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Rubbish at home but tomorrow we must move on for the sake of our season…

Olivers review of Saturdays debacle…

Sooner or later this was going to happen. That it happened in such an important fixture, one where a win would have put us top of the table, adds to the pain. But perhaps that is not even so important – folding a 2-0 hand at home against Spurs is,…..well… To paraphrase Andy Van Slyke, “They haven’t invented a word to describe this!” In summarizing last Sunday’s win at Goodison, I commented that a great result such as that will not count for very much if Spurs turn us over in the derby….Lo and behold…

We pretty comprehensively outplayed them in the first half, and probably should have been more than 2-0 up. Past history suggests there was a chance that the “Here we go again…” malaise could have set in with our opponents. No such luck this time – this Spurs squad (as painful as it is for me to acknowledge) – is much tougher, and far better than the feeble sides that we casually rolled during recent years.

They regrouped at the half, got a critical early goal – for me, that was the key moment of the game, as the effect it had on both sides was obvious – and pushed on from there. We had opportunities to score, didn’t take any, and were duly punished. Is it a coincidence that two of our three home losses have come against sides we thrashed away in the League Cup earlier this season? Probably not…

Regardless, Spurs played with more purpose and looked as though they believed they could go on and win. After they equalized from a sickening moment of “brain lock” from our Captain, I felt that they would win, and they would get the go-ahead goal from a set piece…And they did.

They showed the maturity and focus to retrieve a bad situation and go on to win. I am still waiting for Arsenal to show this consistently. As rotten as my day – weekend – has become, this moment is for Spurs and their fans. In my view, they were the better team on the day and won fair and square. As I said at the outset, we generally have had our way with them over the past several years, so sooner or later this result was going to come. Was it preventable? Most likely, yes…But Spurs did not give up after an awful first half, and showed grit and purpose to get the result – they deserve all the credit for that.

I am bracing for the onslaught of complaints about the refereeing job Phil Dowd did. If anyone thinks we lost because of him and not Spurs/ourselves, that is your opinion, but I could not disagree more. I did not think Dowd had a bad game – we can argue whether he made the correct call in a few instances, but show me a referee that gets every single call over ninety-plus minutes right. Is Dowd to blame for Cesc letting us down so badly with that absurd, blatant handball? Is he to blame for Robin allowing Kaboul to out jump him too easily for the winning goal? The free-kicks that led to both incidents can be debated, but our players did not do what was necessary to prevent the goals. If you blame Dowd, you give the real culprits a pass – and I refuse to do that. If we continue to harp on calls and referees, what is going to change?

Cesc got away with something similar at Anfield last season. I remember thinking “How did they not call that?”, and having a chuckle. Rest assured that I am not laughing this time. There is no way I can know what Cesc was thinking at that moment. I am, however, fairly confident he was not concentrating on what he was supposed to be doing – defending the free kick and getting the ball clear. This lack of focus (as well as urgency) is something we see time and time again, particularly when we are leading matches. To me, this is the root cause of so many of our other problems.

We started better and Gomes gifted us the opening goal when he failed to gather/clear a loose ball in his area and Nasri reacted quickest to put us 1-0. We created more chances, but squandered them until Arshavin set Chamakh up to slot through Gomes’ legs. That should have been the cue for more, but it wasn’t, not for a lack of chances. Chamakh had another chance that he dithered on, allowing Spurs to clear.

The second half was far, far different. Six minutes in van der Vaart set Bale up, who finished calmly, bringing Spurs back into it. Initially, we looked more likely to score a third than Spurs were to equalize – but once again, we wasted the opportunities, with Chamakh dithering in the area, and Nasri wasting a free kick. Sure enough, we were punished. Song appeared to win the ball from Modric, but Dowd blew for the free kick and Cesc handled – Chamakh also raised his arm simultaneously! There was no question this was a penalty, and van der Vaart duly sent Fabianski (who I thought could not be blamed for any of the goals) the wrong way.

Arsene brought Robin on for Chamakh, but other than a nice free kick, he did not do much. Koscielny headed over an open goal, we had a goal disallowed with both Cesc and Squillaci offside in the buildup, and Cesc forced Gomes to tip a nice, goalbound shot away.

Arsene then brought Theo and Rosicky on for Nasri (who should not have been subbed in my opinion) and Arshavin (who also had a good game, I thought). On 85 minutes, however, disaster struck, as another free kick was conceded and Kaboul beat Robin too easily to head the winner in. We had almost ten minutes (4 of regulation and 5 of stoppage time) to try and get a goal back, but by this point we did not seem to be playing as a team. In one instance, Robin took four or five touches – with his head down, looking at the ball and not for a teammate – in the penalty area and predictably did not get a shot away. There were a couple of occasions when we moved the ball ahead, and most of the team was still either on halfway line or in our half. There was little urgency, and it seemed only one or two players were trying to attack – reminiscent of the final few minutes versus West Brom, after Nasri had scored his second. Spurs took their time and played keep-ball effectively. When Rosicky shot directly at Gomes (through a crowd of players, it must be said), time was up…

So a third home league defeat of the season. Strange how we can show grit, character and determination to grind out wins away (Blackburn, Everton, Man City), yet show little of these qualities at home. Why? Is it the stadium? I don’t think so – I think it is just complacency and a lack of urgency, traits I have often cited. For a side that allegedly wants success, this Arsenal team is yet to show they can handle prosperity. Early home leads have often been followed by losses of focus and application – see the Bolton match. We were 1-1 at the half despite dominating – that was one of the rare instances where we were able to retrieve the three points. And then when we concede a goal and put ourselves in a tricky situation, we don’t seem to know how to dig ourselves out of it. How long are we going to continue to say this team is young and immature? What they really lack is leadership, focus, and an understanding of what it takes to win over the course of a season, not just individual matches. There is one person – and one person only – who I consider responsible for these flaws.

I suppose progress can be measured in that Arsene did not rant about Dowd over and over. And I suppose his water-bottle throwing strop on the bench shows he cares. But how long will he continue to tolerate the lack of focus, decision-making and casual effort that this side is quickly becoming famous for? How many times do we have to watch this side either start lethargically at home and fall behind to a preventable goal, or switch off after getting a lead? How many times will he continue to indulge and protect players that in my opinion no longer deserve coddling? Sadly, I think he will carry on as he is now, at the continued expense of sustained forward momentum and real progress.

I will leave the agenda-driven “Arsene out” blogs to call for his head; I will only say that the longer he sticks to his “principles”, makes only cosmetic changes, and shields his players from real criticism and accountability, the longer we will remain in this “flatter to deceive” existence we have been in over the past few years. We can debate tactics and formations until we are blue in the face. For me, it does not matter so much how we are set up to play. This side lacks leadership, winning experience, focus and mental strength. When we need to dig deep, we usually find that we have already reached the proverbial bottom. Without these traits, our side will struggle to make any formation work when it really counts. I don’t think we need to change the players, so much as change the culture. As I have said before, we have nobody who has led a side to a notable trophy/championship.

We did have those players, but many of them were moved on at the same time. In fact, as time ticked down towards the inevitable defeat, the TV cameras focused on the legend that is Thierry Henry, in overcoat and scarf – I wonder what he thought of what he saw? He was certainly not the greatest captain in our history – far from it – but he was a key part of a hugely successful side, and certainly knows the effort, mentality and sacrifice required to win championships. As Arsene’s model is to grow the winning side together, previous winning experience is de-emphasized – at a hugely detrimental cost, in my opinion. At the moment, we have “eleven captains”, but nobody who will take charge and drag the team along with him. Until we either win something – and that is why the League and FA Cups MUST be emphasized this season – or bring players in who may not exactly fit the playing style template, but have the experience, character and will to win, this side will struggle to take that final step. As the past couple of seasons have shown, we are great at getting some results and keeping in touch with the top of the table. Yet when we have the opportunity to move to the top, we usually waste it – as we did today. As I said after a loss a few weeks back, “We are what we are.” No better example of that than today.

