by .

Well, what an average week.

One bad decision snowballed into multiple.

The biggest problem this week was how we approached the Europa League. We went big, played a group that had been rinsed physically by the Leeds game, we didn’t win.

Then we headed into Sunday, we were forced to rest players, and our lack of depth couldn’t handle City’s quality.

We lost 1-0. That’s not bad against the best team in Europe, the problem was less about the result, it was more about the acceptance of a lesser defeat.

‘We didn’t get spanked as bad as we usually would have’ is a 2019 way to look at games. Yesterday, after going down in under 2 minutes again, we just seemed to land on the idea that losing by one goal would be acceptable.

That’s not cool.

We played our way back into the game after Sterling of all people headed in birthday boy Mahrez’s cross early on.

We were certainly asking questions of City, especially in the last 15 minutes. We were stretching their defence, we were pinning them back, we had some moments. The hope was that we might have a go in the second half.

We didn’t.

We played with fear. The whole game was predicated on caution. Odegaard rarely took a chance by turning into space. The Norwegian was not at the races, it was a timid showing from him, but again, maybe his fitness was running low after a few games in a row after very little before. Mo Elneny’s fear of vertical passing seemed to infect everyone’s confidence. Auba, clearly knackered, offered next to nothing going forward. His fake jumps for balls in the box were embarrassing. His body language was shocking at times. He offered nothing. Is it time to accept that he can’t handle three games in a week? Is it time to accept that in hardworking games like that, you need a different forward leading the line: Lacazette or Martinelli would have offered more.

Defensively, I kept on thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have ball players.’ Rob Holding was fairly decent, but he’s not really built to be spraying it around against City. Pablo Mari was supposed to be the artful of the two, he just kept passing it Holding. Hector Bellerin was deeply frustrating all day. His partnership with Pepe was horrendous, not helped by the wingers return to normal form. His first touch was horrible. His decision making wasn’t great. Then you had Tierney, not his best day out, but maybe City was too much to ask after 5 games out.

Let’s talk about Pepe. He’s just not the full ticket, is he? His runs were poor, his touch wasn’t great, his decision making was laughable… he looks like he should be a good player, I’m just not sure we’ll ever see it. I’d prefer to see Martinelli on the left and Saka coming in on the right

We also have to be very honest about this squad. It is very nothingy without Thomas Partey. You can’t expect to beat City with Mo Elneny playing next to Xhaka. It’s not the Egyptian’s fault, he’s a sound guy, no doubt, but he’s painfully limited in games that require accurate passing with an edge of boldness.

The Arteta system needs fast passing from the base and it needs someone leading the line that is fully fit. Auba couldn’t run the line, he hid from crosses, and he looked sad. Elneny is living the dream, he’s the African Carl Jenkinson, we need to move on from him.

We also need to find a strong narrative heading into the end of the season. At the moment, there’s nothing to hold onto as a fan. We’re 1 step forward, 2 back every other month. It’s exhausting. There’s progress, but it’s not wrapped in anything. Arteta keeps telling us what we already know. He needs to give us hope. He needs to show us he can give us a run or another trophy.

Ending Leicester City’s title run next week? Yes please.

Ending Jose Mourinho’s Spurs career? Double yes.

Winning the Europa League by putting Unai ‘Good Ebening’ Emery to the sword? Don’t say sexy things you don’t mean.

This season has been shit. Give us some f*cking joy. Put a run together.

Check out our On The Whistle Podcast. It’s with Matt and Johnny. It’s a good one. They are basically miserable af and I keep the positivity bubbling. I’m that guy now. Imagine?

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Tony

    Had to look it up to be sure:

    They have been a member of FIFA since 1923 and a member of CONMEBOL since 1916. Brazil is the most successful national team in the FIFA World Cup, being crowned winner five times: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002.

    The Spain national football team have won four trophies in FIFA and UEFA tournaments: one FIFA World Cup in 2010, and three UEFA European Championship in 1964, 2008 and 2012. In addition, it was runner-up in the UEFA European Championship in 1984 and in the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013.

    I remember Brazil 62 onwards as a kid watching a black and white TV you were fcuked if you did have 20/20 in those days.

    This was a decent movie of Pele’s life.

  2. Winthorpe


    We’ve been in Europe for 24 consecutive seasons. No other English club has. That’s part of our brand
    We’ve been winning cups. Part of our brand
    We have lots of international players from all over the world that’s part of our brand
    I agree, we need to be at the big table and we need to be playing arsenal style football again

    But we have a brand.

  3. Guns of SF

    we need to win, get back to CL and get back to our attacking DNA
    Entertaining football, great attacking and scoring
    We are like athletico madrid lite with Mike. or some other shit

  4. Winthorpe


    Spain were threatening to take over as early as 2004 with the emergence of players like Torres, Villa, Joaquin, Xavi, Casillas, Puyol, Pique, Ramos and iniesta

  5. Thorough

    I was a football prostitute all along. I tend to love the underdogs except I have a favorite. I remember supporting Manu against Bayern in that famous Champions League final where they scored 2 goals in 3 minutes to win the cup. I was elated. I loved random teams and random players, from Tomas Brolin of Parma to Paul Breitner of Bayern I think (they showed a lot of German football here those days). I loved Hagi, the Maradona of the Carpatjians, loved Rivaldo, Romario, even James Beattie the great British hope of those days.

    However, Kanu changed all of that and turned me into a proper fan. I just couldn’t support any other team once he joined Arsenal. He was our golden boy and the world was at his feet. I won’t be surprised half of Nigerian Arsenal fans also followed the Kanu train. The heart thingy totally punctured his career. Otherwise he would have been something else..

