Arsenal Need To Go Back To Basics

Samir Nasri kept his chin up following the defeat by Manchester United, aided no doubt by his recent personal award. His comments about the style of play have echoes of media criticism,

We need to put our suits of lights away in the cupboard at times. We have to get down to working hard for the good of the team. I do not see any problem with us not playing in as flamboyant style, as long as the team wins.

Essentially, Nasri wants to be James Brown but is looking at the moment for the team to be more REO Speedwagon. There is little point in having all of the moves if the ‘boring basics’ are not in place. It is reminiscent of the 1997/98 season, immediately after the nadir of the Blackburn home defeat, coincidentally also on December 13th.

In that season, the two immediate games were unconvincing. A win over Leicester was expected with a draw at White Hart Lane completing a miserable end to 1997. What followed was an Arsenal side concentrating on their jobs.

From January 31st 1998 to the title winning game over Everton on 3rd May, only two goals were conceded, six of the fourteen games were wins by a single goal. They were not boring performances, a solidity in defence which allowed the midfield and attack to crush opponents. The scorelines did not reflect the dominance of Arsenal in those games. It is this mentality which needs to become prevalent in the current squad.

That run over a decade ago was as a direct result of home truths being spoken by the players – Wenger was excluded from the team meeting – amongst themselves. A similar scenario would not go amiss right at this moment in time.

Equally, the statistics for passing from the United game were not of the standard one expects. The pitch influenced that but the players are technically proficient and more than capable of adapting. If they are not, something is seriously wrong.

It is apparent that Nasri believes there has been an element of coasting. Whilst he does not say it, I doubt he is excluding himself from that observation. The forwards need to realise that defending starts with them. Pressurising opponents into quick distribution is the fastest way for Arsenal to regain possession.

There is a dip in confidence though. That is manifesting itself in an unwillingness to take the first opportunity to shoot on goal. Whilst there are occasions when a colleague is better placed – making the pass preferable – that is becoming too prevalent, reminiscent of the campaigns of yesteryear and a problem which seemed to be disappearing from Arsenal’s game.

Wenger publicly protects his players and that is good for fostering belief in the manager, enabling him to develop and nuture players. However, harsh words must be said in private. Arsene has hinted that this is the case in the past, observing that he is his own biggest critic. The players need to listen as well.

If Monday night is really the wake-up call that it should be, all will be well and good. With injured players beginning to return, competition for places starts to put pressure on all personnel. It would be no surprise if three or four changes are made for Saturday, for no other reason than to shake the squad up.

The reaction this weekend is crucial. United and Chelsea clash, a win for Arsenal sends them back to the top even if only temporarily. A convincing win suggests that recent slumbers at home have been shaken from the system. A lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. Talking on the pitch is the only way to shake criticism off and that is the only talking necessary.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on December 15, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 259 Comments.

  1. Basics like winning!

  2. I admire your positivity yw. good support we have to take these defeats on the chin and crack on i guess.

  3. Im sure you have used this header many times before Yogi, i’m gunner search the archives.

  4. duke G,

    While your searching see if you can find that post where Ole Gunner said I’m his hero.

    Regards

  5. I think if there are changes we’ll see more Bendtner and Theo this weekend for Arshavin and Chamakh, who seems to need a rest with Chelsea and several fixtures ahead piling up during the holidays. Or maybe RvP starts in Chamakh’s place.

    I hope Cesc can come back v. Stoke and find some form; so rosicky will sit. That’s a few changes. What about Wilshere? He had energy and grit, but he hasn’t been so effective recently. We could use a physical presence in midfield in our next two games.

    In the back Djourou. So I can see four or five changes.

  6. We keep hearing the same tired excuses and many people have simply stopped listening. We want results not the same bollox. We sound like the Scousers who have been winning the league next year for 20 years now.

  7. First opportunity to reflect on Monday’s match.

    I was disapointed by monday’s result but they were some positive. The team was well organised and kept it tight for the 90 minutes and got beaten only by a fluke. The cross was deflected and the ball hit a falling Park rather than park going for the header and finally Szczesny couldn’t do anything to block that shot. The last few defeats we suffered against Man U were all down do a careless approach were the team was camping in the opposition half only to get spanked on the break whereas on Monday we were well organised but missed precision in the final third.

    Another positive was the performance of Clichy, he was great in the one on one against Nani while Szczesny did a great job for his first premierleague start. Of course his distribution in the first half was not great but he really improved in the second half and he was confident in his handling of the ball and made some good save.

    The season is long and I really think we will have many more opportunity to claim leadership in the league starting with the Chelsea match which is a good opportunity to get that win against league contender that we need in order to show our quality.

  8. Its mid December, and the title is still ours to win.

    Come on you Gunners!

  9. Deep disappointment for us all in our last game. I thought we would really announce ourselves as favorites for this title and show our quality. Instead it was a team that I hardly recognize. That’s happened a couple times already this season. But the crucible of December-early Jan still gives us a chance to put matters right in the mini-league with wins v. Chelsea and City. We just spurn the easy path. The team will show us if they have progressed and become tougher minded soon enough.

  10. I still like the cut of Szczesny’s jib

  11. James,

    Here’s an idea, you obviously like debating football but you come on here coz there are no spurs blogs(why is that?). so why dont you start your own spurs blog??? we could pop in from time to time to give it some hits.

  12. 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. Attack the ball.

    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 funk soon enough, and then we can party like champions

  13. Duke

    Spookily enough, a trawl of the archives finds the post title ‘Back to Basics’ on 13th December 2007.

    YW

  14. Shotta Question, are you not disapointed in this teams failure to smash Evra’s shitty fukin comments down his fukin throat??

  15. I just read this post by a fan/shareholder and I think this truly sums up this situation…

    “Dear M. Wenger,

    Please do not embarrass yourself by having the temerity to blame the pitch for your side’s inability to create a single chance of any note last night.

    Perhaps you might like to consider your abject centre halves; your inexplicable decision to deploy van Persie as a deep lying playmaker midfielder; your insistence to play the fastest centre forward in the league as a right winger (for 4 years); your continued faith in a left back who’s barely had a good game in 2 years; your “holding midfielder” who can’t tackle or hold his position; or your desire to play the exact same system for every game no matter who the opposition is.”

  16. Russ that was written by my dog. He got a scratch from my cat who knows much better

  17. The Mancs shaded it. But you would expect them to at Old Trafford. Such a fucking grim place to play. Horrible stadium. Surprised me that they set themselves up as the away side, relying so much on defence and playing on the break. Still the difference between the teams was negligible. ..and if Gael Clichy was not the unluckiest player in the world we would have come away with a point or two. Still all to play for and signs that there is a change in the wind.

    ….Arsenal….

  18. Gadget, I assume your are talking about your guide dog…

  19. Sadly, while I agree such a team meeting would do the job, who exactly would host such a meeting…..Cesc? (and have the players sitting there thinking “you dont even want to be here!”) Andrey (I’d be surprised if he made the meeting – slacker!!! Monday night he stood and waited for a Rosicky pass and Rafael ran past him and took the ball – that did it for me) Jack???( too young). Nasri…(no-one is scared of Nasri) TV5???? and so the list goes on. The only person capable or credible for the task is currently playing for Newcastle – Campbell was worth 20,000 grand a week if all he did was kick the others up the bum when they needed it.
    It would certainly be a worthwhile investment to even get Keown, Adams and Co to call a meeting!!!

  20. Actually RvP could conduct the meeting…but I don’t think he has to. if we can get RvP and Cesc back to full fitness and on the same pitch as AA, Samir Nasri and Marouane then our goals will do the talking. I think that is exactly what is about to happen and it is a mouth watering prospect.

  21. Russ – if you think that ‘truly sums things up’, you’re a fool.

    Were you annoyed that Wenger decided to try this quick left winger as a striker? – his name was Henry or something… Playing a right midfielder at CB, i think his name was Kolo something… Theo will get his time…

    Abject centre halves? How were they at fault for any of the goals? In fact they had excellent games…

    RvP as a deep lying playmaker midfielder? That’s just plain wrong. That’s what Xabi Alonso does, sitting in front of defence spraying passes, not playing in the hole behind the striker – that’s one of the most suited positions for Robin…

    Clichy not playing a good game in 2 years?? He may have backed off for Nani’s run, but he was 1 on 1 or 2 on 1 on so many occasions in that match alone, dealing with almost all of it very impressivley…

    And Song – He isn’t our holding midfielder any more – we dont have a single player there. We have 2 midfielders that can play that role in every game, and they rotate in attacking and defending….

    And to think he doesnt adapt his tactics is also completely foolish. The changes are probably too subtle for your poor little brain to identify…

    So yeah, all in all, well summed up mate.

  22. I also think that people are harsh on Squillacci and Koscielny. Both in their first season in the most demanding league in the world for defenders. They have made ther mistakes but there are signs that they are beginning to get it right. Ferdinand and Vidic were very good on Monday…but they are not always so. Squillacci and Koscielny played well too though. The Mancs won with a fluke goal and that would appear to be our destiny in that dark mausoleum they call a stadium.

  23. No, he’s meant to act as a running companion, but he’s a little too stupid and lazy. I guess you could tell that from the letter? Very stupid and lazy and one dimensional, but if you agree with what my dog says…

  24. I agree with Geo

  25. Pull the other one, Russ, that bloke hasn’t even watched the game. There are shareholders around these parts too as it happens, so factually incorrect shit-teapot tirades like that one don’t hold too much water.

  26. Just dont let Eboue conduct the meeting. You dont want it to degenerate into a farce ending in a Benny Hill style chase around the training ground. This is serious.

  27. Frank – what i’m loving too is that (especially when TV is back), we’ve got a nicely adaptable CB selection, and personally would be comfortable having any combination of the 4. That’s a luxury we haven’t had in a while… Great to see how quickly they’ve adapted and settled into their partnerships, as well as life at Arsenal in general.

  28. Well said, Geo

  29. Did you catch Duke’s suggestion earlier, James?

  30. At times it seems that we are in a fools paradise. We lose five matches and we tell ourselves that everything’s alright. And yet the positives are there to see. A healthy balance sheet and probably the best privately built stadium in the world. There has got to be a time that our financial success will also be reflected on the pitch. My frustration is why it’s taking longer than expected. Or is it? Maybe the cold blooded financial mandarins who own the club have the patience that the fickle fan doesn’t!

  31. The Mancs decided before the game that Samir was the danger man and sometimes had two or three players on him. He was often penned in down on a right. When RvP and Cesc came on they could no longer afford to do that, since both pose as big a threat as Samir. From then on Samir had a great deal more freedom and looked very dangerous. Just didn’t get the breaks at that point though.

