What #Arsenal can learn from war strategists

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What’s cracking my darlings?

So today, I head into work. Tonight, I head into St. Louis… home of Stan.

I have a banner in my bag, emblazoned with…

‘Please Stan would you have a rethink about the way we approach transfers, also, could you kindly tell us why Arsene Wenger is happy to sit on a tonne of cash that seems to serve no one but your good self’

I also have a banging deck to show my client out there. I mean, we can go into the details of run an online publication, but I don’t want to thrill you into a work seat accident no amount of Bounty kitchen roll will save you from.

ANYWAY.

Time to start thinking of things to write about. It’s the big one. This Saturday, we take on the very shaky Stoke City. Those dirty buggers have some good players. I said recently that they are a case study of Premiership good times centred around spunking cash. They’ve been spending money like it serves no purpose sitting in a bank account.

Hell, I’d say they’ve spent money like they’re trying to improve themselves?

Bojan, Affelay and Shaquiri are the obvious stars they’ve signed lately. An Arsenal fan said…

‘YEAH BUT WOULD YOU WANT ANY OF THEM’

Look, we were all interested in Shaquiri a few seasons ago. I wouldn’t have vomited a river of value bile if we’d signed him. He’d probably offer quite a lot to the squad if I’m honest. Versatile, fast and broken by Pep saying he’s utter turkey gobbler.

Point with Stoke, is they’re investing. They’re buying smartly. They’re shooting for gold.

I mean, that’s what football is all about, right?

I was reading something too highbrow for me on the plane, there was a reference to Nicolo Machiavelli and one of his gangster pals keeping winning troops motivated…

As regards action, he ought above all things to keep his men well organized and drilled, to follow incessantly the chase, by which he accustoms his body to hardships, and learns something of the nature of localities, and gets to find out how the mountains rise, how the valleys open out, how the plains lie, and to understand the nature of rivers and marshes, and in all this to take the greatest care. Which knowledge is useful in two ways. Firstly, he learns to know his country, and is better able to undertake its defence; afterwards, by means of the knowledge and observation of that locality, he understands with ease any other which it may be necessary for him to study hereafter; because the hills, valleys, and plains, and rivers and marshes that are, for instance, in Tuscany, have a certain resemblance to those of other countries, so that with a knowledge of the aspect of one country one can easily arrive at a knowledge of others. And the prince that lacks this skill lacks the essential which it is desirable that a captain should possess, for it teaches him to surprise his enemy, to select quarters, to lead armies, to array the battle, to besiege towns to advantage.

Philopoemen, Prince of the Achaeans, among other praises which writers have bestowed on him, is commended because in time of peace he never had anything in his mind but the rules of war; and when he was in the country with friends, he often stopped and reasoned with them: “If the enemy should be upon that hill, and we should find ourselves here with our army, with whom would be the advantage? How should one best advance to meet him, keeping the ranks? If we should wish to retreat, how ought we to set about it? If they should retreat, how ought we to pursue?” And he would set forth to them, as he went, all the chances that could befall an army; he would listen to their opinion and state his, confirming it with reasons, so that by these continual discussions there could never arise, in time of war, any unexpected circumstances that he could deal with.

So the TL:DR: Keep your troops prepared.

I kind of feel this is our issue now. Jose Mourinho does this so well. In the world of story telling, tension is important to keep people interested. Mourinho is the master of the subplot, makes sure there’s always something for media to focus on, but he also does very well at communicating story lines for the players that motivate.

Arsenal need to be in a battle this season, even when they feel they’re not. Something we’ve been guilty of over the years is Arsene Wenger believing the battle has been won before we start. Prince of Achaeans would not tolerate this. He’d not have his soldiers coming back from pillage session at the next village laughing about how desperately dead behind the eyes Shaquiri looks in his press shots.

He’d have them focused on the subplot. He’d have the Arsenal players thinking about all the ways in which Stoke could embarrass them. He’d be creating subplots in the press, ramping up pressure on high spending Mark Hughes. He’d be pulling Ramsey into a room reminding him of that dark day they tried to take his leg in a move that was not of honour. He’d be making sure that the players felt a million dollars even though recruitments were not coming.

He’d be prepared.