Being what this Arsenal side is, we will probably respond with a big game at Braga. And that will be welcome, as we certainly to secure qualification for the CL knockout round. But will that be followed by a let-down? How many false dawns have we had during the past few seasons? We’ve had enough that, in my opinion, we should know better than to get euphoric or giddy over a few wins. I am gutted by this loss – as I am sure a great many of us are. I am very, very concerned, however, that many of our players will just shrug it off as another “bad day at the office”. Such is their apparent comfort level that perhaps we should expect this from them.

They say “seeing is believing”; after Saturday, I am struggling to see anything that makes me believe we have the attitude and fortitude to become champions.

Prove me wrong, guys – over to you…

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235 comments on “Rubbish at home but tomorrow we must move on for the sake of our season…

  1. Rennie says:
    November 22, 2010 at 9:39 am (Edit)
    Hej Rico, I do accept your view that he gets his tactics messed up (a lot) but U 4get his underlying vision of playing attacking football.

    Wenger’s mentioned a few times in his interviews that he always gives it a lot’o thought before he takes off a player who in his view is more classy than his replacement. That is he hesitates to take someone as talented as Arshavin or Cesc out of a game even if they are not playing so well coz he believes they are capable of pulling a rabbit out of the hat at any moment in the game & thereby create a goal. That’s why he never ever takes Cesc out of a game unless he’s broken a leg or 2 & similarly only substitutes Arshavin when he’s run his arse to the ground.

    The only other player he believes to be in the same class is Van Persie, but lets face it he’s hardly ever in contention. However, I do think that this season he has put Nasri in that bracket, so that’s why Theo is finding it so tough to see some playin’ time.

  2. Rennie says:
    November 22, 2010 at 9:42 am (Edit)
    So I think that it’s not that Wenger doesn’t like defensive tactics, it’s just that his idea is primarily ‘Offence as the best form of defence’. Naive as it may sound, he wants to keep the opposition pegged back in their own half so that they see as little activity as possible in front of our goal (remember our tactics in the unfortunate loss at the bridge), & that also explains why our defenders always play a very high line regardless of the quality of the opposition!

    But the bloody problem is these tactics require real discipline & concentration throughout the whole 90, which most of our players seem to lack!!

  3. Rennie says:
    November 22, 2010 at 9:44 am (Edit)
    It would be quite awesome to see our boys mix it up depending on the situation/opposition, but Wenger clearly leaves this to the players on the pitch to read, realize, and adjust accordingly. That’s why we never see him shouting out commands to his wards from the touchline (a la Benitez/Maureen), but we do get to see him face-buried-in-hand very often when he’s not getting what he expects from those on the pitch.

    Wenger’s still waiting for his team to mature in this aspect, how long is he prepared to wait?.. HOW MUCH MORE LONGER ARE WE!

  4. morning all,

    Rennie, i see where you are coming from re the subs but neither cesc or AA looked like that rabbit was coming out on saturday, the one who was more likely to change things was nasri imho, but he was taken off…

  5. Another good blog from a gooner. Some of the we lost they didn’t win rubbish has irked me but this and goonerblog deserve plaudits for fair and balanced write ups.

  6. Yeah, actually it’s been quite a while since AA has pulled out anythin’! But after watching the game again, I havta say that he was working a lot for the cause, chased around more & put in a decent shift.. Nasri on the other hand was brilliant in the 1st half, but clearly struggled towards the end (remember he played the whole stoopid Anglo-French exercise in mid-week), so the substitutions were understandable for me.

  7. How many suds players were on international duty Rennie, any idea?

    Chamakh looked like he’d lost his legs he was out of it too in the second half…

  8. I wholeheartedly agree with U on your point that their 1st goal was the key moment in the match!.. I can clearly envision Wenger’s half-time talk – “Go get the 3rd goal asap & finish off the game!”. When it’d have been so much wiser to start the 2nd half with defensive solidarity & hit them on the break. I betcha we’d have won it 4-1!

    …easy with hindsight, I know, but I guess common sense goes outta the window on Derby day!!

  9. I believe the red faced would have not tolerated this caving in after blowing a two goal lead. Yes his side have been pegged back after leading 2-0 but at least they didn’t lose.Imo ,he is superior to Arsene tactically.
    The problem with Arsene is he believes attacking is they way forward.The thing is with the calvary happily charging forward they are lured into trap.Counter strikes and the the gunners are a goal/two down.Then what?
    Yeah I know his kids are maturing and will take the soccer world by storm.He hasn’t been uttering words since 2008. At least he has simmered down.
    The buck stops with him. His buy kid and out of contract players must be compared when buying quality players. In short like most gunner fans,I believe he has reached his zenith. The trick with managing is you must reinvent yourself. That’s why the red faced is so successful much as gooner fans dislike him.
    Wenger has been keeping faith with his philosophy which flies in the face of conventional wisdom.Believe me he is too obssessed to change course. That to me is the sign of someone unable to acknowledge that things must change other wise he could be adanger to Arsenal.

  10. Rennie, that’s wenger for you but to be fair, 2 goals isn’t often enough for us these days and thats down to him, either the players are not good enough or he’s not coaching them as he should. that in itself opens a new can of worms, Who is the defensive coach as we certainly need one and fast…

  11. I remember Wales didn’t play in mid-week, so Bale musta been very fresh, though VDV did play for the Dutch which easily explains why he was off the pace (& yet had a hand in all their goals, darned sonaB@##h!)

    Definitely they’d only have about 6-8 who get picked regularly for their nations. Can’t say the same for us though, probably only 6-8 who don’t!

  12. that fixture came at a good time for them, certainly beeter than for us, but again, wenger should have the strength and dept in our squad to cope, right now its clear we haven’t…

  13. VDV looked over weight and sluggish, time and time again he committed fouls and as much as he had a hand in all goals, i think we had more of a hand in them, especially cesc….

    we gifted them their goals imho

  14. Morning Jerry, sorry i didn’t see you slip in there…

  15. Re your comment Jerry, i don’t mind him buying the kids or getting an odd free signing, if they are in addition of what we really need, we still need another strong CH and DM in my view

  16. Gifted them goals just don’t cut it, more like ‘wrapped in gold foil & embellished with a giant ribbon’!

  17. :lol Rennie, although i shouldn’t be laughing…

  18. Hej Jerry! It’s pretty clear that Wenger’s attackin’ philosophy ain’t working, coz he doesn’t have the trophies to show for it.. But c’mon even U can’t disagree that he’s kept us competing at the highest level during the same period inspite of the calamitous injury record that we’ve had in the last 3-4 seasons!

    Now, that we have a Chamakh to replace an injured Van Persie, a Wilshere for a Rosicky, and a Squillaci for a Vermaelen, can U not give Wenger another shot at the title?

    Please let’s reserve our judgement for the answer to the question “Is Wenger past it?” to the end of the season & keep supporting him until then to return back to the TOP!

  19. ..I know I come across as one of those ‘AKB’ sorta ppl, but all I’m askin’ is for us fans to give Wenger this chance (U can’t honestly say that he hasn’t earned it).

    We all agree that we’re close (U only havta take one look at the league table even after such a poor home run), let’s atleast hope for our own sakes that he can take our great club again into those glory times that I can smell are just ’round the corner!!!

  20. Morning.
    If you notice this season, Spurs seem to be doing what we used to do a few seasons ago which was to come out stronger in the second half despite the scoreline. We havent really been doing that lately this season and I fore-see more losses this season.
    Fact of the matter is we lost due to our own doing to a bunch of neanderthals who are bound to release a blockbuster dvd of their famous win at the Emirates, the question though is how do we pick ourselves up and move on? Now every game is filled with uncertainty as we now lose games we should be winnig on paper. CL coming up and we face Braga who we thrashed some weeks back but with this current squad, you dont know what to expect! :(

    Oh well, “Dont Stop Believing” I guess….

  21. Rennie, must admit that when the final whistle went on saturday i wanted wenger and rice gone as soon as, BUT, i know there isn’t a better manager out there to take us foraward..

    In saying that, i wish we could get the old Wenger back, the one that got quality signings like Sol, Paddy, Petit, Henry, Overmars, Freedie, Pires…

    He has the money, he needs to get us just a bit more steel….

