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The Mighty Transition: Why Arsenal Haven’t Won Anything In 6 Years

I had this sent to me by someone who wishes to remain anonymous, it’s a bit of a long post but it’s worth hanging on in until the end…

Arsenal dropped out of three competitions in the span of only 14 days, which of course means a massive blow to morale within the team. But is there any reason to panic, or start doubting Wenger’s approach and philosophy? I say not yet, and here’s why.

How We Got Here

In 1993, Highbury became an all-seater stadium, reducing its capacity from 57,000 to roughly 38,500, with even less capacity for Champions League fixtures. This meant a huge reduction in ticket sales, and the club could only watch as tens of thousands of supporters were unable to attend matches. With the season ticket waiting list growing rapidly every year, the club decided to look at alternatives.

In 1999, the club announced the plans of building a new 60,000+ capacity stadium, initially intended to open in 2003. Even if the average ticket price would only be around £10, the increased capacity would mean an extra £6.5m per year, so the financial boost was huge. In reality the average ticket price is more than four times higher, meaning an estimated £20m-£30m extra revenue per year in comparison to Highbury.

But it also meant having to spend money to make money, £470m in total to be exact, and even though large chunks of the cost was made back through sponsorship deals, player sales and clever investments like the Highbury Square development, a big portion of the debt remained.

While all this was going on, Arsene Wenger had arrived at the club with a somewhat unique mindset when it came to transfers. Always a financially sensible man, it went against his philosophy to buy expensive ready-made Premier League stars, and instead realised he could buy younger or overlooked talent from abroad, without lowering the quality of the team. Players like Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Nicolas Anelka, Kolo Toure, Fredrik Ljungberg, Robert Pires, etc, were all products of this ideology.

With Wenger’s nose for bargain players, and the increasingly tight budgets from building a new stadium, the club decided to create a long-term plan for the future of the club. The plan was to create a financially stable situation where new players would mostly come from within the club, as opposed to bought into it. With a good academy in place, the squad would ideally be filled with young players coming through the ranks as soon as older players needed to be replaced.

2002-2003: The First Wave

Slightly before the Invincibles were tearing up the Premier League, Wenger and the board were putting together their 10-year plan of turning Arsenal into a self-sustaining modern club that shouldn’t have to rely on buying expensive players to compete at the highest level. The first stage of the plan was to get a crop of 16-18 year olds into the club that would take over for when the current first team was in decline. The first wave of this new generation included Cesc Fabregas (16), Johan Djourou (16), Gael Clichy (18) and Nicklas Bendtner (16) – and also included the signing of 9-year old Emmanuel Frimpong.

2004-2006: The Second Wave And The Mighty Transition

A couple of years later even more teenagers were brought into the club in a second wave, like Alex Song (18), Theo Walcott (17), Abou Diaby (19), Carlos Vela (16), Vito Mannone (17) and Denilson (18). With these players in the academy, Arsenal finally had a strong foundation for the future. But the problem was that the gap between the experienced older players and the new era youngsters was too big, and a period of inconsistency started shortly after the Invincibles season.

When Jose Mourinho took over Chelsea, he changed the dynamic of the Premier League – what had been viewed as a two-horse race was now a three-horse race, and with Liverpool slowly becoming a threat again, the competitive level of the domestic league increased tenfold in a couple of years. And with the loss of players like Dennis Bergkamp, Martin Keown, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira within a three year period – and the move to a new stadium in that timeframe as well – the new wave of players were too young to carry the expectations of the club on their shoulders.

The ideal set-up at a top club is to have a sensible balance between older/experienced and younger/energetic players. The older players will usher the younger ones into the philosophy of the club, and bear the majority of the responsibilities on the pitch while the younger ones learn and develop their talents. Without the older players in this system, the younger players are exposed for their flaws, and carry too much responsibility.

Arsenal celebrating winning the Premier League in 2004, with players like Vieira, Henry, Keown, Pires and Bergkamp

Somewhat unexpectedly the transition was forced upon Wenger sooner than what was planned, and as the club wouldn’t start becoming self-sustained until the third or even fourth wave of youngsters started coming through the club structure, instability ensued.

The plan was never to sell Henry, Pires or Vieira, instead the hope was to follow the same pattern as Man Utd did with players like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. But as the long-term plan was in place, the financial benefit of selling these players would mean accelerating the reduction in debt, and that’s where the first big mistake was made. It wasn’t solely the board’s or Wenger’s fault though, the players themselves had expressed a desire to move on.

2008: The Third Wave

The third wave would be introduced around 2008, bringing players like Aaron Ramsey (18), Ignasi Miquel (16), Kyle Bartley (16), Francis Coquelin (17), etc, to the club, and would serve as the first expansion for the new generation. The whole point of bringing in new waves of youth players would be to eliminate the need for traditional squad generations in the future and instead have a constant flow of new players, eventually having a broad age span within the first team squad with natural replacements ready to go where needed.

The third wave of players meant Arsenal started to build a very solid foundation within their youth ranks, and with players from the first wave already starting to claim their place in the first team, Wenger knew the plan was working. But he also knew that not until the players were old enough would we see the true results of the plan, and he was only halfway through the project at this stage.

2010-2011: The Fourth Wave

As the first and second wave players were becoming first team starters (Fabregas, Walcott, Clichy, Djourou, Walcott, Song, etc), and with the third wave players lurking in the wings, the club initiated the fourth wave in 2010 – expected to be ready for the first team in about 3-5 years. Players like Wellington Silva, Jon Toral-Harper, Samuel Galindo and Ryo Miyaichi would form one of the last waves before the first team players were old enough to become the experienced players at the club, and bring us to the self-sustaining state we planned for in the first place.

Today: Almost There

We still have a year or two left before this 10-year strategy proves itself to be successful. We currently have a very strong first team with more harmony than in recent years, and first wave players haven’t even reached their peaks yet. Still we’re looking to get top four at least in the most competitive league in the world, we were only one mistake away from a Carling Cup trophy and we were only one Bendtner mis-hit away from knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League.

Whatever happens at the end of this season, we are showing an increase in form every year as our players grow older, and it’s only a matter of time before the team opens the door to long-term success.

2013-2014: The Fifth Wave

In the 2011 summer transfer window, Wenger will add the last of the fourth wave players to the academy, and then follow the same pattern as before, waiting a couple of years before starting the fifth wave. The fifth wave marks the end of the 10-year plan for mainstream transfer market independence, and at this stage the first wave players bought back in 2003-2004 will be hitting their peaks, becoming the club’s experienced players in the process.

At this stage we should have the third and fourth wave players in their early/mid-20′s, ready to step into the first eleven if injuries or player sales alter the first choice setup, and with the fifth wave in their late teens, we all of a sudden have a perfect span of players in the correct age groups to dominate for years. And this was the intention from the start.