This season, Arsene Wenger has left us underprepared to compete. But, as has been shown over the many years of sporting achievement, what you lack in playing staff, can often be made up with in smarts. Take Diego Simeone over at Atletico Madrid, or Juventus last season reaching the Champions League final on a very, very low spend and despite being part of the 4th best league in Europe.

Do we have a better tactical plan of action? Are we utilising data to the best of its abilities. Now, I’ve seen plenty of bad data being used by Arsenal folk online to prove the manager was right about not signing anyone. How are we using data and driving insight that has context geared around  it? How are we grinding out the patterns that we can shake to our advantage?

Fitness is the big one this year. What’s our plan for making sure our slender squad doesn’t break every 2 minutes. We’ve already had a nightmare with WELBZ who is out until next year. A real shame. But don’t blame the medical staff. They give the diagnosis, it’s up to the club to act on it. You’ve got to stop blaming the doctors for the car crash they’re treating (unless they were driving the car). Point is, what’s the plan to stop injury prone players like Jack and Danny (cockney rhyming slang right there) from picking up injuries.

Anyway, if Shad can recover players quicker and Arsene can make sure he rotates properly so the players aren’t broken by December, we’ll be in good shape.

We’ll learn this season whether Wenger can listen. He has all his players fit right now. If he breaks them by Christmas, we’ll know that last seasons renaissance with fitness was because he only had his keys player for half a season. Fingers crossed.

Finally, motivation. The quote from above. How is Wenger planning to keep the boys focused? How does he bring out the nasty? How does he make them all play through steel reinforced walls to win the major honours? Wenger isn’t a man motivator like a lot of the other more personal coaches. He needs to find something, because I’m not sure, with this group of players, the…

‘Guys, can we all sit down for two minutes, and reflect on what it means to be a top class athlete chasing a two goal deficit’

‘Right, go out there and have fun. Remember to wave to your Dad, Theo.’

Having great team spirit is fabulous. But, if that just means they all have a laugh together, it’s not enough. People getting along isn’t productive unless they’re all challenging each other to be better. Great team spirit from 2002 is someone telling Patrick Vieira to stop falling asleep on the pitch. It’s a full on bust up in the changing room when you’re not winning. It’s each player fight themselves everyday to be a part of that starting 11.

If we can’t have new players, we’re going to have to win by being smarter than the rest.

Question is, what’s going to change to bring about those extra points?

Over to you Arsene.

338 Responses to “What #Arsenal can learn from war strategists”

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  1. Bamford10

    Mystic and Goondawg

    So I’ve come up with the wager’s reward/punishment: if I win, i.e., if Martial replaces Giroud as the #2 by next summer, then you two must change your monikers to “Dipshit #1″ and “Dipshit #2″ for a week.

    If I lose — unlikely — then I’ll change my moniker to something of your choice for a week.

  2. warchester

    Wenger doesn’t listen to any philosopher other than Adam Smith….the “invisible hand” translated into modern footballing terms is the said “cohesion”

  3. David Smith

    Mourinho isnt doing that great at the moment, his players look shot, and so does he. The countdown is ticking for him at that club…again.
    As for Arsenals war strategy, I would compare it to that of Neville Chamberlain

  4. GunnerInNY

    Pedro,
    I have been to St. Louis twice, and while I was not impressed, there were two things worth doing/seeing:

    1) The arch. Before I had been to St. Louis, I always thought it was a tourist trap, but in person, it is truly a work of art. More sculpture than building. Beautiful and fascinating.

    2) Barbecue. We went to a well known place a bit off downtown (forget the name, but a Google search should do the trick). I am not a BBQ guy, but this place was something authentic.

  5. blsany

    “If this were a dictatorship it would be a heck of a lot easier… as long as I’m the dictator. Hehehe.”
    ― George W. Bush or Arsene Wenger? You decide.

  6. Bamford10

    David Smith

    First once the legacy of Neville Chamberlain has been invoked appropriately! 😉

    (With some qualifications, e.g., our adversaries are not evil, murderous, fascists, but simply clubs bent on greatness. Yet all the same … )

  7. jwl

    “An army may be likened to water, for just as flowing water avoids the heights and hastens to the lowlands, so an army avoids strength and strikes weakness”
    —–

    Sun Tzu’s Art of War might be more of Wenger’s style, he seems to like oriental culture, because it taught how to defeat enemy without fighting. But it doesn’t matter what strategy books Wenger read because he doesn’t want to follow any of them, he’s following his own path to mediocrity.

