A moment of madness cost us some silverware

Written by GoonerinExile

I was at Wembley as a 12 year old in 1988 and I remember that defeat clearly, Nigel Winterburn missing a penalty to put us 3-1 ahead, Tony Adams bringing down Mark Stein in the 90th minute to concede the free kick that his brother Brian scored from and won the cup for Luton. 14 years later Tony Adams retired an Arsenal legend, 12 years later Nigel Winterburn left the club as one of the best left backs we had ever seen.

Why do I mention this, well we need to remember this when the media scrum gathers to tell us yet again that our defence is weak and we have a lack of spine within the squad. Yesterday Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny combined to gift Birmingham the winner in the 89th minute. We know they are not weak we know they are capable of brilliance, only a week and a half ago Koscielny was probably our best player against Barca, Szczesny has filled us all with confidence for his persona and his command of the area. Yesterday unfortunately a blip, it just so happened, as so often a mistake does for defenders and keepers, to lead to a goal to the opposition. It was doubly unfortunate that it happened in a cup final and ultimately cost us the game. As it happened I looked on in horror, for anyone else the ball would have probably bounced back on to Koscielny and out for a corner, but for us it just rolled into Martins path, who had to do nothing more than roll the ball into the empty net.

We have probably all accepted now that Arsene Wenger will only ever concentrate on sending his team out the way he wants them to play football, he does not look at the opposition and consider sending out his team to counter their strengths, he wants them to worry about our strengths. We had all hoped that we would start with Nicklas Bendtner in the side to counter the effect of the height of Birmingham at set pieces, that we didn’t was an even bigger concern when Zigic’s name was on the team sheet as a starter, clearly from open play Bendtner would not have helped but he would have helped us deal with the threat created from set pieces. But this was not to be we would have to outplay Birmingham to win the game and hope that our defence could stand strong against the aerial bombardment.

As it was after a bright start from Birmingham and a slack opening from Arsenal the team were lucky not to be down to 10 men when Bowyer was wrongly given offside and Szczesny brought him down in the area. After that initial scare the team started to get into the game, controlling possession, albeit with little end product, but that was difficult against a well organised, solid and spirited Birmingham defence. This is where the brain and guile of Cesc gives the team something different, the ability to pick open defences with a sublime pass or two, not that we didn’t create a couple of chances in this period. Nasri playing in Arshavin a skilful turn later and he had  shot at goal saved by Foster.

Inexplicably Arsenal began to misplace passes, from one incident Sagna trying to find Wilshere missed him by about five feet and allowed Zigic to gain possession, the resultant ball into the box forced Koscielny to head the ball out for a corner. From the corner the ball was headed towards goal by Roger Johnson, and Zigic flicked the ball past an onrushing Szczesny.

Minutes later it could have been much much worse, when Gardner burst through the midfield and passed to Zigic, Szczesny spread himself well to prevent a second Birmingham goal and a mountain to climb.

As it was Arsenal had still failed to really impose themselves on the game, it took a storming run from Wilshere to stir the team, after some brief interplay he smashed a shot against the crossbar, with the bar still rattling the ball made its way to out little Russian who after some nimble footwork delivered an inch perfect cross for Van Persie to volley home with his right foot. However the delight turned to immediate concern for us sitting at home who watched as Van Persie’s celebration was curtailed by an injury to his knee.

Arsenal ended the half applying the pressure and searching for a second goal to take us into the lead. The team started the second half in a similar vain but the team were consistently thwarted by Ben Foster who had a stormer in the Birmingham goal when the defence had been breached. Despite the pressure the game was on a knife edge knowing that any breakaway from Birmingham could lead to a goal as Arsenal committed more men forward in search of an elusive winner. So it nearly did when Fahey’s effort beat Szcezney and rebounded of the post.

On 67 minutes it appeared that Robin van Persie could no longer continue, and so it was that Nicklas Bendtner was introduced to the attack. At this time Roger Johnson was showing signs of injury, was he removed as a precaution, no chance he played through it, and just once I would like to see the same from our players, maybe Robin has suffered too  many injuries to risk losing him for the rest of the season, but this was the most important game at the time, nothing else mattered, Birmingham have a relegation battle to fight but they didn’t pull off Johnson, nor did he want to come off.

Something else changed at this point for once Arsenal were shooting from outside the area form all angles, Samir Nasri, Rosicky and Wilshere all had efforts from distance, either blocked by defenders or Foster. Wenger sent on Chamakh for Arshavin, as if putting as many “strikers” as possible would bring us a goal by willpower alone. I thought Bendtner had done well when he came on, but to see him removed from the centre forward position after only ten minutes was reorganisation we didn’t need. With Cesc and Walcott injured there was no other attacking option, but clearly Wenger could have chosen any other player to withdraw, perhaps looking to the next game again?

Of all chances the one that could have won the game fell to Rosicky, the ball played to him by Bendtner he had only to scoop the ball past Foster but inconceivably attempted a back heel from more than 6 yards out with defenders on the line this seemed a very strange decision for one with such experience and technical ability. This is perhaps Rosickys biggest failure, he seems to want to do the difficult things, look for the difficult passes, look for the flicks, as a result he is more wasteful in possession than a man 11 years his junior who 95% of the time finds a teammate with his passes, beats men at will, and runs into space, and is constantly available for his team mates, that man of course is Jack Wilshere, more of him later.

Arsenal had 20 efforts on goal according to BBC stats, 12 on target, Birmingham had 11, unfortunately not one of our chances was as simple as the one presented to Martins in the 89th minute the chance that sent the blue half of Birmingham into delirium, and the chance that sent the red half of North London searching for alcohol and flak jackets.

56% of possession 20 attempts on goal, six corners, we pressed and pressed but Birmingham held firm. The BBC commentary team said that the better team won, how the man of the match was Ben Foster then I have no idea, surely he would not have had much to do if they were indeed the better team. Take nothing away from Birmingham they defended well, and always looked threatening on the breakaway, in a cup final there can only be one winner, we have been there before and we will be there again. But in between now and the next final defeat there might also be some wins, there definitely have been since our defeat to Luton in 1988.

As disappointing as the goal was there were other concerns for me, the game seemed to pass Song by, never bossing midfield as we would expect, Robin Van Persie did not see  great deal of the ball in the build up play, hindered by Rosicky’s approach of looking for a difficult ball. The team needed to press high up the pitch to stop the easy get out ball to Zigic, the desire to do so wasn’t there, we were second to the knockdowns in out half of the pitch which enabled Birmingham to build pressure which could easily have been avoided. Our best players on the day were Nasri and Wilshere.

