Arsène’s ‘shark jump’ moment came in 2008

By Robert Exley

Not So ‘Happy Days’ at Arsenal FC

According to Jon Spurling’s book ‘Rebels for the Cause’, back in the summer of 1999 during the long protracted negotiations over the destiny of Nicolas Anelka, David Dein had complained to Arsene Wenger: ‘you’ve left me to deal with the sharks’ after he was left alone to deal with Anelka’s contingent all by himself. Wenger’s clever and articulate response to Dein was simply: ‘Don’t worry David… sharks always eat each other in the end’. The greatest piece of advice however which Wenger should have heeded with regard to dealing with sharks is that when you’re on a jetski, it is never a good idea to try jump them.

The internet since its inception has created many phrases which may well have never gained currency (certainly on this side of the Atlantic) had it not existed and the phrase ‘jumping the shark’ is one such example. It originates from an episode of the popular U.S. sitcom ‘Happy Days’, which for anyone too young to remember is a 1970s sitcom which eulogised a golden period of history around fifteen to twenty years prior to a depressed contemporary audience, who were suffering a period of relative decline in comparison (if you’re an Arsenal fan, I’m sure it’s not a concept too difficult to understand).

In essence, it’s a phrase which describes the moment in which a previously great TV show has reached its peak and never returns to its previous level of glory. With Happy Days it came in an episode in 1977, when the show’s iconic character, the Fonz (played by Henry Winkler), jumps a shark in a cage on a jet ski while wearing his trademark leather jacket. As explained by Fonzie’s co-star turned Hollywood director Ron Howard, the shark jump moment was when stars of the show started looking over what their script writers and directors were ordering them to do and began to wonder what direction the show - and by extension their careers - were starting to take as a consequence of the daft orders those above them expected them to execute.

The ironic thing about the ‘shark jump’ moment is that it was far from the end of the show’s run. It carried on for another seven years, despite daft storylines involving aliens, which though it introduced Robin Williams to the wider world, ruined the credibility of a once great sitcom. The network also flogged the show to death with a ludicrous spin off kids cartoon called ‘The Fonz and the Happy Days gang’ (the link being an episode called ‘May the Farce Be With You’ - again, if you’re a modern day Arsenal fan, you’ll know the feeling).

The curious thing about TV Shark Jumping is that historically, it often tends to be a very American thing and was usually rare to British Television - by way of an example, the original British version of ‘The Office’ lasted for just twelve episodes. Its American version however clocked up over two hundred shows. One explanation for this is that British TV until relatively recently was much less commercial than its U.S. counterpart. The American ethos was always that generating revenue was the central purpose of a show to the TV networks and if a show brought in a lot of revenue, no-one cared too deeply about the quality of it.

Aside from arguments about whether this comparison between British and American TV shows still exists today, this mentality isn’t too far away from the general mind set of that which Corporate America has always held about the produce it sells to the wider world. And in 2017, it’s something which Arsenal fans seem to be finding out to their detriment. You see, for all the vitriol, for all the internet trolling, for all the In/Out hashtags on Twitter, for the all the factions among the crowd fighting each other and for all the accusations of him being ‘le fraud’, the Arsene Wenger Show has simply jumped its shark. It’s easy to forget all these years later that Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal circa 1996 to 2008 were truly great. Arsene Wenger was great (in fact, the older he gets the better he was!), but a moment came when, quite simply, his Shark was jumped.

Ironically, I’ve been writing pieces for the Gooner for nine years now. My very first was written and emailed over to the Gooner probably less than an hour before the Arsene Wenger Show’s very own shark jump moment in February 2008. You’ll all snigger now, but the piece was lauding Wenger’s greatness. This wasn’t a ‘Wenger In’ piece, it was pretty much the definitive Arsene Wenger position at the time. The factions simply didn’t exist. We were top of the table, we’d lost just one game all season. We were out of the League Cup after being thumped by Spurs, but we didn’t really care about that because we thought bigger things were being pursued.

