Saturday Is In The Past: Learn The Lessons And Move On.

Ahead of tomorrow’s clash Manuel Almunia has been roundly criticised, George Graham the latest to tell him that he simply is not good enough for Arsenal and that the club will not win a title with him in goal. Which no matter what the truth is, does little or nothing to help his confidence. Not that this matters as the Spaniard is to be replaced by Lukasz Fabianski, having picked up elbow-knack in conceding the first half penalty on Saturday. That might partly explain the second goal being gifted to Albion.

Arsene observed that it was obvious after five minutes that the performance was going to be substandard. Presumably he felt that making changes that early on would be too self-defeatist to do so and to an extent you can understand the logic. However, a change at half-time with Wilshere or Rosicky coming on might have influenced the game positively rather than allowing the visitors to storm into a three goal lead before an hour had passed. Still, it water under the bridge and cannot be changed.

Crucially, the squad is aware of the shortcomings in the performance. Andrey Arshavin summed it up on his website:

Firstly, we didn’t play well today. Secondly, it won’t do for us.

There is not much to add to that; his analysis was succinct and to the point. All that matters now is to learn the lessons and move on.

With the trip to Belgrade so close at hand, the chance to rectify matters is upon us. Wenger has promised to make changes, one of which might be at left back with Keiran Gibbs apparently having a test in training, a prelude perhaps to inclusion. Gael Clichy is being roundly criticised for his form in recent games and is having doubts cast over his long-term future by naysayers. His consistency has waivered yet to dismiss him so blithely is barely credible. Indeed, it is incredible. Going forward, he seems to have improved his distribution whilst defensively, I do not see any deterioration in his performance over the last two season. There is a strong argument that he has improved positionally but like all of the players, he needs to eradicate the mistakes which prove costly. Hard as it is to swallow, errors made by the top sides are punished more readily by the ‘lesser’ sides, perhaps evidence that this season is going to be a tougher title to win than previously thought.

A peculiar weekend results wise with plenty of dropped points, Manchester City the big winners. As it stands, we are no worse off than before but no better either. The defeat needs to be removed from the squad’s collective consciousness without forgetting to learn the lessons, complacency the key one. Tomorrow will be a tough test with Partizan probably fancying their chances of getting a result in the home match in this group, a result they need to have any hope of qualifying. Arsenal need the win to go into Sunday’s clash with Chelsea in a positive frame of mind; we need a win to stop the carping.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on September 27, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 356 Comments.

  1. Wow love the new banner!

  2. @YW. This pots sound like it was written in 2008. The lessons sadly are never learnt. The culprits sadly are just the same ones..

  3. Nice post Yogi. I do think that looking at Almunia’s injury as a reason for the 2nd goal is being kind to him though.

    Hansen highlights some decent points about winning mentality here (for once I think he is speaking sense):

    http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/44288/Hansen_Arsenals_problems_go_beyond_their_goalkeeper.aspx?

  4. He Aynt so bad after all…

    But please YW. Change the Lay out. This lay out feels like Saturdays performance

  5. For tomorrow I expect to see:

    Fabianski

    Sagna
    Kos
    Squillachi
    Clichy

    Song
    Wilshere
    Nasri

    AA
    Chamakh
    Rosicky

  6. Andy

    The words ‘sense’ and ‘Hansen’ should never be used in the same sentence.

  7. Perhaps Alan Hansen should have spent as much time worrying about the ‘wining mentality’ of the the ex-Liverpool board members who sold the club, then he does about Arsenal, and their players.

  8. I know, I feel a bit dirty.

    He is right though. Nobodies fault of course, you can’t jet get players in because they have won things before. His point is valid however, I am certain that once we win a trophy more will quickly follow. The 1st is proving elusive though.

  9. Dups – It makes sense that Hansen has rusty nails shoved under his fingernails. See mate, there is always an exception 🙂

  10. A truly horrible performance no doubt. The players need to get back to what they are supposed to be doing and not what they want to be doing.

    ie- defenders fucking defend – that means you Sagna and Clichy – what kind of defensive performance was that on saturday? Shocking.

    Covering midfielders fucking cover the defense and attacking runners from the opposition. By christ neither Diaby or Song did their jobs on saturday. I knew Song thinking he needed to score more goals was gonna fuck him up. Get back to DM Mode Song please. And Diaby really needs to show some urgency.

    Eboue – never put this man in midfiled again. Tell him hes a right back and to stick with that. Hes a great attacking fullback. A free role marauder he aint!! Leave that to Nasri and AA23 please.

  11. Hansen is right.How would the players be motivated,when the manager encourages mediocrity and settle for the fourth place.

  12. I don’t know how people can go over a defeat in such detail. I feel sick just thinking about it.
    I’ll come back when there’s something positive to talk about.

  13. oh and by the way, tomorrow in Portugal – COME ON YOU GUNNERS!

    Apparently Lucasz Fabianski will be playing in the Champions League game tomorrow evening.

    Almunia is apparently injured from when he conceded the penalty on Saturday afternoon in the defeat to West Brom and won’t be fit to play. How long he is ‘injured’ for remains to be seen though.

    Apparently!

  14. steww,then come back,when Arsene Wenger is sacked.

  15. I really hope that we are not forced to play Fabianski in goal. I have nothing against the lad but he is just not cutting the mustard at the moment. I am all for giving him a chance to prove himself and iron out those ridiculous and often calamitous errors that prove so costly in big games and less so in the Carling Cup or fringe games. In my humble opinion, he hasn’t proved himself and there is no justification for his inclusion in a Champions League game. I would think that Mannone has done more to justify his inclusion.

  16. Deise – Portugal? You need to head more eastwards, a couple of thousand miles ought to do it…

  17. Hate to say it,but Hansen is pretty much right about the winning mentality.

  18. Oh sorry could I just add: Fuck off Howard.

  19. oops its belgrade not braga – Doh

    anyways it looks like Almunia might be shot down. He looks a defeated man. And now we have to hope Fabianski plays well so he can get some obviously lacking confidence. Who will play against Chelski?

  20. Alan Hansen is a fool. Guess what it says about goonerandy that he thinks Hansen makes sense.

    “None of Wenger’s team knows what it is like to win the league or any major honour for the club and that should not be underestimated.

    “When you haven’t won anything, you don’t know the gut-wrenching feeling that comes with failing after having been a winner.z

    First of all that’s factually wrong. But most importantly, let’s take it as true that we are at a disadvantage because we don’t know “how to win the league” because we haven’t won the league. What is the solution? Buy Man Utd or Chelsea’s squad so we now know how to win the league?

    What’s the solution?

  21. Nobody is offering a solution Ole. It is a simple observation, and one which rings true. It is not even a critisism so calm down. Take a deep breath, and relax.

  22. Lets hope they lads get back on the horse tomorrow eh. We dont need 1 bad result (2 if you count sunderland, but i dont because of spurs result) turning into a run of 4 or 5 like it did at points last few seasons…….

  23. Deise – Exactly. It is all about the team reaction.

  24. Lets hope the hostile atmosphere pulls the lads together for a proper team performance. Its games like tomorrows that can really solidify the team after a shocker like Saturdays!

  25. In terms of team selection, theres nothing else Wenger could have done. Eboue was fresh, Diaby needs game time, while Wilshire has played a lot, and so too Rosicky.

    There shouldn’t really be any excuses of tiredness as Sagna and Clichy were rested for Spurs, Clichy getting on in the 2nd half? Squillaci got a rest, Arshavin and Chamakk also only appearing off the bench.,.

    Like Arsene I struggled to say what went wrong after 90mins was up. First time in a long time, its one of them performances you don’t expect from our team, and I would hope its a one off.

    Eboue, Diaby, Song and Arshavin were all poor, lacking the energy and bite to win the midfield battle. Nasri maybe being the exception, where i noticed him running back on numerous occasions to successfully win the ball back despite being the most advanced CM.

    Playing a team who sits back and is well organized, we need to show a bit more patience, and not be stupid enough to get caught on the break. It is what has hurt us against Chelsea and United in recent seasons. So better to learn from it the week before playng Chelsea i guess!

  26. It was also Kos’s worst game for us so far as well. Lets hope he has a look and learns. Partly at fault for the 1st and 2nd goals.

  27. Hansen’s article is based entirely around a logical fallacy. Post hoc ergo propter hoc (I’m not being pretentious, it’s the fallacy’s name) which translates as “after this, therefore because of this.” It’s a style of argument which seems to make perfect sense but actually has no real basis in reality.

  28. Either Almunia is dropped or he is injured.
    If he is injured (during the first half penalty save) why was he not replaced at Half time?

    The warm up on Saturday was instructive. The players were going through the motions, not fully sharp and focused, many loose passes, lots of laughs. No excuse when there were only 3 starters from last Weds.

    I think much of the first team is actually about to be replaced by the reserve team (Song, Diaby, Clichy, Almunia) by Wilshere, Denilson, Gibbs, etc. Basically a swift kick where it hurts will do the team no harm.

  29. jbh – you can play on injuried but it would flair up afterwards ruling you out of next game – but i do wonder if its one of Wengers “injuries”
    Wenger really has made a rod for his back over the keeper situation.

  30. Hansen is an increasingly bitter, clueless old twat who can barely disguise his dislike of Arsenal. His bizarre and nonsensical rant against Theo was the icing on the cake for me. As Finsbury pointed out…he should have taken a closer look at his beloved Liverpool…

    I’ve never been entirely convinced about this idea that winning the Carling Cup will engender a “winning mentality” etc etc. Winning the Premier League and having a decent domestic cup run are light years away from each other. Having said that, be cool if we do win it this year, for the simple reason it’s a nice shiny bauble and it might shut a few naysayers up for a while.

  31. Harry if we did win the CC they would just say. “we are only good enough to win the CC, not good enough to win the league”.

  32. Somebody should remind Hansen that one of his beloved teams i.e Chelsea has just lost their second game in 5 days! So it is very pathetic of him to go into overdrive and rubbish Arsenal. Liverpool havent won the league over 20 years compared to Arsenal’s 6 years. Should we then take it that Liverpool have forgotten how to win the league?

  33. Arshavin was excellent on Saturday. Hit the post twice, other shots on target, won a penalty (not given), excellent assist for Nasri’s 2nd goal. Great movement and energy. Along with MOTM Nasri were the only bright lights in a very poor display. And he has played more than anyone this year.

  34. Hansen is right.If you want to win titles/trophies you need a strong repeat strong defence starting from the gk.Wc 1982 Brazil were on favourites but against Italy were repelled by the gk. Brazil had countless chancesyo have sewn up the game.While attacking with all the famous Brazilian flair,were
    hit by a sucker punch and lost the game.
    Arsenal aint in the same Brazilain class but play a similar game.I don’t have to add what Hansen has already said .Most if not all of the teams that win trophies have a A1 gkaand a wter tight or close to that defensive shield.

  35. Arsenal ‘Club in crisis’ is just their old staple they wheel out every once in a while – deflects away from their own clubs issues. Like you say – Chelski just lost 2 in a row. Liverpool are a shambles. Man cities manager keeps conceding the title at each interview and will shortly be sacked, IMO.

  36. I dislike Hansen as much as anybody on here; he is a grade one twat. That does not mean he is wrong though. There is a lot to be said for having a winning mentality.

    Anybody who has played sport at a decent level with tesitfy to this. Once you have won, you gain the confidence that you can win more.

