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Of Marshal Metaphors: Circle The Waggons with Backs To The Wall

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So, the first half is done and dusted and in a couple of weeks time our brave lads will look to beard the enemy in his lair. I for one fully expect a repeat of some of our most inspiring and courageous second leg performances. It was Bayern’s great good fortune to play us during a lull in our confidence and form, and also when we were without a left back. Congratulations to everyone who helped hound out Andre Santos. I have no doubt that a run of good results in the Premiership will help heal the pain of falling behind in the Champion’s League and not having to play in front of a mass of hate filled booing and groaning will obviously make it easier for our players to perform with the freedom and élan we have come to expect.

There is nothing we can do against the barrage of abuse and the systematic undermining of our manager however. Any result this team achieves will be done against far greater odds than those faced by any other British side. This was brought home to me by a couple of comments I heard yesterday from non football fans. When I say non football fans I mean to the level where they didn’t even know Arsene’s name. What interested me was when, upon discovering I supported Arsenal, both people independently of one another, dredged up the only things they knew about the club. This was that we have a failing manager who is hanging on by the skin of his teeth and about to be replaced due to a decade of abject failure. It seems the media, aided and abetted by twitter twats, bannerwankers and anti Arsenal non support everywhere has done it’s job. It’s the reason we have pulled up the drawbridge and barricaded ourselves here into the PA citadel, it simply isn’t safe out there and in any event there is no point in trying to engage in intelligent civilised conversation on the subject of The Arsenal because the tide of misinformation has already drowned the gullible and there’s hardly anyone left without its polluted water in their ears.

If this is how we feel then how must Arsene and his players be affected by the torrent of unfair criticism and abuse? It doesn’t bear thinking about. Bob Wilson, that fine elder statesman of the game has recently been quoted as saying

“he (Arsene) puts his heart & soul into this club. It may come a time where he doesn’t put up with, frankly, this disrespect”

and frankly who could blame him? I hear lots of talk suggesting the current maelstrom of revolting lies and undeserved opprobrium being heaped upon our great club, its leader and his players may serve to foster a bunker mentality. The theory being that this could be the silver lining which bonds them and helps them find the angry determination to succeed . I’m not too happy with the idea of a bunker mentality. It conjures images of The Führerbunker of the Reich Chancellery. The scenes of debauched excess and suicidal despair of those trapped with their crazed leaders is actually the fallacy being foisted on us by the press and their craven agents in the negative Arsenal blogosphere. I’d much prefer it if the team could adopt a siege mentality.

Surrounded, without hope of outside relief, the besieged members of Castle Arsenal must rally around their brave and visionary leader and look deep inside themselves and to their comrades and find their strength and mutual support they need to see them through. The barbarians gathered around the Arsenal island think that by infiltrating the minds of the most feeble elements of our support that they have successfully installed a fifth column inside the Emirates. But these people aren’t traitors they are merely weak and fickle. We all know that a run of good results (regardless of the performances) and maybe a bauble or two will have them singing the great man’s praises once again. As much I am galled at the thought of sharing our inevitable success with those who have booed our players for the crime of being unlucky (eg versus Blackburn) or daring to return from injury (Eboue, Santos, Ramsay) I’d rather have them cheering than moaning. They don’t deserve Arsenal and Arsene doesn’t deserve them but they are a fact that we must accept.

In any case, buck up and remember not all sieges end in disaster, starvation, surrender and defeat. In 1944 India was saved from falling to the Japanese advance thanks largely to the heroics of an outnumbered group of British and Indian troops. Surrounded and cut off from the outside world by a massive Japanese army, they held out until their besiegers were forced to withdraw and the words of one historian bear uncanny resemblance to our similarly beleaguered troops today

“The British, Indian and Ghurkha soldiers stood up to the heavy and incessant strain, largely due to the high standards of leadership, the mutual confidence and friendship between all races and creeds in the Indian divisions, the magnificent work of the medical authorities – and by no means least, to their innate sense of humour in the most adverse circumstances.”

So get your heads up people, if the team can lift themselves after falling behind I’m damn sure we can, after all; we’re not the ones in the firing line.

