Forest Looms As FIFA Can’t See The Wood For The Trees

So we move onto the City Ground. The EFL Cup, not to be confused with the equally pointless EFL Trophy, takes centre stage this week as Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest for tomorrow’s tie. Can’t wait.

Fourth place in the Premier League is better than the opening day defeat to Liverpool suggested it would be at this stage but the real test comes next weekend against Chelsea. For most of the players, it will bring a week’s training before Saturday’s game but from some possibly including Granit Xhaka and Lucas Perez, it offers the opportunity to show a bit more of their repertoire as they seek to stake a claim for a first team starting line-up place.

The gap between the Premier League élite and the rest is likely to grow in coming years. Financially, the top flight clubs will do very well thank you very much, even if they get just a season in the sun. Villa, Newcastle and Norwich all missed out on the inflated parachute payments which Sunderland, Stoke and one other seem hellbent on receiving from the end of this season.

As clubs look at that, Barcelona dropped into FIFA House for a chat with Gianni, just to make sure he wasn’t going to do something stupid like, I don’t know, spend time cleaning up the corruption which is rife in football. They wanted to make sure he knew that his job was to make them – the clubs – more money and they had an idea.

To be fair, it’s not a bad one either. Get rid of the current World Club Cup or whatever it’s called and make it a summer tournament. Every other year so that it bisects European Championships and World Cups. I suspect Gianni was told to bring the South Americans into line as well because their 2019 and 2023 tournaments are a fly in the Catalan ointment.

Barcelona want a 32-team tournament – eight from Europe and South America, 16 from the rest – which would be a far better use of the football calendar than the Confederations Cup primarily is. Presumably, the eight European clubs would be Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, PSG and four others – at a guess a couple of English and Italian teams.

The driver behind it is money – isn’t it always – and the Premier League is getting richer whilst the rest of Europe is getting richer but not quite as fast. That’s not fair, they boo-hooed into Gianni’s expensive leopard skin rug; we want more money and we want it now.

Now is the perfect time from a footballing perspective to make those changes. In a couple of seasons time, we will start to see the impact of a winter World Cup as the calendar is set to incorporate the ludicrous decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. It will, apparently, affect three seasons – 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23 – the middle of which is by curious coincidence the end of a Champions League cycle.

At which point, it can become a feeder competition for the new Club World Cup. The odds on the Champions League becoming a league or another group stage, instead of a knockout stage have shortened considerably. Four groups of four with the top of each going into the semi-finals whilst the runners-up join them in the global tournament? Works for me in the space of a couple of hundred words so it can’t be that hard to resolve.

Of course, that assumes UEFA will play ball. I’m sure enough palms will be greased to make it happen but nothing so vulgar as cash changing hands, simply an increased stipend so that it’s all above-board.

Not that Arsenal would likely participate, at least during the foreseeable future such is our woeful Champions League record of late.

Whether it happens or not is another matter but it’s a pleasant distraction from the talk of a Super League or whatever.

’til Tomorrow.

100 thoughts on “Forest Looms As FIFA Can’t See The Wood For The Trees

  1. Pete the Thirst says:

    Is Big Ron still in charge there?

  2. Orson Kaert says:


    The hardest part is being able to spell the word Boom correctly.

  3. Damon says:

    Orson Kaert:

    The hardest part is being able to spell the word Boom correctly.

    I always use three O’s to announce my victorious start to the day’s comments. It suggests an elongated noise, more suitable for the gravity of my explosion onto the scene than the standard, more mundane, spelling allows for.

  4. C says:

    ———–Le Coq——–Elneny——–
    Ox————-Perez—————Adelaide or Akpom

  5. andy1886 says:

    Money grabbing bastards!!

    No you guys – the so-called ‘Big Clubs’. Of which AFC are not one in global terms. The only silver lining would be that Stan might see another pot of gold to aim for. Not that he would have much chance with our specialist in top four at the helm. Top four just wouldn’t be enough.

    Seriously though this is just getting silly. How long can they keep inventing new ways to fleece fans? Surely at some point most of us will get bored or say enough is enough?

  6. Damon says:


    Orson Kaert,

    I duly note your envious comments though… from positions third and fourth in today’s feed 🙂

  7. Damon says:


    Seriously though this is just getting silly.How long can they keep inventing new ways to fleece fans?Surely at some point most of us will get bored or say enough is enough?

    Already there mate

  8. Arsetralian says:


    Le Coq? Non. How about the Bielik (spelling) fella?

  9. andy1886 says:


    Me too really. I still have the urge to go occasionally but it’s just a case of keeping the link there and waiting until the revolution happens. Could be a while I suspect…..

  10. C says:


    Wouldn’t mind seeing him there either because I think he has the goods, but not sure if he would get the start. I actually think Arsenal are trying to turn him into a ball playing CB.

  11. Gunnerjoe says:


    Just a couple of small points, as fans champions league matches are included in our season tickets when you can get one.
    Insulting a manager because he gets the team in to the top 4 every season seems strange to me. Is it you’d rather not make the CL every season just so the club might sack our manager.
    Also I wonder would the rest of the PL clubs and their fans see making the CL every season such the failure you seem to do.
    By the way do you really think there would not be four English teams entering this new competition if it replaces the CL.

  12. Gunnerjoe says:


    Oh so you don’t even go to games now I see why making the CL is not important to you.

  13. andy1886 says:


    Joe, a bit touchy this morning aren’t you? Specialist in top four I said, and it’s true I’m not excited by that, but you’re the one who has suggested that it’s an insult.

