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You mucked that up Arsene’l, Wenger blames the ref though….

I love Arsenal Football Club. I absolutely love it. I have been with it for seventeen years, longer than my lovely wife and I have been together. I caught the bug while living and working in Peterborough, and have continued to faithfully and steadfastly follow it, while moving around different parts of the world. It is a part of me, and I think it will always be a part of me. I also love writing. I enjoy writing about almost anything: be it professional work related, as part of a degree program, or about Arsenal or any of the other sports teams I faithfully follow. I must confess, however, that writing about Arsenal has not been as much fun these past few days. It is all part of the ups and downs of emotionally investing in a team and its results – but I sure will be glad when better times and results return.

Make no mistake; tonight’s result in Portugal was bad – on several different levels. Taken alone, a 2-0 group stage Champions League defeat, away in country where Arsenal has never previously won, does not look so bad. In the larger context, however…First off, there was nothing – and I mean absolutely NOTHING – positive to take from the performance or the result. Three days after being turned over by the Spuddies, not only did we fail to produce the performance or result circumstances demanded, we are now facing more injuries to our first team squad. After storming through our first three group stage matches with 3 wins, 14 goals for, and 2 against, we are facing the possibility of failing to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League. We have our group’s proverbial doormat (FC Partizan) at home, so failure at this moment seems remote. But on the evidence of the past two games, can any of us really trust these players to deliver? Saturday was rock-bottom how does us settling for the Europa Cup feel? It could happen….

Tonight’s match was dreadful, simply dreadful. Braga was, quite frankly, awful. I thought they would be much more formidable at home than they were at the Ems. At least they showed some ambition there. At home, they were negative, dirty and did not seem to try to win. They did, however, know enough to catch us on the break – two very late goals gave them a 2-0 win. They were poor, but we were worse – and we got what we ultimately deserved – NOTHING! Arsene made seven changes to the starting lineup, retaining only Fabianski, Squillaci, Cesc, and Denilson. Djorou, Gibbs, Eboue, Jack, Rosicky, Theo and Bendtner rounded out our starting eleven. The game started slowly and did not get much better. We passed the ball aimlessly, showing – yet again – a lack of urgency or willingness to get into the box. For the match, we had 71% possession and one – that’s right – ONE shot on goal for ninety plus minutes. And that was a Cesc free kick (shortly after the half hour mark) the keeper had to tip over the bar. That was it. Still, we looked pretty comfortable at the half, while looking very, very toothless.

During the interval, I chatted to Rico that it was going ok – we were not troubled, and all we needed to do was step on the accelerator and the goals would come. I should have known better. The second half started in the same fashion – an overabundance of passes and little off-the-ball movement. When Theo, Eboue and Gibbs were able to get forward and get crosses in, nobody was in position to capitalize, with Bendtner often behind (!!) them…Other than a nervous moment when Squillaci fluffed a clearance, allowing Aguiar to latch on and shoot not too far wide, we still looked comfortable. The first major problem occurred when Cesc did his hammy yet again, while stretching for a ball from Bendtner. Nasri replaced our Captain, who now faces another spell on the sidelines – brilliant. Arsene made two other changes in rapid succession – Chamakh for Bendtner, who was just hopeless, clueless, and useless, worse than in Donetsk. Then Vela came on for Theo – at least Vela got into the box. Rodriguez clearly tripped him for a cast-iron penalty, but the Hungarian referee (more on him in a minute) booked Vela for diving. With eight minutes to go, Matheus brought Eboue down with a bad foul – with no more subs, we were down to ten men. A simple ball over the top split our defense and allowed Matheus, of all people to run clear and shoot past Fabianski. The same player scored another breakaway goal in stoppage time to inflict another very, very painful loss.

Afterwards, Arsene predictably raged about the referee. Normally I stay clear of the referee, but this guy was an absolute disgrace!! Not only did he ignore a cast-iron penalty and book our player (presumably for diving), he allowed Braga to foul almost at will and booked five Arsenal players for virtually nothing. It was almost comical, he was so bad. Homer or totally incompetent, take your pick. If I were a referee, I would be embarrassed this guy represented my profession. Poor does not even begin to do him justice.

With that said, I have no time for the rest of Arsene’s condescending and insulting garbage – not here, and not now. “We are going through a period where we have bad luck”. No Arsene, we are going through a period where we are not making our luck. The players are not taking responsibility on the pitch; the manager is pointing fingers at the system, the opponents, and the referees. How about looking in the mirror for a change? We just had two important matches in three days – two matches where the players did not perform. How is that the Hungarian referee’s fault? A single shot on goal tonight – referees fault again, right? Risking our captain’s hamstring – when you knew AND ACKNOWLEDGED it was a gamble – referee again. We can go blithely on, and on, and on….As we have done in the past…

This is your team, these are your players, this is your vision, and this is your model. When things are going well, you are quick to take credit for their development and lavish praise on them. But things don’t always go so well, do they? When we are stuck in ruts like this – when the players have no leader to look to and are utterly incapable of extricating themselves from these situations – you are happy to take shots at the referees and the opposition. And then you profess to be “mystified” by events like our second half collapse on Saturday. Is it really that difficult for you to fathom? You treat your players like children – to be protected from criticism and accountability, to be protected from themselves – and then wonder why they act like children who cannot comprehend why the bigger kid stole their lunch money.

We have endured bad form and losing runs each of the last few seasons. Even though this one is only at two games, it feels different, more serious. Perhaps because it is a pair of watershed events: our “man bites dog” first home loss to the Spuddies since 1993, and the first time in a while we go into the final round of CL group matches facing the possibility of not qualifying for the knockout round. It is also more serious because the same problems continue year after year: loss of focus and concentration, no on-pitch leadership, aimless lack-of-responsibility dithering around the pitch, a team of square pegs in round holes, lacking quality in-depth. Every year we hear the problems have been addressed, that the players have grown up and are ready to take the next step. And every year we go through spells like this that shatter confidence, losing strings of two, three, four games. If a continued habit of turning one bad result into a string of bad results is not the epitome of an immature, mentally weak team, then I don’t know what is.

Nevertheless, I love the club, and I continue to support Arsene and the players. We are all upset at another losing streak we are currently enduring, and two major opportunities that we casually squandered in the space of a couple of days. But I shall continue to support the players. Who knows – perhaps it will finally sink home, the proverbial light bulb will go on, and this team will sweep their way to the league title and lay the groundwork for our first European Cup win next season. Reality will most likely be somewhat short of that, but I will still support, cheer and hope for the best. Each of us supporters has to decide for ourselves how we will deal with this. Some of us have had enough and will call for Arsene’s and the players collective heads. I understand that point of view – my patience and faith are being severely tested at the moment, too. I choose to continue to support, and hope for the best.

Arsene and the club can do a couple of things to help us with this. This first is for the club to – finally – be open and forthright about what our financial situation is. Yes or no – do we have enough money to make quality investments in the squad? No more PHW saying one thing, Arsene saying another, and Gazidis saying nothing. Tell us – with one, unified voice. This way, we can adjust our expectations accordingly. If we have the money, is it not time we built a proper squad, with leaders and strong characters. Not the current collection of one-size-fits-all and jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-none young midfielders?
Can anyone reasonably argue that we have the squad balance, quality and depth necessary to sustain a title and cup challenge? If we still do not have the money, be honest. We may not like it, but you will probably find the majority will understand and adjust our expectations accordingly. But at the moment, many of us don’t know what the situation is at the club – if the money exists, why do we refuse to address the squad issues? (I think I know why and who has made the decision not to invest, but that another discussion for another day). If the money does not exist and we continue with this youth model out of necessity, tell us so and how long we should expect this to continue. Treat us supporters as partners, not as children who should be seen but not heard.

Arsene can help the players and himself by stopping the effusive praise he gives the squad. I suspect they are already comfortable enough with set-in-stone first-team slots and large wage packets. So comfortable that, as these last two matches show, they appear incapable of adjusting to a setback, and seem only to know how to revert to what they know best – pass, pass, and pass some more. If they need a confidence boost, give it to them in private – after they have had a dose of harsh reality. Comments about this squad being “best ever” are insulting to this particular supporter – and make you look like an utter fool, on the back of these last two results. You can also stop blaming everybody and his dog for our team’s losses. Bad results and bad referees are a fact of life – the sides that win things find ways to overcome these things. That is not to say that other managers don’t moan about these things – I think Red Nose and Mourinho are worse than Arsene. But these managers also seem to get their teams to overcome this. This Arsenal side does not seem able to do that. If you take responsibility for what you get wrong – and none of us are infallible – maybe…just maybe, the players will follow your lead and start taking on-pitch responsibility. Surely it is worth a try?

What next? Villa Park. We’re back to square one, and have to hope the team can lift themselves – now without Cesc and probably Eboue (I hope Sagna enjoyed his rest, it may well be his last for a while) – and get a result to stop this rut. Everything about this club is Arsene’s vision – the setup, the players, the playing style, training and coaching methods. I still consider him far and away the best man for this job. But I caveat that with a brief word of warning: I have seen plenty of teams fall apart, and the very situation we find ourselves in today is what the beginning of the end looked like for more than one of those teams. If you want to know what it looks like when it has all collapsed, ask Brad Childress. Waxing lyrical about a team’s potential and promises of our bright new tomorrow is all well and good. But at some point, the manager and the players have to deliver. I hope we are on the verge of that – there are signs we are – and signs we are not. You can count on my goodwill, hope and support. But my patience is not infinite, nobody’s is. You may think you have all the time in the world to get it right – you do not, nobody does. Life just does not work that way.

You know what needs to be done, Arsene. You’ve won with Arsenal before and I would love nothing more than to see you lift the first – and second – and third – European Cup in Arsenal’s history. But the side you have is built to play your vision of football, not win the biggest honours in the game. At this moment, I merely hope – can you and the players give me a tangible reason to believe?

Written by Oliver

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268 comments on “You mucked that up Arsene’l, Wenger blames the ref though….

  1. Morning all,

    good job you do like writing oliver, i think my match report would be in 4 or 5 words, ‘we are bloody rubbish’!

  2. Wenger says this…

    “We played against a team who refused to play and tried to catch us on the counter attack. They used every single trick in the book to slow the game down.
    “We could play 10 matches like that and win eight or nine times.”