  32. I must admit a few disappointments aside, I am really enjoying this season. When the big money starting rolling in about 10 years back, a little more, say 12-15 years, ‘big teams’ were able to dominate the entire season on the back of immense spending power, sometimes 15 times that of opponents. Football became a little predictable, and if a ‘Liverpool’ lost to a ‘Norwich’, it was catastrophe, and so the entitlement mindset grew amongst fans.

    Enter the global financial crisis. The writing is on the wall folks and we are back to football as it is supposed to feel and be enjoyed, with passion, not entitlement. Back in the pre-Wenger days when Arsenal were a team that might beat anybody, and might even win the league, and there really was no telling – except an educated guess – in early December who the top two could be, there were half a dozen such ‘maybe’ teams, and a couple more besides that could cause an upset. Over a period of a decade you might find nine or more teams that won or were runners-up in the old top division. some won it for a year, and were almost relegated a year later. In such an environment a management genius like Clough could really do something.

    This top four crap, same old names year in year out, has thankfully seen the beginning of the end. In this modern trend the EPL is ahead of Spain, Italy, Portugal but behind Germany, France maybe on par. From a football perspective a dozen teams have so obviously closed the gap on the big guns, with clever purchases, better management and far better technique.

    The wailing and gnashing of teeth and childish histrionics driven by entitlement (that arose directly from club spending power) when your team loses a few will die. A win will once again come to mean so much more.

    This is not to say Arsenal was OK against ManU, who were equally crap, but it is to say that the number of losses in a season will rise, and the number of wins needed to take the league will fall, and title chases will become closer.

    The game of football will benefit immensely, and might even become enjoyable again; in the sense that you just support your team, overjoyed with a great win, a little down with a loss, commentators and fans alike enjoy a good game of football, and life and football is happier.

    So, come on you Gunners! The EPL is ours.

  33. Have I missed something, or are we not two points off the top of the league? Losing 1-0 at Old Trafford to a rather fortunate goal wasn’t half as hard to take as some of the home defeats this season. It didn’t involve me having to sit in front of some doom monger spewing obscene crap about my beloved players either. In fact I almost enjoyed the scrappiness of the battle, if not the result.

  34. Limpar,

    YesI did, but unfortunately with Saving the Whales, Helping old ladies, watching football, and my Ninja training, I just dont have the time…

  35. I don’t think that either side on Monday night was poor, ZimPaul. It was exactly the sort of game you get when one side sets out to neutralise the opposition. The Mancs just about succeeded in doing that but at the expense of their own creativity. Ferguson did not plan for Park to fluke that goal, but it got him out of gaol. Becuase if it had not been scored the conclusions of the onlookers would have been very different. The ‘Great ManCunt from the Narth’ setting themselves up for a point at home!!!

  36. Great stuff Zimpaul. Spot on.

  37. And by the way, you mugs (I’m talking about you AIC as a generic mug, a mug that represents muggery and football illiteracy) EPL is fought over 38 games in nearly 9 full months, not one or two, or even five over 3 months. There are four trophies still available to us. We fear no one! We will win.

    Come on you Mugs! COYM. This season is your last, so enjoy!

  38. In fact we come out of the game in better shape than the Mancs. They have a firm but misguided belief in their own superiority. We come away spitting mad because they got away with it and we have a determination to get it right….and that is what we will do. Get it right. We will then go on to win the league by a country mile.

  39. I can’t believe the hysteria after Monday’s game.Sure we lost and deserved to lose but a 1-0 defeat at Manchester United is not the signal of a club in terminal decline.I listened to that idiot Cundy after the game and he seemed to be stirring up an anti Wenger feeling after a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford whilst in the same programme encouraging expressions of horror at the sacking of Allardyce after a 7-1 defeat against the same club.
    Having said that however I do get fed up with our tricks and flicks in an attempt to create and we must have alternatives.In our build up we quite often get the ball to the over-lapping Sagna but he only has the ability to get occasional crosses in or turn back.We need a right back with a more dynamic ability to really attack defences with his runs even somebody like Johnson at Liverpool but then he can’t defend.

  40. Russ, the truth hurts but i hear what your saying and you are right imo on all you say. What are we going to do about it is what the boss has to decide, he is aware im sure that nas is not best deployed on the wings, theo will move across i think but not yet, i am actually ok with our defenders, i think at times they are let down by the midfield when we are weak in that area, jack is not there yet and wont be for a couple of years, there have never been 18 year old cent midfielders who dominate so give him time, song is inconsistant thats all, but dont worry cause next year im hoping to see frimpong playing in thatb role, he is a player who i have a lot of belief in, but we need to close down quicker in the opponents half, the last few games ive seen we have been too far from each other

  41. I apologise for reposting this if it pissed anybody off the first time!

    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.

    By the way, it’s heartwarming to see posters here continue to take all the positives that there are. I support that, it’s what supporters do. For me, at this time, I would like to see a few changes. It’s taking a long time to turn that corner.

    It doesn’t change my support for the club, team and manager. If we never won another trophy it wouldn’t alter that. I’d love this team to become one of the great Arsenal sides. At this time in this place that would be very special indeed.

  42. Frank, you are completely correct. I said crap (in the sense that tactics dominated style) but meant something entirely different. You see, I enjoyed the battle on Monday, both halves, the ebb and flow of the game. I was bemused with SAF’s ‘away’ tactics, in that they saw they need to set themselves up to not lose, and got a lucky break. They had not planned this, but they had planned to snatch a goal from a long shot. I wondered when and how Arsenal would unlock them, because that was a matter of time. I thought they shaded it, just, had a few shots from outside the box, and I thought we lost a bit of crispness in the middle. But, any idiot could understand that either team might have won, and home advantage helped them, while a draw would be fair play (Theo at the end). What goes around comes around in football however, and our lucky days will come too, while ManU will bemoan their bad luck in days to come. Such is life. Enjoy it. It doesn’t last forever.

  43. Brian – how can you say we need a different right back?? Sagna is one of the best in the world, and probably our most consistent player. He has been a rock since coming here, and his crossing is looking really dangerous this year. Ridiculous to want someone else, like Johnson! Sagna causes problems to the opposition every game. And pretty much stifles everything that gets thrown at him. And he’s a lovely guy. I wouldn’t want any other RB.

  44. I agree with ZimPaul

  45. Geo, I can see you’ve really thought out those points but, generally speaking, you are just A) Referring to one game or B) Making points that are little more than speculative.

    Thierry Henry has been and gone, he was special talent and a one off…don’t expect it to happen again.

    The defence is not good enough…fact!! AW said so himself before the season started and what does he do, go out and buy a world class keeper and centre half? No, we stick with a complete liability in goal and then buy a couple of players who are average and represent “value for money”.

    I don’t understand why people blindly try to defend the players we’ve signed, yes it’s their first season but doe’s anyone really believe Squallici is going to get better at 30 years old? Kos represents more “potential” yet what we need is players to come in and do the job now!! Or shall we wait another 5 years?? If you believe our centre half partnership is good enough then you are as deluded as AW. Have a GENERAL look at our keeper and centre halves compared to the other teams that won title’s in recent seasons…there is no comparison. There isn’t even any comparison to our own title winning sides.

    And do you really think we need anymore players (Song) getting forward and trying to score goals??? |What we need is to tighten up at the back and get more protection for a very fragile defence.

    If you look at the premier league table today, and over the last four seasons, you’ll see why we haven’t won the PL or CL and will continue not too…because we conceded more goals that the other top teams!!! It’s very simple.

    We are still in the Premier League race this season because the standards of the other teams have dropped, not because we have got any better. We’ve become predictable and something, either the players or the manager, needs to change.

  46. I enjoyed the scrappiness of it too, mattyboy.

    Good old ACLF.

    COYM!

  47. It’s not very simple at all, Russ. It’s actually incredibly complex. That’s maybe where you’ve become confused.

  48. But ConsolBob (me devil’s advocate), isn’t every team saying exactly the same; we know we are XYZ good enough – at whatever level we aspire to – why are we not consistently so?

    That is the nature of this season, and the all-round state of EPL.

    In our case, I am 100% certain we are ‘consistently’ on track, but that doesn’t translate to wining every match you ought to, nor should it. If someone had said “Arsenal you will have a few problems, but you will remain in contention for all four trophies come December” who would refuse, or say that is a bad result? I am also certain that without any two of Diaby, Cesc, RvP and TV (all four proven match winners, offensively or defensively) we will continue to be less consistent than we should.

  49. Doomer on a Forest forum…

    “When Ramsey gets anywhere near match fit he will be recalled by Arsenal.

    If he does play a full game for forest his speed of thought and play will be light years ahead of Forests players.
    Luke, Nottm”

    He’s quite right of course but come on, Luke, enjoy it while you can.

  50. I’m a little bit shocked. I have just purchased a ticket for the Carling Cup game Vs Ipswich for a tenner! Curiosity then took me onto the West Ham ticket page and I found that they are selling their CC semi final tickets for £36. I do love Arsenal Football Club.

  51. It is kind of sweet to see (almost unrealistic) positivity from posters like Frank, Geo etc.

    It reminds me of some arguments with evangelical Christians, who believe in God, miracles etc even in the face of overwhelming evidence contradicting their beliefs.

    Are some people way too entrenched in their beliefs to countenance the possibility of being wrong? Or do they only just maintain a public veneer of faith while privately harboring the doubts that they’ve condemned others of expressing?

    One thing is for sure though, it’s better to read you guys than to listen to the gloating going on with some posters on Le grove.

  52. All together now, COYM!

  53. Limpar, perhaps you’d like to explain what is so complicated about the fact that Arsenal continually concede more goals than the other top teams? Forgive me if this might sound a little crazy, but maybe it’s just that Arsenal’s defence isn’t as good as the other teams???

  54. Russ –

    My point about Henry and Kolo were to illustrate that Wenger is the best in the world at seeing a player’s potential in different positions. Theo wants to play up front. Well he’s playing up front in a 433 formation, albeit on the right. Would you rater have him in the box like Chamakh, rising like a little skinny salmon against Vidic/Terry etc?? Hmm…

    Our centre backs – So do you not think TV5 is world class? A leader? Do teams in a defensive crisis challenge for titles? The problem is not our centre backs anyway, it’s to do with the cover and support they are being given by the rest of the team. Squillachi is good enough now, Djourou is good enough now, Kos is good enough now – the latter 2 still with plenty of time to improve. With TV back, that’s a very solid defence.

    Our liability of a GK – Fabianski has been one of the best GKs in the league – not sure if this is still true, but he was statistically the best GK in the prem recently. What a liability… And to buy another would minimise the opportunities for Chezney (who i think is going to be an Arsenal legend).

