Thursday 10 April 2008

Reason over reactionism

Obviously a lot of people are angry and frustrated after Tuesday's Champion's League exit, however in my mind this does excuse some of the slightly reactionary responses from a minority of Arsenal fans. The margins between success and failure are very small, a refereeing decision or the width of a post can be the difference between success and failure, between tactical genius and ineptitude. It is tempting to lash out and make a few easy scapegoats for our failure, but that it not something that I choose to do.

It seems to be widely acknowledged by fans that we need to strengthen the squad in the summer and that we need more penetration and goals from the wide midfield. However I don't think many would argue that this season hasn't been a significant improvement upon the last couple, with it being the first team that we've sustained a title challenge almost until the very death. The criticism that Emmanuel Adebayor has come in for has been over the top, the man has scored at a rate of over 2 in 3 in the league with many coming away from home. While Emmanuel Eboue has become the convenient scapegoat for all our failings, his performances and end product have been rather poor this season, but a little perspective wouldn't go amiss. Ironically although he brought a tear to some peoples' eyes on Tuesday, he didn't have that bad a game.

It appears that some Arsenal fans see things in ultra black and white, you're either completely happy with this season's results or you must join in with their chorus of discontent, there is no middle ground:

"Can you imagine a real Arsenal fan being happy with this season and no silverware, I have a theory, I don’t think they are real fans, I think they’re spuds pretending to be gooners, or other blogs, I know two of them are, that’s a fact."

I'm not happy that we've won nothing, but on the other hand in the cold light of day I can see than improvements have been made, the team is growing and that with the right additions, next year may have great potential. But one can never guarantee success in football, despite what some may say, even when the jig saw is perfectly assembled it may be wrecked by a run of serious injuries or a few bad pieces of luck.

It appears that some people cannot deal with those who disagree with their opinion and then express this difference politely. Apparently my input was threatening the happiness of this particular blog, strange that, go and have a read yourselves, as I can only see one side dishing out the offensive abuse rather than politely engaging in the Arsenal debate. As the owner of Le Grove says, we don't reside in Stalin's Soviet Union; so why do they then censor comments on their blog when they are neither rude or offensive, but simply expressing an opinion that Le Grove does not agree with? I sense a small amount of inconsistency creeping into their argument, criticism is a one way street for them, they can dish it out but they can't take it themselves:

"Difference of opinion fine, arguing not fine."

Effectively 'arguing' is only defined as arguing by Le Grove when it is something that disagrees with their stance, however it is called a 'difference of opinion' when they argue their line. It's a great shame as I agree with a lot of their stuff, I just cannot see why they feel the need to shut off debate in this way. Apparently it was threatening of me to say that I would reproduce some comments here that I had censored on Le Grove, so here they are, as I have now been banned without any adequate explanation:

"I wouldn't say I've taken the high ground, I just haven't resorted to abusive language as some have, personally I find the abusive language more offensive than remaining polite.

Basically it's fine for those who agree with your opinion to be argumentative as they say what you want to hear, but anyone who disagrees with your opinion cannot even do this politely, I think this is unfair.

Obviously you are perfectly entitled to keep your blog to the people that you want to keep it to, however if you treat different opinion like this, when politely expressed, then you are just going to become a very reactionary group who have closed themselves off from criticism. You see it as your right to criticise Arsene, how can you justify that you should be exempt from politely expressed reasoned criticism?

Jimbo and myself have just been expressing our opinion in a very calm and sensible way, and we've taken a lot of abuse on the chin without reacting to it.

I don't think myself and Jimbo are the problem. Perhaps the problem is a little closer to home.

I am very happy to minimise my future input, but I would appreciate it if you would post this, otherwise it may be reproduced elsewhere."

If anyone wants to respond of comment on any of the above, then feel free, you won't be censored or barred for choosing to disagree with my opinion. Everyone is entitled to express their opinion, provided that it remains within the limits of decency, and I don't mind being called an argumentative twat occasionally.


Anonymous said...

I agree wit you one hundred percent man... I dont like that blog but the way they put stuff makes me feel as if i support derby... All i hear everyday is the same thing... Arsene wont buy.. He is bringing us down... Our players suck... And then claims the fans who show more hope for the club are apparently spuds, while they slate our manager and players and the board some times too... I have a few things to say though...

1) We dont have 70 mil... but we do have a but load of debt...

