Replica shirts? Grow up…

by .


Man, you wake up, look to the left, there’s no female, look to the right, there’s an empty box of fried chicken. Not a successful night, but hey, I’ll always have my phone. So I log on, to see what all my Twitter best friends have been talking about and bugger me sideways… they’re losing their minds over the new Arsenal shirt.


I know. Why indeed. Why would grown men even consider buying a full replica shirt. This people, is a question for another day, but the angst, well that’s about the tiered soccer shirt system. You can buy a replica shirt, or you can buy the player issue shirt which will likely retail at £90.

Sorry, but I’m not quite sure what the big deal is here. We want Arsenal to compete commercially. Well, that entails the commercial partners acting in a commercial way. If you’re an adult and there is a cheap and an expensive shirt… and by purchasing the cheap shirt, you feel emotionally brutalised by your peers… well, take yourself to one side and give yourself a dry slap. You’re a grown man, you shouldn’t be wearing that shirt in the first place, it’s not flattering at all.

If your friends laugh at you because they all have the expensive shirt… ask yourself this, should I really be hanging around with a group of adults who all think it’s acceptable to wear replica shirts? Maybe it’s time to intervene. Maybe it’s time to upgrade your friendship circle.

‘Daniel, I can’t be friends with you anymore.’

‘No , it’s nothing to do with the vuvulela.’

‘Ok, it’s the full replica shirt thing. I can’t be a part of it anymore. Goodbye.’

… but on the price. Face up to reality. Puma aren’t dishing out £35m a year to run at a loss.

Now, with the kids shirts, I can sympathise here, because it’s expensive, but it’s no more expensive than buying a computer game. Football shirts are an expense. They always have been and always will be. It’s just part of the game. It’s part of a commercial world. It’s difficult for Arsenal to control that retail price.

Now, the season ticket prices going up by 3%, we can round on that, because the club control it. But merchandise isn’t something we can do much about. We want the big dollars… the big dollars only come when you have a big fan base willing to buy.

Anyway, enough on replica shirts.

How about hair supplements? Arsene reckons players could be risking their health using them. And other dietry pills.

Great story.

Onto today. Arsenal head to Goodison to take on the mighty Everton. It’s a massive, massive game and it could go a long way to deciding the top 4. If we win, we go 7 clear of Everton. Lose and they go one point behind us which would leave the top 4 in their hands. That’d be bad news people. Very bad.

So what can we expect today from Everton? Well, I’d imagine they’ll go for a hard pressing game. They’ll squeeze up the pitch because we won’t have any pace to catch them on the break… then they’ll hit in hard on our midfield, nick the ball, feed in their pacey wide players or Lukaku and look to break us down inside the first half.

Well, that’s what they did to us in the last game. What do we have to counter that sort of behaviour? I’ve no idea. We’ve just got to hope our players have recovered suitably from the City game and that they’re full of beans. When we’re on our game, we can’t be touched. I’m just worried our form, coupled with Everton’s resurgent game, will stop us in our tracks.

I was looking at our goal difference. Pretty weak really. It’s pretty much the same as Everton’s and United’s. That tells a pretty sad story when you look at the boys above us have nearly 20 goals on us.

Ted over at Statsbomb lay more misery with some eye popping stats on how many shots per game we have.

but basic shots  and that differential captures the broad strokes. Going from a 7.2 shot differential per game – a number that would generally compete for the top of the league – to a 1.5 over the course of five seasons is staggering. Even more staggering is that Arsenal have done it under the same manager (and are still about 80% likely to finish 4th).

We’re tenth in the league when it comes to shots per game. A shocking stat. Also, another one of those numbers that creeps up over time and helps give you a good feel for how little Arsene must use data. That, or he’s happy with the decline in shots. Because our shot differential has dropped consistently over the last 4 years.

Anyway, again, today, I’m not sure where the goals are coming from. Hopefully we can catch them on the break, or someone from midfield steps up. Wenger certainly isn’t going to experiment with anyone difference. We still haven’t seen much of Gnabry, I haven’t seen too much of Sanogo and he’s never going to throw Chuba into the mix.

