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Time to look in the mirror Wenger and Cesc!! Look who’s back……..

So finally Cesc has something to say but not about how the team he captains played at the weekend, instead he chose to look to tonight’s fixture against Braga. Well thanks Cesc, for nothing, your country gets spanked by Portugal and you tell the fans how sorry you are but us, nothing!!

Fabregas has warned against complacency when they face Braga, wonder if he means the same kind of complacency the team showed against West Brom, Newcastle, Shakhtar and Tottingham? I think it’s a bit rich him saying about complacency though, yes he’s right but isn’t it his job on the field to stop that happening?

We have two games left in the group, both difficult, especially the one away to Braga – but we will try to win the group.
We will do our best and if we play the football we know, focus 100 per cent and don’t treat the opponents softly, then I am sure we can win the group.

‘Do our best’! What kind of statement is that? You do your best when you are sat with an exam paper in front of you or going off to take your driving test not play against a footballing side who you thrashed 6-0 last month. Cesc and the rest of the players should be thinking about going to Braga, wiping the floor with them, staying focused until the final whistle goes and not conceding any goals.

He then looked back on the Shakhtar loss.

Playing in their own stadium, in front of their own fans, we knew Shakhtar would be a different team to the one we faced at the Emirates last month, and to be fair to them, I thought they played well, but it was down to us, it was our fault, we let them back into the game.

Spot the obvious Cesc, this Arsenal side you lead, too often let the opposition back into the game, you did it again on Saturday. Wenger says the team switch off, Cesc says we let teams back into the game, so why does it keep happening? They know where the problems lie, sort them out. Wenger needs to change his attitude from the bench and Cesc needs to start being a true leader on the pitch, stop the players including himself switching off. Time for them both to look in the mirror and get a grip!

It’s not rocket science! You bought them Arsene, you bloomin sort them and fast – start with your captain, tell him he’s in London, not Spain, yet!!

We had to retain possession better and control the game, but we didn’t and in the end, we paid for that. “The manager said the same after the game – once we were ahead, we took the game too easily. “We had just scored five against them, we are top of the group and maybe we were thinking that a draw would be a good result. But in football, you can never be complacent, you can never switch off, otherwise you will pay for it, whoever you play against.

Don’t we fans just know it!!

On to tonight and here is one photo from the training yesterday morning that may actually make a corner of your mouth hint towards a smile.


Yep, the ‘Real star from Wales’ is back and here he is in training yesterday afternoon, the sooner he gets back in contention for a place in the team the better… Perhaps he could challenge Cesc for his place?

Sadly and like many fans no doubt, I’m not overly confident about tonight. We may have beaten them at home in style but after Saturday I am unsure how they will pick themselves up, assuming of course they were down after the game. Added to that, Braga will be playing in an almost identical kit to our own home strip and this crop of players don’t need any excuse to send a pass astray!!

Mind you, on the other hand it might help!!

Arshavin, van Persie and Clichy have not travelled with the squad and Lansbury has gone to Norwich on loan for a month so he won’t feature tonight either. Wenger has said Fabregas is still not quite right so he may also miss the game but he’s travelled with the sqaud. With Clichy missing we can take for granted that Gibbs will start at left back, as for the rest, I guess we’ll know soon enough…

Haven’t really got much else to say about tonights game, we all know how important it is to secure the win, we all know whoever plays needs to show a lot more passion for our club than they have been doing as late.

The only question is, Do they?

Finally, good luck to the reserves today, they face Wolverhampton Wanderers at 1.30pm, I bet they don’t concede three goals in 90 minutes, let alone 45!!

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200 comments on “Time to look in the mirror Wenger and Cesc!! Look who’s back……..

  1. Morning all, up for the game tonight then…. nah, thought not…

  2. Hello. I only have one word to describe your article.

    ‘TOUCHE’ :)

  3. Hi Siena, i take it that is a compliment ;)

  4. You’ve just got me all pissed off all over again…! Thanx for that….!

  5. Morning WATH, the last one i promise….

  6. Amazing how our basketball playing captain has said sweet fa on that 2nd half drivel from Sat, suppose every picture tells a story eh..! As for the boss he needs to grow some and stop with the ego bullshit and kick this pampered lot up the arse or ship em out if they don’t perform and stop blowing sunshine out their arses which they clearly don’t deserve.

  7. Nice Rico great post.

  8. It was 3 goals in 36 minutes if I am being picky. Why spend £8 million on a 25 year old defender from essentially the French 2nd Division? And some supporters think he has no money to spend. I say his policy of not spending is right, it’s not good when he does.

  9. Arsenal are 2 points from the top of the league, no one has scored more goals in the league, only 2 teams have conceded fewer goals. In the CL we have set a new goal scoring record, only need a draw to qualify for next round, and that is only this season. And you carry on as if we are the shittest team out and Wenger the worst manager in the league. I think you should take a look in the mirror.

  10. Thanks Stonroy, good to see you here again..

  11. Spot on WATH, I know iv’e said it all before, but i don’t want him out, just want him to send a rocket up the players bums, starting with the captain…

  12. You carry on wearing those blinkers Gary…..!!! Does it say we’re the shittest in the league or Wenger is the worst manager.. No… read properly then I suggest..!

  13. I can totally agree with your article, i have been thinking about the same thing.. How many times have we heard that we tend to let the opposition back in to the game, and still, we keep doing it so often? Saturday was one of the worst deafeats ever! Now i have to listen to spuds saying how much better they are! i really love this club, but somebody needs to kick Wenger in the ass and ask him to sort it out.. stubborn man..

  14. MT, cheeky, but yes you are right, i was kind of referring to the second half in general, and yes, why not spend the money on ready made real defenders first then get the likes of Kos as back up… All we wanted was one ‘Sol Campbell’ kind of defender, not too much to ask is it..

    JD could turn out to be our saviour if he gets played…

  15. We still gotta get behind the team almost as much as Wenger has to kick their pampered arses!!

  16. Gary, i’m not saying we are the shittiest as you put it, i’m saying if wenger sorted this bunch out and cesc led as he should be, we’d be 7 points clear at the top…

    But hey, you carry on loving the arsene, thats fine by me….

  17. Agreed Colin but very hard to motivate that when you see the reaction from the players, doesn’t really help you get behind them does it…! To see pride passion and committment isn’t to much to ask is it..?

  18. arsnealDK, that’s all thats need, spot on…

  19. Colin, I’ll always support through thick and thin but right now its wenger who needs to see our club as a fan does and wake them up…

  20. I said “you cary on as if”… Apply your own suggestions then.

    Am I the one with blinkers because I quoted facts? Tell me where I am wrong then. The last time I looked at the table that is what I saw. Once again I suggest you should be the one looking in the mirror.

