Arsenal News
Arsenal News

Arsenal News

« Veteran's View: These may be relatively dark days - but we remain in light | Main | Arsene Knows - most of the time »

Veteran's View: Youth broke Gallas but will it break Arsenal?

By Samuel Mowbray


So we never envisaged it this way back in August but the season all boils down (again) to (another) 90 minutes against, yes, (of all teams) Aston Villa on Boxing Day. Because, as I am sure, anyone knows who is reading this column, should we lose, we would fall six points behind a team in the top four, not even considered....... one of the top four.

And we have no, Fabregas, Rosicky, Walcott, Eduardo..... you know the names as well as I do! So a defining moment in the season when most of us never envisaged winning the title and certainly a defining moment for Wenger.


We have, potentially, the most incredible young players coming through that I can ever recall. That is no guarantee of anything because, the football gods will taunt humans beings with that lifelong refrain: "When we give out talent, we take something else away".

Wilshere, Ramsey, Vela have gifts few mortals have - but they still have to face many of life's challenges! Hell, Jack and Aaron are barely through puberty!

I am in the music business and it has many similarities to football. I have worked with a lot of big stars and household names. Music and football are tough. They take no passengers. I repeat - no passengers.

Right now, despite the ramblings of people like Piers Morgan and all the tabloids, we have the security and vision of Wenger who, in my view, has to remain as the manager of our club with all that means regarding his way of doing 'business'. You want to know why the team is so inconsistent?

Well, that's youth. That's Arsene. And that's what broke Gallas.

Youth is moody, bolshy, inventive, vigourous, energetic, unpredictable, disappointing, rewarding, joyful, joyous, unresponsive. Gallas has some growing up to do himself - and will probably do that somewhere else than the Emirates - but the sins he committed were those of a man who could no longer contain the youthful exuberance of the dressing room and so he (petulantly) betrayed its and his, as captain's, trust.


Gallas is 31. Wenger is 61. The world turns. It's not entirely about age - but the clock is ticking for Arsene, if not as quickly as it is for Gallas! But something needs to happen at Emirates over the next 40 odd days.

Of course we all desperately want to beat Aston Villa - but if we don't, it won't herald, in tabloid style, the end of the season, the end of Wenger. It will be a significant moment - but it's still important to take the longer term view, look at the bigger picture.


Worryingly Villa beat us convincingly at Emirates. But, as I sat down that day, and saw a team come out - 4-5-Bendtner, I seriously had doubts about the way that Wenger wanted to play against them.

Fine versus M*nure, but not against a well-drilled-happy-to-sit-back-team (whom we have yet to beat in our new home) like Villa.

The same defensive thinking was manifest against Wigan. Nasri gets injured when we have scored (thankfully!) an early goal so - hey bring on Eboue and play him totally out of position.

The rest is history - and should be more Arsene's than Emmanuel's. But why not not be more creative, aggressive?

No, let's move on... though I think it's becoming a disturbing characteristic of how he has set the team out this year on many occasions.


The next forty days is about what Arsene wants to do with our/his money. If anything!!! Do we know? No. Do we care? Yes. Do the tabloids know? No.

Of course he has bought in the January window before... most recently, in Adebayour and Theo, two of his most successful ever signings. He is capable of doing it again.

But I hope he buys some 'experience' because when you get into your sixties (and in the case of Gallas, as I have said, your thirties) managing youth is, well, not just difficult but also unpredictable.

And in turn makes the person doing the managing difficult and unpredictable. By January 31, and not until then, will we really know how the season is likely to unfold: so Villa (a), Portsmouth (h), Bolton (h), Hull (a), Everton (a) and West Ham (h) in the league.

Question - how many points will we notch up in that run of games with two of them away versus teams who have beaten us at Emirates? We can't afford to drop many. And Plymouth in the cup.

Question - what team will run out as the first Arsenal team to play in 2009? How important will the competition be to AW after the fiasco of 2008 against M*nure?

Request - don't get alarmed by the short-termism of the media who have a product to sell!

Have faith - have the faith, and passion, which galvanised itself once Ade had been sent off against Liverpool! (Why can't we/don't we do that every game?!!)


From the next forty days to the next few years... And here I stand, along with everyone else, totally ignorant.

BUT.... given the economic meltdown, we are well, well relatively well, positioned. We have a new stadium, but falling property values.

We made a pre-tax profit of £36.7M. We are 'UK' owned - but there are serious rumblings about our future ownership and about which which we can all speculate but, in turn, right now, recognise that we know very little.

Whether we finish up with the Americans (Stan Kroenke) or the Russians (Alisher Usmanov), none of us can know but all of us should know it will, at some point, happen.(Subplots: Is diamond dealer Fiszman with the Yanks or the Ruskies?

And to whom will the the Indian born, fragrant Lady Nina sell her 15.9% shareholding and which, interestingly, allegedly represents 90% of her assets?)

The good news, in my view, is that whoever it is will have had their wealth already diminished by the recent activities in financial markets around the world and will therefore have a more realistic sense of what they are both buying as a club and buying into as a product.

Because that is what the Dein-created Premiership is! It's a product and the club, as part of that product, is a business. Don't bother going on marches before games outside the ground - show some passion during the games inside... Change is inevitable....


....As love is unconditional. (Unless you leave the ground early or boo Eboue.) We are all in this together!

Reader Comments (5)

Good blog, dedication is what we need- to the cause, club, manager and fans- 'we' is the players who Wenger has blindly put his faith in. Those select few who despite all the bad results, pathetic performances and overly apparent complancency continue to be selected. Its about time that they understand that if Mr Wenger gets 220 applicants from agents dying for their clients to be apart of our beloved and dignified club- based on their performances week in and week out they do not deserve to be classed as a reason for Mr Wenger to reject over 99% of the applicants! Fans deserve to get their money's worth, even more so in this time of economic crisis and funnily enough Rob Green, one of Y.Toure or Cana and a Ribery-esque winger would make this bitter time a whole lot sweeter


December 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNephew of Rocky

great read..agree with most of it although i don't want wenger buying more than one "experienced" player so that we stay in the hunt..even if that means that we do not win this year..i would be delicious to win with homegrown talent even if it takes time..keep up the good work

December 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermayank

He shd buy experience if not play Ramsey,Wishire,etc.By now he shd know Arsenal's season is on a knife edge. Lose to AV and you can forget abt the cl.
In a way he is to blame for all the shortcomings this season but in previous seasons.Last season Arsenal could have won something had he signed a few players.It'esaier to strengthen the team when you are strong.
His ego got the better of him.Well all good things must come to an end. The thing is he is continuing his philosophy because the board indulges in him and are afraid to axe him.He better know the diamond merchant is a ruthless businessman and shd Arsenal conitnue to flounder dont be surprised he is shown the door for failing to change his soccer philosophy ie beautiful soccer,young players of wc potential.End product no points and no trophies.

December 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJock Murray

mr wengers been burned on a couple of larger purchases...perhaps the reason he dosnt want to dip into the transfer market. As much as Arsene Arsene scared to bare the responsibility that that kind of spending brings.

I wait with Baited Breath!


December 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermitch

I'd actually love to review these boxes on my shopping/lifestyle blog. i wonder if they'd send me a sample box to talk about? lvvwjs lvvwjs - The Hermes Birkin.

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterljtzla ljtzla

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>