Of Course Arsenal Lost at Manchester City. What Did You Expect

…Would Happen in a Football World That is Patently Corrupt and Where the Rich Only Get Richer?

Wake me up when Sepp-tember ends…

Caught in another International break, I’m left to ponder if there’s any football worth watching.  I’ll probably try and catch the World Cup playoff games between Granit Xhaka’s Swiss team and Northern Ireland–the first leg actually being played right now–believing that it might not be fixed.  The winner will fill out a group in next Summer’s tournament in Russia, and, who knows, maybe even spring an upset over a traditionally superior footballing nation.  Then again, if the selection of the host countries is bought with money, why shouldn’t the results of the World Cup itself also be purchased?

Likewise, after losing 3-1 at Manchester City, why shouldn’t Gooners also give at least a thought that the fix was in.  Is the linesman who killed the game by awarding City its third goal driving a nicer car towards his bigger and more luxurious house?  Is there not an intrepid Arsenalista out there who might enjoy a little leg-work to find out such facts?  It has to be better than trudging north for another dark afternoon in the away end knowing that the Gunners have the slimmest of chances for getting a result.  Plenty of pints, however, might make both jobs go down a bit easier..

But that’s just the way football is… Or is it?  Let’s ask Sepp, whose principal defense as corruptions trials begin in New York this week, is that others should join him in taking the fall.  Of course, some might argue, that’s international football, the club game is different, and, besides, Arsenal should be able to compete with the best clubs in England–and Europe.  Now that we’re 12 points behind Man City, the Premier League title seems gone.  And, having dropped out of the Champions League–after seven straight round-of-16 departures–many Gooners are glad that we don’t have to make our annual autumn passage towards a late-winter beating in that competition.  Put simply, Arsenal are not competing at the level, and, in my opinion at least, a change in manager or a turnover of players will not get us there.

Moreover, we were only a desperate 70+ million dollar bid for a promising but very inexperienced Thomas Lemar from losing the player many believe to be our best–Alexis Sanchez–to that same club that’s 12 points ahead of us–and nine points clear of everybody else.  Do the rich always need to get richer?

It seems to be so.  Moreover, it’s a situation that is (somehow) tolerated by most punters–those who have given up on football years ago won’t be reading this post.  Do folks actually believe the smaller clubs have a chance?

And, make no mistake, despite proclamations a decade ago by Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal are a smaller club.  Yes, we have a big stadium, filled (or unfilled…) by supporters who pay obscene prices to attend (or not attend…) our home matches, and, yes, we have a billionaire owner.  The other thing we have–unfortunately, I guess–are our “values.”

We spend what we make, which, again, of course, is what all the other clubs in England and Europe are supposed to be doing.  Financial Fair Play rules–not quite as big a joke as the names Blatter drew out of his hat that night (after Russia 2018 came Qatar 2022)–is rife with clauses allowing abuse.  How can City pay Alexis’ wage demands on top of all the others?  They must be selling a lot of shirts.  Paris St. Germain scored both Neymar AND Kylian M’bappe in the last window.  If you can explain it to me, please do so, but I’ll be napping soon enough.

Maybe I’ll be napping anyway given the quality of the aforementioned Northern Ireland–Switzerland match I’ve got on the television.  City and PSG stacking the deck means the quality–at least at the top of the game–must go up, right?  Maybe spreading the best talent to more teams would actually make the game (or more of the games) more competitive.

That’s my belief, what do you think?

In the older (and better?) days Arsenal supporters saw the North London derby as a must-win match against our (lesser?) neighbors up the Seven Sisters Road.  Now, with Spurs building a new and bigger stadium, adding to their brand by playing (quite successfully this autumn) in the Champions League and sporting some very interesting English and foreign talent (including their Argentinian manager) I’m actually looking forward to the NLD more than ever.  We’ll likely be underdogs in nine days time–even in our own stadium–but, long term at least, we should be competing with our neighbors on relatively level footing.  Call me crazy, but this seems kind of, well, the essence of sport.

