Arsene’s era might not last much longer, but a big NO to boycotting our games

Can Arsene turn things round before the end of his current contract?

Can Arsene turn things round before the end of his current contract?

There has been a lot of commotion from fans this season, about boycotting games in order to prove a point to the Board of Directors: avoid buying tickets to games in order to not line the pockets of the greedy BoD, so that they will learn from their mistakes and properly re-invest funds into the squad

However, apart from the remuneration figures that have been circulated over the Internet, there is no real proof that the Board, Manager or Owner are the sole perpetrators in Arsenal’s lack of spending over the years.  Fans should understand that those in the Arsenal hierarchy are paid their salaries regardless of the increase or decrease in ticket sales, and that not all Board members are salaried in the first place. 

In fact, it’s very likely that, in addition to the aforementioned Board’s salaries, the funds from ticket sales are invested in a wide range of expenses; such as building the club’s brand image internationally, player salaries, financing the stadium debt, remunerating the Arsenal employees (remember that there are employees outside of the BoD, players and manager), and maintaining the pitch and other amenities at the Emirates and Shenley Training Center, etc.

My point is that there is no proof that the board are simply lining their pockets with cash and refusing the club to spend money – there are a multitude of expenses at a football club and by no means will a decrease in ticket sales inspire the Board to invest their own funds on player transfers. 

 A small contingent of fans are attempting to hurt the club in any imaginable way through boycotting games and hoping for the club to lose in order to see change – I will never understand this malice towards a club that fans claim to be passionate about, and have devoted themselves to.  Sadly, if we continue to see a decreasing trend in ticket sales, it may only affect the employees that need their jobs and deserve to be paid (ones that are paid to be at matches to sell programs, food, merchandise, take your tickets at the door, etc.).

More importantly, we must be cognizant that a decrease in attendance may adversely affect our players and squad morale as well.  There’s supposed to be a considerable advantage in any sport when playing games in your home stadium; the lack of attendance can lead players to believe that the club’s supporters are not as passionate and loyal as they once believed.  Aside from direct results in Champions League qualification and title opportunity credentials, this can actually have a minor impact on whether players want to join a club.

Arsenal is known for having a rich history and some of the world’s best and most loyal supporters.  Of course, the club is bigger than any player, manager, small contingent of tumultuous fans, etc. But over time, these revolts can wear down a club and its reputation.

However, at the end of the day, the results of our club in the standings and on the pitch outweigh these concerns, and simply put, we have not performed to the high standards we set from 1998-2005.

What then do we make of the man who has become synonymous with Arsenal?  For me, this summer marks the make or break point in Arsene’s career at Arsenal. 

The stadium debt is now under control; a young core of talents that Arsene developed has recently been signed up to long-term contracts, and several unwanted wages (Squillaci, Arshavin & Fabianski) will be off the books very soon.  Arsene must seize this opportunity and sign a world-class player, along with other talented ones to take this team forward into serious title contention.  Otherwise, the vicious cycle of struggling to qualify for Champions League will continue, and the club could fall victim to obscurity, similar to Liverpool, Leeds United and Newcastle.  Arsene’s current contract expires in the summer of 2014 and another season without silverware will undoubtedly spell the end to a storied managing career at Arsenal.

Bear in mind, I am not proclaiming that Arsene should be replaced if we do not win silverware next year; simply that there needs to be positive progression and considerable improvement in the standings and our on-field end-product, before the board should even consider extending AW’s contract again.  Arsene’s reputation and accolades certainly may entitle him to an extension, but 9 years without silverware at a top club is difficult to defend against; especially considering we have been off the pace of the PL champions by 18 or more points in the last two years (this year and last).

Sometimes, change is necessary in order for a club to move forward and for players to feel that their playing time and jobs might be in jeopardy under a new manager.  It can eliminate the complacency that has plagued this squad somewhat recently, and inspire players to perform with a full effort for the entire 90 minutes during each game.  Of course, the reverse can be true and players can be upset with the change in management, and underperform in the new circumstances.

Despite the lack of results in silverware, Arsene should be applauded and admired for standing by the club in times in which we were placed under considerable financial restraint.  I cannot think of another manager who could have done a better job during his tenure here than Arsene, and his work will continue to be remembered long after he leaves. 

If Arsene is replaced and we are able to attain silverware afterwards, it should not be viewed as a slight against Arsene or the new manager; AW will always be responsible for Arsenal’s beautiful style of football and for developing and holding onto the young core in place, but the new manager will be responsible for instilling some change that will have guided us there.

I know many of you want to see Arsenal eventually win silverware with Arsene as manager, but at what point is the drought too much to endure as a top club?

Can you see Arsenal turning its fortunes around next season?  How do you feel about some fans’ decision to boycott games?

Written By: Highbury Harmony

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134 Responses to Arsene’s era might not last much longer, but a big NO to boycotting our games

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi HH,

    Excellent post and fully agreed on the counterproductive nature of boycotting games.

    You are being very balanced about Arsene’s position currently, and it is hard to argue against your view that this summer/ next season will be make or break for Arsene. He might himself say un oeuf est un oeuf, and go and manage Real or Barca next season, or the one after that. If I was him, I would look at the BoD and the fans in the stadium and say back me or I’ll be gone.

    Of course, a new manager might be able to improve things, but we only have to look at our London rivals, Liverpool and MC to know that a new manager and bags full of cash might not get us any further.

    Let’s indeed give Arsene a chance to spend some money on a couple of good players and a veteran goallie and get behind him at least one more season. However, if he would leave or is replaced this summer, which is highly unlikely, I would also look forward to a new era for Arsenal.

    However, whether we like it or not, we the fans do not decide whether a manager is no longer the right man for the club: the BoD does, and I reckon they all believe that Arsene remains the best man for the club and will be given a new contract rather sooner or later. But will Arsene himself want to stay much longer, c’est le question! 🙂

  2. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA :),

    As always you are far too kind, cheers for the compliments. Haha I still remember when you first asked me to write for your blog, I don’t think either of us believed it’d continue for this long!

    Certainly an interesting title choice, but I still stand by Wenger (I hope others realize that and don’t just see the title and comment hahaha!) and believe that he should AT LEAST get the chance to see out the rest of his contract at Arsenal. I actually forgot to mention in the article that if Arsenal fail to turn things around considerably next season, Arsene is astute enough to see that Arsenal is in need of change and would never stay if he thought he’d be doing the club a disservice. The man is a class act and I’ll be very sad the day he leaves :(.

    Of course change can work in two ways, which is why I suggested that a new manager could improve or worsen our situation, but sometimes you need to take the risk to find out (can’t be stuck in mediocrity forever right?!).

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Don’t worry HH, your stance and respect re Arsene are very clear in your article. 🙂

  4. allezkev says:

    A very well written post.

    I do not think that Arsene will leave this summer.
    And I suspect that the Board will offer him a new deal in 2014.

    The question for me is, will he sign?

    And that may well depend on how much financial support is made available to him?!

    Greenwich, is a very nice part of South London, TA…
    Quite posh in fact… 😉

    I hail from Herne Hill.

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Herne Hill is less familiar to me, allezkev, but I guess there is plenty support for the Chavs out there?!

  6. Highbury Harmony says:


    Cheers for the kind words and I’m glad you are becoming a regular on BK!

    I, too, believe that AW will at least see out the remainder of his contract. He is a man of principle and would never turn his back on the club; he could have done it numerous times after all the adversity we faced over the years, but never did. He has stuck with us through thick and thin and is one of the most consistent managers any club has ever seen.

    To answer your question, I believe he will re-sign if he sees the improvements in this squad next season and perhaps if we clear the silverware cloud hanging over us. The possible financial flexibility that he’ll get in transfers is certainly intriguing and I hope he takes advantage of the excess cash and spends it wisely.

  7. allezkev says:

    Herne Hill is quite close to Camberwell, TA.
    It is Crystal Palace territory…
    Not that you see many of their shirts worn by the locals…
    Kenny Sansom’s family come from this neck of the woods, in fact I think that Kenny still lives in the area.

  8. allezkev says:

    Your welcome HH, and thank you and TA for making me feel so welcome…
    There have been many times HH, when I have felt severely frustrated this season, especially after the Bradford game…
    We started the season so well, but it all started to unravel for me at Norwich…
    All the same, and despite moments of doubt, I have seen much to be optimistic about.
    Giroud, Cazorla, BFG and Jack have given me cause for encouragement.
    Arsene signing all the British lads, not least Theo, despite a Press campaign to sell him.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    That is better then allezkev! 🙂

    Off to bed, catch you tomorrow.

  10. Highbury Harmony says:

    Allezkev, we have definitely all felt the impact of that Norwich loss in the first half of the season. We seemingly struggled to get on track after that and inconsistency become the norm for us. The Bradford City and Blackburn cup exits did not help either and the Capital One Cup was a competition we definitely could have won.

    Interesting perspective on players that have given you cause for encouragement. I have been most excited by Jack, Santi, Szczesny, Gibbs, Nacho, Theo and Jenkinson. Jenkinson was easily the biggest surprise of them all, as there was much criticism by some Arsenal fans over whether he was even a PL caliber defender before the season began. I’m no longer concerned about our fullback situations as they’re well covered by players in their prime (Nacho and Sagna) and young players who have yet to reach their full potential (Gibbs and Jenkinson).

