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My Vision

Written by Mean Lean on Friday, 20 July 2012 10:16

 

Rob was an obsessed Arsenal supporter, but he was even more obsessed about football. He wanted to be a professional and had been training from a very young age to try and make a career in the game. The most dedicated kid you could imagine. He would go to our local, Tufnell Park playing fields on his own and practice shooting and passing with his weaker left foot for hours upon hours. He took care of himself only eating healthily and didn't go out with his 16-17 year old friends on the hunt for alcohol and girls. I was one of those friends but we all respected Rob's passion and desire to make it in the game.

Rob was a machine when playing football, didn't make mistakes on the pitch thanks to all the hard graft he had put in. He was quicker, faster and stronger than the rest of us and I was certain that my mate would make the grade.

He had many trials and was accepted at a number of clubs, Peterborough being one of those clubs. He was offered deals to stay on and become part of the youth set up but he refused. He turned down a few clubs at the time. I couldn't understand why he would do that but Rob was very principled, way before his late teens. He knew what he wanted and the clubs he had trialled with were simply not right. Those clubs smashed the ball high from back to front, he was asked to do the same and not worry about getting the ball down and playing. It was the type of football that Tony Pulis would feel warm inside about.

Rob was a footballer and playing football the right way was very important to him, he knew he wouldn't enjoy the long ball game and declined. He played semi professional football but never got to where he wanted. He didn't regret it a few years later and I wonder if he does so now, when he gets back from travelling, I think I will ask him again.

A group of us used to go to Highbury pretty much every week in the early 90's and we used to spend our spare time talking about Arsenal until we were blue in the face. Alan Smith was Rob's hero, not that he played anything like him, different players and different positions but Alan Smith was the one player that Rob adored. He loved the fact that he was a good guy, a nice guy. Very much like Rob. Sam who lived around the corner from the both of us loved Ray Parlour and I was the worlds biggest Anders Limpar fan.

It was different back then, the game was viewed differently. We were one of the biggest clubs in England behind Liverpool but up there with the sleeping giant that was Manchester United who hadn't won the league since 1966/67.

We were not the large European force that we are today, we were a strong English club that had always done things sensibly and the right way but for the most part that was the case across the board. Clubs spent what they could afford and those at the top of the tree usually earned that right to be there.

Fast forward to December 2006 and the cost of the season tickets at the Emirates coinciding with having a young family meant that I had to give up my season ticket and hand over my cash to Sky television instead. We were playing Porto away from home in an important Champions League game so I called Rob to meet me in a pub on Holloway road to watch the game together, something we hadn't done in some time given our different paths in life but I was excited to meet up with an old Arsenal friend of mine.

The game was tense the fake, fake Ronaldo. You know the guy, Quaresma. He hit the woodwork at least once, perhaps twice and I had my head in my hands. A draw would have seen us advance to the next round but we were fully under the cosh. I was a wreck but Rob didn't behave in the way that I was. He was doing things such as going to the toilet in the middle of an attack or pop off to get a drink during a goalmouth scramble. I thought it was a little unusual at the time but I refrained from asking any questions at full time, I think I was just happy that we had done enough on the night. 0-0 if I remember rightly.

It was a few months later that my friend Rob opened up to me about his divorce from football. About how he had fallen out of love from the game that he felt so much for since we were kids. He told me how much he hated what the game had become. He explained how the connection between the players and the supporters was nothing like it was before. There would never be another Alan Smith to Rob. Footballers were cheats, arrogant and just not very nice people on the whole, they were not the type of people he likes in the real world so why would he support them he told me.

Money was running the game and he wanted out. Arsenal FC wasn't the same to Rob but it was the Sky era that had pushed the game into the wrong direction. Or at least in 1992/93 it was the beginning of the wrong direction.

But that was Rob, he had principles and he would never go against those principles. To a certain extent I understood and agreed with much of what he said. Football had changed, there was no getting away from that but Arsenal were always Arsenal. Rob was just being extreme, he was often very extreme about things. That was his character. You cannot just simply fall out of love with football.

Well that is what I told myself back in 2006.

Six years later, I am beginning to understand a lot more what he was getting at. This is the first pre-season for many years where I have lost some of that excitement, that anticipation.

We could well see yet another one of our players go to a club with 'ambition' a club that are going places, a club that want to win trophies. This is speak for a club who have money to throw around like it is water.

Moving for trophies is a convenient excuse for players nowadays. If Manchester City were paying the same wages as we are, do we really believe that Nasri would have left Arsenal? Would Emmanuel Adebayor have joined City on the same wages he was on at Arsenal?

Why haven't Arsenal players in the past left Arsenal to join Manchester United? (hope I haven't jinxed that) The most successful team in English football. It is the same reason why Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva have now signed for 'ambitious' PSG from such a huge historical club like AC Milan.

But after all is said and done, can you really blame these players for doubling or in some cases tripling their wages? Not really. While they are getting insane amounts of money as it is, human nature always wants more.

Billionaire owned clubs have inflated transfer fees and wages of football players and if it continues then what does the future of football have in store for us? A sport where clubs are purely a vehicle to show off which billionaire has the largest manhood. That isn't football at least from the way I used to know it.

I was having a recent conversation with a Chelsea supporting friend of mine. He has always been a Chelsea fan way before Roman and his wealth came into play. Alex is an accountant and is one of the brightest people I know. We were discussing Arsenal's strategy and direction. His response was 'why don't you just find a billionaire owner' without any flicker of emotion. I was astonished that those words had come from his mouth.

It now seems accepted that the only way to compete and go forward is to find a billionaire who fancies throwing his money around to compete with other billionaire owners. You have players telling us how much they love the club and how they are fans of the club only to be nudged by their agents and informed that they could earn four times more playing in Ligue one in France.

I am being told that Manchester City are now a massive club. Since when? All it takes is a wealthy business man to come along purchase his toy club of choice and then overnight they are a massive, ambitious club. That is not right.

Winning trophies is about buying as many stars as you can to topple to other billionaires who have just bought their collection of stars. Those who didn't hit the ground running or who were subjected to injury will have been left behind and then farmed out on loan or sold for a fraction of their stupidly over inflated original price.

Whatever happened to coaching players? Bringing them up from the youth, forgiving their mistakes because you know that they will improve. A good summers business could make you a title contender. Back in the nineties Ron Atkinson bought Dean Saunders from Liverpool and partnered him with Dalian Atkinson, they had a good midfield behind them and they nearly won the league. That cannot happen today because the financial gap is ridiculously wide. I really enjoyed that Villa team back then.

I have said this before but do you really believe that we would have seen the invincible team if it was constructed today? Not because of the competition but the squad would have been ripped apart before it was completed. Robert Pires would have been offered £270k per week after his second full season to join Manchester City or Chelsea. Thierry Henry would not have been allowed to stay and reach his peak, Patrick Vieira would have been prized away far earlier. That side did not turn up over night and win trophies, they had failure, they made mistakes and Arsene had to piece them together bit by bit. Much in the way that he has tried to do in the last seven years.

I love Dennis Bergkamp's quote from back in the day.

"I really love Arsenal, but do you love Arsenal or Arsenal with Trophies?"

I think some people should take heed and to be honest I have never quite understood the fist banging 'I need trophies' wailing by so many. It is a lovely bonus, something the club should be aiming for but a quick look at our history will tell you that historically we have never won trophies every season. That is my own view and I respect that others feel differently. Everyone is different. What I find difficult is not having players who stay towards the end of their careers. Fans need those players after investing so much emotion into their heroes.

I miss the respect our club used to have from players. Playing for Arsenal should be a massive honour to players.

It reminded me of the story about David Rocastle being told he was going to be sold. He pleaded with George Graham not to sell him and the late great man wept as he cleared out his locker. His pay packet was secondary to the platform at where he was able to express his talents. But times have changed, the balance of power leans towards the players and by extension, their agents.

I have no problem that we are not able to compete with the higher end in terms of transfer fees. A team like Manchester United who have a large stadium and some of the very best commercial contracts give them that advantage. Why not after their success but it is watching financially doped clubs whisk away our top players that really gets my goat.

I would back Arsene to build a squad of players with all players under the £15m price range and eventually develop into a team that can win trophies. The invincibles was the best example of that but unfortunately for him his players do not stick around long enough to repeat earlier success.

But here is what gets to me the most, Arsenal are the club that are ridiculed. Arsenal are the club who are pointed at and giggled at by the written media, opposition fans and even our own who are using the van Persie situation to twist the knife just that little bit more. It is Arsenal that are sneered at for passing the ball and not being 'British' enough. I must be living in a warped parallel universe.

We are one of the few big clubs who are standing on our own two feet, trying to organically grow our club by building a new stadium. We are the team looked upon by so many as if we are abnormal.

This isn't to say that everything at the club is correct, it isn't. Supporters are rightly annoyed at the ownership squabbles and why the new owner has hardly spoken a word to the supporters about his vision and where he wants to take the club.

