Let’s get off Arsene’s back, and keep some perspective!


Arsene can be stubborn and a bad listener; and Arsene makes mistakes. He surely has bought a number of rubbish players over the years and he holds on to underperformers far too long. Arsene lacks grace and humility at times, and can be a very bad loser. He also is a hopeless romantic; in search of beautiful football and fairness in our favourite sport, at the same time.

But Arsene bleeds Arsenal.

And being a child of the sixties, I will always have a soft spot for those who want to make the world (of football) a better place, and are so passionate about what they do.

He gives his all for the club continuously and unreservedly, and has stayed loyal to us when he could have easily run away.

And guess what: except for being so idealistic,  more or less all of the above characteristics can be found in any other top manager: from Cruijff to Van Gaal, and from Ferguson to Mourinho, from Capello to Sacchi. Unfortunately, for most parts, these are not very charming and tactful people, but they have become so successful because they are dominant, stubborn and powerful; and because they know football so much better than any of us do.

One of Johan Cruijff’s well-known sayings is: every advantage has a disadvantage and every disadvantage has an advantage; and the fact that Arsene is both stubborn and a romantic is in my view the main reason for him staying put at our club for so long.

Would Arsene have decided to leave as soon as the new ground was completed – something Van Gaal did to Ajax from which they still have to recover 16 years later – I am absolutely convinced we would have been in the same position as Liverpool and Spuds, and many others over the last few years: not more than top four hopefuls and absolutely no chance of winning the PL; or taking part much in the CL at all, let alone having a chance to win it. Arsenal have come short over the last seven years, but in most season we have been in with a shout of winning something.

We have all become victims of our expectations: when high expectations are not being met, it will normally lead to huge disappointment. Disappointment becomes anger and anger needs to be vented. And who do we have to vent our anger at: the players and the manager. The players are the responsibility of the manager, and as with any other football club that falls short of the fans’ expectations, the call for the head of the manager will eventually become louder and louder.

The world’s best manager of the past decade- according to FIFA’s statisticians – has been extremely consistent for Arsenal. And with that consistency come expectations of moving it up to win silverware every season; and Arsene himself has only one desire, and that is to get back to winning ways. If you doubt that, then you are a very bad observer of human behaviour and/or utterly gullible to cheap media headline stories.

So Wenger is struggling to get this team to understand the system of football he wants them to play this season; to make them believe in themselves; to make them gel and re-discover their fantastic form of the early part of the season. He is also finding it very hard to find the balance between making the team defensively sound and yet playing attacking football.

He has had to cope without two of the four best players of last season, Song and Van Judas; and Theo – another one of the four – will be leaving him in the lurch as well soon. On top of that he needs to fit in three new attack minded players and make them understand how he wants them to play.

Of course, it is disappointing that we are currently seventh in the league and already 15 points behind the Mancs; and losing out on penalties against Bradford City with a very strong team, was a painful humiliation for us all too.

However, for fellow Gooners to say that Wenger does not know how to do tactics – and  there are even those who believe that all his successes with Arsenal are simply due to luck – is the biggest insult you could give to Arsene, and could not be further from the truth.

For example, give me another manager who loses the likes of Clichy, Nasri and Fabregas and has to endure season-long injuries to the top-top talents of Diaby and Wilshere, and come to realise that Ramsey is very likely not to make the grade, and Rosicky is constantly injured; and still finish above heavy spenders Liverpool, Chelsea, and Spud-bums in third position, after such a bad start!

Was that all luck rather than tactical nous, really? Making Arteta our anchor, and Song our lynchpin player who became a main provider of vital assists, was simply genius and it singlehandedly saved our season.

Did anybody really believe after the summer that Arsenal had a strong chance to win the PL this year? Yet, if this team can find some cohesion and form, within no time it can be third in the league again. Arsenal have qualified for the last sixteen of the CL, and we are only five points behind Chelsea who are currently in third position. So, some perspective is needed here.

For Arsene, the most important thing is to get the system of football working again. Once he has that fixed, Arsenal will go from strength to strength once more. This might take a while longer, but rest assured Wenger will get Arsenal there as soon as possible, and he is the best man to fix it right now; in the middle of the season.

The squad is good and has lots of potential, but could do with some improvement in key areas. And it also looks now that Arsene can spend more in order to get better quality players in: a trend that started with the purchases of Mertesacker, Arteta, Oxlade, Giroud and Cazorla, etc. And hopefully Arsene can move it up one more level very soon with the sort of players discussed in The Gooner’s excellent, in-depth post yesterday. A beast of a DM and a proper quality winger would be very welcome.

Should Arsene be blamed for the constant need of our team to go through a seasonal transition: dealing with the loss of our star/world class players and bedding in new players constantly? This is without any doubt the main reason of our inability to win silverware at the moment.

Maybe indirectly he is to be blamed; by not agreeing to players earning a lot more than others in his team, and by his idealism that it should never be all about money. But nobody knows this for sure, and I reckon there was really little more he could have done to keep Fabregas and Van Judas.

However, I have no doubt that Arsene’s lack of pragmatism has the potential of holding us back to some extent, but ultimately he is a winner who wants nothing more for Arsenal, AND himself, than to be as successful as possible. And for me, that goes a long way.

I suggest we all need to sit back a bit more and give Arsene the credit he deserves and the time needed to turn it all round once again. If you want to vent your frustrations, aim them at the Board. They are the ones who need to ensure we hold on to our top talents and give Arsene the best resources possible – even if this would mean having to manoeuvre Arsene towards the perfect middle of idealism and pragmatism; romance and bread and butter stuff.

We need to stand behind Arsene and help him as much as we can. If in the summer we come to the conclusion our season has not come good and/or there is a strong indication we are once again going to lose one or more of our top players, I would fully understand those who want the manager, and ideally Kroenke as well, gone.

