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We simply cannot get it done…

So it comes to this.

Another North London Derby and another opportunity to claw points back against Manchester United after their draw at Newcastle United.

Getting three points tonight was of paramount importance – second only to beating Spurs and not allowing them to get six league points at our expense.

We beat them 4-1 in the Carling Cup tie here earlier in the season.  While both teams did not field full strength sides in that fixture, the attitude and determination our players showed in winning in extra time was quite commendable.

That is the form we needed to replicate last night.

We started with a lineup of Szczesny, Clichy, JD, Kos, Squil, Diaby, Cesc, Song, Theo, Robin, and Samir.

Our bench was Jens, Gibbs, Squil, Jack, Ramsey, Arsh, and Nik.  In addition to Al and Denilson, there was no room in the squad for Eboue and Chamakh.

Spurs got us underway to a wall of noise and immediately attacked down the left.  Just two minutes in, Modric shot wide from a decent position.  Cesc and Theo had already combined when the latter sprinted through the middle, where Cesc picked him out.  Theo fired emphatically past Gomes to draw first blood just five minutes in.

Unfortunately, the lead was short lived.  Barely a minute later, Spurs were level.  Nothing looked on, but Corluka put a great ball in from the right, and Van Der Vaart finished emphatically past Szczesny.  We barely had time to enjoy the lead, and we were back level – and looking vulnerable.

Spurs had the better of the play for the next few minutes, as they threatened to go ahead.  Crouch first shot wide after a good build up, then Modric picked Diaby’s pocket deep in Spurs’ half and sent Bale away down the left, but we were able to defend it well.

The end-to-end stuff continued as Samir and Robin combined, with the latter forcing a good save out of Gomes.  One thing already evident is that our players were determined to shoot on goal and work the goalkeeper.  It paid off on 12 minutes, when Diaby and Samir combined on the edge of the Spurs box and the latter blasted past Gomes to restore our lead.

For the next few minutes, we threatened to overrun Spurs and extend our lead.  We forced a corner and Robin shot over the bar from another attack.  Spurs gradually began to get more possession and started creating chances of their own.  Van Der Vaart and Corluka both shot over our bar as their pressure mounted.

Gomes looked shaky, he made a mess of a clearance attempt, although he was eventually able to get the ball clear.  He then saved a shot from Robin.

Spurs then ratcheted the pressure up, forcing a couple of corners.  An offside flag ended the attack on the second corner.  JD then gave the ball away to Pavyluchenko, but the latter could not capitalize.  At this point, we were having problems keeping the ball and Spurs were doing most of the attacking.

The pressure continued, as Szczesny saved from Bale, taking the latter out in the process.  After being under the cosh much of the past 15-20 minutes, we suddenly extended our lead.  We put a ball into the box and Gallas could not clear it, Theo put a peach of a cross in for Robin who forced Gomes into a save.  The ball came back to Robin and he lashed it back into the net.  3-1 up with just a few minutes remaining in the half.

We were forewarned, conceding an equalizer just a couple of minutes after opening the scoring.

Yet again, we were quickly cut open and needed Szczesny to save again – cleaning Bale out again, in the process.  Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for Spurs to pull one back, with Huddlestone beating our goalkeeper from 30-plus yards out.

That was as bad a time to concede, with just a minute of regulation remaining in the half.  Early in stoppage time, Modric went down in the box and Spurs claimed a penalty, but Atkinson waved the appeals away.  Just before the half-time whistle, Clichy earned the game’s first booking for a foul on Van Der Vaart.  But we made it to the interval with no further damage.

Harry made two changes at the half, replacing Corluka with Kaboul and Bale with Lennon.  Arsene made no changes.

We kicked the second half off and Song was immediately booked for a foul on Modric.  Less than a minute later, JD was booked for a foul in on the same player in a dangerous area.  Not two full minutes played and two yellows – what was that about a lack of composure?

VDV took the free kick but blasted it high.  We went down the other end and forced a quick corner, Gallas having to put the ball behind.  Robin sent the ball in, but we couldn’t do anything with it.  A Crouch elbow left Sagna down and needing a spell of treatment.  We drew a free kick in a good position shortly after, but Samir shot it straight into the wall.

Five minutes into the half, and Arsene made an early (injury enforced) change, brining Jack on for Diaby.  The latter claimed an assist on Samir’s goal, but I didn’t think he played particularly well, often careless with the ball.  Just a couple of minutes after Jack’s introduction, VDV tried his luck from distance, but Szczesny produced a fine save.

With Jack on, we seemed to have more of an edge and started to win possession in midfield.  We drew a couple of free kicks from fouls, but did nothing with them.  Robin put the ball in the net, but he had already been whistled for offsides.  Replays suggested that he was onside when the ball was played, but this particular call didn’t go our way.

