Chelsea Rope-A-Dope Leaves Arsenal Floored

Chelsea 2 – 0 Arsenal

1 – 0 Drogba (39)
2 – 0 Alex (85)

Another visit to Stamford Bridge found Arsenal leaving with nothing to show for their endeavours. Moments of danger were not converted into goals, chances missed, blocked or spurned. It is a defeat which is hard to stomach not because Arsenal was outplayed, not because Chelsea was obviously superior – they were far from that – but simply because it should not have happened.

But it did and this is a not unfamiliar situation. This part of London was a desert in the 1970s and 1980s, a place where defeat was tasted frequently. That reversed in the 1990s and until 2005. Now a familiar sinking feeling occurs; how did a good performance merit no result?

The answer came in the opening minute. Sagna’s excellent cross was met by Chamakh’s diving header, Alex’s boot apparently flicking the ball wide. From the resultant corner, the near post flick-on found Koscielny unmarked three yards from goal. One-nil to the Arsenal most surely? Inexplicably not, the Frenchman met the ball with the back of his head and it ballooned over the bar.

Chelsea responded in kind with Drogba and Malouda wasting chances. This might have been a clash between serious contenders for the title but it was developing into an open game. Both sides were passing quickly and crisply, finding space where little normally exists. Essien, Ramires and Mikel had been built into Goliath’s before the match but they were finding that Song, Diaby and Wilshere were their equals.

The Arsenal triumverate dictated the pace of the game, the tempo decreased and increased as it suited them. The hosts did not impose themselves or outfight the visitors. For the most part, Song and Wilshere in their deeper-lying roles provided a solid foundation for attacking play. Equally, the defence benefitted from their presence. The only time they did not work well, Arsenal suffered, conceding the first goal primarily because of the distance between Wilshere and Song meaning that support could not be given when possession was lost.

Diaby thrived as the most advanced of the three but did not neglect his defensive duties, an impenetrable barrier to Chelsea advances from set-pieces. Meanwhile Wilshere was passing through his opposite numbers assuredly, belying his youth with an impressive individual performance.

Once more Arsenal moved into the ascendancy; once more they failed to capitalise on growing possession. Arshavin’s rasping drive from the edge of area stung Cech’s gloves as it was turned aside for a corner whilst Nasri curled an effort wide of the far post. The Frenchman maintained his recent good form, denied the goal he deserved.

Moments later, Lukasz Fabianski proved that his recent performances were not a flash in the pan, deflecting Drogba’s shot downwards, the bounce taking it over the bar. Aside from an uncomfortable moment, spilling the ball, the Pole was confident and had a positive answer to questions Chelsea were asking.

As half-time approached, the deadlock was broken, controversially. Ramieres dispossessed Song with a tackle which won the ball but took the Arsenal midfielder’s standing leg in the follow-through. Whichever way it is viewed, a foul for dangerous play. Mike Dean proved as inept as lesser experienced officials and allowed play to continue, Cole racing onto the pass, crossing for Drogba to flick home at the near post. Inevitable, we were told as the Ivorian always scores against Arsenal.

Having been more than equal for the preceding thirty-eight preceding minutes, it was a sucker punch to succumb to. Half-time arrived with the wind taken from Arsenal sails. The magic sponge may heal wounded legs; magic words heal deflated minds. Wenger found the right combination during the interval because Arsenal started more assertively than in the first half. Chamakh and Diaby went close before the match’s pivotal moment arrived.

Earlier in the afternoon, Carlos Tevez had won a penalty for a foul outside of the penalty area and where he was cleanly tackled. Chamakh received Arshavin’s cross, moved inside Ramires and had his leg taken from under him. The Brazilian continued to clear the ball. No penalty. The inconsistency of officiating is one reason why frustration is often vented in the media, for once reflecting the consensus of fans. Curiously though, the penalty awarded went to the home side. The penalty denied went against a visiting team.

As the hour mark approached,  Koscielny slid a pass to Squillaci in no immediate danger, although Anelka lurked nearby. Once the centre back slipped though, Anelka was onto the loose ball in a flash, rounded Fabianski and with the goal unattended, duly slid his shot into the side netting. A serious contender for miss of the season.

Arsenal once more regrouped and the introduction of Emmanuel-Thomas added more height to test the home defence. The accuracy of the crossing though meant little real danger was created. With five minutes remaining, Koscielny conceded a free kick twenty five yards from goal. The wall lined-up with Malouda in its foundations, no-one behind him. He moved, a gap appeared and Alex’s powerful shot hit the back of the net with Fabianski beaten comprehensively. The match effectively over, Chelsea may have increased their advantage before the final whistle, the much-derided Pole stopping efforts from Essien and Cole.

It left Wenger with some uncomfortable thoughts. Post-match, he observed that it was a hard defeat to take as overall, it had been a good performance. Defensively, the team were more cautious, not pressing as high up the pitch although Sagna and Clichy got forward well to augment the attack. Work may still be needed on the final delivery, particularly the left. Koscielny and Squillaci have had better afternoons. Mistakes were made and perhaps the opener should not have been conceded, the defender failing to get sufficiently ahead of Drogba to intercept Cole’s cross. Nasri did not track the former Arsenal left back either so to pin the blame on the central defenders might be considered harsh.

Yet the failings in front of goal are of concern. Similar profligacy has been apparent in the Premier League where his forwards have not scored since beating Bolton almost a month ago. Chances in clashes with your rivals, particularly away from home, have to be taken. Losing these matches damages your title chances in that a gap appears and now has to be closed. But we’ve been here before; last season Chelsea were eleven points clear and that gap evaporated quickly.

Despite the media telling you otherwise, this season is far from over for Arsenal. But it is going to be a long fortnight until Birmingham arrive at The Emirates.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 4, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 302 Comments.

  1. 2 – 0 Drogba (7)
    2 – 0 Drogba (22)

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

    Similar post? nope. that was written last season…

  2. Arsenal 0 – 3 Chelsea

    0 – 1 Drogba (40)
    0 – 2 Vermaelen (44)
    0 – 3 Drogba (85)

    A scoreline which did not reflect the match but a result with which few could argue. It is a defeat that is damaging but does not end the quest for the title. The gap is notionally eleven points. Once the home fixture with Bolton has been played, the true gap is known. Until that time, nothing is determined. Winning matches against any opposition is important but losing against the current league leaders does not decide a season’s outcome. Unless of course, at the end of it you trail in up to three points behind.

    Ohhhh noo. Still last season. Lessons have been learned. Clichy. We will be more physical…blah blah..

  3. Nothing has changed. The last time Chelsea deserved to beat us was in the FA Cup semi-final. It’s now 5 losses in a row with a score of 13-2. It makes me sick. Sick as a fucking macaw.

    I am nevertheless heartened by the performance. We had the better of the game. We dominated them. But we know the better team doesn’t always win in football.

    The downer for us is that we haven’t learnt the key to beating Chelsea. It is simply; take your chances. We’re used to games where we have 20 chances and score 4 of them. In the ‘big games’ you have 3 or 4 and you have to take 2 to 4 of them.

    I was amused watching Alan Hansen waxing lyrical about Chelsea’s defence. No, they weren’t so good. We breached them easily at times.

    I like the overreaction. If it leads to Arsenal being underestimated I’m content to read the stupid reflexive comments.

    We do need to improve. I think we will.

  4. @OG Why do you think that we will improve?

    Is it because we have better personnel than last season? that we suffer less injuries? that our opponents are weaker? that our team doesnt think they only need to show up to win? why do you think we will improve?

  5. Many reasons;

    1. Yes, we have better personnel.
    2. We have 9 players to come back from injury
    3. We played better than last season
    4. It’s October
    5. Our opponents are decisively weaker. I’m not convinced by Chelsea at all. Strangely they’re better as a unit than last season but much weaker as a squad. Plus they’re going all out for the Champions League and that will cost them.
    6. At some point we’re due our own fair share of luck.

  6. etc etc

  7. A good account of a game that could easily have gone our way YW.

    Whilst we can match anyone in purely football terms it`s so often the attention to detail that decides games between top teams & that`s where we are still letting ourselves down.

    Squillaci passing the ball back to Chelsea to allow the quick free kick which led to the first goal & Malouda being allowed in our wall are examples which cost us yesterday.

    On a positive note we`re starting to use Chamakh`s strength in the air more & he`s going to score a lot of goals with his head for us.

  8. Chamakh is good at holding up play and has many attributes but I can’t wait till we have RVP back. If RVP was playing yesterday we’d have scored. I saw 3 instances when we’d have been in on goal if Chamakh had played the right pass. It’s not a criticism. He’s not as good as RVP and there’s no shame in that. RVP isn’t as good as he is in the air either.

    I still feel we need another go-to player. 1 player who consistently offers the unexpected.

    Arshavin in many ways is that, but he doesn’t get involved with play enough.

  9. 5 losses in a row Ole, it’ll make it all the more sweeter when we win and dominate. Return of the Jedi, I say.

    Now, let’s quit with the whinging. Arsenal Arsenal!
    We played well, and we know better days are nigh, unlike some of our rivals. Who can claim to have a brighter future than us? None is the answer.

    Look. There, just near the horizon. Do you not glance the glimmer of sunlight? The ray which pierces the veil of these damnable clouds? Look above. Is the hue not lighter than last year, which was lighter than the year before? Our time will come men. We may have yet but one more storm to weather, but if you pick up your swords and make them bloody we shall strut into the Elyesian fields no less than gods

  10. Gadget,

    It’ll make it sweeter when we’re rubbish and beat them 4-0!

  11. stop moaning, AK

  12. Why is it that when we buy players they have attributes that light up the league but within a season these attributes seem to be coached out of them?

    Diaby- long shots for goals, same for Rosicky (although injury may have played a part.) and especially Arshavin who now does not seem to take players on and beat them, he just runs up to them and passes sideways.

    Answers please?

  13. I am no homosexual, but my loins stir with anticipation for Bendy’s first goal this season. That lad will get us a fair few goals I’m telling you.

    The sight of his pink boots make me all giddy and weak at the knees.

    I think I shall swoon

  14. 1. Yes, we have better personnel. Gallas the player is a loss. I think in this we are marginally the same as last year. Kos & Squil are starting to be found out. they are no better than Gallas or Campbel. better than Sylvestre, yes. Chamakh can be compared to Bendtner. An RVP he certainly isn’t.
    2. We have 9 players to come back from injury. We always do. till when the league ends.
    3. We played better than last seasonWe always do. till when the league ends.
    4. It’s October. The only valid point. But the damage still is done. We already are seven points adrift. We should be seven point away.
    5. Our opponents are decisively weaker. I’m not convinced by Chelsea at all. Strangely they’re better as a unit than last season but much weaker as a squad. Plus they’re going all out for the Champions League and that will cost them. They always are. then we get left with the potato in the face. Their squad is always older, will never go the whole mile etc etc. but they always some how do.
    6. At some point we’re due our own fair share of luck. Luck is basically when opportunity meets preparedness. For some reason the opportunities are always there. For some reason too, we are never prepared.

  15. cesc and walcott are obviously big losses but toothless is really the best word to describe it and I really do wonder what will change without RVP performing regulary over the entire season.

  16. I agree with most that has been said on this sad morning.

    I’m just beginning to come to terms with yesterday’s outcome, although I’ve still not turned the TV or radio on.

    Anyway, I think we did really well and if (as I suggested yesterday) we had been a little more clinical in front of goal, today would be a far different affair and my ‘phone messages would have been equally distinct. I am nearly driven to near distraction by the negative commentators on this site and agree with those who suggest that we’ll spank the Chav’s at our place.

    All of us (manager, players, staff and fans) need to push on from here in full recognition that there was much that was good in our performance yesterday. Not my favourite person or poet but Kipling’s “IF” applies to us all here on out. We need to be men.


  17. Ole,

    only 4? I think you’re underestimaing next years shock signing. Own goal will bag a double hattrick at least.

  18. @drew10
    didn’t you hear the one about Arsenal scoring the most goals from outside the box?
    I’m quite aware that ome opportunities for “long shots” have been passed, but to say that attributes are coached out of players at Arsenal is absurd.

  19. @mj-gunner

    I need a moan. This result I can live with.

    WBA I can. I think I am moaning more in relation to WBA than to this. I was hoping the team would get a get-out-of-jail-free-card by whipping Chelsea and putting a smug smile on my face.

    but for now I feel like same old same old

  20. “ome” == “some”

  21. We Kenyans have a joke about our southern neighbours the Tanzanias. The Tanzanians never lose a match! Beat them 5-0 and they’ll ask you who displayed the better football? And they are real artists with the ball even showing the same against the Brazilians in a friendly before the world cup. They lost something like 5-1 but could still brag about dribbling past great Brazilian defenders. I had that sick feeling yesterday! Anyone who has seen the Ethiopians play as well would notice that they have the most beautiful football in the world. They pass the ball in a manner that would put Iniesta and Xavi to shame. But like the Tanzanians they win nothing! Did I expect arsenal to outplay Chelsea? Yes! Did I expect us to win? I wasn’t so sure! We are still missing something and unfortunately I can’t point it out!

  22. OG “I still feel we need another go-to player. 1 player who consistently offers the unexpected.”


  23. Cling film. I really really love it. You can spread it across a toilet, and find much in the way of mirth when an unsuspecting knave comes to relieve himself. It also protects your glass from miserable contents.

    You can also wrap it round and round and round the air holes of doomers to shut them up. They might turn a funny colour in a few minutes though. When this happens I suggest building that patio you’ve always been thinking of.

    All joking aside, some people need to grow a pair.

  24. gadget – you can also wrap it around your head and sing lalalalalalala with your eyes closed.

  25. As Gael Clichy said on saturday that he would rather win ugly than win nothing at all.Unless Wenger learns to put out a team that wins ugly(last done in Cardiff 2005) we will continue to lose to Chelsea.You cannot put a team out to outscore Chelsea when their keeper and back four is better than ours.All they will do it soak up are pressure and punish us on the break.Posession is 9/10 when it comes to law but in football it means nothing.Its all about scoring goals

    How much longer are we going to rely on a striker who has only played more than 17 league games once in 6 seasons

  26. Ole Gunner “We dominated them. But we know the better team doesn’t always win in football”
    We didn’t dominate them, we may have had more possession, but Chelsea probaly had more clear chances and Fiabanski was probably the busier keeper. More possession does not mean “domination”.
    Arsenal’s game is based on possession so we would expect that anyway.
    We were beaten by a better team, simple as that.

