The return of the prodigal son… yeah, but which one ?

While we (still) sit pretty on top of the league, between two fixtures against sides that more than one Nostradamus-wanna-be pundit would have seen ahead of us by the end of the year, many attribute this success to the managerial consistency/continuity. But if the recent rumors of Arsène Wenger finally putting pen to a new three year contract in January will have fans rejoice about the stability ahead, the fact that Le Professeur will be 67 by the end of it has people start to consider a successor to the Frenchman (some started a while ago but they obviously have poor judgement so we won’t pay attention to them).

There’s a plethora of great coaches around, people with impressive careers and their bags full of trophies. But with The Arsenal’s tradition of welcoming back its former legends to see them work for the glory of the club, it is tempting to put the spotlight on these once top, top quality players and choose among them the One that is to lead us upon to the next chapter of our history.

Doing so would also ensure a relative continuity and is especially tempting due to the recent actuality seeing a lot of these aforementioned legends coming out, One about his hopes towards club and board, One about his views on the British coaching community and its segregation problem, One with a book, One with a documentary, and so On, I mean on.

I chose from the squads up until the Invicibles, considering most of those who came after are still playing. And with the idea of continuity in mind, I decided to choose only among the players that played under Arsène Wenger. So here you have it, among the players that graced the red and white shirt from 1996 to 2004 is the One. Pretty limited you will say, also considering that not every player, not even every great player, is coach material (that’s what club ambassador posts are for), and yet there is still quiet a few noticeable names that come out. So without further ado, here are the contenders.

Patrick Vieira (37) – The “Demolition” One

I will start with the One at the origin of this poll idea. Paddy’s declaration, though probably taken out of context by the media, about Arsenal’s lack of leadership threw discord among fans with some of them stating he was dead to them while others affirming their love for him, adding that they would be glad to welcome him back at the Arsenal, possibly as a coach.

Considering Patrick Vieira was only appointed as Manchester Shitty’s new reserve team and “Elite Development” (*Cough* what a load of crap) squad manager in May, it is still early to judge his managerial credentials. But, eager to find more so that you have all the information you need to make your judgement, I crossed the enemy lines to gather some intel. Yes, I went on the Shitty web site, looked through their video archives and finally got my hands on the Inspector Gadget’s post nomination interview. What I wouldn’t do for you guys. Paddy, it’s all on you !

To make it short, a few things popped out. The love of collective football he says he retains from his early age, playing with friends. The sense of responsibility he wants to instill in the young players as well as a winning mentality. For that last One, reflecting on Paddy’s declaration that he thought “Arsenal lacked what it takes to win dirty”, we all know what he means. And I for One am a little worried someone like him could coach the team, because that is so not Arsenal.

Dennis Bergkamp (44) – The “Godly” One

Here again it is hard to gauge Dennis Bergkamp’s managerial career. Slightly ahead of Vieira for he has already been in charge of a youth team and is now assistant manager of a team of the importance of Ajax Amsterdam, it is also good to note that the head coach under whom he is working, Frank DeBoer, is considered as One of the ascending talents of European football management. Undertaking the rebuilding of the mythical Dutch club, DeBoer has won three league titles in two and a half years at the helm. Learning from the mistakes that saw Ajax disappear from the European scene for a while, he is betting on youth and has revolutionized their academy. No doubt, seeing these methods baring fruit, Bergkamp could be tempted to consider them for his yet in gestation managerial style. That plus his Total Football education, Stillness, Speed, and the love for Attack he shared with Wenger and you might get a glimpse at what Iceman as a manager could look like.

Unfortunately, Bergkamp could have also been named the “Non-flying” One. And as long as his aerophobia problem isn’t solved, it is hard to see him appointed head coach of a team playing European football year in year out.

Tony Adams (47) – The “There’s only One Tony Adams” One

Mr Arsenal had an amazing career as an Arsenal player. He is the only One to have captained a major club in three different decades, and to the first League Cup and FA Cup double in England. He is One of the “Famous Four”, the back four that made the fame of the Arsenal offside trap. On his way to redemption after alcoholism blighted his career, Big Tone is a deep an attaching character. “In March 2003, BBC Sport named Adams as the former Arsenal player that the club would most benefit from returning” (Wikipedia). And he wants to return ! In June of this year, Adams said he had postulated to enter the board only to be snubbed and see Chips nominated. Now a board position isn’t exactly a coach position (not even close actually) but Tony clearly stated he would do anything at the club, even the tea, so I guess that also means head coach. At the same time he suggested Arsenal was ill prepared in case Arsène Wenger decided to leave. Very subtle.

