Perspective! Arsenal haven’t taken advantage – but who has??

We’ve become our worst and most unreasonable critics! by RC

Today Arsenal Football Club stand 3rd in the English PL. The worlds first, finest and constantly most competitive professional football league. So far it’s been a bizarre season and only one club, the leagues 2000-1 shot Leicester City, have shown the desire and balance to give it a real go. Everyone else has bombed.

Who will win is still in question although mathematically right now many teams have a shot. Realistically however, it is between 3 or 4 teams. If you look at LC’s remaining games and their points won so far, then it’s do or die time for any challenger.

For AFC that means we need to go through the next nine games winning them all or in the worse case just dropping 3 points. This season our best run over 9 games has seen 7 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw. We need to replicate or better that. Will we do it now when it matters most? Unsurprisingly, I doubt optimism is high. Personally I will take it game by game, before I write us off.

I think somewhere between 75-79 points will win the league. Our potential points maximum is 79. However, you don’t see bookies paying out yet (no wonder given the odds!!) so it’s still in the balance. There is no doubt that Leicester are in the driving seat and that’s a position that has been earned through graft, organisation, belief and a few exceptional performances.

What does this mean? It means we’ve missed our one opportunity, right? It was there for the taking, right? It means we’ll have to wait years for another chance, right? Wrong.

It shows something else.

It shows undeniably that ‘spending big’ on stellar players does not guarantee anything, as LC continue to highlight perfectly. The scalps taken by many ‘smaller clubs’ further exemplifies this point. Chelsea’s early season shows the same. Having stellar players is a guarantee of nothing more than an excessively big wage bill.

It shows that having ‘celebrity winners’ managing a club will guarantee success? Nope. Chelsea were the League champions and they had no reason whatsoever to implode, but they did. Man Utd spent money, struggled to arrive at a workable formation and remain completely schizophrenic. Liverpool are the same, some progress, but is it sustainable, who knows. Man City spent big again but look equally inconsistent. Will they all improve next year as some would claim? There is simply no guarantee of that, as none have found the answers to their problems, their squads or managers. In addition, we have the Euros this summer and available time to negotiate transfers, get players in for pre-season and gel will all be that much harder.

It shows that any manager over 50 is a waste of space? Nope on the contrary, the top of the PL shows that those in their 50’s and more so in there 60’s rule.

It shows that there are new innovative tactics and formations that certain ‘up to date’ managers (not our ‘dinosaur’) use which are guaranteed to deliver success? Nope. The formations used by LVG used to change by the week (not in reaction to the opposition) but his dabbling and preference to play three at the back. Others in the league have tried it too. Didn’t last long did it? Klopp has tried to change Liverpool’s pressing and formation with mixed success. Players have at times this season been played out of their favoured positions by most of the leading teams in the league. Football managers make mistakes and try to find the next great thing. It’s ultimately a blend that allows you to perform at your best or nullify the opposition and there is no right or wrong.

So whilst some cry ‘we’ve blown our only chance’, in actual fact I consider that the events of this season show that nothing in this league is guaranteed and that increasingly every team on their day can get a result. With increased TV funding the league will become increasingly competitive, that’s life, that’s progress, that’s the overly funded world of our PL. There may be 6-7 teams chasing the top 4 next season.

The simple truth is that we never had any reason to believe this season should have been ‘our year’. Why was it? Had Chelsea gone into melt down pre-season? No. Had City? No. Were Liverpool still expected to challenge? Yes. Was this to be the year that Man Utd bounced back? Supposedly. Every top team has had issues. Several are out of the title race and several are out of the cup, whilst AFC remain in the hunt for both.

If you want to point the finger, that’s possible. We’ve made mistakes and we can all make reference to them. But take a look around, we are in good company. We talk as if this is the worst season ever. People are losing a sense of perspective.

The reality is we’ve not taken full advantage of problems elsewhere. That’s fair. We’ve not done a Leicester and taken the league by the scruff of the neck. That’s fair. Some of our players have not risen to the challenge. That’s also fair. But then what has happened at all of our normal rivals, is worse. They have spent to no avail. They have changed managers to no avail. They have changed formations and tactics resulting mostly in a decision to revert to plan A, to no avail.

Outside of the PL, AFC are close to a record run in the FA Cup and closing in on what would set Wenger and AFC apart from all contenders as the outright most successful club in the entire history of the competition.

