Friday, 31 August 2018


On to Cardiff, a place that was our home for a while when cup final followed cup final there but this time we face the master of bluster and industrial football Mr Warnock. These are the games that season's past could be frustrating or walks in the park. This time around who knows?
Its almost as if this is our first away game of the season as the Stamford Bridge match seems a long time ago and a different experience for the club.
Let's make no bones about it, this season we will find out more about where we are going by games like these. We are looking for a cohesive style while getting results against teams like Cardiff. When we play teams who finished above us last season it may be more of a case of trial and error but we have to count on taking three points from teams below and around us: not the ideal learning environment but the only one that we have.
The Caraboa and the Europa (we'll know more about the latter shortly) are opportunities to see more of the new signings and should hopefully offer some relief from the gruelling reality of the Premier League.
I have to say that I am feeling excited about the coming months and the challenges ahead and we have to cut our cloth accordingly in order to achieve what we can to get where we would like to be and that's a journey, possibly a bumpy one.
Klopp and Guardiola didn't exactly hit the ground running and it's fair to say that both sides have made undoubted progress lets see where Captain Emery takes the good ship Arsenal starting with a hopeful plundering down in Wales.

Thursday, 23 August 2018


It won't be the game against Manchester City at the Emirates or the away game at Chelsea that will show us what the new look Arsenal is all about, it will be playing away at Crystal Palace in a fixture where we have previously been outgunned in the cojones department. it will be at home against West Ham United: a game we are expected to win but lost on the opening day of seasons past. 
These are the games that will show us where our year one strategy will take us. Getting on equal footing with the five teams that finished above us will take longer.
So far what we have seen is players having to be accountable for poor performance as evidenced by  substitutions, we've seen a team adjusting and trying not to slip back into bad default habits. We've seen the importance of being clinical in the final third and we've seen a young man with belief in midfield and an experienced Swiss show some jiggery pokery that is always a delight to see.
At this moment it is still far to early to get into tactics, team selection and whether Ozil is just a player that appeals to Hipsters.
Emery's tenure has started with two losses but the feeling of disappointment that one usually feels under such circumstances is absent, theres a feeling of interest and hope. A feeling that the manager is actually working things out, examining character and seeing who wants it and who doesn't. It feels like this is the beginning of something and that its going to be an exciting journey as opposed to the treadmill we've been on for years.
Heres to the next game, and the next, and the next.

Friday, 10 August 2018


Oh my Dennis, there is so much negativity around at the moment. We have a new manager (that happens at clubs) the Kroenke takeover seems to be the Apocalypse for some (single ownership happens at clubs) and everyone seems to have complaints about our transfer policy. Given the last few years you’d think there would be more of a positive vibe knocking about. 

I think it’s mostly those who can’t accept that we are like other clubs: going into a season unsure what might happen. Not guaranteed success. Not guaranteed Sublime football. It’s a ‘wait and see’ season. Let’s have a bit of perspective. 99% of Arsenal supporters know next to nothing about Emery other than he’s won stuff in Europe. He’s joining as a coach and as part of a team that deal with fitness, contracts and recruitment. there are also very few experts on the players that have come in yet there seem to be untold perspectives out there.

The goings on upstairs have been going on for ages; they’re just different goings on under the same greed umbrella.

We have a new model and no one knows how it’s going to work so there’s little point in making predictions or having a fixed opinion.Then again we are living in the social media age where making mountains out of molehills is standard operating procedure.

Let’s face it, we’ve all been patient for years, let’s just see how it goes from Sunday. Change was inevitable and change should be exciting not worrying. Its time to gird our loins!

Just get behind the team and if they put in the required effort and desire, that’ll be a good start. If the new manager shows us that he’s got a grip of the situation let’s back him. There are no guarantees and The Arsenal have no divine right to anything...just like other clubs.

Friday, 11 May 2018


And so it came to pass, The Arsenal face a new dawn, an ending and a beginning. A Sixth place finish and a terrible away record with no silverware will be the final word on Wenger's tenure. A tenure that, at the end, has been divisive and disappointing (depending on which side of the fence you stand on)

I've come out of hibernation to write about the future. Other far more accomplished writers will make their state of the nation on Wenger's 22 years so I'm going to put forward what I would like to see.

When we were told that the move to the Emirates would enable us to compete with the biggest clubs in Europe it was, at best an optimistic statement, at worst a serious misjudgement. To move forward we need to set our sights at realistically competing and having the personnel and more importantly the set up that allows for progression. A manager that knows how to implement in-game management and knows how to plan for a two legged tie is essential for European Competition, and that's what it needs to be: competition. For so long we have simply made up the numbers and have lost games through errors, poor planning and strange team selections. We have also gone into European games almost as if we have taken no account of the opposition.This needs to change to enable us to build campaigns that can be building blocks to establishing us in the European top flight by being firmly in the mix.

I want to see the new man make team selections based on performance and not reputation. I want to see players given a chance and not dropped to accommodate so called 'star players'. I want to see a manager who is not rewarded for mediocrity a manager who understands that he is an employee of the club and that he will receive the support he needs if we can all see that he understands his obligation to our great club, is capable of learning from his mistakes

Glory has evaded us on occasion, as it des al clubs, but we have often seen triumph snatched away for want of a touch of pragmatism. Even those mercurial of players Henry, Pires and Bergkamp were not averse to taking the ball to the corner flag in the dying moments of a game in order to achieve a result. Vieira, Keown and Freddie would take a Red Card in order to enforce issues. That's a winning mentality, a willingness to do whatever it takes. I want to see an ability to drop the cavalier attitude when needed, after all nobody ever scored from Row Z


Prioritisng competitions, tactical changes, Selections that aren't based on promises, responding to set backs without crumbling. An ability to adapt to the ups and downs of a season is essential as we have too often crumbled.I believe its something intangible that allows players to roll with the punches. its something that THE Arsenal used to have and its something the best teams, the teams that achieve have. I want to see a team that stands strong in the fcae of adversity and that has to be something that is intrinsic and led by the boss

THE Arsenal, I want our manager to refer to us as THE Arsenal. I want to see a defined personality , something on the pitch and in the tunnel.  A set of players united in an ethos and a way of playing that allows them to show their talent but gives them a plan of action and assistance from the bench when needed. a personality that is not fragile and accepting of defeat a personality that stands up to be counted and does'nt roll over and die as has too often been the case.

I'm a realist and I would hope that we all show some patience with the new man. I hope that we can be enthused by a new regime and feel that the club is moving forward rather than treading water. In football as in most sport, nothing is guaranteed but it feels like exciting times await. I want to see the return of THE Arsenal.

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