Arsenal Players Go Missing. Please Return To Owners If Found.

Stoke City 3 – 1 Arsenal

1 – 0 Jones (28)
2 – 0 Pennant (40)
2 – 1 van Persie (81)
3 – 1 Walters (83)

No excuses,we were just not good enough today! Thanks for the amazing support anyway!

So said Wojciech Szczesny on Twitter last night. An honest opinion from the Pole and an honesty with the support that I hope he never loses. Arsenal are Masters at platitudes, Kings of the correct words. And then a performance like this happens.

In the past, clubs in lower divisions have paid for those supporters who travelled to witness dire performances, to travel for free to another away game. God knows but Arsenal could do with some positive PR right now. You could feel the goodwill built from beating United seeping away the longer this performance went on.

Being beaten on the pitch is a part of football. To surrender meekly is not. Arsenal looked from the edge of that precipice.

As Manchester United showed the winning desire, rebounding from their Emirates defeat to put Chelsea to the sword, Arsenal succumbed to defeat, losing to a team that had spirit. A team that had organisation. A home team that had 26% possession of the ball. How can you not win a game where you have 18 shots on goal. When only three of those are on target, there is your answer.

It is desperately hard to find any positives from a performance such as this. And I know, I’ve tried. The only one I’ve come up with is the fighting spirit of Jack Wilshere and Robin van Persie’s goal. Not much to show for an afternoon’s work, gentlemen.

The bigger problem is that such a defeat tarnishes the whole of the season, making it seem as if the problems are the only aspect to take from 60 or so games thus far. When it is a cumulative effect, such as a trough into which a squad has fallen, the impact is exacerbated.

They are not nor should they deflect from the positive aspects. And the reverse is equally true.

It did not to be this way. Arshavin and van Persie spurned decent opportunities inside the first five minutes. Perhaps a warning sign of what was to come. At The Emirates, Stoke were torn apart in the first half and produced defensive discipline in the second. They carried on where they left off.

As soon as Arsenal had possession, the massed ranks were effectively marshalled and provided a wall through which no amount of Arsenal guile could find a way. Principally because there was no Arsenal guile.

When Stoke took the lead, it was not much of a surprise in (a) they scored and (b) the manner of the goal. Arshavin conceded a lazy freekick. Stupid because of the push and lazy because he had a CBA moment, refusing to jockey and keep a Stoke attack in the corner until they surrendered possession.

Pennant whipped the freekick in, Jones bundled the ball over the line. Having been unmarked. Post match, Arsène noted that 21 goals had been conceded by Arsenal from set pieces. Bacary Sagna said that Arsenal are “too nice” when defending.

Neither is acceptable for they are flaws which have been on display all season. They are understandable to some extent because from the attacking sphere, Arsenal are not much of a threat from set pieces. How can you practice defending them when you do not know how to attack them?

On Saturday evening, Match of the Day viewers saw an instance of defending filled with passion and desire; Christopher Samba of Blackburn apparently holding West Ham at bay single-handedly. That is defending that Arsenal need. The desire, not Samba I hasten to add.

Before half-time the deficit was doubled and could have been trebled. Pennant put the Arsenal defence on the backfoot and they stayed there too long. When Djourou challenged, the ball looped off him and into the net. It sums up the luck Arsenal enjoy on days like these. Some redemption from that cruel mistress came when Walters hit the bar moments later.

Changes of personnel at half-time brought Chamakh and Bendtner into the fray. Arsenal came no closer to scoring than in the opening half. More lively for certain but same possession and lack of guile brought few chances.

Bendtner went close, just missing with a curled effort. Stoke went closer, Sagna and Szczesny both doing excellently to keep the margin at two goals.

When Arsenal did score, van Persie was unsurprisingly the man to do so for the eighth consecutive away game. And Arsenal conceded almost straight away when Djourou made a hash of his clearance, leaving Walters the relatively straightforward finish.

Arsenal can still finish second. They need to show desire if they are going to do so. They need to show that they can concentrate. They need to show guile. All of them were absent in large quantities yesterday. Villa and Fulham must be hoping that this lacklustre Arsenal stays on the pitch for the upcoming fixtures.

As much as he might not wish to do so, Arsène has uncomfortable questions to answer. How can the performance level be so vastly different from last week? How can the defensive unit habitually concede similar goals? The answers sought do not come in the form of words, they come in actions.

Time is running out this season but it needs to be drilled into the heads of these players that they have not won anything. They have no laurels upon which to rest.

The players worked hard to be in a position to challenge for honours this season. They are working equally hard at making that all forgotten. It was a performance that was simply nowhere good enough by players in an Arsenal shirt. And that is not good enough.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 9, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 422 Comments.

  1. Arsène’s comments yesterday leaves no doubt that there will be changed this summer. Some of those changes will be far from expected.

    Some players clearly don’t realise how privileged they are.

  2. Time to get rid of Wenger!!!

  3. “Surrender meekly” is spot on, Yogi. As many have said, the problem is not so much one of talent as one of attitude.

    These last two games have summed up Arsenal’s attitude problem in a nutshell. With the pressure off against United, the players produce a proper bi-game performance full of desire and with an end product. Against a so-called lesser team like Stoke with almost the same team as the one that beat United, most of the players barely turn up and go down without so much as a fight.

    I don’t mind losing when I feel the team has given everything. But yesterday’s performance continues to sour a season which overall has been okay but is ending on such a down-note that it’s hard to feel anything other than pessimistic. Scczesny, Wilshere and perhaps van Persie aside, how many of yesterday’s team realise that they cannot dine out on the United win forever if they do not also feast on the scraps elsewhere?

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2011/05/09/arsenals-attitude-problem-ensures-tame-defeat-at-stoke/

  4. Very poor yesterday, taking away from the characteristic errors defending set pieces there were many other uncharacteristic errors too. the amount of times our player fell over, or got the ball stuck between their feet etc. i just couldn’t believe what i was seeing at times.

    I think Wenger got his team selection wrong too, i think Bendtner should have started ahead of either Arshavin or Theo, surely it was obvious we’d need a bit of height and muscle in there.

    Having said that massive changes are not needed, this team beat ManU, Chelsea and Barca at home this year.

    I think we do need someone who can come in and organise our defence for set pieces, not necessarily a player on the pitch, but even coach to work on it at training.

    As an aside did anyone else notice Stoke seemed to have a man whose sole job was collecting the ball and towelling it down before Delap’s throws. Is this allowed?

  5. Up until now, it has been reasonable to defend this team on the basis of youth and inexperience. To laud our ambition and ethos and pour scorn on the naysayers.

    There is much that we can continue to be proud of and the naysayers cannot, all of a sudden, have it all their own way. Nor can any joy at failure be tolerated. There will be far too much of that over the coming weeks from the fools and charlatans that hide behind our shirt.

    For this team though, it has shown itself to be outrageously talented in parts and so average in others. This was their season, their time.

    Their failure to seize it or at the least fight until the end tells us that they have not learnt enough from past experience nor, and this is worse, do they have the nous or gumption to realise that they must apply all their talent, fight all the time, that they put on the shirt.

    For this particular team, the time must have passed. Too much baggage now, even if they now apply themselves more. I don’t think they will succeed in developing the necessary strengths.

    Arsene must know this. He must know that they have let him, us and the club down. He must make changes. I believe he will.

  6. dev

    It’s been a long time since I’ve said this but, Fuck Off.

    YW

  7. You may need to say it a few more times over the coming months, Yogi.

  8. Yeah, I’ve a feeling you might be right there Cbob. I suspect I’ll just end up putting people in the spam bin. That phrase, used too often, loses its impact.

  9. Not been around since before the Manure game, but my thoughts on our last 2 games:

    The win against Manure was magnificent, and validated my thoughts that this team are on the cusp of something special. Everybody worked hard, and we were simply the better side in every department.

    Yesterday’s game highlighted why so many supporters have so little faith in this group of players. No fight, and we simply had no penetration in the final 3rd. Stoke didn’t even bother to kick us off the park; they just waited for us to pass it around knowing we had no threat, and waited for their chances to come. All 3 goals conceded, were down to unforgivable and schoolboy like defending. Good goal by RvP though.

    All in all, our last 2 games highlight a serious flaw in the side. We can raise our game for the big matches, but can’t do so for games we “should” win. As long as this remains in our makeup, we will never win the lge.

  10. Abject,Abysmal no desire, No passion….What is talent without the desire to work to achieve.Can somebody tell me how we have continue to make the same mistakes over a season I’ve heard of an Achilles heel but this has become something of a joke..

    Speaking of Jokes Chirs Samba of whom you referred to in your post YW has stated he nearly joined us in Dec- Jan tran window and if the chance came again would love to play for Arsenal. I did not see the Blackburn game over the weekend but if you state he put in a sterling performance to help his side. Is it not something of those traits we want on a regular basis. The link is attached…

    http://www.arsenalnews.co.uk/chris-samba-ndash-i-nearly-joined-arsenal-in-january/link/76426/

  11. And nice post YW.

  12. Speechless… o

  13. Steve of Chiang Mai

    A very depressing performance made by a team that looked resigned to 3rd place. After Man City lost it was like they thought stuff it, we dont need to win today.

    It would be interesting to see where all those singing Djourou’s praises have gone over the last few weeks. While Koscielny who many fans suggest isnt good enough, has stood tall recently, Djourou has been a disaster.

    Keiren Gibbs, who has had the opportunity to say to Wenger “Dont buy Leyton Baines….I’m your man, have very definitely displayed that buying is a must if Clichy departs.

    Even thought it might be hard to come on at 2-0 down Chamakh and to an extent Bendtner must take opportunities if they are to show the boss they deserve first team football.

    Those who suggested last week that Wilshere and Ramsey were the new dream team might now understand how poor Man U’s midfield were last week.

    RvP scored a good goal, but some of his other efforts were – well woeful! It must be great to be a striker though….I mean you stuff up and it’s still 0-0….when the defenders or goalkeepers stuff up up, it’s 0-1 down and the fans are baying for blood.

  14. @consolsbob: I think it’s churlish to claim that any Arsenal supporter feels joy when we fail. What would be the point of that? A supporter wants to feel a sense of pride in the endeavour and application demonstrated by his team. I would trade all the ‘beautiful’ football in the world to see some spirited and dogged ‘backs-to-the-wall’ defending from our current side, qualities that we have previously been renowned for, during both the Graham and Wenger years. The supporters who howl with derision at our catastrophes, and I have been one of them (it has long since declined into shrugging indifference), are simply reacting to the verification of their worst fears. We have no consistency when it comes to defending. A point made thousands of times over the last few years, an accusation hurled by all and sundry and firmly quashed by the die-hard believers; but surely everyone must concede that we have a problem in that regard?
    The perceived joy derives from the hope that, once identified and rubber stamped by the boss himself, our failures might actually be addressed; either in a transfer window, or more importantly, by altering our emphasis in training. As you say, for this particular team, the time must have passed. The approach up until now has not produced the desired results, and for all the talk of bad luck with injuries at crucial times, or poor decisions by officials, there must be a reasonably radical shift in approach, and possibly in personnel albeit less so.

  15. Well said Yogi. Very dissapointing and will give the tedious media an excuse to roll out more bile. I have never at any time since I have supported Arsenal for the last 37 years felt us so isolated by our philosophy. We seem to be the whipping boys at the moment and the world and its dog is lining up to have a pop. I think Arsene will have a long think in the next few weeks on where he wants Arsenal to be because after everything he still wants what is best for this club. This will include cleaning out the deadwood and convincing the best of the rest that we are still the force he has made us. We have not been good enough and he is too intelligent not to see that

  16. When RvP scored, the next 2 mins told a lot about this side. It should have been the point where we was back in the match. Stoke scored almost immidiately.

  17. A total capitulation almost made worse by Jacks rushes of blood. The truth is that without the range of passing of fabregas which essily opened up a similarly adventurous Blackpool side and Nasri running at Stoke Arsenal looked toothless in attack. Arshavin had one of his poorer games.I think Song played well but the midfield balance overall didnt seem right. So close but yet so far. Where do we go from here. One cannot fault Uniteds attitude. The only consolation is Chelsea spent 75million and stilk choked and end up with no trophy.

  18. Samba is exactly who we need. A collosus ,an organiser someone who attacks the ball…everything that we havent had at the back for 5 years .There is no organisation at the back , wenger is clueless defensively .You cannot just throw players in & expect them to defend as a unit .There is a requirement to work week in week out (as george graham did ).There is noone so blind as someone who does not wish to see ..Wenger refuses to deal with this fundamental problem.

  19. LimparAssist

    Thing is lots of ‘dead wood’ yesterday (Theo, Djourou, Ramsey) were last week touted as future world beaters. Theo and Johan in particular have just had their best seasons with us. Is that who we get rid of? Or do we get rid of Bendtner and Denilson despite them hardly getting a game this season?

    You want to get rid of the players who can beat Man Utd, Chelsea, Barcelona in a season.?? I don’t.

    Playing Stoke is just not what this team are geared for. Maybe the answer is a few hard cunts to help see off the annual Stoke battering… but not at the expense of too many of the technical players who got us within striking distance in the first place please.

  20. LimparAssist

    Szcesney should have been all over the cross for Jones’ goal. He still has a lot to learn.

  21. Another match to sum up our season, it goes with a collection of other results that have happened since February. Thank god we beat United or else our supporters would be going even more mental.

    Comic book of the match at http://www.arsenalisation.com

  22. Seb, if you think that there haven’t been Arsenal ‘fans’ that have taken delight in our failures as a reason to vindicate their own pisspoor support, then you haven’t been reading the blogs I have.

    For most of us, no. We are disappointed and upset. There are others who pursue their own agendas. Some are plain miserable bastards, others have an interest in running the club and it’s manager down.

  23. Same old, same old! Everything down the middle, pretty football with no idea what to do when we get to the opponents box. And how must RVP (and our other forwards when they turn up) feel when we scores just to have the shambles we have as a defence leak goals like water runner through a colander! Come on Arsene we deserve better, and remember ‘There’s none so blind as he who cannot see’.

  24. The situation requires some to go, Limpar, to make room for the hard cunts.

    I didn’t see too many fouls from stoke yesterday either. They beat us at football. Not our purist strain, I agree, but beat us fairly, they did.

  25. LimparAssist

    Yep, it’s very easy to say ‘this team won’t win the league’ and carp about it when it comes true. There will be that sort of Chelsea fan carping today too I am sure. If one of us had won it, there would ‘that sort’ of manc carping today instead. All equally cuntish behaviour and no way at all to support a football team but sadly life is full of absolute pricks.

  26. We played those games as if they were cup finals, then when we have a cup final we switch off. I would not consider any of the above dead wood but where is the fear of losing in these players. Berbatov had a blinder and he has been warming the bench after a few indifferent performances. I wont name names as its not my call but striking the fear of god into these players would be no bad thing

  27. Interesting what Sagna said about being too nice when defending set pieces. I’d bet it’s enforced tho. Those tussles in the box that we ‘see all the time but are rarely given’ would be given against us every time.

  28. Good post yogi n good heading.many players went missin yersterday n i have this feeling they won’t be found till next season if they are still with us.

  29. LimparAssist

    You’re right, Cb, some will have to go. I’m just not sure who, guys who have played in ‘let down’ games like these or guys who didn’t make it on to the pitch? That was me pondering that ‘out loud’.

    Interesting to see who we go for. I still think a lot of it has to do with breaking through spoiling tactics, a fairly recent phenomenen in the grand scheme – that’s not been mastered yet. The elusive ‘Plan B’. OOU touched on having the players to go more direct in fixtures like this – that’s a fair shout.

    I felt like they didn’t have to kick us yesterday, Cb, they just came in fast and aggressive like they were going to kick us and we flinched… playground bully stuff… happened over and over and it has to be to do with the psychological effect of the game last year. Very sad to see. ‘Not wanting to get kicked, title race is over’ sums up yesterday for me. That and being too weary to be inventive enough to pick the lock.

  30. Take theo for instance,at a point i thought he’d being substituted only to see him running around in his comfort zone on the right wing.if he isn’t carefull he is going to be like bale.easy to defend against and extremely one dimensional.

  31. Btw,i live to see the day wilshere gets in the opposition box regularly.and i agree that gibbs needs to do something about his game.very talented.but he might end up like denilson who someone once said is always out run by the ref.

  32. A real horrible day yesterday. It wasn’t just the way we played but the so called gooner who appeared to relish our beating. Like they were jerking off with real pleasure whenever we got beat. You don’t have to like the coach, you don’t have to like any particular player, but please love the team. Even when losing we should hope that we can turn it around. Not celebrating “I told you so!” Unfortunately jerks aren’t in short supply.

  33. “Neither is acceptable for they are flaws which have been on display all season.”
    The defensive flaws have been there for good 3 seasons now and don’t seem to be going away. The team were really poor yesterday and the perfomance was reminiscent of the end-of-the-season game against Wigan last year when we collapsed pretty lamely.
    As someone has already said, that last two games are like a microcosm of this season: brilliant one week and then lacklustre the next. You can’t win a championship with this sort of inconsistency.
    Has this been improvement on last season? I’m not so sure. Despite the home wins against Chelsea, Man U and Barcelona and some of the away results, we have lost far too many games and bungled games we should have won, the 2-0 defeat against Braga being the worst examples of our ineptness. I think Arsense is at the same point as he was at the end of last season and is disappointed with the commitment shown by some of his players. Will this lead to real changes this time? I hope so, but the real problem is the mentality of some of the players and what do you do to change that?

  34. Mongolian Gooner

    van Persie have now scored 10 goals in 8 consecutive away games.

    If only he could stay fit for the whole season or most of it.

  35. Thank god for Van Persie, not only a great goal scorer but he has the right attitude too. A true Arsenal man

  36. I agree, Limpar. The thing is, if we were bullied then that’s the end for this team.

    No team can let the opposition win physical battles and expect to win anything. Any team can bring fight to the table, even if they lack skill.

    Talent plus fight equals winning.

    Either one on it’s own will win nothing.

  37. By the way, all this Plan ‘B’ stuff, Limpar.

    Do you remember when Baptista was going to be the answer?

    I do remember him tearing the spuds apart. BEAST!

    I thought Chamakh might be the more refined version. I saw him score some very brave goals before he came to us.

