Arsenal Get Black-Eye At Ewood Park

Blackburn Rovers 2 – 1 Arsenal

0 – 1 van Persie (13)
1 – 1 Dunn (44)
2 – 1 Samba (68)

A seasonof rich promise is becoming mired in acrimony as the team crumpled to defeat under robust Blackburn pressure in the second half. With a ninth defeat being suffered, third place is still not assured although a draw in the midweek clash between Manchester City and Tottenham will confirm that aim. The danger is that the improvements seen this season are being diminished and lost in the rancour over recent performances.

The match started brightly enough for another reshuffled starting line-up, the curse of injuries striking once more. Absences should not be used as an excuse but to be unable to field ten first choice players will reduce the effectiveness of any side. Squad players should be able to replace those ahead of them in the pecking order but to have them in the side en masse is essentially playing the Reserves in a first team competition. The Carling Cup gives an indicator of the eventual outcome of such ventures.

A bright spot was Robin van Persie’s goal, reminiscent of the George Graham era and begging the question as to why Bacary Sagna does get into those positions more often, such was the accuracy of his flick on. An unmarked van Persie applied the finishing touch and the sun shone all to briefly.

Alex Song’s withdrawal left Wenger with a quandry and to some extent it was a surprise that he opted to leave Eastmond out of the starting line-up although explainable by a desire to protect him from the physical nature of the Rovers game plan. Even so, the triumverate of Eboué, Diaby and Nasri were coping and imposed themselves on the hosts.

Before five minutes had passed, Walcott was released on the right and the question marks over Carlos Vela in the Premier League were raised again as he put his shot wide of the post, albeit under some pressure. At the other end, Pedersen gave Fabianski a confidence-booster into his midrift.

van Persie’s goal emphasised the control Arsenal had over the match, making light of their injured colleagues. With Blackburn looking more and more listless, the physical nature of Allardyce’s approach over the year surfaced, stifling Arsenal, reducing them to less opportunities to increase their lead. Perhaps the only real chance was van Persie’s free kick, blocked byRobinson and cleared by Salgado.

As the interval loomed, Blackburn pressed, Pedersen brought a save from Fabiański and then they equalised from the corner. There were a multitude of sins unpunished. Fabiański was blocked by a herd of players, some of whom had no intention of getting the ball. To carry out this policy in any other area of the pitch would result in a free kick but English referees are so inured to such activity that they are oblivious to foul play. Little wonder English teams struggle in European competition with these tactics regularly employed by the less technically-gifted.

The one sin which was punished was slack-jawed defending. Despite the impediments of Fabiański, there were enough defenders to clear the ball as it trawled across the six yard area, before being finished by the unmarked Dunn at the far post. Arsène observed that the number of goals conceded this season is a barrier to winning the title. If he is honest, he would probably reduce that tally if avoidable goals conceded were significantly lessened in total.

Parity at the interval gave Blackburn belief and they appeared reinvigorated after the break but almost immediately fell behind as Salgado nudged the ball past his own post. Fabiański once more denied Pedersen with a good save and produced an even better one from Hoilett, the young forward should have scored but the Pole arced and turned the ball wide. In moments like that, you understand why Wenger has not lost all faith in the goalkeeper. van Persie turned and shot sharply past the post.

The first of the denied penalty claims came as the Dutchman was pulled to the ground by Salgado; such incidents go unpunished in the area but we all know that anywhere else on the pitch and a free kick would have been awarded. It is this aspect of officiating that drives supporters to despair; if it is a foul, it is a foul irrespective of the particular part of the pitch in which it takes place. Pedersen later claimed a penalty and whilst the dive was nowhere near as bad as that witnessed at The Emirates, to slip and claim foul play was equally appalling.

The winner came from a setpiece, unsurprisingly. Fabiański was baulked once more, subtler than the first incident but nonetheless fouled and the ball broke to Samba to head home. Arshavin arrived into the action and duly shot at Robinson when a better finish might have been expected. Problematically for Wenger, Arsenal had an awful lot of possession whilst trying to retrieve the situation but failed to create clear openings to provide the solution; the knack of late equalisers has temporarily deserted them.

Fabiański is being held as a scapegoat for the goals, harshly to some extent as goalkeepers do have some right to expect protection. Had he been involved in a shoving match as ‘imposing himself on the area‘ implies, he would have been punished such was the paucity of the refereeing. That does not mean I think he is ready to take over as Number One next season; I do not but the potential is there.

The question of attitude is altogether different. There was a drive that was missing yesterday from the performance. It is understandable in the absence of Fàbregas but there are others such as Nasri whose performance dropped away, lacking the thrust as Rovers shackled him physically in midfield. This is an area where improvement is needed, the danger is that we see a team dropping into the same trap as when Henry was in the side.

Over reliance on one individual can stifle or inhibit the team when that player is in the side; when they are missing there is an element of ‘little boy lost‘ about players who should step up to the plate. Infuriatingly, this has manifested itself as the title challenge has faded, erasing the memory in some of earlier performances in the same situation.

Looking back, it seems consistency is the key thing missing, as well as injured players. We should not lost sight of the impact of the latter; the players should not lose sight of the impact of the former.

Win A Stadium Tour

Gooner Gifts has kindly donated An Adult Legends Emirates Stadium Tour For Two as a prize for answering the following question:

Who am I? I scored 49 goals in 179 appearances for Arsenal including a famous 111th minute strike.

Email your answer, name, age and contact email here. Competition closes at midnight, Sunday May 9th 2010. Any entries received after this date will be consigned to the electronic waste basket and totally ignored.

Best of luck.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 4, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 211 Comments.

  1. Oh dear

  2. The morale of the players is very low.

    There is a real problem which has become manifest this year that the tactics of the lower clubs, supported by the football establishment is reducing the quality of the EPL. If this is allowed to simply ‘evolve’ then the EPL is marching into a disaster.

    For those supporters who follow England it will be a catastrophe.

  3. No matter how badly we feel, this is still our team and they are our players. There is little we can do until the summer. The only priority for me is in the defending and this is not about the personnels employed but about the team. Every player has to realise defending is a collective task and not for the back five alone. 41 goals against in a season is not good enough and cannot be condoned. 1-0 to the Arsenal is still an acceptable result as we even haven’t played our trademark beautiful football in three months now.


  4. “For those supporters who follow England it will be a catastrophe.”

    Who cares about England? What will it mean for arsenal though?

  5. Keep up, Henristic

  6. How we missed the likes of a fellow like Felipe Melo. He’s a real bastard who would have given those thugs as much as they gave. Note that all you fellows who say Melo isn’t Arsenal material. Also only four of our first eleven started – Sagna, Diaby, Nasri & RVP – and at times I noted that the squad we had out there wasn’t that much better than Rovers. Theo handled it well though. I felt Nasri had a real poor game and Wenger’s right when he says that his future is on the wings ala Pires. With RVP’s performance one would note that a major undoing was that we don’t have another quality striker. Manure have Rooney and Berberwawa, Chelsea Drogba and Anelka. The rest come after these two. we only have RVP. Eduardo, Vela and Bendtner can’t be described as big – at least not yet for the last two. Chamakh might be big in 2011. Next season he’ll still be finding his feet after years in the slower French league. I’d suggest Carlton Cole be brought in. Typical English player who can rough it up upfront. As for a central defender we will need one but can’t suggest anybody just yet.

  7. 1 point out of the last 12.Talk about throwing the towel in

    We have lost more league games than last season,We have conceded more goals, we have got knocked out earlier in the major cups We have the same points as last season with one game to go.Big improvement?Not really

  8. Its a sad state of affairs. I don’t think next season will make much of a difference to our fitness issues. Those who take part in the world cup are likely to suffer some fatigue at some point next season as they wouldn’t have had enough rest. Players like Cesc, Song, VP, Bendtner, Chamakh (if he joins us as expected), Vermaelen, Gallas(if he remains), Sagna, Clichy, (if he features for france) and so on will probably not be able to play as many games as we’d like for this reason.

    When you combine this with the fact that we’re definitely going to be targeted for kicking again by most PL teams next season, the signs don’t look good for our injury record next season.

  9. MAY THE 4TH 1994




  10. Case in point.

    The last thing we want is a ‘typical English player’. What next? Big blokes at the back, hoof it up to RvP and the typical English player up front? Ably supported by five very big blokes to take out the keeper and one bloke who can throw a football 100 metres so that he can lob defensive throws right up into their box to RvP and the typical English bloke ably supported by the five very big blokes blocking the keeper.

    In addition all we have to do is park ten players behind the ball, rotationally foul and if that fails make an example of one of their little fuckers by snapping the cunts leg….

    AND…we should start playing Rugby League at the Arsenal Stadium the day before every game.

  11. HenristicWay

    Apologies for the too many “next seasons’ in previous post.

  12. …and all you arseholes advocating boycotts of Arsenal games. Why don’t you try boycotting anti-football games and demonstrating outside of grounds like Blackburn, Bolton, Wigan, Stoke, Birmingham. Why not contact Sky and say you will not be watching those matches and demand your money back. Lobby the FA to get proper football supported by them. Call ESPN and ask why they have pundits like Colin Hendry and the other Scottish fellow who represent all that is bad about football in the UK.

