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blah blah Arsenal Crisis blah blah

I left the UK a peaceful and happy place seven weeks ago. Jack Wilshere was the PFA Young Player of the Season, England were making their series with India look like a summer school and Mark Cavendish was cementing his reputation as the greatest athlete in the world.

I stayed out of touch during my time away. Partly out of choice, partly because New Zealanders seem to see the internet as an expensive luxury, just used for skyping relatives abroad and checking the All Blacks team news. It doesn`t seem to offer much else to a country where nobody lives more than an hour`s drive away from either a mountain or the ocean; when in Rome and all that.

I came back to a world falling apart. Everybody was hacking everybody else. A horrific tragedy played out in Norway. That tragedy was beaten off the front page by a drug addled celebrity death. The country rioted, resembling the scene in Batman Begins when a hallucinogen was released in Gotham; no longer can the DVD piracy adverts say with confidence 'you wouldn`t steal a television.`

Could things get any worse? The first back page I saw back in the country read 'Crisis at Arsenal.`
Isn`t a crisis terrible, life threatening news?
Crisis like a killer virus ripping through the staff? Crisis like a director making off with the pension fund?

No, this crisis was playing 3 games, winning against one of Europe`s most fluid, inventive attacking teams, drawing one away and losing to a team that`s spent close to 100million.

This crisis involved selling 2 players who wanted out for 60 million. This crisis ended with Arsenal qualifying for the Champion`s League proper for the 14th year in a row last night.

It would seem in this crisis Wenger can`t win. For years he was criticised for just buying foreign players and ignoring home grown talents. This year he`s pumped over 13 million into League one clubs, put faith a youth product English left back and built his midfield around 3 young British technically gifted talents. Still not good enough.

This season may not have started as perfectly as everybody involved with Arsenal would have wanted, but unless somebody dies, it`s no crisis.




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The Journalist

Writer: Northern Gooner Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday August 25 2011

