Enough Bangers and Mash
By Joe Fitzpatrick
Time for some caviar now please, Mr Wenger!
If you are happy with Arsenal finishing in third place, let me warn you straight off the bat that this piece is not going to be your cup of tea. If you are completely content with merely qualifying for the Champions League each and every single bloody season without so much as a snowball in hell's chance of actually winning the top prize in European football, I don't want to rain on your third-place trophy parade or anything, and I do sincerely hope that you do so enjoy the upcoming open-top bus tour of Upper Street where all of the Arsenal superstars will be brandishing the aforementioned third-place trophy in all of its beautiful shining glory but, sadly, I won't be in attendance myself because, unfortunately, I have a thing called a brain.
Call me old-fashioned, maybe a little bit too romantic and even a "Roy of the Rovers"- style dreamer, but I just can't get excited about finishing third, not when we are the most widely-supported team in the largest city in Western Europe. I dream of another FA cup, and I'd like us at least to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title. To set our targets below that standard would make the legendary Herbert Chapman spin furiously in his grave. We are the Arsenal, and we can always be in the mix for honours if we really want it enough. Third place is really only a very sanitised way of saying "The second-best loser" anyway, and if you want to celebrate being that, then you and I are never going to agree on anything.
I want Arsenal to win, and I firmly believe that we are capable of winning something again but to continually bury our heads in the sand and pretend that everything is going to be sweet and rosy is nothing but sheer madness and utter folly. We are clearly going backwards and are in obvious decline as a football team, even if we are indeed in good shape as a football club. I don't want to get into complicated finances today, so I'm only going to talk about the footballing side of things and how we are underperforming as a team in all areas apart from one position. I will also reference a few transfer targets that even the most cynical amongst you will agree were easily within our modest means in the summer and winter transfer windows.
The mighty Moroccan hot-shot, Marouane Chamakh, appeared 19 times in an Arsenal shirt this season and scored just the one goal. Scorching South Korean assassin, Ju Young Park, appeared in just six games for us this season and also managed to score only a single solitary goal. Tim Howard, the Everton goalkeeper, also managed to score a goal this season and that perfectly sums up just how very over-reliant we have been on our beloved Robin van Persie this season. Our second- and third-choice strikers for this season were just about as lethal as the first-choice Everton goalkeeper, and God only knows what would have happened to us if RvP had picked up a serious injury this season.
Arsenal scored 74 league goals this season, of which RvP scored 30 and assisted in 10; subtract the Dutchman's contribution to at least 40 of our goals this season, and we are left with the meagre tally of 34 goals. Of course, some might argue that, without RvP in the team, someone else would have then stepped up to the plate and banged in a few more goals for us but I would then have to counter with the one word question... Who?
We've covered the lack of contribution from our so called "strikers" already but can you honestly tell me with a straight face that Ramsey, Walcott, Gervinho, Song, Rosicky or Arteta would have scored the necessary goals in the absence of RvP based on the evidence of the season just passed? Think back and remember the number of goal-scoring opportunities that were wasted by all of those players this season and your own memory should answer the question for you.
You will notice that I'm not including Benayoun or the Ox in with that other lot as I believe that they were both criminally under-played this season on the evidence of their direct running and obvious goal-threat so I'm absolutely certain that they both would have scored a fair amount of goals with more playing time. The fact that the manager has decided to stick with his oh-so-rigid and established pecking order, regardless of the form of certain players this season, has infuriated Gunners everywhere and left even the most die-hard of Arsène Wenger fans shaking their heads at various times during this season. The obvious example of which is that of the substitution of Oxlade-Chamberlain for Arshavin, when Walcott was having a nightmare, against Manchester United. Even Robin van Persie was shaking his head at that ingenious decision.
I'm reluctant to say that we are a one-man team but, when one man scores 30 and assists 10 of your 74 league goals, you can't help but start to feel that way. I can't help but wonder what might have been if we had managed to have signed any combination of Scott Parker, Chiek Tiote, Juan Mata, Leighton Baines, Clint Dempsey, Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Papiss Cissé or Nikola Jelavic instead of players like Joel Campbell, Gervinho, Eisfeld and Park. Come on, it's not that far-fetched; we could easily have signed any of those targets early in the transfer-windows if we really wanted to. It's just that Arsenal just can't do negotiations properly anymore.
