So Arsenal fans… are you going to protest?

by & filed under Uncategorized.

You can’t hide from it, people are talking about it all over the web, in comment sections, on twitter… it’s the planned demonstration planned by Where has our Arsenal gone (WHOAG). It’s happening at 1430 on the 15th of May before the Aston Villa game. At the moment, rumours are that 200 or so Arsenal fans are going to meet, don black scarves and wander up to the ground to make a statement of dissatisfaction against the club.

I recently wrote that I’m not a fan of protest and pop up action groups. I still stand by that but what I am a fan of is people who actually want to do something. I’m a fan of supporters joining together to do something they see as for the better of the club and I’m a fan of giving everyone the choice to make a rational decision on whether they want to join.

From what I can gather, they are in the main marching against the increase in season ticket pricing. The group are not a collection of post 1996 Arsenal fans, they are in fact the opposite. Many of them have been season ticket holders since the 70’s, they’ve seen the dark days of Arsenal football club, they’re members of the AST and AISA but they want to take things into their own hands to let the club know they’re not happy about the way things are going.

Some of their ideas are very fair. They want the club to recognise that increasing the cost of season tickets is hitting fans hard, they want to offer the chance for fans to downgrade their seats, they want the club to allow fans the chance to have a season ticket holiday for a year, they want the away fans to be moved into the upper tier into the more expensive areas so there are more affordable seats for the faithful.

A protest about season ticket pricing makes absolute sense to me and that is a cause I’d absolutely back.

The trouble from where I’m sitting is the press release about the march lacks direction and clear objectives. They veer off into areas like commercial activity, corporate fan slagging, the manager’s lack of spending and sacking the Chairman. All debatable points on their own, but all they do for me is add confusion to the situation and they muddy the water.

A protest needs goals and objectives. If no one is exactly sure about what they’re protesting about, you allow the rest of the web to make snap assumptions. Many people are calling it a ‘Wenger out’ protest. Le Grove has dealt with people who make assumptions about our site without reading it and I fear that what is essentially a good willed movement is being tarnished by the very vocal and aggressive AKB.

This is the problem with new groups, it’s very hard to create an organisation when no one is fronting the group. I tried to contact them via their twitter account last night for a few words and I’ve heard nothing. That’s why my preference is go through more official channels like the AST. You know every statement made by them is carefully researched and rational. The AST wrote an e-mail to Ivan Gazidis the day after they found out about the potential hike in season ticket prices way back in February. Do you think it’s a coincidence the club has waited so long to announce regular season ticket increases?

I don’t like the factions that have been created at Arsenal this season, it’s really sad that we can’t all get along. It’s sad that fans are tearing lumps out of each other in the ground and it’s sad that groups like WHOAG have to set up in the first place. I won’t be joining any protest until there is more clarity around exactly what the goal of it is supposed to be but I do admire that a group of Arsenal fans are willing to take their grievances to the street and make a public point to the club.

What I’ve done is join the AST. I’ll be filling out the end of season questionnaire which goes directly to the board. I’ll then be attending the AST Ivan Gazidis meeting (June 13th) where he’ll take questions uncensored for an hour and a half from anyone who is a member. For all the criticism the club receives, there aren’t many CEO’s that would put themselves through such an ordeal.

We may have lost out way on the pitch this season but I strongly believe the club tries its best to involve the fans every step of the way. Globalisation of football is inevitable… if you want tradition, you’ll have to find another sport. For all the eulogizing about the game way back when… you did get what you paid for. Terracing was fun, but football violence wasn’t. Paying a tuppence for a ticket was value for money, seeing people throw bananas at black players was not. Knowing that you were likely to see your favourite players down the local after was nice… but seeing the power, pace and skill we have now is far more enjoyable.

Hopefully when Ivan Gazidis takes his hot seat in June, he’ll have snapped up a decent player and the fans will feel somewhat appeased. At the core of it, we all want what’s best for the club, we all want to be optimistic and we all want to feel our club is trying its hardest to be the best that it can be.

This summer is the chance for the club to unite the fans again, I just hope Stan understands that sentiment.

So… will you be protesting? Let us know in the comments!

