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Just What the Hell is Wrong with Arsenal?


 Sorry Mum.  Uh, I mean, sorry Arsene.

Okay, this is getting ridiculous, and I don’t even support Arsenal.

Sure, publicly we talk about the Gunners’s depressingly sub-par performance this season as a victory for parity in the Premier League.  Privately though, like for instance this morning over a nice warm cup of coffee for what should have been a romp against Cardiff, we all want Arsenal to get back to its vintage 2004 form when the Arse had players who knew how to sidestep, create chances, score thirty-yard screamers, defend properly, and generally win more than two games in a row.  It’s familiar.  It’s homey.  So what’s with the six month hold-up already?

It’s easy to blame the kids–just ask any divorced parent. But screaming at toddlers can only get you so far. I really do believe that in some alternate universe, Samir Nasri has a use of some sort, perhaps even on a football pitch.  Maybe Alexandre Song is there with him, properly heading a ball away before it drops to the feet of an onrushing forward.  But problem children aside, the malaise at Arsenal goes deeper.

This being football, we’ve all got theories, but only mine is correct.  So, breaking free from the whims of ever-shifting daily opinion, I put all blame squarely on Arsene Wenger.  I know what you’re thinking: he can’t go, he’s got ‘Arsen’ in his name for godssake, we’re never going to find a French, hawk-resembling manager named ‘Garsenal.’  But, you know, like Obama said, things change.  Five years ago Arsenal were top of the league going forty-nine games undefeated.  And five years ago, everyone messaged eachother on Friendster about how the Arcade Fire were totally, totally awesome.  Well, Wenger still thinks the Arcade Fire are totally awesome.  The rest of the Premiership, most notably Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Aston Villa, do not.

Arsenal can worry about who they get as manager later, I mean who in the Premier League bothers with that anymore?  The main thing is, get your finger out, let Arsene try his hand at coaching Real Madrid’s gaggle of promising youngsters like Royston Drenthe and, oh man–Sergio Ramos?  Good luck with that!–and everything at Arsenal will magically right itself.  I mean, it did wonders for Chelsea, right?


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  1. FredTheRed

    January 26, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    If you want to read an article on Arsenal, try this one for size.

    And written by a Spurs fan!

  2. Patrick

    January 26, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    *cough* only six points from 1st *cough*
    *cough* Cesc, Roskicy, key injuries *cough*
    *cough* a draw away in the Cup against Cardiff that played in the final last year not that bad *cough*
    *cough* still playing in the CL league *cough*
    *cough* your a moron *cough*

  3. The Doodle

    January 26, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    These things come in cycles. ? maybe?

  4. Simon Burke

    January 26, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Not a good week for you Richard, you have the City fans after you for your comedic piece and now the Arsenal fans after you for another piece.

    The article slates Samir Nasri – in his first season he scored a brace to beat United so I assume thats the alternative universe he has a use in.

    As for drawing with Cardiff away in the Cup – look around – Burnley/Derby/Nottingham Forest/Barnsley and Southend have all very recently provided a great deal of surprise results. Arsenal will be going back to the Emirates and will probably win that and the next game and suddenly find themselves in the 6th Round.

    When Arsenal won the Cup in their double year (1998) they got by Port Vale on penalties in the 3rd round. i only hope (and I am sure there was) some hack there
    was slaughtering Arsenal and some fella called Wenger only to eat a lot of humble pie in May.

    I am not suggesting Arsenal are currently the greatest team in the world but drawing at Cardiff didnt phase me at all. Samir Nasri is a French international with some telling goals this year. I await your next comedic effort – go do one about Liverpool, i dare you.

  5. Richard Whittall

    January 26, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Going to have to step in here again. I'm but ONE author of many on EPLTalk. If you don't like the article there'll be plenty more down the pipe; torrents of abusive bile on one author's take will not yield yet another flat, rehashed match-report, no matter how many vile things you anonymously type. If you want turgid, stale analysis, there's plenty to go around at the BBC. But I'm glad to know who's been commenting on Justin TV all this time…

  6. The Gaffer

    January 26, 2009 at 6:33 am

    Hi Dioforce, hang in there. We're planning on interviewing Fox, Setanta, ESPN and GolTV in March in addition to several representatives from other broadcasting companies.

