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Proud Of Arsenal Football Club

It`s fair to say that the last few years have been a difficult time to be an Arsenal fan.

That`s not to say we should be complaining too much, there are 80 odd other sets of fans in England who would give their right arm to be in our position, however we`ve been spoiled under Arsene Wenger, and to go back to fried eggs after dining on caviar for so long is a little hard to palate.

It`s not only the on field problems that have been painful to watch, but also the plethora of top players streaming out our club on an annual basis. Last summer in particular was heart wrenching. Arguably over the past few years, when losing these players there have been pros as well as cons to their departures, but losing Cesc Fabregas in the summer was only con. But despite that, we still finished the season in a better position than in previous years.

At our worst this season we were very very bad, bad enough for me to question the position of our illustrious manager. However I don`t mind admitting to the fact that I may have erred.

Don`t get me wrong, Arsene Wenger can be one of the most infuriating people in football, a fact I`m sure the great man himself can attest to, however his model and his vision for Arsenal Football Club is something to be proud of.

On the surface of it, continually losing our best players over the course of five years, not having won any silverware in seven years and generally collapsing at the first sign of pressure is absolutely nothing to be proud of. But if we pan out to see the big picture (it might take a little more panning for some Gooners than others) what we have here is something not only to be proud of, but something to celebrate.

There has been a call from some sections of the Arsenal community for a sugar daddy of our own, the events of the last two weeks an apparent proof that we need a cash injection in order to succeed. A cash injection that we have done nothing to earn? I just can`t buy into that.

As a parent I try to teach my son on a daily basis that whatever he does in life he must give his absolute all, try his best every time he steps on to the metaphorical field of play. Your best is always good enough. Coming third in a 100M race when the other competitors are getting a lift on the back of a motorbike is no mean feat.

I know there will be Gooners out there who disagree with me when I say winning isn`t everything, but that`s just my philosophy on life, everybody has their own way of thinking. But if you can keep your integrity when the whole world is screaming for you to change your ways, then that is something I can truly respect.

Arsenal Football Club isn`t whiter than white, we screw up just like everybody else, we do have our problems, but I`m proud of the fact that we try to do things that we perceive is the right and fair way. Maybe there are better ways to achieve what we want to achieve, maybe there aren`t, but if we keep along this path of trying to get to the top without compromising our philosophies than I`ll always be proud of this club.




