Forward!

Spikey midfield maestro Limpar Assist, gives you his view of the season…

Feb 27th – A flash of lightening, a roll of thunder… a Foster wallop, a Zigic shove, a checked swing of the right peg and a shout gone awry.

March 05th – The ball sits in the net chalked off and a stonewall penalty denied.

March 08th – Camp Nou. 95,000 screaming fans. 3-2 to the Arsenal. 1 more for the Londoners takes the tie away from Barcelona. Barca need a goal to take it into extra time and two to win the match. 56th minute – Massimo Busacca hands the tie to the hosts. In a split-second.

Four days later exit in the Sixth Round of the FA Cup at Old Trafford.

That was the week that was.

There has been a lot of talk about he final ten games of the season. Soul-searching for some, howling self-flagellation for others.

We will never know how hard that week hit the players – the cumulative effect of those heavy disappointments on morale, on confidence. By that stage of the season bad refereeing decisions were nothing new but you’d be hard pushed to replicate a week like that ever again.

Movement became stymied, creativity dampened, nerves hampered decisions. Extra touches, checked runs; partnerships were frayed with tension. What was natural and joyful became laboured and awkward.

A lot of talk – enough talk. Time to look forward.

What got us within punching distance and how do we build on it?

Nobody watching Arsenal play through the first seven months of the season could have been unimpressed. The team was on the up, full of improvement, ready to challenge for honours.

The skill on show was remarkable. The new challenge of having to pick double-locked defences with two markers on each of our attackers brought about some of the most ingenious, subtle passages of football produced in recent times.

The Chamakh-Fabregas combination at Goodison in November …the finest slide-rule one-two you’ll ever see for Nasri to finish on New Year’s Day in the sleet at St Andrews …the French Player of the Year’s inch-perfect alley-oop in a sparkling win over Shaktar …PFA Young Player of the Year Jack Wilshere’s magic back heel in Belgrade …and this before you start talking about Robin Van Persie. 22 goals in 33 appearances.

Goals from the scarcely comprehendible equaliser in the Cup Final to the audacious, chokingly important postage stamp thunderbolt against Barcelona (remember how Arsenal made you feel that night?). No wonder they wanted him out of the equation – Van Persie has stepped up in 2011, becoming the best all-round centre forward of his generation.

We can postulate on why we couldn’t summon up our best in the face of the hammer blows of March but to deny that what was there in the first place and claim that Arsenal are ‘going backwards’ ignores the reality of the season.

Those who decry progress have missed Walcott’s consistent precision to find the inside foot of the post with his finishing. They slept as Alex Song took responsibility in front of goal with big, barn-storming strikes and subtler ones too!

They can’t possibly have slept through Nasri’s sublime feet scoring double figures in his breakthrough season. Or Aaron Ramsey’s long road to recovery capped with a winner against the Champions – breaking an increasingly irksome little duck against them as he did so. Zzzzzz.

Two young goalkeepers fought and won big personal battles. Johan Djourou’s first full season at the club was encouragingly assured. Laurent Koscielny’s was a riveting baptism of fire that saw him pocket some of the top strikers in world football with magnificent defensive tours de force against Barcelona, Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd.

An otherwise brilliant debut season was marred by a couple of laughable non-penalties wrongly awarded against him – and that checked right peg. His form was rewarded with a first cap for his national team, an astonishing year crowned as he fathered his first child.

Bacary Sagna quietly went about his business, winning, as is custom now, his place on the PFA Team of the Year – the best right back in the country without question. No Progress? He added goal-threat to his CV with a couple of absolute thumpers.

Where we finally lost the league, in my eyes, was with three home draws to Sunderland, Blackburn and Liverpool. We lost 4 points here on refereeing alone but that is often construed as ‘excuse-making’. Dare one mention the absences of our best players – annoying little details that only distract from the objective hard reality of mental weakness, defensive cluelessness and pampered, passionless underbellies.

The goals dried up though. We lost our edge. The team scrapped at the top of the league for 24 weeks, and played gutshot for 4. Have we become worse? Did we go backward?

Wilshere’s assists dried up midway through the season. He tired and his passing became less inventive (Arsène 1 – 0 Pearce is Arsenal’s first victory of 11/12) – but would you say he’s gone backwards? No. You back him to come again stronger next year. That’s exactly what we do with the team that fought at the top all year long only to be defeated at the last.

We will see a different Arsenal again in 2011-12. Tactical innovations will be drawn up to pick the lock, similar tweaks at the back. New players will arrive and young ‘uns will take the step up. The signings are not what turns this group into winners – it is up to these Arsenal players to realise their own potential to win. They came very close this season and the exciting thing is so many of them are getting better with each year.

Forward, Arsenal!

’til Tomorrow

Posted on May 26, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 301 Comments.

  1. 22 in 33, unreal.

  2. Fine post, Limps.

    Much more than 4 points were robbed from us during that period.

  3. ah, my thoughts so eloquently written, i can only drool! I thank thee Limpar! One day i will be brave enough to write a blog yet, who knows! LOL

  4. the only positive gooner i seen all around,
    you my friend are a miracle!! how have you managed to stay so positive? how on earth did you not mention even one criticism of Wenger?

  5. Okay.. After weeks of not talking to The Arsenal this post has made me finally forgive ( but not forget that there’s plenty of work to be done). Come On Arsenal!!!

  6. Great article Limpar. Tactical improvements and flexibility, and better defensive discipline are really important.

    On a side note, I hope this is not our new away jersey.

    http://www.thegunninghawk.com/2011/05/26/photos-arsenal-20112012-125th-anniversary-away-jersey/?

  7. Excellent LA. With all the navel gazing over the end of the season, it’s important to remember all the positives that went before it. Form is temporary, class is permanent.

  8. Uplifting stuff LA.

    Anthony, I believe that is our new away kit. It’s effin awful. Looks like a half wet Coventry City strip.

  9. we will b back stronger……….never say die………..

  10. I like this write up,really shows the greatness of the club and the superb performance by most of the players this season(except squillaci,denilson,rosicky,bendtner,and 4 d 2nd half of the season Chamakh) ,I hope Mr Wenger can read this and keep the players together and replace the above mentioned ones.

  11. man,am ın tears,ıts not good not good at all,that thıs current football world ıs cramblıng down ınto some useless game lıke wrestlıng where the referee knows who wıll wın even before game starts.ıt hurts man to see players struggle through blood and sweat to get poınts but theır effort ıs nothıng before a referee who wants results otherwıse.my questıon ıs why,was rvp sent off durıng nou camp game?,where was the referee when joey barton was makıng such bad tackles on our players untıl ıt angered dıaby?why dıd the referee take the game ınto extra of extra durıng lıverpool game at emırates when they equalısed?that ıs just but few to mentıon,these are not human errors but delıbarate human mıstakes done because the ref has other ıdeas.belıeve me the ref ın todays football decıde where the trophy wıll end.Am so hurt to see football go thıs way and even worse hurt to see my team suffer so much because of these.

  12. Northbank1969

    In a recent statement, Arsene Wenger has admitted that the teams collapse this season was not down to lacking ‘mental strength’, bottling, injuries or refs decisions, but the player diets. He has already started a rebuilding programme based on a revolutionary dietary regime in close liaison with the teams chefs.

    Consequently, Wenger will be keeping the following players: Wojchicken Szechuan, Bacary Lasagna, Gael Quiche, Tomas Roasticky, Cesc Fabregazpacho, Theo Walcottage Pie, Robin coq au Vin Persie, Samir Sultanasri and Marouane Chamacmuffin.
    In addition he will bring back Henri Lambsbury from his loan period.
    Going even further than most fans have expected, Wenger will be looking to strengthen the side with some high profile signings, his buying list includes:

    Peter Odemchickenwingie, Caviar Hernadez, NEMSanja Vidic, Gerard Piquenic, Kentucky Friedel Chicken, Sergio Lobster Bisquet, Demba BBQ, Carlton Coleslaw, John Teriyaki, Eden Hasalad and David Egg’nog.
    In addition, Mulligatony Adams will work alongside Pat Thai Rice as defensive coach. Jens Lemon will be retained as Goalkkeeping coach alongside Peter Stilton.

    When Liverpool Manager Kenny Dalquiche was told about Wenger’s revolutionary plan, he said, ” It all seems a bit pansy to me, I’m a Scot and I’d prefer a Emile Whisky and a Brandy Carroll followed by a decent Vindalou Macari or a Diego Maradona Kebab”

  13. Brilliant Post!
    I believe Chamakh should be praised as well, he carried the line at the early stages. Why not have Chamakh play up front V.Persie just behind, Walcott and Nasri on the wings, Fabregas and song center?? Its not about fitting players into positions, its about winning! I wish I could place Jack though.

  14. Well done Northbank, my day is a bit brighter now.

  15. “Nobody watching Arsenal play through the first seven months of the season could have been unimpressed. The team was on the up, full of improvement, ready to challenge for honours.”

    Good times. I remember them so clearly. It was like yeah, this is our season. This is when it all of Arsene’s plans comes together. This is when we show the rest of the world how to play football, with class and dignity and without zillions spend on overpaid ballerinas.
    Sure we still had crazy worrying moments, and a weird home record, but who cared? Nasri (who’s name is on my arsenal jersey) was in the zone! Theo was on fire, and RvP wasn’t even in the team yet… What could possibly go wrong?
    Fuck knows how it all fell apart. Bloody shame

  16. Media bias?

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story/_/id/923313/player-ratings:-tottenham-hotspur?cc=5739

    Spuds have a higher player rate average than Arsenal according to this moron.

    RVP was a 9. Chamakh was a 3

  17. Your final para said it all. A great forecast of what to expect in the new season.
    Two unfortunates last season which could easily have altered our outcome. The FACup against Man Utd…..the luck of the draw gave them a home tie.
    And Van Persie’s ludicrous sending off against Barcelona.

  18. Good to read Limpars and a timely reminder that football and Arsenal were created to be enjoyed

    And Northbank Another tasty morsel :0

  19. If only Arsenal had boasted this kind of quality on the bench at the end of the season!

  20. Away drom football for a moment, this made me laugh.

    “Easiest way to make money on Facebook >>>> Log in your account – Go to Account – Account Settings – Deactivate your Account – AND GO TO WORK”

  21. from not drom. Fat fingers this morning

  22. The tapping up rules shown to be flawed yet again. No direct overtures from Manure, but Evra is allowed to call for Nasri to join them in the press. I was surprised that AW had commented on Benzema, but it was clearly responding to questions directed to him and it is not clear from the articles when he actually made those comments (I’m sure I saw very similar comments attributed to him on the subject of Benzema some time ago). Whereas Evra’s comments are a disgrace, he clearly deliberately placed an article in the press calling for Narsi to join Manure. FIFA/UEFA have once more demonstrated that they are toothless and clearly tapping up rules are weak. If I as a manager want to target a player I just get one of my players to go to the press.
    If such blatant tapping up to this degree goes on in the press how bad are the direct communications getting? Didn’t Drogba even announce to the press last summer that he was going to phone some young African Chelsea target to convince him to join them?
    UEFA could easily resolve this by tightening up the rules, but they are too busy arguing about how many referee’s assistants they will have around the pitch in European competitions this season.

  23. With all the negativity that has been around in the last couple of weeks, in particular, I am amazed and delighted with your delightful post season appraisal and timely reminder of how well the team did for two thirds of the season.

    Any rational attempt to explain what went wrong, towards the end of the season, will sound like lame excuses to those who have already decided to blame Wenger for all the refereeing cockups, player injuries and poor reaction by some players to the disappointments we suffered.