    I say, ‘Why don’t you try it then’!!!

  3. Rico I think I will be going to the E.R like right now :-(

  4. Morning Erick, ER, whats that?

  5. Oliver you are another strong man i wouldn’t be able to write a thing we are Craaaaaaaap funny how we still are in all competitions and can go top on Sat what a roller coaster

  6. we are heading into a Brian Clough situation. top class manager who went on too long and got stale. we know what happened to Forest. Im not suggesting we will get relegated but we cant live on the past any longer.

  7. Erick, that’s what makes it all so frustrating, why when we sit well in the league and CL do they put in such half-hearted displays to let the club down, if they had a bit of fire in their bellies we’d be top of the league and top of the CL group…

  8. Emergency Room Rico :-)

  9. Oh Rico i know we cant handle pressure

  10. Morning Rico.

    Oliver, you are probably still in bed having nightmares as I write! :-)

    As a manager, I have, from time to time, given back a worthy but long appraisal/analysis to an assistant and said, – great, very well done, but now reduce your 10 page report to a one page summary for me.

    I have occasionally, if I am honest, sometimes felt your writing was top quality but a bit on the long side, and on my small screen I have sometimes lost concentration.

    Today’s article is something else. It is absolutely brilliant, it says everything that I would have said. It is concise, articulate and strikes right at the heart of the matter.

    I would like to be able to write a quality piece like that. Excellent Oliver! :-)

  11. :lol: Erick, think i’ll join you ….

  12. morning rob, trouble is the board won’t sack him and he won’t quit, we are stuck with him for another few seasons, all the time he lives in denail about the players, nothing will change…

    January has to be a time for change in personel, get rid of a few and bring in some quality…

  13. denail = denial…

  14. Great post there Oliver.. How U draw the inspiration from watching all that mediocrity last night astounds me!

  15. I know where i’d be putting “denail” right this second Rico and it won’t be nice or pretty…!

  16. Morning Rennie, I don’t know how oliver manages to write them either, i was throwing toys after the game…

  17. RA howdy mate always appreciative like your attitude :-) Rico you will need to leave your pets and you rarely do :-)

  18. “an overabundance of passes and little off-the-ball movement”.. how bloody TRUE!

    Something I’ve been shouting at the top o’ my lungs for a long while. If only these gifted players r drilled to do that, we’d be a whole diff. beast altogether.. U only havta watch Pippo Inzaghi at age 37 & knockin’ in goals in the UCL to get how important it is to rip a defence apart

  19. You and me both WATH, just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse eh, when is something going to change at the club…

  20. I wonder where that fella is from yesterday with all those glowing stats……… I wet myself laughing last night when saw they’d made 137 passes we’d made 377 and it was nil nil and like watching paint dry, I wondered if he was enjoying it all as much as I did….! I wonder if our esteemed leader wants to rephrase that comment from last week about his best ever squad….! I think he’s on the magic mushrooms myself. I need a GG….!

  21. Wath Denial is Aw third name :-) I won’t ask you how you been coz I already know :-)

  22. Morn’ Rico.. our boys made me look real silly y’day. “Can’t lose tonight against Braga” my assss@#^$@#!!!!!!

  23. I don’t think i’v been that bored watching us play in a long while.. WATH, he definately on something, is it LSD that gives you flash backs in time? Maybe he was flashing back to the Paddy/Petit days….

  24. One 4 me 2 WATH

  25. Wenger can hardly trash his players in public, can he? After both Saturday and last night, you could see how gutted he was. Don’t mistake his outward calm for not caring.

    At times like last night, we lack leadership in the spine of the team – a Vieira or a Campbell in their pomp – who will not allow the team to sit back when they get nervous, but instead step up to the challenge and press the ball even harder.

    We are too passive in difficult situations, and the second goal last night was a prime example of this. Three defenders around Matheus. One of them should have stepped up and tackled him – or at least fouled him. Instead they all backed off. Sol would have just flattened him.

    Wenger is partly to blame for the players’ attitude, but leadership isn’t something you can really coach. The players either have it or they don’t. Sadly, no one – not even Cesc – in this current group does, except for the injured Vermaelen.

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2010/11/23/arsenal-their-own-worst-enemies-yet-again/

  26. Morning all.ironically the result didn’t bother me one bit!with shaktar top and i can’t see them slip we’ll face bayern/barça/madrid/lyon.if Aw really wants the CL he is going to have to change things to win any of the above games.we’ll actually see our players work hard to impress especially if a trip to the Camp nou/Bernabeu beckons.up to you Aw…

  27. GET OFF THE ‘SHROOMS ARSENE!!!!

  28. Or maybe he should just get off that sleazy Franco-Rapper bi@tch..

  29. This is by far, the best piece I have read in a very long time. The composition and style is nothing short of a best seller. I will urge you to (if not considered already) invest some time to write a novel on something you are passionate about. If you maintain this same level of writing, I can bet you are on your way to literary stardom. I salute you! On the whole Arsenal thing, there are some things I dont understand and which need to be cleared up:

    1) Why do we always fumble in Novembers? Can we have a coincidence that occurs every year?
    2) How could we have only a single shot at goal in 90mins plus?
    3) What is with all the dribbling when taking direct shots at goal posts may end up in one being deflected in?
    4) What is the nature of Arsene Wenger’s team talks, especially at half time and post match? Does he ever shout at these guys? Does he dissect their failings? Does he motivate them? Do they still get inspired by him?
    5) Spurs beating us at The Emirates is such a shameful thing and I am so amazed that we are not still hiding our collective heads in the sand
    6) Our injuries never stop mounting. Does this have to do with our playing style (why do Barcelona not get injuries like us then?), nutrition, rest / exercise regime, training, type of players we buy, our Physio or what? I can not just accept that we are the most unlucky team in the entire universe!
    7) At what point do we say Enough is Enough with Wenger and the Board? To give us something to rejoice with?

    I am heartbroken and beginning to lack faith and hope that there is a better future ahead!

  30. And who picks the Captain Tim….? Why doesn’t the manager buy a leader and why does he allow the spine of teh team to be weak..? I don’t doubt Wenger cares but part of that is also watching the players he “bigs up” fail dismally and show little or no bottle and that comes from a manager plain and simple. Buck stops with him…!

  31. Rennie, I did so enjoy your “relax Rico no way are we loosing tonight”

    I’m actually starting tothink its all quite funny !!

    GG on it’s way Erick, Njoy my friend.

  32. Tim, its his job to ensure we have that spine….

  33. Morning KT, we got to beat Partizan yet and its at home….

  34. As for trashing his players in public thats exactly what needs to happen although I think a good thrashing would be better, pampered prima donna’s need to be told in no uncertain terms and him playing devils advocate to cover their failings and inadequecies isn’t gonna hack it anymore.

  35. Made me chuckle too Rennie/WATH, and oliver last night tried to reassure me that the second half would be a walk in the park after i said i’d rather watch paint dry…

    It was a walk in the park but for Braga, we just looked like we were walking in the park… ;)

  36. Rennie howdy we have not met :-)

  37. KT, what happened yesterday??

  38. WATH, U do havta say that playing with 10-men & still going forward contributed to those Braga goals in the end.. Howeva that still doesn’t excuse the mind-numbing display before that!

  39. Rennie, for sure that was a reason in part for the 2nd goal but then again we are clueless when charging forward and Gimp.. sorry I mean Denilson is left standing on the halfway line directing traffic, the fact 3 defenders then can’t put the player up in the air or take the ball off him is another matter entirely. Yes the pen was just diabolical refereeing BUT we were still pretty poor and thats being kind… How many saves did their keep make…? says it all really.

  40. Six weeks ago we would have thrashed that Braga side with 10 players all game Rennie….

  41. Erick, Rennie’s going to write a post for HH :)

  42. What about the dreaful free kicks from the captain, and i laughed when Smudger said, ‘no wonder wenger sticks with Chamakh’ when slating Nikki’s positional sense….

  43. Howdy Erick!.. Me still a new inmate @ the Highbury House & still learnin’ stuff like where the rest o’ the gang is & yadayada

  44. Makes me laugh all these idiots that wanna moan about ppl who think last night was crap…! As was said yesterday some ppl see nothing but good and yet any criticism means your not a fan, what a load of bollox. Some of the crap from the cyber fans yesterday on various blogs was piss funny…!. Ur not Arsenal u criticise the players and wenger… grow up and take ya blinkers off !!

  45. 6 weeks is a freakin long time in the Arsenal world mate!

  46. Rico nice I can’t wait to read it may that can inspire Wath to write one ;-) ;-) Wath If I were Aw I would be thinking of bringing JET into the first team

  47. DAMN DAMN DAMN

    OLIVER how you could post an article is beyond me.

    WENGER WENGER WHY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :|

  48. Oh well in six weeks time I reckon we will be 5th maybe 6th in the league, nice to look forward too and then least there is Jan and the thought of all those new signings lol :D

  49. Wenger has completely lost it. Yes, the referee denied us a clear penalty, but was that the reason we wnt on to lose 2-0.It was coz we were very poor…..had loads of possession as usual but did nothing with it. I think we only had 1 shot at goal in the 1st half and how did he expect us to win.

    Why do we even bother entering this competition every year.? Is it just to print more cash for the board, coz the story is always the same. I Think we are the most underachieveing team to have played in the UCL for so many seasons and made the final only once. NOw we will probably scramble to second and yes be drawn against either Real Madrid or barcelona and get the usual spanking in knockout stages. I think we wud be better off finishing 3rd and dropping into the EUropa Cup…Maybe we can win that 1 , but again if we cant beat BRaga I dont think so.
    This team and Wenger never learns..the same mistake which killed us on saturday were repeated again. This time twice.Why did Djorou and Squillaci pile forward when we down to 10 men with Ebou injured, leaving DEnilson to be the last man in defence. These players are so daft and we willl never win anything with them. When is the last time our central defenders scored from a corner or setpiece and yet they keep going foward leaving us exposed everytime there is a corner or free kick.