But now it is not the time to ask for Arsene’ head; now is the time to unite behind the manager and the players, by giving them our full support.

Total Arsenal.

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106 Responses to Let’s get off Arsene’s back, and keep some perspective!

  1. Mint says:

    the squad isn’t good. Chamakh, Squillaci, Djourou, Gervinho, Ramsey, Santos, Denilson, Bendtner ?? these are mediocre players that just aren’t good enough to wear the shirt. getting rid of this lot would save us over 450k a week ! surely with that money we could afford a couple of world class players. there is something majorly wrong at the Arsenal and Kronke and Gazidis are the main culprits. i feel sorry for Arsene i really do….

  2. Lobsta says:

    People shouldn’t need to be told all that

  3. sultan alcovinco says:

    Win your supporter back by winning trophies!

  4. Fakazani says:

    you are delusional if you believe Mr Wenger can still take the club forward . He has reached his ceiling and has failed to reinvent the levels he had previously set himself and is too arrogant to accept it

  5. stonroy says:

    Really a top notch article,

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Mint, the squad could do with improvement, as I said in the article. Sz, Sagna, Jenk, Koz, Ox, TV, BFG, Gibbs, Djourou, Wilshere, Arteta, Cazorla, Rosicky, Coquelin, Theo (for now), Diaby (if fit), Pod, Giroud, Gerv are not a bad first 11-16 to have. Arsene will get them to play a good system of football again sooner or later and a few players can still be added to it as well.

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Fakazani,

    Arrogance comes with the top-job, and maybe he has reached his ceiling. But I reckon he will show us once again what he is capable of this season. If not, I might agree with you, but for now let’s get behind Wenger.

  8. Red Arse says:

    Absolutely brilliant, brilliant article, TA. 🙂

    I agree with everything you say in your article, and it is only the obtuse who will not understand and agree with it.

  9. Red Arse says:

    have I detected a new ‘non-reply’ format mijnheer? 🙂

    Much better!

  10. oz gunner says:

    bloody brilliant TA, one of the best articles I’ve ever read!

    Agree with every word of it. People like Mint seem to forget that the whole squad can’t be world beaters, we aren’t Man City (even they have junk despite their vast fortune). Every player must play their part in the squad and those duds will be cleared out soon enough!

    Great managers evolve with the game and Arsene has done many times and he will do again. He’s a stubborn so and so but so are probably all of us on here:

    I’m a stubborn optimist who goes into every season thinking we are going to win every trophy
    Terry is refusing to part ways with his new tug toner
    Herb is too stubborn to part ways with his Arsene dart board
    VCC hates stubborn stains and refuses to listen to anything remotely masculine
    TA is so stubborn he still refuses to cook his onions and wear non-wooden shoes
    GLIC is so infatuated with his handsomeness he refuses to part with his mirror
    Gooner and Rocky are that stubborn that they won’t get a proper police force up in Canada
    RA refuses Websters plea to write the new dictionary because he loves numbers
    Henry is so stubborn he refuses to stop laughing…even after we lost the Champions League final

    He will come good!!! cheers TA

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Yes, you have Redders, and I have also changed the date slightly so there is no more ambiguity re what comes first the month or the day (still kept the month first to continue making you feel at home at BK) 😀

    Your comments re Arsene over the last few days have largely inspired me to write this post, Redders. 🙂

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahahahahaha that is so funny Oz! 😛 😀 😆

    And thanks for the praise; really appreciated.

  13. VCC says:

    Oz 09:18…….:-)

    Your challenging GLiC for the most humorous poster on BK. 😉

  14. VCC says:

    Total…..does your rose coloured glasses still work being buried two foot under the sand? 😉

    No, seriously, great article, and your dead right. We, as true Arsenal fans, must get behind our Manager now more than ever.

    We have some qualityp layers and they don’t become poor over night. Wenger will tweak things slightly in January and purchase some quality in the summer, I’m sure of that. Also, he will ship out some under performing wage thieves. IAWT

    As Del boy says “This time next year we’ll be millionaires” ……except in Arsenals case we will be champions and I will be the winner of the UMF League……Appy Dayz…..Cushtie Mushtie.

  15. h4rj says:

    Statistically highest rated manager of the last decade and we want him sacked or to reinvent himself?

    Wenger is a top top manager that has taken a few risks without great reward on the football side but has never jeopordised the future of the club.

    In fact, with the stadium and consecutive CL qualifications (finance that brings in at such a critical time) and surplus transfer funds, Wenger has set Arsenals place at the top table of football for the next 100 years.

    Wenger still knows.

  16. Red Arse says:

    Hi Ozzer, and you too VCC , (both weirdoes) 😀

  17. Kanai says:

    Its people like Ian that are deluded. Arsenal will rise again under AW. The biggest accesst arsenal has is the ability to have keep AW all this while. Do you think morinho can manage arsenal with this crop of players and finish 10th? I see AW FINISHING 3rd.

  18. Red Arse says:

    I am so happy that we had the luck to get Arsene as our manager, because everything great that has happened since has been the result of David Dein offering him the position.

    I will remember AW with respect and affection for the rest of my life.

    I am not a ‘fanatic’, which in the this context I define as, someone who is filled with a rabid and blind zeal which prevents him/her from questioning anything connected with the object of their devotion.

    I am concerned for Arsene on two counts.

    The first, is that I think he does not need to put up with all the dreadful abuse and vicious criticism he is currently receiving, and indeed this must be affecting his health.

    Secondly, no one is infallible, and we all make mistakes, including Arsene. There comes a time in everyone’s life when there effectiveness, intellectually or physically, begins to deteriorate, and the smart ones take the time to re-group and reassess where their future leads them, and in AW’s case perhaps that will be into a well deserved retirement!

    Arsene is not above tactful questioning and, if necessary, some gentle criticism.

    I hope he can pull the irons out of the fire and turn our season around, but if not, I suggest that he instigates the process for replacing himself, both for the benefit of the club and to the benefit of the club and the fans.