We have made contractual mistakes which has weakened our hands etc etc but on the larger scale, we are doing a good job considering we have the candle burning at both ends. We have to make yearly payments on a stadium as well as being tied up in poor but at the time, necessary commercial deals. Disadvantages that other clubs simply do not have, yet this is rarely ever mentioned when it comes to talking about competing financially. We are expected to compete financially with teams who can simply say 'ok. just up that by another £15 million'

The one person I look at without skepticism is our manager, Arsene Wenger. Like those young players who come through the ranks, our manager has made mistakes, it would be ridiculous to think that any manager has gone through a career without making many errors along the way but he, like Rob has stuck by his principles. Stuck to what he believes in. Rob had the chance to play professional football but turned that down. Arsene Wenger had the chance to manage other clubs with a larger 'war chest' on top of a much larger salary but he also turned those opportunities down because he has the club in his heart, just like us.

Many supporters doubt his ability but you can never doubt his commitment and unfortunately that commitment is being shown less and less by players these days.

Robin van Persie was supposed to be one of us, he said he was. And now he can send out a statement like that. Now I feel like that person who will find it difficult to have a relationship again after being hurt one too many times. I look at the players I once adored very cynically now and that does not feel right. In fact it feels rather uncomfortable.

Jack Wilshere looks different all of a sudden, Theo Walcott is already half way out of the door in my eyes. Perhaps it is a type of protection to avoid recent pain.

I am almost waiting for the brave FFP in shining armour to gallop in on horse back and save us from the route of all evil but I cannot hear anything. Not a trot. The renaming of Manchester City's stadium to the Etihad pretty much blew that thought out of the water for me.

The Premier League have sold the domestic broadcast rights from 2013-16 for £3.018bn, with BSkyB and BT the two winners


£3.018bn!!! Football is about money and money only now. The Premier League is nothing but a brand, that brand will not be compromised to even out the playing field.

Where football goes from here is anyone's guess. I am losing faith in football and I want that faith back once more. Some could say it is sour grapes and how would I react to Arsenal being in the same situation as Manchester City. The honest answer to that would be this. I would love to see the best players at my club, watching players at the peak of their powers but the idea of Arsenal FC being run like a computer game does not sit right with me at all. The idea of flushing our history and tradition down the drain makes me shudder. Like Dennis, I fell in love with Arsenal because they were Arsenal and nothing else.

Unlike Rob though, I cannot see myself cutting off completely from football and especially from Arsenal. As disillusioned as I am from the game, I still love watching a good first touch. A well timed run and a through pass. I love an interception and quick break. I am clinging onto these small things and hoping for change, positive change. I want football to be about football again and not Sky television, sponsors or billionaire owners.

I won't hold my breath.

Comments (98)

  • MattAFC  - Brilliant Blog
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    A fantastic blog and a fantastic read I agree with every word
  • Gibsonsquaregooner  - Crying into my keyboard
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    ML,

    What an exceptional piece of prose. You have me weeping...

    I too have felt the excitment of the upcoming season slow ebb whereas previous season I would have been giddy as a child.

    the only advice I can suggest is to maybe start watching some non-league football where the love of the game is still there and this will hopefully help rekindle the original love for the game.
  • Sam  - Excatly
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    how i have been feeling for the last few years....couldn't add anything to it...great great article...
  • MeanLean
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    Thanks guys.

    I have my fingers crossed that something will be done before it really gets out of hand but think that is wishful thinking
  • FunGunner
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    Really struck a chord, ML. 99% agree with that.
  • MeanLean
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    Cheers FG, I always look out for your posts, always long my thinking.

    Out of interest, what was the 1% you disagreed with? :)
  • Ladycaramelld  - Wow - what a read
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    ML, what a read!

    I loved the personal touch, and have to say it was a brilliantly thought out piece. Well done.

    I found my eye brow raising on more than one occasion. Largely, in agreement.

    Thank you, for a wonderful post.
  • @jamesreuben  - Excellent
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    Excellent, Excellent, Excellent blog - every word true
  • takeabowson
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    Awesome piece ML.

    Agreed with every word.

    Hang on in there though, it's The Arsenal innit.

    One rule of History is that nothing stays the same forever. The Age of the Sugar Daddy might last longer than it deserves to, but come to an end it will . Might be 5, 10 or even 20 years, but it will end, and as Manchester City and Chelsea fans cry over the ravaged carcass's of their respective Clubs, Arsenal will still be there, still doing the right things, still competing and (hopefully) prevailing.

    Keep the faith mate.
  • UpTheArseNal  - Great read
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    Brilliant! Personally, I would, like Rob, fall out of love with arsenal if we've become a toy... There's no satisfaction in winning trophies that way
  • John  - Great article
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    I agree wholeheartedly. It is mind boggling, no beyond stupid, that Arsenal is criticised for running the club within their means. The club is more important than trophies. If Arsenal were taken over by a Citeh style owner I'd give up my (silver) membership. I support Arsenal, not a vanity project.
  • Pazma  - Spot on!
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    Almost brings a tear.
  • Martin  - Superb
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    One of the best articles written in a long while. I share your view completly.
  • Reinvigorated Gooner  - Fantastic
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    That is hands down the best piece of blogging I have ever read. I have been missing the wood because of all the trees over the last while. Great stuff.
  • @Gooner_fish
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    Wonderful, honest, well written article ML.

    The football 'business' is overtaking the football 'game' at it is a shame things have gone this way.

    I felt every word as I read it and hope Arsenal produces reasons to bring back the positive ML we all know!!
  • dkgooner  - Right on the money ...
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    ... if that's not too inappropriate.
    Agree fully ML. It's stopped being a sport - it's all money and manipulation. I stopped going to Highbury way back when GG (as a manager, not a player) was boring me to tears and I realised that for the price of a match ticket, I could see 3 movies.
    Now that I'm abroad, I actually see more matches than ever via streams but I don't know whether I can be bothered this coming season. I've been thinking of tuning in to the Bundesliga where they still have sensible ownership rules and more of a level playing field, despite Bayern's domination. But I'm not even sure I can get interested in that - the ties to AFC are hard to break.
    Maybe I'll watch once in a while when I don't have anything else to do.
  • Rob kelly
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    Good article except for one thing. After we left Highbury the then directors of the club adopted s strategy of reducing the debt asap which meant we became a selling club. They were then able to sell their shares for huge amounts of money. None of which came into the club. Greed is not confined to the players.
  • Will  - brilliant
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    Exactly how I feel about football at the moment and I'm sure I don't stand alone in that. The paragraph about Arsenal being the most ridiculed club resonates the most- it just sums up the joke football is turning into. And I hope that guy above me is right^ end of the day think of it this way. Abramovich will die one day, then who will fund Chelsea's astronomical debt? Would be interesting to see what football is like in 50 or even 100 years. I bet a lot of this 'sugar daddy' clubs will go bust. Here's hoping.
  • Gooner
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    Absolute fantastic article!
    It echoes how I've been feeling for 3 years now. The real sad thing is there are people out there (supporters of all clubs) that actually think finanical doping is a good thing.

    The only possible way to stop this, because lets face it FFP won't work would be for every decently run club across Europe to all get together and flat out refuse to play in the same leagues as these financially doped monstrocities against football and far play.
    Afterall the governing bodies (FA's, Fifa, Uefa) can't punish EVERYONE.

    It wouldn't be pretty, and we may not have football for a cpl of years whilst it sorts itself out, but this is the only option I can think of now.

    :cry:
  • Ologun Alex
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    Almost make me cry. Arsenal! My Arsenal, i 'll love u for life!!
  • East Coast Gooner  - Keep the Faith
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    Best piece of from the heart writing I have read all close season. Keep the faith ML, spoilt brat school yard bullies (that's the way they are acting) have the uncanny knack of falling on their faces. Keep the faith in your own principals of what the game is about and of how a club should be run. AW is the one constant that holds this together at the moment and be assured if there is ever another team to touch the invincibles and their achievement it will be an Arsenal team, lead by him and backed by the club on it's traditional foundations as it has always been.
    I'm keeping the faith that Jack will be the shining light who will finally show the overpaid (or underpaid if you were to believe them) feckless primadonnas what "true loyalty" is all about.
    Without doubt though, the club will always be bigger than the player, whatever the player may happen to think, and the traditions and historical background of "any club" (that's to all the true supporters of the beautiful game out there) make that club worth a far better classification rating than "toy".
  • sahil
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    Splendid read ML!
  • Razspur  - Abnormal Arsenal
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    There is nothing abnormal about Arsenal, many of the aspirations you elude to are held by Tottenham and other clubs.
    You had the invincibles we had the incapables, you have the Emirates we have a dream, you have Champions League we have Europa and that was a bad season.
    FFP should be kicking in from next season but will it have the desired impact ?
    You have a frugal set up but must bring in 3 quality players to strengthen the squad, without this investment you will struggle.
    I would love to see the 3 main London teams dominate the Premier League, obviously with Spurs on top, seems crazy that Manchester has had more than it's fair share.
    I won't wish you good luck, rather good football.
  • Shak  - Bravo ML
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    Well done and thank you, I would love to print this out and give to Mr Arsene personally and tell him " please read because it's important you know that we understand".

