Title Dream Ends With A Whimper

Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 1 Arsenal

1 – 0 Rose (9)
2 – 0 Bale (47)
2 – 1 Bendtner (85)

The title dream for another season ended last night at White Hart Lane, mathematically still possible but realistically it is over. Substantial possession, better statistical analysis count for nothing if the end product is not there, a point emphasised by Arsene as the first half failing. A night of bitter consolation, Robin van Persie’s return to the season showing what might have been had the Dutchman not been injured in a meaningless international friendly.

As one key player displayed his skills, the defensive qualities of Thomas Vermaelen are going to be sorely missed, his withdrawal leaves Wenger with the pairing of Campbell and Silvestre for the remaining matches this season. We know that Arsenal suffer more injuries than others; we also suffer more injuries to key players than anyone else.

It was a match that turned almost from kick-off. Sol Campbell almost silenced the neanderthals before the second minute had passed, his kneed effort from an early corner stopped on the line. Within eight minutes, it was an opportunity gone that Arsenal would regret. Almunia punched a corner and a good distance was achieved but the ball fell relatively central on the pitch. Rose’s shot was described by Arsene as ‘one in a million’ and it flew into the net.

It is a bittersweet goal to analyse, testing the line between admiration and criticism. Rose showed good technique to volley and promptly contributed nothing for the remainder of the first half, substituted at half time. If you are going to make one contribution in a match, make it telling.

Almunia was at fault on two counts; electing to punch in the first place, he arrived ahead of any other player and was not under such pressure that the cross could not be caught and secondly, his recovery to get back in position was not as quick as it should have been. Whilst the unexpected nature of the shot would have taken him by surprise, anticipation is key goalkeeping attribute and the unexpected should be expected.

The remainder of the half was played largely at Arsenal’s control yet clear opportunities were not plentiful. In fact beyond a Bendtner header midway through the first forty-five minutes, I am struggling to remember a clear chance which was created. This was the fundamental problem with last night’s performance; a lot of endeavour without the incisive passing required. The absence of Cesc was crucial last night, the Spaniard’s guile sorely missed.

Spurs doubled their advantage with the second half barely under way, the goal a comedy of defending errors. Bale was allowed to stroll unchecked across the Arsenal penalty area, received the pass and duly scored. It is hard to know where to begin with the errors. Silvestre failed to keep tabs on Bale, Clichy looking across the line should have reacted quicker when he saw Bale unmarked. The offside trap failed to be sprung because Sagna failed to keep in line with the other defenders. Who is at fault? All of them.

Walcott’s introduction for Sagna saw Eboue drop to right back. It is hard to say if Walcott was solely the catalyst for the increased threat or whether it was more urgency in the performance, required to retrieve the deficit. Within minutes, Walcott found Bendtner whose shot went across the goal unchecked.

van Persie’s introduction with twenty minutes go was definitely a catalyst for more purposeful attacking. Gomes has been a much-maligned goalkeeper; last night he chose to have the final quarter of his life. Twice he denied van Persie, a volley and freekick. Campbell saw a header turned onto the bar by the goalkeeper whilst Rosicky beat him only to see his shot miss the the far post.

The goal finally came. van Persie fed Walcott on the right and his cross was met by Bendtner, slotting home into an empty net. Yet the equaliser would not come, van Persie forced another save from Gomes but Tottenham held out.

Overall, it was a game that Arsenal did not deserve to lose but for an hour or so, they created precious few chances and can scarcely claim with any validity, that they deserved the win that was needed. The title challenge is over in all but name. Chelsea will win the title this season, a silver lining I suppose is that it stops Manchester United winning four in a row.

Of more concern is where Arsenal go from here. Back to winning ways at Wigan is the immediate requirement. Second place is the obvious target, it would be a tangible improvement on last season. The Mancunian derby this weekend offers the chance to leapfrog  United should they lose.

Post match, Arsene commented:

I would not like to go into any individual criticism tonight. We lost a game we couldn’t afford to lose in the title race and that shows that we are not mature enough because if you want to win the League, this kind of game you cannot lose.

It is apparent that he was disappointed with some performances but his options are limited. There is a strong case for giving Bartley his Premier League debut on Sunday or perhaps moving Sagna into the centre of the defence alongside Campbell. Silvestre will probably not be at the club next season and we need to start planning for the coming seasons, ensuring that our fifth choice centre back is going to have at least some experience. van Persie will no doubt be on the bench and I fail to see any rationale in rushing him back, only to have his hamstring or something tweak through playing too soon.

The disappointment of the evening is blurring the edges of some performances. Campbell, Clichy and Sagna defended well last night, the second goal aside for the latter duo. Bendtner, I thought, worked hard and got his deserved reward with a goal. van Persie adds the cutting edge to the attack and with him supporting – or a player of his ilk – Bendtner will score a substantial number of goals in a season.

Rosicky prompted well but has a tendency to follow Alex Hleb at times and look for a pass when perhaps taking the chance to shoot might provide reward. Confidence is a major factor in football. Flitting in and out of the side perhaps affects this but as with his performance in the Camp Nou, that little bit extra is required from an experienced international.

Nasri and Diaby were equally disappointing; neither took the game by the scruff of the neck as they had to in Cesc’s absence. Both are capable of far better performances than last night and both need to become more consistent.

It was a shattering evening. Chelsea might lose at Tottenham this weekend and they might lose at Liverpool but to expect them to do so by sufficient margins to enable the goal difference gap to be overcome is a step too far as it is hard to see how they will drop points at home to Stoke and Wigan.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 15, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 274 Comments.

  1. Footballvanity

    I think Sagna should be groomed as a CB. He could be a star in that position..

  2. Sylvestre needs to be shot. have we won any match with him at the back?

    how come he always gets the high profile games at the end of the season then cocks them up?

  3. Rarely I am left angry at Arsenal, but boy did they piss me off last night.

    Lack of urgency, poor touch, bad passing, talk about exasperating. I am generally a glass half full kind of guy, but last night left me think that maybe we need a cull.

    Wenger won’t say it, but I’m sure he feels that he’s been badly let down by certain players, and it won’t surprise me if they are plying their trade somewhere else next season.

  4. Pretty fair analysis, YW.

    This season isn’t over, but I think next season with Chamakh/RVP/Bendtner, we roll over most opponents and lead the league.

  5. …and David Villa

  6. mathematically the title race is not over but i feel it would be really difficult to get back in to the mix.

    Was quite surprised that after getting more than 8 days of preparation, there was no spark of urgency from the team to break down the spuds.

    The 1st goal was a fluke for sure and almunia punching air means…..

    have a feeling we took the game very lightly, do not want to finger point anyone in the team but except campbell and persie nobody seemed to be bothered much about the title charge and crucial points and sorts.

  7. wengerball, it was a sloppy performance

  8. Hi I am a Spurs fan and came to your website via http://newsnow.co.uk/h/Sport/Football/Premier+League/Tottenham+Hotspur. Have to say whilst you have played down alot of qualities that Spurs showed last night I think it is a fairly thoughtful and honest review of the previous nights game and for that I give you credit. I just wonder when Wenger will bite the bullet and bring in some top drawer players with a bit of experience to turn the Arsenal team into real contenders. Everyone from here to John O’Groats can see that the Arsenal are not quite good enough and need to splash a bit of cash and bring in some top players that are missing but Wenger’s philosophy means that it is highly likely that the Gunners will have another trophyless season next year too. Believing in your principals is one thing but when you are blinded to the degree that Wenger is it is unhealthy and costly. You are just not good enough and the current team will always fall short.

    Anyway I am not going to rub it in. Good luck for next season.

    Yid

  9. you lot are full of crap, you lost to a younger, mix-n-match team last night, all you can do is blame injuries, you listen to Andy Gray too much as you non footballing fans usually do!
    Sore asses

  10. CHANGE PLEASE!

    Nothing much to say, and cant say its unexpected at all. Changes that have been crying out to be made for the last 4 seasons have to be made this summer. The main points in a gist..

    1. Keeping cesc – The true world class player, we are going to face a battle and if we lose him, the development of this team’s “project” will go back a few years.

    2. Sort out the defense – The MAIN PROBLEM all along, the state of our defense was such that a 35 year old defender in his last legs brought so much improvement to it that its ridiculous. We HAVE to bring in a younger version of sol.

    3. Eliminate chaff – denilson, senderos, silvestre, fabianski and co. Thats enough!

    4. Develop the killer instinct of winners, its long overdue.

    5. A couple of proven world class players, if possible, would really help.

    We have to now get behind the team for the last 4 matches and I hope both the fans and the players will do their utmost to end it with a flourish.

    Lets start the preparations for a shot at the 2010 – 2011 starting wigan.

    Cheers all!

  11. wonder if Arsene can find 3 more Sol campbells (younger of course) and blood them in this team.

    We need more players who has that drive, who are persistent and who gets going even when going gets tough.

    Massively impressed by Sol’s enthusiasm y’day.

  12. It’s in adversity that quality shines through. I wouldn’t blame any player personally. It was an almost second string side for much of the game, considering who was not on the pitch. The team worked hard, make no mistake, but needed the spark of leadership. When it did come, it was too late to make the difference. That said it was a game of flukes, and those go either way. Arsene’s comments about maturity are literal.
    Spurs are not a great side and a little cleverness would have unpicked them sooner. Their defence was as solid as any northern hoofers, which we have unravelled many times.

  13. Zimpaul, but remember in fairness it was a very tired, heavily weakend spurs side as well.

  14. Lets just try and enjoy watching arsenal now, something i havnt done for a long, long time since every game is just nerves. Lets just enjoy the rest of the season and hope for the best. Come on tottnam, liverpool and stoke or wigan.