    Respect! Admiration! Affection! Those are the key words I have for Arsene Wenger.

  19. Red Arse says:


    I cannot see anyone, even Mourhino or Ferguson achieving the success Arsene has managed at Arsenal, without spending hundreds of millions of pounds sterling on players!

  20. richie59er says:

    @The G from yesterday 2 points, 1st, if you only joined us in 97 you’ve had nothing but the glory years, I’m pleased for you. 2nd how can you possibly describe our transfer dealings as mid table? In the years since you’ve been with us (the Arsene years) we’ve never been out of the top 4. What’s especially true that you highlighted and rightly so, is that in those years we had the talent to win the league. That’s correct but only if our first 11 stayed fit, often our back up’s were well under par. Our injury record in those years was on par with the other top 4 teams, but they had the back up that we didn’t. What was often so frustrating in the above period was that with our 1st 11 we were miles ahead of the rest but one suspension and 2 minor injuries had us in crisis mode.

  21. @babakrdaemi says:

    Red Arse – I agree. I dont think that Mourhino or Ferguson would cope with losing players every year. Jose would have left Arsenal in 2006 and Fergie would have either left or been sacked for fighting the board.

  22. richie59er says:

    TA I might be in a minority of 1 yet again, but I much prefered the old system where you could reply directly to a point made. Why dub down just because a few were too lazy to read back? I think that is/was the strength of an article, some of the old blogs with the great analysis can be re-read and commented on. If some only wanted to comment on the current, what was stopping them? If you wanted a fuller picture then read all, I myself missed comments only to find out later what I’d missed, so what?

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC 🙂

    I watched the first half of City – Arse again this week and we played so well against the Oilers. You are right, our players have not become poor overnight.

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi h4rj 🙂

    Now that is a fine bit of perspective commenting if ever there was one!

    Hi Kanai 🙂

    Third is achievable and if the Northern Oilers don’t sort their internal issues soon, we can still overtake them as well.

    Hi baba 🙂

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    Redders @10.29

    Well said. I have very little doubt that Arsene himself will not want to continue for another year if things have not improved significantly at the end of the season.

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Emir Richie 🙂

    Both systems are not without disadvantages but only you and me have the time to read back comments constantly 😉

  27. mike says:

    i love your belief. Its something that I share also. And maybe one day that belief will come true. As for now ? As for the next five years ? I think with everyone fit we can still get a top four spot but we dont know if that will happen. If we strengthen in certain areas, as you suggest, we could get top four, we dont yet know. However if we dont buy and dont keep players fit then we may not get top four, of course we dont know. We have to have hope. I would prefer to see wenger go without a cloud, he has had a fantastic time at this club but i refuse to lower my expectations just to avoid the pain of disappointment. Once that happens I am beaten. My fear is that there are some , management and fans who have already begun that process.

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi and welcome to BK, Mike 🙂

    I guess it is more a question of having realistic expectations and high hopes. When we starts playing well our high hopes will subconsciously turn into raised expectations; only to feel let down again when Arsenal enter another bad spell. Most fans go through a similar process with supporting their club.

    For me, it is almost impossible to win the PL when constantly in transition and that is the first thing that needs to stop. Keep our best players, grow into a strong team with a great system of football, develop youth players into stars and then keep them, and add one or two really good players every season. Arsene should be allowed a spell in which he can build on the above mentioned process.

  29. koopaz says:

    Congratulations on being one of minority of Arsenal bloggers to try and establish some perspective. I wonder what odds the bookies would have offered for two of five attempts striking either upright? It’s not unusual for teams meeting premiership clubs to raise their games, particularly at home in cup competitions, but this should not detract from Bradford’s achievement and what it might for the club and its community.

    I also appreciate your attempt to highlight some of the traits of successful managers. I would question those who feel Wenger manages like a ‘dictator’ or is too authoritarian; when did the helming of a football team become a democracy? Furthermore, if anybody can show me where it says that in supporting the ARsenal, I can bask in the reflected glory of winning every game we play by ten goals. FFS, I remember a good part of the 80 when we shite and all the other kids supported LIverpool, SPuds (on account of a few creditable FA Cups), or QPR(!).

    If there is a criticism to be levelled at Wenger, perhaps it is the faith he invests in c*** like Nasri (mercenary); fabregas (homesick bulshitter); van prostitute (does the captaincy, the no. 10, VCC, and the adoration of supporters really mean that little to you?); and SOng (swayed by pimp agents and content to fit his buttocks in to HLeb’s place on the Bastardlona bench), with THeo becoming the latest in an illustrious list of venal, selfish, little superstar players.

  30. glic says:

    Afternoon Clitastrophe`s 🙂

    Fine post Total

    I will always be grateful for what Arsene has done for us and there should be a statue of him outside the stadium along with the others ( there should be one of God/Jehovah aswell ).
    In the current situation, he should have our backing as should the team. I have said previously that he drives me nuts with some decisions that even a retarded spud wouldn`t make, but he deserves the chance when the monies flow in to take us further as he has been the one who has laid our solid foundations for the future and It wouldn`t be fair If someone else just turned up and gained all the credit.
    Imo though he needs to find something from somewhere which is different from the past. The game has changed drastically and he needs to find an edge . Only time will tell whether he can still cut it .
    It would be interesting to see/hear what other BKers think Arsenes bad traits are. Total, you yourself have already said he is stubborn and a bad listener. I personally hate people who lie to me. I dont really care if anyone gets pissed off with my next line, but Arsene has lied too much for my liking, an example ,” we will be bringing in some super quality “( from a while back )and also to say of Cesc and Na$ri, ” we cannot be considered serious contenders if we lose both these players “.
    Some will say that was the boards decisions, yet some will say Arsene rules the roost and his decisions are all that count. I believe he always has the final say. If he really wanted RVP to stay , he would have kept him, imo that was an astonishingly bad decision. All this, “I want them to stay” talk is crap, he should have been made to stay and ManU wouldn`t be currently sitting 6 points ahead at the top of the table !. Arsenal/Arsene get honest supporters out of the lot of us, all I ask for is some honesty in return. For someone who I look up to, lies feel like a dagger through the heart. Just be honest Arsene.
    With all the new monies set to roll in ( along with whats currently under the bed ) and FFP, the next couple of years will a great opportunity for Arsene to show he still has what it takes.
    He has done miricles in getting us in the CL since the move and I (and many of you ) have always been satisfied with at least 4th being a trophy, but the goals posts are changing to help us now, so in the next few years 4th will not be enough to satisfy us, he has weathered the stadium and oil storm and I hope he will lead us through the calmer waters to glory.

