Arsenal’s Ugly Ducklings Are Not Blossoming Into Swans.

Swansea City 3 – 2 Arsenal

0 – 1 van Persie (5)
1 – 1 Sinclair (16 pen)
2 – 1 Dyer (59)
2 – 2 Walcott (69)
3 – 2 Graham (70)

I feel that the title of today’s post ought have the word, “Yet” appended. Maybe not, I just don’t know. If ever a match encapsulated a season, this was it. Injury-riven, sloppy goals conceded, moments of poetry and officiating that will remain inexplicable. And at the end of it, a weekend that promised much delivered nothing of the sort. It is an altogether familiar feeling.

And none of this should detract from the efforts of Swansea. They worked hard and on reflection, deserved something from the game which they duly got. Theirs was a more consistent performance throughout the 90 minutes.

The midfield was robbed of the passing grace of Mikel Arteta, allowing Yossi Benayoun a rare start presumably because Tomas Rosicky had not fully recovered from his illness of late last week. The ability of the Czech to bond midfield and attack would have reaped more reward, I feel, that the Israeli’s individualism.

Complaining about Andrey Arshavin ought to be an Olympic sport, the Arsenal contingent might surely be able to bring forth a British Gold medal. That had to stop within five minutes of the start, the Russian released Robin van Persie on the right. There was no inevitability of the finish as the angle became more slight; that mattered not as the Dutchman beat compatriot Michel Worm to open the scoring. The finish contrasted with his chance on the half hour where a better opening landed firmly in Worm’s midrift.

That ought to allowed Arsenal to assume some control of the game. Such was the line-up, that never really emerged. Swansea’s confidence gradually returned, helped ably by Michael Oliver’s officiating. The first of his contentious decisions came when Ramsey was adjudged to have fouled in the area, a jaw-droppingly poor decision of such outrageous standards that it is utterly baffling. It is nothing unusual for referee’s to get it wrong, this is no anti-Arsenal conspiracy. As the years pass I wonder if our minds play tricks on us when we believe standards are dropping; were they ever that good to begin with? The only difference now is that the televisual evidence is more readily available. And the media are more willing to pass an instant judgement using technology denied to the officials.

Neither side settled with Arsenal almost stealing the lead immediately after the equaliser with Ramsey firing into the area before Worm grasped the ball gratefully. Swansea rescucitated; pressure on the visitors grew as the half progressed and Koscielny emphasised how much his performances have grown this season whilst Mertesacker veered uneasily between international class and nervous wreck. For Ignasi Miquel it was as tough an introduction as he might have thought of, the pace of Swansea on his flank was too much at times to bear. It does not make him a bad player, just one who is not quite ready for the first team which raises issues I will deal with in a moment. On the right, Djourou put in a tremendous amount of effort working not just the flank but also into the centre as Swansea sought to exploit spaces with their pace.

Dyer exploited his chances well. Touted for England squads of the future, he found Szczesny his equal until fifteen minutes after the break when having shot narrowly wide early in the second half, Dyer drilled home from just outside of the area following the soft dispossessing of Ramsey. Having seen Walcott waste an earlier opportunity, it might have crossed the manager’s mind to relieve the pressure on the winger by substituting him when Henry made his introduction. As it was Arshavin made way. It was the correct call as Theo made the most of Djourou’s long pass to score past Worm.

The relief was shortlived as Koscielny and Szczesny pondered – scarred by Wembley perchance – and Graham sidefooted home from close range. Back came Arsenal with Mertesacker skewing wide unbelievably. At least that is what Thierry Henry believed anyway. It was his last telling contribution as he made way for Oxlade-Chamberlain who created an opening for Henry but header cleared the bar. The closing minutes brought a flurry of chances with Rosicky and Koscielny unable to hit the target and salvage a point.

After the match Arsène delivered as withering an assessment that he might publicly venture,

I thought there were some odd turning points, like when we came back to 2-2 and made a defensive mistake straight away. It looked similar to Fulham to me, the lack of appreciation for the ball. Our defensive performance was not good enough and that’s why we lost the game.

Whilst a makeshift defence offers up some explanantions, it is also damning. We are sixteen days into the transfer window and if anything, the injury situation is worse than at the turn of the year. Yet – that word again – nothing has been done. Publicly Arsène is vacillating between a loan left back and not; a permanent signing is not on the agenda. The nuances of the game are such that cat and mouse negotiations are best conducted behind closed doors, problems are around every corner and not necessarily just down to money between the clubs. We saw that even loan deals are protracted when Henry was unveiled a week after the club confirmed that the deal was ready to be completed. That raises uncomfortable questions about the higher echelons as much as it does about the problems within the squad.

Some offer the view that no signing is all down to the manager; it is as naive as believing that no targets are identified. He is not absolved either, there is an amalgam in all transfers. I hope that recent Premier League results focus thoughts on the remainder of the season and underline the dangers in relying upon defenders who have suffered the slings and arrows of injury fate. I have no doubt that Gibbs and Sagna are going to be available soon but will they avoid niggles as they return? I think in the Frenchman’s case, it is likely he will be relatively free of such trials. Gibbs? Impossible to quantify, it genuinely is.

Whatever the case, seasons turn on matches as much as matches turn on incidents. Let us hope that this is the moment is a catalyst.

Just a reminder that a new post is over at Arsenal On This Day, an altogether more cheerful affair.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on January 16, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 440 Comments.

  1. It still hurts that we lost but kudos to Swansea, they really toyed with us and played very well, i Still think their first goal came from a very soft penalty.

  2. Roland C Rozario

    Its just plain …… Arsenal were not allowed to play by a very determined Swansea team. Kudos to them!
    Notwithstanding the dubious decision meted out by the ref …> the penalty and a few others but Arsenal were just out classed, out played and out gunned! Period!

  3. From now on,all blames should go 2 Mr Wenger,he has refused 2 see what his fans see,that he needs star signings not mediocres.For the board,How long do u intend 2 keep these fans trophyless,with all d high toll gate fees & committment,they have shown u.It is simply UN-FAIR.I must have 2 repeat myself,as we go down this road of self -destruction.We need a quality defender,attacking MF,DM & Henry till the end of the season.I don’t care how many sheilings u bought him,but let him be quality.Sell off the u know who’s.If we finish this season without a trophy,I can assure Mr wenger & the board that their seats will be much hotter than it is right now.Arsenal fans have had enough,time 2 act is NOW!!!

  4. Outplayed Out-Footballed Out-passed by Swansea.They beat us playing football not kicking us not hitting high balls but by out-Arsenaling Arsenal.Swansea taught us a lesson

    Anyone who blames the penalty for the defeat is just burying their heads in the sand deeper than Wenger has his

    Two many of our players are not good enough at the highest level.Stop trying to covr up their faults.

    The quality of signings in the last 2 years has been poor.I still havent heard one good reason why we signed Park.Having him sit on then bench is just a joke.We all knew he was never coming on.Thats why we have brought back a semi-retired Henry.It sums us up

    We can keep clutching at straws but questions have to be asked about Wenger’s management

    But hey ho we make massive profits

  5. firstly well played Swansea nice to see a side prepared to play the passing game and entertain
    did u hear pardew say 1 shot on goal at home he doesnt care as long as you win.(lucky for him all the thick geordies dont understand)
    did you clowns find out today that this is the worst squad under wenger? yossi lightweight not good enough for chelski
    arsavin aint paid enough to run
    walcott only paid to run(took his goal well though)
    derooooo no more a premier player than most of us boy just got lucky to play so often for a former top side(must be on low wages or swallows)
    miquel the lad tried hard wont slag him off as out of postion
    ramsey look at his stats gives the ball away too often works hard and at least trys but just not good enough
    ro sicky always plays like we are 4 nil up
    big german trys but all too quick for him
    van p top man but who would blame him if he left?
    TH still better than Chamak

    i could go on but bored already as the yank that owns us just in it for the money and we all know that we wont buy any quality this window or the next
    just in case it stops the development of all the above

    oxo kid looks top drawer maybe we should send him out on loan as he has no chance of playing ahead of wengers favorites

  6. the problem with Arsenal is the over reliance or over confidence Arsene has in some of his players., and not being able to deal with them when they don’t perform as required. HIs patience is just amazing.

  7. remember the match against Liverpool, was that 2 seasons ago ? Arsenal played poorly in the first half but came back the second and fought bravely to win the battle. After the game some report said Arsene was furious in the dressing room during the break, probably gave the boys a hard wipe, and they responded. How come we don’t see this more ?

  8. Yogi

    Did you get Wenger to right the blog today?.Excuses excuses excuses

    The penalty the injuries,You are missing the real story.We outpassed by Swansea.They gave us a football lesson in movement and keeping possesion.With two wide men who worked their bollocks off.Unlike our two inconsistent wide men.

    We cant keep making excuses its time to look at the real reason why we are struggling to even finish in the top 4.With the exception of Szczesny Sagna TV and RVP who is really top class/

    We will never get back to challeging for the title if we continue to buy at the bargin basement.The signing of Henry were the actions of a desperate man

  9. As long as Wenger buys players whose contracts are about to end and kids with wc potential,the gunners will soon be a mid table tea. Allied to his arrogance and I know all attitude,is it any wonder the gunners are misfiring and the defence continually exposed?
    This could be the season when he will finally be jolted by failing to get the 4th spot. It is not mission impossible but unless the gunners can start firing when Chelsea and Spurs drop points,this could be it.
    Btw if the gunners dinsih 5th, watch Wenger go on a spending spree and tear up his kid blue print. This is assuming he will still be in charge but I believe he has the zenith of his management ability and time for someone who plays simple football to win . Someone who doesn’t overpass and take ages to shoot.Arsenal are looking for that special one if Wenger goes.

  10. The past two weeks have been frustrating because of how needlessly we dropped points when there was a chance to go out there and make some ground on the teams above us, and to make the race for a top four spot a lot closer than it now looks.

    I hate to be negative, but at this point in time, I find it hard not to be: some players, truth be told don’t give us their all when they enter the field of play and part of their play despite all their talent seems lackadaisical and lacking in the focus needed if the team is to get the desired results and to achieve the goal for this season that is a top four finish. Aaron Ramsey has all it takes to become not only a top midfielder in England, but in Europe. His play before he got injured was something that gave me the hope that he could be the player to take over from Cesc one day. There were aspects of his game that needed sharpening, but he was a player that did most of the things right. This season, he has had an extended run of games aided by the fact that injuries have made the squad threadbare, he has had some fantastic games, but his overall play for me and a couple of people I know has been wanting in some material aspects. His ball retention is poor, he loses the ball in situations where you wonder how on earth he went on to lose the ball, and the pass first nature that was a consistent part of his game before he got injured is somewhat hit and miss, some games he has it, and on some games he delays with the ball by taking an extra touch or hanging onto the ball just a bit longer that he should have necessitating a breakdown of what was a fantastic attacking position, or losing the ball and putting the defense through unnecessary pressure. But that is not what is maddening, the most infuriating thing about his play is the fact that sometimes we need to move the ball from side to side and when the ball gets to him rather than push it along he will try and turn back to where the ball came back from and he has lost countless ball this season by trying to do that while we were in the final third. Why he cannot change that aspect of his game is beyond me………………..and as much as I want him to succeed at the club, I sometimes wonder whether a team as big and as ambitious as Arsenal can continue to have such inconsistent players like Diaby, Arshavin, Bendtner, Denilson, Squillaci, Chamakh, Almunia, Fabianski, and an Aaron Ramsey that looks like he is going down that route too.

    My second gripe is why on earth we don’t play or start Chamberlain ahead of Benayoun or Arshavin. He may not have the experience, but keeping a talent like that on the bench so that some of the older players get the chance to somewhat redeem themselves stands against the progress that we would want to achieve. This is a player that always shines when given the opportunity, he outperforms Arshavin yet the talented Russian is ever ahead of him when it comes to starting games in the premier league. He offers better defensive output, better ball retention, and a bigger attacking threat going forward, what on earth are we saving him for?

    My final gripe is our defending. Why do we press high the pitch after we have scored? Chelsea got in behind immediately after Walcott had equalized, and our keeper was lucky not to have been sent off. Yesterday, Danny Graham got put in through because we pressed immediately after the restart, why we do that against a pace oriented side is beyond me. Also beyond me, and something that staggers the mind is why we would start Arshavin knowing full well that both Sinclair and Dyer are not only good on the ball but also extremely pacy wingers. Walcott always got back and helped Djourou turn back Sinclair, but Arshavin was non existent, and when he finally got back, the pressing wasn’t good enough to turn Dyer back. This almost always forced Song to come in and help, and with Swansea moving the ball well they recognized that putting it into midfield where there wasn’t that much cover was a better option. It isn’t a surprise that we started playing better with the introduction of Rosicky, Chamberlain and Henry, or that their bursts through our left side were minimized because their right wingers had to help cover the attacks being made by chamberlain. We lost a winnable game just like we did last week because the focus needed in some areas was lacking, and that some of the tactics employed were wanting. This was a bridge year for me; most of the players we have brought in have immensely impressed me with their drive and the commitment that they bring into the team. Arteta, Mertasacker, Gervinho, Santos, Chamberlain, Benayoun, Jenkinson………they have all impressed. What we now need is for some of the players that have been on this team for ages to start coming of age. Diaby can be a class player, I have never seen a game that we lost when he played extremely well, yet we rarely ever see that side of his game. Aaron Ramsey needs to get back to the pass first mentality that had him ahead of Wilshere when it came to getting chances on the first team, but Wilshere last season was impressive even when we lacked both Cesc and Robin Van Persie, more impressive compared to what I personally have seen on Aaron Ramsey this season. Kieran Gibbs, is another player that seems lost when it comes to defence. We have a god core that we need to add a few players onto most likely in the summer, but we will not achieve anything if all that talent is not backed up by hard work, players having the right focus, and team management not having the right tactics going into any game.

  11. 435 mlie round trip yesterday was a long day.

    This Arsenal era contains too many ordinary players

    Wenger is unable to motivate or assert his tactics these days.

    This cant go on.

    There are new young managers making their mark & his time is up.

  12. Too many average players unfortunatley.Take away RVP this season and we would sruggle to get in the top 10.

    Wenger had all summer to bring in quality,He waited till after the 8-2 and panic buyed.

    Maybe it will take a season out of the CL for someone at Arsenal be it Kroenke Gazidis or Wenger to realise big changes have to made at the club.It not this season will become the norm

  13. A Gunners source told The Sun: “Thierry had encouraged his team-mates to go and acknowledge the fans and show their appreciation for the people who made the long journey to Swansea.

    “Unfortunately one or two of them had a few things to say and expressed their disappointment.”

    “One in particular was shouting ‘Where is the heart and the character and the fight?’

    “Thierry shouted back ‘Get behind the team and support the players and don’t be negative.”

    This is HENRY! We can turn everything around in the next game. We need to bring back our focus. RVP needs to rally his troops like he did in the beginning.

  14. The buck stops with Wenger. Time and again he has blamed refs .Sometimes the guy in black is not impartial. I agree the Swan penalty shd not not have been allowed.This is the view of analysts who have tv cameras. Even then it is only 20% of the time. The other 80% is the team performance.
    I am afarid Wenger’s tactics are easy to dissect by other managers and that’s why the gunners can’t win.I think Wenger’s time is 90% up.he should go before he is fired. Thanks for the memories.

  15. Wow if spurs land Remy this January they can deffo win the PL. They will have strong midfield, strong attack and decent backline.
    I’d they land Remy and we land nothing it will be very dissapointing indeed. They got the chance to win and strengthen. We got the chance to gain top 4 and rely on injured players coming in and Preforming asap. Regardless of the fact they been out. Is that wise? Can we really expect Gibbs, wilshere etc to immediately Joliet the high level required?? After such long absences? Is that realistic? For wilshere to suddenly chip in with 10 goals and 10 assists??

  16. I think I will put my thoughts on yesterday in bullet points, just for a change.

    1. I actually thought our back 4 did not play too badly yesterday. For me our main problem was the midfield 3 who did not really control the game.
    2. Our ball retention yeserday was schocking (by our own standards).
    3. Swansea were excellent.
    4. Should not have been a pen. I think critisism of the ref in the this case is harsh though. In real time it looked a nailed on pen.
    5. Excellent finish by Theo.
    6. I can’t beleive Mertesacker can’t kick the ball in a streight line from 3 yards away from goal.
    7. Ramsey really does need a rest. He was out worst player yesterday. Can’t fault his workrate though, he really does put in a shift.
    8. AOC again looked good when he came on.
    9. (Still) the fact that we are looking towards a 34 year who is not even our player as the first port of call to change a game is not a good sign.
    10. 4th place really is going to be a battle. Those that are simply waiting for “normal service to resume” and that we take our rightful place in the top 4 really could get a shock at the end of the season.
    11. We are missing our full backs so much. Not defensivley mind, but when we have the ball. Overlapping full back is integral to our style of play. Miquel to his credit does this pretty well. He looks a good player.

  17. All I can conclude with is AWMust have some really big fish lined up next summer. Or els our reluctance last summer and the non buy policy this feb don’t make sense.
    Nobody sacrifices 4th spot unless there is a Arry good reason for it. And that could be a good reason….