    Eboue, Diaby and nasri were absolutely shit yesterday, and to be quite honest, shouldnt be playing in a game of that magnitude. But there you go, we are unlucky beyond imagination with injuries so..

    Next season we’ll win the league *sigh* again.
    No we will, if with gods help we stay clear of injuries. And yeah, chamakh, van persie, arshavin…doesnt that make you salivate

  15. Looks as though the posters on Le Grove will be commiting mass sucide today. The comments over there are beyond stupid.
    As much I hate to say it Spurs were the better team last night but with that said I think our boys did the best they could. Sol was magnificent and RVP showed the class that we have missed for 5 months. Arsenal will bounce back that is for sure. Man United can’t cope when one player (Rooney) is out yet we have coped with up to 6 of our starting players missing at any given time. Arsenal forever.

  16. If you are in fact a Spud?

    What qualities did your team show last night? Seemed to me that you had eleven players on the edge of the area for most of the game. Is that your usual tactic in a home game gainst a team fielding its second team?

    Whilst you are on do you want to justify to us the constant referencee to paedophilia by virtually all of your fans and what sanctions you believe will be taken?

  17. i seriously believe this team is immature and they struggle to play according to a plan. When i mean this team, i meant the team that took to field y’day.

    Even in the 2nd leg barca match, it was obvious we were trying to do something according to a plan but hardly could we play up to that plan. there were many free kicks conceded in the middle of the park in 1st 20 mins, very un arsenal like but eventually not able to hold on to the lead all our plans went haywire.

  18. Zap you donut are you sure thats really you?

  19. There’s a big (big in the literal sense) S***rs fan where I work. He’s been sweating with excitement all morning. It’s really quite funny. It means that much to some of them. No perspective at all. I bet he had an orgasm last night at the final whistle. I imagine in some parallel universe there’s S***rs fans exploding with excitement as they actually win a major trophy. So thank god it’s not to going to happen in this reality eh.

    We lost the match. With a seriously under strength team. The only reason they won in fact. If we’d have a full (or near full) strength team we would have battered them. End of.

  20. Frustrated to say the least at our inability to take a shot at goal (and we had plenty of chances).

    Frustrated that we controlled most of the match and nothing came from it.

    Frustrated that we didn’t use one of our young defenders instead of silvestre.

    Frustrated that we didn’t start with Van Persie.

    Frustrated that we didn’t use Eduardo or vela instead of bedtner

    Frustrated
    yep that’s me

  21. Frank, Firstly remember Arsenal are a very good team so its never going to be easy for a non-champions league side to get equally good personel. Secondly I think teams are happy to let arsenal pass the ball around on the halfway line all day long, spurs were comfortable untill Van persie came on who is world class. Also dont forget spurs created three clear-cut chances but finished poorly.

    As for the chants, I cant condone them but Spurs fans have recieved vicious anti-semitic chants and hissing gas chamber sounds for decades and I think thats made the less-educated fans extremely defensive, but again I can condone it.

    On the whole it was a great performance by Spurs who deserved the win based on the passion and hunger they showed, as a passionate fan i’m sure you’ll agree.

  22. The ‘key’ players missing from the side are real play makers…the shakers and movers in the team, as evidenced by the return of one of them in the last 20 minutes. All teams have players who make things happen and when they are missing options get reduced. Of course there are replacements but they never think quite as quickly and are never as inventive. nevertheless the Spuds were almost blown away last night.

    The Spuds were not the better team. In fact they were terrified. If just one more of the many chances in the last twenty had gone in they would have collapsed completely.

    They played like an EPL position 5 or 6 side last night and that is probably about where they will end up.

    Their performance last night was summed up by the commentator who proclaimed the brilliance of Harry Redknapp to play Jermaine Defoe in a defensive role.

  23. The Troof, you want answers? you want answers? I want the Troof !!!……You cant handle the Troof !!!!!

  24. All the usual twats can do the usual.

    Frogman, are you the copper from Florida returned?

  25. Er, what?

    Both Bartley and Ayling are out on loan. Next in line would be Miquel or Thomas Cruise.

    What if van Persie had broken down in the first half with a muscular injury. Can you imagine the vitriol that would have been aimed at AW?

    Bendtner has scored 9 in 11. He’ll play, even with RvP in the side.

  26. Not averse to lying in your comments, James.

  27. Frank for an older man I’ve noticed you can be very childish. I think you need mre snuggles in your life, dont we all?

  28. f*ck me its depressing.

  29. Dont worry zap at least you’re good at fifa10……..oh wait……sorry mate…..yeah you must feel depressed.

  30. You have no idea how old I am, James.

  31. You guys are funny!

    In particular you fail to recognise that Tottenham too have been hit hard by injury throughout the season, with the notable Aaron Lennon headlining the list ( inc. King/Woodgate/Jenas – long term, Corluka, Krancjar, Cudicini & Bentley – more recently and Defoe who was out for a number of matches).

    Spurs may have had limited possession last night, but – time and again we say it – it’s what you do with the ball that counts.

    Arsenal looked threatening only after van Persie arrived whereas Spurs were solid defensively and looked to attack whenever possible.

    Had Lennon been on the pitch its likely that the same powerful, speedy intentions that Gareth Bale displayed on the left side would have been experienced on the right. Had Wilson Palacios not picked up a booking at Wembley on Sunday he’d have been on the pitch.

    This was far from a full strength lineup… and yet one Danny Rose stepped from the shadows to score a wonderful goal that will be replayed at the Lane and then at the new stadium and possibly after that too. It was not a fluke, but in truth it was your goalkeeper and his poor judgement that aided the youngster; had Arshavin or Denilson netted a similar strike it would be lauded.

    Spurs wanted it more – just as Pompey had on the weekend and whilst most yids will have happily shrugged after some thought and wished Portsmouth well, Goons just can’t accept they were beaten by a better team on the night. Blame your players/manager/injuries/finances or us but for goodness sakes – you weren’t going to win the league in any case.

    And next season? We will. COYS!

  32. Frank, I do, you’re well old. Would you like a snuggle?

  33. That simply isn’t true though, James. They were unable to attack for most of the game. Arsenal were undone by their own folly.

    Where do you think that your team will come this season, James. 5th or 6th. Probably 5th I would say. I can’t see Citeh relinquishing 4th spot.

    Harry has some major rebuilding to do if he wants to get into the big Eurothingy next year. How will he do it with the new stadium coming along and all?

  34. You clearly don’t, James

  35. In fact wasn’t for Gomes performance in the last 15 minutes they would have been battered last night. Obviously I watched a difference match to some folks. I didn’t catch Sp*rs wonderful flowing football…I saw a team hanging on for dear life at the end. I don’t know what the statistics where for possession…but I can imagine.
    All we lacked was one of those players who have that extra spark to break ’em down…as was clearly shown when RVP came on. That’s where the injury crisis has cost us.

  36. I agree with Harry Flowers.

  37. Hello consolsbob, Yes that’s me. I have not posted in ages but read the blog as much as I can. Inspite of last nights defeat I do not think many teams could have done as well as us when you weigh up all that has gone against us (injuries) I am not making an excuse but we are not just talking about one player missing.

  38. Since so many fans here cannot bring themselves to speak the truth about the game last night lets listen to it from the horse’s mouth. Arsene Wenger’s post match interview-

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/8621355.stm

    At least Wenger praised Spurs sharpness in counter attack and was honest about Arsenal’s inefficiencies.

    Could be a mass cull at the Emirates….

  39. I disagree with Frank. And, therefore, Harry Flowers.

    Cos Spurs may have “hung-on” in the last ten mins, but Arsenal were shaky throughout.

    And I mean last night – not against Barca!

  40. Frank, if spurs finish fourth this season they would of deserved it, the run in is ridiculous and so many silly points were dropped to teams like wolves spurs only have themselves to blame. However, its still all to play for. City could drop points to Arsenal, Man Utd and Spurs so it will be fun finding out.

    The stadium apparently wont effect funds but thats bollocks. Harry will have to do what he does best which is find some gems like Krancjar and Palacios for reasonale prices. Spurs have a young team though so hopefully they can ride it out and have some fun untill the stadium brings the all important extra revenue.

  41. “And next season? We will. COYS!”

    Ah, the old refrain. It’s good to know that some things never change.

  42. “It’s good to know that some things never change”

    like goons failing to accept a loss with dignity?

  43. “It’s good to know that some things never change”

    or Arsenal threatening to win something and blow it?

  44. Haven’t you Sp*rs fans got a street party to attend?

  45. We were like a boxer jab jab jab no knock-out punch

    There was no fight no urgency.Why were the players not fired up This was a game we had to win,Although i exclude the brilliant Sol from that.

    PLEASE WENGER GET RID OF ALMUNIA AND BUY A QUALITY GOALKEEPER

  46. Is van Persie’s parole hearing?

  47. Sperz had a good keeper we didnt.Would Almunia have saved the RVP efforts??? He would probably have pussed them into his own net.

    Out of 7 games v the teams in the top 5 we have taken 3 pts pts out of 21.Thats a pathetic return

  48. If you look at Spurs team on paper we arguably the better team

    Gomes is a better keeper than Almunia

    King is better defender than Campbell

    Bale is a better attacking left back than Clichy

    Dawson is on par if not better defender than Gallas

    the list goes on…

    We definitely have a better array of strikers than the Gooners

    Keane, Crouch, Defoe, Gudjohnsen

    Van Persie, Arshavin, Bendtner

    Fabregas is better than Palacios but Palacios is a great player.

    You can hold up Van Persie and Fabregas is your evidence of better players but at the end of the day they are injury ravaged players. When will you get a full season out of either player? What is the point of having quality for only half your games? Big question marks over both players

  49. Thank you, James. I think you have told us all we needed to know. You and your personae are now excommunicated.

  50. Again, dont forget to buy your copy of my new book ‘Class/Glass’, availible at waterstones

  51. your league ambitions are now executed

  52. Alex Ferguson is rightly praised for his record as a manager but his great achievement was getting some mug to take that has been Silvestre off his hand.Now remind me what fool would buy Silvestre?