    None the less they are valid reasons for explaining our dismal last few weeks, and you have shown that the future is bright.

    One or two class additions and we will be a force again next season.
    I cannot wait!

  24. Excellent post Limpar. A timely reminder that we are The Arsenal.

    Happy St Michaels’ Day

  25. Great write up of the season. I really enjoyed it till the collapse. So for that reason i know we will rock it next season. Onwarsd and upwards. Whats done is done and the futre is bright.

    I hope our players stay and fight. They need to do better .

  26. Thank you so much for this excellent piece of writing. It has been hard listening to all the negativity. I have been really disappointed as much as the next man, but like you its obvious that the stuffing had been knocked out of the boys! You can blame whoever for that.If people stopped for one second and thought about if they get knocked and knocked at work confidence does go, comments are taken to heart and then confidence is shaken! The problem is we have 20,00 ‘new’ fans. Selley, Hillier and Kiwomya anyone? Short memories or no memories of some of the drivel we had to watch. And the press are just an utter disgrace. Talk Sport, Mirror and Mail are just haters. I wonder if our new red hot legal team are privy to any of the crap that is written and spoken about our club?

  27. Thanks for reinforcing my belief, which all the negativity was threatening to erode with this simply sublime post Limpar.

    Call me foolish or naïve or unrealistic … I still have so much belief in this club and what it can achieve with a few tweaks. Despite the heartbreaks and another season that promised so much and delivered nothing, I’m still passionate about Arsenal. Felt good when I came across this article on. I couldn’t have conveyed my feelings better really.

    We have mourned enough. Time to look forward with renewed optimism. It’s just a question of time before it all comes together for the Club. What Wenger does over this transfer season will set the tone.

    Thanks for lifting my spirit!

  28. Superb article Limpar! One of the best I’ve ever read. Thanks.

    Arsenal.

  29. Northbank1969

    EXCLUSIVE: Further to the news of Arsene Wengers revolutionary diet team selection, the Daily Star has just published Wengers recent statement. In it he says:

    “I believe we have a menu for success, next season Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool will be eating Humble Pie whilst we will be lifting several Cup Cakes”
    He went on to state:

    “Spuds are bad for your health, better to mash them along with Haricot Redknapp, but that would only give you Gareth Irritable Bowel Syndrome”

    Wengers menu planning seems on track to win something major, along with the diet for his players, he hopes to improve the teams movements by introducing Karim BenzENEMA on a regular basis.

  30. Thank you so much. Brilliant assessment of a disappointing season which also showed so much talent and potential being realised.
    Always believe we will come good and with a bit of luck and a couple of additions we will continue to improve and build to winning stuff.

  31. “Movement became stymied, creativity dampened, nerves hampered decisions. Extra touches, checked runs; partnerships were frayed with tension. What was natural and joyful became laboured and awkward.”

    Brilliantly put and a very well written piece LA.

    This season was learning curve of the sharpest proportions, but if we can just keep our team together it’ll see us right next year.

  32. “We lost 4 points here on refereeing alone but that is often construed as ‘excuse-making’. ”
    Very one-eyed view of the season. Surely most teams can look at the season and say the ref cost us points in certain games. What about the games in which the ref’s decision was favourable to us? i.e. Blackpool where a stone-wall penalty was not given against us. A team (and its supporters and manager) really have to be bigger than that.
    A very mixed season really, with some really poor results. In some ways we moved forward (away form, home wins against Chelsea, Barc and Man Utd, goalkeeping, emergence of Wilshire, form of RVP and Nasri) in others we moved backwards (struggled at home, botched the champions league group, poor performances of fringe players in cup games, lack of defensive organisation, too many goals conceded).
    The promise is there without doubt, but in the cold light of day we have ended up fourth, conceded more goals than last year, have less points and in the cups (except for the CC) have exited earlier.
    Plenty to work on…

  33. Wavey, not saying Wenger didn’t mention Benzema as response to a journo question, but the thing about the quotes is that anywhere they appear they are attributed to quotes that originally appeared in the Sun. The Sun obviously doesn’t say when or where he made the comments either. It annoys me that I had to give the Sun hits in order to go and just validate the comments were genuine, but that’s the kind of game they’re playing. They make stuff up for traffic.

  34. What a star you are, LA.

  35. Brilliant!

  36. I like him this Limps fellow.

    Brought a smile to my glum Thursday morning face.

    Agree with points raised regarding the team realising their own ability.
    Small tweaks required and hopefully Gervinho.

  37. Thanks BigM. you couldnt give it a rest for a day. We are not following you on that road to hell. Is that okay? FFS!!

  38. 22 years ago today the greatest day in our 125 year history

    ITS UP FOR GRABS NOW………………………………..THOMAS

  39. Well said, goonerwife

  40. @Markus
    I was just trying to flag that at some point Wenger had discussed Benzema, but it was not in a ‘we want to buy him’ type story, it was more in a ‘I like him as a player and who wouldn’t want him’ way. Wenger never talks targets in public, its not his style.
    I was trying to say that players like Evra should shut the f*ck up about players from other clubs. It was well out of order last summer when players like Pique and Puyol were in the press every 5 minutes stating that Fabregas should be at Barcelona because that’s where he belongs. Now we have some ar*ehole from Manure blatantly tapping up an Arsenal player through the press. A sh*t practice that FIFA/UEFA should clamp down on, but never will.

  41. Jabba's delights

    Limpar

    ”Where we finally lost the league, in my eyes, was with three home draws to Sunderland, Blackburn and Liverpool. We lost 4 points here on refereeing alone ”

    Mate thats the biggest excuse i’ve ever read. Sunderland we played awfully didnt get the rub of the green fine but great teams find a way to win. That same Sunderland were in the middle of a run of form where they got 1 point in 9 games and that was aginst us. City beat them 5-0 the next week.

    Blackburn. We were falt and awful from the off. In this game we got the run of the green with Nzonzi Wrongly being sent off, we still couldnt get Robinson to make a good save.

    Liverpool. We were flat got our pen and then gace away a stupid pen 40 seconds later. Look at the way we defended straight after scoring our players were terrified. What happened in the cl vs liv 4 years ago straight after scoring. Stupid imature mistakes

    excuses excuses all the time

  42. Have to say Big M, totally agree. A mixed bag of a season if ever there was one. But the reality is our last third of the season has let us down yet again . . . indeed plenty to work on!!

  43. Please shut the fuck up, Jibber

  44. Special thanks to Barcelona Rovers for handing over two of their best youngsters. You still owe us but it was a nice gesture.

  45. Jabba, not excuses, but some positives. Or is it wrong to take some positives out of a dissapointing season. What is wrong with you? Do you have the elegance to leave it alone for a day considering Arsenal is your club and there are always positives and maybe for once on this blog you could say, yeah, these were the things i liked.

    If all you do is complain and hate why are you here. I guess misery loves company. But i gotta say there are better sites for your misery. sites where you can wallow in your negativity. Some people just cant rise above it.

    You just know that whatever happens this summer will not be enough for these people. so disingenous.

  46. Jabba's delights

    Frank

    No i wont, and unfortunately for you i’ve got just as much right being on the blog as you.

    Referee this, injuries that, fixture congestion listen to yourselves. 3 years running your finding a way to make excuses. Do you do this in real life. Do you make excuses for every ill thats ever happened to you. Winners take accountability for their actions losers allow injustices to eat away at them and opportunities to slip away from them. Our manager has allowed this and a tiny minority of our fans still believe him.

    Every group of fans feel their team is hard done by by the refs….all of them.

  47. Great post Limpar. You are a real fan.

  48. Jabba my fine peacock perchance you could enlighten me as to the nature of the “excuses” for beating Barcelona – or winning at Eastlands and pinning Citeh in their own half at the Emirates for 90 mins, or defeating the ‘big teams always find a way to win’ ManYoo easily, or whupping Chelsea ?

    It does seem to me that if Arsenal are so unremittingly bloody awful as every one of your posts indicates that there must be some “excuses” to explain the inexplicable ??

  49. Your earnest negative tripe is very wearing, Jibber

  50. Jabba's delights

    Goonerwife

    Its been the same positives for 3 years. Playing well (not incredibly) for the 1st half of the season ,remember we still lost 5 games in the prem before january, we also came second in our cl group. Well done us lets have a big collective slap on the back.

    The most important thing that can happen at Arsenal this summer is if the playing squad and coaching staff have a big hard look at themselves. They shouldnt be happy with themselves in fact they should be livid. What an opportunity that just went begging because of their collective mistakes.

    They need to be tougher and more critical of themselves. Thelast 3 games the team didnt play for the manager and that i find completely unacceptable

  51. Jabba's delights

    Anicoll

    We lost to Barca plain and simple and the only reason we played them was due to us getting beaten by Shaktar and Braga. Well done us for beating Utd, Chels and Citeehh but its useless if you then go drop points wigan (a) and stoke the next games…..useless.

    The same problems arise year after year and if we ever solve one (beating the big teams) we find a new one (lose to pump teams) and this has been going on for years.

    Clap clap arsenal we’ve done alright for 3 years but we dropped 8 points from last year and the opposition are getting stronger we can either be happy with ourselves or we can be tough about where we are actually at in the scheme of things which is about where we were 5 years ago.

  52. I fear that your negativity and pessimism have been cursed by Herbert the god of Arsenal, Jibber. He has caused you to witter on and on endlessly like a demented soothsayer, for ever and ever. You are lucky though, he could have made you into an arseworm.

  53. We lost more games(3 home games!!!) before Xmas than afterwards yet thats when the wheels are supposed to have fallen off.Yet you say we were playing great before Xmas!!!!

  54. The table says we did worse than last season.Less points,Less goals scored,MORE goals conceded.One place less.

    Yet Frank will have us believe it was a good season!!!

  55. You just made that up, Martin

  56. I’ve always believed that this team has the potential for great things. There is a little part of me that thinks maybe if we just leave things as they are, this team might just surprise most people and finally learn form past mistakes, being 1 year older and all that.

    However I’d be appalled if Arsene still thinks this way. He simply can’t afford to think this way because too many factors now stand in the way of this business-as-usual scenario.

  57. Northbank1969

    Oh Oh, here we go… Custard Pie time
    SplatSplish<—— Splodge
    Boo Hoo………. Na Na Na Na Na, mines bigger than YOURRRRSSSSS!
    For me, the season went upside down cake at Newcastle. Think about it, we were really rock caking it in January (just after the Christmas Pud) I think we played 9 games, won 6, drew 2 and lost 1. 18 goals scored and 4 against…… a Caviar month.
    Then away to the wine bar codes, 4-0 up with absolute vodka ease! Should have gone on to have a real fry up but then it got sticky buns… a red cod, a couple of stodgy penalties and wack it in the oven…. gas mk 4-4.
    The cheesestick the team got from that game pie,
    from the garlicpress and the flans…. fuck, we made history, but for all the wrong reasons. It went pork belly up from that moment. Get Apple Turnover it, put it in the freezer for a couple of months and then in august, defrost and cook till golden brown and palatable.

  58. Thanks very much for all these kind words. Glad it was enjoyed.

    Jabba3 ,
    I spoke quite a lot about how we struggled to turn it on in those games. I didn’t blame that on the referee. You may have missed that bit.

    “Blackburn. We were flat and awful from the off” < Completely made up.
    I was in the Clock End right behind the Blackburn goal and Blackburn hardly got a touch in the first twenty minutes, and when they did we had it back within seconds. The ball careened around in Robinson's box like a pinball. It was a fucking freak of nature we weren't 3 nil up in the first half. Wilshere missed the sitter of the season. That is not getting the run of the green. Don't make things up when talking to people who pay attention to their team – you'll get found out.

