God Given Rights, False Hopes And Great Expectations

There is a feeling of deja vu about the international breaks this season. The last one saw Arsenal stumbling into the fortnight, desperate for some respite following the freakish scoreline at Old Trafford – don’t even go there, conceding eight is an unusual outcome for any team in any league.

This time around the defeat at White Hart Lane is bringing similar navel-gazing. Personally, the anger of yesterday is subsiding; would that the pain of a hangover went relatively speaking, as quickly.

Around the interweb there is a lot of bile. For a generation of Arsenal fans, this is the first time they have been genuinely confronted by the scenario of the club not challenging for the top places in the Premier League. You feel slightly old to refer to the Graham era; delve further back to times before that and you may as well be talking to someone about Life on Mars.

The point is that Arsenal has no God-given right to success. Those employed by the club must work hard to bring that about, it doesn’t magically come about. Those employed as players and coaches should be the elite. But football has changed and the elite no longer comes to the club, players want the guarantee of success accompanied by a comensurate wage packet.

Arsenal has to reassess itself. Mediocrity has never been accepted in the past, those managers whose reigns descended into that abyss found themselves unemployed rather quickly. Let’s not kid ourselves about George Graham’s reign either. His dismissal was just a matter of time away; the league form was dire, his reputation subsidised by cup wins.

As the editorial of this month’s When Saturday Comes points out, Wenger took Arsenal from the pack into the elite. The board receive praise for not reacting kneejerk fashion to the disgruntlement around, unlike their peers at other clubs.

At this moment in time, the pack is catching up with the top teams and gradually all may be consumed into a levelling out of the playing field. I think that would be a temporary state of affairs; City and their ilk have the money to chase the best talent in the world. They will throw money at it to ensure the Champions League is never out of reach.

But look at Chelsea and City’s rises. They did not come about immediately. City have taken four years to get here; their revolution started before the petrodollars came into the club, that money simply speeded up the process. Chelsea were of a similar timescale. Even if Arsenal went on a spending spree, there is no guarantee of a quick solution.

The observant of you will notice that I refer to the club not the manager. This is because it is a cultural change at the club that needs to happen if Arsenal are to spend, spend, spend.

KSE are not Sugar Daddies and are not likely to sell their shareholdings quickly, despite what the sages of the internet tell you. The chances of a massive investment in the club are slim. And that is being generous.

There is money there to be spent at the moment, sales of players have opened a cashflow and credit line. That can be used in January, it might be used in January but don’t expect the splurge to be all in one go. Why not? Because once its gone, its gone. Until the club can significantly enhance its commercial revenues, Arsenal will be struggling to match transfer fees of others.

And no, I don’t buy into the ethos that we cannot enter the transfer market until City & co have done their shopping. Squad sizes are finite and the pool of players is big enough for all of the fish.

I’m told things have to change at Arsenal. But that presumes  that they don’t already. Is it a miracle that there has been a place at the top table for the club over the last decade and a half? No, it’s hard work, processes and training that evolves to keep pace with the big clubs.

We all like trophies, everyone does. We all like a team that does well. We all hate the position that the club is in right now. There is time to repair the damaging defeats, not a title challenge perhaps but a high league finish is still capable of being achieved.

Where I am struggling at the moment, more than anywhere, is the sheer hypocrisy surrounding Arsenal. There was rightly condemnation of the chanting on Sunday but what is the difference between that and the abuse directed at the manager and players on a regular basis? By people purporting to be Arsenal fans.

And that to me is as disappointing as what is happening on the pitch. But do you know what? I’ve stopped listening to them.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 4, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 240 Comments.

  1. Great post YW, voice of reason in the whirlpool of bile being spouted.

  2. Away from the football for a moment. 75 years ago today. Never to be forgotten

  3. Thorough,

    First? Second? No?, third. Still 1 + 2 = 3…which is one less than where you finished up!!!


  4. Great post, YW!

  5. Please forgive me for returning to a point I made yesterday. Having been through the whole trail of posts until 10pm last night, what was clear to me is that a large number of posters do not really understand the point I was making or an important part of what I believe is happening to us.

    I had also missed out another crucial refereeing clanger, that being the blatant penalty not given at the end of the Blackburn game.

    We, therefore, have 2 not given penalties, and 3 (or 4 according to one correspondent yesterday) offside or otherwise illegal goals scored against us at crucial stages of only 4 games, so far this season, out of only 7.

    Wrong refereeing decisions happen to everyone, from time to time. However, in this concentration and all at crucial times in matches, resulting in a draw and 3 defeats, to misquote Lady Bracknell, to have one wrong decision in 7 games is unfortunate, but to have 5 (or possibly 6), all resulting in lost points, in 4, is extraordinary in to say the least.

    Could anyone suggest that if it happened Manure, Fergy’s face would not be a dark shade of purple by now.

    Yes, players have in one game or a few not played well. Yes, there have been individual mistakes, but, in a sport where confidence is so important, is it not surprising that our players’ confidence is low, leading to poor displays.

    I have so far ignored the manure result, which most people accept to be an aberration.

    However, if the first mistake had not happened, and the correct penalty decision made, we would undoubtedly have won the Newcastle game and 3Gs would not have been sent off.

    Who is to say that we would not then have gone on to beat Liverpool and arrived at OT with a different team and in a different frame of mind.

    I am not suggesting a deliberate campaign by the refs. All it shows is that the quality is plunging, be it because of the personnel involved, or the speed of the game.

    However, so much of the comment over recent weeks in general and yesterday in particular, focused on deemed frailties and deficiencies in AW, the coaching staff, and the players, whilst ignoring a sequence of events that would drive every other team, including manure, in exactly the same direction, or even worse.

    Add to that the injuries, it is not surprised our players’ confidence is so low.

    This is, of course, not the only reason why we have slumped like this, but seems to me to too important to be ignored and too important not be placed at the very top of the list of reasons, rather than personal attacks on AW or one or other of the players.

    Yes criticize, but let us also be realistic. We have gone through an exceptional few weeks, which surely cannot be repeated. The players will gain their confidence, undoubtedly. It just takes time and patience and our support.

  6. YM, excellent post as always, the negativity at the moment is just unbelievable, the fans should always uplift the team encourage them be there, constructive criticism is always welcomed but there is a time where a lot of love is what is needed and at this time the latter is more. We all know the problems so I believe the coaching staff are not oblivious to them, if most of us who are armchair experts can recognize that despite our domination on sunday we lacked a spark to make things happen on the final third, then for sure Monsieur Wenger must definitely have noticed and have faith he already knows the solution. Apart from that we wish Sagna a full recovery and encourage Jenkinson he is a confident young lad should come good.

  7. Yogi: a modern day Mark Anthony if I’ve ever see one. This post had the perfect mix of logic and emotion. Kudos.

    On another note, I dedicate this song to the Arsenal soon to be unleashed:

  8. Someone, anybody, tell me how the hell do you embed videos?!

  9. Nevermind whether we deserve success or not, fact is we should be doing a lot better than we are right now. Looking across the team, player by player there’s clearly a lot of talent there, the problem is the manager.

    The terrible defending, the chaos at set pieces, the total lack of harmony amongst the players that are very obviously struggling to work together is down only to the manager. The manner in which he leads this team is broken.

    Until wenger leaves and a fresh attitude comes about this team will continue to fail.

    Fwiw I’ve been behind wenger all the way but you cannot hide from the appalling run of form since that duastrous loss in the CC final back in feb. This goes much deeper than a bad start to the season. This is the effect of a manager that has lost his grip.

    The sooner we get rid and begin the process of rebuilding the better for all of us.

  10. YW, I take the point about having no right to win trophies. The fact is though that we aren’t playing particularly well at the moment and confidence is low. At this point, the coaching staff need to go back to square one and get the basics (particularly of defending) right. Both Spurs goals on Sunday were the result of atrocious defending. For the first, Van der Vaart wanders into yards of space on the edge of our box. I know it was handball, but how does he even get that amount of space without anyone tracking him? Just someone standing next to him probably stops the cross even being aimed at him. For the second, the run (more like a jog) of Sandro isn’t picked up by anyone. This is basic stuff that professionals shouldn’t be succumbing to and it’s happened too many times this season. At the moment we can’t seem to outscore the opposition, so a bit more diligence at the back would be a good starting point.

  11. Nice post YW and valid observations Jigsal.
    As in all success’ luck (whatever that is) plays a significant part… unfortunately ours hasn’t been told the season has started.

  12. Gadget

    Take “” at the end. Et voila.


  13. ILikeHowArsenalPlay

    I like others wasnt feeling great after the defeat. I avoided the mainstream newpapers to avoid their gloating. You made me laugh with your “God, i hate Tottenham” comment in your article yesterday.

    My gf pointed out that we feel so depressed about defeats, imagine how it is for the players. For the player on the pitch, desperately trying only to have a limp effect. We get nervous everytime a corner is taken also because of how it has been established to be a weakness. We fear goals every time a corner or free kick is taken. Imagine the players’ psychology everytime a corner is taken. They would be more nervous than us. Of course they have to overcome this barrier. They are professionals at the highest level. Spare a thought for them though.

    Belief. I hope the players believe. I hope they play like arsenal do. Arsene has seen it all, hope he can work another miracle.

    Another thing. We dont seem to have a free-kick specialist. Someone who can beat the keeper with a thunder foot strike or a curling one. We seem to depend on open play to score goals. We need to carry the threat of scoring from every possibility. I still remember the free-kick Theiry Henry took in a game. The refree told him to reposition the ball. He did, scored, nodded at the refree to say, that good enough for you?

  14. Well said YW.

    Taking all that occured @ WHL on Sunday I felt we would not have looked as disconnected as we did if Tomas Rosicky had been on the pitch instead of Rambo. I just could not understand his not being on the bench as there was no mention of him being injured.

    Well thanks to dups last night the mystery unravelled,

    “Sad news about TR7 & his wife losing their unborn baby.
    Kind of puts football in perspective”.

    Yes it does.
    My heart goes out to the Rosickys.
    My condolensces

  15. Cool post.
    The recipe to beat the pimps, prostitutes and nay-sayers.

    Imagination, not bunkers.

    Flair, not millstones.

