Taking the positives Ö

By Ian Henry

Reflections on Man City away

One of the inevitable things after a bad result, in any sport these days, is for the manager or a senior player to come out and talk about the positives. After the 6-3 drubbing at Abu Dhabi City (and letís face it, while maybe we could have had a few more but for dubious officiating, so could City, such was their dominance at times), for me there were three positives in particular Ė

* Theo Walcott scoring two goals, with the second especially classy. He must play against Chelsea and, whether against Cashley or the Spanish bloke with the long name, I expect him to have a blinder.

* Per Mertesacker bollocking (I think) Ramsey and/or Wilshere after some sloppy passing. More of that please, Per. In every game.

* And Wengerís evident anger in his MOTD interview.

And that last point is the most important. The question is, however, with what is Wenger really angry? The players? Or himself?

If Wenger really wants to win the league, or at least make a better fist of it than in the past, then he must recognise that while he can rightly blame the players for poor defending from the front and sloppy marking at times, the state of the squad is the real problem at Arsenal. And that, as I and many others have said before, is down to Wenger entirely.

There are four games before the transfer window opens (although, if the club were really smart, they could get someone lined up to be able to play on January 1 against Cardiff), so we will undoubtedly see a fair bit of rotation in the games ahead. The fact that we have longer to recover for the Chelsea game may be a good thing (especially for Koscielnyís knee and Giroudís general state of health), but the consequence of delaying the game to Monday is that we will then play 4 games in 10 days over the holiday period. So, the greatest striker that ever lived will probably have to play his part, unless Podolski comes back fighting fit next week; we also have to hope for no more centre-back casualties.

The squad will be under a fair bit of strain in the next few weeks, and, following the result at City, the need to find reinforcements as soon as possible is stronger than ever. To read that Wenger doesnít envy the City squad is ridiculous spin, just as was his statement that beating that City would send out a message to the others; what message was sent out by conceding six goals ArsŤne?

Wenger is paid millions to manage. A key part of management in any business is assessing whether the resources at your disposal are good enough and, if they are not, then putting in place plans to remedy that situation. Wenger is stubborn to a fault, and he is remarkably arrogant at times, but he is not stupid (at least I donít think he is). If he refuses to make any signings in January, no matter how short-termist they may be, and if we hear the line at the end of the window that there is no-one out there, then the typical collapse in February or March will follow, if it hasnít already started. And I will take back that bit about not thinking he is stupid.

In terms of squad additions, the minimum has to be a centre-back and another striker. Forget the talk of Lewandowski or Suarez. That wonít happen. We need Premiership proven players to boost the squad at this point, not people who need six months to settle into life in England. In any case, super-quality players (the kind so loved by the manager) moving in January are as rare as a Spurs title-winning side, so letís be realistic and look closer to home. Swanseaís early season promise is petering out, and thereís nothing like a fat cheque to gladden a chairmanís heart, so why not make an offer that canít be refused for Michu and Ashley Williams? Or what about Shane Long at the Baggies, a player Wenger has long admired, I believe, and one with a proven track record and no mean amount of skill?

The squad needs strengthening and much as big name stars would be nice, I donít think there is much chance of that happening. In January this year, the club showed that they can act fast when they need to. Gibbsí injury and Santosí shocking performance against Liverpool led to Monreal being signed the next day, or maybe the day after. Similar deals can and MUST be done to avoid absolute fatigue setting in and killing any chance of silverware, or at least a sustained fight to the end of the season.

The club has the resources, and, with the increased TV money next year Ė and the season-ticket price-hike as well, there is no excuse. What was it that Roy Keane said once about failing to prepare and preparing to fail? Sure he was quoting someone else, but the point is that he was right. If Wenger boosts the squad with proven experienced players, ideally from within the Premier League, then he will give himself a chance of winning a trophy. No signings will mean he can forget about a trophy; rather the team will simply atrophy.

16th December 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.

Bard  10:29am 16th Dec 2013

Great post Ian although you are liable to get a load of stick from the 'status quo' merchants who even think Bendtner a decent back up striker. The interesting issue here is the boss himself. Can he afford not to sign players ? He is stubborn but his power is not what it used to be, hence the panic buying of Ozil at the beginning of the season. All the fans know we need a couple to make a real fist of the challenge and we now have the money. If he doesn't buy and we experience the usual Feb disintegration he may be a dead man walking come the end of the season. Yes of course we can't buy world class players in the window but seasoned prem players are affordable. - Post No. 45876

hibeegunner  12:13pm 16th Dec 2013

Any comment this morning Finsbury Joe who is the laughing stock this morning. - Post No. 45880

John  12:32pm 16th Dec 2013

There are no positives when you concede 6 goals.But we scored 3 goals cry the Wenger loyalists so what?We scored 2 and missed a penalty in the Man Utd 8 goal humilation.Wenger is tactically bankrupt.He should have set a team out to get a draw.But no he tries to slug it out toe to toe with the best home team in the league.And he proudly says afterwards we could have scored 6 forgetting the chances City missed.The lack of a top class striker will eventually kill us as the season goes on.Giroud is willing but is not a great finisher and has no pace.Watching Suarez at Liverpool reminds me of when Henry was running riot in the league.We are two weeks away from when the window opens.Wenger has known since the summer we need a striker he needs to have one lined up on Jan 1st not scrambling about on deadline day for a cheap £3m player or a loan deal - Post No. 45881

Westlower  12:34pm 16th Dec 2013

I find it hard to agree that buying Michu or Long is any improvement on what we already have. Long has 10 International goals from 43 games for Republic of Ireland & Michu 0 goals at International level, albeit after only one appearance for Spain. We are talking Eddie McGoldrick & John Hartson types. AFC currently have two International class strikers with 70 goals from 167 appearances for Germany & Denmark. - Post No. 45882

DJ  12:54pm 16th Dec 2013

As I posted in the summer we should have broken the bank to get that nasty man Suarez. Instead we are left with willing trier, lovely bloke Giroud who just isn't good enough to lead the line on his own! - Post No. 45884

Westlower  12:55pm 16th Dec 2013

Bayern Munich (A) 11/3; Spurs (A) 15/3; Chelsea (A) 22/3; Man City (H) 29/3; Squeaky bum time! - Post No. 45885

WeAreBuildingATeamToDominate  13:02pm 16th Dec 2013

aah, the old chestnut of "Accenuating The Positive", in these days when figures of authority have to satiate our wonderful meeeeedja's craving for knee-jerk quotes and "putting a positive angle on it". As in, "yeah we lost 4-0, but their third goal was a yard offside." Losing 6-3 away to your title challengers doesn't seem to me to be any reason for putting a positive spin on anything. Still we could always be supporters of a certain other North London side, the recipients of a spanking this weekend, who didn't even have the excuse of being away from home............ - Post No. 45886

jeff wright  13:10pm 16th Dec 2013

Westie, goals scored at International level are irrelevant to domestic comps. Poldolski has a poor record for us and is hardly Herr Fitness . He's scored 46 goals for Deutschland in 111 appearances . Whose record isthis > 82 played 62 goals scored . A clue... he's Irish ... perhaps using your criteria we should sign him then ... no... thought not ! Berbatov or a similiar Prem experienced one would be a good signing in January to help out in the remains of our season. He also has experience playing fussball in the Bundesliga - and that might also come in handy nine ? I hope you didn't take the 2-1 on us for the Prem, you can get 4-1 now and we are top of the league with a 2 point lead . - Post No. 45888

Spaced  13:12pm 16th Dec 2013

Top of the league and in the knockouts of the Champions League. Just not good enough!!! Sack Wenger and get AVB, right? - Post No. 45889

smithy  13:17pm 16th Dec 2013

I agree with the majority of whats written, but feel we need to aim higher than Micho or Long. I cannot believe there isn't a brilliant striker in the whole of world football who isn't champions league cup tied. We need to look further afield across the world or bang in a £60 million bid for Suarez. Caution is not what we need in the striker department, as what we currently have, are not world class. - Post No. 45890

Westlower  13:44pm 16th Dec 2013

Jeff, If we bought average PL class players the question would be asked by Feb as to why we've wasted money + long contracts on players who couldn't improve us. We quickly overlook the fact not many, if any, available players could step into a top 4 club. If they're that good, why would their clubs be looking to offload them in Jan? It's one thing being a big fish for a mid-table club but a completely different game at the top level. No, I didn't take any 2/1 but I was tempted at 18/1 after the Villa defeat. Winning the PL means much more than money. Can't believe I said that! - Post No. 45895

GoonerD  14:00pm 16th Dec 2013

In blackjack terms, AW has 16 - a hand that might win because it beats 80% of hands. He pretty much has an even chance of going bust as he does of bettering his hand by twisting. The reason it's a gamble for AW to spend big over Xmas, is because Arsenal don't have the money of their rivals. For Mourinho - paying £65 million for Suarez wouldn't be a gamble. For AW it would be a make or break move. If the past is anything to go by, AW isn't much of a gambler and will wait until the summer to reinforce the squad when the stakes aren't quite as high. - Post No. 45897

jeff wright  14:02pm 16th Dec 2013

There is always an element of risk involved when signing a striker Westie,ask spuds and Chelsea about it . However,the facts are that no matter what smug self satisfied types like Space say, Wenger in the past has come unstuck by not taking a risk on signing new players when we have been in a promising position. Results of course between now and when the window opens may leave us in a not so promising one - but whatever the position is Wenger needs to pull a rabbit out of his old magic hat - if he still has it . - Post No. 45898