  59. People are obsessed by cooking these days

  60. ..maybe WITH cooking too, don’t know

  61. Used to be that blokes were obsessed by sex but now all they think about is food. The new pornography.

  62. Toral and Bellerin should just about cover the bill to get our training ground exorcised then. Barcelona are a great feeder club for us – their players are all hardwired with that pass and move stuff, so it’s a pretty seamless transition into our youth teams.

    There’s also an endless supply of quality players over there. And so there should be – Barcelona has hegemony over a region with 7.5 million. They’re also free to bring in players like Iniesta from other regions in Spain, not to mention guys like Messi from other continents.

    For u-16s, we only get to recruit within a 90-minute radius of the ground, and have to fight at least 10 other league clubs for players.

  63. Thank you internet person, your lordship, sir, boss

  64. Jabba's delights

    Limpar

    You are deluded we had a good first 10 against blackburn and then were flat for the next 80.

    ”It was a fucking freak of nature we weren’t 3 nil up ”

    Its amazing how those freaks of nature or injustices always happen to us……..boohoo cry me a fricking river. Go beat 2 teams at home who are in the middle of their worst runs in the season, plain and simple.

    Whats riduclous about your write up is that you make out like we were awesome up until the cup loss. We lost 5 games in the prem before January…..heeelllllllloooooooo is that aweomse? We came 2nd in our group which consisted of Braga, Shakhtar and Partizan……….hello is that aweomse?

    Look at the facts and take Arsene Johnson out of your backside for a second. People are annoyed because the facts dont lie we are at best stagnenet and at worst regressing and no amount of PR from you or arsene can hide it

  65. Ignore him, he is cursed

  66. I bet you’d turn up at a toga party dressed as a goat, Jabbs. Didn’t think you’d like it anyway.

  67. Jabba, I think it’s disgusting the way you keep telling the truth. Why can’t you gloss over it and say everything is wonderful? You really are a truthing bastard. You would tell the King he hasn’t got any clothes on. We wouldn’t want to hear that either. Don’t include me in that “we” by the way.

  68. Jabba's delights

    No i didnt. Whilst being positive can be a good thing lying isnt, and that im afraid is what you’ve done.

    Goonerwife said that your just trying to get some positves out of the season. Problem is you doctor the facts in order to make a case. You like Muppet, Frank and a few others are in your own world. I notice you dont mention anything about the 5 losses in the prem before janury nor the coming second in our cl group…………..thats because those facts right there make your write look exactly what it is……spin

  69. george rodger

    LA,Uplifting , truly uplifting,thank you.
    The problem with arguing on the inrerwebby is that, unlike in the pub or any face to face situation,you know that there is not going to be an opportunity to punch the prat in the mouth.Normally his simple action puts an end to the conversation and you do not have to suffer the negative drivel any longer.
    Unfortunately Yogi is the only person with the metaphorical clenched fist.so the rest of us have to suffer being constantly pulled into the miserable mire.

  70. Jabba you exquisite orchid I have searched carefully but been unable to discern or extract the excuse/explanation regarding the notion that we are worse and deteriorating yet achieved better results against FCB, MUFC, CFC and Citeh than in previous seasons ?

  71. Today’s quote is dedicated to JibbaJabba, Billboy and the ilk.

    [Gil is complaining about his complicated and stressful life]
    Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.
    Gil: Oh?
    Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
    Gil: What a great story.
    Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.

  72. George, all you need to do is just skip Jabba’s posts and you will feel much better. It works for me anyway.

  73. george rodger

    Markus.I like Grandma

  74. I am happy today because Gilberto said ‘thank you’ to me this morning on twitter after I wished him well in his new challenge.

  75. Rice out Grandma in

  76. I wonder what player’s own assessment of a season is; not the media versions, but in the dressing room, or on the practice pitch. I suspect in the majority it is “I could have done better”, with reference to specific games and moments in games; and on top of that “We lost momentum, shape, or whatever here and there”, and there must be much talk of referee decisions affecting both outcomes and morale. I don’t think a more than a couple of players would sincerely agree with an assessment that says “The players we have are not good enough” (apart from the age factor, which has been mentioned by Arshavin and Cesc previously) OR “The manager got this one helluva wrong”. Obviously, I’m guessing. For anyone with eyes to see, we are close, very close to the ambitions we have set ourselves; which is not one trophy, but a multi-season period of dominance. Wouldn’t it be such fun for the very season that, for some, indicated ‘Wenger’s failure’ (almost every pundit and the Arsenal bigots over at Le Grim Towers too) was in fact our final tweaking, planning, testing and pruning season. Don’t be surprised tomorrow to discover that the cards are actually stacked in our favour; rather be reminded, if you will, what it took to get to the ‘lift off’ point. I recall in great detail the off-season analysis of last season, and my opinion is simply that, true to its far-sighted contributors, we were a season early.

    My thanks to Limpar, Cbob and many others for getting it right.

  77. @Markus
    For a second there I thought you were talking about Grandma’s first sexual experience

  78. Jabba's delights

    Anicoll

    Because beating Utd, chels, Barca and citeeh means nothing if you get 8 less points than last year and go out a round earlier in the cl as well…….thats called regression

    GeorgeRoger

    The funny thing about the internet (not if you have you picture up) is that anyone can make out that they are capable of hitting someone in the face.

    Its a forum to debate not a love in. By debating one actually makes the blog more succesful so like i said ive got just as much right being on here as you. Its not the ”i love arsene’ blog, its the i love arsenal come join blog

  79. LimparAssist

    Well you’re always here to wallow in each of our losses for us, Jabba. The fact is Arsenal were one point off the top spot in March with every chance of winning the league. We dropped off in the final four weeks of the season and it didn’t happen. You seem to think that is because your team is ‘shit’, ‘weak’, ‘flat’, ‘awful’, ‘useless’, ‘stupid’ and whatever else your stunted wit can muster. Lots of people know that’s bollocks and choose to look at things in a bit more detail.

  80. And equally my little desert cactus you seem to be missing the point that in order to defeat FCB etc that progress must have been made – please explain why dropping points “means” something but picking up points “means nothing” ? Dyasee ?

  81. Jabba's delights

    Limpar

    Arsenal arent awful nor have they been since 1994-5 in terms of league.

    What they are is a team who suffer from the same weakneses as 3 years ago. Being 1 point off top in March is wonderful, being 12 off top and 4th in May really isnt very good.

    As it i believed we would win the league this year as i believed arsene would sort out the defence and the squad would grow up and learn from past mistakes…………….they havent and 68 points is where we were at 5 years ago. Thats 30m of our money thats gone to a manager for precisely zero improevment over a 5 year period………….and you keep telling me how poor we are!!

  82. Predictions for next season, take it or leave it:-
    1. Theo will be immense and win quite a few games
    2. Our defensive record will equal any other in EPL
    3. Chewie will announce himself as the best keeper in the league
    4. RvP will continue from latter part of this season, 2 goals per 3 games
    5. Ramsey will become a regular starter; fast, tough and smart
    6. Chamakh will be a relevation for those who haven’t watched him closely, he will become an important player for Arsenal
    7. Song will take another leap forward for those who thought he’s peaked

  83. Jabba's delights

    Anicell

    Because the only way to trully evaluate ones position is at the end of the season ”judge me in may”. Everything else is a journey to that point, and the facts dont lie we have 8 less points than last year, less points than spurs got last year and we went out a round earlier in the cl than last year through no fault other than our own

  84. You see, my runner bean, if it was or is just about points – rather than the broad canvas of football – then ManYoo have regressed from last season – a second place finish with 85 points in 09/10 to a first place finish with 80 in 10/11

    A slump at Trafford Park nearly as severe as the one you say we have suffered

  85. Predictions for off-season. We will buy one striker, fast, verstile, left-sided if not left-footed; and one defender in the mold of Kos/Verm. No player will leave except the two who have announced their intended departure. We may, as usual, buy a couple of long-term prospects.

  86. george rodger

    Jabba.Anyone is capable of hitting someone else in the face.Whither it has the desired effect or not is open to debate.
    Over the past few days you raise some valid points which merit debate.Just as someone like Bill does.But when you just keep looking on the dark side (the opposite to some of us I grant you)all you do is piss people off .
    This is ACLF and not Le Grove,so it may just be that you are debating with the wrong people.No doubt you go down a storm over there.
    La has worked miracles this morning to give us a lift.And then you come along with your daily kick in the balls.And wonder why you get abused.Not the sharpest knife in the drawer ,are you?

  87. Ah I see Jabba with the ruby in his navel – so you are saying the three points ( 75) we earned more in 09/10 was in fact an improvement on the 72 we earned in 08/09

    Good – we are making progress – Up and down with Grandma in the roller coaster Wheeeeeeeeeee!

  88. Jabba, surely there is a dank hole for you somewhere to crawl into; we can tell the sunlight is bothering you now. Take a load off your shoulders, man. sleep through the english summer, and wake up when it’s cold and dark and you are happier for that.

  89. I disagree that prior to March everything was rosy. We struggled to qualify from the CL group stage, and often struggled to kill off the encounters in the domestic cups which resulted in more games and fatigue.

    Our league form was good though until the CC final. Despite some strange results, generally we were solid and delivered some impressive results especially away from home.

    The main disappointment for me is that individually only few players improved (Nasri, Walcott and emerging Wilshire, Szczesny). The majority of the squad stagnated or went backwards which makes one reconsider the expectation of a young team progressing naturally.

    For me, the story of the season is the failure of the fringe players to step up and failure to rotate properly. When the manager stated that this was his best squad ever, he sincerely believed it, and did many fans me included. The manager started rotating after the CC victory against the Tots, but was shocked by the indifferent performances (claiming after the West Brom home defeat that he could not recognise this team). The rotation stopped after the away draw at Wigan, when the manager did not any longer trust the fringe players to step up. And from then on playing 2 games a week for 2 months was too much for first teamers.

    Expected more from Rosicky, Diaby, Denilson, Ebuoe, Squilachy, Bendner and later on Chamack. We have to learn to rotate properly.

    I’m worried whether we’ll recover in time for the CL qualifies.

  90. The interesting thing about the CL qualifiers and your comment on rotating SV is that Nasri and RvP are suspended so it we will need to rely on at least two players not regarded as first choice even if everyone else is fit

    Any idea when the draw is ?

  91. Jabba's delights

    Anicoll

    Good point, now lets see where this takes us. 4 Years ago we finnished with 83 points 4 points off top, that is the only time in the last 6 years we have finished with a pints totla capable of winning a league.

    Now for the last 3 years which are the same 3 years that the majority of gooners have become annoyed with wenger we have gained 72, 75, 68 points. In all of those 3 years the stadium affects had been mitigated.

    Arsenal fans are annoyed as the very time when we should be flexing some muscle and dominating we arent, in fact we are 15 points back from where this team was 4 years ago with many of the same players in the squad.

    Well done Limpar for writing an article, but if i dont agree with it why shouldnt i say so, as long as im not rude to him. Le grove talk about who we should buy allday that bores me, as who can second guess ”le professor”, i would much rather talk about whether ”le professor” needs to buck his ideas up as his form isnt looking to good

  92. Farkin hell

  93. Thank you for an interesting and uplifting article. After all the negativity of the last few days, it was good for us all to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and some hope for the future.

    Did you mention that we had the best away record in the league and scored almost as many goals as Manure?

    No one could possibly suggest that the season was not a big disappointment to everyone, fans and players. But we should not forget the good points either.

    By the way, losing away to Barca and Manure are not signs of failure. Losing to either of them away is no disgrace, especially when, in the case of Barca, they were given a crucial helping hand.