    The Gaffer

  7. shooy

    January 26, 2009 at 2:58 am

    Did you nick that car Damian, or is it just that English is not your mother tongue?

  8. Joe

    January 26, 2009 at 2:12 am

    Take a look at our net spend over the period and compare it to the other teams you mention. That will tell you everything you need to know.

    If you want a laugh compare it to Sp*rs net spend over the same period.

  9. dioforce

    January 26, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Blaming Arsene, and being cheeky, does not a great article make. If I wanted to read banal editorials, I'd go to the bleacher report. Here I expected insight into the EPL and broadcasting, which is why I setup an RSS feed, which I must say, has not paid dividends in the last couple months ;/

  10. Good luck moron

    January 25, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Retarded people shouldn't blog.

  11. Kaiser

    January 25, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    first time i'veread ur boring blog.. will be the last time. The problem we have is long term injury to key creative players and a tendency for all teams except for the top 4 to just come to defend defend defend which imo is slowly killing the premiership. Once Rosicky and Walcott return or alternatively we get other creators in we'll start to open up teams again.. oh and we should sell Adebayor if we get 30 million in the summer,

  12. DJ

    January 25, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    what the hell is wrong with Arsenal? what the hell is wrong with you should be the question for writting this bull.

  13. Damian

    January 25, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    The 70M is an over daft ie. a lone so he has it but doesn,t

  14. Damian

    January 25, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    David i own a 40000 car not cause i like holden more than Ferrari,s its not Wenger he has no money u think all of a sudden he thinks Eboue is Ribery or Ronaldo 4 3 years & maybe 3 more he has to work with 20m a year plus activity

  15. Jeremy

    January 25, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    There is absolutely no doubt AW has transforemd Arsenal from a boring team to an exciting one.The problem is he insists on playing his own brand of swash buckling attacking soccer.For this to happen ,the other side must play the game.However most teams believed in safety first and this frustrates AW calling it anti soccer.
    His methods of making Arsenal a leading team were working until he decided to buy babes. Yes I know at highbury he was constricted and now Arsenal are one the top five richest teams in the world.Yet he still insists on that babe and farm out policy forgetting that time is of the essence.
    Even if he were to manage RM I doubt he will be able to get awat with medicre results.
    We weill never know whether he has that gbp 70 million or 7 million.Assuming he has
    70 million doen't mean h his splurge will guarantee returns. But it is better than to buy players with potential.

  16. Stone

    January 25, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    I don't agree with this article and like somebody pointed out, Chelsea had a very hard time against Southend.

    But what pisses me off are those arrogant pricks who think that just because they are british they are somehow much more of a fan than those who don't. I live in Iceland and have never even been to Britain. I'll go to the Emirates next season as much as I can but that doesn't mean I'm any less of a supporter. I wished I was raised in Islington and my dad was a life long supporter who had brought me to Highbury year after year. But that's just not the case. There are two kinds of supporters I don't like: The one I just described and the ones that think they are so much better than the rest because they lived the sixties while all we remember is Dennis Bergkamp and Cesc.

  17. dan

    January 25, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    not sure what of thats meant to be serious and what humour, im guessing the bit about not bothering to keep the best manager weve ever had was the joke (most successful team in prem, man u kept manager for ages, liverpool only now starting to look like true challengers after 4/5 yrs under benitez, chelsea won nothing with 2 or 3 managers since maureen)

    slating nasri, 6 goals,played well in most games, just moved to new league, still only 21, is completely off the mark

    and why choose to slate song when hes had one of the best games hes had for us :S

  18. Bolo Yeung

    January 25, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Its always better when bloggers base their accusations on actual facts, not hyperbole and sensational hit generating headlines (in a cheap bid for internet 'glory'). The facts, as they stand are as follows:

    1. Arsene Wenger by virtue of achievement is one of the top 3 football managers in world football

    2. Samir Nasri is a 21 year old International who for a midfielder in his 1st season has an unusually high proportion of goals in crucial games and therefore cannot be considered a poor player (see R Keane, R Pavyluchenko etc for value/output comparisons)

    3. The season is not over yet. 6 points seperate the top 6 teams and translating that into games is 2 wins.

    4. Your claims are not backed by ANY evidence or facts.

  19. Tyler Drake

    January 25, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Mate, i have to say, as an Arsenal fan i thought that blog was brilliant. Well organised, factual and hilarious to boot.