I have absolutely know idea what Wenger can throw into the mix today to shake things up, outside of Aaron Ramsey.

Still, we can but hope. Have fun if you’re up there, I’ll catch you tomorrow.

Finally, I’ll leave you on this tweet. Because it’s brilliant work.

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1,404 Responses to “Replica shirts? Grow up…”

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  1. MadeToLoveMagic

    cesc his comments would certainly imply he would leave if he judged himself to have done badly,

    but would he want to leave arsenal on a wimper? part of me doubts he would

    I say keep arsene until we can properly plan his replacement

    that is the right thing to do

    unless ofcourse he walks, then god knows what we would do in the short term , ie next season, klopp and pep couldnt happen, it would end up being bould for a season, which would be bad imo

  2. Cesc Appeal


    There’s no high for Wenger any more.

    Personally I think we can Klopp this summer, if it’s presented right, big package, transfer backing, take it or leave it, now or never type deal.

    Wenfer MUST NOT be given any more time. If we can’t get Klopp then we should go for someone like Martinez.

    We need progression now, Wenger is offering stagnation – or now it’s looking like worse, regression. When that happens, it’s all over.

  3. Bamford13


    Wenger must go ASAP. Any more time with him at the helm is time wasted, time when the club could be moving forward. Wenger can only now move the club backwards or nowhere.

    He most definitely cannot be in charge of the summer window.

    He is an utter disaster. If there were anyone who could take over the reins immediately, I would appoint them to do so.

    Short of that, he should resign as soon as season is over.

  4. grooveydaddy

    I know a lot of you guys would give up 4th place and the FA cup to cement Wenger’s exit, but I’m just not built that way.

    I’d rather we won the rest of our games to give the new guy CL football and a domestic cup to attract the sort of players we need to be truly competitive on all fronts.

    But just how are we going to do this?

    The team/manager look dead on their feet and totally bereft of ideas.

    We need a spark from somewhere to salvage this season.

  5. roadragedude

    Arsenal movements are so predictable during the build up from back.

    Mert pass to Verm – Across to Sagna – Back to Mert – Mert to Arteta – back to Mert – mid line pass to Cazorla or Rosicky – quick lay off to the other -Back to Sagna – Sagna passes down the line – overlap and pass back – back to center field Arteta or Flamini – probe pass to Cazorla – pass to L’Oreal – tries to hold off and one two before it peters out

    keep repeating with replacing Sagna with Gibbs and Podolski for Rosicky.

  6. Cesc Appeal


    No, we do not wait.

    We’ve waited 9 years now and we’re steadily getting worse.

    If we wait, Wenger over the 24 months you want to give him could do untold, irreversible damage.

    Load our wage bill full of utter shit, the Sanogo’s of this world, the Bendtner’s of this world, the Diaby’s of this world and he passes it like a hot potato to the next guy.

    MTLM, Martinez got a trophy with Wigan last year, and what if he gets 4th with a team who’s financial muscle is laughably woeful compared to Arsenal, a wage bill that is cast in the shadow or Arsenal’s gigantic £145 Million a year, is he not doing better than Wenger?

    In my book he is, according to Wenger he’d have got the FA Cup and then the third most important trophy there is, 4th place, and taken in from Wenger…so…awkward. With tiny resources compared to Wenger, utilizing smart (unfair if you’re excuse hunting Wenger) transfer moves and good on field tactics – something Wenger hasn’t done in almost a decade.

    Klopp is my first choice. But even if we got a guy like Van Gaal in on a two year deal to tidy up this rotting vessel called Arsenal FC and then went for Klopp.


    It’s irrelevant anyway, I genuinely think he’ll walk away. 6-0, 6-3. 5-1. 3-0 and then 1-0 to all the teams occupying the top 6 away from home. Shameful. And I think he sees the writing all over the walls.

  7. Wee Geordie Armstrong

    I may have seen this wrong cos none of the commentators that I heard mentioned it but Vermalen could have cleared the cross for their first goal and he pulled back allowing it to go into the box and gift them the goal this was absolute crap and he should be sold immediately it was a simple clearance and he just left it.
    We would still have lost but that rreally hurt.

