Apr 062011

A few weeks ago I suggested that the lack of midweek games would be beneficial for our run-in – it would give us adequate time to rest and recuperate, allowing the likes of Cesc and Walcott to go easy on their straining muscles, and would enable us to press harder in the matches themselves in the knowledge that the next game was seven days away. Clutching at straws, perhaps, but it was the silver lining to the cloud of being out of every cup competition.

This week, however, it hasn’t felt particularly healthy. Since Saturday’s draw with Blackburn, the mood around the club has been sombre, which has been reflected in the fanbase. ‘Civil war’ has been bandied around as a phrase, and while that is a gross exaggeration – the noisy minority are being portrayed as more than that – it is fair to say that there has been a significant drop in belief in the team, and a few of the individuals in it. Another match might have been exactly the fillip we needed.

Some writers attempted to broker the peace. The top bloggers, as always, provided sensible, balanced and rational views only to be jumped on from both sides, and it seemed the weekend could not come quickly enough. What good could come out of this midweek period?

And then Spurs came along. Now, if there are any Spurs fans reading, and I suspect there are, since I seem to get quite a lot, yes you made it a round further than we did – congratulations on that. But I have to say I enjoyed the humbling at the hands of Real Madrid, partly because of the overblown claims of the fans (getting one round further in a cup competition, in you only appearance in it, does not make you a bigger club, sorry) but probably more because of the media love-in, particularly from Sky.

Last night their coverage was excruciating and hilarious in equal parts. Ray Wilkins spent the entire first half calling Spurs ‘we’, making excuses for every pass that went astray, but also patronising them to the extreme by saying ‘Well done’ after successfully executing simple passes, in the manner you talk to a three year old.

Post-match was even funnier. Jamie Redknapp and Glenn Hoddle proceeded to talk utter nonsense (even by their standards) about how Spurs deserved a goal because of their impressive campaign, or how they still might have a chance at the Lane. They looked distraught, completely forgetting their jobs of being analysts and delving straight into cover-up mode.

It was all because of Crouch’s red card, they said. I have no doubt that going down to ten men affected them, but it does gloss over the fact that a) he put in two stupid challenges in 15 minutes and deserved it and b) Spurs were already losing and being outclassed by that point. It was all because Lennon was unavailable, they said. I’ll remember that next time they fail to offer it as mitigation when we lose. It was excuse after excuse – Hoddle even said that everything conspired against Spurs and Real only won because of ‘favourable circumstances’. What circumstances were those? Being better footballers?

And to add icing to the cake, Spurs could barely point to their Inter win by the end of it, since the Italians were being spanked 5-2 in Italy by Schalke, who are themselves in the bottom half of the Bundesliga.

Usually I’m not one to gloat, and I normally ignore most Spurs results, but last night was satisfying because of all the overblown Spurs platitudes that we’ve had to put up with all season, for Redknapp, for Bale, for Modric. Talents all, but overhyped to the max. Besides, I had to sit on the train home for two hours prior to last night’s game listening to two guys praise Redknapp to the rafters and claiming Bale was worth twice as much as Ronaldo because he doesn’t dive. Yes, they really said that.

But more than that, I want to thank Spurs for doing what no-one else could – uniting the Arsenal fans, cheering us up, and making us look to the weekend with more of a smile on our faces.

Appreciate it.

  33 Responses to “Spurs manage the impossible by uniting the Arsenal fanbase”

  1. “overblown Spurs platitudes” that’s rich coming from the team that talked about the clash with Barca was going to be the two teams that play the best football then got absolutely humiliated over two legs! Weren’t you the fans and the team that were talking of winning all four trophies before being humiliated and knocked out of three in the space of two week! Aren’t you the team that promised to win the prem now you only have one trophy left in your sites and then break down and draw against very mediocre oposition?

    “It was excuse after excuse”, sound familiar? I thought Wenger invented the concept, he has definitely taken it to another level.

