Not Quite Fatal But A Damaging Defeat

Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal

1 – 0 Drogba (7)
2 – 0 Drogba (22)

The title chances took a dent, not ended as some would have you believe but battered and bruised nonetheless. As a performance, the team were vastly improved from last week’s defeat at home to Manchester United but still fell short at Stamford Bridge.

The wounds for this defeat were self-inflicted. Marking was absent for the opener; Terry had a free header, losing Vermaelen and Diaby with an entirely predictable run to meet the corner; Drogba was left unmarked by Song and Clichy went walkabout. Errors which were individually avoidable with the collective being punished.

A sense of déjà vu with the second. An Arsenal attack broke down on the edge of the Chelsea area with Lampard allowed to roam free through the midfield before finding Drogba on the left, isolating Clichy. The run into the box and shot had an air of inevitability about it, Drogba not wasting the opportunity.

The lessons of the previous week were not learned. Apparently Ancelotti observed that the best way to play Arsenal is on the counter-attack, a point proven by the second yesterday and most of the goals scored by Manchester United at The Emirates in the last twelve months.

It is a deeply dissatisfying result. Arsenal had most of the possession yesterday but failed to convert their opportunities. Chelsea, once the lead was established, showed professionalism in containing the Arsenal threat, reducing it to sporadic moments, repeating their tactics from earlier in the season, content to see the ball in midfield with their opponents, defending in depth on the edge of the area.

That is not say that Chelsea were entirely comfortable but Cech dealt with all that was thrown at him. Between the goals, Arshavin played Cesc in, the Spaniards volley well saved. A freekick driven under the wall was blocked by the Chelsea goalkeeper, Gallas narrowly failing to convert the rebound.

Set plays were a disappointment yesterday from an attacking perspective. Corners inevitably found their way to a Chelsea head or the for once, safe hands of Cech. With chances at a premium in such games, it is imperative that opportunities are not wasted, efforts on target have to be the order of the day.

Certain bad habits which had been almost eradicated reared their heads. Cesc had the opportunity to score but spurned it, preferring to pass rather than take on the effort. A reverse situation for the criticism Arshavin received last week and out of character with the captain’s form this time around.

Chelsea’s attack was not nullified in the second period, Malouda shot wide, Drogba rattled the bar from a freekick, jabs to the Arsenal jaw, reminders that threat remained even if a breakthrough had occurred.

It did not and Wenger was disappointed afterwards. Possession statistics mask the blunted Arsenal threat.  Bendtner was deemed not fit enough to start yet played for 25 minutes. Surely some leeway was necessary with Eduardo’s absence. Walcott put in a decent enough performance but like all attacking players, when you are stifled in possession by a mass rank of defenders and midfielders, you need options. Too often we did not have them.

And for all of that, the position of the team is not dire. The players are good enough to be in the top three, the mental impact of the manner of the defeat to United still appears to linger.

Where favour can be found is that the remainder of the season, 10 of the remaining games are against sides in mid or lower table. These matches are not straightforward; relegation threatens to around 11th place – albeit tenuously – and clubs have something to play for.

However, compared to those of Chelsea and Manchester United, the opportunity is there to close the 9 point gap. Problematically, whilst there is a reasonable expectation that both will drop points, Arsenal need to recover their strength starting on Wednesday and then win a high proportion of their games.

They can do it and until the mathematics deem the title unachievable, there is no reason to disbelieve that it will not happen. Right now though, we need to show support for the team. Perceived and real weaknesses cannot be resolved with signings – or as Wenger describes it, ‘The English solution‘ – and the squad need to regain confidence. This tough run of fixtures draws to a close on Wednesday when a victory may close the gap immediately, provided that results go Arsenal’s way.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 7, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 480 Comments.

  1. Szczesny for NUMBER 1 NOWWWWWWW

  2. ‘The English Solution’ is also the ‘Spanish Solution’ and unfortunately maybe the only solution, you feeling me.

  3. Bradys right foot

    A well written piece as always Yogi and whether you believe tha the team are on the precipous or the edge of greatness the last two matches have reinforced the fact that we have struggled against Utd over the last two years and Chelsea for the last five, loosing the games that mattered in cup competitions, europe and being mostly edged out in the league encounters.

    As individual games however there are marked differences in the last two games. We were resoundly beaten by Utd, I thought they were better the better team and our defending was incredibly poor. It was perhaps Aresnals worst collective display of the year and while all too easy to put down to a bad day even this teams staunchest critics would agree that their was considerable room for improvement individually and collectively.

    Against Chelsea we had two bad defensive moments and got rightly punished. As a hole however the team were much better, in midfield in particular with Diaby and Song we had a power ,physical presence and technique that dominated the Chelsea midfield that’s the first time I can honestly say this since the days of Paddy V. Similarly we did the same at Old trafford and in Song and Diaby we will have the dominant midfield pairing in the league for years to come. These two have come good and will only get better, these two player I believe will be the reasons this team pushes on in the future and wins silverware. The gap at the moment is nine points, the gap at the end of the season will be less.

  4. Fair play to you Yogi. It must be difficult to be optimistic following yesterdays display. A comment on my local radio this morning . . . “Watching Arsenal is like going to the Fair – you eat plenty of lovely candy floss but never come back with any coconuts”!!!

  5. thought arhavin was shit ysterday to the point of being a hinderance. would rather walcott had stayed on to regain sharpness or wenger hadn’t have bothered with the eboue sub which was very optimistic if the presumtion was he could change the game from RB. Unfortunately bendtner is our best option up front at the moment even if he does trip over his own feet every now and again.

    There was so little pentration in the final third that nearly every push forward was entirely predictable. We couldn’t pass through the middle and were forced out wide for a half hearted cross very regulary resulting in immediate fail. clichy needs to concentrate harder on his crossing but this has has always been the case.

    There was a lot of good possesion play (which flatters our performance) but it seems the same old problems have proved the difference again.

  6. Thank you – the balanced report we were looking for.

    Wednesday is now the real test – as we seek to kick off an unbeaten run to the end of the season.

    Bendtner must start to provide the variety in attack. Diaby made a real difference yesterday – and yes, Eboue for RB……

  7. I also think we performed way better than our last game. the end results didnt tell the whole story and unfortunately the scores is what matters at full time.

    The analysts at the channel I was watching the game on thought Chelsea were leading deservedly by half time. and the times they mentioned lightweight was disparaging!!They were full of crap.Fucking manc/chavs lovers.

  8. Well done Yogi providing a positive spin and lift on what was an inevitable outcome.

    I am afraid our chances of landing the league title fizzled out yesterday. Yes we had lots of possession, but how many times has this been said, no end product. Hitting crosses into the box for AA, sandwiched between Terry and Carvalho was never, ever going to work, if the game was still going on we still wouldn’t have scored.

    The game acted as microcosm of the whole of the season, lots of possession, lapses in defence, piss poor set plays and an inability to head a ball.

    Enough D&G, here’s to a strong finish

  9. Arsenal played really well yesterday. No physical manhandling as critics call it. I think Diaby and Song really dominated Ballack and Obi. Lampard was virtually absent the entire game.

    Tactically, playing Walcott was a shrewd move. It allowed us to make our own counter attack and kept cole pegged in for most of the match.

    The faults everyone already knows. My problems starts with expectations. Mostly, with AW’s regarding the entire team. To my knowledge the squad is really achieving to its best. League table doesnt lie. While its commendable what we have done till now, unfortunately it is not good enough for the title.At present it is a good team with talented players all round. But as of now it is not our title to win but for Chelsea and Man U to lose.

    Considering where we stood at the beginning of January and the kind of fixtures we faced,
    I thought AW would get a striker that offers different things then our present set. Bendtner is still a season or two away to do what Adebayor did in his second season.

    The reason why he was not able too was due to a lack of planning or execution. Certainly not due to a lack of capital??

    A valuation difference is not important from only a capital point of view. It creates a massive impact for the team in general. A new player does create impact. Ashravin last season, Vermaleen this season. One striker and one goalkeeper that makes those impossible saves is what we need.

    Lets support the team. This is not the end yet. Still as a healthy fan set we have to accept our failings and move away from rose tinted glasses.

  10. funny how we have no injuries to our backline but that is clearly our weak point.

  11. Clearly written and balanced post–often I find prose overly elaborated.

    But I think issues are being glossed over by simply looking forward rather than assessing opportunities lost and determining accountability. The defense is error prone; not just a matter of individual and occasional errors–why do our players keep making defensive mistakes, especially against quality opponents? Wenger promise to improve the defense but this season’s record is poorer than last’s and the goalkeepers have regressed. A keeper of Czech’s quality might be expected to keep one or another of the goals out. Against strong defenses, our attack has been stale and without cutting edge, yet any effort to strengthen it was left too late despite injuries to van Persie and slow recovery to Bendtner, who is still unconvincing when fit. In all fairness, though, his introduction was positive and demonstrated the value of a real and tall CF. Tactically we are predictable and in personnel we have many similar players- small but technical. Against stronger teams we struggle and need more options.
    We have an easier run in after Liverpool, but it has to be admitted that our chances in the league have really dimmed; a loss to an in form Liverpool put us in a real fight for third. More concerning is what our weakness against strong opponents says about prospects in the Champions league. We are fortunate in having drawn Porto, but beyond that point will face side who can likely exploit these weaknesses.

    So yes, the season can be saved and we must all support our club and team. But it has been made more difficult than it needed to be perhaps while team flaws have not been addressed effectively. The players have let Wenger’s faith in them down by their performances, but he has failed to address identifiable problems as well. It is no credit not to observe these matters now that we have played ManU and Chelsea twice with no result.

  12. Yogi, your blind optimism is a joy to behold.

    Back in the real world, the title challenge is over.

    Yes, the Mancs and Chavs will drop points but so will we – away games to Birmingham, Stoke and Hull for starters – given our propensity to gift goals (we’ve gifted goals to Birmingham and Stoke already this season) would you bet against it?

    I am not asking for a shiny new player – just asking the team to do the fecking basics right for once.

    I am sick to the back teeth listening to “how we will learn from mistakes….”

    Plenty to play for but look what we could have won…….

  13. Shame we could not be more clinical on Sunday. We played well, but yet again could not beat Chelsea.

    Diaby and Song were excellent I thought, but Clichy is really struggling for form at the moment. Both goals were down him in large parts; he should have stayed on his post (schoolboy stuff), and he should have taken Lampard down when he recived the ball for their 2nd.

    Although he did not do much, the team looked much better with Bendtner as a focal point. Sagna also did OK but i would be tempted to give Eboue a run of games as he has looked pretty good each time he has come on in the last few games.

  14. A good evaulation Realist.

    A top, top keeper with presence is a must and I would like to see Gibbs playing ahead of Clichy next season, which I hope will sort out the defensive frailties. Not sure about a striker now, a stop gap loan striker in January would have done but, RVP will be back for next season and the the other strikers will be another campaign older.

  15. “Set plays were a disappointment yesterday from an attacking perspective. Corners inevitably found their way to a Chelsea head or the for once, safe hands of Cech.”

    I havent seen us scoring from Corners for a long long time on a consistent basis. Now coming to other set pieces, our team doesnt give much impetus on scoring from these, you know open play is football and that is the culture that is being nurtured.

    Whatever assets that could augment our football, we dont seem to take notice of those.
    pathetic crosses, pathetic dead ball situations and pathetic corners. Add to that some shambolic defending, it a good soup.

  16. ITS ALL ABOUT WINNING SOMETHING

    No team with Almunia in goal has any chance of winning the title.Why has Wenger never addressed the goalkeeping situation after Jens left?

    Clichy never been the same since Birmingham 2008

    Walcott.Like a little boy lost.Cashley had him in his pocket

    How can we be expected to win titles without a recognised striker????Manure have Rooney Chelski have Drogba,both world class who the fuck do we have??????????????

    We will never get a better chance to win the title as both Chelski and Manure have been below par this season

  17. Word, I think he needs a break, One game out and he will come back rejuvenated and upto the task of scoring them goals.Did his injured foot heal?

    For someone who wasnt fit until a day to the game Diaby was quite impressive. At some point I wished Fabrigas would stay back and let him go forward. He was quite a handful for Chelsea.

    As for the ref( who is always too quick to dish out penalties) it was quite ironic he didnt give out a card until the latter stages of the game. Malouda did alot of fouling which in my book warranted a card. was happy though to see he didnt get fooled by Drogba’s diving.

    Now if someone can break Drog/rooney’s leg in the coming matches, they’ll have done us a big favour.

  18. Oops!!disregard the last sentence. I was only thinking it, not out loud!!

  19. I’d love to think that Everton and Villa can both get something on Wednesday and that we will beat liverpool. If so, then how quickly people will be talking about it being a 3 horse race again. I hold optimism, but I know that the last 3 games have been a massive blow.
    There were positives yesterday. The balance looked much better with bendtner leading the line, both teams made 2 clear chances (their goals, and the Arshavin volley and Nasri’s indecisive moment and 1 free kick). There is some truth in Arsene’s comments that we probably did enough to win that game on another day.

    I do think that to challenge for the title we need a couple of established players, but i aslo remember going to Goodison on the 1st day of the season fearful that we didnt have a top 4 squad. if anything, the boys have over performed and raised my (our) expectations. All is not lost…. we’ll finish top 4 which was my main concern at the beginning of the season.
    I do still hope for summer signings, but am still ready to trust in Wenger!

  20. Goonerandy, spot on in blame for the goals – although some contribution too from Gallas and Vermaelen (Vermaelen instructing Clichy to chase across to cover Drogba was a mistake when Clichy had less chance of covering him than Vemaelen)

    Limestonegunner, Cech on his form this season prior to yesterday wouldnt have got near either of their goals, and would probably have conceded at least two of our chances yesterday – unfortunately he played his best match of the season yesterday.

  21. I really like Clichy, but I hope the Manager tore him a new one for the 1st goal. You stay on your post until the ball is cleared. 10 Year old get tought that. Amazing a professional player can make such bad desicions.

  22. Man Utd’s second goal came from us attacking,yesterday Chelsea’s 2nd goal came from us attacking.The same happened v Man city and Everton.Does Wenger teach his players in training anything about defending?The same goes for defending set pieces

    For the second week running Clichy performed one of the worst pieces of defending ever.You stand on the post for a reason.

    60% of possesion means nothing if you CANNOT defend

  23. what happened to Clichy and Sagna they are not the players we kow.

  24. what was vermalaen doing yesterday. the way he just let drogba roam about free as a bird he should have been up his arse all game.

  25. Wenger said, he had no special plans for Drogba. Drogba showed he had some special plans for wenger.

  26. To be fair Drogba will own most defenders in the lge.

  27. Both Ferguson and Ancelotti both recognised our big weakness.Gael Clichy.The guy is shot to pieces.I would put Sagna at LB and Eboue at RB v Liverpool

  28. ‘Now if someone can break Drog/rooney’s leg in the coming matches, they’ll have done us a big favour.’

    First Lady, I’m terribly disappointed in you

  29. Look, I thought we were have had a bad spell luck wise in the last the 3 games, and I like Yogi’s approach. To some we are not ‘allowed’ to say there was some bad luck, but for anyone who has actually played football, it does happen. Neither a draw v Villa, 1-3 v ManU not 0-2 yesterday reflected the matches. We should have won against Villa, hitting the post and the bar; we probably should have lost v ManU, by the odd goal, and if Arshavin’s volley had gone in yesterday, we would have been 1-0 up and the game would have panned out quite differently.

  30. The good news is that the Denilson bashers have been exposed. Had he played he would have blamed for yet another loss. Bastards! Now after we beat ‘pool and villa beat manutd we’ll be back in the race.

  31. Wenger doesn’t help things when he calls teams like Chelsea efficient. What does he expect, they are a proper team of experienced players managed by a coach who knows how to win things and knows his job depends on it.
    Unsurprisingly such teams do not feel obliged to play to the oppositions strengths. It’s grown up professional football.

    AW has begun to live in a bubble and needs to wake up fast. Chelsea knew that they could sit back and get a goal on the break or wait for a mistake, it’s what they did at the Emirates. Giving us possession is no problem we didn’t play with a striker until the 2nd half and who was going to win a cross against Carvalho and Terry.

    Failure to secure 3 points on Wednesday and it is going to start to get nasty at the Emirates. His decision making is more erratic. He has made the calls this season and while he can’t be totally at fault for mistakes made by the players or injuries he is ultimately in charge of the direction of the club and the blatant weaknesses in the squad.

  32. feel more gutted today.

  33. Vermaelen should be given the captains armband and let him run the team from the back, the other players would listen then instead of getting confused and questioning him

  34. its is unfair that we are finger pointing clichy. He is returning back from an injury and we dont have a choice, other than traore in that position.

    Our defence as a whole is culpable in both these defeats. A nervous wreck in Almunia doesnt serve the purpose at all. We are so jittery when the ball is around our box.

  35. Yup, something odd is happening with Clichy because he looks physically fit and determined but his mind is not composed. I think this might be a result of the hiding he got from Nani; I would lay both yesterday’s goals at left back errors, but leaving the far post unattended to dash all the way to the near post was really quite erratic.

  36. Clash – Being rusty after an injury does not explain his actions for the first goal.

    Kenyan – I think yesterday illustrates how much better our midfield functions with Diaby instead of Denilson. Not many teams will dominate posession at Chelsea.

  37. clash, confidence domes from the keeper, it true rude boy and you know this

  38. while all of us are pondering about the defence, wasnt it too obvious that were not going to score a goal against the chelsea defence, with arshavin leading the line.

    I mean so many of us realise this, but why is wenger stuck to this idea?

    anyway i was not crest fallen as normal, coz i went in to the match with limited expectations – and that was a draw. 😦

  39. Only RvP seems suited to the lone striker role. And even that was a suprise. Bendtner should be, but his questionable work rate hold him back in that role.