  6. Kegunner

    Gnashing of teeth amongst Arsenal fans has the effect that most players probably will want to leave the club. Big part of players form is fan support. Challenge of players leaving is that we may only get worse players who no longer care about the fans or the club.

    Big danger of a downward spiral here. Leadership needed from the owners. Hiring of visionary football men in the club to start getting more decisions right. Club needs to start taking more educated risks, not blind stabs in the dark.

  7. Tony

    They played ganja football.

    Make of that what you will. I thought thought the football was intoxicating.

    Their football was just Harlem Globe Trotters level and above at times, especially with those ridiculous Roberto Carlos free kicks.

    They had a production line of elite worldies in waiting back then.

    Martinelli looks to be the new breed with high potential. Let’s hope we see a few more.

  8. Thorough

    And of course I loved that Hector Cupers Valencia team. How that team didn’t win Champions League still shocks me till today..Canizares,Mendietta,Kily Gonzalez, Angulo… that was an underdog team I could watch all day longn

  9. kjelli

    All of Mancity back 4-5 are excellent ballplayers and passers of the ball, we have Mo and Xhaka
    and Mari kept making silly passes to no-one, or maybe there was an invisible man in our team !!
    If so I hope its a loan deal..

  10. Tony

    ‘Spain were threatening to take over as early as 2004 with the emergence of players like Torres, Villa, Joaquin, Xavi, Casillas, Puyol, Pique, Ramos and iniesta”

    Spain were a Euros team and a very good one, but they flattered to deceive on the world arena where it mattered with any consistency as the Brazilians did and have done. They were deserved winners against Holland in 2010 but they couldn’t handle the Germans and French after.

    Strange Winthorpe as with you being the lover of fast flowing and creative football ala Wenger’s best football (not a dig), I would have thought you would have been waxing lyrical about players from this list::

  11. Sid

    Spontaneity, quickness of thought, imagination is dying in football.
    Its now about endurance, physical capacity and at worst Diet Pep giving robotic instructions from the sidelines

  12. Winthorpe


    That Valencia team was great
    Loved the O’Leary Leeds team too. Especially Harry kewell and Viduka. Two quality players who should have been at the top for longer

  13. BlackStock

    “We’ve been in Europe for 24 consecutive seasons. No other English club has. That’s part of our brand”

    How many European trophies have we won during that time

  14. Thorough

    How could I forget? That Leeds team. Rio Ferdinand…

    Divine Sherlock.
    Absolutely. Aimar was their support striker and shared the playmaking role with Gazkia Mendietta. Carew was their main strike that I can remember but I think they had another.

    And Jeremy Angulo, I think, was minutes away from joining Wenger’s machine.

  15. Graham62

    Like most sports at the top level, football has evolved into a somewhat robotic performance of skills and structures that, in a lot of cases, are boring and predictable.

    Everything has to be perfect. The imperfections have gone, the pitches, only one ball!, the prematch warm ups, the songs, the instinctive banter……….Everything!

    I can even predict when two players are going to play 6 meaningless passes between themselves in midfield and then, as soon as the match is over, opta stats will say 645 passes were made, when in fact only 100 were meaningful.

    Gone are the days when players looked like they’d just got out of bed or been down the pub (which some of them had!) and a guy walking around pitch side shouting “Roasted peanuts!!” When I was a kid it sounded like “wasted peanuts”.

    Yep, football and sport in general has changed dramatically and, in many instances, not for the better.

  16. andy1886

    Kris, Juve may not have won too many European trophies recently but I expect that winning nine Serie A titles in a row has done quite a bit for the ‘brand’.

  17. andy1886

    Graham62 – we were talking about the peanut guy only the other day. Used to make his way around the North Bank.

    I agree with your sentiment though, it’s all very sterile and the shameless razamatazz feels so fake. It’s gone from a sport with huge tribal overtones on to ‘entertainment’ (another choice along with the theatre, cinema, day at the races etc.) and finally it’s become a ‘product’.

    Players aren’t really characters, they are primarily athletes that have mastered certains skills that they robotically perform on perfect pitches. Coaches have taken the joy out of the game, they’re moulded kids into mindless clones. It’s one of the reasons I like to watch Grealish play, looks like a real footballer not another predictable athlete with a ball.

  18. shaun

    what’s a bit concerning and we have heard this over and over again from Arteta is that he has told the team certain things he wants and the team appears to be ignoring his instructions is this a concern as the Arteta teams never seem to go at full throttle for me and some players just seem down right lazy like Auba and that’s not something he was really known for , just wondering about Arteta relationship with the players and if there is any inside info anyone has to share lol…………………

  19. Graham62


    You mean when basically only 4 clubs competed for top 4 and the number of top teams in Europe amounted to about ten.

    What Wenger did was an achievement, not disputing that, but it’s not something to shout out about based on where we were, what he had and the resources and infrastructure that was set in place.

    Just an opinion.

  20. Emiratesstroller

    China 1

    No-one can or should take for granted their status as the Premier Club in London, but the fact is that Arsenal are the most successful club in town going back a century.

    We have been in the top division of English Football continuously since the First World War,
    which not even Man Utd or Liverpool have managed. The club has also won more trophies
    than Chelsea and Spurs by a country mile and not just in one era.

    The fact that Kane plays for Spurs and the club has built the largest stadium in London may
    attract some support, but those facts alone are not going to elevate Spurs status. Kane has not managed on his own account to win a single trophy.

    Chelsea have been successful in the past 15 years primarily because of the money invested
    by Abramovich. The question you need to ask is will that continue particularly if Man City
    continue to outspend them?

