Arsenal Denied In Chance To Take Advantage Of Others Failings

Bolton Wanderers 0 – 0 Arsenal

Arsenal halted their recent torpid run of results in the Premier League with a point that brought them no closer to the top four but bucked the recent trend of making it further away. Newcastle leapfrogged into fifth but such is the fluidity of the current season, by 3pm on Saturday that could all be changed.

The result builds on the win over Aston Villa, 135 minutes have passed since the ball beat an Arsenal goalkeeper and finished in the net. Ngog did steer a shot past Szczesny last night but its trajectory took it the right side of the post to deprive Bolton of an undeserved win. It was a familiar story to the season; plenty of spurned chances, almost succumbing to a sucker punch. Arsène encapsulated the night post-match,

We feel we have dropped two points because we had chances to win the game. But we produced a decent game against a difficult opponent who gives you the ball, marks tight and waits for their chance. We took all of the risks and we were a bit unlucky as well because we hit the bar, the post and missed some great chances. In the end we took a gamble to play four strikers and we nearly got caught in the last five minutes from a Bolton chance.

The lack of goals last night is not through lack of effort. van Persie caused the woodwork to shudder twice, Walcott found his lack of composure detrimental, a flaw in his game that he needs to eradicate if his oft-stated desire to play centrally is ever to be realised. I understand the concern that when van Persie does not score, neither do Arsenal. Whilst not entirely true, it is disturbing that in only three Premier League games this season has the Dutchman’s tally in ninety minutes been exceeded by the combined total of his team-mates. As much as the failure to keep clean sheets, this is a fundamental reason for the season’s travails.

Neither of those thus far this season means that Arsenal will not finish in the top four, they are just not very helpful in realising that aim.

Yet this morning should have been an altogether happier affair. A point is not the disaster it is painted; the slide has been halted and with upcoming games, there is the chance to rebuild the confidence which went missing. Amidst the despondency raging across the plains of Arsenal-land, benefits are overwhelmed by the darkness.

Twice the woodwork intervened to stop Robin van Persie’s inexorable march to the World Player of the Year award for 2012. David Wheater blocked the Dutchman’s goalbound header when Bogdan had been beaten. That early in the game and the way the exchanges had gone, a goal would have seen the visitors scoring freely.

It was not all one way traffic. Ngog brought a save from Szczesny, the Frenchman beating Koscielny as an early nudge on concentration. That and an effort that missed the post prompted more Arsenal activity. Oxlade-Chamberlain put Walcott through, the England international lacked guile in his finish allowing Bogdan to divert the ball to safety with his foot.

In the second half, pressure grew on the Bolton goal but it was not until the hour mark that the defence creaked; Walcott had an effort blocked but Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot diverted for a corner having seen van Persie’s initial effort rebound off the post. Koscielny’s aerial threat was not as potent as it had been at Craven Cottage.

Bolton again threatened but the closest to a goal came in the final ten minutes as van Persie beat Bogdan with an exquisite cheap but that finished on the crossbar. The denouement came as Davies claimed a penalty following Szczesny’s intervention; it was not and Chris Foy was, for once, not swayed by the home side.

All in all, it is a disappointment. The game was there, Bolton are not a good side, certainly not the obstinate opponents of yesteryear. With the inability to close the gap on Chelsea once more means the frustration is tangible. Yet given recent form is it so bad to draw? Time will tell but with Blackburn on the horizon this weekend, there is a chance to do so once more. At some point that has to happen or ambitions for the Champions League give.

Today’s Arsenal On This Day is from 1935, Alex James only hat-trick for Arsenal in a competitive game

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 2, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 449 Comments.

  1. Bigbrovar!

  2. Sharpen knives

  3. 3rd not even where will finish this season

  4. Last minute check of manifesto before cutting necks

  5. Forget the penalty Bolton were denied?

  6. Neck 1.sagna,didnt play like a player not seen action since october.8/10.spared.

  7. Neck 2.chezzer.clean sheet.but….spared. 7/10.

  8. Neck 3. Kos. Excellent again.8/10.spared

  9. We created excellent chances yesterday. Unfortunately other than RVP we lack a reliable finisher in our squad at this moment. We too often seem to either hurry our shots or take an extra touch, as opposed to instinctively making the right choices when presented with a chance. Encouraging signs in the chances created in the first half, some of which was from build up play as good as I have seen this season. The clean sheet should also help.

    Negatives – Apart from the finising, we were not able to dictate play in the second half, and as the game progressed looked more desperate than likely to score. Also I thought Song was particularly wasteful in possession yesterday, and could hold off players as well as he can.

  10. YW – Nice balanced write up. I take what you mean about it being a good result to halt our slide, but in the big scheme of things I cannot fully convince myself that Arsenal getting a 0-0 with a team one place above the relegation zone is anything but poor result. Even more so when you take into account our predicament.

    It seems like we just keep saying “yeah, but wait till the next match”. We are not that far away from the “next match” being too late. Whilst I fully expect we will finish above Liverpool and Newcastle, Chelsea (dfespite what we like to convince ourselves about them) are more than capable of putting a winning run together. If we don’t catch them soon, our own results may not be enough to haul us into 4th place.

  11. Neck 4. Bfg,calm steady work.6.5/10. Spared

  12. Neck 5. Tv4,played like a real lb most the the time.7.5/10.spared

  13. Walcott has always been good at taking the early shot and surprising keepers. He is sadly, a player of limited ability. He lacks the ability to round a keeper and finish .When Walcott is given the time to think,he flounders. When he doesn’t think and goes by his instincts,he does well.

  14. Why does it feel that Vermaelen can cross better than 50% of our team?His cross to RVP was fantastic

  15. Ace,

    What does ‘spared’ mean?

  16. Neck 6.rambo,the real rambo isnt tickling movie buffs anymore due to old age.ramsey didnt tick last night.he failed to tickle in the last five matches.old age is not his excuse. 5/10.cut the neck!

  17. Well, I was depressed till I read this, having listened to reports during and after the game. Now I feel that I should have awaited the team bus’s return with a cheering and flag waving reception. FFS this was the team 4th from bottom. This is starting to feel like last season did only the rot has set in a month earlier.

    It’s time to stop worrying about 4th place. Worry about something more achievable.

  18. Neck 6.song.you neck shall be spared because on your day you an awesome dm. 6/10.spared

  19. Neck 7.arteta.almost an immaculate shift. Almost.8/10.spared

  20. GA

    The team above us lost badly at The Reebok recently so in the same way that some of our other results are bad in the context of the season, this one is not as bad. Secondly, with eight defeats already suffered, this is a result which will take some time to get to in the scheme of things when looking at points dropped unnecessarily. Certainly losing at Swansea, Blackburn, Fulham were worse; home draws with Wolves and Fulham more costly. Look at that; 1 point out of 6 from Fulham.

    Not as bad as it is being painted now is it?

  21. Billboy

    How dark your world is, a pantheon of negativity. I would be genuinely concerned for your mental health in the event of something truly bad happening.

  22. It’s another alarmimg run of form we are in, which has coincided with a transfer window during which we did nothing and the weakenesses of the team have been clear since Nov.

    We are 2/3rd’s through the season – lets see where we stand:

    Teams with better strike forces: City, United, Spurs, Chelsea

    Teams with better defensive record: City, United, Spurs, Chelsea, Newcastle, Liverpool, Sunderland, Everton, Villa, Fulham, Swansea, WBA

    We are equi-distance from 1st and 17th.

    We never use Park which is alarming. If RVP has a drop in form or gets injured where do the goals come from??

  23. Neck 9.tw14.your neck is spared because there is no point in cutting a brainless head.and you are always a threat with your pace.next game,bring your brains along with you and see if i don’t use a blunt knife on you.oh,just realised tw14 brains is a world class player. I’ll find a way round this conundrum.5/10. Spared.

  24. YW – You are 100% right and I do agree with you. I suppose my thoughts are that we have left ourselves so little breathing space, teams like Bolton are opportunities that we really need to be taking.

    As I mentioned yesterday, I am (for the first tme this season) starting to really think that it is a very real possibility we won’t make the top 4 (can’t believe that I am actually saying this). And the knock on effects from that are obvious and numerous.

    Whilst I can more than live with this as every club goes through highes and lows, the frustrations will remain that we have not made the best use of the resources availabe to prevent this happening (old and repetative argument I know).

  25. this has been said over and over but we need goals from more than one man..

    yes we can look at this as a point to stop the slide but in the grand scheme of things liverpool will catch chelsea before we do if we dont pull our sox up..

  26. Neck 10.rvp,your name is always mentioned in the same sentence as db10(hide knife).you are a legend.

  27. Exactly GA, we are in full control of our regression and have had multiple opportunities and resources to ensure it didn’t happen.

    I don’t really care too much – as you said Arsenal FC will live on.

    Take me to a world were Arsenal players value the shirt, have a work ethic that resembles the legends that put them in this prviliged spot and a management team that improves where possible our team.

  28. Neck 11.the ox.our best player of the night.8.5/10.spared.

  29. fanboy

    what penalty were you talking about? credit to the ref that he didnt buy those hapless attempts at flinging themselves to the ground. though why vermaelen got a yellow, no one knows.

  30. Ace,

    What does ‘spared’ mean?

  31. we had chances. we could have lost it in the second half.

    not the result we wanted. just more fodder for some people.

    it is a very difficult season as it is. don’t need to make it worse.

  32. Thank you for your concern YW. Some days are worse than others but I mustn’t grumble. Oh, sorry, I already did didn’t I?

    In all seriousness though, I am genuinely interested to know what the tipping point is for fans. Obviously for many it has already passed. Some of us, myself included (but check with me again at 10.00 on Friday evening) are just about there. What would need to happen for you to start displaying negativity nad doubts? Mid-table finish? Relegation battle? Championship football? Everyone must have their own watershed even if it is as yet unarticulated. Think about it and let us know.

    I do accept though, and I’ve said it before, that I identify more with the Colin Firth character in Fever Pitch than the Mark Strong one. I’ll get help though, don’t worry too much.

  33. whats encouraging is that everyone competing for those top four spots are capable of dropping points against anyone and we have shown proof already we can string a run of wins together

    whats worrying is that we are also capable of going endless games without a win..

    4th could well be on the cards still..but so could 10th..

  34. Rosicky,what did wenger expect you to do in 10 minutes? You should’ve being brought on at the start of the 2nd half for the tireless-all over-the-pitch ramsey to weave your magic the way you did it in the champions league 2nd leg match against udinese

  35. Billboy,

    it’s not that the rot has stepped in earlier. it’s that we don’t have the results from the start of the season to back us up.

  36. Luke – I would not say “full control”, but IMO there are certainly area in which we have really not helped ourselves. The injuries to our full backs have really hit us this season, and I don’t blame Wenger for not buying in this area. We have 4 decent full backs already. If we had bought great, but I can see why he has not.

    We have beefed up the CB sport with an inspired signing in Mertesacker. Happy with that. But for me, the loss of Cesc and Nasri at once was a big blow. The additions of Gervihno and Arteta would have been great if we were adding to the squad, but that has not turned out to be the case. I am not going to mention the striker issue as that is quite obviously a huge gamble we have taken. If RvP gets injured we really are screwed.

  37. King Henry,its blasphemy to say anything against you

  38. Korihikage

    When Chesney brought down whatzisface in the box after Mert had fouled him outside the box

  39. Jabba's Delights

    Amazing we stopped the slide!!!

    At least we’ve got a transfer window to sort out these obvious and on going flaws in our team…….o wait thats just gone!!!!

    I know lets give Lord Arsene a contract extension……

    Why hasnt walcott improved in 5 years , just a question??

  40. Wenger,you need to go on leave to get your mojo back.once again your substitutions baffled.

  41. Im with you there goonerandy. I too fear we wont make champions league this season. The team did remarkably well to drag their arses from 17th to 4th after that awful start to the season we endured. But we now have made an equally bad start to the new year so we now need a similar response and run of results. BUT we also need to hope that 3 teams amass fewer points than we do. Its not a promising situation is it?

  42. I would like to bet Luke that RvP stays at the end of the season. The only caveat I would add is provided AW stays. The reason I add that caveat is that it would depend upon the circumstances of AWs leaving and the arrangements for his replacement. For instance if Neil Warnock, Alec McLeish or Tony Pullhis were to come to the club I suspect that RvP would leave, as would most of the ‘fans’.

  43. Frank – I hope you are right. To lose your best 2 players in consecutive seasons if hardly the mark of a club on the brink of greatness is it?

  44. Lord I hope the players have a little more backbone than some of the posters on here. They have to turn this form around. I think they will and they have my undying support in the attempt. This is exactly what being a football supporter is..no matter where your team are.

    As Cb so rightly says. ‘Arsenal play. We support’.

  45. Goonerandy @ 10.42 spot on…Good post as per normal.

  46. Someone on twitter last night was accused of being a bad fan because he supported the team.It was said that his positive support was causing division among fans.
    I say good .We us divide ourselves for the moaning ,crying, self entitled minnies.
    Let us be done with them.
    Good people of ACLF .Please I beg you you.Ignore them until they go away.

    YW,thanks again for you work.

  47. Seems odd to make a judgement based on something that hasn’t happened. I can’t help feeling aggrieved for all the supporters in the Emirates Stadium on the last day of the season who were killed when lightning struck and the ground burned down. I know it hasn’t happened, but it might and that really depresses me. Can’t stop thinking about it. Makes me cry.

  48. Frank,

    to be honest, i wouldnt make that bet.

    i mean, i do believe he is different from other players. i think he has more character.

    but well, this is football.

    there’s a reason why i am refraining from growing attached to any particular players.

  49. Disappointing not to get three points at Bolton. I hear what you’re asying YW, essentially it’s better than losing and it’s ended the losing run, but we need to start winning soon. By all accounts Blackburn deserved at least a draw last night and they’re fighting for their lives so we need a big performance on Saturday. GA does have a valid point about constantly saying “wait for the next game”, the time for that is over, a win is vital against Rovers.

    Funny, I said exactly the same thing to one of my work-colleagues about one point out of six against Fulham not being good enough this morning when talking about the season so far, if we don’t beat Blackburn on Saturday it will be the same scenario. Or worse!!

  50. 15 games to go. we are running out of time, but we still have time.

  51. RVP was, by a distance, top of the league for hitting the woodwork last season and I think he’ll be top again this season. And people say we never win anything.

  52. But if you look at our league form this season : W11, D4, L8.
    That’s mid-table form and we sit in 7th position. Behind Liverpool. Behind Newcastle
    Will we remain unbeaten for the next 15 games? Its entirely possible of course but unlikely.
    The team will hopefully give their all and i will be behind them all they way but its a big big ask now. Especially if we fail to make the most of opportunities afforded to us over the last 2 games. Chelski dropped points to give us a chance of overtaking them but we failed to do so on both accounts. That cannot continue if we are to get something worthwhile from our league position come may.

  53. ok our reserves won, and apparently eisfeld impressed in the half that he played in. and we have craig eastmond there as well. so we can throw him in if we are short of numbers in midfield.

  54. Number seven is a nasty number.

  55. PG.
    Are you having a go at my late Auntie Minnie now? She was a true Gooner. Started watching them in their second season at highbury when she could get the Saturday afternnon off from her kitchen maid duties. She often took my Dad with her who was 8 at the time. She even let her little Jimmy and Georgie bunk off school to queue for hours to see Arsenal play Moscow Dynamo and that was at To……m’s ground. Mind you she only just got awat after the match when she tried to set fire to the place. Still see her face when Alan Sunderland got on the end of Rix’s cross in ’79. Her teeth fell out. Wonderful woman and I won’t hear a word against her.

  56. Banana btw. Good article.

  57. I think suga3 is bad karma. He posted here all day yesterday depressing us before the game. I think he’s cursed!

  58. Cursed?
    yes.that’s it.
    He is the Anti-supporter

  59. When the coaching staff and their boss Arsene Wenger insist on playing woeful Walcott and
    rubbish Ramsey match after match ,make substitutions way to late in a game and cannot find
    another goalscorer to complement van Persie ,then the League table doesn,t lie ,it shows the
    sheer ineptitude of Wenger,s first team ,with to many passengers just going through the moti
    ons and collecting exorbitant wages ,Walcott,Ramsey,Arshavi,the main culprits ?