  11. Highbury Harmony says:

    Have a good night TA, we’ll catch you tomorrow!

  12. may2689 says:

    You fail to understand that thousands upon thousands of traditional football fans have been forced out of the game because of exorbitant ticket prices and the continued hijacking of he sport by the middle classes.

    Arsenal are my beloved club and project Emirates was sold to us with the promise of being able to compete with the super powers of European football.

    With £123m+ sitting in the bank, the highest ticket prices in the world and soon to experience a ninth year without success, is it any suprise attendances are down?!? This is now the longest barren spell in the 46 years I’ve been supporting the club, in which 33 of them were spent as a season ticket holder. Sadly I had to relinquish my ticket at the end of last season due to the astronomical cost.

    Our best players are being sold year after year! The once great manager is answerable to no one! There are at least eight or nine players in the squad who Wenger no longer trusts on the pitch, yet we still have their huge wages to find each week!. Denilson is paid £40,000 a week whilst on loan, we are still paying 90% of that wage! Arsharvin, Schillaci, Park, Chamack, Djurou, Bendtner……the list is endless!!!


    How much longer do you want the slow torturous decline to continue!?!?!?!?!?!?

  13. allezkev says:

    Agree totally on Gibbs and Jenkinson, HH…

    Also Ramsey is showing some fine form…

    Must turn in now, chat lata mate, night.

  14. stonroy says:

    I thoroughly support the fans who want to boycott games, I do not however understand these idiots who want us to lose.
    In regards to the boycotting, it is the only thing that fans have left in which the board will pay attention to us with.

    Every year at the same time (renewing season tickets) they feed us the same garbage about all these amazing players that they’re going to buy and the buy NOUGHT. They strip us of our best players and bring in the Gervinho’s and Giroud’s. Yes he’s not bad but he sure ain’t RVP is he? Gazidis makes his bonus through the sale of our best players and all is fine in their land. NOT ONE OF THEM GIVE A DAMN ABOUT WINNING TROPHIES and don’t believe for a second that the money wasn’t there last summer, it has been widely pointed out from several sources that there was money to spend.

    Forget all the talk, the facts are the only thing to look at and they are this.

    1) Wenger is the highest paid person/player at the club. BTW take a look at the mancs, Fergie is nowhere near the highest paid there and he wins trophies every season.

    2) We have a CEO that picks up a bonus based on profit.

    3) We haven’t won a trophy in 8 years and we don’t look like making any changes to that.

    So why shouldn’t they boycott? Seems like the only thing left gooners have that they will listen to us on…

  15. Highbury Harmony says:

    Allezkev, I didn’t include Ramsey because I’m still not convinced he’ll be a long-term starter/impact sub for this team. He’s certainly earned his place on the team and always gives 100% but he’s still not skilled enough, physical enough or fast enough to start on a title contending team. He’s growing into a jack of all trades and the master of none, which is perfect as a bench player who can be called upon to help protect a lead or given a start when our normal starters need a rest.

  16. Highbury Harmony says:


    I appreciate your insight into the situation and I can see that boycotting games is the only way for fans to truly show their displeasure. However, as I pointed out, there is no evidence that shows that ticket sales line the pockets of the BoD. In fact, these protests may in fact hurt the employment of Arsenal employees who need the money and depend on these jobs to help pay rent, utilities and other expenses etc. I can understand why patience has worn thing for Arsenal fans after not having won silverware for the past 9 years (this one included), but with the stadium debt finally manageable, why can’t they be patient and see what happens this TW before acting irrationally?

    I’ve never seen concrete evidence from the board or the manager that they would definitively sign any amazing players at the start of each TW. There are certainly articles that LINK Arsenal to amazing talents, but never a firm interest or offer from anyone in the Arsenal hierarchy. It’s very different for Arsene to say he “likes” a player and to associate that with “I’m going to buy him”. The media has manipulated you and numerous others to believe that Arsenal are in for every player, but at the end of the day unless it comes out on an article on or from the mouths of someone in the organization, it is false.

    If you can provide me with concrete evidence that the board earns its bonuses from the profits of the sales of players, only then will I believe you. Otherwise, it is completely fabricated by the musings of angry and impulsive Arsenal fans looking to blame anything in their path. Simply put, large bonuses being accrued by the BoD can not be definitively linked to the cause of a lack of investment in transfer activity for world-class talents. Like any other business, their bonuses could come from a variety of means and without the financial year end statements from the club, it is impossible to accurately point out where the money from player sales is going to.

    Also, how do you know that the BoD has no motives to win trophies? Just because they don’t inject their own cash into the team, does NOT mean that they have no desire to achieve better things. Stop taking stories that have been twisted and warped by the media as truth.

  17. oz gunner says:

    very well written as always Mountie Gooner. also great response @ 2.10.

    There is definitely a big divide between Arsenal fans at the moment and I think it was RA???? who said the other day “Arsene may need to go to unite the fans again.”
    It’s not something I want personally but it may be needed for the benefit to the club. I’d like to see Arsene stay on and get back to his best so he is remembered as a legendary manager. He needs to fix us up in a few areas but he can do it.

    NO to boycotting
    NO to booing players
    NO to groaning at the game

    The media doesn’t help the cause when they twist Arsene’s interview (e.g 4th place is a trophy ect) and the “Arsenal has 70-100 million war chest to spend.”

    @ TA

    not back yet. At the airport though. Get me back home so I can watch Arsenal again! Also I’ve forgotten what a woman looks like, at the moment I’d settle for Terry with a bit of lippy and a tina turner syrup!

  18. oz gunner says:

    Blast I just noticed Bale won the game for tots. I really thought West ham would get something out of that game! Szcz will need to be alert for any long pops from Bale…I don’t want to see any more monkey magic out of that diving chimp!

  19. Highbury Harmony says:


    Nice to hear you’ll be back with us soon! Thank you very much for the kind words and I’m glad you took the time to stop by and comment :).

    I agree with everything you said, and the majority of us here on BK are in the pro AW camp and truly believe he can turn this team around. However, as you and RA pointed out, sometimes there’s a larger picture to consider, but I hope he is not let go to “unite” the fans. Can you imagine how much further they will be divided if a new manager comes in and does worse??

    In my humble opinion (as difficult as it is for me to say this) AW should only not be extended if there’s no positive progression or silverware attained next year. He should at least be given the benefit of the doubt to see out the rest of his contract and the chance to spend some of the transfer war chest that is rumoured to be available this summer. He’s finally not looking over his shoulder wondering if his best players will be poached and funds will be available now that the stadium debt is manageable.

    What Arsene does with it is up to him. The ball’s in his court, so what will it be :)?

  20. weedonald says:

    Stonroy…..get your so-called ¨facts¨straight.

    1)Wenger and SAF earn the same as managers but SAF has dividends which Wenger doesn’t so you’re totally wrong there.
    2) If a Club has one,every Club CEO is paid a bonus at all EPL clubs whether for avoiding relegation, making a Cup quarter-final or higher, making the top 4 and this a CL place or making 5th or 6th and a Europa place or whatever. this is true in business as well.
    3) The BOD does not get or take any dividends and most of them get a very small salary, with the exception of Gazidis. He gets a large one because he is responsible for developing the commercial side of AFC and that is a crucial side of managing the corporation , as it should be.
    4) Which sources pointed out that there was money to spend….the only truly reliable one was Swiss Rambler and he estimated that AFC had, at most 35M-50M available,, of which they spent 42M on Giroud,Podolski, Monreal and Cazorla and resigned 5 youngsters to new contracts, not back for that little money available. torres cost Chelsea 50M and is a dud. You must mean the media BS artists who pretend to be in the know, but like you, are simply spouting BS!

  21. Highbury Harmony says:


    I’m glad you could stop by, comment and defend the Arsenal football club :).

    You presented some very solid facts and all of it is true, however there may be another source for #4. I believe the Arsenal’s Supporters Trust came out publicly (Tim Payton) and stated there was a large pile of cash sitting in reserves that has not been spent. There was 50M available in the summer after all profits were accounted for and that has been spent accordingly on re-signing the British core and the incoming arrivals of Nacho, Santi, Giroud and Podolski.

    I’m certain that the AST is a reliable source, but no figures were released in regards to the exact amount of cash that is available to Arsenal for player transfers. Let’s just hope that AW spends wisely this summer to improve the squad!

  22. oz gunner says:

    @ HH

    pleasure is always mine reading the quality posts on here, ad thank you for the welcome back.

    Couldn’t agree more, Arsene deserves more time, we owe him that much. He got us through the rough times, let’s see how he goes when the sailing is a bit smoother.
    You are right, if he goes and a new manager comes in and fails it’ll be far worse. Some fans will never be pleased I feel.
    I think if he’s offered a new contract he’ll stick around. No one works harder than him and he will always give his all for the club. He oozes passion. I don’t care one bit when he kicks or throws bottles around. I’d do far worse if I was a manager, and a bit of fire doesn’t hurt anyone! If I saw Bould throw a bottle I’d get back to the change rooms and hide in my locker!

