The Arsenal Tortoise by Charles Veritie

I write with reference to 2 articles published here on Just Arsenal about Wednesday night’s game against Liverpool. One by Dan Smith and one by MyGuy.

In one article the writer jumps in with quoting Piers Morgan. I was tempted to stop reading. The very mention of this name causes me to remember the old joke.

Little boy in the bath looking at what is bobbing between his legs asks: ‘Mummy is that my brains?’

Mummy telling the truth replies ‘Not yet son, not yet, but it will be.’


The writer then quotes a former player Szczesny. The year of the quote was May 2013 when Arsenal had finished 4th. ‘According to them ‘We celebrated fourth place as if we had won the championship.’

The wheel has turned full circle we haven’t won 4th place yet but we celebrate every victory as if we have already won fourth place when now as then only 1st place is worth celebrating.

Apparently we shouldn’t hide behind the fact that we played better than Liverpool in the first half. The fact remains we haven’t beaten any of the top 6 therefore we are useless. Fourth we may be but that is not good enough for we are a big club and we should be at the top – first. ‘If its Arsenal, 4th is not a trophy! So there Arsenal!’ Say the brains from down below.

The problem with this attitude is it is published everywhere the slingers of stupidity sling it. Not just the popular newspapers but also the ones that like to feel they are important enough to run the country. Whatever sports channel you watch. If you get your news from social media, then you read the same message. ‘Wake up Arsenal! Fourth is not a trophy! So there!’

Like a mighty (or should it be ‘little’) tortoise for the last nine years we have slow walked a circle and continue to go nowhere fast. Will we ever be a big club again?

Little clubs’ thinking changes their manager as regular as changing a baby’s nappy.

Little clubs’ thinking splashes about the market buying here there and anywhere as long as the money is spent and hey presto we are champions.

Little club’s thinking is allowing the supporters to influence the running of the of the club.

‘Little clubs’ thinking is spending like there is no tomorrow in the hope that tomorrow Mr Micawber (he of Charles Dicken’s fame) will turn up and save the day. He rarely does.

After our first three games if we were a little club our manage would be just a photo in the history book of the club.

When the last minute of EPL is played out on 22 May we may find that yet again we have failed to qualify for Europe. We could be in 3rd place. What we do know is that the team is going forward led by a so called ‘useless manager.’

When the season ends will the little clubs appoint new managers and if so, who? The answer to these questions can be found in the little things that hang between the legs of those who try to do our thinking for us.

While these clubs search for yet another saviour, I believe the Arsenal Tortoise will move just a little faster and not in a circle, in its continued line towards the top.

Charles Veritie.

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  1. I wasn’t expecting to read anything like this when I logged on this morning Charles!, it made me smile, which is always preferable to a sneer in my book

    Nice one Gunner

  2. I’d like to correct this sentence “The fact remains that we haven’t beaten any of top 6, therefore we are useless”

    We actually have beaten Spuds and West Ham at the Emirates. We just haven’t visited their turfs yet

    As for Arteta’s detractors, they actually don’t need to waste their breaths. If we finish below the sixth place, Kroenke could easily replace Arteta with Ten Hag or Tuchel

  3. What a bumbling way the author calls people di#kheads who have different opinions from himself.

    I haven’t seen such poison and divisiveness since the AKB and WOB bandwagons.

    Both so smug, close-minded, and certain their opinion was correct.

    Was the author as vocal for Wenger at his end? I’m sure he was backing Emery at his end also; dropping his “coach” position and giving Emery “manager” title.

    Emery showed “progress” from Wenger.
    1. Europa league final
    2. Finished 1 point off 4th
    3. 22 games unbeaten

    Charles did you want Wenger / Emery sacked?
    Or did you defend them as strongly as you have Arteta?

    I’m merely asking so I can find out why and when your standards changed, or were you just a hypocrite from the beginning?

    1. it’s always refreshing to see you take it up a notch on occasion Durand…perfect analysis of what was on offer here…one only needs to take a quick looksee at what posters lapped this drivel up to see just how important it is that we acquire some players of consequence so that the focus can quickly shift from the emerging cult of personality narrative and back onto the field of play

      below you will find a direct quote from the article’s author, in which he attempts to poke fun at anyone who prescribes to what he believes to be the misguided actions of “little clubs”…the only problem with that nonsensical assessment is that the vast majority of top teams in the world for the last decade, including the one’s with the most hardware, have acted, according to him, as a “little club”

      Little clubs’ thinking changes their manager as regular as changing a baby’s nappy.

      Little clubs’ thinking splashes about the market buying here there and anywhere as long as the money is spent and hey presto we are champions.

      Little club’s thinking is allowing the supporters to influence the running of the of the club.