    In other words why don’t you try supporting your own club over the others.

  13. I agree with Frank. To many of our “supporters” seem to have more interest in other teams. As for Berbatov being a good striker. HAHAHAHAHA

  14. Frank

    Who’s advocating boycott’s of Arsenal games?


  15. This is my take on how our season has turned out.
    My verdict is what we are going through now is self inflicted. Inflicted by the manager. The signs were all there for those who choose to see. Even when we were doing well and winning, we all knew the squad was thin especially in defense and attack. The fact that our boys even launched a challenge on the league championship shows just how good there are.
    They is no doubt in my mind as to the quality of players we have, I have so much respect for them , for all the fight they gave their sweet and blood, but with such a thin squad and lack of men in such vital places like defense, there is just so much a team can do.

    Before the season started many of us raised our concern about the lack of depth in the defense and attack. we had Galas and Thomas Vermaelen in central defense, Galas is not a whole season player we all knew that, yet we never had a single backup for that area of the team. We knew if anything happened to our central defense we would be in a difficult spot because there just was no one to deputize this guys. We had the same problem in the attack RVP is the only proven striker we started the season with. Bentner sure had potential but even he was unproven quality when the season started. It would have been his first time leading the Arsenal’s attack. I am not aware of a team which hopes to win championships who lacks depths in attach and defense. Its not surprise that the department which performed the best in Arsenal this season is the midfield. There were there to provide cover for the defense and also cover for the lack of goals coming from the attack. But the reason for this is simple. Our midfield has depth and even though we suffer lose of personal in that area, we had more than enough players to cover. Infact we even had spare midfielders to cover for attack and defense when needed.

    We had the chance to remedy this lack of depth in defense and attack during the mid season transfer window but what did we do? I know many people would come here to shout me down and say am wrong. But fact speaks for themselves this has been the story of Arsenal for the past 5 years. and unless we start to make massive investment and bring in players to cover up, and add more depth to the squared I am afraid we are going to see more seasons like this. It is so surprise that Chelsea the team with the most complete a round squad in the EPL is favorite to win the league.

  16. What did my head in yesterday was we were so easily out muscled again in midfield.Diaby is 6ft 4ins built like a brick sh*t house but is a weak as a baby when it comes to tackling.New Vieira my arse.As for Ebouue and Nasri Fleaweights


    The season has to be judged over 38 games not the early season form.And even if we beat Fulham on sunday we will only be 3 pts better than last season which was seen as a nightmare.

    To say we only need 2-3 players is missing the point by miles.We need 5 or 6.And we cant keep playing goalkeepers who are not good enough.

  17. Frank@11.33

    No we would want a typical English type player at the back like Adams,Bould or Keown would we?

  18. YW, JonJon on his website…

  19. So who which typical English type players would you advocate buying to replace WG and TV then Geoff?

  20. We have often played excellently without Fabregas. To have Fabregas, Denilson, and Song out at once, however, is in effect to play with the heart of the team cut out – in other words, to play with a corpse. The diseased kidneys that go by the name of Campbell and Silvestre don’t help, either.

  21. Frank every great team must have a local element to it. As Geoff says who wouldn’t mind an Adams, Bould or Keown at the back. None of our current defenders match those greats. We need a mix even if in a minority. Like Liverpool’s victorious champions league team only had Gerrard and Carragher. In five or so years our reserves will be coming through. But we can’t wait another five years! Mind you I’m Kenyan not English!

  22. Given that Adams, Bould and Keown are probably too old which typical English defenders would you buy then, kenyan gunner?

  23. I agree with Poliziano

  24. “Little wonder English teams struggle in European competition with these tactics regularly employed by the less technically-gifted”.

    Do English teams struggle in Europe? We have been pretty dominant in the CL over the last few seasons haven’t we? I think this year is the first year for eight years that there hasn’t been an English team in the semi-finals and this season Fulham have reached the final of the Europa leauge and even Liverpool made the semi-final.

    I think the moaning about roughouse tactics is more demonstrative of Arsenal’s failings than anything else.
    We have to be able to cope with any tactics

  25. I feel sick when I think about the fact that the focus of football in the UK has shifted from entertainment and fair competition to what words fail me describing. When managers Like Fat Sam are celebrated, then all hope is lost. Ever taken time and wondered why the EPL has produced only One World Footballer in its Era, compared to the numerous Laliga has produced?
    One League encourages talent and Creative expressions, while the other is about Machismo and outright Scrapping; they still wondering why we haven’t won the world cup since 66?

  26. The point is that EPL clubs are beginning to fail in Europe.

  27. I agree with coolsteve

  28. The Big M

    The successful teams do not employ such tactics. You only have to look at the UEFA Cup to see how poor the performance has been.

    Most English sides have lost to sides that they should be capable of beating but find they are unable to adjust tactically.

    They cannot use their normal ‘typically’ English style as it concedes too many free kicks thus eliminated because they are unable to adjust.


  29. I still don’t think we need much more next year up front or in midfield as we have a lot of injuries to return. With no new DM or CM needed and Chamakh in for free I still think we should spend on a luxury AF/winger to raise morale and help with rotation, easing the pressure on people like nasri who frankly looks shattered and demoralised.

    However I do find it absolutely inexcusable that we never had adequate back up in defence. Whatever angle you look at it, we never had enough CB’s to last a season. Having Djourou would still have not been enough, Song hardly counts now as he is rusty and such a loss to midfield and we were extremely lucky cambell was as good as he was – which is still not good enough over a season. I’m sorry but Wenger has absolutely no one to blame but himself here.

  30. We can all say what We like but in Truth it does not a take genius to see that there are a number of Arsenal players who simply are not good enough and have been found wanting over the season.

    We can ALL agree to disgaree on whether the Team has made progress or not on last season..

    What is clearly evident is that Wenger has gambled with a number of decisions in regards to certain positions and this gamble has back fired.

    Arsene has to take FULL responsibility for his decisions..Obviously not knowing him on a personal basis he comes across as myopic (this maybe his public persona) and always ready to blame others and not himself.He has to take a GOOD LOOK at the squad and decide who is surplus to requirements and be done with them..

    We live in a democracy where all are entitled to have an opinion. People work hard for the money and buy there seasons tickets and buy the virtue of this many will fell they have the right to speak.
    There are a number of Arsenal supporters who think that any criticism of Wenger is misplaced and is near to sedition.

    Me I think that Wenger has to take a Good look at himself and ask himself is this group of “youngsters’ any nearer to winning anything?..Me like I a lot of other fans travelled to Blackburn and was not amused by a number of performances…I wait to see what will transpire in the close season..A number of players have go to be shown the door…I wait…Ras

  31. Yogi, I agree, but I think it takes time for any side to adjust to playing in Europe.
    The Big 4 have been fairly successful in Europe, because they have had the opportunity to get plenty of exposure to European football.
    I also think the failure of English teams in the Europa leauge, although I can think of a few that have reached the final (Arsenal, Boro, Fulham) is more due to teams not really bothering with the tournement.

  32. Ras – Do you think Vela and Traore will be leaving at the end of this season? I think these two may have had their last chances.

  33. Frank I would suggest maybe Bartley in five years. But as I said in my earlier post no idea at the moment!

  34. Football supporters in England are being short-changed. We pay a fortune to watch games whether in stadiums or on TV. Sky, BBC, ITV, ESPN and a plethors of radio stations, newspapers etc make a very good living out of us. But the quality of coverage is very, very poor.

    We are talked down to day in day out by the same people delivering the same messages. The past is good…the present is not good enough and the future doesn’t look as good as the present. There are no stategists, no futurologists, no technicall experts, no tacticians, no medical experts, no physiologists, no artists. The odd marketing man…the odd accountant. An awful lot of jumpers for fucking goal-posts old boys.

    Football in this country is stuck in the fucking dark ages….and people like JonJon want to demonstrate against Arsene Wenger.

    Defies belief…

  35. So you would dismiss Johann Djourou and Havard Nordveit out of hand, kenyan gunner…and leave Kyle Bartley to stew for five years.

  36. The english style of play is nothing new. There are characteristics from the sixties which will still be here in 2060. I really don’t see the point of getting into a huff about it.

    I hope things are tightened up a bit but we will never see a change big enough that would perfectly suit arsenals ideology.

    Read the sun, watch kavos uncovered, look at some of the twats on the street – this is england.

  37. Frank – You are right, the standard of punditry and analysis in this country is shocking.
    I listened to the commentary of the match yesterday on 5 live and had the joy of listening to Phil Neville say things like: “Arsenal don’t like being tackled”. It’s the same old cliches recycled again and again and not many of them have any insight into the game or anything to say.

  38. …and then you die

  39. Not a single programme covering sports medicine, football philosophy, diet, training and exercise regimes. Not a single interview with EPL or FA higher ups about where they see the game going. No in depth interviews with current managers about real issues.