  53. Frank, are you sure you dont want a snuggle? I’ve cleared it with Maria she said its cool, she dont mind.

  54. William… would it be Arsene Whinger?

    I’ll do without a prize – give it to these trophyless (again) goons…

  55. Frank in fact you know what could be nice and could help you, if me, you and maria got together and ‘Throoned’. Basically ‘Throoning’ is the same as ‘Spooning’ but with three members instead of two.

    Would you like to ‘Throon’ with me and Maria?

  56. Also Frank, Yogi would be able to clear up that theres only one me, the other guy who uses all my names is obsessed with me.

  57. It’s not we can still do it all you negative people on here just fuck off

  58. Sadly we have become a nearly team.And Wenger is happy with that.We nearly won the CL in 06,in 07 we nearly won the CC in 08 we nearly won the Title and the same this year

    None of the lessons from our failed title bid in 2008 were learned.Does Wenger really believe we will go a whole season without picking up injuries?.It was a miracle Gallas and TV stayed fit for so long.And look who comes in when they are injured the mighty Silvestre a player who makes you wish we had kept Cygan.

    The Goalkeeping situation is a joke.We have all known that Almunia is a number 2 at best and Flappy is just not good enough.We need to buy a world class keeper,One or two CB’s a DM and a Striker

    Out must go:Almunia,Flappy,Tweety,Denilson,Rosicky and Eduardo

  59. Spurs Bob

    You’re not welcome here to gloat about the win last night. I doubt your sincerity in asking when will Arsenal “splash the cash” nor in wishing us good luck for next season.

    You are definitely rubbing it in even as you said that you won’t.

    I’m sorry for you to have suffered last Sunday so badly in losing to Portsmouth and crashed out of the FA Cup.

  60. Luke you must let us have our one day in the sun, you wouldnt believe the shit that Arsenal fans say on Spurs blogs. The crowd on here are being mild in comparison.

  61. heh, fair play to the spurs fans that have been waiting 11 fucking years to give some back.

    if we started the game as we finished it, we would’ve won. we didnt though – and tottenham played far more intelligently then us for the first 3/4’s of the game.

  62. Luke…I doubt he’s even a Spud. I mean if you’d just won the most important match in your football club’s entire history you wouldn’t be spending all morning hanging around here would you. Just ignore ’em.

    “Out must go:Almunia,Flappy,Tweety,Denilson,Rosicky and Eduardo”

    I wish we could get rid of some of you fans as easily.

  63. Every dog has its day. The way Spurs were celebrating last night you would have thought that had won the champions league.
    They did just enough to win, but in truth we were poor until the last 15 minutes regardless of the amount of possession we had.
    Sol- a true warrior, and I wish we had 10 more players with his spirit.
    Some old errors that have been dogging us all season: poor goalkeeping and lack of concentration/positioning at the back. We have just given away too many sloppy goals.

  64. @thomas h, do you really believe Wenger is happy with where we are. Wenger is more disappointed than any of us.

    As I said before if you listen to his tone you’d realise that he has put faith in some players and have not been rewarded.

    He’s no mentioned names but has clearly said one numerous occasions that there are a few players who have not measured up.

    He’s pointed to Sol as an example of the mentality he wants from his players, I am sure that come this summer there will be changes made.

    The core of the team is as good as any, we’ve been let own by our second string, if we can fix that then we can dominate the league

  65. typical arsenal these days… here comes the big game, we need a big performance against our hottest rival what do we do…

    bottle it. there were some truely pathetic performances yesterday, almunia & silvestre as always and diaby was just as bad

  66. If any of you need a snuggle to help with last nights defeat, give Frank a shout and he’ll be only too happy to accomodate you.

  67. For 75 minutes last night we were awful.Spineless.It was a NLD for fucks sake dont this bunch of under-achievers have any pride?

    The last 15 minutes with the RVP/Gomes show papered over the cracks of what happened earlier.

    Wenger sitting on the bench with Pat Rice both arms folded shaking there heads.Where was the leadership?Would Mourinho or Fergie act like that?

    Our game was pretty pitty pat short passes then when we got to the edge of their box Dawson and King just picked us off.No plan B

    Remember the Spuds played a 2 hour semi final on sunday we had a weeks break yet they looked the better team.

    Its nearly 30 years since i have said this but Spurs have a better keeper than us.We have a clown in goal.How Wenger can explain not signing Given is beyond me?

    So another season has gone and the trophy cabinet is empty again.When everyone is fit we have a good first 11.But the back up is weak.how can a major club like ours have to rely on a player like Silvestre coming in and playing in the important games of the season

    Sadly Wenger is too set in his ways to make the drastic changes needed to turn us into a trophy-winning side.So it will be another top 4 finish next season but nothing else

    6 years ago we were Invincible

  68. and if wenger was that bothered about winning he’d have spent some of the huge cash reserves during the jan window

  69. James – Do you have nothing better to do? I know you must be wetting yourself after finally beating Arsenal, but try and control yourself

  70. One good thing though guys is that you’ve done the country a great service by not winning the league. I mean if you’d won the Premiership after what happened with Barca it would have looked very, very bad for the English game wouldnt it?

  71. Arsene Wenger saw his team lose to Tottenham for the first time in 21 league games, and as good as gave up his belief that Arsenal could still win the title.

    The French manager starting the season by saying he didn’t need to buy any experienced players as his young team had grown into a strong mature side, but last night he admitted that he was wrong this time around.

    “There is too much to do to win the title,” Wenger said. “It’s very, very unlikely now, but we will continue to fight until it is mathematically impossible. You never know, but even a point would not have been good enough tonight.

    “We lost a game we couldn’t afford to lose in the title race and that shows we are not mature enough. If you want to win the title, this is the kind of game you can’t lose.

    “I believe Chelsea and Manchester United can drop points. Chelsea come here on Saturday and if Tottenham want to fight for fourth place, you never know. If you look at the Chelsea game on Tuesday, I don’t think they were exceptional, but they had the luck that you can see as well.”

    I think this weekend will see a lot of Arsenal fans cheering on Tottenham for a change!

    Arsene,come and see chelsea tear the spurs apart.We are not feather-weight Arsenal.

  72. @Arsenal tom

    Spending a huge chunk of cash in January is akin to throwing it down he toilet.

    Who would you have had Arsene buy in January, was there anyone good that was available?

  73. @Spurs Bob U are spot on and i have nothing to add. Unfortunately many here see criticism of Arsen as sacrilege. This team gave their hearts out this seaon. every single one of them. But the squad is thin and would have appreciate some fresh blood if not anywhere but in defense and attack. I was shocked when we didnt bring in someone during the break and no cambell is an awesome player and a good buy but we needed someone younger. in the heart of our defence.. oh well another trophiless season

  74. I didn’t know Spurs fans are so funny, lovely sense of humour. We should have them over more often.

    The GOOD news is a mass suicide on Le Grove.

  75. Meh, you gotta let them have one every decade. The guy who listed/rated the two teams player for player’s a genius, that was the funniest thing i’ve read on here in ages. At the end of the day it probably is the end of the road for this year but it’s been such a bizarre season that there could easily be a few twists yet. It’d be nice to get second over Fergie. All these fickle morons calling for a “cull” should choose another sport to follow, especially those including Denilson in their lists.

  76. gooner Ted, if you hurry you can catch the mass suicide

  77. wengerball… id have started with a proper GK instead of almunia!? he’s in the worst 3 in the league for christs sake! if you want someone bad enough there’s always a way to get them

    and a CB… boateng? sakho? tasci? subotic? they are all tipped to leave this summer so why not get in there first?

  78. in fact the most important signings we could make would be getting keown and david dein back

  79. Spurs had to beat us sometime and last night they wanted it more. We learned nothing about the team from last night’s game that we didn’t know already. Wenger has finally admitted that the side lacks maturity, so let’s hope he puts his money where his mouth is in the summer and buys some grown ups.

  80. TheBigM,

    I know and im genuinely sorry, it wont last i promise.

  81. WTF, all you Spudz fans enjoy your one single solitary day in the sun.

    If you put enough monkeys in a room with a type writer each, eventually one on them will type something of merit. Last night, after 10 years of trying and 20 odd league matches later your lot finally did something of merit by beating a massively understrength Gunners side. The theory of probability says that sooner or later you were bound to beat us.

    You know it and we know it, our first 11 would trash your lot time and again, end of!!

  82. Im in need of a snuggle, win or lose we all need it.

  83. Theres always next season, everyone gets full of hope just before the start, it will be the same again.

  84. Spurs Bob, thats some comedy gold right there. Hilarious stuff.

  85. This is a bit like being back in the playground, so i’ll just say 13 – 2. And leave it at that.

  86. Frogman, good point.
    Gooner Ted, Mourinho is an egoistical cunt!
    I’m Mancity will beat Manure. The stupid spuds better beat Chelsea to stay in contention for fourth place. If the results go as I wish we’ll be back in contention. It’s a crazy league this year. My main worry is our central defence. Sol and Silvestre can’t take the strain. Hope Djourou’s back!

  87. Didnt Wenger say this team would win a trophy this season? Bit like Rafa saying Liverpool would finish 4th

  88. @ Gooner Ted, What was Arsene suppose to say?? We are not good enough and won’t win anything?? Let’s have some perspective here much as this loss n fading title hope is hard to take.