We remain in the CL. Europe’s elite football competition. We may be about to exit (we’ll find out soon enough) but if that happens it will be to the world’s best football club – Barcelona FC. Let’s be honest, although we’ve had some absolutely horrendous games, in recent years we have not had the easiest of draws and have normally gone out to either one of Bayern or Barca. Probably a result that would have been the same if you substituted AFC for CFC, United or City.

So whilst the season may well end up with many very frustrated Gooners and possibly ecstatic LC fans (please not the Spuds!) the league was never ours to lose. We have become our sternest and sometimes most unreasonable critics. Don’t compare AFC to either your dreams or dwell on the past. Neither is a reasonable or relevant measurement. Clearly, some of you simply do not like Wenger or his approach. That’s fair enough and I think every AFC fan has some issue on that level. Whatever your feelings, keep it in perspective, because this site at times is full of BS comments, ‘facts’ and bias that bear absolutely no relation to reality.

We are in a new world, perhaps the dawn of a new PL, and whatever the result of the 15/16 PL, AFC are still likely to have had a better season than most of our ‘rivals’ when the fat lady finally sings. Before you say it….zzzzz…no that doesn’t mean I’m a 4th place junkie or happy with not winning the league. What Gooner doesn’t want to win the PL, this is about perspective.

In the meantime, here’s to the start of a 9 game, league winning run and FA cup history.


Tags Chelsea Man City Man United


    1. if not for the insanity of one person (who thinks he deserve the name GOD), we could be the one taking the advantage. but Spurs and Leicester have, they needed that more than the so called top four giants. its really a shame

  1. Arsenal certainly has the potential to become CL winners, but not anytime soon. Short sighted fans will say things like ’10 years and no league title – Wenger out’ without even understanding reasons as to why it was almost impossible to win the league from 2005-2013. I am not going to go into detail, but it should be common sense that during those years – we had initial stadium debt and every season our best players leaving – forcing Wenger to have to rebuild his squad every new season. Just think for a second what it would be like for Wenger to have to replace Ozil and Sanchez next season with no budget. This was the reality he faced for almost 10 years! Yet, with the sub par players he could afford, he still made a top four finish! Why can’t you AOB’s see the miracle in this, especially with the likes of United, Chelsea and later City spending crazy amounts of money?

    Arsenal have only really had decent transfer funds in 2013. Two F.A cups and other trophies to boot since then in 2-3 years, and you lot call this unsuccessful? The article was brilliant in establishing the fact that other teams have spend ridiculous amounts of money and are below us in the league. We still have a good chance of winning it. I am not saying that our squad is perfect. I still believe Wenger needs to bring in 2 or 3 more world class players, but really guys many of you are acting like we are in relegation zone! Get a grip.

    1. Swansea at home, Soton away, West Brom away, West Ham home, depleted Chelsea home are defeats that such a squad that Arsenal has should never afford.
      I don’t care if they had no money before, they have it now, and they have a decent squad. That goes to show that Wenger has lost it, and should leave on his own.

      1. So will these so called mediocre players play better under a manager they don’t know? Will they rise to the giddy heights they are at now?

        1. I say yes, because Wenger is only a coach once the fourth place is in danger. You’ll see in the next few games. But not all of the games.

      2. If you look at this, it’s happened over the past 5 to 10 years. Maybe it’s not about the money… United beat us with a depleted squad, Chelsea with an out of confidence one, Swansea? But this has happened before. Lasy 16 CL exit. I’ve seen this movie far too many times to believe it’s all about the money, especially when we have 135 million in the bank. Arsene has to listen to the critics for once. He should leave this summer.

    2. Short sighted fans are those who consistently refuse to look at our current problems in favor of their beloved manager …

      1. You’re funny calling people short sightedvwhen you have your eye on one thing only and don’t care about the consequences.
        so of course were all shortsightedcand deludedvand you can see everything so clearly????
        Funny haha

      2. Sam, as a Gooner if you cannot see why Wenger holds much respect optimism and fondness well then why should your opinion matter to us. You want me to side with you, you are going the wrong way about it. Arseovertit will question or query you, whereas you will basically say anyone who doesn’t agree with me is this that and the other along with your manager being this that and the other.

        While I can plainly see why Arsene would still have many backers, I can also see why he has his critics. But you and Soopa and one or five others are inside your own heads too much, everyone has an opinion. If you don’t take theirs seriously in the least, well then why the hell would day with you.

    3. You are talking alot but now explain what happens on the field lyk wrong tactics poor substitution getting embarassd at home and repeating the same mistakes over a decade…does that have anythng to do with money?

      1. Probably not but I don think the article is about money. It’s about perspective. City, Utd etc, Chelsea even more so, have all lost to mid league teams home and away. The point being that as ever ‘the AFC and Wenger are the only team/manager having bad days or making mistakes, failing to perform etc’ is simply bs. Every team does it.

    4. Hahahaha………..yea!

      But a house built on the rock can’t be compared to that built on quicksand!

      We all know wenger loves the latter!

    5. Another stupid comment re the stadium for us not buying, Chelsea and Man City have now surpassed us as the richest clubs in soccer and increasing their fan base simply because of their success. We now have money BUT have we done anything?

  2. Hiding behind excuses is plain boring now, please do not bring out more to justify one’s incompetence, stubborness and autocratic management style. Perhaps the writer should analyse how and why has Leicester taken the league by the scruff of the neck and we haven’t despite trying for last few years!

    1. So much truth in your comment. We shouldn’t be looking why others are bad or good, or why we aren’t good enough to win it no matter what happens. And you’ve pointed it out.

    2. Good question. I don’t profess to know the answer. If however you know why Leicester are doing the business I think you’d find 17 PL managers would be happy to listen.

  3. the chances are good that leicester will lose at least 12 points till end of season.
    chelsea, manufc, westham and with a little hope soton. and they can also drop points

    so right now spuds seem to have taken advantage and they are not for away from us.
    so it is for sure possible for Arsenal to win it, but to be realistic, with performances on the pitch like the ones before the cup match, we can also still lose out on wengers trophy this year.

    1. Do you know what sickens me, when we had full strength team we were the best side in the league hands down. Cazorla Coquelin Jack Tomas Welbeck Alexis Arteta were all missing at crucial stages, I know some will say Arteta pff but for me before we bought Elneny he was the one player who could play Cazorlas role to a decent standard so long as he had Coquelin next to him. We missed that link between defence and attack greatly. Those players are either starters or second choice starters, so we had to delve straight to third and fourth choice. This is were Leicesters less games comes into play, we expected them to lose pivotal players whereas they got sufficient rest to manage injuries and energy.

  4. Yeh Leicester are about to win it , and look at all the money they….oh, hold up a minute…

    Your right it’s not all about money so saying we had no chance to win the PL between 2004-2013 Contradicts your statement.

    – build a team hard to beat with a system/systems of play. Manage and motivate them. Make more good decisions than bad ones.

    Don’t have to be full of stars/expensive players/big names (Leicester). On the other hand success can be bought (as long as management capable of directing/handling them is also in place) as was with the case with Chelsea.

    No, we are not fighting relegation but as you rightly say we are unlikely to win a PL and are soon to exit the CL. So, there is real reason for concern.

    That is unless our ambition on the field is as low as the boards off it.

    The club has announced that it is freezing all general admission season ticket and match ticket prices for the next two seasons, until at least 2018/2019.


  6. I don’t go for this – It proves you don’t need to spend big to win the big things. Hows that, one roast potato doesn’t make a Christmas dinner. Every other season points to something too, then what you do is try to find the average. The average tells us what every other season told us. In the norm of things Leic would be fighting for CL football, we must not forget that because the norm is the norm. This season is a first, it’s amazing, so don’t go drawing conclusions that WHam Spu Liv Sou and Lei are now title rivals from here on out. Just because the points that would have gotten them European football (maximum) may also have gotten them the title. Next season I expect Lei to be somewhere close to where WHam are now and the norm will become allot more clearer.

    1. Whatever way Trevor. It doesn’t work.

      We don’t spend money and we can’t build a winning team of budget buy unknowns.

      Others have, and have succeeded.

      1. A solid mixture of the both would be ideal, it’s probably what every top manager tries to do anyway. It’s what Arsene has done in the past and is probably what he is trying to do today.

        1. Mmmm had a few good years now.

          How much time is enough?

          Don’t worry answering, as I know the answer.

  7. There will always be contradiction when you combine your thoughts with your heart, when making your comments.
    Stick to reality and don’t let the biased heart cloud your judgement.

    Some fan’s saying that we had no money to spend in the past, blaming the stadium for the lack of trophies, whilst other’s stating that spending money doesn’t guarantee success! ?
    Well.. Chelsea and Man City were’ nothing’ until the large amounts of money were pumped into investing in quality players! .. And this season has also shown that the average teams have improved considerably by spending as well.