Danny  14:19pm 16th Dec 2013

There is nothing positive from a thrashing and this cannot go on. This rout was the UNITED 8-2 defeat and will go on with the big boys We have a management structure that supports a useless Coach who will never win anything. Only positive in my eyes is a firing like spurs did this morning Arsenal will only finish the minimum 4th and this cannot be tolerated with a club that has the highest tickets prices and a highest paid coach in the world - Post No. 45899

BADARSE  14:36pm 16th Dec 2013

jeff wright, I don't see Spaced as a smug self satisfied type, chum. I think he just gets exasperated by the same entreaties. It can become 'white noise'. Irrespective of my personal views I know January is the worst time to buy, if you are purchasing for a specific/s. We know clubs don't want to sell good players, especially mid-season, and a player from abroad is an unlikely option. Settling in period would nullify any positives in buying him. January demands the player hits the ground running. PL player is always an option of course but who but a dissatisfied player would want to transfer. We sure as heck could scoop up dross, but do we really want 'a finger in the dyke' job? Say yes, sign him up, long-term contract, all goes horribly wrong and people howl that we have 'deadwood'. It is a tricky situation. It would be great if work has been done behind the scenes for a very good 'permanent' player, who could lend himself to our current campaign, but it would be both unfair and unrealistic to expect him to carry our hopes. A very difficult position to negotiate around. I think a good loan deal may occur at best, but like you, I live in hope but don't dream of a big signing. - Post No. 45900

GoonerRon  14:43pm 16th Dec 2013

If we could get a couple of top quality players for the right price then I would certainly welcome it that's for sure, although I'm not the likes of Shane Long are of the requisite quality. Regarding Bendtner, he came on against City with what 20 minutes to go and scored a goal that was wrongly chalked off and set up a clear chance for Theo with a brilliant scooped through ball. What else can we reasonably expect from an impact sub? If it was Dzeko or Jovetic who did exactly the same thing we'd be eulogising over the quality of their striking options. I'm not saying there aren't better back up strikers, but there is zero balance when it comes to the assessment of Bendter's on pitch performance. @ Danny - I'm impressed with the depth of your research in knowing the specific finances of every manager's contract in world football. - Post No. 45901

maguiresbridge gooner  14:49pm 16th Dec 2013

Positives Ian? well it wasn't eight, and it's not much good scoring goals when your conceding double. A good point about who OGL was angry with, i doubt very much it was himself but will he/players learn? how many times over the last nine years has that question been asked after every mistake and every beating? even though we already know the answer, the saying you can't teach an old dog new tricks has been aired on many an occasion. Reinforcements are needed alright and have always been, when was the last time we could say our squad was complete, really ready? or as near as damm,the mention of the cart horse says it all. Stubborn and arrogant is an excellent description but we've known that for a long time the more fans want something (changes, signings) the least chance there is of it happening he held out to the very last minute before signing Ozil who hasn't exactly set the prem alight since the hype, and it's still been debated if he was a Wenger signing or not. The squad needs strengthening alright but as i've said that's always been the case so don't expect it to change anytime soon certainly not with real super quality anyway, OGL's super quality maybe. Good piece Ian. - Post No. 45902

Bard  14:51pm 16th Dec 2013

Badarse and co I agree it's a risk but I don't agree you can only buy dissatisfied players, many want more money and a better club. We havent been this close for years an astute signing or two just might be enough. Of course it's not a shoo in if he buys but better to have tried and failed than not try at all. All this 'keep your powder dry for another day' is misguided. The real issue is whether the boss has got the balls to do what's necessary. It's my view that he hasn't and that this will be another of those 'what could have been' seasons that we specialise in. And before anyone asks how about Michu, Benteke, Hernandez. - Post No. 45903

jeff wright  14:52pm 16th Dec 2013

Badarse ,I myself find constant sermons delivered from the pulpit of pomposity that point at aeroplanes to be rather tiresome . We all know that we are top of the league and through to the KO stages of the CL if this apart from financially is of benefit to us remains to seen. Personally I believe that with our squad that it just makes things a bit harder for us in the Prem,as we saw again last Saturday. Given that it's unlikely that Wenger is about to break his duck in Europe. - Post No. 45904

johnnyhawleyloovinggooner  14:54pm 16th Dec 2013

hey hey cheer up! the panto season has started at the lane already. no matter how bad our board is there is always someone worse managed than us. you would of thought he would at least of got to the FA cup. anyway it shows the pitfalls of spending large amounts of money and making lots of changes.see the chavs are complaining about their forwards poor return on goals and looking to spend more of their benefactor's money.priceless.can they not spend their own money by selling the players he is unhappy with and spending the money he gets for them like everyone else? oh i forgot, he give them that money too.look at the stories of a black hole in manu's trading figures if they don't make the CL before calling for an empty piggy bank ( i wonder are they true?).Westlower is spot on.we can only buy a very promising player and hope he hits the ground running. - Post No. 45905

BADARSE  14:55pm 16th Dec 2013

@GoonerRon, I would put in a bid for Dzeko, and it would be turned down. If I was then desperate, as we are, I would look at Bendtner, and buy him in the expectation of turning him and his career around. But I don't have to buy him, he is here. So I would then shop around for any up and coming young player with unproven form to supplement what we already have. If I knew of a PL player on the edge at his club I would push for a half season loan. That is precisely what I would do. If any of my team of advisers, scouts, 'men in the know', gave me an heads up on an unhappy and unsettled player I would weigh the options and possibly make a move. As I said a difficult labyrinth to negotiate around. - Post No. 45906

chris dee  15:09pm 16th Dec 2013

It's not the players. It's how the manager sets up the team.Only someone arrogant,stubborn or naive would ask his players to play the same way no matter who the opponents,unless you have 4 or 5 'worldy' players in the team and we ain't. Henry,Vieira,Campbell,Pires,Freddie,Gilberto,Cole.Lehman come to mind. George Graham did not have the most talented or biggest squad in the league but we still came top.Pragmatism is also a great virtue. - Post No. 45907

jeff wright  15:13pm 16th Dec 2013

Badarse, what about Chamakh he's been scoring goals . Bendtner was on his way to Palace before Sanogo was injured , Chammy and Bendy would have made a fearsome looking strike duo - and that's only their barnets. - Post No. 45908

Westlower  15:15pm 16th Dec 2013

Some interesting names in the betting for next Spurs manager: Adams, O'Leary, Platt, GG all 66/1; Henry, Brady, Bould all 100/1; Favourites are Capello, Laudrup, Hoddle & Sherwood. To dare is to do! - Post No. 45909

jeff wright  15:48pm 16th Dec 2013

Ha! Hoddle the messiah will get crucified again ... I hope Levy gives the poisoned chalice to that odious oaf Sherwood... no one deserves it more ... - Post No. 45910

Ron  15:55pm 16th Dec 2013

It was 6-3. There are no positives except perhaps if that gutless Board as a result tell Wenger hes leaving in May. That will be the best and only 'positive' we ve had since Utd mauled us in 2011. Is it going to take a Munich mauling to underline the necessity for change? Taking 'positves' is what Norwich and West Brom do after a pasting. - Post No. 45911

BADARSE  16:19pm 16th Dec 2013

jeff wright. jeff I accept and understand exactly what you are saying. I would never sit and contemplate mine, or for that matter, your naval. I do recognise what is. I do not believe we are a finished product and would crave and be excited by another couple of proven talents arriving. However, realistically I do not expect that to happen in January, though it would be a magnificent fillip to the squad. We-you, Bard and myself, are of a kind. We all want to push on from here, not to lose that momentum already created. I think we still hope for the positive outcome. My viewpoint is that it is unlikely to happen in January. How wonderful it would be if someone arrives from over the horizon and does the business. Daydream believer signing off-as it's now night time. - Post No. 45912

Ron  16:20pm 16th Dec 2013

Wetsie makes a good point about buying more dross in January. Generally you get rebels, dossers with names, unfit 'past its' and downright lazy fu----s whos bosses have frozen them out, plus lightweight, perenniel crock types. As for the latter, Wenger can doubtless pick up a few of them as hes been an avid collector for 8 years already. Arsenal cant be placed into a position where they can genuinely compete with the big boys just by a surgical bit of January tinkering. The squad needs almost a total overhaul and to start it the exit door needs oiling so it can cope with the outbound ones who should be shown it in the Coach's wake. The sqaud is the result of Wengers creativity, the types of player he has and the culture theyve been schooled on runs through its DNA. A signing or two doesnt change that. A new Coach does, who looks to pick build a team of winners, notwithstanding such players might not be in the coaches own image. City have crushed the last vestiges of an illusion that the team this year is really any good. Its little different and the 42 Million quid man looks like serious cash wasted. Many of us didnt want Wenger near the cheque book over the last 2-3 years and have said so many times, as its unsafe in his hands. Saturday showed why. City perversely have actually done the Club a favour. - Post No. 45913

GoonerRon  16:21pm 16th Dec 2013

@ Ron - Theo scoring two goals on his first start since injury, away at Citeh who had previously only conceded 2 goals in 7 games at home. Surely a positive, no? - Post No. 45914

