So much has been said about the atmosphere inside the Emirates this week. I don’t blog much nowadays, only when I feel the need to say something in more than 140 characters.
I was at the game against Chelsea on Tuesday, which is unusual as I don’t attend many night matches even though I am season ticket holder, but my seats are always used as I let family or friends have them. My two season tickets are for my Son & I and with my Son being 12 years old, I am not going to have him getting home at 11/11.30pm when he has school the next day. Therefore I only take him to night matches when it’s school holidays. I could go on my own I suppose, but most of our night games are live on TV, so I stay at home with my Son and watch on TV, then he can go straight to bed.
The Chelsea match was is not included as part of a season ticket, so I got three upper tier tickets in block 115 and took both my Son & Daughter below
This photo was taken around 7pm just after we got into the stadium and there were plenty of empty seats at that stage. In fact there were plenty of empty seats around us fifteen minutes after kick off, I thought I had used the wrong aftershave. I was aware that there were on-going troubles on transport after the weather of the previous day, I had issue on my line yet I left home early and managed to travel from Harlow-Tottenham Hale-Finsbury Park-Holloway Road. Went into Piebury Corner, then into Costa’s in Holloway Road and then into ground just before 7pm.
A whole row of people, say about 12/13 seats in front of us turned up at least twenty minutes late, supporters were coming in so late, I was wondering if many thought it was an 8pm kick-off. I sat in block 115, upper tier, which was one block from the 9000 Chelsea supporters sat in both lower & upper tiers to my left. Many supporters left early as well therefore watching about 60 minutes of the match.
Some Arsenal supporters made plans to buy tickets in block 19 so as they could get the atmosphere going at the match. From above I could not hear them. This is no slant on them more that the 9000 Chelsea supporters were making a racket you could not hear Block 19 from my seat. Obviously there was a certain amount of ribbing from the Chelsea supporters, mainly “Eight years and you’ve won fuck all” & “Can we sing a song a song for you” No more than you would expect. I’ve been to many, many away games following Arsenal over the years and it’s no more than we Arsenal supporters do. Give it out, take it back. But as usual I understand some of the classless mob from Stamford Bridge went to far. Always a few who no doubt spoil it for many of the Chelsea fans who are trying to have good-natured banter
As I had the dustbins with me, I had to keep the industrial language down, so it’s hard to give it back. However at one stage when they were singing “Can we sing a song for you, I stood and shouted “No thanks’, you’ve only got two songs and we shit bored with them already” A few around me laughed, My Daughter said daddy, you said the “S” word, but in the main I felt I was being looked at like, shut up and sit down mate. My Daughter keep shouting out “Come on Arsenal” and singing with my Son & I on the few occasions the home crowd got vocal. Yet again rather than join in, many of those around us would just turn and look us, smiling, yet not getting involved. Seriously this is football, not the cinema or the theatre.
Now I have been in the Emirates at times the crowd has got going big time and if there is a louder ground in the country I have not heard it, so it can be done. Yet the other night it was flatter than a pancake, save the Chelsea supporters and to be fair, you’d expect 9000 away supporters massed together to be loud.
Then you hear of stewards causing problems for the home support in Block 19 at the Chelsea match, which I have read about and you can read about Here – Sit down and Shut up. It’s a concern how the club actually feels about the Emirates having a great atmosphere and right now their seems to be no logic as to why the club and supporters groups/supporters cannot find some common ground to improve the atmosphere. The bottom line is surely a loud atmosphere from the supporters is beneficial to all involved with the club. There is nothing to gain from silence inside a football stadium, any football stadium. The supporters seem up for it. It is obvious the club targeting the home fans and in case turfing them out or even taking away season tickets. All a bit crazy for standing when action or chanting requires it. Against Norwich I sat in the lower tier clock end and every time we attacked people stood up, I have never done so many squats in 90 minutes.
I have been going to Arsenal over fifty odd years, I have a loud mouth and for many of my early years I had no problem standing on the North Bank, Clock End, away ends, arriving on train at stations on away days and starting singing off, yet the past does play tricks. It wasn’t always a great atmosphere inside Highbury either, just like the football wasn’t always great. some matches just passed on by, but in many other matches the fact that supporters could mass together by paying on the gate and finding their own spaces on the terraces meant mates could congregate together and it made it easy to get the atmosphere going.
I remember back in 1994 when 25000 travelled to Copenhagen for the Cup Winner Cup Final, the supporters were amazing, helped by the Arsenal announcer getting the microphone and helping whip the crowd up, also it was our first Euro final for fourteen years. Yet the following year the same amount of Arsenal supporters went to Paris and were out sung by the Real Zaragoza supporters, it was almost a case of after the Lord mayor’s show.
Many of todays supporters are split up, I know this as mates and myself who used to go together are split because the club made/make it hard to get seats together. The cost has also not helped. Today we all know football is expensive, yet there does always seem that 60000 people who buy tickets to go to the Emirates, even having won nothing for eight years. Alright the ground might not look full, maybe 50/55k at some matches, but as far as the club are concerned the seats that were not used, were paid for. Whether that is season ticket holders not attending or those that brought tickets weeks or months in advance not attending I’m not sure.
There is also the influx of what is called “the football tourist”, not just at Arsenal I might add. People who go to football grounds from all over the world fascinated by Premiership football and who are linked to certain clubs like Arsenal, but I’m not sure really get what football support is like in this country. It may seem strange to some, but supporting your club from birth is in the blood. Following your team hurts and well as taking you to the highest highs. Many of us have grown up with our team in the blood for decades and generations of family supporting our clubs. After our families this is the most important thing there is, I suppose you could say Arsenal is our extended family. We’ve been doing it longer that since Sky Sports seem to think they invented football and the Premier league started.