  23. Milo says:

    Have any of you guys ever seen Sebastian Rode play before??? 😀 I haven’t…Is he more cultured like Arteta, or is he more of a beast like Capoue, or is he a combination of both??? 😀 I hope he’s a combination of the two. That way Arsene wouldn’t be compromising on his footballing principles, but Rode could offer us something a bit different to what we currently have…Bayern AND Dortmund are after him (apparently) so he must be pretty good. I don’t know why Dortmund are after him as they have a truly terrific player in Gundogan, but they might see him as a replacement for the aging Kehl. I hope we can sign SOMEONE to help beef up our midfield!!!

    No way do I want Wenger out!!! The only quarrel I have with Arsene, is his substitutions!!! Most matches I sit and yell at the telly that he’s either substituting too late, or taking off, putting in, the wrong players…like any armchair manager would!!! 😀

  24. Roland C Rozario says:

    As I have said umpteen times in various blogs!
    Arsenal is Arsene and vice-versa.
    Lets be righteous and give credit to Arsene for taking the club where it is ….. even to this day, trophies aside.!!
    To those who are calling to boycott the games and asking for Arsene’s head, grow up!!
    Acceptance that there are ups-and-downs in any sport especially football must be first realised and take it as another phase in ones life, be it on the personal family front or in the sporting arena than and only than one can come terms with this roller-coaster ride Arsenal are going through!! and the very temperant of oneself too!!

  25. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo, if I recall correctly Gerry is the resident expert on SR. This was what he had to say in a previous article:

    The thing about SR is he is a clean tackler. Quick, strong, and has an eye for a pass. Above all, he has made the DM position his own. Not some half and half chappie who might be absent a the vital moment. Mind, getting him might be the problem? The trouble is I just don’t see AW going to go for £15m Capoue, or even £12m Wanyama, for a DM? Especially as Spurs and Man U are eying them as well. SR probably represents ‘value’ at £8-9m, which is what it might take,.and us being in the CL of course.

    I haven’t seen enough of him personally and have only watched a couple games that he started in. He seemed similar to Arteta with more pace and is an orthodox DM; very astute in the tackle, reads the game well and makes intelligent decisions and quality passes.

  26. Wesley Yates says:

    Fans have a right to vent their frustration in whatever way they see fit when they see their beloved team going 8 years without seriously competing for anything. Why should they save a club that is not prepared to save itself? So we do not have the funds to compete with Chelsea, Bayern, Man United, because they have more cash to burn? Then how do you explain losing to Birmingham in a cup final, and to lower tier teams in the League Cup and FA cup in the same season? Isn’t it true that Arsene Wenger’s rebuilding project captained by Fabregas failed and ended up in player auctions? Now he is rebuilding again from scratch. I do not buy into this top 4 mediocrity, self deception stuff. I would rather we come 6th this year and first next season, than the Arsenal heresy gospel of coming fourth and third. Wenger should be fired because his over 30 players are no good policy failed. He won most of hist trophies with more mature players. He should also be fired because he has reduced the definition of a trophy to financial terms and converted Arsenal Football Club to Arsenal Financial Corporation and Securities Exchange. Wenger should also be fired for failing to retain key players at the club. Some clubs like Everton and Newcastle do keep good players at lower salaries. Wenger should be fired because his best years are behind him. He is not better than Andre Villas Boas or Michael Laudrup, in spite of the popular self deception among us Arsenal fans. Fans should not pour out their hard earned cash into a club which over the years has become a self-styled dictatorship run to the exclusion of their interests, merely for the aggrandisement of it’s high rolling officials like Wenger and Gazidis whose salaries are exempt from the socialist ideology, ostensibly governing player salaries. And do not say that we have not been patient.

  27. Highbury Harmony says:


    Normally, I would respond to your comment in full but it’s clear to me that you have been manipulated by the media and that you are misguided in placing the sole blame of Arsenal’s poor performances on Arsene, and him alone. I never said that fans did not have a right to vent their frustration, but boycotting games likely has a larger effect that goes beyond “showing the BoD that are upset with the club and want the club to spend more to win”.

    There is nothing that I can say that will persuade you otherwise, since you have completely missed the point of the article. There is no one person or governing body at fault here, yet a collective responsibility to the mistakes that were made in the past. Do you honestly believe that AW wanted to sell his top players year after year? If we finished 6th this year, there would not be enough money, direction, chemistry or strategy in the world that could immediately bring us into first next year. How you can honestly compare the likes of AVB who won nothing with a Chelsea squad and Laudrup who is currently managing a mid-table side that won the Capital One Cup and has 1 year of mediocre success in the PL to AW, is completely beyond me.

    All your points about the lack of care about the club or desire to win are entirely fabricated and are media driven. I reiterate that there’s nothing wrong with voicing your displeasure with the club. However, if you’ve decided to sell your soul to the masses who are heavily influenced by everything the media says, then that’s your own problem and I care not to discuss anything Arsenal related with you in the future.

  28. Wesley Yates says:

    I will decide what is fabricated by the media, and whether or not I imagined the needless losses to Bradford, Blackburn and Birmingham, or if indeed the media fabricated that coming fourth is a trophy, and I do think not having won one in nearly 8 years is a fact not a fabrication.

  29. Highbury Harmony says:

    Which is why I never commented on the lack of results being fabricated :). Read the article again.

    Can AW predict the future? Could he foresee that Cesc would yearn to go back home and play for his childhood team? Should AW be fired for changing with the times and depending more on youth than veterans? Is a team of veterans of players over 30 really the only way to win a title? Is AW’s definition of a trophy based on financial sustainability? The beginnings of most of your reasons to sack Wenger were media driven pieces that were used to help make sense of the lack of success and have been passed along as truth by supporters such as yourself.

  30. Gerry says:

    HH – Great piece. As always, I read through before finding out who wrote it … Halfway through I thought it had your stamp on it. Well reasoned, with just a hint of the passion and frustration that you have for ‘The Arsenal’.

    The media can be quite subtle in its drip, drip, comments on Arsenal, and so many blogs will reiterate it without question. This in turn attracts readers who read stuff without question, and are drawn to blogs that feed their limited views and frustrations …and a few examples pop up here?

    I comment on this blog site because it goes beyond the obvious, offers contributers to put their, usually, intelligent views across, and makes for a healthy debate.Far from being the sheep that just spout the nonsense that others speak, contributers have a variety of views, which are contested politely, but share one thing common .. an emotional commitment to Arsenal Football Club, and wish ‘her’ to thrive in a hostile world.

    Regards the ‘Toulouse German’, I am no more an expert on him than I am of most players that come on the transfer radar. Like yourself, I have seen him play a couple of times, after I read stuff on a blog a while back from a resident in Germany, who clearly knew who were upcoming players over there. So I cannot claim too much credit, I just view a lot of stuff on the old interweb thing, and some of it I remember?

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning BK’ers 🙂

    Fine and civilised comments last night. Back to respond after 9am.

  32. @babakrdaemi says:

    I agree. I understand the anger. 125m sat in a bank while the team is desperate for quality improvements is tough to swallow. However, arsene is responsible for tsking us forward. And as a club we will bemefit from this period of tough times.

    Come on the gunners

  33. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Great post.

    I feel so guilty I have not been here lately and bigging up all the great articles.

    I feel it will turn out to be a real shame if Wenger doesn’t renew his contract for whatever reason. He still has lots of unfinished buisness especially being the main architect of this young British core. For what better man to take these further for a few more years.

    I think we as fans (not all) will make the jobs and lives difficult for Wenger and even the players. What if we come short if a trophy next year it will be the end of the world again!

    I’m excited if Wenger can stay a d changes are made throughout the entire club not a great big shake up but I believe it requires a collective input and slight change to propell this club. Not Wengers fault, not the players, coaching and board. It is a mix of everything. It would be an entire post to go into specifics.

    I know people will say that fans of wenger or who want him to stay say we are scared of change or we are in such awe of Wenger “how dare can he leave”. Not true. Yes defiantly after what he had done he deserves to continue. But the man he is and the work he has cut out he still is the perfect man for the job!


  34. William says:

    Assuming the gunners get the cl slot and Wenger continues as boss,it shd under the caveat that if the y are not challeneging for the epl by Dec 2013,he shd be off. I am wary of this fm.I fear he will go back to his old ways which have not worked. A dictator is resistant to change.

  35. goonered says:

    Totally agree.
    Any boycotters aren’t real fans, their wannabe glory hunters, period.

  36. LB says:

    Honestly staggered by some of the ill-thought out statements made in this article ? !
    Top of the list is Arsene’s recent arrogant and delusional view that CL isn’t everything ? Ok, lets see us try and tempt some of that very top quality players pool to join Arsenal without the promise of CL football …? It’s not going to happen, period ! And does the writer not think that anu potential signee will not be aware of our well publicized failings of late ?? Come on, wake up !!

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    May2689 at 1.25

    That is a passionate, heartfelt comment and as a Gooner who seen it all before quite a strong statement. Are we in decline though? I don’t think so. We are struggling to make the final step upwards again, but I agree with Wenger that we are not that far away from doing so. However, it remains to be seen whether Arsene can help us make this step once again, and the summer/ next season has to be make or break for everybody’s peace of mind.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Gerry 🙂

    Thanks for the blog compliment. Yes, open and mature debate is what we want on Bergkampesque, where passion for the club is the starting point and truth is what we search for. In the meantime, blogging should always remain fun, and we are blessed with a fantastic mix of bloggers here. 🙂

    But we need RA, TMHTand you for morale guidance, and GLiC for keeping us down to earth, or ‘Southampton’, as he would call it! 😛

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Gooner4eva – where have you been?!