Chris  16:33pm 16th Dec 2013

Ron - Last week you were giving us the benefit of your intuition, tipping us that you fancied Arsenal to get some kind of a result at Citeh. Now, according to you, the squad needs a massive overhaul and the manager should be first out of the door. 6-3 isn't that bad a result, esp not in the context of Man U or Sp*rs' recent results there, or Arsenal's schedule that week. With all due respect, given the context of your previous comments, it sounds a bit bizarre that you are stating now that both the team that has STILL amassed more points than any other in 2013 and its coach, who as been shown to be the best points per pound manager in the country, need to be sacked! What would Wenger do with the billion pounds it's taken Citeh to build their squad? (rhetorical quesiton - no need for answers about hand it back / waste it on dross etc) - Post No. 45915

HowardL  16:41pm 16th Dec 2013

It could be worse - we could be in Oz supporting England in 40 degrees. At least we're still top... - Post No. 45916

BADARSE  16:41pm 16th Dec 2013

Welcome back Ron. When westlower said, 'It's squeaky bum time!' I thought it was your introduction to enter stage right. Hope you had a good weekend pal. Now tell me please. Many were excited by Ozil's arrival, not so many at the moment perhaps. Thing is was he Arsene's purchase? Does he get the credit for it, as at the time many wanted (some still do), to give the 'gee' to another. Now if people allow their disappointment to show it becomes a given that Arsene did buy him. The manager loses both ways, which is often the basis for gripes on this board. By the way are you any good on castanets? - Post No. 45917

jjetplane  16:57pm 16th Dec 2013

Was suprised Ron that you thought we would do something last saturday but can understand you feeling like s... about Arsenal again. I keep wondering just what is wrong with someone supporting a team for life and taking that team to task when they disappoint. That is part of the picture. Mr Wenger has been in his job a very long time and he has got to be thinking if things are pearshaped yet again come March, he might wanna move upstairs and give it to a younger bod. We should never assume people will be on the first plane when Arsenal come looking but I think we will have to look towards someone like Martinez (passion!) to take Arsenal out of becoming an eternal soft touch. I look back on the game at Cardiff and think they did Arsenal no favours by sitting back for a spontaneous Ramsay day. Though he dealt well with it, I would rather a Cardiff trying to tear holes in us. I think this season is only just beginning and the Indian Summer is over. Now for some serious football Mr Wenger. - Post No. 45919

Steve 1962er  17:01pm 16th Dec 2013

Yes we need a centre half and a forward, but Ashley Williams is certainly not the answer, we need far better than him, he is frequently beaten in the air and positional sense leaves a lot to be desired. - Post No. 45920

Ron  17:03pm 16th Dec 2013

Hi Chris - Absolutely. It was a pure hunch we might squeak some thing from the City game. Intuition as you say. It was a fools intuition and reflected a momentary departure from reality. I also said on another thread that despite my momentary hunch, i wdt be suprised if we lost 4-0 either. You might say i was having it both ways! It doesnt alter my longer and consistently held view though mate, that Wenger should have gone in August 2011 after the OT thumping. Similarly, my view has also oft been said that i want him gone in May whatever this season brings and that wont be much. The squad is lightweight and lacks fibre and has done for years. Its cappable of the odd good result though all the same. My hunch thought they might just exceed themselves and relsih a game v City. Instead they lost it, paniced and lost their discipline. People blaming the linesman and ref etc astonish me now. For large periods, it was men v boys and quite a few of us afterwards thought ikewise. - Post No. 45921

Bard  17:08pm 16th Dec 2013

The crucial point about buying anyone is that it's a risk whether it's January or the summer. It's more difficult in Jan that's for sure but didn't we once buy the fat russian one Jan window and he produced some great performances for a while. The difference now is we're close to having a terrific side ( Ron I don't agree the side needs a complete overhaul) and we still have a great chance of the title. As CG and others have said we keep knocking over the lesser sides and we will be there or thereabouts come May. A new striker would give us options and allow Giroud the rest he needs. A nasty f**** r in midfield to share the load with Flamini would do us no end of good. If a manager of Wengers experience cant make that happen then he shouldnt be in the job. - Post No. 45922

Moscow Gooner  17:13pm 16th Dec 2013

I think the Chelsea game is the critical one: defeat at OT and at Citeh disappointing but not the end of the world - in 70/71 we lose 0-5 early on at Stoke and that spurred us on to great things. But: to lose at home to Chelsea with a full strength, well-rested, squad would be unacceptable and a sure marker for meltdown in 2014. 'Taxi for Mr Wenger' time. We'll then finish the season needing to win to claim 4th place and so it will go on season after season after season. This was the year remember when we finally had the funds available to compete: a win against Chelsea would give credence to that and give us the platform for a great second half to the season. If we can beat Chelsea at home then you would have to back in the home games against Citeh and United. Do or die time. - Post No. 45923

jeff wright  17:18pm 16th Dec 2013

I'm not convinced by the we are the only team to score 3 at City argument being used for a positive in Wenger's favour. He went for broke and played to score goals by sacrificing some defensive stability. No surprise either to see Kosser disappearing for an early bath again when he saw another AC Milan result happening . I said the other day that Wenger will win nothing playing the type of football that he coaches and with the small technical players that he has signed - I saw nothing in the 3 games played last week that makes me want to change my mind. Liverpool after their demolition job on the hapless spuds can now go a point ahead of us at the top of the table on Saturday if they beat Cardiff at Anfield. C'est la vie ! - Post No. 45924

Ron  17:19pm 16th Dec 2013

GOONER RON - City could quite easily have scored 9 matey. Walcotts goals were well taken, like a mirage in the Sahara. He actually showed a poise that his team mates never could and im not a Walcott fan. JJ - being a fan for years doesnt on its own make us so critical. For me, its so many years of seeing the team so frequently lack character, fold and shirk fights. Ive seen most of the bottle jobs and went last Saturday (albeit on a cheapo last min ticket) and swear i must stop it. I still enjoy the away days though for reasons rarely seen on the pitch, but Wengers teams havent inspired for at least 5 years and neither has he!BADARSE - i dont know matey re Ozil. To be frank him and Wilshere looked like players whove lost interest last Saturday. Both were a disgrace. Ozils performaces re the better sides have been pretty poor though. He was worse at Utd though i thought. Did Wenger sanction his buy? Who knows? 42 Mill? Easy to think not isnt it. - Post No. 45925

Stroud Green Road Boy  17:31pm 16th Dec 2013

Basically, the Wenger way will win you a couple more than you lose and draw, meaning a top 4 finish. And as he doesn't tend to spend much on transfers, it'll also 'win' you a couple of stats, e.g. 'points per spend'. Obviously some find that more pleasing than others. - Post No. 45926

Westlower  17:33pm 16th Dec 2013

Badarse, You got the instruments mixed up as Ron is THE guitar player. It also appears by his despondent mood that he done his boll**ks betting on his predicted 2-1 scoreline. He's even resorted to calling me Wetsie now, probably more accurate thinking about it? Deep breath please Ron. Dangerous game, predictions???? You should try betting for a living! - Post No. 45927

Ron  17:40pm 16th Dec 2013

BARD - S.G.R.B sums up why youre right to say that we will be 'there or thereabouts'. Nobody can sensibly say otherwise really. What SGRB doesnt say is that we ll knock over most teams in the PL, as its qualitively quite a poor league really when you look behind the hype. In my view the standard has nose dived in the recession years ie since 2008. Whether recession has a link, ive no real idea. A few are mentioning the Liverpool resurgence. They seemed good v the dispirited spuds, whos players have disgustingly stopped playing for AVB in my view plus theyve no europe to do. I suspect Suarez is this years Bale though and if he dries up, Liverpool will too. - Post No. 45928

jeff wright  17:41pm 16th Dec 2013

Ron,a club statement after the Ozil 42m signing made clear that Stan had played a 'prominent part' in the signing . Wenger signed Sanago on a free - that's an Arsene signing. With our already big wage bill it's unlikely that we will see any big wage earners added in January . - Post No. 45929

BADARSE  17:46pm 16th Dec 2013

Thanks wetsie, ha ha. Oh what a festive mood I'm in. Think we all imagined Ron spitting blood and cursing everyone connected with AFC. We have red nose maguiresbridge, Ron 'Bah humbugging' his way towards Xmas and me quite calm and relaxed, proof you can be intoxicated even as a teetotaller. Am expecting a different Arsenal to take to the pitch next Monday, and Messi joining us just after Xmas. - Post No. 45930

Chris  17:48pm 16th Dec 2013

SGRB - The fact that Wenger achieves what he does near the top end of the table, where it's more difficult due to the law of diminishing returns, gives the lie to your thesis.... - Post No. 45931

Ron  17:52pm 16th Dec 2013

Ha ha . Hi Westie. Good day on Saturday matey. The result never stops that. Yet, OGL must have heard me as he left the 'hider' out (Caz) and started the Wallflower, hennce after 4 pints pre game, i was getting bolder re my hunch as others thought it was the beer s effects on lack of a good breakfast. Im not advising him again! Betting? Not on my hunch last Saturday old buddy. My guitaring talent is a bit Cazorlaesque mate. Rarely gets the best scales right, missed chords all over the shop and tending to hide from the trickiest riffs! - Post No. 45932