We hadn’t won a trophy for the previous two seasons, but we’d reached our only Champions League Final, our pretty much second string side had lost a League Cup final to a first string Chelsea side by the odd goal, we’d lost Thierry Henry to Barcelona and a couple of years prior Ashley Cole humiliated us by joining Chelsea. Aside from that though we felt that good things were ahead of us. Later that afternoon, our replacement for Henry was horrifically injured, we blew two points with a defensive lapse which conceded a penalty from which our opposition equalised and then our ‘inspirational’ captain decided on a post-match public melt down in the centre circle.

For the rest of 2007/08, though there were only two league defeats between then and the end of the season, there would be just one win in the next eight games. By mid-April, we’d lost a Champions League Quarter Final through conceding two late goals and our title hopes were blown with a 1-2 defeat to Man United at Old Trafford. With the pressure off we suddenly managed to string together four straight wins, but the damage had been done. Our weaknesses were found out, players suddenly no longer had unquestioning deference to Wenger and though not everything since February 2008 has been bad, the confidence in the ancien’ regime had gone and things have simply never been as good since.

Kroenke came on board at Arsenal that same season and in the years since, Wenger has always done just enough to keep the club within a position where they reap high revenue and by extension Kroenke simply doesn’t want to ‘fix what isn’t broken’ with regard to a criteria of revenue generation alone. For most years since 2008, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal have still remained box office – people might find that an odd thing to say, but even with the club’s obvious gerrymandering of the attendance figures toward the end of the last season, Arsenal’s average attendance for 1970/71 was just 43,776. I highly doubt that the genuine attendance figures for many home games since 2006 have ever fallen below this figure.

The hapless attempts of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal to become Champions over the last thirteen years have kept people entertained, pretty much in the same way that Delboy and Rodney’s hapless attempts at being millionaires entertained more people than watching an actual millionaire being all boring and methodical on the Money Programme. In fact, on mentioning ‘Only Fools and Horses’, one lesson which Arsene Wenger and Arsenal had seemingly failed to heed is knowing the right time finish, even if the Shark probably has already been jumped. The Trotters ended it on a high in 1996 by finally becoming millionaires in front of a record audience of 24.3 million. Only a plonker would have brought it back after that, but that’s exactly what happened. No-one remembers the Only Fools Christmas Specials from 2001-03 fondly, but that became the show’s anti-climactic finale.

Similarly, Arsene Wenger finished the turbulent 2016/17 season on a high after winning a record seventh FA Cup and denying Chelsea a double. Undoubtedly, this was the moment to go and most probably will be the last chance to call time on his career in N5 on a high. Instead of that, though admittedly I have no inside knowledge within the Arsenal camp myself, from a basic observation of body language it seems to me that Arsene Wenger has simply lost the dressing room. This thought had struck me last month, when I attended the Member’s Day Q&A session held in the Club Level at the Stadium (after queuing next to AFTV’s Claude and Ty, looking like best buddies rather than ripping each other’s heads off like they normally do when a camera is stuck in front of them).

Among the players that had lined up for the Q&A had been Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey. From their responses and general demeanour you could tell just by looking at them they were less than happy and in the case of at least one of them, clearly wanted to be somewhere else. In fact, if you showed Delboy this as a picture of what being a millionaire would look like, I doubt he would have bothered spending sixteen years and seven series pursuing it as an ambition. One can only think these players probably cheer themselves up by saying to themselves: ‘this time next year bruv, we could be somewhere else’.

With regard to Arsene Wenger, this time last year - regardless of the long protracted Gooner civil war which has become the Wenger In/Out question - he still had three things left in the bank with regard to his legacy. He’d always finished in the top four, he’d always finished above Spurs and had he quit tomorrow he wouldn’t be passing on to his successor a basket case of a club. Sadly, the first two have now gone. Every inch of me dreads that the last one could well be disappearing anytime soon.

Robert Exley can be found on Twitter@robert_exley and is the editor of Upstart Football.

31st August 2017 09:59:36


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.