This is not about knocking these supporters from all over the world, who in their own way have to get up at all times in the night or up early to watch the games on TV, showing their loyalty in other ways. Maybe even saving up for what would be the costs of a season ticket at the Emirates to fly over, book hotels to watch just one game to get that feeling of being at a Football match of whoever the support. All support has to start somewhere and football has gone truly global.
I feel, like many others do there needs to be much more done by those who run football, this being our clubs, the football authorities, even the Government, who may need to (No!! In fact – MUST) changes laws to get cheaper – safe standing areas back at football and get the atmosphere back into our stadiums. Surely even the TV companies must think it better if the matches they are covering the support comes across loudly. Stop giving crazy contracts out to players with huge sums of money. Make the players & their agents feel that a 15% cut in the salary will be helping those supporters who pay their huge salaries but reducing the cost of tickets for those very supporters. I say even with 15% reduction they will still be earning (example) £85k instead of £100k a week. Is that really going to hurt the players? Reduce the cost of transfer fee’s as well.
Having said all this, I do feel that the supporters themselves who attend match days, can do more. Arsenal have a singing section in the ground. I feel that this section should be doing more to create an atmosphere. I attend many matches at the Emirates and am normally in my seat at least 30 minutess before kick-off latest. Yet never is the singing section anywhere near full 10/15 minutes before a match starts. Why is this? Why are these people who have specifically brought tickets for that area not in their seats getting the atmosphere going? I see the players warming up on the pitch and none of them are getting the old Highbury cheers from the fans as they warm up. All you hear is silence unless the announcer mentions a player’s name and the camera’s show him on the big screen.
I’ve seen Mexican waves at matches. They don’t just start. they build up. If the fans who want to start a Mexican wave, then keep going at it long enough, others will join in and then you have a whole stadium doing it, save for those who feel it is beneath them :-) I am not advocating Mexican waves just giving an example. The point is if you keep the songs going long enough then other supporters inside what is a very large stadium, huge in fact, will hear and join in. Recently the “We’re the North Bank, we’re the North Bank, we’re the North Bank Highbury” – ”We’re the Clock End, we’re the Clock End, we’re the Clock End Highbury” has made a welcome return and that keeps going and listen to the noise that makes inside the Ems. Once you have the supporters all round the ground whipped up, then the Emirates is rocking. far too often a song is started and fades out quickly. Keep it going singing section!! And keep the songs flowing…
At Crystal Palace on Saturday their home supporters were amazing. Let’s not forget they have won one match. They are the bottom of the league, yet they just don’t stop singing and even the announcer gets them whipped up at the start of each half.
There is no known reason either as to why football supporters can’t sing sitting down – though I agree it’s best when standing. However, sitting or standing, sing up for the lads as well as yourselves, get the atmosphere going at the Emirates, Old Trafford etc. I watched the Newcastle v Man City League Cup tie the other night on TV and at times you could hear the players calling to each other, so this isn’t just an Arsenal/Emirates problem, it’s a football problem. I am informed though some of the smaller ground and smaller clubs still have a good atmosphere.
You know, I heard someone say the other day, stick 60000 Dortmund or Celtic fans inside the Emirates and it would not be quiet. Yet would 60000 Dortmund or Celtic fans pay £1000 plus for a season ticket, hence you can see why all parties need to get together and come up with the happy medium. Safe standing at reasonable pricing. and give the home supporters a break. All they are trying to do is support the team.
In the meantime let’s get behind the team at home to Liverpool. Let the singing section do their job, after all they wanted it. Arrive early, say 5pm, keeps the songs going loud enough, long enough for the noise to get around the stadium and hopefully others will join in. I’ll try to do my bit in the Clock End upper.
Since my last blog, Arsenal have played a five games, won four and drew one, meaning Arsenal have not lost a match since the opening day of the season in all competitions.
Personally I am bloody well enjoying this run, after all who doesn’t like seeing their team doing well? Of course things could go Pete Tong, but while it’s all going well, happy days!!! Bring it on…
It is also nice to see so many Arsenal supporters enjoying the teams form, and behind most of the players and manager, as it did look like parts of Arsenal’s support were losing faith. I was on the cusp, but said I would wait and make my decision after the transfer window closed. The so-called deadwood were letting the fans down and looking like they could not be asked or wanted to be at the club. During the summer they were shipped out , leaving Arsenal with a neat and tidy squad. Once we can over come injuries, I’m sure this side can take us far
This summer it was all about “spend some sodding money”. If I had a pound for every time it that line was mentioned, I could have brought Özil for Arsenal and a top £30m forward to boot. I actually said it once in one of my blogs. So who would have thought that Arsenal would get drawn in the Champions League group of death, win their first two matches and top the group? Who would have thought after losing to Aston Taylor, Arsenal would not lose again and top the league after seven games going into the last international break?
There can be no doubt Özil has had an influence on the team, also seeing Ramsey show what he is made of and looking like our Bryan Robson. I’d also give a shout out to Giroud who has improved a lot. Not only in his goal scoring, but his hold up play and distribution has been good and he has had quite a few assists. However, my biggest shout has to go out for Mathieu Flamini who has brought a steel in the side and take responsibility in getting the other players working. Some of Arsenal’s football has been superb, yet the team still drop off when winning and don’t go for the kill. The best Arsenal have played was against Napoli, where we went at them and scored two goals and could have got a few more, before dropping off and protecting lead in second half. More of this is needed to take team apart early on and get the game won.
Arsene Wenger and Aaron Ramsey won the Barclay’s manager of the month and Player of the month for September respectively, sort of irony there, considering what has been said in past.