Unfortunately, like mentioned above, not every great player makes a great coach. And with an average record of 27.73% wins in his three different spells as a manager, and a habit of quitting or being laid off within a year, Adams isn’t exactly in the league of an Arsenal coach contender.

Steve Bould (51) – The “Baldy” One

“He has no hair, but we don’t care ! ” Another of the “Famous Four”, Steve Bould has already an interesting managerial career to show off. Appointed head coach of the Academy team, he won two Premier Academy League and a FA Youth Cup. He knows the young guns and they know he can lead them to victory. How’s that for continuity ? Assistant Manager since last season, Bould bolstered our defense. His style might be very different from Arsène’s attacking style, but the same way, as an assistant, he complemented the Frenchman’s style, the appointment at his side of a Dennis Bergkamp could do the trick. Steve Bould would also undoubtedly provide the most seamless transition but One might argue that Arsenal needs to evolve.

For all of these reasons, Bould may look like the ideal candidate, and yet there might be another One…

Arsène Wenger (64) – The “Invicible” One

Who said 67 is too old for a manager ? Especially One gifted with such cunning intelligence, meaning that even if his body couldn’t move anymore, his head would still be able to win a few league titles and the Holy Champions League Grail.

Another thing, Arsène is nothing like Ferguson and he would certainly not quit while the club is still under reconstruction. Because the record signing of this summer was only the start. The “German speaking” Öne, as we could also have named him, is the reason why Mesut signed and, let’s face it, this Bizarre Sex Appeal is his and his only. If he keeps signing top, top quality players during the next three years, will he then leave like Red Nose after BSR followed his siren chant up north ? I believe not, because Arsène isn’t after legend, he is after Legacy.

Here are the candidates.

SO FELLOW GOONERS, WHO AMONG THE FORMER GUNNERS WOULD YOU SEE AS BEST FIT TO BE THE NEXT ARSENAL COACH ?

You can vote for up to 3 choices in the poll

I apologize to those of you who were hoping for more nostalgic faces, but feel free to add any suggestion in your comments. Same thing for any player you feel should have been on this list. I also apologize for the post kind of answers to itself but I look forward to standing corrected in the comments. Let the debate begin !

Written by Benjamin Rochet

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107 Responses to The return of the prodigal son… yeah, but which one ?

  1. Rasp says:

    Terrific maiden post Benjamin …. all the more impressive because English is your 2nd (or maybe 3rd?) language and the ‘editing department’ was not required :)

    Some will accuse you of being disloyal by even looking any further than AW, but I commend you on having concocted a mix of nostalgia and topicality to produce a thought provoking and entertaining article – très bien :P

  2. sameer says:

    Thierry Henry?! too early to brand him as coach, but given his association with the gunners, he makes for a good managerial candidate in the future.

  3. Merci Rasp ! I’s an honor to be in this AA family ! I’ll try to be worth and and, who knows, maybe One day I’ll even get my own banner.

    Sameer : Yes, TH14 was on my mind the whole time I was writing this post. I tried to keep it to the retired players, aiming for managerial careers. We don’t even know if he wants to be coach one day. But he’d definitely look good in a suit, calmly orchestrating the team from the sideline… Opus, drooling !

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Benjamin,

    You know how to tickle our bits. A vote. Yipee. Thank you.
    “I crossed the enemy lines to gather some intel”. Love it :-)

    Rasp,
    I don’t understand how it could be disloyal to discuss a successor. Just Arsenal chat.

    Out of the above, it would be DB10, as he holds an International allure, and is doing all the right prep. Agree, he needs to learn to fly to have a chance.

    Having said all that, if I had to chose a successor now, it would not be any Old Boy.

  5. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, of course I agree – hence my comment. It was just a preemptive strike against anyone who was considering raising that objection.

  6. Who would you have in mind Micky ?

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha, the preemptive strike. Very wise. Shoot the “sensitives” before they realize you’re even there :-)

  8. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning AAers, Welcome Ben, it’s always good to see new posters, they bring a fresh perspective.