    You wrote: ‘Not Wengers fault, not the players, coaching and board. It is a mix of everything. It would be an entire post to go into specifics.’ I’d say start writing compadre: I will publish it! 😛

  40. VCC says:

    Well presented piece HH, as ever.

    Boycotting games will only add fuel to the fire for the media and opposing supporters to ridicule our famous club. As you say HH, will only hit employees in the pocket and not affect employers one iota.

    As for wanting Arsenal to lose games, what is this all about. I have witnessed this first hand and cannot understand peoples logic.

    I have vented my frustrations on numerous occasions, and also criticized individual players, but to want my beloved Arsenal to lose, this is madness.

    I do however, feel this summer is Wenger’s last chance saloon. If he gets it wrong in the transfer market, I fear its curtains for him.

    Watch this space.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Vickers 🙂

    When you say ‘watch this space’, does it include the zimmerframe area? hahaha 😛

  42. D says:

    This is a really fair minded article written by a proper Arsenal supporter. It seems at home games in recent seasons there are a lot of fans that seem to want to see the team lose so they can complain about the manager/board or whatever player they hate that week.
    Of course we’ve all had the odd moan after a defeat but these idiots take it to a destructive level.
    If they are the people that boycott the games then to be honest I think we’re all better off without them there, even if it means a few gaps in the stadium.

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    In reality the empty seats don’t tell us much. Arsenal had a few disappointing results, it’s February and horribly cold, and a lot of people are struggling financially. Let’s see how many empty seats there will be against Everton. If we beat the Spuds it will be full again, no doubt about that.

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi and welcome, D.

    There are plenty of reasons for fans to be unhappy about at the moment, but when the team go out there and play for us we should be 100% behind them. A lot is to do with high expectations, but a top club like Arsenal will always create them.

    I was at the Blackburn game and as soon as Gervinho did the first wrong move a significant number of fans moaned, groaned and jeered. Some supporters treat anybody who wears our shirt as one of us and we encourage them to do well, where others use them as a mean to vent their (general live) frustrations and anger. And this will never change, and it will only get worse of course when things are not going our way.

  45. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Total, I have been sat in my seat at the emirates removing to budge. Boycotting the notion of boycotting coming to the emirates. It’s quite a scary place at night. I had to come away now cos I have taken it a bit far, not keen on stale chips and dried cola residue and can’t get a decent signal.

    The time it would likely take for me to write something for you to publish would probably be ready when we have finally won something and all reading would be irrelevant!

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha G4eva49 🙂

    Well then keep coming back and tell us about your stale chips experiences.

    Catch you later!

  47. alexgunners says:


    Mate, Great article, very well balanced indeed.
    In my opinion boycotting games in order to attempt to harm this wonderful club is absolutely ludicrous. Whilst success is not guaranteed, perhaps some fans got used to having successful squads in the 90’s and early 2000’s and never really knew what it was like to go without. It certainly is hard to understand how we went from Invincibles to a team that has not won the league since but Arsene has created so much history for us fans.
    Let’s not tarnish what he has done for this club during his time here.

    Ok, project youth did not work out but it was not too far away from eventuating. Perhaps a balance of a couple more experienced heads along with the youth would have made a difference. To boycott and make such negative noise is not the right thing to do.

    Arsene believed in his squad and it is them that are letting down the team and it’s fans. Arsene is the one who gave them higher than average wages because he believed. Yes it was a mistake and he was trying to put everyone on a level playing field but this has backfired due to players greed. The intentions were right but egos and greed always get in the way.

    The media play such a big part on piling pressure on our football club. ‘Arsenal 21 points off the pace’ ‘Arsenal lose to Norwich’, blah blah blah. Lets not forget that other teams have lost to Norwich and lets not forget that chel$ki is also 19 points behind ManUre but nothing is mentioned and mind you they are the European champions that were put out of the CL in the first round.

    Let’s not be sheep and get on this bandwagon.

    This is the reason why i like Bergkampesque, we all have differing views on some topics but it allows you to express what you think and at the same time you pick up on things that you may not have thought of.

    NO TO BOYCOTT!!!!!!!!

    Once again HH, great article

    TA, it’s great that you give the guys the opportunity to express their view.

  48. VCC says:

    UMF 1

    Overall leader board. =
    Red Arse……..54

    Weekly scoresheet =
    Red Arse…….2

    Well done Alex for winning the weekly crown. Outshone everybody.
    Standards have dropped this week.
    Total has joined the zero club along with GLiC.
    Total points scored was the lowest this month with 30… Everybody going for big score draws.
    February weekly score = 54/41/46/30.

    Cheers guys. Good luck this week. …COYG

  49. alexgunners says:


    What a fluke!!! But thanks for taking care of the UMF , all good fun

  50. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Seriously it will be bad if Wenger goes too soon. Firstly I am not saying Arsene Wenger is better/bigger than Arsenal Football Club.

    If not the only man but especially embodied with arsenal, red and white flowing veins, an Arsenal man through and through and philosophy, tradition, class and vision. This is Wenger and this is certainly Arsenal. Who else is there currently at the club that is capable and able to keep this club going with all our values and beauty?

    Wenger goes at the end of the season and you might say we get mourinho, moyes n klopp for example. We will have loads of money we will surely win etc. Who is going to pass on all that is arsenal, who at the club has the influence and stature to keep us as us. Our identity Arsenal. We are a cut above the rest even if we haven’t won anything.

    We are suppose to be a family we are supposed to stick up for each other and be there for each other through the good and bad times. Thick and thin. It is a joke to even contemplate we are in a crisis. It is hilarious to suggest such stupidity. We will only make it worse. We can have opinions fair enough but not turn out to be pricks.

    Give wenger his time, he will obviously not be here forever. He took us forward and let him finish his work. We do need more arsenal men at this club surrounded in all areas to embody us and keep us who we are for the next generations. This is something I would like to see and is the necessary change I believe will help.

    Come on lay down your uzi’s put down your AK’s and let’s unite into one massive, Massive!


  51. TERRYS BROLLY says:

    Hi HH.

    I go most home games and woul never consider a boycott. The word sort of implies that i am pissed off with something so to show my disdain i wont attend for a while. Thats silly and equates to throwing the toys out of the pram.

    However, i am geeting closer to the stage were i wil consider not going and this has nothing to do with results etc. It is a gradual dissoulishment of Arsenal and Fottball in general.

    When i was young the club had an air of class about it. No one person was in control. Rather a collection of individuals, all Arsenal fans from childhood, ran and owned the club, proper custodians if you like. HIghbury was magnificent. You could literaly feel and smell football when you walked into that grand old place

    There was more connect with the players, who would often have a drink with the fans in some boozer or another. There was more connection between the supporters too, with most coming from working class backrounds and living in North London.

    I accept things change, and many things have changed for the better. But the one thing i will not accept is what is happening at Board Room level.

    Any one who is old enough, will recall the mid eighties. At that time there was very little difference between Tottenham and Arsenal in terms of size and resources. Who was to go on and become the bigger club?, the race was on.

    We did of course. And the primary reason was that we had a group of owners that bounced off each other and had the suucess of Arsenal as there motivation. Tottenham, on the other hand had the narcistic Irving Shcoler and then a major bust up with Suger and Venables. There was only ever going to be one winner.

    Now the majority of Arsenal is owned by one man, who is not an Arsenal man. And to compound things another man sits and waits with his smaller shareholding.

    I have no doubt in my mind, because i have seen it before, that this situation will screw us up. We will eventuly of course recover, but the ownership stand off is hurting us now and will hurt us going forward.

    I wont boycott, but i might just fade away.

  52. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. Gret post HH..
    Wow.. What a great debate.. All comment seem reasonable.. hehehe..

    I don’t really mind if we don’t get the COC trophy.. Nothing special about that..
    FA Cup maybe is better class, but top of that.. UCL is the most important thing to do..
    Cause all the greatest teams from the best league in Europe are there..
    So qualiifing in the UCL is the most important thing for me..
    You are not big enough unless you play in the UCL.. hehehe..

    And Wenger proved that he is such a great manager, cause for 16 years.. we always in the UCL.. with or without big star.. And will be on UCL again for next season.. hehehe..
    I think no EPL manager is better than Wenger except SAF.. But I don’t have the SAF record.. Did he ever fail to bring MU to the UCL..??

    Let’s compare to all the top teams in EPL this season.. MU, City, Spurs and Chelsea all spend a lot to gain their victory.. Even Liverpool do that also.. (I don’t have MU, City, Spurs and Liverpool record.. somebody please help.. hehehe..)
    I remember in the early season I predict Chelsea will win the EPL cause of their buying players.. They bring Hazzard (32 mil), Oscar (25 mil), Moses and Marin (unknown price but I think no less than 10 mil.. cmiiw), Azpilicueta (8 mil), and also Demba Ba (8 mil).. Almost 100 million alltogether..
    Wenger on the other hand has only bring Giroud, Podolski and Cazorla with almost no cost, after selling RvP and Song.. hehehe..
    But look what happened..?? They only 2 point ahead us..
    And do you still think Wenger is a no good manager..??