  40. Limestonegunner

    Big Johan,
    yes, Czech has had his own problems this season (more on commanding the box on high balls than shot stopping), but my point was really about Almunia underperforming though I don’t blame him for the goals. a better goalkeeper might have kept us closer. The position has been a problem for a long time and not been successfully addressed; for that matter the porous defense has continued all season as well.

  41. I feel sometimes that when our player is inside the box with a slightly central position aganist teams like man u and chelsea, they should shoot like a defoe. Straight and pointed at the goal. a spill a defensive lapse would make things very interesting.et god help us. It is better then the lack of cutting edge we saw yesterday.

  42. Flava flav in the sun, public enemy number 1

  43. Realist, Henry would of had five or six efforts from outside the area

  44. Goonerandy the point isn’t that we dominated possession, we normally do and that’s why it’s called the Arsenal way. My point on Denilson is not wheather he should have played or not, it’s that some nitwits have it in for him without justification.

  45. Have long range shots draws the defense out to shut players down, thsts the time for some ‘close intricate passing’, theres no point making triangles on the halfway line and you know this

  46. Kenyan Gooner, If Denilson had played instead of Song it would of been alot worse, believe me on this one dog

  47. Maybe true Kenyan, and I may be one of the nitwits you speak of. I supose it just frustrates me to see a player who I feel would could improve on vastly occupying a central midfield slot in the team. I like Diaby as he offers so much more. In my opinion.

    I don’t dislike the guy, I just feel a team of Arsenal’s stature should have better.

    Anyway, old debate eh 🙂

  48. nice…..pass, pass, pass, pass…..lovely….did you see that?….almost a goal….wow…riverting….not now honey, the best part is coming…..ooooooo…..so close….did you see that 5 pass move across the midfield….wonderful stuff…..oh almost another goal….

  49. William, Denilson might have scored from thirty yards, cat!

  50. Limestonegunner

    Kenyan Gunner,
    that sort of point is hardly productive-let’s save the interfan polemic and highlight the football analysis. By that measure the last several games Denilson has been having real lapses in judgement defensively, showing poor effort and contributing little to our attack besides. He was dropped appropriately. The larger question of his value to the team is a different natter we should take up at theend of the season.

  51. tbf I think clichy has improved a little in every game since coming back so he doesn’t need to be held responsible just yet.

    Such a shame about gibbs this year as a good run could have even made clichy sellable at the end of the season – not saying that I want to see him go but it would be sound business if the professor deemed fit.

    Dont mean to D&G too much but is no one else disappointed in arshavins commitment these last couple of games??

  52. DROGBA :12 GOALS IN 10 STARTS, AGAINST ARSENIL .

    NOW THATS HISTORY,,,,,,,,,,

    POOR ARSEHOLE CLUB :YOU ARE NOT ENGLISH ANY MORE

  53. I just re-played the game on xbox360 and Chelsea won 3-0.The 3rd goal came from a wonderful Freekick from DD that Almuniac stood still and appluded.

    The latest news: Almuniac was found somewhere beside the Bridge,dressed like a Clown and waiting for the Super Bowl

  54. /\ please ignore

  55. Viv, what a load of wank.

    Chelsea are a proper team of experienced players managed by a coach who knows how to win things. Are we not a ‘proper’ team then? Do you mean win things like major domestic honours? Ancelotti’s record does not compare to Arsene Wenger’s. Be careful what you wish for.

    And if by ‘things are going to get nasty at the emirates if we lose on Wednesday’; you mean that a handful of thick-as-shit whinge-merchants will take it upon themselves to boo our team and manager like spoilt children, then you are probably right. Thankfully though, they will swiftly be drowned out with a long and rousing chorus of One Arsene Wenger, sang full-throatedly by the vast right-thinking, rightfully appreciative and sane majority of real Arsenal supporters.

  56. Good point Limestone. My point wasn’t on whether Deno should have played or not. I’d be the first to admit he’s not yet at the level required but the same was said of Song and Diaby not too long ago. And I was one of the few who believed Diaby would come through. Song’s development was a welcome surprise to me!

  57. Hopefully none of our fans are stupid enough to boo the team. It is completely counter productive.

  58. Hopefull none of our fans are stupid enough to boo the team. It is completely counter productive.

  59. William are you Kenyan by any chance?

  60. Same here Kenyan. I always thought Diaby would develop into a good player. Song was a bolt from the blue though. It is hard to believe what an accomplished player he looks.

  61. cheers yogi, for telling it like it is. i am one of a handful who are well and truly waiting for rosicky , nasri and denilson to do an alex song and like the boss i know it will take time and i am prepared toi wait . the numpties who are discounting us now will be laughing out the other side of their faces next year or the one after or maybe this. people nothing is written in stone and even if it were it is not necessarily true! SUPPORT THE TEAM or naff off but heckling my club whilst wearing our colours from row Z is just well, NUMPYism. we all know that we can beat anybody really and that compared to other managers wenger has over delivered in the circumstances.
    WENGER OUT= MARK HUGHES WITH A SHINY ITALIAN SUIT PRANCING ABOUT ON THE TOUCHLINE

  62. It’s about time FIFA created a trophy for Best Business Model (yet to generate a return). Arsenal would be a shoe-in.

    However, need to polish-up our sums. When adding 1+1 it rather depends on whether you’re adding Drogba + Anelka or Bendtner + Arshavin. The answer you get is very different.

  63. It came down to four plays or possessions. This was the match in a nutshell. Drogba was the killer. Two counter attacks killed us. Arshavin had two great scoring opps but bupkis. The title is still there for the taking. 15 matches left. Nine points is huge but the chances are on life support. It can happen. http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  64. A disapointing and frustrating result yesterday, but I was really proud of the way our players fought in the second half. Song was immense.
    It was the same old problems at the back that have dogged us all season and it is no surprise that we concede goals and lose against the other top four teams because we have been leaking goals all season.
    It’s alright to concede 2 goals against the likes of Bolton and Blackburn as we can come back and outscore them, but against the better teams it is harder to score and we will inevitablely struggle.
    I think any talk of winning the title is probably a bit pie in the sky and we need to two teams to drop a number of points while we need not to dop points at places like Stoke, Birmingham and Spurs, of course this is not impossible considering the number of points already dropped by the big
    2, but it’s a long shot nevertheless.

  65. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    special helpline number for all arsenil fans,

    0800

    won nothing won nothing won nothing

  66. First Lady, No, nowhere cool like that unfortuantely.

    Are you a Lady or is that just your name?

  67. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Sad little pathetic arseteletubbies. Well there’s always a next year to be disappointed again. Get use to living without trophies already

  68. I do think the lge is beyond us now; mainly because I don’t expect manure and Chelsea to drop too may points between them regardless of what we do.

    Finish 3rd and a good chance in the CL.

  69. Good post YW, as always. It’s only early February, lots to play for and no sense in falling on any swords.

  70. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Chelsea need to be careful, bullying kids is frowned upon in football and today Arsenal were like a bunch of primary school girls getting slapped all over. Best watch they dont make a complaint about bullying and call in child protection services!!

  71. word, I think he lost the ball which resulted in the second goal, not that i blame him for it anyway. I would like to see his stats for the last 3 months or so esp for the mispasses and for being dispossesed

  72. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    It amazes me that Wenger continues his policy OF buying small girly boy players

  73. Vermaelen is tough, reliable and aggresive. He should be captain.

  74. In a fist fight, Vermaelen would be our only player worth his salt. Walcot would run away into a brick wall and Gallas would hide behind the others doing wanker signs. Vermaelen however, would start eating people, we need this aggresion throughoutt our team, Tony Adams style and you know this dogs

  75. Every fool in England and the internet knows what Arsenal need. Except that they don’t but just mouth the latest line from the pundits.

    It changes thrice every season. After every defeat, what’s deemed necessary changes and what’s amazing is how quickly it becomes gospel.

    “Arsenal need………………….” and they will be title contenders.

    “Arsenal need a flame thrower, two jugglers and a pantomime clown and they will be title contenders”.

    Go back and read what the pundits said after Arsenal lost to both Manchester teams in September.

    Why they think Arsene Wenger or anyone should listen is beyond me. You wrote Arsenal off in September after 2 losses, then they quickly shot to the top. RVP gets injured, they lose to Sunderland & Chelsea. They get written off again. They show class, fight, resilience with an injury-ravaged squad, come back and then they lose 2 more games. Again, they’re crap and again everyone is united in a different thing they lack.

    It’s all a bloody farce.

  76. You have to admire Wenger he really is the King of Bull.You can have 95% of the ball but if you dont have one striker you will never win anything.

    What has happened to Clichy? to even talk of him in the same class as Cashley is a joke.Pity Gibbs is injured

    Utd and Chelsea are above us because they are better teams than us.Stop looking for excuses.We havent been good enough since 2004.

    And Wenger has to take the blame.Next season we need a new keeper,another CH,a DM and a 25 goal a season but didnt we say the same last season

    Out must go Almunia,Eboue,Denilson,Walcott and Vela

    And Cesc will go

  77. Ole Gunner, everyone is entitled to there opinion Ole. I seem to remember you championing Adebeyor as irreplaceable and a fantastic member of the squad. You loved him and bigged him up over current players constantly. Then what happened? He rogered us from behind, good and hard. It was sickening how he behaved. My point is we all say things that seem silly with the benefit of hindsight, you more then anyone so please get off your high horse. Regards. Now, on a more lighter note, would you like a cup of tea?

  78. Ole

    So Arsenal dont need a Keeper??????? and you are happy with playing a 5ft 4in player as a lone striker????

    You are more deluded than Wenger

  79. I also like to add that me and some other morons writes crap and still hang around here. So no worries Ole.

  80. tony you f*cker.

  81. Tony, go easy on brother Ole Gunner.
    He used to have his own opinions, he was a lovefool for Adebeyor. Adebeyor hurt him deeply and I dont think he has ever recovered

  82. William likes Dick-ov.

  83. Green William you bastard !!!, I’ll get you one of these days

  84. Green William, I think Ole is talking to you

  85. Tony,

    AW is waiting to take your dictations. You the genius, he the moron.

  86. James stop pretending. We all know who you are.

  87. Ole, Coffee?

  88. I know but people seem to prefer me as william, James inspires hatred and thats not what im about G

  89. James you want some Dickov? I know you like.

  90. I’m a character actor green william, as william I get to speak like Busta Rhymes and you know this

  91. James, I’m waiting…..

  92. What did you want tea as well?

  93. I want YOU.

  94. …..dude…… come on, Im engaged to Maria

  95. You’re so sexy when you talk like a moron.

  96. I know this. We better talk about football now cos I dont like ruining the blog completely, I actually prefer it when people ignore me

  97. I do pity Tony and King Gun, I mean seriously when did you start supporting the Arsenal. It sounds like a couple of years, and wet behind the ears. I suggest go and buy a book, there are loads, and learn some history of your own team since the 70s, and then have a proper debate. One thing you will learn from reading is that in decades to come people will write about this as the Ferguson-Wenger era in football, such has been the influence of these two on the English game. Chelsea will have a footnote, and why not, they have in Drogba the best forward playing in England and a sound team behind him. But it is not in the same league, which is why smiley Dave keeps popping up – he has an inferiority complex.

  98. I follow you wherever you are.

  99. In spite of the defeat which is a part of football that fans of most other clubs have to take far more often than us there were encouraging signs yesterday so i will focus on the positives.

    Every Arsenal fan knows Clichy and Sagna are good players, that is a fact. They will find their class again soon enough. Blaming players game after game is so boring and doesn’t prove or solve anything.

    We are playing our way back into form with injured players coming back and gaining fitness with every game.

    We are more than capable of putting a good run together and if we do there will be many more twists and turns this season.

    Nobody has won anything yet.

  100. Do you mind, James?

  101. Ole Gunner

    Gooners have been saying we needed a top class keeper since Jens left it isnt just after 2 defeats.Surely even you cannot defend Almunia

    What makes Arsenal fans angry is we had a great chance to win the league this season if we had bought a Keeper and a Striker.

    Your comment that why should Wenger listen to us Arsenal fans says it all.Because he is wrong thats why.

    Drogba cost £24m and Rooney £30m.If you pay top dollar you get top quality

    And we are forever told we have £30m to spend by Wenger himself.

  102. How much do you cost, frank?

  103. No I dont mind Green William, or should I say – Muppet.

    This is like the end of ‘Poirot’

  104. Matty

    you are bonkers.We are playing ourselves back into form!!!!! yes thats right losing 2 games scoring just one goal and conceding 5.Yes thats really playing ourselves back into form

    The only positive yesterday was we only lost 2-0

  105. hahaha James. You sound desperate.

    Just give me your number.

  106. eddie, I want yours as well.

  107. Eboue, Denilson and Carlos Vela? What the fuck do they have to do with anything? None of them even played yesterday, other than 15 minutes of Manu Eboue – and he played well!

    It’s pretty funny how 2 defensive errors from a leftback fresh back from injury can have the idiot brigade rubbishing our entire squad. Get a grip children – you sound like Tony Cascarino.

  108. Whats pink Frank all about?

  109. Do you like pink, James?

  110. Ole

    If only we hadnt sold your favourite player Adebayor.What might have been?

  111. Thinking that we can win the title with Almunia (or Fabianski) in goal and no striker to play up front is either blind optimism or just plain delusional.

  112. frank,

    Send your shopping list in braille, addressed to the blind Arsene Wenger. You know the address.

    I say if we get a masseur, and a second mascot we’ll become contenders.

    I hope Wenger is taking notes.

  113. eddie, dont do it. He is very sensitive about it, there was tattoo removals involved and all sorts.

  114. James William, you have a tatoo of eddie?

    Shall I invite him?

  115. Eddie,

    Do you have anything constructive or positive to say about the team you support?

  116. YW,
    Nice blog, I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts even if I rarely comment.

    There was no doubt how Chelsea was going to approach the game. Its the same way they play against strong attacking sides e.g Barca in the CL last year. It took the ‘mighty’ Barca 120 mins to score just one goal against them. With the injuries and our form, it was always gonna be a big ask to breach their defence/goalkeeper yesterday. I really wasn’t expecting us to score. I just hoped the boys will play well, which they did for the most part.

    I am really dissapointed in our defending though.
    I honestly don’t understand why we should still be conceding those kind of goals. The problem imo lies somewhere between coaching and individual errors. But the individual errors seem to keep being repeated. I wasn’t very impressed with the way Clichy or Vermaelen defended the counter attack that led to the second goals.

    Its because of our tendency to concede so easily that I’m less optimistic about our chances for silverware this season than you are. Our rivals score as much as we do, but concede way less.

  117. Henristic, so your basically saying Clichy needs to get with the programme, is that correct partner?

  118. Which kind of programmes and magazines are your favourites, James?

    No don’t say. I know already.

  119. We can read them together if you like, James.

  120. William, I believe you just said you’d prefer to be ignored. I’m gonna do just that, unless you post something I consider sensibly football related.

    Hope thats ok with you

  121. Needless to say I did not comment at 2.44pm.

  122. I like the gay shit Muppet, dont tell Maria though, I cant lose her the way I lost my beloved Queen of Sub

  123. Yesterday I saw at least three players coming back from injury and another four players who are not on form and need to play games.

    We are currently a team who are not on form, so therefore yes, we are in the process of playing our way back into form.

    Positives: Diaby’s return, Bendtners return, Walcots return. We created chances to win the game. We dominated the midfield for large parts. We showed fight after conceding so early.

    Negatives: Some of our fans willingness to give up on the team and certain players so easily and moan rather than criticise constructively. Its so predictable, lazy and boring.

  124. Henristic, James William is desperat to catch my attention.

  125. You won’t lose me, that’s for sure James William.

  126. Frank Im so glad your here, lashings may be in order

  127. naughty boy, my James.

  128. Sorry, YW, until you sort this cunt out, I won’t be posting for a while.

  129. Frank, just to clear up, what cunt would that be?

  130. This loss hurts a lot because we are not learning from our mistakes. We would be better off defending in numbers against Chelsea until we can get that balance.

    WE MUST get more out of crosses and corners, we just have to or we might aswell not take them. Mayeb work the ball a different way but its annoying to see every ball find the head of the opposing team or the goalie’s hands

    I am not giving up but we need to get this things together, we are failing in the basics and then we have to chase the game while the opposition just defends and waits for the opportunities.

    I am not one to scream shoot but it seemed as if some players didnt want to take responsibilty and have a go. I was pleased by NB, he came on and faught very hard.

    I feel like we have the talent to do this thing but someting just isnt clicking on the defensive side of things and when you look at the talent of the players in defense it just doesnt make sense.

    It just pains that we were caught on the counter, that just hurts really bad.

    I still have faith in my side, we are good enough to do it.

    Just had to express my hurt.

    I feel terrible but I am grateful for our team. We must not give up the fight. 13 matches is enough to do some damage.

    ARSENAL!!!

  131. The last time we won the league we had the best defense. ManU and Chelsea have had the best defense the last 5 years. Coincidence? The last 6 years our defensive position in the table has been 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, and this yr 9th. Last summer Arsene said (paraphrased) “Defense is the difference between us and United” He traded Kolo for TV which was probably an upgrade, but to say that TV and WG has been a great pairing is not realistic given the statistics. The whole team has regressed, not just Almunia. United have had terrible injury problems on defense and GK but they do not give away goals. The difference is that they have Alex Ferguson and we do not.

    The only constant in our slow defense erosion is AW. There is no one else to blame. A cynic would say he inherited a great defense or we would not have had the success we did in the early part of his tenure. The possible explanations for his inability to improve our defense as I see them.
    1) He does not realize there is a problem
    2) He buys players and constructs an offensive team that does not play defense.
    3) He is an offensive manager and is wants to prove to the world that you can win with offensive football. Either overtly or subconsciously on the training ground and in games he and our team have lost site of the importance of defense.
    4) He does not know how to coach or improve defense.

