Errors Costly as Arsenal Slips to Defeat

Queens Park Rangers 2 – 1 Arsenal

1 – 0 Taarabt (22)

1 – 1 Walcott (37)

2 –1 Diakité (66)

Arsenal lost 1-2 to Queens Park Rangers in an unattractive game at Loftus Road on a grey Saturday afternoon. We enjoyed long spells of possession, but were unable to capture the same attacking zest that characterised the recent run of wins. QPR took the lead midway through the first half after Taarabt tricked Vermaelen and tucked the ball past Szczesny.

Arsenal struck back through Walcott shortly before the break with our best attack of the half. Twenty minutes into the second half, as Arsenal began to look comfortable, QPR grabbed a goal from nowhere – an unfortunate slip by Vermaelen let in Mackie down the right who squared for Diakité to score.

The opposition was industrious, physically powerful and ruthless in capitalising on our two defensive errors. Arsenal was one-paced and short of ideas, especially after going behind in the second half.

The lineup was the same that faced Everton ten days before, when they produced what was possibly Arsenal’s best defensive performance this season. In this away formation, Aaron Ramsey starts on the left and tends to float infield. The rationale being that he should make the team a little more robust, offering better ball retention, recovery and physical endurance.

In the opening minutes Arsenal looked smart on the ball, and chased QPR down. Van Persie had the first shot on goal, from a free-kick that found its way through the wall and trickled into Kenny’s arms. Our captain appeared to be wearing some kind of support high on his right thigh. Last week during the Villa win it looked like something was inhibiting his movement. If there is some kind of niggle it might account for the little dry spell he’s going through.

After about ten minutes in QPR started to put us under pressure, on and off the ball. Really it was pretty benign – a series of balls lofted into the penalty area from free-kicks by the touchlines. But while Szczesny was never tested, Arsenal were on the back foot and getting drawn into a scrap. Epitomising both QPR’s industry and brawn was Jamie Mackie, who clattered Szczesny after the ‘keeper made a routine catch. Arteta and Rosicky were both caught in possession under pressure from the snarling home side.

Arsenal was unable to regain their composure in midfield, but QPR hadn’t offered much imagination despite bundling into our area a few times. That was until Taarabt collected a long straight pass from deep in their half. Thomas Vermaelen’s tracked him, but his marking was a bit loose. As he tried to recover he found himself on the wrong side of Taarabt, who flicked it forward, strode into the space and guided a low shot past Szczesny to score his first goal this season.

The goal was followed by a relatively even spell. Arsenal was dominating possession, but our only shot up to this point had been van Persie’s free-kick. What was noticeable was the amount of times Arsenal and QPR players were slipping, especially around Paddy Kenny’s area. It was an ominous sign of things to come.

Anyway, QPR had maintained a breakneck tempo throughout. In structure and attitude I thought they were quite similar to Mark Hiughes’ Fulham side when we lost there last season. Dogged off the ball, sitting relatively deep but breaking quickly. Where Fulham had pace, QPR had industrious and burly forwards in Mackie and Zamora.

Arsenal still hadn’t settled, but drew level all the same. Song won the ball in midfield and the ball was played forward via Walcott and Rosicky to Van Persie on the edge of the area, who turned inside and nudged it behind the QPR backline for Walcott. He curled his first effort onto the right post, but showed impressive calmness to turn the rebound home.

With a dreadful record from winning positions, Queens Park Rangers looked like they were about to wilt – the goal hushed the home fans and hit their team like a body blow. In the next few minutes Arsenal worked their way into some dangerous situations and created a couple of half chances. Ramsey’s shot from outside the area bobbled wide, and a fluid move culminated with Song releasing van Persie, who had strayed offside.

Arsenal’s dominance continued into the second half. QPR were beginning to look discouraged and tired, as Arsenal went about building attacks with patience. After ten minutes of sustained possession, Song slipped a pass through for van Persie but Paddy Kenny made a reaction save to push it past his left post.

After that chance Arsenal looked to be in a good position to get the next goal and claim a battling win, but QPR struck from nowhere. Barton decided he didn’t have the bottle to go shoulder to shoulder with Song down the right wing and conned Mike Dean into awarding a free-kick and booking Song. The Arsenal defence spent the next couple minutes trying to clear its lines before Mackie got the ball down their right wing.

Vermaelen went across to cover but completely lost his footing in the turf, allowing Mackie to square for Diakité, who sidefooted into the top right corner. Given Arsenal’s hegemony before the goal, an equaliser or even winner still looked possible. But the minutes began to tick by, and Arsenal were unable to muster a shot on Kenny’s goal. The confidence that had been sapped by Arsenal’s equaliser had come flooding back for QPR.

Now Arsenal were looking a bit lost. Chamakh made a rare appearance, and Szczesny went up for a corner, but Arsenal’s efforts to get back into the game were meek and the score remained 2-1. It helped QPR that their midfield and defence had avoided yellow cards to this point, as Arsenal’s late efforts to get an equaliser were halted by some crude tackles by Ferdinand, Barton and Diakité.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 1, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 147 Comments.