    If we were looking for new manager today I would say none of the above.

    The only contender with actual managerial experience is Tony Adams and his career so far has been less than impressive. A definite no.

    Dennis Bergkamp and Steve Bould are at an early stage in the learning process, too early to take the reins now.

    Patrick Vieira whilst he may be an inspirational character has no managerial expertise at all. A definite no.

    As we are looking for Arsene’s replacement, Arsene is ruled out.

    In the A N Other category I’ll suggest Remi Garde.

    If we are talking about three years from now, Both Bould and Bergkamp will have progressed and gained that valuable experience and would make up my dream ticket.

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Benjamin,

    My biggest problem is that I’d never heard of Arsene before he came, so would have chosen someone different, and look how things turned out :-)

    Remi Garde? Don’t know what kind of football they play, but Lyon came third last season.

    Clearly there are some excellent young managers in the Prem already, but out of them, only Laudrup has the Internationalism.

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn Norfolk,
    You only got in first with the Garde suggestion, because you type without mittens on :-)

  11. LB says:

    Thanks for the read Benjamin.

    I wouldn’t be very happy with any of the names that you mention above but I am glad you gave us the opportunity to reinstate Arsene Wenger.

  12. Rasp says:

    I saw Steve Bould in John Lewis in Welwyn on Monday. He’s a giant, with legs like tree trunks, a stare that could melt an iceberg and a granite jaw that makes Desperate Dan look like a cissy. If he told me he was going to be next manager – I wouldn’t argue with him :?

  13. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, obviously we all new you’d vote for AW – but did you use your other 2 votes? …. I’m guessing not, that would be sacrilege :lol:

  14. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Damn, forgot to vote. Would never bother in anything trivial like a General Election, but an AA Poll…different ball game :-)

  15. Rasp says:

    Benjamin, I already have the nugget of an idea for a Rochet banner – what theme would you prefer …. garlic, boules, Brigitte Bardot, berets, pencil moustache or the Eiffel Tower :lol:

  16. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just voted, but to again echo Norfolk’s words, how can Arsene be Arsene’s successor?

    Also, I’d love to know what percentage of A.N.Other’s are Henry votes, or like me, are simply voting for someone completely off the radar.

  17. kelsey says:

    Wenger has a mission to complete or at least put in place and for that reason and because from the chairman downwards he is so well respected I fully expect him to agree to a new contract and eventually chose his own successor.

    Former top flight players rarely ever make top flight management so I would disregard all on this list.

    67 is an acceptable age.SAF was 71 when he retired.

  18. Rasp says:

    Micky, the title of the poll is “Who would you like to see as Arsenal’s next manager” besides can you imagine the wrath of LB if we’d have left him out ? :oops:

  19. Rasp says:

    Morning Kelsey, lovely to see you back in print.

    Thanks very much for the ecard, Season’s Greetings to you and the all the family.

  20. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp

    You mean the same LB who yesterday called Arsene a one eyed, blinkered, dribbling idiot who has no idea when to pick or when to rest a player, or even where to play him?

    Cripes, tin hat on :-)

  21. Manthan says:

    I would love to have Mauricio Pochettino, I love his playing style.. Way SOTON are playing this season is a proof, A high pressing game and even we do play similar way so he can easily spread his philosophy to our team….

  22. Manthan says:

    Sorry I forgot to mention good debut write up BEN.. :)

  23. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Micky, I don’t need mittens as the sun shining through the holes in the thatched roof easily defrost my keyboard.

    I think Remi Garde is prominent on the Arsenal Radar, he was in line to take the Director of Football role when David Dein left and was recommended to The Gunners by Wenger before he himself joined us.

  24. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Just received a Christmas card from my Gooner cousin, written across the back of the envelope “This Christmas think of those less fortunate”, “Think of Tottenham fans” :D

  25. JanMan says:

    Benjamin. Good post and a great opener for debate. Before anyone simply disregards all on the list perhaps a better way is to offer up alternative options! Also there is a place to add others on the poll. Also I think (correct me if I am wrong) Benjamin was looking mainly at ex players while at the same time asking for other options/opinions.
    Personally I think we need to perhaps look at a combined team of coaches? What about a combination of Vierira, Henry, Bould, Bergkamp? If Bergkamp for example was applying his coaching skills on the practice field then perhaps that would eliminate his requirement to fly. Or use all four of the above in a coaching status and bring in someone to oversee all of them. Also in my opinion Adams should not be anywhere near them. I truly think that Wenger himself will have a major say on how the club is run once he calls it a day which I think will be another 3-5 years.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Benjamin. A really good read. Thank you. And an interesting subject.