    If we draw or lose at Reading, I say we lynch the bastard !. hahaha

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    ‘when did the helming of a football team become a democracy?’

    Thanks for a fine comment koopaz 🙂

    I especially liked your sentence I quoted above. Just imagine a manager trying to please the majority of the fan base continuously, or asking all of his staff and players to vote every game for a strategy to beat the opponents….

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Glic 🙂

    Thanks for a serious and well felt comment. Did Arsene really lie? I doubt that very much, but when negotiations take place about the sales or purchases of players the media is often used to influence and to put pressure on them.

    Re your examples, we just do not know what happens behind closed doors and how much Kroenke influences decisions with regards to keeping hold of Nasri and van Judas. Unless money is not of any importance to a club – and for most clubs it clearly is – nobody will keep a player against his wish and lose out on £25m.

    You said previously you would have expected Van Judas to be professional and that you don’t care about the money we got for him, and as a fan this is a reasonable thing to say. But if you are in charge of the club and have financial responsibility it is rather a different matter.

    The super-quality comments do annoy me too, though.

  33. glic says:

    Hi Total 🙂

    Speculate to accumalate !. SAF`s speculation was to buy RVP to accumalete title`s and at the moment he`s doing a fine job positional wise although speculatively it could all change.
    RVP was our speculative sale to accumalate £25M. I would like to speculate that had we kept RVP, ManU would not have accumalated so many goals or points and that it would have been ourselves who had accumalated more goals and points.
    Although speculative, I firmly believe we would be odds on ( and maybe Vicky could come up with some speculative odds ) to accumalate more CL money next season. Which would have out weighed the loss of RVP`s transfer fee to ManU. However, we are not in the greatest position currently to accumate any CL money next season as we have accumalated money from ManU`s speculation to buy RVP .
    I can see I have accumalated a lot of speculation here,.
    I have now accumalated a headache and wish I had gone to Speculation Savers !.

    Super Quality comments do annoy you ? . This could be either the ones I made or the one`s Arsene made !. I like to think it was the one`s Arsene made as he was the one who said them and it annoyed me too !. hahaha

  34. glic says:

    He`s accumalated another goal already !. 👿

  35. glic says:

    Accumalated doesn`t look right, it`s accumulated isn`t it ! 😳 hahaha

  36. VCC says:


    odds on Manchester United having more goals with RvP = DEFINITELY
    odds on Manchester United having less points without RvP = DEFINITELY
    odds on Manchester United being further down the table without RvP = DEFINITLEY

    odds on Arsenal having more goals for with RvP = DEFINITELY
    odds on Arsenal having more points with RvP = DEFINITELY
    odds on Arsenal being further up the table with RvP = DEFINITELY

    So that means I definitely believe we would be better off with him than without him. which means I definitely wouldn’t have a headache after Arsenal games if he was still with us, which would mean I definitely wouldn’t have accumulated (correct spelling) so much pain and definitely know the odds on accumulating so much definite decisions being accumulated in my head. Which simply amounts to accumulating definite thoughts within my definitely handsome head.

    Zim,Zimminy, ZIM Zim, Cherou, I’m definitely mad…..how about you?

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    You see Glic, you just read the wrong sort of articles and you should focus on the actual quote and not the title of the article:

    Wenger said back then:
    “We want to add not quality, but super quality,” said Wenger. “We hope to give you some good news soon. Next week, something might happen.”

    This simply means something could happen but is not necessarily going to happen. 😉

    If MU had not bought van Judas they would have bought another top striker and the gap could have just been the same. And don’t forget he forced his departure. Forcing him to stay against his will and with only one desire and that is to stay fit, so he can get a new contract somewhere else, is also not a good thing.

    Van Judas had no backbone and left us in the lurch at the first opportunity, but karma is going to get him eventually. 🙂

  38. glic says:

    So Total, when I say to my missus, ” I want to buy you, not a present for Xmas, but a super quality present and hope you will be well pleased next week ” and she ends up with just a box of Quality Street Chocolates, I`ll send her around your house for the explanation, whilst I`m in A&E having accumulated chocolates removed from my rectum !.

  39. glic says:

    And he said he will buy Messi in January, not might buy !.

    Mind you , he didn`t say what year !……January 2053 !…….He`d still be better than Chamakh is now !.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic, I am sure your missus would have been very happy with Arteta. 😉

  41. VCC says:

    Total……GLiC’s missus would be head over heels with any one but GLiC…..now come on.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    Yeah, I should have said Gervinho. His forehead is a far better mirror than Glic’s vanity one. 😛

  43. glic says:

    You cant write some of the stuff I write without having something loose somewhere !. hahaha

    I know it`s shocking for the family of that nurse, but when I think of some of the prank calls I made in my earlier days before I became mature, well, I must have been lucky in not sending someone over the edge, at the time you just think your just having a laugh, not for one second wondering whether someone has issue`s of any kind like depression etc`.
    Thinking back, something like Beadle`s About could have easily sent the wrong person over the edge. I know some people who would have shot Beadle, if he had pulled some of them pranks on them !.

