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Negative Creep

First things first, apologies for the radio silence from me over the last fortnight, upon arriving back on mainland England after a weekend away with friends a fortnight ago, I arrived back to my flat to find our internet connection had been amputated, a situation that has been without reconcile ever since, hence the intermittent correspondence. Given that I also don`t own a television, the period of solitude mercifully allowed me to escape the furore Ade-pay-me-more transfer somewhat unscathed. The period of relative monastery has allowed time for meditation amongst the uninspiring chatter of transfer news as the dick swinging contest between City and Real Madrid reaches its threshold. It`s given me time to consider some things that have demonstratably changed at the club this summer and some things that have stayed irrevocably the same. The status quo is being observed in terms of the manager`s musings, he continues to affirm faith in his players (why wouldn`t he?) and extol the values of lessons learned. (I have watched back every Arsenal Season Review DVD since 1998 during this summer, the words "exciting young team" have been used in the narrative of each of the last four). We have also lost yet another player to a serious injury only for the manager to diagnose the injury as "not too serious." (In January 2008, he also told us Rosicky would be out for "a matter of days, not weeks"). However, there is one thing that has notably altered.

Whether or not via the initiative of Gazidis it is unclear, but Arsenal seem more concerned with the impressions of supporters more than ever before. Players linked with moves away have instantly rectified the record via the club website and affirmed commitment to the club. The very fact that retraction never emanated from Emmanuel Adebayor seemingly carried the coded message that the club was happy to usher him to the exit door. Gazidis himself has made himself available for interview for Arsenal`s most widely read unofficial supporters website 'Arseblog.` I only recall William Gallas, usually very forthright and garrulous when invited to speak to the press, producing a single utterance to the media since being unceremoniously stripped of the captaincy last November, and that was simply to refute rumours that he was leaving. Whether official or informal, Gallas has clearly been asked to keep schtum by the club. Whatever the intricacies of Arsenal`s new found media savvy, it seems clear that the Arsenal bigwigs have witnessed the deterioration of the relationship between players and supporters which reached something of an unprecedented level last season. With Adebayor`s irritating flirtations with other clubs, Gallas` often misrepresented missives to the press and likewise Bendtner`s press twisted rhetoric has seen the voices in the Emirates gallows become hoarse with dissatisfaction. The rectitude of supporters berating their own players has been debated ad infinitum, and it is right that the club must be apportioned with some of the blame in this, as Robert Plant once wailed, communication breakdown. However, the fact that the club are going to such painstaking lengths to offset the possibility of the boo boys dominating next season proves to me that the players and the manager have identified this de rigeur occurrence as a genuine hubris to them.

In Wenger`s various post mortems of last season, a common theme occurs, he pinpoints external negativity as a factor that vitiated his team in the early stages of the campaign. That the club have moved to protect the sacrosanct reputations of Messrs Fabregas, Sagna and Clichy in the face of this summer`s churning rumour mill, shows that they consider positive relations between supporter and player as an integral bedfellow to success. In his adumbrated approximation of Arsenal`s finances earlier this week, Ferguson is attempting to feed ravenously upon Gooner cynicism in the hope that it will continue to manifest itself in the nebulous practise of Arsenal fans hindering their own side. Is it not fair to say that if our club are moving to eradicate the air of disenfranchisement permeating the atmosphere and our enemies are looking to amplify it, that in verbally chastising our own side we effectively expediate their downfall? We may cluck our tongues and spit, "salary, salary, salary" in riposte, but whilst some footballers means of chasing the pot of gold (*cough* Adebayor *cough*) are incredibly avaricious, a wage packet does not inoculate you from the mental effects of 50,000 acid tongues when trying to break down stubborn opponents. (Besides which, we cling jealously to the notion of pay when criticising footballers, yet top flight football has become a multi billion pound industry. That is because of the players; is it not right that they are recompensed to reflect that within the framework of a capitalist economy? And if the idea offends you so much, answer me this, what have you done for the Socialist party lately?)

The underlying issue here is not to proselytize anyone into thinking that all is rosy in the Arsenal garden. This is not so much a call to arms, I don`t want to teach the world to sing, that would be horrible. (Besides which, singing has become something of a benign practise inside the Emirates anyway). But the upshot here is that the verbal exorcism of our frustrations against our own players is evidently so counter productive as to be, not so much an exercise in futility, as a chink in the armour for our opposition. My personal preference inside the stadium is to store up the frustration for the opposition (though all too often I fall into the mind numbingly repetitive trap of shouting at the referee to such a histrionic extent that I feel pangs of shame for using this poor human being as a voodoo doll for my own sense of helplessness). Whether or not quietly contented or eye gougingly mad at the team`s current state of affairs, there has to be some syncretic solution of uniting the supporters in the aim of common cause. Leave the negativity for the pub, join a blog or site such as this one and spill your guts, but venting spleen at our own players inside the ground is so incredibly counter productive. The fact is, this summer, the club are acknowledging it, our enemies are seizing on it. Heaven knows we all complain about the money we pay to watch, why continue to spend that money hurting the team? Those that counterpose "I pay my money, I have the right" miss the point, the more you boo and scream and whinge, the greater the likelihood that you`ll be given more to boo and scream and whinge about. Unfortunately, I get the feeling that that scenario would be peachy creamy for a lot of our supporters whose sole reason for attending football is just that.LD.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 23 2009

Time: 2:12PM

Your Comments

LD, I was just thinking that myself. Most recently the clarification of Eduardo's playing status on the official site, which Wenger's confusingly worded statement was widely interpreted in the world of blogs and red-tops as meaning 'back in two months' rather than 'back for those two months'. I credit Ivan for this new-found openness.