Up For Grabs Now  10:26am 31st Aug 2017

Funnily enough, I had just emailed a fellow Gooner mate of mine, which also referenced the screen. I was saying to him how it beggars belief at what was currently happening or rather not happening at Arsenal. Stating to him that I though that in the near future a slapstick film would be made of events at Arsenal, as it was ripe for satire. I even suggested it would be along the lines of the Pink Panther movies, with it being the obvious comparison, as we already had inspector clueless in our ranks! - Post No. 109466

Bard  10:46am 31st Aug 2017

As always Robert an interesting piece. Arsenal havent bothered to spin this latest transfer window. It just a cash accumulating exercise. I would speculate that the reason behind it is the need for Arsenal show a certain balance so that Stan's other projects can be leveraged against it. Wenger has lost all credibility, he has sadly become another of Stan's jobsworths. Any manager worth his salt, certainly one with Wenger's pretensions, would either resign in protest or kick up an enormous fuss. He must know he is signing his own managerial execution. - Post No. 109469

TonyEvans  11:02am 31st Aug 2017

Farcical barely begins to describe Arsenal FC in it's current state. What the hell is going on? On the pitch we stagger from one capitulation to the next with players left out that should be playing, others left in that should have been sold years ago, and still others played out of position for what reason only that idiotic manager of ours could explain. Player contract negotiations are allowed to go to the wire and squad weaknesses are left unaddressed; we only need the usual shedload of injuries to kick in and Groundhog season number God knows what will have started with a vengeance. I know this type of footballing mis-management has been going on for years at AFC but, if anything, it is getting worse, not better, and it really has reached epic proportions now. And yet still Wenger goes sublimely on, seemingly completely untouchable, both from above (with an adoring owner counting his cash) and from below, with the majority of our match day fans wringing their hands and hoping someone else will do something about bringing our club back from the brink of obscurity. - Post No. 109470

peter wain  11:45am 31st Aug 2017

our dealings in the transfer window have been a complete joke. Sky are now reporting we do not have much money to compete with the big clubs. The sooner Kroenke and Wenger go the better. - Post No. 109472

The Man From UNCLE  11:55am 31st Aug 2017

Everyone goes on about the 2-1 defeat to Man Utd that cost the title but seems to forget the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea not too long before that, which also cost the title. Both defeats were mirror images of each other, going ahead shortly after half time only to let in two fairly soft goals to lose the game. And the five draws in a row which also cost the title, against such heavyweights as Middlesbrough and Wigan. 2007/08 was the last really good Arsenal team. BTW what on earth is going on with regard to signings today? I know AFC are notoriously secretive but it ain't looking too good at the moment. - Post No. 109473

Yes its Ron  12:33pm 31st Aug 2017

A good one as ever Robert. Ive always had August 2011 and the thrashing at OT as my benchmark for when AW should have quit but there was certainly a case for him to have gone in the Summer of 2008 after that collapse starting at Birmingham on Eduardo s horrific leg break day. - Post No. 109475

Redshirtwhitesleeves  12:42pm 31st Aug 2017

If Arsenal are really saying they have no money for transfers then it is the biggest lie of all from a regime that has habitually peddled lies to its own fans since the day we left our spiritual home and moved into the soulless cash-bowl ('to allow us to compete with the best in Europe'! Haha f****** lies) I truly hate the 3 pieces of vermin- Wenger, kroenke and gazidis- for ruining our club, I hope they rot. My blood is boiling right now, it's heartbreaking to see our club being destroyed this way. There isn't a single semblance left now with the club i grew up adoring, they even managed to mess the badge up. F******* parasites - Post No. 109477

peter wain  13:02pm 31st Aug 2017

still one thing the OX had his debut on Sunday playing for Liverpool - Post No. 109478

The Man From UNCLE  13:18pm 31st Aug 2017

Peter Wain - priceless. Best posting I've seen on here for a long time. - Post No. 109479

BigDaveTheGooner  13:24pm 31st Aug 2017

What a shocking state of affairs this truly is, a I am utterly despondent. This should be a day of expectation and excitement, but not at this football club, it's more misery after more misery. Wenger must go now. - Post No. 109480

peter wain  13:52pm 31st Aug 2017

man city in with £60m bid another £10 m and we will fold - Post No. 109483

Scruff  14:02pm 31st Aug 2017

In propria causa nemo debet esse iudex Unfortunately Wenger is! - Post No. 109485

