Elite club purgatory

by .

via @Arsenal Instagram

via @Arsenal Instagram

Ahhh, the interesting, slightly strange news keeps rolling in as Arsene Wenger tied Olivier Giroud down to a new three year extension. Now, don’t get me wrong, Giroud has often made me question my sexuality, but not in the same way Thierry did… and that’s the problem, right?

Giroud is 28 now, he lacks any sort of speed and his finishing / touch will likely never reach the heights. Just seems odd that Wenger knows all these things and still ties him down to a new deal. Surely that money would be spent better on bringing a super talented kid in who has explosive pace, agility and the potential to be something great? I know we have that in WELBZ, but for me, dat guy is already ahead in the pecking order. Chasing a game with Olivier has been fruitful… but jeez, he’s an expensive super sub.

It just continues the acceptance of the substandard. Chelsea are shipping off players like Lukaku and we’re tying our equivalents down to long term deals. Sure he’s gorgeous, but he’s not right for a club of our stature. Ask yourself this… if we sold him, where would he land? Probably not at one of Europe’s elite.

WELBZ is a different beast. He might have ended up at Spurs if it weren’t for Ivan. However, he has the key ingredients you need to make it. If he sharpens his finishing and touch, well, he could be very good. My worry is great teams are built on world class. Is Danny ever going to hit those heights or is he just going to be a very good player? I’d usually trust Arsene with strikers but he’s been way off lately.

Where is the ruthless at our club?

Trouble is, and when I say trouble, I mean ‘if just existing in top 4 isn’t your thing’, is we’re unlikely to drop out of it this year. Wenger is going to scrape by as per-usual. Spurs were the worst version I’ve seen in 5 years, truly there for the taking at the weekend. Everton look lost at the moment. Liverpool will have to find some serious grit to deal with the loss of Suarez and the accomplishment of Champions League football. Then you have United who could blow up, well, continue to tank because LVG and his ways seen a touch mismatched for this league.

How can we not finish in the top 4?

So all together, we survive because of the incompetence of the rest of the league. You might say that shows how incredible Wenger is… or, you might see the wood for the trees, or the tactical failings, or the lack of major trophies, or the injuries, or the lack of vision or the wasted talent played out of position… and say, jeez, someone else might do a better job.

I mean, Dortmund totally tanked us, mainly because they had a plant against a team who actively resist one. Since we beat them, they’ve lost to Mainz, who have a great young coach in Tuchel… they drew to Stuttgart… they lost to Schalke. They were another team like Spurs who’ve looked as weak as I’ve seen them over the last 6 years. We made them look world class.

Arsenal are very lucky the rest of the league is such a shambles. Arsenal are very unlucky that we don’t have a better manager, because we certainly have the players in place to build a brilliant squad. All the ingredients are there for a better Arsenal, bar the right manager. Who that manager is, I don’t know… but from the outside, looking in, it’s pretty apparent there are many broken items that could easily be fixed and easily improve us.

We have to face it, it’s Elite club purgatory for three more years.

Tomorrow, let’s talk about what I think Chelsea are going to do… and what I think Arsenal won’t do.

424 Responses to “Elite club purgatory”

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  1. Cesc Appeal

    That Nainggolan is a handy player, loads of energy and agility, looks a bit rough round the edges at times but always getting stuck into City and harrying them.

    Gervinho looks better, still not great, but lots more effort and directness. As the commentator said though still looks at times as if his legs and head are working independent of each other.

    Roma remind me of BvB the other night, lots of pressing, lots of effort and energy, trying to grab possession and turn it into attack quickly.

  2. London gunner

    Chelsea are such a great team they should be 4 or 5 up by now

    And there wage bill is less than ours

    Cesc with another assist

    Either Cesc is a much better player than ozil and we arsenal fans are in denial

    Or that Cesc can be a better player because he has the support of matic/ a dominant strong midfield

    If you had ozil instead of Cesc at Chelsea whose better?

    I would add Cesc has been sensational both on the counter and in possesion style attacks

  3. Romford Pele

    What’s beautiful about the Roma play is they get Totti on the ball facing play, numerous off the ball runners, his vision at 38 is still a joke tbh. Caught them out 3/4 times alone in that half

  4. Ozy

    The thing that always gets me about the comparisons between Ozil and Cesc is that a lot of it comes down to the team.

    Was there any debate of cesc vs Ozil when they were both in la Liga? Ozil was the better player by far. Now Ozil’s come here, to a very poorly put together team with severe deficiencies that have hindered Ozil, played out of position, listening to Wenger’s disastrous lack of tactics and preparation.. then look at Cesc. It’s an unfair comparison, really.