    In depth discussion with Pele, Rinus Michels, Louis Van Gaal, Little fatty Platini, the cunt who runs FIFA.?????? Not a fucking sausage.

  40. No sense of design, no sense of innovation… Roger Daltrey sings…Sweeeeeeet Fuck Alllllll!

  41. What a sad, bloated, directionless, joyless institution football is in this country…and people like JonJon want to demonstrate against Arsene Wenger. Makes you want to puke.

  42. YW:

    They cannot use their normal ‘typically’ English style as it concedes too many free kicks thus eliminated because they are unable to adjust.

    I think you’re describing the situation before 6 years ago thereabouts when premeirship teams where still tactically naive. That has obviously changed with the dominance of English teams in Europe since then. It remains to be seen whether the lack of an English team in the final this year is a sign of the beginning of another trend where non-English Europeans teams have evolved one more step ahead of the English counterparts or if its just a blip.

    I think its more of a temporary abberation, for that fact that the ‘english factor’ in the PL is not as influential as it once was. Most PL top clubs (aresnal, chelsea, liverpool, man city?) are managed by non-British Europeans and represented by mostly non-English players

  43. That is why I think McClaren’s success for Twente needs to be praised, Frank. Even Johan Cruyff, writing in Telesport, said he was pleased that they won the title playing the Dutch way – 4-3-3, with just the right balance. You know you’re staying true to the game if Cruyff gives you the time of day.

    It pays to spend a few years away. I think that goes for people in all walks of life.

  44. You feel that the EPL is progressing nicely then, Henristic?..and the FA are in good form?

  45. Excellent point, Big Al

  46. In response to Frank’s earlier comment about the players morale being low that maybe so but what?
    These are professional athletes who are supposed to train,eat,sleep Arsenal.

    Wenger and his back room team are there to help lift, cajole,bully, encourage do whatever is necessary to get the best out of the players.

    I think the key for a Prem team in defence is to have(in an ideal shituation) a European/World born center half and a ‘british” center half in tandem. You need only to look at Chelsea – Terry- Alex -Carvallho or Man U – Ferdinand – Vidic..Liverpool when Hyppia -Carragher played together..

    Whether you subscribe to my view or not the rigours of the EPL require this. Can you imagine Sol n Vermalean -Gallas together when Campbell was in his prime?

    In 50 -100 years from now it is Championships and Cups that will ultimately define a club…The famous Real Madrid side with Puskas et al are continually spoken about and held in esteem because they won things, so is the Brazil side of 1970..I think You get my drift..Style and Substance are required but also the nouse to figure out how to break downs teams when they have 8-9 players behind.

    Love him or loathe him Mourinho got it spot on with Barcelona..He knew that his side could not compete with Barca on purely a football so he got his team to play in a specific way- I think we call this tactics…

    We have for the moment one style of play….Ras

  47. You would like us to be more like Inter and less like Barcelona, Ras. Is that your point?

  48. Frank

    Questioning Wenger is a legitimate exercise and he would expect that. We may not agree with the answer put forward but so long as there is a logic behind it, at least you can see why that person has arrived at that conclusion.

    Boycott’s indicate that the arguments put forward are so weak that they do not stand up to scrutiny.


  49. LOL, De Telegraaf features regular columns by Cruyff and Guus Hiddink. Who do we get with our papers? Tony Cascarino and David Pleat!

  50. LimparAssist

    Happy Birthday, Cesc Fabregas!

  51. This is a down year for the EPL, but no other league is close to putting, say, 3 teams in the semis of the CL. The EPL is what it is, and is not going to change soon. Everyone has to stop whinging and start fucking COPING.

    Which I think we can. We aren’t just missing quality right now, we’re missing drive. Cesc, Song, Verm…they are strong, and they are nasty fuckers. Song grabbing little Hunt by the throat, Cesc scything a Stoke player and taunting Pulis, Vermaelen waging all out war with Abonglahor — that’s the nasty we need.

  52. Bellamy running away from Song was a beautiful moment.

  53. There are more than one debate being had here. Separate them out.

    Frank is absolutely and eloquently correct about the standard and effect of the coverage our sport receives. It is completely dire and destructive of the game in consequence.

    Blackburn are a horrible side with a horrible manager and odius supporters. They cheat. They won by cheating yesterday.

    The FA is incompetent and/or corrupt. That will not change any time soon so we have to learn to live with appalling standards of officiating and tolerance of foul play.

    This is a potentially great Arsenal Team. We now know that it was not ready to drag itself over the finishing line in the absence of key players for long periods. We are not far off.

    We deserved to lose yesterday. Yes, Fabianski was fouled, yes the referee was awful. No, we didn’t play well enough.

  54. Henristic:

    English clubs dominate Europe? Not really. The EPL has had three good seasons (and three decent) but that equalised out the preceding decade and was to some extent equalised this season.

    European football is cyclical with a dominant team / nation emerging for a short spell and then being replaced by another.

    But that is only the Champions League. If you include the Uefa Cup, over the past six seasons, the English clubs have woefully underperformed. To put it into context, Scotland had until Fulham reached the Final, provided more finalists.

    In that time, Spain had provided 4 finalists, Russia 3, Scotland 2 with France, Germany and England 1 apiece.

    English clubs dominance is a myth put about by the Murdoch-led media who want to sell the EPL as a Sky-based product.


  55. In fact, if we put it into trophy trophy terms the Spanish have dominated Europe for the past decade not the English.


  56. You feel that the EPL is progressing nicely then, Henristic?..and the FA are in good form?

    Where have I said that frank? I’ve been saying the opposite, that letting refs allow teams to kick us all game is bad for Arsenal

  57. Cracking post.

    Absolute bullshit gooners, we control the game, never look like we are letting a goal in, they cannot play football, 2 or 3 nil likely.

    Then a blatant foul goes unpunished on the keeper, followed by another, and we are 2-1 down.

    Amidst a clear fucking pen for us just as rvp is uloading for 2-0, the sneaky spaniard gets his man.

    The pyschology of goons makes me sick.

    Where is the fucking focuse on illegal tactics mugging us and our keeper out of 3 points?

    Thos fucktards were never going to score in 900 minutes of play with that mob, they had one illegal tactic, and the ref allowed it.

    Why the fuck is the focus on our goalie today and not horrendouns refereeing?

    Tell you how it works… if the goalie in question was 25M Hugo Lloris, gooners would have been up inarms at the fouling on him.

    But it was only young fab, so let the venom pour out.. let the support for blackburn’s illegal tactics continue you sad goons.

  58. Has anyone thought what would have happened after the invincible season had wenger been a checkbook manager who blew our budget chasing success and the board took out dividends each yr so we ended up stayin @38000 capacity highbury? What kinda situation do some of you shortterm,shortsighted fellows think we would be in if we followed say a rednapp philosophy to management of our club?the situation today looks better than that nightmare scenario even if some of you are too blind 2 c

  59. james mc daid

    thanks mr wenger,thirteen years later and we have no goalkeeper,an average defense,a below average midfield,and a very average attack,that makes us pretty average,congratulations.

  60. you ungrateful sod james mc

    time to choose another team, again, i suspect.

  61. When I and most football fans I know talk of Europe, its usually means the champions league and in the last 6 years, English teams have been the ones to beat. That’s not a Sky based observation, its just the way things have been.

    Many teams have grown to be scared of PL teams. I’m know La liga and Seria A followers who always pray their team avoid meeting PL teams (except Arsenal for obvious reasons). That reputation is built on the dominance PL teams have display since 2004/2005.

    You’re right that champions league football has been cyclical, and up till this year it was the turn of English teams to dominate. Where we seem to disagree is that i don’t think this season shows that the influence of PL teams is waning in Europe (i.e.champion league football).

    The EUFA cup/league is tougher to analyze that way. I know most PL teams that play in EUFA rarely take it as seriously as the PL. It might explain the their lack of success in the competition, especially if it can be shown that other leagues take it more seriously by fielding their strongest teams.

  62. Thanks James

    I believe that to be the most valid, well thought out comment of the day. Absolutely perfectly logical arguments, grammatically sound and one that we can really get our teeth into.


  63. Great post Yogi. Critical where it needed to be without being hysterical. Something I couldn’t quite manage in the immediate aftermath of the game!

  64. Yours must be a sad world james!

  65. Henristic

    Far be it for me to question the definition of Europe being only the ECL – incidentally, the only tournament that Sky covers – but I would point out that only in 3 seasons have English clubs ‘dominated’ the tournament and only one of them proved to be victorious for an English club.

    It is all very well to say that you ‘dominate’ a tournament but if you do not win it, domination is hardly anything to crow about.

    More importantly, when it is the same teams year in year out, it is hardly a validation of the supposed strength of the English game.


  66. Stringvest – Blackburn turned us over in the second half with more elements than just force. They played with more tempo and were showing more guile breaking on the counter. That should not be the case. Despite the fouls on flappy they pretty much deserved to win. Often we were caught 2 or 3 against 3 at the back so it was not just from set pieces they threatened.