    At one time I thought Liam Brady would be the One, but he is leaving AFC at season’s end, probably frustrated with his progress

  27. Big Raddy Is that the man in charge of the Academy ? Someone suggested that could be the opening door to Dennis’ return.

  28. Sorry guys. I was out to work, but I’m back now. Thanks for all the adds up !

  29. Norfolk. Yes, I was definitely thinking about three years from now and like you said Bould/Bergkamp would be an interesting prospect.

  30. LB I didn’t want to even think about an after Wenger. But seeing the grotesque freak show they’re offering us at OT this year, I think it will have to be thought of in order to be rigorously planned so that we don’t suffer from it. Thankfully Arsene will have his word to say and he’ll make a better choice than Red Nose or at least, he will prepare the transition better.

  31. Benjamin, well done on the post and joining the long list of reprobates on the Author List of Shame :D

    As for a successor to Arsene, like LB none of the names on the list inspire me that greatly, apart from of course Arsene, but at 67 years old will he be keen to continue or will he feel it time to move on and leave it to a younger man, with the club in a far better financial state than he has had to endure for the last few years and hopefully a squad to excite any manager coming through the door?

    And when i say better i mean better in the sense that the last few years we have been restrained in an attempt to put a solid foundation in place, that foundation coupled with commercial deals and new TV rights money is a better position than we have been in despite the profits looking generally good.

    The reason none of the above excite me is their lack of coal face experience, yes Arsene was relatively unknown but he had been honing his skills before arriving at the Home of Football in a variety of locations, with different characters to deal with and coach, and he came with his own clear vision.

    SAF has appointed a man in his own image, and that may or may not work. I think to really progress a club needs new ideas when the next man is appointed, and that rules out a number of the above.

  32. Raddy, it appears Brady will still be involved at the club, as a Foundation Ambassador

  33. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Benjamin, always nice to break your cherry.

    Dont wish to sound morbid, but I hope Arsene dies on the job.

    Not that I wish to Arsene to snuff it, far from it. I hope he continues for ever but accept that this is not possible.

    The next best thing is snuffing it on the job. So I hope rather than retire, Arsene snuffs it.

  34. arnie says:

    Great stuff. Well done new father, not saying which one! I love this reincarnation idea for Arsene. Perhaps not quite the same but good fun nevertheless!!!! :D :D Off to vote now, to teh comments next!!!! :D :D :D

  35. arnie says:

    Terry: Just glanced at your comment before I got to the vote. Come on!!! Are you wishing Arsene dies in his job!!!!!! :D :D

  36. RockyLives says:

    Amazing Ben – particularly if English isn’t your first language and given that you have just had a baby with Janman :D

    It’s true that great players seldom make good managers (though there are exceptions: Cruyff, Klinsmann, Guardiola etc).

    If any of the Arsenal legends listed above makes it, they would be more likely to be managing Arsenal in 10 years time rather than immediately after AW.

    Taking the Post in the spirit in which it was written, I would say that (Arsene aside), Dennis is the one who appears to have the most potential. I’ve been reading his ‘Stillness and Speed’ book and he is clearly a deep thinker about football and is also sufficiently egocentric to take charge of a club.

    However I have a sneaky feeling that Paddy V may turn out to be a good manager if he bones down that route.

  37. Having researched (only just a little) for the post, I must admit Ronald DeBoer appeared as an interesting option. Guardiola would be nice. After stamping his mark on two continental leagues, he might be willing to give it a try in the Premier league… Who knows ? And I think Arsenal would suit him as it shares quite a few things with Barca.

  38. But I really hope Arsene stays until he’s 72, just to take that record from Red Nose !

  39. As GIE mentioned, the club is in a better situation now and I really think that Wenger is not (thank Dennis) the martyr we sometimes think and that now that he’s raised the tree he’s gonna crunch in the damn apple ! So why stop now that he can show all the doubters wrong and rub their nose in it ? He’ll stay.

  40. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Yes arnie, I sincerely hope Arsene snuffs it on the job.

