Shared Responsibility & All The Links In The Transfer Chain

The takeover of Arsenal came back into focus with reports of Red & White Holdings being prepared to offer £14k per share. It smacks of a fit of pique by Usmanov, told by KSE to “talk to the hand ‘cos the face ain’t listening“, the Americans would rather he spoke to their lawyers.

The offer to independent shareholders is contradictory to Usmanov’s previous statements. Higher purchase prices than the AST might be able to offer is a strategy designed to eliminate them from the market, at the same time as thwarting Kroenke. Hardly a ringing endorsement of plurality of ownership in the club.

KSE are no better. They have not made any attempt to engage supporters by presenting their vision for the club. They might believe that the time is not right because of the manner of the season’s close on the pitch but silence is not golden in these circumstances. It does nothing to allay suspicions about their intentions.

The time has come for blandishments to cease and genuine plans revealed.

It was light(ish) relief as the summer shenanigans have begun in earnest. New York, London, Paris, Munich, everybody talks about whom Wenger is going to sign. There’s some potential for lyrics there, might need a bit of work though.

Karim Benzema is on his way! No sooner have United spent £18m on a goalkeeper than Arsenal are at it with a £35m striker. There is a touch of the Philippe Mexes about it all, a player constantly linked to Arsenal and frankly summer just isn’t summer without it.

Deemed surplus to requirements by Jose Mourinho, nobody has told Florentino Perez the news of Benzema’s departure, or at least nobody employed by Real. Someone did mention it in passing a matter of seconds before receiving the Spanish equivalent of a P45.

There is no reason to believe that a signing is imminent. A strong signing by United is feeding the desire for change at Arsenal, desire that manifested as chanting at Craven Cottage last Sunday. It shows the depths to which belief in Arsenal has sunk in some quarters.

Arsenal is a club in dire need of some good news, a trip to the Far East is not going to leave anyone – bar those in that region – feeling any better.

Such a signing has not been Wenger’s style. Sol Campbell and Marc Overmars qualify as ‘big signings’ in terms of their stature in the game. Pires and Ljungberg had yet to achieve the elevated status they enjoyed during the Arsenal careers.

It is clichéd but Wenger has form in buying cheaper than his rivals. The club’s financial constraints are a path well-trodden but there is more to it than that.

His previous signings for large fees have not been successful, Wenger’s record as chequered as Ferguson’s. Reyes and Jeffers were to varying degrees, failures but they left a legacy. Wenger is wary of spending such big sums in part because of the risk, something his cautious nature will be averse to.

Those risks may be minimised with a player such as Benzema but not eradicated. His spell is Madrid has not set the world alight yet that is not due to a lack of ability. Something as simple as the wrong club at the wrong time explains it.

Will it happen? Media quotes from the manager mean nothing, actions are more important and with the transfer window a matter of days away, cynicism can be applied from here on in.

Karim Benzema is going to garner more sales / hits than a player from the Argentine with a dodgy Italian passport. The flip side is that if it does not arise, another stick is found with which to beat the manager.

If Benzema does not arrive, Falcao is hot favourite to be the one. £25m is a lot of money to pay for an ageing Brazilian midfielder but at 57 and if he remains fit, the former international will bring much-needed experience to the squad. No, wait, the Porto forward? For £25m? I think I prefer the Brazilian.

How is all of this funded? Well by curious coincidence the media seem to think that the sales of Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson, Abou Diaby, Carlos Vela, Emmanuel Eboue and Manuel Almunia will fund it all. Arshavin, Clichy and Sagna will make up any shortfall. You could not make it up.

In fact you don’t have to since most of that has already been done for you. My own guess is that John Cross just does not rate Diaby. Nor does he have a vivid imagination.

And if all else fails, Alex Song to Internazionale. For £10m. Or £15m if Arsenal ask nicely. That’s what we like to see. A bit of imagination with flexibility over the price.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 25, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 321 Comments.

  1. Early post. Couldnt you sleep YW?

  2. Had to look at the date twice

  3. I think Benzema would be an ace signing as long as we can fit him and RVP into an efficient system. From what I have seen of him playing for Real he is good both on and off the ball. He is also comfortable drifting wide every now and then, something that is essential in the fluid attacking formation we use.

  4. what these all bloody things….

    Who expect AW will sign big players or will spend big money. Some stupid people only expect this…..

    Wenger is not going to spend money as we finished fourth in the league.

    Maximum Fans can expect one big sign in Defense. That’s all.

    All stupid fans expect good quality players every summer and disappoint. This money making club and manager will not do anything…………

  5. “Viewed from the outside, it doesn’t seem impossible today. He’s a player that I like.

    “I think he’s intelligent in his movement, I think he is capable of combining well and making a difference, and of doing individual moves as well. So, for me he’s a player who’s at the top level in the world”

    How old are these quotes, I wonder..

  6. Silly season is upon us! *in case anyone hasn’t noticed*

  7. Northbank1969

    All these transfer rumours are really winding people up. You can see how it makes your mouth water with anticipation though. There is one blog site suggesting that Fabregas has already signed for Real Madrid and we have done the deal for Samba (apparently based on ‘insider’ information. This Alvarez thing is bloody annoying as well. At the end of the day, it’s best to wait and see what AW does, as you say, past experience makes him cautious and I don’t think that will change.

  8. I just heard on the grapevine that we will be signing C. Ronaldo! Apparently he is tired of all the direct comparisons with Messi, and is upset with Mourihno for playing negative football that unworthy of his regular 40+ goals per season haul. He still looks on the jersey Arsene gave him years ago with great longing and has now finally decided to act on that desire by joining the real club of his dreams.

    To fund the £107M transfer, we will be selling off all our players with names starting with the letters A-F. This includes players like Arshavin, Almunia, Diaby, Denilson and even Fabregas. Who needs all these players anyways if you can get 40 goals per season player? Also Wenger and Gazidis will be taking a 50% paycut to help pay for the £300 000/wk salary that Ronaldo will be on.

  9. Think Gervinho would be more suitable to our type of play than Benzema.we seem to forget that Arsenal needs an experienced Gk rather than a 20yr old who still has a lot to learn between the posts.a proven Gk above 28yrs if ever we are dreaming of pipping Man U to the title.a Gk who can command the the back four.we can do better employing Walcot as a striker and concetrate on finding wide players.

  10. Rambo Rocker

    we don’t need benzema right now.. 2 years back he was needed.
    Now the time has gone. Now we need to buy a player like Carton Cole and RVP playing just behind him..

  11. What do you call that young Brazillian guy who was in the world cup? That’s who we need!

  12. Carlton Cole? Are you serious? While we are at it why not sell RVP and buy Robbie Keane too?

    I don’t think we need a goalkeeper at this moment. Fabianski was our best keeper last season and he will get back the number 1 position with Szczesny as his deputy.

  13. “What do you call that young Brazillian guy who was in the world cup? That’s who we need!”

    Michel Bastos? It would have been easier if you had at least mentioned the position.

  14. Pretty aggressive posturing from Usmanov. Stan already has 63% so can’t really see the point of this move except that he’s just trying to get himself noticed. Surely Kroenke won’t ever consider selling to him at this point? If Red and White really wanted to own the club, they could have done a tried harder before Kroenke became majority shareholder?

    Hopefully there is some positive in all of this; the offer might prod KSE into becoming more proactive and forthcoming with their plans.

  15. Flapianski are you having a laugh! He is backup at best, remember Caroll at the emirates, I don’t want another season of shit teams pumping high balls into the box until he messes one up

  16. I think he means neymar!

    I agree with zim. We should forget about Benzema and get two winger-cum-strikers! That way we can have at least two strikers on the pitch at once in a fluid attacking system

  17. Flapianski, lol, Cole is a good idea, I believe V.Persie will be better utilized behind a target man. Denilson, bendtner, almunia, Clichy, arshavin are going, mark my words, Bendtner will be a fine striker one day! I can’t get a break with all this transfer talk!

    Gk- Shay Given (10 mil)
    CB- Mertesacker (10 mil) 1yr left on contract
    LB- most likely no one
    apparently alvarez and thats all folks, anymore activity beyond a keeper and CB will be a shock. Ashley young may come on a free
    (a keeper may be a shock as well)

  18. Regardless of who we might buy and sell this Summer, the worst news
    involves the ghastly visit to the Far East, with all that entails. The travel, the disease and the appalling heat…..all for the sake of money and alleged prestige. Only two games will be played. Wenger must be simmering at the waste of pre-season training time.
    The start of next season will doubtless be adversely affected by our post-Oriental sick list.

  19. And it’s not even June. Ah well roll on August.

    Entertaining read YW.

  20. It is time scientist developed a stasis room so the we could enter now and exit in August.

  21. Bloody hell, Nicky – they won’t be building the bridge on the river Kwai. The games will be played at a snail’s pace, and I’m sure many of the training sessions will take place indoors. Meanwhile they’ll be staying in luxury hotels and flying first class.

    I’ve been a big defender of the annual camp in Austria, but other clubs have been doing these tours for years, and they don’t appear to have affected sides like Manure and Chelsea (as much as I wanted them to).

  22. @Oneofus
    Hope you’re right, matey, but it only takes one crafty mozzie and his chums to inject our back four and we are in real trouble in the CL qualifier.

  23. Jeff / Ace

    You cheeky buggers.

    YW

  24. “…involves the ghastly visit to the Far East, with all that entails. The travel, the disease and the appalling heat”

    Yeah, the disease. *cough cough* us folks here in Malaysia really have it bad…what with the malaria, dengue, cholera, dysentery and what have you…

  25. quote “but at 57 and if he remains fit”

    57?

  26. alan b’stard M P

    He is talking about this bloke.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulo_Roberto_Falc%C3%A3o

    Useful player if you ask me.

  27. Interesting news concerning Usmanov and as the long drawn out takeover at Trafford Park by the Glazers proved very shareholders has his or her price, Stan included.

    Regarding Benzema as I am in the “let’s win 5-4 every week” faction ( of one) I would be only too pleased to see the Frenchman with swift feet turning out for us next season. Whatever his transfer fee, which is going to be steep , I also understand he is on a very lucrative contract at RM i.e. £100,000+ per week, hence any move to the Grove would be a surprise.

    If Benzema did arrive in the EPL I reckon a more likely destination Eastlands with a bit of haggling between the parties about the value of Ade
    as a makeweight

  28. @KLGooner
    Sorry if I caused an upset, but I recall my 2 years in the Far East, my experiences with dysentery, malaria , etc and the subsequent 2 years trying to get rid of the latter.
    I’m afraid diseases in the high temperatures of the Orient are a fact of life, always have been, and are no respecter of people.

  29. Who does rate Diaby? only once in 5 seasons has he started more than 16 league games.And when does he ever play 10 games in a row?.He’s injury prone.Compare that to Jack.No Diaby like Denilson have been overtaken by Wilshire and with Lansbury coming back the end is near for both of them

  30. thanks Keysersoze { grin )

  31. Nicky

    Man Utd and Chelsea go to tours of the Far East and America and it hasnt affected them.Its got to be better than going to Austria and beating pub teams 8 or 9 nil.Look at how Utd finish the season every year they get stronger while we get weaker

  32. Prefer D Bent to Cole to work with RvP. Could be Bent would score more goals than Benzema

  33. Pity they couldn’t go to Oz while they were there

  34. Have a look at this hilarity. Apparently premier league managers voted the selection.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1390416/Six-Manchester-United-stars-dominate-Premier-League-team-decade.html

  35. I would have thought that something along the lines of Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Campbell, Cole, Vieira, Gilberto, Ljungberg, Pires, Bergkamp, Henry was the team of the decade. Or is that not Man U centric enough?

  36. Well I was surprised they didn’t include Rafael, Fletcher, Park and Carrick.

  37. @nicky
    No offense taken! Malaria cases in Malaysia are far and few in between and usually occurs in the rural districts and as long as the players don’t venture into the tropical rain forests, they’d be safe. Dysentery is even more rare, as hygiene levels, especially in food preparation, have improved over the past 50 years. Again the players will be in 5 star accommodation, and based on the club’s last visit in 1999, the players will be on strict diets with the club’s chefs in tow.