Speaking of strikers and goals scored, what about goals scored against us? What about our p*ss-poor away-form? I would now like to draw your attention to our very poor away-form and the number of goals we conceded on our travels this season.
Arsenal conceded 32 goals on the road this season in only 19 away fixtures. The mathematicians amongst you will have already worked out that that's an average of 1.68 goals conceded per game, meaning that, in order to win the vast majority of our away games, we would have needed to score at least two goals, The days of one-nil to the Arsenal have well and truly gone now, haven't they? Our attack didn't shame us too badly this season though, as they managed to score a respectable 35 goals giving us an away-goal difference of +3. It's simply not good enough all around, really, especially when you consider the fact that the Premiership champions, Manchester City, scored 38 goals away from home and conceded only 17.
Roberto Mancini has been criticised for being too negative and pragmatic in his approach to away-fixtures this season, but the indisputable fact remains that Manchester City still managed to score three more away goals than a much more gung-ho Arsène Wenger team. Arsenal are no longer the attacking force that they once were, and it is fortunate that the mainstream media don't emphasise the sad fact that our offensive work is also in the toilet at the moment along, with our urine- drenched defensive efforts.
There is only one person we can blame for the current state of affairs at the club at the moment, and it is very unfortunate indeed that he is a truly loved and revered figure at the club. Sometimes it kills us to criticise our heroes, but there comes a time when you must figure out if you are more in love with Arsène than you are with Arsenal, or then again, maybe not.
Arsène Wenger is no longer playing in the style that won him so many trophies for us, and there is a direct correlation between our change of style and the amount of trophies that we have won. We used to play with hunger and desire in the middle of the park when we had players like Vieira, Petit, Gilberto Silva and, to a lesser extent, Mathieu Flamini, but now we play a system with no designated holding midfielder as Alex Song is now encouraged to bomb forward at every available opportunity and that. in my opinion, is the biggest flaw in Wenger's current team.
The second major design flaw in this 4-3-3 system is that, because the midfielders are not instructed to cover for our marauding full-backs, we are often left with two at the back at best if Vermaelen, Mertesacker or Koscielny aren't playing as an auxiliary centre forward as is often the case. Our wide forwards, on either side of van Persie, are encouraged to stay high up the field and tuck in to support him so the only way to get enough width in the team is for our full-backs to perform 50-yard shuttle-runs for 90 minutes and, in my opinion, only Bacary Sagna is fit enough and positionally aware enough to actually do this properly 90% of the time.
The defensive and organisational flaws are obvious to most people, and opposition managers have worked out how to contain Arsenal's predictable and pedestrian attacks by parking the proverbial bus and then hitting us on the break with remarkable success. If you disagree that Arsenal's attack has become both predictable and pedestrian then I encourage you to go and dust off your old DVD's and watch the clever movement of Pires, Henry, Bergkamp, Ljungberg, Cole and Vieira that completely bamboozled the opposition at every turn. Henry drifted out wide, Bergkamp dropped deep, Ljungberg made late driving runs into the box alongside Patrick Vieira, while Pires and Cole provided an awesome threat from the left. Those days are long gone now, but we all remember them like they were yesterday. It's just so baffling and bewildering that Le Professeur seems to have forgotten about the magic formula that made him a legend. We haven't forgotten though, Mr. Wenger, and we would like our caviar football back now please because we are so sick and tired of this bangers-and-mash football.
4th June 2012
User Comment 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.