    Well done again, I salut you on the master peice.
  • JD  - Money is not ambition and everything has a price
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    Great article ML. Really felt your words. Is it ambitious to try to win the league wth a budget that is infiinite or is it the clubs like arsenal that seek to win the league with limited finances instead of spending anything they like that are ambitious. If I played my mate at something and decided that I would give myself a massive advantage then that is surely not as ambitious as trying to beat him on a level playing field. People need to look at the definition of the word. Also lets not forget what happened to blackburn. They had massive ammounts of money once and where are they now? it only took the death of one man and now the club is nowhere and one day the possibility of this happening to chelsea or citeh is very real. I was listening to something the other day about Rangers and how although they had bankrupted themselves spending beyond their means and were now being liquidated people were asking where is the 'football family' like we should all club together and try to save them from their idiotic mistakes. Year after year arsenal are ridiculed for not trying hard enough to win trophies because of our sustainable model. Well if thats what the rest of the football world thinks then don't expect me to be there as part of this football family crying for clubs that go under because they dont have the balls to stand up to fan expectation and the media baying for ridiculous money to be spent regardless of whether we have it or not. I am glad arsenal will always be here and I will always be proud of the club. We talk about players being fickle and money grabbing and a part of me longs for the players that really loved the club. Dennis Bergkamp had so much class and you could see what the badge meant to him and although we dont get to see that anymore from players there is one place we can still see that passion and love. Arsene Wenger has come under fire from the media and some fans recently because he hasn't won any trophies but we know how hard that is if you dont have the big bucks. If I were to play a friend at monopoly and he started with unlimited access to the bank then he would inevitably win no matter how well i played. We should support arsene because he loves the club like dennis loves the club like david rocastle loved the club and that is so rare now. His loyalty seems infinite and when players like van persie and nasri are just walking awawy for a bigger paycheck that is really comforting. We will taste glory again one day and when it comes it will be so sweet that nothing that those smug citeh or chelsea fans experience between now and then will come anywhere close to how good it will feel.
  • Jamie England  - Great Piece.. I'm glad im not alone!
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    I've tried explaining the above to mates of mine who happen to be City and Chelsea fans..

    They can't quite fathom that at some point in time their owners will pull out, get bored etc and leave them in the financial wilderness.. Their clubs are exchanging 5,10,15, even 20 years of success for their long term futures.. would I want Arsenal to win 5 trophies in the next 5 years.. yes.. but not at the cost of the club itself.. Chelsea and now Manchester City are both at risk.. financially vulnerable.. -£150 million a season is crazy.. you only have to look at Rangers, Leeds United, Portsmouth etc.. clubs that have overspent, been financially ill advised to see just a small fraction of the potential nightmare City and Chelsea will find themselves in.. they'll no longer exist..

    I love Arsenal Football Club.. the world has changed.. but we've stayed constant.. the current football world is unsustainable and will at some point collapse.. I might have become a bit disillusioned by that footballing world.. but at least.. from my perspective the one thing i can count on is my club.. The greatest club in the world!!

    My biggest hope is that AW gets his European Cup.. it would be a travesty if he doesn't.. Imagine that a solvent club winning the CL.. that can't have happened for a while!!??
  • Steve  - superb
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    agree with all sentiments already posted, the article really spoke to me and i think deep down supporters of chelsea and citeh know that it cant last forever

    I think EPL needs to have a salary cap with no transfer fees, that can be the only way that football can get back on an even keel, granted it means that lower clubs have more of a chance but it will also negate the need for sugar daddys and will put more of an importance on a great manager!
  • korihikage
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    really brilliant. thanks for this.
  • ModestGunner  - Yes
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    Couldn't agree more. Absolutely brilliant piece, first time I've read your work and I'm sure I'll be back for more. Heartbreaking to see where this game is heading.
  • Jamie England  - Salary Caps
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    Salary Caps are a idea.. but the simple idea of spending what you earn makes the most sense.. Building a club.. Building the infrastructure.. Building a sellable brand.. and in time as that club evolves so will its profit margains! FFP is the answer.. but it'll never be enforced.. City have already found ways around it, 500 million sponsership deals via a wealthy counsin.. what ever happened to conflict of interest!

    I've got nothing against a rich person owning a football club.. but invest in the right way.. you only have to look at what the chap down at Southampton has achieved.. he cleared their debt.. invested in youth development and futher developed the infrastructure.. but he never stretched the club beyond its means.. Southampton are back in the PL.. have solid foundations and are investing in young footballers with potential.. exactly how it should be done..
  • Nick w  - Excellent
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    Got it right - we're not perfect as a club but we are a lot more perfect than the rest....

    Always a Gooner.....
  • pedantic george  - hmm
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    Was that a long winged way of saying you are fed up with people not having your standards and love of the club?
    because if it was I agree.
    As they say around our parts "the jobs fucked"
  • consolsbob  - Bang on
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    Excellent piece Mean Lean.

    Not to downplay your comprehensive post but it pretty much sums up all the best analysis and comment from ACLF over the past year in one go.

    I think the show is probably over. The pass was sold long ago and while fans never walk away from their team, I think I can walk away from the purely financial transaction that is the EPL today. That will only get worse.
  • AlexBrown  - Sad to see
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    As painful as it is to say, I agree with every sentiment, players are no longer interested in being heroes to the fans
  • @lollydeee
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    I've never read a blog like dis in my whole life! Made me affirm my love for The Arsenal. Every word true!
  • Paul N  - Brilliant!!!
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    Brilliant, Mean Lean!

    Not much to add to that, to be honest. I is exactly how I feel. Maybe when the season starts I will feel differently but I really have no real excitement for the upcoming season. I am sick and tired of these players whom we gave a chance, turning around and crapping on us. Its getting really old!
  • Markus
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    Great read.
  • joseph
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    quaresma the fake ronaldo :confused: you do realise hes been around quite a while longer and was considered the more talented of the two when they were younger....only ronaldo had the dedication and application to his game that quaresma just doesn't seem to have. sorry for going off on a tangent.
  • Tara
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    A very moving piece. It`s the best article I`ve read about our beloved club, Arsenal, on twitter. I`ve started to avoid blogs as they depress me but I`m pleased I didn`t avoid your article, it has a personal touch . Arsenal was my late father`s team & is the family team. My nephews & nieces are Arsenal fans.
  • Passenal
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    Quality writing ML and a shame that it has come to that. Sadly, I think the internet and the 24 hour news cycle also adds to the hype around football. The game has now become a real life version of Football manager played by billionaires.
  • Podge
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    Brilliant article.
    The last point on what we would think if Arsenal had a rich owner I'm 21 I have grown up as an Arsenal fan the club and it's philosophies have influenced me as a person. My views are what they are because of Arsenal's actions the last 15 years I wonder what will happen if young City fans are influenced by their club the way I was by Arsenal.
  • Muppet
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    You've said it for all of us Mean Lean. Money ripping the soul out of football.
  • richie
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    Phew!
    ML What a piece of writing! That is a "tour de force" article even for you!
    If bloggers got oscars thats the winner right there!
    I don't even feel comfortably worthy enough to add anything to it save to say it sums up my feeling to all thats going on at our club and to the game we all love in general!
    Magnificient!
  • FunGunner
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    Hi, ML - thanks for the kind words - I do the same for your posts. The 1% was just nitpicking really, and in the context of your magnificent post it seems churlish to elaborate. So I won't!
  • Zama
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    ML you've gone and done it again. Fantastic piece of writing. Straight from the heart. Kudos.
  • Vuja De
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    An outstanding article, Mean Lean.

    Although you may be falling out of love with the game, your love for football shines through.

    The article puts the opinion formers from Fleet Street and their broadcasting counterparts to shame.
  • Eric Shaun
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    Great article.

    Agree, football has totally changed and Arsenal's approach to the game has largely remained the same.

    The ultimate question is do we want to continue as we are, cherishing our values and hoping to compete, or do we want to be taken over by a billionaire and completely change our strategy and manager?

    I'd love there to be a mandatory pole for all Gooners to answer this question.

    I'm happy as we are, thanks!
  • statpaul  - Arsenal armband
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    why is it that whoever becomes the captain leaves?
    Patrick Vierra is now a city man, Gallas had the armband for two years
    Theiry left too. then it was Fabrigas who became capitain for two years, he paid 5 million of his own money to leave. Now the current captain RVP.

    Why cannot Arsenal appoint a captain like Gerrard of Liverpool or king of ...who remain loyal to the club and the shirt?
  • LbWalksonWater  - This is the reason
    avatar
    Take a look at where the players from both teams in the 71 FA Cup final came from. That is part of the problem with English football.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_FA_Cup_Final
  • yidman123  - agree
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    I must admit im a spurs fan. but what youve said is so true. teams like arsenal and spurs cant compete because we are more strick when it comes to signings and wages etc.... but we dont spend above our limits which will leave us in good stead for the future. look what happened to leeds? People might moan about spurs for not paying the higher wages but im proud that daniel levy has stuck by his guns. and the same with arsensl ..they have a stadium to pay off but i feel when that debts payed you will be so much better off. hence i cant wait for spurs to get there ground development complete so we can compete in the right way!
  • MeanLean
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    Craig,

    Stick to the article topic or go elsewhere. This is not a platform for you to repetitively spout the same tired rubbish. Even Tottenham fans have come onto the blog with far more respect and that says a lot.

    Continuation of this will see you blocked from the site.
  • craig
    avatar
    ML - A bit OTT don't you think? No perhaps not. You really should rename the site "Arsenevision". You ask me to stick to the article. It's named "loosing faith"-well, surprise surprise- I've lost faith in wenger years ago. hence the IAWR statement.

    I guess you have a problem with me and my position or do you intend to block everyone who posts an opinion that isn't as loyal to wenger as yours?
  • MeanLean
    avatar
    Not OTT in the slightest Craig. The site is called Arsenal Vision and it is mine so luckily I get to make the rules. I find it disrespectful that you and others use the site to bang on about a particular agenda regardless of what the topic is.