  27. Almunia

    1. Chamakh is a good addition to the squad. Koscielny has been a very good signing. Vermaelen-Koscielny-Squillaci-Djourou is a better lineup than Vermaelen-Gallas-Senderos-Silvestre-Djourou or Vermaelen-Campbell-Gallas-Silvestre in the 2nd half of the season.
    2. We don’t always have the entire core of the team missing. We can’t always have the entire core of the team missing.
    3. But we did play better than last season. It was plain to see. Saying we always do isnt a way to dispute this point.
    5. There’s no doubt they’re weaker. Look at who they’re losing to. Look at how not outstanding they were last season. Look at the relative performances of the 2 teams.
    6. Luck is not a formula. Luck is when you backheel the ball like Drogba did and it cannons in off the post, and not out. It’s random.

  28. There is a reason why you guys missed so many chances, I’m suprised one of you hasn’t picked up on it.
    Watch the game again and you’ll notice that whenever a chance was missed, Alex Song was in the eye view of the attacker. Basically, the glow from his head is blinding the attackers. This is a good weapon for blinding defenders, he just needs to work harder in training and learn where to stand during an Arsenal attack. His head has the potential.

  29. On Friday I posted this…

    Chelsea are not inherently better than us, it all comes down to execution on the day. If we play as sloppily as we did against WBA then we’re screwed.
    Chelsea defence is not what it has been over the last few years, even when they were winning the opposition was easily getting behind them and causing problems.
    We need to finish better than we have been, our conversion rate is the poorest amongst the top teams.(16 goals from 96 attempts compared to 21/93 for Chelsea and 16/77 for United).

    We didn’t play as badly as WBA, but that damn profligacy in-front of goal buggered us. We will get them next time, of that I’m sure.

    Ray Wilkins had this to say

    Arsenal are one of the teams who scare me because they have the ability to take the ball and keep it,I’m glad to get this out of the way and claim the three points.

  30. We could still win the league. Beat all the so called weaker teams and thats yer lot. I remember in 2001 we lost to Leeds at home early in the season and also we lost to The Toon at home that season….but we still won it. This squad has the talent….its just that they get to excited to prove themselves and please everybody. They have to learn to chill out. Not to the extent of the WBA game but learn how to concentrate during a game.

  31. wengerball, I was not suggesting that it is a deliberate thing that this happens but more a by-product of our style of play.

    I find myself wondering if Wenger gets as frustrated with players always passing sideways on the edge of the box rather than driving inside?

    It would be great to know his real thoughts on issues like these.

  32. Almunia,

    If luck “is basically when opportunity meets preparedness”, what the hell is bad luck?

    Sounds like one of those self-help definitions to me. I should know, I’m writing the next worse-seller: A self-help book for pessimists 2.

  33. Song was good yesterday and tried to dominate the midfield. Chelsea deserved the points …no question, but we know we could still do it. At least the boys did not capitulate after the second goal and played their socks off until the end. Well done lads. Not good enough this time but we’ll see at the end of May.

  34. We didn’t dominate them, we may have had more possession, but Chelsea probaly had more clear chances and Fiabanski was probably the busier keeper.

    We dictated what kind of game it was. We had more possession. We had better chances. We looked more likely to score despite them counterattacking a couple of times. When you take a good look at it, we cut them open quite easily. I wish I had video to point out what I’m saying.

    Since you question that we dominated I’ll write an article showing exactly why I say we dominated. When you think about it, hardly anyone even questions that we did.

  35. Reminds me of the 1997 Champions league semi-final between Juventus and Ajax. Ajax played a beautiful game with something like 70% possession. The commentator for Channel CFA broadcasting to Africa was one Archie McPherson and I never forgot what he said. That the way Ajax played such high possession wasn’t strange but actually expected! And it’s the same for us. The way we play expect a high ball possession. When some fans say we possessed the ball more than Chelsea they expose their ignorance for that is the nature of our game!

  36. I think Song could’ve stopped Alex’s free kick, he seemed to move out of the way. My Arsenal mates were not happy about it.

  37. Word,

    Doesn’t work I’m afraid. I have 20-20 vision, and I eat plenty of carrots, so it neither distorts nor clarifies. Still I have a patio with your name on, sir. Just let me know your dimensions and when you’d like to ‘inspect’ it. I’ll get all the paperwork done up, send you the invoice before hand so you’ll be able to have the peace of mind needed

  38. @OG

    Add Chamakh, loose Eduardo. one step forward, one step back. Add Kos and Squill, loose Gallas and Campbell. one step forward, one step back.

    We never have a full team at any given time. Was it season beofre last when we played the whole season with Song and Dennilson and played the most dire football i have seen under Wenger? We just never seem to have a full team. (Maybe its a Wenger trick so that we can have excuses when we loose. Twould be a shame to loose in full strength.)

    Arsenal always play better. Thats a fact. because we are myoptic to Arsnela. Thats why we support Arsenal. We still always seem to loose of late.

    They have a weaker bench thats why so far they have only lost to Mancity when playing full strength. We have a bench that is almost the same strength as the full team, but weaker than their full team.

    Luck is Drogba being at the right place to receive an unchallenged pass from cuntley. So far he has been lucky in three different occasion from the same lucky Cuntley


  39. But you did say with your eyes cosed didn’t, but why would one want to close their eyes? There’s really no point. All the beautiful things I would miss.

    It would be really sad to close my eyes. It’s kind of like focusing on only the bad. Sad really

  40. “Add Chamakh, loose Eduardo. one step forward, one step back. Add Kos and Squill, loose Gallas and Campbell. one step forward, one step back.”

    I don’t really get your logic here. Football clubs generally aren’t run like it’s pokemon.

  41. Ole Gunner, are you a ‘mini me’ Wenger? You always think your’e right. And you spend far too much time on here preaching your self- opinionated bollox. Get a fucking life, you twat.

  42. @Gadget
    Bad luck = is being at the wrong place at the wrong time. You can write your book. I may buy a copy.

  43. ken | October 4, 2010 at 10:57 am |

    What do you propose?

  44. At the moment our goals conceeded total is no better than last year despite the defensive additions. Of course, Kos and Squillaci need time to settle in to the premiership. Let’s see how we are doing defensively by January before we make judgements about whether we are better defensively or not.

  45. Ole,

    I think Del-boy likes you

  46. @Gadget
    of course you dont get the point. Do you ever?

    What we were discussing with OLE if if we have strengthen over the players we had last year. My argument is we got rid of the dead wood, but we did not strengthen, We remained the same.

  47. No points to show, but definitely a much better performance than either game against Chelsea last season. To claim that we could have got anything out of those games would have been indefensible, but yesterday we certainly had the chances to win or at least draw, and a patched-up side stood toe-to-toe with the champions on their own turf and were not bullied into submission. That, for me, is a positive, even if I didn’t feel particularly at 6pm yesterday.

  48. Also, I would say Drogba being in the right place to collect the ball from Cashley, is Drogba being in the right place to collect the ball.

    The good luck came in when the ball bounced off his foot (under a challenge too) to strike the post and bounce in. He did do well to turn the ball goal bound, but to strike the post in such a manner screams luck to me.

    If we’d got lucky and the ball glanced of Chamakh’s amazing bonce into Chelsea’s goal, I’m such Chelsea would be saying we got lucky, and the truth is, they’d be right!

  49. Ole
    Watch how Man City stopped Chelsea and Drogba,They can be beaten,but not by us

  50. is that a death threat gadget? Im flattered you go to such effort but really this result is not that important considering we had RVP theo Cesc and Vermaelen out. Perhaps you could bury your head in the sand with another more constructive past time?

    Personally when it comes to half fulls and half emptys I do wonder why some cant just stay on the half way line but I guess if everyone had the same montone personality life wouldn’t be very interesting hey

  51. Last week some of us laughed at a losing Chelsea bring on Strurridge and McEachran against Mancity. Well we laughed to early as we brought on Jay Emmanuel-Thomas against the same old Chelsea. The Chelsea fans where I was laughed at us. Thomas got a premiership baptism of fire. Interestingly the future looks bright for English football as their young padwans are getting a chance at the highest stages!

  52. @Gadget

    Maradona once said: The more I train, the luckier I get.

    keep sitting on your laurels mate. maybe you will get lucky one day.

  53. Wengerball @ 11:00 am. You nailed it on Friday.
    Execution, Execution, Execution.
    I agreed with you then and even moreso today.
    Scoring at 18% of attempts will get us by most teams in the League, on a good day. But against Chelsea it won’t. On a bad day you get a West Brom debacle.
    Contrary to AK and Drew, nothing is wrong with our attacking philosophy. We are a superior to any other team in the League but we must convert.
    Today’s Arsenal reminds me of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and one Michael Jordan in the late 80s, in terms of their years of futility vs the Detroit Pistons. That was until their breakout year in 1990 and they became a dynasty with 5 championships. So many parallels.
    On that note i need Gadget to give us some history lessons.

  54. AK,

    So what you’re saying is we’ve replace Eduardo for a clone of Eduardo, Gallas and Campbell for clones of Gallas and Campbell? (I’m being facetious here, simply to highlight my perceived error of your statement – not to be rude).

    What it seems like you’re arguing is that our new players haven’t brought anything new to the table. However, you could quite as easily be lamenting our injures (although your argument would need a little tweaking to make this clearer).

    If you’re arguing the former, well I could counter that, but I don’t really see the point because it would be a silly topic to argue. If it’s the latter, well I can’t really see what else Arsene is meant to do short of selling all the players who seem to get injured a lot (which would happen to be most of our team), change our style of football, and go and buy big hulking guys from Africa and Europe.

  55. I can’t believe that people still go about us being “unlucky” in these games, the results speak for themselves. Chelsea at the moment are a better team than us, as evidenced by our recent results against them, and therefore we are unlikely to beat them in an away game with our 2 best players missing.
    I don’t see how we were unlucky yesterday, we missed the chances we had and our slopiness was punished by a clinical team.

  56. OG – Don’t let the D&Gers intimidate you. As Gadget has richly illustrated misery loves company.

  57. Funniest I have seen. An Arsenal Diss. That this is how Arsenal is… hehehe

  58. Will the real Arsenalkabisa please stand up…

  59. The way we play, total football, needs a maestro. Ajax in the ’70’s had Cruff. Barcelona had Ronaldinho and now they have Messi. In Fabregas and RVP we have potential maestros. Theo’s a long shot. All’s not lost yet!

  60. I know you will abuse me, because I don’t support Arsene’s transfer policy and I think he is tactcally inept and he should go.

    We said that we outplayed Chelsea. So what? They allowed us to do so. Simple. That’s called tactics. Sadly, Arsene does not know nothing about it.

    Our defensive problems are still the same. We just can’t defend. We always gave away to many goals.

    Our spin, back-bone isn’t strong enough. From Petit, Vieira, Gilberto and Edu to Song and Denilson.Joke.
    It’s time to say thank you to many of our overpaid, average players and sell them. It’s time to buy quality.

    We badly need a world class sriker who can bang 20-25 goals per season since RVP can’t do it and Chamakh is unproven.

    Make Keown our defensive coach and teach them how to defend.
    Make Dixon Wenger’s nr since Rice adds nothing.

    Spend some money on quality players and sell average, weak players- Denilson, Almunia, Diaby, Djourou, Song. We do have money to spend.

    We need a gk, 2 big, strong tall central defenders, 2 quality cdm’s since Denilson and Song aren’t good enough and buy a proper finisher who will score plenty of goals.

    A proper winger would have beeen welcomed as well. Sometimes you must spend 60m pounds and take a reward. We can do it.
    Then, give Wenger one more year, if he fails, he needs to go.

    His salary has increased, but since 2005 he has done nothing to jusify his salary.

    Everyone is entitled to his opinion. I showed you mine.


  61. Word,

    I jest! I thought it would be funny and in line with the whole patio comment from earlier.

    I’m incapable of hurting a fly. Seriously, everything has the right to life (unless it’s trying to eat you in which cause bring it!), bhuddah bless you and all that.

    AK, are you suggesting our players don’t train hard enough?

    As i don’t play for Arsenal, or have anything to do with the preparation for matches, I can’t possibly be resting upon my laurels, so this must surely be what you mean, right?

    I’ve already said I take nothing away from Drogba for his goal, but there was a huge element of luck which he was in position to receive. On the other hand, Chamakh and Koscielny were unlucky for their misses. They were in position, and for one reason of another, the ball didn’t end up in the back of the net. I’d bet it’s more bad luck than not training hard enough myself, but hey what can I say, I love my team and I love my ruby quartz, and I love my team. A vicious cycle, but there’s nowhere else I’d rather be baby

  62. Yes Shotta, an apt comparison!

    The Pistons defeated the Bulls time and time and time again denying MJ his glory, but once the Bulls beat them, they never looked back.

    I’m convinced the same will happen for us because the signs are there. I think the only thing which saddens me is that Arsenal Prime will never play and defeat this Chelsea Prime, because Chelsea’s is fast fading while ours is blossoming. I guess that will have to be a match for EA’s FIFA games to decide

  63. @GAdget,

    I am suggesting that even though Arsenal play to their strengths, they don’t negate the oppositions strengths. That’s where Chelsea won the game, and not Luck. We loose too many games to them so as to put it down to Luck. Or are you saying that we have been lucky to be in the Champions league all these years?

    Arsenal hasn’t become bad in one game. I still support arsenal and ever will. The day I stop following Arsenal, I will leave football all together. I will also leave this world for the next.

  64. Congratulations to JET for making his first appearance of the season. Very exciting times.

  65. @Limpar

    And congratulations to Fabianski too. Maybe beneath the goofiness there’s a super hero

  66. AK – You have a right to moan but negatives all day. Hmmm.

    PS: I have two siblings who are Arsenal fans but they have been moaning since 2004-05. They already decided prior to the game that we would lose. So AK as a supporter is not unfamiliar to me.

