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Come on you gunners (where did you go?)

The club that changed football

Looking for a terraced house in Northamptonshire?

Coming this week – “The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal”

Making the Arsenal

Referee Decisions - just what are the refs up to this season?

The only guaranteed loss weight programme

By Walter Broeckx

This has to be the flattest Arsenal performance I have seen in a long while.  From the start it seemed as  we couldn’t get  of first  gear and well we got stuck in that gear for the rest of the game.

I think this was what can be called a typical case of international hangover.  Weren’t the players focused on this game? Well it looked like that. The good vibes that were in the team after the West Ham win were not visible at all. At West Ham we played with pace and with an good attacking game. Now we just played the ball around in a slow way. No penetration from the midfield. Nothing came from the flanks. It was as if the break had resulted in 11 new players playing together for the first time.

We could point at some missing players.  And don’t see this as throwing the stone to Santos but we sure did miss the overlapping runs from Gibbs today. Santos is a different player who drifts more to the center to join the attack and in today’s game we could have done with a left back who can get to the byline and run past defenders on speed. Santos is fast in his car but not the fastest around to continue to run his flank up and down.  Santos has his own qualities but today was not a game for him to flourish in.

I do think Mannone will be very disappointed.  And he does have all the reasons in the world to feel that way.  I also would like to say that it was one of those moments where you wondered where the midfield was to put pressure on the Norwich player who took the shot. It came but too little and too late. The shot was not the most difficult shot in the world and a top class keeper could have done all kinds of things. Smother it with your hands and let it bounce just in front of you. Push it wide if you are not sure about being able to retain the ball.

But never should you push the ball back to the middle of the goal. That is fine with a reactions save and then nobody will say a word. But with a shot like that you should make sure that the ball ends up in the safest area possible. Now it ended up in the most dangerous area you can find on the field. But for the rest I don’t think he did much wrong in this game.

But when the team has a bad game it is important to not commit mistakes. We made one and we paid the price. At West Ham we went on to put more pressure on the home team and we turned it round. Now we just didn’t seem to get that far. Was it being sure in our heads that we would turn it around? Maybe being too sure? After all we have a reputation of coming back from being behind.

But Norwich sat back and defended low and in numbers and with Arsenal playing too slow we couldn’t create much.  Those who know me a bit longer know I don’t like it when teams defend like that. But it is not against the rules and it was up to us to find the answers. And we just didn’t.

The most terrible thing about it is that when you look at the league table this is a big loss. A win would have taken us up to 4th place.  And right behind the teams who are leading the pack.  I think the players let themselves and the fans down big tonight.

And to add to the misery we maybe lost another player today with an injury. Oxlade-Chamberlain came on, made one run and then the defender made contact with him when he kicked the ball out and he was struggling. So we even had to bring on Gnabry for his début in the PL. Bad game to make a début one can say.

I know some will need to find a black sheep. I can imagine the usual suspects that will be in the line of fire.  But I do think that maybe today it would be better to not look for 1 black sheep but for 11 black sheep.  I do think that every player will be aware of the fact that this was a bad, bad performance on the day. I hope the manager will tell them that such a performance is not good enough for them and for Arsenal.

But things are like they are. We can get mad about it, it will not change a thing. We can be sad about it. That is usually my reaction and is the way I feel now. But well…it also will not change a thing. We just have to accept what just happened.

But as a supporter the only thing I can do is shake my head in disbelief. Feel let down by my team on the day. We must learn the lessons we should learn from this game like: no game is won on paper before the game!

And then we have to  look forward. On Wednesday there is another game. The team owes us a better match against Schalke. Who will be on a high after winning their local derby at Borrusia Dortmund yesterday (1-2). So well maybe next week they will be thinking that the game is won before it is played? And maybe we will be ready to make up for the loss of today.

Nothing is for granted in football. No game is easy in football. I hope today the whole team learned that lesson and will remember it for the rest of the season.

Come on you gunners! We can be down now but tomorrow is another day.  We can do better than that.

 

50 comments to Come on you gunners (where did you go?)

  • avatar Edu

    How did Ramsey play?

