Bolton Preview: Let The Season End With A Bang Not A Whimper

Arsenal travel to The Reebok Stadium knowing that a win will probably not even lift them into second place yet give themselves a chance of catching leaders Manchester United. Games are running out, chances diminishing. Arsenal need a win to stop this seasons deflating, ending with a whimper.

The week ended with Wenger on the back foot, his captain speaking thoughtfully and honestly about the squad whilst the manager got hot under the collar about the interpretation and nuances that the media put on it. Such issues have led to semi-obituaries, Paul Wilson the latest opportunist to tap into the Arsenal zeitgeist.

The suggestion that the Arsenal way is somehow becoming jaded, a failed experiment, irrelevant in the modern game, is laughable. Spend, spend, spend! is not going to last, it simply cannot with the new rules that are being imposed on clubs. If it was as irrelevant, Chelsea would not be looking to fast-track youth through to the first team, preferring to buy their replacements.

Mental pressure increased with Chelsea and Manchester United winning yesterday. An Arsenal victory will make the next fortnight a mental battle, Arsenal will need to overcome United and hope for a Chelsea win the following Sunday. That creates its own problem with that scenario meaning goal difference will be the decisive factor.

Would that this was the only problem to be concerned about.

More immediately, how do Arsenal convert the draws which have blighted the recent run, into wins? Belief is the key; a very easy word to bandy around, very easy to say that you believe in yourself but the reality is that Arsenal do not appear to believe that they can defend a lead. Or so we are told.

The truth is somewhat different, Wednesday night a fresh wound in all minds. Like Sunday before, it was a golden opportunity lost to close the gap. A Chinese Water Torture in the footballing sense, confidence must be seeping away from the players. The solution must come from within.

The manager and staff can imbue them with all of the confidence that is possible but once they cross the white line, it is only the players who can resolve it. They have the experience of being in these situations yet have not yet learned to stop them recurring. A collective problem that is much harder to solve than individual errors.

So to the team. Abou Diaby is missing, as is Tomas Rosicky. A rumour has circulated that Thomas Vermaelen is to feature which makes sense if his much vaunted return against Manchester United has a shred of truth to it. Unlikely though is a full match from the Belgian, surely a gentle reintroduction the sensible course of action.

The line-up for this afternoon I would expect Arsène to go with is:

Szczesny; Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy; Fàbregas, Song, Wilshere; Walcott, van Persie, Nasri

The key thing for the players to remember is that there was not too much wrong with the attacking display in midweek. To go to your local rivals and a top five team, score three times and possibly have added two more, indicates that the rhythm is returning.

Bolton will be smarting from their drubbing at the hands of Stoke last weekend. They will be ready to salvage their pride and Arsenal need to be ready for this. A high tempo game will suit the visitors counter-attacking instincts. A win is vital. A win is achievable. And that is all which is required today.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 24, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 429 Comments.

  1. Bring back the missing link.Bring back David Dien

  2. First?

    I had to be, off to Bolton shortly. Let’s at least make United work for it.


  3. Come on The Arsenal.

    Support. That’s all we can do.

  4. Paulie Walnuts

    I`d be very surprised if you haven`t got the starting XI correct Yogi.

    I hope the lads can get the ball down & do their stuff today. If they cut out errors at the back it`ll be all three points.

    My main concern from Bolton would be Paul Robinson – & it`s not for footballing reasons.

  5. Start with Arshavin please!!

  6. YW
    Dein was Wenger’s sidekick.They were a double act.Who does DD’s job at the club now?Gazidis?What does he know about football? He’s a business man.If anyone can tell me we were not successful when DD was a the Club 83-07 your head must be up Wengers arse

  7. We’ve been quite successful the last 5 years as well.

  8. Since the Newcastle match this season has been like an open wound that just will not heal.
    We have found new and ever more ridiculous ways of shooting ourselves in the foot.
    I have reached the stage where I actually feel punch drunk with it all.Each new fiasco seems to leave me in a state of delirium .What have we done to deserve this torture?
    We have the most principled manager in the world,the best run club,fabulously talented young players ,a style of play that is a beauty to behold,a stadium second to none,and yet we are constantly kicked in the balls.
    Now my point is this.Were it not for this blog and the contributers I dont think I could have kept my sanity over the past two months .
    So thank you Yogi ,and all the usual suspects for making it possible to continue to have faith in a club that has to give you the greatest ride in the football world.

  9. an honest assessment yogi..

    the title maybe a distant hope now…theres nothing we can do about it but we cannot give up..

    third isnt good enough to paper over the cracks of this season we must not give in to chelsea…

  10. The problem is the players – it’s up to them to make things happen on the pitch. No sense moaning in the papers afterwards. Wenger takes too much of the blame sometimes. I really don’t see how Dein will make a difference. He only bought the players Arsene identified. He does not coach the team or play football so he really has nothing to offer in that respect.

  11. Ted

    Nobody denies that DD contributed to success but he made mistakes as well. Get your head out of your arse and think for yourself.

    You are too stuck in the past to see the future. You must walk along the street with your head downwards, avoiding the crap but missing the opportunities in life.


  12. I expect a very tough match. A win will give us hope. COYG!

  13. Paulie Walnuts

    DD is gone & he ain`t coming back – same as George Graham & Tony Adams for that matter.

    I believe Silent Stan will have a much bigger say than some people think

  14. Wenger today on .com

    “We live in a world where you are the second best by a little and everybody says you are rubbish.”

    But what if the team that is first is not as good as the team that is second or third? In order to be in a position to rectify mistakes of the past, you must first acknowledge them.

    I think Wenger is the greatest strategist the game has ever known, which is different from the greatest tactician, which he is not. I’m sure he has identified the issues. There’s just something about the No to AV campaign about him lately. It’s just too complicated for mere fans or the media to understand, so they don’t deserve to have an opinion.

  15. Limestonegunner

    I thought this was a fair article. The one flaw in the article is the idea that it is absolutely obvious that a GK and better CB would have guaranteed us the title, as it isn’t. But a good argument could be made that it would have helped. Lately, until Spurs this week, we have had more difficulty scoring than keeping goals out. But I also agree with the notion that we really should be in a commanding position at the top of the table this season.

  16. What does Wenger do to stop the rot. He has defended this team to the hilt and they need to restore the faith he has placed in them.A strong finish needed now. Losing 2nd place to Chelsea would just about seal it for this team. We still believe.COYG.

  17. I hope we win this afternoon but I’m already looking forward to next season.We need to keep the team together but I feel one or two changes will need to be made.

  18. yea gawds.

    What is it with football journalists?
    Does it require a special qualification to join the special ones club?

    How is a manager who is bringing forward more then just exciting young talent a part of the past? Walcott and Wilshere to name two? Has this ginormous football brain forgotten that football is a sport?
    As for John Cross.
    Well last summer he promised us that events would get, and I quote, ‘nasty’. Looks like he is still trying, bless him. Agenda, what agenda?

    I know most who read this blog know better, but I’d just like to repeat:
    Please don’t read or click on the parasitic ****’s posts or articles. Thank you.

  19. Limestonegunner

    John Cross has gone over the deep end. I wish some other journos got more chances on the Fans’ Forum on Fridays.

  20. slight tangent:

    I know positions, tactics vary from game to game, despite what some Arsenal fans and experts tell us. In this game for England Walcott was clearly playing in the advanced inside forward position for a modern 442ish type thing.

    (not the best resolution)

    It was fairly obvious what he was doing, as all three goals were familiar! Though some have been asking why Walcott hasn’t been playing as an orthodox whinger since and before that distant game.
    Funny, if such comments were not so stupid.

  21. John Cross, was, has been and always will be, what he is.

  22. Here’s a Walcott goal from the left.

    Ok, this goal is a counter from a corner, but we do see him ‘switch’ more when he’s in the middle of a run of games. So, if Nasri and Walcott both start again today, we might see some of that as Nasri goes on a walkabout.


  23. can someone post the John Cross article link.
    I want to pull him on it next time he is on Fans Forum

  24. Honest assessment yogi. Tough times the cesc article was especially poor timing even if the Spanish rag broke an argreement there was nothing positive that could have come from cesc giving an interview.

    Tough game today. Win would sure help for the Manc game next week.

    Limestone. Nice article although I think the conclusion is overly simplistic alot of what is said makes sense about wenger. My hope is that some parts of his philosophy that seem to have become inviolatAble commandants such as thou shall not overspend even a shilling and thou shall never buy an experienced good player in the prime of his career morph into useful guidelines that can be changed if the situation warrants.

  25. What?

    You mean like Bacary Sagna, to name one?

  26. @ Ateeb
    We’ve been quite successful the last 5 years as well.

    Um no we havent!

  27. John Cross, Paul Wilson, etc etc. It seems to be open season for the hacks.

    What’s difficult to understand is how anyone thinks they can write off the World Coach of the Decade unless they’re stupid, ignorant and ill-info . . . . . . . .ah, now I see it.

  28. merlot, Arsene Wenger is such a poor coach that Real Madrid would do anything to replace the special needs one with him.

  29. Yep.

    Just checked. Bacary Sagna is indeed an Arsenal player. Was voted into the team of the year thingymajobby. There are others.

    Thanks be to the Football Gawds that these trolls are full of nothing but the finest gr*t.

  30. I guess neither Arshavin nor Chamakh were in their prime when we bought them either, hm? Vermaelen?

  31. When we bought Eduardo, wasn’t he like 25? Seems to me like we have bought one player in his prime at least once a year …

  32. Interesting link Limestone. But the journalist has got to put things in perspective. If TV was fit we wouldn’t need another centre back. As for Skeltenburg he would have stood in the development of Szcesny. Szcesny looks like the real thing and no need to bring someone who might have made him leave!

  33. Limestonegunner: Thankyou for posting that most interesting article. It was indeed a fair comment. However, I feel as you do that a top notch centre back and goalkeeper would not have necessarily made the difference this season. Although, it may have helped, I believe that the overall quality in the side is still lacking.

  34. What does overall quality mean Two Owls?

  35. RVP to set record if scores today. I.e. scoring in seven consecutive away games.

  36. hi guys anyone got a link to the game today cheers

  37. Well, we should’ve had a penalty in the first five minutes.

  38. Evil have u got a link to the game m8

    It’s in french, though but at least it’s not dodgy like the five English streams I tried before.

  40. You’ve put your finger on it, YW. For me, the squad is fine (not perfect, but no squad is) both in terms of quality and the mix of styles, and it really is up to them from now on.

    @ Limestonegunner
    Nice to see some recognition of our manager’s ability, but this:
    “He failed to buy the highly experienced international-class goalkeeper that he actively sought in the transfer market. And he failed to buy the highly experienced international-class central defender that was also required by the team.” is not quite right.
    For one thing he did buy such a defender – the writer doesn’t rate Squillaci but “highly experienced international-class central defender” is Toto’s profile and he isn’t exactly ancient, either. Even if you don’t rate Squillaci either, we have in effect a “new” defender who anyone would think was a “highly experienced international-class central defender” from his performances.
    And regarding the purchase of a keeper, granted that Wenger was looking, but does anyone really think that we have a problem (injuries apart) at the keeper position? If we keep Almunia or Jens (for another six months), we are in an ideal situation, I would have thought.
    It’s funny that you should post that article today because in essence it’s another manifestation of the “spend spend” attitude which YW discusses in the post.

  41. @ Evil
    great posts yesterday – I forgot to say

  42. @ Limestonegunner
    Even if you don’t rate Squillaci either, we have in effect a “new” defender who anyone would think was a “highly experienced international-class central defender” from his performances.

    I meant Djourou.

  43. Song nearly gets his leg taken off, and van Persie is the villain for complaining to the ref.

  44. How the fuck did Davies get away with that tackle?

  45. Taylor’s challenge deserved a straight red!

  46. To George, the team did well after the Newcastle match, we even beat Barcelona after that.

  47. I wish our players would get in the box more often.

  48. Limestonegunner

    I didn’t say the article was perfect or “supportive” of Wenger and Arsenal, FG. I agree that Squillaci fits the general profile. After a season watching him, I think we could have done better perhaps and there might have been a reason Sevilla was willing to sell him for 2-3 million which isn’t the going rate for a really good international CB, which Squillaci once was but seems no longer to be (he hasn’t made the French national team recently, I don’t think). So, you are right, the writer is actually making an argument about quality and should have written more carefully, saying something like, a highly experienced, current international of real quality in his prime.

    As far as Djourou, who has been wonderful, he isn’t really a “highly experienced” CB; in my opinion that would mean at least 4 or 5 seasons starting in a major league at the very minimum. Experience is also being used perhaps implicitly to include the quality of leadership as well, so perhaps the writer should have been more explicit about including that in the profile he briefly sketched, if he meant it that way.

  49. Nice to see us taking some long range shots!

  50. for crying out louds lads put some effort into it..
    we play like this next week we’ll get embarrassed…

  51. Come on boys!

  52. Bollocks!! COYG!!

    @ Limestonegunner
    “I didn’t say the article was perfect or “supportive” of Wenger and Arsenal, FG. ”
    Didn’t say you had! My comments were about the article, not your views.
    Speaking of which, Squillaci has had to adapt to a new league. And Djourou has been as good as a highly experienced international player, though – that’s what I meant.

    Plus of course neither we nor the writer know which of AW’s was actually available.

  53. Our defending has been nothing short of Shambolic in this half

  54. Why wont our players get into the box? I dont get it!

  55. At least they are playing with urgency!

  56. 1 loose cannon

    Soft soft soft goal to conceed that was the only corner they had and scored from it. we had about 6 but no worries will come back. we need 5 goals to close the gap and that is the aim in this game .