As they say, everybody has an arse, just as everyone has an opinion.  With Arse-nal, maybe there are even more arses–and (thus) opinions.  🙂

Let’s be having them, eh.

What do you think about the direction the game is headed?  Does it just imitate the real world where the richest folks seemingly must get richer?  Spending your Alexis money on fellow Arabs who could really use it doesn’t seem on the radar of Prince Mansour, while paying taxes–and perhaps allowing governments to get resources to those who need them most, seems at odds with keeping yourself–and your money–in paradise.  Do values have any place in football?  Do they have a place in the real world?

Sorry if this isn’t a tactical analysis or (another) lamentation of miserable (miserable) Arsenal.  It’s just–as I watch 35 million pound Granit Xhaka blast high and wide from 30 yards–my take on international football and football as it fits into our international lives.  What do you think?  (Or feel free to ignore this stuff and talk about anything else Arsenal.)

Go on then…

by 17highburyterrace

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20 Responses to Of Course Arsenal Lost at Manchester City. What Did You Expect

  1. njk84sg says:

    17ht,

    Pardon me but i thought i saw PE’s style of writing rather than yours truly. But right at the end it is definitely your style of sentences.

    Most of us are definitely feeling that what we were seeing on Sunday was rigged, and with the FA not doing anything again, it is definitely something plausible, if not possible.

    So, do we boycott the league totally? Or do we collectively sue the FA for letting the richer clubs buy the referees? Or do we just sit back and sulk while November ends and December arrives? Or do we just watch the UEL? Questions aplenty.

    Whatever it is, we should not turn a blind eye to the underhand tactics that the oppositions are playing against us. We have to be more underhand than them.

  2. 17highburyterrace says:

    Not sure exactly what you’re after here, JK… More underhand (sic) than them? We need to cheat? bend the rules? dive? Or do you mean off the pitch stuff? Should we be paying off the refs?

    I think we should just accept that it’s not a level playing field. Financially we’re behind the Oily-Garch clubs (ManCity and Chelsea) while Man United earn more annually and spend, spend, spend, esp. now that the Moo-man is running the farm. 4th is our natural level in England. Last year we finished behind Pool and Spurs but ahead of Man U. I think we can get back to overachieving (as we have for almost ALL of the Wenger years) but we need to bring some positive energy to the project…starting with the next match vs Spurs… For the moment, I’ll assume that there’s no funny-money match to match. That said, Spurs have some fine players, some who will follow guys like Kyle Walker out the door to the richer clubs, but–right now–they’re playing like a real team and their supporters are totally behind them. Can we do likewise? I think we’ll need to if we want to give them a game in just over a week…

  3. Jnyc says:

    Thank you 17, I was dying for some good Arsenal discussion, and your post is just that.

    If we remind ourselves, Leicester quietly had a ridiculous number of penalties awarded the season that they won the league. Everyone was waiting for them to drop off, but didn’t want it to happen. Refs were feeling it too. Even I said, if Arsenal don’t win the league, I’d like to see Leicester do it.

    In the next few months, refs, league, advertisers, Sponsors will be excited to draw attention for an undefeated team. They are already asking and printing stories… “can Man City equal the invincibles?”
    They will get the full Fergie treatment on penalties or any other type of judgement call. They will have an edge, like getting 97 or more minutes to equalize or win, as has already happened.

    You all were sick of my complaints during the excruciating transfer window. We all had our opinions, and I was finally wanting us to sell Sanchez ,Ozil , and Oxlade. I think it was foolish not to, considering the macroeconomics like you describe. I just figured, if this is where we are, we must make the best of our situation, be prudent, not stubborn. No offense to some here, including my boy TA, but it seemed extremely unlikely even then, that they would make big contributions, or extend. Now I even see Ozil as in Wilsheres way, and I prefer Jack to get the chance. If he plays, he stays. If he doesnt get premier league minutes, im not sure..

