If you can’t say something nice…

Well, it’s been a busy, busy day for Arsene Wenger. Yesterday, my time, he went to an unusual measure and did a pre-match press conference, on a Thursday. I was wondering why he did that and was fully prepared to give my analysis of that presser when lo and behold the atom bomb of atom bombs went off. It turns out Wenger gave a Thursday presser because after that he met with shareholders


It’s really hard to know what to say because I haven’t seen the actual interview and given my deep, deep distrust of the British press, I’m not willing to just read what they say and go with it. This season is such a touchy issue and from what I gather the supporters he met with were very pointed in their questions and him in his responses. Thus, I think I need to see the whole interview myself to understand what happened.

One thing I do know is that I have been as guilty as many others in taking Wenger and the players to task; just last week I posted a huge screed about Silvestre. But does that make me less of a supporter?


Maybe, rather than saying “Silvestre is garbage” we should be removing the person from his actions and saying what my shrink once told me to say, like “Silvestre played like garbage” or “Silvestre had a nightmare game” or “Silvestre has had a nightmare season.” Because while Silvestre may have had a nightmare season, and I certainly think that as a defender if nearly every game you play in results in getting scored on two or more times would qualify as a nightmare, as my shrink would say, “It doesn’t mean that Silvestre is fundamentally broken” and thus saying “Silvestre is crap” is unfair. He just had a nightmare season.

Basically, it’s a shift away from being negative about the person and instead being negative about the person’s actions. Which now that I type it and re-read it… sounds kinda crazy.

Maybe that’s what Wenger is looking for from us supporters and maybe we can give him that. Maybe we can give the whole team that, at least, and at most maybe we can all find something really positive to say about this team?

That last idea came to me as I was reading this article by some guy named Matt Hughes. After reading all the criticism of Arsene and with my own seemingly schizophrenic love/hate of this team along comes this a writer for The Times Online who has an enormous respect for what Wenger has done for this club. Going so far as to say that Arsenal would likely drop into a 30 year rebuilding plan (the way Man U did) if Wenger were to leave. It’s pretty amazing stuff.

In light of that, what I want to do today is have everyone make a positive contribution in the forum. I want all of my frequent commenters to make one positive remark about the team and the club. I know some of you will be tempted to say 30 positive things, but let’s keep it to one, just the one favorite thing about this season, the one favorite player, the favorite game, anything. But just one, because I want everyone to have a chance to say their favorite thing without feeling like it’s already been taken.

So, what is the one positive thing you can say about Arsenal this year?


59 Responses to “If you can’t say something nice…”

  1. 1 Chukwudi
    May 15, 2009 at 8:10 am

    favourite player: Arshavin… Arsene got it spot on

  2. 2 Kw
    May 15, 2009 at 8:11 am

    They got into the quarter final last year and then the semi final this year
    it will be the final next year XD

  3. 3 Obi
    May 15, 2009 at 8:15 am

    emirates stadium

  4. 4 Gorm
    May 15, 2009 at 8:16 am

    The fact that the team learned to win and entertain without Cesc when he was injured – except for the poor start and the last 2 games we started to look solid and not depending on one player

  5. 5 soulrebel
    May 15, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Eduardo’s comeback goals and chanting his name!

  6. 6 Tim
    May 15, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Last season we lost the league by just 4 points, but this season with 2 games remaining we are 18 points from the no1 spot. U do the math

  7. 7 Sech
    May 15, 2009 at 8:30 am

    We could’nt beat spurs this year dude. ag sis man. So nothing posetive man.

  8. 8 Sech
    May 15, 2009 at 8:33 am

    oh i 4got 1 great thing, ashavin, he hit 4 at anfield, that match is a trophy 4 me since wenger and his day care could’nt give me 1, he’s gon hit another 4 2moro, whivch will be like champions leage 2 me.

  9. 9 Tim
    May 15, 2009 at 8:42 am

    I guess you could muster a positive after all Sech!

    As for you ‘Tim’ come on, can’t you be ‘bigger’ than that?

    (get it? tiny tim?)

