Category Archives: Arsenal

Sky still trying to re-write football history

Sky TV and the Premier League. If I had to pick a date when football as we used to know and love it started to go down hill, it would be 1992.

It was at this point, top division clubs decided to go it alone. To break away from the Football League and set up the Premier League. It was at this point that clubs became more interested in the money they can make, rather than look after the loyal fans who stuck around when football was not as popular as it is now.

And hand in hand with those Premier League club was Sky TV, Sky Sports, BSkyB or whatever they wanted to be called back then.

A lot of what I hate about football these days is due to Sky and the Premier League.

The disconnection of players to clubs, the boasting about “mega money TV deals” whilst ticket prices continue to rise, and kick off times. Those bloody kick off times.

But perhaps the most annoying thing that Sky TV and the Premier League done is white wash anything that became before it.

The Premier League is actually no different to the old First Division. Bar the trophy and greed, it is still the “Top flight of English football”. It is why it always baffles me when people talk about “Premier League records” as if football did not exist prior to 1992.

Sky ignore anything prior to the Premier League because they do not have the rights of the footage. Greed means that they refuse to pay the BBC, ITV or whoever owns the footage of games in the 80s, 70s and earlier.

It was actually hilarious that after Sergio Aguero scored his memorable goal against QPR a few years back, that Sky promoted it as “the best end of the season. Ever”. It completely ignored 1989, Arsenal at Anfield.

Even a neutral will say that Arsenal beating Liverpool at Anfield was a greater finish to the season that Manchester City beating QPR.

We then have Sky constantly talking about Mo Salah. That he is going to “break the Premier League goals record” and that “Harry Kane is the second quickest player to 100 Premier League goals”. We get it, Sky only care about the Premier League. In there mind there was no football before 1992.

And the above graphic is hilarious. Apparently now, the 10 league titles Arsenal won prior to the Premier League count for nothing.

Some people might say “stop living in the past, history does not matter”. Yet according to Sky’s graphic, Arsenal’s table topping sides of 1989 and 1991 are meaningless, whilst Manchester United winning the league title in 1993 can be counted.

The majority of fans can see through this. But sadly this is starting to change. You read about Manchester United fans mocking Liverpool fans for “never having won the Premier League”. Chelsea fans boasting about how they are the “second most successful team in Premier League history.”

The reality is Chelsea are still behind Everton, Sunderland and Aston Villa when it comes to league titles.

I guess it is not a surprise that two clubs as unsuccessful as Chelsea and Manchester City only care about “Premier League Era” results because it makes up for their lack of success in the previous 100 years of football.

The worry is that with Sky pushing the “Premier League” agenda and football becoming more influenced by foreign fans, that achievements prior to 1992 will be deemed meaningless in comparison.

And they are not meaningless. They are part of history. Part of the English game. Whether it be 1991, 1989 or 1931, they all count the same.

Sky need to stop disrespecting the history of the game just because they do not hold the rights to the highlights.


Ps: Some Arsenal fans will bash this article saying I am “living in the past”. They might be true, but these same fans probably also moan every day on Twitter about Modern Football. Maybe some people just like to moan?


Arsene Wenger set to leave at end of the season

It has been announced by the club that Arsene Wenger is set to leave the club at the end of the season after 22 years with he club.

The Frenchman joined the club in 1996 and, after a successful first decade with the club where he revolutionised the English game, the last 12 years have been a struggle.

Recently, despite winning 3 FA Cups in 4 years, making a League Cup final and being in the semi-final of the Europa League, attendances at the Emirates have been dwindling.

In some recent Premier League games, estimations are that the ground was up to 25% empty, with barely 40,000 going through the gates.

Ivan Gazidis once said that he is governed by the fans. That Arsene Wenger will remain in his job for as long as the fans were backing him.

What began as a trickle with a few fans calling for his head has exploded over the last few years where the majority of fans wanted Wenger Out. A recent Arsenal Supporters Trust fan survey saw 88% of those who responded saiy the board should end his contract after this season, with only seven percent in favour of him staying in charge.

It seems the club have listened to the fans. They have noted the empty seats. The negativity on social media. The tide turning in surveys. They have listened and they have acted.

We still have a Europa League to fight for. This news needs to unite fans. 2with the home leg already sold out, lets get rid of the negativity surrounding the club. Use our voices for good. And back The Arsenal to glory.


Arsenal officially abandon much loved tradition

Arsenal were always considered a different club to most. The term “Més que un club” is the motto of Barcelona. It means “More than a club”. From even before Herbert Chapman took over Arsenal in 1925, Arsenal were more than a club.

From the marble hall’s at Highbury; with a proud commissionaire standing guard waiting to greet guests, the police band that played before games and the match day flowers in the directors boxes being in the visitors teams colours. Arsenal just did things differently. They were more than a club.

The way you presented yourself was also key. You represented the club at every step. Not being allowed into the club offices without a jacket and tie on, travelling to every game (home and away) in a suit. The red and white or yellow and blue shirt to be tucked in at all time. The captain choosing the length of the players shirts sleeves and every player clapping the fans before and at the end of the game win lose or draw. These are some of the traditions that made us The Arsenal.

