Make Your Feelings Known Before The West Brom game

By Mark Halfpenny

Last Season’s Protest Group have not gone away

Ivan Gazidis, April 2017. “Arsene Wenger must become a catalyst for change for the Club, if he stays”. Now, now - come on. Stop laughing! He’s got 2 million reasons (per year - plus bonuses) for spouting such nonsense. Here’s a quick grammar lesson for you Ivan.

Kroenke – A crap version of Father Christmas

Catalyst. Noun. An event or person that causes great change.

Change. Verb. Make or become different. an act or process through which something becomes different.

Oh dear Ivan – have you been caught out, doing that thing that slippery, devious politicians and crafty businessmen do? You know… that thing where they treat their audience as simple, ignorant beings that will accept something because it is said by someone in a position of authority. Although, having said that, we should probably just ignore Gazidis. After all, his boss Stan Kroenke does!

But I digress. Let’s return to “Catalyst for Change”. Around season ticket renewal time, the Club were planting the usual stories about Wenger being handed a £150 million war chest in papers including the Daily Star, and The Express, not forgetting The Sun.

However, as before, these “stories” were just that – stories. We’ve become used to a transfer window horror show but this one was far, far worse. In fact, the Chuckle Brothers would struggle to be worse. We turned down a £10 million bid for Kieran Gibbs, only to accept a £7 million offer from the same club at the 11th hour. Gabriel was sold at a loss just two years after arriving. Shkodran Mustafi (£35 million don’t forget) was desperate to leave after just one season.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain took a huge pay cut to get away, and he became the first player ever to make his debut whilst still playing for his old club. Lacazette joined for £52 million, only to get splinters in his poor old bum-bum. Kylian Mbappe was – ahem - “going to join”… but didn’t. Thomas Lemar was – ahem - “going to join”… but didn’t. And as for Alexis Sanchez, a dog’s dinner doesn’t come close to describing that situation. I didn’t think we could ever top the “trolley dash” in 2011, but we did.

And we’re not just a #shambles off the pitch, we’re a #shambles on it as well. Leicester saw the usual defensive lapses. At Stoke we had 77% possession, attempted 732 passes… and lost 1-0. Then the travelling circus descended upon Liverpool, to deliver Jurgen Klopp’s Christmas presents four months early.

Liverpool’s third goal will be shown for years, under the heading “How Not To Defend”. Our corner; lose the ball; our last “defender” positions himself 75 yards from his own goal; tries a bit of keepy uppy; gets the keepy uppy all wrong; gifts the ball to a surprisingly nippy forward; 12 seconds later we’re 3-0 down. Even my son’s under 9 team have learned that all 10 outfield players shouldn’t really try to be Pelé at the same time. As for the manager – well he just sat there. Just like he did when Crystal Palace thrashed us 3-0 last season.

And then we come to the excuses. The same old, tired excuses. The excuses that would be funny, if they weren’t so insulting. Gazidis has stated “At the end of the window, reviewing all activity, we have once again improved the depth and quality of the squad” – totally ignoring the fact that the squad is an unbalanced, overpaid, bloated mess. He followed that up with “Everything is coloured by results... a positive performance at Liverpool would have coloured this transfer window very differently”. Yes but we didn’t win at Liverpool did we? We got thrashed. Again. If I could run faster than Usain Bolt, I’d be Olympic Champion – but I can’t. And I’m not!

The manager’s excuses continue to be of “the dog ate my homework” variety. He speaks of a “Hunger Index” (stop laughing!!) meaning that players will focus and try harder in the last year of their contract. Just a few days later, he did what he has done so many times before and contradicted himself totally. This time he was calling for the January transfer window to be scrapped, so that players focus and don’t think “Where do I go in January?”

As for the majority shareholder, well – who knows? He’s like a crap Father Christmas – only comes once a year but never brings any presents. To Stan Kroenke, Arsenal Football Club is just another franchise in his sporting portfolio. He has shown time and time again that he is in it purely for the profits. His contribution to the UK economy this summer involved opening a vile TV channel that glorified trophy hunting. As if we needed any more proof that Kroenke is, on so many levels, the wrong man to lead Arsenal.

