Never Give Up

Start by doing what’s necessary;
then do what’s possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible

– St Francis of Assisi

A morning where all and sundry continue their onslaught against Arsenal, Arsene in particular bearing the brunt of the criticism. Questioning the decisions of the manager is part of a healthy debate into the state of affairs at the club and should not be discouraged otherwise complacency sets in.

Where I take issue is when abuse becomes part of the ‘game’ which is counterproductive in both analysis and resolution. Put simply, if you do not have the mental capacity to put forward cogent arguments, do not bother; abuse means your input is instantly devalued and ignored. Indeed, this aspect erodes the pleasure many of us derive from watching and talking about football.

Sanity is in short supply. The media love a good transfer story and when they don’t get their fill, as happened in January, the only solution to all ills which may afflict a club is that they should have signed someone. In Arsenal’s case, a centre forward. Or industrious midfielder. Or centre back. Or goalkeeper. Therein is the problem. No-one could agree on which position needed most urgent attention – if any did – and how the multi-million pound spree required to satisfy everyone’s desires was to be funded.

Undoubtedly Wenger has money to spend. A lot of his transfer pot – Arsenal admit that this funds both new signings and contract extensions – was spent tieing down the current squad to long-term deals. Accusations that this has led to complacency and arrogance are without foundation; none of us knows the individuals involved and therefore you cannot say with any degree of certainty that these traits have suddenly risen to the surface in any player. You can assume that but at the same time, you will presumably not mind if we make some assumptions about you.

We simply do not know how much there is available. Arsenal has a ethos of not talking transfers until they happen although at times talking about it several days after deals are known to be completed is a touch too secretive. Wenger created a rod for his own back after recent transfer windows by mentioning failures in transfer negotiations, something that started with the attempt to sign Xabi Alonso. Open-ness has its pitfalls as well.

These are testing times for the squad. In years to come, it can be looked back upon as character building for them. Unfortunately, the Premier League’s creation eradicated long-term views; it enhanced focus on the short-term where resolution is simple: sack the manager, allow their replacement to spend a sum equivalent to the GDP of a small nation and then sack them when they do not bring in trophies.

Arsenal stand firm as a mote of rationality in this maelstrom. Transfers are funded from the business. It might change if ownership falls into one pair of hands but at this moment in time, cloth is cut according to that which is available, rather than nipping in through the back window of the tailor shop next door and stealing theirs. Is it the correct route? Yes. Only Chelsea and Manchester United has won the Premier League title in the last decade, aside from Arsenal. Aston Villa, Tottenham, Manchester City; they have all spent vast sums in recent seasons but are with the exception of the latter, no nearer to the title than they were last season.

Buying a player or two will be necessary in the summer and depending on the nature of those incoming, moving to the next level may occur. It might not and then we will be where we are now. A top three side with an outside chance of the title and a 1 in 16 chance of winning the Champions League.

Wenger’s problem this time around is that he has admitted to putting his eggs into two baskets: the Premier and Champions League. Domestic cups are highly valued in the press for they save effort, stories almost pre-written before finals and no sniffing around hunting for tattle to fill column inches. The FA Cup is losing its shine, saved this season by the exploits of Leeds and Reading. Looking at the upcoming fixtures, there are few shocks which can have a reasonable chance of occurring, it might even be a shock if Southampton do not dump Portsmouth’s run into the depths of The Solent.

The media are unforgiving if cup competitions are disrespected, losing little chance to lambast Manchester United for their failure to compete at the turn of the century. Ironically, the same hacks who criticise Arsene for not fielding his strongest team at Stoke wanted United to do the same whilst the first team competed for Fifa’s World Club Cup.

Liverpool represents the same opportunity as Chelsea. A chance to get back to winning ways. Victory coupled with the failure of Chelsea and United to take maximum points reduces the nine-point gap to the top which currently exists. No doubt that this would make the world around Arsenal seem less grey. Crucially, it offers hope. Without that, what is the point of following a football club?

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 9, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 326 Comments.

  1. Just to focus on the penultimate paragraph for a moment. Is there in fact any point to opinion in the press and media at all? Certainly it does not add to factual content and as the motives of the writer/presenter are ultimately purely financial…..what do they possibly add. No-one looks in a newspaper for the results any more surely? Does anyone seek out a particuar hacks opinion? Doubtful….Isn’t hackery and punditry slowly dying in football? They seem to be unaware that their hay day is over.

  2. __Arsenal__

  3. Blogs like this one, Untold Arsenal and one or two others provide all the opinion that an Arsenal supporter wants and if you want to whinge and whine then go to one of the sites notorious for just that. No need for hacks and pundits though….they don’t know as much about our club as even the least curious and lazy fan.

  4. Never give up! Precisely. All winning sides were tempered by this mentality, it works; there are no exceptions to this rule. Arsenal is the same.

  5. If we can’t get to a game, how many of us watch the live games on TV with the sound off? I know I do….I even prefer to watch the text footage on the BBC than listen to the radio or even online commentary on ATVO. These people just seem to think that we want to keep up with the game whilst simultaneously listening to someone else’s pub conversation. Well we don’t….not in the least bit fucking interested!

  6. Long term contracts to average players who have achieved nothing.Bendtner on 50k a week Theo on 65k!!!!

    It makes you weep

    Why has it gone so wrong since the Invincible season in 2004?

  7. We need a massive clear out of the tittle tattle, rumour monger, gossip merchants. We should have hack and pundit baiting in the stadium before every game. Invite them into a ‘studio’ stick them into a glass cubicle overlooking the pitch. Let them think they are in charge and then fill it slowly with water. In fact all commentaries should be done in tanks in full diving gear…if they so much as utter an opinion rather than tell us who has the ball we cut their fucking air supply off.

  8. It hasn’t all gone so wrong you prick

  9. Frank

    was in a pub on sunday with about a 100 gooners and to a man they booed Theo off the pitch.Thats what the real fans think

  10. No, that is what the fans in your pub think, Ron. Your pub is full of shit fans.

  11. Nice point there, Frank.

    There are one or two hacks & pundits who are worth listening to (possibly no more so than the man in the pub, however).

    I like Lee Dixon’s analyses of our defensive deficiencies; he seems to hit the nail on the head but I just wish that Arsene would take him on as a defensive consultant.

    I thought Graeme Souness’s comments on Sunday were interesting too. In spite of us getting trampled by a herd of 300lb gorillas, he still found a lot of positives about Arsenal. His comment was that we are not far from being a truly great team and he was clear about what we need to do to get there. Contrast that to Jamie Redhat, who loves every opportunity to rubbish us and always makes his judgments based on the superficial.

    The trick is, I suppose, not to take them too seriously.

  12. I think we should come out of the tunnel to Rick Astleys ‘Never Gonna Give you Up’ blaring from the speakers. The players could learn a little dance, or do the train. Clichy better remember the fricken steps as well

  13. I am as frustrated and yes, irritated by what has been happening at our club recently. Looking at it from the outside it seems easy to identify the problems doesn’t it? The balance within the club seems wrong. The business model needs re-adjusting for sure with perhaps less emphasis on youth and the associated costs. I think we need a defensive coach and some players etc, etc. You’ve all heard the well-worn arguments before a million times. But we live in a blame culture these days and some of the insults I’ve seen aimed at Arsene Wenger recently have made me feel uneasy. Blogs are places where people can have a voice but it seems that the purchase of a season ticket and not even that in many cases, gives people the right to dish out some really foul and quite sickening abuse. OK, perhaps they feel this is the only way they can express themselves but personally I think it has overstepped the mark. Things on the pitch are not great and I am not completely sure that AW is the man to take the club forward. I don’t know the financial realities and nor do many people outside the boardroom but that won’t stop people from making assumptions will it? Things must change and perhaps it’s too late for this season. It’s not good enough but it’s where we are. I’m unhappy that the press love to kick Arsene and the club when they are down. It hurts because we all know this really could have been our season.

  14. It is our season. It is always our season.

  15. Frank, I sent an email to the club asking for commentary free highlights on ATVO and didn’t even receive a reply.

  16. ‘Never gonna give you up…..’

  17. Actually I’ll prioritise for you: First we need the equivalent of the next David Seaman. Sorenson and even David James will do although I’d add Joe Hart in there as well. Pay whatever is asked for; they are worth it! Have Arsenal EVER had a goalkeeper worse than Almunia? I’m even pining for a return of Manninger from Juventus!

    Second we need the next Alan Smith; there are a few like those out there; again pay whatever it takes; if you want to win trophies it is worth it.

    Third because Wenger doesn’t know how to teach defending we need to buy ready made great defenders; whatever it costs, it is worth it if we want to win trophies. Remember how much Fergie paid for Rio and Stam? Everyone laughed at first but many trophies later is anyone laughing?

    Fourth, get the equivalent of Vieira or Makalele; they are out there; whatever they cost, pay if you want to win trophies. Even a Yaya Toure wouldn’t cost too much; even a Darren Fletcher type would do and we can get those pretty cheap.

    This won’t happen but I can dream….

  18. OK Anon 2, then we will let Graeme Souness out of the tank for a while. Only to add comments before and after the game though…I just want the sounds of the game on during the match.

  19. eddie fuck off

  20. You are a star, perrygroves, keep trying. A lot of us would appreciate it.

  21. william, get back to school else I’ll have your guts for garters.

  22. Frank. Point taken.

  23. No need to dream ‘The Saint’, sounds to me like you need to support the Mancs and/or Chelski.

    We are so close and yet some of you would throw it all away…puff…just like that.

  24. Mum please keep the talk football related or I shall start selling crack again

  25. Another great read, YW.

    The thing that really gets me, YW and Frank – is what Wenger just touched upon in the press conference; the real Machiavellian stuff from the media.

    Look at the Aston Villa Press Conference; AW: “We know when we come here what we get and we were not disappointed. They play a very efficient English game with long balls and it is very physical. They are a good side at counter attacking.”

    Very little to argue with there you’d have thought, and yet…

    O’Neil’s reaction is: “”He has made a few ridiculous statements in his time here (in England) and that is as good as any. That is an appalling insult.” (!!)

    ‘Good counter-attacking side’ – what a ridiculous and appalling insult!

    It just doesn’t add up. And why doesn’t it? Because the scheming little shit doing the interview fed him a pack of lies, something along the lines of; “Arsene Wenger just called your side a long-ball team – what do you think of that then?” – might’ve done the trick.

    I’d like to see the transcript from the Chelsea press conference, and there’s obviously no telling what devious quote Michael Ballack was poked and prompted with – but you can be pretty sure it won’t have been repeated in context, and perhaps not even in fully formed sentences.

