Stoke Preview: Building Blocks & Winning Runs

Arsenal travel to The Britannia Stadium this afternoon knowing that a win will take them to within three points of the Premier League summit. Or if you prefer, all but confirm third place at the very least as a finishing position for this season.

Much of the pre-match focus is on Aaron Ramsey – which must be looking at the world upside down. Surely the focus should be on Ryan Shawcross and his, ahem, abilities, particularly in light of the abysmal challenge by Charlie Adam on Gareth Bale yesterday. As much as you may mock Bale because (a) he is Welsh and (b) he is Welsh, no wait, a Tiny Tot, an apparent broken leg is nothing to wish upon someone.

The attention given to Ramsey is somewhat understandable, former Stoke manager Lou Macari suggested that if Wenger was going to play Ramsey, Pulis ought to drop Shawcross. Perhaps that was the rationale behind Arsรจne’s apparent bonhomie towards his counterpart and his serial letter writing Chairman.

Would the thought even have entered Pulis’ mind. Perhaps as he watched Manchester City crumble in the second half, he might have remembered that a straight red card today will see the culprit miss the FA Cup Final.

Arsenal have no concerns about Ramsey, mentally or physically. The latter is going well, his mobility unlikely to be impaired in the same way that Eduardo’s was. Perhaps that is the reason for the continued niggling injuries the Croat has suffered since then. It was that which I felt impacted upon his mindset – I’ll never get fully fit again – and saw the premature end to his Arsenal career.

Onto today’s team. Injury news is not much different to last weekend, Fabregas out, Nasri similarly unavailable, Djourou and Clichy both having fitness tests to assess their suitability to contest the lineout. It leaves Arsenal with the prospect of Thomas Vermaelen starting this clash. Which is no bad thing for if he can survive such a robust encounter, he should be fit and raring to go next season…

Squillaci, to the despair of many, will most likely partner Koscielny this afternoon in the absence of Djourou. Much as I would Vermaelen to do so, I cannot see it being risked, more likely the gentle reintroduction of matches against Aston Villa and Fulham.

He might be called upon as left back though if Gael Clichy does not pass his fitness test. Apparently Kieran Gibbs is not unhappy due to lack of matches but because his pay is significantly less than he believes it ought to be. According to a newspaper report that is. With someone who is on the fringes of the first team it seems inconceivable that he would be looking to enhance his contract, it is not logical.

But logic plays little part in footballers contracts.

Back to the line-up. I would guess Wenger will go with,

Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou (Squillaci), Clichy (Gibbs); Ramsey, Song, Wilshere; Walcott, van Persie, Arshavin

Were Wenger so inclined, he could move van Persie to the right or left, a position that he has fulfilled for the Dutch, with Bendtner or Chamakh occupying a central role. He won’t though as this will be changing his team to suit the opposition, not something Arsรจne is noted for doing against teams lower down the league.

Key is a win. Arsenal have been hit and miss in games that they should have won this season. Getting some consistency towards the end of the season can be used as a solid base for next. And still the outside chance…

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

Posted on May 8, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 390 Comments.

  1. brrap ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. YW,

    nice read, good to see that all the bloggers share the sentiment about Bale’s injury!

    I think it’s more the media frenzy after that Celtic dive fiasco that ended Dudu’s Arsenal career than anything else…

  3. george rodger

    You can teach a monkey to recognize objects,but not to design and manufacture them.
    In other words there is a limit to what an idiot can achieve.
    Joshua,you are trying to teach a monkey.And clearly it is not working.

  4. GR,

    I am finding people who feel the urge to brag about their supposed intellectual superiority pretty amusing, that’s how you recognise a real fool…

    I don’t need to brag, I am the real deal mate, but each to his own, you think you can insult me? think again…

  5. Really enjoyable read Yogi.

    I have to say that I found Lou Macari’s comments suggesting that Ramsey should come out and say that he’d forgiven Shawcross to be more than a bit stupid. First of all Ramsey shouldn’t have to pretend that he thinks that waht Shawcross did was some how one of those things that happen in football because I, for one, don’t believe that it was one of those things. As Ramsey said shawcross wanted him to “feel” the challenge and God knows that Ramsey felt it.

    Secondly I find it simply amazing that someone like Macari (and the likes of the MOTD pundits, etc.) imagine that they know more about the tackle than the person on whom the tackle committed. I really struggle with this idea that Macari could know what was in Shawcross’s mind better than Ramsey who, lest we forget, was in the very moment and felt and saw Shawcross in the split second before the tackle’s impact and it’s shattering consequences.

    At times Pundits really would do well to shut up and stay out of certain issues… failing that they ought to, at the very least, show a whole lot more humility. I don’t care how many matches Macari played as a pro… he is in no position to place himself above Ramsey in assessing what the intent of Shawcross was… if for nothing else because Ramsey was their on the pitch and Macari wasn’t and ramsey knows what he saw and even what went on before that tackle.

    I also have to say that Charlie Adams’ tackle on Bale was a freaking disgrace. I don’t care if Bale plays for Spurs or not but to be allowed to tackle like that is what is killing the English game. Unfortunately we have too many referees who seem to have convinced themselves that their job is to manage a game rather than implement the laws. Charlie Adams should be serving a three match ban and that he isn’t is a great shame.

  6. I think including a provision which would cater for dishing out bans as long as the injury caused by the dangerous tackle would stamp it out of the game in a snap…

  7. Arsenal could do with Shawcross

  8. arse or brain

    amband
    “WHAT”

  9. You talk as though stoke have a bad disciplinary record – look at the stats – 2 red cards compared to 6 for arsenal. As much as it must pain most arsenal fans, stoke are not the dirty team that most portray.

    I’m glad that Ramsay seems to be getting his form back and hopefully the match will be uneventful as far as Ramsay/shawx are concerned.

    Mr Wenger however is in for a barracking over his hatred towards stoke. We had his famous words last season and his butting in over our game between spurs. He is classless and will get the vitriol he deserves.

  10. arse or brain

    pete
    sendings off are for serveral different you are naive if you believe stoke are not a dirty side . Certain teams go out to make the right fowls in the right places making them dirty but not always being punished correctly.

  11. Who said anything about chickens??

    Our red cards were for 2 yellows. What were arsenals for??

  12. george rodger

    Dear me,Stoke fan calling Wenger “classless”.I suppose the humor is lost on him.

  13. Great post yogi. Anyone in the know about what the spuds used to call the day they finished above the gunners? 15 yrs is a long while!

  14. aob,

    in response to your comment from the other thread: yes, there are positives and plenty of them at that, but the club could and should be doing better in a few departments than it is at the very moment…

    just my opinion, mind you…

    plus, I can live with the lack of silverware, as long as we don’t go down without a fight and the way we have pretty much handed the title (if they beat Chavs today, that is) to the most average ManYoo side I care to remember is not that in my book ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I hope this clarifies my stance a little bit…

  15. kenyan..
    the spuds call that day a miracle

  16. george rodger

    Perhaps Arsene should run naked around the dressing room throwing head-buts at players.In order to get some “class”.

  17. george rodger

    Hey JJ,Suga3 seems to be suggesting that you and he are of a like mind.What do you think of that?

  18. OK

    You lot are going to have to play nicely now. Anybody sent into spam or moderation is going to stay there until a lot later.

    YW

  19. YW,

    I hope it’s not me you are referring to? I am playing nice ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. i dunno about like minded george, we do share alot of views but weve disagreed on views as well…

    if you class the spats with joshua then you could say yeah we are like minded in that sense ๐Ÿ˜‰ but on the other hand i dont blog on le grove so in that sense we are not..

  21. Oh Yogi!

    I was enjoying that.

  22. Sorry Pete but Stoke are a filthy side. I have heard this red card argument and it makes me laugh.

    First of all a side like Stoke that play the way they do are judged by a much lower standard compared to Arsenal. If Song played for Stoke he’d have far fewer yellow cards because his so-called fouls wouldn’t even register given everything else that goes on.

    Secondly the only sendings-off we get that have been as a result of an Arsenal player committing a limb threatening foul has been Jack Wilshere’s tackle and may be one more…. the fact though is that most of our sendings-off are for players actually reacting to awful tackles like the one on Diaby by Joey Barton or professional fouls like being the last man who brings down the attacker on the opposing team. cynical and malicious we are most definitely not.

    Thirdly you have to look at number of opponents that have been sent off against Arsenal. At one point in this season 25% of all red cards issued in the premiership had been issued in matches involving Arsenal. Think about that for just a minute. a full quarter of all. I’m sure that at least 7 of our opponents have been sent of against us this season.

    Finally Stoke choose, deliberately, to play against Arsenal in a way that is always going to result in serious injury at some point or the other… and finally Shawcross had/ has previous, his tackle on adebayor when asdebayor was off the pitch is but one example of the behaviour that most Arsenal fans find objectionable… that and his quite blasรฉ attitude to having seriously injured a fellow pro is what sticks in craw. Then there’s Tony Pulis… I’d say no more.

  23. and that’s what I have referred to George…

    it’s called having an opinion and not taking any shit ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. Sorry but Stoke will have to do a lot to convince me that they are not a physical team saving thier best for Arsenal.Dont get me wrong there is nothing wrong with a physcial approach its just the over the top stuff. And if the press had any class they would let Ramsey decide what he wants to do when he is good and ready and poor Ryan Shawcross will just have to wait.

    I think you will also find the red cards awarded to Arsenal tend to be as a result a player reatliating to bad challenges, a second yellow card or a defender conceding a penalty as the last man nt hacking a player down. Arsenal have not always wised up to the darker arts in recent years and doing the dirty on other teams. Vidic and fletcher have turned this into an art form. And as long as the estabshment continues to subscribe to the Arsenal dont like it up em mantra the bias of Arsenals red card count will continue whilst the teams dishing the dirt get off with it. Red cards my arse

    A day for Bendtner and Chamakh I think and the bore of Cheslea vs Man U draw.COYG

  25. arse or brain

    suga3
    although i never like to champion manure case, they are not average or ordinary they just have less “stars” than some of their previous teams . I see your frustration about not winning the league this year but your stance is not helped by your terminology you use to describe the most successful manager in the clubs history . there are fine lines between winning and losing and its not always because you dont care or try hard enough

  26. aob,

    since I have some studying to do before the game, I guess we will need to agree to disagree here…

    it’s all just my opinion, and as they say an opinion is like an arse, everyone has his own ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I will not point to the games where you might find it hard to disagree with the ‘lack of effort’ bit, as I have done it countless times and I simply can’t be bothered…

    what’s that terminology then? Our Glorious Leader?

    what, can’t I jest? come on :mrgreen:

  27. arse or brain

    suga3
    im off too I just think that in jest you can sometimes give away your true feelings. I suggest you dont really have high regard for wenger as you suggest he is tactically lacking . so jest all you like but like you say we all have opinions and my opinion is your opinion is wrong

  28. Suga3 just talks Le Grove inspired garbage. What so-called opinions has he expressed here… let’s actually examine them. In his view the league is weaker.. for this to be remotely viable opinion you have to show that the quality of the players in the league as a whole and at the top clubs has dropped. This loud mouth cannot even begin to show this? why? because the opposite is in fact the case but because the media spout off about dropped standards he takes it as Gospel. Tottenham beat both the deposed and new Champ[ions of Italy… one of those sides was alos defending ECL Champions! But he dismisses that as nothing… He asserts that united are the weakest we’ve seen in ages… what does this actually mean? United are in the ECL final having just thrashed Schalke… and I mean thrashed. In the second leg United played their second team effectively and won at a canter. yet they are weaker than other teams… let’s see how they do against barcelona. united are not Spectacular but they have never been as bad as people made out… what I would say is that we have the better but less experienced team.