Twenty minutes into the half, Spurs lost the ball and Theo led the counter, playing Cesc in but he couldn’t make it count.   Spurs began to increase the pressure on us, as they had done during the middle portion of the first half.  The pressure eventually told, as Szczesny brought Lennon down in the box, Atkinson pointed to the spot, and VDV buried it to level the scores again.

We had a couple of chances to score a fourth earlier in the half, but unlike the first half, we stopped shooting, and reverted to our pass-pass-pass mode.  Probably a sign of nerves and possibly an emphasis on keeping the ball; what it actually did is invite more Spurs pressure and we inevitably buckled.

With twenty minutes remaining to regain the lead, we almost conceded a fourth, as Szczesny had to block a Modric shot.  Cesc tried to lift us, twice forcing Gomes into difficult saves.  With ten minutes to go, Theo sloppily gave the ball away, allowing Assou-Ekotto to feed Crouch, who forced Szczesny to tip his header over.

Then Song dithered on a clearance, allowing VDV to rob him and shoot, forcing another Szczesny save.  With eight minutes left, Arsene used the last two subs, brining Nik and Arsh on for the Sami and Theo, respectively.

Spurs continued the pressure, with Szczesny by far the busier keeper.  Two minutes from time, Jack picked Robin out in the Spurs box, but the latter screwed his shot across the face of goal.

As we entered the first of three (minimum) minutes of stoppage time, we were on the ball, knowing a draw would accomplish little other than denying Spurs six points against us. We had a sniff of goal right at the end of the stoppage time, but Nik and Clichy combined to muff it.

The final whistle went shortly after – and almost certainly the remaining scrap of hope that we could overhaul Man United.  As it is, Chelsea beat Birmingham 3-1 to move into second place, ahead of us on goal difference.

So our hangover continues, as we follow the win at Blackpool with two more draws – two more squandered leads.

We are still mathematically in the race – we actually reduced the gap on United by a point (to six) – but this was our game in hand.  We are now six behind (and in third place) – with only fifteen remaining points to play for.

That might not even be such a big deal if we were able to consistently pick up more than one point per match.  Since mid-February, we have only been able do that once (Bloomfield Road), and that has hurt us more than anything.  It has allowed Manchester United to continue to get away with dropping points (as they did at St. James Park) last night, and has allowed the chasing pack to make ground up on us.

For those counting the goals allowed numbers, we are no longer officially the “second best defence in the league”, if you go strictly on that criteria.  We are now fourth:  seven more conceded than Chelsea, four more than Man City, and two more than Man United.  Tonight’s panicked, shaky display – with goals conceded within minutes of scoring our first and third – was further evidence that we struggle in this area when the chips are truly down.

A lot has been made of the supposed “lack of leadership” in our squad.  I think we have guys that can lead and are capable of doing so – when we were ripping Spurs to shreds in the first half. We certainly had Cesc, Theo, Samir and Robin all showing the way, taking responsibility and standing up to be counted.  Yet, when we had to defend, we were often a shambles.

Watching events tonight, it struck me that what we could have used out there is a veteran with some trophies on his resume, who could have calmed our players down, got them organized, reminding them he had been through the wars, won things and knew exactly how to get through these situations.  I think, at the moment, that is one thing we really lack.

Arsene probably viewed Billy Gallas for just such a role a couple of season ago.  Gallas certainly has the credentials, but he was such a phony, he lacked the necessary credibility in the end.

That is not to say that we are utterly incapable of doing this – we’re not.  We withstood some severe late pressure in the first leg versus Barcelona, and defended well in keeping both Chelsea and Stoke at bay in league home wins.  But it seems that once our team’s fragile confidence is dented, we struggle in several areas and it takes us seemingly forever to get over it…

Afterwards, Arsene maintained that the title is not yet over, and that we will fight to the end.  He refrained from talking about “mental strength” and focused on the team’s “personality” and “attitude”.

I saw one article which suggested that he blamed fatigue for our relinquishing the lead and having to hang on during the second half; I read his comments a thought he was talking more about the mental blow of conceding such a late penalty/equalizer against Liverpool.

I think we all know that our chances are slim-to-none (and slim just left town), but Arsene is not going to say that openly until it is over – neither would I.

All-in-all, a very disappointing night’s work, from my perspective.

It was a great match for the neutral, but overall frustrating.  To me, it feels more like a loss than a draw.  I can draw the scant consolation that the Spuddies were not able to claim six league points from us this season.  And that while St. Totteringham’s Day did not draw any closer, it did not move any further back either.  But really, that is about it.

We had to win this – had to – for several different reasons.  We couldn’t, and the manner of losing the points – blowing a two goal lead yet again, and playing scared and tentative when losing our lead looked a possibility – simply highlighted some of the weaknesses and fragilities in our club.