  21. why is everyone keep expecting leadership mentle from fabregas?the guy cleary do not have the qualities period!leaders have drive,strenght of character,will to succeed,never say die attitude.arsenal chaptainship by fabregas at the moment is purely down to business,hight sales value when he’s about to be sold next summer that all.varmelen seems to be the only true leader,and by the way,leader are rearly made,the are usually born.

  22. You keep those rose tinted glasses on Gary suppose you were there on Sat watching us surrender…? Did you see the fight and the passion in the players did you see what it means for us to lose when it hurts us more than them. All your quotes count for diddly squat when we will win not a tea cup with a group of players who lose every big game when it matters if your happy with pretty football then fine but thats not what the article is about so your completely missing the point.

  23. This arsenal team is a major disappointment. No character, guts and mental strength. Thanks but a lot of us diehard fans are so disillusioned that we may not watch tonights game. its more peaceful that way.

  24. jd, thats opens a whole new can of worms, why is he our captain? wenger chose him, he needs to show us why he did….

  25. Spot on JD, the last 3 Captains have been chosen purely for politics and to keep ppl happy NOT for the right reasons.

  26. But Gary, what i am strying to say is if our manager sorted out out sloppy play look where we could be and should be and thats way out on top, we are arsenal, not west ham…

    to lose three matches at home against the opposition we faced is a disgrace but if you are happy then you obviouls have as much winning mentality as a few of our players…

  27. ahmed, i feel that way too, but i’ll watch, it will get the better of me….

  28. No I do not have rose tinted glasses – facts cannot lie no matter how much you doom and gloom brigade would like to convince yourselves otherwise. You are such a fickle bunch. But I will leave you now to continue your little session. Hope we have a great game tonight to ease your pains.

  29. I hope we do too Gary, I want to watch winners, fighters in the red and white of the club i love…

    Why fickle?? Whenthey are great we say, when they are not we talk about that too rather than just bury our heads in the sand and up the bottom of arsene…

    How many years have you watched our club out of interest?

  30. Gary you enjoy in front of your couch is prob as close as you get, doom and gloom brigade beats head in the sand like you. I merely comment on what I see I am a realist and facts in figures don’t give anyone the real picture but you console yourself with having your head in the sand and if your happy with mediocrity and glossing over the reality of whats wrong then you will forever be content with pretty football.

  31. Rico, I have been an arsenal fan for close on twenty years. It hurts me as much as the next fan when we loose, especially to the totts. But we need to keep perspective. I do not see the chelski fans accusing their players and coach of not having a fighting spirit. Yet they have lost the same number of games we have. Manure has played absolute crap football and have won fewer games than we have, yet how many of their fans are calling for red nose to be replaced. Arsenal fans have a reputation for turning against their own very quickly. Let us rather get behind the team and trust the manager on the basis of his track record. Every major club in the world would just love to appoint him tomorrow. He knows he has to deliver and that we do not want to go another year without a trophy.

  32. Arsenal fans have a reputation for turning on their own what utter bollox, what magazine did you get that out of..? Idiots on blogs calling for the head of this one or that one isn’t Arsenal fans turning on their own its idiots who know no better. The chavs have lost but not surrendered a 2 goal lead like sat to their biggest rivas or lost games where they have looked totally uninterested and thats the teams fault which we are merely highlighting seems you can’t see that as you just want to give us stats on how good we are. those stats were prob that good the last 4/5 yrs but won us nothing. Wenger’s ego is his biggest weakness as great a manager as he is thats his biggest problem and its whats stopping us taking that extra step to win things. I was there when we were shit, actually we were worse than shit but those players may of been crap but can’t ever remember them surrendering like we did on Sat.

  33. Gary, I am not turning on the club I love, the club that makes my days, weeks and months painful when we lose in the way we did on saturday… I just want the club to spend some of all the money they have, buy us 2/3 great players and get us winning again..

    The Chavs haven’t just been softly beaten by their bitter rivals, neither have the Mans.. the fans at the chavs may not be whinging, but the manager is thinking aboutt quitting……

  34. I AM SO SICK OF ANTI WENGER POSTS

    Seriously, at the start of the season, of somebody offered you 2 points of the lead after 14 games every single one of us would of taken it with a big fat smile on our faces!! The league is harder than it ever has been FACT. We are still in the race FACT.

    Some of you fans are pathetic, Liverpool fans show more class than half of you – and that is something you should be ashamed of!!!!!

  35. The chavs are the first ones to boo their team off at half time if they not playing well or up to what they expect they fickle cos they got no class or history and just bought success so teh chavs expect, same with the mancs to a degree the last 3/4 yrs… Our fans in the ground are actually extremely forgiving its the blog world where so called fans talk utter crap and slag this one off or that one and then you get the ones who never go to games going on about supporting the team through think and thin and telling other fans not to criticise, well if the ctriticism is warranted then so be it there is a huge difference between fickle, criticism for no reason and crticism thats totally justified but yet constructive. End of..!

  36. Just looking at Wenger’s choice of captain since Viera shows he hasnt got a scooby. Henry? Gallas? Fabregas? All poor choices Not to mention Almunia as stand in?The problem however though is that there is no one else. Clichy is our longest serving player and has never been captain! Wenger hasnt bought or produced anyone who is able to lead this side. All the flaws in this team lie at his door. This team is built in his image and thats why we only ever finish second best. But believe me things would get much worse if he was gone.

  37. Abbsman, don’t read them then, but if you read carefully you will realise that i am not anti-wenger, i am suggesting he just wakes up and turns things around again, we know he can…

  38. Good comment Leebo, its what we were saying here yesterday, I don’t want AW out I want him to put aside his ego and buy the finishing pieces to the team and one must be a leader who is a Captain and a player who will rally the troops when they crap or going through the motions or let their heads drop…! We crying out for a player or two like that..!

  39. Leebo, spot on, he appoints them with emotion, not by what leadership wkills – TV should be our captain and dare i say maybe even Squilli as vice, he’s won a few things and certainly seems to be helping JD big time…

  40. Abbsman, what utter twaddle……!! funny how your so in the minority, 2 points from the top with not a hope in hell of winning anything with the way we blow hot and cold and its all down to attitude adn committment and passion which we lack. Noone is anti Wenger so best you open your eyes and read the post properly the post is about Wenger kicking his pampered prima donna’s up the arse…. Spot on im my opinion.

  41. Few things to get done, on and off for a little while…

  42. Rico

    First off I never singled yourself out, and if you read any blog accross the Arsenal fan sites than you will notice a re-occuring theme!! How bad we are??

    I agree 100% things need to be fixed up and I honestly belive when/if TV5 returns we will be twice the team – he is our true leader.

    But when Liverpool were in “relegation battle” last week, were the team boo’d off the pitch , no?

    We are in a strong position and are playing badly, when united are in a similar situation every supporter is optimistic of what could be, not asking for Fergy’s head!!