  44. glic says:

    Is that little Zorro or big Zorro ? hahaha

  45. glic says:

    Hows the UMF league gone today UMF ?

  46. VCC says:

    UMF League update 18:15 15th December, 2012. …..thats definitely correct as I have correctly accumulated the minutes, hours, days and years on my abacus. ( am I playing on my own here….hehehe)

    Red Arse (smart arse)…………. 14
    VCC (handsome fu—-) 12……………1 result to come
    OZ (getting better|) 11……………. ditto
    TMHT (BK’ers Stud) 9…………….2 results to come
    Henry (Hyena) 9……………. ditto
    Herb (Grumpy) 9…………….1 result to come
    The Gooner (Beginners Luck) 9…………….1 result to come
    Total (ClogsRus) 8
    Rocky (Jet lagged) 8…………….1 result to come
    GLiC (be kind 2 him he cant help it) 7……… ditto

  47. glic says:

    Just noticed we`ve got the mirror image of Manu`s points !. 42=24 😦

  48. VCC says:

    GLiC….18:14…. Thats so funny you should say that because I used to do that all the time. When I first started work during 16-17 years of age I had the best office job going……could use the telephone indefinitely. I think my best was a call that made the recipient a winner of a competition about answering 3 questions about the film Guns of Navarone (one of their favourite films, so I knew they would get all questions right hehehe Henry your not in this sketch) When I think back, it was so naughty of me,building their hopes up, but at the time I had the office in stitches.

  49. glic says:

    hahaha I had one of those little machines which said ” f**k you”, “eat shit”, ” f**king jerk ” and used to phone random numbers and piss myself listening to people arguing with the machine swearing at them !. hahaha

  50. glic says:

    ” your an arse hole” was the other one on the machine !. hahaha

  51. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Total, thanks for the post.

    Successes Failures
    ————– ———–
    Gk: Lehmann Manninger, Wright, Shaaban, Almunia,
    Mannone, Fabianski

    RB: Lauren, Sagna Garde, Vivas, Luzhny, Eboue

    LB: ??? Silvinho, Juan, Van Bronkhorst,
    Clichy, Santos

    CB: Campbell, Toure, Stepanovs, Cygan, Senderos, Djourou,
    Gallas Silvestre, Squillaci

    DM: Vieira, Petit, Flamini, Diarra

    CM: Fabregas, Edu, Malz, Inamoto, Denilson, Diaby,
    Wilshere (Academy) Rosicky, Bischoff

    RW: Ljungberg Pennant, Walcott, Gervinho

    LW: Overmars, Pires Boa Morte, Reyes, Arshavin

    ST: Anelka, Henry, Wiltord Aliadiere, Diawarra, Wreh, Jeffers, Suker,
    Van Persie, Adebayor, Eduardo Baptista, Park, Bendtner, Chamakh.

    Players who fall somewhere in the middle/still to prove themselves: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Cole, Gibbs, Grimandi, BFG, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Song, Arteta, Hleb, Nasri, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Giroud.
    I think the facts speak for themselves.

  52. Herb'sArmy says:

    All my work gone to waste!!! It just looks a mess now 😦

  53. glic says:

    “Convent of Providence of Immaculate Conception….Sister Mary speaking….how may I help you “…………..”F**k you” !. hahahahahahahaha

    Guess who`s not going to heaven ! . hahaha

    I know, I know, but I was young and inmature, but I wet myself laughing. hahaha

  54. glic says:

    Bloody hell Herb, that looks a mess ! hahaha

    Couldn`t you`ve just done an A and B column ! hahaha

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Herb, I think I am not sure which facts are saying what exactly 😕

    Is it in relation to today’s post, or just a general comment about an aspect of Arsene’s performance?

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for UMF league update VCC, and great nicknames as well! 🙂

  57. Herb'sArmy says:

    I’ll try again!
    Jens Lehmann
    Manninger, Wright, Shaaban, Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone

    Lauren, Sagna
    Garde, Luzhny, Vivas, Eboue

    Silvinho (dodgy passport), Juan, Van Bronkhorst, Clichy, Santos

    Campbell, Toure, Gallas
    Stepanovs, Cygan, Senderos, Djourou, Squillaci, Silvestre
    All To Prove
    BFG, Koscielny, Vermaelen.

    Vieira, Petit, Gilberto
    Flamini, Diarra

    Edu, Fabregas, Wilshere (Academy)
    Inamoto, Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky, Bischoff, Malz
    All To Prove
    Arteta, Cazorla

    Pennant, Walcott, Gervinho

    Overmars, Pires
    Boa Morte, Reyes, Arshavin

    Anelka, Henry, Wiltord, Van Persie, Adebayor
    Wreh, Diawarra, Aliadiere, Jeffers, Suker, Baptista, Bendtner, Eduardo (very unlucky), Chamakh, Park Ju-Young.
    All To Prove
    Podolski, Giroud.

    That is not an impressive transfer-record for one of the world’s biggest football clubs.

  58. glic says:

    Who`s Juan ? have I missed an Arsenal player over the years !.

  59. glic says:

    Herb are these players only one`s associated with AW ?

    A Cole although an A Hole was a brillianty player !.
    Would not call Theo a failure and Gerv` could prove a good one.
    Eduardo, Diaby and Rosicky, injury prone class players.
    Flamini and Diarra, left but could have proved valuable.
    Silvinho, Clichy, nothing wrong with them imo.
    Reyes, went home too early.

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    You are joking Herb! And that all at cost neutral/ to making a profit on transfer dealings. Who else has performed such miracles?!

    If you look back for 10 or more years at any club you can come up with a large list of players who did not make the grade. The difference is Arsene never made a loss on player sales and purchases, where all the other top managers have overspent significantly.

    It is also logical that if you have to work with a limited budget that you will take more risk with players and mistakes are therefore more likely. I am sure the BoD are not surprised at all that some make it and quite a few do not.

