Let’s Step Back To Go Forward ?



Well, lets discuss the future of Arsenal, by future I mean next season. Let us say Wenger goes, we replace him with anyone from Max Allegri (we can all stay being AKB’s, oh what a conundrum for the WOB,), to little old Eddie Howe (not a chance in the world, unless its designed so his succession is not following the great man).

I’m told constantly that wouldn’t it be great just to break the cycle, even if it means taking one or two steps backwards so that we can then start taking forward steps again. Sounds reasonable, in fact sounds very reasonable, but often the great soundbites are that and only that, a soundbite, no substance, after all where is the extra £350M a week for the NHS, they are now looking to sell it off to American investors, good luck with that. Back to the taking a step or two back before stepping forward again. What could possibly go wrong?

Well lets think about that, what could go wrong? A couple of years ago one of the most noisy Arsenal blogs, LeGrove, claimed that Aston Villa were years ahead of AFC in their development, they were on the road to coming back after taking a step back, after the big Martin O’Neill gamble, the spending money they did not have, almost making the break through. The had brought all sorts of experts to run the club, or as LeGrove would call it, revolutionize the club, in fact they had even stolen one of Arsenal’s most highly thought of execs Tom Fox. Well it seems that state forces have repelled the Aston Villa revolution to such a degree that they are in the Championship, look like they will be in for at least another year. Crowds are dwindling, sponsorship has dried up, and only the BPL parachute payments give them an advantage over other clubs whose fans wanted to take a step back before charging forward.

Don’t get me wrong, Arsenal are no Aston Villa, despite what LeGrove would like you to believe, I do not see relegation on our horizon, just as I’ve never seen it in my lifetime, although we did in the mid 70’s come too damn close to it. We had taken our step back at that time, and yes we did take several, maybe even many steps forward, but 4 cup finals yielding one victory, our best players leaving for more money and more glory, big name signings were a buzz, but all too often they looked better in their wrapping paper than they did when we put them out on the pitch.

Of course eventually we got in the right manager at the right time, a couple of league titles, a few cups, and we at times it looked like we had taken that step forward, never to step back, but we got further and further from the league titles, and the cups were not enough, a bung seen the end of the manager, and I’m still not sure if our next manager was a step forward or a step back, I side on forward, as he gave us Dennis Bergkamp. Then we truly made a step forward, 3 more league titles(one unbeaten), a few cups, a big bright new shiny stadium, and there we were again, having taken a step back, our best players leaving for more money and more glory. Then we got a few nice new shiny big name signings, a couple of cups and an improving league position, but its not enough.

So what happens if our next manager is a step or two back, if we lose the £50m CL money, if we end up playing Thursday nights, or if we end up having midweeks off. Our two biggest named stars will have just 12 months left on their contracts this summer, will they might force their way out if we don’t make CL and Wenger is gone. If they do, how big a name manager, and how big a budget will we need to buy the players to not only replace them, but also the other players needed to take that mythical step forward, if we can’t or are unwilling to spend while in top 4, will we spend even enough to get us back to where we currently are.
Lets face it, we are nowhere in relation to the revenue streams Man Utd have, we don’t have their name either(yes ours is not bad, but they are the most successful English club by some distance in the last 25 years), and look at the problems they have had since their mega manager retired.
We also do not have owners who are willing to put in their own cash like Man City and Chelsea do.
Could the removal of Wenger finally give spurs the belief that would see them finish above us, you know once they do manage to finish above us, it might not be so easy to reverse it.
Liverpool have shown the transfer band that non regular top 4 clubs, with a big history(bigger than ours) work in, and have also shown that this bracket sees a cycle of taking a step or two back followed by stepping forward to where they had been, a spot that had their fans demanding a new manager, new signings, so they could take a step back before stepping forward again.
Liverpool were the be all and end all of English football for most of the 70’s and 80’s and early 90’s, league titles, european cups, fa cups, league cups, doubles all over the place, but are now looking at their 27th year without a league title.