  5. London gunner


    How is Italian football anymore corrupt than Spanish football?

    Barca drug cheats and Barca/ RM complete monopoly on tv rights

    Pretty sure Barca must of paid of the ref in that infamous game withChelsea was disgustingly obvious

    Racism doubt there is much of that among Roma fans.. other Italian teams like Napoli ac Milan and smaller teams yeah fair enough

  6. MidwestGun

    Romford –
    Yep, that’s why I don’t like 4-4-2 as a base. Most teams have you outnumbered. Guess he figures they will outscore you. But you can’t be one
    Midfielder short then also have one playing lazy.

  7. Arsene's Nurse

    I wish there was some sort of setting on my telly that would change these dull, boring and dreary northern pundits into voices that don’t automatically put me in a catatonic state.

    Paul Scholes sounds like he’s talking through a mop.

  8. London gunner


    But Cesc underperformed in la liga whilst ozil played to his peak

    I’d say Cesc performances at arsenal were as good as ozil at Real and Cesc was younger during this period from comparing to ozil’s

  9. Arsene's Nurse

    R.S.P.C.Arsenal September 30, 2014 19:38:33

    Wenger said could not play cesc an ozil
    Yet Chelsea play cesc an hazard ?

    Wise words wenger
    It’s easy to play Ozil and Cesc in the same side – you just go 4-1-4-1 and shove Ozil out on the left! 😀

  10. Romford Pele

    Midwest, I always feel like 442 against the best opposition just ends with you getting picked off. I remember City did it against Bayern last season and got taken to the cleaners. Obviously you have great goalscoring potential but then it can be so easy to bypass your midfield

  11. Rocky87

    Do you remember the days when everyone said Wenger made a player, like Henry and Vieira, nowadays we are only seeing players true potential before they arrive or after they leave. Gervinho looks twice the player he was at Arsenal and Ozil looks half the player he was at Real Madrid.

    Wenger just does not know how to get the players true ability out on show anymore.

  12. London gunner


    Pelegrini is hardly a tactical master I think his just got a steady personality and is a decent man manager but WC players won him the league

  13. Romford Pele

    LG, I think Pellegrini is a good manager, deserved the City job after the great jobs he did at Villarreal and Malaga and unfair sacking at Madrid. But playing a 442 with a lazy Yaya Toure just doesn’t work IMO

  14. rollen

    I wanted Wenger out for about 3 years now but I never though that he is so shit.
    It was always superior players he had.
    AKBs are out because Wenger spend serious money now and team is even worst than last few years. No argument that can defend Great Fraud can be made now.

  15. erase

    442 won’t work in the UCL with toure in the middle they would be better off bringing milner on IMO should allow Silva get into the game

  16. Ozy

    London gunner, that’s what I mean. Cesc underperformed there and Ozil shined whereas Ozil is underperforming here and Cesc is shining. That Barca team was not set up to get the best out of Cesc how ours isn’t set up to get the best of Ozil. It’s tough. There are a lot of factors to consider and yes, watching them play and noticing their strengths and weaknesses, one could make a convincing argument in favor of either but to say that because Cesc is doing great playing in a ridiculous team while Ozil is playing shit in this lackluster team implies Cesc is better doesn’t really stand up.

  17. London gunner


    Juv isn’t Roma though? It makes no logical sense to not support a team because another different team cheated…

    Should I not admire atletico Madrid because Barca are massive drug cheats

    Ive always liked Italian people and culture I have a lot of Italian friends

    Sorry if I don’t hate Italy that would be rather racist of me don’t you think

    Give me some proof Roma is racist

    I’m mixed raced and every time I have been to Italy I’ve been treated like a god. In Roma people are lovely especially the women.

    You’ve got issues with Italy I don’t

  18. London gunner


    But don’t you see the irony of your words/ways your being racist(xenophobic) against a whole nation because a minority of fans are racist idiots

  19. London gunner


    So all Italians are rascist?

    I’ve dated an Italian girl I went to Italy and met her family they made me feel welcome and treated me like a king and I’m mixed raced

    It’s really ignorant to presume Italians are rascist people.

