Farcial Defending Hands Birmingham Carling Cup

Carling Cup Final

Arsenal 1 – 2 Birmingham City

0 – 1 Zigic (28)
1 – 1 van Persie (38)
1 – 2 Martins (89)

I remember the numbness of defeat. I remember that it took many hours for the gut-wrenching feeling to pass. I remember the despair that accompanied an Arsenal defender making a calamitous error. I remember the opposition goalkeeper being Man of the Match. I remember a defensive error handing the trophy to an opponent. In the last minute.

I remember the pain of 1988 for I relived it in 2011.

When a team enters the final of any competition as an overwhelming favourite, there is a burden which accompanies that recognition of talent. It is demanded that the talent be on show, be proven; that the talent be matched by attitude.

Arsenal lacked the ‘killer’ aspect of the latter, dominant as ever in possession, twelve attempts on target with one goal justifying the decision to give Ben Foster the match accolade. Birmingham scored twice from half as many on target efforts. The record books will not record who deserved to win. Those same books will not record that A Comedy of Errors led to a tragedy that even The Bard would have shied away from.

All they will record is that in 2011, Birmingham City beat Arsenal 2  – 1 in the final of the Carling Cup. And whatever you may feel about that outcome, congratulations go to them for that.

For Arsenal, it is a case of wounded and battered pride being picked up from the floor and returning to winning ways on Wednesday night. Leave the anguish and navel gazing to us, the supporters. Concentrate on learning the lessons of defeat and applying them to the rest of the season. Never forget the pain or the tears so that when another final is reached, these are emotions never repeated.

There is nothing else to be done.

The journey from Marylebone to Wembley mirrored the football match taking place. One side of the tracks, row upon row of terraced houses, covered in Dickensian grime. The other had newer build, shoots of a brighter new future which through errors of design stuttered to prove that this is the way forward. In miserable and grim weather, the older, more industrial ways still win.

And emerging from these architectural clashes is the ‘new’ Wembley. Improved on the old structurally, devoid of soul within, lifeless and lank without, empty advertising hoardings shepherding the inhabitants to their seats. Even with the new, the darker, more basic pierces the surface if left unhindered.

Arsenal and Birmingham took to the pitch, Gael Clichy brought a false dawn to the proceedings by instantly and aggressively beating the towering Zigic to a header following a predictable start by the West Midlanders. They came out of the blocks quicker, barely a minute on the clock when Bowyer was upended by Szczesny, the penalty ruled out by an apparent incorrect offside flag. van Persie responded, crashing an outrageous effort over the bar and wide of the goal.

Arshavin went closer, should perhaps have done more. Samir Nasri was becoming more influential in proceedings. Darting in from the right he fed the Russian with a perfectly weighted pass, Foster advanced quickly, snuffing out the chance with his legs.

The state of play was set; Birmingham lay deep, repelling Arsenal with short passes before the inevitable hoisted pass. The Londoners were passing across the pitch and backwards, retaining possession before probing in the final third. Before thirty minutes had passed, the game plan changed.

Arsenal surrendered a cheap corner which had an expensive price tag. As at The Emirates earlier this season it was Nicola Zigic who broke the deadlock, this time beating Szczesny to the ball and flicking it between the goalkeeper’s flailing arms into the net. van Persie responded immediately, almost silencing those bedecked in blue with a header that marginally cleared the angle of bar and post.

The game had sprung to life. Szczesny denied Zigic when it seemed a quickfire second might bite Arsenal; Djourou quickly closed the Birmingham forward down as he advanced in dangerous positions as Arsenal regrouped and regathered their poise.

As the interval approached, Jack Wilshere strode through the midfield, his thunderous strike matched the weather and left the crossbar reverberating as Arshavin squirmed through the defence to cross for van Persie, the Dutchman equalising with a stunning volley into the corner of the net. Parity at a high price as the Arsenal captain suffered a blow to his knee, an injury that impaired his mobility for the remaining thirty minutes that he was on the pitch.

Arsenal became the dominant side with the goal, Birmingham pegged back into their half for long spells, bodies behind the ball in well-organised defence. Yet they did not stop the chances, Nasri and Rosicky going close as Foster and wayward shooting kept the scoreline level.

And hints of complacency surfaced in the Arsenal defence, Djourou and Koscielny contrived to cede possession, Fahey’s snapshot rattled the inside of the post and rebounded to safety. Arsenal had been warned.

Bendtner and Chamakh replaced van Persie and Arshavin, injury and fatigue catching up with latter duo. Bendtner brought another good save from Foster, Nasri stung his palms before denying Rosicky and the mercurial Frenchman once more. Foster was intent on a winner’s medal in three consecutive seasons, his aim achieved in circumstances he would not have envisaged as his long free-kick toward the head of Zigic.

Arsène said post-match that ‘making mistakes is not positive‘; Szczesny seemed to take responsibility for the situation at a late stage, Koscielny pulled out of a clearance, the ball rebounding off the Pole to a stunned, grateful and unmarked Obefami Martins. The Carling Cup was duly delivered to the West Midlands.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 28, 2011, in Arsenal, Carling Cup, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 264 Comments.

  1. It was gut wrenching to say the least. The team has to pick themselves up from this and move on, so should the supporters. There is still a lot to play for and the team needs out support. Whatever it may be, We are the Arsenal. Sometimes pain could be the motivating factor.

    C’mon you gunners.

  2. why didnt nasri pass to bendtner in acres of space when birmingham were strechted instead of shooting, i Know what fabregas would have done, nasri might be skillful on the ball but cant match fabregas for vision.

  3. No prize for being first, no reason to be joyful and much less after the loss…

  4. Gutted.

    Birmingham had a gameplan to play their one strength to our greatest perceived weakness. That we seemed to be surprised by this and not deal with the long ball by pressuring their defenders when we didn’t have the ball was suicide.

    We seem arrogant without the ball when playing against lesser teams. We were either outthought or outfought, neither of which is acceptable in a final

    Individual errors happen and can’t be legislated against, but the general play yesterday was what repressed me most yesterday

  5. Depressed, rather than repressed!

  6. out done, out thought, out witted, outed.

    we were a big bag of nervs throughout. Should be winning these games. we beat ourselves.

  7. Thank you for that, Dukegoonem

  8. I’m depressed most because by the time the mistake was made that gifted Birmingham their winning goal we were in almost total control. The ball that fell between Koscielny and the goalie (I can’t spell his name) presented no danger. Birmingham were exhausted and we would have scored in extra time. I just hope the supporters get behind the team, especially the two who gave away the goal, on Wednesday night.
    We have two really big games coming up. Let’s knock Barca and Man U out of the other two cup competitions that we’re still in.

  9. The pundits are always wrong, so I suspect we’ll win the trophies no-one expects us to win, and miss out on the ones they claim are done and dusted.

    It’s the Arsenal way!

  10. Maybe we should concede the cup competitions and concentrate on the league! Even if we get to a final I wouldn’t be confident of winning after this performance. Where are our leaders? Where are the players capable of rolling up their sleeves and motivating the team with hard graft? It shouldn’t all be left on young Jack’s shoulder’s surely? The so called big game players didn’t show up and the performance fell embarrassingly short. We can’t lay it all at the feet of a young keeper (but we certainly need an experienced stopper).

  11. ok that first line was harsh but im still in a harsh mood, the wife is giving me the silent treatment for my moody antics last night.

  12. A relief to read your balanced report as always, Yogi.

    This defeat did not, contrary to press reports and Jerome, indicate that our back three are weak. Admitting some bias, I thought Johan had a solid game – the first goal was well executed and the marking may have been imperfect but the guy is 6′ 7″ and will sometimes win those balls – also wouldnt blame Chezzer for that or the disastrous second – maybe Kozzer was confused about who was going for it, but it was virtually in Chezzer’s hands when he intervened and would undoubtedly have been cleanly taken but for his intervention. Kozzer has improved enormously but does still have a tendency to make these mistakes, most of which have gone unpunished recently with interventions from Johan or Chezzer. Until TV comes back however this is comfortably our best back three, and they still have an excellent record as a unit.

    Elsewhere, Rosicky sadly proved again he is past his sell by date – and I hope that we are resisting Cardiff’s attempts to hang onto Aaron who should play on Wednesday.

    The treble is still on – onwards and upwards!

  13. I have never known so many nervous gooners before a big game, it’s like we all knew we were gunner come up mentally short, thats what did us in the end our mentality, now im sure i have said that before. thats why it was so important to win a cup because boy do they need toughning up mentally.

  14. This team is strong mentally, however to be under constant pressure from the fans and being told you have not won in x amount of years, I am sure can have a negative impact.

  15. Guys! Why so despondent? We finished second in the Carling, we lie second in the EPL, and we are looking to reach the last 8 in both the Champions League and the FAC. What is there to be despondent about? Most of the EPL envy the position we are in. Sure, we are weary and have injuries, but that’s the price of success. The future still looks bright, however, so lets enjoy it.

  16. We live to fight another day. For some reason we seemed edgy and less composed at the back and the anxiety and stage fright waa palpable for some players. Positives are that we pummelled the brum goal save for foster playing the game of his life and at this late stage of the game it was hard to see where the birmingham goal would come from. But we must rightly congratulate them for taking their chances. Losing is no consolation but with 3 more trophies to fight for theres everything to play for. Shit happens. Onto the next game. Over to you boys.

  17. It is so often difficult to keep perspective after the cold, sudden, reality of defeat in our best opportunity to win a tropy in 5 years.

    However, let’s not over react. We can take some positives out of it. I thought Wilshire was excellent and by and large the team were in control but for a stubborn and resiliant Birmingham team we could have added to our goals. I do not think we should understimate how much Birmingham put into the game. Mistakes do happen and Kos and Chez are going to be devastated. We need to support them and not scapegoat the players. Had the mistake occurred in the first few minutes of the game, I am sure the outcome would have been different but with so little time to react and respond -it was unfortunate.

    I don’t believe this is the last trophy that his team will fight for this season and so we should not let a set back overshadow what there remains to fight for.

    I think my greatest disappointment was not just the fact that we lost the game but that our supporters were quiet for most of the game. I watched it on the BBC and for most of the match I could only here the Brum supporters. We need our fans to really support the team. If they can’t sing their hearts out in a final -when can they? I might be wrong though as it wouldn’t surprise me if it was just the way it was shown on TV.

  18. Even the best goalkeepers have their Grobbelaar moments. No reason to slaughter him. Same for defenders. Last night loss does not prove that they are not up to the task, or that they are bad goalkeeper & defender.

    As supporters, no reason for us not to be be forgiving and not to be forward looking at the challenges that remain of this season. Let’s get behind the team for the next game. ManUre is poised to drop points against Chelski and Liverpool. I’m sure of it.