  22. Morning T-buzz, we do need to move on but it’s bloody hard moving :(

    It’s horrid knowing just how much losing our last three games have filled us with doubt as we go into every game..

    Braga is now a huge match, we have to win our last two CL games and in style…

  23. Sorry Rico I Haven’t Read Your Article Because I Know It Was Just Going To Bring Back Sad Memories.

    What Horror, What Is Going On In Our Club?
    This Set Of Players Have Not Won Any Trophies In The Past 5years But They Are Now Losing All Our Bragging Rights.

    We Have Lost All Our Bragging Rights To Chelsea Now We Are Standing To Loose Any Bragging Rights Left Against The Spuds.

    Why Why Why Did They Do That On Saturday, It Was An Horror. :(

  24. I know what you mean riCo.
    I have had to endure an onslaught from a merciless Man U boss this morning so it has’nt made it easy coping with this loss. I really hope we bounce back soon and get over this November-December blues we always seem to have!

  25. Hi SD, no probs, oliver wrote the report right after the game and i still don’t know how he did, credit… my rant went up first thing yesterday while i was still seething… i still am too….

  26. I feel like smacking AW in the face with a wet fish… a Baracuda if possible!

  27. T-buzz, that just makes it worse doesn’t it.. wish we had a bit of the fight the mancs do right now, they should be well down the table but grit and determination has got them points when they look beat….

    I just hope the november blues don’t go into december….

  28. that will be a disaster rico, we play the Mancs in December!! :(

  29. Thank goodness it’s away T-buzz….

    We’ll be back by then, I’d like to have been a fly on the wall in the changing rooms after that defeat, a wenger 45 minute rant i read…

    pity he couldn’t have stirred them up at half-time but i guess it didn’t look so bad then….

  30. Talkin’ bout the CL game, Rico have U ever thought ’bout why that great Arsenal side U mentioned with Sol, Paddy, Petit, Henry, Overmars, Freedie, Pires…, almost always failed in Europe! I remember gettin’ my hopes up after every prelim stage only to be all squashed down by a Valencia or a Bayern in the QF. We only managed to get to the finals after Wenger handed the midfield’s reigns over to Cesc!

    …The pt I’m tryin’ to make here is that Wenger realized that the brand of football we were playing back then was never goin’ to be good enough to win CL & ever since he’s trying his best to mould a team to bring home the CL (the only thing he’s neva won). That’s why he’s brought in players who generally excel at the European stage (Rosicky, Nasri, Arshavin, & their ilk) Sadly the very same team ends up losing to their domestic rivals who have now started playing the way we did back then!!

    Well that’s my theory, what do U all think?

  31. Rennie, I think that topic would make a great post, you up for writing one about it??

  32. Rennie, that just sums up our last 10years. How did you do that.?

    Now i wish Wenger can read this and realize he needs two set of teams for the CL and PL as it comes.

    My verdict for yesterday’s game was that apart from the plunkers slacking in the second half Wenger should have swallowed his pride and drop the attacking football tighten the midfield.
    But then we were 2 goals up and still attacking he didn’t see that coming.

  33. SD, but once that Bale goal went in he should have been out of his seat shouting instructions out. Not just sit there looking like a cardboard cut out and as for Old Crossed legs by his side….

  34. It still hurts…i may not even watch our game tomorrow but i know no matter what i do i’ll end up watching it anyway.we’ve heard nothing after the game from Aw and the players.i hope they now realise how difficult it is for us to have faith in them anymore.this defeat will stay with me for years.

  35. U put me in a spot there Rico, but I think I can give it a shot..

  36. Tops Rennie, no hurry just when ever you like, my email address is in the contact us page…

  37. Hi KT, i’m not up for the game much either tomorrow but….

    Chamakh and wenger have spoken KT, but nothing from our no4!!

  38. Good on ya Rennie, give it a go, youve got our support!!

  39. morning rico…what is done is done, and we have another important game up tomorrow…but this is not going away easily…

  40. With you there T-buzz, when is yours being written ;)

    Morning oliver, thank you for the post, how you did so constructively i will never know… you are of course right, tomorrow will hoping see us get our CL place cemented although….

    the manner in which we crumbled will not go away for a long while….

  41. Got to pop off for a short while, won’t be long….

  42. We are going to lose against Braga.just wait and see…

  43. sorry Oliver i will read your article on wednesday maybe our furtune might have changed by then.

    i couldn’t even buy the papers this morning , i know they wil be all over us.

  44. we’ll see. i am not looking forward to arsene’s next press conference, when he condescendingly discusses his “great players” and their “mental strength”. unfortunately, there is no one at our club stong enough to tell him to shut up – now is not the time to publicly sing our players praises – that dulls the pain (if the players are feeling any) and saps motivation to improve. this is why i think there is no accountability at our club – he babies them, shields them from criticism, gives them great wages before they accomplish anything.

  45. Im ashamed of my club for the first time ever.how can Aw come out and speak about mental strength and urgency to us but fail to get the message across to the players?how can the club charge £100 pounds for a ticket while in Germany you can go and watch an equally exciting game for £9?messi has scored 6 hattrick goals in this calendar year…now thats a player id shell out that amount of cash to watch not this bunch of bottlers!if we even win anything it will be a bonus as i don’t think this lot have it in them to win something.

  46. Conceding 3 goals in one half is criminal for a team with title winning ambitions.if you don’t have world class defenders drill them into a unit.keown did that ever so well with big phil,passmaster,flamster and kolo.how can we be 2 up in a derby and still have both our cbs go up for a setpiece?Mourinho at inter had experienced players and you could see he didn’t need to bark instructions from the touchline as they already knew what they had to do.at madrid he knows he has younger players and you’ll see him up and down the touchline feeding them instructions.Aw sitting down and chewing his zip worked with the invincibles as they knew what they had to do.this lot however is younger and in need of instructions.if he can’t do that he must buy experienced players or walk away…

  47. As it stands:mourinho/red nose/Ancelotti/Van gaal/hiddink/del bosque…>>>>>AW.

  48. k, i won’t say i am ashamed, but rest assured that i am not enjoying this. our club’s culture is completely wrong – no accountability…profits, youth development, and playing style all seeming prioritized over on-pitch success.

    i am sure arsene wants to win – and i think he takes these losses very hard. but i am not sure he is strong enough to do what is necessary: drop some of his favorite players and make the dressing room an uncomfortable place after results such as on saturday. if he is too weak to do this – and i personally think he is – then it is hugely important that we get a strong number two who can be a “bad cop” to arsene’s good cop. pat rice, as much as he has done for the club as a player, is a waste of the number two spot.

    the team can defend leads – witness the away matches at wolves and everton. but they can only defend them when a sense of urgency is present. i think we had that sense of urgency for most of the first half, and we played the spuddies off the pitch. but – as we have seen all to often – these players cannot handle prosperity. they relax, stop working and concentrating, and before they realize, everything has evaporated. this will continue to happen to this squad for as long as arsene tolerates it through his shielding and coddling of these players…

  49. Oliver im still seething.everytime i see a cockrel somewhere i feel like i want to kill it.if only i didn’t love this club so much id quit following it.am trying to not care but i simply can’t.this loss has hurt us so much and i hope the players know that.

  50. Oliver but football is a game of 2 halfs.we seem to outplay most of our opponents only to concede with the first decent chance they get.im frankly tired of it,its not good for my health.we looked on a different level to the spuds both physically and technically but still lost.the players then tell us about ‘improving our home record’ ‘mental strength’ ‘we’ve learnt our lessons’…its bollocks*¤#§!im not going to get my hopes up anymore as we seem to have so many false dawns.we may go on to smash villa and braga for all i care but am not going to get sucked into the Arsenal for the title brigade again…

  51. Oliver U hit the nail bang on the head mate, this team can defend leads… but only when they are up for it!

    Though the first goal that they let in was shambolic to say the least, it did wake them up & they sorta regrouped after that. There was an urgency to their game until Cesc’s own personal nightmare! Once the penalty was scored, U could see that heads really dropped.. (the first time I can recall myself wishin’ that Almunia was behind the sticks – he does have a remarkable penalty saving record). It woulda’ve been a different ending had that penalty been saved, that would have put the wind back in their sails.. Sadly that wasn’t to be & since Cesc made that blunder he retreated into his shell instead of leading his mates back into the match!