    Don’t know when you were in the Far East, but do come back…it’s safe now 🙂

    FYI, the last time Arsenal were here, we strolled to a 2-0 victory with Manu Petit scoring both goals. Before that, way back in 1975, the club came and lost 2-0 to a Malaysian XI largely thanks to some outstanding saves by the Malaysian keeper (the match was memorable for Peter Storey and Brian Kidd exchanging blows – God, how we need someone like Storey to knock some sense into the current crop…and break a few legs along the way!)

    When Manure were here two years ago, they played two matches and narrowly won 3-2 (which really should have been 2-2 if not for some Arsenal-like defending) and 2-0.

  38. Ugh, Evra’s been mouthing off again. This time to l’Equipe. Expect a flurry of stories about Nasri.

  39. Benzema? *sigh*… alright, alright alright. We’ll have him. But only if Bendtner does a runner.

    This transfer market game is a piece of cake. I’ve played FIFA, I know. We’ll definitely get Benzema if we match the price. Man City definitely won’t better the offer on any major name we bid for just to deny us the extra strength next season. No way.

    Keysersoze, also think Fabianski will be our number 1 next year. Unless we get a spectacular bargain in the market. Interesting how a catchy nickname can influence peoples opinion that he is error-prone despite the fact that our other keepers make more mistakes.

    Martin, I rate Diaby. John Cross can suck my balls, whoever he is.

  40. george rodger

    How many premier league managers speak with a Glasgow accent?
    It does rather give Old Red Nose an advantage in any voting.Dont you think?

  41. Gunner Zim | May 25, 2011 at 8:01 am |

    Gervinho, is the one player that I believe will fire up our team and not only that he is also the only player who looks anything like the quality that Henry had when he was tearing the Prem to bit’s.

    We really need this guy. Benzi is good but, this guy is young and very hungry and looks lie a real handful.

    It’s ok saying AW, will stick to the type of transfers in the past but, I hope he along with other have woken up and realised that Time Waits For No Man and things have changes over the last 10yrs as have mobile phones.

    Need to get Gervinho in and start a new revolution.

  42. Seems as if there is a quality player on offer and there’s an average French player on offer we always end up with the later as we did Silvestre and that really fucks me off. Benzima?! I hope this is just media talk.

    Evra, telling Nas to come to utd?! AW, needs to make the signings to show our quality players that there is a plan and things have changed.

    If we lose Nas then forget anything good happening for in terms of winning things.

    Compete we will though and it seems that competing cut’s it for some nowadays.

  43. Goonerton

    Do you think Benzema is an average player? Really?

  44. I am sure if Arsene signed Carlton Cole it would make all the difference to Nasri’s pondering ………………………………

    The equivalent of booking him a flight to Manchester/Madrid/Munich/Milton Keynes

  45. Northbank1969

    @KLgooner and @nicky
    Perhaps before the tour of the far east we need to sign Carlton Cholera, Malario Ferdinand, Hepatitus Bramble, Lassana Diarrhea, Medical Owen,
    Petr Cech-up, Ole Gonorrhea Solskjaar, Ahmed Elmohamalady, Peter Odemsyringie, GERMain Defoe, John Saniterry, Paul Konchesty and Brian Cough as
    manager. But we need to keep Cesc Fabregastric,
    Tomas Rosickly, Marouane Chamachlamydia and then get Paul Nurse-on to look after them.

  46. Northbank you need a doctor 🙂

  47. Yeah, i hear Song is leaving too. what bull crap.

  48. @Northbank1969

    Well done I have not laughed this hard on this board before.

  49. Jabba's delights

    Whilst i’m sure we can get batter value attackers than Benzema who can provide just as much quality in the long run, the intent it would show to our captain and Nasri might tip the balance in our favour. Its a very dangerous summer everyone knows we need 3-4 good signings but its just as important to keep Nasri and Fab. Personally i think signing another moody Frenchman isnt ideal.

  50. By all accounts and evidence Benzema is a fantastic player. I am surprised that so many people here are underwhelmed. Is it because Arsene Wenger is rumoured to be interested in signing him? Is it because he is French? If say for example Chelsea had signed him would you have been up in arms against Wenger for letting the opportunity go?

  51. Jabba's delights

    I think he is a great player and even in his time in Madrid he has scored alot of goals. However ive also heard he can be quite difficult to deal with and moody and lacks work rate which is one of the reasons Jose doesnt trust him.

    I dont think Arsenal can afford another lazy attacker. One of the main differences between us and Barca other than that they have more quality is that they press a million times better than us.

    I also feel we have 3-4 holes to fill and wouldnt want what might be a vast chunk of our budget spent on one player.

    However if Arsene believes we can afford it and get the winger, dm, cb that we also so crucially need , im happy as larry

  52. Keysersoze, I wouldn’t mind seeing him come over but I know it won’t happen for three reasons:

    1. He has four years left on a six year contract = big transfer fee.
    2. Our rivals in the PL wouldn’t make it easy for us to submit a winning bid.
    3. It isn’t an area we desperately need to improve.

  53. kl gooner
    i’m a bit north of you – the worst i’ve ever had out here is toothache.
    ( so pleased to be away from dreary flu, stomach complaints from bad food, and depressing, depressing weather. ( grey )
    you may find opinions from the grey country dated, out of touch, and just a little sad.
    i reckon around 2020 they will realize there is huge business to be done in asia. give them time.

  54. roberto falcao – played for Brazil in the 82 WC…..with Eder and Socrates…….
    unbelievable player and whose performances during this WC brought him into the spotlight of football’s world stage.

    After a square pass by a brazilian defender ( in defensive third ), and I can still recall the commentator’s remarks ” ‘steal – Rossi – goal !!!!!” led to Paulo Rossi’s 3rd goal and Italy’s upset of Brazil.

  55. To expand on point 3, I believe that in Walcott we have a player of better ability who can play in similar positions and, this season, has shown the kind of consistency and attitude that Benzema (seemingly) lacks.

    We have the best CF in the world in RVP and excellent backup in the form of Chamakh and (hopefully still) Bendtner. So Benzema is welcome as long as he is prepared to be behind some if not all of those dudes in the pecking order.

  56. Van Persie had an awful reputation when we signed him. He is now probably the closest thing we have to a Mr Arsenal.

    We can’t press in the way that Barcelona do; PL matches are played at too high a tempo. We’d be able to do it for couple of months before performance levels would drop. Match by match, we’d keep Barcelona’s tempo up for 45 minutes at best before falling away.

    I don’t know what the score is, and there’s no way I’m pinning my hopes on any rumour, but I quite like the idea of Benzema – he’s a pretty good candidate for that left side of attack in a 4-3-3.

  57. Markus

    Benzema is a player well equipped to play the wide striker role as well. We might even move to a different system with Van Persie playing in the hole behind a central striker. In any case even in our current system we don’t play with a rigid striker and there is a lot of position switching between the front three. I believe Benzema would fit in quite well into our set up and get enough games to be happy, especially with Bendtner seemingly set to move on.

  58. Jabba's delights

    Markus

    Problem is i agree with you in that Chamack is an excellent player, the issue being we dont play to his strengths. 80% of his goals come from headers and we dont have one great consistant crosser in the club plus our dead ball specialists arent a patch on Gourcouf. He is a great plan B if we learn how to use him.

    Bendtner is to similar. We need 2 world class strikers to compete. Look how RVP has carried the team and any injury we must be able to adapt.

    Look at Utd, rooney was awful until March but berbatov and Hernandez took up the slack. 3 strikers capable of scoring 20+ goals

  59. Jabba's delights

    Markus

    Problem is i agree with you in that Chamack is an excellent player, the issue being we dont play to his strengths. 80% of his goals come from headers and we dont have one great consistant crosser in the club plus our dead ball specialists arent a patch on Gourcouf. He is a great plan B if we learn how to use him which we will.

    Bendtner is to similar. We need 2 world class strikers to compete. Look how RVP has carried the team and any injury we must be able to adapt.

    Look at Utd, rooney was awful until March but berbatov and Hernandez took up the slack. 3 strikers capable of scoring 20+ goals

    We need to get better both defensivly and in attack as our for and against quite clearly shows. Striker and winger additions just as crucial as dm and cb

  60. Fair enough but he’d be leaving Real as third or fourth choice forward, and coming to us as the same. Can’t see it.

  61. 1. He has four years left on a six year contract = big transfer fee.

    I don’t think this will matter, especially if Real go for Kun Aguero as is being rumoured. They will need to free up a place in their squad to accomodate Kun and Benzema is that candidate at present. He may have a 6 year contract but he is not greatly in Mourinho’s favour, hence they wouldn’t be too keen to keep a high earner earning his wages on the bench, specially with a need to cut the expenses with FFP kicking in.

    2. Our rivals in the PL wouldn’t make it easy for us to submit a winning bid.

    Of course not, but I can only see Man City as a realistic competition. I have a feeling Benzema might prefer to play with his mates in the national team and the highest profile French manager around.

    3. It isn’t an area we desperately need to improve.

    See post above. We need 6 players to make up the front three. With Bendtner moving on a new player needs to come in.

  62. one other thing for the gooners who think being trophyless for six years is ok ( i’m a real gooner and dont care if we win nuffin cos i’m a real gooner ? )
    this morning i nipped into my bank only to find they are now selling manu merchandise. methinks another generation of mancs.

  63. Keysersoze, Madrid paid €35 million with the fee rising to as much as €41 million based on incentives. Even if they were prepared to take a massive loss on him we’re still talking somewhere in the region of 20 million. Arsene would be smashing his own transfer record for a squad player.

  64. No Henry or Bergkamp in this so-called team of the decade?

    Do me a favour.

  65. @Markus
    as much as Theo has surprised me this season with his early season form, I have some concerns

    – linking play is the worst on the team (for any field player) and un-Arsenal and at his young age something that can be dramatically improved; but in 4 seasons there is no improvement…..so this is a huge question mark for me.
    – when Arsenal lose possession, his mental approach mirrors that of Arshavin
    – he disappears in too many matches (for long spells)
    – without the ball (on the wings) he looks lost

    If Arsenal stick to this 4-3-3 system and unless he works on these above areas in the off-seasons, his entire career will be marked by only peaks and valleys performance levels and NOT the consistency the club needs over the long haul.

    As far as speculation for transfers…….I believe our manager will sell players b4 any signings.

    If your slogan is “I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now” – then Szczesny is not the goalkeeper for 11/12. Better than Almunia, yes……but keepers only improve with playing time and Szczesny needs a minimum of 2-3 years to improve his
    decision making and distribution……. and Arsenal need someone with leadership and experience ‘now’ in that key position.

    My 2 cents on Nasri…… He had a terrific fall season and then dropped off the radar screen after December – why was this? if we are having trouble re-signing him now, it will be a forever issue – something in his dna that reflects a weighted approach to greed – and won’t change if he moves on with other clubs. I hope I’m wrong and a resolution is found.

  66. No, if Benzema comes in he will not be a squad player. That is a basic assumption I am making. As OneofUs said he can be useful in the left striker role, we could also have a tweak in our formation.

  67. Was not able to comment yesterday but thanks Cbob for a well written post. Your combination of strong support and realism proves that the 2 are not mutually exclusive. Great stuff.

  68. Arsesession, I agree with you about Szczesny. Totally disagree about Theo.

  69. @keysersoze
    Still leaves the issue of his wages. Do you think he would take a pay cut? Or do you believe we should pay him the same (probably more.) amount that he is earning at Madrid, which would make him one of our best paid players instantly.

    @OneOfUs
    Not even Barca can keep that pressing up, as evident in the games against us. They get tired after 60 minutes when they are playing a good team which makes them vulnerable. If they can’t get a solid lead by then (which allows them to just keep possession instead of having to attack), they are easy to pick off.