    I hope #3 is the real explanation since that is fixable if the boss is willing to try to fix it. I suspect mostly # 2 and #3. Hopefully not # 1 and #4.

    I do not suggest that we completely change our style and become a defensive team, but defense in clearly the first thing that needs to improve for us to ever win hardware. There are a lot of people on this blog who think about this and know a lot more about football then I do. I would love to hear some ideas about what is wrong and how we can fix our defense.

  132. Bill, the defence needs protection dog

  133. The main problem is not individuals (although lots of our recent goals conceeded where individual errors). When our team lose the ball we are not compact enough.

    The team need to learn to to compress the play more. Other teams just have far to much space to play in and around us. If we press from the front, the defensive back line really needs to squeeze forward. If we don’t the full team should drop off.

  134. There was nothing Almunia could do about the 2nd goal. You can argue he should have told Clichy to stay on the back post for the 1st goal. But then Song should have been marking Drogba, and Clichy should have stayed on the back post of by his own volition anyway. Why he drifted into the middle of the goal is unclear. He was shouting at someone to cover him, but when this didn’t happen he should have dropped back there himself. All easy to say in hindsight of course.

    Clichy is still one of the best left-backs in the world. Going forward he looks almost as good as ever. Defending on the hop – not so much, he’s out of practice and he’s made some high-profile mistakes. Rooney and Drogba are not the ideal opponents to be left covering on your return from injury. Fortunately he’s the kind of professional to pick himself right back up now and fight again.

    The real reason we lost yesterday was that Chelsea played negative as fuck football and we didn’t make our chances count. Can’t wait for Inter Milan vs. Chelsea. What a feast of free-flowing that will be!

  135. I feel your pain Paul N. More attention really needs to be paid to our defence. Our quality at set pieces hasn’t been so good either.

    We do find it hard to play the big teams. Mostly because they tend to have decent defenders/keepers and are well able to punish our own defensive mistakes. Good thing we’re only be meeting teams of less quality from now in the PL

    Annoying as the the term flat-track bullly may be, it does seem to hold true for us

  136. One moronic troll in particular has done a good job of sabotaging this site. Better than any of the D&Gers. It is painful just scrolling past the trash.

    Paul N – We were beaten by the better team on the day. Individual mistakes were made that on another day may not have led to goals. But hats off to Chelsea, they took their 2 out of 3 chances. Thats impressive. End of story.

  137. free-flowing… football, that is.

  138. Limpar, Chelsea did what they always do against us. Defended deep and compact, and took the chances that they knew they would get against us. They are always going to do that against us, and we don’t seem to have an answer to that.

    It was not about them playing negative football.

  139. Limpar: The real reason we lost yesterday was that Chelsea played negative as fuck football and we didn’t make our chances count. Can’t wait for Inter Milan vs. Chelsea.

    Simply not true. We lost because we defended poorly. If we defended as we should it should have at least ended as a boring draw. Blaming our loss on Chelsea’s kind of football is a bit silly.

  140. On the contrary, goonerandy, that is the definition of negative football.

  141. Henristic, maybe we shouldve played for the draw, though I hate that.

    Its like a blinkin mouse trap, they bait us with cheese and then, WHAM! thats whats happening and its disheartening when you look at the ridiculous amount of talent we have.

    In my view none of these teams are superior in talent but this year they have had our number.

    DAMN IT!

    No joke about it though, when this team does learn from its mistakes, Arsenal will be frightening.

    Lets stand by the team, we are still in the PL and CL.

    God bless!!

  142. The Two Trolls.

    The Fellowhip of the Chav:
    J*mes.

    The Retrurn of The King Troll:
    NojNoj’s subtle BNP Avatar.

    Hail to thee King Troll.

    Hail!

  143. Well, goonerandy, one man’s defending deep and compact is another man’s negative football. If Arsenal were to play like Chelsea did yesterday, at home, against anyone at all – I’d be embarrassed. I’m proud we’re always the team to take the initiative and attack. The football gods will reward us for that.

  144. Neither goal was scored because we were playing attacking positive football on Sunday. Both were straightforward defensive errors. The first from Alex Song and the second from TV and GC. I was amazed that they scored either of them because we appeared to have each situation under control.

  145. Frank – Can’t agree there mate. Negative football is the type Bolton used to play against us. They did not comitt men forward and relied on set pieces. Yesterday Chelsea attacked with plenty. Their full backs got further forward than our own at times.

    They are not particularly entertaining in my opinion, but I would not call them negative. Just well balanced.

  146. Paul N – Actually its not end of story. We attacked and defended better in the 2nd half showing the true measure of the current team. While it was not good enough it is valid to observe that ManU had their Rooney, Chelsea – Drogba and we are missing Van Persie. Put in the mix Eduard ad Bendtner’s return from injury and you see the difference in the set-up.

    Of course the D&Gers believe we should have gone to the football supermarket and bought a 4th top quality striker and, for added insurance, a 5th just as back-up just in case. Anyone remembers three years ago Mourinho wanting at least a 4th top quality center-half because of the injury bug team and being rebuffed by Abramovich despite his very deep pockets.

  147. * Must…Check…spelling…
    Although J*mes probably enjoys a good lashing.

    The Two Trolls.

    The Fellowship of the Chav:
    J*mes.

    The Retrurn of The King Troll:
    NojNoj’s subtle BNP Avatar.

    Hail to thee King Troll.

    Hail!

  148. I know Shotta but we have to stop allowing this to happen. Chelsea 3 shots, 2 goals in the 1st half. With the talent we have there is no way that teams should be so efficient in front of goal, regardless of Drogba.

    We have the talent and I know we are better than what the results say.

  149. 2 of our league triumphs under Wenger came with defences he constructed….one with a hybrid of constructed/inherited. But all said, inheriting a defence doesn’t even mean they’re automatically good under you.

    If as you say, he cant coach defence, then they should have been terrible under him anyway.

  150. We must, we must, we must increase our bust

  151. Frank, remember it was defensive errors in the first match against Chelsea. Whatever it takes we have to stop these defensive errors, we are too good to be making these mistakes, way too good.

    Shotta, you are right. We miss RVP in the worst way, the Eduardo starts getting it together and he is injured.

    just dissapointed but have not lost faith at all.

    We have the team to do it.

  152. I’ve been derided from the start of the season when I said from the outset that our defensive problems had not been addressed – even when people here were fawning over the teams ability to score against the evertons and boltons. Yesterday the game was over after 20mins. After 8mins we couldn’t even stay on the post to defend a corner kick. Any schoolboy team across the land would have got that right. The mindset / lack of focus / organisation is all wrong. Never is it more evident than in set plays/counter attacks. Its not the personnel (Almunia excepted depending on your views)– all these players are very good players in their own right. Its just so frustrating to see the same mistakes again and again, year after year. One step forward, two steps back. We seem incapable of learning. Maybe a specialist defensive coach should be considered?

    Bill

    You put forward possible reasons as to why this has not improved. Check out this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_prem/8503280.stm?

    Matty,

    I take your points on some players coming back to form. Its a point thats valid and well made. But the defensive problems have been there for years now Matty.

    I also feel that we should have signed a striker. RvP is 6 years now at the club. He’s been injured for 5. To rely on him given his injury record, especially when Eduardo was injured too and having sold Ade in the summer – was an unnecessary gamble and one we have paid for dearly. A little like the gamble we took last year in not signing a defensive midfielder when Flamini left. There are times we need to be prudent in spending money – but there are also times when we need to spend on quality. While I appreciate that players like this do not grow on trees, we’ve known about RvP’s injury since November. If we couldn’t get an Arsenal class striker for the right money – its not unreasonable to think that we should at the very least have had a plan B and maybe signed a short term player rather than see the season flushed away by our usual dithering, indecision and propensity to take the cheap option.

    I was really impressed by some of our play yesterday. I really think that some players have really stood up and were counted. Song, Vermaelen, Gallas, Diaby and our wonderful captain have been great all season long. Arshavin hasn’t played well – but then again he’s out of position and has made the best of the position he finds himself. There are other players who have been found wanting though and never seem to front up when its needed most.

    The really big problem will be trying to hold this team together for another season if we don’t win anything. Its only this year that we’ve managed to get back to where we were two years ago before Flam and Hleb left. And if you think signing a striker / decent goalkeeper is tough, try finding a creative midfield player to replace the magnificent Cesc Fabregas! This year, its of immense importance that we win silverware.

  153. Oh brilliant, Henristic. Here’s hoping for some more boring draws.

  154. If Wenger is so crap, why’s he still the 2nd winningest manager in the history of the league.

  155. this current team is simply not good enough.

    3 things we need to do in the summer:

    1. Buy a striker
    2. Keep Cesc
    3. New goalkeeper

    still keep almunia, though, give him something to fight for, if he loses his place we might see the determination we saw in the 07/08 season

  156. Henristic you is spot on partner

  157. Paul N,

    They even commited more errors than us yesterday.

  158. It is a bit like catenaccio, goonerandy, as played in Italy before total football was invented. You basically pack the defence and play on the break, forcing set plays or a specific move to score and then close up completely. Catenaccio was very effective but fans hated it and called it negative football. Chelski are the closest to that style of play of the top four.

  159. “The philosophy of the manager is that he creates this belief in the players that they will conquer all with their own play,” he says. “Arsenal are losing games by trying to win them but when you’re playing against the heavyweights you’re going to get hurt sometimes.” – Martin Keown.

    The opposition respect us so much that they actually alter their normal game and just play the counter attack, even the man utd and chelsea’s as well as the boltons and hulls.

    Maybe wenger needs to think about altering the tactics slightly for games against the top teams esp english teams. Like i said the other day lets play for a nil nil but kick the fuck outta the opposition players so they no they cant try it.

    Nah seriously credit to wenger for sticking to his beliefs, but he might have to re-evaluate how we get one over on them ccause they (chavs, man doo doo) are not doing anything extraodinary to be us but just being tactically deciplined.

  160. geeGunner, its been said for many years that we have no Plan B and you know this. Bendtner unfortunately is not a plan B, at his current level he is more of a Plan E.

  161. Chelski, Mancs 1 and to an extent Manc 2, certainly did win the games against us by packing defences and playing on the break. That in itself is not difficult to counter if your full-backs are fast and have good positional and tactical sense….and your keeper is prepared to be very decisive.

  162. Oh Yogi, Im so happy that there is at least one blogger that always writes within the bounds of reason.

  163. Zap, I dont agree that this current squad is not good enough.

    One thing that these games dont show is the amount of players we have in the team who just came back from injury or who are still injured.

    These team is packed and handsdown we have the most talented team cross the board.

    As far as Almunia, I dont know what to make of him right now. He has be great at times but his confidence seems shot.

  164. Fucking rubbish, William, the whole point of our game is that we don’t have a plan. Deal with our defensive errors and away we go.

  165. Frank – I can see what you mean with that comparison, but I do think they were more expansive than that in posession. Their whole team moved forward as a unit. They just don’t have flair and are boring to watch.

    The counter attacking point is valid though, but that is where our players need to be more aware of what is going on around them. If the roles had been reversed yesterday and it was Clichy breaking out of defence, Lampard would have brought him down and stopped the play without blinking.

  166. did nyone notice how excellent diaby was? class player

  167. At this point in time I don’t think that anyone is really taking control of our central defence and in defensive situations communication looks to be poor between centre-halfs and full-backs and between centre-halfs and midfield. Manuel appears not to want to take control either.

  168. Frank, The players dont intend to make mistakes though do they. Chelsea score in most games dog so the second goal can be forgiven but the defending at set pieces has been atrocious for years. Maybe a new defensive coach or new players are in order by your rational partner

  169. Ole and all others:

    I would love to hear what you think the real problem is on defense and what can we do about. No one can look at the statistics and argue that we have been slowly getting worse over time. We have conceded 17 goals in 6 games this year against Chlsea, United and City. This is not a bad luck or a couple of bad games. The regular scape goats Almunia and Denilson are clearly not the root cause of our problem

    I do not believe that Wenger is a bad manager, but it is hard to argue that something about the way he coaches defense has changed and realistically he is the only one who can fix it. What do you think has happened.

  170. two things i noticed in yesterdays match was
    1. our inability to take that clinical shot.
    2. The weakness of Walcott.
    I was fustrated with the pass, pass pass. and how easily walcott was out thought and out fought by cheryl coles husband.

    lets hope we score 6 against the pool…

  171. By: Zap on February 8, 2010
    at 3:57 pm

    i think it is but we need to address certain areas.

    not getting counterd so easily
    increase our anti football offences
    defending as a team
    keeping our players fit for longer than a few months
    keeping clean sheets
    more shots on the edge of the box
    better crosses from foulback

    A young team grows and gets better the longer it sticks together. this team has not developed that telepathy that was there between cashley-pires, bergi-henri, lundberg-ralphy, veira-petit-palour-gilberto, adams-keown, cambell-toure etc
    thats why if we stick together then we should see an improvement!!!

    UpDaArse

    I might agree with a keeper as my patience with aluminia is on the brink though

  172. lets not criticise our players please.

    Walcott did well.

    haha…hahahah…hahahahhahaha

  173. I agree with your last point, goonerandy. The fact that we have had no-one sent off this season is a concern. It would seem that no-one is reading the game and spotting the danger early enough. It is as if our attacking ethos is so strong that we become disoriented defensively.

    As soon as he sees an opposition break and you can read the signs easily from the keepers position, Manuel should be yelling ‘Fuuccckkiiingg break’ to anyone who has two legs to sprint, whilst pointing to the areas of the pitch he wants them to go to. He should also be prepared to launch himself like an exocet if required.

  174. We had 70% possession.

    Yippie! That should be at least 3 points in my books.

    haha…hahahaha…hahahhahah

  175. Bill,

    I don’t know. Honestly, that’s one question that stumps me. Ultimately it’s a mix of factors.

    But this season, we concede more because of the 4-3-3. IMO

  176. Don’t be such a fucking prick,ritesh.

  177. fuck off ritesh u deluded cunt

  178. I was mortified by the way Manuel set himself for the Drogba free-kick. There was no power in the shot at all and if it had dipped below the bar Manuel would have had no chance. Reminiscences of his previous free-kick.

  179. do u think we will still win the league frank?

  180. By: William on February 8, 2010
    at 4:02 pm

    thats a bit false.

    Our plan B was bentdner on the right with van p in the middle. gave us a lot of options esp the long diagonal ball from left back,centreback to right wing. aswell as our normall pass pass a team to death routine. and on crosses we had two players over 6 foot who could head the ball from foulback crosses. and of course attacking\defending set peices. the fact that our 2 MAIN stikers have not played many games this season has contibuted to what seems like no Plan B and even then we have had a plan C as we have played differently with arshavin up front than the other 2.
    that plan b shit is a cliche

  181. Cheers to Wenger!!!

    Hahaha…hahaha….. Moroons

  182. Ole, Thats just the way the ball bounces G

  183. Of course Zap…A clear mile…Why u worry, u moroon, Wenger is here

  184. what annoys me the most is we COULD have won the match, much unlike the reverse fixture..

  185. geeGunner, are you dat, are you dat

  186. We have left ourselves a lot to do, Zap. But we have a brilliant run in after Wednesday. Why? Because of the top four we have played most of the really hard games. If we can erase the errors then we have a real chance because the Mancs and Chelski are beatable by a number of teams. Chelski have a tendency to draw too.

    One thing is for sure. I am backing us all the way and will be right behind the squad on Wednesday. Might try to get to a few more away games too.

  187. ritesh, whats your point?

    So you enjoy Arsenal losing because people continue to keep the faith? So you just want to be able to say, “I told you so”? Thats a bit self serving and couterproductive and just play silly.

    Come on, pull up your socks, no time to gloat, its time to get behind the team.

  188. I agree with Ole,.

    The 4-3-3 means that he fullbacks are often left isolated as the wide players in the 4-3-3 have not tracked back enough.

    Theo did quite well defensively yesterday though.

  189. the arsenal away fans are the best in the league just wish all the home fans could be like that

    see how much better bentdner, eboue, denilson perform when they aint got the crowd on their backs.

  190. Bendtner, eboue and rosicky should start against liver pool… Only arsen knows why he didn’t start them against chelsea…. and i know cole wouldn’t be able to control eboue for sure.

  191. By: ritesh on February 8, 2010
    at 4:21 pm

    the only moron here is you – celebrating that we lost!

    what a twat!

    shouldnt you and dave get a room!

  192. Ole:

    Agree that it is a mix of factors. My best explanation is some combination of #2 and #3 above in my comments at 3:33PM.

    I hope you agree that we can not win anything when we are 9th in the table in goals conceded no matter how good our offense is. I hope the boss decides to scrap the 433 if needed.

    We have a relatively easy run in after LP. We need to finish 3rd because the squad will have world cup hangover and CL qualifier will be dangerous if we finish 4th.

    I really hope we play well coming to the end of the season. However, I hope the boss does not decide that we played well against relatively weak opponents at the end the year and then use that as his reason to tell the world that we really do not need to spend any money or change tactics to fix the defense.

  193. Frank,

    You know I was thinking the same. I’ll get to more games from now till the end of the season.

  194. Moroon, ritesh? How many times? That was REDCURRANT, and it was 5 years ago! Get over it.

  195. Paul N you are so right partner and you know this.

    Alex ice cream, with all due respect Theo was a non-entity partner, if someone had tole me a year agop I’d rather have Valencia I would of laughed in there face dog.

    Zap you is a donut.

  196. I agree with Bill. We’ve had these defensive problems for so long that you have to wonder if perhaps Wenger is overlooking something. As you say ole, he’s built two successful title winning defences before, so why we seem not to get better?

  197. The Troof,

    you want answers? I think im entitled.

    You want answers? I – want – the Troof !!!,

    YOU CANT HANDLE THE TROOF !!!

  198. I just took another look at the fixture lists for the rest of season. Those people writing us off are fools. I can see Chelski losing two games and drawing some. I can see the Mancs losing two games as well, starting on Wednesday in their case.