  19. Apologies for all those typos. Rushed, as usual.

  20. Some great positive comments on here this morning, fair play to you. I am absolutely gutted. It left a very sad but familiar feeling in my stomach. I feel so sorry for Kos and Chez, but I suppose this is the kind of thing that all young defenders/goalies need to go through to become the best. This year though, we have looked very dangerous after a defeat like this, and other teams should be running scared. We’ve got an even bigger point to prove now. Let’s turn that into a positive.

    One thing though – a friend of a friend who’s a gooner came round last night. The first thing he said was “we can’t win anything. Bottlers. Koscielny’s crap and why didn’t Wenger buy a CB and GK in Jan?”. I was so fucking pissed off, put him in his place and he left straight away. But many Arsenal ‘fans’ are going to be saying this now, not people on here luckily but generally, they will. The boys need to turn this into an even bigger reason to prove everyone wrong. Please, please Arsenal, prove me right!

  21. Luke, rather than lay blame, this is the time for us to really get behind the team. There is more to be positive about.

    We all know if a one off anything can happen, I will never forget when West Ham beat us in the FA Cup. Crap like this happens.

    Onto Wednesday!

    I have a funny feeling about this season!

  22. Fuck it.

    Fuck em all.

    This team will many trophies and medals.

    Bigger and better games, bigger and better competitions.

  23. Geo, the same people who said Kos had Messi in his pocket! why bother with what they will say? their vies change like the weather. I dont give a damn.

  24. Spot on, Paul N

  25. Ever heard the story of the monkey who gave his all to get the banana. After all his efforts failed he signed that it probably wasn’t ripe anyway!

  26. Richard Cooke (The Grumpy Old Git)

    Birmingham City fan in peace. We paid for this years’ pleasure with the gut-wrenching pain of losing to Liverpool on penalties ten years ago, when the 2 teams were even further apart than yesterday, Liverpool an established Premiership team and us in the Championship. Take it from me, we are far more used to bitter defeat than the sweet smell of success. As a football contest it was great entertainment from both teams, something that you’d like to expect after paying a huge sum for a ticket but rarely seen at a cup final.
    I envy Arsenal supporters, you have a team and a stadium that must be a joy to experience on a regular basis, whereas I see mediocrity on the pitch at a ground that is only three-quarters finished, however, being born so close to St.Andrew’s I can’t imagine following any other team.
    There’s no doubt The Gunners will continue to enjoy success this season and I would like to wish you good luck for the 3 football competitions in which you remain.

  27. That could only happen to Arsenal. Incredible when you think about it.

    I honestly believe that was the only way we could lose that game. An extremely fortuitous goal, an extremely implausible goal.

    You really couldn’t make it up. Even after the ball came off Szczesny, it dropped almost perfectly for Martins.

    And it had to happen in the last minute of regulation time!

    Comical, only that we’re not laughing.

  28. Thanks Richard Cooke

  29. Baggins, I agree 100% I could not believe the lack of noise coming from our supporters. This was a final and we were totally out-sung. We needed a noise like that against Barca but instead the old ‘Library’ quotes are drifting back in. It pisses me off that I cant get a ticket whilst these ‘fans’ get to go every week and sit in silence with the only noises coming from their mouths are groans at our own players.

    Thats when they can be bothered to turn up, the amount of empty seats in the stadium recently is appalling.

  30. The biggest danger in this match was the degree of hype that had built up about it ‘being the making, and by implication, or the breaking of this Arsenal side.’

    Far too many people, some of them otherwise sensible, allowed this match in their minds to assume far too much importance.

    Yes, of course we wanted to win it and it’s always better to win a final than lose it.

    The thing is it was a Final. History tells us that they are always a lottery in terms of who wins them. My first Final was the 3-1 defeat to Swindon in the same competition in 1968. Arsenal hadn’t been near any Final previously since the mid 1950’s. Since then I’ve seen us beaten in Finals by Ipswich and West Ham.

    We were expected to win all those games but losing them didn’t make those Arsenal teams weaker. In every case the team became stronger and went on to achieve great success. The point being that one defeat in a Final does not mean that this side will never win. Conversely, winning it would not have meant that we would have gone on and win the premiership or CL this season. Football just isn’t like that.

    On the day Birmingham won fair and square. We lost.

    If we had all kept a little more perspective in the first place, we wouldn’t be wringing our hands today about this team’s future. We would be upset about a defeat but I get the feeling that, for far too many people, a ridiculous amount of emotional baggage has been heaped upon it.

    We all know that the Carling Cup is the least of the competitions to win. We all know that any horse can win a two horse race. To read a lot of the stuff around this morning is to realise that this basic common sense has been trampled under the hyperbole of deranged expectation.


  31. Didn’t think we performed that well yesterday and we have a habit of contriving to lose games with defensive errors.
    We have to remember though that Kos and Sczeny are still very inexperienced, Kos was plucked from the French second division for god’s sake, he is not going to become a brilliant centre back overnight.

  32. This is 1969 revisited …Ian Ure ran the ball into Bob Wilson & our greatest cup disaster ever began against 3rd division Swindon..The difference was we hadnt won anything for 16 years then…however the double followed 2 years later…KEEP THE FAITH GOONERS

  33. Congratulations Richard.

    I haven’t got much time for your club in it’s current incarnation and none at all for your horrible manager but you fans, born to your support, aren’t to blame for that.

    I hope you enjoyed your day in the sun yesterday. Winning’s lovely isn’t it?

    Thanks for your comment. Appreciated

  34. Agree with Consolsbob that perspective has been badly distorted. We should be disappointed, like the team, but not feel despondent. As le Boss has rightly articulated, we don’t throw away 38 games because we have lost 1 game. The next game is the most important game, and nothing else should matter.

  35. C-Bob,

    You’ve just nailed what I’ve been trying to say. It’s a final. It can go both ways. It really can. It’s one game, not even a 2-legged tie.

    Everyone declared Arsenal was going to win it. They declared it was going to be the making of Arsenal. Which made no sense because you’ve only made it when you actually do.

    We got into the spirit of a final in February, making it up to me some kind of season climax. IT’S NOT, COULDN’T BE. SHOULDN’T BE.

    It’s just the Carling Cup. We were the only Top 10 club still in the competition. The other teams that were eliminated earlier are not facing meltdown because they didn’t make the final.

    We’re still in with a good chance in the league as well as the cup. We still have a chance even in the Champions League

  36. thanks Richard. I was really bummed at first, but know im hoping when one door closes another one opens. Like the league title? who knows. I hate finals. What are we going to do without THEO Vanasrigas?
    Comon Arsenal we can do it!

  37. I cannot place any importance on this CUP at Wembley. Yes they should have won but we all know our Arsenal. If you can lose a 4-0 lead to tie 4-4 and be lucky not to end up losing 4-5 you can lose anything! How many Premier League points do you think this Carling Cup is worth? None. Give me 3 points every time in the Premier League.
    Usually I am gutted but not last night. For me it was a waste of time. Pointless. Like the team. Nasri on the left with Rosicky trying to orchestrate the middle in front of the champion Wilshire who along with Nasri was the only spark in the side. I don’t think so. Arshavin to depend on? Chamakh to depend on? Bendtner on the wing? The only players missing from the fanfare were Denilson, Doobie, and Eboue.
    We were lucky not to be down ten men in the opening minutes of the match. Maybe it should have that way. It is sometimes the only way Arsenal can get it into 5th gear.
    Drawing in the Premier League is worse than this defeat.
    If the players feel ashamed then they can go out and beat Manure in the FA Cup and Barcelona in the CL and return to the scene of the crime, Wembley, and do themselves some justice.

  38. Watching Wilshere yesterday it dawned on me that the fella isn’t an Englishman. The stork was actually carrying the fellow to South America, probably Argentina or Brazil, when it got tired and decided to drop stop in England. That shot off the cross bar was made in heaven!

  39. Still reeling.Hope we can get something out of this season.All is not lost.But the boys need to know yesterday now belongs to the past.There is still a lot to fight for.We the fans needs to be solidly behind them.I still believe in this team!

  40. I think your point about a pseudo climax in January is a good one Ole.

    A point could equally as well have been made previously that to win the thing might have made our players complacent as they would have ‘made it’.

  41. Anyone watched the post match with Wenger on ATVO? At about 1:30 you can hear what I assume is someone from the Birmingham camp shouting, “Wenger, fucking have it.” Ugh.

  42. There was plenty of noise coming from our end, and everyone around me sung throughout most of the game – maybe it was the position of the speakers? Who knows…. If you think you can make the difference, you would of got a ticket….

    Anyway – How did we lose this game? I am not sure I can work it out….

    Was it lack of Mental Strength? AW repeatedly tell’s us how much the team has, but did we show enough yesterday?

    Was it lack of communication at the back?

    Did we have too many players in midfield underperform – Song, Rosicky, Arshavin?

    Did they want it more than us?

    Are the Xenophobes amongst us right – is it lack of English Grit?

    Was it lack of pace? Is Walcott integral to our style of play?

    Is it injuries?

    Whatever it was, now is not the time to let it drag us down – we have enough talent in this squad to go on and do something this season, so they need to remember the feeling of yesterday evening well, and not let it happen again.

    Let’s hope and pray RVP is back for the Barca game – losing him, Theo and Fabregas at this stage of the season is a disaster.

    And how the hell can Shrek escape punishment for Saturday…. What a disastrous weekend….

  43. Jack Wilshere IS an English man.

  44. Good post and nice to see some positive comments. To put some perspective on this Birmingham have gone 48 years without winning a trophy and we still have a chance this year in 3! Our defence definitely had a off day today when this back 5 have been solid all year. I think Wenger played Rosicky because he felt we needed the experience but it backfired as he just isn’t contributing what he used to.
    Looking forward to another two big games at the Emirates this week and then Barca and who knows maybe OT. Can’t wait to see Aaron Ramsey back in a Red and White shirt again!!

  45. There was plenty of noise coming from the Arsenal fans. The only let down was the speed with which they all left the stadium. The players needed our support at the end and they did not get it.

  46. Yogi your writing is always a gift to behold, just the tonic for a bitter day.

    Losses seem to stoke my fire even more furiously than a hard fought win. Birmingham had the rub of the green, and they were good value for their win; they fought hard, but you just feel that most of the time, we’d have grabbed the victory.

    Like I said yesterday, I’m always weary of the third time. I’m reminded of our last FA cup win. Battered silly for the entire game and yet we somehow won. Our third game that season against United, the only one we didn’t lose, the one that really mattered. Football is like that, a seemingly cruel mistress that doesn’t bestow victory on the dominate side, but whomever fate doth fancy for the day.

