WOBs On The Ropes

Today we have a post from  @Shotta_gooner.

Although I agree wholeheartedly with my old friend and ally, I was tempted not to post this. My thinking is that there are reasonable people (although I struggle to accept those reasons) that think it is time for Arsene to step aside. When I use the term WOB, I use it in relation to those stupid people that repeat unsubstantiated garbage, lies , and misrepresentations to make their points in a disrespectful and downright abusive way. 

Also I don’t want us to be seen as an Arsene blog. rather than an Arsenal blog. But hey-ho.

Anyway, here it is, enjoy.


WOB on the ropes …

Old narratives die hard. It is well known that it is human nature to cling desperately to old paradigms and ideologies despite clear evidence to the contrary sometimes with disastrous consequences. Such is the current state of the seemingly permanent group of malcontents within supporters of Arsenal Football Club often described as the Wenger Out Brigade or WOBs for short.

The past year or so and into this new season must have been a stomach churning seesaw for the anti—Wenger zealots. Despair at the end of last year with Arsenal winning the FA cup, rendering the 9 year without a trophy mantra null and void. Untrammeled glee in December as Wenger was booed at the Stoke train station following a loss to the Orcs. From their point of view, Wenger might have scored a few tactical victories in the summer transfer window but the team was struggling to win games, languishing outside the top-four, proof in their eyes the old “frog” was unable to take the club forward


Going down …

But while they rubbed their hands with glee there was some ominous signs. Alexis Sanchez was having an explosive start to his English career, totally unprecedented in the history of foreign players transitioning into the premier league. 12 goals and 7 assists so far  in the Premiership for a players who cost only £30 million compared to the £70 million that Barca stumped up for Luis Suarez must rank as one of Wenger’s best transfer steals ever,  arguably even greater than £25 million he coaxed out of Manchester City for Adebayor.

To add insult to injury, while Arsene was not having the best of starts, the WOBs long-held managerial alternatives have not cooperated with their narrative. Jurgen Klopp, the poster boy for managing with an inferior budget, given his recent successes over the German-colossus Bayern, has this season seen the magic evaporate with his club languishing in the relegation zone half-way into the season. Unlike Wenger who has kept Arsenal in the top-four despite years of losing his best players, Dortmund is reeling after first losing Goetze in 2013 and then Lewandowski in 2014. Kloppie’s luster has taken a hit. So has Roberto Martinez whose first year at Everton was a blinder. But the second-season syndrome has left Everton struggle to sustain mid-table mediocrity. As these managers flounder, so have the WOBs.

Fast forward to January 2015 and the old saw that Arsenal cannot beat a top team takes a big hit with victory over defending champions Manchester City at the Etihad, the first time since 2010. It wasn’t merely the defeat of a top-four team,  it was a hammer blow to the bogus narrative that stubborn old Wenger doesn’t do tactics. For months the boss had been tweaking our set-up, experimenting in real games with a 4-1-4-1, with predictably mixed results. A rare few were willing to give Wenger the benefit of the doubt of a badly truncated post world-cup pre-season and an unending rash of early season injuries to some of our best players (Koscielny, Arteta, Giroud, Debuchy, Ramsey to name a few).

Speaking of injuries, the malcontents seem confused as what to make of the newly employed fitness guru Shad Forsythe since they had proclaimed him to be one of their successes in their campaign against Wenger’s ancient training methods. Notice he escaped becoming scapegoat du jour.

Back to January 2015 and the victory over City, despite Wenger previously disclosed publicly for this season he had to tweak the system to make the team less vulnerable to heavy defeats as happened in the prior year (the scars of  Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton away are still raw) , the WOBs and their media enablers resort to lies and obfuscation. Rather than admit that the veteran manager had the nous to execute a difficult but necessary change, we are left with patent nonsense that the victory over City was due to Wenger finally listening to the players and playing a more defensive system. It took Kieran Gibbs in his own blog to confirm that the system had been discussed and agreed between player and manager in previous games, the difference at City was the execution. But why let facts get in the way of a false narrative.