      ‘Little clubs’ thinking is spending like there is no tomorrow in the hope that tomorrow Mr Micawber (he of Charles Dicken’s fame) will turn up and save the day. He rarely does.

      1. I detest the “cult of personality” that affects our club from time to time. Whether it be players or managers, none are above the club.

        Some thought as much of Wenger; although I will always be grateful to him, he time was clearly up as manager. Club should have acted sooner, as the extra year offered nothing different in tactics, selections, or results.

        We appear so far to be fine without players like Guendouzi, Ozil, Auba, and many others as well.

        I am a bit concerned that another “cult of personality” is forming now with Arteta. He is a manager, and I appreciate how the club is finally starting to progress under him.

        However he is just a manager, no more no less. Standards have been lowered, goal posts constantly shifted, excuses run rampant that were never accepted under Wenger or Emery.

        Worse of all is no mention of minimal standards of achievement.

        Wenger was done in by missing top 4.

        Emery was “coach” and regularly overruled in player transfers, yet still done in by top 4.

        Why did the standards change afterwards? Where was the board & management support of Emery that Arteta receives?
        Why the discrepancy for an inexperienced manager?

        I’m glad we are improving, but players can be replaced so to can managers. Arteta needs Arsenal far more than Arsenal need Arteta. Perhaps we can avoid another emotional attachment situation like in Wenger’s last few years that hurt the club.

        1. Durand your post disappoints me , and esp the line about MA NEEDING ARSENAL MORE THAN WE NEED HIM. I believe we need him far more than he needs us, as he is transforming us weekly into an exciting , hungry and successful team.



          1. I took some time to digest your comment Jon, and I agree on emotional attachments to the sport and clubs, but not to individuals.

            That emotional attachment many had with Wenger hurt the club and held us back from making the obviously needed change.

            I have read where you wanted Wenger gone years before he actually was. I feel that Wenger stayed on a few years too long; mostly due to emotional attachments & not his play & results on the pitch.

            I wonder if you would agree with that, and I hope my referencing your previous Wenger comments was contextually accurate, as I don’t want to twist anyone’s words, or original intent.

            1. Jon I would also question Wenger’s emotional attachment to his players. I always felt that he couldn’t separate that when they clearly were not best for the club.

              For example Walcott for 10 years, Bellerin as non-defending RB, Diaby, Ramsey (his RW positioning that didn’t work), and all the times he shoe-horned players into the lineup or refused to upgrade players who weren’t good enough.

              My opinion was it hurt the club in the long run. And I don’t see that as a benefit, my opinion of course.

              I’m pleased with our growth this year under Arteta, please don’t misunderstand. I admit to changing my mind as any honest skeptic does.

              But “appreciation” is one thing, a self-imposed “dependency” is another. It hurt the club with Wenger’s final years, and I hope the club has learned from that mistake.

              1. Loved your two posts Durand! Great context and yes, I do heartily agree that a TOO sentimental attachment to any individual, to the degree that it blinds one to his faults and his own sentimental attachment to such as Walcott, (in AWs case, also the serial hospital case Diaby, who should have been let go much earlier)is often harmful

                I clearly misread your original post, so apologies for that misreading, as I had thought you seemed against ALL emotion. Clearly that was not the case and so we are, thankfully, once again on the same page.

                To be clearer still though and on MA in particular, I have no personal emotion towards him at all. I simply sincerely believe that he shows extremely good management qualities and I think him a perfect fit for us.

                I use the caveat that we are never , under KROENKE, GOING TO ATTRACT SUCH AS kLOPP, PEP, TUCHEL

                Unlike some on here, I utterly reject as nonsense the bizzare claim that MA has “poor man management skills”- meaning Guengouzi, Ozil Auba.

                What he has in ABUNDANCE, IMO, is a clear and steady sense of the steely refusal to submit tocertain selfish players power and to instill an all for one , one for all team spirit.
                To my mind that is abundantly evident and though SOME refuse to see it, most which includes me, see it so very clearly. I am convinced we have a special manager in MA and will defend him from foolish and unwise fan criticism.

            2. Evening all
              I was reading all of your very enjoyable posts and thought I agree with a lot of all of what you have said but then again couldn’t make up my mind if what you said JF
              We need MA more than MA needs us.
              No club should be at the mercy of anyone person not even City or pool but saying that in my opinion MA has started something special so we need him to carry on and see where it takes us or else we will have a man u project on our hands.
              As for my hero AW. He needed to be moved up stairs and retained for his knowledge and passion for the club but as a manager unfortunately he was done.
              I keep seeing UE name all the time but if you looked at the season we missed out by 1 point for the champions league where his last few games and the start of the following season his record was poor.
              Good manager as his record shows but Was happy to see him move on
              As I thought he had lost the dressing room and we were starting to go backwards
              Big 3 points for us tomorrow with 1-3 win
              Always good to read constructive opinions rather than the toxic post that just slate people off
              Onwards and upwards

              1. Thank you Allenball08.
                I try to offer comments that have some substance, or something to discuss.

                I appreciate a passionate discussion of differing opinions, especially when it leaves me something to further consider offline.