Yes its Ron  14:25pm 31st Aug 2017

All of this could be a cause for celebration. Its perhaps the very start of the end. Seen a bit of that Liverpool match now. Certainly had an air of 'this is it, we re done now' about it. - Post No. 109486

markymark  14:48pm 31st Aug 2017

I think Wengo has made one or two more promises he cannot keep. A further section of the overly self satisfied Wengerites might get pissed off and then his goose is cooked with the fans. At that point whether Kronke loves him or not I reckon repeated booing and loses at home will see him walk. Though we will probably witness a Joan of Arc style martyrdom from his first. Oh how he suffers for our Sins. - Post No. 109488

markymark  15:01pm 31st Aug 2017

Peter Wain / Red and White Sleeves --- so why don't we have money to spend, when it's obvious we do? Either Kronke is doing some shady leveraging deal on the side and so f'ing us up for his own gain, or Wenger is not being given any more money to spend. Now option 2 is interesting. - Post No. 109490

mbg  15:41pm 31st Aug 2017

Tony Evans, and we can be damm sure they will, thanks to TOF's outdated training methods and second rate medics shortly after the window closes, but that's not before he panic buys a couple of has beens already injured. Go now wenger you embarrassment. - Post No. 109491

Bard  16:42pm 31st Aug 2017

I rather like the idea of Sterling joining us. He is the right size and he would make a great right back or defensive midfielder. - Post No. 109493

Siddy  17:09pm 31st Aug 2017

Bard, are you mad? Wenger would convert Sterling into a goalie. We are not worthy. He says his "phone is red hot". He's Batman. - Post No. 109494

peter wain  17:17pm 31st Aug 2017

not to worry we will not get who we want but will sell Sanchez anyway. Just proves how badly run we are. Wenger out now - Post No. 109495

mbg  17:24pm 31st Aug 2017

Word has it TOF has been spotted in the Congo with a four by four full of king size Benson and Hedges and 99p lighters. wenger out. - Post No. 109496

mbg  17:46pm 31st Aug 2017

According to Sky the Sanchez to Chelsea deal could be in the balance because Arsenal can't get a replacement, (it's not that they hadn't plenty of time) and so called targets (whoever the fook they are)don't want to come, I wonder why, what a f*****g farce. Go now wenger you useless waste of fresh air. - Post No. 109497

TOOAW  18:26pm 31st Aug 2017

Brain dead springs to mind. Sanchez to Chelsea ?????? - Post No. 109498

KC38  18:34pm 31st Aug 2017

I believe it's the beginning of the end, the performance on Sunday spoke volumes about the players lack of respect for the manager. The decisions taken by Wenger were unexplainable to 98 per cent of people and no doubt the players as well. Add that to the Sanchez situation he no doubt thought he was going and if he does not he will only go through the motions. With Xhaka in midfield and a defence in chaos, the season will go from bad to worse. My only concern is how so many fans will not revolt, how bad do we have to become before 90 per cent of them say enough is enough, surely just watching Arsenal regardless of result and performance is not what it is all about, surely our fans want us to compete, don't they? - Post No. 109500

Paulward  18:43pm 31st Aug 2017

Looks like a snub from Thomas Lemar can be added to the long list of recent humiliations. Arsenal are a club in free fall now, and are in the kind of mess and state of disunity that could end in a relegation scrap.Its that bad. - Post No. 109501

KC38  18:49pm 31st Aug 2017

C Chambers is potentially very good player, better in my opinion than Holding, I think he would be good in a back three, Leicester apparently trying to buy him, another' poor decision by Wenger as it appears he would sell with the right offer, Wenger just does not get central defence, goal keepers, holding midfielders, doesn't understand the importance of a football base to play from. - Post No. 109502

KC38  19:01pm 31st Aug 2017

Is there hope that as we decline and the income reduces, Wenger may struggle to deal with the fall out and walk away, Kronke without his football right hand man and a falling income, may sell up? - Post No. 109503

