Arsene Beaten At His Own Game

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed: Gunners second best at Etihad as manager blames officials

Ah yes, it brought back some good memories. The authority in possession, the slick pinpoint passing, the sudden transition from defence to attack as the opposition were sliced through in true hot knife / butter style. We could have been watching the Invincibles…

And yet, this was not the Arsenal the club moved stadium for us to continue enjoying domination on the football field. It was Manchester City, ominously unbeaten in the league so far this season, with manager Pep Guardiola handing out a football lesson to the Premier League’s version of the Queen Mother. Somebody pour me a gin.

Arsene, post-match, found comfort in bemoaning how the officials favour the home sides, which is probably true, conveniently forgetting it’s something Arsenal benefit from as well. Think non-award of penalty at home to visitors West Brom for a recent example. I have an idea the score was 0-0 at that point. It’s swings and roundabout. No question City’s third goal should not have been given, but their second was certainly a penalty. Monreal took Sterling’s leg as he barged into him.

However, City should have been three up before the interval, with Sterling failing to connect by an inch with a tap-in, and later playing a bad pass that would have given Sane the easiest of finishes. Young Raheem is really a superior version of Theo Walcott. Very dangerous with his pace, but cocks up often enough to frustrate the hell out of you.

Arsenal tried to negate City’s passing game by pressing them deep, but as ‘Match of the Day’ showed all too clearly, they were not working as a team. City always had a man spare, and, in terms of possession, no apparent weak links. This is a team that can play devastating football and I am getting close to the stage of simply sitting back and enjoying it, with a feeling that the title has been decided already. The only thing at stake is Arsenal’s Invincibles status. Pep Guardiola was busy micro-managing his team from the touchline. Wenger left his dugout seat to try and micro-manage the officials. The Spaniard had more joy.

In truth, I am not certain anyone really expected any different, which shows where Arsenal are now. It was not so much the result that gives cause for concern as the gulf in footballing ability. The decision to put Lacazette on the bench looked like folly when he came on and scored. If you are going to pay north of £50 million for a striker, surely you can rely on him for matches like this? Instead, Ozil and Sanchez were prioritized. The message relayed about keeping them was that they would enhance the club’s chances of winning the title. That narrative isn’t quite working out. Neither started at Stamford Bridge and the side gave a more disciplined performance. I think the spirit of the team isn’t helped by the knowledge the pair of superstars are just counting down time now. Once it was clear they were not signing last summer, there were not only good financial reasons to let them go. That they were not interested in prolonging their stay is also an indictment on Arsenal’s current status. Where there used to be a big four, there is now a big three. The Gunners are in a second tier with Tottenham and Liverpool - three clubs trying to recapture glory days of the past.

To have dispensed with Sanchez and Ozil accepts the idea that an element of rebuilding is required for the current playing roster. And while that’s a fact, any changes of personnel on the pitch is pretty much peeing in the wind until Wenger is replaced. Perhaps, next summer, as well as the Chilean and the German, the man from Alsace might finally realize the game is up, or at least someone theoretically superior to him on the board tells him it is. Maybe the two year deal was a way of saying – you’ve got one season to turn this decline around, and if you don’t, then you’ll get a year’s salary as pay off.

In terms of form, Tottenham in a fortnight’s time is a match that does not augur well. Then again, form is supposed to go out of the window on derby day. It’s a very difficult match to predict, but even a home defeat would change nothing. The title this season is so obviously out of reach with only 11 matches played. It’s all about the pursuit of a top four spot now. Haven’t we been here before? Pour me another gin.

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6th November 2017 09:26:47


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.

