The Porto Moment

By Markymark

Are Arsenal now London’s third best team?

It struck me that the recent Spurs slaying of Real Madrid could create one of those rips in the perceived dominance of the Super Clubs. From a general historic perspective these briefs rays of an alternative reality usually last a couple of seasons at most and more commonly are seen as a one season triumph.

Pochettino - Promotion of English players has helped national team

Within our domestic game we can pick out Ipswich, Derby, Notts Forest and latterly Leicester. Across European competitions we can see examples again of Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Aberdeen, Ipswich and more recently Mourinho’s little fancied Porto.

There is now potential for a breakout this year with Spurs showing a capacity to take on big teams and win. The old order maybe going through a brief hiatus with Barcelona past its peak. The Italian clubs sometimes humbling other teams and alternatively being humbled themselves, and still question marks of Bayern and PSG who sometimes get caught out, perhaps due to their total dominance of domestic football creating an inability to fight a determined opposition.

Sadly for Arsenal it appears that no overture was made to Mauricio Pochettino, a man who actually appears to appreciate the British game and has as a by-product provided fantastic service to the England team.

So although this ship may have sailed, as Real look enviously on and plot an asset strip of our rivals, will the humiliation by a rampant Spurs have finally put paid to Arsene? I wonder if Arsenal can settle for being 3rd best team in London? Maybe a dominant Spurs is actually the very thing that is needed for our club to finally make the change that is needed.

If form takes its course and we are beaten by Spurs could this lead to a final reckoning for Wenger in May as a potential slide down a further rung creates a wave of unhappiness and a perceived need to act?

In an ironic turn perhaps Spurs losing to Real might have created them less long term damage. Maybe in turn a gut punch of defeat to Spurs might create the very catalyst for change required. The result in under two weeks could be one of the most significant in the second half of Wenger’s Reign.

8th November 2017 10:02:34


Comments and Reaction

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Yes its Ron  11:20am 8th Nov 2017

We ve been 2nd beat for 13 yrs to Chelsea. Tottenham are having one of their moments i think, like 61-63 and 81-83. It ll pass. They are though a better team than Arsenal right now. Ther big issue will be loss of players plus Coach and how they operate once they have a ground to pay for. They have an opportunity to push Arsenal into 3rd. Will they take it? This is Tottenham, so maybe they wont. On balance i think they at best have a tenuous parity with AFC at this moment in time, but time may change that. While Wengo stays and AFC continue to decline, Spurs ascendancy will take them past Arsenal. We may be on the cusp of a repeat of the early 60s when for 4-5 years Spurs used to demolish Arsenal for fun, as did Chelsea and all of the other major Clubs back then it has to be said. As a Club Spurs are some way behind, if not the team. - Post No. 110669

Yes its Ron  11:32am 8th Nov 2017

Yes, Spurs beat Real Madrid hands down. It reminded me of when we beat them in 06. They we re in decline then and that assisted us to beat them and they are now i think. Zidanes in the throes of his last days there and Poch will replace him i think next Summer. The stalwarts at Real like Ronaldo plus 3 or 4 of the others, have peaked and the cracks are showing. - Post No. 110670

The Man From UNCLE  11:36am 8th Nov 2017

It's a natural cycle. All the great clubs have it from time to time. Real are having their down-time now, Barca had it a couple of years or so back, Liverpool / Man Utd/ ourselves, Bayern, everyone eventually has to make way, even if only temporarily, for the young up and coming forces. Things will straighten themselves out in a season or two. It is still a truism that "the great sides last three years at most". The great sides stay great by constantly rebuilding, not standing still a la AFC. - Post No. 110671

MAF  12:04pm 8th Nov 2017

we are only in decline due to wenger owner Change, board. decline is not inevitable in Sport. you have to do something or not do something to create the decline. given where Arsenal were 1986-1996-2006 there was no right to decline but it has happened and it has speeded up in 2014/15/16/17. to create a dyanasty or empire it Needs a certain mentality. Chelsea's owner. Man U owners and now Man City owners. Real Madrid. Barca. Arsenal are floundering as about the 6th best Team in the EPL. it has all gone very wrong somewhere along the line and is now unfixable as Lee Dixon put it until wenger clears off and leaves us alone - Post No. 110672

TonyEvans  12:32pm 8th Nov 2017

As a club Spurs will always be in our shadow, but at the moment, as a team, they are no doubt better than we are. Spurs being Spurs the wheels will come off before too long I am sure but all the while Wenger blights us as manager the potential is there for our noisy neighbours to smugly look down on us. Thankfully this has been a rarity during my time supporting Arsenal (just that minor blip in the 80s) but I do have concerns that the Spuds have timed their CL entry to perfection with many of the Euro superpowers not firing on all cylinders, and the thought of them lording it over us as Euro champs does not bear thinking about. It was bad enough Chelsea becoming the first London team to become CL winners. We may have to rely on English teams doing us a favour in Europe if the Spuds get anywhere close in the CL. As for any bearing the coming game against them may have on Wenger's future I have long since given up wondering just what it might take to shift him! - Post No. 110673