    As I said before.. Wenger had learned from last season panic buying.. And bring more solid players like Podolski, Cazorla, Giroud earlier and get Nacho also.. But as we know this season EPL is very hard.. more harder than last season.. but we still on the right track to be on the UCL qualification..
    And as the summer TW is coming.. I would like to see Wenger do that again.. Get 3 very solid players.. 1 GK, 1 CB and 1 RB.. As wenger always said.. the one who can make the team stronger.. And guess what..?? If we sell all the deadwood.. 10 players.. Wenger can do another buying without need to spend money at all..
    And the 70 mil money that the BoD promise to give can be use to bring a star.. Even Falcao and Neymar.. hehehehe.. but only if Wenger wish to buy..
    I recommend a very powerfull midfielder and a good finisher..

    But I think Wenger himself will only be our manager till 2014.. 18 years in a good record..
    I certainly want him to stay longer.. maybe add 2 more years.. But I think 2014 is the time Wenger leave and he will manage the France.. and not others clubs.. as he love this clubs so much than he will never ever wanted to manage others.. hehehe..

  53. henrychan says:

    @VCC : Happy belated birthday champion.. Wish you all the best..

  54. VCC says:

    cheers Henrychan. Take it easy buddy. 😉

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Alex, and very good point about the Chavs also being massively behind the Mancs despite spending £80m+ last year.

    What many do not want to acknowledge is that Arsenal stayed competitive, and close to winning something, whilst a) building a brand new stadium and b) having to compete against clubs who were able and happy to make enormous losses. For sure, mistakes have been made in terms of player purchases and keeping hold of some important players, but it could have been a lot, lot worse during the last nine years.

  56. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for UMF update Vickers – widget has been updated. Good to see that Glic cannot even lose better than me 😆

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    Great comment Gooner4eva49 🙂

    I am still rocked by the bad Blackburn cup performance and the way we gave away the game against Bayern in the first half through bad positioning and defending. Also the first halves against the Chavs and City did hurt a lot. I understand why fans are disappointed and feel we are not making any progress, and why they want to see change now.

    Yet, we are in a unique situation that we are closer of making the final step to the top again than almost all PL teams and all the fundamentals are place to do so in the near future. Wenger can put the final pieces of the jigsaw together over the summer and then we should see the step improvement we are all craving for.

    But then haven’t we been saying this for quite a while, and would a fresh start with a new manager not be the better option? 😕

  58. allezkev says:

    Tottenham have not won the League Championship for 52 years.
    Liverpool have not won the League Championship for 23 years.
    But how often are these salient facts mentioned by the Press/Media?
    Hardly ever, and yet they bang on relentlessly about Arsenal’s ‘barren’ 8 years…
    Hidden agenda possibly?
    Surely not!

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    Very true allezkev – and none of them all have played heavenly football and created the Invincibles. Because we have been so high, we feel low so quickly…

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry – we always have the love and class of the majority of the fans and nobody takes away our history either.

  61. TotalArsenal says:

    Come on Henry, stop pussy-footing! 😀

    Give us the two players we need to sign this summer. Budget £40m for both.

  62. allezkev says:

    We were truly blessed during that period, TA…
    We may never see their like again (of course I hope I’m wrong)
    Any Tottenham fan, who experienced his clubs last League Title, would have to have been 12 or younger, not to be of pensionable age today…
    Maybe the Spuds should inherit Chelsea’s old tag of The Pensioners…

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Exactly allezkev, and even then their memories are in black and white hahaha 🙂

  64. allezkev says:

    Ha Ha TA, very true mate…

    That was quite a goal that Bale got last evening.
    Stop him and we stop the Spuds perhaps.
    Have you ever been to WHL, TA?
    It is a depressing place, a quite horrible atmosphere.

  65. TotalArsenal says:

    I have not been there since 1994, allezkev. We lived in Muswell Hill at the time and a Dutch friend came to visit me and wanted to see a match. We got tickets for the Spuds v Sheffield United league game, and we sat close the SU fans. I don’t remember much of the game anymore, except for a very good left-wing performance by Franz Carr…. I think that was his name…?

    What about you: have you been to Spuds-Arse game at all?


    Hi TA

    As you know there are many many things i admire about the modern Arsenal and regard myself as loyal to the cause.

    But i admit i am not happy with someone with no previous Arsenal connection owning the Club. Of course. i will be delighted if Stan proves me wrong and shows he has our best interest at heart.

    More worrying for me however is that usmanov is an elephant in the room.

    Lets look at it this way. if you were Kronke, your strategic descion making will be influenced by not only how youcould advance your investment but also by doing so you weigh up the risk and return factors with the other guy who just happens to hold 30%

    As i said, this situation could harm us and consequently makes me distinctly uneasy.

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Terry

    The ownership is far from ideal, but it could also be a lot worse.

    Clearly, Kroenke has invested in the club to come out of it a richer man eventually, not because he has a huge passion for us. Nothing can be done about it and all is entirely legal.

    I personally like it that he is hands-off in terms of managing the club, as he has no knowledge about football or passion for the club. At least he has not dumped loads of debt on us like the Glaziers did.

    It is far from ideal though.

  68. Gooner4eva49 says:

    I agree with you all the way allezkev. I also thought especially a few seasons back officials robbed us plenty of times and ruined our games. I really thought it was match fixing. Now it isn’t so blatant the problem with officials is they are so inconsistent.

    I’m sure every team says the world is against their club but seriously we were truly robbed! And in recent seasons we have been very close to winning trophies and had a lot of unfortunate luck.

  69. allezkev says:

    Not been to WHL for a few years TA…
    My last visit to ‘that place’ was over 10 years ago, we lost 2-1, and had Keown & Freddie sent off…
    Funnily enough, we had such a great team that we outplayed the Spuds with 9 men and they were desperately hanging on for the win.
    To this day, even though we were down to 9 men, I still don’t know how we lost…

  70. Highbury Harmony says:

    Some excellent comments thus far and I will be sure to get back to each of you throughout the day :). Definitely some diversity in thought and I’m seeing some opinions I’ve never seen before (Terry 🙂 )!

  71. Highbury Harmony says:

    may 2689,

    Half the players on your list are off the wage list this summer. Clearly, Arsene knows they were mistakes and has already started the process of replacing them. Every manager makes mistakes in the transfer market and AW is no different. You, like most others, fail to mention that despite our best players being sold year after year, we still manage to be competitive with the top teams. In addition, this looks to be the first summer that our top players will not be sold and that should be a credit to the proactive approach by Wenger to lock up our core.

    Also, the 123M in the bank is just a rumour spouted out by the media and if it is available, this would have been the first year that it could be used for transfers. It’s difficult for AW to buy new players with that money when there are players eating up the wage bill; yes they were mistakes by him, but with them finally coming off the bill, he finally has a chance to replace those players with a clean slate. This is why I preach for patience to at least give AW the chance to see out the summer to see what he can produce for us in the TW.

    The current fans protesting against the club will hurt it to a small degree re: the article. What it will not do is influence the board or manager to take drastic measures to please a small section of unhappy fans.

  72. TotalArsenal says:

    allezkev, that’s because we’re class! haha 🙂

  73. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gerry :),

    Cheers for the kind words and I’m very happy that you have chosen to blog with us on BK! I enjoy blogging with you because you are very rational in your opinion about the club and often guide and settle down the rest of us that may be venting out our frustrations haha.

    It’s a pleasure to debate with someone with differing perspectives and you do so in a very respectful manner. Glad we contribute on going beyond the obvious and we always like to hear your perspective too!

  74. Highbury Harmony says:


    What is the best way for us to make you feel guilty about not frequenting this blog more often 😉 ? Just kidding, it’s nice to see you back and thanks for the compliment.

    I think there will be a large contingent of us who will be sad when AW leaves the club, but if he cannot right the ship this summer and produce positive progression next season then I will understand why his contract will not be renewed. It will definitely be a big loss as it’s very difficult to find a manager in the modern era who is so passionate and loyal to a club.

  75. Highbury Harmony says:


    Always happy to hear from you and thank you for the kind words. I believe we are often very similar in our opinions and tend to approach most things about Arsenal from a more objective, “realist” standpoint. There are definitely times when we go overboard in the pessimist direction though hahaha! As per usual, I agree with everything you said and I will never understand the malice in some fans to hope for us to lose and boycott games to get people sacked.

    Also, great job with the UMF league. We all really appreciate you managing it!

  76. Red Arse says:

    Hi HH,

    What an absolutely superb, example of how to write a gripping article!! 🙂

    I agree with the thrust of your Post which has been very carefully argued to give something for everyone.

    The responses you have elicited have been very good too.

    The people who agree with the main points you raise are not a surprise to me, and the moaning minnies are no surprise either as they tend to hop from blog to blog with the same old sour spoilt child nonsense.

    Alternately, there have been a number of frustrated fans who quite understandably have queried the high cost of tickets, the lack of trophies etc, and they have every right to do so.

    What they misunderstand though, is that high costs affect every fan at every club. Arsene Wenger, I am sure, would love to win a trophy or two every year, and it is ridiculous to imagine that he would not do so if it was possible.