Time: 9:16AM

Your Comments

Excellent points. Some numpty was telling me on here yesterday that the club is 'in meltdown' and to believe otherwise is 'delusional'. I like the tagline 'there is a space between ecstasy and agony' - sums the current situation up perfectly.
damiano_tommassi
14 YEARS IN A ROW BABY!!!!!! What an accomplishment by Arsene Wenger. 14 *****en years in a row!!
Trennon
trennon, is it a record, do you know? how many managers/clubs have bettered this streak?
damiano_tommassi
I agree there is no crisis yet but come on. "No, this crisis was playing 3 games, winning against one of Europe`s most fluid,inventive attacking teams" Man what team is that? Barcelona? Get a grip will you. We beat an average one man Italian team nothing more. As for a team spending 100 m on players I assume you mean Liverpool. Well even after spending that amount of money they are no Manu or Chelsky, still lacking flair and imagination. Lets look at the Newcastle game you see us create much there? Did you see our old disciplinary failings come back to hunt us? Have you seen us address our need for strengthening our defense, where Nasri and Cesc replaced? No No No No and No. The gripe most fans have with Wenger is that even after years of seeing where the faults are he does not address them.
Armory
Armory, what's wrong with you? "one of Europe`s most fluid,inventive attacking teams" may be an exaggeration, but as I don't watch a lot of Serie A, I wouldn't know; you tell me, do they play a lot of good fluid football week in, week out? And remember "one of the most..." doesn't mean 'THE most', which I think we'd all agree is Barca right now. Agreed, after Liverpool spent 100m they're still nowt special - perhaps an argument against Arsene p1ss1ng away 100m himself? You want to whinge about newcastle, where a real referee would've given Gervinho a penalty - instead barton instigates a bit of violence, Gervinho raises his hands and is sent-off - and then you complain about the discipline and lack of goals (from 10 men who should've alrready had a penalty)? I don't see disciplanry failings, I see incidents incorrectly handled by the ref. Our 'keeper is top class, our right0back is top class, jenkinson looks good cover, TV is one of the best, Djourou is capable, Koscielny promising, and last year everyone was creaming themselves about Gibbs being England's next lef tback who must get games for Arsenal. That's not the weakest back five, is it?
damiano_tommassi
***** off Armory. Can we at least friggen enjoy this for just one damn day before you GLooners spoil it. Oh wait, no you can't.
Trennon
Broad perspective there Northern Gooner. Crisis is a relative term for different clubs. For a club of the stature of Arsenal the media decided that 4th place in England and losing two players who didn't want to play for the club anymore for different reasons was a crisis. There is no sense of proportion in their analysis ofcourse but there are some truths in the finer details as well. We need some strengthening of the playing squad in lieu of the two departures then we can be in a position where nobody can speak of a 'crisis' at our club for quite some time.
Deltaforce
Football moves in cycles. A time will come when Man Utd will return to midtable mediocrity just as that time will come for us, it's how it works, but the frustrating thing is that it doesn't have to be our time, just spend that money dude. We've got absolutely lashings of it. I doubt there's any team in world football (without a sugar daddy of course) that has the money we do. Let's use it to our advantage. Though judging from Wenger's comments last night we'll see some new players soon.
Rocky7
Rocky, I thought from AW's comments that we're unlikely to sign someone; he always hedges his bets and doesn't over-promise, but i got a real sense that we might not get anyone in (hard as they seem to be trying). If you could buy one player (who is actually a viable target), who would it be?
damiano_tommassi
Rocky, I thought from AW's comments that we're unlikely to sign someone; he always hedges his bets and doesn't over-promise, but i got a real sense that we might not get anyone in (hard as they seem to be trying). If you could buy one player (who is actually a viable target), who would it be?
damiano_tommassi
Rocky, I thought from AW's comments that we're unlikely to sign someone; he always hedges his bets and doesn't over-promise, but i got a real sense that we might not get anyone in (hard as they seem to be trying). If you could buy one player (who is actually a viable target), who would it be?
damiano_tommassi
The media creams itself over Man City winning 2 league games and how they're the best thing after Barcelona. You know, spending lots of money to buy yourself to the top is no achievement at all.
Gooner_Vin
I actually believed him when he said we're working very hard to sign someone. If we could have one player (assuming that Hazard is no longer a viable target after the massive price tag put on his head), I think I'd go for Kaka. Not the player he once was, but still a damn good player. We need world class talent, with experience, and his name alone would be a big f*** off boost for the players and fans. Yes, Kaka for me.
Rocky7
No Trennon I wont ***** off. It's sad if that's the only argument you can bring to the table, typical AKB bull *****. damiano It was a god win but never the less against a one man team that has not half the flair of of an average Arsenal side of years past. I see lot of promising and capable mentioned but we dont need more of that damiano. We need more Vermalien's not young teenage players or average or worse players like Squid. As for the 10 man theory WE should have been down to 10 men because of Song's stupidity.He now misses the UTD and Swansea game. So much for discipline heh?
Armory
Tut-tut-tut you won't get many bouquets for claiming the sky isn't falling Northern Gooner. People love a crisis. Don't you know that we have very high ticket prices and are entitled to win something for the prices we pay? Do you not see that the team doesn't have any 'winning spirit' ....except when it doesn't lose or draw of course? That the team has absolutely no fighting spirit which is why we constantly 'bottle' it (though we do apparently have enough to frequently get into a position to be able to be accused of capitulation)? Can't you see that we are constantly being lied to by the manager, an avaricious board, programme sellers - anyone connected with the club? What planet do you people live on?
Amos.
Rock, I've always liked kaka but I think, in the Premiership, he'd basically be Rosicky; a central player who can pass, dribble, and shoot a bit. Not particularly strong, not in great form, not a shouter on the pitch, not going to rattle into tackles... would he add to the side as much as we'd want? it is a tricky situation, because the players there are good and know each other, and we're lookign for a player that's top uality, a big personality, in the peak of his career, who'll fit-in; it's a tall order! If anyone knows... Arsene knows. Armory, I'd love about six Vermaelens in the side at any one time (imagine that...!), and I'm sure if Wenger finds one he'll sign them - like he did with Vermaelen... And what've you got against teenage players? 'if they're good enough they're old enough', right? Was Djourou no good last night? Koscielny not good enough for you? jenkinson not a good cover player? Wecould well have gone down to 10 for Song's step/stamp, yeah; but how many of us would accept being buffeted around the pitch by that **** barton all day without giving him a sly dig? The most reprehensible 'footballer' in history? If we finish the season with a red card every other game, then that's appaling indiscipline. If we finish with no more than we already have, that's alright isn't it? 2 reds in a season? because that's all we've actually got.
damiano_tommassi
Daminano - I think we have all the "rattling in to tackles" we need in Frimpong. lol. I genuinely believe we're more lacking in the creative department than we are in the defensive department. Vermaelen has already proved this season how much we missed him last, so effectively we only lost Clichy. We've lost so much creatively we really really need someone in there. Rambo will get there eventually, but we need someone for the now. Kaka is 29, won't occupy too much time at the crease, it would be perfect. That's not me saying we don't need another centre half, because we do, but creativity is the more pressing matter in my opinion.
Rocky7