  10. 10 claptongoon
    May 15, 2009 at 8:42 am


  11. 11 Alex
    May 15, 2009 at 8:45 am

    These “babies” (to quote one of the least classy descriptions of them all year) have consistently exceeded everyone’s expectations of them. They have competed with and, at times, beaten teams who have spent up to 100 million pounds to buy players that have already been educated by another team. Bringing up players is the hardest part of developing a team and instead of allowing another team to do that and swooping in with some money to “compensate” them for their hard work, Arsenal chooses to do the hard work themselves. A friend (who is a ManUre supporter) was making fun last week until I pointed out that he didn’t expect them to finish in the top 10 (much less the top 4), make it to the semi-finals of the FA Cup or Champions league and, furthermore, were able to do so with a HUGE list of injuries to key personnel WHILE spending almost no money. Trophies are nice but that they aren’t EVERYTHING. That is why 2nd, 3rd and beyond are ALSO rewarded with a fairly substantial check as well. With some adjustments to tactics, some hard training and a bit of good luck and we can win any or all of the trophies next year. This experiment takes time and Arsene is right – we need to support our team. As I have said before, abusing our players for having a bad day only makes their job more difficult. If everybody tells you that you are crap, odds are that you will eventually start to believe them and BE crap.

  12. 12 Matt
    May 15, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Just one? Fuck.

    The PK shoot out in Rome. The kids stepped up and brought it home.

  13. 13 Dan
    May 15, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Captain cesc

  14. 14 rosicnote3
    May 15, 2009 at 9:03 am

    The Van Persie show during the earlier months of 2009 and the fact that he managed a whole season without getting injured.

  15. 15 CaribKid
    May 15, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Gibbs, Song

  16. 16 Masterbator
    May 15, 2009 at 9:38 am

    The come back of Eboue! He’s now better than ever.

  17. 17 ELLIOTT
    May 15, 2009 at 10:00 am




  18. 18 Travis The Septopus
    May 15, 2009 at 10:01 am

    My list:
    Arshavin, Gibbs, the Eduardo goal assisted by Vela ( I have the Kiss pic as my wallpaper still), Securing 4th, Win draw or lose- every minute of every game i got to watch, Going to Doyles cause I cant afford Setanta. Beating Man u in both league games would be a nice feather in the cap as well.

  19. 19 WC
    May 15, 2009 at 10:17 am

    No comment. Being polite and soft is what got us in this situation in the first place.

  20. May 15, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Come on WC, thaw that cold heart, there has to be a favorite moment for you.

  21. 21 gareth
    May 15, 2009 at 10:44 am

    bloody yanks

  22. 22 aniruddh
    May 15, 2009 at 10:47 am

    being able to finish in fourth pos. after being almost eight points down.

  23. 23 aniruddh
    May 15, 2009 at 10:49 am

    gareth were is this what u understand by being polite?

  24. May 15, 2009 at 10:58 am

    aniruddh, meh, don’t worry about it brother, I get this kind of stuff all the time, it’s what I get for being born in America.

  25. 25 gareth
    May 15, 2009 at 11:00 am

    how many games do you guys get to a season? im not starting anything just curious

  26. 26 Tim
    May 15, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Ok Tim, ill be bigger than that.
    Favourite moments. Eduardo’s spectecular volley, Gibbs giving Ronaldo the dummy, Arshavin4-Liverpoo4 and Nasri’s brace against the mancs.

  27. May 15, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Gareth, I have seen all but 2 Arsenal games live this season. That includes all of the Carling Cup matches, the first round Champions League qualifiers, the FA Cup matches, and of course, League Play.

    I also fly to London every year to watch a match in person. This year I saw the 0-0 draw against Sunderland.


    I’ve been a supporter for 10 years, I have been a paid Red Level member for 5 years, I have seen games at Highbury and at Emirates. I was at Highbury when Adebayor scored his first home goal against Charlton and got to see one of the few goals ever by Hleb.

    Don’t judge a book by its birthplace.

  28. 28 gareth
    May 15, 2009 at 11:07 am

    god dont be so touchy i only asked how many games do you go to. gods sake

  29. 29 viva los gooners
    May 15, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I’m with Alex, nicely put.