    I'd never lay in to Arsene Wenger tho! i suppose for you, as a non-arsenal fan, its easy to do so…

  20. Richard Whittall

    January 25, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    *cough* I'm Canadian for one, and I've indeed been to a few Premier League matches in my life, although the man standing behind me at the Valley screaming profanity for an hour and half could teach you something about insults! My feelings aren't even hurt yet!

  21. ron

    January 25, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I dont think it anything to do with the coach, the players need to stand up and be counted, they complain that they never get enough money and they are worth far better than what they get paid for.
    I dont think so, these are greedy over rated players at Arsenal that think that they are too good for the likes of Cardiff, they think the only have to show up and it a win, i would gladly pay each player 100 thousand a wk if i knew we would go to places like Cardiff and win 5-0. Cmmon AW, stop making excuses and start kicking some ass, the Reserve team has more balls than this one, why ? cos they are not greedy over rated players. lets swap the team around, i think if the Reserve team would have gone to Cardiff it would have been 5-0 to the Gunners….

  22. Chris Walker

    January 25, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Martin O Neill only managed Leicester in the premier league before Villa in between this he gathered a fair bit of silverware at Celtic. I dont think you spend 200 million far from it. But Arsenal still have a budget of about 20 million hence the bids for arshaving and whatever he spent in summer such as Samir Nasri (was ramsay in summer? I forget), incidentally Arsenal actually turnover 1 million pounds every home league game (astonishing statistic!) and that wont all go into to paying the stadium debts which will take another 18 years or so to pay. The point is that there are times when you have to get the blend of youth and experience right. I watched arsenal the 'reserves' stuff my team 6-0 in the caring cup and there is no doubt that those kids are magnificent and will save the club millions but they still need guidance in premiership. Like i said, i ahve no doubt Arsene can win you trophies again

  23. m.callanan

    January 25, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Would be nice to have some grown up ,considered response than just abuse.Lets try.

    Firstly 0-0 at Cardiff isn't a disaster . That said if people think we played well. then I despair. Song may indeed be improving but at current rate we wont win the league with him for a couple of years, and despite Wengers protestations about media criticism of Denilson personally I doubt he'll ever be more than a good reserve. You cant judge the defense when what is in front of them is so underwhelming. We have no one but Song emerging as a serious defensive midfielder;and if he's not ready, thats where we must buy, and let Song win the place over the next few years if he's up to it. We also totally lack pace compared with 4 years ago. Nasri may prove to be a good player, but i guarantee you it wont be on the wing. Hopefully Asharvin will help in that department.

    As to Wenger much as I love him I am beginning to have doubts , but equally I dont know if he is being denied resources or is seriously deluded about the current squad.,

  24. Norm

    January 25, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Stop Press!

    Cardiff refuse request from Arsenal to take Eboue + 5 million pounds. They will agree to take the 5 million as long as Eboue isn't part of the deal.

  25. sam

    January 25, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    so who shall we go far marinio who only buys trophies, Ramos who is a useless twat, Martin O,Neil, won 1 cup, or Rafa no we have the best man there is, we are no more then 2 players away from being a team that can seriously challenge for the premier league and i honestly believe if we sign arsharvin we are one strong defensive midfielder away. The problem is Wenger's hands are tied. until the majority of the flats are sold and completed at highbury we will not have the money, the whole world is fucked for money and we are no different, or maybe we should go and spend 200m like the laughing stock hotspurs and fight relegation. it is frustrating at the moment but if anyone can get it right it will be Arsene Wenger i promise.

  26. Alex Z

    January 25, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    I think everyone's missing the point: that Arsenal is between a rock and a hard place, caught between the devil and the deep blue sea (two cliches about the same thing in one sentence…I am so on a roll…). The point here is that yeah, Wenger probably hasn't been living up to expectations, but what can the club really do? If you fire him, you instantly end up with the “Mourinho Syndrome” currently making its way through the locker room at Chelsea. The fate of the man and the fate of the club are so closely intertwined at this point that to separate the two would lead to much more disastrous results than any managerial hire or amount of Nasri competence could save.

  27. Chris Walker

    January 25, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    cant agree with a lot of the journo's points in this article, however some of you guys should try posting your arguments in a mature form instead just posting insults. I dont think the article was written to offend you somehow. As for my own view on Arsenal there is no doubt there has been a slip from grace but i still think they have every chance of achieving 4th place. Criticise Wenger all you want, but his dynasty has left a legacy for generations to come. Look at the difference between the so-called 'boring boring Arsenal ' before the frenchman took over and compare it to the teamshe has built to win him 3 premier league titles, 4 fa cups and numerous runners up in all competitions – all of which playing some of the most attracitve football possible. He has spent nothing close to what Man United and more recently, Chelsea have spent over the years. To level the idea of sacking him does appear obscene in some parts though i feel Wenger's stubborn principles in the transfer market when he has had the money to spend in recent times have perhaps cost the Gunners on the pitch. However i doubt his seasons transfer budget is much more than 20 million as it is.

    All Arsenal appear to needs is a bit of experience from 2 or 3 established players and a good leader wearing the captains armband. It just a matter of the Emirates stadium warchest having enough in it to facilitate this.

    I have no doubts Arsene is capable of building another trophy winning team

  28. Fredorrarci

    January 25, 2009 at 6:01 pm


    In which case, retracted. Kind of.

  29. David

    January 25, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I'm a lifelong gooner and I totally agree with this post. Who else can you blame but Wenger? How many other managers of top teams are given 4 years (including, I'm assuming, this year) and don't lose their jobs. Wenger has lost the plot. He hasn't strengthened in positions he needs, and he plays people like Ebooooee, Bendtner, and Song. It's time for him to go – he's been a great manager for us but his time has come and gone. He revolutionized the way we play but now his plan B has become plan A – high balls into the box. All sad but all true.

  30. Fredorrarci

    January 25, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    @You are a fool:

    “And to agree with Hugo: I am a septic…”

    Freudian typo?

  31. Norm

    January 25, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Many years ago I heard a song called “Where are the Clowns”. It seems that Arsene has two of them (Emmanuel Eboue & Alexander Song.
    Arsene please give them back!!!

  32. Spike

    January 25, 2009 at 5:39 pm


    Genius post fella!

  33. You are a fool

    January 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    And to agree with Hugo: I am a septic and satellite TV has contributed to my understanding, but I attended the match today, and was fucking proud to be singing for the only club that matters. Having dipped my feet only slightly in the waters, 1 match home and away, I certainly don't feel entitled to speak so brazenly as you, and if Hugo's assertions are correct you should read and learn and be there, and then try writing about it.

  34. You are a fool

    January 25, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    you are an inept journalist and shockingly, you're even worse at analyzing tunes than you are the gunners. Arcade Fire are still fucking awesome, they'll continue to come good and so will Arsene's squad. Shitbag.

  35. Hugo

    January 25, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    I remember a time before sattelite television and broadband internet, it was a time when English football was about English fans getting behind their team and having banter with the others. It was simple, the football was shit compared to now, and the players weren't as glamourous or exciting. But for some reason it was just so much better without fucking Yank tossers who know nothing about the game and have never been to a premier league ground using blogs to share their pointless, stupid opinions on the “EPL”. Fuck off prick.

    And a use for Samir Nasri? How about being a 21 year old international winger who's just moved, alone, to foreign country and already banged in 6 goals this year, including 2 against united. Tosser.

  36. fossyboy

    January 25, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    The one thing that makes me laugh about you lot is that your the same bunch of idiots who complain that we can't get results playing ugly! Do you see United fans at the moment complaining that there winning games 1-0. Were nine games unbeaten, beginning to show signs of a slight ruthless streak and your all complaining that were not playing good enough football. We have half the first team out. Judge us in April when we (hopefully) finally have a fullt fit squad.

    Grow up, accept life and take some promise that for the last minth and a half we've gone unbeaten despite playing nowhere near our potential.

  37. Big pat

    January 25, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    You must be new to this journo lark, what a knobneck. Stick to writing crap but just let your mum read it and don't post it you twat.

