This is Arsenal

Arrogance at the club is due to a lack of fan pressure

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Kroenke & Wenger: Sitting pretty unless the masses revolt

They say the pen is mightier than the sword, so - as much as it would delight me to take a metaphorical sword to some of the current Arsenal squad - I prefer to pen these thoughts instead.

A brief background: I am an Arsenal fan of over 30 years. I grew up in Islington as a young lad and Arsenal is a lifelong commitment for me. When I started supporting Arsenal, glory never came into it because, back in those days, that usually belonged to Liverpool. Nevertheless, I developed an inexorable bond with Arsenal FC and it is one that will remain with me for as long as I live. The players that were typically regarded as not good enough from Morrow to John Jensen to Lee Chapman and Selley etc were still players I gave my absolute backing to.

I read an excellent Arsenal blog the other day (Arsenal Truth, if you ask) and the author made a salient point: the one thing I have always traditionally had as an Arsenal fan, is hope. No matter what team was out there, there was always the hope that Arsenal’s immaculate pride and team spirit would overcome superior adversaries. This led to moments like the European triumph over Parma, or Anfield 1989.

However, my relationship with Arsenal has now changed and I am unsure as to whether it can recover in the short term. Arsenal were playing a Champions League match the other night and what did I spend the 90 minutes doing? Watching a BBC iPlayer repeat of ‘The Thick of It’, and then the second half of the Dortmund game. I found out the Arsenal score on my phone. It is not about whether we win or not – I care about a team that competes and a team that cares enough to compete, above the primacy of a balance sheet.

The situation at contemporary Arsenal is well known and for me there are two clear problems here: the first is the manager, Arsène Wenger, who has to go. The second is the fans. Allow me to elaborate.

On Wenger what more needs to be said that hasn’t already been done to the death? Seven years of no trophies. A man who complains about over-inflated wages in football but has contentedly amassed over £49 million in salary over the past seven years, despite having won nothing. Tactically deficient. Full of excuses, and an inability to motivate. An outrageous wage-bill that has constrained the club and a farcical incompetence in the transfer market that has seen over £35 million spent on Gervinho/Giroud/Santos, when the club refused to pay £20 million for Juan Mata. The most unforgivable thing Wenger has done in my eyes however, is to polarise the Arsenal support to the extent that the Emirates has become the home of civil warfare.

I am not forgetting the role of the Arsenal board in all this of course. The elusive dishonesty of Ivan Gazidis, a man who was ‘rewarded’ with a £2.3 million bonus despite sustaining an operating loss, the man whose appointment was ratified by Wenger himself, making a farce of his position as ‘CEO’. Mr ‘Self-sustainability’ who talks about ‘oil money’ but fails to explain what oil money has to do with losing cup finals to Championship Birmingham and being humiliated by Norwich, Man United and Schalke.

There is no need for the very last remaining Wenger apologists to even ask who Wenger could be replaced with because you take one glance at Jurgen Klopp managing Dortmund, a team with a wage-bill over 40% lower than Arsenal’s and match-revenue that is a fraction of Arsenal’s – and you see a young ambitious manager beating Real Madrid in Europe, embarrassing Citeh in Europe and dismantling the mighty Bayern Munich year after year domestically.

The culture at Arsenal has become diabolical. I detest seeing players laughing and joking after a defeat. I abhor any club that justifies 14-minute flights to Norwich to spend 90 minutes wondering what they will write on Twitter when they get home. I deplore overweight ‘defenders’ swapping shirts at half-time. The culture of rewarding mediocrity stems right from the top and starts with Arsène Wenger; a man who has continued to be rewarded for mediocre management. Right through to the comical decisions to continue to blow millions of pounds offering new contracts to Rosicky, Diaby, Ramsey, etc.

We are often told by Wenger and Gazidis that we ‘cannot compete’ with oil money (despite the fact Newcastle finished ahead of Chelski last season, but I digress). One thing that money does not address, however, is players with heart, pride and commitment. Say what you like about the moral bankruptcy of Chelski, Citeh et al but I absolutely guarantee you that the likes of Vincent Kompany, Sergio Agüero, Didier Drogba, Edin Dzeko, Juan Mata, Ashley Cole and friends are winners. Irrespective of the shirt they represent, you are guaranteed nothing but pure heart and commitment to add to their technical skill.

Yet Arsenal fans dare to decry such teams as ‘mercenaries’. Wrong.

The real mercenaries are the likes of Marouane Chamakh, who has made it plain he would prefer to watch from the stands and pick up £60k a week despite being offered playing time at Bordeaux. Bogarde anyone? Sebastien Squillaci is another. Neves Denilson is another who could have just torn it up and left but likes the money too much. Oh, is that Johan Djourou I hear? How long was Almunia stuck on £60k a week? Why is Fabianski still around? People often hold Arsenal up as a model of financial virtue but the scandalous decisions being made throughout are shocking.

The final point, and one some might find controversial, is that I feel Arsenal fans have a huge degree of responsibility to bear in the obvious demise of a once-proud club. Arsenal has become the club of ‘can’t’. We ‘can’t compete’ with Chelsea/Man United/Norwich. We ‘can’t’ spend since we are waiting for the magical shining knight FFP. Because FFP will, of course, teach the likes of Giroud to run faster and become a clinical finisher.

This culture of ‘can’t’ has spread to the fans. ‘We can’t do anything to change things, so better to just accept things the way they are and carry on paying our hard-earned’. No. This will no longer do. There is a fine line between blind loyalty and deception, and believe me many fans have crossed over.

The reason Kroenke, Gazidis, Hill-Wood and Wenger have become so arrogant, so flippant in their dismissal of fans is down to the absolute lack of pressure they are facing. They do not fear consequences, and rightly so. Arsenal fans have been compliant for far too long. I hear many of my Arsenal friends complaining about the lack of atmosphere at the Emirates but then again, what did they expect? The long-standing Arsenal fans of years such as myself have all become indifferent to what the club has become. Wenger and Gazidis would hate nothing more than to have fans such as myself in the ground who will absolutely not tolerate mediocrity and a culture of excuses. Questions would be asked. So instead, they have turned to the more bland, unquestioning invertebrate mollusc to attend Arsenal matches.