Social media can have a big effect on supporters views as to what is happening at the club and it’s not always in tune with what is actually happening. A lack of winning trophies brings all sorts of issues to the fore, issues that should Arsenal have been picking up trophies I doubt they would even be debated.
Would many supporters really care what colour the kit is if Arsenal had won five titles in the last eight years?
I have heard complaints about Atmosphere, the new stadium, flags in ground, the crest, the kits, food, the list goes on. I understand the debate on high ticket prices, is the manager performing/need for change, players and results, but the rest is just padding for people to knock the club when things are not going well. It’s like some supporters have actually forgotten how to enjoy the game, the beautiful game.
Jack Wilshere was caught smoking!!! Yes, you read that right, he was smoking. When I first saw this article I did wonder if he had also killed someone while smoking a fag. Talk about go overboard? Yes! It’s not the best thing for a top professional sportsman to be doing, but Jack has said he does not smoke, still I suppose it’s a story. He has also apologised.
Still I suppose with Arsenal playing reasonably well, winning games, top of leagues, there is not really much for the media to get their teeth into.
Today the media and social networking is all about Jack Wilshere being asked what he thought of Adnan Januzaj playing for England and his reply which seems to have angered some people. The crazies join in and suddenly Jack is the anti-Christ and even being called racist. I’ve seen a papers saying Jack waded into the debate about who can play for England, yet he was asked, he didn’t offer his view.
I have to ask why do football players want to play for England if not their place of birth? Surely they want to play for their Country of birth right. Maybe they think they won’t get in the country of their birth right and England is crying out for players so it’s like second best choice.
We all want better English players. We all want more technical English players, so simple let’s take a short cut and nick someone who should play for Belgium, after all they are a big super football power with a population of 11m. How embarrassing – here we are with a population of 53m and we have to grab a player from Belgium, because the morons who run our football, haven’t a clue how to get the best out of youngsters while other countries can.
So long as we have 6.4″ footballers who can get stuck in and get in yer face and have teams run by dinosaur English managers whose only way to play football is to battle though 90 minutes, then that’s alright. Well it’s not if you want to win international tournaments.
You know back when I was a lad, you used to go to Wembley to see the world’s superstars when they played England. You really only got to see them on the International stage. Today I can watch German, Spanish, Italian, South American football live on TV. I can watch most of the World’s best players playing either for or against Arsenal in the Champions league, which for me is a big step up in standard from International football. It’s almost diluted International football.
I ask myself do I really need to fork out £2800 for my Son and I to see Arsenal play at home over a season, quite a bit more in away match tickets and add-ons, a subscription of £400 or more for live football on Sky and BT Sport and then pay Wembley prices to watch a poor international football, mainly against cannon fodder?
Don’t get me wrong I want England to do well, but then I have since I saw England win the world-cup in 1966 aged eight. Every two years since, there we are – hyped up/bigged up as one of the favourites of the next international competition, yet we haven’t even reached the European Championship finals, even when in our own Country.
90% of the time England qualify, the draw is made, we find out England have in the group, then the media hype England up to be favourites. England scrape through the group stage then get knocked out in the next round. The team fly home, the inquest starts, “Why are England not good enough?” questions are asked. Then the football season starts and then England’s problems are of no interest anymore until the group stages of the next tournament starts in September and then groundhog day starts all over again.
Hopefully England will beat Montenegro & Poland and then at least we can look forward to participating in Brazil. Winning the World Cup. My head says no! My heart hope to God we do.
Like a lot of Arsenal fans I have high hopes for this season. The teams performances towards the end of last season showed not only could we play football, but we could fight to get a result as well.
The summer was all about hoping we would add to the squad and improve it. The money was in place. Also we needed to get rid of quite a number of players.
In the end we brought in only four players, two from the Range Sanago and Viviano that will hopefully turn out good purchases. One from Selfridges Flamini, who could be very useful and one from Harrods in Özil.
I feel it was just as important to get rid of a number of players who looked to me too lightweight for the Premier League. The only one we could not shift was Bendtner.
Arsene has ended up with a leaner and maybe meaner squad. Like a lot of todays armies less focused on overwhelming man power, rather stronger leaner special forces.
On paper the squad really does look good. The problem is football is played on grass and you cannot legislate for injuries.
So after a good pre-season set of games where Arsenal only lost one game in the Emirates Cup to Galatasaray, we also picked up some injuries. This was not helped with Podolski getting injured against Villa. Added to TV5 and Areta getting injured the squad was already looking thin.
So after the opening days result lots of questions were being asked. Losing at home to Aston Villa is not good, they do seem to be a sort of bogey team at the Emirates.
All the usual questions, debates and expert opinion were then given.
As usual the upshot was we’re not good enough to challenge and that this season it was more than ever likely that Liverpool & Spurs would finish above us in challenging for a top four spot.
So it was four days later that a wounded and fragile Arsenal stepped off the plane in Turkey to enter a stadium of supporters that we were told would make life hell. The outshot shot was Arsenal won 3-0 with ease. Three days later Arsenal travelled across London to Fulham where they run out 3-1 winners and played really well for a deserved victory.
This was followed by the second leg Champions League qualifier at home to Fenerbahce which was a stroll for 2-0 (5-0 on agg)
Up next was the North London derby at home to Spurs the team that many say are about to take over in North London. Arsenal with injuries pilling up and one signing at £800k against £108m worth of new talent in our opponents squad. Final score 1-0 to the Arsenal. When will people learn?
A few days later by the end of the transfer window, Arsene had added three new players and one being the biggest buy and buzz of the summer.
So with four wins on the bounce, Santi Cazorla out injured and a £42.5m signing everyone seemed upbeat as the team travelled to Sunderland for Mesut’s debut.
