Arsène Does The Hokey Cokey

“You put your whole self in,
You put your whole self out,
In out, in out,
Fill us all with doubt…”

What’s going on with Arsène Wenger?

Is he in? (staying with us until his dotage, when he can emerge from the Emirates elevators like Young Mr Grace and say “you’ve all done very well” to mystified tea ladies and reserve team kit assistants)?

Or is he out, sulking off to Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City like your common or garden Mourinho?

In an interview with a French magazine (L’Equipe) Le Boss stated very clearly that he would be considering his Arsenal future at the end of the current season:

“Will I be there next season? I will be looking at the situation at the end of this season.”

He has not denied the comments or claimed he was misquoted.

So he’s on his way out then?

Well, not necessarily.

After the Norwich game he gave the following quotes to Arsenal.com:

“I wanted just to say that this is the Club of my life. I have a contract that I will honour and the only way I would one day consider [leaving] is if I feel I have not done well enough for the Club.
 There is no mixed message in there. My commitment and love for this Club is total. The only way I would consider [my future] is if I was not doing well enough for the Club.”

Great! He’s staying with us for life!

Er, not necessarily that, either.

What seems clear is that the best manager Arsenal has ever had has been badly spooked by the failure of the ‘Fabregas Team’ to win any silverware.

In his French magazine article he said:

“For the first time I lost young players who were reaching maturity. I suffered. It’s painful to lose key men you have invested a lot in”.

“What is hard is the feeling something is finishing. For me, we’re now talking short term.”

I suspect that Arsène has had a crisis of faith: both in himself, and in the nature of the modern player.

For five years, like an architect, he constructed a team that he felt would conquer all. Despite the constraints of the stadium move he convinced himself he could produce a squad that would be even better than the Invincibles.

He was wrong. In the end that team let him (and us) down.

It wasn’t all their fault – if Arsène had added two or three experienced professionals to the mix I suspect they would have at least won some cups, but it wasn’t to be.

Then, like a slap in the face, some of his most treasured assets upped sticks and left: Fabregas went to Barcelona ostensibly with Wenger’s blessing, but I believe that AW secretly thought he could persuade him to stay.

Clichy and Na$ri decamped to Abu Dhabi City – the former for a new challenge, the latter for a new Ferrari (every week).

The Na$ri case was a first for Arsène: a player who turned down his arguments about being part of a beautiful team playing the beautiful game in favour of bucket loads of filthy lucre.

For the first time Arsène was faced with losing prized assets when THEY wanted to go, not when HE wanted them to go.

Which brings us to now.

If you deconstruct Arsène’s quotes to L’Equipe and Arsenal.com, some things are clear: he will honour his contract with Arsenal (which means a minimum of two more years). But he will walk if he feels he can’t build success for us again.

Saying that he will be considering his position “at the end of the season” is not the same as saying he is thinking of leaving then. It means that next summer, he will give thought to whether he wants to extend his contract beyond its current bounds.

But by the same token, saying that Arsenal is “the Club of my life” is not the same as saying that “I will be at this Club for life”. Arsenal has undoubtedly been the “Club of my life” for Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira, but that does not mean they didn’t play for other teams subsequently.

The well-respected French journalist Philippe Auclair believes there are difficulties between AW and the Arsenal Board. If that’s right, it would further explain why Arsene is prepared to reconsider his position when his contract runs out.

But I have a funny feeling that necessity may be the mother of retention: that we may retain Arsene’s services beyond his current contract because of the love he will develop for the New Arsenal.

For all the sweat, blood, tears and hope he poured into the Fabregas Team, he may well find that the new team that has been forced upon him by circumstances touches his heart in a purer and simpler way.

When you look at how he has turned this 11th Hour Eleven into one of the best form teams in the EPL despite an appalling start, you can only stand back and say that the man is a genius.

He must be loving the intelligence and commitment of players like Arteta, van Persie, Santos, Vermaelen and Koscielny: players who (you feel) have a humility about them that their immediate predecessors lacked.

Frankly I can’t see how he will not come to love them.

I certainly hope so, because if he does decide to leave at the end of his current contract it will be a dark day for our club.

It has been a long time since anyone has trolled onto the Arsenal Arsenal site and appended “In Arsène We Rust” to the end of their ill-thought-out (and usually illiterate) comment.

On other sites, the “Arsène Out” noises are strangely muted.

After five years working with gold, Arsène has started working with iron – and against all the odds, the results are proving more robust and just as beautiful.

When his new creation comes fully to fruition I can’t see him walking away.

Which should mean he’ll extend his contract for five more years.

Thank the Good Lord Dennis.

RockyLives

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180 Responses to Arsène Does The Hokey Cokey

  1. SharkeySure says:

    (Auto paste) – Top quality Rocky

    See you Sat !

  2. Fatgingergooner says:

    The post is that good that it almost feels like commenting is graffiti!

    Great stuff RL, just what is needed on a Monday!

  3. Well Rocky, interesting points you raise there.

    This reminds me of a few years back when The Specious One was about to take over at General Franco’s team and Wenger said that Real Madrid “was an interesting project” and the phone hackers of Fleet Street thought that signalled some hardball tactics from Wenger in respect of his about-to-expire contract.

    In a similar manner he spoke of his interest in the “PSG Project” not so long ago when perhaps he felt he wasn’t being valued by the Club/board.

    To be blunt I’m not sure what to make of his interview in L’Equipe, although I will say just becasue a paper isn’t one fo the UK gutter press it is still more than capable of generating a story out of nothing and being deliberately obtuse to inflate a story.

    Incidentally – anyone think AvB will be out by Xmas ?
    The Russian isn’t known for his patience is he ?

    Ha ha ha !