    But yes I do find the CL and our participation in it boring, dull, predictable and pointless. Perhaps you can tell me exactly what the point is beyond putting money in Stan’s coffers? Boring because the same teams always seem to compete, and the same teams always seem to win it. Predictable for the same reasons plus from an Arsenal perspective it’s not only predictable that we will exit around the first knockout stage but also the way we limp to second place in the group every season and then cock up the first leg before not quite recovering in the second leg. Pointless because not only do we have little to no chance of winning the thing but because we don’t even seem bothered to try too hard.

    And given our history and resources you can’t compare us with the vast majority of the rest of the PL so that argument doesn’t wash either.

    It’s not about winning all the time, I’ve been in crowds of under 20k at Highbury in the early eighties on a cold rainy Tuesday, I don’t expect miracles by any means. But what for me is unforgivable is that the current regime have made supporting the club dull and predictable (those words again) which is the last thing that football should ever be. Top four but no title for a dozen seasons? No thanks, I’d take a few ups and downs with the odd title thrown in over that every time. I’d take Graham’s record of 4, 6, 1, 4, 1, 4, 10, 4 over Arsene’s record over the last same number of seasons 4, 3, 4, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2 any day.

    And I do still go to matches just not very often (if you read my post properly). I expect that I’ll go to more games when things change and it’s about the football more than the finances again.

  14. consolsbob says:


    Your snide comments at a regular poster here who I have enjoyed meeting up with to see Arsenal games is unworthy of this site which is built on thought and tolerance.

    I’ve watched the club since the 1960’s and I won’t go and see them at the moment either. If you are happy with the increasingly sanitised and loaded ‘product’ that is the EPL and CL, then have a good time. Some of us are just hacked off with the whole reality of the super rich corroding the game.

  15. andy1886 says:


    Thanks CB, I was thinking back to our initial meeting, what was it? two or three seasons back? It’s interesting that we are all still pretty active on here but that our feelings towards the club have all somewhat soured (apologies if any of those concerned disagree). You are I are well known cynics of course, Damon has had enough (see earlier post), Jonny is certainly another with reservation about the set up, and of course Wavey has recently given up his season ticket.

    It’s a real shame when long standing fans like us feel like we have lost the connection we once had with the club.

  16. Arsetralian says:

    I love what Graham did and when we won in 1989 it was truly amazing. I also don’t think he got enough credit for winning again whilst scoring they many goals with 3 CBs. Quite revolutionary really.

    But I am not sure you can really just play for 4th so easily these days. You guys make it sound so easy. We saw what happened to Chelsea last season and clubs without our new stadium revenue can just disappear like Leeds. When was the last time Liverpool winger league ? I do believe the budget constraints on AW and the rise of Chelski and UAE City.

    I am also frustrated by our CL performance but I still think we mainly play good football and despite our weaknesses we are remarkably resilient and never quite failing to get totally bet 4th place.

    I can be patient.

  17. Arsetralian says:

    Ps I am not drunk and think those typos are just about manageable. Sorry

  18. jjgsol says:


    I must take issue with you here. You say that there is “tolerence” on this blogg.

    With respect there is only “tolerence” if one expresses the anti-wenger, anti-kroene, anti-Giroud, anti-Walcott and anti-most-of-the-team invective that all too often pervades the blogg.

    Going against the stream of malicious criticisms and comments invites insults as happened to me time and time again a couple of weeks ago.

    Healthy debate on subjects that the debaters know something about is what one should expect here, not the spewing out of bile that we see so often.

  19. C says:


    You response to andy seems much more of a personal attack then simply responding or looking to debate / chat / argue (in a respectful way). The thing is, nothing that he said was actually wrong nor did he specifically say that making the CL was a failure.

    To be honest, Arsene is a specialist at making the top 4 (see his record) but the question then becomes is it good to be consistently in the top 4 without really challenging or is it good to challenge and win while potentially not making the top 4 for a year? The thing that you also have to remember is that say Arsene really does go for the CL title and wins it and we don’t make top 4 in the PL, we are still in the CL the following year. You also have to look at clubs like Chelsea, Manure, Citeh; you say that they would gladly take being in the CL every year but you also have to look at the fact that Chelsea actually won teh CL with Di Mateo and sacked him, they play by a different standard and value different things. I think with Arsene at Arsenal, top 4 is good enough; but the other clubs simply don’t.

    By the way, its NO GUARANTEE that if the CL goes debunk that there would be 4 English clubs. You have to realize that should that happen and going based on Yogi’s example of 32 teams with 8 from Europe and South American a piece and then 16 from the rest. So you take a look at those 8 teams: Barca, Real Madrid, Bayern, PSG, then you would most certainly have Juve and Athletico Madrid, you would probably have another from Germany probably Dortmund. That leaves you with 1 respective spot for English clubs and say they do take 2 potentially 3, that would mean that Arsenal under Arsene would need to perform better.

    I’m not sure if you follow teh other European Leagues but lets not act as though English clubs are this dominant lot. Actually, in Europe they have been quite shit when it comes to winning the CL and Europa League.

  20. YW says:


    I must take issue with you here. There is tolerance for both sides of the argument but intolerance of polemic.

    IF you post antagonisticly, e.g. insult or ridicule others, that is likely to receive the same response. If you post stridently and don’t listen to what others say, why will others listen to you?

    I’ve been back through a few weeks of posts and can see one occasion where I think it was a direct insult. Hardly time and time again.

    Bile? Invective? Depends on your sensibilities as to how those are interpreted but I try to read every comment but rarely see invective or bile.

  21. HenryB says:

    An interesting Post, YW, but there is another slant on the mechanics of the horse trading going on between UEFA and the ‘elite’, and whom is doing what with whom. [that is a bit like the ‘known unknowns, and the unknown unknown etc ….’ which makes sense but is not easy to express].

    There were two previous European ‘elite’ club groups [G-14 and European Clubs Forum] of which Arsenal were members, but they were abolished in 2008,.

    They were contemporaneously replaced by yet another power group called the European Clubs Association (ECA) of whom the founding members are as follows (and it does not include Arsenal);

    The founding members of the European Club Association are Manchester United FC (ENG), Chelsea FC (ENG), Real Madrid CF (ESP), FC Barcelona (ESP), Juventus (ITA), AC Milan (ITA), Olympique Lyonnais (FRA), FC Bayern München (GER), FC Porto (POR), AFC Ajax (NED), Rangers FC (SCO), RSC Anderlecht (BEL), Olympiacos FC (GRE), FC Kobenhavn (DEN), GNK Dinamo (CRO) and Birkirkara FC (MLT).

    They are trying to be Pan European, hence FC Copenhagen and Birkirkara which is a bit hypocritical if not to say farcical — Elite? Really?

    This group were ‘threatening’ UEFA that unless qualifying for the existing European competitions and the distribution of the prize/appearance monies were altered to their satisfaction they would set up an independent European trophy for elite clubs, and withdraw from the UEFA/FIFA accredited competitions.

    There is more — but I will spare your boredom, and simply say that this is not quite the same game plan you were referring to in the Post, but the endgame is the same – ‘more guaranteed accessibility to the competitions, and a bigger share of the pot’ or we are off. 😀

    Money grubbing? Yes, of course it is, but for anyone wishing to turn the clock back to a more ‘amateur’ version of football administration without obscene amounts of money sloshing around, is sadly akin to the success that King Canute had in turning back the tide.

  22. YW says:


    Explain to me why the CL is important. I’m genuinely baffled by that comment. It’s a competition we will never win with Arsene as a manager, may never win with someone else in charge and will almost certainly never win with Kroenke in charge. If the answer is we need it for the money, then football is well and truly lost.

  23. Pistol Fish says:

    I have seen tolerance for all kinds of views and opinions on here, all except for insults and personal attacks.
    Maybe you should head over to the fun bus to see what intolerance for opposing views looks like.
    But judging bye your post I’d wager your a regular over there.

  24. HenryB says:

    Ouch — what is going on?

    I have been unable to follow the trend on the blog, as I have been otherwise engaged, but things seem to have become unfriendly.

    The problem with the written word is both the choice of the word(s) and the absence of an indicator of the tone.

    A strong counter-argument against a view held by someone else is OK, in my opinion, unless it deteriorates into personal abuse, invective or group slanging matches which is both offensive and counter -productive.

    I have not been involved, or followed the relevant comments, but is everyone being a little oversensitive, maybe? 😀

    Pax vobiscum — I think we are all travellers on the road to Arsenal nirvana. 😀

  25. andy1886 says:


    Just a random note but in support of the much maligned Canute (or Cnut to be accurate) he was actually demonstrating the limit of his powers and how he was only a man not a god. The common misconception that he was arrogant and delusional is completely wrong.

    And back to football….

  26. Pete the Thirst says:


    Thanks CB, I was thinking back to our initial meeting, what was it? two or three seasons back?It’s interesting that we are all still pretty active on here but that our feelings towards the club have all somewhat soured (apologies if any of those concerned disagree).You are I are well known cynics of course, Damon has had enough (see earlier post), Jonny is certainly another with reservation about the set up, and of course Wavey has recently given up his season ticket.

    It’s a real shame when long standing fans like us feel like we have lost the connection we once had with the club.

    Although I have persevered with the season ticket there are many I know who have decided they have better things to do on a match day. The main factor in this is Arsene Wenger.

    These are big Arsenal fans that have been season tickets holders for many years, and feel that Wenger has ripped the soul out of the club. They have decided to not renew their season tickets and hardly come to Arsenal any more.

    I think if the club decided to remove the cup credits from the season ticket there would be a lot of unsold seats for the Champions League matches. The format is stale.

  27. andy1886 says:

    To be fair this is usually a place where people of differing views can debate the issues with out resorting to abuse. It’s a shame that many other sites cannot boast the same. I don’t have a problem with anyone saying for example that Player A or Manager B is either the greatest that has ever been or the biggest fraud to ever grace our club. And it’s always been and always will be about more than any one individual and even any one club. You are either happy with things the way they are or you’re not. If not you are bound to complain, indeed if you don’t then you simply allow the wrongs you see go unchallenged.

    That’s what makes this a great place to discuss all things Arsenal whichever view you hold.

  28. Gunnerjoe says:

    This my not go down well but the fact is these days if you don’t have a large earning capacity.
    Or your football ball club is owned by a very rich owner you is willing to throw away extremely large amounts of money the is very little chance of winning any kind of thropy.
    Now if we hadn’t been in the CL money do you honestly believe that that we could have paid for stadium.
    Which allows me and others you go to games who couldn’t get in to Highbury at its end due to how successful Arsenal was.

  29. YW says:

    But that was then, this is now. We don’t need the CL money to stay at the Emirates, so why do we need the CL now?

  30. Welsh Corgi Cardigan says:


    I haven`t posted for a while as I´ve been in a slump. Though I´ve been reading Yogis work daily and follow the comments section.

    I think a lot of supporters are losing interest or are on the verge of losing interest. Still one pays through a subscription to watch the games. I guess as long as I´m paying I can´t really complain.

    Can´t just yet bring myself to end the subscription. In a hope that somehow things will change. Although I realize that whithin the present structure and incumbent at power nothing will change until he leaves.

    The harsh thing is that Kroenke probably won´t leave as long as people go to the games, pay for subscritions, marketing value rises and the money keeps rolling in.

    Until I stopp paying for the subsription I actually support the present incumbent of power. Really horrible chain of thought:-)

  31. HenryB says:


    Back to football issues.

    1) Is it possible for Arsenal to win the Premier League this year? Well, if Leicester could put two fingers up tho near relegation two years ago and win the League last year – the answer must be a resounding ‘Yes”.

    OK, having got that out of the way, time moves on and no team or league stays the same, and Leics probably benefitted from a pretty unique situation in which all the ‘big’ clubs were crap. Is this likely to happen again in the near future? Hmm – probably not.

    So, I do not think Arsenal will win the league this season and probably not the following season either. Why? The ‘big’ clubs (Aka the big spenders) have had a kick up the ass, and bought in new talent – even we did – and the self same clubs have brought in new managers – well we did not -and I cannot see Man City being so insipid again in a hurry with Guardiola, or Manure with Moanhio – even allowing for their odd start under him, and Klip Klop is turning the screw on Liverpool and already they are looking s much better, then there are the other – not so big clubs – like Everton with super-duper Koeman and the Spuds under the up and coming Pocketiny — and to be inclusive, Leics are not doing too badly either.
    I do not see all of them being rubbish or Arsenal suddenly lighting up the pitch with consistent displays of quality. So …… no Prem League in my cassandra like prediction. Ouch.

    2) Is it possible for Arsenal to win the Champions League this season – or next – well some of the above English clubs are in that competition too — so, unless they all fall to a fit of the wobblies, and Arsenal shuck off the poor performances of recent years —- and —- and — Real, Barça, Bayern, Juventus, Milan and Atletico shoot themselves in the foot – then ‘No’ Arsenal will not win that competition either.

    3) Will changing the manager also change my prediction? That is a hypothetical question as the manager will not change this season and neither will my prediction.
    What about changing the manager next season? That too is a hypothetical question on two counts as the assumption that Wenger will retire is just that — and whether a top class manager is available or would be willing to join us is simply speculation — and even then, a new guy would take time to settle and bring in the players he wants and gets rid of those he does not.
    So — no, that does not change my prediction either.

    Am I bothered? Well, yes, I am, and I would be, because I want Arsenal to win every competition going, but realistically I understand that it is unlikely we will win either of the big two trophies in the next couple of seasons, at a minimum — but I will always support Arsenal, and take the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, as well as the little victories over the Spuds and Manure as they come — and keep hoping for better. 😀

    Am I a better supporter than some? No! Because all of you who support Arsenal have no more choice in that than I do – once a Gooner, always a Gooner – through thick and thin — and the occasional moan or howl of anguish — yes, I do have my moments of doing that – who doesn’t? 😀

  32. Gunnerjoe says:

    I have been accused of insulting Andy 1886 I amwondering where in my posts I have done this cause I can’t see it.
    I may have accused him of insulting the manager with he’s comment on being expert of the top 4 finisher which I am happy to except is not true.

  33. Gunnerjoe says:





    The is the competition for it’s self I enjoy watching Arsenal playing the likes of Barcelona,Bayan Munich and other great European teams.
    There’s also the draw for players not sure the likes of Cech,Sanchez Özil and others would be at the club.
    It also helps to pay the wages and bring those fore mentioned players to our football club.

  34. consolsbob says:

    It can be a ‘tone’ thing, Henry.

    Many of us are disillusioned with the current management and direction of the club and we say so.

    To defend a contrary point of view does not require the stridency that too often occurs. It is like some take a criticism of the club or Arsene as a personal affront. Then, all too often we see ‘straw man’ arguments thrown up about, for example, the top four place.

  35. HenryB says:


    Just a random note but in support of the much maligned Canute (or Cnut to be accurate) he was actually demonstrating the limit of his powers and how he was only a man not a god.The common misconception that he was arrogant and delusional is completely wrong.

    And back to football….

    I think that is a bit harsh, Andy, surely Canute was not that much of a cnut.

    Anyway, it is always refreshing when someone gets to the real meat of one of my lengthy comments and corrects my appalling spelling of a Middle English name that I stupidly used to explain the impossibility of turning back the lust for money in the modern era, by mentioning the same impossibility of turning back the tides.

    Back to the drawing boards for me, it seems.

  36. Gunnerjoe says:

    Andy why did you leave out the list of Arsenal finishing places for the early years of the managers time in charge of Arsenal.
    First of all it would have been a more fair comparison with both managers on equal playing field ie no stadium debt.
    Just to understand I am 55 and have been going to games since I was 9
    and there is no doubt in my mind the football under Wenger is best.

  37. Gunnerjoe says:


    I answered your question but it seems to be in moderation

  38. HenryB says:


    I understand what you are saying.

    It never bothers me that others disagree with my points of view, and so I agree with you that I do not need to respond to any such disagreement by calling the other party asinine or delusional. 😀

    My reference to ‘tone’ was in respect of word choices or expressions that convey hostility when none was intended, and conversation between the parties involved can unnecessarily deteriorate exponentially.

    As I said, I do not know what the latest issue is all about, but I try, within my limitations, to help soothe hurt feelings when I see other decent folk I like get into a slanging match — for myself, I am hear to enjoy myself, to exchange opinions, to pass on information etc and to exercise a little humour.

    If that changes — I will be gone man gone. 😀

  39. consolsbob says:

    Slanging match? You have had a sheltered life, Henry, my friend. I was brought up with a Royal Marine Colour Sgt. Father and a Plymouth mother!

    This is just a gentler exchange of opinions

  40. Pete the Thirst says:

    @HenryB I don’t like your tone…

    but I’m more into contrast..

  41. andy1886 says:


    Trouble is Joe that Grahams was only in place for eight seasons so to compare eight with twenty isn’t really fair. And comparing with what is current makes more sense than comparing with what happened a dozen or more years ago. I don’t think anyone is complaining about what happened between say 1997 and 2005.

    Now the stadium argument is one that is often thrown up but it’s worth looking at the facts which by the way are easily available as the club publishes it’s accounts. And these show that the increased match day income by far outweighs the cost of the stadium. Interest and repayments total less than twenty million per annum whereas the match day revenue has doubled from circa fifty million at Highbury to a nats over one hundred million now. I’d concede that initial financing would have restricted spending within our means, but our means were still significantly more than most other clubs.

    Then you have to consider the crazy wage policy which paid the likes of Bendtner £52k a week – how many times were we unable to move on players because their wage packet exceeded their talent by far? Spending includes wages as well as transfer fees and we wasted millions every year on serial under performers.

    And if you want to compare eras it’s also fair to say that AFC were never big spenders under Graham either. Remember being outbid by the likes of Everton for Cottee for example? Liverpool (with the exception of Charlie) would kick or backsides in the transfer market, United also, and we’d be fighting with the likes of Forest, Villa and the aforementioned Everton for the scraps. Yet we still managed to fight our way from also rans to the the top of the pile.

    I can see why you might prefer Wenger’s style but my preference was for the earlier Graham sides (prior to the famous Benfica game in which tbh we could have easily won btw) and then the early Wenger sides with forceful midfielders and fleet footed attackers. I don’t really enjoy the pass pass pass walk the ball in game. Just doesn’t do it for me.

  42. drazy says:

    talking about ‘tone…..can YW be a decent host and play us all a nice ‘tune’ while we all wind down a bit……now where is that box of juke… 🙂

  43. andy1886 says:


    On the contrary, I think that Cnut was lucky that no-one misspelled his name at some point, Canute was a common form so it’s fair to use either. A bit like Boadicea or Boudica, you can take your pick (or Pict if you’re a Celt!).

  44. andy1886 says:

    Which leads me to another random question. Why is Celtic pronounced “Sell-tic” and not “Kell-tic” as the name suggests?

    Any ideas?

  45. C says:


    I actually disagree with you when it comes to this notion of money wins things. Take a look at Juve, Dortmund, Ahtletico Madrid, Sevilla and a number of others. There are more than enough ways I think to win trophies without money but there has to be an overall club system in place not to mention the ability to succesfully have your players execute the game plan.

  46. C says:


    Please lets talk futbol!!!!!!!!!!

    I might be in the minority, but I actually think that we can win the PL either this season or next but it will solely depend on if we are successfully able to change our style of play. I know I know I know, it sounds simple but I think if we are able to successfully transition back to having a mobile striker then the pieces are already in place to play that way and no longer trying to fit both physically and tactically square pegs into round holes. Hear me out, having Sanchez and/or Perez as our CF(or one at CF and the other at LW) we have players that want to play at pace (no just pacy players but want to play at tempo) while also having players like Xhaka, Ozil and Elneny who work best when playing at tempo and being able to close down space while pressing higher up the pitch. This also works well with the likes of Your Favorite Player Theo but also the likes of Ramsey, Iwobi and hell even Ox; no more slow tempo which doesn’t always work, but playing at tempo and allowing our front 3 to focus on being an attacking front 3.

    The thing with that goes back to having a system in place not just for your style of play but the type of player you want. Sevilla have been brilliant in this for years and it works, Arsenal have teh resources available to do so but there has to be an actual system in place coupled with the ability to adapt. It doesn’t bode well when you look at the Citeh has taken to Pep and Liverpool players have taken to Klopp as well as the pre-Pep Barca style that we see Koeman successfully implementing down on Merseyside. Naturally it won’t be easy to even make top 4 let alone win the PL but I do think that we have a punchers chance.

  47. YW says:

    Gunnerjoe – yes, you’d been a bit trigger happy with the reply button and pressed it 4 times.

    Confused the poor website 🙂

  48. C says:

    Giroud and Ramsey both are out still injured with Ramsey out for Chelsea too and possibly Giroud.

  49. andy1886 says:


    Agree with you that a change of style is necessary just to get the best out of the players we have. And to overcome the problem of massed defences at home. I favour a more robust centre midfield pairing of say Xhaka and Elneny, or even Xhaka and Ramsey when fit. I prefer two up top but as AW isn’t going to play that way then it’s Ozil in the pocket, a genuine striker up front, and Alexis plus one in the wide positions.

    To think in the past if a side came to defend we would invariably over power them… Not any more.

  50. Highbury says:

    There have been occasions, Yogi, when the manager has been called names such a “cunt”, “tit”, etc. Luckily for me, this has not been from the regular posters. There are well known Wenger critics here but have never, to my knowledge, resorted to name calling. This is the kind of language not normally associated with this blog, but once in a while I am coming across such. My sensitivity threshold may be low, but it’s close to a decade now since I have been following the blog so forgive me for occasionally objecting to what Bob has rightfully termed “tone”.

  51. Highbury says:


    Agree. Where I would disagree with you is the inclusion of Ramsey. For me, He still lacks the required discipline to thrive in midfield. He has the engine but still lacks the sophistication to control matches.

  52. C says:


    Yup, I prefer Xhaka and Elneny with both LE Coq and Santi mixing in. I think it will be interesting to see what happens when Ramsey comes back; personally I don’t want him going straight back into the team. I would have no problem playing to up to as long as it was two mobile players like Theo/Sanchez or Sanchez/Perez with OZil playing behind them. The issue is we would have no width. The one thing that I think will work is if we do move Sanchez back to the flank with Theo or Iwobi on one side (preferably Theo) with PErez down the middle.

  53. andy1886 says:


    Yup, we need two guys who can show the sort of discipline that Petit and Vieira used to have. One sits the other pushes up. To be honest it’s not really something that any two players should have trouble working out, I can only assume that they are given too much freedom or the consequences of failing to follow instructions are not sufficient to ensure they take notice.

    My understanding is that the senior players in Arsene’s early squads used to enforce this (several autobiographies mention that the likes of Adams/Keown/Winterburn would ‘educate’ anyone who didn’t fall into line). Unfortunately Arsene doesn’t appear to be the type to continue that tradition.

  54. Bill says:

    Thanks for the post yogi

    Most of the first 11 shouid sit out the league cup game. However we still want to win and we need to use these “throw away” games with a purpose. Perhaps start Mustafi and may be Xhaka to give them some more exposure and perhaps speed up any adaptation and to make the team stronger. I think the first priority should be to give as many minutes as possible to the first team players who usually don’t make the starting 11. We need to keep them engaged and match fit in case we need them at some point. Perez, Ox, Elneny, Gabriel if healthy, Gibbs, Debuchy One of either Xhaka or Le Coq. Ospina etc etc. Throw an academy level player such as Akpom to fill any left over holes. Then we cross fingers and hope they can win so we have more games to give those little used players more minutes.

  55. HenryB says:

    Hi C,

    Don’t know why you are imploring me to talk football — by the way, that’s spelled/spelt ‘cnut’. 😀 — I wrote two decent sized comments on football topics based on the Post, and apart from you, just now, there has not been one diddly little response.

    I guess you all know about the new-ish ECA and their intentions, the first of which has been answered by increasing the guaranteed qualifying numbers for the CL to 4 for Spain, Germany, Italy and England.

    There is a problem brewing there for someone – as the new ‘uncorrupt’ boss of UEFA [surely not an oxymoron – we will have to wait on Orson to decide] 🙂 has said he wants to change the format yet again because he is from a small country and they do not like the big boys of Europe getting their own way. Ker-pow! Zap!

    Returning to your response to my other comment re whether or not Arsenal can win either the Premier League or the Champions League over the next two years, I cannot really add anything to that as the wealthiest, big spenders with the best players are going to win those, regardless of Mr Wenger still being Chef D’Équipe or not.

    I must say I am surprised that you do not see the correlation between money spent to trophy success. The ‘biggest’ clubs in Europe in terms of wealth are – Real, Man Utd, Barça, Bayern, PSG, Chelsea, Man Citeh and Juventus — I wonder which one of them will win this year’s CL??

    Arsenal could be listed about 6th in there – but …… really?

    And the same applies to the Premiership. Apart from Leics (actually owned by a billionaire on a par with Kroenke) who won last season — who won the title in the previous seasons from 2004/05 when oil money started to flow – Chelsea have won 4 times; Man Utd have won 5 times; Man Citeh 2 times.

    Pretty conclusive evidence that money talks — yeah, yeah – I know – it’s their managers, and ours is @€**&^** blah, blah but the managers of those clubs could spend big if they wanted to – and they all did! 😀

  56. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Second is the team scoring column, I just hope we can keep that up. Scoring has been a real issue for this side. All the plaudits given to City for performances and rightly so, still, we have only scored 3 goals less at this stage. Fingers crossed it is a successful final season for Arsene!

  57. Orson Kaert says:


    I think you’ll find that sell tic is the appropriate pronunciation if you are talking about a Glasgow football club or a Boston basketball team. When talking of a country, province etc. or a native of such a place then Keltick ok kelt is more correct. Please don’t ask me why though. 😀

  58. C says:


    Yea, the CL thing will be interesting because I think it could be chopped down to 3 teams per a country with some of the clubs that we see in the Europa potentially joining but I am not as confident of that. I actually think getting 4 clubs from Italy, Spain and Germany would bring a whole new perspective to MOST of the PL fans because MOST of them have never or rarely watch matches and teams from the other countries and because of this they think that the English clubs dominate the landscape; when in all actuality, English clubs struggle against those sides.

    Do I see a correlation, sure there is naturally, but I am also understanding that generally, most of the clubs in the last 16 of the CL spend loads of money, hell even Monaco and Leverkusen; so I can’t definitely say that money is the cause of the big boys winning trophies because it does also come down to the managers.

    For instance, Athletico Madrid has bought players for not nearly as much money as Barca, Madrid, Citeh, Manure, PSG yet regularly competes with them and when you consider the amount of talent that they have sold (think Aguero, Forlan, Costa, Falcao all at various stages of their peak years) you realize that they could have done better but then they also bought brilliantly. Juve and Dortmund are two clubs that are on par with us financially but have bought brilliantly but they have also havd managers that had a plan in place and executed it and we see what the results have been.

    I think the PL naturally since the inception of the oil money has shifted but think back to even a couple of seasons ago, we were top of the league but then it all went to shit because our striker cheated on his wife and he fell apart and our team and title fell apart. I do think that we are close, the problem is, we don’t seem capable of finishing the job and that is where the difference also lays. Last season we were picked to win the PL and we only signed Cech, I think its just as much to do about money as it does with the managers and style of play. People forget that the year Mourinho won it with Chelsea, they were top of the league but were scoring goals at an incredible clip before just “seeing” out the season same as LEicester last season.

    Sure the need to spend money is there (I’m not denying that) but I’m also not one that says we need to spend 150m but more spend wisely when needed and that is where we have fallen flat on our face.

  59. HenryB says:

    Hi OK,

    Your comment is OK, OK. 🙂

    Celtic (with the hard ‘C’) is a direct pinch from the Latin of the Romans (Celtae) – not that Celts called themselves that, because the naughty Romans pinched it from the naughtier Greeks whose word Keltoids meant ‘shitty barbarians’ [now who would call themselves that?] 🙂

    That Greek word had nothing to do with the ‘Celtic’ tribes, but do you think the Romans cared? Nope!

    Then the French, with their Latin origins, got involved and used the latin word pinched from the hard C Greeks too, but changed it into Celtes, with a soft ‘C’ and the ancient Britons used that as well as the original Roman/Greek hard ‘C’.

    So they are both OK [Orl Korrect] – OK, OK. 😀

    Bollocks – now C will moan at me for not talking football, or cnut as he spells it! 😀

  60. HenryB says:

    That’s a very good response, C, thank you. 🙂

    Mind you, the examples you gave of doubting the ‘money / success’ equation Atletico, Juventus and Dortmund – have either never won the CL or are not going to win anytime soon.

    [Arsenal are far ‘wealthier’ than any of these incidentally.
    Arsenal £1.3bn; Juventus £800m, Atletico £300m; Dortmund £600m.]

    At your service!! 😀

  61. andy1886 says:

    Orson Kaert,

    Yup Orson, that was my question, why Sell Tic and not Kell Tic as in the Celts? Their history even states that they were called that because of their foundation as a club for Irish workers in Glasgow who were often known as Celts in the traditional tribal way. But why was the name corrupted in that the pronunciation was changed? I’ve never seen an answer to that.

    Apparently they only use the prefix ‘Glasgow’ in commentary so non-UK listeners know where the club is based, it isn’t part of the official name of the club.

  62. C says:


    True they haven’t won the CL but they have won their respective leagues and have come closer to winning the CL than we have sine that night in Paris, arguably they have faced a tougher test getting to the CL final and winning their respective leagues.

    You mentioned both PL and CL so I was making reference to both but I do get that they have never won the CL but then again, as you showed we are essentially worth Juve + Athletico but would you fancy us against either of those sides right now?

  63. andy1886 says:

    Juve won it in 85 (old European Cup) and 96 (as the CL). Dortmund won it in Arsene’s debut season for the Gunners (beating Juve funnily enough). Atletico have made three finals including two in the last three years of course.

    Being a grumpy old git I don’t accept anyone who wasn’t a league winner when qualifying as actually winning the thing (which conveniently wipes out Chelsea and Liverpool’s recent victories).

  64. HenryB says:

    No, C.

    But that is a false comparator as neither of them are going to win the CL anymore than us. 😀

  65. C says:


    Athletico could, Juve could Dortmund can. Arsenal, maybe but probably not.

  66. HenryB says:

    That’s OK, Andy,

    I don’t mind you ignoring my 6 : 27 comment explaining how and why the Kelts/ Celts were so named and pronounced – but not when I allegedly spill words wrung. 😀

  67. Jonnygunner says:

    I’ve only just read the post and posters for today…….Jeeeeeesu…..we’re all arguing about fuck all it would appear.
    It’s calmed a bit now though….at last.
    So fuck off you fuckin’ fuckers-all of you ….an’ c’mon over hear if you think you’re hard enough….????
    That’ll stir ’em up YW……but it’s CBob I’ m most worried about…..with his Plymouth mother.
    I wouldn’t spill her beer.

  68. HenryB says:

    I am hoping to get to NY later in the Fall, and you can buy me a Coors for saying that.

    None of those 3 will win the CL — and definitely not the PL and I think you know that. 😀

  69. Jonnygunner says:

    Typo…I meant here’….not ‘hear’…….but I got the ‘fuckers’ bit right ?

  70. andy1886 says:


    Well you could say that as one of them has been in each of the last four finals it isn’t out of the question that one of them might get lucky sooner rather than later. Atletico were just a couple of minutes away three years ago.

    Fair to say that our record of first knock out round exits for the last six (I think) seasons doesn’t really compare.

  71. C says:


    Haha, let me know and I might be able to make a trip up, I think I can afford a Coors or two.

    They won’t win the PL but then again we wouldn’t La Ligs, Serie or the Bundesliga. 😉

  72. Raven says:

    Giannis rumblings fit well in line with the “new” structure UEFA has set for the CL. Now the top 4 leagues in Europe will have a garanteed 4 teams in the CL which in turn ofc means that most other leagues are having a harder time getting a team into the CL.
    Explained pretty well here:

    Is it fair? Absolutely not. WIll it hurt football in the long run? There is a high potential for that. Sure the rich will get even richer, but on the backs of other clubs. I think it will cause more clubs to go bust in the chase for the cash cow the CL has become. It will also attract owners of a more dubious kind, who are there only to fleece the clubs they own.

    Like other posters on this blog I have stopped going to games, cause for me football is so removed from its core (the fans) that its not worth going anymore. Its not about loyalty anymore, but merely cash.

    The sad thing is the will never get rich enough, cause the more wealthy they get the higher the transfer fees are going to be. It will only secure themselves as top clubs in their leagues which makes it very stale in the long run. An anomoly like Leicester winning it last year will become even more rare in the future due to a few clubs gets to dominate each league.

  73. andy1886 says:


    As in life Raven, the greedy rich can never have enough. I guess football reflects society as a whole.

  74. Raven says:


    Yes, and I dont have a problem with that at all. If thats what they want to chase then fine by me. My problem is when it starts to affect sports and other parts of fandom driven areas.

  75. jjgsol says:

    Pistol Fish,

    Is this not an insult?

    You do not like what I say so you insult me.

    Is that tolerance?

    Is that how honest debate amongst people who have the club’s Interest at heart?

    With respect, yw, a couple of weeks ago I was insulted 3 times in quick succession, not once, but do you not think that once is once too much?

  76. Gunnerjoe says:


    I can’t agree with that, the truth is when Wenger and Arsenal was not preparing for and carrying the large debt of the stadium he’s record was much better than Graham’s.

  77. Wavey says:

    Columbus Arsenal (MA),

    I’m here a bit late in the day today, so you beat me to it. 12 goals from 5 games isn’t bad thought from a team that hasn’t been firing at all in recent seasons. And that’s without our main striker at all really, whilst the new boy has hardly had a sniff either. Not forgetting we have a goalless draw there as well. Quite something really.

  78. Wavey says:


    Pistol Fish:
    I have seen tolerance for all kinds of views and opinions on here, all except for insults and personal attacks.
    Maybe you should head over to the fun bus to see what intolerance for opposing views looks like.
    But judging bye your post I’d wager your a regular over there.

    I’ve got to say, I’m struggling to see the actual insult there. “Maybe you should head over to the fun bus”, isn’t an insult at all it’s the nickname given to the blog site set up by former posters who insulted and threatened anyone with a differing view. “But judging bye your post I’d wager your a regular over there”, being a comment that the views you express would indicate you are aligned with the “other” blogsite. He hasn’t said you should go to that site and not come back, he has indicated that you would see insults on that site which demonstrate how relatively relaxed a place ACLF is.

  79. Damon says:

    Football has literally eaten itself

    As hard as I try, I can’t divorce myself from AFC. I thought about following teams local to where I live. The big club being Brighton, but they’re knocking on the door of the Prem. If they make it in, it’s the same set of problems just at a different club

    And that issue, once you’ve got it, permeates the entire game, to the bottom of the pyramid

    My other local team is Whitehawk. Non league, but they have “money” and are looking to climb the ladder. Where to? The football league? Then where? The top tier is tainted, but it’s where everything and everyone aims at. If you accept that notion, I ask where is the line? When and where does it stop being about football and become about the money? I can’t see it and I’m not sure that line exists.

    As an example, a few players at Whitehawk were caught up in match fixing betting scandal a while back, driven by a far eastern gang. It’s all about the money, money, money!! Would you want to pay £20 to watch a bunch of guys playing non league standard wondering if they’re on the take fixing the spectacle you’ve turned up and paid for?

    Perhaps it would be best if the super clubs went off and formed a super league and left the rest of us to the football? But then I’m back to the original problem of not being able to shake AFC. Perhaps that’s a bond that only time can erode

  80. HenryB says:


    You are, of course, correct that football has changed, and the old avuncular ‘community’ owners of clubs have long gone taken over by ……. well you know who owns clubs now ……. and that has nothing to do with the local communities.

    Human nature being what it is, wherever an opportunity to make money comes up, there will always be those attracted like flies to honey who will get their hooks into the ‘asset’ and wring as much out of it as possible. Really no surprise there – it has always happened, and now there is only a few ‘zeros’ added to the sums of money involved.

    Que sera, sera – what will be will be.

  81. Damon says:


    I have no issue with people coming in, owning and running a football club to make money

    When fandom is viewed and described by an owner of one of the biggest clubs in the land as “strong brand loyalty”, you need to take a step back to see you’re getting shafted

    I am genuinely staggered by the number of intelligent people I know who don’t like how things have become. Yet they continue to pay for the sport subscriptions, the merchandise and match day “experiences”

    It’s sanitised horseshit designed to extract all your money

  82. HenryB says:


    As I wrote yesterday morning, once you have been bitten by becoming a fan, there is no escape – however much your brain is telling you something is wrong and to get the hell out of Dodge.

    As you said – try as you might the alternatives are not much better.

    I know you like cricket – Sussex? – and I am a Middx fan — I am in awe of some of the modern Rugby Union and am a Saracens fan — Wigan RFL too — and I look at my outgoings and try to convince myself the footie TV costs are spread around all the other sports I love too, and some TV drama stuff — and I even get to see the NY Giants, and the Yankees as a ‘freebie’ occasionally.

    But in reality, it comes back to the fact that I pay my exorbitant Sky and BT TV subs because of Arsenal. 😀

  83. C says:


    I think at this point its starting to look clear that we have a new main striker, so we are doing it with our main striker.

  84. Jonny says:

    Ha. You’re being a tad thin-skinned, Jigsol.

  85. Jonny says:

    Sarries are on another planet at the moment – genuinely enjoying rugby union more than football these days.

  86. HenryB says:

    A fellow Saracen, Jonny. 🙂

    Ashton has been a bit naughty again — I fear the worst for him — but as in football it is always the player who retaliates who gets done — so Waller, the persistent bad boy got 10 minutes in the sin bin, Ashton could get a maximum of 48 weeks — stupid really.

  87. Jonny says:

    I love him as a player but he’s a fucking idiot, Ashton.

    Still we have so much strength in depth, I don’t foresee it damaging us greatly – we are used to coping without him for lengthy stretches.

    For what it is worth I thought the eye-gouging incident last season was very unfair on him. But it is Ashton and so he does invite suspicion from past form.

  88. C says:

    I see the Barca contigent are big upping Bellerin which is strange because they have a damn good RB in Vidal.

  89. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    Jonny, you must be enjoying watching the All Blacks atm then as well. Belting everyone.

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