The Reebok on Sunday – at least we get away from London.  It seems we do better outside the capital then at home, these days.  Hopefully the guys can pick themselves up and get a win.

I will try and stay positive and encouraging, but at this moment, I have no words of encouragement to offer.

I am sure you understand…

Written by Oliver

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117 comments on “We simply cannot get it done…

  1. Morning all

    Good write up oliver –

    “I think we all know that our chances are slim-to-none (and slim just left town), but Arsene is not going to say that openly until it is over – neither would I.”

    I like this bit….

  2. We need three fresh faces,
    a goal machine,a defensive midfield animal, and a Steve Bould central defender.

    No much to ask for and easily within our financial capabilities.

    Strengthening of the core I believe is the terminology.

  3. Hi George,

    Agree, firstly we need a big strong organiser at the back, i don’t care what statistics say about us not conceeding as many as others, we conced too many in crucial games and at crucial times.

    When the pressure is on we buckle and that has to be down to inexperience.

    We also need another big strong lump in the midfield, one who will make the tackles and win the ball, then not give it away stupidly.

    Then, get Drogba on a free in the summer…

  4. After watching a disappointing result come out of a decent performance (unlike the previous three draws) it dawned on me that it isn’t the ability of the players available that is the problem, nor even this figment of people’s imagination called a ‘winning mentality’, its the fact that our players just don’t have a ‘defensive mentality’ drilled into them.

    After half time it was clear that we set up to hold the one goal lead but to them defending the lead meant humping the ball aimlessly up the pitch, forwards not putting pressure on the defence and both our wingers failing to pick up runners.

    To see a defensive mentality in operation you only had to see the match on the other channel as Mourihno realised he couldn’t see his team go toe to toe with Barca and so reverted to type. But they didn’t just ‘park the bus’ – they set up their players to give them three things.

    1) An out ball (in this case Ronaldo or Di Maria on the wings – in seasons gone by we had Henry on the left)

    2) A high defensive line (note the number of times Crouch was allowed to head the ball across goal by pulling off to jump with Clichy – you can’t do this with a high line which would also condense the space Van Der Vaart had)

    3) Pressure on the players that matter. The likes of Mascherano and Pedro were left alone to pass as they liked whereas the danger balls were cut out at source. Note that Walcott didn’t get close to Assou-Ekotto all game and yet his cross field balls and ultimately the pass for the equaliser were so dangerous from the first 5 minutes.

    In conclusion, this is something that can be taught (see Arsenal 2006 run to CL final/Real Madrid last night) but without a manager/coach that drills this mentality into the players – any potential new signings (good or bad) are almost pointless because they are only one person and will ultimately be exposed by the team ethic.

    (Apologies for the long post!)

  5. I would like a modern day

    Tony Adams
    Gilberto
    Thierry Henry.

    League is ours.

  6. Oliver , how you do this i honestly don’t know .
    I am unbelievably frustrated right now you wouldn’t understand .I guess it is easier for you to take because you leave in the other side of the Atlantic.

    But over here , Wenger and is boys are killing the fans with shame, embarrassment, frustration and risk of wiping out our history of being one of the biggest Club in England.

    This is the worst Arsenal team i have ever watched or followed.

    WE HAVE BEING CONNED BY WENGER .THIS TEAM IS RUBBISH!

  7. Morning all,
    We need a keeper as well, paramount, Czez will always be an accident waiting to happen,especially when you least want it,he hasn’t got what it takes, and he will never have it, you either have safe hands or not, and he hasn’t. Look at all the keepers you can think of, anyone of them that you can remember a bad clanger, i bet they still drop a clanger today at the wrong time. Its there and it stays. everybody makes a mistake but sound keepers make less.He’ll make a reasonable back up but thats all.

  8. Morning All,

    i am not gonna complain cos i gat no complaint left in me, i enjoyed the game tho

  9. Steve, Chezzer is a legend in the making, i can recollect a whole load of clangers by V.D. Sar when he was younger look at him today

  10. Hi Rico,

    When Wenger looks at the “assets” we currently have he MUST SEE that we are lacking in only three main areas.

    This team can win things with just a little tweeking, however he needs to SEE the problem before it gets addressed and I’m not convinced he can or will.

  11. SD, how long have you been watching the Arsenal?

  12. Didee, i am sorry but you will be let down by this young man, more times than you would like.

  13. ches had a great game..
    he made one mistake and i want to know how lennon was allowed to be in one on one like that so easily…
    where was the defence

    wenger would rather walk away than change…
    we’ll keep hearing about mental strength, philosophy and third place being a successful season

  14. Chesney is young, he will make errors – I don’t so much blame him, I blame Wenger for putting him there – right now he is the best we have but we need Buffon, or similar….

    George, for me he has one more transfer window to make the changes we all clearly see we need, if not, we need to move him on….