  50. Bendy’s a diff playa Rico, not quite the proverbial CF. That’s why even when we had that good patch in the beg. of last season, Wenger played him @ the right side of VanPersie (which was Robin’s position until then when GreedyBayor was still around lazin’)

  51. Rennie, it sure is but has taken taken long for the slide to happen…

    WATH, totally agree, we are the first to sit here a drool over our fab perfromances, then its just right to have an opinion about the dreadful ones too, doesn’t mean we are not fans, just means we love the club….

  52. @ Rico..the freekicks were appalling to say the least. Is Fabregas our only freekick taker. He was not even trying and lacked energy when he took those free kicks.ANd they kept giving them to him. At least Theo took his secong half free kick with some power and swave.

  53. The prob is Rico you get total divs who get online from god-knows where and slate Arsenal supporters for not getting behind the team, that takes the biscuit…! do they go, do they spend their money, do they even know where the ground is, how long they been going? The way we gave up sat and the lack of any imagination penetration and width last night needs explaining and yet all the manager wants to do is say the opposition stopped us playing with negatice tactics???? yes and..???? so be better than them and stop moaning all the time if our team was better then their tactics would not work eh…!

  54. I have to repair my channel 5 button on my remote…

  55. Well now I am in my 61st year of being a Gunner…yes I know Im a bloody idiot, but it could be worse as my Dad was Chelsea and Mum Spuds !!!

    Right now after 14 years of devotion to Arsene I am coming around to the feeling that he has ahd his golden period. All managers get them and Arsenes was entirely due to taking over a fantastic defence (the best ive seen ever) and he added a midfield that other teams were petrified of ”Viera + Petit’ then we had Wrighty and Bergy and le Boss added Overmars. At that time I thought…Chrits we have a manager who will never do a Bertie mee or GG and allow money to build up in the bank…he will buy a superstar every year and keep the greatness going. It never happened..why? Well since the last of the fantastic six ( Adams,Bould,Dixon, Winterburn, Keown, Seaman) left, Arsene has demonstrated (A) how little he knows about defending and (B) how stupid the possession game is.

    Arsene has created the most fairy like defence I can remeber since McCollough & Magill. They run after players not tackle them (as seen twice last night). They get nugded of the ball by centre forwards like Carroll and anyone else around. No wonder our goalies are shown up for being average with this bunch in front of them ! For five seasons Arsene has made the most ignorant of decisions re defenders to buy and DMF to play. I will not list the CB’s as they are so average no other Premiership club would have them. The DFM, we have two…both Aw boys. Denilson has been shown up for 3 years as a good worker without pace or guile. Song has come along very well and both goals would not have happened if he were there last noght….BUT….he has a tendancy to follow the bosses orders to get forward??? WHY??? what is the definition of a DEFENSIVE midfielder ?? if not to defend his back four!

    Finally, Arsenes dream of becoming another Barca ie; hold the ball until a sutable gap appears have one flaw really. Your players have to be good enough to defend break aways and your forwards must ‘wrighty like’ so that the opposition are scared to death of them. NONE OF THIS APPLIES TO US NOWDAYS.

    As Glen Twaddle said last night ..’ possession is not enough, you have to know what to do with the ball too’.

    So Arsene, you have one month in my opinion to do the business ie; decide who to sell and who to buy. My advice is freely given mate…add George Graham to your list of advisors….pay him to find British CB’s & DFM…then pay him to teach them his way of defending. Then buy a super star to score goals. Final touch…sell all the failures in January ie;

    Denilson, Almunia, Diaby, Bentner, Eboue.

    let Cesc go asap.

    Warn RVP that he is in his final season !

    Stop importing foreign kids who cost the earth and bring us nothing but a soft touch future.

    No Chance of any of this but I can dream.

  56. Jena U can’t fault ‘em 4 tryin in a set-piece.. we were not defending a comfy lead as we were in Saturday, rather chasing to get a goal.. By the way, if U haven’t noticed, our defense always plays a very high line, that’s probably Wenger’s one & only defensive tactic!

  57. morning jena, i’m glad we are in the competition but with other sides being bought out and spending on better players that may soon come to an end. the way we are going we won’t finish in the top four this season….

  58. Spot on Pete……….!! Shame everything you’ve written is so bloody true, only when TA sat Paddy and Petit down and gave them an almighty bollicking about giving the back 4 protection and sitting in front of them did they also then realise what it was all about. As said no spine no discipline and not enough steel to go with the flair.

  59. jacob, thank you for your comment but you can take it stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, you carry on wearing your rose tinted specs and your love for wenger will get you through life.. idiot!!

  60. lol take it we had a div on board Rico, well said…! Really cant be doing with idiots with their heads so far up their arses they can brush their teeth with the wenger love bullshit. As said wake up and see the reality, noone saying fire him or any of that shit its just wake up and see where your team is lacking, a blind man can see it why can’t you… simple, cos of his ego and stubborness to admit to actually being wrong about a few players.

  61. Rennie, nikki’s crap :)

  62. Gunnerpete, top comment and you hit the nail on the head….

  63. Did someone tell our players that we did not have to win last night.now we have given braga a glimmer of hope.after that game we go to the old toilet.

  64. WATH, Gunnerpete – we and many many others can all see it, why the heck can’t wenger/ why can’t the board, its about time wenger was dragged into the headmasters office and got told to sort this out and at whatever it costs, starting with help from someone who know what the word defend means….

  65. WATH, yep some numpty with a serious crush on wenger i think,….

  66. I don’t like him much but least Denilson had the balls to apologise to the fans after the game last night..!

  67. It’s more than what el capitano said after Sat…!

    If the board told Wenger what to do Rico I reckon he’d sulk and leave…! 5 million a year means surely to god he has to answer to somebody..?

  68. KT, I worry that Shakhtar will now rest their players , allowing Braga to get something from the game…

  69. WATH, good, then let him sulk and leave, shows he’s got little guts and fight in him too, just like half the players….

    JD wasn’t too happy either….

  70. Well GunnerPete you have said it but i think Wenger is in is own world and our season is about to crumble in just 5weeks.God help us.

    How Denilson thought that was the time to fall down when he was the last man is beyond me.

    I am not a big lad but if i were Denilson yesterday i will make sure that ball does not go past me .
    To add insult to injury’ he was initially ahead of the attacker, how he lost his footing being the last man is a mystery.

    Wenger is turning us into a laughing stock. He should have being afraid when we lost shamefully to WestBrom.

  71. Im tired of Arsene unearthing new gems cause all im seeing is muddy pebbles right now Laurent Koscielny is avreage at best he makes cygan, stepanov, vivas look good at times, i believe senderos was better but he puts to much trust in these soft players why o why, they let gallas go because he wanted more money but then spends 8 million on a cb who is physically and mentally inexperienced and has the frame of a winger.
    Good Article by the way.

  72. very accurate post pointing the heart of the problem. Last night we seemed unmotivated, clueless confused. We miss badly TV at defence. However, i expect us to win at Villa. But we need to wake up and AW is the man to blame for this situation. He enjoys complaining about everything, apart from his own creation.

  73. Great article, nearly spot on. I didn’t see the one shot though. Do you mean Cesc’s free kick? Call that a shot?
    Like GunnerPete I’ve been following this team for over 50 years and find it hard to recall a more disinterested lot. Maybe Don Howe’s lot before George Graham?
    Kick up the ars needed.

  74. jacob, you obvioulsy want to come on here and talk about Arsenal, we don’t slate eachother here and your reference to one particular posted was rude, hence idiot… we see you at the end of the season like you suggest….

    i hope you are right of course as we all want wenger to sort the side out, but i won’t hold my breath. By the way, if you are going to insult me, please call me ‘wise lady’ not ‘wise man’ thank you….

  75. Billboy, prob the free kick by Theo was the one shot ;)or maybe the tippy tappy save the braga keeper had to make from the weak free kick of cesc…

  76. Wenger needs to get a grip and start dipping into the transfer funds. I’m sick and tired of hearing the same old bull…. We got money (If you say so Wenger!!) but we need to give the youth a chance. From my view the youth setup is exactly what’s wrong with the club.
    We have so many youth players and none of them get a chance, if you look at the age of the youth in the reserves at the moment you will notice that some are closing on the age of 20, some even older than that and the only youths over the years which have been given a chance are freak players like Wilshire and Fabregas who we 15 when they started playing for the first team. It goes to show if your good enough straightaway you will get into the first team and no one graduates at Arsenal. Sooner or later Wenger will have to have a player fire sale otherwise they will be leaving on frees losing out on any potential sell on value. Meridia last year was a perfect example of this cause he left on a free and Wenger had a chance to sell him to Athletico Madrid for 8 million just a few months earlier. Quality youth players will stop coming to Arsenal because their agents will tell them they will never get a chance at playing for the first team stunting their growth and development with lack of first team football. Incase your wondering why there is a lack of quality youth players about that’s because big clubs now buy them all stunt their growth by not loaning them out and letting them train with the first team then by the time they hit 21 playing for some 2nd rate side they are a shadow of the self they could have been if they were playing regular football at a smaller club who has to play them week in week out. My advice is simply to have a limit on the number of youth players aloud at clubs and in Arsenals case have a fire sale in January and sell a load on with a 30% sell on fee. Look how much money we made when Bentley and Diarra were sold on from the clubs we sold them to. Also we all know Arsenal have been hit by this recession but don’t give me we aint got transfer and wages money for some top players because we got plenty of money sat on our benches who can finance that.

    This is what I would do to get transfer money in and wages down:

    First team players to leave

    Almunia – 2 million
    Fabianski – 5 million plus 30% sell on fee ( I know ive over priced him but I bet some eastern European team would pay it)
    Vito mannone – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Sagna – 10 million
    Djourou – 5 million
    Clichy – 12 million
    Traore – 2 millon plus 30% sell on fee
    Abou diaby – 5 million
    Thomas rosicky – 5 million
    Denilson – 6 million
    Alex song – 10 million
    Cesc Fabregas – 55 million minimum
    Bendtner – 10 million
    Carlos vela – 5 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Sean mcdermott – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Reice charles-cook – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Yennaris – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Cruise – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Bartley – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Eastmond – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Brislen-hall – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Steven smith – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Daniel boating – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Glasgow – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Hoyte – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Monteiro – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Campbell – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Lansbury – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Ozyakup – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Randall – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Henderson – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Meade – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Winter – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Callum – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Rees – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Edge – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Monakan – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Barazite – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Freeman – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee
    Roberts – 1 million plus 30% sell on fee

    This should bring in around £150 million before sell on fees and wage savings.