    You have to understand that a lot of the fans ultras are the dregs of society aka criminals

    The fans are lawless it’s not just racist words people get shot stabbed fighting everything goes

    It doesn’t mean all Italians are fascist if you actually spend time getting time to know Italian people rather than spending time reading newspaper articles about ultras you’d get that

  20. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    No boris

    Say what I see an read ,

    Italy has many brilliant attributes

    But running football an there fans ain’t one,,

    Look at mario
    Bit like gazza
    Hounded out of his own country whilst playing for his beloved Milan.

  21. London gunner

    Nah I don’t buy the ballo sob story

    He was sold because he was incredibly lazy premadonna who spent more time sulking than running he was also a menace to the locker room environment not because his black but because his an arsehole

  22. MidwestGun

    Well done Roma. Gervinho didn’t score but played well. Pelligrini bottled the formation but they were better after he changed. Toure is playing at 50%. Hope we do better than a freaking draw tomorrow.

  23. WengerEagle

    Great night of footy!

    Barca with a rare defeat in the group stages to an impressive PSG side, Roma looking good value for their draw at the Etihad with the legend Totti on the scoresheet.

    Also went fairly unnoticed but Porto scored two 90 minute goals away to Shakhtar to claim a point!

  24. kwik fit

    Those greek defenders sure know how to defend.

    In other news, Gervinho’s bonnet remained firmly on his bonnet albeit with a little help from a women’s scarf.

  25. kwik fit

    So Arsene hasn’t selected Diaby because he isn’t match fit. Surely Arsene , he never will be match fit if you never fuckin select him.

  26. follow the money

    David Luiz with a stormer vs Barca. Odd that one. Plays like the worst player on earth one game and then total top class the next. Bizarre

  27. Cesc Appeal


    Don’t torture yourself mate. I’m taking the attitude that as long as Wenger is at the helm “fuck it , nothing is surprising, nothing will shock me.”

  28. kwik fit

    PSG have single handily financed Chelsea’s premier league campaign. 50m spent on Luis meant that Chelsea got Cesc and Costa and additionally meant that PSG had insufficient funds for Di Maria.

  29. kwik fit


    Its almost as if that he’s hell bend on doing the exact opposite of what represents a shrewd, sane and sensible move.

  30. kwik fit

    Plus he’s not doing Arteta any favours. Arteta was an excellent player for three years .If Wenger continues to rely on him as captain and play him , however, the fans will turn against Arteta ‘s Arsenal legacy will have been smashed.

  31. Follow the money

    The Wanger will give Arteta a new contract. Diaby too if he manages a run of games just watch. Arsene is getting desperate

  32. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah. In every single regard, you almost start to believe that he does thing to illustrate who’s boss and that he won’t be told.

    But oh well. I’m not going to get drawn into it any more. Tired of repeating myself year after year and hearing the same lame excuses back.

  33. salparadisenyc


    Don’t be such a confrontational little shit, I wasn’t blanket labeling all Italians as racist’s, that was pretty evident. Simply echoing the message thats its naive to think theirs no racism in the Serie A. Having been to a couple tasty matches, notably in Torino and Roma i’ve seen first hand the levels of some, its quite deep. Same could be said for Bilbao or Marseille, all towns with mafia influence and much strong arming. This games can more corrupt than politics, thankfully the high’s are worth it.

  34. London gunner


    “Don’t be such a confrontational little shit”

    Bit much mate? As far as I am aware we’ve never had any issues in this blog?

    I believe an apology is in order?

    Where was I rude where did u insult you and call you names?

    It’s easy to react how you have done to me in this blog so I will let it slide but you certainly wouldn’t call me a little shit to my face

  35. Gambon

    No doubt that wanker on Untold, Proudkev is Revvin Kevin. Just read his posts carefully anyone with half a brain would recognize this.

  36. London gunner


    Where did I once say there was zero racism in Seria a? No go on find that quote!

    I have been to millwall and have heard outrageous racism so I realise it exists among football fans

  37. WengerEagle

    London Gunner

    Mate you’re a good guy as is Sal but you do have a very confrontational writing style that can rub people up the wrong way, sure we’ve had many a battle ourselves. 😀

    Just don’t be on the offensive so much mate, you’re a good poster and have a good knowledge of the game, I really mean that. If people take a different view try not to get so worked up.

    Sal’s a gent so there was clearly a misunderstanding here.

  38. WengerEagle

    Here is an absolute gem from the funny farm over on Untold, this poster goes by the name of bob mac:

    ‘An exceptional post, and also a brilliant site for true Arsenal fans.

    Those who fail to see the excellence in every area of management, in Arsene Wenger are truly brainless, moronic fools. Forget about replacements……..what the hell do they know about the qualities of players/managers who they have not even met.