  67. We could have had better luck yesterday, but that’s not really the main story. It was all about the missed chances and lack of sharpness on the edge of their box.

    I just don’t feel too bad about the game – Chelsea are formidable at home, yet we created more chances than them (until the game got stretched at 2-0), we won the ball back time repeatedly and held onto it for long periods. A little bit more composure and we could be celebrating a win today.

    Generally, if our possession stats are good then that’s usually a sign that we’re in good health. It’s the platform for how we play. But what’s really heartening is that we exerted more pressure this time than in the two previous matches against Chelsea, and there was far more last-ditch stuff keeping us out.

    Chelsea were clearly not as comfortable with our possession in the way that they appeared to be last season – Ray Wilkins said as much after the game – and the relief at the second goal was huge.

    Of course, none of this matters when it comes to yesterday’s result, but it certainly bodes well.

    It might be hard to see it today, but the legacy of yesterday’s match could be very positive. And that’s before you consider the impact Theo, RvP and Walcott would make on a similar game in the future.

  68. That’s the spirit AK! The gooner is strong in you, and you must let it shine strong always, even in such times of darkness as these.

    Watching the Barcelona game, it was clear to me that the boss believes so strongly in the players and the philosophy that he believes as long as we click sufficiently and play our game, we can beat anyone.

    My ruby’s prevent me from disagreeing, because with our squad, I too believe we can beat anyone, but I accept there are times when we won’t click and won’t play our game.

    However, I don’t think one should truly manage with the view of your game not clicking. It’s too negative which is why I’d never want Maureen at Arsenal. You don’t have a style or philosophy, because it will change to whatever is necessary to counteract your villain of the week.

    Admittedly, I’m a romantic at heart, & I’m not ashamed. Those wanting trophies, will no doubt advocate such a ‘pragmatic’ & ’empty’ approach. However, trophies to me are not the be all and end all, and so give me the romantic hope that comes with our rich, full and optimistic ways. I will mourn a loss but delight the feast my eyes have gorged upon. As long as we play, and play well, I will be happy about 5 minutes after a loss.

    It’s the appreciation of a good battle, and not the sneaky stab in the back.

  69. Disappointing result, like everyone has already said.. A lot of the ball, lacked the end product.

    Chelsea sat back like they always do, they know they can’t outplay us, so they hit us on the break. I don’t really call that as being the better team, that is more like adjusting your game to beat the better footballing team, which was what they done.

    They mastered the tactics in beating us, and it is why I commented before the game, that I hope they come out attacking us. They started too and it scared the life out of them with all the chances we had. So they sat back and took their chances.

    I know we have lacked that decisiveness in front of goal of late, but when you know you have RvP, Cesc, Bendtner and Walcott coming back theres not a lot to worry about.

    We need to get West Brom out of our system over these next 2 weeks, the Chelsea loss aint a big deal, and like others have said, we will make them 3 points up at the Emirates when it matters. Beat the rest and we will win the league, Chelsea weren’t impressive at all. I expected more in all honesty.

  70. someone like drogba raises his game for the occasion beause he is made of the right stuff, calling him lucky is bullshit. But I really think JET could make a massive difference to us in front of goal and have been quite disappointed not to see him already this season. The guy has bags of charisma and presence, hes a magnet for destiny. unpredictable with great spacial awareness. impossibly neat touch for his size and yeah his size is quite a useful bonus.

  71. ‘And that’s before you consider the impact Theo, RvP and Walcott would make on a similar game in the future.’

    One of Us, Has Walcot been split into two footballers by boffins at cambridge?

  72. One of us

    Theo and Walcott are the same person or do you know something we dont?

  73. That’s exactly how I see it, OOU.

    I also agree with Ole yesterday when he said that if we played that well every week we’d win 9 out of 10 games. While there’s no getting away from the fact that we lost yesterday, there’s also no getting away from the fact that we’re playing really well – so why waste time being despondent. Onwards and upwards.

  74. We hear the same things every year: we are getting better, we would have scored/won if Van Persie, Cesc, whoever was playing, we were unlucky, we were the better team (but still lost). Every year AW says it will be different and yet it is more of the same. More than anything this team makes too many mistakes – defensively, in front of goal, you name it and at this level you cannot get away with it.

    The only thing that matters is the score and we lost to Chelsea again and Drogba scored again. They didn’t even play that well and still beat us. We were the better team but still lost. Great teams have the ability to find ways to win even if they are second best on the day. We don’t do this often enough and certainly not against the top teams but then again we are not a great team.

    That’s 1 point from Sunderland away, WBA at home and yesterday. We were awful against Sunderland and WBA but the performance yesterday was very good on the whole but we still lost.

    We are 7 point behind and October has barely started. At least it gives us time to make up the gap but we are already up against it.

  75. James & Ken,

    It’s the goddamn Hadron Collider. It was meant to be a secret, but Walcott was racing those particles, when one hit him and bang!

    The other one doesn’t have a footballing brain, but he’s still racing those particles.

    Our Theo’s recovering from a scrunched ankle

  76. Walcott’s so quick he gives off that cartoon blurriness behind him as he runs. That’s what’s tripped up Oofus.

  77. Well, there’s a lot of disagreement on the subject. The problem is that he’s so fast he can appear to be in two places at once. Only they haven’t developed high-speed cameras quick enough to prove that it’s him and not a twin. So until that day comes, and we know for sure, it’s safer to make the distinction between Theo and Walcott.

    Either that or I meant to write Cesc.

  78. Defensively personnel wise, I think we have the ability to do better this season. We have 4 decent CB’s, but an attacking philospohy which leaves us always open to concede goals.

    The wide areas seems to be our weakness on the counter. Something which needs to be addressed again as last season it cost us quite a few points – we don’t need them sloppy goals featuring for the whole of this season again.

    The Alex goal was one of them you can’t argue about. The referee gave them a couple freekicks which cost us over the game, and certainly favoured Chelsea in some challenges, failing to spot a few key incidents which all went Chelsea’s way…

    …Malouda stamping on Sagna
    …Song chopped down for the goal
    …Ramires through Chamakh in the penalty area

    On top of them, we had the open goal miss from Koscielny. Its fair to say we had chance to cause an upset, but playing Chelsea at the Bridge the ref didn’t want to upset everyone. He showed no balls at times, and chose the easy decision. I know its rich blaming the referee, its just stating the facts really.

  79. The Yanks are making a comeback

  80. Nigel de Jong has been dropped by Bert van Marwijk because of his poor tackling.

    Coach Van Marwijk already indicated that this week he would have a meeting with De Jong since de Jong plays unnecessarily to the limit.

    At least the Dutch are trying to do something about it, unlike the FA who’s burying their head in the sand.

  81. AIC

    You sound like a kid who asked for a flash bycicle for christmas but got a lump of coal. What do you expect Arsene to say? We will continue to push Chelsea until we overtake them, we done it last season and faded away, this time we gotta do it again and remain top.

    You cannot ignore all our injuries as if they are always going to be there. Can you imagine playing Chelsea without their main striker, main CB, GK, and CM…??

    Go figure

  82. CG
    You are joking arent you.Chelsea will do the same to us at the Emirates as they have done for the last two seasons and Drogba will score again.They will not change their gameplan and more importantly we wont.
    This season i was hoping Wenger would learn from the two previous seasons meetings with Man Utd and Chelsea,but yesterday proved he hadnt.Why is he so stubborn when it comes to changing tactics against the big two?Lee dixon said we had won only 6 out of our last 33 games v the big two.That stat is frightening

    On another point what actually is the point of Vela.Against WBA we were 2-0 down Wenger didnt bring him on till two other subs had been brought on first.Yesterday he brought him on when Chelsea scored their 2nd.

  83. shottagunna | October 4, 2010 at 11:35 am |

    Intimidate me? No risk of that man.

  84. The wide areas seems to be our weakness on the counter. Something which needs to be addressed again as last season it cost us quite a few points – we don’t need them sloppy goals featuring for the whole of this season again.

    One thing I have noticed is that Clichy tend to bomb forward without bothering to evaluate if we have good possession, our we have possession in still in a dangerous area.

  85. alex glad to see you again. we can but hope with a full uninjured side and shay given or similar in january we have a chance. kos and Squil are not from the old invincibles mould they just lack the strength and despite rave past reviews here dont inspire confidence, and unfortunately Song is well offf last years form.

  86. There is so much football yet to be played this season, in all competitions – and we’ve got a fantastic squad to watch week in, week out as they fight to win on all fronts playing a superb system of football. Personally I not only don’t understand moaning and moping from an Arsenal fan this early on in the season – I’m actually a little bit repelled by the self-indulgence of it all. Not a very attractive quality.

  87. Interesting thoughts on MJ.

    Boring thoughts on tactics:
    This season, Arsenal have looked their most dangerous/incisive this season, with either TR7, Nasri or Denilson playing in the middle three, ahead of or apart of the ‘double six’ (tm The Brain, via Germany)? That’s ignoring Fabby’s appetiser against Braga. And the fact that the Gunners could have been 0-2 up inside ten minutes yesterday!

    Slightly random, well that not random:
    There’s a clip on Youtube from a programme about the worst ever England team, of Graham Taylor and Carlton Palmer, in all their glory:

    “What’s he doing in the *bleep* box. I thought we told him to hold the middle.”
    Just after Palmer had scored his one and only goal in the eighteen caps that Taylor chose to give him, against San Marino.

    The former D**Mer went on to become embroiled in various scandals, the most relevant of which, was his affiliation with some shenanigans at non-league Mansfield Town. Another cautionary tale?

    Another Old Skool manager, David Pleat has had more praise today for Arsenal then some Arsenal fans. Still, he couldn’t help himself, and had to repeat the mind numbing rubbish about ‘shooting outside the box’. Plonker.

  88. – one season

  89. I personally thought we did well and deserved to win. Especially considering we were missing the spine of Vermealen, RVP and our captain Cesc.

  90. ken

    Your points about changing tactics and Carlos Vela, I have to agree with. Its why I hoped Chelsea attacked us as we don’t seem to have that change in strategy from game to game. With Vela I don’t understand why we don’t use him more often, Arshavin was taken off 20 minutes too late for my liking.

    Arsh is a goal threat, but Vela can give us that extra pace and freshness if we ever decide to use him.

    One thing I will always disagree with you about is us potentially losing at the Emirates. We were the better team against Chelsea at the Bridge, but the less efficient. I cannot see a team creating probably more chances losing the game. Chelsea were deadly on the break, but I think they can count themselves lucky for not being punished at the other end. It would have been a completely different affair had they gone 1 down.

  91. …………AIC IS A PARASITE……………

  92. Shotta, you say there is nothing wrong with our attacking play but we must convert? Surely not converting means there is something wrong with our attacking play?

    We still need a striker who you would put your house on hitting the net of given an opportunity, at present apart from RVP ( who we can take will be out most of the time) we just don’t have that.

    We need a striker who will instil fear in the opposition defence, one that will make them crap themselves because they know give him a chance and he will punish you.

    We just don’t have that right now.

  93. Why is he so stubborn when it comes to changing tactics against the big two?Lee dixon said we had won only 6 out of our last 33 games v the big two.That stat is frightening

    Very good comment that highlights how mixed up your thinking is. Of the last 33 games, we haven’t played the same tactics. Our tactics change all the time. What never changes is our desire to go out and take the initiative and win football games. That’s a strength. The way we played Chelsea last season is different from this season. I know all the usual idiots say it’s all the same but it’s not.

    You might not care about the details, but you’re very wrong.

  94. More than anything this team makes too many mistakes – defensively, in front of goal, you name it and at this level you cannot get away with it.

    Strange to say it about a team that just kept a clean sheet against a team that battered them end to end but Chelsea made as many mistakes as we did. I can count them if you can’t.

  95. Our crossing is so poor that Chelsea conceded their flanks in their defensive third knowing that…
    a) We can’t get good crossing in.
    b) Even if a few does come in the can deal with it.

    View Chalkboard

  96. I agree with the views that we have improved in our performance against the Chavs. The game yesterday was nothing compared to that of last year.

    However we did seem to leave the same gaping holes in the middle of the side.

  97. @ Ole G
    I still feel we need another go-to player. 1 player who consistently offers the unexpected.

    Agree. All our matchwinners were out of this game. But knowing our luck, even if we did have one more go-to player, he would have been injured as well.

    @ word
    gadget – you can also wrap it around your head and sing lalalalalalala with your eyes closed.
    Perhaps you could bury your head in the sand with another more constructive past time?
    So taking a glass-half-full attitude is “burying your head in the sand”? Why is that?

    reply to a post from yesterday:
    @ theBigM
    Fungunner – Because to win the league these days you have to invest big and the board are not prepared to do this, so as long as we maintain champions league football and the money comes in from that why bother aiming to win the championship?
    You accused them of only being interested in the money – I pointed out that coming first means MORE money and that the money doesn’t go to the board members anyway. Can you define “invest big”, please.

  98. We need a gk, 2 big, strong tall central defenders, 2 quality cdm’s since Denilson and Song aren’t good enough and buy a proper finisher who will score plenty of goals.

    A proper winger would have beeen welcomed as well. Sometimes you must spend 60m pounds and take a reward. We can do it.
    Then, give Wenger one more year, if he fails, he needs to go.

    I think we should just change the entire squad. Cesc first.

  99. Expected in my opinion, as always we dominate them. More possession, more shots, deserved it. But nothing. Chelsea have made it an art to produce results when they least deserve it.

    Nothing sexy or new with this result.

    Totally over it. Was over it when we lost 2-0 to them at Highbury when Mourinho was the manager. That result cemented in me the most unemotional reaction, from which forever has been the same reaction to every loss we have had since. After that, I didnt give a shit about results, I gave a shit about what im paying for and thats to be entertained. Everything else is superficial.

  100. Sheesh!!!

    The simple fact is that Chelsea are a better team than us at the moment. They don’t play better football, but they are a better team. We have closed the gap, and hopefully will keep on doing so. We will get there.

  101. We played quite well and there really is no excuse for losing except that we were not good enough to win. And for that, only Wenger is to blame. Once again we left Cuntley free to cross in and Dogbreath to score. This was used twice last year and I’m disappointed that we conceded one again to this combination.