    Individuality, not mobs.

    Guile, not money.

  16. I Like HAP

    RvP used to be a specialist free kick expert with a deft curve. Now he tries to hit it more, don’t know why.

  17. would you rather have someone say they wish it was you who got shot or would you prefer to be called a paedophile neither i suspect but which one is worse this question to the press

  18. Gadget.


    Got that booming.

  19. YW – Good post as normal.

    jjgsol – Our bad form is not only a few weeks old mate. It goes back to Feb 2010. We have won 4 games from the last 18 (I think).

  20. That doesn’t matter, the fontc. Both are disgusting, and both should be punished. But it will happen wherever we play, and whenever there’s bad blood between a player and club… Shame, but I suppose if they come down hard on some, it may discourage others.

    Great post Yogi, and here’s hoping the support becomes unanimous.

    Very sad news about Tomas and his family. Best wishes to all involved. And yes, it really does put football into perspective.

  21. Great post Yogi. After the anger it’s time to sit back and think. One question being that has Wenger taken Arsenal as far as he can? A lot has to be put into perspective. I remember Wenger saying that the first decade of the 21st century would belong to London. By this he meant Arsenal. But then the Russian Oligarch came along and the Glazers came along. One had his petrodollars and the other took on debt. The rules had changed! Without taking on stupid debts – or engaging an Oligarch – our club’s directors decided to compete by adopting classical managerial skills. They will succeed in time – I’m convinced. But the average fan is less patient. Delayed gratification – the watchword for the more successful people in life – is not very popular. In Wenger I trust!

  22. Kenyan, but how did that stop us signing van der vaart, parker, cahill, samba or jagielka?

  23. Just Another Luke

    Supporting AFC should be like a religion. You gotta believe, believe and believe in the face of crisis and from the depth of adversity. There will be better days ahead. Success is definitely not a God given right, but is a reward for strong belief, maximising God given talent and working hard.

    Let’s avoid reading what everyone thinks is wrong with us.

  24. Great article.
    To those knocking Wenger,I ask this.
    How could ANY manager keep a clubs season together with such a run of injuries?
    I am absolutely astounded that seemingly intelligent people,possibly I overestimate my fellow Gooners,can lay so much blame on a man who could not control such things if his name was God!!!!
    Give me a break,and give Wenger a break.
    Some clubs have a thousand world class players in their squad,or so it seems,but Wenger goes not.
    Now is the time when the aforementioned seemingly intelligent Gooners say its Wengers fault we don’t have such a squad,but he simply doesnt have endless millions to throw around.
    With the ingredients he has at his dispersal,combined with other factors he can not control,he is still going a good job.
    It’s easy to suggest others can do better,but what a disaster it could be if a replacement failed.
    Anyway,regardless of who is at the helm,support the club if you are a supporter.
    If not,then who cares what you think anyway?

  25. “Stanley M | October 4, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Kenyan, but how did that stop us signing van der vaart, parker, cahill, samba or jagielka?”
    Let me try answer that:-
    1. We had Nasri at the time. Didn’t need him.
    2. Parker. I’d rather Song over him. And Frimpong and Le Coq look like good bets.
    3. Cahill, Samba and Jagielka? I rate Mertesacker higher than the lot.

  26. I don’t get this whole we are losing because of confidence excuse.I mean it’s not like our rivals are the invincibles.They do lose games and come back with a bang.It’s just another excuse for failure that we gooners keep coming up with to protect AW or the players.We are where we are because we have continued to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.Be it through management unable to keep our best players and replacing them with lower quality or devising better tactics to snuff out enemy threats or vary our playing style making us a bit unpredictable or players not learning from their mistakes or losing concentration.

    I really can’t see AW digging us out of this one.This woeful form did not start just this season.Hope I am wrong but can’t see it.Love the man for what he has done for the club but time’s up.Everybody gets burnt out over time.Even fergie will.

  27. Afrogoon

    Read Ladyarse’s transcription of a Jens Lehmann interview. You’ll understand how the confidence theory works.


  28. Aman

    Like everything in life, nowhere near as damaging for the EPL as the media wants you to believe. All that happens is foreign rights become more expensive to compensate for any losses suffered as a result of Sky dropping their bids.


  29. afrogoon

    a few years ago a lot of manc fans wanted Fergie sacked. I bet they are now glad they did not get their way.

    Another fine post YW.

  30. Afrogoon,

    Woeful form? Sorry it is just not right. Have you watched a non-billionaire club recently? They don’t challenge and it ain’t pretty.

    Nasri has been replaced, so has Clichy, both with probably better longer term players. Cesc is irreplaceable individually, so we have had to strengthen the squad.

    Life is tough, but you don’t have to make it up.

  31. Yogi..read it yesterday.When one falls down,you get up,dust yourself off and get on with it.Is that not the fabled mental stregnth AW keeps repeating over and over again as if the more he says it, the team will suddenly show it?Losing is part of sport and if these players cannot overcome a single loss, then they have no point being in the game.Do you honestly believe chelsea or united would have had this run of results after the 4-4 at St James.Infact utd tend to be a more dangerous side after a dissapointing result whereas wenger’s teams seem to take too much time to get defeat out of their system a la the famous 49 and seasons before that.Maybe his choice of players are not as mentally tough as he would have as believe.

  32. dupsffokcuf

    Last time when I was on this Bog You called me stupid. And you know I would never do anything to hurt you. But I am still not sure why you teased me.

  33. I must admit, even as one of the more positive (or rose tinted, depending on who’s reading), my faith has been tested of late. I have been thinking the unthinkable and about the future of the club, whether Wenger can snap us out of this slump, whether we have the quality to rise to the up to a respectable position in the league… I have never had to question these things before, as I was less aware of the situation back in the Graham era, being a youngster, and it’s sad that this is the case now. However, I am sure that this team is good enough to get ourselves out of this, and that Wenger is the man to do this. Something needs to happen to make this team realise their quality. We need a big victory against a better-than-average side, and we need some damn luck. For Sagna to get a broken leg really was the icing on the cake, and it seems we will be constantly tested by the footballing Gods all season. Wilshere and Sagna, our 2 most consistent players of last season, both fucked. Arsene must be thinking ‘what did i do in a previous life to deserve this?’

    Something will click soon, something will make the lads believe. We must, as supporters, do this first, no matter how much our faith may be tested. Our mood transfers onto the pitch, so lets breathe some positivity back into this team, Wenger included.

  34. Great great post Yogi as usual 😀 at least here is someone one who talks sense,that’s why have never missed a single article of you ;D
    we are going through a period where all of us need to hang tough.
    No matter what,We have loved you and we will always LOVE You our ARSENAL.

  35. Yes SA Gooner, I’ve re-discovered my love of disco. In these times of vacuous lyrics and love songs being sung by those who have no concept of what it means to need someone, disco and 70’s soul is the panacea sorely needed.

    Afragooner has made the mistake of seeing a poor run coincidentally occuring after a loss and proclaiming that defeat the cause.

  36. gooner2

    I’m sure I’m not alone in telling you that I don’t need to know when you’re on the bog.


  37. YW you can spend £100m on players but if the coaching is not good enough you are wasting your time.Both the goals on sunday were defensive errors.The first Gibbs caught out of position then Song goes out to cover for him and Sagna didnt follow VDV.The second from the throw in was defending you expect from 10 year olds.We cant defend yet the manager wont bring in a defensive coach.Our two CB’s let a goal kick drop in the box which Bale should have scored.That was criminal.The best two signings we can make are a new number 2 as Rice is a nodding dog and a defensive coach.But we all know that aint going the happen.Europa league if we are lucky

  38. People, do you honestly believe this is the maximum any manager can get from this squad.In our current trophyless run we could have won the league at least 2x,an FA cup and two coca cola cups at least.

    If you fail to plan you plan to fail.If injuries have ravaged us over the seasons is it not wise to heed doomer calls for a bigger and better squad?My frustration Is the same excuses are being given for every loss.AW sounds like a broken record.Is it not his job to get the players to take the handbrake off?To get them mentally strong enough to overcome ‘unlucky loses’ and be filled with the desire to right those unlucky loses? Is it not his job to make sure we have a big enough squad.These ‘excuses’ are tiresome and I want to see solutions instead of excuses.He is paid handsomely for that just like the players.

    I have beleived injuries have been the cause of our downfall in many a season but last season showed that was a fallacy.We had our big players fitter than they had been for a while during the run in and yet had the run of results we have had.

    My problem is when do we start trying to halt our decline instead of putting our heads in the sand and blaming everyone and everything apart from ourselves.Yes I remember mancs wanting fergie out but fergie turned that around.When will all the faith in the club start to pay off?Is the faith a one way street where we just support and never question even when we can see we are regressing as a club?

  39. Mark

    The first Gibbs caught out of position then Song goes out to cover for him and Sagna didnt follow VDV.The second from the throw in was defending you expect from 10 year olds.We cant defend yet the manager wont bring in a defensive coach.Our two CB’s let a goal kick drop in the box which Bale should have scored.That was criminal

    That’s individual errors. Coaching will help but never eliminate individual errors. Did you miss the point about abusing people?


  40. It’s actually Wenger’s fault for his slow reaction at the Transfer Window. Now he has no one else to blame but his own self. So if this shit continues further then I really don’t know how this club will survive. And if your hoping to see Wenger leaving then you can all forget it.

  41. I think that is true of all of us, Geo. Much of my ire is directed towards the players as I feel they are the one who are in ultimate control of their and by extention the clubs future. It is they who must stand up and be counted, it is they who must push beyond the barriers, it is they who controls the ball at their feet. Adapt or die must be their mantra. No-one else can do it for them.

    And the 4-3-3 needs the Odinsleep.

  42. The scary thing is that Sundays performance was one of our better performances. I dont think this team has more then three gears. Gears 4 and 5 were sold for £60 million.

  43. Can anyone honestly say we’d be doing just as badly if we had a settled back pairing of Koscielny and Vermaelen? Mertesacker needs time to bed in, he has done alright considering. When you look at the fact that our back pairing on Sunday had never played together in defence, as well as the fact that one of them hasn’t played that position in over a year I think it’s acceptable that the Spuds had a few chances on their own turf.