  8. Danny

    I don’t know much about psychology but I wonder if Wenger is still in the clouds over the Invincibles season, I mean he achieved something that is practically impossible and therefore in his little mind believes that because of that he simply can do no wrong.
    Just a thought……

  9. Drey

    This post by Bamford last night.. love it:

    By the way, this “cheating” argument
    is fucking nonsense. You say it’s
    unfair that other clubs can spend
    their owners’ money? One, says
    whom? Two, a whole host of teams
    could point at Arsenal’s stadium and
    revenues and say that these
    constitute an unfair advantage. That
    you would say this is part of the game
    doesn’t change the fact that it’s an
    unfair game from their perspective.
    This is no different from clubs who
    have owners who are willing to pour
    their own money in.
    Can every club in the EPL afford an
    Ozil? A Sanchez? Is it “unfair” for us,
    then, to sign such players? What
    about Zagreb and Olympiakos in the
    CL? Can they afford to sign such
    players? Is it unfair that we will be
    playing against them with such
    players? Fuck off. Of course not.
    That’s the business.

  10. Ughelligunner

    http://m.thenational.ae/sport/english-premier-league/arsene-did-the-same-with-me-in-olivier-giroud-anelka-sees-shades-of-own-arsenal-success

    “Arsene did the same with me –
    when Ian Wright was there, he
    didn’t buy anyone and I had to
    do the job up front,” Anelka said.
    “He believed in me and in the
    end I played regularly and played
    well. He made the same choice
    with Giroud.
    “Arsene believes in his team,
    that’s why he hasn’t spent
    money. He believes in Giroud
    because he thinks he will score a
    lot of goals, which he already has
    done. When you look at the
    statistics he’s not so bad. Arsenal
    won something last season, won
    something the season before, so
    why not again?
    “But people have to wait and see
    and then speak at the end of the
    season. If they don’t win
    anything, then you can say
    something. However, people
    have to trust Arsene. He knows
    what he is doing.”
    Wenger has guided Arsenal to
    three Premier League titles in 19
    years at the club, however they
    were last crowned champions in
    2003/04. The Frenchman, 65, has
    been constantly criticised for his
    refusal to spend significant sums
    on new players compared to
    Arsenal’s immediate rivals.
    However, Anelka says that, while
    it has been too long since the
    club won the Premier League, the
    level of competition today is
    much greater than in the past.
    “Before Arsene, Arsenal were
    good but they became a bigger
    club with Arsene Wenger. The
    way they play football is amazing.
    In the end, we have to trust him.
    “Of course, you can always say
    when you don’t win that it
    wasn’t good enough because the
    fans want to take the title. But it
    has become much harder now
    because you have Man City with
    big money, Chelsea with big
    money, Man United, Liverpool.
    When I was there it was maybe
    only United who were very
    strong. Now you have five teams
    who can fight for the title.
    “You can always say they need to
    buy someone up front, but
    previously they have bought
    Mesut Ozil, who’s a good player,
    Alexis Sanchez is a good player.
    They can score goals and give
    good assists. People just want
    big names in attack, but Giroud is
    good enough to score goals. And
    behind him there are big players
    who can supply him so he can
    score a lot of goals.
    “Arsenal have a strong squad –
    people don’t see it, but they do.”

    Anelka, ” a true believer”

  11. MrT

    Oliver Gourid says he “has the mental strength to bounce back” after being booed by France Fans. Clears throat. Son you need to have the mental strength to bounce those balls in between the goal posts and into the net. Not bouncing those clear chances into the net is the only reason you get booed. Bounce those balls into goal not lingere models. May the force be with you. ZamentalStrenght!!!!

  12. Arsene's Nurse

    All this talk of war and preparing for battle. Have you forgotten that Wenger is French? He ran the white flag up the flag pole years ago the cheese eating surrender monkey.

  13. Highbury4ever

    “3 titles in 19years is pretty shit.”

    Yes but the next is for this season, according to henry, anelka… and wenger lol

  14. Troy McClure

    St. Louis is the hottest, most humid place in the U.S. outside of Florida. Mark my words, you will sweat profusely. A good place to sell antiperspirant. Lots of men wearing jean shorts too, or “jorts”. You’ll see where Stan Kronke developed his taste in fashion.

