The Demise Of Arsenal Football Club?

A bit extreme? Maybe. Then again maybe not.

People will accuse me of jumping on the bandwagon after defeat at Fulham yesterday but since the summer there has been a general unrest amongst Arsenal fans.

But if anything I should have written this years ago. At least then it would have been more prophetic.

We lose experienced Premier League players such as Flamini, Hleb, Gilberto and Diarra, and apart from Samir Nasri the arrivals to replace them are hardly going to excite the fans.

We’ve brought Mikael Silvestre (£750k), Amaury Bischoff (Free) and Aaron Ramsey (£5m) – one of which is a 17 year old and the other two have big injury problems hanging over them. Our squad also contains Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky and Robin Van Persie who spend more time on the treatment table than on the pitch.

You can harp on about the state of the squad once we get our injured players back but it seems like Diaby and Rosicky are destined to never get a decent run in the side. And the purchase of Silvestre and Bischoff has most Arsenal fans scratching their heads – are we so desperate for players that we have to resort to injury-prone personnel?

Would Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool ever do that?

The fact is that since the invincibles season, we’ve become a selling club. Probably because of the Emirates Stadium. I mean look at Wenger – he’s waiting for the last week of the transfer window so we can get cut-priced players! We have no money, despite what crap you hear from Arsenal.
Just think of Arsenal as an Ajax Amsterdam.

People ask why didn’t Arsene strengthen the squad last January so we could push on with our title challenge? It’s because he’s got no money to do so. Remember Wenger had no problem forking out around £12 million for Reyes in 2004 to reinforce an already awesome squad. We were spoilt for choice that season. This was a squad that had a midfield choice of Wiltord, Ljungberg, Vieira, Edu, Gilberto, Pires, Reyes and Parlour. Players full of experience, power and excellent technical ability. At the weekend against Fulham we had Denilson and Eboue in central midfield. How on earth did things get so bad?

Since 2004 another trend that’s begun is the fortunes of departing players. We used to say that players leaving the club were going to see out their careers but is that really the case these days? Patrick Vieira left for Italy and he’s won the Italian league. Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb have joined AC Milan and Barcelona – two of Europe’s real superpowers. Thierry Henry is at Barcelona too, and even Jose Antonio Reyes joined Real Madrid when he left. Wiltord went to Lyon and won a couple of French titles, and Ashley Cole is at Chelsea.

Hardly terrible destinations for those players are they?

I hate to say it but those players have got more chance of winning honours at their new clubs then they would do at Arsenal. And that is heart-breaking to even say.

And we haven’t even talked about Emmanuel Adebayor who wanted to leave the club in the summer. We keep hearing Arsene talking about how we should get off Adebayor’s back after the summer but that just reeks of desperate damage-limitation.

Things look to get worse before they will get better. And maybe that is the whole point.

Arsene’s policy on youngsters is obviously driven by the lack of funds at the club. Before the financial constraints he didn’t have a problem bringing in experienced players like Emmanuel Petit, Marc Overmars, Giles Grimandi, Nwankwo Kanu, Sol Campbell, Gilberto Silva – the list goes on.

The fact is Arsenal will have to go through a few more seasons without silverware before they can even consider challenging for honours. And the problem is you’re playing a dangerous game, because even when we are ready to compete in the transfer market again to buy quality players attracting the very top players is going to be difficult since titles speak volumes. Who is going to want to join a football club which has been trophy-less for years?

Arsene knows we’re in no state to challenge for the Premier League.

He’ll never say it in public, but he knows we’re miles off. That’s why he hasn’t spent anything! Why waste valuable money on buying players when we’re never going to win the title. Wenger is playing the waiting game and will only spend the money when he truly believes we can challenge for the biggest honours. But is that going to be in one, two or three years time?

That’s the big question.

And don’t even get me started on Gareth Barry. He is not the solution to our problems and has to be one of the most overrated players in the Premier League. On the state of the squad this season we need at least 3 or 4 experienced players to even think about challenging for the league, but we all know that’s never going to happen.