But we are Arsenal, so it will be different for us, we, once Wenger is gone, will prosper like never before, leagues, champion leagues, fa cups, league cups, world club cups, will all be there for the taking. How do I know this, cos I’ve ambition, I won’t settle for any thing less, and I deserve it cos I chose to support Arsenal from when I was 3 years old, so I deserve it, oh and cos Arsenal match day tickets are the most expensive in the world. Or maybe we will become Aston Villa, doubt that very much, but we could very well become Tottenham Hotspurs, now that would be different.


44 comments on “Let’s Step Back To Go Forward ?

  1. Interesting. Wenger is doing a fantastic job here but I almost want him to go so the fans have belief again. As soon as something goes wrong it’s toxic straight away. We all need a bit of a fresh start as there’s a massive weight on everyone’s shoulders at the minute. The players included. They seem to lack belief as soon something goes wrong as well. Some players have only ever played under AW and I think they could do with a bit of rejuvenation.
    Things could very easily go wrong but right now it’s as miserable as being an Arsenal fan (due to the negativity) as I’ve ever known it. Fact is as much as everyone on this site knows arsene is doing a fantastic job, majority (60% IMO) of the fans have turned and that negativity is bringing the club down. Hope Wenger goes upstairs to help stabilise things for a while.


  2. Indeed Charl – many Arsenal fans are a fickle as a flip flop in a tumble dryer.


  3. Excellent article, great description of what happened to Villa, a big club in the English game. The man finished 2nd last season, 2nd. Not 4th, not 6th, not 8th. 2nd. The end of this article is a perfect analysis of how entitled this fan base has become. Entitled because of HIM. I for one will not let a bunch of delusional, entitled tw*ts run this great man out of town on a rail. In the era of one/two team leagues, and billionaire sugar daddy oligarchs he’s managed to build a fantastic state of the art stadium and keep us relevant. And if he goes? This will not stop, they’ll run the next one out too if he fails their objectives. Be very careful what you wish for. You have been warned.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’m sure we wouldn’t make a managerial selection cock up like Villa did, but truth be told who at Arsenal could recognise top coaching talent (these days) in the same way that David Dein could when he brought Wenger in?
    Unless Arsene appoints his own successor do we have to rely on Gazidis, Kronke & Son.
    That’s a scary scenario.


  5. charl do you really believe that those fans who turn on Arsene Wenger and the players at every set back, will be any different with a new manager, new players, they might for a week or two, even a month or two, but if ten games in we are struggling you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be more support for the new manager from Positively Arsenal than there will be from the WOB.

    I have tuned into BBC 606 only a couple of times this season, and the most startling example of the modern fan was on display each time, no not Arsenal fans, not Man Utd fans, not Liverpool fans or any of the other mega clubs, it was to be found from the Leicester City fans, you know the same sort of fans us Arsenal supporters have gotten so used to, – “give us the league and we will be happy for years to come” – well the LCFC fans got the season of a lifetime last season, nay season of the clubs history, still going strong in the CL, so surely any Foxite phoning 606 will be still basking in the warm glow of their unbelievable title success, not a bit of it, they want Raneiri out, they want half the team out, the want, no, they demand a title repeat, anything else as one fan put it was “under achievement”. It seems for the modern fan eaten cake is soon forgotten.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. charl look at how the Liverpool fans turned on Brendan Rodgers, he almost gave them the title out of no where, then lost his best player, and cos there was no title challenge the next season he was out out out. Klopp the savior had come, now many of those same fans want Klopp out too.

    I know a few old school Arsenal fans, who take pride in the fact they protested against Billy Wright and made it so toxic he had to go, and then they done the same with Neill and Howe, and had begun to campaign to get rid of Graham(odd that one, cos they now can’t stop praising him), and they are now proud as punch that they are in the WOB.
    So do you think that the next manager will be spared their antics if we are not winning titles.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Alonso on elbowing Bellerín: “I jumped higher & got to the ball first”

    liar liar pants on fire

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Eduardo

    I wouldn’t mind knowing how he got his court case for manslaughter/negligent homicide delayed for 5 years and then declared out of time. Maybe had to evade truth then,too.