  52. i am not so sure they do know it. nasri is still yapping about gallas – who cares, we have more important things to deal with.

    our squad and culture are constructed to entertain, not win…not that i was entertained in any way on saturday.

  53. i agree with both of you that we were execellent in the first half. we built the platform for a resounding win and top spot. but this group of players – again – is not mature enough to handle prosperity. once again, we play well and build a lead and then relax and think the job is done. and i agree with rennie that once the totts pulled a goal back, we upped the effort and intensity. but we huffed and puffed more than made quality chances and it petered out soon enough. once cesc handled, i fully expected the worst…

  54. I can see some of you still have a ray of hope in the team and i respect that.i’ve tried to be optimistic for so long only to end up disappointed.im not questioning the talent which is there but the rotten mentality our players have.so long as Aw is there such petulance will continue and since he’ll never be sacked i may as well give up.

  55. don’t give up. we may not win anything this season or next, but we are still better off than most clubs. i don’t know if these players will ever take the next step, but we should at least keep hoping. what have we got to lose?

  56. K-TR7 don’t lose hope mate, atleast just not yet!.. Losing at home to the lowliest of all scum is ofcourse unbearable (I for one have never experienced that as an Arsenal supporter) & it does have a doomsday effect to it.

    But if we can go on to win away at Villa & Old ShitShed, and somehow squeeze in a win against Fulham or Stoke at home (preferrably both, but that would be askin’ 4 too much), then my mood will swing into hyper-elation. That’ll get me up & singin’ 4 the Che$ki game in Dec

  57. i agree that there is no reason to give up hope. and this side is certainly capable of going on a good run of form and results. but until they show a winning mentality, i will wait for the next implosion…

  58. Afternoon guys and gals…

  59. talking about our first half display, not wishing to sound doom and gloom but if we were that good in the first half we would have put the game out of reach.. too many chances spurned i think…

    3 or 4-0 up and no way back for the spuds they would have been down and out…

  60. Don’t get me wrong oliver and R.i’ll always support the club through thick and thin.i was one of the very few positive fans here after losing to brom and the barcodes hoping we have turned a corner but it seems we have more corners to navigate than the river Nile.i’ve been that way since we stopped winning but its apparent we’ll never learn and we’ll never change the teacher.we may as well win at the old toilet,villa park,san siro,camp nou…but what is the point if fulham come to our home ground and leave with the points?its useless.am tired of crap teams having one shot of target and scoring while we have loads but fail to convert one.am tired of getting nervous each time we concede a setpiece,each time we face drogba,each time we take a lead…these are the aspects that seem consistent in our consistently inconsistent team.i have no cause for being optimistic and i’ll take any win as a bonus.

  61. we lack accountability and do not emphasize results over all else. those are the root problems, in my opinion.

  62. KT, you are not alone, every time we give a free kick away on the wings near the box i always fear a goal looms, same when we give away corners…

  63. It comes from the top, the board seem to only care about money, wenger seems hell bent on saving money for the club and the players, well all they seem to care about is their wage packet!

  64. Gibbs to start tomorrow – AA and Robin don’t travel…

  65. Its time to let these crocks go.rvp10 is my favourite player but he is part of the problem.doesn’t he feel like he owes us for being so supportive to him despite him getting so many injuries?…maybe…maybe not.

  66. We always lose 2 games in a row…i expect us to get a draw at most tomorrow.

  67. I think there needs to be a shake up but i’d start by dropping a few, let them realise their place in our side should not be taken for granted….

  68. agree about shaking things up…i think too many players are in comfort zones. i see that robin, clichy and aa are being rested – clichy needs to be out-and-out dropped. i would not be disappointed if he left the club. not sure why robin is being “rested” – he has not had all that much work lately. i would consider leaving chamakh behind instead. i guess arshavin can use a rest…

    thing is, we really need to win tomorrow – for a couple of reasons: secure qualification for the next cl round. get a good result behind in the books, as saturday continues to linger. win for the first-ever time in portugal. i hope that arsene does not treat this like a reserve match – there is too much at stake.

  69. Just deviatin’ a lil bit here, is anyone else smacking their lips & droolin’ in anticipation of a Ramsey-Wilshere central midfield hopefully from Feb onwards. Though it’s more realistic to expect that next season. I wouldn’t worry too much even if Cesc left for warmer climes if this duo can get it on (still it’d be super if he wants to stay)! They’do a much better job than Song/Denilson. Even if the shite lot who call themselves footballers from Stoke/Bolton try to rough Jack & Aaron up (well the duo are quite small), they’d get that dished back as bad as they give!!… Denilson (a decent passer) is hardly ever up for a fight!!!

  70. well what can i say Rennie just wished we had Alumna yesterday for the penalty.Which is true, he is good with those.

    BUt what do we do?

    Fabianski is rubbish at penalties,
    Fabianski is good with shots but Alumna can’t seem to dive quickly
    Fabianski seems to be good with free kicks but alumna is rubbish in those.
    Fabianski is rubbish in corner-kicks but we dont easily concede when it is Alumna in the sticks.

    The Defenders can’t jump properly they are always beaten. How Defoe jumped more than our defenders can never be explained.

    RVP actually jumped higher than Kabul but RVP missed the ball and Kabul scored how that happened i can’t explain either.

    Why Fabianski couldn’t shout at his players to move forward surprises me and why he didn’t try to claim that ball will remain a mystery.

    i have seen the standarn post before right under it in a world class picth and i must tell you it is very wide.
    Therefore all goal keepers shpuld be scared and scream at other players to defend so the keeper can concentrate on a little area the ball is coming from.

    Our goal keepers dont arrange the wall properly , they dont scream at opponents or try to put them off, they dont claim the ball from the air, they dont see dangers on time and they decide on time.

    i missed Lehmann yesterday … i have to stop now.

  71. ramsey will take a while to get back to match fitness – i just hope he does not go the way of eduardo. i will be glad to see him back and ready. but even with those two, we still will not win anything without big changes in attitude and culture.

  72. lansbury has moved to norwich city on loan. i think he would be useful to have around the club, but if he is not going to get regular appearances, this is probably best…

  73. Hmmm… the two big words ATTITUDE & CULTURE. I wonder if Wenger needs a cook book for teaching that!

    …Or maybe he already has one from which the Prof teaches the attitude to take loses sportingly (Don’t give a damn about losing to pond scum!) & the culture of being courteous to their opponents (Don’t stand in the way of yo opponents from scoring goals, oh that’s rude!)

  74. thing is, i don’t think arsene takes losses sportingly at all – i understand your somewhat tongue-in-cheek reference to the manner of saturday’s capitulation. yet, arsene is as bad a loser as i have seen – petulant and stroppy, often making absurd and insulting remarks about how the team was “unlucky”…

    in fact, the thing i have difficultly reconciling is the picture of arsene like this – it suggests he deeply cares about winning. yet he seems to do nothing to put responsibility or accountability on the players, and allows them to carry on in their comfort zone.

  75. oliver, spot on re the change about but too much change tommorrow could be fatal, clichy i am not bothered about and i think Nikki will start, robin no doubt will start against Villa…

  76. SD, don’t stop it all makes so much sense…

  77. He is such a sore loser! But I think that his frustrations are more centered on the failure of his tactics, that’s why he launches one of his usual response “we were unlucky”. He simply fails in spotting the flaws in the execution of his tactics by his team & doesn’t truly rectify them. Ergo they keep repeating their mistakes..

  78. I think ramsey has more potential than jack to be honest.its a good thing they are ours.

  79. How about fabmunia R?

  80. Just in quickly. It smarts as badly now as it did Saturday. :(

    oliver, well-observed as usual. A good umber of our players do not deserve to pull on our shirt. Hola, rico. Howdy? I hope you’re better.

    Hello, Rennie. You really could write a post. :) Hi, SD.

  81. Rico rvp10 can really make a difference but the question is for how long is he going to be fit?

  82. Thankfully the Lansbury deal is only one month, back in time for the cups, as long as we are in them of course….

  83. 2 games every season KT…..

  84. it is an away match, so hopefully the players will focus for the fully ninety minutes. of course, donetsk was also away and we know what happened there. at least the match is just over 24 hours away, so we have a quick opportunity to get a win and at least feel better about things heading to villa.

    i would like to see bendtner start as well. i don’t think chamakh needs a rest as much as he needs to sit and reflect. his job is to score goals, not get into one-on-one positions with the keep and then look to pass to a team-mate.

    i would leave denilson out of the squad completely. for someone that gets only sporadic starting appearances, his lack of effort in certain situations is appalling. if i were in arsene’s shoes, he and clichy would be the first two players i would make examples of.

    i expect jack will return, alongside cesc. i would stop song from pushing up so much. it worked against west ham, but not any other time. he is not turn-defense-into-attack midfielder like pat vieira, so let him sit in his position and shield the back four. we have plenty of others who can take the attacking responsibility.

    my biggest concern about tomorrow is the emirates thrashing we gave braga. they and shakhtar were two of the worst sides we had seen at the ems in quite a while. the players clearly felt they didn’t need to break a sweat in donestk, and i am now worried that the the same attitude is lurking beneath the surface here, as we ripped braga apart in the earlier fixture.

    it seems absurd and inconceivable that players would take braga lightly after saturday’s humiliation, but i no longer trust this group of players…do you?

  85. Perfect then rico.cl semis 2nd leg and the cl final…who am i kidding?we can’t go so far.

  86. rennie, interesting point about arsene frustration more about his “grand plan” than actual results. i had not previously considered that argument, but i can definitely see your point…

    hiya agag. nothing to cheer about here…

  87. No i don’t oliver.

  88. I still can’t understand what cesc was thinking by raising his arm like that.our fk wall should have freekicks blasted at them by rvp10 until they learn to do their jobs well.

  89. I can’t be arsed to think about our games anymore.the game am eagerly anticipating is the El Grand Classico in a week’s time.CR9 and messi both warmed up by scoring hattricks in the weekend league matches.

  90. Spot on K, as a midfielder Ramsey reads the game so well, he’s probably next only to Cesc on that front. He’s still what 21, could very well go on to be the fulcrum of this team for the next decade!

    Jack on the other hand is a pocket sized dynamo waiting to explode on the scene. Wenger’s reined him in so far by playing him at the base of our midfield, but if he plays them together then I think it’ll be Jack who’ll get to go ballistic on the opponent’s defense!

  91. Apparently Wellington Silva tore clichy a new one in training…that would explain the back injury.i remember AA say he never gets past clichy but i suppose that tells you more about AA and clichy than silva.

  92. neither do i oliver…

  93. Howdy to you agag, no i still feel rubbish :(

  94. oliver, re your earlier, i would consider denilsons time to be up if i am honest, like you say, his defending of bale was a disgrace, i’ve seen more comittment on a sunday morning with our local non league side…

  95. R i think jack and ramsey may become like xavi and iniesta or even better.ramsey and jack can actually play both xavi and iniesta roles comfortably which can only bode well for us.ramsey for me is our best young talent hands down and he even outshone cesc who was on fire a couple of times last season.i’ll never forget how sublime he was in the Wolves and Stoke away games.

  96. FabMunia.. Frankly speaking I think Almunia’s used up his quota of chances. I’d be really disappointed to see Wenger hand him back the No.l jersey

    I’m still reserved on Flappy though, he has come back with some decent performances after all that flappin’ practise he was showin us a while ago.. So I’m ok with him being given a chance to prove his talent. If he does continue to prove reliable until Jan, then I see no reason why we should go for Schwarzer or anyone else (Reina does sound tempting though). Meanwhile if Cszszesny can continue to dazzle in the cups, then I absolutely wouldn’t go for a high profile (EXPENSIVE) signing even in the summer too!

  97. rico, I am as angry. I hope the players realize that they have much to atone for. And really, I am grown weary of having to chalk down such a gutless display to youth, inexperience, absence of big-money signings blah blah blah. No more excuses, please. Supporters deserve better.

    I have decided to be off Clichy (albeit for a very short while). KT, would you know how many goals have been cocnceded down his flank?

    oliver, supporting our club is a most enervating thing. Sigh. But what to do but live in hope…

  98. ramsey, just going to be fab to have him back…..

  99. R from what i’ve seen rambo is superior to jack in all aspects from passing,dribbling and scoring.i really hope he fully recovers.

  100. They could! Hope Ramsey returns back to that form K.. have my fingers firmly crossed!

  101. What a great friday it is, I can’t wait for the NLD 2moro. . . . . . . . . .

  102. Reina, yes please…

  103. i agree rico, when is enough enough? problem is that denilson is only a bit-player and we have had collapses like this without him on the pitch…

    venturing into the goalkeeper realm, i don’t blame fabianski for any of the three goals. barring the meltdown we fear is right around the corner, he seems to have finally gotten it together. he has come back from the dead and deserves the number one jersey and our support. i am not saying he is the best goalkeeper in the league but he has certainly – finally – improved and the goalkeeper position is no longer one of our biggest concerns. that said, if he does revert to his previous form, it has to be szczesny’s opportunity. there no longer should be any way back for al…

  104. so, rico….how is that “eleven captains” thing working for us now??

  105. You and me both re clichy agag….

  106. Morning Rico, what a fine day it’s been today. . . . Never before have I appreciated such glorious weather and the trees and leafs and shrubs and flowers, life really is grand.

  107. Reina??? Eeeek. Haven’t forgiven him for that shirt stunt. And he’s been rubbish this season, rico. :D

    KT, I think Rambo is our best young talent, too. He’s my third favorite Arsenal player (and Robin).

  108. I may have been speaking out of anger but i will always hope.it may be at an all time low but it is still there.

  109. Ladies, r you referring to that pygmy left back of our who managed to let an even smaller pygmy outjump him and win a header….? sell him….! end of and best he take a lot of the other tossers with him…!

  110. there are few “arsene-isms” which i have more contempt and disdain for than that one. a bankrupt philosophy, if i ever saw one…and yet another indicator of just where our root problems lie.

  111. its not oliver, not one bit….

  112. agag, thats because he’s not happy…

  113. Yeah K, from the evidence of it Rambo’s betta. But U forget Jack’s hardly 18.. They could have a healthy competition goin’ on btw them, U kno, trying to see whose betta, who scores more scorchers, who lays on more delectable assists… Damn, I’ve gotta wake up before I start seeing nude Mermaids lapping (wouldn’t be that bad if this did happen, the Mermaids part too :)

  114. WATH, no arguement from me there…

  115. Mermaids, Hmmmmmmm can they defend…? do they win tackles…? Do they show passion and committment…?? sign em up…!

  116. rico, it’s more… karma, I think. :P I want the scousers Numero 9. (I haven’t proclaimed that in a while, thanks for the perfect segue)

    Careful, WATH. I like that LB. And he’s not a “pygmy”— he is, shall we say “diminutive in stature”?

  117. Denilson has so many good attributes as we witnessed in the first half but his drawbacks will cripple his career.i wrote a CL post about concentration and denboy is one of the main culprits.

  118. Sorry AGAG he is a liability and a pygmy and needs to hold hands with our new basketball playing captain and they can both follow the yellow brick road to shitalunya…!

  119. Can’t say they do WATH… But if there is a research team that wants to find out, sign me up!

  120. under tall agag, thats clichy ;)

    i’d take torres like a shot… we need a goal scorer…

  121. Gibbs needs a good game tommorrow, make that spot his own…

  122. Wenger says “I want so much for this team to win that I am giving every drop of my blood to make sure that they win. I want them to be successful because they deserve it and it hurts when you get so close as you did on Saturday and you don’t manage to do it.”