    It seems we still haven’t found it though, or, at least, Arsene is reluctant to use it.

  38. All in all, our last 2 games highlight a serious flaw in the side. We can raise our game for the big matches, but can’t do so for games we “should” win. As long as this remains in our makeup, we will never win the lge.

    I think it runs deeper than that. Last season it was the other way round when we couldn’t beat the big boys. I have no clear idea what the problem is, but I don’t think it is as simple as us not raising ourselves against the smaller sides. I wish I knew what was the problem, I was certain till a couple of weeks back that we will win the title.

  39. Yogi’s Warrior | May 9, 2011 at 9:14 am |

    dev

    It’s been a long time since I’ve said this but, Fuck Off.

    YW
    Well said!

  40. Plan B could be as simple as a tweak in one of the full-back positions.

    There’s a famous club, whose name I won’t mention, with a great “Plan B”. Despite being synonymous with passing football, they’ve often been known to start with two tough-tackling defensive midfielders in difficult away matches and force £30 million strikers to become carthorses for the sake of the team. Usually the telling blow against a packed defence is provided by one of their full-backs, either with an untracked run, assist or goal.

    The formation doesn’t have to change for that kind of match, just a couple of different faces with slightly different roles.

  41. I know sh*t all about football, in case you weren’t aware. These are obviously just casual observations!

  42. Well, it works for them, Big Al, but we don’t have the tough tackling midfielders or the £30 Million carthorse.

    It didn’t work for them against us though.

  43. At least the players are learning from it. With comments like Sagna’s it’s clear that they know what areas need improvement. We forget they are a very young team.

    Sounds like he isn’t one of the players who have become disillusioned, thankfully.

  44. Enjoyed seeing Rosicky come on, albeit too late to do much. If he can get fit for next season he’ll be like a new signing. The kind of experienced player people are calling for us to buy.

  45. Szczesny is wrong we were not just not good enough yesterday but the whole season.The table doesnt lie

    Questions now need to be asked about Wengers management.Why has he not brought in a commanding CB when we have been crying out for one since Sol left us in 2006.Why wont he bring in a defensive coach?Why wont he buy experience?

    We need to buy 4 experienced players this summer not young players not potential.Experience
    We need a commanding CB
    We need a defensive coach brought in.Anyone who doesnt believe this is bonkers. 56% goals conceded from set pieces FFS
    We need a clearout of the dross.We should not be relying on the likes of Eboue(Newcastle away Liverpool home) Rosicky (Newcastle away Birmingham CC final) Bendtner(Barcelona away) to come into the team when they are not good enough.Add Diaby and Denilson to that list.Diaby cant play 2 games without being injured.Denilson has been overtaken by Jack and Ramsey

    And we need to question Wenger more and not follow like sheep that everything he does is right and that all our players are great players they are not.We need to stop blaming everyone but our manager and our players
    Being an Arsenal fans doesnt mean we shouldnt criticize them.Too many Gooners are burying theirs heads in the sand with the old”Just wait till next season” We are the 3 rd best team for a reason.And we havent got above 3rd place for a reason

  46. Actually that just led me to a depressing conclusion, cb. Any player with a bit of pace and willingness to cover a lot of ground for his side could do what that £30 million striker does in a lot of games…

    Actually, Frimpong and Coquelin could help us out in the midfield next season; they’re as tenacious as they come, but I suppose not many people want to hear about promising youngsters right now (although Coquelin is now a regular starter for Lorient).

  47. LimparAssist

    Agree again consolsbob. So little fight. The problem is, I’ve seen this team go toe-to-toe with teams like this before and come out bloodied but on top. Stoke last season they even broke a leg and we out fought them. Bolton last year, Birmingham and Blackburn away this season… some batterings that we’ve weathered and won the games well. We didn’t get bullied last Sunday in a fixture where that’s happened before. Newcastle in the League Cup this year… we were given a right going over but we fought and fought and ran out playing them off the park… one of my favourite performances of the season. So it’s not just personnel… do you know what I mean? They do have it in them.

    To be honest yesterday was the first game this season where I’ve thought we really don’t fancy this; shirking challenges, pulling out… not making the runs, not closing down. This was a proper end of season collapse. Can’t answer why… I think you’d need to be in the dressing room. The confidence went in April I think.

    What I think is dangerous is to stitch every draw and defeat this season together and blame it on physicality and desire. This is the first game when I can say that we really didn’t fight. We’ve played our bollocks off a couple of times this season and come away with draws. We’ve had points robbed off us a couple of times. We didn’t get to within striking distance by playing like we did yesterday. Shouldn’t lose sight of that.

  48. Consols – “No team can let the opposition win physical battles and expect to win anything. Any team can bring fight to the table, even if they lack skill.

    Talent plus fight equals winning.

    Either one on it’s own will win nothing.”

    This is bang on unfortunately.

  49. Sounds like Flamini, Big Al, and we have had that particular debate on her before!

  50. That’s also very true, LA.

  51. Markus
    Oh yeah the old Rosicky will be like a new signing bollox.Just like TV will be a new signing.Frimpong will be like a new signing.What we need IS new signings

  52. Jabba's delights

    Right lets be honest here.

    Yesterday once again highlights how the team hasnt improved in 3 years.

    For 3 years we have had money to improve, for 3 years we have listended to Arsene and belived him that next year is the year.

    AT WHAT POINT TO WE GET SERIOULSY ANNOYED????????
    We will finnish with less points than last season…..FACT
    We will concede at best 39 goals this year, 3 better than last year….FACT
    We will score about 10 less than last year….FACT

    All 3 of our mangers summer signings can be said to have an inconsistnt season at best and in some cases awful

    At what point do we change from the club where our manager has done brilliantly to keep us relevant to the club where ITS NOT F^CKING GOOD ENOUGH TO CONTINUALLY MAKE THE SAME F^CKING MISTAKES WITH THE SAME F^CKING PLAYERS!!!

    Sorry about the tone guys but im bored of it. Im bored of our manager and his exuses. If he came out now and siad this year hasnnt been good enough and im going to sort it out i woukld be happy as i love the guy, its the fact that he has just said we have had a good season and we dont need much investment which makes me understand he is now done.

  53. Question Wenger more Martin? He’s the most second-guessed manager in the league.

  54. God knows what he’s doing on the right – although I must say his passing has really improved.

  55. Jabba's delights

    Sorry Markus did we forget they are a young team or did most Arsenal fans say that they dont give a flying f^ck how young the team is as its apprently been young for 5 years.

    Actions speak louder than words. If Sagna didnt realise that we sh^t at defening 2 years ago i would put him down. I here so much sh^t from these good but nothing special players to often to belive them now.

    At best we will earn 73 points this year at best thats 12-15 off what we should expect. I dont expect trophies i do expect a certain level of performance and 73 points is 5 points off what we got 5 years ago when we pipped the yids for 4th final day……………IS THAT IMPROVEMENT

  56. Spot on YW.

    The frustration around the club right now is higher than it has ever been under Wenger’s management. It is a huge shame to end the season as we have done. The team looked like it could finally turn its promise into some silverware but couldn’t show the composure and mentality to hold out for the last 8 games or so.

    So many people have suggested for Wenger to leave of late its unreal. They say he has taken the club as far as he can, some have said he has destroyed the club! yes a few pensioners did actually try to convince me of that!

    I respect every Arsenal fans view, but those who feel a change of management will ultimately improve our chances are seriously wrong.

    Wenger knows his playeres abilities and mental strengths inside out, if there is anyone who can address the underlying issues in this team it is him. I felt we made massive steps this season, we have seen Djourou, Wilshire, Nasri and Van Persie prodice some great displays. Koscielny, Ramsey, Song and even Theo have shown what they are about too.

    It is just something about our system and tactics which seems to come up short for the games where teams hand us possession. Had we raised our game we would have beaten Stoke, like we did against United. That is where the “fear of losing” comes in. This team handed Birningham the CC because of this fear, now they have handed over the Premiership title.

    These are the 2 most crucial elements which must be addressed this summer. Maybe a Vermalen in the team sheet for much of the season would have seen us not display such a fear: his character, desire, and fearlessness approach seems to be infectious when he plays. He could have made a massive difference in my view, not because of a lack of quality in the players who have playerd, but in the mental approach he brings with his experience.

    If we address our confidence and composure issues we will be unstoppable. Tactics are another area we need to get smarter on. Many say we lack a plan B. United have one against us, Chelsea do it too, then theres the likes of Stoke and Blackburn who use alternative tactics to prevent us from scoring into double figures. I dont even think our plan A has worked enough this season. The passing has not been quick enough in most games, the movement has not been as good, and the finishing has been poor.

    This is very uncharacteristic of a team of Wenger’s. Henry used to be accused of missing a few but had the highest shots to goals ratio every season. Bendtner and Adebayor were even banging them in in recent seasons. Our passing and general play has not been good enough to create the real openings to find the net. Yes we have created a lot of chances, I just dont think we have created as many clear chances as some may suggest. It has become very ordinary, and this was highlighted when Rosicky came into the game. His craft and crisp passing has been missed greatly.

    If we step up our A game we dont need a plan B. Teams like Barcelona perform to their sterngths. We are no different and have always played the way we know to play.

    I think Wenger will make changes in personnel like he does every season, possibly a few more because of our lacklustre finish. I just hope he finds a solution to this mental block we have when it comes to the last 8-10 games of the season, plus our tactical issues and inability to apply our gameplan against rubbish opposition.

    We are so close yet so far. I still have faith and will continue to believe next season.

  57. Martin its strange that you blame players who have not played much for our mistakes and loses….

  58. Jabba the Hut

    This year the squad had the quality to win the title by a fair margin. We havn’t come up short because of a lack in quality as we have seasons gone by, it is because of other factors which have worn away at our players. This is a team that contested against one of the best teams ever to exist, that beat the Champions pretty well you must say, turned over Chelsea… etc etc..

    People can go into depressed mode or blame mode like yourself, the rest of us will look at what needs improving and where we went wrong. Wenger is the man to correct it. He knows the club inside out.

  59. Markus
    Yes question his decisions
    We cant we defend set pieces?Why?Why isnt Wenger doing anything about it?Away to Bolton 2 weeks ago we concede 2 goals from set pieces.Two weeks later first Stoke free kick and its a goal.What is Wenger doing about it in training if anything
    Why does he bring on a 6ft 5in forward and play him on the wing??
    Why cant his teams play any other way?Why no plan B

  60. ChrisGoona, nice read.

    I think our B game needs work too though. When you have Bendtner and Chamakh on the pitch and we’re chasing a game you want to see both of them in the box, one at the front and one at the back post. And you want service to them. I didn’t see that on Sunday.

    Martin, not saying we shouldn’t bring in a new face or two, but lets not go mad with it.

  61. Jabba's delights

    ChrisGoona

    An awful lot of problems with your our team you just mentioned.

    At what point does some take accountability for those problems

    We concede to many and dont socre enough, its been a problem for 5 years who is going to change that, as our manger seems incapable.

    We were outplayed yesterday as their team wanted it more, plain and simple. Our players dont play hard for wenger anymore they have it to easy with him. He gives them big contract extensions and tells them to play as they like , why would you hate him.

    Our team needs change. Ideally Villas Boas would come in to manage them.

    Thanks Wenger you were great until 2008 infact you were the best thing that ever happended to our club but you have been AWFUL since then

  62. Those new faces will have to be starters. Nailed on first teamers, not a couple of squad players or young players.

    Change needs to be implemented wholeheartedly and with commitment if it is to work. It’s difficult to achieve in any sphere.

  63. Grow up Jabba. Take a deep breath and think before you post.

  64. CG
    If Wenger does know why has he done nothing to correct things?The same mistakes that happened this season happened last season.What good is beating Barcelona Man and Chelsea yet we take 3pts out of a total of 18 pts v WBA Newcastle and Spurs.
    Too many Gooners creamed themselves over beating Barcelona but this is the same team who lost a 4 goal lead in 20 mins.And twice lost 2 goal leads v Spurs

  65. I think one of the issues with this team is consistency. There is no point in saying that we beat Barcelona, Chelsea and Man Utd. Well not beyond a certain point. Ultimately the league is won by the most consistent team. Even Wolves beat Man Utd, Hercules beat Barcelona and Sunderland beat Chelsea. We are much moe consistent than Sunderland and Wolves that is why we are above them in the table. Add Spurs, Liverpool and Man City to that list. But over the last few seasons we haven’t been as consistent as Chelsea and Man Utd, and that is why they have finished above us every season and likely to do the same this season. At the end of this season we can definitely look back with pride at sveral performances, but that is no consolation because we have a team that is obviously good enough to turn in such performances. What we don’t have right now is a team that can turn in those performances consistently enough to win the league. I don’t know how that consistency can be achieved. It could be a personnel thing, some players in all kinds of sports are more consistent than others and they win more than others. It could also come with experience. I am not sure what is the answer.

  66. And set pieces. There also what we lack is consistency. I don’t remember Stoke scoring against us from a set piece or otherwise when we last played them. I also remember Man Utd and Chelsea making defensive errors. Only they make fewer errors than us. It could be to do with focus, may be we have individuals who find it difficult to stay focused week in week out, especially when the pressure is high. Make no mistake, even though yesterday’s game meant little in terms of the title race there was a lot of pressure. Stoke away, memories of last season, clash of styles, crowd booing, there was pressure, and probably it played on themind of our players. I don’t think they weren’t up for it.

  67. ron burgundy

    Heard from a pretty good source that Wenger done his nut at half time, and cesc has played his last game for us along with four or five others.

  68. And the groans and moans directed at our own players at the Emirates plays a definite part. It builds up pressure on the players. May be that is why our home form is not up to the mark this season. Our away form is good enough to win the league, regardless of the odd loss at Stoke or Bolton.

  69. Alex Ice Cream

    Its just a case of same old same old. Our defending yesterday was worse than comical. Djourou has had a good season on the whole but has been abject since his return from injury. We have had problems defending set pieces and balls into the box in the air generally for years now and AW seems powerless to change this.

    You can add the usual complaints of a lack of bottle, fight and passion that has almost become synonymous with these losers now as has the tippy-tappy football that results in virtually no goal threat.

    Those who believe we are close to winning are as deluded as our manager; we are not. Annual implosions for years now point to a deeper malaise than one that can be solved by a couple of signings. Those who say we play great football are also wrong – we don’t create or score anywhere near enough for this to be true. What’s the point of an attack if there is no goal threat at the end of it.

    All of this was utterly predictable and the only one who seemed surprised are the manager and few of the posters on here.

  70. Alex Ice Cream

    consols,

    You have raised an number of interesting points recently. In one psot you asked how Fergie has done better than AW with a worse squad. I agree with you 100% that I think we have better quality than ManU technically.

    So why has Ferguson done so much better? Its called MANAGEMENT! Ferguson does not tolerate slackers, losers and those with a weak mentality as Wenger does. ManU have a core of solid winners with the know-how to win games. Ferguson is a master of getting everything out of what he has and also instilling the winning belief in his players which is something else that AW has failed to do miserably.

    Has time passed for this team as you say. I believe for some players most definitely; tainted by too many failures or simply not up to it.

  71. Jabba's delights

    consolsbob

    Right just taken that breath and im still feeling pretty much exactly the same.

    We concede to many our manger said so last year…….we still concede to many…………..or am i wrong?

    We struggle against teams who park the bus, as we have done for 3 years……….or am i wrong?

    We actually dont score a huge amount of goals for a team who sends everyone forward. 69 goals isnt a great return…….or am i wrong?

    We will gain less points than last year ……….or am i wrong?

    When does it become the mangers fault that the players many of whom educated at our club show naivety for 3 years running at crucial moments……..?

    We were 4-0 up in a fixture this year and then deserved to lose the game but luckily drew 4-4 at what point am i not meant to get annoyed with where we are at?

    When will we improve. Our manger has told us judge him in may…….well i just did and we are worse than last year

  72. Why all the sadness, A.K.B.’s ? We have won the imaginary trophy for finishing top 4 haven’t we ? Real consistency there. And why the anxiety ? We weren’t in danger of finishing first. So you can all relax. Remember – there’s always NEXT season. And then I can come on here and tell you exactly the same.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  73. Alex Ice Cream

    Spectrum,

    You forget the “Debt Reduction Cup” that we win every year…

  74. Shiny shiny make all good.

  75. I am hoping against hope that Wenger has been following the board’s line up till now to fatten the calf for market day, i.e. he’s been ensuring the balance sheet looks good for sale purposes.

    That sale has now happened.

    I said in a post a week or three back that if we see a purchase of the Hazard type, that it would mean Kroenke is in it for the long haul.

    If we don’t it doesn’t mean he’s in it for a short term gain neccesarily, but it doesn’t rule it out either.

    I am hoping that this is what has held Wenger back for some time now.

    However, I still don’t believe that this is actually a personnel problem as such.

    At worst it’s a question of balance imo as far as personnel are concerned.

    What bothers me more is that we get strikers in (like Vela, or, as CB pointed out earlier, Baptiste) who DO have the skill and the goals in them, but somehow our training philosophy seems to leech it out of them.

    Too often we have seen good movement up to the halfway line, only for us to stop, slow down, and start passing sideways and backwards with zero penetration.

    We seem to have very little idea or desire to assume responsibility once we arrive at the opposition’s box.

    I used to rage about Adebeyor breaking forward with us being 3 on 3 or even 2 on 3, only for him to pass it 40 metres backwards, giving the opposition all the time on the planet to reorganise and shut up shop.

    I know we have scored a lot of goals during the season, but just how many of those have been recent though, and do we really score enough to make up for our other deficiencies?

    To my mind, what we are currently seeing IS our plan B.

    In the TH and earlier days, we used to practice getting a shot on target within 6 seconds of breaking over the halfway line.

    With pig-boy Allardyce copying Fungusbum, which was actually just a copy of Germany in the 70’s and 80’s, i.e. commit the foul to stop the breakaway early in the opponent’s half, thus minimising the risk of yellow, and allowing time to regroup for defence, our plan A has just about vanished.

    To counter that Wenger introduced the slow build-up, but we’ve now gone totally over to that style, and seem incapable of fast counter attacks these days.

    We need a mix of both, and often.

    We also need to be able to take our chances when they arrive.

