The afternoon mailbox has plenty more views on the fixture list. Plus, a sublime piece of skill from Emile Heskey, more cool 'ballers and dull football matches...
A Gooner in the Mailbox seems to genuinely think that the world/fixture computer is against his team. Sigh. That, plus more cool footballers & Mike Ashley: Supervillain...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How To Watch ITV
Switch off, tune out, play some music in your head.
I was watching Champions League Extra Time last night, Andy 'Catchphrase' Townsend on the left of my screen and Gareth Southgate on the right. I found my mind wandering - I managed to completely tune out what they were saying, and wondered if their wonky noses hated each other, and were trying to get as far away from the other as they could whilst remaining attached to their ownerls face, and what the nature of that dislike was, and what caused it. Perhaps some sort of punditry nose war, decades old and impossible to mediate...
So, there you have it. Focus on the noses, and not what the pundits are saying, and you will find ITV football coverage to be really quite entertaining.
More On Townsend
Glad there are plenty of people who said what I was thinking whilst listening to ITV commentary.
Favourite had to have been - On a Giroud shot straight at the keeper, "The problem was, he hit that too well." No he didn't Andy, he hit it straight at the keeper. Soon followed by, "Either side of the keeper and that was in." Yes Andy, yes it would have been.
Is this the best we have?! We should get fans to do the commentary instead, or Joe Bloggs, or Piers Morgan. Any is an improvement.
Peter (Sending my CV off) Belfast
...To agree with all the giving out about Andy Townsend's diabolical commentary last night one of the most annoying phrases in football has been omitted. When Giroud struck straight at Neuer, "He hits it well. If anything he hit it too well."
No Townsend, no he didn't. He hit it too straight, too close to the keeper, too fluidly to put direction on it. Or perhaps he hit it so well that he would make all his teammates look bad by the mastery of his technique and deication to his craft. He did not hit it too well. I don't even know exactly what hitting it too well would look like but I'm pretty sure it would be a goal followed by some unfortunate consequence such as breaking a goalkeeper's face or ripping the net from the goals. But hitting it directly at the one part of the goal you don't want to hit is not 'hitting it too well'.
Mick (every time I hear him commentate I forget something else good he did in an Ireland shirt) Dublin
...Just to add to Michaeal and TJ's complaints regarding ITV's once again innovatively poor commentary. It really is ground-breakingly bad. Michael expressed delight that Townsend didn't use his genius 'scruff of the neck' catchphrase. Correct. He did say this however: "Arsenal have got to take the game to 'em, move the ball, work the ball." My friend and I were in stitches as we'd just been discussing Towno's dire syntax. What does 'work the ball' even really mean? When do you not 'work the ball' when kicking it?
Another absolute gem was Tyldesley's analysis of Giroud's average at best half-volley that landed comfortably in Neuer's hands. "If anything, he hit it too well." Did he?
This for me is their best combined moment...poetry in motion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJkOrHC25S8
Scott (If anything I wrote this too well), London
...In addition to Michael (End of Rant) Colman, MUFC, Dublin and TJ (Count how many time Andy Townsend says 'That's better!' in any given game...last night there was 14!), Andy 'Money for Old Rope' Townsend also treated us, with Arsenal were 2-0 down, to the genuinely insightful 'if Bayern score a third I'll fear for Arsenal here'. Wonderful stuff. Was he not fearing for them at 2-0 down at home?!
Andy Townsend is representative of an industry where being mates with the producer is more important than actually being good at your job. What value has he ever brought to ITV's broadcasting of football? Are there no reviews conducted, or market research carried out into what fans want? They probably think viewing figures are stable so all is fine. The only place people could have watched the game last night, or indeed any game apart from the World Cup final, is on the channel on which it is broadcast. We can't 'vote with our feet', but merely turn the sound down (which if we didn't lose the rest of the sound, would actually be quite blissful).
Shearer on Match of the Day is another glaringly obvious example. Allowing Dixon to leave and keeping Shearer is a reason to refuse to pay your TV licence. It makes me glad that MOTD's highlights package is being further eroded by ESPN and Sky's new rights to show goals etc from the Saturday games before 10:30pm. Let's face it, it's not the same show anymore anyway, and viewing figures will continue to drop while they subject our sensory organs to drivel like that of Townsend and Shearer.
