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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Player Ratings Vs Man Utd

By 1970’s Gooner


Almunia: Poor today and a continuous liability 2

Sagna : Steady as you go but nothing more. At least he is consistent. 5

Clichy: Decision making not his forte 3

Gallas: Tried his best, as usual 6

Vermaelen: And we thought his inclusion would have given us the edge. Strong performance and a goal, again 7

Denilson: A kid among men 3

Fabregas: Tried but surrounded by mediocrity, 6

Song: A solid performance, 5

Nasri: Ineffective and often failed to track back, 4

Rosicky: Uninterested? 3

Arshavin: Eager but selfish, 4


Eboue: Made a difference going forward, 6

Walcott: Used his pace to good effect but not enough time to have an impact, 5

Bendtner: Out of touch, needs games 4


59 comments:

Pritpal said...

harsh rating for song, but denilsons is very generous. what did he do exactly?

Anonymous said...

Denilson doesn´t care about Arsenal.

Almunia would be funny to watch if he played for another team.

Clichy have been injured, but one wonders what happened to the poor kid.

Anonymous said...

Song was our strongest player. Denilson, well suffice to day I thought he was going somewhere when I first saw him all those seasons ago. I was right. Except failed to spot he was looking backwards. God bless Verminator, could have been another couple against us if it wans't for him.

Danish Gooner said...

Song is as slow as a tortoise.

Anonymous said...

silly ratings. I think we just did not get a goal early. That would have changed the face of the game. we shd be shooting more

Gerry said...

was at the game - i sit on half way line

the space we gave Man u - and the time to choose the pass absolutely killed us

Anonymous said...

vermalean's faults sort of on parks goal so he cant have a 7

rosicky 3 i thought he was one of our best players

denilson useless
bendtner useless

clichy retarded

almunia retarded and useless

Anonymous said...

HARSH!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but where exactly was our "defensive midfielder" song for the 2nd and 3rd goals?? if fab/den are pushing forward, surely its his responsibility to stay back and ensure what happened today doesn't happen?? song our strongest player - you're having a laugh.

Anonymous said...

Denilson is a waste of space, when will scrooge McWenger realise this??!?!?

Arron said...

harsh on arshavin IMO..

a bit selfish maybe but if he had put in those 2 chances evryone would be singing a different tune..

harsh on song also..

did evrythng he cld in this game..
played from box to box..

smthng needs to be done abt denilson..
FAST!..

Anonymous said...

very silly ratings - seem more out of anger than logic. Conclusion: we cannot play 433 against the bigger teams sans defensive discipline and assertive strikers.i feel like le boss somehow underestimated united. Lesson learned, lets see what happens @ chelski.

Jgun said...

Generally accurate ratings but can't believe you gave Gallas a six he should have got a 2 at most. Watch the highlights he is nowhere to be found on all 3 goals, he always is quick to join the attack but is ALWAYS the last one back in his PROPER position. Clichy suffered because he was playing CB as well!

Anonymous said...

"Lesson learned" ???
really ? since when ?

IMHO absoluetly nothing was
learned in the last few seasons

Anonymous said...

i loveee arsenal very very much,,, but i its first time in my life that i am feelin shameee,,,,
denilson and almunia players like this we dont need,,,,
it's better to leave teem for us and for them self,,,,,
o coach eat the same shit like he eat on semi final against man.utd.
please arsene learne more dont do the same mistakee,,
i bored about your words we need too seee practiks not word we are tired .......

Anonymous said...

denilson should get a -10 he did more for man utd than for arsenal next time arsenal r just better playing with 10 men LETS NOT FORGET WENGER BOUGHT THESE PLAYERS HE HAS MONEY BUT CHOOSE TO TRUST THESE PLAYERS HIS JUDGMENT HAS BEEN PROVED WRONG SO BLAME HIM NOT DENILSON NOT HIS FAULT HES NOT GD ENOUGH

tomtom said...