    As it is, Alexis and Ozil are probably leaving soon enough, and for nothing, or a very cut rate price. Generally I dont care where they go… except…
    My guess is that Ozil goes to Mourinho. Which would hurt a bit more, and he will love to take Arsenes player as he did Cesc, indirectly, but still hard to swallow. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings, but it will suck big league if Ozil performs very well for them. Or heaven forbid they win something together.

  4. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi J… 3 hours behind you here on the West Coast but it seems like you’re a bit of a night owl… Nothing starts in NYC until ?… Kinda like when I stayed in Spain, maybe…

    Looking at the summer stuff all leads back to Wenger being allowed to sign on for another couple of years. A new manager in would’ve allowed for more player turnover and (perhaps) tolerance for worse results–even as awful as ours might seem to many Gooners…

    Keeping Ozil & Sanchez, in my view, makes it FAR more plausible that we’ll have CL football next season, which, in turn, (if we get there) allows us to attract superior young talent next summer. Lots of folks here also suggest that Europa League football allows some of the young guns a chance as well. Personally, I’m not very convinced by that logic but you never know. It may even give Jack Wilshere–still young in Rosicky-an football years and maybe the ultimate young Gunner–another shot. In my view, were still in that “next” group of clubs who will have to buy players who are not fully formed (or are rejected by the biggest clubs–just like Alexis and Ozil were), while losing our best guys to the silly money clubs, even if, in the ultimate irony they are the very same players(!) So, Alexis and Ozil might be gone, but–depending on how they fare over the rest of the season–so too will Coutinho (and who else at Pool?) and maybe Kane, Dele or Eriksen at Spurs. So, like it or not, getting back up for CL football next season IS the big prize. Money talks even if you’re not in the CL (Pogba…) but it talks a good deal louder if you are…

    I need to think/research things more deeply–and I don’t fret about losing players on free transfers–but I think you’re onto something about troubles at the club in terms of long-term planning, including recruiting a manager for the Post-Wenger period. He’s here for this season and the next one (barring real tragedy…), so, painful as it is for those who live and die (or at least go up and down) with each result, it’s most certainly a 2 year plan… In my view, at least…

    Speaking of which… Where’s PE?…

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Great post Seventeenho 🏔

    There is no doubt that money has become too big a factor in the game and has robbed us from the romance that is so vital in football. Leicester was a one-off and was a collective response to this money-dominance trend we are witnessing in the game, home and in Europe – EVERYBODY except Arsenal wanted it to happen and silently made it happen. The CL has become risk free for the big clubs (both historically and through oil-cash) and that is why I don’t watch it anymore. The likes of Celtic, Ajax, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Anderlecht, Porto etc etc will not win this competition anymore. The way MC and PSG have shamelessly accumulated the best players, leaving even the likes of Bayern, Barcelona and possibly RM behind, is unacceptable. The people’s game has become a vanity, fantasy project for the mega rich.

    I still watch the PL because our team is in it and I reckon there is a bunch of clubs that can compete with each other for the title, even though it leaves other, less fortuna, clubs with no chance to win it. I don’t believe the refereeing on Sunday was corrupt, just incompetent and complacent. There is a long way to go and Oil City will get a dip, but then they are likely to spend in January to guarantee the title. Let’s just enjoy OGAAT and see where it ends.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Great song and lyrics by Green Day.

  7. Waldo says:

    I really encourage Gunners fans to lower their expectations about how the current squad will perform on the field. It honestly makes the whole supporting experience much more enjoyable if you consider Arsenal as currently the six best team in the Premier League (behind Man City, Man Utd, Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool) and not a realistic contender for the title. Put simply Arsenal don’t have the squad or manager to usurp those five teams above them. Okay, occasionally we might grind out a draw or even nick a win, but at the start of the season I expected us to lose home and away against those sides. Why? Because those club have tactically superior managers and are better recruiters than Arsenal. Yes money plays a factor but there are still a hell of a lot of relatively inexpensive and highly productive players able to be recruited who have proven themselves as capable of consistently executing a well defined game plan that accentuates their strengths and hides their weakness both on and off the ball. Unfortunately Arsenal don’t have the tactical blueprint, recruiters and squad to challenge for the title at the moment and aren’t willing to make the key changes required to alter that reality. In the meantime, I look forward to Arsenal’s Europa League matches and League Cup, FA Cup and Premier League matches versus those side outside of those top five clubs and hopefully come seasons end we celebrate a cup win or look forward to more European football next season (whether that be the Europa or Champions League).