    DM – I’m happy for song to get forward more often, yes. We could have done with a few more charging runs forward at OT, dont you think? And the only problem in this area is communication between the midfielders, not individual ability/attacking tendencies.

    I agree that we need to stop conceding, but to put this down to our CBs and Song it ridiculous. The whole team needs to defend in this formation – as the Barca matches last year showed us.

    Anyway, you’re probably right, we should sack the boss, buy Akinfeev, Chiellini and De Rossi. Problems solved.

  55. Henristic…i’m grateful to see there is at least one other realistic person on this site.

  56. I really don’t understand how you can’t be positive while 2nd in the league with your three best players coming back from injury to join the fight, having had their deputies hold their end up so stoically for so long.

    Look what happened to Chelsea without their key players…

  57. Henristic, yes it is sweet our little miracle. It’s also rational and almost scientific. The two, you see, go hand in hand. Ask Einstein.

  58. Oh Russ. You make such vague statements about the quality of our players, and with the exception of Song going forward, you do so without actually saying what it is about our players you do not like.

    Copied and pasted right from a troll.

  59. the loss is not really the problem here but the familiar manner in which we looked so toothless in and around the box. so often do we stagnate when the opposition is penned back and we end up going wide to one of our full backs and relying on a rash delivery into a congested area. we definately need more runners and intelligent movement to get behind the back line. I’m a bit sick of hearing about this elusive bus that no body seems to be able to find the keys for, the same shape and the same problem against small teams points more to not learning from mistakes than simply being unlucky.

    chamakh offers the team a lot and is great at holding up play and passing out of tight corners but the difference between him receiving the ball high up the field compared to rooney (tevez… drogba…) is massive. there is not a huge goal threat or intensity from him and we needed something special up there to break through. It seems to be a very conservative ‘holding stiker’ kinda role and actually puts a lot of pressure on AA and nasri to break through on the flanks – as above, this then often resorts to pinging out wide to the fullbacks again. Maybe a switch to 442 might help on some occasions so he has someone close to him to bounce off….? not likely as the goal poaching eduardo type was dumped in favour of 433. no need to bother mentioning walcotts name here…

    interested to know what wengers plans are for RVP in the long term after all his talk about him playing together with MC in different positions etc. Anyone think that RVP is being groomed for some kind of support striker role? does that mean he will be challenging AA’s position or cesc’s?

  60. Henristic, a man who believes he is doomed lives either a long miserable existence or a short frenzied one.

    Besides it’s almost clear as day, we lose game, we don’t get beaten. If you can’t be upbeat and positive about the implications of such, what can you be?

  61. Henristic – The difference between me and an evangelical Christian is that I have seen God several times. Once he wore the 10 shirt, and another time he wore the 14. As for miracles, turning a winger into a world class striker has already been mentioned so I will go with; winning two doubles on a budget of nothing and selling tickets for a tenner in the year 2010! The miracles are there if you look hard enough 🙂

  62. Now here’s a wild prediction to chew on. We will top the EPL by 3 or more clear points. In January! If you tell me it’s impossible, I will prove that mathematically it is perfectly plausible. If you say but ‘realistically’ … I will show that all it would take is any two of Cesc, RvP, TV and Diaby to play every match. I would almost add Walcott to that list. He’s close now. A little fitness, a little form and we have a match winner par excellence. Oh, ye doubters.

  63. please lay out the proof as to why playing 2 of those players will bring us top ZP

  64. Russ – it’s to do with wingbacks, total football, the speed and the levelling of the premier league, an injury to our star centrehalf, an injury to our no.1 goalkeeper… and much, much more besides. And still we’ve conceded just three more than United’s famously measly defence. So no, it’s not as simple as a tally in a league table.

  65. lol, gadget, this is football we’re talking about right? Its a sport, and yet you use words like “miserable existence”, “believes he is doomed”.

    I’m personally generally optimistic about our chances, but it seems you probably really believe that you need to always be positive about arsenal to have a good life?

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  67. Good analyse there Word. Conservative is indeed the key word.

    I think any permutation of our three main strikers would work very well playing 4-4-2 as they all have similar yet different traits about them, and it’s that which I think is the key to unlocking the stuboorn defences of Chelsea and United.

    Would we ever utilise a 3-5-2 formation with Clichy and Sagna being wing backs? Probably not, but it does intrigue me

  68. yes I did write a big post about 352 once but deleted it as didn’t think it would taken seriously! considering the average postion of sagna and clichy its certainly not impossible!

  69. LimparAssist | December 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    I really don’t understand how you can’t be positive while 2nd in the league with your three best players coming back from injury to join the fight

    Depends on what you mean by being positive. I don’t think many would doubt that we’ll retain our usual top four finish. We will even maintain a title challenge as we’ve done many times in the last 5 years. The question is that we seem to have recurring problems that tend to limit our chances to win titles. Many of this relate to mental alertness, playing beneath our potential in matches that matter, tendency to concede too many goals whilst not being clinical, and so on.

    The fact that we have players coming back makes little difference to these concerns. As consolbob says, something is wrong with our team/squad. While he feels that the problem can be addressed by making a certain kind of signing, I feel its a more fundamental problem to do with the teams general management.

  70. Geo, the problem is we don’t need anymore potential in the first team squad…we need world class players now!! We haven’t won anything for five years. If AW wants to have the best international scouting network to find the best potential the world has to offer that’s fine…but let’s start them in the reserves.

    We have been building a team for 5 seaons, that is too long. The danger of keep putting potential in the first team is that they don’t turn out to be what you hoped/expected and, as an indirect result, the team don’t win anything. The consequence of which is that the eventually the best players (Cesc, Nasri etc) quite rightly get sick of not winning things and then want to leave. And who could blame them really? There is only so many years you can give to club without winning before you decide enough is enough.

    Vermalen is world class as is Sagna, but that’s where it stops.

    The liability I was referring to was Almunia. But with regard to Fabianski, has played 16 games this season and I don’t think think that is enough to say is has dramattically improved on last season when, lets not forget, he was commonly referred to by a derogatory nickname. In just 16 games he has played this season, he has still made some massive errors that have led to goals. Is this the standard that you are willing to accept? Sorry, not for me, it’s not good enough if you want to win things.

    I personally don’t want to see AW sacked or for him to leave, but I do want him to wake up and smell the coffee. If he chooses to, he can decided to stop looking at a players price tag first and instead look at the quality of the player and pay the going rate. If he insists of shopping in the bargain bassment then we won’t reach the levels needed, the other teams have set higher standards in recent seasons and we need to match that. It’s not all about going out and spending stupid money, but there are better quality players that can be bought for sake of another £5-10 million.

    If AW refuses to invest in the team to make the needed changes then what can you do, carry on adopting the same approach for another 5 unsuccessful seasons? I don’t think so, we are becoming also rans and we need to make changes to get back to where I believe we belong.

  71. There are some fine lines being drawn here but it’s possible to be very positive about the side winning the title yet question it’s ability to win as many games as they should.

    Yes Zimpaul, all fans of all clubs ask these questions but we are Arsenal fans. Supporters of the best club in the world currently possessed of an outrageously talented squad.

    I am very clear why the blue and red mancs, the chavs and the delusional totts don’t win as often as they their fans think they should.

    I just don’t understand why we don’t! Our inconsistency baffles me.

  72. Ha, Henristic you novice, don’t you know, football’s more than just a game!

    Joking aside, on one level football is more than a game, the effect it has on people and how they react to it. It’s all amazingly interesting when you think on it; nothing less than an utter anomaly.

    Look at the doomers, obviously miserable about football, and yet they persist with something they evidently despise, possiblity an act of S&M, but rather than use hope and positivity to get through the inevitable darker times, they wallow further and further in their misery until they start revelling in it. They truely embrace the ways of the Sith, and this is why my fellow members of the Jedi council, we must wipe them out. They are a perversion of the force.

    Wait, totally mixing up the role play with something else.

    Yeah, I have a flair for the dramatic (part-time philospher and wanna-be budding author and all that)! My life is all about the good shizz. Positivity begets positivity, and misery loves company, I know which one I choose.

  73. The current squad will prevail this season. Of that I have no doubt. But it does not end there….the real payback comes when Chuks Aneke and Benik Afobe join Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Wojciech Szczesny, Henry Lansbury, Tomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs etc etc in a team which will dominate English football for years.

  74. Limpar, you started off making some sense but then you said “an injury to our no.1 goalkeeper??” Come on, are you serious? To suggest Alumunia’s absence is a bad thing is unbelievable…did you not see the absolute basic errors that he made earlier in the season, which resulted in dropped points? If you are going make excuses for the team failing’s then at least say something plausible.

    What next, will you also use the pathetic excuse that it was down to the state of the pitch?? That’s all we hear these days, talk and excuses, i’d like to see some action taken to sort things out.

    Yes, Vermalen is injured at the moment and it is a loss. But what does that mean? His absence is not the only reason we leak goals, he was available for most of last season but we still conceded considerably more goals than both Chelsea and Man Utd last season.

  75. Word,
    nice anaysis. I think Barca’s approach is a good template to learn from. They like us never change our approach to games. Unlike us, they are still able to win a good number of their big games because
    1. They consistently play to their potential in those games. rarely have I seen barca in a big game where their players play poorly. Even when they lose, like against manu (CL semis 2007?), and inter
    2. they don’t have as many injury issues (which might be related to difference in training and fitness regimes) despite playing a lot of games as well
    3. they really are technically superior to everyone else (difficult as that may be to accept for us arsenal fans)
    4. they concede relatively few goals, even when they are not scoring. Not because they have such an awesome back 5 more more due to the fact that get the basics right most of the time. Big teams park the bus against them too, but they keep their shape, keep possession, and keep plugging away.

  76. …Denilson, Alex Song, Johann Djourou should be added to that list.

  77. ..oh and Craig Eastmond

  78. Whatever rocks your boat Gadget. If only you could resist imposing your personal style on everyone else …. 😉

    I have an arsenal supporting friend who is extremely negative about arsenal’s chances and he’s generally as sanguine as they come.

  79. O lord I forgot Sanchez Watt, Gilles Sunu, Francis Coquelin….

  80. …shit I forgot Nacer Barazite and Tom Cruise

  81. Fucking useless at this…Emmanuel Frimpong, Kyle Bartley, Havard Nordveit…I apologise

  82. Blow me down with a feather I have missed out hundreds of players in their early twenties and younger…this squad will go on for ever.

  83. I reckon you’re WUM, Russ, but anyway… you were talking about goal difference so I mention Almunia’s injury in the West Brom game that cost us three goals. Wind your neck back in.