  89. How many different people have you pretended to be today, Gooner Ted? I can’t be arsed to count.

  90. Gooner Ted, its high time that you sue AW. How dare he? Its an iron clad case of misrepresentation.

  91. Welcome back Frogman.

    It really is amusing to see the ‘Grand Alliance’ on here this morning between the sad spuds who believe, for instance, that hey have better forwards than we do, and the even sadder doomers who think that we have a crap team. I mean, these people actually agree with each other.

    I needed a lift after last night and a bit of comedy has done wonders.

    Keep it up boys.

  92. And welcome back, Alex. If it’s the same Alex…

  93. There is a lot of hate for Wenger and some of our players being tossed around on some other blogs. However, if some of these so called Arsenal fans had any idea at all about football and running a professional club then they should appreciate the fact that Wenger has performed miracles to get us where we are based on what he has had to work with. For example, Raffa at Liverpool is crying that he needs 60 Million to build a team….err, how much money has he spent over the past five years already and he still can’t match Wenger. Some of these so called fans have no idea of how good we have it at Arsenal.

  94. our unbeaten run was always going to come to an end, so lets appreciate it, apparently the second longest against any team in arsenal’s history. Goodplaya has a nice blog on it today: http://www.goodplaya.com

  95. I agree Frogman, Wenger has performed miracles considering the resources he has had and it is a tribute to him that we were still challenging for the league up to last night.
    But in the end you can’t sow a silk purse with a sow’s ear and the strength in depth required to win a title is not really there

  96. Thanks OOU. Relocation/ new job kept me out of the fray, Cheers.

  97. You sad little spuddies. You’ve won your first game in more than a decade against us and all you’re doing is to come on an Arsenal blog to look for praise. How sad is that? It’s quite heartbreaking reading through your comments realising how much you must be suffering from your lack of self-confidence and the inferiority complex you have to deal with through all the years. Our resident Tottenscum supporter James is the perfect example of this species. He posts more than most regulars do on this blog. Can you think of any Arsenal supporter spending only a fraction of the time James reserves for us on a scum’s forum? Or even disguise ourselves in our most hated rival’s colour in order to spout utter drivel? Imagine the amount of distress he must have gone through that forces him to humiliate himself like that every day. On the other hand Tottenscum fans just don’t know what class is or self-respect for that matter.

    And please stop giving us any lectures on how to run our football club or trying to compare our success to yours. This is too funny even for you lot. Remember spuds, our failure, according to you that is we’ve only managed to assure CL football for next season, is what you’re aspiring for.

  98. Cracking post notlager.

  99. If Silvestre was any good would Fergie have sold him to us?

  100. theBigM, Yes I agree and the strength in depth has apparantly let us down in the end but in all honesty how can you plan for that sort of thing? I guess normally the guidance is two equal players for every position along with some players that can play multi positions. However, how far can you take it? Three deap, four deap, for each position? Then comes the problem of keeping all of the players happy! If I have to fault Wenger then it would be that he did not strengthen in the winter transfer window as some of the problems were identified then and maybe he should have reacted?

  101. “Deep” not deap. Sorry.

  102. THIS IS England

    Judge me in May.—We certainly will.

  103. Gooner Ted/ This is England, do call us for your May inquest. Should be fun to watch.

  104. Gooner Ted…what a dull, tedious fellow you are. Apparently there’s still time to hitch a ride on the mass suicide express over at Le Grove. Go on son….you know you want to.

  105. Harry Flower, heard that the mass suicide LG express plunges down a cliff into the abyss called Stamford Bridge. There the train is renamed Le Bridge.

  106. Skywatchingmug

    Vermaelan is out with calf strain.

  107. Very upset that Arsenal could not at least force a draw. Once again, the title is so near yet so far. Just like last seson,when everything crumbles in the final third…

    Now I am thinking if Nina Bracewell Smith really did have the foresight when she sold her shares.

    Could she have determined that the Arsenal management is not up to the task of delivering another trophy?

  108. THIS IS England

    Alex i take it that you are quite satisfied with not winning any of the four trophies we played for.

  109. “Bendtner has scored 9 in 11. He’ll play, even with RvP in the side.”

    RvP and Bendtner are our two best strikers. Although the cognoscenti list Bendtner among the second-raters who would be dropped if we had any decent players fit, the fact is that he has scored important goals for us again and again.

  110. That’s a comforting thought Alex. I don’t think the train is long enough to accommodate ’em. All aboard the doom express. Spuds travel free.

  111. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

    Michael Jordan

  112. This is England. This is Major Tom to ground control. You are potentially the greatest bore I ever did hear. Bye.

  113. THIS IS England

    ZimPaul you are so funny.What’s your point is it just that i have an opinion that you don’t like.

  114. Jonny, he was high on crack when he wrote that

  115. My favourite player and a tip for the future…

  116. Noone has won any trophies yet, THIS IS. Aside from the Worthless Cup that is, which the Mancs stumbled upon accidentally.

    Are you an Arsenal fan, and if so may I ask, how long have you been following our club for?

  117. Spurs get a flukey goal and come over to ACLF all orgasmic, how amusing.

    And as CBob says, how they sound the same as the Arsenal faithless fools (aka “gooners” and such like).

    Oh, it’s pathetic, but very, very funny.

    I love this Arsenal. I don’t really care whether we lost ‘a match’, even this one.

  118. Or he understood that failure is a large part of sport, and life for that matter. Tasting failure at a young age is what drives many sportsmen to greatness – these experiences will drive this team forwards next season and beyond. We are young, hungry and have kept pace with the financial obscenities of the rich men’s train sets (Man City & Chelsea).

    Man Utd & Liverpool are in greater need of overhaul than we are.

    We are in a dark place now, but remember bright flowers grow from dark places.

    As for the judging in May – fine do it. It’s been a great season in my eyes and if you don’t think so you need to look with better eyes than that.

  119. THIS IS England. I can’t understand the caps, please elucidate. Your name is like a neon sign on a bleak highway that says “Here exists a great bore of today”. You remind of a character in Saxonwold but I can’t remember which one. You are tailor made for humour and being the butt of jokes, but today I can’t be bothered really. Bye.

  120. Spurs fans are funny. I wish someone had told me. All I hear is abuse about them.

  121. heh. look at james and other spud fans ahahah, it makes me laugh how one win is like a champions league for them. wow. let them av their day of glory, it wont last!!!!

  122. Bradys right foot

    If only the doomers had some fucking balls anddo something, go on have a protest at the next home game go on put the keyboard down and do something and have a good old public moan. You wouldn’t do it because you haven’t got the intellectual or moral authority for such a platform, so just fuck off to the sess pit of anti support that is Le Grove. The fact that injuries have played a hugely damaging part in our season is a fact not an excuse. Oh wait but all sides get injured i hear them moan, but not all sides try to play the way we play and the two are linked. When we do win it next year as is inevitable the sweet can never really be enjoyed in a bitter mouth.

  123. This is England

    Still don`t get your point,want to discuss Arsenal or just trying to be a clever boy.I am happy to put my Gooner credentials up against yours if you wish at the next game at the Emirates if you wish.

  124. oh shut up howard and f*ck off.

  125. notlager you sound like you need a snuggle

  126. Our title hopes were dealt a cruel and potentially fatal blow last night.

    If we won at Wigan and Chelski lost to Spurs, we’ll be back to hoping in a flash.

    It never, really, is over till it is indeed over.

    You’ll call me deluded and I think I am too. I’m thinking of the weekend game and acting like tomorrow never happened.

    Talking about the weekend game;

    Since Gallas, Vermaelen, Djourou, Song are all injured with Senderos, Bartley & Ayling out on loan.

    Since Sol can not play 2 games in a week according to Arsene.

    Who will play centre back for us at Wigan?

    Someone suggested Bouldie & Wenger! Interesting that we have more fit (to use the word loosely) centre backs in the coaching crew than in the squad!

    Bouldie & Wenger will be superior, IMO, to Silvestre + ANY OTHER PERSON. Not a slight on the other person, but a decisive judgement about Silvestre.

  127. I bet Arsene, Fabregas, & Pat Rice did some serious ‘Throoning’ last night

  128. Jonny, fantastic and appropriate quote from his airness. You are spot on, of course.

    Todays posts are absolutely typical…moaning Arsenal supporters who are more fans of trophies than the team, Spuds supporters celebrating the highlight of their season, and the usual crowd showing their maturity by putting things in the proper perspective. The racist/bigoted/disgusting chanting from both sides at matches and elsewhere needs to stop – there is never any excuse for any of it. Anyone who engages in it is merely showing how unfit they are to be a member of the human race.

    YW, the game is not up! Chel$ki have dropped very surprising points this year, as have manure and THE Arsenal. Never say die!

    My two cents, certainly worth less than the copper they are made of, is that you must take your chances. Clichy and Van Persie seemed like they were the only ones willing to make Gomez work for it until the last 10 minutes. If you don’t shoot then the other team can just give you space outside the box, watch you pass it around, and wait for a mistake. If you let it rip the defense will be forced to start closing you down thus opening up the passing lanes. You must make them afraid to sit off and Arsenal did not do that last night. Nasri, Diaby, Denilson, Rosicky, Eboue, and Bendtner are all quality enough to make this happen yet for whatever reason they did not and they paid for it. I have always rated Gomez as a keeper, despite the mental state necessary to play for the spuds, and last night he showed his worth.

    One thing that was interesting was the commentators on the channel I was watching said that the shot Rose scored with was traveling at 68 miles per hour or thereabouts. That is a rocket. Almunia was also run into by Sagna after regaining his footing and was clearly unsighted until the ball was close. It could have been a better punch, he maybe could have caught it, but like Wenger said, that was a one in a million goal, likely the highlight of the players career.

    Lastly, how fantastic to see Van Persie back. What he offers we have sorely missed. Bendtner has upped his game but Van Persie is on another level entirely. So great to see him back, let’s hope he stays fit at he WC and can find a way to put his injury issues behind him for the future.

