Arsenal Exeunt Stage Left At The Stadium Of Light

Sunderland 2 – 0 Arsenal

1 – 0 Richardson (40)
2 – 0 Oxlade-Chamberlain (77 o.g.)

The demanded response to Wednesday’s defeat in Milan arrived quickly at the start of the match and disappeared as quickly in a flurry of injuries and mistakes as Arsenal’s cup season all but ended on Wearside. Dark clouds hang over the club with language in the media to match. Questions asked over the manager’s future following the shambles at Old Trafford have re-emerged from hibernation alongside stories of Viv Nicholson-esque shopping trips to the Transfer Hypermarket.

Little surprise in that given the result at The Stadium Of Light. Martin O’Neill sent his charges out into battle with a single plan; harrass, harry and overwhelm with numbers. They carried out that plan but needed the cruel fates to help them on their way. Yet for the opening ten minutes it seemed more a case of when Arsenal would score, not if; Sunderland could not touch it. Disruption arrived in a familiar form; Francis Coquelin this time the recipient of a hamstring pull.

His replacement was the luckless Sebastian Squillaci who too would succumb to injury barely eight minutes into the second half. That change seemed to invigorate the hosts as much as destabilise the visitors. From that point on, Sunderland exerted a strangulating grip on the game, leaving Arsenal bereft of ideas and their hunt for silverware barely registering breath.

Arsenal utterly dominated the opening exchanges, penning Sunderland into their own half with crisp passing, slaking their thirst for possession with careful retention of the ball. A goal at that time would have opened the floodgates; it almost came as Arteta’s freekick curled beyond the near post.

When play resumed after Coquelin’s departure, the lack of understanding between the incumbent central defenders was almost immediately apparent as Djourou was deceived by the flight of the ball and Sessignon shot wide. Gusting and blustery winds made it difficult to judge the trajectory at times; Fabianski looked to have got it all wrong from McClean’s cross before the ball dolly-dropped into his hands.

Arsenal responded with their best chance of the game, Gervinho’s rasping drive tipped wide by Mignolet. van Persie would have a penalty claim denied in the dying embers of the half but these were Arsenal’s brightest chances in the game. Sunderland were creating little better until Arsenal once more conceded a soft foul in a crucial position. Ibrahimovic had fallen to the floor under the featherweight touch of Johan Djourou in Milan, Craig Gardner the same in Sunderland. The freekick appeared to be heading for a cross in until Richardson turned sharply and shot into the far corner with the help of a telling deflection.

Half-time brought no fresh impetus to Arsenal other than momentum into the treatment room. Barely had the top of the net stopped rippling than Ramsey and Squillaci had departed the pitch with varying knocks and strains. Song reverted to the centre of defence, Rosicky into midfield and bizarrely, Walcott was brought in as a central striker. For all of his attributes, Walcott has never struck me as having the physique needed in English football to lead the line. It also speaks volumes of Marouane Chamakh’s future when he cannot force the manager into playing him when it is his favoured role that is being utilised.

Wenger’s intention might have been to use Walcott’s pace with ball’s over the top of the defence and to turn them but those passes never happened. Instead Song, Arteta and Rosicky played wide to Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho to receive the ball by return or watch moves melt into softly conceded possession or throw-ins. The pitch was not suiting Arsenal yet to me that offers a more worrying concern; if the squad can only play on pristine surfaces without displaying the guile or pace to play on bad, there are severe problems for the manager to deal with.

As Sunderland retreated to the edge of their area, it was apparent that they wanted to hit Arsenal on the break. Several warning attacks were neutered before real danger emerged until Arteta was outpaced and found himself on the floor in his pursuit, Larsson raced into area from the resultant pass, striking the post before watching the ball spin into the net off Oxlade-Chamberlain as he tried valiantly to prevent that outcome.

Post match, Arsène called the situation rather accurately,

At the moment it is best to let people talk, criticise, analyse and destroy and on our side it is important to show internal strength and resilience and come out with a strong performance in our next game

That is all the players and staff can do; there will be deserved criticism of recent performances. The brief mini-revival has come to a spluttering halt and Tottenham is a must-win game; it was before yesterday but to retain their top four place, Arsenal must win. Chelsea might well be stumbling like a drunk at a wedding but Arsenal have no firmer grip on sobriety.

As I said in yesterday’s post, all of the whining in the world about what should have happened in January, about your or my perception of the players is not going to change a thing. Claiming the manager should be changed is not going to gain any support from those in power. I am not sure what is needed at this moment in time; would a change in formation, for example, make that required difference? Perhaps, maybe not. Perhaps a change in players, those frozen out may be the spark. Whatever the solution is, Arsène has a week to find it before the obnoxious brats from down the road arrive at The Emirates.

On Arsenal On This Day, a cup-tie against a North Eastern side that went well.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 19, 2012, in Arsenal, FA Cup, Football, Premier League, Soccer. Bookmark the permalink. 315 Comments.

  1. ‘strangulating’? Is that a word Yogi?

  2. Clueless? You, me and the gatepost.

  3. Funny how so many people seem to be so sure that they have the panacea for all our ills if only that ‘idiot’ Wenger would listen to them. One person even lambasted me on Twitter last night for not immediately condemning Wenger outright, calling him a ‘cancer’. (Seriously? Get a life.)

    I know something drastic needs to be done, both now and over the summer. I don’t pretend to know what THE answer is, simply because I believe several things need to be done to unravel the complex web of problems we find ourselves in. Everyone is to blame, it seems – Wenger, board, Kroenke, players, the tea lady – all with some justification. But what about the role we fans play? The travelling support last night was excellent, so why is so much of the Emirates crowd so fickle. By all means complain outside the ground, but booing substitutions or groaning at every bad touch by Theo is hardly going to help.

    The team need our support. As ‘supporters’, how about we actually give them some?

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2012/02/18/sunderland-arsenal-same-old-questions/

  4. I agree with Consolsbob.

  5. Well balanced review as usual and your right Yogi Arsene is still the man to lead us out of this awful situation.

    My real complaint is that unless something changes i cannot see the club getting anywhere other than playing for Cl place and a slight chance of a cup success each season.

    This self sufficiency stance is very commendable and don’t get me wrong i don’t want the club sold down the river but we need serious money to get the three or four quality players in to get us back on track.

    Why have we got Stan who says he is quite happy to sit there and do nothing to help when we have a Russian who is chomping at the bit to put a shed load of money in to get us to where we belong ? His past is dubious and being David Dein”s friend is probably not helping him with the Board.

    No i do not want to go the Man City route and buy every player that comes on the market but some investment is urgently required.

    We have got some really good players but unless it changes both retaining and recruiting players is going to be very difficult.

  6. Lay off Wenger He will turn this ship around.
    Have a little faith.

  7. I would not be at all surprised if RvP signs a new contract before seasons end. Precisely because we are going through a difficult time. It is in the character of the man.

  8. I feel rather good actually..i think i am doing as wenger said…you know the bit about not making losing such a big deal and that its no drama!

    I like the way wenger is trying to change over 100 years of football philosophy of winning and losing….well ha has changed the habits of maybe half the Arsenal crowd but he has his work cut out converting the rest of the football world.

  9. Shocking performance. Shocking tactics and shocking squad!

  10. The pitch. Howard Webb. Coq’s hamstrings. Arsenal can’t win a match with such formidable opponents i tell ya

  11. Still reeling from what I saw in Milan. I thought the Sunderland would be full of pride and passion but, didn’t see any of that.

    What a shit way for a group of players to play. Big up Alex Chambers and I hope you don’t feel too down because it was the same old fucking idiots who have been doing it for years who let us down which is the reason you had to track back in that manner.

    I refuse to watch any match that djouru plays in anymore or his dumb cunt mate squillachi. There too many fake players who play for us and they need to be rid of. Just a radio fan now until change happens.

    How the fuck are we going to hang on to Van Persie on this team form?

    Certain players are going to get Wenger hounded out and that will leave us in a crazy state because a new manager wouldn’t give at least 4 players in our current squad the time of day.

    Don’t nobody tell me it’s all in my head and the 1000s of Arsenal fans I heard and spoke to are all wrong.

    Happy shit sunday and rest of the week.

  12. It may not help now, but hopefully, even if we do stave off what looks a little like the annual threat of a second half collapse and manage 4th in the league, some lessons will be learnt this summer and we will strengthen the team, refresh our coaching and tactical ideas, begin to adjust our wage structure, and find some ways to enhance our revenues commercially.

  13. Felt like smashing something made of glass when coq’s hamstrings betrayed us.he is turning into my favourite player. All i want to do is watch him play.now its going to be 3 weeks or more before that happens.f. . .king hammies!

  14. any one know what happened to Arshavin?? is he injured aswell?

  15. have to say why do we keep ending up with djourou and squillacci…all we needed was Almunia to come on for the full set.

  16. If AW had done his research he would have seen that in all our recent victories we have allowed the opposition to hold the ball, preferably in their own half. Your 15 minutes domination of the match was no surprise to us Swansea were allowed the same freedom.

    MON played 5 midfielders, a sign of respect for your attack, and we too hate the quality of the pitch because we try to play a passing game. You might have had a penalty for a tackle on Van Persie, the ref did not give it and the ball was taken cleanly and Van Persie fell over the tackler. We had a series of handball calls ignored but one in your penalty area was blatant hand moving to ball it was not given. Tough!

    We might have won the league game, the writing was on the wall, MON knew how to win the game, went out with a plan and it worked because we fought harder and wanted the victory more.

    Wenger’s failure to strengthen your side is partially to blame but his post match whinging has in my opinion created a team lacking in heart who believe they have a right to be allowed to play their game the Arsenal way but not the strength of character to impose it.

    We envy you some of your players but Sunderland no longer fear any team in the Premiership, that does not mean we won’t lose but we will give most teams one hell of a fight.

    That spirit did not exist under our previous manager. The time may have come to ask if it applies under your current manager.

  17. I do believe in RvP and believe we can still get 4th at least. Hopefully then the club will give AW the go ahead to do what needs to be done this summer.

    It’s up to them to recover and stay in the league. This is the worst way to go into the derby but the goal must be to make Spuds pay hard for the disappointments. And the supporters will need to make the Emirates a source of great strength and intimidation for referees.

  18. I think 4th in the table with this squad is exceptional given the loss of quality players and the current poor team ethic. RVP has never struck me as a captain to get things organised like Adams or Viera.
    Blame injuries Pat Rice or whoever you like; the team is in a transitional phase and Wenger needs 4 or 5 quality signings to rebuild the team. Steve Bould needs to get to grips with the deficiencies in central defence and the need for a midfield ballwinner is desperate.

    You don’t have to motivate if you buy quality that’s why Wenger is finding it difficult at present. Still a great manager who needs to spend big-time!!

  19. Frank,i really hope you are right about Rvp.His signature means so much now!

  20. Rite now there is nothing special about arsenal,as hard as it is to accept there is no difference between arsenal and everton or newcastle,a club completely immersed in mediocrity,a manager that doesn’t realise he has gambled and lost with some players,a manager that doesn’t see what is clear for all to see;his team is being left behind,a club that is owned by an individual that seems not to be interested in football,as evidenced by his consistent absence from games,most of our so called talented players would have a difficult time holding a starting shirt down permanently in a serious-minded,title-winning team,look at nasri at man city n u’ll understand what I mean,d players can’t do more than their natural ability,we need more high quality players,d manager,d owner and d management of d club need to get their shit together or this club we love is at d risk of sliding into obscurity.I hope it doesn’t come to this,I hope something is done sooner rather than later……up the guns of my arsenal.

  21. Looks like the squad for Spuds will be thin. At least Kos might be back.

    Chezzer
    Sagna-Kos-Djourou-Vermaelen
    Song-Arteta-Rosicky
    Ox-Rvp-Gervinho

    Bench: Fabian, Chamak, AA, Benayoun, Miquel, Jenkinson?

  22. @Limestonegunner,

    I reckon Theo will come in for Chamberlain

  23. Forgot Walcott on the bench. We are suddenly deep in numbers of “wide forwards”. But very thin in midfield. Is Diaby any nearer to fitness? We could use him and Jack.