  18. A good reason , not Arry reason lol

  19. well, well, well…

    we were really poor yesterday, let’s call a spade a spade here: Swansea played us off the park!

    and yet, half of the January is gone, yet Our Glorious Leader has done nothing, a deja vu of Yoonited thumping and a bout of panic buying, anyone?

  20. I tink d boss need 2 go back to his drawling board and see d fort is from lack of concentration imagine what Ramsey was playing in the mid filed, johan djorou is a flop at right back i dont see him feet at that possession.

  21. Agree with Goonerandy – defence wasnt too bad (against a very good attacking side) but we lost it in midfield where Ramsey and Benayoun were both sub-standard – and Arshavin…..

    For the first time in his life Tony Cascarino has got it right “Arshavin was out standing for Arsenal – the other players were out running”. We surely cannot start Arshavin ahead of Oxtail again – the match didnt end after five minutes as his performance suggested.

  22. A poor performance but full credit to Swansea, who played with a belief we utterly lacked. The level of abuse levelled at Ramsey online post-match was sickening though.

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2012/01/15/no-defence-for-arsenal-as-ramsey-suffers-kitchen-nightmare/

  23. Arshavin did actually run a bit, I remember him tracking back across the pitch to help JD…

  24. We have been at this stage before and its happens over and over again. We can not say we didnt see this coming. We had enough time to prepare and strengthen our weak areas. Yet so far we have failed to do that hence we are rightfully punished. What was initially suppose to be a quick patch became the main solution as we thew boys who were just not ready for prime time into the midst of action. Its hard not to fault wenger here. as manager he ought to have seen this things and made adequate preparation or do we have to wait for another 8-2 pounding before we make chances?

    Manchester looms again and we are no better than we were the last time we meet them, all the momentum we gained since our loss to them has been lost they would be meeting the same injury ridden low on confidence weak arsenal team. Maybe Wenger would need another kick in the butt to wake up and realize that this team is in desperate need of strengthening. If that is what it would take.

  25. GA, on point 4, I didn’t think it was a penalty, but not because of what actually happened, I just thought Ramsey hadn’t touched him at all. Then during the replay straight after I thought he maybe touched the back of his leg and when the bloke felt it he went down. It was only on the really slow-motion replay and all sorts of angles and magnification at half-time what really happened became apparent. That Dyer is a crafty git, I can see why the ref gave it though.

    On point 11, I just made the same comment to one of the guys I work with while discussing the weekend’s events. He’s just as annoyed about their game as he’s a spuds fan. 🙂

    In general, there was some really ordinary defending going on, the second and third Swansea goals showed a lack of appreciation of the state of play and where the opposition were moving. At least Wenger highlighted it in public rather then making excuses about it.

    Nice to see Walcott get on the scoresheet, he took that goal very well. Hopefully it will bring back some of his confidence in front of goal and he can get a few more in the weeks to come. To be honest, I thought he should have been replaced at half-time as he had a poor first half. Nice ball from Arshavin for the first goal after which he seemed to disappear. I thought he might go on and be a dominant force after that, how do we get the best out of him?

  26. Baafuor from Arsenal

    The team we put out there yesterday was capable of getting at least a draw if we played with seriousness,passion and determination.
    That attitude we started playing with after the United game has disappeared since Christmas.We stop playing anytime we score the first goal.Wenger can not motivate his players these days,and even if we buy the world’s best 25 players we will still win nothing under him.

  27. Block4 – With regards to the pen I thought there was going to be a pen as soon as he got into the box. It was almost like slow motion. You could almost see Ramsey debating making a challenge (or not). I wasn’t surprised when it was given.

    Theo really did take his goal well. I am often a critic of his, but when we manage to get him into that position he is very good.

  28. its going to be a struggle..
    weve got to work harder than this and if lack of players is a problem then its the perfect month to solve that problem isnt it..

  29. yogi you can fool the people sometimes, but cant fool the people all the time.

  30. just a quick one after last night telling everyone jack is ready to go ive just found out his hurt his heel ,its a mild running injury but will knock him back two weeks sorry.

  31. I really don’t have this strength to defend or challenge attacks today. I suggested my anxiety on this blog before the match and noted my belief that a lot would come down to how dominant our midfield were and how clinical we were in front of goal. We did not meet either of these two requirements yesterday and deservedly lost.

    I feel this side is still a season away from being a “team”. I recall the Man Ure team of Rooney and Ronaldo when they first got together and the whole (team) did not add up to the sum of the parts. I believe we are in that position at this moment.

    The problem (or one of them) at the moment is that time might be a commodity that will not be offered to AFC as it stands. I hope I am wrong and once I’ve dusted myself down and picked myself back up (another luxury of time that our team and manager will not be allowed), I’ll be back to trying to support this team and the time it needs.

    COYG

  32. I just hope this is a catalyst but the presedence of wenger he will continue to delay and mince money till window close.we all have a roll to play and as a fan we have the largest responsibility even henry is supporting as a fans also.i hate to read comments that it was a defence lapses.to me the defence was ok even miguel had a filled day but the problem in the team is about some players weekly cost us pain,like arshavin,ramsey.i hope the later will warm the bench when wilshere returns and the likes of arshavin should be sold.

  33. Yes we did not play well,

    Yes, our midfield underperformed and gave the ball away too much.

    Yes, Swansea played very well.

    But, let us not forget, that Swansea had only 5 shots on target and 4 off target.

    We had 9 on target and 5 off target.

    Thier goalie had to make saves, whilst ours did not.

    That does not make our poor performance any better, but puts it somewhat in some sort of context.

    I agree with those people who say that the fundamental problem is the lack of specialist full backs, which stilts our attacking and hampers our defence.

    Also, the fact that our defence loses concentration at the end of halves and just after we have scored.

    By the way, I noticed how JD made a couple of saving tackles in front of the goal, which no one seems to be interested in giving him creidt for. he, in my view, played quite well.

    Our problem was the midfield 3 who all played badly and kept on giving the ball away, and did not support the defence or attack well.

  34. If only our Goalkeeper can stay at his post and didn’t conceded 3rd goal, we can get away with one point. sigh.

  35. A midfield of Arteta-Song-Wilshere will do us loads of good in terms of both possession & creativity

  36. True jjgsol, Djourou was our best player in the 2nd half. Beautifully set up Theo as well for his goal..

  37. SUGA

    > deja vu

    Yep, we lost, you turned up….

  38. It was a strange game. We lose our fair share of game which is only normal, but it is very rare that we get “outfootballed”.

  39. Aussie Gooner Dave

    If you believe that Mr SK will get out the cheque book out and start splashing around cash to solve our horrendous problems, you are kidding yourself. We’ll just have to do with buying ordinary players at bargain basement prices on high salaries. I feel us now rivalling Everton, Villa & Sunderland and not ManYoo, Citeh, Chelski and the Spuds.

  40. 30-odd posts and 11 new names (new to me at least). How joyous to welcome these enthusiatic, well-balanced optimists to the site. And how life-affirming to welcome Suga back. Perhaps we should lose more often.

  41. I am so disappointed I want to spit.
    Losing is always a disappointment ,but it is nothing compared to the disappointment I feel when I see hordes of negative posts from people we never see when things are going well.
    I the “I told you so “brigade are so monotonous and tiresome ,I despair,really.
    Andy.Your post was excellent and concise.
    jjgsol,your too mate.
    Aaron and Song were rubbish yesterday.But how people can suggest they are not good enough is staggering in its stupidity.Even Dennis Bergkamp had off days you know.And likely a few of them at aged 20.
    The whole balance of the team is fucked up because of the missing fullbacks.The midfield has been overworked ans because of other injuries ,has had to keep playing every match.The are knackered,
    I do worry that we have to field a team with six or so nailed on starters missing next week though.But lets get it right here.It is the best we can do under the circumstances.

  42. Merlot.I could not agree more mate.Cunts the lot of of the.
    They are like football swine ,wallowing and rejoicing in the misery of defeat.Sad pathetic ,weak supporters.I despise their very essence.

  43. big call im making here but i think we should replace diaby this window..

    its unlikely rosicky and benny will be here after the summer anyway and even if they stay they aint a creative force…

    jack wont be back for a while yet either…its pointless leaving diabys place open or filling it short term..replace him now..and worry about what to do when they are all fit if they ever all get fit..

    same with gibbs…

    having lots of players is only a minor headache..its not as big a problem as losing games cos your waiting for them to prove they are fit….

    weve still got 4th place and two trophies to play for..there is zero evidence to suggest we are strong enough to cope..

    weve run out of players..theres players who are out of form and need dropping..but we cant cos we dont have anyone else to come in..and by the time we get everyone back and match fit we could be out of the two cups and miles behind 4th..

  44. it is a very long and agonising wait for sunday. where we get the chance to make things right.

    this is what i hate about losing. you can’t sleep, and you are just waiting for that next game because thats your only chance for redemption.

  45. saw someone commented on arsenal’s fb post regarding wenger’s reaction following the game. he wishes that we lose 5-2 against manure. just so the club will spend.

    there are bigger idiots out there than you think.

  46. yes, blame us, ‘bad supporters’, think how much ‘better’ you are…

    and oh, I do not always turn up on here after a loss, do I?

    whatever…

  47. Diaby should be delisted just to make space for a player to be brought in, he is not back until March, seriously, besides Wenger willing to give him a chance to go to Euros, what is the point?

  48. Suga3 .I am not saying you are a bad supporter.
    I am saying you are a moaning miserable cunt.Something even you could not deny.

  49. george,

    I am not willing to go down to the level of name calling, but enjoy yourself mate, yes?

  50. I agree we could delist some and bring in replacements.Delisting does not have to mean the end for them.If they get fit then next year they are back.
    As JJ said. having too many good players is hardly a problem.

  51. pedanticGeorge………calling people negative sometimes fits the bill, but not always. i for one rarely post over here, but i read comments and what is written herein regularly. i am the biggest wenger fan, and a huge fan of the way the club is run, but i see weaknesses in the squad that some here frequently brush aside e.g. Aaron Ramsey doesnt have that many games where he bosses midfield, and in a lot of the games, we score and defence does the rest. s that what i would want from the team? barely doing enough?
    This kid has all it has to be one of the best attacking midfielders in the business, but the number of times i have seen him slow the offense down or take a few extra touches staggers my mind. and sometimes, all that is needed to get a chance is an instance.

    i see him regularly and rather needlessly lose the ball in a situation where the is absolutely no pressure when he initially receives the ball. for a team whose play depends a lot on ball retention and quick passes, he is sometimes a weak link. that is something that was a staple for Diaby too…….and people wonder why Jack Wilshere stormed into the first team last season and became a regular. consistency is what defines the best, and truth be told, Aaron Ramsey is not that yet.

  52. Suga3″I am not willing to go down to the level of name calling,”

    Really? Well some other cunt, who it very willing, is posting regularly under your name on other blogs,I believe.
    That must be a worry to a decent chap like you,eh?

  53. exactley george

    the doom and glooming is one dimensional and gets everyone sidetracked..

    the seasons not over in jan 4 points to 4th and two cups should be enough to not call time on the season just yet..

    but the squad needs help..

  54. JJ – Interesting thoughts, and one I had not really considered. We have plenty of central midfielders, but the starting 3 are nailed on really (Song/Arteta/Wilshere). Ramsey and Diaby (if fit) are the ones which could realsitically challenge to be starters. Throwing another central midfielder in to the mix?

    I can’t see it personally, but it is somthing which has its merits if the said midfielder is a genuine quality player and not another squad player. If that spells the end for somebody, so be it. Diaby is such a frustrating problem. Good player, maybe even great, but the guy is never ever fit enough to play a run of games.

  55. george,

    that other cunt is me in the state of giving a flying fuck, which, having witnessed a few gutless performances with the same tactics and the subs made at the same time, is at a premium these days…

  56. Aaron had a year out and is only 20,he is still learning,
    Why he is learning by starting every week is a question though?

  57. JJ,

    two cups? I mean, let’s be realistic here, shall we?

    Milan were our bitch for a few years, this time around, we will struggle against them, if we get past them, we will inevitably be drawn against Barca who will knock the will to play football out of the Arsenal team as it is, even with everyone fit…

    The FA Cup is one for us to aim for, our quest for 4th will depend a lot on what the Chavs do in the transfer window, IMO, there is no catching them if they spend well…

  58. Suga3.so you lied then,You are willing to go down to the level of name calling.

    See, I am always right in the end 🙂

  59. i really think we need to look at what our physios are doing.

    it is not the quality of the squad per se. it is the fact that the backup players are being called upon to play too many games. it just gets exposed.

  60. oh, and where did I go down to this level?

    the use of ‘the other cunt’ was just for the ease of your reference, I am not willing to go down to this level today well, maybe let’s narrow it down to ‘now’ 😆

  61. oh, and where did I go down to this level?

    On other blogs ,where the natives are of similar ilk.

  62. Just been looking at the lge table. I would not recomend it as it is depressing stuff. Norwich and Stoke are closer to us, than we are to the Spuds. 😦

  63. We must beat united otherwise we’ll be competing with pool and newcastle to play in the useless cup – otherwise known as europa league!

  64. george,

    I rarely stoop down to such lows, it’s normally the sheer strength of my arguments that does the trick, thought you knew?

  65. Kenyan – You are right unfortunatly. We really have left ourselves no breathing space at all.

  66. PG, Aaron is learining, but i sometimes think that we have way too many excuses when it comes to some of our young players. this kid was excellent before he got injured, as i have said, he always looked to pass the ball first, but when i see him play these days, it is somewhat frustrating because there is a fantastic player within him that can blossom if only he starts getting rid of some of the aspects of his game that hold him back. he has the passing range, he has the ability to pick out passes, why he doesnt get a better first touch, or doesnt get his head up after receiving the ball in most of the games he has played is beyond me. as for age, there are players that are getting it right that are of the same age as he is, players that are regulars on their teams. Wilshere did it for us last season, Cesc was doing it at an earlier age…………..it is all about focus and sometimes sacrificing youself for the betterment of the team. everyone wants more touches of the ball, but sometimes giving it up is better than holding on, thats my 2 cents

  67. I would not mind that Europa League thingumabob.
    Got to be better than the League(milk)cup .or whatever it is now.

  68. theres the problem andy

    on paper we have plenty of options..the midfields full..

    but only on paper..

  69. Acryllic Altair
    If we start comparing young players to Fabregas at their age.Then they are all crap.Including Jack.

  70. JJ – Yup.

  71. george,

    quite frankly, I would just play youngsters there or not qualify for that nonsense at all, too many games and too far to travel more often than not…

  72. jj, so too is the backline. Gibbs is ever injured, so it always means that we cannot afford to have another left back out or else we are stretched.

  73. suga i am being realistic..

    while we are still in it we can win in..its not the league where once you 10 points behind everyone else its realistically over..

    we aint realistically out of it until we get knocked out of it but i do think we need to be stronger than what we are now to avoid getting knocked out

  74. jj, if were were to go on a run as we did some time back then i see us getting somewhere especially if we beat some of the big teams. if we do not making the top 4 will be hard.

  75. Hey great blog, I always enjoy reading it. To read the preview of the upcoming Arsenal vs Manchester United game, do check out my blog-

    flyfootball.wordpress.com

    Cheers.

  76. Today I don’t think we will make the top 4.
    I also don’t see why I still cant love the team, club and manager .
    And hope I am wrong in my thinking as well.

  77. yeah gibbs is becoming a problem as well

    making top 4 was always going to be hard..we knew it was going to be a long battle after the summer..the run we had just had ppl dreaming for the title but we were never strong enough to begin with..

    we can still go on another run when we get those players back but its the damage done in the meantime that could leave us in trouble

    its the start of the season all over again..same problems same issues same results..

  78. PG, im not saying compare them to Cesc, what im saying is that they ought to try and get some consistent performances under their belt when they get the chances. i mean, Oxlade Chamberlain seems to make the best of every opportunity he gets, Szcz made the best of the chance he got, as did Wilshere, Jenkinson was getting stronger with every game, his decision making too had me sold on him. they were all consistent. Ramsey is not, if anything, most of his games have been consistently average.

    What we need is a team where any given day almost everyone contributes and they on most days give us consistently good performances. i personally dont think that that is too much an ask from any fan.

  79. Delist and loan player if they get fit.
    What is the problem with that?

  80. The truth is that on days like yesterday we had too many passengers in the side. Plus our only “match winner” realistically is RvP.

  81. this is what annoys me with wenger he admits we are defensivley struggling he admits it would be silly to lose games without any backs but yet here we are half way thru a transfer window with nobody coming in to help and playing the same formation…

    lessons are never learned..

    never..

  82. The players you mention are not playing in the middle of the team .
    Why should fans “ask”for anything.
    I am a fan of Noel Gallagher ,but I don’t ask him to consistently turn out tunes like “don’t look back in anger”
    “Supporters” ???The clue is in the name.

  83. JJ,

    getting past Milan will be a tall order and they are really not all that, the quality of teams will only improve at later stages, hence the probability of getting past them will drop…

    league? like I said, if Chelsea spend well in January, we have no chance of catching them, The FA Cup is one we can realistically go for…

  84. JJ,its not that easy .Unless you want an unfit Bridge on £90k per week.

    Fuck me its not like we have resigned Scholes,now is it?