  4. Richard Smith says:

    Top quality post.

    I think the teams since the invincibles have not been as good as they could have been because of wenger not signing the two or three quality players we needed to win things, and because the players have let everyone down.

    We are too reliant on injury prone, and soon to be out of contract players at the moment.

    Based on current form we will be royally screwed if RVP or Theo get injured, and if neither of them signs a new contract.

  5. Rasp says:

    Great post Rocky.

    Morning chary, the pocket Einsteins at TalkShite were suggesting that Wenger’s words were a clever negotiating ploy to get the Board worried so that they’d shell out the necessary cash to get RvP to sign a new contract …… probably nonsense, but it would be an excellent side effect if that was the result.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Rocky rules! :) :)

    Thanks for a clever, subtle, analytical, thought-provoking post on Arsene’s inner deliberations regarding his future. You really put some thought into this one, and it is a joy to read.

    Food for thought. I just wonder what he means with: “What is hard is the feeling something is finishing. For me, we’re now talking short term.” This sounds to me like a man who has just lost his pretty girlfriend and is not sure about his new one.

    You said: ‘After five years working with gold, Arsène has started working with iron – and against all the odds, the results are proving more robust and just as beautiful.

    When his new creation comes fully to fruition I can’t see him walking away.’

    I feel that this team is not entirely his anymore: could it be that the acquisition of ‘iron’ – hard-working and experienced players – this summer, was forced upon him by Kroenke? I hope he’ll fall in love with it again when indeed his new gold-iron creation comes fully to fruition.

    I am going to stick with this part of his quote:

    “My commitment and love for this Club is total. The only way I would consider [my future] is if I was not doing well enough for the Club.”

    Stick with it Arsene, you’re new girlfriend will turn out surprisingly pleasant! :)

  7. Hi Raspers,

    due to the vagaries of interpretation it is possible to read many things into what Wenger has said and I’ll admit to being stumped on this one.

    Things could go a number of different ways as the season unfolds so I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride, which will be a bumpy one as always with the Arsenal.

    I’ll be taking a short term view of things Arsenal wise. as a wise man once said “A man might as well live for the day, we might not have that many of them left”

  8. gunnerpete says:

    Nice ! and about time too. To many sites have encouraged the anti Arsene nutters to slam our great club and the best manager in the world. Id like to see fergie achieve what AW has without his massive spending and non stop sales of stars.

    The sad sods who live by the ‘sack Arsene’ matra, never have accepted that NO team in the world would have done better than AFC if they had lost 5/6 first eleven stars to long term injuries. Now we have most of them back, and we have got rid of 2/3 players who’s hearts were in the bank rather than our club. Arsene has rebuilt and changed our tip tap style into the old style of fast break away but improving defence. I just hop he carries on selling the mob who let us all down ( Bentner,Denilson,Diaby, Almunia,Vela, and even Sagna ) .The money made will buy the two superstars we need to beat the crap out of Manchester’s money men. A Benzema type and Goetze will be just right.

  9. Rasp says:

    Agreed chary, I think the ‘Cantona effect’ has been that the french are often perceived as speaking in riddles whereas it is quite possible that Arsène says exactly what he means ….. he would consider moving on if he felt that he was not doing a good enough job – which certainly isn’t the case at the present time.

  10. 26may1989 says:

    Nice post there Rocky, thanks. Just one quibble: I wouldn’t agree that Philippe Auclair is well-respected – he’s not as bad as many of the fiction writers employed in the British tabloids, but he’s got plenty of mischievous pieces on his CV. Worth listening to but not someone to place your faith in.

    As you say, Wenger will be with us till summer 2014 minimum, cos that’s what his contract says and unlike every other person in football he takes that seriously. And the club isn’t going to sack him either.

    After that? I love him but the club should be looking at the options between now and 2014. If he wants to carry on and that looks the best option, great. But the day when Wenger hands over the reins is drawing nearer.

    One thing I think is different now compared with five years ago is the extent to which the players are tied to Wenger. He’s still an important factor in deciding to join or stay with Arsenal, no doubt, but it’s not the same as the early to mid 2000s, when he seemed to be a dominant recruiting factor. That’s healthier for the club, and I hope Wenger’s amazing achievement in keeping Arsenal competitive with zero cash doesn’t blind the Board to the possibility of recruiting his successor some time in the coming years.

    But until then, vive le Professeur!

  11. LB says:

    Chary

    I think you are being too polite: L’Equipe are a bunch of slippery bastards. Rasp sums it up perfectly in my view at the end of his 10.13.

    TA

    I am confused: who said this?

    “You said: ‘After five years working with gold, Arsène has started working with iron – and against all the odds, the results are proving more robust and just as beautiful.”

    Rocky

    Saying great stuff doesn’t seem to do your posts credit but that is all I have. Respect to you sir.

  12. 26may1989 says:

    “Chary – I think you are being too polite” :)

    First time for everything and all that…..

    Apols Chary.

  13. LB – it’s rare I’m told that I’ve been too polite so I must be mellowing in my old age !

    The reverence with which continental newspapars are held by UK football fans does mystify me a bit.

    Those 2 spanish rags Marca and the other one are basically just mnouthpieces for Franco’s team and the Qatari lot.

    To quote Alan Sugar “I wouldn’t wipe my windscreen with those”

  14. That’s more like it (5 ^ 2) + 1 ! :)

  15. 26may1989 says:

    I love Villas-Boas giving himself his own vote of confidence, great stuff.

    Having just spent two weeks being cross-examined by one of London’s best lawyers, Laurence Rabinowitz QC, in the Berezovsky litigation, I’m sure his boss would have been looking for his expensive plaything, into which he’s piled about £1bn, to give him something to smile about. Back-to-back home defeats and 12 points off the top is not what was required. AVB, get that CV ready mate.