    Also Fabianski’s postioning for the second goal was fucking appaling. After the intial save he left the mouth of the goal entirely leaving the far post wide open even tho we had defenders in there to protect the near post. He was nearly a metre out of line with the goalpost by his own choice even tho he had plenty of time to get back. Dunn was always going to lob this to the far post yet we did very little to stop him.

  67. Cannonsense

    Neither could I hence it only got posted this morning!


  68. LimparAssist

    I’m not very good at maths but being 4th in the UEFA club coefficient seems to put us somewhere above ‘average’, doesn’t it?

  69. *postioning on first goal – into dunn

  70. LimparAssist

    Agree with you YW, on the over-blown valuation of the EPL. The FA need to stop back-slapping eachother about Scudamore’s ‘wonderful product’ and start dragging it out of the mire.

  71. @Word
    I don’t agree. If Fabianski had moved closer to the centre of goal he would’ve left the near post exposed and it would have been an easy tap in because the Blackburn player had clear sight on goal.

  72. LA

    The Uefa co-efficients are designed to keep the big nations ‘fully represented’, ie there will be 4 clubs from three of Spain / Italy / Germany / England in the ECL.

    I am sure that it is entirely coincidental that these leagues have the largest markets for broadcast viewers in Europe for football.

    The final this month is a winner takes all for Italy or Germany; whichever team wins, their nation will have 4 representatives.

    England is going to be OK for a few years but more performances like that of Liverpool with improvements from Italy, Germany and France will see that 4th place under threat.


  73. Fair enough Yogi.

    wrt your your statement “It is all very well to say that you ‘dominate’ a tournament but if you do not win it, domination is hardly anything to crow about. ”

    Funny that if you replace “tournament” with “possession” you’ll find that statement remarkably similar to what many (including your favourite Skysports) say about arsenal, after losing or drawing a game we should have won.

  74. I agree with Evilfiek. He was fouled very obviously in the first instance and then did his best to recover by covering that angle. If anything the problem was that Dunn was completely unmarked. Defensive mistake following an illegal challenge. Sol could have done better.

  75. LimparAssist

    Absolutely, YW. I was talking about Arsenal’s standing in the Club rankings in response to poor old ‘mc daid’, but on the League coefficient it doesn’t require a massive stretch to see the Prem dropping out of the top 3 in the next 3 or 4 years. As you say, Serie A could well drop out this year.

  76. The result yesterday has given the doomers one last hoorah at the season’s end. Judging by the blogosphere they are delighted.

  77. Why does Arsene Wenger want to stay as Arsenal manager when his “experiment” has obviously been such a failure? Is it not obvious that a lot of the players are simply not of the right quality and that AW’s tactics are not going to win the PL? Is it also not plain that he will NOT change his attitudes? His comments on our midfield fill me with dread and as for our goalkeeping situation. Just don’t go there.

  78. LimparAssist

    Fucking pitiful isn’t it? On the plus side I should be getting my cousin’s ticket for the Fulham game. Proper doomer he is. I’d say a number of similar handovers will be happening this week. So every cloud…

  79. Folks, we need to get over this loss.
    We don’t have a ready made 2nd team that can replace cesc, song, gallas, verm, clichy, NB, denilson, rosicky.
    I don’t know of a club that can and has.

  80. Well said Frank. I’m totally with you. Although I don’t think Wigan deserve to be included with all the other kick, bollock and bite teams that you listed.

  81. Bendtner, Rosicky and Denilsen are part of the problem and are nothing like the solution. Arsenal should have a liberal proportion of world-class players but the poor quality of players like these, to name but 3, has lowered our expectations. Can you imagine Ferguson or Mourinho accepting the performances of many of our players this season?

  82. Watch as many live games this week as you can, and watch them at the World Cup… you WILL note that 99% of the time when a keeper is fouled/obstructed in his box whilst the attackign team are preparing a set-piece… the ref will blow up and give a foul.

    Arsenal up norf? Fuck that, more chance of me winning the lottery 3 weeks on the trot.

  83. It is no secret the British Media is myopic in its view with regards to the EPL – the “English Game’..In fact I’d go as far as to say the Press are xenophbic in many of its attitudes.

    They continually pedal the idea the Prem is ‘the Best’ league when in fact anybody with 2 pennies worh of sense would know it aint necessarily so.

    In response to your last comment Frank I was not advocating Us playing like Inter, what I merely was trying to point out – high light is that Mourinho knows in Truth what his players are capable of.
    He knew he could not set his team up to try and play “total” football v Barca and so set his stall according to his requirements and the way he knows his team can play – that in my book is pragmatism and not idealism.

    I ask you this did Wenger truly believe Arsenal could out play Barca.I for one am not ashamed to state that I knew we would not be able to beat Barca playing as we did.

    For a number of years I boxed at as an amateur I’d been absolutely shit nervous before a bout. My raison d’etre would I’m going to knock this bastard out before he does the same to me.

    I’m saying that via the possesion that We always have we have got to be MORE consistent in finiding the net. The sometimes convulted over elaborate attempts at trying to walk the ball in does not work..Remember we get no extra points for 14.15 pass move.

    This will then put paid to any duff or bad decisions that a ref may make in a match…It is know as taking your destiny into your own hands…I’m not advocating Wimbledon esque route one football…

    We – Arsenal at times have only a particular way of playing. Frank can you then answer me when we have played the so called Bigger Teams have we come off second best?

    Opposing managers do there homework and set there teams to get a result. Me I’d like to see Wenger be more pragmatic..I’d also like to see a change in the coaching staff to freshen things up….Ferguson in his reign at Man U has had a number of assistants from B Kidd, Querosh to now Phelan he’s in my opinion tried to keep it fresh and more importantly keep himself on his toes..I feel Arsene is at times(at times) to autoctratic and his gallic and his main problem is not being able to see when he’s incorrect about a particular aspect…

    Should he not strengthen in the Summer and bring in a few new face as well as jettison others there is going to be a rising tide of criticism…The often quoted ‘ I be(lie)ve” in this players is surely starting to wear thin..What is Faith is it Blind Trust…There has never been a person in this World who is Always right – Who Will Always get it Right..Arsene has to dispense with sentamentality and take a LONG hard look at himself and Also at the Squad..

    My final note is that We all have to accept the opinions of others even if we disagree with them intensely. Every Arsenal Fan that buys a season ticket,that travels to away matches in Wind, Rain, Snow, that travels to Away CL Games has a right to an opnion..I’d say it is the way how you Xpress it..Bless

  84. I will cane the team when they give up chasing back like against manure, i will cane the team when they bottle it at wigan.

    I refuse to cane the team when they get totally mugged by rovers with 100% illegal goals.

    There is no debate, they were fucking fouls on the keeper, a keeper is cunting fouled when his movment is impeded by a direct action of intent carried out by the opposing team’s player.

    Where is the debate?

  85. Anderson?
    Gary Neville?
    Scholes apart from one goal?
    The £18M Anderson again?
    Gary Neville?
    Neville Neville?
    Anderson? Again. Just because it’s fun.

    Should I carry on?

  86. Berbatov!

  87. Hi Yogi,
    Great measured post as usual.
    Must admit I thought first goal had the lesser foul committed.
    The second goal had David Dunn with no intention of going for the ball almost bent double pushing with all his might backwards against one of the defenders who was then pushing Fabianski. No chance for Fabianski to get the ball as he could not leverr himself off the ground.
    Read a few of the comments – while I can understand the depression, calls for self immolation by the players seem to be way over the top
    all the best Dave

  88. Anderson £18M

    Berbatov £30M

    I have an over-active imagination.

    Why would anyone pay £18M for a footballer who can’t play football?

  89. Finsbury, because Berbas got great hair

  90. Er, J*mes, remember, you sold for twice that amount.

    No wonder the Sp*ds out there don’t have a clue.

    Learn to count.

  91. > You sold Berbatov for almost twice £18M

  92. Frank at 12:26. Couldn’t reply earlier had to run somewhere. Anyhow, saying that I dismissing Nordtveit and Djourou by recommending Bartley in five years is way off the point. Indeed if Djourou needed another five years to prove himself then we’d better get rid of him. Also I’m not proposing an Anglo centric Arsenal. In my original post I recommended Felipe Melo who by any imagination isn’t English. Note also that the blend of local and foreign is indeed emerging with the products from our academy. But as I said that will take another five years which nobody is ready to wait for. I recommended Carlton Cole, not only because he’s English but that as I see him as backup to RVP and more of the type of player we see in Bendtner and Chamakh. Bendtner is still developing and Chamakh will be adjusting in the league next season – but I’m repeating myself. In the final analysis buying foreign players should be done so as to add value to the English game- or any other for that market. Reminds of my country Kenya where a white skin used to be considered a guarantee of success. The end result of course was that many white no hopers lived well in our country with little reward to us.

  93. Finsbury, give me a break, I only have 17 fingers & toes

  94. When has the older and more experienced Carlton Cole scored nine in eleven (twelve if you count the last cameo as a sub) in the PL.