CORNISH GOONER  19:22pm 31st Aug 2017

As Basil F said "what's the bleeding' point?". An even worse situation than that of a year ago. Got another film contender for you A Cornish Gooner:- "Jurassic Park" - gangling dinosaur runs amok & trashes a world class tourist venue. - Post No. 109504

mbg  19:49pm 31st Aug 2017

So Sanchez could be staying ? when he clearly wants out ? if so where will his head be ? what will the dressing room be like ? even worse than it is now ? and that's saying something, trouble ahead it can only hasten TOF's departure, love it, # shambles. we want wenger out we want wenger out. - Post No. 109506

Scruff  20:52pm 31st Aug 2017

Renato Sanchez on loan to Swansea! Bayern refused to loan him to a team in the Champions League so why didn't we try? Perhaps Bayern were worried that Wenger might try to convert him into a goalkeeper. - Post No. 109507

TOOAW  20:58pm 31st Aug 2017

Profit in the transfer market is something to be proud of and strengthening the squad as a whole. Clearly it's good business for the board, the club and Arsene. Transfer day is as good as over, now it's time to get behind, boycott or demonstrate. The choice is very, very , very simple. - Post No. 109508

Paulward  21:20pm 31st Aug 2017

Tooaw I'll be choosing to demonstrate thanks. A shambolic deadline day, which befits the shambles on the pitch on Sunday. Difficult to know where to start when discussing what's wrong at AFC to be honest, but it ends with Arsene Wenger. He is under serious pressure now and that will only increase following our customary drubbingat Stamford Bridge in a fortnight( will it be 4nil or 5 nil I wonder). We must be the most divided club in Europe right now, and that won't change while Wenger remains. - Post No. 109509

mbg  21:30pm 31st Aug 2017

What a blow to TOF's ego snubbed by a fellow Frenchman, although at that price you have to wonder did the old weasel actually want him at all, but still a blow anyway, I guess words out, I wonder is Lamarr available he could bring Lionel Richie with him. wenger out. - Post No. 109511

TOOAW  21:38pm 31st Aug 2017

@ paulward. Honesty is the best policy. Ask your friend markymark because he's very confused on the support, boycott and demonstrate as he has carried out all 3. Very bizarre but true. - Post No. 109512

markymark  21:50pm 31st Aug 2017

TOOAW - I know it's difficult particularly for a militant Wengerite to see it. But it's Arsenal not Arsene . Therefore I support Arsenal and as mentioned do not poison the well with my young lad or my friends lad who has been successfully nicked from Liverpool. But I dislike the lizard Wengo, I am rather disdainful of Ivan and would rather that Hillwood would have stuck to his word over Stan. It's what the majority of the posters agree with so I'm afraid you are the minority and interestingly enough it now appears to be the case with Untold as well. It's all rather well being a Stalinist but you're on the wrong side of history my friend . He'll go soon enough I'm betting illness. Now I like that Dangote fella. The first thing I'll do when I buy Arsenal is sack Wenger. Let's hope his Oil refinery kicks in allowing him the funds to give old Stan an offer he can't refuse. Possibly with Amazon breathing down Walmart's neck he might be tempted to sell off an asset. - Post No. 109513

Cheltenham Gunner  22:09pm 31st Aug 2017

TOOAW. What drugs are you on? - Post No. 109514

TOOAW  22:13pm 31st Aug 2017

@markymark. Interesting to see that you've taken the time to lower your inhibitions and label myself by my correct name. The internet will always be full of ignorant tales that a south African billionaire would buy AFC and sack the manager. Believe in fairies when reading bedtime stories is your downfall. Now if I said Arsene Wenger is the greatest manager ever. Do you believe it?? Cos it's on the net so it must be true. Support ? Boycott? Demonstrate?. - Post No. 109515

TOOAW  22:28pm 31st Aug 2017

@ Cheltenham. Certainly not the anti depressants that most are influenced by on here. Fresh air, common sense and the love of Arsenal. - Post No. 109516

markymark  22:35pm 31st Aug 2017

ToOaW - you see its back. Talk about ignorance he's Nigerian! Well you can't help being a geographically challenged. The remaining bit I can't even figure out what you are on about? He's been complete mediocrity for 10 years. It doesn't take the Internet to tell me that. - Post No. 109517