    As I said before, the key thing is to keep hold of the players that make it.

  61. glic says:

    Someone put me out of my misery, who the f**ks Juan ? hahaha

  62. TotalArsenal says:

    Don’t you remember the song, Glic: Juan, Juan you are the only one!?

  63. glic says:

    It`s ok, I found him, 2 games between 01 and 04, he must have been playing whilst I was Bishop Bashing !. hahaha

  64. The Gooner says:

    VCC, I believe in due time my name will have to be swapped to Handsome Young Lad. Funny enough, I almost went with Villa but thought the return of the goofy diver might have made an impact. Thanks for the update as always!

  65. glic says:

    or playing with Juans self !. hahaha

  66. The Gooner says:


    Look at the followers you’ve attained who can’t form an opinion of their own today ;)! On a serious note, very happy to see a lot of loyal supporters showing their trust in AW and his work. There’s no use in turning on the man, only gives a negative reflection to the players and they respond by feeling threatened at home. And to be honest, who can you see doing a better job with the team than he’s done on a restricted budget after the “erection” of the Emirates.

    AW bleeds Arsenal and has stuck by the team through everything and could have easily left us when things were tough. The faith he showed in being loyal to us is the same faith we should afford to him as our manager; it’s foolish and petty to think otherwise. By the way, it’s not a reflection on AW being a poor manager when I say I’m hoping for a couple top quality players to come in January. I just feel we’re a couple pieces away from being a true contender for the league title.

    Richie, I wasn’t implying that all of AW’s purchases since he took over were “mid-table” transfers. But last season’s catastrophe of a transfer window, in addition to waiting on crap players to be transferred in on a free is silly. There have been plenty of crap purchases lately that I’m hoping AW replaces within the next two windows. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to get them off our teams because of the inflated salaries we gave them…either way AW will right the ship.

  67. The Gooner says:

    Also TA, great article as always. Very nice to see a shining light of positivity during these dark times. Too much negativity from past players who are just trying to create shock value to gain viewership to their shows and followers to their radio stations. Unfortunately, the general public is easily swayed and they buy into everything the tabloids and these past stars fabricate. Glad you pointed out that we all know AW’s not without his faults, but he’s done plenty more good than bad over the course of his Arsenal career.

  68. richie59er says:

    @Glic 15:26 It wasn’t only Arsene that expected “Super Super Quality” back then when he made that statement. A contract had been agreed with Valencia, personal terms had been agreed with the players agent, all that was left for the player to do was sign at the beautifully name “Prince’s/Emirs” stadium. Flying into Heathrow to sign Juan Mata is greeted with Chav’s scouts who offer him double. Double personal terms and double the signing on fee for Valencia. Surprise surprise JM doesn’t turn up at the Emirates, he’s in a shed in west London, and poor Arsene (an honorable man who wouldn’t dream of breaking an agreement) is left with egg on his face.

  69. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi GliC, yes all Mr Wenger’s players.
    Juan was another one of those dodgy Brazillian keft-backs.
    Ashley Cole is quality, but was never treated properly. He was nearly sold to Crystal Palace until they found out about Silvinho’s passport farce. And if we’d paid him what he asked for he’d have never gone to Chelsea.
    Silvinho – dodgy passport, Clichy, not as good as Cole, didn’t help us win anything, and left for £7m because of ‘our lack of ambition’.
    Considering the money we paid for Walcott’s potential at the time, he is a failure. Has he had any success at Arsenal? Same question applies to Diaby, Rosicky and Eduardo.
    I agree with you, Eduardo was class – I thought he was sold too soon – but he wasn’t allowed to stay and prove it. Reyes got the sulks because he was homesick. His non-performance in the 2005 FA Cup final against MU summed him up.
    The players I’ve listed are all part of the systematic failure that we’ve come to accept and tolerate at Arsenal, and none of those players can look back on their time with us with any sense of pride.
    However much we paid for them either in fees or wages, they have been a huge drain on our resources, and in most cases, they’ve been nothing like value for money.

  70. VCC says:

    This is a mighty tricky time coming up for Arsene Wenger. Perhaps his rockiest time yet with the club. All eyes are upon him. Will he or Won’t he? that is the million dollar question. Splash the cash this January to appease his knockers, and keep his fingers crossed that he gets it right, or wait until a more opportune time to evaluate his squad and tweak to perfection.

    My angle would be to wait until the summer and integrate 3 or 4 top quality signings, LB/DM/LW/ST.

    Keep the faith Arsene, most of your loyal supporters are behind you, we are confident you will rise again.

    Starting on Monday. Stand and deliver boys.

  71. VCC says:

    Herb 20:55………I have stuck by you, thick n thin. Not always agreeing with your thoughts/ideas/opinions. BUT, I must challenge you vehemently regarding that bleep bleep bleep Ashley Cole. How can you think, or even print he wasn’t treated properly? He epitomises all that I see bad in todays greedy, disloyal footballers.

    I have a song on my ipod I would love to send you. It’s contents include a mobile phone and a part of his anatomy. Sums him up imo.

    i will never insult BK ever again by mentioning his name.

  72. richie59er says:

    Sorry Herb but I can’t take your 18:33 or your 19:40 post seriously! Just the tiny matter that too many of the players you list as failers were part of the invincible squad. It doesn’t merrit a further comment!

  73. Herb'sArmy says:

    VCC, would you show any loyalty to a manger who tried to flog you off to Crystal Palace?

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi TG 🙂

    Did you have a nice day? Fully agreed on the desirability to add a couple of very good players to this squad: it could make all the difference (although I am aware that almost all fans, from whichever club, say this more or less constantly: ‘we are two signings away from winning something’). Regarding Arsenal that really seems to be the case though.

  75. Herb'sArmy says:

    Richie, which of those I’ve listed as failures played any significant role/part in the ‘Invincibles’ team?

