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Arsenal 2, West Bromwich Albion 3: JUST DESSERTS

Hands up if you approached this match with just a just a little trepidation – no, I didn’t either. In retrospect, we should have known better. There have been recent examples where our team has followed excellent performances with duds. I thought that our side had matured enough to get past that – sadly, that does not seem to be the case, at least not on today’s evidence.

No real positives to take from this. Yes, we brought ourselves back to 2-3 after going 0-3 down, but Nasri’s goals mask a woefully inadequate effort and performance. Simply put, it should not have come to that. It did because the players on show were collectively not prepared and unwilling to put in a proper shift. Two days short of two years ago, newly promoted Hull City came to the Emirates and won 2-1. I am confident I am not the only supporter who thought back to that day while watching this afternoon’s events unfold. If I remember, a crisis in confidence resulted from the Hull defeat and it took us a few matches to find our feet again. If history repeats itself, our players will have brought it upon themselves.

In the match itself, we predictably started slowly – the warning signs were already there, but I thought we gradually turn up the pressure and inevitably score. Arshavin – one of the few players in red that I thought worked hard – hit the post in the 15th minute, and we had a few more chances without really testing Scott Carson in the WBA goal. Odemwingie’s speed was causing problems down the left flank, and on the 37th minute, he got through one-on-one with Alumina. The Arsenal keeper brought him down at the expense of a booking and penalty. Al then got us off the hook by saving Brunt’s penalty. Sagna came close with a header in the final minute of the half, but we went into the interval goalless. By the time the halftime whistle blew, I was concerned. Despite the couple of decent chances we carved out, the side generally looked disinterested and stuck in neutral gear. I had hoped that Arsene would bring Wilshere on for Diaby at the half, to give the side some impetus and energy, but the same players emerged from the tunnel for the second half.

Arsenal started as they had left off and were duly punished in the 50th minute when Thomas beat Clichy to cross for a completely unmarked Odemwingie to head his side into the lead. Two minutes later, Jara got free down the right [how long did it take them to see they could have their way down that flank], and shot low through Almunia’s hands and legs. Almunia should certainly have saved this one, but Jara should never have gotten into a position to take the shot so easily. Arsene immediately brought on Wilshere and Rosicky for Diaby and Eboue, respectively. That was eight minutes earlier than his normal substitution time, but at least he responded promptly instead of passively waiting as I have seen him do on other occasions. Replacing Diaby amounted to addition by subtraction and Arsenal started to look more threatening. Nevertheless, the urgency and intensity were not yet there; we continued to give the ball away cheaply, and too many players were not willing put in the necessary work to win it back.

Arsene made his final roll of the dice thirteen minutes later when Koscienly departed for Vela, to give us more of an attacking thrust. Perhaps this was a change he could have waited on, as eight minutes later, West Brom got their third through an embarrassing goal. We gave the ball away once again, and West Brom got down the left and crossed to the right side with almost embarrassing ease. With his defense nowhere in sight, Almunia came out to try and get the ball, hesitated when he realized that he would not get to it in time, and Brunt was able to cross for former Arsenal youth player Jerome Thomas to head into the empty net. Nasri – one of the very few players that looked up for it today – pulled a goal back two minutes later (shortly after he had rattled the crossbar) and we huffed and puffed to little effect thereafter. We saw plenty of the ball, held on to it better than before, but every attack broke down through either one pass too many, or Vela passing directly to an opposition player when better options were occasionally available. Nasri did pull Arsenal to 2-3 when he fired home in the first of five minutes of stoppage time. Despite a plethora of corners and most of the side camped in the WBA penalty area, we had very few real chances. By the final minute, we had slowed the pace down and were pressing half-heartedly – I thought the players’ body language acknowledged this was not going to be their day. And so it proved.

A quick word about West Bromwich Albion: the came to the Emirates determined to give it a go. They were quicker, passed better, and took their chances when they came. Even when they went 3-0, they did not shut up the shop, but looked to win the ball, pass, and try and hit us on the break. They were full value for their win – indeed; I feel 2-3 flattered Arsenal and does reflect WBA’s superiority, both in application and effort, on the day.

An even quicker word on our much-maligned goalkeeper, Senor Manuel Almunia. I cringed when I saw the replays for the second and third goals, but even with his culpability in them, he had no help from his so-called defense. Our full-backs allowed opposition players to get past them far too easily, and nobody picked up the player moving into the centre. As poor as Koscielny played, if he still on the pitch in the 73rd minute, perhaps he is able to get the ball ahead of Thomas and the third goal is not scored. As it was, Vela contributed absolutely nothing in the time he was on, other than to give the ball away, again and again. With that said, I have previously called Arsene out for not trying to change things up when nothing was working. On this occasion, he was proactive and someone had to make way for the extra attacker. It did not work out, but I cannot have it both ways. Al could have done better for those goals, but as he started the season better, I am willing to cut him a break. Arsene’s demeanor when asked about Al, however, indicates that he may be running out of patience. Regardless, there is plenty of shared responsibility for these goals, not just with our ‘keeper.