    As I pointed out Arsenal is a “heritage” club and its performance level has always been up and down. That applies also to both Liverpool and Man Utd.

  21. Duzie

    Screw up this Thursday night – and he must leave. This has been a shameful experiment. We must all be careful not to accept these low standards as norm – especially the UK 🇬🇧 fans – whom are perceived to have the “strongest” voice (especially the financial voice).

  22. Globalgunner

    A clubs history means little in todays day and age. How are you going to sell history to a 7 year old in Tanzania, Tashkent or Thailand. What they want to follow is the team they saw last year lifting a big trophy, preferably the one with big ears. These are the future of the club. Get them hooked and hopefully they will stay hoked If we at least continue to strongly challenge for honours. In the 80s when I was a teen Everton, Aston Villa were duking it out with Liverpool to be top dog in England . Hell! Forest won 2 CL in a row once. Where is their international support now?. Only Liverpool are a visible force all due to being there or there abouts even in the years when they never won the EPL.
    Hardly anyone alive remembers the 1930s when we were the boss. I only wish Kroenke and his minions could see this. The club needs success to grow as a franchise. I simply cannot see the progress that is being touted in some places. Lets not delude ourselves.

  23. Jamie

    Anyone who thinks we’re losing global support to Spurs or Leicester hasn’t looked at the numbers.

    West Ham and Spurs can’t even fill their stadiums. Supporters on the Spurs season ticket ‘waiting list’ are being offered tickets when they’re number 40,000 on the alleged waiting list.

    We have roughly twice as much global support as Spurs, West Ham and Leicester combined.

  24. Swkmoon

    Thanks to Wenger”s legacy Arsenal will soon be entering the longest spell without winning the title since the formation of the club.

    How many European titles have Arsenal won in their entire history? 2.
    We’re not a European powerhouse in terms of titles won. However Wenger did turn us into a European powerhouse in terms of the quality and consistency of the football over a long period of time.
    To blame Wenger for us not winning a European trophy seems to be missing the point entirely.

  25. Nelson

    “s the Arteta teams never seem to go at full throttle for me and some players just seem down right lazy like Auba and that’s not something he was really known for”

    You are right. That’s why Arsenal is a cup team. Every league winner is very consistent and can go on a winning run. On the other hand, our players can only perform when they are in the mood. I am hoping that they could go at full throttle this Thursday.

  26. SpanishDave

    Quite right we cannot keep on living n the past and meanwhile getting lower and lower in the league.
    It’s not about wining the trophy each year but competing for the Premiership, which we hav’nt done recently.
    We also are not here for Arteta to experiment with so he can get experience and then piss off when it suits him. We should dump him now.
    When Pep goes he will be off that’s why the last game against Man City was just an exercise for him to show he can play the same sort of football, he wanted a close score just to try to prove himself.
    When the crowds return he will see what truly the fans think of him, he’s been very lucky playing crap football in front of empty stadiums.

  27. Uwot?

    For the umpteenth time👿 this is a rebuild job.It won’t & cannot be done in a season..Painful I know but realistic.If you dump Arteta this quick will have the same problem with rebuild with next manager.Revolving doors you definitely don’t want.Gets you knowwhere just ask a spud.& please,please don’t insult your own intelligence by saying they are above us 🤦‍♀️

  28. Graham62


    Arsenal won two European trophies prior to Wenger’s arrival.

    Wenger had 22 years to get it right. He had a talented group of players at his disposal, at different stages during his reign, but never got it quite right.

    The perceptions of some Arsenal fans are rather naive.

    We are not a European powerhouse.

  29. Emiratesstroller


    I repeat that Arsenal are one of a dozen clubs in Europe who fall into the category of “heritage” clubs ie their track record is not based on a single era and they attract national or global support irrespective of current performance.

    The 12 clubs who fall into that category are:
    Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletico Madrid, Bayern Munich,
    Ajax, Benefica, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal,

    These clubs are included for different reasons, but have all won at least 10 Domestic League

    Juventus are for example the standout team in Serie A, but are far less successful in Europe
    than AC Milan.

    Ajax are included, because of their European Success, but also because of their Academy
    programme, which has produced so many global stars

    Arsenal are included because they have won a lot of trophies in the top division of English
    Football, which is rated the most difficult League competitively.

    What I do know is that if Arsenal and Spurs are competing for a top class player and the
    money on offer is the same 9 out of 10 players will probably choose Arsenal. That would
    apply today even if Mourinho is the Manager at Spurs!

  30. Sid

    KroenkephobeFebruary 23, 2021 08:53:49
    SidMILFs are thin on the ground in my manor

    Improve the manors defensive solidity, have great communication and your project will be brewing with sauce

  31. Graham62


    Don’t worry, we get it.

    The thing is Uwot, based on what you see and feel, do you think that Arteta has grossly underachieved this season?

    Simple question.

    By the way I don’t give a shite about Spuds or any other club for that matter( except my local club BHA), I only want what’s best for Arsenal.

  32. Nelson

    Premier League is the most popular league here in North America. Winning the league is the biggest draw for new football fans. There is no home team for them.

  33. Graham62


    Interesting you highlight Ajax.

    A massive massive club, that many Arsenal fans have little knowledge of.

    The name of Ajax straight away brings to mind “European Powerhouse”.

    Ajax FC exudes quality and success.

  34. andy1886

    “To blame Wenger for us not winning a European trophy seems to be missing the point entirely.”

    Really? If not the guy who had twenty plus opportunities and some of the best players ever to grace the short to work with then who exactly was responsible?

