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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

It's better to play away at the moment says Wenger

In his press conference prior to the Porto game Wenger paid tribute to the fans and acknowledged their right to express their dissatisfaction though he believes it has crossed the line recently. Arsenal players were mocked on the pitch and jeered as they were substituted in the last two home games against Villa and Wigan

In reference to this trend Wenger said "It is a difficult situation when the home crowd is against you, but what can you do? Our job is a public job, so you have to deal with all kinds of responses from people.

'In some respects it's better we are playing away, it's easier than to come straight back to the Emirates" as he went on to claim "Porto's stadium is hostile but at least they will be hostile to all 11 of our players"

Higher prices and astronomic player salaries may have served to create a greater sense of entitlement amongst fans but Wenger doesn`t think that big money has a bearing on the way players perform.

"If you look brutally at it, and compare the wages then the fans have a point. But if you divide the wages by 20 or by 100 as when I played, I still made bad passes" he said.

"Once you are on the pitch, how much you are paid doesn't play a big part. It's how much you want to win. When you are in the game you have to take risks and this also means misses.

'If you encourage a player to kick the ball forward when he has the ball at the back every time he will not make many mistakes, but his strikers will die of hunger.

'If you encourage a team to play, and the players to play, they will make mistakes and when they are tired or when they are out for four or five weeks you have to accept that it is part of the mistakes"

Though he clearly feels, as many do, that fans reacted poorly in their recent treatment of the team he understands their importance.

"Without fans we cannot play football so we have to turn the fans in our favour even if we have to say sometimes, 'Listen, now you have gone a bit too far. That is not right'," Wenger said. "We have to get the fans on our side because the club, basically, belongs to the fans. When I am gone, the fans will still be there for the club, so they are the core strength of the club."

There is a bit of work to be done on both sides. The team hasn`t been performing consistently well so far this season and neither have the fans yet both want the same things. That has to come from a common sense of purpose but that is much harder in an industry that, to some extent, has created customers out of supporters. If fans increasingly see themselves in that way does that mean the present malaise is here to stay?

The most disaffected fans are those of teams of which most is expected. Liverpool fans booed their team off the pitch after a dull draw against West Ham recently even though it took them to the top of the table. In a curious way failure is most likely to change the attitude of expectant fans. You`ll often hear the most vocal and committed support amongst fans fighting relegation. The singing of 'Bubbles` at Upton Park is never louder than when the Hammers have a battle on their hands and the delirium that envelopes the Spuds when they snatch an unlikely draw are both consequences of long periods of genuine underachievement.

Maybe we also need a dose of genuine failure in order to be more appreciative of relative success.



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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday December 10 2008

