Stand Down Arsene, Stand Down Please!

September 27, 2010

“I see no chance of your bright new tomorrow, so stand down Arsene”.

That’s how the lyrics of the song goes or something like that anyway.
Today someone called into the radio station I was listening to and said that their was 30% of all Arsenal supporters that attend the games want Arsene out and after Saturdays debacle it is rising. But wouldn’t it be a shame that a man who has guided us from being a just above average club in the Premiership to one of the four richest clubs in the world, building a half billion pound stadium and winning four Premierships and a few other cups along the way gets pushed out.
Just because of the lack of a few minor tweeks to the team: The goalkeeping position being the main one that is frustrating supporters at the moment he is managing to heap a whole tonne of pressure on himself.

If he doesn’t win anything this season I firmly believe the knives will seriously be out, like I said earlier what a pity that would be.
If he went now he would leave the club in as healthy a state as any club without a sugar daddy in the world, you just know what will happen, a manager like Guardiola could come in and he would have virtually an open cheque book, he would have the Royal Bank of Arsenal, plus this and next years profits to buy whoever he wanted and pay some of the highest wages. He could even borrow a few hundred grand and we still would be as rich as the Dippers or Man Scum.
And what a hero he would be after Arsene set it all up for him on a plate.

I know Arsene is a professor of the big bad business world, but surely he can see that a club as big as ours will need to win trophies sooner rather than later, unlike other businesses the goods come in feel good factor ness, over a rio for a season ticket is a lot of dosh and some fans only like to back winners it their escape from everyday life, and unfortunately in this day and age we have encouraged that type of fan in to spend money and if he spends money he has a say.

I suppose you have to give your customers what they want in any business and although we are in the entertainment business unlike other entertainment businesses no-one is entertained if we lose, just angry frustrated and disappointed.

So we have lived on our past glories and got the stadium for nearly six years, we are in a very manageable financial state so the business needs to focus on what we all play, watch and follow football for, to compete and win and not to prove a point like as if you could win the Le Mans 24hr motor race in a diesel car.. You could always try to do it the easy way.

All I ask of Mr Wenger OBE is please don’t just try to win this football race by an inch, lap the competition, that is something you are more than capable of doing.
The anti-Arsene squad are already starting to get their momentum up and you don’t need the grief. Just prove how good you are and they can crawl back under the stone from which they appeared.
But you just know what they will say.. “We have been telling Arsene to do that for years”.

So Arsene, as the old adage goes “Don’t spoil the ship for an ha’peth of tar”.

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Arsenalisation, Signings and (zzzzz) Cesc.

July 25, 2010

It’s good to hear that the North Bank and the Clock End with clock included, will be back next season as the Arsenalisation machine continues..I think the club realised last season that 60,000 scarfs placed on seats at a cost of pittance was a bit of a shitty way to get the fans giddy, so they’ve invested some more money into bringing back some of the old memories.. Since the move to the The Emirates the club has lost its identity a little. This is a good way of getting it back and the fans will have a proper feel good vibe about the place. Hopefully it will spread into the squad and the club as a whole..I think its a good move I just hope it’s not coming out of the transfer kitty..

I really hope these are the first steps in creating a better atmosphere around the place. The North Bank and Clock End are a good idea but that was Highbury and Highburylisation isn’t the answer..It’s not a substitute for success. The Emirates needs its own identity and the way to do that is trophies. They are the best kind of memories. Nobody will be sat in the pub in 5 years time and say to their mates with pride;

“remember that game in 2011 when we had 99% possession but lost 3-0 and Denilson had the best stats”

What a boring, unambitious and downbeat way to talk about the team you love. It should be more like;

“remember that game in 2011 when Denilson hit a 30 yard screamer into the top corner in the 93rd minute? Won us the game and the league and 60,000 of us sat and watched the presentation of the best league trophy in the world at the best stadium in the world. What a day for the arsenal”

The Emirates needs that kind of memory. The only way to kick-start our ambitions and prove we are actually going for the title and not some fingers crossed, half arsed attempt like we are usually do is the need to sign players of quality, good enough to improve the squad because we obviously aren’t developing them as quickly as Wenger expected..

We are doing ok at the moment but we are spending nothing and every time we face a big opponent we get schooled. We aren’t as good as them but imagine how good we’d be with a few more quality players?

The important thing to remember here, is that Wenger said he’s got the money. He said that the financial shackles had been lifted and he had the money to compete with Chelsea. Although we obviously can’t afford to compete with them on wages, transfer fee wise we could sign anyone we wanted. The wage package Chelsea could offer players would make them a bigger attraction for a target, but they can’t sign everybody can they? Which Wenger also pointed out..