Yes its Ron  9:57am 6th Nov 2017

Hi Kev I think Wengo was right re the offside. The pen was soft as well in fairness to him. Sterling did 'assist' the ref to make his decision. It was a shoulder charge. Nothing more, nothing less. Footballs a pathetically soft game now isnt it. AFC were largely out classed though as you say.Same as that OG by that clodhopper Jones in the Chelsea game. It was an OG all day long, scored by a chronically clumsy one legged donkey. There was no foul on him at all. - Post No. 110608

Paulo75  10:12am 6th Nov 2017

I don't think City even lived up to the pre match hype - they didn't need too. Further reinforcement like you say that we should have cashed in on Sanchez and Ozil in the summer, both were abject yesterday. Was really disappointed in our inability to keep possession as they are no great shakes at the back either. Going to the top scoring league leaders and giving Coquelin his first start in central defence says all you need to know about the lack of strategy on the playing side. - Post No. 110609

Gunner Rob  10:18am 6th Nov 2017

dont agree with your comment about a top 3 - there is a top 4 with Spurs having replaced us. That will be confirmed in two weeks time if it hasnt been already. - Post No. 110610

The Man From UNCLE  10:34am 6th Nov 2017

Citeh are good but aren't that good, much in the same way that Celtic have just gone 68 games unbeaten in the pub league they play in. First goal was a gift; a soft pen and offside 3rd. Plus we had a perfectly good goal ruled out too, the bundle over the line. I must stop now before I start to sound like Le Fraud. - Post No. 110611

Yes its Ron  10:58am 6th Nov 2017

MAN FROM -- Totally correct. MC arent the new Real Madrid and never will be. That team Wenger put out was a team that smacked of his fear of MC largely and secondly was him politicking by using both that useless panda eyed Ozil and the couldnt give two f--ks Sanchez to try and persuade them to stay. A truly good side would have beaten them yesterday. Theyre nothing brilliant despite the media constantly w-----g off over them. I still think Chelsea are better when theyre firing properly. - Post No. 110612

Exeter Ex  11:11am 6th Nov 2017

So the theory that keeping Sanchez and Ozil whilst having no CL 'distraction' will mean a proper title challenge has failed already. As many of us knew already, whatever the players, whatever the other competitions, nothing makes any difference. The one thing that could make a difference is the one thing at the club that never changes. - Post No. 110613

nozzer  11:19am 6th Nov 2017

Were any of us surprised by the result yesterday. The decision to play Coquelin at the back was daft as was the decision to leave out Lacazette. Sanchez and Ozil were poor yesterday. There was no game plan or strategy. What does Steve Bould do all week. Pep was directly his players, yet again nothing from our bench. I don't want Wenger to spend any money in January because I don't trust him to spend it on the right players or utilise them properly. What a mess we are. Spurs can smell the blood in the water. But even if they humiliate us, nothing will change. Whenever Wenger goes it will take the prospective new man years to sort this mess out. - Post No. 110614

Nos89  11:21am 6th Nov 2017

Expected defeat to be honest. Wenger has players at his disposal that want to play for the club. It's time to play them. Lacazette must play ahead of Sanchez, Wilshere ahead of Ozil. A change of formation to play Giroud and Lacazette together has to be tested. This defeat to a far superior team leaves the same old questions...but we get no new answers. - Post No. 110615

Cheltenham Gunner  11:31am 6th Nov 2017

Not for the first time and unfortunately not for the last Wenger's team selections seem like an act of self sabotage. We all know that Ozil is a complete waste of space in these type of games and playing him with Ramsay and Xhaka gives us a midfield in name only. Not sure what Lacazette thinks about being left on the bench again a la Liverpool, but if he has anything about him is probably wondering why he signed on in the first place. - Post No. 110616

Seven Kings Gooner1  12:06pm 6th Nov 2017

Agree with Gunner Rob - Spurs are most definitely top 4, we are behind Liverpool so I think 7th or 8th finish this season, certainly low enough to avoid Thursday football next year. It's really where I came in when I first went to watch Arsenal in 1962, in fact I am beginning to warm to the new style of random team selections and players playing out of position. Just need a new Alan Skirton and I think I would come back and watch them again - only joking lads. City won without getting out of first gear and if we get a point out of our next two games I think you could call that progress. That should be Ozil and Sanchez's last game for Hipster FC, play Giroud in a 4-4-2 and send Xhaka out on loan to Millwall, failing that I saw Jermaine Pennant come on as a sub for Billericay yesterday, now that was a player!! - Post No. 110617