  8. allezkev says:

    Great post 17tino.
    Yeah FIFA is rotten to its core, UEFA aren’t far behind but aren’t quite as brazen.
    As for the English FA, I don’t think corruption has permeated its confines as of yet, maybe I’m naive but that’s my view.

    Corrupt officials is another thing, Arsenal had the rub of the green against a Man City in the FACup semi-final and in the Final it seemed clean, so who knows?

    As for the ‘New Invincibles’, let’s wait and see, just ignore all the hysteria around City, the pressure will grow and they will lose in the EPL.
    But Guardiolas team is fantastic to watch, I cannot lie, they remind me of how Arsenal once were.

    Jonnie, I hold my hand up, I wanted them to stay, mainly because I expected insultingly low offers for them. It seems that nobody bid for Ozil, if the narrative is to be believed.
    As for Alexis, why wait until the last minute to make a decent bid, how daft was that?
    Or was it deliberately late in the hope of weakening Arsenal by leaving us no time to sign Lemar?

    Why a bid earlier in the window for Lemar wasn’t made is another moot point…

  9. retsub1 says:

    Great post 17HT you obviously put a lot of thought into it. Just a few comments..

    Like TA personally I don’t think Sunday’s games was fixed. Just poor decisions. I once had the pleasure of being a linesman and believe me it isn’t easy. I have long been against camera , because I always believed they would take the excitement out of the game. But if it can be done pretty quickly it seems the way to go. To this day I am still angry about Alonso attempting to decapitate Bellerin last year. Each and every pundit said it was fair…….. what???

    As for selling. Ozil and Sanchez I don’t think Wenger could win whatever he did.. if he sold he would have cost us the league as per RVP.. if he kept them and they didn’t perform (as appears to be the case,)he is an idiot for no selling earlier.. of course had we renewed their contracts earlier it would all be irrelevant.

    Personally if we can get our act together and play as a team, I see no reason why we can’t compete with all the other teams with the exception of City. I guess that is lowering expectations as Waldo suggested. Congrats by the way for your steadfast support of debuchy.

  10. Jnyc says:

    Kev, i think we were being stubborn.. ( we meaning Arsene ). If there was approx 50 mil offer at the end, then we could have had that same offer from them earlier, im sure we told them he’s not for sale all summer, and at the end, under pressure, changed our minds, but we screwed it up anyway. They didn’t need Alexis badly, and they don’t do late panic buys. They gave us a fair offer for a guy who could be free soon. No reason they wouldn’t have offered that earlier, they just don’t work like that, because of resources, they don’t squeeze selling teams like we do, they just get their targets.

    Man City wouldn’t go out of their way to keep us from getting Lemar, because they don’t see us as a threat to the title, though they respect our quality in general, i believe.

    We dont know for sure, but i really think we could have had Lemar earlier. Great sources said we were given permission to negotiate terms with the player, (because our bid was close enough to allow it) and settled on salary with him. I dont remember the number, im sorry. When Arsene thinks that he’s charmed a player to come to us, sometimes we start pinching pennies, nickel and diming clubs to save a few shekels, thinking they will relent, because the player wants the move, and it was close. We did that with Higuain, and the price went up higher, because Napoli told Madrid to sit tight until they got cash in a few weeks. We all know Wenger doesnt like that..,Not to rehash, but it was same pattern.

    This summer, Monaco and everyone with half a brain could feel something happening with prices, so while we were being cute, they rightly raised the price, again, and again. I don’t blame them, I blame us. Dick Law, Wenger, or anyone else involved. And why did Lemar turn us down, ? He saw how we were conducting ourselves as an organization. Not impressive or attractive to a player with a bright future.