    The battle for number 1 spot just got very interesting though, seeing as you bring it up. Szceszney’s two first team performances this year have really announced him as a contender IMO.

  84. “…an arsenal supporting friend who is extremely negative about arsenal’s chances and generally as sanguine as they come…” – I fucking hate people like that. That’s the worst fucking kind. Not proper fans at all.

  85. Pftt, intolerance is the standard default of humanity Henristic, if not nature – look, there, a vaccuum, we must eliminate it. If you’re not in my camp, well, you must die with a lightsaber to the face… or maybe not.

    No seriously, I respect and will accept well-crafted argument and analysis. On this very site, we had excellent discussions on Russia and Qatar successful WC bids.

    If a doomer puts forward a well crafted argument, not only will I tolerate such, I will accept it and engage and discuss if time permits.

    However, I’m yet to see one, and I do not suffer fools.

  86. I agree with consolsbob

    I expect more form a squad I firmly consider to be the best we’ve had. For me the game at Old Trafford was gutting. it was a big occassion the intensity should have been higher. Scezeney,Walcott (despite a couple of errors) and Rvp were the only ones I looked at and thought they realy wanted it.

    I know thats rubbish, they all want it. From interviews and media avents we see that our players come across as conciencious, intelligent, grounded individuals as well as excellent footballers. It makes supporting Arsenal all the more pleasurable. You wish these people success. Not just the badge.

    Lets face it. We NEVER looked like scoring on Monday. It’s football. It happens to the best, I know. It’s Old Trafford the pitch was shite. I know these things play there part. I’m usually the optimist but that match made me feel that there is one vital ingredient missing and I don’t know what it is. I don’t think it’s a cave troll in midfield…or Zinedine Zidane. I certainly don’t think its a new manager thats ludicrous. Just a few mental degrees away from dominating comprehensivley.

    We can win the league this year. I still feel we have a fantastic chance to do so. But I don’t think we should dis-regard the so called conventional wisdom that big games raise confidence to season defining levels when won. We have won the title once at OT historically. But 3 times realisticaly.

  87. All clubs water their pitch prior to a game. But do they do so in sub zero temperatures? Do they leave the grass long in icy conditions or is leaving the grass long just a ploy to bugger up the accuracy and pace of passes? The Mancs watered their pitch just before the game and cut the grass immeditaley after. During the game they relied on wellying the ball up the pitch into big spaces.

  88. Thing is are we prepared to go to those lengths? I think we should. We have the best pitch technology in the league. Surely we can shove rollers underneath so that at all times our players are passing and shooting down hill and that at all times the opposition are passing shooting uphill? There is no law against tilting the pitch in the rules is there? Not real time tilting anyway.

  89. Sounds a bit like pinball Frank

  90. …when the opposition take freekicks or penalties even, we could employ a knock facility so that all the players fall down at the crucial moment. We could even train our own players to expect the knock, get up quickly and regain possession. If not just tilt the pitch and roll the ball down the other end out of harms way. Our home form will definitely improve.

  91. Well not really, but the thought of tilting pitches and stuff stirs vague memories of me lifting and tilting pinball machines. Good cheating times!

  92. Talking of cheating are we going to put towels round the pitch with special stuff on them which causes your fingers to corrode down to stumps on Saturday? Hope so.

  93. lol Limpar,
    You’re so angry all the time. Calm down.
    On second thoughts, it’s like you sometimes take out your frustrations of bad results on other fans online. I suppose everyone has to look for a safe way to vent. If that’s the case, rant away!

  94. Gadget, it seems odd that you seem so adverse to considering and discussing the views of those realistic (my mistake, you call us doomers don’t you) Arsenal fans, but seem more than willing to enter into this bizarre and wholly irrelevant conversation about pitch titling…I guess this conversation must constitute well-crafted argument, and analysis, and excellent discussion in your book.

  95. ok, the debate goes on..no one changes their position.
    Here’s mine. £10 says we wont win the league this year.

  96. Or we put some secret soapy stuff on the towels to ensure the ball keeps slipping backwards whenever Delap tries long throws.

  97. The enemy: let us defeat them.

  98. hahahahahaha! Russ, you do know the difference between a conversation and a discussion, right?

  99. Yogi: Your best post in a long time. I loved the 4th paragraph.

    “From January 31st 1998 to the title winning game over Everton on 3rd May, only two goals were conceded, six of the fourteen games were wins by a single goal. They were not boring performances, a solidity in defence which allowed the midfield and attack to crush opponents. The scorelines did not reflect the dominance of Arsenal in those games. It is this mentality which needs to become prevalent in the current squad.”

    That makes almost all of the points I have been screaming about for 2 years and you summed it up in 1 paragraph with no hint of monotone. Thanks.

  100. My money always follows my mouth given that my wallet is attached to my body which is attached to my mouth… Jeffers, I’ll take that tenner!

  101. …Ebecilio, Yennaris, Miquel, Ozyakup… Jernade Meade…

  102. Out of interest Russ, what is it that makes you a realistic fan? What is realism in terms of football?

  103. ‘king hell. i thought the standard default of humanity was mancrap.

  104. Alright, alright.alright….hordes of em. The club is positively teeming with talent.

  105. You do yourself a disservice Bill. You’ve made those points just as eloquently on many, many occasions. Some people just don’t like hearing that a different approach from the status quo might be helpful

  106. Teaming…nope teeming…nope teaming….teeming..alright then teeaming. Thats it we are teeaming.

  107. top man gadget. i’ll be waiting at a pub in the highbury area for my 3 stellas.

  108. You forgot Walcott!

  109. Excellent Jeffers, I will be waiting for my double Jagermeisters and appletons rum!

  110. Ditto, Henristic. If Arsenal are as doggedly undeterred as Bill is in commenting here despite the hostility he receives, we’ll be champions at the end of this season!

    There are worrying signs that the team is underperforming, but it is really too early to worry. We’re still in the fight and we can show our big game abilities at home against Chelsea–putting to bed two issues this season: our home form and ability to defeat our competitors.

  111. Realistic: Tending to face facts; practical rather than visionary.

    I.e. Looking at the FACTS about Arsenal over the last five seasons and then truly asking why do we continually fail whenever we come up against a Man Utd, Chelsea or Barca.

    And more importantly, ask yourself why, as so called top four side, have we won nothing.

  112. would it be ok to put an’ i ‘ in teeaming also so I dont have to hear that old cliche anymore?

    ta

  113. Being ‘extremely negative’ about the chances of AFC right now, a football team second in the Premier league with some of the world’s best reinforcements on the horizon, and smiling sanguinely about it all the while, is the sole preserve of the stark raving mad.

  114. Phew!

    Like most Arsenal fans I also saw and don’t forget the squads of ’98 -’04 (the non-GG unbeaten defence who’ve almost been airbrushed out of history by D**Mnation).

  115. No, it is ‘why DID we not succeed over the last five years?’ OR… ‘will we succeed in the future?’. The difficulty that people have most difficulty with is connecting the two as with your use of the word ‘continually’. The fact that we have not won silverware over a five year period is not necessarily an indication of whether or not we will win silverware in the future. Essentially that is the difference between the ‘Doomers’ and the ‘AntiDoomers’. Making that inference is the essence of ‘Doomerism’. Not making that inference is the essence of ‘AntiDoomerism’.

  116. I do have a tiny Football brain.
    If anyone else is bored of the copy and paste merchants, and would like to read an interesting review of the last game (apart from YW’s!), check out Mean Lean’s latest.
    But, I’m confident writing about cricket:

    If some of these wind up merchants had been responsible for the England cricket team over the last decade and a half, well, I’d be despondent. Fortunately they weren’t.
    The people responsible for the development of the English cricket team, (the Oirish & Safrican players too!) had some bad luck, lost great great players to genuinly unlucky injuries (Simon Jones), had to patch & repair during partial unplanned re-builds, and made mistakes as well. Some big ones: Strauss dropped as Captain for Flintoff who’d always had major injury distractions? Who’s doing well as Captain at the moment? Doh!
    Some of that sounds a little familiar.
    They’ve also had a little good luck, with players like former youth star Swann eventually breaking through better then anyone could’ve dreamed of. He has good coaches, it has to be said. It does help.
    Conversely the Aussie selectors are now acting like the English selectors of a decade ago. Reactionary rubbish, messing players around. Which is funny.

  117. ….actually, perhaps not only the mad… perhaps also those with terribly low self-esteem… so little self-confidence they must distance themselves from their team, dissasociate themselves from the results by saying “Gael Clichy – you’re an idiot. I’d never have done that. I didn’t lose, you did.” It’s about wrapping up your ego in cotton wool.

  118. Some new work is starting to challenge or at least modify the new orthodoxy of soccernomics regarding the predictive quality of wages in league ranking to suggest there is a role for transfer funds. I remember additional to the two articles I’ve just read that the Swiss Rambler in the comments to one of his posts indicated that he is starting to question the strict view of transfer spending as irrelevant and only wages have predictive value as well. I don’t think he has yet published his investigations on this (it was meant to be a chapter in a forthcoming edited volume, I believe). However these two articles show that there is some new thinking being done:

    http://transferpriceindex.com/2010/12/soccernomics-was-wrong-transfer-expenditures-matter/

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/soccer/12/13/paytoplay/index.html

  119. Why is my last comment in moderation? I am posting links to two articles that suggest transfer spending does play a role in determining league position. I know that isn’t the popular view here, but it is worth considering, especially in light of the realism vs. belief debate taking place today, this seems ironic that a challenge to our presumed views about the path to success in football is being held up for special review!

  120. splendid. make-it-up psychology, love it.
    now what ARE we going to do.

  121. Henristic, can you leave people of faith out of it? thanks.

  122. I think what we need is a cunt.

    seriously, one that scores goals tho not the type that drags kids in wheelchairs down the street by their nose hairs.

    teams think they have a fucking chance against us these days, even at home. we need to re-install the almighty fear of GD once again.

  123. limpar..i think its more a case of those with low self esteem have to continually cling to the notion that their team is the best and will eventually win. those of us who are able to accept our faults and endeavour to correct them do not need continued reassurance that the pitch was bad, cesc is injured van persie will be awesome eventually…

  124. The Aneke & Afobe Show, by the way – the Darlington episode – is highly recommended viewing. The understanding between the two is heart-warming to watch. That’s what the academy is all about. And Ozyakup is coming along very nicely indeed in the Cesc role. Not next season but the one after, all three will be in the first team I’d say. And who knows what they’ll be capable of by then.

  125. word right on. g’night.