    It just seems half of the keyboard generation of AFC supporters are very short sighted. Sad really

  43. That the same liverpoo fans who chant the name of Dalglish throughout the duration of a home game to get rid of Hodgeson….. Really classy….. lol..!

  44. Morning,
    Great post Rico, hits the nail on the head

  45. A few nails in a few heads might resolve a few issues as well T-bz ;-)

  46. To be fair, the loss to Spurs is hurting all of us, and if Im honest, its hurting me to a point where Im questioning the manager and the players.
    But if we put things into perspective, we are only 2 points off the top.
    I say we get behind the team and the manager, because we still stand a chance of winning something this year. I admit that we look like imploding as soon as we get close, but lets at least wait until the end of the season before selling half our squad and replacing our manager.
    All Arsenal fans are annoyed about our home form. And worried. But this constant bickering betweem Arsenal fans is pointless because we all want the same thing for our team.
    Lets judge our squad and management at the end of the season, because nothing much is going to change before then.

  47. What Wath!! LOL
    How you doing mate….?
    Still gutted by the weekend performance and finding it hard to be positive. I hope and pray that it will serve as a kick up the back-side for the boys and make sure that tonights game will be a solid win!

    Oh, and I hope the Spurdz lose, whoever they’re playing!

  48. I agree with a lot of what you say Dave but noone here is saying get rid of Wenger we’re saying he needs to stop pampering the players maybe and to buy quality additions in Jan to make sure we actually do win something, attitude and committment comes from the manager he has to install that in the team and if some can’t take that on board then they need to go but for me he said judge him and the team last year and look what happened. . . . . This year if we manage to stay in touch come Jan and he doesn’t buy quality players that will be 4 Jan windows on the trot he has had the option to buy the players needed to win the league and he would fail yet again which means he has not learned a bloody thing. Before I get told he bought Arshavin he merely got us into the top 4 not in a position to win the league.

  49. T-bz I am still sore mate, livid and disappointed in the manner of saturdays debacle…. Enuff said !!.

    In all honesty there are players for me who can pick things up and others who I doubt will step up and be counted, as said all along its now down to AW to motivate and instill some passion and bottle and also to buy a couple with those qualities in Jan simple as that.

  50. In a good mood today Wath! :-)

    I actually agree with your viewpoint, which I don’t think is too far away from Gary’s and Abbs in fact.

    Summed up, you could say that what AW needs to do is apply a red hot poker up the jaxi of one or two players, which will then encourage the rest to try harder!

    Seemples!! :-)

  51. gary’s viewpoint RA was that of head in the sand mediocrity that this lot are good enough cos we only 2 points of top spot have scored plenty goals and conceded not that many… If only football was played won and lost on stats eh….!. People are quick to comment and assume a certain assumption when in fact they don’t read what the post is actually saying. Things like that irritate the shit out of me as noone saying sack AW at all but we not also kissing his arse saying the man can do no wrong and far from it, buck stops with him and when things are wrong he needs to put it right. End of…! Can you give a player a fire in his belly or passion and a will to win…? I don’t think so…. thats either in your nature or it’s not.

  52. It’s a lot better mood than what it was saturday,sunday and yesterday…! Although I can’t wait for 2night… NOT…!

  53. Wath,

    You are asking AW to manage his players better. No one can dispute that. I don’t think you can change a players “mentality”. Pussycats will always be just that. Those who have the personality to want to win, by hook or by crook, are born with it.

    Arsenal need players with more of the latter, less of the former.

    Gary’s stats look pretty accurate, and as a disappointed fan he draws some comfort from them. Nothing wrong with that, but they only show a snapshot of performance at a point in the recent past, and do not guarantee progress in the future.

    Gary seems OK, with his heart in the right place, it was the “look in the mirror” comment that was unnecessary.

  54. morning all…three days on and the pain is still here. a win tonight will go along way towards soothing it.

    i am not going to put my oar in to this morning’s debate. i will say, however, that it is inevitable that some will take offense to what has been written over the past couple of days – that is those parties right. two points off the top is only part of the picture – the other part is how we could have been a couple of points clear if this squad was mature and responsible enough to focus and concentrate for 90 minutes a match. it is certainly not all gloom and doom – but neither is it all rosy. there are serious, obvious, long-unaddressed problems with this squad. saturday’s “man bites dog” episode has brought them to the forefront.

  55. double agony for the two of us…early saturday and late sunday. about as crappy a weekend as i can remember.

  56. I am an addict Wath, no matter how bad Saturday was, and I am still gutted frankly, I cannot wait until tonight’s game, in the belief that our team will recover their pride.

    Imagine how I will feel if they let us down again! :-)

    But I am sure they won’t let us down and we will bounce back. Spurs took advantage of a freak aberration at the week-end. B*stards! :-)

  57. Also RA I want AW to put aside his huge ego and go buy a few quality experienced players who wear their heart on their sleeve and we been needing those for at least 3 yrs while we wait for project youth, as I’ve said b4 he’s brought the team 90% of the way there go buy the missing pieces you stubborn man..!

  58. Hi Oliver,

    I am determined to be upbeat and blank a doubly miserable week-end out of my mind.

    Reading Wath’s comments this morning cheered me up, he sounded like he had been playing hide the wiener …. and lost. :-)

    (You are a good boy Oliver, but I’m sure you will forgive a piece of good old NY wit!) :-)

  59. Wath,

    I risk sounding like a broken record, but here goes.

    IF only ….. AW had gone out and bought 1 really, really good CB for say £12m instead of 2 half goos CB’s in Squidge and Kosser.
    IF only ….. he had sold Big Al, and Flappy and bought a sh*t hot GK.
    IF only ….. he had bought an ugly, bad tempered, ankle tapping thug to boss the mid-field, and sold 2 or 3 mid-fielders to pay for it.

    IF only …… :-)

  60. ra, YIKES!!!

    time to move on. if possible, i feel a little better about the giants, as they showed heart to come all the way back from 16-3 down at the linc. if eli did not have a cesc moment, we may have won it. jacksonville at home on saturday – coughlin facing his former team. need to win that, and then take care of business against the redskins the following week.

    i am not quite there – blanking it out of my mind – but will get there.

    not much yankee news. they signed former chicago (w-sox) reliever neal cotts for the bullpen. negotiations with both jeter and mo are dragging on – i am sure they will resign both players, but at least one set of negotiations may get a bit messy before done. i expect they will start negotiations with cliff lee’s people soon as well.

    mets will introduce former houston and anaheim manager terry collins as their new manager this afternoon in queens.

  61. They seek him here, they seek him there oh there he is .

    Hello Red Arse and to you rico.

    let’s face it, We don’t have a captain on the field, well at least not what I call one.IMO the only person who could do the job is Vermaelen (and he is out indefinitely).
    Saturday was absolutely dreadful, and I am torn as to whether it was the players who just took a stroll in the park after half time or that the manager was tactically out manoevered, or maybe a bit of both.