    RvP had a great chance early on when we looked interested and were going at Stoke with hammer and tongs.

    As happens too often, we miss those early chances, do nothing with our early drive and dominance, and allow the opposition to gain some comfort and belief, after which we just drop off into the sort of dross performance we ended up witnessing.

    Wenger has got problems he needs to sort out.

    The first is acknowledging for more than 1 week that the problems actually exist.

    Nothing is more infuriating than Wenger admitting problems one week, only for him to start backing off and making excuses the next.

    I don’t neccessarily want to see trophy signings, but it might indicate that he actually has taken the problems to heart, because too often we’ve seen him feeling uncomfortable, admitting to problems, only for him to get complacent after a week or two.

    Under those circumstances, we are in serious danger of him pulling the same summer shit he’s done for the last x number of seasons, i.e. hint (not make)promises, but either deliver a version of that only he and a few of us can believe in, or claim he couldn’t get what he was looking for.

    The more cynical amongst us claim that he drops these hints at ticket renewal time, then backs off once renewal time has passed.

    The problem is, intentional or not, that approach is starting to do real harm to the club and it’s image.

    Personally, all I want is for Wenger to acknowledge that there is work to be done, and put a plan together to sort it out.

    If we see more reversing after a win in our remaining games, or after a week or three of the off-season, then I will personally come to the conclusion that his time with arsenal has run it’s course.

  76. 1 loose cannon

    Alisher Usmanov tops the latest rich list with £12.4 billion, second richest british based business man. He makes Kroenke look skint. He certainly not going to sell his shares and that is a good thing.

    Wenger needs to get his note books out and make few corrections for next season. We are not far from winning the title, I just feel next season this team will have to deliver, its as simple as that. It in them, they just needs few tweaks specially in defence.

  77. All those things might be true, Jabba, but without Wenger where would we be now?

    There has been little money. We have been competitive. We are now competing with the elite clubs. We have now built and largely paid for a new stadium.

    As for getting angry, well, that’s where we all need to take a look at ourselves.

  78. 90 minutes at the Britannia yesterday the equivalent of a dental drill with no anaesthetic – the simple things left undone or done badly, a lack of energy and apparently NO BRAINS at all – it seemed at one point the only skill that Arsenal players had been working on all week was standing on the ball.

    I was struck by our toothless effort in front of the Stoke goal ( well occasionally in front but mostly a mile away) with the success Vela had there a few weeks ago with West Brom – oh for a sharp little Mexican striker

    Am I downhearted though ? No

  79. Even though we all debate the rights/wrongs of the squad, it is very difficult to properly identify what is needed to improve things. Not that it matters what we think anyway I suppose.

    For my money the type of player we bring in, their personalities are just as important of their technical qualities. We need a couple of faces who will demand high standards from others, especially when things are going badly. For me, this is key as we don’t have too many players like that.

    I would still like to see a dominant figure at the back to parnter TV5. Djourou and Kos are good players, and if they continue to improve why not have them to challenge for places? I would like to see another midfielder come in who is a bit differnt to the players we have already (small nippy, eye of the needle type players). If Nasri stays are wide options are fine although Theo and AA are terribly inconsistant.

    A goalscorer might be somthing we look at; if is fit we already have our main goalscorer, but him staying fit is an issue as we all know. None of our other strikers are out and out goalscorers you would want to reply on for a sustained period.

    The basis is there without doubt. But change is needed. Arsene is still th man to do this for me.

  80. our counter attacks have gone and at times i miss Hleb…we pass sideways so many times and we only have 1 recognised scorer in our team. I still think we not scoring enough to counter our weak defence. At Stoke yesterday we wnet over 35 mins with no shot on target.

  81. Malaysiangunner

    Good one YW

    I think and I will be flamed for this , the mistakes we repeatedly make in defense both when leading and in set pieces calls for serious questioning of the management of this team. It is said we have players with skills but no organisation and flair without gumption. So at the end of the day it is down to the management and coaching. Mistakes are characteristics ,systemic and repeated. All down again to management and coaching. We lose games not on the complicated but on the basics that even players in the likes Stokes/Bolton can perform.
    The whole coaching staff is cognizant of this problem for 3 to 4 years now and we still can not eradicate it , in any job you will be let go.

    No fear we are the Arsenal!

  82. Alex Ice Cream – Oh yeah. That 6.5% ticket rise you paid for, after more false promises, will help pay that off, won’t it ? Nice present from the board and manager, for your blind loyalty to them.
    “In Arsene we rust.”

  83. Spectrum @1.04pm

    You’re a bit optimistic aren’t you. I mean the bit about being allowed to come on here…

    YW

  84. Another one bites the dust..

  85. The
    grand ol duke of york
    he had 10,000 men
    he marched them up to the top of the hill
    and he marched them down again
    and
    when they were up they were up
    and when they were down they were down
    and when they were only half way up
    they were neither up nor down

    or something … like, um, Arsenal.

    This team has had it’s season to prove Wenger right, and it’s just about to end on a poor note. There will be changes. How radical? Yes, probably quite radical, like when you don’t pass your exams, you know, you fail.

    Wenger said it already, the team that is most consistent in this year of oddities will win, and so they have, or are about to. The absence of stamina in the latter part of the season betrays a lack ambition, rather than fitness or form. I used to run the 1500 metres. The only thing that sorts the winner from the runners-up, in the that last 200 metres, is psychological. It’s hard.

    That said, the core of a truly great team – and a great club – does exist; and we need to be mindful of what Wenger has achieved, not what he hasn’t. He has built a foundation, from scratch, on the budget of a mid-table team that cannot be knocked off the top-four. Time, to build on that foundation.

  86. Zim Paul

    But what is to be built on that foundation? Player for player the team is good, we can keep arguing abvout a defender here and a striker there but no one can convince me that personnel wise this team is inferior to Chelsea or Man Utd. So what do we add?

    English Passion?
    Experience?
    Vocal Leaders?
    Defensive coaches?
    Assistant Manager?

    I don’t think replacing Arshavin with Hazard, or Song with Inler or Squillaci with Samba alone is the answer.

  87. Cbob

    Interesting that a high proportion of the trolls have very similar ISPs. And a lot of them are Australian.

    YW

  88. Ugliest game of the year yesterday. Our team defense which we have all praised at times this year is probably going to end up conceding as many goals as last year. 2 years ago we struggled with set pieces, last year we were terrible against counter attacks in open play, this year its set pieces. If there was really one problem then we could fix it but there is not. I really believe its the culture that has grown up in this team starting from the boss on down. The boss gives lip service to defending but his philosophy has always been one of an attacking manager who believes that defensive problems can be fixed as long as the team is able to create chances and play to its strength. Sounds good but does not work in 2011 in the EPL. Cesc’s statement at the WC about how Arsenal spend almost no time concentrating on how to counter the opponents strengths instead spending all of our time preparing to play to our strengths says it all about the mindset at the club. Perhaps a defensive coach would help but up to this point the boss has not been willing to give up control of his vision of total football. We will see what happens this summer.

  89. Well… I’ve been away for a few weeks and have had a fair bit of catching up to do. Some great moments, but unfortunately too many disappointments.

    What a season… From what looked like a season ending with at least one trophy, to one looking painfully similar to recent years’ campaigns. The serious problems for me, seem very difficult to sort out. A magical new signing or 3 could well be the potion that instantly sorts this team out, but i find that hard to believe. They may improve the team technically, but that is not our issue. There are mentality issues that have become more and more obvious over the season, particularly the last couple of months. They will be difficult to sort out, because they change slightly every year – last year we struggled against the ‘bigger boys’, this year it’s the opposite. The one thing that has remained the same is the embarassing trait of putting in poor performance at the most crucial part of the season.

    Maybe Wenger needs to be more aggressive/ruthless with the players, but that is not his style.. Maybe these magical new signings will instil this ‘winning mentality’ people always bang on about, or maybe they will make us have more ‘fight’ or ‘defensive nous’. This alone will not sort us out. The Stoke and Bolton games really show that we need to work on set pieces, that can’t be denied, but the inc0nsistency of our level of workrate, or pace of play during matches is worrying. To change this, sorry but that’s one for the professionals to work out. It’s a mentality issue that will be almost impossible to identify without being a fly on the wall week in week out.

    Also, this/these hallowed, and much anticipated by most, Goalscorer, DM and CB that will make it all better again will have immense pressure when they join and will not instantly change the chances of this team. Not all players come into the team and perform instantly, and if they are being seen as the answer to 6 years worth of Arsenal ‘crisis’ they will quickly become aware of the huge expectation on their shoulders, followed by the groans and pathetic noises coming out of the Emirates crowd, the minute they dont perform the miracles they are expected to. Get behind them, make them feel welcome, as we should be doing with our current players.

    Sorry for the unusually negative post. I have just reminded myself that this is still the Arsenal, trophy or no trophy. I am disappointed because my expectations were raised by the early season performances. At the start of the season, I would have been happy with 3rd, and a cup final and beating Barca. The lads have created this exaggerated disappointment amongst fans by performing better than most would have believed, up until April that is.

    Keep the faith people, changes will be made, and hopefully we will be sharper and fighting, up till the end. Bring it on.

    And for those telling us that Wenger should be sacked, I refer back to YW’s comment at 9.14am.

    Thanks Yogi by the way.

  90. Blind Loyalty..I think i caught that after filling my first Panini sticker album ( damn you mr elusive Brian Talbot) . Misery loves company Spec.

  91. The changes shouldn’t be too radical. Finishing 3rd or 4th in the premiership is no disgrace. We have the team. All we need is a tweak here and there. We shouldn’t get carried away just because we lost to Stoke. Shit happens. Also the players are probably distracted with the negotiations between the club, Cesc, Clichy and Nasri. That would unsettle anybody.

  92. Sorry for the long post. It’s been a while!

  93. One of the worst things about this season is that it stopped being taboo to openly slate AW. It’s made the fans look like ungrateful c*nts.

  94. Kenyan – We shouldn’t get carried away just because we lost to Stoke. Shit happens. Also the players are probably distracted with the negotiations between the club, Cesc, Clichy and Nasri. That would unsettle anybody”

    It was the manner of the deafeat which is difficult to take mate. You are right of course that any tieam can lose any match, but the way we did on Sun was sad to watch.

    As for players being distracted due to contract negiontations; I highly doubt it (and really really hope not, as it would say an awful lot about them).

  95. Quite harshly, perhaps, I would say the difference with the Invincibles was Thierry, and what a difference he made, and a defensive unit (trained by a dour manager) that refused to concede. We have a goalkeeper now who is a class apart, and that bodes well. In Kos, Vermaelen and Djourou (who should perhaps play 10-15 games, much like Evans), a good basis. Without question we need a very good, proven defender of class and composure. We might also need a left-sided striker (in my view Arshavin was supposed to be the experienced model of guile, but has failed). As to tactics, when we have adopted a defrensive strategy based on 11 players protecting every patch of grass (and not on a ‘Flamini’), we have won. More than likely, defensive drills have been needed more consistently, as the ‘bottom line’. We have been naive in defending and harrassing just outside the box; check out the too-many goals (about 12 too many) scored seconds after a lazy error 20-30 metres out – (and not the alleged error in the box where the effort came too late). It’s about taking responsibility. In fact, yes, I suspect a new defensive coach is needed.

  96. Zim – The invincibles back 4 were all Arsene’s doing. Lauren/Sol/Kolo/Cole

    The invincibles were all about timing. We had a number of players (3 or 4 of which could lay claim to be the best in their position in world football) all hitting the heights of their career all at once.

  97. OOU-

    “One of the worst things about this season is that it stopped being taboo to openly slate AW. It’s made the fans look like ungrateful c*nts.”

    That must have been the most broken taboo of all time!

  98. Alex Ice Cream

    OOU,

    Why just blame the Wenger slaters. Why not blame the manager for a very poor season (and pre-season) for him personally.

  99. Big up on the article Yogi. It also helped me to understand some of the aspects as to why I feel so broken today. Just what the hell is going is what I really want to know.

    Szczesny ,Wilshere and Persie, were leading by example and as you do you expect this to transfer to the players around you and then everybody jumps on board and starts putting in a shift. That didn’t happen at no point in that match.

    Dev, you can suck on elephant cock for that statement as it sent me through the fucking roof and I have been trying since yesterday to curb my anger and bad language but, I don’t need your shitty post.

    Pretenders wearing Arsenal shirts have let us down and Wenger down. I use to blame the boss but, my excuse was putting my trust in the media especially bskyutdb. Wenger, has trusted these players and certain players have shown they don’t care to the same extent as the Wenger when they walk onto the pitch.

  100. On a cheerier note, we are Arsenal, and Arsenal is class. In AW’s broad stratagem for last season, I think he miscalculated the points invariably lost to bad refereeing, foul play and english bigotry (this is after displacement, and deadweight, for economists out there – that is games any team might have lost anyway due to the first two especially). I calculate 6-8 points lost in this manner. Therefore … well fuck it, we drew too many didn’t we. We drew and lost after taking the lead about 8-9 times; and that shouts out “learn how to defend your lead and you will win it all, and some”.

  101. Thanks GoonerAndy. Point taken (and agreed). The Invincibles were Wenger’s making, although I would perhaps argue the culture of boring, boring Arsenal was still, perhaps in the mix. But yes …

    I like to blame Alex Ice Cream, who’s bad luck negatory vibes has jinxed the season yet again. He’s a disaster.

  102. Noel73 – Call me “miserable” if you like. However, I told you all on here LAST SEASON, this would be another case of deja vu THIS season. And surprise surprise I was proven right again. And I did it without being a clairvoyant. I must have insight that most of you don’t possess.
    Guess it takes some longer to see things, than others, eh ?
    “In Arsene we rust.”
    P.S. I’ll make the same prediction now for NEXT season. If Wenger remains in charge; we will not win the league then, either !

  103. Last of The Country Gentlemen

    It is surprising how few people can remember that Wenger developed the
    the invincibles back five.

  104. Australian, eh?

    ” We came here with rucksacks, you had ball and chain…”

    To be sung ad infinitum at Sydney by the ‘Barmy Army’.

  105. LimparAssist

    Anyone know what we did with Graham Yates’ shopping list?

  106. Still here Spectrum? Autumn in Oz, getting cold and dark.

    The deep dark winter of the soul…

  107. I bet you couldn’t wait to get on here after the Stoke game eh Spaktrum? Look at you revelling in the fact that your pathetic pessimism was correct. You must be sooo proud of yourself. Oh I wish I was like you, if all it takes to be happy in life is a few “I told you so”‘s, you’re living it up man. Big respect.

  108. Limpar,
    I don’t recall us shirking from tackles yesterday. Care to mention some instances? We were flying into them left right and centre, rashly in a few ocassions (eg Wilshere,Song, etc)

    Unless perhaps you are referring to the poor marking for the goals. You’d of course be wrong if that’s the case because its not the first time we’ve been caught napping while trying to defend.

  109. And again, Last of the Country Gents, thanks for the reminder. You know, I had forgotten, ’tis true ’tis true. The Graham back four does stick in the memory, as if it went on longer than it actually did.

  110. Viva Arsenal.

  111. Spec…constantly repeating In arsene we rust is not driving your point home it is merely showing repetitive bullshit syndrome. Your insights and predictions are both ludicrous and hilarious and I hope you are not spammed as they cheer me up no end

  112. LimparAssist

    We haven’t had a very poor season. We had a very poor month – April – which has done for an otherwise very promising season… hence the disappointment.

  113. I think the boss has let himself become blinded by the passion he has for what he is doing and he is not able to see the faults that have been obvious for a long time to the rest of the world. He passionately wants to believe that he will succeed with self imposed spending limits and has been unwilling to change his philosophy even though he now has money. He truly believes HIS VISION of total football is correct and has not been willing to compromise even when things did not work. He built this squad to play his game with out really considering the how difficult it would be for this particular group of players to have a plan B. I’m sure he has tried to fix our defense over the last 5 years. I suspect he is just not willing to compromise his tactics or training methods enough to fix the problem. I suspect he watches these players every day in practice and has convinced himself that they can bring that beautiful product from the training pitch where there are no deep lying defenders to the game pitch every game. The team has had enough good moments to fuel his belief that it can happen on a consistently despite years of evidence to the contrary. Its hard to believe at this point that consistency is possible with this group of players and these tactics. Certainly not on the defensive 1/2 of the pitch.

    I honestly suspect that this summer will bring more of the same both in the transfer market and in our philosophical approach to next season. The ManU game gave us a straw to grasp and I’m sure that after this season some new straws will be found. Hopefully the boss will ultimately be proven correct.

  114. With some notable exceptions the magical trickery and interplay expressed in the earlier parts of the season, unlocking defences, was notably lacking in the latter part. And we slowed down, and took fewer risks. Is this because teams found a way to slow us down, and better prevent leakages in their defence, or because our players did something different? I suspect a period of self-belief was followed by one mired in collective-doubt, and this was specifically post-Barcelona (never mind the aberration of Birmingham). I suspect young emotions are more susceptible in such cases.

  115. LimparAssist

    Henristic, I recall Song, Ramsey (understandably), RVP, Sagna, Arshavin and Djourou each hesitating in at least one challenge. Mostly early on. There’s probably more I’ve forgotten. There was lots of chucking ourselves around later on.

    50/50s against Utd on the other hand – were dominated by Arsenal. Strange.

    Jones lost Djourou for the 1st but there was a big oppurtunity for Szcesney to claim or punch it but he missed his gap, froze and got punished.

  116. Jabba's delights

    GEO

    Here is the fact, Spectrum was right as were many of the people that i argued with last summer. This season was the season for Arsene to prove everyone wrong and he and the players have fallen flat on their faces.

    We have 100m sat in our bank for 2 years,20-25m of which needs to be their for accountancy reasons.

    We have finished with less points than last year and our 5 points better off than 5 years ago. Gone are the excuses of the stadium. Wenger has dont utterly brilliant things for us over the last 14 yyears but has done some incredibly stupid/stubborn things in the last 3. what other club rewards players for bening injured.

    What other club waits to sign Chamack as a plan b then doesnt even use him or tell the players around him to utilise his strengths. 80% of his goals in his career have come from headers and yet our big summer striker signing is played on the left wing. What kind of manager does such thing?