Arsenal’s ninth away win on the bounce and fifth win on bounce was secured with a 3-1 win and Arron Ramsey once again producing another match winning performance.
Matches coming thick and fast now it was Champions League proper and another away game this time in Marseille. In the build up on TV it was all about how hostile this ground could be. Marseille had spent money, Arsenal were again short, mainly on the bench, lack of cover, but really what club would not be missing the players Arsenal have out? However, once again Arsenal went about their business and got a result 2-1. A great start to the group stage.
So as I type we look forward to Mesut’s home debut and the visit of our friends from middle Earth having just racked up six wins on the bounce. Who would have though that at 3.50pm on the 17 August?
The team/squad are in no way a finished article, but even though it looks small there is a good range of players and if we can just get out injuries down so that 95% of the team/squad are available for matches, then I really do think this could be a great season. More so if we can stay there or there abouts till the January window and get in that top striker, unless of course Nicky B proves us all wrong. I feel there is this negativity that follows Arsenal around, mainly fuelled by media hype and so-called experts who are to willing to just follow a line that is current in knocking the club. This can have a knock on effect with some supporters.
This negativity is no more shown than in our defensive capabilities. We hardly concede a goal from open play, finished last season with second the best defensive record and this season, so far have kept three clean sheets in seven games. Conceded six goals, three of which were penalties and one a rebound from a penalty save. One was conceded when down to ten men and the other when 3-0 up with 13 mins to play at Fulham. If only the media and experts would sometimes take a look at the facts rather than follow the same old tired line, they might get a better idea on what is actually going on.
We have a problem up front as we don’t score enough goals, yet we are the Premier Leagues highest scorers with Man City. Of course it would be good to have another top quality striker & to be honest with the money in place I am not sure why we didn’t get one. Yet we have Theo who can score goals and frustrate at the same time. Podolski can score goals and we have an abundance of midfield players that can score as well. Also it’s worth remembering that the superstar Bendtner can also score goals, he averaged one every three games in his first spell with us before he got too big-headed.
This is a massive chance for the lad. Get fit, more importantly get the right attitude and perform. I’m pretty sure with our midfield creativity even Bendtner could score playing in front of Cazorla, Özil, Jack and Arron.
My time line on Twitter has calmed a lot over the last few weeks as we have racked up these six wins and a lot more hope for the season is beginning to show and tickets are selling out for games. There is a lot less negativity, supporters are liking this team. The reason for this I am sure is that all the players look they care, look like they want to win football matches, not just pass the ball around. They are willing to pull up their sleeves and fight when it is is needed.
The Özil factor has also helped and it was about time the club gave the supporters something to shout about.
Right now I am so looking forward to Özil’s home debut and can’t wait till tomorrow.
Seven wins on the bounce, sounds good doesn’t it? So I am going for 3-1 tomorrow.
Well I waited. I was patient and 105 days after the victory against Newcastle, finally the window has slammed shut. Hopefully right into Jim White’s mug..
Can someone please now put Jim White in a box and store him in a cupboard for a few months, preferably a lot longer. Listening to him last night trying to hype up what was NOT going on for three hours and thirty minutes was sheer David Brent cringe worthy TV. I thought at times Niall Quinn looked like he wondered why he came on the show. Only the last thirty-minutes saved him.
Sanogo. Flamini, Viviano and Özil have been added to a squad that was depleted by either selling or loaning out some 20? players.
What do I think?
Well I have no problem with any of the players that the club let go. The younger ones on loan have it all to prove and all too often fail. The ones that were either in or skirting around the edge of the first team were not really offering anything.
What does that leave us with until the next transfer window?
Goalkeepers – Szczesny, Fabianski & Viviano
Defenders – Sagna, Gibbs, Monreal, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen & Koscielny
Midfield – Rosicky, Arteta, Wilshere, Özil, Ramsey, Cazorla, Flamini, then Diaby, Frimpong & Ryo
Forwards – Podolski, Giroud, Theo, Oxo, Sanogo, Park & Bendtner
27 players in total.
As far as goalkeepers are concerned, I’m pretty happy with what we have. All goalies make mistakes and we’ve seen some of the best and so-called best make mistakes recently. Would have preferred a goalie into his 30’s to make some appearances and help Szczesny out.
The defence does seem a bit light on numbers should suspensions or injuries take hold. We will need to hope only one at a time is out injured. Would have been nice to just get on more CB in.
The midfield is super strong. No problems at all there for me. Hard to see where Gnabry & Eisfeld will get a game.
The attack looks light, but maybe once Podolski is back he can strike up a partnership with Özil and hopefully improve his goal tally. Giroud has been scoring goals right from start of the summer friendlies and though at times can look laboured, he can also win plenty in the air and has a pretty good touch. I’m sure he’ll get better as season goes on. Oxo is a big miss for now and hopefully Theo will carry on getting stronger and making and scoring goals. Not sure about Sanogo or Park. However, we do know Bendtner can score goals. With the creativity we have in midfield, you’d think that even someone like Bendtner would have the brains to think, blimey, I could score goals playing in front of that midfield. Why not stop being big-headed, knuckle down, get fit and start to show how good a player he thinks he is. What’s he got to lose? Play well and score, might get permanent place in side or at least putting him in a better light for January transfer window. Maybe young players such as the triple “A” squad of Afobe, Akpom and Ansah might get run outs.
Arsenal were linked to quite a few forwards this summer, Suarez, Higuain, Jovetic so yes! I am surprised we ended up buying the maker and not a finisher to go with him as well.