  85. I don’t know why I bothered reading the comments today, the usual hilarious nonsense that comes after a defeat. “OH MY GOD THE SKY IS FALLING AND IT’S ALL ARSENE’S FAULT WAAAAAAA”. Yawn.

  86. PG, doesnt matter where a player plays, asking that they deliver in their position is not that big an ask, it should be expected. just as management getting it right when it comes to squad selection. we have had way too many excuses for this team, but where does it stop?

  87. Talk about not being able to see the wood for the trees …

    So at the start of the season the side was unbalanced by the loss of key players transferred out.

    At the start of 2012 the side is unbalanced by the loss of key players to injury.

    We additionally, in recent fixtures, play a couple of very decent sides going through a purple patch brimful of confidence and desire, smelling an all too rare opportunity to steal a victory from one of the Premiership’s top sides.

    And, as predictably as night follows day, a small element of small minded supporters demand the throwing out of the baby with the bath water.

    Get real, people.

    We will finish top four and we will continue to compete in all competitions.

    We will get our best side back together from injury and the horrors of the last couple of weeks will be contextualised along with the horrors of the first few weeks of the season.

    If we are lucky, we may even see one or two new faces, just as we did at the end of the last transfer window.

    “Lucky”?

    Because some new faces will undoubtedly reduce a degree of the hysteria currently frothing up, not least from within our own support.

    But if we don’t get behind our team then we, as supporters, may just get what we deserve.

  88. of course it’s Wenger’s fault for trying to do things on a bare minimum (AGAIN) and predictably failing in doing so!

  89. Oh right Suga3.Of course it is,He made do with a bare minimum of 25 players in the squad.
    He made do with a bare minimum of injuries,as well.

  90. milan will be saying the same about us..

    anyway as far as chelsea are concerned i dont know whether we can catch them whether they sign or not.. chelsea normally come good in last half of the season

    if that 4 points becomes 7 or more by the end of this month we can sign who we want in the last days it will be a stretch to catch them..we are capable of dropping points as much as anyone so theres no point playing catch up..

    weve waited 14 years but i think this is the one we dont do it..

    it wont be a bad thing..all the plastics will fuck off and so will the players who are only here for the ride..we can start again and build another team and hopefully this one will get some investment to get us back up..

  91. “it wont be a bad thing..all the plastics will fuck off and so will the players who are only here for the ride..we can start again and build another team and hopefully this one will get some investment to get us back up..”

    You see JJ that’s why I love you.
    The long game and support,simples.

  92. well bridge isnt the only left back in the world..
    wenger limits his options by only wanting a loan..

    and that still doesnt explain why we are using the same tactics…

    which is something else thats limited…

  93. There is a real chance that we could not make 4th. But, I do believe that when we get Wilshere, our full backs, and TV5 back, we have a side capable of putting together a strong run and catching Chelsea. providing we do not lose any more key players (like RvP). If RvP were to miss a sustained period I really don’t think we will make the top 4 as we won’t score enough goals.

    The biggest danger of finishing ourtide the top is that player recruitment in the summer would be difficult. The calibre of player we need will not want to come to a club not offering CL football. This is a precarious time for the club.

  94. The Manchester game will tell us if we’re strong enough to enter the top 4. I hope we make some signings to push past Chelsea during the second half of this season The team proved me wrong by getting this far, hope they can do it again.

  95. He must feel that consistency of formation will yield better results in the long term.
    I would have changed the formation but what do I know?

  96. injuries, george?

    it was clear that Diaby or Gibbs can’t stay fit to save their lives, Jenkinson could not possibly withstand the intensity of playing in all comps after moving from Charlton where he played a grand total of 9 games the season before!

    Santos, again Wenger’s fault, should not have played him in a nothing game where the opposition had something to play for, it’s no hindsight, I am on record saying that he should be rested before the game,,,

    as for that 25 player thing, how many players have we brought in after that Yoonited debacle?

    and quite frankly, we could have done a bit better, knowing about the non home grown limits, but thanks to Wenger dithering we have been reduced to panic buying…

  97. There’s a romantic notion that Fabregas was perfect as a teenage player. Like Ramsey he had highs and lows. He was not perfect and entirely capable of being anonymous as well.

  98. PG @11.04

    Post of the day, young man.

  99. Very Good post as usual YW.. ArsenalAndrew @11.23 “We will finish 4th” Not sure what Rock you’ve crawled out from under mon amis. Is theer something that you know that the rest of us Arsenal supporters are not privy to??

    We woeful yesterday plain n simple. We can (All teams can) cite mitigating circs -ref this n ref that. We ultimately hold our own fate in your own hands.

    There is no excuse for the letting in of the 3rd goal having just scored. There ARE a number of players who are past there worth,sell by date to AFC..If we make the top4 we (Manager)need a Serious look, if we don’t We STILL need to look.

    I like MANY have no idea why Wenger bought Park….I’m off for a walk in the park…

  100. When Fabregas broke into the side he was playing in a top top side which was also packed with experience. Ramsey does not have that advantage.

  101. george from a business point of veiw i think it will be a mini disaster for the club but ive always said its not something that concerns me personally if we dont play at the top level cos the emirates will drain with the prices they charge so they will have to lower them to get the fans back..

    i suppose they can always raise them again to try and make up the deficit in the books but it will look fucking silly having a 60 thousand seater with 30 thousand ppl in suits crammed into the boxes…

    il be able to afford to go to the games again and i wont have to wait 20 years to get a season ticket either.. 😉

  102. Andy,It will be a case of making players,or finding them .So being outside the CL will not effect the recruitment of established super stars.We wont go for them regardless.Unless Arsene calls it a day.Then half the team will go and we are royally fucked.

  103. you know how to support george..

  104. Good days or bad days, the cycle of comments here seems relentless. Ground hog day!?

  105. any player who plays for the manager rather than the club can fuck right off, and besides, do you seriously think that a bunch of professionals would just throw the toys out of their prams if papa Wenger was to get tin tacked?

  106. Young man? 🙂
    Its been a while since I got call that.

  107. PG – I mean more the likes of Hazard and Goatze (for exmaple). Not superstars, but players definatly “on the up”. Highly doubtful they will go to a team not playing CL football. And then you have a knock on effect; the clubs playing it do attract this type of player and continue to improve, thus making even harder for us to get back into the top 4.

    Take the Spuds for example. They always spend a fortune anyway; with CL on offer there is a very real chance that they may attract some very good players and move up a level. We must finish in the CL places.

    Also, as you rightly pointed out, some of our players may want to leave. RvP’s contract is still hanging in the balance; will he stay if we are not in the CL?

  108. Suga3 ,Yes I do.
    But he will never get sacked.Ever.

  109. Really wondering what’s up with park being Arsenal’s greatest benchwarmer ever? Play him so that we as fans. an know if he’s a Dud. Wonder if we can return him for a refund???,,

  110. bean counters at the club are salivating at the prospect of selling RvP for a large sum, so don’t expect strengthening the team neither to prevent him going nor after he is gone…

  111. Now let me think for a moment.
    Which manager do I think gives us the best chance of qualifying?
    Perhaps one who has done it 14 times on the bounce.
    Who would that be?
    Suga3,any clues?

  112. george,

    quite frankly, I have no idea what makes you believe that, surely, they might want to give another manager who does tactics, defensive training and the other stuff OGL seems to disregard, a chance?

    no?

  113. i think arsene will call it a day anyway this year..

    i know he doesnt break contracts but if we dont win nothing and we drop out of top 4, AW will take that as failure..

    i honestly dont think the board are supporting him as they should and if this seasons proves to be the one that doesnt meet all his standards and he sees no way back he might turn round and call it a day..

    hes getting more dissillutioned with the modern game..more and more players are leaving him, he doesnt like sugar daddys he doesnt like refs he doesnt like agents he doesnt like transfer windows he doesnt like the media..hes sick of replacing players and hes running out of water bottles as well…

  114. PG,
    We can love and support the manager and still question or criticise his actions.

    No excuses though for the few idiots who abuse the manager or any of the players. The abuse that Ramsey got on twitter for instance is completely out of order. That sort of ‘fan’ is just the sort of miserable cunt we don’t need, and he/she deserves all the blacklash he/she gets.

    At the moment, we need a lot going for us to be able to win games, but the opposite is happening. Hardly anything ever goes our way, decisions, ref calls, deflections, injuries, etc. Its like fate itself (if there is such a thing) is against us.
    Like many others, I feel the club’s management hasn’t done enough to improve our chances on the pitch, given our resources. But neither have Manure for instance yet they still get that bit of ‘luck’ going for them when they need it. We just never seem to get that sort of good fortune.

  115. george,

    we will finish outside of the top four this season, the thing is that sacking Wenger and giving the job to someone else would be grossly unfair on the new man…

    let’s let Wenger attend to the situation he has created himself and hope that there wil be a few managers to pick from available after the Euros!

  116. You really are an ignorant fuckwit
    How the fuck can you do what he does if you don’t do tactics, defensive training and the other stuff ?
    If you were standing next to me would knock you spark out.
    Our chatting is over.

  117. Haha running out of water bottles. Plus Pat Rice isn’t getting any younger.

  118. “hes getting more dissillutioned with the modern game..more and more players are leaving him, he doesnt like sugar daddys he doesnt like refs he doesnt like agents he doesnt like transfer windows he doesnt like the media..hes sick of replacing players and hes running out of water bottles as well…”

    Well put JJ.

  119. Hey Henristic,where have you been?
    Happy NY
    I agree,critisise away.Just don’t expect me to be joining in.

  120. Not that I agree that Wenger will leave before his contract is over. He doesn’t strike me as the sort to ever give up (rightly or wrongly)…

  121. I think Pato would be an ideal signing for us. A good second striker to Robin and can play on the wings as well. And shouldn’t be that expensive, since he it seems he’s had problems at Milan.

    And yes, we’re in a bit of shit at the moment, a long season to go. Which makes this transfer window all the more important.

  122. yeah, of course you would george, do yourself a fucking favour…

    ignorant fuckwit? if we do defensive training, then why did we concede;

    – 37 goals in 08/09 (which was a shit season)
    – 41 goals in 09/10
    – 43 goals in 10/11

    at which point Wenger said we needed to improve our defence, then proceeded to buy Jenkinson? don’t say Mertesacker and Santos, these were panic buys after getting dicked by Yoonited, before that moment your idol was happy with the squad as it was!

    and now we are statistically on course to concede 56 (fifty fucking six) goals!

    tactics?

    the same formation whether you have the personnel or not and the subs at the same point in the game, no such thing as studying the opposition, just the arrogant ‘do your thing’, which might have been enough in Henry, Bobby and Paddy days, but certainly is not now!

    idiot…

  123. WTF are you on SUGA? Sometimes – even though you are wrong – you can put together a cogent argument and we can see where your thought processes are wrong. But the rest, well, your 11.57 post just sums it up.

  124. Yogi,

    whatever Wenger does in that respect, it is not working, as we are getting worse defensively, the biggest problem being that we are getting worse when we actually have a competent GK, which would suggest a major decline in the quality of the back line…

  125. Suga3,

    Did it occur to you that we have around 4 full-backs out injured at the moment, which could explain out defensive problems at the moment.

  126. Happy New Year to you too, George.
    I’ve been on a well deserved long holiday to my home country (Nigeria). I’ve tried to keep up with the blog during my trip, but not so much the comments section.

    Back at my station now, but phew, these are not great times for the Arsenal eh? I do share your feeling about loving the team, Europa league or not, but I’m pretty sure it goes without saying for majority of other supporters. Andy described it well the other day when he said supporting a football club isn’t much of choice. I couldn’t stop supporting Arsenal even if I wanted to, no matter how we fare.

  127. to be fair suga weve got the gk and the defenders now and we are more solid as a defensive unit..

    problem this year is that weve been smashed, totally smashed by long term injuries to every single one of our fullbacks

    add that to the start of the season where we had no players then either and that would sort of explain why we are conceeding goals this year..

    the stats arent showing it but we have improved…

  128. Ateeb,no ,he prefers to finger point and blame.Injuries pffft.Just excuses is his reply.
    Follow my lead.Call him a fuckwit and be done with him

  129. er, and whose fault would that be?

    hmmmm, let me think for a second, oh yes, that will be the individual who figured that it was a great idea to include a kid from Charlton who could not possibly cope with this kind of intensity and a permacrock Gibbs in that mythical number of ‘four full backs’…

    the individual who figured it was a great idea to play his only fit fullback in a meaningless game?

    the same person who thought we could go into the season without Mertesacker, Santos, Arteta, hell, even Benayoun who saved our ass once or twice already?

  130. pedantic george | January 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    “I agree,critisise away.Just don’t expect me to be joining in”

    You ARE already joining in, whilst trying to be clever about it (e.g. see your 11.40 comment) 😛

  131. JJ,

    refer to my response to Ateeb regarding the whole ‘four fullbacks’ myth…

    GIbbs is not a viable option, should have been loaned out to see if he can last a season reasonably fit…

    Jenkinson was not meant to play as many games, but had to cover for Sagna without being ready for this kind of intensity…

    Santos fell victim of the judgment error, we had nothing to play for in that game, it’s even more insane, give that we sent a bunch of kids to Greece a year before when we were yet to qualify and it was no problem to take that risk back then…

    Sagna is the only one that was really unlucky, but that’s about it…

  132. Henristic .That I would do other than Arsene is in no way a criticism of him.Because in all likelihood he is right and I would be wrong.
    I thought I had made that clear.

  133. well there is that side of the arguement but thats more down to transfer policy than defensive training..

  134. As a few others have said the midfield is where we lost the game. Couldn’t believe how easily we were giving up posession at times.

    I thought Djourou was our best player.

  135. Quite staggering stupidity.
    No one from Charlton can stay fit whilst playing football?
    Dear me.

  136. Suga,

    Jenks filled in excellently for Sagna. As a second option for that position, he’s been as good as any experienced player.

    JJ,
    ‘hes getting more dissillutioned with the modern game..more and more players are leaving him, he doesnt like sugar daddys he doesnt like refs he doesnt like agents he doesnt like transfer windows he doesnt like the media..hes sick of replacing players and hes running out of water bottles as well…’

    That actually sounds correct. The modern game has pushed him against the wall. Especially the players who left, starting from Hleb and Flamini. Whenever we came close to forming a great team, they fucked off. Ditto last year. We could have been challenging this year with RVP’s form and injury-less period, with Cesc and Nasri. But I don’t think Arsene is a fighter and he will find a way to claw back in.

  137. george,

    not someone who is a teenager whose body is still developing and who only played 9 games of much lesser intensity for them!

  138. George,
    There are many ways to criticize/question and that is definitely one of them. Do you not really realize that?

  139. Suga,
    Leave aside what the stats say for a minute, you really don’t think our defensive play has improved AT ALL?

  140. the problem lies in the authors notes, arteta is our passing maestro, it is that delusional way of looking at the averagness of the majority of the team out yesterday, we are crap at the moment, thats the way is see it, i dont expect to see it any differently in the near future

  141. Henristic,

    you know full well that there is nothing to crow about, even at the beginning of the season we had the keeper to thank more than once!

    yes, our back four is decimated, but can anyone please tell me what was the point of selling Clichy and Eboue? we got peanuts for them both, would be nice to have them as options now, eh?

  142. There’s a new SUGA3 drinking game just come out.

    One sip of tea or coffee when…

    He ducks a relevant question with a non sequitur

    He completely ignores a relevant point

    He claims to have predicted a negative and highly unlikely set of circumstances

    He uses the following terms:

    “ad hominem”

    “Our glorious leader”

    “no?”

  143. Can I implore you all to let Suga have the last word. You know how much it means to him. Otherwise we’re going to have to suffer this all day.

  144. Sure to make for lots of trips to the loo.

  145. As it goes, I think we have improved defensively as a team (from the start of the season). This has nothing to do with the peronnel in the back 4, but more the team setup as a whole.

    The Jenkinson signing was a big gamble. The lad virtually no professional footbal experience behind him at all. That said, he did OK when standing in for Sagna. Gibbs seems to be another Diaby fitness wise, but even then we have TV5 who can cover when needed.

    For me this teams problems are in midfield (as discussed earlier) and with the front 3. No back up for RvP, and all of our wide options are very much hit and miss. Personnel wise I am actually quite happy with our back 4.

  146. Henristic I thought Arshavin was our best player.Does that mean I am critisising Arsene if he disagrees with me?

  147. Or could it be that I know shit.And he is a managerial god?

  148. Personally I am quite happy with Andy today.
    He is consistently talking sense.

  149. I always talk sense George. It is just that sometimes people disagree with me 😉

  150. But SUGA 3, you were Eboue’s biggest critic and none too chuffed with Clichy either. You’re being a bit revisionist.

    Anyway, please let me know how many defenders you would have in a 25 man squad, we won’t worry about age or nationality for simple arguments sake – there’s a joke at your expense in there but, no I shall resist the temptation. Given that you need multi-disciplined centre backs, it should be no more than 2 per position. So, by my reckoning that makes 8 defenders. If you use any more spaces, you are reducing options elsewhere which makes less injuries more acutely felt due to reduced numbers.

