‘Careful what you wish for’ dissected | Empty stadium protest that wasn’t a protest

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A win is a win is a win.

Well, if you were there to see it. Talk of the game was mostly about how many people decided to boycott the game. Real sad times. I saw someone online stating that the most packed section of the ground was in the West Brom bit that they’d sold back, the response was, ‘yeah, the bit where the tourists go. The hardcore defected.’

Now, I’ve seen people say they thought 5000 were missing, I think that’s a massive underestimate judging by the pictures. I mean, if it was 5000, we’ll hear it leaked in the press (becuase that’s not too bad). I’ve been at games where it’s 5k short, that looks more like 10 or 15k people not turning up. I’ve never seen the ground so empty.

I think what must make this all the harder for the club to stomach is that it’s not a protest. A protest would indicate that someone like the Redaction or Blackscarf instructed people not to show. This is worse, this is just people who were willing to throw away £30 because they couldn’t stomach a bland evening of football. This was a show of dissent. This was a middle finger up to a manager who said it was ok to finish behind Spurs and that we need to find some perspective because we’re overly emotional.

It should feel like end of days, the last hurrah, the goodbye tour, but we know it’s not.

Wenger will be there next season, with a few new players and a half-baked squad ready to battle it out for another year of miserable football.

I didn’t get to see much of the game, I was flying. But from all reports after, it was a pretty tame performance against a team so on the beach, sand was coming out the bottom of their shorts.

Our first goal was a lovely bit of movement from Sanchez on the edge of the box, followed by a low piledriver that slipped under Foster (he should have done better). Sanchez made it two in the second half when he slipped a free kick under the wall. Nice to see him coming alive when it doesn’t matter.

I’d say it’s too little too late, but then I’d be indicating a win against West Brom is something to savour in the good times.

This season is clugging to an undignified ending, but at least we might make 3rd and avoid the irritation of having to qualify for CL and suffer a stuttery summer because Wenger is financial planning with £100m in the bank.

I read with interest the Arsenal PR machine ramping up to placate the fans. A prominent Arsenal journo dropped the ‘careful what you wish for, Arsenal fans like Martinez and Wenger has seen him off’ line… it’s amusing, because you know that’s just part of the game of access, because any seasoned journalist (a Gooner as well) watching that bucket of bland this season (and all the others) will know it’s over for Wenger.

It’s also worth noting that yes, Wenger has seen off Martinez (a manager famed for playing stylish football that had his teams finish one place above the relegation zone each year), but it’s also worth noting that Wenger has also seen off Mourinho twice, Carlo Ancelotti twice (Chelsea and Madrid), he’s seen off Jurgen Klopp, Heycknes, Del Bosque, Benitez twice, Rijkaard and Tim Sherwood twice.

He’s not seen them off because he’s defied the odds. He’s seen them off because Arsenal won’t sack him. Does anyone think Wenger would have lasted ten years at Chelsea? Madrid? Barcelona?

It’s ok being careful what you wish for… the question for me is this, is the thing you’re wishing for, a manager that stays in the job forever? Or are you wishing for a club that recognises when change needs to occur and that the club makes that change?

Would I like Chelsea’s model of change? I mean, it’s extreme, but it wins trophies. What about Bayern Munich? Lots of change, but look at the trophies. In fact, tell me where stability is working? I think football changes so damn fast it’s almost impossible to stick with one person and succeed. I think we need to move away from the idea that we want a 20 year manager next time. Because that’s not going to happen, nor should it. Twenty years leads to too much power.

What I’m wishing for is success. If that comes with a managerial merry-go-round, who cares? It only impacts my life if we stop hiring great coaches to take us forward.

Right, that’s me done. Have a super day and have your fingers crossed for me winning this pitch today. #PrayforPete

823 Responses to “‘Careful what you wish for’ dissected | Empty stadium protest that wasn’t a protest”

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  1. Jeff

    It’s a well know theory in evolution that if you don’t adapt, you die out. We haven’t adapted for 12 years. We’ve been doing the same thing over and over again – it cannot end well despite what the AKBs will tell you. They think so long as Wenger is here we are practically guaranteed fourth place. That’s going to change next year and because it’s going to take years to put right the huge mess Wenger will leave, we’ll have to be prepared to spend a good few years in the wilderness. I would argue that we are actually doing exactly that now and have been for the last decade at least.