    He has given all of us fans a taste of what it is like to win things and to be the top dogs, but now the financial pendulum has swung, and we are no longer able to compete in the same player market as the oligarch clubs or state owned fiefdoms, it is like having withdrawal symptoms, and the ‘gimmee. gimmee’ fans are squealing.

    Loved the whole deal today, HH, well done to you sir!! 😀

  77. Highbury Harmony says:


    Did I state something about AW saying that CL qualification isn’t everything? Where are these ill-thought out statements that you speak of? Or is it that seeing an opinion that goes against the grain of the manipulative media that befuddles you? Where did I mention anything about how AW will attract players this summer? I simply said he needs to attract a certain class of players to help push us forward if we’re to truly compete next year.

    Great players join teams with less direction, not every player can or wants to play for Manure or $hitty. Several of those teams are already overcrowded at many positions and players can see the hope and positive direction that Arsenal are headed towards. I believe if we can once again finish in a CL spot, we could attract a world-class talent (or burgeoning world-class talent) this summer.

  78. TotalArsenal says:

    Afternoon HH 🙂 Good to see you going through the comments and what a fine collections of responses you have generated!

  79. weedonald says:

    Mayday….mayday2689……I guess we are to understand that you are of the working class sort who laments the high cost of watching sports today…I am also and sad to say cannot, like you, afford to watch anymore, other than on Sky! Now a few observations about your post:

    1) ¨Arsenal are my beloved club and project Emirates was sold to us with the promise of being able to compete with the super powers of European football.¨ – AFC is beloved to us all, but we have competed with the CL super powers since 2005 and beaten them all at least once so I guess we can say that promise was kept. If you want to talk about unfufilled promises how about Real Madrid or closer to home,Chelsea?

    ¨This is now the longest barren spell in the 46 years I’ve been supporting the club¨ – Nope this is definitely NOT the longest barren spell, there were longer ones…namely between 1950 and 1970, and another between 1974 and 1989. 8 years is nothing compared to the 50 years the Spuds haven’t come close to winning the premier or EPL title…now that’s a barren spell!

    ¨we still have their huge wages to find each week!. Denilson is paid £40,000 a week whilst on loan, we are still paying 90% of that wage! Arsharvin, Schillaci, Park, Chamack, Djurou, Bendtner¨ – Where do you get these figures mate? Nobody knows what any of these players are getting and 70% Denilson’s wages are paid by his new Club (see Only Arshavin and Squillaci’s wages are still on our books, the rest are all paid by their loan Clubs so you are guilty of another inaccuracy. You also misspelt Arshavin,Squillaci, Djourou and Chamak ‘s names!

    ¨THE FANS PROTESTING WILL NOT HARM THE CLUB, THE CURRENT MANAGER AND BOARD HAVE ALREADY DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE!!¨ – Not really mate, it is plastic fanboys like you who get it all wrong and rant about how horrible Wenger is, how bad the team is, and whine about it all like spoilt entitled brats. Protests are legitimate if the supporters still remain loyal and supportive of the Club, since there isn’t one simple problem to point a finger at or one person to ¨blame¨…..all very counterproductive,mate!

    ¨How much longer do you want the slow torturous decline to continue¨ – Is this a rhetorical question or are you really serious? We aren’t in decline, but fanboys like you want true supporters to believe we are. In actual fact we are about where we’ve been since 2005, in the top 4 eventually, in the CL for a 16th year, financially sound, spending 25% of what the rich Clubs are but still performing at their level…in a new stadium, with an excellent Youth setup, a very promising transfer funding now available and with the EPL and EUFA FFP rules being applied next season, we are actually in the ascendency.

  80. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders 🙂

    Did you see you have your own page now with Red Arse posts (top of site)?

  81. Highbury Harmony says:


    Thank you very much for the high praise. All this coming from an individual as knowledgeable and reputable as yourself is really encouraging!

    Your comment sums up perfectly the current state of Arsenal supporters. I feel for the ones who complain about ticket prices in comparison to the on-field product/lack of silverware, but find it difficult to relate to the ones who are just anti-Arsenal and look to harm the club in any way possible until a title is won.

    It’s shocking that people can ever believe that a manager would willingly try to lose and not win a title. There are extenuating circumstances for every club and there are 19 clubs in the PL that will not win a title each year.

    I’m also not surprised by the ones who agree with me, as the majority are the regulars whose opinions I truly care about and always enjoy reading their additional input :).

  82. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, 🙂

    I have admired your efforts with the BK ‘makeover’, and a fine job you have done, thank you!

    You have uncovered some wonderful talent on BK, and HH’s article is right up there. It’s a pleasure to read quality writing on here and it rivals anything available anywhere!

    Erm, would you consider removing my stuff? It is just not up to the blog standards!! 🙂

  83. Highbury Harmony says:


    I completely feel for you my friend :(. There is definitely a disconnect between the players, clubs and their fans in most of modern sports. Athletes have become celebrities and the influence of the media and money has become greater than ever. More and more fans are unable to relate with athletes in the current day and sports are becoming more of a spectacle where removed athletes perform in a cage and the supporters chant and

    Fortunately, Arsenal are cognizant of this and have released numerous articles stating this realization and have taken the initial steps to help close the gap. This repair will likely never reach the stages of what it was like between fans and players back in your day, but if we can even get to know athletes in a non-professional environment, beyond their interviews and performances on the pitch, it will be a minor accomplishment. After all, there has to be some protection for athletes as fans can get pretty violent in today’s game and I could easily see misguided and irrational fans attacking a player in a pub if they had a poor game!

  84. TotalArsenal says:

    Hah Redders, there was me hoping you are brewing on another fine contribution 😉

    I know you have not been feeling great recently, and therefore have been a bit more quiet than usual, but without your initial help at the start, BK would not be where/what it is today.

    Can I also say that I see similarities in the way you and HH write posts! 🙂

  85. Gerry says:

    HH – The words were sincerely meant I can assure. It was only afterwards that Iwent back a day to read your comment that we were in agreement for the first time …
    … and now it is twice …. ?

  86. Highbury Harmony says:


    Really appreciate your insight and the kind words, thanks!

    I 100% agree with everything you said, and we are likely better off without those fickle supporters. Even if change was instilled, there’s no guarantee a title would come with it; they would still be unhappy since the only thing that motivates them is a title year after year (even then they’d find something to complain about!).

  87. Red Arse says:


    There have been some good points from WeeD, even if he scorches the screen! 🙂
    G4Eva is always worth reading too!

    Always a pleasure to read comments from Allezkev, who I know from elsewhere.
    And then there is the boy wonder Oz who is almost back in the land of footie.

    Bit worried that Oz has forgotten what a woman looks like, and is prepared to settle for Terry with a little lippy! Is he in for a surprise! But it’s the best offer Terry has had since Glic gave him a packet of sweets and told him he had something to show him!! 🙂

    It would not be right to ignore the contributions from Terry, Henry, VCC and the other regulars, too! 🙂

  88. Highbury Harmony says:

    Gerry, I completely took your comments in a sincere way my friend :). It is twice now that we’ve agreed! I’m glad that we can sometimes see eye to eye on Arsenal matters and even when we don’t, I enjoy the intellectual debates. Richie and yourself usually give the most opposition to my “realist” approach to Arsenal and I wouldn’t have it any other way :).

  89. Herb'sArmy says:

    Fine article, HH, thanks for an enjoyable read.
    Arsene Wenger has definitely made mistakes that at any other major club would be sackable offences, but we have a unique and baffling strategy at Arsenal that none of their supporters understand (I include myself amongst them).
    To say we have remained competitive is IMO a very generous assessment of the last six years, though one could make a good case for 2008. As I said the other day, watching the Bayern Munich game was virtually a replica of the 2009 CL semi-final 2nd leg against Manchester United. Same stadium, same performance, and the same yawning chasm between Arsenal and the blue-chip elite. We are the only so-called ‘big-club’ never to have won the CL, and we are further away than ever. In terms of both the PL and CL, over the past four years there has been no sign of progress, only a revolving door with so many changes in personnel.
    As for the debt the Glazers put on Manchester United, Total, their brand is so big they’re as good as printing their own money and are miles ahead of us. With more intelligent use of our resources we could have significantly closed the gap, but the policy/philosophy Arsenal have adopted means they are getting further and further away from us, and the hierarchy have no will or urgency to respond to the challenge.

  90. Red Arse says:

    Hi Gerry, 🙂

    I thought you had gone off to do something with dogs or something? 🙂

  91. Highbury Harmony says:


    Thank you for the kind words and your posts are always well balanced, reasonable and full of insight :).

    The thing a lot of supporters don’t understand is that everything comes in cycles. We had our period of success and are only now finally to get the transition correct after the Invincibles. FFP has now been introduced and if applied and monitored correctly, it could really benefit Arsenal’s structure and goal of financial sustainability. It could usher in a new era not entirely dominated by the oligarch clubs. No longer can they completely inflate player salaries and transfer fees before taking the rest of their squad into consideration. It will be even more difficult to sell their failures/cast-offs at an extreme discount. Lots of change is bound to come, but the oil money will still have always have its place in convincing players to join a club.