fozzy's mate 8:34am 4th Jun 2012
Blimey Joe your anti OGL attacks grow more vitriolic every day. Apparently the third place trophy parade has been replaced by the parade of the bank statement and screen print of the share price from Bloomberg. The only reason we went to 4-3-3 was that the club did not have the balls to spend the 25 million from the Aderbayor deal when he triggered his success bonus move to city. That left us with one forward and even though at that stage you were in love with OGL you will remember that season we played with a Russian dwarf on his own up front due to injury. 0GL refused to spend the cash burning a hole a long with the 16 mill for Toure as RVP would be back in Feb until shock horror a scan at 0001 hrs on 1 Feb showed he was out for the season. But like Wilshere/Vermaelen/Diaby/Rosicky how was he to know? Now let's await the euros followed by will he won't he until the inevitable happens and our one remaining tin on Beluga ships out. But don't worry plenty of bangers will be back and still here or coming in. Meanwhile as the August window shuts Wilshere is ruled out until christmas. But don't worry Gazidis is pressing print on the Bloomberg screen and already planning the next parade. - Post No. 25565
Bard 8:43am 4th Jun 2012
Dont disagree with anything you have written.There is also a myth that we dont spend big. How about Arshavin,Reyes, the Ox for starters. What we dont do is spend big on goalkeepers or defenders, exactly the kind of players we need. We have also failed to sign or develop ( maybe Frimpong will develop )a holding midfielder since Flamster and Gilberto. As you rightly note if youre giving away more than 1 goal a game it puts enormous pressure on the attack. My view is that sides have worked us out and Wenger isnt cute enough tactically to develop an appropriate response (see Fulham and Swansea away and Wigan at home)Tactically Arsenal are moribund. It wasnt so much of a flaw when we had all those greats playing for us but we dont have that qulaity now. You are spot on the decline is as clear as daylight. The really sad part is that it is only the fans that care. I would ask those who will disagree with the article if they honestly believe it will be any different next season. - Post No. 25566
Arsene Whinger 9:00am 4th Jun 2012
I don't think the real problem of Arsenal is Wenger. He has obvious flaws and makes too many mistakes but the real problem is the ambition-less board. If Wenger was in any other top club in Europe he would have been asked to perform better or else he would have been sacked long time ago. If we want to win trophies, the board must have the ambition to want it at first place. - Post No. 25568
Alsace Lorraine de Totteridge 9:06am 4th Jun 2012
When you are considering criticism of this sort you have always to think, "who is this Joe Fitzpatrick? Has he played one day in the game and who is he to criticise the manager?". That is what I think to myself as I contemplate a busy transfer window, which I will be spending in Poland seeing how good the Arsenal players are. It is strange but when they play for their international coaches they seem to find a sort of liberation. It is as though they have suddenly found unbelievable belief. It is as though they have escaped. Anyway, back to the point which is that Joe Fitzpatrick clearly does not know what he is talking about. I do not wish to say that his mother was a hamster and his father smelt of elderberries, but I am very tempted. Thanks for your support. - Post No. 25569
Gooner1711 9:18am 4th Jun 2012
Some good, valid oints but there are many more reasons why we're going down the pan with respect to winning trophies. I expect a similar season, albeit in my opinion, without RvP. I am still convinced he's off so where is our trading and business status for new transfers? Sure as hell we cannot use any of our existing (Bar Podoloski) up front. Sorry, but another gloomy season ahead as nothing so far gets me stoked up. I wish, truly wish it was different but can see very little light at the end of the tunnel. - Post No. 25571
Dexter 10:15am 4th Jun 2012
Nothing will change until Wenger is removed.That the bottom line.And he wont be removed as long as Kroenke is in charge.Expect a new contract to be offered to Wenger next year and for him to sign it.We are stuck with him for life.I would be happy with Bangers and Mash.What we are getting from Wenger is two week old raw fish - Post No. 25572
Mike 10:23am 4th Jun 2012
I hate caviar - Post No. 25573
Bangers and Cash 10:29am 4th Jun 2012
Kroenke couldnt believe his luck when he bought Arsenal.No trophies won for 7 years yet the fans roll up and renew their season tickets.No protests no boycotts.Highest tickets prices in the world and the fans dont care they pay up.Last year was the worst season under Wenger coming after a 6.5% price hike.Arsenal fans if you want to see the real reason for all our problems go and take a look in the mirror.You are backing a failed project,but Kroenke doesnt mind the profits are still high.We are like a shop that sells rubbish but the punters keep shopping in it - Post No. 25574