  1. Thirst..y.

  2. Any time Ramsey start 4 Arsenal there is always a trouble,tel Mr Wenger not 2 start him against Man-City

  3. At least the boys needed some wake up call in time vs. Citeh!

  4. Here we go again, Arsene Wenger went betherk again, if you remember he was doing the same thing last season and the season prior to that, so I am not surprised. Why on earth dismantle the winning formation to come up with this. I am sure we have not seen the end, Wenger loves to do crazy things with the team and I am not sure why? What a disgrace for Wenger, at his level of experience and at this stage of the competition no other manager with a right mind will do this. It was obvious on the faces of the players, but they respect their manager, so they went on with their game. I would not be surprised if RVP decides to leave the team, Wenger was dead wrong and he failed the team again. Why does he feels he had to play Ramsey on left wing position, remember, when you combine Arteta and Ramsey to start together, it is a given the team loses, what a shame for Wenger.

  5. Good summation of the game.
    We have troubles breaking down oppositions that defend in numbers and counter attack. Specially on a narrower pitch which basically negates the space where our wingers are at their best . The two goal we gave away were cheap but then no one is at the top of their game all the time. The pitch also look to slow the passes down and in places very slippery. Who knows what that was all about. My guess is it slowed the game down and played into their game plan. And my I say Barton’s impersonation of MUAMBA just confirmed to me what a dispicable lowlife this jerk is.
    Still have faith that we will end up third or better.
    UP THE GUNS!!!

  6. I CANT BELIVE WENGER!!!!! once again he starts that piece of crap Ramsey!!!!! The lad is total poo and should never bee in the first eleven especially when OX is sitting on the bench I just can’t belive it I’ve been arguing with people on this blog all season about Ramsey and another avrage player ARTETA another player who isn’t good enough for arsenal hr got pushed of the ball like a little baby yesterday and yea he makes lots o little passes but they don’t effect the game at all he might aswell be playing it bk to SCZNY the whole game….
    GOTZE, PODOLSKI amd even more key than any of these players is having wilshere fit again!!!!!

  7. Well, AFC played only had serious speedster in the squad last season and they did ok Away. You all know where my preference, sorry, prejudice lies there. Hindsight. Marvelous, isn’t it, wasn’t it?
    The march of the revisionists and carling cup gloaters never really stopped. They want blood and every little error or slip on the field of play gives them an excuse to bring their flattering sneers into focus.
    A bad day to bury good news? George’s friend has another Exclusive on the back pages. Though to be fair the manager was fairly open on this one recently. Which came first, the comments by the gaffer or the ‘exclusive’? Oh to, oh to be a hack?

  8. Yesterday’s result was a typical blip which, historically, we suffer every year during a run of good results. Tipped to win against a struggler we invariably lose or draw.
    We had the possession, failed to take advantage and carved defeat out of almost certain victory.
    The good news is that we haven’t become a poor side overnight. We will regroup before next Sunday’s home game against Man City, at which all will come right. 😆

  9. Hahahhaha yogi and all arsenal supporters put ur tin hats on today .its st AAA day today.when it rains it pours I’m proud of the guys even if they were not @ their best u win sum u loose some. IN WENGER WE BELIEVE

  10. < only had one serious speedster

  11. Jermaine Pedant

    Passing piss poor yesterday and far too much possession given up. Felt sorry for Song constantly looking for that glory ball he’s been so successful playing this season, coming to nothing. And to see Chamakh come on to save us was like some horrible pre-April Fools’ Day joke – football’s very own Jar Jar Binks.

  12. Kudos to Yogi. Keeps the goods coming even in the most difficult situations. If it was my blog I wouldn’t post for a couple of days.

  13. YW..excellent post as usual..

  14. “When we win, try to be more cheerful and when we lose? Well, be optimistic” (YW).
    – Reading yesterday’s post-game posts, without the binned doomers, too many of us were on a hunt for scapegoats. Wenger and Ramsey in a toss-up at the expense of TV5, the current poster boy of no-nonsense English-type defending, whose two errors led directly to the goals.
    – Misery loves company but ACLFers, please take heed of YW’s advise.

  15. pedantic george

    Get Yogi back on the moderation.
    Who left the front door open for these miserable bastards to sneak back in.

    Nice article OOU.

    TV was poor ,but only the first goal was down to his poor play.In as much as everyone was falling over in that area,and anyone could have slipped.

    I feel we now need results against both City and the Chavs at home.

  16. Credit where it’s due, today’s excellent post despite the circumstances is by Birdkamp AKA OOU.

    We all have bad days where things we normally do well just do not come off. A reasonable person understands and accepts that and just moves on. Hopefully this will be the reminder the players need that it does not take much to lose concentration and therefore end up on the losing side.

  17. pedantic george

    People ,the post today was by One of Us/Birdkamp/Big All .
    Credit were its due please.

    Good morning Shotta.You are right as usual my friend.

  18. pedantic george

    And good morning Passenal.You also are right as ever.

  19. Paulie Walnuts

    The predictably hysterical post defeat over reaction on here this morning really is quite amusing.

    An away derby versus a team fighting relegation was never going to be straightforward despite our good run & although we were below par it could easily have gone our way.