    And this is nub of this issue… the gravediggers and doomers cannot begin to accept that we’ve closed the gap on both united and Chelsea without spending a fortune because it undermines their favoured narrative of spend, spend, spend. for them to accept that Arsenal have been improve merely by the addition of Kosceilny and the addition of Djourou would be to tacitly admit defeat for their idiotic cloud -cuckoo- land demands for spending that is unsustainable, unaffordable and frankly guarantees nothing.

    Look at the way Suga3 parsed the defensive figures for this season… to analyse Arsenal’s defensive performance over the season yopu need to look carefull at all the figures break them down and examine them honestly… but above all else you can never look at them in isolation because in football as we all know, with the exception of Suga3 apparently, how you defend and how you attack are intimately linked. But he chooses to bring up the idiotic and frankly meaningless figure because it suits him… the fact is that away from home we have conceded one less goal than United and scored 8 more goals. At home we have done worse… so the question then arises how can a young team do better away from home than at home when you’d rationally expect the opposite to be the case? Is Suga3 and his fellow travellers even remotely interested in what is really happening at Arsenal? Do they even care?… Go on Le Grave and make up your own minds.

    Suga3… the only value of any given opinion is the weight of facts behind it… you have nothing. Your trick is to post a load of stupid Le grave- style one liners that mean nothing, say nothing and contribute nothing. On a forum like this one it is invariably exposed as empty. STFU.

  29. aob,

    I reckon jesting is much better and classier than calling him names and well, he has his limitations…

    laters ๐Ÿ˜‰

  30. Spurs fans mouthing off that they are better and wenger is a crappy manager

    Stoke fans saying that we are a dirtier side..that really got me..

    How do people talk nonsense with such confidence??

    Oh and lest we forget..the few arsenal fans who say arsenal are crap ๐Ÿ˜€

  31. I won’t enjoy this afternoon because I hate watching teams like Stoke. In fact I hate watching all other teams. I don’t think I’d be happy unless we were playing us. And then I’d hate to lose.
    Being obsessional is a heavy cross.

  32. could there be a chance of TV at left back today??

  33. my only hope is that we go out there with the same midset as the utd game..
    work hard in attack and defence dont give them anything
    if stoke want to turn it into a war then so be it lets do it and our quality will eventually shine through..
    we could hammer them today if we have the right mindset..and the GD could become important, epsecially if chelsea beat manutd later..

  34. If we play like we did a week ago then the Stoke thugs won’t be able to get close enough to the ball to foul us. I think the Jack/Song/Ramsey axis is perfect for this game, there’ll be loads of energy and forward momentum from the start which isn’t always the case when we play sides outside of the top 6.

  35. JJ,

    not too sure about that, he said it himself he did not like playing there a whole lot, it’s better if he sticks to what he knows, especially after a long layoff…

  36. Good Post, I enjoyed the read.

    Stoke’s attitude/approach to the game originates with that classless, mouthy manager.

    His attitude has obviously rubbed off onto their fans too. But credit where it is due, anyone who can watch their crap style of play and still be happy to be called fans clearly have very low expectations in life.

  37. And as for that idiot Macaroni, he is just stirring, and as an ex-Manure youth, Shawcross is being ‘protected’ by Mr Knowall!

  38. george rodger

    I hope we see the back 4
    Sagna,Djourou,kon. and TV and front 3 of b52,Rvp and Chamahk.
    Doubt it though.Perhaps because it would not work.

  39. i just want to see him there suga..

    if clichys injured and gibbs has lacked form, then TV maybe a better option, especially for stoke, is gibbs ready for this one?? i think the physical edge Tv would give us would be more beneficial…

  40. JJ,

    since Gibbs is clamouring for a payrise, I say he has to earn it, plus, he is not that bad, just made of glass…

    I recall TV saying that he did not like playing there and that he was so pap in that position that he was surprised with our continued interest afterwards ๐Ÿ˜‰

  41. this is the thing with gibbs and the pay structure we have..
    the lads had to sit and watch other players around him get pay rise after payrise for not even being in the first team and now he wants rewarded the same..

    hes a good prospect and if he can stay fit hes got a chance but the wage thing is something the club has created and gibbs is just wanting to be treated fairly..

  42. george rodger

    Gibbs has made more mistakes than any other defender we have.
    Talk of him being a world beater is rather premature .

  43. id like him to go out on loan for a year..

  44. george rodger

    Me to JJ and buy Baines. Then if Gibbs steps up Clichy can be cashed in on.

  45. Team unchanged, except – Gibbs for Clichy and Arshavin for Nasri.

  46. Gibbs and Djourou are in the team, today.

  47. Might have liked another tall player in there somewhere, but Djourou, Koscielny, Song, Sagna and RvP can all hold their own in the air. So that makes five for defensive set-pieces. Probably enough.

  48. steww – that was funny. Am not looking forward to today’s game much either, but if we truly spank them and Shawcross / Delap get sent off ~ all will be well in the farmyard.
    Going to be drinking “Tropical” btw Consols, a brew made only in Gran Canaria, and unsurprisingly not exported anywhere in the known world.

  49. Oh man, PB, there’s this amazing chocolate bar that you can only get in the Canaries as well. It’s got this vanilla cream filling, but I can’t remember the name.

  50. I’ve tried to track it down on the internet – I even went to cyber candy in Covent Garden and a couple of the specialist grocers around, all to no avail.

  51. And what is ‘Tropical’, pb?

    Some alcopop?

  52. Limestonegunner

    Pete and any other Stoke supporters who want to compare disciplinary records of Stoke and Arsenal, you have an answer above from others about how few (1, in fact) red Arsenal have received for a violent challenge. The main difference is this: our manager apologized for the player’s challenge and the player apologized. Our (then 18 year old) player has been developed in a club culture that doesn’t accept that sort of behaviour. Your manager and player have never done so for breaking Ramsey’s leg. Instead, your club plays the victim and your supporters revel in it and hope to see it happen again. That’s your club “culture”.

    That’s the difference.

  53. ive got good vibes about today
    looking forward to seeing jack and rambo again..let the young guns roar..
    go to war with em boys and take em apart..

    i wouldnt be against that george..ive heard that this pedro lad isnt a bad player, weve also got traore out on loan as well..so players will need to go out though in order for one to come in..

    this squads getting too big, and players will need to move on before players get brought in so this is going to be one hell of a summer transfer window if wengers planning on adding to it and strengthening it..

  54. For those on this blog that think we have it bad at Arsenal,check the comments at the vittalspurs. It will help you get some perspective.

  55. they are making it hostile for us..
    weve got to score and shut them up…

  56. I really want Ramsey to score today.

  57. yeah come on rambo

  58. Robson says we don’t have a defensive strategy. How come that guy still has a job at ATVO?

  59. Song’s doing to Jones exactly what he did to Rooney last week, this is great.

  60. another set piece??
    wtf??

  61. Song’s marked Jones out the game all over the pitch, why wasn’t it his job for the corner?!

  62. Hangeland!!

  63. Baines!!

  64. 35 mins we stil not hve had a shot on target ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  65. @OptaJoe Opta Sports
    57% – Arsenal have conceded a higher proportion of goals from set-pieces than any other PL team this season. Flaw.

  66. Can someone tell the chap on sky commentary with the scottish accent to please SHUT UP!

  67. Evil,

    because it would cost the club an arm and a leg to compensate for an unfair dismissal if he was to be sacked for telling the truth!

  68. Szczesny should have done better!

  69. we 2 down

  70. george rodger

    How fuckin bad is this?

  71. we are in trouble here we need half time..

  72. pathetic, absolutely pathetic – a set piece and a good ol’ error of not closing their player down…

    manager of the decade, my arse!

  73. Not watching but what the heck is going on!

  74. Another GOAL from set pieces…You would think after all the deliberation that something would have been done..it’s becoming a bit of a joke, comical in fact.It just Negates all the other positive things and continues to pour scorn on the Mangers and Players words…

  75. this is nearly our strongest team

  76. Fuck!this is painful,where is our midfield?

  77. It’s a crap beer Cbob, but i need more now..

  78. the usual Paul.

  79. go 442

  80. Evil @2.30 he seems correct at the moment whstever you might think..

  81. shit title could be over now.

  82. We do have the best away record mind you!

  83. Crap beer, crap performance.

    I’ll take the crap beer any day.

  84. We need more physical preference up front, personally I’d put Nic on for Theo. I don’t Szczesny could have done anything about either goal.

  85. george rodger

    So who says we dont need Cesc?

  86. We need a big lump t the back for sure now if we didnt know before. Same old story and if Wenger doesnt invest in defence next year will be the same old shit.

  87. title was over weeks ago we need to get third but we keep fucking it up..no matter if its the title or third or the cc final we cant just get it done can we..

  88. I often wonder if Arsene has a strategy for games like this one? Stoke seem to be using the Man U blueprint for beating Arsenal.
    If we can get some width in into our game then we can still win this .

  89. we definately need cesc..
    we could do with a few new faces as well..

  90. S o maybe the wancs were tired last week then!

  91. Our defensive woes are down to a lack of desire. We do not have enough players that refuse to be beaten to the ball. Why the hell is Gibbs ducking under the ball as it comes in to hit Kenwyn Jones in the chest. Someone should tell him the goal in that situation is to get anything you can on the ball to get it out of the area. We look like a team with no ideas and no desire to defend stoutly…oh well…season has been pretty much all but over for a few weeks now anyway.

  92. george rodger

    Duke,how is it our strongest team nearly?
    Cesc ,Nasri,TV,Clichy,and Diaby(because Jack is shot)that is half the team.

  93. Fucking Pennant dive in the first goal. Arshavin barely came close to him.

  94. Diaby? hahahahaha!

    cue the excuses…

  95. To think I almost went to the pub to watch this shite. But:

    “57% โ€“ Arsenal have conceded a higher proportion of goals from set-pieces than any other PL team this season. Flaw.”

    Proportion of overall goals against? Or proportion of goals to set piece chances inside, say, 30 yards? Because the first stat is meaningless…it means we don’t allow as many in open play, eg, Pennant’s goal there HELPED our stat. But I’d be curious to see the stats for goals per “dangerous” set piece.

  96. Skywatchingmug

    Wow, bad defending again.
    And stoke are defending deep, not giving up the middle of the park.

  97. Stoke have too much of the ball and to make it worse i cant remember us having a shot on target,for crying out loud we are arsenal and we always have shots on target!we need a miracle 2nd half.

  98. “Fucking Pennant dive in the first goal. Arshavin barely came close to him.”
    Arshavin put both hands on him. That’s stupid defending, just asking for the foul.

  99. george rodger

    Oh fuck,all the usual cunts are hear.

  100. Pennant dived for the first and got a flukey deflection for the second. Shit happens. Need to take any early chances we get – move the ball and get them puffing.