2) Big name players will cause the following problems
A)Henry effect
B)Break in wage structure which means other players demand more, total wages shoot up(seems to me to be board enforced than arsene enforced)
C)May not bother to play our kind of football at all.

3) Eboue despite being wasteful and frustating in multiple ways defends better is ok with attack(in general) and is the reason why a fresh theo kills tired opposition...

4) Senderos, great at reading games, sucks at turning/outpacing... If you notice he has done well against foreign opposition but sucks big time with english ones.

5)Flamster seems captain material to me... traore with improvements can be a left winger...

6)Ade is another who has to learn to turn better...

7)Where is denilson?

8)Hleb is dome disillusioned in a game... why? more spirit needed there...

9)Hoyte is worryingly slipping in terms of quality...

10) A defensive coach please...

11) If costly tickets should buy us victories then who is paying for the stadium?

People who get frustrated(rightly so though) need a place to rant, even though its some times over the top.. Le Grove is the advertised place for it... I tried to reason with them it didnt work... they shut me out cos i said the behaviour was akin to chelski's fickle fans... Some guy called me c**t and much more and is one of their respected visitors there now...

Glad to see a cool headed supporter with sense...

But im worried, that blog has got so many anti arsene/anti player visitors/comments that this pressure may translate to the supporters in the stadium and ultimately to the club... As if we didnt have enough...

1979gooner said...

I won't hold it against people if I disagree with them, I just resent the fact that I am not allowed to politely question their comments. It's hardly healthy to just refuse to listen to anyone who disagrees with you is it?

As you say splashing the cash can have several negative effects that are frequently ignored by people who think it's a surefire guarantee of success. Plus it's only worth bringing in people better than we have got already, not easy given the quality at the club. Several other clubs have shown that spending lots of money on average players gets you nowhere fast, for example spurs and newcastle.

Some people also want it all, they want to play the brilliant flowing football, but at the same time they want us to be pragmatic and defensive, you simply cannot have it both ways. If we are going to pass the ball from the back, you have to accept that we will get caught out from time to time. We can of course improve our defense but I don't want our lovely style of football to go.

Senderos has been pretty consistent of late, I think it's a bit premature to write the guy off, plus who else is there to bring in in his place?

Hleb is an enigma, seems to do better in the middle, but can drift out of games and incredibly frustrating at times.

Denilson has struggled with injuries, he's still got time on his side, we'll see more of him next year I'm sure.

On the positive we're a very young side on the whole, everyone is improving all the time, the team will develop more understanding and cohesiveness as they play more and more games.

Not many sides have gone on to win the league having brought in several new first team regulars, it takes time, patience and continuity to develop a championship winning side.

As you correctly point out, it doesn't help the club plan for the long term if we have so many people demanding success straight away, part of the reason Arsenal have had so much relative success has been the great long term strategy fostered by the board, do these fans suddenly want the board to become another Newcastle by changing playing staff every close season and switching managers at the drop of a hat?

Anonymous said...

This may sound too radical but i think wenger should try 4 3 3... Atleast until Rosicky returns.. Walc is right footed and Persie is left footed... But we ll need the strongest pairing if center backs if possible... Flam center and cesc right... It will provide us the width... If our season is over after the next match it would be cool if wenger could experiment with this... By the way i like senderos a lot to be frank... but he just needs that pace for english football... same goes for djourou... Hleb is a damn great genius and when rosicky is back might actually be cool to try him out as one if the three strikers... I do not want the current team to change too much... just waiting for vela, merida maybe...

Anonymous said...

The width for me isnt about crosses but creating more space in the center... For me zarate looks interesting and could be a bargain buy...

1979gooner said...

I think Walcott has looked better when playing on the left, or centrally, he seems slightly lost on the right to me.

We are struggling for Sunday, Flamini injured, Diaby suspended, Sagna still out. I think we might as well go for it with Ade and RVP up front and a midfield of Hleb, Gilberto, Fabregas and Walcott.

I do love Big Phil as a character, he seems like a top bloke, his reaction to being unfairly sent off was priceless and is never seen in the modern game, no dissent, just looked very upset.

Djorou has the pace, just seems to lack the aggression needed for the premiership, such a shame give his raw attributes.

Anonymous said...

1979gooner - don't worry old chap. Le Grove is crap. They only let people on who agree with them - which is just a few losers with no life who think they could manage a football tea. Ha ha. There is no point wating your time with them as they just delete your comments - and then spout obscene comments about anyone with a different view. Tossers!

Anonymous said...

I also agree about le Grove - they like to dish it but they can't take it. Half the posts seem to be from themselves. As if anyone is going to listen to what they think.

Obsinho said...

I also agree with 1979 on everything, but feel like I should take advantage of the chance to call him an argumentative little twat.

Obsinho said...

Just had a quick butchers at your postings on Le Grove 1979, and feel my life will be a more c*nt-free place if I don't read anything on there again.

I am by no means stupid, but how can you express a "difference of opinion" without arguing?

I'm bored of feeling let down by Arsenal - I love them, and will always support them. Even when Gilles Grimandi is Manager, Igors Stepanovs is defensive coach and we're playing in the CHampionship. AT least we wouldn't have to read as much crap in the media.

Ted said...

Sughosh makes some good points, especially point (2). In my view, one of the best things Wenger has ever done was to hold firm with Ashley Cole over money. So many Arsenal fans would have given Ashley whatever money he wanted. Instead, Wenger backed Clichy to perform and I doubt anyone can deny that Clichy is now as least as good, if not better than, Mr Ashley Cole.

I've said it before and I'll say it again that buying big name big salary players is a mugs game that Wenger will not play, and correctly so.

There is barely a player that Mourinho signed that was not already a recognised quality player. Unlimited funds and unlimited salaries is not good management. Its a cheats' version of Championship Manager.

Its also interesting to try and work out what Le Grove thinks a "real fan" is. I wonder if they would consider the masses huddling on terraces at Conference sides watching their team lose are "real fans"? Its bloody easy to say "sack the boss and spend some money", but is it really so hard to hold firm and believe in the principles that have been established by Wenger since 1996?

I don't find it that hard....

Anonymous said...

le grove is pathetic - they make a big thing about the number of posts they have but fail to mention that most of them are their own posts - the rest are a few demented sods with nothing better to do. And they make a big thing about being reasonable and showing reaspect and then let some morons slag people off as long as they agree with grove. I hope they don't sit anywhere near me at the Emirates.

1979gooner said...

The grove today:

"I get really fed up with saying this but I’m going to say it one more time, we welcome ALL bloggers to this site, we only block people that use racist, bigoted or insulting language to our bloggers, as you would in your house, office or pub. We welcome debate what we don’t welcome are people that just want to argue for the hell of it."

a blatant lie.

they block people who simply politely express a difference of opinion.

the pretence at integrity is nothing more than a pretence as I cannot make any reasoned comment to them, I have been barred for no reasonable reason!

Ted said...

Can we ban 1979Gooner from this blog? All he does is pick fights with other bloggers, especially poor little Myes Palmer.

K man said...

Yeah 1979Gooner, stop picking fights and ranting...and turn up for a few games instead! Just kidding mate.

Unfortuantely there are a lot of bad Gooners out there, and there seem to be many more at the Emirates than there were at Highbury - we seem to have inherited 20,000 tossers following the move.

Good to have the comments from sughosh, paul, bill etc.

Responding to sughosh's numbered comments:

1. Agreed but our debt has come down a lot recently. Most importantly we made a decent profit last year so Arsene could sepnd a bit if he wanted, but not 70 mil.

2. Possibly - but one or two might not be bad as long as they fit the system and have a brain.

3. Eboue should be reserve right back next season.

4. Big Phil is excellent except against top strikers e.g. drogba and torres

5. Absolutely agree. I actually think we should get rid of Gallas and make Flamini or Toure captain. Traore needs time but has talent.

6. Ade has done terrific but can still improve.

7. Lots of injury probs like so many others.

8. Lacks goals and assits. I think he's a genius but needs more end product.

9. He's rubbish

10. Keown surely...

11. Hope they freeze season ticket prices again.

I don't think 1979Gonner should be banned but he must limit his rants!

By the way, evening standard mentioned Wheater of Middlesbrough as a possible centre back target...any views?

Ted said...

Most of the arseholes sit in Club Level. What a commercially brilliant way that was to ruin the atmosphere...

Obsinho said...

Can we start a blog about people at the Emirates who are tossers? I'll add the guy who sits in the RedAction zone and bitches for the whole game, gets on the back of every player and smells like a dead dog's arse, and the dog died from impacted faces. That would smell like him.

He does sing loudly though, which counts in his favour. Doesn't stop the fact that he stinks though.

1979gooner said...

" “Anyone is welcome at Le Grove if you are a disgruntled blogger and you want to ask us a question, do it, but please, in a reasoned way, we love Arsenal too, but if they do stuff that makes us unhappy we’ll debate it.”

seems that’s all I did yesterday and was barred.

It’s easy to talk of intregrity, but your words aren’t backed by actions.

I wouldn’t have posted on my blog if you had allowed my very polite and reasonable comments up, in fact I told you of this, you called it threatening, hardly is it? I’m just exposing the fact that you don’t like people who politely disagree with you!

I am very happy to be named by the way, as what I have written on my blog is nothing other than reasonable and politely expressed, I only did it because you barred me for no good reason.

So much for being open to all Gooners, it appears that this welcome is very selective and dependent on one’s opinion.

Maybe I should convert, Arsene screwed us again, Arsene knows nothing; maybe not, I’d feel a little silly saying that."

Another comment removed from Le grove, quelle surprise!

1979gooner said...

"Scuba, he has had more chances than anyone in blogging history did, I think he’s mentally ill.

We let him go back on even though he devoted his whole blog to bad mouthing us and he behaved, then he starts all over again, what a loser.

I think it’s because he has no company on his shitty little blog, he’s lonely."

This comes from Le Grove's owner, how very reasonable.

So much for integrity and the open culture of Le Grove.

It seems they are rather unwilling to listen to any opinion that does not agree with their own.

I was happy to be named on their blog, the reason they didn't name me was most likely because the logic of their argument wouldn't stand up to reasoned critique, hence they chose to just block off the argument.

Le Grove does show immense integrity and courage by insulting someone on their blog who is not able to reply, as they have been barred for politely expressing their opinion.

Ollie said...

1979, i dont want to sound rude, but your comment in response to ethans was pretty harsh. I cant copy it for some reason, but let the person who is perfect throw the first stone. If you want to write a whole post about how bad le-grove is, maybe you should see what some of your comments can cause. Ethan was joking, and you hit back hard? thats what started it off. does that sound fair?

Obsinho said...

At least he has spotted that you are mentally ill though 1979.

1979gooner said...


I don't mind you pointing things out, that's not rude!

Have a look at the way people reacted to some who dared to politely point out that their opinion was a little over the top.

The majority of the comments are just slagging off Arsene Wenger and the team.

When it's pointed out to them politely that this is just a bit over the top, they react aggressively and start insulting those who dare disagree.

I'd say that's rude!

Anonymous said...

angry dave says.
we are all one and the same stop blog bashing it helps no one

1979gooner said...


if there's anything you disagree with in my post then point it out, I'm happy to argue my corner,

I only posted this because Le Grove barred me from posting for no reasonable reason,

If they won't allow a difference of opinion to be politely expressed in their comments then I'll point that out,

not all Gooners think it's fair to indulge in such over the top criticism of the manager and the team,

I don't think I should have to be sorry for this.

Obsinho said...

Lads oh lads oh lads. Let's just leave this little blog bitching session.

We all sound like Jens Lehmann on a night out with Almunia. Where as we should be more like Cesc and Flam on a night on the tiles. Those guys love each other.

Everyone hates the tosser in the corner dressed as Tigger though - wich he'd just die.

Ted said...

Well said Obsinho.

1979Gooner - I know you're angry at Le Grove but so what? Their opinion is just that, mere opinion.

If they ban you then so what - why would you want to read that purile shit anyway?

1979gooner said...

no Ted, I don't, but...

I would not have written this piece if it hadn't been for them stopping me put the same points to them on their blog.

I just think the corner of moderate Gooners needs to be fought, I'd rather challenge them politely then leave them to insult Arsene and the team.

Ted said...

fuck 'em

K man said...

Get over it mate...not worth your efforts to go on lke this

Anonymous said...

you shouln't keep on about those guys at the grove - they form a useful purpose - its the trashcan of the arsenal blog sites - some body has to pick up the shit man

Ted said...

Good point. Reading Arseblog today (12 April) its almost a direct criticism of shit sites like the Grove. However, he doesn't take them on directly - a subtle spleeno.....

1979gooner said...

indeed ted, a good tactic.

Anonymous said...

In all fairness Le Grove is a shit site. How do they call themselves Gooners? All they do is whinge! I mainly read Arsenalanalysis and Wrighty7. I got the feed for this blog through Wrighty7 and must say I'm pleased I did. Keep blogging! Fuck le grove.