    Anyway, I’ve pondered much upon the game, and it wasn’t pretty. My beloved triangles hardly made an appearance, which was very odd considering Rosicky used to introduce them for fun. But with all that said, we still had the chances, so factually, I feel to complain would be disingenuous because it was quite simply a non-issue.

    I guess at the end of the day, I’m glad Szcz was in goal for this game afterall. Him being young and the annointed keeper means he’ll have the support of even the most AAA so they won’t get on his back.

    Oh yeah, turns out I was wrong! Even Arsene doesn’t think there much room for sentimentality nowadays. Bah! There’s always room for sentimentality, but then I’m no football manager

    I have to say, when the ball bobbled to Martins, it really felt as though time slowed down in an effort to keep the universe from shattering. Something was dreadfully amiss in the force.

    Nonetheless, bring on Orient. We have some slaying to do.

  47. “I’m depressed most because by the time the mistake was made that gifted Birmingham their winning goal we were in almost total control. ”

    I agree with that, Bernard – we’d rolled our sleeves up, Bendtner and Chamakh were having the desired effect. Heartbreaking.

    @ Passenal, consolsbob et al
    I am very disappointed, but can I straighten out a misapprehension which you and some others seem to be under. I desperately wanted us to win this because a) we’d got this far, b) a trophy would give them more confidence c) I love the CC d) they deserve something e) a quadruple would be an amazing feat. It was not because I believed that *only* by winning the CC could we kick on and win anything else – that may be what the chatter is in the media, but that is not what I have ever said or believed.

  48. Difficult to stay behind after the game Frank.

    Walking up to the ground amongst the Birmingham supporters was enough to show what a bunch of neanderthal’s they are from the second city.

    There was no way any of us wanted to walk back out with them – the only thing worse than a neanderthal is a smug neanderthal.

  49. Wengers record in finals is poor less than a 50% success rate only 4 wins in 9 finals
    We lost fare and square.In fact Mike Dean was on our side he could easily have sent off Szczesny if the linesman hadnt fucked up the the first minute.
    The decision to start Rosicky was strange but not stranger than Nasri starting on the wing
    Our subs made no difference when they came on.Chamakh is a shadow of the player he was.
    At the end of the day Birmingham wanted it more than us.

  50. I agree with FG re the a) b) c) etc…

  51. Bah: When the universe shits on your face, kiss it furiously. Let’s go win everything else. Like the Invincibles, the proclamation was a season premature. The Quad’s on next season.

  52. Here we are with the predictable outcome of a final loss. These are the 2 things I expected this morning: One, ‘suddenly’ (as if I’m surprised) every Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest of the lot now has an ‘informed opinion’, I-told-you-so attitude, etc, about Arsenal, Wenger’s tactics and lineup, Koscielny, Chesney, Rosicky, blah, blah,blah. Two, I know of only a few Arsenal blogs/sites to read a balanced, reasonable and positive(even if painful) report about what when down and leave with a level of relief and hope, and you, Yogi, have sealed that reputation for being first among equals; keep up the good work.

  53. I can certainly say that my post this morning wasn’t made with you in mind Fun.

    It was more a refelction on, and response to, the rather silly expectations being placed on this one game by so many.

    I would have loved to win it too!

  54. gadget,you must be really gutted if that’s all you can offer as a rallying.

  55. Well I walked out with them, Matt.

  56. Why was Nasri starting on the wing a strange decision?

    Did Birmingham really want this trophy more than our players?

    When I declared a media lockdown in my house, my housey stood up and equally declared me to be an Arsenal Fundamentalist. He got it in one.

  57. Very disappointed. Our defending has let us down. Actually it’s the lack of coaching of basic defending. Clichy played well yesterday but still doesn’t know how to play offside. Djourou had a good game but was at fault for the 1st goal. He wandered away from Zigic. Their 2nd goal was just one of those things that happens.
    We are very close to being the complete team, just wish there was a bit more training work done on the defensive side, particularly with the back four working as a unit.
    Anyway enough of the doom and gloom. We’re still in with three competitions. Come on the Arsenal.

  58. come on were you surprised????
    i certainly wasnt.
    there are so many reasons NOT to be confident yesterday.
    1 recent results(aside from the brilliant 2nd half v barca aside) were not good.
    2 a giant striker is almost the perfect tool to beat this defense
    3 lack of quality defending, susceptible to any pressure and set pieces
    5 no leaders and a lack of physicality in midfield
    ……..i dont expect much this season…im hopeful, but realistic…always realistic. Same old arsenal im afraid

  59. sorry recent performances not results

  60. I don’t buy this ‘imploding Arsenal’ story. It seems to me that a loss like this is more likely to motivate the players not destroy them. I reckon that the Mancs would have preferred us to have won yesterday.

  61. That’s what I was trying to say earlier Frank. We have recently bounced back in devastating fashion…

  62. I too remember walking away from my first final after the humiliation of losing to Swindon and later on to Ipswich, West Ham and Luton. Once again my team is the laughing stock of teh football world and most people seem to think it’s ok, not that bad. Do they get their attitude from the team?
    Another gutless leaderless performance. Only a few can hold their heads up after this.
    However, Rosicky and Song apart, this is not a sub-standard set of playersthankfully, at least I didn’t have to suffer Denilson’s presence).
    What they do lack is a bit of backbone and they seem to believe in their God-given right to win.
    There just wasn’t enough work in midfield, Wilshere excepted, when we didn’t have the ball. I wish they could sort it out as they are very closet to being the real deal.

  63. Bugger.

  64. Could those of you accusing the team of a gutless, leaderless perfromance explain the match stats please? The ‘reality’ is that but for a mistake by two of our players Birmingham were out of the game. They had been all but annhilated and they knew it. They had been run off the park and were knackered. There was only going to be one winner if the match went to extra time. It was just plain bad luck.

  65. This from a Manc fan….

    ‘I think this will just make you guys more determined against Barca, for the title and the cup. I am sure you would settle for any one (or more) of those than the carling cup!’

    Clearly thinks more of our players than some of the ‘fans’ posting on here.

  66. Another crack whore succumbs to the pipe of gloating.

    Ace5, give it time, the fires in my belly are rising. A rousing battle cry will come for Orient. I can feel the passion coursing through my veins and massaging the life in my heart. It’s times like this I feel a hadouken coming on…

    Stay clear of my dragon punch, it’ll scar you like Sagat.
    I beat Shen Long then fed him to my maggot.
    My team are the greatest, some even say electric.
    Don’t ever disagree, I’ll leave you paralytic.

    Goddamn it, I could have had a career in hip-hop

  67. I find it baffling that so many Arsenal fans seem to think we were outplayed, and that Birmingham were the better team and ‘wanted it more’. The pressure of being massive favourites at Wembley certainly didn’t see us start very fluently, but by the balance of chances created as the game progressed – Brum were outrageously lucky we didn’t bury a couple of them. We are the better team, we were the better team, we didn’t kill it off and we were undone by one of those things, cruelly, too late to reply.

  68. Exactly, LA

  69. C-Bob, Ole :

    Please ffs – save the old fart cliches for another day. Just a “two-horse race”, “it can go both ways” – or “its only a tin cup”……….just fucking spare me this shit today of all days.
    No doubt by the end of this day you’ll be peppering the blog with “onwards and upwards” for “we are the Arsenal”…..

    This was a chance to win silverware.
    This was an easy opportunity to get the 6 six year monkey off our backs.
    It was something, however little, for players to point to as some form of credit for their efforts this season.
    This was Birmingham ffs where we were 1/4 odds on favourites.
    Instead of having a hurricane of confidence behind our backs coming into the business end of the season – we now have winds of self-doubt and introspection.

    It was a massive psychological blow to this team. So let me give you the script for what potentially will follow if the previous years are anything to go by:

    1. We will loose RVP for a critical part of the season. We will then have to ask Chamahk to step up and deliver for the run in and this was after he was discarded far too quickly (for my liking) when RVP returned earlier this season when he (Chamahk) was playing well.
    2. Barca will beat us in the Nou Camp.
    3. UTD will get great confidence from the fact that we can’t even close out a cup final against the brummies and in the FA Cup tie 4 days after Barca dispose of us – they will ask the same questions of this Arsenal team and they most likely will get the same brittle answers.
    4. While UTD will drop points in the run – we will, once again, implode and the “two horse race” will very quickly become a “one-horse-race”. Utd will canter home in the league without even being pushed.

    Now – I seriously hope that I’m not right about this script. I genuinely hope that I’m proved wrong and that you all get your chance you sing in the sun, when we actually deliver something, instead of hysterical talk about “quadruples”.

    Yesterday was a chance to get momentum and we fucked it up royally. We played with our 3rd GK this season and 2 new centre halves. This is NOT a solution for defensive solidity and there is only ONE man accountable.

  70. Well done the Brummies can’t imagine what it’s like to go so long without a trophy their boys gave it everything and there’s no shame in losing to a team with that resolute spirit. In that time my personal final record is:
    Wins (3)
    1987 CC Liverpool 2-1, 1979 FA ManU 3-2, 1993 CC Sheff Weds 2-1
    Defeats (5)
    1978 FA lost Ipswich 0-1, 1980 FA WestH 0-1, 1988 CC Luton 2-3, 2007 CC Chelsea 1-2,2011 CC lost Bham 1-2
    Not unaccustomed to losing……!

  71. Gutted for Rosicky who was a fraction away from winning it with a sublime half-volley. Would have been a sweet, sweet goal.

    Van Persie’s finish was just unbelievable… improbable and beautiful. Brave too.

  72. As always, Frank is proving to be my hero. Speaking sense and telling fools to fuck off.

  73. Hey Joe, where you bin? Found somewhere else to grizzle?

  74. Sucking on your crack pipe again Joe. Enjoy the hit.

  75. If Carlsberg did scriptwriters, Joe, you would not be on the team.

  76. Frank is absolutely right. They were hanging on for dear life….they were run absolutely ragged toward the end. They had come apart at the seams. If it had gone to extra time we would have maybe scored twice. Then a flukey goal and it was gone in the blink of an eye. Them’s the breaks. It’s a Cup Final for f*cks sake.

    Van Persie deserved to be on the winning side for that goal alone. That was worthy of winning any competition. I’m more sad about that than anything. Instead the cloggers win it with a farce of a goal. They were lucky. That’s all. Sometimes that’s enough.


  77. bloody el i thought i was a misery guts but joe you beat me ands down.

  78. Cheers, Geo
    Fair enough, cbob

    @ LimparAssist

    and regarding JET – he had only come on five minutes earlier as well. The boy is a BEAST.

  79. The result of tomorrow’s game is more important to our season than yesterday’s result. If the Mancs lose or draw that will be a real tonic.