  199. Will u donut

  200. I’m reasonably confident that we should be able to win most of the pl games coming up. But given the way we concede, I doubt very much that we can win ALL of them.

    But you never know with football eh?

    COYG!

  201. Frank,

    With our defending we will struggle to win anything.

  202. 2) He buys players and constructs an offensive team that does not play defense.
    3) He is an offensive manager and is wants to prove to the world that you can win with offensive football. Either overtly or subconsciously on the training ground and in games he and our team have lost site of the importance of defense.

    Bill,

    I think your points 2 & 3 are terminally flawed.

    2—>We’re an offensive team. The team has always been that under Arsene. So, yes he constructs an offensive team, but we are still better defensively than most teams in the league at defending so it must mean some defensive force exists.

    3—-> This one, I just laugh at. 2nd winningest manager in the history of EPL. Always played attacking football. He’s proven you can win with offensive football. In fact, Jose Mourinho was sacked because despite several hundred million of carefully laundered russian money, he couldn’t deliver teams that won trophies and played decent football. Apparently Abramovich pointed to Arsene’s Arsenal as evidence that you could play well and win trophies.

    Unless you were born in the last 4 years, or started watching football in the same period, you already know that Arsene Wenger has proven attacking football wins trophies.

    And he’s not the only one who’s done it. Just about any team that’s dominated football has proven it.

  203. We played with high intensity on the beginning of the season. All of the playesr were defending aggresively, what happened to that.

    I dont think it as much a matter of formation but defensive intensity. We have reversed the attitude from ealier this season. We defended well and the offense came naturally, in the past two matches we have given players all the time they want to the ball (starting from the front) and now we are struggling to score.

    Make a long story short, defence was the priority earlier on now scoring is.

    Maybe the players could look at some of the earlier matches.

  204. YW, I respect your always well-written blog, but typically refrain from contributing here in the comments. However, I vehemently disagree with your comment:

    “Perceived and real weaknesses cannot be resolved with signings”.

    If this were the case, why did we ever sign Sagna, Nasri, Arshavin and Vermaelen? Why don’t we just throw in all the youngsters, who were technically “signed” at some point, and forsake signing anyone else, even if we’ve sold players we’ve deemed of no use to us? I appreciate your calm in the face of the collective hysteria amongst Arsenal fandom, but I view the aforementioned comment of yours (and Arsene’s) to be too dismissive, too general, too rigid in the face of the plethora of injuries we’ve suffered and in light of the several eviscerations the Mancs and Chavs have doled out to our boys. It’s possible to support Arsenal and suggest that this team could be stronger with 2-3 additional signings, at least to replace our fallen wounded.

  205. If those flaws are repeated in the remaining games, AIC, you are correct. If not then we will win them. Up to the squad to show us that they can do it.

  206. Bill, I’m not so concerned about Wenger bringing in another defender. Its the tactical/defensive naivety that I hope he addresses. We got Verminator and yet we’ve not improved on last season’s defensive record

  207. Another thing –

    You know how much some people hate Arsenal as they cant wait to snipe and spill some kind of purile bile about wenger being french, the whole team being french, whingers and mock our style of play(tippy tappy go nowhere football) etc, then you realise some of your own supposed fellow fans are the ones writing this on ARSENAL blogs.

    With friend like these……..

  208. TV is in his first season in the EPL his judgement, positioning and command will improve.

  209. Vermaelen should be told he is in charge, he’s a captain without the authority at the moment dogs

  210. Frank,

    My worry is that we seem incapable of solving these defensive problems. It doesn’t matter how good the rest of the team is if we give away 2 cheap goals a game. This is even more true in the CL.

    AW first started talking about goals conceded being the difference between us and ManU and chelsea 2 years ago and we still have these problems.

    I am not giving in but its a longshot now.

  211. Yes we can certainly win the EPL still….and who knows, maybe RvP will be back to boost the European thingy campaign after Porto. We have a lot going for us.

  212. If we restrict every team we come up against between now and the end of the season to having just 3 shots on target, very few will punish us like Drogba did. Once we start taking our chances at the other end again – we won’t be dropping many points.

    And here’s hoping Eduardo is back for Wednesday.

    Also, Jack Wilshere is set to make his Bolton debut tomorrow night. Go wan big Jack!

  213. By: Paul N on February 8, 2010
    at 4:37 pm
    “Make a long story short, defence was the priority earlier on now scoring is.”

    good point! maybe losing our 2 main goal scorers shifted the focus.

    should wenger have bought a new striker in Jan?
    Who knows, even if we bought one its not a guarantee he would score goals and whats to say he didnt break his leg in the first 5 mins, on the other hand if he had contributed similarly to the Arsh last season then maybe…either way its a couple million gamble

  214. I think we may improve defensively, AIC. Best not to worry about something outside of your control. Just back the squad and see if they can do it….and enjoy the football.

  215. Ole:
    yes he constructs an offensive team, but we are still better defensively than most teams in the league at defending so it must mean some defensive force exists.

    I don’t think Bill was saying we have the worst defence in the league. Of course some defensive force exists, but its clearly not good enough to meet our title aspirations. And it doesn’t seem to be getting better.

    If fact if you argue that he’s not neglecting the defensive side of the game on purpose, you’ll kinda be implying he’s no longer quite as good as he was before at building a defence.

    I prefer to believe the latter.

  216. Limpar,
    +
    We usually concede no more than 2 or 3 shots on target per game. But we usually concede.

  217. “I prefer to believe the latter” should read “I prefer to believe the former”

  218. Frank has been talking a lot of sense today, I agree with it.

    We will need to win at least 11 of 13 games left.

  219. Wenger has blind spots. A less stubborn man may look at a second opinion, a consultant of sorts to come into the training ground and give a fresh perspective.

    All too often we are camped outside the oppositions box with no new openings being found. By the time it breaks down the opposition are absolutely desperate to hump the ball forward and catch us on the break. We are victims of our own central midfield domination and yet are always left blaming negative football for our loses.

    I think wenger relies too much on possession football and the pass and move which is fine in general but I’m not seeing enough intelligent runs from players as we go for the final ball to penetrate their defence.

  220. Frank you’re right. Hopefully the worst is over and we can get back to winning ways starting with the scousers

  221. Henristic,

    I don’t know why we concede so many.

    But…

    Bill’s said we have an offensive team that can not defend. Obviously if we can defend better than most teams, what he’s saying is invalid.

    The question is why we keep having defensive collapse & conceding goals that are well avoidable. That one, your conclusion is as good as mine. I am willing to even accept the idea that it’s because he can’t coach defending…..you know, like the part of his brain that handles defence just melted.

  222. Word, to be fair even Barca struggled against chelsea’s defence.

    We certainly don’t have a problem breaking down poorer defences. Its our defence that’s the problem. I don’t think we have much of a problem going forward.

  223. word, what you have done is blame everything on Wenger. You cannot do that, the players have to work it out on the field.

    I doubt highly that Wenger is telling them not to focus on defending.

    The players have to be more decisive also. It was not Wenger telling them not to shoot, Wenger had nothing to do with Nasri taking too long to pull the trigger.

    The players have to take what they learn and make the necessary changes as the game goes along. If you see a team sitting back take a shot, run at the defenders and cause them to make a dicision instead of them just sitting back happy.

    I dont believe that Wenger wants the team to overpass but I do think some of the players are not confident enough to have a go.

  224. Ole I understand your point, but again to be fair to bill, He surely couldn’t mean we had the worst defence in the league?

    Re defence coaching. It doesn’t make sense though. He built the invincibles for goodness sake. How can he not know how to coach defending?

  225. word,

    What would you suggest as an alternative?

  226. A really painful defeat to accept, but that’s it, we better move. Song leaving Drogba alone and Clichy out of position for the second goal, these new breed don’t learn. There were positives though, Theo for once was defending and think he played well.

    If we beat Pool we’ll be in it because both Chelsea and Manu will drop points against Villa and Everton.

    Its really tough.

  227. I’m not just talking about the last match so I disagree that we dont have some issues going forward. yes this is hard to defend looking back at a lot of our results but there is a margin of games (10-20% ?) where we have difficulty scoring.

    we basically need a match winner up front like drogba or rooney…. RVP does pretty much cover that tbf

  228. I dont believe its Wengers fault, though as a manager he will want to take the blame. The players are losing focus.

    If they are patient and keep focus we will be the best in the world.

  229. Guernsey Gooner

    I was originally for bringing in a loan (as opposed to a lone or no) striker to cover injuries.
    Then I thought, hold on, how many games would it take such a mecenary to adapt to our game (not the other way around)? This may well have negated the 100% guaranteed surefire win-win answer advocated in some quarters. But then again, the last two (or is is ten) games have seen a number of crosses that the AMB (advanced midget brigade) couldn’t have reached if they’d taken a step-ladder out with them.

    I keep singing “he’s-five-foot-four …” and then wondering which one I’m singing about. 🙂

  230. Here’s one for all the doomers out there…
    http://goonerholic.com/?p=2090#comment-36614

  231. Not being critical, I think our defence is more exposed because of a combination of our style of play, making us more vulnerable to counter attack, and our lack of height, which makes us more vulnerable to set pieces and corners.

    Notice that most balls pumped up to Chelsea were dealt with. A couple of them breached their line, but given the onslaught they had, they did really well.

    Despite this, we restricted Chelsea to 3 chances on goal, but 2 went in. The first chance was a combination of allowing Terry to get the flick on and then Clichy going awol on the fast post.

    The 2nd goal was a farcical mix up when tracking back defending the counter.

    Even if the 2nd goal is avoidable in the future by being more disciplined in our organisation, the problem with the 1st goal stems from lack of height. Ok – if Clichy had stayed where he was, the goal may have been preventable.

    We either conclude that the defence will never improve, because it is not like others who just camp in their half when we play against them, and we need one or two new signings (to add height) or Djourou to to return, or we need a lot more discipline or organisation, which in turn may mean sacrificing our attacking style. The last point may only apply against the really big teams. Remember the Villereal semi final where we defended for our lives.

  232. Yes, RVP for me is the best striker in the PL, no other player does all the things he does and he does them so well.

    WHY!!!

  233. Ole:

    Even the most dedicated member of AKB nation has to admit that something has changed about the way AW has managed this team with regards to our defense. I do not know what has changed, but there is no one else to blame at this point.

    AIC: Your comment at 4:45 is exactly right IMO. Statistically over the years we are slowly getting worse not better.

    Henristic: Verminator certainly has not solved the problem. How do you fix defensive naivety? That has to come from AW on the training ground and in the players heads. Buying new people may not help but sometimes having new people can change the attitude and motivation of a group more then their physical attributes would indicate. Something has to change and a couple of new players might make a big difference.

  234. Henristic,

    It’s all relative isn’t it? Defence relative to attack. Our defence relative to other teams’. And it’s not as bad as he makes out, but really not good enough. Simply hasn’t been good enough.

  235. more work on timing runs off the shoulder

    if the team is playing deep then dont force the issue – try and draw them out first. often we just end up wide and blindly smack a cross in.

    more work on in game crosses!

    our counter attacking game is important to us and I would prefer to see walcott take on the striker role so when we release him off the last man he really does some damage.

    we have loads of players who can pick a brilliant pass out but I dont see so many players making clever runs into space hoping that they are noticed. we play quite safe possession football.

    hire someone better than me to try and add something new on the training ground

  236. Yes Muppet, if we could be more patient against the bigger teams.

  237. There is nothing like Englisgh solution. The fact is that we’ve not been bringing in the right players in for sometime now. For 12+ Arsene should have bought Milner or Ashley Young instead of Nasri who has no pace and is not direct.

  238. Muppet,

    Maybe that’s why Chelski struggle with defending set pieces. They’re barely taller than us in defence.

    Bill,

    Could it simply be we have been a team in transition while our rivals haven’t? Chelski’s & Man U’s back 5, have been together 4 years, ours has changed over the seasons.

  239. “…it is a ‘must-no-lose‘ fixture if the title is to be a realistic ambition for the season.”

    Or

    “The title chances took a dent, not ended as some would have you believe but battered and bruised nonetheless. ”

    Which is it?

  240. ‘There is nothing like (an) Englisgh solution.’

    Sign up Drogba and Anelka!

  241. You sound like an SS officer, Moda – “ze Englisch Solution!”

    At 22 years old, Samir Nasri is a better player than Ashley Young and James Milner, who both have two years on him, at 24.

  242. word,

    That sounds rather vague. “Don’t force the issue”.

    But I suppose you mean we should sit back too if the other team sits back.

    You know what, I think it’s the only way to play Chelski. Make them come to the game.

    but then, what chance have you if you concede in the 7th minute?

  243. Ole,

    Yes. Let’s hope they struggle in the last 14 games against set pieces. Have you seen the Man U run in as well… not that straighforward.

  244. Guernsey Gooner

    Word – these crosses we’re going to work on, are they low or high into the box, or both?

    I would prefer more crosses coming in low from the byline … until NB is fit, on-form and knocking them in for fun (as I’m assured he will).

  245. More like the ‘English Patient.’

    Anyone seen the $ set aside for the Buron Acadamy?

    Buuuuuuuuurp.

    Oh, pardon me!

    Ah fuck it, let’s just say all clubs should copy AFC’s acadamy, that’ll do.

    Oh, and England will win the World Cup. If they have a fit squad.

  246. As much as I like Milner myself and think he’s not getting enough media coverage, I surely don’t think he’s better than Nasri, not in a million years.

  247. Sorry, I meant England will win the WC if their players aren’t completely. fooked up after a season of playing “kick ’em. Like in the last three tournaments they’ve played in.

  248. Limpar,
    Putting the red tint on, I’d be tempted to agree to that, but I’d be interested in what the stats say.

  249. *Burton acadamy*

  250. yeah it is vague but my opinion is more of a perspective than a clinical fact. (more vagueness for you)

    I’m just sick of seeing a rugby scrum of people protecting their goal and ushering us into a desperate attempt which is thus easily deflected.

    Maybe we need some NFL type strategy for these moments!

    arshavin was shit up front I thought so no the chances are minimal scoring against chelsea. would like to see NB and walcott partnered up front personally

  251. Ole:

    Who knows what the real answer is. I just hope the Boss figures out some way to improve for the rest of this season and fix it for the next. He is the only one who can do it.

  252. crosses should be aimed at the player taking the risk of running into the space in the box. understanding between clichy/sanga and the rest of the team seems lacking sometimes.

  253. Great article! When playing good teams like Man U and Chelsea your weaknesses become evident. We have the physical ability to be the best team in Europe but it’s the mental side of things which we lack. We dont have characters that will work hard for every point and that’s seen in the way we defend. Chelsea at the Emirates had the game won at 3-0 and yet they were putting their bodies on the line to block shots and stifle our movement, not willing to even concede 1goal. Our players dont have that mentality. Just buying new players is not the answer, buying the RIGHT players is. When buying players you get their strengths and weakness ie Arshavin, amazing attacking talent but his work rate fades as the game progresses. These losses are hard to take. Same problems encountered in the last 3 seasons. We can only hope Arsene cracks the whip and see which players are worthy of representing Arsenal FC. Go Gooners!!!

  254. I think Arshavin will be unfairly blamed for not coming up with goals when he’s not really a main striker and never will be.

    Arshavin is much better as a support to the main striker and running freely from right or left of the front line picking up the loose balls or running at defenders from either side into the box.

    Stop blaming single players when they were assigned to a position out of dire necessity by their manager and not by choice.

  255. Ater all said and done, I understand everyone’s pains. We all have the same concerns and fears about the direction of the team, and our chances for success.

    No matter what, we have to accept the brutal fact that we have to win, or belief (all round) will get to zero at some point.

    What I struggle with is why everyone is so damning about this team and these young players.

    How many teams get written off 3ce in one season? The whole world is too quick to get on their backs after anything remotely like a setback.

    It’s got to be psychologically damaging. Maybe that’s why they’re freezing in big games.

    The pronouncements are always too definite.

  256. I don’t think I’m being supremely optimistic but the faults are being exagerrated and the squad is better than it’s showing.

    I like the quote it’s all relative; I’ve analysed our play both defensively and attacking-wise and that’s what it is. Pep Guardiola says his side is horrible in the defensive phase – which means they are disorientated – so they need to pressure aggressively to compress space and stay contact.

    That at the least will less exagerrate the keepers eccentricities as the Gunners did for Lehman in 03/03 and the Champs run.

    We can be more effective – but I feel that will come with time. Just how van Persie learnt to balance creating and scoring together, the team needs the time to build the same mentality. In attack, only Fabregas, Song, RVP and Rosicky are at the least there.

  257. Guernsey Gooner

    some of the crosses seem to be the panicked answer because the runs haven’t happened.

    For those looking for Nasri/Young/Milner comparisons, try the Guardian “chalkboards” … but be warned, it is a time-burner.

  258. Only a fool doesn’t learn from his mistakes;
    no Plan B, and we obviously don’t practice defending. Tactics?

    The transition continues…..2020?

  259. The problem with the defence is the lack of communication when the other team breaks. Yesterday, Vermaelen was initially marking Drogba on the left flank when the break started and Clichy was more central.

    If both of them would have just stayed in their original positions they would have been fine. But, Vermaelen decided to try to go central and switch with Clichy, and the switch was ill timed.

    The ball was then played out to Drogba…all he had to to was cut in to create an angle and shoot…it was purely down to poor communication, and that is usually caused by not practicing something enough on the training ground. With Clichy being out for so long, it is not surprising.

  260. “Wait until next year”
    I think I remember that from last year

  261. arshavin is a very lazy guy and by his own admition he claims we will never win the title with him up front – fair enough but his workrate is majorly inconsistant. He has also made some selfish decisions lately (I presume as he has more pressure on him to score) and his technique often fails him because (as i see it) he is not focused or driven enough.