    Granted the CL is a tough nut to crack but smaller teams with poorer players have done it. If you want to dial down expectations even further how about losing to Galatasaray in 2000 in the UEFA Cup final, a team with a fraction of our resources and players that might struggle to get on our bench at the time?

    And the comparison with previous eras is also bogus, only actual champions made the competition at all, Arsene has far more opportunities as a result of letting up to four from the PL qualify.

  35. Pierre

    “Like most sports at the top level, football has evolved into a somewhat robotic performance of skills and structures that, in a lot of cases, are boring and predictable.”

    “Players aren’t really characters, they are primarily athletes that have mastered certains skills that they robotically perform on perfect pitches. Coaches have taken the joy out of the game, . It’s one of the reasons I like to watch Grealish play, looks like a real footballer not another predictable athlete with a ball.”

    We used to have 3 or 4 Grealishes in the Arsenal team not so long ago
    Players who played football off the cuff , one and 2 touch football with technical excellence…
    We had a manager who embraced skill and technique and regarded football as an art.

    And now we have le grove whinging about football being robotic and boring and too athletic….. you couldn’t make it up..

    Ozil, Cazorla, Wilshere, Diaby, Hleb, Fabregas, Rosicki, Ramsey, Ox, Walcott Sanchez, RVP ….to name but few .

    The only players we have in the side who are fit to lace those players boots are Saka and Smith Rowe …yes, academy players brought up playing football the Arsenal way..

  36. Sean M

    Peter Wood. Please could you break it down and explain to us. What exciting progress is going on at Arsenal? What have you seen on a CONSISTENT basis/ over a prolonged period of time since this manager took over, that makes you believe we will be in a better place in 6 months/ 1 year? emphasis on the word consistent. We are mid table, more losses than wins. Broken numerous embarrassing records. Please enlighten me

    He makes shit decisions. First red flag was when he sold Emi Martinez. Easily a 40m player now. If this so called process is based on merit. Why did we let him go?? So many other decisions I can go into.

  37. andy1886

    No need to be a bitch Pierre, no-one was complaining about Santi when Arsene was here, they were too busy complaining with justification that he couldn’t organise an effective defense, didn’t know what a DM was, and thought that Almunia was world class.

    If anything he wasted their talents by not building a base for them to work from.

  38. Sid

    ‘Players who played football off the cuff , one and 2 touch football with technical excellence…
    We had a manager who embraced skill and technique and regarded football as an art.’

    Does that include Mustafinovs, park chu, Xhakalson, andre santos, Elneny?

  39. Tom

    Winning titles on the biggest stage and having top players in your ranks is what attracts new fans to supporting a club.
    My son was a high school standout and now plays college ball, and is the only Arsenal fan amongst roughly 30-40 of his peers.
    Same with his cousin who grew up in a different school district and went to a different college.
    Chelsea, United and City are easily the most followed clubs amongst their friends.

    A friend of mine brings his very talented fifteen year old to a weekly pick up game and he’s a Villa supporter because of Grealish.

  40. Jamie

    That’s how you know Wenger was a fuckwit in the end – he prioritised the pursuit of art over the pursuit of winning. Even more ridiculous is thinking Kim, Chamakh, Squillaci, Gervinho met the criteria for technique and one-touch football.

    Late stage Wenger built squad after squad that was soft as shit with no defensive instructions. It’s no wonder he was slapped out of the CL in the knockouts for 6 years on the bounce before he started failing to make the groups entirely.

    Eulogising Wilshere, Diaby, and Ox as if any of them offered anything really is funny though. That’s the curse of the AKB – cherry picking 5 performances over 10 years to highlight a player’s alleged talent and using hypotheticals like “if he wasn’t injured all the time, he’d be elite.” Except he was, and he isn’t.

  41. Goobergooner

    Jamie lol.

    Kim kalstrom sticks out for me as one of the weirdest signings we could have made. Had a broken back and then recovered and made barely any appearances anyway. Can’t get over that one amongst a lot of others that make me laugh when reminded of them.

    Pierre thinks everyone hated Wengerball. It was loved by pretty much everyone, it’s the fact that he just couldn’t maintain his winning ways and his squads kept getting weaker and weaker.

    Even Pierre said that if we had a manager half Arteta (in terms of defence) and half Wenger we’d be a formidable side.

  42. Anonymous Commentator

    I really don’t believe that this squad, even with the players out on loan who shouldn’t have been loaned out, is worth 11 losses at this point of the season and is 10th on the table.
    What’s the math? Arteta has to win his next 7 and draw 2 games to match Wenger’s worst record. Can’t see it happening.

  43. The BFB

    Leicester’s excellent business in the transfer market is well documented. Here’s more food for thought. 1.8 million, 2.7 million and 5 million. These insignificant sums are what Brentford paid for Ollie Watkins, Said Benrahma and Ivan Toney respectively. Compare that with the ridiculous amounts Arsenal waste on mediocrity. Pepe’s fee, for instance, was about 25 times bigger than Benrahma’s but I believe the latter has more to offer. As for Watkins, why weren’t we interested in the self-confessed Gooner when he is younger, braver, more mobile and a better header of the ball than both Lacazette and Aubameyang, who are both in decline. If Leicester and Brentford can do it why can’t Arsenal, whose recruitment policy has been dire for at least a decade.

  44. Pierre

    “Does that include Mustafinovs, park chu, Xhakalson, andre santos, Elneny?”