    I was more frustrated by our inability to take a decent shot. We really need to work on our finishing.

  44. YW

    I was abused and I need some Answers. So If someone makes fun of you while your away how would you feel?

    Also if you read that particular comment on the same day wouldn’t you Ask questions yourself?

  45. Just Another Luke

    We are hearing so much of negative garbage, such as Wenger doesn’t coach defence, Wenger is wholly responsible for tranfers because he is all powerful in AFC, etc., repeated ad infinitum, that we believe them to be gospel truths. Aren’t they all guessing how the club is run, how management responsibilities are shared, how targets are identified, how transfers are negotiated, how new contracts are negotiated with the current players, etc.?

    Wenger must be super human to be capable of doing so much and getting them all wrong!

  46. Thanks for the info YW.

    I’m with u.
    Sometimes just a little tinkering can yield results.

    We need spiritual uplifting.
    I say:
    “Bring back the adventure – RELEASE ANDREI ARSHAVIN!!”

    Let the lil’ Russian have the freedom to “experiment” all over the pitch.
    We’ve become too tight-assed-in-disposition.
    Too scared to make errors. Too predictable.
    Less fun to behold.

    1 or 2 audacious goals ‘n’ moves per game and our joi de vivre returns.

    Look we have the likes of Gervinho, RvP, TR7, AOC, Park, Ryo, Theo, Song…..a pack of assorted creatives.

    Unleash the Russian Pixie, our lil’ prince of absinthe!

  47. Unleash the Russian Pixie, our lil’ prince d’absinthe!

  48. Gadget, why is it that we have these poor runs?Is it because our players are not good enough or the manager is not up to scratch tactically?I want solutions.I am not one of those calling for big names or think we have a right to success but you are not a gooner if you sit and accept the situation.I think we can definately do better.We are better than this.Our squad can do better and should have been able to win something at least by now.We have under performed.Is it a bad thing to want us to do better?

  49. YW The team at the end of GG’s reign was full of average players but he won 3 trophies in his last 2 full seasons because he was a tactical genius.To win trophies ugly is a trophy won.And is a million times better than losing playing tippy tappy pretty football

  50. Hope its not too late.
    hope he comes back from int’l brk in one piece
    then I’ll know the Gods still love their red & white.

  51. A bigger, better squad costs money and a wage structure which probably isn’t there though reticence or existence.

    Faith is all a supporter has. We have zero control over the proceedings, what else can we do but have faith in the people employed to guide us right. You can question all you want but to assume you know better than those who are your better, those who have greater access to information and analysis, to not believe in the expertise of the people we have is something else entirely.

    My faith is Wenger remains true because I have witnessed his genius on too many occassions to doubt it. Yes, with hindsight I will pose questions, but I do so with the understanding my knowledge is limited and my opinion hold as little value as a tuppence

    FREE AA!

  53. Aman for gaffer….love your team.I think AW should try Andrei in the false 10 role.Bench Ramsey.Maybe loan him out to get some of his preinjury form back.Play song and the coq in midfield if he still wants to continue the 433.I would give AOC a chance also to battle it out with the Gerv and Walcott.

  54. Just Another Luke


    I agree with you about unleashing creative players.

    We need one of those big performances where we win by over half a dozen goals against an average team or where we scrap a 1-0 win against a big team to exorcise the demons that are holding us back.

  55. Yes Afrogoon, thats the spirit.
    AA’s natural detachment and mischievous spirit makes him the perfect catalyst for a revival.
    The best in-house solution by a long shot.

  56. I really don’t know if us the gooners have wronged God in any way!
    every now and then our major players are getting injuries!now even our keeper aint ok!!Rosicky lost his unborn baby something just aint right this season.we need inspiration,support and faith in disquise of the invincibles..2003_2004

  57. But no loaning out Rambo.
    We need him sharing in the spiritual uplift.
    Infectious positivity cures all ailments
    He’ll forget he ever broke his leg.
    Might even send Shawcross a Xmas present.

  58. So now we worship at Arsene’s altar till another messiah comes around?Is football not abt what happens on the pitch?AW’s history is history.He deserves all the accolades he got then but his past is not currently helping our present.Even geniuses lose it.No one is perfect.

    Anyway, it is your decision to stand up for the gaffer which is admirable and your choice.I respect it.Me I would like the team and manager to start justifying some of that faith.


  60. Lol Aman…Ramsey needs games.And with the current form we are in I don’t think we can afford a ‘passenger’ in the side.Besides Coq and Song can do the defensive work the ‘fat, lazy’ russian hates so much.Then he can concentrate the little effort he has on wreaking havoc in opponents half with RVP.That would certainly bring us a revival of fortunes until lady luck strikes again and let’s the injury lemmings rob us off arsh or RVP.

  61. Ramsey has a goal and 4 assists already. Poor form?

  62. Kenyan_Gunner2,
    Let go of that media-laced negativity.
    Szczezsny’s ok. Minor strain. Poland’s co-hosting the Euros. No need for him to go play.

    We all gotta be creative & positive
    For one u could rejig your name bro….you’re a gooner, u have it in u man…flip your “logo” dawg

    “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

  63. Arshavin is a lazy fucker who doesnt track back.Yet its the LB who gets all the stick when we get overun down the left.When you play LB for Arsenal you have to do to do the work of two players.Its no surprise teams target our left side.Arshavin is unfit.


    Koop- The Moonbounce

  65. that one was live

    album version

  66. I saw from the thread yesterday that some people were still banging on the need to support the team. But as far as we’ve seen this season, the team has had stellar support home and away. The team will still have its core support even if we are relegated. Its not as it lower division teams play in empty stadiums. Heck the crowd was singing there is ‘only one Arsene Wenger’ just the other day! How much more support do people want? This team DOES NOT LACK SUPPORT.

    Personally, I don’t put much stock in this whole ‘atmosphere’ lark. I don’t believe it matters in the greater scheme of things, except as bragging rights. The best supported teams are rarely the most successful. Conversely the most successful teams tend to have rather demanding and unforgiving support (e.g Barca, Real Madrid).

    On field performance the responsibility of the players and the management, NOT the fans.

  67. Markus i lost count of the times Ramsey gave the ball away on sunday.Yes he scored but he has been poor this season.

  68. Ok Marcus….Ramsey is the 2nd coming of Fab.

  69. Paul,
    AA’s a “lazy fucker” because he’s not a winger.
    How would u like to be married to someone who expects marathon sex every night??
    He’s more a tease, a spontaneous kisser, a flirt not a porn star…

    Try making Usain Bolt run marathons and see how much of a “lazy fucker” he’d be.


  70. “I am sure Arsenal will build and be just as good in the future. They are still a great team. They have not had a great start, they have had a hard start, but I am sure they will improve. They have got a lot of young players who are going to improve in the next year or two and learn a lot.

    No, that wasn’t Ian wright talking or any other gooner, it is Gareth Bale. I’m surprised at the negative rubbish that has come from few ex players and fans. Yes we are in a bad situation but we are not finished as a club, we are not in debts and I don’t see what the panic is. If the C.league doesn’t happen is not a disaster. Even if Spurs qualify and we don’t. The foundations for this great club has been laid and it is a matter of time before we get up there again . We can make an exception for this year. We had years of bragging rights over the Spuds.

    YW- I don’t agree a spending spree is not an instant solution, it will depend who you give your money to. Give Wenger a hundred million in January and you will see what he could do. What I mean is Wenger is the best to spend your money the right way. He will certainly not spend 50 millions on a donkey he is too clever for that. I’m certain he knows players who can make an instant impact in his team but they are completely out of his reach money wise.Sometime I find it exremly harsh when Wenger get stick, people like Mnacini getting praised. for what ?Mancini is not better than Wenger at all but money can flatter certain people. If Wenger can have Silva, Aguerro, Tevez Yaya Toure and his old players back Nasriand Fabregas I’m sure we will not be down where we are, but the reality he can’t have those players or any others in that caliber because they go where the money is. So the solution is to rely on Mr Wenger to do the usual and unearth unknown gems. I can’t see any other manger doing any better with the resources available.

  71. Now that I’ve got that out of my system.. 🙂

    With Sagna out injured, 3-5-2 anyone? If we’re gonna ‘go down’, might as well do it in style. I’d rather loose 4-3 than 2-1.
    Of course I’d much rather win 1-0 but it doesn’t look like that’s our way these days.

  72. “Free AA!”

    More Than You Know – Frank Sinatra

    Love me some ARSENAL, I do.

  73. 1lc,
    In case you haven’t noticed, many of our supposed enemies have been charitable of late. Even Ferguson and Redknapp has been making nice noises at us. A lot of pundits are being similarly ‘understanding’. I think its the don’t-kick-a-man-when-he-is-down attitude.

    I find it all insulting to be honest, and I don’t think it makes Arsene feel any better. I much preferred it when everyone slagged us off.

  74. Mark @11.19

    Graham may have won ugly but the atmosphere around the league matches was not good. There was more disatisfaction regarding the performances than now. Arsenal won the title in ’91 and only once during the remaining 3 1/2 seasons of Graham’s reign did the team top the table, after beating Coventry in November ’92. Once.

    Don’t tell me that winning a trophy ‘ugly’ compensates for all else. It does not. Having been a season ticket holder at the time, going to all of the away games that I could. Winning ugly is vastly overrated.


  75. 1lc

    The point re spending is that the team take time to gel. We’ve seen it now, four or five new faces and it takes time. You can’t buy a volume of players and expect it all to be right within a week. It just doesn’t happen. I mean, football is littered with teams who signed one player and cocked up the league. Man City in the early 70s were favourites, signed Rodney Marsh in the March, I think, and screwed up the title, proving that it was theirs to lose. And that’s with one player.


  76. Afro, allow me to dissect your post:

    “Gadget, why is it that we have these poor runs? Is it because our players are not good enough or the manager is not up to scratch tactically?”