  16. Exactly (4^3-38), will we see pictures of the Chav badge split in half on the back pages of the red topped gutter press now ?

    Someone said somewhere, this is red top wisdom:
    Chavs – title contenders
    ‘dippers – rising force
    Arsenal – club in terminal crisis

    Points differential for each team – zilch !

  17. Rasp says:

    On a side note everyone, I’ve put up the ‘Tavern widget’ for all of you who can make it to the Tavern for a bevvie before the Dortmund game ….. we’re hoping today’s author will be there!

  18. Rasp, sadly (or maybe not for some ?!) I will not be at the Tavern on Wednesday – or even on Thursday(MDi89 styley)so I won;t be able to collar Rocky for being a ringer. :)

  19. Rasp says:

    That’s a shame chary – there’s always Saturday home to Fulham?

  20. oz gunner says:

    Cheers for the good read, like sharky said it’s expected from you and you always deliver.

    ‘After that? I love him but the club should be looking at the options between now and 2014. If he wants to carry on and that looks the best option, great. But the day when Wenger hands over the reins is drawing nearer.’

    I completely agree with this comment made by 26. I’d let wegner stay until he was 103 if it were up to me, but with Rice and Wegner getting on in years i think it’s time to get the next wave groomed.

  21. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rocky, what a fantastic post.

    I realy hope you right and Arsene signs for another 5 years. According to my calculations based on finances, politics and economics in six years time Arsenal will outstrip everybody bar Man Utd in terms of revenue. I see Arsene as a Moses like figure, who will hopefully guide the club to the promised land and leave a legacy for future managers to reap the benefits.

    This is not to say that in the short term we cant be succesful, on the contrary, i fully expect the team to push on and be a serious threat for trophies this year.

    What ever transpires in the future, as a collective we are a very powerful pressure group and have our role to play, and must back the club on its journey.

    ” Victoria Concordia Crescit “

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “necessity may be the mother of retention”….only Rocky :-)
    Very busy. Back later.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi LB, I was quoting Rocky (see end of his post).

  24. Unfortunatley no Raspers, will be criss crossing London next Saturday, other 1/2 at opticians in Berks then off to parents in Kent.

    Will be keeping a beady eye on the score and here via my mobile though. Can’t have the ex spuds(Barry from East Enders lookalike) manager depriving us of 3 points can we ?

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Peaches/Rasp, I really like the new Van-Love pictures you put on the side of the blog :)

  26. Rasp says:

    Thanks TA, we need Robin to feel the love and the Board to get the message that it is a top priority to pull out all the stops to keep him where he belongs.

  27. dandan says:

    Very, very good post Rocky, well thought out as usual. Just picked this up.God bless DD junior.

    When asked whether he would be happy to stay at Arsenal, Walcott said: “I’m happy playing football at the moment. My agent will be dealing with my contract. I just want to play football. They can discuss it and see what happens.”

  28. Dandan – that sounds ominous to me, classic case of us having to persevere with a player till he comes good and then off he goes(e.g. Flamini, Na$ri).

    Hope I’m wrong.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    So true Rasp, let him feel the love.

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    To be fair, DanDan/Chary, it all fits with Arsenal’s task in hand. If we keep getting the results then the belief in, and within, the team will grow, and with a bit of luck we win something again this year. Once the players can see that we are still a strong force in the PL/Europe and the board realise they need to make competitive wage offers to those that really deserve it, RvP, Walcott, Song are likely to sign new contracts. The focus now needs to be on winning the next game and so forth.

  31. RockyLives says:

    Good day all and thanks for the comments.

    I’m really looking forward to meeting some more of the AA gang at the Tavern on Wednesday.

    Interesting observation about Philippe Auclair 26. I have heard him on the Arseblog podcast a few times and he seems smart, informed and considered. But, as you say, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t written the odd bit of speculation now and again…

    Arsene’s quote: “What is hard is the feeling something is finishing. For me, we’re now talking short term” is certainly open to misinterpretation. I don’t take it to mean he felt his time at Arsenal was likely to end “short term”. I think he was still referring to the unwanted dismantling of last year’s team and pointing out that it’s very early days for the “New Arsenal” era.

  32. chas says:

    Brilliant post, Rocky.

    Presumably the L’Equipe interview was in French. Even interviews in English are quoted selectively and distorted for nefarious purposes. Does anyone know where there is a full translation of the whole piece?

    Loving FGG’s comment about graffiti. :)

  33. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, it is apparent that AW was deeply hurt by Na$ri’s treachery and that I’m sure was on his mind when he made those comments.

    However, I think there is a lesson to be learned and that is that unless you are one of the few megarich clubs, you cannot hope to build a team that will peak in 3 or 4 years because as we have found, money talks. I think we should keep acquiring and nurturing new young talent as a financial asset and for possible inclusion in the first team eventually, but as far as the first team is concerned we cannot plan much beyond the current season.

  34. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, thanks for the screenshots we put in yesterday’s post. Will you be at the Tavern on Wednesday to explain to me how you do it? (over a pint) :?

  35. 26may1989 says:

    Sad to say, I think you’re on the button there Rasp. Wenger achieved a degree of squad stability in previous years, but we don’t have that luxury anymore. I try not to think about it but occasionally the fears of transfer sagas involving Wilshere or Szczesny or Song or Walcott seep through.

    Oh well, let’s just enjoy the moment, and hope that we can build and build.

  36. chas says:

    Rasp,
    I will be at the Tavern on Wednesday.
    If you want a go beforehand, press Shift plus Prt Scr. This dumps the contents of whatever’s on your screen into your clipboard.
    Open up a photo editor. I use Microsoft Paint that can be found in All Programs/Accessories. Click Edit/Paste and the screen shot will appear. Trim using the square symbol with a dashed line on the left as save as a jpeg.