Even Fizsmann has gone on record saying that if Wenger wanted £30mil to spend on players he could have it.. That was back in 2008 so imagine how much we have now?

Whether Wenger will spend it or not is a mystery..Everyone seems to think this will be the season Wenger must see he has to spend. He has no choice. We aren’t good enough to win the two (not four) trophies we aim for and we need to stop making excuses and start producing. Recent trends however,over transfer windows past suggest we don’t seem to do too well in the window and the trend seems to be continuing this year.

Chamakh excites me a little but he was free and I’m not that thrilled with Kos if I’m honest. We need more. We need about 3 more…

If we add to these signings and get another solid, take no prisoners CB, a keeper who has the ability and agile niftyness of a chimpanzee and a midfielder with the mental strength and winning mentality of the incredible hulk I’ll be over the moon.

I’m not saying let’s go out and spend £150 mil but £40 – £50mil should do the trick. With today’s market prices if we want good players we have to spend big. No messing about. If we can really compete with Chelsea then lets put our money where our mouths are. Stop talking about it and just do it. This is what we moved to The Emirates for, so we could compete for the best trophies with the ultimate opponents..

By the way I’ve got my new arsenal away kit for this season and yes I have got Cesc4 on the back. I’m not too happy about whats happened and I’m sure Cesc wasn’t innocent in the whole saga but he’s class and if he stays which i think he now will, I’ll support him…I just don’t want to see no badge kissing when he scores because its bollocks..


Sell Arshavin?? No wonder players take a tumble, Barca scum!!

July 13, 2010

Having watched the World Cup Final I can begin to understand why some players take a tumble rather that trying to stay on their feet in the penalty area.

I’m not talking about blatant dives, aka Drogba and Gerrard to name just two, I’m talking about the genuine ‘touch’ by a defending player, enough to cause a slight off-balance.

Robben could and should have won the WC for the Dutch. Not only did he miss the best opportunity of the game in 90 minutes but had he ‘gone over’ in the penalty area he would have been awarded a penalty. For once though, he stayed on his feet, tried to do the right thing, but knob-head Webb awarded nothing.

In fact Howard Webbs performance was not the best, but then I don’t rate him much anyway, it always seems about him when he referees rather than the game. He’s a bit of a show-pony.

Decisions like that though will not do the game any favours, it won’t help stamp out the diving in the box will it?

Talking of Webb and the other major muck up he made, De Jong should have been off, any other referee in the world would have sent him for an early bath, Webb bottled it. He then went on to deal so many cards out you would think he was in a casino rather than on a football pitch!

I look forward to when we face one of the many sides who like to ‘get in our faces’ and I hope Webb is the referee, I wonder if he be so protective of us… I doubt it, after all Arsenal are just Southern Softies aren’t they and need to toughen up…. Match of the Day could be fun too, the same pundits who suggest Holland were thugs, what will they say about Blackburn, Stoke etc…..

Anyway, that’s my last about the World Cup, I’m just glad it’s all over and without injury to any of our players, well, apart from the mysterious Nikki B injury of course…..

I saw those pictures on Sky Sports yesterday, not happy viewing was it? For those who haven’t seen it, here it is – How low can the Barca players go…. Cesc didn’t seem in too much of a hurry to remove the shirt, did he??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C36LisjvNuA&feature=player_embedded

Now this next bit is just my thoughts, not rumours, no speculation…

When Audrey Arshavin signed for us, I was possibly as happy as anyone. True enough, he had pretty much an instant impact, some even suggest it was his signing that secured us Champions League football at the end of that season.

However, has he really impressed you as much as you thought he would?

Apart from scoring against Liverpool, what else does he really bring to the side??

He’s lazy, selfish, injured and spends an awful lot of time declaring his love for another footballing side other than the one he plays for right now. I’m not sure he’s fully committed to Arsenal, as I said the other day, when the chips are down, great players step up – with Arshavin, when the chips are down he follows the chip!! (In more ways than one by the look of him)

At 29 years old, would you keep a lazy player or would you cash in and buy a player who is fitter, healthier, more hungry to win and has more desire to perform for the club who pays him rather than dream of another???

Well, would you??

Finally, Nikki B is due to become a father – blimey I thought, he’s finally got a shot on target 🙂

On that note, have a great day all….


Were we really that good in 2003/04?

June 21, 2010

Of course we were, we didn’t go a whole season without losing for no reason…..

Away from all the World Cup hype just for today, forget the goings on in the French and English camp, let’s go back in time and remember the 2003/04 season, the players and just how good we were. Not only were the  first eleven darn good, so were many of the players who had to suffer time on the bench. Look at then and then look and now….. 