  101. I say bring on some other players that have something to prove. Put Bendtner out there to justify his demands and possibly put in a “shop window” performance.

  102. Arsene needs go give them hell at halftime (like a that liverpool game a few years ago), they need to wake up and play the way the can.

  103. The fact is that the free kick was soft. But, that happens all the time in football. It is how you deal with the set piece afterwards that becomes the most important issue. And we have come up short in that department once again. Nothing new unfortunately.

  104. george rodger

    here I mean

  105. LimparAssist

    Weary in midfield… the softest set piece I think I’ve ever seen us concede, and an unlucky deflection. Time to see what we’re made of… don’t call it a comeback.

  106. I thought our defence wen awol for our first and let jones chest it in.

  107. To be fair, george, Stoke deserve to be in the lead.

    It sticks in my craw that we have let this happen in this game of all games.

    It’s like a dagger in our vitals to lose to Stoke at this time and in this place.

    Pulis and his ilk will be so fucking thrilled. What does it do to us?

    Nothing good.

  108. c’mon you gunners!

  109. the set peice is a damning statistic..
    whatever way you try to look at it all it proves is that although we are pretty solid from open play we cant defend set peices for shit as over half our goals are conceded this way
    if we could sort out those set pieces we could take 7-10 goals off our tally and would probably be winning the league

  110. Time to throw it all in,chamakh n bendy in for walcot and ramsey.i hate this assholes on tv. why the hell would i be interested in seeing manure arrive during our game?

  111. The Stoke style is better and more entertaining thatn the pretty football shite of Wenger’s. Don’t moan. Deal with it

    Wenger out!

  112. Stop the moaning people we have 45 minutes to save the game!

  113. nola,

    overall goals against, I think, it was just a copy + paste from Tw*tter…

  114. Surprisingly ruthless from AW.

  115. tippy tappy tippy tappy LOL Bunch of girls. LOL

    This team is inconsistent. That is it’s problem, and a manager who hasn’t a clue

    tippy tappy tippy tappy

  116. LimparAssist

    Also – Stoke are fucking cunts. When they’re not hacking their fucking diving…

  117. LimparAssist

    Hacking their diving? Oh well…

  118. Ugly 1st half of football. We have most of the ball but offer no threat vs. the deep lying defense. Hopefully we will play better and make it a game in the 2nd half.

    No matter what happens the rest of this game and the rest of this year we need to upgrade our strength and organization in the center of defense. Anyone who doesn’t believe that needs a new prescription for their rose colored glasses.

  119. 45 mins…70 percent possesion, no shot on target, didnt even hit the post.

  120. First Lady. We so often don’t have shots on target even though we have the Lion’s share of the ball

  121. pathetic, absolutely pathetic!

    ‘my best squad ever’

    ROTFLMFAOPMSL!

  122. Just when one thinks we are turning a corner and are starting to build confidence, and the manager starts expressing hope for the title again, this team simply refuses to step up to the plate, time and again.

  123. TEAMS WIN BY TAKING SHOTS AT GOAL!! WE DNT DO THAT THTS WHY WE STRUGGLE

  124. Why the bloody postmortems, we aren’t dead yet?

  125. still if chelsea win today then they both lose their remaining games heavily and we win our last two we could still nick it!!

  126. wats wrong with gibbs??

  127. er, yes we are, this team won’t score in a brothel today…

  128. Have hardly seen a a bad tackle from Stoke so far. There are using some sort of reverse psychology on us and it looks to be working. We’re the one making the rash tackles!

    And what’s wrong our attack? So toothless..

  129. weve pretty much just embarrased ourselves today

  130. goonzablazin

    I for one am conceding nothing until we are mathematically eliminated.

    As for today’s game, our showing is somewhat perplexing. I’m sure there’s a good reason for it but right now I can’t come up with it. Waiting for the more insightful posters to weigh in and tell me what to think.

  131. wenger take out theo or wilshere

  132. Suga, we will score. Just you watch..

  133. we will not score three though, will we?

    how shit is Bendtner?

    DISCUSS…

  134. I really thought for a while the Djourou was the answer but I think he is going to end up as a 3rd or 4th choice at best. The KOS will be a good player for us but needs a physical presence for partner. Based on what we saw last year TV5 is not the answer.

  135. george rodger

    We are poor today

  136. Good, fair officiating there..

  137. There we have it Jack being protected for his nationality…

  138. Kenyan,

    yeah, like it’s my fault…

    haha! ๐Ÿ˜†

  139. There is a world of difference between posters who are upset or angry at poor performances and those who seem to revel in them.

    You can draw the line between us all on that one.

  140. that’s how you defend set pieces!

  141. we cant we score from set pieces either..we had three in a row then and we didnt put anything decent together..
    the ball just went in and out all three times..

  142. Suga3 why be so bloody negative during the game. Wait for the final whistle then spit your garbage!

  143. The major worry is the complete consistancy of our flaws.
    We are making an even bigger target for ourselves, not at all heathly for the team.

  144. we need a huge effort now somebody needs to step up and change the game..

    our substitutions havent changed the game one bit

  145. cbob,

    I am not doing that, it’s just frustration with years of negligence…

    I am HURTING mate, we are being played off the park by these neanderthals!

    set pieces, inability to close down the opposition, no penetration, crap tactics, not playing players to their strengths – need I go on?

  146. Bill how did TV show that he is not the answer?

    On what do you base that?

  147. Jack surely has fire in his belly!

  148. Kenyan,

    because there are no positives to take out of it?

    you want to hear garbage? wait for Wenger’s press conference!

  149. Bill, you can’t write off JD because of a few bad games. He’s been stellar most times.

  150. goonzablazin

    Rosicky coming on now for the first time in how long? Could be the game changer we’re looking for.

  151. cbob,

    I am laughing as I would fucking CRY otherwise!

  152. Come on – two more!

  153. Yes!!!!!

  154. LimparAssist

    Played off the park?! They’ve barely had the ball on the grass. Wind up.

  155. Skywatchingmug

    Come on

  156. step forward robin

  157. Maybe not – that was knickers at the back from us.

  158. another goal we concede after weve scored..

  159. goonzablazin

    we’ll the turnaround was nice while it lasted.

  160. SHOOOOT, DAMN!! RVP!!!

  161. we are shit 2day

  162. typical, started playing in the last 15 minutes!

  163. george rodger

    ffs

  164. Fuck this

  165. Suga3 you must be very happy!

  166. no….

  167. Well, that was just about the worst bit of defending I’ve seen all season – and I’ve watched Argyle a few times.

    Also predictable. Very sad. Robin looks furious.

  168. and typically, our advantage lasted one minute!

  169. george rodger

    media shutdown iminent

  170. george rodger

    imminent.

  171. These sort of goals conceded isn’t even funny anymore. Pathetic performance all around. Things really do need to changen. No evidence, that with these same players we can mount a lasting title challenge next season.

  172. Why did you think I was referring to you Suga?

    No names, no pack drill.

  173. kenyan gunner u cnt defend this rubbish.

  174. Kenyan,

    go fuck yourself, you think I am happy? my team gets played off the park by one of the crappiest teams in the league and that’s supposed to make me HAPPY?

    I am witnessing the same mistakes for the few seasons running and that’s supposed make me HAPPY?

    you, sir, are an idiot!

  175. I agree Ateeb.

    Hurts doesn’t it?

  176. Remember Arsene knows. LOL He knows how to employ milksop Euro gay mincers

    I think it’s about time you pro Wengers apologized to us all with better knowledge

  177. Henristic:

    Perhaps your right but do you really want to put our hopes for another season that the good patches were the real thing? We have been living on that type of hope and assuming that the good patches are the norm for 6 years now. Time for the club to start assuming that the bad patches may be closer to the norm. If we end up with to many good players then we have a little fluff to cover for injuries and rotation.

  178. Yeah, Consol. The sad part is the predictability of this sort of performances.

  179. cbob,

    I thought you referred to my smiley a few posts earlier…

    besides, I am pretty used to being considered evil over here ๐Ÿ˜‰

    apologies if you didn’t!

  180. Common Sense

    Fucking disgusting.

  181. everything thats fundamentality worng with this team has been put on show today
    flat, tippy tappy..
    shit at setpieces
    conceded 10 seconds after we score
    substitutes that cant change the game

  182. amband, you are exactly the sort of twat I was referring to.

    Apologise? For what?

    Supporting our team?

    Pfft!

  183. Limpar,

    go to Specsavers, or, better still, get yourself a white stick…

    Stoke were the better team today, and surprisingly, had less fouls, etc.

  184. Clay, fuck you back. Support the team even if you hate the manager!

  185. The irony is that our players have beaten the best their is.

    It seems to me that we dont regard all matches in the same way. We are way up for the big matches (for the most part) but believe that we can just show up and beat the lesser teams.

    How do you play like you did against United and then crumble against Stoke and the likes? it makes no sense at all.

    If Djourou went off last week, why is he thrown back into the mix straight away?

  186. Paul N,

    because we have no other ‘size’ option in the defence?

    and who is to blame for that?

    yep, you’ve guessed it!

  187. kenyan gunner grw up supporting the team does nt mean i am blind! We played shit and there r no excuses if u hve any i thnk u r a fool. My team is losing 2 stoke and u expect me 2 b happy?!

  188. Viceologist @2.37 n @3.05 you are totally correct in your points.. Nobody in defense has wanted to get there bodies on the line

    I’m not sure if the injury to JD from last week but he’s not been off the pace today…To many Basic basic errors made again n again…Poor Poor Very poor performance..

    here’s something to put the Cat amongst the pigeons,Me I’d like to see R Dan Vart in an Arsenal shirt..He grew with RVP in Holland,they play for there National team I think he’d give us something totally different in front of goal..He has Prem experience,he’s young,technically adept and scores goals…

    Bring on the summer..

    Bring on the summer…

  189. The whole team should give up their wages for the day to Arsenal’s chosen charity. This has been a very painful game to watch. The most painful part for me is that it gives Stoke the licence to talk more shit that makes what Lou Macari says look pretty.

    Djourou has had a really bad game today and a hand in all of Stoke’s goals.

  190. Bob,
    Hurts badly. But there are positives to be taken from this game. The way we’ve lost this game, shows sign of us bottling under pressure. Now most fans did give up belief that we could still win the title, but judging from the team’s performance, its wonderful to know they still believed that they could win the title, and hence as a consequence we crumbled under pressure. Come on, they showed excellent belief.

    If only Bendtner had Rosicky’s first touch. Pure class.

  191. How do you play like you did against United and then crumble against Stoke and the likes?

    paul its called consistency…we are a flash in the pan team and we dont have the consistant level or the mental level to win something..

  192. Entirely predictable as usual. Just more of the same.

    A decent performance against Man U then this. Clueless and gutless

  193. Well that was one of the lows.

  194. nothing short of embarassing. I can’t even laugh anymore, just feel numb.

    with the possession you cant even say we have played that bad but the system is failing us again. the best team in the middle third by a mile but the goal chances are consistantly short now and our back line cannot handle the rush of blood from a quick counter even from the most basic of teams.

    more aggression and more incisiveness are needed in abundance and I’m concerned that not even the summer is long enough to dig us out of this hole.

    to think that stoke will now go on to be inspired to win a pretty major trophy next week…

    thank fuck city lost yesterday

  195. Bill,
    As far as I’m concerned, the problem is with the coaching. Arsenes management style hasn’t been up to scratch these past few seasons and changing the defence personnel around, again, probably isn’t really the answer.