Redshirtwhitesleeves  12:11pm 6th Nov 2017

Another away game at one of the big clubs, another defeat. 1 win in our last 27 games away against a top 6 side. I guess that is what is described these days as 'over-performing' and why the manager was given a 2 year extension.Yes Ivan, very Bayern Munich like just as you promised. Wenger, Ozil, Sanchez, coquelin, Wally, iwobi...the cast of arrogant, lazy, useless buffoons at our club is almost endless. The spuds will be licking their lips counting down the days to give this lot of w****** a good hiding. Thank you so much kroenke, wenger, gazidis et al for ruining our club - Post No. 110618

Yes its Ron  12:45pm 6th Nov 2017

redshirts - matey, perhaps a good hiding by Spurs might be a real catalyst and a genuine shaking of the tree at hipster FC? ( not sure who coined that name on here but its so, so apt isnt!!). The trouble is you cant be sure that Spurs will still bottle a NLD just when we need them not to? Lets face it, when Potch is at Real M and Kane Alli and Eriksson have gone, Spurs will be Spurs again. Id give it a yr to 18 mths before they go Spurssy again, so if theyre going to help oust Wengo, they need to do it now. We ve helped shift enough of their rubbish Coaches this last 25 years, so they owe us a return favour surely! Arsenal 0 Spurs 2. - Post No. 110619

Bard  12:47pm 6th Nov 2017

There were a couple of dodgy decisions but we were second best all day long. I agree with some on here that Citeh weren't that great. To be out of the contest by the beginning of Nov puts a large dent in Wenger's boast but nothing we didn't expect. I can't help feeling that the Ozil Sanchez debacle must be affecting the dressing room. Why play a bloke who might be offski in Jan over a £45m new signing. Don't get that. - Post No. 110620

MAF  12:49pm 6th Nov 2017

mediocre boring low Standards no Passion no drive just a moany old man making an absolute fortune on the back of the supporters. good enough to finish 6th but that ist for this lot These days. Club has stoodstill for so Long ist now going backwards - Post No. 110621

bobbybigb  12:52pm 6th Nov 2017

Sanchez and Ozil should never play for us again they are Arsenal players in name only, mentally they have already moved on. This season now holds no prospect of improvement. We should blood the kids and give them playing time with little pressure on results and clear out the dross that has been tried, tested and failed (Walcott top of that long list) The dross would also include the manager. Yes i know.....wont happen - Post No. 110622

KC38  12:58pm 6th Nov 2017

Bard spot on re team selection. It's beyond understanding The team have no defensive know how at all. To many no 10's on the pitch out of position. Xhaka what is the point. Result performance totally expected. Wenger and the board are killing Arsenal - Post No. 110623

peter wain  13:08pm 6th Nov 2017

we got what we deserved. The set up of the team was designed to get a point and to play a third rate French mid field player at centre half emphasises the weakness of our squad. How Wiltshire did not start is beyond me. Yes the third goal was offside and the penalty was soft but did we deserve anything from the game. Right from May we only need two players maximum three we have been behind the eight ball. Where are we on Welbeck's and Ramsey's contracts? We are short of class defenders and the midfield once our strength is weak. Quite why we persist with the Swiss guy is amazing. He is total rubbish and not fit to where the shirt. - Post No. 110624