Arsenal Invincible squad: ( not off the top of my head, help from google)

 Cole, Vieira, Keown, Pires, Ljungberg, Reyes, Bergkamp, Wiltord, Lauren, Taylor, Henry, Lehmann, Parlour, Edu, Cygan, Gilberto, Senderos, Pennant, Clichy, Campbell, Kanu, Toure, Aliadere, Stack

Arsenal today:
 
Manuel Almunia, Abou Diaby, Bacary Sagna, Cesc Fàbregas, Thomas Vermaelen, Tomáš Rosický, Samir Nasri, Eduardo, William Gallas, Robin van Persie, Carlos Vela, Theo Walcott, Denílson, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Song, Mikaël Silvestre, Jack Wilshere Johan Djourou, Łukasz Fabiański, Gaël Clichy, Andrei Arshavin, Vito Mannone, Emmanuel Eboué, Kieran Gibbs, Marouane Chamakh Armand Traoré, Sol Campbell, Nicklas Bendtner, Wojciech Szczęsny

By my count, back in the 2003/04  season we had seventeen top class players in that invincible squad!!

Looking at todays squad (not including Chamakh) I count we have eleven or maybe twelve at a push, so what does that say??

We have been saying for a while that we lack depth and strength, well apart from those who have funny coloured spectacles, and that quite clearly is the difference between then and now. Our current first eleven is strong and on its day is capable of beating any side in the world, but when injuries start to take their toll, our squad is exposed.

If you could pick two players from the invincible squad, pop them in Dr Who’s Tardis and bring them into the current day, who would they be, then come and tell us why you chose them…

Remember, they will be at the same stage of their career as they were in 2003/04. You can’t pick the keeper, I giving you him on a freebie 🙂

Those were the days…… 🙂


Almunia for England, Bobby Pires to return?

June 13, 2010

Robert Green dropped a doo-daa last night big time, anyone who thought he would be good for us must be thinking again after the England game. Flapianski and Almunia would have got a roasting from all Arsenal fans had they spilled such an easy ball. Yes I know, they both have and they did!! I can see though why Almunia thought he was good enough to represent England…..

I think we can safely say, or hopefully believe, that Arsene Wenger won’t think about making any bid for Green now, that’s if he did before!

Maybe in the next England game we’ll see Joe Hart, another favourite with many Arsenal fans.

I thought the game last night was awful, the pundits raved about how well England played, how Heskey was very strong and how Carragher’s experience can give England huge boost after he came on for the old King Crock. Capello must be wishing he took the other old boy now, Big Sol!

What rubbish, I thought Carragher could have easily been given a red card for a studs up tackle straight into the ankle of an American player…

If England think they have a chance of winning the World Cup, they’ll need to play a lot better than they did last night.

I know this is not Arsenal, but the big story in the News of the World today surrounds Nani of the Mancs. Reports are that he has failed a recent dope test which is why he was suddenly ruled out of the World Cup. Of course, the Portuguese Football Association are denying this rumour saying,

“Urine and blood samples were collected randomly. As far as we know, it all went well.”

That’s one to watch, if it transpires to hold any truth, I hope he gets the book thrown at him.

Rumours are going around that Bobby Pires is on his way back to England. No, not to us, but to our locals West Ham. I’d love it if this is true, it would be great to see him back playing in the Premier League, even if it’s not for us!
Another is that Arsenal have released William Gallas after his wage demands are too high. This one though is yet to be confirmed on afc.com.

‘Howard Webb rated better than Collina’ – No it’s not April 1st, it’s what Keith Hackett believes, he’s having a laugh surely, Collina was one of the best referees the game of football has seen, imho of course….

Thats it from me today, in fact for a week, I’m off on my holibobs tomorrow 🙂


New beginnings, or the beginning of the end for Arsene?

May 11, 2010

 

Arsene Wenger’s contract is up around this time next year and many fans think this summer transfer window is at a do or die stage for the most successful manager in the history of our club.

Five seasons have gone by though now and not a trophy in sight, apart from the Champions League in 2006 and the Carling Cup 2008, we haven’t even made it into any final of  any competition, which for a club like ours is not good enough and its and not right.

Over those five seasons we have gone from watching players give their all for the team, winning games as if its our devine right to do so, to now watching a few of our players just ‘turn up’ play for how ever many minutes they are asked to and not batting an eyelid when their number comes up to be substituted.

Why don’t we see our players give the boss a filthy look when then come off as if to tell him he was wrong with his decision, wrong because the player wanted to stay on the pitch and fight until the final whistle?  Hell, some even rush to sit down on the bench quicker than they have run around during the game!!

