Category Archives: satire

The Anti-Arsenal Agenda

The media agenda has never been clearer.

We should have seen it before, cried out at the injustice of the journalists and experts who have continuously hitched a ride on the Arsenal train to boost their flagging numbers.

Let us look at recent attempts to discolour the truth.

Never happier than during our trophy drought – repeated focus on our nine years without silverware, despite their darlings Liverpool being without a trophy since 2012, and tottenham bereft of anything to put inside their dusty cabinet since 2008 – the League Cup – writers held up our barren run as something that was not acceptable.

When we did hold aloft the FA Cup in 2014 to end the terrible run, newspapers, radio hosts et al then switched their gaze upon our lack of a Premier League since 2004. Like the FA Cup was an insignificant piece of history, as if it didn’t register in the annals of footballing history. This switch even though Liverpool and tottenham have NEVER won a Premier League trophy.

When Manchester United won the FA Cup in 2016, it was lauded as a significant step in the recovery of the Red Devils. Yet we had won it two years on the spin before United achieved their win at Wembley.

The Wenger era was faltering, there could be no doubt, but we had won silverware. It mattered little though, as our failings rather than our success that fed the media machine. When we did stumble? Manna from heaven for the journalists.

When we eventually fell out of the Champions League reckoning? It was only  a matter of time. Every year, every publication, every show, they all predicted the final positions of each coming season. For five years prior to us finishing fifth in 2016, the lions share of experts would predict that we would finish well out of the top4. When it did happen many years later, it wasn’t seen as an epic fail or egg on the face of those that are supposed to know – it was used as vindication.

Of course Arsenal finished outside of the top4 – look, we’ve been saying it for years!!!

Now we have a new man at the helm. After more than two decades at Arsenal, Wenger had left the club and we had Unai Emery who was tasked with returning the Gunners to the top table of English and European football. Change after such a long time is difficult, and the level-headed ones amongst us recognised this and were optimistic, yet guarded. It would take time to instill Emery’s values, tactics and framework. The Spaniard’s processes would differ from Wenger’s inevitably, and a period of adjustment would be needed.

Emery-team-talk

After the first two games of the season we were pointless, and the stories surrounding us all were loving every minute. Emery stuck gamely to his principles though, and even though we still have plenty to work on, Emery oversaw a fantastic run that helped us up the table and progress in the Europa League.

The blemish-free run was in the face of a squad that were adapting to new measures and ways that would hamper any attempt to hit top gear – and yet we were winning.

The focus in the news?

Our shaky defence. The amount of chances we were presenting. All genuine causes for concern but the actual main thread?

All the while, Liverpool and tottenham struggled in the Champions League.

How were their efforts described?

Unlucky. Brave. Heroic. Full of effort.

It shows that no matter what we do, unless Emery masterminds a blitz toward the title,the external opinions surrounding our club from outsiders will always be tainted. It also highlights that both the Reds and spurs enjoy a certain leeway from writers and presenters who are meant to be delivering honest assessments.

What has overtaken real news is attention. Clicks and hits.

What gets clicks and hits? Disgruntled Arsenal fans.

During my research for my book about the title-winning team of 1990/91, I found that George Graham commented on this even back then, saying that the anti-Arsenal bias existed even in the days of pre-internet.

This isn’t a new thing, yet it is getting worse.

Match Of The Day never highlight our excellent passages of play, yet always remember to showcase other clubs.

When Stewart Robson comes out with another pearl regarding how poor Arsenal are, pay him no heed.

The next time Neil Ashton or Adrian Durham spew forth some bile regarding Arsenal’s bleak future or lowering targets? Ignorance is bliss.

Courting controversy is what they are doing, and we are playing our part too, by feeling the need to vent our spleens at such idiotic content.

Let us just enjoy the Emery revolution and constantly remind ourselves that impartiality is predominantly dead, and if you do find a writer whose opinion you respect?

Those are the clicks we should be giving away. Rewarding those who present us with agenda-free content.

Sponsor Or Soul?

Originally published in the Gooner Fanzine.

The decision to incorporate sleeve sponsors came in last season, and it was a decision that had every club licking their lips.

 

Yet another opportunity to rake in the readies, this small logo on each sleeve of a jersey would not affect the design of a kit, but it would affect the bank balance.

 

The ramifications of this separate sponsor really came into tangible form though, thanks to Everton.

