Answering Some of The Most Common Accusations

Ever since blogging about Arsenal since 2004 (and on this website since 2006), there have been a number of accusations banded around about my motives, support and supposed vendetta against Arsene Wenger. Regular readers however will know that I have stated many many times that I think Arsene Wenger is the greatest manager we have ever had and what he has done for the football club has been nothing short of miraculous. 16 consistent seasons in the Top 4? No-one else in football could have managed that in my opinion. Three Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups and so many happy memories have made Arsene a legend.

But that does not mean he is incapable of mistakes. I always call it how I see it, even if it isn’t all complimentary. It is strange that criticising any aspect of the football club immediately makes me a Spurs fan and anti-Wenger. Those are both ridiculous statements and people who have read my blog over the years will know that the majority of my posts are positive.

But it doesn’t mean I’m blind to the problems at the club. This summers transfer window has been nothing short of a disaster. People will say I am being overly negative but for the first time in about 8 years, we are finally in a position to build something special and create a team that can truly compete for the major honours. After 8 seasons of struggling to the Top 4 positions, we are now capable of spending big money in the transfer market.

Here, I answer the most common feedback I get from Arsenal fans:

You are a Spurs supporter:

Er… no, I’m obviously not.

Blowing £50 million plus on a player would make you happy:

Actually this is not true. In fact, I’ve stated that spending £50 million plus on Suarez is something I wouldn’t be overly happy with. With a £70 million “war chest” I would rather spend some on a central defender, midfielder and forward – areas we need to strengthen to really compete. A marque signing is not something I particularly want – I am not that fickle or shallow.

If we brought in 3 players in those positions, and our overall spend was only £30 million in total then I’d be more than happy with that. The thing that has annoyed me about this summer is the lack of guile in the transfer market and the inability to sign a single player of quality that would give both the fans and the players a massive boost.

You are anti-Arsene Wenger:

Nope, that’s not true either. He is a miracle worker and has done great things but I do believe he is reluctant to spend money in the transfer market and would rather “create” his own world class players (such as Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie). But Arsene needs to realise we’ve lost a lot of big players (and captains) over the last 8 seasons and we are at the point where we need to recruit experienced, top class player to create a squad that can truly compete at the highest level.

You hate Arsenal:

I love Arsenal but I am not blind to the facts. Saying Arsenal sell their best players every summer is not anti-Arsenal, it’s fact. Saying we’ve done poorly in the transfer window isn’t being negative, it’s fact. If we had signed quality players in the transfer windows then I would have reason to be more positive. How can anyone be positive about no new players coming in?


20 thoughts on “Answering Some of The Most Common Accusations

  1. Theres an old saying it goes..” if you cant think of anything good to say, say nothing” if u hadnt written the articles in the way u did readers would not have judged u in the way they have.
    The facts are many Arsenal fans feel disappointed but dont see slagging of the club its manager, players and board in online blogs as a way if easing that disappointment.
    The thing is that supporting a club invokes passion for that club an, rightly or wrongly, many fans see an attack on that club by its own supporters as wrong.
    All this crap about the AKB fans is rubbish fans defend the club not one person at that club.
    Is there not enough hatred of our club in other media forms without our own fans joining in an giving the fans of other clubs and the anti Arsenal section of the media something else to bash us with.
    In short by all means feel disappointed with the fact we havent yet signed new players but dont lay the blame for this on the manager, in the same way that the “red tops” do, by insulting a man who, for the last 16 yrs has given his all to this club turning down job after job to stay with us, claiming he has no idea of how to spend money or who to buy.
    Remember that we are not financially doped like some teams an money needs to be spent wisely, or would u prefer we end up like so many other teams in the red an in the lower leagues, the manager will buy the right players at the right price thats his job our job as fans is then to support those players when they cross the white line in the red an white shirts not do the job of fans of rival clubs an the media an slag them off when things dont go how we want them

    • “….All this crap about the AKB fans is rubbish, fans defend the club, not one person at that club”. Is that so ? Well prove it then, Hants Gooner. In the interest of objectivity, say something really critical of Wenger – there’s plenty of ammunition for you to draw on. ( We can certainly blame the manager for at least SOME things wouldn’t you agree ) ?
      Better still, say a few critical things. Being the no doubt balanced person you claim to be, it should be easy for you, right ?

      ” In Arsene we rust.”