    The youth set-up must not be ignored and we could definitely see some big talents graduating from there soon. Just because it has not developed another Jack recently, does not mean that it has been a failure or is undeserving as an accomplishment of AW’s fine work.

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi WeeD,

    I always enjoy reading your comments and I like your spicy, fast style a lot.

    Please can I ask you, though, to refrain from name calling as per your penultimate paragraph in your 16.29 comment. It is likely to prevend other bloggers from responding to the excellent content of your comment, and it might even lead to agressive responses, which nobody is waiting for.

    Let’s discuss with an open mind and fight battles on facts, whilst accepting that we are all different, and most all, Gooners.

  93. Highbury Harmony says:


    Thank you for the fine comment and additional insight! You accurately highlight that AW has always been able to achieve good results with less. You also understand that spending sprees and unlimited transfer funds is not the be all, end all to winning the CL. However, I, for one, always knew the Chavs would not win a title with Torres as their striker hahaha!

    Also, you too realize that there is hope in this summer’s transfer window and that AW is the right man to spend our cash and try and move us forward to serious title contention domestically and internationally. Much like you, I am awaiting the summer transfer window with much eagerness and optimism and cannot wait to see who we will sign :). I agree with you 100% that if goals are not achieved next year that AW will likely step down himself and give the opportunity to someone else to try and right the ship – Yes, he loves this club THAT much!

  94. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Herb, it cannot be denied we have some catching up to do. I am still happy though that our club has not got such an enormous debt.

  95. Red Arse says:

    Hi Herb, 🙂

    Good to see you up and about firing on all cylinders!! 😀

    It is undeniable that Manure have gone down another financial path to that which our club chose, and I wrote on that some time ago.

    They decided they were in the sugars with the mountain of debt they had brought on themselves, and in effect they bought themselves out of trouble.

    By spending big on players, they took the chance of getting the trophies they needed to increase their fan base which in turn vastly increased their revenue income. This very conveniently occurred at a time when their then biggest rivals, Arsenal, were going through the trauma of building a brand new state of the art stadium, and building a new team too.

    It was a high risk strategy that has worked for them.
    Bear in mind, if Arsenal had done the same thing at that time, one of the clubs, if not both, as Chelsea were stirring the pot too, would have failed and the ramifications would have been horrendous as there could only be one winner in such a strategy.

    Arsenal have always been owned by prudent people, and they rightly chose the sensible option, but in doing so, they cleared the way for Manure,

    Again, it’s good to see you around!! 😀

  96. Highbury Harmony says:


    Cheers for the kind words and I’m always happy to see you posting on BK.

    You’ve now known me long enough to know that I share some of your opinion in regards to the lack of results and direction that this club is headed in.

    However, we know well by now that Arsene will not be sacked prior to the end of contract termination in 2014. As you state, there have been many sackable offences over the years and it still has not happened. At this point, firing him after all the positive steps he’s taken this year (edging on CL qualification after losing another world-class player, signing up the young core long-term, signing two Spanish internationals, etc.) would likely do more harm than good. Just because he’s failed in transitioning this team in the past, hopefully does not mean he will be doomed in transitioning the current club this summer.

    I think the majority of supporters realize there’s a big gap between ourselves and the top, top clubs like Barca, Bayern and Real. However, if we sign the right players this summer, does it not give you proper hope of better things to come in 2013-14? If you can look past the shortcomings in the past 8-9 years and look ahead to the upcoming TW where the stadium debt is finally manageable, I think you’d be a much happier supporter :). The question then remains, will AW sign the right players and make the team a serious title contender?

    Every story eventually ends (AW’s could in 2014 if results are once again not achieved) but it’s no reason not to stop and smell the roses along the way hahaha!

  97. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Total. Catching up? We will never catch them. They’re about to go seven titles up on us, they’ve won CL three times. Their second-choice XI would beat our strongest XI, and financially they are way beyond our level.

  98. Gerry says:

    Redders _ i also spotted your comment after the Samuel’s post … surely wasn’t a dig at moi was it??
    I was somewhat dismissive of the previous offering, so I probably deserved it.

    Couple of differences between the two articles. The latter one, written by a recent half decent footballer who was being complimentary towards Arsenal. The earlier one was written by a long time ‘journo’, claiming to speak ‘as a fan’, writing to the BoD …and pointing out its failings. That in itself was not the ‘crime’ that irritated me, but the sly manner it was being done. Believe me, I could write a whole blog dissecting article that piece by piece, if I had the time or the inclination, which i don’t.
    But a flavour of what I mean, I recall this bit, about ‘the elephant in the room’ as Terry nicely puts it;

    ‘Our other billionaire is a fan of Arsenal’ – I stand to be corrected on the exacting wording because I haven’t gone back to check it .

    The point about that is that it subtle way of telling the reader there there is this kind beneficiary who, if he were invited onto the Bod, he will bring joy and glad tidings to you all?

    I just ask myself, where is the proof that he has any special feelings for the club, when at every opportunity he makes press releases that he knows are going to be divisive, with the sole aim of his advancement to get some further control of the club. Has he ever offered an interest free loan? I am sure we would have heard about one, even, or especially, it had been refused? I cannot think of one thing that he has said, other than make wild promises of what a difference he would make.

    To my mind he is ‘a leopard in the room’, and one whose spots haven’t changed, a cast a large shadow of unsavoury history, and it is something we will do well to avoid any involvement with in the near or distant future.

    Just a sample you understand, HaHa!

    Perhaps it is time for the Government to step in and follow the Bundesliga model of 49% foreign ownership, by self or by proxy?

    I also should say that i read one of my replies back yesterday, that you could have taken the wrong way, when I said I looked at the replay before I commented … I did not mean that as a slight to you, as you had already said you were going by memory and could be wrong. I was just explaining that I had to do it to see who our defenders were. But apologies if anybody thought otherwise.

  99. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Herb, no surprise you take the historical perspective. 🙂

    I live in the here and now and want us to start beating them again; for me that would be catching up. Agreed that we are some way off. But, other than van Judas, there is not a single player I rate very high/ better than ours. A fit Vidic yes, but that is a big ask.

  100. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Redders, HH 🙂
    I hope you’re fighting fit after your recent health issues, Redders. I enjoyed reading your summary of Manchester United’s strategy as opposed to Arsenal’s, I just think at crucial times we could and should have acted with some intent and bravery.
    The BoD like the way Arsene Wenger operates, HH, so I can’t see him being sacked, but I personally think his time as a top-level competitive manager passed some time ago.

  101. Red Arse says:


    You are being concerned unnecessarily, as I did not notice that you had made any comment that was anything but normal ‘language’, and as a result I did not feel the need to answer in kind. 🙂

    Of course, now that you have confessed, I will stick you on my ‘bash him’ list, which now contains ….. just you!! 😀

  102. Herb'sArmy says:

    It’s a perpetual debate, Total. A year and a half ago they humiliated us, and went on to finish a whopping 19pts ahead. Our response was to further strengthen their ranks, and here and now they are 21pts ahead with eleven games to play. And regardless of how highly you rate our squad compared to theirs, the huge difference is the ability and ambitions of the two managers. Arsene Wenger’s philosophy hasn’t worked for a long time. I guarantee Manchester United would not entertain the strange logic of rewarding an ordinary footballer like Theo Walcott £100,000 a week. Hardly a game-changing match-winner, is he!

  103. Gooner4eva49 says:

    A standing ovation for weedonald. Magnificent.

    Total, my response to you is you best start on another post!

    HH, were you formally known as ‘The Gooner’ the one that knows all about German and Spanish leagues and does not really support a ligue 1 team?
    Well the best way to make me feel bad is for you guys to keep on doing what your doing. Producing some excellent stuff, not just the write ups but attracting the good kind of people on here and to hear their decent views and options. Opens my eyes I’m absorbing all different view points. Nice.

    Thanks for the shout out (as if I heard you loud n clear). I’m amazed you can make head or tail out of what I type cos there’s is so much info/suggestions running round my mind and to squeeze it all onto a bloody phone trying to remember what my point was! Like now. Emmm. Or maybe it just looks good!

    I believe a lot of us here are on the same wavelength. We gotta be, we love Arsenal we love Dennis and we are not cretins!

  104. TotalArsenal says:


    Theo scored 18 goals and earns less than 50% of Rooney who scored 13 goals this season. It is all about angles my friend 😉

  105. Red Arse says:


    I find I am in agreement with your comment at 17:40, and the reference to ageing players like Ferdinand and Evra is well made. Of course Fergie will whizz out at any minute and buy high class (and expensive replacements) and that has been the difference between the two clubs for many years, for the reasons we have long debated.

    I once said to Herb, a long time ago, that comparing Wenger and Ferguson, was a bit like us racing our cars with him in a Ford and me in a Ferrari, or was it the other way around? 🙂

    There is no doubt that whichever of us was in the Ferrari would win, because you pays your money and …. win. That is what Ferguson has done with the Glazer’s money, and if his Ferrari has a shunt he gets another one, while the Ford driver may have to go down market because he is struggling with his mortgage and might have to buy a Fiat Canardly! 🙂

  106. Red Arse says:


    Sshh, don’t give away your misgivings/secrets, because what comes across is ace!! 🙂

    Anyway, Guys, have to go — see you all tomorrow!! 🙂

  107. TotalArsenal says:

    Enjoy your evening Redders 🙂

    HH, that comparison comment is worthy of a new post! Are you ok if I take it out and we can use it by the end of the week: would lead to some great discussions…?