 

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

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98 comments on “Of Marshal Metaphors: Circle The Waggons with Backs To The Wall

  1. I certainly appreciate the efforts of Andrew, Adi, Steww and George. I too would ignore any disingenuous sniping by petty minded fools and liars.

    Where else could I write that Bayern are looking much stronger then anyone this season hours before the rare spectacle of a tired looking Messi being unable to save Barca, whilst the revisionists & usual experts are too busy falling over themselves in their haste to agree with the renowned & reputable journalists of the Sun, The Mirror etc (‘Arsenal were easily beaten’ b*ll*cks etc. etc. etc…). No. I’m not smug. I just like watching football.
    Honestly the temperature of the baying mob is no different to last season. 3rd place shut the idiots up though they won’t admit it, let alone give credit for the achievement. It is what is, nothing has changed. AW will be the manager next season. Tough luck arsenalholes.

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  2. Fins @ 3:38 pm – Quote of the day:
    “Honestly the temperature of the baying mob is no different to last season. 3rd place shut the idiots up though they won’t admit it, let alone give credit for the achievement. it is what it is, nothing has changed. AW will be manager next season. Tough lunch arsenal holes.”

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  3. Can anyone tell me what a ‘Muggy Cunt’ is? A Tottenham fan just called me it in an attempt to join the conversation here and I wasn’t sure if it was meant as a compliment or not.

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  4. That’s a marvellous post Steww, first class.

    It’s interesting but had Barca won last night the papers would have had pages celebrating what an incredible side they are. The dual standards of the media are by and large always similarly self-evident yet when it comes to anti-Arsenal propaganda so many of ‘us’ swallow it all hook, line and sinker and often without question.

    It was interesting being at the game on Tuesday. I thought the home crowd gave a reasonable account of themselves and certainly gives the lie to the idea that the majority of Arsenal fans have had enough. It seems to me that the ones that are done with supporting are STILL in a minority but because they flood Twitter and the blogs with their negative nonsense at every opportunity, we get a distorted sense of how important they are. Fact is, the majority of fans are supportive, in the main, but the antics of the noisy few, in conjunction with their unlikely bedfellows in the media, succeed in giving the impression the walls are coming down everywhere.

    Well, I don’t see Arsene leaving any day soon. And I don’t see vast acres of empty seats at the Emirates. I do know the online and in-print areas to avoid if I want to keep a sense of perspective. Sure, most fans are anxious about the club but that’s normal. But most fans are not hysterical despite the impression the few may give out.

    And to answer Shotta’s question regarding the spam bin – it’s not the size of it that is most noticeable, more the pervasive stench coming from it.

    If Hunter is to be chained up on guard duty anywhere, I’d suggest it would be there.

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  5. Andre on the score sheet already

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  6. Thank you Andrew. Hope you are reading the other bloody blog after all the stress you gave me to set the thing up.

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  7. What the hell was a fullback doing there?
    I miss Andre

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  8. Yes indeed although I’m saving anything posted since the show was broadcast for when I can listen to the replay (hopefully Friday). Is there anyway we can put a link up to The Slow & Dirty Blog on here somewhere?

    And a link to the show which really is ESSENTIAL listening for Arsenal-leaning fans of excellent music everywhere?

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  9. Andrew

    Just put the link in your name on the comment section

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  10. Smart arse

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  11. AA @ 5:03 pm – Thanks for that “refreshing” news about the spam bin.

    After reading that Henry Winter “letter” I was so incensed I was about to make another tweet alongside George’s then I remembered we have Positive Arsenal. Why give that cock more oxygen? Leave that to other blog-sites and to arse-wipe newspapers.

    Essential that we stuff the critics in the craw on Saturday vs Aston Villa. Apart from Monreal replacing Vermalean, I would have the same starting XI as we did with BM. Let the boyz circle the wagons and kick some ass.

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  12. Dups – how do you mean?

    (Way too smart for me).

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  13. Andrew

    You have “gravatar,com/arsenalandrew” there at the moment just change that to the link

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  14. Whats up family?