So – Catalyst for Change???? After the 8-2 humiliation at Old Trafford. The 6-0 “accident” at Stamford Bridge. The various 5-1 “setbacks” against Bayern Munich. The 2-1 “special circumstances” Cup Final defeat to relegated Birmingham. The annual Champions League humiliations. The chaotic transfer policy. The absent, greedy owner. The self-serving Chief Executive - what exactly has changed??

Our protests last season were not about one match, or one performance, or even one season. They were about systemic failure; repeated mistakes; one man having too much power; a chaotic transfer policy; watching the same gutless performance; hearing the same excuses; from a Club that used to stand for all that was good about football.

We used the term NO NEW CONTRACT. This wasn’t aimed solely at Arsene Wenger; it was aimed also at Stan Kroenke and the Board of Directors. But, to a man (a self serving man) they ignored us. In a way, I don’t blame them. After all, it is human nature to cling on to any kind of gravy train, especially one this lucrative.

Where we do take exception, however, is their complete and utter failure to realise that we are funding this gravy train and their performance has been woeful. We were promised change last season and it is already wholly apparent that change is the last thing on their minds.

So – what can we, as mere supporters do? Well - we can do exactly what we did last season and protest. The protest organisers are planning several more stunts, similar to the ones we arranged last season, but :-

Whether you want Wenger Out.
Whether you want Kroenke Out.
Whether you wonder what Ivan Gazidis does.
Whether you think it is time for the excuses to stop.
Whether you think Arsenal should be doing so much better.
Whether you think it is Time For A Change.

Whatever your reason, then please join us before the home match vs West Bromwich Albion on Monday 25th September. We intend to meet outside the wonderful old Marble Halls of Highbury’s East Stand just before 7pm and from there we will march together to the new stadium. It will be totally peaceful and all designed to let Kroenke, Wenger, Gazidis and Co. know that their time is up. And if enough Gooners turn up, we really can make this – TIME FOR A CHANGE.

We have started up a fresh campaign page to raise fighting funds. Last season, your contributions enabled us to fly planes over grounds, rent a mobile billboard, do projections onto buildings, stage a humorous protest outside London Colney, get banners produced and more. If you wish to chip in – here’s where you can donate…

9th September 2017 07:59:27


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.

Jumpers For Goalposts  9:39am 9th Sep 2017

Protest - it's the only way we're ever going to end this nightmare - Post No. 109707

Wardy  11:07am 9th Sep 2017

I totally agree with all your comments but Kroenke won't care less about the protests ...... all that matters to him is the share prices, so stop going, don't buy the merchandise and the profits will fall ..... they won't fill the stadium with tourists and if the team aren't doing well, the tourists will stop going. As if any further evidence was needed, the last 6 months in particular have proved that the club is taking the 'P' out if its supporters and is in a sorry mess, this season will be a disaster and its going to get worse. - Post No. 109708

Cheltenham Gunner  11:28am 9th Sep 2017

Agree with Wardy, attendances need to significantly drop before Kroenke and co take any notice. I stopped giving them my money 3 years ago. However, at least the media took notice of the protests and credit to those that get involved. - Post No. 109709

Moscowgooner  11:35am 9th Sep 2017

None of the main actors in this drama grew up within five hundred miles of Highbury. They have no feeling for the Club; naked self interest is the driver. Time to return the Club to its North London roots. Wenger out; Gazidis out; Kroenke out - of our Club. - Post No. 109710

Up For Grabs Now  11:45am 9th Sep 2017

Just viewing that photo of those three smug men who are destroying our club, is enough to make anybody want to protest! I simply hate all three of them, for what they have collectively done, and by nature I am not a hateful person, but they make my blood boil. Will try to be there. - Post No. 109711

Ham  12:20pm 9th Sep 2017

UFGN - you've summed it up, that photo makes you want to vomit. - Post No. 109712

markymark  12:38pm 9th Sep 2017

Just remember it might not bother Kronke though I doubt most people want a laughing stock business , but the protests do get to Wengo. You pile the pressure on Wengo and he may crack. It's Wengo who's the weak spot in this despite his supposed total control. - Post No. 109713

markymark  12:50pm 9th Sep 2017

Telegraph are reporting that Dick Law is stepping down end of the month. Sounds like the Lemar fiasco may have been last straw. Who is to blame of course is open to question. - Post No. 109714