    The season is by no means over but I feel that realistically we will finish 2nd this year. City will draw too many games and so will United.

    Arshavin seems more and more a player who plays for the statbook. Someone should introduce a stat for the forwards who track back the most and then maybe he will start to do it.

    A new left sided forward or someone from the youth team to step up? Maybe Pires to do a Sol?(wouldn’t THAT be AWESOME!!!!) And Gibbs to replace Clichy, definitely.

  102. wengerball | October 4, 2010 at 12:50 pm |

    I keep hearing this. But I doubt that Arsenal are less successful with their crosses than other teams. We crossed 22 times and only 4 times did it reach an Arsenal head. I’m sorry but I don’t think this was a poor result. It’s about the league average. Most crucially, the stat don’t measure how many times the crosses got into dangerous areas, or how many times they created goalscoring opportunities

  103. The AA conundrum is a strange one. Undoubtably a match winner, but seems to have no competition for his place. When Theo returns if he produces the kind of form he was in before his injury will leave Arsene with the luxory of leaving AA out if need be. Nasri will always play if fit.

  104. The yanks wont lie down. Love them or hate them, they can play some golf

  105. The crossing “stat” may be misleading in our teams’s performances. In my book if the cross beats the first man it is a decent one. The players attacking the ball have reposnisbility to make it a good cross by doing just that; attacking the ball. Only Chamakh really does this for us, as many of our players prefer to hang back.

  106. Expecting Arsenal to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is delusional. We had plenty of possession but then we always do. Inter last year won everything and look at the possession statistics, it means nothing. You don’t get points for passing the ball in the halfline for eternity.
    I don’t blame Wenger when he says we bossed the game, because he is the manager of the Arsenal and he is talking to the players and supporters via media. But the reality is, we didn’t.
    He doesn’t put enough emphasis on the defensive side of the game and it shows. He was lucky to inherit a back line that was the best in world at that time, he concentrated on the attacking side and won. Since then we never had a decent backline and more than the personnel it is the philosophy that needs to be questioned. The argument that we have a better backline this year is one thing thing which will only be determined at the end of the season if we concede less goals, but the important argument would be if we have a decent backline which could hold a 1-0 lead in an important game. That we haven’t, and it’s going to cost us again this season.

  107. Maciek@ 11.41 pretty much agree. however think Song is a giant and will get better, especially when he is allowed to concentrate on his game without the runs forward and basically filling space. AW was a breath of fresh air when he first arrived – respect where its due, however…… that was a long time ago.
    there is only one other thing. cmooonnnnnn Arsenal.

  108. There was one peach of a cross from Rosicky, left-footed I think, that dropped right on Chamakh’s head and he should’ve scored.

    Sagna’s low cross early on for Chamakh was pretty tasty too, and very nearly opened the scoring.

    The stat that is misleading is the ‘pretty equal’ shots on and off target one. Most of Chelsea’s chances came once the deadlock was already broken when we were forced to stretch the game, whereas Arsenal consistently broke the Chelsea defence, steadily throughout the match, from start to finish – despite being up against a defence and defensive midfield that was ever-increasingly deep, static, and unadventurous.

  109. BTW, Bert van Marwijk had dropped Cunt De Jong from the Intl team for his horrendous tackle on Ben Arta and thereby digging a huge whole in the backside of FA, MOTD pundits and Brian Kidd.

  110. I agree with GA about that crossing stat. I think you know a good cross when you see it, not when it connects with a team-mate’s foot/head. As Ole said, our crossing success is probably league average.

    I just had lunch with the Chelsea fan. For all his bravado, I could see the fear in his eyes. He’s seen Koscielny’s cape, and he knows Drogba has no kryptonite.

  111. Hell yes, I agree with Limpar Assist. Also, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Chamakh yet. First season, just entering his first 10 competative games for us. I think when his adaption is complete, he’s gonna be a MONSTER! Raarrrrrghhh!

  112. I always end up sounding like a doomer, but I’m really not – I’m just concerned that this belief that if we play our game we can beat any team is where we always seen to go wrong. How often does Chelsea break down one of our wings to slide a ball across the six-yard box for a goal? Cole did it to us last season and he has done it to us again this season. With no Lampard to worry about Saturday was a great opportunity to close down their only real route at goal, down the wings. Man City have also got the kind of wingers to take us down the channels and we don’t seem to know how to defend against them.
    Up the other end of the field we always look to play through the middle of the defence, Arshavin cuts inside or tries to pass it to Nasri who cuts inside and tries to pass it to Rosicky who either tries to go through the middle or tries a shot which is blocked. When we go down the wings we again try to cut back inside or lump a ball across the box and hope that a head will get to it or we hit it too long (if we’re lucky straight to the winder on the other side). Our forwards don’t seem to give the wingers options, a run to the near post gives an alternative and is always going to draw a defender out of the middle making space behind, so why don’t we have more movement in the box when we work down the channels? Invariably the ball gets passed backwards for another game of ‘Let’s play outside the box’.
    Our game plan has to be able to adapt to the team in front of us, otherwise we will continue to beat the weak teams but struggle against the top teams in the Premiership.
    Losing three important attacking players does obviously have an impact, but Fabregas was available last season and we were still well beaten by Chelsea both home and away.
    I think we have the personnel to be a threat this season, especially when we get the injured players back, but it doesn’t help being 7 points off the pace in early October.

  113. Okay I know, I meant Sunday.

  114. We can talk about stats all we like though, there is only one that counts after a game of football.

  115. Notlager,

    The sight of the Bobby Pires in Arsenal colours brings a tear to my eye. All our players could learn a great deal from him. I expect Nasri will start making keepers look silly will alarming regularity from now!

    In his honour, my favourite Bobby P compilation:

  116. ill take that as a rhetorical question FG.

    I agree with damien at 12:56 but I need to look objectively at why we have certain recurant frailties. There is a clear pattern forming and I would like to address it. How else are we supposed to move forward in life if we dont look back and learn from our mistakes?

  117. The first goal on Sunday was Crucial – IF it was scored by Chelsea. More so the reason not to have conceded it. The onlsy shame is that we have conceded that “Type” or same goal in the past three matches. Theres no way a differnt result could come out if we play the same way. How no once caught Cuntleys run is beyond me. He always keeps doing that, with no one getting his run.

    If it wasn’t for the offside flag, the score would have been higher.

  118. I think everyone is aware of that stat, goonerandy. Looking ahead to the other 40+ games of football we’ve got coming up though, I think it’s interesting to look at the things we’re doing right, the things that will win us games.

  119. @olegunne, I don’t think I made mention of the stats.

    I’m simply pointing out that the crossing is poor —that is not restricted to the actual cross but the entire phase of play— for many reasons.

    Often the cross doesn’t get past the 1st defender.

    Equally the cross could be too heavy.

    The defence ends up winning the ensuing header.

    Or there’s just no one to challenge for that cross.

    Whatever it is Chelsea was content to allow them in, confident that the danger posed would have been minimal.

  120. “If it wasn’t for the offside flag, the score would have been higher.”
    Excellent point, Arsenalkabisa. And if the goals were twice as big, the score would be higher still.

  121. Sorry, AK, still don’t get the point of this…

    “If it wasn’t for the offside flag, the score would have been higher.”

    We played the offside trap well and caught them out over and over again, nipping their attacks in the bud and winning us possession.

    The linesman doing his job is not something you need be thankful for, our offside line did it’s job and the linesman did his.

  122. Succint as ever, Pz. Good to see you.

  123. @goonerandy
    Do you think that would ever happen in England?

    Strangely for all the knicker twisting during the world cup finals, it’s the same bunch that saw nothing wrong with similar tackles in the premier league.

  124. Jack Wilshere has been named in both the senior squad and Stuart Pearce’s England Under-21s.

    That’s right, abuse the little man at the first opportunity. The lessons of playing Walcott in both age groups have not been learnt.

  125. Can a player in Wilshire’s position declare himself ineligible for one of the squads?

    It’s totally insensitive to the player and his club to call him up to both senior and junior levels.

  126. I’d almost rather read James’ comments than……

  127. At least we’re not talking about the keeper, that’s a good thing! Maybe we are seeing a new #1 emerging…
    I thought we played well, tactically we didn’t always press the ball effectively in 2s and made it easy and we didn’t use the width at times. Song shouldn’t have been ball watching and at RB for the 1st, he needed to recover his position quicker.
    I think we need to improve the quality and danger of our set pieces, some good balls but then some awful corners.
    Diaby jogged around a little too much for my liking in the 1st half but then found his feet which was amazing after that tackle!
    Ref was useless.

  128. Wengerball, “That’s right, abuse the little man at the first opportunity.” Ouch!

  129. Glad to see that the Dutch Manager has decided to omit de Jong from the Dutch squad.He has not hesitated in the least to send out a message to the rest of the Dutch players.

    The continued silence by Prem managers and news journals and media outlets shows a conitnued complicity..

  130. Wengerball, I think Capello wants to win the European Cup off little Jack’s back. He’s paid so well he must be getting desperate. They should drop him from the under 21’s.

  131. Chelsea were lucky if you say it often enough you will believe it.
    Chelsea were not lucky they created chances and took them we created chances and didnt.How many real saves did Cech have to make compared to Fabianski?
    If we carry on burying our heads in the sand saying it will all change the next time the lessons of yesterday will never be learned

  132. What is the world coming to? Goonerandy actually sounding positive and Arsenalkabisa talking shite all day? Is down up, are cats and dogs living together!
    AIC, welcome back you little troll…I was just thinking that it was time for you to ooze your way back onto the blog.
    Good discussions, converting opportunities still bothering the squad. I know Wenger is aware, am sure the team does whatever you can do to practice for this, but perhaps it is time to start the sacrifices or the dark arts to get the ball to just make that extra inch needed.
    Welcome, JET! Throwing him on at the bridge when losing to chelski is a bit like starting off on Mt. Everest as your first hill climb.

  133. We certainly looked better yesterday vs. the Chavs compared to last year. To quote Linkin Park “In the end it doesn’t really matter”. Difficult to avoid the feeling of inevitability when our record against them for the last 6+ years against them is 2 – 14 – 3.

    Fabianski looked good. Not sure where our GK situation stands at this point.

    My biggest concern going forward is again our defense. Thought we were better early in the year. We are now on pace to concede about 50 goals this year and we are tied for 8th place in goals conceded. 1 clean sheet out of 7 games. ManCity on pace to concede about 18 goals this year. Chelsea on pace to concede about 12. Frustrating. We should be the ones who have conceded only 2 or 3 goals this season.

    I know it is cliche but at some point we do need to learn how to win ugly. Our attacking philosophy is beautiful when it works but like all teams there will be a large number of games where it does not work well. So far we have scored 1 goal or fewer in 3/7 of our games. Historically that is about average for us. If we drop points in nearly all of these low scoring games we have no chance to get the points we need to win the league.

  134. Jeez – we have a bunch of pessimists out here today. Someone would think that Arsenal were actually in the relegation zone.

    @Gaget, my wife has that same fear in her eyes about the fact that they were lucky this time round. They know that beyond their first team, they’re pretty much sub-standard, and the injuries and suspensions are going to pile in.

    The important thing here is not to be too down trodden about the defeat. The momentum is with us as the power axis shifts. Liverpool and Manure are already on their way down, Chelsea is following. Man City – well, it’s just a freak show.

    The only way is up for Arsenal – and once the disappointment fades, and perspective takes over – it’ll be hard to begrudge Arsenal the overdue acknowledgement that this is our time.

    And I’m frigging disappointed that no one is actually coming out here to acknowledge that Fabianski had a damn good game…LOL! If it wasn’t for Wookash, we’d be talking about a 5 goal hiding. With all the lack of support for him pre-match, I can’t say enough how I’m relieved we’re not talking about an Arsenal keeper who was magnificent on the day. One I might add who was given no chance by his own supporters.

  135. Down is up, cats are living with dogs and now… Kevin Davies is in the England squad.

    Fuck me gently.

  136. @PZ & Limpar

    “If it wasn’t for the offside flag, the score would have been higher.”

    My Argument on this is to negate those who argue that we lost coz we dint have RVP& CESC & Wallcot and blah blah. If you want to hide behind excuses for loosing, why not also consider further reasons why the score should have been more cricket like?

    I.e if the “IF” should be used for Arsenal, why not use the “IF” for Chelsea too…?

  137. Linkin Park… I should’ve known.

    The more you post, Bill, the more I think that you’re a self-constructed character, an amalgamation of the least cool and most annoying things imaginable.

    Sorry if that’s not the case.

  138. Bill – to answer your question on goal keepres…

    If Fabianski does well between now and the end of December, it’s unlikely that Wenger will buy a new keeper for a very long time to come. That will be Fabianski’s endorsement as Arsenal’s No. 1 with Tech 9 as No. 2.

    I have this feeling that Almunia is being given the same treatment “elbow injury” like Lehman was before his exit.

    As the cliche goes, it’s all in Fabianski’s hands.

  139. You’ve gone mad, AK.

    The injuries are real, you just made the crap linesman up.

  140. I wanted to stop visiting the site after defeats, but we played too well yesterday for a full MML.

    Still, it’s a bit like trying to talk sense into a drunk friend who wants to do something you know he’ll regret.

  141. Gadget, great compilation how I wish we had that team now! We would rule the world!

    I cannot believe that in a Bobby compilation his goal against Villa is not in there!

  142. Liverpool are dead.
    The Portugeezer connection won’t save ManUsed. e.g. Anderson. Heh.
    $iteh are playing Yaya as some kind of ‘playmaker’!
    And Chav$ki’s season will mirror last season, points dropped here and there. They have a weaker squad then last season (said Charlie, and he does Know).

    And in other news:
    The Groaners’ assessment of Ian Holloway, is proven to be absolute b*ll*cks.

    All those broken legs (four and counting) to players like Zamora? Thank the football g*ds!
    What do you end up with?