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799 Responses to “So Arsenal fans… are you going to protest?”

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  1. albo

    I have to say, anyone who simply declares that 4-4-2 is ‘better’ is showing a pretty woeful lack of knowledge about the intricacies and subtleties of footballing tactics…

  2. Keyser

    Paulinho – Yeah because it’s all that simple, it’s not going off on tangents because your points are usually too specific to have as much relevance as you place on them.

    According to you it’s all about this specific run Evra makes into the box that Clichy doesn’t, because you saw Cole do it last week for Lampard, he must do it every game and everythings hunky dory for them and it’s all down to that one position and that run into the box.

    Of course that’s exactly, what we’re missing and it’s the solution to all of our problems ?!

    Evra’s made mistakes all year, he made 3 in the space of a week earlier in the season, and the point is how has his attacking runs affected the defensive side of his game.

    If he’s being left exposed continually down the left because Nani’s in front of him, though Rooney usually does a pretty good job of trying to cover, as does Hernandez in filling the space Rooney vacates. Should he continually make the same runs regardless ?!

    You have to weight it up at some point and make a judgement call.

    Who did play in that game ?!

  3. Rohan

    Fair enough. My point is more re. Sagna though. I think he’s class. He couild do with having a bit more variety.

  4. hitman

    agree with tiarnan.

    a great manager would never say 2nd is success.

    many thought wenger had lost the plot. that confirmed it.
    aiming for 2nd best means you will never come 1st. sometimes you wont even achieve 2nd.

    but who are we to change wenger’s philosophy?

  5. Keyser

    tiarnan – The formation is just a numerical solution to a physical problem, sounds pretentious but fuck it.

    If you have 11 players that can cover a specific area of ground efficiently then it doesn’t matter what formation you play, it matters when one of those players offers less in one respect than he does in another.

    Bergkamp couldn’t bomb on as he used to or cover ground as efficently, he was never someone who’d track back 90 yards to put in a last ditch tackle anyway, but then we had other players for that.

    What was Bergkamp he was extremely clever and knew when to play the right ball at the right time, for that team that was invaluable.

    The players didn’t fit the formation, the formation fit the players.

    If Song isn’t particularly quick, or Fabregas for that matter, than as we all saw 4-4-2 was just not going to work, so you use another midfielder in there to even it out, leaving pace on the wings.

  6. tiarnan

    albo – so youre happy with 4-2-3-1 – the mother ship of tippy tappy football?

    I suppose that fuckin eejit Fergie hasnt a clue what formation works best which is why he predominantly uses 4-4-2…


  7. Paulinho

    Keyser – It’s a specific point, and one I’ve argued for at least three years. I was actually the first to flag up Clichy for being a useless twat back in 08/09, in which you responded with incredulity and “heh, Clichy’s awesome”. I don’t get that now, so I take some of his deficiencies have very belatedly come to your attention.

    Evra got exposed while was ALREADY back in defence. Against Everton at Goodison he was doing comical overhead kicks that he never connected with properly. That was his problem, he was sitting back too much, and being idle makes him defensively suspect. Notice how he’s bombed on in recent months and as a result you don’t hear much about defensive frailties. World cup hangover methinks.

    So Evra going forward has nothing to do with being exposed.

  8. hitman

    442 isnt better, it isnt worse.

    You have to be flexible and pragmatic. Its what the best managers tactitians do.

    If it isnt working you need to change and try something else. Football aint that difficult.

  9. hitman

    I’d rather employ zee crabby 4-2-3-1 than come first or reach final de champions league.

    We must play zee footbal in ze right way.

    Ah will not sacrifice ma principles.

  10. Keyser

    Paulinho – I reacted with increduality because unlike you I haven’t chosen to ignore how much Clichy and Sagna both got forward the year previously, unless they’ve suffered from amnesia like you seem to have there must be a reason for that.

    Evra was last man on the half-way line, stop talking rubbish, that wasn’t him sitting back, it’s because as a team they were far too stretched for him to have enough time to get back, because of who they had on the pitch.

    World Cup hangover ffs, look at the lengths you go to, to excuse other teams players.