Yes its Ron  13:14pm 9th Sep 2017

The only thing that stopped Marks and Spencers 15 yr malaise was its customers not buying its goods. Its the only thing that will make Arsenal PLC look up. Do yr protests but please dont blame Kroenke for laughing smugly at you (as he is doing in that pic) for the fact you've bought his rip off season tickets and match tickets to go see Wengos dainty boys again. An American whos never there doesn't care about yr marches and thus neither does AW. AFC are not a community type Club as Liverpool and to a degree Utd still are. Theyre London, the fan base is from far and wide, the owners, Board and the Clubs players are all totally remote from the place psychologically. Theyve no local link to make them bother about a few fans marching, esp fans who underpin their regime buy buying their merchandise and tickets. Demonstrate your dissatisfaction as customers not fans. The AFC of today is an outlet, a franchise if you like. Its not a pure football Club. You need to behave like high street shoppers and ignore the place while it sells you a mundane product at extortionate and disproportionate prices. Footballs about the TV. Empty seats make more a mark than a few marchers down Gillespie Road. OK, you dont want to lose season tickets maybe. I get that, but to make yr mark youve got to sacrifice yself as many have already done. - Post No. 109715

mbg  15:22pm 9th Sep 2017

Just watch the mighty Bournemouth roll over and allow the nice boys tippy tappy and tickle them to death, and everything will be rosy in the garden of wenger and his luvvies again. We want wenger out we want wenger out. - Post No. 109716

OneBardGooner  17:20pm 9th Sep 2017

Best article on here in a long, long time. Well Said, Well Written cannot argue or disagree with anything. #wengerout #wiggyout #gazidisisasnakeoilsalesman - Post No. 109717

mbg  17:33pm 9th Sep 2017

Well there you are the little nice boys applied an extra splash of Brut and steam rolled those big bad Bournemouth boys with their tippy tappy and everything is ok again, we're ready to go, up and running, and the AKB's will be back to tell us so, until the next humiliation of course. Any resignation yet ? We want wenger out we want wenget out. - Post No. 109718

mbg  18:33pm 9th Sep 2017

UFGN, men is the last word i'd use to describe them, especially that smug c**t bringing up the rear .wenger out now. - Post No. 109719

Lanes23  19:18pm 9th Sep 2017

The protest should have been before today's match. It's too late now. The AKB brigade's tails are up after todays win. Hopefully Chelski will beat us 6-0 to put the pressure back on Wenger. We need to be in a relegation battle to get Wenger sacked. - Post No. 109720

CORNISH GOONER  20:46pm 9th Sep 2017

Today was so predictable - as was Lanky Poo's sarcastic & smug post-match comment on the lines of "we now have a winning crisis!" Flat track bullies as usual against this season's prime candidate for relegation fodder. - Post No. 109721

TOOAW  22:28pm 9th Sep 2017

Interesting but factual question.... Who do you wish for?? To take control of our club???? Stan K doesn't do it for y'all but where do you want to go ??! Citeh owner ??? Madrid owner ??? Merseyside owner ?? Cardiff owner?? Obviously a question for the few hundred or so at the West Bromwich Albion game. So you wish for the current regime to disappear but start naming names to the new improved Arsenal FC. I'm listening. - Post No. 109722

Scruff  22:58pm 9th Sep 2017

Tooaw why don't you answer the question yourself ? We couldn't of asked for a better opposition today just like all teams on a bad run thank their lucky stars if they play us next. Go away now you silly man because you really are an annoying fool probably from up the road! - Post No. 109723

mbg  2:12am 10th Sep 2017

scruff, I don't think we've heard from you before (I may be wrong) an excellent post. We want wenger out. - Post No. 109724

mbg  2:24am 10th Sep 2017

Yes these type of games/opposition (not that it makes much difference at times) always seem to come along at precisely the right time for TOF and his fans to get them out of the shyte, no conspiracy theories talked about or threw up there I bet. We want wenger out now. - Post No. 109725

