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Were Arsenal fans right to boo a pre-season friendly?

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Arsenal were no doubt dissapointing during this years Emirates cup and after their 1-1 draw with New York Red Bulls, following a 2-2 draw with Boca Juniors, some parts of the crowd felt it neccessary to boo the team off the pitch.

The frustration of these fans is understandable as they are seeing their beloved team make the same mistakes that they did last season. Fantastic in spells going forward but with a soft and unreliable defense. In the first match, the Boca side looked below average for much of the game and Arsenal looked very comfortable, strolling to victory. Then the introduction of Sebastian Squillaci led to the predictable capitulation of Arsenal’s backline. The first goal was a direct result of Squilaci losing the ball and the second was an equally embarrasing defensive error from the unreliable Johan Djourou.

Against New York it was a similar story. Arsenal looked comfortable but failure to clear their lines and a catalogue of defensive errors caused an unfortunate own own goal from youngster Kyle Bartley.

It’s happened time and time again that Arsenal have failed to hold onto a lead and the need for a central defender now seems greater than ever.

However, despite understanding the fan’s frustrations I cannot condone their behaviour at the final whistle. Boo’ing a pre season friendly is bad enough but to boo a friendly match in which your team fielded an experimental side featuring the likes of Benik Afobe and Bartley himself borders on the ridiculous.

The match is meaningless, basically a glorified training session in which players can gain their match fitness and sharpness in preparation for the new season. It’s always nice to win these games and see good performances but as long as the flaws raised in these games are stamped out before the start of the season then it is not an issue.

Maybe the booing simply sends out a message though. To the board, the managment and the players. If the fans are so passionate about winning a meaningless friendly game, they are showing clear restlessness that they are not going to stand for another trophyless campaign. It is still obvious that Arsenal need some experience and steel, probably in the form of a defensive partner for Thomas Vermaelen. The fans want to win and they are letting Wenger know that unless he addresses the glaring floors in his squad he may be on borrowed time.

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16 comments

  • hec says:

    Toby , you talk crap , if the game was meaningless why not let everyone into the ground for free, max crowds two days in a row income of over 3 million quid, and we`re not allowed to show our displeasure , get a grip son, there is a lot and I mean a lot of gunners out there that are really gonna show how pissed off they are with Wenger and the hooray Hendry we call a chairman , of course the owners and senior management are making plenty ,its a good module for a money making football club for its owners.

    • richard says:

      I disagree hec did the emirates cup competition meam anything we have not lost the fa cup or carling cup or champions league or premier league in fact we have not even lost a pre- season friendly yet.We managed to average 2-1 a game. Wenger has tried to re-inforce squad Jones chose utd, Everton and valencia have both rejected bids for players so he is trying to add to squad. So you would rather be like chelsea or city and spend 300-400 million on players and wages but run at a loss each season where does that money come from chelsea and city only do it because they have playboy owners who have nothing better to do with their money. Wengers managerial record is a trophy every 3 years over his managerial career this is not including community shields etc not bad is it. Yes its annoying to see silly mistakes but it is pre season lets have them now not in the league or cups in the coming months.I used to go to highbury all the time and the support was fantastic the noise we created was immense i have been to the emirate about 50 times since we moved there and to be honest the support is like a library there are moments of noise but on the whole especially against smaller teams the noise is minimal. Finally the manager has a responsibility to make the club successful on and off the pitch Wenger has done that on both fronts though not much silverware recently i admit but we have made finals and latter stages of cup competitions and have not been out of the top four in many a year with a small squad and youngsters playing. Yes we need at least three signings before the transfer window closes lets see if Wenger brings them in might be five if fabregas and Nasri leaves but thats another issue.

  • Short N Curlies says:

    The fans just can’t believe this is all happening all over again – we’re going to be relying on the same clowns in the squad to come in and do a job when we pick up injuries and yet again they’re going to cost Arsenal any hope of silverware.

    There’s being prudent and then there’s being tight and playing the fans for mugs. I’ve never posted against Arsenal and always back the manager and board – but this season is a step too far.

    Disgusted, and I won’t be going this season. Hill-Wood = **** (rhymes with shunt)

  • bobbyp says:

    Well said Hec. That’s a very valid point about it being meaningless but charging fans. How else can we show how pissed off we are. Wenger is too stubborn and he has seriously tainted his legacy. A few years ago it would’ve been a disaster if he’d left. Now a lot of fans would be glad. That is a shame as a few decent signings and we’d be right up there.