    The shit-stirring that goes on behind the scenes here is tantamount to the pissy note-passing you’d get in a classroom, or those sneaky little arseholes at school who’d try and cook up a fight in the playground by spending the day trading made-up insults back and forth between two unsuspecting parties.

    Cunts.

  26. Totally agree with LimparAssist

  27. It’s all very well posting something positive, and I’m all for keeping things in perspective whilst not getting swept up in the hysteria following a demoralizing defeat (or two!).

    However, fans have a right to criticize and the club have an obligation to at least listen to what fans have to say. There is a massive increase in the discontent amongst the Gooners regarding Wenger and his policies, and simply writing those fans off as some sort of traitors to the faith is missing the point.

    If people think that our current squad is simply 1 or 2 good players away from winning the title then they are as blind as Wenger. You simply have to ask yourself how many of our 1st teamers would get into either the Chelsea or Man Utd starting XI, and the answer is probably 2 – definitely Cesc and possibly Arshavin or Vermaalen.

    We are more like 5 top class players away from winning the title, that and a manager who is actually serious about a TROPHY and not some public award for playing the purest form of football.

    Wenger is past his sell-by date and it’s time to move on, because right now we’re being left behind. It’s telling that we only have ONE player in our entire squad who know what winning the league feels like, and that’s Gallas.

    Wenger needs to overhaul his thinking because his constant sniping at teams that have just beaten us simply make him look petty and stupid, and further embarrasses Arsenal fans who are tired of his excuses.

  28. A tough few weeks for sure. Souness is right, we are very close to dominating.

    Key players losing form or being injured has held us back far more than lack of transfer activity.

    That said, it puzzles me that we did not sign a striker when it was obvious that we were short in that department. Chamakh will probably come in in the summer to add depth, but that depth in hindsight was needed now.

  29. eddie,

    We shouldn’t give Cesc a long term contract should we? Afterall he’s won nothing.

    I don’t know who’s more stupid, Myles Palmer or the morons who read his crap and don’t see it for the shit it was.

  30. Frank, Frank, Frank, yet again anyone with a different opinion to yours has to endure insults and taunts to support someone else. As a fan for more than 30 years I think you know where you can shove it.

    You’d make a great fascist dictator though. Oh, oh, here come more expletives and vitriol from Frank the bigot!

  31. I had just started to think the Stringfellowhawke was worth being patient with….but after reading his Racist and abusive comments over the past couple of days…i am appalled at his behavior and even if he was just taking the piss…his comments are inexcusable and have no place on an arsenal blog

  32. william, if you don’t go back to school right now, I’ll start selling my crack again. Now skedaddle.

  33. QoS,

    It’s not so hard for me to imagine there would be problems finiding a striker in the January transfer window.

  34. The title says it all, well played Yogi.

    The time has come to close ranks. We need every bit of support from here on out. It will be a disaster if Ron, the 100 idiots who think he is prat, and their like get to feeling their opinion is worth voicing anywhere near the team.

    We still have so much to play for. If we take 3 points against Liverpool – an absolute must now – then 10 of last 12 are against teams in the bottom half of the table. We have not struggled with them yet.

    Also, if we get through against Porto, we are down to the last 8 in Europe. Anything can happen in a cup, especially with a favorable draw.

    For all we know, tomorrow night we might have 2 of the 9 points back, a brace from Senderos looks likely.

  35. Queen…we did try and sign a striker…but we couldnt find the Right one for the Right price….

  36. Queen of Sub, This ship has sailed

  37. I am indeed a bigot, ‘The Saint’, as are you. My bigotry extends to those who moan, whine and spread dissent. I am totally and utterly biased towards my beloved Arsenal and the current set up. You however would appear to be against anyone who enjoys supporting the club through thick and thin. Surely you doom merchants can go a little longer before claiming ‘dictator’ and ‘fascist’…actually if you had lived in those times and places I do wonder which side you might have been on.

  38. Ole I think the question you should be asking them is which player they wanted was available and at a fair price.

  39. It really is amazing that when 90 odd % of the press and media are firing shit at the Arsenal and 80% of ‘Arsenal’ blogs are doing the same, all of a sudden the remaining stout hearted souls who really buy in to the AW approach…in other words the minority… are referred to as fucking fascists. There really are some total pricks out there, there really are.

  40. Arseman, thats crap brother, we could of got Chamakh for five or six million but we decided to wait untill the summer so we can get him on a free transfer. A six million pound saving was chosen over a sustained title challenge and thats the truth dog. I’m not knocking wenger cos its his club, but he defo made a boo boo there partner.

    Q

  41. You see the comment from the runt William above? That is a classic. Not one word of what he has just stated can be even remotely verified and yet he has used it to prove his case….of course whilst proclaiming that he really does support AW. You guys are a bit simple and frankly very poor Arsenal supporters…very poor indeed.

  42. If we repeat our record form earlier in the season we would have 3 draws and 2 losses in our last 13 games.

    That wont be good enough, so we must improve. However, all those dropped points were away.

    After Liverpool, the next 7 look favorable. If we take 24 points, it will all be to play for, but more than a single draw would make it tough.

    We have time to turn this around, the break pre-Porto will help us, we can regroup.

    Against the Chavs, Diaby and Song sat very deep – although vanished a the crucial time – this may be the model from here. We basically played 4-4-2 with Cesc behind the striker. When they get used to this it will all change.

    Wenger was BRILLIANT in his press conference.

  43. There is over a third of the league season remaining.

  44. What record arseneholis?

  45. If we can win 10 games in a row we will be champions.

    That is normally the same for every team each year, you need one strong run.

    There is still time.

  46. Just the results against those sides Ole.

  47. Firstlady,

    I see your point. But I’d even go as far as to say which players were available?

    Van Nistelrooy? Gudjohnsen? Mccarthy?

    How many names do you get to before the list is exhausted. I’d say less than 10.

  48. Shitty, Sunderland, West Ham, Burnley, Fulham.

    We dropped points at their places. However, they were all away and are now at home. Scum away looks like the toughest fixture, so a run is possible.

    Every team will now try and do what the Chavs and manure did to us. They played narrow, allowed is to cross, and looked to hit on the break.

    No one else we play will be as good, several teams will be tonked, but if we do not figure out how to stop the counters, we may draw a few.

  49. William…what can i say to u about that….which hasnt been said before…..U should know better brofer

  50. Ole…i totally agree…its hard to pick out a single good viable option from the players that were available this transfer window.

    Both Hunterlaar and Chamakh seemed to have been held back by their respective clubs…

    Hunterlaar due to the injury to Pato
    Chamakh due to their surprise run in the CL and their title bid

  51. Walcott, Eduardo, Bendtner have combined this year for:

    10 goals in 30 starts and 23 sub appearances.

    If you include Arshavin it reads:

    19 goals in 54 starts and 27 sub appearances

    spread around what would have been 4 of our 6 most likely goals scorers at the begining of the season.

    That is largely down to injuries, meaning that there was little cover left for RVP. The only one who wasn’t hurt, Arshavin, then got played out of position and has managed 1 in his last 11.

    These things are tough to plan for pre-season and there just wasn’t a solution in Jan.

  52. Excellent press conference today.

    Arsenal did not try to sign Sorensen. Here we have a case in point. The Daily Telegraph lied…printed a non-fact. No quality controls on this shit they peddle as information at all….and yet Arsenal blogsites have been full of this crap for days, preferring to believe a cheap piece of shit which attempts to call itself a ‘news’ paper.

  53. Another excellent well reasoned article, and as usual, a pleasure to read (and it’s not often you can say that about an Arsenal blog). Unfathomable idiocy and disrespectful bile regarding Arsene almost everywhere else as expected.
    I have friends who support lower league teams (the key word is SUPPORT) and cannot fathom the pessimism and petulance of certain Arsenal “supporters”. These whining fuckers need a reality check before it’s too late.
    ARSENAL.

  54. Frank…im not signed up on ATVO… did anything else worth mentioning come up in the conference?

  55. The most poisonous of all the blogsites is really Online Gooner. Kevin Whitcher makes a living out of undermining Arsenal’s support. Do the real supporters a favour…. don’t visit his site and don’t buy The Gooner.

  56. always a pleasurable read yogi,

    The ignorance amonst the general populas is realy starting to unnerve me.

    why cant people see what we have?

    We’ve been spoilt…..and we will continue to be spoilt again very soon.

    But these ravenous, glutonous, moronic individuals would rather satisfy there hunger by devouring the hand that feeds them.

    Blind to the fact that if they succeed, we’ll all starve.

  57. He basically castigated the press and media for their inaccurate biased reporting, Arseman. Particularly after the Villa and Chelski games…he went out of his way to praise both teams but the press and media still attempted to put a negative spin on it. He also refuted the ‘fact’ that we should have bought a striker. He reckons that our problems are defensive mistakes and he is dealing with it…but the way to deal with it is not to criticise his players in public. The season is not over by any means and the situation can change very rapidly…we have a much easier run in. We have had injuries to key players at times when fixtures are packed together so that each player misses several games instead of one. He is not talking to Chamakh, but other teams probably are as he is a free agent.

    That is basically it…

  58. Thanks man!

  59. That was an excellent press conference. The hacks are so dumb it’s almost tragic. Their questions are pathetic and these are the people who many allow to shape their opinion. Arsene is clearly getting increasingly pissed off with them and if they carry on with this shit of putting lies to idiots like bollock and moron o’neil just to create headlines, they will lose more than they think they are currently gaining. If old red nose can choose not to speak to the papers I wonder why Arsene bothers? They never accurately reflect what he says and are constantly trying to undermine him whereas they are always kissing fergie’s arse so that he won’t cut them off.

  60. Arseman, having just listened to the press conference, I think Frank has accurately described the content. Arsene also said that he did try to bring players in but could not find anyone better than what he already has who was available at the right price. And Sorenson was not one of them. It was Le shit hole which started that rumour and then it was repeated everywhere like it was fact.

  61. anyone seen a padle??

  62. I agree Passenal. I think that Arsenal should just put the press conferences out on general release immediately. Why listen to someone else’s opinion of a press conference when you can see and listen to the whole thing for yourself, particularly when you have no idea of the position or motives of the writer, if you can call that sort of the shit ‘writing’.

  63. YW, a good read as ever.

    Whilst not giving up, I cannot see the chavs and mancs both cocking up to the extent that even a good run from us would put us back in contention.

    I think we need to ensure that we finish 3rd and losing tomorrow could result in an implosion of this team, which must be in a fragile psychological state after the last 2 weeks.

    I will (reluctantly) settle for a share of the spoils tomorrow and finishing third from where we are at the moment, and hopefully having another go with a fully fit squad next season.