  37. chas says:

    …and save as a jpeg.

  38. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas, I’ll give it a go.

    Hi 26m, it does seem that the will he/won’t he sagas that so torture us are here to stay.

    Arsene has been the reason for our success in turning players into money (and even then we struggle to break even). The club must continue to develop its commercial activities (particularly abroad) so that we can at least compete with the likes of pool and totnum when it comes to spending on players, and we must hope that no more megarich owners fritter their money on Premiership clubs.

  39. gunnern5 says:

    Nice one Rocky.

    Below is Arsene’s email to supporters. The last sentence tells us what we already know about him – and that is that he will respect his contract.

    ……………………………………………………………………………….

    Wenger: ‘We are growing game by game’

    Dear Arsenal supporter,

    Saturday’s win could have been more comfortable but we missed some early chances.

    In the first 20 minutes we had at least three clear-cut opportunities and on top of that we were 1-0 down. That made the game difficult against a very dynamic Norwich side but, with our backs against the wall, we did very well.

    In the second half, once we went 2-1 in front we controlled the game and were never really in trouble. Overall it was a very positive win. The team is growing from game to game, getting stronger and you sense there is mental strength in there.

    I must say I was upset with the referee after Norwich scored their goal because I thought that Steve Morison brought down Per Mertesacker with his left hand. But I have told Per that you are not safe in England when you are facing your goal, unlike in other countries. He has learned that from Saturday.

    Robin van Persie scored both our goals and he is simply one of the world’s best strikers. He finished his winner with a chip on his right foot – and I have never seen a more left-footed player than Robin van Persie!

    He always makes the right decisions in a fraction of a second when there is little time available. That makes him exceptional. Robin is 28 and my dream is that he stays until the end of his career at this Club. I will do the maximum I can to try to convince him and I hope I will manage to do that.

    I was asked about my own future after the Norwich game but of course I am personally completely committed to the Club and will respect my contract until the end.

    Thanks for your support.

    Arsène Wenger

  40. chas says:

    Interesting that in this translation there is no mention of “something finishing”. Also the “short term” reply was, exactly as Rocky said, a comment about the team and embarking on another “long-term project”.

    L’Equipe: But it looks like you are obliged to rebuild once more. Just like at the start…

    Wenger: It’s true, a new cycle is starting. When we left Highbury, I set my sights on a long-term project with a young team. It didn’t produce the results I’d hoped for. Yes, we have to rebuild.

    L’Equipe: With you? Will you embark on another long spell?

    Wenger: No, as far as I am concerned, we are now talking pretty short term, that’s obvious. But whether it is with me or someone else, that changes nothing. The person that comes in after me will need foundations on which he can obtain success.

    http://news.arseblog.com/2011/11/wengers-interview-with-lequipe-full-transcript/2/

  41. Double98 says:

    Referee in that last clip should be barred by uefa – he should have called the players off the pitch and the cops should have removed the scum bags..

    john terry, sepp blatter and Luiz Suarez lve this kind of thing, allegedely

  42. Rasp says:

    Hi D98, yes, we’d posted that clip on the end of yesterday’s post. Totally disgraceful and unacceptable. If UEFA/FIFA take no action over that then we really are in trouble.

    I don’t know if the Turkish fans understand Eboue’s personality yet, but I know he will have been deeply affected by what happened. I’m sure his friends back at Arsenal feel for him and will be sending message of support.

  43. optiGunner says:

    very balanced piece.

  44. oz gunner says:

    that is dispicable. Not only is it horribly wrong, but Eboue of all people. The bloke is one of the nicest individuals and he has to deal with that. Come back to the gunners

  45. Rasp says:

    OK chas, I’ve released your comment from spam. Sometimes WordPress takes exception to a link – don’t take it personally ;)

  46. Double98 says:

    sorry rasp – just after my clockin out time… wonder if we cud take him back on loan??
    and ozgunner, it will hit him hard

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi D98, GiE put up the same video earlier today. It is incredibly sad to see such a fine human being as Eboue being treated like that in 2011. Racism is always bubbling beneath the surface, also in the UK, and that’s why it is so important to be on top of it all the time. The FA have to show FIFA how it should be done: both Terry and Suarez should get a fair and professional hearing followed by the appropriate punishment if found wanting.

  48. oz gunner says:

    The turkish fans are trying to say it was because he was diving and time wasting. Poor excuse considering what they were shouting at him. It needs to be nipped in the butt quickly and with harsh penalties, otherwise it’ll escalate in alot of competitions

  49. chas says:

    Does anyone know why Eboue was on the floor at the start of that clip? Also, if any other Galatasaray players were pelted with missiles? Is Eboue the only black Galatasaray player?

  50. chas says:

    Ahh, part of the answer before the question. Thanks, Oz.

    Are we led to believe that Eboue is being pelted with missiles simply because he is black?

  51. chas says:

    Btw, I’m not condoning such disgraceful behaviour in any way.

  52. Had to share this crowd chant from the ‘dippers yesterday at the Chavs place:

    “You’re just a shit man City, a shit Man city, a shit Maaaaaan Ci-tyyyy !”

    Been making me grin all morning.

  53. Double98 says:

    chas – racism or not, there is no justification – if it was john terry or wayne rooney or a hakan suker, it is still disgraceful. The ref should have stopped the match – the cops should have arrested people for assault.

    I am not saying that you condone anything btw just that its irrelevant that eboue is black. The motivation for the assault is another matter the first thing is how did it get further than the first attack.
    He is a professional footballer and deserves protection from the public even if he is diving and timewasting. The referee has cards and a whistle for that.