My personal guess is that at this stage, Arsene Wenger will feel his work is done, and leave his managerial position, but staying at the club in some capacity to help complete the transition from the old to the new era. A young manager will be brought into the club, and he’ll have an impressive setup that will keep him supplied with new talent for decades.

Should Wenger Go Then?

First of all I’m of the opinion that nothing major went ‘wrong’, especially in the perspective of the long-term plan and the disadvantages that came along with that strategy. However, four aspects of the transition caused an unnecessary crash in form after the successful 2003/2004 season, and could have gone smoother overall:

1. Our experienced players left the club too soon – Wenger or the board can’t be blamed for all of them, but could have put more effort into trying to keep some of them. Henry and Vieira wanted to move on and when a player isn’t mentally at the club anymore, there is little point keeping him. But with players like Pires or Flamini, Wenger and the board definitely could have done more to keep them at the club.

2. Unlucky age gap – the difference between the first wave players and the Invincibles generation was unfortunately a couple of years too much, and as a result the transition between them couldn’t be made in time before the older players disappeared from the club. Wenger and the board couldn’t really do much about this, but maybe the long-term plan should’ve been initiated in 1999 when the new stadium proposal was made, instead of 3-4 years later.

3. Long-term plan causing close relationships with players – when dealing primarily with 16-year olds eventually expected to be responsible for the success of a world class football club, trust and love is put into the players from a very young age. This creates high levels of harmony within the club, but also creates relationships that can be too close at times. A major complaint about Wenger is that he trusts his players too much, giving them chance after chance even though they don’t seem to improve. Wenger needs to become more ruthless in this department, but then we run the risk of upsetting harmony at the club.

4. Key replacements weren’t made exceptions to the long-term plan – losing Vieira, Gilberto and Flamini meant losing defensive stability in midfield until Song was ready to step up. And just like when Liverpool lost Alonso, the importance of a good holding midfield player in the modern game was exposed. If Wenger had made one exception to the long-term plan, we might have had a better form in the period between 2005-2010. However, we currently have very promising second and third wave players coming through, and with Song playing well, this won’t be a massive issue in 2011 and onwards.

With that being said, it’s unrealistic to demand that Wenger or the board should have done everything perfectly when transforming the whole essence of the club into the modern era. Did they make mistakes? Yes. Should we get rid of Wenger when we’re at the final stage of a long-term plan? No, that would be ridiculous. Every manager makes mistakes, but let’s be honest: Wenger has kept us in the top 4 throughout this transition phase, in the best league in the world.

Final Words

Not winning a trophy for 7 years is probably more hurtful for younger supporters, but I don’t mind going without a trophy for 10 years to be honest. That is the time span set up for the long-term plan, and I’ve accepted that the plan would bring instability until it was done. Also, the reward for having patience with Wenger will be to establish Arsenal as an independent, consistent and efficient trophy hunter, without ever having to buy a Torres for £50m.

At the moment we’re witnessing the fruits of our labours, with lots of our first team starters being products of the first and second wave youngsters brought in several years ago. But there’s still a couple of years left for this squad to peak, and what we must do as supporters is to be patient until the long-term strategy is completed. Only when viewing our current situation with a bit of perspective can we understand what’s really going on.

The main complaint I see everywhere is that Wenger didn’t bring in a central defender, defensive midfielder or goalkeeper in the summer. People had lost faith in Almunia, we had no proper backup for Song and little experience in our defensive line. And even though we did buy a central defender, it wasn’t enough for many supporters who seemed to have completely missed the point of the long-term plan.

The problem is, and Wenger has said this many times as well, that buying experienced players would ruin the long-term plan, as the young players wouldn’t naturally progress and get a chance to prove their talent in the first team. Part of the process of eliminating the need for traditional generations is to give the young players an accelerated development by playing them in the first team, and if you buy an expensive 27-year old defensive midfielder, that position is suddenly locked down for almost 5 years, hindering the development of an internal player.

For the plan to work, most positions in the team needs to be filled with our own waves of players, to form a seamless progression between generations, ensuring stability for the club. Not until the first wave reaches their peak should we judge the success of Arsene Wenger and the long-term strategy.

I’m convinced that in the near future we will look back at this era and laugh about our dip in form, having to hand out sunglasses to supporters wanting to glance at our packed trophy cabinet. Success is coming, but we need to support our manager with patience and perspective. We haven’t even reached the runway yet, and we’re already challenging for the league title and playing cup finals.

Have faith, Arsenal will dominate for years to come.

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135 comments on “The Mighty Transition: Why Arsenal Haven’t Won Anything In 6 Years

  1. Morning All,

    Enjoy watching teh Royal Wedding everyone, I may take a peep ;)

  2. I will believe it when the gunners start winning against Mu Sunday and a trophy next season.

  3. Hi Mike, i think we will win on sunday, not sure about the trophy next season…

  4. Truly the study of waves is a fascinating one. No doubt we will win something soon. But if you have alook at the wave argument, where are the central defenders? If you can tell me there is an Adams, Keown or Bould coming through, then we should be delighted by this wave theory. But our waves are composed of young players with fine footballing skills, not with brutal defensive skills. It is as if the younger players are taught manners to the extent that they automatically say “excuse me” when bursting through opponents’ penalty box. We need tough players, not necessarily young ones, to come into the team to complement the waves. Final note :
    Walcott’s name has been mentioned in many waves.

  5. Circa 1999
    Arsene Wenger (AW) to AFC Board:
    Please sirs, we need a new stadium ASAP.

    Circa 2000
    AFC Board to AW:
    We’ve got a site for the new stadium. We need for you to promise us a few things.

    1. Your salary is frozen till 2010.

    2. Your salary post 2010 will depend on the profitability of the club.

    3. More the Profit ….. More the salary for you…. More the bonus for you.

    4. A new Stadium will open in 2006

    5. AFCs wages is approx 30 million in the year 2000. By the time the stadium is ready you can spend 60 million in wages. And in 5 years ie 2011 you can double that to 120 million in wages.

    6. No additional money will be provided for player purchase. If you need to buy…then you sell. If you buy…. You spend money…..the clubs profitability drops and so does your bonus.