  108. Highbury Harmony says:


    I completely agree that the major difference has been SAF spending money to replace quality with quality over the years. However, I also view this summer as the first real opportunity for AW to replace the quality players that left years ago. We’ve waited this long to see his plan fall into place, why not wait one more seaon and see if he can right the ship before his contract runs out?!

    I truly hope he’ll bring some world-class quality to replace the departed van Judas, and talented players like Song! I think we’ve already replaced Cesc with Jack and Na$ri with Santi. We just need to replace the other two before we’ll be fighting for the title in earnest once again :).

    Nice blogging with you today Redders, have a good night!

  109. Highbury Harmony says:

    Yes TA, that would be perfectly ok with me. However, I would likely need to add more and polish it before it is post quality!!!

  110. TotalArsenal says:

    That is fine HH, and if we add a sexy title we can have a great debate..

  111. Herb'sArmy says:

    Have you seen the shift that Wayne Rooney puts in for Manchester United, compared to what Walcott does for Arsenal, Total? Complete contrast. It’s all about work-rate and desire, and unlike at Arsenal, knowing that a poor performance will be punished.

  112. Herb'sArmy says:

    No hyper-bole, HH, just a weary disappointing acknowledgement of knowing Arsenal’s standing. The reason I think Manchester United’s second XI would beat our strongest XI is because of the very reason I’ve mentioned to Total at 18:15. Money is too convenient to use to cover up deficiencies that aren’t finance related. You either have fire in your gut for the battle or you don’t, and if you do, you go out to win at all costs, all guns blazing. Manchester United were gutted at losing the title on GD, whereas we wildly celebrated finishing one place and 19pts behind them. A huge chasm in mentalities.

  113. weedonald says:

    HH….I am more skeptical and less trusting of the AST and especially of Payton, as I sense a hidden agenda in his somewhat critical comments about Wenger at times. That said, nobody really knows what the Club has in its coffers other than what is said on and that is little information other than we made a profit of 17.3M sterling and have 123.3M sterling in reserve and a few notes about selling and buying disbursements/revenues. my best guess, after doing some basic math(all I am capable of) is that we’ll have possibly between 55-70M sterling to buy in the summer. What he will spend it on will depend largely on whether we are in the CL next season.

  114. weedonald says:

    Herbs Army…..I think if we played our second XI against our first team, it would be a very close match, which I’d personally LOVE to see. The reserves are motivated to show up their counterparts on the first team and the first team would be motivated to avoid being shown up and to convince Le Boss that they are worthy of their places.
    I also feel our 2nd string players would give Manure’s first team a real workout and am definitely NOT convinced that it would be a rout. I do doubt that our first team would find it difficult to handle a reserve side from Manure as our own reserves do it all the time.

  115. allezkev says:

    G4eva, yep, I know we could be accused of being paranoid, and you don’t want to think that officials are biased against us, but some of the decisions we’ve on the wrong end of in recent seasons, does make you scratch your head…
    And when consider that Wenger has been hammered for kicking a bottle of water ffs, whilst Ferguson harangues referee’s with impunity, and gets away with it, what else are we supposed to think?!

  116. glic says:

    Evening Clamenbert`s 😆

    Super post HH

    The bastards who boycott are the same rabble who attend Vicky`s Trannie Friday Nights in Brentwood , even the fine padded Emirates seats are not enough to pacify their ruptured rectums !.

    As for the booing brigade *^%$E%^&U*:>??><{{ …. the only booing should be from the Ghosts stirring in Stretches 1930`s Y-Fronts !……….."Booo, look at the cob webs in here, obviously not much action ! " .

    400 miles today and I saw two ancient relics…..Cheddar Gorge ( not to be confused with Glic`s Cheddar Gorgeous, the substance which now covers Vicky`s false teeth….yes they`re still smiling, but probaly need a good floss ! ) and Stonehenge…….I`ve just read a Vic`s comment and that make`s it a Hattrick of Relics !. hahaha

    What I cant get my around is…… the parent ( man or woman ? ) takes the three kids to school, but with all the parents and children dressed the same, how do they know who is who when it comes to picking them up after school ?. Especially in the winter when it dark in the countryside with no street light`s !.

  117. glic says:

    BKer`s. I fear I need help !.
    This is the truth. Last night I felt more pissed off when Bale scored the winner at West Hampton than I did with Arsenal not beating Blackburn !. I know I hate the scum , but I`m getting more pissed off with a scum win than I am an Arsenal loss !. Is there something wrong with me ?………………The person who says yes……will need a slap ! hahaha

  118. glic says:

    @19:18 Should be…..” What I cant get my head around is….. “

  119. glic says:

    Is Manu`s second string is better than Bradford City ?, if so, you are probably right !. 🙂

  120. glic says:

    I will never argue with the “work rate” philsophy, I am one of it`s strongest backers ! . A team of Mo Farah fitness like Squillaci`s will always beat a team of Arshavins !.

  121. Gooner4eva49 says:

    I’ve just slapped myself in the face

  122. Gooner4eva49 says:

    And I didn’t even say yes. The spuds make me feel sick

  123. VCC says:

    GLiC…..can you put my teeth in a glass of steradent and get them nice and clean and gleaming ready for my big fat grin when we beat the Spuds on Sunday,

    Cheers Buddy.

  124. Milo says:

    Boycotting is definitely the wrong approach to take. People need to think about more than just themselves. IF they are rich enough to attend matches, they should imagine the plight of the popcorn vendors, or the match-day programme salesmen!!! A good number aren’t there for the fun of it!!! It is their JOB!!! Think of all the people who would be let go or fired by the club if people do not show up to the matches. If I had the money to go to England and support the Arsenal, I would. I buy something off the website each year, and try to watch every match. I’d say the worst thing about this great club, are some of the so-called supporters!!! 😦

    Herb, unfortunately (fortunately???) there is only on Sir Alex Ferguson to go round!!! 😀 Who else is out there that would be able to do what Arsene has done, and continues to do??? MAYBE Klopp, MAYBE Laudrup…MAYBE, that is the key word!!! 😀

  125. Highbury Harmony says:

    Yikes, Barca are really reeling…second loss in a week. No determination, passion, movement or creativity. They are really starting to look like Arsenal out there!

  126. Highbury Harmony says:

    Yikes, Barca are really reeling…second loss in a week. No determination, passion, movement or creativity. They are starting to look like Arsenal out on the pitch!

  127. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Milo, Arsenal’s problems run a bit deeper than being merely mis-managed in their football philosophy.
    True Arsenal supporters know the class and status that is bestowed on The Arsenal, and the significance of our rich heritage. There was a time when Arsenal were not only the classiest club in England, they were the biggest and the wealthiest. Arsenal were known as ‘The Bank of England’ club, because from top to bottom the club was run properly, and money spent on transfers reaped rewards. We were the major significant force in football, but those days will never return. We aren’t that club anymore. We now operate with the hand-brake firmly on, safety-first, low-risk strategy, which I think is a unique model, operated only by Arsenal.
    Arsenal’s model is based around gambling that FFP will come to their rescue and level the playing-field. It is always trotted out as an excuse for how poorly Arsenal are allowed to perform on the field, without fear of criticism or pressure from those grossly over-paying them.
    Even if FFP does restore some order and save us from drowning, Manchester United will still be significantly ahead of Arsenal.

  128. Milo says:

    Well, I wish I was around for the Herbert Chapman era…that must have been something!!! 😀 BUT I’ll take witnessing the Arsene Wenger era!!! (well, most of it, not 1996-97) I don’t like our ownership either. I mean, Kroenke isn’t an Arsenal man 😦 BUT if he actually researched the club’s rich history and recent past, like me, he could become one??? 😀 I know that’s VERY optimistic, but viable seeing as I wasn’t born in to an Arsenal supporting family, or even a football supporting family, besides my Dad…stranger things have happened!!! 😀

  129. Highbury Harmony says:

    Yikes, Barca are really reeling…second loss in a week. No determination, passion, movement or creativity. They’re starting to look like Arsenal out on the pitch!

  130. Herb'sArmy says:

    I wasn’t around either, but the Arsenal I grew up supporting was built on the traditional values and principles put in place by Chapman. Sadly that club has been confined to the history books.

  131. Milo says:

    Well, how long do you think Kroenke will be at the club??? H e’s switched around quite a bit in so far as his financial investments…I just hope it doesn’t take him ruining us, for him to pull out. I hope that he either becomes more approachable, or he leaves us in relatively the same condition he found us in. The one thing I don’t understand is this…if he hates the moniker Silent Stan so much, why is he so damn quiet???

  132. Milo says:

    HH, everything comes to an end!!! 😀 I’m still waiting to see what they do in the Champion’s League before I write their obituary for this season at least!!!

  133. Highbury Harmony says:

    Milo, agreed but I don’t think it’s Barca’s playing style or approach to the game that is holding them back. Strategically, they are too stationary and expecting the game to come to them, instead of being proactive and creating for themselves. Sound familiar :)?

    Bear in mind, they already have the La Liga title more or less under wraps!

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