I have heard bottlers mentioned already by some of our own fans on this very forum, to bottle the game would have been to not play to our strengths to not play with our normal conviction, to appear to be waiting to lose, as we have done against Chelsea, and Man Utd in the past, that wasn’t the issue today, the team played, they pressed, they tried but unfortunately a moment of madness cost us some silverware.

I’m not going to put in any player ratings today, I think there is no point adding insult to injury. This week we must be strong together we must support our team, for those who couldn’t be bothered to hang around in Wembley when Birmingham scored please hand back in your Season Tickets that is not support, I don’t know what it is but it definitely isn’t support. Support when you win and when you lose, the team need support and positive energy. Birmingham fans waited 48 years for this success, but I guarantee of they’d lost they would have still been in the ground at the final whistle, and applauded their teams efforts. The Arsenal end was empty before the team had even been up to collect their runners up medals, how do you think they feel seeing that.

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114 Responses to A moment of madness cost us some silverware

  1. London says:

    I blame the bankers for the defeat, this is the conclussion I have arrived at having read both BR’s and Dandan’s comments yesterday.

  2. London says:

    That is a quality match report, I have tried to write them myself after big defeats and I know how difficult they are but that is admirable on this horrible Monday morning, well done GIE.
    PS I was at the Luton game as well and no matter how many defeats I see they do not get easier.

  3. MyArse says:

    I cannot blame individuals really. My worry is that we cannot play well for 90mins. We only really played well after going a goal down and until we equalised. Then we went back to playing…not badly but definitely with less urgency and passion. Why do they do that? Why can’t they be ruthless and apply pressure for the full 90 even if we are 4-nil up?

  4. The Saint says:

    Looks like we’ll win two “trophies” this season: a Champions’ League place and beating Barcalona at home. I guess for most teams this will be considered a great triumph and so let’s be grateful for our blessings and look forward to achieving at least the one trophy of Champions’ League qualification again next season.

  5. Kent Gooner says:

    I was at the game and was impressed by the desire and spirit of Birmingham’s team and Fans. They out thought us, out sung us, and ultimatley out manouvered us. I think thge fact that Birmingham Season ticket holders are not primarily ‘club class’ prawn sandwich eaters ensured that their support was more vociferous than our middle class arrogance. My club was sold down the river years agao. The Management and players do not share the same passion as the working class life long gooner – who by the way probably had to watch the match in the pubs around Highbury and Finsbury Park as they have been priced out of the game years ago. We got what our arrogant complancey deserved, Nothing !! Well done Birmingham for reminding me what a proper football club with proper fans can achieve against adversity.

  6. gazzap says:

    “the team played, they pressed, they tried”

    No they didn’t.

  7. simon says:

    Thank God a rational report. Some of the drivel coming from so called Gooners has been pitifully embarrassing & disgraceful.

    I think they’re actually happier we lost so they could cry like girls. The sooner these people get away from our club the better.

    This team will win trophies and were pretty unlucky yesterday despite B’ham playing well.

    I also notice nothing has been said about some of the B’ham scum smacking Koscielny in the back of the head just after their winner was disgusting & typical of their classless team.

    If we’d done that after a winner, it would have overshadowed the entire victory

  8. chas says:

    Stay to the final whistle, of course, but hanging around to see the team collect their losers medals, I just can’t do it.

    I wish I was magnanimous and supportive when we lose a final but I’m not. I’m just disappointed and angry in equal measure.

    I’m still pleased I don’t support Birmingham City, though. ;)

  9. Femi Jacobs says:

    You got it right. Arsene Wenger does not look at the opposition and consider sending out his team to counter their strengths. Another thing is that Arsene Wenger have covenant with 65 minutes upward and so doesnt change players even if they are messing up. He is a father and not much of a coach.

    We lost the midfield because Rosicky was not playing well. Even when Arshavin got tired he fail to change.

    We cant throw away the baby with the bathing water, we still support the team. Possibly God took the Carling cup in other to give us a better one. Ebue should have started the game so that Nasri will be in the middle creating chances. We lost what more can i say. Wenger is not hungry for trouphy. He will do with the runner up money

  10. dandan says:

    Good positive summation GIE in difficult circumstances. well done
    Glad you got up in a positive mood London, your not a banker are you? Were there any prawn sandwiches on sale? Kent Gooner seems to think that was our failure.
    Well they must have worked against Barca so the more the merrier say I.
    Seriously this blaming of fans is getting out of hand, we all know that being sat in a seat rather than standing squashed together, makes people more visible and therefor reluctant to make a spectacle of themselves if no one else is joining in. Also stadiums have always emptied of the losing fans before the cups are presented.
    Did I see Luton or Swindon get the cups no way, was I hoarse from shouting, you bet I was.
    We have no right to win anything, sometimes the gods smile as they did in the first minutes when we should have been a goal and a man down, or frown when they put the record straight with a cock up.
    In between the Brum GK had a MOM performance that is football.
    Hopefully the boys will be welcomed with a roar on Wednesday as they start to put the record straight, we missed the Mickey Mouse cup now lets have the real thing plus the league
    Beat UTD to them both how sweet would that be.
    But then of course should we lose to Barca on their manner next week, no doubt the recriminations will start again….. Fans? god elp us.

  11. Rasp says:

    Morning,

    Brave match report GiE that sums up how I feel the morning after the match before.

    There were mistakes made by many (including AW) but it is all in the past now. I wonder how many of us secretly expected that result. I did for one and I remember Harry saying to me at the Emirates a few weeks ago “but what happens if we don’t win at Wembley?” Somehow it was a very ‘Arsenal’ performance in the same way that we beat Barcelona …. read Fever Pitch again if you want evidence of the history of the bitter sweet experience of supporting Arsenal.

    I’m not overly concerned about the FA cup replay on Wednesday but the home game against Sunderland on Saturday will tell us all we need to know about the squad’s ability to recover from disappointment and perform without the likes of Cesc, RvP and Theo

  12. Gooner in Exile says:

    GazzaP look at the stats they did.

    KentGooner on the day their fans were great on New Years Day they couldn’t fill their stadium and were as quiet as mice and ousiing by a whole sold out away end. It is no surprise to me that our away form is better than our home form.

    Anyone questioning the players commitment must be insane, I admit they didn’t play to their full potential, but they gave their best it wasn’t good enough to beat an inspired Foster and a belligerent defence.

    One costly mistake and sloppy set piece defending saw us lose this game, not lack of desire.