Arsenal didn't really turn up today. In my humble opinion, it was more down the tactics[ though not discounting poor team performance- we looked shaky from the start, gallas, rosiky + others; Arshavin, poor passing; our game is about fluid, suffocating passing). The expansive open football we play [which is very easy on the eye] works against 90% of the teams we play, but against man-ure and chavski {our main title contenders) it doesn't. We get caught in possession too far up the pitch, which = in some cases4 against 1. In which case they are bound to score they have Rooney/Anelka/Drogba. We should play 4-3-3 for most games but play more defesinvley against the better teams and leave 1 up, and or buy a better striker. Arshavin is very greedy. 7 goals, 1 assist. Should be left on left wing. He doesn't know when to pass when he thinks he has to win the game himself. Dissapointing. Don't thnk Wenger should have played Nasri+ Rosicky... BLah... Dissapointed

Anonymous said...

stupid stupid stupid team...we dont have a chance in anything until we strengthen

Anonymous said...

I thought Bendtner and Eboue changed the game for us.

Eboue was actually putting decent crosses in (which Sagna did not provide... not even once, during the game).

Bendter was chasing down lost balls and getting some of them back, unfortunately he just wasn't played into the game well enough.

Anonymous said...

united play is just too simple and efficient compared to our complicated free flowing beautiful football.

Anonymous said...

I Agree with ratings!

Jeff said...

I appreciate the ratings. I don't completely agree, I would rate Song and Arshavin higher. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

I think arsenal came so determined in the second half, but were just unlucky. And man u was lucky with the counter attacks. Rooney showed no skill but run and shoot the ball. Maybe we don't need a skillful striker but a goal hungry striker

Anonymous said...

To see the highlights from the game:

http://www.goals.se/2010/02/01/ny-311-arsenal-manchester-united-1-3/

Cmon gunners, lets win next game against chelsea!

Anonymous said...

Denilson has no urge or hunger to play, worse because he has no skill or brain at all, he should be killed.

Anonymous said...

Almunia, Clichy and Denilson, FUCK OUT!

Anonymous said...

Humiliation. Maybe now Gunners fans will lose their arrogance and stop shouting "Hoof" every time an opponent plays a long ball - its schoolboy stuff, because for all your pretty football you will win nothing - again!!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think the FA Cup was a more optomistic solution for bringing some silverwear home this season. Obviously the French don't seem to think so. As an Englishman and Arsenal fan, I feel the FA cup is becoming a Coca-Cola cup because the "so called" biggest teams are not taking it seriously.

Simply put. Money = Success in todays football and the PL / CL are too far away from Arsenal when push comes to shove and the best teams are battling for the honours. Who is AW kiding with the team we have? It's "Business" as usuall for Arsenal PLC. Buy cheap, sell big. But then my opinion counts for very little..

Anonymous said...

I don't think Wenger is ruthless enough with his player selections.

Look at Rafa in Liverpool... same problem, there because of his retarded rotation philosphy.

You have to take a page out of Sir Alex's book, out of Pep Guardiola's book, even out of Ancelotti's book - perform or you don't play. We have depth, you will be buried and never see the field if you don't perform when you have the chance.

Almunia should be our third string keeper by now, he's had his shots.

Clichy and Traore should both be on the selling block. They too have been given ample opportunities and failed to rise to the challenge.

Arshavin, Rosicky, and Nasri should all be benched next game, and kids given their spots as insults.

Do you think, much as I hate him, SAF would tolerate these kind of performances? Why did we get rid of Adebayor if we wanted talented but lackadaisical performers?

Please Mr. Wenger - more ruthlessness. These are professional men, not amateur boys to be coddled. Do the job you are paid to do, or get out of the way for players who will.

Cheers

vajara said...

Everybody were very very upset in this match but I see differrent ,it 's good to lose in this and next 2 matches to tell the players esp Song , Danilson ,Nasri , Almunia and Wenger that they are not best enough to win the title if they don't know how ability they have,I don't see the players to eager to win enough they always look down the EPL players and always lose them. Fighting spirit and die foe it is need to hold the hope to win the title . Soin the next match ,I think the Arsenal will lose two .

Anonymous said...

I have more talent in my left testicle than Denilson and Almunia put together

Goldman said...

Is Mr Stingy Wenger seeing this post?

What is Almunia, Denilson doing in Arsenal, I seriously believe Campbell would had done better in Goal and in Midfield.