  57. y are nt using the full width of the pitch and keep on using the left side even if the right is free!

  58. Only one goal in it – we can turn it around.

  59. 1 loose cannon

    The dirty old Bolton is on show and the ref is doing nothing about it. nasty tackles. Muamba should’ve been sent off for a second yellow.

  60. 1 loose cannon

    I’m still confident about this game

  61. Limestonegunner

    Sturridge, 7 in 9. He’s doing the business. Set piece goal. It happens. But it is still the first half and I think we have been playing pretty well, so hopefully we’ll have a strong second half. We might need to bring on Arshavin for Walcott when Bolton start playing deep to defend this in the second half. Or bring on Chamakh for Song.

    The commentator said Fabregas indicated in the Don Balon article that he would like to play a bit deeper. Did he really suggest that? Anyone read Spanish?

    It would allow Nasri to play more centrally but then every pundit would criticize us for not having a proper DM shielding the back.

  62. I’m watching the match at my usual joint and the mood was subdued even before we conceded the goal.

  63. looks like a whimper yogi..

  64. If Lucas’ was a pen last week, then Theo’s was blatant.

    …and then we went and hit the post for the hundredth time this season. If we keep the tempo up we’ll get something though.

  65. Ah, that’s why he wasn’t booked – he was already on a yellow. He should have been off then.

  66. Robin’s lost a bit his mojo on freekicks for a while now

  67. 1 loose cannon

    Jon Jon still another 45 mins to go- Wait a little bit then you can rant at full strength.

  68. We’ll come out with all cylinders blazing!

  69. well it’s certainly whimpering a.t.m

  70. Out of interest, what was the last direct free-kick we scored? I remember us coming close a couple times, but not a goal for a few months at least. Could be wrong.

  71. We actually played decently well in that half. A solid penalty shout…2 great shots from Fabregas, one saved by the keeper, one by the post. Van Persie has been non-existent, Walcott has disappeared. I would drop Song, bring on Chamakh and finish out with a good ol 442 to hammer them for 45 minutes. I know it won’t happen, but I would like to see it.

  72. Muamba shouldve been off no doubt, as should Davis! Davis not even a yellow!

    The inconsistency is baffling!

  73. I think the goal was Cahill’s but it doesn’t really matter, does it? Mark this down as another match where the ref hasn’t done enough. Theo was tackled in the box, the defender didn’t get the ball. Davies should at least have a yellow. Muamba should have gotten his second yellow card. I hate to make excuses and maybe we’d still be down 1 nil, but those were misses from the ref. Jack and Song are going to have to be more accurate with the passing. Hopefully our fitness is better than Bolton’s, but they’re no pushover. There are at least 4 guys on their side that could play for us no question. Arsene looking frazzled and as if he’s aged 10 years in the last several months.

  74. Clichy is the weakest link in our defence.he can’t even make good throw ins

  75. Limestonegunner

    Davies should have had a yellow and Muamba a second yellow. It’s just obvious that the ref is being quite lenient with Bolton’s physical play. But, that wasn’t a great goal to give up.

    How many times did we hit the post?

    The main thing is I hope our players don’t feel disheartened because we are playing well. Wilshere has looked very bright and Cesc is getting some good shots in from distance.

  76. Cesc looks hungry for a goal which is a good thing. I just don’t think Nasri looks very involved out wide, he needs to be in the action because he is possibly our best chance for a goal from outside the box…I just want to see Chamakh again. I forgot what he even looks like its been so long…

  77. Why the hell is the epl’s officiating so poor?

  78. Y do we keep crossing the ball when nobody is in the box?

  79. Would be nicwe to see us come out pissed off and ready to prove a point. 3-1 to the Arsenal is what I would like to see…

  80. Ref’s are afraid to make the decisions. A missed call can be overlooked…a sending off can’t, its that simple.

  81. Down 1 nil, not sure we really need Song for the second half. Can’t see Chamakh not getting in there as Bendtner’s not even on the bench.

  82. Kenyan, I think Sir Alex would disagree with you!

  83. Wilshere and fabregas should always make runs into d box. Fabregas does it some times,but jack,hardly.

  84. Drop Song bring on Chamakh! Come on Wenger go with something bold…what have we got to lose at this point?

  85. Limestonegunner

    I agree and suggest Chamakh for Song. But I think we should try it early rather than wait for 72nd minute but it might leave us a bit exposed defensively on the counter.

  86. Fox Soccer pundits are a fuckin joke…Warren Barton is a tool of the highest order…

  87. 1 loose cannon

    I find it a little bit furstrating that every time a ball is loose in their box there is no one to nudge it in. Maybe a fox in the box is needed that is what Hernadez does at Manure but to have that luxury it means we have to switch to the good old 4-4-2 and bring Chamakh on at some point

  88. Now he calls a penalty? Ridiculous.

  89. Switching to 442 won’t be a bad idea.wit Wilshere coming of 4 a shuld sit deep in a classic dm role.

  90. Limestonegunner

    That’s a dive!

  91. Limestonegunner


  92. Limestonegunner

    Come on Arsenal! Let’s use that great stop as inspiration!

  93. How the fuck are we supposed to compete when we consistently get decisions like that against us?!

  94. 1 loose cannon


  95. 1 loose cannon

    justice was done

  96. Limestonegunner

    RvP, mental strength!

  97. Beautiful!!!!!!!! Justice is f’ing served!

  98. He just can’t stop scoring, can he?

  99. Thank God! well done Chesney and well done RvP!!

  100. Skywatchingmug

    Get in there, Van the Man.

  101. Cracking goal!!

  102. Limestonegunner

    Time to pour it on. Final score 5-1, let’s go!

  103. Ok, let’s win this now!

  104. And yes, that penalty … well Theo got felled in the first five minutes and we did not get a penalty for it. That was thousand times more a pen than what was given for Bolton. C*nt ref.

  105. Fuck Yea!

  106. 1 loose cannon

    RVP’s 17 goals in 17 games. the best striker in the league

  107. That’s the record for Van Man. The most consistent striker in the league!

  108. 1 loose cannon

    Watch Bolton wobble now

  109. Limestonegunner

    Away fans are audible on the telly–let’s keep up the momentum. Anything but a draw. I still support throwing on Arshavin or Chamakh soon for Song.

  110. ches you fucking legend

  111. Song gets a yellow. Davies who almost broke Song’s leg got nothing. Yep, fair and balanced.

  112. Limestonegunner

    Song, yellow, he should come off. That’s hardly a yellow compared to Davies, Muamba fouls the ref ignored.

  113. Amazing how well bolton are reading cescs passes today. Nearly all of his attempts at a ‘defence splitting pass’ has been intercepted.

  114. Did the away fans just sing Eboue’s name or did I just mishear it?

  115. Limestonegunner

    Evil, sounded like it to me. Eboue!

  116. Limestonegunner

    Henristic, that’s why maybe Nasri needs to assert himself a bit more creatively.

  117. Limestonegunner

    Or Jack, he started very brightly and was getting forward in dangerous positions in the first 10-15 minutes but has been quiet recently.

  118. the officials have been shit today..
    weve been stung the hardest but weve had a couple in our favour that were dodgy as well
    bolton are about 8-2 up on the decisions though
    fucking crap referee..

  119. Limestonegunner

    Where is the foul on Nasri?! This is getting ridiculous.

  120. Limestonegunner

    Djourou got away with one there. Finally we benefit slightly from a ref decision.

  121. Song out, please. Bring in the little Russian.

  122. It’s like a football brawl.

  123. I agree Limestone. He’s my fav player but he has not been nearly as effective as he can be. Has also given the ball away a couple of times, something he never used to do.

  124. Borges Spinelli

    Chamakh for Song
    Jack off for Ramsey.

  125. Limestonegunner

    Come on Chamakh. I like the move for Song. I wonder how we will set up.

  126. So what was wrong with JW’s tackle there?

  127. Limestonegunner

    Borges, not a bad suggestion as JW has a yellow. Ramsey could do some damage as he is a bit more attacking, but with Song off we are a bit light defensively; JW is tough sitting in the middle?

  128. What formation are we playing now?

  129. Hahaha, that pundit can just go f*ck himself. Talks about how Bolton only lost twice at home, to Liverpool and Chelsea and then he talks about how this is a game Man Utd would win. Are they really all that stupid?

  130. Limestonegunner

    Oh!!! Nasri!

  131. And that should’ve been a goal 😦

  132. Oh, it’s doing my head in, going so close and not scoring.

  133. Limestonegunner

    FG, that is what I am wondering. The action has been so end to end that I can’t tell, but it looks like RvP is playing deeper but still centrally.

  134. is chamack scared of taking shots at goal??

  135. Come on Nasri!

    Chamakh, get a little selfish!

  136. UnbiasedTobias

    Its at the point where I don’t even expext arsenal to score wen they 1 on 1
    We ahould have so many goals by now

  137. Thanks, LG

  138. So we the same amount of fouls as Bolton?

  139. come on arsenal

  140. RVP, hands down the best player in the PL!

  141. Limestonegunner

    Nasri’s finishing is a bit off, but making fabulous runs. Lots of time, let’s keep playing our game. Just need someone to step up and take a crack. One goal and we might open the floodgates for a couple more.

  142. Kozzer’s as cold as ice.

  143. Nasri’s finishing is way off, we should be out of sight!

  144. Limestonegunner

    Time wasting begins.

    How is that a red?

  145. So the ref didn’t see the foul but still books Chamakh and gives a free kick?

  146. Limestonegunner

    Need to take a shot from outside. Instead we go for cross with no one inside the box.

  147. We really don’t know how to cross the ball do we? Or get on the end of a cross?

  148. Limestonegunner

    Good question from the commentator. Why are there three players at the edge of the box as the corner comes in? Before winning the corner–three passes sideways in front of the box with a bit of space but it goes wide for Arshavin instead of someone RvP, Nasri, or Cesc shooting it!

  149. I don’t understand how so few Bolton cloggers have been booked

  150. md
    thats cos we got no winger or hotshot goalpoaching striker

  151. Limestonegunner

    Wow, that is poor.

  152. That’s it game over. Season over??

  153. Muppets

  154. Didn’t think we could crumble worse than the end of last season. In fact it’s been so much worse than the end of last season.

  155. Limestonegunner

    2 set piece headers. 4 more minutes, we can equalize but a draw isn’t enough.

  156. Djourou has been off all game, not surprised he got beat by his man.

  157. 1 loose cannon

    disaster. sad ending to our season really

  158. how predictable…

  159. 1 loose cannon

    3 corners 2 goals that is simply criminal.

  160. Borges Spinelli

    Can you why we need an out-an-out striker?

  161. 1 loose cannon

    It does not make one bit of a diffenece if we get an equalsier.I put my hands up and say It is over

  162. Bad defending from our best defender and poor offense from our best player for most of the year.

    The hurtful thing is how good the team played in the 2nd half.

    Damn it!!!!

  163. we are shit its official nw!! Wenger plays the same team tht has bn failing 2 win and we play the same formation tht hs nt worke in the past number of games and 2 be honest who do we blame here? The players dnt look lyk they really want 2 win. We get a corner only 3 arsenal players r in the box!! and we expect to score goals

  164. RVP not happy with Taylor

  165. 1 loose cannon

    Farewell the title for another season

  166. At least RvP’s showing some anger.

  167. Limestonegunner

    The lads look very very disappointed. What is RvP disputing with the Bolton players about. At least Cesc is applauding the away support.

    This takes the air out of next week’s match with ManU.

  168. No team can win the title defending like that.

    Nothing short of a shambles.

    Pathetic, gone out with a whimper again.

  169. 1 loose cannon

    Make no mistake this team is good but defensively we came short I’m afraid. A lot of work needs to be done in that department.

  170. These players need to get it together for real, people who blame Wenger have lost it, the players have let him down.

    Overall a good team performance but two players were not on form and hurt us really bad.

    The away supporters are pure class and Wilshere is def a future captain.

  171. And at least JW’s acknowledging the fans – it looks like he handed his shirt to a Metallica roadie though!

  172. A predictable end to a predictable season. As Cesc said we need to make a decision on whether we are happy being a team that develops players or a team that wins trophies.

    Same old same old

  173. Limestonegunner

    man City has two games in hand, so we still need to finish strongly.

  174. Need: Starting centre back, starting DM (Song can play backup), pacy and strong striker, left winger.

    Also need Wenger not to say there’s a chance we can win the rest of our games and a chance United will lose the rest of their games.

  175. 1 loose cannon

    I honestly did not see this result coming. We lplayed really well. It a carbon copy of how we faded last season. why?

  176. Limestonegunner

    Chicago, I don’t think he’ll be saying that, but let’s wait for the postmatch interview.

  177. Well the epic collapse is complete. So disheartening…I ge the feeling that Arsene is more frustrated now than he ever has been as Arsenal manager. I think he may start to make some key changes this summer, because this pattern is not going away.

  178. Game over…….Sick….sick……sick….. to the stomach that is the feeling. Cant blame the teams effort but will rue being less clinical against a dogged Bolton side and taking an extra touch when it seemed easier to score. One header beats 4 players at the near post…a familiar scenario plays itself out again. Arsene looked like he could be committed to a psychiatric hospital after this showing. 2012 i think.

  179. what was wrong with the rest of them acknowledging the fans??
    typical arsenal…best away fans in the league treat like shit again apart from one player..

  180. Came up short?

    The midfield don’t protect the back 4, and the back for are a fucking shambles.

    Clichy? Better than Ashley? Do me a fucking favour!

    Pathetic, truly pathetic.