  80. duke

    Don’t push it…


  81. What is it about the AAA that they cannot take the bad times with the good? Any moment of bad is seen as proof positive of portents of doom, rather than the storm to clear away the smog.

    Oh well, 2012 next year. Floods in Australia, Earthquakes in New Zealand; the world’s gonna end next year to make way for some super highway thingy. We’re… all.. DOOMED.

  82. Oh yeah, can we officially introduce a ban on Maria from watching all future games.

    ‘Twas blatantly her fault. In my knowledgable position as Shamonic heresayer, I am certain she has been afflicted by some strange and unholy magicks. Were this Salam and back when life was lived in accordance with the Book, she be ripe fer the dunking.

  83. Was it just the TV broadcast but were the Birmingham fans more vocal than our own fans?

    I found it disappointing not to get a sense that our fans were not so vocal. I didn’t go to the game so I don’t know but from the broadcast I could barely hear our support.

  84. Well reason doesn’t work with you Joe.


    “This was a chance to win silverware.”

    “This was an easy opportunity to get the 6 six year monkey off our backs.”

    “we now have winds of self-doubt and introspection.”

    “it was a massive psychological blow to this team”

    “we will, once again, implode”

    “there is only ONE man accountable.”

    ..or just the ramblings of a sad man?

    Fuck off Joe.

  85. Highlights from all four games so far:

  86. Naaah. The Brumagum fans were not more vocal than Arsenal through the game. It swung to and fro. TV producer probably pointed the mike their way.

  87. I think Arsenal fans who have pissed their jeans that this result will trigger a capitulation on all fronts are exactly the type of people who would succumb to just that if they were the ones with the responsibility of playing for Arsenal. In short: slack-jawed, emotionally fragile, wet cabbages you wouldn’t want anywhere near your football team.

    I am fortified by the fact that we have a team of far stronger characters than that – not to mention the best footballers in the country.

    This result galvanises us for the run-in. I predict a long streak of very focused performances from here on in.

  88. Well thats a relief! 🙂 I disappointed. I couldn’t help think it wouldnt have helped our players.

    Any way, lets go and beat the Os and Barca. Hopefully in defeat the players can rise to the challenge. I still believe we are the best. Feel bad for Kos and Chez. I think all fans ought to throw their support behind these two players and show them that they have our confidence.

  89. A cruel defeat without doubt. But I see more mental strength in this team than I have for a fair few years. They WILL fight back.
    Jack Wilshere, what a legend already! God,
    I lovc him

  90. I do hope Maria hasnt slayed herself.

  91. Great vid of Ryo. The fact that he’s often doubled up on already says a lot about his talent. He’s really quick and obviously full of confidence. Good luck to the lad.


    Just bitterly disappointed. I truly believed we would do it, but the team has risen to the occasion again and confirmed my worst fears. Perhaps I underestimated the team’s ability to shoot themselves in the foot.

    The problems of the last 5 years still persist as ever. A lot of people have a problem with the fact that arsenal need an aerially dominant centre back to combat crosses and route one football. Well, Alex mcleish certainly does NOT have a problem with that, he marked that out as our weakness and utilised it brilliantly with zigic and fair play to him.

    Already there is the predictable talk of “its only the carling cup” emanating from various quarters, but then when man united spanked us in the FA cup 4-0 in 2008, it was also “only the FA cup” back then. I dont remember us blazing away in the other competitions after that.

    This defeat has exposed a lot of oft suggested failings in the team and I do hope somehow things might work out to some good by the end of the season, coz the mental fortitude, defensive nous, organizational strength and winning mentality of this team is seriously suspect.

    As the title of Yogi’s post suggests clearly, it was “farcical defending” wasnt it? and how many times has that been the reason in the last 5 years? Anyhow knowing arsene, the mistake will not be rectified, so there is a lot more coming from where this result came from. Expect more of the same.


    I have never been the one to build hopes on pipe dreams. But for me the FA cup still remains and that is the the one we need to sink our teeth in and win. There will be this hazy talk of winning the league and the UCL but then it will soon come to its sad and predictable ending once the season is said and done. But I wont begrudge a few of my fellow gooners for dreaming.

    On individual performances, all I can say is that we missed cesc badly, and szczechjgply still is one of the finest goalkeepers around. Hew will make mistakes but I dont mind when the time is being given to a class act rather than certified rubbish like flapianski.

    Koscielny needs a partner. He will always struggle with direct physical teams. I am expecting him to put in another superb performance against barca, talking of which, my prediction is that we will knock them out to make way for another team to win the UCL.

    To be fair to Arsene, this time he did take the carling cup seriously and not propound the customary arrogance around the club regarding this cup, so fair play to him.

    I hope he clears out the dead wood next season, not likely, but I can hope cant I?

    FA cup final: Wembley again, anyone….?

    Cheers all!

  93. Fucking hell. Not reading that.

  94. Anyone want to send messages of support to Arsene?

    I feel very very sorry for him. Don’t worry Arsene, a whole lot of us appreciate what you’re doing. Hopefully the season will end in smiles.

  95. Yeah, that’s true Geo. After Ryo’s debut I was wondering how well he’d do once the opposition had a plan for him, but yesterday was his best match. The fans love him and so do the players – it’s a great story so far.


    Anyway, something that’s been bothering me – Zigic is more than two metres in height, one of the tallest players ever to take to the field. Where would you find a defender who can beat a giant like that to every header, and still be able to play in a high line against Barcelona? Certainly not on this planet.

  96. Yeah Ole, I’ve notice a few people send good supporting tweets to some of the players. I think I saw one of yours directed to RVP. I think I might have to send a few tweets myself. Perhaps one of the players could relay one to Arsene.

    Sagna’s tweet breaks me heart. Szcz’s silence is a little worring at the mo, as usually he’d have made a little quip by now or at least just said something.

  97. To all those complaining they couldn’t hear us in the stadium a big fuck you. Get a ticket and then you have a leg to stand on. Armchair fans complaining like that should just shut up, don’t you realise how pathetic you sound criticising thousands of gooners who went to the time, trouble and expense of supporting their team?

    Fair play to Birmingham. Their game plan was to stay in the game as long as they could and capitalise on any set-pieces and mistakes that came their way. We had double the chances they had, but couldn’t finish them. No-one to blame but ourselves, another stupid mistake to piss away a trophy.

    And anyone saying that it’s “just the Carling Cup”, should think about what they’re saying. This club has been around 125 years and won 27 major trophies. That’s one just under every five years, these chances don’t come around every five all that often and need to be grabbed whenever they can.

  98. Actually, that’s one of the many good things about supporting Arsenal; there’s plenty of good news to be found – like JET getting his first goal, and Ryo transforming Feyenoord – even after a day like yesterday.

  99. Firstly,

    YW, thanks. Your opening six paragraphs are both inspirational and accurate.


    We are all recovering from the trauma of yesterday and I dare say have all frequented some dark and unimaginable places (including the easy road of ‘blame attachment’ and cul de sac of ‘it’s all over’) since 5:50pm yesterday. That our love and respect for AFC has brought us back the gift of reason so quickly should be seen as a great credit to most on ACLF.

    It is now a case of going forward and Arsene has a very important 48 hours ahead of him. We can still do amazing things this season and I for one see no reason why that will not be the case. That our players now have to dig deeper than might have been the case can be seen as a positive challenge that might yet make the Barca game and remaining fixtures more fruitful. It comes down to the strength that our staff, players and (YES) we supporters can show following that major disappointment.

    Little has been said about the near swamping of gooner voices by the B’ham support but introspection should not stop short at the players and/or manager. Together we can do it…


  100. I certainly do, Ole. He has given so much apart from the technical coaching – emotional and psychological support, protecting the team, nurturing them, and giving his whole life to work for the success of the club. He needs to know that at least some of us appreciate it.

  101. OOU, throughly agree on the Zigic thing, If a ball is going in his general direction, he’s far more likely to win any duel. In the penalty area, short of holding him down and stopping him from jumping for corners and crosses, the only way of defending against him is to make it difficult for him to direct balls at goal, and that’s much easier said than done. Outside the area it a different game, but at set pieces the guy is a really dangerous threat, and it showed.

    His goal was something Birmingham evidently work on a lot, and it was executed really well. The first header was merely kinda winnable, but the second, placed perfectly for Zigic, definately not.

  102. on the firt goal blaming our defense is stupid,maybe our GK but no CB in the world could have stop Zigic heading the ball.I woulnt mind loosing to good build goal but an stupid error at the last mn is really difficult to take
    Naga you re an ***** if Almunia or fabianski were in goal you would have blame him on their own for the lost but szcescny it ok if he make a mistake.Double standart by the hater.Fabianski is better right now than szcesny (just) get over it

  103. Ole,

    I would definitely be interested in forwarding support to Arsene. Have you a suggestion of a collective nature?

  104. Duke

    Nope, Maria stated the other day that she wanted to become one of Gadaffi’s bodyguards. She’s made of stern stuff.


  105. Bradys right foot

    The morning after the day before only one thing needs to be said, “Man up Gooners “. The Staff, Team to the Fans have to move on yesterdays gone. Enough of the naval gazing, enough of the pontificating quantification, what cost us the match was a simple size 12 hoof to row Z. There is simply too much to play for this season to let yesterday derail the Arsenal. Sick sore and angry against the constant finger pointing at this team, the league doesn’t lie and that is and will be our true measurement. The fixtures can’t come quick enough for me and I dare say the players after yesterday, with the right psychology it may yet be the final lesson in maturatity. COYG.

  106. Frank, Lies, damn lies and statistics. Statistics drive the Fair Play league and where are we in that? But are we a dirty side? Of course not! Keep your head up your arse if you want but we could have played most of the match with 10 men and been a goal down if the linesman had got it right. Most of our shots were regulation saves for the keeper. Birmingham had better chances than we did and looked more like scoring.

  107. Post of the day Consolsbob.

    Fungunner, I never directed any comment at you. I wanted the team to win for all the reasons you did and I was disappointed that they didn’t – it played on my mind all night, but there are others who have given it an importance way out of proportion to reality. It may have been a final, but winning it could just as easily have backfired and led to complacency. We will only know what this loss means at the end of the season. I am more concerned about the injuries than the defeat. We need our big players for the upcoming games and I think that has more chance to derail us than losing a game even if it was a final.