    I agree its time the board grew a set and moved AW on he is without a plan A or B and he no longer get a response the team was lacklustre and everton got what they deserved

  8. Wee Geordie Armstrong

    CL qualification is good but we really only make up the numbers and never contend for the final so you then think that the money for qualifying is good but only if you spend it on quality and im not sure that AW knows how to do that any more. I know he bough Ozil but I don’t think he will do the job surrounded by the players we have and AW should know that. Players like silva and hazard have protectors on their team we have a couple of CBs that look scared of physicality and Verm is a shadow of himself (he is a Torres) I think someone like Klopp woulsd add a breath of fresh air to the place and some tactical know how as well

    I really think this will be Wengers last season as our manager its a shame he has diluted his legacy through sticking his philosophy when all could see it was not working

  9. MidwestGun

    Wee Geordie –
    You are absolutely correct, Vermalean turned his head and let the ball roll thru like he thought Monreal or Czecny was coming for it. He could of easily cleared it. On the second goal he was caught flat footed and took the wrong angle towards Lukaku and should have made the tackle. On the 3rd goal Naismith ran by him and behind him because he did not track him resulting in the shot and rebound. So he had a responsibility in all 3 goals. He was really bad. Team loss because nobody played well. And 100% blame Wenger but Verm shouldn’t play Cb anymore.

  10. Jeff


    Couldn’t sleep! Just reading through the comments I think there is a fair few that think Wenger will walk at the end of the season and I’m inclined to agree with them. But equally I am sure that whatever happens (whether or not we win anything or even drop below fourth) the board will still want him to sign – that’s how crazy it is.

    Now one would have to stand back and think about that. Why would they want him to sign if he clearly feels he’s had enough? We know that the board are not very good at negotiating transfers and I’m guessing this would have to be done even when getting a new manager so my inclination is that they have no confidence in themselves to appoint or even approach possible candidates. It’s very strange and almost akin to a couple wanting a divorce after 17 years of marriage. The symbiosis (however dysfunctional) is just too strong to sever.

    It’s either that or they must really love him as a person (nothing to do with football or his achievements) and therefore feel it would be very hard to let him go. They must be like a very close knit family by now but the results on the pitch are simply becoming too dire to ignore. Wenger wants to carry out his policies and play the way he thinks it should be played but because it’s failing and the fans are getting restless (losing patience), he himself is perhaps now questioning his own abilities and as the contract is coming to an end, he’ll probably see it as the perfect time to go.

    As a fan who wants to see Arsenal return to being some sort of a force in football once again, I have to be loyal to the club. Many fans who feel the same way about Wenger as does the board and owner will defend him to the end and beyond no matter what, but this is football; it’s not a family business and we need to start seriously competing for and with world class players and a manager to suit. All good things come to and end – it’s just unfortunate that this particular thing has taken rather longer than one would have wished.

    One thing is clear though – we can’t go on like this for even one more season let alone another two.

  11. ChrisN

    I heard Fergie interviewed for a corporate do last week about leadership and management, and it was really really interesting to hear his emphasis was very much protestant work ethic, grafting hard for the team and going into every match with the attitude that with hard work it is yours for the winning. It was that working class emphasis that seemed to set it really far apart from the way Arsene seems to view things. Maybe Arsene’s rep is entirely based on lucking out discovering a few rough diamonds in Monaco, signing them up to Arsenal, and winning stuff. Where would his rep. have been without Thierry Henry? Arsene won the lottery with him like Barca won it with Messi. Maybe if it weren’t for Thierry, Arsene would have lasted for half the time. The thing that’s most gutting about this half arsed improvements is that every season he has done just enough to get you excited and then every season dashes your hopes against the rocks because he just can’t get the team to maintain a hard work rate through a season. The flair players start to chill out when they win a few games, get vulnerable to the counter, and then can’t re-discover the work rate later on in the season after they’ve lost it. It’s always the same f**kin thing. The pressing starts great, but only lasts a month. By late Autumn we no longer press, and event attacking teams starts to turn us over. D

  12. Jeff


    That’s a fair summary of our predicament and the repetitive mistakes we seem to make every season. The vicious circle has to be broken sooner or later.