  24. Mean lean, should he? Is he playing better than the Ox? It is a big game, so it is an interesting question.

  25. moderation? ….lol…for what ? …. u banning the good people again and allowing the cretins to get thier knives out ? ..why? ..it dont make sense…lol…we are with you…with arsenal…not agfainst you ….lol..

  26. No I don’t think he is playing better than Chamberlain but given the fact that Walcott was rested yesterday and that Wenger may protect Chamberlain from the pressure, I think Arsene will go with Gerv and Theo. Although I would love to see the Gervinho/AOC combination with RVP on a good pitch in what should be an attacking game from both sides.

  27. Admirable post, its not easy to be super positive after the past weeks. In one sense it becomes pointless to frustrate ourselves, becoming angry, looking to blame, denial, acceptance, some of the symtoms of grief interestingly enough, in reality it changes nothing, not for the team or even us, it doesnt appear to be anything like support. But just like grief some people take longer to accept. Oh and Im not saying or suggesting which ones. The answer to that is deeper than face vallue. Just like all of you Arsenal has been and will continue to fill me with pride and give me a sence of identity. As for the game I must agree with those who believe that the quality, tactics needs to change. I think RVP will stay, hes done nothing for me to think differently. As long as I remain confident that we will come back from this next season then I guess ile be easier to be with. Cant wait for the spuds i hear koz might be back

  28. Well bad luck has plagued us at really inopportune times this season but the board, physios, coaches, players and manager have only themsleves to blame for their current plight.

    If this is to be wengers ast season as seems to be the medias prediction, how does arsenal as a club go foward.

    We have good players, we are in a really dark place and the next few games are massive as I am scared about another end of season collapse.

    Like most fans I am annoyed at our current plight, lets just win our next few games scrappy ugly beautiful i don’t care.

    We must secure champions league football.

    Watching John Hartson on sky now absolutely right arsenal teams of old had many leaders of men this team seems to lack that players with the galvanising spirit at times, RVP leads by example but we need more that one player showing this type of leadership.

  29. Come on Crawley!
    See how you like it lumped up Stoke

  30. LG,
    That (with Walcott included) looks like a team that can do some damage on a good day (i.e.type of day when we are highly motivated, confident, and sufficiently lucky).

    I wonder what sort of strategy we should take against the spuds. They are quick in the attack and will almost certainly create chances. This is a worry because last few games show you don’t need many chances to score against us.

    Should we surprise everyone by playing like we played against Barca? Soaking up pressure and using counter-attacks. Not a bad idea if we can execute it, me thinks. Although I have to admit the idea of ‘respecting’ the spuds in that way makes me squirm. Not to mention the PR disaster that would ensue if we still lose.

    Or we could play a smarter possession game where instead of passing around their 3rd of the pitch and forcing them to defend deep, we keep the ball around the middle of the pitch instead. Thus giving ourselves more space for balls over the top (if their defence pushes up) or passes into the gap between their midfield and defence.

    No matter what strategy we take, we have to be disciplined and resolute in defence. That to my mind is the only way to guarantee a victory. A free for all you-score-we-score rarely benefits us in such high profile games.

  31. YW,
    In your last paragraph proper you reference yesterdays post and you are right that all the whining in the world won’t change the current situation as we are stuck with what we have. True. However, you may see as “whining” what others may see as questioning. Public enquiries are not set up to put accidents right. They are established to find out what went wrong, allocate culpability if appropriate and ultimately to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again. A head in the sand approach to our last 13 months in my view is less likely to get us moving forward again than admitting something is seriously wrong and trying to address it. Relentless moaning, constructive criticism and frenzied support are all reactions and I’m sure peoples nature’s will dictate largely how they react. But if all of these have negative impact on results and performances then we might as well keep quiet and then there is no need for ACLF or any other site to carry on.

  32. at this point in time there is indeed no point complaining about how our recruitment policy works…or doesnt work….

    but what does ring true is that every year the squad changes and every year the mentality is the same..

    this club needs direction, it needs leadership..on the pitch and off it..and we arent getting either..

  33. Billboy

    It is whining to continually say that Wenger should have done this or that in January. Besides, when you look at the language used, you cannot seriously believe that there is much constructive debate about!

    I am all for questioning what is wrong but when it starts to repeat itself such as:

      not signing some in January
      not enough Englishmen
      not signing Parker or someone else we were not interested in
      Wenger is French
      Wenger is a part of the female anatomy
      Wenger has not won anything for six years

    Where is the constructiveness in any of those points? Where is the solution to our current travails? None of them contain anything that can contribute to any debate.

  34. Balanced and well written post as usual Yogi:

    Its almost like the squad believes that these sort of struggles when the stakes get higher are part of our destiny. I thought last years team lacked commitment and I blamed it on the upcoming departures of CF and Samir but that ignores the fact that the same thing seems to be happening to this group and I do not for a second doubt the commitment of any of the players in this years squad. The struggles of Arsenal teams in squeaky bum time has become the expected outcome and yesterdays result was unfortunately not much of a surprise. For lack of a better term I think the culture of this club has become stale.

    Limestones ideas in his post at 10:32 seems like the logical way for the club to respond but its still a long way from summer and doing what seems to be logical to most fans has not been the hallmark of the club in recent years. Would be very interesting to know what the clubs leadership really think starting with our majority owner on down the chain of command. However, thats not going to happen so we have to be content to speculate.

    Next weekends Spurs game has become even bigger then it would have anyway because of what has happened this week. Fortunately for us the teams around us fighting for 4th are all underperforming so I don’t really believe its a true must win from a mathematical standpoint. Lets see if we can somehow get the train back on the tracks and have strong finish.

  35. i know ill take shit and people will say AW doesnt want to put to much pressure by why not play all 4 players of RVP, Ox, Theo, Gervinho in some kind of attacking formation…Spuds is a big game and we will need to score to win and on a decent pitch we need 3 points so lets have a go for it

  36. Frank

    I would be surprised – pleasantly – if he did sign before the end of the season. I fully expect the situation to be resolved by the time he goes to join the Dutch for Euro2012. If not then I think Arsenal bite the bullet and keep him for 2012-13 season, taking the loss of transfer revenues as a hit.

  37. Strangulating is indeed a word Cbob.

  38. yogi you missed wenger is a cunt

  39. The good news is that I’ve shed 21 pounds.

  40. Flint McCullough

    Nothing much to say about the football because it has all been said before but I do want to congratulate & thank YW for coming up with a piece like this when most of us just want to shrink away.

  41. c i am with you on your view how about this against the spuds.

    ———RVP
    ——–The OX
    3G’s—————-Theo
    ——–Arteta, Song
    Verm, Kos, Djourou, Sagna
    ————Chezz

  42. Lets be fair Ramsey for all his industrious hard work is not adding enough to the team i advanced midfield.

  43. Yogi:

    Its hard to come up with constructive ideas these days. I think there are lots of issues with tactics and formations and certain players etc etc. We have discussed these sort of issues many many times before. I don’t think this squad has the talent of the past teams and I do think there are some changes needed and we need more tactical flexibility. However I still think the team has the talent to be much better then we are seeing and I don’t think any change in tactics will alter the biggest problem. I’m just not sure I can think of anything constructive to say to fix whats between the players ears.

  44. Van Persie will stay.

    He has exceptional character as well as quality, plain to see.

  45. if robin doesnt renew then there is no point selling him from a football perspective..
    we’d be better off holding him to his contract and seeing if we can do something next year to help him change his mind..hes in the top 3 strikers in the world so its imperitive we keep him whether he signs or not..
    he loves the club so 100% isnt the problem….selling him will be a huge problem though..

    knowing the fuckers that run the club though he’ll be sold off and replaced with chamakh..

  46. no henristic ..the way to play spurs is one and only one …when ref blows his whistle…song lands with his studs on bale;s knee and vermaellen takes care of lennon…set the tone quickly. 😉

  47. We’ve got to support our team next week like we’ve never supported before.
    The spud’s must be stopped at all cost’s. If ever there was a cup final next week is. I think the team won’t let us down. I personally would find a place for Arsh in the hole with gerv and Ox either side. Keep Theo on the Bench.

  48. jonjon I can’t believe the club would be that inept and not replace RVP if he is sold.

  49. Bill

    It is; I’m tired of the whining about “oooh, Wenger’s a [insert your own expletive] and should be sacked”. As if that is going to change something and bring a positive impact. It isn’t and the ones moaning about him now, will also be the first to moan about his replacement.

    I’m tired of reading that. If someone has something to constructive to say, a point to put forward about team selection, formation; fine these might help the team or produce something is not a rancid stench around the club.

    That said I have little patience with much these days; too many think that they are allowed to call someone a cunt or worse and that is stopping as the 30 who have gone straight into spam this morning have found. They will be joined by others of that there is no doubt.

  50. silver gunner to be fair we sort of new we didnt have enough quality in midfield when we sold cesc and nasri and never replaced them..

    when people are talking about song being a playmaker with his one good pass out of 20 over hit ones per game then its a problem..

    rambo is industrious, hes not really creative..but we needed a number 10 and we didnt want to pay 30 mil for a good one (which is funny cos thats what we sold one for) so we threw a lad in at the deep end who has not so long had his leg out of plaster and now said lad is being cained by the fans for not being good enough..

    not the lads fault is it..the fingers should be pointed elsewhere..

  51. Without proper wing-backs we are too predictable.
    As good as Verm is as a CB he’s quite dire as an attacking LB. Playing him with Sagna amplifies predictability like a loss brings in the doomers.
    Le Coq’s injury sets us back quite a bit as he’s better than both Sagna & Verm offensively.
    Gibbs has to step up in a hurry…or at worse we use Yennaris.

    I kept wondering why Gerv & OC did not switch wings yesterday to f**k with Bardsley & Richardson? The answer might have been that the intensity in the stadium was such that clarity of thought escaped players & coaches alike.
    AW does seem to get too wound up during games or is it just on TV?

    We are better than this.
    Sidelining players like AA, Chamakh, Park & Yossi to me is not the answer.
    Its time Le Boss figured out how to incorporate them.
    Each player brings his own positives, why waste ’em?
    I really expected AA, Chamakh or Park to play yesterday
    If we have to ditch 4-3-3 so be it. Just get more fresh legs in rotation.

    Certain things should be kept simple:

    Walcott is no striker. His movement’s improved but not yet for the middle of the park
    He’s offered nothing the past 2 games.

    Don’t think we need to play 3 “box-to-box” CMs. Ramsey’s movement confuses things.
    TR7+Song+Arteta’s the best we’ve got right now.
    We’d even get away with AA+TR7+ Arteta/Song depending on the opposition.

    Too much of our game flows through Arteta and, as good as he his, this prolongs transition, increases predictability and tires the player faster. He’s not the swiftest passer of the ball and neither is Rambo or Song so why not let TR7 & AA get more offensive playtime?

    RvP will stiil score goals playing #10 so why keep Marouane & Park on the bench?
    4-4-2 time beckons, methinks.

    13 games to go.

    NIce post YW.

  52. Is it really Yogi? Well I never.

    Oh, and JonJon, no he didn’t.

  53. silver gunner..

    honestly?? you cant believe the club wont replace robin??

    like we replaced cesc and nasri and countless others before them??

    .

  54. YW,

    Not everyone is as articulate as you and reasoned debate is clearly beyond many. However, a lot of reasoned argument about how we have spent shouldn’t be ignored bescause some people are crude in their outcries.

  55. i picked up on it cbob..

  56. at least we are in pole position for the 4th place trophy..

    its a good job chelsea are shit as well..

  57. I clicked on to the site with a heavy heart, expecting to find in the comments section the usual detritus that floats to the surface after a defeat. Instead we have regular contributors commenting intelligently. Thank you.

    The press, on the other hand, can hardly suppress its vengeful spleen. I guess week after week of being intellectually out-manoeuvred at press conferences must be seriously upsetting for the poor souls.

  58. Not only will RvP sign before the end of the season, but AW will stay too. He honours contracts and the risks are far too high for him to go. Of course the press and media will have it different but then that is how they get paid. No money to be made out of a ‘Wenger in’ story.