33 thoughts on “The Demise Of Arsenal Football Club?

  1. very well written article. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. The fans have to let the board know that they had enough. The fans cant be contented paying so much money to support a sub-standard team. Demand for change must come. David Dein is right – Arsenal needs cash injection.

  2. Holy, leaping mother of god. Arsenal have lost a game. Tsunami, Hurricane, Earthquake etc . . . The title race is over, we are incredibly shit with no prospects, no money and having taken only 3 points from a possible 6. Throw away your scarves, burn your shirts, it’s the end of the world. David Dein was right. We need to spend gazillions like Chelsea to beat the likes of Fulham away from home. . . Is it worth going on, there are only 9 months of the season left. We have surely no chance now or was it just an early season game without Fabregas?

  3. I like this article but if your premise for declaring that the club has no money is Wenger’s reluctance to buy, then I think that’s a big jump. I agree that a long time before the end of last season we needed 3 or 4 players but now that need is desperate. My feeling is that the loss of Dein has left a vacuum and Arsene wants to achieve something with a cheaply assembled and inexperienced squad. One can only speculate why this should be so. But yesterday was most certainly horrible. I would have thought that Usmanov and Dein’s return is probably less than a year away now.

  4. Matt, Wiltord would often play out wide on the wing when Bergkamp and Henry were up top. Even Kanu usually got the nod as a forward before Wiltord.

    King Richard, you’re full of shit. We don’t want to spend ‘gazillions’. You are surely one of the ‘Wenger Knows’ brigade and think we can do no wrong. I bet you think Jeffers and Richard Wright were good signings don’t you?

    The article fails to point out that we even had quality reserves in midfield as well – we had Gio as well! Jesus, if we had a player like Gio now he would be in the starting line up today.

    THAT sums up the sad state of affairs today, when Gio (our ninth choice midfielder) would get a game every week! We’re pathetic these days.

  5. I’ve said it on other blogs and will say it again ….. either get behind AW and the team that he can afford, or do one and go and support another team. Yes it would be nice to win 3 trophies every season for the next ten years, but it ain’t gonna happen. Get use to it, being a supporter is just that – you support what you’ve got, yea, granted you pay your money to watch them (if you do) and you can moan if they play badly. What you then do, is move on from that and SUPPORT your team !! no matter what (look up supporter in the dictionary, see what the criteria are). Back your team or go find another one …….. i am p**sed off by the griping and moaning – you ask 80% of the other prem supporters if they would want to be in out terrible position (even a bunch of truthful Spud supporters would swap tomorrow) …… I’m so tired of this negativity, just Bl**dy support your team ! …. Arsenal 4 Life – my Arse !

  6. **** off.. Arsene would never go into a new season n think he cant win wit the current squad he has.. thats bull.. n if NAsri can replace Hleb.. which it looks like he can n score more goals which looks like he can.. n Arsene buys a CM like he said to replace Flamini plus we have an exprienced 3rd choice CB instead of Senderos.. n Vela n Ramsey as new additions y the hell nt cant we better the four points difference last season? u shouldnt be an Arsenal fan if u don believe we have a chance.. n he didnt wait for the last week of the deadline to sign Nasri for 12 mil did he? we know we need to sort our game out bt to say we arent contenders for the title is bull so **** off write an article usin common sense

  7. Big Ern. Are you suggesting that nobody has the right to critisise anything that Arsene does or the club and that if they do then they should go and support another club?

  8. big ern you think that your a true arsenal fan cause you stand there cheering with your pom poms even when were playing crap like yesterday well thats bs, a true arsenal fan would show it if they felt that players like eboue shouldent be wearing an arsenal because we do love the club and care if these crap players are dragging us down

  9. A terrible result and we certainly need another experienced midfielder but not the end of the world. I think AW sees the huge potential we have and is gambling we can achieve it and establish a dynasty rather than bring in short term fixes.
    Is he right? Only time will tell but we certainly, in my view, need a relacement for Flamini. I was expecting to see Song in midfield partnering Denilson as Eboue “may” be a good RM but he is no CM.