RobG  13:08pm 6th Nov 2017

ExeterEx - ‘Sigh’. Yes. In a nutshell. - Post No. 110625

Petergooner  13:50pm 6th Nov 2017

IS THIS WORLD NOW A STAGE ACT? WE HAVE IDIOTS RUNNING THE WORLD (TRUMP, PUTIN ETC) AND ALSO THE MAJOR IDIOT WENGER. ARSENAL V Man City 3-1 £50mill spent and he doesn't start. Ozil missing for 90 minutes. Great we have 1 centre back, others must be actors!!!!!They are not centre backs. Obviously our other centre backs are not good enough for the "director" to put into the limelight. I also agree with the guy who wrote on arsnealfantv and I quote:- Remember remember the 5th of November 2017 the day we officially became a second tier football club. - Post No. 110627

Alsace  14:02pm 6th Nov 2017

Well we had a go at trying to do a job. Our players aren't good enough or disciplined enough to get it done. WE faced the same problem playing Barca a few years ago and did jobs on them and even won a game. NO longer. Into this omnishambles comes Wenger, playing Ozil effectively up front (!) and playing Coquelin in a five man defence. Ozil and Ramsey stank the place out as they almost always do. Why on earth does he play them. Answer because he is not fit for purpose. The Lacazette absence is predictable but extraordinary. We were trying to think of the last time there was someone who sorted it out on the pitch for him. Santi I suppose, but really Fabregas and Flamini back in 2006. He doesn't know how to fix it and he wont have someone who has strong opinions on the pitch lest his grand plans be ditched by the man in charge on the pitch. Helpless hapless and hopeless. As for his criticism of the officials - contemptible. - Post No. 110628

mbg  14:17pm 6th Nov 2017

Of course we expected no different Kev, only a bigger hiding, but city settled for the three goals and points taking their foot of the pedal every chance they got, and when needed waking up and putting it down again to do just what they had to with no threat at all, as you say that's Arsenal under TOF now (and has been for a long time) with old wengos little dwarfs running around chasing shadows trying to do the same, city could have scored five if they'd wished, I guess they were tired. wenger out. - Post No. 110629

mbg  14:37pm 6th Nov 2017

nozzer, good post, and if we manage to humiliate them nothing will change either, it will just convince the weasel and his fans that nothing needs to and everything rosy in the garden again and we're good to go, you couldn't make it up. wenger out now. - Post No. 110630

Redshirtwhitesleeves  14:44pm 6th Nov 2017

Ron- never thought I'd say it but....if being tonked at home by the spuds is what it takes to get rid of the old muppet then sign me up! Hope your right about Poch, Kane and co buggering off to Madrid and spurs becoming spursy again. Their manager impresses me and if he stays there any length of time then I will be genuinely worried about that lot for the first time in my life - Post No. 110631

Yes its Ron  15:24pm 6th Nov 2017

redshirts - quite agree mate. Potch is an impressive man in how he coaches and manages the media and all others in a respectful way. He wont resist when Real or whoever it is calls for him. Neither will HK. Money will talk as ever. Good side Spurs now though if i was a player up v Ali id be tempted to lay him out. Im surprised somebody hasnt cracked and decked him yet. Hes a good player but a bad cheat with a nasty mouth on him. - Post No. 110632

Highbury Boy  15:46pm 6th Nov 2017

Just a couple of points to add: 1. No-one seems to mention that City had a tough CL match in the week while all our players save for Coquelin had the week off.2. Taking account of the reported fee of £35m Xhaka must be the worst ever value for an Arsenal transfer. He is not disciplined when he moves forward and appears slow to negotiate his brain in defensive situations. - Post No. 110633

Paulo75  15:47pm 6th Nov 2017

Ivan Gazidis - Still think we're over performing? Stan Kroenke - You quite sure Arsene's still the best man for the job? - Post No. 110634

Exeter Ex  15:54pm 6th Nov 2017

To begin to understand Wenger's team selections in big games, we must bear in mind he thinks he's a genius. "No one will be expecting this" he thinks to himself as he suddenly puts Sanogo up front against B Munich, plays Coquelin at CB v Man C and drops his top scorer for the biggest matches of the season. Of course, it never works, and at any other big club there would be consequences for the manager in the shape of a DoF or similar holding him to account. But not at the Colney Creche & Retirement Home. - Post No. 110635