  2. gambon

    Dont forget Leicester have Utd and Chelsea away still.

    Luckily Chelsea away is last day so Chelsea may have given up by then.

    If Spurs win all 4 they probably win the PL on GD in my opinion.

  3. gambon

    Worth noting that assuming City beat us 2nd to last game…..and i think theyll batter us….its not even in our hands to finish top 4.

  4. Danny

    We can’t compete with Leicester City.
    Really? We did the double on them.

  5. Thank you and goodnight


    Trust me Chelsea would rather throw the game against Leicester than allow the spuds to win the title

  6. gambon

    Of course it would be bigger than the invincibles.

    It would be the biggest achievement in football history.

    Yaya Sanogo starting a Champs League game is probably the only stranger thing thats ever happened.

  7. vicky

    “Trust me Chelsea would rather throw the game against Leicester than allow the spuds to win the title”

    Hazard said that a couple of days ago.

  8. WrightIsGod

    Everyone keeps saying Flamini needs to go but he’s actually Ozil’s best mate so good luck with that one.

    Wenger has had 12 years to rebuild and this is what he produces…. It’s so funny that he still has supporters.

  9. Jeff

    Man U Fixtures left (on 59 points)
    Man Utd V Leicester (1 point)
    Norwich V Man Utd (3 points)
    West Ham V Man Utd (1 point)
    Man Utd V Bournemouth (3 points)
    Predicted finish on 67 points

    Arsenal Fixtures left (on 64 points)
    Arsenal V Norwich (1 point)
    Man City V Arsenal (0 points)
    Arsenal V Aston Villa (3 points)
    Predicted finish on 68 points

    I really can’t see Man U catching us. I think fourth is pretty much guaranteed.

  10. vicky


    Leicester has been absolutely amazing today. I don’t always enjoy see them play but today they have been world class and that too without Vardy.

  11. WrightIsGod


    Some great Leicester squad players compared to our toothless bunch.

    I just had a thought…. Where in the table would Leicester be if Arsene Wenger was their manager?

  12. Danish Gooner

    We have some of the worst sunday league teams at home Norwich and Aston Villa,if we fail to get 6 points from those two games it is a sackable offense.City away could be interesting but City are a game we can win if we apply ourselfes and stop tippy tappy.United will be playing West Ham away and Leicester at home,two teams that will give them one hell of a game.

  13. Cesc Appeal

    Jamie Redknapp saying Wenger has ‘brainwashed’ Arsenal fans, funny all of a sudden this season pundits and journalists etc are saying what posters have been saying on here for years.

  14. Adam A. Carbarundum

    An absolute “who gives a S H I T” performance from Arsenal. With that, if they can’t be bothered, then why should anyone else? Truth be told, I’m so indifferent now…thanks Wenger!!!

    When Arsenal show that they want to be taken seriously, then I will…but no longer can I be bothered. See you all in August.

  15. WrightIsGod

    Still cannot believe wenger had the Gaul to bad mouth Leicester’s style of football when theyve played better football than us 90% of the season….

    Utter shameful. Someone needs to call him out!!!

  16. WrightIsGod

    Talk about playing under pressure, Leicester have played almost every game on super Sunday for the last month. That team are the definition of bottle.

  17. Jeff


    Norwich are fighting a relegation battle. They will give it their all. If this was mid-season, it would probably be a formality.

  18. WrightIsGod

    “Norwich are fighting a relegation battle. They will give it their all. If this was mid-season, it would probably be a formality.”

    And yet we could only draw with them in mid season.

  19. Danish Gooner

    This is exactly why journalism is so bad in Britain,every hack predicted they would struggle without Vardy,having witnessed with their own eyes a team with so much guile and cohesion it could easily lose Mahrez and Vardy and more and still destroy Swansea,simply because they want it and want it bad,compared that to our socialized paradise where noone gives a shit about the jersey as long they can revel in their fat pay packeges.It is now 14 games since a french international striker have failed to score that is by any standard atrocious and tells a lot about why we wont win the league second that with a low scoring welbeck and a non exsistent wally and you have a recipe for disaster.

  20. Danish Gooner

    If we had them away i would probably agree with you but at home,they made Sunderland look like Barcelona and are seriously poor at the moment they made defensive howlers Gabriel and Mert couldnt do and that says a lot.

