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Veteran's View - A plea to all right-thinking Arsenal fans

By Samuel Mowbray

One of the loudest and most intense chants on Saturday afternoon was 'There's only one Arsene Wenger'.

The chant was disappointingly short - why can't we have a Pompey style drummer beating out a rhythm over a long period of time!? -  but intense nonetheless.

So it's equally disappointing to see that there is no manager section in the new handbook.

Player history over the years, and rightly so. But no history section on managers.

And managers are critical to the development of a club.

We should know.

I start my 49th year of following Arsenal - and I know there are other veterans who can top this number. One who sits just in front of me!

So discounting the caretakers (Steve Burtenshaw, Stewart Houston (twice) and Pat Rice) we have, astonishingly, only had eight managers in that time which has contributed hugely to our current standing.

The lesson being the value of consistency.

I make a plea.

No one wants us to win something this season more than this veteran.

We have started well but it's very early days and clearly the squad would be short given an horrible injury toll.

But if we don't (win silverware), please, please don't bay for Arsene's head. The man is a genius. More to the point he is a genius with integrity.

And when you get to my age you get to understand that these are rare people. And he manages our club.

Rejoice. Silverware is great. But pride in what you do and how you do it - is even greater.

On Wednesday let's chant 'there's only one Arsene Wenger' not just with even greater conviction but for much much longer....

Reader Comments (21)

clear demonstratin how no matter how many mistakes and damage wenger makes(last season) he will keep on brainwashing fans

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterArungu

after some soul searching, i came out and told guys i will not hold anything against wenger even if we dont win this season. being a fan and a die hard at that is sort of like a mariage - for better for worse. given the little money wenger has been having over the years to spend, and the cost of putting up the stadium, and wenger managing to remain at the top and keep the players together requires some sort of genius and i believe he is one. am 90% sure we gonna have silverware this season but even if we dont, mr wenger just know that its not a coincidence that you r name is arsene! keep it up old guy!

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbrian

Good call.. there's only one Arsene Wenger!

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGooni

"But if we don't (win silverware), please, please don't bay for Arsene's head. The man is a genius. More to the point he is a genius with integrity."

Well said!

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterArsenalsaddo

totally agree, and aplea of this nature can do nothing but good for all of Arsenal fans,so I hope ,the we want it now thinking...can understand what a great man and manager we have got Arsene live,s breaths Arsenal.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterozziearsenal

To the nob who posted the previous comment. Without Arsene Wenger, Where would we be? We would probably have walked the same path as the horrible spuds from down the road and been knowhere for the last decade. Get your head out ur Arse and get behind the manager and the team, watching them recently shows how close we are to greatness, one or two class additions to the squad and I would make us favourite for the title.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterUP_UR_ARSE

sorry first post.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterUP_UR_ARSE

Once again the defence conceded a last minute goal. If Arsenal are to fight for honours the defence must shore up and against determined opposition it could be fatal. Celtic will have nothing to lose by throwing men forward. If they can nick one goal that's it. The gunners will have a battle on their hands.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDave

How is this clear evidence that Wenger has brainwashed the fans? I think your comment is evidence that you have been brainwashed by the media. Wenger hasn't done a lot wrong. Who do you think should be managing our club? Please tell me because when I look back at the number of managers that have won the title during the time that Wenger has managed us, I see only 2 other names, Ferguson ( who is probably the best manager ever to have worked in the UK) and Mourinho who is also a great manager but was still armed with millions and millions of pounds.
What is the Wenger witchhunt all about? I'm becoming increasingly suspicious of articles I read online, particulary Myles Palmer's Arsenal New review. If you don't believe me then check the below article and some of his recent ones.,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=1372&cntnt01origid=30&cntnt01returnid=42

By the way to the author of this piece, I agree with you wholeheartedly

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGooner77

@ Dave thanks for stating the obvious :)
What is this last minute goal that you're talking about? Everton's 91st minute goal last weekend when we 6-0 up?
I love the way football fans watch the likes of Alan Hansen on MOTD every week (where he rarely spouts anything other than the same old platitudes we hear week in week out) and then parrot style repeat these comments on blogs.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGooner77

Arsene is brilliant. But he is flawed, like everyone else.

All he needs to do is buy another central defender and defensive midfielder.

In the past, Dein would have told him or done it for him.

Now, unless Gazidis has unforeseen power, it will not happen.

A dozen or more of the best players in the world (Fabregas, Van Persie, Arshavin, Nasri, Vela, Wilshere, Eduardo, Bendtner, Song, Denilson, Gallas, Sagna, Clichy, Vermaelen, Djourou) will win nothing because the squad is two or three players short.