      • Why the hell do l have to prove anything to you? I dont claim to be anything u accuse me off l never said Wenger hasnt made mistakes, he has plenty, what l find interesting is u demand l criticize the man to prove lm objective but end with that idiotic an childish statement ” ln Arsene we rust” so l say to u if yr such an balanced fan why dont u prove it an say something good about the most successful manager this club has had “theres plenty of ammunition for u to draw on”

        • Hants Gooner – Ah, but you see that’s the difference between realists like me, and A.K.B.’s* ( *oops, sorry you don’t like being called that, do you ? ). I don’t hide my disdain for Wenger, as you can tell by my catchphrase. I make my position crystal clear. I’m not a fence sitter, or a closet A.K.B. who pretends he’s being neutral and objective. This description I feel fits you, but you don’t want to admit it. Why not come right out and state YOUR position ?

          But you don’t need to. Lines such as these give you away….” many Arsenal fans feel disappointed but dont see slagging of the club its manager, players and board in online blogs as a way if easing that disappointment “.

          ( Oh ? So who SHOULD we blame then, and WHEN ? If none of these ( manager, players, or board ) are responsible, then who ? And isn’t that what online blogs are for – as a public forum to debate the issues surrounding the club ? By the sound of it, you’d rather we not do so, hmm ? )

          Then here’s the clincher : ” by all means feel disappointed with the fact we haven’t yet signed new players, but don’t lay the blame for this on the manager,”

          ( Huh ? Wenger, repeat WENGER has control over who he targets and signs, and the wages they’re paid. Proof ; the late Danny Fiszman, Arsenal director, said this ; …..” if he [Arsene] wanted to spend £100m, he could. he decides whether a players fee and salary is worth it. It is his decision and his decision only.” So now we’ve established that, who should we blame when these same transfers don’t materialise ? David Cameron, perhaps ? )

          In your view, Wenger “has made mistakes” but he shouldn’t be held accountable for them. Why not ? Because, he’s ( the great, untouchable ) Arsene Wenger, and shouldn’t be questioned after being here for 17 long years ? Because of what he did almost nine whole years ago ( ! ) When do we judge him on what he’s CURRENTLY doing, and not on what he did way back then ? Are you still living in 2004 ?

          It is you know, possible and healthy to support the club / team, AND yet still criticise the ones who are running it. That’s the distinction A.K.B.’s can’t get their head around. Why do you equate ( justified ) attacks on the manager and board, with disloyalty to and treason against, the club ? Why ? Because you’re an A.K.B. and that’s how A.K.B.’s think.

          ” In Arsene we rust.” ( see ? no ambiguity there ).

  2. Which big club has gone 8 seasons without a trophy & their fans will be happy…wenger & the club’s board are no more AMBITIOUS,they are more intrested in business side of the club,they have given up b/c of the likes of man city,chelsea & man u’s financial arsenal…wenger even made that fact clear ‘top 4′ finish..they don’t care about the fans….passion or no passion let the money keep rollin’ in.

    • See thats the kind of comment l meant.
      In answer to yr question l ask do you really belive that any manager at any club didnt want to win trophies do u honestly belive that Wenger sits down with the board an works out how to have a crap season, what they should do to avoid winning a trophy an how they can piss of its fans.
      Your argument makes no sense because to have a successful business u need a successful product so they need a successful team if they are “only interested in the business side of the club” without success how do they expect the “money to keep rolling in” it wont.
      A successful team is needed for a successful business

      • He doesn’t plan to fail, but his priorities and the board’s are wrong. Doing just enough to make champions league qualification is their priority. Mainly for the revenue that comes with it. Any on field success is incidental and secondary to that aim.And the fans are sick to death of it, and the lies and misinformation that goes with it from him and the board. We’re ALREADY the fourth richest club in the world, with more revenue shortly flowing in from new commercial deals.Our first and foremost objective should be winning a trophy, not maximising revenue even MORE. We are not utilising our resources to the best of our ability, and we are chronically underachieving because of it.

        A successful business can also come about from WINNING THINGS. That’s how the big clubs do it. Success brings higher merchandise and ticket sales, better t.v. deals, and other spin offs. Wenger wants to do things on the cheap, and his way has not, and IS NOT working to achieve the success that winning would bring.

        And how can we ever attain that success if he comes out with crap like “Give me the names of players who are better than what we have, and I will talk about it.” And “This is my best ever squad.” ( 2011 ). Insensitive antagonistic remarks like that are guaranteed to “piss the fans off.” It’s breathtakingly arrogant of a man who’s won nothing for so long, to come out with nonsense statements like this. He’s so out of touch it’s incredible. Just as incredible are fans who continue to defend him as you do.