Siddy  22:46pm 31st Aug 2017

W***er should try converting himself into a vaguely competent football manager. Obviously, Kroenke is also largely to blame for turning my beloved Arsenal into the laughing stock of world football but largely thanks to GG, AW was able to compete with Fergie on roughly half the transfer budget. And the '89 team was put together for a relatively tiny amount thanks to the canny/stingy Scot. - Post No. 109518

mbg  22:54pm 31st Aug 2017

SBD sounds like a sexually transmitted disease, lol. We want the lizard out, copyright markymark. - Post No. 109519

Almunia is a clown  22:56pm 31st Aug 2017

So the AKB's celebrate a profit in the transfer window now? "Good business" for the board, Wenger & the club, whatever happened to the glorious "4th place trophies" There once was a football team at The Arsenal, now we have the enemies within, those that worship Kroenke & Wenger & their ponzi scheme. These brainwashed cretins can never call themselves Arsenal supporters ever again. Please don't bother coming back when your messiah departs with his loot. - Post No. 109520

DJW  23:30pm 31st Aug 2017

Anyone thinking we were ever going to sign Lemar are seriously deluded. Monaco called our bluff by accepting our offer so half hour later we pulled out! Don't be fooled Kronke and Wenger are bleeding our club dry. Never since I went to my first game in Feb 1975 have I ever considered not going but feel like I'm being taken for a fool! - Post No. 109521

mbg  0:05am 1st Sep 2017

DJW, your dead right mate and exactly what I thought, post 105911, and a lot of others too i'm sure, another piece of spin from the Lizard to make himself look good among his half wit fans (I done my best bla bla) you can certainly fool some people all of the time, i'm sure they were lapping it up and getting more moist as the hours went by, yes his bluff was called there alright and he was put in his place, what a despicable lying c**t he is. wenger out. - Post No. 109523

GoonerRon  1:01am 1st Sep 2017

It seems likely to me that a condition of Wenger's new deal was to bridge the gap for lost CL income. Very roughly with some estimating I reckon we've shaved £12m from the wage bill and about £27m profit in transfers so there's the c.€45m saved in one window. As for Alexis, the point the club let him get to one year left on his contract it was a lose-lose situation - sell him and it's another RVP, keep him and it's a £60m hit and could hurt morale (or what's left of it). When the dust settles on this window I don't actually think it's been as calamitous in terms of in's and out's as is being made out, but it continues to feel like our strategy is 'fumble around in the dark'. Catalyst for change? Perhaps, but probably not the sort of change Ivan was hoping for. - Post No. 109524

Roy  7:56am 1st Sep 2017

Going back to that Birmingham game, apart from Eduardo's horrific misfortune and Gallas' strop, there was an attack in the second half where we were 2 on 1 against the keeper. Bendtner could have squared it to his best mate at the time Adebayor as the keeper advanced, who could have literally walked it into the net for 3 - 1. But instead he chose to shoot and it was saved. I remember being incensed at the time and both of them should have got a massive bollocking from Wenger for not putting their differences aside. Wasn't Gallas captain that day as well ? He let him of the hook too. Was this the point where Wenger actually stopped 'managing' as we know it ? So, that's a healthy profit made in the transfer window, then ? Yipeee ! Wenger out. - Post No. 109525

John F  8:04am 1st Sep 2017

Thats my view GR about the loss of Champions League money.There might well be a knock on effect behind the scenes at Arsenal as a result of Sanchez and Ozil serving out their last year unless a Spanish side comes in for them today as their window is still open.I can not imagine all the director's will be happy how this situation has been allowed to develop and the hold Wenger has over the club.Although he has made a profit in any other Business a manager who presided over an estimated 100mil loss in asset value if you include Ozil would not last very long.In eleven months time they will be gone and we will have to pay money to replace them which of course the club will say we have little money to play with.There should of been a plan at the beginning of the window to sort this out Lemar was keen to sign in July but we did not act fast enough when the price was no where near 90mil and they had not sold any players.The whole situation smacks of dithering to save a few penny's only to end up with an unhappy player who likes a sulk and no replacement. - Post No. 109526

KC38  8:10am 1st Sep 2017

@goonerron if there is any truth in your assumptions then we are in trouble. After all these years in the champions league, a massive income from match day, TV money and we have to balance the books after ONE year out of the champions league then there are even more questions to ask. Our competitors don't appear to have the same restrictions. The manager has to go ASAP and we will require a new owner. The chances of champions league are minimal the slide is getting quicker! - Post No. 109527

Hi Berry  8:26am 1st Sep 2017

Well, brilliant transfer window....now we have two players who want away but didn't get their deals done which should be great for dressing room morale and atmosphere. Good read by Charlie Eccleshare regarding Sanchez here -http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/08/30/arsenal-players-wanting-alexis-sanchez-go-no-surprise-dont/ and another Telegraph article in which Ramsey bemoans the loss of the British core with the departure of Oxlade Chamberlain leaving him as the last of the 'famous five'.....the following quote from our great leader caught the eye regarding that 'core'.... "I believe when you have a core of British players, it's always easier to keep them together," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said in 2012, following the contract announcements." "We are delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term contracts. The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young players in order to get them to develop their talent at the club." - Post No. 109528

Seven Kings Gooner1  8:34am 1st Sep 2017

A lot of fellow Gooners seem to think we are going to gently slide to 6th,7th or 8th in the league and happily continue the nonsense in the "House of Usher" Guys, wake up IMHO every team in the PL is better managed and coached than Arsenal. Clubs like Stoke and Swansea have bought some good players, the middle part of the top division is very even. I genuinely believe (I am repeating myself) that we are heading for bottom six and if nothing changes we will do a Villa and drop into the Championship. We are being run by a manager who is a cross between Louis X1V and Blanche DuBois, I trying to tell you all that it's later than you think and any of you who turn up at any home games is speeding up our impending demise, OTT, maybe, or perhaps you should talk to a few Villa fans. - Post No. 109529

peter wain  8:35am 1st Sep 2017

wenger should give tutorials o how to mess up a transfer window. He does it every time and is so arrogant that he does not realise that he is doing it. Quite what the dressing room is like for the rest of this season who knows. Only hope is that he can loan Sanchez out in January. As for buying any one he should leave that to the new manager. - Post No. 109530

markymark  8:52am 1st Sep 2017

Could get interesting - unless as people have said a Spanish club nips in we are looking at 100m down the pan next year. This could easily turn into a £150 million real loss taking into account pound potentially hitting parity with the euro and true cost of replacing players if inflation continues. Arsenal say finishing 9th then gives Kronke a big decision . Does he pump in money when he's stretched across the pond and his wife's Walmart are in a fight for survival with Amazon ( this is why Stan backs Trump who hates the Amazon boss ) or does he sell up on the fear that Arsenal may start devaluing causing him an asset depreciation crisis. I'm no longer sure Stan is quite as resilient as he once was. - Post No. 109531

The Man From UNCLE  9:42am 1st Sep 2017

Mr Waverley asked me this morning why not very much happened on Deadline Day. I explained to him that the best players are already bought or sold, therefore Deadline Day is really just for getting rid of your previous managers' dud transfers, such as Wilfred Bony whose played 46 games in the last three seasons, or any squad players cluttering up the payroll. "I see", he replied, "so why the big deal about it?" I had to tell him it's to get clickbait to increase your advertising revenue. "ah", he sagely nodded, "it's all about the dollar". - Post No. 109532

Exeter Ex  9:46am 1st Sep 2017

Obviously all these contracts being run down is a disaster for the club, but the biggest disaster of all this summer was a certain 2 year contract that was signed... - Post No. 109533

Radfordkennedy  9:50am 1st Sep 2017

Personally I think AW ran with the ball to the corner flag and had no intention of giving up possession till post 23:00 hrs.He wanted to keep AS at all costs,he'd already said that the club would take a hit on cash rather than sell.I would love to know how you can turn down 12Mil from WBA and then a week later accept 7mil for GibbS? ?,why he let Perez go who on game time scores more than Welbeck and Iwobi is anyone's guess.If the club was run on anywhere near a professional basis someone should be passing Gazidis the black hat this morning and passing sentence on AW,but sacking the bloke who put you there is always going to be difficult,such is the nonsense set up at AFC.Sadly I don't think our feet are anywhere touching the bottom at the moment,and I honestly feel that it's going to get worse before we can push up.It really does speak volumes when our immediate target is to get to 41 points asap. - Post No. 109534