Scruff  12:45pm 8th Nov 2017

Everyone assumes the spuds will struggle when they have to pay for the stadium but they will have learnt from our mistakes, interest rates are massively lower and tv income far higher than 10 years ago. They have a relatively young side with a youth set up that even GG said was by far the best in the country.( have you read the interview with him in the Guardian) Trust me I despise them as much as anyone and hope Poch takes the RM job and takes Deli the dive and Harry the hump with him even if this does give the club 200 million . Off topic some crappy site keeps on about VAR and how if it was introduced years ago we would have won the CL because of Barcelona's goal being offside (spouting Wengers garbage) but they blindly forgot ,as did Wenger,to mention how we won the free kick that led to our goal! Lo9ks like another top manager (Simeone) coming to the PL but again not to us. How many penalties has Cech saved now? - Post No. 110674

Yes its Ron  13:38pm 8th Nov 2017

Scruff - just seen GGs stuff in the Guardian. Loved the guy. Brings tears to the eyes recalling that night at Anfield plus his other high points. Lucky enough to be there! People can say what they want about Wengers best AFC teams. For me, none of AWs times over 20 yrs can beat GGs exploits. There were some truly dramatic times under GG. I think and have always said that his 91 side would beat -the so called invincible s 8 times out of 10 too. - Post No. 110675

Redshirtwhitesleeves  14:13pm 8th Nov 2017

Short answer is yes, we are already the 3rd best team in London. Looks to me like the spuds have got their timing just right with the new stadium and the high TV income, I don't think it will affect them as badly as it did us. Their stadium will also be far better designed in terms of the atmosphere and the normal fan will be taken into consideration far more than we were when moving from Highbury. They have a smart operation there at the moment and I'm more worried about them now than I have ever been. Unlike us they actually have ambition beyond the balance sheet and a very good manager with a plan. We are 3rd best in London because we have been duped and conned by a lying, scummy owner and board and an incompetent bungling manager. It took some doing to turn us from the best team in the land to the shambolic, laughing stock we are today in just 13 years but boy they did it well. - Post No. 110676

Yes its Ron  14:40pm 8th Nov 2017

The Emirates would be ok in a warm climate. Daftest design ever for the UK. If its right that Wenger had a hand in its spec, hes got little to be proud about it. its right that other clubs will learn from the design flaws in it. From what i learned at the time from engineers, Arsenal will be lucky to get 50 years out of it before its structure decays. Concrete tec has moved on a lot in 10 years. - Post No. 110677

Paulward  14:54pm 8th Nov 2017

Shouldn’t use CL group stage results as a basis for longer term patterns. We held PSG twice last year and turned over Bayern the year before, results which meant nothing in the longer term. Tottenham are clearly a better team than us at the moment ,but would they finish above us if we swapped managers? I very much doubt it, and I don’t think they’ll turn out to be world beaters to be honest. - Post No. 110678

Bard  14:57pm 8th Nov 2017

We may well be the 3rd best team but the Spuds wont be there for long. As many have pointed out they will be asset stripped largely because they dont pay enough money to keep their top players. RM are having a blip and need to rebuild as all great clubs do. The fact that we are talking about the Spuds and RM tell you all you need to know about where we are, largely irrelevant also rans. Will be interesting to see what might happen if we get whipped by the Spuds. Probably another rant against the referee I suspect. - Post No. 110679

mbg  15:16pm 8th Nov 2017

Yes we are, and have been for a while thanks to an old past it out of date manager, only luck and the spuds themselves has made it look otherwise, the spuds are a much better club to watch now, way better than Arsenal, some of course will point to the history between us, like they also do after an embarrassment,(come back when you've done/won this etc, etc,) but that's exactly what it is history, like the weasel still living off his first ten years, history (again thanks to others)thankfully and luckily for him and ourselves the spuds are just like us, they to have a habit of imploding and ballsing everything up too, (although they didn't last season remember and have a proper manager now, who knows what he's doing unlike us) which gets and has got TOF of the hook and saved his arse on more than one occasion over the years, (rather than his so called great coaching and tactics, cough)and here we are all hoping and relying on it happening again, what does that tell us ? one word, regression. We want wenger out. - Post No. 110680