  196. It looks like we are becoming really good at playing at the level of our opponents. Good against the Chavs, United and Barca at home, and lacklustre against crap teams.

  197. Ras makes a good point

  198. We played shit no doubt but why should some bloody cunts come to gloat?

  199. When we are bad, we are not just bad, we are incompetent.
    To be fair, we were a bit lucky to get 3 points against them at home. Today. we were outplayed. Our football snobbery makes me sad.

  200. that result has eased the pressure on utd and chelsea

  201. You are a disgrace amband.

    Disgusting opinions and views.

    Crawl back under your stone.

  202. 1 loose cannon

    This is a typical resignation performance. End of season stuff, contract talks and all the crap that comes with it in the mind. I’m not surprised with this result. The title was lost a while ago. I just don’t want to hear the ones on show moaning about lack of playing time because they did nothing to sugest they deserve a better contract. Wenger cannotbe blamed for the “not up for it attitude” that was on show today.

  203. Probably the worst performance I’ve seen all season from the boys. While we did well to defend Delap’s throws, we failed at everything else. If Djourou is not fit, he shouldn’t have played, as easy as that. He had a shambolic game and was involved in all the goals we conceded.
    As usual, the only player we could really rely on is Robin and that’s just not good enough.

    It probably would’ve been better to start with Bendtner instead of Arshavin and just leave Djourou on the bench for either Squill or Vermaelen but now it’s too late. Just awful.

  204. We have the best away record. The league was lost at home, not in the away games.

  205. consolsbob, what other conclusion can I come too

    the way some people have supported this clown AW and his dumb theories

  206. Paul N @3:40:

    Bill how did TV show that he is not the answer?

    On what do you base that?

    Our defense last year was much worse then this year. TV5 had great moments going forward but he was not a good defender. IMO we can’t afford to have Kos and TV5 as our 1st choice partnership. It will look great for short runs but over the course of the season it will be exposed. I think Chezzer is a great prospect but no matter how great of a shot stopper, a 20 year GK as the main organizer of our defense is asking for trouble.

  207. Something is just not there in the make up of some of the squad. Perhaps it is just the inconsistency of youth. But, the lack of desire and hunger to be first to the ball and first to close down in defense is worrying. It seems as though there is just little to no focus put on this by management.

    It seems a simple fix. Wenger says “anyone I see in game tape not giving a hundred percent and putting their body on the line during a set piece will not see the field next time out.” If it persists they are told there won’t be a next time out.

  208. Kenyan,

    how about you come to Ems and show us all how it’s done, eh?

    SMH…

  209. JonJon says this “paul its called consistencyโ€ฆwe are a flash in the pan team and we dont have the consistant level or the mental level to win something..”

    a flash in the pan team that is so good our standards have changed and playing in the champions league has become the norm. Also we are pretty good at winning something… if that thing is a football match. The only teams in the EPL who have won more football matches are Manu and Chelsea.

  210. Call the situation whatever you want, but Arsene Wenger needs to shift into crisis mode. Supporters are on the verge of revolt (or hara-kiri) and I fear the mindsets of players like Cesc and Nasri (and ultimately RvP if those 2 wish to leave). I think Arsene owes it to the supporters once and for all give public acknowledgement that things are seriously fudged. Why can’t this season be over already?

  211. LimparAssist

    We seem to have approached the game with all the appetite you get in a 3rd/4th placed play-off in the World Cup. Weariness, gut-shot from Bloody April? Dunno. We didn’t fancy it at all and Stoke knew it. I blame Shawcross and Pulis for that. Not good enough in any case. Raising ourselves for Utd was one thing… Maybe they thought job done for the season – point proven. The first and 3rd may as well have been scored between cones in an after training kick around such was the complete lack of effort.
    I do think Shawcross’ assault on Ramsey has a big psychological say in this fixture. Stoke players run in like locomotives, don’t even have to make a challenge and Arsenal flinch. ‘BOO!’ Self-preservation in a ‘meaningless’ game is kind of understandable but with so much to prove, it wasn’t all that meaningless. They’ve let themselves down a bit today…
    It’s like our ‘away’ confidence is kept in a seperate, fragile pot from our ‘home’ confidence at the moment. We clock one and lose the other. Season was over long ago anyway I’m afraid guys and gals. You could sort of see this coming up here against snarling Team Cunt. We’ll need to break this hex next season.

    You could really see it all catching up with them today. They wish the season was over, I imagine, and so do many of us today.

    Still, home game against Villa and an ‘apology’ performance for the fans, wouldn’t go amiss.

  212. The most positive thing for me today was the ATVO commentary team of Dan Roebuck and Chris Harris – both very level headed and funny at times…but it must be hell for them as die hard Arsenal fans to commentate such a game and take it through to the final whistle…

  213. Something has to change problems is, I don’t know what. If we continue like this we’ll come up empty handed again this season.

  214. Feel sorry for Gibbs, worst player on the pitch today. Good luck finding someone else willing to pay more than Arsenal.

  215. Kenyan gunner | May 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm |

    We played shit no doubt but why should some bloody cunts come to gloat?

    Because it shows exactly what the anti Wengers are saying is right. Our defenders couldn’t defend themselves at an Elton John pyjama party

  216. we are a flash in the pan team..
    we can beat anyone on our day but we cant find consistency hence the reason why manu and chelsea are ahead of us..even though we can beat them in games we cant beat them in leagues..

    flash in the pan..sprint runner..

  217. Limpar I don’t want the season to be over! Now all i have to watch is the MLS and baseball (boring.)

  218. Where were these people after last weeks result…oh well..

    But it was I think close to the most disappointing game ive seen this season..no penetrative passing..nothing really..2 banks of 4 which were very close to each other and we couldnt get in between or behind, as simple as that..but they did defend very very well…and for the first time SCZ was really poor in a game along with JD, who was disappointing again..maybe a full season is taking its toll on him…

  219. exactly JonJon

  220. But they could defend against ManU, they could defend against Chelsea and Barca at home, amband. Just stop posting bullshit, mate.

  221. Skywatchingmug

    OMG

  222. I say we play a Carling Cup side from here on out. The non-first teamers should have something to prove. Or at least they should be excited to see more of the pitch …

  223. Actually, Rosicky was class when he came on so that was another bright spark of a game with little to write home about. It was his drive that led to our goal within minutes of his introduction.

  224. Even from the beginning of Wenger’s “experiment”, he was receiving criticism from pundits and Arsenal fans alike. I, like many other faithful Gooners here, decided to trust Wenger in bringing success with a new youthful team. I kept on believing that our time was coming, that Wenger would eventually be proved right. Over the last 5 years, i’ve had countless debates and arguments with people who think Wenger’s experiment was bound to fail, and that we need a new manager. Today is the day I admit that they were right.

    Sorry, but trust can only last so long in this game. Being in competition for trophies is great, but crashing out of them in a manner which is often highly embarrassing and shameful is something which is not acceptable at any club. There comes a time when you eventually ask yourself; are you supporting Arsenal, or Arsene Wenger’s career? For me it’s not even so much about the lack of trophies, but the manner in which we’ve capitulated them. This team lacks character. No, let me rephrase that. This team lacks bollocks and is now going backwards.

    I’ll still honour Wenger when he leaves, the man has been a blessing for this club and should deserve respect from Gooner’s forever. But after that, it’s time to rip it up and start again. Get in a manager that’s not afraid to dish out the dirt, get Bould and Adams on the sideline at matches and in training, build a new team around Wilshere and Ramsey and win some trophies, pretty football or not.

  225. Fulham have just a good a defence as us even though they are shit .. And thats because of two players that we could have got and we should go get them along with

  226. Baines

  227. Darius..agree..some of rosicky’s touches and passing were sublime…kind of begs the question-where has he been??

  228. LimparAssist

    I think it’s more about this fixture coming at this time than anything else. We got up off the canvas last week, and got kicked in the teeth today. You can’t draw too many conclusions from a performance framed in such shit-stained circumstances.

    Add in Mascherano and Messi and Hangeland and whoever else occupies Championship Manager fanboy wet dreams and you get the same result today. That was the performance of a dejected group of players. Add a ‘few quality signings’, reproduce the circumstances and you’d get the same performance. Who wouldn’t be dejected? Personnel had little to do with that end of season funeral procession.

  229. Next season I meant.

  230. I think the biggest difference between our squad and the Mancs is that Fergusen will not accept anything less than a winning mentality from every player on the pitch. I get the feeling that the players at Arsenal are all a bit too comfortable at times. Sometimes the players need to know that if they don’t hold up their end of the bargain they will no longer play for the Arsenal…simple as….

  231. “Shit-stained circumstances”? With all due respect, LA, I’m assuming the players knew that 3 pts today and a Chelsea win could find Arsenal 3 pts off the top of the table with 2 games left. Not ideal, but still a chance. You wouldn’t have guessed it from the performance today. And it’s not as if this poor performance was a one-off. Ever since St. James Park, today was not inconsistent with what’s been on display.

  232. Absolute bullshit limpar, if Wenger got even just Schwarzer we would have won the cc, and then the big depression that hit our team after wouldnt of happened.

  233. Time for Arsene to adopt a ruthless streak…I don’t think he really has much of a choice now…many players are not repaying his faith in them…

  234. Limpar @ 4.08; are you blaming Stoke for our loss ? That’s a bit Ironic. Truth is they had a game plan, stuck at it and gave a 100%. Let’s call a spade a spade .

  235. dejected? fuck me sideways, I thought we had the manager of the decade to motivate them?

    and I thought we were still in with a title chance? if they need any more motivation, then they can just fuck offm the lot of them!

  236. Henristic @ 3:59:

    “As far as Iโ€™m concerned, the problem is with the coaching. Arsenes management style hasnโ€™t been up to scratch these past few seasons and changing the defence personnel around, again, probably isnโ€™t really the answer.”

    I agree but I have been banging on about that for 2 years now and we have heard from the boss about our defensive weakness 3 years in a row. Not holding my breath waiting for changes. May be a new player in the center of defense and may be even an experienced GK to give Chezzer and even Fabianski a couple more years to mature. In truth I have no idea of the answer, nor does anyone else, so we continue to guess and hope somehow things change.

  237. Bill i still think we are not taking enough shots at goal. I admit our defence hs been bad but our foward line hs let us down 2day we went ova 35 mins no shots on target

  238. Li’l Jack Willy is giving himself a reputation as a no-nonsense “I’ll be damned if you think I won’t bruise your punk arse” kind of player ready to mix brawn with finesse. And to think all this time folks have been calling for an action man hero of the Chuck Noriss ilk in our midfield to ‘mix it’ up.

    As excellent ball players, both him and Song are critical for our midfield as practitioners of the ‘dark arts’. 19 and 22 years of age – I wonder what they’ll be doing to midfields if they continue playing together for the next 5 to 10 years.

    Apparently, we also need a 20 goal a season striker – and clearly Van Persie having delivered 20 goals with an extended injury period is just not good enough. Anyone who doesn’t rate RVP as one of the best strikers in the world is a moron.

    I also like Koscielny’s one to one marking – he’s proving to be a very astute purchase – are you watching Sideshow Bob?