    We came second in our CL group, after slaughtering all and sundry, because AW and the players thought the job was done. Weakened teams played and were punished accordingly for not taking those last 2 games seriously.

    Let’s look forward to a great season coming up.

  94. anicoll5:

    I’m terrified by the CL qialifiers, especially without RvP and Nasri. Can’t avoid a feeling that the future of the club is at stake.

  95. jjgsol,

    Loosing to Barca wasn’t a disgrace, but loosing to Manure in the FA was. Fergie took the piss and it worked.

  96. Jabba's delights

    Losing to utd and chels away is no disgrace in the same way that beating them both at home isnt epic

  97. Thank you kindly Mon petit Jabba – and as I recall five years ago we finished with 67 points – and but for a dodgy lasagna who knows what pit of anguished despair you would have been consigned to ?

    So if the only criteria that success = points then it would seem we are having a bit of a roller coaster – And if you look back at my earlier ManYoo example we are not the only ones 🙂

  98. Well SV a failure to get into the group stages of the CL would be a grim start to the season – to be fair it is a not a hurdle we have stumbled at before, or even looked in trouble at, and I would guess that the other qualifiers are rather more bothered about us than we are about them

    Udinese look the toughest draw but you never know – A trip t Kazan is a serious journey let alone playing football there – Nasri’s absence I would not be too stressed about but Chamakh will have to find the boots he started with last season to get the goals that Robin provides

  99. Limpar:

    Well written. I have always thought you have the best wit and were the best writer of all the blog regulars. I wish I had your style. Don’t often agree with you but I have always loved what you write just the same. As my own bit of advice to you, whatever your present career you should drop it and make millions as a motivational writer and speaker.

    I agree that a couple of the players had good runs of form especially Nasri early in the season. Jack showed signs and hopefully he can add goal scoring to his game. RVP has indeed become the worlds best striker not named Messi. There are always positives to focus on and hope truly does spring eternal. I would expect nothing less then complete optimism from you and I sincerely hope the team can find that elusive “something” that allows them to fullfill the potential you see in them.

  100. Jabba's delights

    Anicoll
    Im afraid when your on 6m a year and have been paid 30m over those 5 years having a roller coaster ride which brought only one real high (83) and then leaves you 1 point from where you were at the begining, isnt a great ride. In fact one might ask you sort it out rather quickly or you will be removed

  101. Limpar,

    wonderful post! I really enjoyed looking back fondly on some of the more brilliant momentsof the season.

    This line sent chills up my spine “to the audacious, chokingly important postage stamp thunderbolt against Barcelona (remember how Arsenal made you feel that night?). ”

    I do remember how Arsenal made me feel that night and it was one of the most glorious feelings I’ve ever had. I hope the players can use that to help them push on after such a frustrating end to the year. I know I am. The official Arsenal computer wallpaper for that match is fantastic, Arshavin’s face expressing sublime delight (and perhaps a twang of surprise) after a brilliant finish with Dani Alves looking dejected and murderous in the background.

    Thank you Limpar.

  102. We are just two games away from being a Europa league team. Not that we have not been there before, but on our recent form any European team with half decent organisation and some fighting spirit will fancy their chances against us, and with unfinished transfer business and some dodgy refereeing a disaster is possible. Among the teams we may meet I would like to avoid all frankly.

    A huge test for the manager and the players (and the fans mind you).

  103. Great stuff, LA! Kudos to YW, ZP, CB, Frank, and the regular stalwarts who continue to remind all and sundry that there are far more positives than negatives with this team. A lesson that most of the punditry and a lot of other posters on here could do to learn.

  104. Predictions for the next season
    1)Fabregas and Nasri sold and replaced by two unknowns from Lorient,and W*n*er grabbing his bonuses
    2)Wilshere and Ramsey,the true fans of the club,wanting to leave the club because of the wanker of a manager trying to fill the club with cheap shit French players
    3)Arsenal will finish sixth and Wenger the w*nker will fuck off to some other club blaming the fans for his downfall.

  105. @ SV, You said

    The main disappointment for me is that individually only few players improved (Nasri, Walcott and emerging Wilshire, Szczesny). The majority of the squad stagnated or went backwards which makes one reconsider the expectation of a young team progressing naturally.

    Well, i can safely tell you that the rest consisted of at least 3 other new players and are you saying that RVP did not improve this season? How was Ramsey to have improved with his broken leg? There are a lot of factors not being looked at

  106. @ SV

    You really believe that our form at the end of the season represents the best this team can produce? i dont think even you believe that. So relax!

    After pre season, be sure that the form of the team starting the season will not be like this at all!

  107. Excellent, Team Spirit

  108. I walked back along Holloway Road yelling “we beat Barcelona” to everyone I met. Then popped into The Bailey (great pub) for a few cleansing ales to help get my feet back on the ground before taking the train home.
    One of the true highlights of the season, I knew in my heart that we would get knocked at at the Camp Nou, but I was living the dream. Then we were robbed by a ref who can honestly say I wouldn’t piss on if he were on fire.

  109. Jabba's delights

    Team Spirit

    You sound like Frank every year

    ”we will win the league, as we are the best”

    Er no in fact we are the 4th best. Its the most crucial summer in a generation, i just hope arsene realises its, as anything like last and we are out of the top 4 and he will be on the dole

  110. Well I think you and I will just have to disagree about the quality of the ride Jabba you scallywag – I think we have a fundamentally different view of what football is and what we want out of it. As I have said earlier I want to enjoy the game and the Arsenal and I don’t think I have enjoyed this season any less than that any other. There have been some huge highs and some bleak days, some outstanding individual and team performances, and some absolute shockers – same as every other season. And long may it carry on.

    If you need points, or statistics or a promise of you money back to validate your enjoyment, or silverware, or whatever then that of course is a matter for you. In the end Jabba if you cant stand it you dont have to.

    To be honest if I did not enjoy it I would not put myself through it 🙂

  111. @ JD, is that you attempting to be dramatic or being ur usual self?

    Be sure that even the fams of the promoted teams, expect their team to win the league every year… What exactly is there to be offended about?

    Talk less of we arsenal… It is stating the obvious to say we are the best.

    We were actually right up there, up until march, hence must people are totally baffled at to what happened at the end of the season, not one person , even the most negative of the pundits could have predicted this end of season for us.

    Am sure whatever it was wont happen again

  112. Looks like Jabba’s pen name is Netherton. Checkout his latest on soccernet.

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/feature/_/id/923125/carlo-ancelotti-axe-an-injustice-as-arsene-wenger-remains?cc=5901

    The media hatred and bias (against Arsenal and AW) is there for all to see. Anyone who would lead you to believe otherwise is either delusional or just plain ignorant.

  113. Team spirit:

    I agree about a lot of factors.
    RvP has been magnificent, including this season. His high quality is a constant and itself can not trigger the next step in the team’s development.

    I’m just baffled what happened to Rosicky. He is good enough to captain his national team against Scotland and Span, but can’t help Arsenal in a home game against Blackburn? What happened to his long range shoots?

    That’s the thing with the fringe players. They have to be disciplined, focussed and hard working to do what is expected from them: to step up when needed. I agree with GoodPlaya that our fringe players are the opposite.

  114. Jabba's delights

    Anicoll

    Good point, i think the difference between many on here and the majority of Arsenal fans, is that we dont enjoy Wenger any more. We are tired of the spin, and tired of tippy tappy and we are tired of our hard earned sitting in a bank. Believe me when i say he will be gone before i am.

    And if he has seen the light this summer and makes the imporovements that others have called for for 3 years , where will you be then. Everything you have said for years will be up in smoke.

  115. the heading of that article is really ironic… has roman not had a tradintion of sacking his managers after one or two years? what has that got to do with arsenal? As a club we have different approaches am sure we have always had!

    we are build a team. I hope the team stays in tact, with a few additions here and there, this team will get there! invincibles in the next 3 years! bookmark it and refer back!

  116. Jabba's delights

    emd

    The media speaks the truth, all our ex great players speak the truth, the facts all add up. wenger must change immediately or be sacked, plain and simple.

  117. AW must change from what to what? or else be sacked by who you? the pundits?

  118. conferencier

    JD…Wenger has three years left on his current contract I am certain the board will respect this as will a great number of arsenal fans.
    These ex-players would have been managers themselves if they were talented enough, pundits are commentators not experts

  119. conferencier

    JD, there are 40 million arsenal fans globally, can you please inform us of how you realised the majority are against Wenger

  120. george rodger

    I dispute Jabbas ability to tell us ” the majority of Arsenal fans, is that we dont enjoy Wenger any more.”
    This is pure speculation on his part.
    I think I will try doing a jabba,here goes……….
    “93%of real Arsenal fans fully support Arsene Wenger”
    See how stupid that sort of thing is Jabba?

  121. Jabba

    You don’t speak for the majority of Arsenal fans. If you’d have said that the majority of Arsenal fans were pissed off with the manager’s transfer policy, I might have believed you. The truth is that the minority of fans want to change the manager.

    YW

  122. Jabba:

    Obviously Wenger has become a highly polarizing figure, but you often ask for realism and then talk about his sacking? I too hope he sees the need for some significant changes this summer both in personnel and tactics. Like you I have grown less confident that he will lead us over the final hump. However, I still believe he is the best hope we have and sacking him now probably would be a disaster. Realistically he is not going anywhere for as long as he wants to stay.

  123. Everything I “have said for year will be up in smoke” ?

    To what do you refer sweet prince ? I shall enjoy next season as much as last , I shall be as excited as I was in the days of the incomparable John Hawley and the tricky Glenn Helder – whether I enjoy the Arsenal does not depend who is at the helm, or in the board room , or has the captain’s armband and never has. And by God I do enjoy

    A saying from the former St Mirren manager Davy Hume might assist you “A propensity to hope and joy is real riches; one to fear and sorrow real poverty”

  124. Limpar – Nice write up. I don’t agree with all of it and think it was a little selective, but a nice write up all the same.

  125. Jabba…I’ve been trying to afford you the benefit of the doubt, but if you believe the media speaks the truth, you deserve all the ridicule and grief that you receive on ACLF.

  126. Jabba's delights

    Bill
    Im not asking for him to be sacked now, although by his own rules ”judge me in may” he should be in alot of trouble. He must however change from what he has been doing, as its not working. If we are in the same position next summer where his hard work again hasnt paid off, he will be let go. Differetn ownership who fully understand that when marketing yoru product a wining one is an easier sell.

    The majority of arsenal fans are highly annoyed, a few want him gone and a few think he should carry on doing what he is doing. What isnt in question is that after the collapse of this year minor tinkering in the transfer market and training pitch isnt good enough full stop.

    We must keep Nasri and Fabregas which is my main worry. Our very own captain called wenger out a month ago, which isnt very healthy.

    We must sign 3-4 players capable of starting for a prolonged period in the starting 11. These cant be players that quite obvioulsy stand little chance of hitting the ground running like Kosciellny (i think he is good), but our very own manager said he would need to get stronger……that takes time!!

    And we must adapt our training methods. We need to be able to beat specific opposition with different strengths thats waht all great teams can do including wengers. Its useless to say ”we concentrate only on ourselves”. He is paid to improve the team year on year and the facts show we arent

  127. george rodger

    You have to admire the boy doggedness.

  128. george rodger

    boys not boy

  129. I can see it already. When we do have a great season the same dickheads calling for change will claim it was because Wenger changed his policies.

  130. Jabba's delights

    emd

    Why would the media hate us so much? Do you ever watch ”sunday supplement” where the media always state how much they enjoy having interveiws with wenger.

    The media/pundits/our own past greats/ majority of our fanbase all say the same thing. Wenger your too stubborn. Arsenal have a poor defence and struggle to break down deep defences and crumble under pressure. You are an incredibly well paid manager to sort out those problems so you should do it. Thats all they say and what has happened this seaosn to suggest they arent 100% right??

  131. Jabba's delights

    Markus

    If wenger does the same as previous summers and we win the league next year i will buy you all some drinks and celebrate like never before, it would please me immensely.

    The problem is i cant see it happening and nor can many, as the opposition grow stronger.

    If wenger spends this summer on top quality and sells alot of deadwood plus brings in some specifically to coach defending and we win, will you guys admit you had been wrong…..it works both ways

  132. I don’t care who is right or wrong, I just want the team to improve and stop giving away schoolboy type goals.

  133. Jabba, I get what you’re saying about journos liking Wenger on a personal basis. How could they not? But I still maintain that a bias exists against his team and his vision. If you’ve followed him from the start of his career in this country I’d be surprised if you didn’t pick up on the levels of hostility toward his approach.

    And yesterday you were under the impression that I believe in some sort of conspiracy against us. I don’t, it’s a rediculous idea. But there definitely is a bias, against us and for other ‘big teams’, at least in my mind.

  134. Jabba @ 3;40:

    We should discuss and debate our opinions and in many of those points you make you are “preaching to the choir”. However, I still think that Wenger offers us the best hope at this point.

  135. I think Jabba offers us the best hope actually.

  136. Limpar, brilliant!

  137. Most clubs think that there is some sort of bias against them. Smaller clubs think that the top 4 get all of the desicions.

    We have had plenty go in our favor this season, but those instances are easily forgotton by the fans, as they concentrate on what has gone against us. All teams suffer from bad (and good) refereeing decisions.

  138. Any significance in the fact that RVP and Cesc were seen together at the New York Red Bulls home game with their ladies last night. I actually think it may be a sign Cesc is staying with us….pure speculation though.

  139. Is it possible to be a serial cunt?

  140. Bill – I agree. Arsene is still the man for us. He has earnt our patience.

  141. well atleast we should cut and paste all of his comments in a word doc and express mail it to Wenger. Jabba may not get the job but his advice would be golden. Wenger doesnt know how to really manage, having a team that went undefeated and all that.

    Jabba Knows Best!

  142. vice – I would not read too much into that. Cesc going for a night our with his mate is not really headline news is it?

  143. Jabba's delights

    Markus

    Absolutley agree that when he first came over thee was hostility due to him being foreign. The game however has come on leaps and bounds since then.

    I think the majority of the media actually want us to succeed as they believe our cause is a good one. I think though that they see what most of us see, and that is a manager who is reluctant to change even though our very own business model and his own brilliance have given us an opportunity to do better than we have.

    Whilst spending money is no gurantee of success it cant also be seen as entirely negative. Fans are frustrated with wenger spin. I dont know why he does it but to talk of only signing ”super super’ players last year that infuriated many when at the end of that year the players to differing degrees were alright. He should stop talking about mental strength when clearly the team lack it over the course of a season.

    I want wenger to succeed, but he must adapt. His credit is maxed out. His past brilliance wont save him anymore, he will be judged on his ability to make this side with additions serious title contenders next year and that means being around the 80 point level minimum.

  144. If my mate was about to stab my club in the back and finally make good on his move away from Arsenal I would probably not be traveling to NY and partying with him a week after the season is over. That is just how I would react…Again, probably means nothing, but I can be hopeful…

  145. What is it that people get from being a serial pessimist.
    Even if you claim we are deluded, it doesnt affect any of us and lifts our spirits a bit after a dismal end to the season. As has been said, there are other places where you can moan and groan. Not one thing that you say here is going to change the team. We have gone over what went wrong enough, can we just celebrate the good for a sec?

    Most on here believe we will win the title every year and next season will be no different but with many, if they dont believe Arsene did what was necessary they will start moaning before the season even starts.

    Its just getting a bit old now!

    Thanks again Limpar!

  146. dear oh dear oh dear

  147. Jabba, why are you acting as if you have the power to fire Wenger?

    His credit is not maxed out for many on here so why do you make such claims.

    So this team wasnt a serious title contender?

  148. george rodger

    viceologist,especially RVP the most Arsenal of all Arsenal men.
    Untold have published a piece about refereeing bias and decisions both for and against.Makes for worrying reading. Definite bias against us.
    I am having it.

  149. Arsene knows.

  150. george rodger

    JKB,funny as.

  151. George, any honest person can see that something is wrong with the refs calls.

  152. Jabba's delights

    Paul N
    The issue being im not a lone voice. When Morinho talks of arsenal’s obvious weakneses then same one’s i and many highlight does he not know?

    One can become so obsesive about something as they have worked so hard on it that they fail to see the big picture. Keown, Dixon Adams all players who know more about defending than Wenger have at go at him for our shoddy defending, what do you say now.

    Can you not understand that our weakneses are quite obvious. We are un organized, short and quite weak at the back……..its quite simple and some wonderful ex players and current great managers see it.

    We cant break down the opposition when they defend deep as there is no space for inticate passing. They give us the wise areas as they know that 1) we cant cross 2) we never have bodies in the box 3) our wide players arent amazing at beating a man.

    These arent tactical masterstrokes by me, this is what everyman and his dog knows as every bit of statistical evidence you want points to it

  153. Jabba,

    You really need to stop speaking on behalf of the ‘majority’ of Arsenal fan’s, as it is starting to irritate me.

    The ‘majority’ you talk about who are unhappy with the club are the 200 black scarve wearing twats who got laughed at outside of the Emirates.

    Unfortunately, as has been pointed out many times, the minority are the most vocal, and now have a voice due how easy it is to post on the internet.

    I think you will find that the majority of sensible Arsenal fans may want some investment in the squad over the summer, and may be unhappy with certain aspects such as ticket pricing, but all would want Wenger to continue.

    It is a common question – but who do you think could of done a better job of transforming Arsenal into one of Europe’s Elite over the last 10 years than Wenger?

    You have to have perspective, Arsenal certainly were not considered one of the top 7-8 clubs in Europe across the globe prior to Wenger, in fact we were probably viewed on a par with the Villa’s and Spurs of this world.

    And look at where we are now, and where we will be for a long time to come.

    Under the conditions he has worked, the man has put his life and soul into Arsenal, and the respect shown to him by the minority (who think they are the majority) on certian websites is nothing short of a disgrace, and having those f**kwits associate themselves with our club is nothing short of an embaressment to true Arsenal supporters.

  154. Jabba's delights

    Paul N

    Have you ever thought whats going to happen at the AST meeting with Glazidis? We took him for his word last year when he made it very clear he wasnt happy with the end of the season. Well he will be faced with some even more difficult questions this year.

    ”why is it acceptable for someone to identify weakneses in a team and then actually make them weaker”

    This is the part where you tell me all the AST are a bunch of idiots. Well they arent they just see what most others see and want wenger to start doing something about it

  155. Jabba, you have said it enough.

    We want to look at the positives as has been noted in this brilliant article.

    The team that cannot do anything was doing it for 3/4’s of the season, no? The team went off the boil at the end for various reasons, I trust wenger to get them over the hump as I trust the players to learn from their mistakes.

    I am an Arsenal supporter, not the manager. I can see where things went wrong also but have no power to change them so I must trust and support.

  156. Thanks for an excellent article.

  157. Jabba's delights

    Matt
    Sorry to annoy you but you need to read before writing such things. I said the majority want him to stay but are annoyed with him, which they are and want him to change what he has done both on the training field last couple of years and in the transfer market. A few want him to leave and a few want him to carry on with what he is doing.

    thats what i said. Go look at every other Arsenal blog to see if im wrong

  158. There you go again with that ‘most of us’ line. You don’t speak for the majority of fans on this site, so why would you assume most fans agree with you.

  159. george rodger

    What Matt said.

  160. george rodger

    JKB and “management by blogs” It just keeps getting funnier.

  161. That was a reference to your 4:13 pm comment. Christ if you can manage a team as efficiently as you type I’m all for you.

    JKB

  162. george rodger

    I have just looked at “Untold Arsenal”and my survey says you are 100% wrong,Jabba old chap.

  163. george rodger

    “in Jabba we rust”

  164. You wake up and think that the day has a chance of being relatively perfect – bright sunshine, forecast for 90 degrees, relatively easy work, pop over to ACLF and read an uplifting piece by Limpar. All is good until some miserable bastard comes along and buggers the whole thing up. Bit of perspective here – you could be one of the poor unfortunates in Joplin, MO whose belongings are scattered over the Ozarks, or even worse. Then you really would have something to be miserable about.

  165. Jabba's delights

    Fine lets see how the AST meeting with Glazidis goes. I get the feeling your going to be extremly disappointed with whats said to the chief executive. Whether you choose to bury your heads in the sand or not, a huge proportion of arsenal fans are incredibly upset with things, all have differing ideas of how to sort them out, all believe it starts with our manager realising that this season 100% wasnt good enough and cant be tolerated again.

  166. george rodger

    You know what Jabba,your brilliant writing and well formulated arguments have done the trick.I am a convert.In Fact I am right now heading over to Le Grove to enlist

    JKB

  167. AST is a registered group that may choose to say the same thing to the manager… they do not necessarily represent all arsenal fans though

  168. “Huge proportion”

    “All believe”

    “incredibly upset”

    “extremely disappointed”

    Won’t be a dry eye in the house

  169. My point is Jabba – I can’t take you seriously when you say you speak for the majority of Arsenal Supporters, as you quite clearly don’t.

    And if I did have the time to go and read every Arsenal blog out there, It would only reinforce my view that there are certain sites that are written by and read by fuckwits.

  170. Limpar i felt my spirits being lifted while reading. thanks for that.

    Jabba you claim to be a realist then say that the media speaks the truth. You are a fine peacock, exquisit orchid, little desert cactus, runner bean, mon petit, scallywag, sweet prince. Anicoll please keep calling this guy names maybe he will get the hint and stop ruining our days with his words. I mean Jabba, we understand that you have a passion for arsenal just like us, but you make rediculous claims! After I read your post about how the media speaks the truth, it will be hard for me (and probably others on here) to take you seriously.

    On another note, do pique and puyol have a man crush on cesc? Me thinks those two have more than just a CB partnership…

  171. Yogi’s Warrior…

    “We will never know how hard that week hit the players – the cumulative effect of those heavy disappointments on morale, on confidence. By that stage of the season bad refereeing decisions were nothing new but you’d be hard pushed to replicate a week like that ever again.”

    I agree wholeheartedly on the referees portion of this comment, but I have a problem saying it is hard to replicate this week for Arsenal in any given season. A team like Arsenal will most likely always be in this position of competing for all trophies and disappointments will happen. I think the biggest disappointment is that this team have been through this same scenario a year before, going out of all competitions in a week or two.

    My question is : Why do we crumble so horribly like this?

    Maybe because those players have been through those disappointments before and with the first snag they fall apart because it brings back the bad memory? And what would be the solution to that?

  172. …something about how AST stands for assclowns shouting…

  173. Yay! Excellent stuff, Limpar Assist. I dropped in here having just seen the goals of the season video clip on the official site, and you articulated what I was feeling.
    I would apply your take on our attacking play to our defensive shortcomings as well. As we all know, we defended badly in the last two months or so, but I would remind everyone of the string of clean sheets in the autumn, Johan Djourou’s record etc.. We have got it in us to do it properly – just got to keep it all going till the end of the season.
    Next season the players shouldn’ t be thinking about winning for the fans or for Wenger – they play for themselves.

