ends in 5. Let's hope he gets caught out Pleat style - Post No. 103807


Yes its Ron  13:35pm 10th Feb 2017

These AFC teams of the last 10 yrs are a hark back to the skilful teams of the mid 60s and the early 80s as the lads have stated, but in my view whilst agreeing with that in the main, its still an insult to liken any of these players today to those who played in those teams back then. Those teams still had players who we could love and relate to, have as heroes and feel fully connected with. Today's rabble make me sick to the stomach with their bottling whinging and griping and they take those characteristics from the Coach of course. Hes imbued the Club with his cafe ' we're above playing physical football' culture and in doing so has tarnished AFC s history. Red Shirts and AKB - Id like to echo every word that you two have posted up there. Youre both totally smack on! 103780 and 103786 - Post No. 103808


mbg  14:22pm 10th Feb 2017

Gaz, that says it all, and there's no doubt there's been many 1,000's of emails, texts, blogs, etc, just like that one way back then, since, now, as nothing whatsoever has changed in fact got a lot worse, and still the wengerites can't see and still believe, worshipers worship and followers follow, they're more to be pitied than laughed at, as has been said many times they fooking deserve him, unfortunately the proper fans don't. wenger out now. - Post No. 103809


TonyEvans  14:36pm 10th Feb 2017

Assuming Wenger is going after this season (not a given by any stretch I know but) I want him as far away from Arsenal as possible and certainly not pulling any strings from above. We need a manager in the Graham / Conte style, a hard task master who is free to impose his ideals on the team, that wears his football passion on his sleeve. Someone we can all relate to and unite behind. Anything less than this will be a huge disappointment, despite the obvious joy that Wenger is no longer manager. Any resemblance to how Wenger 'manages' his players is to be avoided at all cost. We certainly do not want another petulant, sulking Frenchman who has been talking up his managerial aspirations lately - great player though he was. The first hurdle is Wenger out, but who replaces him and where Wenger ends up is critical too. - Post No. 103810


GSPM  14:43pm 10th Feb 2017

Although I believe Wenger was misquoted, he has turned us into Spurs, we constantly under achieve , make up the numbers , flatter to deceive , smoke & mirrors , so in reality nothing between us at the moment . Where the real Arsenal is head & shoulder above the Spurs muppets is History , our major trophy count is 29 , theirs 17 , our fan base is bigger , our potential bigger, we just new a new manager who has same ambition as the fans. - Post No. 103811


Bard  14:53pm 10th Feb 2017

Some good posts. It seems that Wenger's reign is terminal and its just a question of when he goes. It could be at the end of this season or maybe next but there is no doubt he is done for. The problem for Arsenal is that handing over the decision to Wenger is like leaving turkeys to decide whether they want to be the main course on Christmas day. Someone needs to have a word with him and put him out of his misery. - Post No. 103813


The Man From UNCLE  15:01pm 10th Feb 2017

GSPM: football is all about what you're doing now, not how many titles you won in years gone by, no matter how much respect is due for past trophies. Ask Huddersfield, ask Portsmouth. Nostalgia - it ain't what it used to be. - Post No. 103814


GSPM  15:11pm 10th Feb 2017

UNCLE : as my post states : History . For now nothing between them and us except we fans strive for PL & CL glory (don't laugh) while they are happy with top4. If we didn't look back what's the point of having a pop at Wenger , best let him get on with it , and ignore 10 yrs of sweet fa. He was misquoted anyway, but the sooner he leaves the better . - Post No. 103815


mbg  16:52pm 10th Feb 2017

Yes be like Spurs fans, there you are now wengerites what you think of that ? the ultimate insult, the ultimate betrayal from your leader, still worship him as much ? be the same as spurs fans, the club, fans, you love to hate, love to slag off, love to crow about finishing above, and indeed the height of your ambition every season, your messiah has told you to be like them, a hell of a lot of other fans (proper fans) ambitious fans would say you already are. wenger out now and his spurs like followers with him. - Post No. 103816


John F  17:42pm 10th Feb 2017

Having watched it again I believe it was a clumsy attempt by Wenger to manipulate the Arsenal fans emotions.By mentioning the Spuds he was trying to make us forget his and the players failings in the title chase and concentrate instead on finishing above them then we can win the selfie trophy.It is a classic distraction technique if your ability is coming under scrutiny switch the attention by making people focus on your rivals.1984 - Post No. 103819


jjetplane  19:41pm 10th Feb 2017

Complete half hour on 5 live that basically was a WOB forum with no Keown in sight. Will be interesting to see how he performs in the media from now on because the writing is now on the wall. Wrighty was saying how Adams would have him up against the wall if he shirked his duties with Bouldie (the real one) and Dixon with the stare. As said before the myth of the early Wenger trophy haul is a myth. Adams was running it with some other very strong characters. Wrighty also says Wenger will hopefully go this season and should not be kept around to influence the future. No quarter should be given and already I feel a tiny resurgence of love to a club I watched from 63 to 2004. Wrighty and Jenas were saying 7 players at least would be shipped out pronto and that sounds like fun. The fans could pick the ones they want gone and it would be fun watching Per leading his bunch of pussies out for the last time with kit bags and ear phones on. Now they are talking about the Totts. My - how the times have changed. How long will it take now for Untold to deactivate ... - Post No. 103822


markymark  19:52pm 10th Feb 2017

Rumours starting to fly that all is not well in the dressing room - Post No. 103823


mbg  20:17pm 10th Feb 2017

John F, good post, and spot on, and of course it will work, all the AKB wengerites and his luvvies will be celebrating that great achievement of finishing above the spuds, the one they crave every season, the only one/thing that matters, the height of their ambition now and has been every season (even though we're just like them)they'll be whooping and getting moist and the players will be bouncing on the pitch like they've won something the moet will be sprayed in the dressing room and as you say the selfies will be flying, and wenger will be walking about with his pathetic grin as if he's actually won something when at the end of the day all he's done is finish above a team we should have left behind years ago and are now just the same as us, Job done, and all the wengerites will be happy and we'll be ready to go again next season. F*****g Sad or what. - Post No. 103824


BigDaveTheGooner  20:36pm 10th Feb 2017

Having read some of the opinions on this site regarding our soft centre and the hard men that we would benefit from having in our side now I can assure you David Rocastle certainly was not one,having played against him several times, so I know from first hand what he was like?He liked to give that impression but he hid behind his mates when things got heated and let them sort things out,so for Wrighty to say he was a genuine hard man is wrong ,he was anything but!!!! - Post No. 103825


mbg  22:36pm 10th Feb 2017

jj, good post, damm missed that on 5 live, well said wrighty, yes a small flicker of resurgence and hope starting to get up again, (Jesus H imagine what it'll be like when the announcement is made he's going/gone ?)but we'll still be cautious but it's a start, and just wait and see the keowns and all his other luvvies (including AKB's) changing their mind and jumping ship (hypocrites) to keep in favour with fans (WOB's) club, and the new management regime, but regardless of their status as legends or whatever it'll never be forgotten what roll they all had to play in all of this and how they supported wenger and his stinking regime and philosophies. And when we're competing with a bit of pride and passion again and winning trophies and we're all singing again (including the AKB's no doubt) they'll all be reminded of it too, on plenty of occasions, hear that AKB's ? wenger out. - Post No. 103827


Arseneknewbest  23:07pm 10th Feb 2017

Mbg - When the guillotine does eventually drop, it'll be for us one of those moments like, "where were you when Kennedy was assassinated, 9/11 happened, mickey scored that goal at anfield in 89. Yes mate, it'll be that big and that memorable. The end of wenger's saga-like voyage on his sinking ship of fools. For non-gooners of course, it'll be "who cares". I for one will be reaching for the booze and anything else I can get my hands on. - Post No. 103828


mbg  1:25am 11th Feb 2017

ArseneKnewBest, yes mate, well put, it'll be like a death or a birth or another one of those sad happy drastic moments that we'll never forget, or forget where we were ( I hope i'm sitting on the bogg when I hear)when the news comes through) and then like we say the AKB's do after a win against a relegated team we can party like it's 1999 only have a real party with meaning and something to actually celebrate. wenger out now. - Post No. 103830