  15. Klauspoppe

    Blsany

    I don’t know Mystic’s opinion of Benteke but surely Benteke is equally good if not better.

    I think Benteke ‘s price increased the benchmark he should be judged with.

  16. jwl

    Pedro wont mind the hot weather, the women will be wearing their yoga pants if its warm and that is best. Nobel Peace should be awarded to whoever convinced women with nice bottoms to walk around in yoga attire.

    That made me laugh about surrendering French, Arsene’s Nurse. Spot on unfortunately.

  17. MidwestGun

    http://lacledeslanding.com/

    Pedro –
    Great Italian food in St. Louis …. on” the hill”. Any local can guide you there.
    Also, Laclede’s landing near the Arch. Historic district where the music and bars are located worth checking out.
    Also, it’s supposed to be raining there tonight and tomorrow. So you should be used to that.
    :smile :

  18. Joe

    A Giroud with no confidence.

    Players dis-heartened with lack of transfer activity.

    Kos injured.

    Stoke rested and preparing a plan for us.

    This has 1-0 Stoke written all over it

  19. Joe

    Wenger has no clue how to rally the troops.

    Look what happened after the Eduardo injury. Did we stand together and fight for our fallen comrade??? Jose or any top manager would of turned that into the cause for the rest of the season to fight

    Wenger used it as “poor us” excuse to fail

  20. Champagne charlie

    Couldn’t agree more with the sentiments echoed in the last third of the article. This team spirit and harmony we’re getting spoofed is questionable at best for me, seems more like Wenger doesn’t want big personalities and confrontational types to upset the status quo.

    Like was said, a bunch of lads being all chummy isn’t a team spirit to write home about. Team spirit is challenging others to better themselves, firing a rocket when need be, flat out criticising when need be, and generally interacting other than gushing about much like a family it is. While I appreciate they all get on, can we rock the boat a little more please in the effort to get somewhere relevant?

    Looking at you Arsene… Don’t tell me Flamini is at Arsenal for anything more than his Siamese bond with Mesut. They’re friends, great. Except Flamini hasn’t been good enough for 2 seasons and summer was an easy one to solve that.

  21. Corona X

    Ehm, Pedro? Drunk again??!
    You wrote: “He has all his players fit right now”. Where did you get that from? From my reckoning, we’ve got three injuries, one of which you devoted nearly a whole blog post to the other day:
    Rosicky
    Welbeck
    Wilshire.

    I too wish we’d have everyone fit… But alas, no.

    Except for that, good post!

  22. Dissenter

    Giroud didn’t have a good night against Serbia

    Neither did Benzema,nor Martial

    Bamford, are you aware that the French crowd are regular boo-ers. They’ve booed off Henry, Benzema and even Zidane in the past.

    People conveniently forget that part.
    Shame on the French crowd who booed off their own in a goddamn friendly.

    Welcome back Giroud, you’re still a crowd favorite.

  23. blsany

    Klaus
    Yeah that whole thing was weird but at least she wasn’t goldgigger

    Dissenter
    I know this one is sarcasm correct?I’ve been burnt once today,,,,,

  24. tom

    I think the teams unbeaten streak in 2015 and the run in for CL the previous season demonstrated all the hallmarks of the right type of team spirit. Plenty of fight and snarl. If the players like each other too, all the better. Add Sanchez, who is a leader, and it’s could be better still.

    Wenger is like the ancient prince. Famously studious and known to have little life beyond football.
    He went out into the country side. Surveilled and saw the ground was hostile. Still clever planning and crack mercenaries allied to his brave and loyal native troops have fought many long and glorious campaigns, defend a glorious fortress and are respected by all.

    Also Grovers, listen to Pedro and don’t blame the medics.

  25. BillikenGooner

    Things in St. Louis:

    A Cardinals Game (if they are in town).
    Get some beers down in Soulard.
    Get some food on “the Hill”.
    Check out Blueberry Hill and the Delmar Loop, you can see Forest Park on the way.
    The Arch.
    and of course, the school that gave the EPL Brian McBride, St Louis University. (and my alma mater)

  26. tom

    Who cares about french mistresses.
    David Dein always complained Arsene would rather watch video of some obscure foreign match than go out for a decent supper.

  27. tom

    Shame if Kos is injured. He was one of France’s best players against Portugal last week. Looked better than Verane, played side by side.

    I do like everything I’ve seen of Gabriel so far and have confidence he can step in.