  13. Evonne says:

    OK, Carling might be a Mickey Mouse cup, BUT the knock on effect on the players’ confidence and morale can be huge. I pin all my hopes on the FA cup now. I am a born pessimist, but that way I cannot get disappointed….except for last night :(

  14. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    A fantastic and mature report and you are to be commended for it. :-)

    Everyone and I mean everyone would have been blown away by the misery of the result yesterday. Fans; players and manager.

    It is only human nature to want to lash out and say and do bad things in frustrated temper when we have been physically or mentally hurt.

    But what also makes us human is the ability to calmly reflect and rationalise after the red mist clears.

    Forget the finger pointing and scapegoating, it says more about the pointer than the one scorned!

    Let’s nail something first! Our team “wanted it” just as much as Brum did and to say differently is a lazy knee jerk reaction and an objective nonsense. (see players’ twitters of remorse and regret).

    IF, is a little word which carries so much baggage, but if one of our chances had gone in, the game would have been very different and we would be eulogising the same boys that some are now castigating.

    I played for a super-dooper team in a table tennis tournament, some years ago, when we blasted all before us up until the Final match, which we were confident, although nervous, of winning.
    Our first guy unaccountably kept missing easy smashes in the first game and lost. Never mind, 0:1 down but our next man was definitely the bees knees and certain to win his game. But he started sweating profusely, dropped his bat, tripped over, kept serving into the net … and lost. 0:2.
    I was up next and grimmly determined to save face. So I hammered and smashed and spun the bloody ball for all I was worth, and the little sod at the other end, who I had never previously lost to, did nothing except backhand the ball back to me. I tried even harder but I was so wound up, I effectively beat myself.

    Did we care? Did we want it? I am so glad no one was stupid enough to ask me that question immediately after the game.

    These things happen.

    Arsenal, after losing so disappointingly, without ever really showing their true quality, could well go on to win the triple now, because they are easily capable of it, provided feckless fans don’t sell them out. I really don’t have time for faint hearts!

    As of now;

    Courage is what the team need to have!

    Determination is what they need show!

    Support is what WE need to give the team!!!

  15. Gooner in Exile says:

    “As of now;

    Courage is what the team need to have!

    Determination is what they need show!

    Support is what WE need to give the team!!!”

    Bloody well said Red Arse!!

    Thanks for the comments from you too and London and Simon.

    It was tough writing the report, I gave it a few hours before starting the post mortem, just before rigor mortis had set in.

    The team needs a huge lift on Wednesday night, maybe just maybe a hatful of goals will see us get some swagger back before the visit of Sunderland.

  16. Harry says:

    Great read GIE, in very difficult circumstances…Glad u omitted the ratings……

    Cannot write much, up to my eyes in work and getting abuse of co workers gloating……

    We didnt bottle it as some seem to think, we just couldnt play at our best for whatever reason….

    Gazzap, mate we were undone by a mistake, there is a fine line between success and failure, we did play, we did press and we did try, watch it again, I will, thats how you learn…….On the day it was just not good enough to beat them……doesnt mean that they didnt try…….

    Things transpired against us in the end, a sloppy goal cost us, the best team won? I dont think so, Did Birmingham deserve the win, probably through the joint effort of their ***fans*** and players desire, perhaps they wanted it just that bit more than us, doesnt make them the best team.

    I wont re-list what I said yesterday, just that I am so diappointed with a large chunk of our fanbase, the reaction and lack of understanding defies belief…..

    On wednesday I dread the atmosphere, I’ll be there and I’ll be singing, I love this club, the team and the history, remember

    “The taste of defeat will only but sweeten the taste of victory, when it comes and by christ will it come, hell yes…..”

    Be proud, Stand Tall, stand as one stand together and conquer all…….

    Still and always will be proud to say I am a Gooner………

  17. Carlito11 says:

    GiE- firstly thank you for a great match report, which was even-handed and contained some excellent points- not least the defence of Sz and Kozzer as potentially as important for us long-term as Adams and Winterburn were.
    I watched the highlights again last night- what a glutton for punishment I am! We seemed to create more chances but were too easily opened up ourselves. We were ultimately undone by a clanger- a feature of supporting our team since Lehman’s famous aberrations against Chelsea and Barcelona. But we must also remember that at no time in the tie were we winning and the fact our fans didn’t think the team needed a lift to go on and win it in those circumstances was the greatest let down of the day. GiE your comment is spot on: “This week we must be strong together we must support our team, for those who couldn’t be bothered to hang around in Wembley when Birmingham scored please hand back in your Season Tickets that is not support, I don’t know what it is but it definitely isn’t support.”
    Harry said the same: “I wont re-list what I said yesterday, just that I am so diappointed with a large chunk of our fanbase, the reaction and lack of understanding defies belief…..” as did others.
    The argument that “I paid my money, I’ve got a right to criticise the players and with hold my support if I want to” no longer stands up to scrutiny. Pay your money to SUPPORT or sod off!

  18. Carlito11 says:

    I hope the team can get over this quickly and go forward with the same belief they showed before. Orient this Wednesday and we need to show up and sing!

  19. Carlito11 says:

    Redders- thanks for that comment too- very heartening and points the way to how we need to be feeling (I’ll get there soon!)

  20. Harry says:

    Carlito “Orient this Wednesday and we need to show up and sing!”

    Amen to that buddy, but how many souless will turn up? and if they do will they sing?

    I will be there and i’ll try, but where I sit, it will be one voice helped by one or two amongst thousands who just sit and moan…..

    Are we meeting up before the game?

  21. Harry says:

    @GiE: “This week we must be strong together we must support our team, for those who couldn’t be bothered to hang around in Wembley when Birmingham scored please hand back in your Season Tickets that is not support, I don’t know what it is but it definitely isn’t support.”

    And when we get the season tickets back, let me have one, because I am a supporter and I’ll never leave early, rain or shine, I am a very proud Gooner, not a johnny come lately on the back of Wengers success, who then want him out……..

  22. Carlito11 says:

    Harry- I’m up for meeting beforehand- just tell me when and where. I think Rasp mentioned meeting Rocky as well… btw- I may have a line on a ST next season Harry if you’re interested!

  23. Harry says:

    @Redarse: Your comment “IF, is a little word which carries so much baggage, but if one of our chances had gone in, the game would have been very different and we would be eulogising the same boys that some are now castigating.”