    That is all

  109. Delia---Block 112

    I think the thing that upset me most was seeing LJW crying his eyes out after giving his all in a game we should have won. Yes the defence let us down, the same defence that held out so stoutly in last Wed’s game against Stoke, a similarly set up team to Brum.
    We looked nervous from the kick-off and were fortunate to have a benevolent Assistant on our side when Szczesny brought down Bowyer. I wonder if this narrow escape unsettled him as he was not his usual positive self thereafter.
    The lack of Theo’s pace and Cesc’s drive were a deciding factor IMO. With RVP the latest casualty ,injuries have once again come back to haunt us. With the main men out of action ,the likes of B52 and hopefully Ramsey need to step up to the mark and deliver.
    With any luck, the Chavs and the Pool will at least get a point against the Mancs and if all goes well at the Emirates this week we will all be feeling a lot better after next weekend. In the meantime Keep the Faith.
    As always COYRs.

  110. nice post

    There isn’t a worse feeling than losing a final. A little perspective is needed though. Like the Brum fan said, they have to watch mediocre performances week in week out, we watch a fantastic talented bunch of players who score amazing goals, playing at the highest level. Who else can better Barcelona in such style?

    There is plenty to play for, plenty of greater positives could come our way. I don’t know why the Arsenal fans at Wembley didn’t want to make any noise. Our fans are as much to blame than any player I feel, nervousness from the stands has time and time again reflected onto the pitch. Being it was a final I don’t think it played much of a bearing on our team, they would have been 1000% motivated for 90mins. Point is our fans should be singing their hearts out no matter what the expectancy of the result is. Nobody has a devine right to win anything, many in this country seem to forget that. Look at Chelsea, look at Pool.

    We were unlucky, our players were nervous, but we have to move on. Even if we won the cup we would have to move on as the targets which lie ahead are massive. Nothing has changed, the determination needs to be greater however, and heads must not drop.

    Lets all get behind the team, these are our lads, Koscielny is still a pretty fine CB. One which shut Messi up for 90mins. That slap on his head was a complete piss take. No matter what you think about any individual Arsenal player, we have to get behind all of them.

    Still in 3 competitions, still got a big say in all of them. Heads up gooners!

  111. Just a thought;this team should learn how to click in attack without fab4. Against stoke,the attack broke down after he was substituted. Yersterday,same thing.the players are so talented that this reliance on fab4 is ludicruos

  112. ChrisGoona
    Reason for the lack of noise from our fans at Wembley and at the Emirates is that most fans are like those on here they believe we are the worlds best team who only have to turn up to win.It is beyond them to stand up every game and sing.Yesterday our support was poor but was reflected by the team not turning up

  113. Now we lost it I can call it a mickey Mouse cup, forget the mickey Mouse cup. that replay against orient is a good thing , it is perfect for a quick response . I’m more concerned with the growing injury list. What’s the news on RVP, we need him for the Barca game.

  114. Almost maimed a Spud at work this morning.

    The maner of defeat will take some getting over for fans & players – but we have to show our mettle now.

  115. Naga, high time you realized that nobody’s interested in reading your dross. Fuck Off. Please.

  116. @ Chrisgoona
    Good post

    @ passenal, Delia
    Fair dos. I guess this is what AW feared when he talked said it would have been nice to have a mental rest for a week. Most important thing is winning our next match against LO. From that point of view the “two teams” strategy might work to our advantage because most of the players who feature on Weds will be relatively fresh both physically and mentally.

    Injuries are a worry but Cesc should be OK for Barca, Theo won’t be, but RvP might be – he’s got just over a week. And we could have Diaby as well, assuming he’s over his calf strain.

  117. ‘Almost’ Paulie?? I’m disappointed in you.

  118. Jesus – we’re all fucking depressed but some of you seem to have watched a different game. We outclassed and outplayed them, their keeper played a blinder and they got incredibly lucky.
    Sport is not an exact science, sometimes the supremely talented team is beaten by the vile clogging thugs. Deal with it.

  119. Oh and Jack Wilshere was man of the match not Ben fucking Foster. He absolutely ran the game.

  120. Well well well as Frank would say….just got back from the game.

    I was very disappointed as I personally felt that having got to the final, we had a chance of winning.. But for me, the disappointment is the same every time we lose a game regardless of who the opponent was. I was also gutted for the players and for Wenger and other ARsenal staff.

    I’m on a media blackout until 7.40 pm on Wednesday – though I will watch the Chelsea United second half – just for good measure. I just think there’s too much noise and negativity out there and it will take a while for the cold light of day to bring some much needed perspective.

    The beleif in this team must continue as there’s no time for naval gazing. There’s 3 other competitions that need our undivided attention and we need to pick ourselves up, and help the team pick themselves up and get back on that frigging horse.

    On a lighter note, I was thinking what has this world come to when fans of other clubs like Liverpool are now calling for Wenger to be sacked. Hilarious! I kept thinking that the fella who was rambling on about Wenger being shown the door post match must have been our very own Joe. Clearly he doesn’t disappoint and only revels in showing up when we lose a game.

  121. Sorry to bring him up, but…Rooney…elbow…how?!

  122. Agreee with Stew so much I’ve added and extra e

  123. Darius:

    I don’t revel in loosing. I read this blog everyday. I don’t feel obliged or interested in talking to Bob about his chickens and his cider, although, I wish him the most satisfaction with whatever pleasures he takes from life. And I mean that sincerely and not in a disrespectful way.

    But to say that this is just another game where “you win some, you loose some” – is simply bollox. It was the easiest chance we will have to win silverware this season and it potentially has huge psychological consequences for our season.

    I feel very strongly that we’ve been defensively poor for some years and have shipped much abuse (not rational debate or reasoned opinion just sheer abuse) over the past years for that. After the newcastle game – you had no problem shipping personal abuse to me Darius – when all I did was relay back your words from the previous Fridays blog. Your words Darius, not mine.

    At a time when all the players and the manager were talking about one game at a time and not looking any further – you were babbling on about quadruples.

    Your heart is in the right place Darius. I’m most respectful of the time and energy you take to write up posts every Friday. And while we obviously differ about our take on the defensive frailties – don’t you think that “quadruples” for a young team with so many young players having so much to prove – might have been just a little stretch too far and a little preposterous?

  124. The instinct for so many fans to complain we have no defence after yesterday is very strong, but, at the same time wrong.

    Players lose concentration at the end of halves. They shouldn.t do, but they do, That is simply what happened. They had their thoughts on extra time, when, I think everyone will agree, we would have thumped them.

    This defence was good enough to defend against Barca, so it was certianoy good enough against Brum.

    The BBc pundits, like to kick Arsenal when we down like with no other team. They talked such drivel. However, I suspect that some of our fans who listened to them thought that they were talking sense, when it was nothing more than nonsenese.

    Finals tend to even things out, which is why there are so many tight games, even between teams from different divisions.

    What I have noticed is the total change of focus nowadays. Teams used to play to their strengths. Now, most teams play just to thwart the other.

    At Old Trafford earlier on in the year, Manure played a deeply defensive game, with oje man up, and only to hit us on the break. Yet they were top on the league and at home. The same applies for Chelsea in recent years.

    WE seem to be the only team that plays to win. Everyone else plays not to lose.

    Brum, yesterday relied almost entirely on the height of Zigic, from the long ball. They just sat back, soaked up our pressure and then, wam, the long ball. They did it very well.

    Our game tomorrow is a strange one, because it is likely to feature very few of the team that played yesterday, so the immediate drive to make amends may not be there, unless he plays few of the losers.

    Frankly, I would play Chesney and Kos, so that they can get that game out of their system, together with Willshire, to give us some drive in midfield, which was missing against Orient.

  125. I can’t see how the pain of losing yesterday hasn’t been quickly replaced by an abject fear of the health status of Walcott, Fabregas, van Persie. Yes, it sucked to lose yesterday; it was clearly an off day. But to be in the position we are in in the league, the FA Cup, the CL and to now have these injuries? That to me is FAR, FAR more disappointing and gutting and alarming than yesterday’s result. Not sure what you all think of our chances without a healthy RvP, Theo and Cesc, but I don’t feel terrific at all about life without those guys being fit. Time to move forward with fingers crossed.

  126. Yogi at 12:12 Gadaffi’s bodyguards are said to be virgins, not very exciting!

  127. OOU – don’t be so ridiculous…LOL!

    He that walketh on water??? Especially after Fergie comes out all guns blazing and says it will be a media witch hunt?

    They don’t have the cojones…honestly.

    Speaking of elbows – was anyone listening to the commentary on 5 live. Apparently, Robbie Savage was shamelessly celebrating and applauding Birmingham players for roughing up Arshavin until he had a bloody face. Really brings a whole new meaning to ‘getting in their faces’.

    I really resent this punk being paid a wage from my TV licence money – and to think that another psycho in the name of Porky Parry has also joined the BBC payroll – I just shudder. Maria and C-bob, I still haven’t found a feed of the show Parry and Savage were presenting. The BBC are really scraping the barrel with these two.

  128. Jack’s tweet at lunchtime:
    “Well done to the BCFC player who slapped Koscielny on the head when they scored, very big of you!”

    You speak for all of us Jack!

  129. Sad and suprised that we conceded 2 goals yesterday and it could have been much worse without a favorable call from the lines man. We made some chances but it was always going to be tough to score multiple goals against an organized packed defense. Our nerves showed up as defensive mistakes and goal keeping problems again. Before the game, I really was confident we had solved that problem. Hard not to be a little dejected today.

  130. Joe.

    I naturally have a more sunny disposition than you do. I’m not going to lose the plot on account of a blinding game by Foster and a couple of defensive mistakes that cost us at the cutting edge of a cup final.

    I get very disappointed when we lose, but that will never stop me from shamelessly preaching the virtues of this team to anyone who will listen. I’m sure you don’t mind me saying that it’s really really sad when the only thing you have to say comes out when the team loses a game. I don’t have an issue with your love of Arsenal – it’s just your negative energy.

    Pray tell – if you have kids, do you only speak up when they’re in a spot of bother – and just to tell them that they are weak and haven’t won anything for the longest and that your friends keep laughing at you.

  131. I didn’t know Parry had been given a contract by the Beeb. Jesus wept. That has to be the limit. I only ever listened to Savage once and could barely understand a word that came out of his mouth. Seemed to have trouble forming a coherent sentence. Which would seem to be the minimum requirement for a live broadcast. Public service broadcasting my arse.

  132. Kenyan

    You obviously haven’t seen the ones I have on TV…


  133. Harry – last week Maria and Consols mentioned that Parry was hosting 606 with Savage. Which defies belief and makes you wonder whether the Radio 5 programme controller has lost all his marbles. It’s one thing employing the two of them, but another all together giving them the same show.

    I did wonder why he moved to BBC – but apparently, Andy Gray and Richard Keys kicked him out of his slot on TalkShite.