                After all, we are all Arsenal fans, we sometimes have different views about what we believe is best for the club.

    2. Hello Decan.

      To answer your question regarding the last two and present managers.

      I became a fan of Mr Wenger when I discovered that it was he who persuaded Glen Hoddle to leave spuds and play for him at Monaco. That was round about September – November of 1986.
      I made him an Arsenal supporter for robbing spuds of their best player. I never thought that he would one day enter the marble halls of Arsenal as manager.

      I think you are not going to like my next sentences and think that I am ducking or chicken out of your question.

      Did he stay too long? We were cowed down with ‘fourth is not a trophy’. Then it didn’t matter because we lost fourth place. My problem is I take into account not just the football on the pitch but the fancy footing off the pitch the show piece being Riley’s game at old toilet and other matters

      The club made the decision that it was time for him to let go.
      I stand by the club’s decision. I see both sides of the coin and I find it impossible to land on one side and stay there

      Mr Emery.

      The club made known its reasons for appointing Mr. Emery and they were good reasons and I was happy to follow the club’s lead. From interviews it became clear to me that his English was not always clear. It is not a big problem. Mr Wenger managed OK in Japan with the aid of a translator.

      As you point out there was considerable improvement on the pitch and the future looked good but then we started losing and seemingly couldn’t stop losing. I have no idea what was going on in the Arsenal Office block but the decision was made to start again. While we were playing Livers Villa Real were knocking Juventus out off a cup. Mr Emery is the manager of Villa Real.

      All I could do was support the club; I am just a fan on the outer circle of the club knowing nothing of the working of the inner most circle where the decisions are made.

      Mr Arteta.

      With the base of the team he inherited we won the FA Cup. Since then not so good especially after the first three games this season 20th. and 1st S—-! It hurt. The media wolves howled and howled ‘Arsenal fans want Arteta out, now’. How they howled!

      Now they tell us that we Arsenal fans should want Arteta to stay. I wonder what changed their minds! I could not careless what they think.
      This season Arteta has turned us forward. We have a team playing with zest the like of which we haven’t seen for some time. Why stop him now?

      Another website listed Arsenal managers according to their win rate.

      1st is Mr Wenger.
      2nd is Me Emery
      3rd is Mr Arteta.

      This means that the figures the facts show that our present manager’s win rate is better than Graham, Mee, Allison and Chapman.

  4. So is Chelsea(current champions of Europe) being called a little club here for changing managers often, or am I misunderstanding?

  5. Interesting article. Starts with the author saying he read both Dan’s and MyGuy’s articles and then bashing Dan’s article nonstop. I could not find your opinion on MyGuy’s article at all, so am confused whether this is a comparison of sorts, or just plainly bashing one article. While bashing one article is also fine (maybe) but I have never seen Dan insulting other readers or writers. Although somewhat enjoyable, the writer lost a little respect from me by calling out another writer directly d-word. Also if you are presenting your opinion on little clubs thinking, so can Dan present his opinion on why Chelsea are a big club doing almost exactly what all the writer has mentioned as little club thinking. And as Durand above validly points out, this was more of an attack on another writer and less of a justification or clarification of the core subject of the article which by itself was a nice concept.

    PS- really like the jokes, but dont think the way the author used them was correct.

    1. I read it as Piers Morgan was called a “d…….”, and although I agree, we should treat everybody with respect, Piers Morgan is hardly one who himself live by that standard.

    2. @sid. Adult analysis of the article. Your explanation sounds like a parent making a peaceful negotiation between rival kids.

  6. I think the dig was at the Spuddies. Although for the record Chelsea are still and always will be a little club. They just have a lot of money. Or at least had. Let’s see what the future holds for them. I don’t think we would have progressed under Emery because he couldn’t get the players to buy in and didn’t (couldn’t) change the culture. Admittedly that’s with hindsight.

  7. Instead of arguing with facts some people prefer cheap name calling. They put it out like their opinions matter most and that they are the most objective. People should learn to respect the opinions of others.

  8. I did not really get the gist of the article .
    If it was ment to be funny ,it wasn’t
    Started off with a joke then went into the usual pro Arteta guff we here daily .
    Stopped reading half way through ,gave me a ear ache just reading it .

    1. Can you.get an ear ache by just reading.. please elaborate as I am very intrigued and that us not taking the micky
      Why is it wrong to be pro MA and the team right now
      The manager and the team are doing well and we should be proud of what we are doing right now.

        1. Understand
          If we keep winning then I am all for singing his name from the roof tops
          7 more wins and 3 draw gets us all singing aloud
          Do hope you will be joining in

  9. Good article. Some fans think sacking a manager brings instant POSITIVE RESULTS. It’s not fifa guys. Some even think if arsenal buys Haaland and Mbape, we will instantly win the Premier league and the champions league. I beg them to ask PSG. With Messi Neymar, Mbape and all the money spent, they are yet to lay hands on that elusive CHAMPIONS LEAGUE.
    We are progressing given the youthful quality squad we have. Let’s be cheerful and support the team.

    1. Nobel sentiments, I agree with you. I believe 99% support the club and want what’s best for the club. After all, isn’t that what’s best, putting the club first?

      Criticism of managers is nothing new. I fail to understand how some few take it personal when Arteta is criticized, yet were probably vocal regarding Wenger and Emery failing.

      I agree with seeing progress under Arteta, but my humble opinion is he MUST finish in top 4. Otherwise we’re in same situation as under previous 2 managers, minus over £200 million spent.

      Then the same standards should be applied as the former managers faced. The club must take precedence over players and managers.

  10. I would say those who are in support of the manager are in the majority. As we have seen when AFTV and their cronies decided to March to the Emirates, it was a complete failure. So the idea that the majority of Arsenal fans want the manager out is a delusion.
    We trust the Process!! We can only get better. Onward and Upward!! COYG!!!

  11. It’s funny how we all read things differently isn’t it

    I don’t think Arteta was named in the piece at all

    I read it as pro Arsenal guff myself

    1. FF, I thought it a very strange article that meandered about not saying much at all that was clear and plain.

      It seems to be trying to be off the wall for the sake of it and tbh, I could not see until quite late in the piece what the author was getting at at all.

      I would not relish another article in this vein by this rather odd writer. I say this even as an MA supporter and I realised, albeit only finally, that the writer probably had the same view of MA as I do. At least, I THINK SO, as even now I CANNOT BE SURE.
      Of course, it just may be that English is not Charles’ first language but the spelling and punctuation was good, so I doubt that to be the case.

      But I wish to completely dissassociate myself from this oddly rambling and completely ineffective piece.

  12. My word, I must admit, truly interesting reads are those that deep dive into intricate football topics, providing me with information that illuminates and allowing me to see the games and issues sorounds from different perspective

  13. Arteta’s Arsenal MUST improved their quaking and nerve performance in the big games in particular whenever they play against the big teams of Man City and Liverpool at home or away in the EPL.

    The two big teams.who Arsenal have consistently been losing to them but once since Arteta took over the reign of the Gunners management almost three reasons ago.

    The Gunners MUST stop shaking and trembling when it comes for them to play against Man City and Liverpool in the EPL. But they should take their chances which comes to them which are usually few in number and bury them to win.

    For, if the Gunners don’t get themselves cured of this plague that has afflicted them since the time of Arsene Wenger, Emery and one interim manager at the clubl. The status quo could continue to trign. Save, if Arteta and the Gunners take the necessary steps which can stop it from continuing. And start beating these two big teams.

    Even if Arsenal have succeeded to to sign Vlahovic last Jan window, but still fail to bury the good goals scoring chances which they had in their Liverpool game last night. But played them to the gallery as they did in the game. Only for them to be commented by many Gooners who said the Gunners performed better than the Reds in the match. But were unlucky not to have scored. As Odegaard, Martinelli flopped in front of goal to miss the golden goal scoring opportunities for Arsenal in the match which came their ways.

    And coupled to the fact that saw Arsenal team defending on the night collapsed to concede two goals to Liverpool in the match. Which could be as a result of fatigue suffered by some Gunners. But which calls for adequate Gunners team rotation for our away game to Aston Villa on Saturday.

    But the bottom line is, if you failed to take your chances and bury them. The opposition big teams like Man City and Liverpool who Arsenal are playing against will punish us by not playing to the gallery. But score to win the match.

    1. They did play liverpool toe to toe. The finishing was the problem. We created more chances than they did, but we didn’t convert any and the converted two. The difference was they had better strikers than us. Hope next season Arteta will solve that problem.

  14. To be honest though Jon, I dont think TRVL has said anything in this thread to invite your ire (I apologize if it was said and removed by the admin.) He posted a fair comment about his thoughts on the article. And I think even you would appreciate the false dawns we have had as Arsenal Fans (you would have experienced far more than us being a fan from the 60s), it is natural to be a skeptic. I bet people were not sold on AW’s first season as well. And as TRVL and DK have repeatedly pointed out, all they want is consistency- of vision, playstyle, contract management, tactics etc.

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