  15. i’d take my chances

  16. sd
    you gotta stop calling oliver out for living over the pond…
    ive witnessed it twice in recent weeks now mate your hitting him below the belt on that one..
    leave it out mate

  17. It appears as clear as day to me, that we lack fibre in the team, yes they have all got their skills, but the heart is missing, last night as in so many nights players were looking to release the ball and having to hold on to it to long, as covering players were not moving, Fabregas has long since past his sell by date,he understands we are lacking in many departments and has tried his best but he hasn’t the players around him. Wenger wont spend so the team is going no where. Parker Cahill and Adams could have been bought for twenty million in January and we would have had the heart of a team, i would have bid the extra money for a keeper as well say thirty million and we would have had a couple of bits of silver, I don’t see that as exorbitant, and with Vermaelen Frimpong and the like coming back, a rosey future for the coming season. Wenger must go.

  18. SD London..

    I echo jj’s comment, i’ve just caught up – we Arsenal fans are all passionate no matter where we happen to have been born or live.

    No more please just because Oliver lives in the USA, we have many fans on here who live overseas, please show some respect.

    I don’t go to the matches, i watch on TV just like many, it doesn’t mean I care less….

  19. Hi Rico,

    Imagine if another manager came in he would need only do a small amount of work and to have a real quality team.

    I bet if the Job came up most of the top managers in the world would be very very interested.

    So yes Wenger has been very good for us, but we survived after Chapman (God rest his soul) we survived after Graham, we will easily survive after Wenger in fact his legacy would be an amazing inheritance for the right manager.

    I think change is in the wind, new owners of the club normally want to bring in new ideas etc.

  20. Buffon to teach Ches the game
    Cahill to add arial ability at the back
    Parker for steal in the middle
    Eto’o up front to score with an arrogant swaggger.

    Title ours how often we want it.

  21. reports are picking up that wenger is after goken inler
    good hard midfielder..
    weve been linked with him a while i hope his £5.99 price tag doesnt put wenger off..
    no point offering £5.98..
    we have to start paying whats neccessary..

  22. and hazard on the wing will

    im watching the game again and ches pulled out three or four world class saves in the second half…
    yes he fucked up on the penalty but if we wouldnt have stopped shooting in the second half it would have been different..

    we score three goals in the first half and did almost fuck all in the second and scored none

    ches stopped it from being 6-3 to them and our attacking stopped it from being 6-3 to us

  23. let’s talk about that pen, I think it was a “won” penalty if you look at the way Lemon fell when touched.

  24. lennon defo won it will
    ches had a rush of blood and was pumped by the fact he took bale out in a similar situation earlier..
    but lennons quicker
    thing is..if ches doesnt come out what happens next???
    lennon has a free shot at goal or pulls it back for a spud??
    cos our defence was nowhere…it was beat…
    ches had to make a choice he either lets them have a free shot or he charges out to try and prevent the shot altogher..

  25. George

    I had hoped Wenger would have made those changes and got us back winning and in the right fashion. I’m only thinking give him another window as Stan has come in, lets see what he does –

    if Wenger is going to sign who we need i think he will be sorting it out now, ready to get the transfers done early – if all is the same by the end of July, I’ll be calling for him to pack his bags…

  26. Great game last night, some fans only focus on there own side, sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition,Spurs are 5th in the league and have some very good players, they were playing at home in a must win situation, a draw was a pretty good result,the first two goals were very well taken pieces of inderviduall skill and not down to defensive mistakes,Some times you have to give you opponants credit and not moan about you own sides apparant frailties.
    The fact is it was a great game of fotball which the Arsenal played there part and gave there all.
    If you wat to win every game start supporting Usain Bolt.

  27. It hurts me to say it, but we have turned into a two bob team, cant buy wont buy, has become our trade name. Wenger has brought along many talented youngsters but has not got the heart to release them. it is apparent to all that some of these players have not got what it takes. Time for a clear out, but Wenger is hemmed in. Youngsters that are depending on him to bring them on, and make the move into the first team, and Wenger believing that his early Judgement will come to fruition. stale mate. too many people in the the background so can’t buy. SOLUTION. move Wenger on, bring in a new broom, sweep away the rubbish and replace with talent needed to bring us back to the land of the winning, as rico say’s SIMPLES.

  28. Will Eto’o come with an ego though??

    We don’t need another Ade situation

    Just asking ;)

  29. steve
    would you take ancelloti??
    he looks like being sacked at chelsea he’ll be available..

  30. :lol: Steve, Simples…

    Have to say, the more this goes on the more i am starting to want to see the back of Wenger, again last night he’s throwing water bottles down when we concede goals, but it’s all of his own making..

    But another part of me honestly believes he is ready to change his ways, get back to the top before he leaves at the end of his contract….