    Exactly IF is the biggest word in the world….If only, If we, If they etc……

    I am glad GiE left out the ratings, as they are so subjective, I saw some yesterday that more 3 or 4 players with less than 4 out of 10!!!!! So (IF) we had scored a lucky scrappy goal would them ratings been the same? I dont think so……..Knee Jerks never help and seldom solve anything, it hurts, christ it hurts, I am gutted, but thats football…….Now if…………………………

  24. ifeanyi udemezue says:

    Nice write up pal. Well thought out. What is lost is lost. Not much can be done about it. My fear is that this loss may lead to an implosion. I pray that it does not. As Fabregas said, there is much to play for. It was just unfortunate or should i say unlucky that yesterday was an off day for the young Pole who had shown much promise and performed creditably in his previous games including those against Man United and Barcelona. The work for Wenger to do now is to ensure that these boys pick up the pieces and preapare for the on coming games. They cannot afford to lose them. All hope is lost. I think we should be positive.

  25. Harry says:

    Carlito, Yes Yes Yes………defo ST……Speak wednseday…..

    Meet as before, about same time-ish? I will have my youngster with me so somewhere we can drink outside……Would be good to meet up with Rocky as well, Rasp / Peaches did mention that…..

  26. Carlito11 says:

    Just to highlight a positive from yesterday- how good was Arshavin’s cross? And VanPersie’s finish was straight out of the VanBasten school of finishing. Unbelievable skills!

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Excellent balanced write up GIE.

    I cannot comment upon the fans because my voice doesn’t carry the 1000 miles to the stadium and I turned off the TV as soon as the final whistle blew. Would I have stayed to acknowledge our team in defeat? I really don’t know.

    One thing is clear and that is that the AA regulars are real fans and Arsenal supporters to a man/woman. Disappointed – yes, Despairing – No.

    The suggestion that the players didn’t give their all to the game is errant nonsense. Can one imagine that any professional footballer doesn’t want a winner’s medal in his cabinet?

  28. Red Arse says:

    Harry,

    I put up Rudyard Kiplings wonderful poem “If” on AA 3 or 4 weeks ago, because altho’ it was not specifically footie oriented, of course, it is so apt for much that goes on in life generally.

    I love it, I must admit! :-)

  29. Big Raddy says:

    And JW’s strike against the bar ….

  30. Red Arse says:

    And Rosicki’s side foot shot from a fantastic Sami cut back, just the wrong side of the post!!

  31. Gooner in Exile says:

    Harry and Carlito you’re my kind of Gooners and I’m even more gutted I didn’t get to meet up with you both Orr match against Stoke.

    I want to win a trophy as much as the next bloke but I will try not to be overly negative about players or manager.

    I’ve seen too many other clubs fans call for boards and managers and wholesale player changes to little avail. Newcastle, Spurs, Leeds, Aston Villa and the list goes on. They faired no better. Except maybe Spurs but they are close to rolling over again.

    Some supporters have clearly become spoilt little brats, as I have repeated many times before, you can demand a trophy all you like but at the end of the day there are 4 up for grabs every year and a multitude of teams could win them. If you can’t cope with that don’t support a football team, we are blessed to support a great team, those of us who would still be around if we were mid table are the only fans I really care about.

    Before Subday there were about 10 tickets available on the Exchange for Sunderland game, I wonder how many there are now? If i can find two together I will take the wife. She is a good luck omen (apart from Wigan away).

  32. Neamman says:

    On my way to the airport. Will miss the Orient game a I will be in rural China. [That means a town of only 500,000!!]
    Orient is a good match for us to have now. Should be a confidenc builder.
    KEEP THE FAITH GUYS!! As BR said it was FAR FAR FAR worse after Rogers double.

    WE WILL RISE AGAIN!!! WE ARE THE ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!

  33. ryandanielwood says:

    Great Report GIE,

    I admire a fair account, doubly so when it is a cup final. It was tragic reading that Arsene said the team was at an all time low after the game. Of course I expected them to feel that, god knows I would. The average age of our squad is 23, I’m 23 myself and if I were to suffer that kind of setback in front of 88,000 I’d be looking for the noose. The team is stronger than me, I am certain and most people my age.

    They’ll have it all to do from now on, but the way I see it is, we have a packed March even if were to lose EVERY game, so they can either feel drained and defeated every Saturday and Wednesday from now until then, or they can do what they do best (especially this season) and rise above it.

    Quality read again GIE.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Neamman Safe journey and I am deeply envious

  35. Brigham says:

    A very good and honest report GIE and nothing less than I would expect from you in all honesty.

    I am not going to bother commenting on the game yesterday, as I think we are ALL hurting and are fully aware of where things did not go well for us.

    Lets get behind the lads on Wednesday, let them know we love them still and get them lifted, as the last thing they need now is a lack of support from us, the fans.

    Onwards and Upwards.

    COYRRG

  36. London says:

    Rosicky didn’t play badly.

    Well, I didn’t think he played any worse than Song or Wilshere in midfield, yes, there I said it. Jack’s age and the fact that he is English protects him but he wasn’t any better or worse than Song or Rosicky. As I see it, the problem was the formation: Rosicky simply shouldn’t have been in the team or certainly shouldn’t have stayed on as long as he did but that is not his fault and it doesn’t mean that he didn’t play as well as his is capable…..he did.
    We made it too easy for Birmingham passing the ball between those three above, backwards and forwards, leaving Van Persie as the lone striker and easily marked. The upshot was none or very little goal threat and, if truth be told, an unneccesary loss.

  37. London says:

    Please make sure you are sitting down when you read this as it may come as a bit of a shock.

    “FA to take no action over Wayne Rooney elbow incident”

  38. Big Raddy says:

    London. We are agreeing too often! Your 1.29 is exactly as I see it.

    No surprise about the FA’s golden boy getting another reprieve. Shameful.

    Any news of RvP’s injury?

  39. Gooner in Exile says:

    London I would have been in shock if they were acting.

    Why can the FA review if the player appeals his treatment but not vice versa……incompetence

  40. SharkeySure says:

    GiE. Outstanding post, truly outstanding.

    Followed by some wonderful comments by many others.

  41. I’ll be there on Saturday and hopefully the boys will have picked themselves up(after a sound thrashing of L Orient) in order to win 3 more points to confound the FA who must have bet on ManUre winning the League, after they ordered their referees never to send any of old Sir Alchopop’s players off or retrospectively punish for things every other clubs players would be punished.
    I went to sleep thinknig the match yesterday was a bad dream ,and sure enough when I went to sleep last night I had a bad dream( the usual “running from peril and being unable to move” type of nightmare) only when I owke up only one of my bad dreams went away.

    We still got beaten by the team of the ginger Fergi-mini-me.