  37. Quite a lot of the current Arsenal have a ‘we are good enough to win so we dont have to try sometimes’ mentality. Arrogance of youth i assume but it needs to be slapped out of them right quick.

  38. goonerandy

    To say our lads lack the winning mentality is a bit silly. You can say they lack the kwnow-how to win the Premiership. But I seriously doubt the likes of Nasri, Cesc, Van Persire, Squillaci, Arshavin etc etc etc do not know how to win.

  39. Well said! Any sensible person will know that the team has to “move on” as soon as possbile. Certianly the pangs of angst and the vilification of the team, the manager and the club in many 1/4er’s will do the team’s confidence no good. Like you, I realize that we have to learn, forget and repsond. A good result tomorrow and a good result on Sunday will resign this blip to the past very quickly. A positive respose and a CLEAN sheet tomorrow will be a mssive filip to the team!

    COME ON ARSENAL!!

  40. andygooner,

    i don’t buy it. the hole in the logic is huge. teams that have won more than once are all united by having won for the first time at some point. that does not prove that winning for the first time is what allowed it to happen again.

    that isn’t to say that a winning mentality isn’t important, just that the first win hasn’t suddenly forced a change in the side’s attitude.

  41. I would think the Chamakh’s Lige 1 title, Arshavin’s Russian Premier League wins, Rosicky’s Bundesliga title and multiple Czech Liga titles, Squillaci’s Lige 1 title, and Fabregas’ European Championship and World Cup wins might count some toward a winning mentality.

    Not to mention the various Copa Del Reys, FA Cups, UEFA Cups and other competitions our players have triumphed in. Jack Wilshere has been a winner all his life in the Arsenal Youth sides. It is not only Frank Lampard and co. with a monopoly of this ‘winning mentality’. Hansen’s comments are typical of the damaging view that the Premiership is this somehow untouchable thing – and no competition outside of our shores counts for anything. He lives in a bubble.

  42. “His performance at Bolton tells me his confidence is shot ”

    – King Kev on ‘Wazza’. OK, not exactly the younger version of Hiddink when it came to being a manager, but, a few of those old European Cup ‘Winners’ medals are in Kev’s attic, more then Alan, whoops Thomas is taking the Micky, Hansen.

    He’s lost that winning feeling
    Woah oh that winning feeling.

  43. Winning mentality bollocks really gets on my nerves, doesn’t make no sense. Every footballer knows what a winning mentality is. Arsenal’s players have it arguably as much as any other team, where we win more than we draw or lose.

    Just seems like another anti-Arsenal type comment to please the millions who like to have a little dig at our club. This is why Hansen is a complete TWAT. Lets see what they say when we beat Chelski.

  44. sorry, that was for goonerandy not andygooner. i hate mondays.

  45. Craig the Scotish Gooner

    Learn the lessons????
    What lessons have Wenger learned?,when he going to realise Almunia and Fabianski are poor keepers. £56m profit and we continue to have these two errror riddled keepers as our 1 and 2 keeper.The joke is over Wenger and it isnt funny

  46. Its cruel to say, but Rooney has got exactly what he deserves.

    As Keegan mentioned, he took all the praise and media hype and money with his wedding etc.. so now hes deal with the media criticism. Idiot, let him feel sorry for himself, United will continue to suffer.

  47. Craig the Scotish Gooner

    ChrisGoona
    We have lost 4 out of our last 11 league games and drew the other 3.Where is the winning mentality?

  48. Question of the day… how many childish supporters will comment on Almunia being the sole ‘blamee’ for Arsenal’s defeat!?

    Almunia was poor for the 2 goals, but that doesn’t hide how poorly the team played defensively. We had no sharpness, no bite, and lost many of the 50-50 battles all over the pitch. On top of that there were at least 3 clear goalscoring chances handed to West Brom.

    People blaming solely the keeper… you just fail to really gain any sort of understanding of the game. Theres no hiding away from Almunia’s poor display. Theres talk of an injury and this could be the case as he looked in pain after the penalty. But the rest of the players have the luxury of not being subjected to individual criticism day in day out.

    So far this season Almunia has looked very good (minus West Brom!) that nobody can deny.

  49. Will Fabz be able to handle the pressure tomorrow? If he doesn’t and makes a cockup I’m afraid he is finished as a player at Arsenal. That’s the plain truth I’m afraid. There can be no way back for the chap. And i feel its similar for Almunia too. One more game where hes the main culprit for dropping points and its going to come to a head with him too. Sad to see really but that’s the situation we find ourselves in.

  50. That’s so true Limpar. Sadly most folks (pundits) can’t see beyond their nose ends.
    “He lives in a bubble”. I’d like to put him in a f*cking bubble. A big soundproof bubble..where he’d be forced to watch every single dire Liverpool game from now until they officially go bankrupt. Ahem. Sorry. Where were we?

  51. DeiseGooner | September 27, 2010 at 12:05 pm |

    Lets hope the hostile atmosphere pulls the lads together for a proper team performance
    ………………………………………………………..
    Hostile atmosphere? I thought we were playing away? 🙂

    All seriousness aside though, Yogi is correct, it’s time to move on.

    Fabianski obviously shows in training that he has potential and quality. He was also rated very highly before he came to us.

    Like Almunia, I suspect that a bit of confidence is key.

    We, as fans, don’t get to have much influence on the team, but here is a golden opportunity where fans CAN make a difference.

    No matter what anyone might or might not feel about this, the only thing that CAN help the situation right now is to give our keepers, ALL of them, every bit of support we can muster.

    Failure to do so is merely shooting ourselves in the foot.

    Frankly, the default position for any Gooner is to diametrically oppose anything someone like hansen has to say, no matter what.

    I hope to see Denilson start, we need his constant accurate ball retention and availability for his team mates to pass to out of trouble.

    We massacred sp@rs because his passing and positional play always provided an outlet for our players under pressure.

    The rule is simple, the opposition can’t score if they don’t have the ball, and not having the ball is tiring and morale sapping.

    Lets see the lads win the next two games strongly (I firmly believe our team and squad are better than the rest).

  52. Wining mentality.
    Since 2005 we have lost 2 finals,3 semi finals,lost a 6 pt lead with 9 games to go in the league(2008).Compare that to Man Utd and Chelsea over the same period. Losing mentality more like

  53. You are so right Chris – No one deserves to be singled out for any criticism after such a dreadful display.

    Only Nasri could be exempt from that.

    I also found it pretty incredible that certain so called ‘fans’ at the stadium then felt that jeering Almunia is an action that has any positive effect, and is one a supporter should be doing.

    The only positive to the loudest, stupid comments blaming solely Almunia across a number of websites is that it is highly likely that the majority come from fool’s such as Jaguar (see yesterday’s comments) – who do not actually attend the games.

    Let’s hope that Almunia has Eboue like mental strength, and ignores these fools and gets back to his best form, as whether you like it or not, he is our No. 1 until at least January.

  54. Craig the Scotish Gooner

    Amazing how you were sharp to dig that stat out. Generally Craig Arsenal win more than we lose and draw. Even a gooner like yourself shouldn’t struggle to admit that.

    Don’t let Hansen get to ya fella.

  55. The problem though Matt is that even if Almunia gets back to his best for he is never going to be good enough (whether thats a reality of just a fan/pundit opinion, in my opinion hes not good enough) So as soon as any mistake is seen he is immediately jumped on – so its a vicious circle that can only end when hes gone. Sad, but thats how it is at this stage. Its just festered to this horrible situation…

  56. I agree,

    As good as Almunia has been for the last 7 or so games, 1 bad game and its back to square one. Every keeper makes mistakes, Schwarzer has made various already this season, Howard, and others. None of them subjected to the hyped criticism that Almunia has received however.. its unfair really, and mainly the media driven supporters are the ones that buy into it

  57. I don’t get why people get so easily riled with comments like Hansen’s. Does what that twat says really matter?

    We do lack a certain err… ‘maturity’ in our squad. But we have got time on our side. After results like West Brom, I sometimes get frustrated about the seeming inconsistency that just just seem to go away, and I have a nagging feeling that some of the players in the squad may never reach the heights Wenger hopes they reach. More to do with the famed lack of the mental strenzght, than a lack of skill or ability. Unfortunately the former is almost impossible to detect at the young age we tend to recruit players. Only actual game time can prove those attributes and from what I’ve seen so far, some of our players fall short.

    Looking forward to the CL game though. The sooner we get back to winning ways the sooner one forgets about such issues and can focus on how awesome a team we’ve got.

  58. It is unfair on Almunia Chris but there is also some truth in it – ie – he really shouldn’t be our no1, hes a totally competent keeper who would make a solid backup keeper

  59. It’s soul-destroying to lose a match we ought to have won, but do we have to go through all this self-immolation? I know we haven’t lost for 15 matches (since 3 May, in fact) and it’s a little trying for the doomers having to wait so long for their masochistic pleasures.

    All the complimentary things we were saying last week about our team are still true. They are fantastically talented and this season they have shown a serious will to win. Saturday’s performance was hugely disappointing for us all (though at 2-0 down I would still have backed them to win). But I don’t believe it was anything to do with complacency. Sometimes, however hard you try, the rub of the green goes against you.

    The lessons to be learned are obvious – concentration, patience and determination, especially when things are going wrong. Coping with setbacks is just as important as riding momentum. It’s a long road to winning the EPL and the CL and this won’t be the only upset. Let’s hope our players are better equipped to deal with disappointment than some of their supporters.

    Oh, and Harry, you’re absolutely right. Credit where it’s due. . . . . . . . . .

  60. Losing to West Brom isn’t the end of the world. The Chavs and Mancs both dropped points. We will learn from our mistakes and complacency. We’ll nail Partizan and get back into the right frame of mind. With Cesc coming back and hopefully RvP not too far bahind, we’ve got 2 more devastating players who we all know can be the difference between a poor performance and a win. Shame about Almunia as he’s been awesome so far this year, bar saturday’s blip. Hopefully Fabianski can prove me wrong and step up…

  61. Diese – Almunia is good enough. He was exposed on saturday by poor collective defending and pressing – all over the pitch. The whole team looked lacklustr and not determined enough by any means…

  62. By Sunday,we will be out of the PL race.Later,it will be the usual scrap for fourth place. Well done Wenger.

  63. Arsenal was pathetic on sunday.Common WBA.We all were crucifying the chels that they won against smaller teams yet that same team has beaten us right in our own back-yard.Obviously,we all can now see that no team is small.What will happen against the chels on sunday? Only God knows.

  64. Whether you think Almunia is good enough or not is not really the point.

    The point is – if you are at game, I don’t see how anyone with even a basic intelligence can see how jeering a player would have any positive effect.

    It seems clear to me that both of our GK’s have had their confidence knocked by being jeered after mistakes, so what does that gain us?

  65. Do you see the Irony in posting under the name Gooner?

  66. 5-1 to Chelsea on Sunday

  67. I agree with Matt. Even if you are disappointed in a player, it’s disgusting to jeer anyone wearing our shirt. Hopefully he’ll bounce back.

  68. gooner is spot on.

  69. Fuck off ‘Gooner’.

  70. Sorry.I am a retard.

  71. You really are hilarious. Yogi – can you moderate this name changing twat?

  72. reina makes errors in three games, his fans and teammates hail him as the best in the world, almunia makes one error in a match which the defence was absolutely poor, his own so called fans jump on his back. And i thought gooners were the classiest fans but it is the complete opposite. But is there such a thing as a negative fan? I think not! It is either you are fan or you are not! To me, most of you are no gooners! So… FUCK OFF!!!