  126. I must say that there is a lack of common sense regarding the loss monday. Its not that people are upset about the loss so much, its that we havent beaten them in a while. That mindset clouds good judgment in my view. We lost to fluke goal and going forward we were not at our best. However we defended quite well and the young goalie did quite will plus we are in 2nd place.

    The sky is not falling on us after all!

  127. Henristic @ 2:37:

    No one is yelling at Yogi for making such a statement. Interesting dichotomy.

  128. How can you make such a statement, YW, for fucks sake. What is wrong with you, man.

    There you go, Bill

  129. Hello, jeffers. Sorry, it’s just that in my experience those whining in the stands and in the pubs tend to be… well, vaguely unhappy about themselves. Not having much fun, down on their luck – whatever it might be.

    And there’s very little endeavour involved in shouting “Nahhhh! Not that way! You’re SHIT Koscielny!” at a TV screen.

    I don’t understand your bit about reassurances but yes, Cesc has been injured. He’s on his way back though. Could start Saturday.

  130. And Paul N, everyone had written us off at the start of the season. Losing Gallas, Toure, Campbell etc and replacing them with relative unknowns (I knew all about Squilachi but hadn’t heard of Kos), and still being right up there, it’s pretty amazing really. Losing a close game against one of the best teams in the world at their ground is hardly a crisis is it? We’ve come a lot closer this year to beating Chavs and Mancs – and we’ve beaten Shitty which is also an improvement. For people to say we haven’t improved against the big teams, obviously have short term memories. As Darius and YW have said many times, it’s about managing expectations. The impatience of so many ‘fans’ is just ridiculous. We are spoilt as fans, and we will continue to be. Just look at the lists of players Limpar and Frank reeled off…

  131. Frank, I agree that “The fact that we have not won silverware over a five year period is not necessarily an indication of whether or not we will win silverware in the future”.

    However, it is too simplistic to just say that and not address the reasons for us not winning any silverware. Have we addressed the shortcomings that have seen us fail to win silverware and continaully fail to beat the aforementioned teams…I don’t believe so, why? Simply because I have watched the games and we don’t look like beating those teams, we struggle to create chances and continue to concede goals. Where is the evidence that indicates those things have changed…or are going to??

    I was one of those who agreed with AW when he came out and said we could go the season unbeaten and I got massively slated by friends over that, when got first got beaten. I was gutted but I wasn’t disappointed that I’d supported his comments, because at that time I honestly felt that with that squad it was possible. Now tell me, is that evidence of being a “doomer”? The reason I supported what he said was not through blind loyalty to AW, or delusions of grandeur, but because I took a realistic look at the quality of our squad and compared it to the quality of the other premier league teams. The rest is history, but I can tell you I certianly enjoyed giving plenty of stick back to some of my yid friends when we went on the 49 game run.

    I believe Arsenal football club will win silverware again, but when, how long do you want to wait? I regard Arsenal as a big club and, for me, the wait is too long already. It’s not about being a “doomer” it’s about being realistic and saying, at the moment, the squad is certain areas (defence) is not good enough and clearly needs improvement.

  132. “Realistic: Tending to face facts; practical rather than visionary.”

    here’s a lot of problems with reality and realism so I’m not sure if I can get down with such a definition, especially when fact itself isn’t as strong as people would have you believe. The first thing that needs to be defined is what is facts, which may lead into what one’s looking at: Is it simple stats such as table position, goals scored and conceded; or is it something far less tangible, like the quality of players and the team?

    The “practical rather than visionary” thing throws up far worse problems. What exactly does it mean in relation to supporting a team or a club? Let’s say we play Barcelona tomorrow. Given our current run of games where our form hasn’t been the best, I imagine your practical view point could be that we’ll get massacred; is this somewhat correct? If so, then perhaps you wouldn’t even entertain the notion or vision of us winning. Except, when you’re “a big club like Arsenal” you have to have expectation of victory, right, especially if you’re gonna be pee’d off if we lose badly.

    Or is it practical to look at the whole and ignore the parts. One might say we won’t win the league because of X, Y, Z, and yet ignore the games we win as part of our fight to win the league. I don’t know, is that practical?

    I’ve had to do nothing but speculate, so you’re going to have to define those terms in your definition of a realistic fan.

    However, I will agree, at this point, it’s not realistic of me to say, we’re gonna win the league, but only because it’s not realistic for me to say Man U, City, Chelsea, Tottenham, or any other club are gonna win the league, simply because I don’t know the future. However, it’s entirely realistic to say we have a chance to win the league, just like most teams still have a chance, no matter how slim, to win the league, but it just a matter of belief, and when it comes to the future do we not all gamble on the belief of things going as planned?

    “I.e. Looking at the FACTS about Arsenal over the last five seasons and then truly asking why do we continually fail whenever we come up against a Man Utd, Chelsea or Barca.”

    Limestone once described me as an anti-intellectual philosopher, and the git’s absolutely right! Past seasons have no bearing on a new one, other than to serve as a means for comparison or add some historic fact. Should we beat Chelsea on the 27th, will you still be asking why we’ve not beaten Chelsea consistently or will you declare knowledge of next season’s loss to them?

    “And more importantly, ask yourself why, as so called top four side, have we won nothing.”

    Pfft! Every dog has its day; rebuilidng the team, financial doping; injuries; team disharmony; etc etc. There will never be one answer to such a question, but multiple. Perhaps it’s unsatisfactory, but the past is the past. Look to the future, or is that too visionary, I don’t know, I’m guessing here.

  133. I am not sure what’s the use of the whole good fan vs doomer garbage that we constantly get caught up in this blog. People have different opinions about the same thing and that has been true since the beginning of professional sports. No one begrudges total optimism and absolute support no matter what happens on the pitch. Many of you really believe that your optimism and “strong support” will somehow positively influence the team. More power to you. However, If your goal is to help the team then I have never understood how promoting this in fighting between fans of the same team adds anything positive to the cause. Some of the negative stuff is over the top and deserves to be ignored but most is just fans with differing opinions. Oh well.

  134. Jesus. Long post o’clock again…

  135. We will win silverware this year, Russ. Starting with the Lea..Carling Cup. There will be more too. For now we have to take one game at a time as they say. The Mancs are behind us and next we play Stoke.

  136. I agree, it is pretty amazing that we can be in 2nd with unknown players and I think most people accepted this as part of the grander scheme of things with regards to the stadium. however the stadium excuse is over now. we all see the figures and reports and have the money to spend.

    we dont need to rely on unknowns any more. can can afford one or 2 certainties occasionally

  137. Bill, it’s cause we all love Yogi!

    Awwww, group hug!

  138. What a star you are, Gadget

  139. lol Gadget. Great post!

  140. Zimpaul,

    Been to any games yet?

  141. How many shots on target did we concede at Old Trafford, Russ? It is not our defence that was the problem.

  142. Agreed Geo.

    The funny this is over these years what we have is a bunch of players teenagers and players in their early 20’s that have kept up with the likes of players in their mid to late 20’s and 30’s but somehow it all goes unnoticed. To make it worse for the most part we have had injuries to quite a few of our best players.

    People say injuries are no excuse but the ironic thing is that United and Chelsea have struggled without top players.

    As has been said, we havent won in the last few seasons but that is not an indictment on the future and if you feel it is why support Arsenal?

    This team will be the team to beat in the near future!

  143. Very good, Gadget.

  144. Frank:

    Now I understand why everyone was so desperate for you to come back.

  145. Wonderful post gadget! I especially loved this paragraph.

    “However, I will agree, at this point, it’s not realistic of me to say, we’re gonna win the league, but only because it’s not realistic for me to say Man U, City, Chelsea, Tottenham, or any other club are gonna win the league, simply because I don’t know the future. However, it’s entirely realistic to say we have a chance to win the league, just like most teams still have a chance, no matter how slim, to win the league, but it just a matter of belief, and when it comes to the future do we not all gamble on the belief of things going as planned?”

    The horrible thing is before the United match most thought we could win the PL, being top of the table and all. Losing to United (3 points, just like WBA) means that all out the window. Talk about fickle! I wonder if these same people are having hot flashes?

  146. Bill, you are right–so much energy is wasted by some attacking or raving against others. In fact, you almost wonder if they prefer losing as an opportunity to demonstrate the purity of their faith and to enjoy attacking those who don’t make it to the same ideological standard. (Paul N, to keep people of faith like us out of it, let’s substitute the example of extreme communist left obsession with ideological purity for Henristic’s comparison). It is pretty unhelpful and just as unhealthy as those awful fans who use vile and abusive language about the squad and manager and never have anything good to say. Both groups seem to thrive on our losses. I don’t like either way of following, blogging about, and supporting our beloved team. It ought not to be a crime to raise analytical issues and question approach and policy. Neither is it proper to write off our team in the middle of the season as others do.

  147. Gadget, I meant it as high praise and mean it still!!

  148. Can we leave people from the extreme communist left out of it please. We had a Stalinist on here the other day… taken the 5 year plans too literally I think… mustn’t upset the Stalinists.

  149. A late reply to Gadget:
    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 our job as fans.

  150. Well said Bill, sometimes the comments section mirrors a deluded and downright paranoid religious cult.

    They’ve even invented their own demons. The evil ‘doomers’ or ‘glory seekers’. When in reality their just fans with different opinions

  151. Limstone, balance is always good. I believe that Arsene got some things wrong on Monday as I believe the players didnt fight hard enough. So I dont thing analyzing is wrong and should be accepted.

    Here is what I see though, when we win the same people who are the biggests critics dont comment nearly as much (for the most part). So on the contrary, I would say that these folks like us to lose so they can have a good moan and say I told you so. Why is it that a loss gets 4 times as many posts as a win?

    I havent seen anyone being abused today. I think the discussion has been respectful.

  152. Whats up Gunflash?

    The fact is that you commented about us not winning trophies in 5 years. Whats the focus of such a statement?

  153. LA, if the shoe fits, if the analogy works,… Who was the Stalinist on here–I missed that? I myself am more frightened by the capitalists, but that is beside the point.

  154. Gadget

    We have the same manager who has a very strong sense of self belief in his theories, many of the same players, similar tactics and no hint from anyone that we might try something different. How do not look at what has happened in the past and not think that is gives clues to what the most likely thing to happen in the future? That said, the law of averages and probability is becoming more and more in our favor so some real optimism can be gained from that.

  155. Paul, pretty obvious. We are not quite as good as we think we are

  156. Limpar, as we lost, I would say evidently one too many. You don’t always have to score to get something out of the game, but you do have to ensure that you don’t concede.

  157. Bill

    Could it possibly be that people comment positively on here because they are fed up with being harangued elsewhere for holding such views?