    I don’t want to disrespect any player but im a strong believer this will for the benefit of their development and arsenals out of control youth situation. If you look at the money above and the potential future sell on fee gains wenger could have money coming in from everywhere every transfer window which he could re-invest in the team or some more flats lol. Also I would use some of that money to expand the stadium before spurs build their 80k+ stadium, we cant be the smallest club in north London.

    The players I would keep are:

    Szczesny (2nd choice)
    Vermaelen
    Koscielny
    Squillaci
    Nasri
    Ramsey
    Wilshere
    Eboue (as first choice right back)
    Arshavin
    RVP
    Theo
    Chamakh
    Wellington (the future of arsenal)
    James shea
    Nordveit
    Evina
    Botelho
    Hajrovic
    Miquel
    Bihmoutine
    Angha
    Watt
    JET (the future of Arsenal)
    Frimpong (the future of Arsenal)
    Aneke
    Coquelin
    Monakana
    Ebecilio
    Galindo
    Bunjaku
    Miyaichi
    Deacon
    Sunu
    Afobe
    Netta
    Ansah

    There is 36 players in the above team then I would bring in:

    First choice keeper
    First choice defensive midfielder
    First choice centre back
    First choice floating midfielder but use Wilshire or ramsey to replace fabregas.

    Come on Wenger were a football club not Darlows….

  77. Stay away from next home game it will send a message to the board.

  78. Please Nobody 2 talk uncaring wenger, wit his policy.

  79. Don’t tell me the div told you to judge the team at the end of the season Rico…????? Shit, maybe it’s Arsene in disguise…. Wonder if he’ll come back with his tail between his legs if god forbid we are right and we stagnate til the Middle of may next year. There;s always gotta be one eh….! Delusional twat..! he’s prob a yid on a wind up… ;-)

  80. There’s to many jcl’s and tourists to take your place Danish gooner it won’t work…!

  81. Hi all to just come on…

  82. He’s def a gooner WATH, but reckons we have the strongest squad etc etc… I’d let him on but he can’t promise to be reasoned with his view and without slating others views so the door has been shut…

  83. Benbdy ain’t great rico, certainly not implyin’ that! But for a 3rd choice Striker he’s not that bad – compared to Chl$ki’s 3rd choice S.Kalou, LPool’s D.NGog, Scum’s R.Pavlychenko, M-Disjointed’s W.Rooney, etc…

  84. Sort it Out, you should have emailed me that, would have made a very good post in itself. Not sure i would sell all those you have listed but certainly a few…

  85. Rennie, i think i’d rather Ngog if i’m honest and Pav just needs to be in the right side and get fed properly and i don’t mean kebabs ;)

  86. I am sorry if I insulted anyone but to see a man who has basically remade the club I love into a club admired the whole world over is just too much some times… and if you doubt the sheer magnitude of what Wenger has done just take a trip outside this country… My basic point is that managing a team like Arsenal whilst also building the deeper foundations of the club is not at all easy… in fact very few men can say that they’ve done something similar… Busby and Shankley come to mind in this country. What Wenger has done is take the long term view for the sake of the club… that the fans what trophies and want it yesterday is neither here nor there and my guess is that the min ute he leaves we’d appreciate just what he has done for our club. This idea that Wenger doesn’t want to win because of some obsession with kids is just ridiculous… this is a guy who hates losing so much he used to literally throw up! I personally don’t understand how wenger spending a load of cash and winning trophies while we remained at highbury would have been a better option… then again may be it’s just me.

    * Jacob, your on, have edited the last sentence as I’m not here to get into a slagging match and noone here want most of what you assume to be as anti Wenger or his head, I suggest you read properly what peope are writing and trying to get across, any insults or inuendo’s that ppl are pathetic or non supporters if they don’t agree with you and your off*

  87. Strongest squad…….. he really is delusional then…! what a lemon…! You sure he ain’t a yid on a wind up he must be to quote that best squad crap, such a great squad can’t beat Braga away… yeh right.

  88. No, def a gooner WATH, the depth of his comments showed that, i wish he’d just come on and be rational about why he believes in wenger and this current side but he’s gone now and vows to be back in may when we are flying high…

    maybe thats May 2014…. ;)

  89. jacob, if you are reading, why not send in a post of your own about your views on arsenal and i promise i’ll post it for a reasoned, balanced and proper debate without a slanging match

    What do you say??

  90. Was gonna say did he give a year……….? depth of comment he can get anywhere on the net…! it’s called info. Don’t mean he Arsenal.

  91. The club shld really hire that “sort it out’ fella.. I mean he puts more effort into a single post than Arshavin in a whole season!

    Whooww.. & here I was thinkin’ I shld stop thinki 2 much about our club

  92. Maybe you are right then WATH… ;)

    Rennie :lol: AA and a few others… but i bet AA would play better if he played in his right position, he’s no winger…

  93. Really impressed with Gunnerpete! :-)

    Impressed with Sort as well. Trouble is if we added my list of “sellers” to his list, that would only leave Wath, Rico and me! :-)

    Quite amusing to see you wielding the whip Rico! :-)

  94. You stated in your book that you love the club and how long you have supported, and all the rest.very comendable.
    No player is bigger than the club, i have heard that statement all my life, but there comes a time that Arsenal, allthough a great historical club with a great if not prolific set of supporters, has to come to terms with the fact that supporters attend these games, to watch the current crop of players, in these supporters mind on those days are not how wonderfull Arsenal football club is, but how good the current team are.
    Arsenal football club is doing very nicely making profit year after year if i was a shareholder i would be very happy, but i’m not, i am an irate fan who is disgusted by the performances of the current crop of players, i am also disgusted by the lack of funds that is available for new players, that is Arsenal the clubs fault.
    players get blamed for their lack of fighting spirit their commitment to the club, even their concentration, but they cannot take the blame for Arsenal the club’s lack of forward planning, speculate to accumalate, which in simple terms means a good team brings success and success brings rewards.
    Running Arsenal football club as it is, is running the club down, supporters no matter how devoted they may be, will not suffer this incompetant style of managing the football team, and will wane in their support, Wenger is a very good manager he manages very well with what he has to work with, but he cannot make a silk purse out of a sows ear, so unless you make funds available be prepared to tell your shareholders their premiums will be going down.
    Arsenal football club make a great amount of their money by the supporters, season tickets, turnstiles, shirts, dont make the mistake of taking them for granted.

  95. Rico…

    I’ll get you the post. No problem

  96. Steve if you were a shareholder you may also not be so happy you don’t get a dividend just a profit if your shares go up in value and surely with no success those prices will fall, oops maybe not seeing as Arsenal Property Company is doing so well…!

  97. Well said Steve.

    To blame some inadequate players for not being good enough is an oxymoron! Silk purses from sows’ ears indeed!

    All the big trophy winning clubs invest funds in buying players at the end of each season. Even when they win!

  98. Jacob, please quote anyone as saying go waste cash or spend loads of cash on players, what we are merely saying is we need 2/3 players to make the puzzle complete we lack steel and pls dont deny that, Wenger has built on a shoe string this team but they are lacking in a will to win and a fight when the chips are down that for me are the kind of players he needs to buy and then we will indeed be a great squad but at the moment we’re not..!

  99. Wath,

    Who would you buy?

  100. In all honesty RA, I don’t know, I ain’t getting paid 5million to decide I also don’t have scouts all over the world, I watch lots of footie on the box but a player on TV isn’t like paying 15million for him, I know the traits I’d want and thats a start. English players are as we know totally overpriced so thats a huge problem and foreigners have a culture shock. We also sadly as discussed yesterday badly need a Captain. I’m sure Jacob will disagree with that too but we’ll see.

  101. We somehow collectively need the BoD to hurt as we do. Wenger has divided us like never before. No club’s supporters should be held to ransom, & if nothing can be done from inside the Emirates, fans should unite outside & refuse to move until something is done. There may have been mutiny at Man Utd over the ownership, but 24 years into Ferguson’s reign, you don’t hear their fans questioning his ability. Wenger has consistently failed at the very top level & enjoyed unanimous support. Why is his failure rewarded so handsomely? He should be forced to step down by the sheer weight of our feelings & expectations, because it is like an insidious poison killing our club from inside. I would love to see Guus Hiddink (CL Winner) or Owen Coyle. Our club needs saving from this mediocre passionless crap! Complaining to each other on these sites doesn’t get it done. There needs to be a real plan of action that gathers the momentum to force change. To show the passion, commitment, and the balls sadly lacking inside the club.

  102. Wath,

    I think you have it right.

    I know it will sound like sacrilege, but we all want a big, ugly lump who would not mind breaking the odd leg or two, if necessary, so I would not say no to Ryan Shawcross, or Gary Cahill or Wheater (Middlesboro) and to hell with the sodding cost. We can afford it!

  103. Good to see new people on this blog , it shows many gunners were tired of the results and performances and thereby bombarded the internet to read reviews and comments.

    We all need to let Wenger know that we are tired of this pretence.

    Why on earth did he dissolve the Invisibles. They were the invisibles and all he could think about is sell all of them off.

    Yesterday I am sure we could still do with Sol Campbell at the back,
    Gilberto in place of Denilson yesterday,
    Pires could come off the bench to calm things down (we only needed a point)
    Toure could have screamed the living daylight out of the players to concentrate and focus .
    Lehman would not have allowed Djourou and squillaci to wander off when we were down to 10men.

    We should have paid Ashley Cole the £5000 extra he wanted , he wouldn’t have made that stupid Clichy mistake against Birmingham 3 seasons ago and we would have won that season.

    Viera would have seen that we might not scored and decided to hold the midfield and allow Wishere to do any AM role is possible.

    Most of this guys are still playing and we can see how difficult it is for teams to scored against Man city nowadays and Viera is doing the Closing up for MAncini and so on

    Wenger sold all of them off, this guys don’t know how to win or what it is to be an Arsenal player .Wenger really messed things up.

  104. RA, Cahill is a bit of a yard dog but he’s English and you know will put himself in the line of fire, I like Mertesacker as well and alsthough slow good in the air and reads the game well, we are so badly missing TV BUT are we so bad that one man can make such a difference???? We still need a defensive midfielder and one who is big ugly strong and does the simple thing. Would that break teh bank, def not would it solve the problems who knows but one thing for sure it def would not hurt matters. Thought provoking SD…!