  21. Hitman

    Leicester look more balanced team without (English diving cheat)Vardy.

    Good squad players taking responsibility, stepping up, playing a different system, scoring goals, keeping clean sheets, being professional, organised, getting results. Probably getting the medal.

    In fact everything that is missing at AFC.

  22. Radio Raheem

    I reckon Samchez would look like a worldie in that Leicester side and you’ll be criticising Mahrez if he played for us.

    Sometimes, it isn’t just the players. There are, at least, 4 squads better than the current top 2 in the league. Just my opinion, of course.

    Leicester have made this season magical I’ll be gutted if they don’t win it now.

  23. Cygans love child

    I really do hope we drop out the top 4, I really do. Then the smug muppet hasn’t got a thing to fall back on

  24. Highbury4ever

    @Joe : please stop talking to wallace even when he’s not there, it’s becomming really disturbing…

  25. TooMuchCesc

    Beating Villa in the final match of the season to eke out 4th, one point ahead of ManU, will create pandemonium. I can see victory laps, dressing room selfies, etc. as Arsenal yet again win the coveted trophy. The EPL trophy going to Leicester at Stanford Bridge on the same day will pale in comparison.
    Pundits will shout from the rooftops “yeah Leicester won an EPL title…finally….but the glorious AFC have won the lifetime achievement trophy of finishing in the top four for 20 consecutive years. No team in the EPL will ever achieve that again.”
    All hail Arsene.

  26. Jeff

    I’m liking Jamie Rednapp more and more. The guy is speaking his mind – not one of our ex players so he has no affinity to Wenger. Yes it took him and others years and years to come to the conclusion we came to as far back as 2008 (some even before that) but at least they got there in the end. Anything that makes the hierarchy think twice about offering another contract.

  27. WengerEagle

    Fair play to Redknapp, he may be a bit of a div but at least he has no conflict of interest RE Wenger and Arsenal and the guy just speaks his mind.

    We need more to follow suit, Scholes and Keane are other one’s but because of their rivalry with us and Wenger back in the day, a lot of people make the false assertion that they are in some way biased against Wenger and Arsenal rather than just accepting the truth.

  28. Marko

    To be fair Alan Smith has been critical of Wenger and has said questions need to be asked in the summer of him

  29. vicky

    Theirry Henry should leave the job of punditry. He is always at pains to express his true feelings regarding the state of Arsenal FC. People with conflict of interests should not be made pundits by news channels. I bet he is a WOB but has got no other option but to sound like a Wenger supporter.

  30. Follow the money

    This is what you get when you have a manager who says things like “football should be an art” and falsely pretends to be a lone voice of virtuousness in a sea of capitalist madness. So tired of Wenger. So tired of AKBs and their nonsense. So tired of Wenger’s cowardice, not taking a shot at glory by going for it in the market. We must all do our part however small to dislodge this turd from Arsenal

  31. WengerEagle


    Agreed, no matter how much longer this shit goes on for Henry will never say a bad word about Wenger because he’s the man who brought him through to the Monaco first team as a kid and brought him to Arsenal when he was stagnating at Juventus.

    Which is fine, I get that he’s loyal to the guy.

    But it makes him a dreadful pundit.

  32. Cesc Appeal

    The thing is though, even in an interview like that. no one is really pushing the issues.

    Injuries? Arsenal have had a mountain of them every year for the past decade.

    Tactical naivety? Wenger actually gets extolled in the press on the rare occasions we do tactics, that highlights how rare it is, frequently embarrassed and out done with simplistic tactics but lesser teams.

    Defensive naivety? Need I say more on this.

    Lack of leaders? Again, recurrent theme over the past ten years.

    Stubborn refusal to spend? See above.

    Lacking in glaring positions? ST for 3-4 years, CDM again for 3-4 years, GK took 10 years, Wenger stubbornly refuses to call time on the dross in the side and bring in better constantly.

    Comfortability? You have a manager who says second for the next twenty years would be great, that fourth is a trophy, a coaching team that is the same as it was in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s, players like Walcott on £140 000 a week, there is no accountability at Arsenal, no pressure, no ambition, that comes from the manager.

    People let Wenger off talking about issues in isolation, listening to Henry talk about injuries ‘this year,’ injuries are irrelevant as an a excuse because they happen every, single, fucking year, its like trying to say we didn’t win because our ST’s aren’t good enough…yeah no shit.

    I’ve never seen a manager get cut so much slack by the press, he is never pressed, when he does, he cracks almost instantly. Perhaps its because Wenger is the portal to everything at Arsenal, so if you piss him off that is it for you.

    Sick of it, Wenger is busted, average manager now and Arsenal need change or the risk being left behind next season and then years of rebuilding.

  33. PieAFC

    Henry is a pussy.

    Legend of a footballer, but as vicky rightly says. He bottles everything Wenger. Sits on the fence like a little boy.

    He should be grabbing that by the scruff of the neck and just be honest.

    “i left the club because the club lacked ambition, Wenger was predictable….” – Why not that?

    I genuinely wonder, when Wenger leaves then suddenly so many ex pro’s will then say what they thought all along, once his power has been relinquished….

  34. Jeff


    You touched on a very valid point there. The Arsene supporters don’t actually realise the damage that’s being done. They think finishing fourth is the only thing that matters. The longer Wenger stays the more difficult it will be to bring Arsenal back to being a football club again. How long is it going to take to sell off players who are constantly injured or have no talent? And then, how long will it take to upgrade them all with viable alternatives? It’s the one thing that people who blindly support Wenger just don’t realise. We are digging ourselves a bigger and bigger hole the longer Wenger remains.

  35. vicky

    A lot of fans (mostly Wenger supporters ) attach a lot of weight to what our former players say about Wenger. It doesn’t help almost all of them sing his praise for they are wary of repercussions of criticizing Wenger. Alan Smith did not play under Wenger which probably explains why he can be so openly critical of Wenger. But the likes of Henry, Wright and Keown will keep regurgitating the same hackneyed trash.

  36. Highbury4ever

    4th spot after the last game ==>> selfies, tears of joy & champagne.

    will be very embarassing but hey, we get used to that!!

  37. Jeff

    One of the biggest problems we have is seniority in the club. Other than the owner himself, nobody can say anything to Wenger. Gazidis can’t/won’t do it. Chips certainly won’t do it. Who is going to ask him “Arsene, why has it gone wrong? Why did you think we didn’t need anybody in the summer?”. There is no such person. So it goes on. It’s a very unhealthy situation for any organisation when the person in charge is accountable to virtually no one.

  38. STV


    “Surely Leicester winning the league would be a far bigger achievement than the invincibles ? ”

    Said the same guy who thought a week ago they shouldn’t win the league because they are a long ball team!! How daft some people are!! lol

  39. STV

    Wenger says he worries about the top 4 now

    “We care about that and we worry about it as well because it’s a fight,”

    Those who care about that please raise your hands!!

  40. vicky


    Why do you mix up two different issues ?

    Leicester have employed long ball strategy in many games that they have played. And that doesn’t really sit well with me as I have always admired good quality passing game. And it indeed is an indictment on all the big teams and the league that a team with mostly ordinary players and a very old style is winning the league. Their style won’t be appreciated much in Europe when they play UCL unless they play quality football like they did today.

    But it is a remarkable achievement in the sense they have little resources and nobody would have expected them to even finish top 4 and yet they are so close to becoming Champion.

    What they have achieved is phenomenal but I don’t like the way they have achieved it. Please don’t mix the two just to have a go at me.

    Spurs deserve to win it more for they have been the best team this season and it will be a good advert for the league as well. But that’s just me.

  41. vicky

    Greece won the Euro in 2000 which was a phenomenal achievement for them but they played dour football and many criticized their style.

  42. STV

    Well it’s neither Vicky. Leicester is neither a long ball team and I am sure there are 100s of other examples to compare rather than with invincibles. Nevertheless my point is if you think a team shouldnt win league it’s laughable to compare them with greatest teams in pl But I know, you don’t particularly emphasise on logic or reason. So whatever

  43. Dissenter

    99% of neutrals will say that Leicester have played better football than us.
    Wenger is really an old fart whose stock in trade is making fools of a great club.

  44. shad


    Yeah, only Petit called Wenger on his BS and he was polite about it. Henry and Keown are all defensive because they keep angling for club perks and priviledges and hoping for some club role under Wenger, so they can’t bad mouth him despite seeing the far cry we are from glory. Hoping other journos and pundits can pick on Redknapp’s nonchalance. And for the love of God someone bury John Cross somewhere far, far away.