    YW

  158. As far as that analogy. It seems quite to often that people of faith have to be the ones used to make a point of blind faith, as if to say you are a moron for having faith. True people of faith maybe one track minded but they are not trying to hinder anyone esle from a good life.

  159. You missed my point Gunflash.

    you said ” They’ve even invented their own demons. The evil ‘doomers’ or ‘glory seekers’. When in reality their just fans with different opinions”

    Your focus in on the fact that we havent won in 5 years and not the good as a whole.

    So you negate all of the postives for one negative.

  160. Also, Chelsea, United and Barcelona have all had dry spells.

  161. Agree with you Yogi – But we need someone who is prepared to take the bull by the horns and fire the team up a bit. Apart from Van Persie (who is usually injured for much of the season) and TV (also injured) who is there?
    Intrigued about how many people have been banging on about how we are second in the table, but considering we have already lost 5 league games, this is due to our weakened opponents rather than anything else. Are we actually any better than last year?
    I think we have a genuine chance of Carling Cup glory this season so we should enjoy this.

  162. The biggest reason to believe that may be this time things will be different is the level of play at the top of the table has really dipped. I still think that this team has enough quality that if we can get 1 or 2 big trophies we can go on to win many many more. That first one is just proving to be very elusive.

  163. I’m not sure who it was, Limestone. I’ve forgotten. It may have been Henristic actually. Are you a Stalinist, Henristic?

    Bill – the team tries different things literally every single game.
    As Fred Truman would say, “Wasted on thee, lad! Wasted on thee!”

  164. If we are going to get on an esoteric conversation about life-views and personal beliefs and actions, one could say that a good moan is cathartic, that the ‘doomers’ are just dealing with grief in their way.
    Everyone has their own way to do it and with the sheer amount of fans and the amount of access to each other on the internet, they have access to find those of a like mindset.
    Some deal with grief in a “tomorrow is always a new day”, others go into a funk before coming out of it, some get angry, some cling to the past before something sparks them into joy again.
    It is just as … egotisitical (perhaps not the correct word, but close enough) … to say that others ways of dealing with their fanhood or emotions about their team is wrong.

  165. YW, there are a lot of Arsenal websites out there–vast numbers as you know, and plenty of places where you can express positive and supportive views of the team, Untold Arsenal, Goonerholic anyone? This is not some haven where the persecuted must congregate alone in all the blogosphere. That’s an excuse to perpetuate this doomer v. akb, AAA v. true Arsenal supporter dichotomy, a fake civil war in Arsenaldom. I think most fans are not in either of these supposed camps, that are pretty ill-defined to begin with.

  166. Agree Bill, Tony Adams said that wining the League Cup in 1987 was the spur the players needed to go onward and win many more honours. Lets hope this season is the same.

  167. “Weakened opponents” or a stronger league? Add to this the impact of the World Cup… the curtailed preparation of the top players from the top teams and you’re somewhere close…

  168. Isnt it 4 years without a trophy!! bloody hard to remember what with no one ever mentioning it.

  169. I think we need to start winning somewhere and I’m really glad Arsene is taking the domestic cups more seriously this season. Man U have won it a few times over the last few years and when they hadn’t won anything for three years Ferguson made sure they put a trophy on the table.
    I feel that winning the CC could be hugely beneficial for the squad

  170. TheBigM, I dont really understand the due to our weakened opponent arguement. Weakened due to injuries? How is it that these teams are so much weaker, what players and how many have they lossed to make it such?

    Arsenal are in a lose lose situation then. If we win it was because the top teams were weaker and if we lose it will be “they couldnt even win with weaker teams”.

    I dont see where we can go from there. Its as if we shouldnt say we are in second and we shouldnt enjoy that fact. All teams play the same teams, so no one has an andvantage. We can only play who is in the league, no?

    I dont buy that assessment. The PL has 4 teams in the Final 16 of the CL. Spurs and City are better as I believe the teams across the board are.

    So we have no chance of winning the PL?

    WOW! I am sorry but if comments like BigM’s cause division, I say let it divide. For that statment lacks hope from what I read.

    Yes we do need more vocal players, thats true.

  171. Limestone – I’m wearing your observation with pride dude, don’t you worry about!

    Shotta – beleive me, I’m not arguing for us to we should rough house opponents, we’d never finish the games if did! I just think we should attack the ball more. We carress the ball around the pitch which makes for a beautiful sight, but its very patient and sometimes too passive. There are times when we need to strong-arm that ball, put some laces through that shizz. We have the technique to make fantastic tackles that win the ball cleanly, similarly we have the technique to scream a ball into the back of the net, and I’m sure with a bit of focused aggression, we’d see this more.

    I should have simply said directness, except I don’t really think that captures my meaning.

    Word – I think you should write that post about the 3-5-2. The more I contemplate it the more I want to see it!

    Bill – Part of me agrees, but a larger part of me doesn’t. Arsene’s teams have changed drastically through the years. Could be an evolution, could be something else entirely, but there’s a deiference between the team Wenger inherited and the Invincibles, just like there’s a difference between the Invincbles and the current squad. That’s change right there.

    You may say Wenger hasn’t changed the style this team uses since it’s creation, but you’d be right and wrong – right in the sense that the playing philosophy of the team hasn’t change, but wrong because he’s been tweaking the team every season: the switch from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 to this liquid formation, the balance of the squad, our starting players, and probably a ton of other things I’m not good enough to pick up on. If he thinks there’s something desperately wrong, you can be sure he’ll make the change, mid-season, needed to rectify it. He did such when we had that 20+ game unbeaten streak during 2008/09.

    With that said, (and I say this with maximum respect) the latter part of your post becomes irrelevant, because it relys on no changes actually occurring from season to season.

  172. Limpar Assist – A bit of both, the top 2, Man U and Chelsea, are definitely weaker, due to smaller/older squads while other teams have improved (Man City, Spurs), but I don’t think the standard of the premiership has improved overall. In fact, the current success of the newly promoted teams demonstrates this.

  173. Sorry- the premiership has not improved

  174. The fact the the PL is closer can only be seen as the league being better across the board.

    The newly promoted sides could just be better than expected.

  175. “…a good moan is cathartic.” I suppose so. In the same way that a good shit might be cathartic.

  176. 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.

    Limestone,

    The programme is taught in English. I am applying regardless because of a scholarship opportunity. And that’s about it. The catalyuniya is decent, but cant make the comparison with the French school because the website is in French, strangely.

  177. Paul, as usual you couldn’t be more wrong. For instance off the field we couldn’t be in better shape. But on it we are going through a period of relative decline and AW doesn’t seem to have a clue how to arrest it. Don’t delude yourself

  178. Ateeb – Don’t know anything about the French Uni in question, but facilities in French Universities tend to be pretty poor and the student life pretty non-existant. I would go to Spain if I were you.

  179. Busch, I find myself in agreement with you. But I wish I weren’t.

    sigh.

  180. Sorry for reposting this, but it was caught in moderation earlier today and I wanted to share this issue and begin some discussion of these topics and how it affects Arsenal. What ought to be the strategy for the future?

    Some new work is starting to challenge or at least modify the new orthodoxy of soccernomics regarding the predictive quality of wages in league ranking to suggest there is a role for transfer funds. However these two articles show that there is some new thinking being done:

    http://transferpriceindex.com/2010/12/soccernomics-was-wrong-transfer-expenditures-matter/

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/soccer/12/13/paytoplay/index.html

  181. Decline, sure,we can see that this season cant we?

    Your last comment proves that all you care about is trophies.

    The only person is deluded is you by believing you are a good supporter because you have been supporting Arsenal for 33 years.

    I hope you dont rejoice when these team wins silverware.

    What disrespect and utter nonsene it is to say the most successful manager in club history doesnt have a clue.

    If Arsene did what you want we wouldnt be in good shape, we would win to the detriment of the team. Its why the team would be able to go forward and accomplish more. Its why we have the best set of youngsters most probably in world football.

    Man up!

  182. Cbob is wise. Also ZP and Ole and others are still on the other post because yesterday’s comes up on some browsers–some weird glitch.

  183. Its not (just) the lack of trophies but the lack of progress. We are no nearer to winning the Prem since Hleb and Flamini left. 2008 was the last real quality side that we have had.

  184. Forget that Gadget, its always better to be more postive about things. If you want to have a good old moan for days on end do that by yourself. Its selfish to want to bring down everyone else because you dont feel good.

  185. AIC, you cannot assess a season before it ends.

  186. BigM,

    Thanks for your advice. It’s really difficult to imagine that there isn’t much of a student life in France. Aren’t there any French regulars on this blog?

    As for Arsenal,

    Too much over analysis. OT. We play home against both the Chavs and the Manc. That would be a good test. And well I don’t know. I am telling you guys, just need to THRASH a few teams with a 4-6 goal margin and get a few of our players on the scoresheet. That will start a good fucking run. We can start with the Chavs. A 5 goal, spanking is due.

  187. West Brom and Newcastle are far, far better sides than Portsmouth and Hull. And Blackpool probably just about shade Burnley.

    Lots of money spent on attackers this summer. Odemwingie, Zigic… both scoring against the big teams… Gyan too… Varney… Premier League defenders can’t cope with Andy Carroll in the air… just like they couldn’t in the Championship.

    Mostly it’s about the top teams having to cope without their best players though – set back by a summer of World Cup football. RVP, Cesc, Lampard, Drogba, Rooney, Terry, Torres, Gerrard etc etc. Not a coincidence that those teams then struggle to beat allcomers. It’s a test of our squad and so far we’re not doing too badly at all – but you can’t underestimate the difference those players make.

  188. Limestone

    Next time you put words into my mouth, your comments will be moderated for reasons other than putting 2 links in a single post.

    I did not state this was the only haven, I merely pointed out that is was a place for positive views. If anyone holding views to the contrary can put together a cogent argument for them, you’ll find people willing to debate.

    YW

  189. Paul, self rightous, pseudo religous claptrap. Your beginning to sounds like the Commical Ali of Arsenal fans. For only those who agree with you can call themselves supports.

    Man up? You wouldn’t know how

  190. I agree with LimparAssist.And YW…..sir, excuse me, please, thanks

  191. Ateeb, you are a star

  192. Gunflash, Man up, you are a weak supporter.

  193. Man up what, Paul?

  194. “If anyone holding views to the contrary can put together a cogent argument for them, you’ll find people willing to debate.”

    Well said Yogi!

  195. Paul,

    I can assess the team over a period of time. Its not good enough. This season has so far just supported that view.

    I would love to be proved wrong and I still cling to some silly hope that we can do it but do I believe we can? No.