  129. Were you at the game, James?

  130. This is England

    I believe Sol will be ok for Wigan alongside Sagna with Eboue at Right back

  131. Oh dear, This IS England, I see you don’t have a much of a sense of humour, do you. Trust this. I don’t give a damn about your so-called Arsenal
    “credentials” – whatever that means. I find you faintly embarrassing, and a good butt of jokes, but otherwise insignificant. I just thought I would play around with you (ie bait you, like a fish) for a bit of fun, otherwise you are useless to me.

  132. Ole,
    Reading between the lines, are you saying you don’t think much of Silvestre’s defending?

  133. I was hoping I was clear enough that people would read it in (and not between) the lines 🙂

  134. OleGunner,

    I hope Djourou is ready to come back, ‘hungry’ like RVP last night.

    I think, after the arrival of Sol, MS was 6th choice at CB.

    RVP!

    Click Click Click.

    (It’s been a while since I saw that written on ACLF).

  135. This is England

    Maybe you would like to play around with me but probably not man enough.Do you ever go to games or do you hide in your bedroom making insults on your laptop. If you want an adult discssion about Arsenal i am happy to have it with you,otherwise grow up.

  136. Limpar assist, you’re kidding me aren’t you? I’m not that lucky. I’ve only ever seen us draw at white hart lane……………….oh and a 5-1 annihalation in the cup.

    Were you at the game? I had three close freinds in the Arsenal corner, they weren’t happy with Almunia

  137. This is England

    What’s tjhe latest on Djourou’s return?

  138. Robin Van Persie…clickclickclick

    Robin Van Persie….clickclickclick

  139. Aint it crazy that Djourou has been paid a fortune to do absolutely nothing for years and years.

  140. Finsbury,

    Someone suggested; Ricey Bouldie Wenger Primorac as back 4 with Neil Banfield on the bench.

    I notice someone suggested Keown the magic man as the solution to defensive failings.

    All our coaches were defenders but our defending has not been stellar.

  141. The heartening thing about yesterday, is that my nephew who is 16 had no memory whatsoever of Arsenal losing to the Spuds until yesterday.

  142. Funny isn’t it, a couple of my good friends were there, supporting the wrong team, in the fug and miasma that your lot exude.

    Still, like the good friends they are they have just about managed to restrain themselves from being absolute cunnies, unlike a few others I know. All part of football though, days like today, as you say.

    I won’t go into the myriad reasons why Arsenal FC is in such a vastly stronger position to the Totts, both historically and presently… but needless to say, they are myriad.

  143. The Spurs have been very good in the back this year especially at WHL. The only team to score more then 1 goal at the Lane was the Mancs. Our offense lacked the cutting edge for most of the game. On the defensive end you can not give up 2 goals in a game against a good team and expect to have any chance to win. Their 1st goal was lucky. The 2nd was inexcusable and totally killed our chance to win.

    We have definitely improved from last season and we clearly have something to build on. I hope the boss figures out a way to get NB and RVP in the game together regularly the rest of this year. They offer different types of striker and NB/Chamakh heading ability will offer the plan B we occasionally could use. I think our offense will be excellent if we stay somewhat healthy.

    Our defense is another matter. I am totally disappointed that we will have to completely rebuild in the back nest season. With WG out of contract that was obvious as soon as JD went down. Starting with a whole new defensive CB pairing next year will mean we have to restart the learning curve over again. Playing with Silvestre as our 3rd CB for much of the year was a huge risk and would have been suicidal if TV or WG had been injured earlier in the year. I hope we have learned our lesson. We were very lucky to not have defensive injuries early in the year. We have not been as lucky recently and our lack of depth really shows. The Mancs actually had a much worse year with defensive injuries. The Chavs lost Boswinga, Ivanovic, Calvalho, Cole and Essien. I hope we learn our lessons and spend some money to rebuild the defense. None of our reserves are ready. We also need to spend much more team effort towards conceding less goals next year. The offense will come but the last several years have shown that our defense needs more attention.

    Lots a positives from this year and hopefully we will play out the season and get 2nd place and build on that for next years run to the title.

  144. Bill,

    You keep crapping on your own comments by including gems like;

    None of our reserves are ready.

    That’s nonsense. You have no idea whatsoever of that.

  145. Very well put Gris Gris.

    I especially concur with the shooting from distance and the fact that if you never do it it allows the defence to just sit off. This has been a bugbear of mine for some time.

    A strange statistic however, which was bandied in the papers about a month or so ago, is that we had scored more goals from outside the box than other team in the EPL.

    It certainly feels at odds with what I see – almost every game I go to all you hear is fans screaming to shoot or complaining that we don’t pull the trigger when we should have (one more pass, one more pass).

    You are spot on about it becoming too predictable – mixing things up, even if just occasionally, is always the best thing to do especially in these times when teams pour over videos in order to second guess your next move.

    To this end I have often wondered what would happen if you took a one footed player like Diaby and gave him an extra hour of training every day, aimed solely at developing the left side of his body and getting it to the point where he could produce decent control and a powerful shot.

    The real kicker would be to do this but instruct him to play in games solely with his right until he was ready to bamboozle a defender on to his arse with the sheer surprise of him taking a ball past him on the left.

    It would take plenty of discipline and time to achieve but its not as though they’ve got better things to do with their time is it!

    Actually I’d advocate it for all players – every professional to my mind ought to be able to hit a ‘decent’ strike with their chocolate leg, no?

  146. We did have defensive injuries early on Bill. As well as Djourou we had Clichy, Kieran Gibbs, Bacary Sagna, William Gallas and Traore out. many out at the same time.

    Our injury record is about 50% higher than any other team in the EPL this season.

  147. Our reserve CB are all out on loan. My understanding is that Nordtviet has been playing about 1/2 the games at Defensive mid for a relegation challenged team in Germany. Bartley is at Sheff United and not playing much. Ayling is in a lower league team and not playing much. Clearly these guys are not ready yet.

  148. Bradys right foot

    Exactly Finsbury our 6th choice centre half, do fans honestly expect a squad were our sixth choice players for any position are not older players or incredibly young even reserve players. This continued line about us not having the depth is shit, if we had the average amount of injuries that an EPL team has to suffer year on year we’d have won the league. We have suffered some serious bad mojo this year a plague of injuries far more than what can normally be expected even for us has given the title to Chelsea. It is the strength of the squad overall that has kept us in it. When will the penny drop?

    Its highly likely with a fit squad that Denilson, Ramsey, Waltcott, Eboue, Djourou, Rosicky, Bendtner, Vela, Gibbs, Campbell, Chamakh, Wilshire, Eduardo, Toure, and others will have to fight it out as one of the five names subs next season. I don’t see squad depth as a problem the issue is our injuries and why weve had so many. The squad have coped better than any other squad in the premiership would have with the volume of injuries weve sufferred.

  149. Its quite scary how weve learnt how to defend this season, if only we’d kept Lennon fit…….

  150. No, you have no clue whatsoever of what you keep asserting.

    If Wenger & coaches think one of them is ready, then they will be brought in.

  151. @ Frank
    without trying to reopen old sores (pun) but why do you think this is. I believe our injuries have cost us this season (not least of all last nite). Surely Arsene and Co. must be asking the same question?

  152. You may not always agree with Arseblogger. But I find his concluding statement to his match review to be said with feelings and passion. I can identify with it and so should all true Arsenal supporters.

    “Title over, yes. Season over, not just yet. Arsenal over, never.”

  153. I would suggest that Nordveit is ready. He has been playing at top level in the Bundesliga in a side, Nurnberg, which has to defend to save its life and loooks like avoiding relegation. Playing against Schalke, Werder Bremen, Bayern is a great experience.

    Playing at defensive midfield is also great experience for a young centre-back.

    Btw Craig Eastmond looks good in that position too.

  154. Ole, Snuggle?

  155. OleG,

    I have no idea about defending, but I don’t think it’s so bad. Just ‘stoned’ moments like you say.

    It’s like Anaconda commented during the game. So much chopping and changing is disruptive. If two players who usually link up so well like TW14 & Diaby habe on occasion in the last few games been trying to do the opposite thing, then it must be tricky in the ‘defence’ too.

    Other teams do have injuries, as said above, but not as many, therefore not as disruptive. You don;t have to be Issac Newton to figure out the correllation between ‘bruised bones’, kicks, intruiging refs, and injuries. In my humble and ignorant opinion.

  156. AFC Physio:

    “The other thing is when you have several long-term injuries your squad is depleted. That increases the demands on other players because there is less room for rotation.”

    i.e. ‘Bruised Bones’ & ‘Broken Legs’.

    + the increase in ‘strains’ suffered by those who are returning with rebuilt limbs.

    It’s not exactly, erm, Rocket science.

    I mean, even Pulis, McLeish & Slur Fergie understand what happens when you break someone’s leg…

  157. AFC Physio:

    ‘And Diaby’s is an animal in training, he just loves nailing people’

  158. Still frustrated J*mes?

    1 win in a decade? I guess so.

    Do you really have friends? If they’re as thick as you, no wonder they’re upset.

  159. Finsbury, would you like a snuggle?

  160. Well done J*mes.

    One more season of ‘Appy ‘Arry.

    I couldn’t be happier for you.
    No need for a snuggle.

    Did your amazing football mind not realise it’s to AFC’s advanatge if you come 4th?

  161. Shortsightedness at it worst some of the posts. We lost a match and now that makes the team that beat us better overall! how stupid

    Some spurs fan actually commented that every spurs player is better than those on the Arsenal side in the same position, the table proves that doesnt it? Absolute stupidity that spurs fans could take such a tone after a win, did Arsenal not beat the Spurs earlier this season?

