Arsenal: All Change No Change


@GoonerReverend and the Arsenal early Autumn vibe  

When Arsene Wenger said farewell at the end of last season the vocal element of the Arsenal fan base credited it as being the seminal day in Arsenal’s history and that everything would instantly get better now. With the appointment of Unai Emery the same section of the fan base had us winning the Premier League, the Europa League, The FA Cup & the chook raffle at Islington Working Men’s Club. After back to back losses to Man City & Chelsea and battling wins against West Ham & Cardiff the whispers have already started about team selections, players not putting in and the usual Bellerin & Xhaka not being good enough.

The level of abuse directed at Bellerin has been sickening & completely over the top. The man is abused about his hair, his choice of clothes, his modelling hobby and anything that the hateful minority can find offensive which is pretty much everything. The majority of this vitriol is driven by AFTV who have recent history with Bellerin after he called them out for what they are. Which is a business that makes its money out of promoting negativity causing unrest within the club and the fan base.

My brother who is a Man City fan (he’s adopted) said he loves AFTV because they take the piss out of Arsenal like no rival fan could ever do and the meltdowns are comedy gold. Watching Troopz drooling over Deli Ali and suggesting he was the equal of the great Dennis Bergkamp which is laughable & Robbie goading a fan into saying Anders Limpar was scraping the bottom of the barrel in the Legends game just goes to highlight the divisiveness of the channels content. The issue with AFTV is that they promote divisive and abusive behaviour from a section of the fan base and then deny it’s their doing. The recent intervention of AFC telling them not to use the Arsenal name anymore only serves to highlight the negativity the channel throws off and that’s why so many including the club want to distance themselves from the channel.

The expectation from the majority of the fans is positive and very supportive for the new manager and his ideas but the negative minority are questioning Emery and some are openly targeting individual player  and, of course, Wenger who some just cannot resist having a shot at even though he has clearly left the building. Last season it was all about Wenger being the source of all the problems at the club and once he left everything would instantly be so much better. It would appear that Wenger was not the sole problem at Arsenal as some suggested and it would appear that this same minority are going to moan and be divisive no matter what. Just look at Claude on AFTV he is still as miserable and negative as he was last season. I reckon the bloke would complain if he won the lottery.

The sad fact is that the fan base will never be united because AFTV will make sure it doesn’t because it’s not in their interest for that to happen. They are very protective of their turf and have a lot of followers who will do anything to protect their five minute heroes as I recently found out when I criticised the channel online and got a week’s ban for my trouble. Former Arsenal great David Hillier perfectly summed AFTV up when replying to an Ian Wright tweet when he said they don’t represent Arsenal FC & are not representative of the fans.

Whilst many would like to see the back of AFTV I don’t think they will be packing up any time soon but will continue to divide fans opinion because that’s how they make their money & with the likes of former Arsenal greats like Kevin Campbell & Ian Wright telling anyone that cares to listen that Robbie, DT, Troopz, Lee & Claude are the truth and they clearly love Arsenal I guess we have to accept that we are in this abusive relationship for a while longer. As for the call for Bellerin to bite his tongue & not fire back on social media, why should he? Why should he have to put up with all this abuse & have no write of reply? Freedom of speech is not only for the loudest mouth in the room & if you are going to constantly criticise then you have to expect a response whether you like it or not.

I for one feel optimistic for the coming season & will support the team no matter what. We have to expect a few losses & losing to City & Chelsea 1st up is no disgrace. Emery’s ideas will take time to take hold but he clearly knows what he wants from the squad & will start the team he thinks will best achieve those ideas no matter how many fans demand their current favourite start over Emery’s preferred option.

Another win against Newcastle will help with confidence & ease the nerves and we all love a good Arsenal win don’t we so keep the faith because change takes time.


50 comments on “Arsenal: All Change No Change

  1. I have every faith that given time, Emery and his team will do the best given the comparative resources they have available.
    Some of the characters on AFTV are pathetic, not an insult to the club, but an insult to the species. I just get the feeling people will eventually grow very tired of them.
    Are they still allowed to film on the concourse of the ground? If they are, they shouldn’t be.
    As for Claude, he like anyone is entitled to his say, but a quick search will reveal he is a rather volatile character, to say the least.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great job Phil.

