Arsenal Fail To Deliver & Get Nothing As A Result

Manchester United 1 – 0 Arsenal

1 – 0 Park (41)

A familiar feeling this morning. Arsenal travelled home from Old Trafford with nothing to show for their efforts, a single goal defeat ending their brief reign at the top. Whilst they were not outclassed, Arsenal cannot really feel aggrieved at losing. Rarely over-run; rarely threatening. It was a performance which never threatened a goal and United will be happy with the points but also with the manner of victory, containing Arsenal with relative ease.

Quite simply, this match was there for the taking and the Arsenal players never rose to the occasion. Not that they were overawed, more that the level of intensity that was expected never materialised. Too many gave comfortable performances, few took the step further.

Before kick-off, Manchester United were expected to swamp midfield with numbers, a successful tactic from recent encounters and they duly delivered. Either by design or default, it led to a higher number of long ‘passes’ towards the centre of the Arsenal defence.

Overall, the formation and tactics were not pretty but for United they were effective. Defensively, the quality of clearances from the visitors was poor. Too many lacked power and direction, sometimes both; too many ended up ceding possession cheaply.

Arsene chose to highlight the quality of the pitch as a factor in the defeat. Nothing more than a diversionary comment from the manager, seeking to deflect attention from his own team’s shortcomings. Technically proficient players such as those in his squad, will be able to overcome any surface conditions.

Wenger credited United for defending well but in truth their back five had little to do. That state of affairs arose because of the poor quality of Arsenal’s attacking play combined with United snuffling out chances (with relative ease, it must be said) and some appalling officiating.

Humourous comments beforehand about Howard Webb’s allegiances have a hollow ring this morning, certain United players will be thankful for the laxity of his standards. How Bacary Sagna’s shirt being shredded was not as the result of dangerous and reckless play, only Webb knows.

The first half was largely forgettable. Wojciech Szczesney dealt with an early Rooney effort comfortably, as he did with an Anderson free kick. The young Pole had an impressive night. Unable to stop Park’s header, he dealt confidently with everything else United threw at him. The only concern was his distribution which perhaps betrayed his nerves, not that his defenders helped him in this aspect by some appalling back passes.

With half an hour passed, United had a penalty appeal turned down, one that was a clearer offence than that apparently committed by Gael Clichy later on. Marouane Chamakh in meeting a cross, allowed the ball to strike his hand, something over which he had more control than the full back. The actual penalty was baffling and yet unsurprising.

Clichy’s arm was supporting his body weight as the ball bounced off it, hardly stopping any United pressure as the cross was not powerful enough to have gone into the Arsenal area. But the pressure of the Stretford End was too much for the Assistant Referee to bear and he signalled the spot kick to be given. Howard Webb did not need much encouragement. Rooney blew his chance spectacularly, his Waddle-sque kick matched only by the bizarre waddle of his run-up.

The game’s only goal came as the interval approached. United pressed and the defence failed to clear the initial danger adequately. Regrouping and attacking once more, Nani delivered a cross which ended in the net through a mixture of luck and good technique. Park shifted his position and body weight to cushion the header and at least direct it goalwards.

Luck entered the equation as it looped over Szczesny and into the net, close to the post. Some believe the young Pole may have done better but even being closer to his goalline would have made a save extremely difficult, such was the ball’s proximity to post as it entered the net.

The second half saw Arsenal begin with more attacking energy. Rosicky’s cross shot went wide whilst Nasri saw his effort saved by van der Sar at the near post. Not a major threat from either but more than Arsenal had managed in the first half.

United were not without menace themselves; Song headed over the Arsenal bar whilst Rooney was once more denied the Arsenal’s young goalkeeper. Arsenal’s best effort though came when Nasri’s shot was parried by van der Sar, Chamakh failed to get any lift on his rebound, allowing Vidic to slide in and prevent an equaliser.

Overall, it was a performance which gave nothing and received the same. Is there a mental block on the players or manager in these encounters? Fabregas, van Persie and Walcott were unable to influence the outcome, the former pair returning from injury and not at their best. Theo at least provided width, something that had failed miserably to happen with an out-of-sorts Arshavin, Rosicky and Nasri. That trio worked well at Villa Park but it was obvious that it was not effective last night. Perhaps Arsene should have taken an earlier grip and switched them positionally to garner more attacking bite?

First place can be recovered this coming weekend with a home win over Stoke and may not be temporary either, United’s bluster about being able to beat both Arsenal and Chelsea may turn out to be just that unless they improve significantly in their next game. As it is, Arsenal must look inwards and define the qualities lacking last night, the solutions necessary if title-winning consistency is to be developed.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 14, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 340 Comments.

  1. Of course we can’t forget we played at the Glazerplex in front of 73,000 gloryhunters. They were at home, we were away. But I still want to know why our players couldn’t show the quality we know they have. Jonathan Wilson put it quite well:

    That said, there is a carelessness that is consistently undermining Arsenal: laxity in possession, laxity in picking up opponents, laxity of thought. Perhaps it is simply lack of confidence, but irrespective of physique or tactics, too many players are not performing tasks that are well within their ability; at Old Trafford there was almost a resignation about their performance. That was typified after 56 minutes as Marouane Chamakh seemed diffident in attempting to reach the rebound as Van der Sar saved from Nasri, allowing Nemanja Vidic back to clear. Perhaps he slipped, perhaps the surface was to blame, but the Moroccan didn’t exactly hurl himself at the loose ball. Is it appetite, desire, self-belief? It’s hard to know, but it fitted the general pattern of Arsenal not quite doing enough.

    Read more:

  2. I’ll copy and paste mine too… whay not eh?

    It’s worrying that teams are targetting Clichy. But what’s more worrying is that Arshavin either isnt bothering, or isnt being asked to get back there and help Gael out. He does his standard token jog back towards our defensive 3rd but that’s it. If Rosicky was playing left, he would have offered much more protection. Sagna has been awesome recently and teams rarely get through down that side, partly due to the cover he gets from Nasri and even Theo, but partly because he’s just more solid in general. Arsh needs to pull his finger out defensively. Clichy backed off way too much for the goal, he’s looking like a man lacking in confidence, and a defender lacking confidence needs the players around him to help out. Nasri was quiet because he had the wingers coming back to double up on him every time. Nani didn’t have that all game.

  3. Funny… if Chamakh had got his sandwedge under that rebound just a fraction more, or if Theo’s volley had flown in last minute… or Nasri got his shot right just after half-time… we’d be talking about a hard-fought but unspectacular point. Praising the mental fortitude of our team to carry on and fight til the death even when their passing game is off. Fine lines.

  4. Why is Wenger so slow in making changes?Is there a law at Arsenal that substitutions cant be made at half time.Why was Nasri stuck out on the wing?Why was our passing so poor?
    The one massive plus was Szczesny.He proved he is not all hype.Could we at last have found the replacement for Jens?

  5. Fine lines indeed Limpar. And how people can have a go at Chesney for the goal, is just outrageous. He was mm’s away from producing one of the best saves of all time…

  6. Limpar fine lines indeed.

    It seems to me that the Arsenal has hit the what runners call the wall. When it comes to the big teams we feel that we can’t get past them an give up.

    Runners also know that once you get past the wall you can almost go on forever, a win against either of these two all that stands between us and a title.

    We encounter the wall again on the 27th, let’s hope this time we will get through.

  7. It really is sad that I no longer feel surprised after a defeat to the Mancs. Upset, Sad, feel like shit – yes yes & hell yes, but surprised – nope. The whole match had sense of Deja Vu to it, good football in bits, unable to find the killer pass/touch, they defended well and to a plan, tried to hit us on the counter and almost succeeded, shit refereeing , customary penalty at OT and of course that thorn in the arsehole Park JS

  8. I agree with Andy, Andrey should of stayed in the dressing room at half time.

    Theo for Andrey and shift accross the pitch for Rosicky and Nasri could of made a big difference. Plus, I am dissapointed RVP didnt start.

    The guy has got to play, we didnt need him mid-week like we did last night.

    I thought we were scared to attack in numbers last night, that and UTD were very well orgainsed.

    Lets hope we win our next two. Can we really afford another loss this year?? UTD have not lost any yet and us 5. Not very good really.

  9. A couple of observations; Is there a law at Arsenal, that you cannot shoot from outside the 18 yard box? If you look at Nasri, Thomas Roscky, and even Abu Diaby, all of them used to shoot from that kind of range before they joined Arsenal. Secondly, why does it take Wenger long to make substitutions, Arshavin, had a bad day in office, it happens to everyone, just substitute him. Theo is dying to make an impression, give him a chance . I understand he is trying to give Arshavin an opportunity to rectify his mistake, but that is at the expense of the team. Finally, Song put in a good shift yesterday, but he need competition for that number to avoid complacency.

  10. Part of the problem is that they were all half chances except Chamakh’s which he should have buried again and again and again.

    You’ve highlighted the problem. A lack of quality.

  11. Both teams were dire in general. Epitomised by sloppy panicked passing and hoofs forward from both sides. Neither team was great and if the FA were hoping this game would launch the EPL into a global giant with mass appeal it proved quite the turn off. El Classico it was not. I actually think we defended very well by our own standards and our defensive midfielders song and wilshere really put a shift in. utd just defended better and used the same spoiling tactic of breaking up our passing game pushing us wide , stifling the game and counter attacking. The game did look up for the taking but poor service in the final 3rd cost us with only one decent effort of note. The ref didnt help and how fletcher and ferdinand were not yellow carded is baffling.Im no expert but had Theo had longer on the pitch and we had thrown Bendtner on rather than an unfit cesc n rvp we could have peppered the united box with crosses to chamakh and bedtner and create panic in the last few minutes. Saying that we are second and I think focussing on defense which showed improvement inhibited our attacking game. COYG

  12. players out of position, like sammy, ile say it again he should be playing alongside fabby in midfield, totaly wasted on the wing imo, however we looked better when we made substitutions , if we can keep key players fit then i for one am not too worried but as much as you might love them, jack song and tricky isnt much of a midfield against one of the top teams, i know we had little choice and thats why i am happy that the likes of fabby, diabi and tv are back soon

  13. “Rarely overrun, rarely threatening” is spot on. We were more solid than we often are, but that came with the downside of being less threatening too. Playing with the handbrake on, as Arsene would say.

    To me, there seemed to be a collective lack of belief in the final half hour, and that was what disappointed me the most. The biggest difference between the two sides is not talent or formations or tactics – it is the fact that United know they can win close big games, whereas we only think it.

    So I guess I’m disappointed rather than despondent. No doubt the “sack Wenger, sell the team” brigade will be in full voice today, but the reality is we are oh so close to being the dominant team in the PL – but it is that final step which is the hardest.

  14. If we are seriously going to challenge for the title this season we can’t expect the other teams in the league to do the job for us. It’s about time we took the scalp of Man Utd or Chelsea and I would normally expect that the two home games against them were a chance to show how close the title race is this weekend. Unfortunately the Emirates is not the fortress it should be and teams are coming to the Arsenal expecting to get something out of the game.
    On a couple of points;

    it is worrying that we appear to be satisfied with having lost after doing an okay job, the same view we appeared to have after losing to Chelsea. It doesn’t matter how much possession we have if we leave the ground with no points, its not like we could even claim we were unlucky, because we near really threatened.

    Arshavin is a complete conundrum, at most we get half an hour of quality from him in a match and we never know when that half an hour is going to be. The lack of cover for Clichy at the back is starting to be a real worry with teams regularly getting at us down the left. Perhaps Rosicky should get a few games on our left wing with Arshavin dropping to the bench. He is likely to provide much better defensive cover and would hopefully allow Nasri to play in the middle instead, a role he seems much better suited to.

  15. Time for us to go for self-criticism, as the Stalinists would say. We can’t always be right and the others wrong, especially when we are losing. Can we identify the lose ends? And let’s not live in a fools paradise where when one points out what he thinks were our mistakes he/she is called a false gooner! So the manc’s packed the midfield, that was expected. What was our response to that anticipated move? Our players froze on the big stage. Why? Especially Arshavin. Probably the most experienced player on our side! I’d excuse Wilshere and Szcesny- they’re young. I’d even excuse Squillaci, Koscielny and Chamakh – their first night at Old trafford could be indimidating. Maybe not Squillaci as he has played against hostile crowds at the Nou Camp and Bernabeu! Nani owned Clichy. Bloody annoying. It’s crazy to think that the manc’s have the best record in the league thus far. Only one win less than us – with a game in hand, and no losses! Something they are doing right and we’ve done wrong. We’d be seven points ahead of them despite the loss had we not lost those three vital but winnable games at home. I hate the fact that we have to hope for Chelsea to beat them. Wouldn’t have been necessary had we won our “easy” games!

  16. fergie has long since worked out that the flaw in our 4-3–3 is its easy to get our full backs one on one – and so it proved, again.

    Song was terrible, just terrible. despite bucketloads of midfielders we were swamped and out-fought.

    Our passing was appalling and cesc was dreadful. A hugely disappointing night.

  17. Nasri is totally wasted on the wing where he’s scored 11 goals. When Cesc comes back into the side, we should make Cesc play on the wing?

  18. I thought we battled well last night and were not afraid to get stuck in and kick them about a bit.
    The problem is though that we are always liable to let in goals. This is ok with “lesser” clubs that we can outscore, but not when we are playing the better clubs.
    Let’s be honest, Man Utd have better defensive players than us and are better organised. Until we start to organise the team’s defensive play as a whole (which is unlikely to happen with Wenger in charge) we are not going to win a major trophy.
    We have already lost 7 games this season, Man u have lost one. That says it all.

  19. Abdullahi has a point. If we could hit the ball from 30 yards or so. The danger of a Gerrard, Lampard or a younger Paul Scholes. Probably Ramsey and Lansbury in a number of years could deliver on that front. Unfortunately not for our immediate concerns.
    And Wavey also brings up the much mentioned fact. The Emirates is not a fortress. The Manc’s, Chelsea, mancity and whoever else will come there knowing that they may not just pick up a point but actually take all three!