    A different tact from pointing at a loss and saying it’s the cause of our woes as you did prior. If pressed to answer, acknowledging my limited viewpoint, I would say it’s all of the above. I think the players at currently at our disposal, aren’t strong enough to play the 4-3-3, which doesn’t particularly make sense considering how gloriously it was applied this time last season. In saying that though, Wenger’s patience with his players, many take it to be a negative, but it’s the very thing he’s praised for in the long term. From Henry to Song, he let’s the players evolve at their own pace. Times are different now though and perhaps the luxury of being able to do this isn’t as it was.

    Tactics are an interesting thing. Fluidity of tactics are for he who has no philosophy, and of course Arsene more than any other manager in the league has a philosophy (beyond nullify the opposition) which is why he gets acused of tactical naiviety. Sometimes this works to his and our benefit (beautiful football was the most obvious) sometimes not (the 8-2 for example). I believe he could play the tactical game, but perhaps he puts too much stock on the well-being and development of the players, the long-term game at the expense of the short-term. It his predisposition and I’m not going to slate him for it. The only spanner is that you can never predict how players act in the long term. Who would have predicted Nasri’s relocation oop norf this time last year? Perhaps a more pragmatic approach would appease the fans, but would it sit well with the sentimentality of AW’s soul? Of course, many will be like, “his soul be damned”, but as one of a sentimental predisposition, I can dig him stance, ya dig?

    “I want solutions.”

    No, you want THE solution, and this is the problem. You act as thought AW has been sitting back doing nothing, sure things may not be solved yet, sure things may have regressed, but there is not just one solution, there are many, some we’ll realise don’t work, some will.

    “I am not one of those calling for big names or think we have a right to success but you are not a gooner if you sit and accept the situation.”

    This is the most facinating philosophy, one which permeates those of an opposite persuasion to myself. This idea you can actually do something. What can you do? Stop supportting? Check. Bitch and moan? Check. Waah whaah whaah? Check.

    It’s one thing not to be happy with the situation, it’s one thing to assess and analyse performances and the situation accepting the limits of your knowledge, but to pretend you can do something other than accept utterly facinates me. What are you going to do.

    “I think we can definately do better.We are better than this.Our squad can do better and should have been able to win something at least by now.We have under performed.Is it a bad thing to want us to do better?”

    A sentiment only spuds in disguise would disagree with. When it’s mattered the most we’ve not performed as well as we could, but other times we’ve played magnifcently. The Barcelona games at Emirates will forever have a place in my memory banks.

    With that said the appeal to one’s sentiment is a sham and you know it, you scumbag! The disagreement is not about doing better, it’s about how we go about improving. I’m not all about the buy buy buy; I’d rather we improve the players we have though training and constructive criticism. These players don’t just represent the Arsenal by wearing the shirt, for me they are the Arsenal. Every fibre of their being is the Arsenal. If there is something weak about them I don’t want that weakness discarded, I want that weakness worked and worked upon until it gets stronger and stronger.

    Sentimentality, love it bitches

  77. this is what happens when you give Arshavin the freedom;)

    On a serious note, Arshavin plays better for Russia because he is the main man he pulls the strings for them, the team run around him like a Tsar. They do the dirty work, he just makes things work . But Premiership is a lot tougher place and everyone needs to do the dirty work

  78. Got to be in-house solutions YW
    I’d wait till Summer to add unless its confirmed that Jack19 or TV5 or BS3 or VAD2 is crocked for the season.
    Only then should we buy in Jan….and ONLY QUALITY

    “FREE AA!”

  79. In terms of the media being biased, you only have to look at the fact that the Mail and the Sun released stories last night of Amanda Knox being guilty of murder with quotes and reaction and everything from prosecutors to know that they literally make it all up.

    It is disgusting to see how the media twist and bend stories to elicit maximum reaction from their readers. But it’s our fault if we even take their coverage seriously for a fraction of a second. You are doing the right thing by not even mentioning it in your blog

  80. First class post Yogi.

    I believed our squad was better this season than last.

    Was I wrong?

  81. Aman, I think I’d like to join up to your choir!



  82. Fuck embedding!!!

  83. Henristic,

    Poor form, bad luck and rebuilding means the enemy is now within. Not on the stands and not our old foes.

    Not even Mancini – The Great Turd Polisher – is classless.

  84. 1LC,
    “But Premiership is a lot tougher place and everyone needs to do the dirty work”

    A free AA will do more dirty work if he’s allowed to roam than be caged on the LW.
    Darren Bent for example does jack-shite but score. Thats what he’s paid to do.

    An uplifted happy team will gladly do more dirt work for a leader that makes things work….

    “FREE AA!”

  85. Yes indeed Gadget..yes indeed

    “Free AA!”

    I’m on my knees praying he doesn’t get injured during the last 2 qualifiers(vs Andorra & Slovakia).

  86. Just so u know,
    freeing AA also means playing Rosicky more.
    As his sub or lieutenant.

    “Free AA!”

  87. Ramsey has been very disappointing so far this season. It’s not to say he doesn’t have good moments but, in spite of his work rate, he’s inconsistent and error prone. As alternatives are thin on the ground we will have to hope he gets better quickly.

    I don’t see Arshavin as an answer in the middle. Actually I’m not sure he’s much of an answer full stop.

    I’d like to see AOC given more playing time – anyone know why was he not even a bench option for Spurs? And Chamakh come to that.

    Instead we had Park who was strangely overlooked for Benayoun.

    The calls for 442 make sense to me – I’d like to see 2 up top, a bit more width and some more bodies in midfield. The days of playing such open football should be ended for the time being.

  88. Consols – The purchase of Mertesacker was definatelty a step in the right direction. The addition of Gervinho a good buy. But we have lost the option of Bendtner without a decent replacement, and the loss of Nasri and Cesc has not been compensated for. Arteta is a good player, but we needed somebody better to replace Cesc.

    In my mind the squad probably has slightly more depth (expect striker and right back), but there are no exceptional players in the squad with the exception of RvP. Wilshere and TV5 are also very good players obviously.

  89. No one changes direction like lil’ Mozart.

    He had me freaking out joyously against Olympiacos.
    TR7’s good enough for any Space Program!

    “Free AA!”

  90. Patrick

    The funny thing about the Daily Mail story was that Nick Pisa, the reporter, was on Sky News as an expert on the case…


  91. Jonny,
    Ever the pragmatic,

    “I don’t see Arshavin as an answer in the middle. Actually I’m not sure he’s much of an answer full stop”.

    What does your spirit say Jonny?
    4-4-2..keep it tight…oh,

    “The days of playing such open football should be ended for the time being”.

    What do you get when you put flair players in straightjackets?
    Loss of confidence.
    We need SPIRIT more than anything.
    Simplify, play more natural

    Even SAF had to learn this after Barca
    Man U have never been more open AND they’re winning HAPPILY with YOUNG players!
    Freedom actually means more responsibility….we are too stiff!

    tune in man,
    “Free AA!”

  92. Cbob,

    Nope, not wrong, just a little premature. The current position is not false, the points reflect the team’s return. The end of the season is the ultimate judge of how good the squad is.


  93. Jabba's Delights


    Utter tripe.

    Wenger has had 3 of the worst transfer windows in memory and he has had 40-50m in 2 of them and 80-90m in the one just gone.

    Chamack, Squilaci, Kosciellny the season beofre last and we had over 40m that summer………………….great work none are good enough to start.

    Last summer….name me one of those players bought who would have got into last years team??????

    tripe. Bloke doesnt no how to spend allot of money thats why he isnt right for the club anymore as arsenal have a had a decent amount of money to spend for 3 years.

    I want wenger if we have 20m and we need to fill some gaps. If we have 50-100m there hundreds of managers who are better than wenger in the transfer market. For starters wenger is incapable of identifying a weakness

  94. No one for a 3-5-2 then? 😦

  95. Free AA – if you think it will help.

    While we are on the campaign trail:

    A.W — concentrate your not insignificant power on the Champions League.

    Come on you know it will be a blast. Barca in the final. I’m loving that. A couple of signings in January. Yes yes yes.

    Let the press and Le Grove stay in the toilet. Out of the bunker and into the light my friend.

    Show us the way and I will follow.

    Alternatively Free AA – its a start.

  96. @ Aman,

    Completely agree..Andrei Arshavin needs to be played through the middle..he gives you a good 60 minutes, then can be subbed..Barca do the same thing most games, try and sort out the game before 60 minutes..

    I had him in my preferred starting 11 at spurs cos space is a major constraint at the start of games..Ramsey coming on when space opens up will also do him a world of good..he can get his confidence back up with a couple of assists in a more open game..

  97. I think that’s the issue andy.

    The squad has levelled out in terms of ability. Unfortunately downward.

    That still doesn’t explain the performances, even alowing for new faces. Every team has those.

    On another toipic, i thought this was hilarious.


  98. Jabba, couldn’t disagree more.

  99. @ jabbas delights

    So Koscielny is not a good defender?? Thrown in to the deep end in his first season not only did he swim, he swam in style..and our collective anxiousness over his fitness is a big damn clue about what an important player he is..Oh and I suppose Laurent Blanc knows nothing about centre halves when he picks him for the national side..

  100. @ Henristic

    I am all for trying 3 at the back, and have started the discussion here in the past..A 3-6-1 for me with a midfield 4…cos that will give us better defensive balance and stability IMO

  101. Cbob

    Thanks for that, needed a laugh. Just so I understand it correctly, Chelsea can’t move because they don’t own the pitch or stands. Brilliant. At least they recognise that they will have to pay over the odds for the shares in the company that owns them.


  102. Yes Jabba…… but alas no.

    The hundred M will run out all too soon and then you have no reserve and can’t pay the parasites. You cannot compete, these teams will just pay more if they want the player. 50million for Modric for fuck sake and 50 million for a striker who can’t score. Imagine how sick you would feel if Chamakh had not scored when we needed him and he was free.

    You have to start broadening your mind to beat them, you will never compete on money.

  103. Jabba’s Delight,

    You’re so disappointing. All of that progress you’d made and what a defeat sets you back all that way.

    Quick question: would you rather Wenger spent the money on players who weren’t good enough or didn’t spend it?


  104. What a player Campbell could be. It’s probably for the best that he didin’t get his WP because he’s got quite a bit to work on, but he looked ridiculously good in flashes for Lorient on the weekend. He can pass, dribble, finish – just needs to learn when to do what!