  134. Yes I have Yogi. Beautiful ladies no doubt!

  135. It’s days like today that I need ACLF the most. Cheers YW and others

  136. Aw F**k it….
    We MOVE ON!

  137. Had we won the cup, it’d have given us huge relief, but loss won’t make us loose all of a sudden.
    As has shown quite a few times by this team this season, they are too strong to keep moaning about what happened.
    They’ll come back stronger, sharper and better than anyone’d think.

  138. Don’t understand the criticism of Koscielny. If the keeper screams at you to leave it you assume he is ready to gather it. Someone said to me at work today: “Still think Arsenal don’t need a decent centre-back?”. My answer was still the same: “We have four”.

    Anyway fair play to Birmingham. They may not have deserved it, but neither did we.

  139. Cunts of the day.

    Mark Clattenberg.
    Steven fukin Howard.

  140. LOSE – LOSE – LOSE… Not LOOSE….

    Has to be the most mispelt word in all Blogdom…..

    I must admit – I am getting a little irritated by people who didn’t go to the game going on about the Arsenal fans appearing to be quieter than the Arsenal end…

    Perhaps you should of got tickets and actually gone to the game and shown us how it was supposed to be done???

    Well not from where I was standing – we were singing pretty much the whole game, and made every bit as much noise as the Brum fans.

    The last thing you need when you have spent the day in the rain supporting your team, and then losing in that fashion is for someone to tell you on the internet that you should of made more noise….

  141. Liverpool = 5 years without a trophy!
    Aston Villa = 15 years without a trophy!
    Man city = 34 years without a trophy!
    Spurs = 20 years without a proper trophy!

  142. Markus,

    As a centre half – if in doubt, you smash it into row Z.

    The only mistake Koscielny made was to pull out of clearing it – he should of smashed it away, even it if meant colliding with Szeseny.

  143. Oh what a bunch of bottle jobs we’ve got at the FA. Thanks very much you fucking mugs. Cue kids up and down the country from under-11s up elbowing each other in the face cos the fat bloke that scored a bicycle kick can get away with it. And Clattenburg is clearly lying! I fucking hate Man United. Any other team and that’s an example-making retrospective ban. Bollocks.

  144. When have Arsenal ever hoofed it into row Z? But I agree, especially in the 89th minute of a cup final, just get rid. Still some of the criticism I’ve seen is excessive.

  145. Well I’d rather take the positives from this game. Last season the defeat to Barcelona was a bitter pill to swallow, but the team showed recently that they’ve learned from their mistakes by beating them. I guess, or at least I would like to believe this, that the defeat yesterday, will serve us well as an experience to play in finals, in bigger competitions in the very near future. I am least worried about it, for I do believe that in 2-3 years of time, when we would have won 5-8 trophies, nobody would even remember much about the Carling Cup that we didn’t win this season. But for Birmingham I suppose, this will be remembered much better, given the grim outlook of their future. We have a much bigger destiny, and as fans we should be behind the team to achieving it rather than creating further obstacles. Through thick and thin. Just like old times.

    The only disappointment for me was Rosicky last night. It seems he’s lost his skills and ability to read games as he used to. Was really disappointed, as he was one of my favourite players. I think perhaps, his form was a good enough reason to get back Ramsey to the first team. Hopefully he can be the same player as he was before the injury.

  146. limpar assist, @11:40 am

    Good decision. 🙂

    mj_gunner @1:01 am

    If you cant ignore my posts, fuck off. 🙂

  147. Markus,

    I think Kos actually got something on the ball which meant Chesney didn`t gather it. It was all very split second but maybe he thought twice about booting it out as Brum could have penned us in with a long throw. Who knows ? Just unfortunate that it happened late on in a Cup Final.

    Harry & Darius,

    I heard barely five minutes of Savage on Saturday evening & it was long enough for me to reach for my sawn off. (that`s a joke by the way officer)

  148. ‘When have Arsenal ever hoofed it into row Z?’

    Markus, Are you mental?

  149. Dukegoneem, comparing us to ‘pool, Villa and the spuds is really off the mark!

  150. Not to mention mancity.

  151. LA, couldn’t believe that. Shrek ran up and assaulted the dude off the ball and nothing happens. Worse the ref saw it and gave the free kick. Any respect I had for Clattenberg is gone. Fergie’s comments of the media no-doubt attempting to lynch Rooney are beyond a joke when we all knew the complete opposite would happen.

  152. The best example of what we are going through is probably Barcelona. But we shouldn’t stupidly take on debt to achieve success like they did!

  153. I heard Arsenal songs throughout. Sounded about even to me. We were louder before kick off for sure. The BBC got carried away with their plucky-Brummie narrative and went on and on about what wonderful support they were giving – especially whenever they brought out that droning, atonal, misery ode they do about traipsing down a road and trying not to get lost. A funeral march about how shit it is being a Brummie, I think.

    Good old Brum. Couldn’t lose to a dingier, more pitiable bunch of comedy throwbacks. At least we’ve all still got not being a Brummie going for us. Fucking Jasper Carrott can fuck off and all.

  154. Hi I am gutted as the rest. I am married to a blue nose and I am finding it very difficult to eat humble pie. I was not gracious in defeat. I have calmed down a bit. I think it wasn’t the fact that we lost but the way we lost hurts the most.

  155. Yogi, do you know of any ww 2 novels that involve a gooner and a spud?

  156. Untold’s ref index states that Mike Dean, while blowing the final whistle, JUMPED WITH BOTH HIS HANDS IN THE AIR!!

    Its that facking true?!!

  157. Mine’s a pint of Still Very Bitter, btw.

  158. mj-gunner @ 4:09:

    Clearly Untold’s ref index has an agenda and that makes all of their data suspect. I do not think there were any significant mistakes by the ref other then the missed off side call that saved us a goal and our GK getting sent off?

  159. Bill, how do you know the data on Untold Arsenal is suspect, have you found anything on the sight to be false?

    The stats are there for everyone to view and no one has come said they were incorrect.

  160. Paul,

    Bill can say that because he has his own agenda, which we all know by now.

  161. MJ

    He did indeed but many referees do at the end of finals, Jack Taylor and Clive Thomas did the same thing forty years ago. Others before them probably did the same as well.


  162. Also what is wrong with a site taking up a cause to show that there is something wrong with refereeing in the PL. Is that not a good “agenda” to have?

    I dont get you, even the BBC have taken a look at their stuff and in the article they were credited by others as having done some good research.

  163. Agree Limpar,
    You`d have thought we were playing Crawley at home the way the pundits were blabbing on about the brave underdogs.

    We played a team packed with internationals. And Liam Ridgewell

  164. I hear you Ateeb.

    Bill, if you have followed the ref reviews you would know that some of the best reviews have been when we have lost the games.

  165. Kenyan Gooner

    WW2 novels that involve a gooner and a spud. Given that a popular belief exists that peeling potatoes was a punishment meted out to many a transgressor doing National Service, it might not be too difficult to find an Arsenal fan sent to the brig or its Army equivalent, carrying out said domestic chore.

    Quite why anyone would want to read about an Arsenal fan peeling potatoes is beyond my comprehension but each to his own.


  166. Agree with you, Paul.

  167. Darius:

    You might have a sunny disposition and I really have no problem with that – but its just not very realistic and somewhat disproportionate at times. You simply don’t recognize that there is any problem with Defense. I’m all for accentuating the positive but a time comes when we have to be honest with ourselves. This, in your opinion, is just another blip that we need to “move on from” and the reasons are “just one of those things”. If its not this – it’s the referee, the media, injuries, pundits……. And for me – it’s the same old story for years now. We have no-one to blame except ourselves.

    And I actually do preach the virtues of the club and manager. Have done so many times. I believe AW is the best manager in the world and that no-one could have done what he’s managed to do. I’ve also said that he will never get the kudos he deserves until he gets this team over the line with a project which is not just important to AFC, but football as a whole. Unfortunately some people just pick up on my criticisms of the defense and conveniently pigeon hole me.

    And as for my children – well I’m like any other parent, I just want the best for my kids. It’s a natural instinct. And one day, I hope, when you become a parent Darius, you will understand that there is no ethos or line of thought, be it in either football or business, that is transferable when it comes to your kids. There is just love.

  168. Joe,

    I was almost in tears by the end of that post.

    But it still doesn’t explain why you were a cunt last night, does it?

  169. Yogi, for Kenyan gooners the big rivalry is with the mancs – they were all behind Birmingham! I want to understand the rivalry with the spuds from a Londoners perspective. WW2 era would bring out the rivalry in a more traditional time. Traditional in quotes ofcourse.

  170. Oh shut up Joe. The whole problem with your arguments and others who claim to “realism” is that the solutions you propose haven’t worked for other teams. According to the “realists” signing a top class goalkeeper, and a couple of centre backs is the panacea. Liverpool have a top class centre back and a top class goalkeeper don’t they ? Where are they in the the league ? Chelsea have cruise control, rolls royce centre backs and goalkeepers. Where are they in the league ? According to universal wisdom, adopting the City approach of signing at least a dozen centre backs and defensive midfielders would have us rocketing up the league. So where are they in the league ?

    The truth is that I don’t see anybody on here claiming that arsenal are above their station. Most people are realistic. And the truth is also that the team will not succeed without patience, investment in players (in terms of time not money) and commitment. Talking of signing Hangeland, Reina or any other tom dick or harry does a disservice to the players in our squad. I’d rather support the team I see in front of me than blather on about other personnel who play for teams below us in the league.

    Shut up.

  171. Defence

  172. Any news on RVP?…to me, his health is more important than yesterday’s game. Without him in the team we will struggle to win the other competitions…

  173. @ Muppet
    Brilliant. For 15 years we have been consistently better than at least 16 other teams, but apparently we’re doing it all wrong.

    @ viceologist
    I keep checking the official site, but not a peep out of them so far.

  174. exaclty Muppet!
    The stupid thing is that all the teams with the “better” players were at home watching the Carling Cup Finals.

    If we would we stop being self absorbed and allow common sense to reign we would “know” that our players are just as good as or better than most, defenders and goalie that is.

    What the backside can you do with yesterday? Our team has made no such blunder all season, its just one of those things that you have to man up and take. Quit the complaining!

  175. I’ve lost a lot of respect for Paul Merson that’s all i am going to say.

  176. “Those same books will not record that A Comedy of Errors led to a tragedy that even The Bard would have shied away from.”

    Nice one…

  177. Funny how the tabloids are all doom on RVP. But they love our Jack. Even talk of a girlfriend. Puppy love?

  178. On puppy love there’s the story of Pele ditching his girlfriend because she didn’t understand what the big deal was about his scoring the greatest goal at the Maracana ever. He was barely twenty!

  179. Two to three more English players break into the first team and we are the darlings of the tabloids!

  180. Yogi
    My brother was amongst the last called up to do ‘National Service’. Despite being on the beautiful island of Cyprus he always said that he spent most of his time ‘peeling spuds’ – I presume he meant potatoes but he was an Arsenal fan too.

  181. Nice one, Muppet.

    6 cleansheets in our last 8 league games makes ours the form defence in the country – but suddenly now the ‘old frailties’ are back cos of one mix-up and what appeared to be an Eastern European centre from the NBA. What a load of fucking rubbish.

    What’s funnier is watching Man City field £100 million worth of strikers and draw 1-1 at home to Fulham.

    We’ll show ’em all. I can see some real fire and consistency coming off the back of a hit and run loss like that. Should focus us for the run-in.

  182. Bradys right foot

    Been getting it in the ear all day at work but one particular gem from a Manc was that Birmingham defenders are better than ours. I pointed out we’d conceded 27 goals in the league playing a higher line usually than their front man, to the 35 they shipped.

  183. “playing a higher line usually than their front man” – I’d be interested to see a few heatmaps on that one, but off the top of my head that sounds pretty accurate to me, brady’s.

  184. Joe why do you bother? What do you want to achive with being right in this? Why are you so obsessed at pointing out the weaknesses and trashing everything? Why is your mission always to gloat in the failure and to indulge in the misery of a loss?

  185. Any news on RvPs knee btw? I really want him and Cesc to play for us against Barcelona.
    That was imo the most worrying part of the CC. Because lets face it, it would have been great to win the Mickey Mouse cup but the big targets are PL and CL and FA. After all United won Carling cup last year and felt like loosers. If Carling cup was the only thing we won this year we would not be happy.

  186. It’s going to be a rough ride for Gooners all over the world with the taunts and jeers especially from rival fans.

    Granted, Birmingham smashed and grabbed the game and smuggled the Carling cup away – but we live to fight another day. As the saying goes – if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.

    We have no time to feel sorry for ourselves. Orient, Sunderland and Barcelona await.

    By the arguements of those who suggest that Birmingham have a better defence than us – then surely they must be better than Barcelona since we beat BBB. Not forgetting that this so called defensively solid team bent over backwards for manure to shaft their way through. Fergoson has been McCleishes surrogate father – has he not – just a son looking after his dad’s interests.

  187. Poodle, it seems come hell or high water, a few must get the rest of, us who dare to believe, to face “reality”, for our own good it would seem.

    Its as if it pains them that we continue to believe and look positively at all the team has and can possibly accomplish. Weird!

  188. Paul N – as soon as I see the name ‘Joe’ at the top of the post I just pass by it. I see no reason to read it as I know the content anyway.

  189. Likewise dups, I am sure you did the same with Naga’s dissertation?

  190. Bradys right foot

    Limpar I mightn’t be able to standover the headmap lol but you get the point. I would say given our formation and the way we play a huge amount is asked of our central defenders. They are exposed to more one on one situations than the likes of the Birmingham centre backs, who play deep and have the cover of a five man blanket infront of them. They have to be quick good on the ball fill into the midfield and rotate possesion and be progressive. Johnson is a clogger and a combatative one but better than Kozzer do me a f******** favour. Would he have put his foot through the ball if his keeper called like Scezney he may well have done, Kozzer hopefully will not think twice before doing that again. Also we had a number of corner kicks yesterday to my recollection an Arsena;l player got his head on nearly every one.

  191. ok..its the day after the night before and although the dissapointment is still there-after arguing with the lads at work all day about being ‘not a shit team’ and going thru all the points that we are a fucking good team i seem to have self counselled my aching head and heart..
    it was a cup final and we are bound to be all hurting but it was the fucking tin cup and the big ones are handed out in may..
    weve gotta push on now and use the dissapointment to our advantage. turn the hurt into hunger..its not the first final that weve lost and it wont be the last but that doesnt mean we wont win something…
    if chelsea and liverpool do us a favour and we can win against orient, sunderland and.. most pivotal barca..we are back on track, the momentum is back in our favour again..
    the best teams come thru dissapointments like this ..its time to show we are the best…we are down, but not out..
    if we win the league then this wont matter at all will it..so lets do it…

  192. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Joe’s faux realist drivel is really something to witness. What a sad bastard. Fuck off already ye of little faith. To completely disregard the strides we’ve made this year because of one mistake is truly hilarious. Man up and take it like a man you fucking wimp. Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way you spoiled prick.

  193. “I would say given our formation and the way we play a huge amount is asked of our central defenders.”

    Couldn’t agree more, BRF. Particularly of our defenders, although to an extent it’s true of other positions as well, and I wonder if that challenge is part of the attraction of playing for Arsenal?

  194. Paul:
    No one has looked at the the data except them. However, as an example, when they described the goal in the 89th minute they included a statement that said how much they would have liked to find something that was against the rules. Clearly their objective is to prove their point and there is no way that you can take their analysis of each decision seriously when they are that desperate to prove their point. Any hint objectivity when judging things that can be as subjective as referees decisions is totally lost when you make a statement like that.

    If they really have a “smoking gun” then Gazidis needs to hire some unbiased observers to review their data and take it to the FA outside the public realm. If there is really something there and the FA continue to try to cover it up then the data could somehow get leaked to the public. I am sure the video tape of every game we play and every game in the PL is avialable for review and we have lots of money that could fund such an investigation.

  195. Darius, until last saturday you’d have found the Savage and Parry show on the BBC iPlayer. It’s gone now.

    However, if you are really up for an intellectual debate:


    Robbie Savage and Darren Fletcher hosting the show!

    Sounds a bit too highbrow for me. Probably no mention of chickens or cider at all.

  196. Ok,I am not proud of it.I know it is not the ACLF way,but…I knocked a Manc. fan spark out this morning .Guess who enjoyed gloating the most afterwards.

  197. Well Bill, the stats are public for anyone to take a look at however statistics of how we fare with certain refs in charge are hard core facts and it would seem other people believe they should be taken seriously. The work they have done is to be commended, they make one comment you dont agree with and we should throw out all the hard work they have done.

    If they were not objective they would not give refs good scores when we lose the match. Your arguement holds no water based on that fact.

    If you cannot refute the stats based on facts, what are you saying.

    Isnt it funny when it clear that the refs are biassed in our matches, you cannot see it but you are quick to have a go at someone who is doing a great work for Arsenal.

    something doesnt add up.

  198. george rodger – If Clattenberg was watching you could be ok. He would class it as ‘a coming together’.

  199. Well said, Paul N

    @ Bill
    “No one has looked at the the data except them”
    The main data is in the public domain – the match video and the laws of the game. This information, plus instructions given to referees on interpretation of the rules, is what Walter bases his reviews on.

    “However, as an example, when they described the goal in the 89th minute they included a statement that said how much they would have liked to find something that was against the rules. ”
    This undermines your argument. Walter, as an Arsenal fan, was making a rueful remark. The important point is that he confirmed the decision was correct – just as he confirmed a number of correct decisions which went against, as he has confirmed and argued for penalties and offsides correctly given against us. His ratings are based on whether the referees have correctly and consistently applied the rules of the game in accordance with the instructions given to serving referees. He always cites the rule or instruction if challenged.

  200. Ha, nice one Dups !

    Anyone know if we have a recall option on Carlos V ?

  201. @ dups
    No he wouldn’t – it would be a straight red for the gooner!

  202. Kenyan

    Why not go for Tony Attwood’s book. Explains everything you need to know


  203. FG – I thought that after I posted.

    Paul N – Bill is another one I skip by already knowing most of the content.

  204. This is interesting. Apparently we have a 13 year old “genius” and Oguzan Ozyakup is rated in the Fabregas class:


  205. YW, I have read that book. At times it was hard going, but very informative.

  206. another added to my list dups.

    I have no time for anti support of Arsenal from Arsenal supporters!

  207. Very exciting, Muppet.

  208. Had to laugh at this from twitter

    If ever you needed more proof Ashley Cole was a twat, he took a gun into training and shot a student when he could have shot Terry, Lampard, Drogba or himself. Torres tried to shoot himself, but he missed

  209. Yeah Muppet, there was an article in one of the local newspapers a year or so ago about Hale End, and they mentioned a nameless (thankfully) 12 year-old who was destroying teams single-handedly. Must be the same guy. Still, it’s at least three years before we’ll know who he is, and five years too early even to pay attention.

  210. The bottom line with all of this next day fallout is that if we push on and win either the league or champions league, no one will ever give a damn about yesterday’s result…it’s up to the Arsenal to come out with all guns blazing for the rest of the season…it’s all still there for the taking!

    Get healthy RVP, Cesc, and Walcott…you are unstoppable when on the pitch together…

  211. Or, the Wonder of Goo….gle. Sorry.

  212. Cheers OneOfUs.

  213. Good stuff Muppet & Big Al. Seems we certainly have a good future to look forward to.

  214. I must say though in all honesty that last goal is about the most silly thing ive seen all season. Its online with the Beach ball accident of Liverpool last season. I just could not stop laughing at that. And i cannot blame other supporters for laughing at Kos and Cezz making such a mess out of nothing. But its a new game on Wed and seeing off Orient we got to contentrate on United in the 5th round.

    What is more worrying than to loose te CC final is the fact we did not do all to well economically this year. There goes all your theories about how AW can just “splash the cash”. We cannot just splash cash when we dont make moey now can we? So unless some Arab or Russian oil sleezebag buys us up and becomes a rich uncle, we have to do what we know best, develop our own players and buy potential instead of the finished article.

  215. i mean i could not stop laughing at the beach ball ofc. There was nothing funny about our last goal conceded yesterday, xcept for that fact that it was to silly to be real…

  216. Wenger completely blew this match that Arsenal could have, and should have, won. In the build up to the game he should have made the players keep their mouth shut, instead they went on about Fabregas lifting the trophy, etc etc, as if they had won it before the match was played. He should have instructed the players to say nothing except how BHam are a great team and it’s gonna be a fight. But Wenger was too arrogant and let his players talk. For a coach who claims to value psychology this is unforgivable–it put more pressure on his players and made BHam more determined (which they were, weren’t they?) Also in the build up to the game the papers were saying it would be Jack or Nasri taking over for Cesc. But Wenger chooses Rosicky, despite the FACT that Nasri beat Bham twice this season playing the Cesc position, and he beat England with France playing CM. Again, Wenger’s extreme arrogance comes out and he has to prove everyone wrong, by playing Rosicky at CM, which has been a complete failure every time. Wenger has become the Raymond Domenech of England, stupid, arrogant, and soon the players will begin to despise him, just as the France players despised Domenech. Nasri was clearly off his game yesterday because of Wenger choosing Rosicky to play CM when playing him there has worked in the past, and even against that opponent. Wenger lost this match. The Rosicky at CM choice threw off the entire team. And before you all start in, I know it’s harder to maintain a top four place than win the CC. Yes, Wenger has done a lot, but the shooting themselves in the foot over and over in big games must be seen for what it is, a manifestation of their manager. Wenger

  217. ye,ye get over it tomth_oy . stop moaning like a bitch.