Spectrum 10:41am 4th Jun 2012
Excellent article. Agree with everything you say.It's all common sense to those with eyes to see. But not to those who insist on wearing a blindfold.Without Robin's very considerable contribution, we would not have scraped into third place ( and Europe ) as we did - oh, and with the help of the West Brom. keeper's two howlers in that last match. As the writer says "There is only one person to blame for the current state of affairs at the club at the moment". The same one who's been responsible for the last seven to eight years of neglect and wasted opportunities.Wenger has lived on and traded off, his best times ( pre 2005 ) for far too long. He's used up any credit he had left from that,and has consistently failed to deliver since.He's lost the respect he earned by staying on longer than he has a right to. The fact that we still get A.K.B. fools who still are prepared to continue writing him blank cheques that we'll never cash in on, amazes me.In fact, the only cheques that Arsenal see are the ones that go into the club treasury. They certainly don't get invested in the team. Why have we given Van Persie all this time to decide whether he wants to stay or not ? He's had ALL SEASON to decide this.Yet our weak manager refuses to set him a deadline, andas a result of this dithering we're set for a repeat of last campaign. An unsettled, underprepared team, with any new players arriving at the last minute again, if at all. What a farcical management process we continue to have. "In Arsene we rust." - Post No. 25575
Spectrum 10:53am 4th Jun 2012
Bard - "There is also a myth that we dont spend big." It's no myth mate, it's a fact. The most we have EVER paid for ANYONE was 15 million for Arshavin. And that was only ONCE, because it happens to be our club record transfer fee.Which still hasn't been exceeded, even though we're reputed to have a sizeable kitty to use yet again. Fifteen million is hardly big spending these days. "In Arsene we rust." - Post No. 25576
Steve 1962er 11:11am 4th Jun 2012
Agree with virtually all of Joe's comments. We need so many players to become potential champions, and we all know that it is just not going to happen. We still need a very good center half as we only have two worth mentioning. We need a left sided full back who knows ho to defend. Gibbs and Santos are both good going forward but are liabilities at defending. We need to offload 3 goalkeepers and bring in a competent back-up. A defensive midfielder is also a priority as Song is not and never will be such a player. I also think that RVP will definitely leave, and we need to buy big to replace him. Llorente at Athletico Bilbao would be my choice. He is a brilliant centre forward in the old manner and is at least 3/4 years younger than RVP. I also do not believe that RVP will ever have another season like the last one. He is also 29 in two months, and realistically has about two more years left at the top, particularly with all his injury problems. So, it might seem sacrilege to most Arsenal fans, but I would buy big and let him go to the highest bidder, but we would have to buy first. I do not look forward to next season with the people in charge, it will be same again, but without a Spuds collapse, and a much bigger, better Chelsea we will have no chance of anything. A very sorry end to Mr Wenger's career at Arsenal. - Post No. 25577
tenerife gooner 11:22am 4th Jun 2012
Agree 100% re Song. - Post No. 25578
Ray 13:05pm 4th Jun 2012
I still smile when i read fans blaming the board.Kroenke didnt buy rubbish like Squillaci,Santos,Gervinho,Chamakh and Park.Wenger did.Wenger is the cause of our problems not the board. - Post No. 25579
maguiresbridge gooner 13:21pm 4th Jun 2012
I'm certainly not happy with our third and fourth places over the years you say we're capable of winning something not with this current bunch of over paid dross OGL has been continually burying his head in the sand for years sticking with the dross in the hope one day they'll come good with the same tactics (or lack off)that every manager in the prem knows of by heart and can get the better off like you said where is the playing style that we used to have gone maybe the answer to that is the players aren't capable of producing it unlike the ones in the old DVD'S.We would all love to know where the magic has gone where is this magic hat that OGL used to have it certainly hasn't made an appearance for a long time.We do seem to be going backwards and being caught up and left behind nobodys asking for thirty forty million pound players on 200k a week but players are out there you've already gave us an example so why stick with dross.But one things for sure he's going to have to find his magic hat again pretty quick because next season is a big season for himself and our club i know we've been saying that for the last six or so but the same scenarios and mistakes can hot be allowed to happen next season the defence,the keeper situation,the dross,sticking with players who aren't performing,not to mention the RVP scenario if all this is not addressed then we can forget about caviar and make do with bangers and mash. - Post No. 25580