  73. Delia-----Block 112

    I was there. It was grim to watch and everything that could be said has been by all of us on line , in the media and by AW himself.
    Let’s move on and give the squad our backing . This week will be a very significant week in determining the final outcome of our season , starting tomorrow night. Changes will be made ,not only to the personnel but to the mind set of team. Let’s be positive that AW will put some steel into the side and they will redeem themselves with a performance worthy of Arsenal Football Club and the loyal fans making the trip to Serbia.
    COYRs

  74. Exactly ibiza,most of the fans are on his back.To me,Almunia is one of the best shot stoppers in the world,but he is slightly short of confidence.

  75. “had their confidence knocked by being jeered after mistakes” – by simply not being up to the required standard. A mistake is fine but fans aint stupid and can recognise substandard players – thats not saying they are bad or wouldnt be good squadies – but they have had long enough to prove they have what it takes and thay have fallen short time and again –

  76. DeiseGooner

    You are no true fan.Fuck off and support Spurs

  77. DeiseGooner

    With a steady defence and people all doing their jobs as they should, he wouldn’t have been exposed as he was. Like I said the first 6 or 7 games nobody had a bad word to say about the guy. He made the catches he needed to make, made decent saves, and was always commanding on crosses.

    It just seems like everyone was waiting for this, for me he is a good goalkeeper, who had an off-day like everyone else. You cannot blame the goalkeeper when we teed them up for 4 or more golden chances.

    Thats plain stupid. The team were poor, and we lose as a team, not blame a single individual like children.

  78. For me only VDS is better than Almunia.Almunia is a true warrior.

  79. well said ibiza

    Learn to support ppl

  80. If not for VDS,I would settle with Robert Green,he is one of the best in the business.

  81. Poor old Almunia. He actually made 3 or 4 fantastic stops in that game. Two mistakes though – in an otherwise excellent start to the season. If it had been Cech it’s ‘bad day at the office’ – as it’s our Al it’s ‘shit keeper’. All he can do is get back to proving people wrong. He must’ve liked how it felt through the start of the season.

    Here’s hoping for a good showing from Fabianski tomorrow night. Interested to see if Don Corleone or Klaus Kinski makes the bench.

  82. Oh without a doubt chris, he was exposed by the defence who were in turned exposed by the midfield – its a team game after all. And on his day Almunia is a pretty decent keeper, certainly not the cretin some people seem to think he is. BUT – and there has to be a but here – while being good hes not got that bit extra that makes him great, you know what i mean? And theres no shame in that, hes made quite a career for himself and has something to offer. Hes just not got ‘IT’. And its now at a point where it doesn’t look like its ever gonna be good enough bacause he is seen as good but not great…….

  83. No man is an island… except Ibiza.

  84. 4-5 years ago VDS was probably at his peak, now he ain’t amazingly good really, decent keeper but nothing special.

    I doubt VDS would offer much more than Almunia now. With how we get caught at the back, we need a quick keeper, and one who can withstand aerial bombardment!

  85. And just to add , while thats fine for fans who can see his qualities, the media driven hype surrounding him is forever gonna dog him at Arsenal and will always stop him from that next step – even if he had the ability – of becoming truly accepted

  86. Are you Simon Cowell, DeiseGooner?

  87. I did my best impression of him LimparAssist – glad you noticed 🙂

  88. Robert Green! No thanks

    Almunia has been doing fine, and Deise I don’t buy it. He made a good penalty save, and would usually mop up that 1 on 1. There were another couple saves he had to make, but unfortunately he let 1 slip by his near post.

    I have to say it was a very hard shot from close range, but you would expect him to save it. The last goal, our defence was all over the place, its hard to blame the keeper for closing down the attacker.

    For me its all a bit OTT, many taking revenge on Wenger not buying a keeper. To be honest, theres not many out there despite the public out cries from the likes of Graham.

  89. Im not saying hes not good enough off the back of WBA Chris. Its a view of him throughout his whole Arsenal career. Yes hes decent enough keeper but hes not at the required level. And the way its panned out for him now hes never gonna be accepted as our No1. Its just not gonna happen and the sooner its remedies the better for all parties. And despite what Wenger says he must feel thats the case too – but he seems to have mishandled the whole situation – to the detriment of all concerned.

  90. Chris
    I’m not sure you can make that argument. Most manure fans I know are quite happy with VDS, their main worry is a replacement for when he retires. Very different from the situation between Arsenal fans, Wenger himself and Almunia.

    I’m on record as not having anything against Almunia. I’ve always thought he was decent enough. Mostly because unlike other positions on the field I don’t think the difference in quality between GKs matter all that much to the performance of the team as a whole. You can put Casillas (or whoever else you think is better) in our team and it still wouldn’t have made that much difference to our performance these last few years imo. I know its not a popular view but, there.

  91. ‘fans aint stupid’….

    Many fans are stupid. The times fans have been wrong about players going back into decades of actively following Arsenal (and following football) is too numerous to accept that claim.

  92. Yeah Merlot “credit where it’s due”. To the lot of ’em in fact.

    I was particularly disappointed in George Graham’s comments regarding Almunia…though hardly surprised. Poor poor timing and you have to question his motives. We all knew Al would get it in the neck from the usual goldfish brains…sorry, “fans”. He’s become a convenient scapegoat. Whenever he makes a mistake from now it will be amplified and blown out of all proportion. There might be a case of self-fulfilling prophecy with all the flack he gets from all sides. I hope not. I’ve always believed in him..I think he’s a good keeper on the whole and a great shot stopper on his day.

  93. Very good point, Henristic. Everybody makes mistakes.

  94. why r people hating on alumunia?he has bn great since tha season began,

    everyone one apart from nasri was a disapoint on saturday but i believe wil get a draw at stamford if not a win,we are usualy more serious at big games

  95. “There might be a case of self-fulfilling prophecy with all the flack he gets from all sides. I hope not. I’ve always believed in him..I think he’s a good keeper on the whole and a great shot stopper on his day.”

    Thats the actual issue now though aint it? He is good and has done well. And like all keepers hes had his off days. But they way the situation unfolded over the summer and all the media hype surrounding Almunia – no matter what you try and say about it, if you say something enough its believed by enough to make an impact……………and it has impacted the player and the fans belief.

    Most fans believe hes a decent keeper but we could and should have better. So when hes perceived to have cost us points it will just snowball like it has….

  96. All this “he was exposed by a rubbish defence” is no defence of his blunder. Grnated he was exposed……but this should have no effect on his basic goalkeepnig ability. Not stopping a grasscutter streight into your arms has nothing to do with how often you are exposed. But it does have everything to do with basic goalkeeping.

    Somebody said earlier that Almunia is “one of the best shot stoppers in the world”. That defies belief that somebody could think that. At his best he is a good solid keeper.

  97. And i would also make the point – no matter the defensive blunders – a keeper should still do what a good keeper does all the time – basic keeper fundamentals – it slips by Almunia too often

  98. We are not good enough.End of story.

  99. I’m sure I’ve seen this before, a keeper has a bad day at the office and then picks up a mysterious injury which is likely to keep him out for a game or two. Didn’t AW do this last year when Almunia had a ‘mare? Then he talked up Fabianski who proceeded to literally hand the game to Porto in the CL.
    In fact I think AW even used this method in playing Almunia ahead of Lehmann. Lehmann appeared to pick up a mystery injury which kept him out for two or three games, but when he was ‘fit’ again Almunia appeared to have taken over the number one shirt. Would this have been what would have happened to Almunia if Fabianski hadn’t made such a pig’s ear of his chance last season?
    I agree that you can’t judge Almunia on just one bad game, but he doesn’t appear to have learned much in his time at Arsenal. He is still guilty of being caught at his near post too easily and still has a habit of running out to chase down a lost cause like a headless chicken leaving his goal unattended (we all remember the Man U 4- 2 at Highbury).
    He has proved to a useful stand-in, but the number one shirt should have gone to a better goalie some time ago.

  100. Agree with Ole.

    Fans is just a shortened version of fanatical, and of those described to be fanatical, they are typically unthinking and reactionary. I think that’s true of both football fanatics and religious ones

  101. Yes every keeper makes blunders, but the reason people “pick on” Almunia and not keepers like Cech, VdS, Reina and so on is that in general they do not make that many gaffs. Unfortunately Almunia and Fabianski have a history of them, and consistanty produce them. That is the reason why.

  102. Gadget, not to mention political fans.

  103. Gib @ 12:09

    I read the article and could not agree more!! Thank you for pointing that out!!

    By Hansen’s logic, its impossible to win the league if you’ve never won the league. That is almost too stupid to comment on!!

  104. DeiseGooner – Do you ever think about what you write? One contradictory bull shit after another. Post after post of invective and ill-informed predictions of doom re Fabianski and Almunia. The only other place you read such consistent attempts to undermine our GKs are on Spurs blogs or at le-shite. Why don’t you scat and stop piling on rubbish at this blog.

  105. ChrisGonna
    you are tying yourself in knots.You defend Almunia but forget Wenger wanted to replace him with Schwarzer in the summer.Why would Wenger want to bring in a 37 year old keeper if he had any confidence in Almunia?

    Harry Flowers
    George Graham replaced a very good title winning keeper John Lukic with a great one David Seaman so when he talks about keepers i listen

  106. ken

    maybe as backup? duuhhh, that was your Homer moment I guess, Ill let u off mate 😉

  107. ‘ill-informed predictions of doom re Fabianski and Almunia’ – so you think they are good enough then Shotta? Whats contradictory about saying a player os good but not good enough?

  108. So the Almunia bashers aknowledge…

    … that all keepers make mistakes – Almunia making less than most this season
    … the media attack in the summer having its affect
    … the defence being the real issue
    … and Almunia actually being conceded as a solid good goalkeeper…

    Them points nobody can argue.

    But we still get the nimwits that come along saying, he ain’t great though! How about you all just take your lame excuse for a supporter excuses elsewhere. The team had an off day, not only Almunia, they were all shite, Arshavin admitted it, so how about the some of you do as well?

  109. DeiseGooner

    You do know they were picked by the same scouting system that plucked out Vieira, Henry, Gibbs, Cesc etc… so go figure, better yet take your argument to them that they ain’t good enough. You have failed miserably to validate why they are bad keepers.

  110. Ken….Very true. The point I made was he should have perhaps timed his comments better. It does little to help the cause when an ex-manager lays into our already under-fire keeper a few days before a “big game”. We would have been better served had he aired his opinions another time. Just my opinion of course.

    Oh and goonerandy….all those goalkeepers you mentioned…the “world class” ones..have all made plenty of blunders and howlers. Reina’s made a few season this already for god’s sake.

    Anyway…this is a pointless argument as people’s minds are made up. Or more to the point they’ve had their minds made up for them. I hope Fabianski has a good solid game tomorrow at least.

  111. I am a Gooner, and I support Almunia

  112. There have been a number of people consigned to spam today because of ‘impersonations’ and multiple comments under different names, including one bizarre instance of someone having a conversation with themself. Those consigned will not be released.

  113. I do not see what difference it makes now whether the keepers are ‘world class’ or not, they are what we have in goal and need to be supported. If Wenger goes in to the market (Jan) for a new keeper then I shall support his decision. That’s why it’s called “being a supporter”.