  11. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    Hi 17ht.. I loved the post..

    Living in a such country like Indonesia.. Corruption is our main enemy.. but yet lethal and strong.. hard to kill..
    And yes, I think football is on the subject of corruption also..
    I don’t know about FA.. but if we talk about others league, others country.. I think what you said was reasonable.

    But, out of that issue.. our game against City was Bad.. We must be honest that without that sily off-side, we still be lost..

    And the problem is.. why our Players didnt do what they should.
    Ozil, Ramsey, Xhaka, Sanchez are the best in their nation uniform..
    Yes, we can argue that none of them except Ozil that through The Cup.. but still they were the best players in their own country side.

    And I think Wenger must take it seriously and ask WHY.. all are the same players.. the problem maybe because they don’t play the way the should play.. the post they should be..

    Sure.. I know nothing more about football and team than our great 21th years manager.. but to put that kind of players against Liverpool and City.. did mean something absolutely went wrong.. And I’m afraid that was MENTALITY.. Being inferior against big clubs.. and being unable to order the player what they should do and don’t..

    So, give Ozil his role to assist not to score..
    give Xhaka role to play deeper and cross a long ball.. Ramsey to play wider and Sanchez as our second striker..
    Ozil and Ramsey maybe can change place.. or side by side as our duoble AM..

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Good points HeheheH 🙂

    We all would like us to win the title, as so would the BoD, but, and I will say this once more, they have only one target this year: finishing in the top three – four if need be. For that the policy to keep Ozil and Alexis rather than cash in now was spot on. Ozil will be resigned I think (and hope) and Alexis will be let go, I think (and hope). But first they will help us to get back in the top four. This is very much achievable with the squad we have as only City are stronger than us. A win against the Spuds will do us a world of good. Let’s make it happen.

  13. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi fellas… Not much time to write as I’m on the move this weekend… Thanks for the comments.

    Waldo is taking the expectation lowering stuff down to absurd levels, IMO, but he’s in a different place (than I am) regarding his faith in the manager and players (and perhaps believes that money has nothing to do with anything). I would be completely shocked if we finished at the bottom our the “next” tier of three clubs in England, i.e., 6th, as he expects us to do. I think we’re anywhere from 2nd to 5th…and closer to the higher number than the lower one. Let’s also not forget, there are ways to finish lower than 5th and still get into the CL… Just ask the Moo-man… 😉

    Kev & J are reconstructing the summer transfer window, which, I think, is a(nother) way to make yourself crazy. There’s news (about these things) that could be anywhere on the spectrum from (completely) true to (completely) false or fake. As such, you can twist it any which way you like to fit your own narrative. I will say this. As much as I can appreciate arguments against “political correctness,” I am personally offended when the word for “pounds” or “money” is transcribed as “shekels.” To insinuate that Arsene or Arsenal are acting like (greedy) Jews is not right. Part of the post is to suggest that there ARE actually better things people could do with their money than to just spend, spend, spend (and then spend some more…) on football players and the like. (My guess is that no one has chosen to look at the link to the story/pictures from Yemen…) Taking it one step further, why did we spend so much on Lacazette and give him such a big salary? Couldn’t we pay him his salary in bananas? That would’ve saved a shekel or two and then we could’ve gotten Lemar (and also paid him in bananas, as we could do with Welbeck, Theo, Iwobi, and all the other black players)… Even more shekels could be squirreled away… 😦

    I’m not sure about mentality issues (Henry’s comment) and inferiority complexes and the like. We have good players, but City’s are better, I think. If we were to beat them (and we could’ve on the day–as we did at Wembley in our previous match) our mentality would have been just fine. Over time, if a club always pays more for (and to) players, those players will (with exceptions, of course) be better than the players of a club that pay less. Also, Int’l results and the roles of players on those teams doesn’t mean too much to me. Ramsey’s Wales and Alexis’ Chile teams won’t be going to Russia and Xhaka didn’t look the best player for Switzerland the other day, in my view. The Int’l game, except for the absolute top teams, is of (substantially) lower quality than the top of the club game. Again, just my opinion, but there you go…

  14. Jnyc says:

    17, you got that right…. as you have all been subject to here, it DOES make me crazy thinking about recent transfer windows. Whenever i begin a comment about that in particular, it turns into a rant, which gets over the top quickly. I still believe everything i said, so its just venting the truth.