    The 4 games prior to the FIFA break were pretty much trial and error stuff for Unai. In some areas he’s limited where talent is concerned, due to various reasons, and in others he has an abundance of it. So it’s still very much him finding the correct combinations to find a workable balance to best compliment what he has in mind. We should all just trust the process and back him and the team to see it through. Rome and all that.

    Re the AFTV weirdos… Think their demise will also be a process that we are must just be patient with.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As the Reverend has written perhaps it is appropriate to say that Football is a broad church, and that The Arsenal is a broader one than most. It is the best game and the one with the widest worldwide appeal, attracting players and supporters from all walks of life. You can enjoy the game whether you are six or sixty, black, white or rainbow, male or female, clever as you like or not so intellectually endowed. I love it for that, love the fact that whatever the differences I can find common ground in a shared love of something bigger than ourselves. Aresnal Fan TV does not speak for all fans, but it does speak for a certain section, just as this site articulates a different view of the game and the club. I do not like what they say, and they probably have little time for me – but there are moments (when we score, when we win, when we dare to dream) that the congregation unites – and those are the special times.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Really good post. For too long I have disliked the AFTV for arguing that they are represent ALL Arsenal fans when you see the same tired mates of Robbie making comments. Its opinions from his mates and it attracts likeminded and negative opinions, NOT the vast majority of Arsenal fans.
    I’ve heard people calling for the sacking of Unai Emery during the West Ham game! How stupid is that. Most sensible fans would say he woould need at least a season and half to make this team his.
    I have nothing against Robbie make money from AFTV but it is not a impartial platform for opinions of a cross section of fans and that is the dishonesty of AFTV.
    Keep being Positive.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Shame about AFTV, it all could have been so different.
    Expect to see Claude on CBB any time soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. All the right words in all the right order.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Why is all this going into the ‘moderate’ file ??

    Fucking AF fucking TV causing trouble.

    I never watch it. I would not piss on Robbie or any other of the wankers if they were on fire, even if my bladder was very, very full.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. When it started 5/6 years ago I thought it looked quite promising as an alternative supporters forum, but unfortunately the charasmatic Robbie became a muppet magnet and the result is the mess we know & hate so much.
    One positive (if you can call it that) about AFTV is that the interviewees are at least match going supporters who I would generally defer to if only he would balance it out a bit more, and with some preferably articulate types. They are such mumbling, bungling, monosyllabic tossers.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. mandy got it right with “characters on AFTV”, cos that is what they are, Characters, they play a role like any other actor in a soap opera, I have no doubt that they have script meetings with the main guys, working out which player to have a pop at, what soundbite to throw in to their rant. They should not be allowed on AFC property, plain and simple.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Nacho Monreal has revealed that he is in talks with AFC over a new contract

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Good job Rev. Am afraid the problem will not diminish or subside as long as most mainstream bloggers, tweeters and podcasters effectively condone and support AFTV by not only failing to condemn them but repeating and giving credence to their talking points. They are living proof that negativity sells and sells very well. Unfortunately selling negativity is the cheapest way to attain notoriety on both mainstream and social media.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Arsenal FCVerified account @Arsenal
    34m34 minutes ago

    #AFCU21 kick-off their @CheckatradeTrpy campaign against @Coventry_City tonight…

    Starting XI: Iliev, Olowu, Pleguezuelo (C), Medley, Bola, Willock, Gilmour, Burton, Olayinka, Smith Rowe, John-Jules

    Subs: Okonkwo, Omole, Thompson, Coyle, Saka, Zelalem, Nketiah

    Liked by 1 person

  13. GOAL: Coventry 0-1 Arsenal u21’s ⚽️ Smith-Rowe, 4.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Arsenal FC
    ‏Verified account @Arsenal
    44m44 minutes ago

    It’s 20 years to the day since @Freddie joined us – and tonight he leads us in our first-ever @CheckatradeTrpy campaign 🏆

    🔴 #AFCU21 have just got the game underway in Coventry

    ⚠️ Remember: if there’s no winner in the 90 minutes, we go straight to penalties

    Liked by 1 person

  15. HALF-TIME: Coventry 0-1 Arsenal u21’s A goal in the 4th minute from Emile Smith-Rowe has given Freddie Ljungberg’s men the lead at half-time.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Coventry City
    ‏Verified account @Coventry_City
    54s54 seconds ago

    61′ – ATTENDANCE: 2,375 with 183 visiting supporters.