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi VCC, it is a tricky time and yet two wins in a row could provide us with an enormous boost to build on, and launch us back in the top-4. Two defeats and we are all swimming in dog turts. Football is a funny business.

  77. The Gooner says:

    TA, day was great thanks for asking. Had 10 cm of fresh powder come through overnight so we had a fantastic day on the slopes. Tiring though, quads will really be feeling it tomorrow morning! Fortunately, it’s a monday game so I won’t miss the most important part of every week 🙂

  78. VCC says:

    Maybe not Herb. …..But I would sure in hell appreciate the start Arsene Wenger/Arsenal gave me within football. Because no matter how you try and camouflage it, if it wasn’t for Arsenal football club he wouldn’t have any where near the life style he currently has.He would not have been looked at twice by one of the most beautiful women in the world, let alone be able to cheat on her.

    In fact by his own words in an interview I saw he was asked, what would you be if you weren’t a footballer? he said I would probably be in trouble. Sums him up, don’t you think?

    In my books he is lower than the pits. He ranks in the top 4 most disliked football related people for me, together with Alex Ferguson, Teddy Sherringham and David O’Leary.

    I wouldn’t P— on him if he was alight.

    Sorry All to be so forward with my comments, but this guy boils my blood.

  79. The Gooner says:

    Also VCC @ 17:22

    I was just as stressed out watching the team last year with RIP in the squad as we were even poorer defensively. The only difference was that I could count on someone to actually change the game for us at any given moment in time. This year’s squad is much different as we don’t have that clinical finisher who’s a game changer. We’ve definitely changed our game a bit this year and I’m glad the scoring’s been fairly distributed, but we need to ensure someone steps up when things aren’t going our way.

  80. VCC says:

    Herb 19:40

    I must say, I’m really pleased you put Sylvain Wiltord in your success list. IMO he was one of the most underrated, and often, most un spoken about players for Arsenal.

    An unsung hero in my book.

  81. VCC says:

    TG……It’s so difficult to get a happy medium in football. I was only giving my opinion that if RvP were still to be playing at Arsenal we would have scored more goals. The law of averages, if we scored more goals, we certainly would have lost fewer games and arguably, not only drawn more but maybe won more too.

    RvP has dropped down considerably in my christmas card list, but although warming to Giroud, we should have a more clinical finisher at the helm of our wonderful Arsenal ! Don’t you think?

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    TG, sounds like you let yourself properly out today, and I bet you have been able to totally switch off from footie for a few hours! 🙂

    Herb 🙂

    We have been blogging on and off for one and a half year now, but you still are able to shock me with the intensity of the negativity you feel towards our club currently, and in particular towards anything to do with Arsene Wenger. The list you produced of failures is jusst such a loveless attempt to blacken the most successful manager of Arsenal. It is your opinion and I respect it, but boy oh boy what must it be for you to support our beloved Arsenal. 😦

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Guys, I still have a spare ticket for the Wigan away game on Saturday (early kick-off). If you are interested in joining me and WiganGooner, just drop me an email at bergkampesque@gmail.com

  84. VCC says:

    Herb…….By saying this guy boils my blood I meant A.Hole. and not your good self. I apologise if you misinterpreted my comments, as I did when I read them back.

    Je Taime Herb, although we might be miles apart with our views re Arsenal, I can tell by your knowledge and comments we are as one when it boils down to the love of our lives. The only football club to have the words THE in front of them.

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    Fully agreed with your last paragraph, VCC. 🙂

    Night all. 🙂

  86. Herb'sArmy says:

    VCC, fully agreed on his character, too much time spent with Terry. Wiltord has to go in the success column after scoring the goal that won the Title at OT. Up the R’s!
    Hi Total 🙂 You have to admit I’ve been fairly consistent with my views, and I felt that well before I started blogging. I did list his successes too. It’s an honest assessment of Mr Wenger’s transfer record, and it isn’t great. Players are judged as successes when they have winners medals to show off.
    Supporting this version of Arsenal is breaking my heart, from the cartoon cannon to the soul-less bowl meant to represent our spiritual football home. We are an American Franchise, and even Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith says Stan Kroenke has no passion for anything Arsenal. It’s all starting to feel a bit Disney, with more emphasis on our commercial market value than the actual football we are meant to represent.

  87. VCC says:

    TA 2:24….maybe so, but I’ve lost count of the amount of times we keep saying “oh, that’s only a set back, let’s wait until the next run of games, we’ll be ok and go on a winning streak”

    It’s just not happening. We need to fire up the engines and go full steam ahead.

  88. VCC says:

    Herb 22:36…….the “R’s” R on the way up….up the RRRRR’s…..que GLiC, 🙂

    Come over to the dark side with me Herb n support the QPR as your second team. Good old fashioned club with values and celebrity supporters as well.

    Different aspect entirely…..different colours….different shirt styles…..different manager (you might like Arry. ;-). )

  89. Herb'sArmy says:

    I remember QPR smashing Arsenal 5-0 at Loftus Rd in the mid-seventies, VCC. Still haven’t forgiven them! 🙂

  90. VCC says:

    Herb….my Uncle used to look after the away end changing rooms. He arranged for me to have a trial…..I chickened out though….too immature in those days……its always left me wondering ….

  91. Herb'sArmy says:

    VCC, captain of QPR and England!


    TA, this is when i love you the most, when you stick up for Arsene. in fact i love anyone who stcicks up for Arsene. If Pol Pot was an ‘Arsene sticker up for’ ‘ i would probably love him.