  196. Folks need to get behind the team, Frank and stop all of the unecessary moaning

  197. We know that you don’t believe that we can, AIC. You never miss an opportunity to tell us.

  198. Paul, Lol if you only knew. You are completely clueless.

    In future it might be an idea for you to save your posts to a text file. That way you’ll save loads of time when you repeat yourself.

    EIE

  199. I agree with you, Paul

  200. Doesn’t Alex Hleb play for Birmingham FC now?

  201. And your assessment is always negative AIC.

    You see, my problem is that inspite of the issues we are still in everything.

    I dont see how we can be so negative with these facts? I dont get it but I am thinking its just not personality. I have no issues with criticizing constructively but to believe that the season is done at this point? I cannot wrap my mind around such thinking.

  202. “Yes we do need more vocal players, thats true.”

    Ah, Paul N, some of us have been saying the same thing and repeating ourselves for two years now! 😉

    The above is a reference to last season’s poor Verminator sound card upgrade joke, I think it was my joke to be fair, so no surprises there.
    Made before ZonalMarkings’s post, I think.

    Yes, there never are any interesting threads on ACLF like the random example above.
    Just a constant background whinge:
    “Buy Schwarzer, because his name rhymes with Arnie?
    He can be a ‘keeper and a ‘ardman at the same time! Brilliant.
    You see, all the ‘keepers at Arsenal are rubbish. Ooops, maybe not.
    Djourou’s crap as well. Ooops. Maybe not…”

    Defend me from such rubbish.

  203. Delia---Block 112

    I said everything that needs to be said about the OT game yesterday. Pity we can’t be a bit more cheerful. Don’t forget there is still everything to play for, in all competitions. You should catch up with the “holics” they always have their glass half full !
    As always COYRs.

  204. ok Gunflash, dont want to argue. I am sure you are a nice guy but your comments lack anything constructive in MY view.

    I like repeating myself, thats what self righteouss people do.

  205. I agree with Samir Nasri.

  206. Whats up G4E?

    Hope you aree feeling a little better today?

  207. Ryan Shawcross is being given two minders by Stork on Satdee. Protect him from the Arsenal fans so they say. More like his Mum and his Auntie Mary to cuddle him when he feels like crying and hold his favourite blue fluffy bunny whilst he plays football against those nasty Arsenal footballers.

  208. With posts coming up on two different threads this is a bit like playing chess on two boards at once and I can barely manage on one.

    The time for blind faith is behind us. This team has been a long time in the building and the excuses are a bit old. We are not fools.

    The time for unquestioned support of this team is definitely not behind us. We are supporters.

    That to me is what debate on ACLF is about. Unquestioned support but not blind faith.

    Of course it’s about other things as well…

    Can you see the difference AIC?

  209. Who anoints these realists? Take monday night’s game, for example. The reality is that the margin of victory was slim. From this the realistic doomers conclude a bunch of things that are neither realistic or factual. They, in essence, stretch reality to suit their doomer agenda and are thus not realists but whiners of the worst kind. I mean, are you fucking dunces going to bitch about the defense? Really? A flukey goal gives you license to bitch about our defensive work and the defenders themselves? Get real you doomer cunts. You’re not realists. You’re negative pricks. The faster you come to that conclusion the faster you can call yourselves realists if you like.

  210. Mr Bob, I dont think many of us had blind faith, I think maybe we expected too much too soon. This season is far from over and I believe will be one where Arsene’s faith in this team will pay off.

    Yes our support must never waiver!

  211. YW:
    “Could it possibly be that people comment positively on here because they are fed up with being harangued elsewhere for holding such views?”

    I actually do not read the comments on any other web sites so I do not know if they are getting harangued for being positive. Even though the discussion has been relatively civil today I think that sometimes we get into the “whip up the troops to fight evil doomers” mode. It takes away from what ever interesting debate develops on the blog. Nothing at all wrong with being positvie or not being positive as long as you try to back it up with a reason for your opinion. Some of the negative stuff is clearly stupid and the best thing we can do is ignore. Remember Jon Jon. Lots of the crap that gets said at Le Grove comes under that category.

  212. I am glad that despite so much pessimism all around, and despite the fact that our most important players Rvp, Cesc, and TV have hardly touched the ball, we sit comfortably in second place. I missed another despite. Despite the fact that we’ve had a much tougher fixture list than our two main rivals, and we have a chance to THRASH them at home. So much gloom over second spot. Too much to look forward to for me. You guys can sulk, moan, and whinge all you want, the outcome wouldn’t change.

  213. You must be in your new job now Ateeb?

  214. You really are a star, Ateeb

  215. dont you feel slightly pathetic that you have had to come up with a word such as ‘doomers’ in order to demonise people who dont quite think we are as good as you do? it’s like you are all 14 or something and you are either in 1 gang or the other

  216. Hi Paul,

    Much better “Despite” being still pissed off.

  217. Oh fuck off, Jeffers

  218. Did anyone else enjoy Wilshire’s challenge on that loudmouth plank Evra and Song managing to get a cheeky stamp on his back or was that just me?
    I like the undercurrent of violence in some of the Arsenal team

  219. Eboue is our leader

    We will beat Stoke and all that happened on monday will be forgotten.And thats the big problem as it has after the previous defeats this season.No lessons have been learned.We need to make changes NOW
    Szczesny must start no bringing back Fabianski,Gibbs (if fit) must start, Djourou must start,Walcott must start and Bendtner must start.And given a long run in the side.What we lacked and it was so obvious at OT was Pace.I’m fed up with Wenger keep picking his Favourites.Players should be picked on form not reputation,im talking about you Arshavin(just plain lazy) and Clichy(has been poor)

  220. Ateeb:

    “You guys can sulk, moan, and whinge all you want, the outcome wouldn’t change.”

    Agree with Frank, you are a star.

  221. Arsene Wenger labelled Shawcross challenge against Ramsey ‘horrendous’. Stoke will give Shawcross minders this weekend.

    Jeffers is labelled a ‘doomer’. It is feared he will never recover from this serious emotional distress. However his calls for extra security were ignored.

  222. Doomer is just an easy label for a particular type of cunt.

  223. YW, sorry you took great umbrage at my comment. I recognize you weren’t saying ACLF is the only place for these views. I don’t see it as somehow putting words in your mouth but misinterpreting the emphasis of your comment unfairly. You could simply point this out like everyone does when they feel their argument has been unfairly represented, but it is your blog to do as you like. I stand corrected. One could say you missed Bill’s point as much as I missed yours, however. In fact, I would say my larger point that there isn’t really a polarized community of fans except in the venues where this dichotomous view gets expressed has been unfortunately lost.

    I can only assume that your threat to put me in moderation is argument by example? Exemplifying for dramatic effect the intolerance on other blogs that true believer ACLFers have sadly experienced and that you are rightly decrying?!?! If so, I take the point. I am certainly glad of this forum and the high quality of discussion. Otherwise, it illustrates my point that debate is not as open as it ought to be among Arsenal supporters. We should be healing the rift not widening it, to my mind.

  224. Who was talking about the clap the other day? Was it you, YW?

    Take a look at Liverpool’s opponents tonight. FC Urinary Tract, or U-trecht, as they are known. Reminds me of a tale Erroll Flynn used to recount… about a Gonorrhea ward he spent some time in… in Papa New Guinea I think. In the days when medical science thought it prudent to force saltpeter up the offending orifice and subsequent pipeline. Screams of agony punctuated every corner… and the treatment lasted weeks if not months. Some went mad.

    So… puts it all in perpective really when you think about that, doesn’t it? It could be much, much worse.

    I mean imagine being a Liverpool fan….

  225. well if it interests anyone, Gibbs and Diaby are back in training.

  226. Isn’t this business of Shawcross receiving extra security protection just a stunt by Pulis and Stoke to whine and play the victims again? After he breaks Ramsey’s leg, they ran an aggressive campaign to make it out to look like he was being persecuted. It is the same logic Pulis used earlier about not getting any calls this season and when he joined in with the Fat Sam brigade in the earlier media contretemps this season about tackling etc… against our manager. (Fat Sam btw must have heard that Benitez is about to get sacked and is expecting to get a call to take over any minute at the World Club Cup competition).

    If anything, everyone else needs protection from Shawcross–he ought to be banned from the pitch until he learns to tackle and has repented for his crimes against more talented players and against football itself. This is truly a farce.

    Can anyone say there are better supporters than Arsenal’s? Look at the outpouring of support for Ramsey–that is what has frightened them.

  227. Reminds me, LA, of the previous Liverpool CL group a couple years ago that had them matched up against Unirea or something like that from Romania? Debrecin? There were some colorful names that sounded like diseases and the medicines used to cure them!

  228. G69 @ 5:49:

    Myself I do not think our defending on Monday was bad. The goal we conceded was rather lucky and overall we played much better especially marking Rooney and stopping counter attacks. It is a concern that some how we always seem to concede at least 1 goal no matter how well we play the rest of the game. Not sure I understand why that happens, but we will always struggle in games like that if we can not keep clean sheets.

    Bigger concern then just yesterdays game is how the dynamic of these games has been dictated by our defensive struggles over the last couple years. In Wenger’s statement he said at least twice and may be 3 times what a great job of defending United did. They sit back with 10 men behind the ball and make it very difficult for us to break them down and they wait for the almost inevitable goal or 2 they will somehow score. If that seems unreasonable then please explain how you see it differently.

  229. point taken, i am a doomer, i am a cunt so i should fuck off.
    see you at the stoke game.

  230. Eboue is our leader

    YW
    If anyone posts a non positive view they are called a doomer or even worse.But what is worse than the madness being posted on the day of the Man U game.3 AND 4 NIL victories were being predicted.That Man U were shit!!.then after the game every excuse in the book comes out.I am all for positive posts and i am a big Wenger fan but totally blinkered “we are brilliant and we will win the quadruple” shit and we dont have any bad players is just silly.
    What is wrong with some realism.Lets admit when Arsene fucks up.

  231. “What is wrong with some realism. Lets admit when Arsene fucks up.”

    And what will that prove to anyone. What is the point of going over and over the same boring nonsense when none of us can do anything about it. If people do not like what is happening at Arsenal they can try to bring about change by not buying tickets. Don’t see that happening any time soon though.

    As Consolsbob posted earlier, there may be something missing from this squad, but we have no way to change it. Moaning day after day on a blog does not help.

  232. Bradys right foot

    Jeffers “dont you feel slightly pathetic that you have had to come up with a word such as ‘doomers’ in order to demonise people who dont quite think we are as good as you do? it’s like you are all 14 or something and you are either in 1 gang or the other”.

