Welcome to TGIF, and this week there are some milestones to celebrate, the odd champagne cork to pop, and also a growing realisation that eventually this team will deliver no matter how ugly the play may look. In this special week of all weeks at Arsenal Football Club, let us take the time to acknowledge Arsene Wenger’s achievements and enjoy a degree of unity without bad mouthing the Frenchman. The best is yet to come and he will
deliver, In Arsene we trust..
Le Boss in real life and bronze
Thirteen is unlucky for some, but not Arsene Wenger we hope. Yesterday marked the 13th Anniversary of the Gret One’s reign at Arsenal Football Club, and love him or hate him you have to acknowledge that many aspects of the English game have benefited from his input. In becoming Arsenal’s most successful and longest serving manager, he eclipses the likes of the great Bertie Mee who won the first division title and the Inter Cities Fairs cup and the Football Association Cup during his 10 year tenure, not forgetting of course George Allinson whose 13 years at the Arsenal provided the club with two First Division titles. Arsene Wenger record is to be held in awe of those who believe him to be as visionary as the great Herbert Chapman who left a similar impression on the English game with the introduction of shirt numbers as just one of his great ideas.
The legendary Herbert Chapman.
I can honestly say that Arsene Wenger has changed the expectation of Arsenal fans, and this has been in part the rod made for his own back. Wenger ball has now become the gold standard that all successful Wenger teams must aspire to.
Along the way there were hiccoughs, controversies and of course rivalries, most notable that forged with Sir Alex Ferguson who now sincerely admires the Frenchman. Such is the mutual respect that these two stalwarts have for each other, that now there is rarely a cross word said between the two. We can recall Pizza gate and of the infamous attacks on Ruud van Nistelrooy, but nothing could be sweeter than the revenge FA cup victory at the Milennium stadium where Paddy Vieira kicked his last ball for the Arsenal after the gunners had been battered almost into submission, and where the introduction of Arsene’s 4-5-1 formation for the first time in a major competitive game in England saw Dennis Bergkamp playing target man. Arsene is a man of words but there are some words that you will always hear in an Arsene Wenger interview. Quality… Belief… patience… He is proud of his players and picks them for the potential that he sees on the training ground. Their QUALITY. He is immensely supportive of his players and always tries to instil BELIEF into them, he knows that confidence can disappear as quickly as blowing out a candle, and finally there is PATIENCE, now we are seeing Arsene’s sides scoring very late into the game, never panicking, just playing the game and trusting that they will break down the opposition. Arsene Wenger… We salute you!
The other big issues?
Stanley Kroenke – Arsenal Director
well Stanley Kroenke bought another 80 Arsenal shares, upping his stake to 28.7%, in this game of poker we await Usmanov’s next move. Will he call Kroenke? or throw in his hand. It’s now or never aat this AGM, the heir apparent from Denver is slowly closing in on his prize, and it is going to take one hell of a Hail Mary to stop him. Roll on 22nd October, which also happens to be the birthday of Arsene Wenger. I wonder if they will sing happy birthday to him at the agm? there is bound to be a cake at the very least…lol
Arsenal progressed in the Champions league with a professional win over the greek side Olympiakos, whose side DOES NOT contain one Gilberto, Vic Crescit…(sorry pal!) The performance was as assured as it was comprehensive, and not many people have given the Greek side the credit they deserve for turning up and being very well organised. much praise most also go to the Olympiakos supporters who entertained the silent section of the Emirates through out the game. At one point the to and fro chant and gestures was quite dramatic. Well done boys.
Arsenalisation of the Emirates in progress.
I suppose I should not leave out the outstanding financial results which were published, showing Arsenal’s largest profit and turnover since arriving at Ashburton Grove. this together with the Arsenalisation of the stadium must make many Gooners feel proud to be supporters of the club at this time. Despite all of the mischievous media pointing out that Arsene has now acknowledged that he will not spend money for money’s sake, all eyes turn to the prospect of major acquisitions if Arsenal fail to land a major trophy this year. Which means that the FA Cup is the most likely, but I fancy an each way bet on the Champions league.