    Its a loss that hurts because of what we are trying to accomplish which is the PL title. Spurs are not even thinking about that and I doubt they have at any point in this season. They know they had no chance at all. The CL is all that they will ever aspire to in a good year and the Euro cup is what they expect yearly.

    It is sickening how Arsenal fans turn on their team and talk a whole lot of bull after a loss! We are still in 3rd when most and even some Arsenal “supporters” thought that City wouldve kicked us out of 4th place.

    Mathematically we can still win the PL and I say dont give up until its impossible, however 2nd is well within our grasp.

    This is the time for True Arsenal supporters to stand up and be counted!!!

    ARSENAL!!!!

    Blessings!!!

  162. Don’t worry, I won’t bother explaining.

    You can spend the next season figuring that one out.

  163. Are we just unluckly with injuries then, or is there something else to it? I.e. do we have too many talented but injury prone players because, due to our budgetary constraints, we are not able to afford the best players? Or is it the type of players we are buying? Or does the club need to look at its training and conditioning methods or its medical personnel.
    It just seems that over the last few seasons we are suffering far too many injuries and a lot of these seem to be recurring injuries. Does anyone know why this is. Is is just that our squad is too small to cope with many injuries?

  164. I agree with Paul N.

  165. Frank @ 3:15

    Nordveit may be good someday. Maybe. So far he has only played about 1/2 the games and he ahs not played CB. Maybe it is because Nurenberg has lots of good CB and needed a DM or maybe Nordveit is not good enough. It is a pretty big leap to say he is ready. Additionally None of our best reserve CB are over age 20. How many teams with realistic title aspirations play 19 year old at CB? Most do not mature until their mid 20’s. We have lots of attacking talent in the reserves but we are short on defenders.

  166. Finsbury dont worry we probably wont finnish fourth. What are your plans for tonight? would you consider ‘Throoning’ with me and Frank?

  167. James, its time you got over your Arsenal obsession, you getting my drift partner? Its for your own good homeboy.

  168. Alex, Yes I wonder what William made of last nights game? Maybe he’ll pop in tomorrow for a chat. I do enjoy his alternative take on football I must say.

  169. Throoning?

    Is that a special technique they use in your ‘structural engineering’ firm J*mes?

  170. Thomas Vermaelen is likely to miss the rest of the season with the calf problem

    Denilson is a doubt for the trip to Wigan on Sunday.

  171. ‘arry’s plans for Friday include a day in Court. He hasn’t made any plans for Saturday or the next day or the next….

  172. Yup, the foundations for todays trolling by J*mes have been long in the making. Ten years in fact.

    Well done J*mes. What a fine looking structure you’ve built up around yourself. Hopefully you didn’t mix too much sand in with the cement.

    Whoops, looks like ‘Arry’s is twitching already.
    I Hope his footing is secure.

  173. YW, I thought I was being quite tame. Good article by the way, you are a fair man

  174. J*mes, you are always tame.

    And lame.

  175. Time to go and work on some useful looking ‘structures’.

  176. Way to suck up James. You can throon and snuggle some more now.

  177. F*****g hell James. Are you STILL here?

    No-one wants to “snuggle” with you. It speaks volumes that you’ve spent the best part of your day making inane comments on an Arsenal blog. Freak.

  178. Alex, what can I say, it’s his house

  179. Alex, did you think we deserved to win?

  180. Harry im at work, im trapped here so im afraid you’re stuck with me

  181. It was like a defence vs. attack exercise for the most part, and defence won – which is good for the spuds because they get their day of oneupmanship, but deep down it’s still a bit embarrassing for them a) because they had to park the bus at their own home, to stop a half strength Arsenal side, and b) because they showed themselves up as a classless lot of twats again.

  182. Limpar assist, ask any tottenham fan (who went to school), being cussed for defending well is a major compliment

  183. I agree with LimparAssist

  184. I have to go home now guys, I know you’re gutted but I have to go and visit my nan who’s been unwell (she’s perked up today for some strange reason). I’ll try and pop in tomorrow though.

    And remember, theres only one stat that matters.

  185. James

    >I thought…

    Surely a lie.

    >you are a fair man

    Not today.

    YW

  186. 13 – 2

  187. YW totally Pwned James.

  188. Frank

    I forgot Villa-sorry.

  189. I think you spent owned wrong arsefeet

  190. We will be signing Victor Moses in the summer, and letting Rosicky go. The deal is dependent on Rosicky agreeing terms with Hamburg or Bayern Munich. You heard it here first.

  191. I apologise for linking to the Tottenham Cockspurs site. Please forgive me.

  192. What a twisted bunch they are.

  193. Paulie Walnuts

    Astonishing performances from our centre backs last night. Whilst Sol was magnificent MS was unspeakably dreadful. I know some folk think he`s OK for 5th or even 6th choice – he isn`t. He`s a total liabilty. Arsene has to either move Sagna into the middle or bring Bartley back from his loan.

    Speaking of loans , it`s encouraging to know Szczesny is getting into the Arsenal groove at long last. Having seemingly recovered from a couple of broken arms, he was half crippled at Southend the other night. Maybe it`s Brentford`s training methods.

  194. I think you’re being unfair to Almunia YW. That shot from Rose was a once in a lifetime shot. I thought Almunia electing to punch it was the right move considering how close he was to the edge of the penalty area.

  195. I’m a bit disappointed Ole Gunner, I thought surely they would update to blu-ray for such on occasion…

  196. Gainsbourg,

    I suggest you watch the goal again, painful as it may be. Almunia connected with the punch of the edge of his six yard area not the edge of the penalty area.

    YW

  197. Limpar:

    Even if the Spurs did “park the bus” why not do it if you can still score 2 goals. Conceding 2 goals to a team that “parks the bus” does not say much for us. Perhaps if we conceded fewer goals the teams such as United, Chelsea and in last nights game Spurs would actually have to send men forward and loose their defensive shape in order to try to score a goal against us. If we conceded fewer goals it might actually help our offense.

  198. Spuds already have a thing in their online shop for the commemorative DVD. Already! This fixture looms like a coronation or a presidential election in their collective unconscious every six months.

  199. Bradys right foot

    The DVD sums up everything thats wrong with Spurs from to World Cupesque celebrations last night to “an unforgetable night” for 9.99. As long as they behave like this they’ll never achieve anything.

  200. That Spud comparing the Spud’s players to the Arsenal players almost made me shit myself. That was said purely as a wind up no?

    And we need to splash the cash to get some quality players you fucking spud? Ol’ ‘Arry would give his left nut to have some of our reserves let alone some of our starters you fucking muppet.

  201. I just watched the goal and Almunia was not just outside of the six yard box. He was further up. Besides his clearance went away from the middle. That shot was one in a thousand if even that.

  202. Paulie Walnuts

    After the punch what was the little theatrical tumble for ? Just a small thing but it may have made the difference

  203. Tumble or not, that shot was struck perfectly. Dude would have needed to be elastic to even reach the shot.

  204. I’ve had quite enough silly bollocks today, Bill, without you shoving your tired old oar in and stirring it up about our D-fence. If you’re such a defensive fetishist why don’t you go and coach an under-8s team and drill them to distraction with your lifeless, flat-backed ‘you’ll never win anything without someone bossing the aerospace’, antiquated, dull-as-fuck, unimaginative, toe-curlingly unadventurous, Hansen by numbers, cliche ridden, old tat tedium. It’s too much for a day like today..

    If you were a colour, it would be Migraine Grey.

  205. Oh what could have been…RVP has been out so long I forgot how truly amazing he really is…If only we can stay healthy for the good part of an entire season…

    This is all part of the journey…I am frustrated like anyone else, but I think we can possibly be world beaters next year. A few prudent acquisitions and we will be miles ahead.

    Up the Gunners!

  206. Limpar: Spot on.

  207. Excellent, LimparAssist

  208. I’ve been saying for 2 years solid that we will never win anything with Almunia as our number 1. All great teams have a dominant, safety first keeper. We do not. He does well for an average keeper but that is all. We are THE Arsenal ffs.

  209. Dibble, with due respect, Victor Moses and Rosicky are not the same type of player. One cant come in place for the other.

  210. “migraine gray” priceless limpar

    YW your post echoes my feelings on the day. EXTREME frustration and pretty legitimate sadness. the other times our title chances “ended” i knew that he could and would come back. 6 points in 4 games is just realistically not going to happen, unless some sort of curse is applied to chelsea and stoke shuffle squads with barca.

    Also YW, I think its interesting that we see some pretty legit and deserving criticism of not just a players effort or performance, but of the player’s skills and value to the club in your post.

    I find myself at a complete loss and im glad to see that most of you are sharing those sentiments, the salt of Spurs knocking us applied to wound each time I think a new of the severity of the defeat last night in terms of our title aspirations.

  211. the one thing i keep thinking abotu is RvP my fucking god was he amazing yesterday. almost like he came in to the game, saw he was gonna have to win it, shrugged his shoulders and went at it!!

  212. Ole

    >Please forgive me

    Fella, that is a hell of a lot of Hail Mary’s and Our Fathers but we accept your Confession!

    YW

  213. Limpar

    LOL. Hope you feel better now. I have found that lots of tequilla is good for migraines.

  214. Vermaelen out for the season.

    Denilsion doubtful. Step up Eastmond.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/32591/

  215. hhhmmm.

  216. sorry but i dont normally agree with paul hawksbee but he made a good point about Almunia, he is too good for a 2nd choice keeper but not good enough for a 1st choice keeper, so he is a 1.5 choice keeper.