    I know someone else who snuffed it on the job, but that was in a Rio De Janeiro massage parlour.

    Its only right and proper. Herbert Chapman went that way so why not Arsene?

  41. I actually Hope Arsene can retire from the manager job, so that he can work brilliantly at the board.

  42. Gööner In Exile says:

    Ben as your post was about the renewal in 3 years time I actually voted for AN Other, I guess with the caveat with it depends what we do in the next three years.

    Those of us who understand the circumstances Arsene has worked under in the last few years appreciate the job he has done and are keen for him to be given the chance to build a proper title winning potential squad.

    If however with additional resources he cannot push us to the next level then it will sadly be time for a farewell.

    My AN Other would preferably be someone who has shown willingness to stick at a job for two or more seasons and understands the benefits of evolution not revolution.

  43. Vinay says:

    If we were to choose anyone, lets begin the process when Wenger is still there, lets groom someone, let him get used to the club and its way of functioning and then on the transition will be easier. My choice- Klopp, Loew, Garde and the one most likely to happen Drajan Stojkovic

  44. GunnerN5 says:

    Ben,

    My preference would be that Arsene signs two more contracts prior to leaving of his own choice, but I believe that is simply wishful thinking and he will only sign one more.

    We have had 19 managers in our history and I’ve broken them out into two groups. Group 1 are the managers who have also played for Arsenal and Group 2 are those that did not play.

    Group 1.

    There have been 8 managers who previously played for Arsenal.

    Jack Crayston, George Swindin, Billy Wright and Don Howe managed 546 games between them and won a grand total of nothing.

    Tom Whittaker (3) Bertie Mee (3) Terry Neil (1) George Graham
    (6) managed 1451 games and won 13 trophies or one every 112 games or 3 seasons.

    In total this group managed 1997 games won 13 trophies – one every 154 games or 4 seasons.

    Group 2.

    The remainder of our trophies were won by Herbert Chapman (4) George Allison (3) and Arsene Wenger (7) a total of 14 trophies in 1284 games – one every 92 games or 2.4 seasons.

    In total managers who did not play for Arsenal have managed a total of 2899 games winning 14 trophies – one every 207 games or 5.4 seasons.

    These stats are inconclusive and do not show which of the two groups is the preferable choice but it could be argued that Tom
    Whittakers trophies were a product of Herb Chapmans work and should be credited to him.

    I was one of the fans who suffered during the Crayston through Howe years, so I know first hand how it feels to go into a season with no hope whatsoever of winning anything. I would prefer to live out my remaining years without having to endure that all over again.

    I am not enamoured by any of the above choices so I did not vote but of the players you have listed a vote for Dennis would be a wasted vote as we could never have a non- flying manager.

    Anybody who has spent time under the tutelage of Arsene is a potential candidate so that would make Steve Bould a viable choice.

  45. Talking about the great man, could anyone put the link to the Youtube video : “The best of Arsene Wenger” ?
    Sad moments too, especially on 8:00, but a delicious : “Tottenham do not know what hit them ! I can tell you : Theo Walcott hit them !!!” By the end. That’s what any fan should remember when he dreams about the golden past : behind all the Henry, Pires and all, AW was at the helm.

  46. Rasp says:

    Excellent research GN5 ( as per usual) I think we can conclude that a manager is no more or less likely to succeed if he has played for the club – but the selection is likely to go down well with the supporters initially.

  47. jnyc says:

    Good post Benjamin. I will stick with Arsene for now.

  48. Rasp says:

    Sorry this comes with quite a long ad at the start ……

  49. evonne says:

    Rocky :)

    Benjamin – English isn’t your first language? What are you, American?
    Thanks for the post, great read indeed.
    You say ‘There’s a plethora of great coaches around’ and I say ‘there’s a plethora of decent coaches around and only about a handful of great ones’. Who are those great coaches that you are referring to? I can only think of one, ie our own AW. For that reason I cannot vote for TA or Bould with limited managerial experience, or Paddy, God, TH14 with literally no experience at the highest level.

    Nope, none of them will be ready in 3 years time.

    About PV saying we lack leadership – it was not taken out of context, Vieira did say it in a couple of sentences. What is missing from this statement is the fact that for almost an hour he was a testament to his love for Arsenal, Arsene and us, the fans.