    Yes, Utd and Liverpool have spent large without showing much of an improvement but the season isn’t over yet and
    Their problems were more down to bad management…
    Somewhat like ours.

    Having the right Mentality, Motivation, Desire and Dedication goes along way on the road to success and thats down to the manager to install that into his team.

    Large amounts of Money will always buy you the best in quality, in every aspect of life, but unfortunately in the football world.. a lot of average player’s have been ‘way’ over valued of late..hence giving the term ” spending large doesn’t always give you success” .. some credit!

    If I had to pick a young-ish manager to succeed wenger,
    I would go for the West Ham manager, as he has already proven to be a good tactician, who does his homework for each and every game!.. He used to be the coach of Croatia and also did well with a stint in Turkey, as well as having a great first season in the premier league!
    So can you Imagine what he could do with our squad of player’s?

    I was surprised to read an article about Lukaku,
    Where he stated that in his spare time, he would watch tons of videos of all the defenders in the premier league,
    So that he would learn how they play their game ( strengths and weaknesses) so that he could beat them!

    That’s what I call real dedication and when you add his mentality to his on field ability.. You just know that he will have a very successful career … how old is he, 22?
    I would spend £50 million if that’s what it would take to sign him… At the right club … He will be World Class, without a doubt!

    1. Some interesting ideas there FBG, esp on Bilic. He comes across to me as a dude who might succeed at the top, the jury is still out of course but his tactics in the biggest games this season were exceptional. Counter attacking does hold a slight advantage though, given that you must have some good players. When his team is the one in possession, this you need to pay close attention, as with Arsenal this will be the case somewhat regularly.

    2. Good point there mate. now go ask our strikers what they do during their spare time, they’ll be either smoking, taking selfies or banging chicks in hotels a day before big games. Some people around here praises some of our players like Arteta or the flame, or Per, these guys are very average and a normal coach could have upgraded long ago and dump them somewhere in the sea. but the deluded one calls them world class

  8. The REAL perspective is that we have been given excuses galore as to why Arsenal cannot win the big prizes, yet even when the situation is made easy for Arsenal to succeed, will still can’t!

    Every year we seem to face the best teams in Europe in the last 16 (and in the QF, on the odd occasion we got that far), and we always lose. So obviously most people feel it’s an acceptable defeat each time. But when given the easiest possible game (Monaco), and factor in they had lots of injuries, whilst Arsenal were almost fully fit, and we still lose!

    We’re constantly told Arsenal can’t compete with the likes of ManC, Chel, ManU because of finances, quality of their squads, etc. Yet, take all three of them out of the equation, and we still can’t compete! In fact, we’re not even in the top two!

    If success is apparently only down to finances and quality of squads, then how on earth are Leicester five points clear! Makes me laugh when fans keep using the new excuse, that it’s not just ourselves that are struggling, look at our rivals! But the huge difference, for the fans that seem to have lost their memories, all of our rivals have had sustained success for years now in terms of winning trophies and really competing even when just falling short…Arsenal can’t even compete and haven’t for years!

    Wenger out, in other manager in, because they honestly couldn’t do any worse!

  9. I remember once commenting that it is in vain to talk sense to someone who does not want to understand. It is one thing to be passionate about your team and another to see things in a correct perspective. I doubt whether there is any so-called pundit who can explain the sudden emergence of Leicester city as the top team in England currently. Just like Leicester emerged out of the blue it can also melt into oblivion all of a sudden. What we all need to appreciate is the fact that in games, just like all other spheres, there are a lot of factors that determine situations not least fate or luck. Hence everything may not be scientifically or analytically explained. The Leicester phenomenon falls in this category. There is just no single individual or individuals who could have predicted it. Even now most pundits are busy calling for spending more and more money on top class players but who knew Mahrez or Vardy before this season? Don’t we all remember that Leicester nearly got relegated last year? Would it be an exaggeration to say that Leicester and Chelsea swapped positions this season? Could anyone have foreseen this? Hence the issue of this being Arsenal last chance in a long time is simply mere conjecture or wishful thinking. Who had ordained that this would be Arsenal’s season? There could be very many Arsenal seasons even beginning with this one since it hasn’t yet ended. As fans all we can do is to criticise while we also support our team. We should not denigrate our team under the guise of criticism. Criticism should be constructive and aimed at improving the team rather than destroying the morale of the team and exposing it to ridicule.

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