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Monday, November 17, 2008

All your rants!!

Losing The Faith On Wenger
If Wenger thinks he will win anything with Diaby, Denilson, Song , he really needs to go. Cream over the youth products all you want. If Wenger loves unearthing starlets, let him become a f**k*ng scout!

Most fans pay £40 + a game in the hope that their team wins a match, or a league, not so the profits of a club are secure! If we don't qualify for the CL, which I think we won't, finally, finally, someone may have the balls and turn around to him and say, 'you f**k*d up...now what? You gonna spend some money on a complete player?'

Our defence hasn't been up to scratch for ages and he has done nothing to remedy that. Our defensive midfield was weakened and he did nothing. People forget about Gilberto and we have missed him so much. Giving the captaincy to Gallas instead of him was disgusting and Wenger should be ashamed of how he treated one of the most professional players we have had. Fabregas will leave, I can guarantee it, his apathy and poor form this season has been evident for all to see, as will Adebayor, and then what? We could get £60 mill for those two, and then what? I know, service some of that debt, because we won't be in the CL and that money will need to be replaced.

To my fellow Arsenal fans, get used to not competing at all, I fear barren days ahead.
John 'utterly disillusioned' Matrix

Arsenal Lack Leadership In The Stands
I've been an Arsenal season ticket holder since the move to the Emirates, at a cost of £3,500 over 3 years. In return I've seen some incredible world class games, but also a lot of frustrating games, and this season is looking like there's going to be a number of fairly meaningless games (obviously I'm hoping for a good run in the Champions League).

I chip in with the singing, shout 'come on lads' a few times, stand up to show my hatred of Tottenham etc. etc. but I do often find myself sitting quietly and well-behaved like those around me for long stretches in some games. Sorry fellow gooners, but most of you do the same. We need leadership not just on the pitch, but in the stands as well.

In fact I missed the Villa game on Saturday and passed my ticket on to someone else. After 3 home games in two weeks unfortunately the missus demanded my attention for a saturday afternoon. Again, sorry guys, I guess I should take some share of responsibility for our poor performance against Villa. I'll do my best to get to every single game remaining this season (although I have to miss one over Christmas).

But after reading some of the mails yesterday and this morning I was wondering if I myself was falling into the category of fans no longer wanted at the stadium, and if so I will consider my position for the greater good of the team. Otherwise, f**k off and stop your bitching, we're in this together, scumbags.
John Davies

Letting The Side Down
We now find ourselves in a mutually acrimonious viscious spiral:

- The team falters due to inherent weaknesses.

- The fans, enraged behave in a terrible and unprecedented way - but towards the team, as I suppose the only outlet for their ire. (How many players have been frequently booed this season - Bendtner, Adebayor, Eboue, the whole team? Booing has been present almost every other game.It is absolutely disgusting in my view, and I am ashamed that our Arsenal supporters relationship with our own players has come to this.)

- The team personnel already with fragile belief and love in the arsenal project and the badge really do lose any remaining vestiges of love, performances drop further, and players cannot wait to get out.

- All is destroyed.

I implore all Arsenal Fans. I share your pain, but on no account boo the team. Even more so if they are spineless, do we need to get behind them to give them heart. It is not any players fault that he is on the pitch, so any annoyance at his percieved lack of quality should not be directed at him.

Angus Hulme

A Red-Letter Day
I was getting ready to write an angry tirade against Darren Hoare just now, until I read the last lines of his email. It's true there are probably loads of Red Members like myself, waiting to get the next level of membership so I can get to more games.

I supported Arsenal as a kid and was a Junior Gunner (most clubs have an equivalent) but I then moved further away from London and even abroad for a while, hence I didn't continue paying every year. But back in the day (pre/early Wenger) it was still possible to get tickets without being a member). Now I live in the Westcountry and it's not exactly easy to get to every game. I'm lucky if there is a ticket for a game on a day I can make, and I can afford it at the time. It's not just the tickets, but then the travelling down there.

But I don't doubt that with the next level of membership it'll be easier to get tickets so, he has a point when he says the more passionate Red members will be able to get to more games. Frankly, I'll suffer the dent in the wallet if it means I can get to more games and I don't just mean going to watch other big four teams - I'll just as happily shout myself hoarse watching us against anyone (and have done before!).

Of course, the next problem when I get there, is being told to shut up and sit down when trying to start a chant......but just so you know, there are genuine fans out there on the waiting list so when the plastic ones give up and go and support Chelsea - we'll be there to replace them!
M (supported arsenal before we became 'Gooners') Green

...Whilst not wanting to get drawn into pointless bickering (for shame) I do take some issue with Darren Hoare's ridiculous idea this morning that the reason for the good atmosphere at Arsenal vs. Manchester United and the subsequent Ashburton atmosphere void at the Villa match was the fact that Silver Members (one below season ticket level) bothered to attend the United game and that those pesky Red Members, who apparently "have no idea what it's like to really support the club", couldn't get a ticket.