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  15. Bollocks

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  16. hallo paul-n the family is growing and andrew is correct…the minority is just louder, the poor crybabies…

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  17. dupsffokcuf February 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    how emabarasing……but how else will radio shows and gossip papers sell if they dont collect all these retards and listen to their pain ?

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  18. What always surprises me is the lack of class in the football press and media. They claim to hold sporting values but they just behave like classroom thugs. They behave in a way that is almost unheard in every other sport in England. Just plain fucking nastiness.

    But what surprises me even more is that so many Arsenal fans set up blogs, comment on blogs, tweet, phone in to radio shows in order to behave in exactly the same way.

    I guess the thing about class is that it is a rare commodity in football. Seems to me that AW still carries that torch for Arsenal. Maybe a few more ‘fans’ could help him to carry it.

    Anyway fuck em

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  19. He has a few torch bearers here at PA

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  20. Indeed, dups. PA has class.

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  21. Fanks Frank.

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  22. I truly believe that a lot of the momentum the doomsayers currently seem to be showing is fuelled by their own inadequacies and guilt over having chosen to address their frustrations in the only way they could see… joining the outspoken flock of doomsayers as it gave them an avenue to vent frustrations.

    Not one of us (I think) have never felt frustrated and angry at times but each of those here are capable of sitting back, thinking rationally and dealing with such frustrations in a sensible adult way and not joining the first bunch of flag waving, abuse shouting sheep that wander by.

    When folk start saying Piers Morgan talks sense then something is bloody wrong with the world indeed – either that or the fickle fools are just being fickle beyond even their own usual incompetence.

    The doomsayers have painted themselves into a corner in many ways and their apparent hatred for Arsene is reinforced by their own ill informed pride that they are right and are now screaming for him to leave before it is seen that they are, in fact, completely wrong. The irrationality some of their number are showing in actually wanting us to lose certain games, fail to qualify for europe etc. is sad and I feel sorry for them and the situation they have inflicted upon themselves simply by being the fickle folk they are. The turdbuckets.

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  23. What a star you are, Steve_U

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  24. How fucking petty are some of these so called Arsenal fans

    /large

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  25. ‘Stickers’? Really? All I can see is one ‘sticker’. Put there for the photo at a very quiet time and quickly whipped away. Class? None whatsoever.

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  26. I can imagine the fools doing it.

    1st idiot > Hey keep a watch why I put this sticker up
    2nd idiot > Hey we da men innit
    1st idiot > we’r shure da biz. dat’ll get dat french ****** out

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  27. Thanks Frank.

    Saw a pic of a sticker on another forum. Certainly made me change my mind that sticker! :wink icon:

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  28. I wonder if the tide is beginning to turn? Perhaps some of these arseholes have gone too far? Misinterpreted the groans?. I must admit that I am surrounded by whingers in the West Upper, but i don’t detect the stomach for ousting AW. In many ways Arsene Wenger along with one or two notables on the Board are the bridge to the past. A past that many crave and one that was not always filled with success. ‘Class’ was the watch word then. ‘Class’ should be the watch word now. I have a feeling that ‘Class’ will win the day.

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  29. I think it will too Frank.

    I think also that the main body of folk who are vocalising that Arsene goes are those online and, if one totals up all the forum/blogs etc and those posting their dissent – even tho there seem to be countless blogs etc – I think you’ll find that the sum total is actually a negligible number, certainly when compared to how many fans there are.

    Only last Saturday on way to game and in Pub and in Stadium, I asked a few around me, out of interest, what blogs etc they go to online. Apart from the odd “I sometimes glance at Arseblog… ” or somesuch, it seems that most people in the real world don’t come anywhere near such places as football blogs.

    The thing is the media trawl such places for any tiny snippets of ‘newsworthy’ comment and such as dissent among Arsenal fans, sells papers, hits sports news desks on empty days etc.

    Current hot topic is Arsene, 8 yrs etc etc blah blah blah and such snippets as can add fuel to such nonsense will be used.

    Yesterday for example I saw somewhere “one online poll showed 80% Arsenal fans want Arsene out”. Purely selective as that poll happened to be onlinegooner, the forum of which is full of anger and venom spouting forth and self perpetuating at a high rate of notes among, in essence, a handful of posters. Had that Poll happened to have come from this blog the story would have ended yesterday when a newspaper would have had to print “100% of Arsenal fans say fuck off to the idea that Arsene should go”

    Selective, lazy, fickle reporting. The reality is we are by far in the Majority but being nice calm folk as we are, not many of us venture too often into the evil that is the internet and social media.

    ooops rambled on there but hey, I feel I can here

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  30. High rate of Knots not notes… obviously or maybe I was looking at organonline ?

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  31. Hugely ironic that the sticker was plonked on right next to Liverpool Street – which is the avenue we could be going down if we don’t let AW get on with things!!

    ***

    Yes, nice points, Steve-I at 7.22 pm. What a disaster a fully fledged AFC revival will be for the reputations of the club’s loudest critics …

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  32. steve i enjoy such rambles. keep em coming.

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  33. We are lucky Steve I found us.

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  34. Great points, well made Steww. I was thinking about the same issue – people I know who know nothing about football, yet they’ve heard enough to try to have a conversation with me about how the manager is about to be let go! That is the insidious nature of the media and an example of the reach of their sustained their campaign to oust the greatest manager this club has ever had. Small people can only make themselves feel big by destroying what they cannot understand. We cannot allow that to happen. The silent majority must show their support where it counts on Saturday. The players must stand up for the sake of the manager. They have the ability, they just need to dig deep and find that inner belief. Only they can do it now.

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  35. pedantic george February 21, 2013 at 10:07 pm privileged id say..take this morning i nearly fell of the chair with steww’s photo in the article. art.

    Passenal February 21, 2013 at 10:26 pm “Small people can only make themselves feel big by destroying what they cannot understand” ..there it is youve done it again, like with that puzzle reference

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  36. Arsenals’ finest is yet to come. I have zero worries when it comes to Arsenal and this squad in particular. The main thing about much of the negative media, and worth reading at times to confirm this, is that it is factually inaccurate.

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  37. “That is the insidious nature of the media and an example of the reach of their sustained their campaign to oust the greatest manager this club has ever had. Small people can only make themselves feel big by destroying what they cannot understand.”
    That’s it Passenal, right there. Spot on .

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  38. Here’s a thought for PG, AA, Steww and others. I know there is a tidal wave of negative media specifically targeting Wenger because I’ve read “about” it, mainly here and odds and ends in the press. I know the media hounddogs think they’ve “got their man” now, they talk as if they finally have the evidence, the goods, the stuff that finally “will stick”, like bounty hunters in a way, and the first to nail Wenger well and truly gets the kudos.

    Thing is, I haven’t read any of it, one piece, which was pathetic and so it doesn’t affect my mindset; I judge more or less solely by what I see on the field of play, and some facts that are known to me, and a little analysis from reading PosA and thinking.

    I propose PosA do it’s utmost not to reflect or respond to any negative media, ignore it, treat it as if it isn’t there, or if it is, not worth the time or energy anyway. Let’s talk about the team, there’s some interesting and intriguing stuff going on, the prospects, the battles ahead. Let’s talk about the facts of Arsenal, and equally the drama of it all; something I dearly love Arsenal for, and specifically thank Wenger for.

    I know it’s a bit different for those in England, and going to matches, because to some degree it’s in their faces. So, those of us there have to be made of even sterner stuff. Let’s build a family feel around this, and really, simply ignore the idiocy.

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  39. ZimPaul – you are right. I’ve been starting to think upon similar lines. PA is supposed to b e a safe haven and we don’t want it turning into a moaning shop otherwise we are letting the idiots in by the back door.
    This is a workers cooperative so I can’t speak for the others but my posts will return to the positive happy go lucky style for which I am rightly famous.

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  40. PS. ZimPaul

    I have a series of posts in the works…about some of the myths that wenger is accused of (tactically rigid, doesn’t like to spend, plays people out of position, can’t coach etc) and dispelling each of them

    I also have one post on a REAL comparison between Bayern and Arsenal and not just a selective one that many have opted for to make us look bad
    -Adi

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