  218. Ever heard of paragraphs? Hard to read in one long lump.

  219. I don’t know about one long lump…that was more like one very long dump.

  220. Fun Gunner:

    You know as well as I how subjective judging a referees decision can be and you also know how frequently fans from different teams will look at the exact same play and have completely different opinion about how it should be judged. I doubt it would be possible for someone like Walter or whomever makes their judgements of the referees performance to do so without a very strong bias, no matter how hard they might try to be objective.

    Clearly there is some Xenophobia towards Arsenal that I do not see because of my distance from the source. I do not believe for a second that there is a refereee conspiracy which is holding us back. How could they keep that a secret? I also think that if Wenger or anyone at London Colney really believed that there was that strong of an institutional bias or conspiracy against us, they would make some attempt to do something about it. They would not sit by and watch our team suffer when multi-angle video replays of every game could be analyzed and a reasonable case could be made. Perhaps they are trying to do something and we don’t know about but I doubt it.

  221. wenger got a few decisions wrong yesterday but if we look at it objectively he/we have got bigger priorities than a fucking tin cup that fits in a netto bag..
    we should have beat brum all day long, if nasris shots were two yards to the left or right its a different scoreline if koz and ches dont make the mother of all cockups its a different scoreline but they didnt and we didnt win… now its time for the serious stuff..the stuff thats handed out in may..
    we can cry and moan all day long but the last 5 years of crying and moaning have got us fuck all as well so theres no point..

  222. hows robin doing..anyone got any info??

  223. if there was some referee conspiracy we wouldnt have got away with that penalty and red card in the first 2 minutes..
    clichy played him 5 yards onside we got lucky with that one if there was a conspiracy the game would have been over in the first two minutes and not the last two..
    weve also had about 15 penaltys this season..more than any other team i think..
    so unless we are part of this conspiracy i dont think there is one..
    there is a conspiracy to help manutd tho..if you want a definition of bias then look in a dictionary and ‘see rooneys elbow’
    in our case its just that everyone likes to laugh at us cos we do things our own way
    we are different…
    ppl are scared of different and ridicule it..
    same in any walk of like, same applies to us..
    ‘lets all laugh at wenger cos he dont spend nuffin and he dont win nuffin’

  224. Oy – the Tomth…

    Don’t you now feel much better having let that load off your chest?

    Shame on Wenger for making you the laughing stock. Let’s hang the fucker, quarter him and throw the lot around the M25. Besides, Tower Bridge was decommissioned way before its time.

    In fact, sinse Usmanov is now more loaded than Abramovich – let’s overthrow the board. I mean, if the Tunisan’s and Egyptians can get rid of dictatorships in a matter of weeks, surely the Arsenal fans can mobilize and get rid of Hill-wood, Gazidis and Wenger in one swoop. They’re useless – the whole fucking lot of them.

    While we’re at it, let’s throw all our keepers to the dogs and bring in a £20 million world class keeper like Hart, Gomez, Cech, Reina,, and all the other keepers in the EPL who are better than our current useless lot. I mean, what have our miserable keepers done for us this season, huh? We’re the laughing stock of all clubs, pundits and jounos. What good is it being 2nd in the league, having kept 6 out of 8 clean sheets and having the 2nd best goal difference with 18 other teams wishing they were in our position.

    And our defence. Jeez. Look at Man City and how much they’ve spent on their defence. Look at Tottenham who have world class centre halves coming out of their arses,.

    Look at Chelsea who just spent £25 million bringing in a Brazillian who except for giving away a pelantie (©HeOfTheWoddlyHeHasNoBrainLegend LLP) – can be judged to be better than the cheap skate Koscielny after only one game. Mind – they’re all below Arsenal in the table.

    Look at all the other teams below Arsenal in the table who have invested in huge phuckers who can only kick the ball into row Z – can’t play football to save their lives – but by God do they have pluck and spirit.

    Why Ccan’tWenger just buy British. Like the Somerset butter from Scotland and the Welsh Lamb from New Zealand – British have grit and steel unlike these wishy washy foreigners who don’t like it up ’em. We had pluck with the famous back 4, we had endeavour, we had spirit – what happened to Dixon, Adams, Keown and Winterburn. How dare Wenger get rid of them when Fergie kept his relics like Neville, Scholes and Giggs.

    Enough is enough – Wenger must go and we need to get someone who knows about how to manage the best teams in the world. Sam Allardysio is waiting and he’s not afraid to get stuck in or play the long ball. Project Wenger has failed and we need to wake up and smell the coffee.

  225. Bill stop assessing and descrediting someone’s brilliant work based on “I think”. How can you go against hard core stats with “I think”?.

    Go over the mans work and prove that he is biased in his assessment of the refs and stop with what you think, what you think doesnt mean anything.

    Again, he has rated refs the highest in games we have lost, its as if you refuse that point just because.

    Anyway, mi done, its like flogging a dead horse. I can see why you get blasted at times bill. You refuse to look at facts and that quite annoying to say the least.

  226. So Vela comes on with 10 minutes to play!

  227. VELAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  228. looked offside though

  229. Get in there – Vela

  230. It even better, it is against the rugby team that we detest.

  231. Vela is a typical fox in the box. He is a good finisher .

  232. Ahhh he almost got the 2nd

  233. Shame he ain’t Chicarito though…LOL!

  234. Why wont Hodgson play the kid?

    Give Vela games and he will be a great player.

  235. Darius- Vela is as good as hernadez. It unfortunate that Wenger does not like to play a fox in the box type players. He likes all his players to be involved in the build up and that is where Vela struggles at times but his anticipation and finishing is brilliant.

  236. I dunno, it seems somewhat empty without Maria celebrating a Vela strike…

  237. I don’t know how good he will be but it would be nice to see some of the legends come back to the club and coach. Perhaps Henry can be our “pep” after Arsene retires.


  238. Roy Hodgson is such an unambitious manager – Vela deserves better than super-sub status. Two substitute appearances, two goals. Maybe he should play him more often?

  239. But Hogdson will never learn, maybe if Vela was 6’8″ or perhaps had an english surname he’d be Hodgsons first choice lol.

  240. @Colney – Charles Vale? From Grimsby nonetheless.

  241. Does anyone agree with this article?


    I really hope it is not true but could be a lot of damage after that result. They must win something this year to erase this memory otherwise could be trophyless season and will be hard to erase. Could well be a mental barrier,

    That game yesterday was by far there best chance to win a trophy this year.

  242. “Vela deserves better than supersub status?”

    Precisely!! Why cant he break into Arsenal team??

    To me he looks like the real deal and cant understand why he wasnt lining up or coming on as supersub against Birmingham on Sunday!

  243. Begby, I get why Arsene would loan him out as he needs regular starts to get into the groove – but he is the most in form Arsenal striker after RVP at the moment and we could actually do with him right now as we don’t seem to be scoring as many goals lately. With RVP sidelined for a while, I just hope Bendtner and Chamakh step up and make the difference.

    As for the article, I haven’t read it, but from the title, how can anyone agree? It’s far too soon to say. Lets see how the next few games go. I’m sure the media would love for it to be true as it fits with their Arsenal stereotype, but this team is actually mentally tougher than the invincibles as they have had to swim against a tide of negativity from the media and some of their so called supporters. They’ve had many setbacks this season and come back stronger every time. I really believe that if the supporters stick with them, they can still surprise a few people.

  244. Ah! Passenal, the perfect antidote as usual. Thanks again for your well thought observations and comments.
    You and Frank give me perfect Yin/Yang

  245. YW-I think you may be missing a c in farcical in the title of this post

  246. Excellent description of Wembley, has a billion ever been worse spent?

  247. Disapointing game, against a team we really should have beaten.

    We have to keep persepective though. Without hitting our heights, we still played well enough. Brum played very well, and their keeper had a stormer. That said, we should have been down to ten men within 2 mins.

    A horrible cock up for their goal; personally I think Kos shoulders the balme for the error, where Szcechzny was unlucky. Nothing against Kos though, he has been excellent all season. He just needs to put it behind him now.

    That was our best chance to win something and we came up short. Lets see how the team reacts.

  248. Great knee-jerk stuff wanting Vela back. He needs the rest of the season out at Brom to score a few goals and get his confidence up. He looks scared stiff when he plays for us. There’s no doubt about the talent, the minutes and goals he gets on loan this season will hopefully translate into good performances for us next.

  249. It is obvious that no-one outside of the club has a clue about RvP’s fitness.

  250. Rooney gets away with assault to be there for the run in – RVP fucks up his knee to miss ours – Go figure

    WHO has cursed us??

  251. Just noticed that the BBC website while reporting the Rooney’Incident’ has no video of the ‘incident’ but does give us Ferguson’s diatribe against the media picking on poor Wayne.

    In an entirly unrelated story, we are told that the Premier League are holding off on fining manu over Ferguson’s refusal to hold interviews with the bbc because ‘… BBC sport is moving to Salford and wil become close naeighbours with Ferguson and want to resolve the matter before the move by talking to manu’.

    I have a nagging thought that these two reports may be in some way related but, no, the BBC is well known as a fair, impartial and top class organisation.

    It would be wrong to impugn their integrity.

  252. 1 – 0 Chelsea tonight. Darren Fletcher O.G in the 57th minute. Saw it in a (really shit) dream.

    The problem with Carlos is we loaned him to Di Matteo (stupidest sacking of the season) but now he plays for Hodgson. In his favour Hodgson has come out and said ‘Carlos is ready to start games’. On the other hand he also came out and bigged-up Marc-Antoine Fortune – inexplicably, and is now starting him instead. With a great run of games coming up (for Carlos, perhaps not for the Baggies); derby against brum, then us – can he play against us? – Liverpool, Sunderland, Chelsea and Spurs… he could get the chance to play against some good teams. He’s got to get ahead of fan favourites like Odemwingie and Thomas, and now Fortune. He just needs to take his opportunities – which in fairness he’s doing rather brilliantly. I think it’s only a matter of time before he starts, bearing in mind he is their quickest, most lethal, most skillful forward by a country mile and whenever he comes on Brom suddenly look class and he scores goals.

  253. The whole thing stinks, Cb. Why aren’t they covering it properly? They’ll show a whole slideshow of Aaron Ramsey with his leg hanging off but they won’t show a proper picture even of Rooney’s elbow smash. Fucking FA. Any other player on any other team… fucking disgraceful decision.

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