    If you wish to know what is going on at the club then use some applied intelligence and all will be clear.

    On the pitch it is even easier……..watch the bloody game. You will see the tactics, game plan, point of subs etc etc. It is not that difficult to have a good idea on how the manager is trying to shape the way the team will play both now and in the future.Just watch the bloody game, and I do not mean listen to or read the media claptrap.

    The so called supporters who are hyper critical of club, manager or players really are a lost cause.I must be fair, it is quite fun to take the urine out of other clubs, but never your own……how daft is that.

    There are different emotions watching Arsenal; disappointment when they lose, frustration when they perform below their best, but mostly vibrant elation at the quality of technical and tactical ability shown by the team. All this is the work and responsibility of one man, our very own Arsene Wenger.

    How some of these prats can find it within themselves to be critical without a well thought out and structured analysis, I for one will never know.

    Again, excellent article Tony.’

  39. London gunner

    Wenger eagle

    I agree with what you say but honestly lol I don’t actively set out to be confrontational

    I admit I am a aggressive at times but Sal calling me a little shit was a tad out of the blue plus I wasn’t getting worked up at all just thought I was having a normal convo was actually just chilled then Sal insulted me and I was like ok random. But yh I have actually calmed down a lot as in the past I would of insulted him back instead I just asked for an apology.

  40. London gunner

    Yeah what did proud kev say?

    Also got a lot of respect for

    Made to love magic he actually tries to reason with untold and educate them

    His certainly got more patience than me.

  41. rustygunner

    Just seen Barca huff and puff at PSG and got beat, and I thought wouldn’t they have done with a strong CF like Giroud (?).

  42. MidwestGun

    It’s 100% Rev Kev. – same message, same words. Basically the not a true fan nonsense.
    Honestly, I don’t care but why say it’s not you when it clearly is?
    Magic has amazing patience. Like freakin Ghandi.

  43. Gambon

    Proudkev ; ” I pity fans who feel the need to slag off the club, the players and the manager, they have no idea what it is like to be a true fan.”

    Sounds like a massive wanker you know?
    I bet so

  44. salparadisenyc


    Total Bantz calling you a lil shit. I’m passing you a Le Grovr Spliff, Middy rolled it so it sure to pack a punch. As for the agression head on over to untold, their fucking loonier than an all girls glee club singing Proud Mary.

  45. MidwestGun

    “I love my football. I love supporting Arsenal FC. This great club has given me some of the greatest times in my life and I am never going to desert them. I am Arsenal ’til I die, I am not one of those fair weather fans that only sings when we are winning. I pity fans who feel the need to slag off the club, the players and the manager, they have no idea what it is like to be a true fan.”
    Ok…. bro… got it. But just say it’s you and get on with your life. Must be hell being the chosen “true fan” having to defend the world against all these damn fans who question the decisions of the manager and playing ability of any players.

    Anyhow, like I said it’s the same old, same.

  46. MidwestGun

    Sal –
    I’m all for Spliffs all around. 😎

    Anyhow, will be interested to see what team is actually healthy to play tomorrow. Like a M.a.s.h unit piecing together players.

  47. MidwestGun

    I think AW will play a 4-2-3-1 without JW or Rambo… I hope. Based on health. .Probably something like this.
    Bell, Chambers, Mert, Gibbs
    Flamini, Santi
    Ox, Ozil, Sanchez
    It’s basically what we were playing at end of NLD.

  48. salparadisenyc


    Bellerin Mert Koz Gibbs
    Diaby Wilshire
    Sanchez Ozil Ox

    I thing their all fit? 🙂

  49. salparadisenyc

    Scratch Abou.. just read on Arsenal.com he’s not “there yet”
    Either Coq, Chambers or Flamini.

    Flamini for me, but i’m temped to say Chambers. Mental were this thin on Sept 30.

  50. Bamford13

    Watching PSG vs. Barca.

    These teams are so much better than Arsenal it’s embarrassing. And not just personnel-wise, as they both have more money, obviously. They’re so much better organized as well, with better passing, better combinations, better shape — better fucking everything.

    It’s depressing, really.

  51. moray

    WengerEagleSeptember 30, 2014 20:45:59
    Yaya Toure is in a serious funk.At 31 could he be on the decline?

    haha Toure is probably closer to 40 mate.

  52. Wallace

    ” The most obvious change at Arsenal has been the appointment of Shad Forsythe as the new head of athletic performance enhancement. Forsythe had spent the past decade working with the German national team and has already made a series of recommendations.