Canterbury Gooner 14:09pm 4th Jun 2012
RVP said last summer that he hoped we would sign some big name players. Instead of that, we sold the world's best midfieder to Barca. And Nasri, who although I was glad to see sold, wasn't replaced with as established a player. This summer, Wenger says we'll only make 'one or two' signings- so JUST Podolski could be the fulfillment of the former part of that statement. I wouldn't be surprised to see no one else come now and it will be to our detriment if we don't given that City and United are way ahead of the rest now and Spurs and Chelsea are plugging the gaps in their squads already. Lessons may never be learnt under Wenger it seems... - Post No. 25581
Noz 14:23pm 4th Jun 2012
Joe. How dare you hack into my brain and download the contents for your article! As spot on as yet can possibly be mate. Great article. - Post No. 25582
jjetplane 15:58pm 4th Jun 2012
Got your foods mixed up there dreamer. Its the bangers and mash we are missing while the Walnutts et al live in their caviar-infested world a million miles from your average footer fan. If you want chavved-up caviar theres plenty over the westway! Furthermore this side is over-reaching at 3rd place but I think we will be squeezed out by a desperate manc side led by a fuming, broken tweeter of a man. Talking of tweets - will Wilshere ever have to play football to prove something or will he just twitter away til Hodgson says bollox to him too! - Post No. 25583
Gare Kekeke 16:18pm 4th Jun 2012
Good article. Wenger is so much better than our current situation but so far his stubbornness is his undoing. Unless there is a change of ethos from the board and Wenger himself then 2012 onwards to the end of his reign as manager will be a repetition of 2006-12. I personally don’t get too much excited about the annual European Cup qualification as everyone knows we will get knocked out by the first decent team we come up against in the knockouts; 2008/09 Man Utd, 2009/10 & 2010/11 Barcelona & 2011/12 Milan. Contrary to popular belief, I actually think we do spend money. What I don’t believe it that it’s spent efficiently, especially on wages. Apologies for bringing this up again as I do with some of my posts but that ridicoulosly high wage bill rumoured to be as high as £140m is something that all Gooners should scrutinise and worry about. And yes it takes account all staff members and not just the players. Apart for Podolski, where are all these new early summer signings that were apparently going to happen this summer? Like that was going to happen. So much for the plan to avoid the panic buying of last August. Will Wenger allow himself to be more flexible with tactics or just as usual thinks he’s right and shouldn’t be questioned? And what the farce the contractual situations with regards to Messrs Van Persie, Walcott & Song have become. Having said, I am only a fan of Van Persie. The other two, questionable in terms of ability, consistency & discipline. Wenger is naive if he thinks the players would show 100% loyalty to the club and will sign new deals without hesitation. If he does think this way, then yet again it’s a sign that he doesn’t learn from his past errors. Remember Fabregas, Nasri & Clichy from last year? So much for their ‘loyalty’. Let’s see what summer 2012 brings us. Up The Arsenal! - Post No. 25584
BringBackDein 16:37pm 4th Jun 2012
Joe, you state that we are "the most widely supported team in the largest city in western Europe" If Chelsea and Spurs had our ground capacity then your statement would not apply. I am as frustrated a you regarding the teams poor staying power but until the boardroom situation is resolved we will continue to be an also ran team. We have lost our direction. - Post No. 25585
Peter Wain 17:30pm 4th Jun 2012
Unfortunateky due to chronic mismanagment I cannot see us ever winning another trophy. We desparately need a class centre half, a new left back defensive midfield and two new strikers. None of which I can see arriving. As usual the defense of the third placed finish will be waved about like some kind of badge. The only thing certain for next season is that prices of programmes food and drink will all increase and the RVP will be playing for club who will at least be challenging for trophoes. On a separate matter I was amazed at the form of Clichy. With us he was always making catastrophic mistakes and errors which continually cost us points. I did not see that last season so I womder if the City coaches are better than ours. - Post No. 25586
CanadaGooner 18:47pm 4th Jun 2012