  28. Goondawg

    Wenger is french, where extra-marital affairs are regarded as minor misdemeanours like double parking or speeding.

    Literally no one gives a fuck

  29. seg

    @Tom well, he has to do a better job of transmuting when he learns from watching them leagues to how Arsenal play, no? Unless, of course, if you saying fourth is a trophy there

  30. blsany

    Arsene is at it again.
    Apparently “Henry needs a psychological transformation”
    Just stop Arsene.Everytime he opens his mouth diarrhoea comes out.

  31. tom

    We all know Wenger doesn’t go for grand Henry V type speeches in the tunnel before kick off.
    Neverless, he has demonstrated time and again his ability to motivate.
    Cup runs are all about focus and motivation. So are unlikely wins against superior opponents like the recent one in Munich.
    All the players I have ever heard speak of direct experience say he is brilliant. They feel respected and trusted and want to perform.

    Malaise can set into any group at any time. In 20 seasons of football it’s remarkable how little, over all, it’s affected Arsene’s teams.

  32. Wallace

    “Giroud is a crowd favourite? Must be the reason 99% of Gooners wanted a new CF for the last 3 seasons.”

    if you’d said ‘99% of le grovers’ you’d have been on steadier ground. le grove’s the ISIS of Arsenal fandom.

  33. Klauspoppe

    Tom

    Munich was great game.

    Though can’t rule out Bayern were complacent after thrashing us at the emirates.

    Arsene’s motivation activates after humiliation it seems. Milan at Emirates, At Monaco…

  34. Follow the money

    Well that explains everything! We have a French guy leading our troops. See Dien Bien Phu, the Maginot line, etc etc etc

  35. Cesc Appeal

    ‘le grove’s the ISIS of Arsenal fandom.’

    Ummmmmmmmmm. Illogical, nasty, stuck in the past, dated interpretation of the world based on the teachings of one man, driven by belief in a deity and viciously attack anyone who criticises it or brings it into repute.

    Does sound familiar actually, I mean if we’re getting ludicrously carried away with our comparisons.

  36. Klauspoppe

    Tom

    Too bad Arsenal couldn’t find the mental strength to snap out themselves when getting shown a football lesson at home.

    Indication of gulf between teams that have the belief to win the CL and not just participate to give it their best.

  37. tom

    Arsenal have had some crushing disappointments in Europe. Some were unfortunate and some self-inflicted but they have had some wonderful results too.
    Love it when they play great and take a big scalp.

  38. Wallace

    CA

    what do you think happened to Keyser? you think he’s still sat there in his basement following, but not commenting, on le grove, his head still attached to his obese body?

  39. Klauspoppe

    Tom

    Napoli and Porto at Emirates was great wins.

    The football on display that unites gooners.

    Milan away, Monaco home were disgusting displays.

    Was it tactical mismanagement or players being complacent Tom?

  40. Wallace

    “Funny the only great night i can remember is trashing inter milan 5-1
    Donkey years ago.”

    beating peak time Barcelona 2-1 at the Emirates was pretty good.

  41. tom

    Klaus,
    It was mighty Bayern after all. I think the pressure got to them at home. I remember nobody gave them a chance in the press or commentary booth. By the time Arsenal found their feet they were 2 nil down.
    The return lacked the same kind of pressure but pride was on the line. Arsenal won convincingly.

  42. Cesc Appeal

    Wallace

    Just think there’s a lot of ‘fatigue’ so to speak out there among Arsenal fans, definite feel of we’ve been here before.

    So many of my friend if you’re down the pub or something will be talking and I’ve got a few Arsenal supporting mates down here and when we’re asked each of our replies are the same, ‘can’t be bothered mate, don’t want to talk about it.’

    I think that apathy is rife right now in our ranks. Can’t blame them.

  43. Cesc Appeal

    That’s why I think a comments section like this is great, because we all are part of a dialogue that has been going on for years now, we know where we’re at etc, and you get some really knowledgeable people on here, all slices of the fan base as well, from the crazy Wenger Out, to the sycophantic pro-Wenger, to the moderates, fence sitters, leaners on either side etc.

  44. tom

    Who really knows why a team has an off night?
    No team is constantly brilliant.
    There is tremendous pressure at play always, and reasons for either unusual excellence or dross are mysterious.
    Once in a while you can see a serious tactical error or maybe a couple of players are out of sorts, but when the whole team hits the skids at once it has to be something psychological. Or astrological, for all I know.