  60. Jabba's Delights

    Frank | February 2, 2012 at 10:47 am

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    I love that your coming out with your predictions again. Just like there is no chance we are selling nasri and cesc……..you really cant make this up.

    7th Frank with nobody to blame but ourselves……………….FACT

  61. PG
    It’s all true but for the fact that I was at Wembley for the Mna U game so didn’t actually see the incident. But, hey, poetic licence.

  62. Trouble is Billboy, what happens if 4th is achieved and for arguments sake, the Champions League or FA Cup is delivered? Is that failure or success? No-one knows the answer to that. One thing is for sure, I would personally view those proclaiming a struggle for 7th as even bigger idiots than I think that they are now.

    Me? Tipping points always come in the summer. Season’s over, you know what has happened. The question then becomes, can the manager deliver an improvement on the previous season. 2011 is the first time I felt that standing still would be probable but tough given the player leaving. With the Board likely to have significant changes in the summer – presuming that KSE exercise their options once lockdown agreements expire – there may be fresh impetus and energy without the carnage that some seem to want on the playing side.

  63. 7th, Jibber? At the end of the season? That is your prediction is it? Let us see then.

  64. Talking of poetry, I couldn’t understand Samuel’s rhyming at 11.16. Have I got the pronunciations wrong?

  65. The main culprit is your post, Samuel, is grammar. Or the one who kidnapped it.

  66. The irony is, Frank is probably much more disappointed with not winning yesterday than the whiners. Disappointment is part and parcel of being a fan, how you deal with it separates the men from the juveniles.

  67. keyser

    fully agreed.

  68. Frank

    We can run a bet through YW if he wouldn’t mind? Send a cheque etc, I’m sure we can figure it out. Or alternatively, if you win, why don’t we meet at the start of next season, I’ll shake your hand and give you the cash?

    Stake – £100?

    Caveat – if VP leaves BEFORE Wenger then the bet is still payable.

  69. YW

    You don’t need me to answer your question but I suspect you wouldn’t bet your mortgage on that scenario. Looks like you have avoided the question though. There are a few uncertainties in your forward view, “likely”, “presuming”,”may be”.

    I can’t really disagree though because that has been my big hope for some time.

  70. Oh, and one more thing, I really really really hope I have to pay.

  71. 7th isnt our lot
    its debateable whether our squad is capable of a title challenge but we have a better squad than newcastle and liverpool most definately..

    we can still catch chelsea too but the main thing for me is the brittleness of the squad..
    a few injurys and the team totally loses shape and a loss here and there and its totally zapped of confidence and takes us half a dozen games to bounce back..

    i think we have a situation like we did last year..theres no question about rvp commitment, if hes going hes going out with a bang..but song and theo seem to be stumbling and i wouldnt mind seeing them being dropped at this point..

  72. jonjon I certainly think the comparison to Liverpool is interesting. They lose Suarez (their lightweight version of RVP), but they have improved in his absence, have changed the way they play, and have two squad players stepping up. In this respect, I can’t say we are stronger than Liverpool in striking options.

    Dont get me wrong, I cant stand Carrol or Bellamy or the work horse Kuyt, but they have delivered when the chips are down.

    Can we the say the same would happen with Chamakh, Park, Arshavin, Walcott, Gervinho?

  73. JJ

    i agree. song has been disappointing so far this year. giving away the ball cheaply, needlessly. theo seems really bereft of confidence. i thought that lucky goal against villa should have done him some good..

    the thing is that we don’t really have much options right now. especially in midfield. so i guess we just have to hope for the best.

  74. Jabba's Delights

    Yogi

    ”Season’s over, you know what has happened. The question then becomes, can the manager deliver an improvement on the previous season. ”

    Pretty sure thats all most doomers ask of there manager. Difference being they refuse to believe his constant excuses which allow him to keep a 6m a year job despite him doign very little to nothing deserve it.

    The manager should have been sacked at the begining of the summer when he asked us to judge him.

    If not then he should have been sacked after his handling of the cesc and nasri affair.

    If not then he should have been sacked for having absolutely zero plan in replacing them.

    If not then he should have been sacked for spending 3m of our very very precious money on Park.

    If nto then he should be sacked for the garbage season that he is serving up. Same issues with different players, whats the one constant in all of that

  75. My point is, our squad isn’t that strong. When you take into consideration the consistently injured players, and players we only use when AW’s hand is forced, our squad is actually pretty small.

    GoonerAndy – back to your post earlier, I wouldnt say Jenkinson or Gibbs are ready for a full EPL season. It will take a great argument to convince me that not signing Taiwo on loan was a wise move.

    Taiwo, Saha, Cisse all loans, or relative gambles, but all capable of adding something we lack.

  76. An e-mail from a life long friend and ST holder:

    “I can now kind of understand what domestic abuse is like.

    I love Wenger, but he keeps hurting me – more and more often – each time he says he’s sorry. At first I don’t believe him, but then a few good results and I’ll see something that will make me convince myself that he’s changed his ways, learnt his lesson and won’t hurt me again, but the problems always come back”

  77. I was actually worried about this match. Away to a resurgent and much-improved Bolton.

    I could only listen to the match (through gritted teeth on TalkShite – fuck me Collymore is a bellend), but it sounded like the only real negative was our wasteful finishing. I’d make all the players come in for extra shooting practice.

  78. Few things here…

    Firstly, it’s nice to see so many people being positive. Christ knows we need that at the moment. My positiveity is running short though, I have to say.

    I find it heartbreaking that we are no longer the team we used to be! On so many levels.

    As someone above mentioned, it’s now getting to the point where I don’t think we’ll finish in the CL places at the end of the season and that is going to have serious implications for recruiting next season.

    We’re not going to be able to offer top players CL football and equally we’re not going to offer top players the large salaries that may sway them to join us without CL football.

    There was talk of us being a team in trasition a few seasons back but that “transition” doesn’t seem to have gone away. We just seem to be steadily getting weaker.

    I know that football is cyclical. I’ve supported Arsenal for long enough to know that. But if you don’t evolve then you get left standing still and stagnate. Arsene’s transfer policy over the last few years has been nothing short of baffling.

    Last night was unlucky. It was a match we should’ve won, but didn’t. And yet had one of Robin’s shots gone in we’d have been saying today that we did well.

    Theo needs someone to challenge him for his place, Ramsey needs a rest, even Koscielny, who I think has been incredible this season, wasn’t at his best.

    Every time we play well and win I think that this is the start of our run that’ll see us get into the CL places and every time we seem to mess up again.

    We’ve spent the last few seasons seeing Arsenal play exciting football and not winning anything. Now even the exciting football seems to be missing. How long before ticket prices start to outweigh the entertainment of going?

  79. well we’ll have to see how well liverpool do once they get gerrard and suarez in the same team for a spell but if we pull our sox up we wont finish behind them..

    korihikage
    im annoyed with song to be honest..i dont see where this lack of form has come from, the fans have been calling him world class for ages, there was a period of games where if song didnt play we didnt win so its not like the fans have been on his back or hes not got the playing time..
    its just gone..he hasnt wore an arsenal shirt since the turn of the year and with le coq playing well i see no reason why we cant drop song..if its playing for his place thats become a problem then make him play for it again..

    as far as theos concerned, hes always been a frustrating player..but once gervinho comes back i see no reason why theo cant be made to fight for his place either..

  80. Luke – that’s a deeply crass comparison.

    I know someone in my family who suffered domestic abuse – I’m not offended as such – but it’s a stupid allegory.

    We’re all suffering here – a little perspective goes a long way.

  81. Billboy

    I did answer your question though: tipping points are in the summer once the season is over and not kneejerk reactions in mid-season with no guarantee that change will be successful. Summer gives the new incumbent time to work the players, to effect change.

  82. JJ

    to be honest, song never counted as one of my fave players. not cos he isnt good. but cos he has a habit of shutting off, being sloppy or trying to be too clever.

  83. Jonny – no harm was intended, perhaps a too senstive subject for tongue in cheek commentary.

  84. We got a point against the 4th worst team in the prem and all of a sudden we are told it is a good result.How far have Arsenal really slipped.Ngog as a lone striker and we kept a clean sheet dont make me laugh
    I suppose the table is lying.We deserve to be 7th on this seasons form
    Its a repeat of last seasons collapse when if we gain a point its looked on as a victory

    Walcott when he has to think is the worst finisher at the club.

  85. Hahaha. Luke you’re friend is a fanny.

  86. Song’s form, IMO, is purely down to him being knackered. Played in pretty much every game. Lack of options has affected him.

    There is ZERO competition for his place too – he knows he’ll start if 70% fit, you can see why his drive is disappating.

  87. Squad depth is a bit shallow at the moment, players coming back still gathering match fitness, and a few tired legs, not least Song and Ramsey. We miss a specialist left back. A key player “missing” form and confidence is of course Andrei, which has impacted quite badly. 4th most certainly achievable, as is a gong this year, and I expect both, and an exciting finish to the season. I do love this Arsenal side.

  88. Also, one of the only positive things Collymore had to say was that Song was immense tracking back and covering. But then he does talk shite, so now I’m confused.

  89. i don’t really think song is complacent. i think he is knackered. the past few games when he gave the ball away, his head dropped. i think he knows he is falling short. lets hope he can rectify it.

  90. arteta was immense tracking back and covering. we missed that against man utd, swansea.

    especially the sidewards covering you need in a 4-3-3.

    ramsey and rosicky are too free-spirited to play together.

  91. Yogi – in fairness 23 games aint a kneejerk reaction. Most people on here saw us having a difficult season if we didnt strengthen in the summer. Then it became more difficult after we lost players. This record W11, D3, L8 is the record before the transfer window closed in Jan, The squad who did this hasnt changed.

  92. YW

    When the season is over and Wenger has said judge him in May as usual.If we finish out of the top 4 will you admit he has failed?

  93. If I could, ahem, just say, that the whatchamacallit, the season, is not … um … yet, over, and doesn’t, well, finish as such, for about 3 months. If it were a game, we would be around 60-odd minutes and considering 4th as a theoretical “draw” let’s say, we are a goal down, or 2. What idiot of a fan writes his team off with half an hour on the clock, everything to play for, strikers cracking the bar, and some excellent subs about to come on (3Gs, Sagna, Gibbs etc) in what has been an otherwise weakened team? It’s infantile.

  94. YW

    Just put a note in the caledar on July first to follow this up. I really hope it all looks rosier but I find myself turning a French phrase over in my head. Le plus le change…..

  95. Why there is so much bitterness about the result last night was down to these:we are now 7th, 12pts behind spurs and champions league football slipping away.in the cold light of day,our performance was top notch.we dominated.we created chances.we harried them all over the pitch.a shift worthy of any top side.
    Imho,the next step for wenger is to get his substitutions right.when you need to score against average teams like bolton,putting on more strikers is the way to go.henry should have replaced ramsey and perhaps tr7 for song.
    Wenger claimed we finished the match with 4 strikers.no sir, we finished with 3, rvp, henry and tw14. Of the 3,only rvp was ever likely to score.removing the ox weakened our frontline considerably.

  96. Flint McCullough

    Looked a difficult pitch last night. Nice & flat but it looked v hard underneath, so the players were a bit wary about loosing their footing.
    We needed 3 points but Bolton have been in much better form of late so perhaps a point was not quite as bad as it seemed last night.

    What worries me about the games against Fulham, Swansea & Bolton, together with several other games earlier, is this inibility to build on decent starts, which fades & we run out of legs as the game goes on.

    The summer was a disaster, for whatever reason, compounded by the continuing loss to date of Jack & Diaby. It has meant the creative burden has fallen on too few players.

    I think we have to get behind what we have & just see where it ends up. All we can ask is the players are motivated for all 90+ mins of every game.

    AW deserves another close season to get in the class he wants, adapt the stlye to post Cesc, & a season with most of the key players available, particularly for the big games. There must come a time for that to happen, surely?

  97. Flint. Are you going to the game on saturday?

  98. I don’t share your satisfaction with the point. We were “supposed” to have turned the corner with the win at Aston Villa, now we needed a little extra corner turn with a draw at Bolton? This is endless buck-passing. It’s the oil money, it’s the tired legs, it’s the full backs, it’s jack wilshire’s dodgey heel. We are 7th: seventh. In February. I am finding it really hard to find the positives out of this.

  99. Luke,

    I accept the bet. My terms are that the loser pays £100 to CentrePoint.

  100. To all those lamenting about the squad – I totally agree we could use a little more depth but we have to pull behind what we have. It’ll be difficult enough for them as it is to find their coalescent winning mentality without us pulling behind what’s there.

    If you are attending games remember nervousness transmits to the team

    We’ve been on a bad little run but all good runs have to start somewhere.

    Hopefully you’ll be granted the serenity to accept things which you cannot change.

  101. Flint ,good post I agree.
    Why do the likes of Jibber and Luke seem to think it is only them who are hurt following poor results?
    They talk as if its only them who want an improvement.
    The only thing I see is that some of us don’t think we are world class managers.And some are just poor supporters.
    Being a bid fan does not make you a good supporter.

  102. Good post Flint – sums up exactly where I am.

  103. On Saturday I’d love to see the Ox out on the right and King Henry on the left. Bring Theo on after 70 minutes to run at tired defenders sure, but when we’re getting these early chances that require a cool head he’s simply not delivering.

  104. You meet a beautiful girl.Marry her and adore her.She is wonderful in every way.
    Do you leave her when her beauty fades a little and other men stop turning their heads? Or do you love her all the more because she choose you in the days she could have had anyone.And she is still wonderful.
    Man up you cunts.

  105. Flint McCullough

    Cb,

    It is not looking likely at the moment. I have got this 100 day cough thing & because of complications, I can’t ignore these things like I used to do.

    I am really pissed off because I have missed more home games this last year than the previous 40 years put together. If you would like to get in touch you can get my email from YW.

  106. YW
    It needs a lot of dedication to conduct a blog affair, every day! The quality of the readers can be gauged by HOW MANY click on The Arsenal of yesteryear and read the match reports. I note you have to remind people it is there!

    The great majority of fans acknowledge that we are reliant on the media briefings from Arsenal.com for the background information. Our opinions are formed from these slender gleanings of snippets of information and on the performances of the selected players in matches. I do have a slight advantage as I have AA23 personal views on the London Colney and The Emirates set-ups, as relayed to one or two Russian reporters. Mr. Arshavin, if asked a straight question can and will give a straight answer. For example in an article published on the 1st May 2010 does not differ in another published in November 2011; regarding AA23’s interviews with the Press, causing a rift with Mr Wenger.. Mr. Wenger has no problems with Mr Arshavin’s personal views, despite John Cross’s attempts to prove there is a “bone of contention” between the pair of them.

    As for the measly few who trawl or crawl through the internet for Anti-Arsenal and Anti-Wenger content, let them wallow in their own dung! DO NOT ALLOW THEM to detract from this blog, RIGHT!!!

  107. George, there seems to be a heavy silence after your post.

    Could this be because many men on here are in there second or third marriages?

  108. Much easier for Arsenal to sign a new striker than to ditch your Doris George. I mean, if we got rid of , he wouldn’t be entitled to take half the stadium with him now would he? Or more likely, live in the stadium and tell us to do one and make him pay him for being there. Or is that what’s happening with Bendtner, Denilson, Vela et al anyway??

  109. Notoverthehill,

    >It needs a lot of dedication to conduct a blog affair, every day! The quality of the readers can be gauged by HOW MANY click on >The Arsenal of yesteryear and read the match reports. I note you have to remind people it is there

    Probably because its only been going for 2 weeks. Still, I bow to your greater knowledge of how to run and build up a blog. Never done it myself.

  110. Sorry, there was a bit which said “insert name of your favourite underperforming player here” after “…rid of ” in my last post, but I inadvertently type it as a tag, hence the gap.

  111. Deise

    This reaction is not over 23 games, it was there in the summer. Don’t try to paint the dissention as a new phenomenon, it isn’t.

  112. Martin

    If we finish outside of the top four and deliver a cup, is it a failure. No-one is willing to answer that question.

    Good to see though, that you value finishing in the top four. Most detractors won’t admit that. Progress and there’s hope for you yet.

  113. Victor

    Buck passing? I thought KSE hadn’t made any investment, now I’m hearing of money moving. I’m confused.

  114. Ríçhieé Waweru

    Hi guys. I,ve seen a little of Chamakh at the AFCONs. Really nothing to write home about. We would have done with a striker coming in during the January window………And no Henry doesn’t count.