What do I expect from the rest of the season? Well we’ll win a lot games that’s for sure, after the defeat to Villa, we are now on a run of four successive wins. My concern is how will we fair against City, Chelsea and United and in the Champions League. The rest of the Premiership teams are beatable, though maybe Liverpool might join the party for top four this season. Can we win anything? Well I’d say the domestic cups are best bet for this season if we take them seriously. I cannot see the current squad fighting it out for the title or Champions league, unless we can stay in touch with the league, get through to the last 16 of the Champions League and strengthen a little more come January for the run-in.
Maybe the signing of Özil will be the springboard for other top players to arrive during the next three or four transfer windows. The German is obvious a world-class talent and his stats prove that. However, just a little niggle, assists in Spanish League? Yet he does also do it at international level and he is only 24 with best years to come. Top quality signing I say. Sanogo is raw and will take time, yet Arsene thinks a lot of the lad, but then Arsene also thought that of his other duff purchases. Not saying Sanogo is a duffer btw and I hope for the best for Sanogo. Viviano is just back up and don’t expect to see much of him. Finally Flamini. Cracking performance against the little side from Middlesex, yet that tackle on Rose could so easily have been a red card on another day, such as against Villa. Got a little lucky but from then on was strong in tackle but also in keeping the other lads going. Going to be an astute signing is Flamini.
I want Arsenal to keep trying to play football. However, I want the team to also keep fighting, showing the spirit that got the club to fourth last season, when it looked at one time very doubtful. The way the team fought against Spurs. Even when I thought the team were looking tired towards the last twenty-minutes, they fought like tigers to stop Spurs coming forward and as Jenkinson commented, it was like a war the last five minutes.
Winning as we did against Spurs who had spent the summer having their privates sucked by the media for spending £108m and how it was all such a good deal with Bale going to Real Madrid, it was every bit as good as a 5-2. Then for Spurs fans see us sign Özil has made the last few days superb. The sun shining, yet a shadow over N17 as usual.
I would like Arsenal to carry on playing the good football, but also fight for the right to play football and knuckle down, scrap, chuck yourself in the way when needed. I’m warming to these group of players, they actually do look like they care. People talk about our spine and I get that it can be frustrating when you are now winning, making mistakes and no trophies for eight years, but Szczesny, Kos/BFG few combinations of centre-mid and Giroud up front is a decent enough spine if you take off your hate glasses.
So having said I would give an opinion on Arsene after the Transfer Window closes. I will say Arsene has kept me onside, just!
Finally I do hope that next summer the people that run our game come to their senses and close the transfer window shut the Thursday before the season starts. Also close the January Transfer window. You start and end with what you have. It’s the same for everybody and if you get injuries then you’ll have to play the youngsters who will then get their chance. As for managers their should not be any sackings during the season. If you do choose to sack your manager, then you have to promote from within the club, either as permanent manager or interim. No pinching managers during season from other clubs. Give football some stability even of just for a season.
Cheers and here’s looking forward to Mesut’s first game and the lads coming back injury free from the interlull.
After a week of looking forward to the start of the new season, Arsenal brought me down to Earth with a bump.
I knew the score. I had paid £2800 on two season tickets for my Son and I.
Most of the players that were either sold or loaned out I doubt would have made much difference to what happened yesterday. I’m not sure how any of them could have come off the bench and helped. The upside here is a stack of money has been saved in salaries, which should now be put to good use.
I’m not a knee jerk supporter who wants to go on and on about things that may or may not be wrong with the club, but there is a tipping point for everyone.
Yesterday we lost 3-1 and in football sometimes you lose matches, but it’s not so much the result as what actually changed yesterday for me.
The defeat showed how lacking we are in playing staff both first team, squad back-up and even though the club has a stack of money to improve the team/squad as yet the club have refused to spend any of it.
Who is at fault for this? Well it’s anyone’s guess and I am not sure the anyone at club even know. Those with the power inside the club seem to be playing some kind of game, passing the buck making excuses as to why the money is not spent. Ivan goes on record to say the money is there. Wenger says we have money to spend. Stan never says anything and yet no one is willing to part with the money and make deals happen.
Now for me the referee had a lot to answer for yesterday but he was no way he the reason we lost, just part of it. One of my real bug-bears in football today is the officials. It’s ironic that on the day that goal-line technology was brought in the match official Taylor was blind in so many ways. He was awful for both sides and how anyone can back this guy is beyond me. The fact that people will shows everything that is wrong in football for me. Every year referee’s just get poorer and poorer and for a multi-billion pound industry it’s just not good enough.
However a lot of the blame has to be with Arsene. The team were all over the place ten minutes after we scored. I have seen it so many times over the last few years, we get in front and a big-head mentality arises where the players think this is easy just stroking the ball about and wait for goals to come rather than force them. We lost the advantage and let Villa back in the game. Sloppyness gave them the penalty to equalise.
Then Villa kept falling over every time an Arsenal player tackled them, they were taking gamesmanship to the max, yet being clever with it. They could see the ref was being taken in by it and why not continue if working. Arsenal players instead of being clever themselves started getting wound up as the ref was not giving anything our way. Look at Lambert during this time, kept getting out of his seat screaming at his player, giving them advice.
What was our manager doing? Sitting down, his philosophy being the players are clever enough and should be able to work it out. Well they couldn’t and they lost their head, shape and balance and fell right into Villa’s trap.
Yes we had a few chances mainly TR7 who missed a couple of very good chances, but he played well. No for me the manager did very little to raise his teams performance. Half time they interviewed Pat Rice, who was asked what Arsene would be saying in the dressing room. Pat said “it would all be positive, nothing negative”. Well there were a lot of negatives and maybe the players should be told what to do instead of being left to work it out for themselves
Arsenal did not get the goal Pat Rice and the supporters hoped for, but Villa got two. Once the third goal went in the crowd started chanting “Spend some fucking money” and make no mistake it echoed round the ground loudly. It was started again a few minutes later but by them about 35 thousand had left and it didn’t have same effect.