    Dude I believe U!…

    Can anybody seriously dispute what he said?

  123. rico, hahaha— “under tall”, I like!. Well, he is my favorite under tall LB in the universe. (there goes, “I am off Clichy…”)

  124. He just needs to stop making excuses for his team though… High time, he took the HairDryer out!

  125. R we are lucky to have 2 of the hottest prospects in the UK.You are right that jack is barely 18.i have compared him to iniesta which shows you how much i rate him.

  126. Rennie, only thing wrong with his comments are they deserve nothing…. they gotta fight to win and success isn’t given to you on a plate with him wiping their arses they need to grow some, show fight attitude committment and passion and then maybe they might just win something but when they lay down adn die when the going gets tough or only when they feel like it means we won’t win a tea cup… and thats what they will deserve… sweet fa…!

  127. I’ll put this out there:Gibbs is abit overrated…yes i just said that.

  128. k, it seems so odd that someone who is basically a fringe player (denilson) can give such little effort in certain (now catastrophic) situations – does he not have any ambition to try and cement a spot in the starting eleven? is he only happy to be part of the squad and enjoy his inflated wages?

    i wish there was a first team regular that could be made an example of – rather than denilson. if we had any kind of depth at left-back, i make clichy the example. i would even consider releasing him – would that get players attention? if not, it’s even worse than i think it is right now.

    if we continue on the way we are, there will come a point where the question of “blowing this up” (and starting over) will no longer be dismissed out of hand. and arsene will also be part of that equation – in my mind, if we have to start over, we cannot do it with him in any role at the club…

    but that is a discussion for another day – a day that i hope will not arrive for a long, long time.

  129. KT go wash ur mouth out…………!

  130. Tv is also a superb defender but his positional sense at times as shown by barça and manc games may at times leave alot to be desired.

  131. WATH, those are fighting words, and I would debate you, but I am very, very, very sleepy, so I shall save the argument for another day. (In truth, I will never be able to successfully defend my favorite under tall LB, so… it’s best I retire now)

    KT, no stats on Clichy?

  132. Aptly put WATH… If it were upto me I’d put the culprits in a room, strip ‘em to the bone & let some rabid Rotweillers on them.. Would certainly put the fear of a no-show in their minds, that’d teach ‘em!!

  133. AGAG sounds to me like your surrendering like our lot did 2nd half sat….. He’s picked out by opposing teams week after week now so they can all see, his time is up I’m afraid, I like him but he simply has gone backwards ever since his cock up for the 4-4 draw with the yids and has made that same mistake far to often. Ok sleepy head off you go and sweet dreams. . . .

  134. Glad i could make you smile agag ;)

    KT, Gibbs will be better than Clichy…

  135. Agag i’ll try and get those stats for you.According to the Capello index he is the best lb in England…oliver i remember games in which flamini would come on as a sub and run like a mad dog.thats what earned him his breakthrough but it seems denboy doesn’t have such ambitions.

  136. agag, rest well, dream but not of Clichy, they are known as nightmares… ;)

  137. Rico he may become better than clichy but right now he is not even close.a run of games like jack and ramsey have got would certainly help us ascertain how close he is.

  138. The prob your all overlooking with Denilson is he only has one gear… slow… and slow and ok sorry 2 gears… very slow..!

  139. hmm.. wonder how we would fare with Flamini in this lineup? Not too bad is what I reckon.. Totally wrecked his career by movin to Milan, hardly ever gets a game, even when he does it’s mostly from the bench!

  140. Sorry KT but for me Clichy is a liabilty and Gibbs is more solid and far better going forward, at 25 Clichy should be the finished article but has regressed and is far from a quality left back and I don’t give a flying crap what the stats say my eyes tell me he’s not good enough simple as that.

  141. Those Aw comments almost make me feel sorry for him.he was clearly annoyed on the touchlines and its upto the players to repay that faith.you see how players fight tooth and nail for coaches like Mourinho and its time for our lot to do the same for Aw.

  142. Gibbs more solid WATH?id love what you’re smoking.he’s only better going forward.

  143. KT, the truth is Maureen makes sure he gets exactly that from his players. AW’s just too soft on their arses!

  144. KT, i thought he was going pretty well before his injury, he needs a run, i agree but i don’t think he would faff around with the ball when the oppo is hounding him, he’d clear it…

  145. rico, you’re terrible. ;) But you’re right, I might die in my sleep if I dreamt of anyone in an Arsenal kit tonight.

    Good night, kids. Thanks, in advance KT. oliver, bye.

    WATH, I agree about Denilson. But Clichy will redeem himself yet. Just. You. Wait. ;)

    Really, off now.

  146. Rennie, no thanks on Flamini, one season wonder in my book, just look what he’s doing now…

  147. Far more solid KT watch the games and not the books…! Thats why Clichy can’t defend KT how many goals come down his side how many times is the idiot out of position, sits far to far from his man and allows then far to much space hence has to run round making last ditch tackles cos he always out of positions, Gibbs gave Lennon nothing in the CC and goes forward using his brain which Clichy clearly lacks…! Afraid he’s nowhere near as good as Gibbs n Gibbs only gonna get better.

  148. agag, it’s my post in the morning, hard luck :)

  149. Also, where was Clichy when Kos had to cover and make his silly tackle which gifted their last goal…

  150. Gibbs is poor in positioning sense WATH.i don’t know how you can call him solid.

  151. WATH, Gibbs was immense in that CC game..

    One player who deserves a bit of credit from saturday is Sagna, i thought he did a good job on Bale, so much so he switched sides…

  152. KT, i don’t think he is worse than Clichy, if he stays fit and gets a good run in the side he’ll make that position his own….

  153. KT what games do you watch to say that r u confusing him with Clichy…??? his positioning in 10x better than Clichy as he’s a converted winger who is learning to defend all the time and is better than Clichy for me which tells us everything we need to know..!

  154. And he can cross……

  155. Clichy is also a converted winger…did you know clichy was right footed in his younger days?

  156. Clichy goes charging down the wing doesnt cross cos he knows he cant… cuts inside or comes backwards and the majority of the time passes backwards or inside then he’s out of position if the ball gets lost and it happens time and again….!. I’m also not picking on him either just think Gibbs a far better option thats all. He isn’t the only one I’d drop either but I am not going there am just starting to calm down a little after the dross on Sat…!

  157. Arsenal have completed the signing of Ryo Miyaichi, a 17-year-old Japanese wonderkid touted as being the “new Cristiano Ronaldo”.

  158. Right footed……….. fuck me you’d never of guessed would you and as for a winger they soon sorted that out then eh lol, how many balls did he lose over the back of the stand from poor crosses…! I love his effort it’s always 100% but for me time to play Gibbs..!

  159. Thanx for that Rico, another 17yr old… oh yippee, sorry for the lack of excitement.. . . . . . .!

  160. WATH i was just messing around…gibbs is quality.

  161. WATH, i thought you’d be pleased!!

    I hope Wengers counting the real money, he certainly needs to spend some on a couple of proper player in January….

  162. JD better start with Squilli tomorrow too, but i bet he doesn’t!

  163. Don’t come and change your tune now KT just cos your a Clichy lover who has seen the error of his ways :P

    Rico it’s not on .com so it’s not confirmed yet so I don’t believe it, not that I really care at this moment in time either.

    I notice our esteemed Captain hasn’t apologised for being a prized prick on Sat… funny how within minutes he apologised for Spain being shit but says nothing about trying to slam dunk a free kick and giving away a penalty and them being pathetic in trying to claim he was protecting his face…! He’s really starting to piss me off. . . .!

  164. Rico we all know AW will spend fuck all. . . . . Lets not forget this is his best squad ever…! If thats wasn’t so pathetic it would actually be funny.

  165. Just been sriting about tha for the morning WATH, he’s pissing me off big time too, in fact i don’t give a flying one anymore if he leaves as long as we get £50M for him. I said on Sunday he’s slowing us down and i think its just like Henry, every player thinks they have to pass to him regardless of where he is on the pitch…

    99 times out of 100 there a player in a better position, since he’s been back in the squad we have started losing….

  166. Another Aw fuck up from Sat why was JD dropped….? If I was JD i would be one very unhappy camper.

  167. WATH I have been a big clichy critic for sometime now.my ‘messing around’ made us forget about the weekend.

  168. I’d hate to see his worst WATH.

  169. His attitude around the pen was a joke Rico and then his face at the end of the game was also pathetic had a face like a tortured arse as if all the other had let him down when the blame was with him and then did he rally the troops like a proper captain, did he hell..! He is giving half arsed performances simple as that. He’s playin in an Arsenal shirt but his body is already back in crapalunya…!

  170. KT, I don’t 4get getting beat by the yids I remember the 93 game and that still hurts even tho we put the reserves out cos the cup final reply, any game which allwos them to gloat really pisses me off. The one thing I would try before I sell Clichy off is Gibbs left midfield in front of Clichy…!

  171. Don’t get me started on that again WATH, JD is our best defender right now and he and Squilli have built a really good relationship, in any case who the heck changes a winning side for a NLD…

  172. We knew at some point they would play “stick” boy and he goes and drops JD…. lunacy…! He must take the blame for the side picked the tactics and allowing his players to switch off which they do with alarmig regularity, purely down to the manager..! his players his tactics his game plan his motivation to get them up for it..! he bought em so if they ain’t up for it who’s fault is that..?

  173. WATH – then you may like my post in the morning ;)

  174. Prob not Rico it will just get me all pissed off again, it won’t take much…! :P

  175. I’ll go and delete it then and write a nice one ;)

  176. Has anyone seen the squad thats travelled yet?

  177. I think KT gone off to scratch off the “Clichy 3″ on his home shirt…. :D

  178. wath, i think we are all in concurrence. the proverbial buck starts with arsene. his players, his vision, and his style…what is coming out of this lies squarely at his doorstep.

    i think we are seeing beneath-surface frustration that had been simmering for a while, come right to the fore after saturday.

    my confidence in arsene has taken a significant hit…

  179. For you to say that Oliver means the shit really must of hit fan….. your always the voice of reason and the one who likes to take a step back to see the bigger picture but after Saturday I’m sorry but that’s just not good enough for an Arsenal team. the way we gave in and lost was disgraceful and that is purely down to the manager, pampered prima donna’s and who’s that down too, him…! he talks them up says how great they are blow’s their ego’s out of proportion and then they play when they want get stuck in when they want and let us all down like that, unforgivable..!

  180. I think KT has the number 2 on his shirt ;)

  181. oliver, didn’t you suggest there could be an problem a few weeks ago?? Maybe you were right….

  182. The problem Rico has been 5 yrs in the making… and could of been solved the past 3 yes three transfer windows, sorry make that 5 transfer windows being last 3 yrs…! All down to Wenger.

  183. Aw – “chamakh had no legs” well with such a brilliant squad and your best ever why was he not rested and replaced by another brilliant player who would of been fresh and has legs and stamina and enough go in him to actually shoot at goal when clean through twice…?? lies lies lies n more lies like we’re all stupid…!

  184. Did you see Anders Limpar’s comments WATH, he said lovely stadium, lots of money, but no trophies… and trophies is what fans want, not money in the bank…

    He’s spot on of course despite the fact he should mind his own, i can’t disagree with him either, don’t suppose many fans would….

  185. We don’t pay top dollar to know there 50million in the bank I wanna see my money on the pitch and able to win things I want quality players who also wanna die for the shirt like I would and like we all would, it’s about giving that bit extra cos it matters. Anders is spot on !!

  186. And now WATH, not in ten years time when the future Adams’ has grown out of his nappies…

    The only way i see it changing is if we get bought outright and not by either Usmanov or Stan – until we get an owner who wants to win i don’t see much change…

  187. He’s got a fresh fit striker eager to start in his correct position, his name is Theo Walcott… What does Wenger do, stick him on the wing to be snuffed out every time…

    sometimes i would just love to see us hoof the ball over the top of the defence and let theo run onto it, his end product is so much better but is not good on the wing…..

  188. i’m still frustrated over the saturday debacle – there is no doubt about that. but this is the fourth time this season something like this has happened. never mind the past couple of years. it’s always “we have to learn”, “the players are not yet mature”, or some other arsenespeak. i am tired of the smug, entitled attitude of the players…i am tired of arsene’s condescending non-answers and accountability deflection…i am tired of nothing changes and now expecting our players to bottle it. i am tired of hearing about the next great teenager we signed, or how this squad is “best ever”…i am tired of arsene and the posse of yes men surrounding him – from the coaching staff all the way to the boardroom…i am tired of eternal promises of a bright new tomorrow that does not look nearly as glittering as the club would have you believe – and may never arrive…i am tired of hearing about how abramovic will one day wake up and say “right, i’m off” (as if a hugely successful businessman operates in that fashion) and chelsea will collapse like a house of cards; or how man united’s staggering debt will bury the club under – and watch these same clubs with all the silverware between them, year after year…

    that does not mean that i will stop supporting my club – far from it…but i am starting to separate arsenal fc from arsene wenger…these two should not be one and the same…

  189. Top top comment oliver…

  190. Top comment oliver…

  191. The club being us the fans will always be bigger than nay player manager or board member Oliver and everything you say is true. About time he got real stop spouting the bullshit like we all have blinkers on and say it as it is and buy “Proper players” that will make us a winning team.

    Rico spoton as well Theo in a 4-4-2 would of had a field day after we went 2 up… this 4-3-3 bollox as it’s really 4-5-1 would work IF we had two proper wingers but we dont we have 4 attacking midfielders and not a single winger in the club. go back to 4-4-2 and make it work.

  192. it is what it is…while arsene and his board puppets build this club and its culture in his vision, they have neglected the most important aspect – winning. phw’s and arsene’s repeated comments about fourth place being like/better than an actual trophy are a direct insult to the fans that support this club. yes, it is important we maintain our place in that competition, but what exactly are we doing with it? other than 2006 in paris, have we ever looked as though we might win it? certainly not in 2008, when man united were embarrassingly superior to us in the semis. i would argue that the club sees us being in the competition for the sake of the competition – the revenues and prestige – rather than winning it.

    our austerity program has been a great cover for arsene and the board – they have been able to charge exorbitant prices for tickets and merchandise, explain the lack of significant experienced and quality additions to the squad (more than the just the one or two signings each summer) as servicing the stadium debt, and allow arsene to build the squad in his vision with only token pressure to win – and zero pressure or real desire to win either domestic cup. some of these things have been necessary and the best thing for the club – but the club has not recognized we can no longer plead abject poverty, and the model now holds us back…

    actually, perhaps some have, but don’t want to question arsene…if that is true, that is a very, very unhealthy situation for our club to be in…

  193. WATH, thats why Nikki is so crap too, he gets played on the wing, he’s a CF for goodness sake, not a great one, but he can’t improve while playing on the right….

  194. Thats what i mean oliver, until someone at the helm wants a winning side, we seem doomed…

  195. The truth about him being surrounded by yes men Oliver is scary but true and that I know for a fact. Noone disagrees with him and thats bad, a dictator never lasts…. sad but true..! He got rid of Keown as he questioned his ideas and thoughts and yet look what he did with a crap defence when he helped out…! Seems he also craves the attention and the limelight and all teh credit yes lies and moves the goalposts when there is no success or we fail dismally…!

  196. arsene will never do it, but i think he needs a strong number two more than ever. he needs someone to give him a contrary view on how the team should play, who should start, who should be dropped – someone that will speak up and tell him what needs to change. if arsene is – as i suspect – too weak to discipline the players, a strong number two can serve as the “bad cop” to arsene’s benevolent dad act…

    there are a million reasons to do this – which is why it will probably never happen…

    player and coaching staff are only part of the problem. in building the new stadium, the club has lost its sense of responsibility to the supporters. the club’s identity needs a makeover, from top to bottom. we’re the non-english london club that charges exorbitant ticket prices and panders to the corporate supporter worse than any other club. we are that aspires to play “total football”, but emphasize only “half (attacking) football”. we are a side with a reputation of getting good results sometimes, but are now counted on to fold in the biggest matches. we have a physically and mentally weak, injury prone first team squad stacked with younger players who have nobody to learn how to win from. we are doomed to repeat the cycle we are currently in: tomorrow’s new first-teamers will have today’s first-teamers, who have won nothing from, to learn how to win from…all this while our “brand” of football – which is not nearly as pretty as arsene and his mouthpieces would have you believe – is promoted as why we are somehow morally and asthetically superior then other clubs.

    at some point, something will have to give…

  197. if you haven’t guessed, this has been building most of this weekend. and the manner of the giants’ loss in philadelphia last night just piled the misery on…

  198. Is that a giants turn to mice scenario Oliver…? we had a gunners turn to duds on saturday..!

  199. you want wenger out WATH? i think whoever comes in will be dictated to by the board in the same way, i don’t trust anything that comes out of our club right now…

  200. No I actually don’t want him out Rico I want him to man up grow some balls stop treating the fans like idiots stop running the club like an accountand and run it like a fuckin manager should and tell the board I want money for A,B and C and I don’t care what it cots if we want to win things those are the players we need get them…! enougn of this pulling the wool over our eyes we not all so gullable like he thinks and the club fill the ground nothing will happen til ppl vote with their arses n stop going in…!

  201. we’ve been begging for that to happen for ages oliver, watching pat rice through the games is dire, he must wonder what he’s there for too – all he does is sit crossed legged and shows no emotion…

  202. phew – saturday though he could have gone as far as i was concerned but i know i just want the old wenger back, the one that bought top players…

  203. All you ever hear from Pat Rice and if you listen on the TV you will hear it clear as day it the only thing he ever shouts… ” go to the ball” ” go to the ball” thats his contribution from the sidelines !!

  204. rico, i am not going as far as to say i want arsene out. i am clearly very frustrated and not quite so rational. i view calling for arsene’s sacking as a line in the sand that should only be crossed after the most careful and thorough deliberation. it’s not that i think the club will shrivel up and die without him – far from it. but everything about the club right now has his stamp and personality on it. to remove him means to blow up a club that is not at all far away. such things as discipline, accountability, proper coaching and pragmatic tactics are all i think the players need. they have the ability and i think they want to win deep down. but their existence is too comfortable right now. playing formation and structure are almost haphazard, there is nobody to get the side reorganized once things start collapsing, as in the second half on saturday. we blow it up, we are back to square one…

    the thing is, however, if arsene does start to adapt and change some things up, it will eventually come to that. we will start over, and we will all regret a massive squandered opportunity with our current team.

  205. I liked the 07-08 team.it was so fluid and very consistent.we lost our first pl game in December but we never lost at home.the current team is probably better than that team but how can we have such contrasting halves in a game is puzzling.

  206. wath, new york football giants – my hometown nfl football team…they were anything but (giants) at the linc, last night. threw a winnable game away – sound familiar?

  207. WATH, exactly and how much does he get paid??

  208. I would say a nice tidy sum Rico, Oh sounds very familiar Oliver, overpaid prima donna’s as well I take it..?

  209. i don’t want him out either oliver, not yet – i strongly suspect he will just leave though when this current contract is up. i just wish he could take a long hard look in the mirror and as WATH says, go to the board and tell them he needs to start spending some real money on real players..

  210. Welcome back KT did it take you this long to get “Clichy” off your home shirt lol ;-)

  211. KT, still didn’t win anything though did we and thats what counts right now….

  212. Rico, if he went to the board and said I am pissed off I need 50 million and I need it now for new players they’d have it available for him in one phone call…! FACT…! The problem is “HE” won’t spend…!

  213. In that case, he’s a bigger pillock than i thought he was WATH…

  214. i agree with wath – i suspect that arsene is the one that does not want to spend. if he told the board he needed xx million quid for xx player, they would stump up. arsene has the trump card of walking away, if he feels they are not supporting him – does anyone think the club has a plan b and would know what to do and who to hire if arsene suddenly decided he had enough? gazidis is arsene’s man…phw and his cronies are not football people. arsene has positioned himself to where he is indispensible to the club as it currently is. that is the source of his enormous influence on everything the club does.

  215. The prob is if he spends he’s basically admitting his project didn’t work but thats crap cos on a shoestring it got us 90% of teh way there yet he is far to stubborn to buy the missing pieces.

  216. wath, not quite…they are tougher and far more mature than this arsenal side – and have won a championship recently. but they have some internal issues which are currently holding them back – issues that came to the fore last night.

  217. Rico if we had built on that team we’d have won a CL by now.rosicky’s injury in my view lost us the title that year.

  218. Exactly Oliver if he asked for gold bars they get them for him, it’s not that there isn’t money its him not asking or wanting it to try and prove himself right. As Oliver says its a reliance on him from top to bottom and becoming a dictator is a very dangerous exercise. He refuses to see the problems and where it needs to be corrected and that is his biggest weakness insofar as he will not allow his stubbornness to admit that he needs to buy what we lack.

  219. put like that oliver it makes sense, but the mans a buffoon, he is already respected by many, buying the missing pieces of the jigsaw would see him up there with old red nose….

  220. whew…this is a catharsis of sorts, i suppose…i don’t feel that much better, but the pain will fade with time – as it always does.

    some of you are commenting quite late here. and i have to face the dreaded dc metro traffic shortly.

    if we can figure out what will get our club back on track, why can’t arsene? because he has invested too much time, effort and emotion in shaping this club in his vision – so much that he stares right past the obvious flaws that look him in the face.

  221. But buying Kos, Squilli and Chamakh says that too WATH to a degree…

  222. thats just it oliver, its clear for us to see, he must see it too but too bloomin stubborn to put his hands up and admit he needs to change, not big time, just a few finishing touches to make us whole…

    why he cant listen to arsenal old boys like petit, parlour, charlie nic etc i just don’t know…

  223. But in a cheap skate kind of way Rico and still didnt resolve the problem, as Oliver says if we can see it damn sure he can and so I revert to the ego and the stubborness stopping him from doing what needs to be done what other possibility can it be…? I know for a fact it isn’t lack of funds so what exactly is it… It’s him… solely him but why…??????????

  224. My thought is if he’s going to buy, buy the real deal, but to be honest Squilli is ok, Kos will get better but had he got a Campbell kind of defender in as well, we’d be so much better, same with Chamakh, he’s ok, but a Drogba kind of scorer as well would make all the difference….

    Thats what gripes, why won’t he spend WATH, its not his money

  225. oliver, you have a safe journey home, i’m going to head off soon too, its getting late for me ;)

    Been a good day though

  226. KT, re your earlier, thats another issue re wenger, he lets good players go and keeps some of the lesser ones….

  227. rico, i don’t think advice and arsene are a very good mix. he desperately needs it, but perhaps thinks he is above it? i don’t know…

    the players he got are all good players, i think – but you are right, they are not the players that will get us over the proverbial hump. i think arsene bought them, however, because they fit his vision of what he wants this squad to be. specific technical characteristics. if only that was all there is too it. it gets back to leadership again – we have great technical players but no real leaders. sadly, i am including cesc in that.

  228. It’s been a bloody crap day talking about that crap on saturday so on that note I’m off to have another crap night and sulk some more. . . .

    lol ;-)

    Nite you two. . . . As you say Rico, it’s “OUR” money so spend it..!

  229. Do you think TA or Keown or Bould or Vieira for that matter would of allowed us to roll over n surrender like we did on Sat…………. No chance…! Cesc is no Captain and no leader end of. As u say Oliver we sadly lacking on the leadership front

  230. oliver, i think cesc is half the problem to be honest… we played pretty good football at the very beginning of the season and who was missing?

  231. Night WATH, i think its helped a bit, not much but a bit ;)

    Re TA and the rest, no way, not ever…..

  232. That’s me done for the day too,

    Be good all, night night and catch you tommorrow, episode 3 on the cards ;)

  233. Morning all, anyone around…

  234. New one up….

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