Since City, it has been difficult for the malcontents and the pundits to ignore Arsenal’s progress as the season unfolds. Stoke, Brighton and the recent tonking of Aston Villa concurrent with the return from injury of Giroud, Ramsey, Walcott and Ozil has forced the malcontents underground. The media is now forced to admit that Arsenal is a serious contender for a top-4 position.


… and out.

With mounting evidence that Wenger is close to completing the rebuild of another great team , you would think the WOBs would admit defeat and fade away.  With Tottenham coming in clear view over the horizon it is timely to remember that old narratives die hard and that it takes only one defeat for the hysteria and nonsense to resume.

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51 comments on “WOBs On The Ropes

  1. Where is the towel ?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent article………….and spot on !
    However, Adrian Durham will undoubtedly still feed the baying WOBs with his daily serving of anti-Arsene lies and nonsense on TalkSh*t Radio, bless him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just to prove Arsène’s foresight, he could see that Harry Kane was a cnut even as an 8-year-old.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have to give all the credit to Steve Bould, Shotta.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. How must it be to be a WOB member?
    Just imagine already getting the miseries over Barca invoking Bellerin’s DNA at some point in the future.
    God, I have trouble enough without going looking for stuff that may never happen.
    They are really sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good stuff Shotta.
    The mooks are back under the stones for the moment.

    Our rival’s fixture lists look a bit of a ‘mare for the next couple of months compared to our Club’s own. If we can keep the spuds behind us next Saturday – I strongly believe we can reel in both of the Manc clubs in the coming months.

    Chelsea would have to have an implosion of epic proportions to fail to win the league – whist I dearly would love to see that happen and to see the specialist in bus parking eat his own words, sadly it won’t.

    It will be nice to have a comfortable stroll into the top 4 for a change, and give us a chance to have a right go at the UCL and retaining our FA Cup.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Lovely pictures but Anicoll’s is a classic, the pose of a true champion. Boom-shacka-lacka!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Shot, Shotta!!!

    There is one WOB I keep half an eye on on Twitter, who’s resolve to seek out the cloud behind any silver lining can only be described as relentless, and who’s final, passing shot at the club when all other clouds have dispersed is a poor one.

    He maintains that Vengharr should have done more with the available cash between 2006-2014.

    Because, of course, “the money was there”.

    It’s a flimsy stick with which to attempt to beat the club as it presupposes staff went around squandering large sums on over-priced, over-paid players who invariably (and conveniently for your average WOB) went on to become the fabled ‘deadwood’.

    Or who left to “win things”.

    It’s a revealing stance as it suggests one WOB at least wasn’t paying attention to the reality of our financial position especially once the global fiscal meltdown swung into gear, hot on the heels of the most expensive self-financed stadium development in the club’s (and most clubs’) history.

    It also indicates a refusal to acknowledge that whilst not in a position to dominate, we DID compete and the litany of near misses in the PL, Europe and the domestic cups is testament to that.

    The acute shortage of sticks suited to club bashing grows scarcer by the week.

    Can’t be easy.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Shotta – the first three pictures I found suitably amusing given who they are intending to represent …


  10. Wenger and arsenal paid the price for a decade of austerity. We are now into a new era and another great team seems to be emerging. In 5 or 10 years wenger will be gone, but his legacy wil last our lifetime. ups and downs come and go, ecstasy to despair, that’s part of being a fan, but can anyone seriously argue that arsenal fc would have been better off with no wenger? You have to be seriously deluded.
    As to hating a man you have never met and about whom you have only the most limited insight into as a person, how irrational is that?

    Liked by 9 people

  11. A very agreeable Post, Shotta, and beautifully written. Thank you.

    There is nothing to argue against the points you make, and it is sad that there is such a division among the Arsenal loving supporters.

    I do not wish to appear to be a devil’s advocate and my comment is more of a ‘musing’ about the current state of affairs.

    I have previously mentioned that I do not ‘belong’ to any claque, and neither am I prepared to uncritically follow the cliché ridden thoughts of any clique either, whether the nomenclature is WOB, AKB, or AAA.