    Of course it has something to do with it, you can’t just ignore it, someone at some point has to cover your run, and in that case if you think Arshavin does that regularly enough, or we do it efficiently as team than you’re far more in denial than I could ever have imagined.

  11. tiarnan

    This is all bollox anyway 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 6-3-0-1, 1-2-1-2-3-1….

    Under Wenger we could play 4-4-4-4 and we’d still win fuck all.

    Hes a fucking loser, Im off to have a wank.


  12. albo

    Tiarnan – Hitman is absolutely correct. Fergie’s strength is that he is not wedded to any particular formation. He is willing to change for specific challenges.

    4-4-2 might work great in some instances, but against us, for example, Fergie always plays 4-5-1…

    Saying 4-4-2 is ‘better’ is like the moronic pundits who declare that 4-4-2 is ‘attacking’ whilst 4-5-1 is ‘defensive’. And the idea that ‘tippy tappy’ football is only used in a 4-2-3-1 is equally ridiculous.

  13. Keyser

    Actually think it might’ve been a corner, then to try something like an overhead kick, it’s more stupidity than anything, World Cup hangover, heh, he was a bit of a thick cunt there to.

  14. Paulinho

    Keyser – Sagna got forward alright in 07/08, to be fair he always tries to if possible, but Clichy? The only time I remember seeing the guy near the byline that year was against Fulham and Man City, and even then they were speculative crosses. He never actually made a run inside the penalty area, what Cole and Evra do frequently. So that doesn’t work I’m afraid.

    Times of the season matter as well. We’re at the business end, who really gives a toss what happened in October/November. I know you like to cling onto those months where mythically click and play like champions but to most people, they are relatively pointless months when teams like Villa have looked a threat in the past.

    We don’t press hard enough all over the pitch, I’ve never argued that. Funny how Eboue goes forward though and never seems to get exposed.

  15. Keyser

    Paulinho – Stop it with the thinly veiled insults, I’ve read the crap you’ve come out with for a year or two now, and you’re not much more of a tactical genius then I am.

    See there you go with what you remember, you remember Cole passing to Lampard yet he’s got 3 assists all year and he’s been embrassed at times. As has Evra.

    I wouldn’t really class any of them as very good going forward, Silvinho could actually shoot for example. Cole’s probably got the best shot out of all of them.

    It’s what they can get away with going forward and what that gives the team, Clichy got 6 assists that year I think, two might have been long balls to Eduardo away to Everton.

    Your second paragrpahy is typical of the snide bullshit you like you pull, it isn’t what I cling onto, if we’re going into the business end of the season without key players and so on then we’re not winning anything, that’s not just me, that’s in general.

    Except, we haven’t had that all year, that’s a failing you could question, and the lack of momentum we carry into that portion of the season you could attribute as a greater factor, than any decoy run you’ve soo enamoured yourself with.

  16. Keyser

    Paulinho – Ah, nah, it’s all good, just sometimes I think you believe what you actually write to be gospel, good night mate.

    We could bring this up in a few months time if you like.

  17. tiarnan

    Kushagra India says:
    April 27, 2011 at 02:53

    Martin Samuel having a field day against Arsenal….

    whats he sayin?

  18. tiarnan

    Even though Martin Samuel is a total arsehole – hes just wondering why we dont buy a world class keeper like Neuer…

    Thats pretty much what I asked earlier today:

    tiarnan says:
    April 26, 2011 at 16:44

    albo – goongubba…

    Id pretty much agree – and thats how Wenger should be looking at the team – with utter ruthlessness…

    None of this loyalty bullshit – wheres the loyalty to the fans?

    Even Szcezsny, good and all as he is, is still too inexperienced – and is poor at crosses – Mourinho would – without question – buy a world class goalie like Neuer – and sort out the defence – and build from there…

    Wenger is incapable of doing this.

  19. Kushagra India

    tia De Gea is also inexperienced Neuer has shown us he is a gr8 shot stopper so has Chesney I will stick with him and use the money in other areas …..agree Samuel is an arsehole and that award justifies it….