John F  8:53am 11th Feb 2017

Thatcher was mine after she won the third time I thought we would be stuck with her forever.I remember exactly what I was doing when her resignation announcement came.The Independent are saying that Wenger felt this way last year then the team started to string a few results together and he changed his mind.What ever happens it just shows the power he has at the club and with him delaying his decision he is acting like royalty not allowing the club to plan ahead The board should grow some balls and tell Wenger to stop thinking about himself and start thinking about what it is best for Arsenal. - Post No. 103831


Arseneknewbest  9:16am 11th Feb 2017

John F - I'd argue that we are still stuck with her. Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron, May all continued with her free-market dogma and have equally contributed to the downward trajectory of British society and the crass widening in the gap between rich and poor. Jeff extreme-right would disagree because he probably thinks Blair and Brown are dangerous communists in the dog-sh*t world that exists in the putrid atmosphere of the daily mail. A quick glimpse of the BBC's precis of what the back pages are saying suggests - and it's only a suggestion - that the tide is starting to turn against wengo. Let's hope PSG are ready to offer him more than Ł8 million - he'll have his money-grubbing eye too on the sterling-euro fx rate. - Post No. 103832


markymark  9:47am 11th Feb 2017

With apologies to the great Sam Cooke and what this song represents. I feel this chorus sums up. "There have been times that I thought I couldn't last for long But now I think I'm able to carry on It's been a long, a long time coming But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will" - Post No. 103833


markymark  9:57am 11th Feb 2017

If you want a bit of oddity with your breakfast please read Brickfields desperately unfunny medical joke heavy post on Untold. A constant stream of further posting from said Brickfields. As someone pointed at he\'s laughing hysterically at his own jokes to an audience of one. Not sure if it more sad than weird. - Post No. 103834


jjetplane  11:21am 11th Feb 2017

That was me on covert action with that brickwit Markymark. Most telling Wrighty bit is that he said once he has gone it should me gone. Pleat has now weighed in with no manager should be able to dictate when he leaves - should be the board's job but as the board at the Ems is a bit like M & S (poor badges, overpriced food) not much chance of that. I would be suprised if PSG want him when they could have their pick of any coach under 70. No country for old men - Coen's finest moment and hopefully the EMS. - Post No. 103837


Redshirtwhitesleeves  11:28am 11th Feb 2017

Big Dave your having a laugh, I never once saw Rocky 'hide'. Was he hiding at OT in 91? Did he not front up to that thug van den hauwe in numerous north London derbies? Did I imagine him snarling defiance in the face of McMahon and Whelan? Ask Stuart Pearce if he thinks rocky was anything but teak tough. I think I'll take wrighty's testimony over yours pal. Rocky was a warrior and as skilful as they come, and what i wouldn't give to have him in our side today. - Post No. 103838


BigDaveTheGooner  14:02pm 11th Feb 2017

Redshirtswhitesleeves,sorry to shatter your illusions about Rocastle but I can assure you he certainly was not not the hard man your fantasising about,having played against him several times I know from first hand he wasn't and I couldn't care less if you believe me or not. Let's take the brawl at Old Trafford,I suggest you watch it again because nowhere was he involved directly,he was being held back by Les Sealey the United goalkeeper and he was hardly making an effort to break free and when he was finally let go he just trotted off. Pat Van Den Hauwe was another that was all front,I knew a girl that he was engaged to in the early nineties and she told me he was all front and mouthy but really he was pussy cat,hence to say they never married,so you can cross him off your hard man list.We can all go round snarling ,it doesn't classify you as "teak tough" and I don't get where Stuart Pearce comes into the equation.Perhaps Ian Wright and I perceive being a hard man in different ways but to me Rocastle wasn't ,he could be aggressive and give the impression he was but I can assure you I nor any of my team mates considered him to be a hard man. - Post No. 103839


mbg  14:40pm 11th Feb 2017

Gibbs reckons they made a statement today, god help us, obviously taking lessons from wally. Any resignation yet ? wenger out now. - Post No. 103841


jjetplane  15:08pm 11th Feb 2017

I also played against Rocky on many occasions and he kicked me into many a barrier. Well ****ing hard and pretty like Ali. No one use to call him Big Dave - just Rocccccckkky ..... Happy days! - Post No. 103842