  54. evonne says:

    Rocky – bloody marvellous article, pleasure to read.
    ‘In Arsene we rust’ – ha ha ha, I am glad you remembered that, I often smile thinking of those of little faith. Yes, AW is a genius. Some of us were beginning to think that he has lost the plot, but he didn’t. We lost the faith, that now is restored.

    I do hope he stays forever

  55. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Evonne.

    Anyone heard from Redders recently? Has he done one of his disappearing acts?

  56. chas says:

    D98,
    I 100% agree that there is no justification for that behaviour from the crowd.
    I was trying to work out if it was a racist attack on Eboue, therefore his colour is relevant.

    When I first saw the video this morning, I wondered why that cringing music was put as background. Why not use the match sounds? Why was Eboue holding his head when the bottle clearly hit him under the arm?

    Anyway, enough from me on the subject. I’m starting to sound like Sepp Blatter.

  57. gunnern5 says:

    More stats to mess with our heads.

    Here are the standings based (only) on points won in their last five games.

    Man C ——–15
    Arsenal ——15
    Spurs ——– 13
    Man U ——- 10
    Newcastle —10
    Liverpool——9

  58. RockyLives says:

    Nice one Gn5

    “We are (almost) top of the league (of the last five games), I said we are top of the league!”

  59. RockyLives says:

    chas
    I had the same thoughts.
    Apart from finding the whole video upsetting, it’s not clear whether this is the sort of thing that the notoriously unpleasant Turkish supporters do to all visiting players or whether it was specifically aimed at Eboue either because he’s black or because the crowd were pissed off with him for something else (diving? Eboue? surely not?).

    If it was racism, that club should be forced to play their next 6 home games in an empty stadium.

    And whatever the reason, the ref should be suspended.

    Of course nothing will be done – that’s the FIFA way.

  60. 26may1989 says:

    And GN5, I’m sure the omission was deliberate (on the basis that, on current form, they aren’t relevant), but Chelsea would be bottom of that list with six points from their last five PL games.

  61. goonermichael says:

    Disgraceful scenes in turkey. They have a history though. Some mugs want to let them into the EU. I like Eboue he deserves much better. He’s more Arsenal than a lot of the c**ts that post on some Arsenal sites.

  62. Double98 says:

    great post today by the way rocky – Wenger is, while not bigger than the club, bigger than any non-wenger out there…
    you would want to be mad to get rid of wenger – this is the 4th team of wenger and will win the champions league before he goes.

  63. chas says:

    Not a pleasant memory but saw this elsewhere and thought it was relevant to what happened to the BFG on Saturday.
    Watch from 2:00.

  64. gunnern5 says:

    26M,

    That’s true, based on their last five games Chelsea would be tied for ninth along with Everton and Bolton.

  65. chas says:

    Big Tone wasn’t even touched unlike the BFG.

    http://twitpic.com/7hfsor/full

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Would you mind keeping your smutty little films to yourself. Thank you.

  67. chas says:

    Micky,
    Sorry mate, it was almost John Terryesque, though.

  68. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    Naturally I didn’t watch it. However, supposing I did, I would probably agree with you.

  69. RockyLives says:

    Imagine the slaughtering Seaman and Adams would have got for those goals if t’internet had been up and running back then…

  70. RockyLives says:

    I was at that game. Horrible.

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Arsene Wenger on club website:

    “I can only speak for me – the club can decide to get rid of me tomorrow morning and I cannot interfere with that decision – but I am totally committed here and I will show you that at the end of the season.”

    Ok, that’s put in the bin then. Arsene is going nowhere.

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky,
    Wow that comment about the internet makes me realise how empty and shallow my life was before its arrival! Scary.
    When was the game at Highbury when we beat Norwich 4-1, I think it was. I won £40 as a result of their goal and was the only one celebrating on the North Bank.

  73. evonne says:

    Chas – did they sing ‘She fell over’?

    26 – I noticed that Chavs were not even on the list, footy is a funny old game. Wonder when Abramovitch will buy them a new manager, for Christmas?

    GM – you are right about EE, nice guy and he doesn’t deserve it, well nobody does. I am going to send him a little letter saying that we miss him here

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    And on that good news TA, I’m off for half an hour. What’s wrong with Apple Mac Designery people. Wow, different time scales!

  75. SharkeySure says:

    OzG 1.22. Well said.

    I really do feel it for Eboue, such a nice guy, who unlike me, will find it hard to simply dismiss them as clueless brain dead c**ts, who only do shit like that when in a large group for the fleeting sense of self worth or superiority that is ordinarily completely missing from their lives.

  76. 26may1989 says:

    Following on from GN5′s stats on form, I thought I’d chuck a few numbers in. Everbody and his dog knows our away form has been the source of our problems in the PL so far, which is ironic given that last season we had the best away record on almost all measures (highest number of points, highest number of goals scored, best GD, fewest defeats, most wins).

    While our home form has been of the solid top four variety (2nd on points, 2nd in defence, 3rd on GD and 4th on scoring), a glance at our away record so far this season confirms that our away form has been the problem (8th best points tally, 14th in the GD list and 20th in the goals conceded list). But it also shows that, with our renaissance and our first two away wins of the season under our belts, we already have the 2nd best record for scoring away goals. That’s something to build on. With our next few away games being at Wigan, City (the exception), Villa, Bolton, Fulham and Sunderland, there’s plenty of scope for some of the damage done at OT, Ewood Park and WHL to be repaired.

  77. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m, I was planning on publishing your post tomorrow – is that OK with you?