This is not to say that all people in the Emirates are – however I found Wenger’s comments after our pre-season tour of Asia rather indicative: ‘We would love to fly these fans in to London if we could, they are tremendous’. Indeed. I somehow doubt that the average Malaysian Arsenal fan who has been unflinching in his support since 2004 is going to be posing the same questions as a fan of 30 years. Do you?

Arsène Wenger is now, to my mind, indistinguishable from any other average Premier League manager. There is nothing Wenger does that David Moyes cannot do (Moyes is an excellent manager). Given the same resources as Wenger and half the salary, Brendan Rodgers could probably get Arsenal into fourth (‘in crisis’ Liverpool are just three points off Arsenal as we speak). Wenger is not ‘over-achieving’. The fact that he manages fourth with shambolic players such as Gervinho and Mannone is nothing to do with over-achievement, and everything to do with the profligacy of Wenger’s spending in the transfer market. He needs to go and should have been gone long ago. Fourth is not a trophy. It’s not an achievement and no amount of spin will ever convince me that it is anything but mediocre.

Arsenal fans can do something about this and it does not even involve protests. If Liverpool fans were able to chase a whole board out of their club, and if other clubs are able to change managers and continue their success, there is no justification for Wenger to remain at this club. A financial boycott is the only language that Wenger and Gazidis will understand and, trust me, Stan Kroenke will awake from his indifferent slumber when he sees the next balance sheet and sees match-day revenue and sponsorship plummeting.

Arsenal is a huge club and it’s about time people realised that. The club pre-dates Wenger. Instead of asking what Arsenal would be without Wenger, it is high time people asked what Wenger would be without Arsenal. No other club of stature would have indulged him for so long with no tangible results. It’s pointless hearing the defunct excuses for Wenger anymore because they’re laughable: ‘If Arsène leaves, then so will all our stars’. Perhaps this is taken to mean that we will be rid of dross like Fabregas, RvP, Nasri, Cole and retain the likes of Gervinho, Giroud, Djourou and Fabianski eh?

‘Who would you replace him with?’ A breathtakingly imbecilic argument, seeing that Wenger was an unknown quantity when he joined Arsenal and that plenty of unknown quantities are out there waiting to be given a chance. Sure, it could go wrong, but taking a risk is better than accepting mediocrity. If Chelski FC refused to accept second place under Ancelotti, there is absolutely no justification for Arsenal to accept fourth under Wenger. Not when you see Di Matteo win the CL (a trophy Wenger will never win), an FA Cup and competing at the top of the league.

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  1. Bertie Bassett

    Nov 18, 2012, 13:16 #28313

    A very good piece, but let yourself down with the BBC iPlayer.

  2. You are a very poor judge of a player

    Nov 18, 2012, 10:24 #28298

    Far too harsh on Giroud. He's growing with every game. Real presence. Good hold up play/movement, excellent in the air. He could be a future star for us. Cazorla is a fantastic player. Wenger v Moyes? Really? .... REALLY? Stick to The Thick of it.

  3. Noz

    Nov 17, 2012, 17:01 #28297

    As spot on a piece that I have read.

  4. Alastair Kerr

    Nov 16, 2012, 12:50 #28286

    As a Gooner of 42 years, I totally agree with your comments and share your feelings. We want OUR Arsenal back.

  5. Nilesh Bhagat

    Nov 16, 2012, 12:48 #28285

    To Charlie Nick: I don't have remedies. I am a football fan and don't consider myself more knowledgable than the people running the club. I do however, like everyone else, have opinions. Is there something wrong? On the Yes side I would say that the team could definitely be better organised and we appear to be very mentally fragile. Also the scouting of new players has not been at the same level as it once was. On the No side, on the finance side of things we finish about where you think we would do, i.e. behind the 3 biggest spenders. Also if you plotted Arsenal's league position over the its history (has someone actually done this?) then I would guess we would be 3/4th in that table? So in historical terms we are also where we normally are. I just hate this type of article that takes a blowtorch to everything and anything to do with Arsenal. Things are nowhere near as bad as a lot of the articles and comments on this site would have you think. People have lost perspective. As for the atmosphere you just have to accept that this is a different time, a different stadium and to an extent a different crowd. An older and grumpier one I reckon and I used to stand on the North Bank when I was a young man.

  6. Charlie Nick

    Nov 16, 2012, 02:59 #28275

    To Messers Bhagat & Mussa, apart from having a pop at the author, what are your remedies for the current situation assuming you actually think something is wrong? Personally I haven't seen anything at The Emirates to compare with the atmosphere in the late 80's when we beat the scum 2-1 in the FA Cup (McClair penalty) and the Everton semi in the Littlewoods.

  7. Gav Bacon

    Nov 15, 2012, 23:30 #28274

    Sadly, very true. I do hope when Wenger goes he gets a good send off though, and not abuse.

  8. Sailor

    Nov 15, 2012, 18:55 #28268

    The thing is, as a fan, I don't want to make a profit, at least not a big one. I don't want the club to be loss-making either, but there is no need for high profits. Rather than making a profit of £37M we could spend it on two £40M players with £250K salaries and break even (assuming 4-year contracts). We need an owner who doesn't care about profits.

  9. SilverGooner

    Nov 15, 2012, 17:51 #28266

    Excellent article which just about covers why so many fans are so fed up with everything at the club, from the boadroom to the pitch. I particularly liked the comment "the culture of rewarding mediocrity stems right from the top". Yep, that's perfectly sums Arsenal up at the moment! A truly disgraceful state of affairs.