  31. JJ, it was one of those dangle a leg out and hope for contact.

    We need a defensive coach who works on positioning so we limit the amount of times we are caught on the break.

    We need an experienced, tough defensive midfielder who can cut angles down and slow the game down.

    We need a minimum of four top class, experienced proven winners who can bring the young players through.

    We need Wenger to admit that some of the players we have are not good enough.

  32. jj/Will

    I said last night we didn’t want Lemon coming on, he so often does ‘something’ against us. Seldom against Clichy but on the left he got free and made it happen.

    Ches will learn not to do that, but some of the saves he made kept us in the game, and some were top class…

  33. Wenger needs to see the need for experienced players.

  34. jj, we have been linked with Inler before haven’t we??

  35. i think we need a tweak right through the club will
    we already have a new owner
    we need a few new coaches including physios and an assistant manager
    we need to get a few fresh faces on the feild as well and tinker with the formation..

  36. Arsenal lacked exactly that mental strength and attitude in their last games. They blew a 1-0 lead a couple of times and dropped way too many points in winnable games.

  37. On a brighter note, the ‘kids’ are storming through the Dallas Cup, 6-0 the other day, 3-1 last night….

  38. yeah rico
    apparently wenger bid for him two years back after bertie and flamini left but i think he failded a medical at the time and wenger never went back in for him cos he had song denilson and diaby…

    yey…

  39. JJ, if we had 50million in the transfer pot, i would like to see Jose take the job on, not every bodies favourite i know, but i believe he would change The Arsenal for the better, and he would love the job for many years, and i would be honest in saying for the better, players from all round the world would want to come and play for us, and it would be the best move for him too

  40. Rico, that has a dark side, Wenger will point to that and say, there is the future, we don’t need to buy.

  41. Will! to answer your question (for curiosity sake )

    I have being watching the Arsenal now for about 16years

  42. Tell you one thing though, we would have to build another tier on top of our stadium

  43. i dunno about jose
    id prefer pep…

  44. I think most are all still a bit too young Will, even for Wenger……

    Bartley and Lansbury are certainly for the squad next seaosn though, but Bartley is looking to move on if he’s not involved with the first team…

    Rangers want him and will double is wages…

  45. Can’t stand Jose Steve but he would sure sort out the squad, but i am not sure he’s a stayer, breeze in, breeze out…

    Pep, good call jj, he only signed for one extra season, should be ready for when Wenger leaves ;)

  46. SD, that makes sense, you don’t remember the teams from the middle 70’s and 80’s.

  47. Pep, to much like Wenger for me

  48. Can’t stand Jose Steve but he would sure sort out the squad, but i am not sure he’s a stayer, breeze in, breeze out…

    Spend all the available cash.

  49. Ah, but the old Wenger Steve, not the nutty professor we have at the moment ;)

  50. We would have to build another tier Steve, to get more fans in to pay for all the debt ;) ;) (i jest of course)

  51. its not over, we will fight, our mental strength is outstanding..

    oh ffs come off it gaffer..

    what fucking mental strength weve been knocked out of every comp and dropped to third

    weve won 2 in 10…

    wtf..give it a rest will ya..

  52. And next up is Bolton……

    We’ll see how good Gary Cahill is….

  53. Off to walk the woofa, back in a bit…

  54. It is shameful that we can not hold onto a damn lead.

  55. Are you a Veteran Will?
    I know what you mean by the 1 to the Arsenal teams of 70s and 80s but this present lot can’t either score when they need to or just leak goals immediately after scoring or cant defend to safe their life’s, cant frustrate an attack when they need to and the Coach keeps talking out of reality, off this present world.

    Wenger is loosing it i tell you, when you are out of touch with reality then there is a problem.

  56. we couldnt hold a dogs lead

  57. JJ – 11.35am…………. Spot on mate, 95% of the problem is wenger thinks he’s untouchable and that he’s talking to people that can’t see and know fuck all about football. He talks so much shit he has now convinced himself it’s the truth. We’re just really outstanding and fucking up lately thats what he needs to add.

  58. One thing for sure is that Fabregas is a goner but we are risking Wilshere having second thoughts now.

    did you see how much he cried in the carling cup final , i bet he is not going to cry like that anymore.

    we might loose Van persie as well , i could sense Juventos , Ac Milan making a bid.

    Nasri will be tempted also,

    we are in a deep problem unless Wenger enters the market first and shows this players his intension to go all the way next season.

    Because Chelsea and Man utd are going to spend big this summer and they will be fast with it.

    I don’t know about every one else but Wenger is no more fooling me , his bag of tricks is empty.

  59. but its always somebody elses fault wath..
    this team deserve credit for being in second..
    ooops third…

    we should be happy we are in the cl places..its a trophy in itself..

  60. hes not fooling anyone sdl..
    he needs to wake up

  61. Went to my first game in 1972 SD.

    I am not saying he is losing it, I will want to see if Stan and Ivan realise that the way to make money is to make us winners and that costs.

  62. i want to see if anyone actually tells wenger his job is on the line..
    yeah you were great 10 years ago but youve got complacent and the experiment needs to stop..
    lets see what he does in the window if stan tells him hes run out of time and its trophy or p45
    like all the other managers of big clubs get told

  63. Wenger is not losing it Will, he’s already lost it…

    It’s whether or not he can get it back…

    Summer is last chance saloon …..

  64. JJ his insistance that a team deserves credit for playing pretty football is pathetic….! Teams get credit for winning things, if you can do that playing pretty then great but if not pretty wins fuck all I’m afraid and the more he harps on abt them being special etc etc the worse he gets and the worse they get as they are all in comfy comfy la la land…!

  65. I think the problem we find ourselves in is has no quick fix. We’ve had a goalkeeping & CB crisis at the club for 3 years now. Why should we think that this summer will be the one that fixes everything?

    Alex Song is the only defensive MF we have, an injury or ANC means we struggle to protect the back four.
    3 years ago we had Flamini/Gilberto/Diarra all fighting for one position.

    How can you call it management when you allow yourself/your team to be structured this way.

    The players are raised, literally, in a wonderful utopian haven where all the evils and badness of the world of football are taken away, no silly defensive drills, no shouting, no fighting.

    Only one signing this summer can change this…. and Sadly (I really mean this) sadly, that is the signing of a new coach! Heracleatus once said ‘change or die’ and i really think that Wenger is too stubborn to change!

    We need people who are mentally strong, willing to fight and will bleed for the badge…. Jack/Sagna/Verm/Song all come to mind. The younger players need experienced winners around them, to learn and mature from them… so that they can get over disappointments quickly, turn it into motivation…..
    We lost the CC final in FEB for Gods sake and some of the players are still mopping around from it…. This, to me is unaccepable!!

    I do hope Wenger finally opens his eyes and brings in the necessary people, including a strong willed number 2 who will question and challenge him, and leads us to more trophey-laden rather than trophey-less seasons.

  66. ‘We lost the CC final in FEB for Gods sake and some of the players are still mopping around from it…. This, to me is unaccepable!!’

    Spot on Alan, true winners would dust themselves down, pick themselves up and show that the loss was what it was, a fluke (the winning goal i mean, not our shabby performance)

    But we don’t have a side full of players who have the mental strength to do that – a few last night gave their all but sadly and, as happens so often they had to carry to many passengers..

    One thing i don’t get is why when we need three points, a win against the swampies, did wenger take off our goal scorer and creator?

  67. Back in a bit…

  68. morning all. thanx 4 taking comments, rico. i meant to give spurs due credit for how well they played, I thought a point was the least they deserved. no longer our dad’s spurs. my daughter woke up in the middle of the night with a very severe nosebleed. she is fine now, but i am staying home with her.

  69. Lets face it we sit here talking about what needs doing, Knowing full well next season will be a replication of the last six. The Board of Directors are right behind Wenger He’s going know where and neither are Arsenal. The Club is going along swimmingly as far as our leaders are concerned, no urgency to waste money while the stadium is packed week after week. Arsenal Football Club is run as a business and they are doing rather well. While the power shuffles from one to another in the boardroom, they only see shares as the main worry. everything else is Hunky dory, don’t change what aint broke.Remember Kevin Costner you build it and they will come.

  70. morning steve. i think we are all somewhat disillusioned. i see us as not yet as close to winning things as we should be. I would say that, if anything, are team’s collective mental fragility is worse. each time arsene trumpets “mental strength” he gives the haters a stick to beat our players with.

  71. trust me Will !, Wenger is going loopy

  72. nosebleeds arrrgghhh
    i used to get those all the time when i was a lad..
    dont get em no more though..unless i go asking for em ;)

    yeah the mental strength thing needs to stop..

  73. Hi oliver, thanks for the report – i liked the bit at the end about slim leaving town ;)

    I can’t comment on are opposition last night, my hatred runs too deep to say anything decent…

  74. Afternoon Oliver nice write up,
    Our players are doing their best, quite obviously not good enough, but with what we have and where we are in the league is quite a surprise for me. Wenger has built a team from pennies and looking at it that way I suppose he has succeeded, but if they decide to actually try and win something experience will have to be brought in, and I’m afraid that cost money. He will be forced to buy to save face as the rest of the league are laughing behind his back, even Twitcher had a grin after the handshake, so I expect two maybe three bargain basements for the start of next season, sad but true.

  75. its a bit shit being an arsenal fan at the minute..
    the drug cabinet is empty already and there still another month left to go ;)

    i just wish wenger would listen to us..hes the only manager who does what the hell he wants and then trys to spin his way out of it..
    judge me in may judge me in may judge me in may

    christ how many mays does he want

    its like the cheating girfriend who promises she wont do it again but the more you beleive it and take her back the more she cheats cos she knows your dumb…

    i hope kreonke has the balls to say look mate i wanna make money out of this club and your not doing me no favours so buck your ideas up fella or ill find someone who will

    once wenger gets a rocket up his arse all this will stop but as long as hes allowed to do it he’ll keep doing it and he wont give a toss what anyone thinks cos its his club…

    well il tell you something mate, its not, its ours, we made you as much as you made us, nobody had fucking heard of you before you came here and arsenal had just won a load of trophies before you took over under GG so get your fucking act together…

  76. she’s had them since she was really little – eight now – but last night was the worst, lotta blood…once we got it staunched, she slept…now she is playing her pokemon.

    i’ve said again and again that arsene’s bigging up the players is counter-productive. they consistently fail to show this vaunted mental strength, and now his talking about what they “deserve” calls images of children with an exaggerated sense of entitlement to mind. all they deserve is what their performances and results get them.

  77. Sorry to hear about the nosebleeds oliver, not nice for a young one….

    Wenger should have learned to shut up the day we went unbeaten…. he had been saying we would do that from the day he joined us, eight seasons later……

  78. I heard an i/v on Stan once, it was just after he started to invest – from what the folk talking about him had to say, he doesn’t take too kindly to losing, nor is he afraid to spend money on something he believed in.

    If that is the case, we could be in for an interesting summer…

    I spoke with a Chav fan earlier, not by choice, he answered the Sky switchboard. He said he just wished they would do more for the youth academy as all their players are getting on and the other thing he said all fans want is one manager to stay long term.

    He and all the fans hate it when they keeping sacking the manager even if they win nothing….

  79. jj – this bit you wrote

    ‘once wenger gets a rocket up his arse all this will stop but as long as hes allowed to do it he’ll keep doing it and he wont give a toss what anyone thinks cos its his club…

    well il tell you something mate, its not, its ours, we made you as much as you made us, nobody had fucking heard of you before you came here and arsenal had just won a load of trophies before you took over under GG so get your fucking act together…’

    Spot on, it’s OUR club, not his!!

    He needs to stop treating Arsenal Football Club like it’s a new toy he’s just been given for Christmas.

  80. hi rico…i got that quote from don king, of all people. I cannot recall who he was referring to, but i probably should have cited him..

    jj, i hear you. arsene and cesc can disown the interview all they want, but i see it as evidence of cracks in our foundation…evidence that playing philosophy and strategy are now being questioned – from within the squad.

    arsene is trying to blithely dismiss it as inaccurate, but i don’t think he can.

    i think he is going face up to the possibility that some – at least one very important – player(s) may no longer fully believe in what he is doing.

    hi steve…hi sd…

  81. Last night the commentators were talking, and had to mention the fact we haven’t picked anything up for a while not once did I hear Tottenham haven’t won the league in fifty years, why was that.

  82. tottenham have not been close to winning the league recently – we have. that is what i see to be the difference.

  83. I’d keep it fto yourself oliver, it’s good ;)

    Steve, they don’t ever, it just goes to show that pundits expect a lot from us but nothing from the swampies ;)

  84. Seeing how shares are getting hard to get hold of now a days, how longs it going to take, to pick up the twelve that Rangers hold.

  85. Last night the commentators were talking, and had to mention the fact we haven’t picked anything up for a while not once did I hear Tottenham haven’t won the league in fifty years, why was that.

    ___________________________________________________

    Steve,
    Because Arsenal is a marquee club and winning a trophy every year is the norm.

    We should not compare ourself to our deprived neighbour, but instead benchmarked against the likes of ManU, Barca and Real as one of the topnotch football club in the world.

    As a minimu, we should compare ourself to Liverpool FC with their 18th titles and 5 no. European/CL Cups.

    You should start dreading when tabliods and commentators will stop expecting Arsenal to win anything.

    Look at what Wenger had said before:
    1 – Recalled that stockholder meeting when he got grilled and he begged for more time and “promsied” to deliver a trophy within 2 years – 2010/11 being that 2nd year?

    2 – Recalled season start he siad a lcub like Arsenal should win a torphy this season?

    3 – And prior to Feb 2011, how much bragging going on we can win “this and that”?

    4 – Then, spin-doctoring that 2nd spot is Arsenal target?

    5 – And now, back to 2009/10 season end where Top-4 is “as good as winning a trophy”?