  217. I watched the full CL final of 2006 the other day, strange thing to do but I did. what struck me first of all, and apropo our recent outing against the Blaugrana, is how strong we were in the first 25 min, more then a match to a Barca in the great year of Dinho, before mad Jens tried to get away with it; in fact we were having the upper hand it seemed, so much so that our line was too high at times,But even after being reduced to 10( and with the three missed 2nd half gilded opportunities to win it) and till the very last 15 min Barca managed to test Almunia only couple of times seriously.
    But even back then you see the sort of things that haunt us ever since. Wenger really believed that with young Eboue he can shut down Dinho AND Eto’o on the right for 90 minutes. Eboue looks hilariously good most of the time, but that was a ridiculously reckless idea of Arsene, and having Almunia as a backup, a very good instinctive shot stopper but give him a second or two to make a decision and he will make himself as small as a mouse, open his legs in the process, and transform to the worst of keepers. He was not good enough as a backup and has never looked better then then. But if these are the immediate reasons for conceding, and Henry’s and Ljunberg (and Hleb’s ) misses are the reason for not winning, it was the tactical changes that Wenger makes in the last phase of the game that stand out. Wenger tried to shut the game with 20 minutes to go. He takes out young Fab who already was so good in possession and distribution and keeping a lively link between the defense and Henry, ljunberg up top. He brings in headless chicken Flamini, Barca push up much higher , because Henry is totally isolated now (putting the misses aside (could we ever?) what work rate and defensive commitment the guy put on that day) Iniesta (21 years old then, and btw responsible for Barca’s full control of the game in 2nd half) )then takes what is now the Xavi position( xavi was not a regular ) with Dinho totally free to roam , the whole game complexion changes in minutes, and barca scores. great tactics indeed. we stood very strong till then.
    On top Wenger takes out the last ball handler we have, Hleb and brings in Reyes,He should have taken out Ljunberg who was tired running all day, he was thinking the counter but he sacrificed the Midfield and we had not a chance left. Well Arsene knows best.
    What is my point then, not just a smart ass dig at Arsene’s tactics , everyone knows that it is his Achilles heal.
    Not even the glaring point of mind boggling negligence of the goal keeper’s position, or the defense in general. or the obviousness that the then Sol/Toure partnership looks much stronger and superior to the one we have now.
    It is more the lack of progress of the team.
    Look at Barca, they were great but could have been beaten by us on the day, any day.they dismantled a team and we did too AND they improved on talent and their style of play by a lot, have we?
    Why has the gap widened that much?
    It is not about money in this case, it is about ‘playing the right football’ and about having recruited the right talent.
    I think that we can have good reasons to doubt both now.
    We always believed that Arsene is the avantgarde , the cutting edge, of the game in every sense, well he is really not. we looked like stone age football this time around compared to Barca, and a bit dirty too.
    And what about the talent, and how much of it do we have?
    3 world class players, maybe half the first team has class, the rest squad, nothing of note beyond the first 11. Ridiculous anyone who thinks one can play a whole season with the same 11, vPersie maybe more at risk then the average but also a bull like Rooney cannot take it for a whole season.
    We don’t have the personal, we don’t have enough talent, and worse of all we dropped our fast aggressive counter attacking style and did not replace it with a mature different style.half baked too slow and ponderous tiki taka.

    In short I think we are fucked and next year holds no better.
    Someone mentioned Chamach, what a joke, he is an alternative to Bendner, a guy who will never score more then 10 a season, that is the level of Wenger’s’s thinking.
    I am sorry no reason for optimism at all

  218. This is from their DVD info:

    “Gomes put in a scintillating display, Ledley was formidable at the back, Luka unplayable in the middle of the park and Jermain unstoppable leading the line;”

    Lies, all of it apart from Gomes the gnome look-alike.

  219. “Spuds already have a thing in their online shop for the commemorative DVD. Already!”

    They are small. small people. One of the spuds at work said “it’s like winning the league”! That is the extent of their ambition.

  220. Robespierre,

    why don’t you jump from the next bridge and spare us with your depression?

  221. Cheers Robespierre.

    Can I have your season ticket?

    Interesting account of that game.
    Relevant?
    So AW isn’t the greatest tactitician of all time?
    Boo Hoo.

    My take is that after ’04 Slur Fergie decided, by hook or by crook, that That was enough.

    Either way, who cares.

    AFC players aren’t doped.
    The club is not financially doped.

    As a football fan, that’s all that matters to me.

  222. It’s so boring and predictable that people look for one scapegoat. Even if you conclude that Almunia was somehow culpable for one goal, 2 goals were scored against us and only 1 in our favour. So if you’re into the blame game there is enough to go around in the creative and defensive parts of our game, so why single out one individual? Football is still a team game.

  223. I wonder if ‘doping’, or the lack of, is relevant to the ‘injuries’ debate?

  224. “Football is still a team game”

    Amen.

  225. To be clear, I’m not making Almunia a scapegoat for this result. It’s not his fault he is average at best. In this instance the blame lies squarely at Wengers door. I love Le Professor, and hope he stays for another 13 years but if there is one mistake he has made it is not signing a better keeper when crazy jens left. It hurts because we have been so close. Almunia has made some great saves and there will always be plenty of apologists but when it boils down to it, he gives what is essentially a pretty good first choice back four (Bac,Verm,Gallas,Clichy) absolutely no confidence, and that is not acceptable at a club of our great stature.
    WHL 71-2004
    Last night was small fry.

  226. The whole ‘football is a team game’ was seen last night. Wenger opting to bring on Mik instead of Moving Sagna to CB and Eboue to RB. This was because he is such a strong believer in a ‘balanced’ side and the importance of having a right footed and left footed CB partnershio is something Wenger has alluded to much in the past. I thought Silvestre did alright. He would have had a hard time upstaging big Sol.

  227. Luka unplayable? More like Luka invisible.

  228. @ Alex.

    Its happening

  229. Robespierre:

    That was a bit harsh. The Barca team we played recently is much better then then 06 version. As you pointed out Xavi has become one of the worlds best playmakers since that time. Leo Messi has matured and has become one of the worlds best players. “Dihno” looks pretty weak in comparison. Their team work ethic now also puts “dinho” to shame. Barca just dimantled a very expensive and strong Real Madrid team that had won about 10 in a row in La Liga at Madrid. I do not think that is a legitimate comparison.

  230. SCAPEGOATS OF THE WEEK

    1. Almunia.

    2. Almunia.

    3. Almunia.

    4. Almunia.

    5. Almunia

  231. Every dog has his day….so did Spurs eventually.
    It really had to happen at a rotten time, when we were in the case….made it really hurt. Out here in the West I had to tape it but the hurt was so raw I could only watch it until my emotions had subsided.

    IMHO, our performance was not as bad as most doomers and arm-chair pundits have made it out to be. Spurs scored a wonder goal in the 1st and we went to sleep defensively for the 2nd. In the case of goal #1, my 1st impression was Almunia initially went up for the catch but decided to follow the current goal-keeping rule “when in doubt, punch.” It was a decent punch but a wonder strike. I just can’t get my head aroung goal #2. I leave it to others.

    However I felt we lost the game because despite the physical energy expended by our offensive players in the 1st 60 minutes, i.e. Nasri, Diaby, Bendtner and Rosicky, they lacked that extra edge that was needed in a big game like this. (Few posters have commented on the intensity level.) It took the coming of RVP to demonstrate that qualitative difference that truly world class players like him, Cesc and Arshavin, when he can be bothered, bring to contests like this. Even then it took wonder saves by Gomes to keep us out in the last 15 minutes.

    It is on these fine margins that eventual success is built. We are ever so close but not yet there. So fair play to Spurs, they won after 11 years of despair, but are they any closer to long-term success than the Arsenal?I

  232. Muppet, I think you forgot about Almunia.

  233. Listening to the injury news on Arsenal.com, I agree with Arsene on the strange situation of 3 players currently out with calf injuries. It’s odd how our injuries seem to come in batches – we’ve had backs, and leg breaks and the aforementioned calf injuries all in 3’s. Bizzare! I think the medical team need to do some more investigating of the reasons for these.

    Denilson also appears to have been playing through a groin problem since the first Barcelona game and now he is a doubt for Wigan. Perhaps Moda/Howard should consider that when he is ripping into him.

  234. dupsffokcuf,

    Thanks. I’ll mention him next time.

  235. Actually after Rose scored it looked for all the world as though we would murder the opposition. After TV went down…every Arsenal player on the pitch looked sick and tired of having key players inuured. It took until RvP came on the shake them out of it.

    The injury situation has been absolutely appalling. I would imagine it is nothing less than a massive draining effect on the squad…it certainly has on me.

    This squad have had to play with a huge albatross round their necks this season.

  236. Who is danny rose? Who the hell is danny rose? I cant believe we got bum-fucked by some unknown little wanker, im hurting so much

  237. What an unpleasant turn of phrase, Conrad Gustin. Do pull yourself together.

  238. Shut up with your nonsense frank, we lost get over it. People like you make the spuds carry on laughing

  239. Oh no not James again. You fucking moron.

  240. Aaaah Conrad

    “Shut up with your nonsense”

    Would that you would only follow your own advice.

    “People like you make the spuds carry on laughing”

    And people like you make me wonder how the human species actually evolved.

    YW

  241. Another Aaaaah Conrad

    Why have you changed your “name” from Angel to Romni to Conrad Gustin? It’s not worth it because frankly, none of the changes of name fail to hide your lack of intelligence.

    YW

  242. 1 loose cannon

    The media’s reaction to the Spuds beating us has been over the top I don’t know if its a compliment to us or simply stupidity. Its a bit like Andorra beating Brazil its just proves how inferior the spuds are they are going to do a bus tour for beating us I guess, that is some achievement to them. Beating the spuds was the norm for us for the last 10 years. Then we got the usual reaction “Arsenal in crisis ” and need about 10 players and should Mourinho replace Wenger? I just could not believe the studipity I was hearing on the radio today by the way these are the same poeple who predicted we would finish 6th. Wenger has done a fantastic job and long it may continues. I honestly believe If Wenger want any trophy we could easily win the Mickey mouse cup or the FA cup but that is not our priority He wants to land the big ones and I admire his ambition. Somehow I just can’t belive Wenger will ever leave Arsenal without winning the title again and specially the C.league. It will come. Patience is needed.