    Also, what is that ‘still’ on top of the table? We are top of the tree and we shall not, we shall not be moved.

  50. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Peaches/Rasp, Post e-mailed to Arsenalnuts. No stop press!

  51. Thank you Evonne. I am a Freedom Fry !
    I just wanted to use the word plethora :D
    And for the “still” I apologize, it’s because I wrote it before Saturday, so… There’s no doubt in my mind we’re still on our way to win the league. Top of the Tree !

  52. RA says:

    Good Afternoon, to all.

    Well done Ben, that is a very interesting Post/Poll, but any such Poll cannot help but be a hypothetical popularity contest as I am sure Arsene will continue as manager for another 3 years and who knows who will be available then?

    The thing is the people who are au courant as we speak may not be names in vogue when Le Professeur finally rides off into the sunset?

    My choice in extremes would be Denis B, but he has already made it clear that he does not see himself as a manager because that post in his mind is redolent of administrative duties, whereas his forte is in coaching such as his job at Ajax.

    Speaking of Ajax, their current chef d’équipe (sorry :-) ) is an Arsenal old boy who should rate a mention. [Marc Overmars]

  53. RA says:

    extremes = extremis – sodding predictive typing!! :-)

  54. evonne says:

    French??!! oh la la, I love French people :)

  55. RA says:

    Evonne you should marry TMHT the pair of you would beam out positive vibes just like radioactive Arsenal molecules, and your dogs would have great fun rounding up his thirsty goats. :-)

  56. evonne says:

    RA – get away, his mother washes his hair ffs :)

    Plus, legally I am married, 26 years today

  57. RA says:

    Great stats, GN5. :-)

    Stats are at their best when they produce informative data and yours never fail to do so!

    You must get tired of people like me saying, ‘I didn’t know that’.

  58. Norfolk Gooner says:

    RA, chef d’équipe? is he in charge of the boot room? :D

    Gone! But I shall return!

  59. RA says:

    Love will find a way, Evonne! And think of the dogs. :-)

    Anyway, congratulations on your (legal marriage) anniversary — you both must be doing something right. ;-)

  60. evonne says:

    cheers RA :)

    I got that bitch today! She was giving me a large one when they appointed AVB and then each time they bought another brilliant player during last transfer window. I was sick and tired of her asking me all fleeping summer ‘Has Wenger bought anyone yet?’

    Ha, bloody ha, got her today. She was pretending not to see me and my 3 black dogs, so I had to shout very loudly ‘Hello there, so how is your team doing these days?’ The moronic woman has actually said ‘Very well, how is your team doing?’ Wow, that was a present I was waiting for :) ‘My team, how is my team doing?’ I started to sing you know what. I have no doubt that I will be sectioned one day, but who cares, I will still be singing

  61. GunnerN5 says:

    A tourist is in North London one Saturday and he decides he would very much like to go to a football match, so he asks a man in the street if there are any local matches being played that afternoon.

    “Well,” replies the man, “the Arsenal ground is very close but they’re playing away today. If you feel you really must see a match, the Tottenham ground is not that far away. You go straight down this road and you’ll see two queues, a big queue and a small queue.

    You should go to the small queue because the big one is for the fish and chip shop.

  62. GunnerN5 says:

    There was once a fanatical Spurs supporter who thought of nothing but football all day long. He talked about football, read about football, watched nothing but football on television and attended matches as often as he possibly could. At last his poor wife could. stand it no longer. One night she said, ‘I honestly believe you love Spurs more than you love me!’

    ‘Blimey,’ said the fan, ‘I love Hartlepool United more than I love you!’

  63. GunnerN5 says:

    Went to White Hart Lane yesterday, and noticed how green and lovely their pitch was. So i summoned over the groundsman and asked him what his secret was, his reply was:

    “Well i do nothing, just every Saturday afternoon we put £100m worth of sh-t over the pitch and it works wonders”
    _

  64. evonne says:

    wilshere lost the appeal, poo

  65. evonne says:

    what’s up GN5? I’m waiting for the next one :)

  66. Gööner In Exile says:

    That was a speedy appeal process? I thought you normally got the weekend before the appeals team have a chance to sit. Bastards!

  67. GunnerN5 says:

    “Rabbi, I know tonight is Kol Nidre night, but tonight Spurs are in the European Cup quarter finals.
    Rabbi, I’m a life long Spurs fan. I’ve got to watch the Spurs game on TV.”