I don't thimk anyone really wants Wenger out, they just want him to stop being so stubborn for 5 minutes.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlalala

In the sport of hurling, Tipp went from 1972 to 1989 without winning the All Ireland. We went through quite a few managers within that time. Then success came in 89 and 91 and we kept our proud tradition of winning an all ireland in every decade. My point is this, famine's are painful to take, however when the silverware comes it is truly sweet. baying for Wengers head will get the club , if the directors listen and change, one that will demand money, clar-out of the squad and instant success at a major cost - boring football (look at chelsea), massive debts (look at Chelsea, Newcastle, Manu et al) sulky superstars (open your eyes in practically all clubs) and a hike in wages, ticket prices and merchandising costs. And spending does not mean instant success - look at newcastle, liverpool, spurs. Also, are you happy to see footballers earning 4 times in one week, what you earn in 1 year (look at the great steppyover one). Arsenal , under Wenger, plays the most dazzling football in europe, 2nd only to barcelona. He has been extremely successful in his transfer policies (4th in EPL and constant quarter/semi final spots in Champions League. He spends wisely not just for the sake of it to appease us. So I'm with the Blog author on this. PS Can ye all shout for tipp in the Final please, and if ye have RTE or Setanta, tune in to watch the game - ye will enjoy it. Thank ye in advance.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGunner 79

So so true... Im glad their are still loyal fans that respect Wenger, not just for what he has done for this club... but also how he has gone about doing it..

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLukey

it is sad to see that Arungu has totally missed the point of this article. Like so many of our so called fans - NOT supporters, he is baying for the instant gratification that so many get from their video games. He shows no understanding of the complexities of managing a team in these tough economic times.

Maybe when one of the larger clubs goes into receivership or plunges down the divisions after they have to sell off their best assets (players), he will be thankful that our club is run a prudent man who thinks and plans for the long term. NO other manager in the BPL, or any other top league for that matter, could do so much with so llittle for so long. This is not to say that Arsene has not made mistakes. He admits as much himself. However, the lack of patience, respect, and understanding displayed by so many of our so called fans is all too symptomatic of our modern society. Also, forums like this give them ample opportunity to exhibit their ignorance. Fortunately with managers like Mr. Wenger our beloved club will long outlast them all.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCanadian Gooner

Gooner 77 I think Blackburn also, but I agree with you. Only 4 managers have won it - not even avram grant or the dutch lad won it with the millions.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGunner 79

I've been an Arsenal fan since as far back as I can remember and was taken to see my first match at Highbury in 1957. In the 52 years since then there have been wonderful times, but there have also been seasons which have been pretty dire. What do you do when this happens? You just get on with it. Your team are your team! You don't stop supporting them or start watching someone else. I love to see us winning silverware, but if we don't we at least know that under Wenger we'll see good football, something that was far from guaranteed when watching some of the Arsenal sides of the past. So let's just acknowledge that, despite his faults, Arsene Wenger is the greatest manager Arsenal have ever had - with the possible exception of Herbert Chapman, and even I'm not old enough to remember him.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBaz


Yeah Blackburn won it but that before Wenger joined us. Only two other managers have won it since he has managed us, they are Fergie and Mourinho. Sorry to be pedantic ;)

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGooner77

If lalala is right and "Dein would have told him or done it for him" then personally I'm glad the treacherous, self serving orange knob is out of our club. It's not his f**king job and never was!

Mind you I'm glad he's out even if lalala is just talking out of his backside.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHarry Barracuda

Well said indeed. Maybe those who bay for his head would be happier singing "there's only one Harry Redknapp/Martin O'neill/Rafa Benitez (substitute name of almost any manager or coach and realise how much flatter it seems). He may be a stubborn old bugger but he's OUR stubborn old bugger and it will be a sad day when he decides to leave - and an ever sadder one if he is forced out by the plastics. 42 years a supporter and a season tick holder.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPhilippe Philoppe

Phillippe ,
in respect to O'Neill, he would be ok as a replacement, however I dont want Arsene to leave. Just a comment.

The trouble today is that people dont follow teams, they follow players and if we had some way of measuring sales of Henry Barcelone Shirts to Arsenal Fans, I'm sure you would see a large level of such sales - from new generation fans. As for me, I still got me Liam Brady Shirt! Money has ruined the game and the media/agents talk up certain players and they become , foe example Beckham, a brand bigger than a club. LA Galaxies ? Sure St. Pats or Bohemians are longer in existence than them, but thanks to brand beckham they are known for a few months globally. Loyalty? At times if i were Wenger , I'd have moved thanks to the new wave fan. thankfully I am not him or he me.

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGunner 79

i find Emirates stadium is exceptionally quiet compared to any other stadiums around London. but it doesn't make me stop loving this club. hopefully Arsenal will win a title or two this season. i miss the excitement and joy after seeing the captain lifts the cup

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkirk

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