  105. Aman – I admire your positivity but I still think pragmatism is the most prudent course when the ship is unsteady and the waters are both choppy and shark-infested.

    First we work on reducing the number of individual errors and get the back 4 playing solidly. Jenkinson is going to need more support – a 442 would provide this. Then we get our team working on defending set pieces – this problem is becoming an embarrassment. Finally encouraging our players to hit the target when they shoot would be good.

    As an example, Theo has attempted 18 shots in his last five games but only got five on target and he got no goals. That should be startling but it isn’t. Because it is nothing new.

    I’d encourage Theo to aim for the keeper – given his accuracy he would be amazed how many extra goals he would score.

    When we get some confidence at the back and some composure at the front then we can start to think about being more expansive.

    Arshavin is a luxury player. He comes with as many problems as he does solutions and you are overstating his skills by suggesting we should build the team around him and provide him a free role. He doesn’t need any encouragement to think he can do what he likes and he is not the panacea to our current malaise.

    Nope, at present the only AA I’d like ‘free’ is roadside recovery.

  106. I pondered the 3-5-2 last season Henristic and I really wanted to see it in action, still do!

  107. Had to skip down to the comments to commend Aman – we need more like you! 🙂 Like what you’re saying about Arsh too. I agree.

  108. I like an attacking 3-5-2 as well. I think that’s where things are going at the moment, but as Jonny says, we’re probably going to have get boring before we can be fun again. A bit like in late ’08.

  109. “I’d encourage Theo to aim for the keeper – given his accuracy he would be amazed how many extra goals he would score.”

    Hilariously put Jonny! I agree, but for me the main problem is our creativity – I just don’t think we’re creating enough scoring chances. Let’s multi-task, but once we create more, then let the focus shift upon Theo’s errant shooting!

  110. Shit forgot to say:

    FREE AA!

  111. YW

    In addition to the shares issue I heard (unreliably) that Ken Bates still owns his apartment where they wanted to expand the stand and would not sell it. Which is presumably why they want to move.

    He got 70 mil for the club in used roubles and will probably get that again for his pad if it is true. And who said he was crap short sighted spiv who knows nothing about business.

    Sorry, that was about Wembley.

  112. Last post for today, as work is soon to kick my arse!

    I dedicate this song to the Arsenal (Yogi, you’ll have to do the honours and fix my embedding if this doesn’t work!), even in the bad times you have my heart like none other:

  113. 3-5-2 are you guys insane? It takes dicipline, organisation and understanding. Three things our current defenders lack. 4-4-2 all the way.

  114. consolsbob,
    i’d rephrase,

    “The squad has levelled out in terms of restrained ability. Unfortunately downward”.
    Time to play some of the better players in their natural positions.

    e.g, I loved it when Gibbs came on against Olympiacos to consolidate the LW offensively & defensively.
    ..that was Pat Rice’s decision

    AW’s probably overthinking
    Time to simplify

    AA’s not “the answer” as Jonny implied but the spark that re-ignites team spirit in midfield while we await the return of Jack & Diaby.

    As Anirudh says “he gives you a good 60mins”

    “Free AA!”

  115. Hate to use Man U but SAF gets it.

    He plays Anderson for an hour. Team spirit’s up. The boys are all vibrating, mobile & even Anderson’s scoring.. then he brings in Giggs, Fletcher or Carrick.

    Once Cleverly returns Anderson’ll be more defensive.
    Its playing to the player’s aspirations ahead of just his strength

    Anderson is a pseudo-maestro but the added responsibility brings the best out of him & infects the whole team.

    AW’s become too risk-averse because he’s over thinking things.
    solution: SIMPLIFY

    Alex Song confirms my theory.

    “Free AA!”

  116. Re the 3-5-2, its naturally a huge risk, but I might be precisely the sort of ‘change’ that might get us going.

  117. At the start of this season I was ready for a tough grind and so it has panned out to be, though I concede I didn’t think we would be in 15th place on the table. The point is we are weakened, we know this yet we continue to complain about it. Arsenal are not so horrible that we are unable to compete for the top 4, but it is not realistic to crack the top 3 at the moment. It is what it is and no amount of whinging, bitching and spitting the dummy is going to change it.

    Tough times are where the fans get behind the team and give their support unconditionally, we may not like everything we see but it is our team and the players are doing their best on the given day to win a game. I have been around long enough to remember the barren years, and have stated previously that we do indeed not have a divine right to success. I concur with many that decisions have not gone our way, it is disappointing but it is also life. If we wander around each day acting as if our heads have been cut off then that is what we get a glum headless nub. Is all fine and dandy? of course not but as stated compalining ain’t going to achieve success.

    I don’t want Arsene to leave or indeed be forced out this season, that is my personal opinion. If however the results leave us mid-table come the close of the season then the board need to determine whether Arsene is the right man to continue as the manager. Changing now for the sake of change isn’t helping Arsenal, I hope we can all agree on that. Change may be inevitable but it isn’t always good.

    Finally, I would agree with those that think perhaps going to a more othodox 4-4-2 might help Arsenal at the moment. That said, I am not the manager and so I leave it up to him to decide what needs to be done to address the issues related to the side at this moment in time.

    Yogi, I enjoyed the piece today.

  118. Aman, I’m sorry but I cannot see the AA you seem to. I have tried because I believe he has talent but he is his own worst enemy at the moment and his hanging head and general displays are not inspiring confidence in me.

    Certainly sad news for Tomas & family 😦

  119. I’m all for building from the back, Its what I’ve been preaching for a while. But I’m beginning to doubt if its possible to implement such a strategy under Wenger any longer, given the current scenario where each goal conceded feel like nails in the coffin of our confidence.
    Maybe it would be more ‘doable’ to go the we-score-more-than-you route, is what I’m thinking.

  120. If we are to freshen things up perhaps it is time to give Chuks Aneke a chance, his displays this year for the reserves have been largely inspired. II know he is young but if you have caught any of his games you’ll understand the excitment I have in resect of the lad.

  121. Very sad news for the Rosickys..my condolences..and as some others said, really brings a sense of perspective..

  122. Its seems like the press is off our case abit now. Nobody did slaugthers us properly after the Tottenham defeat. they rather focused on the “dodgey ” goal that VdV had.
    And today, while its not been positive its has not had the vile tone that has been the norm latley.

    maybe, jsut maybe they are off our back for a while now and will find someone els to hazzle… that would help alot tbh….
    After Aw went out and said PL trophy is not realistic its not as fun to tease us anymore i guess…
    Besides i bet people are bored of reading about Arsenals crisis too.

  123. Do i remember wrong now or was it not so that we had a very bad spell the year Arsharvin joined us too? we fought for the 4th place that year. Or was that the year before?

  124. Miami, i can understand your not seeing “it” but
    …Chuks Aneke?
    Another rookie?
    Nah…u’ve got to realize we’re lacking in spirit not personnel.

    One of AW’s worst mistakes was making Fabregas captain ahead of Kolo Toure.
    Too much of a quiet spirit who’s loss of confidence in team Arsenal & long-winding exit left a dispirited legacy that has already passed its peak.

    I say fuck all that
    Take chances
    Play with ya bloody brakes off!

    “Free AA & the rest will follow!”

  125. Aman, as I said “if we wanted to freshen it up”… I agree he is young and it is a risk, but he is also a play maker and can score goals.

  126. Jonny,
    freeing AA doesn’t mean build the team around him.
    Just play him in his natural position because the players u are playing in said position are wilting under the pressure.
    if its 4-4-2 u want …fine just stop mis-using personnel.

    Btw do u realize we really do not have ANY true wingers?
    Theo? nope
    AOC? nope
    Gerv? nope
    AA? nope
    RvP, Park, Aneke, Rambo, TR7, Chamakh????? NO!
    Our 2 best options are Gibbs & Santos.

    How best to play 4-4-2 then?


    “Free AA!”

  127. This is why they lose confidence.

    Chamakh’s confidence is shot because he’s misused
    Like Bendtner

    AW over-accommodated Cesc & even Nasri
    at the expense of others.

    He’s doing it again in my view with RvP, who is flexible enough to play 10, 9, 11 or 8 but is being played strictly as a 9 at the expense of Chamakh, Theo, Park, Gerv & NikkiB.
    Is the #9 position really RvP’s best position????

    I beg to differ.
    AW’s too risk-averse.
    Needs to move away from the scientific to the spiritual.
    The spirit of confidence blows science away all day!

    This is sadly what makes old red nose look the better gaffer.
    Nothing else!

    “Free AA!”, damnit!

  128. Great article, great to finally see a rational, mature response to our situation.

    My only concern is based on the reports that our wage bill is still flat to last season despite selling Fabregas and Nasri, and loaning a handful of others. Based on the most recent financial results, it seems clear to me that we will not increase our overall wage budget because that would push our annual P&L into the red. So despite having money to spend on transfer fees, I worry we won’t be able to afford the wages of any player capable of helping the squad.

  129. Anyone care to explain just what in the hell “two-bob” means?

  130. It’s actually pretty hard to disagree with any of these observations.

    VDV should still have gone though.


  131. two bob bit = shit

  132. Actually the Keown audio interview is far more insightful than his view on Allen. which is only a small piece at the end. It would be great to have him in the club.

  133. Great work YW! thanks!!

    I would like to commend Aman, Geo and Gadget also.

    Lets get behind the team and have faith that we will get better. The players are better than their current showing and I think we all The only game we have lost that I would say we deserved to lose was against United. In other matches, the better team did not win in my opinion. Pool didnt do anything until the red, Spurs not much until the 2nd goal and we gave away the Blackburn game. In some of those matches, calls went against the team. Add to that many new players, your best players getting injured and not being able to field a steady defense and that should make us look at our situation a little more soberly. Not that our players cannot do better at present but lets not fool ourselves the team is in a hard place overall.

    All things considered, our CL play is quite impressive so far.

    Lets continue to support the team.

    God bless!

  134. Good day ACLFs, pls veiw my new blog and drop a comment, thanks.


  135. Remonstrate,

    Wise words indeed.

    Here are some more: Clive Allen is a cunt.