  • TT says:

    Arsenal won 2 titles in 25 years before Wenger arrived. If he leaves we can expect that level of success in the future or worse. Why?

    1. The few top players Arsenal have attracted came solely due to Wenger’s reputation. No other manager Arsenal can hope to sign can match that reputation.

    2. The other players are youth products. No other manager has a record of producing and signing, so many gifted players. Without Wenger’s committment to youth, this source will dry up also. Can anyone say that Liverpools 75M spent has got them a better squad than Arsenal have via their youth products?

    3. The club is still not on a sound financial footing. Without the money that Wenger regularly produces from the transfer market, Arsenal are one bad signing away from austerity measures and having to sell players to balance the books.

    It is ironic that sacking Wenger would bring about the exact situation the fans claim that Arsenal faces today, only far, far worse.

    • yes says:

      TT that is drivel. You know nothing about the clubs finances, which in actual fact are extremely healthy.

      Don’t use that as an excuse to deflect from the real issues here. The fact is, rather than speculate to accumulate, we are doing the bare minimum in terms of player investment, to keep us afloat in the top 4 bracket…and in my view, right now, we do not have either the players or team ethic and solidarity to achieve CL football again come August 2012.

      You are so obviously out of touch with our financial situation, and what truly is happening behind the scenes.

      • alex says:

        calling for wenger’s head is the stupidest thing the fans can ask for. Don’t support Arsenal if you don’t like their policies. No one forces you to go watch Emirates Cup or the PL season

  • Omglol says:

    No ffs NO nobady have the right to boo the team that he support. If people are so angry and cant control the anger they need to ask for medical help.

  • NLJ says:

    i pay 1400 a season to watch this crap . I will boo hiss or cheer its my right !

  • eve says:

    i went to the emirates cup sunday, couldnt make the saturday one, but watched it on the box, the match against boca jrs was well good, yeah we let in 2 late goals but on the whole it was a great game. against red bulls on sunday, rvp and thomas r played outstandingly, we did great, lots of shots on goal, most of the possesion, only 1 goal though and conceding again from a bad mistake, it certainly wasnt worth arsenal being booed, it was a great weekend out for families, the weather was brill, i thoroughly enjoyed the games, even though we didnt win, it was a frindly comp, but when the important games start they’d better not make any mistakes or booing wont be the only thing they’ll get.

  • g00nerz says:

    @TT

    It’s ridiculous to suggest that should Sir Wenger leave another manager would not have any pull in the transfer market. That is poppycock. If we were to replace AW it would be with another high profile manager, and he would have perhaps more pull in the transfer market simply because he isn’t Wenger.

    What is fair to say is that AW got us in a position that would allow another manager to walk in and sign big players. And AW must be given the most credit for building the club to where it is now. What is a shame though is the way he has let the pish players hang around on big money, therefore leading us into the position we are in now.

    I love AW for what he has done for us, but I personally think it’s time the baton is handed on to a new manager that will take Arsenal into it’s next golden period.

  • H says:

    We were right to booo, and maybe we should have done it last year, after the team collapsed AGAIN.
    The board and owners are only interested in filling their pockets with £. And have no care for the football club and fans. Every year they say we have money to spend, but it never happens. £ from Adebywhore ect was supposed to be reinvested in players, but never was. They put up ticket prices and expect us to be happy with top 4. Wenger is on a bonus when he makes £ on players, what a joke. Expect to see Fabregas or Naseri to be sold & the £ to go to the owners, not on rebuilding the team.
    It’s easy for all to see that our defence is not good enough, and have not been for years, yes we are not happy, and we will BOOOOO !!!

  • whistleblower says:

    YOu need a BEAST at centreback end of.

  • TT says:

    Thanks for the responses.

    I doubt we could attract a manager with as high a profile as Wenger. I don’t think that anyone here fully appreciates how highly he is regarded within football circles. The abuse the fans are giving him and the team are doing far far more harm to the club, than anything he has done. The threat of him leaving may have affected his ability to sign and retain players, more than a lack of cash.

    Arsenal’s finances are healthy for a self-fuelling club, but still not good enough to sustain a buying model such as Man City or Chelsea have.

  • Vineet says:

    This whole talk of having to spend over 100-150M to be competitive is sheer nonsense.

    With a spending of about 40M (factoring in the earnings by offloading the dead wood) we could have become one team to reckon with. But no, AKB – bullshit.

    The boos were not for that match only but for so many before it last season and seasons before it and the stubborness to not to see the obvious and consider all as fools.

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