    Thank you for your support this evening at the Ricoh 👏

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 78′ – GOAL: #SkyBlues 0-2 Arsenal U21 – Eddie Nketiah

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 90′ – GOAL: #SkyBlues 0-3 Arsenal U21 – Joe Willock

    Liked by 1 person

  19. FT: Goals from Emile Smith-Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock give Arsenal U21s victory in the opening Checkatrade Trophy fixture.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. What an excellent article, well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Agree with every word,thoroughly good read

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I must admit I was expecting four trophies this season but maybe I’ve undersold the ARSENAL and I should of been expecting five, well done to the youngsters last night.
    Oh I do expect trophies at youth levels as well of course.
    Also several for the Woman.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Could anyone tell me what the competition was that the youngsters were playing in last night? I initially thought that it must be the League Cup but it doesn’t seem to be that – but it doesn’t seem to be an Under 21 comp either.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. foreverheady

    Checkatrade. Forget old name for tournament (EFL cup? Johnson’s Paint trophy?) but it’s the one for league clubs below prem and championship. Been going for a long time.

    Changed format controversially two years ago to allow category one academies into tournament. Another tweak this year to stop same prem clubs using as many overage players (was about 4, now reduced, maybe to zero) It’s our first year in it.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. All change no change. Exactly.


    You nailed it Shotta

    A shout out (like) to iDibs for stout comment in last thread

    Thanks GRev

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Thanks Rich. That seems a good idea for our academy boys and hopefully some video highlights will emerge of what sounds a good night out. Thinking initailly it was the League Cup against Coventry I unearthed this little gem. How young he looks, and yet it only seems like yesterday.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. I think you can still name two overage players in the team. Peggy is definitely overage and Martinez might also play in the competition

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I think we all know while ian wright might have been one of the best types of strikers he is one of the worst types of fan, actually indeed the worst type of man.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. Who remembers this?

    Liked by 3 people

  30. IanSpace

    Had a check and these seem the two relevant ones for us, from this year’s rules.


    “Academy teams must start at least six players aged 21 or under as at 30 June 2018

    Those teams can only include two players over the age of 21 who have made 40 or more senior appearances prior to 2018/19”


    We were well under then. Only Illiev over 21. We could potentially have used both Mavropanos and Holding. Maitland-Niles as well.

    Actually could use anyone if I’ve interpreted 2nd rule right. The tweak was made after a few teams, maybe Chelsea and Leicester, fielded a number of very experienced players together. I remember Batshuiyi played once.

    Pretty sure we will keep the side very young though and that even Mavropanos will be kept out of it. Needs a game soon, as does Holding, but presumably Europa and Carling cup will sort that.

    Bit concerned Sheaf didn’t play. Very disappointed if he’s injured again. Talented as he is, if his injury luck can’t turn it jeopardises chances with us. Same as Bielik, who missed Charlton game at weekend

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Emery’s press conference: every single word
    Arsenal Media 13 Sep 2018

    Login or register to play video

    Unai Emery has presided over the first international break as our head coach – but how did he find it? Find out exactly what he said in his pre-match press conference right here.

    The Spaniard discussed the way the team needs to improve, Mesut Ozil, Nacho Monreal and the Auba/Laca partnership.

    This is what he said:

    on the international break…
    Today, the training in the afternoon is the last session. We are going to work with four players. They played on Tuesday, it is Xhaka, Lichtsteiner, Welbeck and Sokratis and I want and I hope that they hope that they come back well and prepare for the match in Newcastle.

    on where he is looking for the team to improve against Newcastle…
    In the process, and firstly we need to win and I think it is very important that in the last match we won. Our aim away at Newcastle on Saturday is to keep improving things and continue to create our idea, build up our spirit on the pitch, individually and collectively, and it is clear this process is one process. Saturday is another step we can do, it will be difficult but I want to continue [to show] our personality on the pitch and impose this personality on the opposition and to find the win.

    on how Ozil will benefit from retiring from international football…
    First the players have the habits to play in the international break, in important matches, defending their identity and when one player is finishing that, I think it is also good for them to focus only on their team. The reason for Mesut is important for me also, this focus every day with us, a relaxing three days off at the weekend. Mesut, like other players, works very well here and also working the ties and also together to improve things. Mesut, I look at him with the focus totally here.

    on whether he missed international duty this break…
    The first time, maybe, he could feel different but every day with us in the work, I look at him and he looks well and happy, working with our demands every day.

    on his relationship with Ozil…
    [We get on] very well. Here for me it isn’t for a lot of the time speaking about what people are telling us. I have a very good relationship with Mesut and professionally I push him for improvements to give us the best in his qualities and performances. Also I read this week in the newspapers in the match against Manchester City I say to the [groundsman], ‘Don’t put water on the pitch’ – it’s not true! This is the moment to say to you that I have a good relationship with Mesut and I didn’t say it to the groundsman not to water on the pitch, it’s not true. We are continuing our process with our positive things and our work.

    on Ivan Gazidis reportedly speaking to AC Milan…
    First of all, every conversation with him is speaking about us and about our work here every day. I don’t know any other news from him.

    on Nacho Monreal and reports of a new contract offer…
    First, I knew Nacho Monreal in Spain when he was playing in Osasuna and in Malaga. After six years here, I came and I know him as a new Nacho Monreal. After two weeks, after two months and now, I can say that I am very happy with him because he is 32 years old but I think physically, with his performances with us in matches, he is playing with a very good level. The rest of that, for me, is very important. I think we need to find a new contract with him to stay with the Arsenal team.

    on Aubameyang and Lacazette playing together or as substitutes…
    It’s the same. It’s a process to know the combination on the pitch, with different players but I need and I want to start in the level, 11 players with good performances and also, we need in the balance of players, when the team needs to work in the pitch to help the team to find the win, to stay with the performance. The reason is that I am very happy with the last two victories in the Premier League and also with the performances and I want to push every player to be okay to help the team if for one minute, 30 minutes or half time or 90 minutes.

    on Ivan Gazidis’ future and saying that they talk regularly…
    I answered this question and every conversation with me is speaking about us. About our performance. About our ideas. Our process. Then, for his future we didn’t speak. I think it’s one question for him.

    Copyright 2018 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. so thats twice now so far that Emery has said the media have lied in stories about AFC, the Ozil row and now the groundsman told to not water the pitch pre man city game.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. AFCPressWatch@AFCPressWatch2
    3h3 hours ago

    According to Bild Sport, FIFA plans to limit the number of players out on loan to eight pending agreement from other stakeholders like FIFA and the European Clubs Association.
    In addition, a maximum of three players would be allowed to be loaned to the same club at the same time, the exception being those under the age of 21 who have been trained by their home club and have been under contract there for an extended period of time

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Ed 5.45

    I won’t get too excited about prospect of the loan change just yet (3rd party was supposed to be outlawed by now and that’s still going strong, I suspect), but….ha, the thought of how hard that would hit Chelsea!!

    City probably not that far behind them with loans now as well.

    They’d have to massively change how they operate.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. just seen an article from a newcastle site claiming that the toon had bigger attendances than AFC last season, they quote BBC having used freedom of information to obtain real attendance figures and not ticket sold figures, the article mention BBC a few times, talk about info for 12 man city games, all seemed legit enough till it came to the Arsenal figures, as the BBC did not get the AFC figures from the freedom of information act, no it was from speaking to and I quote “the well respected Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST)”, jeez you couldn’t make it up, a shower of attention seeking twats are now referred to as well respected, I suppose they are well respected by those that like AFTV and respect it.

    it does beg the question as to why the BBC did not use the freedom of information act to find out the true AFC attendance figures, like they did for other clubs, why would they go to a group known to have a big gripe with the club, oh that right its Arsenal

    Liked by 2 people

  36. They say opinions are like a**holes, and that, “every man’s got a right to decide his own destiny”. Which means no one’s got carte blanche, even over the Arse.
    AFTV serves its crowd just like PA does here…
    “To each his own”….”you are what you attract” (..so many proverbs to plagiarize)

    It was quite interesting for a while listening to various opinions on AFTV before and after games. That Robbie & co. profit utilizing the lowest hanging fruit will ultimately determine where they end up in Arselore.
    Yes, AFTV sold its soul quicker than ACLF but hey, this is the 21st century innit.