    What kind of manager fails to improve our defence over an AWFUL 3 year period, we havent got better. His signings have been weak then he has the audacity to say its been a good season.

    Of all the blogs Yogi has the most conservative and passionate defence of Arsene and i think its been commendable throughout, now its over. im not some doomer, im a realistic fan who is now completley fed up up with the same excuses year after year from our coach. our team isnt improving an our manager is the 2nd best paid in the world.

    When will he be held accountable???

  117. No, it has not been a poor season at all. It has not been a very good season though, not according to expectations, improvements but not enough, no, no, no. Specific games come to mind. Specific draws. Hell, we should have won this season clear by ten points, we know we should and could. Too much on Wilshere’s shoulders, too many games. Too little on Arshavin’s and Diaby’s. I expected more from these two players, much more.

  118. We haven’t had a poor season? I’d say we’ve had a poor season at the Emirates and the losses at home to Newcastle and West Brom certainly didn’t happen in April. Not to mention we’ve got as many losses this season as Spurs. True that the most disheartening part of the collapse has happened again at the end of the season but the troubling signs were there early on. Cesc himself said early in the season that this squad lacked a winning mentality and his words have proven true. Not that he justified being on his high horse this season with his play.

  119. A couple of weeks ago I posed a question on here which is touched on in the last few posts.

    This year we have beaten every team we have played at least once, except for three – Sunderland, Liverpool and WBA – in a fixture list which has included some of the best teams in the world. So it’s difficult to contradict the observation that at our best we are capable of beating anybody. The notion that our players “aren’t good enough” is simply absurd.

    We win far more games than we lose, which is evidenced by our consistently high standing in the league table. So, unless we are remarkably adept at winning when we play badly, all the stereotypical criticisms which we attract seem to apply only to a minority of games.

    It’s clear that we are inconsistent. We have seen that at its most extreme in the last two games. But in what does that inconsistency lie? As I previously phrased the question:

    What precisely is it that we do well in the games we win that we fail to do well in those we lose?

    Without a reasoned answer, any changes (personnel, style, attitude, tactics, formation etc etc) will be purely speculative.

    Unsurprisingly, nothing that I have read from the pundits has got me any nearer to the answer. I am still hoping that the accumulated wisdom on here might shed some light.

    Fortunate, perhaps, that it’s AW who has to solve this riddle rather than us.

  120. It really hasn’t been a great season. I think us staying in the league title race so long had more to do with Man u’s and Chelsea’s relatively weaker teams than any great improvement on our part. We bungled the champions league group and we struggled in every round of the FA cup against league 1 opposition. We are no better than last season

  121. Kos on the other hand has proved a wonderful, wonderful player; one or two mistakes, but generally a fabulous defender. Djourou needed less games. Skilly under-performed after a bright enough start.

    Anyway, all in all, I’m a happy Arsenal fan. Roll on, roll on, the adventures to come. We shall overcome it all.

  122. PS Given Spectrum’s remarkable prescience, there seems little point in our playing any games anyway, since he knows the outcome of them before the season even begins. I trust the Pools Companies have been made aware.

  123. The wait will not have been in vain.

  124. Spectrum is living the Australian dream you know.

    A grown man (apparently) spending the night’s cramped in front of his computer trying to wind people up on a variety of blogs with his hilarious catch phrase.

  125. LimparAssist

    Good post merlot.

  126. Zim Paul – I think you are a bit premature in your lauding of Kos. He looks a good player, but his lack of experience has been shown up many times this season in his many mistakes. This is not his fault of course, as there is no way a player of who had so little experience should have been thrown in the deep end as much as he has. Hopefully though he will develop into a reliable defender.

  127. Sage words Merlot – the riddle of the Arsenal – we have the resources, and on days this season we have beaten the best team in England easily, and the best team in the world ( a bit more difficulty admittedly ) – an ongoing mystery

    New players ? Well not if they are going to commit the same amateur errors we saw yesterday, at the Hawthorns and at at SJP among others. New coaching, new discipline and proper concentration – tick that box

    Thank Gawd I wont have to put upon with another Summer on possible goalkeepers though

  128. Jabba's delights

    Merlot

    You make us sound like a bunch of retards. We should expect to beat our rivals at home……….or should we not?

    Its as if beating Chels and utd at home should now be considered magnificent achievments. WE ARE A BIG CLUB ARE WE NOT?

    73 points which is the maximum we can get is a F^CK off average season. notice i say average not poor. We have had 3 average seasons in a row since the stadium affects have wore off. We pay the highest prices in the country and yet our team hasnt improved in 3 years. We have got less points this year than last beating UTD, Chels mean nothing if you lose to WBA, YIDS and NEWCASTLE at home……..nothing. We are average and our manager allows us to be.

    We should demand more the players should demand more the f^cking manager should be absoultely livid that he has been let down. He should demand changes and significant ones. We need 5-6 players out and we need at least 4 QUALITY players in who are ready to hit the ground running. All of our signings last summer have been very average at best or diabolical at worst. Chamack Kosicellny have talent but we cant wait for players to get sorted we need ready made players ready to step up.

    Gone is the time to chat about improvement, Wenger needs to buy early in the summer and if not he needs to go as he is taking us down the toilet

  129. Jabba’s delights,

    A MAN RIGHT AFTER MY OWN HART

    U hit the fooking nail on the head my son…..we are the mediocrest team in the premiership… !!!!!!

    if arsene read posts like yours WE WOULD GO SOARING UP THE TABLE… so much WISDOM in your post….

    WE NEED QUALITY QUALITY QUALITY….NOT DROSS

    Need to CHOP the dead wood and bring in READY MADE ASSEMBLED PLAYERS – NOT WORKS IN PROGRESS.

    WE WERE A BIG CLUB BUT NOW WE ARE A LAUGH A MINUTE.

    I CANNOT WATCH ANYMORE – IT IS GETTING UNBEARABLE

    LORD….PLEASE TAKE ME

  130. It has been a season which has not lived up to its potential.

    We could have acheived so much, but ultimately achived nothing.

  131. “Gone is the time to chat about improvement, Wenger needs to buy early in the summer and if not he needs to go as he is taking us down the toilet”

    So 3rd place in the hardest league in the world is going down the toilet. Get a grip FFS.

  132. Demand Demand Demand Demand Demand Demand Demand

    There I’ve done it

    Next

  133. Merlot:

    Its always a mistake to look at the best games we play and think that is the level that we can play with consistently. All teams find their baseline over the course of a season. We played our best football to win those games you mentioned and other then the Barca game none of them came with any real pressure attached. All teams have great games and all teams have poor games but you have to look at the entire body of work to know where a team stands. The way we play can be magical for short periods but over the course of a season we can not maintain that top level. No team can. When we do not play our best attacking football our lack of fundamentals especially on defense kill us. Barca win consistently because they play great defense to go along with their attacking game. Here we seen that same thing 5 years in a row, bursts of brilliance but over the course of a season we get exposed.

  134. Jabba's delights

    Muppet
    Do i judge THE ARSENAL then same as a stoke fan judges his club…….no.

    Why should i accept the same failings every year. Is it a supporters job to just support his team no matter what and not want the best from his club.

    Has this season been good enough for you, is 73 points as good as 75 . We keep talking about improvement, but where is it. We lose by the same ways every season, our manager has done NOTHING to improve us in the last 3 years or has and is every football fan and pundit in the country wrong.

    Ive just read some idiot telling me how incredible kosciallny is……..is he, is he f^cking good defender have i been bling to the fact we will concede the same amount of goals as our utterly awful (for a championship caliber) defence. we concede more than a goal a game, we score less than 2 a game……….you do the math it works out for a top 4 finish.

    Are you happy with that, are you happy paying the highest ticket price IN THE WORLD for a team that falls down at the business end of the year for 3 years running due to the same GLARING weakneses……are you?

    Are you happy that our captain and best player has come out and said the club lack ambiton……are you?

    Are you happy the club has 100m pounds in cash reserves and yet haggle over 2m for shwarzer, 2m for alonso…….are you?

    Where is the ambition amongst some of you, why do you not demand that your club does everything that is humanly possible (self sustainable) to win trophies???

  135. LimparAssist

    LOUD NOISES!

  136. …they looked lost.

  137. Jabba's delights

    dupsffokcuf
    We arent improving, we are stagnent, no we arent down the toilet but we are as far as we have been from being genuine contenders over the last 5 years.

    We should be utterly DISTRAUGHT with how the season has unfoulded AGAIN. lest stop f^cking around with being alright lets try andf improve, our manager either does it early this summer or he will be asked to leave by the majority of the fans , you can either understand that tiy wre in the majority but now significantly in the minority or keep your head in the sand.

    People are fed up and 3rd place isnt good enough when we wuld have finished 3rd 3 years ago. We arent getting bettre…..hello

  138. Jabba’s Delight,

    You are taking the piss ? Yes ? (Nobody is that stupid !).

  139. Here’s the thing, I love Wenger’s vision. I am completely on board with the idea of playing beautiful attacking football and I admire how he’s been able to ensure we remain competitive at the highest levels all these years, in spite of the stadium move and the financial insecurities that go with it.

    The problem though is that he himself has raised expectations for the team and hasn’t been able to deliver on them. Not deliver as in trophies per se (as no one can guarantee that) but in terms of performance levels. We simply haven’t performed consistently enough at the level everyone knows we are capable of (well, maybe not everyone..). We almost always concede more goals than our title rivals and and yet rarely perform better than them in the area that’s supposed to be our strength, i.e. attack and goals.
    Like I mentioned before, its one thing to have a vision, and its quite another to implement it.

    Worse still is the fact that he doesn’t seem to have a clue on why the team (mal)performs this way. He has not been able to motivate this squad to play up to their potential for any meaningful length of time, talk less to playing beyond it (as the Mancs seem to able to do). Maybe a few signings will make the difference, but I doubt it.

    I’m no football expert but imo, Arsene needs to improve on our coaching methods, and more importantly find a way of motivating the players. Perhaps it’s true that our players are too comfortable and need some bollocking every now and then. Perhaps some of them need to be sold to make a point to the rest. Whichever the case, he’s finding it hard to shape the attitudes of the players and that has to be fixed.

  140. It’s easy to not be disappointed when you have no expectations.

    Or at least have the ability to shift expectations as the situation suits.

  141. Some people really must be full of sh*t. 4 quality signings that will hit the ground running? My arse, how deluded must someone be that writes bullsh*t like that. How many of the players ManU signed hit the ground running? One, Chicharito. How many of the tens of thousands of players Chelsea spent trillions on hit the ground running? Torres did not, neither did Sideshow Bob. How many of the players Liverpool signed hit the ground running? Again, one, Suarez.
    How many of the players we signed hit the ground running? One, Chamakh (basically, if you argue that a player that scored so many vital goals in his first ten or so games (until RVP came back) did not hit the ground running, than there must be definitely something wrong with you. I can remember at least three games that we won because of Chamakh’s goals. Koscielny took his time to settle in, but looking at what ManU bought (Smalling) and what Chelsea bought (Sideshow Bob) I find it hard to argue that we did not get the best deal with Koscielny.

    Thinking that there is a magical hat out of which one can pull quality signings that will definitely make an impact is just delusional and reeks of pure stupidity. Even proven Premier League players like Joe Cole, Berbatov or Torres can fail miserably or take their time to settle in.

  142. The form we showed up until our CL exit would have won the league by a mile if we’d kept it. So how can replacing those players be the answer? Our dip in form happened I think because of things behind the scenes. Wenger’s comments of ‘something changed’ could apply to our last few months, not just the Stoke game. We need to work on why it happened, not ship out quality players.

    By all means bring in a few players but keeping the squad together is very important too.

  143. Stop it Muppet!

    I’ve got a couple of cracked ribs and I’m short of painkillers.

  144. Jabba's delights

    Muppet

    maybe i am, help me?

    I am yet to see someone on her chasllenge the fact that our manager said judge me in may and yet here we are and its a mathamatical fact we will have less points than last year and that our defence is a poor as last season

  145. We should win all 4 trophies every year.

    In fact, if we don’t, I think that it is really not on.

    What is the point in supporting your team if you don’t win every game, and win every trophy.

    There is no point.

    In fact – I don’t think I will bother anymore unless all the other teams in all other competitions drop out before it has started, so we are the only team in it.

  146. Henristic 2 4:06:

    How do you fix that? You can’t change someones whole personality. The boss is who he is.

    I agree that bringing in new players will not change a thing as long as the squads attitude does not change. However, our transfer market philosophy is the single biggest tangible thing that the media, fans and players can point towards as the biggest cause of our problems. Look at what Cesc said in his interview. I am not naive enought to think that bringing in 4 new players is a panacea and will fix the real underlying problem. However, making a splash in the transfer market could be 1 very big piece of the puzzle to start changing the squads mentality and confidence levels. Adding some new assistant coaches with a gruff side and moving out several players are other things that might start to break up the snowball of negativity that has been growing for several years.

  147. Jabba's delights

    Markus

    A season is 38 games not 28 . over 36 games so far we have 67 points, we are at least 10 off what it takes to win a title.

    You talk of these amazing players and yet we have conceded 39 goals and scored 69 to date. we arent good enough going forward or at the back and havent been for 3 seasons.

    why are you so patient wre you not saying last year its all about next season. were you telling me 3 weeks ago that we would still do it. We got smashed by stoke yesterday Bolton scored 2 from 3 corners Wenger highlighted this as a weakessn 2 seasons ago………why are we still inept?

    Where is the accoutability, ow do you feel about paying the extra 6.5%, i feel awful about it.

    Kosicallny has had 5-6 good games and about the same bad ones the rest he has been alright, he was meant to solve our defensive weakness and yet we are just as bad??

  148. Jabba ~~ do you really think all the bitching an moaning will make the slightest difference to the teams performance this or any other season?

    As a supporter you cannot influence any of the managers thinking (good job to). I expect he already has plans for the future.

  149. Was it wrong of me to claim we could still do it three weeks ago?

    Sorry. There I go with my supporting shite again.

  150. Jabba's delights

    Matt

    Nor do i expect trophies, i do however expect that the club does everything possible to win them, and they arent.

    We have serious issues with mentality in the squad …… who fault is that?
    Our coaching is one dimensional, we do nothing about preparing for the opposition or set peices

    73 points isnt good enough , certainly not when you charge the highest prices in world football. The fans can demand that players give their all, the fans can demand that the coaching staff improve our players

  151. Evil @ 4:20:

    The biggest effect of bringing in some new players at least initially will hopefully be to change the way the players look at the next year. There are clearly some major mental problems in this squad that are not going to go away during summer vacation. If we do the same thing this summer and start with all the same players next year, whats going to make them think that next year will be any different then the past several years? Players, fans and media focus on our lack of spending as the reason we come up short. Clearly no magical hats but at least we can give the team something to get excited about when they come back to training camp.

  152. Rather than make a “whopping” 4 magical signings this offseason, we should try and replicate SAF’s magical home growing of talent like Nani, Park, Vidic, Valencia, Anderson, Evra, Ferdinand, Hernandez and Smalling. Oh wait, they were all signings you say?

    Koz didn’t hit the ground running, but he sure as hell has been huge and has shown fight and has hustled. What’s so delusional about wanting more of that? Magical signings? Expecting a player that doesn’t hustle consistently, doesn’t leave his heart on the pitch consistently, to all of the sudden do so is even more “magical” and fanciful in thinking. There is a championship core at the Emirates. Bringing in 4 players and sending out 6 in an effort to put this team over the top finally shouldn’t seem so heretical.

  153. I don’t know why I am bothering answering,

    But we did challenge for the title, we also got to a final.

    And please stop with this myth that we have the highest ticket in world football – absolute rubbish that is peddled on the usual negative sites, and totally incorrect.

  154. Jabba's delights

    dupsffokcuf / markus

    unfortunately for you the majority of fans are about to voice their concerns very very publically to the boss. They are fed up and they want change not just with some decent quality signings but with the coaching staff and ethos at the club. Like it or not Wenger had better make sure the players turn up on saturday or you will here the very first Wenger out chant at the emiartes.

    Not from me but you will here it, its been growing for 3 years .

    Markus nothing wrong with you doing it. Unfortunatley the team failed ……again, so those people who were shot down for predicting it quite rightly that we arent good enough were right.

    Nobody wants arsenal to lose, at least i hope not, but the fact is we arent good enough again, and wenger hasnt bettered the team in the areas needed again, and in any other walk of life thats a p45.

    ”judge me in may”………..FAIL

  155. Jabba's delights

    Matt

    Im sorry which club charges more, go on try me?

    Like i said the most expensive in world football, thats why i demand that as a club we do everything possible to win trophies.

    Great challenge arsenal, final 5 games of the season and a carling cup defeat to brum. How did they score their goals by the way……..cross and clamity…..wow heard that before……have we not improved?

  156. LimparAssist

    What absolute fucking bollocks.

  157. Jabba,

    if you mean this pathetic ‘protest march’ that is being spoken about on a couple of the usual blogs, I can assure you that in no way do those loser’s speak on behalf of the ‘majority’ of Arsenal supporters.

    I think the majority of Arsenal Supporters have the required level of intelligence to see the bigger picture, and appreciate where the club has come from, and where it is going.

    If you can’t see it, then I would suggest you look harder.

  158. There’s rarely a shortage of knobs.

  159. @ArseChicago
    My point was not about the amount of signings, we have made 3 signings last summer.
    My point is about expecting that somehow you can find 4 players, which will all be top quality and which will all hit the ground running, which, in my opinion, is clearly delusional, when even a world class player like Torres failed to produce any significant contributions. We should and need to make signings, simply to make up for the fact that there is going to be squad fluctuations and the obvious need to plan ahead for the ACN, no one is going to argue with that. I just have an issue with this attitude displayed by some, as if signing players in real life would be akin to signing players on Championship Manager where you simply look at the stats, buy the player and whoooo, you win the league. That’s simply not the way it works.

  160. Jabba's delights

    No Matt i dont mean this protest march. If i did though you are talking about blogs with a pretty big following where the mahjority of whom agree with them.

    I mean if Arsneal play poorly in the final game home game of the season. For those of us at Stoke yesterday believe me when i say a hell alot of the away fans are completley and utterly fed up

  161. The biggest problem yesterday was that Johan, whom I would normally defend to hilt, had a nightmare and was materially responsible for all three goals (and played several horribly misplaced passes before we conceded). Without those errors we would probably have won at least 1-0 and we wouldnt be so miserable.

    However it is clear that we need to be able to mix it up a bit more – shift the ball forward more quickly and/or take the ball and run at the opposition – Jack and Song did the latter occasionally and Stoke lost their shape – but we lapse too easily into the sideways passing game, even when breaking. Our most dynamic recent performance was against Blackpool when we mixed it up and started launching long balls to Robin. Admittedly Blackpool encouraged this, but there were several times v Stoke when breaks slowed down at the crucial moment. We need to play more balls ahead of Theo for him to run onto – dont know if he is failing to make the runs or the team are failing to play the right ball to him – it’s a bit chicken and egg…

    …and Arshavin….I really dont know what to suggest. Hailed as the sort of big name signing we needed, he is currently the opposite – a dead weight in the team – contributing very little other than his extraordinary ten minutes of tackling in the Man U game.

  162. @Evil – All I can ask of players we bring in, whether it be via signing or through the academy/reserves, is that they work hard and improve. Kozzer was a terrific example of someone who showed promising signs early on, overcame some mistakes, worked hard and improved through out the year. Now he’s likely slated to pair with TV5 next season or be our first CB off the bench (depending on whether or not).

    Anyway, I agree with you that we shouldn’t expect these signings to hit the ground running right away. If anything, this team showed (again) this season that hitting the ground running (which we did this season) doesn’t guarantee you’ll be running at the end of the season. Hopefully if we bring in players, they’ll be helping us stave off the collapse we’ve now suffered each of the last two seasons. Worst case, should we not win the league with the 4 new players I feel we need, hopefully next season will be a step forward and improvement. I don’t think anyone can reasonably say this season was a step forward for Arsenal as a whole.

  163. @Evil – Also, I agree with you that those suggesting new player buys need also caveat that or realize that it isn’t as easy as clicking a mouse. You are very correct in that regard. A lot has to happen for transfers to come together. I actually think Arsene tried to bring in more than he ended up doing this past season, but for whatever reasons and not all in his control, it didn’t happen.

  164. Jabba,

    Spurs were charging £75 per game for their CL games this season, that is more than I pay.

    There you go – 1 example of the top of my head.

    What gives you the right to demand anything of the team? really?

    And the blogs you mention do not have big support from the UK, they have the same voices spouting the same shit over and over again, and usually not even people from the UK who attend the games, so I doubt very much it can be classed as the majority.

    I am sure the away fans were pissed off yesterday, If I had gone, I would of been – but I will be at Fulham on the last day, and will be cheering on my team the same as the majority….

  165. Alex Ice Cream

    Its not just about buying players though. AW should have gotten a lot more out of the group of players that he has. This was a great chance to win the league but we blew it (again). AW seems to have trouble motivating his players and also cannot solve the defensive problems that have blighted the team for years – even with different personnel.

  166. Jabba's delights

    Matt

    Im sorry i was going on what it cost to buy a season ticket at a club i thought that would be bloody obvious.

    The guy opposite me now says it cost 55 for him to watch Yids vs Milan so you told a little porky.

    We pay the highest season ticket prices in the world, and you cant prove one thing otherwise. That is why i can demand more from my f^cking club than others

  167. Limpar:

    “Szcesney should have been all over the cross for Jones’ goal. He still has a lot to learn.”

    Szczesney will probably be a great keeper for us but I agree that with your thought. He has been given a free pass but his learning curve has hurt us in several games. No idea which Fabianski we might see next season and wheather he can recover from injury. Schwarzer has had another really good year and I think we should make another run at him to keep the #1 shirt for 1 -2 years. A lot might have played out differently if we had been able to get him last summer.

  168. I think we can look at Chelsea as a cautionary tale, Ancelotti won a double and looks to be heading for the door, thats what you get for working for a egomaniac and having fans that demand success as a right(they booed Chelsea off after a fine 2-2 draw.
    We dont want to go down the road of changing managers every other season, Arsene knows we have come up short lets see what happens in the summer.

  169. I was so jammed and damned about the game yesterday morning that I switched it off and did something else. This is what happened to me last year when their performances went into the tank. I certainly would not pay money to see this attitude prevail in a game and it is simple as that.

  170. Furious bloggers and arsenal fans have been queuing up to condemn Wenger and the players. One was on Talk Shite earlier claiming that the invincibles team had been inherited by Wenger. In the prelude to this falsehood, Alan Brazil commiserated with arsenal away fans, even though we have the best away record in the premiership.

    I think there are two main considerations here. The first is one of expectation. On a minor scale, anybody who thinks that Stoke is an easy place to go and get a result is living in cloud cuckoo land. Yes, the manner in which we conceded the 1st and 3rd goals was shocking, but this was never going to be an easy fixture. Yes, there are questions about our ability to defend set pieces – but this is just one of a number of questions in general that Wenger will have to address in the summer.

    The bigger picture surrounding expectation is what we should reasonably expect. There seems to be a new school of thought, that since we are paying high ticket prices, we should expect trophies. Errr… NO – we are paying high ticket prices to try to keep up with the TEAMS WHO ARE STILL ENGAGING IN FINANCIAL DOPING. And we know who they are. And don’t come on here and claim that “I can accept no trophies, as long as we don’t see the sort of performance against Stoke” – because that is complete bollocks – we have the best away record in the premiership.

    The second consideration is that it seems, from some hysterical bloggers and pundits, that we are no better than Sp*ds and haven’t moved forward this year. Complete bollocks. We have beaten Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona – FFS. Yes – we have had some poor home performances. But in general, given our proximity to the chavs and the fact that our challenge was not extinguished until the last 5 games, we have done better than last year. On an optimistic note we have a plethora of young players who will be better for the challenge this year, and will be available next year – Szczesny, Djourou, Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, Nasri. The maniacal cries to cull the squad and bring in quality are truly laughable. We have quality in abundance. That is not the issue. The issue is getting the right blend, and having the right personnel available and fresh over 38 games. Look at Man U yesterday – Park plays, and he is as fresh as a daisy, as he hasn’t played since Christmas. Consequently, he runs Chelsea ragged. We had Diaby, Nasri and Cesc all injured, and injuries in general have played a part because we were never able to rotate our squad as much as we could. We suffered badly in the last 2 months because we just have not been as sharp in my view. The other point is experience – Szczesny/Djourou/Koscienly – very little premiership experience in comparison to VDS/Ferdinand/Vidic. Wilshere/Ramsey – very little premiership experience. I think the more games all these guys have, the better we will get.

  171. Muppet: My only expectation is to be entertained by a team that plays like they give a damn!

  172. Btw. we surely must be the team that has conceded the most amount of long range goals? Against Newcastle, against Spurs, against Stoke. When your midfield is leaving a player with too much room our defence usually backs down, playing for the offside but somehow unaware that people are allowed to shoot before they enter the box.

  173. Muppet:

    “On an optimistic note we have a plethora of young players who will be better for the challenge this year, and will be available next year – Szczesny, Djourou, Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott, Nasri.”

    What evidence is there that these players will all get better. We expected Denilson, Diaby, Clichy Walcott, Cesc, Nasri to be maturing together and forming a dominating team by now. The reality is things do not work out that way.

    Nasri was great in the first 1/2 of the year but disappeared during crunch time for the 2nd season in a row. To expect him to play at his best form for a full season is hopeful thinking at best. Walcott has never been effective when the other team parks the bus. Is that going to change? I know its blasphemy to say anything bad of jack and I still have high hopes but we can not have another season with only 1 goal from someone who plays all those minutes in an attacking position. Cesc is a gigantic question mark. Chezzer still has a lot to learn and a consistent GK is critical to a team.

  174. Bill,

    The evidence that they will get better is that there is a word called “experience” in the dictionary.

    Sure – Walcott suffered because teams parked the bus. Maybe Wenger will change his position next year – and play him more as a striker. Who knows ? I don’t think in general we suffered from not being able to score, although it did happen in a few games. I think our inability to win ugly and hold on to a lead cost us in the end. Look at the Liverpool, Newcastle, Spurs (both games) games.

  175. Simple Math for the Simple Minded:

    Furious Fan + Asking for Wenger to leave = IDIOT x2

  176. The Gunners seem to have lost motivation in this match against Stoke City, who were more determined to boost their morale ahead of the FA cup final against City. Arsenal hasn’t really had much to play for, they were out of the title race and have already secured third place.

  177. Muppet- I wondered how long it would be before someone mentioned injuries. In a sense you are correct, but one of the many consistent problems over the last 3-4 years has been the rate at which our club’s players pick up injuries and the time it takes them to recover. I think there is something wrong in the way we are managing/dealing with injuries and this needs to be looked at.
    Overall though, the reason we are not able to maintain a sustained challenge is that our squad is not deep enough and Wenger does not seem to trust some of the players to come in and do a job. While Ferguson is able to rotate his squad frequently, Arsene does not and often overplays players or rushes back players too soon from injury (Cesc and Djourou for example). It is ridiculous how we are already so reliant on the 19 year old Jack Wilshire and there is a danger that he will be overplayed like Cesc has been.

  178. theBigM,

    I agree with a lot of your point. Ferguson’s squad players have come in, and very often, have been annoyingly effective. Case in point – Park yesterday.

    If the criticism is that our squad is not deep enough, then it still comes down to an argument about resources. We just cannot afford 24 top class internationals like the chavs, so we have a youth policy and a policy to try to pick up unheralded players, such as Sagna and Koscienly.

    If certain players haven’t been trusted, then Wenger must have his reasons. Either they dipped in form, or Wenger wanted to pursue a policy of playing as strong a first team as possible.

  179. Very good post Bill you have nailed it, iI fear some players are damaged where confidence is concerned, we need a couple of experienced players to come in(I dont mean multi million pounds either) to steady the ship.
    Parker comes to mind, older players who can see a game out.

  180. Muppet you are talking shite, Spuds are spending for fucks sake,
    Manure are in debt up to their eyeballs, we on the other hand have halved our debt on the Emirates and have as much if not more then any other club to spend.

  181. There’s a statement made by SAF where he said that success is relative, and that winning trophies is not the only measure of success. He of course said that is was his measure of success but he recognized that success follows pain and struggle.

    I looked up how successful MU was before his arrival and it surprised me. In 24yrs prior they won 6 trophies, notable in this era is the 0 titles.
    The great Busby won 8 trophies in 20yrs.
    So what SAF is achieved is rare; very rare.

    This illustrates my point. http://arsespeak.com/2011/03/01/winning-trophies-important-comparison-titles-success-english-football-manchester-united-liverpool-chelsea-tottenham-arsenal-trophy-data/

    Coming back to Sunday’s match what struck me the most was Stewart Robson’s commentary. He attacked the philosophy, then the players and finally our manager.
    It is well known we are in a drought, but placing this in the context of the reasons that led to this would have validated his position than the ignorant drivel I was subjected to.
    He neglected to mention we had 4 Englishmen on show and 1 Welshman. All youngsters, a strategy a lot of folks – including him – have begged for.
    He compared the two CB’s to those at MC and the Chavs but again this was limited thinking especially when you rewind back to the days of how JT, RF, and Vidic started out. I remember JT playing alongside an aging Desailly and looking awful.
    Yes, we have conceded a lot of set play goals this year but in games that matter so did the Chavs and Citeh, especially this weekend. Ours is further scrutinized to empahsize a positon .
    We have let in fewer goals in open play than anyone, and I remember in years past the experts calling for muscle in the middle of the park because we were getting overrun, but never noting that our beautiful football comes with a price. They did, however, avoid making the same argument for the tiny totts and reminded us all that twitchy will not change his open style when RM rammed in a boat load of goals down their beautiful game.
    The great Barca was overrun by our kids and yes we did not progress but neither did the great RM.

    I am disappointed with the year but I am glad that the sane in our ranks believe we have Underachieved. The tiny totts think they have overachieved and they are absolutely correct; Citeh could win the FAC and think they have overachieved- ditto.

    What we need is to support our team and club, our time is near.
    The same fans that chided SAF after seven seasons without a trophy are the same that celebrated yesterday and want him to stay forever. Six years is not an awfully long time compared to 17 years without titles or 16 years with only one LC and one FAC to show for the effort. My 23yr old niece who is a die hard MU supporter texted to tell me that the gunners need to learn how to win, I passed along her beloved team’s past history. Some in our ranks are too young to appreciate what it was like before Wenger and even GG.
    We need perspective.

  182. yeah, on course to finish with less points and more goals conceded than in that disaster of a season that was 08/09, some improvement through experience, that 😆

  183. It’s been well publicised that we concede the most goals from set pieces (except Villa). I am looking at the positives, does this mean we have the best defensive record from open play?

  184. well executed yogi..

  185. Spy,

    No. I am not talking shite. I’ve made my position very clear. You on the other hand, have not. What are you trying to say – that money doesn’t make a difference. Sure – RM/Spurs, even Chelsea this season haven’t got a lot to shout about. But don’t try to tell me that Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona have won trophies in recent seasons in spite of having a HUGE budget on player transfers. – BOLLOCKS.

  186. SUGA3,

    WTF. What is this comparison of number of points ? If all premiership teams get less points this year, then it’s total bollocks to criticise arsenal for getting less points than in 2008. Thought you would know that, being the legal genius with all measured arguments at your fingertips. But then, you must be pretty rusty, hanging around on Le Glory with a bunch of schoolkids and two morons at the helm.

  187. that was shit..
    this season has ended shit and we have a deep routed problems at the club..
    i agree with the gentleman who said we have too much baggage..

    if the fans dont get a free pass to the next game then the players should gives their weeks wages to charities of our choice,…

  188. What im saying is lets spend some fucking money!

  189. Muppet,

    my point is: this was our season to run away from everyone else as I believe that we had the best team in the league, period!

    what about the goals conceded stat? will you say that Yoonited and Chavs deteriorated more than us?

    as far as I am concerned, this season is an epic fucking failure, and the double was there for the taking…

  190. Spy,

    Right ! Thanks – I now understand your point.

    It’s one that I agree with (to a point)!

    The questions now are:

    i) Will Kroenke signal any changes in that department. Do we change our policy of not signing players above £15 million ? Do we change our wage policy ?

    ii) Will Wenger himself change policy in the summer and spend big ?

  191. The team is close but they dont know what it takes to go all the way no matter what they say.

    They need to learn how to fight in everymatch. They know how to fight, we have seen it many times this season but I believe the downfall is getting caught up in beating the big clubs (the supporters put that pressure on also)and seem to believe doing that means that we are there. If we lose to United and have wins instead of all of the blinkin draws lately we would be out of sight.

    Wenger also must trust his players. Allowing players who just got back from injury to play straight away cannot be a good thing. Cesc and now Djourou havent helped the team when rushed back for starters. I also dont believe that RVP, Nasri, Cesc and Wilshere shouldnt start every match. Again this is someting that many supporters and many on here want to happen but we must trust and rotate our players to keep them fresh. A tired body results in a tired mind.

    I hope this is the last year that we have to learn from some of the habitual mistakes we are making.

  192. SUGA3,

    On the 1st point – I don’t agree with this. Having an expectation that we are the best team in the country is a delusion that everybody of Le Grove accuses ACLF of. I don’t agree with this. It’s a case of wait till the end of the season and look at the league table. Sure – I felt we were a good side, but February onwards we have been too inconsistent and fell by the wayside.

    2nd point – you have to factor in the competition as a whole. You can’t ignore it. This year there were some strong teams and more money has come into the game. 3.3 billion pounds worth of overall debt in the premiership is evidence of this. Liverpool in 6th – with their history and resources – come on. This is a hard league. City – expenditure £400 million.

    On the last point – it’s only an epic failure in line with your expectations. I never expected to win the PL and CL, so I don’t see how it can be. 6th would be an epic failure. What do you expect ?

  193. I think Kroenke will go along with Wengers policys, dont forget he has not a lot of experience with football, and it makes a nice change not to get into a slanging match, cheers Muppet.

  194. Muppet:

    The point is was trying to make in the post at 6:11 is that unfortunately young players gaining experience does not always equal improvement. The experience gained this year will be more remembered for the mental damage and probably do more long term harm then good.

    We have been building for the future for 6 years. The original “generation” of Walcott, Adebayor, Denilson, Diaby, Clichy, Fabregas, Song has seen some of them improve as players, while others have back-tracked but they clearly have not matured together as a team the way we had expected. Now we wait for the next generation of Wilshere, Ramsey, Djourou, Gibbs, Chezzer to mature. Hopefully the boss will make real efforts to improve our chances of winning next year during the summer. History is filled with teams that never reach their “potential”.

  195. Spy,

    Sorry – I am exasperated ! ok – yes. I am only saying that we can’t expect too much. If we spend £400 million and fail, then a whole load of conversation will be about how we spent the money on the wrong players. But that’s for another day.

    I think Wenger will spend in the summer. He has to now. People are impatient, less so on here, but there is a lot of out there.

  196. I dont believe RVP etc “should” start…

    I still dont believe its all about buying, could be but maybe not.

    When we say buy we dont really mean buy, we mean buy big and buy who we think will help the team. I can say that because Arsenal did buy.

    I am not against buying but it is not the end all, all of the times.

  197. Muppet the traitor,

    “Having an expectation that we are the best team in the country is a delusion that everybody of Le Grove accuses ACLF of”

    How do you plan to carry the fight to the doomers when you’re claiming on behalf of us delusional folks that we’re not the best team? Come on man. We’re the best team in England(when it comes to technique:p)

    First Bob is jumping the gun asking for some signings, and now it’s you. Do you need me to remind you of our ACLF regular policy of just saying exactly opposite to what the doomers say? Ha ha. Keep it simple that way.

    I am also retracting from my yesterday’s position of asking for a winger and a proper striker. I take my words back. Give the team another year. Just one last chance. Same players.

  198. Bill,

    If we gain nothing from this, then it will be disappointing. The point of a youth policy is that it has an aim – to contribute to a squad in a more cost effective way than just through player transfers. I still think we can still harness our youth but improve our squad through more acquisitions. This would mean Wenger taking some tough decisions about certain other players. I think we know their candidate names.