    With that out of the way, I find myself comfortable in the company of fellow supporters who unconditionally support Arsenal — and what is best for Arsenal.
    And that means I am a great supporter of an intelligent, articulate, skilful and devoted manager who oozes with love for Arsenal, the best club in the world, and his burning desire that we will one day be the most successful club in Europe, despite the mountain of money that artificially (and temporarily) elevates lesser clubs like the Chavs and City to the pinnacle of the EPL.

    My only regret, as concerns your excellent article, Shotta, and it is really only a personal observation, is that it will be wasted — as those who are its subject matter will never read it, and even if, by happenstance, they did, would never agree with you, and the whole cycle of division would continue.

    I must also say, finally, that you are a better and more patient man than me, as I often find the reasons some give for their ridiculous views are incomprehensible to me, and therefore of absolutely no interest at all. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Interesting comment, Luscious Lisa, but to be fair, even if you had been talking rubbish I would have said the same to someone with a nom de plume such as yours.

    I guess the above is a hostage to fortune — because if you are really Burly Fred with a tickly mustache – I would have to draw the line there! lol


  13. I’m with HenryB – especially the last two paragraphs.


  14. I meant of course the last two paragraphs of the 4.26 epistle, not that which followed.


  15. Luscious Lisa is also very Lucid.


  16. Henry B – in my personal experience, whilst the WOB’s I’ve met have gloried in the term WOB, there are few around in the inferred ‘other’ camp who argue that Wenger does indeed know best. The man himself freely admits to making mistakes and, shock horror, being as human as the rest of us.

    So the AKB moniker is something of a misnomer. However, it’s likely you will find a majority of genuine supporters willing to give the Frenchman a free rein simply because he is the manager. In other words, we would likely be behind anyone attempting to shepherd the club through the shark infested waters of the PL and Europe etc.

    The converse is unlikely to be true of WOB, I think you’ll find. Their support is invariably predicated on any number of ‘conditions’, the existence of such acting only to compromise their position as ‘fans’.

    Is Luscious Lisa actually Mel O’Reilly ..?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. AA,

    I hear you.

    I only have a limited number of friends who are Arsenal fans (outside the blogs) and therefore can only speak for my knowledge of them. [Maybe a dozen – at most.]

    Like me, they would be unhappy to be pigeon holed into having pre-ordained views dictated by which ‘named grouping’ they supposedly belong to.

    What I mean is that they all support Arsenal. [As Shotta might say – there follows a thunderously deafening sound of silence at the end of that sentence.]

    They all are happy that we have a brilliant manager in Arsene.

    They are all happy to discuss AW’s many achievements and the occasional ‘bloop’ – and all without any rancour or vituperation, and with the use of 20/20 hindsight.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Lovely stuff Shotta, a clean and beautiful knockout after winning every round by a clear margin. The nonsense we read and hear is so counter productive if it really comes from supporters because it can only harm the club.

    The thing which irritated me today was the often repeated claim that until recently the players didn’t care and it was Sanchez’s influence which had rubbed off on them in recent games and magically made them care.

    How the fuck do these people read the minds of players and deduce whether they care or not? Answer; they can’t. They guess and they make it up pure and simple.I too can only guess and my guess is that Arsène, his coaching, medical and fitness staff and all the players, every last one of them care far more about winning matches for Arsenal football club than all of us positive fans put together. It’s their job, their calling, their professional pride on the line, their reputations and their place in history.

    So easy for weak fans to grumble when their hopes are dashed by a defeat that the team just don’t care.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Thanks Shotta: top work. I don’t think it is just Alexis’s influence that has made them care, but I do think that having a few older players who really care does have a profound influence on the side. In recent weeks the example of Cazorla and Rosicky has been first class, as have been the Trojan efforts of Giroud and Monreal. But of course, we only see what happens on match day, and it is how hard and how seriously they train that counts for so much. However, a real sense of a united and happy group of players is emerging, and it does feel exciting just now.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Thanks guys for all the positive comments and especially to George and Andrew to making the blog happen with some excellent pictures. I am fully aware that I am speaking to the converted here but there comes a time to affirm the facts without pulling punches. Too often we are playing to the middle of the roaders trying to stiffen up their spine against the dominant narrative driven by the media. Without affirming the rightness of our support for our great manager, we do a disservice to ourselves.
    Job done.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. If we keep this up, it wouldn’t surprise me if by early April we’re within striking distance of Chelsea and in the CL semis.