  115. I am hopeful that we will give Blackburn a good pasting on Saturday, starting us off on a good run. Sooner or later (sooner, I hope), the players who have been consistently just off-target are going to find their range. We have a pretty tough run of fixtures coming up, and Saturday would be a great time to find some form.

  116. I agree with the post, I don’t think to draw 0-0 at Bolton is that bad. Look at their season’s home form, they kept a clean sheet against Stoke and er….. Stoke and umm…… oh dear……..

    But hey, it doesn’t matter that from an attacking point fo view (RVP and a 18yr old aside) we’re shit. We don’t lack effort so that makes it all OK!!! No need to criticise the manager for that!

    How could he just stubbornly sit on his arse and do nothing in the transfer window? Chamkh can’t hit a barn door and Park can’t even get decent playing time when he’s not there (f**k he must be good!) What RVP has done for us this season is nothing short of amazing but not even TH14 in his pomp could carry this team to 4th.

    You & your pro Wenger propaganda can fool some people some of the time but you can’t…….. yeah you know how it goes!

  117. Oh fuck off, Dick

  118. Consolsbob, I think the club may have been inspired by your comments a few days ago: they are organising special “fan activities” after the match on Saturday…

  119. … no mention of sponges on the web site, but you never know!

  120. IMO Song is exhausted, i think that sending Frimmers away actually hurt us because he was atleast able to come on for Song for say the last 20+ mins and help keep him fresh but I also believe that with our lack of creativity in the midfield he has taken on that burden to the level of an AM because he does realize like many of us do that Ramsey isn’t the creative AM that we need and isn’t an AM at all but more of a holding midfielder thus leading Song to feel like he is playing 2 positions. I’ve read on here many of times people complaining about Song making these runs foward and pushing hire up the pitch but many times (prior to these past 5 matches) he has made brillant passes time adn time again. I do believe that our lack of a true creative midfielder is killing us right now but what baffles me is that when Rosicky starts or gets more than 10 mins in a match our team looks quicker and more fluid because he bosses the match and even AA does when given the chance to play in that role so why does AW feel that they shouldnt start in that role.

    AW buys Park and while not a pacey type of player he is quick has a great footballing brain and has an eye for goal so why doesnt he play in the dying mins when we need a goal, because AW is loyal almost to a fault to those that have produced in the past that are not producing now. I find it really strange that another attacking player was not brought in. I look at the likes of Lucho Gonzalez, Cisse, Mousaw Sow, and the striker Newcastle just signed and they were all within our “budget” and can not only play outwide but also as a lone striker in our 4-3-3 and Sow and Lucho said they wanted to play for Arsenal and yet we don’t even take a look. Have I dare say that AW has lost it and now instead of buying game changing players he is buying future players and stopgate players.

    I support this Arsenal club until the bitter end and will believe until the last match of the season that 4th and FA cup glory is achievable!!! so fight on Gooners

  121. Pushing my feelings and emotions aside about the players and manager……

    Until our ball movement improves, our series of disappointing results will continue.

    We have drifted into a style of play that is careless, slow, and conservative.

    If your prime asset is skill, and you don’t utilize it with quick inter-passing, then you allow other teams to cut down your space and time – negating your artistry.

    The 07/08 team……fantastic swift play. There was no dilly dallying of endless lateral and back passes……….and

    players had experience and/or high confidence levels with AND without the ball. Our movement off the ball was top class. Hleb – Rosicky – Cesc (and even Flamini) – Hi IQ’s.

    This team’s movement off the ball is going un-noticed OR the teammate is afraid to take the risk OR too slow of thought to make the pass at the right moment.

    By the way……Yogi, excellent write up.

  122. YW
    I think most Arsenal fans, along with millions of others no doubt, value finishing fourth. But it does seem like a dangerous lack of ambition.
    I remember when studying for a management qualification in the late 60’s early 70’s a lecturer was talking about nationalised industries. He said they always made losses because they aimed to break even rather than make a profit and in that case the slightest set-back would inevitably result in a loss. Do you see where I’m going with this, grasshopper?

  123. Billy’s Boots

    I think it is not just about being off target. I have a feeling that our current midfielders are not natural finishers. Finishing doesn’t come as easily and instinctively as them as say, passing or controlling the ball.

  124. YW – when Wenger was claiming 4th as ‘a trophy’ – or as more important than either domestic cup – he was pilloried in many quarters. Le Grove (did you see its makeover BTW?) repeatedly asserted that fans just want to win something.

    On that basis, if we win the FA Cup this year but finish 7th, I don’t think any of them can complain.

    I wonder if Spurs ascendancy this year will have altered the perspective of some though as regards the top 4. I remember when the spuds won the league cup in 08 and suffering endless taunts as we had not won anything that season – I could care less because we were at least in the CL the next year.

    Don’t know how those arguments would stack up in reverse..?

  125. …and there was me thinking it was because they lacked competition

  126. ..nationalised industries that is

  127. Keysersoze, I think that’s fair. Ramsey, in particular, seems to have a good eye for goal – unfortunately, it has so far not been matched by good shooting accuracy. I think it will come.

  128. Sorry to see Arsenal draw the match. Although for me the impact of this match was mellowed down when I read another story from Egypt. Football should not become a reason to take lives.

  129. Billy

    Your position is contradictory. You cannot value finishing fourth if it signals a lack of ambition. If you believe the latter, you must detest the former.

    Nationalised industries were designed to lose money never to profit because they aimed at breakeven. Absolutely because they were funded by the taxpayer and any intention to profit would policitally have been seen as what is now termed, a stealth tax. Add into the that mix rampant overcharging by suppliers and extravagant employment policies across the board, they were never going to make a profit. Your lecturer is taking a too simplistic view or you’re presenting it as such.

    If that’s your standard of teaching, I’ll pass on the grasshopper bit but thanks for the offer, Granddad. 😉

  130. @Arsesession

    I am in agreement with you. You can see the difference in the team when Rosicky is starting and playing that swift faster paced faster thinking Arsenal that is devasting to opponents. While Arteta has played in the EPL for years he still posses quick thinking and not only movement but passing as well. the problem IMO is by no fault of his own just the way he plays is Ramsey taking tooo mnay touches before deciding what to do.

    The movement is there whether it be Theo making a darting run into the box or RVP tormenting the shoulders of the CB’s but when they make those moves the pass doesnt arrive because instead of taking 1-2 touches then releasing he takes 4-5 touches and then its too late.

    I know Song has been criticised for his lack of play over the past couple of games but i do feel that he does posses this ability just look at the pass that led to the 1st penalty against Villa but Song is a DM and one of teh best in the EPL so….we have to find an creatiev quick thinking AM but we already have him in Rosicky

    Helb is free of contract?!?!?!?! anyone anyone yea i thought it was kind of funny to but hey AW told Chamakh he could stay so why not

  131. Jabba's Delights

    Fuck the passing we need some one to put the ball in the back of the net. A number of fans with zero days in football said this a year ago, our incredibly well paid manager thinks we dont.

    Our wonderful manager has brought in Chamack and Park in the last 2 years as players who can cover for adebayor…………………..you actually cant make this up

  132. Jonny

    Don’t read it myself because I know we come from entirely opposite viewpoints and would rarely agree on anything.

    I’m still waiting for people to answer the question; no top four finish plus a cup win: success or failure.

    I doubt I’ll get one because the ‘doom’ position is entirely flexible and refuses to pin itself down to any one view or position.

  133. I’m with Arsesession. That midfield of Hleb/Flamini/Rosicky/Fabregas was astonishing in terms of speed of thought and passing accuracy.

  134. Jabba

    I’m moved to tears by your post at 1.39, moved to tears. I always believed that there was hope for the human race but when something that bloody stupid is posted, I give up.

  135. YW, I consider myself something of a middle-of-the-roader and try not to get too het up one way or the other. I would consider a cup win success this year. Nothing raises the spirits like collecting a pot at Wembley.

  136. Block4

    Indeed, as do I. Yet this is the inherent contradiction of the negative position: Trophies, trophies, trophies but finishing outside the top four is failure?

    I’ll ask again: outside top four and FAC. Success or failure? Simple question.

  137. @YW

    I feel that it would be a success if our sole purpose was to chase and win trophies and not be in the champions league. While i still believe that a top 4 finish is a very real possibility, many of our fans me included enjoy and love winning and winning things. Most of the time when people talk about Arsenal they talk about our trophy drought and us being ok with finishing in the top 4 and not winning anything. I do wish that we would win the FA cup because liek in many countries winning a domestic trophy if you are clearly out of the league championship race is what they strive for and even in the EPL.

    So to answer your question more directly i would say it is more success than failure.

  138. Flint McCullough

    Good to see you still firing on all cylinders, Frank.

    Project youth (1) did not in the end have the legs or that element of fortune that it needed to bring a success obvious enough for the doomers.

    What it did was shelter us from proper transition after a long period at the pinnacle. After 53, 71 & 91 we were mid-table or worse. Post Cesc, in the age of the Chavs & City we are again in transition & have AW to thank that we can even be where we are.

    The situation is still basically good. We have 5 or 6 players good enough to get in any PL team plus 3 or 4 getting there. We have missed the class of Cesc, no doubt but Jack not being available has left us playing this season with a huge handicap. We do need some more class so it is better to get by for now but AW has to find a couple of super+ players in for next term.

  139. Jabba, the only thing I think I TRULY could not make up is how much you use variations of the phrase ‘you actually cant make this up’.

  140. C

    I understand your point but there is an inherent weakness contained within it:

    I feel that it would be a success if our sole purpose was to chase and win trophies and not be in the champions league

    If I understood that, you would prefer to win the FA Cup and Carling Cups instead of finishing in the top four. Every single season? I don’t think so, pretty soon the charm of winning a trophy would pass or more likely, greed sets in and you want a league title. Then you get to win that and play in the Champions League and suddenly you want more of that, domestic competitions become less important…

  141. Yogi

    To me it is a failure. I have always prioritised being in the Champions League over FA/Carling Cup. Wenger has always maintained this position as well. So I can’t say that your scenario is a success either from my expectation as a fan, or from Wenger’s expectations.

  142. Yogi, I’m not sure success is mutually exclusive in those situations. A cup is success, so is top 4. I already said I’d prefer top 4 though. Ask Birmingham fans if they’d rather have stayed up than win the CC. Dito Portsmouth.

    Also, George knows the score. Man up ya bunch of fannies!

  143. Cup wins can be a boost to fan and may be also player morale. But at the end of the day it doesn’t prove how good or bad you are. We have had Portsmouth and Birmingham win cups in the recent past! Would love the adrenaline rush, but to revel in a cup win at the expense of maintaining our position amongst Europe’s elite would be a tacit admission of mediocrity…

  144. We were having a discussion here at work the other day about when the FA Cup actually meant something (2 forty-odd year-olds and 2 twenty-odd). Maybe being in the former category makes me think that a cup win is success rather than the top four Champions League treadmill every year. The first trophy I can truly remember Arsenal winning was the 1979 FA Cup, a truly glorious last-minute win too and I had to look up wheer we finished in the league that year just now as I really had no idea. Turns out it was seventh, but we won the cup so who cared?

    I would happily settle for that right now and see it as success. Getting that trophy under their belt and having a productive Summer squad-wise might actually help the league form next time round.

  145. 4th is the bigger prize for those that view the bigger picture – I think it’s only now some short-termists are recognising that. You don’t love as much until it’s taken away.

  146. Markus

    That’s not the point though is it. The ‘doomer’ position is that they want Wenger out because they claim he only targets top four. Yet I’m hearing that this is the demanded. Indeed, this season by those standards, is the first time he might fail to meet those targets.

  147. I think this distinction between cup trophies and a CL place is a false one, for me anyways ( I can’t speak for doomers).

    We want to be the best we can be, given the resources we have.

  148. Yogi,

    I understand what your saying and agree with you but also at the same time I am also a believer that if you are in sports to win and win cups and trophies then at this point in this season for whatever reason we have proved ourselves capable and one of the favorites to win th FA cup and havent shown the same form in the EPL. This year yes i would consider the FA cup a success but like i have stated before and will continue to state we should always be striving to be the greatest side in the world which would mean getting into the top 4 and winning the CL. This is a down year for us that we have all stated but down doesnt mean out and we are still in to win teh FA cup and CL and finish top 4 so ask me again after the season when 2 of those 3 things will have happened.

  149. Yogi. Interesting post. Before the game we all said it was a must have 3 pointer. Saying it was an ok result because it wasn’t as bad a result as the games before it. Hmmm.

    When you look at the names in our squad on a piece of paper we should comfortably be 3rd and within a reasonable distance from the top 2. On paper last season we should have won the league by a country mile. Either the players are not as good as I think or we have not getting the best out of them for the last few years. Not sure which to believe anymore.

    (Unlike last night) The game this weekend is truly a must win game. Blackburn have beaten us once and apparently they played well when they lost against Newcastle and they beat united at OT. They will come in brimming with confidence and ready for a fight. We need 3 points and we need to start our run towards 4th. Can’t wait any longer.

  150. Turns out it was seventh, but we won the cup so who cared?

    May be no one did because things were different then. Only one club per country went into the Europe’s elite competition, so it didn’t matter whether you finished 2nd or 7th.

  151. Jabba's Delights

    Yogi’s Warrior | February 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    no top 4 but a trophy?

    If you’d have told me this last year i would have taken it, as i believed that team just needed to win something together an could then gone on to better things.

    With this current team it wont be good enough as it will probably fail to keep RVP. This team is so far away from winning a championship or even competing for one its not funny especially so with this manager who has all the flexibility of the titanic. The fact is arsenal should be looking to get to around 80 points every season. we cant do that with this manager at the helm.

    The manager is completely out of his depth these days he has no plan anymore and its sad to see.

  152. Maybe you’re right Keyser, but it’s a sad day when people can’t revel in winning a trophy (should we win it) because we didn’t finish fourth in the league. A sad, ugly day.

  153. Block 4

    I think revel was not the correct word I used. I said that I would love the adrenaline rush, which is actually reveling. But judging whether a season is a success or a failure is not an adenaline charged decision, so once the euphoria dies down a bit, probably next season when we are playing Banik Ostrava away in the Europa League on Thursday night, I would look back at it as not a resounding success in the larger scheme of things!

  154. I was just talking to a friend of mine who doesnt really follow soccer other than the world cup and CL and he had an interesting thought about your question Yogi.

    He said we as competitors play for 2 things and thats to be the best(individually and as a team) and win(leagues, trophies, cups, awards, etc.). He then went on to say(after i explained our current situation) that if being the best is top 4 and winning the FA cup, he would take the FA cup because it could bring us the confidence and be a springboard for us next year.

    question on the table: If we when the FA cup or EPL last year does Cesc and/or Nasri stay?

  155. I wasn’t trying to put words in your mouth Keyser, “revel” was all me.

  156. I must say Yogi, Id take fourth place over the FA cup any day. The Champions League is a different story all together. But then if we were to win that finishing fourth wouldn’t really matter would it. We would still get to play in the CL anyway.

  157. Yogi. You know as well as i that there is no real right or wrong answer to your question. Historically top 4 place has always been the highest priority to the club, much higher then FA or CC so missing the top 4 means the club failed to meet it’s own minimum requirement for a successful season. Winning the FA cup would certainly make the disappointment of playing in the Europa league or not playning in any international competition somewhat more palatable.

  158. Yogi, dropping out of the top 4 would be expected based on wages and transfer expenditure alone. I couldn’t therefor classify it as a failure, but I wouldn’t be very happy with it either. The FA Cup would be some consolation, but as keysersoze said above:

    “to revel in a cup win at the expense of maintaining our position amongst Europe’s elite would be a tacit admission of mediocrity…”

    That has some truth to it, but only if it becomes our goal in seasons to come. For me dropping out of the top four for the first time in 15 years in itself would not be enough for me to lose heart and believe that we’re in decline. I don’t want to be one of these fans pinning their hopes on FFP, but even already it is clear that the doping that we’ve seen in recent years cannot continue on the scale it has. Our club being run the way it is is enough to give me hope for the immediate and long-term future.

    If we fall short of the top 4 at the expense of the FA Cup I would find it very difficult see that as success. If we fall short of top 4 having not made FA Cup number 1 priority I’m not going to turn around and winge that we could have went for the FA Cup after all.