    I’m surprised people dont see it tbh.

  262. G4E,

    Arshavin has been in positions to score. He’s a forward, who can finish with either foot.

    He should score. Simple as that.

  263. Absolutely Ole @ 5:34.

    First Senderos, then Ade, who will they pick on next?
    When I would watch Senderos at the Stadium, the entire crowd would be nervous whenever he’d touch the ball. Just because he was not as silky on the ball as our other players. He was damaged by the lack of support.

    I know it’s always been like that, but how do people think it’ll help the squad to destroy a players self-belief?

    For the record, I think Senderos was a good player, if he gets a chance at Everton, we’ll see him play better then Lescott.

  264. By: Bill on February 8, 2010
    at 5:10 pm

    cant put a finger on it but i think-

    we dont rely on counter attacking as much.

    we have more posession than before (team of technically gifted passers than the other arsenal teams esp in midfield)

    we’re less reliant on (henry) who could beat a team by himself

    our defence is not as good as when chasley was init(truth be told)

    we are not as anti football as we used to be.

    on the signings issue

    when we signed gallas didnt he and toure fall out?

    signing players is a calculated risk.

  265. I do not think anyone who has any real sense would write off this team, and certainly we can not and will not sack AW. But his team does need to win.

    If we could only fix our defensive frailty. That would help our offense. If United or Chelsea actually had to actively send men forward to score instead scoring so easily on the break, we would have a better chance or scoring. They might lose their defensive shape occasionally chasing a goal which would give us more of a chance.

    Either on the training ground or in the transfer market, AW needs to fix our defense and I think we could dominate the EPL for years to come

  266. By: Moda on February 8, 2010
    at 5:15 pm

    that has got to be a joke.

    nasir left foot is better than those 2 put together

  267. we haven’t got that cutting edge against our title rivals yet

  268. “Either on the training ground or in the transfer market, AW needs to fix our defense and I think we could dominate the EPL for years to come”

    for real.

    i remember only signing lehman in the 03/04 season and thinking – shit were not gonna win a thing.

    So i know our manager has the capacity to both find the right player we need and manage them to success.

    UpDaArse

  269. Bill,

    Don’t you think the squad is swimming upstream?

    Doesn’t it matter that they keep being written off, and every set back brings a hurricane of criticism?

  270. is johnson gonna play on wednesday? i hope so, i envisage a mental breakdown at the sight of arshavin.

    hopefully he’ll remember how to score against those jokers; anything other than a win will just be depressing.

    my team will be:

    ——almunia–
    –sagna-gallas-vermaelen-cliche—-
    —–song—cesc—diaby–
    —–rosicky-bentdner-arshavin—-

  271. i think we do, john it’s just that we need a big striker to hassle the defenders a bit more, we just need a poacher, one chance one goal type of player. chamakh would be perfect i hope we buy him. bedntner does this very well too.

    it’s beyond me how he wasn’t picked ahead of walcott

  272. F. Frederick Skitty

    Hi All,
    Gutted but still optimistic and right behind the team.

    I wonder what all these mofo’s (doom mongrels) think Arsenal would currently be like had Wenger never come (or had he gone to Tottenham)?

    I wonder what other manager on this earth would put the interests of this club before his own ego and immediate self-interest, allowing us to build a magnificent, history changing, stadium?

    Ferguson…? Mourinho…? Benitez…?

    For how long will Wenger’s legacy ultimately allow Arsenal to be competitive (financially and on the pitch) and is that worth sacrificing 5 or 8 or even 10 years without winning the Premier League? (which I hope ceases to exist just as soon as possible)

    What makes our “supporters” so deserving of immediate and continuous success? Especially given their often nauseating arrogance and anti-support?

    Top-level football is going to hell in a hand-basket (whatever that is), it is rotten and becoming the antithesis of Sport. This cannot last forever. What is wrong with idealism and trying to do things differently?

    We are truly blessed to support Arsenal, a club that tries to do the right thing and IS competitive – what more can we really ask for? I’ll tell you what, patience and a modicum of reason and vision.

    Football may well be an entirely different animal in the years to come. I truly hope so.

    We are competing against the enemies of football and, in my opinion, decency. I heard that it was Manure that started all of this rubbish off some time in the 90’s, by refusing to share their gate receipts evenly with the visiting team, as had always been the tradition.

    No wonder they were running away with the league with their massively increased income. Who was the only person to prevent their domination? Only AW, on a fraction of their resources.

    Chelsea are the scummiest team on the planet – are you really jealous of them?

    Get a grip and have some effing pride. I’d rather pull out my fingernails than envy Chelsea, Man City or United.

    Sport is not business and we, the punters, are being bent over no grease, no soap.

    Arsenal is the only club in the EPL that can hold its head up high.

    Why patronise the Sun, Sky Sports and Talksport when they lead you only to the darkside?

    Arsenal is the most beautiful club on the planet, if you are not able to see that then pity is too good for you.

  273. Finsburyparker

    Also at 20 Theo is better than Diaby? I’ll take any of Milner or Young in place of Nasri. Nasri is too much of dribbling and bringing the ball backwards without any penetration. Busy-about-nothing perhaps. Well, sometimes nationality helps because he’s French.

    We needed a striker and GK to push up but he found no suitable player from France so he didn’t buy any.

  274. i agree zap walcott has hardly played it was confusing..

  275. “I wonder what other manager on this earth would put the interests of this club before his own ego and immediate self-interest, allowing us to build a magnificent, history changing, stadium?”

    Great point mate!

    There are not many selfless managers like him.
    people forget easily he has the interest of the club at heart.

    if he was interested in his own ego he would have been a real.

    and for all those who say that he would be to scared to spend the money – whats to be scared about cause even if you fail your still gonna be paid off if your sacked, so in my book thats a win win.

  276. “Best not to worry about something outside of your control. Just back the squad and see if they can do it….and enjoy the football.”

    Comment of the day.

  277. Very well said, ffs.

    ‘Busy-about-nothing’ just about sums you up, Moda.

  278. Ole:

    In the old days these discussions occured in pubs and at the water cooler at work. Unfortunately now they have become so public and sometimes ugly. The radical fringe can bond together and drown out those who enjoy reasonable debate. I think it is a bit of a stretch that Le Grove and other similar blogs really hurt our performance on the pitch but who really knows. It is certainly fun to debate about our team. Maybe it is part of the problem. I do not know.

  279. “I think it is a bit of a stretch that Le Grove and other similar blogs really hurt our performance on the pitch but who really knows.”

    When they isolate a player for criticism – most others just jump on the bandwagon. gilberto, song,eboue, ade, denilson.

    aseblog wrote the Ade brosure = it ended up on telly

    negative vibes generated by the minority voices.

    i have never known such negativity amongst a group of fans.

    even when morrow and huges were running our midfield and the mid table finishes and gazza smashing us out the fa cup!!

  280. Moda,

    Did you watch Viila vs Tottenham?

    I didn’t think so.

    There’s a reason why people who used to say things like ‘black players don’t have the skill to play football’ in the 70’s don’t coach football teams at the big clubs.

  281. Ole – Offensive or Defensive football? You nailed it. Mourinho was canned by Abramovic because of the mind-numbing, turgid, negative football they played despite two successive titles. (As well as the insatiable desire to spend; the demand for a 4th world class defender simply brought the rupture to the fore.) Last year when we played with the “handbrake on” with a series of low scoring wins and draws was the period of the most savage criticism of Wenger despite dragging us out of 5th back to 4th and Champs Leage football.
    It is self-evident, we have to improve our defending but not sacrifice our offensive-mindedness.

  282. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    F. Frederick Skitty gets what supporting Arsenal is all about. F*ck the no style, by any means necessary, glory hunting plastics that want us to abandon all we stand for. They can f*ck right off.

  283. “G4E,

    Arshavin has been in positions to score. He’s a forward, who can finish with either foot.

    He should score. Simple as that.”
    ==

    Ole G…What I meant is that he is not a main striker that will receive the ball with his back to goal and hold it till others come for support. Most of the balls lumped at him always end up for the defender(s) marking him or pretty much easily ganged up on him.

    Can he score? Of course he can…but it’s obvious he scores more from wide or free roaming position as a supporting striker not the main striker. Was he playing as the main striker for Russia or for Zenith?

  284. Well put FFS.

    I agree with Passenal at 6.15

    Too little enjoyment of the game. Too much hysteria. Too much hype. Hypesteria?

  285. G4E, but the only alternative yesterday was JET (Yes! A young British JET, powered by the finest Rosbif in the world!).
    Diaby was needed in midfield.

    When Ivanovic just bounced off Bendy and kept possession,is a good example I think of what you mean. No one denies it. I would like to have seen JET bully JT and friends, or a fit Bendy. Their time will come.

    But it seems the quality replacement for Ade was not available at a price the club could afford. I mean under €30M!

    As said elsewhere, AFC cannot afford a passenger like Berbatov, although he’d probably have been happier in N.London playing Wengerball.

  286. My typing is not aesthetically pleasing. May get the job done, but boy am I glad I’m not Abramovich’s typist:

    *When Ivanovic bounced off Bendtner, and Bendtner kept possesion,*

  287. “Too little enjoyment of the game. Too much hysteria. Too much hype. Hypesteria?”

    I made the mistake of looking at the headlines on newsnow, what a depressing sight that is! Every arsehole has an opinion and of course they all know best.

  288. Nasri v Young / Milner – you have to be kidding

    AY & JM are both limited, though hard working players who suit the style of play required at Aston Villa to a tee.

    Neither has the class to play for us however.

    On Arshavin, yes it`s been tough on him but he looks thoroughly p&ssed off ALL the time. His body language isn`t great right now & neither is his form, although he`ll obviously win us the game on Wednesday.

    What I can`t understand are some of the earlier comments about booing if we play badly – morons

  289. Yes Finsbury, we didn’t have the alternative and that’s why I’m asking people not to blame Arshavin for not scoring as a main striker would because he’s not….he’s there only because we don’t have a main striker available.

    JET is very good, but you also have to consider the pressure on someone as young as he is in a big and decisive game like this.

    I think we miscalculated the extent of RVP’s absence on the strike force, knowing that Eduardo is out of form and no way to measure when he will get in form. Also Bendtner returning from a long term injury and no way to know when he will be in form.

    I think Wenger believed his midfield will come up with enough goals to make up for it…it may worked against the lesser teams, but not against the big teams.

    Was there any strikers available to buy? Was there any other solutions? Based on the results now, you can always say we should have done something…but prior to those games we were sure our current attacking force is good enough.
    ===

    We can always blame the defense, but I thought our motto was “If you score 5, we will score 6?”

  290. It looks like Arsene has made the same mistake he made in 2007/8 season. Like now we just needed two players then; a CB ( Toure had deteriorated after bouts of Malaria) and a DM when Flamini sustained injury. He didn’t buy. Fast forward 2009/10 and we needed a striker in January and a GK.

    Now the title is not in our hands; both Manu and Chelsea have to drop points starting this Wednesday. They will drop points against Villa and Everton and we’ll win against POOL, so the points will cut to 7.

  291. f4phantomphreak

    When the announcers mentioned “Lightweight” meaning Arsenal it too made me angry, but then I thought about it, and unfortunately they were spot on, we are lightweight.. I mean we started a very crucial match w/o a real striker on the pitch, we had a 5’7″ man out there vs. 6 foot somethings or others, come on thats crazy…. This hurts to say this but as optimistic as I’am I really don’t see us toping Chelski or Man’Ure for the title, it’s a bit too much to bite off with the amount of time we have left. I don’t think, but I know Arsene made a mistake not spending in the Jan. transfer window, big, big mistake, I mean of Bendtner has a set back and odds are after being out as long as he has been he will then we will have to continue playing w/o a forward. I know we have Dudu but he too is having problems staying fit, can’t count on him either. I’m sorry for sounding negative, I do so love the Arsenal, it just pains me to see us lose 3 on the bounce basically making the same mistakes over and over again….. I believe 3rd is possible, but not 100%, if we don’t pull ourselves together and quickly we will be looking a Euro-Cup footie next season cause Man Poopy, and Villans won’t lie around and let us just stay in a C .L. place cause we’re the Arsenal….. Come on you Reeeeeeedddss…….

  292. i just watched netbusters.

    we are so lucky to support arsenal

  293. G4E it seems likely that a striker who was better than what we have was not available at a price we could afford. It’s always difficult to buy in January especially in a world cup year. Players with a chance of appearing at the world cup might be reluctant to move mid-season and risk disrupting their form by moving to a new club or even a new league. Arsene was looking for someone who could fit in with our style of play rather than change the whole team to suit one player.

    As for Arshavin, I wouldn’t criticize him if he just got on with the job, but his moaning about how we can’t win with him playing in that position appears to have adversely affected his motivation and effort. I would expect more from a player with his experience. The team need to keep a positive mindset in public and keep their doubts in the dressing room.

  294. G4E

    Edu is not only out of form, he’s lost two yards of pace he can no more recover. He came at 26 and didn’t play for about 2 years so he’s now about 29. He can’t recover his pace and also lacks that physicality every striker in the EPL needs. His long struggle with the injury, coupled with his advancing age and physicality means that we should not expect much from him so do Rosicky. Again Arsene, giving improved long contract extensions to Edu and Rosicky was a mistake.

    Arsene should start shopping for a new striker to compete with RvP next season.

  295. Yeh, Arshavin needs to put his shoulder to the wheel and leave the coaching up to Wenger.

  296. limestonegunner

    Ole, Bill, and geeGunner,
    I do think that from what I understand, our support in the Emirates is not as passionate and uncritical as the home support at some other grounds–lots of booing of our players and not enough cheering to bring up the players and will them forward when down or intimidate the opposition. I am in Kingston, Ontario in Canada and haven’t been to the Emirates or to an Arsenal game since the early 90’s.

    But, as someone who depends on media and especially Arsenal related blogs to follow our beloved Gunners, I really think it is uncalled for to start blaming fans who are rightfully getting frustrated and anxious about the team for voicing their views on sites like Le Grove or Arseblog.

    Reading both Le Grove and ACLF, I think the difference among comments is one of temperament.

    In the stadium we need better support, but online, we need to have our say without having our credentials as supporters impugned regardless of how we react to defeats and expectations. We’ll all be thrilled if we win silverware–it just doesn’t look as likely after two defeats to top sides, a draw with a 4th place challenger, and a less than convincing team selection and loss in the FA cup. Sure we still have a chance, but maybe our chance would be greater if the team concentrated more on defense and had strengthened in the transfer window.

  297. G4E, Totally agree that it would have been criminal to throw JET into these last few games. But it was an option, good thing I’m not the manger!

    We’ll never know of what’s been happening inside the club. Usually when AW is lusting after a player the tell tale signs of a ‘crush’ are there:
    He says, with a coy smile, ‘Yes, I’m looking for a player.’ Simple.

    For example,

    Hack: “AW, are you looking for a CB, did you check out Hangerlaaaaaaaaaaaaand?
    “Yes, I have looked at some defenders”
    Voila, the Vermionator.

    I think he did look at one or two very high quality players, but at this time it was impossible. I imagine the sellers were saying,

    ‘So, you sold Ade for £25M…Hmmmm…’

    And that’s are far as negotiatons got. Probably.
    AW waited six months to get his man AA at his price. He’ll do the same again. Clubs will eventually learn not to haggle with Le Gaffer for RM prices, especially as no one has any money.

    But I agree with AW, it’s better to put these leeches into their place, then let them extort your life’s work, and future investment in your club away, in £’s. Remember, unlike at Chelsea, it’s the Clubs money, not the owners.

    As to finding a cheaper alternative, two things:
    RVP’s injury went from ending his career to being much less severe. So that wasted time, and was confusing.

    As outsiders, the transfer market is our only measure.

    So who was available who is better then what we have, and not a rip-off? Well, looking around at the dead transfer market, no one. Unless you’re ‘Arry and have your very own feeder club in the same league.

    ( Stuffed with foreign players on criminal wages, what a wonderfully English Solution, eh Moda? Just don’t mention the City of London & Tax Exiles…Shhhhhhh….How wonderfully British, I doff my Bowler hat to these genius scammers,’ pip pip! )

    And I don’t think Herik Larsson is available on loan again, unless he’s decided to come out of retirement, and that’s that.

  298. Sorry about the long reply!

  299. I should’ve just waited for Passenal to post!

  300. Zap, It’s hard to get the big picture when you have such a small screen.

    HTH

  301. We’ve spent so much money on young players who even though good players may not be able to cut it here in the EPl.

    Vela-too lightweight to succeed as a striker here

    Bolteho-have watched him and looks no better than our 3rd LB who himself might not make it.

    Denilson-still not convinced he has what it takes to make it above just being a squad player. Spending 3.8+ on such a player is too much plus 50k a week playing 3 yards backwards and sideways passes is a joke.

    What happened to Senderos? Another waste of money.

  302. Limestonegunner,

    There is a massive difference between Le Grove and ACLF, and it is nothing to do wi th temperament. It is to do with expectation. Le Grove, and I suspect a couple of other sites, expect that we can compete on an equal footing for the premiership and champions league. This site takes a more realistic stance. The resources of our competitors, particularly Chelsea and Manchester United far outstrip our own.

    Sure, one can argue about the manner of the Manchester United defeat. This was pretty disappointing, but yesterday was much more competitive.

    Fans that complain in a resonable way are not being singled out as doomers. It is those who consistently whine about everything, believe in conspiracy theories, slag off the board, call Wenger a c*nt, and come out with ludicrous, baseless assertions about the way forward and the problems with the team.

    Also, it is those fans that completely lack perspective about the injuries that have plagued us this season, particularly the one to VP, which has been very significant.

  303. Let’s see some figures please Moda.
    That means numbers.

    Only a deluded ignorent Arse-hole who knows nothing about football would compare John Utaka on £80,000 p/w with the investment in players like Vela or Diaby or whoever. Senderos is the only example of a player we’re choosing to let go.