Joe - fair enough. We are where we are, and provided the club's emphasis remains to accummulate CL money (by getting into the knock-out stages) and then use that to sustain a top 4 finish to keep that going, nothing will change. The flip side is that we throw caution to the wind, go for it, win the carling or FA Cup and finish 6th in the league, Kroenke & co wont cough up any money to fill that CL gap and we'll go downhill from there. The reality is that nobody at Arsenal is prepared to bring more money in. Their plan is to keep going on what they have and in so doing, set our players the sole target of qualifying for the CL league. Personally, I dont see a great deal changing for us next season. But perhaps some of the vocal fans on here can make some noise and get someone at the club to notice, so we can at least target the FA Cup next season and perhaps that taste of winning will get our players going. We have enough decent players to avoid dropping points where we dropped majority of our points last season (at wolves, fulham, blackburn etc) and we should not be dropping points at west ham, soton, villa etc the coming season either Anyway, what it all boils down to is what the club management and hierarchy tell the players they have to achieve - Post No. 25588
ppp 19:19pm 4th Jun 2012
I stopped reading when you said chamberlain was "criminally underplayed" he's young - he can do without playing every game or even every other game. I'm sure you went on to make some other more reasonable points. - Post No. 25589
Tony C. 20:41pm 4th Jun 2012
I disagree wholeheartedly with Monsieur Alsace Lorraine. Nice work, Joe. Always a pleasure to read your articles. The state of contentment at the Emir*tes is an important topic to address. The manager steadfastly directs us to his proven track record of qualifying for Champions League football, year in, year out. Is that really where his ambitions end these days? The majority of us aspire to more than mere qualification into a tournament. The Club and its supporters deserve trophies. - Post No. 25590
DW Thomas 22:55pm 4th Jun 2012
Maybe the best thing that can happen to this club is a new manager. Once an elite coach, Wenger has fallen far from his Invincibles perch. It doesn't seem like he has recovered from losing the CL in 2006. Not only is this team nowhere near good enough to really challenge, it could be close with a few additions, probably 3-4. One more top winger, one more very good striker, another top DM, a top defender, and a class backup GK. I guess that's five, but oh well. Now, will that ever happen? Could that ever happen? No. And yes. But, too me it is Wenger's stubbornness and inflated ego that prevents the team from truly moving "forward". What a joke of a slogan on this past season's shirt. Maybe the red, white, and blue jersey this year will say "mediocrity" on it. Or "selling club". Those would be more apropos. I will look forward to rooting for France at the Euros hoping and praying I see limited appearances from Nasri and Evra whom both I now can't stand and star performances from M'Vila and Giroud who are then bought by us. Also, how is it the Ox is now in the Euros but barely gets a sniff for us? Will he be another Theo under Wenger? If only the squad had the necessary depth, the big stars (Wilshire, RVP, Sagna, etc.) would all be even better imo. Instead of getting the necessary rest though, they are played past the red zone and expected to carry too many weak teammates. I agree, Wenger must change this summer or move on. And the team must be set before August 1st with at least 3-4 quality additions. Otherwise it will be Groundhog Day, again. Are we has beens? Saddens me now when I stop and think about it. Arsenal could and should be so much more. - Post No. 25591
Mark Rice 23:22pm 4th Jun 2012
Simple point ... Turning back the clock, would our current board and manager have signed Sol Campbell? ...We all know the answer and that's why we will never win a major trophy until there is massive change. - Post No. 25593
Wombledin 23:33pm 4th Jun 2012
Agree entirely. However, the owners and the Board are completely and utterly the type of 'fan' you mention in your first sentence. They are perfectly happy with finishing 3rd and think the sun shines out of Wenger's bum as long as he keeps getting us in the top 4. And Wenger of all people knows it, which is why he keeps calling a top 4 finish as good as a trophy. You heard Peter Hill-Woods latest speech. Not a chance in hell of Wenger going until he finally fails to secure a top 4 finish. Even then Peter Hill-Wood will push to give him another season. So I'm afraid all the moaning is pointless with the current owner and Board. The real fans that you find on this website who are angry and frustrated are totally emasculated, completely powerless. What's more, the owners and Board couldn't give a **** when there is a 30,000 waiting list of new generation fans ready to take the place of real fans like you Joe. Our only hope is to see Wenger change his spots (never will) or hang himself next season. The hangman was putting the noose around his neck on the final day of this season but he got a miraculous last minute reprieve thanks to West Broms Marton Fulop. Nothing to do but see what happens. - Post No. 25594