BigDaveTheGooner  15:23pm 11th Feb 2017

Well jjetplane,perhaps you had a team of softies,he never took liberties with us,I think he knew exactly where he stood with us. He whinged and moaned but didn't take it any further. - Post No. 103843


Redshirtwhitesleeves  16:26pm 11th Feb 2017

Well big Dave we will have to agree to disagree mate, I watched Rocky play many many times with my own eyes and I know what I saw, and I also couldn't care less what you think. For me he was everything I want in an Arsenal player and never once saw him hide. Van den hauw was a prick wasn't he, we can certainly agree on that much - Post No. 103844


jjetplane  17:36pm 11th Feb 2017

Coming from a bloke who refers to himself as 'big' sounds like a Jamerson move. Who was the 'we' - playing for who. If you want to diss a legend why not back it up little Dave lol! - Post No. 103846


BigDaveTheGooner  18:29pm 11th Feb 2017

I don't have to justify myself to anybody on here,so you carry on giving legendary status to someone you think is the dogs,we,ll just agree to disagree.Cheers fella's!!!! - Post No. 103848


Exeter Gunner  1:27am 12th Feb 2017

Big Dave I actually cannot believe you are disparaging Rocky, total Arsenal legend, you must be unhinged. Totally disgraceful. - Post No. 103856


BigDaveTheGooner  10:18am 12th Feb 2017

Exeter Gunner,I see you have been disregarding Wenger in previous posts,the man is a legend and built an empire here,perhaps that makes you as unhinged and disgraceful as me!!!! The difference being I played against Rocastle and saw first hand what he was like and am entitled to express my opinion.VVWhat is your experience of being in Wenger's company,I,m very interested to know. It's your prerogative to give him legendary status and I respect that but don't expect everyone to have the same opinion as you. - Post No. 103862


Rocky RIP  21:42pm 12th Feb 2017

@BigDave- Fair enough if you don't think Rocastle was a hard player, but that's a separate debate as to whether he is a legend. I never saw him as particularly hard either. Probably our silkiest player back then. Not a pushover by any means but hardly one to have opponents trembling either.He did however play like he gave a to** and there's no question he loved The Arsenal. Didn't he famously cry his eyes out in GG's car when he heard he was being sold? The image of him pumping his fist to gee up his team mates away at Anfield is one that sums him up for me. An Arsenal man to the core and by all accounts a lovely guy. One who made you proud, like gentlemen like Bob Wilson. He is an Arsenal legend based on his emergence in a team that went from a barren spell to title winners. His goal at WHL to take us to Wembley in 87 is a pivotal moment in our modern history. It was THE turning point from which we continued on a long successful run. Early deaths do tend to give people more legendary status than they may otherwise have had. In Rocky's case it just cemented it. He has his name sung even today, often by people too young to have lived through his immortal goal at WHL. If that's not the mark of a legend, I'm not sure what is. As you say, it's best to respect that others have an opinion which may differ. That is mine. - Post No. 103889


Yes its Ron  10:05am 13th Feb 2017

The so called battle of OT is a myth. It was hardly that. It was as they say, more 'handbags' than a battle. I never saw Rocky as a tough character really. He was more skilled than that, though he never shrunk from tackles whenever i saw him play, which was often. Always tackled ok when needed. Whats 'hard' football anyway? The real hard/dirty stuff had gone from the game by the time Rocky started playing for us. - Post No. 103898


BigDaveTheGooner  19:05pm 13th Feb 2017

RockyRIP and Yes it's Ron,you both make very valid and justified points and on the whole I agree with you,the point I was trying to make was he was not the tough hard man footballer he was portrayed to be in an earlier post. He was certainly talented there is no debating that and I heard on very good authority the reason he was allowed to leave Arsenal was because his knees were shot and Arsenal decided to cash in on him while they could which probably explains why he wasn't so succesful at Leeds and Chelsea.And just to let you know no one cheered louder than me when he scored that goal W H L. - Post No. 103932


Issue #265 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

28th May 2017

Per-Fect Ending

Online Ed: Arsenal win 7th FA Cup for Arsene Wenger with incredible performance