    I note, that in your incredibly retarded logic, you omit all mention of that second rate English trainee let go, for whoom AFC got paid £7M when he was last transferred.

    Please, fuck off.

  304. limestonegunner

    Muppet,
    Van Persie gets injured every year for us, so that should hardly be a surprise and instead ought to be prepared for. As far as those fans you describe, yes that is unpleasant. But as far as expectations, we do have more money to spend. I think fans all have a right to expect the players to give 100%, the manager to use all available resources, and the board to provide investment as needed so that the team can meet reasonable expectations.

    Arsene Wenger promised trophies himself this year and that youth wouldn’t be an excuse. Gazidis confirmed that we should be winning now. Since we don’t really contend for the cups just PL and CL, our expectation should be to win one of these.

    The PL this year is for the taking and it is reasonable to be concerned at this point with the team and manager’s performance, especially since the transfer window was not used to strengthen an injury plagued team.

    We will all be proud of achieving more with less than ManU and Chelsea–but more perhaps can be done with the means available as well.

  305. Not including Utaka’s transfer fee of course.

    So, just in case you didn’t undertstand the Queen’s English, and giving up on your bizarre inability to use Indian Numbers,

    fuck off.

  306. FFS @ 6.05 pm

    POTD

  307. limestonegunner

    Also, recent performance last year and this against top European sides is grounds for real worry in the CL this year. Last year we had a very nice draw that pitted us against a weak Roma team that was in out of Serie A top 4 and Villareal. It took some doing to beat them. As soon as we met top class opposition, we suffered very humiliating defeats.

    It doesn’t seem as if we have learned the lessons, the young team grown or improved enough, or the manager made the changes in two windows to make a stronger impact.

    Surely we can have the expectation and ambition to improve on last year.

  308. whatever makes u happy, stringfellow hawke you mug.

    i have a small screen coz m laptops a vaio slim lol

  309. porto’s stadium is very intimidating.

    perfect place to find confidence

  310. is anyone else watching colchester vs southend?

    sanchez watt’s playing, theyre 1-0 down to a freak goal the pitch is a joke!

    more like a beach than a football pitch

  311. Limestonegunner,

    Your expectations are frankly, ludicrous.

    You are forgetting about the strength of the opposition. We came up against the 2nd best team in Europe – Manchester United in last year’s semi final. Please tell me how we should expect to be 2nd or 3rd in Europe, when we have no pedigree in European competition, we have never been a consistent performer. In the days of growing up and watching arsenal, we were a UEFA/ European Cup Winners cup side. When we did venture into the European Cup we were totally humiliated by top class european sides who had superior technique and players. To me, you are a bit like my 3 year old, who after a pack of chocolate buttons, wants another pack, and then another pack, and then another pack.

    As for your comments regarding, we expect the players to give 100%. That sounds totally and utterly arrogant and lacking in faith. First of all, I am sure they don’t give 100% ? Where have they not given 100%. Secondly, I don’t know why you should expect it ? What for ? Are you a platinum member ? Are you a shareholder ?

    As for the comments about learning lessons, well, all the problems that we have encountered have been against the same two teams – Manchester United and Chelsea. If you expect that by learning lessons we suddenly catapult ourselves to be the 2nd best team in europe, then if it was that easy, then we could have done it. My feeling is that it is nothing to do with learning lessons, but everything to do with being patient. Rome wasn’t build in a day. We will improve, but it will be through the work of the academy, the vision of Wenger, the acquisition of one or two judicial signings, which will be a complex process of judgement. Not a case of learning lessons from one game to the next. It is not that easy. Davydenko got beaten 13 teams by Federer before he finally won. Did he manage to learn any lessons during his 13 match unbeaten streak – no. He was just at a better level on the day that he finally won.

  312. F. Frederick Skitty

    A major problem is that we really have no idea how much money is available to spend and whether it could be better spent on retaining crucial players. Historically our wages have been lower than our competitors, perhaps we are currently trying to address that? The hacks guess about signings and budgets because they don’t have a clue ( and they hate that) and we swallow it and start having a go at AW on the basis of fictionalised reporting that stinks of agenda.

    Can we honestly argue with the signings Wenger has made recently? Unbelievably people are now bitching about AA. What’s next Vermaelen? – what a waste of money, we should have kept Toure.

    What do you think the impact of signing Berbatov and Owen Hargreaves would have had on Arsenal?

    Most fans are no better than WAGs just wanting to flaunt the newest Gucci or Prada bag and not having a care about anything based in reality or longevity.

  313. i anticipated such a laughable retort 😆

  314. Isn’t that an American name for your avatar NojNoj?

  315. : )

    Cheese & Onion.

    Very tasty.

  316. limestonegunner

    Muppet,
    You are being too polemical and hostile. My expectation is that we improve our performance against top sides, like ManU and Chelsea not that we improve on a semi-final because this depends on the draw. If we don’t expect the team to perform better against them when they both look weaker this year, what really is the point of competing?

    I didn’t say that the players haven’t given 100% effort–I said that’s what fans reasonably expect; just like we ought to expect our manager to use all available resources to improve the team (whatever these may be), and the board to make profits available for investment. I think this is quite reasonable. Don’t make it seem as if I was accusing the players of failing to do so. If the club isn’t for the fans, what is it for? Why should we bother watching and supporting unless we are shareholders (which we can be as members of the Arsenal Supporters Trust, btw).

    I appreciate the point of patience, but I do think progress over the last two years is reasonable to expect–I am not saying we should dominate all and sundry across Europe with a wave of the hand–you exaggerate my position rather dramatically. We have run up against a barrier and have not beaten a quality side in a while. At a certain point, it will have consequences on the belief of the players. Do we want them to get used to the idea that Arsenal cannot defeat ManU, Chelsea? Will they believe they can defeat another top side in European competition this year? That’s the problem with such a slow developmental approach.

    All people are asking for is a couple judicious signings–we haven’t seen these other than Vermaelen despite profits and lucrative player sales, and in a time when the team doesn’t have a fit striker!

  317. We are capable of beating both man u and chelski. We did that last season. We made mistakes this season and got punished for them. These things happen in football as there are many variables over the course of a game and not all can be controlled. Buying or not buying may or may not affect these variables. The bottom line is the transfer window is closed so we cannot buy now. We have to go with what we have. So why not back them so they do the best they can – they might surprise you. Save the recriminations for the end of the season if that is what floats your boat.

  318. The other fallacy is this idea that Wenger should have been more prepared vis-a-vis Van Persie, by having cover. Sorry ? How does that work exactly ? You have a star player – Say – Rooney, Ronaldo, Torres etc, and you are supposed to make preparations for their absence ? So how do you do that ? You have 2 star players instead ? Do you leave one on the bench ? Do these 2 star players both complement the team, so if the main one is injured, the 2nd coming in will be a perfect fit ?

    Err – I am lost for words.

    We have Bendter, Eduardo, Vela and Arshavin.

    Bendtner is out for 10 weeks ffs

    Eduardo is in and out of the team.

    So we have three strikers and they are all injured.

    But Wenger should have planned for this eventuality ?

  319. Anyone else on Mugabe media lockdown?!

  320. Limestonegunner,

    I am not being hostile.

    You say that you expect a better level of performance.

    Again, I ask why ?

    Given that Chelsea and Manchester United are the 2nd and 3rd best teams in europe, it is implicit that you believe we should also be up there. Because we are not, you then come on to the blog and write all kinds of accusations. If your expectation level was lower, you would be congratulating the team on our league position.

  321. Passenal, I totally agree players should not complain in public about being played out of position. Even the none so experienced ones say they will play anywhere the manager wants them to play.

    On the other hand, I bet Fabregas would not be happy playing as the main striker or as a left back 🙂 but I also think he would be more wise as to not air it in public.

    Arshavin comes across as a person who says what’s on his mind, probably without even thinking….to his detriment of course.

  322. Yup.

    After my pre-match post here about ‘Men against Boys’ I got three seconds into 5live before Spoony screamed with the glee:

    ‘Men against Boys’

    It actually cheered me up. But after another 20 seconds, I’d probably have blown up the local transmitter.

    It’s for my own good.

  323. We need a minimum of 37 points from 13 games to beat Chelsea. and United by 1 point . if we win all games I’m certain we can take the title
    My calculations are based on this result
    Arsenal win 12 draw 1 (Spurs) lose 0 86pts

    Chelsea win 8 draw 3 V ( Villa. Everton. United) lose 2 V(Man city- Liverpool) 85pts

    United
    Win 8 draw 5 ( Villa- Chelsea-Man city- Liverpool-Everton or Spurs) lose 0 85pts

    We don’t have to play (Villa Chelsea M.utd Everton ) assuming we don’t get unstuck against some of the lower sides then it is all possible. Just a glimmer of hope but uit can be done

  324. Moda,

    Your last comment underlines what Muppet is saying.

    You’re all so definitive in the half-baked assertions. Vela is fucking 19 years old. His career is not under threat. Not for another 5 years does any serious person begin to think he might not make it.

    No matter what you say about Jermaine Defoe, what’s clear is he’s a really small man (not just because he plays for the tinies), but he knows where the goal is. Many other strikers I could place in same boat.

  325. limestonegunner

    Passenal,
    True–I hope they do surprise me and somehow nick the PL title with a strong run against the weak sides on our schedule and some stumbles by ManU and Chelsea. Less hopeful about CL, though a kind draw might take us as far as last year and maybe RvP will return and be in form. Of course we back them. Talking on a blog shouldn’t mean we’re not backing the team if we have some analysis and critical assessments.

    Muppet, top managers are paid to sort out the conundrum of talent. Many top teams have more than one star striker–it used to be more common. Still no excuse really for not trying to bring a CF in during January. But since you refuse to recognize this need in order to shield any criticism of Wenger–why don’t we just admit that I am terribly unrealistic because I do expect us to improve from year to year against our competition with a young side that has been under development for a couple or three years.

  326. I agree with Muppet & Passenal,

    What`s the point guessing who may or may not have made a difference had we bought in January (or pre-season). We go with & back these players 110 %.

    Though I take the point about buying a striker when Adebayor left , what happens to them if RVP, Eduardo & Bendtner stay fit. Maybe they get in or maybe they don`t. If they get a run then perhaps the others want a move. Just look at the Spuds with Keane going out on loan – it`s a fine line.

  327. I’m trying to remember how many strikers we had during the TH14 era?

  328. G4E: Do not forget that great English striker Jeffers.

  329. I think (I’m not a corporate lawyer) that the loan arrangements under which Liverpool and ManUre were brought would be illegal in most countries. Most genuine Liverpool fans and Utd fans feel like the victims of a crime.

    So what Moda & friends are saying, is that they would prefer the club to be run like a criminal racket. Correct?

  330. Wiltord was converted into a winger, but he was a ‘striker’.

  331. G4E,

    At one point we had Henry, DB10, Kanu & Wiltord plus Reyes and Aliadiere. I think we still had Jeffers then as well.

  332. Finsbury,

    Fundementally, I think there just saying they’d like to watch Fernando Torres every week

  333. Limestonegunner,

    Er… we can expect improvemet from year to year from a young developing team. But can we expect to beat the 2nd or 3rd best team in Europe.

    And don’t confused would like with expect. I would like to, sure. But I see no reason to expect.

    By the way, the expectation level has been raised by Wenger, so isn’t it an irony that you are on here being so critical.

  334. But that’d be looking at numbers and losing sight of the fact that, neither of Kanu or Wiltord was the dogs bollocks in 2003.

    And that Reyes came in January. And Jeffers was on loan. And DB10 didn’t start most games. And Aliadiere was on the fringe.

  335. Haha…Yes Dupsffokcuf, Jeffers was the reason we were doing so well then, even though he didn’t play 🙂
    ===

    Thanks Ole, so we have RVP, Arshavin, Bendtner, Eduardo, and Vela…

    I think the problem maybe is that Pires and Ljumberg scored more consistently…Maybe Also TH14 was not injured as much as RVP is…at least in his early years?

  336. G4E,

    They weren’t scoring more goals then than we score now.

  337. Really William?

    How many games has Torres played in two seasons?

    Anyone who doesn’t rate RVP as highly, can fuck off. I’m bored of them.

    Simple.

  338. If wishes were horses, all beggars would ride!

    I just love the English Solution. In the past two years alone the following teams have bought big name strikers at various points in the window, yet there current position is inferior to Arsenal. The Scum and ManArab have spent real big on 4 or 5 strikers in the hope they had back-ups for the back-up. The results are questionable at best sufficient to say spending-big is a crap shoot at best. Below are figueres from Wiki:
    • Man City: (Tevez – £47 million, Bellamy – £14 million, Adebayor – £25 million, Roque Santa Cruz – £17.5 million) – Current league position 6th
    • Spurs: (Defoe – £15.75m, Crouch – £10 million, Keane – £12/16 million, Pavlyuchenko – £14 million ) – Curent league position 5th.
    • Sunderland: (Bent – £16.5 million) – Current league position 13th.
    • Villa (Hesky – £3.5 million) – Current league position 7th

    I have ignored ManUSA’s £30.75 million boondoggle in the form of Berbatov cause they are better placed in the League despite the Berba-swoon. I am sure that proponents of “Arsene should have spent big in January” will try to massage the raw data data to suit their point of view. But figures don’t lie, do they?

  339. Shotta, Its also the spanish and Italian solution, I think they started it actually. You dont seem to like England very much. There are some good qualitys as well you know

  340. guys i am not sure whether you agree with me but in the Jan transfer window we could have signed a classic No9 on loan not even a good one but just a temp solution to our problems.

    You can not play 4-3-3 against the better defences with a small striker at the fulcrum of the attack like we do and expect to get any joy, even though we played well the ball was all too often intercepted by terry or carvalho.

    I only hope the stories of cesc really leaving at the
    of the season are false because that really could spell disaster.

    And what has happened to clichy i really hope his poor performances are due to him being out for a long time because he was at fault for both their goals yesterday.

  341. Finsburyparker

    That English lad let go is better than Denilson. Almunia, Mannone, Fabianski, Denilson, Sylvestre, Senderos, Traore, Bolteho, Vela are all waste of money.

    Can’t believe Arsene used scares money to buy these so-called ‘quality’ foreign players.

  342. The positive spin on here about the most recent “non” performance would be the same sort of positive spin that would be circulating the inner sanctum of your labour party.

    N.B Before you deluded lot print your slings & arrows @ me, don’t bother, I will be well & truely back in reality world. Le Grove 😆

  343. Willam, when someone points out that you’re giving off an unpleasant smell it’s polite, & good traditonal English manners to say,

    ‘Thank You’.

  344. Limestonegunner, you may believe you are able to criticise the team and still support them, but I have also seen how the negativity and unrealistic expectation online and in the media is mirrored in the lukewarm stadium support. Imagine if there was generally a positive hopeful tone around the blogs, and the media this would permeate through to the supporters who would in turn lift the team. Arsene spoke last season about how the team have been swimming against a tide of negativity. I personally believe that constant moaning online and in the media is ultimately hindering this team not helping them so I refuse to participate in it. But we’re all free to do what we think is right.

  345. Is he?

    Numbers Moda? Cost?

    Maybe you don’t like them because they came from India?

  346. Ps: can you translate “Can’t believe Arsene used scares money to buy these so-called ‘quality’ foreign players.” into English?

    Calm down, take a deep breath, and try again.

  347. I meant you don’t like numbers.

    As well as foreigners.
    Even tough you’re probaby one yourself.

    Living on an Island and all that.

  348. Do you know what Moda?

    Don’t bother answering. I think everybody can guess what you’re demented, repetitive answer would be.

    AW will still be here next season. Deal with it.

    Bye.

  349. Aliadiere 200k, Cygan 3+, Wiltord 17+, Bischoff (who came in, got treated, took wages and left), all waste of money. Meanwhile he had opportunity to buy these players but turned them down:

    Ibrahimovich
    Drogba
    Eto
    Ronaldo
    Yaya Toure

  350. bradys right foot

    Never in the relatively new history of the wonderful interweb has so much shite been written about one team. The vast majority of journalists, bloggers and commentators talk in absolutes, reduce everything to their certainties and their “facts”. Here is a fact lost in all of this Arsenal are a good side, currently third in the EPl and looking to progress in the CL.

    This team because of the age of key players will only get better, Arsenal are not far away, this team is not far away. I think were still in it if we go unbeaten to the end of the season, but realistically we’ll end the season some four or five points behind the leaders. This gap in my opinion would be non existant if RVP had stayed fit.

    Those with an Anti arsenal agenda are singing loud and proud, and the fat lady is apparently clearing her throat. Let them gloat i’ve got a tesm to support.

  351. Sigh.

    When you do things like make a comparitive cost between two relative objects H*ward, you have to ‘show’ the comparitive cost.

    It really is very simple.

    There there, don’t get too upset and try to change your IP again.

    Lets just call it a day shall we.

    Good effort.
    Well done!

    Next time, I’m sure you’ll do better.

  352. Can’t have been easy eh? Thinking about all those foreign numbers…filthy stuff I know, but someone’s got to do it.

  353. Finsbury park in North London.

    When they can’t debate they insult. its an old trick. Your foul-mouth means nothing to me, it re-emphasize the point that you’re uncultured and probably wife-beater.

    This bog is full of elements like you. Just insult to make their point.

  354. I agree with Brady’s right foot.

  355. Me too Muppet.

  356. Moda, that’s right, right next to my club.

    You haven’t said anything Moda, so how can I insult you?

    You make a claim first and then try to prove it.
    That means you only bring up the evidence that proves your original claim. I believe the legal term is called lying by omission (someone told me!).

    So what have I insulted again?

  357. Finsbury park in North London

    Your group’s modus operandi is to insult when the debate is lost.

    You, Passenal, Poliziano, Nasri Jones Nasri, G4E and now Finsburyparker? You’re welcome to the insulting community.