  • avatar John

    I am generally positive and supportive of the team and prepared to recognise that everyone can have an off-day. It was such a shame that this affected the whole team yesterday, with very few positives. Gervinho’s confidence seemed to evaporate as the game went on and he always stopped in front of the defence to turn back inside, giving them time to regroup. One positive note was Gnabry, who did not look out of place during his brief appearance.

    However, the worst feature was the last ten minutes, putting Mertesacker up front and hitting hopeful long balls. We are the Arsenal, not Sunderland!

  • avatar danish gooner

    I cant believe we can still play this casually and expect to be challenging.

  • avatar davi

    I think the loss of Gibbs really cost us the goal as well because Santos played Holt onside, while the other 3 defenders were in a perfect line. Perhaps he wasn’t on the same wavelength as the others. Didn’t expect an easy game yesterday, but it looked like some of the players did. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll pick up in the next game, but it’s not title-challenging form.

  • avatar walter

    The goal reminded me at one of the goals from Blackburn in our painful loss last season. It was also Santos then who played the Blackburn player on because being too low. But after that Santos became better and better.
    And the team then suddenly got on to a nice run in the league with some 14 games with only one defeat in both PL and CL.
    We can hope for another reaction like that ! Well I am..

  • avatar Doublegooner

    Wenger admitted ” We weren’t good enough”

    Hope he includes himself.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Very very poor, we always seem to have one or two of those in the course of a season. You are right, no point in blaming individuals, that was collective. But I do sometimes wonder about the quality of our gk coaching since bob Wilson left, I would also question the level and severity of injuries that afflict our keepers. Vito is not the worst third choice in the world, but that is what he is, and try as he does, sometimes inevitably it shows. The
    I do worry thay wenger may have been factoring in continued fitness of jack, diaby and rosicky when assessing his squad in the summer, this has come to bite him in the past, and it seems again, the injuries mount after the autumn inter lull. Wenger must buy in jan if we look weak, despite his clear reluctance to do so.
    But all is not lost, this is a relatively new team to this league, these blips will happen, especially when players are clearly tired. Much is made of the fact the top teams all won after the inter lull, but they are mainly packed full of experienced epl players, we are not, this season and were not at the start of last season either. Things will improve, but wenger must be prepared to strengthen this time if needed, all is at stake. We need to take advantage of new sponsorship deals over the next couple of years, and Cl football is vital to that, and keeping fans onside.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Very very poor, we always seem to have one or two of those in the course of a season. You are right, no point in blaming individuals, that was collective. But I do sometimes wonder about the quality of our gk coaching since bob Wilson left, I would also question the level and severity of injuries that afflict our keepers. Vito is not the worst third choice in the world, but that is what he is, and try as he does, sometimes inevitably it shows.
    I do worry thay wenger may have been factoring in continued fitness of jack, diaby and rosicky when assessing his squad in the summer, this has come to bite him in the past, and it seems again, the injuries mount after the autumn inter lull. Wenger must buy in jan if we look weak, despite his clear reluctance to do so.
    But all is not lost, this is a relatively new team to this league, these blips will happen, especially when players are clearly tired. Much is made of the fact the top teams all won after the inter lull, but they are mainly packed full of experienced epl players, we are not, this season and were not at the start of last season either. Things will improve, but wenger must be prepared to strengthen this time if needed, all is at stake. We need to take advantage of new sponsorship deals over the next couple of years, and Cl football is vital to that, and keeping fans onside.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Just off topic but on the game: the assistant in the first half made also a school boy error when he raised his flag against a not offside Arsenal player. Gervinho was meters offside and the ball was initially played in his direction but because of a touch from a Norwich player the ball ended up in the middle of the field with Giroud who was never offside but the assistant ignored the wait and see rule and he raised his flag from the moment the pass from Jenkinson left the latter his boot.
    That is why they say: wait and see. Wait to see if the ball ends up with the player who was offside and if not you keep the flag down.
    But more about that in the ref review of course. But still a bad mistake

  • avatar Gf60

    It was all Poland’s fault. The silly sods who left the stadium roof open on Tuesday night resulted in the headlines that England players needed sleeping tablets to come down from their caffeine high.

    “Caffeine? That’s a good idea,” thought Arsene…”we’ll have some of these.”