  13. MidwestGun

    Jeff –
    As someone Unfortunely familar with divorce, you are correct it is like breaking up a long-term marriage. And the children are the players. You used to really love that person and as things moved along all the eccentricities that you used to over look now become gratingly annoying, and the mistakes/ disasterous losses pile up til you can’t overlook them anymore. Some people take that for better or worse vow to the point of overlooking the obvious deficiencies. And because you love some of the players its hard to want to let that person go who brought them in.
    Just want to see us be great again. I agree even one more AW transfer window could be disastrous. My dream scenario is an FA cup win and Arsene retires.

  14. Jeff


    You’re not alone with the divorce thing. I’d take any result so long as it means we start a new chapter in for Arsenal beginning May 2014.

  15. MidwestGun

    Jeff –
    We have a lot of the right ingredients. Great stadium, great fan base, great financial situation, great history, some great players, we just need some great leaders.
    We have caretakers not leaders.

  16. Jeff


    To be absolutely blunt, we need people who actually know something about the game itself – not just the peripherals. We have been far too long a business first and a football club second. That has to change. Everyone must yearn for success on the pitch and do their utmost for trophies and titles. It’s the only way we’re going to get that stadium to actually fill up.

    Now I don’t expect Kroenke to bleed for the club (like other owners do) but we do need passion lower down. Currently we don’t have it anywhere and that lacking permeates to the players such that even the better ones under perform. Where do we start? I’ve said it before but this has to be a bottom up process and we need to begin to write the new chapter in our history with a new manager.

  17. Emiratesstroller

    At the moment there seems to be very little that the fans can do to reverse what is becoming a downward spiral.

    The club has decided to increase its season ticket/ticket prices next season and it will be very interesting what the response will be if we fail to qualify for Champions League.

    One can debate ‘ad infinitum’ who is to blame for the current situation. Is it
    the distant landlord [Kroenke] who has bought the majority of shares, but is
    seemingly unwilling to invest proper money in team? Alternatively the Board
    who were happy to allow such an investor to take over club and allow the manager to continue for 9 years without winning anything?

    The stadium development continues to be a ‘red herring’, because it was built
    with long term financing. What does seem to be true is that the company running Arsenal continue to be involved in property development and the question which perhaps needs to be asked is whether that is in fact more of a priority for the major shareholder than the football side.

    Wenger suits the major shareholder and Board, because he chooses not to
    invest serious money in team. In reality the amount of new money being spent by Arsenal on transfers has been absolutely minimal in recent years.
    I doubt that we have even spent the tv money which we receive annually.

    All that we see each year is that the bank balance [effectively dead money
    and a depreciating asset since it attracts below inflation rate of interest] continues to rise.

    Each year the club announces that we are going to spend X amount in transfer
    market coincidentally in run in to season ticket renewals. In reality it never

    My view is that it is no longer a question of making serious investment in team or whether Wenger should go, but rather whether we have the right
    owner and Board as well. Are they willing and able to spend serious money
    on team and compete at top level?

    The reality is that Arsenal a club based in a major capital city in Europe with large support is no longer competitive either financially or in football performance.

    That is down to the present ownership, because they have or should have their
    finger on pulse and demonstrate their ambition to spend money on football
    team. All the other elements including the Manager are frankly incidental,
    because whoever comes in will be saddled with same problems.

  18. MidwestGun

    Agree mostly, but correct me if im wrong but doesn’t FFP limit the ammount of money an owner can personally put into the club to capital assets like stadium development, scouting development, and training facilities. And any commercial sponsorship support from a company that is owned by the owner will be under scrutiny to the fairness of the ammount. So essentially, the biggest move we could make going forward is to change the manager to someone who will spend the entire transfer budget. Given the owner authorizes all the money that is available in that account can be spent.

  19. Emiratesstroller

    Midwest Gun

    I do not see much impact on transfer spending by many of the other clubs. I
    think that FFP is a red herring and anyway only applies to clubs in Champions
    League. Frankly the way we are playing at moment that prospect is becoming increasingly remote.