    There’s somethin about this team and it’s better than what Mary has.

  239. This was a different game from last week. Stoke’s defence is very good and we were jst unable to find a way through. Ramsey for cesc is not there yet. There was no one for the incisive pass, whilst, I have not seen players trip up on the ball so often in a game.

    Rosicky was much better, as were Bendtner and Chamakh , but still no confidence up front and a shambles in defence.

    Did anyone see Walcott? Someone said he was in the team, but I, for one, could not see him.

    Clearly many of the players no longer believed in the possibility of winning, so were simply not that interested.

    Jack was full of fire, but very few other players, if any, were as well.

    I did not think that he deserved a yellow card for that tackle, he quite clearly went for and got the ball full on.

    The Stoke players wanted it more and got it. Our players did not want it enough and got what they deserved.

  240. Armband. Why are you hiding behind an alias. You’re real name is Toe Rag and we all know it.

  241. you are all stupid, very stupid people especially the pious self appointed guardians of logical arsenal supporters!!!

  242. Duke @4:21:

    “Absolute bullshit limpar, if Wenger got even just Schwarzer we would have won the cc, and then the big depression that hit our team after wouldnt of happened.”

    In retrospect missing out on Schwarzer was probably one of the biggest determinants on this season.

  243. A shit display against a dispicable team with dispicable support. I did see some desire out there but at the expense of any tactical nous which will really need to be sorted out in summer.We ran out of ideas after xmas and have not looked dangerous since. Should nt the ” Wenger Out ” flies be buzzing around fouler smelling sites than this or is the need for attention just too much.

  244. A toe rag is a filthy, sweaty, object, despised by everybody.

  245. Evil | May 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

    But they could defend against ManU, they could defend against Chelsea and Barca at home, amband. Just stop posting bullshit, mate.

    Evil. There is no consistency. They are physically frightened of Stoke. Remember, this is a team that gave away a 4-0 lead 20 minutes from time and got a 4-4 draw

  246. goonzablazin

    and why exactly, Limpar, would this team be dejected? They had a chance to seal 3rd place today and possibly move into a tie on points for second. Doesn’t that mean anything?
    My take is that the players are frustrated because they know that these mid tier teams will just give them possession and make it extremely difficult to score. We don’t have the right personnel to deal with this- we’re entirely toothless with a couple of midget wingers crossing the ball into the opponent’s defenders time after time. It must be tough going into game after game knowing what you’ll face and being able to do nothing about it. And invaribly after some period of impotent tippy tappying around, we give up a goal off a set piece and it’s game over. How many times do we have to see it before we admit that Wenger has been found out? We can only beat the sides that actually come forward. So we’ll always flatter to deceive by being competitive against the quality sides but increasingly vulnerable against anyone willing to defend in depth for 90 minutes.

  247. This result begs the question:

    Did the manager and team get complacent after one good result yet again?

    If that was the case, then something is seriously wrong with our approach to games.

    Wenger seemed to be pretty shattered after the bolton result and the fans reaction.

    After that game he made quite a few noises about strengthening etc.

    After the manusa result, he appeared to be back-tracking on that.

    Could it be that after 1 single good result, he and the team thought it was all rosy again?

    Do the team and management get complacent that easily?

    If so, is that a lesson they are even capable of learning?

    What makes me more irate than anything about this is that the team put out a shower of shite like this against the team that broke Ramsey’s leg.

    In what universe do the manager or any of the players think that anything less than the absolute destruction of these shitstains is acceptable?

    At least Wenger tried to change the game at half time, perhaps symptomatic of how desperate he was and what a shock it must have been to him.

    Nevertheless, with our 3 primary strikers on the pitch we still looked completely toothless.

    We either didn’t take a shot, or RvP fell on his face in the middle of nowhere when we had the ball in space.

    What we didn’t do was take any decent chances. Why is that?

    This is not about personnel, this is about management, training and mental preparation.

    If Wenger can’t fix this, and after this diabolical show I would venture to suggest he’s as stumped as the rest of us, then perhaps his time really is up.

    I am watching manusa v chelski.

    Notice the drive of manusa’s players, the determination, the sheer will to win.

    Where the fuck is ours?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    That is down to Wenger. He’d better have some answers, otherwise he should go.

  248. Goonzablazin,

    I think your diagnosis seems pretty accurate. We will see if it is rectified this summer…

  249. In my humble opinion( for what its worth) if we are unable to defend corners then we are NEVER going to score or be a threat in the opponents half when we have a corner.

    The consistency of crosses -balls into the box from Sagna/Clichy over the season(I know he did not play today) has been POOR and evident for all to see..I think Serczzzny is going to be a TOP Keeper,whether he is quite ready to assume the mantle now is open to debate. We all KNOW that young players are going to be inconsistent over a season and this applies to Srcezznnyy too.

    People on here complain about the likes of Jagielka n Cahill not being techincal or good enough to wear n Arsenal shirt ( I’m no advocate of them) but I’ve seen both of them put more effort into than Arsenal players today.. As Darius said the players should be ashamed..

    Earlier I said I think that Van Der @ the Spuds would be a top addition. I say so because he knows RVPs GameRosicky, They’ve grown together. He may ave clause in his contract re CL.

    No disrespect to the following players but they’ve had there time so I’ve nothing personal against Denilson, Rosicky, Bentner, Vela(does not do it for me, I know he’s on loan ) I’d personally let Cesc go as we have Nasri, Ramsey, Wlshire all of a similiar ilk.. I’d give Diaby 1 more season to see what he can or cannot produce on a regular basis.We need a box to box midfield player who can break play down like Mascherano, Makelele,. In fact I’d bring back Diarra from Real..

    And so My Arsenal friends the debate is set to continue up and down the land far across the outanational seas…Wenger has a LOT of Work to do this Summer ..I saw a loook REAL frustration on RVP face is if to say if things don’t change get me out of here……One Step Forward…….

  250. Nice to see RVP extend his record.

  251. there are some on here that only come out after a win.

  252. duke,

    their heads simply belong in the sand…

    Wenger has finally been exposed and has no place to hide!

  253. Duke, i am what is called a “win**r” I come to gloat after victories about how great Arsene Wenger smells.

  254. nothing to say about today’s performance then, eh william?

    and yes, I am talking to you!

  255. We have the best away record. Next season we add the best home record and we are home and dry!

  256. Oh chelsea with their “experienced, world-class, defensively sound players, tactically awesome manger and with an english spine with terry and lampard” are not doing much better than us are they??

  257. last time I checked, it was an Arsenal blog?

    who gives a fuck about Chelsea?

  258. ‘Judge me in May’

    it’s May and you are the weakest link!

  259. george rodger

    Fuckin hell,now some smart arses know what the player are thinking from minute to minute.
    I think we have to admit there is something amiss.The debate should be about whether it will take a lot of fixing or minor tinkering.
    Personally I think its major tinkering that is required,if that makes sense.

  260. they are anirudh cos they are higher in the league than us and utd with their english spine etc are doing one better

  261. No but the basis of most arguements are that we have to sign an experienced, world class centre half instead of for example Koscielny, who has been truly outstanding..also we need an english spine , big defender, blah blah, so that was just to show how baseless and stupid these arguements are..

    Are we the best team in the league..no we are not..yes there are deficiencies but im almost certain that gary cahill and scott parker and chris samba etc are not the answers

  262. Surprise Surprise another goal conceded from a SET PIECE.WTF has Wenger been doing with the defence in training during the week?.We all know how Stoke play except Wenger.56% goals conceded for set pieces will we ever learn? and will we ever bring in a defensive coach who can coach the defence to defend? Wenger truely has lost the plot

  263. Well actually they are Anirudh, they are second we are third,, I just pray we can some how hold onto third…

  264. george rodger

    Anirudh,if they are the answer then the question must be”what do we need to do in order to not qualify for the Champions League

  265. and to articulate my point further..we need small tweaks..not change our entire style of play…even in all our trophy winning seasons, we played different to united and were still successful..

    maybe not this season..but for the first few seasons after the move, the manager has greatly over-achieved and certainly not failed in anyway..

  266. Gainsbourg69

    Bill, your boyfriend David Luiz has been shit today. What the fuck do you know about defenders or defending in general?

    Suga3, Arsene Wenger isn’t leaving. He’s here until he decides to leave. I pity you and the other cunts who are dying for him to leave.

  267. That pitch was a disgrace today – it was like playing on a fucking meadow. Eventually someone going to have to do say something about it, but now’s obviously not the time. Maybe they’re playing in Europe next people will draw attention to it.

    Still, it’s something we have to expect and be prepared for. We had time to train on there, so I don’t understand why we kept tripping over the ball.

    I don’t normally look forward to the summer break, but I’ll be interested to see how we play it. It’s as much getting the characters in the squad right. Today there just didn’t seem to be enough players taking responsibility.

  268. ….maybe when they’re playing in Europe next season…

  269. agreed they are but by 3 points and thats not a million miles away..its not like barca on 88 points and Valencia on 66 or something

  270. SUGA i have lots of things to say about the game. Mainly that it was pretty painful to watch. another conclusion i drew was that Stoke fans all have attention spans of about 2 minutes because after we had passed the ball around the pitch for a minute or two they would chant “boring, boring, boring”

  271. george rodger

    If 56% of our goal are conceded from Set plays,does that mean we are fabulous at defending in open play?

  272. Gainsbourg69

    I love how people suggest that Arsenal don’t practice defending set pieces. Gary, Wenger has the defense play uno while the rest of the team play keepy-uppy and talk shite for the remainder of practice.

  273. it was boring because we did fuck all with it!

    but yeah, shift the attention away from our pathetic performance, knock yourself out…

    G69,

    I will not resort to insults here, but will watch you wither instead…

    baaaa, baaaa, baaaa ๐Ÿ˜†

  274. No i think they play online poker ๐Ÿ˜€

  275. They are 3 points now Anirud but dont forget they were 15 points behind Manu not so long ago,,, now just 3 … to say they are shit because they are losing today is madness..

  276. This was an important game. We could still have won the title, we could certainly have challenged for second.

    On top of that it was against Stoke and all that means both for football in general and Arsenal in particular. Their style or ours? A showdown.

    Plus it was the match in which they shattered Ramsey’s leg last year. We needed to show them who is boss.

    We failed, and failed badly. I don’t see the bright spots that Ateeb saw.

    I was bloody furious with the display and that this team, this team of all teams, let Stoke run the show, let Stoke show that they can beat us in a football match. That Pulis can have bragging rights over Wenger.

    I can’t think of a worse defeat for us to endure, both as fans and as a football club persueing a particular ethos.

    Maybe, just maybe, some of those pundits we sneer at are not all wrong about our team. Excellent in parts, average in others. Not Title winning material.

    Hard to argue with that now.

    Still, next year beckons.

    We are The Arsenal.

  277. Gainsbourg i will make an assumption here about your post. You should change “I love how people suggest…” to “who are these idiots and why do they think arsenal don’t practice defending set pieces.”

  278. anirudh
    no team has won the premier league without an english CB..
    i wouldnt say thats a baseless arguement

    its a fact

  279. skywatchingmug

    No world class center half will want to come to the Arsenal. Most good players want to win things. I’m not sure we could afford one any way. Hanging onto the good players we have will be a struggle.
    We will have to hope Wenger can pull a world class center back or two out of thin air.
    But his track record on spotting world class center halfs
    ain’t that clever.
    Nevermind lets get on with what’s left of the season.
    And try to forget what could have been.