    Wenger should have stuck to his footballing principles, there is no substitute for Technique and football intelligence …

  45. Pierre

    The BFB
    “. Pepe’s fee, for instance, was about 25 times bigger than Benrahma’s but I believe the latter has more to offer”

    Benrahma in the right set up could be outstanding..not sure west ham and Moyes are the right place for him, i suppose you could also say that Arsenal and Arteta are not the right place .

    Our recruitment has been very poor for a good 5 years now….

  46. Cheney10

    I think one of Wenger’s biggest faults was his inability to accept that coaching alone was not enough to challenge anymore. Towards the middle of his tenure new super rich clubs came to the table and would pay top money for top players. We persisted with the self-sustaining model but didn’t have the commercials like Man United to carry us. Wenger pinned all his hopes on FFP to level the playing field and this never happened.

  47. Graham62


    Jesus, you’ve got a chip on that shoulder of yours.

    Wasn’t highlighting anything Arsenal related, just football in general,

    I think there’s only one real obsessive on here.

  48. Cheney10

    Pierre ‘Our recruitment has been very poor for a good 5 years now….’

    Exactly! Once we realised FFP wasn’t coming to the rescue we panicked, tried to play catch up and made horrific mistakes. We weakened the squad and depleted our resources in the same instance, as we didn’t have the executive structure after years of relying on Wenger to move like modern football clubs do.

  49. Graham62


    Minimalistic spending on certain players after 2006 would have given us far greater success. Chris Samba, Gary Cahill, Mark Schwarzer come to mind.

    On top of this Wenger never acted on the visible frailties which ultimately led to our top players leaving. Every Arsenal fan knows this to be true.

    No one can convince me otherwise.

  50. Pierre

    “Pierre thinks everyone hated Wengerball. It was loved by pretty much everyone, it’s the fact that he just couldn’t maintain his winning ways and his squads kept getting weaker and weaker.”

    I must have dreamt the daily abuse of Wenger on Le Grove .
    And now, apparently wenger was loved by everyone..

    I have news for you ….he wasn’t.

    Anyway, my point was that the wenger obsessives spent years whinging about Wenger and his football and now they are forever whinging about our boring insipid football that lacks creativty.

    In fact it’s become “robotic and predictable”

  51. Cheney10

    Graham: I would put Mata on that list too but why didn’t we buy them? If you believe the reports it was due to not wanting to pay the fee or haggling on the fee. We failed to move with the times and I think all Arsenal fans know that we didn’t have the executive structure in place to modernise our/Wenger’s approach, hence, the inability to remedy the issue we had. Losing DD also points to this being an issue.

  52. Graham62

    5 years!!!!

    You’re kidding?

    Arsenal’s recruitment has been questionable for at least 12 years.

    FFP is a cop out. Another excuse given by those fans who only opened their eyes when it was far too late.

    It’s amazing that some still feel that things only went pear shape after 2015.


  53. Tom

    This is random but I had Arsenal sixth and Tottenham fifth in the table at season’s end so I wasn’t totally wrong except for four places too high as of now.
    Mourinho throwing players under the bus is nothing new but he’s way ahead of schedule there.
    Nagelsmann to replace him?
    That would put a lot of pressure on Arteta and his wardrobe choices.
    Maybe add another monochromatic layer with some extra zippers and buttons.
    He wouldn’t want to be upstaged by a bisexual German hipster in a future NLD.

  54. Cheney10

    Graham: FFP wasn’t a copout it was something Wenger wholeheartedly believed in and if you look on Google there are numerous articles where he lauds it as a way of evening up the playing field.

    Things certainly started going wrong but whether that was 5, 10 or 12 years ago doesn’t seem relevant to today other than what went wrong historically is being keenly felt today.

  55. Graham62


    There are no excuses.

    This is all down to a blind stubbornness to not act on the obvious.

    Nothing to do with not having the appropriate “executive structure” in place.

  56. Pierre

    The problem is , Wenger made open expansive football look far too easy and the fools who turned on him have now discovered that it is anything but easy.

    Over the years , his defensive record was never as poor as the media portrayed.

    I suppose it’s a case of if you say something often enough the gullible fools will jump on the band wagon, and there are enough of those on here.

  57. NORG

    Graham62 -a dire 2005 cup final win showed the mark we had reached. After that it was a handful of players that proved they had desire. Cesc was the standout player – he dictated Flamini, Hled & Rosicsky (when fit) to how he wanted the game played. After that Sanchez proved he was a winner but the club would not meet his expectations. Interestingly one of the teammates he admired the most – Ozil. He hated Ramsey.

  58. Cheney10

    Graham: I have to disagree. All the best organisations have a clear executive structure where leadership is distributed. Wenger on his own was overwhelmed by the changing market that didn’t reconcile with his own values. Look at City, how did they build? Yes money but they also used that money to create an amazing back room and executive structure that supports the manager. The appointment of Tixi as an example. Look at Leicester that isn’t all BR it’s a whole team of people. We are now trying to build that type of structure but I’m still not sure we have the right people.

  59. Graham62


    If Wenger had left the club in 2009, he would have had my utmost respect.

    The problem was, he didn’t.

    As I’ve highlighted countless times on here, Wenger’s reign fell into two different periods. It was the second period that tarnished his legacy.

    No one can convince me otherwise..

  60. Graham62


    I beg to differ.

    Wenger knew that things were changing and passing him by, but he still refused to act. Are you telling me he was unaware of our lacklustre owners and their inability to have a feel/passion for the club

    Excuse, after excuse, after excuse…………….

    That’s why Arsenal are where they are.

  61. Graham62

    For me, as a long standing Arsenal fan, the greatest day in the clubs recent history was the day Wenger left the club.

    Amazing but true,

  62. Pierre

    “If Wenger had left the club in 2009, he would have had my utmost respect.”