    Also, well done, I couldn’t even translate Jabba’s 1.39.

  159. Limestonegunner

    This is a false hypothetical choice–maybe fun to think about but no real judgment is valuable until the season is over. We should judge in May. Context is important; it isn’t abstract. And we won’t know that context until the season unfolds and ends.

    Right now we should be trying to win our cup games domestically and in Europe and doing our utmost to get back into the top four. All of these will be a huge challenge and are all important. The only point at which any decisions would be affected is because of thinness of our squad. If a player needs a rest, should he be saved for the league game or played in the FA cup match or European tie? That’s the real issue now that we have passed the window and our squad is our squad subject to injuries and returns.

  160. Why should we be aiming for top for when we should be aiming to win the league?

  161. lol i mean FOUR

  162. Isn’t it a matter of expectations being shaped by performance ? After many years of challenging for the title, 4th place looked like we were resigned to losing ground, so wasn’t considered to be ambitious enough for us. Now I reckon most people would view 4th as a good result for this team. I would. I’d prefer that to the FA cup if only because it might mean we’d be able to keep players or attract new ones. I’d be happy with just winning the Champions League though.

  163. Jabba's Delights

    Yogi

    Actually the sad part is is that you assess wenger in exactly the same way that a doomer does. But the difference being the doomer doesnt let there infinite affection for the manager affect the fact that there own litmus test has been passed for a failure of that manager

    Its you who stated ”Season’s over, you know what has happened. The question then becomes, can the manager deliver an improvement on the previous season. ”

    I completely agree and the FACT is this manager who 3 seasons has failed your very own test and is making an even bigger shocker of this one despite fantastic self generated resources. he has wasted a fantastic position.

    Anybody who bothers to read our key players quotes and not put things down to a worldwide media bias will see the players openly questioning why we dont sign better players. What honestly do you believe was RVP reaction to not bringing anyone in this window?

    statistics show that for 4years this squad has been a 4th place competing team. its not looking that good this year. the club must be more proactive at trying to arrest that problem. i fully understand that getting players of the calibre of sagna, santos, wilshere and diaby back can have a galvanising affect on the squad in thevsecond half of the season BUT those players lsst year were fit and playing for this sme arsenal stide that struggled mightily at the business end of the year minus nasri and cesc. surely if we were doing all we can in a self sustaining way we would have tried to bring an x factor which could lift the whole club from top to botom in order to better our chances of reaching our MINIMUM target. fine lets not be aggressive if we are happy hitting our conservative target each year in these crazytimes with city money around. surely however if that conservtive minimum target is in doubt he club should aggresivly set out to maintain that.

  164. Limestonegunner

    Does anyone know how the schedule for the CL quarters will be determined, presuming we get past AC Milan? Will our home leg be first or second? I don’t know if I can get a ticket but I’ll be in London March 27/28 (and one the Saturday away to QPR, but no way to get an away ticket at such a small ground, I presume). I’m hoping we’d be home for that match rather than the second leg on April 3rd.

  165. Lets support the team.

    I am very dissapointed that we lost but Saturday is another game.

    People say that a lack of spending is the problem, well how is it that Barca and City are in poor spells? They have lost and drawn against teams who have spent way less than they have. The divide is greater than between us Bolton. If it is all down to spendin then certain should never lose of draw. Very simple.

    It is not all about money, we simply did not score but we should have won the game with ease. We crowned Henry king after the Leed’s game and now we say we cannot finish. We are very selective to say the least.

    I would say that we moved the ball very well and with pace. I was impressed. It’s true that we lacked composure in front of goal. The confusing thing is that it is players who we have seen score goals. They are not bad finishers but as I said yesterday, they seem to be trying too hard. I fully expect that to change.

    ARSENAL!

    Also in football other teams do get chances to score, that does not mean that we defended poorly.

  166. Clay, it’s a good point. Talk of lowering expectations doesn’t sit well with me. Aim high… except when in front of goal.

  167. Limestonegunner

    I assume that no good opportunity for a quality player turned up this window. No Arshavin, Reyes, Adebayor level talent seemed possible to acquire. Otherwise I do think the club would have gone for it because last time 4th position was as under threat we pushed the Arshavin deal through.

  168. Paul Im not sure if Arsenal supporters really should be saying that City and Barca are having poor spells. We would be creaming our pants if we were in either one of their positions.

  169. Billboy: “I remember when studying for a management qualification in the late 60′s early 70′s a lecturer was talking about nationalised industries. He said they always made losses because they aimed to break even rather than make a profit and in that case the slightest set-back would inevitably result in a loss. Do you see where I’m going with this, grasshopper?”

    And how did that turnout grasshopper? Your lecturer is an idiot and so are you.

  170. In my opinion, top 4 or a FA cup being seen as a success depends if you look in the short term or the medium/long term.
    If you just look at the season alone obviously winning the FA Cup is more a sucess than the top 4.
    On the other hand if you look on the longer term, i would see a top 4 spot as better success because, by being in the CL not only brings you more revenue but more importantly more prestige which enables you to keep hold of your best players, attracts top class players and therefore help you improve your team.

    I would therefore see finishing in the top 4 as the priority and the FA Cup a bonus (or CL as could still win it)

  171. limestonegunner

    the players were obviously their, look at Mousa Sow and the striker Newcastle signed. The issue is that Arsene believes that our squad didnt need to sign anybody to make an immediate impact like those players for various reasons only he knows. Part of it is his loyalty to his players which is a great quality to have can also be damning if your loyalty blinds you and the obvious needs of your club.

  172. Jabba's Delights

    Paul-N | February 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Your completly right its not all down to money, it also comes down to management.

    This is a an arsenal team that plays in one formation which was built around cesc who is no longer at the club.

    It is madness now to expect the same production out of a player who is 1) still leaning is his game after disgraceful injury and 2) not remotely like cesc.

    The defence despite having some quality individuals still resembles a rabbit caught in the headlights whenever the opposition have th ball.

    The attack still finds it hard to break down teams who defend deep with allot of numbers becasue we still havent developed a game whereby good consistent crosses are met by a number of attackers attackign the ball in the box.

    You complain about hearing the same bullshit from some of us on here…..How about hearing the same bullshit from your manager week afetr week year after year and yet then nothing is done. At least we are right about we say.

  173. Privatized industries that is.

  174. Gunnerjones, they are.

  175. gunnerluc, just to point out the giant flaw in your argument, where are our best players now? Being in the top four for the past fifteen years doesn’t seem to have enabled us to hold onto them does it?

    Having top players really is all about money and it doesn’t even seem that being in the Champions League year after year generates enough to enable us to keep our best players. I don’t know what else the club can do, I see winning a trophy, whatever trophy, as well as pushing the boat out wages-wise essential to getting the likes of van Persie to sign on again. We put Fabregas on huge money as he was obviously our best player to keep him, we should do the same with van Persie and hopefully do some shrewd business in the Summer.

  176. Fuck the depressing cunts. Let’s talk about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the way he totally abused Steinsson. A bit more game time and that boy will be tearing teams apart.

  177. Limestone @ 2:56

    I understand the difficulty with getting players in january but if we really had a need for a specific player or 2 then the club has to be proactive rather then patiently waiting for a good opportunity to fall into our laps.

    Paul @ 2:52:

    It’s not that spending is a guarantee of success and we cant spend man city type money, but if we actually used what we do have it could certainly improve our chances of nicking 4th and it would give us a leg up for next year Giving us the best chance is all that we can ask. No one is going to stop supporting he team but it’s getting more and more difficult to rationalize what is happening.

  178. Gainsborgh69, little bit harsh?

  179. Our team has suffered great injuries in the same are and our play was affected by it. Nothing to do with poor managing, we have the best.

    If that is the case, Barca and City are being managed poorly also.

  180. We can have feelings and thoughts about league position and a trophy 24/7…..

    but the reality is that IF our level of play doesn’t improve, another set of bigger issues unfold for the club, manager, players, and fans. (as suggested weeks ago)

    As Bill mentions above, “Either the players are not as good as I think or we have not getting the best out of them for the last few years.”

    Well Bill, I believe its more of the latter…..as a result of youthful inconsistency. Too many starters under the age of 24.

    We are finally seeing a defense that is consistent. Per – Kos – Ver – Sag all in the 25 – 28 year range.

    Szcz, Ramsey, Theo, Chamberlain, Coquelin, Gibbs, Jenkinson, and even Wilshere are all works in progress.

    When we have a line up that uses more than 2 of these players, our level of play is in jeopardy. (just my opinion)

    Additionally, there is far too much uncertainty within and around Arsenal at the moment. Much of this is fueled by pundits and media that prey on fears and negativity……and its effect has an immediate impact on our thoughts and feelings – resulting in our views.

    After losing Cesc and Nasri, it wouldn’t surprise me that some of the remaining players have doubts in club, manager, and teammates……and that those doubts we are seeing manifested in their play. (again, my own speculation)

    Lets keep faith that Arsene can sort this all out.

  181. Jabba's Delights

    Paul N

    We have lost Sagna and Santos.

    There 2 replacements are green youngsters with 20 top flight games between them. Santos was injured whlst playing in a dead rubber and Jenkinson was the reserve right back as wenger deemed it correct to sell one of the best reserve right backs in the league and then sign charlton reserve right back who had never shwon himself capable to withstand the rigours of the championship let alone the prem.

    Now your comparing our plight to City and Barca your actually mad

  182. Bill, I believe injuries yet again have messed us up. It is not a lack of talent or depth. I love this team.

  183. Jabba – I must carry out this request from a fellow commentor on another blog (who shall remain anonymous):

    *delivers deadly smash directly to your bollocks*

    Sorry mate, don’t shoot the messenger :-p

  184. No, Jabba, I think in the way doomers like to think they think but they don’t. Not one of that position has said wait until the summer before we judge him on this season’s performance. It is now about getting the best out of the resources available.

    Media quotes are platitudes. Players want good players joining irrespective of the situation; it’s about strengthening. The manager signs players who he believes will improve the squad he has at any moment in time. There is a risk in that, even the best players can struggle at clubs.

    Has he wasted a fantastic position? Certainly the 2004 squad seems to have broken up too quickly but when it did, The Emirates construction dictated that youth be promoted. He did that but heads were turned by moneys offered elsewhere and in one case, the lure of home and the world’s most successful team in the current game.

    I don’t presume to guess what RvPs view is. I don’t know the man, never spoke to him and wouldn’t be stupid enough to project my own opinions on him. Anyone who says he is unhappy is not worth listening to.

    There is a widespread and unfounded presumption that the club don’t try to sign outstanding players. First and foremost, a lot of them want more money which they can get elsewhere. Second, you have to agree a price with the selling club. Arsenal have failed to sign many players in the past four years despite contact – Alonso is the one that I think we really missed out on at the time – so it is entirely inaccurate to state that the club have not tried to do anything.

  185. Jabba, please understand this and dont be so full of yourself.

    Barca and City are going through rough spells without all of these injuries and they have world class players as back up. If it is all down to world class player’s and money then they should not be going through this.

    Gibbs is not green, that is rubbish. Jenks maybe young but he has played well and crosses the ball beautifully. Funny how we talk about players being green, but lets throw OX in the fire.

    WE have had more players that those injured at a time when we were on the up swing.

  186. Play with Passion

    I think your analysis is spot on with regard to the game itself.

    What is troubling about this season, especially now that the window has closed, is that we are not a “big squad,” and it’s not because AW doesn’t have quality and numbers to put on the pitch. Yes, we could sign new. Yes, we could have fewer injuries. The real issue though, in light of the lack of signings and the injuries is the refusal to start new talent, even when the existing is clearly exhausted.

    I would rather lose with an extra young player thrown in, who can at least gain from the experience, than see experienced players not play to their potential because of physical and psychological exhaustion. One of the good, young players should get substantial minutes in each game — in addition to whomever has “won” a starting spot. We need more exhuberance on the pitch!

  187. Block4

    I didn’t mean to say you were putting words into my mouth. I had myself used revel, reading your post I realised that it was not the appropriate word.

  188. Gainsborough69

    Don’t think you got that. His point was they would always fail and, as YW later poits out, cost the taxpayer. not the right forum for a political argument but the point is that if you set your sights low you put yourself in a position where slight underachievement is a failure.

    YW
    Your question to me at 11.17. Did you mean what you said only your recent comments/questions go differently?

  189. Block 4

    Agree but Cesc left for a complete different reason. But let’s take the example of a target desired by many, Eden Hazard.
    What do you think would be the most appealing for him, that we just won the FA cup and will play in the Europa league or we haven’t won a trophy but are in the Champions league?

    For me there is no question that CL football would be more appealing.

  190. Here is the only FACT that matters.
    Anyone who call an opinion a FACT is in FACT an imbecile.
    Also anyone who claims a Fact as their opinion is a stupid cunt.
    Do you get my point Jibber.
    No?I thought not .Because you are an moron,FACT.

    PS
    Also anyone who writes fact as FACT is a thick prick…..oh ! hang on…..

  191. Yogi’s Warrior | February 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Martin

    If we finish outside of the top four and deliver a cup, is it a failure. No-one is willing to answer that question.
    ______________________________________________

    I’ll take no CL next season and an FA Cup and call myself pleased. This team needs the feel of winning something, not just the fans.

  192. Arsesession @ 3;17

    I agree, I dont think that we have gotten the best out of our players the last few years, but your explanation has few holes. Last years team not an unusually young team and it was a very experienced team. Most of us thought our only real young player was our 2nd best player and this years team is not young at all and is highly experienced yet neither team has performed to the standard you would expect based on the talent on the team sheet. Hard to understand.

  193. Good call on Alonso YW – I have often wondered what might have happened if we had not baulked at the fee. He was a player who I think really would have added something.

    We’ll never know but, from where we are sat, with the benefit of hindsight, that looks like a poor decision.

  194. YW

    Will RVP stay at a club that wins the FA cup or join a club who plays in the CL and has real ambitions to win titles

    When Wenger said finishing 4th is like winning a trophy he was wrong.It is better.To be in the CL you are sitting at the top table in Europe with the Super clubs

    Sod the FA cup we are a big club aren’t we?

  195. Well Paul, Im not sure Id call being in second place in both their respective leagues and Barca are in the cup, and Champs League, Man City can win the league for the first time in God knows how long after winning the FA cup last season. Not quite the same plight that we are in. Not even nearly. Imagine we were in second place in the league ? Every one on here would be beaming, saying who gives a fuck about the cups its the league that matters.
    I just dont think its a good comparison thats all.

  196. gunnerluc,

    I take the point on Fabregas, an exceptional case.

    Look others though (without any revisionism now as I’m sure there will be plenty to call them all useless cunts anyway), Adebayor, Clichy, Nasri, Toure, Hleb, Flamini, Cole. Not all of them are everyone’s cup of tea, granted (I was glad to see that back of one or two of them mysllef), but the common demoninator there is money, big money and money we weren’t willing or were unable to give them. So I think my point, being that being in the Champions League every year does not mean we can keep our best players, stands.

    I’ve deliberately left out the likes of Pires, Henry, Ljungberg, Gilberto and Lehmann out of that as they left for other reasons, some related to money, some not.

  197. Jabba if you look at Barca and City they are missing key players thus they struggle. Barca has Inesta injured and is struggling because one of their top 3 most important players is missing so they struggle and it happened earlier in teh year as well when he went injured. Shiteh are missing Yaya and Kolo, arguably 2 of their most important players with Yaya bossing midfields all over the EPL and they struggle because of them missing. We are missing not 1 or 2 key players but we were missing 4 1st choice players for at the minimum a couple weeks(Arteta only missed a couple games but him on top of already missing Wilshire, Sagna, Santos) was difficult and then to lose their backups was even more devasting. Think of what would happen to the Mancs if they lost Rooney, Evra, Smalling and their replacements, i bet you they wouldnt’ be sitting 2nd

  198. Hmmmmmm George ,, you should go read some of Franks posts,, he has alot of facts,,, just saying ( smily face )

  199. G69

    Is that why Wenger took off The Ox and kept on Walcott then?That explains a lot.Take off our best player on the pitch and leave on our worse

  200. Gunnerjones, I am not dealing with winning anything, I am talking about teams having a bad spell. My point is that you cannot simply equate a bad spell to a lack of spending, because if you do then what about City and Barca?

    So, I am not comparing Arsenal to Barca and City as far as league position and/or winning anything.