  45. Redtruth

    tom
    “I think the teams unbeaten streak in 2015 and the run in for CL the previous season demonstrated all the hallmarks of the right type of team spirit. Plenty of fight and snarl. If the players like each other too, all the better. Add Sanchez, who is a leader, and it’s could be better still.”

    Same thing always happens they go on a run then revert to type and lose.

  46. Wallace

    CA

    the low point for me was the time leading up to us buying Ozil. back then we were definitely a poorer side than we are now. maybe this window i subconsciously detached myself a little bit, but there was also a feeling(for me, that we weren’t as desperate for players as we were 2/3yrs ago. i know that’s not a view many on here share, but it’s how i felt/feel.

  47. Redtruth

    tom
    “Arsenal have had some crushing disappointments in Europe. Some were unfortunate and some self-inflicted but they have had some wonderful results too.Love it when they play great and take a big scalp.”

    Spoken like a true Spud supporter

  48. Cesc Appeal

    Wallace

    I agree.

    The 2011/12 side was truly poor, RVP saved us that year but that was a bad team, the 2012/13 team as well was better, it felt like an incremental step in way but it was still ‘off,’ and Spurs had Bale in beast mode.

    The 2013/14 side was solid and of course everyone was buoyed by Ozil, part of the reason it’s smart to add and refresh a bit annually, and the 2014/15 side whilst better on paper in the round was similar, just opposite seasons in terms of start great finish poor, start poor finish great.

    Still the prevailing theme for me was weakness unaddressed.

    I know we sit on opposite sides of the fence, I thought additions were a must this year but based on the logic that I agree with you, we’ve become a better side in the last 2 years…but still not good enough in my opinion, and again, where we part ways is I don’t think the manager is good enough any more in some aspects.

  49. tom

    I am excited and optimistic about this season.
    We looked as good as anyone and the end of last and we added Czech, who people say will win us points on his own.
    Sure other teams have strengthened. Still we won’t know for a while if they’ve improved.
    City look excellent now but we have all seen them dip badly in the past, so it could happen again. Other main rivals are having worse starts than us.
    Strengthening of lesser clubs is going to definitely be a factor. Some think ( not me) that AFC are flat track bullies, so that should suite them, eh?

    I love our team. Both as is , and in it’s potential. I like Ozil and Sanchez and Cazorla. I like the young Brit element. I think the defence is solid and improving. The youth set up looks healthy and we might be treated to a debut or two.
    Lots to like and lots to look forward to.
    This one transfer window seems to have really thrown some fans for a loop.
    I encourage some perspective.

  50. Wallace

    CA

    “and again, where we part ways is I don’t think the manager is good enough any more in some aspects.”

    just because i can’t be bothered getting into it when i’m labelled an AKB doesn’t mean i am one. for sure i rate him far more highly than most on here, but i also have doubts about his ability to get us back to the level of competitiveness of his previous sides.

  51. Drey

    Tom

    Sure other teams have strengthened.
    Still we won’t know for a while if
    they’ve improved.

    Lol … what happened when WE strengthened last season? yes you guessed right. Alexis grabbed 25 goals,we won at United and City, defended the FA Cup.
    What happened when Chelsea strengthened last season? Yes you ate right, they won the damn league..

    What do you think will happen after a title-winning Chelsea and an already-strong City strengthened this season,and we didn’t?

  52. Redtruth

    What is their to rate about Wenger.
    He never punches above his weight and the fact that he needs too just shows how far Arsensl have fallen behind under his stewardship.

  53. tom

    Redtruth,
    You seem to think we should be the dominant force in Europe.
    Liverpool are the only British team that could possibly have ever claimed that, and that was long ago and far away from the modern game.

    I concede we have been disappointing over all but we have had good times too.
    Every season I look forward to CL knowing that there’s little chance to win, yet I enjoy it anyway.
    If Arsenal play their best they can beat anyone. So it’s worth tuning in.

    Side note on CL disappointment.
    Hurts worse losing to Monaco than Beyern.

    The worst of all by a long shot was the quarter final vs CFC.

    That was the first time they had beat us in ages and signalled a shift in power.
    I felt we could have gone all the way that season too.