  280. william,

    I am sorry mate, but as I have told you the other day, you are not in position to lecture anybody…

    and you still have not apologised, by the way…

    if we practice set pieces and still concede as many goals from them as that, means we should practice a bit more, is that logical or what?

  281. arsenal do practice set pieces..there is no evidence to suggest they dont..
    we just arent doing it right…and theres lots of evidence to suggest we are not..

  282. Just in case there was any doubt, Johan has been outstanding this season, but was rubbish today, certainly worst game of the season. Others worked hard, except Arshavin who must surely go in the summer. Sorry for Jack and Robin who worked particularly hard.

    Regarding the pitch, do we have a cr*p practice pitch at Colney because we should – time after time we seem unable to adapt to the pace in away matches where the hosts make sure the pitch is as slow as possible…

  283. @JonJon
    No team has won the Premier League with a Polish goalkeeper or a Spaniard as captain. That’s another fact for you. Want me to pull out some more out of thin air?

  284. SUGA this personal attention you have been giving me is getting me rock hard, do you have a webcam?

  285. If Suga is getting on the cam, I’d love to see his smug grin as well!

  286. Jon jon..probably because this is the EPL and there usually is an english defender in the side…so naturally there is a high probability that stat does exist..im sure if u check la liga u will say the same about a spanish centre-half..

    can u honestly tell me are centre-halves have had bad seasons..except JD for the last few games..they have been largely impeccable..our defensive problems largely stem from midfield…

  287. Delia--Block 112

    Dear oh dear what a tale of woe. It was looking at, strong men against little boys. Stoke were up for the game, players trying to impress their manager to pick them for the Cup Final. We looked as though we were there to make up the numbers.
    I feel so sorry for the away fans who have played a blinder this season. I am just grateful at not having to make the trip home from Stoke.
    Where was Theo, JD had his worse game of the season and Gibbs just isn’t ready for PL football. Without Cesc and Nasri pulling the strings we are just not good enough. LJW worked his socks off but needed help that was not available today.
    AW , you have a host of issues to keep you busy this Summer. I would have a PL experience CB, Gilberto like DMF and a prolific goal scoring forward on my shopping list.Notwithstanding the above comments, I will be at the Emirates next Sunday for another fix but please not another Stoke/Blackburn display.I live in hope!
    As always COYRs

  288. That’s a decent suggestion, BJ @ 5:28. If we don’t already then it would definitely make sense.

    Just trying to read into AW’s comments recently, I think we’re going to end up with two different styles – one for Europe and most home matches, and another for physical PL opponents. There’ll most likely be a couple of players reserved mostly for only one kind of encounter.

    Like today, everything at Stoke is set up to make it difficult to be successful with a possession game, and we only looked like breaking through when we got it forward earlier. Certain players who can be instrumental in our normal season are almost redundant away at Stoke and Blackburn. Theo’s definitely one – there’s just no space or speed in the pitch to get the best out of him.

  289. How much longer are we going to hear “Wait till next season”
    What are we going to sign a Commanding CB a DM who will protect the back four and a 25 goal a season striker?If not nothing is going to change

  290. william,

    I am just willing to reciprocate the personal attention you have given me the other day and pissed off with a whimper before I could return the courtesy, it would be rude otherwise, you know?

    by the way, did you like the Dein video? very educational, wasn’t it?

    Evil,

    smug? no mate, I am pretty sad not to be proven wrong, you know?

  291. skywatchingmug

    We need a spine, that’s for sure.

  292. @OoU
    Good observation. Basically, throughout the season, unless we had injuries, we have almost played the same team game in, game out. That, in my opinion, is probably the biggest flaw of our team. We just did not adopt to the various opponents we’ve had. Sometimes your strongest side is just not the team that’s best suited for the job.

  293. lol no evil dont pull out anymore..

  294. For instance, and I’m not going to play CM, but Marouane Fellaini is a player who I think would be quite effective for us in scrappy and physical PL matches, but I reckon a side like Barcelona would just run rings around him.

  295. @Gary
    Neither ManU nor Chelsea have on of those mythical 25 goals a season strikers in their ranks right now.

  296. I meant system, not season earlier at 5:37!

  297. Wow Torres is really awfull

  298. george rodger

    JJ .If you named the top 10 CBs in the world ,how many would be English?
    So if the answer is none,which I think it is,does this mean you would prefer we buy second best?
    We may not have any world class CBs,but no matter which English Man we bought,we still wouldn’t.

  299. Leagues are always won with the team that posseses the best wingers. kanchelskis, overmars, pires,robben, ronaldo, now its the mancs with nani or giggs although not in the great mould are better wingers then ours. getting out wide and being dangerous from there makes the difference, today we were shut out from coming through the middle and we didnt look like scoring.

    arsh and walcott are not natural wingers both are strikers really nasri is a cm so i think it is here where we need to improve and as a priority.

  300. george rodger

    Duke,you may be right ,but that would mean a change of formation

  301. george
    i dont think all the cb’s in the world applies seeing as though we play a national league but if you want me to name the top cb’s in the PL i could name a few and yes there would be a few engish lads in there..

  302. we wouldnt have to change formation we could play wingers in a 433 or a 442

    it would allow us to be more flexible with the formation

  303. completely agree with the wingers..Juan Matta would love to see him play at Arsenal..

  304. george rodger

    So you want a no nonsense, cant trap a bag of sand ,type?
    Sorry JJ,I just think we need a ball playing CB,and if your job is only to clear the ball,then you will look a good defender ,but your contribution to the team play will be less.
    But don get me wrong,we do need something .

  305. george rodger

    I think the idea is that the front 4 can interchange.Out and out wingers could not do that.
    Again though,perhaps that is what we need.
    To be honest,I dont know.

  306. While I still think we need another striker to get us closer to the depth at striker that United and Chelsea have, I do think a reallocation of offensive resources from midfielders to wingers is in order. What was clear today is that it’s too difficult to beat the two walls of 4 from the middle. We need wingers to penetrate into the box and create space for our strikers and midfielders coming from central positions. I think our money would be very well spent on an AGGRESSIVE bid for Ashley Young. Not only is he talented but he works very hard and could give the opposition nightmares with him and Theo on the pitch. This would be a great place to start this offseason. Make it happen, Arsene.

  307. would you call Keown or Adams ball playing defenders? I think Hangeland is a top defender and deserves to be at a top club. how have fulham conceeded the same as us?

  308. Santi Cazorla’s a class player; he’s quick and has great vision, but I think he plays a little too deep for AW’s taste.

    I can’t pull off this transfer talk though – it’s so much more complicated than it looks. I mean, for one, it’s our fullbacks who have always provided our width under Wenger, even when we had Overmars – what’s to say there shouldn’t be changes there?

  309. george rodger

    No duke ,I would not.And Hangeland is not.

  310. As much as i dont like to admit it..12 PL titles..awesome achievement…

    unfortunately our re-building coincided with the Abramovic era..if it were just us and united as usual..we may not be title-less for 6 years..

  311. george rodger

    No Anirudh,you dont get it.
    Just ignore the billion pounds Chelsea have spent and lost,apparently it is inconsequential.

  312. skywatchingmug

    Good call on Ashley Young, a gunner at heart to.
    Had the pleasure of talking to him when we was at Watford and all he could talk about was the Arsenal.

  313. theres a few english cb’s who i think can play ball..

    and i agree we need ball players in the defence but when it comes to set pieces theres not much ball playing you can do..just get rid of it..

    so its a catch 22..?? do one or do another??i think thats a bit crazy cos i think we could balance that out abit better and have ball players and cloggers cos those set pieces are beginning to fuck me off..we can defend good from open play but when it comes to basic dead balls we are shit..which is no good in the PL you need to be able to defend better than that…..

    dont get me wrong ive actually fought against the idea of a new CB cos i think JD TV and koz are pretty good..but weve gotta do something cos if we keep training our defenders to be ball players we are never going to improve on this situation..

    either way it needs looking at, we either tweak the way we drill defence or we add a player who will?? or does it need an overhaul and do we do both??

  314. george..oh yes..whats a billion pounds in our recessionary times..pfff….

  315. george rodger

    I just hope Arsene can see the answer ,what ever it may be.
    I believe he can and will.
    Nothing ,no evidence,has led me to believe he is not the finest manager in the world. Despite everything.

  316. jon jon..organization is at the heart of defending set-pieces..maybe JD and Kos lack a bit in that department…Vermaelen maybe better at that..i really think he can be our DM..was making the point about Gilberto/Vieira when we were winning things..gilberto allowed vieira to control the tempo…maybe TV/Jack might have the same effect..jack is defensively responsible..but he can also go forward better and maybe control the tempo more..

  317. Evil

    Nothing mythical about a 25 goal a season striker,,, haven’t both Rooney and Drogba done this in the past? Does that not make them 25 goal a year strikers.. I know they never achieved it this season but they have been proven 25 goal strikers?

  318. Meh, Cazorla doesn’t have much cachet on YouTube – slim pickings on there. Anyways:

  319. i dunno what the answer is anymore to be honest

    we seem to have fundamental flaws…and i also think wenger is losing control of his dressing room..
    we got cesc outspoken in interviews we have players who dont play who are demanding playing time and high wages when they havent been good enough..
    too many players with big egos and too many players who arent good enough to challenge for a first team place..too many unhappy players….i think wengers gotta wield the axe in the summer..cut lose the straglers, cut off the frayed ends and reinforce…

  320. george rodger

    JJ I want to disagree,and yet somehow I cant.

  321. george rodger

    Scoring 25 goal in one season,yet never approaching it again,does not make you a 25 goal per season striker,does it Tim.?
    TH was a 25 goal per season striker and no team has had one since .

  322. skywatchingmug

    How many world class center backs are of Belgian or French or English origin? That’s not really what we should be looking at. Can we improve on what we have? That’s what we should be asking ourselves.
    Going back to the debate about a spine of a team.
    If Arsenal where playing in the Spanish league or any league you would care to mention. You would expect the spine of the team to be from that country of origin to stand a chance of winning a title. Exception being the 49ers for one season.
    But a spine of any team needs to be strong and reliable anything more is a bonus. Then you can interchange around them & rotate the spine in & out to stop burn out. But not all at the same time that will cause too much disruption to the core of any team. As we have seen a few times this season. Wigan away springs to mind & Orient away in the cup.
    Changing how we approach certain teams that defend deep & with in the width of their penalty box should be easier to resolve.
    But solving the mental problem is another thing.

  323. Timmy

    Rooney has only scored 25 goals once, the rest of the time it has been around 18. In his case, it is utterly wrong to suggest that he is a 25 goal a season player. Indeed, van Persie has scored more goals in less games this season.

    Drogba has scored 25 goals a season (2006-07 & 2009-10) his Chelsea career. Of the other 5 seasons, his top total is 16. He is not a 25 goal a season striker either.

    YW

  324. The team is not a flash in the pan team at all, you cannot be consistently at the top by being a flash in the pan.

    There is a word that has been used and I thought we were over it but we are complacent. Our focus is not three points but our opponent. Play the best and we are great, play the lesser clubs and we believe showing up is good enough. Obvioulsy it is not.

    I still believe the talent is in the house but the players needs to get serious. Stop getting too high for big matches I say. I dont care aboutr bragging rights and all that. In the scheme of things it doesnt mean crap if we are not consistent.

    We did the double over United one year and they won the PL, our beating them didnt really count for anything.

  325. JJ..agree in a way..”losing control” maybe a bit strong..but yes the people who are being carried along have got to go…

  326. Paulie Walnuts

    A truly horrible afternoon.

    Every single player was below par , with one or two merely going through the motions. As Arsene has said , playing for Arsenal is a privilege.

    I sense something is starting to go rotten – it certainly doesn`t smell like team spirit.

  327. STARTING to go rotten?

    I guess your sense of smell is not your forte mate, it started in the summer of 2008…

  328. Good post MikeSA,

    We can bleat about playing personnel all we want but ultimate responsibility lies in the team management.

    Playing below par in one or two games can be blamed on individual players but our problems are systemic. Only Arsene can sort it out. If its beyond him, then he must get help or step aside. There is no shame in that.

    He will always be a legend for the club, and his vision defines the curent Arsenal FC. But visions require proper implementation to be truly validated. Not all visionaries make good ‘implementers’

  329. Paul N

    This team has a mindset that just finishing top 4 is good enough.And that is installed by all the comments from the manager.Would Fergie ever comment that he would be happy to finish 2nd for 2o years?.We do not have a winning mentality at the club.You only have to look at the collapses at the end of every season

  330. so we announce the ticket increase and then we get fucked hard by stoke..

    those black scarved people?? theres going to be more on the bandwagon against villa..i think the numbers just trebled…

  331. I don’t really think what’s going on with Arsenal has to do with these players ability at all. We may need a player or two, but I don’t think this will resolve the problems.

    * Is it something to do with the players pay and how they look at other clubs around them?

    * Is it the way we train? I mean look at the first goal we conceded today, our defenders are looking at were their opponents are but not where the ball is going, that means they are always on the back foot and always get to the ball behind the opponent. I think it’s a fundamentally flawed way of defending crosses and high balls in the box.

    The funny thing is, Arsene put in Chamakh and Bendtner on the field and yet not a single cross from us in the second half? In the first half we played more crosses in the box to no one? Who is directing those players on the field? And what was the point of two tall players who are good headers of the ball but no supply of crosses?

    *Is it Pat Rice retiring and he’s not up for it any longer? What does he do anyways? I really don’t know, it always looks like Wenger is the coach & manager all the time.

    Drawing six or eight games in a raw is not called an unbeaten run, it should be called a stale run. I’d rather lose a game but pounce right back on winning just like United did today. They lost to us then beat Chelsea the next game.

    Something is fishy and crappy about us, I think we have been giving the whole club the benefit of the doubt for so long but the club realistically need to stop and have a moment of truth with themselves.

    We know we will not win the league every season, or even win a trophy every season. But come on, we really seem to be going backwards and rabidly.

    God help us.

  332. Bob,

    I was being sarcastic about the positives to be taken from the game. There were none. Abysmal performance.

  333. Time to take the training wheels off, some of the players are hiding behind the managers comments. They are not kids anymore, they need to be held accountable for their actions. In the business world, if you don’t perform to the best of your abilities, you get the pink slip. Some of the players have already checked out and are on holiday. Poor team performance and the only way things will change is if the manager starts being ruthless then maybe the playing staff will take notice.

  334. Bradys right foot

    Awful performance today, its difficult to know where to start. I freely admit to hating Stoke and their fans, booing Ramsey ffs, the never ending chorus of vile chants against le boss but most of all I hate them because they deservedly beat us today.

    That was the worst performance of the season. JD had a mare today and a costly one, our senior central defenders are young talented but still undercooked, surely our deficiencies at set pieces can be worked on. I still thought Kozzer played well, hes a monster in one on one situations of that I think everyone is in agreement, his double challenge around the halfway line in the left back channel in the second half was simply immense.

    Analysing this team its strength and weakenesses for me is very complicated. Imho what we lacked today was committment to our style we shuffled forward, only when Rosicky came on did we turn and go and move the ball at speed. With our style of play we have a small margin for error pass and go can become tippy tappy if we dont move the ball at speed.

    Frustrating is the word i’d most associate with this season, we completely threw a title away. Why? Well it wasn’t todays result and I dont blame the defence either, ultimately as I have chewed over the fat of this season I don’t believe were clinical enough infront of goal. The year we outscore Man Utd is the year we win the league.

  335. Big Al – Could it possibly be Tirma ? The GF, who eats chocolate like most of us eat cheese, reckons it’s ‘numero uno’. Pointedly not mentioning any football today.

  336. 1 loose cannon

    it looked like some of the players have already booked their holidays. It was toothless without any purppose at all. Something is horribly wrong with this team, it is not the quality, they are all top players but something really needs changing or working on. as individuals they are all good but collectively something is not clicking at all when it really matters. I hope Wenger knows what is wrong because I’m baffled at the results this season one week we beat the like of Barcelona and United then we fall apart against some shit team.

  337. Gunner4Ever
    Great point about the unbeaten run.Wenger kept banging on about it before the Bolton game.But what good is being unbeaten in 16 games when you draw half of them?.In fact in that run we dropped 16 pts

    As for the defence we are 3rd in the league but only have the 5th best defence and we are on course for conceding 40 goals again this season

  338. Yes, PB, that’s it – Tirma! That stuff is great. I can’t find it anywhere here.

  339. What a load of tripe!
    I think we need to sell the bus that we use for open top parades as we aint gonna be needing it for a very long time on that showing!
    This team has gone to rat sh*te!
    I don’t want to lose faith in Wenger but its seriously being tested now, he either acknowledges that this team is not good enough and do something about it or let someone else have a go!

  340. Just popping out for some Tirma. Mmmmm……

  341. this is it
    crossroads time..its time wenger took the plunge and do what hes needed to do for years..

  342. trying to see things in a slightly brighter light..

    How many years did Fergie take to win the league? 7 years it took him..to build a team capable of winning the league…different situation, different times yes..but maybe not so different with our own team..new stadium, no funds, everyone around you spending big, restricted wage structure meaning having to let established players go, trying to bring in a ‘golden generation’..a lot of challenges…

    Patience is a virtue..and im willing to give it a try..

  343. Bradys right foot

    Dave | May 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm |

    As for the defence we are 3rd in the league but only have the 5th best defence and we are on course for conceding 40 goals again this season

    Dave so far weve conceded three more Goals than Man Utd who are going to be champions this year and were actually currently the 4th best defence in the league. For the record chelsea have the best defence with 28 conceded the comes both Manc clubs on 33 and the us and Fulham on 36. The wider discussion re the defence is simply not being had, what we get is a very simple analysis and unsatisfactory argument. Weve conceded more goals from set pieces than the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City certainly a weakness. 57 % of the goals we have conceded have come from set pieces. The flipside to this then is that in open play we have conceded less goals than any other team in the league. Defensively then we are getting are large proportion of what we do correct and some of the basics wrong. The basics like defending set pieces can be worked on but that should involve more than just the two centre backs . Fundamentally Kozzer and JD are great defenders both are better now than Ferdinand was at 24. Ferdinand has went on to become an excellant defender but up until his mid twenties was still error prone. JD reminds me alot of a younger of Ferdinand. Both Kozzer and JD have had their debut seasons in the epl for me they’ve surpassed my expectations.

    TV is due back and it remains to be seen if we buy anyone but there will be healthy competition next year at centre back. I think in two or three years time Kozzer could be viewed as the best in the league. Many names are touted like Cahill, to use your own rationale Dave, Bolton have conceded 50 goals so far in the league and while those certainly are not his fault he has been ever present he is no improvement on what we have or what we need. Who would improve us then, someone who is as quick and as good in one on one situations as the guys we have and a Sammi Hypia in the air. Tell me who out there that fits the bill maybe Gerard Pique but we aint getting him. If we get a clogger like Hangeland well concede less from set pieces but more from open play. People seem to have an amnesia when it comes to Arsenal and forget our defenders have an awful lot of defending to do. Because of our formation the defenders at every match face one on ones time and time again yet in the vast majority of these they prevail. Take the Stoke game today how many times were we running at an isolated centre half or a full back, never. Imo a Samba or Hangeland would be ripped apart playing for Arsenal. If I was going to pick anyone from the EPL to compliment what we have at the moment and give some experience it would be Sylvan Distin, great in the air, still quick and built like a wardrobe.

    I’ve spent the last two weeks going back over every league game this year and its not that we have conceded 3 more goals than Utd that has cost us the league, its that we are not as clinical infront of goal as Utd.

  344. BRF:
    Goals conceded
    Chelsea 30 goals
    Man City 33 goals
    Man Utd 34 goals
    Fulham 36 goals
    Arsenal 39 goals

    Thats the FIFTH best defence
    Arsenal 39 goald

  345. we do waste alot of chances

    but its the set piece issue that really gets me…
    we are totally crap at dead balls…

    not only do we concede too many but we dont score enough from them, i actually think weve are bottom of the goals from set pieces table..

    if we paid attention to the dead ball side of the game we could decrease the number of goals we conceded as well as increase the goals we score..

    im sure we can all see the benefits of this throughout a 38game season..

    is the club that ignorant to think the basic dead ball part of the game is irrelevant and its all about passing in triangles..?? cos the facts suggests it keeps kicking us in the nuts
    we may have some talented ball players but as far as the basics are concerned we are clueless…

  346. Actually drove past the Emirates today, very impressive but very quiet.

  347. Bradys right foot

    My mistake Dave, sorry m8 but i stand by my sentiments. Weve conceded 26 goals away from home given that weve scored more away fromn home than anyone else and accumulated more points away fromn home than anyone else i’ll settle for that.

    13 goals conceded at the emirates this season is no too bad and certainly comparable with the teams around us. However what immediateley sticks out in the figures is that currently weve scored more goals away from home than at the emirates a paltry 32 at home. The fact is that Newcastle Bolton Liverpool Utd and Chelsea have all outscored us at home. we only scored one more goal than Stoke at home. I’d safely say after watching all of our matches again over the past few weeks that no team in the league creates as many chances as us and no team wastes as many chances as us. We are not clinical and at home in the games we dropped points apart from West Brom had enough clear cut chances in every single game to win comfortably.

  348. I agree with BRF.

    If we’ve conceded more from set plays, than that area shouldn’t be that difficult to rectify. Our basics on defending set pieces seem to be the problem. However I also agree with that it’s the issue with our attack that needs change and not the defense. We’ve not been as clinical as we would have liked, especially from the midfield. RVP is great, but apart from him who can you trust to take a shot. There are signs of progress from Nasri, and Theo, but we do really need a proper winger. It’s frustrating to watch United win the league, by crossing the ball the whole season long and scoring goals. We need that dimension in our attack, theo’s coming good, but getting another player wouldn’t hurt us.

    As for Arsene’s comments regarding Bendtner. They could be taken to suggest that perhaps, he might have realized that we need a proven striker alongside RVP next season, and Bendy might not be happy with going down the pecking order? I don’t know. To me it’s another proven striker and a winger that we could do with.