    I think the best way to approach tonight’s game and any future game is with no expectancy whatsoever and therefore the blood pressure remains stable.

    I am sorry if I am repeating what may have been said previously but 3 home defeats in 7 is just not acceptable and though many argue that we have a better squad than in previous years I am still to be convinced.

  62. it is evident to all of us that our squad is unbalanced. we have too many lightweight, technically skilled players, and no mean, strong, commanding presence and personalities. so it should not be too much of a surprise that we are so one dimensional – our playing staff is overloaded with a specific type player and we do not have enough different options.

    arsene’s model is great for development and building a team in austere times – but it will get you only so far. we are now at the point where the model is holding us back.

  63. You sound like a broken record RA. . . . . .

  64. You also forgot to add that those players have been needed for the last 3 or more yrs…!

  65. Kelsey, If this is his best squad ever i think he needs to get his eyes tested…. Can you see the team of 98,02,04 surrendering like that lot did 2nd half, would TA, or Keown, Bould or Vieira of allowed that to happen, not a chance and yet we just laid down and dies…! Totally agree no leader and no drive no heart no will to win.

  66. ra, more bad news for the giants – hakeem nicks is now out for at least three weeks. he joins steve smith, ramses barden, and victor cruz on the sidelines, and leaves mario manningham as the only available starting wide receiver. they brought derek hagan – who caught a touchdown on sunday night – in to take barden’s spot. now they will have to bring someone else in. smith is still a couple of weeks away, cruz and barden are done for the season.

    we’ve already had a slew of injuries on the o-line, we lost kiwi on the d-line, and now the receivers are dropping one by one…

  67. and i forgot domenik hixon as well – also out for the season.

  68. Sorry Oliver, I had to go for a while.

    I thought the Giants going down 27:17 to the Eagles sounded like a thrashing, so it’s good to hear your more positive view. Beating the Jaguars on Sunday is a must! I saw a bit of the Packers/Vikings game on Sunday and Green Bay looked pretty good.

    Thanks for the Yankees news update. My main hope is that we get Cliff. I think Terry Collins will do a good job for the Mets, I hope so for you.

    Ramsey and Almunia playing for the reserves, as I type!

  69. Hi Kelsey. :-)

    Oliver I haven’t been blogging Big Blue too much lately (work) and had no idea the injuries were that bad. Eeek! Might explain a few things. Thanks for that.

    Wath my little ray of sunshine …… sunshine ……. sun ……

    Damn that broken record! :-)

  70. Hope this helps with cheering up as we’ll be seeing the back of him from the Premiership soon, as long as he doesnt come back!!

    Manchester City misfit Emmanuel Adebayor has revealed that the club have already agreed a deal with Juventus which will see him move on loan in January.

    The Togo international striker has dropped way down the pecking order at Eastlands following a series of poor performances and public outbursts.

    Divided: Adebayor has revealed he is heading out of Man City on loan to Juventus
    Adebayor, 26, joined City in 2009 from Arsenal for £25million, ending a three year stay in north London. Now it seems his Premier League journey is over too.

    ‘I can tell you that City has already reached an agreement with Juventus for a loan,’ he said in Sport/Foot Magazine. ‘I therefore expect to be able to leave.’

    ‘I don’t know what I did wrong to Roberto Mancini, but he never makes me play.’

    Adebayor has mustered just one league this season and found himself behind the unpopular Jo this weekend as City thumped Fulham 4-1.

    What a twat!!

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1332324/Emmanuel-Adebayor-reveals-Manchester-City-agreed-loan-deal-Juventus.html#ixzz1676c9NlO

  71. ra, the result was very disappointing, but the performance was not that bad. after philly scored 59 points here in dc against the ‘skins the week before, everyone was gushing over michael vick. giants handled him pretty well – he did not throw a td, and tuck sacked him three times, forcing two fumbles. unfortunately, the giants offense turned it over five times. bradshaw and eli still fumble too much, and eli is throwing way too many picks – three on sunday night. of course, i think he is throwing too many passes – 33 on sunday – because the gilbride and the offense are not committing to running the ball. if bradshaw cannot hang on to the ball, use jacobs – he only had a couple of carries on sunday. they could have won if they stuck to the run and protected the ball – those are what cost them more than anything.

  72. W.A.T.H.

    you see the quote abovere Adebayor is a typical example of over paying a footballer to what amounts to one good season.Football is not like any other business and what motivation is there for even a young lad even if he comes through the academy and at the age of 17 or 18 earns 10K to 30K a week.
    it is too late now but there should be a basic wage with a bonus on results at the end of the season.
    When will we ever see a player play for one club for say 5 to 10 years.the numbers are diminishing.

  73. arsene did a fine bit of business unloading adebayor when he did. i wonder how things would have turned out if he threw gallas out of the club (as he should have, in my opinion) instead of kolo? i concede that kolo’s form was generally poor in his final couple of seasons with us – perhaps since the league cup final defeat to chelsea, where he captained the side and was sent off late. still, i was very disappointed kolo had to leave instead of gallas…

    i do not infer that gallas was the only person/thing kolo had a problem with, but i do think he was more respected and better in the dressing room. it might have been worth it to keep him…hindsight…as much as i despise gallas, i won’t have a pop at wenger for making that decision.

  74. Kelsey, Spot on, these kids are pampered overpaid and have “made it” at 17 with a 5yr contract and 20k a week, where is the motivation then, should be standard wages for age and games played in the 1st team plus goals and win bonuses and then they may actually care about winning !!. Why bother when you can lose and still go out and buy a new Ferrari..?

  75. Thanks Oliver.

    It’s a bit frustrating that the Giants are not being shown on TV over here for at least 6 weeks! :-(

    Probably watch the Cowboys v Saints on Thursday evening. They also have the Jets v Cincinnati, but that’s at 01:00 Friday morning UK time. Not sure I can keep my eyes open!

  76. I have another theory which is also held by a few others.Since Dein parted ways with the club,it has coincided with AW literally doing everything himself and our results with AW/Dein as opposed to AW are dramatically different
    What Gazidis actually does,I am not sure,as he remains very much in the background.

  77. Afternoon folks

  78. T-buzz, good news re Lardy, didn’t take City too long to offload him…

  79. Hi kelsey, long time and all that, hope all is well…

  80. hi oliver, win tonight??

  81. Anyone a wizz on wordpress, K-TR7 is posting but his comments aren’t coming through…

  82. win indeed. i think this is set up better for us, as braga emulate our style.

    if our players can put a full shift in, there is no reason why not. but that is always the unknown, isn’t it? we have shown we can grind out results, witness the win in Beograd earlier this season – we just need to apply it.

    i am curious to see what happens if we go behind early – if we have the stomach to pull one back. for all our problems, i think we lose more when we go up a goal, as opposed to conceding early. chelsea and west brom are the two example of losing, and liverpool was a draw.

    i am just glad we have a game today – a chance to put some – not all – of the frustration behind us.