  199. I was reading Xavi’s interview. He was emphasizing about one touch passes. Song is the culprit there, he can’t pass without taking a dozen touches. So let’s get rid of him immediately and bring in a one-touch-passer-defensive-midfielder.
    And Xavi also says, they barca players think a lot before receiving a pass and then passing the ball. So from now on, I think we should train differently, and our players instructed to think a lot on the pitch. Clearly that seems to be the problem. Moreover Xavi was obsessed with space. He mentions space a dozen times in one interview. How it’s crucial to always be looking for space to be in, and pass the ball into. I think that’s where Arsene has let us down. I believe, we should always keep our wingers in space. That way they won’t have to think about finding space, because they will already be in it. And more importantly, when in space, they can think before recieving the pass and then passing. Our players just need to think. No massive changes needed. It worked for Barca. Why wouldn’t it work for us?

    Too bad Xavi had nothing to help us regarding the extent that players can feign injuries, pressurize the ref, and dive. Maybe next interview, he will reveal the art of cheating.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/feb/11/xavi-barcelona-spain-interview

  200. Ateeb,

    Ha ha. Of course we have the best team in the country ! I think the problem is that it has been rarely assembled at any one time. !

    I am not necessarily calling for signings. I am saying that if we spend money on a equal basis to Chelsea and Manchester United, then it’s right to have big expectations.

    And I predicted that Wenger will sign. But that’s only because I read in on arsenal.com. I don’t have any recommendations. If Wenger decides to stick with Vermaelen and Djourou as his first choice pairing, then I will defend him to the hilt. They are fucking good defenders.

  201. The divide between the doomers and well….AKBS…still remain. Unlike last year when they were asking for 3 more signings, and the AKBS were cool about what they had. This year, the AKBs want three signings, while the doomers have moved on into the realm of Arsenal without Arsene Wenger. Changing times.

    Stick to “fuck off”. I agree with YW.

  202. Ateeb is a revisionist!

  203. Ateeb,

    My big fat armchair opinion on changes in any case – although we don’t do this on ACLF – is that we need a right back, a replacement for Squillachi, another midfielder and another winger/striker.

    But I haven’t got a clue, so I wouldn’t know. We’ve signed a young right back anyway from Charlton in any case.

  204. Ateeb,

    When I say right back – I mean an understudy to Sagna.

  205. well, you so called AKBs tend to be oblivious to the bleeding obvious, hence the one, maybe two season delay 😆

  206. Muppet,

    We’re cool then. He always signs in the summers. It’s just a myth that he doesn’t.

    The word on the street is that the Arsene supporters will be demanding for a winger and a striker, while the fools from the doom world, will be demanding defenders. This is important. This way we keep our differences and take the fight to them. Over and out.

  207. So much for Bill’s favourite keeper. Schwarzer concedes in the 34th second.

  208. Let me do this for both of you Bob and Muppet. For old time’s sakes.

    FUCK OFF SUGA3!!

  209. Ateeb (in hideout at Abbottabad),

    Over and out.

  210. And another after 6 mins.

  211. I was going anyway 😆

  212. Muppet,

    I like both Sagna and Eboue. If only there was one RB with the skill of both. Sagna is great at defending, while Eboue is great at attacking. You get the drift?

    I don’t know about defenders. Djorou, Kos, Vermalean, Squiallaci, seem Ok. If it’s the set plays we are conceding from, than blame lies on all the players defending and not just the CBs. Get rid of those 2 short players in the goal defending with their heads, I say, mix it up.

    I just want a good striker badly. And a winger. Someone with skills of Messi and free-kick taking abilities of the lesser Ronaldo.

  213. Ha Ha. Abbottabad, of all places. Come on. Don’t blame us, it’s a well populated city, how could we know, that cunt was living there? I don’t know who lives in the house at the end of the street. But come to think of it, it always looks abondened. Hmmm…

    Don’t you know all these bearded fellas look alike? I can’t tell. I mean we couldn’t. Or we wouldn’t? Complicated. Over and out.

  214. Ateeb,

    On the 1st point – yes. Exactly. As much as we love Eboue – we need a defender with the same defensive qualities as Sagna.

    Agree on the 2nd point. It’s not just down to the centre backs. This is the cause of a lot of fan fury, as they don’t see how we can be weak at set pieces. I don’t know what the answer is. In part, Wenger doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on this, as our open game means we have a philosophy of trying to win 2-1 rather than 1-0.

    Want someone like Messi ? Don’t we all.

  215. 0-3 Fulham v Liverpool. Fulham must have a dodgy keeper.

  216. Schwarzer for Arsenal ? Somebody to take Szczesny under his wing ?

  217. Oh Y oh Y oh Y oh Y is my chromosone A for Arsenal –Fuck it!

  218. Oh, come on! Don’t try pulling ‘they all look alike to me’ business and ‘anyway, who knows what their neighbours are upto?’.

  219. That Hangeland must be good in defence to.

  220. Osama must have had an opinion on the set up at Arsenal. He had satellite, so he must have been watching the games.

  221. Hangeland – yep. Get him for a snip.

  222. YW,
    Why would you not take Samba, I think hes a no nonense centre back, which is just what we need!

  223. Hangerlands better then scratchy

  224. i think squillaci is getting a raw deal from most.

  225. Ateeb, some history for you.

    ‘Of all the Young Men of the 1840’s and 1850’s it is James Abbott whose name has weathered the best, both in folk memory and in place-names. The new district of Hazara was named ‘Abbottabad’ at Edwardes suggestion, and remains ‘Abbottabad’ today. In the 1930’s Sir Olaf Caroe, encountering a Yusufzai from Hazara who had recently celebrated his hundredth year, asked him if he had ever met Kaka Abbott. The old man replied that he remembered him well. ‘He was a little man with bristly hair on his face and kind eyes, and we loved him’.

    Caroe quotes the old man as saying. ‘I was in the jirga when he was asking us if we would stand and fight the Sikhs if he stood by us. We swore we would, and there were tears in our eyes, and a tear in Abbott Sahib’s eye too. And we did! He was our father, and we were his children. There are no Angez like Abbott Sahib now’.

  226. We need to buy, buy, buy and follow the Real Madrid model. Then we can keep up with the Barcelona’s of the world who develop players through an academy.
    Hold on!!

  227. Yeah Squillaci is well thought of in France, but here we think he is shit.

  228. who cares

  229. I agree with Paul N.

  230. Well i think whatever happends the soulition cannot be Hangeland. today the fulham defence has had a terrible day at the office. A proper pedigree means someone from the top 1-2 clubs in the top leagues. that means a top defender from either Real or Barca or chelsea or United or Inter or ac milan. Maybe one could concider top German clubs.

    BUT someone with no CL experience, somone that has not WON a cup this year, well that would just be to sign another kid would it not? that means a defender from outside the TOP 4 in england would not be good enough. But i really think it would be a step in the wrong direction to sign somone that does not has the required experience in WINNING. And as good as cahill and Hangeland are, they are not exactly big winners are they?
    After all the fans want a solid defender with proven winning pedigree that has been in tight situations before and know how to handle them. A bit like hmm Ferdinan or Vidic. Cos we dont want to train anyone to be a winner, we want a ready developed one.
    so suggestions for a TOP TOP defender that has a proven trackrecord from the bigger leagues and has won stuff?

  231. Bob,

    They do. More or less. I mean come on, what’s the least likely place you would expect him to be. Near a military base, no? Ha ha.

    Honestly, I don’t trust the army. No one in this country does anymore. They’re butchers, and they’re the biggest problem. But sadly, they’re backed by the U.S, so there is little that we can do about them for now.

  232. Surely our first buy should Mark Schwarzer. Missed out on him for sure this season.

  233. Muppet

    > Schwarzer for Arsenal ? Somebody to take Szczesny under his wing ?

    Even Bruce Wayne thought twice and then better of that one!

    YW

  234. Top Top central defenders:

    Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund.
    Thiago Silva from A.C Milan

  235. Inshallah, ateeb.

  236. YW,

    Yeah… might fumble from a great height.

  237. All the other top central defenders, save N. Subotic, play for Chelsea/Man U/Real Madrid or Barcelona.

  238. The 3rd goal conceded by Schwarzer was a bit of a howler:

    http://videa.hu/videok/sport/fulham-0-3-liverpool-16-kuyt-543VoILXQrhSuCDD

  239. Trust and believe, If Arsenal got Shwarzer and he made some of the mistakes he has we would hear it from those who said we shouldve bought him.
    Muppet, goals 1 and 3 were terrible keeping.

  240. Paul N,

    Right. Thanks. I’m not watching the game. Wife has control of the TV !

  241. 3 top[ defenders for you phillistines-Sergio Ramos, Maarquez and Puyol

  242. not I

  243. Fulham, kinda gettin back into the game Muppet.

  244. Yeah Spy – but Ramos and Puyol play for RM and Barca. So one has as much chance as signing them as Obama Bin Laden being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – posthumously.

    Who is Maarquez ?

  245. woops that came out strangely. About the Xavi deal, we are capable of playing one touch, i believe. There were a few times against stoke were Song carried the ball up the middle of the park and looked to play one-two’s and get through the defense. Personally i think Song has a fairly deft touch. oh well we can all argue the points. I think the season has gone by much too fast now i barely have any Arsenal to watch! its a damn shame.

  246. Paul N,

    Yeah – I see they have scored.

  247. Marquez captain Mexico 2010 World cup

  248. oh well!

  249. Tippy Tappy football doesn’t work we need to play the percentage game like the Champions League winners to be Barca and Spain that hoof ball country that won that mickey mouse cup. The ‘er’ World Cup.

  250. Spy,

    Right. I’ve looked up the player. Thanks.

  251. I suppose Schwarzer is saving all his luck for when we go to the cottage.

  252. I think we can all agree that Vidic is the best defender in the Prem, I just want us to try and get a CB with a presence like him

  253. Nice goal from Sidwell!

  254. Spy ~~ Vidic would be sent off to many times if he played for Arsenal. He gets away with all sorts of yellow and red card fouls because of the shirt he wears.

  255. I see Joke Hole is on now

  256. As has been noted on this blog, Vidic would be a red card or penalty waiting to happen on most other teams.
    The crap he gets away with is beyond belief.
    I agree though, if we could get a player that gets away with the things he does we would have a great defense.

  257. beat me to it dups!

  258. whatever happens this summer, we need a backup to Alex Song. Next february is the african cup of nations and chances are he will be gone for month.

  259. I know he is a cheating bastard, but u would have him Dups

  260. Cannot stand the cheating bastard

  261. Spanish TV reports Arsenal have lodged an official €25m bid for Real Madrid striker Karim Benezma.

  262. Over the last few seasons wenger must be having that ‘one card short of a royal flush’ feeling…so I kind of understand him persisting with the current players..I mean how many of us will “fold” in a poker game in that situation..so near yet so far..its oh so easy to be critical and say why is X or Y still here…how many of u crticizing the manager, have the courage to give up on something when its so close..

    But this time I personally think wenger feels he has given some players enough rope, he is genuinely hurt and i expect to see at least 4 or 5 leave this summer..Like i have said in earlier posts if at all wenger has done something over the past few years..it is over-achieve…

    and the moaners please something a bit more creative than ” in arsene we rust” its frankly pathetic, childish and boring

  263. I saw that Dups. Very interesting.

  264. How much to sign Phil Dowd?

    Just kidding! Kind of.
    Benzema eh?

    Hmmmmm……..I remember hearing the manager play more then the usual straight batted forward defensive towards the hacks when asked about this player in the past.
    Interesting, very interesting.

  265. Pfft – it suddenly looks dodgy as they couldn’t even get the official Real Mad Twitter in that article.

  266. Seems Spanish TV got it from an unofficial source.

  267. Ah well.

    Following on from another thread over the last week:
    Did Arsenal not play ‘two up’ a fair few times in the 07-08 season?
    With Fabregas playing in a four in midfield? Hleb and Rosicky either side ahead of the unmentionable one.
    Occasionly we’d see Eddy on the left, but only a few times, and not often for ninety minutes. My memory may be a little hazy, but here are some goals:

  268. Would be a typical Wenger signing though – if a little on the pricey side.

  269. Big Al ~~ it would depend on who went the other way I suppose.

  270. Going to be a loooooooooooong close season.

  271. Ah, I get you. So you think they’ve got their eyes on Jens Lehmann?

  272. Djourou is virtually responsible for the last 5 defeats almost single handedly. Penalties, mistakes and terrible marking. Lets get rid of him please. He has been a disaster. In his place we need someone who will command the back 4 and knows where to place himself. And if we are going to have a nipper in goal to tell him as well, although I would get a new one of those also.
    We have scored plenty of goals this season against everyone. It is time to learn how to defend Sagna – great, Clichy -class, Koscielny- needs a leader. Not just Vermaelen we need another one. Please

  273. It was a bit windy yesterday. All the corner flags pointing in different directions. Still next week will be better. We get to punch the living shit out of a bunch of marchers.

  274. what a despicable creature you really are Frank…

  275. Crawl back into your hole, SUGA3, the sun has risen

  276. Frank,
    lol. You are by far the most entertaining poster I’ve seen an any blog anywhere. On the one hand an obviously intelligent albeit pompous person, and on the other a petty cyber bully with a penchant for posturing and making empty violent threats. Add to that your occasional manic mood swings…

    Always look forward to reading you men. Keep it up

  277. I am singular and some of us are women

  278. Anyone whose heroes are twats from barca can move on.

    I want our players heroes to be ones from the past or Arsenal players

  279. So even Bendtner doesn’t get why he is played on the right wing. It makes very little sense and there are more than a few other more sensible option one feels. Why does Wenger do it? It’s just one of the things that make you question Arsene’s tactical judgement.

    I mean how do you put one of your best headers of the ball (who scored vital goals by being in the box last season) out on the wing to cross to noone (most of the time)? I would laugh at any other coach that attempts it but because its Wenger I try to see if there is some method to the madness.
    I can’t find any and not even Bendtner can it seems.

    I was watching the Liverpool game yesterday and at the end Daglish singled out Steve Clarke for glowing praise. I never heard Wenger speak in that way about Pat Rice and now kinda understand why people have been calling for more dynamic and capable assistant. Someone who will work directly with the players and implement the managers vision for the team.

    I fear how it will look if ALL we do is splurge out for 1 or 2 big signings without addressing the coaching issue.

  280. If Bendtner goes, I have a feeling this could be a piece of business that might come back to haunt us.

  281. Is it bad to say nothing has changed in vision and philosophy, Arsenal remains on course, a season delayed, but that happens. Congatulations to ManU for the ‘workmanlike’ way they used their resources, and stamina in a long season. I’m quietly impressed and bored with that. We must improve defensive work rate, not just big men at the back, and we must take control of games, especially where we have the lead, or even a psychological ‘edge’. That’s all. The first is about hard graft. The second is about confidence, or rather ‘authority’, taking responsibility, which is different to strutting about after a blinding series of passes, which we have tended to do too often.

  282. LimparAssist

    “Someone who will work directly with the players and implement the managers vision for the team.” ?
    What do you think Pat Rice does at the club, Henristic?

    It’s very easy to blather hot air about someone not being ‘capable’ and ‘dynamic’ enough when you don’t know a blind thing about it. When you don’t know a blind thing about something, it’s very easy to assume the grass is greener elsewhere.

  283. LimparAssist

    And the reason Bendtner has found himself starting as an inside-right forward is a tall, Dutch drink of water, wears the number 10 shirt and scores or assists at a higher rate than anyone else in the land.

  284. I doubt many of us here know what Pat Rice’s role really incorperates, so nobody is in a position to lay any of the blame at his doorstep any different to anybody else on the staff at Arsenal.

    Dalglish mentioned Steve Clarke simply to be humble as they were asking him about the managers job.

  285. Bendtner will never have the role he wants at Arsenal, so I hope we get a nice jucy big bid for him from somebody.

  286. Mind you, I did wish that we had played with the same spirit and energy that Liverpool did.

  287. I’m still proud to be a gunner. I’m still happy to watch this team, still happy to watch this style. And I am more than happy to have Wenger at the helm indefinitely. So we have had another difficult season, with glimpses of what we can do few and far between. This does not mean we need to change our entire tactic and MO. We also don’t need a fucking clear out either. Granted a couple of choice winners could be injected, but no more.

    Chin up, stop bitching, keep the faith. It’s difficult and we are in a slump now but that’s football. There is only one winner in a league of twenty. We will win again. COYG!

  288. Alex Ice Cream

    els,

    Your complacent attitude and willingness to put up with the dross served up at time this season are a great example of what is wrong at Arsenal.

    Standard at the club have been allowed to slip and people like you put up with it.

    “We don’t need a clear out” That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a while. Its amazing how people delude themselves that a couple of players will cure our many ills.

  289. Sadly defeated by time this morning, no post today back on the morrow.

    YW

  290. Goonerandy,
    I really don’t think he was just being polite about Steve Clarke. I believe he really has had a major impact on Liverpool’s ‘resurgence’, and most scousers seem to agree with this. You have to consider that ‘Pool fans worship ‘King’ Kenny and wouldn’t share his glory with Clarke if they didn’t need to, especially as the man used to work for Chelsea (I think?).

  291. Henristic – Maybe, but that does not really relect on Pat Rice at all though. Arsene has never mentioned the board tea lady, but I am pretty sure she makes an excellent brew.

  292. Limpar,
    Relax men, I wasn’t slating Pat Rice. I have nothing but respect for the man, but he is about to retire anyway right? and we are clearly lacking something in the coaching department, right?
    So whats wrong with asking for a more dynamic and capable replacement? Someone who can make a more discernable impact on the team, the sort of which we are lacking and which many on this blog have been calling for? The sort of which the scousers now seem to have.

  293. Tea lady? What does she have to do with the team and our lack of consistency, attitude, etc? Are you saying Pat Rice has about as much influence as the tea lady? 🙂

  294. LimparAssist | May 10, 2011 at 9:57 am |

    “And the reason Bendtner has found himself starting as an inside-right forward is a tall, Dutch drink of water, wears the number 10 shirt and scores or assists at a higher rate than anyone else in the land.”

    So you really think that the best way to accommodate Bendtner in a team with RvP is to play him on the wings?