  20. Kushagra India

    Mourinho is not building anything atm he is trying to be as dirty as he can on and off the pitch to nullify Barca I just hope Messi rips him and Fergie a new one this manure team is overrated…

  21. tiarnan

    Kush – my point about Mourinho is that Almunia, Denilson, Fabianski, Clichy, Diaby et al would have been blown out of the club within minutes of him arriving – but under Wenger their mediocrity is tolerated; their mistakes concealed; their lack of footballing nous celebrated as immaturity.

    Wenger has opened Pandoras box by saying that finishing second is ok.

    He has now created a subconscious atmosphere that failing is ok, because anything other than 1st for Arsenal is failure.

    In fact in that second link you posted, Samuel writes:

    “Arsene Wenger now knows what happens when you indicate even mild satisfaction with finishing second. You finish third.”

    In fact the rot we’re in now I think we’ll be lucky to finish fourth – City will definitely pass us out.

  22. ikon

    I think maybe our form will take a up turn now since there is no pressure of winning. It always has been like that.
    Would love to see Vermaelen back in the side.. I feel Koscielny has done a good job in his first season, the other partner has been shoddy, be it Squilacci or Djourou.

  23. tiarnan

    Ro – scoring isnt his job its defending – and hes a poor poor defender…watch the goals at bolton again for any reminders needed

  24. ikon

    I dont think Clichy has been as woeful as people make him out to be. The uncertainity in the middle (DM and CB) means Clichy and Sagna have had to cover up many times and that increases the error rates. Clichy is still one of the best left backs in the league.

  25. Moray

    Clichy has gone downhill quite badly in the last couple of seasons. Unforced errors, persistent ability to cross the ball, lack of goals…I hope he leaves this summer. It may benefit his career too.

  26. Gooby

    “Owen Coyle & Harry Redknapp would both do better than Wenger on the same budget.”

    how funny gambon! harry fucking redknapp? let’s get woy instead, brilliant at liverpool

  27. goonerT1m

    clichy looses concentration at least a couple of games during a game, he also cant cross to save his life…other than that he’s great! a team they donr concentrate or work as hard as they should on the defensive side. they also waste gs opportunities, the game against bolton was a good example AND SUMED UP THE SEASON.

  28. alan b'stard M P

    the worst thing that can happen is if Arsenal beat Manure. Wenger will then have a mental resurgence in belief of his own fantasies, as he will say they beat Chelsea, Barca and Manure

    We need to lose this Manure game coming to drive the nail further into the coffin of Wenger’s ideas. Sad but true I think

  29. Moray

    alan, we can’t think like that! Win or lose against Man U (and I really suspect we will lose), big changes will have to happen. I think the dirty underclothes are laid out for all to see…even bob Wilson is making critical comments!

  30. ikon

    united cannot afford to let the title go down to the chelsea game. They will try and beat this inept Arsenal team by whatever means possible. We will definitely see some dives in the box this sunday.

    Have to say the way Fergie keeps turning these mediocre players into world class “beaters” is amazing. It is one of the weakest united teams in years. They still going to win the league by a confortable margin.

  31. Moray

    ikon, I agree. I think even if he just wins the Premiership, this will be Ferguson’s greatest achievement. They really are shit.

    thinking about it, I think it would just piss me off more if we get a result against the mancs at the weekend.

  32. Al

    We have seen clichy mess about with the ball in. Dangerous position and get caught out a number of times. This highlights that he hasn’t received a dressing down from wenger or anyone else about it and that is the problem because it seems that we allow this complacency

  33. Stevie

    Al, could you ever imagine Keown or Adams letting him get away with giving the ball away in those postions

  34. Moray

    Al, our captain is either handballing in his own area or backheeling dangerously across our own box. I think we can safely assume the kids are running the nursery. the problem is, because they are kids, they will blame everyone but themselves when they find there is no lunch ready…

  35. Al

    Stevie says:
    April 27, 2011 at 09:38
    Moray says:
    April 27, 2011 at 09:39
    I think any other manager in the league would have had a word with clichy. So what i conclude from it is that if clichy is told not to do that and allowed to do as he pleases…..What defensive instructions are the midfielders and attackets giving to protect the back 4….probably very little which is why are back 4 constantly gets embrassed and exposed