  349. @ateeb “theo’s coming good.”
    What is this fascination with walcott? He consistently disappears from games after the first 10 mins.
    He never ever makes an impression against the “lesser” teams.
    He had a 17 year old rookie to play against in the Liverpool game and guess who won that contest!
    Walcott has pace. If he gets one on one with the keeper, he’ll more likely score than not. End of story. He offers nothing else. And most of the time he doesn’t even use his pace – he gets the ball and backpasses to Sagna.
    Early in the season, a former England player said he didn’t think Walcott had a football brain. Unfortunately he was also a former Spud so no Arsenal fan worth his salt was allowed to take any notice of it. But he hit the nail on the head. Walcott doesn’t have a football brain.
    Time for a big clear out and to hell with upsetting a few kids.

  350. So we have a good clear out. Start all over again and spend the next 4-5 years in transition. Now that is a good idea.

  351. sounds like a plan to me dups..
    we are going to spend years in transition anyway with some of these players they dont have the mentality and they are not good enough…

    the best ones will leave if we dont win trophies and we are back to square one..

    wenger got close in 2008 and it fell apart and alot of them left..three years on and we still have the same problems..and if we dont sort them our best players will leave..

    and we are right back at square one again…

    time to sort it out..theres too many bad eggs in the squad and they need to go..the harmony at the club is shit..clear out the deadwood get rid of the shite attitude some of our players have and bring in the reinforcements..

  352. There is a difference with bringing in a few players with the right attitude and having a good clear out. Some players will go (not as many as some want) some will come in. Hopefully it is the right experienced players that come in.

  353. george rodger

    Its all to depressing..
    I need a tonic

  354. Gainsbourg69

    We also need to go through a management merry go round just for good measure, dups. This will add another five or six years to your estimation. Goodbye champions league football. Hello upper mid table mediocrity. The realists don’t really think through things. They go by instinct. And their instincts are telling them we need a Chelsea like revamp on a quarter of the money.

  355. i think the problems are deeper than just a few players coming in dups..

    alot of these players have been protected and pampered for too long, rewarded with failure and now its spiralling out of control..

    the squads massive and lots of them are kicking off, speaking out, wanting payrises again, stalling on contracts, wanting to play when they aint good enough in the first place..

    wenger cant keep them happy or motivated, players need to go their time is up and its dragging the club morale down..its rotten to the core once the termites are in its best to change the wood..

    plenty need to go..wengers starting to stockpile players and its not healthy..

  356. I know Wenger knows a lot more than I ever will about players but I wonder if getting players to play so many different positions is not part of the problem.

    Gibbs was a winger, Nasri, Rosicky mid-fielders. Arshavin more a #10. Bendtner is not a winger, Denilson not a DM.

  357. weve got over 60 players on our books
    not including the 16 players we have out on loan..

    thats a silly amount of players…..im sure we could get away with a clear out and not suffer a transition at all cos some of them arent good enough to begin with..
    do the wage bill a load of good as well

  358. george rodger

    We are third and Arsene has spent ,net, nothing since 2003.
    Lets wait and see what happens in the summer.Because the truth is ,nobody has a clue how much surgery is really needed.There is not two of us can agree what is required .

  359. i also think thats a problem george..
    we dont spend anything..we are supposed to be a club that spends what it makes and we spend less than the likes of westbrom
    its all take and no put back and thats the difference between 3rd and 1st

  360. george rodger

    JJ ,I hear you,but we have been hear before,no?
    I think for the first time he has the money,lets hope so anyway.

  361. i dont know about you mate but ive been cut deep by all this..

  362. JonJon it is not all take with no giving back. Have a nice look at one of the most kickass stadiums in the world.

  363. its lovely william..
    and expensive…

  364. anyone read the holics thread tonight??
    he’s had enough

  365. its expensive for a reason. i hate to generalize but one thing the best teams in the world have in common is high capacity stadiums. you know more money and all that corporate stuff. The club is running at a profit during these shit economic times while the champions of the world/league are losing 20,30 or more millions every year.

  366. and that will result in the stadium being empty…

    it’s called penny wise pound foolish, DD was right all along…

  367. thats great william…
    i like you mate your a good un..
    but i have to disagree dude, cos im not falling for the best profits trophy anymore..sick of hearing it and then seeing the same flaws thru the season…
    these are shit financial times for everyone mate…people pay hard earned to go see bollox they saw today and at countless other times thru the season..
    if they want to charge serious money then they have to be prepared to build a team that performs seriously for a trophy..a real trophy..

  368. JJ your last line makes it seem like we haven’t performed seriously this campaign. The performances have been very lackluster for the past month or two but were we not considered a title contender up until say, the bolton match?

  369. george rodger

    JJ,Holic aint the only one.
    goodnight

  370. night mate..

    william i think honestly we were gone long before that..

  371. it comes down to wenger re-evaluating his faith in individuals. for the sake of the club he is going to have to be cruel to be kind. I just hope he can step back now and seriously consider the project he conceived so long ago. times have changed, I would expect an intelligent man to move on with the world however much it may seem uncomfortable.

    have his hands been tied by financial worries? dont we now have the stadium to compete like that? we have the potential to do some outstanding business this summer and what we can be sure of is having probably the most astute business minded manager and talent spotter in the business.

    I just hope he can find his ruthless edge for success and do what he must now surely know he has to.

  372. we were gone the very moment we fucked up the Carling Cup final…

    just more of the same, been there, done that…

  373. suga are you on the waiting list trophy???

    how many places have you fallen recently??

  374. JJ,

    about 5K places?

    I think I may be offered one in 12 months time at the latest at this rate, given the amount of people I speak to who say that they can’t be botherd with this shit…

  375. thats alot of places..yup it wont be long before your there if this carrys on..
    those figures will drop

  376. and consider that there are plenty of people who will not take up the offer as they either can’t afford it or can’t be bothered…

    anyways, I am off, nite ๐Ÿ˜‰

  377. Hope less people can “be botheted with this shit”maybe it is a chance for me to buy tickets too . Woohoo!

    Anyone wanna sell their season ticket? Cmon guys! You know you wanna!

  378. I try very hard not comment when the disappointment is at its highest and the level of commonsense goes down and the emotions take over… but still yesterday was difficult to take. From Arshavin’s stupidly unnecessary shove on Pennant to the comical defending for the first goal… yesterday’s performance for me cannot be tolerated by any fan. It just makes it worse that this defeat, our biggest of the season, came at Stoke.

    Having said all that I have to laugh at the so-called “realists” and their glib and shallow solutions. I find it amusing that some people can claim with a straight face that the problem is the manager… what problem would that be? The fact that we are able to challenge on a fraction of the spending of any of the top 4 clubs? It is a mark of the prevailing stupidity that people even imagine that sacking Wenger would do anything but set us back. The idiots who take the ECL for granted should really get their wish in some alternative universe…. I’d enjoy laughing at them.

    A young defence has struggled all season with set pieces and all people can spout off about is “practice” … how do you know we don’t practice defending set pieces? The fact surely is that it is experience that counts the most and we haven’t got it.. and getting the sort of experience we need isn’t going to be easy despite the rubbish spouted on the internet … chelsea conceded a set piece against united at OT and David Luiz, all 21m of him, fucked up majorly for the first goal after less than a minute! and torres was such a threat when he came on. Not.. but people still believe that spending is the answer? Why exactly.

    I will say this though… the one desperate change that Wenger needs to make to his philosophy is this nonsensical attitude to players over 30. In as much as youth and vigour and enthusiasm are welcome qualities in any football team… so also is calmness, experience, nous and know how that is accumulated over the years.. prime example Ryan Giggs. We really ought to stop this nonsense of only offering experienced over 30 players a 1 year extension if for nothing else because it is deeply insulting. All players have to be judged on the actual ability not just their age… Rosicky and Arshavin are experienced and ineffective but remain at the club… Gilberto was experienced, effective, a leader and a man committed to Arsenal and he was treated appalling both in the issue of the captaincy which the manager really screwed up and in the way he was eased out of the club. Wenger needs to get the balance right. This idea that because a team has an average age of 23 years suggesting that they will be better at 27 is all very well in theory but the facts are not so clear cut… players progress as well as regress. Of the lads that took on Chelsea in that Carling Cup final how many of them are still at Arsenal? And how many of those that remain can be said to have fulfilled their potential?

    There isn’t too much wrong with our club or our team but we do need to recalibrate what we do as it were… or we risk a sort of complacency settling over the players. I still think that we are well primed for the future, what with the financial fair play rules being introduced but we can make more of the present.. and that is the most pertinent point.

    Those on the sidelines who come up with shallow and glib analyses of how Wenger should do this, that or the other need a reality check… we are where we are ONLY because of Wenger. I don’t want to see my team in the hands of an Oligarch who could assassinated or imprisoned tomorrow, I don’t want my club in the hands of some Sheik who could be blown away by the winds of the Arab uprising but I do want us to do better with the talent we do have… and we can and should do better… but we have no chance without Wenger, yes I said it! there is no one out there that can deal with our situation like he can, if you disagree give me a name…

    For a start, without our manager, we may not even be able to afford the stars we do have if they start demanding what the “market” is willing to pay for the very top talent. At the moment we are using something like 52% of our turnover in wages… and don’t come at me with the crap of what we pay our youngsters… if we don’t gamble with the youngster at a lower rate we’d have to gamble with the mature players at even more expense. Some fans like to pretend that we are Real Madrid or on a par with Manchester United…Think again..

  379. I’m with poodle… anyone who is fed up with this “shit” should please flag up their season ticket. I’m not interested in hiring or renting though… I want an agreement to transfer ownership.

    Thank in advance for your response.

  380. I agree with your post in essence Joshua but I don’t think you can lambast those who blame Wenger on the one hand and then suggest that a particular policy of his is wrong.

    You may be right, but if you are, then maybe they are as well. On young players wages perhaps.

    The thing is, none of us know anything about what the situation really is.

    Sound club, check. Finances OK, check. Some excellent players, check. Not good enough to win the title, check.

    After that, it’s all surmise and opinions.

    Don’t get me wrong, I respect your views and opinions, it’s just that there are others out there who just may have valid views that you don’t share even though they are critical of Arsene. Maybe.

  381. I think Joshua’s pretty much expressed what I think. You simply can’t gripe about what AW’s done for the club in the last five years. The man has done amazingly well to scratch together a side capable of competing. People are upset that we fell short, but we did compete, and AW built that foundation at a fraction of what our competition has spent. It really just looks like the club has recognised his gift for developing players and spotting talent and pinned all their hopes on it.

    More than 30 of the world’s 100 top earners play in the PL (biggest proportion). Only three are at Arsenal, and one of them is Andrei Arshavin.

  382. Malaysiangunner

    Joshua

    Sure the manager has to take some responsibility. He has almost absolute on playing staff, coaching staff and tactics. To say that he can not be responsible is ridiculous. He calls to judge him in May. The way we have collapse since the CC final shows a complete lack of steel in this team. I am not going to blame age. Just the whole carelessness when playing the lower end teams. It has cost us big time this season. If it was one off then OK but a pattern is emerging. Big teams we play with heart and fire but Sunderland , West Brom, Bolton and etc we show up expect to win. AW has not been able to coach this out of them. Set pieces get us every time and as a youngis side I thot we can learn better but no we bottle it repeatedly. Both players and Manager has to take responsibility.

    I am beyond pissed off.

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