    I`m sure the lads will be disappointed & make up for it with a much improved display next Sunday.

  20. The first QPR goals was a bit of poor defending by Vermaelen, he got turned way too easily. The second was a slip, that can happen to anyone. I though van Persie should have taken another touch and slotted his chance when clean through rather than trying to burst the net. Add all those up and three points become none. It happens. Hopefully it will focus the boys and make them realise that when standards fall 1% then you get punished. Next!

  21. The game was crying out for the Ox.We lacked anything down the left hand side.ramsey really has gone backwards.He slows our game down.And will someone tell Song he is not Fabregas.We need Swansea to stop the Spuds today as they have an easier run in than us.RVP looks tired but we cant rest him as we dont have anyone else to come in

  22. pedantic george

    John T.
    If you had an original thought it would be alone in an empty space.

  23. pedantic george

    Shut that door

  24. Paulie Walnuts

    Seems like a nice boy

  25. fuck me.
    reading the reactions anyone would have thought weve lost 7 out of 8..

    the teams not suddenly weak and rambos not suddenly shit..
    hes a good player, hes just having a difficult season in the first team after the departures last year hes found it diificult to step up this year but hes only 21..maybe a loan at bolton for next year will do him good??

    and this is a good team but it just wasnt our day yesterday..lots of players where off colour (maybe rvp is carrying an injury?) and the manager thunk that the rambo/rosicky thing would work again but it didnt..

    its going to be a difficult 7 games but the last time we all gave up hope we went 7 on the bounce..we’ll still take third..

    the players and the manager took a reality check yesterday

    just in time for city..

  26. pedantic george

    Ooooo, Really Captain Peacock

  27. Why did I have to do a report for this one?!

    Anyway, from what I can tell, YW only bins people if they swear at him or other people. I think the reason we didn’t see comments like the ones above over the last six weeks is because people simply weren’t making them. Tempting to moderate them, but probably not fair . Anyway, thanks for the nice comments. YW’s got a do or something and will be back tomorrow.

  28. pedantic george

    Oh No that a different one

  29. Vermaelen had a ‘mare. Ramsey isnt a winger. Chamakh coming on is one of the issues of the squad that will need to be addressed (Poldi looks like we have already).
    We have played worse and won. Yesterday was a chance to cement 3rd place missed. BUT we are still 3rd and we have to make sure we dont mess it up. 7 games to go. COYG

  30. pedantic george

    Oh ,they were making them still.Dont worry about that !

  31. Probably, PG, just not on this blog.

  32. pedantic george

    John T,Jermaine Pedant,Paul and Blazer just swore at me.
    Honestly OOU they did .I am not making it up.They called me bad names.

  33. i do wonder why george 🙂

  34. pedantic george

    I am sure I don’t know what you mean JJ

  35. Paul
    Where were you for the past 7 games?

  36. Great post OOU. I’d thought it was Yogi. And that’s a compliment!

  37. still.. 5 points ahead of chelsea..
    and we’ll still be third after this weekend..
    id have taken that if offered in january..

    the games v chelsea and city were must win regardless of yesterday..

    we saw in the 7 game run that by beating the teams around you it sets you in good stead..its the same principle in a relegation battle..

    also we should be looking at winning all our remaining home games..

    thats what will see us through…it will enable us to take the odd dropped point away from home..if we win all our home games we could probably take another loss away..maybe two..

    so no need to worry just yet..

  38. Good stuff Big Al!

    Shotta, i agree that TV made mistakes but it seem we did not line up to our strengths. No big deal, just people expressing their thoughts.

  39. pedantic george

    Paul N,
    But usually it is not their thoughts .Is it?
    It is the thoughts of some negative blogger or second rate hack that they are repeating.
    Shotta is right.TV as single handedly responsible for both goals .yet the finger is pointed at others less responsible for the loss.Simply because he is a current “golden boy”.
    Now I don’t mind him having a bad day.That happens to everyone,But lets call it right.

  40. Big Al – thanks for thoughts and time.

    Despite the outcome, I liked the determination of our players for the full 90.

    As long as Arsenal start 20 -21-22 year olds, Theo, Gibbs, Szczesny, Chamberlain, Wilshere, and Ramsey, the youngsters will produce INCONSISTENCY.

    Ramsey is a great talent and I can see why Arsene has a priority in starting him anywhere, but the team result should trump individual favoritism. You don’t have to agree, its just how I see this player’s relationship in the squad at this moment, and Arsene doesn’t have to justify his selection to anyone.

    Yet for breaking down teams that have parked the bus, experience and tactical reading of the game is a top priority and THESE youngsters are still in primary school.

    In the Spuds match, Benayoun’s movement was excellent and the majority of his ball possession was effective direct play, like Tomas.

    Personally I think Benayoun has more chemistry with Rosicky, Arteta, and Song (only my opinion) as when he starts he’s more influential in our attacking play, where Aaron seems (deliberately) ignored for periods.

  41. I’m at a loss for why Santos has been anchored on the bench for Newcastle, Everton, Villa, and QPR matches, seeing only 22 minutes playing time over the past month.