Stroud Green Road Boy  17:53pm 16th Dec 2013

No thesis, Chris, just a couple of facts, followed by an observation. Nothing for anyone to grab hold of and 'debate'. It's just more baldy put than some would like. - Post No. 45933

maguiresbridge gooner  18:19pm 16th Dec 2013

Just when we're pissed off with our own team and manager after another stuffing and having nothing to laugh about, and with the postmortem in full flow up pop the dependable spuds to cheer us up and actually give us something to laugh about and not make the weekend look too bad after all. And then not been content with that, the next day they do it all over again, and set us all off all over again and set us up nicely for the week. They really were put on this planet for our amusement. Forever in our shadow. - Post No. 45934

maguiresbridge gooner  18:30pm 16th Dec 2013

BADARSE, still a pain in my fooking head too. - Post No. 45935

Frank  18:49pm 16th Dec 2013

@chris dee Absolutely spot on.Wenger sends his teams out to play City the same way he would Hull.We have played City Utd and Chelsea so far this season and lost them all.We got 2 points out of 18 against the top 3 last season.There is a reason for that.Wenger has one way of playing and thats it and you cant play like that against the big teams.Our full backs got murdered on saturday because they were left 2 on 1 all the time.Wenger plays tippy tappy players who wont track back.Yes Walcott scored two but when did he cover back for the full backs.Pires and Lungberg couldnt tackle a fish supper but they always helped out the full backs. - Post No. 45936

Green Hut  19:06pm 16th Dec 2013

Chris- '6-3 isn't that bad a result'. What??? Any fellow members of The Happy Losers Club on here care to agree with that? And not forgetting your context, Man Utd didn't lose by any greater margin than we did, and of course tottenham have just sacked their manager. We could also have given some players at least a partial rest midweek if we had managed to put the Napoli game to bed at any point before the final whistle. I find it rather bizarre that you are slating others for bizarreness. - Post No. 45937

Happy Loser  19:42pm 16th Dec 2013

Green Hut - Wingeing and whining on here doesn't make you a winner. When you have exacted change that sees an upturn in Arsenal's fortunes on the pitch, I'll gladly call you a winner. Until then, you're just... well, wingeing and whining. - Post No. 45938

Ian Henry  20:06pm 16th Dec 2013

Those of you who think I am happy in any shape or form with a 6-3 defeat, I am not. The three positives I took were really me trying to look at it from a different angle for once. I have written more critical pieces after matches like this than I care to remember and couldnít be bothered to write another critical dissection Ė after all what could I add to what had already been written and said by everyone else. For the record, I didnít expect much, if anything, from the match on Saturday, so I was not especially surprised. This team has the potential to implode and defend crassly at any time; it has done so in the past, and it will almost certainly do so again, especially while Wenger is the manager. We need reinforcements in January, we all know that; we can debate all we like about whether player X or Y is the answer up front or whether NB52 is as good as anything else out there. I shouldnít have put names in my piece, which is why I have said x or y here. I simply wanted to point out that we need bodies as the squad is not big enough Ė big enough in both senses by the way, not enough players and too many small players, but thatís another issue. We can dream as much as we like about super star signings and I would like them as much as anyone, but they are not going to happen. So we have to be realistic and because of the settling in period which accompanies overseas players in the main, we need proven premiership players in my opinion. Sure they may not be the quality we would like long term, and if we end up with a couple of extra players in the squad after next summerís inevitable splurge on super quality, well wouldnít that be nice? As the signing on Monreal in January showed, the club can act fast if it really wants to. So the question is, does Wenger want to act or will he prefer to continue to dither? - Post No. 45939

Green Hut  20:17pm 16th Dec 2013

Happy Loser- Of course I'm not a winner, I support a football club managed by Arsene Wenger, the only man in a position capable of improving The Arsenal's trophy winning fortunes. You would have thought on a £7m salary himself with a humongous wage bill for his playing staff and a transfer kitty double that of the amount he actually spends that he might have managed it by now, but sadly no. And as long as fans are comfortable with 6-3 defeats, why should anything change? - Post No. 45940

lee afc  20:29pm 16th Dec 2013

Nice post Ian......Another stat for every one...even after Saturdays result, we have taken more points away from home this season than anyone else in the league...By the way, we are top of the league too and that is not an accident...keep the faith gooners. - Post No. 45941

maguiresbridge gooner  20:55pm 16th Dec 2013

Green Hut, spot on mate like i said on another post the humiliation, beating, defeat on Saturday like the others, and the hike in prices will be taken with a whimper as usual, and there's a lot of names to describe those type and happy losers is right up there with the best. - Post No. 45942

CanadaGooner  21:28pm 16th Dec 2013

only an absolute IDIOT would have hired AVB right after the Chelsea debacle. I suppose Daniel Levy thought he was smarter than Abrahmovich, who has masterminded his team's CL win, Europa win, 3 premier leagues, several FA Cup and other trophies. You go and hire a 36 year old boy who was lucky to do well in the crappy Portuguese league (using the team Mourinho left there). The minute he started saying things against Mourinho (biting the hand that fed him) just because he won a handful of matches, I knew his time will come this season. Hopeless boy, stupid club (spurs); what a waste of money - Post No. 45943

Ikenna Christian  21:28pm 16th Dec 2013

wenger doesn't like addressing his problems fully, what's the point bringing in a playmaker without a striker? Ozil 's stunning ability to create chances is matched by Giroud 's ability to miss them. I am not a prophet of doom, but I have my doubts that we will win silverware this season. - Post No. 45944

stevo433  0:35am 17th Dec 2013

When I heard this morning that Spurs had sacked their manager it got me thinking. You see I turned 60 this year, have followed Arsenal since 1967, although I packed up going in 2008, but wondered if I will ever hear the magical words in my lifetime " This morning Arsenal Football Club parted company with their manager Arsene Wenger " . I live in hope. - Post No. 45946

DW Thomas  2:55am 17th Dec 2013

Still feeling like those two points dropped with Everton are/were points we needed. Wenger must win something this year or surely his time is up. You can't always say you're rebuilding and be taken seriously. Ozil et al need to step up vs Chelsea. No more hiding or excuses. And whether we get reinforcements or not, no more chances Arsene. And for goodness sake, enough of the same old tired excuses. We could have scored more? Yeah and if my aunt had balls... - Post No. 45947

Black Hei  5:00am 17th Dec 2013

I know we would like to buy somebody, but I don't see how Shane Long is going to be "competition", "backup" as opposed to Bendter. Michu on the other hand would be golden, IMO. Yeah he is not Top, top, tip top quality cake, but he is good, kind of like Demba Ba. He isn't going to be a lethal striker like Augero, but Michu fits very well into the team, and is quite different to Giroud; he is more subtle. - Post No. 45948

BADARSE  8:16am 17th Dec 2013

Black Hei your post was simple and succinct, with nothing to add. My choice would be Dzeko but would be more than happy with Michu. Thing is the top, top, top player you allude is scarcity itself. Aguero takes to the pitch and instinctively I know he is different, so too Suarez of course. These players are as scarce as, um, a Spud title challenge. - Post No. 45950

Tony Evans  9:08am 17th Dec 2013

The past 7 or 8 seasons have been bizarre in the extreme for me as an Arsenal supporter. On the one hand we have a manager with a record other clubs outside of the top four (like Spurs) would be more than happy with, but on the other hand that same manager would not have kept his job with an elite club. All this has left supporters like me floundering in confusion - should we be happy with what we have got, or should we be demanding more? Are we just a top four club, or should we be aspiring to be one of the elite? Something has to happen to break this monotonous cycle of just doing enough, because let's face it - it's boring! I wasn't even that upset by the result on Saturday because I was half expecting it. How many of us on this site really believe we will win the title? How many of us really believe we will get past Bayern? It has been (and still is) great to be top of the League, and also in to the last 16 of the CL, but I want my club to be in these positions with genuine hope, which under Wenger, I fear, is never going to happen. - Post No. 45952

don froth  9:23am 17th Dec 2013

Dzeko..... Michu...... do me a favour, why do you people think we have this kind of money still to spend?Suarez for 60?its ridiculous! - Post No. 45953

BADARSE  9:37am 17th Dec 2013

Tony Evans it is anormal and natural feeling chum, confusion reigns. I don't just see it as AFC's unique situation. I recognise it everywhere. Sometimes I wish I didn't because it gives me no peace. Knowledge/awareness opens the door to reality, but often beyond that very door it's a view of such unpleasantness and ugliness there is an inclination to try to shut the door and turn away. Once opened it can never be shut, it's a bit like a child discovering that there is no Father Xmas. It cannot be undone. So how is it affecting us? Well the big companies/governments know they have to sell to stay afloat. The financial system we operate with is under extreme stress and will continue to fail. Then the urgency to sell more becomes frenetic, it's a little like the Titanic going down and ordinary people on board are pretty powerless. It breeds a crazy society and despite people claiming to be astute and up to speed on most matters we all slip up and in doing so, slip down. We expect, we demand, we rail at the failures and get angry. It's an oft repeated pattern of human behaviour. We are a wealthy club in a division of some with extreme wealth, and most without much at all. We are where we are basically because the performances are inextricably linked to money. People arguing on here that we accrue this much lucre and we therefore should be fourth always, and others using slightly different sets of figures claim we could finish higher are splitting hairs. We should certainly be there or thereabouts but both parties would agree we are less able, have less resources than those big hitters who regularly win. Then the argument descends into speculation and conjecture, does the manager do a good job, would another do better. The arguments could be dismissed and the question posed, go or stay. Despite admiring the well put arguments for and against I ignore. I already see the bottom line coming. As I want the manager to stay it's a closed case for me. During the trophyless period the rich clubs have consistently won, we have consistentlt knocked on the door, and the rest have consistently failed. That is if those terms are employed. I see it as a natural order. I want to win it's in me and our species, it's why we are still around screwing up the planet. People need to take their feet off the pedals and recognise this as reality. Here endeth the lesson. Sorry to appear to lecture again N4. - Post No. 45954