When the excuse for a referee finally blew the whistle, many left inside the ground (not me) booed. It was not against the players but for the frustration everyone feels and rightly. There was some more boo’s as the officials left the pitch.
I made my way home with my Son and we were both wondering how it had come to this. I heard many others walking away from the ground upset and frustrated and make no mistake I had not heard this level of anger/frustration for decades. There were video’s on twitter last night with fans being interviewed and showing their frustration, but it was frustration with their passion for the club shining through, wondering what is happening to Arsenal.
Then to cap it all, Arsene apologises. This is not a sit-com with Ronnie Corbett, no point in saying sorry when you have had the power to change the situation, but flatly refuse to do so. I, and I hear it from so many others are getting sick and tired of the excuses.
“What hurts me is to disappoint people who love the club,” said Arsene. Well you don’t have to hurt the supporters. Players have been there to buy, yet you refuse to make any deals and make excuses as to why you are not able to tie up deals. Special quality you want Arsene, well look at the players you have just got rid of Arsene, 26 players, were any of them special quality? You brought them to the club. You are hurting the fans Arsene, BIG TIME!!!
Arsene confirmed “that he will attempt to make signings right up until the transfer deadline 23:00 BST on 2 September” So he is going to complete signing in fifthteen days that he so far couldn’t in ninety-one days. If so why has it took so long that three points were basically sacrificed and maybe even a Champions League place.
Arsene goes on “I’m there to buy players, if we find them we’ll do it,” he explained. “I’m not the only one working on that – it’s not my money, it’s the money of club and we’re ready to spend it if we find the right players” Arsene, They are not hiding – you don’t have to go on an expedition right in to the Amazon jungle to find them, though it would not surprise me if part of your team is out there right now looking for French colonials who may be hiding there.
Arsene we supporters can all see who the best players are in the world and if they are available or not. We can also see non-world class players but players who would improve the team/squad, not every player is of top quality. Of course there is the possibility that players are happy where they are. It could be there clubs are not making them available as they want them where they are. It could be they don’t want to play for Arsenal or play in the Premiership. Yet other clubs are finding players, yet for Arsenal it looks impossible, why?
I think most people know, it can only come down to money. The simple answer would be you have this value attached to what a player is worth and you will not go outside your value to make the deal work, so player after player falls through the net. Everyone knows how much Arsenal have in the bank and will of course try to squeeze as much out of Arsenal as they can, it’s natural they have to replace the player/players we are purchasing off them.
I had a feeling leading up to the match yesterday we were going to have problems, why? Well I thought Sagna, Theo and Ramsey were not going to be fit. Arteta was already out, so the side was much weaker than that one that finished last season so well. This for me presented a dilemma for the club. With not bringing in players and suddenly our current players dropping like flies from mid-week internationals. What would be the outcome on Thursday/Friday be if the club had said we go into the game v Villa minus Arteta, Theo, Sagna and Ramsey. Add onto that the Cazorla was in no way ready to play after just getting off the plane from Ecuador.
Thursday and Friday would have been a media free-for-all on Arsenal/Arsene leading up to the game. The press conference would have had all sorts of awkward questions being thrown at Arsene. That’s why I feel those three played yesterday, even though injured. Started well but all dropped off. Secrets & Lies.
Now it looks like we’ll struggle to put a decent squad out for the game on Wednesday against Fenerbache with Oxo added to the list of injuries.
Right now I don’t give a Gareth Bale who is in charge of transfers at the club, what I and many others want is for the club to get their arse in gear and whoever’s job it is whether individually or collectively to go and make the deals and make them work. I cannot believe players would not want to play for one of the top football clubs in the world. The people min charge right now are making themselves and the club a laughing stock.
I’ve not abused those that are considered WOB’s in the past, but I have questioned them and their motives, however, today it’s me looking more like the one that has been barking up the wrong tree and they who are looking like they had their finger on what has been going on.
I still have a little more patience, but it is steadily being eroded and there is only fifthteen days before my mind is made up completely as what needs to be done.
Arsenal Football Club and Arsene Wenger this is a problem of your own making, you have the power to change and make things happen. Yesterday is but one game and there are thirty-seven matches and one-hundred-and-eleven points to play for, don’t mess this up. I shout and I shout it loudly.
Before it’s too late and another season goes down the drain.
It’s Saturday morning and the 2013-14 football season kicks off in just a few hours. I shall be making my way with my Son to the Emirates around 12.30pm. First partaking of a pie & Scotch egg at @pieburycorner before making my way into the ground for the real action to start.
In my last blog I mentioned an Arsenal time-line.
1. Sign players by Tuesday 13th August otherwise they cannot play in Champions League Qualifier against Fenerbache (You can sign one I understand up to the day before, but that’s it).
2. Sign players by mid-day Friday otherwise they cannot play in the opening match against Villa.
3. Sign players on or before 2 September otherwise that’s it till the January 2014 transfer Window opens.
Well as it Stands 1 & 2 have gone by the wayside, which only leaves us with No.3.
Since last season ended on a high note with a good run in the league after beating Bayern at their gaff, we Arsenal fans have been fed the lines on how the club now has serious money to compete. That Arsenal will do their business early and do things that will excite the supporters this summer. I’m not one to go over-board (as there still is time for No.3) but what constitutes “do our business early” & “excite” in Arsenal language?
The only player to come in so far is Yaya Sanogo while something like 26 players have left the club in one way or another (mind you is anyone really sad that these players have left the club permanently or on loan??)