  20. Nasri has scored those goals because he has come in from the wing and played through the middle. He was completely isolated on the wing in the game against West Brom until AW changed things around and then he scored two goals. We have a striker who is able to head the ball now so why not have somebody on the wing who is able to service him with crosses and have Nasri play through the middle. I’d be happy to see Cesc and Nasri in the middle with Song providing the steel. Cesc has the craft to pick out Nasri’s runs through the middle and has the ability to run at defences himself. Allows Wenger to give Jack a bit of a rest, he’s been filling in for everybody in the midfield this season.

  21. What’s all the gloom around the Arsenal blogosphere? Feels like someone has died or something.

    A win against Stoke and a favour from the Chavs re-corrects the table order in one weekend. There’s over 20 games to go for crying out loud.

    United were damn lucky to get that goal. And despite that, I’m particularly pleased that we dealt with their route 1 ‘Arsenal can’t deal with long balls’ nonsense. Koscielny had Rooney in his pocket and Tech 9 dealt with every piece of action thrown his way with solidity.

    It’s one thing asking the question whether the team has a mental block when it comes to the big games, but do we as supporters just throw in the towel when times get tough?

    Last night, I remember thinking at every United corner – relax, Tech 9 is in goal and he’ll punch it like his 40 yarder at Newcastle. We defended well and they were damn lucky.

    All we’re reminded is that chances are at a premium at OT and Stamford Bridge and if you don’t take them, you get punished.

    Incidentally, United have been given 6 penalties in our last 8 games at OT. It’s a conspiracy I tell you – LOL! And they’ve only scored 3 of them. There was no way Webb was not going to give a pen against us.

  22. Nice post Yogi. I noticed you also asked the questiuon, “is it a mental block” Limpar and I were having an interesting discussion about that topic at the tail end of the last post.
    If the Mancs had dominated and outplayed us then I could accept the defeat with no problems but they didn’t, they were there for the taking and for whatever reason, whether it be a mental block or missing big players, we simply did not perform on the night and this is what upsets me as it is not the first time in a big game situation that this has happened. I can only hope that Wenger can turn this around as by no means is this title chase over just yet.

  23. Lost five games allready.

  24. Szczesny good. Song shit, slow in both feet and brain, can´t pass.

  25. Darius -There shouldn’t be too much gloom, the result was fairly predictable as we struggle to keep clean sheets. Man U also have a game in hand over us, but as the top three are all struggling to an extent, we are still in with as good a chance as any. Hopefully the return of Varmealen can spur us on to achieving some consistency.

  26. Just a few things:
    – we are just not GOOD ENOUGH,
    – our defensive play is shocking,
    – we need a world class cdm,
    – we need a world class cd and a left back,
    – Szczęsny should be our nr 1-he is ready,
    – we need a mARC oVERMARS TYPE OF WINGER,
    – we need a striker who can bang 25 goals in one season for us,
    – Pat Race should be replaced,
    – if Wenger fail to buy in January he should be sacked. He gets 6m pounds per year and makes the same mistakes over and over again,
    – Keown should be our defensive coach,
    – bring someone to the coaching stuff with new, fresh ideas- for example Dixon,
    – sell some “dead wood”,
    – change the hunger and disire in this team, because I can’t see any mental strenght.

  27. Darius

    (a) United are not a great side
    (b) They were there for the taking
    (c) We didn’t turn up as an attacking force

    That’s probably why there’s an air of negativity this morning.


  28. Why Wasn’t Bendy bollocks Playing, why wasnt Walcott playing or given more time. we looked nervous, but the most annoying thing for me was i have never known a player (Evra) slag us off and get away with it like that. poor mentality as far as im concerned.

    This team hs all the skill but clearly still short mentaly.

  29. we have played last years top 4 and lost all 3.
    Thats tells you something.

  30. maciek entirely agree. also would question arsenal football clubs desire to win. why is it i keep hearing this voice ‘ we are doing ok, challenging on all fronts, stadium full, selling condos, and shirts.’ i smell a greedy corporate hand. OPEN THE FUCKING WALLET.

  31. Ha ha we beat you again but let me say this was our easiest win for years. I actually thought you had a good chance to beat us this season but how wrong i was , same old goons. How arshavin is starting ahead of walcott mystifies me considering how awful arsh has looked lately. You will never match us although you have very skilful players you lack bottle . Enjoy barcelona or real madrid in the next round you hopelss goons LMAOOOOOO

  32. Leon – apart from having a ridiculous name, you really are a huge bell-end

  33. Maciek

    And we wonder why you’ve never managed to get past the first interview for the job of Arsenal manager. If only it was that easy.


    The head to heads with immediate title rivals are important for confidence and for bragging rights. But they don’t determine who wins the title overall. It’s a marathon, not a sprint squaring the old guard against each other.

    What doesn’t help also is there is already a narrative built about Arsenal from all quarters, most of which is absolute tosh. It’s been stated and recycled in the media so much, some people actually take it as fact. If we’re to be anal, we’re actually better off points wise and in goals conceded this time last season.

    Of course we could have played better last night – but it didn’t happen. So what do we do? Carry out a post mortem when the body still has the rest of the season to go?

    I get disappointed like everyone when we don’t win, but its another thing altogether being consumed by it when there’s still a job to be done. It’s not just the team that can improve from last night – the crowd at the Emirates can take a leaf from the Manure crowd on what it is to support your team at home.

    Nobody has considered that the reason why the game was cagey last night is because the players on both sides were tactically playing not to lose and there is a cost to that. We didn’t suffer any counter attacks of the types we saw last season because the defense dealt with it – and it was just ridiculous the amount of long balls that United were hoofing our way every second.

    I suppose the way to look at it is that with the team, there’s room for improvement and they will work on it at London Colney. With the support, I just think that it’s like we’re experts at tying ourselves to a corpse in some twisted ‘lets press the self destruct button’. way.

    In fairness, Chelsea are being booed off the pitch by their supporters – so we don’t hold the monopoly. But my point is that right here and right now when the team is going through a low and fallow patch – it is our job as supporters to carry them through the difficult patch.

  34. ridiculous name with the big bell end – no horses about tonight then ?

  35. I thought we controlled the ball really well yesterday and limited the mancs to about 5-6 breakaway half chances – dont know why people are saying we were shit… Our back 2 were left exposed on these occasions but there was plenty of clever clearances across the back line. Ashamedly (or should I say arshavmedly…) we left clichy exposed even though we knew nani was there to test him, luckily he did pretty well on the one on ones.

    As the game went on we had more and more possesion and significant control of the game but its quite simply the same story over and over again once we get infront of a congested box… utterly fucking toothless.

  36. I very rarely buy into the whole thing about the press being against us but I was amazed to hear Sky telling us that while Arsenal players are wearing gloves because they’re delicate and scared of the cold, Rooney was wearing his because of a superstition. I look forward to seeing him wear them in August next year.

  37. Darius, its not a low or difficult patch or something to work on at London Colney. It’s the same thing for the last 4 seasons. Nothing is changing. No one is making it change.

  38. @YW – I totally agree with those points as to why there’s frustration and disappointment.

    I suppose the question is whether we let it consume us – a peak into the NewsNow feed screams at me and crashes my browser – it’s that sort of noise vs considered opinion.

    I suppose emotions are still raw – but its nothing that can’t be sorted with perspective and a dose of the cold light of day. There’s still the rest of the season to go and 3 cup competitions.

  39. Thanks Trevor, mate. It’s a great thing that many more people are tired of Wenger excuses.

  40. Maciek

    go to arsenaltruth you twat

  41. Its simple our team failed to turn up big time. We can defend Wenger as much as we want but he has to take the blame. We still discussing the same things we have been talking about for the past seasons. Lets take our defence we was backing off all the time and allowing them to get into our box most of the time. Clichy was the biggest culprit. We can blame Arsh but Clichy kept on backing away instead of making the tackle. Then in the middle Manure was winning all the loose balls and they were poor. I think its time some players get dropped rather put people who want to win the game at all costs. We seem not to have patience when we have the ball we always try quick passes even if is not necessary. The funny thing is come next game the same players will start.

  42. Darius, everyone is entitled to his own opinion and I respect yours but the Great Man is collecting 6m pounds per year and since 2005 we have gone backwards. For a such a big Club is like an eyternity.

    And we just doesn’t seem to re-think his ,policy and change. Thet’s the main concern.He is too stubborn. And dour board don’t care.

  43. I like your positive spin Darius. We did handle route 1 quite well. I suspect most people felt that we didnt get our passing game going as well as we did. A midfield of Fletcher, Anderson and Carrick in their current form should not have been able to overrun us like they did.

  44. Jeffers – that’s nonsense. Every team at the top are inconsistent.

    The “it’s been happening for the last 4 years” mantra doesn’t cut the mustard. It’s too easy, too cliched and too convenient.

    last season – United punished us on the counter attack as we lost our defensive shape during the transitions. All the attempts to counter attack us last night were handled by us with a ruthless solidity.

    United tried the good old route 1 ball every occasion they had hoping that our defensive line would fold. The team dealt with them time and time and even through in a few calculated off-sides against Rooney.

    United tried time and time again to test Tech 9 in goal with long range shots just bouncing in front of the 6 yard box, and assuming he’s a rookie with stage fright and Tech 9 was absolutely solid.

    The number of corners Manure had are a direct indicator of how many crosses were stopped from going into our box.

    Chamak was always the first defender at the near post and he dealt with most of those corners.

    Song and Wilshere held the line in that congested midfield area to close spaces for United who couldn’t thread any through balls.

    This “it’s been happening for the last 4 years” mantra is part of what I’m talking about a narrative that has been peddled to the point where it has a life of its own.

  45. Maciek, Clay,

    fuck off sp*ds.

  46. Darius

    Glad your can see the bright side of things. But from what I see, it felt like our players were a yard slower and a milliseconds off in almost every challenge. It felt like a team that has no hunger and has won things and not really trying. Losing and winning is not always a issue with me in a one off game and you had said there is 20 ngames to go. But the manner which some of our players fought for the ball or did not fight for the ball was all very dissapointing.

    Where was the Martin Keown screaming at RVN type of desire in this Arsenal squad.

    I am sad

  47. notlager you cant handle the truth as much as i believe we need to see things as they are. Why is it that the other teams are always lucky against us an we not? Aand we hear the same excuse all the time.

  48. Disappointing, but a very tight game. ManUre were lucky, as usual, and their diving in the first 15 minutes was embarassing. Chesney took the ball well, but don’t go overboard on him – his distribution wasn’t poor, it was f*cking abysmal. Hopefully that’s something he can learn though.

    I agree that the substitutions were way too late. Van Persie and Walcott on at half time would have given the second half a completely different look.

    And how Fletcher has the nerve to complain about tackles against him not being given…

  49. darius respect to your opinions, however i personally think now is not the time for considered opinion. i think some hard talking and rage more properly fits. sometimes shooting from the hip in the heat of the moment is just the thing.

  50. Masiek – gone backwards since 2005? Liverpool has gone backwards, United have gone backwards – not Arsenal.

    I suppose if your only measure of success and ‘going forward’ is trophies in the cabinet using brazen cheque book management – you’re better off getting used to the idea that it’s not Arsenal’s style. Even as far back as 90 years ago, Arsenal were advertising for a manager who could manage the club without spending stupid money to achieve short term glory.

    My point I suppose is that there’s more energy being spent bitching and moaning than actually supporting the team. Throwing in the towel is not an option.

  51. Just on the Sky thing – I listened to the first half on radio 5, where the comment most often repeated was that Arsenal were the better side. Wanting a laugh at half time I switched on Sky to hear Andy Gray, ” the first thing to say from the first half is Man Utd were the better team.”

  52. Doom Doom Doom! Let me hear you say May- o May -o!

    Still got 6 months til the end of the season people.
    Chill the funk out…

    As Darius is saying, we’ve improved on so many of the (still) cliched ‘weaknesses’ like long balls, set pieces etc. The desire and speed of play was a disappointment, but any team struggles at OT, any team. We’re still improving, no matter what twats like Maciek spout.

  53. The likes of Park, Carrick, Fletcher and Anderson raise their games against us, despite being limited by their ability.

    Why can’t our form players stand up in important games?

  54. I was thinking about it. Look at the teams that defeated Man United. they needed good wingers on the side. we have only one. You can ‘t expect the right back and left back to dominate and get you the width.

    But most importantly, we need leaders on the pitch, who are ready to step up. Unfortunately, we dont have any…

  55. My missus has given up smoking and how I wish I could give up Arsenal. I have never been so angry with a team in 52 years of watching as I get with this lot. All the talk about high skill levels is bollocks. They can’t get the basics right. Wenger could sell a whole team of players and we would be stronger for it! If he doesn’t sort it out he has to go. Yes he has done wonders for the club but that was in the past, he’s doing little right at the moment.


  57. Everyone raises their game against us Ole. Everyone wants to nail us, they hate the foreigners, they hate wenger, they hate the fact that we’re still challenging without spending shit loads, Arsenal are hated. Players want to kick our ‘weak’ players, they want to test our ‘dodgy goalies’…. etc etc. Maybe i’m just paranoid, but that’s how it seems to me. Look at Fulham for example, they’ve been shite, but they game us a good game, West Brom, they were massively up for it… We don’t have the same fear factor that Chavs and Mancs have built in the last few years. Teams always think they have a chance against us.

    and Billboy – seeing as you’ve been a ‘gooner’ for 52 years, doesn’t the caviar and sausages thing ring true? We’ve had far longer barren spells, without being anywhere near challenging for the league. Get real.

  58. nob – obviously you haven’t got a box.

  59. Spot on Darius. Watch the game again folks before waxing lyrical about manure. They were just as awful and lacking in fluiditiy and givng the ball away. Both sides were cancelling each others “noramal game” out. That is why ferguson benched Berbasob because playing 4 4 2 would handover the midfield to Arsenal It is no surprise then that this game ended with a flukey…yes flukely improvised goal….not from being ripped apart by united. And those slagging off our defence they intercepted all uniteds attempted counter attacks and completely slapped Rooney out the game. Uniteds defence is definitely more established and settled and had more expereince which helped them shade it on the night

  60. You must have an interesting, cultured life leon. Hope it’s fulfilling.

  61. The manager needs to take just a little more notice of the opposition and I think we could turn defeats like last night into draws at least. We knew exactly what United were going to do, exactly what they have done in recent games against us, but the manager refuses to change anything to accommodate that. The only real danger was down our left, Arshavin offers nothing defensively and has been off form for several games now, he should have been benched with Walcott starting and Nasri playing on the left. Chamakh also looks in need of a rest, a fresh Van Persie or even Bendtner would have been a better bet for this game. A couple of small changes could have made all the difference, Walcott would have offered more cover to the full-backs and Van Persie or Bendtner some freshness up front.