Time: 11:44AM

Your Comments

If we see a £50k per week player strolling round the pitch he will get jeered and booed. They want our cheers when they do well, but nothing when they make a mistake (which we all do) or when they are lazy. Newsflash, it doesn't work like that, not in the real world and inside that stadium it is the supporters world not the players, they have been employed, nay "invited" into the stadium we call home. So show it constant respect by at least running your ‘arris off for the cause as I do singing for 90 minutes AND paying for the privilidge.
LondonGooner
Just another quick point, West Ham atmousphere has been awful this season, shambolic even, i've been.
LondonGooner
"Porto's stadium is hostile but at least they will be hostile to all 11 of our players" - Wenger is a comedic genius!!
Rocky7
booed! it was more like groans and a few jeers after the west ham result.
EZLFC
Amos is right aswell as Wenger, we do need to get behind the team, but that should not be unconditional and that is what the club seems to be expecting from.
LondonGooner
Not unconditional LG - just proportionate.
Amos.
It hasn't seemed that way to me or many other's though Amos. We are all never going to react to the same situation the same way that is the only thing we CAN be certain of. Labelling people for their natural and understandable reactions is futile and pointless. As is trying to please all the people all the time, from the clubs perspective.
LondonGooner
I'm not aiming this at you LG as you have gone to great length to express your thoughts and opinions, and I respect that, but I get the impression a few other fans are now pointing to other reasons as the inspiration for their booing of Eboue. Could it be just a cover up as now they a feeling remorse or embarassment for singling out one of our own when it was complete un-needed?
Rocky7
As always Wenger makes good points, but did he also think that sending Arsenal to Old Trafford in the FA Cup with the blatant intention of losing or at the very least avoiding any 50/50 tackles was a step too far? I would imagine traveling fans paying to watch Arsenal get willingly pasted by a fierce rival also crossed the line of acceptability, yes the fans perhaps went too far with Eboue but Mr Wenger is not blameless in his disregard for the fans at times. Arsenal seem to want well behaved robotic yet passionate fans who also keep their emotions in check but relentlessly cheer the team on but also remain rational but at the same time totally "Believe" in this team because Wenger says that this team is ready to win now but at the same time be patient. That's all they ask from the fans...oh and lots of money.
Professor Calculus
Rock - Im knackered mate. I will no longer explain myself becaus emy keyboard is melting lol I see where you are coming from though and some are probably feeling foolish for their own reasons for doing what they did. But this last part from Professor Calculus sums the whole situation up nicely -----Arsenal seem to want well behaved robotic yet passionate fans who also keep their emotions in check but relentlessly cheer the team on but also remain rational but at the same time totally "Believe" in this team because Wenger says that this team is ready to win now but at the same time be patient. That's all they ask from the fans...oh and lots of money---- Fabulously put Prof.
LondonGooner
Sorry, praising Wham's atmos?! Hahahah do me a favour.
shewore
That's a mighty big presumption that the team was sent out with the 'blatant' intention of losing Prof or that the team 'willingly got pasted'. Did Fergie send out a team with the 'blatant' intention of losing to Coventry last season or did Liverpool and Chelsea 'willingly' get beaten by Barnsley? All managers have to take decisions to manage resources as best they can and if fans really have the expectation that equal priority has to be given to every contest then disregarding them is probably the correct course of action.
Amos.
All managers take decisions, but that doesn't excuse those decisions or the fans being cheated of seeing a competitive game Amos. If LD went, ask him how he felt after that match.
LondonGooner
Prof - the perfect analogy for the clubs expectations of us!
Gunnerman
Pretty fed up I am sure but you won't hear quite the same degree of negative appraisal from LD even though he is capable of expressing his dissatisfaction very colourfully. I went on a Legends tour after that game and Charlie George was also particularly scathing about the performance but not of the view that there was anything intentional about it. Of course bad decisions have been made and they will be made in the future. But are they made with blatant intent or disregard of the fans? That's just paranoid nonsense even if we went there with a mindset that it wasn't a contest we were likely to get much out of.
Amos.
I have always seen the glass as half full, but recently with the behaviour of Wenger and his strange decisions making and statements and the lack of application shown by the players in many games that is changing and my charity levels towards the club are dwindling as the same with many other 1000's of fans. Against Man Utd, the players didn't give a toss on that pitch and pulled out of tackles all over the shop. I would say there was an element of "doesn't matter if we lose" about that game.
LondonGooner
I would think that's right - there was an strong element of prioritising in that game. Given that the next fixture, 4 days later, was against Milan in the CL, a contest most were predicting we would fail, it was the right thing to do. Is it a blatant disregard for fans to prioritise a competition that most would prefer us to go further in or in reality a greater regard for loftier ambitions?
Amos.
Amos I understand all managers have to tackle resources in exactly the same way all fans have to manage their budget for the month, the major difference is that unlike fans who pay for a performance, Arsenal aren't paying for any performance from the fans, they didn't pay for a season of great support from the fans only to end up with negative sulks abusing their own players Eboue, they aren't paying to interact with hostile fans, they are getting paid to do a job. If someone said to me I could play football for a living and get heckled by 60.000 fans once in five years for £50.000 a week, do you think I would play the victim? I am not one who believes in this idea that because fans pay they are entitled to act like morons, but a huge club with it's employees living a life most mortals can only dream of, turning round and saying that their fan base which they have shat on from time to time, has gone too far, it just doesn't sit right with me.
Professor Calculus
OK then Amos, hows about the club make their priorities transparent then, if you're saying it was the right thing to basically throw the FA Cup (which it probably was) then why don't they just come out and say it? Because they want the money. In the fan/club relationship they want the money and we want a performance, seems fair to me. If a club is going to prioritise a game then perhaps they should let fans know so that they can decide whether to spend money and travel to support a team which hasn't turned up. Let's turn it around, let's say that like Arsenal this season, the fans only turn up for the glamour games, so the stadium is empty for at least a third of the season, it's not that we aren't supporting the club, we're just prioritising our support for the big games.
Professor Calculus
The reality is that they have gone to far Prof., and no-one need be embarassed to say so. I don't see how the money changes the core point though I accept in may fans eyes it does. The club puts all it's resources back into the club in the form of investment in new facilities, playing staff and recruiting and retaining managing and coaching staff. The board as a whole isn't overly remunerated and as yet the sharholders haven't drawn dividends for many years so the financial justification in the context of this club is invalid given that everything is re-invested in the club doesn't stack up. The concept of supporters creating a hostile environment for the team they purport to support at their home ground doesn't sit right with me - it's as uncomplicated and as simple as that.
Amos.
Ouch, those are some rough comments from Arsene.
gunnerkid107
--"it's as uncomplicated and as simple as that."--No it's not. Few things are uncomplicated and simple and especially when Arsenal fans who are easily amongst the most patient and tolerant in Europe, turn on one of their own players. There is a chain of events which led to that abuse and a current scenario of frustration which gives the abuse multiple layers of complexity. I'm not trying to justify it but I also think that if unconditional support is part of the job description for fans, then 100% effort and performance from the players is also part of the deal. Of course both are impossible asks which is why I think it's a bit rich when Wenger comes out and says that fans have gone too far when fans have up until recently silently accepted his experiment which has kicked up some questionable performances. It works both ways.
Professor Calculus
I don't think it takes a great deal of brain power for the average fan to work that out for themselves Prof., just as you seem to accept that it probably was the right thing to do. As for making policies transparent Wenger has and had at the time claimed his priorities were not the domestic cups. No-one need be under any illusions about that. As for fans picking or choosing the games they prioritise that goes on already and I am all for it. The club fixes it's prices accordingly hence low(er) price entry into CC games and less glamorous matches. Fans have always made it known when they are unhappy and I like most others will whinge and groan along with the rest. That is quite different from the nakedly hostile atmosphere created in the last two home games. That has gone too far and is against the intrests of most fans. No amount of bleating about ticket prices or player salaries justifies it.
Amos.
Good debate chaps, Prof Calc completely agree re layers of complexity, i've made that point in a couple of other threads. The performances last year at OT/WHL in the cup were appalling, but at the time, we were on for the league 'we'll back to win the league' i vaguely remember singing up there...and when that all went tits up, questions were quite rightly asked about the merit of playing some first teamers in those games or the naked lack of ambition in them. As supporters of a premiership club, you are there to get mugged off, but at Arsenal, we just appear to be paying for it through our noses.
shewore
Give me a break Prof. If Arsenal fans are 'easily the most patient and tolerant in Europe' then they wouldn't have acted as they did. What patience are you talking about? We haven't won a trophy in 3 seasons? Such a patient lot some gooners! What chain of events are you talking about? That we have built a stadium that many are struggling to even get past the conception stage? That we have moved the club into one of the richest in the world competing regularly at the highest level of the game? Some Arsenal fans demonstrated just how absurd that claim is in the last two home games. I think in a more objective appraisal of the 'most patient and tolerant fans in Europe' many more worthy candidates come to mind. I would think many neutrals outside the club would be in hysterics at the vey thought that we would even be on the list.
Amos.
Gents - our fans are no better or worse than the rest of the top four. I think it's a romantic notion to suggest that we are in any way more patient or tolerant than any others.
Gunnerman
And as Amos states - looking outside the top four to the rest of the English leagues, and then the European leagues - to suggest we have amongst the most patient and tolerant fans is really pushing the boundaries of reality considering the events of last week.
Gunnerman
Amos I said "amongst" the most tolerant and patient in Europe, and they are, which is why it was all the more surprising when they reacted badly to Eboue. Toure basically said this. So don't use selective quoting to react to a point I'm not even making.
Professor Calculus
I don't even think we have amongst the most patient fans dude. Are you really that surprised at the reaction? Was I disgusted? Yes, surprised? No, not really. It has been inferred that the booing was a disguised jab at Arsene, it seems as though Eboue got the brunt of the "fans" disinterest and disappointment at the teams current predicament.
Gunnerman
Gunnerman, for a top four club with extremely high expectations Arsenal fans are extremely patient and tolerant. Many ex Arsenal players will say this, and a few rival managers have dropped hints about this as a means to insult Wenger, you must remember Mourinho's dig at Wenger when he called Arsenal a unique club saying that "What other club would worship a manager who has won nothing for four years, Arsenal are unique". The most expensive tickets in the world, mostly packed out stadiums, great away support in ALL games, never any serious crowd trouble at home or abroad, the one incident on saturday and that suddenly makes Arsenal fans intolerant and ruins their mostly admirable track record, I don't think so.
Professor Calculus