A reasonable argument at first glance perhaps, but undermined somewhat by the fact that the reason tickets were more easily available to us lowly Red Members for the Villa game was that many of the sainted Silver Members decided to give the game a miss, presumably on the basis that it's 'only Villa'. Now that's "supporting a team" eh Darren?

I'm sure you can draw your own parallels between a group of fans only bothering to turn up for the big games and the Arsenal players' recent attitudes on the pitch.

I would note also the excellent atmosphere at many of our home Carling Cup matches this season, where ticket sales generally ended up going not only to Red members but, Yee Gods!, to the general public, who, using Darren's idea that the lower level of member you are the less you know how to support a team and make noise, would surely not have a clue at all what to do at a game.

There are many issues with the crowd at the Arsenal; too many day-trippers, too many early leavers, over-zealous stewarding - let's not turn this into a tedious "my member(ship) is bigger than yours'" game.
Michael (Red Member) Evans

...You whinge at The Gunners' so called "Red" member fans (the ones on a waiting list for games) for not creating enough atmosphere because "most of these people do not attend games on a regular basis and therefore have no idea what it's like to really support the club".

At the same time you applaud the real fans, the "Silver" members, who only attend the "more prestigious fixtures, leaving out the so-called 'lesser fixtures' because of the ticket prices". So, in your opinion, the true Gunners fans are the ones who cherry pick which matches they want to see, whilst the fans who are left to scrape the barrel are fair weather supporters?
Stephen Smith

Blame The Club For The Lack Of Atmosphere
While I agree with my fellow Arsenal fans in the mailbox complaining about the lack of atmosphere at home games, I don't blame the non-singing fans, I blame the money grabbing club. The passionate (and dare I say real) fans can no longer afford to go. Whilst I sing my heart out when I'm there, I can only afford to go a couple of times a year.

Look at the Carling Cup games where the prices are dropped, and you see that the Emirates actually can produce an amazing atmosphere, and it's not just because the kids do well. Last year I went to our Carling Cup game against Sp*rs, and despite us being crap (we managed to squeak a 1-1 draw), the atmosphere was the best I had experienced at the new ground.

The only way to fix this is for Arsenal Football Club to stop being greedy, and cut the price of standard home tickets to around £20. There may be a reduction in revenue, but since we don't spend any money on new players, that doesn't really matter, does it?
Adonis (I'm too upset to think of anything funny to put in here) Stevenson, London

And All Of Arsenal's Other Problems
Can we all please f**k off about the crowd noise at the Emirates.
I go every week and it is not as bad as it is made out to be. And, yes I chant.

Focus on the problems at hand please. I am not going to say Wenger has to go, but he does need to be made more accountable, and not be allowed to "spin" his way out trouble. There are problems at the Emirates, and I for one am questioning why a CEO can't be appointed. My belief (or conspiracy theory) is that none of the candidates are willing to become another "yes man" to Wenger.

David Dein has never been replaced and he was the only one who would question Wenger. He also took care of the contract negotiations, which is now mostly under Wenger's remit. His decision to sell to Usmanov though was a terrible one and made his position untenable.

Wenger's singlemindeness towards his vision is amazing and I truly respect that, but he needs help. Martin Keown would be a huge plus.

And the slating that Denilson gets is not justified. Generally, he has played better than Cesc this season (although a 70% Cesc is still a better player than most players at 100%). The problem is that he is not a great partner to Fabregas. Not Denilson's fault, but Wenger's.

Hleb is missed tremendously, but primarily for his ball retaining abilities and ability to move the ball up the pitch, rather than his fannying about in the box (although he was instrumental in our offense as well). This added a huge element to our defensive capabilities. Flamini is missed for his tenacity, leadership and ball winning abilities, which is exactly what Cesc needs next to him right now.

How the hell we have the second highest wage bill is beyond me, especially given we lost Helb and Flamini due to not being able to meet their wage demands. It's tragic that it is almost getting to the point where I am more interested in my dream team than in Arsenal.
David, London, Gooner

Fabregas Has Had Enough
Cesc isn't tired, he just doesn't want to play for AFC anymore and I for one don't blame him. Every year the team gets turned on its head, his footballing partners go and get replaced with younger, less experienced players who don't have the same rapport with him. He wants to win and he knows he can't do that under Wenger, the man's gone nuts. He's a brilliant manager who has lost the plot.

If he'd been sensible he would have acquired Given, Alonso and Villa in the transfer window, all of them up for grabs and all affordable. Cesc would be happy and firing and Arsenal would not have dropped any points. Given behind Sagna, Gallas, Silvestre and Clichy is a quality back 5. Alonso would partner well with Cesc, he'd know where he stood.

When Cesc plays badly so does the whole team - just look at Fulham, Hull, Sunderland, Stoke, Villa etc. I think Arsenal fans are in for a rough ride and I wouldn't expect the beautiful game this season...
Benjamin Ford

Unhappy With Newcastl;e Fans As Well
To the f**k wit sitting 3 rows behind me in the Leazes End at St. James' on Saturday, take your support elsewhere you c**k. To abuse the club's greatest ever keeper and claim he was at fault for both goals against Wigan, costing us the match, had to be the most ridiculous, full of s**t statement I'd ever heard.

So congratulations at being even more cringeworthy than the t**t who ran on the pitch to have a pop a Kinnear, but was so slow he didn't get within 50 meters of him.
Tom (I censor my own email) Charteris

Finally, A Mention Of Villa
In this Morning's Mailbox, all the talk was of how poor Arsenal were, but lets have a bit of credit for the Villa!

Coming of the back of two Premier League defeats, and a squad struggling to cope with the demands of European football, I think most Villans were expecting us to get turned over in a pretty bad way.

But Credit to O'Neill, he dropper Reo-Coker ( which was overdue), set his team out perfectly, and seems to be getting the best out of Gabby Agbonlahor, who a month ago looked the laziest footballer on the planet, but has shown willing in recent games and deserves his England place.

We scored 2 goals, missed a penalty, and were unfortunate not to be ahead at half time ( ask Wenger, he said so himself). Our defence stood firm ( Laursen is a classier version of Terry), and we fully deserved our victory. So lets have a bit of credit where it is due.

Also, 4 Villa players in the England squad is almost unheard of in modern times, but each of them deserves it, and if Ashley Young doesn't get in ahead of that twat Downing then Capello needs his head looking at.

Up the Villa!
Adam Hall ( waiting for the inevitable 4-0 drubbing by Man Utd on Saturday), AVFC

Petrov Has Made The Difference
You may remember a few months ago, a few mentalists were talking about the world ending when they started up the Hadron Collider in CERN, but nothing happened.

Well I have news for you all. The world did end as we know it and we are currently living in a new, alternative universe which is exactly the same as the old one except for one key difference.

Since that fateful day in September, Stillian Petrov is now good.
He has been injured of late, and the results against Newcastle and Middlesbrough are no coincidence where we were poor. He returned to the team on Sat, and we promptly spank the Arsenal.

People talk about Gabby, and Barry and Young, but Petrov is the key to our season. If he stays fit, then maybe, just maybe we can push for 4th.
Phil, AVFC (I am actually from Brum, you know)

Dowd Not Fit For Purpose?
Watching the two games yesterday highlighted one thing for me: The difference in referees: Steve Bennett is fit and able to get close to the play as he can keep up constantly with the breaks.

In the aftermath of the Hull v Manchester City game yesterday Stephen Ireland et al were loathe to hammer Phil Dowd as he is 'a nice fella' but the second half was a constant stop-start affair for one reason: Dowd can't run!

He was waddling around and when either team broke on a quick counter-attack he started to try and sprint and then would blow for the slightest perceived infringement.

I thought they had fitness tests?
Ian (G) G

Another Believer In The Anti-Liverpool Conspiracy
I am not a paranoid Liverpool fan otherwise I could've stopped myself writing in. Don't give a monkeys if Gerrard is injured or not, ridiculous time for a friendly (didn't England play Germany at Wembley in the last 12 months or so anyway?) and as has been pointed out Ferguson has been pulling this trick for years.

All I'll say about the Ferdinand/Rooney pull outs is look at United's next three matches: Villa, Villarreal and Citeh all away all big games, a slip up in any of them and they could see Chelsea disappear further over the horizon (i'd say LFC as well but I'm not hexing anything) and finish 2nd in their Champions League group giving the possibility of a tougher test in the 1st knockout round after Xmas - if it were your club's interests the phrase "it makes sense" would probably spring to mind even if it does smack of underhandedness (is that a word?).

But most big clubs in Europe try this on and to be fair Rafa and Ferguson have let several other big name players play for their countries this week, so in this specific case we should only be asking why Capello is singling out Gerrard. Could it be that United still have several players Capello may view as important to his future plans for England whilst Liverpool only has Gerrard thus he feels he has less to lose by cajoling us more than them?

Paranoid point number 2. Andy Gray, just get used to it / ignore him. Ridiculous that he's still allowed to do Liverpool games so often really (don't mind the odd one who hates us - Alan Smith - who only pop up now and again), but ever since he climaxed over Gerrard's stunner v Olympiakos in 2004-05 his attitude towards Liverpool has constantly been "negatively slanted" to say the least.

Either way with the amount of former Reds in the media (whether they're positive about us or not) no other fans are going to voice sympathy for us even if the man's faults and bias are blindingly obvious to all and sundry.
Rob "that Friday night in November brings back all the childhood teasing that has scarred me for life" Pudsey

Putting Paul C In His Place
Just a quick one in reply to the "I don't watch England anymore" dimwitted Paul C... it is Capello himself who wants to check on Gerrard and not "The F.A" as you suggest, and I'm pretty sure that when the Paul Scholes incident that you refer to took place, Capello was not "our" nations manager.

I to continue with the proving your lack of intelligence to the football365 community you actually suggest that the equally dimwitted Mascherano "paid the price" for United and Chelsea's wrongdoings, I have to say that is quite possibly the most idiotic sentence I have read in my entire life.

And with your mardy arse 5 year old rant of "I'm never watching another international match ever again. I haven't watched one since the Euro Final, and from now on I shall watch none at all, irregardless of its 'importance", you are exactly the type of "fan" that our national team does not need, good riddance!!!
Stuart Harkness, Knutsford, ENGLAND..... super England!

...Paul C (cos I'm not witty enough to think of a hilarious sign-off line!), Dublin - have a word with yourself mate. We're criticised often enough (sometimes justifiably, in my view) for our moaning and self-pitying ways - we don't need tools like you wading in with your ridiculous conspiracy theories.

Sentences such as, 'if one club in the entire planet has suffered more from international football than any other surely it's Liverpool' just make it easy for people to knock us. You're either a Manc pretending to be a Pool fan or you need to chill out a little, maybe stop drinking quite so much on a Monday morning and try and control that temper of yours.
Rob (was Capello standing on the grassy knowl?), LFC

Who's In Charge?
So John Terry was made England captain after Scolari made a phonecall to Capello advising him to do so, and now we have a 20 year old who's never played for Chelsea somehow getting a callup?

My question is this: Why is Scolari running the England team?
Andy Wilson

Defending Gomes
Stephen Marshall writes, in his usual knee-jerk fashion, that Gomes is utterly useless and should therefore be replaced, but not by his immediate understudy. No, that would be a bad move because he is a geriatric 'dwarf'; not sure when being over 6ft made you a midget, but I shall bow to his clearly superior knowledge.

Now Stephen, exactly why is it you wish to see Alnwick in goal? Is it because he's been so impressive in all his loan spells? Is it because of the manner in which he commands his box, and grasps firmly onto any cross sent within 5 metres of him? Or is it because you are just picking a name off the squad list, and deciding that he's great, despite no top-flight manager ever seeing such qualities, nor, for that matter, any of those loan clubs making the move permanent. Now why is that?

Perhaps Mr Marshall is a scout and has seen many of Alnwick's appearances, and thus knows more than anyone else possibly could. Perhaps he's a member of the Alnwick family (or even a co-star in Ben's film career), sticking up for one of his own. Or perhaps, just perhaps, he's become far too desperate to see his name on the monitor, and thus writes self-contradictory, short-termist letters that are just perfect for the mailbox.

Mr Marshall, does the damage you refer to include the myriad of remarkable saves made by Gomes over recent weeks? The sheer number of points saved thanks to the man who is a shot-stopper beyond compare? Or do you not watch games in full, preferring instead to refer to MotD and their delighted mocking of the hapless Heurelho? The man has been playing with broken ribs, he's been taking a battering from all and sundry, and he's been part of a team that - up until a few weeks ago - was looking absolutely pathetic.

During our miserable start, it was his work that prevented us being mauled on many an occasion. Yet you want to drop him for Ben bloody Alnwick? Are you actually an idiot, or just doing a damn good impression?
Terry Hayden

Rubbish Cup Competitions - A Final Wordþ
A brief Scottish interlude...

Surely the Anglo-Scottish cup is worthy of a mention. My team, St Mirren seemed to always end up playing Bristol city in the final, winning it once even. Nowadays we just get gubbed on a regular basis by the likes of Motherwell, but if ever a final word was required on this and other diddy cups, this snippet from wikipedia says it all:

'In the 1987-1988 season an attempt was made to revive the competition as the Anglo Scottish Challenge Cup; however after a poor attendance for the first leg game between Coventry and St.Mirren, the competition was shelved, with the second leg never played'.
Stephen O

Courtesy of football 365.

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