    This article had very little to do with the manager and you failed to address any of the debate, instead writing the same thing you do every time you post. Not good enough I'm afraid.

    If you do not agree with that then that is fine, that would be your right and if not I have a suggestion for you. Perhaps you can set up a website called 'ArseneVision' (seeing as you are the one obsessed with him) where you can bang on about your dislike of the manager. I am sure Spectrum will be up for joining you there. You can do it all day every day and I promise I won't write daily comments telling you over and over again that I back the managers work.

    Just not here thank you.
  • Shogun  - Inspired!
    avatar
    Wow!
    This is truly inspiring ML, and it shows not just your love for Arsenal -but for the game of football as a whole, which is actually what we are missing in the present condition of things -players, fans like Rob* (regardless of club loyalty), managers(like Arsene), club owners, selected media..that really love the game and are willing, and will try too to speak out, do something about/against the direction the game has been going for years now, but just like you aptly concluded "i wont hold my breath"; i won't either. But to you personally i say -as we say in Nigeria- "carry go".
    *a gunner*
  • richie
    avatar
    Hi ML I really meant what I said above about feeling unworthy to comment on your excellent piece. I finnished it thinking brilliant! but I also felt so sad, because I know of your love for the club and I think you touched a nerve in all of us. I know only too well the nerve that RvP touched in many of us because we all hoped we'd found another Henry or another Bergkamp, players who I believe do have a real love for the club. Even though I know many question Henry's loyalty because he jumped ship, in his defence I'd just like to say IMHO TDH is an emotional guy whose marrage break up and subsequent divorce caused him to want to run away from his problems. Almost as soon as he left I think he found out his problems were still with him and he regretted leaving. Anyway I digress.

    I think RvP's actions as viewed from the point of view of many of us Gooners were seen as a dog bitting the hand of the loyal owner who'd fed, cared and nurtured him since a puppy. The letter from Jabba the Uzz I contest should've been treated with the contempt it merrited, why would anyone want a conversation with a man who's tried to trip you up, as he see's you staggering along contorted in grief because you've just agreed with your vet (that after your dog has turned on you, its owner, its no longer safe with the kids and) the animal you've loved all these years is gonna have to be put down.

    Seeing even a work colleague with whom you have little in common in an emotional state over the feeling of betrayal post the vets visit I think most of us would empathize and do the decent thing. In Jabba's case if he was an Arsenal supporter he could've offered to make sure that money wasn't at the heart of the RvP problem. For the multi Billionaire Jabba it would've been pocket change to say to RvP I want you to stay at Arsenal sign the new contract and I'll make up the difference in wages you'd get at city. Under those circumstances there would be "No Financial Dopping involved" on the part of Arsenal, just a fan wanting his favorite player to stay. Jabba ain't no Arsenal fan he wants control of Arsenal to make money.

    ML my friend I empathize with you over the state of the game and the unfortunate unforeseen direction its taken post these billionaires arrivals on our seen. I sympathize with all Gooners who've felt the pain of the betrayal that RvP has heaped on us, with his desperate calamitous Tweet. A text that has had two adverse effects, first it attempted to force his immediate transfer and second it lowered his price in the market place. A more pronounced blatant barefaced act of duplicitous treachery I can't imagine!

    Contrast RvP's actions alongside the multitude of recently sold Valencia players, Villa, Silva,Mata & Alba. Valencia were in such financial difficulty's that they couldn't even afford to pay their players. Knowing the only way out for the club was to sell their star players, those same players despite not recieving wages all signed long term contracts with the club, which enabled Valencia to realise the players top value on the open market. Is it any wonder that Gooners feel disillusioned?

    ML I can only hope that your love for all things Arsenal will help to assuage your current disenchantment with the state of the game, and that come the start of the new season you'll have found your energy levels renewed and you'll have returned to fight the good fight. Gooners need you! We can't afford the loss of real genuine supporters like yourself!
  • richie
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    ML A further post script concerning the idiot above;
    With little Arsenal news doing the rounds as is my habit I trawled the blogs looking for any Arsenal action. Although I dragnet a lot of blogs I very rarely comment on many of the others because I honestly can't be bothered to debate with the one cell life that inhabit most. While dragging at considerable depth, I once again found that strange creature that unfortunately continually surfaces in thse waters. A species of amoeba known locally as a "spectrum". Not really surprising I hear you all say, trawl the depths and you'll find all sorts of weird and wonderful types. O.K. so far.

    However this was an actual article written by the amoeba species known as spectrum asking for help from all the other amoeba species who inhabit the depths for their help to invade "Arsenal Vision"! I kid you not ML and my fellow Gooners! Not content to swim against the current as typified by the recent AST (hardly a pro Wenger organization) poll that suggested 70% of its members are content with Arsene's continued management of the club. spectrums article attempted to downplay the poll and suggested that he could do with all the help he could get trying to tackle the problems he was encountering while swimming on the surface at AV. I don't want to publish a smut link on this a family Gooner blog because I don't want to go against the natural nature of the universe, and encourage lower plant like to swim in our clean waters so I'll simple Email the link to ML so he can see for himself the depths that some will sink to. :D
  • Amit  - Brilliant
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    Hey ML -This is a great article it pretty much sums up my feelings win or loose Arsenal is my club and i really think the way our club is managed is the best way of doing it and everything in your article reflects wha a true supporter feels hats off keep up the great work
  • Jayjay  - great one
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    @ML always a great read from u. U and those guys frm untold are doing a massive massive job. May u love for Arsenal never wax cold. Nd sure so many things u spoke about are true. Falling out of love wit the game is gradually creeping in. Maybe the final straw on the camels baxk will be when Arsene walks. but so many things are just not right with football. This sure aint the game I fell in love with.
  • 'desi'gner gooner  - FANTASTIC article....
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    Congratulations ML on what is one of the best Arsenal articles I have ever read....well at least since our stadium move for sure.....

    You talked about principles in the beginning of your article and I just think that not just football but all walks of life are seeing a rapid erosion of principles. How many people one meets in day to day life can be called principled??? I think it is just a bane of this over-informational(most of it useless) and over-paid(the most undeserving seem to be making the most money)age, that principled men are just too hard to find. I started my own architectural practice after leaving the comforts of a good job 3 years ago and it has been such an eye opener in terms of finding out 'the real side of people'.....and believe me 'principles' are very rare to find these days. And to have someone like Arsene Wenger show such dedication and devoting to the club is so classy that I don't even have words to describe it. The man has made a few mistakes no doubt and thank God for that - cause it shows that he is human after all....And I wonder what will happen when he walks away into the sunset one day. Heck I don't even want to wonder about that for now....

    Also there was a great post by JD.....and I absolutely agree with him that how the hell does spending unlimited amounts to land a trophy mean being ambitious???? We are much more ambitious because we are trying to do it within our means and with a much more sophisticated way of playing....I mean Chelsea won the champions league but how they did it was real ugly...Even after so much spending over the past 8 seasons or so - they had to resort to 'that' to win the champions league. It was painful to see their two matches against Barcelona....contrast that to how we took barca on when they visited us last season and I would take that any season. It was such a dream game.

    Also the narrative of our club through the media is always negative. No matter who we buy - we will always be portrayed as unambitious. Arteta was painted as last seasons panic buy. Why at the end of the season did the same media not call him one of the signings of the season??? We won just one game without him in the league...he became such a lynchpin.

    But your article ML and the great response it has got via all the posts has been really refreshing. I hate the off season anyways because the transfer speculation, gossip and 'ambition' talk becomes really ridiculous. I just can't wait for the new season to start and watch Wengerball again...Giroud, Podolski, Wilshere ....am having a heady feeling already!!!
  • Spectrum
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    richie @02;22 - Hello. Been missing me have you ? It does get dull on this site when most of the articles and posts are slanted in such a way as to make Wenger look good. So I don't blame you for " trawling at considerable depth " as you put it. And why would you, an A.K.B., even bother to stop off at "Arsenal Truth" ? Very odd. Welcome, but odd nevertheless. But it WOULD make sense if you were GENUINELY interested in a different perspective. Who knows - you may even see a grain of truth in some of the articles on that and other, realist sites. We can only hope that you see the light .

    So you were shocked to find a post from me featured on the site were you ? Well firstly, I did NOT ASK for the blog writer to feature it as his main article. But I was pleasantly surprised and felt honoured that he made the decision to do so.
    I've got nothing to hide - quote from the article / post ; " I'd like to invite you to join me on the "Arsenal Vision" (pro Wenger site), in attempting to enlighten the A.K.B.'s on there. It's a frustrating experience, but strangely enjoyable at the same time. Your views would be hard for them to challenge. Though they're so delusional, they'd argue black is white." ( end of quote ).
    Pretty self explanatory and honest, I thought. And the article was all in the interest of public debate. Unless you don' t welcome alternate views ?

    Most of what I reproduced was from "Le Grove", and I wasn't selective about it either. I showed both positive and negative poll results, unlike you, who only zeroed in on the Wenger popularity bit in an effort to discredit me. I wasn't embarassed to include that, either. Here it is again ; "The big one. Do you support Arsene as the manager. 77% said yes."