    Arsene Wenger has decided to accept the offer.
    Now he has worked out a win-win situation…..A financial win win for himself and AFC

    1. Profitability can be achieved only by being a selling club.

    2. Profitability can be achieved only by nurturing youngsters and then selling them at a huge profit.

    3. Champions League qualification is essential to get the revenues to keep the Clubs profitability on track.

    Circa 2011

    1. Arsene Wenger is the highest paid employee in AFC

    2. Arsene Wenger is the de facto Business Manager of Arsenal Football Club.

    3. Arsene Wenger is employed by the board of AFC and is responsible only to them and not the fans.

    4. He has a new stadium.

    5. He has made AFC a profitable organization.

    WHO SAID ANY THING ABOUT WINNING SILVERWARE

  6. Well well. Didn’t take long after our predictable failure again this season for the Wenger apologists to come out with their excuses and spin, did it ? He’s been given more than enough time to deliver on “Project Youth”. He’s failed. NO MORE TIME.
    Wenger’s negligence, vanity, tactical ineptitude, failure to motivate,and a host of other reasons mean he has lost his way.Time for a replacement, so we can make a fresh start, and actually win something, instead of being the Great Pretenders for almost seven years.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  7. The Fifth Wave..

    Surely we got enough of the youth players, we only ned to look at the reserves…

    However, as long as wenger makes the right signingings in the summer, getting the additional youth in to be ready in the seasons to come is fine. Also though, he needs to get rid of a few in the reserves who are never going to make it with us, let them find a side at their own level and enjoy their careers…

  8. Hi Spectrum

    It’s tough for me as i didn’t write the post, i can kind of see where the author is coming from with the ten year plan and if it is correct then we are ahead of scedule..

    However, i can’t say i am convinced by it, if wenger hasn’t had money, why stick with players like denilson, nik etc etc, sell them, generate money and spend it.

    And not on players like Squlli.

    The CC showed how this current crop are so immature, tehy thought the game was done and dusted and they just had to turn up to collect the trophy.

    Wenger should have got them all suited, booted and mentally right to go and fight tooth and nail for OUR club, and bring home our first trophy in yonks.

    Had he done that, who knows what we have gone on and won??

  9. they got rid of standing room at Highbury to get rid of the “hoi polloi”. Then all seats for the “nice” people. Once they do this, they will start raising prices

    After that debacle they get a new stadium, when they could heve kept Highbury if they let the standing only ” undesirables ” alone

    They cannot beat the top 4 regularly. We had a win over Chelsea and barca. good1 That is as rare as rockinghorse shite though

    Sorry, we need bigger more mature players and AW & board OUT!

  10. what a lovely story,
    1 The problem with your story is that it has never been stated before EVER as this would have cut down the waiting lists
    2 We should not be expected to pay 10 x £1,000 to wait and see if any of these youth players develope AND LETS BE TOTALLY HONEST the only youth player of any REAL quality to come through in the last 10 years has been ASHLEY COLE and we wouldn’t pay him (even if he is a cock)and he was before this, all the others mentioned are no more than average that have broken into the first team with no passion or win at all costs mentallity.

    3.If your dream sorry story comes good in the next couple of years it will be in front of a half empty stadium unless the tourist soccer continue to come to the emairates.Paying too much too long for a poor product is unacceptable

    4 And finally the flaw to your whole piece IF you don’t ever learn basics in 3 years you aint ever going to learn CLICHY DJOUROU SONG DENILSON DIABY BENDTNER and all the rest don’t how to defend, how to fight back,how to kill teams off, how to play for the club and not for money or how to play as a team.

  11. Is this the longest excuse for utter failure ever written?

  12. amband – i can’t see a mass clear out of the board as much as any fan hopes for it – only because stan will want ‘time’ to settle, we are stuck with them and wenger for at least another season imho, unless wenger decides to walk…

    the board won’t sack him he is the reason we have loads of money but a squad which lacks so much guts and desire in parts…

  13. why did we let diara go and flamini and keep eboue they must have been on the wrong wave

  14. Beast, don’t shoot the messenger ;)

    It was sent in to HH and it would have been rude of me not to post it – its a shame the author wasn’t here to discuss the article..

  15. t.boyle, that’s something i can’t understand either, i would have rather we keep diarra and let denilson go…

  16. Rico – Hello to you, too. We all know what Wenger SHOULD have done.EVERYONE had been telling him, not just this season, but the one before at least.It was sheer negligence not to ship out Almunia, and get in a quality keeper. And a centre half, and a tough defensive midfielder with experience.Instead he dithered, and refused to pay a little extra ( and he DID have the funds) to secure the quality and experience we need.If he had done so, we may well have won the league this time.
    I said “may”, because I still think that even with a good side, Wenger’s personal flaws, particularly when it comes to tactics and motivating – would still have left us short.The man has demonstrated he is on the decline.A change is needed, or we won’t win anything.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  17. Well said spectrum Arsenes stubbornness is going to be his downfall

  18. If there was too big a gap in age then why didn’t we buy to compensate as a short term measure. Buying an experienced player doesn’t necessarily mean he’s there for the long haul. Sell them on when their understudy is ready to take their place. Recoup money, give youngsters something to aim at and maintain standard of team. Why not ?

  19. Wave Theory, Great, but i say: it was obvious from last season that Almunia was not good enough,we had central defenders like Campbelland silvestre who were past their prime, we had a midfield that was unstable,especially without a holding player. The strike force was indeed epileptic. The wave needed a small helping hand to stablize and provide result, yet we refuse to lift a finger to help. The board should look right now at other premiership teams and get help. Scott Parker- Westham, Samba -blackburn,cattermol of sunderland can all help our cause. Wenger look at the body language of the players while they are in the heat of battle, they are crying for help, pls go out there and get ball winners that can help them, the fans need to be compensated for these long years of loyalty, pls help put a smile on their faces. Wenger you are good, we know, just tweek your principles a little bit this summer, it will all come good next season.

  20. This is the best analysis of AFC Ive seen for some time.

    I am a Gunner of 61 years and seen the lot, but not since the days of George Swindin have I seen an AFC side so lacking in Arsenal passion. As for mental strength…that must be seen by Arsene when these pampered foreigners are negotiating new contracts they do not deserve. The last four seasons show that their is no pride in this squad, naturally because the balance of the dressing room and squad has no link to the fans or the traditions of Arsenal.

    As a working class lad who was daft enough to follow my team through the worst oeriods in our history, I can talk with some authority about missed opportunities…and this past 5 years have seen the most criminal of the lot.

    Arsene proved from the start that GIVEN THE BEST DEFENCE IN EUROPE, he knows how to add NF and forward talent to complete the blend for success. From the moment that the FAB 6 retired he has failed in every way. He has absolutely no ability to create a defensive team who can hold a lead. He had failed to study the early successful facts that to succeed in the EPL on a regular basis you must has UK steel at the back and part of the midfield. He has failed to listen to supporters and journalists alike. In fact because of his power base within the club he has become convinced of his own ability to create and survive.

    I love Arsene and regard him as one of the top three managers in AFC history, but he is beginning to rust at the edges and needs either to bite the bullet and hire someone like George Graham as number two or think about handing over to Hiddink or Owen Coyle.