    BUT WAIT ! what’s this anti jewish thing ? I’m in new york and we (jewish and non) use that phrase all the time. There are some things that non new yorkers just would not understand. I think its used on the west coast too. Also, if you notice those few sentences, i was being cute using multiple phrases that we all use, pinching pennies, nickel and diming, etc. Arsene is i think, a Catholic like me, and my sister and my nephews are jewish, so I’ll use the shekel comment all I want. I won’t even start about my jewish friends, etc.

    I don’t feel like apologizing for it now, even though I see that you are technically right, that some people use it in a different spirit. I know sensitivity is at an all time high in the world.

    The one thing I wanted to add to my transfer rant, is that, if there is uncertainty, unhappiness, discord, around the club itself, the decision making of the past 2 years is completely responsible.

    Also I wanted to take back something I said a couple weeks ago.. now I think I would start Jack next weekend, since he had the international week to rest. The timing would be good, regardless of the opponent. If he stays generally healthy the rest of the way, I don’t think he will disappoint on the pitch.

  15. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey TA… I’ve got a response to J ^^^ but it won’t post… Maybe I used a naughty word? Is there a way we can fix that (and maybe put the comments with “banned” words into “review” or something)… It could just be that the comment was too long… 😮

    Maybe we need to figure this out through the back channels, er, e-mail…

  16. jw1 says:

    Wenger was between a rock and a hard place playing City just before an international break. A close contest with a hopeful result– was required.

    Outside of a dodgy PEN– and blown offside call resulting in the Silva-to-Jesus goal? Arsenal played the game Wenger mapped out to hold City in check. The team fielded was — unorthodox — at worst. One, single, goal was earned by City. Those other crosses/shots that were close? Don’t count. For anything. The idea of matching up with quicker players across the back line worked.

    Had Arsenal drawn? Or nicked the win versus City? We’d be discussing a club on the upswing right now. Not shortcomings of players or manager or club.

    ===

    Also feel that Wilshere needs to be a spark in midfield.
    Got to find a way to get Lacazette the ball where he’s most dangerous, more often.

    jw1

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Seventeenho, I looked and could not see a comment from you either in Spam, Trash or Pending comments. Did you use the F word? Any variations to the F word get thrashed, which I don’t want to change. I did discover a recent comment by Retsub in Spam (for some reason) which I have now released. Sorry buddy, not sure what happened there…

  18. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, a bit more time to write… I fear this one could be on the longer side…

    So, J, I’m still unclear… Can we pay our black players in bananas?… (You know, in order to save some shekels…)

    No need to apologize, as it’s probably best to know how people talk in different places and who am I to ask people to think twice before employing stereotypical language. And, of course, you ARE right, sensitivity is at an all time high…

    I wonder why?… 😦

    This weekend I’m visiting my mom (& her twin sister, my aunt), who, along with everybody else in their family, had to leave Germany in the 1930s. Luckily, they were near the French border and had saved their shekels and were able to make good lives in… New York (Larchmont, to be specific). Unfortunately, even a generation or two down the line, we’re all (still) scarred by the experience… (It gets worse when the tiki-torches come out, I’m sad to say…)

    I’ve played a lot of hoops (and become friends with) a lot of African Americans but I still stopped short of telling my (lazy) n*gg*rs to shut up and eat another ‘nana… (Or even use the term “boy,” though, trust me, I talked plenty on the court…)

    I could go on and on about all kinds of stereotypes but I’ll only give one more… Maybe Arsene (who I didn’t know was Catholic…) was an altar boy and is now trying to rape our club just like the priest who…

    😦

    Sorry, but a laugh-y face doesn’t seem right…

    Let’s put that to the side and assume that you’re not anti-semitic (and that I’ve got nothing against Catholics, blacks or anybody else)…