  83. Ramsey played 45 mins for the reserves who are winning 2:1 after 80 mins.

    KT is so depressed he probably can’t bring himself to press the button! :-)

  84. Kelsey, Dein is such a 2 faced git though it’s a liability having the man around as well when all he craves was the power to be Mr Chairman. Can’t stand the bloke and he’s always been a me me me man…! Gazidis is obviously Stan’s man…! Least the ground is becoming red n white perhaps he’s a painter ??

  85. hi kelsey – i read your comment on david dein with interest and i completely agree that something fundamentally changed – and not for the better, when he left. he brought arsene to the club, i think he had his own vision of what the side should be. while dein was still here, arsene’s voice was not the only one. i think we have suffered greatly in that arsene seems to be the only one with a vision on how the side should play – perhaps the only one with a actual vision on how the entire club should be…

    gazidis is arsene’s man – no disrespect to him, but i did not think he would serve as a “voice a reason” with arsenal. from what i have seen – and i am in no way, shape or form a club “insider” – he seems concerned more with marketing operations. i am not surprised that his involvement in player issues seems limited at best. as i said yesterday, this is not a healthy situation for our club.

  86. oliver, thats true, a win tonight could make us feel a little less sore, not much though… I think we’ll keep a clean sheet and win well after the rollocking the players are supposed to have had on Saturday….

  87. dont suppose you are having this cold weather are you kelsey ;)

  88. rico, i saw the reports of the alleged “hair-dryer” arsene gave the team behind closed doors. i am a bit skeptical that it what quite as impassioned as it was reported. if arsene did in fact bring some home truths to these players, it is most welcome. however, i think we can reasonably infer – based on previously observed events – that it won’t have that much effect, unless…he backs it up by dropping players – and then not diluting the effect of dropping by claiming “injury” or something…

  89. wath, i kind of disagree on dein. i think he was a necessary counter-balance to arsene, and i think gazidis is actually arsene’s man, not kroenke’s. i think myles and others say that because he came from an mls job…

  90. Trouble is oliver he doesn’t seem to do it enough, only that dipper game and now this one but he needs that passion in his half time talks, not just at the end of a loss…

    but yes, i bet they aren’t as harsh as the papers like to report

  91. Reserves game finished 2:1 to Arsenal.

    Oliver, you wrote Gazidis is Arsene’s man. Did you mean he is Kroenke’s man?

    In my opinion he dances to the tune of Kroenks/Fizman.

  92. I don’t know wenough about David Dein really, I know he seemed to be involved in making the transfers but there must have been a reason he left? Anyone know why??

  93. Well done the reserves, at least they won today, now the big boys need to follow suit….

  94. Rico,

    It has been well documented that he introduced Kroenke to Arsenal, and Hill-Wood said “we don’t want his (Kroenke’s) sort here. Kroenke bought the ITV shares that they had not been able to previously offload.

    Fizman got the hump with Dein for not “consulting” with the Board and sacked him. Dein then sold his shares to kroenke, who was then welcomed to the Board like a long lost friend. Hypocrites!

  95. rico, if arsene does not want to be negative, he can do so much by keeping his mouth shut at certain times. he can start by scaling back the lavish, expansive, and frankly unnecessary praise he seems compelled to constantly give this group of players. if he does not want to be critical, can he not at least balance things by not bigging these players up every second or third word? i really think it goes to the players heads. and when the players follow arsene’s “best ever” squad remarks with the second half on saturday, what does the make arsene look like?

    he can also be honest about changes to the starting eleven. he can drop players without throwing them under the bus. for example, many of us were once again irritated at clichy’s performance and effort on sunday. if arsene wants to drop him, he can explain without pinning the entire loss on our erstwhile left back: “gibbs is starting tonight. clichy is not injured, but he has had a few shaky performances recently. with gibbs returning to fitness and now available for selection, this is an opportunity to get him some real match minutes, while giving clichy the opportunity to work on some things, improve his form, and come back stronger than ever.”

    that is a hypothetical situation with clichy – perhaps he really is carrying a knock. but even if that is the case, is it not reasonable to infer that arsene over-protects players by citing injuries as reasons for changing the starting lineup? why does he have to baby them? can he not be honest and say that a certain player’s form warranted a change? what does this do to the concept of accountability?

  96. ra, i think that gazidis is arsene’s man. i imagine that fizman and kroenke are happy with him, but i do not think for an instant that he would be at our club if he did not have arsene’s “stamp of approval”. i think arsene wanted someone for a ceremonial “chief executive” position – someone that would not interfere in arsene’s decisions about player purchases and all squad issues. someone who would “stay in his box”, while providing the illusion that arsene is accountable to someone else at the club…i think the reverse is actually the case – arsene makes all the key decisions, and the board are happy to let him do so.

  97. Absolutely spot on Oliver.

    I saw that he has started re-writing history by claiming the defence played well on Saturday. (Not in the game I saw).

    By next weekend he will have exonerated all parts of the team and put the loss down to gremlins or somesuch!

    I wish he would not do it. It’s like a sh*tty youth murdering someone and his mum claiming it wasn’t him, because he is such a good boy. Baloney!

  98. Maybe Oliver, but the Board will be happy with AW provided he plays the Professor of Economy, and does not spoil their profits by actually buying anyone.

    Cynical? Yes, but ……..

  99. look, let me stop here a second. my tone is definitely starting to sound anti-arsene here and i want to stress that is definitely not the case. i am not, in any way, shape or form, an “arsenal action” or “arsenal truth” type, one trying to push him out of our club. i recognize and fully acknowledge how arsene has completely revolutionized our club and brought lots of success to it. i just wish he would address some issues that we can all see. and i wish our club did not operate in such an opaque manner. i may well be off-base with my comments about arsene’s excessive influence, and gazidis’ lack of such. but our club’s lack of transparency in so many areas is what fosters and encourages such views. plainly speaking, they often behave as though they want to hide everything from the supporters.

    with all that said, i still support arsenal football club and arsene wenger and will continue to do so. i know it is not an easy job, and a lot of it is “darned if you do, darned if you don’t”. but can we not try something different – for once? can we not bend a bit on rigid principles – for once? perhaps the results will be a welcome surprise…

  100. Agree totally oliver, all he seems to do is set us up for a mighty fall and yes, i would love him to say, Almunia was dropped due to his vast amount of error prone displays, or like tonight say Clichy is being dropped for his poor displays, not because he has a sore back… I get a sore back but it doesn’t stop me doing the laundry and housework ;)

  101. oliver, you sound far from wanting arsene out, you are just expressing where you feel he could improve, you praise him when he gets it right, why not now if you think he’s getting it wrong??