    You either support this team or you don’t, qualified criticism is to be encouraged but the “doomers” simply hate the manager. Arsenal fans are spoilt we have no devine right to win anything or qualify for the champions league every year. What Wenger has done is a miracle no other manager in world football could or would have had the vision for us to move to a new ground and keep us competitive and spent nothing while other teams spent truly sickening sums of money. The hatred for a man who has done in the modern era what Herbert Chapman did for the club in the 20s and 30s imho is a complete and utter effing disgrace. The man is an absolute Arsenal legend and we are lucky to have him. This hatred of Wenger punctuates every syllable the “doomers” utter on Arsenal because it is “his” team. I challenged the grovers to man up and take to the Holloway road with a Wenger out march, was it published was it *uck. They don’t have the stones never mind the justification. We are light years ahead of any other club in the country in every respect apart from were it counts just at the moment but thats going to take care of itself. When that success comes the doomers wont really deep down enjoy it.

  233. jeffers Knows.

  234. god frank is tiresome. I though he did the right thing a few months ago and gave up when everyone gre bored of his bigoted comments?

  235. Sooner read Frank’s comments than yours Tim so not everyone was bored with him.

  236. Lose 1-0 to Manure at Old Trashford and the enemies of Arsene Wenger come rushing from their dark holes like cockroaches trying to doom a team that is currently 2nd in the league and a chance of winning three other competitions. Sure, offensively, we were not as vibrant and expansive as we know this team can be but the notion that we were comprehensively outplayed and somehow a defensive embarrassment is the deranged rambling of a doomer who simply feeds on the dumb shit served up by the football media. I am amazed that Arsenal supporters believe that we can invade Old Trashford and easily defeat the darling of English football, be allowed to humiliate the most powerful and most-favored football club in Britain in defiance of the crooked, biased referees and the general football establishment. Even then, Slur Alex refused to play football, flooding his midfield with rugged yeomen and leaving on the bench, arguably his best technician, the £30 million Berbaflop and having to resort to doctoring the pitch, making it difficult for passers and in favor of a tactic of aerial ball.

    Yet our supporters refuse to give credit to our players for playing ManUre to a stalemate. No wonder we have such terrible fans both online and at the Emirates.

    Thanks Paul N, Frank, Gadget, Limpar, Geo, dups, G4E, BRF, Finsbury, Cbob, Ateeb, and last but not least YW for defying these retards. ACLF remains a zone of sanity in a sea of fickle, emotive fans. You were all stars today.

  237. I agree with that dude above me. What other team in EPL can go to Mold Slafford and pin back the whole man u team except for that shrek looking guy who takes embarrasing pelantys. I think the man u back line was one step ahead of us in reading our final ball. Vidic and Ferndidnadn (how was the ninja kick not a foul?) were always sticking a foot out and blocking our passes. We still are ranked higher than 18 other teams in the league. Probably one of the top rated teams in Europe. We are also accomplishing this with a 23 year old Nasri, 23 or something year old Song, Wilshere, 22-ish Walcott, hopefully you get the point. (look at the good things in life)

  238. Success is not final and failure is not fatal, so said a famous leader. Over the Wenger years, one would have to be blind or deluded to say that Arsenal has not been successful. Of course it is frustrating to keep seeing the “Work In Progress” sign. However, I’m confident that Wenger and the team will deliver.

  239. AIC, you are a cheap guy, with cheap views, and you take cheap shots.
    Here’s a poem for you AIC. Enjoy.

    In the dark pit of ‘night lit
    By the leaping loins of flame
    The players glisten and gyrate
    Blazing and untamed.

    Red strip as bare as hands on drums
    The beating feet thunder.
    An open arch of stars may throw sparks
    Upon the worshippers down under.

    Blood cries from the fiery throat
    In notes unwritten and animal
    As the risen moon looks on
    The pagan circle’s ritual.

    Bodies shudder, writhing eyes
    And sweat on limbs reflecting
    The fusion of the earth and fire
    And the passion they’re projecting.

    With bent backs and shaking buttocks
    The final scream erupts
    And a knife of silence cuts the night
    When heartbeats stop abrupt.

    This edge of reason has expired
    Fearless in its outcome
    As the last embrace of ecstasy
    Broke the breathless rhythm.

  240. @Luke
    I think you misunderstand most of the doomers. it is only tropies that count in football. How you get there does not matter. They all want to have an arab sheik or a russian oli oligarch as owners so we can indulge in 250£ a week players that will winn us trophies.
    A bought team you say. everything is bought nowadays. boobies, musckles, women, sex, humn organs, why not footy?

  241. In America you can Marry a Horse.

  242. David Beckham already has James.

  243. Footy? What a horrible word that is.

  244. You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink, even as your … um, wife? husband? companion?

  245. zp. beautiful poetry. you do realize though that it took the bleatings of a so called doomer to evoke it. i think the point is clear.

  246. Have not read any of the comment since the game, but here are my thoughts.

    We are a good team, a very good team. It is just that at the moment we are not quite as effective as Manure. Player for player, I think we have more quality, but they are the better team. I think the same applies to Chelsea as well.

    That said, it was a tight game and although a draw would have not been unfair, we cannot argue with the result. We did n’t really trouble Van der Sar.

    There was positives in the game though. In the past Manure have crucified us with coutner attacks; the team seemed to have took this on board, and broke up play wll once we had lost the ball. That was good to see. Also Tech9 really does look a quality goalkeeper. His distribution was not the best, but he has a precence about him in goal, and that counts for a lot. Dare I say it, but his stop from Anderson reminded me of the stops that Schmeciael used to make.

  247. and, meant to say last night but it kinda slipped by. someone was talking about einstein. ( sorry cant remember who and too lazy to look ) now the thing is with enstein is that he was a twat. yep. no 1 – he didn’t play for arsenal, no 2 er….. and no 3 – did anybody ever read j. bell and thought experiments. no. well dont. its flawed, over long, predictable and dull.
    bit like arsenal nowadays – not the dull bit obviously.
    quantum mechanics – now there is a thing of beauty. bit like arsenal used to be.

  248. Good Grief Zimpaul, did Conrad get his ideas from you?

  249. Good shout CBob, close.
    I find the idea of football as a pagan ritual (a return to source, of sorts) intriguing. Many of the endearing symbols of football are just that, the open stadium, the strip, the centre circle, the rhythm, the embrace, the ‘moment’, the inner silence at the edge of reason are just that.

  250. good shout zp. though i think ur mixed up with xmas.
    anyway, its getting dark over here and ive got aplane to catch. i’ll do a shirt count in the land of the rising sun. bye y’all.

  251. In any event AIC asked, again, if had been to any football matches (I presume Arsenal) recently and I am simply responding to the idiocy of the question.

  252. I am resigned to the fact that we wont win anything under Le Moaner,who is turning our club to a laughing stock.

  253. No need to bother with that ZP. We have had the debate about what makes a supporter on here many, many times. in any case It seems to be only very recently that we have had any claims from AIC to actually attend TNHOF, in fact he used to boast that he didn’t but watched in the pub.

    Interesting analogy with football and paganism. If we come forward slightly in the history of ‘civilisation’ I’ve always found the parellels between the gladiator arena and cricket compelling.

  254. Past 5 years (2005-2010):

    Premier League:
    ManUtd – 2, 1, 1, 1, 2 = 7 = Avg. Position of 1.4
    Chelsea – 1, 2, 2, 3, 1 = 9 = Avg. Position of 1.8
    Liverpool – 3, 3, 4, 2, 7 = 19 = Avg. Position of 3.8
    Arsenal – 4,4,3,4,3 = 18 = Avg. Position of 3.6
    Analysis: Over the past 5 years, United and Chelsea have almost exclusively taken the top two positions, and we have not featured even once. This does indeed suggest a decline from the previous 9 years, when we were consistently in the top two.

    Champions League: (The average position of round eliminated in is taken, Eg. Getting eliminated in the Round of 16 results in a position of 12.5)
    Man Utd. – 20.5, 3.5, 1, 2, 6.5 = 33.5 = Avg. Position of 6.7
    Chelsea – 12.5, 3.5, 2, 3.5, 12.5 = 34 = Avg. Position of 6.8
    Liverpool – 12.5, 2, 3.5, 6.5, 20.5 = 45 = Avg. Position of 9
    Arsenal – 2, 12.5, 6.5, 3.5, 6.5 = 31 = Avg. Position of 6.2
    Analysis: Although we have never won the CL, recent form suggests that we are certainly a dominant team in Europe, achiever an amazing consistency of performance, bar the loss to PSV. This also goes some distance to support the theory that if one only looks at trophies, the picture can get a little distorted as we actually have the best average performance amongst English teams in the CL.

    FA Cup:
    Man Utd. – 12.5, 2, 6.5, 3.5, 48.5 = 73 = Avg. Position of 14.6
    Chelsea – 3.5, 1, 6.5, 1, 1 = 13 = Avg. Position of 2.6
    Liverpool – 1, 48.5, 12.5, 24.5, 48.5 = 135 = Avg. Position of 27
    Arsenal – 24.5, 12.5, 12.5, 3.5, 24.5 = 77.5 = Avg. Position of 15.5

    Analysis: Although the ‘Big 4’ should dominate a domestic competition, the nature of a knock-out creates a random effect which causes all of them, bar Chelsea, to perform significantly worse, possibly due to upsets, or under-fielding of the best team. Either way, Arsenal has a poor record, but one that is still significantly better than Liverpool’s and about level with Man Utd.

    Clearly, each tournament does not have the same value. Given that the Premier League runs all year around, and has no knock-out effect, I shall assign it a value of 5, which means each score will be multiplied by 5. I assign a value of 4 to the CL, as although it is a knockout competition, the knock-out stages have two legs, and teams generally put out their best sides. I assign a value of 1 to the FA Cup, as it is not only completely knock-out, teams also don’t tend to take it as seriously, and put out weaker sides.

    This gives us:
    Man Utd. – (7*5 + 33.5*4 + 73)/5 = 48.4
    Chelsea – (9*5 + 34*4 + 13)/5 = 38.8
    Liverpool – (19*5 + 45*4 + 135)/5 = 82
    Arsenal – (18*5 + 31*4 + 77.5)/5 = 58.3

    Hence, the best performing teams over the past 5 years are all fairly close, with us in third place. Liverpool, on the other hand, are significantly worse off.

    Initial Conclusion: We don’t deserve the barracking we get for not having won a trophy for 5 years, Liverpool does far worse overall, and we are also very consistent performers.

    Can anyone suggest any other changes I can make to this (adding Carling Cup, making the knock-out competitions a median-based score, etc.)?

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