    Problem 1. Somehow the pills got mixed up and the lads were given the sleeping pills.
    Problem 2. Some prat thought it would be a good idea to fly to Norwich. Going up and down so quickly…it’s all of a 15 minute flight… upsets nervous tummies. So sick and sleepy players took to the field.
    Problem 3. Norwich had let in 9 goals in their previous two games but only had 2 players away for the interbloodynational break. We had 15. Hughton spent the time well. AW had no time.
    Problem 4. Sick and/or sleepy…it really doesn’t matter. When was the last time we lost at Norwich?? We DON’T lose at Norwich. Do a Shankly…throw our shirts on the field and tell the players that they don’t need players inside them to beat this lot.

    Had I realized all this before the game started, perhaps my euphoria of having the spuds grab defeat from the jaws of victory (even if it was against bloody Chel$ki) and our local lot who play with the wrong shaped ball reaching the final of the Currie Cup, may well have dissipated. The comedown was a real sickener. Even the Merlot taken to dull the pain tasted a bit off.

    We were, to put it mildly, a bloody disgrace to the shirt. Lacklustre, gutless, out of sorts across the board and slow both mentally and physically. That we got away with only a 1 goal beating despite having twice the possession, was a relief. Possession of course is immaterial when it consists of moving the ball from their penalty area back to ours in four or five easy stages. Then to rub salt into the wounds, the Ox comes on and gets injured in less than a minute. Theo will be laughing all the way to the bank.

  • avatar Dan

    So, are we out of the title race by October once again?

    By the way, I’m tired of this rubbish 4-5-1 (it’s not a 4-3-3) formation… we need two nuisance-causing strikers on the pitch. Whether it’s a 4-4-2 or a 4-1-3-2, I care not… we need more penetration!

  • avatar Javu der

    Pathetic display

  • avatar Maverick

    I am seriously wondering if Wenger is going to sign another contract because for all his hard work the Players aren’t showing a level of commitment. Something at Arsenal is fundementally flawed and i am sorry to say that we are not going to see another trophie for many years to come…….even when we get very good new players they all seem to fall into the same trap as our old disguarded players, don’t defend as a team get complacent and in general do not have the heart or the fight to be champions. I almost wonder if we are purposefully not winning or something it seems so suspect that every ****ing season the same stupid mistakes and attitudes and complacency has cropped up and STILL has not been nipped in the bud……..it is beyond retarded. To be perfectly honest i am sick and tired of being sick and tired of the Arsenal team, even with new players it is the same crap just a different season. Soon to be the next liverpool talking about our illusturous history but it has been 20+ without the EPL and never have won the CL, if we win a major trophy this season i will eat my left nutsack! I don’t know how to feel about how we are going anymore these players leave me beyond numb……that was the most gutless performance i have seen in years and that includes when we had passengers like silvestre!

  • avatar dan

    Not good enough, but we’ll pick up.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    This was a performance that we will want to forget, but I hope Wenger does not let the players forget. Making basic mistakes is bad enough, but what concerns me more is that our normal tempo and commitment seemed lacking.

    No disrespect to Norwich, but we really should be looking for a certain 3 points. Having had such a bad start to the season Norwich were always going to bounce back at some stage, we should have made certain that it was not against us.

    We have developed the nasty habit of presenting most opponents with an early first goal and then we end up chasing the game – not the way to tackle any team, why give the opposition the advantage?

    Oh – Doublegooner – I see you have chosen this moment to climb out of the AAA sewer – typical – just remember your earlier comments have not been forgotten.

  • avatar bob

    “I do worry thay wenger may have been factoring in continued fitness of jack, diaby and rosicky when assessing his squad in the summer, this has come to bite him in the past, and it seems again, the injuries mount after the autumn inter lull. Wenger must buy in jan if we look weak, despite his clear reluctance to do so.”
    Mandy Dodd,
    I agree and would add a few decibels to your apt analysis.
    As was warned hereabouts in August, AFC/AW’s gamble that the midfield would not go injury-free and that an additional clinical striker was needed has now come true. Saying no to the want-aways was also my position – if only in Song’s case to add to the insurance we’d need against dropping valuable points before Jack and Rosicky returned and before Diaby would need to sit out the customary injury. And, as was noted – and confirmed by Gazidis in the last week – the money was there then for the spending on insurance. FFS, do we not need that insurance now? All the reasons not to spend prevail; and the advocacy that we spend for insurance is seen as somehow awry (to put it politely). Perhaps January will make up for some deficits; but first we might consider that there are deficits and that it is a gamble not to turn to preventive medicine first, rather than crisis intervention afterwards.

  • avatar Florian

    I would look at this from a slightly different angle. There is a pattern for teams that face an upcoming decissive match to underperform in the match that precedes it, when these two are separated by only a few days. So, I’d factor in the Schalke game here. Also, Norwich were not in front of us in the table, and certainly won’t get there any time soon. So, they were actually an opponent against dropping points is not a total catastrophy. To put it another way, this wasn’t a six pointer. The Schalke game is much more important than this one, I trust the players are aware of it and will rise to the occasion.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Agree Bob, think not replacing Song was,a gamble, if a calculated one. Song and theo were productive players last season, they are and will be missed unless replaced with similar quality. Wenger does not tend to buy players from the EPL which, no matter how good some of these buys are, can mean a bedding in period, I sincerely hope mistakes are not made on Theo’s departure, because infuriating as he can be, he will will missed especially if he returns to haunt from a rival…and we do not yet have complete experienced replacements within the squad, maybe the same could be said for song, though I suspect his departure was a tactic to ensure the likes of jack, diaby, rosicky, Ramsey and even arteta were ensured reasonable game time as much as anything else. The gk situation also worries me, is chesney yet another recurring back in two to three weeks bordering on a year injuries…..and was he full and frank when he did play clearly injured in his most recent game. But as bad as things seem this evening, it is worth remembering wengers teams are just as capable of wonderful unbeaten runs as they are of completely inexplicable defeats to teams in the drop zone. We have put in some great performances this season. As well as some shoddy showings. We clearly miss diaby, or a player like him, or a player who can compensate for his loss, wenger surely has to factor this in when jan comes. A bit more help on the gk front will also be needed, especially if ches is out for longer than the two weeks, as I strongly suspect he might be.

  • avatar Persian gunner

    Bob you were right about gambling on injury free season from the begining!
    I was asking myself, why Mr Wenger did not use the team who played in FA cup, they showed a lot of fighting spirit, they would never underestimate the Other team, and looked the game as a big opportunity to present their best. And it would be a good resting time for the first team

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Arsenal gambling on an injury free season, even in relative terms………I really hope wenger is not doing this. I believe he sees injuries as development opportunities, but yet again, we have, what, eight or nine injuries in the first team squad….when conventional wisdom suggests we suffer when we hit seven…..which is pretty much every day of the season. The more I think about it, the more the song thing worries me, I believe that game was actually a blip in itself, but we are starting to look stretched in some areas.

  • avatar Doanythingformoney

    Pass and MOVE! If the passing is going to lead to anything– there must be MOVEMENT. Static passing is useless. We don’t see the Fabregas, Hleb, Rosicky triangles because they were always moving and Arteta, Cazola,|Podolski. Giroud and Gervinho won’t. Apart from Ramsey- who is always trying to get the ball forward and is constantly finding space and trying to put pressure on defences? Nobody (although Gibbo and Jenks are improving rapidly). Jack, Rosick, Diaby and Walcott– please come and help Ramsey move these walls, and their 9 defenders, about– before we all die of boredom!

  • avatar allezkev

    But Wenger did try to replace Song. He tried to sign Sahin.
    But that ever so nice chap Jose Mourinho ensured that it didn’t happen.

  • avatar Damien Luu

    @Maverick: “To be perfectly honest i am sick and tired of being sick and tired of the Arsenal team, even with new players it is the same crap just a different season.”

    Then go the f*ck away, just like your f*cking nickname. Shoo! Shoo! We don’t want, need, or like anything nearly like you.

  • avatar Ken

    Chelsea and the Manchester clubs played thru their international hangovers and beat better teams than Arsenal lost to. The person with the biggest hangover is Wenger.

  • avatar Ken

    Wenger is the biggest hangover.

  • avatar Doublegooner

    bjtgooner:

    Can see one comment from me questioning ‘Lord Wenger, Coach of the Decade’ has raised your heckles.

    I’m not a betting man, but I reckon we’re in for a few more annual lack lustre games & performances this season. of course it’ll always be the players fault.

    Perhaps you can refresh me what past comment got under your skin ?

  • avatar ARSENAL 13

    every season we need such a performance….earlier the better. AND hopefully we show the naysayers this is one off. NO place better than Schalke..

  • avatar bob

    “every season we need such a performance….earlier the better.”
    “But Wenger did try to replace Song. He tried to sign Sahin.
    But that ever so nice chap Jose Mourinho ensured that it didn’t happen.”
    Allezkev, Arsenal 13,
    Say what? Look at what you’re saying. We now have a 10 point gap, 8 games into the season. Arsene doesn’t use such rationalizations and excuses. Rightly, he is angry at the performance and does mind the gap:
    “The gap is very unpleasant. We had an opportunity that Tottenham could win and we could win, and we both lost.
    That, of course, makes the gap a lot bigger and you cannot say you do not worry about that.”
    Buying Quality and Affordable Insurance for the inevitable injury and returning-from-injury gap could have been done. There was more than Sahin, assuming that was even a serious bid and that he was an answer (have you tracked him since?) By January, would you say that even you won’t be worried – or can we avoid another one (Arsenal 13) of these Norwich-style performances?
    What we need is honest analysis, not head-in-the-sand cliche.

  • avatar GoingGoingGooner

    Let’s just win the next one.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Doublegooner – Please see, within brackets, a previous post to you – date going back to Feb 2102

    [Kindly read below a paragraph from your 12.12 post 19 Feb to the title “Watching the Arsenal on ITV today”: -

    “I will never allow anyone to say to me ’I am not a real fan’ or go & support that lot or any whoever, especially coming from some overseas idiot who only started supporting the club when Wenger arrived.”

    Kindly explain what you mean by “some overseas idiot”]

    You were asked that question several times and you never answered! I am surprised your memory is so short term.

  • avatar John L

    the perfomance v norwich exposed something that ive been observing for quite sometime now. which is that we dont move off the ball and make intelligent enough runs. yesterday was bad, but i feel we are often guilty of running square and to in ‘position’. I believe our technical quality sometimes masks this. also the runs are often individual and not part of a greater team context. a simple illustration of this is when we cross the ball into the box, i dont get the sense that players have roles i.e near and far post runs, a late run into the box, another player sitting at the top of the box to mop up. this allows the crosser to whip the ball into space confident in the knowledge that there will be a team mate breaking his neck to get there, it also makes it a little harder for the defenders as they get stretched. united are a team that do this very well, and they get alot of goals from it.

    which all brings me to think of one of my all time favorite players; freddie ljungberg. not the biggest player, quick but not the fastest, good on the ball but not really a ‘wing-wizard’, good team passing but not really a ‘maestro’. where he was absolutely world class and up there with the best was his movement. he was constantly moving and more importantly his ‘runs’ were varied. drop deep, drift into the center, dart out wide, diagonals then square then direct and back again. this is why he was such a key player for arsenal and, for me, on par with all the rest of the invincibles.
    i think in chamberlain, walcott, gervinho, gnabry, poldi and ramsey we have players that are capable of this. but they need to step it up both individually and collectively. they need to be more creative and expressive off the ball. this was a trademark of wenger’s early teams but i think since the invicibles we have started to lack that a bit, is it the move to 4-5-1? is it that the premiership has changed?…..either way we would do well to improve this aspect of our game!

  • avatar John L

    how i feel about the norwich game will ultimately be decided by the next few games and our response. yes it was an extremely flat performance, but this happens to all good teams, its the great teams that respond positively. wengers sides can go on great runs hopefully this will kick start one of those…..

  • avatar FunGunner

    @ Walter
    Very sad post, hard to disagree with any of it. But at least it was our first bad performance of the season and very uncharacteristic.

    @ bob
    The problem on Saturday was not being short of midfielders. We played badly and we didn’t put the effort in. Did Song never play badly? Did he never have an uncommitted performance? That’s a red herring.

  • avatar Stuart

    When the voting for Manager of the Decade was taking place, they forgot to ask Doublegooner who should be. If they had, this would obviously override all those wanna be experts who are just merely managers of other premier league teams. How arrogant can anyone be?

  • avatar Stuart

    John L
    I think being a quality manager has kept Wenger at the top level, winning the league however requires you to be assisted by luck and/or the officials (some might say these are one and the same). Not winning the league does not make Wenger a poor manager, he is after all, just one cog in the entire Arsenal machine but every season, luck (or lack of it) has played a major part in Arsenal not gaining any silver wear (twoafees). Now there are many critics who say it was his fault for this and his fault for that but they are only speaking with the gift of hindsight and had luck gone our way, then the doubters would not be.

  • avatar alex

    The only thing that I agree with Wenger is that “October will tell a lot” about this team.There is no hiding for me.It is a little bit premature for me to give any judgement.
    We do not have tough fixtures on October.Perfectly winnable like the Norwich one.

    No empty excitement after one win or silly draws.

    The demand is not exaggerated i guess.

  • avatar John L

    @stuart,

    erm, at no point do i say that wenger is a ‘poor manager’ for ‘not winning the league’ or anything of the sort. i am in no way criticizing wenger, merely making an observation about the tactics of the team and players. one that i had recently while watching some old season reviews (98-04) and that ive had while watching our games.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Stuart, agree you need all that, plus either petro dollars or a turnover of a hundred million a year more than we get. Only three teams in the epl are consistently more successful than us, two need rich guys to keep them going, the other needs refs to do the same at times. Following arsenal can be frustrating as well as rewarding, watching callow youth or overseas players stumble to success sometimes after years of injuries and inconsistancy only to be plucked in their prime…..by at least one club and agent seemingly out to destroy us is galling. Our turnover of top players I would imagine is almost unique at our level, it hurts at times. Performances like the last one also hurt, it is easy to lick old wounds, to indulge on old failings such as perceived or not…goal keeping performances, but luckily, we have schalke on we’d and a chance to move on.

  • avatar Doublegooner

    bjtgooner:

    Thank you for extracting a small segment from that past post. Without remembering the discussion verbatim, I seem to believe that someone was questioning my support of the club,because they disagreed with my views I therefore responded that I took great offence, therefore calling that person an overseas idiot. If that idiot was from the UK, then they’d have been a UK idiot, as it was likely they were from overseas, then they would be an ‘Overseas Idiot. Either way, I repeat, I take great offence when my support is questioned by an idiot for whatever reason probably has never seen the team live, whether they reside from within these shores or beyond and by many of who only began supporting The Arsenal when ‘Lord Wenger’ won the club silverware in 1998.I

  • avatar bjtgooner

    @Doublegooner

    How can you be sure that, in that debate, you were not the idiot? you certainly came across that way!

  • avatar weedonald

    Doublegooner…..I am an overseas supporter who may, due to many factors beyond my control, never get to see AFC live ,either at the Emirates or anywhere else…and I began supporting Arsenal back in 2001 when I first saw them play on SkyTV. So what is your point? Is it a xenophobic attack on anyone who isn’t a Brit or been following the Arsenal since 1912? What are you trying to imply….that you have to be British or live in the UK to be a ¨true¨supporter?
    You are fortunate enough to be able, I presume, to attend games home and away for the Arsenal and have been following them for a long time….Good for you but so what?

  • avatar ARSENAL 13

    @bob…

    Well…Mr Wengers statement after the game shows his frustration. His frustration……the performance (lack of it) not the lack of personal.

    Now Liverpool have Sahin, what difference has he made????…
    I think if Mr Wenger really wanted him, he would have had him.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Lots of conflicting stories around sahin….the one that seems most convincing to me is that wenger decided he lacked pace, his wages were too high and his midfield would end up over crowded with players fit…..yes, I know that last point demands further analysis these days

  • avatar Stuart

    @ John L
    You are right, at no point did you say Wenger s a poor manager, and at no point did I accuse you of this. I was just adding to the conversation and commenting on the general concensus that is held in some quarters.

  • avatar Stuart

    I love the way that Doublegooner has backed up his discriminatory comment with another mindnumbingly idiotic comment claiming it matters how long you have supported Arsenal.

  • avatar kkgooner

    Every season is the same story with the same director. Only with some new actors. I expect to be disappointed every season starting from 2008, and i really believe afc will never ever win a trophy again but nothing will change, i’ll still be a gooner.