        ” In Arsene we rust.”

        • Again you attack me because u didnt read what l had said l pointed out that it was wrong to say the board wasnt ambitious to win things because they only wanted a successful business my point was that the club needs to win trophies to be successful yet you attack me saying ” a successful business can also come about by WINNING THINGS” which was the point l was making!! the board need the club to win trophies so why would they lack ambition

          • Hants Gooner – And you need to read what I said again ; “but his priorities and the board’s are wrong. Doing just enough to make champions league qualification is their priority. Mainly for the revenue that comes with it. Any on field success is incidental and secondary to that aim ” .

            THIS is the mindset of the board. And Wenger is the tool by which they accomplish this aim. I then pointed out the alternative avenue that they could, and SHOULD be going down, which would be much more palatable to the fans, whilst still being successful financially.

            So we both agree on what they SHOULD be doing, but the fact is THEY’RE NOT. Why do you think they keep Wenger on as manager ? Because he keeps getting us into the top four – which is ALL they’re primarily interested in. If, they reason,we happen by some miracle, to win something along the way, that’s a plus. This is the WRONG approach. And because Wenger has long since lost his mojo, this situation will never change. Hell, he’s doing so well for THEM ( not us ) that they’re only too happy to extend his contract. So on we go with the same old same old.

            ” In Arsene we rust.”

      • Ur stance is baseless….managers winnin’ trophies did they hold a meetin’ with their boards & say they can’t win trophies..see let me tell you,a big club must strike a balance between winnin’ & good business model…. Borussia dortmond,man u are all good example,a club must strike a balance between sellin’ their best players & buyin’ quality replacements,blending seasoned experience & youth…football is all about success on & off the pitch…wenger has failed on the pitch that is why he likes coverin’ his loopholes with successful business brand called Arsenal fc…he should move with the trend…sir ferguson is great in this,his ability to match every club that challenges him,liverpool,arsenal,chelsea,man city…..

        • Think l will stick to my stance an support the team in a way l choose an not be dictated to to my a group of so called fans who, sometimes it seems, are willing the club to fail so they can jump on their soapboxes an moan for the sake of moaning as before u scream “wenger out” think on who is available to replace him maybe another Bruce Rioch would make u happy

          • ” Moan for THE SAKE of moaning.” ? You said yourself Wenger has made mistakes. Do you think those same mistakes being made repeatedly, would have been tolerated at any other MAJOR club for as long as they have been at Arsenal ? Would Real Madrid, Barcelona, or Chelsea have done so ? Of course not. And neither would the board and fans at those other MAJOR clubs have been as infinitely patient and tolerant of the continued malaise and failure under Wenger – that Arsenal’s have. The fact we still have dimwits who are happy to just “keep supporting the team” and not demand better from their club, is shameful.

            ” In Arsene we rust.”

        • Macky – Right. You see the bigger picture, as I do. The balance of business profit v onfield success ( i.e. winning silverware ) is skewed heavily towards the business model side, at the expense of the team and its supporters. The board attempt to justify this with the smokescreen of the so called “self sustainable model” that we have been conditioned into thinking is good for us, but in fact is good only for THEM. It is of course, prudent to run a business sensibly and within your means, but at Arsenal this has been taken much too far for much too long.

          Wenger fits the board’s requirements perfectly. It doesn’t matter to them how incompetently he runs the club on the field and that as a consequence, we win nothing. As long as he keeps the revenue ticking over, everything’s just fine. They’re happy. But Wenger’s extreme fear of spending big to strengthen the team will eventually catch up with him, and the signs are already appearing. We only just made the top four for the last two seasons. This coming one could see us miss out altogether. Then when Wenger can’t achieve the board’s goals any longer, they’ll dispose of him, and look for another accountant ( sorry – manager ) to take over and resume normal service.

          But whoever replaces Wenger has to be an improvement. Given the resources we have, any half decent coach should be able to take us forward instead of stagnating as we are.

          ” In Arsene we rust.”

    • Cant responsed to this one as dont knw what he is on about its just a list of names prefixed with “of course not what about”

  3. HantsGooner, let me start by saying I like & agree with your article, in fact it is very hard to disagree with anything there, as you say you call it as you see it. Refreshing post, & I commend you for it.

    It seems to me Mackys comments are borne out of frustration.

    But how do you expect him to feel? You yourself have pointed some hard truths/ facts, and conclude by asking how anyone can feel positive about the goings on at our club?

    In the past we have been fed excuse after excuse, season after season, FFP, cost of stadium, balancing books, the market will change blah blah blah. We ( I speak for only people I know) accepted what we were being told in the belief that one day ‘normal service’ will be resumed. It all made perfect sense, financially. Fast forward to today and the question on everyone’s lips is, ‘we have ridden the tide, so what is the problem now?’

    You can almost forecast every year what will happen at Arsenal during close season, we will given assurances, be linked with certain players of the right calibre (Mata, Reina, Cahill, to name a few from past seasons, Higuain & Jovetic more recently) only to see these players move elsewhere. In the case of Higuain, Benitez said the deal was done ‘in three days’.

    So what takes us so long? Why can we not seem to complete big name signings?

    The most laughable excuse I have heard for this is ‘ Wenger goes through his dealings with a fine toothcomb, he has to be certain about his purchases’ Really? was he sure about Bentner, gervinho, Arshavin, Denilson ect. What about Stepanovs, Cygan , Bischoff, Jeffers, Wreh…..I don’t need to go on.

    Add to this the line we hear around this time every year form Wenger, ‘our squad is good enough to challenge with or without new signings’ and you can begin to understand Mackys outburst.

    His argument makes no sense in real business terms because if you are unhappy with the product, you simply shop elsewhere.
    His argument is valid in football terms though because your customers will never leave you. You will not start supporting Spurs because you are unhappy with the goings on at Arsenal.

    Macky I imagine sees winning trophies as a measure of success. I wonder what the Hierarchy at Arsenal view as success.
    Watching the team celebrate finishing fourth last season did not go well with me.

    • Thanks for yr comment though the article wasnt mine l commented on it.
      As for not blaming Mackys for his feelings l dont l share some of them.My point was that by slagging off all an sundry at the club in blogs online just feeds the anti Arsenal media who then use those blogs to suggest we r a club at crisis.
      In the old days u slagged off yr team down the pub where only yr m8s heard the moans now its all online an read by rivals who laugh at us an by the red tops who use it as proof thst the club is falling apart

  4. I would like to say Arsenal 4 Life? I Have always watched the game all teams and took a pride in saying I loved 1 team being Arsenal, These days im not so sure the Liverpool manager is right in one way we do lack class we all know we need to strengthen the team Defensive midfeild is my key area of weakness but there has being no willing cause to stengthen this area for years even when we had song we needed someone better or if not cover now we dont even have a natural defensive midfeild player well maybe we do in the shape of some 14 year old or frimpong.

    Im sick of Arsenal im sick of the lack of importance to how the team preforms on the pitch. Were always just missing out or not to far away or we didnt deserve to lose all this crap im sick of we need to invest on the pitch we want players like henry, veria, adams, brady and the list goes on.

    The last 8 years you name the players that are still arsenal and are not Van Per to Nasir in my opinion there all weak persons not willing to fight for something better but then again why would they spend there life at a club that dont want to show on the pitch they mean business you look at united they won leagues champions league in the last while and bought players when needed no messing like barca and neymer when they need a player they get a player full stop……..

    You invest on the pitch it pays off look people said you can’t buy the league I think you can Chel and Man City done it and united has being spending 30 mill on a player they need for god knows how long.

    I Know we can do what the funds allow us to we have enough funds for wenger to bring in 3 carzolas why doesnt he, The board should be burnt and kicked out Wenger i dont blame you but something has to be done here or im gonna stop watching football serious i have spent to much money going to see games and travelling and shirts for me and my children and all the rest i sick of it change now arsenal or lose the next generation of fans

  5. Jono – I empathise with you and fully understand your frustration. Yet after all that you said made you feel that way, you then “don’t blame” Wenger ? Who the hell do you think is in charge of the day to day running of the team ? Who buys and sells players ? Who decides the team line up, the positions to play them in, the substitutions, the training, e.t.c. e.t.c. ( hell, this man has been allowed by the board to accumulate so much power and influence, that he is almost one of them himself ). And who has been in charge at Arsenal for the last 17 years ? Yes, the man you refuse to blame for the decline he’s presided over – Arsene Wenger !

    It never ceases to amaze me how Wenger has built up such a mystique and untouchable image, that some fans are so completely in awe of him that they still can’t figure out who the actual culprit is. For God’s sake – the answer is staring you in the face !

    ” In Arsene we rust.”

  6. Spectrum – thanks for your reply i agree with you Arsene OUT! I do think if david dein was back he could help Wenger choice one of his visions better and force it through better anyway im sure you agree there are many people from arsenal growing to become sick of the hole thing


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