Paulward  15:59pm 6th Nov 2017

Pretty depressing all round, and things could take a significant turn for the worse on Saturday week if the expected happens. Only a change of manager and a huge financial investment can help us now, and that is not gonna happen any time soon. - Post No. 110636

Bard  16:34pm 6th Nov 2017

Hi Ron I agree. We don't need to worry about the Spuds. Yes they have a good team but most are on peanuts and it will break up in a season or so. Kane to whoever and All will go. Why not if you can earn £300000+ per week elsewhere. The manager will go as well. My worry is that we will have a trolley dash in Jan in a desperate attempt to right the sinking ship, a load more Xhaka's, Coq's and Wallys will be on their way in. - Post No. 110637

MAF  16:43pm 6th Nov 2017

George Graham: ‘People say Mourinho is like me. I always thought sport was about winning’ we miss you George - Post No. 110638

Bob Bayliss  16:45pm 6th Nov 2017

Spot on Kevin, except (whisper it softly) but I am not sure Tottenham are currently part of the 'second tier' with us and Liverpool: I fear they are closer to the two Manchester clubs. I am not sure whether Chelsea are part of that elite group or not yet, but they remain closer to it than we are. - Post No. 110639

ClockEnd_90  16:48pm 6th Nov 2017

Kevin - you say "Maybe the two year deal was a way of saying – you’ve got one season to turn this decline around, and if you don’t, then you’ll get a year’s salary as pay off". What makes you think that there is any ultimatum of this type being placed on Wenger by the board? And why you think there is any strategy behind what we are trying to achieve other than what we actually hear from the board which is 'Arsene is our guy' and 'When you look around for the best coaches in Europe we already have him' etc etc. If Wenger wants to stay on longer than his current 2 years in charge then I fully expect him to stay. The job is his as long as he wants it. All he has to do is keep finding the excuses as to why we lost/under-performed and then move on to the next game. It's his job for life. - Post No. 110640

markymark  17:04pm 6th Nov 2017

ToOaW - 24 contributors on here today notice you’ve not come up with anything . Perhaps your contributing as Your Mandy Dodd alter ego on Untold. There’s only one bigger loser than Wengo and that’s you ToOaW / Leek / BBA or whoever you are. - Post No. 110641

TonyEvans  17:08pm 6th Nov 2017

You could virtually write the script - ludicrous team selection, outplayed by a top 6 side and then Wenger blames the officials. - Post No. 110642

mbg  17:19pm 6th Nov 2017

So TOF reckons Sterling is a great diver, yes very good diver, no doubt it would have been a different description if one of his nice boys had done it, and it would have been ok, I doubt he'll issue him with the apology Shearer reckons he deserves, the one the weasel would be calling for himself if another manager called or said the same about one of his nice boys, what an arrogant no good loser, the worst in Arsenal history, is it any wonder other managers hate him and love stuffing us and getting one over on him. Go now you no good loser. - Post No. 110643

mbg  17:47pm 6th Nov 2017

Exeter, yes indeed and he's so deluded and so far gone now when it goes tits up and doesn't work out (like it always does) he doesn't/can't understand, or can't work out why. Way to far gone now, finished, done, and has been for years. Go now wenger. - Post No. 110644