  243. What we need right now is intelligence, class and vision.

    Not fickle trolls.

    We have a world class set up, a world class manager, world class policies and a world class stadium.

    It is an embarrassment of riches.

    We need to focus on the future and look foward with optimism.

    Liverpool are in a mess. The mancs are in a financial mess and need replacements in key positions. The chavs have an aging squad, and the northern chavs have a suspect manager.

    We have a world class manager, a squad that next year will be the best in the country. A couple of judicial additions and some better luck with injuries, and we will be flying.

    And the thing is, we will be even better the year after, and the year after that.

    People can whine about the defence, the need for 10 international class players as back up, and the need for Wenger to be psychic. But please, the route to success is not through irresponsible spending, or is it through tactical tinkering, nor through some mythical goalkeeper or striker who will save the today. The route to success is through a systematic building of the squad, year by year, where the baseline level of performance will get better and better. Which will eventually lead to domination.

  244. Robespierre at 8.47…..I felt my will to live ebbing away somewhere in the middle of the second paragraph of your interminable post. Luckily I stopped reading. You could have condensed all that miserable bollocks into a couple of words: “we’re doomed”. Which would have saved giving us all a headache…and yourself a lot of unnecessary typing in the bargain.

  245. Yogi, love it.

    ILC, i agree.

    I realy hope we hang on to players in the summer. I do think the Boss will buy, but Chamakh on a free, Wilshere coming back improved and all our injured players returning will be great.

    But will we hang on to Gallas? Sol? Eduardo? Rosicky? Merida?

    I hope so.

    Be great to get Lloris in aswell….he looks a cracking keeper. But the goalkeeping situation has to be carefully managed with Fabianski, Mannone and the fantastic young prospect at Brentford.

    Thats why Wengers the man for the job…and not me.

  246. Muppet @ 10:22 pm – “Liverpool are in a mess. The mancs are in a financial mess and need replacements in key positions.”

    You forgot to mention that both are clubs who at the urging of their twattish supporters and the tabloid media spent gazillions of dollars signing marquee players and back-ups in every position
    As far as they are concerned at the urging of their “spend big because winning is everything.” Actually their corporate raiding owners placated them with big name signings while planning how to extract the cash by leveraging them to to the hilt.

    Lest I forget, note that both clubs run defensive drills in morning and evening practises and leave nothing to chance when it comes to goals from no where.

  247. I love Kieran Gibbs.

  248. Correction:
    As far as they are concerned “spend big because winning is everything.” Actually their corporate raiding owners placated them with big name signings while planning how to extract the cash by leveraging them to to the hilt.

  249. Forgive me for a poor memory, but didn’t Almunia make a fantastic save from Modric in the first half?

    The irony of the first goal was that Almunia has improved his punching and in the past his punch would not have reached Rose.

  250. There seem to be a lot of people using up valuable oxygen that could be better utilised by more deserving individuals! I also think Arsenal should invest in some drugs to control manic depression, which they could pump out at the Emirates, or better still, find a way to pump them out over cyber space to cure the D&G affliction.

  251. passenal.

    Im depressed. But its because people are so stupid and ungratefull. It hurts.

    Were spoilt as fans of this club.

  252. It’s not really the first team that needs to be improved. For the most part, they’ve been out injured over the last couple of weeks.

    What needs to improve is the supporting cast. And that’s happening as we speak: We have two or three guys coming back from loan who will be able to push for a place on the bench. And the extra competition should bring out the best from the incumbents, who will all be a year older.

    If we finish empty handed this season then a quiet summer is going to send a few people round the bend, but we really don’t need to do too much unless we lose a nailed-on starter like Gallas.

  253. Absolutely Shotta.

    Defensive drills ? Superb idea. Why didn’t we think of that.

  254. I agree Muppet and Shotta – Arsene is negligent and should be sacked for his lack of attention to d-fence as Bill never tires of telling us! You don’t win games by scoring, you win them by not conceding, surely everyone knows that by now?

  255. Some Arsenal fans on here need to take a reality check, sounding like Le Grove!

    Almunia is not a bad keeper, Denilson shouldn’t be sold, yes Silvestre needs to hang his boots, and yes you lot need to get some sense of perspective after having your tiffs. I am as upset as any Arsenal supporter, watching in front of the tv trying to urge the players on at 2-0 down was very painful. There was no urgency and no real confidence that they could score… untill RvP came on. Despite are evident lack of goal threat, which has been our problem since November! We actually had more possession 55%, and had more corners and chances etc. The injuries and loss of important personel really showed, the players who were out there had the quality (Nasri, Diaby, Eboue, Walcott, Sagna etc) I just believe they lacked the motivation and will to win the game.

    Blow after blow our season has been ruined once again with injuries.. BIG injuries.. Ramsey, Van Persie, Cesc, Gallas, Walcott.. the recovering Rosicky and Eduardo, then there was the crisis at LB, and the over reliance on Nikki B. I think any Arsenal supporter who is calling for any okayers heads should actually hang their heads in shame.. our team has given everyone a run for their money this season.. I include Chelsea and Barcelona.. had we have taken our chances in the league at certain points, had we had netted 2-0 at the Nou Camp.. could have ended differentely. I for one am going to applaud the boys for the efforts, and I hope most of them get a shot next season. I love this team, I love being an Arsenal fan!

  256. Passenal & Muppet – Before you-know-who accuses us of being deluded, lets admit that nobody can legislate for the joke defending that led to the 2nd goal. The TV pictures were not clear to me but obviously someone in the back-four failed to step up for off-side and it sure wasn’t Sylvestre. But then we must run some extra drills at half-time just to make sure.

  257. Sorry – I forgot the script – Almunia should have saved Bale’s shot from point blank range, just like every other high-priced nouvea-fashion keeper in Europe such as Lloris, Akinfeev et al.
    BTW Buffon and Casillas are too…old school.

  258. Shotta-suprisingly it was Sagna who played Bale onside. Still, that’s probably that back four has played together this season.

    I am a little worried about Sagna. He looks crestfallen every time he gets subbed if we’re chasing the other team rather than defending a lead.

    Most fans agree with the Eboue for Sagna approach when we’re behind, but this time it came only 10 minutes into the 2nd half, and I’m sure it bothered him.

    Here’s hoping Arsene can find a way to keep both of them happy for next season.

  259. sorry-meant ‘that’s probably the first time that back four has played together this season’

  260. Many wise heads at ACLF. Thankyou!

    I find it interesting that the expectations, during the course of the season, have risen to such heights that when we don’t win the CL, beat Barca, win the EPL etc… it is regarded as a terrible defeat. That’s the measure of how far this team has come and how fast.

    I recall a group of pundits at the start of the season giving us at most 4th, maybe 3rd WITH all our players. We had a little glimpse of what we have missed from RvP, and everyone will agree it was incredible. Now add Cesc and Arshavin WITH RvP, I mean the combination – and think. I think we miss Song a lot more than is realised.

    We would walk the EPL with a full squad, and an average number of injuries, and probably now will, for years. I was really struck by being told that it took Barca 5 years to win anything while they built. We have some very stupid fans.

    Wenger will add another 2 this off-season. One will I suppose be a CB. There are some exceptional players on the fringes (think Wilshere, Chesni) . Regulars like Ramsey, Diaby and Walcott will ‘do a Song’ if I may use the expression. Why do we suffer such depression from this journey? Did we think it would be easy?

    Wenger has made Arsenal fans believe.

  261. Of course, it’s entirely possible that the football God has decided to drive a certain section of Arsenal fans, typically called ‘gooners’, insane – as punishment for their greed.

    Gods are like that.

    Listen to the words of the song, the last line of each verse goes, “There but for fortune goes you, or I, you or I”.

  262. Which is not to say the loss is not a ‘loss’. But it is no more or less than that. Just a loss, albeit at the wrong time, and in the wrong way; we didn’t play very well, but I challenge anyone to say we didn’t lose to a fluke goal and 2 fluke saves. It’s not as if Spurs dominated the match, nor that we made no chances.

    So what!

    This is what makes me very, very angry with supporters who turn it into something else, when this is the very moment to show full support.

    Somebody, I think Ole, asks why we always refer to LG. It’s because they, and the trolls who invade the blogs, are what we call ‘sell-outs’ -spreading poison propaganda from within.

  263. @ Frank & co
    Re. Injury situation, for me one of the key things Lewin said was: “You have to say that teams who play a similar number of games to us have got a similar injury record”.
    Anybody has tried to back that up with stats ?? I realise we all have an Arsenal bias and therefore are extra sensitive to injuries to AFC players BUT I am not convinced Lewin is right on this….

  264. I don’t think Sagna looks crest fallen when he leaves the pitch. The boy hardly shows any emotion to begin with. And while he may not be jumping for joy when substituted I doubt he’s a player that sucumbs to sulking. Bacary seems like a solid guy.

  265. tokala, I think Gary lewin slightly contradicts himself. He speaks of record numbers of ‘traumatic’ injuries and slightly more than normal muscualr injuries. Our muscualr injuries would appear to be at a simialr level to toher teams…perhaps he is defending himself a little on that one. But there was a stat that showed that the effect of the traumatic injuries projected us into the stratosphere in terms of the injury league table.

    Remember also that he refers to the domino effect of injuries to one player increasing the load on another player who is then more likely to get injured himself…etc etc

  266. Can’t wait for the world cup 2010

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