  70. Evil

    He could take a slight pay cut unless someone else is prepared to match is salary. Also, paying a high wage is a collateral to signing top players and I believe Benzema is one of those. Of course RVP and Cesc’s (if he stays) needs to be matched to Benzema’s wage if they are lower.

  71. Also, paying a high wage is a collateral to signing top players and I believe Benzema is one of those.

    To expand a little on this, you either need to bring in top players on a high wage, or you need to pay them those high wages after a couple of years. For example couple of our high profile players are stalling on their contracts as we speak.

  72. The list of concerns heading into the offseason is long.

    1) Goals conceded have been 31, 37, 41, 43 the last 4 years.
    2)Despite being an “attacking” club we have been outscored 6 years in a row by the red Mancs
    3) 3 years of recurring bouts of complacency
    4) 4 years in a row of collapses in the last 1/3 of the season.
    5) “Most talented” squad in the league yet we can’t get above 3rd place.
    6) Lack of production from the squad that we all thought was the deepest in the world and the reluctance of the boss to the squad.
    7) Lack of any evidence of any legitimate tactical flexibility and complete reluctance to make any realistic attempts to try something differenct when it became obvious that Plan A had stopped working.

    Its not just 1 bad year. The red flags have been moving up the flag pole for several years. Having summer vacation is not going to make the players forget all that has happened for the last several years. Responsibility is shared between managers and players but the onus of fixing these problems and the blame for chronic underperformance has to fall on the manager. The boss has stated he is not considering the addition of a defensive coach which certainly raises the red flags even higher. Belief in your self and your philosophy is important but the ability to admit to your self that you made some mistakes and adapt to the circumstances is even more important. 3 – 4 years is a large enough sample to rule out bad luck or a run of bad form as the main culprit. Hopefully the boss will not let his ego trump his intellect and make some real changes this summer.

  73. skywatchingmug

    Arsesession, totally agree with you on Theo. Adds nothing when we don’t have the ball. He has been given an easy ride, while AA on the other wing was taking stick. At least I can remember the last time AA put a tackle in and tracked back with purpose. Same can’t be said of little Theo.

  74. Yeah, Evil, I think I’d say that if the score’s level at half time against a team of similar ability then odds would probably be in the opposition’s favour. If the other side has to chase the game in any way then it’s not looking good for them.

    I don’t know what to expect for the weekend, but although Barcelona have finished stronger than they did last season, it’s been quite common to see them get to half-time without having so much as a single shot on goal (admittedly they have been rotating a lot more recently). Valdes has rescued them a lot. You don’t hear it too often though.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that, for all their passing, when they actually attack, rather than just probe, the killer ball comes from Iniesta so often. It’s usually a lofted pass to any of Alves, Messi, Villa or Pedro, and it’s brutal.

  75. Jabba's delights

    Bill

    spot on.

  76. 1) So you can count! I knew it!
    2) So the red devils are not the ‘other’ attcking team in the league? OK then.
    3) Yes, but no broken limbs. So things are looking better.
    4) Make that two, as the season before the team were on an unbeaten run that helped drag them back into the CL positions.
    Dammit, you cannot count. I knew it.
    That or numbers vary depending upon parocial views. Something like that. We’ve read enough of this gr*t.
    5) We’ve read enough of this gr*t.
    6)Ditto

    7) Utter rubbish. A lie. A WUM.

    Spot on?

    My Arse.

  77. Perhaps this is what happens when one has a spotty arse?

  78. Delia--Block 112

    My main hope is for AW to sign a quality CB who might also play DMF if required. The best drilled defences are IMO in the Italian league . Surely there must be candidates in Seria A who would meet our needs and would not break the bank. Are the likes of Samba and Cahill really the answer, could we do better in Italy? Any suggestions?
    As always COYRs

  79. OneOfUs and Evil,

    I don’t think playing in the PL will make a difference to a Barca-type pressing tactic, if the discipline and ability is there. I don’t agree that the PL is much faster than La Liga, or that speed is even much of a factor. If we could keep posession as well as they do, and are clinical in attack, no reason why pressing can’t work in England, imo.

    Barca never have to press for 90 minutes. They only really press hard early in a match. In the vast majority of games, they are able to kill the opposition off early and basically just hold on to possession the rest of the game, which they do exceptionally well (well, except against us in last years CL :)).

    Pressing counts against them only when they are not able to score early, and have to chase the game. But even when they cannot press effectively, they are still very good at keeping possession and have a mean attack, so probably still win a number of such games.

    Even then, I don’t think tiredness was the main issue last year in the CL when we came from 2 down to draw at the emirates. I think Walcott and Denilson where the major reasons we came back into that game. Denilson helped us retain possession better and they just couldn’t deal with Walcotts speed. A little bit of complacency may have also affected them. Being 2-nil up after having played the game of their lives (according to Pep), they could have felt they had the game in the bag and probably lost focus for a bit.

  80. We have had different teams in the last 4 years and circumstances were different.

    last year we were decimated by injuries. We had the Eduardo situation another season (the Birmingham match) that the team couldnt bounce back from, not sure who could at the age most of the players were.
    This is a year where I feel we shouldve overcame everything. Yes we have had some things go against us but we shouldve had the resolve to get over the hump since the players have matured.

    Numbers dont give the while picture at all and it is unfair in my view. If the players still struggle to keep their confidence up what is it that we expected from them when they were 19,20,21?

  81. Jabba's delights

    Finsbury

    Why dont you actually try and answer any of his points rather than resorting to a slagging match………is it maybe because everything Bill has presented is factually correct and its very very hard to argue against it

  82. There’s something really unsatisfying about the way you put that argument across, Bill. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t know where to start.

    One thing that’s usually true is that the team that finishes top usually scores the most goals. It’s about dominance rather than an initial attacking intent. I think we outscored everyone in ’89 and came close to doing so in ’91, but nobody in their right mind would ever have considered a GG side naturally attacking. Ancelotti’s Chelsea last year were a very pragmatic team, but they were well enough assembled to destroy sides that didn’t really function properly, and so scored a shitload of goals.

  83. Keysersoze | May 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm |

    To expand a little on this, you either need to bring in top players on a high wage, or you need to pay them those high wages after a couple of years. For example couple of our high profile players are stalling on their contracts as we speak

    Very good point Keyser. When our players come good, their agents will demand wages commensurate with other stars. Maybe not Real Madrid or Man city levels, but certainly significantly higher than our salary structure permits. It happened with Henry, and to a lesser degree Cesc. Who knows how the Nasri situation will pan out? Also, if RvP’s stays injury free for a whole season, I can see his agent beginning to make similar demands.

  84. Henristic, we came back on them twice and I dare say it wouldve been 3 times. Sure players changed the game but we have seen that they couldnt keep the defensive pressure otherwise. Unless they keep getting complacent which I cannot see.

  85. can you believe that RVP ends up 2nd in scoring! what a player!!

  86. 65%+ possession doesn’t always mean “beautiful attacking football”.

    Same as <50% possession and scoring 3 or 4 goals on 4 or 5 chances doesn't always mean "ugly negative football".

    Just saying.

  87. Continuing from my 3.05 post…
    Its kind of unfortunate that the football wages are so out of control. No thanks to clubs like RM, Chelsea and Mancity. Would love UEFA to implement some sort of salary cap. That should level the playing field much better than the fair play thingy.

  88. Paul N @3.07

    We are also a very good attacking team, and can be devastatingly clinical on our day. Lucky for them they don’t have to play us too often.

  89. OOU, I just think that Bill’s comments lack depth. They state the numbers correctly but dont state the reality of the situation.

    Arsenal have 3 more red cards than United and more yellows and that is a team that has Vidic, Rooney and Scholes on it. Why have we conceeded the most penalties.

    Again, I believe we shouldve still won the PL but some of these things are rather odd all things considered.

  90. Sure Henristic but they also couldnt keep up.

  91. all this speculation. I think we need to spend in defence midfield end of. who is betterthan rvp out there ? we just need a partner for cesc (not a sexual one) and apartner for TV, also not a sexual one. For those who enjoy discussing speculation, enjoy but its not for me i dont think, heres my 2 penneth, only striker we should consider is messy, why buy crap cause its all one can afford, ile see you next season

  92. Wage cap is a nice thought, but utterly impossible to implement and police. Big clubs will always find a way to give their players more, be it in the form of bonuses, perks, or just a big dirty bag of cash under the table.

  93. Partner for Cesc, what do you mean boomer?

  94. bill
    spot on

  95. Jabba's delights

    I think Nasri will be looking to be put on the our highest wage level along with RVP and the Gas (not sure what that is) . You can sort of see our reluctance as your paying someone for half a seasons exceptinal work.

    Would be the same issue with Benzema. He would command their money at least probably and its a huge risk.

    I think with attackers we can find many players who can fit into and add to our system without havening to go through the roof, where as defensively i think we need a certain sort of player

  96. Let me clarify that, some of the comments lack depth. I can see where is coming from on some things. Fact is the team should be doing better by now.

  97. “OOU, I just think that Bill’s comments lack depth. They state the numbers correctly but dont state the reality of the situation.”

    Yeah, I think that’s it, Paul.

  98. If a team is clinical enough, and solid in defence, then Barca’s pressing or possessions stat gives them little advantage. However, they’ve got more in their ‘arsenal’ than pressing. They have Messi, Iniesta, Villa, and Alves. Put these guys in any other top team and they’ll probably be very successful too whether or not such a team presses like Barca.

    IMO, the reason they’ve been so consistent is a combination of their system and their quality. We have comparable quality (except for Messi who admittedly makes quite a difference) but our system (as implemented in last 2-3 seasons) isn’t as effective.

  99. Markus | May 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm |

    If it works in America, why shouldn’t it work in Europe? Are the clubs more desperate to shell out cash in europe? I should think the clubs will be happy with it as long as the rule applies to everyone else.

  100. @ Paul N
    reds, yellows, fouls

    I have seen Rooney (or Vidic) make reckless or unlawful tackles that no foul was assessed, yet Diaby, Song, or Eboue would have been shown yellow or red.

    Subjectivity in officiating is well documented.

  101. OOU, I wish we could detail how things really happened and the effects. Such as Hleb and Flamini leaving when it seemed like this team was really clicking.

    How does a team win down the stretch when TV, Gallas, Cesc, Arshavin, Song and RVP are missing? Can we really say that the players just got complacent, is it really that simple? I dont think so.

  102. Correct Arsesession and their is no way to quanitify the effects but would we have lost if Diaby didnt get a red? Would Newcastle have won if Barton was righty red carded and the other guy?
    We dont know what may have happened but you really couldnt see us losing.

    I didnt even realise to look at the penalties that contributed to our goals conceeded. Now if we have most in the PL then obvioulsy out Goal against would look terrible. Where these really penalties?

    They is so much more than meets the eye.

    Again, we still shouldve had the resolve to win the PL but it seems the odds are against us and who knows why.

  103. Tennessee Arsenal

    Northbank,

    How long have you been sitting on that list, just waiting for the right thread for posting it?

    It doesn’t matter, it’s hilarious!

  104. based on foul language alone you can make a case that Rooney shouldve been punished much more, not to even mention the elbow!

  105. Agreed TA, what Northbank wrote should be published. LOL!

  106. Paul N and OOU,

    Ok, so Bill didn’t explicitly state the usual mitigating factors i.e. poor officiating, injuries, richer competitors etc. But I don’t really think any of these excuses make that much of a difference to his points.

    We do have a recurring defensive problem. We haven’t been scoring nearly as much as we ought to, and we are a lacking something mentally (with almost predictable swings between complacency and lack of confidence).

  107. I am all for Benzema. We still need to add a more physical CB and DM and hopefully a winger.

    IMO probably the biggest tactical/personnel mistakes in the last 6 years has been building a squad with only superior technical quality in mind and sacrificing physical strength. The invincibles were the best technical side in the league but they also were 1 of the strongest teams. No way to prove it but I suspect one of the reasons the team has struggled so much at the end of the year is that they get physically drained over the course of the year fighting every week against stronger teams. It might work in Spain but having a squad that in probably close to the bottom of the league in average height and weight probably makes it difficult for the players to compete at the top of the table over the course of a 38 game season. Its great to have superior technical quality but I think more balance is needed.