  295. Consolsbob, just shows what a little run can do for the confidence. Shame Arshavin’s penalty at Sunderland wasn’t given, that we couldn’t take one of our gazillion chances against Blackburn and that the ref didn’t blow up when the game was up against that lot, else our dry run of draws that in essence conceded the league – would’ve been a winning run and we’d have seen two very different performances in our last two home games I’d wager. All about confidence.

    Henristic, very relaxed thanks, just that whenever I see Pat Rice working he looks very dynamic and very capable. You’d be hard pressed finding someone as passionate about our club as he is. But by all means call for whoever you like.

    Bendtner sometimes starts on the right of a front three. That is not playing ‘on the wing’. He was nowhere near the right wing on Sunday. He was in the middle and on the left. And even when he is there, usually when he comes on for Walcott, the number of times he ‘crosses the ball’ at all is fractional. He operates out there for us, as against Blackburn, as another forward, giving width to passing moves, he’ll always cut in, he’ll get himself in the box… where he should’ve killed the game against Blackburn right in front of goal on the end of two good crosses.

  296. Ye-arp!

    As we can see from the link above, way back in the 07-08 season Bendy was playing all over the place, right, left, centre. All over the shot. Eduardo on the left once in a while. That team was, as we say in N.London, propa rubbish. And wtf was Bendy doing with that pass to someone in the build up to the second goal against BBB.
    For fucks sake, I’ve been saying for years now. Arsenal need to play with a honourable, right orthodox whinger. If I can see it, why can’t Pat Rice.

    What is going on?

  297. Sorry, cb, last two away games. The last home game was dandy.

  298. Henristic – they all have their role in the big machine 😉

  299. Limpar – Bendtner himself has said he does not like playing wide right. It is true that he can get into the box, but if in that position he has to provide width which stops him getting in the box as much as he (and we) would like.

    He is a central striker. As long as we play the current formation he will never be our No1 central striker. He will leave.

  300. Yogi, your posts are like medication. Miss it once and you’re on depression!

  301. Benzema? Can’t see it. If we bring in anyone it’ll be a forward who is comfortable on the outside of our front three. But then we have a few of those.

    Bendtner. Not sure how authentic the quotes are but he needs to pipe down if they are true. VP was patient at that age when he was not first choice. It’ll happen for him unless he continues with the Adebayor-type attitude. He needs to appreciate that being played out of position once in a while is good for his all-round game. And Barca, seriously? How many games does he think he’ll get in a team that doesn’t use a target man at all.

  302. To be fair to him, he was asked if he could play for anybody who would it be. He was not saying he wants to leave and go to Barca. Cheeky reporting there I think.

    I can see him going somewhere like Munich though. He would do well over there.

  303. I wouldn’t be surprised if he left, goonerandy. But whoever were to replace him would have to offer more than just old fashioned white line wing-play. Just as Bendtner is asked to offer more than just be a central striker. He’s a useful boy to have around so I hope he stays and fulfills his potential.

  304. ‘Ello, Fins. Put this in your pipe and listen to it… summer’s almost here.

  305. Actually Benzema looks to operate wide quite a bit from the few videos I’ve been watching. Not sure Real would sell unless it’s as part of a swap deal with one of our forwards plus cash…

    Still, I hope Bendtner stays but only if he really wants to work hard and fight for a place.

  306. Limpar – I sort of agree. Him and Chamkh offer us very similar qualities, and whilst neither is likely to be 1st choice it makes sense that one of them leaves. Bentdner ws never going to settle for being a squad player in the long term, however I don’t think he will ever be more than that with us.

  307. andy, I actually think he has the quality to be one of the very best in years to come. He has had the best schooling there is and is still young. He just lacks patience and that could be what determines if he stay with us and becomes a legend or not.

  308. Markus – Fair one, personally I don’t rate him as highy as you. He is a good player, but for me lacks application. I don’t think he will ever be a legend for us even if he stays.

  309. Very fair points Limpar.

    Should still be fighting though, what are the scousers playing for or Stoke for that matter.

  310. Rather than disappointed, I have been surprised we didn’t win the EPL by a good 4 points (game in hand) this season. It’s a different emotion. Statistics will explain 90% of the reasons, rather than nonsense about Pat Rice, and the story is more simple than imagined. I like to keep things simple. We have been a little short (about 8-10 goals) on goal-scoring, through the wings (Arshavin) and mid (Cesc). We have been a little less than fully effective in hounding the opposition off the ball, (especially when we have the ascendancy) and space and jolting goals have resulted, ruining the momentum. Add a few mistakes and you have third place. No single player is at fault although Ashavin and Cesc must put up their hands. Both missed enough sitters in drawn matches to keep the momentum and hand us the title, as did Rosicky for a spell. Both looked out of sorts and frustrated.

  311. Zim – Mainly we have thrown too many points away from winning positions. That is why we have cocked up this season.

  312. CB. the scousers are trying to get that 4th place.

  313. And we are meant to be finishing at least 3rd.

  314. I don’t think they will manage that dups.

    They are playing for pride.

  315. CB – Stoke players had to make their case for a start in the FA Cup final so that maybe explains their good performance.

    Liverpool, maybe just the fact that pressure is off and they are playing with freedom. Unlikely to finish anywhere but 5th now.

  316. Sorry, but I feel justifying a lack of motivation is kind of scraping the barrel. Apart from the fact that the team should be motivated for every match, the history of this fixture last season and the booing of Ramsey from the 1st minute should have been motivation enough.

  317. Flippin’ ‘eck Limpar.

    Stonkingly good.
    I’ve been listening to some classics this morning:

  318. Keysersoze – Agreed 100%. People constantly looking for excuses. The issues with the team are there for all to see, and have been for some time.

    Judging by Arsene’s recent comments I think (and hope) that he is now accepting these flaws in the side and is going to rectify them in the summer

  319. My guy Schwarzer and Fulham had a tough game at Anfield yesterday. However if you look at his body of work for the last 3 years he has been incredibly steady and one of the top 5 – 6 GK in the league. He is not in the EVDS or Cech level but certainly in the next tier and he has maintained that status despite being completely unsettled last summer which says a lot. That certainly trumps one bad game by a country mile.

    IMO having someone with his experience and consistency and ability to organize a defense might do us a world of good. The fact that he is at the point in his career where he would be willing to step down in a year or 2 and would not cost that much are bonuses. Not getting him last year was one of the turning points in the season.

  320. Bill – To be honest, with the emergence of Szchezny GK is the least of our problems in the summer. Fair enough he is not proven yet, but he looks to be the real deal. I do agree about needing somebody to organise the defence though, and hope that should we sign a CB this will be one of his assets. It is certainly something the manager should be looking at.

  321. The Schwarzer ship has sailed – he would have been good to get Almunia out the door last summer. Now Almunia will be gone anyway and Chezzer has shown himself capable (same to a lesser degree with Fabianski) So now we are looking to go with Chez or Fabz as 1 and 2 or buy a top class keeper to keep them both benched – and Schwarzer isnt that keeper. Personally id stick with Chezzer and spend monies on a striker and midfield general

  322. GoonerAndy:

    I disagree. Chezzer clearly has a huge potential but I think we need to give him another year or 2. What Arsenel needs in the back is a “steady Eddie” type GK who can be another assistant coach and organizer on the pitch. I can’t see a 20 year old doing that. $ 4 – 6M on someone like Schwarzer is not even a gamble. You know what you are getting and is not costly enough to stop us from strengthening the squad elsewhere. Fabianski would be my 2nd choice but I’m still not sure which woocash we might get. The one who was good for about 10 games this year or the one from the year before. Gomes was arguably the best GK in the league for much of last year and look whats happened this year. With Schwarzer at least you know what you are getting and I think he gives us the best chance to win next year without the risk.

  323. Bill – Fair one, but we will have to agree to disagree in this case mate. Unless we were to bring in a top notch keeper, I think Szchezny should stay as No1. We have more pressing area’s to strengthen than GK.

  324. LimparAssist

    Lovely, Finsbury. I love that album.
    —-
    Bill, your Schwarzer fetish was a bit strange last summer. Considering the season he’s had, it is now officially beyond weird. Whatever you may imagine him to be, a ‘Steady Eddie’ he is not.

  325. Wouldn’t be against an experienced goalkeeper per se, Bill, but I don’t think Schwarzer is it.

  326. LimparAssist

    I think Koscielny is title winning first choice centreback material. He needs to work on communication – which is natural summer homework for someone approaching their 2nd season, would’ve thought. TV5 will help him. His performances against Rooney, Messi, Villa, Xavi, and Tevez were world class. I think a centreback pairing of Vermaelen and Koscielny will win us the league. I think people are harsh on Squillaci, but for the sake of stronger competition and to add to the already classy rotation we have in Djourou, then another gifted centreback would strengthen the squad. Who that would be is anyone’s guess.

  327. they got lost in choke street around end of February maybe look there, so much promise in a season and again nothing

  328. Limpar:

    We all have our opinions. Other then a bad game yesterday Schwarzer has had another good season. The boss clearly liked him last year and he has done nothing this year to change that so he must be pretty good.

    Andy:

    In truth, I agree that there are more pressing needs but I think spending the kind of money to bring in Schwarzer would not stop us from doing the other things we need. $5M is not pocket change but hopefully would not stop us down from doing other business this summer. I hope against hope that the rumours that we are going to spend our first $11M on 2 teenagers (Oxlade-Chamberlin and Jenkins) are not true.

    The bottom line is that Schwarzer coming here is probably not going to happen but like everything we do on the blog its fun to talk about.

  329. Fact that Lehman was on the bench for our last few games whilst Szczesny started might indicate that the Boss doesn’t necessarily think experience in a goalkeeper is the most important thing either.

    LA, Bartley has been impressive on loan, might be good shout for fifth-choice CB. Tall and quick. Get him involved in the league/FA cups anyway.

  330. Szczęsny is a better goalkeeper than Schwarzer.

  331. Maybe Schwarzer had a good season but not as good as Szczęsny.

    Schwarzer has had more blunders than our youngster mind you, yesterdays match was not his only poor outing at all.

  332. Some interesting stuff today in Arseblog. I have always thought he was a good proxy for the “fan in the middle” somewhere between the LeGrovers and the hard core “AKB’s”. Probably reflects pretty well what the “average fan” might think.

    “We’ve spoken often about competition for places being crucial in football, but what happens at most clubs is that serial under-performers not only find themselves out of the team, they find themselves transfered elsewhere. Wenger’s idea of developing a young team that grows up together means that threat has rarely been present. It has allowed this culture of complacency to develop and take root. It’s endemic and it’s reflected in results.

    And complacency is all it can be. If current first team members are talking in 2008 about issues that still exist now, and have contributed to a further season in which we really should have won something, then what else can it be? There’s no real desire to put it right. Either that or we lack the ability to put it right and I don’t know which is more worrying. Either way, players need to know that lack of effort, lack of focus, willingly not doing what they’re being told, will have consequences.

    And not just the sit on the bench until the inevitable injury list means you can stroll back into the team kind. No. The ‘Thanks for everything, here’s a cheese sandwich, goodbye’ kind. And maybe that ruthlessness might have an impact on the rest. A plaintive phone call from a recently departed teammate about how life outside the palatial splendor of Arsenal might make some of them realise just how good they’ve got it here.

    “There was nobody to butter to my toast, *weeps*”

    “My God. I’m going to put in the effort against the likes of Stoke now!”

    All jokes aside however, something’s got to give. I don’t see a change of manager as realistic this summer so changes in personnel are all we’ve got. That means players and staff but maybe the most important change could be that of Arsene’s attitude towards the players. He must feel, regardless of what he says in public, that they’ve let him down. How can he listen to what Sagna says about not putting in the maximum effort and not feel that way?

    The question is: can he change his ways? Can he do what’s necessary to make the squad stronger and better? It doesn’t just involve buying new players, it doesn’t just involve getting a new number 2 and perhaps a defensive coach, a big part of it must involve ridding the club of the culture which has taken hold over the last few years. Ultimately it’s his fault as he’s indulged it. Maybe it’s completely naive to expect him to change so much but it’s necessary.

    That old saying about ‘give him an inch and he’ll take a mile’ rings true about some of these players. Arsene needs to take that back and put some of them in their place.

  333. Hey guys what do u think:
    How many current Arsenal players would get into the Invincibles squad. Vote here:

    http://delhigunner.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/current-squad-has-potentialinvincibles-had-pe

  334. Bill the years best post so far

  335. LimparAssist

    Schwarzer has looked creaky whenever I’ve seen him. Creaky and hesitant. He doesn’t like the new balls. Szcezsney on the other hand has had a breakthrough season, and seems to relish the new ball.

    Watch a great old keeper warm up with a great young keeper (some good examples in our current pool) and believe me, within ten minutes, no matter what the old keeper has achieved in his career – you will want the young keeper in goal for you that day. The speed and flight and bounce of the new ball has made athleticism 9 tenths of the law. Canny positioning and organisation are improving all the time with Szcesney and Fabianski. Getting to the ball and stopping a shot will only get harder for an older keeper. Why is Hart preferred to Given?

    I actually think Sczesney is already better than both of those two goalkeepers – but as you say, it’s all opinions.

  336. Arseblog’s comments today say much better then I can about what I feel is the real Troof about what happened this year. No way to know for sure but a lot of what he says ring true IMO.

  337. Shubhamgoel

    It would help if you knew the goalkeeper for the Invincibles was Lehmann and not Seaman!!!!!

  338. LimparAssist

    Young keepers are the future. The days of forty year old battle cruisers like Neville Southall and Mark Crossley keeping everything out are gone, for better or for worse.

    We’ve done the hard work blooding a couple of classy young keepers and they’ve proved themselves up to the task playing in huge games. You back them now, just like Real Madrid did with Cassilas, just like Buffon at Parma.

    Buying in above them now is the last thing we should do.

  339. Limpar:

    Agree that Szcz probably has more talent then the other 2 you mentioned and will be our keeper long term. Not sure he is ready yet and I think we need to think about winning next year and not 2 – 3 years from now. We already have a very young defense and as you said yesterday in one of your comments he still has a lot to learn.

    Realistically I do not expect a GK to come in this summer and I hope we start with Woocash in goal. My expectation is that chezzer will be #1 so I hope it works out for the best next year.

  340. LA
    You surely are not naive enough to believe that if Almunia and Fabianski had not got injured Szczesny would have started a league game this season.You only have to remember some of the posts at the start of the season,YW included who said we made the right choice not to sign a keeper because Almunia was playing so well!!!!!
    Szczesny was even talking about leaving unless he got some game time.What short memories we have

  341. Agree we got to back the 2 poles in goal now. We have gone through the bother of blooding them and both have come through to one extent or another. Buy a keeper and knock them both back might be the breaking of them. Backing them might just be the making of them a la Casillas/Buffon

  342. LimparAssist

    For goalkeepers, circumstance will often have a big say in when they get their chance. It’s up then to a great goalkeeper to take it. To AW’s eternal credit we have scouted ourselves a pool of not one but two great young goalkeepers who were ready and did take their opportunity. To the point where one of them, and it could be either, will be Arsenal’s number 1 next season.

  343. You are right there Martin, Szczesny might not have got the chances he had of the other 2 wernt injured. However you have to agree he has taken his chance. And taken it sooner and more confidently than Fabianski in the 2 seasons before him. Such things are careers made of. Just look at Ashley Cole – he was on the verge of being sold when the issues with Silvinhos passport cropped up. So we kept him, gave him a chance and he took it. Szczesny looks like hes done that. Fabianski could have been our no1 and ousted Almunia last season and also this – except he fluffed his lines too often, before finally getting some right – and apart from the injury he may have finished up as our no1

  344. Good discussion about the position of keeper. I am of the opinion that Arsenal now have their first choice keeper for the next 10 years in Szczesny, and a capable backup in Fabianski. For me the debate is ended. I absolutely think we are capable of winning the league with Szczesny, who I think will only get better and better. He has the right attitude to call people out, he’s big and athletic, and he is fearless.
    Bill, good post earlier. I think the attitude about complacency is a natural offshoot of trying to “build” a team with young players. It is an experiment you have to stick to for multiple years in order to see if it will pay off or not. Because of that you are required, I think, to keep playing people whether they are on form or not simply because they are so young that you can’t really tell how they will develop until they find their own level of consistency, or not. This takes time and that time is what everyone seems to get on Wenger’s back about. Fans and supporters want results immediately, for the most part, yet immediate results only come with very young players once or twice a generation (e.g. Cesc, Rooney, Casillas) and it takes 11 to make the ball go round. Unfortunately when most of your first XI are players that are so young they have yet to find their consistent level stubbornness is required of a manager who stays true to his plan. This is why, in my opinion, Wenger has done what he has done. He had a plan, he realized that it would take years of stubbornness to implement it, he implemented it, and now he seems to be realizing that the plan needs some tinkering. This is both the mark of a good manager and a smart one; someone who realizes that it takes insulating young players from the a-holes who demand immediate results by telling them that the club will have patience for them but someone who also is willing to adapt. I would argue that Wenger has reached the stage in the plan where he knows adaptation is needed, that his original plan has not worked as he wanted it to, and so he will adapt.
    One last point, all those who would like to see Wenger go please ask yourself what a realistic league target would be for a new manager and then ask yourself if we could finish higher than that with Wenger.

  345. The biggest mistakes from a personnel standpoint this year was to start this season with a GK the boss did not trust as our #1. Its pretty clear that he did not trust Almunia. If he had really thought Fabianski was ready he would have started him from the beginning. I don’t think we need the next coming on Buffon in goal but our keeper needs to be reliable and in retrospect we started the season with a huge question mark in goal. Not exactly the best way to challenge for trophies.

  346. Spot on Bill – but now it seems by a combination of luck (Chezzer has swum and not sank / Fabz seems to have dragged himself out of the doubting of his abilities phase thats dogged him for a while) and judgement (to have scouted and brought them to the club as youngsters) we may have our no1 and no2 keepers for years to come.

  347. Disagree that Fabianski made more mistakes than Szczesny. It’s all about perception. When Fabianski and Almunia make mistakes they hang their heads, leaving fans in no doubt that it was their fault. Szczesny doesn’t and has supreme confidence in himself, like Lehmann. He’s made his fair share of mistakes but he doesn’t blame himself, and so neither do the fans.