“So close in Paris, yet so far…”
With regard to the Premier League Championship, I just do not think that the current squad can manage that marathon. It does require the likes of Fabregas and Arshavin to be permanently on form, and un-injured, and based on the season so far as short as it may be, the portents are not good.
The site was quite quiet this week and apart from the usual taunts from Insider James we saw several issues aired. The Arsenal Accounts, Arsene Wenger’s anniversary. But what took my eye was the blog which discussed Are Arsenal fans hooligans? not according to Insider Harper as he provided good evidence of a media hyping of any indiscretions made by a Gunner, compared to the almost Nelsonesque blindness displayed when it comes to a player wearing a ManU or Chelsea shirt.
“Now f*cking hell you w*nker of a ref what was that for?”
That having been said, I am concerned that there will be serious crowd disturbances when Man Citeh comes to the Emirates in April, especially if as seems likely the task of remaining in the top four may depend upon us beating them then. Ade-ego-bayor has been handed a £25,000 fine and a suspended ban of two games by the FA following his charge for improper conduct. He has also been warned about his future conduct in keeping with the precedents already set for this kind of misdemeanour.
Today I am going to choose on of my favourite quotes
for Arsene Wenger during his 13 yr tenure. I am sure that you have your favourite, but this riposte was in response to Jose “The Special One” Mourhino who labelled Arsene Wenger a voyeur. After hearing this quote, even the Special One looked somewhat embarrassed…
“He’s out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent”
“Jose is a dickhead, Jose is a dickhead lala la la!”
Andrey’s Arshavin’s goal at the Emirates against Olympiakos this week was joy to behold. The goal was special because the build up play before had seen several majestic flicks and back heels from various Arsenal players and they moved the ball sublimely across the emerald turf. I was also pleased that it occurred after many so called fans had left the ground early. In fact I would argue that somehow Arsenal refrain from scoring until there are three minutes left to go in a match so that the point is made to these lazy supporters, STAY AND SUPPORT YOUR TEAM UNTIL THE END!
“Club Level Arsenal fans have paid for the right NOT to see the game…”
The fact that Arshavin appeared offside was immaterial. Cesc Fabregas who had been roundly criticised in the previous fixture was pivotal in both goals, his vision and timing of a pass enabling the excellent Arsenal movement off the ball to reap the maximum dividend.
“Listen Ulrika, I don’t hit women, but for you I’ll make an exception…”
The Friday Finger is gestured in flamboyant fashion towards Stan Collymore of Talkshite Radio who this week accused Arsenal Football Club and Arsene Wenger of cheating football and the fans by not spending millions of pounds on transfers. This erudite upstanding football commentator who has never transgressed in any way inside or outside of football revealed that in his view
Arsenal only just do enough to get Champions league qualification without spending the money…
OK Stan, explain to me why making Arsenal football financially able to withstand the potential losses from the property deals and the credit crunch and still remain in the top four is such a bad thing? Please explain why not spending £30 million on overweight ageing big names looking only to supplement their pension schemes is such a crime? and please enlighten us as to why you know better than Arsene Wenger?
Actually and rather controversially my thanks today go to David Dein. Now I must confess that I still believe that the club have suffered since his departure, despite his act of treachery in selling his shares to Usmanov. I do also believe that he may have been influential in persuading Arsene Wenger to stay at the club during Arsene’s most difficult times with the Arsenal Board.
What would Arsenal be like now without Arsene Wenger?
Am I alone in thinking that at least during this celebration of Arsene Wenger’s thirteenth year, we should at least thank the person who recommended that the Arsenal Board take on the Frenchman TWO YEARS before they finally agreed to do so. What ever your views on David Dein at least we can be sure that without his input, the Club’s fortunes would not have been so incredible.