    “overhyped to the max”, I would say you are spot on, Arsenal are exactly that.

    Like Spurs say, “there’s always next year!

    • Thought I’d get responses like this. It is fair to say that part of last night’s lift is sweet relief from our own troubles, I agree with that point, but…

      We weren’t talking about a quadruple. None of us were. It was a media-created story based around a comment Wenger made that he wouldn’t sacrifice any particular competition. No-win one for him there.

      The overblown platitudes come from the fact that many were saying Spurs were going to win the CL after they’d beaten what has been proven to be a very poor Inter team. But as far as pure football goes, I would defend anyone making those comments about Arsenal-Barcelona – yes, they proved themselves to be on another level, I make no excuses or denial of that, but the tie was an epic encounter. Yes, 4-3 flattered us, but you cannot deny they were two fabulous matches played at a very high level (more so by Barca, admittedly, but we played our part).

      I’m not giving up on this season. Were Arsenal and United facing the same fixture list, I’d be extremely pessimistic, but your congestion and lack of defenders is what gives me hope.

      • Well said Pete. The red card is no excuse but anyone who ACTUALLY WATCHES ARSENAL PLAY will know (especially from the 1st leg) that we play well towards the end of games and Bendtner had an easy chance to not only shoot but to score and win us the tie! RVP sending off 100% changed our chances of keeping the ball abit and having chsances.

        We still have a chance to win this league… Not a massive chance but a chance none the less… And any united fan giving it the large should save that until you come to the emirates! We’ll be BANG up for that 1!!!!!!

    • How exactly were we “absolutely humiliated” by Barca over 2 legs? We lost by a single goal and were actually winning until we were given possibly the most baffling red card in a long, long time.

      Hopefully the Bale hype machine will shut up now and the media campaign for him to get all the awards you can possibly get (and then some) will stop.

      • Oh please!
        I don’t want this to become a slanging match, but seriously, you couldn’t get to the ball. The second leg you had zero shots at goal which is a first in any match.
        Stop using the red card as an excuse, you did nothing before he was sent off and nothing after.
        The score did not reflect that game and you know it.

        • You’re right and wrong. 4-3 was not a true reflection, I think any of us would agree with that, but to say the red card made no difference is wrong.

          Barcelona are a better team than us. To win, we needed to defend heroically, they needed to miss chances etc. What made that red card so frustrating was that those events were happening, and we were 20 mins from knocking them out as a result.

          Also, they would have had to press forward more and more, in the knowledge that one away goal from us and the tie was over. RVP’s red took that threat away.

          I’m not denying Barca were or are a better team. But the ‘they had all the play/shots so were going to win anyway’ argument is a fallacy. It is true of many games we don’t win.

        • OK we didn’t have a shot and we got outplayed we can admit that BUT before the sending off if the score stayed as 3-2 to us would we have got through? YES. Even if they scored another goal if would have been 3-3 and we would have had extra time. How can you even argue, Tottenham didn’t even have a shot on target against Real AND you lost 4-0. Real aren’t even in the same league as Barcelona anymore. Crouch’s red card was deserved, Van Persie’s wasn’t. I actually wish you could somehow score 5 goals against Real on the return leg so you can face Barcelona in the next round just to see you lose 10-0 over the two legs.

    • Gosh! Even though Arsenal got knocked out of all competitions we are still higher than Spurs in the league, still went further than you in the Carling Cup & the F.A Cup. If we didn’t play Barcelona (the best team in the world) I guarantee we would be in this round of the CL. Barcelona beat us 4-3 on Aggregate (and Van Persie got wrongly sent off when the score was at 3-2 to us) It was still all to play for. Barcelona beat Real Madrid 5-0. Madrid beat Tottenham 4-0 and it has only been the first leg. Do the Maths! That’s like a 9-0 difference between Barcelona and Tottenham. Since we only lost by one goal to Barca Mathmetically we are 8 goals better than Spurs.