BADARSE  10:13am 17th Dec 2013

don froth, as I mentioned Dzeko the other day I need to respond and perhaps qualify. I offered him as a personal choice of mine in a discussion I usually avoid. My view is we shall purchase no player beyond possibly a loan deal. I was allowing the moment to take me and mentioned a name as a preference, no more. I actually align myself with you. People talk of crazy figures which leave me speechless, we haven't got that kind of cash, and had we no doubt would spend it in a more rational manner. However, as anything is possible, and I am allowed to dream, I watch in a relaxed, resigned, but hopeful way of what January holds in store. - Post No. 45955

Ron  10:16am 17th Dec 2013

Hi mate. Reality is that the cash laden clubs are going to take all and share things amongst each other. Arsenal are just top 4 as you say. We all moan and demand more and get frustrated but the truth is, that its a case of accepting football for what it is or taking yourself out of it, to a geater or lesser extent.The latter has done it for me. I do about 6-7 games per year now and most of them are away from the Grove. Good days out, the results are not that important really. Football has eaten itself away as its become immersed in its own sea of greed and the quality of it is pretty ordinary in truth. A great many think like you. The predictability of it at the top end is pretty tedious, but for me, its OK now and again. I could never go back to being a 'regular'. Cdt afford it anyway! Ive a few mates who follow mid table and bottom end Clubs plus a champoionship club. The telling thing about football when i speak at any length to them about football is that they dont actually care about their results v the so called elite Clubs. Theyre 'written off' games and their enjoyment is v teams of the same level. This attitude is the one that will see the elite clubs break away and form their own euro leagues etc. Clubs like Arsenal and Liverpool will have hard choices to make when that happens wont they? Do they or dont they? Are they elite or dont they want to be? Once Clubs like them opt to go that way, they could be consigning themselves to never winning anything ever again, but they will become even richer for it. That s the 'game' today. Football as you and me know it died years ago. - Post No. 45956

anti-wenger  10:35am 17th Dec 2013

We only lost a game we were expected to loose anyway, so chin up people, it's not the end of the world. ManC, Chelsea,Manu and Liverpool would all rather be in our situation. how you guys now assume they're all better than us simply based on one or two results is absurd, considering 16 games have already been played and the team you're critizing is still 2 points clear at the top. Let's support the team till the end, we're part of the problem by putting our own team under pressure whenever they have a bad result. were u guys expecting another invicibles season? give the guys a break please. - Post No. 45957

Westlower  10:47am 17th Dec 2013

Informative graph in yesterdays Racing Post that showed the clubs with the highest wages bill gather the most points over time. At present Man City, Man U & Chelsea are the biggest payers. Realistically as things stand 4th or 5th is our natural finishing position. Anything better suggests we are overachieving relative to our finances. For all that, I still believe we'll have a big say in the PL title race. For those who want us to bring in new blood in Jan, what do you propose we do with Ox, Gnabry, Rosicky & Podolski? Unless we can buy top notch players what's the point of settling for less? Change for change sake doesn't work, as Spurs have found out. - Post No. 45958

Chris  10:47am 17th Dec 2013

Green Hut - It depends on how you look at it. I'd say that 6-3 is a clearly better result than 4-1. It was a high scoring match (due to the open tactics employed by both teams)and Man City out-scored us by a ratio of 2 to 1. Whereas they out-scored Man Utd by a ratio of 4 to 1. Re your subsequent comment - I'm not 'comfortable' when Arsenal lose any game but neither am I arrogant enough to suggest that anyone who doesn't want the manager removed because of a perceivedly unwarranted trophy drought is a loser. - Post No. 45959

BADARSE  10:53am 17th Dec 2013

Morning Ron, yes it is quite sad but as I keep hammering the point, hardly surprising as any given thing in this case top football, reflects the abject failings in society. We put up Xmas decorations weeks before Xmas and kill the event for not just the young, but for all of us. Then we try to compensate as we are told 'we are worth it', by buying too many gifts for kids to play with. The adults try to cram too much food and drink into themselves in such a short space of time in the misguided belief that they are having a good time. 50 years ago my Dad talked of a likely golden age that I might enjoy, certainly my children would see it. We still await the dawning. We don't have enough work to go around, technology has seen to that, yet people are still grafting their way towards the grave. We should be able to relax and take a fortnight off for Xmas. To play with the kids and their new games. To wander off to Pantos as a family. To have a relaxing day at home chilling and watching TV if it's your style, and recharging the batteries to go crazy again the next day. People need time to be people. If you cut me my blood flows as a diluted form of alphabetti spaghetti, reading Arsenal, but there is more! Sadly the big multinationals see a day of non-production as a lost day, they fear that their competitors will steal a march on them, and they will. So, as governments take their instructions from these businesses we have a short Xmas break and the Proles have to run on the spot due to the guilt surrounding them in wanting 'not to work'. All very morose now Ron so can we have a nice round of Xmas songs? How about 'Do they know it's Xmas' but with 'Do they know we're Arsenal' as the lyrics-it works you know! Get those castanets out fella, or is it the French horn today? - Post No. 45960

Chris  11:06am 17th Dec 2013

Badarse - 'Wandering off to pantos' should itself come with a health warning. I honored a long-standing commitment to take my daughter to Cinderella in Stevenage on Saturday lunchtime, with her grandparents. Obviously I couldn't resist checking the Arsenal score periodically on my phone, meaning I incurred the wrath of her mum, on top of the pain of the score, and then 'had' to sit through the recording knowing the outcome already... - Post No. 45961

jeff wenger  11:23am 17th Dec 2013

I agree that there is an elite cartel of clubs in the Prem now days at one time there was just one- United - until we joined the party in the late 90's . Nowadays there are 5 clubs with more resources than the remainder of the league, City ,Chelsea,United,Arsenal,Liverpool. In that order financially. Tottenham are outside these cartel along with Everton ,Newcattle these are by definition Europa League rather than Chamion League ones. For one of them to finish in the top 4 requires a real top 4 side to under-perform as Chelsea did a couple of seasons back when they were handicapped by having a certain non-special one Portugeezer in charge for half a season. They did manage though despite the managerial musical-chairs to win the CL . It's not written in stone that the finishing order in the Prem will automatically be in wage-bill order - but the winner of it always comes from one of the top clubs with the greater resources and that will be the case again this season. United had the third highest wage bill last season around 20m more than our one ,however they finished 16 points ahead of us but crucially also ahead of the two big-hitters City and Chelsea. Managerial expertise was the main reason along with a helping hand from our bloke by selling RVP TO Ferguson . Wenger also duly provided a guard of honour fore RVP and co when they turned up at the Emirates with the Prem done and dusted with games to spare .RVP then set about helping to make sure that we missed out on third place in the league. This directed us into the group of death and the subsequent unwanted meeting with BM while United have a much easier tie by comparison. Sometimes in football you make your own luck - good or bad. We have to make the best of what the situation is in football these days - and it's not really a new thing that only a few clubs can win the league. It's always been mainly that way. We dominated football way back in the 1930s during the Chapman era - Liverpool in the 70s and 80s - United in the 90s - then for awhile it was us and United always first or second in the league until Chelsea and then City joined in the fun-fest. I don't go with the theory that Wenger has been pulling up trees for years competing with bigger clubs - in the head to heads with them in the league and cup comps they can only field the same amount of players that he can . So it actually comes down to Wenger's squad building and coaching/tactics. In my my view,backed up by results ,he has come up short on all three of these fronts. Everton do not have more resources than us .Wenger's team selections and tactics were the reason why we have 2 points less than we do have in the league. Again midweek away to Napoli there were bad calls from Wenger in team selections/tactics - and a complete shambles at City from him . If Wenger gets the credit for the good results then he must take it for the bad ones as well. What's made it boring for us is Wenger himself - he's been too long in the job and become stale and predictable - he reminds me of Thatcher after she had been in power too long and became a bit potty and tetchy - tbf he's not by any means a disaster though - because he provides a top 4 finish each season - albeit that is the least on his 7m a year wages that Stan would expect. Of course there is no guarantee that a new man would do any better - then again he just might . - Post No. 45962

BADARSE  11:27am 17th Dec 2013

Ha ha Chris, that was wicked. Of course no one ever said life would or should be easy, we are only here by the most magnificent of flukes so do what I do next time, have a snooze. Did you know Cinderella's glass slipper was never glass? It was a mistranslation of the French word for squirrel fur. Is nothing sacred? - Post No. 45963