  38. Spike

    January 25, 2009 at 4:59 pm


    |Oh thou art sooooo wise. lets see in May fella. I for one doubt you'll have the balls to come back on here to eat humble pie

  39. Gooner_B

    January 25, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    PLEASE! he's right surrey gunner…..and i am a gooner, have been since the early eighties. Drawing at cardiff's not a disaster i agree….if we played well and they stopped us from SCORING! but that wasn't the case we were shocking right the way through our spine and on the wings. the centreback pairing looked dodgy because wenger don't teach defence and never has….but still thinks he can raise defenders. Ramsey had a shocker, but that's ok coz he's still learning and so was gibbs. But doesn't it frighten you that alex song was by far the best player in midfield today? and the more i see bendtner the more i see him going down the aliadiere route where he's actually better for us on the wing than he is as a striker. And this all has to fall at wenger's feat and the board that he's basically taking the fall…..selling us the dream of the stadium when all that was a ploy to put more money in their pockets (telling us we can't compete manchester utd without the stadium) right now we can't even compete with ourselves from 1998 – 2004 at any stage in terms of signings let alone manchester utd. so my point is this just because wengers done so much for us or has a dream that he's attempted to sell to you…..doesn't mean you have to buy it to the point where even when he's showing you signs that he's taken us as far he he can go….u let him literally pull us back in decline….becaue he's the “greatest manager we've ever had” that's dangerous….wengers showing u he can't take us too much further forward anymore and the board are blatently showing us all that they don't have the ambition to carry us into the future hence the tight fistedness they're showing in signing ARSHAVIN….he may not be worth £18mil u may say….but nor Ribery when he was sold to bayern and nor was ashley young woth £9m when o'neil got him, now how much are they worth? haha. When they're talented….sometimes you just gotta pay a premium on them and show the ambition still runs within your veigns…..and i don't think that's happening at my club anymore.

  40. Solomon

    January 25, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Call the writer of this piece what you like but he is right and most of you know it in your hearts. The fear for most Gooners is the real possibility that this man has taken the club as far as he could. Therefore, letting go of this God-like figure that they so revere is going to be an unwelcome admission. But all coaches, good or bad, have a finite lifespan and so it is with Wenger. In time you will all come to accept this reality. Perhaps next year in the Uefa Cup on a return trip from some anonymous city.

  41. Spike

    January 25, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Serioulsy fella, give the football analysis a wide berth, it aint for you mate! Who on earth expected a romp? FA Cup, potential banana skin, away from home, intimidating venue, jumpers for goal posts…need I go on?

    Seriously lazy, inept hackery of the lowest order.

  42. Richard Whittall

    January 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Mindlessly unselfconscious partisan blinders, check! Crude grade-school insults, check! Phony calls for boycotts check! Like shooting fish in a barrel here it seems.

  43. Shitarticle

    January 25, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    knob head article…..9 games unbeaten and growing….players coming back from injury etc etc all on a shoe string budget….stick that up your arse and fucking smoke it you charlie

  44. Hartwick89

    January 25, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    How can an enemy fan be concerned with Arsenal? Then blame Arsene? Answer your the enemy…Who do you like? Liverpool…Yeah in much better standing! How about Everton? Chelsea…OK seconds away from defeat…Not able to buy players will fall from top 4….Go suck an egg with your sympathy because your article sucks!

  45. Thisblogsucksballs

    January 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    wow, pretty sure thats the first time I ever read your blog…. and will be the last.

  46. john

    January 25, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Man U lost at Derby, Burnley almost humiliated Spurs last week, Chelsea struggled at home to Southend.

    Drawing with Cardiff is hardly the end of the world.


  47. Tony Adams

    January 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I didn't realise there were any neutrals. I thought you were either an Arsenal fan or you were reveling in our ineptitude. Thanks for the concern, but please don't get on Wenger's back, there's already enough gooners doing it without everyone else getting involved.

  48. surrey gunner

    January 25, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    What a joker, you dont su pport Arsenal and yet you spend your time commenting on Arsenal. Drawing at Cardiff is not a disaster, most sides would struggle. We will continue to improve.

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