    I would usually defend them after a defeat but how can you after that performance, and in fact, any performance of the last 2 months?

    They should be ashamed of themselves.

  181. UnbiasedTobias

    Time for the arsenal mantra… “Maybe next season”
    The hardest part will be having to accept all the “I told u so’s” from doomers, mancs, chelsea fans, spurs… Well what doesn’t kill you makes u stronger.

  182. Limestonegunner

    1lc, I think we were playing well too, but we weren’t clinical and we let Bolton slow down the game in the last 10-15 minutes and we showed our set piece vulnerability.

    Why aren’t we good at organizing our defense? Then again, you wouldn’t expect Cohen to be coming up with the big header and Djourou was there, just not aggressive enough going up for that header.

  183. Our finishing was just as bad, lets not lay all the blame on the defense though it was criminal.
    I am not sure Djourou is fully over his injury though, he made mistake after mistake in this match. Since he has been back, the heart of the defense we hasnt looked as good as when Squillaci was playing. Thats the plain truth.

  184. Sometimes I think RVP is the only one that gives a shit about winning on our team. The entire team should be angry after this performance. Show a little fuckin fire on the pitch for once. Too many nice guys out there…we need more players that are pissed off when we lose, not less.

  185. Limestonegunner

    I thought Djourou was generally ok and he had Liverpool where he was good.

  186. Terrific review! This is exactly the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the Google for not ranking this blog post higher!

  187. No leadership and no sense of urgency. That pretty much sums up this loss. Sagna, Clichy and Szczesny were the best for us today. Everyone else was pretty much on auto-pilot and they’ve had enough of this season. It was written in their faces when they came out for the second half.

  188. How many times we gonna say played well but drew/lost… I really think that our style sometimes flatters to deceive. Also when are we gonna learn to defend set pieces, I honestly believe that unless we have some serious fundamental changes over the summer we’ll have exactly the same season next year.

  189. The pen was harsh on Djourou, but he did find himself wrongsided on several occassions today…just seems like he was slow in reading the game.

  190. Gutted..even more so that this is truly the first time that there was no passion or sadness when we was almost a calm expectance…truly sad..

    its like we have all the ingredients, an awesome chef, but a little goblin, who switches the pepper for salt in the end..

  191. Limestonegunner

    I didn’t see any of that Gains. RvP is full of fire, we were creating some chances, but yes the leadership question at the back is an issue.

  192. That goal was down to one man getting beat. It seemed to me that we were well organised for the corner but you have to stick to your assignment.

  193. Offensively,clichy is a cul d sac.

  194. oh well the season sure ended with a sure most arsenal would quickly want to forget this season.i guess i should be used to it by now, but each time it hurts,really heartbreaking to see the looks of the away arsenal support,am sure it was a reflection of what we all felt.The promise of tomorrow sound very hollow right now.

  195. 1 loose cannon

    PaulN this is Djourou’s first defeat. The guy is good, this was his off day and it can happen. he is the only guy who can deal with aerial theat in our team but sometimes is not enough.

  196. I am just worried now that the league is definitely out of sight the players will already be thinking about next season and we will lose the automkatic Champs League spot. Stoke away will be tough, same with Fulham…could be a really bad end of the season run. Lets hope that is not the case.

  197. RVP was great G69.

  198. Limestonegunner

    You guys are right about Djourou; I forgot about the penalty which was harsh but he was behind the play there.

  199. Skywatchingmug

    Soft goals from set plays, again.
    Great away support as always.

  200. Clichy???? That’s fucking hilarious!

    He was garbage today, really bad.

  201. Borges Spinelli

    Is there even need for a post-match analysis? What good will do? And for whose grief will it console?

  202. When RVP dropped deep he made two passes that should have resulted in goals. Just goes to show that he can be the best goalscorer and playmaker on the team. Pure class, and no doubts about where his loyalties lie either…he is the true Arsenal captain in my eyes.

  203. the pictures on the faces of all our players both at half time and full time were the worst things I saw today. no one believes anymore.

    cesc should not be captain (on our books?) if all he can do is look at the ground and shake his head. extremily disappointing.

    the ground hog day stereo type is ringing in my ears

  204. Chamakh needs someone to tell him he is a fuckin striker as well…look for the fuckin goal!

  205. Vice
    I think Szczesny looked angry as well

    That sounds very negative from you

  206. Folks – the fat lady has just been handed the microphone.

    And who are all these punks coming out here to comment. Where are they crawling from.

  207. I can’t really put my finger on which collapse is worse now…this one or the 07/08 Eduardo season. I think 07/08 may have been harder because Eduardo’s EPL career was essentially ended, but this year’s collapse is up there with the best of them. Truly tough to witness…

  208. 1lc, it can happen as far as Djourou having an off game but the timing is so bad. I am wondering if he is not over his injury fully?

  209. Paulie Walnuts

    I`ve either got psychic powers or have had massive deja vu this afternoon as I`ve seen that game many times this past few years

  210. Clichy hs not been good the whole season i thnk its tym he gets competition and dont tell me about Gibbs

  211. Arsechicago: “Need: Starting centre back, starting DM (Song can play backup), pacy and strong striker, left winger.”

    We have a very good back four and with Vermaelen coming in, it will just get better. Song is one of the best DM’s in the league. Can defend and score. Not too many DMs around who can do each equally well. A pacy and strong striker to replace Van Persie? This team has plenty of pace.

    I’d only buy if Nasri or Cesc want to leave.

  212. Fact of the matter is, Djourou and Song are probably backups. Need proper 1st stringers in there. Song’s been injured, but his play has taken a troubling step backwards this second half of the season. Too many misplaced passes by us, too. Again, I don’t know how or why Wenger would want to try and right the ship. He just looks like he’s probably completely snapped. I do feel bad for him; he clearly wants to win very badly. What he’s going to have to give up to a degree is wanting to win without likely upgrading 4 positions.

  213. it doesnt even hurt anymore
    im used to it..

  214. Groundhog Day. Next season we’ll be competing with Sp*rs, Liverpool and City for two CL places. The other clubs will all have invested heavily in their squads. Concerning.

  215. The cunts from la grave are about to invade our space.

  216. Djourou and Song wouldn’t start for United or Chelsea. So we’re going to be good enough defensively without being better than either of those two clubs at CB, GK (I like Chezzer, but he’s still young) and DM? C’mon, let’s be realistic.

  217. Darius

    The posters do come out from nowhere when we lose. I must admit that I am caught up in the negativity right now as well. I held out as long as I could, but now the end of the run is a reality and I am just having a good vent before I move on to thinking about next year. I am usually very optimistic, even when we lose…

  218. RVP was the leader on the pitch today….if he can only stay fit for a full season..I think the lack of competition for song is showing a bit..anyone agree?

  219. Limestonegunner

    Darius, it is mostly regulars, man.

  220. Yes Chamakh needs to stop looking for the pass all the time, very annoying. There were more times that we looked for a pass instead of cracking the ball, Wilshere and Nasri come to mind.

    geez whiz!

    very frustrating!!!

  221. darius,you are the punk, with the air of infallibility(read self-entitlement) you and your likes bring to honest must be the other extreme to the punks at Le grove!

  222. The most troubling part of all of this is that I can’t even put my finger on the problems anymore. When the problem seems to be mental and not physical it is incredibly difficult to diagnose.

    I think the true leaders for next season’s campiagn need to to be RVP and Vermaelen. Cesc is not the captain of this team, and shouldn’t have the armband in my opinion. I love him as a player, but he does not lead this team emotionally, which is where we seem to be falling short.

  223. G69
    disagree on pace…we have lacked that recently in our attacking play

  224. Tokala, it may seem negative but that’s what I saw today. The players’ attitudes just didn’t match the importance of the game.

  225. Borges Spinelli

    “Overall a good team performance but two players were not on form and hurt us really bad.”

    Paul, buddy, I have to disagree with your generous assessment of the team’s endeavors. We sucked out there today. You know it, i know it, the players know it and so does Wenger, too. I sure hope these fellas have it in ’em to hang on to 3rd spot, 4th, even.

  226. Clichy’ crossing is not the best but did he defend poorly?

  227. here we go we will be handed the standard requests-

    1. Wenger out
    2. Board out.
    3. Hazard
    4. Cahill
    5. A super awesome DM
    6. A 50 goal a season out and out striker like Dzeko (he scored 50 didnt he?) or maybe torres (50?)

    Please at least try and be creative if not constructive in your criticism..

  228. If you really care about the team, you won’t make suggestions as to how to improve. Is that what we’ll start hearing? Anyway, off to try and make myself feel better.

  229. We need one or two more very strong personalities in this team. Wilshere is shaping up to be a very no-nonsense type of player which is nice to see. I think having the Verminator back will help immensely.

  230. anyone else worried city are going to take 3rd??

  231. Limestonegunner

    JamesM, it is a worry with Liverpool rebuilding, ManCity spending, Chelsea spending, United spending, and perhaps even Spurs spending. That doesn’t guarantee they will be better but they very well might be.

    The other problem is if we lose players we need to keep. Cesc? Nasri? Arshavin? We have to finish strongly and give a good account of ourselves v. ManU.

  232. How did we suck overall? the team was playing well and dominated the 2nd half. Two players didnt come up when we most needed them to and the whole team suffers, thats sports.

    So no I dont know it at all.

  233. I think the genesis of this slump was the loss of the Carling cup final to Birmingham. We haven’t yet recovered, but the players need to pick themselves up very quickly as there’s still a job to be done to secure an automatic Champions League place.

    It’s also an opportunity to let the hand-brake down as they say, and play without pressure – that might actually help.

    Tactically, I’d like to see something different that will give the rest of the bus parking teams (including the Manure) some food for thought.

    Since Vermaelen is going to get some pitch time, what about some experimentation with a 3-5-2 system.

    Koscielny, Djourou, Vermaelen to cover the back.
    Sagna and Gibbs to play as wingbacks with an attacking remit.
    The 3 in the middle to be Cesc, Song and Wilshere, and the front 2 – Nasri playing off RVP.

    Let’s be unpredictable for the remaining games.

    I’m also trying to think which is harder to take – droppping the chase against the Manure or letting Chelsea catch up and overtake us.

  234. Darius
    Time to forget this Fat Lady thing now… just look at the players’ faces, nobody thinking about the title anymore, belief down to zero. Time to move on

  235. Biggest key now is for the team to go out there and hang on to the third spot or possibly grab second back. I think I may have to consider rooting for United to beat Chelsea now that we have no realistic chance of catching them…or perhaps a draw.

    I would also like to see Wenger be a little more creative with team selection and formations down the home stretch to see what these players are really capable of.

  236. we wont get second
    weve choked weve blown it and the players just want the season to be over and utd will fucking hammer us next week

  237. ArseChicago, what are you babbling about? Ferguson would rip your arm clean off if you gave him the opportunity to buy Djourou and Song. With Ferdinand at the end of his career and Smalling as his other option, Djourou would be a heaven sent for them. Ditto with Song. I can’t imagine what idiot would think that Song wouldn’t be a huge boost to their midfield, considering how bad Carrick has been and how much Ferguson has relied on Scholes this season.

    Go away.

  238. At least we r still 9 points ahead of spurs.

  239. I don’t know all or any of the answers to why this team has mentally collapsed [maybe the pen vs Liverpool?] but there seems a constant theme, that is an inability to defend resolutely when corners/free kicks come into the box. I like Djourou, but he should have done better for Bolton’s winner.

  240. UnbiasedTobias

    Jonjon… To right. It doesn’t hurt anymore. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t expect bolton to win.
    I want to feel pain but I can’t, I want the players to feel pain and anger, but they’re having a pity party between them
    If u can see the dissapointment, anger and shame written on wengers face that is arsenal right now. The players seem oblivious.
    I just want to see some anger in their faces… Even if we don’t come second I just want them to play with fire in their bellies and prove to us that they havnt just been a waste of time.
    I’m not talking about everybody. RVP has been my player of the season and a true gooner. Now in the last few games can the boys please please please just play their hearts out.

  241. Limestonegunner

    I agree Darius, let’s be unpredictable. The pressure is off in some form, but as I pointed out above as well, Man City has two games in hand and could get close for 3rd if we continue to lose.

  242. I just dont agree that the team played as if they didnt care. I am not sure how you quanity that but they looked to be giving it their all.

    Cesc is not a a good capitan as it stands, he can become one but he isnt ready just yet. That my be one place where I really fault Wenger. No matter what you say, you do need a leader to lead at times.

  243. man city have two games in hand
    they win them and they are right up our arses..we are dropping like a stone so ive got no confidence whatsoever about beating anyone else this season
    fucking hell…

  244. Would love to see us go for it with cesc nasri and Jack in midfield for our remaining games..Arshavin and walcott wide..

    I think next season we will see a more confident Chamakh too..

  245. The look on the players faces at the start of the second half was disturbing. I saw fear and not determination.

  246. We have a good enough team, but at this moment the problem clearly is mental. Nothing else explains our sequence of 5 draws, 1 defeat and 1 win, i.e. 8 points from the last 7 games. In which case I have to sadly say that a refreshing of the team is required. If some players are consistently not up for it mentally we have to relook at them inspite of all their obvious talent.

    And the above I think applies more to our “star” players than the youngsters. We have had our best team sans Vermaelen during this bad run, so hard to find any excuse really. Yes we had goalkeepers out for some games but we haven’t done too badly in defence during that period other than the West Brom game.

  247. I do believe that if Cesc’s heart is not in it come summer time we have to let him go for the psyche of the team. Shit, let Real Madrid pay through the nose for him so we can simultaneously give Barca the middle finger.