  10. For fuck’s sake…
    Those Gooners old enough to remember the sterile sixties are more than happy living in Arsene Wenger’s Golden Age which is happening right now!
    The man knows what he is doing, trust him.

  11. AW allowed Flamini and Hleb to leave.These two were balancing the young team.and the team is not allowed to grow together to get the results.He allows break up easily even when it shoud not be.Look at Fergie.
    He cannot replace them now. Same with Traore ,the swiss defenders etc.

    His football judgement is impaired for a while now to the extent he considers the economics more important. Without football where is YOUR economics?

    Top 10 finish is possible but never top 4 in 2009
    Forget about winning anything.

    AW has flattered to deceive.Time to bring Tony as Asst and take a back seat AW.

  12. I can’t believe Van Persie is in negotiations for a new and improved contract for doing absolutely nothing. He hasn’t had a good, important game for us for since the start of last season so what has he done to warrant this? He’s probably my favourite player in the squad but Flamini deserved the pay rise much more than him.

  13. For those of us that are berating Denilson, I think it was just one of those days where nothing went right and his confidence was low. Gallas should’ve picked the team up and had a word with the young Denilson who was struggling in front of him. Gallas has never impressed me as a leader, whenever my team mates make a mistake in any sport, I don’t shout at them, I just get on with it and tell the player to pick it up a bit. He has a good fighting spirit but he fails to inspire and I don’t see enough respect for him from the players. Having said that, he may have been feeling uncomfortable having a word with another player about his performance considering his mistake for the goal, but a captain should be able to do that.

  14. Ha ha ha ha! The knee-jerk arm-chair nouveau Arsenal fans are out in force – The demise of Arsenal!! ha ha ha! For real fans around during the disappointing eighties etc, these kind of remarks are pure comic genius!! Wenger out! Hee hee hee! Four points off the top last season and two games into this season and suddenyl it’s the demise of Arsenal football club, a club who are probably in a healthier state than any other in the country, if not the world.

    Then again, why trust in Wenger’s managerial ability when we have blogging muppets to tell him and everyone how it should be done – after all, managing a Premier League side is easy, eh!

    Show some class, some perspective and sone class in your analysis of the club you claim to support. Two games in and the season is over? Get ye to a Championshp Manager game. It’s where you belong.

  15. Um no actually. We dont need Russian money. Arsenal is not in demise. The problem is the immaturity of youth, not a lack of talent. What the display at Fulham smacked of was unprofessional disinterest by most of our players there. Not a lack of ability or of talent.

    Nice article, but I think you are panicking just a little too prematurely. I think Diaby can fill in for Flamini. Denilson looked bad on Saturday coz he was trying to fill in the creative gap left by Walcott & Nasri pissing the afternoon away. He is defensive, not creative. The lack of creativity became clear when van Persie moved into the middle and things started clicking.

    Its very serious but Id rather Denilson has a bad day (as he did at Fulham) but gives everything than have the kind of nonsense Walcott & Nasri peddled. Look, I really do NOT care how good they were last weekend, at Fulham. I question both their desire and seriousness. How did Clighy & Sagna completed more (and better) crosses into the box than them? For crying out loud, they are full backs! That should embarrass both Walcott and Clighy.

    What Arsene needs to do is make it crystal clear to all the squad that anyone that gets to start, better make most of it. Anyone that decides to have a stroll in the park thinking they are untouchable will be subbed at half time, and will stay out until they show they are serious.

    Please dont talk about how we needed Flamini or Cesc. Neither of them was there in the Emirates and Amsterdam tornament a few weeks ago and the lads played quite well without them. Not great, but they were streets ahead of how they did Saturday. No excuses please.

  16. wow, i wonder what your next post would be if arsenal went and put 3 past newcastle next week whilst playing the kind of football we can. Im sure it would be a hell of a lot different than this p***. You cant write these kind of articles until mid-way through the season once we have a proper knowleadge of how our season is paning out. No way in hell can u say that arsenal are in demise after two games into the season. Yes i can understand your bitter after defeat to fulham, we all are, but we have to put that behind us n look towards the next game and if you cant accept it then go and jump on the chelsea or man utd bandwagon

  17. Markflatts and bigern you are deluding yourselfes if you think this is just allright.The game i saw yesterday was worse then some of the absolute utter garbage of the early eighties it was spineless,gutless and prideless and if that isnt damaging just imagine a mercenary like Ade and i deliberately call him a mercenary not a player running around shrugging his shoulders on eighty grand a week.Imagine it was your business that hired a lazy git that mouthed off all summer to your fellow co-workers and against all good judgement you decided to give him a pay rise and he just farted in your face would you like that ????

  18. And for Wenger……….. we are not some sort of experiment we are Arsenal fanbase we wanna win and win trophies………so sort it out or get out.

  19. Danis Gooner, stop being so typical and blaming Ade when he was one of our better performers. He came closest for us with a difficult header and I remember him chasing the ball when no one else would. Oh and he had our single shot on target.

    What I don’t like is that everyone’s suddenly saying Denilson’s crap etc. He’s played 25 PL games for us, most as a sub. His game was off against Fulham but he’s still a good player. It emphasised our need for a DM and I’m sure Wenger will go and buy one. I’d be happy with Alonso because he’s creative and good at sitting in front of the back four and taking long range efforts. I’m sure Wenger will get someone who can do a very good job but I don’t like the fact that he hasn’t bought a DM in the last three months. Flamini had left, Gilberto was past it and I doubt Wenger would’ve started him if he let Gilberto go so easily. ‘I’m too busy’ is not a good excuse and it’s cost us three points already.

    I don’t think the game itself was disastrous, our players have more than enough quality to bounce back but the fact that we performed so poorly is gonna affect the confidence of players like Denilson and having Gallas as captain isn’t exactly comforting for Denilson. The fact is, Denilson shouldn’t have been thrown in at the deep end playing with Ramsey and Eboue. If he had Cesc or Inler/Alonso alongside him, I’m sure he would’ve been more confident, which isn’t a dig at Eboue who was our best midfielder.

    Funny how towards the end of last season, everyone was calling for Walcott to start in front of Eboue and now no one wants Walcott to start either.

  20. please some of u gooners need to get it out of Ur head that Alonso is the
    answer to are DM problems because hes not.He cant even defend we need a Viera type of player how can u play Alonso and Fabagas togerther they are the same type of Fucking players it wouldn’t work Defencively
    please stop it its jarring

  21. Questions after the Fulham match…………….

    Why Denilson not taken off?….most disappointing performance…perhaps would do better with Fabregas as partner

    Why Toure off? the midfield needed a class player…VP was not the man.

    Why put Song in at centre back?….As a replacement, he had ‘legs’ AND TALENT to use in midfield. (He is surely the best replacement for Flamini.)

    Why make Theo the (constant) fall guy…the midfield performance of Eboue & Denilson won nothing in midfield and failed to give him a decent pass.

    Theo often causes damage in the last quarter of matches…why remove him at that same stage?

    Any time EE & Den had the ball, back it went to the back 4. Both had neither penetration nor skill. Why pick them? (My forecast is that Denilson will NOT reach the standard AFC need, Ramsey might)

    Ade & VP also poor…same cause?.

    Why 2 players to take a corner?….infuriating as it does not work (although Fulham were successful !!!…but maybe for different reason….see next question)

    The Senderos errors (particularly at Liverpool) were replicated by Gallas. We need our central defenders to attack a cross. How come the cross reached shin level?….BIG BIG question.

    Djourou played well v WBA….so why drop him?….Toure could have played midfield….why Eboue constantly preferred to others? and in positions that he is unable to contribute, especially at the standard AFC require.

    AND

    Why put Toure on wing (v WBA) ?

  22. Wether we win the next match or not, every Arsenal fan has the right to express his discontent when the team doesn’t perform. For all of you who think Arsene or the board can never be challenged, PLEASE CHECK YOUR HEADS… No one in charge of any business let alone a public institution can be said to be unchallengeable. My main problem with Arsenal is the attitude of the board and the Manager which ofcourse translate to the players. Arsenal could still be Champions last season had the players had the right attitude. Yes the right one about scoring. Why is it that we miss many stupid goal opportunities? Why is it that the manager has a problem with the BUY word? Why is it that fans cannot be told the truth whether we have money to spend or not?

  23. The truth is Wenger has lost the plot a few seasons ago already. When even Sir Alex doesn’t see us as a threat anymore as evidenced by his not even flinching when Silvestre went to us when in the past he would rather die than to give us any kind of aid speaks volumes. It’s clear to anyone with eyes to see that Man U’s only real threats to their title this season is Chelsea and to a lesser extent Liverpool. Perhaps with a little bit of luck we can sneak 4th place this year. I get the sense that many our our stars are just biding their time and are looking at big transfer deals next season. I have a bad feeling about Cesc, VanP and even our best player Clichy and I think it’s a good bet we won’t see them in the team after this season ends if not sooner.

  24. Hey Eddie,
    Not sure if your questions were merely rhetorical or if youre asking for feedback for and a debate in your “Questions after the Fulham Match.” If youre asking for input I think I’ll give it a shot:

    Q: Why Denilson not taken off?….most disappointing performance…perhaps would do better with Fabregas as partner
    A: I think youre right that a partnership with Cesc would be best. But I think its not altogether fair to blame Denilson for the dismal midfield. Hes a DM, and he was quite good at that at WBA and Fulham. Where things went wrong was when he tried to step up and be creative as well, to fill in for the under-performance of the other 3 midfield players. Whose fault is that?

    Q: Why Toure off? the midfield needed a class player…VP was not the man.
    A: Toure was starting his 1st game back since malaria. Playing him for all 90min in a game where the defense was hardly troubled wouldn’t have been wise. Especially if hes gonna start against FC Twenty. I agree that the midfield needed a class player but who would you have chosen to come on from the bench we had to be the creative midfielder instead of van Persie?

    Q: Why put Song in at centre back?….As a replacement, he had ‘legs’ AND TALENT to use in midfield. (He is surely the best replacement for Flamini.)
    A: I agree, but resting Toure was more important. We have 7 starters injured as it is. I still think Diaby and Denilson are better replacements for Gilberto and Flamini but I think Song can give it a go now that Silvestre is with us for that extra cover in the back line.

    Q: Why make Theo the (constant) fall guy…the midfield performance of Eboue & Denilson won nothing in midfield and failed to give him a decent pass.
    A: Look, I know Walcott is the poster boy and our little ‘Rooney’ but he was the worst midfielder at Fulham – THE worst. With all due respect, Walcott thought like you are thinking – that the midfield was supposed to supply him with decent passes. Wrong! He IS a midfield, not a striker. He cant sit back on the edge of the 18 yard line, and wait for Eboue or Denilson to give him the ball. Thats what Ade and RvP are doing. I didnt see Walcott make any decent crosses, and I didnt see him go for or win any of the 50/50 chances. He sucked! Eboue was supposed to fill in for Cesc and be the creative player. He failed. But when Eboue failed, what did Nasri & Walcott do? They sat on the edge watching and waiting. What did Denilson do? He tried to step up and pass the ball longer from his DM positions. Now, with Nasri & Walcott both sitting so far up, that also failed, but who (may I ask) in all this mess tried to do something to rectify the situation? Denilson.

    Q: Theo often causes damage in the last quarter of matches…why remove him at that same stage?
    A: The reason Walcott caused damage in the last quarter last season is coz he only came on as a sub in the final 1/3 of most games he was in. And I think I can say with some conviction that exception for a couple of the final games last season, he was a disappointment whenever he started. Walcott will get there, no doubt, but at Fulham he was really bad.

    Q: Any time EE & Den had the ball, back it went to the back 4. Both had neither penetration nor skill. Why pick them? (My forecast is that Denilson will NOT reach the standard AFC need, Ramsey might)
    A: I think both Denilson and Ramsey are under-rated and will do an excellent job in the near future. The reason why Denilson (and perhaps Eboue) kept passing the ball back was obviously coz Nasri & Walcott were not open. Nasri & Walcott were both so committed to playing the crossing game that they refused to come into the middle to receive the pass and work it the Arsenal way. The gaping hole in midfield was taken up by Fulham and they had easy pickings whenever Denilson or Eboue tried to go for the long pass in frustration. How many times did you see Denilson or Eboue make a pass and Nasri or Walcott just stood there motionlessly waiting for the ball to arrive in their lap on a silver platter, and the Fulham player with more desire intercepting it and breaking up the play? How many times did you see Nasri or Walcott collect the ball and race straight to the by-line…only to realize they had walked straight into a trap and were now surrounded by 3 Fulham players? Only when Clichy & Sagna made a link between Denilson+Eboue and Walcott+Nasri by charging up the side did Ade & RvP get some service.

    Q: Ade & VP also poor…same cause?.
    A: Ade is sulking about being booed and disliked. van Persie really needs a goal. He has not scored in open play for Arsenal since coming back from his long time on the sideline and he is getting desperate and waking at everything that moves. He scores for Holland so the talent is still there. He just gets a little impatient at Arsenal. Once he scores a couple, he’ll be fine.

    Q: Why 2 players to take a corner?….infuriating as it does not work (although Fulham were successful !!!…but maybe for different reason….see next question)
    A: I dont like it much either. I think the short corner gives the ball more pace and an angle thats more difficult for defenders and the keeper to deal with. Given the height problem we have at Arsenal…

    Q:The Senderos errors (particularly at Liverpool) were replicated by Gallas. We need our central defenders to attack a cross. How come the cross reached shin level?….BIG BIG question.
    A: Well I agree, but I think its a difficult to blame Gallas for the goal without asking how that corner even made it into the 12 yard box. Sagna should have volleyed that off to safety, or whoever was guarding the near post.

    Q: Djourou played well v WBA….so why drop him?….Toure could have played midfield….why Eboue constantly preferred to others? and in positions that he is unable to contribute, especially at the standard AFC require.
    A: Toure is better than Djourou at CB and Toure needed the match time after being out with malaria. Wenger gave the reason why Toure wont be moved to midfield in an article on the Arsenal website. Why Eboue is preferred is a mystery to me to. All that I can think of is that he is quite a good crosser of the ball, and hes a lot of pace down
    the wing. Ideally, he should be competing with Walcott for now, before Walcott moves to the middle.

    AND

    Q: Why put Toure on wing (v WBA) ?
    A: No idea. My only guess is he needed to get some games and that was the safest place for him to run a lot without stretching his limbs in awkward (injury risking) ways and not risking the chance that he’d make the random errors you make when its your first day back.

    So, yeah, if you were looking for a little gooner to gooner input then there you have it. I think the whole problem was in midfield. The fact that the 2 biggest culprits are two of our favourites shouldnt blind is to the fact that the difference between how Eboue & Denilson played at Fulham and their best is not as great as the difference between how Narsi & Walcott played at Fulham and their best. Every player needs to graft. No body should be untouchable.

  25. Paul & Wengers Immortals ……. of course you have the right to moan when the team plays badly, every fan does …. but you move on from that and support YOUR team for the next match (some prem sides that Newcastle do it most weeks !)….. We’ve had a couple of bad games at the start of the season and the likes on Wengers Immortals are suggesting relegation ….. grow up !

  26. I couldn’t even read most of this absolute sh*te you’ve written. You’re a f*cking id*ot, without a f*cking clue about the first thing about anything. I hope you die, or at least f*ck off to support the Spuds where you belong. True Gooners think you’re a c*nt, please f*ck off!!!

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