    Overall I though the team played fairly solidly, it’s not as if United were all over us. Chesney had an excellent forst league game, if Fabianski is out for any length of time then this is a great chance to stake a claim to be number one on a permanent basis.

    I understand the manager has his principles where he doesn’t really worry about the opposition too much and that can work against 90% of the division, but against the really top teams a little more care is required. After all, if it’s good enough for United to come up with a specific plan against us, including leaving the division’s leading scorer on the bench to fit that plan, then it’s surely good enough for us.

  62. Fuck off you haven’t been watching for 52 years.

  63. G4L manure was poor but they were winning most of the loose balls and i ddnt expect them to bother our defence. Why is it that we dont have luck when playing against the big teams and gt the same flukes they get against us.

  64. Arse fans will never learn

    Arsenal fans excuses are getting boring now!

    I must of said the same thing for the last 6 years……..”Stop getting all exicited when you win a couple of so called ‘difficult’ games & go top of the PL (and lets be honest this was only cos you played a game more than Utd!!!) and then fall completely flat on your faces after getting mugged off by the proper teams in the league!

    Yeah, most of the time you smash the lesser teams but what do you ever do against the big teams???? When have you ever played you ‘pretty football’ against the big boys???

    Do you actually try and convince yourselfs that being able to pass the ball between 4 of your players who are no more than 3ft away from eachother is something special?? Wooo peeee doooo boys, that must be soooo hard to do, Honestly think about it, you ONLY get away with it when playing the lesser teams who lack the quality to defend against that.

    Theres a big reason why the big boys choose not to play that kind of football and thats because it wins you nothing at the end of the season.

    But you already know that mug boys!

  65. Fuck off you manure munching scumbag chav cunt.

    “Theres a big reason why the big boys choose not to play that kind of football and thats because it wins you nothing at the end of the season.” Tell that to Barcelona. Tell that to Pat V and Thierry.

  66. Block 4,

    Oh get real. The game plan yesterday was different. It wasn’t the same game plan.

    Do you watch football, or just listen to talkspite and work yourself up?

  67. It seems to me that AW has not been able to solve yet the issue of this team’s “balance” which is key is very big games (less against lesser opposition) : either 1- we go on the attack, focus fully on the fast passing game but are vulnerable at the back (especially on the counter) OR 2- we focus on discipline, defensive duties, keeping our defensive shape but then our attacking play is very often lackluster and looks uninspired. Yesterday the cursor was clearly too far in the direction of 2 . I have the impression that Arsene has been struggling to get this right with this group of players for the past couple of years. Not sure what is the root of the problem though….am afraid Arsene is scratching his head as well.

  68. Darius,

    It’s about PROPER investment.

    I don’t want to see us spending 50 milion pounds in one transfer window, but 3 quality additions will do.

    A proper defender, cdm and a winger who can score. We have gone backwards, because our we can’t defend and are letting to many stupid goals and we have lost 7 matches already and December has only started.

  69. Ole Gunner,

    I form my own opinion. I listend to TalkSport one day while I was painting my front room about 4 years ago and have never listened since it was such a pile of steaming shite.

    I didn’t see much difference in our game plan at all. Try to keep the ball (extremely poorly in the first half) and pass our way through. Indulge the likes of Arshavin’s poor form when nothing he’s trying at the moment is coming off and put ourselves under pressure. No-one is saying that they’re not good players, but sometimes they just need to be dropped for form or fitness reasons. It was obvious United were going to be solid and workmanlike, if we had matched them in that regard I think we would have been good enough for a draw at least. Some players like Song, Wilshere etc. put inthat shift, some, like Arshavin didn’t. It’s very simple.

  70. Yup we should probably get this guy called Vermaelen, heard he’s a ‘proper’ defender, has some leadership qualities too…

    We should also get this little french guy called Nasri, cos i’ve heard he can score goals from the wings…

    Oh yeah and what about this african chappie called Song? He’s not a bad DM and of course there’s Denilson and Wilshere, who again are not bad dms by any means.

    Now that’s PROPER investment.

  71. Total of about £20mil on… 5 players. Fuck it, should have spent it all on Melo. Or maybe Smalling.

  72. Masiek.

    Pray tell – please define what a proper defender looks like. I was under the impression we had 8 of them at Arsenal registered in our 25 man squad.

    And just for your info – if all the team don’t defend collectively, you seriously can’t suggest that its the fault of individual players who are left exposed?

    And as for investment – if we’re doing so badly, why are teams around the EPL and even in Europe, pointing to Arsenal as the template of how to run a 21st Century football club. Some are desperate to adopt our model. We must be doing something right.

  73. Bradys right foot

    Its great to be banned at le Grove lol, challenged the high and mighty over there to put the keyboard down and organise a Wenger out protest down the Holloway road, didn’t publish it and wont do it because their spineless the same accusation they have against the team. We lost a close game last night and Utd shaded it fair enough. Its way too early to concede the league weve won 10 lost 5 games but weve only drew 2. Weve won more games than any other team in the league as a direct result of our footballing style and tactics. If we win more games than utd this year I still say well win the league.

  74. Good post. It was a forgetable game with a flukey goal. Hard to say sometimes on TV, but it seemed our players off the ball lacked their usual movement. I suspect Chelsea will win over ManU this weekend.

    Our ‘record’ against current top 5 teams doesn’t look that good, but one can reserve judgement until return matches are done and dusted. So far, we’ve had 3 away and one home, lost 3 and won one. We now have 3 home and one away to complete the mini-league.

  75. Darius,

    Arsenal are absolutely the template of how to run a club in the 21st century from a financial point of view. It’s how to we marry that with winning titles? If Wenger was to come out and say that he doesn’t have the money to buy the star players and we would have to settle for top 4 every year then fine. But if he says every year that he believes this squad has what it takes to win the championship, then at some point he has to deliver.

    Any more specifics on who you think were derelict in their defensive suties last night?

  76. darius- a proper defender or cdm is a defender who CAN DEFEND. A Tony Adams or Keown type of defender- big, strong, good in the air. We let so many cheap goals, it’s unreal. Rio Ferdinand or Vidic showed our players how to defend. We let to many goals.

    And Denilson or Song are just average at best.

    Jeck is good but he is not a cdm. In such a big club like Arsenal you do need at lest 2 quality cdm’s and we don’t have any.

  77. Some points of interest.

    1. Our defense yesterday was really good. We didn’t really let Rooney to get a good chance at goal and Kos marked him Rooney well. The only problem was on the left where Arshavin failed to give Clichy cover. Disappointed about this as Nani was always going to be United’s main danger man.

    2. We conceded an unlucky goal and it could have very well been 0-0 at the end. We’ve improved at facing United from last season and I see this as a positive.

    3. Szczesny rocked his baptism of fire and is definitely our future number one.

    4. Nasri didn’t give Sagna enough support and the high energy pair of Park and Evra(ughh) won the battle on the right side of the pitch.

    5. We had really poor movement from our forwards. They were just standing there waiting for the ball when they should’ve been making themselves available for the pass. They should’ve been drifting in and out of the box creating confusion but that didn’t happen sadly.

    6. Anderson and Rafael showing again the advantages of United’s top class physical development for their youth.

    7. West Brom, Spuds, and Man Utd. We seem to be struggling with teams who play with pace and there seems to be no pace in our game right now. It’s strange because back in 2006-07 I remember we used to roll over teams who used to come at us with speed and struggle with the power teams. It’s kinda the opposite now.

    8. Nani was always an outlet on the flank and I really wish we had a true winger like him. Maybe I’m saying this because I like tricky wingers but this seems to make a difference.

    9. At time it seems like our midfielders don;t know how to tackle. There were several occasions when 3 of our players were on one United player(I remember Anderson and Fletcher) and he still managed to get away with the ball. WTF?!!?!

    In the end our players especially our offense didn’t do enough. We really missed an in form RVP and Fabregas. Diaby’s physicality was also missed and he could’ve really helped. The game was there for the taking but in the end I can’t really argue with the result. Hope United lose next week and we improve.

  78. @Maciek
    Gotta disagree with you. Song is a top class CDM.

  79. Ole,
    How was our game plan yesterday significantly different?

  80. ‘How was our game plan yesterday significantly different?’

    Go and watch a tape of the game again.

  81. Block 4,

    I have no doubt you’re sure of what you’re saying. But really, the game plan was the same?

    I hear many people after every game say the game plan never alters. You all say the same nonsense to each other till you start believing it.

    We were actually quite solid and much too workmanlike for my liking.

  82. for me the loss was a disaster. its not as if we were playing the best team in manchester. the days of supercrap are over- is why they are shouting so much now. no, the tean to watch in manchester is now city. why the result was irratating.

  83. I do think the pitch affected us, and I commented about it on here during the game yesterday. It affected both teams actually, but the mancs were able to handle it better than we did. These days we are the sort of team that need a lot going for us to win ‘big’ games. Hopefully, the stars will align properly soon enough and we’ll start winning these sort of games again. What else is there to say?

  84. @Maciek
    Signing new players isn’t easy and I think Wenger really tried this summer to get new players into the squad. Si I’m not really disappointed in our manager.

    That said I don’t think we need a new CB. The ones we have are really good.

    About midfielders I think we can do with one more. Someone who’s a workhorse and never gets tired. Would LOVE to see Bastian Schweinsteiger(the guy can play any role in midfield) at Arsenal but it’s never gonna happen. A new midfielder who’s 26-27 will be good. Denilson isn’t 1st choice even now so he won’t be affected. Ramsey and Wilshere will be reaching their peaks when this new guy reaches 30-31 so they’ll be fine. Only Diaby will get much lesser playing time.

    As I mentioned before I would also like to see a new winger. Only name that comes to my mind right now is Florent Malouda, but that also is never gonna happen.

  85. Henristic,

    1. It’s their home pitch, they know it better.
    2. Maybe that’s why they chose to lump it long again and again.

  86. Ole Gunner,

    Say you’re right. We were too workmanlike last night and lost. Too open last year and lost. Any opinion on how this state of affairs can be changed, or just slagging off people who ask the question and attempt to offer an answer?

    Saying it’s their home pitch and they know to lump it is interesting. Are our players not able to react to the conditions they faced last night?

  87. I always like a thread about PACE.
    Nasri is meant to be the second quickest player in the squad after Walcott.
    No surprises here…Walcott deserved the start (alongside Nasri, somewhere…) in my humble, insignificant opinion.

    Songs mere presene causes Fletcher to fall over and then to run, crying, towards the referee, trying to get a hug off the official. Clichy made so many good attempts as well as the ‘brainfart’ (he got away with it), that Rooneh started to froth around the edges.
    These events did not occur in the arse-annals of D**M.

  88. With you Darius.It seems the clowns are out in force today! It was a poor game which took a deflected cross and a lucky header to win it.
    We have lost 5 games so far,so what? We have gone away to Man Utd,Man City,Chelsea and Liverpool and got those games out of the way.I dont care if we lose 10 games and win the league! Providing we beat Stoke at the weekend we will probably still be top when the weekend is over.Our young keeper was outstanding ,to blame him for the goal is absurd! I would leave him in.2nd in the league,semi finalists in the Carling Cup,out of the group stages of the champions league for 11th straight time and the FA cup hasnt started yet,some crisis! Somepeople on this blog need a serious reality check,if you really want cheque book management why not pop down to Man City life looks really rosy down there! We are the best run club in the world and are building something really special so support it or piss off!

  89. >good attempts to tackle/intercept

  90. Yes, it is disappointing, but most of you supporters are bottling it like the team did last night. I was surprised at how sloppy the game was. Chamakh looked tired and spent from the start of the match, Nasri looked like he was carrying an injury, everyone looked sluggish and off the pace on both sides. It was a forgettable game, even the one goal by Park was lucky and out of nowhere. Neither team created much.
    Antony, great list of positives, I agree with all of them. Darius, keep fighting the good fight. There does seem to be some sort of block at work here, I expected more fire and passion from the squad yesterday and that was clearly lacking.
    I will say this, the pitch was absolutely awful. Sure, it impacts everyone the same, but what sort of program is at work over there? You would have thought they had painted the ice green the way everyone was slipping.
    The best part of yesterday for me, the obvious lack of any gulf in quality between the two sides when one of them clearly choked on their opportunity. Whatever this block is, if Wenger and the team can figure it out we will be impressive!

  91. Geo shut up you armchair fan ,bet u never been 2 see arse in your sad life lol

  92. Maciek,

    People seem to clamour for us to buy wingers a lot. What style of player do you mean when you say you want us to buy a “winger who can score?” Aren’t our wing options Arshavin, Nasri, Rosicky, Walcott, Vela and perhaps Bendtner or RVP? There are plenty of goals in that lot. The only type of winger that seems to be missing from that list is a Valencia-style touchline hugger, which I think would require a significant change in shape and not one that it would be worth making.

  93. What the fuck is a ‘cdm’? If it is what I think it is I definitely don’t want two of them.

  94. Of course the difference is in small margins. But are we simply not paying attentions to those small details? Vidic dives in, throws his body on the line to block Chamakh. Chamakh wasn’t alert to it, didn’t think he should life the ball over the diving man.

  95. The same excuses being used today are the same as were being used after the Chelsea game.Yeah Man Utd and Chelsea are not as strong as they once were but neither are we.We havent scored a goal against either of them.11 games without a win against Chelsea and Man Utd is not a one off is a habit

  96. Bastian Pigfucker signed a new zillion year contract with Bayern last week, and at his press conference he stood up on the desk, thumped his chest and shouted ‘Long Live Bayern!’ I’m glad, I think he’s dull to watch as dishwater.