  136. Lets get behind the team and have faith that we will get better. The players are better than their current showing and I think we all believe that. The only games…

  137. Great post Yogi:

    We have no divine right to winning trophies. However I think we all believe that the last 6 years could and should have been so much better. Wenger was brilliant in building a talented squad of players but for some reason his players have never fullfilled their potential. Last season the top of the table was as poor as its been in many years and on paper we had the deepest most talented squad in the league, yet we end up in 4th place fading quickly. Its so clear that quick and decisive positive action was needed this summer and look what happened. What is happening to the club this season was predictable and perhaps avoidable.

    Its easy and many times unfair to critcize in retrospect. However the club has not learned from its mistakes. Luke put together statistics from the last several years and its crystal clear that our team defending is largely responsible for our trophy drought, yet we have never fixed the problem. That is completely unexplainable. I understand why we followed the ultra conservative approach to our transfer spending 6 – 7 years ago, but to not loosen the purse strings when the money was available is again unexplainable.

    Frustrating times right now. We had a real window of opportunity in the last 3 – 4 years and failed to take advantage. It looks like the window is closed at least for a few years. Things like this run in cycles and as you have pointed out many times celebrating the good times and suffering through the not so good is part of being a fan.

  138. Here are a few facts which confuse the issue when one tries to pin point the problems;

    Arsenal have kept 15 clean sheets in all comps in 2011
    Between Jan 1st and April 1st this year, the Premiership side only conceded 4 goals when it had 11 men on the pitch.
    Check the video and you will see one reason Man U were beaten at the Emirates was the fact that Arshavin tracked back like a demon.

    OK, none of this says that defensive errors have not been made but what do you expect with four centre backs out injured and a new player trying to familiarise himself with whoever he finds himself playing with on any given day?

    Every side has injuries but every season Arsenal seem to lose a pivotal player for long periods right at the start of the season. Van Persie, Vermaelen, Wilshire, Vermaelen again and now Sagna.

    And how many more First Time Johnnies are going to take a long range crack at goal and see the ball fly in? Rose, Tiote, the Dortmund sub and now Walker. Great shot from Walker but if it hadn’t taken a huge late swerve Szcz would have saved it. None of these players had scored for their clubs before. Amazing.

    And one has to remember the margins by which Arsenal have failed recently. Sunday was a classic example. But for that late swerve there was every chance of the match finishing 1-1 which would have been a fair result. How different the reporting would have been then.

    I am a Wenger supporter but I do feel he missed a trick by not having O-Chamberlain on the bench. The kid is obviously brimming with the kind of confidence some of the team lack at the moment and he could have pulled something out of the hat in the last 10/12 minutes.

    A final thought — Jenkinson shows promise and is a good crosser but I suspect we shall be seeing the talented Coquelin at right back now.

  139. Bill,

    “We had a real window of opportunity in the last 3 – 4 years and failed to take advantage. It looks like the window is closed at least for a few years. Things like this run in cycles and as you have pointed out many times celebrating the good times and suffering through the not so good is part of being a fan.

    I beg to disagree.
    The spirit of a human being at its best exists to break cycles.
    Its all well and good to be philosophical but I just do not agree that with the players we have now we should resign ourselves to mediocrity.

    This is the last Man U reference for the day but did u not see that the team that won the EPL last season did so via self-belief!
    Confidence makes u look better than u really are scientifically.

    F**k being pragmatic, scientific or philosophical
    We need to just believe

    “Free AA!”

  140. Good comment Rick!

    I think Jenkinson has been criticized way too much following the United match. You would believe that the whole situation was his fault. Unfair in my view.

  141. Bill, with those defensive stats, does it show how many times we have changed defenders or how many defenders have been injured for long spells? even down to our 3 and 4 choice. Stats are easy but do they tell the whole story? no.

    There is always a danger with piling seasons together. First and foremost, this was a rebuilding team after the invincibles, so a dip was quite likely.

  142. Rick, It definitely is a running theme for us. A lot of match reports criticised our defence for not closing Walker down, but come on. A speculative long-range effort from a young full back. It’s hardly warning bells for the defenders when they see the ball falling to him 40 yards out.

    Watching the replay I notice that there are 3 Spuds well offside. If one of them is blocking the keeper’s view should that not be considered interfering?

  143. @Rick – good post – agree with all of that.

    However citing one of the very few games where Arshavin bothered to track back merely adds fuel. Given that he can tackle and that it was instrumental in beating our strongest opponents one should be asking why does he not do it every fucking game?!

    Please don’t think I dislike the wee man – but golly, in this area especially, he is frustrating.

  144. @markus

    Nowadays interfering more or less means touching the ball..

    Offside players except in rare circumstances drag defenders out of position at least for a split second (the difference between a chance being created or not in lots of cases), and they then hold their hands up to gesture not interfering and play goes on..there is rarely an instance where an offside player truly does not interfere with play..

    This rule is a bit nonsensical IMO..offside plain and simple is difficult enough for officials to get right..this just complicates things beyond any sort of sense..I sometimes wonder if such rules exist to get away with bad but influential decisions..

    And what sense does it make if an attacking player can be “not interfering with play”..but a full back on the opposite flank or even worse an injured defender on the ground can play an attacker “onside”..

    Hope it changes back to its original form soon..however I dont have high hopes..

  145. Selective memory Paul-N.
    JD was criticized way more than Jenks for the United fiasco.

  146. Markus,
    Szszesny did have a terrible view of the shot.
    It was very well struck but the Spuds in the way made it a goal.

    I agree with Rick about Jenks.

  147. @jonny

    I know Im a huge fan of his..but note how many times he closes down the GK or the centre half, allowing RVP to drop deeper, this is an instinctive part of his play and is very difficult to change..this is something however which can and should be worked on where one of our midfield 3 shuffles left allowing RVP then to close the DM of the opponent..this rarely happens allowing the left flank to be exposed and hence the criticism of AA as lazy..

  148. @Markus – sorry to contradict but Kyle Walker scored with long-range strikes (using both feet) for Aston Villa last season – and he’s pretty well known amongst Spurs fans for having a bit of meaty strike on him.

    The players should definitely have known what was coming next and done more to close down.

  149. Anirudh – my biggest problem with him is when he cedes possession he lets his head drop and just sort of shrugs and gives up. Maybe its his body language but at times he appears not to care.

  150. Jonny, the only person anywhere near him looks to have been Gervinho and he just pulled out of a tackle and let him by. Maybe worried about conceding the free-kick outside the box. All of our defenders were a good 20 yards away when he got the ball and 15 yards away when he hit it. Not much any of them could have done.

  151. Ok ,Ihave been saying “free AA” for nearly a year now.I have even been on Fans Forum and advocated for it around new near time.
    So if there is a choir forming then i the conductor.
    Get lost Aman. thief.

  152. Henrisric 3 5 2
    Well it might be worth a go.
    I wont ignore you mate.

  153. @jonny

    Maybe it is just the body language..cos I have tried to watch that side of his game with a good amount of focus and found that he does to a lot of closing down when we do lose the ball high up the pitch like i said earlier..closes down the CB and GK a lot..

    I think I brought up the Mark Waugh example and compared him to AA, cos Mark waugh also used to get stick for apparently “not caring”..its the same with a lot of supremely talented players

  154. Anirudh ,I like that description of Andrei.Supremely talented ,fits like a glove.

  155. It certainly does george..

  156. Don’t worry George…Where the Cap fits, let us wear it!

    Free AA

  157. A 3-5-2 is an interesting line up, but too radical a shake up for our current situation (Bedding in new players, injuries etc.). The easiest line up to transition into may be a 4-4-2 or a 4-4-1-1 with Van Persie in the Bergkamp role. I think we need to push from the front in order to lessen the pressure on our midfield and defense. With our speed we can very well do that. I think this may be the right time to unleash Theo or Arshavin in the central strikers role.

    ———————– RVP

  158. Limestonegunner

    I am glad to see some have begun to consider playing Arshavin more in his best position, and George has led the charge. As I suggested 2 or 3 weeks ago, how about 4231 with Arshavin in centre of the three with Song and Arteta the two behind? Walcott/the Ox and Gervinho/Benayoun/Ryo on either side of him with some switching around behind RvP. Arshavin can be substituted for a midfielder like Ramsey or Frimpong/Coquelin if we need defensive strength or RvP can move there to bring on Chamakh or let Walcott play through the middle. But maybe we might have more movement and invention behind RvP who has looked isolated with Arshavin putting through balls into the box. He played one game where he looked very good and was playing much more around the centre of the park and switching with others. He also will put in more pressing when he is in that position, I think.

    Similarly I think a 352 can work if we play three centre backs, but our problem has been fielding two! The question is what would the five look like? Jenks/Coquelin and Gibbs/Santos on the right and left sides with Arteta, Song, and Ramsey behind RvP and either Walcott/Chamakh or behind Arshavin and RvP.

    I think the point is that RvP and Arshavin are probably our most creative attacking players in the final third and we should have flexibility in our tactics to make the most of that since the 433 suited a different set of players and skills. Even a 442 domestically might work using wingers to cross to Chamakh and RvP. So far we have only had real attacking threat against lower level teams like Blackburn and Bolton. Against better teams in Europe and the league we have stuttered a bit in attack because we don’t have the midfield invention and passing quickness to set up RvP as easily.

  159. Paul N @ 3:51.

    The revolving door of players in our defense could have been avoided had we made better use of the transfer market. Injuries have happened to all the top teams. United has been decimated at the back this year, Valencia has played RB for several games and Berbatov and Carrick were their CB pair for part of one game. Ferdinand has not been healthy for 2 -3 years. Spurs have never been able to keep their first choice healthy at any point in the last many years. Kolo missed most of last year at Citeh. John Terry has been constant but Carvalho, Alex have been out of the line up more then in. Bowinga missed a whole year. Cech has missed large segments of the last several years and arguably their most important player Essien has missed the last 2 years. I know our injury list seems staggering when looked at by itself but in reality our injuries have been no worse then the other top of the table teams at least on the defensive side of the pitch.

  160. Limestonegunner

    I like those points, Gains. And I think the principle is trying to get an attack more suited to our players and that allows us to keep some pressure off our backline. Who would be your midfield 4?