  114. Yes i know what scouting system recruited them Chris. The same that every now and then recruits a dud. By saying a player isnt good enough it does not then follow that all players recruited by the same people are bad players. In fact i believe i specifically said Almunia isnt a bad player. So i will say again i did not say Almunia is a bad player, hes quite decent. And again i will say my opinion of Almunia does not stem from 1 game where all the players were out of sorts. I do not blame solely Almunia for the WBA defeat.

  115. Yes every keeper makes blunders, but the reason people “pick on” Almunia and not keepers like Cech, VdS, Reina and so on is that in general they do not make that many gaffs.

    While I think they’re all better keepers than Almunia I do challenge the notion that they make fewer mistakes. Cech for example made many many mistakes in the last 2 seasons after having been flawless in his first 3 seasons.

    This is why I stick up for Almunia. I am quite sure he doesn’t make more mistakes than keepers in the league.

  116. I may also be a fanatical supporter.

    If I support with my ruby qwartz,
    in my eyes will they ever be blue?
    I’d say no & I know for sure
    cause to me all other teams be poo.

  117. Well done YW. I did notice some very familiar writing styles in some comments.

  118. Ole – Fair enough mate, you may even be right. Without hours and hours of research we won’t know I suppose.

    What I would ask though; is why are so many people of the same opinion of Almunia? It could be the “witch hunt” which many on here believe, but stop to think…..it could also be because they are right.

    Personally I think he is a decent enough keeper, but makes basic goalkeeper errors a little too often for a club of our size to consider as its No1. That is my honest opinion (and is not swayed by media or others points).

  119. Tech9 in tomorrows squad, but no Mannone.

  120. Almunia did make a number of errors last season. But a lot of the things he was blamed for weren’t even errors at all.

  121. The answer is simple: most people are stupid. Ridiculously stupid. Really, humanity, ancient and contemporary have all been so very stupid.

  122. I knew I shouldn’t have read the comments section of today’s blog. It appears the Eeyore’s are still out in force with their messages of impending doom. Is it just me or does hitting the panic button in September when you’re 4 points off the pace look particularly pathetic. Grow some stones and deal with the fact that it was a collectively horrible performance (though WBA played exceptionally well, I thought. My chav mate watching the game kept calling them West Barcelona Albion), and move on.

  123. What was the better display:
    Fulham vs Mannone
    or
    Almunia vs Barcelona?

  124. Most will probably mark Almunia down having conceded 2 goals, but that first half was the best performance I’ve ever seen from a keeper.

  125. Whatever some may care to think, Almunia is obviously good enough as he has proved it over what 4 years at Arsenal? He may not be a Seaman, but hes our No.1 who I will continue to support until that changes – the same as with Lehman. I will not fall into this stupid game of slagging off individuals after 1 bad performance in 8 games. If this was the case every game we would be having a dig at somebody.

    Childish behaviour.

  126. Mannone’s because he did not make any mistakes that led to goals.

    For all his great stops against Barca, Almunia was at fault for Imbrahevoic’s goal. Keepers are judged by mistakes (or lack of them), not saves. That is why spunky was so good. Sure there were a few howlers which people will alsways remember, but 99% of the time he was solid and reliable. That is all you need from a keeper.

  127. yesterday I took a look at the Le-Grove website to see what their take on it was. The past couple of weeks they’ve gotten, while not completely, off the doom and gloom juice.

    The pre-match report praised Wenger and excitement could be inferred from the poster, about diaby and eboue’s selection in the starting line up.

    the post-match report literally started with sell diaby.

    such flip floppers. so gutless. I am in the process of “blooding” my younger brother as an arsenal supporter and he was particularly devastated by the loss on saturday. I told him this is what supporting a top squad in the best league in Europe is like. You go home absolutely gutted some afternoons, or mornings for me ha!

    As he said after the 2nd goal, I really wish I didnt care! I’m sure thats how we all felt after saturday. But we do care. bc we’re arsenal till we die. at least i am

  128. How precocious of you…

  129. Almunia did make a number of errors last season. But a lot of the things he was blamed for weren’t even errors at all.

    A bit like Fabianski’s failed attempt to save Keane’s bottom corner 16 yard striker. Its getting fuckin stupid lately. I can understand why Wenger went for Schwarzer even if he obviously thinks he is shitter than Almunia, which he has proved!

  130. Verminator

    That’s the stuff!!

    WBA played out of their minds

  131. NJ Gooner, its good to meet another fellow Arsenal fan on an Arsenal Blog. So often I am disappointed.

  132. andy

    No offense to Fulham, but Barcelona raided our defence. Every Arsenal fan had him to thank for us having any pride left after that game. It was the BEST goalkeeping performance of the season. Even Hansen admitted it.

  133. CG,

    He was blamed for punching out that corner against Spurs, and then running into Sagna who was behind him. How that’s an error, I don’t know.

    He was blamed for being chipped by Pienaar.

    I could go on.

  134. Gadget,

    good question. really is tough to answer. In both performances our keepers pulled off some incredible double saves!

    I remember being extremely bewildered by Mannone’s performance, shocked that he could turn in such a clutch performance. But Almunia also made like 3458 saves in the first half alone against barca..

    but all of our keepers are shit.. havent you heard?

  135. Gadget do not forget MA’s display at old trafford in the previous seasons CL.

  136. Chris – he was good against Barca, it was great to see. But then made a mistake which led to a goal. Sorry, not good enough.

    Ole – He also palmed a cross going over his head into his own goal.

    I could go on.

  137. Just got back, and I am only posting to point out I am not one of those who was having a conversation with myself on here! (only in my head!)

  138. The problem with percentages is the longer you player, the more mistakes you’ll accrue.

    And since people (who are all stupid cause it’s their birthright) only judge keepers based upon their mistakes and not saves, every keeper is doomed, DOOMED I say, to be judged as pieces of excrement because of all the mistakes they will have made through their career.

    “Seaman, was great” I will say.
    “OMG, ur havin a laff”, they’ll respond. “Have you 4gotten da strike frm da ‘alf way line, by dat x-spud? Ronaldinho?”
    To which, I will have no reply, because all keepers are judged by their erors, and for shame, not their saves.

  139. Dups – Do you mean the one where he was beaten by a 40 yard free kick at his near post? Or was that at the Emirates?

  140. Arsene Baggins

    It’s nice to be in good company, albeit not exclusively.

    unfortunately, there’s no bouncer with a velvet rope hah

  141. Goonerady.

    Wrong.

    Those two Barca goals in the home leg, were not done to an ‘error’ by Big Al.
    I’m sure you can find the highlights somewhere on Youtube.

  142. Go on Goonerandy.

  143. That was at the Emirates GA.

  144. Goonerandy,

    do you really feel that Almunia’s performacne against Barca 1st leg was “not good enough” ?

    you really are having a laugh, or taking the piss.

  145. It seems to me that you only remember his mistakes Andy.

  146. Gadget – you are really twisting things to suit your own argument there (which you should not need to do if what you are saying is right in the first place). We all know that all keepers make mistakes, but it is the freqency of them that grates (in our case).

  147. done<down

    The injury curse strikes again.

    Lumpard has a lump.
    That means Mikel will play?
    heh.

    Inside my tiny, rattling football brain, there's only one worry with the Chav$, and it's not Didier.
    It's the dude who paid for the academy (I think, could be wrong) that brought through JW and Gibbsy whibbsy,

  148. NJ – You are probably right, I was a bit overboard there. He had an excellent game all in all. That is the frustrating thing with him for me though; take that game…..some great saves and kept us in the game. And then a rush of blood saw his race of his line, only to stop (he was never getting there) a get lobbed by that twat. His good work undone.

  149. Finsbury,
    Ibrahimovic’s 1st goal was a result of Al’s run out to collect the ball..

  150. & I am truly sick of this useless weekly discussion about good enough-ness of our goalkeepers..

  151. MJ – Almunia kept us in that game….

  152. mj – Same here really.

  153. When I read some of the stuff by ‘fans’ on the internet, it always reminds me of how much good satire there is of the football p(l)unditry:

    “He didn’t want to do that!”
    Winnning yes.”
    Loosing, you don’t want to do that”

    Sounds like a ‘winning mentality’ to me.

  154. Twisting things eh? Well that could be my degree playing up (it likes to do that of it’s own accord), but I’ve consciously twisted nothing, just pointed out a problem with your logic.

    Now if you said keepers are judged upon the frequency of their mistakes, you may have had a point, but I would have said made fun of it in a manner which suggests it’s BS. It woud be nothing more than the perceived frequency (as such stats aren’t available – and a goalie mistake is yet to be unanimously defined).

    Besides as Sartre (ooh, I’m one of the cleverer stupid lot) had the temerity to show us, it’s that perception is over-rated. (And as a great man yet to be lauded has also said, “people are very very stupid – ridiculously so”)

  155. MJ

    Nope.
    No.
    It was not.

    http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/04/09/thomas-vermaelen-arsenal-positional-errors/

    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

    But, hey, why should anyone let actual events distort their judgement? Sounds like looser talk to me.

  156. gib @ 12:09pm

    Ah…logic makes an appearnace. Thanks gib…

    (Gooner after my own heart right there…)

  157. If the whole team bar one of two played like crap why is it that Almunia has to take most of the blame? Why is it if everyone else is playing like crap, he has to still be perfect.

    Only saw the highlights and yes, the last two goals was shocking goalkeeping from Almunia, but where the backside was the defense? It seemed to me as if WBA had all the space behind the defense because other players were out of position. Trust me, I feel embarrassed for Sagna, I mean the guy made him look like a complete novice – do we want him out also, is he not good enough.

    We need to allow Almunia to forget last year but how can he when after one mistake everyone calls for his head?

    The man has been brilliant apart from Sat, give him a break and get behind the team!

  158. Goonerandy,

    That’s where we differ. you say his good work was undone by the ibra goal. Not the case for me.

    His work prevented that game from being 5-0 after 45 minutes at the emirates. That would have been an embarassment to our club, to have the tie essentially finished off in only 45 of the 180 minutes. So while he made an error on the ibra goal, he was the reason that we were able to come back and make the tie competitive.

  159. axis i singled that post out too!! gib to the rescue!!!

  160. Gadget – I do agree people are stupid. It is evidenced on a daily basis.

    But then you are trying to defend your point with words which is comendable, except that it is the eyes which prove my point. I don’t need a stat to tell me that a keeper should not be beat from 40 yards at his near post, to tell me that a cross should not be palmed into one’s own net. I don’t know what your degree (well done by the way, I know how hard they are to get. Genuinely :)) is in, but sometimes common sense is the greatest form of intelligence.

  161. Finsbury – It was mate. The ball got played down the line, Al came out and got lobbed.

  162. @Finsbury –
    He mis judged his run; he was in two minds; I don’t know how you can argue against it. But I say lets just bury the topic.

    & that article about Tommy V is over exaggerated..

  163. Just to make it clear; I am not putting the blame for Sat on Almunia’s head. It was collective, and he shoulders part of the blame as do the rest of the players.

  164. The first Barca goal was an Almunia error. There was no need to come out.

    I can list the other errors.

    1. Birmingham
    2. Man City (some felt he was slow to get across for Richards header, I thought it’d have been a goal anyway)
    3. Barcelona first goal.
    4. Burnley away.
    5. Some sblamed him for the Nani goal. Maybe I’m being indulgent in saying, he had to intervene.

    Anyone who feels inclined, fill in others I missed.