GoonerRon 23:37pm 4th Jun 2012
@ canterbury gooner. You make me laugh - you mange to turn a situation whereby we have already purchased Podolski and Spuds have bought no one and manage to turn it into a situation where 'Spurs are plugging the gaps in their squads already' and at the same time bashing us for buying only Podolski so far. Makes perfect sense, except it doesn't at all. - Post No. 25595
wrag1983 1:00am 5th Jun 2012
Look lets get this straight ,we seem to all agree wenger and the board are mugging us off ..so why as fans of a club we all love ,why dont we stand together against this bull**** ? personally i havnt been to the emirates since 2006 and i aint missed alot ! im wont return to north london(live in n.ireland) until wenger is gone and we have a manager with a backbone and a board with balls to spend big and risk the embarrasment of it going wrong ,they do it with cheap buys that everyone laughs at ,so lets try an expensive one for a time ! "in arsene we rust " - Post No. 25596
Tigerz67 4:44am 5th Jun 2012
The reality is we cannot outspend Man City and Chelsea. (by the way, am I the only one who thinks Man City's 2 injury time goals very suspicious? What about the missed penalties against Chelsea in the Champion's League?). Man United is trying to but barely and is still relying on Scholes and Giggs. Liverpool spend more then us but still do badly and they keep changing managers and players hoping to hit the magic combo. The real question is how do we get more money so that we can build a competitive team without going into the red. Do we go for a multi multi muti biliionaire? Of course you have to be really careful that the so called sugar daddy does not destroy the club like Portsmouth, Blackburn and even Liverpool. What about our commercial revenue? Yes we can save on wages by getting rid of the dross players. But we need a billion dollar budget to compete. - Post No. 25597
Arsene is a liar 6:34am 5th Jun 2012
Arsene's Football Academy doesn't care about trophies and medals, its sole purpose is to make money for the Owner and Manager. Soon it will put the 13 League titles and other trophies of Arsenal Football Club which was dissolved in 2006 on public sale to interested clubs. - Post No. 25598
Joe S. 9:12am 5th Jun 2012
Unfortunately too many of your points hit the mark Joe. I actually envy liverpool, they've chosen the right man and given him three years to turn things around, his way. What really worries me is the long term damage Wegner will inflict on the club. In 2015 the new man is going to have to find replacepents for all the bangers and mash accumulated by Le Boss while having the board and AKB's breathing down his neck about the glory years of the Wegner legacy. - Post No. 25599
Joe Fitzpatrick 9:47am 5th Jun 2012
PPP- even though he is still very raw I would take Oxlade Chamberlain over Arshavin, Ramsey and Gervino every single day of the week. The lad makes things happen and is a true goal threat, he simply hasn't caught the disease of casual ,safe, slow, sideways passsing that infects our club. - Post No. 25600
Angry & Frustrated 10:47am 5th Jun 2012
Bangers & mash today, followed by tripe once RVP leaves as we all know he will. The days of caviar are now just a distant memory sadly, and worse all that is now left on the horizon is tripe, and by the season after next once Wilshere leaves on the menu will be pigs swill, but still for the price of caviar! - Post No. 25602
Ando 12:56pm 5th Jun 2012
Get used to being potless, that won't change without change. - Post No. 25606
johnnyhawleyloovinggooner 13:25pm 5th Jun 2012
well liverpool won a trophy,look how well tht turned out for kenny, it is a trouphy plus top four we need. the real problem now is our rivals are getting their transfers done while again we haggle when we should buy,ask too much for rubbish and are left standing when the season opens. I would pass on two major signings if the money was used to pay off the overpaid rubbish at the club(you all know who they are)and we could start building again next summer,give the reserves a go they can't be any worse than some of the first team squad. This doing nothing is causing unrest amonst the supporters and worse than that the club seem unaware that another window like last summer is simply not on.they have to be seen to be doing something - Post No. 25607
GaryFootscrayAustralia 14:03pm 5th Jun 2012
I'm vegetarian, so that's me knackered....stretching the food analogy even further, bangers and mash can be far superior to caviar, it really depends on the recipe and the chef. I remember us winning trophies from 87 - 94 when the menu was English beef, Scottish haggis and gravy, with a few bits of Swede for the trimmings on top.... - Post No. 25608
GoonerGoal! 14:47pm 5th Jun 2012