    Take the Spurs game. He should have done better for their first two goals and then conceded the penalty, but after the game he was speaking to the press and seemed happy with his performance.

    Not dissing him, I think he has what it takes. Just saying that personality counts for keepers. Maybe that’s what we need. Almunia was a great keeper but his confidence was shot when the media and some fans lost faith in him. A strong personality is perhaps what’s needed.

  348. Does it matter how a player gets their chance?

  349. We need all the strong personalities / characters we can get in this team. That seems to be a major flaw in the team no matter how Wenger goes on about ‘great mental strength’ – yes all well and good bouncing back from poor games when the big boys roll into town – but where was that same attitude/application/character during the stoke/newcastle/west brom games

    We have a few strong characters but we need more

  350. The team has to become more workman like and less emotional.
    If we played defense every match like how we played against Barcelona we would be unstoppable with these same players. If the team can get up for the big matches they can do it for all, its a matter of not overhyping one match and then being overconfident for others.

    The team is complacent, VERY talented but complacent, there is no doubt about it in my mind.

  351. The players are strong characters but they are selective with it.

  352. Not sure that football can bear this level of scrutiny. Not enough information. Not from the outside. Never could be.

  353. cbob..liverpool are playing for dalgliesh…
    there is pride at stake, as well as a hint of 4th if they are lucky..
    but they are playing for their manager more than anything..

    from our point of view, if you watch football long enough you start to know when a certain team has passed its shelf life..and this squad has gone as far as it can go..

    wenger is the man who has dismantled squads after they have won something..he has not been afraid in the passed to sell key players after winning trophies…he dismantled the invincibles straight away…i hope hes still that man cos this squad needs a shake up and it needs it now and it shouldnt be a problem cos they havent won anything…

    players need to come in but players also need to go..a culture has developed at the club..and its deep rooted..wenger has allowed it to go on for too long so hes got his work cut out this summer…

  354. Once a gooner always a gooner

    This is the funniest Arsenal blog I have ever read. One mug spout some bullshit and all the other mugs agree to it. How old are you guys?

  355. Once a gooner always a gooner

    If Wenger calls it a day, would you start supporting Spuds?

    Or the Manures

  356. LimparAssist

    Completely disagree, JonJon. The squad has shown they can beat anyone. That should show you they are close.

  357. The Invincibles is not the same situation at all though JJ. They were getting past it and due to Chelsea changing the transfer market Arsenal had to take a different approach.

    How is it that this squad has gone as far as it could go when it took a poor ref decision to stop much of the progess? As it stood we were 30 minutes away from beating the best.

    This team to me has a bright future ahead, its just that most of us (including me) felt that they were ready now. I would love to see this team stick together and I am sure they would accomplish great things.

    I am sure some players will go and some will come and thats no problem but the core players we have are as good as most in my opinion.

    Its for them to believe and stay the course and they will be rewarded.

  358. “They tell me [Man City] have got one or two players signed already [for next season] who’ll blow your brains out”

    – Happy Harry.

    It is reassuring to see how well the scum have done with approximately double Arsenal’s budget over the last few years. Shall I mention citeh?
    All those players they have must have no heart.
    No desire.
    Just pure unrefined gr*t.

  359. I agree with LA afterall!

    This team is close!

  360. limpar
    thats just papering over the cracks
    the squad can beat anyone, but what you forget to add is that they can lose to anyone as well..

    the mentality is wrong…wenger has beaten the mental strength drum for months and weve won 3 games in 3 months…
    no mental strength whatsoever..

    just alot of pampered players, alot of unhappy players…a squad that doesnt play for the manager or the fans and a squad that is clueless at set pieces…

  361. paul
    weve got too much baggage now…you can just tell the club has something rotten at the core…

    weve had the same problems for years and wenger protected them and rewarded them and now they dont give a shit…

    we are so close..but we are so far..wenger has a squad of egos, outspoken players and pampered babies and none have them have won anything…
    the dressing room is going down the pan, they are not listening or they are not bothered or they are not good enough and we need to pull those weeds out..

  362. Rotten is far too strong a word.

    I have seen clubs that are rotten, that is not this Arsenal.

    Complacency does seem to be a valid explanation for our problems though.

    A clear out is required. How many players? I don’t know.

    A change of culture is perhaps a better way of putting what we need.

  363. Once a gooner always a gooner

    Out: Almunia, Diaby,Denilson, Squillaci,Bendtner, Chamakh
    If not
    Wenger should resign,than being a parasite,sucking on the club’s money

    If he makes the necessary signings,then we will be genuine challengers next season.

  364. Paul:

    Our record vs. the top 5 teams in the league this year and Barca is 4 – 5- 4 with 16 scored and 18 conceded. Not exactly stellar stuff. Our record for the last 3 years against the best teams is absolutely abysmal. This year we were 2 – 3 with a GD of -2 against the worst Chav and Manc teams we have seen in several years. Our win against Chav’s could be easily explained by their terrible run of form when we played them. The Manc win explained by it coming between the CL semifinal games and the fact that we were no longer a real threat to them. Hard to see that there is anything in our record this year that indicates we are on the cusp of greatness. I agree that the biggest problem is between the players ears but arguing that all will be cured with a small attitude adjustment and there is no need to upgrade personnel is probably not supported by the record.

  365. JJ, the players are not intentionally not trying to play hard, I just think they dont know how to balance things out.

    I dont believe something sour is going on, it feels this way becuase the season hasnt ended well.

    Every season has not been the same though it seems that way.

    Last season we were skin and bones at the end of the season, we had the Eduardo injury another season that the team couldnt get over and this year to me it was some terrible calls that did our confidence in – we had too many bad things happen in a row.

    When “people” are young it takes longer for them to get over certian things. My hope is that we can learn how to fight and not let things get us down. In that the team attributed to their own demise.

    There is more than meets the eye to our situation over the past few years. The problem is mental but to say that players cannot get over mental hurdles is not owe that I am willing to share with you at this point.

    I certainly dont attribute it to this pampered overpayed thing you are on about. At the end of the “people” want to win and win big and if they lose their pride is hurt, thats human nature for the most part.

  366. LA
    This team has also done the impossible.To throw away a 4-0 lead with 20mins to go.No team in any league in the world can ever win the league if it cant hold on to a 4 goal lead
    I bet you were saying the same thing last season,This team is as far away as winning the title as ever
    And this was the poorest premiership since it began.I know a couple of Utd fans who cant believe how this Utd team has won the title having played so poorly

  367. youve put me right cbob..
    i may have thrown ‘rotten’ about too loosely..

    change of culture is whats needed..

  368. Finsbury @2:02pm…. Fuck me what a tune, great memories of being single, nice one.

    Benzima would be just the tonic I feel with either Chamak or Bendy making way. David Dein on the other hand would be priceless, he would ensure a marquee signing or 2.

  369. Bill , Barca scored 2 goals when were a man down. That is the problem with just stating numbers, they dont have the full truth.

    What was our record against big clubs last season?

    We did not beat Chelsea, United neither Barcelona last season however this season we didnt just best them but rather handily to be honest.

  370. Change of culture? How the fuck do you do that then?

  371. “A change of culture is perhaps a better way of putting what we need.”

    Exactly CBob, in the past we were quiet forgiving because the team was young, there was no money, the new stadium, etc. This has to stop now, the mentality have to change, expectations have to be raised and winning must be everything. I think those players learned a lot of other things and how to play beautiful football, but now it’s time to learn that Winning is just as important if you play for Arsenal. If they can’t play beautiful and win, then they still have to win, it just doesn’t matter how.

    I would like also for players to stop saying to the Media we have to win this game or that game and then lose. I would like them to stop telling the media we have to be tough, mean, nasty, and all that crap. Just shut up and play, your results will speak for themselves.

    If the Captain doesn’t trust his Manager and would like to speak to the media instead, he should just go wherever he wants to go and leave us alone. Only people who are committed now and for the future are needed, the ones who “were” committed in the past are not.

    I think Wenger protected those players and stood there in front of every one taking one stinging slap on the face after the other for years. It’s time now to throw some under the proverbial bus Wenger, for the sake of saving the rest.

  372. who do you guys want to win tonight between city and spurs??

  373. The fact is you have to keep on going. Do what you believe in. Trouble is some of you people don’t believe anymore. Might take another two or three years, what are you going to do then? March?

  374. Well said Bill
    I keep reading on here what a great Arsenal team this is and what brilliant players we have but we are going to finish behind the worst Utd and Chelsea teams for many years.So many Gooners just ignore the facts and swallow what Wenger and .com feed them.We havent won a title for 7 years and any trophy for a reason we are not good enough

  375. Jesus. What have you people become!

  376. Be tougher on the players perhaps, Frank. Less accepting of poor performance and repeated mistakes.

    That kind of change.

    I accept that culture is a loaded word open to misconception. However, it’s just shorthand.

    I’m sure that you know what I mean.

    G4E does.

  377. For me Fabianski should be #1 next season while Woijciech is groomed for the long term. Woijciech is on record that he believes Fabianski is the best goalkeeper at the club. Remember Vito Mannonne has not lost a match when he’s started for Arsenal. I think we are set in that position.

  378. LimparAssist

    I want to say Spurs, JonJon, but I’d be lying. I fucking hate Spurs.

    These players have shown they can be world class. Now they need to show they can do that consistently enough to win the league. Players will go, players will arrive – but not half as many as some are yammering about because you don’t chuck the baby out with the bathwater and you don’t spend years developing a team only to give up on it when it comes 2nd or 3rd in the toughest league in the world.

  379. I believe there is room for criticism but in that I believe we must still trust in the players we have for we have seen what they can accomplish when they are up for it – I believe the players will mature more. We also must trust Wenger to do what is necessary to get this team over the line, if that is by adding or subtracting, more training the so be it.

  380. I agree with LA again!

  381. I believe Frank.

    This could be the best Arsenal side for many years. It won’t get better though just through hope and age. It hasn’t so far and I would hate to see Arsene’s remaining time as manager lost and the potential of many players eroded by continued underperformance.

    These should be great days. Days when we show the world what Arsene has achieved. It should have been now. Country mile.

    Demonstrate. No. Not me. That’s for twats.

  382. id like to agree LA but i dont think its a baby anymore..and its not giving up..it gave up on itself…

    wenger said something had gone..
    and that gone wont come back if we stick to this squad…

  383. LimparAssist

    Exactly, Paul N.

    I also think that with the perspective summer brings we’ll see some tactical innovations, some aces up the sleeve to break through packed defences. Leave it to Arsene, Cesc, Nasri and the rest… students of Attack. They’ll cook something up! Pre-season is going to be fascinating.

    I liked the alley-oops we pulled off earlier in the season when traffic was impassable. That was quality!

  384. Yes Mr. Bob, I too believe this was our time to shine.

    I think age could make a difference since age usually brings wisdom by way of experience.

  385. For real LA! we did have some wonderful passes over the defense with some nice goals. I guess we have to learn to bait teams into coming out a bit more.

  386. “wenger said something had gone..”

    I think he was referring to one game, not a lifetime JonJon.

    If he said “All is gone” I would be worried.

  387. I feel we have to strengthen in order to just stay in the top 4 next season let alone challenge for shit. The Utd will not go a second summer so quietly, Citeh will throw silly amounts around again, Chelsea will also & I ‘d be surprised if they have another 2 month blip next year like this season ( which is really why we had second for so long) . Liverpool will also add a couple more even if they can’t afford it and the Spuds might have no Europe at all to worry about so can concentrate on their league position .

    We simply must strengthen wisely.

  388. something just doesnt ‘go’..

  389. 400th yippee!

  390. It’s degrees, isn’t it?

    No one here is saying that the whole team must go. Changes in the starting line up are needed and if they can’t come from the squad, they have to be brought in.

    Most of this squad will win medals with arsenal.

    Let’s not get silly with words.

  391. What Wenger is saying to me is that the confidence and belief has gone.
    Things always seem worse than they are initially.
    We need to slow down and allow things to settle.

  392. hear hear Mr. Bob!

  393. dont have time to settle paul..
    wherever they have gone on holiday they better come back cos theres 2 games left to play for 3rd..

  394. Well yes JJ.

  395. Frank it has come to the point where you get called out by some loser on the internet for having belief in the team you support.

  396. It is pointless trying to fathom the unfathomable. The blogosphere is inherently negative, a swimming pool for pessimists. There is no equivalent facility for optimists, principally because optimists don’t need crutches.

    The manager and the squad will work this out. The squad may well change, as it does every summer. We just keep going until it works.

    Disappointment? Of course, we are Arsenal, disappointment is our stock in trade. But because we are Arsenal we know that great times may be just around the corner. Not every corner by any means. I really connect with this squad because I share in their disappointment and I know they will figure it out.

  397. well said sir

  398. “The squad may well change, as it does every summer. We just keep going until it works. ”

    That’s the essence of it Frank, until it works.

    “But because we are Arsenal we know that great times may be just around the corner”.

    That’s what separates sensible people from the pessimists.

  399. Well said there Frank!

  400. Frank ~~ your 3 paragraphs that say exactly what I believe.

  401. 1 loose cannon

    The sSpuds had their fun while it lasted. No C.league next season and huge salaries to pay. One C.league in Rednapps’s entire career and all we hear he is a genius. what a farce. Wenger has keept us in it for 12 years in a row and on a shoe string budget and he get hammered in the press . I guess we do need to go one better but we can only judge Wenger when he has the funds available. as things are at the moment I think he has done a great job. Now give him the money Mr Kroenke and watch him rip the league into shreds next season.

  402. Pessimists need a certain environment to grow, we could’ve crushed half of them by winning the Tin Cup (That’s how weak they are) and the other half are just fake fans from other clubs (most likely are Spuds) who are feeding the media frenzy to unsettle Arsenal & Arsene.

    They spent tons of money, played in the CL for the first time in a 1000 years but still finished below us, they always will. Even in our worst times.

    We will crush the pessimists sooner or later, they are not really the problem though…We as a club and as a team can change all that by our strong resolve and the desire to prove every one wrong. That’s the attitude this team needs and it should be they only desire they have for the new season….proves that everyone was wrong, and the man who defended them for 6 years was right.

  403. Tony Adams Barber

    We are now in a fight for 3rd place.This is from a team who were after 4 trophies 6 weeks ago.Just unbelivable.Our pampered little babbies will have to put down the sun tan cream and work their butts off to gain us an automatic CL spot
    Ronaldo just scored his 48th goal of the season for Madrid.United really miss him dont they?.
    We havent finished above either of Man Utd and Chelsea for 6 years what makes anyone think that will change?
    Sadly there are too many people at the Emirates who are just happy to finish in the top 4.
    The AKB’s have got to wake up.As YW said games like the Stoke game are unacceptable but performances like that were too common during this season

  404. Good. Fuck Off Spurs.

  405. CBob @ 7:34:

    Complacency mixed with a loss of confidence which has been partly brought on by the results of the complacency. I think and they feed into each other. I am with you that pruning the squad (not dimantling) and adding some significant new players is the first step. It will improve the squad and help with the attitude adjustment. I doubt there is a realistic chance to get the needed cultural adjustment without some significant player movement out and in. Ultimately the boss is going to have to deal with whatever cultural anomalies have developed or we will be right back where we started.

  406. Tony Adams Barber

    1 Loose Cannon
    stop comparing us to those losers down the road.You should be comparing us to United not a two bob club like the Spuds.What is the point in comparing Wenger with the Twitcher compare him to Ferguson

  407. Stop comparing us to anybody…there is no one like A R S E N A L.

  408. Frank is so damn masterful. I would only add this. To achieve what Wenger is attempting, which is the bravest of all, and the requires not so much ‘total football’ as ‘total team’, requires that everything bit of the engine functions highly efficiently, if not superbly. And we have all seen what happens when this happens (Man City demolition, perhaps, or Chelsea demolition etc). If one bit is off kelter, the other bits look cumbersome, misfire, and the whole goes awry. This is not a one-tactic team, not a one-dimensional machine. This goes as much for confidence as for tactics. Wenger has spoken about this ‘balance’, which is the true art of this style of football. Fathoming and unfathomable, as Frank says, is quite impossible without all the facts; we have perhaps one-third of facts at our disposal. I come back to my own thesis which revolves around two players, Arshavin and Fabgregas. I would ask their goals v/ attempts ratio, and their assist ratio, at different times in the season. I would probably conclude that for Arsenal to succeed, Cesc must play high up, as a mid-striker link, and this creates the balance. He is not the pivot, at least not in the way we think; he has a striker’s mentality, it is not his job to contain. That for this to succeed left and right attacking players have to defend effectively in tandem with Song, or Diaby, who are commonly left exposed. That opposition attacks must be driven into the middle of the park. That when this doesn’t happen, shit happens. That we give away goals, not in the box, but in midfield areas where defending is most effective. Arshavin was a gamble, a ‘luxury player’ if you like. Nasri on the left has not been an adequate answer, he is much more effective on the right. There are some questions of balance, not of complacency.

  409. Frank | May 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm |

    “It is pointless trying to fathom the unfathomable. The blogosphere is inherently negative, a swimming pool for pessimists. There is no equivalent facility for optimists, principally because optimists don’t need crutches.

    Nice sound bite, but on closer inspection makes no sense whatsoever. Are you one of the pessimists who need crutches?
    Is Yogi not an optimist? I’m pretty sure there are a few other optimistic blogs out there as well. Not just for Arsenal or even just football, but for every other life activity imaginable.
    Or perhaps your meaning of optimist is someone who never tries to critically evaluate anything no matter the circumstance? Because I’m pretty sure, most people on here believe in the long term prospects of The Arsenal. They just aren’t quite sure of the short term ability of this particular squad to deliver trophies, or at least perform consistently at the level required to do so.

    The manager and the squad will work this out. The squad may well change, as it does every summer. We just keep going until it works.

    Completely agree with the second sentence. What else is there to do? Its the possible nature of such changes that I and many others are discussing.

    Until this season I would have agreed unreservedly with the first sentence as well. But Arsenes self-confessed befuddlement with the causes of our below par performances has given me some cause for concern. I really do hope that he still has it in him to do what it takes.

  410. im with Frank. he always sounds sane.

  411. You are a mean spirited fool, Henristic

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