So….Where to from here? To Arsene’s credit, he was frank and gracious in defeat, acknowledging WBA were the better side and fully deserved the win, while highlighting our team’s poor attitude and chronic mistakes on the pitch. It is good to see him at least credit the opposition and not protect the players. He could have emphasized the late fight back, but that would have masked the real story – I am glad he did not. There have been occasions where I have wanted him to go further and throw certain players under the proverbial bus, but that is a line in the sand to be crossed only after very careful consideration of the all the implications. Should he choose to leave certain players at home for the upcoming trips to Belgrade and Stamford Bridge; that will send the required message and show us supporters that accountability does exist in our dressing room. Poor results and form are inevitable for every side over a long season; poor effort and attitude are not. I do not think it is a coincidence that we gave this non-effort just a few days after the Cup win at the lane. An element of immaturity and irresponsibility exists in our squad and it was painfully evident today.

What is done is done. Now it is time to respond. If any of our players enjoy their Saturday evening, they are missing the point. Chelsea lost at Eastlands, a win yesterday,  one which should have been fairly simple and straightforward, would have put us top of the table. Now I expect we will be in third place this evening. If our players resolve not to take opponents likely, adopt the attitude nothing will be given us, and put in a full ninety minute shift, they can turn this into a positive and resume winning these matches. Even if they win at the Bridge next weekend, this result will still be fresh in many minds, and the Chelsea result will still be greeted with skepticism. As WBA attacked throughout and had plenty of success, that may inspire other teams to come here and have a go – our side can play that to our advantage, so long as attitude and application are correct.

A loss is not the end of the world, but the performance puts Arsenal almost back to square one. Now they have to show this performance is an aberration, not what we should expect in the coming weeks or months. Are you up for it, Arsenal?

Over to you…

Written by oliver

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207 comments on “Arsenal 2, West Bromwich Albion 3: JUST DESSERTS

  1. Morning all, thank you oliver for having the stomach to write such a good report after such a woeful performance and dreaful result but yes credit to WBA for wanting it more than us…

    I was pleased to hear Wenger slate the players after the game, about time he did that. I hope he wakes up this morning, watches the game again and then gives Chesney a call to tell him he will be playing Tuesday.

    Yes many players were very poor and WBA shouldn’t haven’t been allowed through on goal but any half decent keeper would have not lets those goals in.

    We all knew his blunders were waiting in the wings, yesterday they became real….

    Almunia needs to be dropped and NOT for Flappianski, neither are or ever will be good enough for Arsenal!

  2. Thanks for a match review. However, and this is something common place amongst the Arsenal Blogs, the tendency to wise after the event. In your piece you praise Wenger for responding to the two goal deficit and then say it was unwise because they got a third… Nasri apart, they all looked off the pace, hopefully it’ll turn out to be no more than a bad day at the office.

  3. Johnny, I didn’t write the report but Wenger had no choice to make changes… so many players out there lost their way…

  4. Morning guys nice one oliver and yes were craaap

  5. Howdy Erick, horrid wasn’t it, just horrid!

  6. Morning RIco(a girl….).

    Once again you’re right chesney, or if like AW says the Italian is ahead of him, don vito needs to play midweek. Neither can do any worse and chesney is biting at the bit. It’d give both the chuckle brothers something to think about.

    The two most disappointing aspects from the game are that the chavs lost at lunchtime before the game. I understand AW sometimes chooses not to tell the squad so they can continue to carry on with their own game…..I wonder…

    The other is the inept display of so many players and with the already ridiculous injury list the competition is not there, Gibbs injury seems all the more poignant now, personally I think clichy was out on the piss Friday night judging by that performance

    Happy days.

  7. Rico no heart at all no nothing zero just zero all the player get 2 and Nasir 3

  8. You didnt need to write so much, it could have been simplified to;

    The egomaniac stubborn manager refuses to budge from his ridiculous policy of refusing to spend a percentage of the millions generated on the desperately needed players to replace the same shit we’ve had year on year.

    We have the 2 worse keepers in our history.

    Song & Diaby hopeless, never good enough for an Arsenal purporting to be a title winning side.

    We were ill equipped last year & again this year.

    BUY THE PLAYERS WE NEED, STOP THIS NONSENSE STUBBORN PROJECT..OR FUCK OFF…

    WE SUPPORT THE ARSENAL…NOT A PROPERTY COMPANY

  9. Morning Rocastle,

    I’d play Chesney on Tuesday, mannone on the bench, then play Mannone in the CC and FA Cup – They must be chomping at the bit to get their chance…..

    Clichy out on the pop Friday, more like saturday lunchtime, he was shocking, as was Eboue..

    Hopefully Gibbs will be back soon, but will Wenger give him his chance? He kept Lennon in his pocket last week, no easy task….