CORNISH GOONER  19:59pm 6th Nov 2017

Clouseau has the delusions an Oscar Wilde - "I have nothing to declare but my genius"? No mate, you were never that great, you fail to adapt to changes in the football world, your energy levels have gone, you have run out of ideas &, in truth, you are just too old. But your talent for whinging remains undimmed & as far as this is concerned, I believe in the old adage of a truly successful person "the harder I work the luckier I seem to get". I agree with others on here, City weren't that great but they didn't need to be. In contrast I really enjoyed the Chelski/ Man U game. Shows how driven Abramovich is that he is even considering jettisoning Conte. And what a proper centre forward they have in Morata - superb display & a wonderful header. Makes a Gooner weep doesn't it? - Post No. 110645

markymark  0:37am 7th Nov 2017

“No. I don’t know what director of football means. Is it somebody who stands in the road and directs play right and left? I don’t understand and I never did understand what it means.” - that’s your hero Squeak and Badarse a total clueless tosser. - Post No. 110646

mbg  1:09am 7th Nov 2017

Highbury boy, good shout, but you can bet your bottom dollar the wengerites (we know who they are)would have been on here shouting it and protesting from the roof of their messiah's private bog if it had been the other way round, the perfect excuse. wenger out now. - Post No. 110647

markymark  9:03am 7th Nov 2017

Good to see Dixon giving Wengo a slating . Usually ex pros having a go is towards the end point of the regime as loyalties start to fray. We need one third of the diabolical triangle to end . Hopefully that will be Wengo and at least we can then see the end of Toady. I’ve got my eye on you Badarse as well you, we know it’s a Wenger / Kronke love in. - Post No. 110648

Yes its Ron  10:28am 7th Nov 2017

CG - That Morata header put me in mind of John Radford in his pomp. Ray Kennedy scored a few like that too. Morata s general play is much like Raddys was i think. - Post No. 110649

Yes its Ron  10:40am 7th Nov 2017

Guys, i saw the Wolves game v Fulham last Friday night. Nuno has got the Wolves playing some great stuff. Power, passion, pace and high technique levels. Hes one for the future i think. Be good to see Wolves back up in the top division plus a few of the other sleeping giants in the Championship. Not sure of if any of you have seen Wolves, but well worth a watch guys. A few Wolves fan friends all loving it right now! Remember when we used to have the same fervour. Seems like decades back now. - Post No. 110650

CORNISH GOONER  11:07am 7th Nov 2017

Ron, you are quite right of course - but it does nothing to lighten one's mood to be reminded of those golden times on a godawful day down here with 3 dogs oblivious to it all & demanding their walk. Damn you Wengo! - Post No. 110651

MAF  11:54am 7th Nov 2017

Peter Cech Penalty track record since at Arsenal. good spot by a fan ! smells very fishy to me. is he still on Roman A's payroll ? old fool Wenger wouldnt have a bloody clue. Arsenal are the mugs These days everyone takes them on - Post No. 110652

Rippy  12:21pm 7th Nov 2017

The worst case scenario is 6th... its probably also the best. more crap Europa league Thursdays for years to come. with a team getting worse until wenger finally is fired or dies of old age.... - Post No. 110653

GoonerRon  14:21pm 7th Nov 2017

Not playing Lacazette was a mistake, as was playing Ozil in a game like this. Citeh were impressive and I don’t necessarily buy they had the handbrake on, I think they exercised some level of caution knowing we could damage them. Whether they should have been out of sight or not is irrelevant, make no mistake, at 2-1 we were bang in the match and the atmosphere in the ground had turned after we scored. That’s why Wenger rightly highlighted the offside goal as a critical moment (he was wrong about the pen, it was softish but definitely seen them given territory). In patches we played well (pressed well as a team in the first 15 minutes) but as always with us the balance wasn’t right in the transition from in to out of possession. - Post No. 110654