  97. Our gameplan was quite different in the match against Utd. We took a much more cautious approach compared to last season.

  98. Anderson and Rafael are like a pair of kittens. Rafael is the educationally challenged malnourished one who keeps getting his food nicked and Anderson is the fat cunt who keeps nicking it. Superb physical development my arse.

  99. the real reason you dont do anything is you have ordinary players who wouldnt get a look in in man u,chelski ,arabs and spurs starting line ups i.e fabianski,koscienly,squillaci,clichy,song , lazy ruskie, walcott, next great thing cos he,s english wilshire and cheating chamakh. spend some money and u may even get 2nd place u mugs

  100. I don’t agree bad pitches always affect everyone the same. For all we know it affected Man Utd more than us.

    Football doesn’t work on bad pitches and a manager is always justified to complain about a bad pitch.

  101. leon,
    did your mummy marry her ickle bruvver?

  102. It’s DAVE! ‘Ello DAVE, You great tit.

    How are you liking the shit-tantrum death throes of your classless upstart club? We’re all loving it. Malaria, sordid sex trysts with each other, uncomfortable mobile phone insertions… meltdown on the pitch… couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of cunts.

  103. Ah, leon my friend… To be fair, I dont get to the Emirates enough these days, and I’m disappointed in that… in fact why am i even bothering to justify anything to you??

    But yeah, you obviously live an enchanted and fulfilling life, the retard troll lost in a world of internet pop ups… I also like the way you’ve attempted to turn my own words against me, poorly I’ll admit, but a good effort. Keep it up, you might get a smiley face if you’re lucky…

  104. lol finngun & limpar!

  105. Ole had the post of the day at 1:05:

    “The likes of Park, Carrick, Fletcher and Anderson raise their games against us, despite being limited by their ability.

    Why can’t our form players stand up in important games?”

    Clearly part of the problem has become mental. I still think the biggest reason we struggle in big games is because we are being shut down by better defensive teams. In the last 28 games vs. ManU and Chav’s we have scored 20 total goals. Big teams tighten up at the back for big games. Top teams know that no matter how poorly they play or how defensively they set up that somehow they will score 1 – 3 goals against us. They can sit back and defend without having to chase the game. Good defending has always stopped a good attack and we are not going to score against a well coached, well organized team that is intent on defending. Realistically as soon as we concede 1 goal we have lost any chance of winning the game. Our defending was better yesterday but we still have only 4 clean sheets in 23 PL and CL games. Shut down defending from us would change the dynamic of how these games are played out. Unfortunately we are either unable or unwilling to do that.

  106. Finngun 5 years and counting and it was the day your mum last had sex with me.Geo , i have a season ticket m8 i am loyal unlike you to your sad team mr armchair fan. I bet you was at the game when your lot pissed off at the emirates after ronnie made it 2 0 in the semi of the champs league . Face it your fans and team are crap loooooool

  107. Delia---Block 112

    I have been watching this team for 52 years and vividly remember the bad old days of the late 50s early 60s , your memory must be failing!
    I had hoped for a very entertaining evening but as soon as I saw SAFs line up I was brought back to reality. What a dreadfully negative game plan. It was not a pretty game, both sides guilty of very poor passing and petty fouls.
    On the positive side, the two CBs dealt competently with the long balls up to Rooney and Wojciech ,in his first PL start and at OT, coped very well with a very hostile crowd. ( a pity we can’t manage that level of vocal support at the Emirates ,minus the personal abuse).
    With our passing game well below par, we failed to present any real threat to their back line and apart from the Chamakh chance from the Nasri rebound, VdS was untroubled. We lacked bite in the final third , no one able to find that “killer” pass. Why was Nasri not played in the CMF , he is wasted on the right flank? Neither Cesc nor RVP looked match fit so made no impact when they came on. Poor Theo was so desperate to make an impression that he was IMO trying too hard and his efforts sadly failed .
    As for AA, he let us down yet again and must be relegated to the bench on Saturday.
    Man U were hardly world beaters but they did enough to stifle our efforts and were a trifle lucky with their goal. They did demonstrate that they are supreme at achieving a result when playing poorly, something we must address. We were not over-run but our deficiencies in breaking down a stubborn defence were highlighted once again. Back to the drawing board Arsene.
    I was expecting more of a last ditch effort in the final 10 minutes but this was not forthcoming , so I ended up being dreadfully disappointed. I will get over it and will be in my usual spot on Saturday.
    As always COYRs.

  108. Its seems as if people have some strange fixation with the Arsenal defence. If it takes a goal like that to beat you, then so be it. Though I think Clichy backed off too much that was an almost impossible goal. It was flukey.

    I agree with many saying that both teams played woeful. The game was terrible, plain boring! That being said, we did play well defensively apart from a few questionable clearances.

    Sad to say but we did look afraid of the stage and it was surprising. I think the team has to somehow forget about beating the big team, forget about the rivalries and just look to get 3 points from whoever. There maybe too much focus on the fact that we havent beaten Chelsea or United in a while and I am wondering if causes the team to play tight.

    The team is class, we dont lack quality (ole did you say we did?), This team is one of the best collection of talent I have seen in a while (defence also).

    I totally agree with Darius that we shouldnt get consumed by this loss (it does hurt really bad). The PL is still there to be won.

    Lets hope we repay United when we get that I home.

    Dissapointed but I still believe in this wonderful team.


  109. Oh I see. You’ve just exposed yourself leon. I thought you might have been at least 12yrs old before…

  110. Limpar

    A ‘cdm’ is curable with a quick shot of penicilin at your local clap clinic. So I’m told.

    Cheap as well. Goes for a Song apparently.


  111. boom boom YW!

  112. Limpar, you’re on blistering form!

    Keep up the good fight my brothers in guns, we support through thick and thin cause that’s what we do!

  113. The positive side of this is that no team in the world expects to come to OT and get 3 points so losing is not really a surprise or unexpected. If we could take care of business ManU and Chelsea and even more important the rest of the league at home this loss would be unimportant. Unfortunately we have played worse against the big teams and this year against the league at the Emirates. We attack more aggressively at home but the Manc’s and Chav’s still defend deep and shut down our attack but we leave much more space in the back and concede more. At least yesterday we had a chance to salvage something up to the final whistle. Tough to know what to do at this point.

  114. leon i once went up north for a holiday. mistake, anyway . there was a donkey there called dolly. you’d make a luvly pair.

  115. Word Gadget. That’s how we roll…

  116. “Realistically as soon as we concede 1 goal we have lost any chance of winning the game.”

    Bill, please explain the logic behind that? How is it “realistic” that a team with the ability that our has wouldnt score. I always thought we could score if we were more aggressive.

    And to blame this game on our defending makes no sense for the goal was scored by an almost impossible header.

    We lacked going forward.

    You are like a scratched record Bill, you come with the same thing even when it isnt relevant to the current situation.

  117. Paul N,

    We didn’t show any quality last night. Not one move. Not one great dribble. No brilliant pass. No fearsome shot. No great finish. No breathtaking result-saving tackle. No brilliant move leading to the bar woodwork being rasped.

    We didn’t show quality.

    Yes Paul, I do believe that we need more consistent attacking quality. Just too many games when we can’t raise the temperature and score against the 2 main teams we’re trying to knock off their perch.

    The last goal scored by an Arsenal striker against Chelsea came 18 months ago. Since then none of our strikers has scored in 8 attempts.

    RVP is back, maybe not back to his best. But we need a go-to player. One who usually delivers the goods when the chips are down

  118. Nonsense Bill. A great defence can be breached…..Man Utd’s 16 times this season, including 4 times at West Ham. You’re just saying what you like to believe.

  119. Chesney showed quality Ole – a great save from Rooney’s chip, great handling every time they tried to make him look silly… You’re being unusually harsh I think. Apart from some of Sagna’s panicky clearances, I thought he showed quality for much of the game too.

  120. Geo….ok I’ll concede that. It was a great save.

  121. Agreed re RvP though, he is a game changer, when he’s been playing a few games in a row. Hopefully he’ll do just that in the coming weeks/months…

  122. YW & Ole,
    Wenger did not complain about tehe pitch. He responded to what was asked of him.
    Arseblogger has blasted him for the same, which is ridiculous.

  123. Does anyone know what the expected return date for Diaby is? It’s all gone quiet on that front recently…

  124. mj-gunner,

    If he didn’t think that the pitch was a problem he should have just said that the pitch is no excuse. He’s been around long enough to know exactly what he’s doing. Classic deflection tactics.

  125. “RVP is back, maybe not back to his best. But we need a go-to player. One who usually delivers the goods when the chips are down”

    I agree. Let’s go buy the guy who set up the World Cup winning goal…you know, the one who consistently thrives in the big games.

  126. Paul N @ 3:08:

    Look at the numbers. In the last 28 games against ManU and Chelsea we have score more then 1 goal in 4 games. We have been shut out in 11 of those games. The odds of us scoring more then 1 goal is very small. Yesterday I think we did play a more conservatively then usual and even though it was a poor attacking game from both sides we actually had a chance to salvage something. We are an Arsene Wenger coached team and have played aggressively in most of those 28 games yet we have not scored so why would yesterday have been any different?

  127. “If he didn’t think that the pitch was a problem he should have just said that the pitch is no excuse.”

    He wasn’t excusing the loss. He was explaining why it was such a shitty match, with both sides slipping all over the place and giving up possession.

  128. Ole, we didnt show any quality but I totally agree that we need more quality.

    We did not fail yesterday due to striking deficiencies, we lacked drive.

    A problem I can see and still do see though is that no one speaks up when the team is playing like crap. Where are the players to speak out and say COME ON! I believe every team needs a vocal leader.

    Chelsea and United have had our number but I would trust Chamakh and RVP to score against any team in world football, but when we are not playing sharp and teams are putting 10 men behind the ball its not easy.

  129. Personally I thought it was a very enjoyable game….

    Not really, what an anti-climax that was, the game never got going.

    Re: Howard Webb – I think he waits to give Man U their penalty at the oportune moment

  130. @Geo – He was going to be a posibility for the Stoke game..

    @ Block 4 – He was asked what he thought of the pitch, he wasn’t asked, if the pitch was a reason for the loss.

  131. Cheers mj. Will be good to have him back…

  132. sorry, bit slow tonight. christofi ? greek ? mum was it ?

  133. There was a fake quote circulating on Twitter complete with quotation marks which claimed Wenger said the result was due to the pitch.

  134. its painfully obvious to some that what we are doing is not right at the moment and it hasnt been for a while. we arent just losing close games to the big boys. a look at the champions league draw on friday will show you the mess we are creating for ourselves. the main problem is that unlike the other big clubs, we dont have the will to do anything about it. wenger will keep doing it his way, the board will keep the status quo and we lumber on…

  135. I believe that United were there for the taking Bill, I dont look at this team as I do with past seasons. At the very least we shouldve got a draw.

    Another thing that let us down yesterday was our crossing, again. The flanks were open as United were packing the middle but almost every cross was met buy a United header, our corners were not good. Also why were we taking so many short corners? Could we also get more people into the box on crosses, etc?

  136. The people asking him about the pitch are after a quote which they can dress up as an excuse. They know that and Wenger knows that. Classic stuff, never allow the remotest possibilty of any criticism of the team, if someone gives him an opening like that then he takes it. They all do it, Ferguson is exactly the same.

  137. Wilshere should not have been playing in that match. It’s not the kind of place where youthful indiscretions can be covered up, and he is not yet good at taking care of possession when he has 5 teammates in front of him.

    I understand that Wenger knows that Arshavin can come up with big goals, but that was not a good match to play him in either. I’d rather have seen Walcott and Rosicky on the wings…they both track back excellently. Poor Clichy, he takes such stick, even when he’s asked to do more than any left back should do. He’s defended more 2 on 1s successfully than anyone in the world.

    But Paul N is right…our problems were really going forward.

  138. Paul N,

    We have some shrinking violets in the team. And I have some names in mind.

    A game like yesterday was one which, nobody should have left the pitch at risk of being accused of not playing at his level.

    When are they going to demonstrate their quality?

  139. Jeffers, we are second in the PL, In The FA Cup, CC Semi and in the last 16 of the CL.

    Are we doing everything right? no,

    are we doing things mostly right? hell yes!

    Can the team get better? yes

    will we be better when the likes of Cesc, RVP, TV and Diaby come back and get back to macth fitness? again, hell yes!!!

    The painfully obvious is that the team is good enough but didnt show it yesterday.

  140. First half you were sitting on the edge of your area waiting for them to come at you, second half you were better but chamack needed to bury that chance, the team that wins the league is the team that takes there chances

  141. Ole @ 3:12:

    ManU and Chelsea turn up the defensive pressure against us. They know that is all they need to do to win. Man U is usually able to get the shut out when needed. Look at their record in 1 -0 games. All teams can be breached and United defending has been poor at times this year probably because of a little complacency but when they play like they did yesterday and in most “big games” they are extremely difficult to breach even by teams as technically talented as ours.

  142. Ole, come on! you are going overboard.

    Last season we played United off the park only to lose to a fake penalty and a flukey own goal and that with many of these same players, do you remember that?

    The problem is hearing over and over and over that you havent beaten these teams in a while. It can and most probably is having a mental effect on the team.

    I believe, we need to forget about the need to beat the big boys, I feel thats the only time we will get over this mental hurdle. The team should look at each match in terms of points and not opponent.

  143. Also, I think Nasri had a Snood malfunction, he was motioning to the bench that his Snood was on too tight but they just told him to play through it

  144. But Bill, why is it that you are not taking the way the goal was scored into consideration?

    Did we also not have chances to score?

