Wednesday, 31 August 2011
@catsarsenal has instigated #ElvisHasLeftThe Stadium. A plea to get rid of the appalling 'Wonder of You' from the Emirates match day experience.
The song has no historical context, rhyme or reason other than there used to be an Elvis impersonator performing after games. That's it!
I can't stand to hear it, it's awful and uninspiring!
As I have done before I would suggest the following
Tuesday, 30 August 2011
it's been a bit of a carry on
The inquest continues and there is speculation as to the underlying problems that are manifesting themselves in the decline of Arsenal. Clearly there is something not right behind the scenes and it is hard to unravel the exact issues and causes. What is evident is that a simple diagnosis of what is required to compete at the highest level both domestically and abroad would show the simple solutions.
Systems ethos and tactics are all secondary to the basics, which are;
Players that do the simple things well that allow at least one mercurial performer to conjure. Depth of squad to enable the team to cope with injuries and suspensions, with younger players along side sufficient experienced players to learn from. A top goalkeeper. A sprinkling of utility players to enable adaptability. The type of players with a winning mentality. An inspirational and tactically astute manager, who knows when to buy and when to sell.
I would venture that we have lacked all of the above during the last few years and those deficits have built up to the point where we now sit in a lowly league position having suffered an utterly humiliating defeat. Hatred, jealousy and envy have now been replaced with pity; people are feeling sorry for Arsenal.
It almost seems that it has taken Sunday's capitulation to make the club take action to improve the squad, with Young, Santos and Mertersacker all but confirmed to be arriving. Three players who between them are experienced players in positions where we need them and Captains, which is always a good thing. It feels as if the departure of our ex Captain and the French midfielder have almost been denied in the clubs mind ; as if they didn't need replacing. August, domestically was written off; that's the only way you can view it.
Despite these additions I can't help but feel that we will do nothing again in January, a time in the season when the smart managers freshen things up. I believe that there are still players at the club that are not good enough and worryingly a number of senior players who appear, for want of a better word, disillusioned; witness Rosicky in the wall for Man Utd's third goal on Sunday and Arshavin's refusal to track back.
Getting behind the team is essential against Swansea, a bit of the magnificent support from Sunday's travelling fans would be good. Getting behind the club in it's broadest sense remain a big ask. I for one feel that the board owners and Manager are failing us.
Despite our worst defeat since Queen Victoria's days I still feel that some of our players are also being let down by the powers at the club. The majority of those young players thrown to the lions by Wenger deserve better; just as we fans do.
Monday, 29 August 2011
when time ran out
@ArsenalGent on Twitter has created a thread #ArsenalDisasterMovies wherein fellow Arsenal fans tweet Arsenal based Disaster movies such as 'I am not Legend' & 'Djourassic park'. However we need to look no further than these Disaster movies to sum up the current mood
Everyone knows about Liverpool FC, the history and the European triumphs, the status earned by achievement. This club dropped out of the European elite when they failed to qualify for Champions league and Europa Cup. They ceased to be genuine title contenders; but they still won a trophy here and there. A time came where the club realized that they needed to address the decline. A change of management an investment in players and an acceptance that they would cope with a brief spell out of
Europe then took place. The issues are being addressed and Liverpool are in the process of re establishing themselves. All this from a club whose fans had come to expect trophies both home and abroad.
Contrast with Arsenal; six years without a trophy, dropped out of title contention. Yet with a bigger stadium than
Liverpool and Champions league football in the interim. Maybe the Champions League is the thing that is preventing change. The revenue from the competition seems to be the only thing that matters.
The Financial clout of CFC MUFC & MCFC is a fact, a reality of the league in which we play. We have to accept this and not be afraid to make changes when needed. The decline will continue and the ECL qualification will be used as a justification for keeping the status quo.
It seems that Liverpool are actively looking to It rebuild and work there way back to the top, because there is a recognition that the three horse monopoly can still be gate crashed. At Arsenal we are looking like the poor child standing outside the sweet shop window.
Sunday, 28 August 2011
Now is not the time for mass hysteria. Today Arsenal were comprehensively beaten. Amongst The Manchester United goals were some that no team would have been able to do anything about. The truth of what this result means is far more complex.
I will simply refer to some facts.
Arsenal’s squad is not good enough, and when you have injuries and suspensions in an already sub standard squad you are inevitably going to suffer. Today we did.
Arsenal have followed a path of, season after season, replacing proven quality with (unrealised) potential. Today we saw the results.
Arsenal have a substantial revenue but fail to pay for quality.
Arsenal, having to field a set of players woefully unprepared or unable to compete is a result of extremely poor management.