 

Last season, they sported a rather conspicuous brand on their sleeves, and while it may have swelled the coffers, ‘Angry Birds’ took some of the gleam off of the shining money for the Toffees. While it isn’t nefarious, it is quite an embarrassing brand to have on your kit.

 

Now Arsenal have joined in and have their sleeves adorned for the first time – but it has caused somewhat of a stir.

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We now have ‘Visit Rwanda’ on our kit, and while it may sound like a harmless push to bring some much needed tourism and funds to a country that could do with a boost, connections with the country are not exactly wholesome.

 

Rwanda is synonymous with corruption and tyrannical regimes, coups and human rights atrocities in the past. The African country may be far removed from this these days, there are still things to raise an eyebrow to when it comes to our association with such a country.

 

Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame, is thought to have used intimidation tactics in the last election, and placed restrictions on freedom of speech to suppress opposition movements. He has now been in power for 18 years.

 

There is also the small matter of the Rwandan genocide of the Tutsi people by the majority Hutu government in 1994.

 

The country is on the road to recovery now, and is ranked amongst the least corrupt countries in Africa.

 

So, shouldn’t this sponsorship be a shot in the arm for a country aiming to do things the right way, to establish a proper income via tourism, rather than rely on the coffers of others?

 

At what point does the club have a responsibility to choose the right sponsor?

Just imagine if we were to appropriate another one on the different sleeve, but this one was for The Daily Mail?

 

Does the club have a role of advocacy in things? Could Arsenal have chosen differently? Or was it simply the sleeve goes to the highest bidder?

 

We hardly need the money, we could have quite easily have promoted a charity, perhaps our own in The Arsenal Foundation, or another one close to home, the Willow Foundation?

 

It wouldn’t benefit us fiscally, but it would be a fantastic PR exercise.

 

We could be sponsored by Toilet Duck. We could have the logo for Cillit Bang and a massive picture of Barry Scott salivating on the chest of our shirt. There comes a moment that no amount of money covers the utter shame you would have on pulling on the shirt.

 

It is a worrying development though. There will come a crossroads though, when sense is asked to take a back seat by a big wad of cash. The fallout from that would be kit sales – would that equate to another juicy sponsorship, or would it hit the pockets of the club harder?

 

What next? While this is a nice little money spinner right now, we could have collar sponsors, sock sponsors, shirt sponsors, boot sponsors. There is a wealth of blank canvas for companies looking to spill their cash all over a club.

 

Just look at a snooker player’s waistcoat, or an F1 car.

 

It’s clear that money talks, and it is a vulgar language when written on fabric.

What Is A Legend Anyway?

I have an infatuation with words.

 

There is always a better word to describe things. Much like the late Robin Williams describes in the film, ‘The Dead Poets Society,’ why use the word ‘tired’ when you can use ‘fatigued.’ Why use ‘happy’ when you have the word ‘overjoyed.’

 

The beauty of the English language is that we have so many to choose from, picking the right one is an art form of sorts.

 

The ruination of the word ‘legend’ though, is something that is blighting everyone’s lexicon – and everyone is guilty of it.

 

Now, you can use the word ‘legend’ to describe a friend who volunteers to make the cheese on toast for everyone. Or the guy on your night out who is the designated driver. It’s been devalued to a huge extent.

 

So, what constitutes a legend?

 

I had this very discussion while attending our recent Arsenal Legends versus Real Madrid Legends game at The Emirates.

 

There was a generous helping of bona fide Gunners players who had achieved glory with our side.

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Bobbi Pires, Ray Parlour, Nigel Winterburn, Jens Lehmann, Gilberto. These men had won big trophies with our side, and also had amassed plenty of appearances in a Gunners shirt.

 

Then there were players who had won titles with Arsenal, but their name was not as familiar as the above. David Hillier, Perry Groves, Jeremie Aliadiere. They had played their part in campaigns, they had made their mark and the title medals in their possession are proof enough that they should be held in high regard.

 

Some would say – and have via social media – that some of the players who lined up against Real Madrid on this game that raised funds for The Arsenal Foundation, didn’t warrant a place.

 

The legend status comes in varied forms though.

 

Tomas Rosicky won very little in his time as a Gunner, but he is held in high regard by the Gooner faithful. He stayed when all and sundry were jumping ship, and if it weren’t for injury, his career at Arsenal would have been very different.

 

David Hillier is a youth product of the club, and played a huge part in the title winning side of 90/91, which was his breakthrough season.