  105. Sorry about the errors was very fast and angry

  106. It seems the angry mob are out in full force SD, least your also constructive with it..! Nothing wrong with questioning something.

  107. SD, i would never have let Gilberto go, he may not have been the quickest but he sure as heck could read the game… and why was he let go, to field a money grabbing flammini….

  108. SD,

    You have a point, but those players are all in the past. What I think you are saying is that we have never properly replaced them.

    We should! Now!

  109. Red Arse, what i am saying is that he let them go too early and we could still do with 2 or 3 of them right now.

    This present players just dont know how to win when it is hard, or how to maintain a lead when they are tired or how to simply read the game or sense trouble.

  110. This isn’t a sudden out-burst of vitriolic anger, I was suggesting Wenger should go in the summer. I’ve never known Arsenal fans be as lost & disillusioned with our brand as we are at this time. Tottenham have beaten us in our last 2 league games & probably now boast a stronger first-choice XI than us! It is criminal that Wenger gets away scot-free from his woeful neglect.

  111. i see we are linked to the young French Centre Half again, Mamadou Sakho. he’s meant to be very good, but would sooner see an English player laying his life on the line at the back….

  112. Sakho is big strong quick and very ugly Rico lol

  113. Graeme,

    Fair point, but I don’t think he does get away scot free. I think it is taking years off his life when you see his contortions and outbursts.

    What frustrates me and many others I suspect is his stubborn refusal to change things. We can’t. He can.

    A point last night would have seen us qualify. Instead of saying fine, we will just play this out and get a draw, we had our defenders on the halfway line.

    Any ball pumped out of their defence was always going to give a speedy forward a chance against our slowcoach defenders and surprise, surprise that is what happened. Stupid!

    He should have changed our attacking strategy — and didn’t! As Wath says — end of!

  114. morning all…thanks for holding the fort, and, yet again, defending our corner. nobody can argue that the events of this last half-week have brought long-supressed emotions to the surface in many of us. vent them, then regroup and look ahead to our trip to villa park.

  115. morning oliver, thanks must go to you, i really don’t know how you muster up such enthusiasm to write such an interesting post, thank you very much…

    RA, its not just the attacking he needs to change, its all over the pitch….

  116. I’m not looking forward to Villa oliver, not one bit :(

  117. Oliver OLIVER !!!!!!!!!

    I am not looking ahead to the trip to Villa.

    Wenger boys are beginning to make Cricket start looking good to me as a sport. Unbelievable

  118. RA,

    We can change things! He can’t. Time after time his lack of tactical nous is exposed by so-called ‘inferior’ sides who have all learnt exactly how to play us. His transfer dealings are poor. Tottenham got Modric for the same money we paid for Arshavin. Look at the money he spent on Reyes, Jeffers, even Walcott! Wenger’s stubborn philosophy is now detrimental to our club, a huge lead-weight that is sinking us, & for as long as the Pro-Wenger’s support or excuse all that is unravelling our club, this unacceptable situation will grow & fester.

  119. to be perfectly honest, i don’t fancy it so much either. there was a point where we would go there and win every season – not so anymore. and houllier has a very good record against us from his time at liverpool…

    i have no idea what the team should look like. i would like to see some changes in our squad – denilson and bendtner should be dropped to the reserves in my opinion. dropping denilson will leave us critically short at dm, but how long is arsene going to tolerate his lack of awareness and effort.

    a cardboard cutout would have given us more than bendtner did last night…

  120. Bendy = Cardboard cut out……….. thats piss funny Oliver ;-)

  121. i’ve been one of arsene’s biggest defenders – and i still support him as our manager…but we have to separate arsenal football club from the person of arsene wenger – they are not, and never should be, one and the same.

    the argument “who would you bring in to replace him?” overlooks the “arsene who?” question many of us asked in september 1996? if we allow ourselves to get to a position where someone is absolutely irreplaceable, then we have a very unhealthy situation on our hands.

  122. wath, he gave us absolutely nothing last night – at this moment in time, he is occupying a squad berth, nothing more…

    his mitigating circumstance is his recent return from injury. yet he did nothing in the two starts he was given. in case he cannot recognize it, this is his opportunity to back up his words and show he should be a regular in the starting eleven. we played with ten men from the opening whistle last night.

  123. Totally agree Oliver, he hardly played as the target man dropped off far to often and then was never available in the middle when he should of been, he’s very quick to open him mouth not very good with the talking on the pitch…!

  124. Scott Parker , anyone ? For some grit in midfield ?

    Blackburn’s Samba for some fearsome defending?

    Just shell out for Reina £20million ? who cares , we can afford it.

    Buy off Benzema from Real Madrid , he wants out anyways? A real striker that doesn’t get injured any how

  125. Hasn’t Wenger made himself irreplaceable within the corridors of power at the Emirates? How long would he get away with this flawed philosophy at Chelsea, Man Utd, Real Madrid or Barcelona? At any one of those clubs his bags would have long-since been packed. Do we not share the same aspirations as those clubs?

  126. part of me wonders how many of our players really, truly understand what they should be doing on the pitch?

    the players give performances with grit and determination – just ten or so days ago, we were second in the table, coming off hard fought league wins away at wolves and everton. ten days later, we’re in a shambles again. we simply don’t have players strong enough to pick their team-mates up…

  127. Hi Oliver,

    Once again you are right. No one should be bigger than the club.

    However, most of us are totally peed off with AW, at the moment, and cannot help voice our frustration with him.
    But then many of us don’t want to see him leave either, unless things really take a turn for the worse.

    Rico, I think it needs a root and branch approach to reshaping the team, not just the forwards, as you say.

    Sakho could be a good acquisition at CB but AW turned him down last year because he was inexperienced at 19 and also a bit slow, so I don’t know what has changed.

    Midfield/GK needs to be addressed etc.

    This won’t happen overnight, of course, and neither should it, but AW needs to make a start this January and again in the summer.

    Graeme, you said “we can change things, he can’t”. Sorry, when I said we (the fans) can’t make the changes in personnel/tactics, only AW can do that, I did not realise you were appointing us as managers. :-)

  128. morning ra. we are stuck in a cycle. if we don’t get a win at villa, one will come shortly after – and then we probably string a decent set of results together – win at old trafford? and some will forget what is happening right now – i shall not. until we lift a trophy, the possibility of another prolonged slump will always be right around the corner.

    every squad has problems – look at chelsea right now. the difference is we continue to have the same set of problems, year on year…we get ourselves to a certain point but can never go any further…

  129. Blackburn’s Samba, seriously SD!. How in the world do u see him slotting into Wenger’s high line D-tactics? Though a Monster defender he sure is, he wont fit in.

    I believe that’s the same reason he didn’t push for Mertesaker (very slow). We went for him in the summer, Werder quoted very high & Wenger didn’t even look back. Since then he’s been shippin in goals by the truckloads in the Bundesliga..

    One defender we get linked with every time is Hangeland – Height, Pace, Power – he’s got it all.. Why Wenger refuses to go for him is beyond me, can’t be too expensive, can he?

    And Reina for $20M, please that’s just ridiculous.. $10Mil tops

  130. Oliver,

    There is the same deja vu every season.

    It seems a nonsense to be scared of bad results in November, but it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy when it duly happens every year. Trouble is it also happened in the last few weeks of the season!

    We seem to fall into the same old self laid elephant traps every time, and only Arsene can change that because at base he is responsible for that happening.

  131. Oliver, got to go and look for Rico’s dogs. See you later!

  132. RA,

    I refer you to my 12:27 comment. Wenger doesn’t change, & hasn’t for six years. Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Charlie Nicholas, everybody is screaming at him to change, but he is one-dimensional, so finds it impossible. He lacks the ability to take us to the next level, which is why we’re in danger of being over-taken by Tottenham. The way we instigate change is by protesting outside the Emirates. Unless you think Arsenal fans should be penalised by paying the highest ticket-prices for watching pampered prima-donna’s who give nothing in return. Can you think of any other top club’s fans who would accept these circumstances?

  133. Scott Parker could be a great deal though.. the Hammers r gonna be relegated anyway, maybe Wenger would go for the cheap bargain in the summer

  134. Rennie : Well i might have mentioned Samba but only as a figure of speech.

    We need somebody like that that can scare any attacker and that actually scores when they attempt to rescue a win or a draw in the last minute.

    The dude is tall strong and a real captain.

    We have Squillaci and Kiescney as our first team defenders. Does that tell you anything?

    Liverpool will only allow Reina to leave for that amount . We just need a World class goal keeper.

    We need a world class DM and a world class Striker that doesn’t miss.

  135. SD, Spine of the team like we been saying for ages n ages…!

  136. “a world class Striker that doesn’t miss”.. & where do u suggest we go looking for that? under the Ye

    ‘A striker who doesn’t miss’ ain’t no such thing mate.. I agree with U that Chamak & Bendy are not the best options 4 us, but I don’t think we can land Benzema.. he even rejected ManU!

  137. Sorry all, i msut turn my doorbell off ;)

  138. isn’t benzema out of favor at his current club??

  139. i still wish we got kenwynne jones :)

  140. Benzema is not getting the starts he expected to but he’s been coming on later in games & generally playing well.. Right now he’s definitely not looking for a move!

    K.Jones is quality, but not the finished article that we need! Excusez moi for saying this but Greedybayor back in Arsenal wouldn’t be so bad now, would it? But only if he’s on his knees tail-tucked-behind that huge U know wat, publicly flogged, & ofcourse a massssive paycut!

  141. rico, there are plenty of players available – do you have any confidence – even a shred – that arsene would seriously consider buying an established, world class player?

  142. Who cares about defending?clear the bank accounts and buy messi let him do the attacking.the rest of our players should stand in admiration since all they do is recycle the ball.

  143. oliver, no, sadly not and that just about sums it up doesn’t it, same can be said for a keeper, CH and DM….

  144. Rennie, go wash your mouth out with soap and water :)

    Lardy…. Bloomin Lardy….