    Thank the stars the pseudo-interlol is over.
    Bring on Rafa’s magpies.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Positives: Is the EPL Trial Of VAR This Weekend – Symbolic or Shambolic? Check it out at: http://uniteforvar.com/?p=1232

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Rich, like I said Peggy is 21as well so would be classed as an overage player although I get what your saying we’re still well under on those two rules. Obviously we had Gideon on the bench as well who is about 46 by now surely.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Andy, that Blackburn game was the first away game my eldest son Sam went to. Jack signed his programme saying my first game your first away game best wishes, good old Jack.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Thank you Reverend.

    When we tried to discuss what you more eloquently describe above in the wake of the first partnership of these blaggers with The Moron we encountered some slef-righteous fence sitters who were not willing to call it as it is in fear of critiquing some of their methods of gaining hits and fame. Now we note their own collegues and peers are saying the same thing, stating the obvious.

    Please support the Arsenal, or…

    Thank you again.


  41. ΜċGεε
    ‏ @LaboGoon
    14m14 minutes ago

    Jürgen Klopp on @GNev2 saying Liverpool should throw their CL games to go out in group stages:

    “Sitting in an office and talking abt football is completely different to doing the job… What did he say abt Manutd in that case? The club he’s more interested in. Nothing?”


  42. Odd coincidence this. Young Arsenal fan who actually does have hell of a lot of contact with footballers, including many Arsenal players, and goes by the name of ‘the plug’.


    It’s not the same kid, ‘AFC plug’ or something, who made all those detailed claims about transfers et al which would have required a preposterous amount of access to club’s inner workings, though there’s a resemblance.

    Anyway, an odd coincidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Per Mertesacker: “Buyako [Saka] & Arthur [Okonkwo] are talented players, who have both excelled through our Hale End Academy. We are delighted that they have signed their first professional contracts with us & we look forward to supporting them further through their development.”

    Liked by 1 person

  44. afcstuff
    ‏ @afcstuff
    1h1 hour ago

    Petr Čech in the PL this season:

    166 passes; most of any goalkeeper in the league.
    189 touches; most of any goalkeeper in the league.
    36% long pass accuracy.
    96% short pass accuracy.
    75% overall pass accuracy.

    Petr Cech: “I had 166 passes in the first four games which is a huge amount & everybody picked up on only two. It’s obviously not a great thing to do when you pass the ball in a dangerous area, like I did at Cardiff, but it’s part of the game that you can always make a mistake.”

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Does resemble him Rich, was wondering that myself but they have different first names.
    The term Plug can mean a supplier, of various items , not all legal, guess one supplies designer goods, not sure about the other one, apart from supplying fake news. Allegri indeed.
    But there is no way a kid whether it is one, the other or both the same kid ,would know what’s going on behind the scenes at Arsenal, a club who regularly make fools of supposedly connected mainstream journalists who dare to assume ITK abilities

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Mandy: there will always be a few well-connected teenage boys who think they know what is going on! For example, a youngster I used to teach a couple of years ago came from a wealthy family. His father was a regular in the Directors’ Box, and the lad frequently used to pass on what he thought had been said, who was for AW and who not so keen etc. What I found interesting was that even this seemingly from the horse’s mouth info was normally wrong. What I found heartbreaking was that the boy couldn’t really have cared less about going to the games or meeting the players.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Today’s curtain-raising post is up courtesy of @labogoon.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Interesting FH, have heard similar things, regarding young guys who knew Sir Chipps grand daughter etc.
    And what a waste if the kid you mention didn’t avail of what was on his plate! Though his choice I guess, maybe he was into playing Fortnite , or whatever the kids are into these days

    Liked by 1 person

  49. In fairness Mandy he was a very committed Polo player!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: