Play with fire and you get burned, just how stupid was that Arsene?

Monday, we finally beat one of the big two during the past 24 months, and did it in convincing fashion – could we build on that result, take care of business, and keep the pressure squarely on the two Manchester sides?

The pre-match buzz was almost as interesting as the match itself. It was generally understood that Arsene would make changes from the lineup that started on Monday – three games in a seven-day period dictated that he would have to, and this fixture was the logical choice. As expected as changes were, I am not sure that many of us expected a full eight changes from Monday – when I saw the lineup, I was immediately worried. I had spent much of the afternoon defending Arsene on this site, insisting that he needed to rotate players with the stretch of matches we faced. But I doubted the wisdom of making so many changes at one time. A strong bench reassured me, even if I did harbor doubts as to whether Arsene would be proactive to use any of these players if we ran into early trouble.

We started poorly. The energy, intensity, pressure and work rate – aspects so impressive on Monday – were completely absent and we came out flat. Rodallega nearly punished us just a couple of minutes in, zipping right by Squillaci, only for Koscielny to make a covering tackle. N’Zogbia then fired a shot in that Fabianski had to save. Wigan pressed us, moved the ball well, and our much-changed side did not look up for this one. Our central midfield duo of Diaby and Denilson couldn’t get into the game, Eboue had a nightmare in Clichy’s spot, Koscielny and Squillaci were shaky at best, and Arshavin, Bendtner and Chamakh looked like they had never met, let alone played together.

Wigan were in control when Koscielny brought N’Zogbia down either inside of just outside the box, depending upon your view (or team colours). Referee Probert pointed to the spot, and Watson tucked the penalty away to give the home side a 1-0 lead. We had a chance to equalize when Al Habsi could not hold Rosicky’s shot, but Koscielny could not get to the loose ball quick enough. Shortly afterwards, Diaby was substituted, ostensibly for another injury. Jack came on for him, and we started to improve.

Wigan still looked more likely to score, but six minutes before the break, Al Habsi could only parry Bendtner’s shot into the path of Arshavin, who netted with a smart scissor kick. The goal immediately sparked us into life, and drained some of the same from Wigan. Five minutes later, Arshavin sprung Bendtner with a nice pass, and he slotted past Al Habsi to give us the lead. We should have been comfortable going into the break, but we once again lost concentration, and Fabianski had to save from Rodallega right before the halftime whistle.

I had hoped to see at least one change during the interval, but was not surprised to see none. We started the second half much better than the first and about 12 minutes in, Chamakh should have scored our third, but fluffed his header from point-blank range. A couple of minutes later Cleverly sent a long-range shot just over the bar. We had another chance to effectively wrap this up on 70 minutes, Al Habsi stood up well to block from Arshavin, after Wilshere’s chip would set the latter up. We had those two chances, but did not look particularly comfortable, and Wigan were creating chances of their own – from the moment Chamakh missed his header, I was hoping to see Theo come on, feeling we needed more to close this one out. To highlight this, N’Zogbia was put through one-on-one, but Fabianski bravely saved.

On 78 minutes, the former was stupidly dismissed after an absurd head-butt into Jack’s face. Surely we would kill this off – Wigan’s best player sent off, facing ten men, right? Wrong…Two minutes later, Wigan won a corner, which Rodallega headed to the far post, only for Squillaci to beat Caldwell to it – and head it into OUR net!!

Arsene, who sat on his hands and did nothing as Wigan gradually built second half momentum, predictably double-substituted, Arshavin and Jack making way for Theo and Samir. Unlike last year, there was little danger of losing this match – the moment Wigan equalized, they stopped trying to score and just tried to hang on for the final ten minutes. We had all of the ball, and spent plenty of time in their area, but our composure had long since left, and there was a rushed, panicked sense about our work.

There was another moment of controversy on 86 minutes, when a Samir free kick was clearly handled in the area by MacArthur. Probert gave nothing – tough luck. Sometimes we get those, sometimes we don’t. We should never have allowed ourselves to get into a situation where we needed that for the three points. Despite four minutes of stoppage time, there would be no more real chances, and no more goals.

So a lot of frustration and not much else after we squandered the good feelings and confidence from Monday. As much as I defended him during the afternoon, I think Arsene got this badly wrong with the excessive squad rotations. I completely agree that we need to try and get players rest for the upcoming matches and this was probably the best match to do this. But by voluntarily replacing seven players (and Cesc’s suspension) from Monday’s lineup, there was little chance we would replicate the form and effort from that match.

Some may say that we didn’t necessarily need that – that under-rates a Wigan side that are clearly better than their league position and fully deserved their point tonight. As sluggish as we were during the opening half hour, they were bright, aggressive, and targeted our weaknesses (Eboue, our vulnerable centre half pairing, and our listless central midfield pairing of Diaby and Denilson). We probably should have been down by more than one goal when Arshavin equalized. The saddest part of that, however, is that a better balanced side would certainly have started better, worked harder off the ball, and defended much smarter and better. And that would most likely have seen us home comfortably.

If Arsene made a big mistake by making so many changes to the starting eleven, then he compounded it greatly by bringing a strong bench and doing virtually nothing with it. The Jack for Diaby swap was injury enforced, and as Wigan built more and more momentum in the second half, he still did not bring anyone else on. Samir or Theo – who were both introduced in a too little-too late situation – after about 50 or so minutes would have helped pin Wigan back and give them more to worry about. By the time of N’Zogbia’s dismissal and their subsequent equalizer, the momentum had left us, we were doing nothing with the ball, and Wigan were clearly on top.

I thought the purpose of bringing such a strong bench would be to stem the bleeding in situations like this. Disappointingly – but not surprisingly – all substitutions were once again reactive in nature, and the final two were clearly too late. Sometimes I wonder why we bother to even bring substitutes with us…

Nobody played particularly well. Chamakh was, frankly, useless up front. Arshavin and Bendtner were the usual mixed bags of sublime and absurd. Eboue was a grease-fire at left back and our centre backs were little better. Denilson had a good second half alongside Jack – when paired with Diaby, our central midfield was pedestrian at best.

Actually, I retract my first sentence of this paragraph – Fabianski had a solid game. He was beaten only by a penalty and his own centre back. He made several good saves and kept us in it during that first half hour, right at the end of the first half, and when Wigan built a head of steam midway through the second half. He had a personal nightmare in last season’s fixture at the DW, so I was pleased to see him play much, much better today.

Every time I see the hapless Sebastian Squillaci, my opinion of him continues to go down. Today’s own goal is the latest in a catalogue of errors – situations where he has been beaten in the air, left for dead by an opposing forward, or panicked and cost us a goal. I am trying not to be too hard on the guy, as he was an emergency buy, as a fourth choice CB; but in the half season I have seen him, I think this is money that has been very poorly spent. He was advertised as experienced cover, but he has not shown that much of the former, and has, in my opinion, gotten steadily worse. I suppose Arsene rested Djourou with an eye on a big, powerful Birmingham side this weekend, but I think he should have probably risked him tonight.

Some would call all this hindsight – I disagree. I disagree because the moment the squad was announced with the eight changes, the alarm bells started ringing. I know on the board, just about all of us were worried – too many changes at once, too few of the players who performed so heroically on Monday. Many of us had a sense this would backfire and so it proved.

One point at Wigan may be an improvement on last season’s return, and we did not drop too far behind the Manchester sides. Fair enough – but we also dropped two points against a side not as strong as the sides those two played yesterday. Plus Chelsea and the Spuddies gained two point on us. Most damaging, however, is that we failed to build on Monday’s result. The vastly changed side showed a vastly changed attitude and work-ethic – and not for the better either. This was clearly two steps backwards, not forwards. A more balanced side, and we are probably level at the top and looking ahead to the trip to St Andrews and another chance to reach the summit.

Once again, when we really needed to win, we couldn’t. Will we ever get there?

The players will hear the stories about bottling it all over again; they will have to listen to them until they take to the pitch at St. Andrews. Arsene set them up for failure by naming the squad that he did and then doing nothing as the game started to slip away. In short, he played with fire, and we got burned.

So on to St Andrews…Nobody wins there these days – as Man United showed Tuesday night and Chelsea showed a few weeks back – so we will get anything but a free ride. We are still in touch with the top two, and a win in Birmingham will give us some forward momentum again. At some point, however, we need to build on the big wins and string a series of wins together. Yesterday was the perfect opportunity to do that, which makes the excessive squad rotation all the more frustrating. All is not lost, but I would argue that we still have too many questions unanswered – about consistency, about mental strength, about Arsene – and we should not have that many after such a huge win as we had on Monday. That was supposed to put some demons to rest – further results such as the one last night will relegate its significance to a simple three points, no more.

Make no mistake, we blew more than just two points last night…

Written by Oliver

215 thoughts on “Play with fire and you get burned, just how stupid was that Arsene?

  1. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 9:20am

    Kelsey’s comment from the last post:-

    kelsey says:
    December 30, 2010 at 7:45 am


    apologies but not always got the time to blog these days but anyway I saw the match in a slightly different light.

    I have mentioned before that to see the so called mental strength one needs o see the consistency over a number of games.

    The highlight amongst fans and media is that 8 changes was in hindsight not a good idea and of course the penalty decision was harsh and we should have had one ourself in injury time but it was not to be.

    We were run ragged in the opening 15/20 minutes and how much more convincing does one need to see that both kos and squil just aren’t top class.
    The 2 worst players on the pitch pulled goals back and though i have been a staunch critic of rosicky he at least had a good first half.
    if djourou has the possibility of being injured every time he plays we have to resolve that.same applies to diaby and rvp,who didn’t make the squad.
    Fabianski is just not the answer,sure he is a shot stopper but has no command of his area.
    IMO the exclusion of song was the most important factor as neither denilson or initially diaby controlled the midfield.
    We played bendnter with chamakh,get a corner and arshavin sends in a low cross,unbelievable.
    When wigan’s most dangerous player rightfully gets sent off,we should have capitalised and as much as wenger got his subs right on monday he got them totally wrong last night.
    i am not surprised with the result and if we can win on saturday 7out of 9 would be a good return.

    the main issue is time and time again not being able to defend set pieces and every tam including ipswich and even leeds will see that as well.

    why change a winning team,make the odd tweak by all means,so have we really got strength in depth.

    all in all whoever the main cente back pairing are,without a first class keeper we will continue to concede unnecessay goals.

    we pay exorbitant wages to players who should have no difficulty in playing at least 1.5 games in 48 hours.

    all in all a game were we didn’t play well as a team,didn’t get the right refdecisions but still should have excuses whatsoever.

  2. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 9:25am

    Morning all

    Fabregas :-

    The midfielder said via his Twitter account: “What’s the difference between this handball and my one versus Spurs? Referees don’t want us to complain about them but they make life difficult for themselves.

    “I’m not complaining at all, I’m just saying why on the same thing some refs say it’s a penalty and some not. Is it a rule or just what they feel?”

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger added of the incident: “I personally did not see it but Nasri is adamant it was a 100 per cent penalty.”

  3. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 9:30am

    Eight changes, eight changes! How silly was that…

    All wenger has done is prove that the players he thinks are good enough to step in are not… Wenger says his players didn’t do enough in the second half, they didn’t do enough in either half…..

  4. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 9:41am

    A bad sad day…

  5. Rocky Jay

    December 30, 2010 at 9:45am

    what did wenger do last night??
    1st mistake: change whole team bar 2 outfield players in in the form of sagna and kozzer! (thats also because there was no other option to replace them!!) the 3rd player was fabianski btw! Looking at it, even Kozzer is not part of Arsenal’s first 11! So basically just sagna as the 1st team outfield player!
    Now lets think Man Utd. Would they ever play their 2nd string 11 apart from VDS and rafael in a premier league match?? am sure even west ham or wolves or effing nottingham forest would screw em!! same with chelshit, Liverpool, Shitty, xxxxxxxx(the team i don like to mention) thats 1 mistake he did!

    2nd mistake: playing chamakh and Bendty together! its already been witnessed, Chamakh plays waaay better as a lone forward rather than with a strike partner! Yet Wenger keeps on insisting playing Chamakh with another striker! Try to remember, when did Chamakh’s performances drop?? it was just after RvP recovered..thats when!!

    3rd Mistake: Wenger knows (does he really know anymore??) that we have been vulnerable with 1 goal leads! He still failed to react in the 2nd half till Wigan equalised! Bring on Nasri or Theo in place of the highly ineffectual(for the night) Chamakh and keep the pressure on them! Instead what Wenger does is sit back and spectate the match!! And even when he made the change, he takes off Wilshere seemed like 1 of the few players on the night who could atleast do something in the opposition half!

    4th Mistake: The choice of bringing on Walcott after they had equalised! How would that help arsenal?? Theo is a player who likes getting at the back of the defense or someone who is very useful in the counter attacks!! Wigan had already equalised and were gettin the result they wanted. Why would they attack? Why would they give us a chance to counter attack??? Theo against a packed defense is worse than Francis ‘fox in the box” Jeffers in the boxl!!!

    So all these mistakes, one man responsible for them!!
    i Say Wenger OUT!!!!

  6. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 9:50am

    Hi Rennie it is, players were rubbish, the changes were too many and all wrong, the subs were a waste of time as they were made far too late and today many fans will be calling for the head of wenger…..

    we have only one player who needs to be ‘looked after’ and that is Wilshere because his bones are still growing, if the rest aren’t up for the challenge then i wish they find themselves another club!!

  7. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 9:53am

    Hi Rcokyjay

    i just think back to the chavs, the tinker man got the sack for less…!

    Playing the same side week in week out is what makes winners, they get to read eachothers game better, one of two forced changes are acceptable but 8??

    How much do these players get paid, how fit are they? and they can’t play 90 mins more than once a week… utter rubbish isn’t it….

  8. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 9:55am

    Rico, I think the problem was not that 8 changes were made to begin with, we were still 2-1 ahead after 80 mins played. We’d all be siting here praising the depth of Wenger’s squad if it had ended with that score line

    Wenger did what he had to do & that was to rotate. If he had started with JD instead of Squid and he ended up on the treatment room table just like Diaby, then we’d all be moaning why he didn’t rotate when he could have.

  9. Naz

    December 30, 2010 at 10:03am

    You try all that pressing in a big match and then playing again barely 48 hours later, coupled with travel times etc. Even if we had played a so called full strength team, I don’t think we would have won.

  10. Erick

    December 30, 2010 at 10:05am

    Its not about the eight changes Squillaci is no better than Silvester Kos should be fourth choice the team selected could beat any team but no heart no urgency

  11. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:05am

    I understand what you are saying Rennie but reality is the score didn’t stay that way, the players weren’t up to it and neither was the boss, why wait until 86 mins to change it? why couldn’t the players have killed the game off in any case, if they are meant to be good enough they would….

  12. Erick

    December 30, 2010 at 10:07am

    Same ol same ol

  13. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 10:07am

    What Wenger got absolutely wrong:

    1. To start with picking Diaby when he was no where near match fit.. Jack should have started with Diaby replacing him in the 2nd half like in the Chelsea game. U don’t need hindsight to call that

    2. What’s the point of having a good bench when U don’t have the mindset to make changes during the course of the game especially when situation demands it!… He should have brought Theo ( who is still very fresh having hardly played in the past few months ) to pile on the pressure on the Wigan defense in the 2nd half…

    So it’s Wenger & his lack of proactive action from the sidelines which is costing us valuable pts.. I mean any great manager can his starting 11 wrong (u can never predict how the opposition’s gonna play), even ol’ RedNose admits he gets his starters wrong from time to time.. But the mark of a great tactician is make that adjustment during the game to set things right.

    Sadly Wenger’s terrible as a tactician & that’s a widely acknowledged fact. Until he admits that himself & sets that right (bring a tactical assistant in?) I can’t see us making the step up from alsorans to champions. We clearly have the squad now that can aspire to be champions (can’t fault the playas at all for last night), is Wenger good enuf to take them to the summit?

  14. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:08am

    Hi Erick, Squilli and Kos seem to be the problem, if either partner JD they are better, JD is def our first choice and we clearly need one more in the window…

  15. Erick

    December 30, 2010 at 10:10am

    Denilson had a great game Diaby was rubbish and its about time Ramsey and Jack started ahead of him and we need a cover for Song and if its frimpong I don’t know

  16. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:10am

    Naz, i have to disagree with that, but we’ll never know…

    Erick, sadly, yes, same ol…..

  17. Erick

    December 30, 2010 at 10:12am

    Rennie totally agree Jack changed the game when he came on Diaby got to think hard

  18. Erick

    December 30, 2010 at 10:15am

    Rico Chavs are back in it and its a matter of time before they get it together Spuds are on our butt the season might turn bitter if we don’t cut out the mistakes

  19. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:16am

    Thats the thing Rennnie, we had a good bench, why not use it, how could wenger get it so right on monday, then so desperately wrong last night?

    Beggars belief…

  20. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:19am

    Erick, i’ve never been a fan of diaby, now he’s turning into another rvp, we cannot afford to carry all these crocks much longer….

    chavs got lucky last night Erick and thats all it takes, you bet they will now go on a long run of good wins… same as citeh and spuds both of wwho will buy players in jan….

  21. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 10:19am

    Eboue for Clichy was a tough call, but with Gibbs injured I guess Wenger had to make that changhe. But why oh why would Eboue who generally struggles as left back get caught up so far upfield, that totally led to the first goal… I know Kozzer didn’t cover himself with glory either (tho’ on his defense he was taking his leg outta the way for sure), but it wouldn’t have come to a penalty if Eboue had been tracking Zogbia as he rightly should have

  22. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 10:21am

    I really don’t get this complaint about the 8 changes. 3 were forced, it would have been insane to play Djourou and RVP given their injury history and Cesc was suspended. Clichy took a battering from the Chelsea game and I wasn’t surprised to see him rested. Song put in a hell of a shift against Chelsea too and we have Birmingham just around the corner where we will need him big time so it made sense to rest him too. I just don’t see how we can play Song for 3 games in 6 days.. he is not a small guy. Arshavin is good enough to start against Wigan and so is Bendtner and Chamakh… so why the lamenting of 8 changes. He made 5 for the Chelsea game after all and no blogger moaned then!

    The problem we have is that the two new CBs are struggling. Koscielny’s penalty was just stupid. I don’t blame Nzogbia for falling over I blame Kos for hanging out a leg! Squillaci is supposedly 30y/o and has international experience with France but he often looks too diffident and is caught on the wrong side of the person he is marking a bit too often.

    I agree that the match could have done with the the earlier introduction of Walcott and Nasri but that’s easy for me to say seeing as I’m sat at my computer after the event. This result is painful because we all know that it could and should have been much better but some of the venting by bloggers and commenters on the internet today is more than a bit OTT. After we equalised we played very, very well… it’s a pity we couldn’t continue in the same vein in the second half or that Arshavin couldn’t take the well worked chance he had to make it 3-1, but a 2-2 draw against this Wigan team is not a disaster. Far from it. bottom line though is that we need Vermaelen back ASAP

  23. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:23am

    just watching the replay again, their pen was a clear dive and outside the box….

  24. Erick

    December 30, 2010 at 10:24am

    Ramsey must be recalled Rico no loan extension and please Aw buy a defender funnily if TV was fit he would not have played bcoz like the others he would be rested. Rennie after the goal Eboue did what he should be doing all match track back

  25. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:24am

    Eboue struggles at RB, why play him on the left?

  26. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 10:25am

    I agree Rico, Wenger should think long & hard about the Diaby situation… Atleast with RVP U know he’d be great if & when he plays, that kinda justifies holding out for some hope that his injuries would all clear up someday.

    Is Diaby that good for us to keep betting on his fitness? He’s good on his day but his performances are highly inconsistent. Time to go into the market? Me thinks HELL YEAH!

  27. Erick

    December 30, 2010 at 10:26am

    Rico we came back into the game and AA should have finished it off but as his ritual he has been wasteful

  28. Steve Palmer

    December 30, 2010 at 10:31am

    Morning all, great post Oliver you wrote it just as i watched it, you didn’t actually say it but i will, Mr Wenger was incompetent last night what the hell is the man doing 8 changes to a winning team you only make 8 changes if you have a plane crash and half your team are dead, that is shear incompetence he’s lost it he has done this a lot this year just as we look to be progressing nicely he pulls a stunt like this has he got gambling debts, we should be in a different group in the Champions League but for his team selection, we have the makings of a league winning team but not with his useless tactics and team selections, when i saw the team he picked i could have knocked him out if i had been near him, just as well i have calmed down now but Wengers got an agenda i dont know what his up to but i do know he will scupper our dreams every time i am sorry but i have always been a staunch supporter of Mr Wenger but i cant take his smug incompetence any more we need a change

  29. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:31am

    I can’t wait for ramsey to come back Erick, play him ahead of diaby, denilson any day of the week….

  30. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:33am

    Rennie, WATH said last night that the game woul;d expose players who are not good enough, i think it did just that…


    December 30, 2010 at 10:34am

    fielding “world class” denilson and diaby, we could expect to win any team 5-0.

  32. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:35am

    Absolutely, wasted chances yet again Erick…

    Refreshing to listen to gary birtles commentating, he say def hand ball at the end, he gave praise to mike dean for telling the sending off incident…

  33. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 10:37am

    If only we could get a glimpse of what’s going on in Wenger’s mind Steve… If we did, I don’t think we’d like what we see!

  34. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:39am

    Morning Steve, mancs made one change, citeh four, chavs one i think…. us, eight, strange eh…

    song, theo and nasri should have all started imho

  35. Erick

    December 30, 2010 at 10:40am

    Steve could disagree but with hindsight may be 8 was too much Rico we talked about playing above the Ref decisions we had the chance but blew it may be Squillici should have left the ball I feel the wigan mug could have not scored but thats all is talk

  36. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:40am

    meaner, denilson and diaby, world class, you are kidding…..

  37. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:42am

    i’m not blaming the ref Erick, honestly, what goes around seems to come around these days with them… and we shouldn’t need to rely on a decision in the last few minutes, even if we had been awarded it, we may not have scored it….

  38. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:43am

    hi joshua, sorry for delay you were in moderation…

  39. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 10:43am

    That’s right Rico… The Squidy-Kozzer partnership has always had unsteady moments in every game. Kozzer has inexperience stamped all over him, but I still believe that he’d pick up after his first full season in the premiership as he’s got pace & will to battle on the pitch.. Whereas Squidy’s supposed to be the more experienced one, he’s got no excuse for his ineptness. Even tho’ he cost us only 2-3Mil, he’s not worth it

  40. Erick

    December 30, 2010 at 10:43am

    Jack says in his twitter account we are unlucky but told him we can’t defend period

  41. alanco

    December 30, 2010 at 10:44am

    I think the time has come for this arrogant french so and so to be shafted. He is clearly living on past glories as is anyone who currently supports him.He has not moved with the times in terms of tactics. the team needs to be gutted as they display the same arrogance as the manager. Players from George Graham era were not as skillful BUT they left everything on the field and took the concession of goals as personal to them. After 32 years of supporting the gunners, I am finally finished with them unless they hire a manager and players who care about trying, winning is important but trying is more important. How do you motivate 20 somethings? who have 100k lodged into their bank account each week and have never had to fight for anything in thier short lives? ARSENAL 2011 – PREMIERSHIP PUFFS

  42. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 10:44am

    I have to say that blaming Wenger for playing starting Diaby who had 15 minutes against Chelsea is a tad unfair. Diaby has to play and he has to get match fit if Wenger doesn’t play him now when can he get match fit? Jack is just turning 19 and he has already played a lot of games for us this season. Some bloggers are blaming Wenger for Cesc’s injuries saying he’s played him too often at too young an age… Now we are here blaming Wenger for giving a youngster a breather. A fit Diaby is a key player for Arsenal and I was very happy to see him back, unfortunately he’s crocked again. There are very few players in world football who have both his size and his ability on the ball but he needs to get fit and play a consistent number of games. This one week in 3 weeks out thing is very frustrating.

    Going into a football transfer market is not like going into Tesco… you need have a right calibre of player available, he has to be affordable and his club has to be willing to sell… I don’t think that we need to go into the transfer market at all unless there’s a quality player out there and I don’t mean Cahill. We have the squad, we have the players and we have the desire… this crazy period when we play so many games in such a short space of time will test every team, ManU drew too and they didn’t make 8 changes either!… if we win the next 2 everyone will consider this Xmas period a very successful one. Let’s not go over board.

  43. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 10:45am

    No problem Rico. Thanks.

  44. SD-London

    December 30, 2010 at 10:46am

    I haven’t read the post yet but just wanted to say this;

    It was Oliver’s fault we drew, he jinxed us yesterday. yes Oliver, your fault

  45. Erick

    December 30, 2010 at 10:46am

    Rennie agree re Kos he will be great but at the moment forth choice if TV does not come back we will be in big trouble grovers

  46. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:49am

    joshua, stick him in the reserves to get fit 😉

  47. Steve Palmer

    December 30, 2010 at 10:49am

    Players get tired when they play to much football, the amount of rest ours get they will still be playing when my grandchidren have children

  48. Erick

    December 30, 2010 at 10:50am

    SD London Lol re Oliver

  49. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:50am

    Erick, 😆 re jack,

    joshua, its good to see you here, we don’t all agree all the time as you will see but we all respect everyones view so you won’t get bashed for voicing your own opinion :)

  50. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:52am

    wenger doesn’t do tesco josh, he shops for some of ours in Aldi, seriously, we don’t need too many just a darn good CH… Frimpong will back back towards the end of the season, hopefully he is the future back up for song…

  51. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:53am

    Hi SD, poor oliver 😉

  52. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 10:54am

    Thanks Rico… I personally prefer Blogs with diverse views and especially where the opposing views are actually articulated and explained. If nothing else one learns something new…

  53. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:57am

    Lansbury has picked up a Hamstring injury…..

  54. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 10:58am

    no probs joshua, HH also welcomes new writers so if you ever feel like a rant in a post, just let me know :)

  55. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 11:03am

    I personally don’t think we can go through the next month without buying a CH and i think he will, TV return is not know, JD is one match a week CH in wengers view and if either Kos/Squlli get injured we snookered.

    Yes Song can drop into defence but then the midfield will go belly up, especially when the big fella plays like he did on monday.

    i can’t see wenger spening out for cahill or Mertsaker (spelling) sadly, but i think he may go find a freebie or someone like Mexes who is near to his contract expiring and would be cheap….

  56. Steve Palmer

    December 30, 2010 at 11:06am

    i keep reading peoples comments that he has to rest these players and make changes i disagree, but lets say we do it your way, we will have five games inside a two week period why cant he rest two player in each game and not upset the balance of the team it is as simple as that

  57. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 11:06am

    I agree that Wenger sometimes does rifle through the nik naks at the Charity shop but look at what he’s done nevertheless. We made 8 changes yesterday and still really should have won… I’m guessing that if we had Gibbs fit we may well have won. And we did play some great stuff after equalising. It’s also worth noting that our one Harrods purchase in Arshavin has been the most infuriating player this season. Whatever anyone says we all have to acknowledge that the squad is looking good and has quality right through it.

    I know that we are all really disappointed with the result ( I was unbearable last night and had to apologise to my partner this morning) but in time this may well turn out to be a good result. having said that this result and the Sunderland one are just behind the Spurs mess in the aggravation stakes for me. We must stop shooting ourselves in the foot. If we do this title is ours.. I firmly believe that.

  58. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 11:08am

    Steve, thats my view too, 2/3 changes wont cause too much upset, eight and the balance is tipped too far…

    play the strongest eleven FIT players and kill the game off early, then make the subs :)

  59. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 11:11am

    joahua, last night was our chance to be level top going into the new year, yes we are not far off but having seen the mancs drop points on tuesday we needed to take advantage, we failed. for me, this kind of result is what stops us being champions…

    winning breeds winning, we have a lot of games and we need to win them all as the mancs are always strong second half of the season…

  60. Steve

    December 30, 2010 at 11:13am

    So Wenger needs to buy a defender. In fact according to this morning’s gossip Wenger is scouring Europe to find a new CB. Well I thought he bought two defenders in the summer and the the thought occurs to me that Wenger buying defenders or Wenger not buying defenders seems to produce much the same results.

  61. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 11:18am

    :) Steve, kos will be ok next season but w need an old head at the back, if we could get a sol campbell kind of guy we’ll be ok – i can’t see him spending mega bucks though….

  62. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 11:19am

    Steve Palmer.

    The players he rested needed to be rested. The thing to remember is that we have 2 away games back to back so it is the context as well as the games themselves that matter. And of the two games Birmingham is by going to be the more physically demanding in terms of how they are going to play… So IMHO we had to rest Song if he going to play away at Birmingham. Song’s a big guy and 3 full blooded games in 6 days is a heck of a job for him to do… the season is a marathon not a sprint and we are going to need to manage our resources. Clichy had to be rested in my opinion and I wasn’t surprised to see him missing from the team. he took a few hefty whacks against Chelsea and he ran his socks off. I think Sagna is going to be rested next as he can’t play 3 games in 6 days either. Of the other changes I have no problem with either Chamakh, Arshavin or Bendtner. The last two players scored our goals after all. Cesc was suspended and we all know about Djourou’s long lay off and RVP’s injury issues… what Wenger did with the selection made sense it’s just a pity that we didn’t continue at the pace of the 1st half in the second…

  63. Steve Palmer

    December 30, 2010 at 11:26am

    Rico, your time has come girl, we need a new manager and you have a lot more going for you than Wenger, we are a club that likes to be first in lots of ways. the first lady manager, Wengers had his day.

  64. silentstan

    December 30, 2010 at 11:41am

    eboue, bendtner, squill, fabianski, and diaby in his short time, all proved they are not good enough to be squad players and must go
    bendtners goal does not save him from the dreadful inability to control the ball.
    fabianski wandered along hios line like a chorus girl for the goal with squill the wrong side of his man. eboue’s performance was simply third rate.

    no buys in jan and its gone.

    wengers 8 changes were always a recipe for problems, far too many, every sensible person will have thought that.

    i still maintain wenger is not the god fans say

    there will be no title because wenger is stubborn in belief of these players

  65. east finchley gooner

    December 30, 2010 at 11:44am

    arsene got it wrong last night 2 many changes when we should have built on the momentum and confidence from the chelsea win,i dont and never have seen what diaby brings to the table,what is eboue still doing in the squad let alone the first team?,the same for bendtner
    whose first touch is embarrasing yeah he scored but my granny could have scored that.Squillaci is just another Pascal Cygan surely we can get better than him?,yeah the ref cocked up on the big decisions there was NO contact on N’zogbia who could make jurgen klinsman blush with that one and Mc arthur’s handball was BLATANT with the ref just 7 yards away but im just frustrated as i feel its 2 points tossed away and i fear it will cost us come may.

  66. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 11:47am

    joshua, had we won last night i would agree, always believe in facing one game at a time a put out a side that can win that game, and play the right tactics to beat the oppo, wenger didn’t do that last nigh and we dropped points.

    what has that now done to the mental belief of the side?

    But i guess i have gone on aboiut that for too long 😉

  67. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 11:49am

    Steve, maybe Hope Powell should take his place before me 😉

  68. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 11:50am

    Steve & Rico, I’m with Joshua on this… First off welcome mate! Gud choice to voice your opinions on this forum, rest assured that it’d be heard..

    The pt that’s getting repeatedly mentioned is that the Chavs & Mancs never make so many whole sale changes – true – but they can’t afford to like we can. One thing that Wenger’s achieved with his squad is to make them play a system (tippy-tappy joy-joy) & not the personnel. Great example for this is AA & Bendy’s interchanges last night – despite hardly having played together this season they gelled quite nicely for our goals

    What I’m stressing here is that even when Denilson comes in for Song to play the holding role, there isn’t anything amiss. Tho’ he’s not as gud as Song in defending he still keeps the team game flowing. Same goes for Rosicky replacing Cesc or Bendy replacing RVP.. No other manager in the premiership can even think of pulling the stunt that Wenger almost pulled off yesterday bcoz they aren’t interchangeable as our boys are. They may not be world’s best in their positions but they surely are versatile enough.

    So again it was not the 8 changes that was our undoing, U’d have a case if the score line’s 0-0. 2 goals in a tricky away game’s not bad by any standard & there’s no guarantee that the same side that started on Monday could have scored more…

    It was a simple case of Wenger sitting in the bench & counting his chickens before they hatched instead of doing the one thing a Manager can do to influence a game after its begun!

  69. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 11:53am

    hi silentstan and east finchley

    one thing we agree on and that is wenger is not and never will be god – yes he has been an awesome manager in the old days and on monday night at 10pm i thought that old guy was back. Last night i realised he is not…..

  70. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 11:57am

    Rennie, what a sensible comment…

    i think we are all just so disapointed for throwing away two points and i blame wenger for that…..

  71. SD-London

    December 30, 2010 at 11:59am

    Well Wenger got it all wrong.

    We have 12 points to play for in a week and we surprisingly beat Chelsea to gain 3points on Monday.

    If I was Wenger i would have concentrated on Wigan and Birmingham and resigned to the possibility of losing to Man City. That would have being 9points out of a possible 12, which is not bad at all.

    He got it totally wrong. Now we have to beat Birmingham and there is no guarantee of us beating Man city because they are looking good.

    We now have 4 points out of 6, if we beat Birmin, it will be 7 which will not be good at all if we loose to Man City.

    Whereas , had we won at Wigan , losing to Man city after beating Birmingham wouldn’t have being bad at all.

    But no Wenger left our best players on the bench till the 84th minute.

  72. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 12:00pm

    Rennie, i still think too many changes at one time is wrong, anything up to five would have been better….

    but not making changes until 86 mins, well that was darn silly….


  73. Steve Palmer

    December 30, 2010 at 12:03pm

    Josh, i’m sorry mate me and you are never going to agree i played football in my younger days not to this level but i played Saturday and Sunday league, cup games in the week often played four games in a week plus i worked all day all week, i understand that you believe that these guys are being asked to do to much, believe me when i tell you, it is not hard to play these games i did it for years without pay because i loved the game and still do, these guys are under 25 and could play every day its football not a cross Chanel swim

  74. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 12:04pm

    SD, i listened to ‘Arry the other day and despite the fact i don’t like him too much he said something very sensible… something like…

    its too easy to look at the fixture list and mark the ones you think you will win, draw and lose but football isn’t like that, the ones you expevct to win can often be the ones you don’t. he says he just takes each game as it comes and tries to win that game….

    that is where i think wenger gets it wrong sometimes, he’s possibly looking at b’ham and city and last nights selection was to make sure his strongest side was fit for citeh. but what is the point, i’d rather have the six points from last night and b’ham and worry about the citeh game on the day….

  75. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 12:05pm

    Maybe the problem is not so much the 8 changes, but the quality of ‘those’ changes. The same old faces let us down again, or am i being too harsh? Hiya Rico.

  76. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 12:06pm

    who was one of our better players?

    Jack Wilshere… an 18 year old who had just run his socks off 48 hours earlier, if he could do it so could the others….

  77. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 12:09pm

    Hi kev – good to see you back today, long night for you and jj :)

    its difficult, i don’t rate Diaby, Denilson, Eboue, Nikki, AA (lazy) or Fabianski, but many bloggers here do.

    i’d round them all up, sell the lot and buy three quality players.

  78. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 12:12pm

    Rico, what you say about Wilshere is spot on, but that comes from within, he’s an Arsenal Boy and maybe he cares as much as us. Does Diaby give a fig?

  79. SD-London

    December 30, 2010 at 12:14pm

    Allezkev; i guess you are right.
    I have always thought we have being loosing to Chelsea and Man Utd over the years simply because we have always being unlucky with our best players out injured.
    But on Monday we had our best players Fit , Sharp and ready to go and they showed what they can do.

    That Monday team is our best Eleven and we can even afford not to play Arshavin.

    Yesterday was simply our second string team and was disrespecting Wigan by fielding all of them.

    We were simply punished and we deserved to be punished. Wenger should have showed more respect and play an half decent team at least make only 4 to 5 changes, no more.

  80. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 12:16pm

    That’s why i have such a high regard for Ramsey, he has a touch of quality and he doesn’t go missing like certain others.

  81. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 12:16pm

    kev, and you are spot on, he is our mr arsenal in the squad, thats why i hope so much for frimpong, lansbury, chuks and afobe soon get involved…..

  82. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 12:19pm

    Hear hear Rico, those guys give me so much hope for the future. Sd, how many times in recent seasons has AW been able to pick a near-strength team vs Chavs? Not many mate!

  83. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 12:22pm

    BTW good post from Oliver.

  84. east finchley gooner

    December 30, 2010 at 12:27pm

    hi rico and the rest of the lads i agree with most of the points raised ths morning but i stand by the fact that 8 changes is 2 many,half that would have been enough and allezkev makes a great point about the quality of the replacements.

  85. T-buzz

    December 30, 2010 at 12:33pm

    Afternoon all.
    Well, looks like same old same old to me with Wenger underestimating the opposition and not making the changes that would have killed Wigan off even at 2-1. I have a feeling he had his fingers crossed behind him before the Squilly O.G
    What Wenger fails to realise as well is that each game we play gets bigger than the previous irrespective of who we had played! making 8 changes was a huge gamble and it hasnt paid off, we may have not have lost to Wigan but it sure feels like it.

  86. Joaquim Moreira

    December 30, 2010 at 12:40pm

    I’m agree with everything. For win the title, a team must have more than 75 points. After that crazy week, Arsenal will have 21 matches and the other ones more or less the same. So, our challenge for the moment is have more than 40 points. Unfortunatelly we are not alone with the same goal. Squillaci didn’t play usaul at Sevilha. We watching here, at least, 4 spanish league matches. Sagna was “tired” also. Probably for St.Andrews, will be Ebue on the right and Clichy on the left. Besides, Fabiansky is “terrible” in the cross ball. Again yesterday, was a like a flying bird .
    Half the League is off. In a short resume, we have drop points at home (3 loose games!!!!. For this point of view, we are also in the top of the league), 2 in “double” extra time (Sunderland) and 2 versus 10 men, after a “doping” victory (Wigan). Normally, we can have now more than 40 points, but those strange drop points normally will need them at the final fixtures.
    An Happy New Year!

  87. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 12:41pm

    morning all…thanks as always for fielding the comments rico…this one will hurt for a while – nobody will convice me that this was not self-inflicted. but it is done now, and it is time to move on and look ahead to birmingham.

    one thing was accomplished – our key players got plenty of rest. no reason to see the likes of denilson, squillaci and eboue at st andrews. i suspect we will see many of them against leeds, however.

  88. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 12:47pm

    kev, here here re the write up by oliver, he always gets them spot on, hopefully he’ll be on later

  89. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 12:48pm

    Well, there you go…

    Morning oliver, top write up yet again, thank you…

  90. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 12:50pm

    Got to pop out for an hour, back in a bit…

  91. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 12:56pm

    what a difference 48 hours makes. i don’t see any more of the hubris that was so prevalent tuesday morning and yesterday afternoon. i can do without that as well – i still think we get too far ahead of ourselves on the back of one great performance. yesterday evening showed we still have plenty of problems with collective attitude and i think the overall quality of our squad is seriously overrated.

    how predictable was arsene’s second half inertia? that was my biggest fear with the bench – i was very happy that he at least brought his best players on the trip, but afraid he would consciously resist trying to use them. if diaby had not gotten injured, i doubt jack would have seen even a minute of action – and we probably would have lost 2-0 with diaby there.

  92. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 12:59pm

    Who in here thought Sagna was good last night? I thought he was MASSIVE!!! He shut out everything down his flank & even had more than enough in the tank to bail out our underperforming Center Halves.. I counted about 4 last ditch tackles. Had Eboue even matched 10% of that, we’d have won the game comfy!

    I’d like all those who were calling for Wenger to get that young Dutch RB whatsisname(?) to replace Sagna to flog themselves for even doubting him… He may not be the best crosser, but he’s the best defender in the league bar none (only Vidic is close)

  93. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 1:08pm

    Right as always Oliver, DIaby was up to his usual tricks & trying to slow down all our attacks.. The diff was so obvious when Jack replaced him, he kept it simple and let our attack flow. With Denilson playing anchor Jack had all the license to attack which he did, even Rosicky stood back & let the boy genius do his thing!

    But u’re being too harsh on Denilson, he had a very good game in the center & stifled the Wigan midfield (their threats were mainly limited to the right flank). What more can you ask from someone who has resigned himself to playing second fiddle to Song & a 17yr old Jack, and yet gives his best when called upon?

  94. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 1:14pm

    rennie, i thought denilson was terrible in the first half, and much, much improved in the second half. i put that down to he and jack working better together than he and diaby. the latter had, what, 15 minutes against chelsea? i could have told arsene he probably was not ready to start…

    i don’t agree that he always gives his best when called upon. i think he is often lazy and needs a kick up the pants. credit to him for improving in the second half, but i was distinctly unimpressed with his first half…but i will give him a (sorta) pass and attribute that to he and diaby being a bad pairing…

  95. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 1:28pm

    Yup, I’d blame it on Diaby too.. Why is Wenger being so reliant on him & that too when he’s not match fit? There was no pressure at all to start him yesterday. Jack should have started with Denilson, that would have still kept Song fresh for Birmingham.

    Now he’s lost Diaby for God knows how long… which actually may not be such a bad thing, Rambo should be ready to play next month

  96. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 1:34pm

    eight changes were way too many – i defended arsene’s right to make changes on this forum yesterday – and a bit stoutly, i think – but this was excessive and self-defeating…and it’s not hindsight – how many of us saw this coming when the team sheet was announced? i know i did…

  97. T-buzz

    December 30, 2010 at 2:06pm

    Everyone except Wenger saw it coming, Oliver. I hope he feels sore after shooting himself in the foot :roll:

  98. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 2:08pm

    Boo, afternoon all, how’s the flu T-buzz?

  99. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 2:17pm

    sorry t – i got the distinct sense from his post-match comments that he is more interested in justifying himself. i doubt he thinks he did anything wrong. i put the loss of two points squarely on him – but who am i?

  100. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 2:17pm

    hiya rico…

  101. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 2:21pm

    hi oliver, thats another part of this current wenger, hw just cannot come out with the truth and say’maybe i made two or thrre too many changes’

  102. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 2:22pm

    I think that the changes were justified and to be blunt they didn’t really affect the result, apart from the start we played quite well. We were 2-1 up with about 10 minutes to go and we allowed Rodellega a free header at the back post and their only player within range gets to it because Squillaci lost him. What has that got to do with 8 changes?

    If people are saying that 8 changes are too much what would they have done instead? Played Djourou and Van Persie? Or would you play Clichy after the buffeting he had against Chelsea, remember the Kalou high tackle on him that should have been a red card? or would have played Song at Wigan and rested him for Brum. Some times I think that some criticism is just repeated because it’s in the media.

    For me the serious question for Wenger to answer is why he made no substitution around the 65 minute mark. Wigan were pushing up and try to close us down and leaving huge amounts of space in behind, a situation that is ideal for Walcott. So why was nothing done? That for me is the more valid criticism because the chances are that if we’d made those substitutions then Wigan may not have been in a position to win the Corner kick any how. The only reason I can think of is that he was afraid of another injury to one of the returning players but even that doesn’t make much sense. The 8 changes people are complaining about is a red herring TBH. Arshavin and Rosicky have been near enough regulars since the season started. Squillaci and Koscielny have played a majority of games for us since TV got injured and Denilson played very well. and playing clichy even if he just a little unfit would have been irresponsible. So I have to say the 8-changes complaint is more than a little bit over done IMHO.

  103. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 2:24pm

    perhaps he feels he is accountable to nobody…he is often the smartest guy in the room, but sometimes he outsmarts himself – i think last night may have been an instance of this.

  104. king gooner

    December 30, 2010 at 2:27pm

    eight changes.simply way too much.perhaps he(wenger) was more concerned re sat & a more physical side in birmingham,who knows?but 4/5 would have been sufficient imo-anywat what’s done is done.will he ever learn?yes the chavs are right back in it & that may be a good thing.why?well,manure have to play them TWICE in 2nd half of season,points will def be dropped by pref would be MANURE.who still have to visit us,chelsea,spuds,w.ham(bogey side)etc.not over by a long chalk me!7 as always a special mention for another c**t in black who did his level best to stitch us up!still,backs to the ain’t over till the fat lady sings…

  105. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 2:29pm

    joshua, the lack of subs were one of my main points, so we agree on that. we completely disagree about the rotation, however. yesterday, i argued in favor of squad rotation, but not seven voluntary changes. the games are thick and fast now, but i think we have to have some continuity.

    i would have taken my pick on resting some of those player – if we rest clichy, retain djourou. or vice versa. if we rest song, retain jack or samir. not everyone at one.

    you may think i have to rely on the media for an opinion on what i see. i sometimes think others rely on arsene’s comments and excuses for their opinions…

  106. T-buzz

    December 30, 2010 at 2:30pm

    Hi ricodinho,
    I’m much better thanks. Recovery from flu can be a pain in the Arse(nal)…just like Wenger!

  107. SD-London

    December 30, 2010 at 2:31pm

    Well only if Fabianski can actually realize that he has to go for crosses now or always risk conceding. Because i bet 80% of the time , players(defenders)always think their goal keepers will come for cross – free kicks ,corner kicks etc.

    But Fabianski doesn’t- The Chelsea goal could have being prevented by him but no, he stayed in his goal.

    Fabianski is not our No1

  108. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 2:33pm

    i see the eight changes are directly contributing to our sluggish, disinterested start. we were lucky not to be 2-0 down in the first 25 minutes. is it so unreasonable to think that retaining a few players from monday would given us the platform to make a better start? and perhaps score a couple of early goals, which would have put us on the front foot and allowed us to dominate?

    sure, robin, jd or whomever could have been injured – that could just as easily happened against chelsea on monday night. we had a fortnight break prior to the chelsea match, we could have rested a few of these players last night while retaining others. again, it is not the fact that we rotated – which i completely agree with – it is the fact that we rotated so many positions in this one match.

  109. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 2:40pm

    nordveit’s transfer to gladbach has just been confirmed…

  110. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 2:41pm

    german media reporting wolfsburg and man city have agreed a fee for dzeko…

  111. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 2:47pm


    I think that we are going have to disagree on this. The only change that I can concede was “voluntary” was to dropping of Wilshere but even in that case Diaby needs games and he is a very important player for us. He gives us something none of our other midfielders gives us which is a combination of size and skill that is exceptionally rare in world football, furthermore Wilshere is still a growing youngster and has to be managed with care… he has a long career ahead of him. The other changes were essentially necessary. Nasri has been an ever present this season and you have to rest him some time. Bendtner needs games and he scored the second goal and played well and tracked back and tackled. Arshavin has been starting most matches for us this season till we played Chelsea so why is his inclusion such a disruption to the side? People talk about 8 Changes but in fact the restoration of Squillaci and Arshavin weren’t really changes as they’d been regulars before the Chelsea game.

    IMHO I think that people are making way too much of the changes. And like I said, we were leading 2-1 in spite of those changes and had a copper bottomed chance to go 3-1 up… if we’d done that none of this “8 change” talk would be an issue. I’m sure that if we’d lost against Chelsea some folks would have been moaning about 5 changes… That’s half the outfield players from the previous match BTW!

  112. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 2:50pm

    Billy Davies wants to keep Ramsey at Forest for awhile longer, hmmm, wonder which way Wenger will go on that one?

  113. SD-London

    December 30, 2010 at 2:51pm

    What is the deal with Man City buying and buying and still having ,Manu Ade,JO and Roque Santa Cruz plus bellamy on loan and still wants to buy Dzeko?

    I just think this is our chance to win the Premier league because come next year, Man City will be too strong. They are settling in gradually , although they are very annoying.

    I don’t understand why they wouldn’t allow wayne bridge to go on loan to West Ham – how does it affect them really?

  114. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 2:56pm


    I would have played Song, JD and Theo, one change i also may have made was play Chesney instead of Fabianksi

  115. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 2:57pm

    oliver, i reported the dzeko deal yesterday here :( :(

  116. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 2:58pm


    You say we could have been 2-0 down but the fact is that we were not 2-0 down. The bottom line here is that the change that proved most problematic was the need to play Eboue at LB. That was the main cause of the penalty and it was a problem all night but we simply couldn’t play Clichy after the game he had a against Chelsea… that would simply be to risk being without a specialist LB for the rest of the Xmas programme. The big loss is the absence of Gibbs. And the even bigger absence of Vermaelen. The guys who came in did well but they needed to be helped by having the coprrect substitutions made… wenger IMHO didn’t really make them. Now I’d be very interested to know what the reasons for not making those substitution were as I’m sure he has his reasons, the man, contrary to what some commenters think, is not clueless and blundering geririatic but still one of best brains in world football… but at this point in time I cannot think of any reason not have brought on at least Walcott

  117. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 2:59pm

    T-buzz, good to hear you are better :)

    Hi kingooner, mixed feelings here today, some think eight was too many, some think wengers subs were the real problem, i think we are all right :)

  118. T-buzz

    December 30, 2010 at 2:59pm

    i agree with that riCo, just a few changes would have been fine

  119. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 3:00pm

    hehe.. that’s one way to outdo the competition, stockpile all the good players around preventing others from improving their squads. Must be their great plan for world domination

  120. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 3:00pm

    Rico, that’s the downside of the Stoke game being postponed, if Szczesny had played, and done well then he might have kept his place, but all the same Fab has done ok.

  121. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 3:00pm

    joshua, we will disagree on this and i am fine with that. you argue your points very well, but have failed to persuade me – as i have similarly failed to persuade you…

    i look at this from the viewpoint that we had arguably our best performance on monday night, against the best team (even if they looked a shadow of it) we have played this season. everything clicked, everything seemed to work. last night was an inconvenience in that we had the short turnaround, but still an opportunity to build on monday’s performance and effort. again, i agree that we needed to rotate players, but seven (i will stop counting cesc, as that change was suspension-enforced) in this one match was too many in my opinion. should the players out there have been good enough to get a result, arguably yes, but they didn’t. even if we had gone on to win, i would still have questioned the wisdom of rotating so many positions at once. i did it when the team sheets were announced, and would have done it even if i were writing a report on our victory at dw…a victory would have made it a side-issue, but for me at least, it would have been worthy of mention, regardless of the result. i think, however, it would not have been an issue if arsene made an early second-half substitution and we were able to go on and win. my pre-match dismay was tempered by the strength of the bench – but he did not turn to the bench until it was almost too late…

    i also do not agree that the only point we didn’t play well was the first 25 minutes. we had two great chances to score a third in the first 25 minutes of the second half, but wigan were steadily building momentum and had a grip on the game by the time n’zogbia was dismissed. i think you tacitly acknowledge this with your questioning arsene’s not going to the bench around 65 minutes…we completely agree on this aforementioned issue – for me, arsene’s inertia compounds the rotation issue.

    regardless of how i feel about this issue, i understand your points and completely respect them…

  122. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 3:09pm


    If you play Song then that means that you won’t play him at Brum? Or are you willing to play the guy for 3 straight matches in 6 days? JD has been out with a long term injury and I’m sure that the last thing any of us want is for him to break down again. I have no argument with playing Theo but like I said, Bendtner did a fine job… he literally made one goal and scored the other. The same is true of Arshavin.

    I like Sczcenzy but I have to say that this idea that he is already the bee knees is based more on hope than reality. The guy is number 2 at the age of 20 and that is not a bad start. The continued criticism of Fabianski is baffling to me. The guy saved our skins against both Wolves and Everton and his save from Silva laid the foundation for our away win at city. The guy has been outstanding and hasn’t made the type of howlers that Schwarzer and Reina have made this season and even yesterday he made a very sharp stop from Nzogbia. Fabianski has earned the right to play IMHO.

  123. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 3:12pm

    Thanks Oliver…

    We will have to respectfully agree to disagree on this one. :-) cheers

  124. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 3:13pm

    no worries joshua – that is what it is all about.

  125. robin

    December 30, 2010 at 3:13pm

    Wenger is NOT smart enough, if he screws up the LC he has to go. The most arrogant manager of all times, how the f-k does he reason when not playing Nasri and Walcott earlier in the second??
    Wigan building momentum and he is counting minutes for these players!!
    No, I can´t play Nasri now, because that´ll be 120 minutes in 48 hours……No, I stick to my 100 min for him, otherwise he´ll break like 75 year old with a heart-problem.

    Wenger OUT! The man has lost his common sense.

  126. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 3:17pm

    joshua, no, on the contrary, i would play him in both games and against city, he’s fit, healthy and loves playing football….

  127. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 3:18pm

    Joshua U r right, Fabianski’s save from NZogbia when we were 2-1 up was exemplary! He’s the best shot-stopper we have – Fact.

    But U can’t state that he’s been blemishless. His inability to organize the defense & be commanding over corners is very obvious. Am not saying that he was the only one to blame for their equalizer but him being indecisive contributes ominously towards making our defense susceptible in set plays.. He needs to improve that aspect of his game before he can establish himself as our indisputable No.1

  128. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 3:18pm

    let me restate that i think fabianski had a pretty good game last night. i understand his position on the og is being questioned, but he kept us in the game at points where wigan were over-running us. the bigger problem was our cb pairing, specifically squillaci.

  129. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 3:20pm

    ‘regardless of how i feel about this issue, i understand your points and completely respect them…’

    I echo that oliver, i don’t agree with some of the comments but that doesn’t make me right, football and life is about opinions, we may differ but that opinion does not need to be scoffed at…

    good on you all :)

  130. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 3:24pm

    and something that we may be overlooking is – for better or for worse – arsene did accomplish his aim of resting the key players (jack excepted) last night. we emerged with only diaby’s injury – which off his performance last night, feels like addition by subtraction – so we should have a really strong squad to bring to st andrews.

    i am sure he will rest some again in the fa cup tie with leeds – especially as the huge game with man city follows – but hopefully will still put out a side capable of progressing. for those who have not yet seen leeds this season, they leak like a sieve but are capable of scoring plenty of goals. they won at old trafford in this competition (fa cup) last season and have a very good chance of returning to the prem next season.

  131. SD-London

    December 30, 2010 at 3:26pm

    Oliver! and Joshua!

    Is anybody else following ? Because i am.


  132. SD-London

    December 30, 2010 at 3:27pm

    Oliver! and Joshua!

    Is anybody else following this two ? Because i am.

  133. oliver

    December 30, 2010 at 3:31pm

    sd, which side do you agree with – if you agree with either, that is?

  134. Rennie

    December 30, 2010 at 3:32pm

    Just spotted this on Gunnerblog:

    Can’t help but smile impishly after the allegory the blogger’s made of our responses to yesterday’s game. The absolute truth, do have a peek

  135. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 3:32pm


    On Song we’ll have respectfully disagree. I think that 3 games in 6 days on these modern hard pitches for a player of his size and shape is not at all advisable… in fact I wouldn’t even play him in 2 matches in 4 days!

    I don’t dispute at all that he loves playing the game nor do I claim to KNOW for a fact that he would be injured if we had played him but what is very certain is that the risk of injury for someone like Song is exponentially magnified if we were to do what you suggest… a game of football puts enormous strain on the body and to do what Song does which must be exceptionally tiring takes quite some effort and also the more tired a player is the more susceptible to injury they are… remember what happened to Pires? And Wenger came out and blamed himself then for not resting Le bob and pires was a skinny whippet compared to Song. If we lose Song we’d really feel it as a club.

    So I have to very respectfully disagree.

  136. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 3:34pm

    T-buzz, that’s dreadful news, no way can we sell a crock 😉

  137. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 3:37pm

    that takes us too another discussion though joshua, is our squad strong enough to deal with losing a player or resting a player?

    Is Denilson really good enough to replace Song?

    Is Squilli really good enough to replace JD?

    Its just a real shame that Frimpong got injured as i truly believe that he would have pushed denilson down the pecking order….

  138. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 3:41pm


    I don’t think that Fabianski is blemishless and i will happily concede that he has his weaknesses. My main point really is that some people still comment as if the Fabianski we see today is the same Fabianski that had no confidence and was a butter fingered liability. The truth is that we have a good goalkeeper now and hopefully an improving one too with an hugely talented youngster right behind him and pushing hard, which is great. So on this at least you have to concede that most of us, and I include myself in this, got the goalkeeping thing a bit wrong. I honestly thought that Fabianski was a hopeless case and that Wenger had lost his mind to continue playing him. I certainly don’t think that now

  139. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 3:45pm

    I think Fabianski has improved greatly but i still believe there is an accident in him every game and i sit waiting for it…

    He is far from world class but he’s certainly better than he was, me though, i’d choose Chesney over him. He’s got that cocky attitude, that self belief and apart from his kicking, he backs up what he says about himself on the pitch….

  140. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 3:58pm

    If, {when } we get to Wembley in the League Cup, who does AW pick in goal????

  141. kelsey

    December 30, 2010 at 4:03pm

    Hello again.

    I am with rico regarding fabianski,better than he was but as his nickname suggests flappy,chesney is the more assured keeper for sure,but when he gets his chance is another matter.

    I still think that a club like ours who are always there or thereabouts shouldn’t have so many players that are either wrapped up in cotton wool or only manage 1 game in 3 every season.

    RVP,Diaby,Rosicky fall into that category.

    Then you have vela who should play or be sold.

    so is our squad strength that great,i wonder.

  142. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 4:03pm

    To me, Szczesny, although young, has a certain presense about, he seems to command his box, don’t know if that’s a confidence or physical thing but that kind of ‘safe feeling’ spreads to other members of the defence.

  143. kelsey

    December 30, 2010 at 4:05pm

    fully agree with comment above,but you need no nonsense defender in front of him and for me kos and sqilli are just average.

    add Djorou to my list above of 1 game in 3

  144. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 4:06pm

    To me, age shouldn’t come into it, after all, Jack’s been a sensation this season, oh and Sguillaci is, er 30…!

  145. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 4:09pm

    Fair point Kelsey, but i Thought JD did really well against the Chavs. It’s not his fault that AW left him out last night.

  146. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 4:13pm

    kev, chesney, he is our cup keeper and he’s our best keeper imho 😉

  147. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 4:14pm

    Does anyone know anything about Jan Vertonghen? Would he be a good addition to the squad?? A no nonsense defender maybe….

  148. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 4:16pm

    Hi kelsey, agree, and no, our strength and depth will not be true until the likes of lansbury, chuks, afobe, frimpong, coq etc are all ready, well not unless wenger buys.

    i commented yesterday about a ‘story’ that juve want rvp and are willing to include melo in any deal… would it be so silly to take the player and the money??

  149. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 4:16pm

    Rico, hope your right, ‘me ol’ china plate’… Hope he does play in FA Cup, he needs games..

  150. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 4:18pm

    Wonder if Juve would take Traore 4 Melo…?

  151. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 4:22pm

    😆 kev, i do not look like a china plate 😉

    Wenger rarely changes his cup keepers and no doubt chesney was assured of that when he signed his new deal, talking of which, i think he’s been assured of the no1 shirt next season….

    How is Traore doing on loan?

  152. kelsey

    December 30, 2010 at 5:00pm

    sorry rico,have to dip in and out,back tomorrow.but if we have to wait for lansbury could be another 2 seasons.

  153. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 5:01pm

    Sorry, just been peeling some spuds. Hope your right Rico mio amigo,hehe,to me Szczesny just has something about him that gives me a lot of hope that he might solve a ‘problem position’ for a long long time. Don’t think Traore has been getting much game time.

  154. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 5:13pm

    just my point about the real arsenal boys kelsey and no worries, life is not always about blogging 😉

  155. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 5:14pm

    kev, mee too for chips, whats on your menu 😉

  156. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 5:20pm

    Fish fingers, boiled and beans, and your welcome, anytime. I’m a dab hand with boiled pots, hehe

  157. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 5:40pm

    kev, right up my street :) not a meat eater me but fish fingers, yum yum, especially with mushy peas 😉

  158. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 5:58pm

    back in a bit guys and gals….

  159. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 6:18pm

    anyone about??

    good post oliver.a correct but calming view point..

    im still annoyed..both the match and the interview was a farce
    ..but to the blogger who mentioned wenger has an agenda earlier..thats a good point but i dont think its an agenda..its his ego..he refuses to admit some of those lads werent good enough and never will be..

    he said last night that our defence has no leadership and ‘no voice’

    no shit, sherlock??!!!! does wenger know hes our manager?? he spent 14mil on those two and he admitted they were crap..but thing is will he fix it in on the way to conceeding more goals than ever and even when wenger spends 14mil he cant fix it..somebody needs to come in and help do the defensive work in training cos wengers not got a clue about what Cb’s need to do in the PL..

    when do you hear fergie come on tv and say his cb’s dont talk..was wenger pissed last night or something???

  160. kelsey

    December 30, 2010 at 6:18pm

    I just found this and i thought oliver and rico would endorse it.

    frank mcklintock was interviewed on talksport this morning and he summed up our defensive propblems brilliantly in my opinion.he said that he thinks arsenal are the worst team in the league when it comes to defending aerial situations and i would agree with that.he goes on to say that wenger has had 5 years to deal with this and hasnt even touched upon the issue.the next thing he said was spot on for me…..’wenger doesnt seem to believe in the art of defending!’ i recently watched a video on our website that was taken from a training was about 5 mins long and i was really interested to see what kind of thing we did.the entire video was a hugely boring game of 2 touch tippy tappy tackles being made and no physical element at all!i honestly am starting to think we dont practice the basic defensive skills and set pieces.even wenger admitted last night that no player ever takes charge of the back 4 on set he actually going to address this then?wigan were always going to be physical and pose a threat in the air and wenger decides to leave out our best aerial defender.

  161. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 6:25pm

    the game exposed the players weaknesses and the selection tactics subs and interview exposed arsenes..

    overall it was a disaster..

    wenger even said that team could beat chelsea…??? what?? its playing those players in the big games that gets us thumped

    yup..think wenger had too many sherrys over the holidays..defo pissed last night all his actions from 7pm to 10pm was that of a second rate manager..

    suprising and shocking

  162. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 6:34pm

    hiya kelsey

    looked up the stats mate we are top of the set piece conceeded league with 9..
    only half way thru the season and weve conceded 9 set pieces..

    our manager says our defenders didnt talk we have no voice well whos faults that and franks bang on..5 years is too long to leave a problem unifxed before ppl start to say its obvious you cant fix it..

    wenger needs help with defending..its blatantly obivous..he thinks we can defend by attacking which is fine..but then he fields eboue denilson and diaby in same fucking team and blows that theory out of water as well..

    if wenger could play with a team full of midfielders he would but ppl would call him crazy..

    even the gk doesnt know what hes doing

    wenger time to admit your not so perfect before he blows our title bid all together..

    we need somebody in the coaching set up who can gel a defence or who will at least tell wenger hes wrong..but the last two ppl who told wenger he was wrong was keown and bob wilson and funnily enough they dont work on the coaching no more….

  163. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 6:35pm

    JJ “Refuses to admit some of those lads weren’t good enough and never will be” ….. I give you, Mikael Silvestre. The French Gus Ceasar.

  164. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 6:44pm

    thing is the facts are staring us directley in the face..

    look at wengers midfield…other than song who can defend and run the show?? really?? what does wenger do if songs injured or suspended or rested?? rely on denilson?? shit the bed…..

    its so unbalanced its untrue and we need more scotty parkers then we do denilsons..stevie wonder could see it so why cant wenger..

    jack and cesc have desire and mentality so they make a good combo but completely changing that trio in the engine room and replacing it with a load of average lack lustre players and you make it hard on yourself because you lose the midfield battle straight becomes a scrappy afair and we are a team who relies on tempo..scrappy games we cant get our game going and we are riddled with mistakes all over the pitch..

    ends up a farce and the manager defends that??

  165. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 6:56pm

    JJ, that’s why i was so gutted that Frimpong did his knee in the pre-season. Yeah, i know he’s young, but if your good enough etc. I really think he could have done a job as Song’s deputy.

  166. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 7:00pm

    Koscielny & Squillaci are both iffy, but does the midfield really give them any cover when Song is absent?

  167. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 7:03pm

    lol kev

    the fishloafed one was a wierd one..
    we dont offer contracts to over thirtys even if theyve had 5 good years on trot and wenger gives two years to a player who hadnt played for 18months and who fergie wanted off the wage bill for 2 years..

  168. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 7:07pm

    kev im also in the frimpong the freindlies he was showing us glimpses and looked natural back up to song but that injuries screwed him he’ll be out all year and probably spend the year after trying to get back what he lost..

    we gotta buy kev we are not strong enough to cope 38 games with only song..

  169. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 7:09pm

    kelsey, FM is spot on…..

    hi jj…

  170. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 7:09pm

    Yeah mate, and to think ‘they’ got shot of Bobby,Gilberto,Edu,Lehmann even Diarra, don’t make sense does it?

  171. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 7:10pm

    frimpong camp, my candle and compass is there too….

  172. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 7:10pm

    red nose wants diarra….

  173. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 7:11pm

    Just been on Arse.Com, Frimpong is running & should join in training in another month.

  174. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 7:12pm

    Diaby out for 3 weeks

  175. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 7:13pm

    Gibbs? Reading between the lines it sounds like 2 weeks

  176. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 7:25pm

    yeah your right mate basically its about protection the song role is so important..

    defend from the front is how we should play the cb’s should be better protected but all that aside in kos and squidy we have two cb’s riddled with errors..alot of our goals especially all those by set pieces are their fuck ups and playing them both together is like tweedle dee and dum at the minute..

    they need better protection yes but at the end of the day they are the last line of defence and if they keep making basic errors like they have then they aint doing their job..midfielders can only do so much..its up to the defenders not to give away silly penaltys or conceed own goals or let players have free headers in the 6 yard box..which we keep seeing..

    we belted chelsea off the park but they still scored from a set piece which was another error by kos..

    he must have been sent off twice already got the own goals tally and the pens conceeded to match it and its only jan…good signing or bad??

  177. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 7:32pm

    hi ricolicious

  178. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 7:34pm

    JJ. Protect from the front is spot-on. RVP grafted like a trooper vs Chavs, didn’t give Terry & co a moments rest, and was reponsible in creating the 2nd goal by forcing Essien into making a mistake. Did that happen last night?

  179. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 7:36pm

    But, yes JJ, it’s difficult to diagree with you on the ‘terrible twins’ at the back

  180. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 7:38pm

    Rico, the fish fingers were delicious. Haddock yum!

  181. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 7:39pm

    no mate

    cos the players who wenger picked last night dont graft not one of em..chamak does but is he gonna chase everyone by himself..eboue looks like hes grafting because of his speed and stamina but really hes lost playing in a position he usually has no clue how to play… so he just runs after whatever moves..the ball, the ref, the bit of paper blowing across the pitch eboue will chase everything but that dont mean hes good at it lol 😉

  182. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 7:44pm

    Haha, good one.

  183. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 7:48pm

    I’d better not leave early anymore, or else i’ll have Eboue chasing me down Holloway Road….lol

  184. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 7:51pm

    lol..he reminds me of forrest gump or adam sandler in water boy the way he just gets the ball and runs off into the distance by ..chamakh waiting for cross and eboue runs off with ball down tunnel and up M1..

  185. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 7:59pm

    hes got a good engine but cant put a ferrari engine in a mini..

    no point having the horsepower if the brakes and steering cant handle it..

    once eboue sets of hes got absolutely no control over anything once he gets to a certain speed..notice how he falls over alot?? hes not diving for the foul hes falling over cos its the only way he knows how to stop himself running before he goes into the crowd and up the steps to row z.. lol

  186. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 8:01pm


    I don’t think its fair to say that the players he picked didn’t graft just because we conceded a second goal and ended up with a draw instead of a win. The players grafted and tried we just have a very unstable CB partnership. Fans always say after a loss that the players didn’t graft but I watched Bendtner track all the way back to make a tackle on Stam. Denilson put in a proper shift and passed the ball very well and won important tackles. Sagna was as good as ever.. etc, etc. The lads tried and even at the end we should have had a penalty and it didn’t happen.

  187. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 8:05pm

    Also it’s not really fair either to blame Kos for the goal against chelsea. Drogba’s free kick was very, very good and our entire defence didn’t get back into space to defend the ball only Kos. So we are actually blaming the one defender who did the right thing.

  188. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:05pm

    kev 😆 my chips were good too …

    jj, ricolicious – you are so cheeky – i love it 😉 and thanks re you comment last night about HH :)

  189. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:10pm

    joshua, i blame kos and fabianski for the chav goal

  190. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 8:12pm

    your welcome my dear..its a good blog you get all ends of the spectrum and theres been some hot topics debated on here recently as well..bit of banter bit of arguements bit of jokes bit of everything

  191. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:19pm

    😳 stop it jj…..

    i am really chuffed if i am honest, the site has great guest writers, great bloggers and like you say, all ends of the spectrum… but the most important thing is that we all have our say yet respect others view too…. if only life could be as easy eh….

    oh, and i’m glad you are here jj, i really am….

  192. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 8:21pm

    JJ, up the M1, hahaha, top class amigo!

  193. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:24pm

    jj/kev – you cannot blame the english roads for the poor performing EE 😉 😉

  194. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 8:28pm

    hi joshua

    i read your earlier posts as well and you put your point across well but i cant agree with you

    im not basing my opinion on ‘grafters’ just on hindsight or last nights match..

    denilson and diaby have played over 100 games now so has eboue and co ive seen enough to know how they play and the proof is that jack has only just broke into the team and is already regarded as more valuable than both diaby and denilson and he hasnt played a 1/4 of the games they have played..

    the players picked last night are not in the first team for a reason..that reason was how we played last night..

    3-4 changes yes but a whole team no…not those players the diaby denilson axis is piss poor in terms of comitment and concentration and for an midfield engine room at a team challenging for title its not is better than both together and how many games does nikki get before he shuts his gob and realises hes just a 4th choice backup striker..
    we all know how AA plays

    i think every gooner knows that bac was the only player in the squad who is guaranteed a 1st team spot..that was our backup team..the team we have to play when everyones injured
    that team was poor and wigan were going to make it hard from first whistle..

    we scored another own goal we lost a lead we conceeded another pen we lost the 50-50s in midfield UNTIL jack came on.. the game was a scrap we were poor and its all down to the players wenger picked..

    i cant understand your veiw at all,.that team with comittment would have beat wigan but every gooner and his dog know that half those players who played last night play for themselves and not for the team..nikki AA diaby are not team players and denilsons physical attributes make him useless cos he looks knackered before kick off..rosicky kanckered after 60mins most matchs he plays now

    that team had no stamina and the proof is in the result

  195. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 8:29pm

    Yeah JJ, The debate between Joshua & Oliver, both made good points, both argued their case strongly, both showed respect to each other, very refreshing. Rico, your blogs done good!

  196. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:29pm

    anyway, i have a date with tonights soaps, and i am still catch up after staying awake for four night of Ashes cricket… my word it was worth it though…

    Actually, it was more like three nights and a couple of hours… what a test win that was :)

    see youa ll tomorrow, be good and have a fab evening…

    oh, we’ll batter the brum… if wenger makes eight changes, we’ll have a proper team again 😉 😉

  197. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:32pm

    thanks kev but its only you guys and gals who make it good, i just post some rubbish first thing to get you all chatting….


  198. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:34pm

    i think the debate has been really good again today, yet again we don’t all agree but it doesn’t mean we have to be rude… good on you all……

    i’m def off now, kerrr-putt 😉

  199. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 8:35pm

    i think im finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel rico regarding last years carry on..

    just need to get back into the blogging thing again and get back into the fun of it..

    then il gradually start writing posts again..lost the feel for it rico lost the fun..just blogging for now to get rid of the rust but hopefully ill be banging a few posts up again in a few week.. for AR obviously 😉

  200. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 8:35pm

    Ah ha, Rico, i wondered where you disappeared to when Eastenders was on….. Now we know, hehe

  201. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:41pm

    ah, so thats why you are here jj, to steal all my bloggers :(


  202. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 8:42pm

    Righto, i’m off now, then off up to London for a few days work next week, so i’ll see ya in a week or so, Happy New Year Rico, and same to you JonJon.

  203. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:43pm

    kev – only on a week day and i’m still here whilst watching 😆

    eastenders is so boring….

  204. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:45pm

    Hey kev, have a fabe New Year my friend, and hope you get home safely and return to blog with us all here in 2011 on HH :)

  205. allezkev

    December 30, 2010 at 8:47pm

    Ciao Rico

  206. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:48pm

    Ciao allezkev 😉

  207. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 8:49pm

    lol rico…

    to be honest im not a fan of regular on places like lg and hh but not for me.. prefer the randomers..the passer bys..more like wrighty i suppose..i argue with everyone i cant keep regulars lol

    so u dont need to worry bout me :)

  208. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:51pm

    Phew jj but in fairness that explains a lot…. mme, an awful lot 😉

    just don’t forget us here, will you? :)

  209. JonJon

    December 30, 2010 at 8:52pm

    night rico/kev happy new year fella chat soon

    ill be on and off joshua if you wanna have a ding dong 😉 i’ll chat with ya

  210. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:53pm

    right, i’m def off now…..

  211. rico

    December 30, 2010 at 8:55pm

    jj, no ding donging with joshua, the ding dong season is over…. 😉

  212. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 10:58pm

    JonJon …

    I hear what you say and I really appreciate your passion but I can’t agree to be honest. I think that to talk about commitment in the way you do is not very illuminating TBH I like jack and I think that he offers us more than Denilson in the middle with Song because the balance is better but that doesn’t mean that Denilson is not committed to the cause. I think that often we allow our feelings for fellow English men to cloud our judgement… I have just watched the second half of the match again on Arsenal TV and I can tell you that Denilson had an outstanding game. He made some cracking and crucial tackles and kept the mid field ticking over with his passing and he used the ball better than Jack did. Jack is a lovely little player and he will get better but there’s no doubt that some of us tend to big up English players even if they are just OK. As an example just remember that It wasn’t that long ago that some bloggers and commenters were cursing Wenger for not signing Joe Cole. And now?

    Diaby has a different game to LJW and so does Denilson but neither player is less committed IMHO. It is also very important to point out that our problem all night at Wigan wasn’t to do with the midfield but it was down the left where we had Arshavin and Eboue. Eboue played because Clichy clearly took a battering and Arshavin is our most expensive player and he made one goal and scored the other! And what folks who want us to spend huge wedges of cash on players will have to acknowledge is that our most aggravating player this season is also our most expensive! Management is as easy as make out.. if it was we’d all be earning a million a year doing something we love…

    Also I really don’t think that Wenger had the opportunity to make any more than one less change than he made… We have 4 very big games over the Xmas period and we’ve played 2 of them in a period of 4 days and we have played later than our opponents and had less time to rest. It is not even remotely responsible to play certain players all through the season without giving them a rest. The idea that Wenger can rest only Cesc, who was suspended and then Djourou and Clichy and Van Persie but continue to play Nasri for every game this season is crazy. If you don’t rest Nasri now when can you rest him, the guy has played almost every match for us this season… Do really think that it would have been better to rest Nasri for the away match at Birmingham where United struggled or even at home to City? The decision the manager made on resting players made sense if you look at our programme for the Xmas/ New year period. We have 4 games bunched together over this festive period if we come out with 10 point we’d have done very well and 8 points will not be a disaster. What is painful about yesterday was the silly goal we conceded when Wigan were down to 10 men but it really is not a disaster. United too conceded a late goal in the 90th minute with both Vidic and Ferdinand playing… do they lack commitment too? every thing isn’t wrong because you get a bad result neither is everything right because you get a good one. wenger’s job is to remain objective and rational about the qualities of the players in his team and on a rational and objective basis Diaby, in particular and Denilson too have a big part to play in the team. I’ll eve go so far as to say that if either player were English the number of Bloggers and fans on their case wouldn’t be anywhere near as big. That’s my opinion anyway for what that’s worth.

  213. joshua

    December 30, 2010 at 11:06pm


    There will be no ding dong :-)

    What I like about this forum is that people make arguments and give reasons for their opinions. Even if you disagree you cannot help but respect someone who holds a point of view because they have actually thought about it. We can respect a different point of view whilst disagreeing with it… that’s maturity IMHO.

  214. rico

    December 31, 2010 at 9:55am

    Morning all, new post going up

    joshua :)

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