    Monaco spent £180 million this season and Real Madrid,Paris St Germain,
    Man City and Chelsea well over £100 million.

    I am sure that a lot of fans like the idea that we do not go out and spend money
    which we don’t have. I include myself to some extent. However, the reality is
    that the people running the club do not seem to display much interest in
    investing properly in team.

    Wenger is a symptom and I agree needs to go, but will it solve the overall problem, which is lack of ‘ambition’? None of Kroenke’s sports franchises in
    USA are particularly successful and that is perhaps a reflection on him. My
    comment about property investment may well be his true interest and ambition.

  20. Rhys Jaggar


    If you analyse Real Madrid’s accounts over 15 years you’ll see that they go in for cycles of ‘galactico splurges’ where a huge investment is made and then the enormous global leverage of those assets sees them break even over a 3 or 4 year cycle. I’m sure they will show that to Platini in terms of FFP, as it is a proven business cycle for them.

    Monaco are absolute nonsense and if Platini says they are FFP compliant then his tenure of UEFA should be over as he has been a fraud and a cheat. As for PSG, I’d need to look at where their sponsorship comes from but first suspicions would be that they are like City in terms of close friends of the QIA pumping money in at levels far beyond what could be termed commercial investments.

    Chelsea one suspects will be having a clear-out this summer and they have already recouped £37m on Mata, which reduces their annual spend to £63m. It’s probably spread over 3/4 years so net, it would be £15m or so. Hardly incompatible with FFP.

    The obvious background story is a load of top European clubs ceceding and forming a cartel/franchise system outside the bounds of UEFA/FIFA if Platini doesn’t bow down before them. PSG would obviously be one of those…..

  21. MidwestGun

    Emirates –
    Ok fair enough, I agree Kroenke gives Americans a bad name and I wish he would go because he is one of the few billionaire sports owners that I can think of here that truly don’t either love the sports or who dont strive to be number one or a consistent title winner.
    I do think you will see some limiting of outrageous transfer fees eventually.
    Lets just say I would like to start with Wenger retiring this year and then judge the board more harshly if it appears the new manager is getting no cooperation.

  22. Emiratesstroller

    I believe still that the major underlying problem at club is Kroenke. He owns 5
    sports franchises in the USA.

    Collectively they have won virtually nothing under his ownership. The question you need to ask is why should it be different at Arsenal.

    My view is that he is far more interested in real estate and the business than success on the field of play.

  23. PieAFC

    What an absolute embarrassment.

    The players didn’t even look up for a fight at all. A clear underlining issue their. Perhaps they know something we don’t? Did Wenger sign the new contract, the club wait till the time is right to release it, that backfires then we free fall, perhaps IG then has some bollocks about him and re thinks what is on offer? Or does Wenger dither as usual?

    Another predictable season with Arsenal. So many even when top, everyone on here, wished and hoped we would do it, but we all knew deep down it would not of happened and something bad was bound to happen and it did.

    I really hope we do get 4th, so at least the prospect of CL will gel attract players of the calibre we need to get to challenge. I will be scared shitless we don’t get it and will struggle for years to get back in, because as that’s been covered for years on here, we never really invest, no extra revenue from the CL we will get told the same bullshit about saving coin to supplement the extra loss. Cue more years in transition just like the last 9. Even more also rans than we are now.

    Maybe the board is split behind closed doors? SK comes out backs Wenger but none of the other board have really said anything for a noticeable while?

    To think I’m actually worried about our next game against Wigan. To think the players will be psyched up for a FA cup semi final at Wembley.

    Sad sad days.

  24. Thank you and goodnight

    As I’ve said before, I hope the cunts who sold Arsenal down the mediocrity river to kroenke rot in hell, I really do. If every fan can Google kroenkes teams in America, and see he has no ambition in any of his teams…..then how the hell didn’t our directors do their homework before selling out.They would of seen the kind of owner kroenke is, how he’s despised by the majority of fans of the club’s he owns. Wenger needs to fuck off but so does kroenke.

  25. PieAFC

    The tide is slowly turning TYAG.

    People are no longer fence sitting. Watched the game with another gooner here in Oz.