    Hat’s off to all the youngsters, (particularly Kieran Gibbs), who have stepped up to the plate when needed, and done hell of a job against players worth millions, with years more experience of top flight football,in the cauldron of high intensity matches. Remember, neither Chelsea nor Liverpool are in the CL final either.

    Talking of cauldrons and things bubbling, check out the youth team, our future; who won their league, 25 points clear of the 2nd team, 71 goals in 28 matches, with a +40 goal difference, Chelski are in this league and nowhere. Let the opposition think on. That’s my positive, or positives!


  30. 30 gareth
    May 15, 2009 at 11:27 am

    nice report on the sunderland game. but sorry mate you are one of the reasons why the stadium hasnt had an atmosphere since it opened. The amounot of americans/japanese who just go to take pictures is a joke, or even worse sit behind me and talk nonsense constantly. go to the game, get behind the team or dont bother. i dont go and watch nfl/nba and annoy people there to watch the game, its a fair point

  31. 31 Bensolly
    May 15, 2009 at 11:28 am


  32. 32 Sola
    May 15, 2009 at 11:35 am



  33. 33 Sola
    May 15, 2009 at 11:37 am


  34. May 15, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    “you are one of the reasons why the stadium hasnt had an atmosphere since it opened.”

    There were plenty of Englishmen in my section (right there next to the Sunderland supporters) who didn’t sing a peep, no matter how much I and others tried.

    So, you can stuff your pathetic nationalism/racism.

  35. 35 gareth
    May 15, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    its the truth. americans have to feel involved in everything going on in the world

  36. 36 CaribKid
    May 15, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Give it a break Gareth, football has no boundaries, it’s a world sport.

    I grew up in Jamaica with a heavy influence of British football, but once I had access to the Brazilians I got tired of seeing players kicking the ball all over the field with limited skills, and Brazil has been my national favorites ever since.

    Regardless of where you are born, most lovers’ of the game just want to see good football and cheer for their favorites. And oh, by the way, a lot of Arsenal’s income comes from folks all over the world buying their merchandise and attending their games. Without that, we are just another small club in a big pond.

    Chew on that for a while.

  37. 37 Matt
    May 15, 2009 at 3:55 pm


    Or to put it another way: go pound sand in a rathole, you xenophobic prick.

  38. 38 alwaysarsenallol
    May 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    i love arsenal whether were champions or not
    my favorite moment alex song amazin performances after all the slack he got!!!

  39. May 15, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    I think Silvestre is a brilliant player and we’re lucky to have him. Him and Gallas have a highly effective partnership at the international level. We’ve been unlucky with injuries, but next year, Silvestre and Gallas will take the Premier League by storm! Plus, I think Arshavin has nice hair, and flying his St Petersburg hairdresser to London has been worth it.

    C’mon the Arse!

  40. 40 Darkhail
    May 15, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    I have got to say the fringe players are my favorite part about Arsenal, Gibbs, Vela, Ramsey, etc. Because they are the future and while the present may not be as bright as we want it to be, the future cant be too bad with the young kids we have coming through in the next few years.

  41. 41 Yan
    May 15, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    AW’s dance/celebration. I think it was vs. Villarreal???

  42. 42 Manuel from Sarandi
    May 15, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I am sorry but it is true that Americans want to be involved in everything. They even use the word “Football” for a sport that does not use feet. Not cool.

  43. 43 T-Town Alex
    May 15, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Manuel – just shut up please.

  44. 45 Gooner
    May 15, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    One Favourite thing: the plastic fans will eventually be silenced when Wenger’s Youth policy prevails (That might be facourite thing for next year though)

  45. 46 Gooner1
    May 15, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Denilson – he will be better than Gilberto, he reads the game terrifically well.

  46. 47 Shaun
    May 16, 2009 at 1:01 am

    As an aside, Gareth, you start off by posting “Bloody Yanks” and then you claim someone is being touchy in their ripostes to you….. If you make a fleeting statement like that to someone which is filled with underlying negative sentiment, be prepared to have that person defend themselves.
    Its called human interaction.

    Anyway, my favourite thing of this year has to still be Wenger. He has made mistake after mistake but he still comes back with credible answers to everything that is thrown at him. If he had to leave this club would go into freefall…. I am looking to him to bring the club back into contention next year playing the fantastic football the club delivers.