    Liked by 5 people

  22. In Arsène we trust


    In Arsène we rust.

    Shottagunna, I understand your annoyance with the “weeds”, but there is no stopping the sprouting of unwanted “plants”!

    A new stadium has been built, a deprived area of Islington regenerated. The influx of spectators for the home matches, has meant an increase in the number of jobs in the area.

    Fabregas, in an interview with El Pais, stated that playing at The Emirates was a brutal change, it was a shock… Source El Pais, 25 ENE 2015, 21.58 CET by Luis Martin.

    Some of the supporters have clearly failed to adapt!


  23. myself and AA were recently engaging a wob who honestly believed our recent form was down to that fan at stoke and all Arsene needed was a kick up the arse. I thought he was joking at first but no unbelievable. At an AISA event someone suggested Arsene allowed no physical contact during training and this was the reason for the injury list. Where do people get this shit from, I know people believe the sun and the daily mail and other fictional comics but theres a limit surely.
    great article Shotta

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Really excellent Shotta – I’ve nothing more to add to all the great comments above.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Lovely stuff from my old mucker Shots,as I’ve said before-these people that hate Arsene are too far down the road to change their mind,personally now,I just ignore em. Also Lisa’s great comment was too articulate & well thought out to be me!

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Shotta

    I’m with you every inch of the way. I’m very busy at the moment and only have time for fleeting visits but you know that I enjoy and appreciate your words….thanks


  27. Nice article Shotta & strong imagery. At this stage, those people you’ve described are too invested and entrenched in hating on the manager, club staff and certain players that they would feel a loss of identity if they did anything else.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Today I blame AW for such a weak transfer deadline day, he’s ruined a cottage industry! No last minute Arsenal transfer, no party!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. You want to see a moron in action? Here you are…..


  30. Great post Shotta, marvellous comments all and what a moron indeed, in Georgaki’s clip! Unbelievable

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Georgaki-pyrovolitis at 7:44 am – That video clip simply makes my point. Such stupidity and extremity may be funny to Robbie and Arsenal Fan TV but think for a moment the damage it would do to Arsenal Football Club if it was allowed to go unchallenged. Look at the great clubs in Britain who, because they pandered to such idiocy, have been hijacked by shysters and gangsters, put in a state of constant turmoil and simply gone bust.

    This may seem high flown and pretentious for a football blog but I supported George’s setting up of Positively Arsenal because as a wise Englishman once said:
    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

    Liked by 2 people

  32. It’s the first time I’ve come to this website. I’ve seen blogs written by this site before, but it’s the first time I’ve gone through the site as a whole.

    I have to say it’s an absolute pleasure reading the material on here. Today’s blog was spot on. It’s well written, measured, and perhaps slightly pro-arsenal and pro-arsene, but I love that. I love the fact that its measured and yet positive, and takes in the nuanced, big picture side of things.

    I’ve been waiting for someone to write this kind of stuff. For someone to point out that our net spend over 10 years is 10th in the league, and our wages our 4th in the league, which means that on an average we should have finished 7th every year. yet we finish in the top 4 every year.

    The fact that Wenger is an intelligent, erudite, largely dignified man with an outstanding and unparalleled managerial track record at Arsenal. The fact that he had his hands tied when it came to spends, and yet over performed, but was seen to have under performed by the lemoaners.

    Yes I’m writing this on the back of city and villa, but I would have written the same last year. It’s a pleasure to have a nuanced, logical take on things, and to have measured and reasonable positivity. If you don’t like what Arsene has done, and think he’s done poorly over ten years, then you just aren’t paying attention. With the trophy last year, with the sanchez and ozil spends, and the defender signing early, and the man city away win, there really is nothing for them to moan about.

    I’m confident in the squad, in the team, in the manager and I’d love for arsene to win a champs league and premier league title before he moves on in the terms and timelines he wants it to be.

    Arsenal forever. And keep up the frankly great work.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Well I think we have survived another transfer window intact – no one has stormed out or been thrown out – no one has flung the torn remnants of their favourite Arsenal 1992 Christmas Annual towards the dug out. It must be progress.

    A dry and cloudy day on Saturday for the NLD, temperature around freezing about kick off time according to the satellites.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. try not to smirk…


    Liked by 1 person

  35. Did any of you notice the “In Arsene we …..” banner at the lower East Stand on Saturday?


  36. GP, thanks for putting that up. The thing with that guy is he didnt seem angry he was almost embarresed with himself, i know many people think he should be, as if he had suddenly had an epiphany and was admitting to the world he was an banneraholic and hoped the one in his bedroom he would never use again. The whole thing was very strange. He even used the im a gooner too (some of my best friends are black!) to justify his exsistence and presence at the emirates.
    He didnt even blame the injuries on Arsene, which again is strange for a wob, because they tend to think even the fact we have had many wars against the french in our history was Arsenes fault. Although he did say our medical staff were crap.
    Maybe he just slept with the banner after a drunken binge and now regrets it but whatever the reason his flight towards the sun of fame is destined to crash and burn

    Liked by 1 person

  37. As someone clever on the internet pointed out today:
    THIS Arsenal team didn’t play against Villa:

    Debuchy Chambers Gabriel Gibbs
    Wilshere Arteta
    Gnarby AOC Alexis

    Be afraid, rivals, be very Afraid.


  38. Robbie should have went full-on Paxman on him.


  39. VAT
    You are in for a real treat! – 2 years worth of erudite, informative, intelligent, sometimes hilarious and very often delightful posts are on the archives here.
    Feast and enjoy.

    Oh, and I’ve done a few which are none of the above.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. No chance Robbie was going Paxman on that idiot. If it was me, I would have grilled him over who he thinks should replace Wenger and what he thinks should be done in order to improve the team. It’s been proven over and over again that if you get these mugs talking about football, their arguments wither away like a wet piece of paper.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. well arrys gonev another wob hero bites the dust, its almost if everything they touch turns to shit

    Liked by 3 people

  42. DC, remember the subs from the villa game have not been included.so TR7 Flamster and Chuba still to add


  43. Chuba signs contract extension until 2019! another good bit of business

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Excellent, Shotta. I salute you, old friend. George going a bit soft on us with that intro? Wanting Wenger to step aside has proven to be a hysterical position. Don’t find it reasonable in the slightest sense of the word. But to each his own I say and I’m thankful we have this place.

    I told you guys Akpom was getting ready to sign da ting. No chance he was going anywhere the boy is Arsenal through and through. The stars are aligning for a few of our youngsters and what a joy it is to behold. There are just some things money can’t buy. Well played, Arsene.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. The interview with the WOB reminded me of this one:

    (What has Wenger ever done for us?)

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Good news for Chuba, and exciting for us and them to have these home growns (and nearly home growns) beginning to make their mark. I can’t tell you what it means to a young player to know that their efforts are likely to be rewarded and their dreams fulfilled at the club that has nurtured them from such an early age. What must the young players at Chelsea feel like? What, indeed, must Danny Welbeck have felt like when her began to realise that there was no place for him at Old Trafford? Theatre of Dreams? More like the stuff of cynical nightmare.
    There was a piece today by Paddy Barclay where he seemed to be praising the ugly pragmatism of Chelsea and smirking at the more benevolent approach adopted by The Arsenal. How strange I thought to so publically align yourself with such Thatcherite views, but perhaps that is the world that most choose to embrace these days. I am glad that my club is different, and know that strong and moral foundations will last far beyond those that seek a more transient glory.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Bang on, foreverheady. Mourinho is scared of playing youngsters. Mourinho will only play a youngster in defense. And only then after he suffered his so called worst defeat and when it was completely apparent to the world that Cahill is shit and is nothing more than a puffed up Jonny Evans. But we all know Mourinhos song and dance here don’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Martin Atkinson has been appointed ref for Tottnum v Arsenal


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