    I have followed AFC throught the horrible periods 1953 -1970 (18 year with nothing but humiliation). I was at Highbury on the glorious night we 1970 we beat Anderlect, using mainly a team of home grwon kids. BUT I have never seen an AFC team so lacking in fight, passion, care, and loyalty.

    My answer as all answers are for football…..restore the balance in the squad ie; we need to get rid of the dainty tip tappers defence NOW. Out should go Clichy an International full back who cannot defend or cross a ball….? Squillaci…UK second division class. Koscielny..a DCM ..better than Song but played as a CB. The goalkeeper….do I need to say anything!

    We must replace them all with UK defenders who are hard enough to take the knocks week in week out and will fight until the final wistle. We must replace midfielders who spend most of their time negotiating new contracts and long for the day they return home to the continent.

    We need to sell off the ego boys up front who’s only passion is to play for their respective countries and count the money in their bank accounts.

    Of the current squad, I would only keep the following players. Szcezeny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Sagna ( on a warning) Wilshire, Koscielny , Walcott (on a warning), RVP, Ramsey, Nasri (on a warning). The rest I would sell…I dont care how big a name they are. Thye money would buy some big talent ..ready made ie: Jones of Blackburn, Cahill of Bolton, Baines, Parker (captain).

    Add to this group potential like…Miachi, OX Chamberlain, Wellington, plus know talent like Lansbury, JET, Afobe etc, and we have a chance to overtake Manure and Chelski .

    I know it will not happen beacuse it is not the Arsenal boards way or the managers. It should happen, but because of false pride and big value on shares etc. it will not.

    30. GunnerPete | April 27th, 2011 at 10:40 am
    Sorry but I missed out one point and that is goalscorers..we need another two sharpshooters..who will ignore the Wenger way of passing over and over agin when in sight of a clear shot. Poachers are selfish animals and we need some badly. Yes its great to see a totally unknown kid like jack appear and suceed (although he has no idea where the goal is). But…manure and the rest are praised for THEIR TROPHIES not their possession times.

  21. Spectrum,

    I cannot argue with that, i have never understood why he continues to play the likes of nik, denilson, almunia, diaby etc – i cannot understand why he keeps reserve players like randall, hoyte and co either. IF his budget is lmited, sell them, generate funds from the sub standard players that we have (and there are plenty) and just buy who we need, not a silvestre, squilli etc kind of signing either)

    4 players, proper players, that is all we need and have done for the last 4/5 seaons…

  22. We have needed a GK since Jens left
    A CDM since Paddy left
    A goal scorer since Henry left and Dudu got injured
    A winger since Pires left

    Its not rocket science….

  23. Morning all.
    Now I thought this post was a well thought out piece, it does make sense and I thoroughly enjoyed the read, although I am not a great lover of long posts, my only criticism is that the author has decided to remain anonymous. I would have liked to have read this, when the system was introduced, from the Manager or the Board, to explain their plans. But I expect, to deliver news like this to supporters, who only want their club to win things, is quite a hard task. I certainly wouldn’t like to be informed that my club wouldn’t be competitive for ten years, it would really get up my nose, and Knowing that we will not win anything may have dampened my ardour. It also doesn’t help being told for several years, that funds are available and not using them, as this sounds to me a con, to keep supporters paying their money.Now if there is any truth in this post, i can now understand why supporters are now considering peaceful walks to inform the club of their feelings.

  24. Although this makes for an interesting read, this is the most mediocre and tasteless article I’ve ever read. It even makes Wenger and the Board look more stupid than they already do. *if you buy an expensive 27-year old defensive midfielder, that position is suddenly locked down for almost 5 years, hindering the development of an internal player* I guess whoever wrot this article knows nothing about management. The essence of any personnel employed is to achieve results and deliver targets. Arsenal Football Club should not be a training facility for very young footballers. We have a youth set up and a reserves side for development. If you buy a 27 year old experienced player, the young player will learn a lot from him, and will have the opportunity to be integrated gradually into the set up. Manchester United have perfected this very well. The Class of ’99 has been replaced with a budding youthful setup with key experienced players to guide and motivate the side. What we have at Arsenal is a situation where kids who haven’t learnt the entire concept of the game are thrust in too early to handle responsibilty and hard criticism when they should actually be under the shadows of experienced players spotlight. Walcott,Bendtner,Ramsey,Gibbs,Denilson are talented players alright, but the demands of the game have been too much. All sides that achieve greatness need balance,leadership and drive. In your current squad set up, there are no players with medals to make the others envy. I understand that people like you enjoy the top 4 finishes and almost syndrome that is Arsenal but youth development should not curtail success on the pitch. Leaving Wenger and these kids for another decade will not guarantee success. Do you think these young kids will stay here forever and be satisfied with top 4 finishes,NEVER! They will all move on. Wenger and the Board should use the Youth set up and Reserves to develop and recruit the best possible players to challenge for silverware. This whole developmental project is setting this club back 5 years… It is very retrogressive. It has failed and we should all cut our losses and start something new.

  25. nealmustgo

    but all the time he is saving money under this current board they will just accept his downfalls, we have been saying on here that wenger needs a proper boss, someone to take him to one side and give him a rocket up the butt and tell him coming second, third etc just isn’t good enough..

    Fans want trophies and a side worthy of OUR club…

  26. Gunnerpete, good comment and cannot disagree with any of it…

  27. Hi Steve, i wish the author was here too as i am not convinced by the theory, despite how convincing it sounds..

    Like you, i wouldn’t accept a contract knowing ‘my’ team wouldn’t win anything for this period of time, like you said yesterday, a true winner would have walked..

    but, 6 million a year is a lot to walk away from…

  28. Hi Rico

    The amount of money saved is not relavent to us as it’s not our club or our money. It’s a privately owned business. The board will be difficult to remove indeed, as they are not responsible for pleasing us, only the shareholders

  29. Bob is close to the truth

  30. I see the Duke of Edinburgh and his squeeze have just left the palace with his Arsenal shirt on that he opened our stadium with.