  145. Afternoon all. Had a half day today as had to go for terapy after the game last night. I’ve been told to channel my anger and depression elsewhere by picking up kick-boxing and find someone to practice with. The only person I can think of at the moment is Arsene Wenger cos he looks like he needs some sense beaten into him!! :(

  146. I heard somewhere that Messi’s buyout clause was somwhere in the range of $100-200 Mill.. Maybe we could trade our 1st ll for him & then build 4m scratch

  147. k, it seems this side’s concept of defending is to just keep the ball. true enough that the other team cannot score without the ball – but this will not work with the players we have who give the ball away. it only takes an instant to create an opportunity from a turnover.

    our emphasis on ball-retention is becoming a huge problem. can this possession-oriented football actually be causing our players to forego shooting at goal in order to retain and the pass the ball to teammates? it certainly leaves our players out of position once the inveitable give-away occurs…

    i don’t find this football “pretty” at all – rather aimless and pointless…almost as if we pass for passing’s sake.

  148. Mourinho must be praying to the gods that we qualify second and we get drawn together.the spaces we leave behind would be ideal for higuain,özil/kaka,di maria and CR9 to counter.can you imagine denboy against kaka/ozil?if we get bayern clichy will get raped by robben who will be very fresh as he hasn’t played this season.messi would take us apart again…if Aw really wants to win the CL he has to buy in january as we are definitely in for a difficult draw.

  149. hi t…nobody happy here…

  150. Hi T-buzz, can we all join you ….

  151. Rennie o Rennie

    Manu was as annoying as Bendner.

    Manu Greedybayor was always out of position as well , always getting himself in offside position and vying towards the left .

    When i say a striker that doesn’t miss i meant a striker that doesn’t miss all the time.

    If you watch England and France friendly and see how effective Benzema was, you will understand what i was talking about. Whenever he had the ball he just gave the English defenders the scare of their lifes.

    We dont have a striker like that.

    Oh he scored a nearly impossible low and tight angle goal as well.

  152. KT, i was feeling bad enough thanks, now i feel worse after your last comment….

  153. Oliver our tiki taka is a very good defensive tactic as you cannot concede with the ball.what it does hide is the fact that when we lose it we have no structure in terms of defending.this resorts to us pressing high up the pitch.since cesc,AA,nasri and chamakh press as a pack when the opposition by pass this wave of pressure they have acres of space to play the ball into which is why you see clichy getting caught out by long diagonal passes which can take out 5 players at once.

  154. T buzz why don’t you do what i do?…my punching bag has a picture of barton which is all the motivation i need to work out.

  155. Oliver, that was one helluva post mate…if I was to write the post, the length of the post will be the length of the title : “You cocked that up didnt ya, Arsene??”
    Thats all I would have the strength to say and all would be welcome to debate!

  156. Keown was once employed as our defensive coach , he left because RVP and others , especially RVP was rude to him and wasn’t listening to him.

    What surprised me was that Wenger allowed that to happen and he let Martin Keown to resign.

    Wenger has no clue about defending.

  157. Hi K-TR7,
    good idea that. ‘ll have to get a punching bag then or just replace the picture of Adebayor on the cracked wall after so much punching!! ;)

  158. i thought it was senderos that blew keown off?

  159. T-buzz, i echo that last of yours, i wouldn’t have had the stomach to write a piece as oliver has done, that showed after the defeat on saturday… all i did was have a strop in writing :lol:

  160. Like i said RVP and others , there was a few of them that weren’t listening. It was the period teams were killing us with set pieces.
    So he had to coach the whole team how to defend.

  161. As much as i hate to admit it barça are still the best team in Europe.the way they are set up is quite fascinating to watch.the way they change tactics in a single match is excellent.they press very well but the difference with us and them is that at ALL times they have 3 men at the back with busquets acting as a third cb.when defending their wing backs come back to form a back five with intense pressing.when an opposition attack breaks down they transition at a devastating pace being led by villa,messi and pedro.when they are playing tiki taka they are very patient but if an opportunity doesn’t present itself messi/iniesta/villa/xavi will produce a moment of sheer genius to score.with opponents chasing the game they can pick them off at will…how many of our players can produce a moment of brilliance?

  162. Afternoon all.

    I must say as well that is an exceptional post Oliver.I bet like me you bit your lip and subdued some inner feelings.

    I have scrawled through blog world and most are to say the least unhappy and angry at last night’s performance,if it was a performance.

    The two getting the most abuse are Denilson and Bendtner and of course various swear words about our manager and his nationality.

    I am not sure what the real root of the problem is, but one would at least expect the players to give 100% and look like they wanted to win.

    One thing annoys me more than anything.Cesc was either fit to play or not,it is as simple as that, and he joins a long list of others who we have had the same problem with.
    we have a state of an art stadium and training ground and supposedly the best medical team around or are we just unlucky that so many players never ever seem to maintain fitness for any given period of time.I am not so sure.

  163. Rico if we get either madrid or barça in the CL its curtains to another campaign.i wish keown comes back as then we’ll have hope.C’mon Aw sign him up!

  164. Hi kelsey, urks doesn’t it….

  165. hi kelsey…i read your post on your site a few hours ago and i must also commend you for your work. honestly, i felt like unloading on arsene with a profanity-laced tirade. that would accomplish nothing, and probably make me feel even worse afterwards. as with saturday, what’s done is done. but this does feel different than the last few “blips” we have had during the recent seasons. at some point, something will have to give…

  166. I loved the 07-08 team.they were the closest team to dominate both the PL and CL.The invincibles would go to Maine road one week and hit five only to get battered by Deportivo the following week.that team was so fluid with hleb/fab4/sicky/flamini in midfield.they also defended very aggressively while covering our fbs excellently.against park the bus teams hleb would dribble his way through loads of players opening up space for cesc.lardy would actually use both his feet and head unlike chamakh.we had 3 dms in flamini,diarra and gilberto unlike now with song and denilson.that team like the invincibles was taken apart very quickly with hleb,flamini,diarra,gilbero and lardy leaving while sicky became…well sick.its actually a miracle we survived all those departures in one window.

  167. kelsey, yesterday afternoon i chatted with rico pre match and told her i thought arsene’s selection of cesc was a calculated gamble, but as long as he was certain that cesc was fit, that it was the right decision. now it seems that arsene had more doubts than he first admitted – and it is evident he sent the side out to play for a point first and foremost. knowing that now, it was not worth the risk. we could have gotten a 0-0 without cesc and would have him available for selection.

    i don’t know if the players talk arsene into selecting them when half-fit or he feels the risk is worth the reward. i do not think we can say that was the case last night – not by anyone’s standard.

  168. If we get that far, i can get tickets for Madrid as one of best friends is a director of BWIN their shirt sponsors.

  169. KT, i don’t think we did survive, we are still paying the price now, in fact since the drip drip away of the invincibles we have never caught up… we have never replaced great players with great palyers….

  170. Rico i mean we never imploded pool style who only lost Alonso and Mascherano.

  171. The Wenger situation is really interesting. I believe I am correct that he has been offered the presidency of PSG when he retires from management, and if all the alleged stories about his private life are true,then i suspect he will as so to speak go back to his roots.
    Arsenal would sustain at least for one year no CL football if we fell out of the top 4,and then of course there could be a takeover as well in the not too distant future.
    The principle that the club wants to be financially stable is the right one, but if one considers how much we spent on Arshavin,Sqili, and Kos maybe to buy from within the PL would have been a better option.
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

  172. Fair comment KT…

  173. I really hope wellington is as good as they say.in the CL you need one dynamic and exciting player to get you off your seat.can you imagine how confident barça/madrid/bayern fans feel when they have messi/cr7/kaka/robben on the pitch?its the same feeling we had with henry.we are in dear need for such a player.whether W.silva is the answer only time will tell.

  174. oliver/rico,
    this is where I think AW has lost control,or has aged,or the job has just become to much for one man to do,as it appears Pat Rice doesn’t have any input.I wonder what Rice himself is thinking having been associated with the club for over 40 years.
    There is no question about his commitment to the club, but perhaps it is to intense.

  175. SD, agree wit u on the Greedybayr point.. I only mentioned him coz I think Chamak & Bendy are too much of team players, always looking for a fancy lay-off or a quick 1-2. Atleast Greedybawhore was .. u know greedy in front of goal, lookin’ to have a pop @ the goal, always lookin’ 4 personal glory!… The reason he needed so many shots to score one was he tries to shoot even when no proper opening was presented

  176. Another aspect that is missing is a player that the fans really look up to,buy the shirt,have his name proudly on the back.
    Honestly how many fall into that category.
    A few years back the fans had not one but maybe three or four players in any given side that were worshipped.

  177. Rennie, but that is exactly the trouble.We buy players and take their natural talent away to some extent to fit into the tippy tappy system.
    Rosicky is a prime example.

  178. I am glad somebody is picking up the point of the invisibles being made to disappear.

    In addition , i think if he really wanted Hleb and Flamini to stay he could have made them to stay just like he made Fab4 stay.

    Why he allowed Gilberto to leave i wouldn’t understand.
    Add Song, Wishere,Arshavin and Nasri to the above mentioned players then we will never be short.

  179. Good example Kelsey.. To be more precise Wenger buys central attacking midfielders & sticks them wide in the flanks. Rosicky was such a gifted central midfielder with an eye for goal back when he was in Dortmund, yet somehow Wenger thought he’d be the perfect replacement for Bobby in left midfield.. Go figure

  180. I don’t even know what Pat Rice does kelsey, he sits, sits and sits, legs firmly crossed at the knee and says/does very little… Is that his fault or is it down to Arsen being too stubborn to accept others input??

  181. By all accounts KT, he’s something pretty special..

    kelsey, mine has always been Cesc, but no more, Nasri is one player coming into his own, if he stayss loyal then i think he will be a big favourite with the fans…

  182. kelsey, good point. i have been arguing for a strong number two for at least a couple of seasons now. it appears that arsene is happy with the rice and the other “yes” men – and it hurts to call someone who was such a great player for us a “yes man” – surrounding him. perhaps we can save money by getting rid of them – what is the point of even having them around?

    but a strong number two can provide a differing viewpoint on player selection and specific tactics. he can also be our “bad cop” to arsene’s “good cop” benevolent father…

  183. SD, Nasri will be better than Hleb ever was!
    (imo he already is).. No regrets that we let him go to Barca (served him right too to jump ship) Just tat the timin’ was awful

    I think Gilberto left simply bcoz Wenger told him that he’s going to place Song Diaby & Denilson ahead of him.. He musta felt insulted to the core!!!