Redshirtwhitesleeves  15:20pm 8th Nov 2017

Ron- I've also read the piece with GG. Aside from recalling the greatest footballing night I'm likely to experience, what struck me was his comments about the poor standard of defending in today's game. I'm surprised it's not mentioned more often as it's blatantly clear that the defending today is a shambles. Would loved to have actually been at Anfield that night, lucky you matey! - Post No. 110681

arrgee  16:24pm 8th Nov 2017

Third best and heading for fourth in the not too distant future when the porn barons of E20 sell to the Chinese. Can't believe the decline in the last 12 years, and it looks likely to continue. #WENGEROUT - Post No. 110682

Seven Kings Gooner1  16:55pm 8th Nov 2017

Tottenham beating Arsenal next week would not be a surprise, so by that measure they are the better team, they certainly have a far better manager. However Arsenal have won more trophies in the last 4 years than the Spuds have in the last two decades, so there is still some debate to be had on the subject. Teams in decline like Arsenal tend to drift to the mid table and then a serious board of management make changes, bring in a top coach and begin the road back to the top. Arsenal is different, the malaise has seeped into all aspects of the club so the danger of serious decline is dismissed as unlikely or recoverable the following season. The board and Wenger's desire to make the club a world wide franchise has led to the decline on the pitch and the change of the fan base. Losing to Tottenham next weekend is just another symptom of that demise, it's not really where Arsenal are now that should be judged but where they will end up when Wenger's tenure has finally run it's course. - Post No. 110683

Roy  17:20pm 8th Nov 2017

If that's what it takes, then so be it. And Tony Evans, Sp*rs winning the CL just doesn't bear thinking about does it ? As you say, the Chavs was bad enough! - Post No. 110684

mbg  21:31pm 8th Nov 2017

Some talk on here earlier about the spuds learning a lesson of us and wenger Mc Alpine building contractor over their new stadium, it looks like that's the case, just seen some photos of their new place as it stands and no silly bows or gaps at each end to supposedly let air and wind in and out to help the pitch and freeze the balls off fans and let what noise there is out, it's all closed in a bigger more modern version of the old lane by the looks of it. wenger out. - Post No. 110685

Cyril  23:10pm 8th Nov 2017

Ron, I'm not sure. In the old days when Sugar bought up it was still speculating as a middling business man. He put in 5 mill or so and came out with 20 mill profit. Fair play. He put his lolly in, took bat**** abuse and then got a few quid. Now, it's oligarchs and state heads. They don't need to nick a few million. It's about being dominant in everything they do. It seems to me we won a few hands of poker and when we were ahead, we didn't gamble. Meanwhile , spurs stayed in the game and won the hands at the end. The real players/money has turned up and they have upped the game. If you think Spurs are gonna drop out and put Gerry Francis or Ardiles type managers in , you are in a dream world. They have played it well. Arsenal are amateurs to this mob. If they win some trophies, then it's only what their fans deserve for the loyalty they have shown in the hard times. I say this to expose this board as a reality of what they are putting us through. I'm sad writing this! - Post No. 110686

Gunner Rob  10:30am 9th Nov 2017

i definitely agree that (sadly) Spurs are becoming major players. its not the current team that worries me, its a combination of their ambition and their new stadium. modern football is moving fast now there is really big money involved, whilst Arsenal are just standing still. - Post No. 110688

Yes its Ron  10:55am 9th Nov 2017

Hi Cyril - im perhaps guilty of many things matey but rarely of living in dream land. Ive not suggested spurs are going to go back to how they were by appointing gerry francis types etc. The issue is whether theyre leaving Asl behind. My answer in my earlier post is that yes, they might be, but for now they havent. Theyre in a good spot right now. The open question is whether they can maintain it. We don t know and wont know for a couple of seasons yet.All we do know is that they have (arguably) a better team than Arsenal right now. How much better? Not by very much in my view. Theyre far more cohesive than Arsenal and are a better unit. The difference is in the coaches. The gap isnt very much ..... yet. It wdt surprise me if Arsenal beat them well in the NLD as much as it wouldnt shock me if Spurs won it 4-0 either, such is the state of AFC. But hey, who cares. I dont care too much. I ll never be at the soulless dome again while this owner and AW presides. It doesn't make me sad either. I dont miss for one minute not going to PL football matches. Most of them are garbage.Better things in life to do. - Post No. 110689

Cyril  11:34am 9th Nov 2017

Ron, The major difference I see these days is this: When I go to the Emirates, which is few and far between these days, even though I am a ST holder, there is no unison. The spirit is broken. Meanwhile, at Spurs they are buzzing. They have got a crowd that would resemble the old days. Real spurs fans dying to get to the game. We have lost this. We know where the blame lies. We are the film version of ' dawn of the dead'. I am not even sure I am going to the spurs game either. So I get your feelings Ron. - Post No. 110690