  • avatar A. Stewart

    @ Weedonald, I think Doublegooner’s point is pretty clear.

    In that whether being local or foreign, there is a significantly defined segment of the AFC fanbase that thinks criticism of Wenger’s policies and the club’s direction is akin to not being a “true fan”. At the end we all want the same thing, which is success for AFC, we just disagree on how to get there or in some cases who shall lead us there.

    The club (and its fans) is the permanent institution. Players, managers, directors etc are transient and temporary.

    The best analogy I can come up with is Nation vs. Government.
    You can wholeheartedly disagree with the policies of those currently running your Country (temporary and transient in nature) but still be wholeheartedly patriotic in wanting the best for your Nation. I can be diametrically partisanly politically opposed to another individual who supports a different party and governing policies than me, but in no-way would I think that because they don’t support who I do, and the policies I support to run the Country (the permanent institution), that they are somehow less patriotic or less “true” to the country.

    This may be a generalization here, but Wenger loyalists are often extremely quick to question the loyalty of those who oppose Wenger and his policies as not supporting the Club, and are often very quick to dismiss those with different views as somehow impure. It simply doesn’t come near as much from the other side, the vast majority of those who question whether someone is a true AFC fan, are those who believe Wenger is irreplaceable and almost Arsenal.

    And for many a long-term Gooner who supported the club before Wenger, often long before Wenger, it’s very offensive.

    Wenger is not Arsenal Football Club, players come and go, likewise, managers come and go.

    With regard to his “overseas idiot” reference, he explained he believed the person to be overseas, but regardless my observation is that the majority of AFC’s global fanbase only became supporters during the Wenger years, obviously largely in part due to the style of play then (we play nothing near as attractive as before, for years now), and also simply because globalization and increased technology made AFC and football in general more accessible to a wider global audience, which again, just happened to coincide with the Wenger years.

    Moreover, because a lot of the overseas support (which is entirely necessary for a club to grow today, and I constitute part of that overseas support btw, but years before Wenger) only know AFC during Wenger’s reign, they are often the quickest and loudest to shout down anyone who disagrees with Wenger..I see this repeatedly and often throughout the Gooner blogosphere, and I can only imagine it to be extremely offensive to many a loyal GOONER who have supported AFC in some cases for many decades, through many good and bad times, and through many managers.

    That’s my take.

  • avatar A. Stewart

    @ Walter re: the original article:..

    “I think this was what can be called a typical case of international hangover”. Chelsea, United, City and even Liverpool have no shortage of international players and all won, and the former three all faced tougher opponents than Norwich, and all went behind in their repsective games, and in the case of City contended with a man down for most of the game…

    We can’t continue to use this as an excuse, big clubs have international players, deal with it, get them prepared and ready to not have these REPEATED hangovers seemingly every season, that is the manager’s job.

    Lastly..

    “I hope today the whole team learned that lesson and will remember it for the rest of the season.”

    We say this every season and often multiple times per season recently. Clearly they don’t learn the lesson, many of the same players involved and then little changes with new players, so at some point perhaps it’s time to look towards management as being complicit in these players obviously “not learning lessons” from repeated mistakes, however, in the image of their manager it’s unlikely that they will, because in my opinion at least, not learning from previous mistakes is a serious flaw in Wenger’s management style.

  • avatar bob

    Fungunner,
    your head-in-the-sand, fun-gunner approach is not to my central point – the need to buy for insurance purposes. And the midfield was dead, which to you is a one off and to me is a symptom of not enough quality to turn to right now, in part because of injuries. So your minimalist snarky reading of my point (it’s not just Song, as you’d have it) is your same old Song. You would seem to gamble on having too few options at hand given AFC’s injury woes and act like its being smart.

    Arensal 13,
    I never wrote to you that Sahin was the answer and agree he was not, nor that was he the only option last summer. My bringing him in was in response to allezkev who brought up Sahin’s name, not to you (If you read the posting again you will see.)

  • avatar bob

    Arsenal 13,
    We (that would be me and you) don’t know what’s in Arsene’s head re. the quality of personnel. That’s your projection to say his comment is his frustration and no reflection on the personnel. No one can know this, n’est-ce pas?