Amos - I think you're being a tad unfair there. Of course there are many people going ott, but there is a legitimate complaint here. What possible reason can the club give to the fans for raising the prices if we're not going to invest in the squad? We're already making massive profits year after year, so the rather large price hike is a kick in the nuts. As it stands (that could change with some nice investments in the next 5 days) we're taking money off the fans for the sake of making money. That's just not right.
Rocky7
Not against the idea Rocky, I think it'd be great to see. It would be a good signal of ambition too. Unlikely to see kaka here in the rain though, for me... Big wages too. The ticket argument will drag on (even if he spends, with some people) but it's hard to know all the facts. Any shareholders here want to tell us -how much is in the bank? -what's the club's annual profit? - how much of the debt remains, and how much is paid each year?
damiano_tommassi
The ticket increase will raise about 4m a year if attendances hold up. Wages last year increased by more than double that amount. The ticket increase will have no significant impact on squad building. May help with energy bills and a few other operating expenses though. ManU, Liverpool, Spuds, Chelsea and others have all also increased their ticket prices. Increased prices are never popular and from always a legitimate complaint but on the scale of things using it as a stick with which to beat the club is just superficial, populist claptrap.
Amos.
What Amos said.
damiano_tommassi
But with 80+M in the coffers that, at this time, is currently going unspent, there is no need whatsoever to take any more money off the fans. Yes, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea have also raised their ticket prices ... but the massive difference? They've spent a ***** load of money on players to try and improve their squad (even if Liverpool have been ripped off, at least they're trying).
Rocky7
Oh dear Amos, resorting to swiping at anyone that dare question what's going on, rounding absolutely everyone up with an opinion that everything may not be rosy and putting a nice little ribbon round them that says "doom mongerers, not AFC fans"
shewore
shewore to be fair the quote in your statement is your own creation and not that of Amos! Lets not go on extreme ends of the spectrum here on club issues, we all know the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Deltaforce
Shewore, ""doom mongerers, not AFC fans""? I don't see that message, where's that?? Rocky, ticket prices were frozen for 5 of the last 7 seasons; how many years do we keep them the same, maybe another five years while we spend the spare cash lying around? Then what, suddenly double ticket prices the year we run out of money?
damiano_tommassi
Let's maybe keep them the same till the rest of the footballing world and inflation catches up. Making 50M+ profit a year, we're clearly not going to "run out of money". We're one of the top richest earners in the world (that's probably going to increase too with the Aisian tour and the signing of Ryo). taking four million a year of the fans is pointless. It's not going to make a dent in anything, all it serves to do is to p*** off the punters. I've already been priced out of being a regular attender to a couple of matches per season. We have tickets that cost as much as 150 I believe .... you can get a Blackburn season ticket for that.
Rocky7
I agree the truth lies somewhere in the middle, absolutely! Just that some people like to label anyone who questions something as either from column A or column B.
shewore
If we ran out of money doubling the ticket prices wouldn't make a blind bit of difference, better commercial deals would be a good start in avoiding that sort of scenario.
shewore
Starting next year we have some commercial deals coming up for renewal. 2014 ofcourse is a landmark year when our shirt sponsorship gets renewed. I dont know if we have a clause in our agreement with Emirates which allows us to buy out the remainder contract period by paying the annual contract price * number of years left. Emirates pays us only 5.5 million pounds/ year for shirt sponsorship and that figure can go easily 3 times if not 4 times as high per year if we renew with someone else. My hunch is that post 2014, we wont have any need to hike ticket prices as we will be on a very strong footing commercially.
Deltaforce
Lol Damiano only two red cards this season thats true keep on like that and the stats will prove we will have 38 red cards as hmmm you see as you are so found of pointing out we are only 2 games into the season. I have nothing against teenage players, if they are good enough then play them. Jenkinson played well as I have said on previous posts, he lacks the experience though and we can not afford to have more of that.Frimpong Jenkinson and Trarore all have little or no first team experience not to mention Ox and Ryo and that is what Wenger again and again fails to tackle. By all means buy youth but we need to supplement that with proven players that can slot in straight away and deliver over full season. And nope no matter how obnoxious Barton is you can not rise to the bait.
Armory
Tricky balancing acts; ticket prices, wage structures, transfer fees, debt repayments. Shewore, while better commercial deals would by definition be... well, better, why would the club choose to take less money from ticket revenue? Or not increase, however you want to word it? Football clubs charge you to watch games, not based on how much is in the bank, how good the football is or how many players they want to buy; but based on simple economics. Like every answer during my 'Business Studies' A-level all those years ago; supply and demand.
damiano_tommassi
There is a strong tendency for some to affix labels to those whose opinions they disagree with. Especially, and most commonly, if they're minority held, and therefore unpopular, opinions. I can never follow the logic which seems to insist that it is perfectly acceptable to question anything (and it is of course) but absolutely totally unacceptable to question those who question anything or even the basis of those questions.
Amos.
Oddly enough Amos that's exactly what you've appeared to have done. Of course there are some fans that have gone over board, but you've lumped fans who question the club at all into that catergory. People like myself, Niko, Calculous, Shewore etc etc, have defended the club for years against massive reactionairies like Le Grove and whatnot, but when we've registered legitimate complaints over the last 12 months we've been label delerious and over reacting when that really isn't the case. It' fans being worn down by an inability to replace what we've lost coupled with price hikes. The massive frustration, for me at least, is that with a bit of spending we could have won at least one, maybe two or three trophies since 2005. We are ... were ... that close. Now we need some major surgery to contend for silverware.
Rocky7
Armory, we're not going to get reds every game of the season, are we? Frimpong's only going to make his full debut once, and (God willing) will have learned from the experience of being sent-off and banned. Jenkinson, while inexperienced, is second-choice at Right-back, isn't he, filling in for the reasonably-exerienced England international Kieron Gibbs who is expected to break through this season. Frimpong is second-choice to the experienced Song; Traore (who has played only 70 top-flight games, including ten last season for Juventus and 28 in a premiership season for Portsmouth) backup for Gibbs. Ox is a youngster, think about him for next year (liek Theo when he joined). He and Ryo are both backup to Gervinho, Arshavin, Walcott and Rosicky - four experienced footballers competing for two positions. Wenger is tackling their lack of experience by playing them - which is of course where experience comes from. I seem to remember the season that Vieira left, there were complaints about the 18-yr-old Spanish replacement, and his obvious lack of experience. When the first team is out there, you have (arguably) Gervinho/Arshavin - RVP - Walcott -- all experienced footballers. Song-Ramsey-Wilshere -- Rambo and Jack still learning, but fully capable of playing, and Song experienced. Gibbs-TV-Koscielny-Sagna -- kos (arguably) the weakest, having played only FORTY GAMES A SEASON for the last four seasons... I never reacted on a football field myself, but every time I watch Barton play I want to hurt him; what a ****. You're right thoiggh, players shouldn't rise to it; do we expect Wenger to have instilled this into Gervinho - having only been at the club, what, a fortnight?
damiano_tommassi
Rocky, WITHOUT "a bit of spending we could have won at least one, maybe two or three trophies since 2005. We are ... were ... that close." - that's the point. We already ARE a very good football club, so when people (not pointing at you, or anyone!) talk about "meltdown", "crisis" or "disaster", I just think 'what an idiot'. But you rlast statement seems at odds with the previous; why do we need 'major surgery' if we are close? A player or two maybe, but major? We lost a CM (Cesc) and wide man (Nasri). Nasri was replaced by Gervinho, who already looks more effective out wide than Nasri did (much as I loved him). There has been no direct replacement bought for Cesc so far, to line up with the imperial Alex Song and fantastic Wilshere in midfeild - but if we assume 'the worst', and we don't buy a centre-mid, do we not think Ramsey can do the job? tkae his chance to grwo into that position? I'd sooner play Ramsey, personally, than bu someone like Xabi Alonso, Mascherano, Joey bloody Barton(!) - all players that other people have said they'd want us to sign. Maybe we should be sp*nking millions on an ageing Shay Given rather than playing Wojiech Szeszny?
damiano_tommassi
Spot on Rocky.
iceman10
Where did I label ALL fans who question the club delirious or over reacting? In this sense you're just affixing labels to yourself. I've only spoken in very general terms about a general body of opinion. You've agreed yourself that some opinion is over the top. I may be challenging an opinion or defending a point but I'm not personalising it at all. Not that I'm overly fussed but it doesn't quite work the other way around though. I'm obviously not talking about everyone who disagrees or agrees nor have I tried to say that disagreement itself is wrong. But it seems that disagreeing with any disagreement is.
Amos.
You've missed an imporant part of my statement out really. I said we "were" that close in those season. That was with Cesc, Nasri and Clichy. In those seasons we were two, maximum three players away from a dominant team in my opinion. But we never signed (with the exception of Arshavin, who was needed to save our season) the players we needed, still haven't (though Gervinho is a small step in the right direction). So considering the loss of our two most creative players we're now someway behind where we once were. Hence the major surgey (maybe "major" is a little excessive, but it's closer to the truth, imo, than us being "close").
Rocky7
*important
Rocky7
There is a bit of a herd mentality; how many of us have to listen to the unfounded cliches of Hansen/Gray/Redknapp etc. coming from the mouths of idiots in our workplace who don't actually know anything about football? Arsenal get slagged-off and put-down in the media so often it's taken hold as fact. Every now and again my old mum says to me 'oooh, Arsenal are doing really badly aren't they" - because that's what she's heard on the news - usually at a time when we're top of the league (as we were for some of last season).
damiano_tommassi
Fine margins though Rock; I keep bringing it back to the CCFinal because it's such a good recent example, but we were a kick away from not-losing that final (which I felt we deserved to win and would have gone on to win); so are we one kick away from winning something or five players away? it's the former for me. Gervinho playing wide looks more effective than Samir already, so we can call that a straight (and probably(hopefully) fruitful) replacement, and many wanted Clichy out for Gibbs - not a massive loss, particularly in the creative area (where many rate him more highly than Gael). So that leaves us down one Cesc Fabregas. I said this the other day and got slated, but I think Ramsey is alreday 90% of the player Fab was, and Fab had a poor season last year by his standards - I believe he can fill that hole. Maybe losing Cesc will be a tactical bonus, with faster and wider play? maybe Ramsey and/or Wilshere will hit it big this year and we won't notice he's gone? The alternative is 'maybe it'll all fall apart', but why should one outcome be so much more likely than the other?
damiano_tommassi
I'm not going to disagree with that. The amount of friends that say to me, I see van Persie is leaving next season, or (most of them are Liverpool fans) I see xxxxx is signing for us, after reading the back of The Sun (even thought hey're not supposed to .. lol). That said sometimes just because someone has the same opinion as the herd, doesn't make that opinion wrong.
Rocky7
What crisis after playing Man United it will be played three.... one point. Pretty good for a once great team that as Arsene Wenger has said is no longer a big club after selling Fabregas and Nasri.
Wswilly3
Seriously have you ever seen Cesc Fabregas play?
iceman10
The theory of price being set by demand and supply is all well and true damiano but the product whose pricing is being decided here is unique and involves people from all walks of life and different ranges of purchasing power. For a football club ensuring that old supporters who were going to games in 80's and 90's are not priced out and alienated from the game is essential. Many of these supporters are working class people who have reached the peak of their earning capacity and have families to support. Then there are young fans whose income just about enables them to see all home games of the club but at a stretch. Its important that the club retains this section of supporters as well as they will continue to be with the club through their lifetime which is still ahead of them. Cross subsidising a shortfall of expected revenue on matchdays with commercial deals is something I hope the club looks into.
Deltaforce
I'll give you the Gervinho one (though his end product has to improve a tad (like it did last night) to be better than Nasri was), but I don't think many were advocating the sale of Clichy without bringing in another left back. I rate Gibbs highly, I don't rate his injury record. Ramsey is a damn good player and one that will be great for us, but he's nowhere near as good as Cesc. That's no slant on Rambo, Cesc is, in my opinion, the finest midfielder in the world. You've also got to look at where our goals are coming from. van Persie, like Cesc, is one of the finest players in his position, but how many seasons have we had him on the pitch for 90% of the campaign? None? If and when we lose him to injury that leaves us with Chamakh ..... I don't like to speak badly of Arsenal players so I just won't say anything. lol
Rocky7
the number of times over the last three years someone's said 'Oh, I see Cesc has gone to Barca'. And before that, three years of "Henry's Gone".. and before that Vieira... Wswilly3, that's very possible yes, that's what can happen when you've got one point so far and play the champions of England when they're bang in form. Might not happen though, although you've written it as a certainty; do you know something we don't? Are you willing to bet everything you own on it? Wenger's 'big club' comments were interesting and will bebrought-up ad infinitum from now on I'm sure; I'd love for him to explain what he meant, but my suspicion was that it was purely said to raise the transfer fees for Cesc and Nasri. if him saying that has rinsed another 10mil out of City and Barca, then well done Arsene!
damiano_tommassi
Iceman, I saw him set-up barca for a goal in last season's champions league with a soppy, blind back-heel that lost us the tie against the eventual winners...
damiano_tommassi
Rocky, not that I disagree neccesarily, but why do you say "For a football club ensuring that old supporters who were going to games in 80's and 90's are not priced out and alienated from the game is essential."?
damiano_tommassi
That's easy ..... I didn't! lol. That was Delta :)
Rocky7
Forget what the media is saying - there is a lot of ott reaction there. This club still has serious problems (one of which was solved last night with CL qualification) - I find it difficult to believe that this squad can challenge for honors this season. The squad needs to be strengthened across areas (one more defender, mid fielder and striker at the very least), and anyone who is signed is going to take time to settle into this club and English football. Those issues have still not been sorted despite last night's win, although it has made it easier. Those who criticised Wenger the and the club management for this were right IMO as replacements could have been identified and signed long back. They still have the opportunity to correct some of those mistakes by signing 3 more players before the transfer window closes, and hope that they settle in really quickly.
prits
To be honest when you spout crap like that DT you lose a lot of credibility.
iceman10
DT, ticket prices at Arsenal have risen very much since 1995 to now. The price has gone up 6 times on average in my view though I would need some stats to back that up. That has caused many corporate fans to replace some die hard gooners in the stadium. Am of the opinion that this has been a negative development for the club because some new sections of the stadium fans are looking for good entertainment and may or may not have the perspective that the fans they replaced in the stadium had.
Deltaforce
Damiano : Dont get me wrong I would love you to win at Old Trafford but lets be honest the money is on whether you will even score a goal not whether you will get anything from the game. The liklihood is that after three games you will have one point, not have scored a goal and could be bottom of the table and eight points behind Manure. In other words another title challenge in the dustbin. Not palatable but come on you know heart of hearts its true.
Wswilly3
Arsenal fans have become so focused on the players we've lost and the players we haven't bought that they have completely isolated the players we have! AKB or GLooner. Where is the middle ground. Where do we come together and celebrate 14 consecutive games in the CL. I'm sorry, but this constant need to pull everything apart from so called fans like Armory is pathetic. Yes we need players. But this is something we can't control. Why doesn't the GLooners hold a massive protest outside the stadium? Because they are in the minority. Fans who are willing to show their support in Wenger and his team are becoming more and more testy granted, but if you look around the net, these are the fans celebrating today. Tomorrow will be the day the worrying can start. This was a possitive post for a change and started well. But all it took was one GLooner to infect the entire discussion with their pointless life and views.
Trennon
The only thing we know heart of hearts to be true willy is that you are a kn0b.
Deltaforce
In fairness Trennon, I think it's been a fairly reasonable discussion. There's little point in hiding away from our troubles. Last night's win was an amazing performance and one to be very proud of. Miles more positives than negatives, but our weaknesses will still be there, and next up is Man Utd. That's pretty scarey.
Rocky7
Deltaforce. Thank you so much for your erudite interjection. I will be willing you on this weekend but like yourselves will be disappointed because your team is currently not good enough to challenge the top teams as heart of heart you all now.
Wswilly3
As a Utd fan I do feel for you guys - Ive always had a liking for the way your team plays its football - and do think Wenger knows what hes doing. Cesc had to go - its been a long drama played out over several years - just think - hes gone to be a benchwarmer over there, nothing more - I mean how can he be expected to break into that Barca side with that kind of midfield they have?Arsenal will bounce back, and be a much stronger team for it...
niteworlok
When you have United fans feeling sorry for you just before you are about to meet in a league match says it all really. Its even more desperate than I had first thought.
Wswilly3
A willy willing us on this weekend. That was quite a picture you painted there.
Deltaforce
Desperate is creating a guide to being a City fan on your own club website, desperate is nicking a celebration because you're too unoriginal to make up your own, desperate is signing every player between earth and mars to ensure nobody else can compete, desperate is going 35 years without a trophy, desperate is paying mercenaries wages to play for other clubs, desperately sad is the "We thank you Sheik Mansour" banner that adorns your council owned stadium.
iceman10
And Rocky? So we play United? Have we already lost? Because the way it sounds it is an absolute certainty that we'll lose.
Trennon
Nothing is ever a certainty, I never said we'd lose, I said it was scarey. And if you're not worried about an away match at the home of the Champions then I'd say you've not been paying attention. lol
Rocky7
@Rocky - great answer...! Sorry!
damiano_tommassi
icemna - what's crap?
damiano_tommassi
Delta, I'm 100% behind the idea (if this is the idea) that you want fans to remain because they are 'real' football fans, who've been through the hard times and good; and I'm behind it because it's the opposite of what we have now (in parts, of course, not entirely). i strikes me that a certian proportion of our fans have only ever known winning, so when a pass goes astray they heap pressure on the team. Just my opinion, and not the first time I've expressed it.
damiano_tommassi
Wswilly3, if you think it's likely we'll lose this weekend that's fine - I'm inclined to agree. Do I agree that it's impossible for the club to make up 8 points in 35 games if that were to happen? No, i don't.
damiano_tommassi
Every time I question anything you say you cite a small incident or short term statistic to prove your point. What has the Fabregas back heel got to do with anything? Doesn't diminish the fact he was a genuine world class performer who is miles ahead of Aaron Ramsey at this point. Yesterday when I told you about our great overall record at the Emirates (100 wins to 12 defeats) you cited booing from 1 or 2 games as having an effect on our results there and instead of using the overall record used purely last seasons record to back up your theory.
iceman10
No I'm not worried. I'm damn excited by the challenge of facing United under these difficult times. If we lose, we lose. Then you can all masterbate to the tune of how screwed we are. But just think. These kids have an opportunity to win. Nobody though Hull we beat us at the Grove but they did. Nobody though we stood a chance at home against Barca and we beat them. Last season the headlines had already been written when we played United at home and didn't we win that? I'd much rather dream the good dream than waste away in self pitty at the thought of playing a team with very weak attack and the dodgiest goalkeeper since Almunia.
Trennon
This "short term fan" thing re booing who's only known success is b0llox, some are extremely positive, some are extremely grateful for the opportunity to be there, some of the older gits are just as bad & good likewise, it's not really a credible theory. If you took a snapshot of 100fans in there and compared how much they booed etc with how long they've been going I bet you any money there would be no defining statistic that would seperated any particular "length of service" group.
shewore
Sorry Rocky. I meant defense. They actually have an alright attack...
Trennon
To be fair Ice, you didn't raise a question other than "have you seen Cesc play?". Yes, I have; and much as he was a very good player for us, and a lovely lad, he makes mistakes too; he's not perfect. No-one is. That was an example of us going out of a competition in part because f something he had done directly. I don't have any examples of Ramsey or Wilshere setting-up the opposition to knock us out of a competition, do you? Anyways, I'm saying that in my opinion, Ramsey and Wilshere are both capable of replacing Cesc, and that for me he was never the best midfielder in the world. Again, I really liek the guy, but I never thought he was the best. You calling him a genuine world class performer doesn't make it fact, it;s only your opinion - one that carries precisely as much (or little) weight as mine. The 'booinh' to which i referred was not one or two games; it's many games in the last five years, from spoiled Arsenal fans in the stadium that want five goals ten minutes ago. "Why havben't we scored yet?? Score a goal!! Try harder!!!" and they transfer this agitation to the team. Very restricting, that. I did list the record of the last five seasons, too.
damiano_tommassi
Cesc's statistics back up the fact he is a world class performer our record at the Emirates backs up the fact booing has a very little effect on the outcome of results there.
iceman10
Shewore, if you can separate age/length of tim eas an Arsenal fan from booing, fair enough I'll not argue; that's just one theory as to why the atmosphere is different now. What I do believe to be true though, is that in seasons gone by, an Arsneal team finishing fourth in the league and having good runs in three cups would not be getting booed at the end of games/jeered when a pass doesn't come off, which is what happens these days.
damiano_tommassi
Ice, those things back-up your theories; those are not facts.
damiano_tommassi
Ok, now back up your theories with some facts.....
iceman10
The Atmosphere is a different point all together and has been done to death, i'm not saying newer fans doesn't have an effect on that i'm saying they don't have as much of an impact on the booing/groaning as you may think
shewore
Ice - gladly. Where to start? Shewore - let's look past the longetivity of the fanbase then as it seems neither of us feels strongly about that. Do we agree that the booing/groaning makes a difference to the performance of the team?
damiano_tommassi
Start with Ramsey being 90% as good as Cesc
iceman10
If you've got the stats for longevitiy then go for it, you don't though. I don't think it has enough of an effect to merit analysis, it'd just be another excuse. Go through our poor performances last year at home and tell me where you think the fans caused us to draw or turn in a loss, then we can take it from there?
shewore
Okay. 'As good as' being an objective description for the performance of a footballer, there is no 'proof', no truth one way or the other, only opinion. In my opinion, Ramsey is a better player than Cesc was at his age. The only facts I can use to support (not prove) this point are his statistics during his time at the club, which even then are hard to compare because they're diffferent ages, playing with differnet players, with different pressures and expectations etc. Statistically, Cesc scores goals twice as often as Aaron and creates three times as many assists; however, at such an early stage in Aaron's career where he's played a relatively small number of games, and in a slightly less attacking role than Cesc, it's a little bit 'apples and oranges'. Ramsey seems to have a good shot on him, a decent frame, good passing and dribbling skills, and can make a tackle. There's nothing he does where I think 'Oh jeez, why are we playing him?', which you might get when Eboue's on the field (God bless him), or Theo (on those occasions when he turns-up and trips over his own feet for 90 minutes). When Ramsey is in the side, I don't feel that the team is weakened, in the way that you might if RvP is out and Chamakh in. I had a similar discussion with a Gooner mate about a year ago re. the need for a new keeper where I argued that WS was good enough for us, just needs a chance to play. I might well be proved wrong, but it's not looking a bad shout today. Who knows what the future holds? Ramsey could move to City and WS have a shocker; but I'd stikc a tenner on them both doing well for us for many years to come.
damiano_tommassi
Didnt know Newcastle were one of the most fluid attacking teams in Europe... We have been going through on sheer determination and hardwork so far...Now to get that bit of quality.
Sajit
Shewor, it's not one game, and not just last year; I maintain that the negativity and the lack of atmosphere (two separate but linked phenomena) has affected the team's payed for at least two seasons. Agree, disagree, it doesn't really matter; that's what I believe I have observed at the Emirates.
damiano_tommassi
*the team's play
damiano_tommassi
*the team's play
damiano_tommassi
Amen to Rocky7
Sajit
"Fab had a poor season last year"... "Ramsey is already 90% of the player Cesc was"... Hahahahahahahahhahaha. Iknow it's way up on the comments page but as it's been said repeatedly in various places I can't help but hold my sides and laugh at the delusional state of some people.
smithdj74
I can't even be bothered to wade into the Ramsey debate but it's clear he's not remotely close to Cesc's level - but I do have high hopes for him. Damiano did you not observe the same thing at Highbury? People look at it through rose tinters and although it was x100 better for atmos, it weren't called the library for nothing.
shewore
Smith, you can call it delusional if you like. People said the same when Cesc was set to replace Vieira; "hahaha, you'll fall apart now, he's too young and small". Errrmmm...
damiano_tommassi
I'd feel more comfortable in a library of 34,000 than a stadium of 60,000 people moaning at me whenever I tried a through-ball and it didn't come off. There's a big difference between negativity and silence. "it's clear he's not remotely close to Cesc's level" is, again, a statement based on nothing. 'it's clear that Bendtner is the best striker in the world' - has that made it so, or is he still *****? Damn, he's still *****, isn't he...
damiano_tommassi
I don't think calling for our club to sign some quality has a negative affect on our current players at all. While Frimpong, Jenkinson, AOC, Ryo all want their chance to play on the big stage I think if you ask them tomorrow they would each admit they have a lot to learn before they are ready to perform week in and week out at that level. They would probably also admit it is easier to grow and learn when working alongside experienced campaigners who have been there and done that. If you speak to our "senior" players like Jack, Ramsey, Theo, Sagna and Robin I'm fairly certain they'd say we need more signings... what's that? Oh they did already? Alright then.
smithdj74
Well folks, DT is here to show us where we're all wrong so there's no point in viewing things and coming to a different conclusion than he's already told us is correct. Time to go home then.
smithdj74
Noneed for that smith, I haven't tried to tell you you're wrong, just that I have a different opinion. Actually, isn't it the other way round? I said Ramsey's almost as good as Cesc, and you laughed and called me delusional... You want a discussion or a slanging match? I'm only here to discuss.
damiano_tommassi
"I don't think calling for our club to sign some quality has a negative affect on our current players at all." - I agree. never disagreed with that... anywhere... at all...
damiano_tommassi
Damiano, you are Josh/User Banned...aren't you?
shewore
No mate, this is my first username here (although I've been reading the site for a year or so). Why do you ask?
damiano_tommassi
Is DT telling everyone where they're wrong or just offering a different view? Another perspective. Maybe not the most popular perspectives in the current climate but nothing contentious really. Except that simply not agreeing with the consensus view is of course enough to warrant scorn. Have a word with yourselves.
Amos.
I didn't actually think you were, unless you've reinvented yourself somewhat there are some similarities. Nearly all of your posts spark debate that's for sure! I don't agree with the Ramsey thing I think it's a big call to say he's anywhere near Cesc's level at the moment but there you are.
shewore
Fair play. How highly do you rate Jack (when he's not got his leg in a boot!)?
damiano_tommassi
Cheers Amos. I suppose we just want different things out of a discussion topic; some to discuss, some to vent their disapapointment, some to slag-off Spurs (who can blame them? Hehehe!) and some a mixture of those. None of those options are 'wrong', are they.
damiano_tommassi
Being more comfortable in Highbury i don't agree with, fans were much much closer to the players, it could be a lot more of a cauldron than the bowel.
shewore
Is your name Damian Thomas? ;) Jack's gonna be brilliant just needs to add a bit more to his game like goals and he'll be world class, I think Ramsey will be as well I just don't think he'll be as good as Cesc.
shewore
RE: comfort, I was referring to the treatment of the players. Granted, at the time we were still winning competitions regularly so the crowd had less reason to 'get-at' the players. If we'd stayed at Highbury the behaviour of the fans may not have been any different to how it is now (although the atmosphere was generally better, as we all know) because the expectation levels were set by Henry, Adams, as successful Arsenal captains under Wenger and we aren't meeting those high expectations right now. Wenger referred to it last night - 'serenity' I think he called it, where a player isn't thinking 'oh Christ, I better do something good', but calmly playing his game and doing better for it.
damiano_tommassi
tl;dr feck me - there are some HUGE walls of text here. There is no crisis at the club, it's just that we're just unlikely to taste trophy flavoured success with a squad that is, by pretty much all account, weaker than last years. Hopefully that'll be rectified by next week, but if not, just strap yourself in and enjoy the ride!
Gunnerman
Nah, it's a pseudonym - I'd tell you where it comes from, but people would get the wrong idea. I've MASSIVE hopes for Jack- Wenger's words about the boy have been suggesting as much for a couple of years now. I want him to get back to the dribbling he showed in his first season; beating people with quick feet, for fun.
damiano_tommassi
<*br><*br> without the asterisks will create a line break. Jus sayin...

like this ;)
Gunnerman
Cheers Gunner! I've been looking for a way to do that! And I work in data processing too... the shame!
damiano_tommassi
The early fixtures haven't been kind to us but, I'll look at it from the positive side to state that these kind of games cause a team to gel and improves the spirit. The key reason we started out not playing our usual fluid game was all the speculation about Nasri and Cesc staying or going. Now, we have 'eliminated' that problem, the team will only get better. I look forward to the game vs United; at least, we can make the excuse we had 4 key players injured/suspended though, something tells me we wouldn't be needing that excuse.
Naijagunner
We can only be better for the distraction being over now, UCL qualification is over, players coming back to fitness/from suspension. We haven't seen our true side yet this season. After United, we've got three relatively good fixtures...
damiano_tommassi
We can only be better for the distraction being over now, UCL qualification is over, players coming back to fitness/from suspension. We haven't seen our true side yet this season. After United, we've got three relatively good fixtures...
damiano_tommassi
Wswilly3, United started the 2007/08 season with 2 points after 3 games, having drawn against Pompey and Reading, then losing to City. They went on to win the title that year. They didn't fare any better starting the next season but did go on to have a good one. Contrast that with our usual gung ho starts over the last five years or so. 1 point after 3 games cannot be the worst points haul and will not limit our side from achieving what they are destined to.
Naijagunner
Cheers to that damiano_tommassi. And fairplay to you too for your views above. Just as we can't/didn't replace Viera, we may not find a direct replacement for Cesc. Ramsey is a different sort of player with a better defensive side to his game than Cesc who is brilliant at picking out the passes others find hard to do; all in all, this will require a change of shape and tactics, as the advent of Cesc did. Do I feel good about what we have in midfield? Of course, I am! Who won't like to have Wilshere, Song and Ramsey playing for them with Frimpong and Diaby waiting in the wings?
Naijagunner
Ramsey chose Arsenal over Man u. Cesc chose Barcelona over Us. that alone makes me feel more content with Ramsey in the side. The question of ability is all well and good forgetting that before his horrific injury he was every bit the player we expected to one day replace the aforementioned cesc. We owe him as fans patience and time to allow him get back in form or at least make a career out of this game called football. (if we chuck him out just because we want to win then being a fan is hypocrisy). The other thing is surely with a team of kids(5) 21 and under we beat Udinese it surely begs the question that if they are not all experienced then who is responsible for the victory? Arsene knows more than we give him credit for and imho we are in safe hands with him at the helm!
GunnaBlazing
(if we chuck him out just because we want to win then being a fan is hypocrisy). ---I like Ramsey and I believe he is a good player with a great future. I don't personally see the qualities there to take him t the Cesc level, but that's ok - very few will ever be that good. But theidea that we aren't supporters if we would rather have "better player A" over "current player B" so that we can win games is a bit bizarre. I fthe club is bigger than any player when they are on their way out the door then the club is bigger than any player we've seen coming up through the ranks. Any time we have the opportunity to sign superior players who can strengthen the team we should do so. To not do so would be foolish. For instance, I like Gibbs. Unfortunately I do not believe is sturdy enough/shown he's ready to be our first choice left back. I don't see him as an improvement over Clichy in any way. I would very much like to see a superior left back brought in even if it is at the expense of playing time for a promising young man.
smithdj74
Arsenal has been grouped with some cracking sides in UCL. Wow! Lyon, Dortmund and Olympiakos. That is a draw from hell itself.
Naijagunner
* Marseille*, not Lyon.
Naijagunner
We have just got the hardest group on average in the CL. Its going to be a difficult ride.
Deltaforce
Bottom of the league (well you will be this weekend), you had to pre-qualify for the Champions League and yet you were still seeded. Part of the cosy conspiracy (with Bayern Munich) that was the Champins League clique but not for too long I think. Make way for the new order and teams that players want to join in order to win trophies. Still it will be a passport into the Europa League for you, until you choke in there as well.
Wswilly3
Let's have this right and circumnavigate the pervading smugness that masks the huge relief that we aint in the sp*rs level cup. We got out of jail last night and the result could've swung either way but woodwork and a fantastic save enabled us to swing it ours. This is far far from a vindication of us selling 2 of our 3 best attacking players, Arsene Wenger is a very very relieved man this morning and anyone that says he doesn't like to gamble really needs to think again. I admire the naivety of those that think further signings aren't essential, that this squad has sufficient depth. I however will choose to believe our new captain when he feels that after last nights' win he feels he has to publically encourage his manager to purchase I'll believe him anytime over anyone here, a senior player that knows full well the strengths and limitations and ceilings the group has. Whilst it is in no doubt that the media has gone to town and the whole meltdown scenario is hyperbole even had we not qualified last night, to pretend that cracks have not just been temporarily papered over and that as a squad we have not been greatly weakened/taken steps backward is pretty futile, even with cesc and sex op investment was sorely needed and without them it is suicidal I'm afraid and just a waste of a season. Gives me no pleasure to say it and I don't wanna feel like I'm p155ing on anyones party here but rest assured I sure as hell won't be penning any articles when results prove my point.
nikolaijns
120 comments on here so far - so much for Arsenal fans having no passion
deaduncleted
deaduncleated Half of them are from Man City fans.... the passionate ones according to Nasri.....that little gem of a footballer.
Wswilly3
In which parallel universe is Ramsey 90% the player Cesc was.. Loads of bollox... Now if you're comparing Ramsey 2011 with Cesc 2005, you might have a point.. But he is light years away from Cesc of 2011..
Sajit
Nasri like adebayor is a gargantuan egotist old timer willy (don't mind if I call you that do you? only I never knew my grandparents and well.. you're the only septuagenarian I know) You remember Adebayor don't you? Nasri felt the need to issue a parting shot as he felt hard done by after getting grief on *****ter for not scotching move rumours. The grief was given by the few hundred of chimps that every club has a faction of and Nasri is patently not a big enough man to be able to rise above realise it was very much only a vocal minority nope a childish dig at all the fans who sung their hearts out singing his name only to be dumped on by another mentally impeded narcissist. Give it another two years of blase petrodollar lashing and your support will have the same plastic daytripping drones that have the same sense of misplaced entitlement that you rife see at old truffle, ours and now Shamford bodge. Already you see citeh fans like yourself crudely bragging and braying with the same arrogance displayed by chelski after they became the gangsters paradise. Sure you'll have the seasoned fans and genuine supporters just as we or any other club have, but you mos def do not have more of them, it's an impossibility as your fanbase is utterly dwarfed worldwide by ours. That's the truth ruth, now take your meds and stick your countdown compilation on your beta max, you know it's not good for you to get all worked up.
nikolaijns
nikolaijns : I think most of the chimps you refer to are on here .... you were just too polite to mention it. I put it down to the callowness of your youth. With age comes maturity and wisdom.
Wswilly3
I've yet to witness any Maturity and wisdom from you Old timer willy. Trolling a football site mature & wise it it? mature and wise to go na na you're the chimps is it? No go away you stairlift bothering old coot, your banter is as senile and passed it's sell by date as you are.
nikolaijns
nikolaijns: your last comments sounded as if they were uttered by an immature and unimaginative individual whose best attempt at insults is to mock people that are older than himself. Perhaps the days of wit, intelligence and banter have passed or in your case never quite reached you. Damiano at least had a bit of intelligence and repartee about him whereas you have bored me into signing off.
Wswilly3
Great result there then Niko! He shouldn't be up this late anyway.
Amos.
Nasri will struggle at City - not enough pass and move players around him to play the game he thrives. When he looks for the little 1-2s that Wilshere gave him, do you really think Milner and Barry will provide? He's just ruined himself as a footballer, just like all the other Arsenal rejects City overpay for
deaduncleted
Nice going there, Niko. Got him scampering away, willy between his legs.
Naijagunner
Did I rub willy up the wrong way?
nikolaijns
Haha Niko, brilliant! Have to say, these Man ******y fans are just unreal. So some Arab sheikh with more money than sense is using you as his plaything and buying his way to to the top, so f&%king what? Any old idiot can spend lots of money on greedy, egotistical footballers. I never thought I'd hate any Club more than United, but City have taken the throne.
Gooner_Vin
And how Nasri can come out and criticise Arsenal fans for lack of passion when they especially sang his name more than any other player throughout last season, shows the class of the man. He also tweeted how it was disrespectful of fans to sing the less flattering version of the song at Newcastle because he was still an Arsenal player, yet then says to the press that he'd told Wenger before pre-season he wanted to leave and not do preseason with Arsenal. What a complete c word. He'll fit in perfectly at Man S-h-i-t-t-y.
Gooner_Vin
Nasri has since clarified those comments, Vin, and everyone who goes to the games has also said that the atmosphere at Highbury was better. Nothing wrong with saying that. I think we need to stop being so sensitive about comments of ex-players. Nasri is obviously trying to become popular with the City fans, although he ought to have worded it better.
prits
6m for Cahill you cheap skates!
markmcfc
Nasri never played at Highbury so how would he know?...he is just talking s@*t. Wish for once a footballer would be honest and say I left for double my current wages.
iceman10
6m is too much, if you ask me! He's in his final year of contract, isn't he.
damiano_tommassi
We can't afford to act like chav lottery winners and waste money like you guys markmcfc, we have to spend our money wisely (",)
bowiecokemirror
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reacted angrily to suggestions from Bolton that his bid for their defender Gary Cahill was "derisory".

The Gunners' offer - reported to be 6m - was rejected by Wanderers and criticised by their boss Owen Coyle.

In addition, Trotters chairman Phil Gartside re-posted a message on Twitter from a Bolton fan angered by the bid.

"That number is completely wrong," said Wenger. "If Gartside can say I am lying I am ready to confront him."

The Frenchman added: "I believe every negotiation is between two parties and you only have to sell the player if you are all right with the price.

They do not need to sell the player, they can keep him. In this case the information is below what has been spoken about.

"You can believe Gartside or you can believe me. It's not right. It's not the truth. The truth is that we never speak about our negotiations.

"If a club doesn't want to sell a player it can keep him. When we sign a player we come out here and tell you and keep the price a secret. They do not need to sell the player, they can keep him. If you ask do I want to buy your house and you are not happy with the price you say no, that's it.

"Why should you feel insulted? I don't understand. If the player is not for sale they can keep him. I don't understand the problem. If we want to buy the player we buy the player. I do not have to explain for how much."
damiano_tommassi
Arsenal offered 6million for Messi but were turned down and have now gone for that famous Korean; Hyde Park and have grabbed him from under the noses of Chelsea ...no , Real Madrid .... no but LILLE. Wow Arsenal know how to splash the cash and their transfer dealings are frightening the whole of the Evostick Southern League. Cheap skates and chokers.
Wswilly3
Quite obsessed with us aren't you gramps? Why is that? It's very strange, it seems that all those decades in the wilderness have turned you into a very bitter angry old man. So much so that despite being bought and having untold millions and millions finally buying you your first trophy in 35 yrs it still can't buy you class? Is it because after all this time you know deep down that Man city didn't win a trophy but Abu Dhabi did? Because like Jagger (a man 20 yrs your junior lol) you can't get no satisfaction and try to unleash your impotent senile wrinkly rage on a club still going about things the right way? After all these long long years, you still have no class old timer. Take a long hard look at that liver spotted jaundiced old long toothed mug in the mirror and come to terms with just why you're so bitter. It's not Arsenals fault you chose to follow city and not utd back in the halcyon days of '55, just as it's not our fault now that you have no idea how to react and behave now that your dosshole of a club has bought it's way into something like contention. I suppose the old adage is right money can buy you most everything aside from happiness.
nikolaijns
Ha ha!!
Deltaforce
nikolaijns and delta force: Ha Ha - what crisis at Arsenal you little minded youngsters know the square root of nothing. Mouthing off before an eight goal thrashing whilst the blues demolish Spurs with a great debut by Nasri. I assume you both wear short trousers, still wet the bed and will have your dummies in tonight. Diddums to both of you and try and grow up a bit. PS Remember this discussion started because I was of the view that you should buy some real talent rather than moaning about City doing just that. Some of your older and wiser colleagues agreed but you two were still reading Enid Blyton (sorry you wont know her) .... were still reading the Beano.
Wswilly3
 

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