  78. RockyLives says:

    Good stats 26

    I definitely feel we’re the best equipped team to give Abu Dhabi City a real game. I can’t see the Chavs, Spuds or ‘Pool taking any points off them and we’ve already seen what they did to a full strength ManUre.

  79. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    26,
    Admire your positiveness, but trying to count on future points is where it usually goes horribly wrong, hope your right!. One game at a time for me!

  80. Rasp says:

    I am currently praying for the footballing gods to invoke the curse of the ex-player and send the power to Mr. Darren Bent – he comes from a family of gooners you know and didn’t exactly leave WHL on good terms.

  81. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Another fine post. Thank you. I think that Arsenal have replaced gold with steel not iron.

    And thank you for the deification of Dennis :-)

  82. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    Surely the Spuds’ luck has got to break soon? It would be lovely if the (under-rated) Bent nabbed a couple.

  83. Rasp says:

    Definitely Rocky, they’ve been slagging him off a bit and Defoe (the foe) has been saying he wants Bent’s England place so I think our Darren has a point to prove and a score to settle.

  84. Big Raddy says:

    26. Re; PL Away form. I know the reason for the poor start ….. our dreadful away kit. You might note that we have won the last two games wearing the red and white.

    We are not a team that plays well in blue despite the interests of our sponsors.

    Rasp. I am sending Darren positive waves as I write ….

  85. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Top post Rocky, At least we have had a lot Gold, and In time will have more. Unlike our squeaky neighbours, who only have “fools gold”.

  86. RockyLives says:

    Haha BR – steel is about right. If I was any good at science I would know what steel is made of (iron + ????).

  87. 26may1989 says:

    @Rasp 4.47pm: Fine by me, of course!

  88. Rasp says:

    Carbon apparently Rocky…..

  89. chas says:

    BR,
    I think we played in red versus the spuds and Blackburn.

  90. Rasp says:

    Thanks 26m, I’ve used a bit of artistic licence at the start, hope you don’t mind :P

  91. 26may1989 says:

    @Raddy 5.03pm: But then we also lost at WHL and at Ewood Park in red-and-white, and won at Marseille in blue!

    I like the blue kit!

  92. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, you have a much finer artistic pedigree than I do, so I trust you!

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Despite the horrific away strip (good point BR), I really fancy our chances now away to the big boys as being on home turf they will come at us, leaving space for the ever improving Theo and Gerv. Also with Verm, Kos and Sz at the back, any time is going to find scoring harder and harder as the trio continue to gel.
    If I have a concern, its our ability to unpick parky defences.

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry 26, just saw your comment.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    26. It was just a little BR throwaway without any factual grounding, but I ask this question …. have we won away in the PL in the new kit?

    I rest my case

  96. Big Raddy says:

    I favour a return to the yellow and blue “prison” away kit.

  97. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    That was horrible!! Worst has to go to the blue and green.

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I liked the red current away stuff. Current shorts and socks, white top. Especially hoopy socks.

  99. 26may1989 says:

    Oh ok Raddy, you’re right!

    But surely no Arsenal kit can ever be criticised after the early 90s prisoners’ arrows kit……

  100. Big Raddy says:

    True Micky but Anders Limpar wore it!

  101. 26may1989 says:

    Micky, you I like, but your taste in kits no: the only thing worse than the redcurrent home strip is the insipid white top and redurrent shorts version. Yuk. And just to be completely contrary, I quite liked the green and blue number from the 80s, not that we were very successful in it though.

    One thing we cna agree on: hoopy socks are tres chic.

  102. Big Raddy says:

    26, Same answer to you :-)

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ha, I have a book in front of me with all strips up to 2008-9. Now the 1895-6 Woolwich Arsenal colours would be great for an away number!

  104. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rocky quality post as always.

    For me LeProf settled the debate in his post match interview, he was asked about his comments and explained that the quote was given after being asked about possibilities at the end of a poor season.

    To be fair asked after our start how long Arsene should be given, I thought we should judge him at seasons end. Some would have had him gone instantly which is remarkable when considering what he has consistently proven as a manager.

    One thing about the quietened Arsene Out lobby is that should a few results go against us they’ll be back, but how many have we heard from them whilst we’ve been doing better?

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    26,
    Blue Green. Yeah right :-)

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Agree about the hooped socks.

    Micky. That looks a bit Spurs to me (if you are referring to the away kit)

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What the 1895-6? Never seen any team anywhere with anything llike it.

  108. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. The site always attracts more hits when we are doing poorly. I read that Arseblog gets 50% more traffic when we lose!

    Inexplicable to me, but when we go through the inevitable bad patch many of those chaps will be on here questioning our sanity as supporters of AW

  109. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I like our `58-`68 away kits, can the technomage put some pictures of it on here ?.
    Have a look on Historical football kits to see all our home and away kits.
    Micky, I dont know where they got that 1985-86 one from !.

  110. Big Raddy says:

    Apart from 2007 we really have had some awful away kits since ’83

  111. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    BR ,
    I thought Micky meant the home one, Claret and blue stripes!

  112. RockyLives says:

    Love those away kits ’69-’82

  113. 26may1989 says:

    But Raddy, the 2003-4 number (just coincidentally the Invincibles’ short) was a thing of beautiful simplicity. Just love the memories of Pires in that shirt.

    Agree with Rocky about 69-82 though, that was the true golden era.

    And am completely shocked at the Spurs motif from 1895 to 1953 – Raddy’s absolutely right about that, and I’m now wondering if Micky is a closet spud…. And am also wondering if the team bus used to stop off at WHL on away trips to pick up the kit from its real owners…….

  114. RockyLives says:

    Don’t know if you’ve seen this:

    http://www.talksport.co.uk/magazine/virals/2011-11-21/video-wayne-rooneys-rivals-fifa-goal-year-award-including-neymar-messi-and-ibrahimovic?