 

There are inevitably players who are the first we recall when harking back to halcyon times, but every single player who was on the pitch for the Legends fixture came back for the love of the club, and to raise vital money for a worthwhile charity.

 

It was great to see them all pit their wits against Real, who had the likes of Raul, Morientes, Campo and Butragueno. There was precious little goalmouth action, but the chance to see our heroes again is always one we should relish.

 

They are all players who have donned the jersey and gave their all, and now have returned to give more for a good cause.

 

To be called a legend is a high honour, even in these times of varying impact of the word, but each one heartily deserve it.

Head Over Heart

Every day, every part of the routine, didn’t feel monotonous like the daily grind should.

That had something to do with the fact he loved every single minute.

From a young child he was schooled in the ways of The Arsenal, first by his parents – both diehard Gooners – and then from his tutelage at the club.

He was like most children at that age, singularly obsessed with football. With or without friends, he would kick the ball. At goal, in the street, off the wall. His dad said that practice was the key, so he stuck gamely to his task. This is where he differed from most kids – he was driven, he wouldn’t let up. His mum sometimes worried about the fact that wherever he went, he had a ball with him, but she needn’t have fretted. It paid off big time.

He was enrolled in the youth team from an early age, and despite interest from other clubs, there was only one he would sign for. The moment he put pen to paper is still crystallised in the form of a framed photo on top of the mantelpiece at his mums house.

That was where the hard work really began. For eight years, he clambered up the ranks, the age groups. International recognition came for the Under-18’s, Under-21’s, but this was a mere flicker in the eye of time. By the time he had made his debut for the Under-21’s, full international caps came calling.

That was because his debut for Arsenal was packed with fireworks. He had seven minutes to make the coach and fans sit up and take notice, and he did so in spades. A goal and hanging the opposition’s right-back out to dry on at least three occasions meant that when the next season came, he was firmly in contention.

That was the beginning of his halcyon season – and the sole reason he was still at Arsenal. He played through the entire campaign, he grabbed goals, winners, made more respected colleagues look like they were wading through treacle. Experts and teammates, other coaches all commented on his meteoric rise.

It was his display against one of the best teams in the world though, that meant he was predicted to be a game changer not only for Arsenal, but for England too. He ran the show, weaving a mesmeric web that won plaudits around the world.

The footballing world was his oyster, but he never saw himself anywhere but The Arsenal. His faith and promise were rewarded as well, when injury bit.

It bit hard too. A whole season missed, then half a season. He couldn’t quite get back to where he was. Every time he scaled the insurmountable mountain of recovery, at the peak he fell down the other side. Critics were mounting, ‘sicknote’ tags were sticking.

Seasons were going by and he was no longer the promising kid who had the world at his feet. He now had to prove himself again. It wasn’t enough to have shown he had what it takes to run with the big boys. After his injury record, people doubted whether he could reach that height again.

Most importantly, the fans and the club he loved were beginning to worry about him too.

Fitness slowly crept back, and so did his appearances. Fleeting glimpses of form came and went, so did runs of matches.

Now came the time where his contract was running out. An offer was on the table, and it was once the case that whatever was on the table, he would have signed it, a la Tony Adams.

Now, after a conversation with the coach, he had a decision to make. He needed gametime. His stock was low, international honours was a dot on the horizon. He had played last season, but he was far from where he thought he’d be.

He felt superfluous, a groupie. A biscuit on the side of an extravagant coffee. He was not the main act, but he didn’t want that. He merely wanted to be a vital cog in the machine. At the moment, he wasn’t adding value, worth.

Now the coach has told him that he could stay and try to force his way into proceedings, but at this moment in time, he would be firmly in the ‘backup’ category.

He had spoken to his agent, his parents, his friends, his wife. All said that he owed his club nothing, he had done all he could. He needed to be selfish and do what he needed to do. His career was short, and if he stayed he would be on good money, but he could get more elsewhere and most importantly – he could get back into the international fold as he would play.

Stay at the club he loves? Fight for the badge and your career? Or move on for more minutes and perhaps a little better in terms of contract?

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Where does loyalty rank in terms of significance in decision-making? At what price does the heart come into things? When does business run the rule over matters of sentimentality?

If you were in this position – what would you do?

Social Media, Lies and The Era of Transfer Hype

Social media is a keenly sharpened, double-edged sword.

