ANR : How can a blogger quit with readers like these?

From James : Myles could be like Aung San Suu Kyi


Am I really comparing you to the legendary Burmese democratic campaigner? Well not really, but you could take inspiration from her:

In this article

She says that she isn’t against the Burmese military dictatorship and wants to work with them.

Do we really believe that having just been released from 7 years of solitary confinement for the offence of winning the elections, she doesn’t harbour resentment? You bet your socks she does. And yet she knows this is impossible, and works towards a solution that is attainable.

So then to Myles. Until Arsenal’s debt is paid off, we do not have the finances to compete with the ManU, Citeh or Chavski. The only hope we have is Arsene Wenger’s amazing ability to almost achieve without spending and keeping the money rolling in. We cannot afford to do without him just yet even though we all know his failings. At this rate within 2 years, we will either be dominant with little debt, or not dominant with little debt.

Your recent article about him needing his sidekick DD back echoed my own thoughts of the last few years.

So Mr Palmer, can you take inspiration from the great Aung San Suu Kyi and try to achieve what is attainable – the replacement (or restoration) of DD in the Arsenal hierarchy? God knows he needs some help.

-James (Proud AKB member)

From Sean : Wenger the Lost General

Hail the General that we call the Professor – cause’ he knows!

He talks about having three world-class goalkeepers at Arsenal (yes the current team), where he has NONE.  Almunia – hahaha, forget it we know how crap he is; Flappyhandski – well still not convincing enough; and Sez – potential but had one game, ONE GAME, and Wenger thinks he has THREE world-class keepers, and this is a happy problem to have.

Bloody hell, have we gone back to high school standard?  I feel sick!!!

From Petri Pietilä  : In the cold light of day – who would pay for some of Arsenal’s players?

As the daylight diminishes and darkness draws upon the North, so seems to grow the doom and gloom over The Arsene Wenger Experience.

I’ve long been wondering who would actually pay any money for some of the Arsenal first team players if they were up for sale. To me it looks as most would be just let go free if anyone would be interested in them.

Almunia, Fabianski, Clichy, Diaby, Denilson, Song (for this newborn ‘attacking’ version), Eboue, Vela, Walcott, Van Persie. Some once great names and highly appreciated by Wenger but apart from maybe two or three names from that list, not a great amount of pounds should be paid for their footballing services.

Would another premier league team seriously consider paying any money for Almunia, Denilson, Eboue and Vela? Tottenham could go for Diaby but who else? It’s hard to see Van Persie keeping fit in any team, and Walcott could be suited for some other team (which?). Song of last year would have been more valuable but his offensive-mindedness has really surprised me this year after a rather good last season. Did Wenger tell him to loiter more in the offensive end? Why?

Arsenal has advanced greatly since the late 70’s, when I started watching and hoping for their success, but it is now again hard for me to see a happy ending to the campaign of this current team and Arsene’s efforts.

There have been many postings about Wenger with which I agree. It takes a great man to admit he has been wrong so I’m wondering if, or when, we shall hear from Arsene that all did not go according to the great plans he had.

To some extent I’m hoping to be proven wrong by Arsene’s men but I’m enjoying the betting (against them as it is a win-win situation) winnings that help pay my loans.

Wishing you a refreshing future and more joy than what this season has brought so far!

Myles replies to Petri

Darkness? Are you a young man in Finland?


Good spotting. I am in Finland. Not so young anymore but born in 1971. Started watching Arsenal from a black and white telly with my dad in the 70’s. Saturday’s were an event to wait for: first a sauna and then watching the only match they showed.

We get only a few hours of daylight now, so it is dark and the loss of light affects some people, me included. Spring time will be better but I wonder if there will be a Tony Adams 1998 -like moment in May for Arsene’s Arsenal any more.

Funnily enough, after I had written, I read the rumours that McClaren’s Wolfsburg would be interested in buying Denilson for 10-11 million pounds.

I hope it’s lighter in London. I don’t even remember how many years I’ve enjoyed your writings (from the old ANR onwards), so I thank you for them, too.


From Guy Le Maistre : Thanks  

Dear Myles

I’ve just read your response to David Hole’s comments about Wenger acting like a rabbit in the headlights.

I understand your boredom and, while you’re still here, I just wanted to thank you for all the effort you’ve put in over the years.

I always look forward to reading your posts – and I agree with most of it. I get really hacked off with those fans who can’t take criticism of the team or the club and the way it deals with its fans.