    I think that a team that defends as badly as we have done this season can’t expect much more tbh.

    The big question is, will Cesc be prepared to wait out another year…..

  64. Why is that the question, zicoinexile?

  65. “I have friends who support lower league teams (the key word is SUPPORT) and cannot fathom the pessimism and petulance of certain Arsenal “supporters”.”

    Harry Flowers, it really is getting pretty fucking embarrassing.

  66. Frank, are these the same “defensive mistakes” he’s been working on for the last 5 years? Or are they “new” mistakes…?

  67. Frank I just went onto Online Gooner and bought ‘The Gooner’. I see what you mean dog.

    Would you have signed Chamakh for six million, if he was available? Do you rate him partner?

  68. LimparAssist, please ask your friends what they pay for a match ticket? I reckon it’s no more than £15. I bet their respective managers also don’t keep making promises that are then clearly not fulfilled, unfairly raising expectations of the fans.

    I think paying around £55 for a match ticket, along with the regular statements of intent regarding strengthening the squad, the paying fans have every right to feel misled and cheated, and I think it’s only fair that we expect a little more return than the annual league collapse and “throwing” of the two domestic cups.

  69. zicoinexile, Fabregas will wait out another year whether he likes it or not partner, another three years if need be, we made him, we own him, he owes us and you know this.

  70. Well its a question in my mind Frank. I think the young man wants silver over the course of his career – and being told “maybe next year, son” will only wash for so long.

    If it isn’t a question in Cesc’s mind then I am sure I am worrying for no reason.

    Do you know different Frank?

  71. good plug frank, i just went on to online gooner. never heard of it before.

  72. Your solution is simple, soop. Don’t go. We don’t want you there anyway.

  73. Lets not forget that Arsene asked to be judged at the end of the season so lets give the man his wish. God knows he deserves it after all he’s been through building our club. He said this was the year our team would mature into men with big kahunas and I believe this will happen in the next three years

  74. William, so if Fabregas forally requested a transfer would you force him to stay? How committed would he be, or any other player for that matter who has decided he wants out?

    If Cesc wanted out in the summer I certainly would not blame him, and would wish him well. His commitment could never be questioned but a player of his ability deserves to be in a winning team. If he wants to play in a team with more realistic chances of silverware, how can you blame him for that?

  75. I am amazed that the Sorensen story lasted so long; I thought it was a joke that would soon disappear.

    Even I have been disappointed by the hysteria that follows every defeat. How is sacking AW now going to help? Who would we replace him with?

    I just can’t see how turning on the manager now will help us. We have to stick together – there is plenty of time for recriminations when the season is over.

    I think it unlikely that we will win the CL as well but our run in 2006 was unlikely as was Liverpool’s win in 05 and Porto’s in 04. Some fans are talking as if we are already out which I simply refuse to understand.

  76. It is not whether you go for a look it is whether you buy into it as a way of supporting Arsenal. Why didn’t you stay there, DukeGoonem? What did you have to come back for if you find it a ‘good read’ and you felt that you were amongst chums.

  77. AGREED WE MUST NOT GIVE UP:

    But we must learn from our mistakes, but it seems we are incapable of learning from our mistakes, and the better sides with good defenses will continue to expoit this.

    I fear Arsene Wenger is truly becoming shortsighted in his refusal to acknowledge that we need to change our approach against good counter attacking teams. We have missed a trick and it may have cost us this league.

    Martin Keown made a good point when a team counter attacks if our midfield don’t have the desire to put adequate pressure on the counter attacking team, the full backs are cuaght up field then the defense have little options other than backing off which ultimately leads to conceded goals.

    We need to change our philosophy and learn to defend as a team. Chelsea only created 3 goals scoring chances yet still beat us resoundly because we were naive when defending.

    Will wenger ever learn this lesson?

    I probably sound like a doomer but this are just my observations.

  78. Sorry Frank, but who the hell are you to tell me or anyone else that we shouldn’t go to Arsenal? Your arrogance is commendable.

    You are entitled to your opinion, as am I to mine. If you don’t agree with me, fine. I don’t agree with you. But your response is pathetic and puerile and smacks of ignorance and arrogance.

    Get a life.

  79. Frank dont vent your anger on Duke partner, vent it on me, I can take it.

    Soop, yes I would force the little spanish wee willy winkle to stay. There have been many times where he’s been shite and weve stuck by him, he must repay us for saving him from Barcalonas bench untill the day his knees give up, you feeling me dog?

  80. Alex Ice Cream – not saying we are out, but our defensive frailties make ultimate progress unlikely in my humble opinion.

    Be interested to know how the boss is dealing with our defensive lapses and why he is only now realising how generous we have been all season (and a lot of last season too!)

  81. Hi James.

  82. Fair enough William, but that might only hold for a season. Unhappy players tend to breed discontent and disharmony within any team, especially when the captain is that player.

    But regarding Cesc, we are certainly in the driving seat with regards to any transfer, because he’s on a long-term deal. So if he wants to go to Barca, fine, give us £50m.

  83. Soop, if you accept Frank’s opinion why you’re so upset? He just gave you the solution to all your whinging. Don’t go.

  84. Green William I do not converse with trolls

  85. Silver Gunner, What do you think of my proposal for the team to take the field to Rick Astleys ‘Never Gonna Give you up’, do you think we can run with this, is it do-able? Logistically speaking?

  86. William, I’m not upset dude, on the contrary, I’m rather enjoying this little chat. I accept Frank’s opinion, but that doesn’t mean I can’t respond to it, and simply responding in kind doesn’t necessarily mean I’m upset. Get me?

    Anyway, if Franky had his way anyone who voices an opinion which vaguely questions Wenger or his methods should not be allowed into the stadium, which would leave it about half-full. Imagine that, a half-full stadium of Wenger-worshippers celebrating us finishing 3rd in the league. Where do I sign up?

  87. Will, taking the field to that tune would be awesome, although we would have to learn the intricate dance routines and also wear long black trenchcoats with huge shoulder pads.

    I think you’ll find that our defensive problems will intensify though, with the additional weight that trenchcoats add.

  88. Frank, i didnt say it was a good read, i havnt had time to read it.

  89. i reckon it would be less then half full.

  90. I think you like to lie and be a drama queen, Soop.

  91. Soop, you dont have to sign up, just turn up dog. We must be vocal for the last part of the season at home. The away fans must lead the way, I know they were nasty to Song but at least they show passion, we need to start enjoying our football dogs

  92. 3rd is better then the cup though soop!!!!

  93. Soop, you’re right it would be awesome, and that song would also scare the shit out of the Liverpool players, forget all that ‘this is anfield’ bollocks – This is Rick mother f#ckers !!!

  94. Green Will – if you’re looking for a fight you’re looking in the wrong place mate.

    Will-dog – I’ll be there next week, do I need a trenchcoat? I also have a Michael Jackson Thriller glove that i a bit worn but it’s still the shizzle. Maybe Almunia should try Thriller gloves instead of his usual ones, it’s not like they would make things worse…is it?

  95. DukeGoonem, the burning question though is whether 4th is better than the cup?

    I think 4th is better than the Carling cup, but not the FA cup. 3rd is better than the FA cup.

    What do you get for 2nd?

  96. I’m not looking for a fight Soop. It’s just my opinion. And I’m enjoying it.

  97. Arshavin could wear platform boots to give him an extra inch or two

  98. William

    Your idea of Rick Astleys ‘Never Gonna Give you up’ is good but in my opinion the song itself lacks the motivational emotions like say ‘eye of the tiger’ by survivor again my opinion.

    As far as Cesc is concerned he has given around 6 great playing years to arsenal if he asked to leave it would be terribly cruel to deny, he would be sorely missed but has always maintained that Barca are the team of his heart and we should respect that when eventually he does want to move on.

  99. sad to hear that micheal bollock say that they new what to expect from us, the way we played against manu td and them earlier in the season. and we just did exactly what they knew we would, we all knew what we was gunner do. even me wife knew what we was gunner do.

  100. YW, thank you! As any true and real fan should know this is obvious. You never give up, otherwise you’re just a chav or spud supporter and certainly not worthy of supporting The Arsenal. What a bunch of absolute tossers on here this week…you know who you are.

  101. I think wengers comments that 3rd is better than the cups is purely down to the financial implications of failing to qualify for the champions league not the pursuit of silverware otherwise he would have fielded a stronger team against stoke.

    If the Europa league was a competition on par with the champions league more teams would take the domestic cups seriously.

  102. Gris Gris, criticism is not the same as giving up. If we all thought and felt the same about Arsenal imagine how utterly boring it would be?

    Why is the default response to any criticism to tell the person to go support someone else? Surely criticism implies that the person cares, and that they are ultimately seeking improvement?

    If you never receive any criticism you are either perfect or surrounded by weak fools. Being strong means not only being able to take criticism, but also being able to learn from it.

    Seems fairly obvious to me.

  103. silver gunner, I agree that in purely financial terms, 3rd is better than the cup. But what would you rather have:

    2nd in the league with no trophies, or, 4th in the league with an FA Cup?

  104. Maybe the reason why Wenger didn’t bring anyone this transfer season there was no one who was worth it. This is just a guess. Not many clubs dipped into the transfer market. Tight funds all the way around. Still the title is within reach. Beat Liverpool on Wednesday is the key. Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal are the only clubs two the titles as the decade winds down. It is even money Arsenal, Chelsea or Man U will win it this year to close out the decade unless a major wreck happens.
    Work one counter attacks and finishing plays. This is the key.
    http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  105. If anyone thinks Man Utd’s squad is that much better than ours their mad, Rooney has carried them this season.

    It was always going to be a difficult patch of the season, hence Wenger sacrificed the cup. It didn’t pay off but we haven’t lost at home to a first division side.

    The press need to keep readership up and they do that through creating a crisis, so we have inherited Liverpool’s disaster club mantle.

    As long as the club get back to winning ways of course we are not, hopefully tomorrow.

  106. soop there is a fine line between 4th in the league with an FA cup and 5th or 6th in the league with an FA cup that is the real dilemma and one that I don’t think wenger has taken his eye off.

  107. Fourth spot is 100% more important then the FA Cup but a cup win would bring the team together in a way they have not experienced. How Many great teams started off with a cup win? It galvanises the players and would give them the believe they so clearly lack when the going gets tough.

    I’ve just had another idea, the team could come out to ‘When the going gets tough’ By Billy Ocean. The scousers would not know what to do and you know this

  108. well said vivb but surely we need to address our weaknesses.

  109. vivb,

    this is why im upset coz i know we have a great squad of players but we have been completley done over.