    Maybe good Madrid connections helped.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well at least we wouldn’t be going round in circles of the same discussion. Is Wenger doing good enough? Should we be doing more based on current finances? Etc etc. It’s extremely draining even for someone as positive as myself. I thoroughly believe that theres too much weight on the shoulders of the players and fans now. It’s too toxic. Players going into big games with basically no optimism IMO. Wenger and positive fans know he’s doing a great job but right now the negatives are outweighing the positives.
    Let’s be honest if the manager doesn’t win the league in his first season, it wouldn’t be as toxic as it currently is. Benefit of first season and such.


  10. Charl, I think you will find it would be. Woah betide outside the top four.

    Might rid us of a few muppets though.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Going into big games like Chelsea (home) Munchen (home), two FA cup finals with fuck all optimism.

    Clearly. For some on social media.

    Does it feel like Groundhog Day for you?

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Charl, where do you get the evidence to support your claim that 60% are against the manager? The WoB might make 60% of the noise, but l remain unconvinced that they represent the majority.

    The reality is that the problem is not Wenger or any other manager, it’s the world we live in. The dregs of humanity have a platform on which to amplify their ignorance and they ain’t stepping down as long as they have an audience or voters.

    Liked by 6 people

  13. Really good piece Eduardo, great comments and discussions!

    Wenger goes when he wants not when some WOBs demand!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Charl, I understand where your coming from but if you think a new manager would be given a seasons grace maybe you should ask Moyes or the next bloke who rocked up at manure and got slated. Fans are rewarded by the media for slagging their own managers and players and it won’t change just because their is a new body in the dugout.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. You all make valid points. Probably nothing would make the WOBs happy but right now it feels like this is all too draining. Want to enjoy going to matches without the usual awful brigade bringing it down every time we drop points. We have players at their peaks not benefiting due to the negativity that’s around. Fans bringing out banners in February every season. Very hard to enjoy it like this and it’s impacting us having any hope in the league is my view. im sure the players believe in Wenger (who wouldn’t) but I just think there’s too much of a weight on everyone’s shoulders. As soon as we lose 1 game it’s “will Arsenal bottle it again under Wenger” it’s hard enough to win the league as it is playing twice a week yet alone with this constant burden.
    I wish AW could come back under a new name next season. He offers us so much, it’s not his fault he’s been here 20yrs but as you say it’s the nature of football nowadays.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Oddly enough the only irrefutable evidence of referee bias is that home teams get many more penalties than visiting teams, and I have to admit at some grounds I’ve been to the crowd constantly on the officials backs, and in close proximity to the field of play must have an effect on the man with the whistle.

    Unfortunately it is a rare day at the Ems where the referee’s spine tingles and his hair stands on end in reaction to the crowd.

    It happens occasionally but nowhere near enough. Twenty minutes in and if we aren’t 2-0 the tutting and grumbling begin. Half an hour 25% are on their way for the early burger.


  17. Andy, how are those fairies at the bottom of your garden doing?

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Charl, I totally get where you are coming from in your post @2.57 pm, but I don’t think a change of manager will make any difference as the issues go much deeper than that, which leaves me so despondent that I’ve started seriously considering my options. The crap around what should be entertainment is sucking the joy out of it


  19. Yh I’m sure there’ll always be idiots even after Wenger goes but i think it would go a long way to uniting the fan base, even if it is for a few months. As soon as we go 1-0 down you hear fans in the crowd yelling “make a sub venga” as if he doesn’t understand the game!!!
    Anyways I’m the last person who thinks Wenger isn’t doing a good job but I’m the first person that wants to feel like an Arsenal fan not a WOB vs AKB again. The fan base needs to go to the emirates or away at the top 6 with some unfamiliarity of our situation rather than the usual “if we lose Wenger is finished” shit. It’s just too much damage.
    Hope you all understand what I mean. Backing the manager till the end. COYG.