elbondo
I think you're absolutely right. There is a recognition in the club that the negative vibes surrounding the club last season made it much tougher to instil the confidence in the team to achieve what we all hope for. Much as we might despair at the sheer futility of fans creating a hostile environment at the Emirates for their own players the reality has to be that if it is to be countered then the club is the only body that stands a chance of doing so. They do seem to have managed affairs a good bit better this summer as you have explained. But feeding the crowd is not too easy. I get the feeling that the appetite for another sacrificial offering in the form of another signing is increasing. Maybe we'll avoid the absurdity of fans waiting up until the early hours desperately craving some deadline day transfer window offering. With the media increasingly hyping the deadline as a major event the club will still have it's work cut out to manage expectations this summer.
Amos.
"dick swinging contest between City and Real Madrid"- LOL
gunnerkid107
Nice piece LD, very thought provoking. I personally have never, nor will ever, boo any Arsenal player. If the new initiative is for the 58,00 of us to get behind the team more consistently, then I am all for it. However, there will be times when I have a 2 minute meltdown/rant at Eboue. Last season I wanted to break into his house and ***** in his kettle. I'm sorry, but it's true.
Cockney Rich
Great headline..the article is pretty good too...
Anon 1
what you are writing about is only half the story,were we better or worse playing away from the emirates?
fran merida
http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-s-squad-list-for-austria Another positive going into the new season is that we have our entire squad back for preseason training in Austria. I did think Vela was still playing for Mexico in the Gold Cup, but apparently he has traveled as well.
gunnerkid107
You're right Fran, it's not the reason the team were fallible last season, the behaviour of the crowd isn't half the story, it's not even a quarter. The fact is however, if it is attributable in any way, shape or form, then we as supporters are doing a disservice. Surely we should be part of the reason the team should be doing better? Liverpool after Adepaymemore's sending off was a good example, or Brown's moan about "local pressure" are steps in the right direction in being a hindrance to the other team. Atmosphere is very much an antiquated concept in English football, no ground as it, but that doesn't mean we should go in the opposite direction and create a bad one.
Little Dutch
These 'fans' have frustrated me for a long time. Yes, they pay a lot of money, but would they rather pay to tell their team how cr*p they think they are, or would the rather pay to give them a lift to help them achieve? It's these kind of people who give people the assumption that football fans are idiots, and the worst part is that, with them for evidence, it can sometimes be difficult to deny.
ArsenalRob
Yeah LD that game vs Liverpool had the most electric athmosphere since the opening of the Emirates, and whether we won or not, that made it money well spent.
ArsenalRob
Good article, well written LD. As Will Self (himself) once said "why use one word when you can use three?". I personally am feeling more positive about this season than any of the previous 3. I really think we'll surprise some people (none more so than that little **** Cashley!!!)
scooch
Scooch, great choice of ' one word' as opposed to three in your description of Cashley. Spot on.
Cockney Rich
Excellent piece LD ... as usual. This new season offers us all a chance to start afresh. We've gotten rid of one seriously negative player .... now let's get rid of our negative attitude. We'd all enjoy our football a lot more.
Rocky7
Let the boys run out to the theme tune from The Waltons. At half-time we can eat tea and scones and read passages from The Bible. Just a thought.
Cockney Rich
What a spiffing idea Rich, or we could all forget the footie and go and watch polo! Jolly good old chap
ArsenalRob
"Leave the negativity for the pub, join a blog or site such as this one and spill your guts, but venting spleen at our own players inside the ground is so incredibly counter productive" -- exactly, except that there are certain blogs and certain gooners who attack you for using blogs to express anything negative. They don't understand the disctinction between venting in the pub or a blog and leaving out all that negative energy once you enter the stadium. You can't have a free discussion with these people, it must all be endlessly positive positive positive about every single Arsenal player and the manager in every thing they do or say. Anyway, if you choose to attend an Arsenal game wherever it is for whatever price, then it is your obligation as a supporter to scream your lungs out even in support of a player you thoroughly despise. You are there to ACT, not just sit back and watch. You are not some passive spectator at a concert or a movie. You are a football club supporter--that means active engagement with what's happening on the pitch. You have the incredible opportunity to affect what's happening on the pitch. I can't understand how abusing players is a worthwhile use of that expensive ticket you just paid.
jaelle
That said, the negativity last season started as soon as the transfer window closed and we saw that we went into the season with no strengthening in key areas. What followed on the pitch merely reinforced and inflamed what already existed in response to bad decisions made in the summer. In other words, the fans were proven correct in their fears and expectations--borne out of what was not done in the summer. I fear the same thing will happen all over again if we see this window close and nobody comes in to strengthen our defensive position in midfield.
jaelle
Oh one more thing: I’d really like to know what the hell Arsenal did to make Cashley so bitter and resentful, and wish our downfall. What the hell did Arsene Wenger do to him to hate the club so much? He seems to be so full of bitterness toward Arsenal when it was HE who violated Arsene’s faith and trust in him, not to mention the fans'. So the club wouldn’t pay him what he wanted, that’s reason to hate us so much and wish for our downfall? Cashley is worse than Ade, who’s just a greedy egotistical fool. He was reared and trained by Arsenal. He won trophies with us alongside one of the best managers in the world and some of the best players in the world. He was loved and admired by the fans and became a big name in the world of football because of Arsenal and Wenger. The man is a complete lowlife scumbag. Sorry for the multiple posts.
jaelle
Jaelle it might have something to do with the amount of stick we give him and songs we sing about him and his wife. Not that I don't do it myself, but it is probably why he doesn't think too fondly of us. LD, I really agree with this. I did, however, feel that a lot of real gooners got right behind the team last season towards the end. I think this was almost in protest to the fans getting on the players backs. I personally would like a season without arguing with (Bendtner/Eboue/Diaby) haters sitting near me every week.
navydave
Fair point, navydave but apparently he thinks he can behave the way he did without getting an angry response from fans. And to publicly wish for us to drop out of the top 4 (and presumably go even further down) shows that all he's thinking about is the fans who treat him badly now and not the manager and club who did so much for him. Your other point is also spot-on, I esp. took heart from the way the fans responded to Eboue after the Wigan game. Gooners took his reaction and the press reaction to heart and made sure to cheer him for the rest of the season. His performances improved too.
jaelle
Hi, LD Good article. Yet another reason why IG was such a good appointment. However, I would add that fans should avoid slagging off the players and excessive negativity on blogs as well. I think it's the logical continuation of your reasoning, since blogs are a public forum open to anyone to observe and participate in. Vitriol and excessive negativity (which I distinguish from fair criticism) on blogs is just as much "out there" as booing a player at the ground. The pub's different, obviously. Take Eboue - months of being slagged off as a diver and a cheat result in fans thinking it's OK to boo him. Blog writers and comments can be influential and it's easy for a player to become a scapegoat. The negative messages are reinforced to the people reading, most of whom don't comment. Plus the blogs are generally thought of by the media as a snapshot of fan sentiment, even though the views expressed may not be representative (eg the supposed "Wenger Out" movement at the end of last season) and they find their way out of the blogosphere and into newspapers and the wider world. The word you use - "venting" - is exactly what you are asking people at the ground not to do, but I would suggest that applies to blogs as well. Fans can say what they think without being offensive or insulting, or beating up verbally on a particular player.
FunGunner
Absolutely spot on Fungunner
Passenal
Surely it is down to the player FIRST to change the attitude of fans in the stadium,like it or not(and i`m not saying it`s right or comendable)supporters giving a hard time were Venting their disssatifaction towards a certain player(s).In the instance reguarding Ade,every-one could see he wasn`t putting in the effort in to justify his pay.Eboue on the other hand got a hard time for his stupid antics and basicly playing crap sometimes.The difference between the two is that after Eboue got booed off,had time to think about it,he came back,put in some good fighting performances and won over most who were condeming him the few weeks earlier,whilst Ade on the other hand just kept his hands on his hips when we needed him most.If he played as well as he talked then the distaste for him wouldn`t be so deep
arsenor
if you're gonna boo your players and you want it to have a genuine effect, then do it like the Italians and Croatians do, make sure those players are generally scared to lose in front of you.
Ozi Gooner
Good article LD, really this is one of the best conversations that I have followed all summer, without two sets of people having a go at each other or some spuds intefeering. Very constructive and factual
phreddy
Well written LD and good addition FunGunner. While some boo Eboue and others, they should remember that this squad was assembled at a net cost of zero, and to be in the position the team is in inspite of that, is a remarkable achievement, worthy of credit and support. On the question of Arsenal's bank balance - we should make it a rule (and many do automatically) that whereever there is a claim of Arsenal's paucity, it should be rebutted with the appropriate facts, which are that Arsnal PLC has 75 m in the bank, has earned a net profit of 25 m for the last 2 years and has a fixed interest debt obligation of 20 m per year. What is more, Arsenal have a debt half that of Man Utd - and a new 400m asset to show for it.
hughied
Easy way for you lot to be positive is to support the mighty Spurs.
KatieDawson
Indeed. Can we lend you a centre back Katie? We've got a bagful, each with functioning limbs.
hughied
jaelle, just a couple of answers to your question of " what the hell did AW do to hate the club so much ", when discussing Cashleys comments in the press. What AW did was : 1. Convert him from an ineffective left wing/forward, into what he was with us, a half decent left back. 2.Put him into the Arsenal first team to play some of the biggest clubs in the world, at home and abroad. Something us mere mortals and most professional footballers only dream about. 3 Gave him the pleasure of winning the Premier League AND the FA Cup. Something us mere mortals and most professional footballers only dream about. 4 Paid him a salary for doing all this which was in the tens of thousands of pounds a week, and millions per year in sponsorship deals. Something us mere mortals and most professional footballers only dream about. 5 Gave him the opportunity to play for his country and participate in World Cup and European Championship tournaments. Something us mere mortals and most professional footballers only dream about. IMO, Cashley's comments say more about him as a person than they do about Arsenal, and AW.
Cockney Rich
As much as I'm loathe to defend Cole, most press reports mischieviously left out the part where he said, "only joking!" That's a good post FunGunner and one that is quite right, I suppose the wish os for people to be constructive- though I suggest we'd be *****ing in the wind by asking for a large percentage of the population not to be morons. The best example I can cite from your post FG is Arseblogger's treatment of Alex Song a couple of years back, when he had played only 1 game at Highbury, all of his other appearances had been away from home in Carling Cup games that weren't televised. That means arseblogger can only have seen him once or twice, whilst those of us that went to the CC away games were generally impressed. Yet because Arseblogger, on the basis of little knowledge, cast him as the worst player ever, it grew up as a kind of fact, based in people's ignorance. Arsenor, I think you also make a decent point, but Ade aside, I can't really accuse anyone last season of lacking effort. Eboue never lacked effort, Bendtner has a lot to prove and generally shows it by playing like a man possessed, yet he still bares the brunt of the boo boys. I think the "effort" caveat is one of the most tired cliches going, what players do have to do, is avoid repetitions of incidents such as in Kyiv where only 3 players came over to the travelling fans (an incident I'm fond of repeating), which is a bit ******** rude when you've spent £700 and travelled to the unfriendliest nation in Europe to watch a quite drab display. Ironically enough, Eboue was one of the 3 players who came over that night.
Little Dutch
http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_5450946,00.html Oh dear.
Little Dutch
Cheers Little Dutch, seen the headline, but refused to lower myself by reading the article. I actually feel genuinely sorry for him. In a few years time,when Ade has grown up, he will realise that he has left THE biggest club that he will EVER play for. I think in the next 2-3 years, after a ' troubled ' career, Ade will be playing in the MLS, and giving interviews slagging off Mark Hughes, Man City and the fans.
Cockney Rich
Ok I'm nitpicking here but on "...to a serious injury only for the manager to diagnose the injury as "not too serious" (In January 2008, he also told us Rosicky would be out for "a matter of days, not weeks")..." I think it is the physio/doc who did the diagnosis, AW was merely relying on the judgement of these supposedly qualified professionals so putting all the blame on AW would not be fair. As for "...within the framework of a capitalist economy? And if the idea offends you so much, answer me this, what have you done for the Socialist party...", I dunno much abt the Socialist but I feel and I hope that the current obscenely inflated market will burst soon to bring things back to parity cos ultimately it is us the paying fans who bear the brunt. Other than that, the essence of your message is valid and well-argued which I agreed
Temasek
Can't agree with you there LD. Football hasn't become a multi billion pound industry because of the footballers. It has become this because of agents, marketing men and advertising off the backs of some over hyped pro's "working" 10 hours per week. Games now have just as many goals and entertainment as they had 80 years ago just there was no TV/Internet/Digital anything. The difference in wages is totally disproportionate to that time period and the money players "earn" is both obcene and totally unwarranted In mine and most other peoples opinions.
LondonGooner
"It's these kind of people who give people the assumption that football fans are idiots, and the worst part is that, with them for evidence, it can sometimes be difficult to deny" ArsenalRob ----- Surely an idiot could also be construed as someone who will cheer and cheer and cheer when something goes hideously wrong or a player doesn't bother and make the effort and basically being a mindless numpty and cheering everything? These kind (accept anything at face value, just cheer) of people give the impression of dedicated yet guillable mug punters. It worksboth ways Rob.
LondonGooner
Anyone else aching to the bone due to the intolerable fact that we now hate somebody MORE than Ashley Cole?
Tom14
"obligation as a supporter to scream your lungs out even in support of a player you thoroughly despise" Jaelle. What a load of rubbish. You are not obligated to do anything you don't want to do and anyone who thinks otherwise should take note of how despised the current government is with their social engineerring programme. The same thing can be said of fellow supporters from the "everything's great lets cheer" brigade. No it isn';t and sometimes if peopel want to vent then that is their right and neithe ryou nor anyoen else has the right or the cahones to takle that away from the,. Sick of this socialist s**from other fans. Concentrate on your own support and the others will concentrate on theirs.
LondonGooner
Get me disagreeing with everyone today! lol
LondonGooner
Temasek, I'm not blaming Wenger, but it's hard to deny that the disagnoses of our club medical staff has often flattered to deceive. The inflated market will inevitably burst at some point, like I say, that's just capitalist economy for you. LG, I take your point, but you and I, we still pay for it don't we? We still pay money to go to games? Some still pay for their TV subscriptions etc? In a capitalist economy, that means we deem it value for money, we wouldn't pay it otherwise. I'm uncomfortable with the idea that my season ticket is worth four figures, but ultimately I pay it. I'm free not to. That's because of the players, that's who we pay for ultimately, not the agents or the hype, we pay to go and watch the players. If you take the players out of the equation, I can't imagine 60,000 people turning up every week to watch agents barter. Agents and marketing have exploited the sport, but ultimately they've done it off the back of the players. Look at any football commercial in the world, you don't see pictures of agents or Richard Keys on their advertising boards. We might deem the wages obscene, but ultimately that is the money they are bringing into the sport. If I pay my obscene amount of money to watch Arsenal, is it not right that a good portion of that ends up in the pockets of those very people I'm paying to watch?
Little Dutch
As a supporter I think it important that we have an avenue to express our feelings whether discontented or not. There is little wrong in doing that in forums such as these. There is nothing wrong in that discontented being expressed with force and conviction if that's an honestly held view. I don't think it matters too much if the wider media picks that up. That seems like a healthy state of affairs to me and these forums rely on forceful argument and debate. I think that is quite different from creating a hostile environment towards your team in your own stadium. In my view you are either a supporter or a consumer. As a supporter it seems evident to me that you lend your support when its needed and bitch about it in the bar (or on furms afterwards). If I saw myself as a consumer then I would act like one and simply not buy the product. I wouldn't stand outside Starbucks and complain that their coffee is crap every week or demand that they should have bought some new chairs. It does work both ways though. If the club doesn't want us to act like consumers it must try to ensure that the treat us first as supporters.
Amos.
On a basic level they have you are right, but the only reason it has reached this level is becaue of the afore mentioned technological advances and agents etc Of course we wouldn't go to see guy's in suits arguing (some might) but the fact that players earnings are grossly over in flated and i genuinely DO mind paying what I do were it has got to the point where I am hours away from just not bothering anymore as the money is too much, the entertainment is decreasing, the players on the pitch wouldn't know what a fan was if they bumped into one in the street, clubs are constantly taking the pi** out of us as fans and in general most players are complete c***s. No wonder some fans go to games to vent, i don't blame them one little bit when you consider that the s**t they have to often watch and the amount it costs them, while clinging to the hope that one day a pro might actually act liek one of us again and not some z list celebrity ***** totally disconnected to the real world. Can you actually believe there were peopel on here condemming some of us fans who booed Adebayor? How the **** else where we supposed to let him know how we felt? Right him a stern letter? I mean come on WTF?
LondonGooner
I'm reminded here of my favourite song title ever, the song itself ain't much, but the title "We Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes and We'll Get What We Deserve" always stuck with me. Ultimately, this is the system we have voted for politically, greed is good, maximise your earnings at all costs, the free market. The opportunity has come up in the last 20 years for footballers to earn vast sums of money in their profession, we give them legitimacy to do that by voting for Capitalist principles. In footballing terms, we contribute too, I have a great distaste for the likes of Adebayor and Cole, but you know what? I'm complicit in it because I keep lining their pockets, nearly all of us do, whether through season tickets or Sky subscriptions or replica shirts with names and numbers on the back (there's a big part of me that suspects the transfer window was bought in partly to protect that commerce, as with the regularity that players move nowadays, who would spend their money getting a player's name and number on their back, only to find three months later he's gone to Man City and slagged off the fans as he drifts through the exit door?) Unless you genuinely vote for far left parties, or have, as someone I know has done, given up your Arsenal season ticket to watch Barnet instead, you can't support a system of greed and avarice and complain when people use that very system to their advantage.
Little Dutch
"I'm uncomfortable with the idea that my season ticket is worth four figures, but ultimately I pay it. I'm free not to..." fair point LD. I don't live in UK and I dun have the privy to support at the Emirates. I do have to contend with the ever increasing cable fee though..but I've decided that if it go beyond my threshold I'll just give it all up (though not giving up as a arsenal fan..ever). I dun know where your limit is (or if you've one) but if one day u decide not to pay for the season ticket as well...we're probably near the point where the balloon will burst
Temasek
Players wages are set by the markets for their talents. I am not sure that their wages are anymore overinflated than those guys from Abba or Elton John gets for the bubblegum pap they put out. Or that Schwarzenegger, Hanks and Cruise have earned for much of the stuff that they have sold us. It'll change only when there is no longer a demand. Player contract law has changed dramatically in favour of the players over the last few years. That is probably more democratic in that it is the providers of labour rather than capital that share the benefits but in means those players at the top will always command astronomic pay just as those at the top in music and films have always done.
Amos.
LG, I'm sure you're right, if a fan cheered absolutely everything his team did, even if it was a load of ****, he would look slightly idiotic. That's hardly the problem though is it. We don't have a stadium full of people on E do we...
ArsenalRob
I'm not saying you have to cheer a misplaced backpass from Eboue. You're entitled to moan and groan, and you'll find Manu would probably try very hard to make ammends, but you don't have to have an incredible imagination to realise that having tens of thousands of people booing you would be rather intimidating, and is more likely to put you off you're game than step up a gear.
ArsenalRob
I also agree with LD's point about blogs such as Arseblogger, which attract thousands of fans, most of whom are the type who enjoy watchingl, but don't really have an in-depth knowledge of football and are very easily indoctrinated into choosing a scapegoat for their anger, making it very difficult for the player to escape. The case with Alex Song was particuarly effective, because Song's best performances are subtle, so can go largely unnoticed. Strikers can have play as badly as they like over 90 minutes, but if they pop up in the right places and score enough goals, they'll keep the majority happy.
ArsenalRob
"you can't support a system of greed and avarice and complain when people use that very system to their advantage" - Little Dutch hence my statement about jacking this crap in. The whole thing leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.
LondonGooner
One last thing. A quote from Adebayor which really made me want to punch something. "I scored 30 goals for Arsenal two seasons ago and it was not my fault that AC Milan, Barcelona or Real Madrid wanted to buy me. The way the fans turned against me was not nice. They didn't turn on Cesc Fabregas when Barcelona showed interest in him." He just doesn't get it does he?
ArsenalRob
We don't have a stadium full of people on E do we... ArsenalRob ---No we don't Rob, although being told that the only noises that should be made is cheering is basically what you said earlier which makes your statement look a little hollow and preachy.
LondonGooner
He just doesn't get it does he? ArsenalRob Well we agree on one thing, the guy is a f****** idiot. With the mantal capacity of a "The Jeremy Kyle Show" participant.
LondonGooner
LG, as I said, some disgruntled noises are fine, even the odd insult isn't too bad, but something like booing, which is just relentless, just doesn't give the player much chance to redeem himself and only provides a hinderence to his playing capacity. I know if I was playing for Arsenal (which I easily could of course...) and made a few mistakes in a match a sigh of dissapointment or even someone throwing me an insult, I'd want to turn it round and would probably play better for it. If, on the other hand, 20/30 thousand people started booing me, I wouldn't exactly feel comfortable with the ball at my feet.
ArsenalRob
I just hope the so called ' boo boys ', who go to the game just to get on someones back, don't find a new victim now that Ade has gone. Without the constant boos and abuse, we would see a marked improvement in the players carrying that ' iffy ' label, ie. Song,Diaby,Eboue and occassionally Bendtner. Let's wipe the slate clean this season and really give it a go at lifting some of them. I went to Wigan away towards the end of last season, and Song was outstanding. To be fair, all the ' iffy ' ones have had good games, so we know they can do it. I just want them to relax and play their own game, and not be frightened of being ' buried ' over a single mistake, and then drifting out the game in fear, leaving us with effectively, 10 men.
Cockney Rich
Crowds have always expressed their dissatisfaction. It can't be hard for any player to know when the crowd think he is playing poorly or the whole team to know that they aren't doing well. But it's a matter of degree. At times last season that discontent too often became open hostility. That has to be enormously counter productive and the folly of it should be made clear to its perpetrators.
Amos.
There are a few guys who unfortunately, sit near me. They start there rumblings of discontent if we are not 2 or 3 nil up after 20 minutes. Absolutely frightening. This is followed by the mind numbing and pointless booing at half time if it's 0-0.
Cockney Rich
Showing vitriol to players during a game is counter productive and it will adversely affect their performance. The vilified player loses confidence and/or becomes upset and resentful to those causing his angst. How much money the player gets is actually irrelevant in terms of the basic goal which is to improve their performance for the benefit of the team, the supporters and the club. After the game, platforms such as Vital Arsenal is a valid place to vent frustration in an intelligent and constructive way, but it has no place inside the stadium. Those who were so utterly disgusted last season must surely have voted with their feet by now and not renewed their season tickets. As a result, one would hope that they will be replaced by a more positive element.
Sir Henry
"As a result, one would hope that they will be replaced by a more positive element." -- no, I don't think so. The same type of crowd will keep going to the Grove because the club's policies encourage it. I'm of two minds on this subject. I can't stand the ridiculous amount of abuse that our players get but on the other I'm sick and tired of this new theme that paints gooners as somehow UNIQUELY miserable, rotten, worthless supporters. It's gained a lot of traction in the wider football world now. The simple fact is that the club itself bears a lot of responsibility for generating the kind of crowd that now goes to the Grove. It’s the club that has outpriced the working class man, it’s the club that has instituted draconian policies preventing supporters from cheering and expressing loud support of their team, telling them to sit down and shut up, expelling them, catering to the corporate and family crowds who just want to sit and watch quietly. And those people are constantly telling loud, boisterous supporters to sit down and shut up — and complaining to the stewards, who then threaten those boisterous supporters to sit down and shut up or they’ll be expelled. Why is it that our away support is so loud and vocal and strongly supportive? Because they can cheer and act with more freedom. // And as to fungunner's point and LD re arseblogger on Song...I agree arseblogger's constant slating of Song based on very little playing time was ridiculous and unhelpful. Last season I got angry with his constant slagging off of Gallas and his blatant refusal to acknowledge Gallas when he played well. But the problem with fungunner's overall post is that while it sounds reasonable, in reality it turns out not to be. The mantra "constructive criticism is ok" turns out to be a lie. I've seen blogs and individual posters on various blogs where perfectly reasonable criticism, a lack of faith in a particular player or even the manager expressed in an informed, intelligent manner is routinely attacked. The "constructive criticism" exception is routinely included in the type of attack arseblogger used against Song. There are gooners out there who simply cannot tolerate even constructive, reasoned, informed criticism. Ever. They attack you for daring to even air such opinions and call you a spud or a chav. You MUST post totally believe in the manager and all our players at all times. It's why I left one blog in particular, there simply was no tolerance for genuine debate.
jaelle
LG, if I overstated my belief in the need for total support in the stadium and talked "rubbish", sorry to have annoyed you. I will concede Amos' point that a small, limited amount of expressions of "disappointment" in your own players is to be expected. It's nothing new or unusual in fact, it's been a part of football all over the world and throughout its entire history. Gooners are NOT unique at all in this. But to extend it to sustained, constant abuse from huge numbers of supporters in your own home stadium is something I simply can't agree with.
jaelle
Jaelle I was thinking that there was a type of floating supporter who invested in an Arsenal season ticket because we play attractive football and tend to win games in style. Last season didn’t provide the entertainment that the club promised and these people felt hard done by. The press would have you believe that Arsenal has no chance of winning the league and would probably finish outside the top four. When the “product” is not as good, only more genuine fans would persist in renewing their season ticket or trying to get one in the first place. A bit fanciful perhaps but the fair-weather supporter still exists.
Sir Henry
I see a lot of people on here are condemning groaning after missed chances and such. I don't have a problem with groaning. It's a natural reaction to the instant excitement and sudden disappointment that makes football, well football. It's whether you clap or boo after your groan that makes the difference. I agree with what LD said about not venting at the players, but instead venting at the referee or opposing player. There's few things I enjoy more than getting on a opposing player early with boos and whistles, and watching his play steadily regress throughout the game.
gunnerkid107
you are right gunnerkid, I personally love giving dogs abuse to some of the opposing players. You really can see, and feel, the confidence slowly ebbing out of them. Titus Bramble is a favourite victim of mine, closely followed by David James. I played a major part in our late goal at home to Pompey last season ! My usual vitriol towards CR7 will now be aimed at a useless dollop of **** that has joined Man City. I cant wait to scream at his every bad touch, slip at a vital moment and fall over, stray pass......and don't get me started about the offsides. That is of course if he is in the first team by then ! I am getting married on September 12th, so can't go to the game at Eastlands. I will have to rely on the travelling Gooners, and most probably by then, half the City fans to 'express' my feelings towards him on my behalf.
Cockney Rich
Ade is just lashing out - he knows he's been kicked out of the club by Wenger, and his ego is unable to handle it. The only way he can rationalise it is by blaming other factors, like our lack of money, or the lack of support from the fans. I dont support it (in fact, he is a stupid *****), but atleast I understand it.
prits
SAF - "At the last minute, from what I can gather, either Emmanuel Adebayor or his agent phoned us after they had agreed a deal with City and then did the same with Chelsea. He was desperate to get to either Chelsea or us." LOL
ArsenalRob
I am glad that this has come to light ArsenalRob, regarding Ade. I always had my suspicions as to why he was dragging his heels over a move to City, and now we know why. I know for a fact that he was claiming a £2m ' loyalty ' fee from Arsenal, as he didn't ask for a transfer. Arsenal were staunchly refusing to pay this, and the deal only went through when City agreed to include the £2m in his signing-on payment. Presumably, Ade wasn't ' honoured and excited about joining Man City ' when the calls were made to Man U and Chelsea. He has only played one game, and already half the City fans dont want him. Good luck this season Ade.
Cockney Rich
I followed a link to vital wigan and they've got an article about Catermole coming to the Grove. Question is, why are we not trying to buy him if this is just a rumour? I've seen enough of the guy to believe that he'll provide the needed steel and grit most agree is lacking in our current midfield, and he can't possibly cost a bomb!
deledudu
deledudu, I agree he is very good at what he does for Wigan, and previously at Middlesborough, but I have doubts as to whether he could keep up that level of performance amidst the high-tempo offensive game that we like to play. I don't think he has the required technical quality or footballing sense to succeed here, especially not in European competition. I don't think he'd push Denilson out of the team, and with Song proving a very able deputy I don't think we need him. If we're going to sign anyone in midfield now it has to be a genuine 1st team player.
ArsenalRob
I suspect you've allowed the quality of his team mates to get in the way of objectivity Rob, Catermole is extremely competent at what he does, which is to deny space and ball to the opposing team, he showed it in the game at the Emirates, and has consistently shown it over the last seasons. I'll allow the numbers guru like Amos the pleasure of the stats, but he's better than anything we've been linked to this season.
deledudu
"Catermole is extremely competent at what he does, which is to deny space and ball to the opposing team". I totally agree, but I think that Arsenal's DM should offer more of a creative and technical output than I believe Cattermole is capable of. Flamini wasn't outstanding in this department, but his extraordinary ability to run up and down the pitch all day meant he could get away with it. Gilberto was assured in possesion, as was Vieira. As good as he his at protecting the defence, I think Cattermole's lack of technical confidence would hinder our forward play, as the likes of Cesc may feel that, although Cattermole can win the ball, he will need extra help in doing something with it.
ArsenalRob
Maybe someone without massive technical ability would be ideal? He is surrounded by technicians who can more than compensate for his lack of ability (percieved or not). Although this deal doesn't look like happening to me as Wigan would want too much for him. Ability or not, never judge a player by the club he comes from, other wise players like Sagna played for someone no better than Wigan, in Auxerre.
LondonGooner
Sorry LondonGooner, but a player without 'technical ability' should not, and cannot EVER be an Arsenal player. I live in the North West and have seen a fair bit of Cattermole at Wigan. His distribution is quite good, but often these passes are the wrong option. He is reluctant to join the attack, and very rarely does he come and 'look' for the ball. Our midfield, and in some respects our squad, are littered with inexperienced players. What we need in midfield is THE finished article, a player who has shone in that position week in,week out. To 'run up and down all game' just isn't enough. Sure, Flamini was our box-to-box player, but he could pass, dribble,shoot etc. Players with limited techinical ability can be found in their hundreds, in lesser teams and lower leagues. This is the Arsenal mate and only the very best will do. We are all about ability, thats what separates us from the rest. As AW always says to the 'kids' at London Colney, " If you have no first touch, you have nothing at all ".
Cockney Rich
Amos, I assumed u r referring to the fees (and not the endorsements cos it would be another matter altogether) the likes of Will Smith or Angelina Jolie command for each movie they made, or Timberlake rakes in for each album he churned out...I dont know either if these fees are fair or inflated...as long as the investors of the movie/album feel it is worth to pay them that much I don't care really cos as far as I'm concerned, if I like Smith or Timberlake, I paid the price of a movie ticket or CDs (it won't be more than twice per year for each since it is unlikely the duo make more than 2 movies/albums each year)..it is absolutely different in the case of football when one considers the value of a season ticket or a year-long cable subscription cost and that's why the resentment of the players' obscene wages are more acutely felt...yes, I’m still biting the bullet to pay another season of increased cable subscription but I know the breaking-point is not too far away…I just feel that the fans are being exploited for their loyalty and love for their clubs and bearing the brunt of all these inflated costs…the people running the league and clubs are the one laughing all the way to the bank believing that football is a recession-proof staple, just like the bigwigs and traders of banks and financial institutions during their heydays of big fat pay and bonuses before Sep’08…I was brought up to believe that football is the game for the masses, but it is threatening to become a hobby for the rich of late…imo, the current market football is operating now is obscenely inflated and utterly devoid of morality and ethics and I just hope the much overdue tsunami would hit football world hard and bring some sanity and equilibrium back…(pardon me for this long rant…guess I need to find some sanity myself…)
Temasek
Some good work by arseblogger and goonerholic today to trash the completely cringe worthy propoganda piece in the BBC today, by Farhad Moshiri. The club is headed towards a show down in the board room and as much as we'd like to think that it doesnt affect on field performances, there might a slim possibility that it does. Its better that this is resolved once and for all, sooner rather than later. The current Board cannot continue to ignore Usmanov, coz he's a cancer eating away at our club.
prits
I see that Bendtner has quickly come out on the Arsenal official website expressing his commitment to Arsenal in view of press speculation about AC Milan's interest. Toure and Eboue are being heavily linked with Man City and Fiorentina respectively but there aren't similar statements forthcoming - does that mean there's definitely something happening there?
Gooner_Vin
I have it on VERY good authiority that Arsenal and Man City are close to reaching an agreement regarding the transfer of Kolo. Arsenal have not asked for any City players to be included in the deal, as was offered, and it will be a straight cash amount of £13m. With regards to Eboue, he is aware of interest from Fiorentina, but there has been no approach made for him. He has expressed to AW that his preference would be to stay, but, if he is to be sold, he wants to go to Spain.
Cockney Rich
On another subject entirely: CARLOS VELA WAS INSTRUMENTAL YESTERDAY IN WINNING THE GOLD CUP TROPHY FOR MEXICO!!! I watched several of the games in this tournament, incl. all of Mexico's games, and the final. Dos Santos and Vela are a fantastic pairing. And dos Santos is criminally underrated. Rijkaard took him under his wing at Barca and had high hopes for him. When he left, Barca thought he wasn't good enuf for them and sold them to Spurs. I thought maybe Barca were correct in their estimation of him but that he did NOT belong at Spurs. He's wasted in England. I've always thought dos Santos could show himself to be a really fine talent if nurtured by the right manager. He fully deserved the tournament's golden ball. In the first half of the final, dos Santos was Mexico's most threatening player but when Aguirre introduced Vela in the 2nd half, dos Santos was finally freed. He and Vela were just wonderful to watch. In the first half it didn't look like Mexico could ever get past the US' tough defense. Once Vela got on, he paired with dos Santos to significantly change the game. Vela scored once and made two assists. US fans are pointing out in churlish fashion that this was the USA's B or C team. Well this wasn't Mexico's strongest team either - it was their B team as well. With this game, Mexico finally beat their US hudu. They haven't been able to beat the US on US soil since 1999. And Vela was a huge reason for it.
jaelle
I dont totally mind the idea of getting rid of the African players from our team. They go away for 6 weeks playing every few days and mess up the teamsheet as such. 13m for Toure who i believe has been on the decline for the last season and a half is not bad business. On the other hand, if we dont buy players to replace Ade, Toure & Eboue(if they leave) then its pointless. Money in the bank does nothing for our team.
paul_ownz
Who are we bringing in to replace them? Or have I opened a big can of worms here?
navydave
I don't know who we will bring in navydave, but surely we MUST replace Kolo. We NEED an accomplished, finished article, play week in - week out centre half. We can't rely on Senderos or Djourou to fill the gaps when we have to ' patch-up and make do '. We have enough up front to score in EVERY game, but not enough at the back to keep a clean sheet, or hold on to a lead.
Cockney Rich
yeah jaelle, I turned the game on in the second half, to see Carlos had just come on. He was fantastic, but it was a very week USA side. All the same, he could be a very useful option from the bench this season.
ArsenalRob
Money in the bank will help our balance sheet and therefore make us a more attractive proposition for future investors. If we sell Kolo/Eboue, i'd put half my yearly wage on us not signing anything remotely close to proven quality. e.g. a similar immediate outgoing as ingoing.
shewore
 

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