      Also don’t ever try and say you missed Lennon that’s why you lost, you got completely outplayed! We missed Walcott but we weren’t moaning, just accept that your only two achievements of this season are that you went 1 round further than the mighty Arsenal in the Champions League (even though you faced a MUCH easier opponent & second you will be in the Europa League next season, Yes that’s right Channel 5 & ITV (don’t worry they have HD channels now so its fine. As an Arsenal fan let me tell something Vital. Unless you pick up a trophy at the end of a competition its not really an achievement not matter what round get knocked out. I would rather us being knocked out of the CL last round and having more time to focus on the league than getting to the Final and forfeiting the league because of Fatigue, losing that to United and then lose to Barca in the CL final.

      We never said anything about Quadruple, the media overhyped the situation of us being in all four competitions. Next season when you don’t get your Champions League place Bale will go United or Barcelona, Redknapp will manage England and you will be back at mid-table where you Belong! Peasant. Your Logo is a Hen standing on a beach ball. Spurs Scum.

      • I think he/she is a United fan, not a Spurs fan…

        • Yeah I just realised lol. It don’t matter anyway United will not win the Champions League.

          • I’m torn. I actually have a feeling they will, which would be the best thing for our title challenge.

            And yes, that is a filthy thing for me to have said, but it is my honest opinion. I think Barcelona can be beaten.

            • I think United or Chelsea will get to the Finals but they will not win it. I’m torn between Chelsea or Man Utd today. I want Chelsea to win because I know more United fans and they are just pricks, on the other hand I want Man Utd to win so they will have more games in their schedule so we can have more of a chance to win. Barcelona can be beaten we proved that but I just think they are determined to win the CL this year.

      • Clinical, accurate and well said. Thank you Lev Reynolds.

    • I hardly think 4-3 is a humiliation, we fought back well at home to take a lead to Barcelona, where they were utterly brilliant (aided by a staggering refereeing decision).

      And the only reason we went out of three cups in a week was that we were still in them in the first place :)

      Let’s see about the league…

  2. I’d just like to add to the uniting of Arsenal fanbase, by the comments made by Harry Redknapp a few days ago, saying that he grew up being fanatic of Arsenal and his dad was a mad Gooner where he went to many games at Highbury and even said that if the job was available he would have loved to have managed Arsenal. That must be a kick in the teeth for all those Spurs fans! One of your greatest managers ever would have prefered to manager your biggest rivals. lol that has to be one of the best things I’ve ever heard loooooool.

  3. “Civil war’ has been bandied around as a phrase, and while that is a gross exaggeration – the noisy minority ….. ”

    Gross exaggeration??!! Noisy MINORITY??! Hoi! … I suppose you speak with facts on hand … you have obviously done a poll of some sort… Where are the results?? Come on … hand it over mate!

    “The top bloggers, as always, provided sensible, balanced and rational views only to be jumped on from both sides, …. ”

    Oh really … so if you aren’t a member of the Arse Wenger licking brigade … then you aren’t a “top blogger”??? Is that it?? Who is rating bloggers these days anyway?? There must be some sort of accredited rating agency right?? How else could you have concluded who the top bloggers were?? And if they did not give what you considered were balanced and rational views … then they were just what … bottom bloggers?? What ? … pray tell us …!

    You know … I have been saying what a moron Wenger is … really, you make him sound like a genius! Now – go publish that!

    • You want numbers? A survey was recently performed by YouAreMyArsenal (Twitter username) which was filled in by 1000 fans, of all opinions. Some wanted Wenger out, most didn’t. Most also acknowledged things had to change, but the overwhelming majority suggested that the manager had to change, rather than a change of manager.

      The top bloggers comment is my personal opinion. I read bloggers of all opinions, but I find it best when they present a balanced view – going blindly in one direction or another never makes for a good read. So if you’re asking who is rating them, then I am. It had nothing to do with how optimistic or pessimistic you are, which I thought I made clear by saying they present things in a balanced way. You have interpreted that in the most wildly inaccurate way.