Former Arsenal goal keeper Alan Miller, who was at the club for 11 years having joined as a 16 year old described about the respect that the club once commanded throughout the game;

“When I was elsewhere, the likes of Bryan Robson, Graham Souness, Mike Kelly all talked about THE Arsenal.”

Over time, a lot of these traditions have gone. Some due to circumstances, some due to changes in taste, and some due to those at the club no longer being bothered about ensuring that we were more than a club.

The police band made way for a DJ, the marble halls remain as part of the Highbury housing development, but nothing similar was developed in the new ground. But these days, The Arsenal are no different to any other club throughout the UK.

It has now been confirmed by officials within Arsenal that the captains choice on length of shirt is no more.

We have all known that the tradition has been ignored for some years.

After 3 years of one mans fight against this Arsenal heritage being trampled over, friend of the site John O’Connell finally got the confirmation from the club that the tradition was no more.

After 3 years of emailing more or less everyone who works for Arsenal PLC (it’s just not The Arsenal Football Club anymore) and getting some very obnoxious replies John has finally got a reply from Arsenal PLC which explains the situation, kind of.

The Captain’s choice tradition was so that everyone looked uniform on the pitch, but now that is out the window. Going by the email above a few things now make a mockery of this great tradition.

If the Captain decides short sleeve the players can wear a long sleeve base layer, so they wont look uniform. If the Captain’s choice is long sleeves often players would rollup or pin up the sleeves. If the Captain decides its ‘wear what you like Sunday’ the players can choose themselves, do they have to put a £1 into the jar for The Arsenal Foundation ?

I would pay good money to see Charlie George explain this new Captain’s choice rule on a tour of the ground as proudly as he explained it before it was abolished.

Other clubs and players used to look up to The Arsenal. They knew we were something special. Ian Wright said the day he signed for The Arsenal he sat up till the early hours of the following morning with David Rocastle just talking about the club. Players used to be proud to put on an Arsenal shirt, proud to follow the little traditions and regulations that made our club special.

To even quote Jimmy Greaves, the greatest player to play for Tottenham  “Arsenal have class. I remember when I was at Spurs, the Arsenal players would arrive for matches in their navy blazers with the gold gun emblem sewn into their pockets and grey slacks. We couldn’t match their ground with that beautiful main entrance, marble halls and spiral staircase. Even in 1961 when we won the Double, we were never as big a club as Arsenal.”

Sadly we no longer have that class.

One of my biggest bug bearers is the lack of suits at away games. These days, a whistle is only worn by players for games at home.

Mr George Graham used to make them wear suits and ties to and from every game, home, away, European games and world tours. He was very strict on this due to his time as a player at The Arsenal, George Knew. Mr Graham made sure we turned up looking ready for business, other clubs used to look on knowing The Arsenal are here. Now we turn up at away games looking like extras for some kind of grime music gig.

I understand completely why wearing suites and ties is not the greatest idea in the world when travelling longer than an hour. Most of us have “travel clothes” that we put on for flying to ensure comfort. But these days players stay in a hotel the night before with a very short travel time from the hotel to the ground. Often at away games they stay closer to the away ground than they do than the hotel they use for home games.

I understand that players want to travel in some comfort to perform (bless em eh). But for the varst majority of games we play, there is not justifiable reason to not wear a suit.

Players should wear the suits from the hotel to the ground for all games, lets once more turn up with a bit of class and looking ready for business !

“The Arsenal” was always more than a club.

We were the ones that did things right on and off the pitch. We had the traditions that the footballing word looked up to. Even in the barren trophyless years in the 60s, 70s & 80s, we held our heads up high. We were the Arsenal.

Growing up young supporters have been told about these traditions often passed down the generations and  have grown to love “The Arsenal” as we had that bit of class that was lacking in other clubs. We were taught to be proud of our great club.

As more and more of our much loved traditions slip, more and more fans become disillusioned with the club they grew up loving.

Now I know that these traditions slipping isn’t the main reason why the grounds not been packed recently nor is it why we have been doing so badly. I know that sleeve length does not win you games. I know that Manchester City do not wear suits to away games. But the traditions are beyond trophies.

The traditions slipping is one of the reasons (alongside ticket prices) that many of the fans who have been going to games for decades no longer feel a strong attachment to the club. why they are no less likely to attend. They no longer feel that it is their club, the club they grew up loving. The club they were proud of no matter the result.

The players need to feel more pride to pull on an Arsenal shirt and to remember who they are and who they represent. The basic discipline of things such as suits and shirt lengths builds a solid foundation for this.

Turn up in suits – Wear the same length shirt sleeves – Clap the fans before the game – Clap the fans after the game – Go over to the fans if its an away game. It’s really not too much to ask !

Let’s hope the powers that be read this and restore these some traditions. Lets turn up for games ready for business, show the opposition that it’s not just another club that they are playing for, but The Arsenal are here and as one, players and fans.


GC / John

P.S I’d like to thank John for the time he has put in over  the shirt sleeve issue, we have been emailing each other for the best part of 3 years now on the day after games and he has been emailing everyone and i do mean everyone at the club to get clarification on the clubs rules. Sadly its finally been the outcome we feared.