  151. George,
    It probably means all three 😛

    Your problem (I think) is that you equate criticism with the feeling of knowing more. If I question or criticize Wenger, it must mean that that I think I know more or am better than him. We went into a long argument about this last year, so you should know I strongly believe this thinking to be wrong. I think that’s why you feel the need to constantly state how little you know in comparison to AW, as if that was ever in doubt.

    You can question someone from a position of less knowledge and authority, with or without the need to state the obvious fact that you indeed posses less knowledge than the person you are questioning or criticizing. As long as you do it with civility and respect.

  152. YW,

    the fact of the matter is that I always had the soft spot for Eboue after Wenger figured out that he would make him into something he was not and his game declined significantly…

    Clichy is better than Gibbs and can stay fit, we got what, seven million for him? was it worth it? can seven million quid play left back? no? so that’s why we have to play a CB there 😆

    2 per position is enough, I am questioning including Gibbs and Jenkinson as options in that equation, as Gibbs is a crock and Jenkinson was an unknown quantity!

    2 per position gives you 20 players, you can add 3 GKs and 2 utility players, plus, however many players under 21 years, correct?

    there is a limit on non home grown players over 21, which is the only handicap in the market, why buy dross like Park then?

  153. I think that’s why you feel the need to constantly state how little you know in comparison to AW, as if that was ever in doubt.

    Fair enough.But I do not critisise him directly or implied .As a rule

  154. SUGA,
    As OOU mentioned, you didn’t really answer the question. You also point to Sczeny’s saves as if he’s not part of our defense, wierd.

  155. Haha George, then you’ve broken your own rules, whether you accept it or not.
    Maybe its the word criticize you don’t like. Would ‘questioning’ or ‘disagree’ suit you better? In this context they all mean essentially the same thing…

  156. highbury lament

    I feel with the business model the club has chosen to take we have to be realistic in terms of being able to hold onto our best players, and those we are hoping to sign.
    With the Man City’s of this world we cannot hope to compete and therefore it should be no surprise that the likes of Nasri choose to go for more money.
    He had no real love for our club when he arrived, he is a foreigner in another country who only did what the majority of us would do and accept another job which doubled his salary
    Without having a sugar daddy or not whether that is the right way is up for debate, we all have to accept that we will be behind these clubs in almost everything, our only hope is getting good up and coming players who will improve like Oxlade and hope we can compete that way accepting of course he won’t go when one of these clubs comes knocking !
    Without too much sounding a doomer we have to accept we are limited and will suffer because of it.
    Until the debt gets paid up whenever that is going to be this is probably as good as its going to get but we are Gooners and will support the club no matter what !

  157. Whilst I would call Park dross since I’ve not seen enough of him to comment fully on his abilities, we do agree on not understanding his purchase.

  158. Yogi

    Vorm and not Worm, surely?

  159. It would be alot easier to support a struggling team If you thought that they were given a fair chance to be competitive. I don’t know if it’s Wengers fault, the board or the tea lady ( some on here will tell you it’s all the fans fault ) but when a blind man can see what needs doing and it gets ignored, brushed under the rug or left to chance then it does make it that much harder. Fuck 4 3 3 , we don’t have the players and it’s killing us. What has struck me lately is how easy we are to defend against. Arshavin has had his career ruined by been stuck out on the left. Our wide forwards arnt goal scorers

  160. There were several changes made in the summer. I can understand why Wenger wouldn’t want to make more wholesale changes right now as it could be counterproductive. As a supporter I wouldn’t mind coming 5th for one season even, because it is part of the transition journey. But I am not sure what impact coming 5th would have on the next season. Right now, one of the biggest incentives we can offer to players is Champions League football. This is a big draw for the players we attract from within England and from the continent. If we come 5th will someone like say Gervinho come and play for us?

    Of course, it is a reflection of how privileged we are that we can still only speculate about the implications of coming 5th after all these years.

  161. Surly a change in formation could at least be tried .

  162. Or, closer home, will someone like Arteta take a pay cut to turn out in red and white?

  163. goonerandy…..good points above.

    there will always be issues with the officiating (for every club), but after our 1st goal, we didn’t play well and that is the core of my frustration. Arsenal made Swansea look good.

    I was not so concerned about our defensive play, as much as the fact that we lost mid-field and found ourselves constantly stretched due to poor ball management.

    Arsenal are having to rely too much on youngsters producing strong performances. The reality of youth – inconsistency. Promising youngsters……..

    Its easy to be a supporter when the team wins……..

  164. Wake up and smell the coffee is the new arsenal mantra.
    With an attitude like this I’m happy . No excuse , no hiding. Just response .

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/reserves-news/wenger-we-have-to-wake-up-and-focus

  165. Yogi:

    Interesting post. I agree that the penalty was soft but in real time it looked like a pen. The ref does not have multiangle replays. Its not until you see the replays that you realize its a dive. Otherwise he was good.

    Agree with Arsene about the defense yesterday. Despite being outplayed we scored 2 goals which should win any PL game. How many times have we played the other team off the park and not won. Swansea outplayed us but 2 goals should have won the game for us. Our defense carried the team thru the good run this season. We need the defense to be remain solid or we are in big trouble. Kos has been great this season but he went to sleep on their final goal. Hopefully a one off type of thing. 3 years ago the red Mancs kept 11 or 12 clean sheets in a row in the league. We are not going to have a run quite that good but we need something similar to give us a fighting chance to get back to 4th.

    Yogi @ 1:22:

    “Whilst I would call Park dross since I’ve not seen enough of him to comment fully on his abilities, we do agree on not understanding his purchase.”

    We took a flyer on him that cost almost nothing. We swung and missed and now we need to move on and get someone better. Holding on hoping he comes good when we have the money to replace him is the problem.

  166. Aw seems pissed off. I like.

  167. As an actual, you know, realistic suggestion of how we could improve does anyone have any ideas as to how we can adapt our game for poor surfaces. It seems like we don’t allow for poor pitch quality and every time we play on a rugby pitch it impacts our possession game. Swansea had an advantage in that respect in that they play every week on that surface. Maybe we need to have some of our training sessions on a ploughed field. Would that impact too much on creativity?

  168. The surface had nothing to do with our performence yesterday. I didn’t see many bobbles, and Swansea were knocknig it about all over the pace.

    Somebody mentioned earlier that AOC makes the most out of every chance he gets to play, and its true. I would like to see him get a run of games now. He looks hungry (and not in a Frank Lampard type of way).

  169. Arsesession, you refer to relying on youngsters and the inconsistency of youth – but the most diappointing performances for me yesterday were from Arshavin, Benayoun and Mertesacker. Ramsey had a relatively poor game and Miquel was caught out of position on a couple of crucial occasion, but watching the highlights again over lunch I noticed how many good things Miquel did as well (and also that we finished the game strongly and might have snatched a draw at least in the end)

  170. One thing I noticed during our good run of form was the added zip in our play. We were moving the ball faster, and players seemed to be more mobile off the ball during that period. Festive period onwards it seems to me that our play has become a tad slower and hence easier to defend against. Could be down to fatigue. Also I could be totally wrong.

  171. Good point Markus…ha ha. We also prepare for matches on rainy days, some teams perform better than Arsenal.

  172. Andy the pitch was awful. Wenger even mentioned it. Swansea share it with the rugby team. It’s not an excuse any more though. We need to adapt our game when we’re on a shit surface.

  173. Tbh Markus, I didn’t notice the ball bobble or veer from its path even once in the game because of the poor pitch. I’m struggling to see how it could be any kind of factor in our performance?

  174. Markus – It wasn’t great, but I didn’t notice it impacting on our game. Like i said, Swansea were knocknig the ball around no problems. It does not matter if they are used to it or not, they play a passing game the same as us (unless they have better footballers than us which they don’t). If their players could pass and control the ball, then so could ours.

  175. things are simple dr wenger ….arsenal the last 6 years = cesc …no cesc = no arsenal….sad but true.

    if you want an arsenal without cesc…change the system immediately , play something that fits the players instead of trying to make ramseys into cescs….. (my fm experience suggests 352…lol)

    come on doctor you know better than us….perform operation in squad please….use laser technology or the knife i dont care…BUT fix it please. you can do it.

  176. Morning Yogi,

    Thanks for an excellent post as usual, I have taken to reading them as opposed to commenting of late. I got to watch the game here yesterday and was left disappointed. It wasn’t the first time this season nor do I believe it will be the last. I accept as a fan that not everything is going to go my way but watching Swansea yesterday compete for every ball, reminded me what I like about hard working teams. Arsenal were not at the races yesterday, sure we scored two goals but the truth is Swansea deserved their 3 points and Arsenal upon reflection need to ask serious questions of their desire.

    I am not sure how both Beni and Arsharvin managed to stay on as long as they did, nor indeed how Yohan has managed to make right back his own with the ever present injury crisis. All 3 players were guilty time and time again of squandering possession. I lost count in the end how many times we tried and failed to get the ball out of our half. Arsenal play a controlled possession game, building from the back and yet yesterday we looked like a team of individuals bereft of ideas or indeed the oft mentioned “team spirit”.

    I’ll leave it there, as disappointed as I may have been with the game I think Swansea did great and perhaps we could learned something from there attitude.

    Have a cracking day.

  177. Yet more dross served up by Arsenal’s weakest squad since 1995 and yet more pathetic excuses from a manager well past his sell-by date. Let me sum up very quickly why Arsenal are so so, bad. The biggest reason is the millions that have been spent on utter sh1te in the last few years. Some players are so bad we have to pay teams to take them away. Another reason is that the manager just can’t do it anymore. Whether its buying players, creating a defence, midfield or attack, tactics, motivation, coaching, his performance over the last 3 years or so has been laughable.
    Make no mistake, when RvP goes at the end of the season, and who could blame him, Arsenal will struggle to get into the Europa league. This is a top 8 squad with sprinkling of very good players. I said that once Cesc left this team would sink like the rubbish that it is and only RvP having the best year in terms of goalscoring in Premiership history has kept them afloat.
    This team is heading for years of slightly higher than mid-table mediocrity unless something drastic happens i.e replace the manager and make some heavy investment, neither of which is going to happen soon so just watch this team get worse and worse.
    We got p1ssed on by newly promoted team to add to Hull, Newcastle and WBA who have turned us over – at home- after promotion but Swansea out passed us and out fought us. They were not overly physical and yet cost a fraction of our massively overpaid squad. If you got rid of the deadwood at Arsenal then you would have no manager or coaching staff and about 8 players.
    I have often been criticised for being a doomer on here, but it’s clear that I was overly optimistic before.
    This is a sinking ship. So, so sad and it could have been avoided 3 years ago.

  178. Misplaced passes or passes falling short. Count them. The pitch had an influence no doubt. But Alex is here now so I’m just going.

  179. YW, no one is saying that Cesc was perfect when he started playing for us, just that he had consistent performances. why people tend to overlook the inadequacies of this squad is beyond me. we have way too many passengers, and as i said sometime back on my blog, there is a need to get rid of a good number of players, get the wage bill down and get some flexibility when it comes to cash positions so as to allow us to spend in the areas needed. Almunia, Squillaci, Bendtner, Rosicky, Arshavin, Denilson, Vela (talented but i dont know if he will ever make it at Arsenal), Chamakh are all players that the team is carrying. and as much as it pains me, the team has for the better part been carrying Ramsey.

    http://altairworld.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/mid-season-analysis-arsenal-edition/

    We also seem to have too many players that are injury prone. we play something in the range of 55 games each season. can we depend on Diaby to be available for half of those? can we depend on Gibbs to be available for a quarter of those? Can we rely on Rosicky to play 4 or 5 games on the trot? man, i love this team, but sometimes i look at our make-up and the results we have each season are somewhat predictable.

    A friend of mine has for seasons been saying that we needed a pathetic January to get the right players in rather than a great January and three poor months thereafter. it is a bogus way of looking at things, worrying even, but at times i too have held that belief. looking at the way we conduct ourselves every window, it isnt that hard to see why some fans would go to that extent, and these are fans that would support this team even through its worst of times.

    Why we have not another LB half a month into the transfer window is beyond me, we had such a fantastic run in the months preceding December and in December itself but have done nothing in the transfer window to bolster that position even with the inherent weaknesses in the squad, and that is in itself maddening.

  180. ==============THE POLISHBOY WITH THE BIG MOUTH===============
    ==================THE SLOW GERMAN SHEPPHARD==================
    ===========PITBULL=======================ROTVEILER=============
    ROBOTATCHA======== ROCK======== COOL==============SAINT======
    ============================A.A=================================
    ====================MVP==========STATUE========================

    try it at least doctor…make me feel a capable sub-manager dreamer….. make all them hours/weeks/years in fm worth it….please…with sugar on top…and syrup..and honey….

    sub team:

    ================the polish boy with the flapping arms===================
    =======================squilayikes================================
    ================djulia===============miGooel======================
    ==amateur============peterpan====mohican===============injured=====
    ============================A.R=================================
    =====================O.X==========theo==========================

  181. I said this late last night but Ramsey has never looked like a creative midfielder even before his injury. he was more of a Frank Lampard type, not the type of player who runs the midfield the way we need to make the 433 work. To expect us to dominate games using these tactics when we don’t have the proper players makes no sense. Trying to get the players to change to fit a system rather then fitting the system to the type of players you have seems backwards. Even during our good run earlier in the year we were not playing teams off the park. It was RVP and our defense that carried us.

    4th place was the best we could do with the 433 even when we had the ideal players. Other teams attack effectively without a creative midfield. Chelsea scored 103 goals 2 seasons ago without any real creativity in midfield. United has outscored us 6 seasons in a row without a creative midfield. A good team should be able to adapt and change when needed. Building a team and an entire organization with no tactical flexibility seems illogical. I hope Arsene is at least considering some options, If we are going to stick with these tactics we need to spend the money and get the players we need.

  182. Bill – The big deifference between Chelsea/Manure and us is amount of crosses they put into the box. They don’t need a “creative” player in that mould. Manure (for example) don’t have a target man type but have always scored plenty from crosses. This is because when the ball goes wide they get plenty of bodies in the box. The system we play requires creativity and plays who can spot and execute clever passes.

  183. Bill, we are heavy in CM, and playing 4-42 with the players we have would leave us defensively gaping. 4-3-3 is the only formation we can play with the players that we now have. i also think that we have the potential to score more goals, its just that we are inefficient, we get the chancces but one is never sure we will score, even with RvP on the end of some of those chances. what we need to maybe (read may as in my opinion) is start AOC and hope that some of the midfielders can start chipping in with the goals. if the widemen can get something in the range of 10 goals 10 assist at the end of the season, a midfilder that can pick passes and chip in will also be great. at current moment we have Song that creates chances, Arteta that gives the midfield balance and defensive stability, and Ramsey that adds good workrate each game. out wide Theo is better than he has been for years and his final ball has somewhat improved, but we cannot rely on Arshavin to contribute, when it comes to chance creation or scoring and that for me is an issue

  184. @Bill
    I disagree with your notion that Ramsey never looked like a creative player. I still remember him coming on as a sub for Cesc in 2009, somewhen before his horrendous injury and there was literally no difference in passing. He created chances just like Cesc did and that was a joy to behold. Maybe that injury did take something out of him but I still think that his passing is alright. It’s his speed on the ball that is often worrying. He will either wait too long which has really impaired our ability on several counter attacks or wait and then pass it long. When we speed it up successfully he has been doing well, but all too often he has been the reason why speeding up ended up being slowing it down and then passing it around the back. I think that Wilshere would do better in that position, but we shouldn’t write Ramsey off just yet. Maybe it’s all the pressure that’s making him think too long when he is on the ball but if he can start playing it faster he will be top class.

    In other news I feel that while Ramsey’s development continues Rosicky has done hardly wrong this season and would definitely be deserving of a start or two in the coming weeks.

  185. Yes, we hardly ever have someone in the box besides Robin. How often did Miquel yesterday actually put in a really good cross, just for it to miss Robin and go out to Theo on the wing? If we would’ve had someone making that run to the far post it would’ve given us the opportunity to put additional pressure on them and all those crosses might have found someone else but Theo or Djourou out wide.

  186. Just when I thought ACLF had gotten rid of some characters for good we go and lose and give them the ammo to come out!!!

    You know what is worst than us losing? it is reading through all the drivel that these people come with. Where are they when we win!!!

  187. Evil – Its not just the wide men, our central midfieldes need to be getting in there as well. Ramsey does do this to be fair to him.

  188. What irks me the most is not that we lost. I can take a loss, especially when we have been beaten fair and square — more or less. The penalty decision was obviously a joke and I am quite sure that Oliver won’t face any repercussions for his inability to get crucial decisions right but it shouldn’t take away from Swansea’s performance. They did what we usually do and — it hurts to say that — they did it better. Despite being inferior in every position bar in goal, where they have the best in the Prem, they fought hard and put in a spirited performance, went for every ball, pressed us all over the pitch and kept the ball very well. All things that I would expect from our team, but instead I had to watch the white Swans to see all that. What has it come to when we get beaten at our own game by a recently promoted side?