  20. Eduardo
    Great response to Charl.

    Totally agree as pointed out many times

    1)Arsenal are on the up since the last 3 seasons improving points total and league finish but Wob are deluded ignoring the improvement altogether

    2) changing managers is not the answer as proved at Liverpool United City and now Leicester who are on the verge of relegation after a highly controversial ref assisted winning season.

    3) The Pgmo are the biggest hurdle in our title challenge year in year out as proved by numerous articles and posters at PA and UA.

    Last but not the least even if we are not winners this time we are still in the top 4 and hopefully will finish in the top 4 better than many sugar daddy so called big clubs

    Enjoy your football

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I see Hector is being checked and a possible return on Saturday discussed – we even get to vote on it on Arsenal.com so much for the minimum 19 day break.


    Liked by 1 person

  22. If Hector doesn’t make it, I hope we go with Debuchy.


  23. charl you say that the whole thing is toxic, well who is to blame for that, it aint the manager and players, its a small group of self entitled fans, what in the world makes you think that changing our manager will change the very essence of the character of these people. Do you reward the tantrums of toddlers or ignore their childish ways.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. just listened to a radio show host laugh at the Arsenal statement about Bellerin’s recovery from concussion, the same radio show host who only months ago made a big fuss about Rugby not doing enough to care for players who suffer concussion and that something more must be done to stop clubs bringing back players after head knocks too soon. It seems there is a full on assault of all things Arsenal, sadly too many of our own fans are joining in, instead of manning the barricades

    Liked by 2 people

  25. FK³ ‏@fkhanage 4h4 hours ago
    We seem to be attracting a lot of critisicm from all sorts of peasants within the game. A lot of it is pure sensationalist nonsense. Haters.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Eduardo, I trust that you avoid your previous site?

    There is no immutable law that the Arsenal should win every game. The Arsenal do win more games than are lost.

    The number of football clubs that have failed to stay in the Football League are numerous. A number have risen out of CVA, because of an individual or a band of supporters have clubbed together, for a new start.

    Faint-hearts are not wanted, in any enterprise. Such people achieve nothing!


    36,000 at the Emirates, are WOB!!! 36,000 leaving the stadium at half-time? What an absolute idiot! The season ticket sales for 2017/2018 will confirm this.



  27. Nice one Eddy.


  28. Incredible, even non entity Craig Burley FFS is being wheeled out to slate Wenger WTF is that all about? Who next Craig Hignett….Mo Johnson….John Faulkner…….Peter Swan?
    Quite a media assault going on

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Late to the party, but I just wanted to say that the Le Grove claim about Aston Villa is hilarious and shows just how short sighted he and his like are. Just because they once challenged us for 4th (which is not an achievement only when it’s Arsenal), they were suddenly miles ahead of us.

    He also hilariously claimed that the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA were showing Arsenal how to go about business. Why? Apart from the fact that everyone is better than Arsenal, it was because the Nets were on a spree hiring ‘superstars’ on big money, and had designed a new logo. (Marketing! New World!). Those stars were supposed to win them things, which they didn’t. They did get them to the playoffs in the much easier Eastern Conference. But last season they had a 21-61 regular season record (and those stars have now retired/moved on)

    Yeah, we should definitely listen to him and his acolytes on what Arsenal need to do. The board will be remiss not to.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Andrew i’ve never been able to track down any old references from medics/BMC commenting on football back in the day:


    Just to clarify I’m not saying heading should be banned!
    Just that I appreciate why an elbow in the back of the head is a foul.


  31. Thanks Fins, a recent research paper had a look at heading and came up with some interesting stuff looking at amateur soccer players in the US and intentional (heading) and non intentional ( clash of heads/running into a pos) head impacts. I dont havea link to the full research but the authors came up with a little precis;


    I am afraid the conclusion is “more research required”

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I really hope Arsene Wenger lets rip about Troy Deeney’s comments, is this the new trend(or only when Arsenal is the target), current BPL players doing a critique of opponents. Disgraceful not only that Deeney said what he did but that it got print space and air time. I can understand when a player highlights cheating, foul and dangerous play, but this is a new level of stupid.


  33. anicol did you see Ian St John calling on the FA to fund the care of ex players who have dementia. He claims that a very high number of ex pros have the problem. He puts it down to heading the heavy ball they used in his playing days.

    I was listening to a neurosurgeon a few weeks ago and he claims that maybe in even less than 20 years heading the ball will be a thing of the past in soccer. Already due to studies and research in the USA some of the schoolboy leagues are banning heading.

    didn’t the late Jeff Astle claim doctors linked his dementia to heading the ball, and said that they also claimed that it had to be banned from the game, and that eventually it will, once the law suits kick in.


  34. I think in the States U10s football does not allow heading already eddy – the problem is though not just heading, which if the ball is up in the air is perhaps unavoidable, but the clash of heads injuries or Hector’s forearm smash that are really dangerous.


    I’d certainly like to see football do more for its ex pros who, whether through ill health or just bad luck, have fallen on hard times. Mind you I’d like to see ‘society’ doing a lot more about the care of the elderly.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Untold Arsenal research on the award of reds and penalties in the PL since the Riley era: untold-arsenal.com/archives/59775
    Hashtag #pgmocorrupt

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Banning heading? Not going to happen. The public won’t accept it, and I think neither will the players.

    But what keeps football backward is not just that it is reluctant to change itself, but that there have been very few instances of players going the legal route to challenge authority. (Mostly in contract disputes) While it is understandable that a player would be reluctant to do so, what in fact, does the players’ association do?

    In the US, players’ bodies bargain for contracts collectively (this is not possible in football unless there is an agreed salary cap structure) But they also are very aggressive in getting out the word for action to protect their players. For instance, the Arsenal are too soft and Bellerin is to blame. Not only would the players union in the US demand the commentators who spread this nonsense be sacked, they would also demand action to prevent such things happening in the future without it even being called a foul. Which would include the option of video refs and having clear standards for what is or isn’t dangerous, maybe using prior video footage as examples.

    The players’ association in football doesn’t even help in contract disputes with clubs, let alone take on the league over such issues. Remember that Suarez went to the players’ association because Liverpool weren’t honouring their release clause, and the chief of the association said words like these things aren’t clear and now the window is about to shut so Liverpool can’t find a replacement. In other words, he knew which side of his bread was buttered, and players’ welfare was not on it.

    Seriously, the players need to get together and constitute a new properly functioning body, including electing some of their own to occupy some official positions within the body to represent their point of view directly.

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Know it is a big call, and he has some serious rivals, but could it be that Paul Merson is actually the thickest man in football?

    Liked by 2 people

  38. well done Liverpool FC, I hope Arsenal follow suit

    anfield HQ Verified account@AnfieldHQ
    Liverpool Football Club have taken the decision to ban The S*n newspaper and reporters from all club premises. #lfc (Echo)


  39. Mandy I can not think of anyone who even comes close to Merson’s level of stupidity. He is one of the best adverts for the damage drugs and drink can do to the brain.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Siân ‏@SianyMacalarny 2h2 hours ago

    Of course it’s coming to an end, if it’s not coming to an end he’s going to be fucking 90 when he leaves.


  41. Gedion Zelalem scored his first senior goal, in his loan club VVV-Venlo’s game tonight.


  42. Yep, Merse was a decent player for us, but is clearly thick with a capital F.
    Not sure if he is just bitter, or knows his journalistic limitations and seeks to remain employed by trying to outdo others in anti Arsenal sentiment at every possible opportunity.


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