    It’s the candidates for FIFA goal of the year.

    A few thoughts on it: why are overhead kicks automatically put into every collection of best goals? It’s a pretty straightforward technique but some people seem to be totally in awe of it.

    It’s nice that they include a goal from women’s football, but couldn’t they have found a better one? It’s a peach of a shot, but there must have been 1,000 similar goals in world football in the last year, so it just seems like a case of tokenism.

    Finally, my candidates (from the shortlist) would be Stankovich or Neymar. The Messi goal doesn’t count because of Cesc’s stupid back heel. :(

  115. 26may1989 says:

    Stupid? I thought he played Messi in beautifully.

  116. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GliC,
    That’s the one. 1895-6 home. Fantastic long shorts or are they short trousers?

  117. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Rocky,
    From that lot, I`d say Neymar by a mile, what great feet he has.

  118. Big Raddy says:

    Neymar. Fantastic skill.

    But as football is a team sport why do they choose only individual brilliance?

  119. Gooner In Exile says:

    “Stupid? I thought he played Messi in beautifully.”

    :D :D

  120. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Micky, I think they are the original “shell tracksuit bottoms” !

  121. Gooner In Exile says:

    We all know Rooneys came off his shin and any overhead kick is by in large helped by a slice of luck, as are any pile drivers.

    What you can never fault is audacity to try something why that Bergkamps goals at Newcastle was so brilliant.

  122. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    BR,
    He did play a one/two with someone. :)

  123. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Neymar’s for me out of that lot. Brilliant.

  124. Big Raddy says:

    Neymar reminds me of Martin Hayes

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Want to see a superb goal ? Watch for Paul Davis’s effort. I was in the North Bank that night

  126. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    “Neymar reminds me of Martin Hayes” could be my all time favourite comment :-)
    Did you have a regular spot on the North Bank. I was always half way up, ten foot’ish outside the left upright.

  127. TotalArsenal says:

    RL, those ten goals are good to look at, but of all the Messi goals they choose that one: makes no sense to me. Surely, Arshavin’s winner against Barca was the most beautiful goal of them all. Had he played in Spain or Italy it would have been included….

  128. 26may1989 says:

    Micky, I could never stand you half way up, ten foot’ish outside the left upright people, such snobs. I was two-thirds of the way up, fifteen foot’ish outside the right upright. Much better crowd.

    ;)

    Loved that Neymar/Martin Hayes comment too, Raddy’s a comic genius!

  129. TotalArsenal says:

    Snooker on a football pitch:

  130. dandan says:

    Rasp To change the subject to Cricket for a moment: Anyone who thinks we should play more test matches than this ODI nonsense please go to and sign this petition http://t.co/h2SdpPo6

  131. Rasp says:

    Thanks dandan, I’ll have a look. I think cricket is like football now and the ODI’s generate far more money for the game but for the purists it will always be about the 5 day game.

  132. evonne says:

    Confession – I am beginning to like Gary Neville, I am sorry. He appears so calm and unbiased, and makes his explanations and opinions simple and to the point. I hope he will replace that Jamie Redknapp permanently

  133. evonne
    Go and wash your mouth out. gary neville?

  134. evonne says:

    GM – I know, I am sorry :( But he is such an improvement on young Redknapp

  135. chas says:

    I had to turn the sound off on Sunday afternoon.
    Mind you, I did Saturday lunchtime too.

  136. chas says:

    Adebywhore is endearing himself to the gooner faithful, I see.

  137. evonne says:

    Chas – because of Neville? ha ha ha

    Ade trying for a fecking hattrick, why could he not play like that for us???

  138. chas says:

    I can’t bear that manc drone, Evonne.

  139. chas says:

    Arsenal games on TV are far less stressful if you turn the commentary off.
    Still stressful, but far less so. :)

  140. evonne says:

    Chas – i hated him passionately, but since he’s retired he is somehow nicer. All right he isn’t. I am off to wash me mouth,

  141. chas says:

    You’re entitled to fancy him if you feel that way, Evonne.

  142. evonne says:

    Chas – no, not fancy him, just like listening to his prematch chats. I fancy Delap and James McFadden :)

    Those spuds are annoyingly good….grrrhhhh….they are third now

  143. evonne says:

    Chas – I am not going to watch it, I know you are taking the piss, you monster

  144. Big Raddy says:

    AV rolling over. A pathetic showing from them,

    evonne. Don’t let Chary see your 8.07.! Have you been on the jungle juice?

  145. evonne says:

    you should see my ex, you’d know why :) :) :)

  146. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Brilliant pic of Delap – looks like Plug from the Bash Street Kids (The Beano)

  147. chas says:

    Haha, spot on, BR.

  148. Big Raddy says:

    Can’t watch any more of this rubbish from AV. They are relegation fodder and far worse than Swansea or Norwich.

    I bid you a goodnight and wish you sweet dreams

  149. evonne says:

    Sweet dreams Raddy xx

  150. chas says:

    Evonne, I didn’t mean it.
    I like it when you call me a monster, though, so it’s your fault for encouraging me. :) :) :)

  151. chas says:

    Night BR. Villa are pants. Fancy us hoping they’d do us a favour?

  152. evonne says:

    ha ha ha……silly Chas :)

    And only a few seasons ago Villa were so strong, fighting for the third place, while Scum were somewhere near the bottom

  153. chas says:

    I’m off too. Night Evonne. 3-2 Villa. Nah, maybe not.

  154. evonne says:

    Night you monster xx

  155. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all,

    #WeLoveYouEboue has been trending on Twitter – disgusting scenes from Turkey. No-one deserves that.