    Kevin Davies.
    ‘You reap, what you sow’, is a better cliché then,
    ‘Lennon’s better then Walcott, because he’s a right orthodox whinger’,
    ‘Arsenal don’t shoot,’

  143. Fabianski played well, very sharp on every occasion. Glad to see his confidence back a little.

  144. Limpar
    Sorry if you do not like Linkin Park. I actually do like a couple of their songs. My 14 year old loves them and I have probably heard that song about 10,000 times and the title seemed to fit the moment. You clearly are the top of the line here on ACLF and I always have and always will be in awe of your coolness.

  145. Arsenalkabisa, I have been reading your comments and all you are doing is moaning, moaning, moaning.

    So we lost and what? Chelsea is no walk in the park, the whole world knows it. How many teams go to Chelsea and win? We all want Arsenal to beat Chelsea based on the last few years but to lose does not suggest we are inferior. Maybe in other seasons yes but let this season play out and see.

    You took the liberty of looking at old articles well I tool the liberty of going back a few articles. You havent even been commenting on the blog recently and now you are coming around trying to bring everyone down, more than we are already.

    Who the heck needs that!?

    Someone said they dont know what the team needed as far as this performance? Its not rocket science, score when you have the chance.

  146. “If we carry on burying our heads in the sand saying it will all change the next time the lessons of yesterday will never be learned” – Ken

    Hmmm, I wonder what Ken thinks he can do.

    Given the choice I’ll remain my good cheery self, than become all doom & gloom.

    The world is much nicer with a ruby hue, it’s true.

  147. @LA

    Some of those decisions were so close, an away team never gets them. That’s my argument.

    Am just of the opinion that we hide so much behind excuses. If its not a full squad, then its a small pitch. If its not rough treatment, then its the refereeing. If its not then boots, then its the shin guards. If its not blah blah. then its bleur bleur.

    At what point do we look at our selves and say “Hey something is not right here?”

    At some point we will have to stand and realize that this is not foie gras, its not even sausages. We are Arsenal for heavens sake. Since when do we feel like its okay to loose? We should be discussing how Chelsea were “Lucky” to get away with a two nil loss..

  148. First thoughts, about the game:
    Like many I wasn’t all that disapointed. It wass always gonna be a tough ask getting points at stamford bridge with 4 of our key players out. We couldn’t beat them last year with Cesc playing either so it is hard to say how much of a difference he or VP would have made, but still, it would have been nice to get the chance?

    Chelsea are no mugs, and its no shame to lose to them at their place. I’m more worried about our loss away to West Brom than this result. We can’t win the league if we continue to lose to small AND big teams.

    Oh well, next game please?

  149. Darius,

    Fabianski got his dues from me yesterday! Besides, I’d never stopped believing, cause my faith is like an adamantium claw!

    Today is all about nursing those with broken egos. Come on guys keep your heads up and repeat after me.

    I BELIEVE IN MY MUTHAFUCKIN’ TEAM! (The Samuel L crazy twang is mandatory)

  150. Gris – I have maintained every since I have posted here that I am a optomistic guy. But I am a realist; whats good is good, and whats bad is bad. Life is pretty simple if you just say things as you see them 🙂

    I seem to have come across as a “doomer” for discussing the bad bits abvout the team, but I much prefer to discuss the merits of the side. They are both just as relevant though.

    On the keeper situation; I now really think it is make or break for Fabianski. I believe that Wenger gave him his “last chance” in pre-season which he did not take. Circumstances have conspired to give him another chance. If he takes it and carries on as his last 2 games, then great. He obviously has the potential to be a top class keeper (I still have doubts if he will make the most of his potential though). He is in possesion of the No1 jersey now. It is his to lose. If he cocks it up, Wenger has a big decision to make come January. New keeper or promote Wookash.

  151. @PaulN

    So If I haven’t been commenting lately I shouldn’t comment?

    To Answer you, The only game I used to be scared of the results was Us vs ManchsetterUTD. Now am not even sure if WBA might score three past us.

    I remember Steve G hustled and pressed till he passes to Thiery for our goal. I remembers Thiery committing the whole Liverpool team and scoring against themas they all “Excuse me”. I remember when we were the TEAM in London. Now I just don’t know. I dont know if Spurs may hit us two nil or five one. I don’t know if Chelsea may hit us two nil or three nil…

    And seriously, I thought that this season would be different. The losses last season were painful. But to see the same ones being made is painful. very. Thats why I am moaning. Maybe wenger reads ACLF and he will realize

  152. AK – I do agree with your last post. Too many of our recent results against the top teams were not down to luck. I am happy enough to accept that over the past few years we have not been as good as Manure or Chelsea. No excuses needed.

  153. Feel good for Fabianski, only saw higlights and he sure did look like a confident goalie. He looked top class.

  154. @Goonerandy

    Fabianski was a plus that might be forgotten. The one-on-one with Essien is one of my best. Essien commits him and he feigns commitment, and just when Essien pulls the trigger, he moves, and parries. So fast, its as if he was in Essien’s mind and Knew exactly what he was thinking.

    Oh and the pressure catches… M.A.S.S.I.V.E.

  155. I’ve got to say goonerandy is making Arsenalkabisa and a few others, who should know better, look like total mugs.
    It is either dishonest or lazy weak-mindedness to watch yesterday’s game and conclude it is the same old Arsenal. It was a qualitatively better performance than last year’s.
    I have a better IF scenario for AK: If the ref was was strong enough to call Ramires’ two blatant fouls, the one on Song leading to the Drogba goal and the other in the box on Chamakh….then today you would be shouting from the other extreme.

  156. Alex Ice Cream

    We need to improve defensively – we say this every year. I thought that Squillaci struggled yesterday but at least Woocash had a good game in goal. I am hoping that he can solve our goalkeeping problem as there is noone else at the moment. As usual there was too much of a gap between defence and midfield. We defended badly v S’land for the goal (undoing the good defensive work before it) and v WBA was comically inept.
    Why can’t AW solve this defensive problem that has plagued us for years?

  157. The Ryder Cup is fricken nuts

  158. AK – Yup, Fabianski had a good game. We need to keep perspective though. Just getting through games without making a howler does not suddenly turn him into a world class keeper and the answer to our keeper issue. That aside, he was good yesterday; he looked assured and made a couple of good stops. The Essien one (as you mentioned) was excellent.

  159. Alex Ice Cream


    It was a much better performance but we still lost.

  160. To be fair Kabisa – when we look at ourselves, there is so much better in this team than previous seasons – so there’s a lot to be cheerful about.

    I have a theory about why you’re having a good old fashioned moan, and that is that your pride has been pricked (yet again you’ll say) among your peers. I know Arsenal v Manure in particular but increasingly Arsenal v Chavs politics in your neck of the woods literally gets tribal amongst the supporters so it’s understandable.

    From a practical point of view, a defeat to Chelsea or WBA at this point of the season is not an indicator that we cannot win the title. Suggesting that we’re out of the title race 7 games in is as ludicrous as suggesting Chelsea have already won the title.

    It was important that we won the game for the player’s confidence, for their mental strength, for the momentum, and most importantly, for the fans all over the world who are due some bragging rights. In this respect, it would have been nice to win.

    But not winning a game against a title rival is not a disaster. There’s 31 games to go – and Chelsea don’t have the reliability of a strong squad to challenge on all fronts. The fact that they dropped out of the league cup in the manner they did proves they are going to be stretched to the limit.

    Believe, Arsenal has a better squad and is better prepared for the challenge. The fact that we played the way we played with so many of our key players out should not be a reason for complaining or an excuse. To me, it’s a powerful illustration of the strength and depth of our squad and you only need to look at the bigger picture.

    But I do understand that some pride has been bitch slapped out of us. Our time will come though.

  161. Well Arsenalkabisa, who needs someone coming around after a loss moaning and whining?

    Your comments offered nothing positive and you are being condescending by pulling up old Articles as if Yogi should be saying that we dont have a chance in the world to win this season will all of SEVEN matches played.

    This loss is not down to luck for me, its down to us not taking our chances.

    You thought this season would be different and based on one game thats out the window? based on Arsenal losing away to the PL champs, its a wrap, is it?

    I dont get down like that, I fully expect this team to come back and get it done. We came back in the picture last season but fell short and I BELIEVE that this season our additions and maturity will tilt the balance in our favour. If that doesnt take place, I will feel no less for keeping the faith.

  162. @ Word

    ill take that as a rhetorical question FG.

    I agree with damien at 12:56 but I need to look objectively at why we have certain recurant frailties. There is a clear pattern forming and I would like to address it. How else are we supposed to move forward in life if we dont look back and learn from our mistakes?
    That makes sense if you are AW, one of the coaching staff, or a member of the team. You are Word. How are you going to address it? And when can we expect to see the results?
    Also, why do you assume that people who disagree with you about what went wrong, or what our frailties are, recurrent or otherwise, are not being as objective as you?

    @ wengerball
    I’ve just watched the first half again and most of their corners didn’t beat our first man (well done Diaby), most of their crosses were blocked. Maybe they did that stuff brilliantly in the second half, but so far, I have to say I’m not impressed.

    The problem isn’t our defence – that side is coming along nicely. We are doing the things we’re supposed to do, and over a season that should result in conceding fewer goals. The problem is efficiency in front of goal.
    General question – if we had put away our really good chances, scored three goals and won, would that mean that Chelsea defended badly overall? I don’t think so.
    Darius, quite right to praise Wookash. It’s still early days, but it looks like he’s turned a corner.

    And that goal from Drogba- yes, he was in a good position, but it just hit his foot! It was as flukey as Cesc’s goal v Sunderland, except that we deserved to be a goal up in that match.
    I feel frustrated because we had them and let them off the hook. But I feel encouraged that we did open them up and create chances, even without Cesc and co.

  163. @Shotta

    Its not just yesterday. It starts at Sunderland, then WBA then Yesterday. Tell me what difference those games have to last year.

    In my humble opinion, I thought Blackburn was massively played. With determination and skill. That was different from last year.

    But I cant say much for an Arsenal team that gets one point from 3 games. Its just not yesterday’s game. I didn’t comment after the Sunderland game, coz Sunderland were lucky. I dintd comment after the WBA game, coz WBA were lucky. Maybe I shouldnt comment after the Chelsea game, coz again, they were lucky.

    All teams are lucky when they play us. While we are so unlucky.

  164. Frelling hell.

    I can see why Maria is adamant about one’s parasitic nature.

  165. @PaulN

    It makes sense not to award anyone trophies now. I am only scared that come May there may be no trophies for us. the old adage: if you don’t do anything differently, don’t expect different results, comes into mind. I am just of the humble opinion that we have the same old frailties as last season.

    But with that I will shut down my moan.

  166. …..And Europe regain the Ryder Cup !

    Dont all go crazy at once…………..

  167. I give up these doomer lot. They bore me. Grow a pair

    So we got 1 point in 3 games, and what of it? So we lost 2 games in a row, what of it? The past is the past, and the only relevance that has is on memory: Do not let it define who you are, but let it serve as a reminder of where you were.

    It’s more than possible for us to go on an unbeaten run from here till next year. With this team, I fear none. It’s your problem if you disagree, but I believe in my team.

  168. ArsenalKabisa: “Well, the Ides of October have come.”

    ACLF Faithful: “Ay, they have come, but they are not gone.”

  169. Keep that rage down I must. I humble apologise to anywho felt offended by my outburst.

    I am human, but it is no excuse

  170. Gadget, Apology not accepted. I am very offended.

  171. James, did you see that picture of Tiger Woods’ shot going straight at the camera? Some real characters in that shot. Got this asian dude with a crazy tash chomping down on a cigar.–photographer.html

  172. The game yesterday was not a disaster if taken by itself. Getting a result at the Bridge has been difficult for every team in the league for years. The real problem that we need to solve came the 2 weeks before this game. The lack of consistency especially with our defending but also with our attack is an issue that we all had hoped would have gotten better as our team matured. No way to prove or disprove but I suspect this group of players has never really developed the self belief needed to get over the top in the PL. May we can develop that “mojo” with a strong run after Cesc and RVP return. The interlull comes at a good time for once. With 31 games and only 7 points to make up it is certainly not time to give up on the league but may be those who think we should make a real run at the CC or FA cup have point. Still not sure I agree with that philosophy but it might help our teams confidence.

  173. I dont understand how people dont love the ryder cup, its the only way in sport to stick it to the yanks

  174. AK, all I can say is keep the faith!

    Gadget, this team will get it done!

  175. Unfortunately James, there’s an unwritten cavate to all my apologies which discriminates against those of a Spurrish persuasion. As much as you’re a good Spud, the law is the law. One day, this injustice may not stand, but for now the discrimination is necessary. It’s the daughter test you know: sure I’ll work with Spuds, but I just couldn’t let my daughter marry one.

  176. If we close teams down the way we closed Chelsea down, I don’t see us conceding very many goals beyond what we’ve already conceded this season. I was well pleased that Chelsea had to resort to the tried and true hoofball because we pressed the shit out of them. The only tactical change I would’ve made yesterday was to put Eboue out on the right wing. I think he would’ve neutralized Malouda and Cashley which would’ve made it harder for them to attack us.

  177. Phew! I just had to do a quick net search for Spurrish. It occurred to me after posting that it could have actaully been a racially derogatory term. Fortunately it’s not, but how embarassing (and slightly ironic) that would have been if it were.

    (Not got a racist bone in my body, mainly because I’ve got a bone that loves all races if you know what I saying!! Boom zing people)

  178. That is not a cigar!

    And in all honesty, if you were stuck on a golf course, you’d need some help.
    To arms, Gophers!

  179. No doubt Paul N, no doubt!

    “I dont understand how people dont love the ryder cup, its the only way in sport to stick it to the yanks”
    – possibly the most damning indictment of English football I’ve ever seen… you know, apart from watching England play football without an Arsenal player in their ranks.

    Just playing, Team USA played some good football this WC, and with the college set up, I imagine there will be some amazingly gifted US players within the next 2 decades

  180. Gainsbourg69:
    “If we close teams down the way we closed Chelsea down, I don’t see us conceding very many goals beyond what we’ve already conceded this season.”

    But we won’t always close teams down, or play as well as we did against the Chavs, do we? We raised our game to play Chelsea and even that wasn’t enough.
    The terrible thing is we don’t always raise our game. We have a couple of good wins against poor to decent opposition and then we revert back to complacency, believing the hype, again. Most thought we would have outgrown that sort of inconsistency by now. The cycle never seems to end and that is worrying.