  108. I disagree Bill,

    We are not that much physically weaker than other teams as to make so much of a difference. This isn’t rugby or the NFL.
    I see no reason why Barca won’t be succesful in the PL purely based on the fact that they are shorter.

  109. Paul N | May 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    “How does a team win down the stretch when TV, Gallas, Cesc, Arshavin, Song and RVP are missing? Can we really say that the players just got complacent, is it really that simple? I dont think so.”

    Well the answer to your question is obviously that the backup players need to be better. Whether you like Denilson or not, no-one could argue that he’s a huge drop-off in quality compare to Fabregas. Same for Van Persie to Chamakh or Bendtner, Song to Eastmond (Although he was on loan and IMO we never has a realistic backup player with similar qualities of Song), Vermaelen to Squillaci etc. etc.

    So for me, if the rumours about Benzema are true then I’d love to have him as I rate him as better than Chamakh or Bendtner. Ditto for Scott Parker as he’d give us something much nearer to Song than any other player currently in the squad. I’m not saying these are the perfect players for us and there maybe better ones we can get this Summer, but I think they would bring us nearer to where I’m sure we all want to be, 1st place in the league come May 2012.

    And one last thing is that I don’t get people who say that we shouldn’t get rid of this player or that player because they are good players. The real point is, if there are better players available who would fit into our system and we can get them within our budget then it is the job of the manager to do just that.

  110. I was laying in bed last night and had some thoughts about cesc. I’ve seen Cesc score a goal, run to the corner flag and kiss the badge while pointing to all the fans at the emirates. I am sad to say it but I think Cesc may be just another incredibly talented, ego driven athlete. Would someone who loves the club that much hug and kiss the cuntalona players after Abidal grabs RVP by the neck?
    Right now I agree with someone above saying that RVP is mr. arsenal. He has come out and proclaimed his belief in Wenger’s philosophy, meanwhile our “capitan” (this was in a journo story so i can’t be sure if it is 100% truth but anyways) says Wenger needs to decide if he wants to win or breed players. Cesc how about you don’t fucking backheel straight to your friend Iniesta and blow our aggregate lead?

  111. Jabba's delights

    Paul N

    The issue being we are all biased with regards to how we are treated. If you ask any other clubs fans they will tell you that Song gets away with murder.

    Diaby was rightly sent off and Bartons tackle really wasnt that bad.

    We must stop making excuses for ref bias as it really isnt there. Some years we get the better of their ineptitude others we dont, the issue being if something goes against us our manager allows the players to wallow in it.

    We talk of the Barca home game being brilliant but look at the unfair goal disallowed for them. Blackpool away they had a def penalty not given. Each team has decisions go for and against them with the better teams in general getting more of a rub of the green

  112. Jabba you think Barton’s tackle wasn’t that bad? He basically rolled up into a ball and hurdled himself into Diaby’s legs. Of course Diaby then gets a red for the post-tackle push. Meanwhile Gerrard/Rooney can run down the pitch, elbow someone straight in the face and get off squeaky clean. That is the bias that we talk about.

  113. Barton’s tackle was horrible

  114. george rodger

    Paul I am with you on almost everything.But they were not injured this year.
    People can say we look for excuses but the refereeing in at crucial moments was abysmal at best.The team was not allowed to recover its confidence(which was scuppered by bad refereeing in the first place)by yet more horrendous refereeing.
    Now you can say we should have shown more mental strength and over come it,but fuck me,how hard is that?
    After the Newcastle theft ,we had RVP@ Barca,then Arshavin against Sunderland ,not to mention Rvp disallowed Against Spuds.
    At no point were we allowed to regain the confidence that our superior play deserved.
    The last 3 games were a disgrace.That is true,But I defy anyone to do their best when they are so desperately disappointed.

  115. Jabba's delights

    William / Henristic

    Bad tackles happen in football. Barton was a bad challenge which happens in every game, one must deal with it, its part and parcel of being a premiership footballer.

    Our disgraceful collapse in that game is to often sighted as a consequince of Barton not also getting sent off. Remember they wrongly had a goal disallowed in the game.

    Arsenal football club and its supporters need to stop making excuses about everything and man the f^ck up. We complain about everything but never look internally and wonder why we fall short 3 years running

  116. Henristic:

    I disagree to an extent. I think that this Barca is so good and so well drilled defensively that they would do well in the PL. However, they have a unique situation because of the level of talent and the total committment of that group of players to a goal. we need to learn lessons from them. Playing with their style of play and still consistently being one of the least scored upon teams in Europe is amazing. (21 league goals conceded this season). However, we can not compare the 2 teams to the extent you are.

    No way to prove but I suspect that Barca would not be nearly as dominant in this league just because they would struggle against the physicality, park the bus mentality and the reliance on set piece goals that is much more common in our league. Teams like ManU and Chelsea and now Man City have been built to score goals but also to contend with the physical nature of the play in our league

  117. Borges Spinelli

    The great Falcão, a national hero was unfortunate not to lift the World Cup – that 1982 team he was part of, was the best o Seleção of all time. The younger Falcao (spelt without the tilde), in the shadows of a legend, is top of my must-have list for Arsenal’s front line. His goal ratio at club level is absolutely phenomenal and equal to Messi’s – 25m is an outright bargain for a striker of his caliber.

    I s’ppose Benzeama would be an improvement to the threat Bendtner currently offers. Though I suspect 35m UK pounds is a lot for a striker who had a quietish season. For half that price, I know of an even more prolific & clinical striker than he.

    Regarding goalkeepers, both Poles are more than adequate. With a solid defense shielding the keepers, I can either thriving. Contrary to widely held views, plenty of evidence actually suggests that Fabianski had a far better season than Szczesny did. Experience made that difference; gave greater edge in decision making. For these reasons, I’d like Fabianski installed No.1 for the new campaign.

  118. george rodger

    Jabba,If the ref.had not intervened to stop them being further embarrassed the outcome would most likely have been us scoring double figures.

  119. I’m not complaining Jabba. I simply was surprised that you didn’t see Barton’s tackle as bad. Now you go on to say that players must deal with bad tackles. FFS we’ve had 3 legs broken in the past few years because of these “bad tackles that are a part of the parcel of being a premiership footballer”
    To debate your point about never looking internally for problems. How about the home support booing players? Here is a quote from our boy Diaby. Diaby said “Here in England football is like a religion. When you play, you can feel the love and that gives you another energy to push yourself.” I’ll let you logic that one out to figure out how the players feel when a few thousand “supporters” are booing them.

  120. LimparAssist

    That one was a red card but he should’ve been sent off for the one on Arshavin before that. Arsh was very lucky he dodged that one. Barton was given license to do some damage. He looked disappointed when it didn’t quite come off. Criminal refereeing. But then we are talking about a game where two penalties were awarded without a foul happening between them. Very strange disparity there.

  121. Borges Spinelli

    *i can see either thriving*

  122. That entire post was a steaming pile of shit, JD.

    If Arsenal fans don’t do it, who else is going to stick up for the team if someone tries to break our players’ legs? Time and again other teams’ managers, fans and pundits in the press and on TV have shown that they don’t give a f*ck if about the basic safety of our team. And now you’re saying that we shouldn’t care either? That’s fucking bollocks. You better believe that we should kick up a stink when a low-life like Barton tries something like that. It’s not about making excuses for one second, it’s having some pride and sticking up for your team.

  123. I would have no objection to a return for Flappy as long as he has completed his course in SHOUTING and POINTING and WAVING HIS ARMS. He may even have learned to deck the occasional opponent. What Flappy and Almunia lack is a presence in the box, to command their area and being a quiet keeper has done neither any good.
    Szcz has had a good season but before his injury this season Flappy had not done much wrong so it would be fair competition

  124. I agree Limpar. Now everytime Arsenal are winning a match we hear “Who can forget the horrorshow at St. James’s Park when Arsenal let up a 4 goal lead, one of the most memorable games in the history of the EPL” Fuck off Ian Drake and go suck on the corporate nipples that feed you.

  125. I enjoy reading your posts OneOfUs. The most recent was spot on.

  126. William, that one sent me into a colossal funk.

    Actually, sorry for the tone language.

    We’re not the ones putting our limbs on the line in these games. It’s piss easy to sit behind a computer and tell the team to “man up” or whatever nonsense. But you can’t blame some of our players for retaliating – not Diaby who’d just got back from a dislodged bone in his leg at that point, a few months after yet another disgraceful challenge.

    And you can’t sweep stuff like that tackle aside for the sake of proving some negative point about mental weakness. It makes you look like a tosser.

  127. Borges Spinelli

    I rate Diaby highly. His injury record, not so much. Alarming, would be an understatement! His frequent absences nullifies his impact on the team. I wouldn’t shed a tear if he got cut. Our serial casualty list must be halved, no one is exempt. Sentiments, you may recall me saying, days back, gets us nowhere fast.

  128. Jabba's delights

    Oneoffus
    The issue is mate that every team thinks they get hard done by. Your completely biased with your analysis in the same way so is the chels fan saying exactly the same as you. Barton puts in crappy tackles every game other teams deal with it, why cant we. Its part of maturing and unless we mature we will forever have average seaosn like this one.

    Georgeroger

    I agree we probably would have killed them but the fact is we allowed it to become an issue. Sometimes things go against you during the course of a game and good teams deal with them imature teams wallow in it. Veira called it perfectly about us last week.

    We must become tougher mentally and that starts with the manager. I dont doubt the tackle was bad but it happens every game to excuse that for letting a 4 goal lead slip and what should have been a 5th is to navigate over the problems

  129. Borges Spinelli

    Northbank at 11:44am

    A wondrous post! We need someone like you as our team doctor.

  130. George, I do believe we shoudlve won this season.

    Jabba, Song obvioulsy doesnt get away with enough, we are 2nd to last in fair play so whats your point? that we should be last?

    Block4, show me one team that can win without so many of their best players and i will shut up. Tell me Barcelona will win without even Messi, Iniesta and Xavi and i will be quiet.

    Yes we all wish we had a host of first team 2nd teamers but thats about all it is. When you are trying to win the title you need your best players, especially at seasons end.

    Henristic | May 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    “Paul N and OOU,

    Ok, so Bill didn’t explicitly state the usual mitigating factors i.e. poor officiating, injuries, richer competitors etc. But I don’t really think any of these excuses make that much of a difference to his points.”

    How can they not make a difference? Are you saying that having Cesc, RVP, Arshavin, Song, TV and Gallas wouldnt have changes a thing in our run in.

    Call them what you want, excuses and all, I am just giving the facts behind some of the stats. Regardless, we shouldve won this season but last year and others were different.

    Good discussion none the less.

  131. Jabba's delights

    Oneofus

    They are paid tremendous money to be professional at key moments thats the point. Other teams man-up so can we. Ive played rugby to high level and seen horrific injuries part and parcel of being a professional sportsman is dealing with adversity

  132. Jabba please induldge me with how many Chelsea players have had to deal with an ankle hanging at a 90 degree angle?

  133. As an Arsenal fan maybe you should be a little more biased towards your own team, JD.

    Footballers lead comfy lives, but they’ve sacrificed a normal education to play football. They make tons of money, but they don’t generally have any other skills, unless they’re very fortunate.

    Every time someone puts a tackle like that in – and I’m aware that Wilshere’s made two this season – they’re running the risk of stunting or even ending the other player’s career. You can maybe excuse an 18 year-old doing it, but we’re regularly suffering horrific tackles by experienced pros (Robinson, Henry, Barton and Gera off the top of my head this season), who know full well what the consequences could be.

  134. jabba the Barca goal was said to be offside by most even after the replay’s so that is not a matter of fact but opinion.