  31. That’s just it amband, the last few years have been about saving money, paying off debt and the board making money… this board won’t go… yet…

  32. :lol: Steve, you watching too then…

  33. The blog writer’s article talks about a “ten year strategy”.When was this officially announced as club policy ? I don’t believe it was. Sounds to me like the author has retro fitted this, and his “wave” theory to justify our failure, and cover Wenger’s arse.
    As I said : it’s spin, devised to desperately explain away the manager and team’s shortcomings.We could see Wenger’s faults last season.Some( not me, by the way )were willing to give him one more year to see if his faith in the kids bore fruit. It hasn’t, and for a number of reasons.
    Watch during the off season for him to trot out the same lines on why he can’t /won’t strengthen the team; how “the right players aren’t available”, how the price is always just out of our range,that bringing in older players “will kill the kids” e.t.c. e.t.c. These and other excuses, so he can continue his obsession with doing things HIS way.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  34. The Queens an Arsenal fan and she’s pissed off with Wenger too

  35. Surprised no one picked up on the heading but aren’t we talking 6 years not 7? Either way it’s a while, but its a lot shorter than the bulk of the premier league. One of the big points missed is the last few months is that the bulk of the pundits were writing Arsenal off this year, suggesting we would possibly miss the top 4…..For me Man City and Chelsea are the real losers this year as the expectations on them were immense…but of course no one is talking about that.

  36. More X factor fans spouting there X factor rubbish,Short termism to the Extreme,
    Scottie Parker!! Some must have Crystal balls if they could preview the fact he would have a great season at his age, he has been a bit art player at all the top clubs he has played for,this year with reguler games he has looked OK——-for a bottom three side, Hardly tough competion,+ in tha last few weeks has been injured !!!
    Shay given.Been out injured for much of the last 18 months,not considered good enough to be first chioce keeper at Man City, just remind me are they in front of us in the league or not??
    Gary Cahill, if Cahill was a CL standard centreback he would already be an England reguler,he is 25 not 19 you know, he is a decent player not a new messiah a Ferdinand, Vidic or Terry he is not,Steady ,reliable probably,capable of propelling a side to greatness I very much doubt it.
    For Asenal to BUY a midfield player he needs to be better than the current encumbants. Cesc,Samir,Jack or Alex Song.Just pop down the local Waitrose and find one will you !!
    Of all the recent midfield transfers I can only think of Two who would fit into our first team.
    Alonso £35Million or Yaya Toure £27Million, + £10 Million a year, Big money has been spent on Milner,Barry,Aquilani,Ramirez,None of these players would get a game in our first team,
    people cant just talk about going out and buying players as if they were Contestants on X Factor ,these top players have to be nurtured from within on most occaisions because if buying them you can usually only get what others dont need or want.

  37. Spectrum,

    I wish the author was here for just that reason, i think it’s one man/womans own opinion. Parts of it make some kind of sense but…

    Where does the Stan and Usamonov stuff come into it?

  38. You are on form Steve, Harry looks pretty fed up too ;)

  39. Steve, can HM throw the bastard in the Tower?

  40. Steve of Chiang Mai – It’s been seven years without winning the league ( last won it in 2004 )six since we last won the F.A. Cup, I think it was, and then only luckily.
    This year has been the best chance we’ve had to win the league.Our rivals have been below standard. In fact, at times you wonder if anyone wanted to win it – they’ve all dropped points.If we’d played to our fullest potential, we COULD WELL have done it.But again Wenger’s ( and the team’s ) failings have resulted in us falling short.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  41. Spectrum, that is why it said 7, it did say 6 but i changed it – always forget about that robbery we committed in 2005 ;)

  42. Traitors gate Amband

  43. rico, only cause his Dad wasn’t invited Hewitt

  44. I wonder what Harry said Wills, i believe he was looking at Pippa just before ;)

    He’s a naughty one ;)

  45. Before you slag of an article, write one yourself.

  46. Tsk Tsk Steve :)

  47. Hi Will, have i missed one…

  48. Just some of the responses Rico. from people who haven’t written a word.

  49. Will, we’ll always get some who come on, leave a insult and go… They are not worth responding to without they want a debate…

  50. The sister of Arsenal and England footballer Jack Wilshere has been convicted of smashing a glass into a man’s face during a pub row.

    Rosie Ann Wilshere, 22, was found guilty of causing actual bodily harm by Cambridge crown court. Her victim, 27, a worker at the pub in Pirton, Hertfordshire, lost four front teeth and suffered lip damage. The argument was about who was calling an ambulance for his friend, who had collapsed.

    Wilshere, of London Colney, was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay her victim £3,000. Her brother was cautioned for assault last November after a brawl.

  51. morning….re slagging off the article, my sentiments entirely will/rico!

  52. I took a girl out years ago from London Colney rico, they can be quite demanding from that part of the world she almost crippled me but she had the stamina to be a holding midfielder

  53. Hi Lee

    It always happens and i feel sorry for people who have nothing more to give other than a slagging off for a well written article which someone has put in a lot of effort and time in doing.

    It’s someones opinion, he/she is not saying it’s factual, just their view of AFC’s possible plan…

  54. But she’d be over 30 now Steve, wenger would have sold her ;)

  55. That’s true rico, i ditched her when she started looking at my pint

  56. You shouldn’t have kept your pint in your pocket Steve :oops:

  57. I can see where the author is coming from but the only thing I do question is this “killing” myth we have about young players.

    If by bringing in a top class player, it stops a young player from making it, doesn’t that mean the young player is not as good as the new player so we are better off?

  58. Liverpool are the latest club being linked to Clichy and Caughtoffside reckon Benzema will join us

  59. It does Will, also, how many youth players are we buying, surely its getting to the point where youth is actually killing youth…

  60. Clichy for reina plus benzema…..that’s a start Rico :)

  61. Good start too Lee ;)

    I’d be surprised re the clichy story though, the dippers have a few good young ones coming through, we saw them…

    reina story changes daily, one day he is staying the next he is wanting out… how old is he now?

  62. I don’t have anything against a youth policy as long as it doesn’t interfere with the team, if we have not got what we need in the youth at the club then there shouldn’t be any problems with buying a player, we must still maintain the squad. As with the reserves, when their chance comes, its up to them to make an impression. I believe to be true to your players Manager and supporters you must always be prepared to replace as and when needed. Our Playing team stands us in about forty mill, not fortunes as far as football teams go, and one of them could go for round about that figure, where’s the problem.

  63. That is also my gripe Steve, we keep ploughing youth into the club which is all well and good for the future, but i think wenger is holding on to a few who will never cut it no matter how many clubs they go on loan too, be ruthless and get rid.

    Also, while wenger is looking so far ahead he is losing sight of the here and now, but it’s the here and now which is more important…

    Future is fine but not to the detriment of the present…

  64. Yeah, I don’t clichy will go there Rico nor will reina join us (28 I think)…..

  65. Nah, we need an older keeper, just to help out while Ches gets ready to take over for good…

    Clichy will prob end up staying too :(

  66. Best thing written about our suituation and why supporters need to learn about our club and why we have gone down this route.The club have set the foundations for decades to come,only Wenger could of set this in motion,not Morinoooh,Sir Alex or Pep they would and could never have got even half of what our man has done for us.

    .

