Arsenal - The Season of 'Meh'
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The Season of 'Meh'

Meh: Uttered with a curl of the lip and shrug of the shoulders denotes flagging interest and a lack of feeling.

I declare this the Season of Meh.

At this point in the calendar year I typically have reopened my drawer of Arsenal Jerseys and placed my newest purchases on top, have called my TV company to reinstate every football channel known to man so that I do not miss a single minute of Arsenal between now and May, had the predictable arguments with my friends that our outgoing players were genuinely unwanted and our newest 9 year old African by way of France is absolutely going to set the world on fire once he clears puberty. In short, I`m prepared for a year of entertainment filled with moments of massive hope and crushing despair. I love this game and I love my club.

This year is different. No new jerseys have been added to the collection. I traditionally buy a home jersey with my favorite player and an away for the most interesting new signing. I`m not sure what that would even look like for this season. I`m debating whether I really need to splunk out the cash needed to upgrade. While I can`t make it to the stadiums I haven`t missed a minute of Arsenal in years. Do I really need buy more TV channels to watch Wenger look on, doubled over hugging his knees with a look of confusion and disgust? The manager and board don`t seem willing to splunk a little cash to improve our quality for a long year, maybe they know something I don`t? My arguments with my friends have been half hearted at best. Yes, Gervinho seems a quality addition but our other outgoings in incomings are not outing and inning. Truthfully the only thing we`ve argued about is Bendtner. I don`t want the guy to go. I personally rate him more highly than Chamakh. Don`t judge me, not even 10 out of 10 dentists agree on everything. Yes, we need a stronger squad. Yes, some of our first team should have to fight for their places. Cesc, Nasri, Mata, Jagielka, Cahill, ANY left backÖ I can`t disagree.

I am not angry, I`m not calling for Wenger`s head on a stick, I`m not burning my shirts or shopping for a new club. I am an Arsenal supporter through and through. I`m not even that surprised at where our team is right now (club and team are not the same in my mind). I know I`ll upgrade my TV channels. I`m just not sure about riding the wave of hope and despair though. I have almost no expectations for this season beyond watching my team struggle and Wenger visibly age with a look of confusion and frustration on his face 3 out of 5 weeks.

I declare this my Season of Meh.

Article submitted by smithdj74

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The Journalist

Writer: smithdj74 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 6 2011

Time: 2:27PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Surely the fun is in finding out how your team does? Pre season in 96 seemed like a disaster at the time when we'd only signed John Lukic and sacked our manager 5 days before kick off. Supporters protested at a pre season friendly with Birmigngham, turning their backs on the game and chanting, "We love Arsenal, you don't" at David Dein. 96-97 wasn't bad in the end was it? In the summer of 2003, we bought Lehmann, Clichy and an injured Senderos having just surrendered the league title. More portents of doom. Can't seem to recall what happened in 2003-04 though.......?
Little Dutch
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06/08/2011 14:41:00

Well let's hope your expectations are unfulfilled.
Gun 'Em Down
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06/08/2011 14:43:00

Yeah I'm in agreement, I'm always going to be excited about a new season, even if I'm not overly confident. Because as last season shows, even in times of diabolical colapse, you're still offered those single moments that you will never ever forget. And you never know when they might arrive.
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06/08/2011 14:46:00

I'm inclined to agree with the writer and sort of contradicting myself, with LD. I'm excited for the new season and the fun is seeing how we do this year. But at the same time, I'm somewhat disillusioned this summer with the seeming failure of the club to address shortcomings, a growing minority openly wanting the manager gone, and a vast majority annoyed with the club's handling of a quite unnecessary price rise on already exorbitant tickets. I guess ambivalent is how I'm feeling about Arsenal right now. Or schizophrenic
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06/08/2011 15:10:00

for gods sake arsene sign someone, splash some cash, even if s only for a new toilet cleaner, i dont want to be supporting the richest club in the bottom half of the premiership 6 years isnt a long time to wait for some success, its a frigging disgrace
cornish gooner
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06/08/2011 15:32:00

Couldn't agree more Smithdj74. I haven't even been bothered to watch the preseason matches. I'm usually quite excited by this time in the summer to watch every minute of these meaningless matches. But not this summer. I expect to feel more excited come late next week, but right now, it's a strange feeling of 'meh'.
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06/08/2011 15:37:00

When I said I was in agreement that was in reference to Tim rather than the article. To reiterate .... massively disapointing summer, still excited for the season.
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06/08/2011 16:08:00

You know that's the strange thing. I am excited to get things going and see how the season plays out, but... Have you ever been in a rough patch in a relationship, the kind where you start to close the walls and intentionally care less because it's easier than being open to the pain? I think that's where I am right now. I can't wait to see RvP's next wondergoal, see how Szzezkljf progresses, whether Jack picks up where he left off, but I'm also afraid our defense and collective failure to kill off games may continue. Heartbreak is normal if you really care. Suffering the exact same heartbreak year in and year out and still standing there waiting for more? Now that's love of Arsenal.
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06/08/2011 16:42:00

"It's better to have loved an have lost than never to have loved at all" ..... there's millions of fans all over the UK who would love to have seen even a tenth of the success I've seen Arsenal gain in my life time. Whilst I'm fully aware we should be miles better off than what we are, I'm also very grateful to be a Gooner. BTW Smithy ... I think Sczenzny is going to be the absolute balls this season!
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06/08/2011 16:55:00

The fact is we have the 4th highest wage expoenditure in the league, so anything above 4th is over achieving, 4th is about where we should be, anything less is failure. But some are becoming hysterical labelling 4th place as mediocrity. That's simply not true factually or even emotionally. Such is modern football I'm afraid.
Little Dutch
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06/08/2011 16:58:00

That said LD, maybe by now we should be spending more of the cash we've been hording on better players who would therefore require better wages. The amount we spend on wages is our choice, we have enough to spend more, and going by the logic in your last post, therefore be higher up the table.
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06/08/2011 17:02:00

There is about £30m in our TPA currently, that's not enough to usurp Citeh and Chelsea certainly, United have higher revenues than we do. But realistically, United's are the only revenues we can aim for. The league table almost directly correlates with the salary table. Only Everton and United perform ahead of that curve.
Little Dutch
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06/08/2011 17:16:00

Interesting take on the wage structure/league standings, LD. Obviously I'd like to see Arsenal overachieve and take the league at a trot. Truthfully though, I'm less concerned with the number of trophies than I am in what happens in each game. If Arsenal work hard and score goals and defend with resolve, that's victory. If Arsenal give everything they've got and can't break down the other team, that's life and I'm ok with it. If Arsenal show a lack of effort or concentration and continue to steal defeat from the jaws of victory, that's failure. That is the kind of failure I don't want to see. Losing sucks. Losing for no good reason when the cause seems to be apparent to all sucks to infinity and beyond.
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06/08/2011 18:15:00

United's is the highest revenues are they not? And with the fair play rules coming into effect of the next few years then we effective have the means to be champions. But I'm not buying that we're over achieving. We might have the 4th lowest wage bill but we have a better manager than at least two of the above three, better facilities than any one, better fitness, and we have more money to spend to improve that further. We've definately under achieving for the squad we have ... wages or no wages.
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06/08/2011 18:45:00

**We're definately not under acheiving - sorry, poor typing!
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06/08/2011 18:46:00

Ahead at half time; now, just hold out and add two more more goals..... Benfica is a fairly good side and credit to the lads considering those we are missing.
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06/08/2011 20:46:00

...Spoke to soon.
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06/08/2011 21:01:00

Scary thing is, minus Jack (and maybe Theo), this is our best team.
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06/08/2011 21:01:00

I'm tuning in for this friendly. Gervinho has really been impressive. Left, right, and in the defence too.
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06/08/2011 21:03:00

2nd half and we seem to lack composure...yes, there were the customary wholesale changes, but the season is about to start and sharpness missing. 2-1 Benfica.
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06/08/2011 21:06:00

That's right, take the team who were building some momentum and confidence off and throw Marouane Gunnersaurus and the local junior school on! Fantastic!
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06/08/2011 21:15:00

So we take the lead on go on to blow it .... you could have predicted that?
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06/08/2011 21:39:00

A game of 2 halves; we dominate the 1st and give them the 2nd. What's worrying is TV, our 'new signing', was on for most of the game and didn't make that difference we allude to for our failings last season. Another worry is the seeming lack of fight in the lads soon as we took out some first teamers. This can be changed with a new big signing as what these boys need is something to raise the spirits. We still need a solid LB, no jokes there. Positives are the forms of Gervinho, van Persie, Arshavin, Rosicky and Miyaichi + Frimpong do have heart. 6 days to correct the usual mistakes we have become known for; those errors which give teams hope when playing against us.
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06/08/2011 22:00:00

Just like in our previous 2 matches this pre season
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06/08/2011 22:04:00

There is a gulf in class between our first choice 11 and the substitutes. Each time the first team has come out to play in the pre season friendlies, we have scored and gone ahead only to lose the lead when the susbtitutes come out at the start of the second half. Some injury news to RvP, Vermaelen and Wilshere is quite disconcerting too. The team and club needs a boost, an event that can galvanise it. Selling Cesc who WONT play a part in our very difficult start to the season and bringing in two replacements - one forward and a defender who can actually play a part in our first 5 games will go a long way in easing the pressure we are under.
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07/08/2011 08:49:00

Where's nikolaijns?
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07/08/2011 08:58:00

I've been a gooner for over 20 years and don't think i've ever been so concerned about our team and club. I really hope Arsene can turn things around but am becoming less optimistic by the day. I know they are only friendlies but it's those same old mistakes that keep cropping up. I really don't want Arsene's sheer stubborness to sign new players to destroy what he has built but things really do look as if they are going pear shaped. Come on Arsene, we NEED experienced, composed players - FAST!!!
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07/08/2011 10:06:00

By the way, if fans of other clubs are reading, yes i do realise that we are extremely lucky to count fourth in the premiership and champions league football as concerning. It's just the way we collapse and the attitude of some of our players that is not what this club has been about for the last 20 years.
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07/08/2011 10:09:00

couldnt agree more gunnerpig, if we dont sign one experienced proven defender and one top class midfielder,then we will continue to snatch defeat from 2 3 or even 4 goal leads ive supported arsenal for over 60 years, and have never felt as worried about the start of a season as i am now i just hope that my fears are proved groundless and that this is the season that we win the league, fa cup champions league and anything else we enter
cornish gooner
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07/08/2011 14:31:00

There's a feeling of inevitability this season, isn't there.. That we have truly hit the bottom without even the ball being kicked. I don't see how things can be set right in a week's time. What else can you say about a club which decides to go into a new season with a 19 yr old as first choice LB. Not sure its all Wenger's fault. Maybe its all for the good. And this is a new beginning.. A change in management, personnel etc.
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07/08/2011 14:48:00

This is the trouble, I hate saying bad things about Arsene with all that he has done for the club but how long is this downward slide going?
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07/08/2011 16:29:00

Good game for the community shield. United's players were not disheartened being 2-0 down at the break. They upped their tempo, defended well and took their chances. Success seems to breed more success and in our case failure at the cusp of success seems to be having a spiralling effect. United's 3rd goal was a good example of Clichy's weakness as a defender. He didn't communicate at all with Kompany, shirked responsibility by moving away from an advancing Nani and then was left to rue his mistake at leisure. It will be asking a lot from Gibbs to replace Clichy but we must give him a fair chance and not boo him at his first mistake.
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07/08/2011 17:25:00

DF, I am with you 100% re: the gulf in class between our 1st 11 and the rest + need to give Gibbs a chance. This community shield win should serve as a lesson for our lads that they can't allow their heads to drop when 2 or even 3 goals down. We have a good side and all that is required is belief and hard work from the team. Having said that, the intensity shown in the CS game should lend credence to the suggestion in one of the posts here, a few days ago, (I think it was LD) that the lack of intensity in pre-season games may not make such games a good yardstick for projecting into the season proper, especially for our team, whose best approach is high intensity football. Maybe, we should just be patient, supportive and be surprised.
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07/08/2011 18:58:00

With fans like these who needs spud trolls? I still think there's great quality in this side and Wenger over the years has earned more respect than to be written off before a ball has been kicked in anger. Go buy yourself a van Persie or Vermalen home shirt and a Gervinho away shirt, get your TV channels and support your team!
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07/08/2011 22:20:00

I think the prevalent mood among the fans is that everyone is just feeling a little bit detached from the club at the moment due to the demands for summer spending not being fulfilled and also the lack of trophies. Fans feel alienated a bit from the club and in turn they are trying to alienate the club by showing no interest in low intensity unimportant friendly games. All the same I expect when the ball starts rolling at St. James' next week everybody's gonna gear up for one more season of twists, turns and maybe the usual heartbreaking moment that the players serve us. Or maybe not
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08/08/2011 09:17:00

96 was a completely different age and comparing it to 2003 when it truly was a 2 horse race, and we'd actually, y'know won something AND come relatively close to the title (after being double winners the seaon before) is being overly challenging in my view. There is lot to concern us this pre season.
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08/08/2011 09:32:00

My point is that pre season results almost never have any bearing on a season. Last year Chelsea lost 5 of their 6 friendlies. They won their first three games by an aggregate of 14-0. That people are putting the boot in before a ball is kicked baffles me personally. I get that the club haven't done good business this summer, but if you're absolutely determined that you don't want to enjoy the season before it's even started, I just don't get why you're still following the game. Surely the fun is the finding out? I'm minded of a saying along the lines, "A pessimist may well but he proved right in the long run, but they'll have no fun on the ride."
Little Dutch
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08/08/2011 10:32:00

We look to have clinched the transfer of Alex Chamberlain. Good news in the long term. Now to take care of the short term!
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08/08/2011 14:35:00

Just hope that isn't the super quality signing the Manager spoke about.....
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08/08/2011 15:15:00

For me, itís the recurrence of our errors that is the most concerning. Being beaten in pre-season friendlies is not an indication of very much in itself, but conceding goals in a manner that enraged us all last season has me wondering what the corrective action was during close season. I am very much looking forward to the new footballing year because Arsenal are playing and Iím an arsenal supporter, but with that comes some dread. Apart from the repetition of the errors, itís the unpreparedness of the squad, two unsettled players and a left back who should not be first choice. And letís not forget the injuries. already to our LB and to RvP, Theo and TV and the opening salvo of matches which sees us playing Newcastle, Udinese (twice), Liverpool and ManU in the first month. Scary.
Sir Henry
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08/08/2011 15:19:00

Unlikely Naija. Considering we will have to replace atleast 1 out of Cesc and Nasri with an established player, it will be that replacement who is billed the super quality player.
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08/08/2011 15:20:00

We looked like we were gonna do the deal for Oxlade Chamberlain early in the summer. The deal hit a snag and it looked like the club were prepared to leave it and revisit it. Reports circulated last week that Liverpool and United were sniffing around so it looks like we've moved. This is exactly what Ferguson did with Phil Jones. Funnily enough, we were criticised for not clinching that.
Little Dutch
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08/08/2011 15:41:00

As an outsider looking in, a villa fan can i just say that Arsenal have looked just 3 players short of the prem. title for the last 3 seasons .You have finally bought another striker to help Van Persie, not sure about your goalkeepers still. But why are a club of Arsenals stature scrapping around over the pennies for a decent centre half ?.However unless you replace Fabrigas & Nasri with qualiity replacements i cannot see you challenging as strongly this season,injuries to your key players will destroy you Oxlade Chamberlain is going to need a season before hes ready to fill in. All that being said wish we had your problems best of luck for the new season,another sufferer.
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11/08/2011 16:42:00


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