  110. Well, Soop, the aforementioned friends were actually Harry Flowers’ friends; but here’s a case in point. A friend of mine supports Sheffield Wednesday. He works in a garden centre so he’s not got a massive disposable income, but if you think he wouldn’t make a few sacrifices to pay £55 a week not only to see Wednesday play Premiership football, but to see them challenge consistently for honours both domestic and European, all the while playing a style of football widely held to be the most attractive and attacking in the land – then, well, you’d be mistaken.

    I also don’t really rate the ‘I paid my money – I want my trophies’ argument either. You think someone else wouldn’t take your seat if you didn’t buy that ticket? If you can’t appreciate what you’re getting for your money at the Arsenal – then maybe you don’t deserve to be there; that’s just my opinion – but you’re certainly not ‘owed’ anything.

    And here’s the other bit I don’t get: “I bet their respective managers also don’t keep making promises that are then clearly not fulfilled.”

    When were you promised anything? If you mean when Arsene Wenger tells us he is convinced his squad can win silverware – then what would you have him say instead? We’re 3rd in the league with plenty of opportunity to climb higher, we’re progressing in the Champions League. Do you think he is wrong to vocalise his belief in the team – what reason did he have not to be convinced?

  111. I wish I were on Mugabe Media Lockdown by the way, Oofus. Sky Sports News are such a bunch of useless wankers – and sadly, 5Live Football aren’t much better.

  112. Good sense as always. Thanks for sharing it.

  113. The team needs play a great game against Liverpool. We have a relatively easy run in of games and if we win tommorrow and gain some confidence back we can wrap up 3rd place and maybe even make a run a the top 2.

    I would like to see us try Sol in the back with TV. Sol might actually stay at home and not get caught trying to defend against the break while running backwards. He could also do a better job of defending the airspace in the box. I would also like to the boss give a run out to Fabianski. Almunia is 19th in the league in goals allowed vs shots on goal. Not acceptable.

    I said this before the Chelsea game and was way wrong, but I think this team will pull itself together and actually play good defense and win 3 – 1.

    Go Gunners.

  114. we need to support our team..because we cannot turn them down now..gunners till death

  115. Finegunner, are you dat, are you dat

  116. bill where did you get the stat “Almunia is 19th in the league in goals allowed vs shots on goal”

    That is an outstanding stat surely cant be right?!

  117. Bill’s stat is non-existent.

    What’s happened is that some idiots online have misunderstood a stat that shows Almunia as 19th in the league at number of saves made in total. They’ve turned it into being 19th worst in shots to saves.

    The saves stat proves nothing other than that he has fewer saves to make since we concede fewer shots.

  118. sorry I apologise to Bill. I didn’t read his comment.

    It was a stat saying Almunia is worst in league in terms of goals allowed vs shots on goals.

    That stat says nothing much about Almunia. All it means is that Arsenal concede a lot of goals compared to shots on target.

    We’re 2nd to Chelsea in allowing shots on target. Yet we concede more. It’s been true all season, even while Almunia was out of the team.

    It says more about the team than the goalkeeper. That’s the problem with goalkeeper stats in general. A clean sheet will be give to the goalkeeper whereas it’s usually down to the defence in front of him.

  119. I’ve just seen the Drogba free kick again. Has anyone noticed that Almunia gave him almost three quarters of the goal to aim for?

    The man is a clown

  120. Good piece. My point is that between optimistics (who when we see lose by a goal congratulate us that we did’nt lose by two) and the popular pundits(who if we lose by a goal make us seem that Arsenal is going to be blown into the oblivion)

    So is there a place for fans who like to be independent and form their own view. I am not concerned about the debt levels of Man U and Chelsea. It is their problem not mine. We dont need to make them look bad to make us feel good.

    The fact that our lack of success is now shown to be only our lack of funds is masking some critical errors which because one is keen to show that he is a true arsenal fan, cannot comment upon because he would be clubbed with the pundits.

    Please see the Arsenal Man U match again. See the second goal. Denilson was there to mark the run of Rooney. He gave up. He is a good player and has improved tactically over the seasons. But mistakes like this have moved the title from our own hands.

    Almunia can make the saves. But he is a guy who needs leadership and he cant give that. He is a good goalie but a far cry from leaders like Seaman.

  121. He gave him three quarters of the goal dogs, then he stood there and watched it go exactly in the space he’d left, and didn’t even move one muscle. Who would do that? Almunia thats who. This clown wouldnt even get in the England team

  122. I’d rather have David James by a country mile. Almunia is abosolutely shit. Watching that again has really riled me dogs. We dont stand a chance with that bum chief between the sticks

  123. I read that stat somewhere in one of the online newpaper articles after the chelsea game. I assumed it was correct. If it is not correct then my bad.

    Ole:

    The fact remains that we concede fewer shots yet we are 9th in the league in goals allowed. So if someone actually did that calculation of goals allowed/shots on goal, I suspect 19th in the league would probably not be far from the truth. Either our keeper is not doing his job or the outfield players are allowing the other team easy access to excellent shooting positions and not giving our GK a chance. Either way we have a big problem that somehow has to be fixed.

  124. Realist,

    I looked at that goal again.

    1. I get more angry after each successive viewing.

    2. Nasri was more to blame than Denilson. Denilson and the other 4 players involved in the goal were so focused on Nani. That was Denilson’s mistake as he didn’t glance around to appraise the situation. But the other 4 made that exact same mistake. However, Rooney started running after Denilson had gone round to cover Nani. Nasri however saw Rooney’s run, and he neither tracked him nor tried to warn Denilson. It was shocking
    What annoys me most was that if one single person of the 5 of them involved had done the right thing, there’d have been no goal. Just one person!

  125. Bill,

    I do agree. That’s what my last comment was about. work needs be done.

  126. 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.

    No logic, just hate.

  127. Ole:

    Regarding your comment at 3:15. I agree. Our outfield players have been terrible defensively this year which makes Almunia look worse then he is. Nonetheless, I still think we need to upgrade our GK. Obviously I am not in the players head but I suspect Almunia himself and the other players have probably lost confidence in him. I think our defensive problems at multifactorial and something has to be changed. I think we should give Fabianski a run of games in this final 13 and see if he can improve the situation. It is hard to imagine our defense getting worse.

  128. I think most will agree that Almunia is not a world class defense but the problem I believe does not entirely lie with him but with defensive positioning at set pieces and counter attacks.

    Not tracking runners and poor positional play have cost us heavily against the better defences when playing against better defending teams (Man U and Chelsea), this coupled with long standing problems we have at set plays we end up shooting ourselves in the foot before we know it.

  129. Bill,

    If the players have lost faith in Almunia, why do they pass the ball back to him under pressure than any other team does.

    So many times THEY put him under pressure.

  130. Ole come on, thats the most ridiculous statement. Dfensive confidence comes from the keeper, even Bobby Gould knows that. The keeper must command his area

  131. The last time I watched an Arsenal game in a pub was during the Chelsea game in November. I told the Arsenal fans next to me they were acting like ****s.

    “Why do we keep buying brittle players like RVP?”
    “We’re too small and weak”
    “Wahhh”
    “Waaah”
    “Give me some Calpol!”

    I think propaganda works through the mechanism of repetition.
    Just an opinion.

  132. To be fair the Junction in Highbury Corner is always a good ‘crack’ with atmosphere if you’re not going to a game. Nice outdoors screen as well for the fair weather.

  133. Finsbury, what you are saying relates to a theory I’ve developed to describe the attributes of certain footballers. I call it the ‘Class/Glass’ theory

  134. We do have a defensive problem. If we look at the mistakes made in the last few games, regardless of who was involved they all come down to poor organisation. It is not down to the technical abilities of any of the defenders or the keeper. My interpretation for what it is worth is that William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen are the source of the problem. They are both excellent central defenders in their own right and perform well individually. But neither of them is taking command of the whole defence and most importantly neither of them is really talking to the other defenders at crucial moments. Similarly IF Almunia has a problem, it is not his technical ability that is in question it is his inability to communicate effectively with his defenders. I also think that he has lost some confidence. Every goal conceded recently has been down to lack of effective communication at crucial moments.

    My solution, which of course AW has seen before me, is to hire a very expreinced Centre-Half who undersstands our game and can teach TV, the full-backs and the keeper how to position themselves and how to communicate almost telepathically. I left WG out becuase he in sme ways is just playing out his time. Good player but no longer interested in developing the side. In fact watching his reaction after the Mancs game and how he was laughing and joking with Evra after such a loss speaks volumes.

    The Centre-Half to whom I refer is of course Sol Campbell who would have played more games if he was match fit. Watching him a couple of weeks ago was just a lesson in positioning….and he was very vocal. This is going to take time. But now is the time to start really learning back there…

  135. But my personal favourite Arsenal Pub is the Che Pub.
    Nothing to do with the Brazilian bar staff.

    It’s Sugg’s from Madness’ local!

  136. Finsbury you should come down the Big Red on the Holloway Rd dog. Whenever its time for action we say boom boom boom selection

  137. Ole:

    Obviously we disagree about almost everything else so why not our GK. I agree completely that our outfield players hurt him and he is not as bad as the pundits make him out to be. However, I think that our defense play both outfield and GK needs an overhaul and Almunia has not been adequate this yr. The stats and the impression most get from watching the games add credibility to that statement. With the weakness of our outfield defense we need better GK if we want to win.

    You think about football and know alot more about football then almost anyone on this blog. I am sure you have some theories on what our defensive problems and how to fix them. I would love to hear what your ideas.

  138. Will you donut

  139. i have always thought this: gibbs is way better than cliche

  140. Yes yes Zap my mo fo, what are your thoughts on Almunia, he is a good No. 2 in my opinion and thats being generous dog

  141. TV should be given the captains arm band, he is a monster not a Bum chief

  142. Difficult to say isn’t it, zap? Since we have neither a fit Kieran Gibbs nor a fit Gael Clichy.

  143. being small doesn’t stop of from tracking markers…..

  144. We need a keeper, a striker and to keep cesc in the summer.

    i would start gibbs week in and week out if he were fit

  145. He should not be captain at this stage. He neither has command of the defence nor an understanding of the EPL since he is only part way through his first season. He does not communicate well with central midfield either. He is a season or two away from being the finished article.

  146. In honour of all the wannabee Chav$.

  147. My analysis is that if we needed anyone in January, it is another very experienced centre-half, with all the experience of Sol Campbell but with the fitness to boot. As the worst of it is over I think we will cope very well now.