    As for SK, I would have thought that it was obvious that the sustainability model is at the core of the club. His role has been to prevent outright ownership of the club so that the sustainability model can conitnue.

    Our success will be measured over far greater timescales than the ‘flea brained live for today’ merchants can cope with. Maybe even decades. A long ride and i intend to cintinue enjoying every minute of it.

  59. …’cintinue enjoying’ being five times more enjoyable than just ‘enjoying’.

  60. ————–chezzer
    yennaris–kozz—TV—sagna
    le ox—-arteta–rosicky–gervinho
    ————arshavin
    ——————–rvp

    song and theo can sit on the bench until they figure out what team they are going to be playing for next year…

    i dont really want to use arshavin cos he definately wont be here next year but seeing as though weve got nobody else capable of controlling the centre of the pitch in an attacking creative dimention then lets go for it..

  61. It will all turn out very well in the end. If it doesn’t seem that way at the moment that is because we are not at the end.

  62. I have something constructive to say.
    don’t rim a birds arse after she told you she ate a hot curry earlier

  63. Wenger out.But no realistic suggestion of who comes in.And as we have recently seen proof positive that he achieves more with less why would we be better off?
    Sack the board! exactly how you sack a major shareholder is never reveled to us.
    Why people think there is an easy answer,one that they and their drinking chums know,to a very complex problem is beyond me.
    Me,I think the answer is really simple.Give the keys to Arshavin and the world is our lobster.
    Might start my own blog now I come to think of it!

  64. Fuck the press. I come on looking for answers such as where the fuck do we go from here based on our last two showings. I mean what the fuck was that supposed to be?

    We played better when we got fucked at old traff 6-1 never mind the most recent thrashing. Somebody give me a insight with a silver lining because I’m trying hard to see where we are going to get this 4th spot job done.

    We have trouble passing the ball forward and do not close players down. Our back line is now refusing to play to the whistle even though it’s cost us in Milan, they still done the same fucking thing yesterday. Can we come out and shock the world by smashing the spuds to bits? Yeah that would change everything if we did that for sure.

  65. Good lord. I see that people out there are suggesting that Arsenal’s season is over. Bit of a shame for the other Eighty odd clubs in the English Football League knowing that there is no point in playing because they have no cups to win and can’t win their respective leagues. Whatever happened to just turning up to enjoy a game of football? There are some great games to come this season.

  66. Merlot,I think Yogi has locked the front door.
    And I for one am very grateful.

  67. Tired from the journey mid-week, heavy hearts, Sunderland on the up with a new manager, away, shit pitch, shit conditions, start brilliantly..crippling injuries to defenders which utterly destroyed the rhythm of the game. Misfortune. I feel for these players. I really do…

  68. the culture of the club is wrong though frank..

    if all this is some part of some long term thing then backwards is the only way we are going..

    we need to start seeing improvements and to be fair we are not..

    SK will bring nothing to the table in terms of direction..the only thing he cares about is profits..he doesnt give a toss really about what direction we take as a football club all he is is a man who collects a load of sports teams and then sits back and watch the pennies pile up..

    hes just a landlord much in terms of the housing market where you buy up a load of properties and then you have a steady stream of income from all of them..the more properties you have the higher the income..

    and wenger is part of the problem as well..although to be fair there is absolutley no pressure on him to succeed and no support coming from the top..

    history tells us that in order for things to get better things have to change..you will know as well as anyone that this club has had many barren spells and success has still come..but it only came after change..no manager has been allowed to go so long at this club doing the same thing before being replaced if the results werent coming..

    the only reason why wenger is allowed the time is because it suits an agenda..an agenda that has been recently developed at the club that is not based on football results..the manager knows all he has to do is make a profit every season and his targets are met…

    over the last few years losing has become accepted and 4th place is seen as a bigger prize than the domestic trophies purely out of financial interest..

    we need a bit more direction..more ambition…changing the squad soley wont solve a thing because the culture will be identical to the one we have now..

    we need a shake up at the top before we can move forwards as a club…

    so i respectfully disagree with your opinion that we have some sort of dream team running the club and it will all be ok if we keep doing the same thing and expecting different results..thats not a sign of progression…its a sign of madness..

  69. thats not a sign of progression…its a sign of madness..

    Talk about tired cliches.JJ

  70. The truly disappointing thing for me yesterday was the feeling of inevitability about it.

    Yes, we have played on 3 rubbish pitches in a week which certainly doesn’t help our style of play, and when it comes to injuries if we didn’t have any bad luck we wouldn’t have any luck at all, but at half time I didn’t realistically feel like we were going to come back.

    Maybe that is more a reflection on me than the team, but there was nothing there to make me feel confident, and that was the worst feeling.

  71. I dont want wenger to go.

    just think of the grief a new man will get from the wengerites if he loses a few!!

  72. pedantic george | February 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm
    Wenger out.But no realistic suggestion of who comes in.And as we have recently seen proof positive that he achieves more with less why would we be better off?
    Sack the board! exactly how you sack a major shareholder is never reveled to us.
    Why people think there is an easy answer,one that they and their drinking chums know,to a very complex problem is beyond me.
    Me,I think the answer is really simple.Give the keys to Arshavin and the world is our lobster.

    I was expecting to see the usual caveat “..but Wenger knows more than me, etc” after your last sentence. Does it mean you now believe you know more than the manager? Or you now realize that having a differing opinion from the boss is not some sign that you think you know more. Or maybe you knew this all along but enjoyed taking the piss and getting into silly arguments 😉

  73. i think at this point george the fans are more tired to be honest..

  74. I think that you have missed a fundamental point, DG

  75. hunter 13 | February 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm
    no henristic ..the way to play spurs is one and only one …when ref blows his whistle…song lands with his studs on bale;s knee and vermaellen takes care of lennon…set the tone quickly.

    Sadly, its even less likely that we would go that route

  76. but i dont know maybe it is time to exile Wenger to St Helena Island!!!

  77. wenger doesnt need to go..
    he just needs more help..

    whether hes handcuffing himself or whether he has no choice is another debate

  78. His exile would more likely be served in Madrid or Paris

  79. if we take the eden hazard situation for example..

    wenger wants him..and we could do with a player like him to be honest..the lad is making all the noises about moving to the arsenal and i beleive wenger will be the key pull..if wenger is gone then dpending on what manager we get in then we might not be attracting the likes of hazard..unless its guardiola.. 😉

    but will we spend the money?? if its wenger thats scared of taking the punt then we need someone on the board to do it for him..

    either way someone needs to start calling some shots and taking some risks and thats whats currently missing…

  80. Surely, the reason why AA was not used yesterday is because AW had to use his 3 substitutions to replace 3 injured players, 2 of which were defenders.

    He chose to use Walcott as the one attacker, rather than sue AA. perhaps he thought that TW would do better. It seems that was wrong.

    With so many defenders getting injured, the defence does not have time to gell in, hence the repeated mistakes.

  81. Season over in February again! Sigh!
    Some serious work needed this coming summer methinks.

  82. Yogi:

    Agree that calling the boss or anyone name and all the vulgarity and profanity are useless and frustrating.

    I really don’t think that any minor tweaks in player selection or formation will help right now. We already are using our best players and minor alterations in the way they line up is not really going to change things that much. Over the long term I really think we would be best served to change our philosophy about how we play. The emphasis on ball retention, short passing and measured buildups thru midfield has not really worked well in the PL. It is especially true now since we don’t have the ideal players to run that type of system. However, you can’t change something like that in midstream in a season. I do think the team we have could play much better even with” flawed” tactics if they play to their potential and hopefully we can come closer to doing that the rest of the season.

  83. JonJon | February 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks because I can’t be arsed to put my opinion into a decent read not full of abusive letters and words.

    Time to stop this pipe dream mentality and realise that our club is now run by people who I don’t think really care as long as money comes in to go in their pocket.

    Please nobody mention the state of fucking pitches again. That big massive cunt in Milan out ran our entire defence on more than one time and how comes sunderland seemed ok on the pitch or did they have a secret blueprint which told them what blades of grass to avoid?

    Was djouru contract extension performance related? fuck me.

  84. Jon,

    If Wenger is forced out we will be in the deepest shit ever known because any other manager wouldn’t give at least 4/5 a fucking whiff of a used Arsenal shirt much less a fresh one with a first team number on the back.

    Secondly, somebody like Guady wouldn’t come on the current terms of “your not allowed to spend or tell anybody that and work with what you have”.

  85. talking of pitches maybe we should scuff ours up to stop the spuds passing game!!

  86. i like JD i thought he had a decent season last year until he was injured for the rest of campiagn, rushed back, and injured for the campaign again before being brought back from the dead..yet again..to be played at rb this season and look like shit…

    his contract extention isnt really that puzzling because his contract was running down (not many ppl knew this) and he seems happy to be backup CB…and hes not a bad one at that..

    hes just a bad RB..and then struggles in a side that has no clue how to defend, attack, or even pass the ball at this moment in time…

  87. Apologies for long post, but here goes…

    I don’t think anyone would disagree that we are a conservatively managed team. By conservative I mean we tend to always favour the lower risk (in a financial sense) path, which by definition means we would never use our resources to the fullest but will instead keep some for the rainy day. We’ve always been that way it would seem and it is precisely for this reason that I stated in the past that we’re not as ambitious as most of our competitors (some of you probably remember how that statement caused a long argument on here some time ago).

    Being so conservative is not the usual way to run a football club where the more common approach is to “give it all” (and then some) in the pursuit of glory. But its not a bad approach either as it has given us trophies in the past, and has given us a measure of stability. This of course doesn’t mean we would have gone under if we took a different approach, but it is what it is.

    One good question is whether we should continue to be so conservative in light of the unprecedented competition we now face. Words emanating from current ownership so far certainly suggests that the status quo will continue. What I consider odd is that the ‘conservationism’ seems to have deepened. I mean, have we ever made this much profit and spend so little of it (keep in mind I talk about profit, not revenue)?

    Another question is whether Wenger is can still deliver ‘enough success’ under such a system. Best to wait until end of the season for a clearer answer to that, but it makes you wonder who out there is a bigger miracle worker than Wenger?
    Or maybe the person doesn’t have to be such a miracle worker. One question is often asked in goonerdom is; how much better would Arsene perform if he spent that bit extra that we’ve been told umpteen times that we have, instead of almost always taking the more er.. conservative approach.
    Its got to the point that Arsene and the board’s ethos are practically indistinguishable making it hard to know who’s really responsible for our frugality in the transfer market, which is much currently much higher than it needs to be given our balance sheet. It would seem this quality is what particularly endears him to Kroenke, although a major upheaval by fans could change that. Not an outcome that anyone except the dumbest of doomers will want to see.

  88. i not looking forward to the spurs game to be honest..

    if we get fucked at home by those cunts then i fear the fans wont wait until the end of the season before it all kicks off..

    if you think things are bad now..a heavy defeat by spurs will be the result that tips it over the edge..

  89. goonerton | February 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Time to stop this pipe dream mentality and realise that our club is now run by people who I don’t think really care as long as money comes in to go in their pocket.

    Problem with your statement is that, money isn’t going into anyones pocket (other than the manager, players, and admin staff) at the moment. This might change in the future, but its not the case now.

  90. All very well said YW. All the whining in the world won’t change anything. Moaning won’t suddenly stop our defence being destroyed by injury after injury. Some days just aren’t your day. Simple. My love for the club is undiminished. Still plenty to play for too .