      If I don’t think bloggers present sensible and balanced views, then no, I tend to go off them fairly quickly. Balance works both ways, if you can’t see the opposing angle you’ll never adapt your own, which is where myopia sets in. It happens at both ends of the scale.

      • What does a 1000 twitter followers have to do with stating that the people who want change are simply a noisy minority? I’ve spoken to many on away trips, pubs round Islington and I dont believe for a second that it is a minoruty. You apologists need to start waking up. Look at the post below by “fourstar”. The fella tells people to fuck off simply for the crime of having the temerity to criticise his beloved deity. What kind of moronic nonsense is that exactly? No one wants to resonably talk about what is wrong with the club (and there are many things wrong) and with the team (and there are definately many things wrong there) without a member of the AKB telling people to go and support sp*rs or to fuck off. Arsenal were around years before he came along and will be here years after he is long gone, you lot think that this club would crumble if he left. What a joke. The man has obvious failings and we must say nothing except sing one arsene wenger everytime we beat a no mark team at home by a couple of goals and accept him because of trophies he won 6/7 years ago. Its a joke.

        • No, fourstar was getting irritated at the aggressive nature of the slanging. I myself am an optimist and make no apologies for that. I accept there are issues but what I don’t understand if why many who disagree with what Wenger does can’t just say ‘I think we should be doing this’ instead of ‘Wenger is a cunt’, which is the brunt of many’s argument.

          I’m all up for debate, but coming on with a ‘wankerWenger’ username is just asking for people to react badly to you.

          As for the Twitter account, it is a survey, and many of those are the regular attending fans, both home and away. Is it comprehensive enough to be able to say its findings are true across the board? No. Does it give you an example of the mood? Yes.

          I’ve also spoken to many and I find the ‘Wenger out’ opinion is growing, but is not as large a percentage as the media perception would have you believe. Perhaps we are talking to different people – either way, without massive nationwide surveys it is all opinion and conjecture.

          I’m happy to talk about what is reasonably wrong with the club, I often do. My frustration is the opening gambits of many who want Wenger gone, which have the tone of someone already two hours into a slanging match. I’ve never understood it.

          • Ok lets not dwell on this but seriously, 1000 twitter account holders; “many who are regular attending fans” that’s a very small percentage off the emirates crowd, and 60,000 is a very very small % of the overall amount of Arsenal fans there are in this world so to say this gives you an example of the mood is simply silly. Besides we know the types of fan that goes to the ground, about half probably only knew of Arsenal when Arsene arrived so no, it doesnt give you an example of the mood. Try speaking to the ones who go away (like I do) here and in Europe as well as the pubs (as i mentioned) in Islington / Holloway Road. That would give you more of example of the general feeling I would say.

    • Brave words, if a little heavy on the punctuation.

      Presumably if we *do* manage to win the title you won’t be celebrating with the rest of us, preferring to wail and gnash your teeth from in front of a computer somewhere.

      Just take a moment to acknowledge what Arsene Wenger has done for this club and then take another moment to think who else could have achieved it.

      And then fuck off.

      • I have acknowledged what he done in the 90’s and mid 2000’s. Are we also allowed to acknowledge what he’s done since the 2005/06 season?

        • Absolutely, at least you are civil about it unlike ‘wwmg’ up there…

          In the last 5 years, Wenger has made some great decisions, some so-so decisions and some poor decisions. He’s also had some bad luck and had players leave when he might not have expected them to. He’s probably not strengthened in the right areas quickly enough and/or some of the youth have not come good as quickly or as fully as he had hoped.

          That said, I simply don’t agree that a different manager would have had any more success in the same time frame, given the players & money available (and let’s be honest, none of us knows how much that is or isn’t…)

          So let’s discuss who you think would be suitable to take the club forward from here, both from a playing & financial perspective. And, crucially, how long would you give them before they are deemed a ‘failure’?