    No he wouldn’t , because he would have lost the fans respect for leaving the club whilst having to compete against the financial power of city and Chelsea.

    Which top manager would have wanted to manage Arsenal with nothing to spend whilst city and chelsea are spending a billion each ….

    The club would have nosedived as we have the previous 2/3 seasons

  63. Cheney10

    Graham: Read the articles. Wenger was against the big spending and the way finances were dominating the ‘beautiful’ game. He wanted to do it a different way and committed wholeheartedly to that approach. That approach got us top four for years but did see us regress, which is undisputed.
    Dien was a big part of Wenger’s success and once he left Wenger didn’t have the structure around him nor did the leadership of the club adequately plan for his departure.

    We are where we are, not just because Wenger went on too long, which I agree he did but because, in no small part, the wider leadership failed.

  64. Tom

    Ozil was our most talented player till the day he left.
    Interestingly we replaced our top earner who absolutely hated physical contact with another with a similar affliction.
    Can’t remember last time Auba put in a tackle or fought tooth and nail for a 50/50 ball.

    Coincidentally, Pedro claimed Arteta knows City players better than anyone and this should come in handy when devising a plan against them……’s my scouting report on Mahrez:
    get in his face early and often, don’t back up into your own penalty area , and if he beats you, make sure it’s on his right foot.
    How did our Tierney do ?

  65. Jamie

    “Which top manager would have wanted to manage Arsenal with nothing to spend whilst city and chelsea are spending a billion each ….”

    In 2010, Arsenal had cash reserves of £130m – the highest of all EPL clubs.

    Who did Wenger buy that summer? Squillaci, Chamakh, Kos, and Wellington Silva. Net spend £13m.

  66. Nelson

    That’s the problem with Arsenal fans. They are still dreaming about the past glory. I want the current team to perform better. I want to be entertained. If something happens to Saka and we lose this Thursday’s game, I am sure that Arteta will lose a lot of fan support.

  67. Na me ooo

    Am I the only one who often questions when Guardiola compliments his counterparts. It just never seem genuine. He claimed that Arteta is a coach that knows it all or something along that line. Knowing full well he has the beating of the guy.

    I expect him to stand in front of the mirror when he gets home, bursting out in a Dracula like laughter, laughing at everyone’s expense.

  68. Tom

    Na me ooo
    Of course it’s all bs.
    Last time a manager spoke how they truly felt about another was probably Wenger ripping into Pulis and his methods.
    Now it’s all disingenuous platitudes and backslapping.

  69. Goobergooner

    Haha Tom,

    Don’t get me wrong. I agree Ozil was our ‘most talented’. But due to a lot of factors such as his world cup fallout with Germany, the pay cut fiasco, asking him to change his game at 30 to press and do off the ball shit, his heart wasn’t in it.

    So despite his talent, he wasn’t even close to our best player the last few seasons. The stats also show that sharp decline once he got comfortable on that massive new contract.

  70. Na me ooo

    People still crying about Wenger in 2021. Leave the guy alone.

    Did Wenger pay 70million for Pepe then dont find the right position orplace for him in the team ? ,Let Martinez arguably the best keeper in the league leave to join Aston Villa. Replaced by a decent but not great Leno ? Did he sign William or Luiz ? Did he play without an attacking midfielder for the first part of the season ?

    Oh he didn’t ? Stop the deflection please.

  71. The Bard

    Tom you’re right but talent without application is a waste of time. He reminded me of George Eastham in days gone by but for some reason he just lost his love of competing. Its arguable whether losses really hurt if you’re earning north of £300000 a week. A sad end to a decent career.

  72. Graham62



    You genuinely believe that if Wenger had left the club in 2009, “he would have lost the fans respect”

    Unfriggingbelievable x2.

    So what you’re saying is that all the great things he had done would have gone to waste.

    Pretty two faced don’t you think?

    At least he would have left the club with his head held high.

    The reality was slightly different.

  73. Graham62

    Pierre and a few others genuinely feel that all Arsenal fans feel the way they do.

    In 2009, if Wenger had decided to leave, I’d say at least 50% of the fan base would have respected his decision.

  74. Tom

    The Pep Arteta relationship has worked in Guardiola’s favor in their head to head match ups.
    Pep instructs his players to take advantage of every Arsenal weakness, while Arteta handcuffs his players and makes them shit their pants even before the ball is kicked.

    When have you ever seen Stones lay out a striker like he did Auba at the corner flag?
    Never. He’s an elegant defender not known for physicality.

    Did any Arsenal player even touched Mahrez once with any upper body part over the 90 minutes?
    Of course not.
    Give Mahrez the treatment Pepe gets in most games and he disappears too.

    Mourinho waxed lyrical over Ozil’s attributes before every game but then instructed Ivanovic to take his head off in opening minutes and that was Ozil done for the rest of the match.

  75. Bertie Mee

    Sylvain Wilford once appeared ( quite high) in a list of all time great Arsenal players . He was decent but nowhere near some players who had played in the past .
    Similarly Brazil 1982 might have seemed brilliant but Brazil 1970 was way superior …and they did win it . Rivelinho, Jairzinho Tostao, Gerso, Carlos Alberto and Pele were sensational .
    In a few weeks time Arsenal will celebrate 50 years since its first Double . Those men played sixty plus games against very good sides on shit pitches with referees allowing players to kick them up in the air and won two trophies .
    Pepe , Bellerin , Xhaka , Aubameyang and of course Willian need some of the stuff that the 1971 side had…. they were proper legends and had a spirit some of this current team haven’t got an inkling of . It’s about having bollocks and our current side ( with some exceptions like Saka, ESR and Tierney) haven’t got enough


  76. andy1886

    “I suppose it’s a case of if you say something often enough the gullible fools will jump on the band wagon”

    And there was me thinking that this was YOUR modis operandi Pierre! You’re projecting again.