  67. 6 years though BB, aren’t you getting a bit fed up with just being 2,3 4th best? Hearing Wenger say 2nd place in the league is sucessful?

    Wenger has done a lot for us, but he’s been gradually undoing all the good …

  68. I read the post carefully and deserves some reflection. I will write later a post a more elaborate.
    Two questions: a) Highbury would have to be replaced more years less years. It has been a renovation performed by many other clubs and other, will do so soon.
    b) A case study: F. c. Porto. In 2003/2004 built his new stadium. Titles won at the time and since then:
    Champions League: 2003/2004
    UEFA Cup – 2002/2003
    Intercontinental Cup – 2004/2005
    League – 2002/2003, 2003/2004, 2005/2006, 2006/2007, 2007/2008, 2008/2009, 2010-2011
    Cup – 2002/2003, 2005-2006, 2008/2009, 2009/2010
    Charity Shield: 2002/2003, 2003/2004, 2005/2006, 2008/2009, 2009/2010
    Step on top of other ranks and titles in other sports Basketball, Handball, Roller Hockey, Swimming …
    Additionally, The presence in the Champions League this year has been steady except that maybe in the final in Europe League.
    And in Portugal, every year has 3 clubs figthing fot tilrs: Porto, benfica and sporting

  69. morning all. i may be in the minority, but i enjoyed the article and offer my compliments to the anonymous author…several good points raised…the theory, i believe, is laudable, but the application is where some things have gone wrong.

    my biggest concern is that yet again, our players have seen the season collaspse in a few short weeks, and i am concerned about the mental scars these collapses leave. i think we are at a crossroads – either push on, win something and start making winning a habit, or become a collection of talented players who continue to fall just short…

    i know a lot has been made about “new signings” – in fact, i think i saw a couple in the reserve match last night, in the form of a certain t. vermaelen and j. aliadiere…i don’t think we need to spend big. rather, i think that besides the mental fragility, one of our biggest problems is that we seem to get very little out of much of our lineup. if we can crack that code, get the best out of our other forwards, i think we will be better set up for success.

    regardless, i don’t think we are quite on track. this may be a long term plan, but i don’t think the manner in which we have recently fallen short is part of it. neverthless, i think there are things we can do internally to get ourselves back on track.

    good post – again…

  70. Hi JM, thats quite interesting about Porto, they managed to move and still achieve success. Is the league as tough as the PL??

  71. morning oliver..

    i enjoyed the article too, i think it’s a really interesting point of view.

    i also don’t believe we need to buy big, what we do need though is any players we sign, must have the right attitude. We don’t need anymore ‘fragile’ players, we need tough battlers who will give their all.

  72. Why the LOL about anonymous amband??

  73. oliver – do you think wenger will re-sign Aliadiare??

  74. Craig Eastmond has broken his ankle in training….

  75. rico, i’ve held the suspicion that arsene’s over-protectiveness contributes to this collective mental weakness we are seeing in the squad…i have said it before, and i’ll say it again – if he could just back off it sometimes, perhaps the players will be better for it.

    when he talks about the players not getting what they “deserve”, it calls up images of a group of self-entitled prima-donnas with an automatic right to win. mind you, i don’t think our players are that, but i think exposure to reasonable, constructive criticism is part of the growing process.

    if he has exception to some of the virtiolic stuff – i think many of us do – then deflect that. but i think he often shields them from legitimate criticism, which they need to hear and consider.

  76. good comment oliver, they are too pampered, over protected and over paid at too young an age imho..

    It’s all been too easy for them both on and off the pitch. Players have no other players breathing down their necks either, desperate to take their place..

    Look at Nikki B, he tells the world how good he is but doens’t come on from the bench and show wenger why he whould be first choice does he..

    It’s all too easy, they thought that when they had to face b’ham didn’t they… Talked about who would collect the trophy, they needed to win it first…..

  77. That’s one off the lists of outs, could be a good time to get injured

  78. do think that our players casual attitude towards league cup final was by design? that arsene intentionally had them show up in tracksuits and headphones because he may have wanted them to approach it as “just another game”? that he knew that the players were nervous – make that scared – and this was his idea of getting them to relax? intentional or not, it backfired, as fear was evident as soon as they kicked off, manifested in the szczesny – bowyer incident where we should have conceded a penalty and probably have been a man down.

    i have little tolerance for “little man, big mouth” medicorities such as craig gardner, but he was correct when he said our players were “petrified”. he is completely wrong if he thinks that we were petrified of a collection of ordinary journeymen we easily brushed aside in two prior league fixtures – our players were petrified by the possibility of failure. and it inhibited them throughout, and undid them right at the end.

    i wish they would deal with this, fight through it and overcome it. arsene’s constant public protectiveness, however, gives them reasons not to face up to it…or do anything about it.

    i’m no psychologist and don’t profess to be. but our players have hinted – even admitted – they are scared of united. united will take the pitch on sunday chasing a record 19th title. we will take the pitch with nothing to play for other than champions league seeding. who do you think will walk out there more tense, nervous and apprehensive? it should be united, considering what they are chasing. recent events suggest it will be us. if we can just shake this fear, play smart and work hard for the full 90 minutes, we can easily give united a similar beating to the one we gave chelsea around the new year…

  79. But who will buy him injured Steve?

  80. rico, i think aliadiere will be a mistake. he was undistinguished, to say the least, when he was with us. i don’t think he will give us much – he’s a veteran, but what kind of experience can he add?

    if arsene does give him a contract, i think it will fuel the image that our club is a place that out-of-work former players can return to and latch on when nobody else is interested. i cannot see what he would give us.

  81. Precisely rico, but what’s he done for anyone to want to buy him.

  82. Seeing us turn up at Wembley like that was embarrasing, we were totally disrespectful to the occassion.

    Was it Foster who said we had 10/11 great players, but they have a team…. Spot on…

    Our players are getting used to not winning, that is exactly why we need a few experienced winners bought in, change is needed desperately, not in droves but just in 3/4 areas….

    Re Sunday, we play better when we face the better sides, i think we will see a good game with our players really up for this one…

  83. I don’t want him in the reserves let alone the first team, i hope its right that wolves are looking to sign him….

    Nothing, cut our losses and take him off the payroll Steve, Hoyte and Randall too..