  148. Zap, is Cahamakh good enough for Arsenal though dog? I see a youtube clip of him and he missed about ten sitters, it was weird brother

  149. Frank: I don’t see any problem with TV or WG as its more a problem with the defensive unit or lack of one because a small chink is exploited by the better counter attacking teams. I think concentration and desire are things that have been lacking on counter attacks and set pieces.

    William: As far as TV being made capt that is silly as Cesc leads by example and has done an admirable job since being made capt, are you insuniating that Cesc is a “bum chief”?

  150. i think chamakh would be great Will

  151. Silver Gunner, the defense needs a leader more then any other section of the team, like you say they need to be as 1. One man must have the final say to stop confusion and this man is TV, he’s done it at Ajax brother and there not exactly a small team are they. He doesnt have to have the arm band, he just needs to be given control over the defence to stop silly goals. To please Ole Gunner, This would help take the pressure of Bum chief Almunia

  152. William, A speaker or Sound card are not the same thing as a CPU!

  153. The centre-halfs, or at least one of them, have to have total command over the defence at all times. We don’t see that at the moment. They are both concentrating only on their own games. As a consequence players are out of position and take the wrong options. This is understandable as TV is playing his heart out to get his own game aligned with EPL demands, and WG is only really interested in making no mistakes himself, he is more like a journeyman centre-half rather than a team player.

  154. Frank, you know this

  155. Frank can I have one of them ‘I agree with William’

  156. …in that respect Sol was a masterful signing and just in the nick of time. We blew two games, but I think we will hold firm now and inch forward.

  157. Actually I don’t agree with you if you read carefully.

  158. Frank agrees with William

  159. No that is the problem. I do not agree with you. That will be a problem for you as you grow up if you don’t sort it out.

  160. let’s win the champions league

  161. ..when you read, try to concentrate on the meaning of the words and sentences.

  162. Ok, so TV is going to be made captain, we agree on that.

    What about Almunia, is he upto the challenge?

  163. frank Will’s actually allright recently he’s actually started talking about Arsenal

  164. Let us win the EPL and the Euro thingy.

  165. i wud beat u on fifa10 and you know this

  166. I do not agree that TV is about to be made captain. In fact I think that Cesc will be captain for a long time and should he leave the most obvious captain is RvP.

  167. Maybe im being a bit harsh, but the positioning on the free kick was pretty shocking wasn’t it, I was shouting at the screen to get in the middle

  168. i agree the euro thingy..

  169. Bill,

    I just doubt they’ve all lost faith in him.

    About source of problems. I already shared my thoughts;

    4-3-3

    It leaves our full back positions vulnerable to a good diagonal.

    Also, it requires stellar defensive contribution from all 3 forwards.

    We need to compress play quicker.

    We need more determination and intensity in dangerous situations.

    Midfielders should be aware of dangerous positions to lose the ball in…..we sometimes lose the ball when a midfielder has 5, 6 of our players in front of him. That’s naive. Don’t try to dribble through when you have 6 players in front of you.

  170. i think the positioning on the corner was awful

  171. You’re a good man Zap, but I would beat you dog, my attacks are devastating

  172. im proud of the team i mean at least we outplayed them

  173. ..as devastating as portsmouth

  174. Zap,

    In a way the corner was lucky. Sure Clichy should never have left his post. That’s the only definite one.

    Vermaelen getting lost by Terry can happen, as can Song losing Drogba.

    In a way, it was a lucky goal.

  175. or derby in the 07/08 season

  176. Typically the keeper places the wall one side and he marks the other side in freekicks like that. The idea is that the wall jump in a coordinated way when the kick is taken. The keeper often gets exposed if the wall fails.

    The first major, major loss defensively this season was RvP…and then Nic Bendtner. They are both key players at corners and in defensive walls….and both prevent breakaways from happening by attacking the first ball out of defence, whether it is free or at an opponents feet.

  177. in another way it wasnt OG.

    we cant make the mistake aganst the jokers tomorrow night….

    we are arsenal
    we are arsenal
    come on arsenal

  178. Do you think Terry was heading to Drogba at the far post?

  179. og no but at the end of the day, if cliche stayed on the post it would be 0-0.

    but i have to agree if luck was our way the score would have been muc different

  180. Our defensive problems appear to be down to poor communication / concentration & the goals let in against Man U & Chels were multiple individual errors.

    We`re obviously lacking a leader – nobody seems to r*llock anyone anymore.

    Sol would be perfect to take charge at the back but I doubt Arsene will bring him in unless there are injuries.

  181. *would have been.

    Will, maybe your attacks are as devastating as West Brom’s last season?

  182. I think Chelski have a tactic of putting the ball into any space and let Drogba get there if he can. He comes in late in those situations and so the standing defender is wrong-footed…in this case Alex Song. Although the move looked different he did the same thing to our centre-halfs in our home game against them. In those spaces around the goal you have to think very quickly as a defender and there are often equivocal spaces between defenders. Drogba uses those very well.

  183. Ole, Terry and drogba were both completely unchallenged in the box on a corner, it was terrible, terrible defending. You do know your football but sometimes you talk some drivel

  184. Zap, my attacks are as devastating as Daniella Westbrooks face

  185. Will doesnt talk like that.

    so theres green william, yellow william and yellow Will

  186. No i would say Portsmouth

  187. No it is me Zap, I had to change my email cos the other one wasnt working dog.

    Frank, love him or hate him partner, Drogba is an effective striker of the highest level and you know this

  188. Frank is talking a lot of sense again, let’s see if Sol gets a few games now?

    The idea that we never really replaced Campbell and Keown seems quite compelling.

    William – a good laugh today dude.

    Ole – we always sent our full backs forward. The difference is that we used to sit two midfielders to protect the two centre-backs. This is how we covered their attacking runs. Plus, we gave the ball away less.

    Song and Diaby BOTH sat deep for much of the chav game. Neither gives the ball away. We are reverting to the old model of Wengerball through sheer pragmatism and necessity.

    I wouldn’t be surprised in the future to see Ramsey and Gibbs playing full-back for us.

  189. or maybe that famous portsmouth supporter’s face.

  190. Arsenehollis, Frank agreed with me on them points Dog, we are brothers.

    Right, must dash, Ciao Darlings

    Ciao Zap you donut

  191. Will, how do u think we would have done had rvp stayed fit?

  192. i think we would have definitely beaten chelsea, man u and sunderland. We created so many chances in these games

  193. lets see how wilshere fares tonight.

    bit cocky really, if he wants to make it dont do a bentley. he can become great just needs the attitude

  194. arseneholis,

    we still position people to cover….maybe problem is they’re not fit, they’ve been smoking pot….or whatever else and not doing their jobs well.

    Look at that Rooney goal again, we had 5 men back covering 3, and none of our 5 did the right thing to stop a goal, and all of them had opportunities to prevent the goal.

  195. I agree that individual errors are killing us Ole.

    The Rooney goal though was from a corner, so slightly different to my point about the set-up of the team tactically.

    Ordinarily we play with one midfielder to sit deep. Granted they have been close but failed to do the job in recent weeks.

    However, through the season we have really struggled on the break, far too often being caught outnumbered on the break.

    We lose the ball too cheaply, allowing teams to keep men forwards, rather than pulling everyone back as we build attacks. Then when we do, we have no full-backs.

    It used to be that one would go forward and the other drop back, now they both hare forward willy-nilly. (That neither offers much, if anything attacking wise is a seperate point, but it does raise further questions.)

    We need players who talk, Frank had that bang-on, but also enough numbers that they form a proper defensive backline on the break. Often this year we have had only 2 or 3 and from here things begin to get shambolic because no one knows where to go, as we have no shape to start with.

    Look at Dunn’s goal for Blackburn against us, shit team, shit players, indicative of how we have been making sides look good against us.

  196. If it were me in charge, we would start playing the following team:

    Schezny, Sagna, Gallas, Campbell, Vermaalen, Song, Diaby, Eboue, Cesc, Arshavin, Bendtner

    That could win us the league and offer enough to go away in Europe and keep a clean sheet.

  197. 4-2-3-1 the above formation.

  198. arseneholis,
    +
    I also like 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1.

    I almost crave it’s simplicity.

    In that formation, everyone always knows his job.

  199. YW – To quote a great man, you are a STAR. It is a pleasure to read a balanced, reasoned blog that constructively criticizes any perceived weakness while emphasizing the positives of our great manger and club. But you exceeded yourself today by putting to shame most of the other scoundrels posing as Arsenal bloggers. The commercial media (hacks and pundits) are incorrigible – they make money by appealing to the weaknesses of our fans; over-emotionalism, short-termism, instant gratification, xenophobia and plain ignorance. As Frank has detailed, the press has lied repeatedly in order to sensationalize and exaggerate our losses and to destabilize the club. Most of your blogger brethren have drank the Kool-Aid to the last dregs (reference Jim Jones in Guyana). That is why you and Tony Attwood (Untold Arsenal )deserve a special place of honor.

    Fire pon dem, in the words of the immortal Rastaman.

  200. Ole Gunner:
    Drogba goal lucky not on your life it was terrible defending and song should stay goal side of gallas at all times as should TV with Terry at least make the header more difficult and Clichy leaving the post is in-excusable I would berate my fullback if i were capt because he should not need reminding of the job he does every game?!

  201. Ole – we have taken the whole “let everyone attack” thing too far.

    When we played at Abfield there was a moment at nil-nil where TV went charging forward, despite no real opening to exploit. We lost the ball straight away, a big no-no. Then got left with Gallas against Gerrard and Torres alone, only a shite finished saved us.

    That was at the start of a tough away game with 3 points a must. The team need to show some sense, it was unnecessary.

    First you establish some solidity, esecially away, then you look to play. With our talent, if we can keep it solid we will be fine. Also, due to our quality, we shoudln’t need 9 players in the opposition half to create chances – patience, skill, movement, then the pass will do it.

    We beat ourselves within 23 minutes on Sunday, that was poor. Everything after that is irrelevant to that fact. Stopping it happening again must be the priority.

  202. I have been saying for a while now that our 4-3-3 formation made us vulnerable down the wings but when you look at The Man U game we actually played a 4-5-1. I do think when having so many injuries then you need to pick a fomation to suit the personnel you have available.

    Teams put many men behind the ball against us and sometimes we struggle to break them down and end up committing more of our players forward which makes us even more vulnerable to counter attacking play.

    Also the way we play allows flexibility as the players positioning is inter-changeable, however when teams counter quickly against us we have players out of position, the good teams have punished us.

  203. Hey Shotta, be honest, have you ever even been to an Arsenal game?

    Can you count them on one hand?