    Wenger is also overseeing plans for a multimillion-pound upgrade to Arsenal’s training base that would include a new athletic development centre and additional space for offices and analysis.

    “We made a lot of changes,” Wenger said. “We have not found out why it happened. Asked what specifically had been changed, he said: “In the way we prepare, in the way we work on prevention for injuries. We know a lot more than 18 years ago than when I arrived but still not enough to predict 100 per cent scientifically what happens to everybody. We promise to find a good balance between the strength and flexibility.”

    – Telegraph

  53. fourthisatrophy

    The style of football Arsenal play I think asks for injuries, most of their players hold onto the ball far too long, inviting the challenge, which results in a lot of ankle and lower leg injuries, I think Ramsey is like Adebayor, a one season wonder, he has been the pits this year has Ramsey, just like he was a few years back, regressed into his true form, but still he plays every game, might be good he’s injured for a while

  54. Thank you and goodnight

    I feel sorry for those prices over at untold because they honestly haven’t got a Fucking clue. Intelligent conversation with them. ….yeah right. They’re clueless, a 9 month old knows more about the game than them. The Fucking parasites are as culpable as le prick and kroenke for the way our club is taking piss out of the genuine fans. And yes I don’t think they are genuine fans as the genuine fans want the club to be successful and do what’s best for the club. Only a spud would wish things to remain as they are.

  55. SirAbbott

    Wow, this site is turning in to ANR.

    If he didn’t tie OG down and he left Wenger would be blamed for lack of depth and ambition.. and if he does he’s an “expensive super sub”. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    And FYI all Chelsea fans think selling Lukaku was a mistake.

  56. UGooner

    Wenger was right to give Giroud that contract. He’s a good second striker and we have certainly missed him in some recent games. Anyone who doesn’t have it in for him or the manager can see that.

  57. wenker-wanger

    Bob mac operates on a supposition that wankger is god and then fits all his supporting comments into that ludicrous supposition.Rarely have I read such sickening arse- crawling as displayed from this bobmac weirdo to the “sexually suspect” lord of untold.. His comments about wankger are laughable and shouldnt be even considered for atgument.

  58. Jeff


    It’s not “who” the contract was given to, it’s why? You say Giroud is a good second striker. How much faith you must have that Wenger will actually buy a first striker to whom Giroud will play second fiddle. Do you honestly believe that will happen? Of course you don’t and neither does anyone with half a brain. So your comment is based on trusting Wenger to buy a world class striker in the future but that faith is misguided and delusional.

  59. wenker-wanger

    @ jeff … But giroud may be good enough for the 4th place trophy.In fact wellbeck probably is surplus to wankgets requitement when giroud is fit. I agree he wont buy a striker probably throughout his 3 year contract. We have no strikers of top quality, just good/ average prem league strikers.

  60. Wallace

    seems like this fascination with what Untold are doing has only come about because you’ve scared off the more reasonable le grove posters. and now you’re all finding that a bunch of angry people getting together and being angry all day every day gets a little boring after a while.

  61. Thank you and goodnight


    Come on Wallace. Who were the reasonable posters? Revvin? He could get as angry as us doomers. Kjafc? Anyone who didn’t agree wenger was a god was an Arsehole in his opinion. As much as us doomers may go over the top, let’s not pretend the AKB’S were saints. And if we all went onto a blog and constantly talked about how wonderful wenger is and how rosy everything in the world of Wenger is it would be boring too. This is one of the best blogs out their because it’s not Arsenal propaganda.

  62. Shaun Wilson

    @wenger- wanger
    We have no strikers of top quality, just good/ average prem league strikers.

    Under Arsene Wenger we have regressed to being merely a good/average premier league side.

  63. Wallace


    Untold’s one end of the spectrum and le grove’s the other. if le grove hounds out Revvin and the others it’ll end up being just as boringly negative as Untold is boringly positive.

  64. Le Prof


    You’re a grown man but have openly admitted to going out of your way abusing other people just because they have a more positive outlook on the club than you do, and if that isn’t enough you go on to another blog that you don’t like because it shares a narrative you don’t comprehend.

    Its all a bit sad really.

    You should be embarrassed of yourself. Aren’t you a parent?

    Instead of your weird obsession with so called AKBs why don’t you talk about football? Talking football on a football blog, whatever next?

    Being quite limited would probably explain that.

  65. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    We have a management team who should prepare for every eventually …
    We are in this postition because of poor management!

    You do it today you will be bollocked

    But he can?
    An he don’t care ,