Take all those facts and a day like today was going to happen.
The powers that be at Arsenal football Club need to digest the bigger meaning of today, reflect and then they need to take action. That action should be only one thing.
Unfortunately the change that needs to be made probably won't be made until a time when it is too late to save our season. But they need to take action in order to ensure we start the rebuilding process for the future.
Today was the day that the Chickens came home to roost.
Friday, 26 August 2011
Happy to plug this event. Good way to spend an August Bank Holiday. Please don't rain on Hemel Hempstead Cricket Club (that's something that Man City & Chelsea fans can agree with too)
If you can't make it but still want to support their charity work for MNDA you can help in the following ways;Donate Online at www.justgiving.com/rocky2011
Text ROCK 67 and the amount to 70070
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Heres some of the magic
A STATEMENT FROM ARSENALISM©
Ashley Cole is probably the last player that Arsenal fans unilaterally disliked for leaving, and this was because he was one of our better players and had been at the club from a young age. The fact that his behaviour was unsavoury and it involved deceit and ego just stoked the fires. In the end Cole achieved much more than he would have had he stayed, and in that sense the vitriol that was aimed at him was a way of masking the fact that he went on to success.
The current batch of ex players are insignificant in that they never really had our hearts, did they? Even Cesc; world class player though he is/was, never connected as Captain in the way that Vieira, Adams or McClintock did. I am not diminishing Cesc’s quality just saying that he is not an ex player that you carry in your emotional suitcase; no Dennis or Thierry. That’s why I don’t care what they get up to now.
And that’s the legacy of the Wenger ‘youth’ experiment; the majority gave us nothing other than just being professional footballers under contract at Arsenal Football club ( at some times not even that). With the current set of players it feels like we will get more, not necessarily in terms of trophies but in terms of feeling and caring about them. In terms of actual connection. All most of us want is a team that plays for the shirt, tries their hardest and actually wants to play for the club. Winning on Wednesday showed that some of the current line up will show that effort and will put in the sweat this season. That's what we want isnt it? The other stuff; the decison makers shortcomings are another matter.
It feels like these players refer to our club as THE Arsenal. That’s the difference. I'm not talking about replecating the Invincibles I'm talking about an Arsenal team that give a damn.
I could be wrong but it’s a feeling and that feeling is that, yes, the X factor that has been missing for so long. Feels like its back at The Arsenal.
Thursday, 25 August 2011
Enjoying the moment
As football supporters we often find it hard to live in the moment; always thinking ahead and looking back, pondering ‘what if?’ and ‘if only’. I would imagine that every supporter of every club has this problem (with the possible exception of a Barca fan at the moment) Therefore I am trying really hard to enjoy last night’s victory; Just enjoy the moment, the feeling of winning a game. Remember that? As I said before negativity is draining and to paraphrase AA ‘accept the things you cannot change’ is a good mantra. As a supporter we show faith in our clubs. Even when we lose faith in those at the top we can put some faith in those wearing the red and white, support those that have shown loyalty, are not greedy mercenaries and have not systematically failed over the last half decade. There are, among the squad, players that deserve our faith, our support.
yes I am better than whatshisname
On Sunday we will be in a position of having to play the cards we have been dealt and, should United line up against us as they often do at Old Trafford, it will be a tough game. Realistically, as opposed to pessimistically, a point taken away with us will be a good result. Should any additions be made to the squad, it is doubtful that they would figure on Sunday. If indeed any players do arrive, will they be of quality and experience? I doubt it, but that brings us back to playing the cards that are dealt.
The killer blow
I learnt very little from last night’s victory about our long term future, but what last night did do was confirm some things that I believe and that for some time should have been acknowledged by the manager; that Szczesny is clearly our best keeper since Lehman, that Walcott is best played through the middle, that a winger that can get to the by-line effectively can give a different dimension, that Frimpong is better than Denilson, and that some young players, given their chance, can have an impact, especially when it is clear that they should have replaced the dross long before this moment.
taking his chance
So Arsenal reach parity with the rest of the top 4; safely into the Champions League, a big game on Sunday and some potential new signings (?). Not a bad time to be an Arsenal supporter, when one strips away all the frustrations that have been caused by the 'decision makers'. Especially as we are in the midst of an Anti Arsenal open season. When we are being praised I get an uneasy feeling. I like it when our backs are against the wall and you never know, our players, our boys, may just bring some belief back to the club a belief that our Manager and board seem unable to engender.
And so we await the Champions League draw and just take one team from each pot mix 'em up, give Man Utd and Barca favourable groups and away we go:
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
literal photo 1
A Big Club; a term bandied around quite a lot at the moment. The basis is generally one of historical context added to consistent achievement. Manchester United have been consistent in their achievements for the last two decades and have a historical root to their fame. For Liverpool their story and European achievements keep them firmly in the category, despite failure to win the Domestic title for twenty years So a club like Manchester City have taken on big club status as they have won a trophy and qualified for the ECL after the Ethiad rebirth and are called a big club, similar to the Chelsea Abramovitch renewal.
For Manchester United and
Liverpool their status also applies to European football something that the rest of the top clubs cannot lay claim to.
Which brings us to The Arsenal. Domestically big because the stats don’t lie. Historical context? Check Length of top flight status? Check. League titles & FA Cups? Check.
However, unpalatable as it is to hear, we are not a big European Club among the ranks of Real, Bayern,
, Juve, Barca, Ajax et al. From Milan only Man Utd & Liverpool are; that’s just how it is. England
What has to be considered though is that in 1996 Arsenal were on the brink of joining that elite. On the back of a good three season run of an unbeaten season an FA Cup Win a Champions League Final and a move to a new 60,000 Stadium in the Nations Capital. We had seen some of the best players in World Football at Arsenal and the new stadium was all about giving us the financial clout to compete with the elite.
In the period between Sol Campbell’s header at the Parc De Princes and Obafemi Martins winner at Wembley Arsenal have not grasped the opportunity to join the big boys. Yes qualification for the Champions League has been consistent over that period but when we have been tested by English teams or needed the right result we have failed to reach the pinnacle.
2006-2011 should have been a consolidation of what had been achieved domestically between 1997-2006 and a period where Arsenal made their name in
Europe’s top tournament. The Squad that included Henry Vieira Pires Bergkamp Ljungberg Lehmann Campbell Cole Lauren and Gilberto would obviously have changed and developed over this period and as these names were replaced with the likes of Alonso, Reinna, Torres and Ribery; this calibre of player should have wanted to come to the club. That was the promise of the future that our board fed us.
So we see ourselves on the brink of dropping further down the pecking order. This is a direct result in lack of investment in the squad; plain and simple. When a club is on the brink of making that next step up, as we were in 2006, investment is as necessity. Investment in the raw materials; players. Should we drop out of the Champions League later it will be a case of reaping what has been sown. Even should we go through it will only be a delay of the inevitable.
I fear that we have gone from being a big club to being no big deal
Literal photo 2
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
I will let Arsene's words speak for themselves;
“Imagine the worst situation – we lose Fabregas and Nasri, you cannot convince people you are ambitious after that. Even if you lose Nasri, to find the same quality player, you have to spend again the same amount of money (to replace him). You cannot lose the player and not replace him. These players are not easy to find. Samir’s situation is clear to me – he stays. We are in a position where we can say no. We are not there to make money. We are there to keep our best players”- Arsene Wenger 09/08/11
The EUFA Champions League; to be in this competition is to guarantee a lucrative revenue stream, just from the group stage alone. In
, our nation’s capital, corporate events and schmoozing are big business. Arsenal at the Emirates against London , Real, Barca, United is blue chip; this is why from a financial reason qualification is something of a necessity. Thursday night against Steau Red Lion from Milan in the Europa League does not carry the same cache. Kazakhstan
Therefore Wednesday’s game in
carries a great deal of significance. A must win game and a game in which you need your best players. Given the injuries and general lack of quality you would think that Samir Nasri; who is under contract to Arsenal Football Club, would be part of the team. Playing him allegedly reduces his value; this seems an unusual consideration given that the planet’s richest club wants him. If he plays and we qualify surely the finances then generated off set any dip in value and if Wenger leaves him out because ‘the player’ wishes to be left out and Arsenal fail to qualify, what does that tell the football world about our priorities? Italy
I have my own views about us having to, yet again; go through a qualifying game given our League position in March/April. One can talk all day about Man Utd.
and City’s money but that was not the cause of Arsenal’s plummet from the top of the table last season. Be that as it may we face a must win game on Wednesday and need the best eleven available. In my view that includes Samir Nasri. Chelsea
Player power, commerce and the needs of a football Club can make strange bedfellows.
Things are getting Shakespearean at Emirates
Monday, 22 August 2011
Sheffield steel courtesy of UK media
So everyone’s getting on the Anti arsenal bandwagon; our Manager has been on the receiving end of typical tabloid stupidity as they rabbit on and on about the demise of our 125 year old club. I have a number of issues with him but he’s OUR manager. The team are being slated as not good enough; not their fault and they’re OUR team. Don’t get me wrong ’freedom of speech and all that’ but, unlike those paid for an opinion, I invest financially in my club each July and I feel I have the right to voice an opinion. Those ‘outsiders’ who are quick to criticise have admittedly, been given the ammunition by our Manager and Board but, and here’s the thing, it is all done with such glee. The Northern centric media love it. One thing I would say is that the authorities have done little to help with the general bad vibes around our club. Barca’s shameless tapping up and Mancini’s outrageous comments regarding Nasri have gone unchallenged. As a club we have done little to challenge this behaviour. Perhaps it’s a dignity thing, perhaps its lack of will to do so.
The only real way in football to respond when you are beleaguered and being written off is on the pitch; qualify on Wednesday and beat the Champions at the weekend ( with a bit of good luck for a change please) and it will go some way to shutting up those external cat calls. We the fans of Arsenal know that their are deeply embedded problems at our club but I for one will not stand for those supposed experts and ex players giggling with delight at our tribulations.
hopefully not the same old story on Sunday
Now more than ever the lads need our support. Simplistic as it sounds those players currently charged with wearing the red and white are as much victims of the clubs ineptitude as us the fans. Injuries not withstanding, Wilshire, Ramsey, Frimpong and Cszesny probably knew they were better than Denilson, Eboue, Diaby and Almunia but had to sit back and watch. Walcott and Arshavin probably felt that they would be better through the middle but had to play where they were told. Bendtner; although nowhere near as good as he thinks he is, knew that he was not a winger, but orders are orders. Vermaelan probably looked forward to the acquisition of an experienced partner but has to just get on with it. Yes they are paid top dollar to play football but if they care about their club as I believe a number of them do, they are more than likely waiting for additions to the squad as we all are, waiting for a train that never comes it seems
Even at this ridiculously late stage the manager needs to do what’s best for Arsenal Football club. That means playing Nasri on Wednesday to give us the best change to qualify. It means buying some players with experience and it means giving those squad members who want to play for the badge decent team mates that will support them, guide them and bring a bit of oomph back to the Arsenal. It’s still not too late to change things for the short term, but I feel the long term prognosis is still cause for concern
on sale in the Armoury AFC STAB PROOF VEST
Sunday, 21 August 2011
There seems little point banging on about Wenger and the board, I feel I’ve more or less run out of invective; therefore I’m going to talk about the team. The 14 players that appeared for Arsenal against
Liverpool yesterday acquitted themselves reasonably well despite the scoreline.
Frimpong looked the best of the bunch in a lineup that was youth heavy. His inexperience led to his red card. Up to that point I think Dalgleish would have been happy with a draw as much as us. Going down to ten men and experiencing some ridiculously timed back luck cost us the three points.
Nasri, who was somewhat the centre of attention put in a good performance as did a number of the team. What the usually lackadaisical Arshavin lacked in quality he made up for with work rate. RVP was unfortunate not to score and Walcott had one of his indifferent days. Vermaelan was imperious and Cszescny was solid throughout; little he could do about both goals. The team was crying out for a little bit of experience in the ranks and we all know the answer to that is not down to the players.
The next two games are important for the shape of the season; Worse scenario Arsenal go into The Europa League and are on the receiving end of a morale deflating defeat at Old Trafford. Good performances in both will boost the fledglings and hopefully galvanize the older players. And of course some signing wouldn’t go amiss.
Despite the shortcoming and issues at the club it seemed to me that our team yesterday were almost in a ‘let’s just get on with it’ mood. The areas lacking have been well documented and this mixture of youth and experience looked to be playing for the shirt, if not the manager. Which is all you could ask for really.
Saturday, 20 August 2011
Confidence is low. No doubt about that and with the press, fans and media experts sticking the knife in and twisting, us Arsenal fans are a beleagured set of people with our own dissatisfactions. As the Sports world like to do, they have deified 'King' Kenny and all those ex-Liverpool pundits that proliferate, are talking about this being their year. "Surely a trip to an under strength Arsenal at the Emirates is a given three pointer" the Scousers declare. What with another Hilsborough related petition doing the rounds, the profile of the rightly famous Liverpool Football Club is high. We have our own issues though.
I like playing Liverpool and they haven't beaten us at home for quite some time; in fact last season's draw should have been a home win, but we all know what happened then.
This Arsenal team, short of power, invention and first team players has an opportunity to signal some intent by beating a team who are still a top opponent. Arsenal V Liverpool still reatians the status of a top level proper fixture regardless of the status of both teams currently.
Ahead of a tricky away game in Italy and a trip to the Champions some points and a victory may help to ease some of the palpable anxiety at The Emirates.
Here's a couple of the great goals scored in this fixture
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