    Rabbi Levy replies, “Sidney, that’s what video recorders are for.” Sidney is surprised.

    “You mean I can tape Kol Nidre”?

  68. GunnerN5 says:

    “I met this really kinky girl last night.
    ‘Humiliate me,’ she said …

    So I did- I bought her a Tottenham shirt!”

  69. GunnerN5 says:

    A young boy goes to social services and tells them he has nowhere to live. “What about your parents?” asks the social worker. “No, they beat me,” says the boy. “What about your grandparents?” says the social worker. “No, they beat me even harder!” says the boy. “Well … where do you want to stay then?” replies the social worker. “Tottenham,” says the boy. “They don’t beat anyone.
    _

  70. GunnerN5 says:

    Many moons ago when I was at school, two of my mates were Spurs supporters. They would go to White Hart Lane and wait for about ten minutes after kick off and climb over the wall. One Saturday a policeman caught them and he made them go back in and watch the rest of the game!

  71. GunnerN5 says:

    Q. Why do Tottenham fans plant potatoes round the edge of their gardens?
    A. So they have something to lift at the end of the season!

  72. GunnerN5 says:

    Just for you Evonne, got to go now – grand kids school run.

  73. chas says:

    Excellent post, Benjamin.

    I’d go for a triple-headed Cerberus, with Bouldie providing the pragmatism, Dennis the majesty and Thierry the sublime.
    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, opposition.

  74. Joe says:

    I see Jack gets a 2 game ban for sticking up a finger a tackle which could have broken a leg not worth a second glance.
    Or pick up 10 yellow cards you get a 2 game ban break a leg you get a 3 game ban. The FA need to look at it’s priorities or lose it’s best young English players to long term injuries.

  75. arnie says:

    Great great stuff, Benjamin, did I not say that before? The only minor quibble I have is with the “(still)” in the first line. :D :D :D

  76. evonne says:

    OMG!!!! This is disgusting “Cardiff manager Malky Mackay is told by owner Vincent Tan to resign or he will be sacked”

    I hope Mackay won’t go to Tottenham, he is a good manager

  77. evonne says:

    Sunderland draw Manure and West Ham get shitty. All tickets for the finals already sold out. Nothing odd about that draw

  78. LB says:

    Good comment Joe

  79. LB says:

    So Jack will miss Chelsea and West Ham…………I can’t, I just can’t people will get too upset……..

  80. arnie says:

    LB: Chelsea is the crucial one. I would much rather he was available that day. Hopefully he learns a lesson as well.

    Joe: agreed. But we Arsenal fans do not have any expectations from our enemies, and the officials and the FA establishment are part of it. We live to fight our battles. Hopefully, Jack will not make this same mistake again soon. :D :D It helps no one.

    I am gutted, to say the least. But we will not have to think about this again when we come out of it with a thumping victory on Monday. :D :D :D

  81. LB says:

    The thing that has stood out above all in the debate about Jack in the last few days is just how many people used the excuse that since his injury he is still not back to his best.

    Well, let’s just look at that, so you accept that he is not back to his best and the reason is because he is not yet fully recovered from his injury. That is no more than a round about way of saying that he is still injured.

    And yet the very same people flatly refuse to agree with me when I say his selection is costing us points.

    So what am I missing? Surely it follows that if he is not at his best due to injury then the team is operating below the standard that it could be with eleven fully fit players?

    Help, this is confusing?

    As I see it Wenger molly coddles Wilshere but his ban means that he will no longer have to make decisions based on upsetting the future club and country’s captain and can make them based purely on the fitness of the eleven players that take to the field.

    For the first time, I now believe we can beat Chelsea.

  82. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    How is it at your end, & I don’t mean Graeme Swanns :lol:

    “Up the Arse”
    Chelsea are going down :twisted:

  83. Sav from Australia says:

    Brilliant article absolutely fantastic. I voted Arsene! Although I didnt see we could make more than one choice. Otherwise would have put Bouldy as second choice if not the Boss. I really would not be surprised if Steve Could takes over after Arsene. However, he might elect to stay in his current role and be like pat rice god bless him.