  145. I didn’t think the defence was that bad barring a few hairy moments.
    We barely created 1 clear chance though and VDS only had one save of note to make. 1 SAVE! This from “the best attacking team in the league” Yes, against everyone other than the top teams. Our record v ManU and Chelsea apart from a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge 2 years ago is a joke. We didn’t score v ManU yesterday, at home last year or away at Chelsea this year. We scored 1 v ManU at home in the CL league last year – when we were 0-4 down on aggregate. We lost 1-4 to Chelsea at home a few days later. We lost 3-0 at home to Chelsea last year. We simply do not impose our attacking game on the top teams. This worries me more than the defence. We consistently lose to ManU and Chelsea and are not getting any nearer to beating them. Its a case of same old, same old.
    Quite simply this team is a failure and they won’t win the CL or the Prem. They don’t even play great football a lot of the time – lots of slow laboured build-ups with too much passing that go nowhere. You people on here that excuse this perennial failure on these grounds make me laugh.
    As I have said many times, Arsenal are not serious about winning trophies. 4th is the target, debt-reduction is a trophy.
    A positive note was the keeper. A truly amazing performance on debut. Faultless handling, fantastic temperament and some good saves. This guy is special.
    A special mention for Arshavin. You were utter sh1te and based on the last year’s performance you do not deserve a new contract but rewarding failure is what we are about these days.

  146. Who was it who pointed out that all teams want to beat us. Stoke have started mouthing off about how they will shock us at the weekend. You bet your willy they’ll be burning to do just that.

    Evra’s comments showed the other flipside where Chelsea and Man Utd try to use us to distinguish themselves.

    We’re the league’s standard.

    Time to get back to ripping teams like Stoke apart.

  147. How many times will this good team ‘not turn up’ before people realise their not quite as good as some people think

  148. I’m suprised it’s taken you so long to post AIC.

    Merry Christmas you miserable bar steward

  149. Here goes AIC again!

    We have to play these two again, wait until then to come to a conclusion.

    I remember us doing the double over United and being nowhere in sight as far as winning the PL.

    We dont score against the top teams but somehow managed to score 3 against Barca who is said to be the best team in the world.

  150. Paul N, a team that is good enough is a team that can win enough games to win the league. This is regarless of injuries, suspensions, pitches or anything else.

    Of course I may be proved horribly wrong, but I am 100% convinced we will not win the league playing as we do.

    Can we get better. Yes. Will we get better? Maybe for the occasional game or so, but when the big games come again i suspect we’ll be found wanting.

    And by big games I dont mean just chelsea and man u, but take a look at the spurs and wigan games at the end of last season. both would have kept us in the hunt for the title. both opportunities messed up.

  151. That was me Ole. They can talk it up all they want. They don’t have the technical defensive ability of ManU. Get Djourou in and they’ll have nothing to scare us.

  152. Paul N,

    The thing is, at some point this team have to show they’re if not better, at least equal to Man Utd & Chelsea. I believe that man for man we’re better than Man Utd. If we’re not able to show it, they prove me wrong and dash my belief.

  153. Gunflash, your statement is based on your own imagination for its is not common to say that Arsenal didnt turn up.

    The team that is not quite that good is 2nd in the PL, go figure that one out.

    One loss to United at their place by ONE goal and all of a sudden people are coming out with their bull crap comments.

    I detest the mindset of many football supporters.

    Chelsea were going to run away with the PL at the beginning of the season.


  154. leon,
    that makes you a granny lover just like rooney.

  155. We’re gonna win the league.

    At Emirates we’re gonna beat Chelsea and Man U.

    We’re gonna win the league 6 points clear of the rest.

    You don’t believe, thats you’re choice, but I believe in my team.

  156. Come on Ole – Gagdet’s got the right idea… You’re not your normal positive self today. What’s up?

  157. Jeffers, none of the big teams win inspite of injuries to many key players, please dont give me that.
    United are not great without Rooney and their central defenders. Chelsea have had uinjury problems and they have been crap lately. The team that holds up best due to injuries is Arsenal so I think we should show our team some well deserved respect.

    Ole, I understand your frustration, as I am too but it is still only one game. To tell you the truth I am going to stop being fixated on us beating United and Chelsea, its unhealthy and puts way too much weight on the one game that is still only 3 points.

    We will have a chance to redeem ourselves and I hope we do but I hope we keep smashing the lesser teams that AIC is talking about in the mean time.

  158. I can see where Ole is coming from, he knows that we have the team to do it and fully expected that we would shut the critics up. Its does hurt! however we are still in the race, well in it.

    I am 100% with gadget!!

  159. We were scared to play. Judging frm past results, we always lose again after a defeat like this ( ie feeling sorry for ourselves ). Its always 2 defeats in a row. So don’t get ur hopes up for stoke. They might nick it 1-0. Where were our gaulish spirit then? Where was the spirit of Vercingetorix when he held out against the romans??? Wenger should instill some of the spirit of the gaulish chief to the players…. But remember lads ….. We’ve got the men, the bard….hell we’ve got our druid too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  160. Of course Paul it’s all in my head. This team has been in this position for the last 6 season and has continued to fail. Go figure that one out


  161. Geo, been a lone voice crying out for Melo or another equally good hardman. Nice to see that I’m not alone afterall!

  162. Gunflash, and so what we havent won in a while, so blasted what?

    So your logic is that the team that doesnt win doesnt show up? You can play well and still lose.

    Glory hunter, you are!

  163. Also gunflash, if you havent noticed, the season is far from over.

  164. KG – i was only joking!! I really rate Denilson and Song. I would have played Denilson last night, and things might have been different. He seemed like the perfect partner for Song against ManU.

  165. KenGun, what would another hard man have done in yesterday’s match.

  166. How is it that we had 4 yellow cards and United had none?

  167. Was about to post that one, Paul..hard to find any positivity after such results..

  168. There were talks of ‘3-0 to the Arsenal’ here yesterday.
    I urged some restraint..
    It’s not the end of the world.But we can’t win the league with performances like yesterday’s.
    I also question the manager’s line up.I believe it stifled creativity with Nasri playing out wide on the right (he doesnt do much from that position) and Chamakh a lone man up front.There should have been a role for RVP in the starting line up.

  169. I fail to understand the logic behind people saying XYZ should be starting instead of ABC.. I mean come fucking on..the same people would have asked Wilshere or Arshavin or Chamakh to start had we lost the game with their selection as well..

  170. Walter has a couple of informative picture (and article) of what we are always up against at OT.

  171. Yeah that’s right I’m glory seeker …..33 years and counting

    Just because I choose to believe the evidence of my own eyes rather than AW’s propaganda doesn’t make me any less of a supporter


  172. mj_gunner, did you not know that the player not playing is always better that the one who is.

  173. I think the subs were too late, espcially Walcott as Arshavin was terrible. The players didnt have enough time to get to feel out United.

  174. Geo:

    If Denilson is really is the match changer that you all talk about why does the boss not play him regularly? He is a good squad player but unless the boss is wrong he not as good as many of you on this blog believe. He is not someone who can be a regular match changer.

  175. I dont care if you have been supporting Arsenal for 133 years. I have been supporting Arsenal since I know myself, longer than you and so what if all I can do is focus on what we havent acheived against what we have. Your comments speak loud and clear. If you dont win every game, its because you didnt show up and all you are focused on is that Arsenal have won for 5 years.

    IF thats the attitude of your 33 years of supports does, you can have it.

  176. “havent” won for 5 years…

  177. Geo, you were only joking? Anyway Denilson is one of my favourites as well. Paul N at least Fletcher would have been moaning with good reason. But more seriously without as talented a midfield as Barca’s you need a hardman to break play and intimidate the opposition. Unfortunately the one we have, Frimpong, is – as Evra would say – still a baby!

  178. “To tell you the truth I am going to stop being fixated on us beating United and Chelsea, its unhealthy and puts way too much weight on the one game that is still only 3 points.”


    Sweet, we can now go into every season expecting 4 losses off the bat. We no longer have to care about those 4 matches and can just concentrate on the other 34.

  179. @Paul – I almost ripped my hair seeing AA perform like he did in the 2nd half & knowing that Theo was on the bench. But the manager had to leave a sub late, in case of an injury, so that we do not end up playing the last 10-15 mins with 10 men, like we did against Partizan.

  180. I think the game needed tha calm that Denilson brings.
    Our passing was rather poor and Denilson has a way of keeping things simple as far as the passing game and i thinks that what we needed at times.

    I guess it is hindsight though.

  181. Ole Gunner | December 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm |

    But our gameplan WAS the same. We didn’t set out any differently yesterday to how we normally do. I’m interested to know why you feel our gameplan yesterday was significantly different to how we’ve been playing for the most part of the last two seasons.

  182. Bill – I’m not expecting Denilson to go on a charging run and smash it into the top corner (which he has done in the past), he would have been far more efficient with the ball than Wilshere, keeping our passing moves much more fluid, making those vital interceptions, and playing it quick and simple. He is so massively underrated it grates me. In that respect, yes i think he is a game changer. He really adds fluidity to our team, and always offers an outlet – which was much needed last night.

    I think he put Wilshere in there to add a bit more aggression, and yes I think it was the wrong decision.

  183. NO. It was not. Just watch a tape. Go on!

    J*mes @3:40 makes more sense of that game then some.

  184. Thanks for the link btw dups.

  185. >No, it was not the same ‘gameplan’. Numpties.

    Can you imagine what would be written if it was Denilson who’d made three or four nervous passes straight to opponents in dangerous positions?
    On second thoughts, don’t.

  186. A bit off topic but our baby keeper Szcesny looked huger than normal before Roo took that penalty. Maybe Roo was too bloody intimidated to kick it properly?

  187. yeah Dups, painfull really, the fact that we, as a club can’t do anything about it..

  188. I’m not slating Jack here Finsbury. I just think Denilson’s stlye was more suited to that compact midfield orientated game. Jack’s one of my favourite players.

  189. Busch, do you understand what the word fixated means?

    Let me clarify myself, since you dont seem to be able to comprehend.

    I want Arsenal to beat all comers but I am not going to focus too much on who the opponent is but the 3 points we need to earn. At this point I dont care about bragging rights, I just want us to amass the most points at seasons end.

    Get it, got it?

  190. GunFlash
    “Just because I choose to believe the evidence of my own eyes rather than AW’s propaganda doesn’t make me any less of a supporter”

    True, but your failure to get behind your team, through thick and thin does. I’m still devastated after yesterday, but now is the time where we, as supporters, show what we’re made of !

  191. mj, the game was crying for a change. I think it was a chance we needed to take as we were getting nothing from Arshavin.

  192. JW rallied in the second half, but he was tiring a little.
    Denilson could’ve changed the game’s pattern a little if he’d played, no doubt about it. Denilson has strengths and some weakness too, like most players.
    Would the result have been different? No idea.

  193. Paul, it’s about opinions and mine is that this is a good Arsenal side (Better than most I’ve seen). But it’s not a winning Arsenal side and there not much sign of them geting any better. Down the years we’ve been lucky enough to see winning sides and this definitely aint one of them.

    This season there’s no outstanding team in the EPL. So if they can’t win it this season it’s never going to happen.

    The good news is that AW is taking the domestic cups more seriously this season so there is a chance of silverware.


  194. Sorry Geo, just clearing up my unfinished comment from above (must get back to work!). I completely agree with you, and was hoping for the same midfield as that which started against $iteh.

  195. I have no idea either, and Jack did really well for someone of his age playing in such a high profile match at OT. Denilson’s one of the masters of playing in tight spaces though, and his attributes seemed ideal for combatting their midfield-packed lineup. Great experience for Jack though.

  196. @Finsbury – JW was not tired, he was limping as reult of a c*ntish tackle from Carrick..

  197. No worries Finsbury 😉

    Anyway, gotta go, work xmas party… fun times.

    Have a good one all, peace.

  198. NJ, How do you now that I fail to get behind my team?

    Just because I don’t go along with the party line does not make me disloyal.

    Try reading a few other Arsenal websites like the on-line gooner or arseblog. I’m not saying anything that’s not being said by many Arsenal fans. But I suppose their all disloyal glory seekers too.

  199. Thats what I am saying Gunflash, you use the United match as a benchmark and thats is the wrong way of looking at it.

    When we did the double over United (quite convincingly) and they went on to win the PL, were we the better team.

    What about when Nasri scored that great brace, United won the PL, who was the better team?

    You have put all your eggs in one basket, it seems. Beat United and Chelsea everytime you play or you are not good enough. Forget that fact that Chelsea sits behind us in the table.

    I expect this Arsenal to step up in a great way..

  200. MJ – Thanks, I’d forgotten. He did get a few kicks in succession as Arsenal tried to fight their way back into the game, did young Jack.
    Caught upon a sticky Webb.

    Geo- Have fun!

  201. Gib, it’s a winger who can cross the ball and unlock opposition teams.

    Walcott is fast, but his final decision is almost always bad. Arshavin isn’t a winger, he is wasted on the wing and that’s why he is so inconsitant. His place is in the hole, between a midfield and a striker. Nasri isn’t a winger as well.

    Wenger playes with too many similar, tiny, players who are just too similar. That’s the main thing.

  202. The sad reality is that we lost to the better manager.

  203. I still can’t believe Howard Webb last night. We all know the Utd 12th man deal. So I expected the standard benefit of the doubt in all challenges and the standard penalty for them. Fine.

    It’s the Fletcher shove and Rio karate kick I just cannot wrap my head around. From what I saw, Fletcher clearly shoved him as he ran after him. Not a sarcastic pat on the back after a slow moment. No, he was in hot pursuit of him and shoved him. And no card. ARE YOU F*CKING SERIOUS? It should’ve been red, from my opinion. But a yellow at the bare minimum right? How spineless and cowardly can Webb be? Nasri gets a yellow for having a few words about the lino. He clearly shouldve just shoved him, as apparently thats allowed.

    Sorry for the rant everyone I just cannot believe Webb last night. I’ve gotten used to incompetent refereeing decisions going against us. But last night was unprecedented.

  204. Yup. The refereeing was fucking awful. It took at least two foul tackles on Utd’s part for a freekick to be awarded – but just one clip from us, or no clip at all in some cases, and some tumbling sack of shit like Anderson going over and there you go, son, freekick and a yellow card. There was at least one occasion when we were completely sold up the river by Webb’s poor grasp of the advantage rule where play should have been pulled back for a bad tackle on Jack Wilshere. Obviously his linesman must be splitting the winnings with him because he couldn’t wait to get in on the act and give that ridiculous penalty to Waddle.

    Bill, you have a very poor grasp of football tactics and your use of statistics relating to games played 5 or more years ago are bewilderingly irrelevant.