    I thought so.

  95. To have one bad keeper at the club is maybe bad luck but to have two is rank bad management.Who coaches them Gerry Peyton?Fappy has had his chance and has failed the same as Almunia.I cant believe Wenger cannot see what we can.
    Blackburn played on Flappy’s weakness in the air nothing more

  96. lol J*mes.

    I just assumed that as you’re an engineer, that you’d be able to count.

    Hopefully you beat the mancs. It’d be shame if the Spuds ended up like ‘Pool and ManIOU. In debt, and having to sell all their best players in their ‘prime’, like Berbatov (as opposed to selling them for golddust when they are due their pensions).

  97. Finsbury, were not single penny in debt, largely due to the fact we DO sell our best players for high prices, and it will happen again this summer. Modric and Bale will be sold for an astronomical fee. It’s very annoying but any fan with half a brain realises it has to be done to balance the books, and you know this.

  98. LimparAssist

    Oh you have to be fucking joking, Kenyan Gunner. Felipe Melo!? Have you even seen him play? He’s abysmal!

    Wasn’t he voted worst footballer in Italy last year?

  99. Yesterday sucked and I can not wait for next year.

    In retrospect we made several mistakes this year, and I hope we learn from them.

    Our injury situation has been terrible and partially explains the problem. However, the mental capitulation we have seen is unacceptable even with our injury situation. I do not know who to blame but AW needs to get a handle on this somehow.

    Some have said that prospectively we did not need to strengthen the CB position last summer. I disagree. In retrospect we clearly should have added a CB or 2 last summer. If anything next year we should be CB heavy which means adding at least 2 this summer. Hoping that we can get by without spending money on that position would mean repeating the same mistake.

    We started last season with questions about GK. Many of us including me thought we could get by with Almunia. Wrong!! Fabianski may be good but there is clearly question marks about our GK situation again. We can not go into another year with GK being a ?. Open the check book.

    Arsene said after last year that our defense was the biggest problem and needed to be fixed. Instead of fixing it he changes our formation to an even more offensive formation and does nothing proactive to improve our defending. If he actually did make some effort to improve our defending it did not work. Despite adding TV most would say our defense is worse. This one is very difficult to understand prospectively or retrospectively. After this year Arsene says our defense is the reason we did not win the title. He deserves a mulligan this time but he has to spend the money and do whatever is needed to maintain our attacking ethos but somehow concede 15 – 16 fewer goals.

    The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. Lets not make the same mistakes again.

  100. We have a tight wage structure as well. Levy’s a good businessman he’s just crap at picking football managers

  101. Who are the Sp*ds in debt to J*mes?

  102. Strngfellow

    So how come the Invincibles wernt bullied off the pitch by the likes of Blackburn?,because thet team wasnt a buch of pussies like the present day team.It was full of players like Lauren Keown,Viera and Gilberto who could all handle the rough stuff.Whould you like to go into battle with the likes of Nasri Diaby and Pussy in chief Eboue?
    That is why come the big games v Man Utd and Chelsea we havent got the fight to stand up to them and they steamroller us

    We never complain about rough tactics in 2002-2004.
    Just another Wenger excuse from his book of excuses

  103. LimparAssist

    You should definitely sell Modric, J*mes. Massively overrated player. I’m sure Utd will cough up.

    Planet of the Apes is probably worth more now than he ever will be again too, so maybe cashing in on the both of them is a good call.

    You could get Darren Bent back in, and Steed Malbranque.

  104. LimparAssist

    Do stick to one name please, One Man/Brian. You’re like the guy in the stocks who lifts them up and bolts about the place, refusing to stand still and get pelted.

  105. one man – i am talking about bullying the keeper and getting away with it.

    big big difference to outfield bullying, you take that and give it.

    the goalies stand no chance if they are being blatantly fouled and prevented from their job.

    can you grasp that?

  106. I probably shouldn’t of written my post 10 minutes after the final whistle yesterday, as the defeat was still pretty hard to stomach.

    On another day, a foul may of been given for their second goal, but it still doesn’t hide the fact that Fabianski has consistently made error’s this season.

    Lehman was virtually kicked out of the club for making 2!

    You cannot win anything with a poor goalkeeper, and we currently have 2.

    And maybe not the worst GK we have ever had- but these 2 are definately the worst of the last 20 years.

    Even more of a disapointment was the number of chances we created in the second half – virtually none.

    Such a shame the way the season has tailed off, as we really have played some great stuff this year, against everything that has been thrown at us with injuries.

    There have been some good performers over the season though, Vermaelen has been an excellent signing, Song has grown as a player, Up until the last few games, Diaby has shown some consistency, and Bendtner has stepped up to the plate on occasion.

    Overall, a couple of solid acquisitions and some luck with injuries will hold us in good stead next season, but please AW, buy us a half decent Keeper – i dont care who – anyone!

  107. absolute mother fucker of epic proportion that cunt jonjon

    fucking protest? two faced cocksucking wanker.

    you have my email you turd, line it up anytime you want.

  108. LA, Bale looks like the FA Cup dont he, great player though, we should get around 25 off Man Utd or 35 off City. Modric hasn’t hit is best form but is still one of the best players in the premiership when you watch him closely, we should get 30 million of Utd or 40 Million off City.

    Finsbury, we are in debt to the Football Gods, hopefully they have been apeased, we will find out tomorrow night.

  109. Yup, the Sp*ds are truly a well run club.

    Levy is a great businessman.

    That’s why the club has no Under-18’s team.
    No reserve team. Buying young players is always sure to suceed. Even if poor old Aaron Lennon needed a three year head start before he could be compared to TW14, although his fom did dip for a few seasons after his amazing cameo in ’06, when he was nineteen, older then TW14 against Croatia.


  110. LimparAssist

    If you get 25 for Bale I will literally eat a hat. ‘Great player’? Ah, the Tottenham delusion principle in all it’s hilarious glory. United/City could have Angel Di Maria for less than 20!

    And I have watched Modric quite closely. He looks like a refugee.

  111. Finsbury, Lennon cost us 1 million, we could sell him for 25m to man utd, or for 40m to city.

    Levy even got 12 million for Bent, so we only lost 4 million. I dont care how many goals he scores, he’s still a jeffers

  112. L.A, I’m surprised you dont rate Modric, or ‘Moddle’ as we like to call him. I thought he’d be the one Spurs player Arsenal fans would like

  113. I thought you were an engineer J*mes?
    Your equation appears to be a little unbalanced.

    Oh, you can’t access any of the accounts?
    It seems to be a little similar situation to Pompey.

    That’s a shame, and a surprise, isn’t it?

  114. > similar to the situation at

  115. Don’t worry J*mes.

    You might beat the Mancs.
    You might even go on to win the FA Cup.

    ‘Appy Clappy ‘Arry and His Hungry Horde will then pack up tent and move on to pastures new.

  116. Finsbury, You love us really

  117. “£25M off ManIOU”?

    They are not called ManIOU for nothing.

    As Limpar said.

    “the Tottenham delusion principle in all it’s hilarious glory.”

    Thanks J*mes. I needed a laugh.

  118. LimparAssist

    I recognise he’s by far and away Tottenham’s best player. I just think he’s overrated. He certainly wouldn’t get into Arsenal’s first team, and if there was a Pixar film about lots of little rats that become refugees – they could CGI a million modrics and save on expensive rendering.

  119. What is this about boycotting games?

    Who is this twat who is suggesting it?

  120. LA, Modric and Eduardo like scurrying around the training camp kitchen when they are on International duty together.

    Finsbury, I sense you’re a little distressed, would you like a snuggle?

  121. Your senses have deceived you yet again J*mes.

  122. “the Tottenham delusion principle in all it’s hilarious glory.”

  123. Ah – LeTwat junior….

  124. sick to death og hyocritical so called life long gooners

    they bash the shit out of fat sam and co for dirty tactics in the past

    but today, suddenly its ok to bash our keeper “cos its a weakenss”

    FFS – is there a keepr on earth who does not have a weakness for being elbowed in the head?

  125. The truth is our team lacks bottle .When was the last Big Game we actually won? Chelsea away 18 mths

    We crumble under the slightest pressure

    Who are the leaders in the present team the TA’s PV’s Petit’s Gilberto’s

  126. LimparAssist

    On Your Own!

  127. Stringfellow:

    I agree completely that both goals yesterday were fouls and should not have been allowed. Unfortunately that is what we are stuck playing against. We never know if the ref will call it a foul. None of us condone that type of play but everyone in the world knew it would happen before the game. The way they lined up clearly showed what they would do. Our outfield players can not let themselves be pushed into our keeper. They need to push back harder.

    Until we get video replays or some way to deal with inconsistant crappy referees we need to figure out a way to deal with it.

  128. Bill,

    Sorry for the long comment,
    there are two ways to deal with it in my humble and & not very knowledgeable opinion.

    One involves the kind of thing Jens was up to in 1lc’s link last night. Hard to do if our modern ‘Hotheads’ aren’t on the pitch.