    We can also win competitions that City don’t have a chance to win, have you considered that?

  201. Martin

    i dont think Walcott is our worst player because we forget that in order for people to complain about him and his missing easy chances and not being composed right infront of goal he has to be good enough to get into those positions which then doesnt make him our worst, right? or is it that he can’t stay composed enough when in the positions he puts himself into to score which means more training shooting then anything.

  202. Martin,Ox our best player on the pitch?
    And I suppose you wonder why people think you a fool.

  203. For what it’s worth, I’d take an FA cup trophy this season. Let’s just drop the friggin’ ‘trophy-less for x years’ albatross’ and get some confidence back. These are Hard Times, without Great Expectations..

  204. Martin is obviously a Walcott hater.

    He played well yesterday, needs to get his finishing going.

  205. You can blame anyone you want for anything you want Paul N.
    All you have to do is be stupid and very simplistic.

    If I had bought a better Snooker cue when I was younger I would have won the world championship.FACT

  206. ponyboy, what the Dickens are you on about?

  207. @pedantic george

    he forgot about that guy that dons the #10 with that magical left foot with that wears the captains armband that has carried us to were we currently are this season

  208. Frank.

    Done.

  209. Yes c,and Per and LK6,and Sagna and Arteta.

  210. Luke .what about my question regarding Martin Keown?

  211. YW – “I’m still waiting for people to answer the question; no top four finish plus a cup win: success or failure.

    For me, it would be a failure. It would be great to win a cup as a fan, but for a club of our stature no CL football could be a big hit. Your lge position is the stick by which a club is measured, not a cup.

  212. ”We have yet to win a league game in 2012. We’ve been overtaken in
    the league by Newcastle and Liverpool,teams who I think we can objectively look at as average, at best. Which, if we remain objective, tell us a lot about ourselves.”
    by arseblog

  213. just out of curiousity more than anything. Since Aresne clearly doesnt want to start Rosicky and prefers Ramsey, once Gervinho comes back would the thought of say at times a front 4 of Gervinho RVP Theo and Ox(only since AW and Ox said that they can see him playing in the center of midfield in the AM role) letting them press high and have Arteta and Song holding and playing quick balls. One can only dream

  214. Of course it is a cup. Don’t be fooled by the name. 😉

  215. Dont get me started with arseblog.
    Fuck me, you may as well quote Alan Davies.At least he is genuinely funny.
    Quoting “arseblog” tells us a lot about you Ace.

  216. The same Newcastle that plastered United and the same Pool that kicked both United and City out of cup competitions?

    What a stupid comment by Arseblog. They are both teams that are playing well.

  217. Going back to YW’s question about a cup and finishing outside the top 4; what if we won the CL and finished 5th? I am really not sure what I would make of that. It would be like being married to the most gorgeous woman in the world, but yet she makes you sleep on the sofa every night.

  218. GA, but since playing CL is the big problem, you wouldn’t really have one. So your wife would be on the sofa with you as far as I can see. A little uncomfortable but you get my point.

  219. Interesting post Yogi and one of the few “positive” posts I’ve read today. I disagree with you that “We feel we have dropped two points because we had chances to win the game.” In fact I honestly felt we were hanging on a bit at the end and was glad to hear the final whiste!
    This is a team we really should be beating if we hope to finish in the top 4. No I feel disappointed today because I agree with one of your last comments, “All in all, it is a disappointment. The game was there, Bolton are not a good side, certainly not the obstinate opponents of yesteryear.” Sums it all up really.

  220. So now you are settling for the notion that Newcastle and Liverpool may actually be better than us this season? Great.

    I don’t see why the angst against Arseblog; that and ACLF are the only Arsenal Blogs worth reading. But are usually on the ball with their observations.

  221. George, what question was that?

    Also Frank, I’ll nominate a chairty of my choice, if indeed I win.

  222. Paul – I fear you may have misunderstood my post mate.

  223. Luke ,what make you think that someone who was taking his coaching badges and had nothing,ziltch ,no,absolutly fuck all, coaching responsibilities,was in any way responsible for the good defensive work in the CL run 2006.Rather than the coaching staff who were actually doing the coaching(and still are)?

  224. GA, get a grip bro. The thing is they are playing well, and they have both beaten top team’s in the league. For Arseblog to try to minimize that to put us down is ridiculous.

    I fully believe that we will be above both but right now they have played better overall.

  225. Billboy @3.33pm

    In what way? I always question the manager in the summer. It’s been an easy answer so far. Who knows what next summer will bring until we get there. Nothing new or contradictory there.

  226. GA, you said this.

    “For me, it would be a failure. It would be great to win a cup as a fan, but for a club of our stature no CL football could be a big hit.”

    If we win the CL, we will be in the CL next year, no?

  227. Just to second what everyone has been saying but winning the League/FA Cup but finishing below 4th would be a failure, as easy as that. Winning the CL is obviously something different, we could finish 16th for all I care if we managed to do that.

  228. Jabba's Delights

    Yogi

    Its always the same with you guys though, its a never ending cycle of pandering to a manager your now besotted with. He himself asked to be judged last summer and yet he wasnt he then presided over one of the most disasterous summers in the history of football. Just by reviewing his own quotes and seeing what happened this can be understood.

    Your right we must make do with our resources now and midseason sackings dont necasarily have a great effect. However when this summer comes he should be very politely asked to step upstairs or step aside. The club is wonderfully set up for the long term due to his brilliance. It is also in 7th and losing its best players at a rate of notes with an incredibly divided fanbase due to his awful managment in recent times.

    You ask how he has wasted a fantastic position? At the beginining of last summer we had money and 2-3 needs in the squad in terms of players. The best way of keeping nasri and cesc would have been taking them for their word and showing some ambition within our limits. We choose to buy gervinho. The manager could have spent what for us is fantastic amount of money and we may well have had a better chance of keeping our best players. The manager didnt he sat on the money allowed the players to bully him in the same way a a death blind old man can be manipulated by just about anyone. Thats what we got from our manager in that situation.

    What makes it worse is that despite all of this happening in front of his face he failed to come up with a plan. 3 weeks after they were sold once the season had started did he move. Mertasacker was available all summer our manager has stated he only choose to buy him when vermalan got injured…………………….can you fucking imagine the state we would be in now.

    with regards to RVP. Maybe you would do better to start listening to what our players say rather than our manager who has a track record of talking bullshit. When Cesc quotes came out last year you and others on here just glossed over them yet in reality they were completly true. RVP has stated time and time again that we need more quality. He will not sign a new contact at this club and the only person to blame on that is the fuckign manager. This window was a wonderful opportunity and he fucked it. His stupid arrogance got the better of him and he went and bought a 19 year old german midfielder who hasnt played a first team game wehn this squad this fanbase was absolutley crying for some inspiration they got nothing.

    The fact is listening to your comments day in day out one would think that we have the best side in the world , why then have they performed to such an average degree over the past coupe of years. Why does this team fail to respond to our managers crys on such a consistent basis. Why is the fanbase starting to hate their own manager

  229. Jibber .In a recent poll (last week)16% of fans wanted Arsene to go.
    76% wanted him to stay
    100% thought you a boring twat.

  230. @block 4 ~ nice one, my Mutual Friend! (Running out now.. can’t squeeze a Martin Keown-Chuzzlewit in there, or a Tale of two Shitties by any chance)??

    @ goonerandy – agree; Arseblog is a great site… yep, he’s not that popular here for some reason, but he’s always positive and often very funny. There are so few positives around atm, why turn against our own?

    Le grave’s ‘gambon’…that fucker deserves some pain.

  231. I think you got it pretty well spot on YW except the comment about Theo’s composure. The ball bounced off the keepers scrotum took a wicked deflection that even then nearly went in. No blame attached to Theo for that one.
    I would be concerned if we were playing badly and not creating chances but as we are playing well & it’s just results going against us I can live with that.
    It’s a fact of life for almost all football fans at one time or another.

  232. George, Keown’s impact on the 2006 side is well documented and well referenced. It isn’t something that was conjured out of thin air.

    As for his coaching badges? Stop being so pedantic. Has Scholes qualified as a coach? How do you know if Keown had them or not?

    I understand though. You despise anyone who suggests something is wrong with the club, no matter thier status in our long illustrious history.

  233. PG,i read 3 arsenal blogs regularly.aclf, untold and arseblog.sometimes 7am kickoff n goonerholic.sadly though, i only bother to comment on this one.but my favourite is untold.arseblog is a funny dude.cracks me up always.
    btw, yours are my favourite comments here.you invariably leave me needing stiches.not always though.

  234. And we are playing well Steww. The last two matches have seen us really go for it. The passing and movement has been a thing of beauty. We have the players to score, I trust we will improve on that end come Saturday.

  235. And if indeed your weird love in for the 2006 coaching staff is correct (in they are all still at the club)

    WTF are they doing now? Why are they regressing every year? Why do sides with wage and transfer budgets 10% of ours have better organised defences and conside less goals?

    Is it because they park the bus? Is it because they are hoofball merchants in awe of Wengerball which floods full backs forward at every opportunity with ZERO end product?

    If our defense is going to be naturally weaker due to famous attacking prrowess, why dont we score more goals?

  236. Jabba's Delights

    Yogi’s Warrior | February 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I didnt see an article from you this summer putting together a balanced argument as to Wenger summers work.

    I saw praise and more praise and now in hindsight i see you being critical. The only people being critical in the summer are the same ones who get lamented now.

    George

    (we dont need another striker)
    (diaby and rosicky can more than make up for cesc production)
    (clichy is the best lb in the league)
    (we are the best defence from open play in the league)
    (Jenkinson is better than Eboue)
    (Graham had nothign on wenger)

    You said all of the above FACT and many more things which just illustrate your total lack of understanding. You say it yorself you support Arsenal becuase of Bergkamp, Wenger and our football that is it. Time are tough for you at the moment as all you have is wenger, and with any luck one we’ve secured 4th this year the last single reason why and i share anythign in common will be over and you can go back to supporting blackburn or the next club to come and start playign some nice football.

  237. And we are playing well Steww. The last two matches have seen us really go for it. The passing and movement has been a thing of beauty. We have the players to score, I trust we will improve on that end come Saturday.

    ——–

    Vintage ACLF.

  238. “The passing and movement has been a thing of beauty. ”

    FFS Paul pull your f****** head out of the sand!

  239. @Luke
    Which side with 10% of our wage and transfer budget is conceding less goals on a regular basis? I checked last season and we were 4th in goals conceded (the teams that conceded less had higher wage and transfer bills, so I doubt they are the “10% of our budget” you are talking about)

  240. Paul – “If we win the CL, we will be in the CL next year, no?

    Good point. Do the winners automatically qualify for next years comp? I honestly don’t know.

  241. Jabba's Delights

    Paul-N | February 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    What are you judging that on. Where are the players statistical records that show they can consistently score at this level.

    Absolutley none of them have shown themselves to be consistent scorers. Once again another myth just broken by someone who cares to look at any stats.

  242. Right, thanks for asking Evil.

    Sides with better defensive records:

    City, United, Spurs, Chelsea, NEWCASTLE, Liverpool, SUNDERLAND, EVERTON, VILLA, FULHAM, SWANSEA, WBA

    We have the 13th best defence in the league. Not a great position for us to be in, considering its been our weakest part of our game for 4 years.

  243. @ Bill
    All opinions are filled with holes……as only Arsene has most of the facts, but maybe not all.

    After the CC final we seemed to have had a loss of faith – other than our home win against ManU, the wheels fell off.

    ‘after the fact’……..this is specifically to my observations:
    Unrest –
    Clichy, Cesc, Nasri – left by choice; Eboue departed; Bendtner and Denilson tried to depart. So during the latter part of the season, these players were likely distracted and not delivering their best and based on their play – didn’t.

    Youngsters:
    Szcz, Theo, Bendtner (as a winger), Denilson, Wilshere (one or two goals in 50 matches), Ramsey (returning from injury)……..too much expectation from Arsene (again my opinion).

    This years team:
    Youngsters playing a primary role in our play: Szcz, Theo, Ramsey. Those with minor roles, but seeing reasonable periods of playing time: Jenkinson, Coq, Miquel, Chamberlain, Yennaris.
    All showing promise but lacking what is needed at the moment.

    Got to run, but waiting your thoughts

  244. Actually the passing and movement was actually quite good, although it fell away towards the end of the second half. Do you fellows even watch the game or just moan?

  245. JD Gooner and Luke.

    Thank you for your responses.

    Anyway, our passing and movemant has been excellent over the past two games. Our finishing has let us down, I trust we will improve on that come saturday.

  246. George – You have some work to do to dig yourself out of your quotes from Jabba’s last post me old mucker (if you did actually say the quotes attributed to you) (especially the Rosicky/Diaby one) 😉

  247. @Luke
    And those sides you have highlighted all have 10% of our wage and transfer bills? Didn’t know that! Though I would like to point out that comparing defensive records mid-season is not really indicative of what it will be like at the end of may.

  248. The Swansea game must have been the hardest for the die hard Wenger apologists. They dominated every aspect of the game. Did it with English players, with tiny salaries, tiny budgets.

    It is, of course, a positive impact of the never ending influence Wenger has had on the English game. That will be his true legacy.

    Just seems younger, hungrier managers know how to better him frequently.

  249. Jabba's Delights

    Paul-n

    Did you watch the Villa game??????????????????????????????????????????

    We passed and moved for 15mins out of 90 for the rest of it we were pedestrian.

    Bolton we played well first half and were rubbish second half.

    The game before that we were out passed and moved by swansea

  250. @Jabba
    That part about us being the best defense from open play is true. We conceded the fewest goals from open play in 2011 and I am quite sure that George said that in the summer, so he was merely stating a fact.

  251. Luke
    Well documented?
    That is exactly it mate.
    It is repeated by the likes of you until people believe it is well documented.Where as in fact it is a crock of shit.
    Martin was being helped by the club to take his coaching badges .That is why he was at the club in that period.He did no coaching with the first team.
    Now that is fact.
    But you prefer to call the urban myth a fact.
    You chat shit .
    Just like Jibber and Arsens’e £7 million wages.
    You fooled me into believing you were an OK guy ,I was right initially it seems.Go and stand with the other moaning girls(no offence to real girls)in the corner

  252. Keysersoze, just moan, and Luke is the worst. That guy is depressing.

    Our passing had bolton all over the place.

  253. Evil

    Just like how we challenged for the title for 2/3rd’s of last season eh???

    Funny how it swings around.

    We may be better off than some of those relegation fodder/mid table teams come May (yyyyyyyyyyyyipppppeeee!!!), but one thing is certain, we’ll have a worse record than last year.

  254. Haha George, funny how you use FACT after your rant about people using FACT.

    Also terribly funny how you know EXACTLY what Keown was doing at the club 6 years ago, but repeatedly state no-one has a clue what happens behind our dicatorship walls.

    You’ve more holes than sive.

  255. @Luke
    Why do you think so? Swansea dominated at home against teams that have been above us in the table as well. You are acting as if it’s surprising that Swansea played well, when in fact they have been a force at home all season long.

  256. Andy .I said none of them apart from the factual defensive one and I did say I believed Gail to be one of the best Left backs in the country.I still do.
    Andy you were here all summer.You would have remembered had I done so.

  257. Yup, cheers Paul. I think of that when I’m having a great day out with all my pals on Saturday.

  258. Jabba's Delights

    Evil

    Come on mate that notion got destroyed years ago. Our defence had less defenive work to do from open play than every other side in europe bar barca. In reality it didnt take the opposition long score when they had the ball. Your manager bullshited straight up to you and you took it it and put it in your pocket. George smeared it all over his face he wanted it so much. Even when goals were flying in george would refer to hsi stupid stat

    We’ve been an awful defensive team from set pieces and open play for years and if our passing game ever cumbled this would be for all to see……………….o wait?????? hahah you cant make this up.

  259. What I could never get my head around is how we can justify paying wenger £6m a year, yet we will quite happily dilute our playing squad claiming financial poverty.

    How long must we endure the same rhetoric I for one love Wenger for what he has brought to the club, but is he taking the club foward the past few years suggest otherwise. Couple that with the ineptitude in the transfer market this summer, and if he were at any other top 4 club he would have some serious questions to answer. The problem might not be with wenger but the board because barring relegation they would not contemplate sacking him, the fear of failure is what I think is missing from us. Managers like AVB, Redknapp and mancini know they must deliver or face the music. With Wenger he pleads for another year and to be judged at the end but is he really judged by those who matter. Or are they happy that he keeps Arsenal football club financially solvent.
    I guess what I am trying to say I fee the board could put pressure on him, but appear happy with delivering top 4 with increasingly diluted squads. I feel the change must come from board level. we as supporters should be able to take what ere are told at face value, I don’t know about other supporters but I for one have learnt to read between the lines with some of wenger and hillwoods comments.
    I am waiting for the doomer bashing now… but I have reached my tipping point. enough papering over the cracks. Change at the top is needed and this change needs to be reverberated all the way down to the playing staff.
    Wow ok i feel bette now I have that off my chest. Waiting now to get shot down by the ever optimistic regular posters.

  260. Jabba

    I didnt see an article from you this summer putting together a balanced argument as to Wenger summers work. I saw praise and more praise and now in hindsight i see you being critical. The only people being critical in the summer are the same ones who get lamented now.

    What are you wittering on about. Genuinely, you are making no sense whatsoever.

  261. Luke I know because that is what happened.
    You don’t let a YTS run the ship no matter who he is.
    You did not see that I intentionally used “FACT”?
    You are even more stupid than I thought.And that is saying something

  262. I know they have Evil, but there was no hiding place for most. See, when teams beat us I can accept it if we have been outplayed (happens a hell of a lot more than you’d think)

    I cant hide behind excuses, conspiracies, or thugs kicking us – its pointless. I wasnt expecting us to win at swansea, like I wasnt expecting us to win at Bolton – but I wont make up a myriad of defences to cover the team and managements failure.

    Thats why I refernced that game – we were beaten by a club much smaller than ours, and they beat us comfortably at our own game.

  263. Jabba's Delights

    George

    I said arsene 6m wages, you will notice not many of the people who defend your idiotic behaviour on here save you about that one…………….why is that?

  264. @Jabba
    No, it’s a fact plain and simple. We conceded fewer goals from open play than any other side last season. You can twist and turn it any way you want, in the end we had the best defence from open play. “FACT”, as you like to say.

  265. Didnt take long George for the abuse to start from you, and it didnt take long for you to reference things I never said.

    Keown had a positive impact in 2006 – now you think I said he was running the ship.

    You need to wind it in – if you think Im an idiot, why converse with me? I dont come looking for fights with you.

  266. No, it’s a fact plain and simple. We conceded fewer goals from open play than any other side last season. You can twist and turn it any way you want, in the end we had the best defence from open play. “FACT”, as you like to say.

    ——

    Its just the most pathetic clutching at straws I’ve ever seen.

    Hows our open play defending this season?

  267. Jabba's Delights

    Yogi

    You have said today that analyse the manager ever summer and yet i saw no balanced analysis this summer from you regarding our manager. Not once did you raise any questions as to why we werent doign a betetr job. Not once to did you question the lack of planning for cesc and nasri leaving. If you analyse whether a manager can improve us the following season you picked a pretty important summer to not to do it??

  268. George – “Andy you were here all summer.You would have remembered had I done so.

    Ha, I can’t remember what I did yesterday mate. Let alone what I saw on here in the summer. 🙂

  269. No Luke you come here to repeat the same shit that we are all sick of hearing.Bar Jabba the cunt that is.

  270. Do you remember how we all laughed at Ferguson when after we had won the lge he proclaimed that Manure were still the best side in the country. I some people on here are on his wavelength and just can’t see the truth when it is staring them right in the face.

  271. Jabba's Delights

    Evil

    hahahahaha come on mate, step up big boy because that was useless.

    For once stop listening to wenger, george or frank and ask yourself this………………………………………….are we good at defending when the opposition have the ball???

  272. So you don’t deny lying and abusing people.

    Cheers George. Got everything I want from you.

    Quick question about Arsenal, lets see if you can answer it in a straight manner, and not like a politician:

    Are YOU happy with how our January panned out in the transfer market? Do YOU Think we could have strengthened?

  273. Jabba – To be fair mate, if you don’t like what YW writes, don’t read it. As it goes I think the daily Blog here is pretty balanced.

  274. @Jabba
    Last season or this? Last season — yes. You just have to see how often we conceded more than one goal against the big teams last year (from open play, that is) to see evidence for that. No one managed to put more than one from open play past us. Not Chelsea, not ManU, not ManCity, not Liverpool. The only ones that actually managed to score more than once from open play were Barca.

    This season we have been definitely worse in that department, I am not going to say it’s otherwise, though our numbers are slightly inflated by the OT game. I am quite sure however that come end of the season we will definitely be around the same level as Chelsea when it comes to goals conceded.

  275. Andy .Jabba lies. Consistently.FACT

  276. @Luke
    I don’t have the numbers, but I don’t doubt that it will be worse compared to last year. Primarily thanks to the OT game that is hugely inflating our numbers, but there you go!

    However your second question is pure bull. Every team in the world could have improved in January. Could Barca have improved? Of course! They are lacking their best striker until the end of the season and don’t seem capable of replacing him as evident by their domestic league position. Could ManU or ManCity have improved? Definitely! I don’t really see any team in the world that couldn’t have used January to improve.

  277. Jabba

    Did I say that I was going to publish those thoughts? You said I didn’t but if you read the summer posts, you’d see the critique of the sales of Nasri and Cesc on most days, reiterating the need for planning and concern at the lack of replacements. If you read the summer posts, you’d see what I thought of the previous season.

    You did read them, didn’t you?

  278. Evil, ok. So we were great at open play against big teams.

    What about WBA, Wigan, Newcastle? Why we conceding open play goals against lesser teams?

    Concerntration? Attitude? Commitment? Preperation.

    No prizes for guessing where that lies.

  279. @LUKE

    whats the point in asking that question luke? What you feel or think does not matte at the monent. ITs done. No matter how angry you are it cannot be undone. We will have these players and this manager until summer.

    As it stands you got two choices..

    A. Get behind them even though they frustrate you and you think AW is stupid/stubborn/usless or whatever fits your bill.
    B. Keep telling eveyone how crap the january window and keep undermining AW and the players you feel are to wea.

    But if you look at option B what will it bring you? will Walcott start scoring more because you call him a fucking lazy, non skilled overrated bastard?
    Will Arshaving produce more magic if you boo him?
    Will any of this negativity help us get the 4th spot??
    If AW came out and said ok i did a mistake, i should have bougt in January give us more chance to nab that 4th place or less?

    Will protesting agains the board on Arsenal matches make it more viable that we grab that vital 4th place this season??

    Will booing AW and publicly ridiculing him beacause you think hes had a poor january bring in more players? lift spirits and help us win??

    SHould you not rather use your energy to help us win? You can always run riot when summer comes….

  280. @Luke
    Against Newcastle we conceded a total of one goal from open play. Two came after penalties, one after a free kick. I am quite sure that the other games contain set piece goals as well. So I am not sure what point you are trying to make by asking me my opinion on our open play defending and then picking out games where we conceded goals from set pieces.

  281. Ok Evil, fair enough, everyone can improve.

    Realtiviely speaking, considering the improvement we clearly needed, did we make sufficient steps? Did we IMPROVE last summer? (City + Barca and the other sides you mention most certainly did).

    Also, take United slaughtering us out and I bet we will still concede more than last year.

  282. Andy – as far as I know, the law regarding getting to defend your title when you have won the CL changed with Liverpool (disgracefully) and has been in place ever since. You win and you qualify.

  283. Luke what have lied about?
    Abuse people?Yes but only thick cunts.
    Could we have strengthened? yes we could have signed Saha and Nelson.
    As I don’t know who was available ,who we inquired about ,how much we can afford and on and on how the hell can I answer that question.Only an idiot could.
    I take it you can,

  284. Jabba

    It is Yogi’s blog and he can post whatever he wants. You can criticise what he posts, but I don’t understand how you can ask for an explanation of what Yogi didn’t post about. He is not answerable to anyone as far as I am concerned. If you feel so strongly about something why don’t you start your own blog and post about it?

  285. Does it really matter how we concede the goals? The point is that we do concede to many goals, and have done for some time now. Have a quick look at our GD. It is +4 I think. Football is simple; score and don’t concede. At the moment, and so far this season we have not scored enough and conceded too many. We can pull apart the details, but in summary that is it. If we don’t chance one of those facts sooner rather than later we will be fucked.

  286. To be honest, I’m not sure the “best defence from open play” stat is that much to boast about for a club of our size and reputation, especially since our overall goals conceded has mostly been poor (relatively speaking). Factor in the amount of possession we tend to have, and its reasonable to expect that we should concede less from open play, as the opponent can only have so many ‘open play’ chances.

    I do understand that it helps the coaches know where to focus in training, and had seen signs of some improvement on that score earlier in the season. But then we had those injuries and have had time recovering.

  287. Its comes a time when FANS have to think logical and clear and not go overboard with emotions like Jabba always does. The logical think now is to support our team until may and then take the fight with the board and wenger and players we do not like and all that..

    But atm we got a job as fans, and that is to make our playes as good as possible…

    However certain fans does let them selves be ruled by passion and emotion.. we should not really do that. We should think rationally and logically about it and find out how the clubs 12th player can best be utilised for us to win…

  288. @Luke
    No, I don’t think we improved. In all honesty, as a team, even with say Mata (or Hazard, or Goetze … take your pick of any creative midfielder) in the side added to the other players, I still don’t think it would’ve been an improvement. Cesc is the best central midfielder in the world and you just can’t replace him. ~20 assists + 10 – 20 goals, I don’t know any other midfielder who can bring you those numbers.

  289. @evil i thought Lamps used to be preatty consistent for a while? maybe not as good but he did have 10+ both assists and goals every year for some years…

  290. Jonny – “Andy – as far as I know, the law regarding getting to defend your title when you have won the CL changed with Liverpool (disgracefully) and has been in place ever since. You win and you qualify.

    Cheers mate 🙂

    Ha, don’t know what all the negativity is for then. Lets just win the CL.

  291. Oops, have I broken the Blog?

  292. Yup

    *sorry YW*

  293. Henristic,No one is boasting about it.
    Jabba brought it up claiming I had said it .I did at the time because it was a fact.That it did not mean we were a good defense is stating the obvious.Nobody said it did.

  294. Poodle @ 5:30
    exactly!

  295. Poodle – Agreed.

  296. @Poodle
    But he is past it now. A several years younger Lampard might be a player capable of replacing Cesc, but with his current fitness issues …

  297. I 100% agree Evil.

    This is why I am shocked we are essentially trying to play the same as last year (identical engine with Ramsey in for Cesc), the only major difference being AOC/Gervinho tend to drift in less than Nasri.

    If we cant replace the best attacking midfielder in the world, we sure as heck better have a plan in place. I, hand on heart, cant honestly suggest that Wenger signing Arteta, Mert + Santos on deadline day was anything other than panic (not a slur on the three, all of whom I think have been great additions)

    Our solution to losing Cesc, was Nasri, but we lost him too. None of that required foresight or insider knoledge, so you have to wionder how long the club knew for.

  298. Winterburn revealed on Football Today that he knows for a fact Arsenal doesn’t have all the money fans think

  299. Jonny / Andy

    Interestingly, Arsenal were not originally permitted to defend the Fairs Cup in 1970-71. It was only after petitioning Uefa that the rules were changed and the defending champions were allowed into that competition.

    The CL is a bad concept and only ends in one place: a European League.

  300. Yeah andy not sure if someone answered but winning the CL gets you in the door next year ever since 2006 when Liverpool whined their way in. You still have to go through a few extra rounds of qualification, but I think you’d have to anyway finishing 3rd or 4th.

  301. Hmmmm.

    Our publicly available accounts scrutinised by a Swiss Private Banker would suggest we do George.

    Who to believe, who to believe.

    See, if winterburn made a comment about defending, I’d listen to him. When he talks about accounting? Not a chance.

  302. @Luke
    I don’t doubt that the summer has been handled badly. We should’ve squeezed the Barca c*nts for more money or kept onto Cesc, just to spite them. And if we were really keen on selling him, we should’ve done it much earlier. As for Nasri, I really don’t think he was that good and I think with Gervinho we have managed to replace him very well. But Cesc is the problem.
    But in the end, there have been many rumours floating around about the summer. Board room discussions, etc. etc. etc. and we will really have to wait until some of the major people involved in that retire and release their memoirs so we can really know what happened. The one thing I am really curious about: if it’s true that Wenger asked for a change in wage structure and that it was denied.

  303. On the CL thing:
    But how do they handle the extra team if the defending champion does not qualify domestically? Does the country lose one of their other spots? Say, we come in 5th but win the CL, does that mean that 4th place is worth scrap because we are getting in?

  304. Fair enough George, although I have seen it trotted out previously as a way of ameliorating the poor impression of our defence, when its nothing of the sort.

  305. Well someone who is around the club,players and manager or someone who is none of the above.MMMM

  306. George – Winterburn knows more than the chairman and CEO? Interesting stuff.

  307. george, I’ve been telling the ’50 million in the bank’ brigade that for ages.

  308. I think the question is, how much does Winterburn reckon the fans think that the club have? Winterburn may have been listenning to Gambon for instance who probably think we have 100M available

    However, Ivan said the other day that ‘available funds’ are there on the published accounts for all to see. Using said accounts, Swiss Ramble figured it was around 40-50M and I’m yet to see anyone question his methods successfully.

  309. of course Evil we will never know the true permeatations of the board room, but we have eyes and a brain as fans.

    Either Wenger is having his hands brutually tied and refusing to pander to the fans a la Benitez, or he has just made a pigs ear of the last couple of windows.

    Losing Cesc was huge. It wasnt sudden, and it wasnt when we were under resourced.

    Off to throw up in the gym. Good evening.

  310. How much of the 40-50 million is available for Arsenal to spend is the question. Being close to the club would give you such insights. The 40-50 million pound figure is from our public reports, anyone with some understanding of accounting can figure that out.

  311. The truth is that none of us know how much is available as much as maths genius’s try and make out that they do. But what is true is that we were told “there is money available” in the summer. After that we then made money by selling Clichy/Cesc/Nasri and then spent some of that on AOC/Mert/Arteta. So should we not have money left over from the sales in additional to our untouched summer transfer budget? I don’t know how much we have, but I am inclined to think it is enough to buy a couple of players if needed (which we obviously do). Instead we are left with the likes of Park on the bench who we don’t bring on even when chasing a goal. It is madness.

  312. Arsession @ 5:01:

    I think the problem is multifactorial. With our emphasis on ball control, possession and methodical build ups we have not been able to consistently break down packed defenses in the PL (even when we had Cesc). Couple that with the well documented problems with our defense. Even when we had our strongest teams we could not consistently score enough to make up for the number we conceded and thats lead to chronic underperformance. Just like winning begets winning, underperformance can be mentally self perpetuating which may partly explain the difficulties we seem to have in the “business end” of many seasons. Thats a short and simple answer to a very complex question.

  313. To be honest PG, my initial reaction was cynicism about Winterburn’s reported comments. There hasn’t been much take up of them so far and you wonder how much money he thinks that fans think is available. Looking at the public record information, it would be surprising if that money is less than £40m. Perhaps the interpretation of his comments is wrong? Maybe he was commenting that with all the names bandied around, Arsenal would need over £100m to sign them and pay wages, etc?

  314. No Markus its £150 million.
    When and how much did IG or PHW say we had spare Andy.Please be specific when you answer..
    “Funds available” wont cut it here

  315. Keyser,

    The 40-50M is what is available to spend. Read the blog.

  316. Yogi that is what I believe he did mean.
    £40 million has too include wages and provisions.Sounds about right to me.
    That’s one £10/20 player.

  317. Henristic .
    Read the blog?Are you for real?
    Its a blog.Since when are blogs to be accepted as fact?

  318. Which blog? I have read swissramble if that is what you are referring to. My point is it is a business decision how much of that 40-50 million is available to spend on players. Some of it may be kept aside for contingency. Some of it may be kept aside for other planned investments. If you have x amount of money do you necessarily spend the entire amount?

  319. George – I really can’t be arsed to trawl back through quotes from the summer. I don’t feel the need to prove it to you mate. I am not saying it to weirdly try and back up some point, I am saying because that is what was said. If you choose to not believe that, all is fine and dandy and it affects me not one bit. I don’t need to “back up” everything I say as I am not one for making shit up. If that does not meet your approval, meh.