Yes its Ron  12:50pm 9th Nov 2017

I think the Spurs crowd has always been more passionate than Arsenals to be brutally honest. It comes maybe with living in Arsenals shadow, the plucky neighbour type of thing. The atrocious area makes for more passion too doesn't it as well as a higher amount of uncouth fans and nutters that they have attached to them. They do have much to be pleased about at the moment though. Im still not convinced it ll last. They wont win the CL as some are worried about and a title is a long way off i think for them. Hopefully another 56 yrs! - Post No. 110691

Yes its Ron  13:02pm 9th Nov 2017

Redshirts - yes, the defending is appalling in the main. Footballs rule changes and the TV desire for goal gluts has to take the blame in large part i think. Age is never some thing that enters my thinking, but im glad my best yrs of match day support were when they were and peaked in 89. I feel sorry for ASL fans who do it today. Its not much of an experience. The pulse of football was pulled when the game became overran with imported players as the links with the team and players then started to erode. Stadia, pitches and many players are better today, but the game as a whole has been cleansed and sanitised to barmy levels. Its glorified netball and Arsenal have embraced and revel in it. - Post No. 110692

peter wain  13:27pm 9th Nov 2017

sadly yes we are at least the third team in London and with the current structure you can only see us dropping. The lack of investment in the first team squad over the last five years has been astounding. Selling Sanchez Ozil and Wiltshire either in January or June on frees means we will have to dig deep too replace them But our manager will only want 2 maximum 3 players so I drop into mid table will be permanent until he has gone. - Post No. 110693

Bard  15:47pm 9th Nov 2017

This Spuds love in is a bit much. True they are doing quite well. Any side that has a very good striker will always do well. But, Poch Kane and All will soon be off. Its just plain economics. a top striker is worth £300000 a week, I doubt if Kane earns half that. Anyway the Spuds aren't our problem. Getting rid of Wenger and Stan is our main concern. - Post No. 110694

John F  16:18pm 9th Nov 2017

My worry about the Spuds is that they look an attractive proposition to be purchased by a mega rich owner whilst we remain stagnated with Wiggy. - Post No. 110695

Yes its Ron  16:45pm 9th Nov 2017

John - Joe Lewis who owns spurs is loaded. Hes not an oil baron but hes worth 3 or 4 billion last i read some time ago. When Spurs want money, he supplies it. Hes had to do so while theyve lived in that sorry little hooligan infested shack up Totts High Road with 30 odd thou in every week. - Post No. 110696

mbg  20:23pm 9th Nov 2017

Bard, your right but at least it pisses the AKB wengerites off, but yes lets get back to more important matters the main one being getting the old past it shyster wenger out of this club. We want wenger out. - Post No. 110699

John F  20:34pm 9th Nov 2017

Cheers for that Ron I didn't realise just how wealthy he was.As for the holigans that follow that club it will be interesting to see when they move into the stadium if the club tolerates them as they did at the lane.The club and the police did seem to allow them to do what they wanted but they may want to improve their image.It never ceased to amaze me that the media were quick to jump on Millwall's problem but just ignored the bigger problem at spurs ,the media darlings.I have never really disliked the team as I have Utd's but always disliked the fans and I would hate to see them celebrate anything. - Post No. 110700

Scruff  23:16pm 9th Nov 2017

John F - amazing the way the media portray fan's from unfashionable club's. Liverpool is loved, the tv camera's zoom into the Kop where the humorous cheeky Scousers are singing the country's favourite song aah fantastic isn't it ? Unlike those South Londoners causing mayhem singing no one likes us eh the scum! How many Millwall fan's have been involved in mass murder? Heysel anyone! - Post No. 110701

Yes its Ron  10:20am 10th Nov 2017

John - agree totally matey. Spurs teams have played some lovely football at time since the 60s and have had some great flair players. As for the fans. Many are odious, low living, morons. Anybody thats ever been there will say the same im sure. Many in the media follow them and West Ham, another non entity Club. Had Bobby Moore never played for them, im sure they d never get a mention. - Post No. 110702

Moscowgooner  11:54am 10th Nov 2017

Great to learn that the Emirates may have to be rebuilt in 50 years time.... If it was in five years time I would feel a lot better. We do need a proper football ground to play in again - our experience at the Emirates is a bit like Juventus at the Stadio Della Alpi. As for Spurs fans, well growing up in the late '60s I think then we probably had far more hooligans to be fair but agree that in recent years they have created a fairly toxic atmosphere around the Lane. The experience at Chelsea, WHU etc has become far less intimidating over time; the opposite there. - Post No. 110706

mbg  23:02pm 10th Nov 2017

Moscow, yes we might not make the deadline next time, weng might not be as quick with his trowel, brick line and hod, but he's sure to have plenty of help from his wengerites he'll make sure they'll all have a good speeritt level. - Post No. 110725

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds