Romance Of The Cup But Don’t Go Getting Any Ideas, Sutton

romamce of the cup

The romance of the cup is alive and kicking. Not too hard, the merest hint of contact will leave one Joseph Barton, esquire, crumpled in a heap on the floor. The hard man exposed as quite the opposite.

Congratulations to Lincoln City and yes, even Millwall, for the victories yesterday, sending Premier League opposition out of the cup. For Burnley, it’s nothing new, of course. Wimbledon – the original club – sent them packing from the FA Cup forty-one years ago. I have to say that while I remember the result, the game escapes my memory.

Mention Dickie Guy’s name and the image of him on The Big Match, his hands in position to catch the ball in close-up, underneath Brian Moore’s voiceover extolling the virtues of his performance against Leeds. It’s old fart time, I’m afraid, as I recall there really hasn’t been a better way to let your Sunday roast digest than an hour of highlights of three of the previous day’s games.

Ratings will always beat romance though, hence Manchester United’s 4,312th consecutive FA Cup tie being screened this afternoon. Blackburn away might, on paper, be shock-fodder but in truth, it’s going to be Dullsville, Arizona as United look to throttle the life out of the game and your will to live.

Perhaps Fulham will give us the third shock of the round – these things come in threes, don’t they? – which will deflate any superstitious Sutton players thoughts. Not that there’s much coverage of the game in the papers at the moment, it’s all about Arsène and his “four more years! four more years!” plan.

Why not? I mean, the fightback; is he supposed to just sit there and take it? Jebus, I hope the players shown this much fight in the rest of the season rather than the supine second-half performance in Munich.

Romance Of The Cup

Not that Arsène is contemplating many changes as a result of that. Quite the opposite, he said on Friday,

“I always had in my head that it was a very important game,” said the boss. “In my head I have had a team that will start and play there, for a week or 10 days now. That result we had at Bayern Munich will not influence that selection.”

As ever, it’s open to interpretation. It will be a “normal team” which can mean anything. I’d argue that the players who performed so woefully in the second half need to go out and play as a punishment, instead of having a fortnight off. The rest brought on by the quirk of the fixture list with next week’s EFL Cup final is the same as an international break, with a meaning less game thrown in for good measure. Surely it will be christened the “EFL lull” – Extended Failure Lay-off…

It’s not punishment, of course, but Arsenal are in a ‘no-win’ situation off the pitch. They can only come out of the game with varying degrees of criticism ringing in their ears. Win 1 – 0 and ‘plucky Sutton’ gets lost in criticism of our performance. 10 – 0 is ‘flat-track bullies’ territory, and, ‘what did you expect’.

Maybe playing the ‘normal’ cup team isn’t such a bad idea.

What we need is for Sutton to prod the sleeping bear with a stick, generate a bit of needle for the match. In the seventies, we had the ‘Leatherhead Lip’ but these days, cup giantkillers are much more respectful. Apparently, Sutton have their own ‘Arjen Robben’; it’s not quite the same. A fantastic footballer but as dull as dishwater when interviewed; Chris Kelly, he ain’t.

Carpet Burns and Pancakes

Media training has spread itself over the game like a blanket. The romance of the cup was driven by the ‘average bloke on the street’ comments of the upstart teams in years gone by. ‘They won’t fancy it at our place’ surfaced a little bit this past week or so but in a jokey way about the changing rooms. Trouble is, football isn’t played in changing rooms and in any case, there must be a pub nearby where the overspill can get their kit on. Jumpers for goalposts, and all that.

Pitch improvements over the years diminished the likelihood of mud-baths or slopes playing into the hands of the non-league teams. Arsenal couldn’t wish for a better surface for their passing game on Monday night. 3G, flat as a pancake? They won’t even get carpet burns from a sliding tackle! Ah, the good old days when a thin layer of Astroturf covered the concrete.

The odds of an upset on Monday are predictably low. Of a 1,000 meetings, Arsenal would win 998, 1 draw and 1 win for Sutton. It’s up to Wenger to pick a team that will not allow the latter two scenarios to arise. It’s up to the players to have their heads screwed on and if they learn one thing from Munich, not to crumple.

How quick on the uptake are our lot?

Dad’s Jukebox

1992 has been reached in the Times of our Lives series. Listen to a cracking reminder of yesteryear here.

’til Tomorrow.

 

 

98 thoughts on “Romance Of The Cup But Don’t Go Getting Any Ideas, Sutton

  1. Morning,

    I really would like to see a similar line up to the one used in the last round. The young players and those who haven’t had much of a shot recently, but should do. Players like Welbeck and Perez who should get a crack. I wouldn’t expect any complacency from them at the off. Maitland-Niles and the Jeff have the quality to provide a sound midfield and Per with Holding in the middle of defence have enough about them. Maybe even play Ox in the middle against to continue his development in that role. It should be about doing a disciplined job, rather than expecting a cake walk.
    At moment I would play either Welbz or Perez alongside Sanchez as part of the front three all of the time. Either one would present a more dynamic option than the players we are putting out at the moment. And I think either one would work with Alexis in pressing the opponents from the off.

  2. I have tried many times but I can’t help thinking it: if we get beaten tomorrow Arsene’s position becomes untenable at best or more likely to change at worst. I can’t bring myself to actually want us to lose but the romantic in me pines for a future without Arsene so badly that I think that maybe its the best thing that could happen.

  3. Alex Ice Cream,

    Should the unthinkable happen and we lose the tie, Wenger would shrug it off as “just one of those things that happen in football”, and he would continue on in his own little world.

    If, however, Sutton inflicted a Bayern Munich style drubbing that would surely indicate that he had lost the confidence of his team and would push him to the edge of the precipice.

    However much some sections of the fan base want change, nothing will happen before the end of the season.

  4. Morning

    He has to play 12 to 22 doesn’t he? Maybe Sanchez up front to help the young midfield pairing. Giroud deserves some game time. Fuck giving anyone who ran on in Munich another go spare Ospina who gets to play consecutive games for the 1st time this season I think. He should be ahead of Cech in the squad now anyway.

    Wenger really needs to be ruthless for the rest of the season now to try to get a reaction from the squad. Le Coq, Mustafi, Gibbs, Ozil, Owobi and Cech warming the bench at best. Holding, El Neny, Perez, Welbeck, Adelaide and Niles are the names I want to see on the teamsheet every week.

  5. Is Sanogo fit to play? A farewell appearance perhaps? Possibly an audition and a bid from the opposition after the game? Or a swap for tea and biscuits at half time?

    Seriously Giroud needs a run out, I would certainly rest Alexis, Welbeck and Perez make up the front three, Jeff, Maitland-Niles and Elneny, and at the back as previously mentioned Mert and Holding flanked by Gibbs (surely he can be half decent at this level?) plus any body not named Bellerin at RB. Keeper should have nothing to do, Martinez if fit.

  6. GK is interesting tomorrow Andy

    If I were Sutton manager, I’d be looking to get high balls into the box. Throw it in the mixer and see what happens. For one, its a bit of a quality leveller and it’s something I don’t think Arsenal have shown they cope with well.

    If it’s Ospina, even more so. I don’t think he’s the greatest on commanding his area. Set pieces early on would be a big target for me to get us worried.

  7. Yogi,

    It shows how desperate things have become. 10 years of decline or at best stagnation and 4 of those when money was no longer the barrier.

    It saddens me that we have been allowed to drift for so long and other than Kroenke going the most important thing for Arsenal football club is that Wenger leaves.

    I can’t bring myself to want us to lose but I want Arsene out more than anything. No dictators go quietly – they have to be forced out.

  8. Damon,

    Mert should be effective in the air (okay, no as effective as he should be for a man of his size but effective enough anyway). Holding should be used to the rough and tumble of the football league so perhaps we might be better equipped than usual to handle the high ball into the box. Not sure about Martinez though, or Ospina as you say. Quite honestly though they should be spending about 90% of the time in their own half and picking the ball out of the net on numerous occasions. Just because other sides under performed it doesn’t mean that it’s an excuse for us to do so of course.

  9. Would love to see Welbeck, Alexis and Lucas upfront. I would bench Ozil and play Elneny and Ox just in front of Xhaka. I don’t blame Lucas for not wasting his time with Wenger and being below Iwobi, Theo and Ox in the pecking order.

    I am also unsure about Ospina – he is a number 2 keeper just like Cech. He is nowhere near dominating enough aerially or physically. A new goalkeeper is a priority in the summer.

  10. Tabloid journos claiming Kroenke wants Thierry to manage.

    Were into the realms of Crouch to Arsenal territory on the believability front.

    Thankfully it’s utter nonsense as short of Sol Campbell, I struggle to think of a worse appointment the club could plumb for.

    FFS I am bored of the speculation already and we are only just getting started…

  11. Currently watching the replay of Bayern v Hertha, and the commentator asked thr other commentator, “do you think if there is an Arsenal supporter watching this and wondering why couldn’t we do this?”

    He answerer, “the players don’t have the mentality to defend at all cost, the manager doesn’t do tactics or have the tactical know how these days to do this, the manager wants to attack and when they defend they aren’t very good at it in Europe and Ancelotti is a better tactician and Bayern punished them.”

  12. Alex,

    Obviously a run out in a meaningless U-23s game against Leicester is more useful to him than a competitive match in the FA Cup. Maybe Wenger’s worried that the mudbath condition of the pitch could lead to him injuring himself. Hang on, they have an artificial pitch which is similar to the quality that our players use at London Colney all the time. So excluding Welbeck is nothing more than yet another bit of Wenger nonsense to wave two fingers to those who think they know better than him. Clearly the Leicester U-23s will give Welbeck much more of a game than a fired up non-league side on a high quality pitch.

  13. What’s the current situation with Perez ?

    Is he really ‘injured’ or a victim of his quotes regarding being pissed off ?

  14. andy1886,

    I agree we should be winning comfortably. But….

    We have shown that the one thing that teams with less ability than ourselves can bring to bridge the gap is effort. We can start to look all at sea with an effective press.

    Throw into that our old friend mental strength, who exits stage the first sign of a disaster and you will excuse me for seeing that it’s possible? I’m just suggesting that if I were preparing the Sutton team, I’d think that if we rattle them early and get about them, weak points can appear. I could easily foresee a shaky first twenty minutes for us to weather. Imagine they nick a goal and go one up? That could be enough to put us into panic mode? Gaps at the back and two down at half time? About as likely as it sharpening our focus and knocking three past them before the break imo

    I really can’t see us losing and would hate for it to happen. I’d love Arsene to win the FA cup and bow out with a open top bus parade in the sunshine.

  15. Chelsea and now Spurs have both shown how to put in a professional performance against a lower league club. Chelsea were on control the whole game and Spurs have hardly let Fulham have a sniff in the first half.

  16. consolsbob,

    And they made it look pretty easy as well. Kane hat trick and Fulham maybe had 2 shots on target in the whole match, neither of which really worried Vorm.
    Will we have as comfortable a game at the back tomorrow night?

  17. Wavey,

    Comments about Alli when he left the pitch as to how disappointed he looked not have scored and how he put in a shift. How many of our players bar Alexis can we say that about on a regular basis?

    Exactly right, Professional is a word that you cannot always apply when we play. And it starts with being prepared properly, detailed analysis of the opponents, knowing exactly how we want to play, how to exploit their weaknesses and nullify their strengths. If you don’t take the time to prepare properly how can you expect your players to work it for themselves in the heat of the match?

    United one down. Another warning for Wenger.

  18. Another gem of a post yogi.

    I understand the theory of why one of the top 4 contenders and perhaps the relegation threatened clubs would consider winning the FA cup as unimportant. It’s interesting that a lot of our club’s fans feel the same way. They would rather see players like Jeff and Maitland-Niles get a game. What I don’t understand is why so many of the mid table teams don’t seem to care. With the big teams starting weakened line ups a team like Burnley would have a great chance to win. Every year there is at least one team from the bottom 1/3 of the table in the final. A team like Bournemouth Southampton or Burnley have a realistic chance to win the cup an yet they make 10 changes for their games and lose. I don’t understand.

  19. Bill:

    Another gem of a post yogi.

    I understand the theory of why one of the top 4 contenders and perhaps the relegation threatened clubs would consider winning the FA cup as unimportant. It’s interesting that a lot of our club’s fans feel the same way. They would rather see players like Jeff and Maitland-Niles get a game. What I don’t understand is why so many of the mid table teams don’t seem to care. With the big teams starting weakened line ups a team like Burnley would have a great chance to win. Every year there is at least one team from the bottom 1/3 of the table in the final. A team like Bournemouth Southampton or Burnley have a realistic chance to win the cup an yet they make 10 changes for their games and lose. I don’t understand.

    Yogi.

    I mistyped my email so my comment went into moderation so i copied and pasted

  20. That’s the issue. Seeing a club like Spurs doing the right things while ours struggles. A manager who has built a team of strivers and workers. Tactics that work for his players. All put into practice on the pitch.

    I know that we are always scornful of them actually keeping it up for a whole season but there is no reason why they shouldn’t. I know who are the most confident and happiest set of supporters in North London these days.

  21. Spurs put out a strong team and won easily.

    What has happened to Vincent Janssen? I thought he was on our radar. I suspect he is the Spurs version of Joel Campbell

  22. Talking about old Arsenal young ‘hot items’, Anthony Stokes has just come on for Blackburn.

    Did he actually ever play a full game for the first eleven?

  23. Bill,

    He’s actually had a few games for Spurs, but has struggled so far. I thought he might do well in the PL, but has been disappointing so far. He’s probably had more run outs than Perez, who has done considerably better.

  24. Janssen has played 24 games for Spuds, 15 in the PL. He’s scored 2 goals and I think they were both penalties.
    Perez has had 15 appearances in all competitions, 8 in the PL, and scored 5 goals.
    Understandable why he should feel hard done by.

    So Chelsea, Spuds or United in the draw then?

  25. Draw for the next round in half an hour. Ideally Spurs v Chelsea and United v City, but you can probably bet that we’ll get Chelsea and United and Spurs will get an easy home draw.

    Maybe the draw will indicate if fate is on Wenger’s side. Another easy draw and lady luck is perhaps rooting for him, away to Conte’s side and it’s another indication that it’s time he packed his bags.

  26. Bill,

    I want Maitland-Niles and the Jeff to play because they will probably be more up for it then the usual shower. I can’t see either of them playing with complacency in tomorrow night’s game.

  27. Zlatan has now scored 24 goals across all competitions. Not bad for an old fart with no pace. One of the commentators described it as speed of thought rather than pace.

  28. Spurs are presently everything we are not.

    In terms of an impressive turn around, I admire Conte for all he has achieved in less than a season.

    However, it is Pochettino and by extension Spurs that I admire over a few seasons -he has barely entered his third year at Spurs, and they are a club transformed. The owner, GM and fan base all seem on the same page and confident in the steps Pochettino is taking.

    Any dip in form, for the team or individuals is taken in stride as all are assured they are on an upward trajectory.

    The flip side is Arsenal are mired in a bizarre, idiotic soap opera – as Jonny said.

    ”…FFS I am bored of the speculation already and we are only just getting started”

    You have Daniel Taylor writing a drippy piece in the Guardian about “Arsenal fans should heed Old Trafford warning” …whilst Spurs casually go out and put Fulham to the sword.

    Any number of morons are out there (who doesn’t now have an ‘opinion’ about the Wenger saga?) making ridiculous claims Wenger will be impossible to replace. Yet a stone’s throw away in North London, Pochettino has stabilized and improved more for Spurs in two years than Wenger has in the past decade at Arsenal.

    It’s a little soul destroying to contemplate where we would be if a forward thinking board had bought Pochettino to Arsenal in 2014.

  29. Good grief…Sutton followed by Lincoln.

    Is this a sign?

    Wenger informs us all he is leaving this summer and the team lifts then delivers him the FA Cup as parting gift.

    One can dream.

  30. Wavey,

    Lucky Lucky Arsene. Would you believe it?

    I’m sure that the Spuds will enjoy hosting Millwall, or their fans at least – not.

  31. -DFS,

    Nah, a cup win would only convince Arsene that he has still got it at the highest level. Make that another three years then (remember last time we were told it was two years on the table but he ended up signing for three).

  32. andy1886,

    The story was that he signed the current deal following the Cup win over Hull. Unless something goes drastically wrong, we have a trip to Wembley.

  33. Lincoln city will be praying that Arsenal beat Sutton utd tomorrow so as to play at the emirates….the money they will make from the match will be eyes watery to them

  34. spuds ain’t performing $h*te and won fk’all!
    They have not won a DAMN thing.
    manure are on coach #? and are not even in cl either.
    $h*tty just lost their spark to a season long foot injury and we shall see if they limp to the finish line.
    chavs might very well win the league this yea,r but they are not even in cl.
    Yes, am pissed about losing, but Arsene is very level headed and knows a loss is just that.
    Lets finish the year above all the rest of the scrum, win the FA and be stoked to support a great team!
    Laughing really, that the media have basically manufactured all this hype, and Arsenal are still a great club no matter how much “fake news” is out there.
    When I watch any game here in the US I can’t believe the negative Arsenal media bias. Blackburn played great today and all I heard is how great 6th place manure are. Put the tube on mute and enjoyed the last 20 mintues or so.

    May the Arsenal blast Sutton and allow Arsene to get back on track.
    He is one of the greatest managers ever in the EPL and hope he goes out on his own terms with his dignity intact!

    Many here wish for change no matter what- i get that, but if that is at the expense of being remotely competitive than f that!
    One of the best coaches in US college basketball has got it correct. “We’re firing coaches in midseason. Are you s—ing me?” Calipari said. “We’re firing coaches in midseason. You know what I’m putting my contract? You can fire me at midseason but you’re going to have to pay me $3 million. Oh, you’ll let me stay now, won’t you? … Every coach in the country, put it in your contract.”
    So, no I do not give 2 $h*ts about a revolving door of coaches and the prospect of maybe winning. With all the money that is out there in futbol today, the Arsenal BETTER line up a top coach-full stop or do not make the change right now.

    Think “Popovich” instead of DiMateo-sustainable versus constant flux and infighting.

    my lousy 1cent.

  35. So Lincoln it is, great draw. It would be all to fitting for us to win the FA Cup and Arsene ride off into the sunset as the most successful FA Cup manager.

    Fairy tale stuff, Lincoln gets a big pay day, good for them too.

  36. Aaron,

    Serious? Spuds are ahead of us in the league. City lost their spark? Jesus only played two games plus a few minutes (remember Aguero, not a bad replacement). If the Chavs win the league for the second time in three years I doubt that they would swap it for our usual last sixteen exit. United are on our tails and have a cup final next week. We on the other hand have only the FA Cup left, with potentially Chelsea, Spurs and City also in the semis.

    Let’s not forget that the Chavs fired Maureen mid season and it seems to have worked out pretty well. If anyone wants to celebrate top four trophies that’s up to them, personally I struggle to get excited about a competition where we are not competitive and only seem to be in it for the money. Embrace change! For good or ill, it’s better than living in a terminally dull time loop.

  37. With 3 top 4 teams in the semi’s we don’t stand a hope of winning the FA cup this year. We have o get past Sutton yet, then Lincoln. Mind you if we do make the semi’s only to be knocked out, Wenger will view that as a successful run against top opposition.

  38. Aaron:
    spuds ain’t performing $h*te and won fk’all!
    They have not won a DAMN thing.
    manure are on coach #? and are not even in cl either.
    $h*tty just lost their spark to a season long foot injury and we shall see if they limp to the finish line.
    chavs might very well win the league this yea,r but they are not even in cl.
    Yes, am pissed about losing, but Arsene is very level headed and knows a loss is just that.
    Lets finish the year above all the rest of the scrum, win the FA and be stoked to support a great team!
    Laughing really, that the media have basically manufactured all this hype, and Arsenal are still a great club no matter how much “fake news” is out there.
    When I watch any game here in the US I can’t believe the negative Arsenal media bias. Blackburn played great today and all I heard is how great 6th place manure are. Put the tube on mute and enjoyed the last 20 mintues or so.

    May the Arsenal blast Sutton and allow Arsene to get back on track.
    He is one of the greatest managers ever in the EPL and hope he goes out on his own terms with his dignity intact!

    Many here wish for change no matter what- i get that, but if that is at the expense of being remotely competitive than f that!
    One of the best coaches in US college basketball has got it correct. “We’re firing coaches in midseason. Are you s—ing me?” Calipari said. “We’re firing coaches in midseason. You know what I’m putting my contract? You can fire me at midseason but you’re going to have to pay me $3 million. Oh, you’ll let me stay now, won’t you? … Every coach in the country, put it in your contract.”
    So, no I do not give 2 $h*ts about a revolving door of coaches and the prospect of maybe winning. With all the money that is out there in futbol today, the Arsenal BETTER line up a top coach-full stop or do not make the change right now.

    Think “Popovich” instead of DiMateo-sustainable versus constant flux and infighting.

    my lousy 1cent.

    Using Spurs as a yardstick is hardly worthy of our club and it’s place or grounded aspirations.

    If your argument is valid the bigger question is still about the latter. Wenger is stability. The deference to his demands is at heart – safe, low risk, corporate-driven and conservative. It is caution and hectoring about the unfair playing field reveal a lack of ambition and honesty.

    We’re the only big club fans who have not just accepted comparative financial prudency but display it as a badge of honour. Among Wenger’s acolytes this also serves as a use as a catch-all excuse for any and every criticism.

    ‘We are living within our means’.

    Well fucking don’t then.

    Man Utd leveraged the fuck out of their club and are somehow still here.

    We’d rather bankrupt our own fans.

  39. Arsenal topped the table for most expensive commonly-paid season ticket price for adults (£1,014 for 26 games), but their price per game of £39 was less than Liverpool (£45.74), Tottenham (£41.90) and Chelsea (£39.47).

  40. -DFS,

    I read the Daniel Taylor article in the Observer earlier. His writing is generally insightful and he has some decent stories, but his criticism of Arsenal fans was lazy journalism. He’s overlooking the fact that we’ve been going through the motions for 10 years now.

    We’re bored. Time for change.

  41. Spuds get Millwall in the cup… Saves the whl demolition company having to remove the seats from the Park Lane End

  42. Knobby:
    Arsenal topped the table for most expensive commonly-paid season ticket price for adults (£1,014 for 26 games), but their price per game of £39 was less than Liverpool (£45.74), Tottenham (£41.90) and Chelsea (£39.47).

    I contacted the Club to suggest that they remove the Cup vouchers from the season ticket. They politely declined.

    The bottom line is that the season ticket is outrageously expensive. Not sure what point you’re trying to make?

  43. So it’s the most loyal fans who get fisted the hardest?

    A decent model for a Berlin queercore club but we’re The Arsenal, we’re meant aspire to better values than standard.

    Preach about the ethical challenge of ‘financial doping’ but somehow refuse to make any moral response to ensure that all workers are given a living wage.

    This is politically expedient morality fitted to suit the flock. Another Church selectively clutching morals to sell expensive persuasions to the faithful contributors to collection plate.

    Out of interest – I think we are the 5th-7th richest club (depending on how you measure) how many more years of not challenging for the Premiership or CL would be enough for you to consider AW’s expiration date?

  44. Wavey

    Wasn’t Harry Kane injured for a while. I guess that is why Janssen has gotten as many minutes as he did.

    I had a feeling we would draw Lincoln. If I was a conspiracy theorist I would think the FA wants Arsene to stay.

    If Arsene is not ready to retire now, how much chance was there that he was even considering the possibility of retirement before we won the cup in 2014. The idea that he was undecided but made an emotional decision to return after winning against Hull is utter hogwash. Arsene knows exactly what he wants to do now but he is not ready to tell anyone.

    The deep run in the FA cup will be one of his reasons for signing the next 2 year contract.

  45. Pete,
    Just saying we ain’t the only club bankrupting fans.
    One club hasn’t one the league for 26 yrs and another Harry Kanes grandad wasn’t born..
    Hardly value for money.

  46. Knobby,

    This is true. They’re all trying to match us in the fleecing department.

    Imagine the day they reduce prices…crazy, I know

  47. Jonny: Using Spurs as a yardstick is hardly worthy of our club and it’s place or grounded aspirations.

    If your argument is valid the bigger question is still about the latter. Wenger is stability.The deference to his demands is at heart – safe, low risk, corporate-driven and conservative. It is caution and hectoring about the unfair playing field reveal a lack of ambition and honesty.

    We’re the only big club fans who have not just accepted comparative financial prudency but display it as a badge of honour. Among Wenger’s acolytes this also serves as a use as a catch-all excuse for any and every criticism.

    ‘We are living within our means’.

    Well fucking don’t then.

    Man Utd leveraged the fuck out of their club and are somehow still here.

    We’d rather bankrupt our own fans.

    1st The table never lies.

    2nd Many people on here keep wanting to be like the spuds and pott, but last time I checked they have not finished above us in a very long time. Do not care about late season collapses or what have you, bottom line they are not better than the Arsenal.

    3rd manure will bust just like the spanish teams- it always happens-always! econ 101

    Yes, it is time for a change, but all the trash that is hurled at Arsene is beyond belief. I have said on here and other blogs if you pay to see, you can say what you wish in life, but free speech comes at a price and should not degrade the team nor the manager. Just listening to some of the fans at the games and comparing them to teams that wish they were the Arsenal makes me cringe. This coming from a Lions fan, and I always cheer the players no matter what as I prefer encouraging the team onward and upward. Screaming obscenities and
    the like directly at the playesr and the manager just makes one look foolish.

    Here is hoping that the Arsenal do take some risks soon, but I appreciate what Arsene has brought to Arsenal, but I will hold my breath that it will be a true risk because kroenke is a greedy miser who enriches himself at the expense of all others.

  48. Bill,

    I think Kane was injured for a spell, but I think they also played him alongside Kane instead of Son. He got more games than can be put down to Kane’s injury. I think they actually wanted to try to use their new forward. They don’t generally spend significant money on specific players, so maybe they wanted to see what they got for their money.

  49. I totally agree about respect for AW – I among the loudest when people resort to ad hominem outbursts. In fairness, I think there are few genuinely personal attacks on here.

  50. To all those who think we are greedy and dissatisfied with our current level of achievement, I say, ” mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”.

    We are the fucking Arsenal!

  51. consolsbob:
    To all those who think we are greedy and dissatisfied with our current level of achievement, I say, ” mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”.

    We are the fucking Arsenal!

    Aww thanks Mister Chairman, my mum used to use that Latin saying all the time – it always makes me nostalgic.

    Thanks.

  52. Pete the Thirst,

    Lazy journalism it was.

    I am sick and tired of this pretense – Paul MacInnes was even more vocal about Wenger getting ‘disrepected’ on their podcast (though this is not a Guardian stance).

    It’s abject nonsense. No fan turned on Wenger overnight, there was no mass conspiracy to suddenly turn him out. Nor are the fans ‘entitled’ or indulged.

    Wenger has become a detached thumbnail character everyone has appropriated.

    He has enjoyed such good and thorough PR for so long (more recently unwarranted) he now ‘represents’ an imagined bygone era, the more moral and ethical past. It’s laughable and frustrating.

    The problem being this alternative version of Wenger does not represent reality, the last decade or anything in the present day era. Naturally, it never touches on the petty side of the man, let alone his obstinacy.

    It’s hypocrisy. McInnes went on a rant about the man who had changed Arsenal, nay football being disrespected…then promptly launched into a conversation where he and the entire panel brutally savaged Arsenal for their woeful performance against Bayern Munich.

    It’s utter disconnect.

  53. DFS – broadly concur.

    Of pertinent note – the point about the gradual nature of disillusionment into what I would suggest is now a majority of the fanbase is testament to their patience.

    The remainder and the board give AW an amount of latitude that is, to my mind, incomparable and increasingly anachronistic in modern day football management.

  54. Welbeck posted on Twitter that he got 70 minutes today and that it was preferable to the plastic pitch at Sutton given his recent return from injury. Sounds like a strategically placed post to me.

  55. An article has also appeared with Wenger raising his concerns over the pitch at Sutton. The article flags that the team have been training on a 3G pitch at London Colney. It seems a bit much to claim concerns over a certain pitch when you routinely use them at your own training ground. The latest spin is that Sutton water theirs and usually they are dry, so it will be a bit different. So why not start watering a pitch at London Colney as soon as the tie was announced then?
    Seems a little it too much like lining up your excuses in advance.

  56. “One of the best coaches in US college basketball has got it correct. “We’re firing coaches in midseason. Are you s—ing me?” Calipari said. “We’re firing coaches in midseason. You know what I’m putting my contract? You can fire me at midseason but you’re going to have to pay me $3 million. Oh, you’ll let me stay now, won’t you? … Every coach in the country, put it in your contract.””

    Every major football coach has punitive termination clauses – sounds like he is laying groundwork for the accepted normalisations of contractual rewards – regardless of results.

    Are all of the clubs that fired management mid-season and yielded positive reversals in form culpable?

    Or do the demands of the big ticket names, big salaries and their grotesquely unpalatable dismissal packages also come with big expectations?

    Such dismissals are not always unreasonable – not when you are paid like a fairytale king for results – let alone when you’re still handsomely rewarded for the ‘et tu Brutus’ enforced regicide of one’s own repeated, mid-season, abject failure .

  57. Jonny,

    Please take a look at that coaches record and just get where he is coming from. John Calipari’s coaching record speaks for itself.

    All I am saying is that I do not want to pull a Swansea City and blame the coach for an inferior board or owner and players, as all that money could have been spent on getting the players Arsenal need to move forward.

    It would be nice to be a friend of “Caesar” as I could obtain free seating at every home game;-)

    Also remember that

  58. Jonny,

    Of course, I totally agree.

    A more rational discourse has centered around the idea no one should (or will) ever be allowed to wield the power Wenger enjoys because of the fault lines regarding not just succession, but all aspects of management at Arsenal it has created.

    An interesting point concerning the board was, even if their support remained in place for Wenger, why did they not even insist on bringing in a Director of Football several years ago.

    Wenger would not have liked it, but surely the matter could have been seen as a common sense, necessary step.

    Wenger’s personal burden is lightened, another voice and rationale brought into the club to counter balance Arsene.

    More importantly, a director of football would have the subject of succession always on his agenda because it was a bloody inevitability, whereas the feckless board simply buried their heads in the sand.

  59. “All I am saying is that I do not want to pull a Swansea City”

    In fairness that is not ‘all you are saying’.

    It’s not even a reasonable counter-argument to those who have struggled reluctantly towards what is a difficult conclusion.

    Of course you don’t think we want want to ‘pull Swansea City’ you’re just citing it as specious evidence to bolster your fear-based argument against the unknown tides of change.

    Redolent of the doing ‘a Leeds’ cautionary tale of transfer excess that has been so useful to the board management gravy-train.

    We have never been at risk of either but that’s what gets painted the monochromatic adherents of fear.

    We’d rather dream bigger and live the excitement of the unknown. The good majority of us have gotten here after much struggle.

    We are not Swansea, we never will be.

    We too well run to ever be ‘Leeds’.

    We surely aspire to better ideals than Spurs.

    Why are the AKBs always seeking to reduce us to the lowly standards and failings of our inferiors?

  60. Aaron:
    Jonny,

    Please take a look at that coaches record and just get where he is coming from. John Calipari’s coaching record speaks for itself.

    I did not realise we were guilty of not looking at AW’s record or misunderstanding where he comes from.

    Calipari is not someone I am familiar with but even the best have their time.

    Didn’t Einstein dismiss quantum mechanics with”God doesn’t play basketball” 😉

  61. Yes, it is a reasonable argument that you might be denying, and you are saying that!
    Change for change sake, regardless of outcome.

    I feel many people’s pain here, really, every big game we lose. The change needs to come yesterday, but who on the board has the balls and intelligence to move the Arsenal forward, surely not Gazadis or anyone else.

    I have heard the Howe, Tuchel and all that others argument for at least a year. These gentleman would be out of their league and are nothing but media driven nonsense for replacements. They are not good enough. Easy to see.

    Arsene has helped move “your ideal” further forward than any other Arsenal coach in the clubs history.

  62. Is it not remotely a concern of yours, in your quieter moments, that it is he who is not ‘good enough’?

    Is that not a normal process?

    Southampton have surpassed most clubs in terms of progressive approaches – where is the market leading innovative thinking ?

    I do not want to belittle the magnitude of AW’s epochal changes but the days where you can push the envelope by asking your key staff to maybe stop drinking most of the time, to stop eating kebabs, and to generally respect their bodies, is a distant memory.

    Where does belief end and indulgence start?

    82 52 51 51 60 is not just the number for your French girlfriend – the truth is written in the margins… 😀

  63. Only just realised this.

    “3rd manure will bust just like the spanish teams- it always happens-always! econ 101”

    Wait WAT?

    The biggest clubs have maintained a hegemony of power in every football league – they have utilised a coterie of power distorting strategies to do so but that game has never been more pronounced.

    Manchester United are, in corporate terms, the lost in respect envy of every sponsor professional going. They could sponsor clouds or grass and people would still queue for the priorities of premium font choice.

    I don’t always object to a false bust but I do at least prefer something believable and supported.

  64. Change for change sake cracks me up every time. Because half of the Arsenal fan base has decided overnight that we want Wenger to go after a couple of poor results? We are talking about years of stagnation, about treading water. Is the hare to be lauded because he lets the tortoise catch up? We weren’t even that good as a hare.

  65. What a very good night here in the comments.

    Imagine, Arsenal supporters wanting more success, wanting to lord it over the Mancs and Chelsea.

    The bloody nerve of these people!

  66. God doesn’t play dice Jonny. When in fact that’s exactly what quantum mechanics does.

    I don’t know any other top coach that has such huge embarrassing defeats on his cv. And Wenger doesn’t seem to be able to do anything about it.

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