  10. Angry Gooner

    Nov 15, 2012, 14:09 #28256

    18 years a ST holder and over 35 years a Gooner, but I haven't been to the souless bowl since 2009 and went to a couple of Barnet matches this season. something we used to do if we couldn't make away matches. Saw a few lads i used to stand in the Clock end at Highbury at Barnet as well. Good to see some familiar faces instead of hoardes of football tourists and stewards telling you to stop singing, shouting and to sit down. Will always be a Gooner, but until changes are made, Barnet are happy for my few quid

  11. Redfox

    Nov 15, 2012, 12:50 #28248

    David Moyes, like it! Good read.

  12. Joe S.

    Nov 15, 2012, 12:47 #28247

    Sustainability baloney. Would you rather have Ibrahamovic for 200,000 a week or swap for the combined salaries of Giroud, Podolski, Charmack and Park working on the cheap? Class counts and there is not enough of it at the Emerites.

  13. Nilesh Bhagat

    Nov 15, 2012, 10:55 #28237

    A ludicrous example of puffed up whining masquerading as 'outrage'. The writer sets up a dozen straw man arguments and then oh so bravely knocks them down again. Pitiful.

  14. On the subject of Soul

    Nov 15, 2012, 10:20 #28236

    Soul, in the last 10 years Arsenal have changed the badge stadium and have had over 5 captains. I also saw a fan told to stop taking photos from the upper tier(orange section) as it may infringe upon certain copyright guidlines. The team no longer wears the same length shirt sleeves. Whoever mentions soul is cleary misguided.

  15. ApolloGooner

    Nov 15, 2012, 10:04 #28234

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant piece of writing.

  16. Pete The First

    Nov 15, 2012, 09:56 #28233

    There are some decent points in here, but you're let down by: 1- Slating fellow Arsenal fans 2- Watching the iplayer rather than the Arsenal So you're telling the loyal fans to boycott home games? This from someone who would prefer to watch a recorded TV programme than The Arsenal. Sounds like there is no point going to Barnet, as there's a decent episode of Downton Abbey to catch up with!

  17. Ealing Gooner

    Nov 15, 2012, 09:42 #28232

    Abdimajid, I think you'll find it's Wenger and the board who need to catch up, they're stuck in the 1880s not the 1980s, they're like the Corinthian Casuals amateurs, playing nice football and not spending money, while complaining about the beastly professionals doing horrible things like trying to win matches and trophies. As for those complaining about the author choosing to watch something other than an Arsenal game, it's not a crime not to watch every single minute of every single game, for the home game v Schalke, I was at a charity film screening. I used to be a very passionate supporter, getting up early at the weekend to get myself up to somewhere like Bolton or Leeds for an early kick-off, queueing up on cold winter mornings outside the box office at Highbury for tickets, even having to endure the awful Jonathon Pearce on Capital Gold! I did that because I felt connected with the team and the club, and whether we won, lost or drew, it really mattered to me and affected my mood for days. Now (maybe because I'm older and wiser or just more cynical) I can step back and see the arrogance and contempt that the hierachy at the club have for their fans (for instance, 4 different home kits in 4 years). As the author says, Wenger would rather have 60,000 tourists in the stadium (presumably buying up all the over-priced crap in the shops and spending £8 on a burger before leaving 10 minutes early) than the genuine fans who might boo if the team throws away another two goal lead. I'm reminded of Keith Burkinshaw's parting comment on leaving the cess-pit at the wrong end of the Seven Sisters Road "there used to be a football club over there", our beloved club is currently resting in peace at Highbury Square.

  18. Ken Dodd

    Nov 15, 2012, 09:30 #28231

    By jove,by jove what a beautiful day to lock Arsene in a room with Mr Storey and say ''try convincing him Arsenal Football Club cannot comPete....!'' OOoouch!

  19. Tony Evans

    Nov 15, 2012, 08:53 #28227

    Fantastic article and I agree with your every word. Why oh why have we as supporters let Wenger and this supine board get away with it for so long? If we as fans haven't got it in us to protest against Wenger, then a financial boycott is the only way. Sadly though I fear there will still be enough Wenger apologists like Mandy who will continue to help prop up Wenger and the board despite what they are doing to our club.

  20. Mike

    Nov 15, 2012, 08:37 #28225

    After 30 years you must have matured enough to realise that perhaps life is just not about football - there are other things out there that are a distraction to you. Perhaps that is a reason for your apathy

  21. Abdimajid Mussa

    Nov 15, 2012, 07:25 #28224

    Another old generation gooner, who's stuck in the 80s..its 2012 mate and football has changed, you need to catch up before you make your out of date arguments and solutions

  22. Gildartz

    Nov 15, 2012, 07:13 #28223

    Amazing piece of story, even though i'm just started to support arsenal since 2002, because in my country seria A is still dominated the sport channel in early 2000, anyway, i completely agree about what you wrote, it's like we're the example of the capitalist football club where the fans is just only a commodities and wenger is the economist who betrayed us with his delusional methods that make us think "we have a chance" and dream about it and the board just enjoy the profit and plan to expand his own business. And for wenger : i'm tired of wenger!!! he was brilliant with his direct-style football but now he's like want to replicate barcelona style but rearrange it a little bit with his own imagination but still he's failed because there's no trophy that mark his tactical change even though there's a light about wenger tactical change this season like the way we win against liverpool and draw against city when we sat deep, compact and denying all of those team attacking combination and counter them with imagination of cazorla and speed of podolski, but after that the system seems change we played higher up the pitch with scrappy pressing with slow ball retention in the attack. and for me only major trophy that can make him stay!! sorry for this long comment but this what always inside my head since we defeated by norwich, regard

  23. exiled & dangerous

    Nov 15, 2012, 06:54 #28222

    There's a Premier League meeting today to discuss a salary cap - but it will never happen. There will always be rich clubs and poor clubs, it is the nature of professional football. But there shouldn't be rich players who are still under 22 years old. I'd like to see a scheme where players sign a contract purely based on appearances, league position, trophies, percentages of matches won, goals scored/clean sheets etc - and loyalty to their club. Pay them a living wage so they can buy/rent a home, but they don't get the big lump sum payday until they are 30. Then maybe you might see motivation, grit, determination.... not sitting on your arse picking up a weekly wage more than most will earn in a decade.