Bard  11:49am 17th Dec 2013

Westlower:.the answer to your question ,what to do with Ox, Gnarbry, Rosicky and Podolski is precisely nothing . The Ox and Podolski won't be factors till next season because of fitness issues. The other two are midfielders and we have a shedload of the same. We need a striker and a hardtackling midfielder; that just might be enough to put us right in the mix come May. The argument about the strength of the squad is now redudant. It's too thin Ian's post makes the point well. To my mind we will not have a better chance of winning The pl. The moneyed clubs will outspend us next season. Wenger finds himself in the unusual position (by chance in my opinion) of leading the pack. He needs to seize the moment. - Post No. 45964

Tony Evans  12:38pm 17th Dec 2013

Hi Ron and Badarse - interesting points of view as always fellers. As I said previously, Wenger is a source of complete confusion for me. A talented manger? Well he must be on many levels, just ask Liverpool, Everton, Spurs and any other team with dreams of a top four finish. A tactically astute manager that always makes sure the squad is sound, with the right mix of players? No he isn't and you only have to look at the current team to prove that. One half decent striker, short in central defence and between the sticks, and in the one area where we have numbers (midfield obviously) most are carbon copies of one another - lightweight and easily brushed off of the ball. Therein lies the utter confusion with Wenger - obviously talented in many ways, but frustratingly useless when it comes to putting together the finished article, or varying his tactics to suit the opposition. - Post No. 45965

maguiresbridge gooner  12:52pm 17th Dec 2013

DW Thomas, good shout, yes he has had all the chances in the world (too many) there can be no more excuses silverware must be won this season, it's shyte or bust for OGL, and i think even he knows it and so do his fans, although some would/will be quite happy for him to carry on rebuilding to kingdom come. I would hate to have him building/rebuilding my house because i'd be a long time homeless. - Post No. 45966

Westlower  12:57pm 17th Dec 2013

Jeff Wenger, You completely failed to acknowledge that AFC had their pivotal fixtures of last week condensed by TV commitments. Three top class games, with two away from home is too much for any side to contend with, however much money the manager earns. Mourinho is already moaning that Chelsea have an extra game to play before they meet AFC next week. Ironic considering that Chelsea have a full week to recover,from their trip to Sunderland. It's too simplistic to always blame AW's team selection, as you and I are not privy who's fit and available. Playing 3 games in 7 days generally means not being able to play your best eleven when you need them most. Given the frequency & intensity of crucial games players form ebbs & flows resulting in team rotation. Thankfully we are able to prepare thoroughly for Chelsea, albeit we may be without Kos & JW. The team that played against Man City had never played together before & it only lasted 41 minutes due to Kos being injured. Gooners throwing their toys out of their prams every time a game goes against us is not helpful, support is more useful than constant criticism. - Post No. 45967

Green Hut  13:04pm 17th Dec 2013

Chris- If only the Premier League decided league positions on goal ratio instead of goal difference, eh?!! Really, you do clutch at straws sometimes! But the point is that you said that '6-3 isn't that bad a result'. And it is, it absolutely is. Your comment is sadly symptomatic of the acceptance culture amongst the Arsenal fanbase of 2013, and while no malcontent expects us to seriously challenge for the title to the death every single year considering the greater money at City/Chelsea/Utd, some us do expect our extremely well paid manager to be able to utilise the considerable resources at his disposal into occasionally capitalising on opportunities that arise in league and cup. Wenger has failed this test every single time. As Arsenal fans over the last few years we're all losers, Chris. Some of us accept it as inevitable, some of us don't. - Post No. 45968

jjetplane  13:44pm 17th Dec 2013

Swings and roundabouts, corporate malfunctions and all the rest have Utd scraping for top 6, probably Citeh or Chelski taking the league, and then Liverpool, Arsenal (possible improvement) fighting for 3rd while Everton, Spuds, Newcastle, Utd go for 4th. Hard to see much outside of this and I am quite enjoying it via the radio and lap top. The team I watch play ummm 9 leagues below the above and I am more than satisfied with the level of football played and it fully takes the rub off being almost ashamed at the lack of pitch power in Arsenal FC since Viera tucked that penalty away against the mancs. Totally with those who were not remotely suprised by last saturday's thrashing (its a thrashing when you concede 6) and cannot help remembering going to the Riverside many moons ago and seeing Kanu and Dixon having the time of their lives. We scored 6 that day and the look on Citeh faces was much the same. Also have just 2 memories re betting when as a young upstart went to White City and won a ton and a couple of years later waking up stoned at Haringay about 4 on a sunday morning. I can only imagine you Westie in amazement. Anyway - here's to Finsbury Joe - I enjoy your noirish surrealism .... ha ha - Post No. 45969

maguiresbridge gooner  13:45pm 17th Dec 2013

BADARSE 45960, i couldn't agree more i remember the time you wouldn't see a place open over Xmas, everywhere just shut down you wouldn't have a garage,shop,pub,etc,open for a week or more i remember many years ago i couldn't go and see a girlfriend for a week because i forgot to get petrol. If you did venture out you might not see a car on the road. Now they never close you will have pubs shops clubs supermarkets open even on Xmax day and full, with wives phoning the other half to the pub to come home the Xmas dinners ready. As a traditionalist i would love to see a return to those days again of staying in the house for days with the family or visiting others with no noise of traffic (i don't know about the pantomimes though) but as we all know sadly those days are gone forever. - Post No. 45970

71guns  14:00pm 17th Dec 2013

Lets keep things in perspective chaps, yes we were well beaten on Saturday but the reality is City have just got too many good players - if they sort out their away form they win the league. What we must focus on is how much we have improved this season and if we carry on beating the 'rest' (which we have struggled to do in recent years)and take points from the big 4 home games we'll be in with a shout. If we win on Monday last week will be swept under the carpet... - Post No. 45971

BADARSE  14:13pm 17th Dec 2013

Sorry to make you so melancholy maguiresbridge, especially at your age! The only solution, and only a consolation on most occasions, is to just say no. I react against conformity, many mindless forms of legislation and try to constantly swim against the tide. It's a bit like recycling, it doesn't really help much at all; but I recycle for my own peace of mind, not because a bureaucrat tells me to. Those same bureaucrats didn't give a fig when I was banging the drum in protest forty odd years ago as the planet was raped. They still don't give a fig, they just want the green vote. Try to keep your little family safe, and enjoy at a different level to what is expected of you. Kick over the traces, reverse a trend, start a new one, how about celebrating Xmas a week before everyone else? Confuse the watching world by not looking for happiness-it will come looking for you. Ouch, my head hurts! - Post No. 45972

maguiresbridge gooner  14:27pm 17th Dec 2013

Ron, Arsenal would indeed have a hard choice to make about joining an elite euro league, and if OGL was still with us and still doing things his way, i'd suspect he'd be against it because he'd know he'd have to do things differently ie spend, buy and have proper world class players, have proper tactics, etc, etc, to compete and have any chance of winning anything, there would be a hell of a lot more pressure on him to do so than there is now and indeed not be left behind as we wouldn't just be up against the elite of the prem league, would he want that? would he be capable? maybe that's why he could/would be against it. - Post No. 45973

Westlower  14:41pm 17th Dec 2013

JJetplane, Many happy memories of Harringay & White City. I was a frequent visitor to both in the late 60's onwards. Especially liked the Pall Mall competition at Harringay. Dog racing became an important part of my education; University's simply don't measure up for preparing you for what life is about to throw at you. Saturday's consisted of Highbury on a Saturday afternoon followed by White City dogs in the evening. Harringay used to race on Mondays & Fridays but sadly no more. The UK of today is a much sanitized nation compared to times back then. Media brainwashing is today's norm, thankfully some of us can still think for ourselves! - Post No. 45975

jjetplane  14:56pm 17th Dec 2013

Ha ha do remember a crazy hippy concert at White City with Edgar Winter Band bringing the place down circa early 70s. After winning that dosh at WC went to the Countdown, Columbos and finished at Whiskey a go gos 6am sunday. What days. Happy whatevers everyone and it makes me laugh to remember I fully walked the complete Westway on xmas morning circa 75 having fallen for a lovely irish girl. Few hrs later with me pop in the Blackstock and him thinking he was showing me the ropes. Now back to this Wenger bloke ..... Holloway rd, Hercules ...... - Post No. 45976

Ron  15:21pm 17th Dec 2013

MG - Your post 45973 states in a nutshell why Wengers been at Arsenal all of these years. Its only part way his commitment and expressed love for the Club. Its well known hes was hawked by Madrid and few others 8-10 years back. Im of the view that the type of pressure to win with such Clubs and demand to aquire the bet players isnt something he could cope with. Im not of the view either that handling egotistical players who would make demands of him is a facet of those jobs that he could handle. He's dressed it up as being philosophically and morally 'wrong' to work at such Clubs and to do things the way they do them, but the real root of it is that he hadnt the nads or the ambition to give it a go. Nothing wrong with sticking with what you know, but casting oneself as being morally above something to justify it is disingenuous and reeks a bit. Wengers been full of contradictions and hypocricies for years. Its one of the reasons ther press have hounded him so much. They long ago learned to hang him by his own words and when they couldnt do that they throw him a line knowing theyll often get a churlish (or often in fact childish) reaction. Wengers clever, but not near so clever as he likes people to think he is. Arsenal arent a Club that will ever challenge the euro elites in a way that Chelsea and Man City are able to do, but Wengers canniest deed to preserve himself has been to convince his Board and much of the fan base that those dastardly Clubs are evil personified, hence his way is the true and honest way. Its isnt and those Clubs arent, they just do things the way theyve chosen. Detest him as we might, Mourinhos had Wengers number for years and not just with on the pitch issues. - Post No. 45977