  47. 48 Gareth
    May 16, 2009 at 1:08 am

    How can you have an opinion on something you dont see week in week out and experience! Blah blah blah i see all the games on tv,blah blah blah i go to one game a year and annoy everyone else by posing for pics at the ground and using your shit american terms for everything to do with the game,keep it for the MLS! Its not a tourists day out!!

  48. 49 Shaun
    May 16, 2009 at 1:17 am

    So Gareth, are you saying that Arsenal should only have fans that live in the Islington area? Your an absolute prick

  49. 50 Gareth
    May 16, 2009 at 1:27 am

    Did i say that? There are plenty of uk and even european supporters clubs who attend EVERY home game and quite a few away games. Thats dedication,not getting up at 7am to watch a league you cant even make the games to in person. The mls was created for a reason

  50. 51 Gareth
    May 16, 2009 at 1:36 am

    Im just saying theres decent footie on your doorsteps guys,i actually like the set up you have there. Mainly the salary cap. Its an arguable point that you run the game better than europeans do. Maybe its jealousy on my part,as the game here has been soured by cash

  51. 52 Shaun
    May 16, 2009 at 1:49 am

    Sorry Gareth, I shouldnt have called you a prick…. bit harsh by me. I jumped to an early conclusion.

    I am South African and we were raised here in SA on a healthy diety of English football. So I have been an Arsenal fan for 20 years. Though I lived in the UK for 8 years so I have seen us a fair few timezs. Anyways, thats why I feel that not being able to go to the game should not deter you from being a true fan. I know plenty of gooners in London who can’t afford to go to games but theyre still ardent supporters.

    What you refer to re the game being soured by cash, we have the epitome of that with Adebayor.

  52. 53 Gareth
    May 16, 2009 at 1:59 am

    The game is so money based now,ticket prices and tv rights are pricing people out big time. I know plenty of people who are considering not renewing season tickets for next season,and its because of money and not the underachievement of the team. I just hope that the few empty seats we see at the game dont become wide open spaces

  53. 54 Shaun
    May 16, 2009 at 2:09 am

    I agree, I am not sure how healthy the waiting list is. I beieve it was at 40000 at one point. So you would think we csn cover the empty seats.

  54. May 16, 2009 at 5:42 am

    Gareth, your trolls remind me of Platini and Blatter; you want to make football small and provincial. I reject that whole heartedly. Football is the world’s sport, not just the province of a few thousand lucky folks who can get to every match.

    Is Arseblog a real gooner? He lives in Ireland and Barcelona and gets over to see just a handful of matches. According to your definition, he’s not, because he watches Arsenal on TV. Or how about someone born in England and living here in America? They aren’t real supporters? See how easily your pathetic provincialism falls apart.

    The world has changed, get over it, and get over yourself.

    I am, as are most of the Gooners I know in my area, on this blog, and members of Arsenal America dedicated supporters of Arsenal Football Club. Since you can’t handle that why don’t you fuck off to Hereford United or Wycombe, I doubt too many Americans show up to those matches and despoil their beautiful game.

  55. 56 Gareth
    May 16, 2009 at 7:13 am

    God are u still going on?back to bed

  56. May 16, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Good comeback you tiresome thick cunt.

  57. 58 Arshavin's Right Boot
    May 16, 2009 at 8:30 am

    most comments i think i have ever seen lol lets not fight guys

  58. 59 Jet pinoy Gooner
    May 17, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Finishing 4th in EPL with a bunch of kids. Nobody have the courage or the flair to do so at this level only Arsenal.

    I am a Filipino who have been supporting Arsenal for over a decade. I have never been to any games @ Emirates or at Highbury. I get up at an ungodly hour of 3am and put on my Arsenal kit to support Arsenal. Here in Asia there are a lot of bootleg tops but I only buy the original ones or have it shipped here so my team will have money for their transfer kitty. I have never lost faith in my team and I like these particular site because it does not have bounderies. We are an Arsenal supporters regardless of where we are from or how many matches anybody has seen in North London. Gareth you are the most narrow minded person I have ever encountered in this forum.

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