Anonymous said...

some of the players was not playing good enough but not really so bad, but Denilson was the one who was really bad. Hope Wenger can find out that after this game.

Anonymous said...

By Walter Broeckx

There is something strange going on in football land. We had a transfer market in which nothing much happened.

All the big teams have kept their pockets closed. Chelsea didn’t buy anyone, MU bought Smalling from Fulham but he will stay at Fulham till the end of the season.

We got Sol Campbell back and two young South Americans for the future.

Even Manchester City was remarkably reluctant to spend any more money. Also in the rest of Europe the big clubs didn’t do much business. Real Madrid didn’t go mad this time apart from buying Canales who also stays with his club till the end of the season. Barcelona did nothing and also in Italy there was not that much movement of big names.

In fact the big names that did move all went on loan to another club. Robinho went to Brazil to secure his seat on the plane to South Africa. Closer to home Robby Keane left Tottenham for the 10th time in 3 years out on loan to Celtic this time.

Redknapp and Portsmouth swapped some players like they always do in the transfer period so nothing really that was unexpected. Apart maybe from the fact that Portsmouth looks to have found a few pounds somewhere where they hadn’t looked before.

So after a few transfer periods where the market has gone mad thanks to Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United this time it looks like we have entered a new period in the history of football.

The day when the teams that are looking at the war chest and see….. the bottom.

Is it a coincidence or could it be that clubs are beginning to recognize that the time of losing money and waiting for the owner to put new money in the club is ending? Could it be that the clubs are realizing that if they lose money they not only could face bankruptcy but also risk of being expelled from the Champions League ?

Could it finally have come in to the mind of various owners of clubs that one day the madness had to stop and that now looks a good time to tell managers of clubs and players: first you sell and with that money you can buy. And as there were no buyers and no one sold, no team really had the money to buy.

We didn’t buy anyone much to the annoyance of some so called fans who are calling for the head of Wenger. They come on to blogs or write it themselves and throw names around as if it was confetti in Rio when it is carnival time.

“Wenger should have bought,” and then enter what ever name you wish. The favourite sentence is : Wenger is stubborn as he should have bought Dzeko, Cignac, Chamack, Smalling, Moses and Jezus Christ and as he didn’t do it he should be sacked.

And yes doing a transfer is easy you know, they just bought all those players on their computer in 5 minutes and you know they are winning the league. Do you really need any more prove that Wenger has lost it ?

I really don’t know if this is just to make you laugh or to make you feel sad. How on earth can they think live it self is as simple as on their computer ? Some may say that the current computer game generation will be a lost generation and I really wonder how many of those young man will ever get in to real life ?

Anonymous said...

Doing a transfer is not arranged by clicking with your mouse to raise the bid or to lower the bid as you want. No, doing transfers is a very difficult thing to do if you want to do it in a responsible way. If you want to do the things like MU, MC and Real do and you want to pay +30M for Berbatov well then it is just the case of going to the bank, ask a loan and you have the player. Is he worth it ? Who cares ?

Well we have a manager who cares. Like he said when you make a transfer you have to see:

1. Is the player better than what you have ?
2. Is the player available ?
3. Will his club let him go for a reasonable price ?
4. Does the player want to come?
5. What does the player want to earn and is this in line with the rest of the team?

These are only a few questions you have to answer before you make any deal and it takes in this case 5 times Yes as the answer or there is no deal.

The first question could be the easiest one: yes I am sure there are players out there that could be better than ours. There are Kaka, Ronaldo who are world class players. No problem in admitting that.

The second question is a problem as most players have long contracts nowadays. So this time, not easy.

The third is very important. Let us take Villa as an example. If Wenger wants to give 20M for him but Valencia only want to speak starting from 40M then you cannot call this reasonable anymore and there is no deal.

The fourth question is also not easy. If he player is unhappy with his team he will want to leave but a player that is playing every game in his team will not want to leave that readily unless he is a fan of our team or he can earn a lot more.

And here we come to the next question and this also is a very tricky one to answer. Arsenal have a policy of not over spending on the players wages but we still have one of the highest wage bills in total of the EPL. So players are getting a good wage in our club but we don’t want to overpay or to overkill. If one player gets 60K than the next wants to equal that ore get even more and before you know it you pay 105K a week for a player like Robby Keane. I read this in the press yesterday but I don’t know if it is true but one has to be mad to pay that much money for him I would say.

The conclusion is that there is no easy transfer dealing these days. Yes I would have liked a new signing at reasonable cost but now it isn’t the case so we just stick to our Guns and support the team and the players. The players coming back from injury should feel like new signings in a few weeks time. Even Robin Van Persie could have a few games if all goes well and this really would be a new signing to me.

Anonymous said...

Arsenal at the end of the world

By Walter Broeckx

Yes Sunday 31 January was the end of the world. We lost a home game against Manchester United with 1 goal against 3. The result made me sleep bad and again I was thinking: what if. And yes it did hurt me deep that defeat and I really didn’t think it was that deserved but I will try to analyze that.

Let’s start with the game. The first half our until Nani missed his cross, I will never believe he did it to score, we had more possession and were rather in control and had some good chances which we didn’t take. I know football is about taking your chances but these things can happen sometimes.

Sometimes the ball flies in from the goal line from an impossible angle and on the other side the ball always hits someone or a shot goes wide as you were sure we would score.

In such a game the first goal is vital and if we would have scored we would have won. Now they did score and for some reason a part of the team panicked and we ran out of position and gave them the second goal on a plate.

If we would have stayed calmer in those first minutes after the first goal we would have come back. But we committed ourselves too much and too early and paid the price.

United could play their favourite game on the counter and a for a few players the two goals in quick concession was a mental blow. They tried but maybe we didn’t believe in ourselves until our goal but then we had, again, made a terrible mistake by letting them score their second on yet another counter.

So yes we paid the price for the fact we ran out of position against one of the best teams in the league. And we lost 3 points. If I should believe some blogs we lost 30 points in this game.

But let us sit back and look at how a season goes sometimes. Last year in March Liverpool went to United and won 1-4. I know how the rivalry is between those two teams and apart from losing to City this is the game they never want to lose. But they did and they were well beaten with an even bigger score line then our defeat.

And what did the MU fans do? They went into hiding, had a bad taste in their mouth, and felt miserable for a few days. But I really don’t think they asked the head of Ferguson or one of their players. No they got behind the team in those difficult days and supported them and let them feel they still believed in them.

They knew that they had lost a battle but the war was still going on and they had only lost 3 points. Nothing more, nothing less. And at the end of the season, just 2 months later they were the champions and the humiliation against Liverpool was a long forgotten memory.

So shit happens sometimes and Sunday was a shit day for us, but if you step in to a dog shit on the street, you swear a bit, and then you have 2 options. Either you clean it up and carry on or you could go and sit in a corner ask for the prime minister to resign as he was clearly incompetent to deal with dog shit in the streets. Once again these things happen sometimes and it is all part of the game and part of being a fan.

The next day on the internet you could see what one could see coming if one understand the way the brains of the D and G brigade works. Of course the D and G brigade was asking for the sacking of everyone involved .

Anonymous said...

Wenger had to be sacked and all the team had to be sold or even given away to the spuds, the board had to replaced by some craze billionaire who would spent billions of money and buy all the shining superstars of the world at any cost. The only player who didn’t have to be given away was Cesc but according to them he is off to Barcelona anyway now. Pat Rice had to be given the empty (I read the book Making The Arsenal), the ground staff had to go, the ball boys had to go. If we would let the D&G brigade do we wouldn’t have a team to play on Sunday.

We would be like Chelsea in 1905 (sorry I’m on your territory again Tony), who in fact had a Football League club but no players, no officials, no staff, and no support.

When I see those things on the internet I really don’t know what is the worst thing: losing against MU with 1-3 or seeing all those so called fans asking the sacking of everyone involved ?

Yes I usually don’t sleep after a defeat and relive the game over and over again in my head. Yes it saddens me deeply to see our team lose but please keep some perspective on the facts. Like I said last year United had the same with the defeat against Liverpool. Those things happen to everyone at times.

The fixture list is difficult for us for the moment. We have still a fair number of important players out, the ones that have come back after months on the side line are not completely ready to compete at the highest level and we have some players that had to play so many games they are a bit tired.

And don’t forget players like Arshavin who are playing with pain every game but as we are short they play and others had to be prepared to play like Vermaelen. And in that period we have to play 4 top teams in a row. So even if we only get 5 or 6 points from those games then nothing is lost.

The other top teams have to play each other and in those games one or even the two teams will lose points. And then comes our moment. We then have to be ready and take all the points against the lower placed teams. This also will not be easy but WE can help our team, WE can help our players. Instead of asking all the players to be given away to the spuds – no real Arsenal fan can say such a thing I think – we should say: okay, bad day at the office but we are still behind you. Come on you Gunners we support you.

I once wrote some lyrics of what it means to me being a Gooner and somewhere in there I say something about losing a game, a thing that belongs to football like the ball, and I just want to share it with you:

And if defeat hurts us so bad, on a rare and seldom day

We will not desert you, our Gunners in arms.

Anonymous said...

Oh i have lost the faith. I now no longer believe that Arsenal can win the league this season. Sunday has sent me into a pit of despair so large that I struggle to think of what possible, rational course of action there is left to take…

Oh! I know! Let’s sack the manager, the board, sell all of our players and burn the stadium down in protest at the single greatest injustice Western civilization has ever seen!

Jesus wept! What is this? The annual Geordies’ and Scousers’ whinge at why they deserve to win everything because they’re so special? Frankly, I’m disgusted at commentators such as Christian Alibert (Taxi For Wenger).

So, Arsène’s unfit to live and should be sent to Siberia by close of business tomorrow? Damn right he should – and while we’re at it, let’s get Rafa Benitez in to sort out this mess we’re in. After all, he knows how to spunk money up the walls, which is clearly the answer to all of our problems. £20m is a bargain for a player of Aquilani’s standard. For that matter, what about ‘arry? Alright, he’s got a murky past when it comes to wheeling and dealing, but at least he knows his way around a bunch of used fivers, no questions asked. Oh, and Roberto Mancini! Who can forget his master-stroke at signing Paddy V to a £150,000/week contract when he’s over the hill and injured? Quality stuff. Wenger’s put to shame by purchases such as Vermaelen and Arshavin; they’re simply awful and not fit to wear the shirt – done nothing all season, the pair of them.

The League Cup: that Holy Grail of footballing excellence before which we all prostrate ourselves because we are not worthy. You know, it’s never done anything for the club. Not a jot. In fact, one of the worst matches I ever saw was in the League Cup – Arsenal vs. Rotherham. Not one of those players ever did anything with himself after that. Definitely not that scraggly little lispy Spanish tosser whose name I forget… something like ‘Fabregash’ – anyway, it doesn’t matter ‘cause we haven’t heard of him since, the poxy no-hoper.

And how dare Wenger run the club on a sound financial keel? What does he know? Personally, I’d love to be hundreds of millions in debt with no way of paying it back, just like Utd and the Hoof are. Did you know that Utd may have to sell Old Trafford just to stay afloat? No? Well, it’s a small matter anyway. Let’s just forget small details like that and pray for the day that our saviour, Usmanov the ex-prison bird, comes in to be our sugar-daddy, just like Chelski and City have! God, I truly cannot wait for the day when we are more like Chelsea in every way – including having f**k all future if a certain Russian decides to pull the plug.

Anonymous said...

As to the players, this is a criticism to respond to seriously. Wenger has always had one major blind spot: goalkeepers. We all know Manuel is not good enough. Full stop. As for the others, well, who can ignore Song’s progress to being one of the best midfielders around? A year or two ago however, I suspect that many of the current critics were calling for him to be shipped out. Denilson has showed some class at times, but in recent matches has fallen off the pace. Why this is we do not know – but perhaps there is behind-the-scenes stuff going on with him. Let us wait and see. Clichy? Well, we’ve got a great replacement for him, but he’s in with the physio for the rest of the season. This is clearly Wenger’s fault! As to not having bought ‘a world-class striker’, well, we do have one; RVP. Sad thing is that he’s been out for virtually the entire season with torn ligaments – but, of course, that’s Wenger’s fault. But we should have bought a £30m striker in January – they’re easy enough to find as a short-term solution. Did anyone else notice the dearth of major signings? Perhaps the old guy is onto something when he says that there’s not much money around at the moment…

Ah, the Cup. I love it. As an Englishman, I am attached to it at the hip. If it were up to me, we’d go for it all guns blazing every season. But it’s not up to me: it’s up to one of the most proven managers in the world who has the club’s best interests at heart. Our club’s best interests at heart. He has turned this club from a good English side into a European powerhouse. So he might have slipped up? He’s human then. Lest we forget, we were 1-1 with 15 mins to go. Had that all turned out ok, no-one would have said a thing.

To all those calling for a taxi for Wenger, shut up, f**k off, and go and support United – after all, they beat us at the weekend, so that means you’ve a better band-wagon to jump onto now.

In God I trust, and I hope you do too.

Anonymous said...

We lost- it isn’t the end of the world, not even the end of out title hopes.
We beat Chelsea on Sunday and we’re right back in it. Still a long way to go, so need to for panic stations just ye

Anonymous said...

if we look at the fixture list it reveals a lot. what has already been suggested – Arsenal’s is easier than both Chelsea and United. But the intriguing thing is just how much easier it is. Our well-documented problem this season has been an inability to win in big games. But after Chelsea this weekend and Liverpool at The Emirates on Wednesday just two of the remaining 12 fixtures could be anywhere near considered a big game. They are an away trip to Spurs, a team we haven’t lost in the league to in over a decade and a home game against City. In contrast Chelsea face two teams that have already beaten them this season in Aston Villa and Manchester City at home and away trips to Everton, Spurs, Liverpool and crucially, United. Meanwhile United still have to play Villa, Everton and City away as well as three big games at Old Trafford against pool, Chelsea and Spurs. On paper it is a huge contrast. It’s unfathomable to think that points won’t be dropped. While we clearly we have our problems there’s also lot to be positive about. if we come away from the Chelsea and Liverpool games within five or six points of the top of the table then we remain a good chance to win the league and I absolutely stick by that. Our fixture list is favourable, our strikers are on the comeback and the current problems within the team can certainly be addressed by the players Wenger has at his disposal.

Anonymous said...

was prompted to write this following the extraordinary convulsions in the Arsenal blogosphere after the defeat to Manchester United.

Chicken Licken bloggers, one of whom claimed they could manage Arsenal better than Arsene, renewed their calls for Denilson’s head, Arsene’s head, anyone’s head. (Unwise bloggers might be encouraged to read this.) It seemed so out of kilter with reality that I thought that there had to be some kind of diagnosis of a collective mentality, shared by the football media in England and the ‘doom and gloom’ Arsenal bloggers, that made them react in such a way. These are my diagnoses.

The Foreign Agenda. Arsene’s French nationality is a constant point of reference, the implication being that Arsenal is now a ‘French club’. (One blog stated that Smalling had chosen United over Arsenal ‘because he wanted to speak English in the dressing room.’) From the old references to ‘discipline’, or rather lack of it (all those red cards, symptoms of a suspect temperament) to the current accusation that Arsenal lack an ‘English spine’, fighting spirit, or physicality, Arsène’s Arsenal fall foul of a particular kind of xenophobia, in both the football media and among our own fan-base.

What is unspoken is that Arsenal’s global scouting network is a necessary and far-sighted (and now much-imitated) policy that enables the club to compete, by attracting young footballing talent from a global pool: nationality is secondary to technique, temperament, ability, and athleticism. Arsenal are a post-national club, a difficult thing in a post-Imperial country.

The Logic of ‘Success’. We often read that Arsenal haven’t won anything for 5 years (and counting). The Chicken Licken mantra: ‘We must buy. The kids aren’t good enough. The club isn’t successful. The ‘youth experiment’ has failed.’

As Untold Arsenal has been exploring, finances in English football mean that we have to re-think what we understand by footballing ‘success’. What is success, and how do we measure it? In wins, in trophies, in superstars bought for multi-millions? Or, in building a stable, properly-financed, sensibly run club, which produces and develops its own players, that plays an entertaining and winning style of football, and that will continue as an institution not for 5 or 10 years but for 100?

The Blame Game. ‘Something is wrong with the club.’ ‘Wenger’s lost the plot.’ ‘He’s too stubborn.’ This line of thinking sees defeat not as a necessary component of sporting competition (think of what it would be like to ‘support’ the Harlem Globetrotters), but as a manifestation of some kind of lack on the part of the manager, or some kind of terminal decline in his thinking.

Anonymous said...

When Arsenal are beaten, the assumption is not that the other team played better football on the day, but that Arsenal would beat all others handsomely if it were not for the selection, motivational and tactical deficiencies of Arsene Wenger himself. The Arse-blogosphere looks for someone to blame for disappointment, and lays it all at the door of ’Big Daddy’ (see below). The blame game is clearly linked to raised expectations created by the 1998, 2002 and especially 2004 teams, but is also tainted by ‘declinism’, a belief that the past was a better place, which is very much an English cultural malaise.

The Instant. The Arse-blogosphere is reactive, and places instantaneous reaction above reflection and thought. It also places instant digestion above slow rumination. The Chicken Licken blogs are symptoms of our ‘live’, ‘24/7’, instant access and instant comment digital culture. The culture of instantaneousness means that Arsenal are not allowed to lose, because there is no longer view of things, and a defeat means the end of the world.

As the food critic Anton Ego says in Ratatouille, ‘After reading a lot of overheated puffery … you know what I’m craving? A little perspective. That’s it. I’d like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?’

A Sense of Entitlement. ‘We deserve better.’ Chicken Licken Arsenal bloggers and fans believe that somehow they are entitled to watch not only high-quality entertaining football, but all-conquering football. This has been reinforced by the success of Arsène’s Arsenal itself. No-one who watched Terry Neill’s Arsenal, or George Graham’s, can honestly inhabit that sense of entitlement. This sense, not that we are privileged to watch the kind of foot ball seen at the Emirates, but that we ‘deserve’ to do so, is also connected with consumerism.

The Dominance of Consumerism. It’s no great news that the contract between fan and club has changed since the advent of the Premier League, and the post-Hillsborough construction of a middle-class fan-base for top-level football. In treating the fan as a customer, however, our club has helped produce a consumption-oriented fan mentality that now manifests itself on the Arse-blogosphere. A recurrent complaint is: ‘I pay £XXXX for my season ticket, so I expect to see XXXX.’

Chicken Licken bloggers now relate to the experience of watching football as they would to a movie: they want a guaranteed level of entertainment or success, and if they don’t get it, they complain loudly. Of course, the experience of watching a live football match is not the repeatable, guaranteed experience of watching a movie: sometimes a team plays badly, sometimes they lose. Arsenal don’t lose very much, but when defeat comes…

Anonymous said...

A Culture of Complaint. In 1993, the art critic Robert Hughes published a book called The Culture of Complaint. In it, Hughes argued that ‘we create an infantilized culture of complaint, in which Big Daddy is always to blame and the expansion of rights goes on without the other half of citizenship – attachment to duties and obligations…

The emphasis is on the subjective: how we feel about things, rather than what we think’. Rather than a democratic expression of fan voices, the Arse-blogosphere is largely characterised by this mode of complaint, the football-consumer rejecting the long-term ‘duties and obligations’ of supporting their club in favour of short-term gratification, and instant expressions of blame.

The Importance of Ideology. This underpins everything. The foundational motive for the bias against Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal is economics. Arsène Wenger has been pursuing an economic policy which runs diametrically against the prevailing ideological orthodoxy of ‘Football 2.0’: that financial irresponsibility (spending on transfer fees and wages at a level that cannot be sustained by the club’s business model) is the only path to success (see above).

This model is of course the same one that Brownian economic policy has pursued since 1997, the inflation of a financial bubble founded on unsustainable levels of debt, that is now also falling to pieces. Wenger’s foresight is actually astounding, if only the football media and the Chicken Licken Arse-blogosphere could understand it, or perhaps stand to look at it.

Wenger’s Arsenal offer a different model of financial responsibility and footballing excellence that rejects ‘borrow and spend’ irresponsibility. When the sky does indeed fall (as Untold Arsenal has demonstrated that it shall – the first drops of a hard rain are falling even now) then Arsenal will be one of the best-prepared clubs to succeed – by whatever measure – in England, and in Europe.

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