How hard it is, sometimes, to trust the evidence of one's own senses! How reluctantly the mind consents to reality... Odd as it may seem, in coming years we may consider Season 2011/12 a good one. The future as promised by the Kroenke/Gazidis/Wenger triumvate is already upon us, and yet still some cannot quite yet see... - Post No. 25609
Canterbury Gooner 14:51pm 5th Jun 2012
@Gooner Ron, well maybe you'd have understood better if you hadn't focused on just one point and taken it out of context? Chelsea are already rejuvinating their squad- Marin, Hazard, Cahill, Mata, Lukaku, and possibly Hulk later. Spurs only need a centre back and striker and they're in negotiations for Vertonghen and Adebayor, whereas we need 4-5 players including first teamers but as Wenger him self said, the number of signings will be 'one or two'- but hey maybe that's just because he assumes the final year contractees will stay again... - Post No. 25610
Theo Jensen 16:38pm 5th Jun 2012
True story, I wouldn't mind seeing us sign players like Dempsey and Tiote though they're not stars but are at least proven in the EPL. - Post No. 25612
Yanto 17:36pm 5th Jun 2012
We need a Total Change in the management of the club and the team, until this happens we will continue to cling on the coat tails of manure, man4hitty and the chavs and now maybe even the toon and the scum...... The idea of us moving to a bigger (more profitable) stadium was to be able to compete with manure, alas all we do is compete on the bank balances....... How Long Must We Sing This Song!? "SPEND SOME ****ING MONEY" - Post No. 25613
Unbeaten 03/04 1:09am 6th Jun 2012
Totally agree with your article and spot on! But as I read on I get this shivers down my spine like a Déjà vu of reading similar article (not exactly but in similar context) that we are going to wait till the end to buy new players (possibly in panic buys) etc.....!!! RVP has my full backing whether to stay or go (even though I'd love him to stay). As for calling 'The Arsenal' as 'We are Arsenal' I'm sorry I just don't feel my team anymore!!! My Arsenal is dead! Now it's the new Ar$£nal! - Post No. 25615
Ron 9:28am 6th Jun 2012
Hard to disagree. Arsensl are average and have been in decline since 2004 in truth, not since the stadium move. Its a good job for the Club that the quality of the league has fallen considerably too. The demise of the overall standard is getting Wenger out of jail each season. Im not too sure that i care anymore though Joe and im not pleased to admit it. - Post No. 25618
GoonerRon 11:49am 6th Jun 2012
@Canterbury Gooner - I'm not sure I took anything out of context - in specific reference to Spuds you said they were 'already plugging gaps in their squad' and as yet they've bought no one and lost/released/retired Saha, Adebayor, Nelson and King. One that basis I'd say their gaps have got bigger since the end of the season and we've strengthened with the signing of Podolski and the release of Almunia. - Post No. 25628
Canterbury Gooner 13:18pm 6th Jun 2012
@Gooner Ron, well that's just petty really- Ok so as far as reliable sources (ie BBC sport which actually is required to have a proper source) they are in negotiation for Vertonghen and Adebayor whereas we are not linked with anyone as far as we can be properly informed. They have Friedel, Walker, Dawson, Assou-Ekkoto, Lennon, Modric, Parker, Bale and VDV so there aren't that many 'holes' for them really. They only need a couple of players but we need 4-5 and Wenger HIM SELF said it would only be 'one or two' for the whole summer. So in the context of the overall philosophy for all summer I'd say we've (once again) got things wrong. - Post No. 25632
Andyyyy 13:57pm 6th Jun 2012
Wouldn't it be good if players who wanted to win things actually stopped whinging, stopped thinking the grass is greener and played with commitment everytime they pulled on the shirt. The Arsenal shirt is more iconic than any player and should be worn with pride. If the guys played every game like the AC Milan home match, we might find that the Mancs and everyone else start to worry about us a bit. The team is capable of it. They need to perform consistently. True, we had some dire injury-driven bad luck, especially in defence, but really. Time for the squad to man-up and play like they mean it. It's not as if they don't earn enough... - Post No. 25634
Season Ticket Robbo. 14:31pm 6th Jun 2012
Quite simply Wenger is finished and has been for a very very long time!! 12 more months of this madness before we sign a quality young manager and re-build!!! - Post No. 25637
GoonerRon 17:42pm 9th Jun 2012
@canterbury gooner - let's agree to disagree. Let me leave you with some facts. 1) we finished above the spuds last season. 2) we have bought podolski and released a third choice Gk. 3) spuds have bought no one and currently have lost Adebayor, King, Nelson, Saha and from their squad. As it stands at this point of the summer, I'd say we're in a better spot. - Post No. 25735
20th May 2013
Online Ed: 4th place trophy and CL qualifier secured