Yes its Ron  14:52pm 7th Nov 2017

GR - As we ve said many times perhaps the players we have could do better v the better sides with better and more disciplined coaching, but the stark reality is just that Arsenal arent good enough to take on strong teams and havent been for many years. Isolating where they go wrong etc is futile. The Club is now at least 5/6 quality players and a new Coach away from challenging the likes of Man C. The years of neglect have caught up with the club. The team is like an old banger motor car. You can only keep adjusting the clutch, changing the discs and brake shoes and patching up rusty bodywork for so long. Eventually it falls to bits. AFC are at that stage on and off the pitch football wise. Its the poor quality of the teams below them in that over rated, over hyped PL that keeps the illusion going that things arent so bad. Youre always very measured and thoughtful in yr comments but for Arsenal, the time for talking stopped many years ago really. The club needs change, root to branch starting from the top. Not much else will do now. They look higher mid table because thats what Arsenal are now. To beat good teams, they need the good teams to have a really off day, just as Albion and Saints and Everton et al need to benefit prevail in the harder matches. - Post No. 110655

mbg  15:11pm 7th Nov 2017

Rippy, I dunno mate below 6th and no Thursday nights C5 Ropey could help us win the prem, remember how a certain wengerite or two on here tried to tell us no CL to worry about would do that, tee hee, lol, god love them. wenger out. - Post No. 110656

Moscowgooner  15:50pm 7th Nov 2017

Ha ha! Pious hope that 'the man from Alsace might finally realize the game is up': he's too busy stashing cash away in the Caymans (or is the BVI?) to recognize that the game is even on, let alone to think it's up. Who's going to call him out?? Certainly not Gazidis - with his huge 'under achievement' bonuses. Certainly not Stan - when he has a stadium in LA to fund. Keswick? Ken? The fans? Rarely has Arsenal's future ever looked quite so bleak... We need a spanking win over the auld enemy to lift the gloom. - Post No. 110657

mbg  15:56pm 7th Nov 2017

Ron, good post, and still the wengerites can't see it, and still talk about getting this player/players that player/players in thinking it is all we need and will make a difference. Yes we're a long long way behind city, Shearer said it on MOTD I remember after we teared him and Newcastle a new one at Highhbury years ago 5-1 (i think) with Veira and co in their pomp brushing everyone aside, when he was asked much the same question afterwards then he said they were five years behind us or words to that effect, all that time ago and look at us and where we are today, did, have we progressed, there's not many teams in the prem five years behind us today, where has, did, it all go wrong, there's no need to answer that. wenger out. - Post No. 110658

mbg  16:30pm 7th Nov 2017

Moscow, that's the last fooking thing we need mate. wenger out. - Post No. 110659

Yes its Ron  16:38pm 7th Nov 2017

MBG - It went 'wrong' (depending on whos point of view it is you view it from) really from that stadium attracting so many of the latter day type support and its propensity to keep AFCs coffers well filled despite the mediocrity on the pitch. The downwards gradient as applies to the on the pitch activities is easy enough to map. The off the pitch gradient was less predictable in the corridors of power i suspect. A moderate team has proved good enough to maintain a thriving business plan, profit and loss accounts and balance sheet. There is accordingly no real incentive to invest on a bigger scale as the owner is clearly happy with what he has. Lets be honest, would we be different if we held 70 pc of the shares there? As fans we could say yes but as an unattached owner from abroad? Maybe not. The fans now and have for years needed to make a choice about the modern Arsenal. Is is what they want? This is what they are. If not, drop it. Yesteryear's feel and climate around football generally and Arsenal specifically isnt coming back. This sanitised passionless shell of a 'football Club' is what Arsenal are. As has been said, its a hipster club. Many thousands in there every Saturday love it that way. Could only have happened in London where footballs place in the fans life is far more diluted than in the football hotbeds elsewhere. London hasn't ever been a footballing hotbed and thats why the Capitals achievements across all of its many Clubs doesn't get near to the NW Clubs deeds. The fans in the main can take it or leave it. The new AFC cash in on that. - Post No. 110660

BigDaveTheGooner  19:07pm 7th Nov 2017

Every time we get beat,Wenger bleats and moans about the incompetence of the match officials and how they are not good enough to officiate,well Mr Wenger how about how we as fans suffer at your complete incompetence and not good enough to manage this football team. He gets paid multi millions of pounds and yet year in year out gets it so badly wrong,not just in pre season but throughout the season as well. Come on Wenger admit to yourself,your a deluded old fool who should have gone 10 years ago and offers nothing to this football club any more. - Post No. 110661