    AAaarrrggghhhh !!

  42. GiE – you are a better man than me for such a balanced and reasoned report. I was on a “Mugabe media lock down” after the final whistle went off.
    For you dedication to services to Goonerdom, I salute you sir.

  43. kelsey says:

    Re half year reported loss,here is an extract which is quite interesting in itself.

    Gazidis said the club was “desperately disappointed” by yesterday’s 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City, which means the Gunners haven’t won a major title since the 2005 F.A. Cup. He said the club’s focus wasn’t on profit but creating a winning team. He said profit from property had paid for a 4.5 million- pound increase in player salaries. The club has 110 million pounds in cash reserves, while net debt at Nov. 30 was 147.4 million pounds, mainly related to costs for the new stadium.

    110 million in cash reserves…wow.

    GIE, excellent write up on a difficult day. I will make no further comment about certain individual players based purely on yesterday’s performance but that cash sitting in the bank might well be needed.
    It’s all about getting the right balance in the squad,experience and novice working side by side.

  44. Gooner in Exile says:

    Interesting Kelsey indeed.

    Although I fear cash reserves are not all that is needed, the capacity to pay wage demands and turn an operating profit is probably far higher.

    Whilst we could spend that money on the player I’m not sure we could strengthen unless some of the big earners leave.

    The 6month results are from 1 July to 31 December. I wonder how prudent the clubs accountants are in accruing income. For example we should potentially earn Top 4 EPL prize money, at 31 December it was still mathematically possible that we could finish 10th (guess) would they accrue half the top 4 prize money or top 10?

    Chary I too have been on lockdown only listening to a backlog of movie podcasts on my travels today.

    Just saw Jacks most recent Twitter post, that boy makes me proud, I’m so looking forward to him and others in his Yourh squad lads who truly the club in their heart having been there for over ten years.

    For those who haven’t seen it:

    “Well done to the BCFC player who slapped Koscielny on the head when they scored, very big of you!”

  45. mickydidit89 says:

    GiE,
    Great write up under horrible circumstances.
    I have read throuh comments posted here since the final whistle, and they are the reason people like me stick to this site.
    Can’t comment on the game as I did not see even a minute, but I did see the line up and thought “no”. So my only comment is one I have posted before, we do not tick without Cesc or Nasri central.
    Winning the League is going to be so so sweet!
    Must go. Cant remember which of you suggested the Statten Island ferry, but a big thank you for that.
    I can get busy here again from Weds.
    Arsenal Forever.

  46. 26may1989 says:

    Quick post while I’m out and about:

    Great write up for a depressing and annoying result, well done Exile.

    Re 1988, I met Alan Smith not long after the Luton Final. Being the great man he is (tough saying that about a brummie today!) he apologised for our defeat to Luton and said the whole team wad gutted about it. He then said, seemingly as a joke, that they’d have to win the league the next season. I laughed at the suggestion but a year later, 26 May 1989.

    I just hope this time round, the players’ reward arrives 12 months earlier than it did that time.

  47. MAK1 says:

    So is the quadruple still on?

  48. Evonne says:

    GIE – you are a true fan, I am so glad Peaches gave me this link, thank you Peaches. I had fallen out with so many fickle fans, always ready to critisize the team they are supposed to be supporting.
    One guy in particular was carrying out a petition to remove Wenger. I had a bet with him last year – if we won a trophy last season he would eat his petition, had we won nothing – I would sign it. Well, he turned up with his petition last May only to be told by me to stick it up his… I totally agree, consistency is the key to a success.
    Look at Chavs – were are they? All the money, all the ‘Best in The World’ managers and they are struggling.
    We don’t want the Carling Cup anyway, do we?

  49. Red Arse says:

    Hi Micky, :-)

    The Staten Island Ferry is the rush hour bugger for those of us who have had to chug backwards and forwards on it day after day.

    I suggested it, as it is a big tourist favourite for the NY skyline and the Statue O. L.

    I am told it is v. cold there at the mo’!

  50. SharkeySure says:

    Evonne – your comments about Chelsea –

    Brilliant!

  51. RockyLives says:

    Most excellent write-up GiE
    I’m not even bothering to look at Newsnow today – I know it will be full of the kind of petulant name-calling suited only to the infant school playground.

    I did see a couple of tabloids, whose columnists couldn’t wait to do a ‘told you so’ bashing of AW on the grounds that he hasn’t bought experienced players. So I suppose that only young players make horrendous blunders then? In which case, why is it that when I Google “John Terry defensive blunder” I get 15,700 hits? And why is that when I Google “David James blunder” I get 26,500? It’s a horrible mix-up, but these things happen to all clubs at different times and they happen to experienced players as well as young ones.

    London, I thought Jack was our best player yesterday. I don’t think that’s me watching through rose-tinted pro-British-youth glasses – I just thought he had a good game.

  52. Gooner in Exile says:

    Evonne whilst you are correct to highlight Chelsea I didn’t in that list as they.have won things during that time. But to be fair with the budget and their disposal of course they should. What they aren’t building is a future for the club, Matthew Harding as a fan would have done more for that club than Abramovich with probably less trophies.

    PS I’m no truer Gooner than many others on here regularly, it’s why it’s the only blog site I chose to call home.

  53. Evonne says:

    GIE – I chose to think that Chelsea bought their trophies:)

  54. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    You are spot on re the Google hits thing. :-)

    I thought Jack was outstanding in a mediocre display by our team.

    like you, I thought Jack was AOK. In fact for me, I thought he was MOM for his all round defensive–never say die–display and brilliant attacking forays. And I don’t wear rose tinted glasses!

  55. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    I’m sure the rose tinted glassed would nicely complement the rouge derriere…

    After Brum scored their first, you could see Jack trying to grab the game by the scruff of its neck – in the next five or six minutes he made a couple of great surging runs and, of course, his shot led indirectly to our equaliser. My MoTM too.

  56. Red Arse says:

    Rocky,

    Color co-ordinated just does not sound like me! :-)

    I am notorious for my poor taste in mix and match attire!

    I have had a look around some of the other sites, and I have just lost the will to go on and argue with the specious claptrap they spout.

    I’m not sure if they are just immature spotty jerks, or the state has failed to give them a decent education.

    “Knowledge” and “logic” might as well be craters on either side of the Sea of Tranquility on the moon. The theme seems to be; let’s sack Wenger for the mistake made by Chezzer and Kozzer, and anyway he’s French. That seems fair!

    Disgusting!!