Monreal, Diaby & Vermaelen will not be starting the season. Add to that an ankle injury to a very important player as in Arteta and we’re suddenly down to the bare bones in our current squad, however, what we have left is mainly the very good/good players. Also I still believe that our first team is good enough to beat anyone.
As each passing day has gone by since 19 May 2013 (90 days) the frustration amongst some Arsenal supporters has grown to meltdown proportions. Many are no so down in the dumps, that police have been to sent to patrol Archway Bridge and Beachy Head.
What is going on at Arsenal this summer?
Well who really knows what goes on at Arsenal? We’re just supporters. We can read rumours what the media feed us about who Arsenal are interested in added with the fee’s and salaries that are attached with these rumours. Yet it seems to me so many journalists are just looking for the scoop. Arsenal themselves don’t push out much info, they like to keep themselves to themselves which I feel leaves journalists just taking the laws of average approach. Throw enough names out there and one or two may come right and then they’ll tell you “look we told you so”
ITK’s on Twitter throwing names about like confetti with almost the same approach. Get one or two right, make a meal of it and get yourself a few thousand more followers. So Arsenal get linked to 100 players of which maybe one or two have any real credence.
What I find alarming is how all these rumours cause such a rift between Arsenal fans and at times it’s hard to believe that some Arsenal fans support the same club the way they speak and abuse each other. It looks like there is more arguing/abuse going on amongst our own support than there is between Arsenal fans and Spurs fans.
For weeks now I have read blogs, seen tweets and listened to Podcasts about what Arsenal are going or not going to do this season from people who say it in a way that they know for sure what’s going happen. This is football anything can happen. Surely part of what makes it so exciting and why we follow.
Arsene as usual says “I am not afraid to spend” “The market is different now” “how he understands every frustration” yet others are making the effort to sign players. Maybe the truth is Arsenal are trying to sign players. The only thing I can think of is everyone knows Arsenal are cash rich and hence they put the price up and Arsenal are not going for it, will not be railroaded into paying higher than they think a player is worth. If this is the case they are playing the end game. Who will the end the game? well as it stands it doesn’t look like Arsenal are winning.
I’m not saying I am happy with this approach, just saying it might be the reason.
I’m not so fussed about big name players but that is not to say I’m against them coming to Arsenal or would be dis-pleased if they arrived. I’m a believer that football is a team game and a good players playing as a team is what wins trophies. So I would like the right players to come in.
Suarez for me is a bit of a strange one. Great player, yet I’ve not seen anyone else seriously linked to him, also he cannot play in league till October. Can he be tamed if he came to Arsenal? Well if anyone can then Arsene could be that man. However Suarez is a maverick and with mavericks comes moments of madness. One more piece of madness from Suarez and you’re looking at a minimum 10 match ban, which would total sixteen for the season, almost half-a-season. £50m for missing sixteen matches. The media would have a field day on Arsenal.
I’m hoping at least three players will come in by the end of the transfer window, hopefully five. If we get these players then they should be good additions, not young kids for the future or deadwood players to make up numbers. They should be very good squad players willing to fight for their place and the team. I would be happy with five players around the £15m mark each. Players that hopefully will make the squad stronger.
After the summer break I am looking forward to this season, but then I look forward to every season. Yes! We start with what looks like a weaker squad that finished last season however, there is still a little time left to make the squad stronger. I feel confident enough to say that even with all the arguing amongst Arsenal’s huge fan base that almost all Arsenal fans agree that this squad as it stands is not big enough to play 55 (hopefully) plus games.
Surely there cannot be anymore excuses from those in charge at Arsenal, the people with the power to make the changes needed cannot say that players were not available. They may have their reasons but they would have to be bloody good and water tight for their supporters and media to believe . So if the board, Ivan and Arsene don’t bring any more players in and the team fail miserably, then all will surely be charged by the fans with gross negligence in their jobs and heads will need to roll. How or if they will roll is another matter.
We kick off with what I think a pretty good first 15 players, who hopefully can stay injury free up to September 2nd and give us a good start and therefore today, maybe we’ll all put aside the rights, wrongs and the abuse and put all our effort into getting behind the boys and getting those three important points in the bag.
Whatever way you look at it the Premier League is exciting if not the best technical football. What can we expect?
Nine months of ups & downs - hoping we have more ups than downs and that elusive piece of silverware (or two) is raised aloft by our captain in either February or May The controversial decisions, the bias and the players we will like and dislike. Will Stoke have stopped playing Rugby or changed to wrestling under Mark Hughes? Will Man Utd been seen slightly differently this season with David Moye’s in Charge and no Fergie time? Will Spurs finish in top four? Well you have to add some humour to any blog. The Special Pratt is back at CFC, will the media still be licking his arse this time round? City still spending their oil money.
Some 150 live premiership matches on Sky/BT Sport. Will we as usual see every Man Utd FA Cup match shown live on the TV. The Champions League Live on ITV and having to put up with Adrian Chiles & Andy Townsend. Football experts on Radio & TV telling me what I already know and what I have clearly seen with my own eyes. The self-styled Jeff Stelling giving it large on Saturday afternoon. BBC MOTD – will it have changed for this season? Will Lineker still be a smug git? Twitter spats over what is being discussed about Arsenal on Talksport and add the 2m references to Arsenal having not won a trophy for 8 years on TV/RADIO and in the papers during the nine months.
Twitter meltdowns when the first Arsenal pass goes astray. Fury at Arsenal conceding a goal even if it was unstoppable. Those classic moments when after 10 minutes of an Arsenal game people are tweeting that Ramsey is playing shit and others saying he is playing well.
Will Arsene still be making subs at the 70 min mark and still making a beeline for the 4th official when all is not well??