  184. kelsey, meant to ask, how’s the woofa’s?? tell me to stick to footie if you need to…

  185. Snows on its way apparently so got to nip to the shops for some t-bags ;) back in a short while…

  186. Wenger is suffering from illusion of grandeur (if i got that right)

    He is Dreaming and needs to wake up,

    I am not looking forward to Satuday’s game , therefore i am out of here. Take care guys. :(

  187. rico, we still have 4, I think you know 2 got poisoned on the hills and unfortunately died.I sent you a note yesterday,did you get it.

    My youngest is extremely friendly with Clint Dempsey and they ee each other on a weekly basis.They don’t talk much about football but I know this much.

    We bid 4 million for Scwarzer after initially offering less,and he was desperate to come,but hughes wouldn’t release him from his contract.IMO Schwarzer was never the ideal candidate.
    murphy is the highest paid player at Fulham on 40K a week, but to eventually answer your point,it is generally a wide spread belief that nasri will become an immense player for us,and players generally don’t like playing against him.

  188. Look guys,

    There is no point in looking back at the past, unless it is to castigate the manager. He let players go early; too late; they retired; they wanted to go, whatever.

    It’s history. We need to look to the future and AW has to address that issue and promptly.

    Someone earlier said you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, and that is precisely what AW has tried to do with some of the under-performing and frankly poor quality players he has bought. AW says this is the best squad he has ever had and I say psshaw, rubbish!

    Certainly that is what I saw last night!

  189. Henry was worshipped at Anfield.pool fans evem bought his shirts.henry used to get a standing ovation at many away grounds.i remember pompey fans giving us a standing ovation for playing them off the park.i really hope w.silva is that player that AA was supposed to be.rvp10 can but we all know his injuries cripple him when he hits top form.

  190. I agree RA.

    you and your posh words ;)

  191. Another point is that contract or not,more and more of the players playing for top clubs will stay to a far lesser extent at one club, than say 4 or 5 years ago.I am talking about the under 25’sin particular.

    So how do you identify with a player long term.

    Football has changed and not for the better,or maybe I am getting old.

  192. later sd and rico…tomorrow is our thanksgiving day bank holiday, so i shan’t be about. perhaps on friday at some point…

    ra, agree on the revisionist history – what’s done is done, but we really don’t seem to be moving forward.

    changing tack – nyg have added justin tuck to the injury list (quadriceps). i expect he will play on sunday afternoon, but he may not be at 100 per cent. and coughlin has lost patience with bradshaw’s fumbling – he has lost his starting job, and jacobs will get the bulk of carries on sunday. this should show jacobs that when he puts his head down, puts the team first and works hard, good things happen.

    i support coughlin’s move…we are minus eight in the turnovers, with bradshaw and eli the worst culprits. i suppose he could bench eli as well – rosenfels is a good backup and i would be confident with him on sunday – but doing it to bradshaw first is the better option. now brandon jacobs has the opportunity to win his starting job back for good…

    on the yankees front, the negotiations with jeter over a new deal have gotten predictably messy. yanks have offered 4 years at 15 mil per – more than fair considering his age and diminshed skills. jeter people want as much as six at 20 mil…so cash told them to try the open market – i support the team, not the player in this one. as much as jete is an icon and has done so much for the franchise, he is towards the end of his career, not worth what he is asking, as i think he will find out when he hits the market. yanks still have to bid for cliff lee and negotiate a new deal for mo – they cannot put all their eggs in the jeter basked.

  193. Red, I think what Wenger meant by that is he believes this is the strongest squad of 30 players he’s had.. If u look at it in that angle, he could be right – we’ve had our best Striker, best MidFielder & best defender crocked so far this season & yet somehow we lie just 2pts off the top of the table.. Maybe that’s wat he meant (else he’s simply taking the piss out of us all)

  194. It seems not many of you liked hleb.i was devastated when i saw him in a barça shirt.he was a vital cog in our machine as he really knew how to break down the walls for us.despite what the stats say i believe he was our best player in 07-08.he was excellent with the ball at his feet and if they could count the assist before the assist am sure he’d get the recognition he deserved.that dribble in the CL home match against pool where he dribbled past half the pool team only to be denied a penalty was one of the best i’ve ever seen…

  195. Hleb was no doubt awseome in 07-08 KT, he’s always openly admitted that leavin’ us was his worst mistake.. likable fella in every way. We’ve just moved on to better things

  196. Kelsey,

    You are interesting on whichever site I find you! :-)

    I found the most adorable fox cub in my garden about 4 years ago, and despite the disapproval of my beautiful German Shepherd, I fed him, and then two others that showed up.

    After my faithful dog died, I fed a succession of foxes over the years. Last Summer, I was reading in my Summer House, when one of the 1 year old females, unusually, came and lay down beside my chair, looking really unwell.

    I got the vet to come over and look at her, but by the time he arrived she had died. He said he thought she had been poisoned.

    I have every sympathy for you regarding your poor dogs. Poisoning anything is disgusting and depraved! :-(

  197. That’s just the way it’s gonna be Kelsey, switching clubs every 3 yrs or so will undoubtedly mean a regular decent hike in pay. Instead of earning an improved contract in terms of performance shown on the field, these youngsters take the easy way out & request for transfer.. Pathetic!

  198. Rennie, that could well be what AW meant. I hadn’t thought of that and it makes more sense.

    It would not take much for us to be a brilliant team, so if we all hum a mantra perhaps we can get Arsene to buy the two or three bigies we need. “Arsene Buy! Arsene Buy” come on, you know it might work! :-)

  199. Oliver,

    Thanks for the update. I am really hoping the Cliff Lee contract negotiations work out. The Jeter deal? I think the club should hold tight!

  200. Nasri is certainly improving but is yet to hit the heights of hleb in 07-08.why did he leave???…i was gutted that day like i was after the spuds loss.he was the closest thing we had to messi in terms of dexterity of the feet…i hope nasri/w.silva can fill that gap.

  201. Hi KT,

    Hope your desperation is beginning to ease a bit.

    I thought Hleb was fantastic in his last season for us, but when I watched him at Barca he did not look the same guy.

    Now he is having difficulty turning it on for Brum. He should have stayed with us!

  202. Exactly Red, thats wat we need!.. We have most of the basic ingridients needed to land us the title, if only Wenger makes those key buys to push us over the finish line

    Just look at Che$ki, they have 1 or 2 key players out & they immediately get derailed off the perfect track that everyone thought they were on

  203. Just realized somethin.. if we had won those perfectly winnable games against the Barcodes & the Scum, we’d be 4pts ahead @ the top!

    If only I can lay ma hands on the one who rights this season’s script…

  204. Rennie i absolutely agree with you.the squad of players have got lots of talent and i can see why Aw said its his best.there is something wrong mentally that needs sorting out.we can defend when we want to (wolves and blackburn away), provide an attacking masterclass (braga,spuds cc,shaktar,bpool) but we seem to hit the switch off button frequently and that is worrying.i have said this loads of times;some poor teams will get battered when we have a fit and firing 11 and thats why i still have a glimmer of hope.

  205. Rennie,

    AW must know of the consternation and anxiety of us fans. Perhaps that will push him into buying the last three bits.

    Who knows? Fingers crossed.

    I am ignoring the GK situation, because either he will buy Schwarzer (cheap) as it seems Givens is going to the Cottage, or he will eventually promote Chezzer.

  206. RA the desperation has just been channeled elsewhere…my cockrels have certainly reduced in number since the spuds loss…

  207. ra, i think cliff lee will be in pinstripes by christmas day. i think jeter will come to his senses as well – and both he and the yanks will budge a bit and come to a mutually exclusive deal. the yanks still have to give mo a new deal – even with his age, if he should hit the open market, he will have plenty of suitors and command a new deal. joba chamberlain has showed he is not ready to close, so it is in the yanks interest to resign mo before he decides to test the market. if they don’t, they better have a plan b – like rafael soriano…

  208. Hold on to that KT.. me I’m still wallowing in darkness here – how do u change the mentality of players for whom football is just a game!

  209. ra, as long as arsene stays here, i think it will be fabianski and szczesny…i think the mark schwarzer ship has sailed…

  210. Rennie,

    If we had not drawn with Sunderland (2 pts), had not lost to Newcastle (1pt), beaten the Spuds, which we should have done (3 pts), thtas 6 pts, that gives your 4 pts lead.

    But what about WBA, we surely should have expected to beat them (3 pts), that would have given us a 7 pts lead.

    Now look what you have done. You have got me trying to rewrite history! :-)

  211. I’ve resgined to the reality of Wenger not buying anyone in Jan Red.. Unless someone of quality is miraculously available for a free (or maybe wanted to pay up to play for us)

  212. RA Aw is clearly hurt.his face is so pale nowadays and you can see he cares.he believes in his players but all too often they have let him down.he is stubborn but if some players continue mucking around and we get drawn with barca/madrid he won’t hesitate to buy.the CL is almost an obsession to him and doing it by knocking out the favourites would mean the world to him.

  213. I can forgive them for the WBA reverse though.. they came & played a perfect game against us! I kno this team’s not invincible yet.. (I’ve seen one & understand what that required) so I can live wit that 4 now

  214. KT, I actually expect him to do his heart in the forseeable future, don’t know how much more it could take! Think the reason he ain’t as yet is his fitness (don’t kno how he manages)

  215. Oliver,

    The vagaries of the NFL, MLB and EPL are different but just as worrying and complex. I hope they push Mo too hard, or I think he will go.

    You could be right about Schwarzer but the Givens to Fulham rumour is pretty strong. I was speculating as to what that would mean.

    KT,

    I watched the Real and the Barca games at the weekend and I could not have believed how different the football they play is compared with the way we play. Vhalk and cheese at the moment. (I know their opposition is very different too but it still astonished me).