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday May 20 2012

Time: 12:37PM

Your Comments

It's almost unbelievable how well you guys have done despite your circumstances. Just curious how you guys would feel for next season if you were told RVP was leaving
Spurs999
I don't agree with all of this, Rocky7, but I totally agree that what makes us different and special is that we at least aspire to ideals of behaviour and style of play - we take steps to achieve equality and diversity. We take seriously our responsibilities to help youngsters in the local community and all over the world. That is inspiring to people everywhere.
FunGunner
Wenger did not spoil us. I loved arsenal when we went in trying to win everything and anything. I hate winning nothing. As fans we get no money from the club so why should I celebrate finishing anywhere other than 1st. For ages we stay here watching other teams celebrate and our best player that we worship leaving. Man I am fed up. Wenger has to realize we will not remember this in 10 years time.
Walcott32
When we were winning things the league was a level playing field. Only Manchester United were equal to our level of excellence. It took two obscenely rich men spending disgusting amounts of money to usurp the spoils of football. If you believe that Arsene Wenger never spoiled us then I would have to assume that you've only known Arsenal under Arsene Wenger.
Rocky7
Trust me I know how life was then but still looked forward to the fact that everything matters. Now I pay so much to watch arsenal and my rewards for spending money is getting to a competition that we get rid if our best players to play in. I just want us to have a strong stance on players and just try to compete for as much as possible. This top 4 stuff is just getting on my nerves.
Walcott32
You mean you're as chuffed as me to see us get beaten in the quarters next year? Big companies embrace change, we simply fear it. Come on Arsenal sort out our squad before pre season, PLEASE. If you're gonna sell Van Persie, get yer fecking replacements in before he goes.
shewore
wenger is a good manager, scout & economist but not a good tactician. sometimes i just hope we can stop playing beautiful football and start winning something even if we need to play those di matteo's football. i would trade our 15 years of cl qualification for a cl title anytime. watching bayern munich losing a game they dominated with style reminded me of us. i would rather be an ugly winner than a beautiful loser
Joe_@**
Sorting out our squad is a different problem entirely. It's nothing to do with the way we're run and the essence of this article. As I say, we're not perfect and Wenger get's on my t**s with the best of them. I don't think it's a case of fearing change, it's keeping our ethics and ensuring the long term future of the club. You've only got to look to Leeds to see what happens when you don't take care of business.
Rocky7
Leeds didn't have someone worth about 20bn trying to take over, that's fantasy using them and pompey as examples. We've got a silent yank who gives us absolutely nothing, why is he here exactly? His favourite coach, that baseball bloke, who was great at discovering talent, and won absolutely nothing, is worrying, why couldn't he invest in a hedge fund or something? Cos he knows that millions of us mugs will line his pockets, year in, year out.
shewore
Leeds and Pompey are examples of what can happen if you don't take care of your club. Why the f*** should we need to rely on hand outs just because other clubs do it? I'm not comfortable with us begging for money to buy players. If our club can't afford to spend billions on players like City and Chelsea without going cap in hand to someone then we don't deserve the trophies, much like the set of mercenaries who just took the two most prestigeous awards in football. F*** that, have some pride FFS.
Rocky7
I'm surprised by the timing of this article. Why, this now, Rocky?
Sajit
i second shewore
Joe_@**
rocky7, i think it is not us begging for hand outs. we deserved it & the kroenke has the obligation to deliver for 2 reasons: 1) he invested & investment comes with risk; 2) the fans' money goes into his pocket
Joe_@**
Only in football can a person criticize another for not spending their money. We spend what we have, its a simple principle and a fact of life. How we spend it, whether we spend it etc, these are the things we should be concentrating on. We look at ourselves, we try and be efficient, and hope the bubble bursts. The reason I used to love sport was because of the sanctity of competition. Regardless of size, color, creed etc, it was the quality of your performances and the decisions you make that dictated whether you were successful or not. We have to adhere to these principles, because regardless of whether you agree with them or not, they will safeguard our future.
goooner4life
Who knows whether what were seeing now with Chelsea and City is a passing phase or really the shape of things to come. I'm inclined to believe that unless FFP kicks in in earnest or the billionaires suddenly find football less of an attractive investment, its likely to be the latter. I'm immensely proud of my club, but our main business is about being a successful football club, and the ultimate symbol of that success is silverware. We should be hoping for the best but planning for the worst, both in terms of investment income and player recruitment. You don't have to spend obscene bundles off cash to win silverware, but you do have to spend. The club needs to show it is at least trying to win, and it won't give that message by selling its top player/captain as soon as some wealthy tosser slaps a wad of cash on the table. It won't give that message by not spending when it needs to replace experienced talent with experienced talent. I have a feeling next season will be some sort of watershed moment for this club.
Wyn Mills
Why do we deserve it? That's like me going to my mum and asking for 15,000 for a new car ... why, just because she "owns" me? No, if I want a new car I should earn the money for it. I don't expect many, if any, people to agree with me, but I was taught to work hard and only take what I've earned. Plus as far as I'm aware nobody has taken any money out of the club for more than ten years so no-one's pockets are being lined. Sajit, if you can't work that one out you're on your own mate.
Rocky7
@Joe, we don't deserve anything, 1)risk comes with the investment, he doesn't have to give us anything. Kroenke has not done anything, its the game. Don't hate the player, hate the game. 2) Secondly, the money from the fans does not go into his pocket, this is just stupid.
goooner4life
G4Life, we had 120m in the bank last year didn't we? Who were our top targets? 2 of them are now champions of europe, Mata and Cahill. Kroenke's pockets will be lined Rocky as he's gonna make a fortune on what he purely sees as an investment, top 4 year in year out is about the biggest cash cow out there, especially as he doesn't have to break the bank to sign top players whilst Arsene is there working miracles.
shewore
If he doesn't wanna make money out of the club then it still begs the question - why is he here???? Can anyone answer that?
shewore
If his motivation was purely money then the guy is off his rocker. Surely there's better, faster ways of making money than investing in a football club? I'm not saying his pockets will never be lined, but I'm hoping that will come when it's deserved.
Rocky7
can we at least stop being so stingy with our wage? the current highest wage earner of the club is rvp on 80k (before podolski signing)? tell me which club has a ceiling that is similar to us. blackburn? sell at least 6 redundant players who are on 60k and pay rvp whatever he wants. we cannot complain players are not loyal to the club when we never pay loyal players what they deserve.
Joe_@**
Yes but they're a lot riskier than the bank of england club mate, prestige may play it's part - but i'm yet to see evidence of that
shewore
Because he collects sports teams. Like fast rare cars.
Wyn Mills
Portfolio shewore, and the long game of envisaging our growth as a player on the world football stage thus enabling a huge profit when eventually sold on. He has no intention and never will of outlaying further investment into squad bolstering.
nikolaijns
I guess we'll find out in due course SW. I guess I'm pinning my hopes on the fact that we're working towards that big picture of getting the stadium paid off and then being rich as f*** once the FFP rules are in full force. If that's the future we're planning for then we'll be great again I'm sure, if not then we've been royally f***ed over. If I believe the latter then I'm going to become a very bitter football fan, and I just have time to be like all those twisted ********s over at Le Grove.
Rocky7
And I think for us to experience growth he's gonna have to invest, surely?! Or is he hoping to tread water and then hope that FFP actually makes a difference and then we conquer the world...?
shewore
*I just don't have the time
Rocky7
And why would he to be fair? If I buy shares in a company I'm not going to put extra money in to train up better staff am I? Noone outside of the likes of the oil scum is going to write off 100 million quid, if kroenke puts money like that in it will not be a gift, it will be a debt that he will seek to recoup at some stage or put onto the asking price when selling.
nikolaijns
goooner4life, kroenke may not cash in on the profits the club is making every year - from the fans obviously. the money will be accumulated in the bank. by the time we pay off our loan and with hundreds of millions sitting in the bank, the club will be worth billions. then kaaching... the reality of trophyless years endured by paying fans to make the "club financially sound" was only enrich a man
Joe_@**
Whether the owners of the Chavs and Abu Dhabi City are spunking billions on their playthings or not, this club should not be waiting on baited breath for RvP to sign a contract. I'll be mightly p1ssed off if we end up selling him right before the start of the next season (or after the first game as with Nasri!) with only Podolski as a replacement. That would be simply nobbling your own chances three seasons in a row. We can't take any moral high ground on basic incompetent failure.
Wyn Mills
If you're the main shareholder then you're going to want to see your investment grow, this coulld be done by doing lots of things, depending on how hands on you are. Kroenke, I just don't know what he wants, and what his intentions are, we're not just a business we're a effin football club, one that's been in families for generations and generations
shewore
That's what people fail to understand when asking why won't he invest? why won't he spend? As far as he's concerned he has invested and spent, he's bought a majority share in one of the worlds top 10 football clubs. Buying players isn't investing from a business perspective, it's flushing money down the khazi. silverware is only really relevant to fans, in kroenkes cold hearted football free brain 100 mill for a league or FA cup is money down the drain and absolutely no return for his outlay. A scumbag who has trousered the natural resource that should by rights belong to his people he undoubtably is but abramovich is a football lover hence he won't think twice about losing fortunes for a poxy bit of silver that cost a few hundred quid to make.
nikolaijns
Only the 'speculate to accumulate' type of investor is going to put more money into a club he's already bought shares in. Kroenke doesn't strike me as someone who can take that huge a risk. Usmanov probably can. But who on earth would want to see this gangster pumping money into player acquisitions?
Wyn Mills
Nicely put Niko, and all the more reason for me to hate him, he shouldn't be here
shewore
I agree shewore, the only redeeming grace is that he hasn't apparantly leveraged any debt onto us when purchasing Arsenal and for all our gripes having an owner that is hands off and content with our self sufficiency is still infinitely preferable to the two cowboy [unts that rocked up to yeehah liverpool.
nikolaijns
The money is ruining the game. We got to the stage that even Utd, who thought they would financially dominate are now second fiddle to the billionaire gang who are going to buy their success as they have in business. We could be in danger of being a city feeder club, finding and maturing talent for City who then tripple the players wages beyond rational affordablity and sign them up. The league is heading for the spanish model with 2 dominant clubs and everyone else is an "also ran"!! It's a sad state of affairs and unhealthy on every level. My bet is that no one will stop this monopoly of finances from evolving to the detriment of all other sets of supporters.
deadlydave
Niko, you're wrong about silverware only mattering to the fans. Take one look at the faces of the Chelski players last night and tell me they were only fighting for their next pay cheque.
Wyn Mills
Fair enough Wynn agreed, seriously though you watched that? you masochistic maniac. I turned over before that cheating ham actors pen even touched the net.
nikolaijns
I know. I did stop watching after that cheating feck Drogba scored. Had this horrible feeling I'd be watching Lampard's grinning mug by the end. But you know...its like driving past a traffic accident. You can't help looking at the gore on the road.
Wyn Mills
Nothin on earth would have made me watch the unholy chav trinity of cashley, the fat burger loving cunny and big racist john sully that trophy after playing the most eye gougingly horrific football since greece bored their way to the euros. I'm just not sure how many more nails footballs coffin can take.
nikolaijns
Great comment, gooner4life. @ Joe - the club doesn't pay SK or AU anything at all. Club's profits go to the club.
FunGunner
Ooh those bitter arse fans just can't help themselves! What has your style of "beautiful" football won you over the last 7 years? Oh thats right, sweet FA!! Champions of Europe!!
Teds Maybank Holiday
Good atmos was it Teds? Why aren't you in Fulham at the moment? #plastic
shewore
And what has Chelsea's own earned revenue won them over the last 7 years? You know the answer Teds.
NADH-91
Great article that has got to the nub of the debate and it is a hard one to decide upon. I am in the investment is good camp but can also understand the other argument..... I suppose I want my cake and eat it , I want investment from the right type of investor who takes a wide view of owning a football club. The good works being done in East Manchester is quite wonderful as this is the poorest part of Manchester and it has been given a new lease of live because of City's investment. There is a programme called City in the Community which is doing untold good and is not given the headlines. Thanks again for the thought provoking article.
Wswilly3
Photobucket Have to feel sorry for the spuds though...
Wyn Mills
@shewore, but surely he's gonna make a profit based on the share price? Like Niko said, he hasn't leveraged our club and is not using us to pay for it. But I agree with the money in the bank statement, those are the questions that need to be asked, and unfortunately wont be answered by a Gazidis(who should be in politics) or a PHW. @Wynn Mills, I don't care how much you 'speculate', in top flight football, you will never make that money back.
goooner4life
I will always be proud to be a Gooner. Even if another 8 years passes without a single trophy, I will stay loyal to Arsenal Football Club. Everything works in cycles and soon enough we will again ascend to the top of English (and hopefully European) football. I dont think mass investment is required so by that token snakes like Usmanov and Kroenke can ***** right off. Once the debt is cleared, we will have much more spending power which can go towards increasing our wages capacity and free up more funds for the gaffer (whether its AW or someone else when the debt is cleared) to use in the transfer market. That should now be our biggest challenge, to overcome the likes of Citeh and Chavski without selling the soul of our club like they have. A big ask to be sure but one I have faith that we can accomplish eventually.
Ned Stark
While there is pride to be had in believing in one's principles and preserving one's honour and dignity, there is also a great need to take a more pragmatic view at times. If Arsenal believe that we can win through financial prudence and by being a more self-sufficient, organic football club, then fine. I believe we can as well. But if that is our method, then we must make the most of it. My issue with Arsenal is NOT that we have not won a trophy in 7 years, it is that for some time now we have not been doing our utmost to win. We've not addressed our defensive deficiencies properly, we have not got the right balance and discipline to the team, we cannot finish a league campaign (or any campaign) strongly, and none of these things need vast spending on players, merely a more focussed approach on the training ground to getting the tactics and mentality right. Yet we refuse to do it, the manager totally rejected the idea of a new defence coach to help out. That is not belief in principles, that is arrogance. On the players' front, we can do far more, we can sell those who have underperformed for years, and we can rearrange the wage bill to pay our best players something near market rate, our lesser players a more reasonable amount rather than putting everybody in the squad on between 50000 and 70000 ( may not be exact figures but we seem to be too egalitarian concerning our wages). Furthermore, it does not take excessive spending on a superstar player to make a winning team, we do not need to spend 50m on one player like Wenger was suggesting the fans were demanding last year; we can win with some good spending of maybe about 20m each on 2 or 3 good players like M'Vila and Kagawa for example (I know Wenger has suggested this would be the approach this summer but it HAS TO BE DONE, not merely promised in the renewal period then reneged because 'we only want super-quality'. All these things can be done, and for years we have not done it for whatever reason. This summer is CRUCIAL for Arsenal, we need to do our utmost to progress as a club as others will refuse to stand still as we have been content with for years now.
NADH-91
gooner4life, with top clubs being valued at 1bn in the current market its not difficult to see the attraction to investors like Sheikh Mansour of taking a club with potential like City (big fanbase, ready made stadium, Prem league TV income, etc) and turning them into a world powerhouse worth so much more. City, like Chelsea, were a club close to ruin, making them relatively easy and inexpensive to acquire. City's chairman Al-Mubarak is quoted as saying "There is an opportunity we have identified and taken hold of. A mid-tier club will move to become a big club because of the financial resources we are able to make available. Because we see value in making that transition. And that is the bottom line." I wouldn't be so sure these guys don't know what they're doing.
Wyn Mills
No Rocky,Im afraid I really cannot. Coz Chavs won the CL? This is the srot of article you would have expected when we were down and out , but thank God, we finished the season on a high and for once - the really big pessimist in me - is actually feeling good. And if its coz Chavs won the CL - its not a big deal at all. I hate them coz majority of their fans are classless ******** morons. But really whats the big deal in them winning the CL. They need a bigger overhaul than us. And I really cannot see Roman spending another fortune in doing that. Hopefully they extend contracts to Frank and Terry and they keep believing that they are the future of the club. As long as we do our job in the transfer market and keeping Robin, what happened yesterday is irrelevant.
Sajit
What Arsenal can do is only focus on what we can control. And that is quite a bit. The mistakes made with Nasri were made with RvP and Theo as well (letting their contracts run down to a year). There are still a lot of questions that Kroenke needs to answer - does he know how to properly run a football club? For me, thats more fundamental than him investing his money for squad purchases (that's never going to happen). Can the mistakes of last summer be rectified this summer? What are we doing to make sure that the RvP/Theo situation does not recur with other players? Can his team enhance the commercial revenue of Arsenal, given the constraints of our existing agreements till 2014? So far, the answers to these questions have been mixed, so the jury is still out on Kroenke, for me.
prits
That said, I am fully in agreement on the basic principles of how this club is run. The fact that we live within our means, and our attempts (largely successful with a few mistakes) to do things the right way with a touch of class are all solid foundations to the club which are not going away soon. I do not want Usmanov and his money pumped into the club, nor do I want Kroenke to do the same. In the medium term, Chelsea and City will be a faded force compared to their present state. Already, after about 8 years, it will be interesting to see how much Abramovich will invest this summer. You look at other examples - Lerner at Villa, FSG at Pool (rumoured that they are going to cut spending this summer) and you can see that the sugar daddy model is simply not sustainable.
prits
The timing of it Sajit is because I feel a little upset with the way football is going. Of course that has been apparent for quite some time, but this last two weeks has been a stark reminder of what's not only happening, but has also been allowed to happen. But it also reminded me on a personal level of how proud I am of Arsenal. Am I being naive? Maybe, but if I think about it negatively I'm in real danger of falling out of love with football.
Rocky7
I'd agree with that last comment there Rocky. I've found it pretty difficult not to collapse completely into self pity this weekend. City and Chelsea winning the most prestigious titles of the season didn't start the fire as it were, but it just feels like a massive nail in the coffin. People can say "grow up and get over it" and plenty have this weekend. But it's an undeniable truth that the league and the European Cup were both bought this season. I feel total empathy with those people that give up supporting Premier League clubs and start watching non league, or else who create breakaway clubs. It reminds me a bit of when I watched the movie 'Into the Wild.' It's about a guy who surrenders all of his possessions and identity and just goes to live in the wilderness. You look at it and think, "Yeah, that's the life." But at the same time, you know you haven't got the balls to do it. You'll keep clinging on to your bank cards, your house, your laptop and, above all, your football team, because you know you can't walk away. This isn't really about whether Arsenal deserve those big prizes or not, it's a much wider, all encompassing point than that.
Little Dutch
If Arsenal fans can feel frustrated at the way football has gone then we aren't alone. The distortions in the game since Abramovich entered it almost 10 years ago will continue for a while yet. Whether FFP is ever invoked strongly enough to make a big difference has yet to be seen but the current excesses will be curtailed. As long as the club continues to be run in the right way then we'll still be in a position to challenge irrespective of what is going on around us and that provides the best chance of enduring success. It isn't so much righteous pride in what the club is doing that we need have as a pragmatic understanding that realistically we don't have any other choice. Besides it's still great fun to watch the Arsenal even if we're not winning silverware at the moment. It's a choice of team that has served by grandfather, father, myself and my son well and I'd think any grandchildren would reap the same rewards from the same choice too.
Amos.
Whether the CL was bought or not, aside from one brief appearance in the final we've never "competed" for it anyway and if you look back at the previous winners they've always been the richest teams around with the odd interruption by Belgrade, Port et al. So I don't get why all the doom mongering about the CL being bought when essentially it always has been. just because the team, that won it this weekend is what we perceive as a smaller club shouldn't alter that fact. What is the difference between the chavs spending money they don't have and Barcelona and real Madrid spending money.......they don't have either? As for the PL, yes I totally agree it has been bought by a club the rest of Europe hadn't even heard of 2 years ago, but what can you do? Don't listen to the johnny-come-lately t**ts who say how crap Arsenal are and how great City are, as mentioned previously that's like a man on a motorbike, given to him roaring past you on your push bike you've saved hard to buy and him exclaiming how much faster he is than you.....Well bloody DER! What can you do except point out the travesty of it and then get on with making some noise for your team.
Scotch Eggs Rule
I agree with that SER, like I said, mine wasn't a point about Arsenal. If Chelsea- whom we took 4 points off this year and finished two places above- can win it, so can we. It's a wider point about football in general. At the very least, Madrid & Barca's TV cash is based on their success and viability as football teams. As I said, it's hardly new, it just kind of felt like the last bastion has now gone. Speaking personally, it was a kind of psychological checkpoint in my mind. The day the Champions League is entirely bought by external (and shadily obtained) money is going to be a sad day. That day has arrived. Not surprising, but still a bit deflating all the same.
Little Dutch
Interesting to reflect that while money plays a big part in determining the outcome of the CL this was the poorest Chelsea team for a while. Abramovich had spent more trying to win it in the past and failed. Similarly our best run and Liverpools win in 2005 coincided with relatively poor league form. Despite their league form and the money spent City and United went out early this season. Knockout cup competitions do carry a fair amount of good fortune in determining the outcome it isn't only about the money. Of course you still have to be good enough to win it but provided you qualify to compete frequently enough (which does take a fair amount of money as well as ability) the rest is as much down to the run of the ball as it is to anything else. It's much the same for all knockout cup competitions.
Amos.
I can understand the sentiments about falling out of love with the game. But I think there's a danger of making the money an excuse. There's that other element of the game which keeps many of us watching. The sheer unpredictability. It would be churlish to deny that both City and Chelsea have displayed grit and determination in winning their titles. There's an obvious hunger to win with both teams that perhaps comes out of the need to prove the knockers and detractors wrong. City flew this season borne on the intensity and enthusiasm of new players desperate to make a point. How many fortunes will they have to expend to replicate that? It will be more difficult for them next season. Chelsea have found it hard going, despite the millions pumped into them. But as soon as the odds became so heavily stacked in the CL you just knew they'd relish smashing that wall down. I put their victory down less to money and more to grim determination. My opinion is we've lost an element of that hunger and need to rediscover it. I don't think you necessarily have to spend huge fortunes to do that, but you have to be prepared to push the boat out more than we have been doing recently. It still comes down to the 11 guys on the pitch, and as long as we have a decent manager at the helm there's always a chance. Football is a fecking crazy unpredictable game like that, which is why I will continue to watch it.
Wyn Mills
Of course, it's not a final hammer blow, just a blow all the same. Chelsea had a great deal of fortune winning it this year. But that balances out bad fortune they had in the past (Terry slip, Garcia's controversial goal, a pretty horrendous ref against Barcelona in 09). They stuck in there long enough and, eventually, one year, it's gonna go your way. It's the last thread of hope I'm clinging to for us winning it. Looking back, can't help but think 06 was the year it just all came together. Might be a while before we get that again.
Little Dutch
Grit and determination is onee thing Wyn, sheer bloody blind luck is another altogether.
Scotch Eggs Rule
Mourinho made an interesting point re: the semi finals. It sounded like a gripe, but he said Barca and Real ran out of steam because they were embroiled in a title race that involved both teams playing one another in between the two semi final legs. It made the difference for Bayern and Chelsea to be able to rest players. This was a liberty Chelsea were able to take (and to be fair, it represented a big gamble on their part because they sacrificed the top 4 for it) even further, whilst Bayern went on to dispiritingly lose the German up Final a week before. In the end, that probably knocked the stuffing out of Bayern enough to at least contribute to their criminal wastefulness against Chelsea.
Little Dutch
I think we had an even better chance to win the CL when we murdered the chavs for 180 minutes and that useless waste of space Bridge scored right near the very end. Dear God did we dominated both legs, 9-2 wouldn't of been an unfair reflection of our clear superiority and then you look at the mugs left in the competition, Deportivo, Monaco, Porto. We'd of beaten any of those we'd of faced.
Scotch Eggs Rule
Dunno SER. I lost count of the number of times Chelsea players put some part of their anatomy in the way of a Bayern shot at goal. I remember screaming at the TV 'FFS, how sodding lucky are this team?', but in the cold light of day I can appreciate the 'all hands to the pump' work ethic that gave them the rub of the green.
Wyn Mills
Hard work should always reap it's rewards, but at the end of the day, you cannot legislate for teams like Barcelona and Bayern with two of the worlds strongest strike force choking when faced with inferior opposition in matches they'd usually expect to win. God knows the chavs have had some appalling luck in the CL recently, but they got that ALL back in spades this season. We've never had that rub of the green, you cannot just wait and rely on luck, but unless you are Barcelona in their pomp you always need it. I just hope we do at some stage.
Scotch Eggs Rule
LD expresses exactly how I feel. CFC winning the CL (esp. after MCFC winning the league) feels like some kind of benchmark moment, or however you want to express the idea. It makes me wish (almost) that I could totally abandon football altogether, not support AFC anymore. Yes I know we as AFC supporters are luckier than most clubs, that we're in a very good position compared to many many other clubs, and that I sound like a spoiled whining brat. But this truly goes beyond AFC. I can't celebrate or feel anything positive about the spuds losing out on the CL because this goes beyond mere local rivalries. It just feels like any last remaining vestige of genuine competition in the PL & CL (small tho it was) is completely, utterly gone. Much as I despise MUFC & have little love for Barca I honestly would not feel like this had they won the league and CL.
jaelle
I'll be honest here. We never really know how we would react if we were in the same position as Chelsea or City fans. Imagine we have gone for decades without any silverware.. and we are really desperate for some success - any success. Would you still say no to some guy coming to invest in the club - albeit short term. Fact is , we dont know. coz thankfully we have never been in the situation. To say that Chelsea and City are killing football is true partially but thats just the way things are. In every sport in every country, from NFL to Baseball, there are rich teams and poor teams. Manchester United learnt to adapt itself in a world of sugar daddies.. We simply have to learn to adapt.
Sajit
Sajit - you have summed reality up and yes its the way it has been for decades. City are just the latest and in other countries we have Malaga and PSG et, etc It is not going to go away and if done responsibly does bring investment into the game which does help a lot of other clubs as the revenue base is expanded. If you are in a lower league you know as a fact of life that to economically survive you have to sell your good youngsters and they know they have to move to suceed. Fan bases are now of a global nature and success is a big factor in attracting such bases which in turn fuels the economic model. At some stage Arsenal will have to compete at the top table if they wish to gain the benefits of this and of success. Is the reason that many of the Arsenal fans are resisting the move to compete at the highest level because they don't think the Arsenal hierarchy will countenance that?
Wswilly3
Sajit, THE NFL IS NOT NOT NOT NOT like darwinian European football. THAT'S THE ENTIRE POINT OF US SPORTS. Baseball is darwinian but baseball is unique. American football like basketball & hockey & MLS are run in such a way as to PRESERVE real competition. In the NFL, the weakest poorest teams get the first choice of the best players. There are salary caps. Different teams win all the time. US sports are run in a manner so that it's a genuine mystery as to who will win the superbowl or the NBA championship. US sports are a model for the ridiculous darwinian European football model which PREVENTS genuine competition.
jaelle
Just to reiterate--the lack of genuine competition is the hallmark of football around the world, it's just some countries are worse than others. The only country I know of where real competition exists--in which the authorities try their best to keep a level playing field--is the US (which is ironic given that those principles don't extend to other areas of US society).
jaelle
Oh & btw--even baseball which is dominated by the richest club (Yankees) has more different winners than most of Europe's football leagues.
jaelle
I heard that the chelski bus parade went swimmingly. in honour of their last 3 European games the bus sat parked for 300 minutes with no intent of going anywhere.
nikolaijns
Some excellent posts on this thread. I agree with the theme of the article and am very proud that AFC competes on the strength of its own resources. There are however areas for improvement in our management which can make AFC genuinely compete for titles even in this soul less regime of sugar daddy's. Our stadium debt has been cut to a very manageable 97 million pounds and one cant agree with the club using its profits to dramatically prepay long term stadium debt which is at a very low interest rate.

This is the right time for some prudent investment of 30-40 million pounds into the playing squad. Squad Player sales could contribute well to this figure as well. This Arsenal team has better spirit, mental toughness and resolve than the Fabregas led team of 2007-2010 but this team lacks the creative talent the previous one had. AW himself admitted that this team is inferior to the previous one in ball rentention - Arteta being the only pro at this art. We need more players like that in this team. Say whatever about Nasri but he was very hard to shake off the ball once he had possession. Similar case for Fabregas. A player in the mould of Jovetic or Dzagoev in attacking midfield and a player like Biglia or M'Vila in holding midfield can take this team to the next level using the clubs own generated profits.
Deltaforce
lol niko
prits
The debt on the stadium (fixed and floating rate bonds) stands at 227m not 97m - that's the net figure of total debts less cash held.
Amos.
Right, you're right about NFL and NBA - my bad. I meant baseball.
Sajit
Totally agree with DeltaForce, Now is the time to invest in the squad. But something tells me that Kroenke is not in it for the betterment of Arsenal FC. He just wants to make the club profitable and then get out rich. And Niko - that was gold !
Sajit
Kroenke = evil, nothing good for us supporters can come from him being here.
shewore
You know how the argument goes when someone says City & Chelsea "buy titles", right? "What's the difference between what they do & what United or Arsenal or other teams did when they win trophies? They all 'buy titles.'" I go on about this a lot because that argument simply is not true. Here's a very researched article from Forbes that goes thru the financial history of the PL in terms of transfers and its impact on trophy success. It shows quite clearly why that argument does not hold water, and why Chelsea & City are in quite a different category: http://www.forbes.com/sites/zachslaton/2012/05/14/the-ultimate-triumph-of-the-benefactor-model/
jaelle
* "very well-researched"
jaelle
Read the article. Lot's of big words. Got a headache. Went looking for porn.
Scotch Eggs Rule
Nope, didn't find anything worthwhile lol So went back to the Forbes article. The researchers must of spent god knows how many 100's of hours compiling this data, it's so in-depth and thorough. At the end of the day the conclusion we all knew was that money has bought those trophies for City and Chelsea and that Arsenal's trophies were not money funded when you consider the superior spending power of our rivals. Ours was a triumph of skill, leadership, good management and spending what we can within a budget, theres was spunk as much dosh as we can as quick as we can. Chelsea and City wouldn't understand that and if they did they wouldn't all act like such a pack of despicable ***ts about it.
Scotch Eggs Rule
I like how it does highlight the abject failure of teams like Sp*rs, Liverpool and Newcastle who spent vast sums of money and achieved sweet FA in terms of the league, that cheered me up as well.
Scotch Eggs Rule
Cheers for the link jalle, that made for some interesting reading. Oddly enough, Spurs rank above Arsenal in terms of total value for the past 3 seasons, yet have not finished ahead of us. It is this kind of data that adds to Wenger's credit. He has been battling enormous odds. We are 6th in that table for the past 3 seasons (and will be 6th in 2012 also) but have managed to finish top 4 each season. To me, that represents over-achievement brought about by Wenger. This doesn't take away the obvious mistakes made by him and the club in handling various matters. But its good to step back and analyze from a distance (god, I sound like Wenger now)!
prits
Careful Prits, you'll be quoting "LANS", "mental strength" or "playing with the handbrake on" before you know it.....
Scotch Eggs Rule
"mental strength". Jeez, Wenger really has to widen his vocabulary next season.
Wyn Mills
You guys are so easily satisfied which is always a sign of mediocrity.
Wswilly3
Good grief. Why are you still here instead of celebrating your lottery windfall willy? You lucky bugger. Guess we'll just have to be satisfied with our 'mediocre' third place until someone buys us the title I suppose...
Wyn Mills
Wyn, true my boy but its hard being Championi as we just have to dust ourselves down and start all over again to retain the title. Still with the backing of the good Sheikh we can buy a couple of good players to bolster our cause.
Wswilly3
 

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