  86. it depends what way you look at it steve..
    its right that spurs havent won the league in 50 years
    but spurs aint a superclub with a 60000 seater that rake in 50mil a year and doesnt spend it..

    arsenal have always been one of the best teams in england with or without what wengers done..
    weve always won trophies and although its fair to say that at highbury we did sometimes punch above our weight now we are at the emriates we should be espected to maintain those standards..but we are not..

    for all this modern day superclub and pretty football stuff we are about to enter our biggest barren spell since the 70’s and 80’s
    the last time we went 6 years without a trophy was in those eras and they were one of the shittest times to be a gooner…

    for all thats good nowadays about the club ppl are starting to feel a little dissilusioned by it all..

    some of us have watched this club for 30-40-50 years and have been through the bad times and are pissed off with the present..which says it all

  87. Boo! oliver, not that I can write, but I imagine if I were to do match reports on performances such as last night’s, it would be peppered with expletives… ;) So well done, sir.

    While this performance was an improvement over the last few ones, I still feel wretched about it… :( Not good enough.

  88. Look guys the season is over and we might be 3rd oops we are now 3rd ,it is getting worse.

    We should start looking forward to the summer and forget this lot and pray that Wenger makes up to like 40% change

  89. nice one Merlin, must keep my wits around me, what was i thinking

  90. SD, what are you on, 40% change you know how much that is nearly half.mate

  91. Hi Merlin, good to see you, i always miss your comments overnight :(

  92. Hi agag, the performance was much better last night but like you say it means so little when we all know we should have won and against ‘them’…

    We’ll need a performance like that against Bolton too…

  93. We don’t need much to change, 3 players minimum, anything over that will be a bonus

  94. Fair comment JJ, but like i said to you the other night after the Man u game you will be feeling better, i didnt say for how long

  95. Hello, rico. Still feeling crummy about how the cookie crumbleth. ;) Hey, Steve.

    I wish AW wouldn’t try to insulate the players this much from criticism. They should be made to take the heat. They’re the ones who are playing. They are paid handsomely for it. No more excuses.

  96. Hi Agag, I would parade them round in an open top bus and let the local supporters tell them what they think and of Wenger.
    But he has probably flown off to a French hotel and the players are watching someone else clean their Maserati’s

  97. lol steve..
    about as long as we can hold onto a lead for ..

  98. spot on JJ

  99. Steve, I quite like your suggestion. Our players are entirely too cossetted. AW babies them. It doesn’t make sense. When will they grow up?

    JJ, I’m sure another six-pack would go some way into dulling your spuddy-inflicted pain.

  100. im fine agag…
    im used to it now..in honesty i gave up on the title a few games ago and ive just been trying to enjoy the rest of the season..

    i wont fully give up until its actually over becuase thats in my nature but with wenger saying 2nd..ooops 3rd is good enough and the team must be given credit, i dont think the manager wants it the same way i do.. so whatever..

    let them get on with it and roll on the summer.. ;)

    cant wait for wenger to tell us we won one of his mythical trophies that he made up in his head and for us to keep all our best players like nikki and denilson and buy nobody again..

  101. agag, i’m livid…..

  102. As ever, with Arsenal, we are half agony half hope. ;)

    I wonder why Chamakaka hasn’t gotten any playing time though. Standing next to Bendy, surely, he can’t be all that bad…

    I certainly hope some top quality players are signed over the summer. We’re wasting transfer fees and wages on more than a fair few in our squad. Grrrr.

  103. It’s just really frustrating, rico. Not for the first time have we so meekly surrendered what were cert victories. Grrrr. It happens with such frequency, I’m really beginning to think our players need testosterone injectables. ;)

  104. testosterone injectables.. lol

    if that means a kick in the nuts then yeah i can think of a few of them i would love to boot in the dingalings..

    will
    i read that a few weeks ago..its amazing that a club who plays in a 600000seater stadia, qualifies for cl every year, gets mega money deals with sky and charges they highest prices in europe… that they still find the need to make 350k a year profit on transfers to add to the 50mil profit we make from all other revenues..

    yeah we live within our means alright we are tight as fuck..profit profit profit from all areas..

    victoria concordia crecit should be changed to profitus maximus take the pissius..

  105. The injectables, would, hopefully help them grow some, JJ. :D

  106. Won’t be much on the Arsenal page Will :(

  107. hi evening all, is there anything that we can talk about?

  108. Off for dinner, back in a bit..

  109. I am angry and it is not at the team this time, I am formulating an entry and if it can not be put up I will use it as a post on an entry.

  110. Hi Osi, not much to talk about thats new, won’t be until the summer i fear….

  111. Will, whatever it is you are thinking, please email it to me for a daily post :)

  112. I will Rico, I will write it tonight. Well when I say write, I mean vent like a mofo.

  113. You crack on Will, have a couple lined up but, it will find it’s right day to be posted, thanks….

  114. Right fine peoples, i am off for the day…

    Catch up tomorrow, have a good evening..

    Night all

  115. Morning

    New Post up

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