I’m not quite at the ‘past caring’ stage that you refer to, but I am past being surprised by Wenger’s continued ineptitude in certain areas of management and coaching and by the cluelessness of the British media – and the football establishment in general.

I suspect we’re very different people, but I’m also a former journalist and, like you, my love for football (and for sport) exceeds the love I have for Arsenal – although both continue to let me down.

I was hugely saddened when Arsene condoned Eduardo’s cheating in the Champions Leagye qualifiers last season.

I don’t care if others do it, it was cheating, everyone saw it for what it was and Wenger found a way of condoning it. He lost my respect there and then.

I still believe in the beautiful game, but this can manifest itself in many ways. There was a strange beauty in Inter’s passage to the Champions League Final last season – and I won a lot of money by betting that they’d beat Barca. The efficiency, commitment and professionalism of their defence was something to be admired – in much the same way as Adams and Co. in the past.

I’ve loved some of Wenger’s teams (but not this one) but I also loved some of George Graham’s. At least you knew what you were getting.

Sport, and football especially, is becoming a big con game. We’re continually promised bigger and better when the reality is so different. For example, Wenger’s alleges that he’s now got his best ever squad, in the same way as Sir Alex had his when he last won the league – both were talking bollocks.

In the same way, I’m continually frustrated at the garbage that passes for guest commentary, punditry, critical assessment and reporting these days.

David Pleat, Steve Claridge, Jamie Redknapp, Alan Shearer (as both pundit and manager, Paul Merson, Matt Le Tissier)- the list of overpaid idiots is seemingly endless.

So, while you still can summon the energy, I will look forward to your thoughts, reflections and musings on Arsenal, music and life in general.

Enjoy the weekend. Many thanks

From Joost Knops : Wow !

Wow.  Amazing blog today.

Top 5 of all time and I have read this for over 8 years daily.
joost, Bellingham WA , USA

Myles to Joost

Are you young and Dutch? Do you work in Seattle?

I am a doctor, 47, and work in Bellingham  which is halfway between Vancouver and Seattle.

My parents are both Dutch and I went to primary school in Holland, but lived the rest of my life here in the States.  I loved voetbal –  those were the days of Cruyff and Neeskens and Krol.   When we moved back I was in the football wilderness until Sky Sports starting broadcasting the EPL in the late 90s.  I knew I had to pick a team and since Arsenal had Bergkamp and Overmars,  stylish Arsenal became my choice.

I  am an avid fan, checking The Guardian site and others daily for my Arsenal fix and through the miracles of modern communication, am able to watch 30-35 Arsenal games a year.

I do not always check your site FIRST….but only because your site is my favorite and I save it up , like a child with a Xmas present.  As other readers have commented, there is a little thrill when a new posting is up.  Not all bloggers are writers, that is for sure.

I loved the Fitzgerald quote and read it twice-  great writing there, of course but amazingly apropos to what is happening at Arsenal.  What a joy for me to be able to read a blog like yours!  When you first voiced your concerns about Wenger I thought you were crazy.  But now I am not so sure anymore.  I suppose for a neutral we are beautiful to watch but at this point I find it agony-  the lack of ruthlessness offensively, the soft defense, the relaxed backheels and pretty flicks because we are a single goal up!!!

Myles, thanks for your blog.  Your insightful writing and opinions are a treasure—hopefully, you will continue but if you do not, thank you  for all the years I have been able to read it.

I leave you with my imaginary Wenger quote of the day :

“ Why would I sign Eden Hazard?  It would kill Vela!!!! ”

From Alexander Tovey : Wenger flattered this season

This season has been the luckiest in Wenger’s tenure.

Not because Arsenal have gained lucky results themselves, but because their opponents have not quite been at their best.

Had Arsenal played like this during any other season, there would already be an unbridgeable 15 point gap between United or Chelsea and us.

As a result, Wenger has clung on to the justification of his policy and approach, given that we are in the title race still.

The idea of changing this policy is abhorrent to Wenger. But there is something that he doesn’t realise.

Given that we are the biggest club in Europe’s biggest city and now have a turnover and stadium to match, the ‘do it on the cheap’ mentality is no longer suitably aligned to the ambitions that we are entitled to have. I hope Gazidis spells things out clearly to Wenger.

“If you do not fill in the glaringly obvious flaws in this side then I will find somebody who will”.

Let’s hope this happens soon.

Myles says : Amen to that !

In a moment of holiday whimsy, I posted a review of David Bowie, in case 14 of you are fans of his.