  189. @firstlady
    Full agreement. When I went to read ACLF this morning and browsed through the comments section, just the sight of SUGA’s name made me contemplate to leave the blog alone for a couple of days. But, we have a crucial game coming up next Sunday and Henry has rallied us. We can’t leave the team alone and we have to support. I find it really amusing that Henry is a better supporter than those people that only come on here when we lose. If they really consider him a legend, maybe they should think about taking out something out of his book when it comes to how to support your team properly.

  190. re: the pitch and Swansea ‘out-barfing the Barcelona’ according to the plundits.

    No they didn’t! A hundred more passes, without checking, at approximately the same completion %.

    Arteta was really quite impressive in some games this season. Marseille at home, that kind of game.
    Losing the options of both Arteta, Coquelin was tough, not to mention JW and others. I think most who’ve been watching this current squad, who’ve watched the Swans once or twice, already expected a possesion stat in the Swans favour even before hearing of Arteta’s injury.

    Still, progres has been made. Arsenal have Three Amigos back in the squad! As opposed to one and half for most of last season. Van Persie, Arteta & Vermaelen. What do you think of my nominations Duke? Can defenders be Amigos? TV5 can.

  191. Firstlady.

    I sincerely hope that your comments are directly at me. As for drivel, how about truth? Truth backed up by years of rubbish results and players.

  192. Andy @ 2:49:

    Those teams did what is needed to be effective, and both could modify their tactics and game plan when the situation called for it. Even when we had the ideal players for our system both teams consistently outscored us. The numbers don’t lie.

    If we are going to continue to run this system we at least have to bite the bullet and get the type of players we need to make it as effective as possible. I think Ramsey will be a great player someday but not in the role we are currently asking him to fill. He is more of a Frank Lampard or stevie G type player. Jack has more hope in the CF4 role but he is 18 years old and tbh he had a grand total of 3 assists last season and how will he respond after his injury?. If we can’t have some tactical flexibility then the short and intermediate future is a real concern.

  193. Hey, Great Blog. Check out my Euro 2012 and Manchester United vs Arsenal preview at:

    http://flyfootball.wordpress.com/

    Cheers.

  194. Bill – I am not disagreeing with you mate (quite the opposite). Just saying why they score so many goals. Our method whilst often devestating, can also be very predicable and therefore easy to defend against. Not enough variation.

  195. Evil:

    I like Aaron also. Having the next Frank Lampard or Steven G. in our side would be brilliant but I don’t think he will thrive a the creative fulcrum for the 433. Time will tell how it all plays out. I hope we can get someone that can allow him to be the box to box, goal poacher and scorer type midfielder that I think will allow him to be at his best.

  196. Andy @ 3:27:

    Agree. I don’t know if a system like ours will ever allow us to be consistent in the PL. Hope I’m wrong, but the evidence to date argues against it. It works for Barca but they are in a much different league and they have been able to accumulate an historic level of talent in their squad.

  197. Henry rallied us? like how, by telling a paying fan to stop being negative?

    the same Henry who left to Barca to win CL, thinking that it was not possible with the Arsenal team that was miles better than the team of today? pot, kettle and all that…

  198. Ice you and Suga specifically but i see the numbers have trippled on the doomerish idiots. I am going to borrrow a leaf from some of the regulars and stay away for afew days!!!this place stinks!!!

  199. ‘cover your eyes and the monster will disappear’

  200. Big Johan @ 2:06 pm

    Youth…..Arsenal have become more reliant as the season has progressed. Same problematic issues as the past few seasons…….lack of experience to fill in for injured.

    Sagna, Santos, Wilshere, Vermaelen, Diaby and at the ACN, Gervinho

    I thought Miquel had more positives to discuss.

    The midfield combination did not work and the struggling play of Song and Ramsey impacted Benayoun’s performance.

    Arshavin started well, assist for 1st goal. His general play usually is dependent on the effectiveness of our midfield.

    Too many promising youngsters thrown into the fire.

  201. I don’t feel that anyone should engage Suga and AIC.

    For me our young goalie is very good and makes some amazing saves but right now he is struggling with his decision making. Not that others are not at fault but had his name been Almunia or Fabianksi, he would be slaughtered.

    I would like to see more rotation in the mid.

  202. …like a bunch of teenagers explaining the ‘obvious’ reasons that M-Space makes better sense than String Theory. Similar amount of information and expertise…similar levels of arrogant self-certainty and baseless conviction.

  203. Miguel was very impressive to me. Hope he continues like this.

    Walcott goal was very good (I thought we would go onto win the game) but I get the impression that he is looking for the pass a bit too much. He need’s to be a little more selfish.

    RVP’s goal was something else.

  204. Wenger is rubbish.
    He has never ever bought a good defender .And don’t give me any of the Sol ,TV ,Kosser,Sagna
    rubbish ,George Graham left him them.
    What has he won I ask you?
    Nothing compared to,well ,some others before him .
    New Stadium,pfffft we didn’t need it .City and Chelsea have done alright with smaller grounds.
    I was promised that the new stadium would mean we never lost another game and bought all the best players in the world.Well where are they?
    I have been lied to.Bastards ,the board,Wenger the lot of them.

    Either that or I am a silly cunt.

  205. Paul-N
    “For me our young goalie is very good and makes some amazing saves but right now he is struggling with his decision making. Not that others are not at fault but had his name been Almunia or Fabianksi, he would be slaughtered.

    I would like to see more rotation in the mid.”

    good points!

    Djourou – sent off at Fulham……endless criticism; executes a wonderful through ball for Theo’s goal and out of 600 posts, maybe one or two acknowledgements.

  206. Apart from defense, I am also not sure why every time we lose or draw that buying players comes up. What happened yesterday seemed to be a collective failure in the mid. The team is on a bad run and there seems to be a need to refocus.

    The pen was the worst call of the day. I never though it was a pen, real time or not. It makes you laugh that the refs can see one when there is none and not see it when it is.

  207. I am afraid that jonjon might have been very astute in his comment asto Arsene’s likely aqttitude. Very well put.

    I think signing Henry was a mistake. We shouldn’t be dependant on the ‘old man’ coming back, it distracts from the real business that needs to be done on and off the pitch. I didn’t like seeing RVP move out of his main striker role after the substitiution for instance, that worried me.

  208. That’s it Arsesession. I am surprised that I have not read much about Szczesny. He should have been all over that pass for the last goal but he doubted himself and it was over.

  209. Mr. Bob, I agree that RVP should stay central.

    So you think that the players were focused on Henry coming on?

  210. I am worried about the lack of penalties that we get and the calls that have gone against us.

    I for one don’t expect Arsenal to play great in every game but with that I also expect us to win even when we play poorly, most of the times. That becomes extremely hard when call’s go against the team as so many matches are decided by one goal.

    Very discouraging to say the least.

  211. @Paul-N
    Good observation, I thought the same thing after the goal. He came out at frist, but then hesitated. It looked like he could’ve gotten to the ball before their striker or at least he would’ve forced him to take a really difficult shot, but when he back-pedalled he got his angles all wrong and that cost us. Not to completely absolve Koscielny, but it was probably his first and only duel where he did not come out on top, but if Szcz had shown more decisiveness we wouldn’t have conceded.

  212. Paul @ 4:32:

    “Apart from defense, I am also not sure why every time we lose or draw that buying players comes up. What happened yesterday seemed to be a collective failure in the mid. The team is on a bad run and there seems to be a need to refocus.”

    3 – 4 weeks ago several ppl wrote that we were back in the title race, and now the world is coming to an end. Truth is somewhere in between as always. There are certainly some problems that need to be addressed if we are going to finish the season strong. Hopefully the boss has some ideas. It will help when we get a few of our injured players back but buying some players would certainly give us a better chance. 🙂

  213. I thought Koscielny saw the GK coming and slowed down a touch not wanting to arrive at the same time and have a CC moment again.
    I don’t think Koscielny lost the duel ,I think he conceded it.Not his fault.

  214. All of this “we need a striker who can score goals.” Surely we had one and loaned him out. Wouldn’t Vela have offered more goal threat than either Chamakh (who I think actually plays quite well apart from not being able to hit a cows arse) and Park the invisible player?

    I also think Rosicky should be starting more games he looks to be in form and is the one midfielder we have that really quickens things up rather than slowing them down. We looked a much livelier team once he came on.

  215. Evil, the play of the game in my opinion. The game was set for Arsenal to win it.

    I can only hope that he learns to be more decisive going forward. Fabianski, a player that has been dogged by Arsenal supporters, would have been all over that. He has gotten it wrong but has gotten it right the majority of the times.

  216. Bill, we scored yesterday, so we can get off the striker thing. Our defense played well, don’t have to talk about R or L back’s.

    Every time the team loses people talk about need’s. We lost because we didn’t play well. That has to be sufficient some times.

  217. Rosicky and Per had been ill.
    I think otherwise Thomas would have started.

  218. Oh yeah I forgot he had been ill too. I hope he starts to get more games, it looks like he is really beginning to come into some form. And he can tackle too and doesn’t often give it away.

  219. drew10, Vela would not get into the team with RVP on fire. Maybe he would be used on the wing’s but not upfront.

  220. Well, I’m just glad it wasn’t Fabianski who made that error!

    Can you imagine some of the crap written if that had happened? On second thoughts, don’t.

  221. Out of the derided players that went out on loan from last seasons 1st team squad which would improve the current squad, Denilson, Bendtner, Vela? I think all three of those could have been useful this year.

  222. George:

    Kos doesn’t know what the GK will do, so unless he is called off by the GK you keep going. You don’t trust what you see out of the corner of your eye.

    Kos has been brilliant this year. Wojo has made a few “youthful” mistakes but for the most part has also been very good so even though both probably made a mistake on that play you hope its a one off since its not in keeping with whats happened the rest of the season. If we start to see that sort of stuff with regularity the way it was in years past then you start to worry a lot more. Our defense has carried the team and we will need both of them to be at their best if we want to finish the season on a high note.

  223. Paul:

    “Bill, we scored yesterday, so we can get off the striker thing. Our defense played well, don’t have to talk about R or L back’s.”

    Our defense did not play well yesterday. We conceded 3, however, you don’t change your mind and give up on our defense based on one bad game. At the same time scoring 2 goals yesterday does not change the need for a goal scorer when you look at what has happened the rest of this season and the end of last.

  224. Ha…thought I had wondered on to the wrong blog comments section for a second..

    We have to put up with this tripe till our next win I guess..If at all extra incentive was needed for me to hope and pray we beat united this is it..at least we can then return to a modest number of decent comments..

    The comment numbers after a defeat just stagger me..

    Firstlady@ 3.02

    Completely agree..

  225. Bill, well you cannot blame the defense for the goals. One was the ref and no matter what was done for the third, The goalie should have cleared it.

    I am dealing with this match. You and others can say what you think we need but if we lose a game, it does not mean that we lost because of a need. That’s my point.

  226. AW has basically asked the players to wake the fuck up…I think yesterday there might have been a rare Wenger Hair-dryer in the dressing room..well deserved too..

    I remember Fabregas saying that at half time he for the first time saw a different Wenger, I think at Anfield when we were trailing 1-0 and won 2-1 thanks to an Arshavin wonderstrike (sorry could not resist that)

    Yesterday it would have been well deserved too…last season after some bad performances and terrible results we did kind of wake the fuck up and beat united really well at home..lets hope we can replicate the same this time around…

    Titles are not won in January…Seasons do not end disappointingly in January either…

    Keep the faith!!! Up the Arsenal!!!

  227. Paul N

    Agree to an extent..we were caught a bit square for the second but it was a result of losing the ball in our won half..and so I do not blame them so much for that…

    The third was more naive defending, especially Miquel who had pushed on, when after just scoring he should have stayed back and settled down..but its his PL debut and he looks very promising and I am sure will learn a lot from yesterday…It was also bad keeping and thats happened two games in a row so SCZ should stamp that out quickly, and im sure he will..

    The first goal was a joke as you rightly said..

  228. JJ and GA

    Some consistently great posts..

  229. Anirudh, you get my point about the last goal.

  230. Chez quite rightly gets more latitude than Fabianksi because of the quality of his performances across the season. Fabianski has yet to completely convince but Chez is young and still learning his craft – there are bound to be a few hiccups along the way and yesterdays performance was one of them.

    I think Swansea deserve a lot of credit for their performance it’ll very interesting to see how Chelsea get on when they travel there next weekend. The Swans have been pretty imperious on their own turf so far this season and will hold little fear – even though there were worrying signs of Torres finding some form on the weekend.

    I think the idea that we ever had a chance of the title has been dispelled now – realism is settling in that our fight is, most likely, with the Blues for fourth. There is a decent chance that Spurs will wobble but fourth will be just fine for me.

    Arteta has become of great importance to the side – the return of Wilshere should alleviate some of the pressure on both him and Ramsey. The game against Man Utd has now taken on added importance: a loss would turn a blip into something far more worrying, whilst a win would provide a huge uplift in squad belief and get us closer to a stage where players are coming back. The the two games after are against significantly inferior opposition, both of whom are struggling for form and consistency.

  231. Paul @ 5:19:

    “I am dealing with this match. You and others can say what you think we need but if we lose a game, it does not mean that we lost because of a need. That’s my point.”

    Its not about 1 game, its about whats been happening the whole season, added to what happened at the end of last. We have been walking a tight rope all season and right now we are losing our balance. Hopefully we can regain it soon but even if we do we are still in a very precarious position. This team is probably not as good as we looked during the “hot streak” and we are certainly not as bad as we have looked in the last few games or in the first 5 – 6 games of the season. Just my opinion but I think its pretty obvious that the team needs to be strengthened, especially in the attacking positions and LB.

  232. I have to agree with PaulN. We didn’t loose the match because of a lack of transfers. It was more to do with injuries, tactics, and our traditional lack of focus during this part of the season. Even if we had bought a LB and striker already, what difference would they have made? We already had a formidable strike force on the pitch, and on the bench.

  233. Bill, I hope you can get my point. I am not getting into what people think we need. Every loss is not down to needs.

    Jonny, Chez needs to pull his socks up. He has been making too many judgement errors, not occasional hiccups as you put it. Lets be fair about our criticism or not criticize at all.

  234. You said it way better than me Henristic.

    Thanks!

    How are you bro? It’s been a little while.

  235. Henristic.I don’t see what tactics we got wrong.Just poor execution of the tactics.

  236. To an extent Paul, yes, I think they were.

    It’s just a distraction all around to have him in the squad.

    He is not a saviour, he is a legend. Legends are in the past.

  237. PaulN

    I do get what you are saying and the larger point you are trying to make and i totally agree..unfortunately some sections of our support have knee jerks, faster than the roadrunner..instantly *beep beep* signings *beep beep*

  238. Paul:

    Fair enough.

  239. George

    Tactically maybe no..but Substitutions wise I find it strange that Ramsey completed the 90 (not blaming him but he did have a bad game) and Tomas was not brought on at HT or 5-10 minutes into the 2nd half when it was obvious we needed him to control midfield…

  240. Paul – I think I am being fair in my criticism, ‘judgement errors’ is just different words for the same thing. There have been quite a few of them but he’s also still making saves that, most likely, Fabianski would not.

    What does pull your socks up mean? To me that implies that you think he is making ‘judgement errors’ through lack of effort. Given what I have heard about the Pole’s attitude and application I hardly imagine that to be the case. He’s just young. Frankly it’s miraculous that he plays to the standard he does at such an age.

    It matters not, overall the Pole is well in credit and barring anything unforeseen will not be replaced by Fab who will, most likely, be on his way come season end.

    Regardless, our biggest problem, this season and last, is at the other end of the pitch.

  241. Bill @ 5.56

    As you might have guessed I loathe the clamour for signings especially in the wake of a defeat, I must agree with you with you regarding the LB slot..Jan Verthongen seems ideal as he provides cover in the 2 places where it is a bit thin at LB and for Song..

  242. Bill, KOOL!

    Mr. Bob. You could be right. I didn’t think of it but now that you say it, I can see how the team could have lost a little focus in the hype. Hopefully this is a lesson learned.

    I am not against the signing as we need the help but I agree that he has not come to save the damsel in distress. Which is how many have made it seem. That is not good at all.

    Many of the players have said that he has lifted the club though?

  243. George

    If ur fit to come on after 65 mins I guess bringing him on after 50-55 mins does not make such a huge difference IMO..

  244. Anirudh @ 6:18:

    Agree completely. Vertonghen would also provide an alternative to SS as a back up CB if we ever have to go that deep in our CB rotation. No downside that I can see.

  245. Jonny, whatever the reason for his mistakes, they have also been costly.

    The team on a whole need to get it together. My issue is that some play hard and people still talk while others seem to be untouchable.

  246. Paul N,

    perhaps it’s because the alternatives (Almunia, Fabianski) are so shit that people just avoid the subject not to bring that upon themselves?

  247. Jonny:

    Paul has a good point about Wojo. Mistakes in the last 2 games have cost us a goal in each. GK mistakes are almost always lead to a goal so they are high profile. De Gea and Gomes are recent examples of what happens when mistakes add up. The honeymoon for him will end if the mistakes continue but I really expect him to right the ship.