  77. China1

    Winthorpe sorry but outside of Europe I honestly doubt playing EL football these last few years has won us many new supporters. Kids don’t know or care about what we did way back when. We’re neither in the CL nor playing pretty football, the two things which defined our brand in previous years. We don’t buy cheap and sell high or put all our faith in youth like we did in years gone by to create a brand different from other big clubs. We literally don’t have any special selling point right now outside of being good in the FA cup which even tho I honestly love it is sadly a second rate competition and everyone knows it

    I don’t take any pleasure in saying this but the next batch of young African, Asian or American kiddos coming through will not give a toss about arsenal unless things improve significantly. Even in England I’m not sure why a kid from Bristol (such as me) would fall in love with arsenal right now. Unless you’re from north London or your parents are fans, there’s no particular selling point. I absolutely pray that changes shariah before it does lasting damage to us

  78. andy1886

    “Am I the only one who often questions when Guardiola compliments his counterparts.”

    Nope, as I pointed out recently he called Fat Sam a ‘Genius’ so I wouldn’t rush to use any praise he may heap on MA as supporting evidence to his being ‘generational’.

  79. The Godfather

    I’m sorry but the Pepe deal has to be one of the greatest frauds in football history. Raul committed grand larceny and should have been prosecuted.
    People keep blaming the Kroenke’s but take a look at how much money They’ve been conned to throw down a bridge to nowhere.


    Just to name a few …. just a poor bloody waste of resources

  80. Dissenter

    Wenger was saving all his pennies for when FFP would kick in and level; the playing field.
    Same time Chelsea were operating a farm system where they bought good young players for 5 million, loaned them out and sold them in 2-3 years for 10 million.

    We cumulated cash for a long time and refused to invest in footballing assets only for the likes of Raul and Mislintat to come in and blow away all the saving on mediocre players.

  81. Zacharse

    Ive come around to the view that artetas weakness is team selection though i do appreciate his stance on not ruining our youngsters careers by trying to save his own skin like wenger

  82. Tom

    This might be Fat Sam’s last PL gig.
    I came across some stats saying his WB numbers are weaker than Bilic’s.
    I guess even a genius couldn’t saved them this time.

  83. AFC Forever


    “Chelsea operating a farm system”

    When Abramovich bought Chelsea he invested just over £1.2bn of the money he stole from his Country’s people into Chelsea. This financial doping was the start of the transfer of power in the game. Fordstam is still sitting there with a billion-pound loan to Chelsea that will probably never be paid. They ruled the roost until Sheik Mansour, a member of the Dubai Royal Family, rocked up and bought Man City. A billion quid later
    and no surprise now they are also winning trophies. Interestingly, both these clubs have been ‘fined’ or had transfer bans imposed for breaking the rules. Chelsea also got caught deviously manipulating the loan system in an attempt to ‘farm’ players or cheat by stockpiling the best talent so other teams couldn’t have them. Prior to that football was in the hands of the biggest and richest club in the world, Manchester United, with the ‘benefits’ that came with their power. The difference however was that the huge financial advantage Man Utd had enjoyed for years was self-generated money. Meanwhile, Arsenal ended up with stadium debt they had to finance themselves, lack of investment allied with poor transfer dealings which have left us where we are today. What was it Mourinho said in the documentary?

    Personally, the biggest mistake Arsenal ever made was getting rid of David Dein. That was and shall remain a catastrophic, seismic fuck up. Dein knew we needed serious investment because the board was holding us back. Usmanov was waiting, he had the money. In fact, he made it clear he did not agree with the club’s lack of ambition and financial model in a letter which he sent to the Arsenal board in 2012 after the sale of RVP, claiming the politics of the board was preventing us from winning trophies by not backing the manager. If only.

  84. Dissenter

    This David Dein exit that people talk about is a bit overblown
    David Dein got bored and wanted to become king maker about who controlled the club. He brought in Kroenke ands was pushed aside, then shifted to Usmanov and then lost out again.

    I think it’s the slow creeping process of the Kroenke’s taking over that also contributed in the stasis.
    That drip, drip approach of slowly buying up shares and not having full control until two seasons ago was detrimental to the club.

    We had two competing billionaires trying to neuter the other out for a long time.

  85. Zacharse

    And now everton and westham can match funds. Everton new stadium received approval yesterday…
    Imo americanization of everything. How long til promotion/relegation gets scrapped?

  86. Valentin


    When Bilic was sacked, they were not in the relegation position. Fat Sam arrived, confidently stated that he had never been relegated and then conspired to lose the first five games he is charge to really drop them in the relegation places. He has been unable to turn it around since.
    Fat Sam was a big proponent of Brexit. The problem is that one consequence of Brexit was the change in working permit for European players.
    Before he was able to buy in bulk European journeymen on the cheap sprinkled with a few past it former glories. With the new rules, he was barred from most of his European targets and priced out of Championship top players.
    The irony of having Fat Sam, complaining of Brexit in one of his first press conference was not lost on me. Schadenfreude anyone?

  87. Jamie

    Gotta love Wenger apologists crying about financial doping like he and Arsenal weren’t direct benefactors of being in London and charging the highest season ticket prices in world football for the best part of a decade.

    But it’s totally Roman’s fault Wenger couldn’t compete. You can tell because Leicester couldn’t compete either, and ignore the fact that their cash intake was dwarfed by Arsenal’s.