    So I ask, did Cech make fewer than 5 goal causing errors? Did other keepers make fewer than that?

  165. I think Arshavin should have a go between the sticks.

  166. Geo – Heh, his fat arse might just do the job.

  167. Just out of interest Ole, you said you thought Cech was better than Almunia. Why do you think that?

  168. Ole – i can’t think of any more than those listed. As i’ve said on many occasions, if we were watching those other ‘top’ goalies week in week out in the detail that we do with Almunia, they would be shown up to make just as many mistakes i’m sure.

  169. Ole – There were more mate. Against the Spuds? The Rose volly where Al was almost on the floor by the time the ball got there (after a decent punch out as well). I really can’t be bothered to check the rest but there were more. Last season seems to merge into the season before it.

  170. Henristic,

    How I judge a player is how strong are their strengths, and how weak are their weaknesses.

    Almunia’s problem is that he’s not exceptional. He’s just very competent. he doesn’t make eye catching saves. He doesn’t have the will to win sometimes.

    But as to being a poor keeper it’s outrageously stupid to think that. Just doesn’t square with reality

  171. Andy –

    Don’t you think your predicted line-up above would leave the likes of Kos, Nasri, AA & Chamack, massively fatigued for the Chelsea game?

    I have been trying to figure out but don’t know the way out. Time for Vela, Eastmond, JET, Lansbury may be?

  172. mj – i’d be tempted to go for a team of that ilk to be honest. The fresher the better for Sunday… I’d go with youth all the way for tomorrow.

  173. I am very distrustful of that manic reaction to a loss of “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?!!” It’s as though the person only started following football last Tuesday.

    Any real football fan should be well versed in the misery and trauma of losing… in the rain… with a mass of opposition fans singing and shouting and goading over you. Giving you the double wanker sign. That is a huge part of football.

    Maybe it’s a generation of fans who joined us after the unbeaten season. Poor sods.

    Fans who wallow around fault-finding our goalkeepers are the same. I guess when you support a team as brilliant as Arsenal you have to really go for it when you find a fault – really make the most of the molehills you come up against, in order to feel complete in the stereotypical mould of the malcontented football fan… to fit in with Joe Spud down the battle cruiser with the cock on his shirt.

    It’s an affliction of the big clubs unfortunately. An ‘orrible trait found almost exclusively in United fans, Liverpool fans, Chelsea fans and now Arsenal fans too. That false, puffed-up feeling of entitlement. Such a shame. Little Lord Fauntleroy in an Arsenal shirt, “Mummy this thoroughbred racehorse isn’t shiny enough. Little Timmy in Fulham has a much shinier racehorse than I do, Mummy wa wa wa.” Didn’t used to be like that.

  174. DeiseGooner @ 2:40 pm – “Whats contradictory about saying a player os good but not good enough?” Because, if I had the time I could quote your pre-season posts (up to the closure of the window) you were in full-blown ant-Almunia; then you went into I-think-he-is-good-enough mode, and after one-cock-up yesterday you flopped again.
    Nobody’s mentioned this, but if Almunia had begged to be subbed at the interval after the first half injury, you and others would have him in the Pantheon of great goal-keepers. He was brave to continue despite being injure, to be met by the shower of shite.

  175. @ jbh at 12:21 pm |
    Completely agree with you mate. Andre was one of our better players on Saturday.

  176. Thank you GoonerAndy, but I have to say completing my degree was one of the worst mistakes I’ve ever made. Taught me nothing memorable (nor of any use) and it was neither enjoyable or stimulating, but it was expensive practice for the skills I already possessed. Yep, that’s a law degree for you.

    It did teach me one lesson though: My instincts offer me better guidance than other people’s advice

    Anyway, my English teacher told me one of the greatest things ever: common sense and general knowledge do not exist; and to this day, no-one’s been able to show me otherwise. It seemed counter-intuitive at the time, not at all now.

  177. mj – Yeah you could be right mate. I supose the coaching staff will asses them in training (fitness levels). Hopefully will put the game to bed early to give Arsene the opportunity to take players off.

  178. goonerandy | September 27, 2010 at 3:55 pm |

    I’m sorry that’s just not an error at all. He came off his line to punch. (Top marks for being positive). He punched. (Good). He punched high and got it well clear (very good), he started moving back to his line. He runs into Sagna. He’s knocked off balance, he’s going down as ball goes over him.

    Not an error at all. In no way.

    That’s why I find all this really annoying. You’re all blaming him for things he didnt do wrong which is perverse.

  179. Gadget – Law degree eh? Cudos.

  180. Geo leaves us looking soemthing like this –
    Fabianski (I’d prefer Vito)
    Eboue Squillaci Djourou Clichy
    Eastmond Jack
    Rosicky
    Lansbury JET Vela

    Bench – AA, Samir, Sagna, Song, Schezny

    I’d love rest Clichy if Gibbs is fit.

  181. Ole – We will have to agree to disagree on that one then. For me if the ball travels at you, yet you are nearly on your knees when it arrives it is not very good goalkeeping. When it went in I didn’t think much of it. Rose really did hit it well. On the replays a thought is was bad keeping. Not a howler or anything though.

  182. -wengers gamble on almunia this season was slight yet his gamble with the fans emotions was massive. there was some effort even by idiot fans to get behind him but unfortunately anything short of exceptional by the no.1 and we will suffer huge amounts of negitive attention for many months. all quite predictable.

    -wilshere sets a tempo and mentality that few others in the squad can. whatever your opinion on ‘english grit’ its hard to deny that 3 JWs in midfield saturday would have never lost this match. 3 eboues or 3 diabys and anything could have happened

    -I wonder how well wenger is in tune with players moods as it appears he is more academic over team selection sometimes.
    -wenger should have maybe acted earlier with diaby and eboue but song certainly should have been reigned in DURING the match
    -if only ramsey was still with us.
    -really hope JET gets some game time soon.

    oh and since when has not winning the league meant we cant enjoy watching arsenal (nearly) every week? the braga game was one of the most beautiful performances I have seen yet chalsea win 6-0 and still bore the shit out me.

  183. GoonerAndy:

    “What I would ask though; is why are so many people of the same opinion of Almunia? It could be the “witch hunt” which many on here believe, but stop to think…..it could also be because they are right.”

    You agree with Hansen about our supposed lack of winning mentality, a meme that has been around for about five years now, and you expect people to believe that you formulate your own objective opinions regarding Almunia? Get the fuck out. You have allowed yourself to be influenced by what the media dishes out. Your opinions are not your own.

  184. Games Almunia saved us points in.

    1. Everton at home. Save to stop 3-1
    2. Barca at home
    3. West ham at home
    4. Hull at home
    5. Hull away
    6. Liverpool at home

    Feel free to add to the list

    By the way I forgot one error;

    6. Portsmouth at home.
    7. I don’t consider Man U away to be an error. Rooney dived. Not Almunia’s fault.

  185. I don’t think we should play a full CC team tomorrow. It is not a game to be taken lightly, and to bounce back with a win would give us momentum going into Sunday.

    JET or Vela maybe for AA or Chamakh. We have a good number of option in midfield so Arsene should be able to rest a couple of the players there without too much issue. I would imagine possibly giving Song a rest for Denilson.

  186. I’d go with that mj – a couple of seasons ago i wouldnt have expected those youngsters to be able to all come in together and still be confident of a win, but these days, that team can do Partizan i’m sure. And as much as i’ve slated Fabianski in recent days, i think he should play against partizan, hopefully have a good game, then he should have confidence in himself when covering for Almunia… See what happens i guess.

  187. “full blown anti Almunia then said hes good enough then flopped again after 1 mistake on Saturday” ??

    Really??

    I could have sworn i was and have been for quite a while now of the opinion Almunia isnt good enough to be our No1 but is a competent keeper worthy of a backup position.

  188. Limpar

    top post. i really feel that above all else, it does come down to what you posted about. large sections of people dont know how to deal with disappointment these days.

    I cant say I’ve had too many days in the rain like you’ve described, but I always find the suffering brought on by a loss, especially one as unexpected as the other day, just brings me even closer to the players, coaches, and most importantly, my brothers also sharing in the sufferring.

  189. Thanks for saying it Limpar…i didn’t want to.

    The “woe is me” stuff is really a bit much. The rattling on? Well it’s quite simple to see that you all would like perfection. Players make mistakes…if you can’t handle that, pick another sport to follow.

  190. of all the errors I listed, the ones that could be deemed to have cost us points include;

    1. Birmingham
    2. Man Utd (if you consider the first goal an error. I don’t)
    3. Man Utd away (if you blame him for Rooney’s dive)

    again feel free to add to the list if necessary

  191. G69 –

    “You agree with Hansen about our supposed lack of winning mentality, a meme that has been around for about five years now, and you expect people to believe that you formulate your own objective opinions regarding Almunia? Get the fuck out. You have allowed yourself to be influenced by what the media dishes out. Your opinions are not your own”

    You are more wrong than you could imagine. I don’t need anybody tell tell me my opinion. As it goes I have actually thought what Hansen said for a while (I even posted it on here no so long ago). You may be influenced bu others, but don’t tar me with that brush.

  192. Come to think of it, that lesson wasn’t taught by the degree, but as a result of completing it when I wanted to quit and study something less vocational.

    The tragic thing is, despite me hating my degree, if I could relive my days, I’d do the same thing (perhaps with the exception of greater promiscuity). I’ve met some great people post-uni who I would never have met were things to have gone differently.

    The feeling I get contemplating is such. My friends are the trophys to come out of my barren patch, treasures made greater by the burden(s) endured.

  193. Ole

    for me, its just Birmingham where he’s really to blame for dropped points. where we can firmly say, ok almunia crocked up, and we dropped points as a result.

    the real bummer is we only missed out on winning the league bc of those 2 points……………

  194. goonerandy | September 27, 2010 at 4:08 pm | ,

    I think that one is just wrong. The reason he was on his knees was because he ran into Sagna. Why? because he was rightly looking at the ball to see if it will come back.

    I am sorry this is just flat wrong. it’s not about opinion. It’s not an error at all.

  195. MJ,

    I wrote about that Zonalmarking article when it was publishers here, it’s not perfect. There were lots of errors like that all season long, not just by TV5. Less so in the period before the squad suffered two broken legs.
    But the post highlights with the help of a still the simple fact that Tv5 stepped out and left Ibrah with a clear run at goal.
    A gift. I don’t understand how you can ignore that.
    The photo’s are in ZM’s piece, people can look (or remember), and form their own judgements.

    But I would think that it is a much greater error then allowing yourself to be lobbed by one of Europe’s top finishers (apparently so). I think it’s harsh to even blame Al for the first Barca goal.
    “Terrible defending”.

  196. I saw somthing (can’t remember where) that our keepers (Fabianski being the main culprit I believe) cost us roughly 15 points last year. That is hell of a lot if true.

  197. I like Andy’s line-up myself. Only with Denilson instead of Song. Go for the same midfield that bossed the spuds at Shite Hart but play Arsh instead of Lansbury. Tuesday to Sunday gives you a day of rest and physio for those who need it, and three full training sessions of ascending intensity. They’re not as precious as all that these footballers. Maybe give Chamakh a rest for Vela and see what his pace can do. Maybe Kos for Djourou as he’s played every game so far (?)

  198. Aaaaargggh

    < published.