Nick Hughes (Reminds me of Frank Skinner's classic 'DEAR BBC...!!!' impression)
Just an addendum to my 'maybe some Arsenal fans are spoilt' mail yesterday, and in agreement with Noddy's point this morning, can I just say that I'd like to apologise to any Arsenal fan who take this trophy-less run as bad as Jack Wilshere looked like he had taken it last night in his post-match interview. He took that badly.
You could see in his demeanour he was bereft, but I didn't expect him to be that deflated. A rabbit in headlights, no eye contact, stunned pauses before answering. Was he too exhausted to cry or trying desperately not to? Personally I thought I was looking at a player who was realising he may have to leave Arsenal to regularly compete regularly for the top trophies, and that is the predicament which seems to have encapsulated Arsenal in recent years. Mercenaries leave for the money, but Arsenal will have problems when 100% homespun talent leave because its less painful than staying.
If it's any consolation to Arsenal fans your club and mine are very much alike, we lost by two goals at home as well to some well-drilled Europeans at Watford.
Chris, ITFC, Liverpool
Am I Missing Something With Wilshere?
Until I read the post by Rob EFC (Haven't mailed in ages so please publish), I honestly thought I was the only person in the country who thinks Jack Wilshere is the most overated player since Christian Karembeu. Now please don't get me wrong, Mr Wilshere is a very good player with bags of potential but at the moment, the way commentators and pundits rave about him, well you would think we have just witnessed the second coming of Christ. I watched in amazement as he was given the MOM award against Brazil the other week. Yes he played a fantastic ball for Rooney's opener and if my memory serves me correct, he did one other exciting thing that half. However his contribution in the second half was minimal at best. Watching last night's game I had to sit through the sickening ITV commentators revel in amazement at every simple five-yard pass made by Wilshere. There was obviously no comments made when he lost possession needlessly (numerous times by the way). Likewise when Rosicky played the best ball of the match out to Walcott for the Giroud chance, there was no mention of how good a ball it was (We'll stop you there - there was definitely a comment about Rosicky's excellent ball and Walcott's cross in the context of Wenger's substitutions - Ed. I just hate to think what would have happened if Wilshere had played that pass...I doubt Townsend would have been able to contain his excitement - I think I lost all respect for him when he stopped bringing his tactics van to the party.
So yes, Wilshere is a good player and maybe I am being slightly blinded by the increasingly irritating commentators (I'm talking to you Mr Clive 'I am going to compare every football match to a boxing match' Tyldesley), but I am not going to believe all the hype until somebody sits me down and shows me a tape (that's right I'm old skool) of Wilshere doing all these fantastic/world-class things he supposedly does on a football pitch.
Watch him single-handedly destroy Villa at the weekend now - although that doesn't take much.
Darren (First time poster) Hill - Up The Villa
Arsenal's Planning And Recruitment Mistakes
* Arsenal are too slow. This is why they have trouble breaking down defences. As good as Wilshere and Arteta are, they spend far too much time on the turn or controlling it before releasing, by which time, players have gotten back into their positions and runs are being tracked. The old Arsenal played one touch stuff and broke quickly, thus players couldn't get back in time and the likes of Pires and Henry ran riot.
* The problem of the goalkeeper is what has hindered Arsenal over the last seven seasons. Almunia was not the best, whilst Fabianski, Mannone and Scziezncy are not yet of required physique or mentality to keep goal for a club challenging for serious honours. In other areas of the pitch, they are not too bad, but Wenger should have spent c.£20M on a quality left winger aged around 28 or so to deliver consistently whilst the likes of Walcott and the Ox are/were learning their trade. Before you say 'Arshavin' and 'Reyes' - both were never genuine wingers, but maybe Wenger should have persisted. Take Bayern last night as a good example. Lahm, Kroos and Muller - all youth products at one stage - are balanced out with high-peak performers such as Robben, Ribery and Gomez. Why was this approach not taken at Arsenal? Great youth prospects but not matched by peak career professionals at the high end of the quality scale. They should have the cash from Champions League participation, league revenue, TV rights and matchday income to offset this despite the cost of a colossally brilliant stadium.