  205. It’s ridiculous how all would-be-experts here put their fingers on Arshavin. Had we won, say, 1:0, then most of commenters here would praise him for his efforts (and I can tell you there were ones). By the way, he had more tackles than Song.

    It’s not Arshavin personally or whoever; something wrong with team tactics.

  206. Paul, Good for you but your going to be disappointed

    This team isn’t as good as you think it is so move on

    And no I’m not using Man Utd or Chelsea as a yard stick. I’m using the last 5 seasons

  207. Maciek, now everyone in the team is being played out of position. Apart from last night we have given most teams a run for their money.

    The team played poor going forward and thats most of the problem. I dont care where you put Arshavin last night, he was off but he was great against Villa in the same position and did well against Partizan.

    Walcott has been brilliant this season as far as his choices. He is just coming back and needs time to get into the flow of things.

  208. a_gooner,

    So you’re saying it’s the manager? Who else sets out the team tactics?

    What I can say is that Arshavin personally had a bad game last night and hasn’t been playing well for several games now. A spell on the bench might just get him to buck his ideas up, but if that doesn’t work at least someone else would geta go who might make a difference. The way he’s playing at the moment we have nothing to lose by dropping him for a game or two.

  209. Fletcher even protested out of frustration, when a free kick was given gainst him late in the game. Yellow card as well. No, wait a minute, its the Theatre of Dreams; you get booked only in dreams…

  210. Geo:

    I also was hoping Denilson would have started since I thought he would give us a little more stability then Jack, but I do not really believe that he could have changed the match in any significant way. Denilson is a good player who is our 5th choice central midfielder when Diaby is healthy and may be 6th choice when Ramsey comes back . He does not deserve the grief he catches from some of our fans but he is not someone who can turn a match. If he was he would have been playing.

  211. Limpar,
    Stats of the past five years are irrelevant? Seriously?

  212. Truth is we are using up our ‘allowable number of loses’ pretty quickly.
    Football can be a hallucinogen atimes.Hence some of the comments here today.A mixture of self deception and some ‘hail the king today’ and ‘crucify him tomorrow’,.
    And can someone tell Wenger (with all due respect) to stop causing us national embarrassment through the poor excuses he makes whenever we lose.Criticising the Old Trafford pitch is just way off the mark! We lost,lets knuckle down and win the next game.That should be the attitude.We are not out of this running yet,no matter what the press say!

  213. a_gooner

    Earlier in the season I’d been really frustrated with Arsha. He’s got a boatload of assists and a few goals and so recently I’ve backed off him a little.

    But you say:
    “It’s not Arshavin personally or whoever; something wrong with teh team tactics”

    That’s just false, at least about last night. I feel comfortable saying that some blame for Clichy’s constant exposure is Arsha. It is very clear that he is not in the best shape compared to ther players. It is also clear that he is lazy when it comes to tracking back. As we always say, football is a team game, we win and lose together. He should not be excused from his defensive abilities because he’s lazy or an impact player. He should either be dropped from the starting lineup, or get his fitness up so that he can track back for a full 90 minutes. Pretty much a guarantee that Arsha will not start on Saturday.

  214. Good luck to the younger guns in the youth cup tonight.

  215. Well Gunflash you are dissapointing.

  216. Man U did an excellent job of playing us psychologically. It was sly veteran stuff last night. They knew they couldn’t match us straight up so they shaped the game to their advantage. They made their normal goading comments, and then respectful considerations to get us focused on their play. On the pitch they made the game into a physical battle and, perhaps showing the last vestiges of youth, we were unable to resist trying to prove to them that we could tough it out with them. This allowed them to slow the game down and force one-on-one contests for the ball rather than the fast moving pass game we normally play. Our movement off the ball stalled out completely. It was like watching a heavy-weight brawler shit-talk a fast moving boxer into going toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring. Credit to them…they got into us and conned us into playing their game. They can’t score and they know we can. We tried to show that we wouldn’t be bullied, rather than saying simply…”you have no teeth…race you to four goals.” We should have been playing at light speed. instead we let them slow the game down to a crawl where they could play the chippy game they prefer and where the ref/crowd can play a role. We allowed them to dictate the terms of the game and they did so.

  217. Foul count –

    Man IOU: 7
    Arsenal: 16

    Yellow cards:
    Man IOU a bit more now: 0
    Arsenal: 4. Yes, that’s right: 4!

    So how exactly would Mr.’Ardman, the eruption of the D**Mers deepest fantasies, the seventh son of the seventh son of ‘Appy ‘Arry, stay on the fucking pitch?

    I get the impression that PC Plod is the from the breed of pigger that would charge a horse into a crowd of teenage kids, some stood there with their parents, looking, not very dangerous.

  218. No Paul just honest and realistic. Lifes better that way

  219. I do like this site as it is good for the glass half full perspective and while it’s been some time since I’ve posted here, today I just wanted to pose a few questions and I guess the answers I’d have at the moment for these.
    1) Who is leading this team on the pitch week in, week out?
    2) In what areas have we improved from last season?
    3) Why did Theo Walcott not start yesterday?

    1) On paper, Vermaelen, Cesc and RvP should be our leaders. Vermaelen is injured, Cesc is probably injured, and RvP is showing major signs of age and continued fragility. Leadership is more intangible than tangible, so it’s fertile ground for argument and debate, but I don’t feel a fire burning in the club’s belly and I don’t hear a loud thumping from the heart.

    2) In terms of improvement, my honest assessment is that GK is an area where we’ve seemed to show some improvement (or less comedic hijinks) this season. At forward, RvP seems to have aged 10 years in the last one year, whilst Vela and Bendtner aren’t fulfilling their potential (or not being allowed to do so). In midfield, Song doesn’t appear to be doing the work he did last year, Rosicky is not providing a spark, and Cesc has been very poor, certainly due in some part to injury. Perhaps we’re not worse off at CB, but with Vermaelen out, we’re not any better off. Sagna’s holding steady, but Clichy’s continuing to stray from that great form he showed some years back (and Gibbs is proving to be too fragile for football). Individually, Nasri and Walcott seemed to have been fuelled by their respective World Cup snubs and have improved markedly.

    3) Which begs the question why Theo did not get a start yesterday. I’d have much rather had Theo playing the minutes Arshavin played. What message is Wenger sending to Walcott at the moment? Walcott’s been one of the hardest working players and one of the most consistent this season and he can’t get a start as a result?

  220. An awful lot of words written since the whistle went last night. I’m not sure that we have really got any closer to understanding the performance.

    Yes, the referee and linesmen were shocking but apart form that? Utd did the job they had to do and it wasn’t really that difficult for them. The problem definitely lay with us.

    Long term we are in a far better place that manu. Right now, they have what it takes to win the title. I’m not saying they will, their squad might be exposed by the end of the season. I’m not saying we won’t, there’s a long way to go. We are a good side -when we play. When we don’t, we can be very average.

    I said at the start of the season that I don’t expect us to win. I hope we do but nothing is certain in sport. Arsenal are a model club, I love it dearly.

    Right now though? There is something wrong with this particular team. Of all the writings today, Ole comes closer to the issues that have been thrown up over the past few weeks. Performance just isn’t good enough.

    Me? I think this squad needs shaking up. Many of us said this at the end of last season-and I’m not talking about any supposed need for new defenders or a midfield ‘beast’ or a goalkeeper. It’s not the ability of the squad, it is more to do with it’s mentality. Not right.

    Maybe they are still learning, maybe they will become imbued with the spirit that they only really show in patches. If I was Arsene, I’d be looking to sign one or two players who might provide a bit of culture shock in the dressing room. Maybe it’s all a little too cosy. A little bit too much ‘clubby’.

    Sign someone who might upset all the preconceived notions. Change.

  221. A Qatari prince went to a famous architect and said, “Good day, Mr. architect. My country is hosting the soccer world cup in 2022, and we want to build a huge skyscraper to demonstrate to the world what a great country we have.” “Very well,” said the architect, “People would expect nothing less from a country such as yours. I will draw up some preliminary designs, and you can view them in a month’s time.” “No need, sir. We don’t care about the appearance. All that matters is that it is the tallest skyscraper in the world. As soon as the plans are complete, construction can begin.”

    A couple of months later, the Qatari prince made his first visit to the construction site of the new skyscraper. The architect was there to show the prince around. He was in high spirits. Good progress was already being made with digging the huge foundations of the new building. The prince, however, met him with a face like thunder.

    “What on earth is going on here?”

    “Why, sir,” said the architect, “we are digging the foundations for your skyscraper. It is coming along very well.”

    “Didn’t I tell you that I wanted the tallest skyscraper in the world? And yet here you are digging DOWNWARDS! Arrogant westerner! You think we arabs have more money than sense. You think we will pay you to dig us into a hole!”

    “But surely, sir, you must realise that such a tall building requires firm foundations.”

    “Foundations? Nonsense! If you start building from down there, the skyscraper will just be so much the shorter. We will be the laughing stock of the middle east. ‘It would have been a fine tower,’ they will say, ‘if only they had built it above ground.’ Fill in that hole, and start building!”

  222. We are realistically in 2nd place

  223. I did think we were a bit too aggressive, probably trying to overcompensate for being consistently called weak. as axis said at 5.12. It was such that I don’ t remember them trying to foul us in the first half apart from Ferdinand’s horror lunge. We on the other hand were committing silly fouls all over the place as if we didn’t know the game was in old trafford.

    What we needed in that game was not aggression. We were too frequently slower to react to the ball than they were. We didn’t win many 50:50s either, so what was the point of all that aggression except to distract us from playing to our potential?

    What we did lack, was spirit, mental alertness, discipline and focus. Arsene doesn’t seem to be able to influence the mood/psyche/motivation of this team well enough, which is kind of disappointing considering he basically handpicked them all.

  224. Lol Indeed Paul dust down your bridesmaids dress

  225. no problem with that as i am not a glory hunter. Atleast I am in the blinkin wedding.

  226. Is that you, Bob?

  227. Consolbob,

    We signed arshavin a few seasons ago, we signed Kos and Squil last season. I really don’t think our problem is a lack of signings.

  228. HAHA ….Later

  229. I made this remark earlier in the year and I stand by it. This team is going to get fit and hit a run of form at the right time this year. In years past we have a good start but run out of steam. This year, we haven’t ever looked like we have hit our full flow and we are still 2nd in the league.

    We will hit that run of form when it matters and get the results at home against the so called other “Big” teams. It will happen people…get your panties out of a twist and relax.

  230. Ok so last night during the match, definitely in the first half, there was a clear “USA! USA! USA! USA!” chant ringing around OT. I found it hilarious, as I assumed our hyper loyal travelling gooners were mocking UTD supporters for the heritage of their owners.

    Did anyone else notice this? Those I was watching with def heard it too, so I know it wasnt a figment of my imagination.. very clever

  231. the pleasure is ours, Gunflash

  232. No one said anything about a lack of signings Henristic. I suggested a certain type of signing. One to bring something different to the squad. We have plenty of talent. We lack something though. We certainly do.

    Yes, it’s me mj.

  233. C-Bob
    interesting post. I was frustrated that in the last 20 mins of the game we did not do more to get a goal. Especially becasue I really thought we would go on to draw after Shrek’s missed “penalty”. As you highlighted, and Ole did all day, the performance simply was not there.

    The solution remains quite vexing to me.

  234. Didn’t mean to whinge excessively about Mr.Webb
    Just wanted to express the thought that Karl Henry would not help this, or any other squad.

    Is it true, any team that has been top of the PL at Xmas, has not gone on to win the league?

  235. This one match is having way too much of an impact in how we see our team. I believe we have allowed one mediocre performance to blur our vision.

    The team only lost by one, away from home while not playing up to par.

    I am with Viceologist, I think we will get them back home, should we believe an less?

  236. Paul N, had we not lost at home to Newcastle, West Brom, and Sp&rs, while barely salvaging a 1 nil victory at the Emirates to the bottom table Hammers, I don’t think there’d be as much soul searching and hand wringing today. And as for losing 1-0 yesterday, not only could it have been worse had Rooney converted the PK, had Szczesney not made a great save on Anderson’s shot, and had Nani not banged in his shot from the right side across the face of goal, but United didn’t seem to have to sweat too much in fending off our attacks yesterday. So really there is a large fraction of the league matches this season which, in aggregate, are causing some heartache.

  237. Mr Bob, I would say we lack that someone that can get the team going when we are playing like this, I hate to say it but like Flamini and even Gallas. I believe that TV would be good captain and would be such a leader.

    I wonder why the more mature players in the team never say anything when we are playing like crap? where is Arshavin and Rosicky when the teams needs a little kick in the rear?

  238. We lack a good enoguh DEFENCE. End of.

  239. I’m with Limpar. Bill, you’re not cut out for football. Stick to baseball or NFL football because you have no fucking idea about this sport.

  240. Limpar @ 4:59:

    “Bill, you have a very poor grasp of football tactics and your use of statistics relating to games played 5 or more years ago are bewilderingly irrelevant.”

    You could argue that statistics from 5 years ago may be irrelevant except for the fact that our manager and the teams overall philosophy have not really changed in the that time period. If you just use the statistics from the last 2 years which I suspect most would think are relevant it looks even worse for us.

  241. ArseChicago, I understand there are some isssues but with that where do we stand in the PL, we are not alone in our shortcomings but we can sure get better when our players get healthy.

    I am not bothering with the ifs. The same thing could be said about us against Chelsea and Spurs.

    If you dont score thats your business, just like we say Arsenal need to be more deadly in front of goal.

    As far as going forward, we didnt play well for the most part and yes we allowed United to defend with ease.

  242. mj, so if we defended better yesterday we wouldve scored, or it wouldve been impossible for United to score?

    I guess we would be happy with a bunch of 0-0 scorelines.

    The defence has nothing to do with yesterday’s match.

  243. Rubbish.

    As described above by Axis, more or less, Arsenal more or less mirrored ManIOU’s set up in the first half last night. It was boring, but interesting.

  244. Whatever we say or choose to say, the truth is we have the capabality to play better than last night.

  245. Sorry Paul N, that was a reply to those LIARS who keep seeing the same game over and over again upon their screens. Change the channel please.

  246. One could argue, some of the individual mistakes made are familiar. But the teams’ tactics? Nope, they weren’t the same as last week against Fulham.

  247. So no one else heard the “USA! USA! USA! ” chant??

  248. Finsbury, I was about to say!!!


  249. I could go on about tactical alterations to the team, made in Denilson and Song’s first season in the first team, 07-o8.

    Shall I, or would that be very boring?


  250. lol Paul N.

    Peace, all.

    Except you WUMS and LIARS.
    Feck *ff.

  251. Yes, I heard it NJ.

    Yes Paul, where were these captains of national teams when we needed them? Ateeb summed it up last night when he suggested that the captain of Russia might even attempt to dribble past that horrid little 18 year old Brazilian playing at full back!

    I think, Finsbury, I might be wrong but the last and only team that didn’t win the title when top at New Year was Arsenal a couple of years ago!

  252. Chelsea were top last year at xmas and won the title.

  253. Liverpool were top xmas 2008 and never won.

  254. You’re right, technically we are in second, but it’s precarious considering where Chelsky, City, and Sp&rs are. The fact that we’ve lost as many or more matches than 9 other teams in the league is disheartening as well. But more importantly, this team’s been in position to take sole possession of the top of the table on numerous occasions in the last few seasons and the team has failed to seize the day. It’s just been frustrating to be so close to getting over the hump, only to have matches like re-open those wounds. Regardless, like any addict, I’ll be back for more.

  255. Should we just take it as a given.That we lose against Chelsea and United (and maybe spurs),try to win all our other games and still win the title? Like you do?

  256. “…the manager or the teams overall philosophy have not really changed in (5 years)”

    If by overall philosophy you mean trying to win games of football, Bill, then no, you’re quite right, it hasn’t changed at all. If you mean in every other fucking way, like tactics, formation, personnel, movement, shape, partnerships and a thousand other variants that seemingly pass you by, then yes, to the keener eyed observer there has been much change afoot.

    Don’t bother combing your hair, you’re not going to be in the picture.

  257. Arsechicago, what does technically we are in second mean? no, WE ARE IN SECOND and this inspite of the losses.

    Its doesnt matter how close other teams are, they would all prefer to be in second place right now.

  258. G69:

    I admit that I have an obsession with our teams defending and clearly the problems that this team faces are multifactorial and to blame everything on our defending is overly simplistic. However, I think there is no doubt that it is the biggest single culprit and improving our defending could make a huge change for the better in this team. You can argue with some individual points but I would be interested to know where you can find fault in my overall logic other then just to call me a doomer.

  259. who believes that way Gunman, I havent read where anyone claim that we should take losses to any team as a given.

    Maybe I missed that comment?

  260. Dups & Bob,
    Thanks. So, just another rumour or meme that I’d heard, and not a very reliable stat I guess.

  261. Paul N, you’re right, I inappropriately used the term ‘technically’. My point is that it doesn’t feel nearly as comfy as Real Madrid feels in its second place standing in La Liga.

  262. Yup, trust Ateeb to summarise the whole blogosphere in a few lines.
    The real downer from yesterday’s game was as described above. Not Arsenal’s D-Fence, but the inability to have a go at the RB, their weakest link. Rosicky never drifting over to the Arsenal right and trying to be ‘direct’ for Chamack, like he does…

    Not the ****ing D-Fence!

  263. Excuse me, mistakes were made for Park’s goal. But they were, a little lucky. It’s football, gr*t happens.
    It’s up to a team to come back and score from something like that.

  264. Thats true ArseChicago, everyone is breathing down our necks and its uncomfortable but it means that we are a few points up on them or a few goals. Lets take that over the reverse.

    Also, it is really good for the PL, the Serie A is boring as hell. There is really nothing to watching the matches on a whole apart from Barca and Real.

    I stand on this saying for this season, “the hotter the battle, the sweeter the victory”.

  265. la Liga is a hyped SPL, f*cking boring.

  266. Yep, not much wrong with the defence last night.

  267. Cbob @ 5:18:

    I agree with you thoughts. Sometimes adding a player can help change the culture of a team more and add a lot more to the team even if they are not that much better then the player they replace. Adding 1 or 2 high profile players may not improve the squad other then to shake it up. I talk a lot about our defending but as you point out the issues go deeper and there are a lot of intangible things that can not be defined by statistics and analysis. Unfortunately it is useless to try to discuss those things because they can not be quantified and just lead to circular arguments with no end. The best argument for your view point in my mind is the fact that it can not hurt to try it. At this point the team is in excellent shape financially and we can spend significant amounts of money with no long term risk. There is no real reason not to try something a little different at this point.

  268. thank you notlager!!

  269. i noticed many think Chamakh is tired and Arsh needs to rest more to produce magic. maybe its time to really do that and go with the dane again as striker and try to find an alternative to Arsh.
    I wonder if oposit teams would stop targeting Clichy so much if he got more assistance from his “wing man”.

  270. PaulN,
    A 0-0 would have been a much better scoreline, not really mathematically, but it would have given a huge morale boost. Also, with a 0-0 scoreline, the 2nd half could have been much more interesting.

  271. you know you are feared when people call the match “united vs arsenal” for this years “El classico”. Means we are on the way up people! Like it or not, sooner rather than later we will again be a force to reckon with! You know things are about to change when non of the papers totally slater us for this loss. It actually feels a bit weird, reading about Arsenal loosing to United and reading that even though we did lack the final bit to beat them we are by no means a pushover any longer. And that the pundits actually acknowledge it!
    What has the world become??

  272. mj, yesterday yes but it seems like thats what you want overall.

    However, it wasnt as if they scored a tap in or some easy goal. It was near impossible to score that.

    To blame the defence for yesterdays match doesnt make any sense to me whatsoever.

    To tell you the truth, it is a sign that we can defend better than we have been lately

  273. Poodle, that is weird, matches the game I would say. It was not a beat down by any means.

  274. a little Mylo to cheer everyone up, after all we all want the same thing for the club. let’s remain positive in the times of adversity, we are THE ARSENAL.

  275. I was disappointed at, but not surprised by last night’s performance and result. In truth they were the better team, their performance built upon a better defence.

    Yet they only one 1-0 and then only as a result of a fluky goal. Yes Park did well to get the header, but the deflection off Clichy spun the ball, giving it the curve and spin to go where it did.

    The penalty was not one and so the miss was appropiate.

    The ref was attrocious, but aren’t they usually?

    That our players as a whole did not play well, coud be as a result of the better opposition, but also because I think our tactics were wrong. It is clear with hindsight that the way to attack was not through the wings, with wingers who can’t cross, against the 2 top centrebacks in the league.

    However, as we wring our hands again after a defeat and moan and groan, let us remember that we are 2nd, only 2 points behind Manure.

    WE have played away games to them, Chelsea, Mancity, Liverpool, Villa, Everton and Blackburn, all difficult places to get any result. How many of these have Manure played at yet?

    Let us accept the defeat, accept that last night we were second best and then move on. WE have won 10 league games this season. Not bad at all. There are still plenty more to win. So let’s stop navel-gazing and look forward to Stoke.

  276. The youth cup game sounds entertaining. 3-1 after 22 mins.

  277. I guess we lost yesterday what with over 271 comments already. Then we get some sad Manc on here. Mind you there is nothing else to do in that shithole of city, it really must be a depressing place to eek out an existence.

  278. Oh and it has to be mentioned teams has won the PL before without beating the socalled “big four” away, was it Man U that did that last? So if Man U can so can we. We just have to stop loosing to the “stoke” teams. the mid table idiot teams we all hate.

  279. Bradys right foot

    We have a realistic chance of winning the league this year and I haven’t seen anything in the last 24 hours to persuade me otherwise. We have won more league games than any other team a fact that seems to escape everybodys attention thats why were in second and could go top again if we do our bit on Saturday and Chelsea and United draw. The reason why we have won more games than anybody else is that we endevour to do so , it is distressing that that our home form has been so poor and we really should be a few points clear but we have played most of the top teams we can make this back .

  280. 4-1 to the youths and not even half time yet.

  281. I agree with Consols

    We need a cat or two amongst our pidgeons

  282. Afobe terrorizing defences again, can’t wait to have him and wellington in the first team in a few years

  283. Afobe and Aneke both scored 2 so far.

  284. Those two need to come into the first team together, i like their partnership.

  285. brilliant!

  286. 6-1 now total domination

  287. Pz,

    Fantastic post! Digging is almost complete at our club. Soon the rewards will come. No doubt about that.


    More signings? We already have alot of players for every position. And frankly, they’re all too dear to me, that I wouldn’t want to see anyone leave. But then again, if this continues I am sure, even they know a few of them might have to make way for others.

    We need to start thrashing the lower teams to build the confidence. a couple of 4 or 6 goal margin wins, can do wonders. Get Rvp, Theo and Rosicky on the scoresheet.

    I don’t know but whenever you expect Arshavin to raise his game against a big opponent he fucks it up big time. Barca last year, Chavs, and this time again. Not a big match player? Don’t know. It’s not like others in the team put a decent shift. We’ve had more success with Theo against bigger teams than any other winger.

    We played too defensive yesterday. Too tame in attack. Arsene might have been cautious because of previous results but the game was there for the taking. Arshavin and Nasri screwed up by not having a go at their full backs. Song was slow mentally and physically. The cbs though handled the aerial threat decently. I wouldn’t say greatly because they allowed Rooney to get the ball in his control and keep possession.

    Theo was amazing at the start of the season, and since his return from injury he’s hardly been used. I think the next few games, we will see him return to the starting lineup along with with RVP. They need games to find form again.

    A dull and boring match. Not much to be analyzed. Forget it and move on. I was hoping for a draw, to get points off them. Someone else will have to do us the favor now.

  288. dups,


    Thanks for the updates..

  289. Calm down only two players have ever come through from the youth ranks to establish themselves as 1st team regulars under Wenger in 14 years Cashley and Jack.I remember Gooners saying David Bentley was the next best thing.The jump from youth team to first team is massive just shows how great a player Jack is.In fact he was the only one of our midfielders who stood up to Anderson and Fletcher
    The one great thing about last night though is we have found the successor to Lehmann Amen to that

  290. jjgsol
    Yes Utd only won 1-0 thats all they needed to do.You get the same number of points for a 1-0 win as you do for a 6-0 win.It was a professional performance by Utd.The type of performance we just cant turn in.To shut up shop and defend a lead.The Spuds at home was a perfect example as soon as they got their 1st goal the panic set in.Utd last night sat back after they took the lead and played on the break while we huffed and puffed and got nowhere.

  291. @trevor are you not now missing out Bendtner and Gibbs and Cesc and Denilson, Song, Chesney? As far as i know you can only sing a scolar contract when you turn 16 so before that you cannot really officially be an arsenal player.
    Inesta and Xavi were older thn 16 when they joined Barcelona yet they are counted as homegrown barcelona players, infact several of the “homegrown” players at Barca came to the club in their late teens yet they are all seen as barca products.
    Surly those mentioned above(i dunno about song thought tbh) came to the club at age 16 should then be reckoned as coming through under AW and throgh the arsenal youth system too…

  292. From Afobe on twitter:

    “We won 6-1 and Spurs lost 3-1 to Barnsley.. Hahaha let’s all laugh at Tottenham, they are out !!! Hope we’ve sent out a msg to whole of Eng”

  293. Many may think that the frustration about yesterday is unfounded but to be honest, you have to be able to stop and rethink when your team can’t beat the teams bandied around as the best there is to beat. i.e. United, Chelsea, Barca. Actually we lose to the Spuds now too on our home ground.

    There is something wrong and it can’t be luck, the referee, or the Spuds freaking curse. We’ve been beaten regularly by Chelsea & United and sometimes comprehensively. The funny thing is, I truly believe that our teams is better than theirs….So what the hell is the problem? Is it money? Maybe the players think they are not paid as much as Chelsea or United players so why bother beating them? I mean all the fucking excuses are gone now and I have to think of something outrageously ridiculous as the cause of such utter disappointing results against big teams.

    Maybe we do need two or three “mediocre” English players who really and consistently feel as under-dogs therefore running themselves to the ground in every game?

    I know some of my regular friends here won’t like to hear that, but I defended this team in much much worse times when we used to get bitch-slapped by the likes of Bolton and Blackburn. I’m sorry, I can’t find any valid excuse for yesterday…We just gifted our main rival 3 easy points and the top of the league, just as we gifted Chelsea before by losing when they lose.

    It is just not normal.

  294. From Jonathan Alter on twitter:

    “Hey, soccer fans: a great source says that most members of the FIFA World Cup Selection Com got a (legal) bribe of $10 million from Qatar.”

    I never heard of the guy but does anyone know how reliable his info normally is?

  295. Some blogs hyped this game up as the match that determines Project Youth as success or failure. Fact is, Man Utd at Old Trafford are formidable and taking 3 points there is not easy. Less than a handful will do it this season.

    Im surprised that though the reactionaries think we’ve entered the apocalypse every time Arsenal lose, they still demand victory at Old Trafford.

    Its silly to count Arsenal’s record against Man Utd and Chelsea, with any analysis on this game. All are independent of each other, especially an away game to Man Utd.

    Mental masturbation is futile, but lets all blame every decision Wenger and the club has made in the last 5 years and pin it to a 0-1 loss at Old Trafford.

  296. Damien
    Great post.But take a look at yesterdays blog and see how many were saying we would play Utd off the park(no pun) and win easily.Its these deluded fools who think we can just go to OT and piss all over them.Do they actually watch football?.We have not scored 2 goals in a game at OT since the premiership began!!!.Utd are not unbeaten in 17 games for nothing.The arrogance shown by some Gooners before last nights game was breathtaking.

  297. Well said Demian, well said.

    G4E, we lost to Chelsea and United at their place, is that not expected more often than not?

  298. A barca Fan here:
    I know it may not be a right time.

    It’s been a long time since I posted something here.

    Arsenal fans always consider their team as an upgraded version of ours(FC Barcelona). Never understood why? They claim that they have more pace than ours and hence is better. Actually there lies the real problem for Arsenal.

    Arsenal is wonderful team but they never realises their strength. Like Barca also their strength is really is their ability to retain possession. Why I say they don’t realise that? Let’s go back to Totenham vs Arsenal match. At half time Totenham was having the worst match of their lives. 2-0 up what you want your team to do, stiffle up the opposition, starve them off teh ball. But what Arsenal did, they kept attacking witn double the pace. The problem with so much running they wear themselves out and with constant tendency to attack, they give away the balls cheaply to opponents and expose themselves in counter.

    Had they concentrated on starving Totenham off possession for 15 minutes in to second half, they would have never lost that match.

    I repeat this again, Arsenal has in it to become one of the greatest team in history. But they will never do it without knowing how to slow down games. They should dictate the pace at which they play. But currently they play at a pace the opponents dictate.

    As for ManU lose, what is the big fuss. Everyone expected ManU to win that as they are playing at home. What u really have to pray is for Chelsea to beat Manu next week. Then its all back to square one.

  299. Paul,

    Come on man, who are we kidding here, we have managed one draw and 10 defeats in 11 matches against both United and Chelsea. Home & Away! Hard to defend this kind of record.

    You may be unlucky once or twice but not 10 times out of 11.

  300. Glad people have been able to observe that we do not need to beat man u and chelsea to win the league, just get more points than them at the end of the the season!

    A draw at the weekend for man u and chelsea and we win against stoke… 4 or 5 nil and we are back on top!

  301. You are right G4E. We do have to move on as a forum if we are to not to bore ourselves to death.

    Moving on does require us not to just repeat the mantra that evrything will be alright at some future stage. That may well be true but I am genuinely interested in what can be done to improve out performances now.

    There is a problem in how this side approaches and performs in certain, often key, matches.

    Yes, we might be top again by the New Year, we might very well win the league but that will not make this a great or long lived Arsenal side. Something will have to change for that to happen.

  302. Consolb, Ateeb even the Barcelona fan who posted on here late last night have hit the proverbial nail on the head…

    There are clearly things that are not right at Colney…

    Pundit or not Lee Dixon is only 8 years into retirement and will KNOW: He’s been there done it and got the t- shirt…Football has not changed that much in 8 yrs…
    The Blind faith brigade who extol in “Arsene we Trust” are foolish….The measure of a Great Leader – Manager is that he can take counsel and advice when necessary and act accordingly….

    This idea that there is always some kind of mitigating circs as to why we concede goals is poppy cock…The players may well be tekinally gifted but it dont mean shit on a football if your not going to put the effort in…Who really believes that should we draw Barca or Real Madrid that we are going to beat them ????

  303. “We” football fans are so fickle and so emotional. No wonder the likes of le shite and the comedian from Dublin can prey on our emotions and use a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United to declare armageddon; it is the end of the world.
    Despite the odds playing against the gold-standard English team on their own patch, supported to the hilt by the English football establishment, aided and abetted by the biased and incompetent Howard Webb (England’s #1) and a pitch doctored to negate our passing game, despite these odds we basically played them to a stalemate. Note that Slur Alex was so cynical in his anti-football intentions he did not even play his £30 million pound technician, Berbaflop, arguably their best footballer. Yet we practically negated there long-balls and attempts to hit us on the break.
    Admittedly, we failed to break them down offensively and that is a weakness.
    But to wail and moan, ignoring that against both Chelsea and ManU we have shown both tactical and defensive improvement, but still losing on fine margins, is the sign of the typical fickle emotive football fan that most of us on on this board profess to hate.

    PS: To Bibin, the armchair general – If you think the hyenas in the English football establishment aided and abetted by their crooked refs will allow a patient possession game by punishing over physical and illegal tackles when the Arsenal has the ball, then you need your head or eyes examined.

  304. I agree very much with Bibin, however it should be stated we are very much capable of doing exactly that. We did it against Bolton, and even scored from it. I think people perceive us to be taking the pee when we play keep-ball, especially with the crowd Ole-ing with every pass, but the fact we can do that is one of our greatest strengths, one we should exploit a lot more.

  305. Consolsbob, I reckon ‘big game mental block’ is a media hocus-pocus and you need not look beyond the 5 Vs 3 man midfield match-up for why we lost this one.

  306. …our attack hasn’t been as ineffectual as that in a big match for fucking ages and it hasn’t been as starved of possession as that, in a big match, for fucking ages. We’ve created loads in these games recently, and just not put them away. This time we were solid, fought hard, but couldn’t keep hold of the ball until it was too late. So you look to the midfield…

  307. I really like the cut of Szczesny’s jib

  308. Bloody hell Shotta you love a moan up dont ya. Gooners have a right to be pissed off after losing again to a big club. Yes we played well ,defended well, didnt get our pants pulled down like usual but again another loss in a big game. people have a right to have a moan up about it coz it is driving everyone bloody nuts. if we get whipped 5-0 you still wouldnt say anything untoward. all very commendable but let others have a moan and stop trying to police them.

  309. I think the only player in our team who actually attacks the ball is TV. The rest of the team seem pretty passive and lacking aggression when on the pitch (which isn’t a bad thing), we read the game, make the inceptions, pounce on opponents’ mistakes, but sometimes we need force them into mistakes.

    We play like gentlemen and not barbarians, but sometimes we must become barbarians with the manners of gentlemen. We must stand our ground in defence, we must drive into the enemy in attack. We must show cunning and intent. Parry and thrust, block and disarm, attack unrelenting, expertly and incisively.

    We are capable of this and more.

    What interests me even more is that I feel in all but one of our losses this season, we’ve been the architects of our own downfall. We’ll snap out of this whatever it is soon enough.

  310. ….a midfield of:

    – – – – Song Denilson
    Nasri – Rosicky – Wilshere

    …might’ve made for a fairer fight. But who would have dropped Arshavin before the game? Most people I talked to were backing him to make the difference.

    We sometimes take our quick-to-the-point-of-sublime passing game for granted – it’s what wins us matches. If it’s not there, we struggle to move defenders out of position and make openings. You can analyse why it wasn’t there… but attitude, ‘big game mental block’ and all that is a red herring to my mind. It’s tactical, and in the big games, it’s also about personnel and leadership. If it was about poor mental attitude we wouldn’t be where we are in the league right now.

    Fuck it. Move on. They’re a hard bunch of cunts to get any change out of. All I really know is I wouldn’t want to be a Stoke defender this weekend.


  311. Me too, Frank.

  312. I didn’t mention ‘big match mentality’ Limpar, nor did I point any fingers.

    To me, it’s not about moaning, although I think that Duke has a fair point, it’s about trying to understand why we don’t dominate games as our talent demands we should. Players who look like worldbeaters for two or three games then vanish for another two or three. I’m not talking about variations in form, that always happens. I just do not understand why we cannot be more consistent.

    I thought we were going through a trough of form a few weeks ago but we would come through that. In fact we have only raised our game for the odd game, the standard has not been consistently high for a while now. We are struggling. Sorry, that’s how I see it.

  313. duke G – I think we are both saying the same thing. Cheers.

  314. The problem is we keep going on about how “talented” the squad is but this is not everything. Doesn’t the saying go: “talent is 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration”. Our midfield may be more talented than Man U’s but our desire and sheer bloody will to win is not as strong.
    I agree that too much is being read into this result though, it’s very rare that Man U get turned over at home and that fact that some people on this blog were predicting 3-1 and 4-o wins is incredible. Based on what? The result was fairly predictable. What is more worrying is the loses at home and the two loses away in Europe and the fact that we continue to leak goals at an alarming rate.
    Something does need to change though, on a coaching or player level.

  315. The difference in these games could be down to nought but confidence. Man Utd & Chelsea know they can beat us, and play with such conviction, whereas our players have to worry about messing up, thus playing within themselves.

  316. I wish we had a midweek game.

  317. Bit off topic, but can someone help me with selecting a university. I really don’t know anything about the two universities, and perception of them in Europe. And in the case of the France, the website is in French.
    Out of these two, University of catalyuniya and Université Pierre Mendez, which one is better?

    As an Arsenal supporter I know which one to go for, but leave that aside for now. The programme is in Urban studies/Urban sociology.

  318. Bibin talks very much football sense.

  319. G4E, your comment is a way too simplistic. These teams are more mature for the most part and have been built on much money. Our team has been built over the period that these teams have dominated. However we can see that we have taken a step forward to how we played both Chelsea and United though we lost both. We also played these games without our most influential players.

    I mentioned nothing about luck so I am not sure where that is coming from.

    Forget prior matches and seasons, I dont give a damn about them, this is a new season. We have to play them again, i say we can make a fair judgement then. Lets have Fab, RVP and TV in full flight, Diaby also.

    I totally agree with Shottagunna at 10:31.

    Duke we can moan but this is over the top, Shotta is correct in my view.



  320. Bibin, fair points. But also a fair point that our leagues are very different and some tactics work better there than here. Maybe we’ll be seeing you in the next round of the CL, Bibin. We’ll see how we are both playing closer to that time. I fancy we’ll contest the tie more strongly this time around with a full strength squad including a fit Van Persie, Cesc, Arshavin, and emergent Nasri.

  321. ateeb, never heard much about these schools. English won’t be the language of instruction, will it?, so perhaps try for an Australian, British, or Canadian school unless you are academically qualified in Spanish/Catalan and/or French?

  322. Agreed ZP, Bibin’s comment makes good sense!

  323. btw, YW, I commented on my iphone on the new post but haven’t seen it here on my laptop (Safari browser). Very strange. Some of the comments are in both places.

  324. I’m trying to locate my own jib to see its cut and I can’t seem to find the damn thing! I’ve looked everywhere. Um … now just remind me which bit is the jib, and which bit is not the jib, because there is a lot of confusion.

  325. Ateeb, my recommendation is not to apply for University of Zimbabwe, a former world renowned institution, especially in law, medicine and veterinary science, and latterly, well … um, not. Not very helpful I know. Bon chance. I vote France this time round.

  326. Limestone, someone’s made mincemeat of the comments. I know it’s not Julian Assange because he’s still in chookie. It could be the person who italicized ACLF last time. Now who was that?

  327. Ateeb – I wouldn’t go to university in France. The facilities are really poor and there is not much in the way of student life over there. I would pick the one in Spain

  328. Ole Gunner – It could also be that Man U and Chelsea have spent more money on players, have had better defenders/goalkeepers than us and are more mature teams.

  329. I agree they’re more mature teams. There’s no doubt they’ve spent more money. I disagree with the rest. We have a better squad right now. In 07/08, we had as good a squad as any of them as well.

  330. Gadget | December 15, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    “We play like gentlemen and not barbarians, but sometimes we must become barbarians with the manners of gentlemen. We must stand our ground in defence, we must drive into the enemy in attack. ”
    Gadget – I know you have a gift for satire so I am not sure whether you are serious or not. But this demand by some that we play as “barbarians” is simply reactionary thinking and would play right into the hands of Man Utd, Chelsea and the rotten referreiing establishment in England. How many times was Patruck Viera red-carded for doing less if not virtually the same as Roy Keane? How many cards were dished out to Alex Song last season for being stuck-in as the English like to say. I remember one instance when he over-reacted to a decision against him and was promptly yellow carded. How much success would we have if our players behaved like Fletcher and put our hands on the ref in protest of a non-call? Or if we kung-fu kicked our opponent as Ferdinand did with Sagna.
    The likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard, Rooney, Ferdinand and Fletcher have one common denominator; they are all English/British. We can’t beat them at their own game. Instead we have play our football and improvree on our weaknesses. Success will come; that I am sure.
    PS: Our fans need to stop their whining and become barbarians for our team especially at the Emirates. No referee can take us out of our game if we do ourr job.

  331. My mate’s comments on tips to tinker with the pitch. Anyone has a view?

    1)bouncy (this one normally aided by the deep freeze icy weather condition) since most epl pitches have underground drainage system now. can turn the system on/off.
    2)slippery – by watering it excessively
    3)cutting the lawn high/low – depending on how the oppositions play; and
    4) which i think was Jose Morinho’s fav when he was at chelski, leave the pitch barren and bald.

  332. The problem Paul, is we say we are better than them and I believe so, at least technically, but then we always lose to them? Losing to them can not be just bad luck, there must be other reasons that stands between us and beating them?

    Let’s be honest, United are crap this season and they still beat us. I don’t care about Cesc or RVP being out, they’ve been out all season and Cesc might not be in this team come next season. United were crap and we were playing good football before we played them. I’ll give you that we met Chelsea early on when they were at a better form, but remember we taunt them by saying they’re a bunch of old dudes (another reason we should beat them not lose to them on regular basis).

    Honestly, I’m tired of finding excuses. One time it’s bad luck, the other it’s the referee, the next it’s injuries. If this is the case, then we just might prepare ourselves to accept defeat to the likes of Man U & Chelsea before we even play them…because we will always have at least one element of those excuses present at all times.

    I know these games are not important if you win your other games, but the importance of these games is in the loads of confidence it can give you and it changes that common mantra that Arsenal are not good enough. Loosing these games dents confidence big time.

    It’s OK for Wigan, Stoke, or whatever to lose to Chelsea or Man Untied 10 times out of 11, but it’s not OK for Arsenal. I’m sorry, I can’t accept that.

    We move on as CBob wisely mentioned, but we can’t just brush this aside. I hope we turn this upside down when Chelsea visits soon.

  333. ZP, yeah, something weird is happening. But in case folks commenting here don’t know, there is a new post, “Arsenal need to get back to Basics” but it doesn’t seem to appear first when you come to ACLF on certain browsers (I think; at least this is happening in Safari).

  334. Alright G4E.

    Keep your head up!

  335. Hey Shotta! I amended my post slightly, so on the most recent article I explicitly state attack the ball, as oppose to anything else!

  336. What I love most about the premier league at the moment is…

    Arsenal fans enjoying watching Spurs play but to scared to admit it.

    Arsenal fans looking sideways at their neighbours in North London and thinking I actually like their manager.

    If only Wenger would speak as candidly and bluntly as Harry Redknapp.

    Good on you Spurs!

    From a Wigan Athletic fan

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