  161. Limestonegunner

    Sorry, I see–Santos and Gervinho on the sides with Song and Arteta in the middle. I like playing Gibbs and Santos together.

  162. Paulie Walnuts

    I don`t believe AA is deliberately lazy at all. He came to the EPL relatively late in his career & clearly had never had to `put a shift in` as people might say.

    Having said that, when he`s not producing anything going forward it`s like playing with 10 men. To be fair to him I feel we`ve never used him properly though & he`s stuck out on the wing where he struggles to make any impact.

    I tend to agree that just off a striker appears to be where he would effect games more but right now I don`t see AW giving him that chance.

    On Ramsey, I think people are expecting too much of him at the moment. A couple of loan spells in the Championship & a few games at the end of last season are not enough to get him back to where he was pre Shawcross (c*nt). I think he`ll improve as the season progresses but we may have to wait until at least NEXT season to see him become the player we know he can be,

  163. I quite like Santos playing further forward as well, LG. Actually, depending on the other personell Coquelin could play as the right midfielder in a midfield four. It’s where he played most of his football last season for Lorient.

    Still, I’m just not sure we’re going to go back to 4-4-2.

  164. “As I suggested 2 or 3 weeks ago, how about 4231 with Arshavin in centre of the three with Song and Arteta the two behind? Walcott/the Ox and Gervinho/Benayoun/Ryo on either side of him with some switching around behind RvP. Arshavin can be substituted for a midfielder like Ramsey or Frimpong/Coquelin if we need defensive strength or RvP can move there to bring on Chamakh or let Walcott play through the middle”

    Thats it.If Arsene does not listen to us LG he has to go, simples,
    After all, I am a proven world class …….err……..mmmmm……..well ,,,,, egh,,,,,,,,,,well Its a thought anyway

  165. Here’s part of my problem with AA over the past year or so – yes, he’s out on the left, but he has lots of freedom on that role, and always has popped up in other areas.

    At any rate, he has a bit of trouble executing passes, and we’re not just talking about the low-percentage ones, just basic run of the mill stuff. How would that change with him starting in the middle? I mean it’s no surprise that he’s getting less game time now – although I must say that he’s turned it around a bit recently.

  166. 3-4-3? Anyone?

    Seeing as we usually look like a 2-4-3-1 thingymajoby, that morphs about a bit, I’m not sure it matters. What does matter is that the players remember to love their pressing!

    But on a relatively and vaguely serious level, I feel when the team is playing well we leave one FB slightly deeper back, and when they’re a bit out of sorts, they don’t quite get that bit right? I was looking forward to seeing Sagna allow Gibbs/Santos to go Awol, though he seemed to be trying to compete with them in some moments. I think he was jealous of their two goals. *Sighs* Poor Sagna.
    Just a fracture, he’ll be OK.

    Like OOU I thing we’ll see some similar patterns the season such as those seen after the last re-build.

  167. Oh yes almost forgot.
    Ramsey has not been good of late and no matter what some people say that is the case.
    However,people are now saying he is not good enough,and never was.Well as I recall it he was ahead of Jack 2 years ago(pre Shawcross) and looking very much the part.
    He played against Scotland and made Fletcher look a mug.
    Only last month, when playing against England,he was the stand out player on the pitch.Absolutely outstanding,he was!!
    So let him have time to get back FFS .He is still a boy least we forget.
    Next person to suggest he it not fit for function should be tracked down an given the mother of all kicking’s.

  168. 3:6:1 or 3:3:3:1 – vP is good enough up front he just needs a bit more support.

    or maybe 3:5:1:1 with Chamakh as the 2nd 1 and vP creating with his fantastic first touch as the 1st 1

    Ramsey needs some help in the middle at the moment so do you play Le Coq and Song or The Frimp and Song.

    I like the 3:3:2:1:1 it just says ‘come and have a go’ and ‘who cares about defending anyway we are going to pass it into the back of your net’.

  169. AA has always been my favourite ‘indulgence’ player but this season he just does not look the part.

    Four against Liverpool, the winner against barca, he scores great goals but his mojo has stopped working. He looks run of the mill this season.

  170. Bob I agree but I also think a free role would give him back his Mojo.
    Also he does need to feel “key” in a team to preform at his optimum.

  171. One of Us, I think Arshavin offers spectacular link up play if he were played in a more central role. He’d provide Van Persie with intelligent runs and would also put RVP in on goal with his passing. It’d be a role very similar to how Ferguson plays Hernandez off Rooney. In fact, just imagine a Hernandez with better finishing and more ability overall playing off Van Persie. That’s the clearest picture I think I can paint you.

  172. You could be right.

    Time for a gamble?

  173. Consols, I think an Arshavin without defensive responsibilities would be a lot better than the player we’ve all since thus far. If all he had to do was press higher up the pitch, which he’s very good at, and run at defenses, we’d see a more efficient Arshavin. He’s also very good at sneaking into the penalty area unnoticed, which would help us immensely by testing the discipline of the opposition’s off side trap when they park the bus.

  174. lol george@ 4:30pm
    I only steal from the best

    I agree cBob,
    AA’s not at his best.
    Could it be he’s tired of moonlighting as a winger waiting for the free role (in the middle) he was promised?

  175. Paulie Walnuts

    The Arshavin conundrum kind of typifies where we are as a side right now.

    Lots of things just don`t fit & we seem to have at least a couple of square`ish` pegs in round holes in almost every game.

    Anyhow, what do I know ? – let `em sort it out at Colney.

    Wish there was a game this week !

  176. Nah, George. I watched the game again last night and, although Ramsey looked out of sorts, Arteta wasn’t doing himself any favors. Wenger plays Ramsey as a windshield wiper infront of the midfield. He has license to go and create as he sees fit. The problem was that Arteta thought this was his job too, so they were getting in eachother’s way. The spell of possession which lead to us dominating them in the second half was because Ramsey and Arteta finally figured out that one of them had to stay back. As soon as they figured this out we had Arteta bringing the ball out from deep and Ramsey popping up in the channels that appeared right or left in their midfield. I don’t think Ramsey has been bad of late. It’s just that he and Arteta are still learning eachother’s games.

  177. I agree with G69
    TH14 never really had defensive responsibilities either

    “Free AA!”

  178. I think it would be great to play Ashavin just behind RVP. Certainly worth a try. I hope we have given up the idea of someone playing the Cesc position as the main play maker. Arshavin would bring a more direct approach to the center of our mid field I think.


    Interesting ideas, however, playing a formation with only 3 defenders seems like you have come to the point of suicidal ideations. I know things are bad now but we do want it to get better at some point and not worse. Seems like there are lots of other manipulations of our formation that we can try before we go to that extreme.

  179. I’d like to see what Park & Ryo can do for us.
    Hope they get to play soon.

  180. Managers will often say ‘Judge me by results’. Okay, here are the Premiership results since the Carling Cup Final. P 18 W 3 D 8 L 7. For 26 Against 34.
    Judging by these results how anyone can say that Wenger is the man for the job is utterly beyond me. On some of these posts I see people referring to supporting the gooners as being akin to a religion. They’re almost right. For them it is a cult, without any degree of objective analysis of the situation, only a crazy belief in a mad prophet.

  181. Yogi,

    I am a daily reader on here but seldom post but am curious that you manage to put song titles in nearly all your posts.Today Life on Mars, last week a Four Seasons song and you appear to be a follower of The Clash as well. A broad spectrum of musical taste .
    Do you do that on purpose ?

    As for The Arsenal I have seen it all before but my main concern is if the FFP rule will actually be implemented and I fear with others that we are in for a double dip recession of which many clubs will not survive.

  182. Has anyone noticed?

    We are back to contributing not bitching.

  183. McTavish
    So you pick a random date and judge some one from that?Is that how it is done?
    Ok,then I pick August 2003 until may 2004.
    Judge him on those results you fucking muppet.
    Or from ……..oh fuck it I cant be arsed .

  184. Sorry SA ,that didn’t last long did it?

  185. I think people tend to forget that a big reason why any of the talent we do actually land sign on is because of Arsene Wenger and the desire to play for him. What makes everyone so certain that top players would come running to Arsenal in the current financial climate if it weren’t for the presence of a great head coach?

    I think this idea is lost on a lot of supporters out there.

  186. I apologize for the poor grammar and lack of commas, but I am speed typing at work…lol.

  187. “I think this idea is lost on a lot of supporters out there.”

    You use the word “supporters”very loosely there Viceologist.I would call them something entirely different.

  188. George,

    Very true…lol. It is a shame that emotions cause people to completely lose sight of everything someone has accomplished and the circumstances that we are dealing with.

  189. good point viceologist.
    AW is a special one.
    we’ll see where things are in the world of football this time next year…
    for the lost supporter.

    “Free AA!”

  190. I should add to my post above that one of the midfielders usually drops back to cover one of the FB’s. That’s in case anyone was getting worried. Making up the vague back three that many attacking teams use/have used, as far as I can tell.

    Sometimes if Song & Diaby are playing in the pivot together, injury free and in some kind of form, both can and do drop back, right to the back, at the same time as one of the FB’s and either the other FB or a CB go on a wander (great assist from Song again on Sunday, there was some leadership!). So, I imagine in some games Song + Coquelin/Frimpong (+Diaby at some point?) in the midfield. With maybe one of Arteta and Ramsey ahead?
    When the selection is different the way the midfielders cover the back, especially the FBs, and the way the FBs operate are slightly different.
    But don’t let that stop anyone stating with (un)credible authority that the Arsenal play with the same tactics game in game out!

  191. When we bought Arsharvin and he scored 4 against Liverpool, did we not still play 4-4-2 then?
    Im sure a change of formation will bring different qualities out in the players….

  192. Aman…I agree, put Arshavin in the AM spot and see what happens. What have we got to lose?

  193. @finsbury, the return of Diaby will give us a whole new dimension. He is uniqe when he gets going… he has the potential to become one of the absolue best. Ofc that requires an injury free spell of more than 1 month.
    Lets hope his ankle surgery has made him more robust..

  194. Poodle, Diaby has the talent, I don’t have any info on how bad his injury was. He’lll still be off the pace for a period after being out for so long. So, hopefully we have some nice easy games at the end of the CL after qualifying to help him have a pre-season.

    Marseille Away will be some game.

  195. yes poodle,
    me kian’t wait for dat bwoy Abou ta show imsef.
    Hope da brand new shiny ankle no fi tiake anytin away fram him game.
    Di bwoy caltured I tell ya, really caltured!

    “Come back in great shape Vassiriki”
    “We believe in u!”
    “We need ya!”

    “Free AA!”

  196. <…at the end of the CL Group games…

  197. I did like that Afobbe has Diaby as his biggest idol. Of all the players at Arsenal its Diaby he looks up to and wants to emulate..

  198. Its fun how people write us off for 4th place i mean nobody actually things Newcastle will become no 4 do they? Its highly likley they will swap place with Arsenal comes the end of the season. I would not be the slightlest suprised if Newcastle became no 15 in the PL this year….

  199. Pedantic George. Good work living up to your name. Random date, or when the castle in the sky came crashing down. In case you hadn’t noticed, 2003-04 was eight years ago. What exactly has happened in the intervening period? Wenger could have created a dynasty, made Arsenal into a truly great club capable of challenging year on year for the Premiership and the Champion’s league. But he hasn’t. His refusal to spend the extra, 1/2 million here and there has resulted in Fabregas leaving, in Wilshire missing half this season, in being unable to sustain title challenges year on year. It’s hardly a random date when that is pretty much the time each year when the title challenge has fizzled out. And don’t blame injuries and don’t blame referees. For fuck’s sake look at the situation now, and just for a minute take off your AKB tinted glasses. 18 matches. 3 wins? That’s half a season. 16 fucking points. Wins against Swansea, Bolton, Manure and Blackpool. You’re as much of a stubborn, one-eyed prick as Wenger. Do you care if Arsenal lose their place at their top table? And I’ll judge him on the players Arsenal had then, and on the players he has now. He’s fucked it, and he should go now, before the end of the season comes, Arsenal are 8th if we’re lucky, and the whole world knows he’s failed.

  200. Newcastle’s playing well.
    A tight group of players who play for themselves.
    Pardew was smart, he got rid of Barton right after using him to upstage us.
    Injuries could mess them up but for now they look good.
    But its a long season with
    Many teams gunning for 4th.

    “Free AA!”

  201. Please go away McTavish.
    Even number days are reserved for AKBs.
    Save your whining for tomorrow, bright and early
    Its been a constructive day on ACLF.
    You’re staining the walls doomer

    “Free AA!”

  202. G’dnite all….“Free AA!”

  203. Limestonegunner

    Yes, Marseille away is going to be a big match for us. They aren’t doing anything in the league, but then neither are we right now. When was the last time we played Marseille? It will be interesting because Wenger has a real history with them–Tapie and so on from his Monaco days. It is sort of a grudge match.

  204. I feel like I have been hexed, first the spuds debacle then I find myself in the same carriage on the central line with mihir Bose, lawd how I wanted to slap him, last week it was michael portillo and a while back Oliver holt plonked himself next to me. I should really avoid the central line.

  205. just curious,is it some sort of a prem record that a ref(i use the term loosely)such as that c**T mike dean can ref(again loosely)a side nine times & they never win?what’s the odds?personally,i don’t give a f**k what anyone thinks about the fact that some of us are cont whinging about the b***trds in black-but seriously,there are 6/7 of them i dread getting our matches-because you can bet your house on it,that they will shaft us somehow..i.e sending off,dodgy penalty,leg breaker,offside goal etc etc etc!!!!!

  206. It does seem like Chensey is standing up as a leader though. The way he rubbisehd the rumours that Tottenham is beter than arsenal. The way he so blatatley goes out and says “i belive in this club”!
    His charisma and good preformancs surly should lift the rest. He is also calm and are about to grow an aura of “safeness” around himself.
    The best is that he is an Arsenal fan throgh and through, a bit like the fanatic Carragher for Liverpool.
    he is a real character Chesney is. At 24 he will be the natural leader im sure, cos hes loud, hes carismatic and good. One can feel the same guts and pride in both Wilshere and Frimpong they will both grow into responsible and “leading” players if you like.
    Kyle got gret revies from Scotland where he was said “to be mature above his years” and it was illustrated with an example where he broke up an agrument between two oler team mates and telling them both to concentrate on the match instead of using energy on silly stuff.
    These guys are different than the latest batch too.
    Nasri only feels loyal to Marseille as that is the team he supports and grew up with. Cesc was torn.
    These new young kids are eitehr from Arsenal or have been bought from smaller clubs. They also grew up together in the academy and are mates and all that.
    in 2014, when we according to the “masterplan” that someone made back in the pre Emirate days will start to build to challenge for PL again, they will all be mature enough to raise with the team.
    Seems like AW wanted to do with Kyle like he did with lecoq last year. Farm him out so he would be properly ready to start for us. It really worked well with le coque.. Will be interesting to see if it works with Lansbury…

  207. I found myself with usual insufferable moaning gooners wenger must go brigade who hardly seem to be able to coherently explain anything other echo the rancid bile spouted everyday in the mongrel media. I asked one them so what would u do if we finished tenth and wenger was still in charge next season? He was at a loss of words! That’s the crux of the matter, many arsenal fans simply jumped on the band wagon during the good old years and rode then gravy train. Now that we’ve hit a rocky patch they can’t handle the bad. They are more worried about getting ribbed or getting it in the neck from opposing fans. It’s all about them, selfish wankers! Well we may miss the top four and painful as it would be the real fans will still go to the game and travel with the team. And if we loose the self serving myopic loathsome hypocritical cunts calling themselves supporters then it’s a price I am willing to pay.

  208. and what are the odds of having 5 out of 9 defenders out at the same time??
    We must be the only club in the world that needs more than 9 defenders to last a month …..

  209. it is remarkable how anyone with any knowledge of football like current players and current managers in both our club and in other PL clubs, even big sam(!) all say the same.

    ” dont sack AW, Arsenal will come good, AW is the best alternative atm”.
    they can mock him yes, and laugh at him yes, some pundits even find him annoying. but if you ask other manages and other players from other teams, they all think hes the right man for the job.
    When Benitez was being hassled, only AW stuck up for him. Everyone sticks up for AW.

  210. Somewhat Agnostic


    “I can’t declare that I will spend my entire career here, but if I leave I will have a very important reason or I will go to Barcelona.”


  211. Why should anyone rule out a Barcelona move? everyone would go there, its only United and Real madrid players that would not jump at the chance of playing for the mighty barca.

  212. But in the current climate it was a stupid thing to say from Chesney. However they wont spend 20m on a keeper. Surly Cheslea will snap him up before that with an “offer he cannot refuse”…. check is getting old and im sure Chelsea need a new keeper before Barca, even United if their new keepers dont live up to expectations…

  213. Kelsey

    Yes, deliberately so. And yes, a broad musical church. Indeed, I squeezed another into the title, two groups, same song title, name ’em both!!


  214. Poodle

    Cech is not old for a keeper at 29

  215. i think we should just stop talking to the media. its obvious how low they will go to sell a story. disgusting. is there really no real news?

  216. @dups but the barcelona keeper is even younger. So i take it Chsney will stay for alteast another decade….

  217. Did anyone mention 4:3:2:1. Now imagine AW putting that out (who cares how they actually line up) I would love to see this






    Lining up to stick a few spuds.

  218. Let’s hope so Poodle

  219. Well our getting re-aquainted with an old friend called mid table mediocrity will separate the wheat from the chavs.

  220. We will not finish mid table

  221. McTavish (above) has it bang to rights. Wenger has had it as a manager and the evidence has been there all along. He is completely out of gas. The team simply reflects the personality of the manager: Wenger simply can’t motivate anybody as he is all to clearly EXHAUSTED and bereft of any ideas. Limp as a bloody week old lettuce. Letting a very good team go down hill for want of some spending at strategic times was his downfall plus not being able to see the bloody obvious. Would your top guys want to leave if all was well? Come on………!

    Those that think ‘it’ll be alright’ at some unspecified point down the road are delusional, what are called ‘useful idiots’ who buy tickets and other crap regardless.

    Folks, its going to get much much worse before it gets better. That you can take to the bank.

  222. lets not clutch at straws or deny reality, the current squad is not a world beating/title winning, best of the best squad, but peaks and troughs, its not ideal, but no one, least of all Wenger, planned it to happen, thats jus football and it’ll take time to adjust, but lets have a bit of perspective. I’m arsenal till i die, and every shit result pains me as much the next Gooner, but at the end of the day its just football. Last wednesday my best mate died. 23 years old, fittest bloke i knew. Went into hospital with flu like symptoms, slipped into a coma, and was dead within 24 hours. Gives a bit of perspective to life. THAT is a tragedy!

  223. Dups

    No tongues. No, wait, sorry, the band? The church got a bit narrower. Answer? The Men They Couldn’t Hang and Gaslight Anthem: Great Expectations


  224. Somewhat Agnostic

    Yes Poodle.. rather he would have not mentioned Barca at all… We all know the reality when Barca come knocking…

    Anyway, the full interview is more revealing. (not that link) He talks also about wanting to become Arsenal’s captain in the future so I don’t see that issue looming any time soon… I think he’s ours for some years yet…Unless Barca have a keeper crisis!

  225. Copernicus,

    Your forebear displaced the Earth from the center of our universe and now you set your levers on our Arseno-centricity.

    Nicolaus put the sun in the middle of our galaxy and his theory has lasted nearly 450 years, into the era of space travel and beyond.

    Oh great philosopher, what do you bring for us that we may fill our voids with something concrete to nurture?

  226. Or are you just digging a hole?

  227. So that’s a threesome them YW.

    So three people having sex is a threesome, two is a twosome, so what is a handsome?

  228. Dups,

    I am sure that is….yourself.

  229. Very kind of you to say so SA Gooner, or was it? hmm

  230. Off to Londinium later today (my old home place), then on Saturday to the ancient county of Devon for a couple of weeks (now the weather has changed). So I may be away from ACLF for some time.

    CB do they have electricity down there or will I need some candles? 🙂

  231. dups

    You do know that snow, ice and frost are on their way don’t you. And that ain’t a threesome you really want to get involved with!


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