  102. The team has needed a spine for 3yrs G.K C.B (to partner T.V) an animal D.M and an injury free striker….it’s been obvious for that long, all we get is a ligue 2 defender and Chamakh (who I don’t think is gonna score us 25 goals, but is a good addition)We need players that are prepared to fight to wear the red n white of our great football club!!!

  103. Bonjour Gooners!.. Just wanted to throw in my 2pence worth on the subject of Wenger’s choice of captains. 1st of – who among here thinks that having a captain who keeps barking orders throughout 90mins will resolve our ‘mental’ problems on the pitch?

    To those who answer yes, here’s another question, R U outta yo freakin’ mind!!! No one likes to listen to an incessant tirade of trash instead of actually doing what one’s supposed to do, which is playing… I mean this ain’t Cricket! You lose yo focus on the game for a moment, then bang yo opponent scores!

    Before I’m ripped apart, let me clarify. Defensively (especially for corners & deadball situations) there is a need for a leader to organize – but this chap need not be a Captain necessarily. Basically a captain’s job is to set the morale straight before the start, regroup during the break, & lead the victory parade when the game’s over. I for one would never listen to a bickering b@strd while playing the game (but then I never played for the Arsenal), seriously who would like to! Any big game player worth his salt would only listen to someone who he truly respects (after all its the Gaffer who picks the team not the Captain)..

    That brings us to the point about Wenger’s choices. He inherited Tone (probably the greatest captain ever to lead 11 mortals on a football pitch). When he needed Tone replaced, Paddy was already a leader on the pitch whom everyone respected. If Wenger was all mushy-gushy he woulda picked DB10, would anyone have argued? Dennis had class & seniority over Paddy, yet Wenger made the right choice. When it was time to choose ol’ LongLegs’ successor, he could only have picked TH14. Titi is a headstrong guy, he definitely woulda sulked had anyone else been given the armband, so Wenger simply had no choice there. That brings us to Gallas, that’s where I believe he made his first mistake (an ex-Chav, really Arsene!). That brought about the rift in the dressing room & shoved Kolo out (he woulda been a decent choice imo). Then Cesc’s choice is a no-brainer (practically forced to remove the armband from Whinny-)G, also he needed to do that to keep him here. Now it seems like a nice idea to make TV the new skipper, but would Cesc/VanPersie/Rosicky give him the respect that a Captain deserves? Not an easy decision, U’ve gotta have the pulse of the dressing room to decide.. & we don’t have access to that but Wenger does!

  104. Hi Colin, spot on…. Chamakh started well, but we need a lump up there like Drogba, Carroll or Jones…

  105. So frustarting…we are so close, the boss has the opportunity in Jan to add some spine to this talented bunch…fingers crossed.

  106. Hi Rennie, so you agree then, Cesc is a poop captain ;) I don’t think we need a ‘barker’ just someone to keep everyone focussed, even a run past a player, make contact and give support does it, someone who puts there body on the line, no sticks their hand in the air and pats away a football….

  107. Colin, been hoping for that for the last five seasons in each window, he hasn’t yet…..

  108. Colin, Agreed!

    Rennie, you make valid points. Looking back at famous club and country teams, they have almost always had a strong personality as captain.

    A good captain has to lead by example, that’s a given. He also needs to encourage the whole team and with the younger, inexperienced players to educate them in the team’s winning style of play.

    That is not quite a case of the captain “barking orders”, altho’ if instructing dozy sods to keep their positional shape, or not to let their heads drop, well yes please!

    It’s all in the definition! :-)

  109. Rico,

    Did my explanation of the Dein “saga” meet your requirements? :-)

  110. Cold weather,not here rico.
    I appreciate that opinion is divided on Dein, having sold out and the move to Wembley for our CL games was a disster,but he was against the position of the new stadium, he wanted a cheaper option at kings Cross but with the same capacity.however he is arsnal through and through.
    Fiszmann I believe owns 12% and unfortunately is terminally ill, and is not moving from his home in Switzerland. Watch this space.

  111. Hi everyone:

    I dont think we should put too much blame on Cesci Fab too soon, he had a bad day on that day but ironically was the best player from both sides on that day. Just try and look at the game again if you can.

    We lost but i have thought about it very hard and discovered that almost all of our players went on international duty but how many of the Tutts really went for international duty or were used.

    I think that had an effect on the game as well and it will explain why;
    Nasri couldn’t find his gas in the second half and
    why RVP wasn’t effective when he came in
    why Fabregas was slow a times
    Arshavin didn’t look sharp until towards the end and then le prof took him out.

    Basically they were all not sharp and i think Wenger has realized this and he is resting most of them.

    Fingers crossed today, hoping that the inexperience of fielding some youth will not work against us.

  112. Rico, wishful thinking time who does he buy in the window?

  113. I didn’t think so kelsey, still in the high 20’s no doubt ;)Lucky you…

    Its a tough one really as to keep up with the ‘jones’ we needed a new stadium but sometimes i really wish we were still at Highbury and watching great players win week in week out, added to that it was easier for me to get there or should I say, get out of there – how selfish am i ;)

  114. I thought Cesc had a pretty good learning curve last season (Villa anyone?). I was warming up to what I saw, but this term with his mind elsewhere, he can’t seem to focus on his duties as a leader. He’s been terrible bordering on absolute non-chalance.

    A club captain in a way epitomizes the values at a club, in that respect Cesc is exactly that – a perfect example of the current mentality @ Arsenal (Wenger’s Arsenal). Talented teenager picked from abroad at a tender age brought into the Arsenal fold, taught the Arsenal way (again Wenger’s way) to play footy, given a chance to realize that potential at a very early age, slowly developed into a 1st team player, & blah blabla… But more importantly an equal smattering of arrogance & petulance! So he’s the perfect face of the Arsenal of the past 4 seasons!… Now is that a good thing!!!

  115. No one really knows what is going on in Fabregas’s head,but he doesn’t look happy.Barca want him for sure,but they have no substantial cash at the moment and have made major cut backs at the club.
    he is only 23 so the mental pressure most probably gets to him more than most.

  116. Hi SD, i just think his head is in Spain and its reflecting in his game.. I worry he rests too many tonight, we need to win and secure our CL place…

  117. What are the paps reporting in spain kelsey, are barca as broke as we all think they are?

  118. rennie, interesting points. i agree the captain does not need to necessarily be a shouter and yeller. he does, however, have to command respect among his team mates, be willing to confront team mates on the pitch when necessary, (tactfully) stand up to arsene on behalf of the players should a situation arise, be determined to win, have credibility with his team mates, and able to organize and motivate, particularly when things start to go pear-shaped. leadership is a multi-faceted thing – each individual has his own style, but there are some common ingredients that can be found in most successful leaders.

    as i see it, the biggest part of our captaincy problem is that many of us view the captain’s role completely different than arsene. wheras i see the captain as the individual i described in the previous paragraph, i suspect that arsenal see the armband as a symbol of a specific player’s status, or a tool to improve on-pitch performance. by giving the armband to william gallas, he set the club back a few years, and some huge rifts developed in our dressing room. in arsene’s own words, he appointed gallas to “bring out the best in him”. but what exactly did he mean by that? my theory is that he was trying to make gallas the best and most consistent player he could be, not necessarily the best leader. arsene’s oft-derided “eleven captains” comment indicates that he does not particularly value having the one player that everyone could turn to in order to the lift the team when things are not going good. it suggests that everyone can lead in their own way, take care of their business and things will work out right. if my interpretation is anything close to accurate, it would logically follow that arsene would not emphasize the qualities i listed in the previous paragraph as what he wants in his captain…

    the problem, as we all found out, is that gallas was dreadfully unsuited for the leadership role. harry seems to want to keep him on as captain – perhaps gallas will turn over a new leaf and become a real leader. but while at arsenal, he was sorely wanting as a leader. my impression of his style was “leadership by status” or “follow my lead and kiss my a** up, down, and sideways because my name is william gallas and i have done so-and-so in my career.” he also gave the impression of an out-and-out fake – witness his contrived, pathetic pre-match “huddles” and the “is this guy for real?” looks on the faces of some of his team-mates. did this appointment “bring out the best” in gallas? no, it brought out the worst – in him and many of his teammates – because he was so painfully unsuited for the role.

    cesc is our current captain, and leads by example – most of the time. saturday was not his proudest moment, but to be fair, tone, paddy and our other great captains had their less-than-stellar moments as well. but cesc has come up with many of these players – perhaps some view him more as a peer than leader? he takes resposibility often, but have we ever seen him, organize the side, give direction, and try and lift his teammates? for all his faults, gallas did these things in his early days as captain – his personality and his lack of credibility were his undoing. but i would argue he understood and embraced the role – in his own way – more than cesc has.

    does anyone else sometimes get the impression cesc is a bit of a “reluctant” captain?

  119. SD, I watched Cesc on Sky Sports at the weekend, he did the ‘arsenal players’ interview, he looked really happy talking about his team mates but he doesn’t look so happy on the pitch. I’m hoping its mostly down to his niggling injury…

  120. I wouldn’t worry about tonight’s result Rico.. Can’t really see us lose – wouldn’t a draw tonight followed with a win see us top? Shakthar don’t travel well at all, they are bound to lose one

  121. I’m more worried that we’d spank the Iberians tonight & go on to lose @ Vila!

  122. Wenger says that Cesc’s drop in form is mainly due to that niggling injury of his. Want 2 believe that, but makin’ excuses for his players in his interview is up his alley. Hopin’ that he’s truthful here (at least)

  123. Rennie, by my reckoning if we were to lose both our last games we won’t even qualify.. i may have got that wrong though…

  124. i would ask arsene just how the alledged worry of his hamstring compelled cesc to raise his arm at the free kick…

  125. Pos Team P Pts
    1 Arsenal 4 9
    2 Shakhtar Donetsk 4 9
    3 Braga 4 6
    4 FK Partizan 4 0

    If we lose to Braga and Shakhtar beat Partizan tonight then Shakhtar secure top spot. Braga will be level on points with us… If then Shakhtar rest players for their last game against Braga and Braga nick a win against them, I dont think we qualify…

    Ok, i know the 6-0 victory will be in our favour but….

  126. oliver :lol: The leg bones connected to the hip bone…. and so it goes on, somewhere maybe the elbow is connected to the hamstring ….

  127. Oliver U’re saying that Gallas tried, & I agree, but my idea about leadership is that – “U’re either a leader or U’re not” it’s more of an innate quality! If U havta try to be a leader, then it’s simply contrived, yo mates would see thru it & so NO respect!

    A true leader on the other hand wouldn’t need an armband to garner respect!

  128. we agree then – gallas lacked neither the leadership qualities necessary to movtivate and inspire this young team, nor the credibility to earn their respect. considering he is a pariah at chelsea and nobody on the admittedly disfunctional france wc 2010 team seemed to shed tears when he was overlooked for that armband, arsenal is not the only dressing room where he is unwelcome.

    he played very, very well on saturday – i have never had an issue with his abilities, just his lack of leadership. and i probably wouldn’t have cared about that so much if arsene did not thrust him into our captaincy.

  129. As someone else pointed out, Cesc has been makinit a bad habit of late, tryin’ to be sly. I attribute it to his rubbing shoulders with all that cheeky lot in Spain.. one more reason for doing away with those international breaks. Hope he’s cured of it now (He seems ashamed to even bring that up!)

  130. Gallas was always a good defender, can’t dispute that at all.. Gotta be some reason why a London club signs him up immediately after he completes a diruption job in another!

  131. Barca aren’t broke, they are asset rich,but have no real cash.Spain is economically in freefall, yet Real Madrid can borrow what they like as they are basically sponsored by the Royalty
    They paid cash up front for Ronaldo and Kaka, that’s why Maureen went there..A great divide here in Spain. I wrote an article about it some time back,rico.

  132. oliver,

    if you look carefully Cesc was trying to pull chamakh’s hand down at the free kick.it was in fact the hand of Chamakh.

  133. Chamakh forget how to shoot between the posts that day..

  134. [...] So finally Cesc has something to say but not about how the team he captains played at the weekend, instead he chose to look to tonight’s fixture against Braga. Well thanks Cesc, for nothing, your country gets spanked by Portugal and you tell the fans how sorry you are but us, nothing!! Fabregas has warned against complacency when they face Braga, wonder if he means the same kind of complacency the team showed against West Brom, Newcastle, Shakhta … Read More [...]

  135. I get lost in all the finance stuff kelsey :( does that mean they can’t afford the right money for cesc?

  136. is that real, cecs pulling chamakhs hand, i didn’t see it that way, mind you, don’t want to look again either.. i honestly thought it was cesc…

  137. Hi STV, he needs a rest tonight, i think nikki will start….

  138. ..and I hope Diaby is not ‘recovered’ rico

  139. he’s still out STV, thankfully ;)

  140. Rennie, re gallas, spurs was not his first choice, he hoped for a two year deal and more than we offered him, in the end he signed for one season and gets less money… :)

  141. Every one speaks about complacency now.. Infact it has been a problem for last few years..and if you still can nt find a solution stop speaking..

  142. STV, thats why wenger should stop praising these players, wait til we win something…

  143. exactly rico, if the right money is say 40 to 50 million.

    Another weakness that was not seen in the early wenger years was this in house fighting to the degree it has been for the last 2 or 3 seasons.
    I don’t care who was right or wrong nasri should have shook gallas’s hand.
    So all this leads me to beieve that AW is losing some authority behind closed dors or just he is ageing.(like me ;) )

  144. Ramsey played for the reserves today :)

  145. kelsey, did the spat between Nasri and gallas start at the club or country? Both have suffered because of it.

    I can only assume that Gallas was the ‘baddie’ in all of it as Toure left because of Gallas too – This is on of the weak sides of Wenger, his man management sometimes lets him down (being polite there) – he should have got the players together and sorted it out once and for all, stupid little fueds in life are just that, stupid and can be mended…

    Just imagine Ferhie dealing with them…. ouch..

  146. I believe it started for country,rico.

  147. my understanding is it started with the national team. gallas supposedly took umbrage – in that smug, self-entitled manner of his – that nasri had the temerity to sit in a seat in the front of the team bus. a seat that gallas thought a senior player was entitled to. as if that was december 1955 in montgomery, alabama!!

  148. without being personally involved in the situation, i see gallas the villian the entire way…i have nothing but disdain and contempt for him.

  149. thats what i thought too guys, and i think gallas is at fault, not that i can prove that though…

  150. oliver, i can’t say i like him much either really, we stuffed up when he came our way for cole… and we got £5M… what a joke…

    Toure went downhill when gallas arrived, i know he’s not the best but alongside Sol he was pretty darn good…

  151. nobody can rico – be we can look at his body of work. specific comments about problems with younger players, relations with other players – and not just arsenal, several chelsea players are on record about what a rotten teammate he was, and how he was always at the center of the personnel problems during the last few years. all this paints a picture of a self-important individual with zero people skills and no followers. patently unfit to be a club captain.

  152. kolo’s attitude was not the greatest either, but he was a key part of the invincibles side. i would have kept him over gallas any day of the week – i think with the latter out of the dressing room, i think there was at least a chance that kolo’s form and mood would have improved. the warning signs were there with gallas before arsene made him captain. in hindsight, gilberto should have been appointed – as we all thought he would have been – and flamini should have stayed as the bench player he was and now is again.

  153. i’m done talking about gallas. i have a genuiune comtempt for him and no longer wish to discuss him…

  154. oliver – you don’t have to convince me, he will never be in my top list of players who have worn the red and white of the club i love…

  155. yes oliver, lets talk about our players, not the enemys….

  156. so cesc is starting tonight after all. indicates arsene understands the importance of qualifying tonight – some may question risking him, but i feel we have no choice. we have to put the qualification issue to bed here so we can concentrate on the league. if it backfires, so be it – unless arsene is knowingly playing cesc through fitness doubts, this is the correct decision.

  157. time for a certain nicklas bendtner to deliver…

  158. neves denilson preferred to a certain alexandre song billong? i agree they should not start together, but i am not sure denilson’s performance on sunday has earned a starting opportunity. perhaps arsene wants to have his propensity to shoot from distance as an option. and maybe things denilson will be more defensively responsible than song???

  159. see you half time oliver..

  160. i’ll be here…

  161. chelsea just went 1-0 down at home – how come we never get to play them when they are in such shambles? it seems every time we come up against chelsea or united, they are in runs of good form…

  162. Well, i’d rather have watched paint dry!

  163. ok, interval…not too bad. theo has looked lively and we have gone close a couple of times. arsene needs to urge them to step up the pace – we are still building too slowly, and playing with purpose only in spurts. we can win this one, we just need to be quicker and more direct.

  164. I admire your optimism oliver.
    We were awful in that first half against a very average team.
    Cesc summed it up with his half hearted looped free kick which barely reached the keeper.
    Djorou is the only player who looks confident and as for Bendnter he is shocking.
    We sre definitely hung over.

  165. Would it be to much to ask for someone to have a shot.

    SHOOT for christ’s sake.

  166. part of my optimism is that we have faced virtually no threat from braga. it is there for the taking, we just have to up it bit.

  167. sorry oliver, i’m with kelsey, that was dreadful, absolutely dreadful… lacklustre, slow and painful…

    Nikki… what is he doing on the half way line when we are going forward, no wonder wenger sticks with chamakh….

    JD, just why did he not play on saturday… its beyond me..

  168. i think so kelsey, i can’t believe this is arsenal i’m watching….

    oliver, i can’t see them improving to be honest but hope i’m proved very wrong….

  169. now that i cannot answer – bedntner is playing way too deep and i agree he is showing us why he does not get many starts. i want the win too – for confidence building and a historic first-ever arsenal win on portugese soil. but i trying to remember that job number one tonight is to qualify for the next round. i won’t be happy with a draw, i think the team desperately needs a win for confidence. but if a draw it is, that will mean we won’t have to sweat the fk partizan fixture.

    nasri on for cesc to start the second half?

  170. do you think arsene sent them out telling them to try and keep it tight first and foremost?

  171. braga are really a poor outfit and as a team we look totally lacklustre.We might aw well play without a striker.Tipy tappy to nowhere.#let’s hope it gets better.

  172. agreed, braga are rather useless. i thought they would be better at home than they were at the ems, but they have shown absolutely nothing…nothing at all.

  173. i hope so oliver and now we burst into action… see you at the end…

  174. ok, lets see if we can get some goals in this second half.

  175. rico, i am not going to be able to follow the whole second half. i’ll catch what i miss at home tonight and try and write a report for you…

  176. donetsk just scored in belgrade. so the pressure on us just moved up a notch.

  177. i don’t think arsene is trying for the win – just trying to get the solitary point and hoping we can win.

  178. no probls oliver, i’ll add any bits if thats ok, we post a kind of joint one :)

    Travel home safe and catch you tomorrow…

  179. just seen that too oliver, we need a win ….

  180. go 4-4-2 with chamakh and theo …

  181. squillaci almost put us a load of trouble…we need to wake up here, now i am getting nervous…

  182. 2-0 shakhtar….

  183. but fabianski should have collected that ball off him then… fab was too slow…

  184. come on wenger, time for change….

  185. here we go then, cesc injured again….

  186. agree. nasri on for cesc, and chamakh on for bendtner. if this is what bendtner intends to give us when he gets the opportunity, he needs to be dropped from the first team squad outright.

  187. there goes cesc’s hammy…sigh…

  188. this is not what i was hoping to see…

  189. if this is the best we can get from the player and arsene, perhaps blowing it up and starting over is not so far-fetched?

  190. chamakh on for bendtner – i don’t even want to see bendtner on the bench. his lack of effort – and apparent interest – was abysmal.

  191. donetsk are having little difficulty taking care of business away, 3-up in belgrade now. why we make this so difficult for ourselves, i just cannot understand…

  192. what a joke, a clear pen!!

  193. does make you wonder oliver about blowing it all up… its shocking… and so is nikki, just awful

  194. how much is ref being paid???

  195. bloody hell…….

  196. I’m off guys and gals…

    catch you tomorrow….night all…

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