  10. Rocastle I wouldn’t blame Al for the loss the team was crap

  11. Double gooner early days we may we need the injured back

  12. Hi doublegooner…

    Song having a bad game was unusual for him. The whole starting eleven (barr nasri) should be ashamed of themselves – that side should have beaten WBA but they all let themselves down and all us fans…

  13. Erick, to be honest, Almunia should have save two of the goals :(

  14. The defence was Crap the Second goal I agree but the defence was no where near good

  15. Song had a bad day so was the rest of the team period

  16. Thing is, your defence can have an off day but a great keeper will save you – i just think enough is enough with the keeper situation :(

    I read that Almunia is now injured, how convienient…

  17. Only nasri turned up Erick, how is it so many can have a bad day on the same day? Thats what hurts, one or two you can change, but ten??

  18. Its must be shoulder injury when he went for odemwingi Flappy start you will wish Al recovers quickly

  19. Thats what worries me Erick, Flappy is far worse…

    Almunia had started so well this season as well :(

    If Wilshere and Rosick had started, we would have probably won, but both of those need a rest, jacks young bones and rosicky’s old fragile ones ;)

  20. We need a response at stamford bridge and CL mid week asap

  21. im glad its tuesday, not wednesday…

  22. True Rico we don’t have to wait for the weekend

  23. Rico will TV and Cesc be back for Chelsea what about Theo and Rvp

  24. Cesc and TV could be back, Theo and Robin will still be out, we miss Theo big time….

  25. Chamaka has yet convince me Rico #just saying

  26. I know he has Erick, but we can’t forget it’s his first season in English football – also, he was on his own up front yesterday and we were the home side… beggers belief really…

  27. Am hoping we can respond with a double performance

  28. just read rsd’s facebook comment re the double winning after we lost 4-2 to charlton….. at home ;)

  29. Ha ha saw it yesterday Rico :-) Madrid drew and stains won Valencia too

  30. As an Albion fan, I’ve been lapping up all the press I can find, after all, we dont beat a big team very often!

    Have to say that this is the first blog/online editorial I’ve found outside of Birmingham that actually acknowledges that Albion were also present, and had a good game.

    I understand that most Arsenal blogs exist to analyse the performance or the Gunners and not the opposition, however given this was more about Albion than Arsenal (to quote Mr Shearer on MOTD) then it was nice to see a paragraph on the visitors.

    I await your visit in March with trepidation – you’re going to want to rectify yesterday! Next week its back to following the other end of the table. Boing boing.

  31. Hi Scott

    Good to see a Baggie here on HH and well done for yesterday – we are a fair site and give credit where it’s due…. Last Sunday we spent most of the day talking to very reasoned Sunderland fans….

  32. I hoped the stains would lose without messi Erick…

  33. Boo! oliver, no positives to take from this, indeed. I was horrified by the lack of urgency, and commitment. :( We were outclassed, there is no denying.

    Hola, rico! You would think that a good night’s sleep would have restored some equanimity. Instead, I’m still really feeling all grrr. :x

    Weeds, howdy? I haven’t spoken with you in a while. I hope school’s good. :)

    Oh, and for the record, however much it pains me to say it… Clichy was disastrous. :cry:

  34. One word:NASRI!

  35. Hiiya Agag am good been busy school and internship tough yesterday was a disgrace to the fans the players should apologize

  36. Nice one Scott you deserved it howdy K-T it took Nasir 75min to turn up

  37. Hi agag and KTR7

    Nasri was the only player who earned his wage yesterday….

  38. Is song an AM?…

  39. Diaby couldnt do it so song had to try but he opened us up

  40. I think he thought he was yesterday KTR7, he lost his way and forgot his role!

  41. Hey, KT. I hope our players learn from this. The season has barely started and I do suppose it’s better to be rubbish now not later. Still… :cry:

    Erick, Chamakh wasn’t half bad, but he would do well to work on his finishing.

  42. That will come agag, I’m sure, he still settling in, even Henry took a while and we know what happened once he did ;)

  43. Oh to be a gooner

  44. :lol: :lol: classic Erick….

    But it’s not so good today ;)

  45. Song has been a disaster in most of our games…

  46. He hasn’t been ‘that’ bad KTR7, just the last two…

  47. Agag&rico:villa was red carded last night.

  48. I’m not blaming it all on coco the clown. But I remember an interview with Lee Dixon where he said if one of us 4 ever did make a cock up, big face would have seen it coming and 9 times out of 10 came out and saved your bacon. A good goalkeeper instills confidence in the back four. Schmeical, seaman and cech EARN you 9 points a season. The chuckle brothers cost us 12 at least. Watch the replays of corners next time were on TV, look closely, you’ll see Almunia shout that it’s keepers ball, and in his area he should be king. Quite alot of the time he will be ignored and the ball will be cleared. That would never of happened to one of those top keepers

  49. Rico Song has been very poor this season.his positional awareness has been non-existent.

  50. KTR7 – good :lol:

  51. Rocastle, been saying too on here, the defence are not confident in who is behind them, a recipe for disaster…

    why can wenger not see it though??