  199. so goonerandy,

    not to pile on.. but you think that you cant win the league without knowing how to win the league? that without the experience of winning the league, our players cant possibly know what it takes to win the league?

    do you understand that why, as a fellow gooner, i’m concerned about you following that logic? I’m worried for you mate, please, vindicate yourself!

  200. I can’t argue/discuss with you (nor do I want to) at the moment Ole. At work with no access to youtube or the like.

  201. Ole

    Good point about Almunia’s errors.But the error v Birmingham knocked the stuffing out of our title bid which we never recoved.That was a crucial error
    Can you do a list of Fabianski’s errors if you have a few hours to spare

  202. Damn that was a mangled analogy.

    Glory, cause we are the Arsenal! They can hide hat is our, but we’ll take it back and put our enemies to the sword with our boots!

  203. Hah did anyone see today how Harry wants Tottenham to play like Arsenal???

  204. Limpar – I do agree. I think footballers maybe be pampered a little too much sometimes. They are proessional athletes and whilst fatigue can be a factor is is quickly becoming the “norm” that they can’t play too many games in a row. We are only a handful of games into the season.

  205. Andy – I forgot Denilson, he’d definitley start, I think!
    Geo – Its not that I am slating Fabianksi; its just my personal liking for Mannone. I think he deserved more starts last season.
    Anyways, fingers crossed for a morale boosting clean sheet tomorrow.

  206. The Eduardo Embargo cost a lot more points then any ‘keepers.

    But hey, why focus on that, when it’s so much more fun, to slag off your own.

  207. Ken,

    It takes me 50 secs at a time. I have 50 secs to spare.

    Fabianski, last season; Wigan Away, Stoke FA Cup, Porto Away. Blackburn away was a foul on him. A clear foul on him for which he was perversely criticised.

  208. NJ –

    “so goonerandy,

    not to pile on.. but you think that you cant win the league without knowing how to win the league? that without the experience of winning the league, our players cant possibly know what it takes to win the league?

    do you understand that why, as a fellow gooner, i’m concerned about you following that logic? I’m worried for you mate, please, vindicate yourself!”

    No, I don’t think we can’t win the lge. I supose the point I am trying to make is that experience of winning gives that extra confidence to an individual, and a team. Once we get a lge championship under our belt I think more will swiftly follow. It is not black and white i.e. we can’t win until we have won it.

  209. Where the fuck have all these people come from ffs one bad performance and they come crawling out.

  210. This is for Steww.

    While one cannot be satisfied with a very sub-standard performanace I am happy this one came (the team is ‘allowed’ one self-inflicted embarrassment per season, and one unlucky loss = total two that should have been won) early in the season, and the opportunity for players and manager to mentally adjust. I like it when the players get a reality check.

    I did think, like many, the line-up was not the best but it is the manager’s decision and he makes his choice, fair do. The players selected are expected to do a job, and again Wenger should not apologise for (the lack of) that.

    I did think Almunia made a classic keeper’s error on the 3rd goal, that was not the decision to go for the cross, but the decision to stop. Once you commit, you commit fully even if you have to tackle the player. Keepers (all of them) are allowed 3 such mistakes per season. One down, two to go. I don’t blame # 2 after hearing about his injury. It makes sense because Almunia seldom gets those wrong.

    People might please remember that while we do not want to ‘blame’ injuries, we do have them – and they are just so we remind ourselves who was not available – RvP, Bentner, Walcott, Ramsey, Vermaelen and Fabregas (6) along with Gibbs (7) and with Diaby (8) coming back from a nasty little injury (psychologically more than physically that is), and Almunia.

    Let’s move on please … it’s going to be an interesting season; top teams are all dropping points. I like it that way. More like the old days (70s, 80s and 90s), any team could lose any match!

    Oh, we will laugh about this little shocker later on …

  211. I find that Almunia gets blamed a lot for getting beat at his near post. But why isn’t anyone making the case for why the opposition find themselves so close to his goal in those particular areas? The Ibra goal against Barcelona, Ngog’s goal against Liverpool and Jara’s goal on saturday all have one thing in common. They all came from the left side of our defense and the strikers were but yards away from the six yard box. Jara’s goal, as with all the other ones I listed, was a shot taken from an angle that leaves a goalkeeper stranded. If Almunia would’ve commited to the first post too much he would’ve been beaten at his far post. If he would’ve commited to his far post he would’ve been beaten on his near post. When shots are taken so close to the goalkeeper it all comes down to guessing just like it does on a penalty kick.

  212. The Eduardo Embargo… grrrr
    That only came to an end when we sacrificed a limb.

  213. I am trying to be optomistic about sunday..but the idea of clichy against drogba isnt a comforting one. I just fear we’ll get battered and embarrased!

  214. @Limpar 3:59 pm

    The best comment I’ve read today.

  215. No secret that I wish we had bought a GK this summer. All GK do make mistakes and although it is unfair to crucify Al for 1 bad game, we all knew this would happen. He had been very good for the first 6 games before WBA and I still think he is the best option we have right now. Hopefully, he will recover quickly from the injury and get back to the form he showed earlier in the year. I doubt that Wenger would drop him after 1 bad game if he was not really injured.

    The whole issue about the “winning mentality” is an argument that can not be won or lost because there is no way to quantify. We all believe that this team has incredible talent and when it does not win the problem is clearly between the ears. Its frustrating to me that this team seems to have a mental block against getting over that last hump. When we drop a clanger like Saturday I am not sure if it is over confidence and complacency or if it actually indicates that this group of players has not really developed the true self belief that will allow it to get over the hump. If the former then we have had plenty of chances to learn our lesson in the past. Either way the boss has some work to do. Saturday was just 1 game but it certainly makes the job of winning a title this year much more difficult. Lots of very tough away games after mid week CL games coming up soon and dropped points are inevitable.

    If we win Tues and then take a least a point at the Bridge things will be back on track.

  216. Zim, for the 3rd, I can see why Almunia didn’t commit. I reckon there’d be a real good chance he’d have got sent off and concede a penalty which would have been the worst thing, especially since we’d used all our subs. Who would have gone in goal then?

  217. Finsbury – I was never interested in being involved into this topic of discussing anyone’s errors in the pas which now will make no difference.
    But, going by your logic, Saturday’s goal was not Al’s mistake at all? since it was our defence that exposed the goal, even if the shot was straight at him?

    The discussion here was about his mistakes, regardless of the defence’s errors. I could have done better with Barca’s first goal. That is my opinion. I am not willing to discuss this any more.

  218. Gains – What was you watching on Sat. The shot was streight at him FFS!

    NGog’s goal I don’t blame him for, it was a great strike. Against Barca he was lobbed out of position. The worst “near post” was the Ronaldo 40 yard free kick.

    Anyway, now it looks like I am “slagging him” which I have no intention of doing. I fully support him whilst he is out keeper regardless if I believe he is good enough or not. Every game I want him to prove me wrong, and have no problem eating humble pie if need be. I would actually enjoy it.

    Same goes for Fabianski.

    Although in his case I may begin to look anorexic 😉

    Off home.

  219. Bill | September 27, 2010 at 4:28 pm |

    Bill,

    I do agree with that.

  220. Andy, just face it. Yor opinions are not your own.

  221. *he could have
    (I wish I could)

  222. Gains – Heh, OK.

    Evidently nor are your eyes.

  223. I wonder if there is any merit in stating opinions, when the opinioner doesn’t wish to discuss them.

    The only time I imagine when this is useful is in trying to manipulate some one within earshot.

    Or when the opinioner is of the opinion the topic is a dead donkey tenderised one blow too far.

    Just to state, this remark is void of any snideness, but just musings for my own benefit, although I welcome similar musings as it may make me seem less crazy to others – not that I care cause they’re people who are stupid because they are people

  224. Your opinion is yours when its in agreement with those on here, but if it differs then its been fed to you via the mainstream media!

  225. I agree with Bill. You can’t measure a winning mentality. Those who think our players lack one do so because they have fallen for the crap hacks like Hansen produce.

    Andy, did you see Almunia leaning away when the shot was taken? Players at the top level know how to place the ball wherever they want. Had Almunia commited himself too much to his near post he would’ve been beaten at his far post. All you saw was the ball bounce off Almunia and decided that his error was just like Greene’s at the world cup. What you are apparently missing is Jara’s position and the angle he had to strike at. Something which is completely out of his control. And being that you’ve blamed Almunia for errors which weren’t his own on more than one occasion, I have to assume you didn’t see what I described here.

  226. You talking about etes, Andy? That’s abit rich, isn’t it?

    Deise, go dig a hole somewhere and bury yourself alive.

  227. Ok, Goonerandy

    thank you for saying you dont follow Hansen’s logic. i was worried.

  228. Henristic @ 1:13

    Probably more accurate then we want to admit.

  229. Jaras goal was ultimately Almunia’s mistake (after some shocking defending) – end of.

  230. *etes = eyes.

  231. MJ @ 4:30

    That’s good to hear.
    I thought that any discussion on the Barca goals that goal were ‘over’ with the first video replays. My eyes must be f**ked. I blame the white background.
    I never claimed that I could ‘do better’ then Almunia. Ibrah. is a good player, he does score goals.
    I’m sorry you found my logic confusing.

  232. So how did Jara end up in such a good position? Almunia is there to stop shots and cut off the angle as much as possible, but when you give a player that kind of space he’ll exploit it like Jara did.

  233. – that goal.

  234. Yes like i said, after bad defending. But that shot was savable and should have been saved, not shunted into the net. Therefore Almunia did make a mistake which ultimately cost us a goal. Not entirely at fault but not blameless like you seem to be stating.

    Should Al have save it? = Yes
    Did he? = No
    His mistake = Yes.

  235. ffs arguing on a blog makes you look very childish

  236. Don’t we have better things to discuss these days? This GK shit is worse than pre season transfer speculation 😐

  237. Meanwhile, does anyone fancy Verminator at LB at Chelsea?

  238. It was a mistake. Goal 2 was a mistake. Goal 3, I don’t think he could have done anything better. The penalty, I’d blame him for coming, not because it’s the wrong decision, because football has become such that a keeper rushing out against a striker these days is very very likely to concede a penalty. The striker will knock the ball beside him, and run into the keeper. Almunia might do well to not come out.

    Well…..this one confounds me. Can we really tell a keeper to not be positive and try to come out and put the striker off?

    I’m conflicted.

  239. G69 @ 4:43

    Top comment on that goal by Jara. The problem of a skilled opponent being given too much time and space, to pick their spot, seems to be a tricky concept today.

  240. i personally think clichyis rubbish, and gibbs should be pplayed ahead of him weeek in week out. He gets nutmegged too easily, its happened like 3 times already in important positons, he gets skilled up too easy as well

  241. Finsbury, it seems like it has become a habit for our defenders to leave Almunia vulnerable in such positions. The N’Gog goal and the two Ibrahimovic goals last season were almost identical, yet Almunia gets slated for them because he supposed to be some sort of impenetrable wall. It’s just ridiculous. This Almunia bashing is an example of a bunch of hacks who criticize keepers without any first hand experience of what being a keeper at the top level entails. I feel sorry for the likes of Almunia, James and Greene. They will have to live with fans calling them mediocre no matter how well they recover from their blunders.

  242. in an effort, that will doubtlessly prove to be in vain, i want to get away from the goalkeeping discussion. err shit slinging.