  91. Most practical suggestion of the day duke. That should tell us something.

  92. dukegoonem | February 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm
    “talking of pitches maybe we should scuff ours up to stop the spuds passing game!!”

    hahahahahah…

  93. henristic
    why take dividends every season and upset the fanbase when you can build the clubs profile over a 10 year period and make one big fuck off dividend when you sell it??

    its basically what the previous board did..

    none of them invested a penny of their own money into the club..all they did was take out a huge loan in the clubs name, began a property adventure, raised the profile of the club over a period and then walked away with a massive payment when they sold their really high shares…

    but the club was still left with the loan??

    very very clever of them..

    the way i see it is this club is worth a billion on the market now…how much are those shares going to be worth when the sponserships are renewed and the bank balance has enough in it to cover the mortgage…

    the money isnt going to anyones pocket nor is it paying off debt..but its not going into the team either..the people who run this club have found a very clever way of making huge profits without the need for silverware, even if it involves selling the best players from your team..as far as profit goes there isnt an area of the club that isnt safe, it all has to make profit..

    all they are doing is building a bank account that has enough in it to cover the whole mortgage in one go..they are not paying it off, it would be pointless doing that and arsenal dont break contracts…. so they build a huge cash reserve instead and the share price raises with it and then when the right buyer comes along you make your dividend…

  94. JJ,
    What you say sounds plausible, but the current owner doesn’t have a history of doing selling his clubs like that.
    However, given the sums involved in a potential arsenal sale, I wouldn’t bet on the fact that he won’t be tempted to cash in one day.

  95. Henristic,You just don’t get me ,do you?
    The “Arshavin”bit was my way of saying simpletons like me,think there are simple answers that Arsene has somehow missed.
    Do you see now? As if it has never entered his head to let Ardrei play through the middle.!
    Do keep up.

  96. I agree with jonjon, Wenger needs additional help.
    Even the best and worst arsenal teams over the last 6-7yrs have all been plagued by episodes of mental instability (the post winter implosion virus that specifically targets arsenal footballers every year) and a lack of cohesion with regards to their defensive duties (tracking back in numbers and closing down as a team).

    Arsenal needs freshening up with additional coaching staff just as the older but flexible Ferguson has repeatedly done over the years. My suggestion would be for arsenal to go head hunting at clubs that currently employ better organisational and tactical expertise than we do and poach their coaching staff. I don’t think the current set of players are any worse than some of the teams around us.

    As a comparison, look at man uniteds midfield compared to our midfield;
    carrick, scholes and fletcher vs arteta, song, rosiscky (ramsey)
    clearly in terms of skill and technique there isnt too much difference between them I would even go as far to say that on paper our players should be better. But when it comes down to team play and mentality they would probably come out on top.

    You could do the same for the rest of the team but I think the results would pretty much be the same because on paper arsenal have as much qualities as all the teams around us (with the exception of man shitty who have money to burn) but the main difference lies in my above observations.

    I don’t think I would be incorrect to say that arsenal unfortunately sometimes look clueless (possibly a bit strong) with regards on how to break up highly defensive teams and are easily dispossessed by teams that press in numbers. These deficiencies are not natural skills that footballers are miraculously are born with but has to be taught on the training pitch with fresh ideas and tactics.

    Of course there is nothing terribly new in what I am saying and in know way am I suggesting that Arsene needs to step down because at the end of the day, he has been a brilliant ambassador and leader for arsenal. But I feel he needs to put sentiment to one side and freshen up the back room so arsenal can consistently compete with the big spenders in the premiership.
    It will be important for arsenal to adapt to these modern times and not be left behind.

  97. Duke@2.10
    Comparing Arsene to Napoleon,
    Tch tch very cruel

  98. I’m starting to think that finishing the season in the top 4 with the players at his disposal would be one of Wenger’s greatest achievements. I don’t think we’ll buy any defenders in the Summer, I can just see us buying a proper, number 9 style striker and another creative midfielder. Jack, Arshavin and the Ox seem to be the only players with a real eye for an incisive through ball, Ramsey/Rosicky’s seem to be hit-and-hope and Arteta doesn’t even attempt them. (Yeah I know Song’s played some amazing passes this season but he shouldn’t have to).

  99. On a different note, how are we going to get rid of the players who we’ve loaned out? I don’t think Denilson, Bendtner or Vela have anything to offer the current team but they’re unlikely to get the same wages elsewhere.

  100. I really don’t know what to think after a performance like that. There seemed to be no-one who was going to open Sunderland up. On top of that, it was Sunderland who seemed to be more up for it than Arsenal, our players were outfought all over the park. After the defeat against Milan I said it was going to be a big job to lift the players for this match and I don’t think we can say that was done successfully at all. It will be an even bigger job to lift them for the next game and if they aren’t at it from the first second we could be on the end of a real hiding against Spurs.

  101. Sure George 🙂

  102. Vince,Vela leads the assists list in Spain for a team other than Barca and Real.He will find a club easily.

  103. Vince, I would take NB in a hearbeat over Chamakh. Whatever else he is, he’s a genuine scorer…lots of poacher’s goals in that boy’s boots.

  104. i think vela will find a club..i dont think his wages are that much of a burden and hes a good little player in spain..

    the others need to be stripped of their squad numbers and told they’ll be training with the kids if they dont fuck off..and theres a few others who arent on loan who still get games who this applies to as well..

  105. bendtners a prick we dont want him back..
    he is better than chamakh though but thats just a cause for concern and not a reason to bring him back..

  106. Arseblogger trashed Wenger’s use of Theo up top to close out the match, and I agree that it was tough to make sense of tactically given Sunderlands shape. But that actually give me hope, because it shows AW is now desperate enough to address his chief flaw: his unwillingness to adapt his style to the opponent. His stubborn “we play the Arsenal way no matter what” is so wonderful, but there must be a gulf in technical quality between the teams for it to work. Without a magician like Fabregas at the fulcrum, teams can set up to stop us, and we don’t make enough tactical adjustments. I like chima’s idea of Arsene bringing an a new coach to help mix things up.

  107. Some people seam to think our previous teams coached themselves.

  108. Bendtner didn’t look like much of a poacher for Sunderland pre-injury! I think we need a Hernandez type player as an out and out striker, someone who can run off the last defender and link up with RVP. Walcott just isn’t good enough in front of goal to be our main forward and I worry he’s running out of time with us.

  109. Arseblogger is really good at calling John Terry funny names.Also…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..No ,that’s it

  110. sturridge

  111. What is your problem with arseblogger, George.

  112. Arseblogger tends to talk a lot of sense, generally sticks to the brighter side and never sinks to Le Grove levels of pointless hysteria.

  113. I am totally confused by aa23’s lack of involvement. Okay so his form hasn’t been great but if we are playing 2 up top why the hell don’t we give the guy a couple of games in his best position? Just behind rvp those two could actually unlock defenses between them. Surely he would do better than Ramsey is in that role currently that boy is in dire need of a rest.

  114. Or we could play with rvp and chamakh

  115. Or we could play with rvp and chamakh together at least then we have different options and might make us less predictable.

  116. vela, denilson, bendy, eboue,……all is forgiven come back

  117. duke
    cant we make it cesc nasri flamini and henry???

  118. Arseblogger tends to talk a lot of sense

    Does he really?

    Henristic .Dont have a problem with him .Just think his opinions are a bit shit.And he hides like a snake in the grass using humour as his cover.
    Not my cup of tea .
    Give me Yogi,Darius ,Limpar,Muppet and Mean Lean and day of the week and twice on Sunday.
    He is like “The Daily Sport” of blogs.If you know the publication.

  119. JJ an old mate of mine supports City and he says City fans think Samri has been shit for them.
    Worth a bid?

  120. I decided this morn ing not to look at the report in the paper. However, I had a few spare minutes, and there was the paper in froint of me and I succumbed.

    This si what Paul Rowen, the reporter said about the first 10 minutes.

    “Coquelin lasted less than 10 minutes, during which Arsenal looked shaky every time the ball entered their own half…”

    This is how YW described the first 10 minutes:-

    “Arsenal utterly dominated the opening exchanges, penning Sunderland into their own half with crisp passing, slaking their thirst for possession with careful retention of the ball. A goal at that time would have opened the floodgates; it almost came as Arteta’s freekick curled beyond the near post.”

    I have not seen the match (although want to do so tomorrow, when I can) but these 2 reports are so diametrically opposite, and I would undoubtedly accept YW as being accurate, that I really do wonder what has got into the press that they are, seemingly, incapable of regarding us in a positive light whatsoever and seem to take delight in being continuously negative thorughout a long article.

    I heard on Radio 5 this morning that Sunderland deservedly won. However, we had 55% of possession, they had only 2 shots on target, whilst we had 6, they played like an away side and, so it seems, got away with murder, thanks to Howard Webb (is it really true that we have never won a game which he has reffed?), so can it be correct that they deserved to win with a deflected shot and a fluky own-goal?

    Perhaps we did not do enough to deserve to win, but it seems that the media take much pleasure in kicking us when we are down, and inventing facts whilst so doing.

    For those who feel the condition of the pitch is not a relevant facter, surely, a team that plays on a bad pitch ,day in day out, has learnt how to compensate for the divets etc. and how to play despite it. They also train in a specific way to also take advantage of the bad pitch against a team that is used to playing on a better surface.

    That is what Milan did, by avoiding those areas that we take great advantage of, ie the wings.

    AS I said in my post yesterday, players who are used to the ball running smoothly when they pass, will find it difficult to guage the weight of the pass on a pitch where the ball does no run smoothly,

    They will either misplace many passes, either too short, or too long, or try a different way of playing that they are not used to.

  121. Jabba's delights

    George

    Arseblogger call him what you will manages to capture many many arsenal fans current view of the club in a very funny but pretty balanced way. Go look around at the arsenal blogs he is allot more moderate than most of them these days.

  122. People are forgetting we had Nasri and Cesc last season and still collapsed.

  123. jjgsol We had 70% possession.
    I was impossible to play well on that pitch.But with better players,which we have,we should have done better than we did,Created more .Somehow .Any fucking how.
    There really is no point trying to play snooker on a card table.

  124. I don’t like Arseblog either. Had a row with him on ACLF a couple of years ago. Ok to begin with when he was in Spain but became a ‘hits’ merchant.

  125. Jabba
    Do you think I like moderate?
    Really?
    Do you?
    What I said I stand by.

  126. @ Drew 10 i was kinda suprised we went for Walcott upfront instead of Chamakh tbh..
    Both Chamakh and AA has been plastered to the bench since Xmas.

    anyone have any ideas? I know what Yogi wrote but still. It just seems like a waste to have a player like chamakh in the squad if we aint gonna use him in games i think we could benefit from his strenghs….
    Walcott is many things, but hes not imo a physically strong front man that can hold up the ball, neither is he great on the head.
    If we still had Bendtner im sure he would have been used last night….

  127. Frank .He is a popularist and goes with the flow.
    He craves polarity.And there is nothing wrong with that in itself.
    Just not for me.

    (I know “popularist is not a word,before anyone asks)

  128. in all honesty george if city wanted rid of nasri id take him back..but not for the price we sold him for and not for the wage he gets there..

    if its a tail between his leg job then yeah bring him back..

    same with ade as well..i hated that fucker but id take him all day long over the options we have at the minute and when his time with spurs is up id be tempted to talk to him and see what he wants to do…

  129. @Henristic we have not collapsed yet. We can still manage 4th.We can still rise and make something out of this season. If we nab 4th we achieved the same as last year but without Cesc and Nasri. We basically upheld status quo.
    Lets not judge until the fat lady sings. I think our second last game against Chelsea will be the season maker for us.
    But comes summer and we have achived the same this season as last, without replacing our two talismans. then well we havent done that bad at all really..

  130. infact compare last years squad to this years. if we managee 4th this year we done alot better than last year. Last year we had a sqad that should have won. This year.. well a 4th would be a win tbh…

  131. Jabba's delights

    The fact Is though george he is balanced which is crucial. He isn’t putting forward an unbalanced defence of a manager who doesn’t warrant defending on performance alone currently nor is he sticking the knife in to a manager who has demonstrated over the course of a long career many wonderful moments. He portrays that middle ground which is probably allot closer to the truth than the bloggers who occupy the ground on either end of the spectrum.

  132. Henristic,
    Cesc is the loss.
    It does not matter what we now think of him as person .He is,IMO,the best creative midfielder in the world.He was the hub of the team.We really do miss him.

  133. great for stevanage though. i bet this will generat much needed cash for their club.

  134. Jabba .Perhaps.
    I just don’t like him.
    That is still allowed is it not?

  135. Chima: “Arsenal needs freshening up with additional coaching staff…”

    seems like an option worth trying. An innovative assistant that can also diffuse tension @ key moments, like make AW laugh during a tight game.

    oh fack Samri PG. May he rot in Manchester.