    Van Persie is more than capable of playing a Bergkamp type role in this team if need be. Walcott could be shifted to central striker with Nasri and Arshavin on the wings. Who knows, it is all conjecture now. Just close out the season strong Gunners!

  248. @Tokala

    It’s OK – you’ll feel better in the morning.

  249. It hurts me! I expected a resounding Arsenal win. I cannot believe that we couldnt get atleast a 2nd goal given the chances we had.

  250. The difference between last season’s collapse and this season’s one is that then we were missing a large proportion of our main players. This is season we have virtually everyone there and yet 5 draws and a loss in 7 games.

    Their spirit and confidence is at such a low, that we must start to worry about possibly coming 5th. If we cannot beat this lot, how are going to win again this season?

    This game was lost in the first half, when the players were just not trying hard enough.

    At the beginning of the season, Nasri would have gobbled up those chances without batting an eyelid. Now nerves and stress are preventing the players from playing the way they can.

    Perhaps next week they can be uninhibited, knowing that the title is lost, and playing only for pride. If they can’t do that then perhaps wholesale changes maybe in order.

  251. Limestonegunner

    Paul N, I thought we would rip through them even though I expected a tough game. Frankly, we needed a big victory because goal difference was also against us.

  252. Borges Spinelli

    We’ll have to agree to disagree, Paul. That’s not how i saw things.

    Viceologist, i was with you on most things you typed until said root for Chelsea or Man U. I’d rather lay down on a busy freeway than to support those 2.

  253. Darius…if they can’t get over the Carling Cup loss in 2 months while the title challenge on I don’t have much hope now that the title challenge is over.

  254. I like that formation Vice, I believe it is time to push Walcott forward with RVP right behind. RVP is something else and I have to agree with Frank that he has been shouldering the scoring. With players like we have I cannot see why scoring is so blasted difficult!

  255. lol Borges…I would never support either one. I hate everrything they stand for with a passion! I just think catching Utd. is unattainable now and really don’t want to see team “Russian Oligarch” overtake us.

  256. I hope there aren’t any exits this summer. Hopefully we keep the squad together and rip the league up next season.

  257. Limestonegunner

    jjgsol, good point. This is our best first 11, so this collapse does feel worse even if like others I’ve been numbed by our slow sinking. What is wrong? Why?

  258. gainsbourg

    are you a retard?
    it’s because of mugs like you that there is such a divide among gunners fans you don’t know what you’re talking about!

  259. I think the only exits we will see over the summer will be players on the periphery. Rosicky will probably go somewhere to finish out huis career…Denilson may be surplus to requirements with Ramsey back in contention. Other than that I can’t see a lot of movement unless Bendtner decides he wants more playing time.

  260. Thats ok Borges, lets disagree on that.

  261. Time for some breakfast and a few drinks…tough morning…

  262. On the debate about captaincy – I agree with the view that if Cesc is not captain, Vermaelen might be a better choice as captain mainly because of his experience of captaining Ajax and Belgium.

    RVP is an alternative and definitely capable of doing it, but throughout the game, Vermaelen is in a better position out back to read the game and influence it better. besides, we need RVP to only be thinking about two things and that’s playmaking in his Bergkamp-esque way and slamming in those goals like a nonsense. RVP will actually be better off not having the burden of carrying the team and let him do it instinctively.

    But it’s clear to see how we’ve missed both Vermaelen’s class on the pitch as well as his leadership.

    The other thing that has become clear in the last few games is that Wookash Fabianski is most definitely losing sleep wondering how the hell he’ll get back the No. 1 jersey from Tech 9. And the irony is Tech 9 actually believes that Fabianski is the best keeper Arsenal have.

  263. Limestonegunner

    Vice, we should be concerned about Cesc, Nasri, Arshavin, Clichy. If we slip down to fourth maybe some players will be disheartened. That is why it is important that the team not quit battling, at least to try for second. Certainly, Cesc’s remarks suggest he is getting impatient. I agree he shouldn’t captain next season. Gallas played after losing the captaincy, so it can be done.

  264. The only thing for me Limestone is that if these players want to find out why we have failed recently all they have to do is look in the mirror. If we had some scrubby players messing up, then yes I guess they could talk about leaving but when these same player are part of the blame they should want to right the ship not jump off.

    Our best have terribly let us down, save RVP! thats hard to digest!

  265. Limestonegunner

    Darius, Chezzer has been great, but I am having a bit of sympathy with the notion that having an experience keeper to back him up or for him to be #2 behind for the next season or two wouldn’t be the worst thing either. It isn’t a high priority, because he can certainly do a really good job, but it will give him the space to learn some of the finer points in decision-making, distribution and organizing the defense. he’s been thrown into the deep end because of injuries ahead of him and seized his opportunities.

    Can Vermaelen be captain after a whole season out and when he just joined the team last year? I agree he is the best bet, though, because of his experience as captain elsewhere and his position (over RvP).

  266. @Limestone – do you think Nasri won’t be sad if Cesc leaves? He has come out of the shadows when Cesc isn’t around and he’s playing in the middle….

  267. Don’t blame Fabregas; it doesn’t matter who wears the armband, leaders should be all over the pitch. These players don’t have it in them.

  268. well, Wenger fans. What say you now. This bloke and the board need to be removed

    The narrowmindedness and stubborness of this uberfrog is amazing. The gall ( galle lol ) of this drip to make the statement he made after the match shows once again the uber arrogance of this bloke, Wenger

    Any money you like the board hired Wenger for his economics degree to make profit for the major shareholders by buying low and selling high, all of which has nothing to do with winning

    AW’s position is now untenable, and he should not be kicked upstairs to the board

    If any of you believe otherwise, you need phsyciatric evaluation

  269. Djourou was poor today, he didn’t look comfortable at all. Nasri should have scored and Chamakh needs to shoot more. we need to finish strong and secure 2nd and then look forward to next season.

  270. Why exactly are you calling me a mug, john?

  271. Borges Spinelli

    8 points out of 21 is truly abysmal. Poop! Expressed as percentile, that is 38.1%. Whichever way one looks at it, that is just not inspiring enough at top level.

    We can, but hope not to have a mass exodus of our best players at the closure of the season. As for Cesc, well, well…

  272. Limestonegunner

    Nasri would enjoy playing centrally and he has seemed to defer to Cesc and RvP since they returned. But I think everyone on the team would be sad if Cesc left because he is our best player; his departure would be demoralizing for the club. And would there be any assurance that his sale would lead to reinforcements of similar quality, even if in other positions? Are there even players of his quality available? He hasn’t had his best season by any means but he is one of the best five attacking midfielders, to my mind, in the game.

    The better solution would be to play Fabregas further back, deeper in midfield more often. Supposedly, in the Don Balon interview (according to today’s match commentators) he indicated his preference for doing that.

  273. Limestonegunner

    That was in response to Darius.

  274. Armband, Arsene is staying whether you like it or not.

  275. Borges Spinelli

    I wouldn’t take it personally, Gainsborg69. John’s probably as mad as the rest of us, and venting.

  276. we can still win the league,have faith……

  277. To say we need captains all over the pitch maginifies our need for a vocal leader though doesnt it?

  278. where’s joshua in our time of need….actually when’s the balance sheet parade,JOSH?????

  279. Anyway, at least we can’t blame Denilson or Eboue this time!

  280. @Limestone – with the keeper issue, the fact is that Wookash has done nothing wrong to be dropped. If there’s one thing you can’t take away from him, is that he passed his test of character with flying colours. I honestly do not see Arsenal buying a new keeper on account of Wookash and Tech 9 battling for No. 1 and No. 2. Whether Don Vito stays is another thing altogether. With Wookash being 26 and Tech 9 at 20, I really don’t see another keeper at Arsenal for a long time if these two guys keep up the competition.

    Also, it may be worth noting that about 2 years ago, Szczesny broke both his arms in the gym and it took a while to recover. He shouldn’t be expected to have perfect distribution because of this reason and it will take time. YYou have to accept that breaking both your arms will affect this aspect of your job.

    As for Vermaelen, I don’t think he would have a problem stepping in as captain considering his experience as the Ajax captain and that he’s the Belgian skipper too. More importantly, his first season’s performance showed an exceptional amount of leadership and if he was having a job interview in that season, he also passed this with flying colours.

    We have with Cesc the same situation with henry, where the captaincy was given to them for the wrong reasons. For one, it makes it harder to actually drop them when they’re off form, but secondly, it takes us back to the ‘talisman’ culture where one single player is seen as the saviour, even though he might not be the answer at that given time. For example, Cesc shouldn’t have started at the Nou Camp and he knows that. He hamstrung the team with his hamstring.

    Another option for captain – while we talk about it – is Bacary Sagna, who without a doubt, has been the best right back this season. I sometimes laugh when pundits struggle to decide who they can put as the best right back yet Sagna is staring them in the face. They just don’t want to consider him because he’s Arsenal.

  281. UnbiasedTobias

    I wouldn’t blame these results on wenger.
    Nasri had two glorious chances to score and didn’t take them.

    The squad has just been incredibly wasteful and it it completely their fault. U. Could argue that he chooses the players so it is his fault, but if somebody wants to deny that our startin 11 is quality then they’ve lost it.
    The issue that needs adressing is why have we been so wasteful, what can we do to stop it. Why can’t we pick ourselves off the floor, and how dowe learn to…
    U can buy the best players in the world but imo it wouldn’t have helped this season. The support has been poisonous this season and the amount of expectancy that our fans would have placed on new acqusitions this season would have fked them up aswell.
    Question need to be asked by players and fans, how do we move forward. How do we use this failure to our advantage.

  282. Gainsbourg, that is what worries me. AW staying.

    Today, we were beaten by a team that was beaten 5-0 by Stoke

  283. Why would Cesc leave when he has beena part of the problem? unecessary handball and backpass?
    Again, these players better take a good hard look in the mirror before they talk crap and lay blame (if they do). The manager has put good talent together, they are good enough but they are not playing up to standard.

  284. Hard to fault the team for their effort today, they created chances and played well in general, except for conceding two goals yet again from set-pieces.

    I also share the opinion and the frustration of not knowing exactly what’s wrong with this team. Most of the players are good individually, but something is very wrong collectively.

    I think there are some pros from this season but they are few:
    1- Beating Chelsea and Barcelona which means we can beat big teams.
    2- Jack Wilshere’s development.

    The cons outweigh the pros though:
    1- If we finish 3rd or 4th means we didn’t improve on last year.
    2- Lots of school kid mistakes – no improvement on last year’s mistakes.
    3- The players added this year are not of the same quality as last year (TV).
    4- Missing TV the whole season and two many changes in the GK position means no stability.

    I guess my biggest Con of the season and it’s accumulated from previous seasons. The more this team is unable to win trophies and continues to crumble in the later stages of competitions, the bigger the barrier will be for them to succeed in the future.

    Something’s got to be done and quickly, I don’t know what it is but we are stagnated. We take one step forward, two step backward.

    We have supported the team through thick & thin, now we can ask some questions because our ARSENAL name brand deserves better than this. You can turn your face to the cons of a season if you see that we are making “great” progress every season, but I just don’t see it. I see flashes of brilliance, but lots of glaring and blinding mishaps.

    I think Wenger is devastated, but the buck stops with him. He has to find a way out of this and I hope he does it fast.

  285. This team has not got over the Birmingham defeat.That means Lack of Mental Streength.Lack of leadership by the manager.Lack of experience of winning all this team has is experience of LOSING.We are a team that bottles it.And Wenger says its his best squad ever!!!!!

    We have a manager who was proud of a 16 game unbeaten run even though 8 of them games were draws.FFS give me strength
    The truth is we will never win another trophy under Wenger
    We concede another TWO goals from set pieces.Why havent we got a defensive coach?.Why?because our manager is fucking stubborn.He wont bring in a Keown or Bould

    Wenger is to fucking stubborn living on past glories

  286. I’m not angry any more, just scared what happens now.

  287. gainsbourg

    because of the bullshit you spouted at 6:29pm

    you go away!

  288. Limestonegunner

    Darius, I agree with your points on Fabianski–he played quite well. That’s why it isn’t a top priority. Still both could learn from an experienced player–maybe just keep Lehmann for another season!

    Spot on with Cesc and the captaincy. But the problem was that there were no alternatives when Cesc took it on. Gilberto was gone. So let’s give it to Vermaelen and Cesc will have to live with it–honestly it sounds as if he doesn’t want that responsibility anyway. Sagna is way too quiet, I think, but at least he is older and experienced.

  289. Thank fuck the season has only 4games left.coz we would not make top 4

  290. Limestonegunner

    Darius, what about the Nasri question? Do you see him as a replacement for Cesc leaving?

  291. Henry, Wenger said given the 16 game unbeaten streak it is not as bad as some make it out to be but he admitted that the draws were not good enough.

    I dont believe this is the managers fault, he is a winner, the players needs to get it together.

  292. Limestonegunner

    Paul N, it hasn’t been a vintage season for Cesc but why? Injuries, WC hangover, and perhaps feeling dispirited because he has been wanting more experienced quality in the team for a couple years. Who knows, but it’s true, if he had the season he had last year with goals/assists from midfield, we’d be in better shape. Last year we were without RvP; this year it has been almost without the Cesc of last year.

  293. Paulie Walnuts

    Arsene looks like a broken man right now. I`m concerned for him as a human being let alone our manager & much as I admire him for what he has done , maybe he`s just too absorbed to see the wood from the trees.
    His demeanor appears to have rubbed off on the team which is hardly surprising. When someone like Samir Nasri`s arse goes you know there are big problems.

    The team appear to have forgotten how to win. In boxing terms we cannot lad a knockout blow & fal to the suker punch every time.