    However didnt they get away with chocking our players at will and RVP gets red carded for bull, so what is your point? I would give them the goal and take 3 of their men being red carded with RVP staying on the pitch, thanks!

  135. Anyway, you kinda lose credibility when you claim the Barton tackle on Diaby wasnt bad when you can see that the clown intentionally followed through. Thats what made it bad.

    Again, Arsenal have paid for their tackles for the most part so whether we are biased or not doesnt really mean anything.

  136. Jabba's delights

    Paul N

    Im just syaing opposition fans think Song gest away with murder. You as an arsenal fan can choose not to believe any of it but i would call it burying your head in the sand.

    Your right we were incredibly unlucky with injuries last year, but your saying that was our only problem. We also still conceded 41 goals last year that would be another problem, we also didnt have grear depth thats a slight problem. When you add all of those problems to 3 years ago’s problems and this years problems ……… at f^cking point are we going to stop blaming these problems on other people. Our injury record was great this year

  137. Gainsbourg69

    Jabba, go fuck yourself. I’m sure you’d be the first one rolling on the floor like Nani if Barton had put a tackle on you like he put on Diaby.

  138. So getting paid big money means you can never lose control of your emotions.?

  139. The Abidal strangling RVP thing really boggles the mind.
    (Diaby+ push =Red Card)
    (Abidal + strangle=completely legal.)

  140. george rodger

    Well here is the thing.I dont care what anyone else says I am convinced that if Referees had made the right call,not call for us ,just the right calls as shown by photographic evidence,Arsenal would have been champions.
    Yes we showed character flaws and weaknesses,but these only surfaced due to unfair decisions.
    Now if people want to call me a deluded AKB man I dont fucking give a toss.

  141. Jabba,

    come on now, are you trying to oppose me just for the sake of it.

    1st – people can say what they want about Song but the fair play table says it allso they are talking bull.

    2nd – if our best defenders and players are out then it will effect the whole team play. We therefore suffer in goals against and goals for us. Maybe we wouldnt have won the Title but your best players give you the best chance.

    I actually didnt see any other problems apart from the injuries.

  142. Jabba's delights

    Oneofus

    Thats the difference i love arsenal but i try to be objective in my analysis with them otherwise iw ould find myself getting very frustrated with people who in general are actually saying the truth.

    Lets not move the goal posts with bad tackles. All im saying is that they happen to every team. We are a samll physically weaker team and we arent built to deal with it as well as other teams ………that im afraid is our managers fault. Why should the rest of the league change for us.

    Diaby sending off shouldnt have resulted in their comeback, look at Jose Inter team last year at camp nou, look how diciplined they were after a sending off……….why after 6 years cant we have that grit and dicipline

  143. Borges Spinelli

    Worse, Fàbregas did nothing to defend his teammate.

  144. george rodger

    How many of the penalties awarded against us would have been awarded against United?
    If Evra had ran into a stopping dead in his tracks Lucas at Old Toilet?,for example,I think fucking not.

  145. Again Jabba, we dont have the same team from 3 years and somehow we forget that. I not wholey blaming others though. Once, more I believe that THIS YEAR we shouldve won regardless. Like George I do believe that if so much crap wouldnt have went against us we wouldve had the confidence to get it done. First we wouldve won some of the matches that were robbed from us. Thats points no true?
    People believe talent is the problem, I just dont believe that is really the case.

  146. Jabba's delights

    Gainsbourg69

    Like i mentioned earlier im no stranger to a good level of sport and have had and seen some pretty bad stuff now if you want to go tell me how hard all these prem footballers are go for it but i can show you a million examples of how they arent.

    One must deal with adversity in sport, it happens and it always will. What annoys me is that we dont learn from it. Eduardo and Diaby injuries were 3 and 4 years ago……….me must learn.

  147. Lost cause.

  148. silver gunner

    Listen people we have to just accept that we are a top 4 team, the board and manager have failed to shoe the required ambition for years now, now there was a time when I would defend AW 2 or 3 season ago, but we keep getting fed the same rhetoric, the problem is that on the whole arsenal fans are not vocal enough of their unhappiness of the current status quo.

    More vocalalisation of our unhappiness is the only way things will finally start to sink in for what we must admit is not just a coach but also a politician yes he is a master of spin If you cant see it then shame on you. AW has become Alistair Campbell in disguise.

  149. George, tell me about it. The truth is that United dont really get pens against them but maybe that doesnt alter the PL table at al.

    As much as people are telling us to get real about our team, why is it that they fail to get real with these simple facts?

  150. Silver Gunner, how much more miserable could you possibly be among with the many others who have been moaning for years.

    I am thinking some resounding home support couldve helped a bit, seeing the support is supposed to be the 12th man.

  151. Rio Ferdinand has had 3 fouls called on him all year says Tim the stats man. The shirt tearing ninja kick on Sagna was not one of them.

  152. Jabba's delights

    Paul N

    Some people do beleive we lack talent……i dont i think we lack different sorts of talent to compliment the talent we have, then i think we are perfect on the playing front.

    Our issue is mentally. You guys are saying one bad error up at the toon resulted in relagation form for 3 months. That to me is pathetic and it makes our fans look ridiculous. At what point does a leader or manager step up and tell the team to stop wallowing in being pathetic girls. Your men iwth 150 games experience start taking some accountability for your own actions.

    newcastle (a) one poor but not awful decison leads to them scoring 4 goals hding thefact they had a perfectly good one disallowed.

    Birmingham (cup) rubbish performance against a team who got relegated.

    Blackpool (a) got two decisons in our favour. Firstly lehaman not being sent off then their other pen appeal

    Sunderland (h) awful performance didnt get rub of green with pen shout.

    Blackburn (h) awful performance GOT the rub of the green with a none red card

    swing round abouts

  153. Highbury Davies

    Have we signed Jenkinson?

  154. Paul, OOU, George:

    Even if you can rationalize in your own mind why it happened and be upset about the unfairness of it all, the events of the last couple of seasons especially the last 1/2 of this season make it to hard to argue against the idea that some significant problems have developed in our squad and the managers collective culture and its unlikely that having a summer off is going to erase those memories. We can not completely re engineer the squad at this point. However, doing something significantly different in the transfer market and making some real changes in the way the squad prepares for games especially defensively might give the team and fans something positive to focus on before the start of next season.

  155. george rodger

    Silver gunner.I refer you to Bobs post yesterday.To clear up your stupid drivel about lack of ambition for 6 years.Here is a extract for you as it seems from your lazy writing that you are a lazy bastard .
    “For others, it’s a matter of faith in Arsène and his ‘project’. Building a team that will dominate the Premiership without the spending of large sums on ‘star players’. A few more tweaks will see us right for the next campaign. In a monumental clash of fiscal and footballing philosophies, it’s the war that must be won, not a few battles. The naysayers comprising the ‘big spending’ clubs, a supine and opportunistic media joined by a vociferous fifth column wearing Arsenal colours must be defeated.

    This would seem to be the essential debate that defines the club at this time. A debate that both weakens and exposes it to the machinations of the media and splits its support.

    This is wrong. There has been such a conflict, it is behind us. Arsène won it”

    Get it?

  156. I think the Eduardo injury is one that can be viewed as a single event that greatly influenced the rest of that season. One can argue whether it should have or that the players should have let it or not.

    I don’t think this season had one, especially not the Newcastle match. No matter how poor Barton was, how unjust the penalties seemed, it was a collapse on our part. That match just highlighted the previous matches (West Brom, Sunderland, Spuds at home) and ended up being a portent to what ended up happening (Spuds.. again, Orient, West Brom..again, our mini draw streak and our final limp in). Pointing out a spectacular win v Barca and a workmanlike handling of United mixed in with those, for me, is more a sign of something wrong. Fine, we can raise our game on occasion, but how is it that we can do those, while totally flubbing it elsewhere against opponents we all agree aren’t near our talent level?

    12 points off the top isn’t the refs.
    12 points off the top because of the few bad ref calls with 1/3 of the season to go that caused us to tilt the wrong way, isn’t the refs. It was us.

  157. Gainsbourg69

    You’re not being objective in your analysis, Jabba, you’re trying to make an argument that re-enforces your negative views. Many neutrals I spoke to after that game said it was awful how Barton commited two horrible fouls and was still on the pitch. And you’re wrong about hard fouls and other teams. Had Barton done the same against Chelsea or Manure he would’ve been off instantaneously. What you should be asking yourself is why do thugs get away with fouling our players but play like altar boys against Chelsea or Manure. Look at Stoke against Manure, for example. By knowing that they will not get away with thuggish behavior they get rolled over time after time by the Mancs. Is that a coincidence? Of course it’s not. But it certainly is for you objective cunts, isn’t it?

  158. You comments are not representative of the season.

    For one you didnt even watch the Newcastle game.

    There is no “swing round about” anything. Stop trying to simplify things, you are being dishonest.

  159. Wenger the Spurs legend

    I love the way you guys lick Wenger’s arsehole. Lets ensure that he stays in charge that you mugs finish outside the European places next season.

  160. Busch, this season we shouldnt have let the results affect us this year but they did. It wasnt just the Newcastle match, it was the CC Final, The Barca matches that we couldnt shake.

    I wish it wasnt so but something left the team after these matches BUT we shouldve overcome.

  161. silver gunner – along with bill’s post earlier – sums it up.
    nine tenths of wisdom consists on being wise at the time (tr )
    sort it out weng.

  162. george rodger

    Bill.In many ways you are right,
    We are where we are with this squad and something has to give.I accept that.That does not mean that I put the blame squarely at the feet of Arsene and the team.

  163. silver gunner

    Paul N – I may seem miserable but unfortunately i fear that continued support for a brazen liar is getting us nowhere fast – take the announcement today that he is interested in Benzema now the naive arsenal fan would perhaps think wow thats great but an arsenal fan that has looked at his transfer strategy over the past few years would recognise that he rarely ever lets others know of his transfer targets either this is a change in tact or he is spinning us BS like I said I do believe he could make a good politician.

    I would not normally advocate vocalising anti AW support but we have been told the same BS for so long now that it is starting to grind against my better judgment, I would prefer wenger to just be honest and say that we would be happy with top 4 qualification, i could respect that but instead we are fed the same tripe each year and each year we fall short, so I have become the pragmatist and see AW for what he has become…… A politician in the mould of Alistair Campbell.

    I really hope to be proved wrong but it has been going on for so many years now that I can’t see anything other than the status quo….

  164. Jabba's delights

    Paul N/gainbourgh

    hahaha guys look, issue being here i think after 3-4 years of us compaining about the perceived injustices of others aginst us that maybe once we should take accountability for our own actions.

    You should outside your arsenal box for once and you will see that whilst some deciosns go against us that some also go for us, and its our ability to be able to either get over the bad ones or exploit the good ones which will tell how good we can be. for 4 years we have been poor at both.

    Time to man up arsenal

  165. Indeed Paul.

    I wish we would have, too.

    I hope that it gets sorted this summer. Whether it takes some fresh blood, some different training/mentality instilled or just another year of ‘growing’.

    We’ll see.

  166. george rodger

    Can we all not engage Silver gunner in a debate.He is clearly a half wit troll.

  167. There is no doubt the players shouldve got the job done this season. I trust Wenger to get the job done, i will not put down my team.

  168. george rodger

    Jabba ,How about looking at it the other way.
    After 3 to 4 years of injustice is it not about time we got treated like our rivals?

  169. silver gunner

    I have not come on here to pick fights with the staunch AW supporters (i.e george rodger) merely to voice my disapproval of his spin more honesty from him would be nice.

    If a top 4 team is all we are capable of for what ever reason it would be good for us supporters to be told thats my point I guess.

  170. george rodger

    Paul ,neither will I ,and neither should we.There are plenty of miserable bastards to put them down for us

  171. …………. stays in charge that you mugs …………….. obviously an ape.
    peace

  172. George, these people claim to be realist’s and then they overlook reality.
    Go figure!

  173. george rodger

    All we are capable of? WTF.

  174. silver gunner

    @george rodger half wit troll??

    Take you head out of AW ass for a second and read what I have posted I simply want honesty from our coach and owners. He is a great coach but an even better politician has pulled the wool over so many peoples eyes.

  175. Gainsbourg69

    Jabba: “One must deal with adversity in sport, it happens and it always will. What annoys me is that we dont learn from it. Eduardo and Diaby injuries were 3 and 4 years ago……….me must learn.”

    What should our players learn from the Diaby and Eduardo injuries? That they shouldn’t count on the referee to protect them? Because if that’s the lesson, then I’m sure they’ve learned it by now. And most teams don’t face the same type of adversity that we do. The media uproar would’ve been deafening if Barton had fouled Rooney the way he fouled Diaby or if Nolan put Van der Sar in a sleeper hold. Trust me, it would be awesome if our team could get beyond that type of thuggery, but why should we even have to put up with it when other teams don’t? Do you think it’s fair that our team is singled out by the media for their soft underbelly only for the thugs to exploit that without consequences? That’s absolute bullshit any way you look at it. No team can overcome those odds and still win.

  176. Silver Gunner,

    We are a top 4 side and have been for almost one and half decades…why do you need to be told this?

    Why shouldn’t Wenger come out and say we want to challenge on all fronts, and we did for the most part.

  177. george rodger

    You called Arsene Wenger a “brazen liar” for that alone you are a half wit troll.

  178. Sorry George but I am going to question Silva gunner. You are putting down our manager for striving to be the best. People criticize our alleged complacency and you are asking for the manager to stop shooting for titles.

  179. silver gunner

    @ Jimmyd the last time we looked like serious contendor for the EPL was the 2007/2008 season but then we lost hleb, flamini and eduardo had his leg broken.

    I simply feel that we are being fed half truths to keep us happy when perhaps the main aim is profit making rather than actual trophies.

    I hope I am wrong but the trend for the past few years seems to suggest that this is the case.

    I love arsenal but we have become somewhat of a laughing stock of late. I mean Evra openly taunts of on skysports and there is little we can do to formulate an arguement in nasri’s and arsenals defence.

  180. Gainsbourg69

    Anyone who goes out of their way to be regarded as a realist is usually enormously full of shit.

  181. yogi could you arrange for a standardized hymn sheet because its becoming clear everybody here must be of the same opinion, dull.

  182. silver gunner

    @ william I am asking for honesty.

    I shall give you an example do you really believe we are after Benzema or is it just a hoax in order to increase season ticket sales, now I know this might seem below the belt but I honestly cant see wenger forking out £15m let alone £30m on Benzema. I would love it if he did but I cant see it.

    and george rodger i called him a spin doctor not a brazen liar because we will never really know if he went after Benz yet the perception because he vocalised his “interest” is that we are interested in him that is political spin at its best.

  183. Trev. I have never met any of these people in my entire life, I live over 3,000 miles away, and no one has ever told me “if you comment on ALCF you must think in the following manner.” We are simply debating about something we have a passion for.

  184. Jabba, seriously right, I’m a rational person. But if you flat-out think there isn’t a media and ref bias against Arsenal in this country then you’ve got your head up your hole.

  185. Fair enough Silva. I can understand your argument. Following that logic, I would like to hear your opinion on English media who pump out completely false headlines just to generate sales.

  186. Sorry I called you silva gunner. My bad yo.

  187. Gainsbourg69

    Silver gunner: “I simply feel that we are being fed half truths to keep us happy when perhaps the main aim is profit making rather than actual trophies.”

    You’re fucking stupid. That’s all I have to say about your belief in this particular conspiracy theory.

    “I love arsenal but we have become somewhat of a laughing stock of late. I mean Evra openly taunts of on skysports and there is little we can do to formulate an arguement in nasri’s and arsenals defence.”

    So it all boils down to this for you manly realists? Have you ever thought that perhaps Patrice Evra taunts us because we have French players who are not hate figures in their own country? Fuck you for letting Evra get to you, you wimp.

  188. silver gunner, is there a quote from Wenger mentioning interest in Benzema?

  189. george rodger

    Silver gunner this is what you said.

    “Paul N – I may seem miserable but unfortunately i fear that continued support for a brazen liar is getting us nowhere fast – take the announcement today that he is interested in Benzema”

    Even you can not read that as “spin doctor”
    So not only are you a half wit troll but also a liar.

  190. Gainsbourg69

    The realists are out en masse today.

  191. Northbank1969

    EXCLUSIVE. I’ve just read in the Monthly Medical Review that Malaysia has seriously been affected by a new outbreak of Sexually Transmitted Deseases. Arsene Wenger, in a statement to the Daily Mirror has said: “I won’t be taking any risks with my players, with all those fantastically beautiful Malaysian women about, I’ve had to sign another player.
    He was more expensive than I would normally pay, but I can confirm that Nemanja ViDiClinic will be joining us on the tour”
    Updates to follow

  192. silver gunner

    @Gainsbourg69
    When you result to swearing at me you almost do my job for me, Evra may be a hate figure in his country but that does little to deflect from his verbal assault on arsenal, listen to the interview on skysports then talk to me until then you have said nothing and are simply deluded.

  193. Gainsbourg69

    I don’t want Benzema. He’s a player who will no doubt be very expensive eventhough he can’t get a start for a shit Real Madrid side. No thank you. I trust Arsene will get us the right players for the right price just like he has always done.

  194. Silver who cares about what Evra has to say about Arsenal. Our squad of spineless children just beat his team. How is that for a formulated argument in Arsenal/Nasri’s defense?

  195. William i too am 3,000 miles away – probably more – hong kong. Arsenal are my last contact with england. i haven’t supported them all my life, only since i was seven. but i think any sensible opinion is valid. things are not super at Arsenal at the moment. and i think these guys that are ‘ enormously full of shit’ are probably hurting more than those who are not.

  196. I guess Evra can’t stop being a cnt?

  197. george rodger

    Silver gunner.
    So we believe everything we read in the papers now?
    This simple post reveals you level of intelligence.You have posted a newspaper article as evidence of what Arsene has said.
    You are the weakest link,or missing link perhaps!

  198. Well Trev you have many other blogs that can get you excited. Peace!

  199. silver gunner

    george rodger – fair enough those were my words, strong though there were quite righly too harsh, I guess I am just upset at our lack of linear progression we seem to be standing still whilst others around us are improving.

    Like most on here I love Arsenal but only want the board and the manager to show the same love. I still believe wenger has spin doctor tendancies, and should sometimes say nothing rather than things which are unachievable.

    Anyway I have said my peice I am sorry to have riled some of the obvious regulars here, lets hope AW does follow up on the Benz.

  200. Silver gunner,

    So what you are saying is ‘Wenger please lower our expectations’.

    If Wenger was to come out and say we only aim at the top 4; would you then be saying ‘Wenger lacks ambition’.

    You would be a huge hypocrite if that was the case.

  201. George @ 5:32:

    Who or what is to blame for past problems does not change the fact that those issues are here and something needs to be done to change the clubs and the fans culture going forward.

    No doubt the biggest problem is with the squads mentality but I don’t see how that can change given the status quo. No doubt the boss has done everything he can to motivate and give the team confidence but there is only so much you can say. I think there are some other tangible problems with personnel and tactics that are easily seen by looking at the tables and some basic stats. I doubt you can change a teams mentality without fixing the other problems or at least giving the squad the feeling that we are moving in the right direction.

  202. george rodger

    Silver gunner .That is fair enough.

  203. george rodger

    Bill,I have no doubt that there is wisdom in what you say ,indeed something does have to give.No doubt about that.

  204. Whatever is at fault, we can do nothing but to trust the Manager, well you can also follow Silver Gunner and moan until Wenger buy’s Messi.

  205. paul point taken. i’m off. i might read only just to see how the hymn sheet pans out. peace.

  206. I think that has been said that Arsene has to do what is necessary to get our team over the hump. It couldnt be any other way, thats his job.

  207. Okay Trev I will agree that some people on here are quick to just say Fuck you your opinion sucks, which does nothing to help an argument. The thing that irks me is this. Although things are not super here at Arsenal, compared to every other club in the world, there are maybe 6 or 7 clubs who are better off than us. If by better off you mean not fucking it up horribly at the end of the season, winning metal cups etc

  208. Take care trev!

    The scales will fall from your eyes one day and you will delight in singing the chorus along with us!

  209. nah, mate. it’ll be with proper Arsenal people

  210. Borges Spinelli

    Wow! The level of delusions many on here are afflicted with is bewildering.

    No man is infallible. Why is it so hard for some to fathom this simple concept.

    There is no shame in acknowledging one’s limitations. To defend the indefensible is tantamount to stupidity.

    To also antagonize a person who offers differing perspective, in an intelligent manner against that of the status quo is cretinous. What ever happened to healthy discussions conducted in respectfully, people?

  211. Borges Spinelli

    *conducted respectfully*

  212. Paul N | May 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    “Block4, show me one team that can win without so many of their best players and i will shut up. Tell me Barcelona will win without even Messi, Iniesta and Xavi and i will be quiet.”
    OK, there is one other option and that is to get players who aren’t injured as much. If having better backups doesn’t do it for you then that’s the only other logical place to go.

  213. george rodger

    So Borges calling Arsene a “brazen liar” is offering a differing perspective is it?

  214. A reply to Jabba’s delight’s @3:03 pm.

    Paul N wrote ealier:
    “OOU, I just think that Bill’s comments lack depth. They state the numbers correctly but dont state the reality of the situation.’

    The numbers were not correct.*
    When Arshavin arrived, in Denilson and Song’s first ‘senoir’ campaign, If the squad had indulged in a slump in the last third, they wouldn’t have finished fourth, but mid-table. Or thereabouts. Who cares.

    ‘Spot on’ my Arse.
    You couldn’t make it up.
    Unless your name was Bill, Jabba’s delights, etc.

    *Calm yourselves, this is not a comment about this this season, or last season.

  215. Borges Spinelli

    Show me a post by that contributor containing that line.

  216. Make your realistic points, by all means.
    But try and stick to real facts and figures, if you are going to indulge yourselves.

    It helps.

  217. Gainsbourg
    You’re fucking stupid. That’s all I have to say about your belief in this particular conspiracy theory.
    No difference between that and the every one is against us conspiracy.. The refs are corrupt, we get hard done by ext ext.
    People need to grow up, take a look at yourself and listen to the shit you are saying.
    There is no conspiracy, You get nowhere in life, sport or business blaming others or circumstances for your failures. For fuck sake look at Lance Armstrong. Not even cancer could get the better of him, so to say our player have good reason to drop their heads and loose focus after a bad tackle.. For fuck sakes man listen to yourselves.
    I bet you all are underachievers in every aspect of your lives.

  218. “Proper Arsenal people”

    you would be excluded, no?

  219. Borges, what is the problem?

    Surely you cannot disrespect people while saying, “why are we being disrespectful?”. If you get my point. You must be the example or else its really hypocrisy.

  220. Finsbury:

    Your right, we did play better the last 1/2 season after we got Arshavin. My bad.

    Does not change the overall idea that I was trying to convey.

  221. Maybe the team need Lance Armstrong to talk to them then.

  222. Bill,

    Arshavin came in at the end of January 2009 that year, the run started after the Man City defeat in November 2008 (Two months roughly). Arshavin also did not start too many games between joining and the end of Feb so thats 3 months.

    Give credit where it is due for Gods sake.

  223. william | May 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm |

    He also forgets that if it wasn’t for Arsenal developing him as a young player, he would not be one of the best players in the world at the age of 23 who is also in possession of a European and World cup medal.

  224. TimmyT, you are right that the players should be able to overcome the adverisity but the truth is that in sports people do lose confidence. It did with the Invincibles. They must now learn how to get over it, its time for them to really learn from their mistakes.

    Did Lance Armstrong race when he has cancer or when it went into remission?

  225. No, surely?

  226. I hope not Keyserone.

    Ugly!