    ( contd. )......"Some mixed results, and a surprise or two there. Remember that the Wenger question (as with the others) is limited to the views of AST members ONLY. Not Arsenal supporters OVERALL. I wonder what the opinion of Wenger would be, if we had a professional polling company conduct a much larger survey - with a more representative sample? " ( end of quotes ).

    See ? I was being honest. Incredibly, a sizeable number still support Wenger. And I was stating that this result was derived from only the A.S.T. members that were polled. Which is true. The rest was simply my reproduction of the findings of the rest of the A.S.T. poll. And a ( brief ) comment about it. Hardly scandalous, as you feebly attempt to make it out to be.

    My invitation to the blog writer to come on here was a tongue in cheek line. I didn't expect him to take me up on it. I certainly don't need help to duel with A.K.B.'s. But I'm obviously outnumbered by them on here, so it would be nice were it possible.

    So to summarise ; stop trying to inflate it into something more than it is, and making me out to be some kind of evil ogre. I'm no less an Arsenal supporter for being anti - Wenger. In fact I believe this stance makes me MORE so. To illustrate ; Wenger has recently stated that he won't change his ways of doing things, and he won't change the club's transfer policy. That's not surprising is it ? So it'll be MORE of the same that we've had for the last eight years. Expect nothing, and you won't be disappointed will you ? Is this what Arsenal has come to ? Afraid so, and it's all okay with you, hmm? What a sad specimen you are.

    "IAWR"
  • Spectrum
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    richie - As a follow up to my post above - The fact that ( as far as I'm aware ), Mean Lean has not commented on your pathetic attempt at character assasination, tells me that he thinks it's of little importance or relevance too.

    So now I'll leave you to "enjoy " another campaign of frustration and non achievement. ( Without our captain and saviour from last season, by the way ). Just as I predicted, the Van Persie saga has developed into another Cesc / Nasri fiasco, with the club refusing to show some balls and be decisive on the matter. Great management from all concerned.

    Do we ever learn ?
    "IAWR"
  • 'desi'gner gooner  - proverbially - you can't straighten a dog's tail
    avatar
    Dear Spectrum,

    Get A Life.
  • Spectrum
    avatar
    'desi'gner gooner" - "Get a life" ? Part of my life is supporting Arsenal. Not the people who are running it. What's your take on things ? Are you happy that with just three weeks to go ( ! ) until the season starts, we've STILL not sorted out the Van Persie farce yet ? No indication whether he will be held to his contract or allowed to leave. And if he leaves who to ? And for how much ? Wenger is allowing this to drag on ( again ). He has learnt NOTHING from last time, despite saying that he had.

    The team's pre season preparation is being affected the more this is permitted to continue. And this doesn't concern you ? Maybe the board will step in and decide for Wenger, as they did with Nasri. So far however, no leadership has been shown on this issue. And nothing but silence from A.K.B.'s like you. Some "supporters" you make yourselves out to be.

    "IAWR"
  • paspartu
    avatar
    'desi'gner gooner

    well said 12:26 !!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

    spectrum: Part of my life is supporting Arsenal....ahahahhaha ...clowns to the left of me jokers to the right here i am stuck in the middle with you ..ahaha ... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
  • craig
    avatar
    well said Spectrum. Good to have you back and bringing some sense to proceedings. ignoring the scum and trolls and the rose tinted views which occasionally can be found outside of the schoolboy writing, the silence on "Arsenalvision" is deafening.

    the pre-season results and performances have been hardly inspiring. Wenger's customary quotes about injured players coming back as being like a new signing - really, the press are bored with it, the fans are bored with it- when will he change his tune??? (never I suspect). Wenger even having the cheek to say that we are weak defensively after yet another poor performance from a suspect back four. He'll won't sign any defensive players to address the problem. He won't invest in a quality Defensive Midfielder either.

    it's deja vu again this summer. Yet another captain wanting to leave the sinking ship. perhaps there is another reason for the lack of posts and commentary from ML and other Wenger adoring folk. Perhaps the Olympics?, holidays?, nice weather? - none of these should stop posts with internet access so readily available (via smartphone, hotel internet access etc)- so not really a reason for the lack of activity.

    I suggest, the likes of ML, Richie and Paspartu are struggling to justify in their brains the repeated mistakes from past summers. (sorry, not sure why I credited Paspartu as having a brain :wink: )

    IAWR
  • MeanLean
    avatar
    Craig,

    Oh deary me. Let me clear one thing up for you. I stated at the end of last season that I had other projects on and family commitments so I wouldn't be writing as much for the short term at least. Nothing to do with the Arsenal manager. As I am sure you are well aware of, we do not share the same opinions so your a are likely to be incorrect.

    Since the down of the RVP letter, I am actually pretty positive about what our squad might looks like. Rumours are very intense that a certain Carole could be heading to Arsenal. I guess you haven't heard of him seeing a you failed to mention that potential signing to Spectrum. Sahin could be heading to Arsenal on loan and 3 of our first choice back four were not with the squad on tour. I am assuming you didn't watch any of the games. Youngsters like Eastmond, Miquel, Bartley, Yennaris played today and on our other games on tour. If you had watched you may have mentioned that. I assume that you saw the score line and wrote your comment. Hardly likely to have a mixed team with kids with a sprinkle of unfit seniors to produce a solid defensive performance.

    Not sure why you are so antagonistic when commenting. I am sure you care very little for my opinions as I do your own. That is fine, we all know your views. It is the only thing you say.

    What we do both know is this. Regardless of what you or I say. Arsene Wenger is the manager of Arsenal football club. I am content with that so I feel sorry for you.

    Perhaps take a break. He won't be at Arsenal forever, when he leaves (he won't be fired) then perhaps come back and express your enjoyment about supporting Arsenal. For some reason I cannot imagine that.
  • Shogun  - ML/Spectrum, why bother?
    avatar
    Why bother ML?... It's not as though any comment you make would make any difference to some, what baffles me though is why do they persis on visit the site and reading the articles when they already know -as spectrum posted- what to expect?

    @ spectrum: from your comments regarding the drawn out case of Rvp and as you put it -arsenal(or AW as you would like us all believe he's in charge) indicisiveness, i think i would be right to say that you have never in your life had to make an important decision before, not to mention one that would affect the lives of a whole lot of people, within a time frame, and with the pressure of other issues..and all these while still carrying out your everyday duty both domestically and professionally. Your ignorance is way beyond naivity.
    Answer this one spectrum, do you think past scientist and great brains of our time needed soldiers behind them to convince the world and the hundred of oposing figures that they were/are right? All they needed were facts and truth...if your words carry and untwisted truth and facts then you wouldnt need backups from 'arsenal truth' or any place else to drown out any number of false voices.
  • Spectrum
    avatar
    Shogun - You're simply making excuses for the manager's inaction. He himself has said that he DIDN'T WANT a repeat of the Cesc / Nasri episode, and yet he has got himself into it again. Himself - nobody else. That's alright though, as according to you he should never be held accountable for ANYTHING. From your comment, you even refuse to accept that he IS in fact, in charge. Well that's a first ! Perhaps someone is impersonating Wenger, a body double, maybe ?

    Poor Arsene. Highly paid to handle pressure situations like these, and yet you think it's all too much for him. Sixteen years of experience at Arsenal, and he's STILL incapable of making a decision, then ? Competent leaders are EXPECTED to make difficult and tough decisions. If they can't, they shouldn't be in the job.

    And yes, you're right, I don't need to use backups to support my case. But they ARE useful for demonstrating it. Common sense and observation is usually sufficient though. It's COMMON SENSE that you don't fall into the same trap as before. It's plain stupid to do so after you've just said you didn't want a repeat of it ! That makes him look a fool.

    And simple observation will tell you that other problems are continually left unaddressed by Le Senile : If it makes you happier, I'll quote one of my OWN ( earlier posts ) again -
    " A guy who keeps on saying we need to improve the defence, yet has watched us concede 31, 37, 41, 43, 49 league goals in the last 5 years."

    Guess I don't need "soldiers behind me to convince the world " about that "fact and truth", do I ?
    "IAWR"
  • richie
    avatar
    Defending the indefensible! Spectrum has taken lessons from John Terry and his lawyers. Which will come as "No Surprise" to most of us on here who have heard spectrums views, reguarding how much he so wished Arsenal was in Chelski's shoes. Looking on them with their sugar daddy Russian Billionaire with such envy.
    Spectrums defence = I know I said it but it was only "tongue in cheek". I know I said those racially offensive words but I was only repeating what I'd heard. John Terry got away with it in a court of law but in all honesty does anyone believe him? If the FA doesn't award JT the equal of Suarez it will only go to show what a spinless toothless organization it really is!

    Now lets not get carried away, no one is accusing spectrum of Racism, although I imagine many might consider his views on wanting a "British Spine" for the Arsenal squad (just like Chelski) a little Xenophobic for this day and age. Its just that inviting bloggers from a site like "Arsenal Truth?To help him out because he's out numbered on a rational blog smacks of the desparation of all those other dictators pushing their views, just before they fall!

    Concerning my search for anything Arsenal in the kipper season. If any Gooners should bother to plumb the depths searching for any Arsenal news as as I admittedly did, and bother to read the drivel, no two more contradictory words could ever IMHO, sum up such a blog than Arsenal & Truth. If ever a title should have been given "tongue in cheek" then that blog takes the biscuit, its a veritable EPL FA CC CL one season winner. Reading it I could only think of McEnroe's famous outburst at wimbledon "You cannot be serious"! Which by the way is most often my reaction to reading spectrums posts.