MAF  10:15am 1st Sep 2017

wenger wanted to Keep alexis for 1 reason only. he knows Arsenal simply could not stand the flack if they had sold him and the Ox and bought no one. Alexis will go in January. Ozil will go in June. - Post No. 109535

Yes its Ron  10:31am 1st Sep 2017

As a warm glow exudes from Ashburton Grove in the light of a very satisfactory 'window', we should all share in the pleasing knowledge that we ve made a very satisfying profit from our Managers shrewd dealings in the market. Once more, well done Arsene. PS That lad Lemar though, he looked to have some potential as a future Centre back didnt he, shame you didnt net him, but yr forgiven, we re happy. - Post No. 109537

Radfordkennedy  11:46am 1st Sep 2017

Ron...as you once said we are going to have to wait for the book because crystal is opaque by comparison to Arsene,There's a touch of the Monty about AW no matter what the outcome of any given situation it was always part of the plan and all is going swimmingly. - Post No. 109538

Yes its Ron  12:05pm 1st Sep 2017

R/K - there most certainly is matey. To be honest, we need to realise that the fans of the Club are totally and completely irrelevant to the modern Arsenal under this regime. AW reels and wavers under pressure of criticism at times but hes got the strength of a rhino to do what he does in carrying out his owners bidding regardlessly. Thats why the owner loves him,keeps him there and pays him so much irrespective of the views of anybody else, be that fans view or other Board members views. Ther plan is a simple one. To make as much money as is conceivably possible for the least amount of investment to attain that objective. Thats what that stadium has always been about. Each fan who walks through its doors on a match day is reinforcing and supporting the objective. Only a total boycott of the Club by the majority will force a change of emphasis there. Its no good people saying that they 'shouldn't have their love for Arsenal' taken off them or that 'their passion for the Club' shouldn't be curtailed by the regime etc etc as we so often read on here. Thats a cop out used by those who want to have their cake and eat it while carrying on moaning. AFC will only ever understand its customers leaving it. There is no other way to break them. - Post No. 109539

Radfordkennedy  12:31pm 1st Sep 2017

Ron ur right mate but I feel the old school fan at AFC doesn't exist in sufficient numbers anymore,can you see anyone lighting a bonfire on the north bank that signalled the end of Billy Wright or hurling abuse as they did to Terry Neill apathy rules at the Emirates sadly - Post No. 109540

KC38  14:02pm 1st Sep 2017

Kronkes lack of football knowledge is going to be his undoing. He probably believes Wenger will sort this out as in past years, his lack of insight means he cannot appreciate the decline that has set in. Kronke is in it for money that means a sliding Arsenal is no use to him, he will end up with choices, change Wenger and invest or sell up, I believe he will decide to cash in, a half empty stadium, no champions league, reduced tv income and his investment starts to be far less attractive, Usminov will be watching and waiting. - Post No. 109547

Ham  9:40am 2nd Sep 2017

Roy, great post above. I'm glad you remember the incident with Bendtner and Adebayor when we were 2-1up and they wouldn't pass to each other (and from memory Birmingham were down to 10 men), That also drove me mad and was my turning point with Wenger, Ferguson would have had both of them against the wall by the throat, Wenger did absolutely nothing as we know. That whole match summed up everything that was wrong. Apart from Gallas' strop, don't forget that at the end instead of clearing the ball up the pitch, Clichy tried to dribble out of trouble in his own box and gave away the equalising penalty, aaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhh!!!! - Post No. 109576

Time for change  9:19am 3rd Sep 2017

Intresting how after Happy Days' Shark Jump moment the show continued for seven years. Wenger's Show is at nine and counting after 2008 😠 - Post No. 109591

Robert Exley  13:44pm 3rd Sep 2017

Time for Change - I know what you mean. He seems to be doing a Last of the Summer Wine rather than Happy Days. Those in charge of decision making will probably finally axe the show when it's core audience have finally died off (literally) - Post No. 109600

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds