Forward?

Morning Gooners

 

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to blog due a holiday, work and illness. However, during that time the dark clouds have once again gathered over Arsenal FC. The worst thing about writing that sentence is the need to insert the word ‘again’ in to it. The fact is the dark clouds have never been far away over the last 3 seasons.

 

Last season the club made the decision to use the word ‘forward’ to create a motto for the 125th anniversary of our club. In some ways they were right, historically Arsenal have always been an innovative and forward thinking club. In the 1930′s Herbert Chapman pioneered the use of numbers on shirts, flood light games, revolutionary tactics and the naming of ‘Arsenal’ station.

 

Arsene Wenger has changed the mentality of the modern footballer through nutritional knowledge, a clubs use of their scouting networks, his footballing beliefs, creating success without spending millions and finally successfully moving Arsenal into a bigger and more lucrative stadium without suffering the same fate as other clubs who have move to new stadiums. (See Coventry, Middlesbrough, Southampton, Sunderland and others).

That was 2006, in 2012 is this club still moving ‘forward’???

Financially, most definitely. There isn’t another club in the Premier League or Europe in a better financial position that us. You can look at all the Forbes rich lists you want but the likes of United and Barca have debt levels they can not sustain. When we secured the cash to fund the move to the Emirates stadium, we locked into some pretty awful commercial deals as we needed money upfront to finance the big move. Fast forward to 2014 and many of these deals are now coming to an end. Emirates have already acted but committing £150million across 5 years to the club and from what I’ve read, I expect Adidas to complete a circa £25million per season a deal to be Arsenal’s new kit manufacturers from 2014. (Bringing us in line with Man United.)

If the financial fair play league is implemented with any vigour by UEFA or the Premier League, Arsenal will be in a very strong position indeed. However, if UEFA struggle to implant FFP, Arsenal will have ‘wasted’ years of direction and dedication to a policy that was never implemented. A massive risk.

What about where it matters, on the football pitch?

Well unfortunately, the ‘forward’ motto can not truly be applied. Since 2006, Arsenal have gradually moved ‘backwards’. Arsenal have always sold players who were close but past their prime; Vieira, Henry, Wiltord, Sol and more. However since 2006 we have unwillingly be ‘forced’ to sell players reaching their prime as their ambitions have outweighed our potential. The likes of Nasri, Cashley,Clichy, Cesc and recently RVP have all been tarnished with the brush of greedy footballers but deep down we all know they left chasing success along with a higher wage. Everyone of the players mentioned above have gone on to win trophies while Arsenal watch on with nothing.

Not everyone can win something every season but those that have ambitions will compete right? Unfortunately Arsenal are no longer truly competing for the top English and European honours. We are a tough challenge for teams at the top of the league but they do not fear us like they once did.

Our standards have horrendously slipped, from watching talents like Anelka, Vieira and RVP burst on the scene and create a devastating impact on the league, we now watch Gervinho, Ramsey and Walcott struggle to create any sort of impression on the first team let alone the league.

On Saturday 1st December 2012, Arsenal lost 2-0 at home toSwanseaCity.Swansea restricted Arsenal to 44% possession and simply outfootballed Wenger’s Arsenal in their own backyard. Saturday was a humbling with a large slice of humiliating served up on the side. When Arsenal previously dropped points through missed chances, I always said ‘as long as we keep create chances we’ll be fine’. Unfortunately we create little to nothing these days, see games against Villa,Norwich,Swansea and more for recent examples. We lack players willing to fight of the cause and the only one who I truly believe hurts like fans do, made the mistake that led to the second Swansea goal; Jenkinson.

I really could go on but something has to give soon. If the players are ‘jaded’ and ‘tired’ well we need a bigger squad, it’s only bloody December! We need to sign personnel in January.

If players don’t want to fight for the cause, move them on and bring in players that do.

Finally, if the manager is struggling to attract the players that could make a difference, motivate the squad to win simple games and tactically set us up to win games; then maybe we really are watching the end of Wenger’s reign.

Personally, I hope it doesn’t end like this.

~ Tottz

 

Feel free to follow me on twitter @Tottz82

  • Berth

    Tottz empires crumble.

  • sean

    ltimately unsurprised by the result aswell as the dire performances from
    Gervinho and Ramsay. On the bright side, seing Rosicky back to his old
    self is good to see, and that young Meade kid, great to see players
    like that come through. I still have faith In Chamakh and believe that a
    run of games is what he needs to be of some use to us. Can’t be much
    worse than Gervinho of whom I have lost all faith In . Still waiting on
    Ramsay to produce his best form but I forgot he hasn’t reached the final
    year of his contract just yet. As for January Transfers, A bid for
    Hangeland really shouldn’t go amiss, should It?Anyone know If there is
    any truth in the strikers we are being linked to? (Huntelaar, Llorente,
    Lopez, etc.) Am I mistaken or are we not already equipped in that
    department in Wenger’s mind?

  • Arsefan101

    Looking at the current team, who would get into Man City’s line-up?

    Maybe Jack Wilshere if he gets back to full fitness but unfortunately, I can’t think of anyone else.

  • german

    The Arsenal empire is dis-integrating faster than we can watch it!!

  • dean

    Watched last night in dismay. Our team is terrible. Rosicky was the only
    positive along with Meade who was on his first senior début so
    congratulations to him. Jenkinson did ok also. But as for the rest its
    very worrying. The Verminator should be renamed somethign else, where
    are the animal instincts gone? the OX has been converted to a lamb,
    worringly his progress path is beginning to mirror that of Walcoot.
    Gervhino is the only winger when in a one on one situation will never
    try to get past the oppposition, happy to run up the wing while defender
    easily shields him from the inside. Infact the only time I see Gervhino
    try and go past is when there are 3 or more defenders and it is
    physically impossible to get the ball past them even had it been shot
    out of a cannon. Ramsey is an articulated likeable young player, but at
    the moment he is useless. Gives away the ball more than most, has no
    positioning and his defending abilities are utter tosh. I don’t think he
    will ever amount to much, I hope he proves me wrong but for last 2
    years has done nothing. I don’t want replies about his injury, thats
    over and done with its about time he pulled up his socks. No point in
    point fingers at Squillachi and Chamack, any players who hadn’t played
    in so long weren’t going to come in and make much of an impression.

  • sevin

    look, we’ve qualified for the knock-out stages with that squad. I
    think I’d be far more peeved if, for example, I supported a club who
    spent a millionty-bazillion on players with petrocash and didn’t manage a
    single win in the group stages. The only oil we have is the stuff
    plastered on the top of Chamakh’s head. So a little perspective is no
    bad thing. We might well be struggling but we’ve done what we needed to
    do in this competition so far.

    Some may complain that finishing second will give us a more difficult
    draw for the knock-out stages, which may be true, but winning the group
    would put is in the same pot as Real Madrid as much as second sticks us
    in with Barcelona. Depending on results we could get Malaga or we could
    get Bayern Munich. Whoever we draw it’s going to be a tough game,
    especially given the state we’re in at the moment, but it’ll be the new
    year when that game takes place and with some January additions maybe it
    won’t all seem so scary.

  • sevin

    forget man city…that’s a different ball game..let’s first tackle the likes of stoke, west ham, west brom and more seriously liverpool…i seriously feel wenger is the problem and not the team…he cannot seem to muster any courage out of the players

  • BergkampGooner

    So Tottz, the question is should Wenger stay or should he go?

  • worldofarsenal

    There are some interesting points there.

    I do think Man City have an excellent group of players, and it’s safe to say a lot of their players would walk into our side. However, the reality is that it is two different ball games.

  • limet

    Third or fourth isn’t good enough and the fans have become brainwashed
    into thinking its a great result. Lee Dixon hit the nail on the head in his assessment of whats happened at the club and it needs
    to change. I only had the volume on at H/T and F/T because I can’t bear
    listening to Andy Townsend calling Szczesny Sir Chesney all night. We
    are as you rightly say only 5 points off of third as was the case last
    year, problem is the other teams are getting stronger and Arsenal are
    going backwards, not necessarily quickly, just a little every season,
    buts that’s been the case for the last 8 years which leaves us what we
    are now, a team capable of playing really good football but incapable of
    challenging for a major trophy.

  • limet

    Crisis you exclaim, what crisis, after selling their best players every year for the last 8
    it’s exactly what everyone expected to happen, Arsenal would become a
    very rich team that struggles. Don’t despair though, once again yet
    another annually re-built team will get stronger in the final half of
    the season, pinch fourth spot in the league, and then it all starts over
    again with even more money in the bank and more players sold. Bill
    Murray should be Wenger’s assistant, he knows all about Groundhog Day.

  • sevin

    Like so many they start following Arsenal after a triumph in this case
    the double.I became an Arsenal fan in 1975 just after we had finished
    16th.
    If it’s purely about the way the club is run,then what you are saying is
    you want Arsenal to be like Citeh,Manure and the Chavs and just buy
    trophies which any true Arsenal fan should detest.
    Is it really that tough following Arsenal even when Arsenal are at their
    worst they were still better than 90% of the other teams to watch.
    The Hornbyesque it’s so difficult and I am so loyal to follow Arsenal is
    ridiculous,It’s easy following The Arsenal.
    Having to travel up and down the country to watch Stoke West Ham or
    Sunderland,now that would be hard.
    It all boils down to the fact that Arsenal are struggling and the WOB’s
    don’t have the backbone to handle it.
    Listening to them weep to the oh so pleased Adrian Durham last night on
    talk sport was so amusing.
    At least a couple Wenger supporters rang in to put them straight,even
    though as usual they were not listened to. As I have said before the
    media has an agenda they want Usmanov in and they use the weak Wob’s and
    people like Stewat Robson,Piers Morgan,Frank Mclintock and talk sport
    in particular to achieve their aims.
    How often do you hear these people say.”I feel sorry for the Arsenal
    fans,” and many Arsenal fans fall right into their trap.
    As my grandad would say “Up the Gunners”.

  • chris

    it is rather amazing how many illiterates claim to be arsenal fans (i
    used to think that was a chelsea thing). only an illiterate will carry
    on with these ‘AKB’ or ‘WOB’ babble: if you are an arsenal fan, you are
    an arsenal fan pronto! you can express an opinion for or against the
    team, management, board or the color of the sky during the last game; or
    whatever you wish to express an opinion about. People can agree or
    disagree (it’s a free world); but those who come on here just to label
    others as ‘AKBs’ or ‘WOBs’ or whatever other fanciful acronymn are
    simply illiterates and are simply a minority as i have been going to the
    games for over 30 years now and majority of the fans i have sat next to
    over the years have been very intelligent, literate and i wish those
    folks can join the onlinegooner forum so we can move away from what we
    currently have, which is a majority of illiterates who only seek a
    cowardly outlet for their anger or issues elsewhere.
    Arsenal as a club needs a change; there isnt any other way to look at
    it. for years we wondered who could replace wenger; now there are a few
    credible managers out there (e.g. Pep Guardiola) but the unfortunate
    circumstances are that such managers may struggle to please a board that
    is used to having a golden donkey (wenger) who transformed from a
    winning-manager to a money-making machine
    eitherway, let’s put the club first; continue to give 100% support and
    have less of these self-centred rubbish about ‘divorce’ or ‘protesting
    mid-season’ and all those counter-productive crap that usually indicates
    a high level of illiteracy!

  • sevin

    you’re having a laugh if you think I’m bitter like you anti-Wenger
    brigade. I’m not the one abusing a man who has given so much for the
    club and poisoning people’s minds with their negativity. Some of you lot
    even go as far as wanting the club to lose matches, because it might
    have a slight chance that the man you hate so much will get the sack.
    You lot should look in the mirror before calling someone bitter. I don’t
    fear change, but I find it amusing you “Wenger Out” rabble think it’s
    so easy to manage a football like the armchair managers you people
    really are. Wanting ridiculous requests like bringing in overrated
    managers and wanting to spend millions on players that will put Arsenal
    into further debt. Anyway, another one bites the dust, Chelsea is out of
    the Champions League. It’s funny cause a lot you WOB want Arsenal to be
    like Chelsea with their big spending and constant changing of managers.
    You lot should be proud that Arsenal managed to make it to the knockout
    stage and praise Wenger for getting us there. Arsene knows best.
    @Goonergirl: the only mercenaries in the club were the likes of Nasri,
    Adebayor and RVP, who the WOB still worships, even though he back
    stabbed the club and Wenger, the man that made him the player he is
    today. Walcott will be added in that list, if he doesn’t sign soon

  • dean

    @sevin/limet…my ideas lie in between the two of you.

    One thing I do know though is that the manager’s post-match remarks
    are really beginning to grate, and it is this, as much as the results,
    which are putting him in danger of damaging his incredible legacy. He’s
    become a huge figure of fun, perhaps best illustrated by the superb
    ‘Wenger Knows Best’ Twitter parody.

    The jaded/handbrake lines
    have been dusted down and presented almost on a match-by-match basis in
    the past couple of weeks – so much so that I am unsure whether the squad
    needs a weekend at a health spa or a once-over at Kwik Fit. I suspect
    the latter, and can almost image a mechanic taking a look at the likes
    of Diaby, pursing his lips and saying “That’s gonna cost you a few quid…
    I’ll have to order the parts.”

    We must invest in January, of that
    there can be little doubt. Regardless of whose fault it is that the
    squad is so tired, you cannot simply keep running the same players into
    the ground week in and week out, especially when they are new to the
    Premier League like Santi, Podolski and Giroud, and expect them to keep
    performing.

    Equally, we cannot persist with those who continually
    fail to deliver, Gervinho being the best case in point. The African
    Nations Cup is back on in January and, while some Premier League clubs
    will be dreading the thought of losing key players for a few weeks, I’ll
    happily run Gervinho to the airport now if he wants to make an early
    start.

    As for Diaby, in whom the manager apparently placed so much
    faith at the start of the season, it has surely gone far enough now.
    Undoubtedly a talented player, we saw that at Anfield just a few weeks
    ago, he is now seemingly trapped in ‘Groundhog Three Weeks’. This is
    similar to ‘Groundhog Day’, but at the end of each three-week period, he
    is still three weeks away from returning to the squad.

    It needs
    freshening up, that’s my belief. Wenger almost needs to go out and do
    what he hasn’t done before and get some players in for the sake of it,
    not because we don’t have the numbers. We do have the numbers, but when
    you clearly don’t trust some of them to feature (Chamakh, Arshavin etc)
    then get rid of them and get some players in who will.

    I’m also
    not averse to him bringing in some more experienced players. The Lampard
    story is (probably) laughable, but he’s got an exemplary record, is
    allegedly fit and raring to go, has won medal after medal at Chelsea and
    has the kind of personality that our current, shaky team, really needs.
    I’m not saying that he’s necessarily the man, but you get the idea…

    Anyway,
    what was it that inspired these few words? It was this quote from the
    club website: “You have to keep the focus, the desire and the ambition,
    and turn it on. That’s how it works in the season. You cannot always
    jump to definitive conclusions from one game.”

    For me, this is the
    saddest thing – the hideous inevitability about it all. Come on,
    Arsène, no one is jumping to conclusions from one game, this has been
    coming, this is the result of a long period of mismanagement,
    stubbornness, non-investment, lack of ambition (delete according to your
    own preference – or add your own).

    Man City losing at home and
    then the media crying “crisis!” would be people jumping to conclusions –
    not Arsenal being outplayed by Swansea and losing at The Emirates.
    That’s like saying that Lee Cattermole’s latest red card is the first
    blemish on his disciplinary record!

    As I said, I don’t have all
    the answers, and I am sure that most of the supporters don’t either, but
    one thing we should all agree on is that it needs sorting out, and it
    needs sorting out fast.

    We do want our Arsenal back – the one that
    actually competes and looks like it’s in with a shout of winning
    silverware, even though we know that’s not guaranteed, and always
    finishes above Tottenham, while playing good football. That one…

  • worldofarsenal

    dean sevin limet

    The key things are that we have to address the squad balance.

    None of the existing team would get into any of Wenger’s previous teams. We don’t really do one touch anymore.

    When Wenger was brought in, it was completely different ball game. Our scouting has been replicated and mass produced – therefore – what can we do that’s different to:

    1) Keep our existing players
    2) Sign proper players (not Gervinho + Chamakh)

    That’s the answer that Wenger has to address!

  • limet

    Yes, but again we come back to the million $ question…does wenger actually know any of this?> He believes gervinho is world class, persists with the inept ramsey-think he has officially lost the plot..the sooner he goes the better

  • veny

    Due to the nature of the line-up, this means very little to the team
    that faced Swansea last weekend and is likely to turn out for West Brom
    next. However, the lack of composure on the ball seemed very familiar. A
    word for the young left back Meade though. I thought he performed well
    all things considered. And a word for Chamakh, Gervinho and Ramsey… Go.
    Please.

  • erwin

    There are two corners Arsenal need to turn: the much needed
    short-term one, and the more strategic long-term one. This post is not
    about the latter, but only about whether Arsenal can get back to winning
    ways imminently.

    In many ways, the start of the season has been bizarre:

    How is it possible that we conceded 16 goals in the PL and MU 21, and yet they are 15 points better off than us?

    How is it possible that we conceded only six goals in eight away
    games, yet only won two games, whilst MU conceded twelve but won six
    games on their journeys?

    How is it possible that our four top-scorers in all competitions
    have scored only one less than MU’s four top-scorers, five more than
    Chelsea and four more than MC, and we are still trailing all three in
    the league?

    Arsenal have scored 45 goals in all competitions; MU 50; Chelsea 55,
    and MC 40, and yet we are well behind all of them in the league.

    Initially, I thought it was to do with our goal-scoring record in the
    Premier League this season. It has not been great, especially in away
    games, but we scored one goal less than Chelsea and are yet five points
    behind them; and four goals less than MC and we are an eye-watering
    twelve points behind them.

    It is hard to come to any definite conclusion based on the above
    mentioned facts, but what they do tell me is that we are a team that
    needs to find a better balance between scoring goals and keeping a tight
    defence; that our team has not settled down yet and is still looking
    for its shape and rhythm.

    Is it too easy to say; it is the price Arsenal have to pay for
    letting once again two (possible three) star players go and having to
    incorporate three attack-minded players into our team? Maybe it is, but
    we are where we are, and I am at this moment in time, much more
    interested in what can be done to properly kick-start the season, so
    Arsenal can get the balance right and start winning games again.

  • limet

    Did everybody’s hearts sink (like mine) reading reports in the Press
    that Sagna would be off this Jan or by the end of the season? There’s a
    poster today comparing like for like with the Invincible s – I remember
    doing the same, and with GGs title-winning sides, ages ago (when we
    still had RVP) – I believe with Steved, Arsh, Robbo, mightyg and others -
    and the consensus was that only Robin and Bacary would get a place in
    the Invincible squad and a place in GGs first team. So (it seems) yet
    another of our last first-quality players will be on his way. Along with
    Theo, it appears. Now we still get the lunatic fringe on here claiming
    that this is all Arsene’s doing (apparently he gets a massive cut of
    Arsenal profits). That’s why he doesn’t give a damn that his best
    players are sold off each year. And because the wage policy is HIS
    invention, he can’t abide high-earners on the pay-roll past their
    sell-by date (30 years old). And though he has always had £70m in the
    transfer pot (probably £140m by now) he doesn’t choose to spend any
    because that too would reduce his cut. Does any intelligent person take
    any of this nonsense seriously? Can you imagine what it must be like for
    Arsene to see his side sabotaged, dismantled each year. To have to
    comfort great and loyal players (Edu, Pires, Lundjberg, Gilberto – the
    list is endless) brusquely discarded. What kind of loyalty does that
    promote in those who remain? You have it on record here: Jack may well
    sign an extended contract, but you can bet your bottom dollar that his
    agent will ensure a get-out clause. And so he should. Because at 29
    years old, the most Ivan (heaven forbid he’s still around) will offer
    him is a one-year extension. Can you wonder at the low morale?

  • anjam

    If all that you say is true, then why doesn’t Wenger say something eh?
    By his silence, he condemns himself. The reality is, he is as much to
    blame as the rest, because he supplements their policies with his
    compliance.

  • cerd

    i can’t even bare to think of another defeat this saturday and what it would do to us as a club.the way we are playing is so hard to imagine because we do have some very good players at afc who are in truth not performing.i think the only thing you can do is put the work in on the training pitch and just wait for the players to gain confidence again. of course it would help as well if wenger picked his best possible side with pace in wide areas.a week,month are long times in this game and while there is a lot of doom and gloom at the club at the moment,but,that can change in a heartbeat.what gives us a chance is that the prem lge is not of a quality from previous one’s.we aint going to compete with the mancs although i do have to say that watching them can be dull and boring.their big advantage of course the cutting edge up front where they can play no better than us but have the recources to win the game and get 3 points. we have 5 big prem lge games this month plus an important cup tie at bradford next week.this next 4/5 weeks will define the rest of the season for me.oh wouldn’t it be nice to be 4th in the table,be in the semi-final of the lge cup,plus be in the forth rd of the fa cup come jan 6th.santa, please,i don’t ask for much this christmas