  136. henristic..
    like i mentioned before

    its the culture..the mentality of the club…the team changes all the time…the results are the same though..

    how can several different teams get to the same point of the season year after year and collapse??

  137. lol the daily mail reckon Guardiola will take over for AW when he retires. Imagin the face of CESC! he went from arsenal to barcelona to be with his “beloved” idol, then his idol goes to the club he left.
    say Barca wins nothing this year, and pep leaves to take over arsenal. heh…
    seriousley that would be pricless.

  138. Jabba's delights

    Poodle

    The worry is is that arsene Has found it very hard to motivate teams around this time of year after big disappointments. The team work is utterly non existent at the moment, nobody is making runs without the ball when in possession and our elective pressuring is quite frankly laughable.

    Wenger decision to bring Walcott on is baffling when you consider the approach Sunderland were obviously going to take in the second half. The pitch was crap space was t a premium both behind here defence and in front of it. Surely arsene arshavin and chamackh.

  139. oh & fack Adebayor too JJ.
    There are more important values to hold on to in life than what he & Samri represent.

    He wants to go back to Madrid so bad he’s playing his heart out so Mourinho can make their board bring him back next season.
    Too ” big time” for us he is.

    F*ck him whether or not they beat us next weekend!

    Never forget the Earth’s pretty damn huge
    There are good players, gems waiting to be unearthed everywhere.

  140. Jabba's delights

    Poodle
    I think the is allot of sense in pepe being our next manager. He isn’t about money he is about interesting projects. He is tired of interference at barca and understands how difficult it is to continue to keep cereal winners motivated. Arsenal offer him the chance to have his own philosophy and indoctrinate it throughout the club we will also be patient. Who better than wenger to get the best out of our players than the person who invented the style of play our manager try’s so hard to copy.

    That would invigorate the fanbase

  141. @Jabba’s delights but still if we manage 4th this year its a massive massive achievement. Look at yourself, you are dooming us down at every oportunity. telling eveyone that wants to listen how crap we are. Yet we manage 4th? the 4th best team in England with the crappest players???
    tell me that is not an achievement?
    If we loose th next 4 games yes, we have a meltdown, and we will fall out of top 4. But you do not know this yet. for all you know we may win them.

    If we stay top 4 this year we have overachived massivley.
    Especially taking into the concideration we lost our two most important players last window. Our midfield does not seem to work and we seem over reliant on Robin.
    Everything that can go against us does, with injuries, with bad selfesteem, with inpatient fans, with people wanting to sell all our plaeyrs and boot our manager in the middle of the season.
    Yet this team fights on, yet we can still go 4th.

    Honestly managing to turn the players mental state around and getting 4th spot this year is a massive achievement.
    Especially since most of out fans just think the team stinks and that 10-15 of our first team should be sold. they may be crap but this 10-15 players are still in the 4th best team in UK if we get 4th…

    Everything around is not important now.who we gonna sign for summer, what we should have done last match. its just not important. what is important is that the team and the fans give their all in the next match. Simple as.
    We are not melting down yet, and we should not behave like we are.. we should strive to win and strive to support until the end imo..

  142. Don’t know why people keep thinking that the middle ground is the right place to be? Seriously flawed logic.

  143. yes we are out of the cups but we are still in the race for 4th. lets not loose perspective here. lets focus.
    Its of cruciall importance people 🙂

  144. “Who better than wenger to get the best out of our players than the person who invented the style of play our manager try’s so hard to copy.”

    Now I am no great football historian.But I don’t thing Pep has invented anything new.

  145. Strongly disagree
    Disagree
    *Can’t get my head out of my arse to hold an opinion
    Agree
    Strongly Agree

    (* Middle ground)

  146. Jabba's delights

    Poodle

    If in the summer I told you arsenal would be completely uncompetative again in fact worse you would have told me I was an idiot. So why after a wretched performance almost completely of our own doing should then go and say well one for making our very minimum season target. Utter bollocks, finishing 4th this year isn’t remarkable if we had got better than last year like our aim every year should be we woul coast 4th. Set yourself some decent standard mate. Get it in your head that our unforgivable star to the year was own to human error.

  147. Frank ,do you mind if I stand with you in an extreme corner ?

  148. Hitler was an evil tyrant
    *Hitler had some good points to make
    Hitler was a hero

    (*Middle ground)

  149. I would be downright fucking outraged if you didn’t, George

  150. Jabba's delights

    He has adapted the Dutch total football. Our manager has tried but failed to copy. Let’s not try and criticise pepe would be futile

  151. It was human error .
    It was Arsene’s fault .
    He should never again expect a footballer to be as good a man as he is.Even if they have gone on record as saying he was like a second father too them.

  152. He tucks his jumper into his suit trousers.’Pants’btw for you people in America. Though tucking your jumper or shirt for that matter into your ‘pants’ in England is a capital offence.

  153. Jabba's delights

    Frank

    If looking at it from that stand point the only possible way I see you is s goebbels sitting there in the bunker telling everyone that was still there to listen that the red army and the allies weren’t closing in at all and that hitler plan really is still on track

  154. Middle ground = Safe place = Sitting on the fence = Follower = Consumer = Fairweather fan
    The majority “stand for” what works as long as someone else is taking the risk responsibility.
    AKB today, doomer tomorrow…Chelsea today, ManCity tomorrow
    Ever fluctuating allegiancies like b*tches.

  155. Jabba ,Where have I criticised him?
    I am just saying he has invented nothing.And he has not.Has he?
    But you said he did.
    Am I being pedantic?

  156. Jabba's delights

    George

    Cry me a river mate.

    You read cesc quotes so did eye it was obvious he wanted to leave. Any hope of keeping him went when we diddnt strengthen the die at the beginning of the summer. The manager had his pants pulled down and then panicked. He panicked by not knowing how to react he had made no plan b. What if cesc left. You would have thought that a top draw manager may have planned for the eventuality that the player who is telling everyone else he wants o join his boyhood club might actually do so. Yet he didd nothing for 3 weeks. Then when he did react he bought in players nowhere near of the same level. Him the board they all get a Mark of f- forperformce over the summer

  157. Pep has achieved much and is the manager of a very successful team. The one he grew up with. Had a little bit of help on the ‘Total Footballing’ side of things I feel, including a Youth Academy that has been around for a long time and started to produce and a fellow called Johann Cruyff. AW has had to advise on the building of a stadium, build a training facility, build a youth policy, attract cut price players etc etc, deal with an FA which won’t allow him to buy young players from the other side of London, deal with a country which won’t let young South American players in, change players diets and training regimes, change the footballing style of the club….

    I would like to see AW hand over to an Arsenal man eventually not a Barcelona man, and stick around to help.

  158. You can’t have a discussion with somebody that gets his “facts” wrong half the time while the other half is spent exagerrating/understating to the extent it suits his agenda.

  159. Oh thats a shame, Jibber, I was hoping that you would have seen me as totally anti-Hitler right from the outset. In fact I like to think that I might have volunteered to fight Fascism in Spain. How unintuitive you really are…

  160. the summers long gone jabba…
    we know what happened, how it happened and now we know the consequences…

    the issue is now staying in the top 4 with the team we built in the summer and then looking to this summer to fix the pigshit of a mess we put ourselves in…

  161. Nobody criticised Guardiola, JD, they were having a pop at your suggestion that he invented a new style of football. If you purchase a copy of The Blizzard – I think either issue one or two – you’ll find that Guardiola’s inspiration is neither Dutch or Spanish but South American.

  162. (just got back from trekking the moon sice Sept.’11)

    ..hello ACLFers, what’s been going on?

    …oh wow, Jabba’s posts seem very calm today…hmm, what happened did we LOSE?

    I bow @ your superior knowledge of footer Jabba’s D.
    Long may you WIN gooner debates.

    ..I await your personal blogsite with an eagerness the middle ground’d be proud of.

  163. Poodle,
    I never said we’ve collapsed this season.

  164. peps a good manager..
    strengths weaknesses all managers have them..

    inherited and developed, all managers have that as well..

    wins trophies doesnt he…good manager..

    but after reading what frank said ive long been an admirer of stevie bould and giving him a crack..maybe with bergkamp or henry as no.2..

    he knows the young players hes developed half of them..any new manager walking into arsenal has a good set up..solid youth and solid finances..

    it could be more beneficial if he knows the players..makes a few tweaks and changes the fucking mentality..

    let us not forget when wenger first arrived the team was pretty much set to go..he already had the players they just needed a fresh attitude..sometimes it doesnt take 250 mil to get a team going..it just takes a fresh approach..

  165. I agree with Frank.

  166. Now don’t get me wrong, but on occasions, not all I admit, but some occasions, it is possible, and I confess not always, for people who take the middle ground, and I appreciate that the definition of that is tricky, might come across as appeasers, but I am sure that they feel that they are being diplomatic and are very nice people really.

  167. I thought it interesting in the game that RvP (again) dropped into the No10 role. I wonder it this is something Arsene genuinely see’s as an option for the side (I hope so). If we have a genuine quality striker ahead of him that really could be lethal.

    Blatantly Chamakh is not going to be that man. Theo showed yesterday what he will offer as a striker (not much). If we can keep RvP and bring in somebody in he summer we could be on to a real winning combination.

  168. Jabba's delights

    Yogi

    When is anything completely new, he adapted something that was there and made it better. Our manager followed I pointed this out today when someone said it’s wenger own brand of football.

    Jon

    Yes the summer is gone as is January as will be next summer as long as we keep doing the same things. No more let’s be patent. If we can’t compete financially then we need to buy earlier before everyone else knows what’s going on. The transfer policy needs changing and a number of player need to be moved on. We weren’t close this year nor were we last year or the one before that. We must stop making these excuses and set out to impove. Dfence, attack, depth, mental attitude all needs to be improved considerably AGAIN

  169. @GA
    I am astonished that 45 minutes are enough for you to make such a definite judgement.

  170. George,
    Yogi is moderate too, why are you and Frank on here?

  171. Evil – I assume you mean the comment about Theo?

    Not a definite judgement at all, he may prove me completely wrong. But I have always said that he may be able to play up front as long as it was in a 442. I have always maintained that he won’t be able to play as a lone striker. Although it was only 45 mins yesterday he did absolutely nothing to change my opinion there. Did he even touch the ball more than twice?

  172. “looking to this summer to fix the pigshit of a mess we put ourselves in…”

    JJ.I know it is a tired old routine but

    Wojo.
    Sagna,Kos,Per/TV,Santos
    Jack/Arteta,Song,Diaby
    Theo/AOC,RVP,3G’s/AA

    Does not need much fixing.
    I call that a proper team.

  173. The extreme end of most things are tunnel visioned, and therefore give dubious opinions. People should always be open minded. Those that aren’t just end up looking stupid.

  174. George – Still only one match winner in that team. Big problem.

    Anyway, off for Risotto and a glass of vino with the wife.

    Laters.

  175. Jabba's delights

    George

    When has that team shown you that its good enough to show the consistency to maintain I high standard in 4 competitions. Bar wilshere santos and gervinho that was probably our tangiest 11 against Milan. 3 of the players you mention will probably be off, have you seen how many goals those players you mentioned have scored in the last year minus rvp.

  176. Henristic Yogi may be a little moderate,but I hope you are not classing him with Arseblog.Otherwise I will be virtually punching your hooter.
    Yogi is Paddy Barclay and Arseblog ? John Cross
    But as Little Richard said “its a poor dog cant wag his own tail”

  177. jabba the transfer policy is flawed
    so is the wage structure
    so is the mentality..
    we do make too many excuses

    but if we finish 4th then it gives us something to build on..

    sometimes i think ppl want wenger to fail just so they can say i told you so but the implications of failing will not help the club in the long run..

    changes need to be made even if we stay in top 4 but we have to stay focused..

    sacking the manager and shooting the board now wont do any good, although that could all change after the spurs game but we can asses the damage at the end of the season and hopefully someone will have a word in someones ear and the mistakes will be rectified and not repeated..

  178. Jabba
    I said it does not need much fixing.I did not say it was ideal.
    “When has that team shown you that its good enough to show the consistency to maintain I high standard in 4 competitions.”
    It has not .But that is because we have never been near to seeing it

    This would be my best 11

    Wojo
    Sagna,kos Per,Santos
    Jack ,Song ,Diaby
    AOC,RVP,Arshavin

    That would do me .

  179. george i see where your going with that team and on paper and on reputation its a strong one..

    too much baggage in there for my liking though..

    theres a few in there who id kick out of the club in a heartbeat and i wouldnt worry too much about it due to the fact we have so many good young lads coming thru..

    i would however buy 3 or 4 match winners to supplement it though..

  180. and to be honest george i was thinking more in terms of the squad..not just a first 11

  181. JJ what do you think of Barca’s squad?

    They are 10 points adrift of a team that never beats them!

  182. Of course I’m comparing them in the sense of being moderate. Yogi is nothing like Frank, or the guys at Untold Arsenal. He’s clearly nothing like le-grove either, and neither is arseblog. I’d say the two blogger’s views in terms of positivity/akbism are closer to each other’s than they are to any of extreme ends of the fanhood spectrum.

    But in terms of style of writing and general class, they couldn’t be more different.

  183. But in terms of style of writing and general class, they couldn’t be more different.

    Well H we are agreed on that

  184. i think barcas squad is shit hot..

    its won pretty much everything in the passed 3-4 years..so this one season doesnt really mean a thing..

    and madrid aint exactley a shower of shite either..mourinhos finally got them going..

    all that shows is that it can be done.. madrid dont play barca every week..so even if they cant beat them when they play them they can still challenge for the league..

    point im getting at is we dont play chelsea or city every week so even if they outspend us and have all the best players it doesnt explain why we get outplayed by the likes of fulham and swansea and stop challenging for stuff in feb..

    cant compare us to barca..we havent won anything in 7 years…thats why cesc went back…

  185. And what do u mean by ‘craving popularity’? U don’t like the idea of him making money from his blog? What is wrong with that?

    What’s wrong with make a living from doing something you love? Is it any different from what professional players and coaches do?

  186. One problem George, Diaby has been on Ice longer than Torvill & Dean.

  187. Henristic
    “He craves polarity.And there is nothing wrong with that in itself.
    Just not for me.”
    Did you forget to read the rest of the paragraph in your haste to wag his tail?

    In case you missed it twice
    “And there is nothing wrong with that in itself.”

    You read it now?
    Got it?
    Is that clear enough?

  188. Spy.
    What can I say ?
    I am an optimist.
    What are you?

  189. Well I’m no prophet of Doom!

  190. I did not ask what you were not.That would be a very long list 🙂

  191. Nice one George, that made me laugh,
    And considering the results lately- well needed.

  192. George

    Liked your team there. I would make one change (if Song does not return to earlier form) and put Le Coq in midfield. I like his fighting spirit ans will to win the ball back.

  193. why would you still pick diaby george..

    the dudes been here what? 7 years..and hes never been a key player..

    i feel the injuries to him coupled with some of the players weve had or not had in the midfield over the years has lead some fans to beleive he’s some sort of superhero that will come back and immediately command a first team spot but i dont think hes that good to be honest..hes got good ability but at 25 hes got the footballing education of a teenager because hes never had the game time…

    last season for me im afraid..hes out..

    i dont see the point in keeping a player on your books eating up good wages just for him to maybe come good for a season when hes 29..

    waste of time and money..might as well of bought someone..would work out cheaper..and you’d get value for money on the principle he’d play more games…

    would help the team too..epsecially when you need players…

    maybe im being too harsh but im getting sick of the freeloading culture and the players who earn good money at this club and we dont see them play..

  194. George,
    “Just not for me” clearly means YOU don’t like him craving popularity*.
    Which is how I understood it in the first place, so stop wasting time and proceed with responding to my comment @ 7.28.

    Not letting you off that easy, not even if u throw more insults my way 🙂

    *I take it your use of the word polarity was a typo?

  195. Jabba's delights

    But that team isn’t as good as a team with cesc and nasri in it and yet even that side was 12 points not good enough in a season where the champions finished with the lowest points total side our side in 1997 -8. It will be higher this year. We needed two three top echelon performers to that side. George someone else needs to take that chance on diary next year. We need to creat space and wage room in the squad for top reliable performers that means being ruthless on some players with undoubted ability but little consistent production

  196. Typical aftermath following a defeat;

    The blog’s full of twats spouting shite.

    Hey JJ! 🙂

  197. dups
    i want le coq instead of song..

  198. @Jabba’s delights why do you support arsenal again? I seem to forget time and time again….

    Are you suggesting i should hate my team if we dont get a trophy?
    I see how it affetcs you, what miserable git you become if you do live by your “standards”.. I dont want that upon myself. I dont wanna be miserable and feel down after every loss. And i certainly dont want to indulge in it.Claiming bragging rights because “i waas right last summer” …

    Football shoud be fun, it should be exciting. If anything has dissapointed me this year its more our our way of playing than our place in the league,(but theb again those two are interconnected). We have not been fun to watch this year. We been boring and predictable. Look at Swansea they been awesome to watch. Even Tottenham has been fun to watch. Its all about the entertainment Jabba.
    If we dont win i live with that and move on. All you can do is cheere for the players and hope they gain enough confident from that to have a good game. Thinking about it every minute of every day is not good for you. Honestly.

    I love Arsenal, and always have, but my biggest wish is that we regain the fun onthe field. That for me is more important than trophys tbh.

    United for example, won ALOT but never fun to watch, dull, dull, dull why would anyone cheere for them? Because they win you may say. Paying shit loads of money to watch a boring match just to see a boring team win?Paying 50£ to be bored? just to get the bragging rights for a trophy at the end? yay, just what i always wanted…..

    Your priorities are wrong imo if all that matters to you are trophies, if footy is just a means to an end, if footy is only a road to the trophies. Its so much more.
    I think that i why i adore AW, his philosophy suits me perfect. The way he thinks about football as art. Its a shame he does not have the money or the players to live up to it atm.
    But i still have the faith. 4th this year and new clean sheats next season, that is why its SO imporant to concentrate on 4th rather than being depressed about no trophys.

    Trophys are important ofc, they are the proof you are the most efficient football team. You should always strive to get them and become the best, but it DOES matter how you get them. You need the whole packages Jabba. ATM i realize we probably have to do exactly that, but its not fun to watch, its boring to watch. And i really hope we will see old arsenal next season again.

    Im not born an Arsenal fan, i probably use more money on Arsenal than alot of those whos borne into Arsenal families but no im not born one. In these modern days i doubt the majority of our fans are. Are you Jabba? if you are not, why do you support them?
    I love them because they are the most innovative, ineventing and brave teams out there. We dared to play our own style and go for the beautiful game. We were so so so close last year.

    I want that back more than anything. The great play.
    We will probably end up as no 4 this year just as last year, but last year was more fun….

    Thats how i see it anyway, live by your standards Jabba if you enjoy being miserable, but let me live by mine. I respect your, please do the same to me and dont tell me what standards i should or shold not have.

    ANd i still dont get your point “Set yourself some decent standard mate. Get it in your head that our unforgivable star to the year was own to human error.”

    what difference would it make whatever i think about what happend in the summer? Why are you so OBSESSED by the past?

  199. lol dexter

    whereve you been man??

  200. Dexter

    That’s a bit harsh. I try my best…

  201. jeeses way to long post. thats what happens when you do snowboarding for a whole day, express yourself creativly and have a great day in the mountains! its just not possible to be down about anything after a day like that! you are just high on endorfins for the rest of the night.. i kid you not!honestly, its as close as you ever get to nirvana!

  202. YW;

    As you say, the next game has always been a must win. Still smarting from the mid week capitulation tbh. We’ve played Sunderland 3 times this season, won both league games, so to lose the 3rd one, was always a possibility. Nope. that loss to an average Milan team fucking hurts.

    And, yep, there is no pojnt bleating on about who we should have bought in january, or last summer (as much as I do enjoy doing that!) nothing to be gained from that now is there?

    Something needs to happen in the summer though.

  203. Yeah JJ,
    Barca can’t possibly sustain the sort of results and performances they put in these last few years. No single club can, especially with the number of games their main guys have played, and the level of competition that exists these days.

  204. @dexter i think its great to discuss how crap we are! it really really rocks my boat! nothing is better than when the goal for the night is who can tell me most times how crap we are.aah we are having a graet time guys are we not?

  205. Yogi

    Ha! Sorry man!

    JJ;

    Busy mate, burning that candle at both ends, ruff as hell today. 🙂

  206. poodle;

    Haha! Yeah true, who wouldnt enjoy endlessly repeating the same bile time and again? it must be sooooo healthy and not at all the symptom og=f having a completely empty life and utterly different from any kind of mental health issue.

  207. awh im off to savour my exciting day. have fun brooding guys 🙂

  208. Henristic “just not for me”
    Means I don’t like him.Nothing else.
    How he makes his money is of no consequence to me

  209. Poodle .I think that was a great post.I agree 100%

  210. Laters poodle, think I might do the same, although my day has consisted of erm, being shit faced,getting to bed at 7, falling into a mini coma and getting up again. Truely inspirational.

  211. Jabba
    I disagree I think that is a better team all round.
    But you could argue Cesc tips the balance in your favour.I concede that

  212. Jabba is at least consistent.
    He must get credit for that egh?
    Some others are up and down like a fiddlers elbow.

  213. Jabba's delights

    Poodle

    What were you doing when arsenal were built on a completely different set of ideals. How did you feel about our fa, coca cola and cup winners up triumphs by playing rigid but highly organised passionate defensive football. The aim of arsenal fc should be to do all it can to be as successful as possible living within it’s means.

    I know mnany fans who find our football in the last few years as boring it’s completely different to the football played in the early part of the decade. Systems, managers strategies come and go.

    I support arsenal as I’m from the area and all my family has always supported the club. I dont support us because of our football. I want us to concede less and score more and I don’t give a flying fuck how it’s done. There is no greater feeling than seeing the captain of your team lift a trophy and you should never believe any PR that tells you differently.

    The club should be doing absolutely everything in it’s power without selling the family silver to win trophies and if we do that but still come up short then so be it but at least we will have tried

  214. George

    The Cesc of last season would not tip the balance. The Cesc from previous seasons would.

  215. often i use a news aggregator for Arsenal stuff and today I came upon some half-witted rambling from a site claiming ‘Arsenal Analysis’. I am procrastinating on some stuff for work tomorrow, by way of explanation.

    Trawling through the e-effluent masquerading as comment for the state of Arsenal, I formed slowly a notion that those calling for Wenger’s head, the sacking of the board, the public executions of Ramsey, Djourou, Squillaci, Thierry Henry’s winter gloves etc have forgotten what it means to support Arsenal.

    For myself, I support when things are going well, but when things aren’t rosy, I’m still honour-bound to support. I like to think that my sense of support for the Arsenal helps to keep me warm when it’s cold, dry when it’s raining, cool when it’s hot, but really, my rationale is that my support for Arsenal is constant, no matter the result.

    I suffer with Gooners when we lose; I wake in the middle of the night, following a defeat, but I don’t for one moment believe that the privelege of a season ticket entitles me to boo our players in the red and white, or the manager. What I do believe is in those eleven players or ten if we’ve had a man sent off, wearing our colours, playing for our club, even if they’re not giving their all to honour the cannon and motto, because perhaps we can galvanise them to pull up their socks and remember what it is and for whom they play.

  216. “There is no greater feeling than seeing the captain of your team lift a trophy ”
    Sorry Jabba but really it should have read like this

    “There is no greater feeling for me than seeing the captain of your team lift a trophy”

    Some of us really do feel differently.I know you find that hard to comprehend ,but I promise you it is true.

  217. Dups I almost wrote that myself

  218. Jabba's delights

    George

    “cesc tips the balance in your favour”

    It’s cesc vs diaby , its nukes against spears mate. One team has one of the 3 or 4best attacking conductors in the world the other is a very talented 25 year old who has never shown a consistent good run of form because of being hugely unlucky but very consistent with a plethora of different injuries.