If it weren’t for the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and its cohorts, then we would never see as much as we are used to now. We are spoiled as we get to peer ever deeper into the inner annals of our club, and we lap up every second as we devour lasciviously.

On the other hand though, its open nature gives rise to anyone with an opinion – and there are far too many idiots on this earth to avoid stupidity.

Like the Oort Cloud that circles our solar system on its outskirts, with so many opinions floating in the cyber ether, we are peppered with collisions from those who wish to cause a splash and nothing more. They feed from our reactions and they want nothing more than to claw in retweets, likes and shares.

This strategy, although not exactly complicated, has worked wonders. So much so, that new accounts are popping up regularly to spout their rhetoric and self-promoted wisdom.

We are all familiar with a host of these types – the ITK’s as we are all accustomed to labelling them – and their kind are a blight upon the web landscape at the best of times.

But when it’s time for the transfer window to creak open and signal business hours for clubs has officially begun?

The window is open, so let the bullcrap begin

It’s like a cloud of gnats, smelling blood. You can swish your arm at them and take out a few, but the cloud remains, supping at the goodness.

This window is no different, and with Unai Emery’s appointment injecting a little more enthusiasm than in recent years into our fanbase, the ITK brigade have set out their stall and attempted to lure the unsuspecting with their dross.

The gullible can’t be blamed – haven’t we all fallen for a steaming bowl of hyperbole once or twice? – but the proof in the pudding is that these accounts have thousands, tens of thousands – even hundreds of thousands of followers hanging on every click of their rancid keyboard.

Those of us that have learned our lesson are well aware that on the quest for truth, very few actually have what we are looking for – and that is genuine Arsenal news. BBC Sport’s David Ornstein is perhaps the finest purveyor of veritas we have in our midst, but the dearth of real news makes it even more understandable why the bullsh#%%ers are still in action.

A good friend of mine described these phoney’s in the best way, and it rings true.

The sheer amount of player names that are spouted by these idiots means that – by law of averages – they will have a name that they predicted will sign. They will use this emblem of luck to stave off all others who point out that there are 98 other names they have predicted will sign within the last week – and all were lies.

Law of averages.

We know that the inner sanctum of Arsenal is a tight-knit one – and if news isn’t meant to go out, then very rarely will we get a sniff.

So how can Ben from Hemel Hempstead – Assistant Manager at Urban Outfitters – know that Ousmane Dembele is in negotiations with Arsenal? Did he set Sven Mislintat up with a nice pair of chino’s and as a favour, the German gave his number out as a hotline?

Or perhaps Gareth, trolley attendant at Sainsbury’s, made sure that Raul Sanllehi got the last trolley for his weekly shop, and Arsenal’s man behind negotiations was so overawed by this generosity that he confides in Gareth on a weekly basis?

We only have ourselves to blame, unfortunately.

The footballing landscape has changed, and now rumour is almost a currency. Those that make outlandish claims or put their hands up to ‘confess’ that they have insider knowledge of a deal taking place that all fans would love to see materialise, enjoy the spotlight. News, at least the loosest sense of the word anyway, is what we all want, and these liar-mongers are more than happy to fill our timelines with their own particular brand of fertiliser.

Where one succeeds, others will follow, and now we have a giant asteroid field that none of us can escape unscathed from.

This window will perhaps be our worst yet. Links to players we all know won’t sign for us will blot our vision as we look at our screens, and we’ll be swept away in a torrent of crap, saved only by the lifejacket that is common sense.

So, that link that says we’re going to purchase that 60m winger? Give it to them both barrels.

Social media is double-edged remember, and we need to keep that in mind – so cry foul on those spurious rumours.

It’s time to fight back. Buckle up, this window is going to be a rough one.

Gridiron Vs Football

Originally posted on Goonersphere.

Football is constantly in battle with itself.

Fans of differing generations put forth their strongest hands, claiming it was better in their day.

What is overlooked often though, is that all generations of the sport have their part to play in creating the behemoth we see today.

So, in essence, we are all correct and wrong simultaneously. The ills that blight the game are simply symptoms of the path the game has walked, set on its way by the elders we all look upon with the highest regard.

There are current factors in the game that are pored over thanks to their nefarious nature. Diving, playacting, pleading for set-plays and the booking of the opposition, the obscene amounts of money. All eating away at the soul of the beautiful game.

Well I’m here to tell you that we could have it far worse.

America embrace sports just as passionately as us. The big games across the pond are treated with such gravitas that they are akin to a public holiday – and none are bigger than the Superbowl.

The buildup to this auspicious day is so gargantuan it has now started to bleed into our day over here. Not only this, but American Football is now big business over here. Fan clubs and games played in the UK means gridiron is now standing alongside our very own sports for attention.

I have recently attempted to dip my proverbial toe into the waters of American Football. I follow pretty much all sports, some more avidly than others, but if it is competitive and has points, I’ll watch it. I have watched some games on the TV and recently, I went to Wembley with my brother and dad to catch a game.

It was an absolutely awful experience, and even though our very own football has its wrongs, they pale into comparison alongside gridiron.

We moan about stoppages in football.

We have NOTHING to moan about.

American Football, in the majority of matches I have seen, have three seconds of play, followed by at least three to five minutes of stoppages. It is so staccato, so regularly peppered with nothing, that the entertainment that takes place in these hiatuses in play is fundamental.

Without it, spectators would just be sitting and watching the players stand in a field. The blow is softened somewhat when watching on TV as pundits and replays fill the voids, but four quarters of fifteen minutes drips by thanks to this awful system.

And we thought we had it bad with players moaning at referees and holding the play up.

My experience with American Football has left me thirstier for actual football. If these two sports were movies, then football would be Die Hard and American Football would be Die Hard 4. With less action. And the guns replaced with balloons.

Gridiron fans wax lyrical about the hard hits these hard men take. Granted, occasionally these men covered in padding receive a really vicious tackle, but compare this to Rugby where players are constantly in the thick of it, not allowed to have a breather after three and a half seconds of action.

Stop, stop, stop, start. There is no rhythm to that American sport. It is frustrating to watch, it isn’t fun like sports are meant to be.

Anyone who disagrees with me, watch a game of football alongside a match of gridiron. Watch how time ticks by in a natural manner on the clock during ‘soccer.’

Then look at the gameclock during a game of American ‘Football.’ Gadzooks! Time stands still as if frozen? What is this sorcery?

Physical sport is meant to be frantic, it is meant to tick by. Even goalless draws have those minutes at the end of the game where chances are made and spurned. In Gridiron, there are exceptions, but it is hard to stay pumped for the duration.

The last two Superbowls are great exhibitions that this sport can thrill, but they are the exceptions.

American Football has the capacity for huge excitement. Of course it does, the audience numbers it generates are testament to this. Look at last season’s Superbowl comeback from the Patriots when they defeated the Falcons. That was a true spectacle.

It is also the exception though.

I think I’ll stick to football.

Calling out the bias and clickbait with a cup of tea.

Published originally on Goonersphere

Mertesacker leaned his shoulder into his marker and shifted his weight. The corner was ready to be whizzed in, and a goal here in the 93rd minute would surely mean the winner.

The away crowd bubbled in anticipation. The whole game had been nip and tuck but they had been buoyed by the effort their team had put in. Snapping into tackles, running at their opponents. It had only been a combination of the goalkeeper and the woodwork that had stopped them breaking the deadlock.


The fans and the players knew they had deserved all three points. Still, this was Arsenal – when had that ever been a factor in a result?


This match could be different though. A win here would be huge, a real game-changer.


Mesut Ozil looked into the box, and delivered the ball. It arced toward the back post, and Per started to move.


The German’s weight pushed into his marker and it gave him the half yard he needed to jump cleanly. His marker would now be milliseconds behind him.


The ball sailed over the goalkeeper’s grasping hands and Mertesacker knew he was in the right place. His leap was above his attempted captor, and his forehead met the ball in the sweet spot. The ball smacked against his head and careered toward the goal. The goalkeeper trying to get the ball at the first attempt meant he couldn’t stop the ball hitting the back of the net.


It was the winner.


This win proved many people wrong. So many writers, pundits, former players – no-one gave them a hope in hell of winning this game. The build-up to the game was filled with talk of how many the opponent would get, the atrocious away record of Arsenal going to top teams.


This was one of those sweet moments that fans dream of.


Social media fizzed with activity. Memes from social media teams and joyous fans flashed up furiously as they all revelled in upsetting the odds.


One of the journalists was particularly biased in his pre-match assessment. He had picked a combined XI from the two teams, and included precisely zero from the Gunners. It would have attracted a lot of attention if it wasn’t typical fare that Arsenal fans had to deal with.


It attracted a fair amount of attention after the result though.


Arsenal’s social media team were quite prolific in the use of their twitter and facebook accounts. They posted regular, interesting content and they obviously saw a chance – and they took it.


They posted a reply to this journalist’s pessimistic view of Arsenal’s chances with an image designed to simply capture Arsenal’s joy and give an emphatic reply to the doubters.


It was a dog with a grumpy face, in an Arsenal scarf.


Everyone loves a dog image on social media, So it proved, as the retweets and comments went through the roof.


The journalist, quite obviously suffering from an upset stomach after eating too much humble pie, took to Twitter to rally support from his fellow writers. They began a campaign to lambast Arsenal’s social media arm for what was a blatant and uncalled for attack.


The writer complained of death threats and horrible comments after Arsenal’s dog-themed reply. Obviously, a sarcastic reply from the club would prompt such bile. How could the club even think to reply, knowing this would be the result?


The response the next day, was quite something.


The FA got involved on the request of the journalists, who claimed this response was uncalled for and they should be able to write anything without being subjected to a reply. The FA agreed that this needed to be stamped out, and quickly put into place a set of guidelines that each club had to adhere to.


This meant that writers could cobble together articles that had freedom to say literally anything, and clubs needed to follow rules when replying to the writer’s products.


The next match saw a newspaper run with a story that Arsenal have been in the shadow of tottenham since 1961. Arsenal, following the strict procedural rules, replied with a massive thumbs up and a smiling unicorn.


This rule stayed in place, but no other club were subject to the level of attention that Arsenal were. Fans were apoplectic, and directed their furore toward the authors of such defamatory pieces. This led to the FA working alongside social media to stop any direct replies to the writers.


The end game was that writers were given free reign, and got exactly what they wanted, without fear of reprisal.


The end.  







The above is obviously fiction thankfully, but is written in response to the utterly ridiculous set of actions and words that followed Arsenal’s social media team tweeting a picture of Mesut Ozil drinking a cup of tea to a writer. This writer had hashed together such a biased piece on a North London combined XI, that Arsenal saw a perfect riposte when we had won 2-0.


The level of ire from supposedly respected journalists was nothing short of babies crying with nappy rash. These writers have a duty to put together stories and factual content that carries the weight of impartiality. It needs to produce facts and leave the reader free to decide what they think.


Can we honestly say that the majority do this? It all depends on what newspaper you read of course, but the article in question was designed to gather clicks, it was a mass of words connected to a giant fishing rod.


We Gooners produce more response than most – look at any nationwide poll on Sky Sports for evidence of this. This is why there are so many stories, phone-ins and debates on Arsenal – the producers know that it will get high response levels. You always fish where there are biters.


They then react like spoiled kids when they get a response that doesn’t fit their desired demographic. No one is condoning hatred-filled answers, but a well-informed riposte is not hatred, nor is it what the writers want. They want red-faced Gooners, choking on their own froth.


So, it is important that we continue to highlight these biased writers, as they are not fulfilling their duty of impartiality.


They aren’t doing their job, and we need to show that.

Arsenal Board Must Act

Arsenal’s ownership is an oxymoron.

The Premier League is awash with money, in fact, it has never been more affluent. Thanks to the TV rights deal that dwarves the other big domestic leagues, all Premier League clubs have larger fiscal muscles than their European brethren.


Our club are part-owned by Alisher Usmanov – an oligarch who is ranked amongst the richest people in the world, and Stan Kroenke – an American whose portfolio is amongst the largest in terms of sports teams. We also have Ivan Gazidis who was awarded a bonus for a season which is the worst placing in over two decades. 




On their own, Kroenke and Usmanov could financially back any team to the zenith of sporting achievement. They could completely transform the outlook of the league should they choose to.


Instead, with a backdrop of torrents of currency, they both choose to stand idly by as other clubs push on.

It is ironic that these ridiculously rich men who spent ludicrous amounts to garner our shares, now do nothing more than lasciviously eye each others stash of our club.


Perhaps our current problems in the Boardroom are magnified in part due to our past ownership?


The setup was always led by Arsenal-DNA. Although the loyal Ken Friars is still part of the makeup, decisions are now not made with Arsenal at heart.


Our club no longer have a hand on the tiller that is primarily concerned with the progress of our club, and it has now come to a point where it is harmful.


The good work that was put in during the late 90’s and early 2000’s gave us a headstart, one which was vital to capitalise on. The chasing pack was closing in, but we didn’t stretch our gap, we simply treaded water.


Now we stand on the precipice, caught between the ignominy of being just another member of the flock that grasp towards the top, and rekindling our groove and making ground on the distance we lost.


Manchester united may be saddled with debt, but they have crucially continued investment in recruitment. They have also shown little patience for mediocrity.


Manchester City have embraced the funds of their owners and player purchases continue unabated.


Chelsea too have dug deep in their pockets and regular silverware has been the produce from their spending.


Then there is tottenham and Everton.


Our North London neighbours have spent well and have a new stadium to look forward to. This new home has the capacity to propel them to regular contention for honours. They have not had the income of their more illustrious rivals but it has not stopped them. Of course there are many variables that may yet take them off course, but they are primed to continue their rise from where they were a decade ago.


Everton are under the stewardship of new owners. They now have the resources necessary to take them higher than erstwhile European place challengers. Ronald Koeman lost his way, but their spending spree in the summer is just a signal of what they are now capable of.


This is now the time for us to act. We have the potential in our sponsorship deals and our gate receipts to muscle in on the show that is seemingly going on without us of late. We could also overtake all and sundry if our owners acted like owners should.


At this moment we are merely a trophy on a wall, a conversation starter in auspicious surroundings whilst swilling brandy amongst the hoi-polloi.


Our previous Board members who are long since departed from the club showed how it should be done. Hell, even the dubious roubles of Roman Abramovich are evidence that not all takeovers have to be negative.


We need Usmanov and especially Kroenke to put their pennies into their new shiny piggy bank. The trouble is, they have not invested a brass farthing since becoming involved.


And it has worked in a business sense. Share prices have nearly doubled since 2007.


Maybe it is a nostalgia that blinds us. Football is a business now, but surely owners want their toys to be bigger and better than everyone else’s?


Right now, Kroenke has left his new plaything out in the rain to gather rust. We have a Chief Executive that received a bonus for a fifth placed finish so there is no incentive for improvement, which only adds to our woes.


Competition should see the strongest survive, and we are now limping behind. 

Conduct In The Stands – An Arsenal RuleBook

Published on Goonersphere

Dear Gooners across the globe, thank you for taking the time to read this instruction manual.It has been circulated to every fan that is registered with us, and in light of recent events over the last few seasons we think it is time we acted.

Football fandom has changed inexorably with the explosion of social media. Before, if any of you wanted to share your opinion with the world, then the post-match phone-in was king.


Now, everyone has the power to broadcast their own views upon anyone who is willing to listen. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat, any impulse to air your voice can be acted upon.


It is both a blessing and a curse.


Surfing the web is now packed with interesting articles and compelling videos, as well as some material that is well worth swerving.


This is where we would like to step in.


We have kept our fingers on the pulse and noticed the rise in mobile broadcasting from within The Emirates during matchdays. 


Our home becomes a hive of sharing, and we would like Arsenal to become the face of such activity.


We already have the most popular internet show, and we feel that every one of our fans can only add to our power on the web.


We not only want to become the biggest club on the pitch – we want to become the biggest club on the world wide web.


So it is with this in the forefront of our minds that we issue you all with some helpful tips and instructions to aid you all in becoming a modern fan and embracing the power you all have at your fingertips.









Become an Arsenal Web Icon


1 – Before Kickoff, locate your nearest Arsenal Fan TV outlet, which will be conveniently located at handy places throughout the stadium. This will help when your opinions before the game starts need to be aired.


2 – All cameras must be turned inward to face yourself. Video’s and pictures during the game of you singing and shouting are welcomed. Remember – if you don’t record it, it didn’t happen.


3 – Success is found in retweets and number of shares. The more vocal your response, the better you will be received. Show your passion not with singing like in days of yore, but with videos!


4 – No matter what the result, you must focus on something that is completely irrelevant. If possible, you also must conveniently forget your basic vocabulary and make up words. This sends the internet into a frothing frenzy and aid our climb toward the top of the internet rankings!


5 – Finally, you may face adversity from some. Pay them no heed, your rise will be parallel to the club. Your passion for The Arsenal shines too brightly for some.

Thank you all and together, we can make Arsenal the biggest thing on the web since ‘Covfefe.’

Yours,

The Arsenal 

​A Day In The Life Of Stan Kroenke

Originally posted on Goonersphere.

Hands steepled together on fingertips, he leaned forward. The groan from the plush leather chair was the only noise in the room.


“So, does anyone have any ideas?”


The faces the question was aimed at, returned nothing but blank slates. Whether it was genuine unknowing or fear of suggesting something the Boss might not appreciate – was not known. Either way, there was no answer.


He stayed leaned forward, a signal that he was taking the lead on this issue.



“Just as I suspected. I’ve no idea why I still employ you. As usual, it will be my expert business acumen that will come to the rescue.”


Still, nothing from the ring of faces.


“You there. Go get me a muffin.”


The nondescript suited person that the Boss pointed at, hurriedly got to his feet and flew out of the door.


“Right. We are here because of my mind. It was I who dragged my teams to where they are today, and it will be I who keeps them there, at the top. Now, I have some ideas in regards to plans, and I want to know your thoughts.”


The horde of faces all nodded in unison.


The face that had been sent to grab a muffin burst through the door, red faced. He shuffled quickly to the Boss, and placed the plump muffin in front of him.


The Boss looked down at the bakery product, and said nothing. He simply gave one curt shake of his head, and the faces that ringed the enormous boardroom desk all massed together on the muffin-bringer. There were muffled noises, the window was opened, and then a swift movement saw the unlucky man hurled out of the window.


“I don’t like blueberry. Now, are we all ready?”


The mass all returned to their seats quickly.


The Boss stood up and began to walk around the desk ponderously, simultaneously speaking to them all and no one.


“KSE Group is at the pinnacle of sports entertainment. Colorado Rapids, the Avalanche in the NHL, the Nuggets in the NBA and the LA Rams in the NFL – they are all the biggest teams in their respective competitions. Thanks to KSE and our expert management of assets.”


No response from the men and women again, bar one woman at the back, who arced one eyebrow at this ludicrous statement. 


She continued her silence though.


“Now, with our hunting channel showing all the glory of the kill, we stand on the precipice of the next level of evolution for our teams. How can we combine the two?”


He continued his slow lap around the furniture and faces.


“Look around you on the walls. Do these animals who have been bested by my rifle not instill in you the thrill of destroying a life? Do they not give you the first seeds of an idea?”


The faces matched the rhino, lion, tiger, bald eagle and giraffe heads that adorned the room. Blank.


“I propose to install half-time shows in all games for my clubs. These shows will capture the glamour of hunting animals or the team mascot in front of spectators. One lucky fan who will be drawn at random, will be handed a gun and an animal will be set loose on the pitch. If they kill the animal in one shot, then they get to take home the carcass as a trophy!”


He wheeled around and awaited a response.


The faces all clapped furiously, desperately trying to curry favour. The woman with the raised eyebrow refrained from clapping. 


She instead raised her hand.


“Mr Kroenke, Sir.”


He turned to face her.


“Speak.”


She stood up slowly.


“Sir, You have a fantastic record in business, and it has nothing at all to do with the fact you were given limitless funds from your wife’s family. You have not dragged your purchased teams lower than they have ever been and making the Rams switch states was a stroke of genius rather than a brainless idea which ignored fans wishes. You have fantastic business sense.”


Stan waited for her to continue.


“I think though, Sir, that bloodsport combining with ACTUAL sport, might just be a little…..barbaric?”


Gasps rang around the room. How dare she question this man? He is beyond reproach!!!!


Stan lowered his head. He then spoke.


“Mary. May I call you Mary?”


Her name was Stephanie.


“Mary, I respect your cojones. You are the only one in years that has spoken in open defiance to my genius ideas. You deserve my respect.”


Stephanie visibly relaxed, shoulders lowering and she let out a deep sigh.


“However, you are wrong.”


Instantly, her chair erupted, driving her straight up toward the ceiling, where she met the concrete with a wet noise. For a second, she stayed up there, until she crumpled to the floor.


“Now, any more objections?”


Not even the slightest movement from the rest of the room.


“Ok, so it is settled. KSE will move sports forward with this excellent idea. We will usher in a new dawn of sport! Hunting in a wonderful duet with sport! The crazed support will want nothing more than a show of blood and death! It is the next step for fans! It is the next step for us!!”


Applause, and whoops of joy. KSE, after starting their hunting channel and facing an enormous backlash, had decided to go full throttle instead of showing refrain.


After all, there is nothing money cannot do.