  227. Northbank1969

    Arsene Wenger has stated that he wants to instill more rigidity and hardness into the team. On this basis he has decided to bring Patrick Viagra back to the Emirates.

  228. Bill@ 6.56 p.m.

    Make your realistic points, by all means.
    But try and stick to real facts and figures, if you are going to indulge yourselves.
    It helps.*

    * see comment by Jimmyd, May 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm

  229. Paul N,

    How can they not make a difference? Are you saying that having Cesc, RVP, Arshavin, Song, TV and Gallas wouldnt have changes a thing in our run in.

    Having players out due to injury makes no difference the fact that we concede too many goals and don’t score enough. We’ve had the same problems even with these players fit.

  230. Uncredible!

  231. On that account Henristic, having them out is even worse. If our best are not good enough we surely dont want out 2nd string in.

    I agree that we need to defend better but in every case your best gives you the best chance, no?

    Do you believe that we missed TV this season?

  232. Our scoring record has been quite comparable over the last few seasons. Definately our main problem is locking teams downs

  233. Borges Spinelli

    Paul N,

    I am not sure at how you arrived at your conjecture. Please reread my earlier posts, so that you’re able to stand corrected.

  234. My apologies Borges!

  235. Jimmyd @ 7:08:

    I stand corrected on that point.

    Paul:

    The theory many of us have is that we are an aggressive attacking team and that is why we concede more goals then the other top 4 teams. However, we need to score a lot more then the other top of the table teams to justify the risks we take and to realistically have a chance to overtake them. A look at the tables will tell you that we have not scored nearly enough goals to make that work.

  236. Borges Spinelli | May 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm |

    To also antagonize a person who offers differing perspective, in an intelligent manner against that of the status quo is cretinous. What ever happened to healthy discussions conducted in respectfully, people?

    You know what? I’d say that for most of the really antagonistic ‘AKBs’ (for lack of a better term), their aggressiveness isn’t because of some great love for arsenal. Its more to do with a weird combination of egos and habit.
    They can’t come to terms with the fact that they might have been wrong about some things, so they lash out instead. They have after all been attacking critics of the team for years and that’s unlikely to stop now just because some of these criticisms turned out to be correct.
    Its funnier still when some of them admit what are the now obvious failings of the team, but still find the need to ‘bash’ anyone else for pointing out those same issues, no matter how reasonably its done. Its almost pathological.
    Good thing is there are not too many of these crazy sort of posters left. Most of the guys around now don’t mind a reasoned debate. They still bristle when an unfamiliar poster (or a familiar foe) says anything negative about the team (even if its true), but I guess that’s just par for the course.

  237. Gainsbourg69

    I don’t believe in referee conspiracy theories, Tim. However, it doesn’t mean I’m going to dismiss it when it actually happens in order to avoid being labelled a moaner. Which, by the way, is precisely what our resident realists have done. They dismiss bad refereeing and demand more from our team because they are afraid their friends will make fun of them. So until you and those like you can overcome your lack of balls take your Lance Armstrong, Gung-Ho, inspirational bullshit and stuff it.

  238. george rodger

    Borges,I assumed you were meaning Silver gunner.If you were not then I too am sorry.

  239. Paul N
    Did we miss TV? I honestly don’t know. He’s got that aggressiveness that we lacked at times this season, that willingness to chase just about every lost cause. But then again, he was in the defence that wasn’t too great either last year. He may well have improved this season, but who can say for sure? The term ‘second season syndrome’ exists for a reason.
    Besides, I don’t think JD and Kos did too badly on an individual level. I was quite impressed with them both overall in spite of their mistakes ( just like I was with TV last year). We just don’t seem to play that well as a collective for some reason.

  240. Bill, the big problem with what you say is that we are not conceeding much from open play so I dont believe that our problem is pushing forward too much. We must be more aggressive in defending set plays. If we had done that, we would done that we would be celebrating inspite of the ridiculous amount of calls that want against us.

    I love what you said G69, if we cannot support our team through the thick and thin how do we demand such from the players.

    The Lance Armstrong thing really didnt work. Timmy is behaving as if the man was winning races when he was sick and having chemo.

  241. Gainsbourg69

    I love how Bill has been proven wrong twice and keeps arguing the same shit.

    Borges, you should change your panties a bit more often.

    Henristic, stop projecting.

  242. Paul N | May 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm |

    “On that account Henristic, having them out is even worse. If our best are not good enough we surely dont want out 2nd string in.”

    We don’t know that. We had less injuries this season and yet somehow managed to finish on lower points than last.

  243. george rodger

    If you say that referees had a big effect on the season it is not the same as claiming a refereeing conspiracy.So why do people make such stupid claims?
    If you say that our defenders are good it is not the same as saying we defend well as a team.
    Not a single person I can think of says that this team does not have problems and deficiencies.All some of us are saying is that we think the problems are eminently fixable by Arsene Wenger.

  244. Well Henristic to be honest we are basing a lot of how we feel about our defense over the last few matches. Our defense up until that point, though not perfect was even better than United’s as far as goals against.

    We defended poorly for the most part with Djourou in the team. Thats a mistake I think Wenger, bringing the young man back too quick.

  245. And the reason we did so poorly is because we haven’t addressed the only things that are in our power to change. We can’t change ref actions, but we can defend better, be more clinical, not be so brittle, etc.
    These issues have been plaguing us for years, despite changes in the playing staff.

  246. Gainsbourg69

    Paul, not to mention that some of Armstrong’s old teammates are now saying he took performance enhancing drugs even before he got ball cancer.

  247. For those who say that Fabianski lacks presence in the box, just some food for thought_ we conceded more goals from set pieces with Szczesny in goal than we did with Fabianski.

  248. george rodger

    Where is Frank when you need him?

  249. We are usually more defensive at set pieces than other teams, aren’t we? We usually have everyone back in the box for a set piece (to the point that we are easily susceptible to strikes from outside the box after a deflection) if I remember correctly. So it has nothing to do with pushing forward. As Paul pointed out, we conceded the fewest goals from open play in the league.

  250. Paul N,
    But the last few matches count too, don’t they? The season doesn’t end in February or March. In fact one could say those matches are the most important of the season and is the point we’ve been failing for 3 out of last 4 seasons.
    We had a chance to finish higher, or even win the league in those matches.

  251. Gainsbourg69

    I agree with Paul. After the Stoke game the same people who were excited by Djourou’s magestic form started to reflect some stupid talking point about him being good one game and a train wreck the next. And by these people I mean assholes like Bill.

  252. Henristic, just as how we dont know whether we wouldve done better, is the same we cannot say how much it did effect the team.
    What I dont remember is the collective loss of confidence last season prior to the injuries, do you.

    What i am really saying is that we cannot just simply string all of the seasons together and make one general assessment because the seasons have not been identical.

  253. Northbank1969

    As usually happens on Arsenal blogs, what started off as a reasoned debate has rapidly escalated into mud chucking and an unreasonable debacle.
    These comments have taken me so long to read that I could have used my time more constructively and read ‘War and Peace’. However, I’m an Arsenal supporter and it’s good to keep up with current trends and thinking from other fans. It’s going to be a very ‘Hot’ summer. Cheers guys!

  254. But yeah, I agree that Arsene probably brought back JD too quickly. It must show how little faith he had in Squilachi.

  255. Paul N
    How else do you establish any sort of trend in real life? No two seasons are ever going to be identical so you’re perhaps being a bit ingenious?

    In anycase, i don’t know that collective loss of confidence is the main issue. We can only try out our opinions as to what the cause of the problem is.
    But the fact remains that there is a problem(s), and its not just down to poor officiating or injuries.

  256. Northbank,

    I believe that you missed the word ‘Long’ before ‘Hot’ and Summer.

    I play out my role…

    YW

  257. george rodger

    “But the fact remains that there is a problem(s), and its not just down to poor officiating or injuries”

    This is exactly what I mean,Please name me I poster who thinks that it is?
    No?
    Because there is none.
    So why insinuate there is?

  258. Henristic, the man came back from a dislocated shoulder. Maybe he pulled a Cesc and forced himself to play.

    I agree that we must change what we can and leave the rest to what it is. We are in full agreement there. That doesnt mean though that we as the supporters turn a blind eye to the bad calls and in the mean time castigate our own team.

  259. By the way we are not the only team that has problems. Some of us are only just too sensitive to talk about them.

    Despite their many recent trophies, I’m sure manure fans also recognize some problems with their team and discuss them too.

    This trophy things has become like an albatross for too many fans. It colours any and every discussion and it really shouldn’t be like that. Even if we somehow had won the league this season, I’d still be here discussing ideas about how to improve.

  260. Henristic, I am not sure what you do about players get their legs snapped and a host of your players being injured at the same time. I wont mention the refs…

    The reason why I believe confidence played a big part is that it was a sudden change. We were flying high and seemed to just crash. Played a couple decent games but coudlnt find that spark again.

    As far as your last comment, what George said.

  261. conferencier

    Funny, how everyone things they can see what Wenger is doing to address the faults they (non-professionals) can see.
    One would hope those (e.g. Jabba’s Delight) proferring solutions are doing so for the sake of argument and are not taking themselves seriously.
    He has approximately 30 years in management, some of these guys haven’t worked half a day in football and he is somehow supposed to incorporate your ideas?

  262. Well yes every team has problems but as in life some more than others.

    For any issue United may have the ref will soon soothe it for them. I am sorry if it seems like a scratched record but they do get different treatment and the world knows it, not just Arsenal supporters.

  263. conferencier

    thinks*

  264. Northbank1969

    Yogi
    And so I did…… it’s been a ‘Long’ day! Good blog mate. I’ll be back soon.

  265. Paul N,
    But since when do players pick the team? Cesc I can understand (a bit), but JD? You would think Squil would have had something to say too if it was just down to the players.
    Naah. Wenger picks the team and its always his call.

  266. George,
    I’m not insinuating anything. I was responding to Paul N’s 8.20 post

  267. Jabba'sDelights

    Markus | May 25, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    ”Jabba, seriously right, I’m a rational person. But if you flat-out think there isn’t a media and ref bias against Arsenal in this country then you’ve got your head up your hole.”

    What im saying is mate if you went on a respetable utd, city, chels, spuds blog they would all be talking about referee injustices over the course of a season. ask your really close mates who support other teams. My spuds mates think there is a massive conspiracy against them.

    Much of the media actually really like wenger as he is so articulate and always gives interviews, many do believe that arsenal’s model is great and what a story it would be if they won. What they are however saying now is that Wenger has money to spend and there are some glaring deficencies that need rectifying and have done for a while. the competition is getting better and arsenal need to awaken from this coma and use the large but not massive muscles that they grew organically, and quickly.

    thats what the media are saying. its not an agenda against us they are merely saying what we dont want to here.

    There is no ref or media conspiracy against us , our injustices become like a cancer to us while our rivals man up. the media report what they see.

  268. Like I said Paul I don’t know that its a confidence issue.
    Our behavior this season doesn’t fit any particular theory . How were we able to overcome our confidence issue to outplay and outperform the the champions? Its not just that we were lucky and scored. We actually played very well in that game,

  269. With stupid clubs with deep pockets being willing to push transfer fees for ‘reasonable’ players through the roof, the prudent transfer wranglings usually utilised by Arsenal are going to be sorely tested this summer. When Chelsea forked out £50m for Torres everybody thought they had paid a bit over the odds to ensure that they got their man, but when Liverpool immediately dropped £35m of that cash on Carroll transfer fees had clearly become a joke. I wouldn’t say Carroll is a bad player, but paying that amount of money for an unproved and, at the time, injured player was just insanity.
    But that is just likely to be the tip of the iceberg as crazy transfer fees are likely to continue this summer. Where does that put Arsenal in its transfer mix? Is the new amount for an unknown but potential quality midfielder £20m? Is it £25m – £30m the right amount for a potentially good striker? Surely if we are going to be active in the transfer window we are likely to smash the existing club transfer record because £15m appears to be the amount to get you a good goalie at the moment, so shopping for outfield players in this market is like going to the Harrods food hall for your weekly groceries.