    The other involves the manner in which Gallas & TV5 play against teams that Park The Bus. That means every other team, including the likes of Citeh, Chavski, and ManIOU play against AFC like Inter vs. Barca.
    AFC cope better then Barca, when they have their first team out.

    OOU’s link to zonalmarking was great, but didn’t show any pre-Xmas errors, when the CB’s went ballistic against City and ManIOU Away. Yet this current squad have proven their discipline, last season on that run, in various games, especially the crucial Liverpool game after the two defeats. .

    Instant video replays for critical instants are inevitable. Almost all other sports use them, and stopwatches. The fact that FIFA haven’t instigated such things into the worlds most poular sport, stinks. That’s what I meant on the previous Video thread, mid-way through the season. I don’t like it, but there’s no option.

    Another time. Have to go

  129. popular> poular

  130. A dearth of leaders in the team with the honourable exceptions of RVp and Sol.

    There’s no way either Safe Hands or Crazy Jens would have allowed themselves to be trampled like Fabiasnki. He’s lacks the personality required to impose himself. he has got to go.

  131. The reason video replays are not used in football is that it is the only sport in the world in which there is no attempt to enforce the rules of the game. Hawk-eye makes very little difference in tennis, because the line judges rarely make errors, and they never exercise their discretion by ignoring infringements. In football, as we all know, there are fouls committed at almost every corner, and yet the referee ignores them. When a manager suggests the rules ought to be obeyed, this is described are “asking for more protection.” A tennis player is not described as asking for “more protection” if he insists that a ball that is out is actually called out – not that he would ever need to, since in tennis the rules are enforced.

  132. Saw this gem in one of the blogs, could not resist pasting it here for a good laugh. Name of the poster is anonymous.

    Someone like sorenson 2-4m
    Azpilicueta (8m) Naldo (10m) Vermaelen Clichy
    Eboue Subotic (15m) Sakho(8m) Gibbs
    Djourou Campbell

    Yaya Toure (P/E Cesc) Veloso(8m)
    Moussa Sissoko (12m) Song
    Gourcuff (20m) Jovetic (15m) David Silva(20m)
    Nasri Wilshere Hazard (15m)

    Van Persie
    Lukaku (7-8m)
    Spend 144m
    Sell Fabregas 50m plus yaya toure
    Almunia 5m
    Fabianski 5m
    Arshavin 10m
    Rosicky 5m
    Eduardo 5m
    Bendtner 10m
    Denilson 5m
    Diaby 5m
    Walcott 10m
    Sagna 10m

    Theres 120m raised. net spend 24m. Massive overhaul needed. The only player on that list of players i said to sell is good enough to play for us is fabregas, but we need the money and yaya toure to revamp the squad and he should go be a part of the greatest team in the world at barca cos we wont come close with our team. People say its stupid, its not, the players who i said to buy are quite young and good players who will gel together well, might take them a season to but they will. good balance between defence and attack. vermaelen/sakho who are fast and good at tackling complemented by naldo/subotic who are beasts in the air. Hazard, David Silva, Hazard and Gourcuff will bring our flair and cutting edge back.”

  133. Good to see a Blog not calling for Fabianski to go! The problem was with the defenders who allowed Fabi to get shoved around and crowded out – cant see Terry or Ferdinand allowing the “carry on” from those anti-football cretins yesterday. Is the ref a sp**s supporter? Come on Arsenal.

  134. PZ,


    In Cricket, that most traditional, ‘straight-jacketed’ (in the UK) and idiosyncratic of sports, they use Hawkeye (TM!) to essentially generate a CGI image in order to help the official make a better decision.

    Since the introduction of things like Video replays have been introduced, officals who for example, inexplicably couldn’t tour ‘country’s of colour’, as they would say, have slowly disappeared from the sport.


  135. Sorry for the awful typo PZ:

    >Since the introduction of video replays, officials…

  136. Finsbury:

    Your thought that we dealt with this crap better when we had our full first team is an interesting thought. Not sure if true but can not make rational argument against the comment.

    I will look at that video of Mad Jens. Somehow we have to be mentally and physically better prepared for those type of tactics. I suspect Blackburn try the same thing vs. ManIOU or Chav but it just does not work as well.

    Clearly video technology of some sort is needed. On the 2nd goal, Dunn pushed Campbell into LF. The guy who scored the goal was not the major “pusher”. Perhaps the ref was watching where the ball was going and did not see Dunn, Perhaps blackburn intentionally screened the ref so he could not see Dunn, and the whole thing was a set play. perhaps the ref just sucks. Every goal that involves controversy should be reviewed. Doubt it will happen anytime soon.

  137. Keyser

    It’s not actually that funny but the strongest possible argument as to why fans should not be allowed to be owners of clubs.

    A quick glance shows that whomever posted that originally is prepared to have a firesale. Of the players who are sold (and were purchased from other clubs), there appears to be a loss of approximately £15m in their sale values.

    And that’s before the contractual payouts that happen as the club has sold them rather than a transfer request being handed in.

    So their net spend is not £24m but rather more substantial as well as the ‘paper’ losses incurred. Arsenal ‘supporters’ are actually quite scary in their devil-may-care attitude towards the finances.

    Still always find some rich Uzbek to sell what’s left of the club to.


  138. i dint even bother checking the score yesterday because i knew nothing would surprise me.

    changes need to be made.

    WE NEED TO KEEP OUR BEST PLAYERS FIT. we need to get a better medical team or whatever to get our best players on the field for majority of the season.

    we need to have WAY better defensive coaching and goalkeeper coaching. bring back keown and seaman to coach. try to get bergkamp for our strikers if you can. Tony Adams is out of a job. make him our assistant manager. i’ve heard players quoting that Adams used to prepare like a warrior for each game. make him transfer this attitude to our players. this season was derailed by our 2nd choice players not being tactically smart enough. someone needs to coach them better. ManU played a lot of games this season with their 2nd string side(especially defense) but they never got walked on. someone needs to fire our players up for the big games and let them know that there will be some to pay if they make stupid mistakes in a game or slack off their responsibilites.

    we shouldn’t play a blind 4-3-3 formation always. i agree, with our best players available this is the best formation for us, especially since we dont have any real wingers and we have plenty of central midfielders. but maybe with our second choice players, another formation might be better. better analysis our own players strengths and oppenents weaknesses should be there. tactically we are poorer than Man Utd and Chelsea.

    at the MINIMUM, a new GK(Fabianski out pls, either on loan or he should be sold) and if Gallas leaves, 2 new CBs and Chamakh in.

  139. Keyser

    It’s not actually that funny but the strongest possible argument as to why fans should not be allowed to be owners of clubs.

    A quick glance shows that whomever posted that originally is prepared to have a firesale. Of the players who are sold (and were purchased from other clubs), there appears to be a loss of approximately £15m in their sale values.

    And that’s before the contractual payouts that happen as the club has sold them rather than a transfer request being handed in.

    So their net spend is not £24m but rather more substantial as well as the ‘paper’ losses incurred. Arsenal ‘supporters’ are actually quite scary in their devil-may-care attitude towards the finances.

    Still always find some rich Uzbek to sell what’s left of the club to.


  140. Antony

    >i dint even bother checking the score yesterday because i knew nothing would surprise me.

    Loyal supporter, eh?

    How would a medical team have helped with the broken bones and injuries which occurred on international duty? Do you think that these guys are able to be healed by Supaglue?

    Jesus wept.


  141. Bill,

    Well, Barcelona did finally manage to score when Pique went on a rampage… : )

    Prior to that, they resembled Arsenal Reserves trying to pry open Man Citeh’s £200M Dream Team.
    (Barca were only missing Iniesta)

    Just a thought.
    I haven’t watched every game, some twice, like other dedicated & passionate bloggers who comment on YW’s blog.

  142. Paulie Walnuts

    Players I THINK will depart this summer

    Almunia or Fabianski

  143. YW, can’t possibly take that championship manager fan’s post seriously. For as long as I can remember, football fans have been making that kind of ‘wish list’ every summer. Sell that player for so and so, buy this one for x mill.

    It means fuck all, but is funny to read sometimes.

  144. LimparAssist

    Traore, Paulie?! Surely a squad should never be without at least three nippy little leftbacks.

  145. Flint McCullough

    Yesterday was an end of season game, lacking that certain extra motivation because the main prizes had gone. For some weeks we have been carrying 2+ injuries too many, 3 more added before the start & yet with even adequate refereeing we would still have won an awful away game quite comfortably.

    The problem is that of the unreasonable expectations of juvenile minds. We want to be the best but it not yet our time.

  146. Henristic

    Yep wishlists are alright, I’ve got one but these people think they’ve got it all worked out and actually believe their maths, castigating the manager when he doesn’t make the signings they want.

    And that really gets my goat.


  147. LimparAssist

    By the way, Bill, “The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result” – this seems to be one of your favourite refrains. It’s an Albert Einstein quote isn’t it? Seems to be an extraordinarily daft and inaccurate thing for a scientist to have said. Perhaps he was in the heat of an argument when he said it. It’s one of those sayings that has been given legs by self-help gurus and second rate management consultants. I am not a fan.