  358. You did change your IP again as well!

    Ah well, I did try…

  359. Don’t forget Moda:

    AW will still be manager of AFC next season.

  360. I personally think Moda’s views should be listened to, rather than snapped at. yes, i dont believe in them whatsoever but he should still be allowed to say what he thinks

  361. I’m flattered you included me in that list, but I think, (and it’s that word Evidence again), that there’s plenty of evidence on this blog if you trawl through the archives that proves you’re allegations are inaccurate, again.

  362. he/she, that is….

    at least we dont play like colchester.

    liverpool is a must win, lose, and our objective changes completely, we’ll be sucked into the battle for 4th. weird feeling looking what’s below us rather than up..

    if we draw- well i dunno depends on the other results

  363. No one is stopping Moda from saying what he thinks, but if he is going to post his views on a public forum he shouldn’t start throwing insults around when someone challenges the validity of them.

  364. Isn’t moda the same as Howard/William/Arse21 ?

  365. I mean the same person ?

  366. I suspect he is Muppet. And you can add Barbados to that list too.

  367. We are all disappointed about what has happened in the last week or so but why give up now? I know that we are “outsiders” now but there is still plenty to play for starting with Liverpool.

  368. Hey, Zap.

    I was just trying to understand what exactly Moda’s /H*ward’s views are. It seems his problem is AW is ‘French’.

    I just thought, you know, that there might be a bit more to it, maybe something to do with football.

  369. if we treat each game as a cup final, show the grit we saw on sunday, we can win the league, provided chelski and manu drop points.

    the thing is we aint gonna be playing drogba every week.

    and hopefully cliche will remember not to wonder off when marking the far post..

    wow imagine how gibbs must feel- he could’ve made even more of a breakthrough, maybe even won himself a 1st team spot. must be horrible

  370. Passenal, in a previous post above I mentioned that in stadium support needs to be entirely positive and encouraging. Online is where we talk and analyse.

    As far as expectation levels, Arsenal are a club with great history of success before and especially since the Wenger era located in one of Europe’s greatest capital cities in its richest football league with a world-wide following of fans in the English-speaking (tremendous advantage) as well as non-English speaking world as a result of previous success and world class stars with charisma playing exciting attacking football. Why shouldn’t we have high expectations– to win silverware regularly? ManU is weaker this year and, I think so too are Chelsea. If we don’t have higher notions then why should we expect to keep Fabregas, Arshavin, and Van Persie from leaving this summer. If they do, money will be less the reason than the failure to show progress against top sides and winning silverware. Having experience of winning seems as important to the long term success of the club as youth development. Let’s hope the team can win this season or at least make a credible challenge; otherwise we are going to lose our best players and have a large number of young players who have not convinced themselves that they can win but rather are inured to coming third or fourth in the league without challenging ManU or Chelsea.

  371. Thanks Passenal. This site is supposed to be a discussion of all things arsenal, but it ends up degenerating into a farce. This guy should be in moderation. I’m getting tired of sifting through asinine and juvenile comments.

  372. I agree with AIC @ 10.41.

  373. look how well bentdner and eboue play away from home, when they havnt got the crowd on their back all the time. same with denilson

  374. i agree with muppet at 10:48 PM

  375. ‘Vermaelen should be given the captains armband and let him run the team from the back, the other players would listen then instead of getting confused and questioning him’

    that’s pretty impressive from Will, most ive seen him actually talk about anything to do with arsenal and he knows ths

  376. I agree with Zap @ 10:48

    & !0:49.

    I bet that cheered Moda up.

  377. I haven’t yet seen anyone correct Moda about Eduardo’s age (apologies if I missed it).

    Eduardo is not 29, he is 26. You could have checked this yourself, which would have taken less than one minute.

    Unfortunately this fact renders your argument about his “advancing age” redundant as 27-30 is generally accepted to be the age bracket in which forwards and midfielders peak.

  378. I’m not really sure if Moda is Howard…he writes better, but got nothing but the same old “English” broken record.

    “That English lad let go is better than Denilson. Almunia, Mannone, Fabianski, Denilson, Sylvestre, Senderos, Traore, Bolteho, Vela are all waste of money.”

    Who’s that English lad?

  379. Moda has gone to bed, connection is currently unavailable in the house of moda.

  380. Limestonegunner,

    I agree with all that you say.

    Of course we should have expectations commensurate with the stadium and the quality of our players.

    The point I was making, and I don’t know if it has not come across because I am a bad communicator, is that it is perhaps unrealistic to expect us to beat the 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams in europe because of their resources. Because of this, I make a strong argument, in defiance perhaps, that people cannot then be over critical of our current performance. If anything, we have overachieved with our budget and resources than underachieved.

    People would argue that we have the budget. If not they will argue for the judicial signings. With respect to the budget, Shotta Gunna has already pointed out that some players have been signed for absolutely crazy money. Tevez for £47 million ? By my reckoning, the top class defensive midfielder, goalkeeper and striker that we all crave would be coming in at just under £150 million.

    The judicial signing then ? Well – Wenger is a miracle worker, but he can’t work miracles forever. He has unearthed enough players, but people still demand that he does it in every window. Some windows are barren. We just can’t expect another Anelka, Henry or Vieira if scouting networks are now much more alert and aware, and every top club in europe is casting a much bigger net than ever before, and competing on price.

    I’m sorry, but I go back to Ole Gunner’s point, there are too many glib and easy assertions of the problem, and too many glib and easy suggestions of the fix. We all have the benefit of hindsight.

  381. Mad Jens used to make me laugh and used to rough defenders and stamp on their feets. He would waving his arm and shout through out the game. I loved him for that. Look what he did to Drogba.

  382. If Wenger leads us to a title, as he has suggested was in reach, it will be a fantastic triumph and a testament to his vision–perhaps his greatest coaching achievement. I desperately hope this will happen and I think all gooners will be thrilled. He hasn’t left himself much room, however, by refusing to strengthen or take the cups very seriously. It has been a gamble that seems less necessary, but the die is cast. Of course we must support the team As it stands now, but to point to these matters honestly and, when possible, constructively is hardly an anti-Arsenal position.

    Let’s hope with players returning from injury that we have the ability to win at home against a resilient and back in form Liverpool side. At least we don’t have to wait a week for another game! The team really needs to figure out how to stop counter attacking play–fewer men forward, some more professional fouls, what??– and to have the front three finding goals again.

  383. You may be right G4E.
    But the way H*ward dived in with such adroit timing with his ‘figures’ was worth the ignominy associated with such speculation.

    Thanks Crafty.
    I was trying to keep it simple, just focus on fees.
    Throwing age, and FFS, time into the mix was way too complex. Too many numbers. Maybe that’s what upset him?

  384. Howard will always receive my generous and will deserved “F*ck Off” anytime and under any name.

    I’m just wondering if it’s someone else who doesn’t have the guts and hiding behind Howard’s rhetoric.

  385. I don’t think he refused to strengthen Limestonegunner. He tried to strengthen, but the players were not available.

    This is the type of argument that people on here find nonsensical. There are two major reasons why people complain that Wenger apparently doesn’t strengthen. One because he would kill the young players, and two, because he wants so desperately to stay in the black.

    I’m sorry, and I am not in anyway being hostile, but I think this is complete tosh. If you cannot find a player, at the right price, that will strengthen the squad, then that is the situation. If Wenger believes that player X, who costs Y, is no better than what we have, then I don’t think his judgement should be questioned. Some will play devils advocate and say, well, we could get someone in, say, for the short term (I heard this on the hacks supplement yesterday), for expediency. Well, then you go doing that for every immediate problem you face, and you end up with a debt mountain.

    Wenger has reportably said, although I’ve not see a direct quote, that if there are no trophies this year, then he will be forced to re-evaluate. Which means possibly that the youth policy will be called into question. Even then, that doesn’t mean that you get to a transfer window and do not find the player you are looking for. Alex Ferguson did not find anybody in this transfer window because he said the market was overpriced.

  386. I liked our play yesterday – the difference was Drogba. None of the other Chelsea players were effective in ‘attack’. Diaby and Song dominated midfield.

    Yes, our tactics were too predictable; so our manager must shit can this 4-3-3 until he has the players to fit the system.

    I would not have started Theo, Rosicky for sure! There is never any linking between Theo and Sagna – in fact Theo’s current game is not suited to our 1 touch midfield play!

    If you watch the last 7 or 8 matches, Rosicky is playing to his form of 07-08 (b4 injury). We need his on the pitch.

  387. It all comes down to “I want it now and I want it at any price”

    Wenger himself stated he wanted a striker, he tried to get Chamakh for a reasonable price, but Bordeaux didn’t want to do “reasonable business”. Then it comes down to, do you want to spend on an overpriced, maybe so & so striker in January or get Chamakh for free in the summer?

    The problem with Wenger is he protects the money as if it’s his own, which means he cares about this club.

    Other managers will buy and couldn’t care less because they know they may not last a few years, or like Fergie who’s own glory is much more important than United’s huge debt.

  388. Theo is suited to making runs behind defenders Chelsea defended deep and he had no space to run into their game plan was to sit deep and hit on the counter, United did it Chelsea followed I also heard Gerard on radio today saying they will do the same thing but Liverpool don’t have Torres to do that so I don’t think they will succeed. People will be wondering Why Wenger has not changed his tactics. We just don’t have the target man who is going to play upfront on his own, Rvp was brilliant at it although it was a new role for him. Bendtner was injured and still not 100% fit despite that we played a lot better when he came on. I believe Wenger tried to bring Chamakh in Jan but Bordeaux refused to let him go as they are doing well in CL.
    It is not a disaster as people are making out. Still a lot of football to be played if we finish the season on a high then next season will be a lot stronger. But we can’t let Cesc or any player go.

  389. Fair enough, Muppet. We’ll see what happens at the end of the season and the response to results. Wenger’s hand might be forced by the premature departure of some of our best players if the club doesn’t meet their ambitious expectations. I believe fabregas as well as Arshavin had called for reinforcements last year at season’s end. Wenger apparently was suddenly attempting to deal on deadline day after the ManU debacle but left it late. That’s been his gamble. Again, I hope it works.

  390. Forget HD and 3D … this is WD! (Wenger Delusional Vision)

    Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal – Sunday 7th February 2010

    Arsene Wenger’s assessment of John Terry’s performance was one of his better moments in an after-match briefing that was at best wildly optimistic and at worst delusional. Amid damning this vastly-superior Chelsea side with churlish faint praise – “we didn’t get a demonstration of football but they were efficient” – Wenger somehow reached the conclusion that Arsenal were actually the better team(!).

    Not quite sure what the French for “bollocks” is, but Wenger is in serious denial if he believes this to be the case. He quoted statistics about possession and about how Chelsea’s greater experience allows them to know where and when to commit fouls. Like his Arsenal team, Wenger will have to do much better than that.

    Wenger’s flawed analysis was surgically dissected by Ancelotti. “Maybe they did have more possession, but football is about attack, defence, keeping possession when you need to – and results,” he responded. “You can’t just speak about possession. You have attack, defence, counter attack and keeping results. That is football.” Touché.

    And here is one statistic Ancelotti will be happy to offer up as evidence that Chelsea’s way is preferable to Arsenal’s – namely the aggregate score of 5-0 in the two meetings between the teams this season.

    Wenger’s apparent satisfaction at Arsenal’s performance was betrayed somewhat by his heated touchline behaviour. He was ticking from the opening seconds, responding to the offer of a coat from a member of his backroom team by throwing it on the floor and later kicking it in a moment of fury, barely letting up for the whole afternoon. Wenger was as energetic as any of his players.

    For all his sugar-coated offerings, such as “our spirit was great and our performance was great” (not really Arsene), Wenger is kidding only himself. There was barely a moment when Chelsea were not in total control of the game, either in defence or attack.

    And coming on the back of Arsenal’s dismantling by Manchester United at the Emirates, this latest defeat completed a chastening seven days for Wenger, who has seen all his words of optimism put in context by two of the clubs he hopes to overhaul this season.

    If a moment summed up the gulf between the sides, it came in the closing moments when Drogba tumbled in a tussle with Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard held his outstretched hand high and low towards referee Mike Dean in an attempt to illustrate how it was physically impossible for him to bring the striker to the floor, such is the differing statures.

    Fabregas could have been offering a commentary on the game. It was almost an unwitting admission that this was men against boys. If Arsenal summoned up all their collective strength to land a punch on Chelsea, it is hard to see them even forcing a blink.

    Chelsea may not have won many marks from Wenger for artistic impression, but their brand of powerful play and attacking variety stands more chance of success than the current Arsenal template, built around wispy, lightweight artists.

    Drogba and Chelsea prefer the direct route to goal, whereas you get the impression that it does not actually enter the heads of some Arsenal players to take a shot at goal when they can make another pretty, but utterly pointless, pass.

    Wenger will cling to the belief that Arsenal can somehow make up the nine-point gap between themselves and the top of the table, starting against Liverpool this week, but it is a diminishing prospect.

    See full post match Wenger interview here http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/8503223.stm

    Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/philmcnulty/2010/02/john_terry_parted_with_the.html

  391. bradys right foot

    It’s infront of us but were paying a heavy price for our patience just now. I’m still gutted about the last two games the results upset me probably more than any others over the last few years, but for different reasons, against Man U i thought we were awful against Chelsea bar two mistakes the better side, infact our midfield is simply superb and has a combination of athleticism power and technique which well hang medals on in the future, Diaby and Song are so far over the come good line their dots on the horizon.

    Are we perfect are we f***, will we be better going forward without a doubt. This team is not going backwards the number of young players involved in it means it will only get better with time.

    And as for our apparent lack of leadership we have the current Russian Czech French and Belgium captains in the squad. We have RVP Fabregas and Campbell as well, its an area were we shouldn’t have any worries.

    Individual errors have cost us at crucial times this season, but weve still got an awful lot of football to play and i’m going to enjoy our run in and hopefully a Cl final win against the Mancs or the Chavs, the laws of average would suggest it has to happen someday and when it does it’ll be all the sweeter for the shit thats being shovelled at the club, players and manager at the moment.

  392. Muppet:

    “The point I was making, and I don’t know if it has not come across because I am a bad communicator, is that it is perhaps unrealistic to expect us to beat the 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams in europe because of their resources. Because of this, I make a strong argument, in defiance perhaps, that people cannot then be over critical of our current performance. If anything, we have overachieved with our budget and resources than underachieved.”

    Well said. I’ve heard some sceptics say that they’d like the club to admit it’s skint. They want a reason to get behind the club and it’s spending policy. This willingness to make a scarifice is dishonest to me because they know our strategy but think that they know better than anyone else how the club should be run. Personally, I wouldn’t trust these people with five dollars let alone our budget. Wenger and the board are setting this club up for the future. That we’re competing with Man Poo and Chelsea while spending less than half what they do should make people ecstatic.

  393. Limestone I think our more ambitious players can fuck off if they want to. Personally, I think that Cesc is going nowhere. The only player I can see leaving is Arshavin. The choice is his. We’ll make a bundle off him and he’ll end up in a club that likes big names but doesn’t know where to put its players thus he ends up on the bench. He reminds me a bit of Hleb in this regard. If he stays put good on him, but if he wants to go good riddance. He’s not indespensable.

  394. G4E.

    It does get confusing as that, I can understand, yet some seem to have a different agenda, or maybe get too emotional? I don’t know, but I don’t believe they are more emotional or passionate or committed then the staff. I think there’s a lot of evidence of that. I also imagine 60,000 people giving their opinions to you every week about your work is probably quite an emotional experience. (And fun!).

    I also agree with 1lc and BRF, sorry Moda.

    I posted before or after the game on discussions about changing the tactics for the game, it is a good thing the staff at AFC are better prepared then I am to judge their squad. But for some lame defending they should have won that game, with this 4-3-3 thingy that everyone’s talking about, still.

    I think as has already been said by someone else, and, er, one of the Williams Sisters, you can’t blame a preference for a style of football for a Communication Breakdown.

    Maybe William (the older, more sensible one?) is right.
    The LB position has been unsettled by injuries this season, so maybe we should upgrade the Verminator with a speaker and sound card.

    How’s that for Troll Love, Moda?

    Night.

  395. 9 points difference got you down? Don’t we all love come backs?

  396. Tanks Brady’s Right Foot … you talk sense.

  397. Did anyone see how Almunia ducked and covered his face in the wake of Drogbas second goal? Compare that with the Chech running at the feet of a player ane risking his health. Almunia should leave immediately

  398. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    The date is 24th of April 2010. Chelsea have just won the premier league title in front of their home fans by beating Stoke City 4-0. Elsewhere, Manchester City have dismantled Arsenal at the Emigrants Stadium with a 3-1 scoreline.

    The Sky reporter asks the Arsenal manager, whose team is 15 points behind league winners Chelsea: “Arsene, where does this leave you now?”

    Arsene responds, “Well, we need to keep the faith. We showed good spirit and mentality. We dominated the possession and we were only lacking a bit of sharpness. But we keep improving which is good. Chelsea can still drop points between now and the end of the season. So you never know.” Sky reporter finally responds, “Wake up, you stupid c***”.

  399. Gainsbourg69 on February 9, 2010 at 2:30 am, top post. No player is bigger than the club. If he hasn’t got the stomach for the fight he can do one and see where that gets him.

  400. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Did you notice that as the ball was travelling in, Almunia had closed his eyes! It’s a shame that Drogba couldn’t get his hattrick. He was a bit unfortunate with the free kick hitting the bar while Almunia had written it off with no effort. Look, if it’s not already, it is official now—ARSENAL ARE DROGBA’S BITCH

  401. FBP,Passenal, G4E, Ole, Braidy, Muppet and anyone else i may have left out, thanks alot guys for lifting my spirits. I needed that after what’s being spewed by the media, I see they are back at it only its full throttle this time. Wouldn’t it kill them if we nicked this one against all odds!!