Paulo75  19:59pm 7th Nov 2017

Yes its Ron - good post, pretty much hits the nail on the head I think. Modern day football is so far removed from what most of us became attached to. Its not just specific to Arsenal but I really struggle to identify with any of the modern day team members. When you add in a detestable owner who treats the fans with utter contempt theres not much to love is there. - Post No. 110662

Big Andy  20:10pm 7th Nov 2017

There is, quite rightly, an awful lot of gloom on this website today. But I actually think that there are grounds for some optimism right now. Why? Because I believe that this is the last season of Le Fraud. Come next spring when, yet again, we have failed to qualify for the Champions' League, Gazidis, who I'm sure loathes Wenger, will be in a strong position. He can argue to the wigwearer that not only has Wenger cost the club a fortune by failing to make top four, he has also lost AFC over a hundred million quid by allowing the contracts of Sanchez, Ozil and Wilshere to all lapse. Wiggo will probably finally see the light and send Inspector Clueless back to France. We can only hope. - Post No. 110663

mbg  20:25pm 7th Nov 2017

Did you hear wenger and see the look on his face when asked by the journo after the match if he thought city were a different class or on a different level (or words to that effect)than/to his bunch I bet that pissed him off, all that was needed was the smoke from his nostrils, he managed to contain himself enough to give one of his arrogant answers, why don't you ask one of your superior so called experts in the studio, (well done Shearer for obliging and giving his opinion later that evening)a dig at Henry and co no doubt, what an arrogant egoistic old fraud. - Post No. 110664

Moscowgooner  6:01am 8th Nov 2017

is the story about Ozil wanting the No. 10 shirt in order to sign a new deal, true? Has to be surely the most ridiculous contract renewal story that the Club has ever thrown up - and there are quite a few contenders for that title already.... If a player is that concerned about a short number to build his 'brand', good reason to let him go regardless of his other merits. - Post No. 110665

Rochey  8:01am 8th Nov 2017

What is the point of Wenger. We have said all this before. The club has been turned into a sh1tty rip-off business run by a-holes who do not care about the customers. What is the point of watching a team make the same mistakes, the manager make the same excuses and the board arrogantly telling you little people whats best over and over. My club has been f up by greed. I'm sick of the sight of Wenger and for me he has more than tarnished his record ofleague wins.Such a sad story for Arsenal FC all our history being spoiled by these greedy suits. - Post No. 110666

TonyEvans  8:07am 8th Nov 2017

As far as this season goes, Premiership wise, I hope City run away with it (as long as they lose a game just the once). Then let's see the 'pundits' trying to hype it up with City 20 points clear! Mind you then they would 'big up' the 'race' for the top four! Who really cares about that! Other than that, cup wise, seeing the Spuds out of the CL would be good (that lot winning it would be the last straw) - oh and as for my own team anything that helps hasten Wenger's departure, although I am not sure I care enough now to give a monkeys either way! - Post No. 110667

Bard  9:00am 8th Nov 2017

Ron I like your overall take on the history of the club since the move. I don't think its all doom and gloom though. I have no problem with Arsenal not winning trophies what I want to see is a side that give it a go and compete properly. It should be a given in professional sport but sadly its been missing for years at Arsenal. Change that and you will get the fans behind you. Who knows we might end up winning a major trophy or two - Post No. 110668

mbg  1:22am 9th Nov 2017

Anyway it's good to see one tradition hasn't been lost and airbrushed out of history, the wearing of the Poppy on our shirts, although i wonder if the yank wanted it replaced with the stars and stripes how much opposition there'd be to it, knowing our fans fickle record on protests, would wenger kick up a stink or take the silver again ? I suppose the wengerites would wait and see what he had to say on the matter before they made up their minds. wenger out. - Post No. 110687

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds