Arsenal 3-3 Fulham | This mug punter has had enough

There was a time that Aston Villa taking a two goal lead against Man Utd would have me dancing around the living room, excited that the Brummies were going to do us a favour. Not these days. Watching the late kick off this evening I was mildly interested, but no more than that because as an Arsenal supporter United’s league form no longer concerns me. I have as much right to be interested in the title race as a Fulham fan and this afternoon’s draw rammed home that message — we are now on the same level as Fulham, not Man Utd.

I mean no disrespect to the Cottagers, but at the end of the day they are a modest club with limited resources who do well to finish in the top half each season. We are the fourth most valuable club in the world yet today demonstrated that our superiority does not extend to the football pitch. We are punching well below our weight on that front, but that shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering we consistently sell our best players despite having over £100m sitting in the bank.

Anyway, on to the thrilling 3-3 draw at Emirates. Well, thrilling for the neutral, but as maddening as ever for Arsenal fans. We went 2-0 up early doors despite not playing any great football, just like we did in Schalke. Giroud headed in a corner from Walcott and then good work by Arteta while Fulham were temporarily down to ten men allowed the predatory Podolski to poke home number two.

But a contemporary Wenger side is nothing if not brittle and by half time we were level thanks to more woeful marking from a corner (I’m getting bored of mentioning our ridiculous zonal marking system) and a soft header from Kacaniklic. There’d really only been four chances so far and all of them had gone in, which should tell you something about the quality of defending from both sides.

Stan Kroenke and Peter Hill-Wood at Arsenal

These gentlemen couldn't give a shit whether the team wins or not. It's all about the share price

The second half was much more exciting as both sides went for the win. Decent teams are coming to the Emirates looking for three points nowadays and you can see why, as Fulham’s endeavours were rewarded when Arteta clumsily brought down Bryan Ruiz in the area. The classy Berbatov tucked away the penalty.

They didn’t hold the lead for long though as more atrocious defending allowed Giroud a clear sight of goal, but his effort hit the post when he should’ve scored. Luckily for him Walcott retrieved the loose ball, put it on the Frenchman’s head and it was 3-3 with 20 minutes still to play. Breathtaking stuff.

The game was now end to end and I cannot stress how even the match was. Betting on either side would’ve been reckless but it looked like Arsenal would nick it in injury time when Arshavin’s cross struck Sascha Riether’s arm. Ref Phil Dowd — who loves a drama — pointed to the spot for a ridiculously harsh penalty, but justice was done when Schwarzer pushed Arteta’s effort round the post. The full time whistle blew immediately.

I have to admit that I watched the game today with a mild air of disinterest, which alarmed me. I didn’t really cheer when we scored and I wasn’t really upset when we conceded. I laughed out loud at the late penalty decision and didn’t react at all when it was saved. A couple of months ago I’d have celebrated such a dramatic award like a lunatic and would have been crushed when it was spurned, but instead I felt nothing.

I think after years of seeing the same old storyline unfold I’ve developed an immunity to it all. My brain is now refusing to let me care too much about this current team because it knows there will be no happy outcome. It knows what will happen because it has seen it all before. It knows what Wenger will say because it has heard it all before. My self-defence mechanism is kicking in and I am becoming less emotional about it all by the day.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the club and will support it until my last breath, but the current state of affairs has left me extremely disenchanted. I had to give up my season ticket this summer because with my young family taking priority I could no longer afford it.

Also, I didn’t feel like a valued supporter anymore — rather an expendable customer who was asked to put hard-earned money into the club which the board would stockpile instead of spending on the team. A healthy cash reserve and lower debt levels drives up the share price you see and will allow Kroenke and the major shareholders on the board to make a killing when he ultimately decides to sell up and cash in. Peter Hill-Wood summed it up when he arrogantly said at the end of the AGM last month: “Thank you for your interest in our affairs.”

Well, my interest is waning Mr Hill-Wood because I’m fed up with feeling like a mug for hoping things will change. We should be level on points with the Man Utds of this world, not the Fulhams. I could accept it if the players gave 100% every week, were properly motivated by their manager and the club was doing its best to make us competitive on the pitch, but neither is happening.

What saddens me most is that we’ve got Spurs next week and to be perfectly honest I’m pretty ambivalent to the final score. I want to care, I really do, but current club policy has left me very disillusioned.

I want my Arsenal back.

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Comments
  1. AJH

    Superb article and it captures exactly my own feelings. I love the club and always will but i am finding myself less interested every week. I appreciate that we have no divine right to win a game or a trophy. However the nature of the performances suggest we are weak all over the park and we are seeing players who are frankly out of their depth, being managed by a man who has nothing left in the tank.
    The truth is the club is not given a chance by it’s hierarchy. Selling our best players every year and making sure we replace them at half the price.No one is asking for us to spend city like money but if you sell one of the worlds best front men for 24 million, why can’t we buy another of the worlds best for 24 million? All this bloody club care about it money in the bank. We partake in competitions for the sake of going through the motions and picking up a cheque. It’s going to take a minor miracle to make the top 4 this year and even if we do this painful, pathetic ritual will just start over again.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 42 Thumb down 2

    • Gooner Steve

      “It’s going to take a minor miracle to make the top 4 this year and even if we do this painful, pathetic ritual will just start over again.”

      Exactly. I think that’s why my enthusiasm is wearing thin. When will it end? When will we start competing on the pitch again? If Gazidis is really waiting for FFP to level up the playing field he’s in for a rude awakening. Chelsea have just announced their first ever profitable year, so the hope that they and City will suddenly stop spending silly money on players and wages is not going to happen.

      Anyway, FFP is just a smokescreen, it’s all about the share price as I said in my article. Paying star players to win trophies won’t increase the share price, but selling them to finish fourth will.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  2. goon

    Is it just me or has Ramsey lost everything he used to have before the injury? I want to give him time, and I want to believe he will get back on track but damn, is he is pissing me off! Fair enough he’s poor on the right, but even when he plays central he is awful. Always gets outmuscled, loses the ball as often as arshavin! Completely forgotten how to pass forward, and when he doesn’t lose the ball, he slows down our attack every time! Eisfeld should be given a run in the team over ramsey right now. Not to mention the stupid fouls he makes due to being caught overplaying the ball. Him and Arshavin are just the complete opposite players to what they used to be. It’s baffling.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 18 Thumb down 3

    • Aussie Gooner

      I really don’t think it’s just you. I went absolutely nuts when late in the second half Ramsey was deep in Fulham territory having just beaten a few players, instead of crossing for giroud to challenge he scuffled the ball back through his feet and passed back to a defender which killed all momentum. Giving someone else ago would be good for the team, so stale and predictable.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. OMGArsenal

    Why don’t you whine off to some Club that suits your fancy mate….and let the true supporters stick with the Club they actually do love. It isn’t YOUR Club its our Club mate so don’t get your knickers in a twist about everything and anything Board or Wenger-related. Your post is childish and one dimensional: a simple whine and moan about what you see as the real issues at AFC….but if the way we are so far is sufficient to drive you away, then go……

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 61

    • Gooner Steve

      I knew there’d be at least one neanderthal beating his chest and claiming I’m not a true supporter. You are the kind of blinkered idiot who thinks that questioning the policies of your beloved club when they lose their way equals disloyalty. It’s not.

      It’s all very well criticising my post, but I don’t see you coming up with any answers. Try these ones on for size:

      Why can’t we beat the likes of Fulham, Sunderland, Stoke or Norwich?
      Why do we keep losing our best players?
      Why don’t we challenge for the title anymore?
      Why haven’t we won a trophy in seven years?
      What is the real intention of Stan Kroenke?
      Why do we have a cash surplus of £170m while the playing squad desperately needs investment?
      Why did Gazidis get a 36% pay rise while supporters pay the highest prices in Europe?

      You don’t know do you. In which case — shut the fuck up.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 59 Thumb down 1

    • trugun

      So are you saying that the writer is not a true supporter? I’ve supported The Arsenal for the past sixty years, and am inclined to agree with the guy, it has nothing to do with the love and support you have for the team its the guys opinion on a team that is just not producing the results. I have been through the bad days of the fifties and sixties and with the resources we have now there is no way we should be watching the crap being produced by this current Arsenal side. Some one said last week that there is something very wrong with Arsenal and never a truer word was said. Having a pop at someones support isn’t the answer, but if thats how you feel then good luck to you tell me next year when we are in a relegation scrap that your still ok with this dross that’s being produced,I’ll still be watching but the with the same lack of intensity as the writer.

      Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 26 Thumb down 0

  4. danish gooner

    Wenger and the board is not North Chorea,all it takes is to put massive pressure on them by staying away and not buy the merchandise.Personally i have stopped going and i am not gonna spend a dime before Wenger is gone.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  5. Mike

    Totally agree.
    I was at the Emirates and when we got the penalty I just didn’t feel anything, perhaps a mild elation.
    When we missed, nod I guessed we would, I still felt nothing.
    My feelings are becoming more and more numb.
    I used to support Wenger come what may, now I am one of the disillusioned

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  6. robin banks

    OMGArsenal – If you’re going to have a pop at someone, at least have the bollox not to call him mate. You two bob mug.

    The only solution for Arsenal is to kill that French paedophile and then sack the fucker.

    And yes, in that order.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 2 Thumb down 21

  7. Shanzuman

    OMGArsenal what an indocrinated blinkered idiot you are! How dare you tell us who care more than you wankers about our club’s destiny, to go and support another club. The writer is 100% correct and is not childish or one dimensional but factual! As for robin banks, I don’t think you are a gooner when you speak that sort of language. I repeat my self on this blog, Arsene Wenger please go now before it is too late, you have done well for us but the game has moved on without you so go and let someone else try a different approach. I too did not feel any excitement this afternoon and somehow had an inkling that we would not finish with a positive result. Looking AW’s face on the touchline, he too did not look confident! I hear Guardiola is still available, so go and get him Arsenal before the Chelsea lot sign him up!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  8. James

    I also feel detached from the club. Hope the team does well, but have lost all faith and expectations, and don’t even feel anger when they experience the usual failings, just a sigh and feeling of same old, same old. Best I ever hope for now is to finish in the top 4 and win a Cup, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get behind this team.

    Disagree with the statement it will take a minor miracle to finish in the top 4 this season, however. Can’t see us finishing close to Man City, Man Utd or Chelsea, but still see little reason to believe we won’t finish ahead of Spurs, Everton, Newcastle and Liverpool again. Everton are looking the strongest at the moment, but 1 or 2 key injuries would hinder them and wouldn’t be surprised if they faded late into the season.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. Sahoo

    I love this club and always will. Have been supporing Arsenal since 1994. But it’s a bit hard to take the same mistakes being repeated. My other concern is since we are making our best players play day in day out, soon they will also start performing poorly. Arteta had a poor game today and Cazola did nothing special. We should have never gone into this season without buying another defensive midfielder and defensively at least a left back.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  10. Anonymous

    omg arsenal u are a blinkered twat. wake up an smell the coffee and not your own delusion, like our beloved mr wenger (sarcasm)

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  11. Ed

    I have to agree with the OP, at the minute as an Arsenal fan I feel like the club is pissing down my back and telling me it is raining.

    Plain and simple we don’t have the players to compete!
    Utd, Chelsea and city all have 2 teams they can field, if Arsenal get one injury it costs us dearly! Imagine this side taking the field without Santi and Arteta, even the relegation teams would tear us a new asshole!

    Much is made of RVP but Jesus he was not what made Arsenal successful, he sat on the bench broken for most of his career and didn’t make a discernible difference until last season when there were no other quality players left. Even then one man can’t make a team strong enough to challenge for silverware.

    We don’t need to buy one super striker to make the team work we need a raft of players coming in to give a good rounded team and the depth of squad to absorb a few injuries.

    The busy Christmas season is fast approaching and I feel that santa will have a few injuries in his bag for Arsenal.

    If any of us think that one or two new players, however expensive they may be, coming in through the January window will slot perfectly into the team and save the season we are wrong. A top four is a very optimistic forecast for Arsenal.

    We are all being played for mugs and idiots by this board, they take our money and give nothing back to the team.

    I know it is often said but we should stop spending money to boost share values but we really should. Boycott a game entirely, leave the stands empty, it is the only weapon we have and we should use it! Forums, online posts, petitions and the footballing community laughing at us make no difference to this board.

    The resounding sound of silence in an empty stadium might make them take notice but I doubt it.

    The drop in share prices caused by the worldwide news coverage that such an event would receive would cause sould have them spitting up their champagne and reaching for the phone…

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  12. Uzochukwu

    We’re surely a mid table club now. Please how do i manage to remove my mind like you guys have done. I really wish to be less interested as my blood pressure is driving up, so much that my wife dreads any day arsenal has a match.

    My greatest fear is that even buying more quality might not help us, as we have left it a lil bit too late.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. sarin

    empty the stadiums

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  14. sarin

    empty the statiums just for one game

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  15. Ed

    OK I would like to add to my last post.

    Boycott
    Boycott
    Boycott

    Our joint responsibility is more than supporting Arsenal, in this situation we need to man up and step up to make something happen to save the club from mediocrity.

    Are you a real Arsenal fan prepared to do something for the club or are you just gonna continue bitching and procrastinating?

    If you can grow some balls then let’s choose a date and BOYCOTT!

    I doubt there will be enough consensus to make it happen but I would like to put a date forward; Sat 25th November.

    Let’s get together and make something happen.
    Go post that date for a boycott, let’s see if this has legs, let’s see if you are real Arsenal fans, let’s work together to make our voice deafening by our silence and save our club.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  16. Ed

    TYPO Sat 24th November

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  17. GGG

    Well, I think many of us feel the same. Wenger must leave, this is the only solution.
    I remember reading some blog before the match against Man U, Sir Alex said before the match that it will be a “hard-ish” game. I really was upset. How arrogant he is to say that and he is going to face arsenal.
    But after the match, I understood what he said. He outplayed Wenger easily and it appeared as he doesn’t give arsenal a damn. In fact, it wasn’t a hard-ish game as he said, it was a walk in the park. I felt that he said “hard-ish” just to show some respect to Wenger but he knows how to beat him using as less effort as he could.
    I’m really angry that we are no match for the big four now, and espeacialy for Man U. Just since when Man U can easily come and take a guranteed win, and what burns me more is that he (The Sir) and his team and fans are making laugh out of us, but we can’t do anything.

    Fans who watch arsenal matches this season can predict the subs AW will make in every match, at 60′ he subs giroud with girvenho, then at 70′ he takes ramsy and boldi out and put in Theo and OX. Whatever team he starts over with, he make the same subs at the same times as he is programmed to do that, not on the match circumstances. The manger job is start with a team depending on which team you are facing and to notice what is wrong with your team during the game and make subs on the match outcomes.
    And about Ramsy, I bet Wenger love him so much. More than his wife and his sons. since the last season and Ramsy play every match as a starter although he is out of form. He looks like he plays alone in the field, slow, kills the counterattacks, loose the ball easily and alway try to play the difficult long passes even though he can’t as he has totti’s accurate foot, well com’on.
    Wenger, you have nothing to add to the team, so just leave and let a real couch come and try make the best of these players.

    Last thing, I hope Walcott will stay at the team and Santi and the other good players be patients and stay in the form.

    sorry for the long reply.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  18. dboy ( RVP WAS RIGHT NO AMBITION)

    Guys I love Arsenal and i will till I die. But before I die of a broken heart and stress, let me just say this. Before Arsene Wenger there was Arsenal. Before Kroenke, Gazidiz, Hillwood, there was Arsenal. This team is legendary and it is us the supporters and some fantastic managers and players that made it legendary. I have decided that i will not watch another game as long as the board, Wenger and the AKB’s Are f&^king up our club. Yes you heard right, all those Arsene Knows Best brigadiers. Just tell us what does he know. Does he know how to motivate his players? Does he know how to select the best team for the job? Does he know how to get his players fit since they cannot keep a decent pace for 90 minutes? Does how know how to outsmart the opposition manager? Please AKB’s tell us for the past seven years what is it that Wenger knows? Arsene Wenger had a three year plan what happened to that? AKB’s come on here week after week defending Wenger. OH it is not Wenger’s fault it is the players fault. Tell us who manages those players? Who should make sure he has the right players for the JOB? The same AKB’s come here lambasting Wenger for his stubbornness and suggesting wich formations to use wich players to select, wich we all know by now will only happen in LALA LAND. Yes AKB’s you are just as much to blame as The board because you support Wenger with the same ideology as the board. The same ideology that was concocted by the board and given to Wenger to turn you into mindless zombies!
    Hypnotized by ARSENE KNOWS BEST. IN ARSENE WE TRUST. I am sure the man doesn’t even trust himself. He must be asking himself after every draw how did i get away with that point? I am tired But i am not dead.I am said for ARSENAL FC MY BELOVED TEAM. but at the same time I am glad that more and more AKB’s are waking up don’t think we havent being following your comments!!!!

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. Danny

    I think this is a well thought out article from a true fan. My first season ticket was the year Bruce Rioch came in to mansfield the side and I’ve had one ever since. The price of that ticket was £327 in the clock end. Every June / July I have the same conversations with my brothers (also gold members) about weather we can still afford to invest in another season. As always, we find the money, sticking it on another card and worrying about paying off in years to come. We do it because we have faith that Arsensl, Wenger and the Board care enough to challenge for honours. It’s now blind faith and I don’t think I’ll be able to keep paying these prices knowing that profits are more important to the club than success or the fans. I’ve never felt so detached from the club.

    How will they get the message? A football club is NOTHING without its fan base, and Arsenal have a very loyal one. People can vote with their feet, just one game in an empty stadium would ring alarm bells for the board. Organising a “stay away” protest, no matter who the opposition would set alarm bells ringing.

    If there is no revenue, there are no pay rises for Mr Gazides and Co.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. Damon

    It’s very convenient to blame the board but I can’t help look at those players out there and think they’re under performing. Perhaps it’s the system, maybe the management, but it was hard to see how Ivan Gazidis could have done much about the defending from set pieces and slack play at the back yesterday. With a full team of Scz, Sagna, Per, Tommy V, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Giroud, Podolski all playing to their potential we should be a match for most teams. If we’re not then Wenger has to answer some serious questions. Hopefully Rosicky can come back soon and add the drive from midfield that’s been missing since Diaby fell to pieces again. I’d say we’re a left back option and a top quality striker short of being a title chasing squad, but as I say, we are under performing and I’m afraid the buck stops with the manager.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Anonymous

    This team is not good enough and will never grow to be with some of the players we currently have. Keep Szc, Mertesacker, Vermaelan, Sagna Koscienly, Coq, Frimpong, Wilshere, Arteta, Cozorla, Ox, Walcott, Poldolski and maybe giroud, gervinho and diaby if he can stay fit. Sell everyone else.

    Agree or Disagree?   Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0