    Right now I`d bite your arm off for fourth , let alone third or second.

    Off to the pub

  294. its amazing at the amount of really angry posts these days..
    you’d have thought after 6 years of the same problems starring us straight in the face and using our testicles as punch bags that ppl would have gotten used to it by now..??
    unless they are only just realising that the problems are there

  295. Limestone, maybe it due to wanting to go to Barcelona. The team has enough mature players.
    He is paid to play at his best and I am not looking for any excuses as I am not with Nasri either.
    These players have let their manager down and thats all I can say.
    I can understand why they would be down. My belief is that the Barca match really killed our season but the team should be able to pick themselves up by now.

  296. Borges Spinelli

    Nasri is an excellent player – not far from being world-class. Do i see as possible replacement to Cesc? No, not really. He is exceptional at what he does best; retaining balls, going past defenders with such pace and guile and leaving them for dead. Does he have the passing awareness and execution of Cesc? Nope.

  297. Limestonegunner

    Here’s my fear: Wenger gets fed up with it all and decides he doesn’t need the aggravation–and it does seem to be aggravating him. We could fall out of the top four quite easily if that happened. We need him to make the necessary judgments and adjustments this summer after a good vacation and a reassessment of his players, formation/tactics, coaching staff. He’s the one to do it. It sounds like he has been doing the job of three people at the club and is totally overworked. Now he is hearing fan complaints, media attacks, other managers disrespecting him and doesn’t feel his efforts are being appreciated. Well, that sounds like a very unhappy situation for someone who works 17 hours a day for the club. So I worry about him burning out or deciding he’s had enough.

  298. Limestonegunner

    I should say, also that I am concerned for his health, too. Look at Houllier.

    Let’s hope we can finish strong and that the summer brings positive developments.

  299. yup arsene looks fucked…
    never have i seen him so agitated throughout games and deflated after them
    its taken its toll
    but hes doing it to himself
    its his team and its his tactics….if he doesnt switch it up a bit and make the changes to his blind spots then its like drinking copius amounts of beer and then wondering why your drunk all the time..
    if he needs help with the defensive drilling then all he needs to do is ask…
    for fuck sake arsene it doesnt make you less of a man to go to someone like steve bould and say will you spend a few hours drilling the defence every training sesh…

  300. Cesc used to be a good captain. Last season and this season as well until the Barca return leg. In that game, he let the team down. He let his team mates be pushed around, grabbed by their throats, let the ref get away with one of the worst decisions in the history of football and he did not react even once. After that, he was never the guy that came on, took games by the scruff of the neck, and turned everything around. He is not our talisman anymore. The only players right now that are somewhat reliable and consistent are RVP, Sagna and Szczesny.

    Wilshere tries hard when he plays but he has been tired and if he has to play throughout the summer I am not sure if that’s not going to slow him down in his development. Walcott tries as well but he has the problem that he usually needs to be involved into the game to make an impact. If no one is going to play constant through balls on his side, he is ineffective and fades away.
    Nasri is a man changed. Hate to say it but he was one of the most disappointing players on the field tonight. RVP basically served him several goals on a silver plate and he just did not take his chances. I wonder what is the issue with him and why his form has dropped so considerably?

    Djourou also had a horrid game but he has been consistent the whole season so it would be way too harsh to blame him. I just hope he can recover mentally in time for the Mancs. Is he properly over his shoulder injury, yet?

    All in all a really disappointing loss. The title race is over for us, but, to be honest, the team rarely looked convincing in the past few weeks and never properly recovered from what happened at Birmingham. I hope the guys can pull themselves together one last time and give the Mancs a proper game. The only way to end this disappointing season in a somewhat reconciliatory way is by beating them and ending our inability in the past two years to get a result against them.

  301. JJ, when this team beat Barca it seemed as if we were on our way, we also beat Chelsea really bad. It seemed we were over many of our problems, didnt it?
    I did not expect this to happen again and to be trutful I cannot see why it is happening. There is no reason for it as we have our best players. We cannot fault the regular scapegoats.
    Did you expect Cesc and Nasri to stop scoring the way they have? I doubt it.
    So the problem is with many of our best players, thats is confusing.

  302. I doubt Cesc will leave for any club other than Barca. If we stays, he might loose his captaincy – which I think he will not mind. TV is a great candidate for captain if he can force himself back into the team.
    Since Kos has been good, we could alternate TV between left back/center back. This should be keep Clichy fresh and on his toes. Gibbs has dropped off a bit – needs to be sent out on loan next season and we could bring in Botelho as replacement.

    Next season, we should revert to having reserves play in the Carling/FA Cup. Keep the first team focused on PL/CL. Avoid going for a trophy for a trophy’s sake.

    We definitely don’t need a goal keeper. If we use Bartley, i doubt we need a centre back.

    As for goals, we have really missed Bendnter’s late goals this season. I don’t mind a real fox in the box next season – I think Vela qualifies to some extent.

  303. I agree with Limestone, Wenger is the man to deliver the solution for this. After all he if the one the won us the most trophies in the span of 6 years.

    If Wenger leaves now, it is not good for our club.

    I disagree with you Limestone on one this, is that I don’t think Wenger is the man to quit with his club down in the dumps.

  304. Limestonegunner

    G4ever, I wouldn’t thinks so either. It is more an expression of how concerned I am for how toxic the situation is getting.

  305. This is the worst season outa the lot coz we have no excuse.the excuses wre hiding the truth. The grand masterplan wont work. So do we want this fukin whimping shit every year coz thats what you get with apprenticzes in the team. Change is now evidently needed

  306. paul
    we didnt play chelsea and barca in the last two months of the season…
    we have good footballers who are capable of beating anyone on our day..we all knew this
    but we also fall to pieces in the later stages of every competition we are in and its becoming more than a coincidence as it happens pretty much every single year…

  307. Next year I would like us to adopt what I saw Arshavin and Eboue and thats not celebrate goals or over celebrate. I know that would be drastic but I feel a different level of seriousness and focus is going to be needed.
    What the point of celebrating goals if we dont keep the lead?
    I know its drastic but I feel it would be good for the team not to get too happy when the job is not yet complete.

  308. Other years we had some terrible injuries but not this season, so that makes it confusing for me.
    This is why I believe it comes down to the players, they need to get it together.
    The only player likely to score at present is RVP and I see no reason why that shouldnt be with the amount of weopons we have.

  309. Limestonegunner

    Paul N, I don’t see too much wrong with celebrating goals. RvP does it because he feels great passion for winning and the club. The problem is not having the attitude and nous to see out a game. AW thinks we get nervous and stop playing. Some might say that it is because we continue to play the same way and going for goals rather than slowing the game down, keeping possession and so on. If we are celebrating because we think we have won, that would be a problem of losing focus. It’s like the supporters starting with their ridiculous ole’s in the middle of a game when we are up one or two goals.

  310. Limestonegunner

    Theo scored last game and started this brightly. I am most concerned about Chamakh and Nasri, our big threats at the start of the season. What has happened to them? Nasri had one v. Tottenham but that’s been it since January. He, Cesc, and Wilshere need to take shots from outside the box. I was glad to see Cesc doing this but it stopped for the last 20 minutes.

  311. Limestonegunner

    People don’t like to see players arguing with the refs and for a while Cesc was doing a bit too much of it, but it does seem strange that no one was protesting or asking the ref to talk to the linesman on the right side when Walcott was clearly fouled in the box. Even if you don’t get that call, the ref subconsciously knows he has to give your side a makeup call. Maybe he doesn’t give the penalty on Djourou or gives Davies a yellow for his horrendous tackle on Song or Muamba a second yellow.

  312. Limestonegunner,

    Cesc might have been doing it too much at some point, but, honestly, as long as it’s the captain doing it, I am fine with it. Isn’t that what captains should do? Talk to the ref as the “voice of the team” etc.? But he has gone completely quiet ever after the Barca game and that has been a major concern.

  313. @Limestone – I think on the issue of Nasri replacing Cesc, we have to start from the point of view that they’re not the same type of player. Cesc is exceptional in play making and the only other 2 players that can rival him in that imo are rVP and Arshavin. The proviso is that all three sometimes have bad games, but even if they have bad games, they are capable of moments of magic in a few seconds that totally alter the game. Cesc, RVP and Arshavin are our match winners capable of grabbbing the game by the scruff of the neck.

    That’s not to say that Nasri can’t do that – but my sense is that he is more effective when playing with others of his ilk – a classic example being his goal against Spurs when Cesc and RVP helped him weave through and find space to rifle the shot. I think in this respect, Nasri is extremely lethal when playing in a good team because he becomes an integral part of the magic of that team. But whether he can have more of those moments of magic if he is the main talisman, it’s hard to say. If Nasri was to take over principal duties in the midfield, I would suggest he needs an absolute general in the middle of the park capable of buying him the freedom to play.

    Saying that, I don’t think Cesc will leave this summer. It doesn’t do his stock any good to leave after having a poor season. He is part of the problem and cannot suggest that he is leaving simply because Arsenal hasn’t won any trophies. The thing to do is to get Arsenal to win the trophies then leave. Cesc is a winner and his assist for the World cup winning goal is a classic case study.

    If I was Ivan Gazidis, there are 3 crucial issues that need to be addressed right now. Everything else is immaterial and they should do whatever is in their power to take the weight off the players shoulders in this respect, so that the immediate issues can be addressed. We need to:

    1. Secure an automatic Champions league place for next season. At this point, whether we’re 2nd or 3rd is functionally immaterial.
    2. Keep this squad together – with the proviso that one or two may leave, but this has to be on Arsenals terms.
    3. Refresh the squad with complimentary signings that will boost some morale with the players and provide support where needed.

  314. Did we get relegated?

    You all sound like we did. FFS. Yes there are problems with the team, but the sort of outrage over today’s loss is pure exaggeration over the team’s mental abilities. We’ve made some awfully silly mistakes giving up leads this season. And perhaps we are mentally short when it comes time to perform, but for that selling half a team doesn’t make sense.

    We could surely do with some experienced heads in the team. It’s clear now, that we do need some players who can rally the team when we’re down. I for one, do believe that we only have one world class striker in our team, and that is not enough. You look all over Europe, and all top clubs have at least 2 world class strikers. We on the other hand only have RVP, who is fabulous, but also laden with injury problems. It is time, we get someone special in that position. As one could see RVP can play anywhere on the pitch, and perhaps interchanging with another striker might keep him fresh as well. And I haven’t seen much of Chamakh this season, but I doubt he’s the answer. And Bendtner for now, surely isn’t.

    The other position perhaps, I am more concerned with is a winger, in the mould of Valencia, Nani, Theo. In Theo’s absence we ran out of the option to counter with pace. And I believe that did cost us points.

    And what’s Arsene’s problem sticking to the same players when it’s clear they are under performing. Nasri for one, shouldn’t have started ahead of Arshavin, since the Liverpool game. He looks jaded, he’s been off form. What’s the point of a fucking squad if you’re not going to use them, instead keep pushing the same players to perform, adding more pressure to them. Arshavin had done little wrong to be reduced to a bench role. Ridiculous. Same team over and over again, too predictable.

    Arsene has a really bad habbit of exhausting the players who are performing. Nasri was excessively used, when he perhaps could have used a rest in one of the lesser games. It’s astounding that someone like Denilson who had been crucial part of the midfield for 2 seasons, has been completely ignored, when he could have been used to give Wilshere some rest. Where the fuck did Chamakh go after RVP’s return? You think he wouldn’t perform against the lesser teams and you have to keep playing rvp every third day? Get a new fucking player if you don’t trust your own players. What about Rosicky? Is he a luxury player, set aside to play in the qualifying rounds of the CL? That about it? In our team, squad rotation comes into play only when the players get injured. Apart from that it’s stagnant and anything but intelligent. Arsene doesn’t trust his squad, frankly, that’s why the better ones like RVP, Cesc, Theo e.t.c are risked when returning from injury.

    And where are the freaking bodies in the box when the clock is ticking and you need to score? Useless crosses met by no one in the box. Tactically we’ve been poor of late.

    I don’t think it’s the defense or the DM position that needs sorting out.

  315. I understand Limestone.

  316. Limestonegunner

    Evil, yes, as captain it’s his job and he has stopped recently. The problem with the Barca game was he wasn’t fit and then he was giving hugs in the tunnel to the Barca players. I thought then he had let his focus go–save it for after the game, if you must.

    Darius, I agree with wholeheartedly with your post. But why do you put responsibility on Gazidis–he really has no responsibility or an ancillary role in the three things you list, does he? It is AW who must be concerned about that. On point 3, we will have much time to discuss what areas need support. I would add a 4th. AW has to replace Pat Rice, who I understand will be retiring, with someone younger but accomplished who has ideas and energy and, perhaps, a real relish for defensive coaching and organization.

    Thinking about Nasri, I think he should get more chances from free kicks. RvP hasn’t sunk one in a while and perhaps that sort of confidence in him would keep him from deferring to RvP and Cesc, which seems to inhibit his play. Maybe he would be willing to take people on or take more shots. His finishing was really off on the 1 on 1’s he had–perhaps if he takes more shots he gets warmed up and can be clinical for those other opportunities.

    Anyway, I am babbling now. It is like a balloon deflating, last bits of air pressure pushing out and emptying. This season has taken its toll. Time for a break. Happy Easter to everyone!