    If we ever needed to strengthen our attack in tough contests, he has proven to be the needed spark of attacking play on the left flank.

  42. Nice report big al

    Bad day at the office for everyone from the boss on down. Biggest disappointment was conceding 2 goals. Even in this great run we tend to give up early goals and fall behind and we struggle to keep clean sheets i think we have improved from past years but there is still a lot of work to be done on the defensive side of the ball if we really want to be title challengers. Consistency is not a strong point. Even the best teams struggle to be consistent in the attacking half of the pitch and the difficulty breaking down determined teams and parked busses is never going to go away. We seemed to have figured out how to grind out wins recently. Previous teams have put together great runs like the one we just saw but unfortunately they almost inevitably followed those with a run of stinkers. We have been saying all season that this team has stronger stuff between their ears and next weekend will be a big test. I think we will come back strong and stuff the blue mancs.

  43. pedantic george

    Arsesession .What a good post.
    You see that is not ,as I see it, a criticism of Aaron.But a fair and good observation of events.

  44. George, TV was at fault for both goal and I think that was stated yesterday but that does not mean that Wenger got the team selection right, does it? Now I don’t expect us to come out flying every game, but again, it seemed to me that the team selection hindered our attacking play. I thought this from the start of the match, so for me it is nothing to do with any hacks.

    As I see it, this is not a blame game thing, its just discussing the game. We should be allowed to do that without us being kin to a doomer.

  45. Bill, we had just won 8 games in a row, is that not consistent? We don’t have a lot to learn as far as defending. we had a poor game.

  46. i dont think many on here have actually criticised rambo..

    well…apart from the few idiots who only come out to play when we lose..
    rambo was played out of position..its as simple as that and without the two natural wingers we lose shape a little..

    thing is..we used to play this way with cesc..we packed the midfield with mids..but the thinking behind it was that we had cesc..

    hes gone..our styles changed..two pacey wideman and a more direct approach has seen some of our best football for a while this year so i struggle to find the reasoning why wenger is experimenting with rambo out wide..

    is it a defensive decision?
    is he just trying to give rambo games without dropping rosicky?
    or is he trying to prove a point that le ox aint ready yet??

    i dunno..but we havent looked our best the last two times weve tried it and nows not the time to be experimenting with the team..

    i guess this is more manager bashing than player bashing, but if i said it was all rambos fault id still be in the dog house 😉

  47. pedantic george

    Paul N ,you misunderstand me.
    People blaming Aaron is the problem .Even if the team set up was wrong (and I don’t see that) he was asked to play there ,so how is it his fault.?
    And of course playing a midfielder in preference to a forward will hinder attacking play.But it should benefit possession and defensively.So if the manager thinks we need more of one and less of the other ,then that is a judgement call being made by the man best suited to do so of the other.
    But if you want to see a more attacking formation ,and you think that would get us better results ,then fair enough.That is why we come here.I have no problem with that at all.

  48. The Verm had a shocker to be fair.

    It’s a shame we don’t have any realistic, fit alternatives to see him dropped to the bench for the next game.

  49. pedantic george

    Or the Meerkat house perhaps JJ?

  50. Wow, some people i’ve never seen on here seem to have sprouted from the very depths of doomer hell.

    None of those posting today had any complaints when we were winning, you have to learnt to take the good with the bad.

    Anyway i have nothing against Ramsey, nor should anyone else. But i do belive that he dosnt play left wing so thats my opinion.

  51. why would why want TV dropped, CP..for mancity??

    you smoking something??

    the guys won us the last 2 games prior to this one..
    he had a shocker..
    so what..

    this aint squillaci we are talking about nor is it senderos..this is a top defender..

    if vidic has a stinker does fergie drop him and put evans on for the next match against a team like man city??

    no…

  52. hahaha george
    the meerkat house it is..

  53. Oh how I missed it, it’s funny season again. We win 7 then lose 1 and it’s all gone to dust … at least according to some.

  54. If you read my comment JonJon, I don’t call for TV to be dropped. Just saying after a performance like that he should be and highlighting that we don’t have any fit, realistic alternatives to replace him.

  55. pedantic george

    I think there is little doubt that laurent koscielny is our first choice CB.

  56. pedantic george

    CP ,We do though.Djourou could easily partner LK6.
    But as JJ says “why?”

  57. @CP
    So it was just meant to be a backhand attack on Djourou? Oooooh, that’s obviously all right then!

  58. Jermaine Pedant

    You were sworn at Pedantic George? What in heavens did all those beastly people call you?

  59. Paul

    Even in this good run we have struggled to keep clean sheets and we give up early goals. Our attacking form has saved us during that spell but over the long term we have to be better. I have said it many times and I do think we are on the right track but even if you subtract the OT game we have still conceded too many goals this season.

    Aaron was not the best choice on the left wing but even with him we should have been able to at least take a point. Certainly not his fault but hopefully we won’t see him out there anymore this season. We have better options. The time to rotate players is earlier in the season when we have 2 – 3 games per week and we are struggling, not when we are coming to the business end of a really tough season.