    One of the things I am most concerned about, and while I took notice of it, it was not too big of a worry until Saturday, but Alex Song has not looked to be at that top level he was last season. He ends up in attacking areas way more frequently than last season, which is an area where he offers little, and cannot provide the initial coverage the defense needs immediately in front of them in the midfield.

    NOW, i should say that i love alex song. last year he was one of the best players in teh squad for me, and i constantly praised his development. I even considered getting his name on the back of my new home kit.

    But this season we have seen little of what made him great last season. a calm rock sitting at the back of the midfield, waiting to accept the often needed and safe back pass, ready to restart another arsenal attack. As well, last year he developed this great ability to shield the ball with his body while negotiating the ball out of the back after regaining possession.

    I sincerely hope he can return to the bed-rock of the midfield that he was. Last year he was one of the 5 or so players in our squad who I thought was absolutely instrumental to our successes.

    Anyone else got any opinions on our cameroonian beast?

    Maybe its all down to the hair? haha

  243. Ole, Odimwinghey (sic) was already going down before Almunia even got there. That peno was the result of a good dive, period.

  244. GB69,

    your right. he had the tell-all locked knees as he went down. he’s been watching gerrard and rooney highlights.

  245. NJ, only last week he was immense while we were down to ten men against Sunderland. How do you make a judgement such as this when the season has barely even begun?

  246. Alex Dimitri Song Billong has gotten it into his head that he needs to score more goals for some reason. No you don’t Song, just do what you were praised for last season and leave it at that for now. Its admirable he wants to add more strings to his bow but we have enough attacking players. Be the wall, song – Be the wall 🙂 We will still love you

  247. Alex Song was the one who got the double yellow and caused us to go down to ten men. My bad.

  248. I was thinking about the game against Braga where he was a virtual wall.

  249. GB69,

    correct me if i’m wrong, but he was the man sent off, thus reducing us to 10 men. so……. yea haha

  250. I’m not sure if it was Song maybe seeing more “attacking” players like wilshere and diaby fill into his DM position while he was regaining his fitness during pre-season and early season games, but im not sure.

    Someone, please talk to me about Alex Song

  251. Wow…one bad loss and we’re reduced to a shambles…flinging blame in all directions, attacking our own team and each other, calling for the manager to be fired, railing against our own chances one month into a season…we talk of winning mentality while failing to exhibit even the slightest bit of it ourselves.

    Definitely some problems with our performance…a truly bad day at the office, yes, but lets try to keep it together. This is the same team that has played so well up to this point…it’s not possible that all of a sudden they aren’t any good. I’m upset about the loss as well but let’s not allow our frustration to send us into a fit of sweeping condemnation and a complete collapse of faith in our team.

    If I were a Manc I’d be reading this and loving it…

  252. The same old complaints every season. aint someone tired of all these flops and excuses? let’s just conclude the club is profit-making and not trophy-winning. To your tents oh fans

  253. oyeolu, you obviously have a “winning mentality”. You win the award for the stupidest comment today and i have a feeling that you would win it on most days.

  254. did I say that? my bad. I am frustrated by all this bullcrap!

    It was a bad game and the team needs to refocus. I hope Arsene really gives them a good blasting!

  255. i’d just like to say that I rate Alex Song very highly. and that I hope he returns to his form of last season.

    I hope you all can see my comments for what they are, and not just group them in with some of the other “opinions” being put forth.

  256. G69 @5:15,

    Yup. Classic ‘green’ error by JW against Liverpool. Maybe the CB’s were dopy as well.

    And today the FA are sending Green a reminder of his responsibilities for a gesture towards the press box. Personally, I’d have understood, if he’d have ‘done a Cantona’ flying kick up into the hacks’ box. I’d have applauded him.

    Good reminder about James too. For years, well, a couple, he was the best keeper around for England, who else was there? TA was called a ‘donkey’ by all outside of AFC. Only El Tel, a (sp*d!) redeemded his career with the national team and the wider plunditry, in Euro ’96, if my memory isn’t playing tricks. If TA was a donkey, the mind judders at the spectacle of Dawson.
    Once AW arrived, Adams who was always a great player, was soon spinning pirouettes, and scoring goals. With his feet. Occasionly.

  257. Song needs a haircut.

  258. I’m finding myself comparing Saturday to the 08-09 shock loss to fresh in the top flight Hull City. I believe we lost 3-1 at the Emirates and looked as equally lackluster as we did this past saturday.

    anyone else think of this?

  259. finsbury

    the greyish blonde grey really is confusing

  260. ok i double checked and it was 2-1 to Hull City at the Emirates. I remember one of their goals was an absolute cracker.

  261. that hull city loss also followed a convincing Carling Cup performance at the mid-week. Coincidence?!?!? (Cue Twighlight Zone music)

  262. I thought of the Hull game too, and then, Phil Brown popped into my head. Not recommended.

  263. I won’t comment on the D**Mer’s positional play, although it is tempting.
    I’m from the Cruyff school. But Song’s passing, even against Braga, seemed off.

    He needs to get down to, gulp, Tottenham, and find a decent barbers shop.

  264. Maybe we should play 5-3-2?
    ===
    I understand the necessity to move on, forgive and forget, more important games ahead, it’s too early in the season, but you can’t deny that this was the kind of game that should make you really pissed off, if it doesn’t then what is?

    If you’re not going to be mad and upset when your team is losing to 3-0 to WBA at home after an hour, when are you going to be mad and upset?

    Do I have any right over Arsenal Football Club, no, but I chose the right to support this club and the right to be mad when I see something like Saturday.

    What’s so annoying is how can a team go from great on Tuesday or Wednesday, to horrible on Saturday? It can’t be fatigue because we played till the last minute of 95 and we scored 2 in the last 15 minutes. So what is the cause of this loss? Form doesn’t fluctuate so drastically from one game to another, you either in form for a stretch of games, or out of form for a stretch of games. So, that leaves complacency? Why would you be complacent when you haven’t won in anything in 5 years?

    I supported the team and Arsene and will continue to do so, but I’m at a loss of understanding why did we lose on Saturday? Ruthlessness is needed so badly and it’s scarce in this team, and if they do it in one game they don’t do it in the other.

  265. Finsbury,

    would love for you to explain the Cruyff school of thought to me.. i assume that it is that a traditional DM is not completely needed?

    he has looked off. his impossibly calm demeanor from last year has not been as evident this season. and his passing has shown this

  266. G4E

    you should be gutted. it was a tough loss. in a post earlier i quoted what my brother said after the 2nd goal went in “I wish i didnt care”.

    I dont think its down to just one thing though. Koscielny’s intense work load has to have contributed. complacency over facing a newly promoted team at home. coming off the high of the derby midweek. I was surprised AW put diaby in as he was just back from injury.

    For me, this is a match that doesnt unfold the way it did with Cesc Fabregas on the field.

    I think its a number of things. And lord knows AW has been wracking his brain trying to figure it out.

  267. We are signing Robert Green for 3m in the winter. Confirmed.

  268. apparently a Wolves player had his tibula broken by Steve Sidwell of Villa this weekend… anyone see the tackle?

    I havent.. but i know it wasnt malicious, that it was just a committed player going for the ball.

  269. 5 – the number of penalties Manuel Almunia has saved out of the last 6 faced at the Emirates Stadium in the EPL

  270. That’s the best way to describe it NJ, “I wish I didn’t care” but I do…What I’m trying to say is, sometimes it’s OK to be mad, because in some circumstances, if you don’t, then the question would be, do you really care?

  271. We’ll just have to dick chelsea wont we?

  272. G4E

    absolutely right. it takes a true supporter with some persepctive to understand and deal with that anger though because you must realize, the reason you are so disgustingly angry is that you love arsenal and there’s nothing you can directly do to solve saturday’s problems..

  273. amen deano,

    and thankfully we have till sunday to train/recover

  274. Sorry,we will lose 2-1 tomorrow and 4-1 at the Shiteford beach.Begining of the end of the retard Arsehole Wanker.

  275. G4E, I would think being complacent would be out of the pciture with the way it has haunted us the past couple of seasons, sadly I agree with you. It seems as if we get a big win against an good team and believe that the ball is going to roll just as smoothly in the next match especially against a “lesser” team.

    I only saw highlights and thats what i gathered. As if we had no respect for WBA, why esle would our defense play as if defending is not a priority number 1?

    Come on Arsenal, time to refocus!

  276. yep Slaguar you spuds will lose 2-1 to twente i agree with that.

  277. clever Duke!

  278. Sorry,I am an Arsene arselicker.

  279. Me too Duke

  280. NJGooner | September 27, 2010 at 6:00 pm |

    I don’t really know! Happy to admit, I have a tiny football brain.
    (I do know, that if you give a top level striker half an hour to score, chances are they will score.)

    My Guess: Paraphrasing some posts and comments on uninfected Arsenal blogs, is that it’s got to with rotating the last, ‘screening’ player. Last season in certain games towards the end, we saw Song & Diaby doing this, brilliantly, and then Song got injured. (Denilson injured too, I think).
    This season Diaby & JW have played really well. I didn’t see Saturday’s game, but if I was Diaby, I’d have still had my leg wrapped in a liniment soaked cloth!
    Also, I think Denison adds something. Not sure what. But the chalkboard of passes from his cameo the other week, is a cool diagram. Props to Gingers for Limpar. And against the Sp*ds, the match fit pair of JW and Denilson were great. Denislon doing the less glamerous stuff, but seeing him barge and slide around, that’s what’ll satisfy the old skool D**Mers out there. (Jaguer is just an unfortunate example of an ingrown xenophobe).

  281. sighs

    < half an hour to take a shot.

  282. < When I wrote 'not sure what', I meant that I don't really know that much about the subject.

  283. These sp*ds really were upset by last weeks result.

    This ‘Return to Glory’ has left them feeling a little bitter.

  284. Paul N, complacency is a killer but I still don’t understand why would we have it in us? I can understand it from Chel$ki or Manure because they won titles in the last 5 years, we didn’t. We should have fire in our asses every game we play, WBA or not.

    Anyways, I just hope “cause I can only hope” that we won’t do that again.

    And like our dear friend Bob Marley said, “Time will tell”.

  285. Hey NJ,

    For me Alex Song has always been a midfield all-rounder. More Paul Davis, Viera or Essien than Makelele, Gattuso or Dunga. When the other team are attacking he’ll be there ‘protecting our back four’, but in general, if you look at his chalkboards, he has always spent a lot of time in the opposition half, linking up with the forwards, keeping the ball moving and changing the angle of attack when a door shuts. When you play Stoke or Spurs or Wolves you need all of your midfielders and then some showing for the ball.

    He’s definitely making more runs into the box this season. I think this is where the anxiety comes from, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE, SONG?! GET BACK!” But in reality he never sat back on the edge of our D with his arms crossed waiting for a break, did he?

    His forward runs have not cost us any goals, in fact he scored against Bolton and could easily have had at least one on Saturday. I think it’s a really useful outlet – a new, unexpected runner for defenders to track. “Who the hell is this with the legs and the grey hair? Didn’t see any video on this g… oh… shit… he’s nutmegged me and scored.”

    If we’re protecting a lead or a cleansheet then great, anchor him to our penalty area… but when we need a goal then I’m all for it. He’s an exciting, direct new line of attack, and he’ll open up gaps for Cesc et al. Total Football, baby! Nobody said it was easy…

    I’m sure he’ll be deployed more defensively against Chelsea… but if he scored the winner at the bus stop I reckon people might just warm to those new attacking instincts.

  286. loving the image of jaguar as an in ingrown xenopube.

    his appearances on here are some of the most bland, unfunny and hollow trolling ive ever seen on the internet. considering its his no.1 mission in life its quite sad to see that he makes even the most useless of spuds supporters look like geniuses. what an empty man, I actually pity him.

  287. DeiseGooner at 5:24 pm |
    What’s wrong with you? If Song decides to play up the field, then it has to be a tactical decision by the manager. You can’t expect him to take decisions like that on his own, & still be in the sqaud for the next game.

  288. Hey YW. Yet a little more blue required but much better already. thanks for paying attention.

    but, did you force a particular font size and type?

    my pages do not seem to agree to increase when I increase my default font type and size

  289. Limpar,

    I hear ya. I would have to agree that song bursting forward can cause unexpected havoc amongst the defense. And overall this season, I have not seen any glaring errors as a result of this, as you said.

    But i dont know, he just seems off. his passing last season was very calm and deliberate, happy to let cesc et al. play the pass that unlocks the defense. This season, so far, and it is early, his passing has not been as rock solid as it was last year.

    Hopefully my worries will be lost in the wind as he gets back to full form this season.

    Really, I love the guy, one of my favorite arsenal players.

  290. I agree with Limpar A concerning Song. He`s got far more about him to be the classic `holding midfielder` & nobody complained when he glided in that beauty against Bolton the other week.
    I believe he`ll end up as a top drawer box to box midfield player – & to do that he`s aware he needs to add goals to his game.
    It seems that whenever we concede people first blame the keeper (sometimes true) , then Alex Song. Or Clichy !

    NJ Gooner,
    I saw the Sidwell leg breaker yesterday & it was another bad one, with his back leg scissoring the opponent much like how Gardner (guess who got a straight red on Saturday ?) did Cesc last season. Sidwell must have been wound up to a tune because just moments after the stretcher had disappeared he caught Karl Henry, although I`ll let him off with that one.

  291. Finsbury

    haha thanks for the response. Your analysis sounds right by me! haha

    Denilson is as good as anyone as that “screening player”.. hope to see more of him.

  292. I think song is a little overconfident at the moment after a succesful spell of attacking the game in the last 6 weeks and then scoring the goal he predicted on the team bus. The man was trying to win the match for us which is the kind of mentality we need. perhaps he was getting too used to having JW by his side terrorising every nook and crany of midfield. I’m sure he will be under more cautious instructions next time and some more intelligent men by his side but for me wenger is more to blame for not acting quickly on the evidence of what we saw during the game and fixing the mismatched midfield.

  293. Oh yeah, don’t get me wrong, NJ – his passing against Braga was pretty awful at times and wayward against Bolton too. But once he gets it together… he’ll become very dangerous. Positionally I’m liking it, passing needs to improve.

  294. Zap – If you think the sudden upsurge of numerous twits on this blog is disgusting, try going over to Newsnow and see the virtual explosion of Anti Arsenal Arsenal rubbish. Sad really, truly sad.

    On that note – thank god we drove j-j and his special brand of nonsense from these pages. Talk about about a AAA blog where the blogger himself is the major poster virtually talking to himself. (No more clues girls and boys.)

  295. Among positive news, Frank Limpard (along with Benayoun & Kalou), are still not fit to face us

  296. Limpar,

    ok, im glad i wasnt the only one who noticed something.

    it seems positionally that the midfielders now that they need to exchange places if one of the deeper two – not cesc role – bombs forward then the other makes sure to drop into the space the other left. noticing jack doing lots of this. total football bitches

  297. sorry that shouldve been “now know”

  298. who else wants to meet this ”jaguar” in person and beat the shit out of him?

  299. Does anyone know how the reserves are getting on? The text commentary does not seem to be working on the official site?

  300. Zap

    seeing as how he’ll have a sp*rs jersey on.. many will echo those sentiments

  301. Passenal,

    the official site is not working for me too..

    The latest score according to tweets is 0-0 at half time…

  302. It’s okay, text commentary is working now – it’s nil – nil second half has just started.

  303. Blimey, PL season less than two months old and four broken legs already.

  304. FG, you’d think the powers that be would put 2 & 2 together rather than spend their time villifying Arsene for trying to shine a light on what is wrong with violent conduct on the field being allowed to go unpunished. I still think that Diaby had been rushed back for Saturday and was not really ready for match play. It’s interesting that he is not travelling to Belgrade with the rest of the group.

  305. I’m sure some people want Almunia to do like this Goalkeeper

  306. Lovely layout yogi!

  307. oh god..the botola in morocco isnt doing me any proud..

  308. is the box making it veeery slow to type for anyoen else??

  309. Not sure if it is Di Santo who’s had the break, as there’s no news, on the news sites yet.

    “We work in training to try and master the art of timing the challenge.”
    “I don’t think it was a massively dirty tackle but, when you go in studs up, the referees are clamping down on that….”

    Said the manager of Satan FC in defence of the coward Gardner.

    So they practice going in with their studs up? I’m confused.
    Or, he is, as they say, talking B*ll*cks.

    Hmmm…

    Also text commentary at Gingers for Limpar if the official site is down .

  310. I would think that, Passenal, but I am the sort of person who thinks hell might freeze over!

    1-0 to us in the Reserves. Chuks Aneke. Assist from Craig Eastmond. And we’ve just scored anohter one! Penalty from JET.

  311. So that would be 2-0.

  312. Arsenal Reserves 2-0 up against Blackpool reserves… Aneke at 71 and a JET pen at 73.

    Hope the reserves win the reserve league this season.

  313. 2-0 to the young guns.

    Chuks Aneke & Jay Thomas (penalty).

  314. I am glad things have moved away from the keeper discussion. Gains seems to have gone from defending Almunia’s honor to some sort of schoolboy crush. I have no doubt he will be shocked to know that Big Al’s shit stinks as well. In fact he would probably deny it and proclaim as fact that Almunia’s diet prevents his shit from stinking too bad 😉

    Song is an excellent player, who has not quite reached the form of last season. He is still only young remember, we have no worries there.

  315. JET starts for the reserves. Strange.

  316. Blimey that was quick work by the reserves!

    You’re right about hell freezing over FG. Nothing will change until one of the golden generation gets crocked but that will never happen because none of these cowards who perpetrate these acts would dare risk the wrath of the nation by going in hard on Rooney et al.

  317. Ah, behind the curve.

  318. come on Ole.. stop defending the undefendable.

  319. Although I don’t wish injury on an player (except John Terry of course), like Pas mentioned, it would be interesting to see the media reaction if somebody like Rooney got crocked. Especially if the culprit was one of those dirty foreign types.

  320. And another one. 3-0

    There’s a little full back-turned-midfielder in the Reserves who I have my eye on (I speak footballistically, of course) called Jernaide Meade. doughty little fighter. I keep saying “little” because he is tiny. Andrei would want to stand next to him at a party.

  321. Benik Afobe, assist from JET. Looks like game over. Well done, boys. Great job.

  322. The reserves front 3 are quite a trio! One each for the 3 musketeers! JET, Aneke and Afobe all on target tonight. Excellent work. I wonder if they’ll get a chance in future rounds of the Carling Cup?

  323. @ Passenal
    I hope so – but I wonder if Newcastle is a bit of a tall order for them?

    Did Noordtveit do well, anyone know?

  324. goonerandy, it’s no good if a golden boy is injured by a dirty foreigner. He has to be crooked by a shawcross to make any difference to the national mindset.

  325. Plus they have Vela in front of them.

  326. FG, unless we are really short of players I do not see all 3 playing together against Newcastle, although they seem to be developing a good understanding together. But it would be nice to see them if we were to draw the right team, perhaps at home? Nordveit’s name was not mentioned in the text commentary so perhaps he did not have much to do tonight.

  327. They could be on the bench, mj_gunner, if AW decides to take a kiddies’ bench instead of a first team bench.

  328. Pas – Yeah I know. If it was one of the dirty foreigners they would be hung out to dry. their dirty you see, whilst British players are “honest” and “committed”.

    It is quite sickening.

  329. JET on the bench is probably the most I can hope for in that CC game.

  330. WE ARE SIGNING CHIELLINI AND REINA IS JANUARY.

    SCZCESNY IS LEAVING AND WILL JOIN MILAN, ALMUNIA WILL GET SOLD OFF TO OSASUNA, AND DJOUROU WILL GET SOLD AS WELL.

  331. It seems unlikely that anyone , particularly an English player would actually go in hard on a Rooney or a Gerrard. They appear to have a zone of protection around them. It`s just not allowed.
    On the other hand, they are allowed to pretty much do as they please – the most recent evidence being Steven (as Andy Gray calls him) elbowing an opponent in the face on Saturday & only receiving a yellow card.
    I think it`s similar in Spain with the likes of Xavi & co getting decisions their way compared to their `foreign` players

  332. The reserve game must be finished now. 3-0?

  333. Yes, 3 – 0 was the final score.

  334. Cheers bud.

  335. G4E,

    You were always a star, and that wouldn’t change. So keep it together. Through thick and thin.

  336. i agree with zimpaul…well put

  337. Thanks Ateeb, it’s water under the bridge 🙂

    Tomorrow is another day and the next Arsenal game seems to never come fast enough for me.

  338. Agree with that. A good performance tomorrow will help us forget the game on Sat.

  339. Much more easy on the eyes now YW.

  340. DukeDoomem | September 27, 2010 at 8:48 pm |

    Come off it duke. Stop attacking the defensible.

  341. @ FG & Passenal –
    We could see one/ all of Theo, Van the Man & esp Nikky B, who will need some game time before starting for the first team & this fixture could be ideal , as it would mean rest for the remaining first team.

  342. Cuervo,

    Are you stupid? We can buy half the Barca squad for that much money.

  343. G4E @ 6:48:

    Spot on

  344. I don’t know which I’m more gutted about. Having to think about Fabianski playing against Partizan and possibly Chelsea, or that our defence is playing terribly. Or both.

  345. a fungus-coated right hand

    New site is much improved. Congratulations and thank you I can read it now!

  346. If an English player has any aspirations of making it into the England NT they will avoid upsetting those who pick the team for Capello.

    Andy, at least I make my own observations and don’t rely on the likes of Hansen to decide what to moan about like you do. That winning mentality garbage you gleaned off his article was a classic.

  347. The test of winning mentality is never in a sloppy match early in the season, since every team has those, but in the aftermath. I think we will beat Chelsea at the Bridge and put to rest any idea we are not in this race for the duration. Then the season gets truly underway, for me. Early season games are funny things and unpredictable results are typical in the first 5 or 6 matches until all the teams and players start to settle.

    Look at all european and EPL current league standings to see what I mean.
    Barca have been beaten already. Valencia are top there. Lyon is bottom in France. Bayern below mid-table in Germany. Blackpool were 4th in EPL until this week. Everton in the drop zone. It’s the unstable period.

    Partizan, usually a better team than we imagine (since they are not in the limelight), might be a difficult prospect though, and an away draw would be a good result. We need a tight defence. It was shambles against WBA, all 3 goals defensive errors, allowing attacking players so much room. I see no reason why normal transmission won’t be resumed forthwith.

    Let Fabianski show us his credentials. I think he will.

    The team will be angered about the WBA result and more especially the performance, especially in defence, and it will rebound. This is not a timid side. Expect them to come out fighting! Then the season gets underway.

  348. TOLD you he needed to improve his finishing!

    ;0)

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