  52. Scott WBA. check out yesterdays blog, quite a bit of praise for your lot before the game. Real goner appreciate when a team turns up and gets the ball on the deck.

    Fully deserved win. Good luck for the rest of the season.

  53. KT its not that bad mate come on Rocastle we have got Al so we need to stick with what we have Aw won’t throw Chesney or Vito in it and Flappy is a long way from home

  54. KTR7, apart from sunderland and yestaerday our games have been different, we have been on the attack for most of the time, when that is the case, everyone wants to score… i know its not right..

    When Song is in the middle we shouldn’t play Diaby or Denilson, the three don’t work well together..

  55. nice one Rocastle…

  56. Big face = big dave!!!

    Rico, I was privelidged to have a pint with Alan smith at my local ground at a charity event last year and he told me AW refuses to coach defensive situations when he has 8 international defenders…! I know… And if was anyone else telling me that I’d have laughed, the only time he did was the CL cup tun when we had a makeshift back 4 in and he brought in Keown. GET HIM BACK!!!

  57. I guessed it was Spunky :)

    That is remarkable Rocastle, how ignorant too!!

    No wonder we don’t defend as a unit, I’m with you, get Keown back, or put Steve Bould to better use….

  58. Nasri didn’t look like he had played 120 minutes on Tuesday.he was very direct with his dribbling yesterday…

  59. rico, I have been impressed with Chamakaka so far. And I’m sure he’ll refine his technique. :)

    As for Villa, Yay! Let’s see how the stains do in their next game.

    I guess there’s no point getting all huffy over Almunia. But I will say that he and Fabianski need to improve dramatically. There’s no chance of silverware with either as main man between the posts.

  60. Its how we respond to that loss that matters but our defence was left wanting lets see what Aw does

  61. I have too agag, yesterday was his first home game he failed to score in… he’ll be just fine :)

  62. Spot on Erick, and that begins on Tuesday night, looking forward to reading KTR7’s pre match write up about the opposition….

  63. Madrid were so poor it was unbelievable…its just a matter of time before the madristas start waving the white flags.

  64. Rico i’ll try to write up something half-decent.i am still in a hangover.

  65. KT, we always knew Nasri was class. He just needs to be more direct with his forays into goal. I’ve always liked him. He’s technical but feisty and can get stuck in. His excellent pre-season form has continued. I love it. :)

    Madrid’s performance makes me smile. Mourinho needs a serious fix of humility. :)

  66. Erick as you say we are unpredictable.we may go on and turn over partizan and the chavs but lose to wolves.ibra scored for Milan last night in their one nil win over Genoa.he has 4 goals in 4 games…inter lost to roma as vucinic scored in the last minute of the game…Bayern lost to newly promoted Mainz 3-2…

  67. rico, Chamakaka has the makings of an Arsenal great. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he scores a header at Stamford Bridge next week?

  68. Erick @ 11:39, let’s see what the players do, too… They weren’t up for it and were shown up. Now, it’s up to them to put in a good shift, and get us our three points. :)

  69. Not feeling so good then KT, naughty naughty ;) Let me know please if its a struggle, i’ll put something together, nowhere near as good of course ;)

  70. nasri has been really hot and cold up until he came back from his recent injury – you could see he has it, but it just didn’t click. Bit like Booby P when he first arrived. Something in him has changed, finally he seems settled and playing the best we have seen him – he will get stronger and stronger now, i’m sure….

  71. Moanrinho needs something agag, but i’m far too polite to write what on here ;)

  72. i wouldn’t put it passed him to do just that either agag…. i so wanted chamakh to get one against the spuddies…

  73. Oh, do go on, rico. You know you want to. ;) Don’t let us stop you.

    KT, an electrolyte drink right before going to bed always does the trick. ;)

  74. i couldn’t agag, i would send myself into spam ;)

    Nice one Erick, hope Bolton get a few more too…

  75. Gibbs could be back for Tuesday :P:

  76. TV could be back for the Chavs game

  77. Great news am hoping we get them all back from injury

  78. Crap Mancs back level

  79. Erick, nice… I hope they lose…

    rico, naughty, naughty. :)

    The way Gael is playing, I won’t be surprised if Wenger finds it fit to start Gibbsy. Let’s hope TV is sufficiently recovered for the Chavs.

  80. TV, Cesc and Gibbs, we need them all, could do with Theo too but a game or two too early for him :(

  81. Erick, that’s not so good :(

  82. I’m off for a bit all, mutts to walk and all that jazz, back in a few hours….

    hope the mancs get whalloped ;)

  83. Ha ha ha enjoy Rico

  84. I won’t erick, its really cold here today, but thank you anyway :)

    Laters

  85. Rico, where does the phrase ‘just desserts’ come from?

    I need to get out more!!!…

  86. Mancs 2-1 down

  87. Rocastle the blog bring people from various continents so you got to bare with the language

  88. Erick, I know, I’m from London and use the phrase often, just bugged as to where it came from!…

  89. morning all. the morning after, it still does not pretty. oh well, it is what it is. we move on, hope for a result in beograd, and an even better result at the bridge.

    rocky, the term “just desserts” refers to one getting what they deserved. zero points is exactly what our side deserved, and full marks to arsene for saying just that.