  57. London says:

    Wilshere did Ok, Song did OK, Rosicky did Ok, collectively they weren’t OK.
    We all loved Jack’s shot that hit the bar….so close, but Rosicky came close as well with his half volley. The difference is that we expect Rosicky to score whereas we are all prepared forgive English Jack for missing because had a go, completely normal behaviour for Englishmen; he would have been my man of the match as well. I suspect Song was MOTM amongst the Cameroonian gooners.

  58. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    It’s the age of instant gratification: “I want everything and I want it now. If I don’t get it I’ll scweam and scweam.”

    What ever happened to the virtues of patience, fortitude, loyalty and strength in adversity?

    I loved your recent use of the ‘If’ poem, which includes these lines:
    “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    …you’ll be a Man, my son.”

    Not many Men round the Arsenal blogworld today (except on AA, of course, where even the women are Men, if you know what I mean).

  59. RockyLives says:

    London
    Notwithstanding the fact that you got my day off to a great start by putting a smile on my face with your comment about blaming the bankers, I have to take issue with your 4.57.

    One can never be 100% sure, but I’m as certain as I can be that my assessment of Jack’s performance is not based on his nationality. In many games where he has played I have picked out Song, or Cesc, or Nasri or Koscielny as my MoTM. I genuinely thought he was the pick of players (with Nasri in second place) and certainly performed better than Song or Rosicky on the day. I’d like to think my assessment was based on 45 years of watching footy, and not on misguided nationalistic bias.

    Which is not to say others might not have a different MoTM, but I would hope their view would also be based on their experience of watching the game. I doubt many Cameroonians would really have voted for Song as MoTM in yesterday’s match.

    Btw – the line “we expect Rosicky to score” was, I assume, ironic, in which case :)

  60. Gooner In Exile says:

    Maybe London, I think what counts in Jacks favour as opposed to others on the pitch is that at 19 we are all awestruck by his ability and handling of matches of this stature. Although he was guilty of twice giving the ball away sloppily in dangerous areas, it is testament to him that at 19 I saw it as unexpected.

  61. Gooner In Exile says:

    Oh and Maki, quadruple is still on I hear the Ladies team are still on for the Double, add two of the three we’re left in and we are fine thank you very much
    :D

  62. Red Arse says:

    London,

    I think I can see where you are coming from, but I think Rocky has got it right.

    Also, your premise does depend on all parties voting for Jack as MOM being English. You sure? :-)

  63. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    I did not respond to Maki’s question as I would put money on him being a Spud or a Manc.

    I think your answer was rather apt tho’! :-)

  64. SharkeySure says:

    Rooney. Disgrace. Nowt more to add.

  65. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all,

    Congratulations on a great day’s blogging. We supporters have the same choice as the players – get over it, move on and grow stronger or sit round licking our wounds feeling sorry for ourselves. I’m glad to see that you all chose the former.

  66. Gooner In Exile says:

    The list of ticket exchanges available for Sunderland has doubled since yesterday, wonder how many it will multiply by if the unthinkable happens on Wednesday night.

    I need that experienced defender Vidic to have another nightmare against Torres to lift my week.

  67. Carlito11 says:

    GiE- if that means that some lairy young red members get to turn up in place of those “with 3 away credits” who couldn’t muster a co-ordinated singalong yesterday then I’m all for more tickets being on the exchange.

  68. London says:

    Hi Rocky

    I wasn’t being ironic when I said we expect Rosicky to score I probably should have added that when he doesn’t we are disappointed although by contrast when English Jack doesn’t score we forgive him and put it down to youth.

    Wilshere is no more than an English Denilson at the moment his stats for passes completed are probably the same; the difference is that more is expected of Wilshere in the future although I wouldn’t be surprised to be told by any amount of Brazilians living in London that they expect more from Denilson.

    Wilshere did not make one pass that led to a goal; neither did Rosicky nor Song, collectively they could not find a way through and so I arrive at the conclusion that Wilshere was neither better nor worse than the other two midfielders.

  69. 26may1989 says:

    Ok, I’m back in the office tomorrow and am preparing myself for the onslaught from the various Spurs, Chelsea and United fans (not worried about the Liverpool or West Ham fans). Have decided I’ll post on my office window print outs of the current league table and an invitation to take the piss out of me re Sunday only after they’ve described the details of their exit from the Carling Cup.

  70. Carlito11 says:

    Hi London, I’ve been trying to resist taking the bait for a while but “an English Denilson”??!!! I’m afraid I can’t have that. Firstly, Denilson’s pass completion stats are actually amongst the best in Europe, so that isn’t his problem. His problem is he does precious little with the ball. Everytime Jack got the ball yesterday he tried to drive us forward, tried to create, showed us all that he cared and wanted to win. In an immensely disappointing afternoon the only positive I could remember on the pitch was his effort and obvious quality. Looking back now, and after seeing the replay it’s clear there are more positives to take but a strong impression like that is not a chimera and I do not support England anymore than I support Sweden or Italy.

  71. Carlito11 says:

    chimera=mirage- might have used the wrong word there! :-)

  72. Carlito11 says:

    JW also has bite in his tackle and runs runs runs. Denilson my ars*!

  73. Rasp says:

    Sorry but I have to join in on this one even though I’m just about to leave work …… Jack is better than Denilson at the same age, and better than he is now – or has Arsene Wenger got it wrong?

    Carlito is correct, Jack uses the ball more inventively and positively. I saw a new side to Denilson earlier in the season where he seemed more composed on the ball and stronger in the tackle. My hope is that he will turn into another Gilberto – breaking up the opposition’s attacks whilst being quietly effective and allowing others around him the freedom to go forward.

    Wilshere however has greater potential, he has vision, technique, aggression and a big pair of balls.

  74. 26may1989 says:

    Denilson is a useful squad player, Wilshere has already proved he is the future.

    And I dislike most English players.

  75. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all – my whole body wasn’t good today – too much drink, but hey ho onwards and upwards.

  76. Red Arse says:

    Carlito,

    A chimera is a creature which is an amalgam of different animals.

    In mythology I think it was a lion, a goat and a serpent.

    Sounds like me! :-)

    London seems to have a bee in his bonnet about nationalism, but I agree with you.

    That had nothing to do with my MOM award for Jack, and his nationalistic thing only works if everyone saying Jack was the best is English. Big call! :-)

  77. London says:

    “Tried” Carlito, trying is one thing succeeding is another and as much as we expect English Jack to work miracles in the future he didn’t yesterday…….neither did Song and neither did Rosicky.