          • There are any number of people who potentially could take over. It’s not our job to decide. But it is up to the board to do this and they need to do their job which is to make sure the manager has an answer as to why the constant failures (the lack of squad; the lack of keeper, not replacing quality etc etc) have not been addressed adequetly enough over the years.

            We know Arsene has gone for players, so he acknowledges the need to strengthen but refuses to go over 1p of what teams ask for. I dont want to hear about bankrupting the club, spending an extra 1m (such as for a keeper like schwarzer for example) will not break the club. Far from it, but it could give us the experience for what we need, but his self indulgent stubborness is what stops the development of this team. You can manage and be prudent but be a manager, purchasing manager, finance director? His job is to manager and let the board (who over the years have always been prudent) deal with the cashflow.

            This idea that the apologists have that people who dare crticise Wenger, all want the club to spend 100m on players. This is farcical. Its the convenient default answer. WE DONT NEED TO SPEND £100M. But 2 or 3 quality players (experience doesnt mean expensive) over the last 3 or 4 years, I guarantee would have won us trophies, we have only needed 2 or 3 players overall not 5 or 6 in each position. He however continues with tripe such as your Denilsons, Diaby’s etc giving them contract extensions…. having the 4th highest wage bill (only because City have suddenly spent shedloads otherwise we would be 3rd) says it all. Such a a mediocre squad and our first 11 is great, but WHEN ARE THEY EVER FIT?

            The constant rhetoric about how his players will do this, do that when everyone knows his players arent up to the job, is simply ridiculous. 2- 0 3–2 down against sp*rs? 4-0 UP AGAINST A POOR NEWCASTLE WITH 20 MINS TO GO AND IT ENDS UP 4-4!!!????

            He has lost the players, HIS policy and his only. Tactically innept. We need freshening up. He’s needs to go.

    • OK you want Wenger to go, your opinion, fair enough. But at least show the man a bit of respect there is absolutely no need to be so insulting, just look at the stupid name you post under. You are an absolute moron, and as such renders your views totally worthless.

  4. You lots played as ugly as your manager’s face…wonder how you mugs would have fared against barca..shit n ham!

  5. 4-3 was not a true reflection of the Barcenal match. But neither was the 2-0 against United or the 2-1 against Birmingham, we outplayed both of them and lost. Outplaying somebody doesn’t mean you will always win. I honestly believed that if Van Persie didn’t get sent off we maybe could have scraped it.

    • The irony of the press criticising our tippy tappy football, creating loads of chances and missing them, and then pointing to Barcelona’s shot count against us as the difference seems to be lost on many.

  6. Loved this from fourstar:

    Brave words, if a little heavy on the punctuation.

    Presumably if we *do* manage to win the title you won’t be celebrating with the rest of us, preferring to wail and gnash your teeth from in front of a computer somewhere.

    Just take a moment to acknowledge what Arsene Wenger has done for this club and then take another moment to think who else could have achieved it.

    And then fuck off.


    Take a moment to consider the plight of Spurs, reflect on the abject humiliation of a team wanting to play with the big boys, and almost starting to believe their own rhetoric;
    then (without any reference whatsoever to our beating the best team ever this side of the Flood,)

    sigh…..feel a moment of commiseration, and then, leaning on the bathos tree,

    start a long deep uncontrollable chuckle till the end of the season

  7. Hahahahaha!! It was hilarious listening to the Sky commentaries yesterday night, making excuses for each folly and applauding even a 2-pass move by the Spurs, almost willing them to score 1 goal, so they can have a more respectable scoreline to take back. I recall how mercilles they were, almost enjoying the dominant performance of Barca, when the Arsenal was trying against the odds to peg back the best team on the planet.

    I say, tough luck to them all.

  8. Maybe Glenn Hoddle needs to admit that God is not a Spurs fan. After all, the Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness before they reached the Promised Land. Spurs are now on 50, and the only thing promised to them is more humiliation!

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