    Thats shameful form.Much much worse than the collapses in 2008 and 2010.When both Man Utd and Chelsea were good teams.This season they have both been well below par.Did you see Utds line up yesterday.Today with the exception of TV this was our strongest side .No excuses.We have not been good enough

    Well done to Szczesny who has been superb but remember Wenger would not have played him if Averge Al and Flappy hadnt have got injured

  318. And someone teach the fullbacks to cross. One of the most one dimensional fullbacks I’ve ever seen. Attacking wise, Eboue is a God when compared to Sagna. The right wing is set ablaze, when Eboue and Theo play on that wing. Sagna, never cuts inside, and has poor delivery for the crosses. He’s a good defender, but not a fullback in the same sense as Dani Alves, Evra, Ashley Cole, Ram0s e.t.c. Clichy, has cut down his mistakes, but offensively his crosses are mostly crap as well. When was the last time you saw any of them make a good run till the edge of a box? Never. Sagna can’t dribble.

  319. ateeb

    perhaps you should follow a mediocre football club as it would suit your half arsed caring for this wonderful football club which has produced poor results in recent months.

    you almost sound pleased.

  320. @Limestone – Gazidis is the CEO of Arsenal – it’s his job by proxy if you will. For the first part, he is the one who has to lift Wenger for Wenger to lift his team. Wenger is a broken man right now and he needs support. It’s Gazidis’s job.

    It’s also the CEO’s job to facilitate what is needed for players to be kept together. Wenger of course decides who he wants, but he doesn’t do the paperwork and contracts – Gazidis and his team do this.

    Finally, once Wenger has identified who they want as new signings, Gazidis is perhaps one of the best customers in the world when it comes to negotiating player contracts. He is the one person who has literally seen it all especially since as MLS Deputy commissioner, all player contracts literlly passed his desk. Wenger needs a rest and that’s why Gazidis is there. You might not see him at the forefront, but it’s his job to put an arm around Wenger when needed and also take the heat off.
    That’s what he earns over £1 million a year for.

  321. 2 wins in 54 days
    arsenal 5-0 leyton orient
    blackpool 1-3 arsenal
    could this be our worst run of form under wenger?
    not sure.

  322. Limestone,

    I agree. RVP should be banned from taking free kicks at goal. Perhaps he had it in him before, but not anymore. Awful free kicks.

  323. @Limeston – one the issue of manager succession, I get the sense that Rice will retire when Wenger retires.

    There was a rumour doing the rounds that Pep Guardiola doesn’t just sign one year contracts because the elections regime at Barcelona doesn’t guarantee him a job or something crazy like that – there was a suggestion that he’s waiting for an ideal opportunity to get a cushy job in England.

    Arsenal was built for him – but then again, he could end up at the Manure. But he’ll have to wait for either Wenger or Red nose to retire.

  324. Guardiola is over hyped. Since when did he built a team? He’s no different to the likes of Mourinhio or any other manager. He spent 40m on a striker last season. Made an awful deal over Ibrahimovich. He’s lucky because of the fantastic players he has at his disposal. There are very few like Arsene out there. And there is no reason to believe that the club will not win with Arsene around. A few tweaks here and there is all we need. Even if it means spending some this summers.

  325. Bradys right foot

    Im gutted, devastated even that the season has ended like this. If it weren’t for the bank holiday tomorrow i’d have phoned in sick and taken to my bed. I think i’ll put the old 03/04 season DVD on (ahh remember Shite Hart Lane) and opoen up a bottle of red or two.

    Anyway todays game patchy in the first half, great in the second but give away two set pieces and loose the game. Yes the defending was poor for the first and the second JD should have been tighter but when we contrast our corners to theirs what immediately sticks out is how awful our delivery is. Nasri and RVP took poor corners, the ball in for Cohen was sublime, thats how a corner should be taken.

    Honestly I wish the season was over now, I don’t give a toss about the ManU game well probably beat them when it doesn’t count next week. This has been a collapse and the players need to pull their finger out and get a few more points on the board. We need to be professional and get second and the bonus of automatic champions league qualification.

    On a wider point of whats fixed and whats broken, i’ll leave that to the experts but fundamentally I have a certainty that were not far away. I look at Barca and the development of that team from loosers to winners, it was painful as any Barca fan will attest but worth it. As for signings two/ three maybe in the summer. It will be interesting to see who goes and what happens with Cesc in particular. For me I’m mentally and spiritually exhausted after this season and will take my annual hiatus from ACLF a little early this year and recharge my Gonner mojo, hope Arsene can do the same. The man is a legend for us and don’t let any fucker tell you different. This is tough dont get me wrong, but well be back bigger and badder next year. C ya in the comments before the Emirates cup l8r.

  326. Take Care, BRF.

  327. Borges Spinelli

    At least I have meu São Paulo timão to console me. Vai Paulistão meu tricolor meu coracão!!!!!!!! CAMPEÃÃÃÃÃÃO!!!!!!!!!!! Current score is SPFC 1 x 0 Portuguesa.

  328. Will we?….

  329. Be bigger and badder I mean…

  330. Whimper…

    Get a leader on that team…and a manager who practices defense on set plays

  331. Ateeb,

    Since when did anyone else other than Wenger and Fergie have the time to build a team? That is not a realistic criteria to use in judging a coach. If Wenger decides to retire tomorrow, would you want someone to come in and rebuild from scratch? So why the emphasis on team building? AFC already has the framework that could see us producing enough talent to ensure we dominate for decades.

    The sort of coach I’ll wager we need (whenever AW decides he’s had enough) should be a motivator first and foremost. That said, I’m not particularly sure that Guardiola has that attribute tbh.

  332. Just got back from the shit hole that is Bolton. And what a fucking nightmare of a journey home it’s been. Reliving that piss poor result over and over. In the 2nd half when we equalised I could only see one winner and it wasnt the fucking trotters! How the fuck did we lose that game? This season has slipped into a coma and fuck knows when it will be resuscitated? I am gutted, like I am sure 1000s of Gooners are. It seems like everything has gone tits up since that Carling cup game. I cant see us winning another game TBH, not next week, ot away to stoke. Villa at hoe looks like the only winnable game right now, which is weird because as an attacking force, we were brilliant on wednesday night and in patches today. The team lineup today looked strong, way too strong for an average Bolton team. That Kevin davies is a hideous cunt of a player, the ref bought his diving antics all day. This game was very similar to the west brom game; piss poor defending of set pieces. I dont understand why w sometimes forget the basics when defensively we have been strong this season on the whole?

    The players need to get the points to stay in the top 3, that is a fucking minimum requisite and I fully expected us to win the league this season.


  333. Oh and the away support, yet again was immense. Well played Gooners.

  334. Borges Spinelli

    Golazo!!!!! Vamos São Paulo

  335. Henristic

    So, Kevin Keagan for AFC’s next manager then? He’s Mr Motivator.

  336. On seconds thought re Guardiola; when you think about how he’s been able to get even big name stars pressing opponents like their life depends on it, its hard to say the man cannot motivate.

  337. Borges Spinelli

    Kevin Keegan is a dweeb. He’s a quitter.

  338. I was taking the piss Borges!

  339. Dexter,
    Kevin Keegan? lmao!

    Wenger is a very good coach, but if there is one thing he lacks, its that ability to motivate his players, to get them playing out of their skins for him.
    I have rarely seen that from his side in recent years. We almost always play within ourselves as a team under his reign. When we win, its usually because of our superior technical quality rather than because of graft, or even tactics.
    Unfortunately at the top level of football these days, the difference in terms of technical quality between teams is marginal at best, unless you are Barca. Usually, it is factors like graft, experience, ‘mental strength’, guile and of course luck that pushes a team over the line more often than not.

  340. The Long, Rocastle Road

    It’s not like we didn’t make the chances. We cut them apart at will 2nd half. Why did it take 45mins and a goal against to stir that fire and urgency up? Pat Rice was giving what looked an excellent psyche up talk pre game… but we seem to want so much time to warm into a game. We should’ve been out of the blocks to fucking murder them today… in fact, we should’ve fucking murdered blackburn a month ago. .

    The gap to greatness for this team is not personnel IMO, but there is an intensity and passion required that is sometimes sacrificed, I think, in trying to keep the players super calm, comfortable and relaxed. Obv. a balance needs striking there… just want to see some fucking ballsout aggressive manic desire to win every inch and every single battle from the boys. RVP has it.

    Still, not much missing. Keep calm! Cesc hit the post, nas could’ve won it a couple of times. I look forward to watching some more excellent youngsters like jack and johan coming through over the summer. Maybe one or two new faces and a psychological teambuilding week in a deep dark wood somewhere remote and perhaps mildly perilous… I digress…

    Next year, lads and lasses, next year… It’s gonna be fucking glorious when this ship comes in. Know why? Cos when we win it will be with a season full of beautiful, beautiful passing football – not like those fucking arduous manc dullards who love ‘winning ugly’ so much, or winning badly whatever the fuck they call it…

    Anyone that wants wenger out is, it goes without saying, fucking stupid. Fortunately these people don’t actually go to games they’re just grotty teenagers on the internet and cherry picked on the phone ins to wind us up. It’s not even a real voice but if happened across, best tell it to fuck off anyway… Just in case.

    Fantastic club, fantastic football… few tweaks to the psychological approach I reckon, TV will certainly help that – he is a match winner both ends of the pitch and a scary son of a bitch to play.

    Hang in there, let’s enjoy the last games of the season in the sunshine, get right behind the boys still fighting for the club and we’ll be back stronger for a new campaign..


  341. What a way to end the season! This one match seemed to encapsulate everything that has been so aggravating about our season. We showed a lot of fight but but still fell short. Created numerous chances only to have the opposition score from a set piece. We even had the customary stone wall penalty for us ignored and the soft penalty for the opposition awarded. Just like us this season… honestly at one point I just started laughing it was so bizarre.

    At times like this it is very easy to lose hope and resort to letting our anger and disappointment lead us by the nose like sheep but in spite of everything I think that we are actually in very good shape. We are not far away at all.. I know that right now everything looks bleak, what with the rotten form we’ve shown since the CC final shock, but even with all the silly draws, the exasperating losses and the implausible ways we seem to have devised to shoot ourselves in the foot, we are still not far off winning things and winning big.

    You know, if we’d won that CC final and gone to Barca on a high instead of nursing the bruises of a ridiculous loss who knows what might have happened then… but alas our season has panned quite differently which is a bit of a shame. I remember when Barcelona were a shambles and David Beckham rejected them and ManU was about to sign Ronaldinho blah blah blah… and then everything changed around.

    I think that this is a similar moment for us, I feel that we are on the cusp of something great but for it to happen we have keep Arsene Wenger at the club… we must. The man looks fed up and who can blame him. He is getting it in the neck from the Press and the abuse of opposition fans is as vile as ever. He is working all hours God sends to build a team that can win for Arsenal… AND HE IS NOW GETTING ABUSE FROM HIS OWN CLUB’S SUPPORTERS. If I were Wenger I’d quit and go somewhere else where they’d give me a higher pay cheque and competitive budget… and get abused there. Losing Wenger will set us back make no mistake, how far back I don’t know but it could set us back seriously. It won’t be terminal as the stadium is built but it will have serious repercussions. For one thing we may lose some of our star players. What a lot of people don’t realise is that we are not the highest payers in the world. We pay well but the really big clubs pay better, which is why even when we were winning things Real and barca could always manage to unsettle our players.. part of what kept Vieira at Arsenal for as long as he stayed was Wenger and it is still the case today with this current crop of players. This crop of players are very loyal to their manager because they feel they owe him something… losing Wenger would leave us extremely vulnerable to losing at least some of our top names. That’s one thing. The other is that there’s no guarantee that whoever comes in would continue to play the brand of football that some of us now take for granted but which is one of the prime reasons that we attract some of the players we are able to attract. There are umpteen more reasons why losing Wenger would be disastrous IMHO but suffice to say that I hope that the club’s hierachy are, even now, doing everything to ease the burden on the manager… ever the leader Wenger has already accepted that he is to blame for how the season has panned out. Now you may say that the proverbial buck stops with him but if we are honest some of his star names haven’t covered themselves in glory during this period of wretched form.

    This is a time for strong nerves, clear heads and redoubled commitment. There are a whole host of interests out there who are desperate for what Wenger is trying to do to fail… I think that they are the ones who are heading for disappointment. This is the ‘comical Wenger’ period all over again, let them gloat. The reinforced and better ‘Invincible’ period is sure to follow.

    Come on Arsenal.

  342. Thanks for link Borges Spinelli, great game. Some tasty tackling.

  343. UnbiasedTobias

    We need some seriously radical changes next season.
    United and chelsea won’t be as bad as they were in this one. And we probz won’t get a cup final against a relegation candidate again.
    So either we step up or wenger will have to make some ruthless changes. If we can’t have half in half out players. If cesc’s mind is at barca then he should be there too. 50 mil is a lot of cash. That gives us 90 mil to spend.
    If wenger doesn’t want to play bendtner as a striker let him go for fifteen.

    Ill probably be able to buy denilson with my pocket money, cos I don’t know who will pay more than a fiver for him.
    That’s 105 mil to spend on imo 5 players, 1 def, 1 dm, 1 cm, 1 winger/cf and 1 goal poacher.that will encourage the fans and give the players a feeling that this club has intentions.
    I used to agree with wengers thrift but not now. Its failed. Congrats for trying though I’ll give you a B- for your efforts
    Now back to the drawing board and let’s do this.
    I’m sick and tired of players not wanting to win as much as the fans. We don’t even get paid to win trophies.

  344. Henristic…

    what do you mean by saying that we rarely win due to our tactics? I have to say that i find that particular contention baffling. There seems to be this idea that what we do isn’t “tactical” whilst what Mourinho or Benitez do is… why is this? Does Wenger just send his players out there and tell them to just get on with it? Does our team not have a shape and a pattern of play.

    And for my money what we saw this season against both Chelsea and Barca, to name just two, were passionate, committed and motivated displays. I cannot imagine why anyone would say that they were bloodless, cold and merely technical wins. In fact I’d argue the opposite to what you are saying… I think that we are almost too emotional as a team which is probably why our slumps under Wenger seem to drag on for so long… our improvisation and off- the- cuff play relies heavily on emotional confidence as well as technical proficiency. That’s what I think.

  345. I got the crest tattooed on my forearm today…& needless to say it was immensely painful..

  346. FFS!
    Ok ,deep breath.
    No way was that justice today.We should have won and won well.
    But I cant help but think there is something wrong somewhere.
    I cant even pretend to know what it is or how to fix it.
    The one thing I am sure of is that Arsene Wenger is the best man to put our trust in.The only man I would trust in actual fact.
    For all our flaws I love this team and this manager.
    Lets all just sit back,and wait to see what happens in the summer.
    Be Arsenal.
    Let us have fans show the same class the club and manager show.

  347. Josh,
    I wasn’t talking about playing with emotions vs cold bloodless technical wins, not sure where you got that from…. I talked about graft, guile etc, not emotions.

    Re tactics, you have to admit we rarely change our approach to games. Allowing for injuries, AW almost always plays the same players, in more or less the same formation over and over again , as Ateeb noted in an earlier post. Many, even regulars on here, have bemoaned our predictability and the fact that opponents have sussed us out.

  348. Borges Spinelli

    We could always offer Denilson back to São Paulo (he’s homesick) plus cash swap for the uber-talented attacking midfielder, Lucas Moura. Or even swap him for Internacional’s in-form striker Leandro Damião.

  349. I have to say I really wonder how Arsene will take all of this. I’ve no doubt he is a strong resolute character and he’ll be ok, but as others have commented, these last few seasons have taken their toll.

  350. Borges Spinelli

    I’ve never been particularly keen on that Bendtner. Far too inconsistent in-front of goal. I’ve seen enough to conclude that he’s not of the caliber needed to take us forward into the future. Worse, he’s played out-of-position and has a piteous first touch; wasteful in the air, which I find baffling for a man of 6ft 5. Also my tolerance of his narcissistic ego reached its limit after that Barça miss. He can go to Bundesliga for all I care.

  351. Borges, why are you joining the ‘sell Denilson’ camp? He has barely played this season and is in no way responsible for our recent tribulations, but of course he is an easy target. Other than Vermaelen, the first choice team was out there today. There is clearly something missing, hopefully Arsene knows what it is and will find the solution.

  352. Let our no.10 be a no.10.

    Oh fuck it ,I have no idea ,I am clutching at straws.
    I think I will wait until LA tells me what to think,or Gadget.

  353. Borges Spinelli

    In no way have i implied Denilson was responsible for our season’s collapse. I said the man was homesick. I’ve been following his twitter page since last year.

  354. Borges Spinelli

    LOL @ George Rodger

  355. You are right Passenal,
    Not even our 1st team has what it takes, it seems. And its not for a lack of footballing skills.

    I’ve just read reports of Arsene’s post match interview. Bloody shame this season has turned out this way. I really do feel for the man.

  356. Looks like it ends with a whimper then.

    How can people voice their support for the manager and his credo of youth and development, and with the next breath call for an experienced signing or two? Either developing young players is sufficient to win trophies or it isn’t – and it blatantly isn’t, as we have seen in four competitions this season. Why can’t people be man enough to say, “Ok, it was a really great attempt, but it just hasn’t worked, so I’m calling for a change in approach” instead of trying to make out that bringing in experience would still somehow vindicate Project Youth. If we are honest objective and truthful, it might actually encourage the boss to be the same, to remove the blinkers and to make the tweaks needed.

    This is not about ‘spend spend spend’, it’s about ‘spend something to make a difference now, not in fifteen years time’. This team is not going to hang around forever waiting for everything to click – players have short careers, they are at Arsenal to win things, and if they can’t then they will go elsewhere. Noone moves to Arsenal to come second (third) (fourth?). They all came because we have a recent history of success, of silverware. Players marvelled at Henry Pires et al because they married great football with trophies. Supporters might wait 50 years for a trophy and never utter a word of complaint; players don’t any more, not at clubs like ours.

    If we don’t see some serious spinal players arrive this summer, prepare for some exits. It may already be too late for some.

  357. Crescit

    We have signed experienced players on a regular basis. The idea that all we do is sign kids is the sort of shit lme brain tabloid hacks and clueless “fans” trot out.

  358. Little Jack is the only kid we have not bought,so shut up with the shite drivel.

    Every single one of us is utterly pissed off .The last thing we need tonight is know it all ,gloating doomers.


  359. I’m well aware of that, which makes the youth development claim even more ludicrous, whoever mentions it. And the fans and hacks are only chiming in based on what the boss says – ‘this team has an average age of 23’ and so on.

    Let me get this clear then – are you trying to say that there is no youth development policy? Even our captain has allegedly referred to it this week.

  360. And I’m not gloating, I’m numb. But I think a policy of continual support does none of us any favours. There needs to be change on the microscopic level, not macroscopic, and voicing frustration in a reasonable manner is a tried and tested means of facilitating change.

    Why does the AST exist at all if it’s so wrong to be a dissenting voice at times? Any healthy organisation has dissent and counter-argument at its core. It breeds self-analysis and critical dissection of current procedures. Sitting back and trusting head office to make things better soon will get you nowhere. I’m not about to paint a banner saying ‘WENGUR OWT’ believe me, I simply don’t understand this zen-like trance of believing everything will be ok one day and that it’s wrong to suggest otherwise.

  361. Crescit

    Jesus christ mate! Are you itching for a fucking blog fight? Of course we have signed and developed young players, just as Fergie has started to do since he was told how skint United were. Wenger stated he would be buying younger players coz they were cheaper, as well as hoping a few would come good from the youth team. As well as that, we have signed older players too.

  362. You seem to be jumping from one point to completely different ones. Just say what you really feel man, let the doomer out. You’ll feel better.

  363. Im not sure what posts you have been reading, but I cant see many that I would describe as being uncritical. How could there not be some criticism considering what we have witnessed this season?

  364. I just can not understand how some random geezer thinks he has all the answers to all the problems.When one of the best managers in the world is struggling with the dilemma.
    We all have ideas and opinions but FFS stop thinking you know everything about everything .Especially when some of the tripe spouted shows that in all likelihood they know nothing about anything.

  365. Henristic, I feel for him too. Yes, he has to take some responsibility as he chooses the players, but I think he has been let down badly by them. The sad thing is that it’s some of the senior players that have been the worst offenders. They have been quick to criticize their team mates for their mistakes, but they really need to look at their own performances first.

  366. cadillac clifton santiago

    borges you maybe right but he’s not touched his twitter page since Jan and before that he was saying he was happy at arsenal and his main priority was to work hard to get into the team and give back to arsenal.just maybe you want to get him out to get one of your favorite Brazilians you’re always going on about. maybe he will stay maybe he will go whats certain is plenty of arsenal fans want him OUT!! he’s hardly played this season so I’m not sure why people go on about him so often

  367. cadillac clifton santiago | April 24, 2011 at 11:38 pm |

    Spot on! I don’t see why Denilson’s name should be mentioned at this point. If our first team players are not doing the business, maybe some criticism should be directed their way rather than picking on an easy target who is not even playing. Players like Fabregas need to accept some responsibility for what has gone wrong, not look to blame other people. Football is a team game, win, lose or draw, every player on the pitch has a part to play in what happens. Don’t just take the credit when we win and point the finger when we lose.

  368. Tennessee Arsenal

    Atteeb, Sagna makes many crosses that do not materialize. If you are looking extremely hard, that is the worst thing that you can say about him. Eboue dribbles in, again and again, and lets it fizzle out. I like Eboue, but in comparing him to Sagna, some perspective is needed. For my money, no other Arsenal player is as consistently dependable as Sagna. Count his mistakes in any season, even the little ones; you don’t even need two hands. Today he cut out at least two significant chances.

    I’m jumping in here late, as I recorded the game to watch after hiding Easter eggs for kids. Man, I could do with a win. I think I’ve forgotten what it feels like.

    When all else fails, as all else seems to be failing, here’s what I hang onto. Chesney is a hell of a goalkeeper. Watch what he did to cut out Bale’s challenge in midweek. And if you really want to be proud of Arsenal, follow Sagna’s every move. The guy’s as close to perfect as I’ve ever seen.

    Who can’t call this a meltdown? Despite it all, I’ll agonize over any change that’s made to the squad. I love these guys.

  369. They have all let him down Passenal. Arsene basically staked his reputation on them coming good…

  370. YW
    So you got your answer then .It was a whimper.Just like last year and 2008
    A last minute goal from a set piece.Sums us up.Nothing is surprising about this Arsenal team

    Wenger needs someone to tell him he is wrong.And that man is David Dein.You may not like it but its for the good of our club

  371. Although like you say, AW does have to carry the lion share of the blame. As the man himself often repeats, the average age of the squad is only 23. Was he perhaps expecting too much from them? Putting the pressure of a title challenge on a squad so young might have been a mistake, and according to Cescs recent interview, not all of the players are completely on board with that philosophy.

    Which is why RvP is such a legend. I might be wrong but isn’t he the only one of the players who’s actually given public, unconditional support of Wengers approach? You can tell in the way he plays too that he believes in the project. Then again, might his acceptance of the Wenger way have something to do with the fact that he is relatively older?

  372. Passenal,

    Speaking of which, if you’re going to ask Cesc to take responsibility, I think the man who should be held most responsible for the last 2 months is none other than Arsene himself. His team, his tactics, he’s the manager, and year after year, this team has failed when it mattered most.

    I don’t know why everyone’s getting on Cesc’s back. I don’t think he asked for the captaincy, it was handed to him by Arsene. And frankly speaking, there isn’t/wasn’t anyone better suited for the armband than him. Who else has more experience or bit of leadership in him, other than Cesc? Vermalean? FFS, he’s been here just for one season. And he had a decent season, second best to Gallas that season.

    On the Barca game, I don’t know if most of you had read Cesc’s interview, but apparently he got a knock on the 15 min mark, which was quite bad, but he refused to leave the pitch, so not to let the fans down or the team. He played through the injury. What else does he have to do to show his love for the club, and also that there is no one who deserves the captaincy more than him. I would appreciate if you all showed a little more respect for the captain. And frankly, it is about time he fuckings wins something with us. And I hope Arsene fixes it this time around, because I really doubt the bigger players in our team will stick around, if this team continues to under perform. And the bigger danger is them developing a mental block that they can’t win anything, because of their past failures. What else can explain the last 2 months? I am not sure.

  373. Tenesse Arsenal,

    Like I said, Sagna is a great defender. But he poses little attacking threat when compared to other fullbacks in Europe. Even our 2nd choice, Eboue, poses more threat. Bit one dimentional he tends to get when attacking. Perhaps you’re right he might have decent crossing ability, but it hardly ever works because our team is allergic to scoring goals from crosses.

  374. Henristic, I’ve been away for a couple of weeks so I haven’t actually read what Cesc is alleged to have said, but I have noticed his habit of pointing the finger at others, whilst failing to take his own share of responsibility. There are a number of players over 25 in the squad, where have they been recently? Arsene is letting them off the hook publicly, but it’s time for them to grow up and accept their part in what has gone wrong. The players need to collectively take responsibility for what happens on the pitch and stop hiding behind the manager.

  375. Ateeb, I think Cesc was selfish to stay on the pitch when he was injured – he was actually a liability. His desire to play at the Nou Camp was stronger than his desire to do what was best for the team. His back heel to gift the goal to BBB just before half-time is conveniently swept under the carpet along with his other mistakes this season, yet the more unpopular players have their every mistake dissected ad infinitum. The point I am making is that players like Cesc are not above criticism and if people are going to start pointing fingers, at least apportion the blame evenly. He is as much responsible as others who have played this season and more so than others who have barely played.

  376. Sagna is an awesome defender, one of the most consistent players in the league. I wouldnt swap him for any other RB. The 1st job of a fullback is to defend and Bacary does that impeccably and yes he can cross too. he must have a fair few assists this season. His crossing could be better I know, but life’s a bitch like that!

  377. cadillac clifton santiago

    henristic 1st of all RVP is a legend but he isn’t the only one who unequivocally supports the project, not all our players are as vocal about it (one or two still question it) but all feel they owe a great deal to arsene as he has trusted them when no one else would at such a high stage.. Wenger has shown astonishing patience with RVP who started off as a bad boy, to a consistently injured player to the world class best striker in the prem he is today, he has matured beautifully and is the best example of intelligence passion and talent that arsene embeds into his players and that the rest of the squad is capable of

    its a disappointing way to end a very exciting and emotional season but with the tweaks AW has in mind (NO OVERHAUL), next season this team will be stronger and this season has already given us evidence that they are capable of beating the best and consistency and belief is all that’s required for league and European domination for the years to come.

    we shall lick our own wounds and have to hear the vitriol form the press and gnashing of teeth of our own fans but such is football and atleast we have the foundations in place to when we get back we’ll at the TOP to stay!!!

  378. We never stood a chance to beat Barcelona without Cesc. Remember last season? He was the only one who showed up, and earned us a draw. Perhaps it was selfish, but then again who would you have brought in to replace him? And given the scenario that he might have gone off the pitch, all the fans would be on his back calling him traitor, e.t.c. Not to mention the stick he gets from the media. His back heel isn’t conveniently swept under, he came out and took responsibility for the defeat against Barecelona, in his statement. When was the last time any one of the other players in our team had the guts to do something like that?

    As for the more unpopular players, they’ve been in the periphery this season, the blame lies less with them. We’ve mostly had our best eleven out this season, and they’ve underperformed. They haven’t failed, relatively because being 2nd or 3rd is a good achievement. But they have underperformed, only because they’re the most gifted individuals in the EPL, and yet didn’t win a single trophy this season. Sure one can go about saying that the club as a whole has performed tremendously given the spending on players e.t.c, but this team is no bunch of cheap players, they’re very gifted, we can all see that, and judging from their skills and technical ability, they’ve let the manager and themselves down.

    P.S We would have won the Barca game, had it not been for the fucking referee. So I don’t blame any of the players for that, they played quite well.

  379. Dexter,

    Like the rest of the more experienced players, Sagna too was on the pitch in majority of the last 10 games that we failed to perform. Especially our defensive collapse. He was the one who let Lenon get past him against the spuds that led to the equalizer. They’ve all played badly.

  380. the club has got to a point now where everyone is feeling low..
    from the fans to the players right through to the manager..

    this season is over and the players want it over and so do most of the fans…

    morale is crushed..

    i know alot of you wont agree but i think we need a massive pick me up in the summer and that comes in the shape of a massive signing…

    6 years of this shit is really taking its toll, on everyone…we are the prime example of a house divided…..we need a couple of transfers this summer anyway but one of them needs to be big…and i dont mean big as in 35mil for andy fucking carrol..i mean somebody decent…
    we dont have to go silly and pay 60mil quid, but we are going to have to break our record for somebody (which isnt all that much to be fair) and wenger needs to parade him at the emirates to 100’s of fans…
    we need that buzz to help get the feel good factor back…

    we cant go through another window of nothing happening, waiting until the last minute to see if we can get 5 pound off some guy that nobodys heard of….morale at the club is at an all time low as it is and doing the same thing every window just drags the fans down and piss everyone off even more and morale will be low before we even kick our first ball…

    sell a few players if we need to, make room on the wage bill, but im now convinced its gotta happen…cos if wenger doesnt make it right this summer and get the fans back onside he will go into next year with more enemies than friends

    we need to get this club gelled back together again this summer…we are like humpty fucking dumpty right now..and theres fuck all the kings horses and men can do about it…..but his money could…and in my opinion a big signing in the form of denis bergkamp or sol campbell will be the only thing that will achieve that..

  381. I disagree Ateeb, it was Walcott who got us back into that game with his pace and his goal and Denilson who helped us to hold onto the ball in midfield. Cesc played like a rabbit in headlights for most of that match. I have yet to see him give his best consistently in any of those matches, his feelings for BBB have got in the way every time IMO.. Arsene is taking full responsibility for what has gone wrong, but I think the players have a part to play as well. He has done everything he can to prepare them and given them his full confidence. Once they get on the pitch he has no control over the stupid mistakes, poor decison making and lack of clinical finishing that has seen us drop points time and time again.

  382. Well this team has talent…check, very technical players…..check, skills…check, good coach…check but does it not occur that the problem lies in what we cannot see? all this mentioned above are all in the physical, the coach gets to see them train, they play well, but during the games they come short. The one thing wenger never sees and to an extent can’t coach is the mental & motivational side of these players. As a group it is always up to them to perform and prepare themselves for these games mentally & collectively.
    Secondly, sometimes we here say that the press gives arsenal lots of problems, thats true no doubt, but sometimes we also feed them with the fuel with which they use to cause trouble there are times when silence would be better both on the part of players and management which could ease off unnecessary pressure on the club.
    Also agree with Paulie walnuts @ 7:19pm.

  383. Borges Spinelli

    We’ll bounce back, i know we will. I want players (one’s who opt to remain a part of the Arsenal) to remember the awful stench and sickening taste of this season’s defeats, and use it to spur themselves on to greater success next season.

    For all our sakes. Arsene, too, must learn from his mistakes and do what is right for our team. I still believe in my heart, that he possesses the requisite skill-set to take us forward – but must shoulder some responsibility as well for some glaring management errors. However, no man deserves the daily/weekly vitriol he is persistently dogged with. Those media wolves won’t stop either ’til he quits/gets fired or has a breakdown.

  384. or wins a trophy, borges..

  385. 1 loose cannon

    These players are good without a doubt. It is very harsh to blame one particular player. It is a team effort and they need to do better as a team. I believe the problem is collective and not individuals when I say collective I mean everyone involved including coaching stuff and people behind the scenes. Lets be claer about something Wenger is not the only person involved in training there are other coaches who work on one particular area of the game and I beleive this is where the problem.why are we so useless at defending set pieces ?why can’t we hold on to a lead? and what happened top our reputation for been ruthless in the final minutes of games. now we seem to conceed in the final minutes. These are questions or problems needs solving on a bigger scale. There was pundit on Tv today who said he knows for a fact that Arsenal do not work on set pieces in training, that sounds hard to beleive but who know? The fact is we don’t know what the emphasis in training. it is all about getting the balance right. I was so furstrated today at the lack of taking one shot at goal without looking for the next person to pass to. Rvp is the only one who is not afraid to just smash that ball , Fabregas tried few times and hit the post but not enough of those efforts on goal, at times one pass too many and then we get crowded out on the edge of the box. So it is very harsh to pint the finger at one or two players. I heard that Pat Rice is leaving at the end of the season I don’t want to speculate why he is leaving. retiring I guess. Lets hope we have a cracking next season whoever replaces him.

  386. Borges, Arsene is taking responsibility, although personally I feel he is taking more responsibility than necessary. The next step should be the players taking some of that on too. I feel they are hiding behind the manager and need to step up and show him that his faith is not misplaced. As for the media campaign, it feels a lot like bullying to me.

  387. Borges Spinelli

    ~~~~~~I agree, Passenal. There are moments in life when tough love is warranted. Players need to take the heat from time to time. Afterall they are s’pposed to be professional sportsmen, and not kids

    In the future, i would like to read less nonsense on Arsenal’s website from players about how they are going to do this and that. If they feel strongly about winning, let them express themselves on the pitch. That is where football talk matters most.

  388. Paulie Walnuts

    Back from the pub
    what happe ned toda ?
    oh yah ! fook

    Sack the board !!

    nightie night all


  389. Well Passenal,

    Arsene is doing the right thing by taking responsibility. It is his project after all. He was given total control of the footballing matters in the club as far as I know, and could have chose to take a different path if he wanted.

    Also I think the players are taking responsibility already. Like Ateeb poointed out, Cesc has actually come out to apologize for his mistake in Barca. I think Chezzer has also apologized before, via twitter I think?

  390. ok, now that you recognize who is responsible, have about some heads rolling? Up to Kroenke now to show AW who’s boss

  391. I’m not sure what was going on at the back yesterday, the defenders looked like four players who had never met. There was no communication and a lot of hesitancy, never a good combination. Going forward we were alright, but there is a tendency to slow things down when a break is on, the one time we just went from one end to the other in the first half at pace we nearly scored. The old failing of taking a touch or making a pass too many was in evidence again. I think Alex Song is still injured, he was off the pace the whole time until he came off. A hugely frustrating game again, but at least the Bolton fans acknowledged they live in a shithole 🙂

    The issue of leadership was evident yesterday, the body language was bad from the players when we conceded the first goal and the only one trying to gee up the team really was Szceszny. Not a good sign when your 21 year old goalkeeper is the most vocal player on the field. Fabregas tried a bit just before the second half kicked off, but you can see it doesn’t come naturally for him. We need someone who looks like they’ll kick the shit out of you if you don’t come back into the dressing room with a win. We have all the talent in the world, but we need a bit more aggression and will to win instilled in the team.

  392. Gooner Ted,

    Thanks for that post. It’s nice to see that I can’t be that crazy for thinking this for the past 3yrs. David Dien, is the missing link and it all went strange when he left. It seems as though it was Dein who had the chat in the transfer market and when it came to speaking to other players/clubs. Wenger, is a good manager but, I don’t think he knows that side of the business too well.

  393. I’m so sick of this now and just want it to stop. Our season is again over and we leave with nothing to show for it but, more hounding of Wenger from the racist anti Arsenal media and spuds smelling the Arse again but, the later don’t count as it’s been that way for many years now.

    Wenger, please bring in the artillery that is required to do the job. Our manager is very educated man and is also stubborn in many ways but, he’s not stupid.

    They hate us so much that reality get’s left behind when speaking or writing about us. Their jealousy that is diluted with racist elements simply because the man is French.

    If some of you so called fans dislike Wenger so much you can actually try to attack him the next time you see cos the media will defend you for doing it.
    Seeing that cunt clive allen push Wenger out the way like that was awful and if it was Wenger doing that you would still be hearing about it.

    But, harry and clive are not just British, they dance to the media beat so even if they have to wait another 50 yrs before spuds win a title thats ok cos we will never read a bad word about them.

    I’m waiting for the post match article which I’m going to hit hard.

  394. I spelt Dein wrong ffs but, one is in no mood for spelling jokes so leave it out.

  395. wenger sounds like he needs a counsellor…

    hes a broken sounded like at one point he was going to burst into tears..

  396. 1 loose cannon

    Jon Jon- Wenger knows what this team can do. this season we were close and we had the best chance in the last 6 years. all those draws at home were unexpected. had we won just 2 of those games and not implode at newcasle we will be playing Manure level on points. If it is very furstrating for every fan then it must worst for him. He cares about this club

  397. The players are not good enough the table doesnt lie.Wenger picks the team and buys the players.The buck stops with him.We still cannot defend set pieces.Why?

    No Arsenal player has had a stand out season.Nasri great for first half of it but his form has dropped dramatically.Cesc has been in and out and of course RVP cant stay fit for a whole seaon.Clichy has been poor so has Song

  398. steve bould

  399. we all care 1lc
    its sad for everyone..

  400. Henristic, it is not what the players say and apologies after the fact are of no real value to anyone. I agree with Borges, they are not kids anymore and they need to take responsibility on the pitch. I see far too much passing the buck and failure to be decisive when it really matters. They need to stop reading the crap in the media and on the internet and focus on what they can do. They are all good players and with their talent they should be doing better than they currently are.

  401. 56% of Goals conceded this season have come from set pieces…

  402. Jon Jon
    Steve Bould only if he had the balls to stand up to Wenger and tell him he is wrong.What we dont want is another yes man as number 2

  403. Ras
    That could be 96% Wenger still will not bring in a defensive coach

  404. “Wenger sounds like he needs a counsellor”…. You don’t half talk nonsense JonJon. The man was calm, reflective, lucid and very much in control of himself… what were you watching? People just come up with all manner pretentious rubbish…

    I hope he takes a holiday though and gets away from all this nonsense.

  405. Pat Well if he decides that he does not want to changes things then that will be to his detriment, he will just continue to feed all the haters.

    It is far fetched(to use an old English expreson) but you imagine he makes no changes over the summer in terms of defensive coaches etc. The Media are going to be waiting….Arsene for whatever reason has in my mind taken on the stance of an Alcoholic he just wont admit there is a problem when all and sundry can see it…IMO I think Viera should have been brought in at the beginning of the season, his experience alone is pricelss.It’s not different ot what Wenger did with Campbell..

    IMHO we have to many midfield players who are very similiar….

  406. How long a holiday Josh???

  407. oh ffs joshua come off it mate, you can get off your high horse now and stop your one man crusade
    …wengers not calm mate hes dejected..hes solumn because he has nothing left..hes done and hes taking all the blame..

    your on your own if you think hes all fine and dandy..

  408. Pat… what is a defensive coach? Is there a team out there with one and what is his name? Your just repeating an internet canard that simple minded individuals spout… so a defensive coach comes in and coaches the back4 and goal keeper on their own does he?… or does grab the defensive midfielders too? What about the wide players who have to track back… does he grab them too?

    You are spouting rubbish. Association football is not like American football, you don’t have one team for defence and another team for attacking… the saying that “you should defend as a team” is there for a reason. If we are messing up defensively it doesn’t mean that it’s only the defenders. There’s no such thing as defensive coach in football. The idea is rubbish. Can a coach analyse the defensive play of the entire team and point out mistakes.. absolutely yes, but only an idiot would do it in isolation…because how you defend is intimately linked to how you attack.

  409. agree the blame lies with The prof. he put this team together and it is his team that always whimpers at the end of the campaigns. the previous seasons we had the injuries as excuses but truth is we are short mentally with the project youth policy. i agree with Dexter, cant see us winning again this year and if things are not sorted with quality coming in it will be more of the same next year.

  410. JonJon…

    Don’t switch the subject. The question isn’t whether he is fine and dandy but whether, as you claim, he is so mentally disturbed that… HE NEEDS A COUNSELLOR. Every body can see the pressure on the man, everyone can see the disappointment but only you mentioned the need for a counsellor… why do you think he needs a counsellor? What has he done that led you to that conclusion?

  411. pat

    steve bould was one of the best cb’s weve had, if he cant drill a defence then nobody can..its time we rewarded him for his efforts with the youth team and promote him…

  412. Duke.. I think a month and a half in the Seychelles with the wife and family would do the trick. Forget about football, escape the newspapers and chill out.

  413. oh ffs joshua..
    why the fuck do you take everything out of context..

    it was a joke, it was tongue in cheek, i could have used any number of phrases

    he needs prozac
    he needs valium
    he needs a beer
    he needs a holiday
    he needs a shag
    he needs a indian head massage

    point being hes done and he knows it and hes taking the blame and he needs a pick me up..

  414. Wenger out! half the team too

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