  204. Next year I think we need a big stay at home CB who is strong and can control the airspace in our box. It is impossible to defend against the break when you are running towards your own goal at breakneck speed and someone needs to “stay at home” and be in position to help stop the counterattacks. Both WG and TV are better suited to be sweeper/get forward type defenders. TV could be one of the best “sweeper/defenders” in the league but he needs a stay at home organizer defender to play with him. We should also get a new GK.

    Most important we lack organization and communication at the back. Our front line needs to pressure when the other team has the ball on thier end of the pitch. We need more defensive intensity. The mistakes we make are loss of concentration or poor positioning or both. Both need to be addressed in the training pitch. The team needs to place a huge priority on defense. AW is the only one who can bring that focus and intensity to our side.

  205. Bill,
    +
    Agree up till last line. The intensity has to come from the players. Much as I detest the traitor, that’s what Flamini had. It’s what we had in the past.

    I love this current team but the one thing they do to annoy me gaime after game is when they stroll to close down the opposition, almost seemingly fulfilling all righteousness.

    I get annoyed when one of our players jog to the player who has the ball, and then lets him cross. We concede too many crosses for that reason.

    There’s got to be more determination, more tigrishness, more intensity.

    And Arsene can stress it, but the players have to take on the attitude themselves.

  206. Frank I think you’re right about the communication. That has always been my one criticism ofAlmunia – he is just not vocal enough. I also think the TV/Gallas thing is down to TV being new. He defers to Gallas as the older more experienced player but as you say Gallas appears to do his job (very well) and no more since he lost the captaincy. There is a vacuum there and maybe this is one time where Arsene needs to tell someone ‘you are in charge, you organise the defence during the game’ since no one is stepping up to take that on. The chemistry is not quite right in the backline. I also think GC22 is getting an unfair pasting as not only is he just back from a serious injury he also gets next to no support from the left hand side. The left and right sided player in the front 3 should be falling back to make a 5 in midfield when we are defending.

  207. Every once in a while, it would be nice to see us kick someone up in the air. Even better if it is at a moment when the game calls for it, but sometimes just for the fuck of it.

  208. Shotta, where did you go?

  209. Passenal,

    They should be. I am annoyed that they shirk their duties. Go look at the stats from the start of the season to see the amount of ground, RVP & Bendtner were making and the number of tackles they were making.

    Since both have been out we haven’t had the same workrate.

    To be fair, sometimes, the problem is that they rotate positions, and it can be hard for the left forward to track back from being in the 6 yard box when the opponent initiates a fast break.

  210. arsenehollis to me it looks like we are playing 4-2-3-1 my opinion but i agree with you that clichy needs to be dropped he has been at fault for 3 of the goals in the past 2 games perhaps he is not match fit either mentally or physically but he should be dropped, not sure about Campbell, or Schezny?

    I would stick with Almunia for now.

    Almunia
    Eboue, Gallas, TV, Sagna
    Song, Denilson
    Rosicky, Cesc, Arshavin
    Diaby

    My reason for no Bendtner is that he simply is not match fit yet, but he would probably come on for denilson and move Diaby into the middle and Theo would come on for Rosicky. Just my thoughts

  211. Ole – you would think that playing with more midfielders, which is what happened after RVP and NB wet down, would help our work-rate.

  212. Senderos will do the business for us tomorrow.

    It may wind up being ironic to be playing Liverpool now, if our support lets us down.

  213. I grew up next to Highbury, I’ve been to some games in my lifetime, and I agree with Shotta.

    I also trained with staff from the Junior Gunners from a young age, but was much better at other sports, like, ahem, Cricket at the higher level.

    I could Run, but had no Skill. However I was asked to play in my high school team. Occasionaly with AFC acadamy players. Funny, because I never bothered to ask the qualified football coach from Arsenal to play in his team in primary school. I was crap.

    I realised that in order to play a game of football, you didn’t actually need to be able to play football.

    Being able to Run, or Kick, are not the same thing as having Skill. Anybody ever watch Jan Molby play? Why was Le Tissier shafted?
    To his credit, he was a real football hero.

    Occasionally all three are combined, or necessary, and it’s exciting.
    But I think all members of this AFC squad can Kick, Run, and have Skill as well.

  214. long term 3-5-2 may need experimentation in pre season because we dont play with orthodox wingers per say it might actually be the answer to our counter attack defensive woes against the better teams.

    Just an idea?

  215. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I’m sure Shotta is doing his best to avoid your schoolyard bullshit, arsenehollis.

    I also agree with whoever said the whiners that threaten to stop going to games need to f*ck off and stop attending games. I think it was Frank. Have these arseholes seen the waiting list for Arsenal tickets? The cancerous curmudgeons that ruin our home support need to f*ck off and let some new blood into the stadium.

  216. i agree with nasir jones well said man. the in stadium support is fucking shit innit

  217. who shafted le tiss then???

    Our defending is shite against good teams coz we always do the same bloody thing. everyone just runs up the pitch in attacks, against the poorer teams you can do this but against the mancs and chavs they will just kill you on the counter which is what happened, school boy stuff from us. we know no other way to play.

  218. The counter attacks start with Arsenal playing an expansive game. Not necessarily the formation as last season – this season more so because of the idea of stretching play. But as Guardiola says; his team is horrible when not in possession i.e. not in terms of tackling but disorientation, so they have to compress play. I don’t want a comparison with Barca, but this is what you do.

    So the defenders must push up, the full-backs get tight to the wingers.

    I think the Premier League is harder to do that as teams keep two forwards up the pitch and the consequence is space behind to exploit with pace. But as we saw at Chelsea if the team is not quick to close down the space, the players will have to back-pedalling and the gap between attack and defence will be large.

    Barca, this season sometimes push Toure back into the central defence making it a 3-5-2 in moments of transition. This could be an option but nevertheless, the maxim is compress space.

  219. There is something in this ‘intensity’ business. Look at manu. Their squad is packed full of average players. Look how they play against everyone, not just the top teams. They constantly press.

    The likes of Fletcher and Park, even scholes, go at the ball all of the time. Youa re right Ole, that’s what Flamini brought to us. Perhaps it’s also why some were saying that we needed a Fletcher in our team a few weeks ago.

    The mans a donkey but he is certainly intense!

    Mind you, a few games ago, wern’t we saying how much we were defending from the front? pressing high up the pitch? What happenned?

  220. Our home support is considerably better for Carling Cup games when more tickets go on ‘General Sale’.

    This to me means the that whingers and moaners are mainly season ticket holders and also that they can’t be bothered going to Carling Cup games.

    In simple terms our in stadium support is made up of dedicated Gooners, whingers, moaners, fairweather fans and neutrals. Unfortunately the former are far outnumbered by the latter groups.

  221. Against Chelsea the best tactic is the old 4-4-2 with two defensive lines of four that rarely venture forward this way we cant get done on the fukin counter, there is enough time in a game to get a couple o chances and just stick one away.

  222. i completely agree, matty boy

  223. Yep the moaners are season ticket holders, they have the old i paid a fukin grand for this so i demnd results.

  224. mentaltity.

  225. Duke

    Wenger described it perfectly, it’s just naive. Our defenders are good, we know they are…Maybe Clichy just not up to his form and Sagna, I have to say disappointing me this season.

    We have over excited center backs and who blames them? One of them scored like 7 goals already and the other not far behind.

    But, you’re correct that we need to respect the opponent and Man U or Chelsea on their worst day are not Blackburn or Bolton. We need more discipline even when we go behind.

  226. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    That’s an interesting theory, Matty Boy.

  227. Matty Boy – I’m a lowly red member and I could not get a ticket for the Sunderland game until we dropped points against Villa. Suddenly all these tickets appeared on ticket exchange. Now that we lost to man u and chelski there are plenty of tickets for the Burnley and Porto games that went on sale yesterday and today. Funny that.

  228. No duke, not all season ticket holders are like that. Many are dedicated, always behind the team and have been that way for many, many years.

    Nasri-Nasri-WhatNot you got a point, or just shoving your beak in?

    Shotta – the question stands mate?

  229. umm thats completely untrue arsenehollis….

  230. “Throw mi corn, Mi no call no fowl
    Peep, Peep
    Cluck, Cluck”
    -Bob Marley

  231. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Do you have a point, you prick? No, you don’t, so stop goading commenters that show their support for Arsenal.

    That’s lousy, Passenal. What a bunch of lily livered tossers.

  232. Zap – no it absolutely is not. Do you have any basis for your assertion?

  233. Poor Nasri, very poor. Must be getting late on a school night for you.

    Shotta – so we are clear then, you can’t handle a bit of debate?

    You like to pounce about, making grand statements, but can’t even discuss them. You chat rubbish about people, then can’t stick about to follow it on. Poor.

    Get that picture changed next to your name mate, you do it a disservice.

  234. arsenehollis

    so you are saying all the season ticket holders get behind the team no matter what, stay till the end??

  235. Hey Nasri, how does one “show support” for Arsenal?

    On a blog, as a blow-hard?

    Or with time, passion, a big chunk of their lively-hood invested in watching their team?

    Any fool can talk the talk, especially with this form of media. Your mate Shotta has shown that.

    A pair of chumps.

  236. Zap – can you read FFS?

    Just look above. Try hard. You will see what I wrote and it isn’t that. Yikes.

  237. The fact is that the only thing people in a stadium or on a blog have in common is that they are in the same place at the same time. The difference of opinion is so diverse that you can’t even say that they are all fans or that they all support Arsenal because it is not always the case.

    The sad thing, is that as I said earlier, most of the moaners and whingers tend to be the ones who have been going for years, have season tickets and therefore believe it gives them the right to moan and whinge. In some respects i suppose it does but surely they can see that its counter productive.

    The recent success (yes i know its been nearly 5 years!!!) of the club has also brought newer supporters both good and bad.

  238. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    King Yellowman is coming to town Feb 20th for Bob Day, Shotta! Can’t wait.

  239. A couple of weeks ago ‘hollis, you were complaining that we didn’t only talk about the football on here. You weren’t interested in the ‘anti dooming’.

    It was debated at some length and the point was made that there might be more to supporting a team than just talking tactics. It was also said that if someone wasn’t interested in a topic that they could ignore it.

    Why don’t you just do that? Your attacks on shotta are pointless. He doesn’t care what you say and your bragging about attendances demeans any other point you make.

  240. ‘dedicated, always behind the team and have been that way for many, many years’

    maybe you should learn to read?

  241. Duke G.

    That was me point.

    Not even in any squads? Friendlies?
    I don’t know, but in hindsight only El Tel got away with not picking him, I think he even did try in some games.

  242. Consols – I never actually said about my attendances.

    However, Shotta picked a row with me that I wish to continue. As the boards are quite it seemed appropriate, or at least not out of place. He doesn’t want to, fair enough. He was the one though that said “can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen”. He is just a chump. That is clear.

    I respect your point though and will let it go now, you are right it is basically dull and I should not have dredged it up again.

    I just wanted to finish what he started. It has ended now. He hit and ran, but let him play for the high-ground.

    End of.

  243. “not all season ticket holders are like that. Many are dedicated, always behind the team and have been that way for many, many years.”

    Oh dear Zap, try again. “not all’ “many are”. Idiot.

    Last time, i promise.

  244. Doh!

    Sorry DukeG.

    I was trying to say; it was a shame that this genuine modern day icon & hero of English Football was never given the opportunity to play on the World stage.

    Phew.

  245. NJN – You are feeling the vibes, aren’t you?

    Pity the poor jackass whom we are all getting to know very well.

    To paraphrase the great Yellowman:
    Some deejay a bwoy
    Big a yard, and small abroad.

  246. Passenal – it’s interesting that the demand for tickets and actual attendance can fluctuate so rapidly depending on weather the team have won or lost the last game!

  247. That niggly Scotch tit interviewing AW at today’s press conference has made the list! What a knob. Apart from that the MML is still in full effect.

    This band were no lookers (surprised the mirror is still intact), but they knew how make a synthesizer howl! Anyone who likes this kind of stuff will agree that 0.44 is sex.

    Bis morgen!

  248. Ole:

    Regarding your comment at 5:40PM.

    You could not be more correct. Defensive intensity and concentration is what is really missing. Look at how well our CL finals team played defense with EE, KT, PS and MF as the backline. We as a club need to re-emphasize the importance of defense. The last 7 years the team with the fewest goals conceded has won the league 6 times. The exception was United and they were 2nd in goals conceded. We can not win with the defensive malaise you describe no matter how good our attack. How long do you think Fergie would tolerate players not bringing the type of defensive effort and concentration.

  249. Consol – Timely interventions as usual.
    I too have been giving some thought to what ManUSA has that we don’t. Agreed it is not superior players, although the Mancs and others may argue otherwise. Needless to say, they have the upper hand based on recent results – no shame in conceding that point. But to my mind, they have a superior mentality to grinding out results. This comes from experience – the serenity to keep playing their game until the inevitable opportunities arise, and composure to put those chances away.
    We are in a similar position as they were two years ago. Up to the Birmingham game they were 5 points behind us but they kept chipping away until they got their head in front and kept moving away while we faded. We are in a broadly similar position today; 14 winnable games in 2.5 months. In my opinion it comes down to our mentality. It is difficult but it is do-able.
    That is why I agree with Yogi – there is no giving up until it is mathematically impossible. Many of us have seen worse collapses by front-runners in our time.

  250. Interesting blog today.

    Regarding the comment from William that Chamakh would be available for £6 million, I’ve got one in return – Bullshit.

  251. I agree with Muppet

  252. Next time I spot Suggs at the bar after a game and don’t talk to him, I might not ask him to recommend his favourite Song that he performed for all those people who were desperate for a Kensington postcode when he was a nipper.

    There’s an easier and famous, slightly sticky solution for this problem/desire, but he might not suggest this:


  253. jack starting for bolton against city

  254. sorry i didnt mean all season ticket holders are moaners just most moaners are season ticket holders.

    Finsbury,

    I agree Le tiss was a classy player, scored some of the most incredible goals and used to single handedly keep Southampton up every season, i get the impresssion he doesnt like Arsenal alot though.

  255. No, he doesn’t.

    Arsenal never signed him! (joke!).

    I know what you mean. He’s never crossed the borders of Hampshire in his life, so it’s not surprising, bless him.

    I went near Southampton once. Met a guy, he asked me, where are you from, I said London (My girlfriend was from Perth). He replied,
    ‘Ahhhh….I’ve been to London, once…’

    Lovely chap, gave us some useful directions.

  256. Which side Wilshere is playing on, left or right? I can’t see from the stupid stream I have 🙂

  257. California Gooner

    How well does Eboue have to play before he gets a shot in the first team??? I thought we looked much more dangerous against Chelski going forward once he slotted in at right back and he got back on defense as well. Sagna runs and runs and is solid defensively, but doesn’t really bring much in terms of crossing or dribbling. With his ability to cut inside or go outside and cross, Eboue is potentially one of the most dangerous right-backs in the league.

  258. Jack W is doing a great job so far for Bolton on SS2 if anyone’s not watching. What a wonderful left foot he’s got.

  259. Down the left G4E, number 37 I think.

  260. My bad, 32.

  261. Thanks Vince

  262. On the radio they say that All the Bolton play is coming through JW at the moment.

    His first, successful tackle against PV4!

  263. What a nice quotation to start with earlier in the morning after a late one working, thanks YW.

  264. Penalty to Citeh.

  265. OOU @ 7:18: that Scottish idiot sounds just a little like Alan Hansen. It’s not, but it might as well be. What an annoying bastard.

    Also, I’d not heard of Special Saucer, but they are awesome. Thanks for that.

  266. That pen was totally against the run of play, real shame as Bolton have been playing some really nice football (can’t believe I just said that…).

  267. “His first, successful tackle against PV4!”

    That is an Arsenal player ‘rite of passage’, like the first time a boy beats his father at some game.

  268. Now where have I heard that somewhere before Vince?

  269. I know I’m late to the party, but Wenger is killing at his press conference earlier today. Awesome.

  270. No problem, TH. If you like that, check out another track, Illegal Bodies. There’s not much material for them, just a collection of demos and live recordings.

    A Jack stream that works for me:

    mms://webstv5.bbtv.cn/webstv5

  271. If City had pulled off that Flamini loan this game would be very weird to watch. Kolo just did a wonderful superman impression.

  272. f4phantomphreak

    I don’t understand, we’re not suppose to be upset when things don’t happen as they should??? I’m in general a Wenger fan, I think he has done more for Arsenal than any other manager, but this season I feel he has lost the plot, and I think as a fan we have every right to be upset at the way he has went about things. Do I want him sacked, “NO WAY” not in a lifetime, but do I want things to change somewhat, yes I do. I don’t think it is unfair to say that, thats not negative thinking on the other hand it’s common sence thinking……. I’m not happy with 3rd place, I want us to win the title, don’t y’all??? I just cant be happy go lucky after we lose like we have over the past two weeks, first Stoke, then Utd. then Chelski, I hate it cause I know with a small amount of tweaking this squad is could be good enough to walk through those jokers. Anyhoo enuff said, good post anyway, I do so enjoy reading it everyday…….Up The Arsenal!!

  273. Did you see little Jack throw Tevez to the ground? Was funny to watch.

  274. No one can deny that the team needs a little tweaking however to lay it all at Wengers feet is not right. I am sure he gave the team a warm time after the United game and though we improved we still didnt learn the lesson. The players will have to play with focus and more intensity. As Mr. Bob said, we did so at the beginning but our intensity level has dropped.

    Anyway all of the goals scored againts us these two past games has been criminal, defending at its worst and we are sooo much better than what we have seen.

    Lets not forget the way how we handled United earlier this season, it was no comparison, we must get back to that.

    Arsenal!!

    GOD bless!!!

  275. California Gooner:

    I was thinking the same thing.
    He’s really ‘up for it’, in the parlance of the Francophobes.

    *Er, AW’s more ‘German’ then ‘French’ you Twats, ever listened to anything he has to say for himself?*

    But you can’t drop Sagna.
    RM, RW?
    Hopefully not LW.

    And in spite of the scorn he gets, he does have the ability to turn a game against good opponents, he’s done it before.

  276. Thank you Michael Ballack for stating the obvious but what team isn’t predictable and produces a magic strategy that we have never seen before every game.

    I am with Wenger all the way on this one. Wengerball is only lambasted and pilloried when it doesn’t triumph. Is it really that bad. We are in 3rd position and have lost our last 2 games. I think the hysteria of the last few days is predictable but pathetic and uncalled for.If Chelsea can be battered at Wigan 3 -1 and lose to Villa 2 -0 to and ManUre lose to Villa, Burnley and get thumped by Fulham 3-0 without their title credentials being questioned why should ours be?Don’t those games count.?We haven’t lost to any of those teams. Apparantley that was a bad day at the office for them but season annhilation for us There is a lot more football to be played till the end of the season. And when Man U and Chelsea start dropping points like we know they will the fun will start.

    We were clearly second best against ManU on the day. We improved against Chelsea but still gifted them 2 goals. The difference being they had a good finisher in Did he dive Drogba and we did not. Arsenal had no fit or proven striker to finish off the chances they created.

  277. Gooner4life – Nice sense of perspective.

  278. Given how these anti-Wenger ‘fans’ pay so much attention to the media, you’d think they’d all be in raptures over our top 3 position after their beloved rags had us down as favourites to drop out of The Big Four.

  279. Arsenal have 3 strikers out and only one half fit. Of all the points being made this is made the least, yet is one of the most significant.

  280. Yeah given our injuries up front, our defenders willingness to attack and Rafa’s famously cautious tactics, tomorrow could be the first time the formations 0-10-0 and 10-0-0 collide.

  281. Our striker injuries are only mentioned as yet another stick with which to beat the manager. Of course he’s supposed to be psychic and have enough world class strikers in reserve in order to replace like for like. Or be able to find a reasonably priced alternative in a depressed market.

  282. Of course Passenal.

    We’re supposed to have bought this mythical striker to cover for the 3 out and the half fit Bendtner.

    Wenger cannot win.

  283. paul robinson of bolton has to be my most hated player ever.

  284. some may say Wenger was foolish to rely on a strikeforce that includes one(although world class) with a record of only playing half a season and another just back from a leg break and who is struggling to hold down a consistent comeback. what has happened was quite easy to see happening, even mystic meg could have predicted this injury crisis upfront.

  285. Bolton, Blackburn and Burnley for the drop.

    All starting with B too. LOL

    but maybe Hull of Wolves to replace Burnley?

  286. Well done to YW, for managing to maintain perspective. As per usual

    The season does not finish in february and as long as we remain mathematically in it, I am backing the team for the double all the way!

  287. How many matches did RVP play last season, Duke? I think quite a few. Almost every game if I can remember correctly.

    And it’s not down to his injury record when a dirty Italian decided to clip into his leg during a friendly international.

    Eduardo was a risk I agree but how could he predict Nick’s long absence?

    Last question, where do you think the Manc’s position would have been if Rooney had been injured for so long? Or the Chavs without Drogba?