    All rationalists know that the club that spends the most buying up the best players around for their squad has the most chance of winning. Those same rationalists know that Arsenal with the help of Arsene Wenger punch way above our weight in terms of how far we progress considering our anual budget. We haven't got the sugar daddy that spectrum so badly wants, the Manu'er supporting Jabba the Uzz certainly ain't it, much as Speccy & Co would wish it so. In the meantime without a sugar daddy saviour we have Arsenals very own Robin Hood the best player developer in the EPL. Arsene. Even the anti Wenger AST thinks so!

    P.S. Can't wait for a serious offer to arrive for old RvP!! Come on Money Citeh out bid all and stump up £30mil I hear there are some really promising kids around with loads of potential that want to play for the Arse!
  • Spectrum
    avatar
    Craig - Hello again. Good to see that bulldog spirit of yours in the face of much hostility from the many A.K.B.'s that hang on every word that Mean Lean speaks.

    I see 'desi'gner gooner has stayed silent. Evidently he doesn't have a view of his own on the Van Persie issue. He'll merely trust that "Arsene ( still ) knows".


    As for "paspartu" ( or whatever his latest incarnation is ) - as they say........ " Empty vessels make the most noise....." :lol:

    "IAWR"
  • Spectrum
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    richie - And your solution to stop us leaking goals is...... ? Oops ! I forgot we don't have the money available, so we can never do ANYTHING about it , or whatever else for that matter, can we ? The perfect catch-all excuse. Might as well resign ourselves to becoming a Championship team then. Because if we don't do SOMETHING about it, that could be where we'll end up. And before you twist my words ( as you're prone to do ), that is NOT a prediction. But it is a possibility. Even the most consistent team - Man.Utd - got relegated once !

    "IAWR"
  • richie
    avatar
    Yes but we've never been relegated because we've always been consistant, one of our constants is being a traditionally conservative club and not spending a fortune on players. We've never done it thoughout our illustrious history, have we? We are not going to start now are we? Because we haven't got the sugar daddy you hoped for. Mentioning relegation? Haven't you noticed we haven't been outside the top 4 virtually since Arsene arrived. Only Manu have the same level of consistancy. Liverpool don't dispite their spending. Money Citeh are the new kids on the block so they don't. Spuds? Your favourite bogey man team with which to beat us with? Forget it. Even your favorite model for us Chavski missed out on a top 4 finish. It smacks of yet more desparation on your part mentioning relegation and Arsenal. Your solution to stop us leaking goals is a return to GG style football I suppose :idea: :?: :D :) :0 :lol:

    My solution is to talk football tactic's, not rubbish! I'd promote Kyle Bartley or find another centre half, no team has won the EPL by playing only European style central defenders. We ain't won anything since AW built the best defence the prem has ever known. With one centre half, and one Euro style central defender. Its the blue print that every successful prem team after the invinibles followed. JT & Carvalho, Rio & Vidic Lescott &Toure. Thats how I'd stop Arsenals defence leaking goals. But talking football isn't part of your "raison d'etat" you have another agenda, which will be best served after Arsene Wenger appoints his succesor, we all know AW ain't gonna manage Arsenal forever, and as long as no attempt is made to turn back the clock we'll progress with the revolution Arsene started.
  • richie  - Speccy doesn't know our history?
    avatar
    You don't seem to know your own football history!
    Man U were relegated in 74-75 under Docherty. Best left, Charleton retired. Man U weren't consistant until after the advent of the premier league, in 92. - Liverpool were Arsenals great rivals back then because they blitzed the 70's-80's and had 18 titles to Arsenals 10.(we were 2nd)

    Man U were only in the position we are now third in titles won. Having won only 8 when the prem started, but Man U had always had a big following in England, a lot of it I think came from the sympathy they got from the Munic air disaster when the crash killed 8 talented young footballers. Ferguson spent big for 7 years without winning the title but he was given the time to build. After winning Man U, commercially were in the best position to take the most advantage of the new deals offered by Sky TV and so they had the financial resorses to maintain their position. In other words Man U's consistancy came only when they had more cash to spend than anyone else, does that sound familiar?
    Ferguson could afford to do what no one else could, like spend a record amount £17Mil on a defender.

    With the sole exception of Arsenal its always been the richest club thats won the prem.
  • Spectrum
    avatar
    richie - ....."we've never been relegated because we've always been consistent," and ...."Haven't you noticed we haven't been outside the top 4 virtually since Arsene arrived." These statements only reinforce the need to prevent complacency. Which is what I was getting at. The TREND is the worrying part. I repeat ; THE TREND. Every year we concede more goals than the one before. Doesn't that tell you that our prized consistency is under threat ? Wenger has an attacking philosophy, which has provided us with highly entertaining football ( until recent years ). That is fine. But you have to have a balance !!!! Wenger's approach does not place enough emphasis on this aspect. He pays scant regard to defence, believing that as long as you score more than the opposition does, you'll have success. This attitude will work for a while, but when the attack becomes dysfunctional ( for whatever reason ), the flaw in this way of thinking becomes apparent *. ( * last season, anyone ? )

    For many years our attack has largely carried us through, masking this imbalance. Now that it no longer seems to be working, Wenger is left stranded. He can't employ tactics to offset it, as he is inept in that area. That leaves personnel. And he screws up in that as well - replacing quality players with mediocre and inferior ones with "potential". With the result being that each year our team becomes increasingly average, and our better players ( with frustrated ambition ) want out.

    Almost all successful teams are built on a solid defensive foundation. Wenger talks about how our defence needs to be better, but does little or nothing about it !!!! Year after year after year. He sticks relentlessly with his rigid strategy of attack, at the expense of balance at the other end. It's part of his inflexible mentality. This is evident in his transfer policy - why do you think the vast majority of the players we seek to sign are attackers i.e. wingers, strikers, attacking midfielders e.t.c. ? Because defence is only a distant and secondary consideration for him, and always will be. He won't change that, or anything else. He's just admitted this. I can post links to show it, if you want.

    As long as he continues at Arsenal, WE can expect no change either. We are simply marking time until HE himself decides he's had enough, because our gutless myopic board sure won't remove him. Now that sounds great to you, no doubt. But yours and the A.K.B.'s, blind unquestioning loyalty and support to the man ( and the board ) is preventing our club from achieving so much more than it has.That in a nutshell, is the tragedy of it. And why realists such as Craig, myself and others, are so vocal in our feelings about it. :idea: :!:

    "IAWR"
  • Spectrum  - supporting evidence.....
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    We shouldn't read too much into pre season friendlies, but as I said, the TREND is going the wrong way in defence. This from the " 7am kickoff" website......"The jist is that Arsenal have gotten consistently worse each season over the last five, not only in terms of goals conceded but also in goals allowed per shot and especially in goals allowed per shot on goal."

    richie and co. - Check out the links to the "goals allowed per shot " and "goals allowed per shot on goal " graphs. ( copy and paste ) ; http://www.7amkickoff.com/2012/kitschy-2-2-arsenal-conclusions-plus- cazorla-and-sahin/? utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed% 3A+7amkickoff+%287amkickoff%29

    ( And as Golum / paspartu is so fond of urging Mean Lean to proudly display HIS stats ( for my benefit ) on the front page* - * what do YOU have to say about this then, moron ) ? On second thoughts, don't bother. You wouldn't understand them anyway.:roll:

    "IAWR"
  • Shogun  - Spectrum re you sure?
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    You're unbelievable spectrum, and like i said before, your ignorance is way beyond just being naive -it borders on something else..
    Why don't you post that link concerning AW's claim to only strenghten the attack of the team, and then tell me how many deffensive players(both in mf and in def actual) we currently have in the team -including the youngsters coming in from the youth setup, and then compare it with the likes of man u's, please?
    And as for Wenger, in ur own words; he's said he 'didn't' want the repeat of cest and nasri, but since when does our problems respect our wishes and setup just the way we want them to? And just so the world doesn't think him inactive or indicisive; so he should hastily conclude the rvp matter even if its not the most favorable solution or decisions to make? He should blunder it just to make you and ur followers happy, right spectrum?
    And then you think Wenger is solely in charge? He has the last words on what to pay for a player, what to get for another etc...? I must have missed something, i am guessing you would be telling me he owns the highest shares in Arsenal next...?
    Wenger is an employee that may be allowed to evaluate but can be overidden any time the board or highest shareholder wishes to excercise that right. We saw it last summer with Nasri -not that any inteligent person needs that to confirm Wenger's possition in the club.
    And as for being a championship club, for how long have you and others like you been saying that, and still yet we end up in the top 4 year in year out. Last season was actualy the worst and still we finished one possition and a few points better. Why don't you just stop whining and get behind the club...?
  • Spectrum
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    Even the biggest can fall........"After 110 years in the first division, "the millonarios" were relegated, marking both for the club and for Argentinian football the end, and beginning, of an era. With 33 league titles, they have won more than any other club in the country. Three years ago they were Argentinian champions, and 15 years ago to the day, River Plate were crowned South American champions, winning the Copa Libertadores. But on Sunday, what for most Argentinians was unthinkable, unimaginable, or simply impossible, happened. After 110 years in the first division, the millonarios were relegated to the second division marking both for the club and for Argentinian football the end, and beginning, of an era." - The Guardian.co.uk, June 28th 2011.

    The circumstances were somewhat different, however they also had a strong attack but a poor defence, which contributed greatly to their downfall. ( And this, without the added handicap of Wenger being in charge ) !

    We've never been out of the top league ( so far ), but don't think : " It could never happen to us ". However unlikely it seems, it CAN. Ask the River fans.

    "IAWR"
  • paspartu
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    lol this boy needs therapy ..

    comparing some inka tribe with the intellectual supremacy of wenger and his club ?

    what you on about kid ? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    the handicap of wenger being in charge ....PMSL ......

    yes its a real handicap having your club managed by the best manager of the last decade ....... why didnt we sign 'arry...? damn...im losing faith :P :P :P :P :lol: :lol: :lol:

    why dont you go back to the "objective" arsenal truth site were the chief author admitts he has a personal fixation against wenger ...its a psychological condition ...empathy..its called .. 8)

    the nurse needs to up the dosage in you two ...... :D ..you need a box of vicodin and valium or else i cant see you making it through the season....and what if arsenal wins something...christ you lot might even commit suicide :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: who said positives cant come out of negatives ? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
  • paspartu
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    hey spectrum..i hear arsenal truth is back from his scouting tour in clairefontaine and sao paolo.

    any gems he can point to wenger and his stuff ? :P :P :P :P

    and i cant wait till craig gets back from the uefa coaching seminars ..i heard lippi was attending too.... boy oh boy i bet he learned a lot there !

    :lol:
  • paspartu
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    meanlean

    option 1: spectrum is a spud/troll/wanker/tosspot/rapedvictimoftheArsenal
    option 2: spectrum is working for usmanov/dein interests a/o just promotes their views as non-profit organisation

    ahahha....

    if none of the two option apllies then THE BOY NEEDS THERAPY

    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    we are talking about a deep psychological frustration with this kid here. I only know one person who can fix him .........Arsene Wenger ... :D
  • Spectrum
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    Shogun - You're making excuses for him again, and feeble ones at that. Re-read my post at 14;23. You should ask yourself why Van Persie's contract was allowed to run down in the first place. If the club values him as highly as they say they do, we should have offered him a new one this time last year, no ? Injuries are no reason not to. He's been injured on and off long before this, and it didn't deter us then. Thus Wenger would not be in this dilemma once more. Now that he is, ( entirely through his own negligence ) he tries to deflect the blame by insinuating that RVP has betrayed him. If Wenger had shown intent by spending the money HE'S HAD over the preceding seasons and strengthened the team as we all ( ? ) want and expect him to, Robin may have stayed.

    No sensible person is saying he should do a deal that disadvantages us. That's obfuscation on your part. But with Nasri, he was prepared to do just that ! I've been over this before, but for your sake, I'll do it again....Putting the Fabregas transfer aside ( another stuff up ), the parallels are similar. Nasri was in the last year of his contract too ( sound familiar ? ) and wanted to win things. As does Robin. Wenger wanted to keep him, as he does with Robin. City came in with an offer of 25 million Wenger refused it. Robin currently has similar offers being made, and now as then, Wenger refuses to sell. Kroenke sees Wenger was about to squander 25 million by keeping Nasri and seeing him go for free in 12 months, so intervenes,and ORDERS HIM to sell. slapping Wenger down in effect, and more or less humiliating him. The club sensibly saves 25 mill, and Wenger, suitably chastised, ( ? ) is forced to comply. ( I won't go into how this fiasco affected the team's preparation, and resulting panic transfers due to the delay caused ).

    Currently we have a similar standoff in progress. And it should have been sorted long before this. Will Kroenke be left to make Wenger's decisions for him AGAIN ? Or will we stand to lose multiple millions more ? Wenger has control of the transfers. He is given a budget to spend by the board. Gazidis has confirmed this, so yes, you did indeed "miss something." And Wenger also sets the wages, which is why we can't sell our deadwood. Agreed the board / shareholders have final veto power over who comes and goes. But they pay Wenger 7 million a year to decide these things. They trust that he will do so wisely. On the evidence so far, he's done anything but.

    Now that you've had that minor history lesson, I could accuse YOU of being ignorant, too. But I won't. Because you're an A.K.B., so I make allowances.

    "IAWR"
  • richie
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    "we've never been relegated because we've always been consistent," and ...."Haven't you noticed we haven't been outside the top 4 virtually since Arsene arrived.

    I made those two statements and your reply was

    "These statements only reinforce the need to prevent complacency". Complacency? Are we returning to 1984? Is this Orwellian double speak?
    The contradiction is astounding! Suspend all logic! The inmates are taking over the asylum! How can being consistant and not being outside the top 4 be consistant with complacency? If we are the second most consistant team in the prem? and statistically we are. Can you explain your illogical statement? No? Why is that? Is it because it doesn't fit in with your agenda?

    Its the same suspension of logic that takes place when Arsene's Arsenal defence is discussed. Fact! Arsene Wenger built the most successful defence the prem has ever known, but like all of us these days now that we know better. We all love watching Arsene's Arsenal play the great attacking football that he has the team playing, and no one wants a return to the dark old boring days of one nil to the Arsenal type of defending. Well at least no one who can offer a logical reason as to why anyone would want to return to being boring.
  • richie  - Orwellian double speak = Spectrum logic
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    Suspend logic again! We did offer RvP a new contract last year and the year before that! He refused to discuss his contract, even that far back which makes many of us think he had an agenda. A bit like you.
  • richie  - The return of the silly little ditty?
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    Or should we all now readily accept the reality of the situation?
    "In Arsene We Rely"
  • Spectrum  - Talk about thick.....
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    richie - What's your problem ? Typical of an A.K.B., you can't see the other side of the coin, can you ? It's perfectly simple and clear. Here, I'll explain it in the context it was intended, so you can ( hopefully ) absorb it - Yes we've been doing relatively well. But the defence TRENDLINE is suggesting otherwise, ( or didn't you notice that we only just scraped into fourth place just a couple of months ago ) ? Just because we've BEEN doing o.k. doesn't mean we'll CONTINUE being o.k.. Nothing stays the same forever. And when it starts to change, then we should be wary. Any sportsman or competitor in any field of life even the military, will tell you that the biggest enemy you can face is being self satisfied - thinking that you've done enough.

    In fact the official dictionary definition of "complacent" IS self-satisfied. A worthy description of Arsenal football club under this administration. ( Closely ties in with apathy and lack of ambition, but that's another subject ). Have you looked at the graphs I linked you to ? We're not only defending more poorly, but we're doing it in a worse manner ! A lot of which is down to weak, ineffective coaching. If that TREND continues unchecked, as it is currently doing, it won't matter which shiny new strikers we sign, because we'll concede equal to or more goals, than we score. Simple arithmetic. Teams that concede too many goals, inevitably slide down the table and as a consequence, don't win anything - even the fabled top four "trophy " that you so proudly covet.

    The ( ultimate ) end result if taken to its natural conclusion, is that we become the equivalent of River Plate. A big club, that suffers the ignominy of relegation. And who also thought it couldn't happen to them. Heaven forbid that extreme hypothetical should ever happen to us, but if Wenger ( or any future neglectful manager ) doesn't wake up and pay more attention to the defence, we eventually could. Any clearer now ?
    "IAWR"
  • Shogun  - @ spectrum, contradicting urself.
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    So the board slaps Wenger down...thesame AW that's incharge gets slapped down by the board, maybe what you need is a primary lesson/defination of what being in charge means. And your saying the board gives Wenger the money and allow him to use it anyhow he wants is truly just plain stupid. What you're saying in effect is should Wenger decides to spend a 100mil on a player the board would have no say in the matter...just for the reason that they pay him 7mil to do the job, right?..and same goes for player wages, bonuses, what the club should accept for players they wish to sell and so on...? I truly wonder why the club bothers to have acountants then, seeing as AW has a limitless take as much money as you want whenever you want it 'card'. I would ask you what you think the club should do about rvp -considering you have the inside gist on the exact offers thats been table, and rvp's exact value/evaluation to/by the club -but that would be a waste of time.
    I know nothing about the SA club you mentioned, but something you wrote interests me; it could happen to anyone... If it could happen to anyone, so why make it sound as though arsenal is the only club at risk of facing that fate? Like you aptly mentioned no club is exempted from that occurence, not even the currently bigger ones, what do you fail to grasp though is arsenal stands a better chance of avoiding that than even most of the currently top clubs today.
    Lastly, when you find a way to force a player to sign or renew his/her contract then please dont hesitate to share with us.
  • richie  - Can't see the wood for the tree's
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    I certainly didn't notice that we scraped into 4th place a couple of months ago because we didn't!!! Despite our worst start ever we were 3rd!!!
  • Spectrum
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    richie@10;31 - And why do you think he held off signing it when it was offered to him ? He was waiting to see how things panned out at the end of the season, and what Wenger and the board would do to take the club forward ( which incidentally, is what's written on our crest - l.o.l. ) The club had plenty of opportunity then and since, to prove its intentions to him and, of course, us the fans. They have failed the test, not only last season but before that.

    That is a damning indictment of the club. They are to blame for Robin leaving, and for the ones who left before him.