    Nasri was voted th 3rd best player in the league he won us many games and was a genuine match winner. Gervinho has shown promise and could be a good perfomer consistently but is yet to how it. Oxlade is similar but with much more upside he isn’t a consistent match winner yet.

    Our starting 11 with nasri and cesc is a much better side than your one.

    Dups

    Cesc scored 9 and got 17 assists in a year when he was often injured and supposedly shit, compare that to what we have now

  219. Jabba's delights

    George what is a better Ferlinghetti as a fan

  220. Jabba's delights

    Having a nightmare typing on the iPad…..fat fingers

  221. Jabba ,
    No one is saying anyone is better than Cecs.
    And Gervinho was not even in my team .At least read my posts.
    You could look at any team in the league,take their best midfielder and say compared to Cesc “its nukes against spears mate”
    I think over all my team is better.
    And I think Bale was voted the best player in the league so that should tell you all you need to know about such votes.Nasri pffft,

  222. George,
    Why didn’t u just say that then? Why mention the popularity thing? I picked up on it because its not the first time you bring it up.

    Dups,
    not even the Cesc of previous years can help. Remember Mancity weren’t even a force when he was in his prime, yet what did he help us win, or how did he lift the team?

    Only a colossus like Messi or CRonaldo can be majorly influential by themselves.

  223. Ferlinghetti ?
    give me a clue mate?
    Playing beautiful football and Arsene’s smile in the interview afterwards 🙂
    Compared to being outplayed in 2005 and stealing a trophy.

  224. Just got back from watching my home town club play the Sp*ds today.

    Well done Stevenage, you played well!

    The Sp*ds did sing a funny ditty about wanting Arsene to stay which was quite amusing, but otherwise they are a tedious bunch of gobshites…..

  225. Henristic .
    Just read the words .They are self explanatory.No need for you to try and interpret them.
    You can apologise latter 🙂

  226. Stevenage fans singing “only fools and horses”?
    Funny if they were

  227. Jabba's delights

    George

    It’s strange you rant and rave about diaby combination of power pace allowing him to explode through the midfield and defensive lines and yet you then mock a player like bale who may not have ben the best player in the league last year (might be this year) but he showed far more brilliance and consistency than diaby ever has.

    Nasri is a better player than gervinho and AOC currently no matter how much you hate him.

  228. Jabba Best in the league ?
    Bale?
    Ha.I am done with you.
    Again.

  229. @JD
    And on what are you basing that Nasri is a better player? If I compare him to Gervinho this season, they both have awfully similar stats.

  230. pedantic george (4.28pm), I don’t think you understood my comments. I wasn’t eluding to arsenal coaching themselves. I was referring to the lack of ideas in unlocking defensive minded teams from seemingly good technical players.
    As I said before, I believe the arsenal team is on par (or there abouts) with the best in the league (barring shitty) even with the loss of CF and CASHRI. On paper we should be beating or at the least competing with teams like Sunderland regardless of the martin O’Neill factor.
    So the question you should be asking is what is hindering our progress and preventing them from realizing their potential.
    From the highs and lows to the mandatory post jan/feb capitulations, It is pretty clear that some changes are due (and no I don’t mean sacking wenger) and some fresh ideas would be welcome hense my suggestions.
    A static hero is a public liability, progress grows out of motion

  231. George – “He is,IMO,the best creative midfielder in the world.He was the hub of the team.We really do miss him

    Don’t worry mate. We got a huge £35M for him. 😉

  232. poodle, I agree on both parts, supporting arsenal (or any team) should be about a lot more than just winning and yep it was way too long lol.

  233. To the tune of Only Fools & Horses

    No Income Tax
    No VAT
    No 3 points, off Man City
    In the Dock and Looking Pale
    Harry Redknapps should be in jail…….

  234. Jabba's delights

    George

    Do you honestly believe gervinho to be a more consistently dangerous player as nasri

    Bale has been brilliant this year and could grace any side in the world. As a football attacking purist you should have respect for what he can do with a ball. Balance George

  235. Jabba's delights

    Chima

    It’s about wanting your club to no more no less

  236. Messi is singlehandedly keeping Barca alive.

    The rumors of Pep coming to Arsenal are too good to be true for sure?

  237. Jabba FFS
    What are you reading?
    Where did I say Gervinho was better than Nasri?
    And Bale is a good attacking player .Where have I said he is poor ?
    I simply scoffed at you putting it that he was the best player in the league/He is not anywhere near to that level.
    Stop making things up .
    Are you not capable of discussing the things I do say? Is that why you argue about things I have never said.?

  238. Nasri vs Gerv: an interesting discussion.

    Nasri played 3 season for Arsenal out of which he was exceptional for half a season when he was playing for a contract/transfer. Other than that he was inconsistent and sometimes frustrating. And did I mention he kept disappearing when it mattered? (loser)

    Nasri is a better dribbler and finisher whereas Gerv is faster and generally more of a wide player. And I’m not sure Gerv was bought as a Nasri replacement, may be more long term for Arshavin (correct me if I’m wrong).

  239. I don’t totally disagree with you on the winning front, In fact part of arsenals mantra should be to have a competitive winning side but that shouldn’t have to be at any cost.
    Arsenal should still be able to influence a football game with their style of play, boss the game and yes, show grit and determination to grind out games if needed.
    Currently the squad is doing quite a bit less. lets hope arsene builds upon his own ideals, make the necessary changes (tactically, technically and mentally) and hopefully they can achieve a bit more.

  240. The greatest team the premiership has ever seen did sweet fanny adam in Europe .That is the problem.
    A team suitable yo win in England has little chance in Europe.Ask Roman and Maureen

  241. nasri or 3Gs ?
    nasri was starting to shine in his last season and was definitely making an impact (probably was playing for his big pay day the twat).
    Gerv has the attributes to be just as successful,….just needs to find that consistency. (I know Im not meant to talk about next season lol) but next season with a full preseason he will be sick!

  242. Now where have you been Passenal?

  243. Listening to sad songs and trying to hang on to hope george!

  244. Jabba's delights

    George

    The two times you’ve mentioned bale youve done in a way that it appears you don’t rate him. Bale was voted the best player by his fellow professionals your arguments about our managers knowledge being unrivalled due to his experience are shot out of the ground if you don’t respect who the footballers think is the best or very close the the best. it is no suprise that the biggest clubs in the old circle over him when you consider his age

    You were comparing our current squad to one with nasri and cesc. You said cesc would be the tipping point. Whoever you had gervinho or arshavin aren’t as good as nasri

  245. Middle ground
    Middle England
    Swing voters/independents in the US
    No courage of any convictions
    Decide election outcomes
    Should be banished

  246. @JD
    I remember you exactly talking about how Nasri is a match winner and has won us loads of matches a couple of months ago. Back then you claimed that you’d look up the matches he had won us last season to underline your arguments. You still haven’t done that. I really do wonder though how many matches he has won us last season past February!

  247. Ok this one is for you, Passenal…

  248. Jabba Nasri was and never will be a better player than Arshavin.

    But fucking spare me the shit about Bale.
    Never in a million years was he the best player or anywhere near it
    That you can consider it explains a great deal about you football knowledge.

  249. Jabba's delights

    He was poor for the second half of year as was the whole side. He was our best player for the first half of year. as it was he was picked in the team of the year an accolade that some of you suggest means that sagna is the best right back in the legue. Where is the consistency.

    Mdgunner
    Take the us for instance. If you genuinely believe that the republicans will be better for the economy in this term but are disgusted ith there stupid outdated fist amendment rules what would you do for you and your family.

    Maynard Keynes once said, “if the facts on the ground change, I change my opinion accordingly, what o you do sir” it’s a wonderful point. If you continue to be a doomer if arsenal had a great year this season by genuinely showing improvement you would be a complete idiot. Same goes or akbs who were saying the same stuff they are saying now last year

  250. Roughly translated Edith is saying she can’t stand it when we lose but that is what loving Arsenal is all about, always has been always will be. You just have to take the rough with the smooth. I think we can see in the pictures how cheesed off she is and I for one sympathise with her. She ends the song with a refrain about sticking with it and we will win, but they cut that bit out.

  251. “Mdgunner
    Take the us for instance. If you genuinely believe that the republicans will be better for the economy in this term but are disgusted ith there stupid outdated fist amendment rules what would you do for you and your family.”

    As I know that the Republican Party stance on the economy would not be better for the US, it does not present a problem for me, nor should it for anyone except the 1%

  252. Jabba's delights

    George

    You forget you once said you don’t watch other teams so how would you know. Me……I watch any game I can even if it’s classified as boring sides by the likes of you

  253. This one is about a poor chap called John who just jibbers on and on and no-one listens to him. He irritates her intensely but she doen’t quite know how to tell him.

  254. Jabba's delights

    Mdgunnrr

    But where is the balance in that argument. My family have along association with unions and workers parties believe me when I say I’m on the left of the spectrum. I however have learnt in life that for me to argue against the right I must see why it might be an acceptable vote. It comes down to bottom up or top down. I believe in bottom up but the fact is the party and leader and current climate decide which is the more successful over that term. Your argument is as stupid as a republican calling you a communist

  255. Jabba's delights

    Frank

    Amazing that most name calling and decent debate thrives when you aren’t on. Your intolerant your every bit the goebbells you were classified earlier. It’s what happens when one desnt have much left you become bitter rudevand completely inflexible

  256. La Goualante is a reference to the fact that John only has one testicle. Goualante being equivalent to goolie in English. She sings about it but he doesn’t hold this against her, well in fact she won’t let him, because he loves her and knows that she is only trying to make a living by singing songs about stuff she has experienced.

  257. Someone needs to wrestle you to the ground and inject you with something, Jibber

  258. JD it’s your presumed belief that there needs to be balance, that is not just stupid but naive. There is no balance in the world, it’s all titled in one direction’s favour.

  259. *tilted (but titled is kind of correct too)

  260. Jabba You have said this before
    “You forget you once said you don’t watch other teams so how would you know. ”
    I called you a liar then and you have repeated the lie again.
    I watch football all the time,All countries and all my life.
    Stop making stuff up you plumb.

  261. It is my vain hope that I have managed to lift Passenal’s spirits a fraction. But I fear it is too, too late.

  262. Thanks Frank, sometimes mere words are not enough!

  263. Frank.
    do you have goebbells?
    And does it hurt?
    Can I help?
    As long as there is no touching involved.I am a bit squeamish.

  264. What is ‘goebbels’? Do you mean gerbils? If so I have never had one.

  265. I agree with Edith

  266. Jabba's delights

    Mdgunner

    Balance, compromise these are important virtues. Like I said I’m born in to a family with a history of believing in the left that doesn’t that they didn’t think some ideals of the right couldn’t improve there party. If one is so inflexible in there belief structure they fail to see the bigger picture which can lead to them making poor decisions based on faith and passion rather than interlect and research.

  267. Good. She was always a staunch Arsenal supporter. Just like you.

  268. Please shut the fuck up, Jibber

  269. Jabba's delights

    Frank

    You hitlers bunker , the allies not coming in. Comical Ali, these guys fit your description

  270. Jabba's delights

    Frank

    One would havevthought it was lights out in the home now?

  271. “they fail to see the bigger picture which can lead to them making poor decisions based on faith and passion rather than interlect and research.”

    Oh dear, have to leave you there JD (in the middle ground, not moral grond) – busy cooking sunday roast dinner

  272. Jabba,Really ,you do yourself no favours.
    What as if serial lying is not enough,You cream up over Bale and abuse our Frank.
    Still .better than the other way around I suppose.

  273. Jabba's delights

    Is saying bale Is an elite talent saying anything other than the truth. Is abusing someone constantly writes bile to ANYONE who differs from his party line such horrible crime. You talk of lying but Luke called you up on thenever watching football comment the other day

  274. Yes Jabba Luke is a liar as well and can never be bothered to prove anything(conveniently always has a meeting to attend then he just fucks of until I forget what he has said.)
    I have given you chance after chance to prove your lies and you never do.

  275. I have disagreed with Frank and he has not abused me.

  276. @ Jabba whatever mate. I strongly disagree with you and your ideas. They are also very subjective, so please do not try to push them on me. I do not agree wih your ” there is nothing greater than seeing your captain lift a trophy”. If you think football is only a means to an end of a trophy then you miss out on alot of the great stuff about football.
    We will always disagree, for you a trophy in it self is more than enouh to satisfy.
    I enjoy watching great football for the sake of football, not only for the sake of winning trophies. That’s our biggest difference. I am first and foremost a football lover you young man are first and foremost a trophy lover….
    And to me Arsenal is a club that should apeal to football lovers. Those who love the beautiful game.
    We should always strive to win trophies as it shows we are efficient and consistent, but trophies for the sake of trophies? There must be a mix and the emphasis IMO should always be to deliver as entertaining and great football as possible… If the footy is great and entertaining the throphies will come.
    You will see that when AW retires the new manager will reflect my views 🙂

  277. Jabba's delights

    Poodle

    You are a recent arsenal fan your posts highlight this.

    I don’t expect nor demand trophies they are the aim. We should aim to be successful. Exciting football to you is boring to others. I know of many peoplevwho found Spain world cup triumph boring.

    Who will you support if arsenal brought in a more pragmatic manager? Would have you enjoyed our cup triumphs in 1993 and 1994. It’s sound like you wouldn’t. Your support is skin deep. Paying arsenal fans have every right to look upon you in an unfavourable light as you don’t look out for our overal future you like arsenal for a recent invented ideal which has become part f the club, when that goes which it will you will leave

  278. Dear me Jabba .Back to you cant be a fan if you cant hear Bow Bells .
    Fuck off.

  279. Jabba,

    Is your name Howard?

  280. I have no doubt that poodle is not a recent Arsenal fan. But I do have my doubts about him being an Arsenal supporter.

    I think instead of all the daily monotonous bickering about ‘where it all went wrong’ or ‘How fucked we are at the present moment’, we should rather settle this distinction we make with a fan and supporter. I think people are using them as commensurable.

    And more importantly the nagging issue about what exactly do we mean by using the word Club? Why the tendency to use a Capital letter for it? Linguistically shows a lot about we see it within our collective mental image. But that reveals one part of it. The other is what the fuck is a club in its total ideal structural reality? What does it mean to be a follower of the club?

  281. See I got so confused, I can’t make out any more who or what the fuck is a Jabba or what are Poodle’s views on this matter. Who cares? Always approaching this matter in an idiotic manner. This matter will never be resolved on this level. We need to go back to more concrete questions related to this club and try to understand it in it’s totality.

    How about asking ourselves if there is a difference between a club and a corporation? Maybe we can move on from there?

  282. Jabba's delights

    George

    There is a difference from someone who states he loves arsenal because of our football and that they are a football lover first and for most than someone who follows arsenal no mstter our type of football. He would have disliked us under Graham and yet it was one if our greatest periods. Tactics formations and managers change you either support arsenal fo the long hall or you don’t. Poodle by his own words wouldn’t support usif our football resembled Chelsea under Jose, hats not an arsenal fan that’s a wenger fan

  283. No Jabba ,That’s a fan.Just not your idea of a fan,
    They would all have to live locally if your way was the way.
    You need to adapt to the modern world.

  284. fuck me jabba that was a tad harsh on poodle..

    i know ive been guilty of it myself in the heat of the moment but as you get older you realise that without the old age fan the arsenal would not be here and without the new fan the arsenal wouldnt survive..

    so there has to be a bit of give and take in regards to the old fan new fan thing..

    as for the trophies its natural to want your team to win something..baring in mind we are the arsenal and weve won about 25 trophies over our history weve always been one of englands biggest clubs and weve always had a steady stream of trophies coming in..

    judging by our trophy count we are the third biggest club in the country and it was that way before arsene joined so although nobody has a god given right to win one our reputation suggests we should be aiming to win at least one of the four on offer…

    pre wenger we were hitting silverware once every 6 years on average

    wengers got that average down to one every 5 with his remarkable first 9 years in charge he took us to a new level..

    however…none in 7 is a barron spell for this club in any regards and we shouldnt be taking it likely..

    this club needs trophies..whats the point in playing if we arent going to maintain the standards set before wenger even joined??

  285. Jabba's delights

    George

    Incorrect there are many hundreds of thousands from all over the world who have bought in to arsenal fc and treasure the club and it’s history just like someone from London. Your either on board or your not and if you only care for our football and wouldn’t want that to change no matter what you don’t have the real interests in the club at your heart. I care little for someone who only supports us a we attack, that will chnge

  286. So Jabba, what exactly do you mean by love?

  287. What do you mean by real interest? I am astounded that people have been letting these things go so easily? They deserve engagement of a different style. If one ins interested in engagement. I personally am not. But just thought I point out a few things in the overall different positions that are being taken.

    Real interest? Love? Fan? Supporter? Club? Manager? Of course that discussion also entails talking about European football as a whole and football culture. Which is hardly discussed here. Most of these debates, different views or whatever, has a lot to do with how we understand football culture within these commodified societies?

    And what is an authentic club? Let’s discuss the ideal form of club that we are all trying to achieve? Talk it out.

  288. Jabba's delights

    Ateeb

    Who knows mate but I knowcthat if you support us first and for most because of our football unless your one of those people spending all that money in those premium seats your not worth much to us. Arsenal wont always play good football,i will always support arsenal and pay whatever it costs to renew my season ticket, all I ask is for the club to do all it can to be as successful as possible without risking our future. That’s more love than poodle will ever have for the club

  289. once your in love with arsenal your in love with the arsenal

    the king said that..

  290. According to your logic JJ, Arsene has a lot of years at the club since he won so much in the start. Good then. U’re out of this debate.

  291. im not following atteeb?

    i think wenger is the best manager weve ever had but that doesnt mean we shouldnt start asking questions when we go 7 years..

    thats all im trying to say..not wanting to start an arguement either..

  292. Somehow I felt de javu about all this situation. It was the same feeling after that OT demolition, but the team showed that they could bounce back and reach top 4. Is it too much to believe that the team can do it again this time? Top 3 would feel like a ‘trophy’, not a top 4 because top 3 guarantees a CL place.

    COYG

  293. The season has unwound in much the same way that the last one did, going out of domestic cups to minor teams when silverware was looking promising. All in all it shows that there are some of the same inconsistencies in the new squad as there were in squad Fab.

    It may appear that we are too dependent on inadequate players when injury strikes. Zim also points to the fact that we loose our attack when our defensive wide players are out. That is a hard balance, we have had both top players in both those positions out for most of the season, do we need three players in all positions?

    Is the problem then how we play? When it is all firing there is nothing better, but when it starts to go wrong, a disaster descends for which we find little remedy. Would a bunch of new players fix it? Look at Barca, on any day they can beat Madrid, but can they win the League this year? A style of play can be beaten over a season.

    But there is a big difference there. We have not beaten any of the big teams either home or away and we do not currently look like we will. It suggests that we are not there yet with this crop of players.

    Long term do we keep in the fight and watch other clubs falter as the money issues catch up with them or do we start doing something different now?

    A resurgent Liverpool is still not as good as Arsenal and the Tottenhots are the only ones that shine out above the new mega-rich money clubs. When viewed like that we are doing well, but we have to accept that this augers in a new era of the Chavs and the Chav nots, something that Arsenal has been amazingly able to resist up to now.

  294. In his own bumbling ways, Jabba does raise some interesting questions.

    What happens if we change our attacking philosophy? How many of our current new breed supporters will continue to support?

    I’m one of those new breed and started supporting because of wenger and the invincibles. Those days are gone but I’m still here. The difference for me is that although I’m proud of the football we’ve been known for under Wenger, I’m not particularly hung up about it. The club is in my bones now, it helps give me an identity I never want to lose. It wouldn’t matter what sort of football we play from now on, I’m hooked for life, just like Igwe says.

  295. Well, Arsenal injury problems aside, I thought Sunderland played a good game, not one for the purist but they knew what to do to stop Arsenal. I’m not especially concerned as if there is something deeply profound. We are on a bad run of form, not unlike the early part of the season, much of it caused by injury, as before. Sunderland were a bit lucky, but OK, thay made their luck. I wish them well in their FA Cup endeavours; it is a cup made for a team just like Sunderland. Anyone notice the twitter exchange between Frimps and Piers Morgan?

  296. another woeful performance…Djourou was once again horrible, as was Ramsey. some way give youth a chance, and that is all well and good, but we have to realise that some of these young players are currently not good enough. I mean a team like Dortmund are playing with young players and have extended their lead atop of the bundesliga, Barca seem to get a good young player or two each year.

  297. Late rubbish

  298. Jabbba doesn’t actually make that point Henristic. He had a go at me for saying that i’d rather support Arsenal in the Championship than play football like Sunderland in the Premiership.

    That does not make me a fan of Arsenal’s current style of play or a new fan. It makes me a detester of the kind of anti football built only on ‘committment’ and running around a lot.

    He is one eyed. He wants to win and only win. I’ve supported Arsenal over the reigns of 7 managers and a couple of caretakers. None played liked Arsenal do now, some were pretty poor and some were very good.

    None of that affected my support. It might have made be less enthusiastic about standing on a cold, wet terrace on occasion but it was still Arsenal on the pitch.

    No, it’s jabba who only wants Arsenal to do one thing. Win trophies, any way they can. That means playing like Stoke and/ or with the Uzbek’s money if necessary.

    He claims that this is caring about the club. It is not. It is caring about himself.

  299. Thank you, Cb. I agree with you.

  300. Put that way, I can’t help but agree with you Cbob.

    Fuck off Jabba 🙂

  301. Well put Consols. I think that one sums up a lot, including why whingers are just whingers

    Acrylic. Djourou may have come from the youth, but he is not young anymore. At 25 he should by now be one of our experienced players who is at the peak of his game, the fact that he is not and is still a calamity is why I dread his inclusion on the role call.

  302. Another thing, the particular Jabba post I was responding to was not directed at long standing fans like your self, Cbob. Here’s what he said:

    Poodle
    You are a recent arsenal fan your posts highlight this.

    I was pointing out that I am also a recent supporter, but one who wouldn’t stop following the club for whatever reason.

    Truth is, I have heard some fans (recent ones like myself) hint that their support may change if the manager leaves, or if the club adopts a less entertaining style. If indeed such fans exist, then Jabba (bless his slimey blubbery soul) has a point. As they say, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

  303. Bob. You are the boss.That was a special post.

    Henristic
    “I’m one of those new breed and started supporting because of wenger and the invincibles. Those days are gone but I’m still here. The difference for me is that although I’m proud of the football we’ve been known for under Wenger, I’m not particularly hung up about it. The club is in my bones now, it helps give me an identity I never want to lose. It wouldn’t matter what sort of football we play from now on, I’m hooked for life, just like Igwe says.”
    What,don’t you think that is the same for almost all of us new and remote fans?Or do you think you are special?Me ?I think you are special.

  304. Can’t believe people are agung about “who is the better fan”. Crazy.

  305. “Truth is, I have heard some fans (recent ones like myself) hint that their support may change if the manager leaves, or if the club adopts a less entertaining style. If indeed such fans exist, then Jabba (bless his slimey blubbery soul) has a point. As they say, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”

    Ok,If we are being truthful I will fes. up.
    I may have said that or something similar.
    What I said is that the reason I fell in love with Arsenal is because of their style of play and the class of the manager ,combined with his footballing principals.
    Arsenal are not my blood ,like a family,they are my love ,like a wife.
    Well I am on my third wife.so……………
    I suppose if you take away the reasons I fell in love ,then there must be a possibility that I could fall out of love.Of course it is unlikely ,but it would be less that honest for me to say it is impossible.
    But that means,if I am reading things right ,that you are saying that the love for a family member is better/greater than the love for your partner/friends.Well I don’t think you are able to compare.In fact a new love is inevitably more intense than an old one.But perhaps not as tying.

  306. Andy.I cant believe that you think that is what the argument is about.
    You are clearly not as bright as I give you credit for.

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