    @ theBigM | May 26, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    What about the stonewall penalty that was not given FOR us in that game – a push on RvP? Didn’t you notice that one?

    @ OneOfUs | May 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    “Toral and Bellerin should just about cover the bill to get our training ground exorcised then.”
    ha ha! I’ve been thinking that we must have built the Emirates on a Native American burial site, or something.
    Hilarious twitpic as well.
    ***
    Everyone, lay off Giblets Delight -we should all empathise with the pain and anguish he suffers at the thought that someone, somewhere, might be rating Arsenal higher than he does.

    ***
    anicoll, TS, PaulN, Markus, Matt and others too numerous to mention, as they say – great posts.

  174. And you should go ahead and write that blog, TS.

  175. G4E you ask some good questions. Many of us are wondering why our team crumbled so horribly. This is the point where we tend to make excuses. That is only a natural response though.
    Q- Why did we crumbly so horribly?
    A-Two banks of four, Lucas, Newcastle, etc.
    We could go on and on stating our opinions about why we fucked up badly, and then you get Jibbers calling us weak for making excuses.

    I think GoonerAndy said it well. I don’t care who is right or wrong, all I want is to stop conceding these shite goals. (and for Jabba to eff off)

  176. @ Matt

    “It would only reinforce my view that there are certain sites that are written by and read by fuckwits.”

    Couldn’t agree more, however how anyone can say they speak for the majority of Arsenal supporters is beyond me, but by the same token it is also misleading to say they don’t. How does anyone know??? What MAYBE the case however is that there is an increasing amount of supporters who aren’t happy about the way the club is being run both on and off the pitch.

  177. Jabba

    The AST represents its members only. They do not claim to represent every supporter and as you would know if you read their website or spoke to them, the only representation they make about the playing side of things is their end of season survey.

    Come now young man, you can do better than peddle garbage. Can’t you?

    YW

  178. Jabba's delights

    William

    Why does the media hate us???????

    Do they not speak the truth about our shocking defence and lack of immagination in attack, yes sir im sure they are lying as its quite obvioulsy not the case. How can anyone dare question whether wenger knows much about defending in this day in age……how dare they

    Everyone hates Arsenal and wants wenger to fail. They are so phycsical with us on the pitch its not fair, and the refs only ever give deciosns against us. And all these bad things have happened to poor old victimsed arsenal for 3 years.

    Show some balls, everyone isnt against us, we can be unfortunate at times in the same way we can be fortunate at times. What is common is that Wenger current arsenal finds a way to lose.

    Say that most arsenal blogs speak sh^t as you always do, go for it. one day it may dawn on you that the rest of the world isnt wrong and some of you on this blog are about as uselful as someone at the front in the charge of the light brigade.

    Frank how are those 3 league titles looking over the last 3 years. Some of you are just as bad as the delluded spuds who think they are better than us.

  179. You are a talented writer LA, very good read but I am just tired of all the excuse making. If there was ever a post intended to push ones own opinion that was it.
    Still Im sure it had make allot of the AKB s happy.
    Allot of people keep pointing out that we beat Man U , Chelsea, Man City, So what ? We still finished behind all of them in the league, do you think Man City give a fuck they never beat us in the league this season, no ways they are looking down t us laughing. We may have won a battle or two along the way but we were soundly beaten in the war. As fans we can point out the negatives and positives of the season, some will emphasize on the positive and some on the negative. It is very hard to dispute that the positives outweigh the negatives, as a team we have slipped backwards. I dont think we need much change other than a change of attitude and tactics.

  180. Who’s Jabba?

  181. Jabba's delights

    Yogi

    Unfortunately Yogi im well aware of what the trust gets up to, and im well aware of that little survey you talk of.

    Im also well aware that on the 13th June Glazidis is going to be given some extremley difficult questions as everything he said last year wasnt rectified.

    Im also well aware that many of blogs who get zero time of day on her have numerous people in attendance

  182. G4E:

    “And what would be the solution to that?”

    Truly the multimillion dollar question. Absolutely endless hours of time spent pounding on keyboards and thousands of opinions but in the end your guess is as good as anyones.

  183. @ G4E
    I believe that at least part of the answer is that coming off an exhausting 3 months with 8 or 9 games each month from Dec to Feb, we suffered huge psychlogical blows – CC Final and Barca CL away – not just the losses, but * the way * we lost those games. 7am Kickoff made a chart comparing ManUre and Arsenal’s results over the season and we had very similar charts up until that point, including a dip in February when tames came thick and fast. But instead of psychological blows, United had boosts – bits of “luck” with officials, Rooney etc. They must have felt they were livign a charmed life, we felt like we were cursed.

  184. On the point of the meeja “hating” us I really cant go along with that though I am no fan of the 4th estate.

    The meeja don’t hate us. They want a story and the more blood in the water, real or imaginary, the better the sharks enjoy it. Good news does not, and never has, sold papers.

    If they can get an ex player on side to spout a few inane ramblings – the ex Walsall boss for example – so much the better.

  185. @ TimmyT
    I’ll leave LA to respond, but I have to say that the point about us coming top of the top 4 mini-league is that many used the fact that we came bottom of it last year as a stick to beat the team with. This year, we came top and surprise surprise it’s suddenly irrelevant.

    The way I look at it is that we haven’t got this close to winning for a few seasons. We haven’t been in a cup final for a few seasons. If we weren’t really close, nobody would be disappointed or angry that we didn’t make it.

  186. FunGunner:

    We have heard the same thing from many people about what happened this year but I would be interested in your answer to the real question.

    Why does this seem to recur year after year and what is the solution?

  187. Exactly Bill, the answer is in the hands of higher powers not on keyboards.

    FunGunner, I think there no one more suspicious of English Referees & The FA more than me, I have my own conspiracy theories to the point I feel that the whole thing is made up and it’s pretty much known who will win what before any one kicks a ball. Putting that aside, I feel that referees have always been there f*cking Arsenal up since I started watching English football, yet with that said, we did win trophies despite them or in spite of them. So what is different or new about this?

  188. G4E, it was not the same situation last year though and that must be noted. We were without the majority of our best players but up until that point we came back into the title race when it seemed we were out of it.

    Timmy, what tactics do you believe we needs to impliment?

  189. anicoll5, yeah, hate is a strong word. It’s just laziness, journalistic deadlines and bandwagons.

  190. But I think we can all agree that the team shouldnt pulled themselves up by their boot straps “this” season and got the job done. I am not overlooking the bad decisions (they went overwhelmingly against us than for) but inspite of that we had the talent to get the job done as was proved througout most of the year.

  191. Fun Gunner

    How did we finish top of the mini league? We beat each team once, lost the other 2 against and drew with ManCity.
    Besides we all know its not about winning the mini league its about winning the league, is it not. I dont care if we beat any of them as much as I care about finishing above them.

  192. Referees eh ? Phil Dowd in the Toon game – the words Malaysian bookmakers spring to mind although it would be entirely improper of me to suggest that is any more than co-incidence.

    Corruption in football ? Match officials bought off ? Utterly impossible – only happens in hot countries ……….. er ……………and Germany

    All part of the rich tapestry of sport

  193. george rodger

    Bill,have you noticed that other than 1 team per year,it happens to every team.
    The team that failed in “the Eduardo “year bears little resemblance to this one.Only3 of the starting 11 are the same.
    So stop saying we make the same mistakes.We cant ,because the “WE”you speak of are different players

  194. Paul N
    We have 2 tall good headers of the ball, we stick one out on the right where he is not very effective, or should I say out of position and less affective. When the bus is parked put one or both of them on the centre, move RVP out wide so he can whip in some crosses from the left. Nasri, Theo or Arshavin crossing from the right. With our wing back pushing forward to to support. Does this not sound like a viable plan to break down a organized defense when our plan A is not working. Lets try playing RVP just behind Chamak, or Theo playing off RVP, running into spaces. Noting is more frustrating than watching us struggling for 70 minutes against a good defensive line then watching Bentner coming on to play on the right. At least when he is played on the left he can cut inside and shoot with his right foot. Its very hard to understand why the boss cant see the logic of mixing things up, adapting to the opponents strengths and weaknesses.

  195. george rodger

    With the money involved in the game,if there is no corruption then it will be a first in history where those sums are involved and corruption is not.

  196. @ TimmyT
    We did indeed come top of the top four league – I expect it was by doing better against the other three teams than they did against us or each other.
    As I said before, our bottom position in the mini-league was held up as a stat that negated any indication of progress, coming top was supposedly more important than third place. But now that we have achieved that, it apparently doesn’t matter. To me, this is a good example of how people can choose to be positive or negative. Pessimists often call themselves realistic, but their point of view is no more “real” than optimists’.

  197. george rodger

    We have it wrong chaos .Its not JKB ,its Timmy Knows Best.
    TKB

  198. LimparAssist

    I think they probably do give a fuck, Timmy. Having ‘Boring, Boring City’ ringing in your ears at that volume for that long has got to sting. The City support looked miserable throughout the 0-0. They got an absolute pasting and the fans were embarrassed. All that money and you refuse to play football against the top teams. They can laugh all they want but the ones with any sense won’t underestimate Arsenal next season – they know who the better team is.

  199. Quite right, LA.
    What we attempt is harder to pull off.

  200. Fun Gunner
    I never brought up the mini league you did! I personally could care less for the mini league weather we are top or bottom of it, like I said it the league Im interested in.
    LA I agree they are boring and Id never wish arsenal to play that way, but to say that they would have swopped that boring draw for a win at the expense of finishing above us ! No ways, they have a straight path in to the Champ league proper, we may very well end up in the Europa. They are certainly the more satisfied club. And trust me they will be alot stronger next season. Lets not forget they came tie with Chelsea for second. On points. Once all was said and done they were effectively closer to winning the title this season than we were..

  201. George Roger
    Your attempt at humor is sad ,, surely you have more in you than that…Try joining in the conversation in stead of standing on the outside throwing you lame comments in between posts. Thats if you have anything to add at all.

  202. Then I guess we all agree that there is no point in trying to figure out what the problem really is with our team. So far and in the last 6 season we have not had all the elements required to win the league or a trophy.

    1. Fair refereeing
    2- Full and injury-free squad
    3- Good enough form
    4- Sound & effective tactics
    5- Relatively easy schedule
    6- Winning the lottery to buy SuperStar players
    7- DM with legs made of steal or carbon fiber
    8- 7′ 6″ C-backs proficient in jumping
    9- Defensive coach
    10- Midfield coach (that’s my new suggestion to Wenger)

    Did I forget anything?

  203. George @ 5:59:

    The timing of our the bad patches are similar in the eduardo year, last and this year. We lost in 07/08 because our defending melted down. Up to the eduardo game we conceded 17 goals in 26 games. We conceded 14 goals in the last 12 games on a pace that would have seen us concede about 45 goals for the season. Last year our defending was miserable during the run in and this year the same. This year we stopped scoring to go along with the defensive issues. The fact that the players are different but the events are uncomfortably similar raises other concerns. You might not agree but I think the question of recurring problems is still legitimate.

  204. @ G4E
    That hasn’t been my experience – it’s definitely a lot worse in recent seasons. The first time I really noticed it was around the time of Spitgate. I was shocked at the character assassination of Cesc and by extension, the club, based on an allegation. I felt that was new. Eduardo and the penalty ban. I don’t recall anything like that before, but perhaps more longstanding gooners can correct me.

    @ george rodger (or was it anicoll?)
    To some extent the media are feeding a prejudice that is out there – hence the apparent paradox of journalists liking AW on a personal level but misrepresenting and misquoting him to fit in with said prejudice.

    @ TimmyT
    This is what I was picking up on:
    “Allot of people keep pointing out that we beat Man U , Chelsea, Man City, So what ? We still finished behind all of them in the league, do you think Man City give a fuck they never beat us in the league this season, no ways they are looking down t us laughing.”

    That seemed to me to be a reference to the the top-four league.

  205. george rodger

    Timmy ,I will tell you what is pathetic.
    You thinking you can come on here and tell the majority that they are wrong and that you are the “truth”.That you know better than not only us but also Arsene Wenger,the manager of the decade least we forget.

  206. Northbank1969

    A great post LA, loved reading the replies…. but we are still non the wiser really. Anyway, time for me to get me dinner on the go….. ……. think maybe a nice Frank Le Bouef Bourguignon and perhaps some Emmanuel Pitit-pois washed down with a fruity Vino Jones. Bon apetit mes amis et bonsoir

  207. @ G4E
    There are definitely areas we can and must improve in, but what your post makes clear is that there are many components of a championship-winning run and not all of them are in our hands.

  208. george rodger

    Bill,you are right on both counts.I dont agree ,and I think the question of recurring problems is still legitimate.

  209. FunGunner,

    I think the referees started their vendetta when D Dean left that FA position he was in during his time at arsenal and people/media were saying referees favored Arsenal because of him. What did the FA do? I think they put a Manc’s guy in his place. Another thing that boggles the mind, we don’t assume that people are bias, but why put the fox in charge of the hens?

    FunGunner @6:31 pm, I totally agree….Hence the proven fact that there are no guarantees in life or football.

  210. George roger
    Timmy ,I will tell you what is pathetic.
    You thinking you can come on here and tell the majority that they are wrong and that you are the “truth”.That you know better than not only us but also Arsene Wenger,the manager of the decade least we forget.

    You are a right pathetic fool are you not… I challenge you to go back and show me where I once told any one they were wrong, other than the ridiculous conspiracy theories. Wich I find laughable, blaming refs, the media the fans and refusing to look with in.. You are a stupid stupid man! Id also like you to point out where I claimed to be right and the truth.. perhaps you cant read but right now you are putting words in my mouth ,,, You are a sad little person…

  211. george rodger

    Thats me told.

  212. Fun gunner
    Allot of people have pointed out our wins against these teams as positives for the season. I agree they are positives and I enjoyed them as much as any other Arsenal fan. I was not pointing to a mini league. Just that as much as they were highlights of the season I would have happily lost to those teams, beaten the mid to lower table teams and finished above Man U , Man C and Chelsea.
    That was all I was saying.

  213. I guess what I’m trying to say is that football is an fathomable sport with many variables, it’s almost impossible to point out or pin failures on one specific thing. Add to that the sinister factors of refereeing, Sam Allardyce taking 7 goals up his sh*t hole, and stupid giants and I can assure you, you will never figure it out.

    We could’ve won 6 trophies with the same team, just as much as we didn’t win any trophies with the same team.

    Chill-Out and go into next season with the same high hopes that we will win something, that’s all what you can really do.

  214. george rodger

    Timmy you are talking rubbish.You said this………….
    “I dont think we need much change other than a change of attitude and tactics”
    The fact that you think a change of attitude and tactics is not “much”is staggeringly stupid.Yo also go on at length to tell Paul N @6,02 exactly what our tactics should be.As if you fucking know!
    You are a “championship manager”playing clown,with a hugely over inflated idea of your football knowledge.

  215. Aaaaaaa George

    Go back and read again my poor little man,,, I was asked by Paul N what I think a good alternative plan would be and I answered him. I never said I had the answers to our problems, I answered him with what I thought could be a viable plan B, you really are a muppet arnt you…
    So you would rater is said we need whole sale personal changes, a new manager,, what would make you happy george,,, if i demanded a clear out…. I said we dont need much other than a change of attitude and tactics,, my opinion George,, you ever heard of people having opinions George? Never said it was gospel,, my thoughts George! Its a blog is it not? So please get a grip man.

  216. george rodger

    Timmy,thanks there is few better compliments on ACLF than being likened to Muppet.

  217. What ever blows your skirt up George!

  218. george rodger

    TKB

  219. THANK YOU, finally a glass half-full view on the season, that rationally analyzes what was a truely solid first 8 months and all the progress made (despite the end of season collapse).

    Looking forward to pre-season already!

  220. Do people genuinely believe there is a refereeing conspiracy/bias against us? I would really like to know how this takes shape/or is organised. Do refs meet secretly in a disused nuclear bunker somewhere in Essex to formulate their dastardly plans? Or is it even more sinister than that?

  221. You’re right in many ways G4E.
    Football can often feel unfathomable. But it is pretty predictable in some ways too. Like how the richest team almost always tend to win stuff, no matter where you go. Not always mind, but often enough to make it a reasonably sure banker.

  222. It’s very simple Big M, the media says Arsenal are babies and weak so when we get kicked around it’s OK for referees to do nothing because hey, the word on the street is Arsenal are cry babies.

    When Arsenal’s Eduardo gets a penalty that maybe has %10 doubt, the media gets their panties up in bunch and then it’s OK for referees to not give Arsenal penalties because hey, those sneaky Arsenal foreigners are %10 divers.

    I can keep going on and on and on…I’m not saying referees are doing it for financial gains, but it’s much easier for them to get away with mistakes against us because the media paved the way for them.

    Referees in England are so very affected by the media and equally by the crowds, but for some reason not the Arsenal crowds.

  223. G$E@7.33
    Thats exactly how I see it too. However, I believe the narrative will change when we start winning again.

  224. theBigM. I think the conspiracy debate is fueled by the incredible inconsistency shown by refs. For instance, the Fabregas handball vs Tottenham. That gets called for a pen, then other instances of the exact same situation have received a no-call. Also, Abidal strangling RVP still is beyond my comprehension. The conspiracy debate would be non existant if there was any level of consistency shown by top level refs. One more thing, Ferdinand has had 3 fouls called on him all year. A centre-back only getting three fouls called seems fishy, especially when he ninja kicks Sagna and tears his shirt. Here is a gif incase you forgot. http://www.7amkickoff.com/

    scroll down halfway through the page.

  225. It may be irrelevant whether there is a conspiracy or a bias against us, the fact is we get the crap end of the stick more often than not.

    If it not the bias of conspiracy what the heck is it?

    Bill think’s its a self fulfulling prophesy. He says because we start to play poorly in matches the refs subconsciously give us bad calls.
    Jabba on the other hand believes Newcastle were hard done by in the 4-4 match.

    All I know is that something is wrong and I believe that what the media say about Arsenal can have a negative effect on the refs.
    If you keep hearing:
    “Arsenal dont like to get stuck in”,
    “Arsenal are soft and this is a mans game”
    “Arsene is a snob” (due to believing Arsenal football the right way)
    “Arsene is always whinging”

    Dont you believe this can affect how people view Arsenal? Is it possible that the refs can be led to believe that we will dive with any contact because we are soft therefore not giving us the proper calls and protection?

    Isnt it true that we couldnt buy a penalty after the Eduardo situation last season?

  226. Also theBigM, do you remember the hub-ub surrounding Eduardo’s dive against Celtic? Why does that case gain so much attention compared to the numerous dives Rooney has pulled off in his career?

  227. agreed Paul.

  228. Maybe it is the perception Henristic, I think my only example for that is Real Madrid, they spent ridiculous amounts of money last year, and they did win a cup so far. They did get knocked out of 3 other competitions though and no guarantees they will win anything next season.

    I guess if you do have loads of money and it’s not an issue why not buy all the players you can, if your chances will increase by %10-20.

    But if you are on a budget, you better balance your act or end up in foreclosure or bankruptcy whichever you prefer.

  229. G4E,

    That’s why I said almost always 🙂
    In Madrid’s case, you have to consider that Barca aren’t cheap either. I know this is purely for the sake or argument, but don’t you agree that any objective valuation of Messi’s financial worth right now will surely put Barca at least on par with Madrid in terms of cost/value of their squad?

  230. Gainsbourg69

    Timmy: “We have 2 tall good headers of the ball, we stick one out on the right where he is not very effective, or should I say out of position and less affective. When the bus is parked put one or both of them on the centre, move RVP out wide so he can whip in some crosses from the left. Nasri, Theo or Arshavin crossing from the right. With our wing back pushing forward to to support. Does this not sound like a viable plan to break down a organized defense when our plan A is not working. Lets try playing RVP just behind Chamak, or Theo playing off RVP, running into spaces. Noting is more frustrating than watching us struggling for 70 minutes against a good defensive line then watching Bentner coming on to play on the right. At least when he is played on the left he can cut inside and shoot with his right foot. Its very hard to understand why the boss cant see the logic of mixing things up, adapting to the opponents strengths and weaknesses.”

    Like I told Bill a few days ago, when teams park the bus they do so in order to push the opposition out wide and force them to play crosses in to the area. This creates low percentage opportunities because the team applying this tactic will have five or six players stationed between the goalkeeper and the penalty spot. Even if you put five big players in to try to beat the parked bus they’ll have to contend with too many bodies and this reduces the likelihood of them scoring.

    As far as Wenger putting Bendtner out wide, I think he did this in order to add height when defending set pieces, add a scoring threat from our own set pieces, give us enough mobility such that we can still preserve our counter attacking edge and play as target man. It may have not come off too many times but Bendtner was playing on the right when Arshavin belted that goal against Barcelona. In fact, it was Bendtner who started that play with a perfect slide rule pass to Wilshere that breached Barcelona’s midfield.

    I ‘d like to see Theo playing right infront of Van Persie in a 4-4-1-1 when opposing teams park the bus. Personally, I just like this idea because putting Theo upfront and absolving him of his tracking back duties would make him a menace for the entire ninety minutes since he’s not a marathoner, he’s a sprinter. To me, all he has to do to have a great game is maintain pressure on the back line, draw defenders to himself and open up space for Cesc, Nasri or Van Persie in order to pick him out with a pass, combine amongst themselves or shoot at goal.

  231. Yes Barca is just as expensive but I don’t think they paid this much for most of their players since they were either coming from their youth or in Messi’s case bought very young. No one single player in Barca cost 70 Million that’s for sure.

    I guess to make it a more argumentatively viable, you can say we tried with internally grown up talent, let’s try with bought up talent…but it’s still not as easy as it may sound.

  232. Why would there be a conspiracy agaisnt us? what would be the reason? becuase we have a lot of johnny foriegners? they dont like Wenger? Funny how every teams fans think the refs/media hate their club. motd hate everyone. but i agree we have been on the end of more bad/incompetent decisions of late.

  233. george rodger

    Duke I have answered that question before.
    Arsenal do not line the pockets of many people in the game as the mega money teams do.
    I dont know about you but I favor people who put money in my pocket against those who do not.,

  234. I think the best way to combat a parked bus is to allow the opposition to come onto us a little. Once the bus has been unparked, we must counter attack swiftly and precisely.

  235. Gainsbourg69

    Like I told Bill a few days ago, when teams park the bus they do so in order to push the opposition out wide and force them to play crosses in to the area. This creates low percentage opportunities because the team applying this tactic will have five or six players stationed between the goalkeeper and the penalty spot. Even if you put five big players in to try to beat the parked bus they’ll have to contend with too many bodies and this reduces the likelihood of them scoring.