Time for change  9:32am 10th Sep 2017

Well said. Try my best to make it to the march (can't afford the match ticket. - Post No. 109726

joebaker9  10:14am 10th Sep 2017

I want Wenger and his crew out as much as anyone, but this article should be entitled " Make Your Feelings Known During The West Brom Game" if you hope to achieve anything. Marches are all very well, but they didn't change anything last time. Why would they now? Wenger needs to be made to feel very uncomfortable, and that can only happen during games. The more he and the board are discomfited during matches in the presence of the press and TV cameras, the sooner the outcome will be achieved. Liverpool supporters achieved regime change by creating a toxic atmosphere in their stadium, and it was in their stadium that the real breakthrough was achieved in regard to Hillsborough, when they confronted Andy Burnham. Anything less than full on angry opposition is not going to work, because frankly, the establishment at the Emirates couldn't care less. The question is, do you really have the courage of your convictions, or is it all hot air? - Post No. 109727

Jumpers For Goalposts  11:42am 10th Sep 2017

Joe - when I wrote this article, the other protest organisers and I had discussed action in the stadium time and time again. We agree 100% that we need that to happen but apathy is our biggest enemy. On the marches last season we were booed by a handful, applauded by several but ignored by the majority. The fanbase was changed by Dein, Fizsman and Edelman and so many of them just accept the overpriced crap in front of them. Protest marches are the best option for now until the crowd finally wake up and realise that they are being ripped off. - Post No. 109728

Seven Kings Gooner1  14:43pm 10th Sep 2017

I now divide Arsenal fans between two groups "Those who go" TWG's and "those who don't go" TWDG's. I stopped going 8 years ago, paid up and cut up my Arsenal MBNA card and have not spent on penny on Arsenal since. Had we all done the same the current set up would have been gone years ago. Protest have very little effect in the areas needed - the boardroom. You show the Arsenal suits a drop in match day revenue and they will be putty in the fans hands, enough of you continue to attend at the Emirates so this bloody nonsense continues. TWG's are just as bad as AKB's and are as much of the problem in the decline of Arsenal as Wenger and his cohorts, sadly several from the Gooner fanzine think attending home matches is a hoot and a laugh, I however don't find it funny to watch a former great team prepare for football matches like a Sunday League pub team and people who should know better are prolonging the agony. What ever happened to one out all out? - Post No. 109730

mbg  20:01pm 10th Sep 2017

Wasn't there a Royal Marine Sniper in Afghanistan who took out three Taliban with one shot ? I wonder is he a WOB and at a loose end. wenger out. - Post No. 109738

King Jeremy  9:31am 11th Sep 2017

Protest is the only way to ensure the pressure is kept on, and good luck to all involved. Sadly however, Kroenke (and therefore by association, Wenger) is going nowhere while his asset value keeps on growing. Until that share price starts dropping, not one thing will change. - Post No. 109743

adnydrum  10:18am 11th Sep 2017

#yesitsron You're absolutely right in your analogy with consumer products - which one is free to choose not to buy. I can't quite go with the suggestion of Utd being in any way a 'community club'. They were a global brand flogging **** around the world decades before any other British club, and of anyone they were the first to garner fans nowhere near their home town. Or even continent. - Post No. 109744

Yes its Ron  10:34am 11th Sep 2017

adnydrum - you are right but Man U do still try and maintain good links with its Manchester fan base through the things and activities they do. Their local fans dont feel detached from the Club despite its world wide consumerism as do the fans at Arsenal. Theyve managed to do that and hence if their fans kicked up a big enough stink over an issue they would react to it in my view. Manchester is obviously a much smaller City than London and so its harder to cut the local links and local psche from the Club, plus lets face it, football fans in the NW are far more passionate than they are in the SE. I lived there for 5 years and the fans attitude to football is different again to those in London. I d go so far as to say hypothetically that if Arsenal we re a NW Club with the same resources, NW supporter base and set up, AFC would become a global iconic Club in no time. Far too many Clubs in London vying for the same market and local fan attention. Our fans dont like to hear it but the footbal fans in the NW and the Central region are far more attached to their Clubs than are those in the SE. Its sort of a diluted, passive support in London, kind of not fundamental to peoples lives as London is such a cosmopolitan City. The Cites in the provinces are too, but not near to the same extent. I dont think the malaise of AFC this last 7 or 8 years and the way in which the Club treats its fans since the stadium shift could have happened anywhere than with a London Club. The fans simply dont care enough so such as SK and AW can ride roughshod over them. - Post No. 109745

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

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