    What seems funny (or just plain wrong) about your beef with management is that you’ve lamented that we didn’t get enough money for the players who wanted out (by selling them as soon as possible after hearing they didn’t want to sign) which results in a net loss of money (actually, it probably doesn’t but you’d have to consider salaries and most observers only count transfer money…) but you also blame our management for (possibly) trying to save (transfer) money after agreeing contract terms. Or, at least that’s the way (I think) you’ve interpreted the Lemar information you’ve chosen to believe. (A side-effect of buying Lemar, another #10 type of player, I hate to say, is that Jack Wilshere would’ve fallen that much further down the pecking order, probably to the point of leaving the club. That would be OK by me, but others rate him more highly than I do…)

    So, should we try to make (or save) money or should we spend (as much as it takes) to make the deals happen? To me, it seems you’re arguing (with incomplete information…) both sides of the same coin, as it were… 😀 (There’s the laugh-y face, I was hoping it would make a comeback…)

    Overall, I agree… I would have preferred to pluck somebody (anybody…) off that (extremely) overachieving Monaco team, even if we had to pay soooo much money that the player would’ve been under (extreme, unreasonable–see Martial at ManU, for example) pressure to perform (immediately) when, really, as individuals, the Monaco guys are ALL very inexperienced. (Even M’bappe, the guy who really excited me…but, of course, ended up with an oil-funded team). Frankly, it would have been good optics, as they say, to have done a bit of “debt-spending” after falling out of the CL places… In my view…

    You’re even MORE right when you say the following: “if there is uncertainty, unhappiness, discord, around the club itself, the decision making of the past 2 years is completely responsible.”

    The only decision that really matters that has been made in the past 2 (or 21) years was the one that kept Wenger in as our manager (A decision that more or less guarantees those feelings you mention–all the other decisions pale in importance, IMO…) Ownership has kept him because they believe that’s the best recipe for achieving the results they are after (high finishes, CL football, etc). My belief mirrors theirs. A new guy would have brought in new players and there might be more certainty and happiness and less discord…for a while at least. Results? They may have improved or they might be worse, who is to say?… To me, in the end, the management is doing pretty close to the best they can given the financial position the club is in (or “chooses” to be in, given that our billionaire won’t infuse the club with his own cash). That’s the subject of the post, in fact…

    OK, enough said… I told you it might go long… Sorry…

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey, this time it worked… I have no idea why (or why the other one didn’t)…

    It’s extremely late at night but I had an espresso after a fine Italian meal. I really just wanted to test the product a top-rate restaurant is putting out there against my own. It was a darker roast than I do at home, but it wasn’t burnt (nor stale) so quite enjoyable…except now I’m missing a half night’s worth of sleep…

    That’s the sort of price I am willing to pay… But it won’t buy me a football team…

    Scrolling up and seeing Retsub’s comment… Count me in for VAR to replace lines-people ASAP. For me, English Football increased its “brand” immeasurably by getting the goal-line technology stuff in. The diving review concept is misguided (IMO) as the refs will be hard pressed to criticize one of their own, and the penalty (literally–if it wins a point or three) likely outweighs taking a few matches off… Sorta like straight reds might’ve done back when protecting one’s turf seemed so important. For me, that’s the worst element of the English “brand” but that’s just me and I know I’m quite the “snowflake” (as JNYC will surely attest)…

    In US football (throw and hand-off ball…) the rules change relentlessly… As that’s the football I first watched, or maybe just because I’m a loco American, I’d go for changing set piece goals (including pens) to 1/2 value (i.e., a tie-breaker > fewer draws) or getting rid of the box and awarding the pen at the spot of the infraction. Nutty ideas, I realize, but there you go… I’m on drugs (caffeine), so go lightly on me…

    Cheers…

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    |Good comments from everyone. Sometimes, I wish we could all meet in the pub and talk in person as some things are best discussed person to person rather then on-line. Maybe one day we organise a get together near the home of football.

    New Post 🙂

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