  148. For those who have a keeper on their wish list:

    According to the Guardian ( a crap rag redeemed by it’s FootballWeekly podcast), Joe hart wants to come to AFC. But after Diaby crocked Given City are reluctant to let him go.

    The fun begins!

  149. Kenyan Gunner, Carlton Cole? I happened to be at the Fulham/West Ham game on Sunday, so I thought I would check out the WHU players who are constantly linked with us for goodness only knows what reason. None of them were impressive, Cole has a terrible first touch and the West Ham fans who I was with talk about him in similar terms to the comments made by some about Bendtner last season. Maybe Parker was having an off day, but his passing was poor and he lost the ball a lot in midfield. He certainly wasn’t noticeably better, (although a lot shorter) than any midfielder we currently have. Upson is described as ‘slow’ by people who watch him regularly and the comedy defending for at least 2 Fulham goals had to be seen to be believed. As for Green he clearly saves his best performances for when he plays us, because he was nothing special either.

    I wish people with limited insight would stop bigging up opposition players over ours. Most teams raise their game against us because they know how dangerous we can be and it is like a cup final for them if they can take a point or knick a win on a counter attack or set piece against a top football playing team. That’s why they often look impressive. But if you watched them as often and as closely and picked their every mistake to pieces the way you do with our players you would soon see that they are not as great as you think they are. Then you might actually give our players some credit for a change.

  150. “The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result” – or in some cases, post the same thing over and over!

  151. Poliziano on May 4, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    That is what opens football referees up to accusations of favouring certain teams/players at best or corruption at worst. The old boy network is alive and kicking in the PL no doubt.

  152. Paulie Walnuts

    LA @6:57.

    I couldn`t agree more. I`d like to keep Traore but have a feeling he won`t fancy another season as third choice.


    Upson, Parker, Green & Cole are playing at West Ham for a reason.

    Coveting other players is fine as long as they`re exceptional & / or can improve our squad & I doubt if there is a top flight player in Europe who AW is not aware of.

  153. I hate to keep banging on about referees. By heck I’d honestly love not to have to moan about refs.

    But everyone says we were weak at Blackburn and Fat Sam boasted about it openly, and all the pundits, most Arsenal fans agree with him.

    They could have had 2 red cards yesterday. There were at least 3 yellows the ref should have given but didn’t. And then, both teams finished the game on 2 yellows.

    Now all that’s not new to us. But my point is that we’re getting both sides of the stick. Teams are being thuggish to us, yet we get punished as much.

    Many think the way to combat the likes of Blackburn would have been for Fabianski to punch Samba or Dunn or the guys barging him in the face. That’d have been a sure sending off, with the likes of John Cross getting themselves worked up about how Arsenal are just as bad etc.

    We’ve got a problem.

    Fabianski was targeted not because he was weak, but because people were going to in any case believe it was all Fabianski’s fault for being weak.

    Maybe they’re right. Maybe we should stop missing players due to injuries & start losing them to suspensions.

    So Fabianski, if someone stands in your way, headbutt him.

  154. Somehow Fat Sam managed to convince millions of people that a back 4 of Silvestre, Sagna, Traore (he of the knuckle-duster fame) and Big Sol is weak.

    i’d fancy them in a straight fight against any 4 Blackburn Rovers thugs.


    A reminder of the foresight and excellent stewardship of AFC and why the spend thrift crowd are 100% wrong

  156. LA:

    Not sure where I heard the quote. Thanks for the info.


    If you look through the blog I think all of the regulars say the same thinks over and over. My obsession with our defending probably makes me more guilty then most. It is amazing that Yogi can come up with 6 posts a week and always keep them fresh.


    I watched the Mad Jens video from yesterday. He was a little crazy. I always thought he was a good GK but my respect for him has increased after watching our GK difficulties the last couple of years. Don’t know if he could have done any better then Fab yesterday but I suspect that 1 – 2 of the Blackburn’s may have taken an elbow in the nose or a knee in the coconuts.

  157. “Upson, Parker, Green & Cole are playing at West Ham for a reason”

    You know that and I know that. Try telling it to the people calling themselves Arsenal supporters on blogs who think they would be better than the players we already have.

  158. Passenal,

    You’re preaching to the clergy on that issue. Or is it preaching to the choir they say?

    Without Wenger we’d have been overhauled by the likes of Spuds, City, Villa, maybe even Sunderland a long time ago.

    Instead we’re fighting against 2 of the most financially doped teams in the history of financial doping.

    The way our season was shaping up in 08/09 we could have had the kind of season Liverpool have had, but Wenger and the boys turned it around.

    This is what makes me so sad. They fight so hard only to undermine themselves with performances like those at Wigan and at Blackburn

  159. It’s that inconsistency of youth that we still haven’t quite worked out of our system Ole. Although having said that chelski looked poor when they lost 3 – 1 to Wigan and just about got out of Blackburn with a point. Our problem is that the defeats are piling up towards the end of the season when there isn’t time for the memory to fade before the summer of recrimination.

  160. LimparAssist

    Paulie, you could well be right about Traore, but if this season is anything to go by he might get some pretty decent game time if he does decide to stay.

    “Fabianski was targeted not because he was weak, but because people were going to in any case believe it was all Fabianski’s fault for being weak.”

    Ole, you’re absolutely right and it stinks. EVDS and Petr C are mollycoddled by referees when challenged in the air, fairly or unfairly. Fabianski was hung out to dry yesterday. Martin Atkinson has fallen for the media spin, and as you say, was just waiting for ‘flappyhandski’ and the ‘vulnerable from set-pieces’ Arsenal defence to gift someone a goal. When that didn’t happen, he did it for them.

    It is a very, very sad situation we have when our referees can’t seperate realtime events from a head full of media hogswash and make a fucking decision for themselves based on the actual rules of the game.

  161. LimparAssist

    I didn’t see how long we remonstrated with Atkinson for after either goal (too busy gazing forlornly into my drink), I suppose that will be held against Fabianski too though – as if Lehmann would have gone and had the goal chalked off through sheer madness alone.

  162. Alex Ice Cream

    Predictably Fabianski is the scapegoat despite making a number of good saves. He’s an easy target as the media and various blogs have decided that he is no good and they can therefore blame him for everything knowing that many people will agree with their view.

    Fabianski has hardly played in the League this season yet he seems to be the reason that we haven’t won it according to some.

    Its not his fault that we created virtually nothing in the second half yesterday and that the ref allowed Blackburn to score 2 goals after fouling our players.

    I rate Fabianski; he just not ready to be Arsenal goalkeeper yet. How many keepers aged 24-5 have we had? Ever? Jennings was in his early 30s when he joined us, Mad Jens was 33 and Dave Seaman 27 but with a number of years experience in the then First Division, going back a bit further Jimmy Rimmer was a similar age to David Seaman when he joined.

    I think that you have to go back to Bob Wilson who made his debut for us in his early 20s.

    These keepers also played for teams that could defend for the most part which is another overlooked factor when unfairly lambasting Fabianski. This is one of the worst Arsenal teams in defensive terms in my lifetime, if not the worst.

  163. Wright Gunner

    More and more stories filtering throug about Clichy being on his way to Barca if we choose to trust Catalan and British media (a leap of faith I’ll admit, akin to say finding a generous spurs fan).
    However if there is some truth in this story than I believe we should be worried.
    Clichy is a world-class left back, despite a slight dip in form this season. Moreover he is also from what I hear, a loyal, professional and ambitious athlete, one of a select few remaining invincibles. So if he feels he must leave to succeed it would be an opinion that would worry me more than any column space…

  164. I think ‘Boozer’ likes it in London.

    A surprising nickname, allegedly, for an AFC player under AW, but he is good pals with Parlour!

  165. I always say be careful what you wish for Wright Gunner. There were plenty of people suggesting we should sell GC when he was not straight back to his best after his back injury. I hope they do not get their wish as the only way I can see Arsenal selling him is if they think the back problem is chronic.

  166. After the game I commented with 1lc on a thread about Sol being pushed by Dunn into LF.
    When he mentoned Jens, I thought any reaction would’ve resulted in a pen. A Lucio grapple?

    Going by the yellow Sol got, and the yellow MS got, that wouldn’t have worked.

    A Baresi style Star Trek inspired pressure point jab/pinch (can be very painful) was more what I had in mind!

  167. My big hope for the transfer window is Mr.Spock.

    “Live long & Prosper, but in the meantime, if you don’t mind passing out by the corner flag…”

  168. That sounds like a good idea Finsbury, but it would have to be administered by one of the defenders as I can’t see the goalkeeper managing it with those gloves on!

  169. a fungus-coated right hand

    Finsbury, Can you arrange for Allardyce to be sent to the Romulan Neutral Zone, please?

  170. I also have some ideas for next seasons kit.

    I took a little inspiration from these guys:

    There may be a variant with added jet packs for Diaby, Eduardo & Ramsey.