  60. Errr…. his two errors cost us the game George.

  61. city are wobbling
    even bendtner destroyed them..

    ballotellis a prick and so is tevez and even vieiras been complaining..

    the pressures on them and mancinis struggling to get his troops focused..

    fergies got them rattled…

    we should know weve been there many a season ourselves with the red nosed fucker..

    we can take city…at home..the pressures on them..they have to win..it will be open warfare on a big pitch and i cant see mancini playing for a draw.. if we play to our strengths we will take them..

    the qpr game has given everyone at the club incuding both the manager and the players a much needed kick up the arse before we take them on…

    perspectives needed and 21 points from 24 is champion form..shouldnt lose sight of that..
    its not the end of the world..
    not yet anyway…

  62. pedantic george

    Jermaine Pedant,they called me a “dirty stinking Muskrat”
    You cant imagine how hurtful that is to me.

  63. pedantic george

    CP,one mistake,and a slip .
    If you are going to grace us with your insight ,try and be accurate.This is now the time or place to talk shit.

  64. i read the comment..

    you wanted him dropped..

    and in the next comment you talk of him being replaced..

    why?? after one bad game?

  65. Slipping can be classed as a mistake and unfortunately at Centre Back unlike many other positions you can’t afford to make them.

    Yes – sends a message to the whole squad that bad performances are not tolerated.

    Right off to watch Liverpool get spanked by the geordies. Chat soon.

  66. pedantic george

    OK.Thank for the insight

  67. if a striker misses two chances is that classed as two mistakes??
    should he be dropped? even though hes banged in almost a goal per game for a year??

    les not be silly on this topic..

    if TV had been making rickets for a good few games then yeah, by all means tell him to pull his sox up or its his place..

    as far as replacements go in this instance weve got the best selection of CB’s weve had for a few years..

    Its a pitty BFG is crocked at the minute but JD isnt shit either..not at CB..

    maybe we could top it all up with vertonghen, epsecailly if hes as cheap as chips this summer but it aint the summer yet..

    I still have faith in the Kozz/tv combo to be one of the best in the league..regardless of yesterday..

    and if JD is called upon then so be it…he was our best guy last year..

  68. “Yet for breaking down teams that have parked the bus, experience and tactical reading of the game is a top priority and THESE youngsters are still in primary school.”

    Young Pep’s decision to play Bojan Krkić over our very own Terry Henry in that cl final against Inter was dumb and dumber: Henry had just spent two odd seasons playing against ten man D-fences every other game! Were the barcaholes upset with his comments about AFC? I also agree with Block 4’s above. Earlier in the season I think block 4 misunderstood a comment about gervais and mata. Please note that the following sentance does not mention ramsey, who’s played wide mid with no problem before his injury, for example – Gervais has had good games against Slurgussian inspired teams, Stoke, Villa, and made a difference with repetitive runs and dribbles through the lines.

  69. Jermaine Pedant

    Pedantic George:

    Haha. The swines.

  70. will the cc save kenny his job??

  71. pedantic george

    I hope so JJ because it is funny how shit “ambitious Liverpool” are.Let see even more of it next year.

  72. lord peter of hillwood

    my concern is not the one off defeat that happens but the pattern seems to be one defeat and like the manager they go to a dark place for afew games/weeks therein lies the problem with this highly strung & high maintenance team & manager

  73. Nice, Pepe Reina gets sent off. Liverpool are just sh*t, there’s no other way to call it.

  74. You are right George, it is silly to attack the young man. He is an excellent player.
    At the end of the day, it was a poor game from the team, management and all. NEXT!

  75. What do you call Daglish, a waste of £84 million?

  76. Newcastle’s boss, Ashley something I think, said he’d copy the Arsenal model. Not only is he above ‘pool but is set to make a profit this year. The future belongs to Arsenal – and Newcastle some distance behind!

  77. pedantic george

    high maintenance team & manager?????????????

    You what ????????????????.
    Fucking doofus (new word stolen from a pal on twitter)

  78. Bill, 8 wins in a row.

  79. Also what about the fake pens and dives?

  80. What is a high maintenance team & manager? I do understand the words, but I don’t get what he means by that?

  81. pedantic george

    Evil ,The halfwit Doofus is trying to say Arsene and the team are delicate things who need to be pampered .

  82. fluke goals and all that.

  83. Paul @ 3:21

    Ok I guess if those 8 games were the only ones that counted we would be holding up the trophy and getting set for the parade.

  84. pedantic george

    Bill,some of us celebrate anyway.

  85. Bill,the issue is that after 1 loss, you say we have a LOT TO LEARN. With a settled defence we are very good and we have been defending well. The point is that 8 wins in a row means there has been a whole heap of improvement. We defended well yesterday also, apart from 1 player, one time.

  86. pedantic george

    I agree with Paul.
    Lets look at the positives.

  87. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Reina is really losing it. How many simple catches and stops does he fluff these days (including against us, I’m not complaining)?

    COYS – that’s come on, you Swans.

  88. I has been a great run. Our past history always will raise some concerns whenever we have a game like yesterday. If its a one off and we regain our form next week then we go back to celebrating.