    Also got reminded of this today, another “slip” by John Terry against the Arsenal:

  156. Jamie says:

    Good article today.

    My view has always been that this will be Wengers last contract here. He wants to pay down the debt. With a couple more summers and the new sponsorship deals at the end of he contract in 2013 Arsenal will be almost there. We will have him to thank.

    I hope he does stay on past that but I’m not sure he will.

    He has been a one off, a true gentleman and a Miracle worker.

    He can also be a stubborn old fool, which as I believe Nick Hornby reflects in Fever Pitch is just like a gooner.

    Let’s hope the last two seasons are his finest hour.

  157. harry says:

    Cracking Stupendous post as per usual Rockmeister………..

    Peaches, you can take the ? away……..Harry will be in da pub!!

    Back to article: Couple of points, before i go to bed to make up for lack fo sleep working over the weekend………..

    So right to point out the Rusty boys are distinctly quite……….Oh ye of little faith, those that proclaim the early demise have themselves melted away. Still its work in progress and for that as I stated, when the new lads had settled I would look and see what we have and the answer to le boss is that you have my full support, unconditional once more………

    The only other thing Rocky, whereby I understand what you were allduing to in regards to the team make up,

    “After five years working with gold, Arsène has started working with iron” ~ I think we do the team a disservice in that i feel their is still gold in there, but it has veins of iron now and not glass…………

  158. Irishgunner says:

    Jack is putting a bet on with the Spuds fans on twitter – they finish ahead of us, he’ll give £3k to charity, we finish ahead of them and all his Spud followers give £1 to charity – Jack Marshall Charity

  159. 26may1989 says:

    Going through those top ten FIFA goals is fun. The Neymar goal is very, very pretty, and I also like the Stankovic goal, which is an incredibly clean hit from distance (though if memory serves, Inter contrived to lose that home match, so a bitter-sweet night there). But my fave is the one from the Belgian player, Benjamin de Cuelaer, who I’d never heard of. Just fantastic skill to create the chance and then execute it under all sorts of pressure.

    Rooney? Not only was it not a clean hit, but the approach play was really poor, save for Nani’s lovely cross. A good goal but not even the best goal of its type in that list, and toward the bottom of the list overall.

    Not very politically correct here, I know, but the way Messi juggles that ball before slotting it into our net is masterful, the guy is a genius. But as has been said, the fact Iniesta got the ball so softly from his soon-to-be-colleague Francesc Fabregas i Soler reduces the goal’s quality.

    What is it about players like dos Santos? Completely anonymous in proper football but can score a goal like that for the national team. A mystery.

  160. Gooner In Exile says:

    Good old Jack.

    Either way the Jack Marshall Charity wins.

  161. Irishgunner says:

    Have to go for Neymar, the control, the confidence, the cool head and his thinking ahead is brilliant. Definitely my favourite from all those.

  162. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all, is everyone still getting over the fact Spuds won again?

    Still can’t seeing them stay up there but makes me wish we could have the second half at Ewood back and the last ten minutes in N17.

  163. oz gunner says:

    Morning.

    GiE it mystifies me to be honest. Parker and friedel were great additions to the team, but i just don’t think they are that good. That’s not me being biased either. They have been very lucky with injuries (king, and VDV are due. It’d like ade to go down personally).
    * Bale is very overrated
    * Walker and Fellani are good full backs
    * Parker has the vermaelen effect and can lift a team with a hard tackle and just his overall endevour.

    Hopefully they’ll drop soon.

  164. evonne says:

    GiE – shocking, but no worries, the wheels will come off shortly. They are not capable of sustaining this form.

    Plus Barca have started meddling with Bale, that should stir the shit a bit

  165. evonne says:

    oh yeah, and if Arry gets banged up, who will manage them :) No, let them have good christmas this once, but not a minute longer

  166. oz gunner says:

    Hopefully when they drop down they can show that little spurs boy crying on the big screen again. I got great satisfaction seeing that during our carling cup match.

    @ Evonne

    Barca are definently at it again, add bale and neymar to that squad and you’ve got quite a scary team. I wouldn’t mind knicking Abidal off them in the summer though

  167. evonne says:

    you are evil Oz, you like seeing little boys crying :)
    I was in a sports shop once and a little boy was looking at different football shirts. And so was I. I showed him my new Arsenal shirt and asked ‘Would you like this one?’ He looked at my shirt and said ‘That’s shit!’ He was no more than 5. His dad laughed and said ‘I trained him well! Come on you Spurs!’
    I’d love to see this little shit crying

  168. oz gunner says:

    @ Evonne

    linked with podolski you must be happy.

    He is someone i’ve wanted to see at arsenal for a long time. He’s a bit up and down though

  169. evonne says:

    Is he, I have not been following him lately. He is not a natural striker, more of a winger. Do we need him??

  170. oz gunner says:

    True he is not, however in our system we don’t really use natural strikers. Plus he had a good international scoring record. If AA goes he could be a good replacement

  171. oz gunner says:

    Hey im not evil, although i do get quite a laugh from little kids falling and crashing their trikes on youtube clips/funniest home videos but hey thats natural right?

    Haha that little smart arse! my son will be trained the exact same way though

  172. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    We have a fun post coming up today courtesy of 26may, a suitable antidote to the disappointment at how pants villa were last night.

  173. oz gunner says:

    looking forward to it rasp

  174. Rasp says:

    Morning oz, I expect there may be quite a few impressive Australian examples of the topic in question – particularly cricketers …..but I’m not giving anything away :roll:

  175. Rasp says:

    Prepare to have your fancy tickled! ……….

    ….. New post……….

  176. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem to be running
    off the screen in Chrome. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you
    know. The design and style look great though!

    Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Kudos

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