    Anyways, there’s 31 more games left. Plenty of time for the team to prove themselves.
    We are ARSENAL and we play awesome football most of the time, even if the football doesn’t produce the results we’d like

  181. I hear you ArsenalKabisa, your concerns are valid.
    But trust me, you’ll get over the hurt of this defeat and many others to come
    What choice to we have? We can only hope that eventually this team will There is still time for that hope to come to fruition this season!

  182. As much as I expected the moaners to come out today, I must admit that I’m really surprised by the particular moan on display. I watched the match with the same level of trepidation as everyone else and frustrated though I am, and clearly some of you are, I must say that it really seems that in this case disappointment is writing the script for the moan – coloring your senses and clouding your judgment.

    We lost to two goals…Drogba’s goal was a speculative heel flick taken at the near post because he’d been fairly well cut off on his run. Certainly, we all want to say that Squillaci should have gotten further in front…but that’s a tough ask to put at Squilli’s door, when the goal was a serious piece of luck that glanced in off the near post. Let’s not allow our disappointment to make it look like Drogba smashed home a simple tap-in past a poorly positioned CB at the near post beating a hapless keeper…that’s just NOT what happened. As to the second goal…well I think we all know that was an incredible shot. Not much more can be said about that…I know we’re pissed we lost but if it takes post-deflections from speculative back-heels and and once in a lifetime rocket-free-kicks to put goals past our defense away at Chavski…well…I’ll take it. I think we’re forgetting what last season was actually like. We were DRUBBED…the goals scored were on open net from open play…we were run off the park and more importantly BULLIED of the pitch…that didn’t happen Sunday. Yeah, we left chances begging. Yes, I do think that we just need to break our duck against our rivals and the tide will swing. Then again…we’ve got a new pair of CB’s who have played what 4 games together?

    Same old frailties….blah, blah…I saw none of the same old frailties. I didn’t see our playes getting pushed and fouled off the ball. I didn’t see our CB’s getting angry at each other and the keeper because no one knew who was supposed to be doing what. I didn’t see our forwards passing the ball back and forth on the edge of their box unable to get behind a wall of blue shirts. I didn’t see Song and Denilson parked in front of defense terrified to help overload the advanced midfield because the defense behind them was so brittle.

    I’ll tell you what I did see. Arsenal pressing all over the pitch like we all begged last season for them to do. I saw a Chelsea team not having the time to casually pick a deadly pass like they had last season. I watched Essien get very little of the ball. I saw Anelka starved. I saw Maluoda harried at every touch. I saw us still having to work hard to contain Cashley, but doing a FAR better job of it than in the past. I saw Chamakh giving Terry trouble in the box. I saw bad things as well…that’s not the point of this post, but let’s be honest with each other; the defeat Sunday…the score makes it looks comfortable when it wasn’t…the truth? The score lines last year made those games look closer than they really were.

  183. Based on yesterday’s game no one can deny that we have the deepest bench in all of the premier league. Those who say that Wenger hasn’t built his squad with an eye on our injury problems is a full blown retard.

  184. Coming back from the game there was good banter between the arsenal and chelsea fans. What is interesting is the view of those who watch the match in the stadium and those who watch it on TV. Virtually all of the Chelsea supporters on the way back were relieved as they felt Arsenal had their number and only lacked that bit of luck. Watching the game at Stamford Bridge it was interesting to see how Arsenal controlled the game and put Chelsea on the backfoot. It is also easy to see how people can pick up in hindsight that Nasri did not track back etc- the amount of ground Nasri covered yesterday was phenomenal but watching the game on TV or just viewing highlights you simply do not realise the amount of movement the players put when not in possession of the ball.
    Overall the blame lies with Arsene Wenger- we have been on the receiving end for much to long and he had to change his game plan. He didn’t- our play was too open and Chelsea are the kind of team that thrive on counter attacks. We needed to be more compact, dropping back more and denying supply to Drogba at all costs. Despite outplaying them we could easily have conceeded more. You really cant pick out any player-they played reasonably well, but the tatics were wrong and Arsene needs to acknowledge that.

  185. Fungunner @ 3:18:
    “The problem isn’t our defence – that side is coming along nicely. We are doing the things we’re supposed to do, and over a season that should result in conceding fewer goals. ”

    Hope you are right. Still think we are better then last year. Nonetheless the stats after 7 games are concerning.

    Our central defenders and GK vs Chelsea have played about 20 total PL games between the 3 of them so there is certainly hope for improvement with more experience. Perhaps it is too much to hope for consistency at this point. Time will tell if the early season improvement we saw will be the norm.

  186. Also it was interesting to see how tired the Chelsea players were at the end of the game- literary on their last legs. If this was a champions league qualifier and we were in extra time, they would not have been able to cope. I have to say even though we suffer our shares of injuries we are one of if not the fittest team in the premiership. And people may criticise the possession stats saying you didnt do much with it. this fails to acknowledge that the principal in retaining possession is that a) the opposition cannot hurt you without the ball and b) the opposition will have to work extra hard to get the ball back. We simply did not score because we did not take our chances not because we had more ball possession.

  187. Henristic, I have no doubt something clicked in our players yesterday. Personally, I’ve never seen them press so tightly and starve the opposition midfield of the ball the way they did against Chelsea. This is something new. This is something they’ve been doing in training, along with getting back defensively as two banks of four, and it will only get better. I also think you’ll be proven wrong regarding our consistency. There’s just something different in this team this season. They seem hungrier and more unified as a squad.

  188. If Chamakh and Kos had stuck the ball in the back of the net we wouldnt all be playing manager today.

    You have to score, end of. If we defend all day and dont score how will that help? Have Chelsea having a go at us all day and I can see us conceding and losing anyway.

  189. Gadget, what makes sticking it to the yanks at golf so satisfying is the fact that they care about it, they think they are the best but we beg to differ

  190. GB69 –
    You are right, the manager has built a strong & deep enough bench. Therefore, statements like ‘ we would have done better in presence of our spine’ & ‘Imagine how Chavs or Mancs would have performed in absence of 4 first teamers’ are completely invalid.

    We were much better than last year, but not good enough. Period.

    Bring on Birmingham now.

  191. “we would have done better in presence of our spine’ & ‘Imagine how Chavs or Mancs would have performed in absence of 4 first teamers’ are completely invalid.”

    MJ, on a whole a team always does best with their best. RVP, Cesc, Walcott and TV would make a world of difference in our team, not to say its a sure thing that we wouldve won though but you prefer your chances with your best players on the field. Therefore that would never be an invalid statement as long as you have team sports.

  192. Bill,
    Seriously, keep your stat analyses to baseball. No offence mate but that’s just laughable.

  193. axis, it sounds like you actually watched the game.


    De Jong dropped by the Oranje for breaking someone’s leg – good.
    Shawcross breaks Aaron’s leg – called-up to the England national squad within weeks – fucking disgraceful!

    …I feel a letter coming on.

    I enjoyed Gary Linekar’s documentary on English football yesterday. Trying to change the game at grass roots, get kids playing the right way, on smaller pitches – something that should have happened a decade ago, heart in the right place though.

    – he should put some similar energy into exposing this ridiculous culture of defending the most reckless, violent tackles you’ve ever seen with a bunch of irrelevant hogwash about “He’s as honest as they day is long” (Brian Kidd – prat). It’s not about honesty! It’s about not crashing through someone’s trailing leg at 100mph! Seriouslly, why isn’t anyone taking some responsibility here? I’m going to write the BBC and suggest they man the fuck up and start making the right arguments.

    (I’ll register my vote against Savagery while I’m at it, Consolsbob)

  194. After last 2 seasons Paul, we knew that our best players are not available for the majority of the season. You cannot simply call it bad luck any more.

  195. Runebreaker:

    “Overall the blame lies with Arsene Wenger- we have been on the receiving end for much to long and he had to change his game plan. He didn’t- our play was too open and Chelsea are the kind of team that thrive on counter attacks. We needed to be more compact, dropping back more and denying supply to Drogba at all costs. Despite outplaying them we could easily have conceeded more. You really cant pick out any player-they played reasonably well, but the tatics were wrong and Arsene needs to acknowledge that.”

    I disagree, I think we closed Chelsea down quite well. Playing them open and keeping the ball ran them ragged, even you admitted as much in your post. If we would’ve played them narrower they would’ve pinned us inside our half. That’s what they do week in and week out to lesser teams who try to pack the middle. Instead we pinned them inside their half for most of the second forty five. The only change I would’ve made would’ve been to play Eboue out wide.

  196. theme …

  197. I hope now with De Jong being publicly criticised and dropped from the Holland team that this will focus debate on the issue of overzealous tackling in the premiership. It is very telling that the coach made a point of stating De Jong was that kind of player and that he has been spoken to before about this. Compare this with the immediate outcry following Shawcross and the rest- the first line of defence is that they are NOT that kind of player! It is clear that such players are encouraged to play aggressively and throw themselves about. As much as I hate them Chelsea have shown that you can be physical without resorting to being dirty. When players with limited ability feel that the only way they can compete is to hurt their opponents then I am afraid a lot more creative players will break legs. So far in the premier league we have had what two leg breaks already- and a number of close calls. The FA need to do something urgently!

  198. Gadget | October 4, 2010 at 3:31 pm |

    I give up these doomer lot. They bore me. Grow a pair

    Too true. Ultimately the team defends itself.

  199. Axis @ 4:15 pm – You are a STAR!

    Runebreaker @ 4:18 pm – Hell of a eye-witness report with regard to the grudging respect shown by the Chavvies because of the way we pressed and harried them all over the field. But then you totally contradicted yourself by stating:
    “Overall the blame lies with Arsene Wenger- we have been on the receiving end for much to long and he had to change his game plan. He didn’t- our play was too open and Chelsea are the kind of team that thrive on counter attacks. We needed to be more compact, dropping back more and denying supply to Drogba at all costs.”
    How else can we contain Drogba, Anelka, Malouda and Essien if we don’t put them on the backfoot? They have been putting up cricket scores against tem who sit back and allow them 2/3 of the field. At the risk of being described as a Wenger apologist, I think he is absolutely right philosophically. To be a dominant team you have to be offensive minded and take the initiative. It is riskybut it is far more rewarding than sitting back and allowingg the opposition to come on to you. That is why Bill’s obsession with defensiveness is so wrong and bone-headed. Using an American sports as analogy, the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls did not become dynasties playing defense and deliberately slowing down the game to and keeping the score in the 8Os like the the Pistons. They took the initiative and ran at their opponents and score. Yes they had very good defensive systems and players but they were above all scoring teams. Those teams reputation have gone beyond the States and transcend the limits of basketball. So is Arsenal. We simply have to be offensively efficient. Asd Wenger said, players must take their chances when they come.

    On that note, how I long for the return of a fit and rearing Walcott. This season I have seen something really special emerging.

  200. No offense taken Ole. I do think in the end we will prove to have defended better then last year and the previous years. Still not sure if the improvement will be enough. You made the point before the season started regarding our lack of experience in the center of defense. Time has shown that inconsistency and inexperience usually go together. Agree with G69 regarding the amount of effort we put into our defending yesterday. Never have seen us work that hard. Unfortunate that the team did not get the reward for their effort and we still conceded 2. As you have pointed out many times, pressing like that is very difficult to maintain and also has its down side. Hard to argue with Henristic’s point at 4:09.

  201. I never said bad luck MJ. The players had the opportunities to put the game to bed and didnt do it. Luck has nothing to do with that.

    What I am saying is that you are best with your best for the most part and that an and will never be invalid.

  202. Are you crazy, Rune? Essien’s tackel on Diaby’s was as cynical as anything I’ve seen from the worst shit kickers in the league. You should also take a look at Malouda’s little exchange with Sagna. Those weren’t clean tackles. They were pre-meditated.

  203. @ Paul N
    If Chamakh and Kos had stuck the ball in the back of the net we wouldnt all be playing manager today.

    Too right!

    @ mj_gunner
    Totally agree with Paul N (although Walcott is not an automatic starter, he is the man for a game like this.) Key players are always going to make a difference, that’s why they are described as key players. They are key to our style of play and they are matchwinners – here I do include Walcott. Our other players are excellent, but they’re not quite as good as the key players. Not consistently, anyway.
    “After last 2 seasons Paul, we knew that our best players are not available for the majority of the season. You cannot simply call it bad luck any more.”
    We can assume that RVP is going to be injured for a part of the season, but beyond that we don’t know who is going to be injured, when, for how long, and in what positions, do we? And we have tried to compensate for a long injury list by having such a strong squad, which is good enough to cope with most of our opponents. There’s not a lot more we can do. We can’t fill our subs benches with players as exceptional as Fab4 and RVP.

    Runebreaker, our tactics DID work – we created good goal-scoring chances, but did not finish them off. That failure to finish was a failure of execution, not of tactics. And agree with G69 and shottagunna on this one.

  204. Well said Shotta.

    Its nonsense to keep looking at the defense without looking at the fact that we didnt take our chances. Chelsea did not win because they were superior defensively it was because they took their chances, fluke or not.

  205. Gains69- I think with our quality keeping the game more compact would have given us a chance and frustrated them. The one thing we are not is a lesser team. We are devastating on the break and we have far more creative players to be able to hit them on a counter swiftly. Yes possession meant that we didnt give them much chance to do damage but when they had chances and they did have very clear chances (more so than us) we could have paid dearly. Chelsea are masters of playing park the bus when they play superior teams (I obviously think we are a superior team despite the recent run of events) and I think they would have been a lot more exposed if they had to do the attacking, use the ball and force the tempo. They would have left gaps to be exploited- as it is after the first goal they simply sat back and we couldn’t break them down- though we came mighty close. My point is that if you have played a team using the same tactics and lost god knows how many times on the trot surely as a manager you must sit back and think maybe we need to do this differently!


    Though the writer undermines our performance a little bit, but mentions a few interesting facts.
    Eg – ”An equally bizarre stat is that Arsenal’s first eight defeats (from nine) last season all came in ‘pairs’, and this is another, following last weekend’s shock defeat to West Brom”

  207. FunGun

    “There’s not a lot more we can do. We can’t fill our subs benches with players as exceptional as Fab4 and RVP.”