  24. Super_Abdi_1988

    Nov 15, 2012, 06:23 #28221

    Hey guys, you have to know that our Arsenal has gone when David Dear lift this is the main point. In addition, Arsen Wenger deserve to kick his *ss, but if we look on the other hand Wenger still can rebuild strong team again. He smart, but Kronky and Cazdes -whatever his name is- goal is not to be a big team. They just want to gain profit account for Arsenal. My opinion is, Please, Please and Please show the club that are not satisfy. say ooooooooooo during the game. Please say we want David Dean back.

  25. I.P. from South Africa.

    Nov 15, 2012, 05:42 #28220

    Congratulations on an excellent article filled to the brim with unadulterated truths!!! Oh, if only there were more Arsenal supporters with such clarity of insight like you sir! Maybe then we would not have reached this current traumatic low-point in the history of the Arsenal. Is there anyway that this article can be personally delivered to Mr. Wenger on behalf of the true Arsenal supporters with a public request for a response from Arsenal?

  26. JollyJumper

    Nov 15, 2012, 04:38 #28219

    Mr. Fyle - Yoouupiiieee ... finally someone to talk, and write nicely, my thoughts for 7-8 years ago! Gooner since 1971, now I have the same feelings and the same attitude when Arsenal FC is playing. Killed to the ground. Congratulations for your article. Wenger ... "Tactically deficient. Full of excuses, and an inability to motivate ... farcical incompetence in the transfer market.". Club/Players ... "I detest seeing players laughing and joking after a defeat. I abhor any club that justifies 14-minute flights to Norwich...". Fan(s) ... "bland, unquestioning invertebrate mollusc to attend Arsenal matches.". Hilarious, epic! You made my day! Me too would be hated by Wenger & Gazidis as I do not tolerate mediocrity either. So sad for our Arsenal FC. Stand up Gooners, fight for your Club!

  27. DW Thomas

    Nov 15, 2012, 03:18 #28218

    Very good piece and spot on on so many points. Not strengthening the team, losing marquee players to other clubs and selling our best players to rivals is a recipe for failure, guaranteed! The hope thing is what gets me. I too don't have much hope anymore. Just look at our results against top and bottom teams. The club is a joke now when it comes to really challenging for anything. I can't think of one thing the club does honestly well. Just want some hope again, in better things and a brighter future with a team full of heart and effort.

  28. David the Price is Ian Wright Wright Wright!

    Nov 15, 2012, 01:55 #28217

    A scathing diatribe. Rightly so. Loved it. Nothing left un-addressed. Just like to add that a team which is not built from the keeper upwards, which since Lehmann is very evident is not a serious contender. With this in mind it's safe to say Wenger is not chasing trophies. Yes he is, 4th!

  29. Mandy Dodd

    Nov 15, 2012, 00:00 #28216

    Just a couple of points here, wenger himself said we cannot compete on finances, but we should be able to compete on the pitch. Rightly or wrongly, he never said they players could not compete. Also, Ivan never got a 2.3 million bonus, may have got it with the bonus.....of small point I know. You make some valid points about players sitting tight on high wages, a source of frustration for all, you mention denilson, at least he is playing out on loan,rather than sitting in the stands. Also think you are being very harsh on giroud. Worth remembering, despite recent results, we have some very good players out there, but clearly lack squad depth when injuries, suspensions or fatigue hits. You sound like you feel alienated, disconnected, disenfranchised with the club you support, I hear the same with supporters of many other top level clubs. in many ways very understandable, but unfortunately , the big clubs are all totally disconnected from the fan base, arsenal are not unique in that. As things are, anyone wanting connection with their club will probably have more joy following a lower league, non league....or German club. Maybe not what many want to hear, but those are the realities with the bigger clubs.

  30. CanadaGooner

    Nov 14, 2012, 23:47 #28215

    Fan pressure isnt really much pressure these days mate, with TV money and merchandizing in China. what really is shameful though, is the way fan comments are easily swapt aside or ignored by Gazidis, and Wenger has now joined that rank now, where he's discovered that provided he keeps lining the board's pockets, his job is safe and he is no longer accountable to arsenal fans.

  31. arsenal_arsenal

    Nov 14, 2012, 23:44 #28214

    well actually they dont care about fans as long as ticket sales is high. fans should stop buying the season ticket and kits, just to remind them where they get the money from

  32. Hughsey24

    Nov 14, 2012, 23:35 #28213

    Totally agree! I used to go to highbury the days of mariner woodcock right up to the final game at highbury! There was passion! Good times and bad and the club meant something to me! I gave up my season ticket last year as i cannot afford to go! Priced out! But really am i bothered anymore? No! Because the club isnt what it used to be! The dvd selling the season ticket to the emirates mentioned world class players walking out! Not average over paid, no passion and also all the new fans who know nothing of arsenal from the highbury days and sadly not a lot about football! Hence a passionless stadium! I do hope we get our arsenal back soon! Board out now!

  33. Paul

    Nov 14, 2012, 23:26 #28212

    @Anthony Check you history GG 6 trophies in 8 years Wenger 7 in 16 years.In 1991 GG's team was one game away from going unbeaten.And GG won a European trophy.GG never went more than one season without winning a trophy so dont give me Wengers countless trophies.George laid the foundations for Wengers success.Arsenal were not founded in 1996

  34. goonercolesyboy

    Nov 14, 2012, 22:57 #28211

    If we were to replace Wenger then the next manager would have the same problems as now, in that we cannot buy players until we sell them and if no team wants them and their wages what can we do?....I say that, as the squad system can only hold a certain number of players with restriction on ages to all in the spend some f*****g money group, or get rid of Wenger, what is your plan? Until those contracts expire we are stuck with them and their inflated interesting to know the expiry dates for all the dross we are carrying, because until that happens we need to get behind the team and rally the players; do you really think they will try any harder if half the crowd is booing them/the board/Wenger or staying outside on their futile demonstration? It is right to be concerned about the direction of the club but the way to go about it is I believe flawed.

  35. Gare Kekeke

    Nov 14, 2012, 22:55 #28210

    Superb article. Apart from the comment on Giroud who is actually showing signs of improvement, I agree with every word. @ Rocky RIP; I’ve only been a Gooner since January 1987 but I went to that semi against THAT LOT at OT too and you’re right, it was full of proper Gooners. I remember having a nice half time chat with the TV presenter Lisa Rogers who sat near me that day and she spoke of having Ashley Cole as a guest for a TV show she was presenting at the time and he admitted to hating the Scum. Happy days. Up The Arsenal!

  36. GManSizzle

    Nov 14, 2012, 22:54 #28209

    No matter how valid the points are, I can't take this guys opinion seriously seeing that he claims to be a massive arsenal fan yet didn't want to watch them play in the champions league on TV.

  37. Colin

    Nov 14, 2012, 22:15 #28207

    A fantastic article.Sadly you dont speak for the modern Arsenal fan who cant see anything beyond Wenger but to fans of my vintage(over 38 years a fan) you are saying what all of us are thinking.I have seen much worse Arsenal teams in the 70's and 80's but i have never felt so distance from my club as i do now.I dont even get angry now when we lose.How has our fanbase been so brainwashed into thinking 4th is success?A copy of this article should be handed out to the marchers by the BSM.Because this is what the march should be all about.Will i get my love back for my club?Yes but only with a new manager and a new board

  38. Ben Clift

    Nov 14, 2012, 22:10 #28206

    A fantastic article my friend that speaks the truth on so many levels. You've managed to put in words how I've been feeling for a long time now and I'm also delighted to see the response that it's received from many other Gooners

  39. Dave the gooner

    Nov 14, 2012, 21:17 #28205

    Excellent article,totally agree on most points the 2 i disagree with are the ones about Giroud and hitting Arsenal with a financial boycott.I,d like to think he's starting to find he's feet and he's confidence is on the rise,perhaps your comments maybe well founded if after a good run of games and no return in goals created or scored will justify your comments.If as you suggest a financial boycott,do you not think the master of spin will not use it to he's advantage and declare to the world that because of the loss in profits and income we are unable to compete with the big boys and will have to be content with picking up the scraps,pretty much as we are now,only in he's mind he can justify it.

  40. Colm R

    Nov 14, 2012, 21:13 #28204

    All we need are a few marque players and a new manager, someone should tell Wenger goals win matches.

  41. Season ticket holder block g

    Nov 14, 2012, 20:57 #28202

    That is best post I have read in a long time.........sums it all up! I for one won't be giving that club another penny on match days. The revolution is coming!!!!!!!!!

  42. Gooner1912

    Nov 14, 2012, 20:33 #28201

    Reluctantly I agree, his time has passed, disappointment year on year. I would prefer AW owned up and and stated until the new stadium is paid we will not be competing at any level. Need to clear out the average players of which the majority are.

  43. Harv Azad

    Nov 14, 2012, 20:31 #28200

    Superb piece and one which I feel has been true for a number of years not just now. Unfortunately not one of the responses picked up on your key point which was that us the fans need to take action. We need to make the lives of Gazidis, Hill Wood and Wenger so uncomfortable that they change or leave the club. We have put up with their lies and bull**** for too long and us the fans have played our part by our silence. We cannot afford to be silent any more. True arsenal fans should show how much they live this club and raise their voices and up the ante NOW!

  44. Treble Double

    Nov 14, 2012, 19:59 #28198

    Despite all of the problems with our club at the moment I don't quite understand how you could watch "in the thick of it" over a champions league game. If you would rather watch BBC i-player than watch Arsenal then you should indeed go and watch someone else, so please do.

  45. Anthony

    Nov 14, 2012, 19:57 #28197

    What are you talking about "Paul"? George Graham didn't give you the Arsenal team which won countless trophies, or go a season was Wenger. So go ask George Graham for your Arsenal back and it will be 1-0 to the Arsenal again....back to the "good old days" eh? There are a lot of good points made in this article, but some awful conclusions are drawn. B+ for your prepositions.. D- for your conclusions... Next.

  46. Greg71

    Nov 14, 2012, 19:28 #28195

    Good post,i feel our pain too and yes i remember 18,ooo against Brum on a Tuesday night ,Brian Kidd scoring against Qpr when they had a team and David Price goals ! Under the present regime we are just one upset away from outright rebellion . but please not saturday or have we fallen so far that defeat against spurs won,t be an upset !

  47. Wombledin

    Nov 14, 2012, 19:24 #28194

    The fans have been very patient with Wenger, incredibally loyal and patient. Even when we started to sense something was wrong, most fans remained loyal and praised him. We don't want to behave like spoilt brats, and we recognises its great to get us into the top 4 each year, but something seems to be changing at the fanbase level and the time is coming a groundswell of revolt will bubble forth. But I don't think that time is now. I think it will happen when we finish below 4th place and I think this is the season that happens. I think just keep your powder dry a bit longer, and if we finish out of the CL threshold, that is the time to really protest at the stadium. Whatever happens, it is clear that WENGER OWES THE FANS after so many years of blind loyalty to him.

  48. Richard H

    Nov 14, 2012, 19:12 #28193

    Wow, I'm really sad to say I totally agree with every part of this piece. There is a bland, corporate, faceless, soulless vibe around Arsenal and an acceptance that mediocracy will be the status quo forever. I too have been a loyal fan of Arsenal's for about 28 years, prior to George Graham and the 2 successful periods we have had since. Arsenal have made me feel sick, angry and gloriously elated, sometimes all at the same time! However now I feel indifferent to them, to the point where I do not want to watch certain games (the United game for example) because I know the frustration at the overall lack of quality, coupled with envy at teams like United who year on year compete and win the big trophies. And no Mr Wenger 'the 4th place trophy' is not one of them!!!!!!!!

  49. Stevieo

    Nov 14, 2012, 19:10 #28192

    Great article. It is as simple as that... a financial boycott. However, there are still fans that detest what is happening to the club but can still stomach handing over hard earned cash to this regime. The BSM march is all very well, but the message they send out is that they want cheaper tickets, so they can continue to financially endorse this sh*t. The march will be full of AKB’s! My support goes out to those that have had season tickets for 20 years but got the balls to stick 2 fingers up at the club and cancel their season tickets. So we all go on this march and the organisers filter in to the ground leaving the rest outside? B*llocks to that. The club can put prices up 20% this summer for all I care. The club's arrogance towards its fans by pushing them over the poverty line is the only way we'll get change. And does anyone think Gazidis is bothered what colour scarf fans are wearing if they're still handing over obscene amounts of money to pay for his bonus?

  50. The Noise

    Nov 14, 2012, 19:06 #28191

    Quite simply, the best article I have read relating to how I currently feel about my once great club! I agree with EVERY SINGLE WORD! I tilt my hat to you sir!

  51. Gooner1711

    Nov 14, 2012, 18:51 #28190

    Top Drawer! Totally accurate. We are just putting up with it because too many people still believe it'll turn around. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER.

  52. GoonerGoal!

    Nov 14, 2012, 18:37 #28188

    Congratulations on a well-written, well thought out piece that directly hits the nail on the head. No doubt Chris and his diminishing number of acolytes will despise it, but the truth really does hurt sometimes. The Kroenke/Gazidis/Wenger defensive circle better be well formed because the vast majority of fans can clearly smell something in the air, and that something is REVOLUTION!

  53. jamie hunter

    Nov 14, 2012, 18:37 #28187

    One of the very best articles I have read on here, and I have read some good ones. Apart from slating giroud, which I feel is harsh. @ angel gooner: I've got a better idea, when Wenger and gazidis finally get the boot why don't you **** off and support whatever team they end up ruining next? Like you say, you sir are a mug.

  54. EdgarDavids

    Nov 14, 2012, 18:23 #28186

    Yeah you should watch Edgar Davids over Cazorla and Arteta.In fact you deserve to.A lifelong commitment to Arsenal and you come up with dross like this. A financial boycott indeed, to teach the club a lesson?A club you supposedly love? Your entitled whining is quite like a Scum/Scouse supporter. You want your Arsenal back, or you will support Barnet? Brilliant.For a 30-something breathtakingly infantile.

  55. declan burke

    Nov 14, 2012, 18:20 #28185

    Now if only WENGER, HILL WOOD GAZIDIS could be forced to sit down and read this we might get the message across to this arrogant, ignorant administration. This article could word for word be easily from myself. I have said to many a gooner that in my memory the last time I was as disillusioned with they way we were was in November '83 in the run up to TERRY NEILL's sacking. I like to divide the current ARSENAL fans into 2 category's i.e. the ''pre wenger'' brigade and the ''post wenger'' If you were to take an opinion poll amongst both lots I reckon the percentage of the 'pre' who want WENGER out would be far greater than the 'post' group. THE ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB that I grew to love in the 70's DIED the day we left HIGHBURY.

  56. WeWantOurArsenalBack

    Nov 14, 2012, 18:11 #28184

    Bravo sir.what a well written piece.Make a copy and send it to the money hungry leaches at Arsenal.Might make them wake up and live in the real world for a change. COME ON THE ARSENAL.

  57. Arsenal fans get the club they deserve

    Nov 14, 2012, 18:09 #28183

    Sound sentiments but The Cult Of Wenger is still strong enough at the soulless bowl to ensure a financial boycott would never work. Many people will NEVER turn against Wenger no matter what happens. Posters like Chris will come on here and state ad nauseam that because Arsenal are fourth highest spenders and finish fourth in the premier league Wenger has done a good job, ignoring the obvious and most important fact that he doesn't spend all the money that he has at his disposal, money that could actually win us trophies. That's the issue that irritates and frustrates most Arsenal fans I know, but no matter how many times the club accounts show there is money to spend, no matter how many times Gazidis publicly states that there is money to spend in every transfer window (even Silent Stan at the AGM said he's never refused Wenger money), some fans will still blame the board when the money doesn't get spent rather than Wenger's unnecessary, ego trip obsession with proving the whole world wrong by winning the big trophies on the cheap. So don't get too excited revolutionists, the board won't sack the manager because they know that many Arsenal fans are so terrified of a brave new world without Wenger that they'll never call for his head. Who knows, another couple of scrambled fourth place finishes and the chant of '3 more years' will probably be ringing round the soulless bowl. Happy days.

  58. Rocky RIP

    Nov 14, 2012, 18:03 #28182

    So you're not giving Giroud much of a hope then? Give him a chance! It's not his fault he isn't RVP. His hold up play is improving, his movement off the ball is good and his aerial threat is the best we've had for absolutely ages. The guy is improving game by game. If he sharpens up his shooting he could be a positive this season. That said, I take most of your points, especially as I'm also a fan of 30+ years. The attitude in the crowd is entirely different now. The way our fan base has changed really bothers me. There's little solidarity between us any longer. Many of the people the club now attracts are frankly embarrassing. Chomping on a hot dog as they arrive 10 minutes late clutching a bag of merchandise. Clueless. I watched our 2001 cup semi win over that lot earlier, and you could tell the fan base was different just over 10 years ago. More what I'd call proper gooners. When a player missed a sitter, our fans weren't throwing their arms up in disgust and roasting the player as they would now. I also read an article about West Ham's 'best ever league side' of 1986, which finished 3rd. Third. They celebrate that. We are outraged at a season where we finishing third (although I appreciate the reasons why.)We need our club back.