* Faith in below-par players, probably as a result of their salaries, has stagnated the playing squad. Wenger's faith has been one of his best qualities, but Ferguson also possesses this trait. The key difference is that if Fergie deems you not good enough, or not putting in the required effort or performance level, you are quickly shown the door. This ensures a high level of commitment from United players which manifests itself in better sequences of results. This does not seem to be the case at Arsenal whereby players either leave due to the perceived notion of not winning anything, or they quietly have a few seasons of loan moves as they unwilling to part from lucrative contracts so easily.
* Not offering Ashley Cole an extra £5K per week could have been the biggest mistake in Wenger's career. As much as I hate the idea, and how morally repugnant it was at the time, he should have kept him. That way, Arsenal would have retained the services of the best left-back in world football over the past decade, would have had a long-standing club captain, and most importantly, would have signalled their intent to keep their best players on their terms. Vieira, Pires and Henry were allowed to leave for high transfer fees in the wane of their careers to other leagues. Cole's case was different as he was only around 24 (I think) at the time and was sold to a divisional rival. As much as I agree with Wenger about the unsustainability of the likes of City and Chelsea whose entire squads are full of players earning c.£100K plus per week, realistically, Arsenal may only need to attract around four of these players, which should be achievable if you cut the dead wood from the squad and therefore the weekly wage bill. The status of this club both on and off the pitch should guarantee to attract the top talent, so why has this not been implemented?
Richard (questioning Wenger, but never disrespecting), Cambridge
Love For The BFG
Just a quick email to vent some frustration. All I have heard this morning is 'So...your team was sh*t' 'What is happening to Arsenal!?' 'That Mertesacker is pony'.
Now, the last one gets on my wick a little bit. Yes, Arsenal do suck and no Arsenal player should be proud of last night but there was, and have been much worse, performers than Mertesacker this season. Vermaelen, Sagna, Ramsey to name the worst. There are others.
Stop having a pop at the BFG. He is slow but he makes up for it with his intelligence and composure on the pitch.
This isn't FM or Fifa.
I await some angry feedback...
So, So Frustrating
This morning's Mailbox showed why it's so frustrating to be a Gooner! Forget the schizophrenic fans who see every loss as the end of the world, forget all our best players being linked with other clubs when we go through a dip in form. The link to what the table would look like if you only counted the second half of every game tells you everything you need to know!
It's so frustrating because we know this group of players can really do it. Deep down we know we have the quality. We've let in just ten goals in the second half of games this season, we are capable of defending well, we just seem to take the entire first half to actually wake up!
We know that if we cut out stupid mistakes, we would be right up there, and that's why it's so frustrating and we are slowly turning into a Liverpool fan level of annoying every day in the Mailbox.
Luca James Sparks
Don't Blame The Fans
Fantastic mail from John Carter this morning blaming the Arsenal fans for the team's current woes. How easy it must be to criticise people who pay thousands of pounds every year to attend these games whilst you watch on TV and complain about the untenable playing atmosphere having such a negative effect on the team.
Wenger revolutionised Arsenal and English football and as such has earned a huge amount of patience but it's not the fans' fault that it's worn very thin. He looks lost on the touchline these days, unable to understand how or why his methods no longer work but unlike other great managers he's to stubborn to change and adapt.
Take last night for example. The decision to play Walcott up front and then launch long balls and crosses into the box was laughable. Was that the fault of the fans? Walcott actually sums up the decline at Arsenal over the last few years. That such a limited player could hold the club to ransom is bad enough but that he has actually managed to force Wenger to play him through the middle, despite him clearly not being good enough in that position, is the final nail in his coffin in my opinion.
...Respect where it is due to John Carter and the millions of Gooners supporting the team from overseas; staying/getting up at unsociable hours to see us dumped out of competitions by the Bradfords and Blackburns of this world takes a certain kind of commitment. But it's fair to say that passing judgement on the quality of Arsenal's support is not best done from in front of a TV screen.