    Not sure of the final result, but I’ll send it in to the club if it looks good.

  171. Finsbury

    That’s more likely to be the required goalkeepers outfit. As for jet packs, I think a stick of dynamite inserted firmly in Diaby’s rectum might be more effective if Monday’s performance was anything to go by.


  172. PS: Where are the white sleeves? It isn’t an Arsenal kit without the white sleeves!

  173. a fungus-coated right hand

    Finsbury, Ha Ha. That kit may prevent upper body injuries, but our problem has been in the lower body, no?

  174. Finsbury:

    Lets also buy Scotty so he can build a transporter and send Laporta the Barca president who is trying to steal our best players to the same place we send Fat Sam.

  175. YW, it’s a work in progress! Final renders to come.

    Diaby? I have no idea.
    Alan Davies was funny again. If you send him too off too far by himself, he might get lost…best to keep him close at hand? I do like Diaby. Every time I actually manage to see him play, he is a G*D.
    Maybe I shouldn’t have scrooged on the run in.

    Scotty, appropriately, could be the new representive on behalf of the The Royal Engineers.

  176. Arthur is a moron

  177. No, Arthur is Barry. Therefore Arthur is a racist moron.



  178. Why do these idiots keep changing IDs. Are there so few of them that they need to do it to make it look as though they are in a majority.

  179. Delia-----Block 112

    What a sad,sad situation, a season which promised so much should end in tears and recriminations.
    I really do need some space away from football and can’t wait for my day in the sun (or under the roof) at Wimbledon. I dare say come August the appetite will have been restored but the faith has taken a beating of late. My sympathy goes out to all away fans who so loyally follow our team to the back of beyond . They should receive a full apology from AW, in Sunday’s programme, for the performances of late.
    What happens next is far from clear, reinforcements are in the pipe line but will they cure our present ills. Will we get a world class keeper? Will Gallas, Cesc ,Clichy or Arshavan stay? Is AW considering his position? Will the ownership of the Club be resolved over the Summer? Who knows!
    And yes I am an Elton John fan.

  180. Limestonegunner

    Passenal, you missed or ignored the point made about Clichy. It is a very bad sign if he is interested in leaving. He certainly is no bad apple, malcontent to be written off. If he goes it indicates impatience after the last five years. Don’t we need, according to so many on this blog, above all to keep the squad together as they will improve next year? I think that’s the real import of this story. It may be just a rumour, but if it deserves any comment, I would think that is the issue worth thinking about.
    Let’s hope he stays and the press is just running with Arshavin’s latest Barca comment where he mentioned Clichy’s interest, which hopefully was just a misinterpretation of Clichy expressing simple admiration for Barca and what they have achieved last year.

  181. Limestonegunner

    I heard that Guardiola actually publicly apologized to the Barca fans for their CL defeat to Inter. That’s a classy thing to do for someone who won six trophies last year and still could win the Spanish league title this season. It shows real humility and respect to the supporters and their ambitious desires for their club.

  182. Yea Gods, the spam bin now has 5 from Barry including a complete cut and paste of another blog’s post today…

  183. Limestonegunner

    YW, you sure it wasn’t Muppet being Barry being Arthur, demonstrating his keen sense of “satire”?!

  184. Nobody could feign being that fucking thick!!

  185. Barry was spouting his evil shit on Tony’s blog at Untold Arsenal the other day. The same cut & paste method.

  186. B@rry was spouting his evil shit on Tony’s blog at Untold Arsenal the other day. The same cut & paste method.

  187. I hate to say this YW but now you have me intrigued, what blog was the idiot trying to pass off as his?

    And is there any chance of you posting a list of all his and his ilk’s aliases as that would save me an awful lot of really bad reading.

  188. I posted the previous comment before but it was in moderation due to the thick shit’s name I presume.

  189. lol thanks dups!!

  190. I still do not know why B52 was not in the starting line up. Did I miss something is is AW just giving some play time to Vela?

  191. Bendtner, Song and Clichy picked up injuries in training.

  192. Gainsbourg69

    Kenyan gunner:

    “How we missed the likes of a fellow like Felipe Melo. He’s a real bastard who would have given those thugs as much as they gave. Note that all you fellows who say Melo isn’t Arsenal material.”

    Let me stop you right there. The mere fact that he plays for Arsenal would’ve meant a red card the minute he decided to give as good as he got.

    By the way, Cana was a name floated around as a possible acqusition and he ended up at Sunderland where he was suspended every other week as predicted by anyone who had watched him at Marseille.

    By the way, Alex Song shits on both these donkeys.

  193. Gainsbourg69

    Limpar assist:

    “Planet of the Apes is probably worth more now than he ever will be again too, so maybe cashing in on the both of them is a good call”

    Planet of the Apes is just about right. I almost shit myself laughing when I read that. Good work.

  194. I find it interesting having read all of the posts that there is this belief that if Blackburn had tried these tactics against Van Der Sar or Cech, then either they would have dealt with it better or the ref would have afforded them greater protection.

    I think you are all missing a very important part of the equation, maybe the most important part and that is this: Ferdinand/Vidic would never let any team try and out muscle their keeper, John Terry for all his disgusting faults would be sooner found dead than have Cech get constantly fouled the way Fab was.

    As to affording other teams GK’s better protection, I disagree. Rather it is that with other teams their defensegets stuck in to protect their keepers and as a result the ref is forced into action. However if like at Blackburn we do not try and protect our keeper then why should the ref?

  195. Also on the point of GK, when Fab dropped the ball in the Wigan game, more or less on their players head, there was a great shot of this in I think the Daily Mail? In the shot the only other Arsenal player visible was B52, ther were 3 Wigan players around Fab, where the fuck was the defense? Our striker was the nearest “defender” to our GK? TV is amazing(even some Chavs I know agree) but he really needs experience beside him. Sol has the experience but has yet to form a real partnership with him. WG has and will be needed badly net year. Djourou and Nordvelt(pardon the spelling) also lack experience. We need a central defender of proven skill and experience who is not injury prone. Our GK’s are fine. Just look at the first 20 mins against Barca and ask yourself how many other GK’s are there that would have kept a clean sheet?

  196. Limestone Gunner, I don’t think I missed any point at all in the Clichy story. What the papers say and reality are two completely different things most of the time. When announce it, then I will believe it. If anything, I think you missed my point, which is that a number of so called Arsenal ‘supporters’ were claiming he should be sold when his form dipped after his injury. Now that there is newspaper ‘talk’ at the time when his form has recovered it’s probably the same ‘supporters’ who are now wringing their hands in fear. Perhaps if the players felt more supported by their fans, they might not be looking elsewhere, if in fact there is any truth in the story. Clichy is not the type to agitate for a move, he will only go if Arsene thinks Gibbs is ready or there are concerns over his long term fitness.

  197. I thought that was always the way in the summer – ignore everything you read in the papers, or at least take it with a pinch of salt, until BBC Sport “understands” or it appears on

    And there’s no doubt Howard will be back with a new I.D. and more nonsense. He’s found an untapped well of pure bile.

  198. Passenal took 4 days to annouce Greedy had joined Citeh.

  199. Well “ignore” sounds strange. Just be sceptical!

  200. Two days, One Man, aka everyone else – and that was because he joined over the weekend. I think he signed on the Saturday and it was announced on on the Monday.

  201. Just a quick comment – the “arthur” person is not me. I suspect arthur and barry are howard, James, William etc etc i.e. the resident troll.

    I did post as “spanner” the other day. But that was a complete one off.

  202. Just a quick comment – the “arthur” person is not me. I suspect arthur and barry are howard, J*mes, William etc etc i.e. the resident troll.

    I did post as “spanner” the other day. But that was a complete one off.

  203. Arsene Wenger: Dear Man City we would like to buy Joe Hart for £5m

    Man City:F**k off

  204. LimparAssist

    The Buffon rumour that does the rounds each year seems more outlandish now than ever. I think he is an exceptional keeper, but he’s only managed 2/3 of Juve’s games over the past couple of seasons. Old rosey cheeks Manninger has stepped in for him. If he gets injured in Serie A (and B) then I don’t fancy his chances over here.

    For more evidence of the injury toll our league imposes on it’s players btw, the case of Fernando Torres is an interesting one. See appearances.

    irishgray, “Ferdinand/Vidic would never let any team try and out muscle their keeper, John Terry for all his disgusting faults would be sooner found dead than have Cech get constantly fouled the way Fab was.” Sorry, but that just isn’t true. I’ve seen both those keepers knocked to the ground and into the back of the net. Those centrebacks you mention couldn’t stop it, they were nowhere to be seen, but fortunately for them the ref was on hand and more than happy to blow the whistle when he sees an old goalkeeping institution like EVDS flat on his backside wincing and waving – it must have been a foul. With Cech it’s the same. With Fabianski on Monday it was very different. A double-standard plain for all to see.

  205. LimparAssist

    Man City can indeed fuck off, One Man.

  206. “….believe half of what you see, some and none of what you hear…”

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