  84. Have to pop out for a bit, catch up later…

  85. rico, we played great in the home fixtures against chelsea and barcelona – but those were before this prolonged, morale-sapping, eight week run of two wins in all competitions. i am very concerned that this team is completely different than the one that pounded chelsea and came back to win against barcelona. i am concerned that the past eight weeks have sucked any confidence and belief that we can beat united. i am concerned that we are seeing a tailspin that will last through the final whistle at craven cottage…

    i hope they prove me wrong – we need the win a lot more than united at the point, but i am worried they are the ones who will take the pitch believing – knowing – they will win, while our players will walk about there already thinking “here we go again”…

  86. The source of Arsenal’s troubles? We know AW goes the France for talent

    French football bosses asked to explain ‘race quota’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13236864

  87. I said some time back that goalkeeping was a big problem for us, and what we have were accidents waiting to happen, Czez was lucky against Birmingham but he wasn’t with Lennon, he will continue with mistakes like that, and it will hurt us badly, Leyman steps in and helps out and I thought to myself that’s a bad move, only to see him perform the same way as in the final in the champions league, i could have been watching the same player, rash decisions will cost you every time. In my opinion the first money we spend should be on a proven keeper, I watched one the other night I Neuer, I know we cannot tempt him, but that’s the kind of keeper you build from. Stability at the back is a must for a team that is going to win things, 30mill on quality is an investment for years and that position shouldn’t be taken lightly.

  88. ao what do you get for 50 mill? Two excellent players?

  89. Well that’s the question, How much would you say is in the pot, i don’t believe there’s a lot, a possible sale on Fabregas, where’s he going do you think Barca still want him as they have money problems and have a youth program as well, and where else would he want to play, so where’s our money coming from

  90. And Man City away oliver, when they were down to ten ;)

    I hope they put in a showing, we are at home and we fans deserve to end the season with our team trying…

    Whether they do, remains to be seen…

  91. Steve, i hoping Chesneys silly error are just down to inexperience, he has the height, the attitude and belief, i think in time he will convince you but right now, i honestly think what we need is an older keeper to help him and let him have the time to grow…

    We get a younger one and he’ll go, Seaman reckons he will be top class…

  92. Hey, it’s Rico and the gang. Been looking out for this site, must remember the name.

  93. I liked the post. It’s an interesting point of view. Justify failures but stumbles in successes. I gave the “case study ” of Porto. Could give Benfica, Bayern, etc. All had a new stadium but life continued in its yearning for results and titles.
    The season is not over yet although it is extremely difficult to have a positive surprise. 1st question: was it worth, the option of fighting for the Carling Cup with the best team, unlike the previous years? Not led to an erosion in an overload of games on many players, as reflected in the other three major competitions? 2nd question: It is interesting to fight on four fronts, but we must set priorities. 3rd question: This “summer” of reflection has to be well thought out. It is very likely the end of a cycle of players having won nothing, will mark the history of Arsenal. Fans do not support more years of empty hands. And this year, there is no World Cup, the championship of Europe, etc to justify the absence of holiday workouts without all the players, etc.. 4th question: I do not run behind the “stars” or good players elsewhere. Purchases must be thought to add something positive to the team. Robinho, for example, cost a fortune and did not add anything positive to City. Like everything in life there are good deals and bad deals. Then there are various variables difficult to control.
    I’ll talk a little bit of “case study “.

  94. G4L, Good to see you here.. :)

  95. 50M will get wenger 3/4 good players amband ;)

    I think its said we have 40M but that will be 75 if we sell cesc, but he’s not for sale according to Arsene…

  96. The article would have been correct in the beginning, but life is dynamic and things changed.

    We could have had sporting success during this transitional period, too many mistakes have been made and that’s not ok, at all.

  97. Porto is a success in football and various other modalities for several years at all levels.
    In football, has been the subject of various conjectures and the model is being “copied” by others, especially Benfica and Sporting.
    Their teams, based on a goalkeeper to give experienced and reliable, a solid defense and a number of talented players in midfield and attack, balanced at any level with bench players capable of holding free program from replacing the lost income. Where does the players come? From Porto schools, other Portuguese clubs and the South American market. Below is a bet on a coach which if successful, it remains a cycle with the team that formed (one cycle may be 3 years, 4 years, not much more). A young, ambitious, with a winning profile and shaped “the port”. Players that cost 50, are revalued in that period and then sold for a higher price. For this, there are clauses in the contract in which a player to be sold, the offer has to start soon in such value. Hulk, for example, should be a clause of 40 million. In Porto, only to sell you interested by this value, because Hulk still has a lot to the club.
    And what is modeled “the Porto”? I do not know, but something like this: Porto is Portugal’s second city, set in a very important and many people, but he sees tilted in relation to the capital Lisbon. Porto, represents a union, disciplined, rigorous, against centralism that you see on your club the most representative way to make yourself heard and show that it exists. Similar to Barceloan and Madrid.
    Then there are a lot of “scouts” and a bet on youth. No team is formed not have someone who is clearly identical with the club since very early and / or longer stays at the club a few years. For example, Helton, Brazilian goalkeeper, and is 6 years ago, is now the captain and one of the olders. Have internalized what is to be Port. Player who has not served or not adapted to have sold or dispensed. There is also a policy of transfer of many young players, hired or not, the other clubs. And a discipline and a strong disciplinary code at the club. Nothing transpires without official channels. Boby Robson who coached Porto sporting and said one day that this club everything is different. If you lose a game, the supporters of the street approached him to ask “how was it possible, mister?”
    Finally, Porto builds teams. Do not buy big names but seeks to build cohesive teams, made ​​up of good players who make a club and then the cycle will be profitable. The previous year, Raul Meireles, was part of the squad, but knew of interest from big clubs. This season, made the preparation, did not play because I knew that would be sold but the team was already prepared for replacement. Its output has become so natural like the Bruno Alves, formed the club, captain and wide seasons at the club. The cash inflow has allowed several players to acquire at prices far cheaper, and form a new team to “forget” these two players. Main objective of the season: win the championship again and reach the Champions League (the only year when there were not) and focus on the Europa League.

  98. hi rico…cesc’s future is a fascinating topic for me, but one i am not prepared to discuss until after the final, final whistle of this season. as with everything in life, there are both pro’s and con’s for sanctioning a sale this time…

    the only comment i will make at the moment is that i do not believe for an instant that arsenal will not do business, provided certain conditions exist – never mind what arsene just said about it.

  99. G4L&B (thats a mouthful ;) )

    imho, where we have mucked up is keeping too many who haven’t got it in them and paying a wage to the likes Silvestre, Cygan, Squilli, Eboue etc etc along the way – and keeping hold of crocks ie Rosicky and now Diaby..

    Some would say RvP too but when he plays he earns his money…

  100. JM

    And this bit is where we go wrong for a start:

    ‘Their teams, based on a goalkeeper to give experienced and reliable, a solid defense’

    How long have we had a dodgy keeper and a few dodgy players in front of him??

  101. ‘Porto builds teams. Do not buy big names but seeks to build cohesive teams, made ​​up of good players who make a club and then the cycle will be profitable’.

    Wenger used to do this so well….