  90. Rocastle am from Kenya and some time the language people used leaves me hanging :-) :-)

  91. Rocastle, this might be enlightening :) :

    http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/07/its-just-deserts-not-just-desserts/

    Hello, oliver. Howdy?

  92. Oliver it could have been worse Chelsea lost and Mancs just ended 2-2 we can’t have another showing like yesterday

  93. al is predicatably getting slaughtered on the blogs. fair enough, but i am not going to pile on here. yes, he should have done much better for the second and third goals, but i maintain that he had absolutely no help in front of him for these goals. by focusing on al, i feel we are overlooking how poor – and for the first time this season, i add – the entire team around him was. a better keeper may – or may not – have bailed us out, but it is difficult for any keeper when the defence is half-assing out there.

    al is a lightning rod, and many see him as personification of arsene’s unwillingness to spend big. there is definitely something to be said for that, and al definitely should have done better for the goals, but to pin the entire result on him is rather unfair, in my opinion. he looked like he cared out there – cannot say the same for most of his teammates.

  94. hiya agag….hi erick…and of course, hi rico.

  95. Greeting all, I am fuming from that shower of shit that they served up yesterday and as said all summer the keeper situation is a liability waiting to happen no team in history has ever won a tin cup let alone a trophy with a shit keeper and we got at least 2…. we’re supposed to be says the european co-efficient one of the top teams in europe and yet don’t have one of the top 8 keepers in England let alone europe and why does the manager refuse to say they crap…. well that means he have to admit to the fact he’s wrong in not replacing them for a quality keepr that should be the backbone of the team, stupid arrogant egotistical man…! Money in the bank is worth fuk all when we need a quality keeper….! end of and now i am off before I get the hump again………….. Take care all…!

  96. Quite a mouthful there, WATH. :) Behave, you.

  97. oliver, Almunia’s just not good enough, I’m afraid. Yesterday, his defense failed him, but a lot of the time, he just fails us. :(

  98. ‘morning wath – now that you got that out of your system, i do hope you feel better.

  99. agag, i agree he is not good enough, but i think he can still do a job for us in a side that is properly focused and willing to fight.

    i think what i am trying to say here is i see many people using yesterday to say “see i told you so” regarding al. and i think that is overlooking the larger problem, which is that many of our players may be picking and choosing which matches to show up for. if i am correct, it won’t matter whether we have al, olli kahn, dave seaman or whomever in goal.

  100. No Oliver I actually don’t due to the fact I blind man could see we have needed a keeper for at least two seasons and what happens. . . . . Nothing, it’s called taking the piss out the supporters simple as that. That fcukin clown should be selling popcorn not acting as a keeper and the blame lies squarely with Wenger !!. I refuse to now go into that stadium until he buts a decent keeper and admits to being wrong… whats the chances, i reckon I’ll be in the pub the rest of the season thats the chances..!

  101. wath, i was sick at the end of yesterday’s match and i too wish we upgraded the goalkeeper position. but i just cannot work myself up into a state over this.

    if the team played well, and al dropped clangers that turned a win into a defeat, i am sure i still be pissed off right now. but, deficiencies and all, i cannot get myself to go over the top regarding al. as i said, goalkeeping remains an acknowledged problem spot – but the collective attitude i saw on display yesterday is a bigger issue for me.

  102. The Sailor is fuming lol get him some GG please the team was crap yesterday and Al is part of the team

  103. Thing is though Oliver Nasri scored two and when the team makes a cock up and plays crap to be honest its normally an off day BUT the keeper has many off days and can never ever be relied upon..????? despite scoring two goals he still was to blame for two he’s never been good enough and not just because of yesterday I’ve said it for years and you’ve said it regarding flappy and the situation is Wngers fault noone else’s the man is blinded with his own ego when it comes to correcting whats staring him in the face.

  104. Normally Erick id the back 4 had an off game Seaman would save their bacon when has that ever happened with the waiter or flappy, they both give my arse a headache….! They’re an insult the pair of em and as I have said many times before u couldn’t make a decent keeper if you put the two together.

  105. Hi Guys,

    Just skimmed thru the comments and the question regarding “just dessert” caught my eye.

    It means that some one “got what they deserved”. It is really old English, of Norman French origin based on the Latin word for “deserve”.

    That’s what Arsenal got “eff all” for the poor performance they put in.

  106. You do sound extremely angry, WATH. Not even GG would help, I think, Erick. :(

  107. No AGAG ur quite right nothing will help…………

  108. My mate Erick has the right of it, I think. :-)

    Big Al should never have made it into the Arsenal squad all those years ago as Mad Jens’ deputy.

    However, the best GK in the world would find it difficult to play behind those plonkers Sagna and Clichy. I have looked at the recording two or three times and both of them were “done up like kippers” (another old English phrase), and gave Big Al no help at all, and boy does he need it!

  109. Rumour has it that Big Al hates crosses more than dracula does! :-)

  110. Sorry Oliver, I forgot to say how much I enjoyed reading your sensible and reasoned Post. Well done, sir! :-)

  111. i cannot argue the point that almunia should have done better for both the second and third goals. that is plain for everyone to see. however, i still will not kill him over this – i cannot blame him for clichy and sagna allowing wba the freedom of both flanks. i cannot blame him for song being an absolute liability on and off the ball. i cannot blame him for the outfield players conceding one goal, and giving wba the opportunity to score another less than two minutes afterwards. i cannot blame him for the outfield players sleepwalking until 0-3 down, and only then showing some urgency and purpose. i cannot blame him for vela passing straight to a wba player again and again….

    you – and so many others – view yesterday’s match as confirmation that al is not good enough and we will never win anything with him in goal. i am not saying i disagree with you, but i view yesterday’s match as confirmation that so many of our players are still immature and irresponsible, and to that is a larger problem at the moment. our difference is the perspective each of us chooses to view the performance and result with.

    morning ra. three hours to kickoff at the meadowlands.

  112. Oliver,

    Having just seen louis Hamilton run off the road in the F1 Grand Prix, another sport I love, Arsenal being crushed by WBA and the Yankees losing 10:8 the other night, I am looking forward to tonight’s game with some trepidation. The Rays seem to be coming on really strong too. Goldarn it.

  113. yeah, i can use a good result as well. the mets won in philly last night, and delayed their division clinching party until at least today. but they still managed to show the world they are spineless and weak by making a fuss over utley’s hard slide into second on friday night and proceeding to do nothing about it. you know…if you speak like a doormat, and act like a doormat, guess what? you’re a doormat…

  114. RA Howdy its been a while hope your good Chesney may get his chance now then Wath

  115. Oliver, I was about to quack, until I noticed you said doormat not duck. :-)

    Hi Erick. Been away for a while. :-)

  116. Utd couldn’t get past Bolton!

  117. How is life RA hope your fingers have healed completely

  118. Any team news as i’m not visiting NN till Tuesday.

  119. Actually KT, Bolton could easily have won that game 4:2.

    Elmander was great for Bolton and perhaps should have scored more. Oh well. :-(

  120. True KT we are so lucky another showing like yesterday and we are no champion material

  121. Erick,

    Thanks for asking. Knees fingers and everything in between are/is now fine! :-)

    Hope you are well. I see you are finding the internship hard, but that’s how it should be. Toughens you up for a successful future career. We have all been thru it!

    Got to disappear again for a while as I seem to have turned off the chat between certain people.

  122. Not that I know of KT Its all Arsenal embarassed

  123. Am pushing on RA hope its all smooth later need your Email need some help on something I will tell Rico to give you mine cheers mate

  124. We are lucky that neither chavs nor mancs won.tiny totts lost too.

  125. Any news on Tv/gibbs?

  126. No…. I know what it means lads!!!….(and girls) I was bored and was looking fir the origin…ah forget it!!!

  127. Red arse. Thanks mate. Haha

  128. Afternoon all, can you believe I got a little lost on my walk…. :(

    And, I’ve lived around here for longer than I care to mention ;)

    agag, I share WATH’s anger and upset, I really do :(

  129. KTR7, they both could be back for the Chavs….

  130. Rocastle, I thought it stemmed from someone who didn’t like starters or main courses :P:

  131. You are welcome Rocastle. For my sins I had to take Latin up to A Level.

    Hated it, (sort of) at the time, but it has come in handy many times since, especially in the romantic languages. :-)

  132. Rico,

    Your 4:27 :-)

  133. Red arse…you smoothy!!

    Rico…you’re crazy!!

  134. Rocastle, you know me well already ;)

    glad the mancs could only nab a draw….

  135. Hey Lads…another Baggies fan here. First off I would like to say that I have long admired Arsenal. I think you play the best football in the league and are always a pleasure to watch. Like my fellow fan on here I have been most impressed by the attitude and candor of Goners after this game. Whereas most of the national media want to talk about how bad Arsenal were….you guys see that Albion came and played very well. Let me tell you….usually even a very poor Arsenal will put a few past the “old”l Albion. Our team finally looks like it belongs in the prem and we have cut out the defensive frailties that have blighted us in the past. We were unlucky not to get something out of the Liverpool game and even though Chelski put 6 past us the scoreline was flattering.

    If you dont mind I would like to make an observation about your team. Firstly, as I have said you are the best footballing side in the league imho. Secondly, the prem has become a strange place with teams losing games they would normally have won. This wont be the last “unexpected” result this season. Thirdly….I have to say.. you need a new goalkeeper! I know many have said this but I think that if you had someone like Given in the team he would be able to marshall the defence better and he certainly wouldnt have made mistakes like Manuel did yesterday.

    Finally…I have been impressed by the Arsenal fans on many levels. I hope you regroup and win the title. I think that with the football you play and the fan attitudes you deserve it. Dont forget…you havent lost at home for 9 months….this isnt the end of the world!

    Boing boing!

  136. And I meant GOONERS not GONERS!

  137. oliver, re your earlier, you are right it is very easy to single out Almunia for the goals and two of them he in his trusted role should have saved them…

    You are also right that others in front of him were poor too, they never should have allowed the attack to get where it did in the first place..

    The whole starting eleven were not mentally up for the game, but a keeper will always have to take the flack when he makes such a howler – thing is, its not the first time and I for sure am convinced it won’t be the last…

  138. Hi Jonnyboy, good to see another baggie here and again, well done for yesterday…

    We are fair here on HH, credit where its due and all that…

    We all know we need a better keeper but sadly the man who needs to sort that out seems to think the two idiots we have are ok…

  139. Thanks johnny boy.you played very well but don’t forget to do that at old trafford in a few weeks.

  140. KTR7, nice one, I hope the baggies give them a good hiding….

  141. Well at least Saracens won!

    Arsenal will kick arse in the next two games and then we will all be smiling again. :-)

    Johnnyboy, the baggies palyed very well yesterday; proper football and not the huff and puff and kick anything that moves stuff, like the Pulis and Fat Sam teams.

  142. RA I have to writeup the preCL post which is very difficult to do right now…but i’ll do it and deliver it to rico tomorrow.

  143. Anyone else watching the Geordies v Stoke RFC? the AW quote about caviar and sausages springs to mind, but this is just dire. I think my eyes are beginning to bleed. Someone wake me when it’s over.

  144. KTR7, is the hangover giving you jip ;)

  145. Rocastle, just put it on now and the geordies are winning 1-0 – are they poor? I hope so as we have a tough CC game against them… Could do with that striker of theirs picking up a niggle, Taylor is it??

  146. KT,

    I’m looking forward to your Post. There’s no one else who could do it as well as you! :-)

  147. The weekend was crap for me glad its over bring on tuesday

  148. Rico i hope the players were given a hairdryer treatment by Aw.it was painful to watch,even so with cesc,theo and vermy in the stands.

  149. Echo Echo erick, tuesday cannot come quick enough :(

    They should have had that treatment at H/T yesterday KTR7….

  150. RA I’m still not at 100% but rest assured i’ll have it ready by tomorrow.rico i may even deliver a bonus post during the week…

  151. I would love to do you guys a favour and beat the reds. I can tell you this…we will not go there and try and play for a draw.

    As I said…the title can still be yours. You need to get a better keeper though. Do you think you will bring one in in January? Do you think that Manuel will cost you too many points by then?

  152. Jonnyboy odemwingie is player i’ve admired since his moscow days.he har been the best Nigerian player in recent years,hope you do well.you have a decent team.

  153. Rico shouldn’t mannone/szczesny get their chances?lehmann had a shocker vs Blackburn a few years ago and he was instantly dropped for Almunia.i think it can only be fair if Aw does the same.

  154. Hey KT, thats great news – all you fine fellows are making my life a whole lot easier :)

  155. Johnny, I am sure he will buy a keeper in Jan, The Dutch gut Skeltenburg or how ever he’s spelt – suggestion in the paps today we may even go for Reina….

  156. KT – I would now give the gloves to Chesney, with Mannone as his deputy – let Mannone play the fA cup and CC…

    Has to happen, surely…

  157. Rico did you know shwarzer was MOTM in fulham vs Everton game?Hughes said they owed the point and the subsequent cleansheet to him.on the same day that Al…

  158. I did KT, thats the first game he has played well this season…

    Stoke v Newcastle is a third division game played in the EPL…. Boring!

  159. Hola, rico… But it’s fun getting lost sometimes. I “lose” my way around the shops on occasion. :) And that Dutch treat is Stekelenburg :) I don’t think I could ever like Reina after that Cesc in Barca jersey stunt.

    KT, you’re in inspired form.

    Johnnyboy, great win for your team; a terribleterriblerterriblest loss for ours. No pride in their shirts. :(

  160. Rico thats why id rather watch other top teams in Europe rather than those teams.

  161. I have a sneaky suspicision of our game at the Bridge.not sure what it is yet.

  162. Its quite phenomenal how jack has gone from being a prospect to a first team regular in the space of a few months.

  163. Hola agag, i don’t want Reina – well, maybe i would in place of Almunia ;)

    getting lost is bad for me agag, i have lived in the area so many years, i am :oops:
    :lol: – i don’t care really, i love to get lost in the shops, that’s fun, but being lost amoungst stinging nettles is not ;)

  164. Rico getting lost in shops… what is it with women and shopping?i rarely go for shopping as i find it tedious and boring…

  165. At the bridge its a big one hope to see Cesc and Tv we need some inspiration at the moment

  166. Erick i second that.squilli and Tv as the CBs and our Spanish marvel conducting the orchestra.

  167. KT Diaby has to up his game Jack is getting that spot every time he steps on the field and yes Diaby was crap

  168. We could as well turn the blog into an English class for RA and Rocastle or Shopping tips for Agag and Rico :-) :-)

  169. Jack on this form will start on Tuesday but diaby will start at the bridge to provide that physical edge.

  170. Lol, rico. At least, no poison ivy?? :)

    I stopped liking Reina after that incident. And I dislike him enough; I’d rather we keep our Spanish keeper.

    KT, the answer to that question is related to the phenomenon of girls having a closetful of clothes (and more) and perpetually saying “I have nothing to wear.” ;)

    We do need Cesc, Erick. And we need him badly. :) When is Theo due back? I don’t even want to ask about Robin… :(

  171. Agag loves clichy but according to most here he is a poor footballer nowadays so maybe agag has her reasons but the number of times clichy backed off his winger was painful to watch.

  172. If Song shows up at the bridge we will win it like De jong did for City we need to hustle then up their own half and we need Chamaka to havd some directness like Tevez

  173. Rvp may be christmas ;-) just kidding

  174. Agag especially shoes.i have never understood why.

  175. Erick, I am mortified. Do you think I need classes for my English? I am not that bad surely? :-)

    Admittedly my Swahili is not v. good! :-)

  176. I think Given would be a great signing for you. Im sure that Citeh will want to keep him on the bench rather than sell him to one of their rivals.

    By the way…..I dont like Spuds…..so do me a favour and make sure you finish above them! We do pretty well against them so make sure you guys are rooting for us when we play Arrys lot!

  177. I love Cesc, Clichy, Robin and Rambo. Cesc is usually magnificent, Robin is capable of turning a game almost on his own, Rambo (fingers crossed) will be amazing. Clichy is committed and isn’t an arse like some of our other players. He isn’t any good now, but he will be again. I am certain of it.

  178. Erick song needs to stay back in front of the back 4 to mop up any loose balls.if cesc,song and diaby are on the same wavelength we will have a chance

  179. Agag clichy better get his old form that made him a fan favourite.i like rvp too but not cesc.

  180. Johnnyboy,

    Our desire to stuff the Spuds is a given! :-)

    Keep up the good work, except against us in the return match, and keep the faith by playing “proper” football. :-)

  181. RA i was referring to you as the teacher not student what do you think abt my 3:51pm RA ?

  182. Johnny boy the spuds will be spanked properly you guys play bolton then united come on get united for us

  183. KT & Erick, just wait until you have a wife, you WILL go shopping :) :)

  184. Erick,

    Sorry about that, I have been popping in and out of the site while doing other things and missed your suggestion.

    As soon as Rico contacts me I will email you. I am really thick though, so no tricky questions! :-)

  185. I luv Cesc, KT. Even when he had just started starting for us, he was largely unfazed. I’ve always liked that in a player. I see it in Wilshere now, although he needs to curb his temper and keep the passes simple.

    Johnnyboy, we will, for the foreseeable future (next millennium or two) always finish above the Spuds… ;)

    Erick, knowing Robin, it may even be in the new year… :(

  186. agag, i would much rather see reina than almunia – at least then his silly antics would stop…

  187. You may have not heard of him but be on the look out for Palermo’s javier Pastore an Argentinian.he is very good.old red nose has declared his interest in Chile/udinese player Alexis Sanchez who is also very good as you witnessed at the wc.the biggest obstacle to them being able to sign him is that Udinese are a nightmare to deal with sort of like Bayern.we tried to sign inler a few years back and its quite amazing that he’s still there.

  188. who am i meant to be emailing ???

  189. KT and Erick,

    Don’t listen to that Rico! :-)

    The deal with marriage is;

    Shopping = Nooky
    No shopping = No nooky.

    There have to be alternatives! :-)

  190. I love Fabianski

    :P:

  191. RA….

    Divorce!!!!!

    :P:

  192. Thats the spirit RA.

  193. Have to go guys.

    NFL is calling. :-)

    Tomorrow.

  194. See ya RA, enjoy the ‘real’ soccer ;) ;)

  195. Thats what i enjoy about my current status RA:sleep,gaming,clubbing and footy are my weekly routines.walking around a mall looking for the perfect shoe ain’t gonna happen…

  196. Cant believe you didn’t give me abuse RA over the alternative to shopping ;)

  197. KTR7, i haven’t a clue how old you are, it really makes no difference to any of us, but one day you will hear the alarm clock – the one that wakes you to go shopping in the biggest of Malls… Oh happy days ahead for you my friend…. :)

  198. No one I know is even married Rico, (including KT :-) ), let alone divorce!

    Nighty night! :-)

  199. Oh, Ok, nighty night then……

  200. Anyway, on that happy note, I am off for the day before that D word comes my way ;)

    You all stay safe, be good and sleep well…

    Nighty night all :)

  201. Rico please Email RA my email address thanks and nice week all and keep the faith

  202. I have emailed you Erick, night night….

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