    Rico, you out ringing peoples doorbells again? I’m cooking Cod in the oven this evening, any advice as to temperatures/time? :-)

  216. k, i certainly agree that arsene genuinely wants to win, and is deeply hurt by each loss. but he has the means to do something about our formation and collective mindset. i see no evidence that he has done anything tangible – and i do not consider dropping a player under the cover of an “injury” as tangible – to address this continued situation.

  217. Oliver I missed “don’t” in relation to Mo. :-)

  218. RA thats why i can’t wait for El grand classico!…i want to see what will win Aw’s persistence with his vision or his CL obsession.

  219. Me too KT.

    AW is undoubtedly a v. smart man, he must realise the difference between us and Barca, in particular, is that they just simply have better players, at the moment.

    (Bought or home grown, they are better).

    Real are different in style to us, but with some brilliant players too.

    Arsene surely watches them as much as we do, he must know, doesn’t he?

    Oliver, do you get a chance to watch Barca/Real?

  220. Oliver in recent years the night in Milan will forever be ingrained in my system.before the game started all we could hear was how the reigning world player of the year,kaka,would batter us similar to the mancs in the yesteryear,milan were after all the reigning CL champs.as i watched how flamini dominated kaka till he got frustrated and got carded for throwing away the ball after failing to get a throw in.when cesc’s goal went in i can’t even describe the emotions i felt.cesc’s face said it all…the bench went bananas.when ade scored i nearly shed a tear…roll on two years and you can see a difference in the two cescs’ expressions.can they deliver another moment like that when you thump your chest and stay up all night?the players ought to be shown the video of that game again.i may have been nowhere near milan that night but it was one of my proudest moments as an Arsenal fan but was it my last?…

  221. Any punts on who wins the Classico?

  222. KT, you know that your “Milan” night won’t be the last.

    AFC is going thru a slump that won’t last. AW will bring the team back to a level keel, or someone else will! :-)

  223. RA Here is a breakdown of Mou’s policy at Madrid:power,pace,precision,clinical finishing and aggression.remind you of a certain team?

  224. KT U left out ‘dogged defending’

  225. Rennie am not making any calls at the moment.am just awaiting mou’s mind games to begin so as to get in the mood.

  226. KT,

    It does.

    Sadly that policy/strategy does not apply to any AW team of late.

    The old Titti, Paddy, DB10 would be a perfect fit.

    (Shame on you if you mean the Chavs!!!!!) :-)

  227. ra, i meant the yanks should move to lock mo up to an extension before he hits the open market. even at his age, there will be tons of interest in a record-setting closer. if they wait, his price goes up significantly. if they cut ties and move for soriano, they will pay out the nose for him.

    k, i remember the second leg at san siro. wonderful night – we dominated the first leg as well, and ade should have given us a 1-0 lead to take to milan. who knows what would have happened if we got the first leg penalty we were absurdly denied versus liverpool. but that was a few seasons ago – we have simply failed to build on one of the greatest european nights in our club’s history.

  228. RA how could you?…(face palm)

  229. Guys,

    The oldest adage of all is that “you build from the back”.

    Every great trophy winning team I have ever seen, club or international, has always had a fantastic defence.

    It is our wonderful, clever manager’s achilles heel. (I am not being sarcastic).

    He just does not seem to understand that the 2nd oldest adage, “the team defends as a whole”, is cobblers if you don’t have a great back four.

    Arsene, listen to the guys on HH, we will guide you thru your problems, if you listen to us! :-)

  230. Oliver i felt that was the year we would win our first cl.despite not winning it we played some epic games against milan and pool.if you can recall the first 30 minutes at Anfield we played some phenomenal stuff.pool players were complaining of headaches after the game because the speed of our passing and movement was certainly the some of the best i’ve seen.i also remember ade slamming the bar in the 93rd minute against milan…i was like aaaaarghhh!…Aw make us proud again.

  231. Oliver,

    I know what you meant. I probably did not express myself too clearly. We need to move closer to his demands but not to financially extend ourselves, creating a precedent.

    God, I am sounding like Arsene! :-)

  232. k, we had the opportunity then – as in 2005. have not been that close since – i don’t count the semi-final tie against man united…the gulf in class and experience between the two sides was painful…i hope that we can win it soon, but i am not confident arsene will ever bring the players we need in, or adjust tactics and formation to give us a real change to win these games.

  233. Guys,

    I’m worried about Rico!

    She popped out 2 hours ago to buy T bags (?) in the snow. She hasn’t come back. Anyone got a husky team? Instructions on how to build an igloo? :-)

  234. That game against the Mancs in the CL was so embarassing.it was like watching us get schooled by the invincibles.the mancs team could have dominated both Europe and domestically but like the invincibles it was dismantled too soon.tevez,cr9,rooney,hargreaves core would have dominated.

  235. RA She’s probably in a snow fight with neighbouring spuds…

  236. Thank goodness they were dismantled in that case, KT! :-)

    Anyway, tomorrow guys! Been good talking to you all.

  237. I saw a certain comment before last night’s game:Alex song posted on twitter ‘im looking forward to bombing forward aimlessly tonight.i leave the defending to that c**t denilson’…that was the first time i smiled since losing to the spuds.

  238. I’m here, don’t fear :)

  239. -1 here and its bloomin cold, sainsbury was busy, think everyone is shopping for Christmas already ;)

  240. Rico we nearly looked for am igloo construction hotline.

  241. oliver, re your earlier about keepers…

    I really hope that the mark schwarzer ship has sailed, we don’t need an old has been we need a world class keeper that can give us ten years, if we are to buy one at all of course and i dont think he will….

  242. I just read that KT, it made me me chuckle ;)

  243. hi rico…he has invested too much time and credibility in fabianski to cut him loose when he may be coming good. to be fair, fabianski has taken his chance and we wanted szczesny to be number two – we got that wish. reina is not coming, neither is anyone else. i think arsene will try and move al in january, and probably make mannone’s hull deal permanent (if hull is so inclined), and james shea will move up in the pecking order.

  244. I also saw RA talking about baking cod, he’s probably burned it by now ;)

  245. hi oliver, i think so too, i guess though if Fabianski were to revert to his old self things could change… i wouldn’t mind schwarzer coming in as a keeper coach though, he is a quality player…

  246. Al will probably go back to spain into a lower league club in the vicinity of where his wife comes from, for little money.
    I wasn’t advocating buying schwarzer it was just what i was told.

  247. going on from that oliver, i think Al will go too, when was the last time we saw one of our ‘number one’ keepers playing in the reserves?

    I am more than happy with Chesney as back up and if he gets his chance, i honestly don’t think he will blow it….

  248. i missed what you said about schwarzer kelsey?

  249. no problem rico.off to watch spurs hoping for an upset,but i doubt it.goodnight.

  250. we’ll have to see how this shakes out. goalkeeper is not our biggest issue right now – although something to keep in mind, as it can blow up suddenly.

  251. watching the spuds kelsey, urrgh ;)night night

  252. i agree, CH, Midfielder and big lump up top, thats my hope…

  253. night rico…nothing to see here.

  254. Ok oliver, i’m off too for the day, thanks again for the post, enjoy the rest of your day…

  255. Right all, thats me done, thanks for a good day…

    see you all tomorrow

    night night….

  256. Morning all,
    Well I know rico is up, as we have similar clocks ;).

    More disturbing news about Cesc.He now has a hamstring problem on his left leg, last season it was his right and this has now been going on for 18 months.
    When the boss says he is out for 3 weeks,read at least until January, and there is no guarantee that this problem will go away.
    Maybe that is the real reason that he just doesn’t look happy,but that still doesn’t explain why he played on tuesaday.I just can’t fathom it out.Do you risk him so that the injury gets worse, because that is what happened.
    Vermaelen is also out long term
    Ramsey,is back playing,but he will need a good couple of months to recover, and now the joker of the pack,,Eboue has knee ligament injurt,though it has not been established how long he will be out for.

    Diaby and RVP can never string a decent run of games together and even Walcott has had major surgery twice,and although still young,he never gets a decent run of games.

    Rosicky, a player many thought was unfortunately finished,is nowhere near the player he was, and is just a clone of many others and I would argue he doesn’t bring much influence to a game,when needed.

    With Arshavin you get what you see, but though I like him and he has immense skill,he will never give you a full 90 minutes, and often the last twenty minutes he is the one who could pass a ball like a needle in haystack, but he is either completely knackered or more likely he will have been subbed.

    Kos and Squilli still need time to bed in, but IMO they are both not of the highest quality and Djourou though starting to play better wouldn’t be in the team if everyone was fit.

    These I believe are facts,and not meant to be a downer on the team.I am worried.

    I say all this as i have major concerns about the strength of squad at this moment of time with big games coming up until the end of the year thick and fast.

    All in all the squad depth has been depleted and yet lansbury is allowed to go out on loan and there is talk of JET doing the same.

  257. Sorry my spelling is shite,but when some argue that we are only 2 points off the top,I maintain that is a false assumption.United haven’t lost though not playing well, Chelsea may suffer with the loss of key players,but they have more experience and mental strength and not one but two strikers,which in the sense of the word we don’t have.
    city will improve and we need to raise confidence pretty quickly before we fall further behind.
    If we win or lose a number of consecitive games we are up and then down, but every time we play, the first question i ask myself is which team will turn up on the day, really motivated and putting their stamp on the game, or just stroll onto the pitch seemingly without hunger.Do you agree ?

  258. Morning kelsey :)

  259. I seem to be having a rant on my own this morning,but there is something else which i pointed out elsewhere last week.

    In the 83 games played at home at The Grove compared to the last 83 at Highbury (all in the PL) we have only conceded 5 more yet have scored 29 less.

    So in conclusion it is attack that is letting us down more than the defence.

  260. Kelsey, I have a view on this and it’s kind of covered in my post today, will be interesting to see what your view is on it. It doesn’t cover our injuries though…

    This will be Wengers most important January yet imho…

  261. Well if you like transfer my views on your post rico, as most probably no one will read my thoughts once the new post goes up.

  262. kelsey, todays post won’t go up just yet, i have things to get on with first thing these days but thankfully while sat in the warm and peeping on here ;)

  263. A very gud morn’ to u Rico & Kelsey.. me very xcited 2day

  264. Woke up dreamin’ that Arsene’s signed Kaka in the transfer window..

  265. Morning Rennie, was just about to ask why and then Kaka appears… ;)

  266. New Post up….

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