  270. Borges Spinelli

    Henristic,

    Only conclusion one can draw is that, many on here use this forum as an outlet to relieve their daily stress. Thusly pouncing on anyone who appears an easy prey, unpopular or dares to have a different opinion.

    Were many to reread their posts, from earlier on in the season, many would be shocked to see the frequency, with which they changed their positions – and also how crazy they appeared at times – fans from both spectra, that is.

  271. Borges Spinelli

    PaulN and George Rodger,

    Apology accepted. No hard feelings, gents.

  272. A mate of mine, ho lives up in the north of England’s mate, knows Chris Samba’s hair dresser and he says Samba to Arsenal is a done deal. The Blackburn player told his barber himself. So there you have it, conclusive proof.

  273. Top 5 footballers have been named for 2011, they are in order : Giggs, Cort, Given, Thomas, De Koch.

  274. This silly season is boring, no juicy stories to whet my appetite. sigh.

  275. Benzema would be a top signing, but it won’t happen. He could’ve given the team the finisher its play warrants. With similarities to how henry was at Juventus; oung French player with big promise goes to big club, doesnt get the love or chances he wants, signs for Arsenal…

    And having that top class finisher would ease some of the pressure on our midfield and defence.

  276. Usmanov’s latest attempts to hoover up shares at hugely inflated prices shows the complete contemptr he has for the AST, Gooners and the club in general. The sad thing is that the AST publicly backed him, as did other Arsenal blogs.

  277. Borges,
    You may well be right, although I try not to make judgements about people’s lives offline. Some may indeed be using this as an outlet to de-stress. Others might have ‘perfect’ lives and simply derive enjoyment from cyber bullying and tough talk. Who knows eh?

    I just can’t imagine people actually behaving like this in real life, say in a pub with fellow fans. Wonders of the interweb eh?

  278. Well we screwed up big time whatever the reason Henristic.

  279. Jabba'sDelights

    conferencier

    thing is mate, its not just me and a few others talking about these weakneses that only people with 30 years experience can see. every ex pro pundit including some of our greatest most respected players see these same weakneses. Thats thta ”media conspiracy” others were talking about earlier. 90% of arsenal fans see these weakneses and 100% of everyone else with an interest in football see’s the. It took me 3 years to see them , then the penny dropped. Maybe just maybe everyone else in the world isnt wrong and anti arsenal, maybe it true.

    Maybe we cant defend, maybe we cant break teams down if we arent on exceptional form, and maybe we show all the mental fortitude under pressure that a rabbit would when caught in headlights. Maybe using the same excuses for 3-4 years makes us look rather weak!

    Maybe having an obsession like wenger for 7 years can blind you to the truth

  280. Did we buy any players yet?

    I was wondering how many players Wenger bought so far from the ones suggested here!

  281. george rodger

    Jabba,where do you get these figures from?90%?Thats a number you have just made up.Never mind the 100% of others.
    Well my mate is a Blackburn fan and he thinks we are magnificent over achievers.So 100% my arse.
    You cant just pluck figures from the sky and have any credibility in a debate.
    I was beginning to warm to your doggedness ,but if seems I was right the other day.

  282. george rodger

    He is waiting for Champ. Man.2012 to come out so he knows how good they really are.

  283. Not sure what he’s waiting for? We have people on here already vetted those players and know who’s good and who’s bad. All he has to do is read the posts daily and just pick the names with his eyes closed.

  284. george rodger

    g4e.Yes and if he buys 100% of those he is told to ,he will be 90&better of next year

  285. Exactly GR…it’s a no-brainer

  286. Conférencier

    Jabba’s delight you’re reinforcing my earlier point….whether or not they see it is not the issue..any fool can…my gripe is with everyone claiming to have the solution as though a man of superior knowledge and intellect were unable to..
    everyone claims to know AW’s character and that he isn’t trying hard enough to rectify problems..despite getting information from the back pages..the underpinned folly is baffling

  287. And people say satire is dead. 😀

  288. Borges Spinelli

    Word has it Arsenal are interested in Moussa Sow & Gervinho. Now had the rumor mill spent further time, thoroughly researching their concocted story, one CRUCIAL detail would have stuck out to them. Both players are likely to be involved in the African Cup of Nations tournament, next year with their respective nations.

    A detail of huge significance to Wenger, who will be without the services of Chamakh, Eboué, Song and possibly Frimpong over the same period. Which thereby renders the story false.

  289. Jabba'sDelights

    georgeroger

    correct they are plucked figures, but they wont be far off. Go read nearly every other arsenal blog, you might not personally like them because of there tone and agenda but isnt that the whole point im making. Its always arseblog this le grove tha t, the gooner is pump on here, all their opinions are just wrong. The away fans in the vast majority now think it, and most of the home fans have thought it for varying degrees over the last 5 to this year. Like i said the penny dropped for me after our collapse this year. I so believed we would do it as i completely head overheals believed in wenger and his stance. I believed his defensive signings would work and that the team were a year maturer. we werent it was the same issue in fact we got worse. Dixon, Keown, feddie, veira, winterburn, smith, gg, merson as well as many respected pundits and journalists not to mention the vast majority of every opposition fans all see it.

  290. Woah Dexter, is that satire I am sensing in your comment about satire?

  291. Wenger the parasite

    We all love Wenger

    We love licking Wengers arse.

    what the fuck is arsenal?We will follow Wenger wherever he goes. Wenger is our legend.

    We all should sing it loudly

  292. As much as the season’s finale was a real horror show, slo mo car crash of a catastrophy. I do think people are taking some of the results and manner of defeats as the average, mean level of our performances in general and not taking them for what they were; the slow agonising death throes of a team fucked/spent and out of sorts. becuse we let in goals from set plays doesnt mean our defending is shit; from January til march we had excellent defensive records, keeping numerous clean sheets.

    And last season, the team came back so many times to win or snatch draws, even after seeing their team mates get mangled, there was no suggestion they lacked bottle or balls. Thats what makes this seasons insipid limp dick responses so hard to stomach.

    This season is defeinitely one that could make bi-polar mentalists out of us all if we let it.

    Wenger has his work cut out and perhaps as well as bringing in players, his task will be to remoe any players that have aided and abeted this malaise.

    What am I saying? Fuck knows. Probably that we aint as bad as our end of season form suggests, but we definitely need additions and a few subtractions.

    Thank you and good night

  293. Respected pundits!! hahaha

  294. Borges Spinelli

    @Henristic

    Indeedy. Who am i to cast aspersions on others’ lives? I’m no more deluded than the next man/woman either. LOL

  295. WTP;

    I see the local Mensa meeting finished early.

  296. Come on Dupsff, I dont think Jabba was refering to Robbie Savage, Stan Collyore, Alan hansen, Garth Crooks, Phi Thompson, Alan McAnnally, Lionel Richie, Andy Tonsend…. But the respected ones that I havent mentioned.

  297. Conférencier

    JD…respected pundits… oxymoron perhaps?

  298. george rodger

    Respected by who?Other sheep like halfwits perhaps.

  299. george rodger

    Those pundits are 96% wrong 98% of the time.Trust me an away fan told me so.

  300. But it hasnt been the same for 3, 4 years! the media said it and you bought it.

    To be honest some pundits said that in the last few seasons Arsenal have showed great resolve.

    Remember we looked out of it last season and kept fighting until the injuries did us in. There you have it Henristic, the truth is when we had our best players we were fighting for the title last season.

    Its not the same problems, but if you buy the media crap you will be sold on it.

  301. Some say: English pundits eat their own feces as a sign of their perfection.

  302. Jabba'sDelights

    Can you not listen to yourself”s. you just shout me down for not having worked a day in football and arsene working 30, and yet ALL these pundits and journalists with hundreds of years of experience in their jobs know nothing also. does that not tweak at all to you. When did Dixon and Kewon on motd become such sensless uneducated idiots? they all say it and some have said it for 3 years. Its you against everyone to a certain degree.

    He must act this summer both internally and externally to sort out our very very clear issues. He has lost credit to continue in his merry way unabated. He will be judged this summer and consequintly next season as a manager with know previous greatness. That was the last 3 years, this year wenger must prove he is still has the skill to be our manager going forward, and if next season turns out similar to this one, he will have to leave.

  303. Jabba'sDelights

    Paul N

    There you go with the excuses again. Winners find a way to win no matter the situation. we find a way to lose.

    the majority of our squad has been with us for quite a few years ”educated in the arsenal way”, and yet the character of the squad in general is quite weak when the going gets tough. They continue to make incorrect decisions at crucial moments. Experience doesnt just come from age it comes from game time and playing in high pressure situations. Many of our squad has played 5 or more tough campaigns playing over 30 games a year covering a plethora of tournaments. They arent growing up an there is no learning curve. Draw a graph for yourself from 5 years ago until this year look at the respective points totals, good performances, goals scored, goals conceded and then look at whats cost us. the graph shows a straight line of doing well but not great ans suffering due to the same mistakes

  304. Yup, those plundits were certainly right about Nasri and Walcott.
    And Song.
    And the fact that Arsenal won the league in ’04 ‘without a CF, without a RB, and without a recognised CB partnership’, which explains a lot.

  305. I love it when the plundits refer to Walcott as a whinger.

  306. Sorry, that should read ‘orthodox right whinger’.

    Ok. If Andy Carroll is worth £35 big ones, how much for Nick Bendtner?

    Andy Carroll 13 in 28.
    vs.
    Nicky Bendtner. Last season when the same age as Carroll, 12 in 32. + 7 assists! And is a fully fledged international, etc.etc.etc…

    Reading the experts above I might have got this the wrong way around.
    I’ve got the numbers correct (oops! what am I doing?) but unfortunately I do not have a hypothesis.

  307. george rodger

    A pundit said in 2004 “Dennis Bergkamp is no more than a bit part player”Yep that Andy Grey knew his stuff.

  308. george rodger

    Sorry my bad it was 2002

  309. LMArsenalO!

  310. Bradys right foot

    There is no conspiracy against Arsenal, however we do get more awful refeering descisions than any other team. Dowds performance at Newcastle and Probert at Wigan will stay with me for a long time as two of the worst officiating displays I have ever seen. To the credit ofour players we simply don’t put pressure on the referees, this is in huge contrast at to how other teams behave. Pressure works unfortunately.

    Do other teams lie down for Utd? That is a very interesting discussion. I would be 100% confident that a team like Bolton cover less ground and make fewer tackles against Utd than they do Arsenal. If a pattern of behaviour was repeated over a few games then certainly this would be something that is worthy of deeper debate but what it would actually prove however is more difficult to judge, that teams raise their game against us, that they think their in with a chance against us, their more resigned against Utd, or that they simply hate us more. Certainly I found Paul Robinsons celebrations after the final whistle at Bolton very strange would his reaction have been the same if they’d have beaten Utd, personally I doubt it. However the professionalism of other players is something beyond our control and should never be used as an excuse, the reverse could be applicable to our ownplayers in their different performances against Utd and Bolton only a week apart. I do think there is something in this but it could be as simple as were hated more because were Arsenal and to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way. Fuck em all.

  311. Jabba, stop chat blasted foolinish (Jamaica accent). No teams win without most of their best players. That would be NONE. Teams dont find a way to win in those situation. That is bulls (jamaican accent).

    Didnt we lose all of our best players toward the end opf last season? Call it what you want but thats what took place.

    And how many times have I said that the team still shouldve won this season? my word!

  312. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Seriously, fuck objective Arsenal fans. The whole lot of them can fuck right off.

  313. how’s Shottagunna doing these days?

  314. Conférencier

    JD..Lee Dixon, Alan Hansen et al have zilch experience in management..i doubt this not due to lack of ability….there is no justifiable reason for Wenger to incorporate their opinions.
    Arsene’s contract is still 2014, the board will respect it as will many fans…even though the likes of you may prefer otherwise

  315. alan b'stard M P

    Benzema has since said he’s staying put. Hope he comes our way, but don’t count on it

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