  288. Did any one read Fat Sam complaint that his boy Samba is being punished by referees because he’s too big and tall?

    Fat Sam of all people

  289. Wenger said: “If you go on high transfers you go on high wages,” “It is linked, but we cannot afford both. We cannot make a statement to [Carlo] Ancelotti [the Chelsea manager] because Chelsea can lose £150 million and we cannot live like that. Football lives in an artificial world at the moment. We have to live in a realistic world at Arsenal and we are very proud of that”
    regarding Fabregas moving to Barcelona he said “There is no concern at all,”

    I’m a bit disappointed in many Arsenal fans who believe all the rubbish they read or hear from the media. It is clear we cannot buy top players with ridiculous wages. Wenger takes the criticism and keeps doing what is right for Arsenal, He could easily blame the board and say they are not giving me the money. Wenger never shays away from responsibility he burdens everything without blaming the board. I heard a stupid gooner on radio saying bring Mourinho, There are a lot very dim gooners out there. Mourinho plays rubbish football that cost huge sums of money. If you don’t give him a 100 million to spend he will not do a job for you.
    It is no coincidence since we moved to the Emirates we haven’t won anything, all the money goes towards paying the stadium. To play at the top level while financing the debts is really remarkable. Unfortunately petulant fans cannot see what is right for the club they just want to win so they can brag to their mates, whether we end up like leeds , West Ham or Portsmouth that does not concern them.

  290. Exactly 1LC…No manager would dare to take the Arsenal challenge based on the current situation, Wenger committed himself to this club, and could have easily jumped ship with the first criticism he got from some ignorant fans.

    I heard one fan claiming to be Arsenal’s saying on TV that “Fabregas is overrated”. What’s with these idiots?

    Most people think Wenger has a long list of players in every position that only he knows about and all are fit & ready to play for Arsenal at a reasonable price. The fact of the matter is, nothing is a secret anymore…he may have had that advantage in the past but it’s not like that any more, every club now has it’s big network, and most of them are willing to splash even the cash they don’t have.

    This is what we come to expect from Wenger, he has the magic list ready, the board “says” he has bags of money…so, what’s holding him?

    I really doubt he has that kind of money every one thinks he has, the board has no money, or don’t want to spend any money and Wenger is doing the best he can with what he got. It’s as simple as that.

    If the board had bags of money ready to be spent, they would force Wenger to spend it to buy the trophies or get someone else who will. The fact that they’re not even questioning Wenger proves they don’t have anything other than “Wenger has 30 million to spend, but he won’t spend it” every year’s story. He’s is doing the best he can, he picks a bargain player here, a free one there as best as he can.

    Get on with the game, the players we have are good enough to compete, they’re young, inexperienced, never won anything as a group, and until they do with a little bit of luck on their side..it will be a rough ride. Willing to ride with us, you’re welcome….don’t have the stomach for this, find another hobby

  291. Oh dear! I laughed twice at William’s comments today

  292. It has been revealed that Arsenal cant afford to spend on big players, let alone the cost of their wages…

    This revelation should completely switch the mindset of the anti-Wenger brigade 180 degrees. For now it means that Wenger is actually doing an incredible job, bordering a miracle.

    Its clear that no manager in the world could build a consistently competitive team, both domestically and in the Champions League as well as Wenger. And Arsenal Football Club is with out a doubt the luckiest club in the world to have such a person in charge when the club has no money to compete with clubs like Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool’s spending power.

    The anti-Wenger brigade feel that whoever is in support of Wenger has a sort of blind faith in him.

    Now that the facts have come out, its impossible, if not insane to call for Wenger’s head. Which one can only question whether these people are concerned passionate Arsenal fans, or just trolls trying to destabilise the club.

  293. What facts have come out?

    You mean the facts that Wenger said he can spend up to 30m on a player if he wants?

    We have a team. If we have to add one, even at £30m, we can do it. If not, we can rely on what we have.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1247388/Wenger-30m-spend-Arsenal—title-rivals-t-splash-out.html#ixzz0f5kVEcew

  294. Clearly this is a case of Wenger taking you all as mugs…

    One minute he says he can buy any player for 30m the next Arsenal are skint.

    Utter gutter rubbish.

  295. it would be fantastic to finally get the bottom line from the club directly viz-a-vis finances

  296. ……….Chelsea’s streetwise approach. Wenger had pointed to the league leaders’ willingness to commit tactical fouls – “They make the foul at the right part of the pitch to stop a counter-attack, a little push, not enough to be a yellow card” – and, while he would not condone such an approach, he admitted he would not be critical of his players should they employ similar tactics.

    “That comes with experience,” added Wenger. “Of course I would accept it from my players, but I do not encourage them to do it. You don’t want to play with the purpose to make a foul. I do not want that at all. Chelsea stopped us in the right way.”

    thats what ive been saying – we need to be a bit more “anti-football” in our approach. not thugs but streetwise.

  297. “That comes with experience,” added Wenger.

    ———–

    Then maybe we should buy experience?

  298. Any confirmation yet of the Chamakh pre-contract signing reports?

  299. @ David:

    Youre forgetting the wage structure. That £30m player’s wage wouldnt be a few tenners a week.

    That £30m is part of the wage structure.

  300. What Wenger was trying to say was that he went for players, but those player’s wage demands were too high.

    Sure we probably could of got Silva for £30m. But add to that at least £100k a week.

  301. That is exactly what AW did do. He bought experience in the area we have the biggest problem…central defensive organisation and positioning. Sol Campbell is the man and he is getting match fit whilst teaching on the training pitch.

  302. Unlucky for Jack last night, but he played very well. Weirdly he was up against Patrick Vieira. Mancs II were very unimpressive.

  303. Where did Jack play? (I missed ther game). Centrally or wide?

  304. He lined up on the right but he was playing in the middle and down the right. He was Bolton’s joint best player….the scoreline flattered Mancs II.

  305. This is exactly the experience he needs for next season.

  306. Good for him. He reminds me very much of *gulp* Joke Hole.

  307. It will be interesting to see how Bartley does on loan as well. I have high hopes for him.

  308. Thanks Yogi. Oh well, I just had to scroll through all the idiocy apart from the usual suspects – Frank, Passenal, Limpar and others – who talk sense. What I need to know: what team in the world, in third place in (arguably) the toughest league in the world, widely acknowledged for its ground-breaking football, and in with a chance of CL and EPL even talks about ‘crisis’ or ‘manager in trouble’ or players ‘under-performing’ or whatever. By what yardstick do we say ‘failure’. Of course, if Wenger ever did leave, we would be lucky to get back to where we are now in a decade. Funny old world innit.

  309. Naah. He is technically better and is a play maker, more like Liam Brady for me. But most of all he is Jack Wilshere…going to be a great player in his own right.

  310. What a star you are ZimPaul.

  311. This is a fascinating time to an Arsenal supporter. We are about to be present at the birth of a great squad and some so-called ‘fans’ are stamping up and down in the background, tearing out their hair and wailing for a termination.

  312. Wilshere was good he seems really a tough player. it was bizarre to see 3 different ages of Arsenal on the pitch Viera, Silvinho, Toure Adebayor and Wilshere.,

    Football is a strange thing. now I hear liverpool will get the 3rd spot and then you had Mancini saying the same thing and to top it all, even Del boy Arry” fancies it, he thinks he will get the 3rd spot and dump Arsenal. What they don’t realize we had out tough run and it almost over and once we beat Liverpool and hopefully the Chavs and Manure drop points then we are back in the title race all this could happen tonight.

  313. If Wenger left, I’d hope we’d do just as well. The mark of a great manager is how well he plans the organisation to continue in his own absence.

    I don’t believe any manager could achieve more in trophy-winning terms on present constraints but that’s another matter altogether.

  314. Anyway, this is my contribution to all the debates past, present and future. I think we have the squad we need. The odd aberration (eg Almunia or Clichy) is not indicative of their overall level, and in any event we have 3 keepers and 3 LBs. We have the game and strategy we need (to win). We have the depth. We have spirit and a great manager. There is only one thing left in the puzzle, and a few are beginning to allude to it. The psychological barrier. Self-belief (as a team) and confidence (as an individual) is the hardest skill to acquire, and those who have it have the advantage always, even where other skills are deficient. We are close. The biggest battle of all is coming, and when we cross that river it will represent Wenger’s greatest accomplishment eclipsing the invincibles and lasting a decade. It is stating the obvious that younger people have a harder time fighting that battle. When this team overcomes this, the floodgates will open, nothing will stop them. So just hold fast fans. That’s all Wenger and the team asks. Wenger’s main task is keeping this squad together. So far so good.

  315. It will be an interesting team selection from Arsene tonight. It is obvious we need more cutting edge up front, so I think he will start with Bendtner. Hopefully Diaby is fit to start as well.

    Will he persist with Alumunia? He really does look short of confidence.

  316. Old Whitcher had the nerve to put a up an article entitled ‘A call to arms’ after publishing article after article demanding that the squad is cleared out and Arsene Wenger replaced. I might add at the same time making money from his obscene publications about the club. What an aresehole.

  317. Frank,

    Isn’t that the guy who went round for a year authoritatively claiming Arsenal are broke. Then when the financial results come out and show he was lying or wrong….he doesn’t even acknowledge that. Without missing a beat he moven on to another set of authoritative lies.

  318. Some guy who writes for the Gooner sits in front of me.

    It’s amusing that he thinks of himself as some kind of Arsenal ‘celebrity’ when all he does it write bollocks about the club.

  319. It also amuses me to see certain people say that if Chamakh was then man that Arsene wants / wanted all along, that he should of just paid £7M for him in January to keep us in the title race.

    We have all seen players take time to settle, so what would of been the guarantee that he would of slotted straight into the team?

    At least if he does sign for free in the summer, he will have a long pre-season with us to prepare for next season.

  320. That was an interesting game last night. Lots of sub plots. Old Arsenal players in ‘their prime’.One who didn’e make it, two veterans, one an all time great and young jack.

    Fascinating. PV4 looked like an old man. Muamba showed why he didn’t make it and jack showed us the difference in class between an Arsenal player and a Bolton player. Quite liked their right back though.

    Man of the Match, Adam Johnson? Don’t make me laugh. He did remind me of another old Arsenal player though in both his shambling gait, the way he wore his kit and his flattering to desive. Step forward Peter Marinello!

  321. Adam Johnson was brillaint theo needs to watch and learn exactly how to dribble sorry consolsbob.

    Though I do agree at times Wilshire looked a class apart.

  322. I didn’t say that he doesn’t show promise sg, nor did I compare him with Theo. Diffrent players.

    I did compare him with another promising youngster from a different generation.

  323. our lads will do it tonight i’m sure of it…m pretty sure chavs and mancs are dropping points too!!

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