Chris  15:43pm 17th Dec 2013

Green Hut - If taking a broader perspective equates with 'clutching at straws' then I am guilty. As for an acceptance culture - if Man U fans had revolted after they lost 6-0 to City, said Fergie was past it and Moyes had taken over, we'd probably still have RVP and United wouldn't have won the title last season. Has Wenger made mistakes that have prevented us from winning the league over the last few years? Yes. But the same can be said for 19 PL managers every year. I'm far from convinced the the PL really is as weak as lot of folks on here seem to be suggesting. If we have any external measure of this, the UEFA coefficient is as good as any and at the moment it shows we are on target to be the top ranked nation in Europe this season. The fact that teams such as Man U are struggling in the PL are doing well in Europe, the success of Chelsea and the progress of Arsenal from the 'group of death' all back this up. So the idea that there is a golden opportunity this year is debatable - Ferguson's departure has clearly helped but Pellegrini is a big upgrade on the mad Italian and their squad has been upgraded, whilst Mourinho and the Chelsea squad are hardly weak opponents. Yet still we are top of the league. - Post No. 45978

Ron  16:01pm 17th Dec 2013

Im not sure 19 other bosses are 'prevented' from winning the title. Its more that 17 of them arent likely to or never can in the first place. Many Utd fans are of the view that Moyes is blameless andf that their decline was happening anyway and would have accelerated even under Ferguson. My view is that Ferguson knew it too. The RVP factor alone masked the shabbiness of that team last season.I was at connference at OT last week and the day soon morphed into a footie debate day, with many Utd fans expressing that view. The media are ramping up the Moyes factor. The PL is poor due mainly to its shocking defending as i see it. Even Citys defence is iffy. Theres not a decent defence in the whole league. Much of the defending is borderline laughable. Was our CL group really the group of death as it turned out? It was a 3 team group, ill give it that. - Post No. 45979

Chris  16:13pm 17th Dec 2013

Ron - Would United be stronger this term with Fergie rather than Moyes? It's hard to believe otherwise. Re 17 versus 19 bosses - the point is that almost any club could and win the league if their manager was perfect, in terms of recruitment and training of the squad and team & tactics selection. The least imperfect manager's team usually wins it. The point about PL defences is only valid up to a point. - Post No. 45980

Ron  16:25pm 17th Dec 2013

Chris - if that was true Clubs would all be spending mega bucks on the best coaches. My Brother's a season ticket WBA fan. Ill let him know that its only the coach choice there down the years thats the only factor that stopped Albion winning a few titles and not the lack of cash, the little stadium and largely journeymen players they subsist on. The Chairman there needs letting in on your theory.In fact, if Chelsea and City knew the theory, why buy great players, when landing the best coach would do? - Post No. 45981

Chris  17:18pm 17th Dec 2013

Ron - Er no Ron, because the point I'm making is that no coach is anywhere near perfect. Re the end of my previous comment (submitted prematurely) - the tactical zeitgeist of the PL has shifted over the past handful of seasons. There is less emphasis on defensive solidity and more on attacking threat. There's more than one way to skin a cat and you can't maximise goal threat and defensive solidity simultaneously. - Post No. 45982

Green Hut  17:30pm 17th Dec 2013

Chris- The Utd fans who watched the 6-1 defeat to City a couple of months into that season had seen their team win the league 4 times in the previous 5 years, consequently I think they were always unlikely to call for Ferguson's head. As I said, very few fans expect Arsenal to achieve anywhere near that in these modern financial times but if those same Utd fans had seen their team not win even a domestic cup over that period and longer, whilst listening to their manager insult their intelligence by describing 4th place as a trophy and telling them he would be happy with 2nd place for the next 20 years, they may begin to feel differently. - Post No. 45983

Chris  17:32pm 17th Dec 2013

I'm talking in theory, Ron, about the perfect manager being able to win the PL at any club. Obviously real, imperfect managers can't usually bridge the gap that resource imbalances give the big spenders. On reflection I'll concede my sentence "The least imperfect manager's team usually wins it" was over-stating it (i.e. it was bollocks) but my point is still that the number of clubs that could win the PL if their managers made 'perfect' decisions (along the lines of consistently buying Michu-eque bargains, being tactical geniuses and motivational masters)is much greater than the number of clubs that do win it suggest. - Post No. 45984

BADARSE  17:44pm 17th Dec 2013

Ron I have to take issue with your last post my friend. Again you speak from a platform in forcible fashion but your synopsis is all supposition. To lay claim that Arsene Wenger didn't have the courage or ambition to take a job at Real Madrid or even Tescos is unsubstantiated; it was just a decision he made. If he claimed that the expectations upon himself would be morally or philosophically wrong who are you to deny it's truthfulness? Many moons ago I was accused of not displaying enough ambition, I still trot that line out on occasions and people who know me see it as a fundamentally flawed accusation. I have more ambition, even today, than most I meet, it may be a little different to some accepted ideas but it clearly is a part of me, and it is clearly ambition. Perhaps Arsene's ambition differs from your concept of it? You then accuse him of being disingenuous, hypocritical, contradictory, and churlish. I'm sorry chum, only your view of things, and at best based on speculation and perception. I think you have read too many posts. It comes across as another rant at Arsene Wenger. - Post No. 45985

Chris  17:51pm 17th Dec 2013

Green Hut - completely agree that United fans didn't revolt because of the context of that defeat. But nonetheless, it was worse than the defeat sustained by Arsenal on Saturday and happened in a season in which United would have won the title but for QPR's disgraceful last minute capitulation and in which they won it the following season. That's why I'm not getting overly worked up by Saturday's result, within the context of a relatively successful 2013 over all and season so far in the PL for Arsenal. As for 4th being a trophy - if anyone is really, honestly insulted by that their literalism must border on the autistic. The comment about 2nd for 20 years was unfortunate because fans love to dream but even then, its not hard to see what he was saying if you really want to... - Post No. 45986

Westlower  18:13pm 17th Dec 2013

Early betting for the Arsenal v Chelsea game. AFC 11/8; Chelsea 2/1; Draw 12/5. Next Spurs Manager; Sherwood 11/4; Laudrup 6/1; Hoddle 8/1; Capello 10/1. - Post No. 45987

Green Hut  18:25pm 17th Dec 2013

Chris- I'm sure you realise that literalism isn't the problem here so much as Wenger's chronic lack of self-awareness and disregard for the fans, although I can only think both soul-destroying quotes provided the inspiration for your impressive points-per-spend analysis. - Post No. 45988

jjetplane  18:29pm 17th Dec 2013

Great posts as always Ron and having only just seen saturday's highlights, the boys against men is only to clear. You would almost imagine Toure saying 'sorry kid for nicking your ball' to 'little Jack twitter'. Nasri also looked like a giant and seems to be be very happy amongst equals. He has turned out be the real star of the recent massive departures. I would like to compare Suarez having a bunch of definite spuds screaming god knows what s... at him and carrying on and looking highly likeable for all of it, with Jack's quite sorry petulance which will now get him a ban. With Per giving pretty boy a right earful it really did not look good and tactically should probably never have happened. See the old duvet was donned as bad turned to worse. Sorry, but it really is oh so perdictable. Penny for your real thoughts Mr Henry? - Post No. 45989

jeff wright  18:55pm 17th Dec 2013

I don't often agree with many of the odious one Maureen's views his one that looks about right though and the bookies agree with him . However his ones that there are a different set of rules in football management for Wenger and another for everyone else can't be disputed. Wenger has been in the comfort zone for donkeys years and anyone who thinks tha the didn't realize that this would not be the case at Real when he had those secret meetings with Perez to learn what Senor Galactico had to offer him is only deluding themselves. Wenger would never have got the sort of control at Madrid that he had under the Fiszman regime or Kroneke's one either. I think he's got a bit less power with Stan in charge he doesent say a lot though but has a reputation for being ruthless with employees who don't agree with his decisions. Wenger still gets cut far more slack than managers at other clubs do though where even winning the Champions League doesn't guarantee even a full season next time - if they don't shape up and look like they are resting on their laurels. If a new manager took over at AFC he might be justified in asking for a lengthy period to try and win trophies after all the previous one has gone 8 years with out winning any. Somehow though I suspect that he wouldn't get it. - Post No. 45990

Roy  19:18pm 17th Dec 2013

Buying players in Jan is always tough. Any player still in the Champs Lge is unlikely to move in Jan, and anyone cup tied isn't that much use to us anyway. Also needs to be someone who can hit the ground running, so all of these conditions seriously cuts down your options. The players to keep your eye on are those with World Cup aspirations who are not getting a regular game such as Ramirez at Soton for example. Whatever, it's not easy and there are others mentioned such as Williams but why would he come to us at this stage of his career to sit on the bench ? I can also see why Michu and Long have been mooted, but with the Pod and the Ox to come back it's certainly a fine balancing act. Only the manager knows how long it will be before they are fully match fit. A conundrum indeed, but that's what OGL is paid the big bucks for. - Post No. 45992

Ron  20:31pm 17th Dec 2013

BADARSE - OK. i hear you, though i would say that nothing youve said there is any more persuasive than my mere perception. Of course its perception, but one thats arisen as a result of Wenger on many occasions choosing to make the point himself that hes turned down jobs abroad. Youve no more right with all due respect, to suggest that im way off beam in making the observations that i have without any definite information to say that your own perception is correct have you? I would go further and suggest that if Wenger doesnt want to be opened up to my perception, then hes best advised to stay quiet about supposedly being much sought after. Your retort is very dismissive of my view, which is fine, but it displays that preciousness of one who sees any Wenger analysis as wrong if it doesnt quite portray him as the omnicompetent omnipresent man who you like to think he is. 9 years nearly of nothingness, coupled with his oft stated 'ive turned down many positions' etc etc makes him rather fallible to the accusation that he lacks the verve or the wit to manage under real pressure. If im wrong, im wrong but im sure its a view that a few have uttered before me. - Post No. 45993

BADARSE  20:57pm 17th Dec 2013

Ron your take may be on the money, however it is all guesswork and your spin. My post was to point that out, and the way your post was couched. It was vitriol directed at Arsene Wenger. You often say he must be a good man, or words to that effect, then you offer a line in quite disrespectful terms. That is your prerogative of course but if a post seems unnecessarily vindictive with no evidence, or perhaps inconsistent, then it should be challenged. I usually stay outside of these exchanges because I know generally you cannot alter people's perceptions. Some if I believe to be very unfair I won't pass on. To suggest your vague view of things cannot be challenged because I can't prove my case is a religious argument. You can't prove a deity exists and I can't prove one doesn't. The crux of that argument is that someone is claiming something without proof, I offer a rebuttal. That is my statement. - Post No. 45994

Chris  21:02pm 17th Dec 2013

I'll risk the accusation of sycophancy that has accompanied similar scenarios before, but I have to agree with Badarse on Ron's inconsistency, almost to the point of contradiction. On more than one occasion I have concluded that 'there must be two Rons' - maybe there are? - Post No. 45995

Ron  22:18pm 17th Dec 2013

Chris - There are two Ron s. Theres the Ron that supports the Club by paying the price, going to games, cheering them on however poor the product on offer, the illogical Ron if you like. Then the other Ron, the one that realises that by doing so, it sustains and subsidises the Clubs mediocrity and performances bereft of character,then takes a look at why that is. The latter, takes cognizance of the way the Club is ran and managed and as such, takes a position that's often not particularly palatable to some, but often is to others. Either way, a few seem to agree with me, others dont and thats fine. - Post No. 45996

MARCUS  4:37am 18th Dec 2013

Great post. You could not have put it any better. It was obvious from the end of last season, arsenal need a striker and a world class one and its still evident now. We are atleast three world class players from in my view having a really good team. We need a world class defender, a world class defensive midfielder and finally a world class striker. If you go back 15 years and see the teams that have the pl they have always had atleast 3 three world class players in their starting eleven and most likely in those three positions. The Chelsea game on Monday is going to be huge for us we have to win it no ifs or buts. We have to win. We can not allow them to come to are back yard and over run us like they did in the capital one cup. We need to show fight and guts and take it to them early. Also they will come strong as they will want to bounce back from their defeat during the week. So I expect it to be a battle royal. Also I have watched are last three matches and we seem to always defend deep and allow the opposition to have the ball and sit back. I dont like that. If you notice the best teams, when they dont have the ball defend in packs and press in packs we need to revert to that style of defending. Its the way the best teams do it, why can we not do it also? Are we just not fit enough or are we just not good enough when we do not have the ball?? - Post No. 45997

Westlower  7:37am 18th Dec 2013

Da do RON RON, da don't RON, RON!! - Post No. 45999

BADARSE  7:43am 18th Dec 2013

Morning all. Ron how is your throat, are you still on for carol singing this evening? We need you falsetto in the group so begin by gargling with some chicken masala, buddy. So Chelsea took a tumble. Wonder if their mob would have gone out in the last round. It seems the game and it's result has upset one or two around the Bridge. Let's hope on Monday evening it's one too far. - Post No. 46000

Ron  8:29am 18th Dec 2013

Morning BADARSE - i forecast a win v Chelsea last week, purely a hunch but ill stick with it despite witnessing last Saturdays suicide. Its only wishful thinking though made on the basis that we re due a win v them. I recall we played them xmas time about 3 years ago and won 3-0 or 3-1? That wasnt expected so you never know. Im going to Aston Villa in a week or two. Thats a venue where we ve not lost since the late 90s. Be just like Arsenal to beat Chelsea and lose to AV! PS ive a feeling that the Mourinho returns experiment at Chelsea will all end in tears. The special one s midas touch isnt quite what it was. Lets hope our flaky lot can help with his demise. - Post No. 46001

BADARSE  9:06am 18th Dec 2013

Hi Ron. It's easy to talk a good fight but I have believed for a while that we will beat them. Meaningless of course because it is just a 'gut' feel and often goes awry. A pal I know was at the wonky Bridge last week and said although Terry is still commanding he is slowing up quite dramatically. Imagine what Titi would do to an ageing and slowing centre back when he was in his prime. Bring your tambourine with you tonight but the conductor doesn't want a repeat of last year, so no sticking a safety pin through it again. Oh and it's also being mooted that it might be apt for you to do a Riverdance piece whilst we are singing 'We three Kings', how does that grab you? - Post No. 46002

Ron  10:44am 18th Dec 2013

BADARSE - Ha. Struggling re Guitar is my priority im afraid pal. Made a good fist of 'Hey Joe' last night though so im told. Loved Hendrix! Yes, Terry. Odious, but hes been a good un. Never very quick though was he? Recall 03 was it when we beat them at the Bridge in the FAC? Terry own goal. All over the place that night he was. Lauren ran him ragged! - Post No. 46004

BADARSE  11:00am 18th Dec 2013

It's Xmas time so keep plucking Ron. Yes Terry is an odious character, like so many in his clique. Another good reason to get a result on Monday. - Post No. 46005

WeAreBuildingATeamToDominate  13:51pm 18th Dec 2013

Ron, Bardarse@10.44: if you can use a bassist, give me a shout :-) been playing Hendrix covers for some time now. Especially "Stone Free" & "Wind Cries Mary". Football wise, CFC certainly aren't all they used to be. 4-3 at Sunderland followed by 2-3 at Stoke? Most un-Maureen like. Wouldn't be surprised if 3-2 either way was the scoreline come 9.30 on Monday night. - Post No. 46009

BADARSE  15:26pm 18th Dec 2013

Ron is the musician WeAreBuilding, I am just the conductor. Tickets please! - Post No. 46012

Ron  15:37pm 18th Dec 2013

We are building - Thats brilliant mate. Is it just me or is guitar a real ba----d for everybody to master? Ive fiddled about with it now for ages and done OK ish but doing lessons now at last. Its good isnt it!! Great feeling but hardest thing to master ive ever tried mate. - Post No. 46013

Seven Kings Gooner  18:11pm 18th Dec 2013

We are building : "Stone Free" & "The Wind cries Mary" are 2 of my all time best. I envy you if you can do a decent rendition of those two classics. Huge respect! - Post No. 46015

jjetplane  18:38pm 18th Dec 2013

Now we need to sign a voodoo child in january and get that slight return to ahhh electric winter wonderland. Band of brothers! Bless your windy ways (!) - Post No. 46016

Westlower  19:22pm 18th Dec 2013

jjetplane, Have you heard Voodoo Child performed by Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton. Best ever! - Post No. 46017

jjetplane  19:28pm 18th Dec 2013

Sacrilege Westie! ha ha. Reminds me - have not heard Badge for ages! I expect after the macams did some lovely damage on Chavworld they will park the bus on monday! Love the reports of the chavs filing out on the 'job done' ticket. How can anyone leave a match early? Crosstownnnnnn .... - Post No. 46018

jjetplane  21:38pm 18th Dec 2013

Pretty bubbles in the air/........ - Post No. 46019

BADARSE  21:41pm 18th Dec 2013

Anyone for the Sound of Music? ha ha. westlower Clapton/Winwood, what a combination. Even now as relatively speaking old men they still spark. Did you know where Ron left his maracas, they've gone missing. - Post No. 46020

Ron  22:08pm 18th Dec 2013

Good lord, the veterans are out in force tonight! Westie lad, stick to dogs and betting my freind. Eric and Stevie are fine but... please behave yourself!! ha. - Post No. 46021

Westlower  7:56am 19th Dec 2013

Badarse, More like Last of the Summer Wine, or in Ron's case Whine....... - Post No. 46023

ITK  21:44pm 19th Dec 2013

People are now suddenly realising that Ozil isn't doing enough in the big matches. Against German opposition he was poor. Liverpool, City & Utd poor. Surely a player that cost 40m should be making more of an impact in these massive games. The impact is that both JW and Santi have had to vacate their positions for Ozil which have affected their form. Ozil was a panic buy. Was never a target, he was the only player Real wanted to sell and Wengers hand was forced. - Post No. 46043

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds