FTK Rant: Are we are all mushrooms?

mushrooms

This is the morning after the AST Q&A with Ivan Gazidis, and I am afraid you are not going to like my assessment. Let’s be frank, Ivan was hardly going to say the club is in crisis it clearly isn’t but things have gone wrong and what I didn’t hear was strong words in response. Words like “you know what, we have messed up big time and let you all down but we will take strong action to remedy it.” I didn’t expect him to detail the operational actions that would be taken. He is after all the boss. But I hope that he has taken time to impress upon Arsene Wenger to change his first team coaching setup. The other concern was that there was no apology for the comments that had been made by Arsene Wenger and Peter Hill-Wood which have upset many loyal Gooners. Also in the light of an ill advised ticket increase, I didn’t expect him to defend it arrogantly by saying “THE RISE COULD HAVE BEEN HIGHER”. In addition he went onto moan that his utility costs have risen by 100% with electricity rising by 33%. Boo Hoo… lets all weep. But why should the fans pay for this? Trying an internal efficiency cost saving campaign like the rest of us ordinary mortals do.

In fact after leaving the meeting somewhat resigned to hoping that lessons are going to be learned, I find myself increasingly frustrated and convinced that even if things do change, WHO IS GOING TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAS GONE WRONG? The club may be patting themselves on the back because Ivan Gazidis got off relatively unscathed, but no-one in the AST, absolutely no-one was going to be offensive or deliver abuse to him. It was hoped that the extent of emotion expressed by over 200 members of the AST would have provoked a more robust response from our CEO, but perhaps he also is part of the problem. I like the man, but seriously someone has got to get a grip and stand up to Arsene Wenger. IF in business you do not take decisive action when things go wrong, then soon that business will be no more. It hurts me to hear of Gooners turning their backs on the club, many of whom have be loyal to the  club during it’s hard times. What a reward for that loyalty…

As you can gather I am angry, not at what is going to be done, as we must give Arsene Wenger a chance, but what is the harm of stating CLEARLY that the coaching needs at the club WILL be changed. That does not commit them to sacking or employing anyone in a public forum. It is this refusal to be accountable that makes me cross. There is an appearance that the fans who walk away will be replaced by others on the 40,000 waiting list, to allow this impression to surface is arrogant and almost uncaring. Harsh words yes, but it needs to be said. If we fans are the ones who will provide the main means for the club’s financial survival, then we need to be treated with more respect. An apology for the offense caused to fans from Peter Hill-Wood would be a start. This is all about respect, and the one word that did not emerge from Ivan’s lips last night was SORRY. A small word but oh so necessary if the expressions of disappointment are credible and the intentions to change are to be taken seriously.

This blog will win me no friends within the club, and may well do harm to the reputation of this blog. But you know what, so what, Enough is enough. In Business if someone messes up seriously then that employee is held directly responsible and recommendations are made and clear action is taken that will illustrate to the shareholders and other stakeholders that these errors are unacceptable and fall well below the standards expected. Did Ivan give Arsene Wenger a ticking off, or is the Board to blame? Don’t use the distraction of the takeover by Stan Kroenke either. As I said earlier it breaks my heart that several loyal and longstanding Gooners are now walking away from the club that they have supported in some cases for over 50 years. It annoys me that the efforts and attitudes of players like the late Rocky Rocastle who knew what it meant to play for Arsenal Football Club seems to have been for nothing, because now we have prima donnas telling the club, pay me what I want or I’m off.

There used to be a saying that no-one is bigger than Arsenal Football club. Well look at the evidence, Arsene Wenger appears to have become bigger than the club, because everyone is petrified of losing him, why? because he serves the needs of the Board. This cannot be true or is it? Certain players appear to have become bigger than the club, how is it after the embarrassment of losing Mathieu Flamini on a Bosman, that it is possible to have the situation repeated again so soon afterwards. Were no lessons learned? Now to have the scenario repeated with one player is unfortunate, but to have it repeated with two players is ******* ridiculous! If I was in charge, someone would be facing a disciplinary hearing. In a businesss like this with multi-million pound assets, something must be seriously wrong with the current system of keeping existing contracts under review. Who does this at the club? Ivan refused to answer the question.What is going to change? Now we are scrabbling around to resign the player on their terms. Doing things the Arsenal way? Get a grip! more like the Leeds United way at the moment. We need to put back the pride into the players and if they do not understand what it means to play for Arsenal Football Club, then show them the door. I want players who are going to give blood sweat and tears, not play fast and loose and disrespectful of our great heritage.

Apparently the fans are very important to Arsenal, Ivan was at pains to point out that we are not just a means to an end to reinforce the model of self sustainability, but can he understand that this is what we feel when the attendance at matches is read out based upon tickets sold rather than the numbers through the turnstiles. Why because there is no accountability and we refuse to acknowledge that some fans are disgruntled with the setup and are voting with their feet. if we more money is needed. I am sure that this is not the impression that the club wants to give, but think, in other football clubs Directors often put their own money into the club to make ends meet, but not at Arsenal, oh no. Now with two Billionaires on the board who have spent between themselves almost a quarter of a billion pounds, surely it is not beyond the great minds at the club to find a way that the self sustainable model could also be applied to the Directors. I accept that some do not take money out of the club, but others have certainly profited as a direct result. How does that work FFS? So we are yet again being asked to be patient. Wait for the commercial revenues to pour in, wait for the estate building to be sold and generate income, wait until the young players have matured. I agree, we must be patient, but we need to be treated with more respect and given REAL results and told what REAL CHANGES will take place to compensate for the errors made.

If a Business makes errors that results in some of it’s consumers walking away then alarms bells should ring. At the very least a marketing survey should be done sinilar to the one carried out by the AST. Yet we seem to be incapable of reacting until something seriously goes tits up. I love this club, and second best was not good enough, third best was a disaster, but finishing fourth best was totally unacceptable. Had the season ended four games later we would now be playing Europa league football. This is about PRIDE IN ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB. I want players who are prepared to give 110% and want to write their names into our history. How many of the current squads will carry the label Arsenal Legend? Have they earned that right? Whilst I did not agree completely with the severity of the emotion expressed by Vic Crescit in a recent blog about how we have been treated as fans, I can now see what he meant. Unless serious players are bought in and the work ethic of players during matches changes then the pain was all for nothing. Until and unless people are held directly accountable when they make major errors then we are all just mushrooms at Arsenal, to be kept in the dark and fed BullSh**

RANT OVER…!

FTK{jcomments on}

  • Angelic beardy

    Ivan is only going to say what he expects the fans want to hear, there was never going to be anything other than that. Arsene is in last chance saloon for me, if he doen’t bring in the players the club obvously need to compete next year and the same thing happens this coming season as it has the last 4 seasons then the fans will get rid by force and the board will have to respond. I’m sure Arsene knows this as he not stupid.

  • Adam ablitt

    Spot on mate serious changes needed when we don’t win really can’t imagine people like song arshavin or bendtner going home angry about the result like Adams or keown would have determined to put it right next time..I think the coaching staff needs to change bring in former players like vieira and Campbell to teach these players what it means to be a winner for arsenal

  • as

    Normally you are quite rational in your thought, in parts, I even like reading your blogs sometimes, but today I could’t read beyond a few lines, because I was getting bored. I think you’ve lost the plot a bit here. Finding negatives in everything Ivan said and going off on one.

    First, do you really think Ivan would say we messed up Big time, sorry, of course not, no one in his position would, it’s not the right thing to say. What he dis say is he shares the “profound” dissapointment and as a result we will see a big “turnover” of players – good answer I say.
    Why would would he say there will be changes to the coaching? what makes you so sure that THAT is a problem? do you KNOW what goes on in training? No, so it’s just a modern myth eh?

    How do you know between Wenger and the top brass there havn’t been strong dicussions about Arsenal not winning the trophies? you don’t, so no point assuming anything.

    Sorry but you really need to calm down and stop watching Skt Sports News and reading BBC Pundits. They are brainwashing you.

    It’s true there needs to be a serious look at things at Arsenal, but I’m also confident that, THAT is what is happening, I don’t need them to give me minutes of everything they are doing.

  • Pete

    I’m glad you are not in charge of the club! “Frank discussions” may or may not have taken place. Either way, it is not appropriate, in any business, for managers (in the broad sense of the word) to reprimand subordinates publicly.

    Our expectations are unrealistic. We are 5th highest payers in the PL and have made a profit on transfers over the last several years. This is because of the need to pay off the stadium debt. Given these constraints, Wenger has over-achieved in terms of League placing.

    Lack of trophies is very frustrating – but failure to qualify for CL year on year would leave us in a very sick financial place.

    Things should improve over next few years due to (i) our debt being paid down and (ii) rivals suffering from FFP and/or reckless business models.

    Have patience!

  • Dgob

    It seems obvious to me that the answer to your strapline is: “No but, as evidenced here, some of us are”.

    ACLF also has a good discussion on last night’s AST

  • Angelic beardy

    I agree with pete, the cost of moving to a new stadium has tied Arsene on players. I am not Arsenes greatest fan as i think he is not tactically as astute as other managers with no second option footballing terms. Plus playing players obviously out of position but with the money he has spent in the last 5 4 years on players he has done a good job of keeping us in the top 4. This summer though he really needs to buy quality players and a defender who is already adept to the Premier League no more mucking around.

  • goonamerica

    Ivan DID say what you thought you wanted to hear he just did n’t say it the way you though he should. IG as the chief executive is not going to slag off people in a public forum. What did he do?
    1. He acknowledged that the end of the season was unacceptable performance on the part of our first team. (pretty strong stuff)
    2. He acknowledged that members of our first team are no longer of the club’s standard and will go this summer.
    3. He acknowledged that new members will be added to the squad over the summer. (he didn’t say from where)
    4. He continued to support AW and said he would not be leaving this summer. (and this is the point which is most interesting so will set out sub issues on it)
    a. that support for him was not infinite but was going to extend into next season.
    b. that fans voices ARE being heard.
    c. that the concept of the Arsenal Way which is AW’s vision is not being abandoned.
    d. that as such AW is being given license to get the players he wants to strengthen the squad.

    We all feel we know AW pretty well by now and I would not be surprised if 2 or 3 of our reserves step into the first team squad…also. This might disappoint many but if our business model is related in anyway to Barca’s then despite public sentiment I would think the club believes it is holding to the business model while improving the squad and trying to develop the synergy that our successful squad’s of the past had.

  • Notoverthehill

    It would seem that some people have no idea of what the salary PLUS is made up of.

    To claim The Arsenal is 5th in the salary stakes is RUBBISH!!!

    For example, for a start, for beginners, look at the average number of employees given in the Annual Financial Reports. Note the number of matchday employees. The average reporter on The Sun, the Mirror etc, does not know his or her apex from their anus!

    FTK you have written what should be “having writ the moving finger moves on”. The collapse at the end of the season was unpardonable. The Stoke City salaries, the Asron Villa salaries, West Brom salaries? NO EXCUSE!!!

  • NorthStarGooner

    Hey you’ve joined Pedro and Myles Palmer.Congrats. You’ll get more hits now.Hip Hip…

  • John in Norfolk

    @ as, I can’t take your comments seriously, you admit to reading only a few lines “because you got bored” and then waste five paragraphs criticising the blog.

  • John in Norfolk

    Now we all know where the infamous six and a half percent went. “A world class Commercial team” and that world class commercial team has produced what exactly? Sweet f*** all!

  • Notoverthehill

    JIN!

    The commercial team have been too busy flogging the Highbury Square flats or did you miss them?

  • Adam

    A petulant hissy fit by a man or boy of very limited intelligence. A waste of time and energy.

  • John in Norfolk

    A good firm of Estate agents could do that. It doesn’t require a “World class commercial team” to flog a few flats.

    What I want to see is that team generating income from sponsorship.

    The limit of their ambitions seems to be a pre-season shirt selling roadshow to the far east.

    Take them off the fat salaries and pay them by results!

  • james mc daid

    Congratulations FTK,a perfect response to the meeting,and if the club really cared in anyway about our well being as fans and far more importantly, as a football club then David Dein would be reinstated in some way and PHW would be removed from the board.HAPPY DAYS.

  • james mc daid

    thats a pathetic response.

  • james mc daid

    that comment is meant for Notoverthehill,sorry guys.

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @angelic beardy
    I accept that.
    But why do the fans have to act in a very un-Arsenal way in order to have their voices heard.
    I am giving Arsene another chance, as in any family, arguments can take place, but when the balloon goes up, we must all be on the same side, supporting our club completely

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @Adam
    That is all I ask for.
    To have schoolboy defending is a disgrace for players that are paid more in a week then many miilions get paid in a year…

  • willybilly

    DONT BLAME WENGER. This is another typica article from a typical fat greedy arsenal “fan” with no appreciation of the game as it should be played. The fact is that MOST fans are stil behind arsene, and the ones who arent will hide their heads in shame, and claim ” i was always behind the stye and ethos of this team. Some gooners wont be happy til we either buy sucsess or turn into an average english team with no style or technique, and therefore lose 90% of its globa appeall. I find it amusing that you only report on the negative and none of the postives about this great club, again whoever composed this awful article needs TO HAVE A GOOD LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND ASK! why is it that english football is 20 years behind spain? oh yea, caus of people like me!! grow the hell up and support your team

  • Angelic beardy

    I firmly believe that if next season ends or starts as disappointing as last then the majority of fans will rise and Wenger will be gone like we did with Terry Niell (sp) all those years ago. Every gooner friend i know is getting fed up with Wenger if he doesn’t change then i’m afraid his time is nearly up. I will always be a gooner but nooen is bigger than the club.

  • angelic beardy

    @willybilly, i wouldn’t call the football being played by us in any way entertaining. We don’t create many clear cut chances they way we did even 3 years ago. It is way to slow even Barcelona the team we model ourselves on play faster more direct football and i’m afraid Wenger is partially to blame for that.

  • Zaytu

    I agree with you. Too many people talk as though the club is in crisis when actually we have done very well given the circumstances and we can only improve from where we are now.

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @As
    I have made a rant, yes, and usually rants are irrational.

    let me get you to answer one point.

    Mr Peter Hill-Wood has in my opinion insulted a section of loyal Arsenal fans.

    Now with his family heritage and desire to do things the “Arsenal way” even if he felt that his views were valid but poorly expressed, if he had respect for the offense caused,an apology should have been forthcoming, this is only GOOD MANNERS!!!!

  • sticky

    @willybilly – would not agree that most fans are behind le boss knows plan a only
    @ang beardy agree with what you said.
    offensively we play as closest to barca as any team but what lets us down is that our no good players such as clichy, djouro, diaby, kocielny and song dont know how to close down players that barca do all the time.
    arrogant wenger doesnt see this or cant fix it because lazy players aint scared of him.

  • JimD

    The stadium is a long term mortgage bond, 20M interest payment annually (wikipedia). The fact is Wenger bought on the cheap at Monaco. He never spent big at Highbury, long before the stadium was even planned. Today, the club has a cash reserve of 100M including proceeds from the sales of Adebayor and Toure. Arsenal net transfer has always been in profit, except for a small loss last year.

    In short, it’s Wenger who has refused to spend on transfer, except on the cheap. He”d rather use the money to buy loyalty from players. And his players simply don’t care. So, the stadium is an excuse and it’s not the main reason for the financial constraints that bring the club to the state where it is today.

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @Pete

    you are entitled to your opinion.

    Iam not expecting IG to publicly reprimand AW or his first team coach, of course.

    unrealistic or not, we had the ability to win the league this season, and we failed to do so by inept defending.

    You may think that I am overly critical and impatient, but it has to be said.

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @ok Dgob
    I’ll give it a read.

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @Angelic

    I am aware of this, and very supportive of AW accomplishments

    But with respect it wasn’t the new stadium that made Eboue barge into the Liverpool player with only 20 seconds left on the clock, when the ball and the player were moving away from goal when we played Liverpool in April…

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @Goonamerica
    I am not disputing that IG did not make public pronouncements expressing dismay.
    But in defending the ticket increase, why oh why did he have to counter by saying
    You know what, the prices could have gone up so be thankful for small mercies…

    Sorry but that was not what fans want to hear!

  • willybilly

    @ angelic beardy, there have been momments this season where our play seems a bit directionless, but to say we dont create chances is absurd!!The amount of chances we missed this season was crazy!, so it is not a footballing issue it is a finishing issue, ie wilshere fab song. I believe that our style of play is getting better each year. not saying we havent got issues, i agree even barca are more direct at times. But the FACT remains that 90% of our global appeal/revenue is based on our style of play which is world renowned and all thanks to Arsene.

  • angelic beardy

    No I agree with you FTK the reason we lost the league last year was the idiotic defending at times. We concede too many soft goals and end up chasing the game or losing leads i.e Newcastle which was shoking to say the least. I would agree this has to be addressed this season without question.

  • angelic beardy

    @willybilly there have been games where we have been outstanding i.e Manc away and Barce and Chelsea at home. While i agree we do not finish off a lot of our moves there has been games especially at home where our style of play is to easy to defend against and we find it hard to penetrate defenses. Ultimately our downfall this season as i posted earlier was our defense and conceding too many cheap goals. This summer Arsene must sort out the defensive side of our game and also sign some experienced players who know how to play when needed.

  • willybilly

    @sticky A) the majority of arsenal fans are behind wenger FACT. b) we have a young team that cost nothing compared to barca, yet you still conceed that only they play better football than us, so wenger cant be that bad, c)Do barca have a plan b? no D)I believe wenger does have a whole alphabet of plans, he tried something a certain way, on f all money , in the toughest league in the world, HE DESERVES CREDIT

  • Gary

    You know what pal, you have been influenced by the tabloids. Just relax, sit back and look at the facts, unless you are blogging as a business and trying your damnest to attract visitors to this site through controversial comments. We support the best club in the world, and have the best manager in the world. No club under the sun has a right to win every year, even manure went through a spell of more than 20 years without a league win. Some thing had to be done to get to a new stadium – Most clubs would have dropped out of the league during this period, we never dropped out of CL spots. please don’t play into the hands of the manure supporters who manage to control the media in the UK. Just support Arsenal and Wenger and believe that they know more about football than these ass-holes will learn in their combined lifetime. Wenger knows what has to be done and knows what the resources are, do you for one minute think that he will deliberately cause Arsenal to underperform? FFS man, stop reading Legrove and the daily fail – make up your own mind. We have no right to demand league wins every year, yet we managed at least a top 4 position. In a year or two we will be in a better financial position than any other club on the planet. It took some pain but it will be worth it in the end. Please just stop whining, unless you have a hidden agenda.

  • Andy Mack

    We were 16th in the league when Terry Neill got the boot.

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @NOTOHILL
    Some people think that I am causing problems for the club, well I would rather voice my views on a blog rather than cause disorder by protesting against the club

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @NorthStar

    Cheap shot buddy

    Cheap Shot…

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @Adam

    I once qualified for MENSA actually you wally…

    Anyway fit or not, why do I not have the right to express my views???

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @James McD

    I take no pleasure from having to rant against my club.

    I do not believe that I have been measured in my comments as I was really upset, but equally neither have I been blatantly offensive.

    We need to care more about our club

    We need to believe that we are the BEST!

    We need to focus and get the job done when the going gets tough…

  • Andy Mack

    If you’ve been around as long as you implied earlier, you’ve seen us play much much worse!

  • goonamerica

    Yeah I heard that and agree…
    Further his response was disingenuous on that point cause— last year they limited the ticket alotments instead taking out of the package CL and FA Cup matches, I believe, requiring fans to purchase separately … so in the end although season ticket prices not increased what you received for your stp was reduced— in effect a ticket price increase!
    Tell me off if I got it wrong.

  • bigsyisback

    I cannot believe some of you are going to back down and be even more patient, total respect for your loyalty but I am beginning to question your football knowledge…we are now at the stage where your manager is making statements to concur with all the things he was denying 8 months ago, how do you trust that in any business ?

  • goonamerica

    In FTK’s defense I am not sure that is fair. He was shouting loudest to give AW time this past season and took alot of heat for it.

    I think the issue is “we” i.e., very very long term supporters of AFC (many who still support AW) see this manager (in particular) making the same mistakes over and over. “We” see AW’s sides not making tactical adjustments based upon players available, the opponent in question, the referee on the match and as such fans (now the ones that want him out) see AW as not being sophisticated enough for the modern PL.
    I am not on the AW out bandwagon yet but I believe in horses for courses and even the great playmaking Arsenal against a side like, for instance Barca, have to accept they will probably possess the ball more than us and we shall be forced to counterattack. As such, one must change formation, change your first 11 to take advantage of what your given, and change tactics- to maximize opportunities. And that is what is missing.

  • goonamerica

    unbelievable really but true. Barca are loads quicker than us and more direct!!!
    At least until we get kicked in the teeth and start to pick up the pace.
    My experience is a player or 2 playing slower than everyone else will drag a side down to their speed. Exceptions, over and over Jack tried to impose another speed of play on the squad.
    The culprits? 1. Arshavin 2. Bendtner 3. Denilson

  • goonamerica

    Barca’s alternative manner of creating space for themselves is the cynical style we saw versus Real in the semi’s. fall down, roll around, wave your hand asking for a card.

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @willybilly

    If you had read some of my work over the last six years of blog writing, you would feel very embarrassed to have said all of that… :-*

  • Arsenal1Again

    **COMMENT TOO LONG**

    … WITH 26 symbols left. (giving up)

  • goonamerica

    AW I am sure gave the players the rope to hang themselves with, and some of them did. In the meantime he did what a good leader should, protect his players, Arsene said the squad must have belief and trust. That he believed in the squad. I think he makes changes cause they bottled on him. Full stop.

  • Adam

    Qualified for MENSA? Yeah right. Anyone who makes that claim forfeits any smidgen of credibility. What a joke.

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @Adam

    Grow up dimwit

    I don’t have to prove anything to you…

    besides you insulted my intelligence without knowing anything about me

    pass the sick bag Alice!

  • Fabregas_The_King

    @Arse1again

    Sorry mate,

    If you get that message again just Ctrl-C the passage then delete and repaste Contrl-V in the box and delete the latter portion of the comment.
    Then add CONTD to the end and then reply to yourself and add the rest using paste (Control -V) but manually delete everything up to CONTD which is the first word of the new reply…

    😮

    OK?

  • Arsenal1Again

    I hear the voice of a fan here, it’s loud and very clear. I agree with all of it and that’s quite rare for a blog. I do remember at the time thinking WTF when seeing Clichy and Nasri’s contracts being allowed to reach 12months before expiry. The Flamini excuses were accepted by me, but seeing it happening again x2 is absurd.

    A REAL Captain would stop the rot I think – my choice, hands down would be Jack Wilshere. I can’t see Vermaelen getting someone by the scruff both on the pitch or in the dressing room. Jack will. If you read between the lines regarding Van Persie’s criticism of English players at the club, you’ll realise he’s retracting the statement through denial because NOBODY wants to be on the wrong side of Jack.

    To be fair, the 60% tax in the UK being paid by players does make some of the wage demands understandable. Transfers are overseen by Ivan (not Arsene) and the contracts. This all effects the depth of the squad which hits us during injury periods.

    CONTD

  • Arsenal1Again

    The only blame I lay at Arsene’s feet is the lack of discipline in the squad (No Captain), the allowance of slovenly performances in big games, late substitutions and in some cases, absurd team selection. For example, Walcott benched with Eboue on the Right Wing and Toure Right Full-back against Liverpool, CL QF 2nd leg – OMG!!!

    As for changes, I think we have to see what Kroenke’s first full season as owner brings which includes this transfer window and next January’s – the results on the pitch and so on. Stan rubber stamping the extra money demanded by Nasri looks promising and does suggest changes are happening. I do know that signings won’t happen until players are sold to pay for them. This is why United et al are snapping up targets before we do. They have the ready cash NOW, which is obviously better than the 6 weeks of negotiations needed at Arsenal for sales – and then the subsequent negotiations for buying. Again, this is Ivan’s domain. We’ll just have to see.

  • Adam

    Strange little fellow. I don’t believe I ever asked you to prove anything to me. I think your intelligence, which you measure by your membership of Mensa, is evident for all to see in the quality of your writing and your ability to produce a coherent article which actually has something new to say. I think you might well need a sickbag although who Alice is we can only speculate. Is she another Mensa member like you?

  • Berg10

    I’ve always considered myself as a Wenger supporter basically because as frustrating & flawed as he obviously can be at times I didn’t feel there was anybody available better than him who could manage to pull so many rabbits out of the hat with what we were led to believe was a very limited budget at the time.

    He did say last season “judge me at the end of the season”, well I wasn’t impressed Arsene and I really hope the embarrassing touchline displays have actually made him realise a change is iminent, not that I’m holding my breath and if that is so then he will lose my support completely, as it is he’s on thin ice.

  • SuperRob7

    Well presumably it was him who decided on this ticket increase so he can hardly come out and say its a stupid idea only a few weeks after it was announced. That would should weak character.

    And the other point I would make is that he did say that we are under performing on the commercial side, and that we are too reliant on matchday revenue and that he hopes to change this soon when the contracts are up for renewal. So I don’t think he wants ticket prices to go up but it could happen that once our commercial revenue increases in the next few years to the same sorts of levels as Bayern, Man u and the like, the ticket prices could start to fall.

    Might be wishful thinking but we are so reliant on matchday revenue now that we don’t really have a choice if we are still to compete financially, but once the commercial side picks up we will at least have the choice to charge less for tickets.

  • SuperRob7

    @JIN – you know the reasons why we didn’t get that good a deal on the sponsorships so what exactly would you like them to do about it? If they break the contract it would presumably involve big legal fees and possibly compensation. If they try to renegotiate now then it will hardly breed trust in Arsenal PLC for other possible sponsors if we do a deal and then a few years later decide it wasn’t good enough and now we want more.

    So what exactly would you like them to have done. New sponsorship deals with citroen and indesit and forcing Wenger to go on a tour of the far east must have passed you by.

  • Homer

    Lord but you’re a fool.
    Eboue barge into a liverpool player?
    So its his fault that the league was lost is it?

    Who else can you blame in your juvenile, uninformed tiny mind. The grounds keepers? The linesman? Wait, no it must be Denilson’s fault!

    simpleton.

  • Homer

    Right, so the twit who, by his own account qualified for mensa, has nothing more insightful to offer than tired, old, juvenile platitudes and cliches?

    yes lad, mensa surely needs you.

  • Siesta

    Nasri and Clichy are on their last year of their contracts. We didnt learn from Flamini. What a joke, but who is in charge of dealing with contracts. Ivan Gazidis. So i ask you Ivan, how did this cock up really happen?

  • Rocky RIP

    Having just watched the Q&A the one point which concerns me is when a guy mentioned how we don’t have enough/any players like Parlour, Rocastle, Armstrong, etc in the squad these days. And we ALL knew what he meant. ARSENAL men to the core. Ivan seemed to acknowledge the point, but not to the extent I’d have liked him to have. As I’ve said previously, who is passing on the baton of what it means to represent Arsenal? Adams passed it on to TH14. Ivan talked of heart & desire still existing, but it goes further than that. We want players we can connect with & you can bank on as being one of our own. Maybe those days are over in football? I hope JW proves me wrong. If it can’t come from the players any longer, we need more Arsenal men on the payroll having harsh but fair words with our players. We need players who take defeat very peronally, not swan off looking fairly unbothered. We need to re-inforce our identity.

    The rest was very slick & extremely well polished responses to tricky questions. Platitudes on the whole, but fair play to him for sitting there & allowing the inevitable flak to come his way.

  • Berg10

    But Gary we collapsed dramatically at the end FFS, the desire is not there. Of course AW has done fantastcally with what is perceived as a scant amount but it’s the attitude of some of the players that piss so many of us off. They command stupid amounts and still ask for more then put in a lack lustre display and some even ask for more, when Wenger defends this yes he is open to critisism and as you’ll read later down the column where I state I have been one of his staunch supporters but I am now starting to ask questions of whether his loyalty to some of these prima donner kebabs goes both ways.

    As for no clubs having the right to win every year sure, but we’re not getting close nor have we been top for a long time.

    Drastic measures required methinks.

  • sticky

    i mentioned earlier OFFENSIVELY we are the closest to Barca this season. More importantly DEFENSIVELY we dont press teams down when we dont have possesion which Wenger is to blame for. Our defensive players dont have Wilshires tough mentality.
    So what good is all the pretty football when theres no spine in the team and trophies to show for?
    BTW nice to be back in this website after 3yr absent.
    Keep up the good work Ramsey the king!
    or perhaps Wilshire the king.

  • goonamerica

    most people wet themselves over Barca’s offense. i think it is their defense which is most impressive. And not at the back but the amount of defending done by Iniesta, Xavi and yes Messi. High pressure creates easy peasy work for the back line. I am told Messi’s nickname in spanish is “the little flea” and his defense represents that. The last guy in who nicks the ball away after the other 3 geezers broke the other team down and isolated the ball for him to do the simple last minute work, but it is not simple and it is not so last minute but strategically isolated the ball in the weakest position of the other team and then forcing mistakes. It all looks so easy and is so not. It keeps mountains of pressure off their backline. But compellingly if you can put pressure there they are suspect frankly. As we saw at Emirates.

  • M.E.

    Quote the chorus from song by Tinie Tempah’s “Written in the Stars” feat Eric Turner (with a couple changes in lyrics)

    Conversation:

    Arsenal Fan/Supporter – “When shall we know if there are any positive news of the club for season 2011/2012 ?”

    Arsenal Board & IG – “Oh, written in the stars

    Arsenal Fan/Supporter – “(Humph) How is that the news are out in the Daily Star (tabloid) ?”

    Arsenal Board & IG – “A million miles away

    Arsenal Fan/Supporter – “I don’t get your reply. Which way?”

    Arsenal Board & IG – “A message to the main … Oh

    Arsenal Fan/Supporter – “Now you are saying the news are Where? Oh, on the main – Islington Gazette. Let’s see …”

    Arsenal Board & IG – “Seasons come and go

    Arsenal Fan/Supporter – “What will the new season bring?”

    Arsenal Board & IG – “But (We) will never change

    Arsenal Fan/Supporter – “Why has the club fail to address the underlying issues that had been for the past 6 years? You are pissing the fans off with SOP (standard operating procedures) replies”

    Arsenal Board & IG – “And (Your) on (your) way … waaaaayyy ..

    Arsenal Fan/Supporter – “(Holds head in hands) We’ve been screwed !” 😡

    This above is just a parody. We hope the best for Arsenal FC in the coming season(s).

  • oz gunner

    bloody well said, and well done to FTK for having the guts to write this.

    I couldn’t agree more. As for you idiots who come on here whinging about how arsene did this,how our style is so good,how we have a new stadium so we buy cheap, ect ect. READ BETWEEN THE LINES! As berg10 has said its about arsenes and the teams failures (especially the end of the season), and the lack of desire on the pitch. How people like vic are shunted out of the club and given a kick out the door by IG. Yes arsenal are the best club in the world, yes arsene is a talented man but he is not perfect and should not be above critisism! Things need to improve, starting with a weeding out of some players who have no passion and don’t give it there all to this great club!!!!

    Another great post FTK keep it up

  • Berg10

    True. There has to be a balance (as IG tells us) and that balance is play entertaining football but with options. We have one system that doesn’t work anymore, defences simply block us out and watch us pass the ball around side to side, lose possession..Goal…to them. Boring boring.

    Commentators talk of “pretty triangles” well I don’t see those anymore, our corners are abysmal, so are our throw ins and as for our defensive game well I needn’t go there, basically we can’t do the fundamental things and this is why we need a radical shake up in our coaching staff- Primorac, Banfield, Peyton & Colbert can all go and draft in some fresh faces.

  • PeterTheGooner

    Basically I agree. Wenger has become bigger than the club. He is not held accountable for problems that are re-occuring. Both Dixon and latest Adams have indicated that Wenger simply does not have the capabilities to create the organised and orchestrated defence we are looking for. Yet Wenger is still controlling ALL aspects of the training. And worst of all, this does not seem to change.

  • John in Norfolk

    SuperRob7,

    So! If our World class commercial team are unable to renegotiate long term sponsorship deals what is their purpose?

    No the Far-eastern trip hasn’t slipped my notice as you will see if you read the penultimate paragraph of my post. It’s hardly innovative thinking though is it? How much do they expect to make after costs? Enough to buy us Leighton Baines perhaps? Enough to pay Nasri’s wage increase for a season?

    You’ve ruled out my suggestions, let’s hear yours.

  • John in Norfolk

    A year or so ago Gazidis announced the appointment of a high powered lawyer, who I bet didn’t come cheap, to oversee the players contracts, this presumably in the wake of the Flamini fiasco Well now our high powered lawyer looks more like a small town shyster in view of the Nasri and Clichy contract cock-ups.

    More money wasted on the Gazidis empire, if the staff are incompetent sack them!!

  • oz gunner

    Its ok for barca to have plan A and thats it, but we can’t get away with that. Whats our tactic when the gameplan isn’t working?whats our tactic when a team parks the bus?whats our tactic when they pack the midfield making it congested? Alternatives have to be made. Look what manure did to us, besides the last game they managed to sit off us with a reserves team and beat us off the the counter (happens all the time.

    As for our defensive problems its as the the team doesn’t work on that part of there game, because its been a weakness for a number of years now. Our set pieces attacking and defending are laughable. If we tighten up our tactics we would be on a whole new level, and we arn’t that far off as it is!

    Bring in keown FFS!2006 is enough for his resume’ let alone the fact that hes an arsenal legend!

  • Monktash

    Good Article FTK. next step sign up to WHOAG 😉

    The club are not in crisis yet but it’s getting close. we could easily see ourselves outside the top 4 next season.

    The fact that AW has got us a top 4 finish with limited spending is not good enough, particularly as the money is available.

    We need to make the quality players want to play for us. Nasri should want to play for us because we’re his best chance of winning trophies. But we’re not so who can blame him for wanting away.

    Have we any ambition other than increasing the board increasing the share price?

  • Hamy

    Good article FTK,

    I really…seriously knew Ivan will pull something out of his hat and keep dodging serious questions..However if he did apologize on behalf of Arsene Wenger and Hill then that wouldn’t be enough because it is best if we heard it from Wenger himself and Hill…if our “beloved” manager decided to throw shit at us fans then the only person that should apologize is the manager..every and I mean every Arsenal fan out there around the world is watching who goes in and goes out..and the manager won’t be judged at the end of next season but by the first few weeks…

    I think Stan Kroenke should be involved..after all he is and will be the owner…so angry fans + no ticket renewals = no profits…I’m sure he is good in math and will figure that out eventually

    I’m sure Wenger knows it…and he will keep it in his mind when the season starts..his followers and admirers are begining to go thin…and the voice of justice, the loyal fans and anger will be louder than anything in the world..

    So Arsene….we are watching you…

  • goonamerica

    He said he didn’t want away … and then some “fan” tweeted him calling him a c**t? What would you do?
    Us arsenal fans are an angry frustrated lot right now. We so want a sign that things will be different next season.
    COME ON ARSENE GIVE US A WAVE!!

  • bigsyisback

    MR WACK IT SMASH IT LOOKS TO BE GOONER BOUND, AS PREDICTED BY YOURS TRULY !

    HAVE HIM HE IS PONY ! 😆

  • bigsyisback

    whilst we are on predictions JIN did you get on my tip yesterday I left for you under the Gazidiz banner…

    Julienas breezed in at 12/1 it was 18/1 when I gave it to you…

    today at ascot..

    2.30 Burwaaz ew
    4.25 Dream Achieved
    5.35 Apache

    yid ahoy !

  • John in Norfolk

    Bigsy,

    No I didn’t see your post. I’ll certainly have a close look at these though. Whooton Bassett? what do I know!!!

    Joke of the day from The Daily Mirror…. “Arsenal preparing an audacious bid for Jermaine Defoe” Gasp! laugh! CRASH!! falls off chair!!

  • bigsyisback

    I don’t like Defoe as you guys know, but I reckon he would score loads for you lot, you create so many chances he would bag up, my criticism of him has always been he scores in batches, and lacks composure, he will get 18 goals in 9 games and do nothing for 6 months, I would sooner have a goal every other week throughout the season than that return…he is a good scorer of goals but lacks that little bit of class when it is needed, and wants to smash everything as hard as he can, when it pays off it looks great but invariably it takes the first row of the upper tier out..

  • bigsyisback

    as it happens there is some truth in this story Jin, I have relatives who work with the father of one of our young starlets who is down the spurs and Wenger has tried before. this is a possible deal here.

  • John in Norfolk

    Bigsy,

    I seriously hope not! The reported signing of Gervhino should put an end to that particular nightmare.