  59. Jock Gooner

    Nov 14, 2012, 17:45 #28180

    AMEN. Wow, was there really an Arsenal before Wenger? Are you sure? Is there any proof of this? But surely we will all die if he leaves the club and the ground will open up and swallow the stadium whole and plagues of locusts will descend and all that stuff. Great Article Emmanuel, absolutely spot on.

  60. billthered

    Nov 14, 2012, 17:39 #28179

    As I have said in the past if AW leaves we will replace him with someone like Martinez who sells his better players for a huge profit.At the end of this season we will undoubtedly finish out of the top four and AW will resign and the new manager will be left with quite a bit of dead wood who no one wants and cant be shifted due to big wages,so it will be back to square one.Can you remember GG coming in and offloading all the underperforming stars on big wages and putting kids in with a desire for the shirt,well we will never see them days again but is it to much to ask for a bit of sweat on the shirt.I'd like to say keep the faith but deaf ears comes to mind.Where's my black and red scarf.

  61. Arsene is a Fraudster

    Nov 14, 2012, 17:27 #28176

    You Sir are a saint. Well done. Although this is nothing new and is in the thoughts of many. That said, you are correct in that it is up to us to let them know. I don't mean "us" as in the day trippers, the tourists and the johnny come lately's that infest the sporting white elephant which is Ashburton Grove. I mean the ones that are no longer at the ground on match days, no longer there because of being priced out or kicked out by the club for daring to show some passion. The ones that were here long, long before Arsene's accolytes made an appearance. There was one chap on here recently who said that before Arsene came along, we were nothing. Seriously, on this very website he said that. It's these people that need to leave with their deity, in order to restore Arsenal to its former self. A proper football club. As you say, it's the rest of us that need to stand up to and reclaim what is rightfully ours.

  62. au revoir wenger

    Nov 14, 2012, 17:07 #28175

    the problem with the fanbase at present is that too many are Arsene fans and not Arsenal fans

  63. Ron

    Nov 14, 2012, 16:57 #28173

    Great stuff. Agree totally. I and many other longstanding supporters feel cheated,but many of the modern day fans are still basking in 'new stadium syndrome'even after 6 years of nothingness. That and the hype that still exists over 'Barca lite' (what a joke that was!) still allows the Board and Wenger to hang on there like limpets. The real killer for me though is seeing Arsenal become a spineless, whinging team and Club with players who are clearly all (in the main), not up for the fight and who think 'surrender' is acceptable. Its a disgrace and makes me wonder what the likes of Mc Lintock, Storey, Wilson and Kelly et al must think. They must surely cringe! I do!!

  64. Paul

    Nov 14, 2012, 16:46 #28172

    A brilliant article that sums up everything about Arsenal 2012.In the 80's before George Graham were were a s**t club going nowhere but i and 25,000 others used to turn up every week because we cared.I used to hurt when we lost back then.Now i dont hurt when we lose.I have become immune because of what Wenger has done to my club.I was in a pub in Highbury watching the game on saturday with others like me who will not pay to watch this shower.When Arteta missed the last minute penalty there was not a word of anger.The fans now have a who cares? attitude .And why sould they when they see awful players like Santos Djourou Diaby Ramsey Arshavin Rosicky and Chamakh picking more money in a week than some of us in 3 years will.What George Graham did when he took over in 1986 was give us our Arsenal back.He gave us our pride back.He cleared out the dross and kept the players who were willing to run through a brick wall for him.He signed journeymen players like Dixon Bould Winterburn Marwood Richardson and Smith and turned them into legends.He made Adams captain.We care for those players.Who bar two or three players now do we care for? I dont expect Arsenal to win trophies every season but i want a manager whose ambition is higher than getting a team no higher than 4th and i want players who will play for the shirt.Arsenal FC is the place players know we reward failure.A team that loses a cup final to a relegated team that loses a 4 goal lead, that loses 8-2 the list goes on

  65. Arsenal Fan

    Nov 14, 2012, 16:38 #28170

    Hi, I'm an Arsenal fan from Malaysia and I can say that I agree with the author. I can proudly say that in the 2 trips Arsenal came to Malaysia I was not bothered to see them play. And I had not buy a single Arsenal merchandise since 2010 when I was in UK studying my degree. Why? Because I wondered, Arsenal is a football club for sporting & entertainment purposes. It's not meant to be run as a business where at the end of each financial year the board get huge dividends. I ask myself every year we fans bought so many Arsenal merchandises did they receive the money or was it embezzled by the staffs? After that I have come to a simple solution. Unless the board stand out and say that ALL merchandise and sales are directly transferred into our transfer funds, I would not buy a single Arsenal merchandise. What for I'm wasting my money to watch a few bright youngsters play in Malaysia fully knowing that these profits are to be given to the board as dividends? For all you know they are plenty rich for god's sake. They are well fed until they are FAT. And those 'bright' youngsters either flop or left at the end of the day. I agree with the author's saying though. You can call me a plastic fan all you want but I am in Malaysia and eventhough I am working I would wake up in the middle of 3am to watch Arsenal play their ECC and Capital One Cup. And often I was repaid by disappointment and disbelief. Some might say I am unloyal but I think I always stay with Arsenal through thick and thin. The 8-2 match? I watched the whole 90 minutes. When our 49 match unbeaten run was ended? Surprised by myself I cried. It was that sad for me. If we are plastic fans we would not even bother how this club is doing and in which direction it is going. We would just simply change clubs to support silently. For those who still think that this Arsenal is fine are just as ignorant as Mr Kroenke, Mr Hill-Wood, Mr Gazidis and Mr Wenger. PS: Wenger should do what is best for the players and for the club.(change formation, field best players & field them at their best position) Not what he 'envisioned' to be the best. Wenger is a human. He is not a god. He won't know EVERYTHING. Being able to spot a rare gem and polished it into a gem of gems is not all his work. The player himself had worked hard for it. So please please please Arsene Wenger worshipers. Reconsider.