    What did Wishere succeed in doing that Denilson couldn’t have done? Passes completed? Score? Create a goal scoring pass? Tackle back?

    26m
    Jack is the future and Denilson is just a squad player but yesterday the only difference was age and nationality.

  78. You’re ‘aving a larf aren’t you London :lol:

  79. Red Arse says:

    Peaches,

    Is your email system on strike? :-)

  80. Carlito11 says:

    London- trying is all I ask any of our players to do. However, it can be argued that the ball would not have made it back out for AA’s cross for RVPs VanBasten-like wonder goal had Wilshere not driven forward and rocked the crossbar with his effort. We would have been in the game far less without him snapping at heels and driving us on. Hate to say it but the only player on the pitch that matched him was Bowyer and I HATE the racist scumbag. Just trying to give an unbiased footballing assessment!

  81. I’ll be in my emails quite soon RA

  82. Red Arse says:

    Can’t believe the crappy anti-Arsenal joke I have just heard on BBC radio 5 Live.

    What is the world coming to?

  83. Carlito11 says:

    Durham has apparently been doing his thing again saying there is a media witch hunt against Rooney and it is actually the Wigan players’ fault that he was throwing elbows about! Just to add to chary’s excellent argument of the other day!

  84. goonermichael says:

    Sorry for the language but durham is a cnut

  85. 26may1989 says:

    Carlito beat me to it but MOM was that horrible little turd, Bowyer. A couple of other Birm players did well too but our best player was Wilshere, pretty comfortably I thought.

  86. Red Arse says:

    I have become used to Talkplonky’s nonsense, but the BBC?

    It was not even the sports section, but the financial news, incidentally rubbishing Arsenal’s half year accounts, and self funding claims.

    The BBC! Strewth!

  87. goonermichael says:

    for all the talk of how good birmingham were we had to gift them 2 goals to win. If that mistake had happened on 79 minutes I think we would have come back. If we’d got to extra time we would have beaten them as they were dead on thier feet. As it happened we self destructed. We either learn from this and kick on or we collapse let’s see how it goes. I’m not a big fan of lawrensen but he said “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” hope that turns out to be the case.

  88. Carlito11 says:

    GM- I really hope that is the case and it acts as an incentive not to let things slip away again. Our run in depends a lot on how bad the injuries to cesc theo and rvp are IMO. But I can’t see kozzer and sz not calling it properly again can you?

  89. Gooner in Exile says:

    Ok you all know this FIFA ruling that the FA hide behind, if the referee has seen it then you can’t do anything……well its a load of bollocks!

    In fact its been bollocks since there 2009 Code of Displinary Conduct, heres a link to the PDF.

    Now the important things to point out are Article 72:

    1. During matches, disciplinary decisions are taken by the referee.
    2. These decisions are final.
    3. In certain circumstances, the jurisdiction of the judicial bodies may apply (cf. art. 77).

    Lets see whats written in Article 77 shall we:

    The Disciplinary Committee is responsible for:

    a) sanctioning serious infringements which have escaped the match officials’ attention;
    b) rectifying obvious errors in the referee’s disciplinary decisions;
    c) extending the duration of a match suspension incurred automatically by an expulsion (cf. art 18, par. 4);
    d) pronouncing additional sanctions, such as a fine.

    See the important bit (b) RECTIFYING OBVIOUS ERROS IN THE REFEREE’S DSIPLINARY ACTIONS!!!!!

    Sort your life’s out FA get up to date with the current legislation, and I suggest we get this out everywhere as soon as possible maybe then we will see a change in this foolish nonsense.

  90. SharkeySure says:

    Good work GiE !!

    Its so bloody obvious that a ref’s decision as poor asthat one should be reviewed.

    Its crazy that the FA will use video evidence to overturn a refs decision when rescinding a red card, but won’t use it in the reverse situation. Just how stupid does this whole episode make Mark Clattenburg look. Arte we really supposd to believe that he’s perfectly happy with that decision now that he’s seen it again.

    I’ve known for quite a while that the FA is bent, what I didn’t realise was just how ridiculous they are prepared to look in carrying on with their foolishness.

    The FA have hit a new nadir today. Shame on them.

    The Fair Play and Respect campaigns…lol

  91. GiE – there are 76 pages!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    But I get your drift, what it boils down to is that if an Arsenal player needs to be sanctioned after the event they will move hell or high water to do so but for anyone else they’re not bothered.

  92. Gooner in Exile says:

    I know Peaches but i had a heads up having watched a bit of Sunday Supplement last week where Samuels referred to it, he didn’t quote the articles and it took some digging to find the right document and the right pages/articles. Which took some time, hence why i’ve been quiet for a while :)

    I’ve also started reviewing the half year financial reports of our illustrious club.

    Needless to say loss is probably out of context, includes player trading one offs, is one less home match than this time last year, also no prize income from PL position has been included. If we came runners up that would be £14m (£768k per place) on its own.

  93. London says:

    “Wilshere however has greater potential, he has vision, technique, aggression and a big pair of balls.”

    This is very true and also proves the point I am trying to make which is when people watch Wilshere they see the future where as I am talking about yesterday and as hard as he tried he did not succeed in changing the game. Song also failed but to suggest he did not try is ridiculous, Rosicky did not succeed and yet again to suggest he did not try is also ridiculous. So if they did not collectively succeed why, apart from nationality, is one favoured more than the other?

  94. Gooner in Exile says:

    Thats it for me today, duty calls, the only person i met in the midlands today who wanted to talk about football was a Gooner in the clients staff canteen looking over the Sun newspaper.

    I said I didn’t want to see that paper, he said “me either I support the Arse”, and then proceeded to tell me it was same old mistakes and the keeper and defence weren’t good enough. It was too early for an argument on clients premises so i laughed and said I guess so.

    Thanks for all kind comments today, plenty of tickets on exchange for O’s game but it’ll be a bitch to make it there and back on the day, so I will continue in my quest for Sunderland tickets.

    See you all tomorrow.

  95. Harry says:

    GIE, Many thanks mate, yeah It would have been good to meet up, sure it will happen at some stage……

    Whats the next match you going too?

    THere looks like there has been some good debates on here, but whats good is your all looking for positives unlike other sites, as ROcky said, I have stayed away from Newsnow……

    Would you believe one paper today marked jack as a 5!!! absolute joke…

    Anyway, thats me full of carling, ready to burp, lets move onto Orient……

    Lets just hope that the few that turn up on wednesday night sing louder than me and carlito………

    some chance…….