    We have said this many times. We have improved defensively this season but we still have some consistency issues and even during this good steak we have conceded early goals almost every game and conceded more then we should. Our best defensive run was during the oct nov ealy december run where no one but RVP could score and the defense carried the team to bring us from the relegation zone all the way to 4th.

  89. Paulie Walnuts

    That Cat Piss Cisse can stick `em away alright. Glad that managerial genius Pardew kept him on the bench against us.

  90. I already posted my disappointed opinions after the game yesterday. However, when has Arsene or any of his teams ever had a run that consisted of 7 losses in 8 games? Yet King Kenny remains untouched by the great British media!

    Those who have vented above today might be going over the top on the back of their obvious disappointments. Maybe, expectations and disappointments both need to be managed: here as much as at AFC.

    Sunday will be a massive game (both points wise and psychologically) and that is where energy and support now needs to begin the preparation.

    COYG

  91. arsenalandrew

    Swansea have started well; Spuds could well have a game on their hands here …

  92. Paul

    During the last 8 games we have conceded 8 goals and kept only 2 clean sheets. Look at the tables and you will not find a team that has won anything conceding 1 goal per game and only keeping 9 – 10 clean sheets in a season we ate Better then previous seasons no doubt but we still have some improving to do.

  93. @Bill
    The thing is, your argument is already invalid. We have at this point already kept 10 clean sheets, so we are most likely to eclipse your number of 9 – 10 clean sheets. And as for teams not winning the league. ManU last season conceded about a goal a game and still won the league. And they didn’t even have the most clean sheets, either. In fact they just had kept clean sheets two times more often than we had. But I’ve often spent more time than I should’ve to prove to you that the defensive record of a team is in no way indicative of the fact if a team is going to win the league or not and as you seem rather incapable of learning, I am not going to bother to do it again.

  94. arsenalandrew

    Spuds incredibly lucky not to concede a penalty there courtesy of our old friend Bill Gallas …

    Swansea giving as good as they are getting so far.

  95. arsenalandrew

    Spuds ahead against the run of play which is 40:60 possession in favour of Swansea; long way to go yet.

  96. george
    same reason i was gutted when AVB got the push..

  97. Evil, your patience has been admirable, but it won’t stop Bill misquoting who & what he likes as he attemps to defend his understanding of D-fence. e.g. He used to argue the club needed a stopper when senderos was still on the books though some tried pointing him in the direction of the squad list. That didn’t work. A surprise. Senderos leaves, time passes and per arrives perhaps a season later then he might have given the rumours the summer before. Cue much gloating about the need for a stopper having been fulfilled. Class.

  98. arsenalandrew

    1-0 at the break to Spuds and they look pretty bouyant today; probably encouraged by our result yesterday, alas. More goals in this game I’d say. Well I’m off back to Village London from chilly Yorkshire so fingers crossed for a Swansea resurgence in the 2nd half …

  99. as far as the defending goes i think we are getting there..

    the problem the way i see it is that we had an accumulation of problems that contributed to us being abit naff..
    GK was a weakness, so was the CB personel, as was the midfields tendancy to switch off and let the oppo run straight at the defence..

    weve seen a steady improvement in the GK and the CB’s and we look sturdier than what we have done for a few seasons now in regards to these position but i feel the midfield still has a tendancy to not bother protect the backline from time to time..

    its just the way we play though..if song stayed back more then maybe we would be a clean sheet specialist but we dont play for clean sheets so to speak we play to attack and outscore the oppo so song gets himself forward..

    not a bad thing, hes not bad at it and its want the manager wants him to do but if too many push forward it can leave us exposed..

    maybe its a problem solved if we signed a dynamic, speedy, strong DM like mvilla in the summer and asked him to sit like bertie used to..

    or maybe its a problem solved if we could uncover another shit hot attacking midfielder that would take the burden away of all our midfield getting forward in an attempt to help with the assists..??

    i dont look too much into clean sheets anyway..sure they help and we all love a 1-0 but we could win every game 2-1, not keep a clean sheet and still go unbeaten and win the league..

    or we could draw every game 0-0 keep a clean sheet in every game and get relegated.

  100. Evil.

    Just looked at the table again and ManU conceded 37 last season. Didn’t realize they had conceded that many. In the prior 9 – 10 yrs the winning teams had not conceded more the 30 and last year the top of the table was the worst group of teams in a decade so I think the point still stands. . Very unlikely that a team conceding a goal per game will be able to make the top 2 in the league We have 10 league clean sheets so far so your point there is well taken.

  101. i think bill has been right many times what he was saying about the defence..many times..

  102. JJ, but inthat instance no one has ever argued against having a stopper in a squad!* It is kind of funny.
    *Possibly someone did, but that wouldve been just one or two people out of all who comment.

  103. In conclusion: A tiresome ‘debate’ that exists in one or two minds, but not most.

  104. finsbury
    thats not true..

    i know myself ive been on this thread many times when the discussion was up for the need for a stopper over the years and its wasnt a stopper..it was labelled a clogger and we didnt need one becuase its too english and they cant play football or whatever the arguement was..

    and it wasnt just one or two people..

    senderos was not good enough for a club with our ambitions..
    too young, too slow and too mentally weak..

    he found his level at fulham..we finally got big per but how many years did it take before we realised that having an experienced, recognised, international defender who was basically just a defender would work wonders in balancing out the depth of the squad??

    and please nobody mention silvestre or squillaci…

    swansea equalize 😉 😉

  105. Swansea equalize. Spurs dropping more points at WHL and the weekend would be much better

  106. oh fuck..

  107. Per is a stopper? To me he is a smart player not a bruiser. Song a Kos are more stoppers to me. Maybe I don’t know what stopper means?

  108. JJ
    I always made a case for Senderos in the example above because he’s more or less a ‘Stopper’ and this debate was mind numbing even back then. I’m not getting into the ‘good enough’ stuff or his run in ’06, or why x wasn’t signed when, it’s too sunny. As for the other two, SS18 has been dealt with quite ruthlessly this season.

    City loanee Adebayor scores again, after Arsenal loanee Bendtner scored against City yesterday, heh. I’m happy to look forward to the next game. Per’s out, but Arsenal have it all to play for against City.

  109. What Per gave us was calmness and he reads the game beautifully, however our win streak is without him. The team has started to fight for eacother and defend very well from the front. And we have had a settled back 4,with the return of our full backs.

  110. Bummer 3 -1.

    We need to get 3 points next weekend.

  111. I first got the chance to see Per up close in the Bolton home game. He exudes calmness. N’gog looked lively that day before he went off injured. After Davies came on either by design or instinct Koscielny won most of the headers that day. And he leads the heading stats, whatever they are, for Arsenal this season. Could be wrong there but I think I saw some stats on 7am’s blog.

  112. The goalie was caught sleeping on that one.

  113. paul
    pers just a big defender…
    you’ll never see him play in another position..

    he specialises in being a big brick wall in front of the keeper and thats his game…stopper, clogger, big bastard..whatever you wanna call it..

    koz is a much better player and so is song who can play a number of positions but its always been about having the different options for the different games as well has having a good depth of personel….

    over the years as soon as gallas or TV got injured we were fucked becuase we didnt have the depth..

    it hasnt been the case this year..TV and BFG have missed huge parts of the season but weve looked ok with either…

    this wouldnt have been the case a year or so ago..we’d have looked shit..

    we needed a defender for ages and big per was what we were looking for becuase we had nobody else like him…

    the balance seems to be there now…

  114. We are doomed I think.

    I never thought we would sustain the good run to get the 3-rd spot. Now, I just hope we finish 4-th.

    When will Wenger learn that experimenting is good after the fight is won?

  115. i agree finsbury
    wenger gets accused of pampering way too often..

    he is guilty on many occasions but if you look at the way hes treated the players from the last squad hes been abit of a bastard to them..

    ruthless isnt the word..but i cant blame him..

    theyve made him look a tit…

  116. So a stopper is someone who sits back, JJ? So all we had to do was tell one of central defenders to sit back then? I disagree with that description, as it does not take any special skill set. A stopper to me, has to be that player that can get their head on crosses and who can out muscle the stronger players. Per is not that player at all. This is why Bill wanted Samba.

  117. no paul

    its not about sitting back

    its about knowing how to defend..and defend properly..composed…reading the game, marshalling the line, getting your big body in the way of everything..knowing where the danger is and being in the right place at the right time..and not really giving a shit about how good your passing is or how silky smooth your technical skills are..

    basically not being a ball playing recovery defender….

    both TV and koz have looked world class playing with BFG this season..

    i find it no coincidence…

  118. Freakin Bill is still twisting the facts to suit his pet theory. Even a defective clock (replace with Samba or Cahill) is right twice per day.
    No need to join this debate.

  119. Birdkamp, aka One Of Us aka aka Big Al. . Subconsciously I felt something was different about the writing style but the prose was usual very excellent so I gave it no thought. Until I read that you had the keys to the bin. Hats off to you for a very balanced piece.

  120. come on now we are the arsenal we know what great defending looks like we witnessed it for over a decade

    what weve witness in the last 5 years was not what good defending looks like

    to be honest i find it silly we are even debating this still..

  121. When everyone is healthy I think kos and sagna are no doubt starters. I think we defend better as a team with per, but tv brings other things to the table so that’s not an easy call in my mind i tend to like per as the stay at home cb which allows kos a bit more freedom and i think kos is at his best and is awesome on that role Ultimately I suspect that the boss loves his attacking options better with tv so I suspect he will be the first choice rather then mert. Either way I agree with JJ. It’s great to have mert because how often will all 3 be healthy atbthe same time and we are pretty good with any of the 2 at cb

    Gibbs vs santos is even less clear cut.

  122. pedantic george

    Spurs have a really easy run in.

  123. chelsea dont though..

  124. pedantic george

    Good job

  125. and with wengers record against spurs teams i think we have the edge over them as well..

  126. pedantic george

    here’s hoping

  127. chelsea have a fuckin’ ‘orrible one..

    still in the cups..and have to come to the ems, anfield, and host newcastle..

    they play 3 away games on the bounce as well..

    spurs play chelsea though in the cup so hopefully we’ll see some replays and some extra time and some injuries in that one..