I think we're definitely amongst the most tolerant out of the 'top' clubs in europe (if we are a top club at the moment) can you imagine the likes of R Madrid/Barce fans putting up with Eboue left mid? They sack managers who win the leage ffs! This 'tolerance' is filtered down from board, level, who will remain tolerant as long as we get into the CL and keep filling the stadium, which, at the end of the day, is all they give a flying **** about.
shewore
Sorry Prof., you are right I did inadverdently and subtly misquote you though Gunnerman got it right. I think if Eboue were a one off I might be more inclined to accept that even with your qualification of 'amongst' there was some merit in your claim. But Bendtner had to endure the crowd mocking him in chanting for Adebayor to replace him against Villa the home game before. And then they cheered and jeered as he went off. I think that Toure was being diplomatic though almost anyone would and should be surprised that any group of supporters, let alone those easily amongst the most patient and tolerant could demonstrate as much impatience and intolerance and hostility as they did in those two games.
Amos.
Ironic that the reason that Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea was that he wasn't able to deliver the club what Wenger has delivered for Arsenal despite more than £500mn of extra revenue over 5 years. I guess Abramovich, faced with a need to continue investing at the same level, might be more patient and tolerant of the greater depth of Wengers achievements when they are considered in more than a superficial light.
Amos.
Fair point mate - I agree we do have patient and tolerent fans, I never said we didn't. But my point is that so do many other clubs throughout Europe of whom your description would also fit. I'm just not convinced that we are a special case, and as such I am not surprised as the reaction especially considering the bubbling of frustration. Hleb was a prime example - he got rinsed by our fans on occasions. Eboue has had it before, Bendtner, Senderos. Admittedly not to the same level but like I said, I'm not surprised as the reaction at Eboue was a culmination of circumstances.
Gunnerman
Amos, not too sure i agree with that, Mourinho was sacked for being an ego that refused to pander to Abramovic's wants - he delivered the premiership twice consecutively, something i'd kill for.
shewore
@ Shewore. Exactly. Arsenal is like a nice cosy family set up compared to the other big clubs, in Spain for example the players don't even comment on fan politics, it's way off limits, same with Italian football where the fans constantly let the team no who actually owns the joint. Let's cross over to our pathetic wannabe neighbours who have been through countless managers during Wenger's reign due in part to insane fan pressure based on unrealistic expectations, Man Utd fans heckled Ferguson and the team a few years ago, Chelsea fans screaming "you don't know what you're doing" to Avram Grant just before they beat Arsenal. Newcastle fans screaming the same at Allerdyce. Arsenal fans are no angels but they give players a fair go of it. Wenger has not received any in your face abuse (yet) and Eboue has a history which is not shrouded in glory to say the least. To claim his abuse as evidence for Arsenal fans intolerance is way off the mark for me, Wenger is constantly talking up this team, the team often seems to make his words look hollow. I would like to ask those who think Arsenal don't have amongst the most tolerant fans in Europe one question. Can you think of any other major top four club in Europe which would support an experiment such as the one Wenger is doing right now? With the added bonus of the most expensive tickets in the world. Perhaps Barcelona going for youth instead of experience or perhaps AC Milan selling their current midfield and going for untested youth instead. What about Real Madrid, Man United, Chelsea or even top six teams? Arsenal fans are patient and tolerant and always have been, they were amongst the first fans to smash racial barriers, to bring in female fans, so many things which require tolerance and patience were started by Arsenal fans.
Professor Calculus
Abramovich's wants included having the respect and admiration of that Wenger had brought his club. I guess given an extra £500mn Wenger could have delivered at least as much in the same period but thinking about it he would probably have invested it in a new stadium looking for more enduring success rather than quick trophies . It pays off over the longer run - just requires a little more patience and tolerance.
Amos.
Bayern Munich. Ajax. PSV. Lyon. Maybe??? I can't really comment to be honest chap, although Italian and Spanish football might be different because in some cases, the fans actually DO own the club.
Gunnerman
To ask whether Barca or Real or Milan or any of the other established big clubs would support the Wenger experiment is asking the question of the wrong clubs. They wouldn't need to support it and were Wenger their manager they wouldn't need to experiment. Ask Abramovich if he would have wanted Wenger at the helm when he bought Chelsea - ask Spuds if they would have wanted Wenger to have joined them instead of us in '96 or Villa or Everton or any of the other European clubs of a similar size and status to Arsenal at the time. The only reason why you can talk of Arsenal in the same breath as those clubs is because our manager and the clubs owners have put us there. The 'experiment' is part of a huge investment over a number of years that has taken us from relative mediocrity to a club with huge and increasing assets and prospects of enduring success. There would be no need for the 'experiment' if we hadn't been willing to make the financial sacrifices in the short term neccessary for us to become one of the big boys in the longer term.
Amos.
Yes Arsenal fans were most probably out of order on saturday but man oh man, a diving cheat who has never apologised for anything he has done wrong (whilst players like Toure always come out and say they were sorry if they acted badly, like the CC final against Chelsea) gets heckled for having a shocking game and suddenly Arsenal fans are intolerant inpatient scum who are so bad it's better to play away from home, this is laugh out loud loudicrous, hows about Wenger's players are so spoilt and immune to criticism that Wenger has somehow yet again deflected the responsibility so that the fans are beating themselves up about their one ouburst.
Professor Calculus
Arsenal fans maybe patient, tolerant, but they're also quiet. The level of noise at the Grove sometimes borders on embarassing. Which is probably what is so upsetting about saturday; seldom do the fans make that mush noise outside of the scoring/final winning whistle.
ChaosTeaCup
Amos as always we'll have to agree to disgree, I fundamentally have different views about Arsenal than you, that much is clear now, and so we are never going to agree nor convince each other.
Professor Calculus
Chaos, do you have to bring that one up? It's so boring now. The experiment isn't a result of the short term spending at Highbury, it's a combination of the financial burden of the Grove and Arsene's ego.
shewore
[quote]If we see a £50k per week player strolling round the pitch he will get jeered and booed.[/quote]Let me make sure I understand this correctly, Londongooner. If your boss and coworkers are unimpressed with your work and believe you're not putting in the effort they feel they deserve, it is acceptable for them to gather round you to boo, shout, and hurl abuse? Would that really be the most effective way to turn you around and get a good days result from you? It's just plain old mob mentality if you ask me. Some genius boos, then his drunken fool of a friend does the same, and so on and so on.
smithdj74
You should ask Bendtner whether it was one outburst. You might also seek out Song and ask whether in hindsight the experience is so unique. What is laugh out loud ludicrous is that somehow a group of fans can convince themselves that creating a hostile environment against their own team is in someway of any benefit to anyone remotely interested in the club no matter what grievances they have against the club or its policies.
Amos.
"Arsenal fans maybe patient, tolerant, but they're also quiet. The level of noise at the Grove sometimes borders on embarassing. Which is probably what is so upsetting about saturday; seldom do the fans make that mush noise outside of the scoring/final winning whistle" -- exactly, that's why the abuse Eboue got has made so many of us upset. If the home crowd were consistently loud, vocal, passionate regardless of what's going on the pitch, backing the team, cheering them on (esp. when we're losing), I don't think the Eboue incident would've generated so much attention. Also, in AW's interview on the official site he said that the fans on Saturday were great for the most part, he praised them, and that it surprised him when they reacted so badly to Eboue because up until that point they'd responded well to the team. Watching on TV to me the home crowd sounded mostly quiet (with some occasional chants/singing heard in the background).
jaelle
Bring what up, Shewore? Sorry if you're bored about the nosie levels, or relative lack thereof, at the Grove. I'm pretty new here, so wasn't aware it had been done to death. I think it has a certain amount of relevance to this thread, no?
ChaosTeaCup
Gunnerman - Patient is being told for 3 yeasr the kids are ready to win things and ina few weeks we'll be moving into the 4th year and the Eboue booing was the first public sign of discontent. From a suppossed world force in footballs fans I would call that bloody patient. See how Madrid, Manchester or Chelski fans would last....3 years, don't make me laugh!!!!
LondonGooner
smithdj74 - I expect neither applause or a huge paycheck when I do well and neither jeering or heckling whe I am having a bad day. Players love the adulation, so they must take the rough with the smooth. Do not even try and compare my job toa 3day per week millionaire. Different lives different circumstances and a totally fallable argument...............
LondonGooner
Smithdj74 - I wasn't drunk nor claimed to be a genius yet I DID boo. So which catagory am I in now then?
LondonGooner
Amos - Only you seem to be fascinated by this theory. No one I know who booed has said it would be of benefit..............
LondonGooner
It is the one outburst which was more or less collective which is obviously why it has been reported so widely by the media including Vital Arsenal, it's the stand out outburst, the other incidents can conveniently be filed away as idiot minority. I honestly don't know what point you're constantly trying to make or defend, is it that Arsenal are all good, constantly striving for what's best in every way and that fans just don't appreciate it? You seem like a one man Arsenal Defence Alliance, that's what it feels like. From the summer right up until now, even if I don't totally agree with what many Arsenal fans are saying I fully understand where they are coming from, I think Arsenal have been self defeating in their transfer policies and their attitude on the pitch, I think Wenger has given too many average players who lack character (like Eboue) way too much first team football in the most competitive league in the world, he has allowed last seasons momentum to disappear and I think this is what irks people and the outburst on saturday was combination of all of these things. Fans may not be able to convey their frustrated message with the elegance of Wenger but I think I understand the tone and overall point of their view, whereas you seem to want to defend Arsenal from all criticism rather than try and relate to where the frustration is coming from.
Professor Calculus
^^Above post for Amos^^ (forgot to say)
Professor Calculus
No, noise levels at the top 4 grounds are pretty consistent Chaos, in big games the atmosphere can be good, when we're playing the less bigger names it's pants.... same around the the Prem.
shewore
Bern Schuster was just fired after winning two consecutive La Liga titles. Now those are some impatient fans. And I agree with Prof. its not like this is Eboue's first year here. He has been play acting and aggravating fans for a few years now, how much longer should we put up with him? And keep in mind its not like we have a sugar daddy billionaire paying his wages, all that money is coming from us the fans.
TPowell
Shewore - Nail and hit on the head spring to mind. When the fans now expect the players to go missing against the small teams IE that crap we served up against Wigan why is it us fans that get slaughtered for not making noise unless it is a top four team? Those highly paid kids should be the ones turning up (and peforming or atleast showing effort) for EVERY game and give us something to look forward to rather than "oh god, here we go again"
LondonGooner
The way I see this has been panning out is that the Arsenal fans that boo are scum (according to examples shown here) and Arsenal can do no wrong and all fans of other clubs are better than us and the booers are totally unjustified.......It may not be quote for quote. But that IS the way it looks from where I sit.
LondonGooner
That's not the point though Shewore. I live round the corner from the Grove, 5 minutes walk, and the atmosphere is minimal. Whereas I work about a 5 minute drive from Vicarage road, and I hear the noise from there sneaking along the railway tracks. Plus I get to quite a few Arsenal games, so I'm not just spouting something I've read about. I frequently feel like a dick as the chant I've just joined in disintegrates quicker than a bloody Rich tea. I'm not condoning poor performances, but I will certainly berate our, at times, cringe inducing home support. You say the other top four sides suffer from it too, well that may be true (though I'm sure your average Red scouse would contest it), but let's face it, we're famous for it!!
ChaosTeaCup
Chelsea cannot be used as an example as their fans aren't keeping their club afloat (so to speak) we Arsenal fans are integral and probably second only to sky in terms of funding this club, there fore I believe we should have the right to be vociferous in our condemnation or cheering of the team. Someone said Real fans got Bernt Schuster the sack yesterday, we aren't in that league and if our fans are scum for booing, what does that make Real Madrid fans.....?
LondonGooner
Apologies for the swear....:0p
ChaosTeaCup
Can I just say for the record that I DO NOT think that those who bood are scum, LG. I can totally see how it happened, and it was heartfelt and spontanious reaction to a very poor display. I don't think it was pre-meditated, and had Eboue had even just an ok game it would not have happened. But from the outside it was quite shocking, and a pretty unedifying spectacle, to say the least.
ChaosTeaCup
@LondonGooner. And this is why I can't really stomach what Wenger is saying right now, it's always the poor little players who are the victims. You know ballet dancers right? They get up at 6.30 - 7.30 every morning, they practice until the afternoon, they then have an evening performance, they get home at around 10.00 - 10.30pm, they then do that again for a full week, they do this through injuries which footballers sit out games for and they get paid a laughably small amount compared to footballers, they perform in front of the harshest critics and audiences who can constantly make and break them, their performance is one take, no room for error and absolutely no room for below average nights. I know all this because I used to have a girlfriend who did ballet and it made me laugh what little bitches footballers were compared to these dancers.
Professor Calculus
As I recall, there were many anti-american rants coming from Liverpool earlier this year. All that has seemed to dissipate with them leading the league and all. ALL FANS ARE FICKLE! Has the quality of the owners really changed in the last few months, or do fans react to what the perceived problem is?
TPowell
In this whole eboue debate, my feeling has been and remains that there is a certain level of expectation placed on the players by the fans, and if the fans get the impression that you as a player are not very inclined to meet that expectation, they will feel frustrated. In tandem with that is the fact that there's really no avenue for letting this frustration known to the player, bar th groans and sarcastic cheers and booing. Just as when fans love a player, all they can do is sing his song and put his name on their jerseys. If the only way fans can show love is purely vocal and in the stadium and during the game, why would they be expected to express themselves differently when they are showing the opposite of love?
Does booing help? No. Is it counter productive? Totally. But until someone can show me an equally effective if less destructive way of letting feelings of being let down by players known, I won't castigate the guys who boo. I will not encourage them, but I understand them. Is all I'm saying.
Gaga
well said Gaga
TPowell
The problem with Eboue is people love to hate him and use him as a scapegoat. If Eboue has a good spell like he did for a few games at the begining of the season, no one really cheers him or says how good he was. Yet as soon as he makes a mistake he is castigated. I have a friend who goes in to a game with the mentality that Eboue is c*ap and useless as well as a scumbag because he dives and all the rest of it. He is waiting for him to mess up so he can jump on his back.
paul_ownz
London Gooner - I don't think the booers are scum mate, the whole situation has been blown up epically. The fans were *****ed off, they made their point known to their least favourite player and Arsene by proxy. It's a shame that it did happen, and I don't condone the concept of creating a hostile atmosphere, but I at least understand and appreciate why it happened - it had been brewing.
Gunnerman
[quote]Smithdj74 - I wasn't drunk nor claimed to be a genius yet I DID boo. So which catagory am I in now then?[/quote] In my book, I'd have to rate you in the genius category - with the original level of sarcasm reinforced. I have a hard time respecting anyone who feels booing members of the club they support.
smithdj74
***feels booing members of the club they support is appropriate or beneficial in any way.***
smithdj74
Footballers are overpaid prima donnas? Of course they are. Some clubs sack their managers far to easily? Of course they do. Not everything that Wenger does is right? Of course it isn't. Are the frustrations of Arsenal fans understandable? Of course they are. Is it counterproductive to create a hostile atmosphere in your own ground for your own team in two successive games? You bet it is. Should anyone feel guilty for saying so? No they shouldn't. That isn't a one man defence of everything Arsenal just a simple recognition that those seemingly determined to pursue their entitlement to be hostile towards their team will ultimately succeed only in damaging it. Is it ok for fans to have fundamentally different views on this and other issues? These forums are totally dependent on it!!!
Amos.
^here here sir!
Gunnerman
In the US, it is commonplace for fans to boo their teams when they are underachieving, yet somehow they are still able to win games and perform well in other games later. This whole notion that booing someone will destroy their fragile psyche and create an atmosphere in which they'd want to just give up is ridiculous. If anything it should galvanize the team into performing well. Like Gaga said, how else are we supposed to let under performing players that they should start playing better. Jeering him when he was subbed off was a bit harsh, but it should inspire him to do better to please us, his wage-payers. That's generally what criticism in the workplace does.
TPowell
If you don't think that Eboue will come out to prove us all wrong today, then you're mistaking, I fully expect him to come out and put in a strong performance.
TPowell
The difference between between US and European sports is that the squad depth in their teams is ridiculously massive, and player can be replaced at any moment in time for whatever reason. Underpeforming players are simply cut and that's the end of it. We don't have that luxury. You are of course correct in saying that Eboue could come out and have a stormer tonight an breath new life into his Arsenal career. However it's equally possible he could have another stinker and plunge deeper into footballing depression brought on by an overthetop reaction from our fans. Hopefully we'll get lucky.
Rocky7
You know, I don't really care if Arsenal ever win a trophy again I don't condone Eboue's treatment. Football is a team effort, when something goes wrong it's the whole teams fault not an individuals. There are more important things that winning also, you don't boo your comrades, not for trivial things like this anyway, players like Joey Barton who have done criminal acts, yes they should be booed. Players who are trying to perform and coming short? No. That's disgusting in my eyes, even if the player is a donkey when it comes to football you don't give someone abuse because their lack of ability. At the end of the day, they are contributing to the team more than the booers as a collective as they aren't lowering morale.
Gunners
Hopefully Rocky. I think we'll get a good performance from the team today, just have that feeling. No real pressure to win or lose, that's when our team has played its best the past couple of seasons, when we're not expected to.
TPowell
hulk just got eboued!!!
Lloydytron
Terrible performance. Yes I know it doesn't matter if we finish 2nd (tho I don't want to meet Barca!) and I know it was not a full strength side. But look at the senior or first team players who were out on the pitch: Gallas, Silvestre, Djourou, Denilson, Song, Bendtner (combined with the boy wonder Vela). That said, Porto have never lost to English opposition at their home ground.
jaelle
"Its better to play away at the moment" says Wenger. Not from where I was watching, Arsene. And I'm certain the fans who paid good money to travel to Porto to watch such a poor performance will share that sentiment.
prits
i'm suprised at the number of people who want to play Juve. panathanikos will be the best draw, but still they got Gilberto and topped a group which had Inter in it, so it wont be easy. Roma i dun want to play cuz of all the ***** that happens in games played at Rome. if we beat Roma, that roman crowd will ***** off all the travelling gooners, so no Roma for me. Juventus are realyl boring to play. Bayern i wouldn't mind, we have some scores to settle with them & the draw i want the most is Barca, but then again shouldn't we knock them out in the final :p
luckys_10
I don't really think it was a poor performance, I think we were beat by a very good team playing pack the box and counter attack. Bendtner has to hold onto some of those long balls he takes with back to goal rather than immediately getting rid of it to either one of ours or today more likely one of theirs. They gave us no space and without Adebeyor we had nobody who could actually do something with a long hoof upfield. Sivestre was good in the attacking half but a bit out of it in our end. Gallas was pretty poor and was lucky not to gift them another. Djourou and Eboue both did okay. The starting midfield quartet were good and bad- they all had moments of briliiance quickly followed by a cheap giveaway. Gibbs and Wilshere are both future legends, not so sure about Randall.
elbondo
Pathetic display. We never looked like scoring. We can't expect Bendtner to do anything when he is isolated upfront with no support. He toiled upfront but the midfield was poor. Vela on the left was ineffective and the whole point of a 4-5-1 is that you need your wingers to bomb forward and support the lone front man in attack. Horror show.
Gael-Force
To be fair for 30 minutes i thought we controlled the game if never actually creating a chance. Once they scored it was game over, and we lacked any cutting edge. What do you expect when you play with no natural wingers and no creative player in the middle. Any time we have Bendtner in the team i feel we are not going to win.
paul_ownz
Somehow Porto managed to make it look like thay had 5 more players than us. Excellent display from the Portugese. We started ok, but never really threatened. And the home support? Incredible.
ChaosTeaCup
so then, apparently alex wants out? potential buy maybe?
gooner_till_i_die
well said Gaga - TPowell - Agreed mate Prof and Gaga are a lot better at explaining themselves than I, which is why it takes me so many posts! lol
LondonGooner
smithdj74 - Clearly your ability to read and understand has been impaired by the volatile nature of this subject. Which doesn't make you a genius either eh? I am sick and tired of typing this same bloody line (but for your benefit, I will, again) "No, I do not believe it is beneficial to the club to boo" but until you can show me a more effective way of vocally demonstrating your frustration at a match that WILL be the way, the only way, football fans can show they are not happy. I am honest enough to admit it and happy enough to fight my corner with as much eloquence as possible, instead of slipping in snide comments.......which of those 2 categories sums up your contribution Smith? (I already know the answer) As for your respect, somehow I think I'll just have to struggle on without it. (original level of sarcasm reinforced)
LondonGooner
Who said it wasn't a bad performance? You need your head checked and your eyes sorted out mate! We were bloody awful and that counts for everyone on that pitch. Let’s hope Wenger offers an apology for the hardy souls who travelled and spent money following that shower of **** last night. They were a disgrace to the shirt and can't even use Porto's quality as an excuse as this is one of the poorest Porto teams I have seen in a long time. They did put in effort, which is something, but maybe quality from a team of our stature could be expected, no? Should of lost 4 or 5 last night and we couldn't of complained. We missed some players but only about 3 or 4. Wenger has taken this team backwards in the space of 12 months (and it shows after our 7th defeat of the season, 7 FFS it is not even Xmas) we look nothing like we did last season and for that, only the manager must take the blame aside from shoddy performances from individuals or lack of effort.
LondonGooner
Gunners - not that I condone the booing either, but it might also be a stretch to say that Eboue was "trying". He didn't put the effort in, against Wigan at any rate.

We were proper ***** last night, though.

Moorish
To boo or not to boo? I have been trawling through the arguements for and against - I am not going to get into much word-slingling...heck knows everything has been said. I'm an ardent gunner but on the basis of Mr. Wengers peformance this season...i am tempted to boo..ok i'll say it I booed a little so sue me...remember Wengers famous quote about poeple who are used to eating caviar being forced to eat sausages - thats what is happening now...if you feel inclined to boo - please go ahead and let out the frustration - there is not much to cheer about not by way of effort, zeal or even ability on the part of the players. Last nite was another *****e nite. evidence that Diaby may never make it at Arsenal and that we might as well get rid of Bendtner. Vela - maybe he has time but what do I know...haply i expected us to loose so no surprise there for me. I wont be travelling to watch an away match for a while. This season, the joke is on Wenger...the experiment has gone on for a bit too long methinks.
number14
Bendtner has gone backwards this season, WTF happened to him during the summer? He cannot control the ball, hs finishing is non existent and his ability to hold the ball up is patehtic? Bunley was the most abject performance from a striker I have seen in an Arsenal shirt since Chris Kiwomya a few years back. Atleast last night he tried harder.
LondonGooner
Its not too late to rectify certain defficiencies in the team...however it may not be possible to strengthen adequately in the january transfer window because of two reasons - 1. Which quality player can be lured in to join Arsenal and 2. I doubt if Wenger - the football "purist"/voyeur/idealist is really really interested in buying...worst case scenario - hold on dudes, we are in for a rough ride this season.
number14
I despair at the mistakes Wenger is making too, but for christ sakes our second team was beaten by a very good performance from Porto last night. I don't care if they're not the strongest Porto team for a while, fact is; last night they were solid. Exceptional in defence, and strong going forward. They beat us fair and square, though yes, we didn't help ourselves at time. But Barcelona's second team got spanked at home the night before. To expect our second team to beat Porto's first, at home, is arrogant, on Wenger's part, and ours. I think Wenger hoped for a draw, hence the experience in defence.
ChaosTeaCup
Bendtner isnt the only culpable party...Diaby was the worst player on the pitch last nite - utterly useless...i think he has had a fair run of games to at least show that the has a bright future. Song will never be a Gilberto nor a Flamini - its not going to happen....but at least he tries...I think we can do much better than Song..is too important a role to be toyed with.
number14
Wenger last night said that we didn't 'underperform'... what exactly denotes 'underperforming' in Wenger's book then?!! The real danger here is that Arsene is so enveloped in this 'project' that he cannot see the wood from the trees, something that a fresh pair of eyes perspective can help with.
shewore
Chaos - How many teams have beaten us fair and square this season mate, 1st OR 2nd team? We have been pasted on several occasions and it is only getting worse. We have weak willed players, too many injured, not enough effort (as Almunia said last night) no strength in depth of any quality and our first team's midfield is so soft they all look like they have brewers droop! We are (by our standards) **** and not making any improvements. We ARE going backwards and there is no excuse for that with the money and coaching and manager we have.......The experiment has failed and today I feel really negative because our team is bloody awful from front to back. No balance, no cohesion and certainly not much effort.
LondonGooner
Chaos - if this was a one off performance we wouldnt be bothered. I think some of us are missing the point here. How many times in Wengers history has he lost FIVE games out of 13-15 - and to Hull/Stokes for that matter (no disrespect). Do you also know that Wenger has never lost to a lower division side before?? I used to be proud of that...extrapolate our performace so far to the end of the season and this is going to be Wengers worst season...the competition strengthened over the summer while we got weaker, dude this is only a prescription for mediocrity. The voyeurism has gone a tard too far
number14
shewore - You're joking mate? How the hell can he say "we didn't underperform"??? We were crap! Wenger is really starting to rub the fans up the wrong way this season with his cock sure attitude and ability to treat fans like total idiots, regardless of the blatent incriminating evidence that we see in front of us.
LondonGooner
And that is why we boo..i'll try not to boo...but if you feel inclined to go ahead and boo..you are well within your rights. end of
number14
I didnt bother to listen to him after the match..How can he say we didnt underperform...I wish we had used the entire carling cup teamfor last nights game..if we didnt underprform how can you access Gallas...Diaby...wonderboy Vela...Bendtner...even the experienced Silvestre (who isnt looking like much of a good buy anymore - BTW must he always look for the cheapest deals in the market???)
number14
From The Times “Porto were stronger than us tonight,” Wenger said. “We didn’t underperform. Underperform is a big word. When we were 2-0 down, the belief was not there. We were not strong enough to come back.” - What's that all about Arsene? Stop taking us for mugs, i especially feel for that travelling gooners on a night like this, to get treated like that with those sort of comments is disgraceful.
shewore
I think the only teams that have beaten us by outplaying us this season are Villa, City, Burnley, and Porto. Villa beat our best team fair and square. City beat us because we were in turmoil and you can't play Gavin Hoyte against Robinho. Burnley 'stuck it' to the kids, no shame there, and Porto confidently beat our second string. Hull was a freak game which a mistake and a wondergoal caught us out. Stoke was a foulfest; dirty, dirty performance from the cloggers. I just don't want the negativity to gather so much momentum that it translates onto the pitch, because believe me: it will. If the players know the fans don't believe, they will struggle; try too hard; lose concentration. S*** it's already happening. But, LG, I agree 100% we have gone backwards. No denying it. But we've still got to get on with it - team and supporters.
ChaosTeaCup
Hull outplayed us.
shewore
Chaos - the team has to get with it and win the confidence of the supporters back - thats how it works. Burnley didnt outplay us..Bendtner (and a few other players) either couldnt be bothered of didnt have the ability to win the game (6-7 one one ones). We well be outplayed a la Aston V at some other point this season. There will be many many freak games like Hull later on. expect more foulfests like Stokes - we simply have not reply for that not with Song and Denilson in the middle...God forbid we loose Fabregas due the injury at any time this season we are fkd (he has been underperforming this season anyways but is still the best player we have)...and Gallas is going to be more of a liability this season...dont blame the supporters for loosing faith.
number14
Not from where I was sitting, they didn't. We controlled the possession, pinned them back, and they come up with a wondergoal, and a set-piece.
ChaosTeaCup
*one on ones
number14
yep Chaos and we didnt have the creativity to reply.
number14
I find it harder and harder to find anything positive to say about Bendtner. He said he wanted more games and has had a good run in the team. Starts against Villa, City, United, West Ham, Stoke, Fenerbache, Porto and only impressed me against West Ham. Maybe he is lacking in confidence, but he cant seem to do anything right. I struggle to think back of a worst striker we have had under Wenger(who has played a reasonable amount) with the possible exception of Jeffers.
paul_ownz
Hull fully deserved their win, we created eff all.
shewore
Yep, they deserved it, but they didn't outplay us. But this is semantics. There is a big 'Wenger out' movement building up, and I just don't like it. Sorry.
ChaosTeaCup
Either way the semantics of whether we played well or dominated or not, but, we lost and that is the bare fact of it guys. 7 bloody games before xmas, that is the most pathetic we have been for a long time and its not like we have been unlucky, we have been utter dog s ***! Wenger has done a lot for us to be thankful for, but he is slowly eating into the grace period with his ill thought out statements and pathological lying. "We didn't under perform" Just say it to yourself? Now try not to laugh........
LondonGooner
Why can't he just come out and say "we played poorly, with no cohesion or ambition and created very little against a team that was superior to us on the night" Would you not all be stunned at the refreshing honesty, or is he trying to get us to buy into his plan that all is well?
LondonGooner
"We lost the match and came second. Porto were stronger than us," said Wenger. "We were not in trouble until they scored but then it was difficult. "In the last 20 minutes, they were dangerous every time we lost the ball and we were not effective enough. "At 2-0 down the belief was not there, we weren't strong enough to come back." A pretty fair assessment, no?
ChaosTeaCup
Yes indeed, I would say that is a fair asessment in a "round-a-bout" kind of way. Although to begin with "we lost the match and came second" Is master of the understatement no? LOL
LondonGooner
I prefer Manuels assessment "Everyone that is wearing an Arsenal shirt has to give 100 per cent and that was not apparent tonight." "We were not in the game at any moment. We didn't pass the ball well, we lost too many balls and this way, you always lose"
Gunnerman
Can I just make something clear, there is absolutely no way i want Wenger out, he's the greatest manager in the history of the club and i'm sure there's still some good to come out of all this, at the moment though, it's hard to see.
shewore
I think that is a fair assessment
Gunnerman
Yep Gunnerman - i was gonna say the same thing, Almunia for manager !! (joke)
shewore
It was the "we didn't underperform" bit that really got my goat. Who is he trying to kid?
LondonGooner
No way do I want Wenger out too...I hope he actually admits (at least to himself) that he has f***** up this season and tries to remedy the situation. But i must say if he repeats this same fiasco next season...then I will be calling for his head. No man is bigger than the club. I was a gunner before the came along and i will still be a gunner after he has left.
number14
Having said that...i am immensely gratefull we have had him.
number14
IMHO its not the fact that we hvnt won anything for a bit that gets to me...it the reasons why we hv not won. We are one or two (max 3) players away from being an awesome team giving Denilson and hopefully Song (erm I'll grudgingly say Diaby) time to develop (not to talk of Vela/Wilshere/Gibbs/Randle?). All these player can be Arsenal quality but not yet. Look at the influence of time on Clichy..the dude has been in the wings for yrs...same goes for Kolo..and Fabregas..but Bendtner we can get rid off..waste off space IMO
number14
If we do not improve next season on what I think is already going to be a rather sketchy campaign (with a few more twists and turns round the corner inevitably) as it is then Wenger will be asked some serious questions by all and sundry. I don't care about trophies, they are the icing on a very tasty cake that we eat weekly and are nice to win. But they are not essential to being a fan. Number14, as you said, no one person is bigger than Arsenal, no one.
LondonGooner
I'm glad that not everyone wants Wenger, but there is certainly a bigger movement than at any other time during his Tenure. I hear it in the stadium, I hear it when thousands of Gooners walk past my flat after a disappointing match, hell, the reason I found my way onto Vital Arsenal was because so many other blogs/discussion boards have been dripping in negativity (that is if they even let you discuss football - I'm looking at you Arsebloggers). My first few weeks here were really refreshing as it was mainly positive/constructive criticism. But I feel it slipping into negativity also - I guess it's a symptom of what we're seeing. But remember: It could always be worse; much worse, infact.
ChaosTeaCup
*Wenger out.
ChaosTeaCup
Don't let the negativity drive you away Chaos. You are right to say that there are far too many blogs out there that seem to attract and encourage the doomsayers with no understanding or appreciation of the bigger picture of the club. What we have come from what we are aiming for and the sacrifices that have been made on the way. The club has existed for more than 120 years with highs and lows. This is one of the most exciting periods in the clubs long history and the work that has been done and is being done now gives us as much assurance that we have the possibility of enduring success as any other club in world. The negativity is wearing at times. I find it almost incomprehensible that anyone can even begin to find any justification at all for creating a hostile environment towards its own team in its own stadium but some do. VA though tries to offer a balance of opinion. The negatives in our current experience are valid opinions but so are the positives. Its much harder to put the positive view when things are going against you but it is still important that you do so. Stay around and argue your views as often and with as much determination as you feel it justifies.
Amos.
"To expect our second team to beat Porto's first, at home, is arrogant" - I dont know whose comments you've been reading, Chaos, but last night was NOT about the result. I wouldnt have cared about a loss, but would have handled it better had we shown some urgency, commitment, passing skills (countless misplaced passes).......all things that we'd expect any Arsenal player (from the youth upto the 1st team) to possess. Negativity is out there, coz this team has 'earned' it. However, that negativity is going to remain within reasonable levels, as things are not abysmal, just bad. I dont think anyone on this site is calling for Wenger's head, so its a bit disingenuous of you to divert the criticism to that extent. I understand your frustration with other blogs that do that, but it doesnt happen here often enough for that to be a concern.
prits
Not especially levelling the 'Wenger out' accusation at this board - I've not seen it here, though some comments could arguably be making that point in a round-about way. Plus the beating Porto point was not aimed at anyone here, or inspired by anyone here, but there is a negativity born from us not winning last night, and I just wanted to make the point that to expect our second team to beat the Porto team on their turf is perhaps a little arrogant. I don't remember this level of dismay when Sevilla gave a us a bit of a whipping in similar circumstances last season. Yes, we looked a lot beeter in general outside of that game, so I guess I can understand the difference this time around. But look at the two games in isolation, and it was the same story; our second team put in a bit of a shambolic display and got well beaten in a game that was not needed to win. Again I'm not condoning poor displays either - make no bones; last night was terrible in places; simply not good enough, but I hate it when rival fans set out to kill Arsenal, and it hurts even more when it comes from our own, so my natural stance is to see the glass as half-full - that doesn't mean I'm blind. We look our poorest since the Lasagne season, though we were great in Europe that season, even if it did all end in tears. Thinking about that season, makes me think that there's still a lot to play for this season, so I'll not write us off yet despite our inconsistent form. I'll not be going anywhere, this is the best place to discuss L'arse that I've found in a long time.
ChaosTeaCup
You're right that negativity hasn't reached the extent that it has on other sites prits and as long as people like Chaos feel that they can make a point here then it won't go in that direction. Whether things are abysmal, bad or just relatively bad is just based on individual expectations. Things aren't always as they seem when looked at with total objectivity. You are right to claim that we had too many misplaced passes (80) yesterday but Porto (89) had more. Our passing success rate was better than theirs 83% compared to 76%. We were undone by a sloppy piece of defending at a set piece but up until then had coped pretty well and thereafter Porto were able to play the counter attacking game they really needed to. We weren't good enough or experienced enough to stop them from scoring or retrieve a goal when we needed to but lack of urgency, commitment or any of those other emotive, subjective tags, are often applied freely when the result is negative. Those tags represent a valid opinion but one rooted in disappointment. Ultimayley we weren't good enough and that is a reason to be disappointed but not really more than that.
Amos.
I know this may seem like a bit rich from me, but I am usually the chirpy optimistic supporter and the last 2 weeks I have really felt the team as a whole is in trouble (obviously from our perspective not from say a Blackburn perspective) and it is true, things could be much worse, but there is no reason for our club to be in this malaise. You can see Blackburn have a new manager, no money, low crowds etc etc We have money, we have crowds we have an experienced manager yet we are in danger of becoming a permanent fixture outside the top 2 and that is where we want to be. I think Wenger is the greatest manager we have ever had and think he is still tops, just seems to have lost the plot. What is there to be done?
LondonGooner
I think we have to stand by him until the end of the season and judge him in May. He might come out, hold his hands up and buy the players we need.
paul_ownz
Oh of course we have to Paul, Wenger is owed time for all his past great achievements that much is true. But he needs to rectify the squad deficiencies we can ALL see and understand. We may not be as good as him at the job, but we all know when a team isn't right and on this occasion we can see that there is plenty wrong with this squad.
LondonGooner
Any talk of Wenger leaving the club needs to shelved completely until midway through next season when we can see where we are heading as a club and more importantly as a team. I think 5 years in the planning if a team or strategy doesn't work you should consider something else, that is a fair enough amount of time don't you think?
LondonGooner
By all means make your plans now for the succession but Wenger has a contract until the end of 2011 season. He ain't going before then unless the club does have a truly major collapse. As for whether 5 years is enough time you would first have to fully consider the reasons behind the current strategy and it's place in all the other changes in the club designed to ensure that we have enduring success. The board get it which is we he has been backed so fully. I don't see whinging on message boards that 'we haven't won anything for 3,4 or 5 years' cutting mcuh ice with them if the grand plan is still on course. Having said that once all the property developments have been completed and the financial balance of the club consolidated I would imagine that we will never have quite the relaince on youth that we have had over the last few seasons.
Amos.
I think people whinging about 3 years without a trophy need there head inspected as they are probably Johnny come latelies AMos. The fact is we are told that they are ready, ready to win, mature enough to compete. Personally I am getting sick to the back teeth of all the lies and b0llocks we are constantly being fed by the club and in particular the manager who treats us like idiots (well has done this season). We have achieved unprecidented success under Wenger and I hope we do again in the future, but one things for sure, i'll be an Arsenal fan long after Wenger has gone. I support Arsenal football club not one particular individual, regardless of achievements past or present......(Now I am waiting for those terminally short of brain cells to come out and tell me I am crazy/idiotic/whatever for wanting Wenger out. Which I have never said once)
LondonGooner
http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/sport/football/article-1093625/Revealed-One-seven-fans-happy-swap-team-survey-exposes-Premier-League-glory-hunters.html Now these are the sort of fans we can do without thank you very much. (at this rate, we probably will lol)
LondonGooner
LG - You making the most of your days in work mate?!
shewore
I hear rumours of WBA wanting Bendtner. I would like to see it happen, get some confidence and some regular first team action. Maybe he can even save them from relegation so his value goes up.
paul_ownz
If WBA get Bendtner, I don't think they have much hope of avoiding relegation (",). I agree with what Amos says more than anyone else on this forum usually but I have to disagree with his recent comments. If Wenger is relying on youth because he has no money to sign players why does he not come out and say it. It would leave the fans less frustrated and explain our current predicament. Wenger however has said there is money to sign players but he feels there is no one available out there better than what we already have. From the evidence of the last few seasons this is difficult to believe. From what I've seen of the players coming through they are nowhere near ready (or ever will be?) to compete for trophies. I've tried being patient and I've not given up on Wenger or this season yet but can't help but feel negative about the situation. Sure every team has a transitional period but I've not seen any that have lasted this long. Chelsea and MU manage to promote youth team players and still compete for trophies at the same time. I appreciate they have more money to buy players and they will have an advantage as a result but I just want AW to at least try. He has far too much faith in the youngsters IMO but I hope I'm proven wrong. I still can't understand why we have a similar wage bill to MU when they have a much stronger squad of players?!!
jubair
Arsene Wenger interview Independent newspaper Aug 08 “When we decided to build the stadium I wanted to anticipate the possibility of financial restrictions, so I concentrated on youth." He has said it - and this wasn't the only time. We have only just completed our 2nd financial year at the Emirates and are into the 3rd. The 1st fianancial year yielded little as exceptional costs associated with the completion of the stadium reduced the nett profit. Finances are beginning to flow into the club but the property developments should be substantially but not wholely completed in this financial year. The financial brakes can only be lifted gradually. ManU have a more experienced squad in certain areas but don't pay their youngsters that well (hence we got Ramsey) and also have a number of senior players Giggs et c., whose bigger paydays are behind them as was Bergkamps in his later years with us.
Amos.
Plus ManU generate about £50m a year more revenue than we do hence can pay higher transfer fees and signing bonuses.
Amos.
Fair enough, that does explain a few things. I still think the board and AW should be more open and honest about the money available for transfers. A lot of fans here put our failure to sign quality experienced players down to AW's stubborness. I think this is due to confusing and sometimes contradictory statements we hear from the club.
jubair
Many statements are quoted out of context so you can get a distorted or partial view of what is being said but it's all there and pretty consistent if you follow it closely enough. Wenger admitted himself we were short in midfield in the summer but failed to get the player he wanted. His sense of urgency might have been heightened had he known that the return of Rosicky, originally anticipated for September, would be so much delayed. With hindsight you can say he should have anticipated it but you can't blame him entirely for accepting medical advice. He does have money to spend as both he and the directors have said. Not as much as Chelsea or ManU have been able to spend, (we can't afford a mistake like Shevchenko or Veron as the consequence could haunt us for sometime) but good strategic buys are possible. There are fewer of these available but the impact of the decline in sterling has made the international market for these players a little less easy for English clubs than it has been in recent seasons. But the finances are set to improve to increase over the next couple of seasons and the brakes will gradually come off. It's easy to take soundbite headlines at face value but if you follow the club closely enough, other than the usual PR stuff from a big company, nobody is being fed lies.
Amos.
Your probably right, I'm possibly relying on the wrong sources for information regarding the club. Why can't AFC release a statement like the one you've just posted? It reassures me about the direction the club is heading in and that we're making good progress. I'm honestly feeling a whole lot better and will stop moaning for a bit and try and be more positive (",)
jubair
The statements that Amos is making has been out there on the official site, jubair. Of course, it needs to be read in perspective. When the Board says that there is money, they dont mean that there is 20M to splurge on one player. But I'm pretty certain that there was approx 15 M in the transfer kitty in the summer (this is not fact, just an opinion based on my reading of the numbers, a guesstimate if such a word exists). Based on Wenger's transfer policies and the kind of players he goes for, that cash was enough for atleast one player, if not two.
prits
Amos, the club's official stand is that the property development is fenced off from the footballling side of the business (hence, diff segments in the annual report). This was set up specifically so that any potential losses will not affect the footballing side. I understand that the Board is being conservative, but I hope that they will not take out money from the football side to settle losses on the property business. If they do that, wont it completely defeat the existence of separate business segments? I just dont see why the property business should impact the football side's finances.
prits
£15M is not a lot of money so to get 2 quality players out of that wouldn't be easy. I suppose we can't expect AW to keep on finding bargains like Eduardo and Sagna all the time. I seriously thought he had a lot more money available. If £15M is all he has to spend, then he needs to spend it carefully and not make any panic buys. Wait till the right player becomes available. Under such tough financial restrictions I suppose he is doing as well as can be expected.
jubair
The property businesses, though seperate companies, are still part of Arsenal Holdings as are Arsenal Football Club. It's only the risk thats ring fenced. Any loans might be secured against the properties themselves but those short term loans have still to be paid from income. That income is largely generated in the early stages of the debt by AFC but increasingly. as the properties are completed by income from the developments, but the income is lagging behind the loans. Eventually that all evens out as property revenues settle the loans but in the short term Arsenal Holdings has to run it's business so that nett debts remain within it's convenants and use all it's revenues to ensure the balance sheet reflects sensible management of all it's interests.
Amos.
"Things aren't always as they seem when looked at with total objectivity" - you expect total objectivity from a football fan, Amos ;) ? Surely thats unreasonable. And in any case, the 'emotive' response was not just a result of the defeat. I know we werent good enough, but if we were beaten by a superior team, the defeat would have been easier to take and the disappointment wouldnt have been high at all. The manner of the defeat is whats so disappointing. 80 misplaced passes as a stat might be lesser than Porto, but thats a lot higher than the standards that we, as fans, have come to expect from Arsenal FC under Arsene Wenger.
prits
Thanks Amos. So basically, revenue from the football side is being taken out to repay some of the property debts which certainly has a short term impact on funds availability for Wenger. I did not get this from Ken Friar's statements which said the property business was 'ring-fenced' from the football, even though it sounds obvious now.
prits
Of course I don't expect it prits but that doesn't mean that a little objectivity isn't helpful. At the same time there isn't much wrong with a little emotion either. Sharing both views though allows us to find some balance. Nothing wrong with that either. We performed poorly, and below the standard we seek. It's disappointing I agree.
Amos.
Sorry for bringing this up again, but I was just trying to lok through the club's official statements, and PHW had this to say - " the Highbury Square bank loan is ring-fenced from and has no recourse to the football side of the Group’s business, so it will be repaid entirely from sales proceeds from the development." I knew I had read something like this Amos, which was why I'm surprised that money from the football side is being taken out to finance the property business, which contradicts everything the club has said so far.
prits
I don't say revenue from the club is being used to pay off the property loans but all the associated costs, service charges and fees have to come from the business revenues especially in the early stages of the development. Property revenues only really started coming in this summer. Though those loans are secured against the property businesses rather than the football club Arsenal Holdings who own the property businesses and the football club are ultimate guarantors within whatever debt convenants have been established. Arsenal Holdings can allow the club to mortgage it's future income in order to buy players as some clubs are doing but this just increases its nett debt and if imprudent affects the stability of the whole group. It has to try to maintain a balance sheet that is prudent for it's overall level of current commitments for the group. Over the next 2 seasons or so that should all unwind and I don't think we will see the youth policy pursued to anything like the same extent we have over the last 3 seasons. Financially it will be quite an achievement if we continue to 'compete' in the fullest meaning of the word while we have undergone this ctep change in the status of the club. In the context of a club that's already 120+ years old and is looking to enduring success over it's long term future this is really just a short period of adjustment. Though 4 or 5 years in the span of an average fans patience can seem an awful long time.
Amos.
I'm not sure I follow fully but I appreciate the effort. I understand the position of Arsenal Holdings, obviously. I'm trying to make it as simple as possible, based on the club's statements - that the property business should not adversely impact the footballing side. And that still holds true, to a large extent, I suppose.
prits
I also remember tin an interview with fizsman saying we had money, and the journalist said something like so if Wenger wanted to splash 30m on a player he could do that. fizsmanresponded on the lines of, i doubt he would do that but if he chose to he has the boards full backing. Infact now i have found the quotes “It would be no problem at all,’’ said Fiszman, the club’s second largest shareholder. “It’s not our decision who he spends money on, nor will it ever be our decision. If he said to us 'I want this guy and he’s £30 million, can I buy him?’ the answer is yes. Absolutely yes. We totally back him. It’s his decision. I’m unfortunately not good enough to be a manager myself but I’d love to be.’’
paul_ownz
Thats why fans get mixed messages and frustrated. On one hand we are told the money is there but Wenger chooses not to spend it. Other times we are told the money is not there and we have to go with a policy of youth and sell players. As fans we sometimes want to see things in black or white, but with Arsenal we get a grey. The stuff they come out with is so convoluted im sure they dont even know what is true.
paul_ownz
What was actually said was that the Highbury Square LOAN is ring fenced and has no recourse to the football club - it's the RISK that's ring fenced. It's true that Fiszman said that if Wenger wanted to spend £30m on a player(s) then the board would provide him with the funds. But Wenger is a economics graduate and knows that spending £30m now would increase the nett debt of the business if you reduce the cash reserves. I am quite sure they would do it if Wenger had identified players he wanted to buy. In fact had Alonso been available in the summer he would have spent a large part of it then.
Amos.
There aren't really any mixed messages paul. If you join it all up the explanations are all in there. You just have to dig a little below the headlines and selected quotes and relate the things said at different times to what you have already been told.
Amos.
Possibly. But i wanted to include some quotes i got from Lord of War and use the word convoluted(also from Lord of War). Infact i wanted to throw in the quote "They say that evil prevails when good men fail to act. What they should say is, Evil prevails", but i couldnt think of a way to include it
paul_ownz
LOL - you just did!
Amos.
Anybody who thinks Wenger has to prove himself at this point, or suggests he has until next year to do so because of a couple months of indifferent performances mixed in with good ones is a ******** retard, and would be better off supporting Spuds with their manager of the month policy.
elbondo
Elbondo - think the conversation's moved on a bit... One thing that irked with me a bit over the summer was when Wenger was talking about a player's 'sell on' value, specifically Barry, at 27 having a meagre one. Why must we concern ourselves with that? If i cared too much about how a business was run i'd go and support Microsoft.
shewore
In order to be a successful club Arsenal has also to be a successful business. The sell on value of a player has a direct consequence on the amount of money you have available for future transfers and players wages. Pay too much for a player with little or no residual value at the end of his contract and that means you have less to spend on buying new players or retaining existing ones.
Amos.
It's Gareth Barry's Wenger didn't get the man he wanted this summer. Wenger still wants him, but at the moment I'd take Alonso over Barry easily, and I fear Liverpool will feel the same now.
ChaosTeaCup
What about challenging for trophies in the season of purchasing said player? Even if they are at their peak?
shewore
*Gareth Barry's FAULT*
ChaosTeaCup
It's ALL Gareth Barry's fault. Clearly.
ChaosTeaCup
We are challenging for trophies now. Would we challenge more succesfully this season if we had bought Barry? Maybe but nothing is guaranteed and if we overpaid this season that would reduce our ability to challenge for the players we want next season and the seasons after. If Barry's fee doesn't reflect proper value over the full term of his contract then we have no option but to walk away.
Amos.
I don't necessarily think Barry was/is the answer, i'm just using his name as an example. I thought at the time Alonso was the better option and we all know how well he's playing up there...Amos, your view is remarkably laid back and it seems you're putting just as much emphasis on the business side of things - fair enough, if the club haven't got the cash to splash then please, just tell us, stop shrouding it all under this superb business 'model' that we have all built and can be ever so proud of.
shewore
What I really meant was that because Barry didn't got to Liverpool, Alonso didn't come to us. I wouldn't of said no to Barry, but he certainly wasn't on my wishlist, whereas I would of bitten hands for Alonso. Sadly, I think he's played his way back into Rafa's favour, and unless the Barry deal is exactly on Liverpool's terms, I don't see them in any bust to sign Barry.
ChaosTeaCup
We have got cash to splash. Not at the same level as ManU who generate more income than we do or Chelsea have had over the last 5 years. Or even some of the major Europeans. But the stadium project and related property developments was always a long term project and until that's completed the full benefits of the stadium development on our finances is gradual and now easing so that over the next couple of seasons we will have more cash to splash. As far as the UK goes even now we invest more in our squad than anyone else except ManU and Chelsea. Quite simply they have had more to spend than us. We need to succeed as a business in order to succeed as a football club.
Amos.
We clearly don't have the cash to splash, I simply don't believe it. And i'm reluctant to accept the business argument as we ARE a football club, who have the dearest ST prices in europe, the most corporate boxes out of everyone and absolutely rake it in every match day. The bottom line is, we pay on average well over a grand to see our side struggle to make the top 4. The club never lay on any form of 'good will' gestures like helping us out with transport to northern outposts for games cos they know we'll sell out the tickets, well we now haven't sold out Boro and there are more n more empty seats in the stadium every game, when will the board start to take notice.
shewore
The Daily Mail reports that Tomas Rosicky is to see a German specialist in a bid to save his career. He'll see Hans Muller-Wohlfarth. He's the club doctor at Bayern Munich and has treated the hamstrings and other injuries of players like Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Jonathan Woodgate. From Wikipedia: Many of the German doctor's treatments are controversial, including using injections of a substance called Hylary, extracted from the crest of cockerels, which is claimed to help lubricate knee injuries and take away the pain. So he's going to inject Rosicky with the goo from a cock's head. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose...... Have to laught
paul_ownz
LG - You making the most of your days in work mate?! shewore - You might say the motivation to strive for perfection at work is long, long, long gone mate!!! lol
LondonGooner
The accounts are a matter of public record so you can see for yourself just how much cash we have if you wish. But the business has to be managed sensibly if you want something to cheer consistently. Our matchday revenues are pretty impressive - not quite as much as ManU but way up there. But we don't have the commercial or broadcasting revenues of some of the other top clubs though that should also improve in time. Try the Deloitte Football Money League report if you want more detail. As for stadium attendances we haven't seen any real negative impact as yet and the next 3 home games are all sold out.
Amos.
That should read next 3 games (2 home and 1 away) are old sold out.
Amos.
elbondo - Strange that that I don't see any ******* retards here suggesting that a few months of mediocrity would suggest Wenger's job is in jeopardy. But then you would have to read the posts properly to understand that eh?
LondonGooner
Boro hasn't sold out. Villa away doesn't surprise me even though it's boxing day as they're our main rivals this year. And Scousers at home always will, would be nice if the club actually told us the reall attendance, ie the bods through the turnstiles as opposed to the amount of tickets sold for once though.
shewore
Amos - I am not sure, but I think it was you that was saying we are "fans" of Arsenal football club not Arsenal the business. Yet here we are discussing the fact we as fans should be patient and understanding due to the business nature of the club. That wasn't a dig at you, just pointing out the irony of one statement and ending up in this discussion. Football should be football and nothing else, but we know it doesn't work as such yet they still want us to be fans, patient, spending and gullible.
LondonGooner
Shewore I am with you here. We make more than every club in the world bar Man Utd, Barca and Real Madrid. We are 4th in the annual turnover list...........so where has it gone? We have a £78 million cash surplus (which is a guarantee against debts I know) but that colossal amount that is being generated is going somewhere. Our repayments are just over £30 million per year, debt and interest included (the board are to be commended for finding such a good deal) the staffing wages are just under £100 million so where is the other £70 odd million going? I haven't looked too closely at the books, just the ball park figures.......
LondonGooner
I am pretty sure that it wasn't me that said that LG. You can't divorce the one from the other in the view. If you want to understand the actions of the club its board and its manager then you need to have an understanding of the background against which decisions are made. You don't have to understand it of course or take the slightest interest in what happens other than on matchday. But if some of the decisions affecting the team and squad concern you enough to complain about them then it's as well to find out why they are made even if you still disagree with the judgements. Look at what has been invested in the club over the last 5 years in it's entirety and it would be difficult to sustain the claim that it is all part of some conspiratorial plot to fleece gullible fans.
Amos.
No china, i wasn't saying there was a conspiracy, i was just commenting where does it all go? As I haven't had a thorough look at the books (so to speak). I didn't think it was you but ran out of suspects, so fitted you up instead mate! lol
LondonGooner
I think Chelsea's revenues are also still higher than ours. The last financial year was the first for time for some while though that we made a significant nett profit. Cash held is in fact £93m (£32m of which is held in Debt Reserve accounts). But we also have gross debt of £421m reduced to nett debt of £318m by virtue of cash etc., held. So the answer to the question where's it all gone is that it's still there.
Amos.
...it's still there but being held back in reserve (for a rainy day!) Chelsea included something (I cannot remember what???) in their figures that had no right to be there and vastly inflated there finances.....someone help me out here, the old grey matter is slowly fading!
LondonGooner
This is beginning to look like a comments section more at home on the Financial Times website! Bottom line is that we made next to nothing in the first financial year at the Emirates. We made a good profit in the 2nd and we should do well in the 3rd. This all comes after a few years of bearing the burden of investing in the stadium development. After this year and the conclusion of the property developments we should be in a very strong financial position to compete with almost anyone. We won't see the youth policy pursued with quite the same over dependence ever again.
Amos.
Good, cos it aint effin working.
shewore
lol shewore - Say it like it is mate!
LondonGooner
Arsenal always has and always will be awful with PR and press releases. Someone mentioned earlier they never break things down simply to allay the fears or worries of supporters. There does sometimes seem to be conflicting statements coming out of Arsenal and even for people like myself who I don't consider stupid (no comments please lol) I struggle to make neither head nor tail of some of them.....
LondonGooner
Amos - Do you reckon you could fit a few graphs and market indexes. That'll confuse the spuddies that come over for a peak! lol
LondonGooner
http://www.ft.vitalfootball.co.uk
LondonGooner
Graphs and indexes are always less confusing to the spuds if you print them upside down. They tend to look at most tables that way.
Amos.
LOL too right ....
LondonGooner
God you Arsenal fans can really type. Look at the length of those posts.
I Bling Red
Just out of curiosity , what are you gooners predictions for the Arsenal - Liverpool game? Im curious. Liverpool fan.
I Bling Red
LG, (glossing over any judgment over your stupidity ;) you're partly right about the conflicting comments. I remember Edelman saying that Wenger could spend the entire cash balance of 70M (at May 2007) in the transfer market if he wanted. Now, it turns out that Wenger couldnt, coz approx 30M needs to be held back as some kind of security. However, I do think the Board are doing a very good job. Perhaps they need to now concentrate on how to communicate that to the world.
prits
I think communicating in terms that are interpreted in the same way by everyone is impossible prits. You have to join up what is said with what has gone on before to understand what is meant. The Edelman quote you refer to is "We have got plenty of financial firepower to make the transfers Arsene wants to make. We had over £70million of cash at the end of the year and if Arsene wants to spend that money we will make it available." That COULD mean that Arsene could spend ALL that money but anyone following the club closely enough would have understood that it is unlikely that any business would spend it's entire working capital in one go. Follow these things closely enough and you'd know that Edelman only meant to illustrate that we have cash. In fact since he said it we now have even more cash £93mn but we aren't going to spend all of that either.
Amos.
Amos, 90% of fans don’t understand that, so it IS down to the club to release consistent, clear and simple statements that the majority of people who pay all that money to keep the club going can understand. The fans shouldn't have to read the books to understand what we owe and don't etc, the board HAVE to make the effort to communicate clearly and concisely. That is the minimum they should do for us all eh?
LondonGooner
It would be pretty irresponsible for any club to spend their entire cash balance in one transfer market, so I knew it wasnt going to happen. However, Edelman was wrong to say what he did. That is only one example. I agree with LG - the Board needs to do a lot better on the communication front. I can join most of the dots, but thats only coz I've read the accounts and can follow it to a reasonable extent. Most fans do not, and expecting them to do so is unreasonable. Its upto the Board to simplify that properly so that things are understood by the fans and right now, they dont do a great job of that aspect.
prits
The board issues a summary of it's financial status every 6 months along with publishing it's interim accounts and final accounts in full on it's website. The AST usually produces an independent, unbiased, simplified summary which it also publishes on its website. That's surely enough for anyone genuinely interested in such matters. Edelman's statement would have been misleading were you not familiar with the background but it wasn't really wrong. He was just guilty of crediting his audience with a little too much intelligence. The majority of fans won't be concerned with such matters and I can understand that all that really matters is what happens on the pitch. PR can always be better but there are different levels of understanding as well as interest out there and it really isn't possible to always tailor your information to suit all those different levels. I am not defending the clubs PR performance but I feel that frustrations might be eased if a little understanding and individual effort were applied.
Amos.
If you are reading to a varied audience, you cater for the stupidest people so that EVERYONE can understand. (I write reports and present them to boardroom level, well used to anyway lol) Amos, i admire your valiant defence of all things Arsenal, but our club IS crap at PR, our manager frequently talks double cutch and the players continually waffle horse**it and the club as a whole is crap at it.
LondonGooner
 

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