  54. Alex Cutter

    “Look what happened after the Eduardo injury. Did we stand together and fight for our fallen comrade???”

    The same fucking thing happened against Newcastle when Coquelin got “challenged” on the red card.

    No one did shit. Although Alexis eventually said something…

    This squad is 90% lotion boys more worried about how their hair looks.

  55. tom

    Redtruth

    Wenger is special.
    Even if he never punches above his weight. He never punches beneath it either. That is rare as hens teeth and that alone makes him special.

  56. Redtruth

    We’d be multiple winners of the Champions league if George Graham had the luxury that Wenger is afforded.

    Remember the old system only allowed Winners of each respected Countries league to enter in to the Premier Competition.

  57. Wallace

    Drey

    “What do you think will happen after a title-winning Chelsea and an already-strong City strengthened this season,and we didn’t?”

    City look to have bought well, despite letting 2 of their 4 strikers leave, but not sure you can say Chelsea have strengthened. sure they’ve bought some players, but Terry and Ivanovic are suddenly looking like Father Time is kicking in, and you don’t replace players of that quality easily. and Costa also looks like he’s struggling for form at the moment.

  58. Relieable sauce

    -What AST can learn from war strategists- would have been a more useful write up Pedro. They are toothless & misguided, just going through the motions year after year & not challenging the major shareholder or the people running the club on the serious issues.

  59. Wallace

    “Whole of football is 90% lotion boys. Has been for twenty years.”

    I blame David Ginola. thought just because he was a massive talent he could get away with using moisturiser. no idea what the English players at Newcastle were thinking.

  60. tom

    Graham won Cup winners cup.
    By then he had already stalled though. Soon after he took the bungs, right?

    I will always love GG but in the end was not sad he left.
    His later sides were horrid. Some of the worst ever played at Highbury.
    Wenger has never made us watch that level of unfootball.

  61. Alex Cutter

    “Whole of football is 90% lotion boys. Has been for twenty years.”

    Hey, AKB troll asshole.

    When I’m addressing you, you’ll know it, because the post will begin with “Hey, AKB troll asshole”.

  62. tom

    Reliable sauce

    I understand Ivan has been open and convincing at recent meetings with supporters and share holders.

    What militancy do you advocate?

  63. tom

    I think City is an awesome squad but not invincible.
    They have depth and tons of talent but do they have much culture and togetherness?
    We’ll see…

  64. tom

    Redtruth
    Not really true. There were bar ran seasons with George and some worryingly low finishes in the league.
    Wenger has never let us finish low.

  65. Redtruth

    George Graham:

    1987-League Cup Winners
    1988-League Cup Runners-Up
    1989-League Champions
    1991-League Champions
    1993-FA Cup Winners/League Cup Winners
    1994-Cup Winners Cup Winners
    1995-Cup Winners Cup Runners Up

    tom
    “His later sides horrid”
    Lol lol lol lol lol lol

  66. Wallace

    tom

    John Jensen was also the stuff of nightmares. a poor man’s Flamini. although unlike Flamini an important player for Graham’s team.

  67. tom

    I would never downplay Graham’s record.
    I loved the guy both as manager and player.
    Total Arsenal man and a gentleman too.
    No manager has had his talent to motivate. 89 was a breathtaking example.
    Yet, in his later years he took us to some turgid water.

  68. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    Your right… but it’s not even apathy so much as seeing the same exact patterns repeat season after season to the same results. So the same arguements get repeated ad nauseum as the same exact mistakes keep happening over and over. And sadly they ate mostly correctable mistakes.
    For example, injuries and players leaving leave us short again but we fail to strengthen in the Transfer market.
    Once again our illustrious strike force wastes chance after chance and struggles to score enough goals. 3 in 4 games. Yet we do nothing to strengthen in the transfer window.
    Once again we struggle to breakdown teams yet don’t change our approach, substitution patterns or strengthen in the transfer window.
    Have had these same discussions year on year as Pedro has pointed out ib many of his recent posts. The common factor. .. Arsene Wenger.

    People keep saying it’s like groundhog day because it is. We will finish 3rd or 4th…,get knocked out of CL in round of 16 and be competitive in the FA Cup or that other one. It’s elite purgatory as Pedro coined.

    So obviously discussing the same failings and ensuing debate becomes tedious. Which is why I greatly admire Pedro’s ability to post everyday.