  96. RockyLives says:

    London
    We’re obviously going to have to agree to disagree over JW’s performance. If you really think that if a midfield performance is, on balance, ineffectual, then that means that everyone in that midfield has performed exactly the same then I can see no point in arguing further.
    Except now I’m going to:
    Compared with Song and Rosicky, JW made more driving forward runs, made more tackles, made more telling passes, made fewer misplaced passes and generally showed more commitment. If you didn’t see that, well that’s fine – it’s a subjective thing. Most reporters (and most commenters on AA) have singled out Jack as the stand-out Arsenal performer on the day.

    Maybe they, and we, are deluded or nationalistic or misguided, although I suspect not.

    You seem to be wanting to make a point about nationalism which is, I feel, unfounded. I was at the game and I was back at my hotel in time to watch the BBC highlights. In both cases I thought Jack was MoTM.

    If you really think he’s the same level as Denilson then you are really, really deluded. Worse, you are missing the formative stages of an Arsenal and England great. Wilshere now is twice the player that Denilson is. When he’s the same age as Denilson is now (23) he will be four times the player Denilson is. It’s not that I want to disrespect Denilson, but when you have people like Frank Lampard (Jr) saying that Jack is the biggest talent they have seen then you know we have something special.

    His performance on Sunday was the best of anyone in an Arsenal shirt.

  97. Harry says:

    Totally agree Rocky, and if we did ratings and had we won, Jack would have got a 8/9 and been MotM in everyones opinion……We lost and some miss the point, for me he was easily the stand out player (outfield) on the pitch across both teams, Foster won MotM as he kept us at bay, that I can accept…….

  98. Evonne says:

    Morning Peaches, here is the job advert from 1925 featured in the Athletic News:
    ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB
    is open to receive applications for the position of
    TEAM MANAGER
    He must be experienced and possess the highest qualifications for the post, both as to ability and personal character. Gentlemen whose sole ability to build up a good side depends on the payment of heavy and exorbitant transfer fees need not apply.
    In 1925 Chapman got the job and in 1996 Arene did :) I love this ad, it sort of defines Arsenal, don’t you think?

  99. Gooner in Exile says:

    Fantastic Evonne, love that.

  100. Evonne says:

    Yeah, it is great and still up-to-date! We wouldn’t want to change that, would we?

  101. tommystout says:

    good morning GIE
    missed out on the post yesterday, probably still in my state of depression. But i just want to say after reading that i think it was a brilliant write up and i look forward to more of your posts.

  102. Carlito11 says:

    GiE- I tweeted a few journos with your link, telling them to read article 77 b in particular. It seems most of them already knew- The BBC actually added it onto the bottom of their main story online about Rooney.
    It appears that everyone is aware that the FA could have done something about Clattenburg’s ruling but decided not to and we all have to accept that hypocrisy is a fundamental principal of our national sport’s governing body!

  103. Carlito11 says:

    Morning all- sorry! Not stopping- catch you all later if at all today…

  104. London says:

    Morning Rocky

    My I complement you on a well worded and compelling comment. I remember your argument that Song should never go forward was equally as strong.
    Jack was man of the match and I am sure that he will go on to be Arsenal and England captain and if he does I will be very happy.
    Did you see the Stoke game when Cesc went off? Nasri dropped into the Cesc role, he drove forward with all the determination he could muster and yet his performance was regarded as disappointing. Why? The answer, I would suggest, was the creation of end product was lacking.
    Song’s job on Sunday was to break up play which he did by and large, Rosicky was placed pretty much as a second striker (why, we shall never know) and Jack’s job was to pick up the ball and drive forward. With Birmingham playing two banks of four for large parts of the game there was plenty of space for him to run into giving the air of determination, I loved this, by the way, as everyone else did……..and then what happened? Was he more effectual than Nasri against Stoke?
    I don’t expect to win this one, it is not about winning; nationalism is not always a position we take consciously.

  105. Morning London – aren’t you really saying that you’re disappointed that Jack didn’t exploit the opportunity that he had to show that he could drive play forward into the box. I tend to agree that he could’ve shined more but to compare him to Denilson is a bit unfair IMO.

    The force field was up around the penalty area and as we said to each other at the time no-one was making runs into the box.

    I think there is often nationalism with repect to Theo who has been given lots of chances to improve but Jack is on a different level and hasn’t played many games without Cesc. Maybe in the next couple of games we’ll see Jack making those runs and linking up play on the edge of the box – I hope so.

  106. Morning Evonne – can we borrow the book for a couple of days?

    New Post

  107. London says:

    Morning Peaches

    The loss finally hit me last night, I am just deeply dissapointed that’s all.

  108. 26may1989 says:

    We’re all Chelsea fans today, come on you blues………

  109. Evonne says:

    Hiya Peaches, you can borrow the book, but you’d better look after it – it’s very precious to me
    Why are we Chelsea fans today???

  110. okkio says:

    first off a very good match report and not showing ratings is probably a good idea.

    just wanted to mention i agree with the view that rosicky was misplaced (should have started on the left if at all) plus i see him as a passenger most games. apart from the back heel he had one shot the wrong side of the post and another chance he never took, choosing instead to pass to the b’ham defence. wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    bendtner came on to play centrally and seemed to be saying ‘about fucking time!’ he was involved straight away and looked a menace. i bet he was fed up to be moved to the right after only ten minutes.

    bowyer was everywhere, song was nowhere. there are times i wish alex would take off the fucking slippers and run hard for as close to 90 minutes as possible whilst passing the ball mainly to his own players! everyone is allowed a crap game but recently i’ve seen complacency creeping into his game. or crapping into it…less poetic mind.

    arshavin was playing ok. if johnson could keep on playing with only half a left leg then why couldn’t ‘Double A’. wrong type of battery?

    i watched to the end to applaud all the players. it was a good final. i bet no-one expected b’ham to play some football! i bet no-one tipped kozzer for best supporting actor in a comedy role?

    peace.

  111. 26may1989 says:

    Evonne, believe me, wanting Chelsea to win anything goes completely against the grain for me (I preferred United to win that CL Final in Moscow for example), but this evening it’s Chelsea v United in the league, and that is massive for our title hopes. A nice defeat for United would give everyone at Arsenal a great lift after Sunday. Once it’s over, at least until their next game against United, I’ll be wishing many bad things for the Russians from SW6.

  112. Evonne says:

    26may1989 – of course, I didn’t know it was tonight. I check the fixtures on Live Football on TV and this game is not listed. Personally, I prefer draws, ie both of them losing 2 points, but mathematically it is my obligation to cheer for chavs…..brrrrr

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