    "IAWR"


    * And third, not fourth. But you know what I meant.
  • Shogun  - Spectrum answer the questions
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    And i see you failed to provide that link you promised of AW's claim to only concentrate on the attacking aspect of the team, and nothing on the defensive personel currently at the club in comparison with man u's.
  • Shogun  - Own up spectrum
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    The way you throw out random comment is truly funny. At first you claimed the club -or rather Wenger- failed to offer rvp a new contract until it was too late, and when you got found out and proven wrong, you instead pretend and act as though you never mentioned it..but instead turn it around to blame his not signing on the club's lack of ambition...? What would you come up with next when presented with the facts to blow that little lack of ambition rant of yours out of the water?
  • richie  - Yet another case of suspend all logic
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    "We are but warriors for the working week" Why does such a one come to mock at us? When its plain for all to see our hearts for the most part are firmly in the trim. The best that this one can offer up as to any reason to follow his motly crew, is that the Arentinian club River Plate have been relegated?

    I well remember the last year Bertie Mee was our manager the 1975-76 season when Liverpool won the league and we finished one place above the relegation zone, because of that our old player Terry Neill came back and took up the reins for the new season. It was the hotest year on record and by May it was already roasting when we ended in the lowest place we've ever been since our 1919 promotion at the Spuds expense. Even our fiercest critic's mentioned above the swamp dwellers will concede there isn't a chance in hell of us being relegated anytime soon, not even if we had a start to the season the equal of last. (Our worst ever).

    These type of scare tactic's only work on the gulible few (Que craig) those who worry about worrying, or those whose have an agenda other than the best interests of Arsenal Football Club (Que spectrum) who is still claiming to be a Gooner despite publically stating he wanted Arsenal to lose games so that his agenda would move forward? If that isn't Spud logic what is?

    You'll all have noticed of course Speccy doesn't discuss actual footballing issues? Its all football politicing, the manager, the board, contracts why a player wants to leave, why can't Arsenal spend big, why don't we have a defence like GG had, its all so negative that many of us reasonably ask "how can this bod claim to be a Gooner"? I mean when we came back from two nil down to beat the Spuds last season 5-2 and everyone was buzzing. Speccy was complaining that we'd let in 2 goals? Forget that one was a dubious penalty. The fact is Speccy is a crusader and like all crusaders he's a zealot, he has unshakable beliefs. Show a zealot that science (stats) doesn't support their claims they'll say its a matter of faith. Show logic (stats again) and they'll wriggle like an eel and move the goal post to suit their arguement. and say yes but logic doesn't count because look at what happened to River Plate. Its a pointless arguement which is why I've always thought spectrum was a 5th columnist Spud infiltrator.
  • Spectrum  - To correct you.....
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    Shogun - You've misread what I said regarding the links. I presume you're referring to this ; (quote ) " Because defence is only a distant and secondary consideration for him, and always will be. He won't change that, or anything else. He's just admitted this. I can post links to show it, if you want. "

    The links I was referring to were about him not intending to change. Those statements were in the news just a few days ago, in case you missed them. Those were the links I meant. You appear to have confused that with ones to a supposed preference by Wenger for attack over defence.* * I don't think anyone can deny that this is the case, however. Just look at the last five years, and the players Wenger prefers to recruit.

    And about the comparison with Man. Utd's defensive players - It's not about numbers, it's about the quality of those personnel and more importantly, tactical utilisation of them and the ability to get the best out of them on a regular basis. Fergie obviously does far better on that score than Wenger. And he has the trophies to prove it. And the fact that Fergie is more decisive in his business.

    "IAWR"
  • Spectrum
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    Shogun - I've always maintained that Wenger and this board have no ambition ( other than to place profits above on - field success.) Don't you think Van Persie realises that too ? He doesn't live in a bubble, you know. He reads newspapers, watches t.v, reads blogs and forums, like we supporters and the rest of our squad do. And he also has a mind of his own. Like Cesc, Nasri and Clichy. You can pretend that all is rosy amongst the players, but I'm sure their private thoughts often don't align with their public demeanour. Van Persie spoke out because he'd probably prefer to stay, but knew if he did he likely never achieve his aims as a footballer. How can we condemn him for that ? And even IF, I say "IF" as you insist, money was a factor, wouldn't you seek a job where your efforts would be better rewarded, AND gain the maximum chance of fulfilling your career goals at the same time ?

    Of course you would. And you'd be a hypocrite if you said otherwise. So please, spare me the bleeding heart sob stories about him being disloyal and a traitor e.t.c. He gave eight years of his footballing life to see that dream happen AT ARSENAL. And sadly, they turned out to be wasted years.

    Go with my best wishes, Robin, and join a club that's going places, and with supporters who will appreciate you, not turn on you.

    Thanks for the memories.

    "IAWR"
  • Spectrum
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    richie - I've mentioned before to Mean Lean, I think it was, why I don't talk much about on - field footballing issues. It's because like the writer at "Arsenal Truth", I have become totally disillusioned with the team UNDER THIS MANAGEMENT. Again, in case you didn't hear it the first time - UNDER THIS MANAGEMENT. And by management I mean not just Wenger, but the insipid closed shop that we call a board. My beef is not with the club per se, but with the mob who are pretending they're running the show for our benefit, when it's really for themselves. And for Wenger's personal vanity and ego. Mean Lean saw where I was coming from, you apparently, can't.

    I will comment more on the players and team matters when the needed dramatic changes occur ( or in the unlikely event that Wenger proves me wrong by winning the league ). Then I'll gladly eat humble pie. Wenger has two more years left to run. After that, when his latest attempts at resuscitating Project Youth ( mark 3 ) inevitably fail again, I think he'll finally leave in frustration. That will be the day we get the monkey off our back. Until then, I'm content to be characterised as a crusader. ( At least you got that right ).

    And richie - You don't think there can be direct and indirect correlations sometimes, between what happens off the pitch with what happens ON it ? There are examples of this all the time. Aren't these "footballing matters" too, and worth highlighting? It's all Arsenal related isn't it ?

    "IAWR"

    P.S. The River Plate scenario was a hypothetical, and you know it. I am just saying that anything can happen when you neglect your responsibilities ( i.e. in our case, defence ). River Plate was a high profile example, there are many other clubs who have been through the same experience.
  • Shogun  - @ spectrum, in ur own words..
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    In your own words spectrum, you must lack ambition yourself or you are a hypocrite, if not, why would you still bother with supporting Arsenal -as you claim? Why not practise what you preach and follow rvp to a club you would be better rewarded with trophies and where you can gain the maximum chance of fufilling your dreams of supporting the greatest club with the best manager -or whatever your dream is?
    Besides like you claimed we will never achieve whatever aims rvp -and by extension you- have as a footballer/fan. So spare us all the bleeding heart sob stories of AW being the enemy and all that. You have given us all these years trying to educate us about football and to see AW get sacked, and sadly they turned out to be wasted years. Go with our best wishes spectrum, and join a club that's going places, and with supporters who will appreciate you, not think your views are worthless.
    Thanks for the excercise.
  • richie  - @ Shogun
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    Very well said my Gooner Bro!! You've nailed it in one! If I was as unhappy with even half the things going on at Arsenal as Spectrum is? I'd take a long holiday for however long things took to change. I wouldn't stand like King Canute ordering the waves to turn back. Year after year he preaches doom and gloom and year after year we do so well considering all the oil wealth stacked against us, that more people are converted to the Arsene Wenger philosophy for Arsenal. Its so obvious that given the limmited resorces that Arsenal make available to Arsene he works wonders. Now because that doesn't fit in with Spectrums agenda he claims that the board because of Wenger are earning bundles, whereas every independant financial analysis says no dividends have been paid out to shareholders since long before Kroenke bought AFC. (Ref Deloitte football)

    Spectrum used to wants to be a Chav because he was so envious of Abromovich's millions, he wanted us to buy this player and that. Now he's changed slightly and thinks Money Citeh is where its at! But as I stated above I have never come across any Gooner anywhere on this earth who wants Arsenal to lose apart from Speccy. He claimed he wanted us to lose to hasten the end of Arsene Wenger, I can't even contemplate ever wanting my team to lose. Never mind lose just to further an agenda I have can you? Which is why I come back to my arguement that I know there are Spuds who get their kicks from infiltrating Gooner blogs and winding up true Arsenal supporters to get those supporters to slag off their own clubs. Spectrum IMHO just has to be a 5th columnist infiltrator! What else can explain his actions?
  • paspartu
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    In your own words spectrum, you must lack ambition yourself or you are a hypocrite, if not, why would you still bother with supporting Arsenal -as you claim?

    hehehe shogun ...spectrum dont support arsenal...spectrum is just interested in gatecrashing other people;s respect and admiration for what wenger has done to and for this club...thats all he does...he sees ml here and others being positive about arsenal, respecting the manager, seperating responsibilities of owners and managers and players but no he dont care about that. all he cares about is being a ballbreaker to those who agree with a policy of spending what you make and doing the sensible thing. he also does not like the fact that people genuinely support what he dislikes , arsene wenger..thats cause wenger has raped his mind for so many years with all the bitchslaps he has given to tottenham.... :wink:

    In Arsene We Rely 8)

    ( genius richie....genius)

    IAWR :D

    P.S spectrum .......get out the way you turd youre blocking the drainage...dilute ffs... :P :P
  • richie
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    Its amusing really when logic is suspended. Line up our Defenders and Line up Man U's next to them and then play Speccy's game, decide who you'd like to swap out of ours for their? Then turn it on its head and try who they'd swap for ours?
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