  402. I see everyone is still wittering on about the same old, same old. Whilst you are doing that the squad are working hard and AW and his advisors are problem-solving. In the mean time most of you will have put in as much effort as to consider changing your pants and maybe sorting yourself out before you do so, burping, farting and hitting the keyboard.

  403. Firstlady, Thats ok, dont worry about it.

    Ballack is taking the piss and you know this

  404. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Aston Villa 0 – Arsenal 0

    Arsenal 1 – Man United 3

    Chelsea 2 – Arsenal 0

    One point from three games against three of the best five teams in England…

    Not good enough.

  405. Frank, are you saying that Arsene and the team haven’t changed there pants since Sunday because they’ve been too busy problem solving?

  406. A 2-0 MU
    MU 0-0 A
    MU 3-0 C
    C 1-1 MU
    L2-1 MU
    MU 1-4 L

    5 points in six games against the top four teams last season….and guess who won the league?

  407. People DAVE the D*ck is back!only this time he is REM.

    Dave a pity that you dont have better things to do than spam this beautiful blog.

  408. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Firstlady,You can’t defend like a bunch of hyperactive paedophiles, and you can’t go two goals down after 30 minutes.

    How many times have United and Chelsea conceded two and three goals in the first half or even the whole game? Probably not that many, and if you get yourself in that position, you have a mountain to climb.

    A big old cliffhanging one.

  409. We will beat Liverpool dogs, they may have won there last five games but they have been very, very lucky to do so and there defence is shite and you know this

  410. Certainly have to stay on our toes with a razor sharp wit like yours around,’william’.

  411. they scored a consolation goal against us frank,still the same points. Anyway the point you made above gives me great hope.

  412. I tell you a player who is being wasted by the Russians, Joe Cole

  413. A 2-1 MU
    MU 0-0 A
    MU 3-0 C
    C 1-1 MU
    L2-1 MU
    MU 1-4 L

    There you go, firstlady, I forgot the AD own goal. But as you say 5 points in six games.

  414. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Firstlady,Never mind signing fantastic forwards—even fantastic forwards can’t win you a game when you are content conceding three goals at home, or two goals at Stamford Bridge when the ENTIRE league has probably scored three goals at Stamford Bridge this ENTIRE season

  415. Liverpool game is a must win and you know this dogs. They will be missing that Keriakos bloke so thewre defence will be even weaker, we must take advantage of this partners

  416. Chelski won’t win the league this season….and they won’t even go close in the European thingy. They are not good enough. Ballack may witter on like the gummy old fart that he is but it is clear that his career is all but over….a team that relies on Drogba and a defensive wall is doomed to failure in the medium term. Two more rounds of results and the fickle press and media will be talking out of the other side of their mouths as they often do….and the wins for Arsenal will come rolling in over the coming weeks.

  417. William I asked you a question yesterday.I am not sure if you gave an answer coz i missed it, are you by any chance from Kenya and if so you are giving us guys a bad name.

  418. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Obsession with Possession is Not Good

    Sure they had 70 percent of the possession. Fancy passing, fast running, position swapping, pinball precision, etc etc, but where was the all decisive goal? Didn’t the players see the clock winding down or the scoreboard that showed that they were two goals down? They were simply not able to convert their opportunities into meaningful threat thereby costing them the game.

    And never expect a team that is defensively good and has established a good lead over you to risk giving up that lead and open up because they want possession of the ball. They need not and often will not run after the ball after all the onus is on you to score. It may be better to win beautiful than to win ugly, But it is also beautiful to win ugly than to lose stupid.

    Those are just few of the lessons that Wenger could have absorbed if he had chose to learn from the game rather than complain. But sadly it seems Arsene is too busy day dreaming and giving excuses than fix the needs of the team, which is truly sad because the team is just a few tinkering away from being a “beautiful football playing genuine contenders.”

  419. Agree Frank, Michael Bollocks moved to Chelsea for the money and nothing else, he achieved nothing in his career, how dare he slag off Wenger.There will nothing worst than watching the likes of him and Cashley lifting the trophy, let hope they don’t.

  420. 1LC for some reason, if we dont lift it,I’d rather they did than the mancs.

  421. Firstlady, No, unfortunately I am not from Kenya or anywhere cool like that.

    I asked you a question yesterday, are you a Lady?

  422. 1 loose cannon, Ballack is taking the piss out of us dog, him and cashley are laughing at us. I dont know about you but i’m sick of that mo-fo. All this ‘men angainst boys’ shit brings me down baby, it brings me down to China town and you know this

  423. What’s your problem dave, for someone who derides Arsenal and what the club is all about, you sure do spend plenty of time here!!!

  424. William MAYBE, maybe NOT.

  425. Well Just so you know, Maria and Me are engaged, and I know where my breads buttered. I just wanted you to know that.

  426. Keriakos is one o fthe worsrt defenders Liverpool have ever had and he’s missing, they looked vunerable against Everton but we cant let these fools bully us. We gots to be men, we gots to grow up, we gots to get paid and you know this.

    The time is now, I call all Goooners, Razors and Pot heads, lets give liverpool a good rogering, wahoo!!!! wahoo!!!! wahoo!!!

  427. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    DROGBA :12 GOALS IN 10 STARTS, AGAINST ARSENIL .

    NOW THATS HISTORY

  428. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal: Same Old Arsenal, As Strong As a Chocolate Saucepan

  429. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Wenger has tried to copy the Barcelona system of last season where if a team scored two, they would score three.

    Sadly for him, the EPL and La Liga are two different beasts, and the space afforded to Spanish teams is not given to those in England.

    This system might work for the likes of Bolton, Portsmouth, and Birmingham but against Manchester United and Chelsea it’s a different story.

    Both the above teams can defend, and given one chance, they will take it

  430. Gainsborough69 – yes, thanks for comment. Agree with your follow up comments.

    William – go to school.

  431. plus barca have 3 of the best forwards in the world we have 1 CF who still doenst start (bentdner) theo, and a few attacking midfielders to make up the numbers.

    pathetic state of affairs

  432. and all this possession talk in nonsense. achelotti told them world he’d play us on the counter so of course we’d have more possession! yet again we were tactically shocking…

    plenty of crosses to the 5’5 arshavin to try and head in against terry and carvalho, but as soon as bendtner comes on we stop doing it!!

  433. You don’t get it Dave do you? Even if Chelsea were the greatest team in the history of football, it would be despised by much of he football world. Arsenal is our team, and there has got to be something very weird going on for you to want to keep posting here; but gee thanks Dave, for the love and attention.

    I agree totally with Mr. Wenger, Arsenal are a better and far more attractive side, chelsea is efficient but Drogba is something special.

  434. The saddest worry for us Razors is Clichy. What has happened to the boy. He used to be a left back Dynamo but his concentration, or lack there of, is costing us bad. He must have his Playstation 3 confiscated untill further notice. I know Fifa10 is addictive but it’s turning him into a fricken liability and you know this. I’d honestly rather play Silvestre at left back and tell to just sit back and defend, do you see where im coming from rude boys?

  435. Zimpaul you is speaking the truth partner. As has been quoted before on here, Drogba does own Arsenal. I cant stand being owned by Drogba, he is a trerrble and abusive owner

  436. ricardo fuller and rory delap must be co-owners, we cant handle them 2 either!

  437. Delap is more of a squatter

  438. Ballacks right, we’re one dimensional and teams now know how to play against us. We are so predictable. I wish we had the players to mix it up. If only we replaced Adebayor with another tall striker. Why have we got loads of players under 6 ft who pose no threat in the box and have no physical presence?

    Things to think about.

  439. either way he always punishes us.

    along with the roon to.

  440. wenger didnt replace adebayor because he thought vela was good enough!!

    that tells us everything about the direction our club is heading at the moment!

  441. 14 games and 2.5 months to go in the Prem. Any body who writes off Arsenal FC is either foolish or delusional. Actually there are many of them here and elsewhere, particularly the commercial media.

    Anybody who dismisses AW and his footballing philosophy is even more foolish and delusional. As the gathering clouds of economic and financial crisis encircle Europe, time will certainly tell who is the wise leader and who is the pied piper leading the lemmings over the cliff.

  442. shotta-gunna….erm, you seem to forget the 5 years without a trophy. Wake up.

  443. Whats bad defending got to do with the FTSE shotta?

  444. You know what, I mocked him at the time but I must say that Ole Gunner was right about Ade, he was a real threat against the big guns and thats the truth dogs.

    Ole I apologise partner

  445. gooner1… who needs trophies… personally i cant wait for the open bus parade to show off our accounts and profit margin for the last year… its gonna be a riot!!

    shotta… you must be a born loser to be happy with the arsenal at the moment.

  446. I wonder if Arsene gets a share of the profits? Only joking partners, he is a football man

  447. william, apparently he gets a share of the money received/not spent on transfers which would explain our pathetic record of late.

  448. Arsenal Tom..lol…lets celebrate our wonderful accounts! We’re totally solvent! Debt-free!!! Its an honour to be a supporter of a club like this. I’m so proud of the work Arsene has done to keep financially secure. Great work!

  449. Arsene put his faith in the youngsters…..

    The youngsters have let him down and let down the fans.

    I hope Arsene has learnt a valuable lesson.

  450. its not the youngsters fault though if they arent good enough. expecting 20 yr olds to perform consistently for a whole season is a massive ask, especially when they have very little guidance from top class experienced players.

    theres a reason cesc is so good, he came into a team full of proven world class players who helped him, now when a player comes in who helps them… eboue? almunia? song? put them against the likes of lehman, viera & henry and theres another huge reason our kids dont know how to win

    wenger built this team, and instals the mentality he choose with them. the buck stops with him, and then the people like gazidis

  451. I take more encouragement from the result against Chelsea. We lost the game due to defensive naivety…Chelsea were virtually unchallenged for both goals. We still managed to create 3 very good chances. On another day and with RVP on the end of them the result would have been different.

    That we would concede is almost a pre requisite of our expansive game which always leaves us open to counter attack. We have usually overcome this problem by outscoring the opposition. The difference in the end was Drogba 2 chances 2 goals and Arsenal having no recognised match fit CF or goalscorer as a focal point of attack.

    The abscence of RVP and Eduardo against the top 2 who Ballack will be very surprised are equally predictable is obvious. Again the title challenge has taken a major setback. In 2007/8 when I believe we were well on our way to winning the EPL the form of Ade and Eduardo was awesome and definitely the team suffered after Eduardo’s horrific injury. Similarly with RVP playing this season we looked capable of worrying opposition defenses all the time.

    After the defeat its easy for the media analysis to go into overdrive and say Wenger is stubborn and should have bought a striker. One wonders whether Wenger should also be psychic and predict that all his strikers will be injured and have 5 world class strikers in reserve all the time. Dont be fooled. Clearly liverpool suffer without Torres and I can assure you the Chelsea and Man U without Did he dive Drogba and Rooney would suffer. Mark my words. Redemption is coming in the form of victory against Liverpool.Onwards and Upwards. COYG!

  452. Arsenal Tom….good point. So whats the answer? Buy some quality experienced players, like Arshavin?

  453. gooner1… exactly… im not saying buy 5- players, but a good back CB cos sol & silvetsre will both be gone in the summer. a top quality GK cos almunia is awful, and a CF which i think will be chamakh.

  454. AT…well, lets hope Wenger realises the weaknesses in the team and starts spending some money to remove them.

  455. Every team has a sticky patch. I think this is ours.It wont last forever. We must have improved our game this season because we have overcome teams in the the league who have traditionally caused us problems and we have scored against teams that traditionally park the bus and defend in mass ranks. Anyone who thinks we have been lucky, weak and spineless in those games please feel free to point this out.

    2 games lost FFS and everyone is saying the team is doomed. Its gut wrenching but hey shit happens.In the last few years Utd have won very few games against the top 4 even losing 3-0 to Chelsea and 4 -1 to liverpool. I never heard anyone calling them spineless. Please get a grip.

    Anyone would think Ballack had just cracked the Da vinci code. NEWSFLASH!. Every team is predictable. Its a free world. Let those who want to blame Wenger and concede defeat go for it. Knock yourselves out! Im waiting till the last kick of the season to reserve judgement.

  456. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Arsène Wenger has always followed his own path, but he is leading Arsenal into mediocrity. A largely justified reputation as a visionary distracts people from noticing the most basic flaws in the team. With 25 Premier League games completed, the 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge means they have conceded 30 goals. That equals the worst defensive performance Wenger has presided over since his arrival in the autumn of 1996.

    Statistics of that sort are far from bloodless, and Arsenal have been wounded. Never before in the history of the Premier League have they lost all four of their encounters with Chelsea and Manchester United

  457. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Talking of intellect, the most telling indictment against Wenger is maybe that in his current situation he has carried rather too much of the arrogance that often accompanies it. He says he had the money to make a vital signing up front, but not the instinct. Why not? We have to guess that it was because it might have offended his own sense of omnipotence, his belief that, one way or another, he had built the resources to deal with any situation.

    Heaven knows, it is a beguiling idea. Imagine the anointing of Wenger that would have inevitably followed some freakish achievement by Arshavin, some consistent reproduction of the brilliance which confounded Liverpool at Anfield recently.

    Yet on Sunday Arshavin might have been a mere charm on a bracelet worn by Didier Drogba. The decisive power and judgement of the Chelsea striker, admittedly now pretty much in a class of his own as a pure finisher, settled the match and, let’s be honest, the debate centring on Wenger’s resolution to do it entirely his way.

  458. Lawton’s a fraud.

    He likes to write about ‘Capello’s discipline’ whilst ignoring Capello’s perjury charge. Pathetic.

    I do like Capello though, unlike some, he does have charisma.

  459. G4E

    Moda’s Real English Lad was David Bentley. At I guess he’s made AFC 10M+?

    Senderos as a CB helps take AFC to the European Cup final without conceding a goal, where he looses with ten men, sniff sniff. But apparently he’s not a good player.

    Bentley according to former England manager candidate, ‘Arry Redknapp, Bentley is il-disciplined, and has nearly pissed his career away. I hope that Bentley has some success, and even gets into the England team a a back up for Theo on the RW.

    But there was no logic, just hate.

  460. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    F*cking hell, Dave. Kick rocks already you f*cking classless degenerate fool.

  461. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Aww, and look William has finally realized Adebayor is world class striker and we are worse off without him. Kudos, William. Glad to see you’ve still got a modicum of sense left.

  462. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    It was a beautiful dream. To win silverware with the purity of your attacking and possession football. Defending? Pah! Who needs it? Why get your hands dirty with such a tawdry and uncouth thing? This is art, not sport. Well, Arsenal certainly served up a load of Jackson Pollocks at the key moments as their title challenge was declared over for another season at Stamford Bridge.

    I don’t know whose responsibility defensive coaching is at the club these days. Pat Rice? Boro Primorac? Whoever it is should have been sacked a long time ago. It is sad to see Arsene Wenger’s reputation amongst the supporters continue to decline. But the aim of a football club is to compete for trophies. Of course, Arsenal only bother with two of the four they can win, so the raison d’etre of the club is already being heavily compromised. And the benefit of resting so many players in the FA Cup 4th Round is… answers on a postcard please. As in previous seasons, defeat in the competition led to a subsequent loss of momentum. Never mind, eh. Third place is more of an achievement than winning some pithy domestic cup.

    http://news.google.com/news/story?pz=1&um=1&cf=all&ned=uk&hl=en&q=DROGBA&ncl=d1OPLfxEKQvpMbM&cf=all&start=180

  463. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    There’s no point in having a go at individual players today. They tried their hardest, but weren’t good enough. All you can ask is that they play as well as they know how to. Abou Diaby has never been shown how to physically challenge his man at a corner, Alex Song has never been taught how to mark his man rather than ball watch and Gael Clichy has never been coached about the positional play of a full back. No, what matters is passing the ball quickly and accurately. Unfortunately, the basics when possession is not theirs have never been addressed. The real question for the directors of the club now is whether the current manager is the best man to right the wrongs. Given that he is largely responsible for creating them, the answer sadly has to be no. However, the board haven’t got the gonads to make any changes because the club is in reality being run by one of its employees.

    I think many of us have been wanting to pretend otherwise, due to the sometimes fantastic attacking football the team can play, but ultimately, I suspect Arsenal will not win the title again while Arsene Wenger is the manager. So really, it’s a question of whether you’re are happy to watch such entertaining football, knowing that the tactics employed will – at best – reward the club with consistent Champions League football, or would prefer to see the side lose a little of the flair in return for the chance to genuinely challenge for the title.

  464. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Maybe if Arsene Wenger wasn’t like the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, going around poaching players whilst they are still in nappies and maybe entered into the transfer market for a couple of grown ups, he wouldn’t be moaning about Chelsea’s average age

  465. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    SO WHEN WILL GALLAS GROW UP AND STOP BEING A KID,IN 5 MORE YEARS THEY WILL STILL BE HIS LITTLE KIDS

  466. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    I thought Wenger was a miracle worker and didnt need to spend??? The goons are finally realising that he aint nothing special and teaching players to play triangles and 1-2 doesnt do ****!!! You still need some mavricks with individual QUALITY

  467. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    You have won nothing and wont win anything, plus they are not kids anymore! look at Uniteds team, Anderson, Nani, Fletcher, Rafael, Fabio, Rooney! They are all ~”young” players, but they have all won titles, it’s not the fact they are kids Wenger, they just aren’t good enough

  468. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    IN WENGER WE TRUST Ha Ha Ha losers allways next year

  469. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    zap,at what point will you stop living off past glories? You’re always referring to Arsenal’s past successes. It’s pathetic. Portsmouth have had more recent success than your fraudsters. The only thing you’ve collected in your trophy cabinet in modern times is dust

  470. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    zap, And they will win nothing with you – but they will be good at passing. And if you bring in another englishman he can learn a second language at the team talks – c’est nes pas?

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