  88. Valentin


    Losing David Dein WAS the last straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Without him, we had nobody in upper management or board who had a clue about football management. Wenger was burden with the do-everything-at-the club role to compensate that vacuum. That lead to lower performance on and off the pitch.

    After David Dein, we had Gazidis, Raul, Vinay, Edu as upper management.

    Gazidis, Pedro’s buddy was a snake oil salesman who had no idea what soccer was. Plus he had no interest in Arsenal that he saw as a stepping stone to further his career.

    Vinay, is a commercial guy middle management guy who has been over promoted to the top job and is hoping that nobody has noticed he is out of his depth.

    Raul, for libel reason I can’t say what I think and know of that man.

    Edu is a nice guy, but is learning both the position Director of Football and the league EPL. Looks like he may swim after all, but the real acid test question will be when the big decision regarding Arteta will need to be taken. And it will have to be taken, because it is clear, top 8 and a good cup run is his ceiling.

  89. TheBayingMob

    I’m surprised Wenger is still debated so much, what’s his legacy really? What did he change in football? Barely anything of note. When we think of Chapman he was clearly revolutionary, his legacy is still felt today at Arsenal club and in football in general

    He instituted tactical innovations and a strict training regime and use physios and masseurs. He was taking Northampton on European tours (in 1909!!) and proposed a European wide club competition 20 years before the European Cup was started. He was one the first managers to sign a black professional to the game (Walter Tull in 1911). He was an early advocate of floodlights and had them installed on the West Stand in 1932 (even tho they weren’t used for anything other than training until 1950). He advocated white footballs and numbered shirts as well as adding hoops to Arsenal’s socks, he also added the white sleeves to what was previously an all red shirt. The tradition of both teams walking out together at the FA Cup final was started by Chapman in 1930 as Arsenal played Huddersfield and he had managed them both. Didn’t he also have Gillespie Road tube renamed to Arsenal?

    True legacy and things that are felt within the game world wide to this day.

    Wenger added to the club history, for sure; the 2004 season being most notable, but apart from that he has no legacy in the game. I don’t think getting Tony Adams and Ray Parlour off the booze and getting them to eat a bit of broccoli while poaching from the untapped French market of talent was anything specifically clever.

  90. Dissenter

    David Dein was pushed out because he bot more than he could chew.
    He was playing kingmaker and lost out in the middle of competing bids from two rough tackling billionaires. . He picked the wrong side and lost out in the board room.

  91. Graham62


    The reason Wenger is still debated on here is that he ruled the roost for 22 years.

    By any stretch of the imagination, that’s a great deal of time in our clubs history.

    I was 34 when he arrived in 1996 and 56 when he left. Kids who grew up in the nineties are now in their thirties.

    All of us have been influenced by Wenger.

    Young and old.

  92. Winthorpe

    Graham62February 23, 2021 16:41:08
    JamieThat’s the problem with so many Arsenal supporters.Excuses, excuses, excuses.Total denial.

    With such lofty standards I can only assumed you’ve reached the pinnacle of excellence in both your professional and personal life. You must be minted

  93. andy1886

    Actually Danny Fiszman was the instigator in having Dein kicked off the board and was the guy who sold out to Kroenke (after originally objecting to Dein approaching the American) and therefore making him majority shareholder. As you all know Fiszman was terminally ill by the time he completed the sale of his shareholding, that said Arsenal’s custodians traditionally passed shares down in the family rather than sell up so it’s a shame . As for Lady Nina she was also kicked off the board a couple of months after Dein and sold her shares in 2011 at the same time as Fiszman sold the last of his to Kroenke. It would have been clear that the writing was on the wall for minority shareholders by that point.

  94. Winthorpe

    But it’s totally Roman’s fault Wenger couldn’t compete. You can tell because Leicester couldn’t compete either, and ignore the fact that their cash intake was dwarfed by Arsenal’s.

    One fatal flaw in your argument
    Arsenal did compete after abramovic came in.
    1 title
    Runners up twice
    4 fa cups and 2 European finals

  95. Graham62


    What are you on about?

    What has my personal life got to do with me pointing out that so many Arsenal fans promote excuses to justify things?

    Please explain.

  96. Winthorpe


    Well you hold others to such high standards. I assumed that win at all costs approach you project onto arsenal could only be a by-product of the high standards you hold yourself to.

  97. Winthorpe

    BlackStockFebruary 23, 2021 17:22:49
    Arsenal finishing second to Champions Leicester is embarrassing because coming second flattered us.

    That’s not what the history books show son

  98. Jamie

    “One fatal flaw in your argument”

    No fatal flaws in my argument. Roman did not prevent Wenger from competing, Wenger did that on his own.

    Birmingham, Swansea and Wigan also won cups after Roman’s arrival.

  99. Na me ooo

    Hey Dissenter

    You ever heard the phrase life often isn’t black and white. What kind of self respecting ex-champion doesn’t want to go right back on top ? You think Deontay Wilder is asking for a rematch from Fury because its cute ?

    I dont know why Wenger didn’t buy players when he should have, but it certainly wasn’t because he didn’t want to go right back on top.

  100. Moray

    Wenger didn’t change football in any real way, but he certainly gave us a few years of joy at Arsenal where we stood toe to toe with the financial clout and bullying of Ferguson’s Man Utd and held off a nostalgic Liverpool.

    I say that as one of his greatest critics well over a decade before he actually left the club.

    Anyone who lived through those years of great football should be thankful for Wenger. Even though ultimately he wasn’t a great “winner”.