  128. No need to panic. We’ve done brilliantly to reduce a huge gap and we were always going have a game where we dropped points sooner or later. City next week will be tough but the spuds are away to Sunderland, by no means an easy game. The Chelsea game will be huge and both the spuds and Chelsea have other distractions.

    Hopefully yesterdays result will be a blip but also provide a kick up the back side.

  129. weve might get jack and diaby back as well soon,

    surely thats gotta help us??

  130. A good question about Diaby and why he was not involved. I think he must be match fit.

    Considering that the only recovering player is Jack, the absence of game changing options on the bench yesterday is not a comfortable thought at all.

    I’m concerned that our habit of being out of the real fight in April-May and playing half-experimental beach-minded lineups will be difficult to overcome this time.

  131. oh ffs we are third and weve had a blip..
    so what..
    liverpool have had 6 blips on the spin and spurs have claimed their first win for about 5..

    our fixtures are not that bad..

    we lost away from home..big deal..

    everyones dropping points out of their arse at the minute its that time of the season..

    expect us to drop more…

    as long as well win our home games we’ll be ok..

  132. pedantic george

    SV ,I think you make so good points,
    Oh wait ,no I don’t ,I think you are a miserable git.

  133. @pedantic george
    Had to look up “git” in the dictionary.

    Good to know who I am.

  134. jjgsol@aol.com

    I remember that we never had much luck away to QPR, usually losing. I have seen us play twice there, and we lost both times.

    I wonder if the presence of barton intimated the players, and that they were either instructed to give him a wide berth, or, did so even without instructions because of what happened at newcastle.

    I am sure that that is why Diaby was not even on the bench.

    Perhaps it is good that it happened so that tyey do not get complacent when playing man$ity and the chavs, both of which games are important ones to win.

    I have only seen the highlights, but certainly look weak and impotent in all parts fo the field.

  135. JJ @ 7:40

    I think your right. If we beat Chelsea at home we should have no trouble hanging on to 4th. Hopefully we can keep 3rd.

  136. Per is not a stopper. he is mature, smart and calm. That’s my only point.

  137. pedantic george

    SV ,Always happy to help a fellow gooner

  138. JJ if AW was made to look a tit then the less said about the Bebe’s of this world the better. I won’t mention Fernando Torres. Liverpool’s ‘statement of intent’, Carroll, had a good game against his old team. A nice dive, I heard. I wonder if he’ll get the Eduardo treatment.

  139. pedantic george

    Or if they (Liverpool) will get a penalty embargo?

  140. Bradys right foot

    Calling for TVs head I truly despair at some of our support, you know McKlintock and Adams made mistakes and cost us points at times. The immediate myopia following a poor result which has condemned Kozzer, Song and Theo in the past now condemns TV5.

  141. A late showing but, after the day I have then coming in to check out man like Yogi, I can now go bed minus negative thought. Good post for sure.

    Haven’t seen the match yet due to crazy overtime that I have to take but, it sounded like Vermintor was having a bad one but worse than that what concerns me more is that I come on here to find out that Ramsey was played on the left!? Wtf was that about? Somebody please explain that one.

    Paul, I don’t know you personally and your most prob a nice geezer but, I think thats totally out of order what you posted about Ramsey. In fact fucking out of order.

  142. So there is sense in JJ’s posts if you look beyond the………….

  143. We lost on Sat simply because we were slightly off the pace. It happens sometimes and we just need to get over it and regroup. I do think playing Ramsey on the left was a mistake, but not the reason we lost the game. We had enough quality on the pitch to have played better than that.

    I can understand playing an extra central midfielder against a better side to maybe make us more solid, but not against a side in the botom three. The play ended up being very condensed and in part that was probably due to us not having a winger on the left hand side.

    QPR played very well though and Zamora gave our centre backs a torid time. TV5 had a bad game, but has enough points in the bank to put that behind him. He was at fault for the first goal and also had a part in the 2nd. Although none of our midfield tracked the bloke who scored so was not 100% his error.

  144. Still very disappointed by the result, and much more so by the manner of the defeat. One week of preparations, a fully fit squad, no long journey, ok refereeing… Just no excuses.

    The fact that, as admitted by the manager, the third place is not motivational for the team to fight is mind blowing.

    On the other hand, the run ins of the previous seasons were full of beach like performances with the season being too long for both the manager and the players.

    So, here is the theory.

    Wenger would prefer 4-th place, not 3-rd, because the additional CL qualifiers in August bring more revenue. He also gambles on Chelsea not winning the CL this year. If they do win it, the 4-th place will be useless.

    I know it sounds depressing and speculative.

    May be someone has a better explanation why the team would find it difficult to get motivated to fight for the 3-rd place?

  145. SV @ 10:02 am: “Wenger would prefer 4-th place, not 3-rd, because the additional CL qualifiers in August bring more revenue.”

    A comment like this needs to be reprinted, blowned-up, framed and hung in an asylum.

  146. @shottagunna
    My theory was more of a joke.

    Why do you think the team was not motivated?

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