    Thank you for enlightening me, I am serious. I had not put as much though into it as you clearly have. I agree with what you say , it will make it harder and lessen the opportunities. Very true, I still fell we should try something different when we have not got the desired results after 70 min, who knows we may have less chances using those tactics, but we may also take one or two. Agree with every thing you say about Theo, I dont think we would loose any of his attacking threat and lessen the need for him to be as solid in defense . I would love to see him given a good run of games playing in front of RVP..
    Bentdner is no slouch out there on the right and has had good games there, I recall him sending in some good crosses and beating his man , getting into the box. I just feel it is not playing to his strengths out there. I rate him as a player and hope he sticks around. I really do.

  236. one thing i know for certain though, that ref in the barca game got a knock on the door from some fat spanish cunt at half time who then lined his pockets with euros to send one of us off as they were losing and were going to get knocked out. so it does happen!

  237. Brilliant post! thank you limpar for allowing me to prepare for next season wash off the woes of 2010/11, the combination of this post and picking my goal of the season on the arsenal website, have finally allowed me to let it go, I know compilations are biased ~ but I defy anyone to show me better goals from any other team in the league, it made me cry just thinking want could have been, I am now putting it all to bed once and for all, I cannot claim to know the answers to the questions we all have for next year, but I will as always be screaming for the arsenal, oh and Jabba, try the online gooner much more suited to your views, no-one speaks fo me as an arsenal fan apart from me!!!!!!

  238. Duke @ 8:13: The bigM @ 7:20:

    The whole conspiracy theory stretches the imagination a bit. The number of people who would have to be in on it would make it impossible to keep secret and would be impossible to administer. All it would take would be one person who did not go along or want to sell his story to the Sun for multi-millions of dollars to completely blow the lid off everything.

    As the boss said if everything is scripted then what is the use of us even playing. We might as well give up on football. Believing that we will win if we take care of the things we can control and not worry about refs etc. etc. seems a lot more hopeful then the idea that everyone is out to get us and we have no chance anyway.

  239. I agree with William, we should draw teams out a little that would mean playing the ball more in the middle rather than the final 3rd.

    Here is an example.

    2nd goal

    this vid at about the 1:00 min may be better.

  240. “As the boss said if everything is scripted then what is the use of us even playing.”

    Billions and Billions of dollars for a lot of money hungry people, that’s the use. 🙂 The Boss missed this one.

  241. george rodger

    Oh FFS .
    Who is saying conspiracy?
    It need only be a slight bias over the season to effect the outcome.
    How many times ?

  242. Wasn’t there a situation with refs being paid off in Germany or Italy a few years back? It would be naieve to completely rule the possibility out, considering the EPL (my guess) generates the most money of any league worldwide.

  243. Was Wenger saying that corruption couldnt happen or that he choses not to believe because there would be no point to it if HE did believe.

    What is sad is that right now it is said that there was corruption in the World Cup bid, there was corruption just a few seasons ago in the Italian League, so why do some of believe it just couldnt be possible in the PL?

    I am not saying there is in this situation but lets get real, corruption is all around us.

  244. Ok george, Why the bias against us? what would be the reason?

  245. You beat me to it William.

    However, like george said, no one is claiming that, so there is no need for bill, duke and whomever to keep making out like people are.

  246. Paul, seems that we are operating on the same wavelength!

  247. A Bias against Arsenal would be easy to see – the first manager to field a team full of foreignors could well and do the job.

  248. Or who generates the most revenue for the government in taxes?

    In this world I don’t put it beyond any one, MONEY rules everything and will f*ck the rules whenever possible.

    But we have to refrain from using this as an excuse, it’s not really going to change anything.

  249. george rodger

    Duke read my post @8 21 and consider the media bias which will be passed on to referees.(see Paul N post @7 41)

  250. You see, he is not giving the English chaps a chance, whether they are good enough or not is irrelevant.

  251. do you honestly think clubs pay refs then george in this country?

  252. Arry the twitch is the bookies favourite for the Chelski managers job. hahahahahahahaha. I bet a few fans would not be happy with that.

  253. Paul N | May 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm |

    It also seems to affect how some Arsenal supporters see their own team!

  254. George:

    The stuff you are discussing is not a slight bias. It would take the entire referee fraternity having a global bias against us and actively trying to keep us down. I can believe that over the course of the year that the calls did not exactly even out. I also said in the past and still believe that when a team a team seems to be going thru the motions as it felt like we were late in the season that the refs subconsciously might favor the team that they think is trying harder. In that way I believe you make your own luck.

    In the end you can believe whatever you want. I’m not sure why it would but hopefully it makes you feel better.

  255. G4E @ 8:59

    “But we have to refrain from using this as an excuse, it’s not really going to change anything.”

    That is really the bottom line of this whole debate. As you have pointed out before it actually makes things worse.

  256. Bill, it’s no use if we ignore it no one will care about it even the media/pundits. Same with the physical approach and get in their faces stuff. No need to complain about, we just dish out as much as we get it and move on, it will die away.

  257. george rodger

    “dukeGoonem | May 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    do you honestly think clubs pay refs then george in this country?”
    No I dont and have never said so.Which part of”slight bias”are you struggling with?
    Bill.How many calls against us ,and how many call for our competitors do you think it needs to make a difference?
    It took only one against Barca,did it not?

  258. I think Psycho needs to change his nickname to ‘thicko’. The team that pays his wages is supposed to rest him so that he can play a pointless junior tournament when he is already a senior player for the National side?

  259. george rodger | May 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm |

    Some people are either not too bright or they are deliberately choosing to misunderstand a perfectly valid point.

  260. Passenal funny how they twisted it too. “Wilshere declines to represent England”

  261. Exactly G4E, and where is the condemnation of Andy Carroll? Where are the articles with Trevor Brooking suggesting that he is wrong? Also, when England fail to win the under 21 tournament, whose fault do you think it will be?

  262. Wenger then Wilshere?
    Or
    Wilshere then Wenger?

  263. G4E @ 9:50:

    “Same with the physical approach and get in their faces stuff. No need to complain about, we just dish out as much as we get it and move on, it will die away.”

    POST OF THE SEASON.

    George:

    Not sure why we argue about this. Absolutely no way to prove either way so no one is going to change their minds. Somehow it makes a lot of people feel better to believe the whole bias/conspiracy thing. So be it.

  264. 1 loose cannon

    Passenal- Pearce has no interest in Arsenal and Wenger has no interest in a Mickey mouse tournament. Wilshere was looked after by Arsenal and contracted to Arsenal not England. If anything happens to him Arsenal will have to cough up from wages to medicals. So Pearce needs to really shut up and get on with his stupid tournament. Me like million in England will not be watching the U21 that is juat a fact of life.

  265. G4E this is another post from you and is the true post of the season.

    “There is a thin line between the feeling “Me against the world” and feeling “Victimized”. I think PV4 was referring to the former, and I think the current team is doing the latter.
    It is the responsibility of every one now (including me) to stop whining about referees, excessive physical approaches, injuries, etc. We know all these things are there, they are real, but harping on them gives the team the excuse and the sense of victimization, plus it actually increases the abuse towards the team.
    It’s not about Denilson or Diaby, it’s about the mentality of the whole team. We are strong when things are going our way, but then we fold when they’re not. They need to learn to do it both ways.”

    Good stuff.

  266. Even when Wilshere has repeatedly stated how badly he wants to play his country, some ploondit feels the need to put a negative twist on Arsenal related news.

  267. fukin el george talkin to you is like talking to a little snarling dog.

  268. Passenal get off your smart arse horse.

  269. Thanks Bill,

    And this is why I feel today that we should stop talking about what solutions are and what Wenger should do. Stop blaming every single player and fighting amongst ourselves about what we should have done or should do in the future.
    We should start – all of us – getting behind the club because it feels we are under siege and unfortunately some of us creating part of it.

    As I said in that post we know all these things against us exist, but talking about them didn’t make them go away. We probably need to figure out what ways should we support the team even more than we did before.

    Don’t be blind to that fact there are people out there who wish and work actively to see us fail miserably…I bet they’re celebrating right now, and we’re fighting.

  270. george rodger

    Sorry Duke ,no offence meant,but I wish you would read my posts before asking me about something I did not say.
    Still I do understand your point.

  271. just asking a valid question, wasn’t a rebuttle to your point.

  272. dukeGoonem | May 26, 2011 at 10:29 pm |

    “fukin el george talkin to you is like talking to a little snarling dog.”

    lmao!! Its is kind of true though….

  273. I’m not arguing with anyone on ere except old franky.

  274. george rodger

    Henristic,All I can say is grrrrrrrrrrrr.

  275. “fukin el george talkin to you is like talking to a little snarling dog.”

    You need to worry if you regularly talk to dogs and get answers.

  276. george rodger

    Frank is my hero

  277. Frank is a proper Arsenal supporter (biased). Just like any supporter of a team should be.

  278. george rodger

    dups,he is and I think a few more like him would do the world of good in the stadium

  279. oh shut up dups.

  280. Off and talk to your dogs Duke. I bet they would make more sense than you at times.

  281. you are a very intelligent guy arent you dups. very clever remark there. you really are the smart arse of the class. well done.

  282. dups, are you talking about ugly birds or the k-9 variety, funny either way though.

  283. i’m off to stroke my dog!!

  284. Heay Limpar, this was an excellent article.
    goonergal @8.32 – very interesting name you’ve got there.

  285. Well put Limpar. Couldn’t get on yesterday but read ur post in my inbox. Great write-up.

    All the improvements you highlight have been ignored and overshadowed. I believe in next year as I always do. This team has great talent so lets hope Wenger can add some extra ingredients to fully ensure another collapse doesn’t occur.

    If I was a Wilshire, Vermaelen, Van Persie, Cesc, Nasri, Walcott… it would be a long hard summer for me thinking about what could have been. The desire and drive to bring success to Arsenal will be stronger than ever in August.

    This was as big a roller-coaster ride as we have seen over the last 6 trophy-less seasons. That is because we had a chance in all 4 competitions. Lets look at the positives and look forward!

  286. Those who think there is some sort of bias against us are really in denial and deluding themselves. There are issues preventing this current side from being sucessful, and they are internal. Not many mind, but that is where they are.

    Also, I really don’t get people’s obsession with how the media view us. Who cares?

  287. Stewart Downing for Nasri? Which warped journalistic mind dreamed that up? I could maybe understand Ashely Young, but Downing?

  288. goonerandy | May 27, 2011 at 7:43 am |

    Those who think there is some sort of bias against us are really in denial and deluding themselves. There are issues preventing this current side from being sucessful, and they are internal. Not many mind, but that is where they are.

    Also, I really don’t get people’s obsession with how the media view us. Who cares?

    Apparently GA, ‘denial’ is a requirement to every proper supporter of The Arsenal. We can laugh at spuds for being deluded, but its definitely okay for us.

  289. *requirement for

  290. george rodger

    “goonerandy | May 27, 2011 at 7:43 am |
    Those who think there is some sort of bias against us are really in denial and deluding themselves. There are issues preventing this current side from being sucessful, and they are internal. Not many mind, but that is where they are.

    Also, I really don’t get people’s obsession with how the media view us. Who cares”
    You see this is the opposite thinking to doomers who shout”no one is asking for £50 million signings”
    Andy ,You are right in as much as there are clearly internal problems which are holding this particular set of players back.I dont think anyone is saying otherwise.Perhaps you could help me out and give me some examples of some who are in denial.
    But if you are telling me that over a season we are given as many favorable calls and not more bad calls than our main rivals then you are the one who is deluded.As I have said many times,and it is consistently ignored,the bias need only be small in order for it to make a considerable difference over a season.
    You need look no farther than the number of penalties awarded against United at Old Trafford over the years.Our defensive record at home would be much improved if we had licence to foul in our box without punishment.

  291. What an inspiring post… love it.. makes me proud to be a gunner

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