Referee’s will have a small amount of help with goal-line technology and yet still get many other simple decisions wrong.
Managers and players giving out the same old cliché interviews. Can we please have something more original and maybe a little truth this season and much, much, more.
Yes! Welcome back football!!! Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are not the same without you. We will argue about you. Will be laugh at you. We will cry with you. You will take us to the highest high and drag us to the lowest of lows with the best natural drug there is, but what it all comes down to is we all LOVE YOU.
Thank fuck for football.
It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog. In fact there are so many blogs (many good) that all I would have been doing is repeating what others have been saying. So I’ve enjoyed my break from blogging and mainly kept it to 140 characters on Twitter to air my views.
I watched Arsenal finish the 2012-13 well. Not in style it has to be said, but quite a number of those last ten games the team ground out victories. In many people eyes this is what supporters wanted to see the team fighting for the cause, showing they care and not just playing tiki-taka football. The defence that took a lot of stick was pretty much solid during that ten game period and they even ended up with the second best goals against column in the league behind Man City (so much for all those so-called experts on TV that spent a lot of time highlighting our defensive frailties). Arsenal even ended up the third highest scorers. My only issue with being the third highest scorers is Arsenal scored seventy-two goals and yet thirty-six of those goals were scored in seven games, meaning the other thirty-six were scored in thirty-one games and this for me is where the problem lies. We need forwards who can finish, this in turn will take pressure off the rest of the team.
What with no World Cup or European Championships the summer it was looking like a long summer break. The thing with football in general for me is, while at the time I’m pretty much over the season when it ends and looking forward to a break, two weeks after it finishes, I miss it. So it was welcome that the Confederations Cup was actually a pretty decent tournament, with some good games, ending with Brazil trouncing Spain in the final.
Then it was good again to see the Arsenal on tour in the Far East. Football was back and yet what could I expect from the 2013-14 season?
Well in the past eight years I was happy to give Arsenal/Arsene/Board the benefit of the doubt. The move from Highbury cost a lot of money and we did pay for it all ourselves and not go begging to local government for hand-outs and then asking £100m for our best player. If they get this then Boris should tell Spurs where to go and that no taxpayers money will be used on re-building the shit-hole.
So the club looking at youth and bargain players to be part of the first team was something I was happy to go along with for a time and in fairness we did produce a couple of good sides that were just not good enough in the end to get silverware. Like many others I was fed the line that the move from Highbury to the Emirates would bring in the money that was needed to take us to the very top-level of football and compete with the best of the best. A few seasons to get the money being paid on the stadium down and takings of £3m per match day it was only a matter of time The new stadium rights, kit sponsorships deals to come on-line and with new huge sums of money coming in from TV tights the good days were apparently on the way back. Arsenal would be one of the biggest clubs in the world. I understand it’s something like £1b over the next three years the club will earn.
The last two summers have seen our best players and captains leave and not being replaced with like for like. So with the good ending to last season and those battling performances that saw us grab a top four spot on the last day of the season, keeping our North London rivals in the Europa Cup it was surely all about how we could add the quality needed to push on for the season ahead.
There could be no excuses this summer, the club, Ivan even Wenger had come out and said money is not a problem, financially we are secure. We can compete; we can pay £250k a week and £50m transfer fees for players. So like many others before the end of May I renewed my season ticket, sat back and waited for Arsenal/Ivan/Arsene to sign these top players that would add super quality to the team/squad.
Rooney/Huguain/Jovetic/Suarez as well as about eighty other players were linked, some more highly than others. The transfer windows shuts on September 2nd so there is time to get these top quality players in, but the smart money would always be on clubs getting their players in as soon as possible, if the situation allows.
It’s always seemed strange to me that a transfer window closes after the season starts, I think it should close the day before the season starts so everyone knows where they stand. Still for me that’s too much common sense for the authorities in football to handle.
I’m pretty calm on Arsenal 99.9% of the time and only really get annoyed when I fell Arsenal have been cheated (United and Rooney 0-2 – Newcastle 4-4). The fact that we have not signed anyone as of today is not going to keep me awake at night, but as the clock ticks down to Sept 2nd and more importantly seven days away from our first game at home to Villa it seems we have cleared out most of the so-called deadwood and released/sold a lot of the younger squad players, thus leaving the squad pretty thin on the ground.
This week we have had the Suarez saga. Apparently he wants out of Liverpool. Clauses in his contract apparently. Yet as it is, Liverpool are standing firm and this may be just bluster on their part to get a higher fee. For our part I suppose with Suarez, it doesn’t really matter as he can’t play in the league until October, but he could play in our CL qualifier against Fenerbache.
My issue right now is where are the other players we need? It’s all about Suarez. Even if we do sign him, without other players coming in, we’re not going to do any better than last season. Suspensions bite or we get a few injuries and we’re in the shitter. Why is buying players always a problem with Arsenal? We show respect, yet it some other clubs don’t give a flying fuck. Rodgers talks about the Liverpool way, how the fuck would he know what the Liverpool way is, he’s only been there one season and he shat on Swansea.
Through my blog you can see over the years that I have been a big, big Arsene Wenger supporter like many other people backing him in the face of criticism from sections of our support. Well today I can say that should Arsene cock-up this window and not sign the players we need when we clearly have the money, then I will no longer put up with his excuses or the clubs excuses. Right now they have a timetable. Two days to sign players that can play against Fenerbache. Six days to sign players that can play for the start of the new season and 22 days to sign players before window shuts, If they don’t then I have to agree with many others that have been talking about lies coming out of the club.
I’m hoping to be proved wrong and that Arsene will keep my support, but boy it’s becoming hard to keep the faith.