    He Only just left home to london come travelling, so taken in by all the hype and in and out rows. He was all for Wenger in many ways. After the Everton game and the debate we had the day before, today his opinion has changed, watching that performance even many avid supporters for Wenger previously surely have changed.

  26. Thank you and goodnight

    Maybe tides turning for Wenger and rightly so, but will or can we ever rid ourselves of kroenke? Be honest do you trust kroenke or gazidis to get the next appointment right? The Bastards are solely in it for money, nothing more nothing less. As for our toad of an Uzbekistani, Usmanov. …..pull your finger out you fat bastard, especially if your as interested as you say you are.

  27. Dannyboy

    PieAFC. Lol did you see the big black guy in the front rows face when the ref counted the 3…

    Never seen such a sense of universal shock amongst an entire audience. Was brilliant I have to say, first time in literally years I’ve been genuinely surprised.

    I’ve been betting on ‘Taker to lose at Mania for the past 4/5 years so its about time I hit a profit!

  28. Dannyboy

    Ah cool mate I’ve got a couple mates coming over on the same visas in a few weeks,

    I’m from Leeds but been in Brisbane 9 months now.

  29. Dissenter

    Wenger has lost his rag. He looks lost on the bench. He needs to just do the right thing and move on.
    We play every game the same as the last.
    A new manager will have his work cut out because Wenger has been buying dross for a long time.

  30. wenker-wanger

    The coffin has one last nail needed to secure it…… Will be a gold one supplied by wigan. That will be the end or the misery endured under wenger. The champagne is in the fridge. Take the point about kfoenke but lets rejoice when wenger goes at least and then worry about kroenke. There are no AKBs left just mentally ill morons.

  31. N5

    Dissenter I was saying that yesterday, no manager needs to do their homework on us, we approach every game the same way with the same formation and tactics (if you can call them that) right down to when the subs come on, although as we were 3-0 down Wenger acted all unpredictable yesterday and made changes a whole 1 minute and 36 seconds early!!! unbelievable.

  32. Emiratesstroller

    One question which has never been asked is why Arsenal maintain such a high bank reserves.

    Personally I don’ t believe that it is because of contingency for stadium, because the financing cost of that is relatively modest.

    However, what may be more true is that the parent company continues to invest in and develop property, which has absolutely nothing to do with football.

    Maybe the condition attached to raising finance for those projects requires the company to hold substantial cash reserves outside the stadium investment as security.

  33. N5

    God I fucking hate this, I’m sitting around the corner from a Chav, a Liverpool and a Citeh fan and all of them sit on the same set of desks! what are the chances of that!!

    All I can hear is them laughing about Arsenal!! I want to go and serve them all up! but as I’m a twatty civil servant I just have to sit here and listen to it!!

    Thanks Wenger for making my work life hell too!!!

  34. Thank you and goodnight

    That’s what cunts like kroenke don’t understand. For them outside of making money they have no other passion in life. But for us football fans as stupid as it may sound, family and kids aside, the Arsenal is our life.

  35. N5

    You’re not kidding TYAG. It’s a business to them but it’s a passion to us and although a loss shouldn’t ruin my week, listening to muggy fucks who never ever go to matches laughing about my team angers the hell out of me. All glory supporters from when their team was or because they now are successful.

  36. Dannyboy

    N5 that’s what’s good about being in Oz, you don’t get stick from a load of cunts about how shit Arsenal are because they don’t get Football.

  37. Le Wisham Gooner

    Nacho, Poldi, Le Haircut and Vermaelen all supposedly for sale this summer -the only one that supprises me out of that lot is Nacho – not that he’s been any good when he’s played, but why sell in the one position were well covered, just to go out and buy another left back.
    Not like we don’t already need a goalkeeper, centre half, 2 right backs, a dm, a Lw and 2 strikers.
    It’s telling how players regress when they join Arsenal –
    Verm was a marauding beast when he joined, Nacho Spain’s second choice Rb, Poldi 354 caps for Germany. They join us and turn turd.
    Wouldn’t be suprised if Giroud leaves and turns into Drogba mk ii