  84. Sav from Australia says:

    I hope whoever comes in after Arsene stays for 10 or 15 years. Really long term. Then is replaced by one of the current players. Like Bouldy succeeds Arsene then succeeded by…Tomas! Has to be Tomas. Benjamin you really got my mind working this morning!

  85. Sav from Australia says:

    LB,
    Read your post yesterday but forgot to comment. I was reminded after reading your comment today about Jack and Chelsea. I agree with you. I think at present with Jack out the change in team configuration could bode I’ll for Chelsea. I hope. He’s going to be a legend though…just not yet.

  86. Gööner In Exile says:

    Gnarly good to see you on the blog….even if it is to gloat about the cricket :)

    To be fair I think England flattered to deceive in the summer and a combination of England’s seam attack and poor Australian batting combined to retain the Ashes.

    Down in Oz our bowling attack reverted to type of not knowing how to bowl on a flat track and no swing whereas Siddell, Johnson and Harris looked like they have had a crash course from Glen McGrath and put our out of form batting line up to the sword.

    A lot of the comments in the media here have been around Pietersen gifting wickets and us not playing the tall bowlers (Finn and Tremlett) we took to get something from the pitch, that last bit I don’t understand because it’s not like the three mentioned above are giants yet good line and length did for our batsmen far too easily.

  87. Gööner In Exile says:

    LB you have to admit you are becoming a bit obsessed by Jack :) whilst he was pretty woeful against City he was not the only one. There were others not pulling their weight, or as guilty of gifting goals. Ozil for example.

    In Napoli he was not present yet we looked equally toothless in the second half. (Even before Arteta’s departure).

  88. arnie says:

    LB, you have lost me a bit there. Oh dear!!! A step too far for me!!!

    I do not believe you are right, but even if you were, this is not the way I would like Arsenal to play. :D Are you suggesting Arsene works with a view towards satisfying partisan English support for Jack. He selects teams based on whims of the England team? He would need help from the FA or Hodgson to leave Jack on the bench or out of the team? No, not for me!!!! :D :D :D

    I would like Jack to be more disciplined and cohesive in his game, but he is certainly a good member of the team. He deserves his place. He will play through his loss of form and focus and recover soon, :D :D :D

  89. arnie says:

    The jury is still out, but based on evidence so far we have handled some indifferent performance followed by this period of lull pretty well. Reasonably positive outlook, no excess negativity. Well done all of us. Not quite time to pat our backs. That will come after the victory on Monday. :D :D :D

  90. MickyDidIt89 says:

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    DidIt‏@MickyDidIt
    Happy Christmas to all AA’ers
    Santa in his favoured Home Strip
    Upwards into 2014. Didit. pic.twitter.com/AXg9SpSPRH

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  91. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bollocks. So nearly did my first ever Tweet properly.

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ps That was also my last ever tweet. You have no idea how much work has gone into this :-)

    Don’t reply tweet me, because I won’t be there. Offski.

  93. chas says:

    Long sleeves ✔
    White sleeves ✘

  94. chas says:

    Great effort, DidIt.

    I can’t believe you copied in all that other rubbish just to make it look like you were an incompetent buffoon.
    No-one is falling for that.
    Get back out there. The next one won’t be a dumper.

  95. chas says:

    Bad language warning.

  96. chas says:

    DidIt’s uncle could sort this fella out.

  97. chas says:
  98. chas says:
  99. evonne says:

    LB – is Jack not fully recovered OR is he not fully match fit yet? If he is not fully recovered then he shouldn’t play. But if the latter is the case, he should play. We will need him at his best at the end of the season

  100. evonne says:

    for the new AAers, the old crew heard the story twice already.

    My old boss was a true Chav. Many a times I would come to work on a Monday, after we beat Chelsea, to watch him sitting with white knuckles at his keyboard and avoiding my victorious smiles. And then he would say – there is a law of average and our time will come. He was right

    If I didn’t delete him from my Facebook friends after they won the CL, I would remind him that there is a law of average and our time is now, we will beat them on Monday. I was never more sure of anything else before

  101. evonne says:

    what do you lot think of the Cardiff owner? We could end up with such individual

  102. TT says:

    Evonne, exactly. I was thinking that while Arsenal are lucky to have Wenger, in the opposite sense, Wenger is lucky to have Arsenal too. Look at how reactionaly and directionless some of these clubs appear.

  103. Morning all

    We have a New Post …………..

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