    All i need now is to find myself a women who loves Arsene Wenger, though i would prefer it if they did not look like Arsene Wenger. I would probably get so excited i would struggle to contain myself, but then i would be in trouble again. hahahaha

    I can see it now. In the divorce proceedings the wifes solicitor would inform the judge that grounds for the petition include a third party….Arsene Wenger. hahahaha

  93. richie59er says:

    @Herb 21:24 I guess that will depend massively on your definition of significant? Cygan played over a 1/4 of the 38 + 8 as a sub, Clishy played almost a 5th of 38 + 5 as a sub even poor Reyes played 7 games + 6 as a sub and scored 2 goals. They all made significant contributions as far as I’m concerned and I bet Arsene would concur.

  94. The Gooner says:

    @ VCC, I 100% agree that we could use a more clinical striker. RIP was a world-class talent but I’m glad we’ve learned to play without him to a degree. He would have left eventually whether it be to retirement or another team. Also, screw “the little boy” inside of him, he’s nothing to our club and doesn’t deserve to be mentioned on this site anymore :).

    Giroud could use more time to adjust to the PL, but I’ve never considered him to be clinical at a world-class level. Serviceable talent who could be great for us, but not a world beater for sure. It’s not necessary to have a world-class striker to succeed, as long as we have another class striker that complements his style that can produce when he isn’t.

  95. oz gunner says:

    You’re a harsh man Herb!

    Let us compare notes:

    Clichy: You mean 16 caps for France is to be scoffed at? He had a slip up every now and then but he was rock solid before his back injury. Also was LB of the year in the EPL 07/08 season, as did Sylvinho in 00/01 (guess that’s not good enough to constitute passing your test?)

    Eboue: at one stage was considered one of the better RB’s in Europe. It took a very very good defender in Sagna to displace him. If you look past his RW move he was a quality player for Arsenal.

    Squillaci and Silvestre were brought in as squad players. They were not meant to play the number of games they did, Djourou’s career has been blighted by injuries (like others this surely can not fall under the category of Arsene’s fault).

    GVB was screwed over by cruciate knee ligament injury. left on loan to Barca and ended up playing over 100 games for them and over 100 for Netherlands. He was a quality player.

    Flamini a failure? played out of position at LB throughout our Champions League final run setting the record in the mean time. Also was the best defensive midfielder in the league in his last season displacing Gilberto. Left on a free because A.C milan called. Greedy sod not Arsene’s fault.

    Diarra was a quality signing but just wanted to play ball. If he waited 6 more months the DM spot would have been his. Good enough to play for Real Madrid, he would have been a gem for us. Guess that’s Arsene’s fault?!

    Bischoff…come off it. We brought him for peanuts as a gamble. Arsene wins more often then not on gambles. Always worth the risk given the limited money we had available.

    Reyes: Home sick not Arsene’s fault. Quality player

    Baptista was a loan deal, we never signed him! Scored 2 goals including an own goal to knock Tottenham out of the Carling Cup semi final and four goals against Liverpool (a win in my eyes). 10 goals in limited time in a new league isn’t too bad at all. 47 time Brazilian International

    Hleb: He was a quality player who got his head turned by money. Apart of a four man midfield that was one of the best in Europe.

    Song: Rags to riches player that was dominate in parts for us. Manager got in his ear. Made a big profit though

    As others have said go through pools + chelsea and you will see we’ve come out on top

  96. richie59er says:

    @Herb players aren’t judged on their medals, only a fool would do that! Cesc was and is a great player the fact that he won virtually nothing with us doesn’t make him a failure. Mat Le Tissier was a great player who loved the club he played for, he could’ve gone with SAF and won plenty but he was loyal so he didn’t win anything, try telling anyone who saw him play he wasn’t great. I was there in S’ton in May 2001 @ 2-2 when somehow Le Tis hooked his foot around the ball and scored as they beat us 3-2. He was a special talent that played in the wrong team for medals.

  97. Herb'sArmy says:

    So those players all gave their money’s worth, Richie? All money well spent? You’re trying to convince me that those three players had successful Arsenal careers?
    Mr Wenger bought Cygan to play in the starting XI, until it dawned on him he wasn’t that good and quickly demoted him to the bench. He was like Squillaci is now, not good enough.
    Again, amazing similarities between the Arsenal careers of Reyes and Arshavin. Both signed for big money during the January TW, both started on fire with the promise of much more to come, and by the following season had lost their desire.
    Clichy only got the left back spot after CAshley took off in 2006, he didn’t improve us defensively, and he didn’t help us get any closer to winning major trophies, as Cole had done. He was okay, he wasn’t great, and though I hate to say it, not the same quality as Cole.

  98. oz gunner says:

    Don’t forget Herb clichy has AA in front of him which often left him very exposed. With Cole we were defensively solid because the back four was great and we had adequate protection ahead of him

  99. richie59er says:

    Cygan cost 2Mil, Clichy nothing, only Reyes cost money. The poor kid got kicked to pieces in the prem, especially by Nevil and got no protection from the ref’s, he got scared and bottled it. He wanted away, he was used to playing football. What happened to Eduardo and Ramsey wasn’t what he signed up for, he had talent but after the targeting he got in England he wasn’t ever the same player again. The same could’ve happened to Boby P because he couldn’t believe the violence that was allowed in the prem.

  100. oz gunner says:

    What category would you put Kanu in Herb?

    Squillaci was behind djourou, kozzer and Verm but thanks to injuries to djourou and Verm had to play a lot of games. He was simply brought in as cover. He got exposed straight away in a league he’d never played before. In theory a french experienced international as a fourth choice (Miquel developing) could have been a really good move. It wasn’t due to circumstances out of Arsene’s control. I know lets sign Vidic or Hummels…oh wait we can’t afford to have superstars 4 deep in every position

  101. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning all 🙂

    Herb, you definitely cannae be accused of inconsistancy! 🙂

    Oz, a couple of fine, detailed comments last night. Agree with all your assessments! 🙂

    Richie, loved the Le Tis example 🙂

    Holy smoke Terry – a wife that looks like Arsene Wenger: now you have gone too far! 😛

  102. TotalArsenal says:

    The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.

  103. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – New Post! 🙂

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