  102. oliver, we cannot avoid it, it’s going to be a long summer full of will he, won’t he…

    Persoanlly i don’t give two hoots anymore, as long as wenger uses the money to make us stronger..

    One thing on the transfer topic though which i think is quite funny, we fans have had to endure a big player exit rumour for so long now…

    I came home and sky sports news story is all about VdV, Bale and Modric..

    ‘If Spurs fail to qualify, will they seek CL football elsewhere’

    Welcome to our world….

  103. we’ll see how it goes. i am not for speculating about this player or that player coming in – particularly when a few games still remain on the slate. nevertheless, i think we can solve many of our current problems with more efficient utilization of existing resources. that, and eliminating the over-protection of the squad.

  104. arsene has rightly praised man united’s little pea. i do wish he refrained from mentioning that he was “on our radar” – that is neither here nor there in the context of sunday’s match, and brings memories of the “we almost signed ronaldo comments”…

    as well as chicharito has done this season, if he were here, i don’t think he would do nearly as well, not in our system. he should have had at least two goals in the fa cup tie – al denied him with one great save – but united play to his strengths. at arsenal, i think those strengths would be nullified in a role supporting robin, as chamakh/bendtner’s best attributes seem to have been.

  105. heh heh…in one breath, i say that i wish arsene didn’t mention how we were tracking chicharito; in the next, i discuss my opinion of how he would do in our current team…great job offering advice to our manager – poor job of applying said advice to self…

  106. I’m actually quite excited about some of those coming up from the reserves oliver – bartley has had a cracking time at Rangers, so much so they want to keep him, Lansbury has also had a massive input to Norwich chasing promotion and Chucks and Afobe should be there or there abouts too…

    Then of course we have those on loan trying to get their visa’s…

  107. so whats then.. A few waves still to come :(

  108. Hi STV, we are just a summer away from greatness ;)

    And lets whip the Mancs on Sunday and put a dent in their PL hopes :)

    Mind you, dont want the Chavs winning it either, which is the lesser of two evils??

  109. The way i see it is, we can’t even win a game against a lower team, so stopping Man Utd Sunday is going a bit far, Red nose must be looking forward to rubbing Wengers nose in it again Sunday, he knows that our players are not looking forward to this one at all, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the news starts coming in of players injuries before the game.Wenger better take a crate of bottles out with him as there will be a bit of throwing and kicking going on. If I was Wenger I would issue every player a bottle to walk on with and in his team talk explain to the players to look at that bottle just before kick off, just to remind them that without bottle they will get an almighty walloping.
    It may be a good time for all supporters to hold up a bottle prior to kick off, can you imagine what kind of response there would be at the first player to pull out of a tackle.

  110. :lol: Steve, but even Jose was kicking bottles the other night ;)

  111. They do say that Arsene is a leader of new ideas rico

  112. Not sure that is such a good one for him to be setting an example for though, he should know better Steve…

  113. Howdy all.its been a long and boring day…interesting read though.

  114. Hi Kt, actually I have had a wonderful day, the Royal Wedding was just fabulous, I loved evry minute… :)

  115. I saw Waths list the other night and was quite impressed by the effort he put in on it, and thought that he would start a lists war but things were quiet, and as I had fell asleep in the chair and woke to read it after everyone had gone to bed, sorry Wath. I have a good idea, we should start from the back and replace as the money comes in, that way we know where we are. Where Wengers idea will take ten years to come to fruition my idea takes five years, buy two quality players a year and in five years time you have a full team. But as long as you buy quality you should see results in the first eighteen months, or does that sound to easy.

  116. Steve – i felt pretty bad about that too – i had a whinge about eboue and squilli but that was it really…

    WATH mentioned a couple of players who i know nothing about, the dutch CH and matt jarvis being just two. I know Jarvis is on the fringe of england but sadly being part of england means little these days…

    i may go back and get the list and have another think…

  117. Wenger should have already been doing that Steve – now, he’s on his last chance – i don’t think most fans will take another season like our last six, i just hope he knows it too…

  118. Anyway Steve, a while ago you sent me a post, i held onto it and we both agreed it should hit the trash.

    That was just before we reached our first cup final, we were still in the CL, the FA Cup and sat top of the league…

    I should have just posted it as right now……

  119. I did not catch even a minute of it but i’ve heard it was breathtaking…and whats the fuss about kate’s dress?i’ve never understood all the fuss about those gowns as they all look similar to me.

  120. I think you could be wrong there rico, Arsenal have confused me, it seems to me that its only supporters like us that seems bothered about our form, the powers at be seem quite happy with their lot, and as you said earlier if your getting six mill a year why rock the boat. I expect nothing but Groundhog for a while yet.

  121. KT evening, had to have a little look to see where all our moneys gone, she did look quite nice but the Maid of honer looked well fit, wouldnt mind buying her a brown ale, i reckon the old duke of E will be sniffing round her later.

  122. That post you were talking about rico, i believe we decided that it was not in the best interest of the team and the club at that particular time, but at least it showed fore thought by a couple of Gooners that care.

  123. I’ve just seen how pippa middleton was dressed today…yummy!

  124. Steve, thats it in one, we care about being the best, the board care about the bank balance… it’s utter B****x isn’t it – why take part if you don’t want to win…..

  125. From a ladies point of view, i thought Pippa looked as stunning as the bride – and William and Harry just looked wonderful, full of smiles, good looks and happiness….

  126. I am surprised by how stunning pippa looked.never thought…

  127. Mourinho has dropped Ronaldo from the squad after criticizing the style of play after the barca CL match.

  128. He’s a bold man Kt….

  129. Mourinho may have his faults but you can’t question his ability to make big decisions.he is the boss and is letting Ronaldo know that.

  130. and i got slated for suggesting wenger would drop cesc after his i/v….

    mmmeeeeee

  131. Ok, i’m done for the day,

    Catch up tomorrow night all….

  132. Before we cna ever think of which direction Arsenal FC is heading, these matter msut be settle in Julky to enable Arsene Wenegr to plan for pre-season training in August:

    1 – Sell FAbregas quickly to enable Arsene Wenger to persuade Nasri to sign that contract extension to build the future FULRUM in Nasri-Wilshere-Ramsey-Song-“New Buy”.

    2 – Decide on which CB to sign to stabilise the Defence. Sell Clichy by July if he refuses to sign by 30-June.

    3 – Sell Rosicky, Arshavin, Bendtner, Chamakh and Vela and firm up Forwards you need to buy in July.

    4 – If Wenegr refuses to buy and still retian this same bunch…”sell” Wenger on July 1, 2011.

    Without (1), (2) & (3), you will still end up with a bunch of bottlers who will collapse when the pressure is on.

  133. Merlin, i will re post your comment so it’s seen…

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