  320. Keysersoze you do if you are a fan with no clue how to run anything ,other than your mouth off.

  321. looking at the highlighs from yesterday,it is incredible we did not score. Some of those chances were actually hardrer to put outside than to miss tbh…
    Im still amazed about it…

  322. Keysersoze – We didn’t even touch whatever or transfer budget was from the summer. If anything, we added to it. Without knowing figures I would fairly sure there is money there if needed. It is just common sense isn’t it?

  323. George:

    We have made significant tranfer profits in the last few years, the independent analysis by swiss Ramble etc, and the statements by the club itself all indicate that we have a significant “war chest”. Ivan said that all the money we make is available to strengthen the club and our balance sheets show significant yearly profits and our net value is huge.

    You can make the statement that we don’t really know for sure how much is available which is a fact that can’t be disputed. However the overwhelming preponderance of evidence would indicate that we have a large amount of money available. Not Man City money but certainly enough that we could significantly strenghthen the squad if we chose to use it. If you ignore the available evidence and stick with “we don’t really know for sure” then thats your choice

  324. Keysersoze,
    Contigency had already been accounted for in his analysis. Recall that our cash reserves are around 160M.

    The 40-50M is for spending on player and wages.

    George,
    Perhaps you haven’t read the the article.
    See here: http://swissramble.blogspot.com/2011/05/arsenals-transfer-budget.html
    Its not a question of fact. I would consider Swiss Rambles analysis to be reliable. You disagree?

    “£40 million has too include wages and provisions.Sounds about right to me.
    That’s one £10/20 player.”

    I don’t agree with this. You don’t have to pay the player the full value of his contract in the year you sign him.

  325. Its Ground Hog Day and like so many years in the past, the weird animal that is AFC comes out of its burrow dislikes what it knows it has to do, and pops back in for another several months of hibernation.

    ZZZZZZ……

    Holy crap. A long dull winter again.

    Change the bloody record will ya Wenger!!!!!

  326. No Andy but you are making it sound like they have give assurances that a specific and substantial amount was available.
    Now what are you saying?
    Or are you just being obtuse?
    Try not being so touchy.Or think a bit more before you post

  327. Hark at Coppercunt asking Wenger to change the record.

    Pot, kettle, black?

  328. http://www.transferleague.co.uk/league-tables/2006-2011.html

    The last 5 years spending/sales.

    The position in the table gives an overall which simply says we have made more than most clubs. Great. But the interesting column is the first on e(actual gross spend).

  329. George – No mate, I didn’t say that. I said that they both said that funds were available. I said that, simply because that is what PHW and IG said. No more, no less. Maybe you should read a bit more before you post 😉

  330. Keyser/George,
    I’m beginning to wonder if you’ve actually bothered to read stuff about our finances yourself. It sometimes feel you just take a generally contrary opinion to anyone who says there is money available.

    There is very little doubt that we can afford 2-3 reasonably expensive players without going broke. The only real uncertainty is whether such players are indeed available, and whether they would really strengthen us, although given our injury status, the later point is much less uncertain

  331. @Henristic
    I am not sure if you are maybe oversimplifying. Even if you don’t have to pay a players wages in full (and excluding obvious payments like signing bonus etc.) the day he signs, this money is still going to be included in future calculations. So if you buy a player for, say 20 million, and he earns 70 – 80k p/w in wages, in theory you would still have about 16 million available in the transfer kitty. But in praxis you will have to pay 70- 80k p/w for the next several years. And if you can’t increase factors like match day revenue, commercial income etc. it means that if you go all out in one summer, your ability to spend will be seriously crippled in years afterwards. It is not — but some people still seem to think that — that we can spend 40 million each year and we just decide not to. If we would go out and spend 40 million in one summer (net-spend, i.e. without making anything back), we wouldn’t be able to spend much at all over the next years and it could also affect contract extensions.

  332. Andy.No you didn’t.
    You said that what Nigel said was in contradiction to what they had said.
    I was not

  333. George – Who do you think has the more insight into Arsenal Football Club’s finances? Nigel Winterburn who is our old left back, or, our Chairman and CEO? Think before you answer.

  334. Evil – If what you say is true I find it amazing that the likes of Villa and Sunderland have outspent us in the last 5 years, and that our spending is more on the level of Fulham and Stoke. How on earth do they manage?

  335. Andy are you having a laugh .
    Winterburn is saying there is not a huge transfer fund ,as some fans think.
    When has IG or PHW said there is?
    “Funds available” is not the same thing.
    Surly even you can see that.?
    Or have I overestimated your in intelligence?

  336. Sorry to hear that Flint. Would have been good to buy you a pint. Maybe next time. Yogi’s got my email.

  337. Evil:

    We built the new stadium to improve cash flow so we could compete with the big money teams. Now have sold the property, paid the stadium debt down to a very managable amount and we have huge match day revenues and consistent profits from operations. we have no dividends or share holder profits or anything else to spend money on. In addition we have made significant transfer market profits in the last several years, especially last summer. We did not build the stadium so we could get to the point that we have to make a big tranfer profits just to get by. Obviously no way to nail down exact numbers but if you are unwilling to believe all the other evidence, common sense would argue that we are coming no where close to spending the amount of money we could on player transfers.

  338. Evil,
    Well anyone with a brain knows that you can’t eat your cake and still have it. I certainly can’t imagine anyone believing we can spend 40M every year, without a sugar-daddy type structure.
    Besides what is the point of our academy if we are to be spending that amount every year. Where would we put all of the new players?
    We are not Chelsea or Mancity. We already have the reputation, the revenue stream, and a conveyor belt of talent coming through, all thanks to Wenger. We are therefore more like Manure. i.e. only need to spend on the odd ‘big player’ when we need to.
    I wonder if there was ever a time we had a greater need for strengthening than these past few transfer windows?

  339. George – No George, you are being pedantic with words. Strange how you blast most ex-players for their thoughts until one pipes up with something that fits your agenda, and all of a sudden his word is gospel. How you think Winterburn has some sort or inside scoop on the clubs finances is beyond belief.

    Anway, we should leave that there. If you want to go with your version, good for you. I think I will stick with the common sense approach with the formula below:

    Transfer fund (untouched) – Sell Players – Buy Players (less spend than income on players sold) = Bigger transfer fund.

  340. To add to the last post: We are more like Manure also in the sense that we will probably never need to spend more than we make. We are not building a squad from scratch, like Chelsea and Mancity had (and are having) to do.

    I get that one has to save for the rainy day, but its raining now isn’t it? Its not like we were saving in case we got relegated or something?

  341. Almunia not in 25 man squad for rest of the season.

  342. IMHO there are two “outcomes” in the last twelve months that have had a disproportionately large impact on the state of the club.

    1. Losing to Birmingham in the CC Final. Had we won that, the “trophy” monkey would have been off our back, and things would have been a bit brighter. The matches following, away to Barcelona in the CL and away to Man Utd in the FAC, were, one would have to say, pretty tough, and I would not have bet on us winning either one, regardless of the outcome of the CC. Unfortunately, having those three results together cast a pall over the rest of the season. It is only speculation on my part, but I believe that winning the CC Final would have helped to keep us out of the tailspin we fell into in the League. Which leads to…

    2. Not finishing in third or better in the League. By missing out on third, we were faced with having to win a qualifying tie to gain entrance to the CL group. I have no proof of this, but I believe that this probably contributed to the club’s relative lack of spending over the summer. I think AW probably also believed that one or both of Cesc and Nasri would stay, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he wasn’t willing to buy until he knew whether we qualified for the CL or not.

    The combination of what I interpret as a wait-and-see approach to transfers plus the loss of two of our best players, led to a terrible start to the season and the sense that the club was in crisis. As AW said, there are no long-term plans, only short-term. I think he sees this as a season of transition – get through it as best we can, and then figure out the new strategy in the summer.

    No-one can be delighted where we are (unless it’s in relation to where we were after seven matches), but there is still plenty of hope for the rest of the season (for those who care to see it). Falling out of the top 4 would not be the end of the world. For those who doubt that, refer to almost every other CL quarter-final-level club. My impression (haven’t bothered to check the stats) is that nearly all of them have missed out at least once in the last ten to fifteen years. If that happens to us, so be it. There will still be plenty of good players who want to play for the club. We will rise again, stronger!

  343. Apologies for the lengthy post.

  344. Limestonegunner

    The other thing to remember is that revenue has increased regularly because the TV revenue domestically and internationally has continued to go up. Ticket prices have also now gone up and may go up again soon. In 2014 we have an opportunity for a new deal on our shirt sponsorship so commercial revenue should again go up. (It may not go up as much as it would have if we had won the league and some trophies in the last 6 years but it will still rise significantly–probably in the range of 10 or 15 million more than current annual amount).

    So the idea that you have to include ALL the wages in the very first moment of purchase is not correct because it is possible to estimate fairly well the increases in revenue for the life of the new tv deals and commercial contracts.

    In the meantime, we have seen transfer inflation, so in some cases hanging onto your cash doesn’t make sense every time, especially if there is a Xavi Alonso available who is really quality and might just help you win the PL and replace Gilberto Silva with experienced quality.

  345. @Bill
    The difference is that other teams have managed to improve their commercial revenues, while we are stuck with sh*it sponsorship deals. How much is Emirates paying us to be displayed on our shirt? 5 mil a year? Liverpool, who, by all means, have been the top 4 team to be hit even worse than we have by the emergence of Tottenham/City, earn 30 million a year. We are still at a point where we can not compete directly yet. The earnings from the new stadium are offset by the fact that we are not nearly taking in enough from commercial sponsorships. So, until we get to negotiate better deals — in 2014 or 2016 was it, I think, we will still be stuck in this position where we can maybe make one or two decent transfers in the summer and that’s it.
    And Bill, a lot of those profits have been reinvested: in the playing squad. Our wage bill has risen by 20, 30 million over the past couple of years, so if you are wondering where the profits are: on the pitch.

  346. Limestonegunner

    Billy Boots, some good points there. But you know, such caution may bedevil us this season if we are out of the CL. We might not want to or may not be able to bring in the players who could help us get back into the CL. It is a risk.

    The other issue is that our league is more difficult to qualify from, I believe. With probably the biggest club in the world (ManU) and the two oiligarchic clubs now, we face a more competitive fight at the top now. Liverpool has not found it possible to get back in the last 2 years and probably won’t make it this year.

  347. So we’re currently 7th and have a bit of a scrap to get Europa League football next season, never mind a Champions League spot.

    The club has just released its 25 man squad for the rest of the season and there are a number of players in it who will make barely no contribution between now and the end of the season, either through injury, inability or a combination

    Diaby, Mannone (on loan at Hull), Park, Henry (15 days left), Squillaci, Almunia (not even in the squad)

    add to that the wages that we’re paying the likes of Bendtner and Denilson and we’re basically crippling ourselves to fund people who contribute nothing.

  348. @James
    Last I checked we don’t pay Denilson/Bendtner anything. I think their wages are currently handled by Sao Paolo/Sunderland. 😉

  349. All in all Arsenal can do better both collectively and individually; the owner, the ‘board’, the manager and staff, the players and the fans. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to have their heads examined.

  350. Evil:

    Your premise is that we are spending as much as we can reasonably spend on player transfers and I disagree. Your premise goes against what Wenger, Ivan, and PHW have said and goes against the independent evidence. It also goes against common sense IMO.

    Our transfer policy has become the single biggest issue in the fan civil war and is difficult to debate logically and few people will change their minds no matter what the evidence. I guess we will have to respectfully agree to disagree.

  351. @Bill
    You have misunderstood me. I am not saying that we are spending as much as we can, I am well aware that there is still cash left. My only point was that if we would go out and spend all the money we have available at present, we would get a short term solution but our budget would be impacted for the foreseeable future, i.e. until we get to renegotiate the sponsorship deals for kit and stadium.

  352. @James
    Last I checked we don’t pay Denilson/Bendtner anything. I think their wages are currently handled by Sao Paolo/Sunderland

    Would like to see the club confirm that…

  353. “2. Not finishing in third or better in the League. By missing out on third, we were faced with having to win a qualifying tie to gain entrance to the CL group. I have no proof of this, but I believe that this probably contributed to the club’s relative lack of spending over the summer. I think AW probably also believed that one or both of Cesc and Nasri would stay, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he wasn’t willing to buy until he knew whether we qualified for the CL or not.”

    I think this point is probably correct but imagine how badly f*cked we would have been if we’d lost to Udinese. Can anyone see Arteta taking a £20k pay cut to play Europa Lge football?

  354. I hope Arsene reads today’s comments. Many have it all figured out. You guys make it seems so simple.

  355. Damn straight Paul.

    Arsene’s biggest mistake was buying Eduardo instead of Drogba.

  356. The thing with hindsight is that every great manager makes mistakes.

    Off the top of me ‘ead:
    Slurgus:
    Bebe?
    Two up against BB & The Arsenal.

    Some Argentine great I mentioned the other day: He got the sack for that decision.

    Sacchi:
    What an idiot. If he hadn’t been so grumpy, spending all his time arguing with his best player, his team might have won a World Cup. Without any weird sending offs to help.

    ‘Appy ‘Arry:
    !

    Shall I go on are peoples eyes starting to bleed?

  357. < or are

  358. Which posts are u referring to Paul N?

    Evil, awaiting your response to my 7.08 comment.

  359. Evil @ 8:15:

    My bad.

    I really think that the pendulum has swung way to far towards fiscal conservatism. I don’t pretend to understand the motivation, but its hurting our results and has been very psychologically damaging to the club, including throwing gasoline on the fan civil war and more important based on what we see in some of their quotes its gotten into the players heads.

    I agree with Henristic at 7:15:

    I get that one has to save for the rainy day, but its raining now isn’t it? Its not like we were saving in case we got relegated or something?

  360. Don’t bother Evil, spare yourself.

  361. The uncredible one @ 7.08 – “i.e. only need to spend on the odd ‘big player”

    De Gea: £20 odd M
    Anderson: £18 odd M
    Nani: £18 odd M
    Berbatov: £? who cares. Quite a few odd M.

    Shall I go on? No. Oh, ok then. Cheers.

  362. Finsbury,

    I don’t think mistakes are the issue by themselves per se. But the combination of mistakes and a sustained run of poor results is a toxic mixture for any manager. The knives would have been out for Fungus on the Bebe issue if manure had our results, for sure.

  363. So transparent.

  364. Fins,
    If you can’t see the difference between manure and chavski/mancity spending, then I can’t help you.

  365. I can read the transfer fees. No need to refer to the Swiss Ramble for that. Does that help?
    No?

    Ah well.

  366. Henristic the only difference is United debt wont be written off

  367. @Henristic
    I am assuming in my points that RVP will leave. Of course a part of me believes that he will stay, but I think realistically we have to accept that he is closer to the door than to a new 5 year contract. Therefore I am already assuming that we will have to spend a lot in the summer because Joel Campbell has potential, but will probably only be ready to be a back up next year and I don’t see anyone else who could fill his boots. At the same time other player’s contracts are also expiring. So we will definitely have to spend a large chunk of our transfer budget next year on a replacement for Robin. Other players might be easier to replace (Song -> Coquelin, Frimpong; Theo -> Ryo, Eisfeld, a bunch of other quick wingers coming through the academy, same goes for Arshavin) but as I see it we will be more or less forced to go close to the maximum in the next two years to get in new old and experienced players to supplement the new batch of academy youngsters coming through.
    I believe that the squad at present is still good enough to make it to 4th and while another player would have been good to help us reach that goal, the squad in the summer — especially if some players leave — won’t be good enough for the top 4. Therefore, at least that is the way I interpret the actions of the club, is that a decision has been made to wait until the summer before several new players are brought in as the players needed/requested might just not be available at present.

  368. You’re wrong George, but I can’t be bothered explaining it to you. Like a doomer, u just ignore the facts and contexts in order to be able to keep repeating ur mantra 🙂

  369. @Henristic
    In all honesty, the difference between ManU and Chelsea spending over the past few years hasn’t been as huge as you make it out to be. Chelsea spent 280 million from 2006 – 2011, while ManU spent 220 million. (comparison: we spent 85 million, Manchester City in excess of 500 million).

  370. Evil,
    You such a doomer. RvP aint going no where. Ask finsbury or Paul N 🙂

    In principle we are saying the same thing then? We can afford a couple or so good players, not every summer, but every once in a while when we need to.

  371. Why ask me Henristic. I’ve already written here that I don’t care about such things. It’s, um, it’s in the archives! Remember those?

    It would be odd if you got your F.A.C.T.s correct, so, I forgive you.

  372. This is our record in all competitions since we played the Brummies in the CC final:
    P50 – W22 – D12 – L16

  373. I am firmly in the same boat as Paul N and finsbury, Henristic.

    I just think that the club has learned from what happened in this summer and is not spending this January in preparation for the worst case scenario — i.e. RVP leaving.

  374. Evil:

    Those are all very good points. However you are ignoring that we should get a very big transfer fee for RVP, hopefully enough to buy his replacement. We should also get money for Arshavin and Song etc. so replacing those players should at worst be neutral and much more likely be cash positive since if history is a guide we will probably use internal replacements for Song, Arshavin, Theo.

  375. You damn skimpy, Finsbury!

    Henristic, the order of the day has been spend, spend, money, money. Someone even called Arsene a dictator.

    If it as easy as some put it, Arsene needs to lend them his ears for a little bit.

  376. Evil, 2 questions:
    1)are those values net or gross? 2) you do realise I was referring to the structure of the clubs, rather than sheer spend? Manure’s spend has been within their revenue limits, while the other two hasn’t. One is self sustaining while the others aren’t. One doesn’t have to spend 40m(net) a year while the others do*

    *mancity seem to have a better plan for sustainability than chelsea, and might not need to keep spending so much, who knows though.

  377. Evil,
    I don’t know about that. Finsbury just said he doesn’t give a shit about such things, and PaulN is yet to comment.

  378. Whatever happens we will be fine as long as Mr. Wenger is at the helm.
    That is the main thing.
    Ever the magnificent RVP is non-consequential compared to him.

  379. Paul,
    Arsene needs to listen to people calling him a dictator? 😉

  380. actually the world is round and contary to what the doomers believe ARSENAL will not fall off the end of the footballing earth if we dont qualify for the champions league this year. the reason for this is precisely the same reason jabba and his disciples have been slating the manager for years. we played fantasy footall with the ball and not with money. The spuds most sucessful season for years was built on not qualifying for anything.having seen us not go for the title for eighteen years i can remember the bad times and things are much much healthier now. IF and thats a big IF we dont qualify this year we wont implode we will just rebuild and come back stronger and personally although I dont agree with everything Wenger does I cant think of many managers worldwide that I would trust leading my club and that includes that clown who thinks hes special!

  381. I’ve taken an interest, all these amazing insights have got me thinking. I wonder how much Arsenal spend n transfers? Oh look! Here is the transfer league table 2006-11:

    http://www.transferleague.co.uk/league-tables/2006-2011.html

    And The Arsenal are in 20th position because Arsene Wenger is stubborn.

  382. Note: 50% of Utd’s ‘sold’ was the lesser Ronaldo.

  383. Bill

    RVP will have 1 year left on his contract at the end of the season that means not such a huge transfer fee.

    He could even go for nothing 1 season later.

  384. Evil:

    “I am firmly in the same boat as Paul N and finsbury”

    I have never doubted that, which is why I said earlier that the only possible outcome of this debate would be that we agree to disagree. 🙂

  385. George,
    One could argue that RvP leaving (on the back of Cesc and Nasri’s exit) would harm the club more than Arsene leaving.

    Think about it. Whoever comes after Arsene will have money (not unlimited, but significant), will benefit from the scouting network and footballing structure Arsene put in place, and will probably be under less pressure to deliver immediately.

    On the other hand if we don’t qualify and RvP leaves, getting a replacement for him will be next to impossible, in the short term. We still haven’t even found replacement for Fabregas and it was hard enough performing with both in the squad. Without both? Certainly a much more difficult prospect.

    Anyway this discussion is better suited for the summer

  386. Dupps:

    Wengerian economics are the only place that place a huge discount on a player who is in the last year of his contract. Most others seem to think its reasonable to pay somewhat close to market value. 🙂

    There is zero chance of us letting his contract run out and losing him for free.

  387. Finsbury

    Reminds me of this

  388. Bill

    Only Man City will pay those daft prices for a player with 1 year left. (or maybe Madrid)

  389. Evil,
    According to the link finsbury just posted, the chavs have invested thrice as much as manure(net), while city have spent 8(!) times as much

  390. @Bill
    That’s why Cahill, who would us cost us 15 million in the summer went for 6 this winter? Klose went to Bayern for 10 million when he was in his last year of contract with Bayern Munich (just to compare: Bayern paid a Bundesliga record fee in excess of 30 million for Gomez just two years later — if you wonder why: Gomez had 3 years left on his contract) Many more examples readily available. Please cite some that support your point of view Bill! 😉 And Manchester City does not count, fyi.

  391. Dupps:

    Unlike Cesc, I suspect there will be a bidding war for RVP.

  392. Bill

    There are to few clubs with the money for a bidding war. Even if Uefa’s new fair play rule is weak no club will go crazily spending just in case.

  393. If Winterburn is right about the club not having the money to buy a player (seems it was Mata) then something smells really fishy.

  394. @Henristic
    1)I was purely talking about gross spend on incoming players. ManU did make more profit than Chelsea, but then again they did have the Ronaldo sale which made up the majority of that

    2) There are similarities, yes, But ManU’s spending has been anywhere BUT in their revenue limits. They reported losses in every year but the one in which they sold Ronaldo AFAIR. I guess we have different definitions for sustainability, but then again I will admit that I do not have a good overview of ManU’s recent numbers. In all honesty I am surprised how they are actually absorbing those losses?

  395. I think Henristic missed the ‘Purchase Gross’ column? It matches Evil’s numbers above. Spending. Buying players. It shows, in reference to the above that “the difference between ManU and Chelsea spending over the past few years hasn’t been as huge as you make it out to be. Chelsea spent 280 million from 2006 – 2011, while ManU spent 220 million. (comparison: we spent 85 million, Manchester City in excess of 500 million)” is correct. Look:

    http://www.transferleague.co.uk/league-tables/2006-2011.html

  396. Dupps 2 10:01 and 10:07:

    Possibly. However, he is one of the 3 best goal scorers in the world. Time will tell what happens.

    Agree with your concern at 10:07.

    Evil @ 9:57:

    If you wait till January to sell then there will certainly be a discount so Cahill doesn’t count.

    I was going to use Man city to support my claim so if you take that away I’m stuck. I suspect if I did some research we would find that the really good players show a lot less of any potential discount because everybody wants them but I can’t prove it, so I have to concede your point.

  397. From Andrei’s agent
    “Andrey doesn’t think it is time to go back yet. He still feels he has a lot to do at Arsenal. He wants to win something, fulfil his ambitions and recover his form both for Arsenal and ahead of the European Championships.”
    Lovely Jubley

  398. Look at how much Liverpool spent.

  399. Tennessee Arsenal

    It was nice to have Sagna back. Maybe he’ll settle into form soon. I guess he can be forgiven for his one bad touch, only making one inch-perfect cross, and for being a part of a defense that only held the opponent to no goals.

  400. Our 25 (22) man squad

    1 Clarindo Dos Santos, Andre
    2 Arshavin, Andrey
    3 Arteta Amatriain, Mikel
    4 Benayoun, Yossi
    5 Chamakh, Maroune
    6 Diaby, Vassiriki Abou
    7 Djourou-Gbadjere, Johan Danon
    8 Fabianski, Lukasz
    9 Yao, Gervais Kouassi
    10 Gibbs, Kieran James Ricardo
    11 Koscielny, Laurent
    12 Mannone, Vito
    13 Mertesacker, Per
    14 Park, Chu Young
    15 Rosicky, Tomas
    16 Sagna, Bacary
    17 Henry, Thierry
    18 Song Bilong, Alexandre Dimitri
    19 Squillaci, Sebastien
    20 Van Persie, Robin
    21 Vermaelen, Thomas
    22 Walcott, Theo James

  401. Mannone on loan
    Henry soon going back to NY
    Park hardly played

  402. interesting transfer table.
    so what does this tell us then??

    why are we getting out spent by the likes of wolves and west brom???

  403. We need our wounded back, that is all the strengthening we need. After the United loss, that is what Arsene said. People saying Arsenal need strengthenig and Arsene saying it is two different things.

    The issue is you have a bunch of people who have never be succesful at managing a club, behave as if they know the deal.

    I don’t know, but since when is believing in your team a bad thing? Yes we hit a bad patch after suffering some crucial injuries but don’t forget that we were flying high prior to that. I am not sure why some believe we will not do it again.

  404. suprised that newcastle and chelsea have made more money out of player sales then us. who have chelsea sold! we sell our best players every summer….

  405. Paul do you think it is also to do with gervinho going to the acn, he cant come back soon enough can he, he is a real pain to defend against. ok he can’t shoot yet but he will and when he does….

  406. Duke @ 10:28:

    “why are we getting out spent by the likes of wolves and west brom???”

    How else do we maintain the moral high ground? “)

  407. we are loaded really aren’t we going by them tables!! and here i was i thinking we must be larry flynt.

  408. The team transfer tab up in the left column of the link, some of Chelsea’s sales:

    Eidur Gudjohnsen £8,000,000
    Arjen Robben £25,000,000
    Shaun Wright Phillips £9,000,000
    Yuri Zhirkov £13,200,000

  409. Bill and Duke, the real question is how are we far superior to both?

  410. This place has become quite toxic off-late.

  411. Whatever idiot wrote this : “Man City can win the league for the first time in God knows how long after winning the FA cup last season. Not quite the same plight that we are in. Not even nearly.”

    I don’t think Man City or Chelsea will ever catch up with our trophy haul over the years. They’re plight is indeed deplorable if you can think a few years back and aren’t dazzled by the shiny new signings these financially doped clubs have been able to amass. Arsenal is one of the winningest clubs in England. Fact. Financially doped clubs are shit clubs with no history.

  412. YW, I completely disagree with regards to Xabi Alonso. Alonso was supposed to go to Real Madrid before he went to Liverpool, but was denied that chance because of the managerial and presidential shuffle that was in full swing while he was at Real Sociedad. On top of that, he wanted to go to Spain because playing well there would have meant that he could get into the Spain NT with the help of public opinion. I’ve read a few interviews where he states that he wasn’t going to state in England regardless of what club wanted him. So, we didn’t miss out as much as we didn’t get him when he was available like Liverpool did. Besides, we had a better player than him in Cesc. Him not coming to the club is one of those things that happens in football. A very good player is available, but your squad is full. End of story. All that crap about us missing out on him for a few million is absolutely false. He wanted to go back to Spain, period.

  413. Hahahaha!!!! Gibbs’ real name is Rick James.

  414. ha ha ha ha .. .whats all this about fans placing black bin bags over their seats against blackburn in protest!!! fukin pricks. they should fukin put em over their heads and fukin suffocate themselves.

  415. Depends Gains. If they keep doping and FFP is so flexible or penalties aren’t very severe then Chelsea and Man City can perhaps gather more league titles and cup trophies over the next decade to come closer to our historic achievements if we don’t add to them.
    They are small clubs without our history. The only clubs with better domestic history are ManU and Liverpool.

  416. The transfer table is misleading. Wages are more critical. What would be useful is a net spend table that added net transfer to wages for a net spend figure. We would be much higher up the table. We have averaged nearly 40 million pounds more than Spurs annually in wages, for example, over the last several years. That dwarfs the transfer difference. If we were to do the math, we’d probably find Arsenal in 5th or 6th with ManCity, Chelsea, ManU, Liverpool (narrowly) ahead of us.

  417. Duke

    They can use them black bags to keep their bull shit in.

  418. maybe we should be allowed to stick a black bin liner on any cunts head who boo’s or jeers.

  419. Maybe we could make a few bob by selling black bags at the gates.

  420. Paul N, it doesn’t help to exaggerate. We weren’t actually flying high. Our results in December were quite good but we hadn’t played that well, Man City away apart, since our victory over Dortmund–we drew to Fulham at home, played very well v. Man City in a loss, did not play terribly well but dug out a victory over Aston Villa, played a weakened side and lost away to Olympiakos, had a fairly poor performance v. Wolves in a draw, narrowly beat QPR but didn’t play excellently, were pretty bad in the second half in the loss to Fulham, were not great without RvP v. Leeds, and were outplayed by Swansea away. I thought we started to play well again against Villa despite having to come back from a 2 goal deficit in the first half (I thought we were actually still playing pretty well and we totally outclassed them in the second half) and we played well in the draw away to an improved Bolton but couldn’t finish our chances.

    I am encouraged that at least we have been creating good chances, but I noted after Wolves that our performances hadn’t been that strong and that perhaps we were tired and needed to have rotated more.

    The period we were playing better was in October after Spurs and in November. I think it is no accident that our best spell in terms of both results and performances were when Santos was in the side. Tremendous player and a big miss, in my opinion.

  421. Will we ever see the first team?
    I suspect we would be very impressed.

  422. whenever we are still in two cups the seasons not over..if 4th place really is a trophy to this club then we are still in this competition as well…so maybe gazidis wasnt as stupid as he seemed…

    if we scored a few more goals it would help..

  423. PG, if we had our squad from the start of the season and had Tottenham’s run with injury this season then I imagine that we would be above them right now. For some reason, we do not seem to have that luck. Grrrr.

  424. Hey Yogi…….sorry for such a late entry………

    I was reviewing the 25 man roster that Dups posted……@ 10:21 pm; I’m assuming its accuracy.

    I’m just curious who you think would be Song’s back up? Or if anyone is still up…..its thrown out to others.

  425. Since Wilshere is not listed…….Arsene is taking no chances……and one less questionable return date.

  426. Limestone, no need to over analyze. The team climbed the table because we were playing very well. I am not exaggerating at all and even if I was, what does it not help? how has your comment “helped”?

    Its as if people don’t like it when you compliment the team you support?!

    As I said, we started to struggle when we were hit by injuries.

  427. Evil/ Fins,
    Of what use is gross spend to a discussion on player transfers? Net spend is by far the more realistic impression of how much a team actually invests, whereas gross alone would be a distortion.
    Manure lost CRonaldo goals, but get enough from sales to be able to reinvest if they wanted. Only net spend can help determine wether a club is spending within its means. Wages is actually a separate use best measured by wages to turnover ratio.

    Same for us. Looking at gross alone you’d think we’ve spent quite a bit on acquiring new players when the reality is that we’ve made much more than we paid out (which is remarkable under the circumstances, something to be proud of).

  428. But I agree with limestone. Wages + transfer net spend would be a more robust indication of total investment in playing staff and we are likelier to move as high as 4-5th on such a table

  429. Henristic

    Sorry I logged out yesterday. Exactly where in that swissramble post is it written that contingency is factored into the calculation fo the 40-50 million figure? Can you quote something from that article?

  430. Keyser,

    I was waiting for that question. Will answer in a bit.

  431. why cant Arsenal just buy players!!!!!!!!!! i cant figure that out really…. walcott, ramsey,djohrou, arteta,arshavin are all average players i bet none of these will command a place in any of the elite teams

  432. never before during AW’s reign has Arsenal had such a sorry excuse of a squad – no wonder the first 11 are worn out, and now the tough months are just to come

    it’s absolutely bewildering

  433. Arsesession

    Wilshere is in the under 21 squad

  434. How can anyone say Ramsey at 21 is an average player? Give the guy a break he has been working hard for the team. He will improve his goals/shots ratio with age just as Cesc did.

    It makes you wonder.

  435. Might also add that being captain of your national team at 20 is not what average players do.

  436. He will improve his goals/shots ratio with age just as Cesc did.

    Exactly. When Cesc first broke into the team it was a complaint that he didn’t score enough goals. We all know how that changed with time!

  437. i can personally say that Ramsey has the talent to become an elite player, just that he is beyond average at the moment, Song creates more than he does. He (Ramsey) makes poor decisions on the ball like hanging onto it for too long, not making the obvious pass, and trying to be a Messi at times. thats not what we need, all we need is a midfielder that looks to make the pass first and do all the rest as an afterthought.

    We have a good starting 11 on paper, just not good enough quality behind them in some key areas, injuries and suspensions have shown us that, and truth be told, squad depth is what has hampered us over the past 6 years. when is it going to be fixed?

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