    Common sense!

    Not to mention that Bendtner is out also (that wasnt expected). That guy knows how to score when we need a goal.

  208. Yes, Paul N – I definitely count Bendtner as one of our matchwinners. He is not of Fab or RvP quality, but he scores those important goals.

  209. Gains69 on the tackles by Essein and Maouluda it is hard to tell from the stands how bad a tackle is- I have seen the match on TV. But if you say they were dirty I obviously agree (after all they are Chelsea) but in a general sense they do play physical and do it well. Unlike Fat Sams teams who play deliberately and go out to hurt the other teams- show em we are around and we wont be messed with with your pretty football.

  210. should have read I havent seen the match on TV

  211. I’m surprised Arsenalkabisa could pull his big weepy head off his tear drenched pillow this morning, such is his misery. It’s one thing to have a good moan after a defeat, but to sit there and argue with people for hours as to why we should all be even more miserable is, frankly, embarrassing as an Arsenal fan. I, on the other hand, will begin a 2 week prayer vigil, hoping that psycho and mumbles the clown don’t break our prize pupil. I have a hundred little Jack Wilshere candles which will burn in my window until he is safely back home.

  212. I think you are getting me wrong. I clearly mentioned that Wenger has pulled together a fully capable & strong squad. All I am saying is that, since we know our whole squad is going to be hugely utilized during the season, we cannot rely on the first teamers to win us difficult games. The team, on paper, was good enough to beat Chelski, but on the day, were poor in front of goal.
    As for your other point, FG, for the past two seasons we have had Cesc, Gallas, Rosicky, Clichy etc injured for more than 3 months. That is a fact now & will not be considered bad luck any more.
    I m not demanding new signings by any means, in fact, a few weeks back, I posted my serious concerns regarding keeping Bendtner happy as 3rd choice!

  213. The bottom line is that they had their key game changer available and we did not. We lacked that player with the extra bit of attacking edge that can pull a goal from nowhere. The sad thing is that our best players are hardly ever available for the big games.

    By the way, I think Henry and De Jong are going for the the “Golden Tibia” this year! For those of you who don’t know, this is the award that goes to the player that causes the most broken legs.

  214. Rune, we did try new tactics in this game. When we didn’t have the ball Diaby, Nasri, Chamakh and Arshavin were right up there not letting them start their attacks from deep like they usually do. I even saw Wilshere and Song close to Cech on a couple of occasions. What you’re saying, though, is that we should’ve not played the type of game which you admit caused them headaches. I think what you’re alluding to is how they caught is on the counter a few times. They did this because we were trying to score. A lesser team would’ve stayed narrow and gotten thumped.

  215. I think maybe there was some decision taken long ago to give any England player playing for Arsenal as many bloody games as possible – made on the false assumption that they wouldn’t be getting in the Arsenal team ahead of “The Frenchies”. Noone’s told them that Jack and Theo and Kieran have well and truly broken into the first team, and there’s more on the way! Mumbles the clown (!) goes to the games, but one wonders if he’s actually paying much attention anymore.

    I’ll join you in prayer for now, vermy. Until someone wakes them all up. The Sweet FA!

  216. Rune, if you would’ve seen the Essien tackle on Diaby from another angle you’d have thought that Essien scouted his injury. Let’s just leave it at that.

  217. mj_gunner
    Yes, we have had key players out in the past, but that still doesn’t mean we know WHO will be injured and WHEN they will be injured. It’s all abotu timing. We don’t know in advance that Bendtner andRvP and Walcott will all be injured at the same time, do we? And yet Wenger covered that possibility with Chamakh. I didn’t think you were demanding signings, just pointing out that we can only have a limited number of key players. And be honest, the rest more or less did the job yesterday, bar their finishing.

  218. I think those of you waiting on the F.A. to act on Van Marwijk’s excluding De Jong are going to be very disappointed. All the English press I watched and read after the world cup final was very hard on Holland for the way Van Bommel and De Jong played, but once the new season started they went right back to being appologists for the leg breaking thugs.

  219. I am an arsenal fan in Ghana. I read all the negative comments from all the guys who know better than Wenger how to build a team that beats chelsea and every other team they meet. You know what? Go get the job of coach of arsenal or any other team, prove your spurs and earn the right to criticize.

    I am perfectly satisfied with the teams performance yesterday. Knowing that in real life I fail more often than succeed. This team will win over Chelsea for a long time when they get going. So up or down – this is the team for me.

    I am proud that they have a philosophy they stick to and are not afraid to be the odd one out. They are well managed, are building a squad that considers now and the future. They entertain me.

    If we don’t win a trophy I am not going to grouse. After how many trophies have I won myself? So what right do I have to expect that this team will win everything? None.

  220. Mj, I think you’ve got me wrong as well. The reason why I praise our depth is because if they can play this well against Chelsea, then they’ll demolish the lesser tems. I believe that having such a strong squad is crucial if Wenger decides to rotate players and keep them fresh for the long haul. That’s all I meant. The defeat to Chelsea is already out of my system. I started thinking about Birmingham right after the ref blew the final whistle.

  221. I think the key here is for everyone to stay positive at this point in the season. I have made this point severl times in the past. All of our key players will be getting healthy at the right time. If they can stay fit through the business end of the season we will beat Chelski, tha Mancs, and any one else at the Emirates.

    We have plenty of time to pick up the points, and the players that are available right now are still playing really well. We will hit our stride at the right time this year…I can feel it.

  222. you are right FG, & its your last words of the post that I am stressing on. ‘bar their finishing’.
    The team cannot be excused by stating that our key players weren’t playing

  223. OK, mj_gunner, I guess we can leave it at that! 🙂

  224. Cheers GB; its just that the statements I mentioned earlier, using injuries as an excuse, rip me apart after last season.

  225. Gameli, thank you. The most refreshing post of the day!

    Viceologist, Cosign. Usually we are dealing with these injuries at the end of the season. If we can play this well against the second best team in the PL with a new CD pairing and a new striker, imagine what we will do when it all comes together.

    The whole PL is waiting for us to get over the hump, they know it is inevitable that this team will rule for years to come.


  226. And, how the hell was De Jong not even carded on that challenge. Are the refs just afraid, or are they told to officiate this way. When will they start giving out significant fines for players that do these things. We have them in American football when someone deliberately goes in looking to injure someone.

    It seems a pretty damn rational policy to me. These dirty players need to be dealt with.

  227. Cheero FG 😉

  228. Alex Ice Cream


    To answer your question from yesterday – paying off the debt means that the directors can sell the club debt-free and command a higher price for it as a result. Since they are the shareholders on the whole they will profit.

  229. Alex Ice Cream

    Gameli, Paul N,

    I am not angry/upset or whatever after yesterday. I am also proud of the achievements of this club apart from one: winning in the last few years.

    Unfortuntely its a big omission and many will not be satisifed until it changes.

  230. Excellent post, Gameli!

    Viceologist – it wasn’t even given as a foul!

    It’s that false interpretation of the law that lets the faintest touch on the ball override the fact that immediately afterward, or simultaneously, the tackler goes right through a player’s leg with far, far too much force. Like Ridgewell on Walcott last year.

    Fucking common sense, referees! If in the process of winning the ball a player smashes someone’s leg into pieces it is a sending off – at the very, very least! The referees association seem to be informed by the readership of The Sun these days. Unbelievable.

  231. De Jong is a serial offender as well. You would think the refs would have a close eye on that clown and his similar ilk. He broke Stuart Holden’s leg in a damn international friendly last year right before the World Cup…Holden may not have been selected anyway, but De Jong surely removed all doubt.

  232. so the ” i rebuild england team around young hungry players” was a scam by the italian manager.The headless SWP and Kevin fucking Davies are in the squad,out of form Rooney is here.Wilshere get selected by the under 21 too.

  233. I also have no idea how the players on the pitch control themselves from beating these guys to a pulp right then and there. I don’t think I could control myslef after seeing my friend and teammate in pieces after a challenge like that .

  234. Yup. Shawcross would definitely have got some licks. He still would. Fucking prick.

  235. Golden Tibia?

    I have a nomination:
    Craig Gardner.

  236. Hmmm….

    Alex Ice Cream attempting to run the club down by talking crap about the clubs financial affairs.
    Never seen that before.

    First, apparently, there was no profit, only debt. Now, there is a profit, but it’s going to be used to get the club into debt.

    OK then…

  237. Alex Ice Cream:

    I’m not sure if you can get good Ice Cream in Birmingham, compared to say Italy, but apparently the Balti dishes are very popular. Might be a little too hot for some.

  238. When I see John Terry, Ashley Cole and Didier Diver that happy….I realise that Dawkins is right.

  239. Imagine if we win our next 31 games?

    I think we can do it what do you chaps think?

    Arnen’t we due an enormous chunk of injury victimes back over the next 2 weeks?

  240. If my spelling is bad blame Carlo Ancelloti’s dad who was floating around stopping the ball from going in the Chelsea net yesterday.

  241. that was distasteful and I take it back…

  242. Here’s what the lineups would be featuring players who didn’t play a minute yesterday:

    Almunia, Eboue, Gibbs, Vermalen, Djourou, Denilson, Ramsey, Fabregas, Bendtner, Van Persie, Walcott

    Turnbull, van Aanholt, Bruma, Bosingwa, Lampard, Benayoun, Kalou, Kakuta, McEachran, Sturridge, Borini

    The real frustration isn’t losing yesterday to Chelsea but how can we ever keep our players healthy and uninjured. To be fair, we’ve lost to Chelsea when they’ve been missing more than Lampard, and even with Essien out they won with some comfort.

    I actually think for the most part we played with more intelligence than last season and didn’t bomb forward so recklessly. Until Drogba’s goal, it really looked like Arsenal could leave with at least a draw and there was belief in the team.

    We lost to a Drogba moment of genius and to a superb free-kick from Alex. If that had been one of our players, no-one would have thought about the wall or keeper being at fault.

    It’s a long season, and I’m still confident of a Top 4 finish and one of the cups, provided this injury farce gets under control.

  243. When exactly are Theo and RVP expected back?

    Is Cesc joining the Spain squad?

  244. last week of October as per the original estimations..

    no idea bout Cesc

  245. lagooner, I say we finish top of the top 4.

  246. It seems Theo and RVP are expected back on the last week. So probably if everything goes well they would only miss 2 more EPL matches. Cesc and Bendtner will be available after the international break. And apparently Ramsey is penciled for a 16th oct return as well. A lot to look forward to.

    Strange, we haven’t won in the EPL since Cesc got injured. Well he’s back, we can go back to our winning ways.

  247. “Golden Fibia” rankings:

    1) Henry
    2) Shawcross
    3) De Jong
    4) Gardner

    De Jong is really trying to push to the number one spot and could easily take over in this heated race. More to come after the international “break”.

  248. Paul N

    I’m setting my expectations at the Top 4 and a cup (Champions League, ideally). That would be fantastic and anything more would be rapturous!

    Top 4 does seem highly likely with Liverpool’s sudden decline (although let’s not forget they are only 5 points behind us. However, with Torres being crocked as often as Van Persie, I don’t see them any higher than 7th at the end of the season.

    Still, there are 5 teams for 4 positions, and the other 4 have spent far more than we have. I can see Man City breaking through this season, but just cannot imagine us being any lower than 4th, with 2nd place the most likely final position.

  249. Bloody hell.

    I’m glad I took this day to put another 20 gallons of cider to ferment. I just haven’y got the patience to argue with the AIC’s and sols of this world these days. Dull, dull, dull.

    As predictable as another broken leg in the Premiership. … and as stupid and indefensible. Yes, we are all disappointed. Grow up, grow some or piss off.

    Limpar? let us know the outcome of your complaint. I posted the pisspoor response I got from the BBC a few days ago. Did anybody else recieve a response to their complaint about ‘savagery’? I would like to hear if they had a stock response or a tailored one.


  250. Viceologist – You have left out a real candidate for the top 2 in the Golden Tibia. I bring you none other than Paul (Wenger has something against me) Robinson of Bolton.

  251. Damn…I knew I left someone out…but has he actually broken anyone’s leg this year or all they all just “attempts” at this point?

  252. Ateeb:

    Blackpool were beaten without Fabregas, on a day when all the chances seemed to hit the back of the net. Blackpool were not so awful on that day. It could have been a different game if they’d taken their early chances (at 1-0), as all games would be *sighs*.

  253. Vice, I think you ommited some really good candidates. Robinson and Essien need to get an honorable mention at least. Essien was injured for most of last season, which saw him get pushed down in the rankings, but his lunge on Diaby wasn’t too different to what Robinson did to him only a few weeks ago.

  254. I hear you Lagooner BUT! top of the top 4 for me. Thats my stance.

    We have the best team overall so I expect the best at years end.

    Some team has to win, why not Arsenal?

  255. Alex, if Arsenal’s shareholders really wanted to make money off the club they would’ve sold it before going through the trouble of building a stadium. Why the fuck would anyone deal with all that uncertainty if all they wanted was to make a few quid and fuck off to Geneva or Monte Carlo?

  256. bradys right foot

    Well ladies another Chav match another defeat. True it does seems like groundhog day again, certainly an all too familiar score line. But and inevitably with this current Arsenal team their always is one, we were not outmuscled in midfield infact I think we shaded that battle, we were not terrorised by Drogba whos flicked backheel was a great goal. We controlled most of the game and did so while on the front foot attacking Chelsea. We lost to a more pragmatic team not the better team on the day.

    What I saw gives me hope for the rest of the season. The questions remains would a fully fit Arsenal have beaten that Chelsea on Sunday I think so infact if Boswinga and Lampard had played (Chelseas 2 missing starters) I think we’d have even more chance of beating them.

    How close are we within touching distance but this team has never crossed the line. Every big game creates a big disappointment, the attritional damage on our self belief is the biggest concern its simple until we start beating Chelsea and Man u again we wont. We could still win a league without getting the better of the big teams but its easier when you get the three points from as many teams as possible.

  257. G69, what AIC is saying is absurd.

  258. @ AIC
    To answer your question from yesterday – paying off the debt means that the directors can sell the club debt-free and command a higher price for it as a result. Since they are the shareholders on the whole they will profit.

    So why would they not want to finish first in the league and win all the other cups and therefore have the club make even more money for even faster debt reduction and more value to their shares? Plus the profits are now going primarily into the playing side – after interest payments – not debt reduction.
    And what G69 said.

  259. Gains-
    They do get an honorable mention. The main list is based on their overall body of work. Essien still has a ways to go to break into the top four. He doesn’t strike me as the type that puts in horror challenges regularly.

  260. Anyone thinks that we should have beaten the champs on their turf is a true gooner as I. A positive result would have sufficed with a positive contribuition from the lads. We got the latter. I’m happy; since to me this is long haul not a short sprint. I’ve waited 17yrs for titles and our’s is near again. It’s teh Chavs turn just like it was the pool in the 70-80’s , then utd then us.
    I looked up the chavs record at home and it’s awesome. Three losses since we were champs. Losses to man shity last year and to villa and hull before that. Three losses. The three peat champs utd couldn’t manage a win so let’s not be too down on our performance. The media as usual are on tune to tell us that our title hopes are up in smoke, after 7 games. These are the same num nuts that told us Liverpool would knock us off the top four spot and challenge for the title. They may be right, the last time the pool lost at home to Blackpool by that same scoreline was in 63 and they wound up champions.

  261. Vice, then you haven’t been watching Essien all these years. I have and have witnessed how ruthless the little bastrad really is. For the record, Gardner hasn’t broken anyone’s leg just yet. The tackle on Cesc was nasty but he only tenderized his leg for Puyol.

  262. 1 loose cannon

    Harry- you forgot we beat them at Stamford bridge 2 seasons ago with a RVP brace I think. Their record at home might look impressive but going 49 games unbeaten is is unbelievable. That is some achievement and it will not be repeated. I would have loved that team Thierry Viera pires Berkamp Gilberto Sol playing the Chavs today they would wipe the floor with the likes of Drogba Lampard and Essien. their top players look inferior when you compare them . Viera in his prime is far better than Essien and Henry well Drogba does not come near him at all.

  263. I guess I have just seen so little of Essien actually playing recently that his challenges don’t immediately spring to mind.

  264. Off topic, but I’ve just watched Can England Win The Next World Cup? Gary Lineker has come up with the stunning revelations that a) world football is becoming more and more technical b) kids need to be taught technique first and the win-at-all-costs mentality inculcated later and c) clubs need to invest in youth, because England is not producing enough technically gifted players. Seriously. How much did it cost to make that programme?

    Cruyff says the EPL needs more home-grown players because all the top foru teams have mostly foreign players. A point which was illustrated by – you’ve guessed it – an Arsenal clip. But not the one of Gibbs, Wilshere and Lansbury doing Spurs, obviously. Martin Samuels points out that England didn’t win anything even when the league had very few foreign players. And they are all wondering where the next generation of talented, technical English footballers is….

  265. I just watched the Chelsea game again. My conclusions are;

    1. We battered them.
    2. People are crazy who claim Chelsea had some brilliant tactical masterpiece. We cut them open at will. They could have lost that game 3-0. We could have lost 3-0 too btw. We did lose 2-0 afterall.
    3. There’s something wrong with our team. Between the 45th and 60th minute we created at least 4 very promising situations. I am here wondering how just how we didn’t score.
    4. I’m going to do a pictorial highlighting why all the Chelsea glorification is absolute bollocks.
    5. Sick of losing to that lot. Especially when they don’t deserve it and everyone gets cosy up their arses.

  266. OG

    I think you’re spot on.

    It’s a psychological issue, not one of quality. I think from the moment the Spuds ended our unbeaten record, every game was going to be a little harder. Once we end Chelsea’s winning run against us (which I’m certain will happen on Dec 26th) then the overall edge they have will disappear.

    I don’t think Man U have the same psychological hold on us. Maybe because they don’t have Drogba…

  267. 1 loose cannon October 4, 2010 at 9:57 pm |

    Yeah your’e right, I forgot that. I really meant in the league .

  268. We lost to Chelsea again, big deal. The circumstances we lost to them this year is different from last year, and the year before.

    I hope this is the year where we lose to Chelsea home & away but beat them to the title.

    I’m more concerned now about two weeks of aimless internationals and the injuries that may follow.

  269. now how do you do a combined post like that? or am I hallucinating..HUH?

  270. G4E- the only good thing about the internationals is that Cesc , Theo and RVP are not selected so we will hopefully have them ready to go.

  271. Fairly measured review from from the Winners and Losers section:


    Big players for big matches. In the build-up to Sunday’s clash at Stamford Bridge, two statistics stood out. The first was Drogba’s goal-per-game return against the Gunners. The second was that in the three matches during his time in west London when Chelsea have faced Arsenal without him, their record stood at Won 0, Drawn 1, Lost 2.

    Big players for big matches. If the déjà vu of Arsenal’s defeat was their lack of ruthlessness compared to Chelsea’s collective power, the familiar reminder was that these are no occasions for stand-ins. As Arsene Wenger acknowledged on Friday, Arsenal cannot expect to win silverware unless they start to win the big matches. And they cannot expect to win big matches without their first-choice centre-half, centre midfielder and centre-forward on duty. It’s the same as it always was.

  272. As much as we controlled possession, Cech did not really have anything to do apart from a couple of early headed chances and AA’s rasper. In the 2nd he did not have a shot to save. That is not a description of a goalkeeper in a team that has been “battered”.

  273. The new Up For Grabs podcast is up on itunes and it’s called ‘We’d Rather Be Us Than Them’, which sums up my feelings post-match regardless of the result.

  274. Andy I don’t think Ole means ‘battered them’ in the sense that Cech was pulling off saves left right and center, it’s more that their defense must have walked off mentally and physically drained having been so busy. Not to mention relieved.

  275. I didn’t get the feeling that we ‘battered’ them at all. Definately disagree with them being any more mentally and physically drained compared to their other matches where they still win. Its the premier league after all, there was no way we wouldn’t get chances. Even West Ham had good chances against them a few weeks ago.

    The point is that we didn’t take those chances, as so often happens in these big games.

  276. Vince | October 5, 2010 at 7:28 am |

    Exactly. What’s with the Chelsea apologism? We got behind them again and again. There was a lack of shots, there was a lack of saves. But I tell you, that’s the frustrating thing. The chances we had, Cech won’t have had many chances of saving.

    We put Chamakh, Diaby & Vela through 4 times.

    Chelsea were on the ropes. Anyhow that like of decisiveness in the final 3rd just wasn’t good enough and it’s why we lost

  277. We played well, I feel we deserved more from the game but to say we battered them is pretty delusional. Pretty fucking stupid really.

  278. As much as I feel like scum for doing this I knew it would work. I bet a hundred on Drogba scoring first, worked out very well indeed.
    Overall a good performance from the team, Chelsea at home missing our best players was never going to be easy and we can hold our heads high after that performance.
    Can only get better from here onwards.

  279. Ole –

    “The chances we had, Cech won’t have had many chances of saving.”

    That makes no sense mate. If we didn’t even get a shot away, how can you say it would not have been saved. It might not have even been on target!

  280. we never battered them chelsea let us play how we did, they told everyone that before and after the game…

    they know that if they sit on the 18 yard line and get 8 people behind the ball chances are we’ll just crab it around then loose it and hit us on the counter… and surprise surprise it worked!

    we are so easy to read its painful, i think we’ve only beat the chavs and mancs 6 times from the last 32 games since the invincible’s year. thats appalling

  281. Off Topic,

    But Based on Fabianski’s performance + Almunia’s early promise, I tend to feel like Wenger will be vindicated again for not buying in the GK sector.

    Taking from Fabisnaski’s words. Its not only the saves that matter, but all elements of goal keeping. i.e. distribution, back passes, saves, shot stopping, sweeping, crosses… he has done well so far in all areas.. Long may it continue.

    He is exciting me like the first few games when Song “came good”

  282. they know that if they sit on the 18 yard line and get 8 people behind the ball chances are we’ll just crab it around then loose it and hit us on the counter… and surprise surprise it worked!

    I disagree. There were like four instances that an arsenal player was clean through – but let down by their first touch (think Diaby, Chamakh, Rosicky..cant rem well). This was a game that required a perfect first touch. A game for RVP or Dudu. how I wish…

  283. goonerandy | October 5, 2010 at 10:26 am |

    We put players through behind their defence 4 times. Not once did that lead to a shot on goal. You can criticise our players for getting the final ball wrong, or miscontrolling or whatever. You however can’t fault the team for creating those opportunities.

    Arsenal Tom | October 5, 2010 at 10:44 am |

    I find that very silly. I am quite sure Chelsea would have dominated even possession if we’d let them. We won the midfield battle and imposed our own will on the game. We dictated what kind of game it was going to be. As Wilkins admitted, few teams pin Chelsea back like that.

    We ultimately didn’t score or test their keeper enough. Forgetting the 2 sitters we missed, we got behind their defence 4 times. 4 times we played an Arsenal player through on goal. None of those led to a shot on goal. However, most times, in most normal games that could have seen them concede heavily.

    Based on that I’d consider that tactic of sitting back and allowing a team to pass through your middle, to be the most stupid tactics ever.

    The truth is, we took control of the game, and were excellent in attack right up till the final ball.

  284. I agree with Arsenal Tom,

    The Chelsea gameplan was to allow us as many one-on-one situations with the goalkeeper as possible, as well as several free headers at an open goal – in order to lull us into a false sense of footballing superiority. Then BAM win a freekick and hope that Song ducks it. We should’ve seen this coming…

  285. arsenalkabisa… of course it worked… we didn’t score! defending so deep means everything has to be perfect from the attacker to score… the touch, the movement, the body shape, the finish, plus the keeper will be much closer to the action and have a far better view.

    their tactics were spot on again, and again we had no real specific plan… just go out and play football and see what happens… and we’re 90% guaranteed to see the same result the next 5 times we play them

  286. ole… they’ve played the same way against us since we beat them at the bridge… sit back soak it up hit them on the counter… and its worked every time!

    they know they can do that cos they have world class midfielders, defenders and a top GK.

    chelsea had 52% possession to our 48%
    they had 6 shots on target to our 5
    we had 8 off target to their 5

    dont see how having less possession means we bossed anything

  287. Mmm… perfect body shape.

  288. lol whatever floats your boat limpar 😉

  289. @Arsenal Tom

    This was a starnge game. Who ever got the first goal had the upper hand as the other team would be forced to come out and play. Up to the time of their goal, I think we were even on all fronts.

    But with their goal. They changed. They defended very deep, but left Drogba, Anelka and Malouda up field.

    I feel that we would have done the same if we had gone a goal up. We would have left Arshavin and Chamakh up field and defended, while palying on the counter. They would have been forced to pin us back.

    What i find fault with is that several crosses went begging. I remember a Nsri shot across goal with no one to just tap it in. In these types of games the margin of losing is quite small.

    This game reminds me of the CL final between Chelsea and ManU. the margin was so small. A terry Kick differentiated the teams. But if terry had scored, all the media would be crooning on how brilliant Chelsea was.

    As such same game, but we score first, the media would have been crooning on how “grown up, mature, tactical, brilliant” Arsenal were.

    We lost a battle. But never the war.

  290. Tom, you’re not the only one holding on to this delusion. We had more possession in that game. We had more chances. Their 2 goals were from half chances at best, but they also actually had 2 1-on-1s. We set the tempo of the game. We dictated what kind of game it was going to be. Tactically, Arsene did better. Of course you can argue that the best tactics are the ones that win you the game. Fair enough. Until you look at the details.

    If Chelsea’s tactics are as you describe then Ancelotti is inept. They set up decentish but the got many many things wrong.

    If what you say is that we should give Chelsea credit for hanging in there while the game wasn’t going their way, I’m all for that. To give them credit for a tactical masterclass doesn’t add up.

    By thw way, why is Chelsea the only ‘big club’ in the world that always plays Catenaccio against top opposition? If they’re so good, why don’t they take the game to the opposition, impose their will and then win 2-0.

    Juve, Milan, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Man Utd, Bayern, Lyon……none of these teams do that. I can’t imagine any other club whose supporters would accept playing rope a dope in every game when faced with top opposition.

    Just my own 2 cents. It’s a question of taste afterall.

  291. ole…madrid will soon be playing just like that under mourinho and when they start winning trophies the fans wont say a thing.

    i really dont see how wenger did better mate… his only statement about tactics were “i decided to play in their half”.

    i dont see how we dictated the tempo? we dictated our tempo but no theirs… cole flying down the wing at 90mph and squaring quickly for drogba was nothing to do with the tempo we set which is in the most, slow build up passing the opposition to death and wait for the perfect opening… when it works its beautiful but when it doesn’t its painful and we have no other option.

    and we haven’t beat the chavs for 5-6 games now how wenger has the front to say it wasn’t “de-ja vu” is beyond me

  292. kabisa… if we’d have scored first there’s no way we’d have sat back… we arent good enough defensively to do so, we’d have gone looking for more goals… for as long as the game lasted. thats the only way we know how to play nowadays.

    we played well but ultimately not well enough. which unfortunately will be the story of our season. Again

  293. Arsenal Tom | October 5, 2010 at 11:37 am |

    He’s already being criticised for it. Capello’s Madrid played like that, won titles and was fired. Real Madrid have to play well and win. That’s what top clubs do.

  294. @Tom

    I would be more worried about the loss to WBA and the draw at Sunderland. With the big games, it actually may go anyway.

    Look at the Millan game, which we dumped them out of the CL. It was all down to who scores first. When we did, they were forced to come out and chase a result, we picked them out for a two nil score. Cesc’ goal wants brilliant. It was from a shot on distance, and an error by their keeper.

    But we ended up winning 2 – 0 at the San Siro, and were strongly tipped to make the finals, only to be found out by Liverpool. Same will happen to Chelsea. I think by November we will be either at par with them, or above them. You heard it here first.

  295. >>>> new post..

  296. kabisa… i agree those 2 games results were far far worse but they are what made this game a “must not-loose” and low and behold we lost it. we’re now back level with spurs FFS.

    we’ll be battling for 3rd/4th all season. You heard it here first.

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