  248. Well he hasn’t lifted it far enough Paul!

  249. Szchezy has made some mistakes there is no doubt about it. But, heis still miles better than Almimunia and Fabianski, that much is obvious to anybody that knows anything about football. The defence trust him and he has far more pro’s to his game than cons. Can’t think of many keeps I would swap him for anyway.

  250. Jonny,Fabianski is a better shot stopper and will make more saves than Wojo.
    He(Wojo) is supposed to be better at organising and controlling his area.Due to his big head(I mean confident manner).But if his decision making is poor,and it has been,then he must be questioned.

  251. Andy:

    “Can’t think of many keeps I would swap him for anyway.”

    MARK SCHWARZER!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  252. Wonder what VP must think being shifted out wide to accommodate the King.

    Hardly the “you are leader, please sign a new contract” message we should be sensing out.

    We should be adding talent that will play with VP, accentuate his strengths, not expect him to accommodate a returning a legend.

    I love the fact Henry is back. Will teach some of the jokers at the club about passion (where is Diaby? On a personal trip o fulfilment, thats the attitude Abou)

    But Henry must must as well as a significant first team signing.

    Our firepower and predicatbility of changes/options let’s any half decent side have the better of us tactically.

    Many crow about us being the best football team in the league, well all I see is a side void of ideas when faced with an organised defence.

    We must score more goals considering the rate we concede at

  253. Bill – Heh, of course.

    George – Is he? Szchezny has made some fantastic saves this season. Fabianski is a good shot stopper, but he made his fair share of gaffs with shots he should have stopped. Lets not forget that and in his absence turn him into some shot stopping demi god. Hell, Fabianski even managed to turn a few crosses into shots that we conceded from.

  254. All that said he could easily become the best keeper the world has ever seen.
    Well OK,perhaps not ,but a very very good one.

  255. The only problem I have with the Henry signing is that it emphasises that we need another striker at the club, and seemingly that point is not being addressed.

  256. Lol Andy,you are right as it goes.
    Just saying all is not fine and dandy even yet,between the sticks.

  257. Your ridiculous George.

    Let’s start questioning our best keeper in 6 years after a few decisions he got wrong, yet you stand in full support of keepers who have consistently made high profile howlers and arguably cost us the league over the last 5 years.

    You just want to defend the scapegoats and attack the real talent in the squad when your messiah is unable to conjure up a win.

    Your a very protective character

  258. But CBob, you are a living legend, surely?

    Some realism, for me at least today,
    1. Swansea are not a bad side, especially at home, try to play a passing game, well organized. Hope they stay up. No players booked yesterday??
    2. We had nine players unavailable yesterday, Vermaelen, Wilshire, Gervinho, Arteta, Diaby, Sagna, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Santos – bound to take its toll. Some players have had to play too much.
    3. Every match has to be played like a cup tie if we are going to make it into the top four places.
    4. Top four place looks difficult, for the first time in many seasons, the Spuds may finish above us.
    5. Still going to support the team.
    6. There are some truly miserable supporters on this planet.
    7. Suga 3 is a liar, I hope that none of my family or friends back in Essex ever have to have one of his delivered transplant organs in case they too become moaning, bullish, creatures.

  259. George – Fair point, but the least of our worries I would argue. Despite a few errors, it is the first time in quite a few seasons where I feel confident with our goalkeeper.

    Almunia and Fabianski were like a big box of chocolates. Only the chocolates had been smeared in dog shit, so whilst you didn’t know what you were gonna get, you had a fair idea it would not be pleasant. 😉

  260. “(where is Diaby? On a personal trip o fulfilment, thats the attitude Abou)”

    What an awful thing to say to a guy trying to save his career after numerous brutal tackles on him. He may yet have to retire early because of it. You should be ashamed

  261. Luke I bet you wish you had waited a few minutes before you posted your little rant.Eh?

  262. liar?

    when did I lie then?

  263. George:

    The questions will start to come very quickly about Wojo if he continues to make mistakes. For now, I think he is the best we have. There is always a noisy minority who are unreasonable but most fans were behind Fabianski and Almunia until the problems started to stack up. The boss has a very long leash on Wojo I suspect since our alternatives have not inspired a lot of confidence in the past.

  264. Dups

    Walking for three days straight on a personal religious pilgrimage half way through the season is outrageous. He should be fined a few weeks of his ridiculous wage.

    He is the only athlete in the history of sport who can make a full recovery from a nasty break 5 years ago, then play 6 minutes of football and be sidelined with further minor muscle injuries for 4 months!!

    He needs to be struck off yeh register, sent out on loan and only considered for an arsenal return if he can stay fit for 6 months.

    He is nothing but a complete waste of a valuable squad space that needs to be utilised.

    I wonder if signing Scott Parker in the summer would have been that bad?

  265. Actually Luke. It is not that our goalie has made so few mistakes, it’s that the mistakes have started to cost points.

    I think he will be the best in the world.

    The signing of Henry was due to Chamakh and Gervs being away. So the boss say..

  266. How were the Ozarks MD?

    Good points by the way.

  267. Dups,what did you expect .It is Luke.
    He really cant cope with his work mates being above us in the league.
    Arsenal simply are not showing the desire he needs to put himself in the crowing position.
    And to be fair to him it must be a bitter pill to swallow.Because I imagine he has given them a huge amount of stick and fears the compliments being returned.People like me (remote)don’t have that problem.

  268. Long-time reader, 2nd time poster, Yogi; ACLF is far and away the best Arsenal blog going.

    Oh, to be blessed with the self-evident gifts of analysis, predictive powers, and the rare brand of eloquent humility belonging to the likes of Suga 3 and chums. What dark days these stone-dwellers must have endured when the run that hauled the team away from the ignominy of lower-table residence was slowly and deliberately constructed. Only after the triumphs of Man Saudi, Fulham, and Swansea did the vampires find your strength and voice, drawing sustenance from defeats as jackals feed on carcasses or flies feasting on excrement. Not sure how many of them roused themselves to comment on OOU’s stellar article last Friday.

    I really don’t understand their mentality. Only piping up when we’ve lost; what sense of satisfaction and pride is gained from such conduct? Let me recommend to them Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park as an appropriate platform to launch their perspicacious perorations on a public likely comprising bemused tourists, squirrels, and London detritus.

    They should counsel themselves away from notions that we’re blind to the faults or inured to the frailties of the team, so why come on here with what is surely with the express intention of winding us up? So what if we don’t subscribe to their hackneyed opinions? Most agree that the team and manager got things wrong yesterday with the result that we were schooled; yes the penalty demonstrated cheats can prosper, but there was nothing wrong with their second and third goals and much wrong with our play in the lead up to the goals.

    Perhaps the manager’s reasoning over the substitutions was informed by judging whether to put into the fray callow but hungry youth, or present the tinder of experience and guile to spark a fight-back? With the benefit of hindsight, my choice is simpler and that’s the nub, managers don’t have the luxury of hindsight; they can change tactics (Merts subbed, Song in to CB etc) which will pay-off or not. I’m not a football manager – I don’t play ‘Football Manager’, cripes, I don’t even play FIFA – but I’m a damn sight more sure that between us all, the Manager knows what to do and what should have been done yesterday.

    We were given a lesson by Swansea, definitely, but we also were the architects of our demise with sloppy passing from the outset from most of the lads out there yesterday, together with costly lapses, none more evident than Graham’s winner. Alex Ice Cream, do one, you onanist.

  269. I’m not sure why Fabianski is still so feted in some quarters. I don’t think Chezz has been granted immunity from criticism, nor am I suggesting that his mistakes have not cost us points but to suggest that Fabianski is any way better is delusional.

    Fab had his chance and blew it and I suspect that boat has sailed.

    Some players get better in their absence.

  270. Paul – “The signing of Henry was due to Chamakh and Gervs being away. So the boss say.

    Yeah it was, but tellingly how many games did Chamakh get brought on where we have been chasing a goal? Not many. In Henry’s 2 games we have needed a goal and he has been the managers first port of call. That say to me that Arsene does not really see Chamakh as an option to change the game when we need. That is why many are calling for him to buy another striker to bolster the squad. Aside from RvP we don’t have a decent option.

  271. Mr. Bob, Wenger from day one has been saying that expectation’s should be tempered.

    Diaby is ok with me. Was he doing something that could get him injured?

  272. Got zero to do with it george. Sadly your nonchalant dismissals of fans who share a lesser “understanding” than you doesn’t fit in this instance.

    Don’t care about other fans pal, the banter is part of the fun with football. Alway said I just want arsenal to be the best we can, and I don’t think we are.

    An eerie familiarity about this season no? Hmmm, I wonder – who is the one person who can actually change that……..

  273. Nice write-up, YW. Very well put re “yet”.

    Interesting dynamic on here today. Feels a bit like taking a stroll through Tottenham (or should I say Croydon?) on a balmy August night.

    By my count, we have used at least thirteen different players at full-back this season. I’m surprised that some people aren’t willing to acknowledge that that must be a factor in our performance this season. AW is ultimately responsible for the team’s performance, but that doesn’t mean he is to “blame” for every bad thing that happens. He certainly doesn’t get every decision correct, but he has done pretty well over the years. Given the so-called “years of rubbish results and players” (Alex, perhaps you would be better off with another team), he must be an absolute genius to have had the team qualify for the Champions League for the last X seasons.

    Suga3, AIC and others of that ilk: please enlighten us with your manifesto for success. Suga3, perhaps you could start with your solution to the full-back situation. From your post above, you clearly don’t feel Gibbs, Jenkinson and Santos are up to the task. It seems that you think we would have been better off keeping Clichy. While I can recognise the merits of that point of view, I can also imagine some people thinking, hmm, hard worker, very fast, had a couple of good seasons, but wasn’t he the same guy who wanted to leave, the same guy who couldn’t really cross very well, the same guy who often got caught up-field, and wasn’t he one of the players who didn’t really seem to have the competitive spirit that has been needed in the last few years? Please explain and support your views in such a way that those who have the gall to doubt you might come to see the light.

  274. If we were not given the same penalty as Swansea yesterday there would have been up roar.

    In real time, an absolute stone wall penalty.

    After 20 different angles and freeze frames, a terrible decision.

    Lets for once, just once, not complain about the ref, the pitch, our injuries etc it’s so tiresome and frankly pathetic. If any kids we know behaved in a similar manner you’d give them a clip round the ear and tell them to stop being a baby.

  275. well, first of all, let’s clarify that I do rate Santos, he is a no-nonsense defender and contributes quite a lot attacking wise…

    would prefer to keep Clichy as a no.2, he would still perform at his best when called upon, given that he would play for a contract at a new club, so it’s a win-win for me, GIbbs should have been loaned out to see if he can last a season…

    as for Jenkinson, well, where do I start? Wenger has once again gambled, this time on Sagna staying fit, which (predictably) went wrong and backfired…

  276. GA, since RVP is on fire, Wenger usually tries to bring the scoring help from the wing. Chamakh cannot play the wing, RVP is not coming off, so Chamakh is out of luck for the most part. Also with Gerv’s being out, our subs situation is different as usually Arshavin would come on. That’s how it seems to me.

    But Henry is one of the best ever, so it is to be expected that he will come on. It is what it is.

  277. Jonny me old pal said”Fab had his chance and blew it and I suspect that boat has sailed.”
    Really,My memory tells me he picked up a bad shoulder injury and missed the rest of the season.Still if that is how he blew it, then I hope Jack has not also “blown it”
    BTW I am more than happy with Wojo to be our No.1.
    Just saying you are talking……….well you know.

  278. and buying a teenager who played nine senior games for a club a couple of divisions lower to be a backup RB at a club of our stature was a complete pisstake, with him being pursued in the summer as an identified target…

  279. Well Luke, I never thought it was a pen. Even if Ramsey made contact, it would be a very soft pen at best.

    The foul on Ramsey was a possible leg breaker.

  280. Jenks, a very good buy. A fighter!

    We just need to get healthy. Why oh why do we have these injuries all the time?!

  281. Luke he cheated ,and the Ref.bought it.
    Dont tell me we should just suck it up.
    You are just happy in your finger pointing mode .

  282. Suga3, excellent, now we are getting somewhere. Perhaps if you just stopped writing after your first – or even your second – paragraph… 😉

    OK, let’s assume that Jenkinson was promoted too soon, and let’s say that it was “predictable” that Sagna would not stay fit. What would you have done instead?

  283. Arsenal loosing again, ‘sack Wenger comments’. Nothing new then.

    However what was new was how we lost, out played, out passed, out smarted, and out worked (pressed)! No long balls, bully boy set pieces, constant fouling, just good football. From a team full of average players, who looked better than our internationals!

    Our formation of 4-3-3 needs to have effective wingers to work. Yesterday we didn’t have that. In fact being critical from all of Walcott, Gervinho, and Arsharvin none are good enough, for seperate reasons, for a team who desires to win trophies and compete along side the best in Europe.

    Its so obvious, time and time again teams score by getting the ball wide. Arsenal look best by stretching teams wide. When away from home and in need of outlets, counter attacking options, you get it wide. Arsenal have been blessed with width under Arsenes reign, Overmars, Pires, Ljungberg, even Nasri for his one season wonder, but now we don’t have the quality, and it is making us ineffective to score enough goals to win football matches.

    Adding to the issue without the likes of Gibbs and Sagna supporting and flying up and down the wings, its is even more predictable and easy to nulify.

    Our keeper is young and learning, but without a doubt the best up and coming keeper in the league.

    Our backline group of Sagna, TV, Kos, and either Santos or Gibbs is a good mix of pace, ariel ability, strength, and experience and youth.

    Our midfield of Song, Coq, Frimpong, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshire, Diaby, Rosicky is capable to compete at the highest level, though none of the mentioned are really suitable to play as a second striker how Bergkamp and to some extent Cese was able to.. RVP could be perfect here, but we have no other CF’s.

    With up and coming young talents like Chamberlain, Ryo and Wellington, we do have some excitment to come hopefully, but the miss firing Gervinho, the miss understanding Walcott, and the missing the plot Arsharvin are NOT at the level we need to atain. Subs, impact players, BUT not the creative and goal scoring machines we need.

    The problems is its not fixable overnight. We lost or couldn’t get Nasri, Mata, Silva, Young, Hazard, because we aren’t silly with £100k+ per week wages. All top teams have scouts where once it seemed only Wenger did. So as long as teams above us pay this money we will have to make do with the signings they don’t want. Gervinho for example, a good player, but I’m sure 90% people would rather have a pick of the other previously listed?

    All we can do realistically is hope the likes of Chamberlain are given the chance and shine, or Arsenal tweak their financial policies to compete in these crazy times. Or we will soon look upon these trophyless seasons as good times compared to the mid table medioca which will follow should we hit 5th. PLEASE DON’T KID YOURSELVES INTO THINKING FINISHING 5TH WILL MAKE NEXT SEASON BETTER, IT WON’T, IT WILL BE THE BEGINING OF AN END TO AN ERA.

    This is a defining period for team and teacher…

  284. happy in my finger pointing mode? im just asking us not to use the standard set of excuses after another embarassing, yet predicatble, defeat

  285. @ SUGA3 | January 16, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Ah, but then you have to go and spoil it by making a comment like that!

    Just to clarify: do you think that Jenkinson is not good enough, or do you think that AW should have known that CJ couldn’t take the “stress” of playing at the highest level?

  286. would probably keep Eboue, I have been saying the whole summer that for all his flaws, you will not find a much more capable backup RB/utility player who loves the club, the fans and does not moan?

    even when Wenger fed him to the lions to cover his own shortcomings, he got hi shit together and upped his game!

    Sagna being out was predictable in the sense that it normally happens when someone tries to do something important and get away with patchy preparation…

  287. “In fact being critical from all of Walcott, Gervinho, and Arsharvin none are good enough, for seperate reasons, for a team who desires to win trophies and compete along side the best in Europe.”

    Nonsense

  288. BB,

    both, I think he is a bit of a RB version of Bendtner (tall, slow, clumsy) and it was pretty obvious that upping the level as rapidly as that will not do him any good…

  289. Luke, we did not play well but if you take away the pen it is a different situation. If we get the “stonewall” pen against Fulham likewise.

    What is being said does not absolve the players from responsibilities but that was a crap call by the ref, yet a again going against us.

    Its getting very hard for me to take as a supporter. I can just imagine Arsene and the player’s.

  290. Jenk’s, that young man is fearless.

  291. Suga – your suggestion is that we should’ve retained the services of Clichy as a back up to Santos. Forget that he wanted to leave and was being coveted by the richest club in the country. Forget that in order to keep him as a back up to Santos we would have had to make him the richest player at the club. Forget that he would then also have automatically expected to be the first choice.

    Genius.

  292. We have had a terrible run of injuries with our fullbacks but the rest of our squad has been largely intact. There is no team that does not have injuries.

    ManU finished 1 game with Berbatov and Carrick at CB. Arguably their most critical player Vidic is out for the year. Ferdinand is heading towards permacrock status, Fletcher is gone, Valencia, Young, Hernandez, have missed lots of time. The Brazilian twins are out. Smalling has been out. Cleverly who looked to be their creative midfielder has missed most of the year after a “hard tackle”

    Tottenham has been relatively lucky but recently lost its 2 starting CB and Parker,

    Liverpool have lost there best player Stevie G. for most of the season. In his absense Lucas was their best player and he is out for the year. Suarez their biggest scoring threat has missed lots of time due to incurable stupidity. I am sure there are others.

    Chelsea is missing Essien perhaps their best player when healthy. I am sure they have others too.

    It goes on and on and on and on. Missing 2 -3 of the starting 11 in any game is much more the norm then the exception. Thats why you build a deep squad. Our CB have done a good job holding down the fort while our FB are out. Losing the FB has hurt but our injuries are not that far out of line with the rest of the big teams and the reason for our struggles run a lot deeper then the FB crisis.

  293. Paul

    So if I’m talking nonsense that AA, Walcott and Gervinho aren’t top class, them please tell me why we haven’ scored enough goals to win enough games? Because you sure can’t fault Robin???

  294. Jonny,

    er, no, we did not have to make him the richest player at the club, we could just keep him and allow to run down his contract, plain and simple!

    he would play his arse off whenever called upon, willing to show himself as a player worth pursuing, yes?

    City paid us 7M for him (which is peanuts, you can hardly buy a capable LB for that), can seven million quid play LB?

  295. Pedant – prior to Fabs injury he did not look remotely as good as Chezz has this season. Even on Chezz’s worse days I would take him over Fab in a heartbeat.

  296. and to top that off, we are not spending any money anyway, so what was the point of letting him go?

  297. Who has set up many of these RVP goals?

    Again, nonsense!

  298. He’s still around!!!

  299. Suga – I would rather have taken 7Million than watch him run his contract down. 7million is by no means peanuts – it just looks as such compared to some of the sums that are casually thrown around.

    The problem here is that too many players of the same position have gotten injured. Gibb’s previous injury record is not great but it was not possible to predict that he would get a hernia – completely unrelated to previous injuries.

  300. Welcome Gupps…don’t mind Suga-free and Alex I Scream…they haven’t had their pills today.

  301. @SUGA
    So what did the 7 million that we paid for Santos buy us if not a capable LB?

  302. “You can hardly buy a capable LB for 7Million” – except we did in the summer – his name is Santos maybe you’ve heard of him?

  303. Jonny @ 7:50

    well said

  304. Pedant – prior to Fabs injury he did not look remotely as good as Chezz has this season.

    Yes Jonny,but you said he blew it.You were wrong.

  305. Paul

    Neither AA, Gervinho or Walcott have setup more than SONG (our defensive midfielder) in the premiership this season.

    Doesn’t that tell you something.

    Silva, Nasri, Valencia, Nani, Mata, Bale, even Ryan Giggs and Ashley Cole have had more assits than any of our wingers.

    Don’t hide behind medioca facts.

  306. Evil,

    I said ‘hardly’, not ‘impossible’, didn’t I?

    Jonny,

    Gibbs never really had a very good or excellent game for us (which makes you think what possessed Wenger to expect him to step up) and is made of glass, you can count on him being out for half of the season, just like you can count on it with Diaby…

    so yes, I would still allow Clichy to run down his contract, rather than count on Gibbs to do anything but visiting kids at hospital for charity and being Diaby’s new best mate!

  307. If he had been remotely remarkable, prior to getting injured he would have had more chance of starting and getting his place back. He blew that opportunity and Wenger seems to have lost faith – seeing as he wasn’t entrusted to be between the sticks for the FA cup game against Leeds.

  308. paul, its just further excuses, again.

    see, my mind works something like this:

    we were utterly dominated in the midfield against lesser players yesterday —-> well, upon reflection the two main reasons for this were song & ramsey being utterly shattered, and bennayoun looking like he’d never played there before (hmm) ——–> ok, well how could have that been overcome? well, by making sufficient additions in the summer, not depending on a player who cant prove his fitness for more than 15 minutes, and after the drop in class in from last year, not creating a gulf of use / trust between the squad and first 11

    i suppose blaming the ref for making a wrong decision in half a second is probably easier. i also imagine that if that peno wasnt given, then we would have weathered swanseas dominance and put the game out of sight.

  309. The players who are out are the ones that we most relied on for our comeback, Santos, Jenks, Arteta, Gervinho and we are looking fragile as a result.

    It seems though that the squad needs further strengthening to make sure that we can make these games count, a cold hard look at the wheat and the chaff is in order – admitting that there is chaff here is hard enough though.

    Maybe we need one more really top midfielder although we have not seen Wilshere or Diaby so maybe we have them already. Even in defence Mert, Kos and Tommy are all fine in the centre and I have no problem with Gibbs, Santos, Sagna and Jenks. How much cover do we need though, the lack of defence and attack has hurt us in their absence.

    Up front wide the Ox looks like great cover for Theo and long term there is the untested Ryo to cover for Gervinho now that Arshavin is of pensionable age.

    In the centre there is the problem of one man one job, but we have to find a long term compliment to vP.

    I think that CL qualification is going to be difficult now and we are a couple of losses away from it being impossible, if there is to be a knee jerk reaction, it should be in concentrating the mind on who really is not good enough to be playing for Arsenal and replace them.

    Personally I like stats sheets.

  310. Fabianski does not even make the bench these days and thank fuck for that…

  311. People seem to enjoy making themselves look foolish. Perhaps is for the noteriety of it.

    Clichy wanted out and we got decent enough money for him. He was replaced by Santos for the same sort of money. Arsene did exactly the right thing and he is lambasted for it. We can all percieve shortcomings, but there is no need to make them up.

    I’m with Thierry – Stop being so negative and get behind the team.

  312. Hiding?

    I don’t care about other teams and their assist’s. I am saying that Gervs and Walcott have contributed. Sure they need to up the goals but so does Ramsey, Song and Arteta.

  313. bollocks, so, he wanted out, tough shit, he signed a contract, didn’t he?

    it was not the right thing to go into the season with two fullbacks (Bac and Santos), one of whom was bought after we got thumped by Yoonited…

    speaking of Santos, what was the reason for playing him in a nothing game where the opposition had all to play for?

  314. Luke, all I am saying is that bad calls changed the game. I know how you think, you think you know it all.

    The team played poorly but a lack of players had nothing to do with it. We made 3 good subs but made mistakes. The players must take blame but the ref made a bad call that gave them a goal. You do win football matches by goals, don’t you?

  315. Clichy needed to go. As an elder he could not lead the team. Good player., good servant but change (as Mr. Bob said from day one) was needed.

  316. Agree. Cliche never progressed to the defensive qualities required to make him as good as the infamous Cole. Fans moaned about that when he was here, and now moan that we sold him! Even when he wouldn’t sign a new contract.

    Anyway the options of Santos, Gibbs, Miquel (really a CB) and TV is surely a good place to start the season (well by 31/08/11). What more do fans want? Baines and Enrique as 3rd and 4th choice?

  317. Suga having a hernia does not equate to ‘being made of glass’, it’s just unfortunate.

    He’s twice broken metatarsals (again this is impact injuries – not a sign of being made of glass) if you can tell em how this relates to a hernia I’ll be fucking impressed.

    Perhaps Man Utd should offload Rooney he’s twice broken metatarsals so I his hernia must be long overdue.

    If you’ve never seen Gibbs have a very good game you haven’t been watching. He has had plenty of good games (and against some very good opposition) just, thanks to misfortune, not as many as we would have liked.

  318. Paul

    I’d love to hear your rationale for three good subs.

    Because in my eyes, if Brendan Rodgers had done 5 minutes of homework he could have strategised perfectly what AW would do.

    Even the removal of Mertesacker for an attacker is Wengers last roll of the die that holds no sense of origanilty whatsoever .

    I thought the subs were predictable. Again Wenger was being responsive and not taking the initiative, Rodgers made tellinging change after 45 minutes.

    What sort of impact did Wengers changes have?

  319. “Suga – having a hernia does not equate to Gibbs being made of glass. It’s just unfortunate.”

    [Fixed that for you…]

  320. Sug:

    We could not keep Clichy when he did not want to be here. Who really wanted him anyway?

    Ideally the best thing for the team would have been to get Enrique from Newcastle and also got Santos and sent Gibbs on loan. If we could not get Enrique then someone else. Gibbs may turn out to be a good player and get over his injury prone stage so loan him to a lower table PL team and hope he comes good. Last summer many thought counting on Gibbs as our regular LB was too big a risk and the retrospectoscope has proved that correct.

  321. We also have Botelho (LB) on loan who Wenger hoped to get a permit for in the summer but it was rejected. Maybe he was in his plans?

    Though rumour has it the young left footed player has been a naughty boy over in spain which could see some jail time! That will end any potential arsenal career.

  322. Jonny,

    as far as Gibbs is concerned, him actually completing 90 minutes is a minor miracle, no idea why he is so injury prone, maybe he is just not cut to be a pro athlete!

    never witnessed a VERY good game from him, reasonably good, yes, but still not a patch on Clichy, who had his shortcomings too!

    and all that happens after a season where we conceded 43 goals and Wenger said he would work to improve on this, well, guess what, we are halfway through the season and we have conceded 31 thus far…

  323. PaulN,
    It has been a while indeed. Happy new year to you and yours.

  324. Ugly duckling blossoming:

  325. Luke, 3 good players came on, is what I meant. If you don’t like the tactics, you can take that up with Wenger. That is a whole different kettle of fish to what we are discussing.

  326. Likewise Henristic. Good to see you back in the place!

  327. yes, Enrique was a good option as well, probably better than Santos at that…

    I just think that Gibbs and Jenks should not have been considered as viable squad options back then…

  328. Double injury/absentee woes.

    Sagna Jenks
    Santos Gibbs
    Ryo Gervinho
    Arteta Wilshere

    Having your top two players missing from four positions has to have an effect. When we were doing well we did not consider that we were a couple of absentees away from a near meltdown.

  329. Thanks for the Frimpong clips. The VDV part was brilliant. He seems like the kind of character we need in the new Arsenal, lets hope he has a good 5 months at Wolves to devlop the football part to go with it and become a key figure in the squad for years to come.

  330. Everything must look shit….Suga’s back.

  331. ‘When we were doing well we did not consider that we were a couple of absentees away from a near meltdown.’

    speak for yourself…

  332. Suga .Frank said the same last year.and the year before.He will be right one year.

  333. Paul N

    Injury meltdown (not Suga’d)

  334. Suga’d

    Thanks, I do.

  335. george,

    this year? and do you think that Wenger will do the decent thing and step down if he fails to qualify for CL or will he just cling on until he is out of contract?

  336. Thanks SA!

    Any of the injured players, expected back this weekend?

  337. Why,have we a god given right to play CL?
    It seems so because of Arsene ,not despite him .you moron.

  338. and one thing: I never said we would finish outside of the top four before this season, it was annoying that we did not really challenge for the title, but I always thought our top four status (3rd or 4th) was fairly assured…

    now due to massive mis-management in the summer, we are in a bit of a pickle, yet, OGL does not seem to be willing to make any moves in the January transfer window, because he ‘does not like it’, ffs!

    I mean, hello?

  339. And he will be offered a new contract.Suck it up.

  340. I cant be bothered with your shit.

  341. @suga

    Gibbs is certainly good enough to be a valuable member of the squad – as back up to the more experienced Santos.

    Impact injuries are extremely unfortunate. Roooney is built like a tank but he had the same injury twice in a short space of time.

    Hernia’s are invariably a genetic anomaly. Once treated they normally never occur again or cause complications. Hernias are also annoying as they are unpredictable – you don’t know you have the danger of getting one until you actually have one.

    How was Wenger meant to foresee these completely unrelated things??

    I wish someone would break both your legs – one next week and then the other 6 weeks from now just so I can laugh at you for being ‘made of glass’.

    I suspect, however, you are more likely to sprain your brain making these ludicrous connections conform to your thesis. 😉

  342. moron? that’s fucking rich, coming from a sheep with no opinion of his own and lacking ability to criticise the shit sandwich your idol is serving you!

    this is his last season here, not qualifying for the CL with the resources at the club’s disposal will be the final nail in his coffin…

  343. I just think it is the knock on effect of having both top players out in four positions. The lack of cover means we are scraping the barrel in certain positions and what we have to offer instead is not that hot.

    I would like to feel that there were only plumbs and cherries at the bottom of the Arsenal barrel. Maybe some a little ripe, but exciting, intelligent and skilful at least.

    Not Suga coated

  344. and all the failings of this season have to be laid at Wenger’s door and his door alone…

    before we got obliterated by ManYoo, we were going into the season without Arteta, Benayoun, Mertesacker and Santos, Arteta and Yossi did not even have fucking medicals when they joined, such was the panic…

  345. OK Jonny, care to remind me the VERY good games played by Gibbs?

    competitive games, that is?

  346. Oh Quack.

    Jonny.

    No one wrote that they think that ‘player x is better then player y, so there!’
    I do recall just two errors from Fabi from the time he actually got more then the odd game, taking over from the ghost before he got injured. A simple reflection that some players get more abuse then they deserve. Perhaps you missed out on the support that Ramsey received last night. At least the tottenham trolls go after the referees. Hang on. Maybe it was a Tottenham fan, after all…

  347. Stop writing to it!

  348. I’m glad I didn’t try OneOfUs’ drinking game

  349. *hiccup*

  350. Jonny:

    No one can blame the boss for the injuries to our full backs this season, However, prospectively, starting the season with Jenks who was in league 2 last season as back up RB and Gibbs as starting LB was a huge risk.

    Looking at our history most risks like this come back to haunt us. Blame fate or bad luck if you want but when we have the money to take the safer route we should not tempt fate. We should have sent jenks on loan to a championship side to give him experience and we should have brought in Santos much earlier as our first choice LB or gotten Enrique or someone else.

  351. It’s almost like a bot with a glitch. Some kind of cuntbot..

  352. Steady, Finsbury – remember it’s a school night.

  353. Suga

    We all have concerns, but your path is very lost.

    It is obvious that the rise of Arsenal this season has not elevated you to want to support the club to which this website is dedicated.

    Hang on to no CL qualifications now, you lot were wrong about relegation and if we qualify for the CL you will beatch that we did not win the league (again)

    So only your lot can win this kind of discussion, as you clutch at greater and greater heights to hang your coffin from. Maybe from the CL Trophy itself – is it not shiny enough for you?

    You are still defying your name and peddling poop.

  354. SA Gooner,

    what the fuck was that all about?

    of course we can’t win the league, I can accept that it is difficult to compete with Chelseas and Citys of this world, even though Yoonited can, with their budget not being that much higher than ours and Spuds seem pretty competitive on much lower budget, but let’s just leave it out of this equation for a moment for the sake of argument, shall we?

    for me, it’s pretty simple: 4th highest wage bill = 4th place or higher, anything less is a failure, underachievement or whatever you may want to call it…

  355. I have no doubt that we will be in the top 4.

    ARSENAL!

  356. “for me, it’s pretty simple” – yes for once I agree. That’s your problem – you see things far too simply and assume the solutions are simple.

    Who cares, you only come on here to gripe and moan – we all share in the pain but you positively, or more accurately ‘negatively’, revel in it.

  357. and at whose expense? Spuds, Chavs or either of the Manc clubs?

  358. Jonny,

    wrong: it’s OGL who is making it unnecessarily hard…

  359. Wenger is the only manager in the history of the Premiership to win the league without consistently outspending his rivals.
    How did he manage that trick 3 times ?Him being crap and all.

  360. C-mon suga honestly now what gives you more pleasure…Arsenal winning or coming on ere giving us all your expert views on how shit we are??

  361. Crap yesterday, right back to the mind numbing days of last year… err and the year before. Stop me if this is familiar. Wenger is no longer in the top flight; he was out managed and out coached yesterday (and out foxed). Persistence with dud players and no sign of strategic long term acquisitions. No mid field attack, no flanking plays, no service to van Persie.

    The team reflects the personality of the manager. He’s past it and we need a younger manager and a new outlook.

    Anyone who makes watching our Arsenal a chore deserves the big heave ho. Mr. Wenger please do the honorable thing and go this season.

  362. The Tottenhots have yet to achieve anything

    Liverpool have yet to achieve anything

    Newcastle have yet to achieve anything

    Man-Sour have yet to achieve much

    Chelsea struggle even with a lot of resources

    Man-Ure are the stand out team.

    Your assassination ignores the fact that all but two of the top eight teams have yet to achieve, let alone make that achievement stick year after year which might bring them close to where Arsenal is.

  363. of course it is the former, I hated yesterday’s game!

    george,

    and the last title was when exactly? since then, he has not won a fucking argument and the team’s performance league position wise reflected the expenditure, so it is to be expected, not praised as something out of this world, especially that the recently he used the assets rather poorly?

    yes, he was a brilliant manager, but this is not the case anymore…

    plus, all the success (or coming anywhere near it) dried up when DD left – coincidence?

  364. Duke , He is a really upbeat guy in real life 🙂

  365. Suga’d Coperniskew

    Your snapshots are grim. Try showing us the rest of the album.

  366. No .because he left over the move.He would have had us at Wembley.
    Has he forgotten how to manage?
    Has he “lost it”?
    If so where did he leave it?

  367. er, no, he did not leave over the move, he was ousted for courting Kroenke, who is the current owner, get your facts straight, will ya?

    sometimes you just lose the ability to do stuff you could do with your eyes closed, such is life!

  368. Billy’s Boots

    @ Bill at 7:42 pm

    I agree with your comments – we are far from being the only club with a lot of injuries or significant injuries. My goal in raising the full-back issue was intended merely to highlight that it is a factor (not the factor); I seem to recall earlier in the day people discounting its significance. (There are certainly other factors, eg the recently discussed lack of scoring threat from the “wide strikers” and midfielders, the lack of a finished-product creative midfielder, the reliance on RVP, etc.)

    +++

    When we have had a stable group of defenders – even when they have not been first-choice – we have done (in general) pretty well. The turnover of using six and seven different players in each FB position has created not only lack of familiarity, but has also led to us using some players who are young and inexperienced and therefore more likely to make mistakes. This might not have made such a difference had they been coming into a mature, experienced side, but that’s not “yet” a reality. Although the CBs have done pretty well, they don’t get forward as well as the genuine FBs (understandably, the emphasis is on defending) and this has made it a little easier to defend our attacks.

    Somewhat surprisingly, we have seven clean-sheets in the League this season. Chelsea have only five, Liverpool, Newcastle, City and Spurs have eight, and United have eleven. When we do ship goals, they tend to come in bunches.

    I agree with the premise that a strong defence is a big (maybe the biggest) factor in winning the title. Despite the 31 goals conceded, we are stronger defensively than we were last year, but we’re nowhere near where we would like to be.

  369. City are holding on for dear life against Wigan. They need some reinforcements.

  370. Paul N,

    very mature, so again, which of these four teams is meant to be the victim here?

  371. “Paul N,

    very mature”

    I know

  372. Yes because he was out voted and want he more power and hence the courtship.But it was the move that caused it .
    So you get your facts right.
    You show you know nothing of any interest to us on here .Why do you bother?

  373. still, you have not answered my question, seems like your math is a bit off and you can’t squeeze 5 teams into 4 spaces, eh?

  374. george,

    Dein was ousted AFTER we moved to the new stadium, the whole ‘let’s play in Wembley instead’ business logically took place a few years ago BEFORE the stadium construction started…

    he did not want more power, he wanted us to have some financial muscle, i.e. a sugardaddy to compete with Chelsea…

    again, get your facts straight, sunshine…

  375. @ SUGA3 | January 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    It seems like you expected we would win the league during the last few years, even though we were financing the move to the Emirates. I agree that it is frustrating that we came close on a few occasions and, yes, it may have been that we missed out because we lacked one or two players.

    I just don’t understand why you are so consistently negative. Of course it’s true that there are many areas where we can improve; however, it is also true that we have many reasons to be cheerful. You (theoretically) “may have been a brilliant [poster], but this is not the case anymore”.

  376. Suga 3 .Rubbish,He wanted more power and they fucked him off.And rightly so.

  377. BB,

    I expected this team not to bottle the cup final against fucking relegation fodder, not collapse whenever there was a chance to make up the ground on the table toppers or even to get frigging 3rd not to play that bullshit CL qualifier…

  378. I had to laugh at Sugacunt saying that Eboue was a good back up at RB. Why then did he and the rest of the mouth breathers put him on a dead wood list? It seems like Suga lacks his own opinions, doesn’t it?

  379. Billy,you still are.That is for sure.

  380. yeah, rightly so, and we have lost all his ability in the market and all that stuff, once Dein left, we started losing players…

    quite rightly so? on the evidence, Wenger is now half the manager he was with Dein’s backing…

  381. ah, my favourite village idiot has finally shown up…

    you can check the LG threads from the summer, you will not see me saying that he should be sold…

  382. Billy’s Boots:

    Agree with all of that. Not sure why we tend to ship goals in bunches this year. Despite shipping 31 goals I think our defense has been much improved this season and it carried us thru our good patch. I think our clean sheets this season are related to the quality of our CB and GK and the much improved overall organization of our team at the back this season. Yesterdays game not typical of the way we had played most of this year. We are certainly capable of running off 5 – 6 clean sheets in a row and getting our move up the table back on track.

  383. Yogi should put on a banner or warning sign on the posts when Suga3 is around. So we can all choose our clicking options.

    How long do you plan to troll here Suga?

  384. not for long, I’m just off sick for a couple of days, so I am in bed and a bit bored…

    but then again, there is no sport in that with some of you 😆

  385. You’ve put me in an awkward position. I want to wish you well so you can get better and bugger off. But on the other hand I don’t mind you suffering.

    Let’s hope it’s not too serious though. I am pretty sure the infection/disease is suffering more being inside of you then the other way around.

  386. @ SUGA3 | January 16, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    BB,

    I expected this team not to bottle the cup final against fucking relegation fodder, not collapse whenever there was a chance to make up the ground on the table toppers or even to get frigging 3rd not to play that bullshit CL qualifier…

    You have inadvertently identified the cause of the pained expression AW has whenever the team loses –- he feels so badly that he let you down! (… and after all you’ve done for him…)

  387. @ Ateeb LOL

  388. Sick? Sprained brain I imagine. Hopefully not misdiagnosed as a hernia.

    A common mistake.

    Much like yourself.

  389. Ha ha ha ,that’s funny Ateeb

  390. Ateeb,

    you can trust me to get well, in the meantime, can you tell me again why is Arsene so awesome?

  391. Sug:

    you shoot your credibility in the foot when you say we should have kept Clichy. There was no way for that to happen given the circumstances. I also remember that you were critical of him when he was here. You can’t have it both ways.

  392. well i will start to worry if we start losing games with half our defence playing but to have 4 full backs out and even our 3rd choice leftover fb out is a freak of nature but saying that it still does not excuse the(summer)and having mediocre players like Park , and mr miyagi to call upon. even with a fit squad we still need a striker and a creative miidfielder.

    im affraid to say that i have more chance of banging one in then rosicky dos now days and ramsey is still an apprentice but is asked to play the lynchpin. arshavin doesnt know where the net is at the momen….but once we get our defenders back we are a top 4 team but is this enough???

  393. You have inadvertently identified the cause of the pained expression AW has whenever the team loses –- he feels so badly that he let you down! (… and after all you’ve done for him…)

    Ha HA even funnier.
    Things are on the up

  394. one of the things I have learned in life is that one can tell a lot about people judging by what makes them laugh and how they laugh, seems like we have a very ‘special’ bunch on here 😆

  395. what circumstances? Wenger being unable to resist a deal and sometimes putting his players ahead of the club?

    it’s not like he did a Nasri here, is it?

    anyway, keeping Clichy was just one of the ideas, much better than keeping Gibbs as an option!

  396. Stop feeding the troll please.

  397. Yes, we’re all special here. One of the things I have learned in life is that one can tell a lot about people judging by how – and when – they comment on blogs.

    Tell us: why is it you rarely grace us with your insight other than after a defeat?

  398. when I appeared on here after a victory, I was told to fuck off by the usual suspects and it hurt my feelings 😆

    nah, but seriously, I would probably not have come on here today if it was not for spending the day in bed, and it just so happened that our team got absolutely dicked by the new boys, really a coincidence!

  399. Almost brings a tear to my eye! 🙂 Yogi, have you heard about this? C’mon, sort it out!

    Re coincidence, I guess for us, when it rains, it pours! They say misery loves company; you are proving to be the exception that proves the rule…

  400. That uses up my quota of any variation of the word “prove”, so I’m off to bed.

  401. bollocks suga you have been waiting with baited breath for a bad run and you know it coz it then makes you look like a clever dick coz you said we were shit before a ball was kicked and you want wenger out dont you so you are loving it that wenger loses.

  402. Ta, George

  403. waiting with baited breath for a bad run, was I?

    we lost to Fulham and looked like shite against QPR and Wolves, surely, that’s a bad run, no?

    clever dick? I don’t need this, really, especially amongst those who don’t appreciate it?

  404. :yes, he was a brilliant manager, but this is not the case anymore…”

    lol what the hell is this shit? what ? he suddenly forgot how to manage footballers and how to run football clubs? sit down you little cretin. we lose as a team we win as a team.

    dukegoonem ….. 10:55…i admire !

  405. yeah, enjoy calling people with FAR superior knowledge ‘cretins’…

    well, things happen, people get burnt out, suffer from medical conditions without even knowing about it and so on…

    as for the ‘win as a team, lose as a team’ stuff, Wenger should be reminded of this every morning, as currently we only win as a team in his eyes, but when we lose, then it’s the pitch, the referee, the handbrake and all that…

  406. Suga3 you don’t know cesc_ara,do you?
    Let me tell you he has forgotten more about football than you will ever know.
    “people with FAR superior knowledge” REALLY???????
    Dont make yourself look even more dumb than we already know you are.

  407. suga how old are you ? when i first started watching arsenal ( not that long ago considering others) some poor fella schwarzer was playing and the rest were in & out of clinics or jail…lol..seaman decided that the uefa final was over without the ref whistling anything and was making his way to the showers …and then he got lobbed by 50 meters almost….. dixon …the legend…was getting owned by fkn zisis vryzas,,,,u know him? …fc paok salonica was disqualifying us from europe…lol….the leeds maanger who took leeds to q-finals or was it semis..i remember him playign for us…must have been early – mid nineties..2 -3 years before the coming of the lord. one could argue we epitomised everything a professional footballer shouldnt do..lol…we were a bunch of thuggs playin for the 1-0 and knwon worldwide as boring boring arsenal…..i remember asking my father ( that was the cunt that got me hooked with this heroin =arsenal) “why the hell are we watching these useless toothless thuggs who finish 7th..10th and 12th ? ” – ” ahh this arsenal highbury red and white beautiful, shut up you little shit, the cannons are on television” and other such bollcoks i got as a reply….and then we had lift off…..petit overmars anelka vieira titles doubles henry pires titles again orgasm in 0.t02 and then we hit climax….this useless twat manager got himself an dhis team of FOREIGNERS in the record books of english football history…OUCH !

    “4th wage bill = 4th or minimum..everything else is failure and wenger must go”

    puahahaha…you show me one organisation/company that would ever fire a manager/chief executive like arsene fkn wenger. from whichever industry you would like. the man is a genius.full stop.he has built a stadium and relies on kids and crippled losers ….thats life..thats what sacrifice means when you invest elsewhere. shut the fuck up and go play with your willy….stop soiling the keyboard…you might get electroshock..hahaha…10 hrs youve been posting like a girl crying. haha

  408. of course he has, that’s probably why he is talking so much bollocks, not lot left in there, having forgotten so much 😆

    dumb? again, do yourself a favour…

  409. sorry i think im lost ..who is the one with the superior knoweldge who feels offended being called a cretin? suga? ,,,lol…

    but..only a cretin would see things as black and white…

    and i dont get it suga..whats your beef with ARSENE …that he answers diplomatically to the cameras ?? lol thats his job you effin cretin….lol…

    what do you want him to say? critisise his players in public…nah you see that would make him a bad manager….

  410. ‘he has built a stadium’

    what, with his own hands?

    ‘and relies on kids and crippled losers’

    and he is paying them so much, that our wage bill is not too far off United’s and about time and a half the one of Sp*ds

    stop soiling the keyboard? you may want to worry about that a little more at your age 😆

  411. well, I believe that it’s about time someone stirred up the happy fucking camp a little bit and started calling a spade a spade, that’s what brings you results, not fucking molloycoddling the Walcotts and Diabys of this world…

    my beef is that he does not make the highly paid professionals accountable and that he is not accountable to anyone!

    and calm down a bit dear, will you?

  412. ok little suga when you find your “bollovks” again you tell me one organisation that would ever consider sacking an ASSET like wenger?

  413. yes with his own hands , i was there to take pictures of him laying the first brick. ;p …haha … and he is certainly not accountable to muppets like you or anyone else. he is dignified enough to be accountable to himself ..thats why he hast fucked off to bayern or madrid or any of them “small” clubs that have asked for him….. no i wont calm down and i aint your dear…

  414. are we talking long or short term? and what are the organisation’s objectives?

    no organisation will sack a manager like Wenger if they only care about short term monetary gain and disregard the image of the said organisation…

  415. actually this is a waste of time…i raise my middle finger….goerge and the rest you can continue slapping this little bitch all you want..im off to perfect the 352 and send it to rice…

  416. Madrid? hahahahahaha!

    he would not last six months over there and he knows it full well, it was just a show for mugs to go into the panic mode that he might leave, happened when he got questioned for the first time for buying that cunt Silvestre!

    oh, and he is certainly accountable to the fans, Gazidis said so, must be true, eh?

  417. waste of time? you stand no chance, sunshine, and you know it all too well…

  418. no organisation will sack a manager like Wenger if they only care about short term monetary gain and disregard the image of the said organisation…

    pmsl …what image you idiot???….before wenger we had no image…pmsl… short term monetary gain?? ahahha without winning a single fucking title and with a debt to consider this manager has brought the club in 3rd richest position of football clubs globally ….without winning shit ….lol….and he has climbed to 3rd position with real work and actual foundations that will keep him there…not like others who do it the artificial way and their bubble will burst…. united …lol had to give its assets to the banks as collateral…not to mention they have to sell lunchboxes with rooney face in mumbai and pillows with giggs face on it in indonesia..and friendlies in doha for 5m a piece….LOL…. CIRCUS….

    enough …you are too young to be having these discussions…..

  419. Not a good day for this blog, to say the least.

  420. is it worth going for samba??
    hes officially handed in a request..
    hes not a fb but if we got him in it would enable us to play tv on the left for a bit and kozzer on the right..

    it would also mean we’d have enough cbs to not have to rely on squillaci..

  421. last time I checked, Arsenal won 10 titles before Wenger came here, and at the moment, the whole sacrifice to make this club great has played into the hands of Kroenke who has fuck all ambition, just look at his clubs in the US…

    image of a club that wins something (or not) for starters, do you think new generations of fans will flock because of Wenger of the last five or so years? think again…

    ever thought of renewing the kit and other sponsorship deals? are we currently good value?

    I guess it is quite difficult for you to fathom all these things, you can read it slowly, maybe twice, you’ll get there…

  422. JJ,

    apparently, Squillaci is off to Monaco…

  423. monaco??

    they are a club in trouble they are quickly dissapearing off the face of french football they are bottom of ligue 2 and have no money at all..

    still, if we can arrange a deal then it wouldnt be a bad thing..hopefully he can help them…

  424. that’s what one of the regulars on ‘the other’ (wink, wink) site heard on the French radio…

    we could do with Samba, he is bit of a warrior, we always had problems with him…

  425. well i wouldnt say no..
    it would give us a bit more room to manouvre..

    tv, koz, bfg, samba, jd to fight it out for cb
    koz and tv to backup sagna and santos
    jenks, kyle, iggy gibbs as the understudies..

  426. From the Headmasters Office:
    Mid-term report from Arsenal High School
    Re: Mr. A: Wenger (Lr. Sixth)

    Arsene has shown himself a capable, if at times outstanding student of the game. His marks gained early on in his academic career were excellent and were rewarded quite correctly with several prizes. He has shown himself to be a major formative influence on those around him, especially younger students several of whom have gone on to even better things.

    However as of late it is widely noticed in school, that Arsene seems distracted unable to focus on his studies, quick to blame the housemasters for any infractions and associating with other students who are not quite up to the standard expected at this school. He does not seem to be a team player. He seems at times to be living in the past and now seeks the company of those who are in the twilight of their celebrated careers. There is moreover, and more tellingly, no sign of an upward progression in his performance and alas, no prospect of a prize. At times he is uncommunicative with the School Magazine and frequently cites lack of funds at the Tuck Shop.

    Given these circumstances, it is my duty to report of grade of B- with the caveat that more is needed if he is to justify his continuing presence at this school.

    It is my considered decision that Mr. Wenger needs to a) get his finger out or b) move on.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mr. D. Dein,

    Keeper of the Faith

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  428. suga 3, you are an idiot. i lack a better word for it. there are places where Wenger deserves blame, but to think that Jenkinson was a mistake somewhat takes the cake. that kid was a fantastic player for us, and as for Sagna’s injury, it was a freak leg break that could have happened to anyone.

    Why should anyone care where talent comes from? Talent is talent regardless of how young or the experience the player has had, Toure was a fantastic defender for us, he started out as a striker. Cesc was from Barca B, one of the best midfielders of his generation. Henry was a winger rotting in Juve’s bench, the highest goal getter we have had. RvP? a winger with issues whilst at Holland, not world class, Kos???? only a single ligue 1 campaign under his belt, and i will say that there isnt a single defender in the whole world that i would trade for him, not a single one.

    You might dream of big name players, but they all started somewhere, and it took some work to get them to where they are. We have some issues when it comes to the squad, but your views are overly pessimistic………they are extreme. in a world without a budget, or a team without limits, your opinion might count, but wake, smell the coffee and notice that we are not that team neither would i aspire that we be that.

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