  66. Red Member

    Nov 14, 2012, 16:34 #28169

    the best way is for supporters not to renew their season tickets. I am not saying don't go to games, just don't give the yank his £1K+ each year in advance. It is surely pointless for season ticket holders to boycott games (as they are doing on occasion this season) if they have already paid for the seat!! Kroenke must be laughing his head off.

  67. GoonerEris

    Nov 14, 2012, 16:32 #28168

    Edgar Davids plays at Barnet?? ;-) I do feel you mate but, I think rather than blame Wenger, you should be looking at the board who have tolerated the mediocrity of the last 7 years and failed to take action. The reason is simple; the board has no incentive to 'try' to win anything since the club is just okay like this, reporting overall profits each year. Winning trophies bring the added pressure to keep buying top players at top prices, paying top wages and keeping top squad players. All of these impact the Profit & Loss statement and reduce the benefits to the shareholders (when they start to get paid from Retained earnings). The current way, as long as Wenger continues to spin his magic and get us to the CL each year, with average players, Stan Kroenke is better off.

  68. MasterplanX

    Nov 14, 2012, 16:27 #28167

    Finnaly!! An article that says it the way it is! I HATE when fans say we can't compete. So why play then?i hope people would realize this but I doubt it, and Wenger won't leave.

  69. Jay Tobias

    Nov 14, 2012, 16:24 #28166

    Good article, I stopped going to the emirates after 5 years of no trophies and I totally agree that seeing the ground empty is the only thing to do. Although if Arsenal fail to qualify for the champions league (and I wouldn't care if we didn't) AW may get the boot as the board would have less money to spend on cakes etc.

  70. Dan h

    Nov 14, 2012, 16:16 #28165

    Like i have said previously if we are coming 4th but still we sell our best players is it really the end of the world if we have a year or two out of the CL & rebuild?It may have to get worse before it gets better.To those still scared of change we have seen far better & worse teams in the past but on wages spent probably the worse squad in decades.Like night follows day after a bad run of results talk of class forwards CM etc being bought in january really we have been here before the PR machine in full swing predictable leaks from the club.For me realistic targets some have said Moyes but like last year & probably made a few of you laugh at the time Martinez at Wigan!Young plays good football works on a tiny budget plays various tactics depending on the opponents & knows the league!Talk of Pep no chance Chelsea or City for him people overlooking his old assistant has joined City...Interesting as i touched on yesterday media are reporting a possible change of formation at the back reported as coaching driven this was also discussed by senior players.Some good points made Emmanuel.

  71. Stewart

    Nov 14, 2012, 16:07 #28164

    I have to follow my Arsenal team from the U.S.having mived here from the U.K. This article should be handed to every member of the biard and the management team.It is superb.

  72. maguiresbridge gooner

    Nov 14, 2012, 16:07 #28163

    Emmanuel a lot of fans relationships with arsenal have changed over the last number of years and may take a long time to recover if ever.As has been said before can fans now claim to have the same relationships with the players of today that were had with yes the morrows, jensens, to name just two.Players who were probably just as bad as some of the dross we have today but the difference being they worked their socks off gave their all every game had heart an pride and never gave up just like parma and anfield 89 the word can't never crossed anyone's mind on nights like those.Your right about OGL and others salary no complaints there about inflated wages or self sustainability funny that i don't think any of us would mind if they were actually earning it.I agree this hugging and laughing even in the tunnel before a game is ridiculous players who are focused and winners don't do that ask PV or IW but we don't have many of them. No doubt we'll see more of it on Saturday.Good piece.

  73. dilligaf

    Nov 14, 2012, 15:55 #28162

    The most truthfull statement i have seen for a while, we want our Arsenal back.

  74. Jack

    Nov 14, 2012, 15:43 #28159

    Chelsea sacked Ancelotti because they are run by a Russian bully who must have his way or else. Plus the fact he had pumped in millions all to get his champs league holy grail playing the most tedious crap ever seen. Most people on this site also want Arsenal to have their very own Russian bully so we can brag to everyone else about what we have achieved. Even though by this time no one will care because Arsenal have sold their soul and are no longer this team who others respect. Because we will then have joined the elite group of bent cashcows who everyone despises.

  75. Steve89

    Nov 14, 2012, 15:42 #28158

    Well said that man. Brilliant and sadly spot on account. I share your pain!

  76. angel gooner

    Nov 14, 2012, 15:41 #28156

    You sir are a mug of the highest order.Go watch your bbc i player and stay there.We don't need your support.

  77. 'Not so silent Tom'

    Nov 14, 2012, 15:22 #28154

    Great article! You articulate what most of the rest of us know and feel. I believe that we need a long-term carefully orchestrated campaign to challenge the Gazidis-Kroenke axis together with their corossive philosophies, rather than target Mr. Wenger, whose departure is already unfolding.

  78. anonymous

    Nov 14, 2012, 15:22 #28153

    You make a lot of salient points. However, I think you are too harsh on Giroud. He has only been here a few months and looks to be finding his feet (not a pun). A number of premier league players said we should have sold Bergkamp after his slow start to his Arsenal career and described him as a failed, expensive signing. I'm not comparing Bergkamp to Giroud, just the haste to judge them. Also, I believe you are joking about Barnet(or at least hope you are), perennial relegation strugglers that (I think) are having to leave their stadium due to the council.

  79. Andy M

    Nov 14, 2012, 15:12 #28152

    Really good piece. The board needs to instil a culture of humility, pride, commitment, drive and ambition - and bring in performance related pay. I want to see more of the old Vieira/Keene needling in a pre-match tunnel - not a massive love-in. And don't get me started on Fatty Santos...