To address his point directly: yes, the atmosphere can be tense. It's difficult at the best of times to get a home support of, say, 55,000 people doing something resembling 'the poznan'. Harder still when you're trailing lower-league opposition, have an army of stewards teaming to sit you down, and a defence that experiments with different ball-kicking trajectories seemingly for sh*ts and giggles. But we're still there. Every week. We sang of our love for Arsenal at the final whistle yesterday despite the expensive lesson we'd just received, just as we bellow "Come on Arsenal" repetitively when we see 11 weak necks struggling. You get your boo boys, as you do at every club, but they're promptly told to shut up.
But I take further issue with his criticism. One of the biggest fallacies doing the rounds at the moment is that Arsene Wenger built the Emirates. Not brick by brick, of course, but that his vision and talent made it possible. To a certain extent, that is true. And it will always be his legacy earned. But take it from someone who pays £1400 a season for a seat in the back row of the North Bank upper tier - we, that is to say the fans, are the ones financing it.
And when you fleece your fanbase more than any other club in Europe, you raise the stakes: fans expect something in return. Home defeats to Schalke, Swansea, Blackburn, City, Chelsea, and Bayern already this season isn't quite what we had in mind. Hardly knee-jerk, and that's ignoring the past eight seasons.
If you truly believe that Arsenal's fans are its biggest problems, then you may well find that theory actively tested in the near future since many who are paying 5% of their annual income for a season ticket may simply refuse to carry on. Maybe then it will become more obvious that, actually, Arsenal's biggest problem is a policy which saw Almunia, Santos, Park, Chamakh, Squillaci, Arshavin, and Djourou earn around £400k a week between them last season and probably another £50k+ spent weekly for Bendtner, Vela, and Denilson to play elsewhere. You can hardly blame the boo boys on that one.
Dane Vallejo (don't worry, I'll still be there cheering on Saturday)
Why Bother? Don't Be Ridiculous
In response to Adonis (good thing Steve Bould has sorted out our defence) Stevenson, AFC...
So why bother for attempting to qualify for the Champions League? Hmm I wonder...in fact, why bother playing football at all? Why bother trying to go try win the league or FA Cup if you are just going to get beaten? Yep, let's just all given in now and let United and City battle it out. It's the end of football as we know it, bye guys!
How about: Arsenal still compete for 3rd/4th spot because whether you win or lose it is still an incredible feeling to play in Europe. I'm sure regardless of them being outplayed by Bayern they still appreciate playing against the top teams in the world. And how about the fat wad of cash the club receives for qualifying and TV money? I'm sure you want that so Arsene can improve the squad right? Maybe that's why it's important to qualify. Or shall he abort that, come 10th in the league just because there's just no point anymore?
You silly sausage.
KF (Now back to my essay)
...Enough with this bollocks!!!
Adonis Stevenson - why qualify?
Um let's see the revenue alone, not to mention CL attracts quality footballers which the 70 million quid at the end of the rainbow could buy. Ask Liverpool they brought could only get the likes of Borini, Allen, Carroll...
James Page - 'the Emirates witnessed The End. Not just the end of our Champions League campaign, but the end of any pretence of Arsenal being a Champions League side anymore.'
You must be shi##ing me!!!! Arsenal are four points off forth with 12 games to go!! That's two games! You must be watching Premier League football for the first time this season...either that or missed the back end of last season's title race. Utter rubbish!
I for one think should leave Arsenal on his own accord...arguably the club's best manager ever is deserving of a better class of fans/supporter than the majority of you lot who spew tripe like James and Adonis.
Your type of supporter deserves likes of Paul Ince. Who knows maybe he'll make some stellar signings for the club like he did at Blackburn bringing in the likes of Paul Robinson, Danny Simpson, Vince Grella, Carlos Villanueva, Robbie Fowler, Mark Bunn and Keith Andrews? (Thanks Wiki)
Kofi (The prof should pen a biography titled 'you don't know what you got, till its gone' while Managing PSG with a kitty MUCH bigger than that fictitious 70m) Man Utd, Port Elizabeth RSA
Get A Sodding Grip
You lot need working on.
This Bayern Munich side are currently the best side in Europe, and are going to win the Champions League. Arsenal lost to a superior team - this has happened before now, and will happen again There have also been occasions where Arsenal have lost to inferior opposition, and this will also happen again. This is why football is brilliant - because of the anomalies. We knew that Arsenal were probably going to lose last night, but we watched because we hoped that they could pull off an upset. If you want a sport where the result is almost 100% predictable, very likely to go in favour of the better team, or certainly the better performer on the day, then go and watch Rugby.
Arsenal competed with Bayern for large periods of the game, but were on the back foot early-doors, and but for a flukey save from Giroud's effort, and another lucky scuffed shot, Arsenal would have been going into the away leg at 2-2. You can pretty much tell the same story about the Blackburn game at the weekend, and indeed the League Cup tie against Bradford.
Arsenal have not invested like the rest of Europe's elite, and yet time-and-again win entry into the Champions League through one of the strongest leagues involved. They are not gaining passage through the Scottish or Belgian league here, you know. I am also pretty confident that they will do it again this season, simply because those around them are due a wobble. Actually, I am not sure why - I just fancy them. I think it's roughly where Arsenal belong.
In a league with two financial monsters, and another that seems willing to risk it's entire future existence for success, third or fourth place is pretty respectable. Without a sugar-daddy, no other team will ever compete, either. We should be thanking Mr Wenger for sticking around to guide us through these tough times. I am sure he has been approached by exciting clubs abroad, where trophies would be easier to win, and expectations much easier to manage.
Having said all that, if I were him I would leave - you lot don't appreciate what he's done and is still doing, so why should he bother? The Real Madrid job is going to be available in a few months - I am sure he is on their list, and it's got to be better paid than the Arsenal job. And then what? The new manager will face the same problems, and probably won't get the results Wenger does. The £70m that is being reported won't be enough to put Arsenal in the space that the current top three occupy - they could each spend near-enough that on a single player, if they chose to.
Graeme the not-so-happy-because-I-think-Wenger-is-going-to-leave Gooner in Reading
Simple Maths: Why Arsenal Are Crap
In the last 5/6 years we've spent the fifth largest amount of money on players behind Man U, Man C, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs. We've made the largest profit in the entire league of nearly £37m.
So, it's not that we don't have or don't spend money. The problem is simpler than that. Wenger buys over-priced crap. Look at this list and tell me honestly who would any of Man U, Man C, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool buy (not to mention Madrid, Barcelona, Munich, Milan etc ). No knee-jerk reactions about the God that is Cazorla or how Podolski has 100 caps for Germany. These players are not good enough. We only have Wilshere who potentially is good enough. The rest can share Wenger's taxi but I doubt we'd re-coup even half their value.
Podolski - 11 million
Giroud - 13 million
Cazorla - 20 million
Gervinho - 10 million
Oxlade-Chamberlain - 12 million
Santos -6 million
Arteta - 10 million
Mertesacker - 10 million
Koscielny - 10 million
Squillaci - 4 million
Arshavin -15 million
Ramsey - 5 million
Walcott - 10 million
Hleb - 11 million
I could go on...but my point is that's £145m in the last six years. Think about what a decent manager could have got for that.
Ader (sunny Devon)
Owning A Ferrari
Following the relentless emails from upset Goons (Diddums) and their constant bickering about trophies/Wenger/Gervinho, one thing has become apparent.
'No club has a divine right to win trophies.'
Whilst this may be true I'd just like to say that I don't have a divine right to drive a Ferrari. Neither do Richard Branson's kids. But I know out of the three of us I am the least likely to be able to do so!
I suppose my actual point is Wenger out? Hmmmm.
Steve (I don't even support Arsenal) Coatsworth
Boo The Situation, Not The Players
The situation is far from ideal and I agree that the atmosphere at the Emirates is toxic but I'd say that the boos are aimed not at the team but at the club, board, maybe Arsene but mostly the currently situation. How else other than not turn up can the fans express their dissatisfaction at the product they are paying a lot of money for?
I think the main issue is that the fans and the club are not on the same page expectation wise or rather that the club have failed to communicate what has been an obvious change of priorities. I lapsed my season ticket three seasons ago as I saw the writing on the wall, the fact is the club has tried to continue to charge title contending money while serving up fourth place (at best football). The fans are still being asked to pay sky-high prices and are frustrated when top players are sold and inferior ones brought in to replace them. Personally I think the club have been insulting the intelligence of the fans, never more so than the 'apparent' transfer targets in and around transfer windows players who I think they have no intentions of trying to bring in. Your mileage may vary.
As for Wenger. For a number of years the question of whose fault it was that the squad was so weak was open to debate, what was not was that with the players he had Arsene really did over achieve for a long period, I do not think that is the case anymore. Firstly it seems apparent that the team simply do not practice defending, the number of defensive errors week in, week out is just soul-destroying and to not learn from repeated mistakes is just unforgivable, the blame for this rests firmly with Mr Wenger. Also over recent years, he seems to have decided that playing players in their best position is no fun at all, Ramsay gets a lot of (unfair in my opinion) criticism and he is a player who has been played out wide for most of the last 18 months and like much of the squad his confidence is shot to bits right now. Arsene has made mistakes and his long-time tried and tested plan A (and B and C...) of our best will beat your best no longer stacks up with the current group of players.
Something has to change, I am of the opinion now that we need a new manager, he has been terrific but I think the time has now come, that though will not be enough. We need some honesty from the club too or we need them to put their money where their mouth is and rip up this squad in the Summer and invest in some serious players.
Arsenal Could Still Win Title Under Wenger
To all those who have been asking for the sacking of Wenger this past week:
The guy could have left Arsenal years ago and go on with an illustrous career and win a stock of trophy with Real Madrid or any other star team! But he chose to stay because he loves this club! He loves this club more than me or you (or any other fan who sits in front of his/her TV set and swear at him for all the bad performances, but praises Wilshere and the others players when we win a game) will ever love it.
Now to all doubters, it's easy to say that we have 50 million or 70 million to spend, but in case some of you might not know, Arsenal still maintains a typical type of wage structure. We might spend 50 million on a player but still he might not come because of the wage structure at the Arsenal, where the salary depends on the age of a player and there is a defined limit to what the club will pay a player. Simply said, we might spend a fortune for a player to come to Arsenal but still we might not be able to offer him the wages he wants!
So, it's easier said than done, isn't it?
Next thing, the club has not won a trophy since 2005, the same year during which David Dein left the club. In case some of you don't know Dein, he was the man responsible for the transfers of the club till 2005. Coincidence or not, Henry left Arsenal for Barca just after the departure of Dein. And the following years, anyway is history.
The good news is that there is a rumour where Wenger has imposed on the Arsenal board to re-hire Dein if they want him to extend his contract at the Emirates. I personally take this as a super-positive point with regard to the future of the Club.
And all you spoilt Arsenal fans, grow up now and stop blaming the coach for everything that goes wrong. Learn to blame the players as well.
Taking Gervinho as the most likely illustration, he is a total crap when playing for us, but do you fans ever criticise him as much as he deserves it? The answer is NO! You will come up with the typical 'Wenger is at fault here, he should not have bought the guy' arguments!
But really is Wenger at fault in this? The guy has been excellent when he was playing for Lille, and most recently he was the best man for Ivory Coast in the AFCON.
Sometimes the players need to be more responsible and should stop hiding behind the coach who gladly takes all the blame after each and every bad performance. And this is one thing that I found positive after yesterday's defeat, Wilshere coming out and saying that the players are to be blamed and not the coach. This guy is the future of Arsenal, no doubt about that!
There is a famous quote which sounds like 'a good leader always takes the blame,but never the credit!'
This is why you guys are abusing of the name of Wenger to remove all of your frustration! You are complaining that Wenger is not meeting the standards. By the way which standards?? The standards that Wenger has set himself by transforming Arsenal from a middle table hanging club into the famous 'Invincibles'?
And for all those who say that we have become a joke of a team and that Wenger should leave because of a lack of silverware or whatever...
One point for all of you: Before Wenger came to Arsenal, we were a boring football playing and typical British mentality club who was lurking around the PL table, and which everyone hated in England for the boredom they invoked. It is only after the arrival of Wenger that we transformed into a world-class playing football team who became a driving force in the Premier League and in Europe. And unlike Chelsea and City, we did not use money to become ARSENAL, it was thanks to a legendary coach who made Arsenal into a team that today all football lovers admire for the quality of our football!