Is it because they don’t care enough deep down about their own performance and just want to collect their pay cheque each week?

Why haven’t we got players anymore like Tony Adams and Martin Keown, just two who would have shed blood for their club and team-mates? Just count how many of this current crop play the same way for the club that pays them a very healthy wage each week, there won’t be too many!!

I don’t know the answers, but I do think the lack of grit and attitude has cost us dearly over the years. Injuries have played their part too, but as Robin van Persie said, maybe it showed that our squad is a little bit short!!. Spot On Robin, we are short in depth and strength.

As much as I dislike the likes of John Terry and Wayne Rooney, you don’t often see them ‘giving up’ before the game is over.

Not for one minute am I suggesting its about having too many overseas players either, afterall you didn’t see Paddy or Petit giving up did you? It’s all about the player, the man and what is important to him. Football and Arsenal must come first, after that the money and that kind of player is hard to find – but find that kind of player is what Arsene Wenger surely has to do now, add experience and winners to this squad making it more durable.

Arsene Wenger has made some wonderful signings for Arsenal, Paddy, Henry, Gilberto, Petit, Overmars, Anelka…. I could go on, but along the way he has made some pretty average ones too, – Diaby, Denilson, Jeffers, Wright, Almunia, Fabianski… Again, I could go on and I am sure someone will mention Walcott 🙂

The old Arsene Wenger, you remember the one, the one none of us had really heard of. That man was one of the best signings for Arsenal, he got us used to winning again, he got us used to seeing the team hold trophies aloft again. I personally want to see that man back again. I  don’t even care if we stop seeing so much of this fancy football either as right now it no longer works. We have to stop all the passing now and again and have the balls to take a shot, Cesc has proved on more than one occasion that if you take a chance, you can score! We have the players who can take a shot, they need to be encouraged to take the risk every once in a while….

He’s done it before and I am sure he can do it again – If Wenger buys 2/3 players with some grit and steel this summer, it could very well be a new beginning, buy some young kid who has great potential and it could spell the beginning of the end for our boss and come the summer of 2011, Arsenal Football Club could well be looking for a new manager.

The club (Ivan Gazidis) have said we have money, don’t be too tight with it Arsene, for your own sake as well as ours…..

Make this a summer to remember, for all the right reasons….


So you think your Arsenal……………!

May 3, 2010

 

I bumped into a friend of mine a few days ago, she’s been a Gooner for years, not quite so far back to Herbert Chapman, but certainly through the George Graham era and beyond. She has also been a season ticket holder throughout that whole time and up until today.

She’s knocking on a bit now, but loves a good time, loves to be able to sit (used to love standing) and shout from her heart the support she held for our club, our players and of course, our team…

Since we moved to The Emirates though, her life in the Arsenal World has changed, she’d never been used to seeing people arrive after the first kick of the match, or leave before the final kick of the game…

‘The atmosphere just ain’t the same’ she said, ‘and the boys just don’t seem to have the heart they did years ago’.

She asked me a few questions about what goes on today, it made me think….

I chuckled with her, but all the same, deep down I knew what she said made sense. Things have changed, some for the better, much for the worse…

Do you feel the same as she or do you,

Get to the game ten mins late………………?
Leave 15 mins early…………………?
Do you  know where Highbury was….?
Do you know who David Rocastle was……….?
Can you name the team that won the game at Anfield in 89…? (without wikki)

In this day and age of jcl’s and corporate Ruperts, Tarquins and Gemima’s I wonder where all the real Arsenal fans are…?

The club charges us the highest ticket prices on the planet charges us a fortune for food and drinks inside the bowl and has basically frozen out the grass root fans who simply cannot afford to go to games anymore.

Is this why the atmosphere at games is so poor…?

Is it why so-called fans can’t be bothered to get to a game before kick off or leave ten mins before the end…?

Do they actually care about the football or Arsenal? Is it just a day out to tell their mates they “went to a game at the Emirates”…?

I don’t know the answers, but what I do know is, this friend of mine gives up a lot to keep renewing her season ticket year after year. Gone has the banter, gone has the fan based camaraderie, gone has a lot of the fun… But, she keeps on going as do many thousands, but are their many fans out there who would love to go to watch the club they support but can’t get a ticket?

If I had the money and if I lived near to The Emirates, so would I, but that’s because I love Arsenal. I sure as heck  don’t like the way things have gone though….

Today its Blackburn, no doubt the travelling fans will shout their hearts out, they always do. We need just one point, but I expect three today. I hate Fat Sam and every team he manages…. I hope we batter them good and proper.

We may not be playing for a trophy, but sure as heck we are playing for pride……