What do you guys really want? What if we had won the Carling Cup? What if we did not qualify for the Champions League? Yeah okay we won a trophy, but what next? Europa League? Then what next? Seriously did you guys ever clearly think about what you really want, other than the urge of winning trophies and not wanting fourth spot anymore?
Let me remind you that Redknapp was likely to be appointed as England national coach only because he was on the verge of taking Spurs to the fourth spot. This is how much that fourth place is valued to all the other clubs in England, and which all Arsenal fans are seeming to take for granted these past days.
Come on, grow up and look for the positives instead of the negatives, it all depends on your attitude, and nothing else. I have never seen fans as spoilt as the Arsenal fans, not even the Chelsea fans can match you guys. I'm really tired of listening to you guys asking for Wenger to be out and for Moyes (LOL) or Laudrup (LOL) or whoever else to come in.
I can see a future EPL Champion in today's Arsenal team, and this can only happen under the guidance of Wenger (mark my words!)
P.S. Ask Liverpool fans who today still regret the departure of Benitez, they know something about it.
Talking Of Liverpool
Reading today's top ten No. 6 it struck me that Liverpool have been as wayward with their spending this season as they were with their shooting last season. As a Newcastle fan I had always thought that we were amongst the most profligate of spenders. So I thought here's an idea, why not see who has wasted the most money. I looked through the players that Newcastle had wasted a whole bunch of money on in the last five years (picked at random). By which I mean spunked a shedload on and got nothing but painful memories. Problem was most of the dissipated debauched scattergood moments were under Fredrick the Shepard. The acquisition of the Xisco kid was 5.7m and Zambrela and Tozer was terrible but that only amounted to 7m quid all in. Even G. Obertan and Iron Mike Williamson have had their parts to play in the recent history of le bouffon de Saint James. Daunted I was. With an ominous knowing that we would not compete with Liverpool's dissolute libertine squandering (I remembered we had sold them a centre-forward, ye see) I headed unheeded to a well-known site and totted up Liverpool's total anyway. For the sake of brevity in list form, I included:
Borini 10.5m, Allen, 15m, Adam 9m, Downing 20m, D. Wilson 2m, Poulsen 4.5m, Konchesky 3m, Carroll 35m, Aquilani 20m, Dossena 7m, Ngog 1.5m, R. Keane 20.5m, Caviliera 3.5m
Wasteful I knew the Anfield masses were, but 151.5m squiddllies I did not expect. It's downright ruinous. I anticipate the cries of the 'but net spend' by Liverpool followers easily riled but even selling F-Torr (probably won't catch on) does not excuse the flagrant extravagance of 1/7th of a billion pounds spend on reserve-team footballers in half a decade. Jesus you could actually run a hospital for a year on that!!
I had thought to present a comparison between all the clubs in the Premiership, but suddenly there seemed little point as surely Liverpool are the winner. I then thought maybe the mailbox could do the sums for me.
So my question to the mailbox is 'how much has your club wasted in the last five years?'
If anything it may cheer Arsenal fans somewhat to know they might have been less improvident over the years, as finance seems important to supporters of that club.
Michel de la Cahteauneuf (I wasn't trying to wind anyone up, just thought I should point out a potentially interesting salient fact)
More On Gloves
In response to Martin 'off to the copyright shop in the morning' Ansell, while it's true there's no technical definition of what a glove should be, there are two factors however that affect the selection of kit that would be applicable here.
Firstly, does the equipment constitute a hazard to either keeper or outfield players? In the case of a baseball catcher's mitt probably not, but this rules out metal reinforced gloves or those with extended fingers that might catch an unwary attacker's eye.
Secondly, does the equipment constitute an unfair advantage? This one pretty much nullifies most of the tricks you might try. Gloves covered in glue for example wouldn't pass this test, and nor would four foot wide circular gloves that fill most of the net.
Would still love to see someone try that last one just once though.
SocraticIrony (Thrice submitted, never published, eternally hopeful) NUFC
I would just like to say a big thank you to Mediawatch. Us losing to Bayern was obviously painful, but most of my depression went away after reading a sentence containing the words 'penis', 'utterly', and 'destroyed'. My life doesn't seem so bad, all of a sudden.
Aaron, Singaporean Gooner