Up for the Cup??

Lucky Arsenal? This season we have drawn Newcastle and Spurs away in the Carling Cup, Barcelona in the CL, and now Man Utd away in the FA Cup.  I can only imagine Mr Wenger has spent the season walking under ladders and crossing the path of black cats. No-one wanted this fixture, neither Arsenal who are coming off the back of an emotional defeat at Camp Nou nor Man Utd, who are facing Marseilles in an important contest on Weds.

And yet neither manager will give up on this game. In my opinion both will put out as strong a team as injury permits, pride will dictate their actions. However, we are without (I hate writing this …) Vermaelen, Walcott, Fabregas , Song, Fabianski and Szczesny, and United are without Nani, Ferdinand and Park.

The loss of Szczesny has brought about the situation that (almost) all Gooners feared – a run of games for Almunia. Many point out that Manuel had a fine game in Spain and it would be churlish to argue. However, there is a reason why two Poles under the age of 23 are ahead of him in the AFC rankings and that is because Almunia is notoriously inconsistent. It was said at the start of the season by most pundits that Arsenal cannot win the league with Almunia, unfortunately we are about to find out. That said, I am sure he will give his all for the cause (and promote his flagging career). He must be given 100% support.

Having a more reliable defence will give Manuel confidence. We have tightened  to the point where there appears to be some understanding at the back; something missing since Sol left. Who would have thought that Djourou would be the man to come to the fore (apart from GG, and yours truly)?

We still have the midfield creativity problem in Cesc’s absence. Many have called for Nasri to take Cesc’s role, which make much sense. He has the vision and pace to push the team forward and has been given the Captain’s armband (though Almunia will take it tomorrow) which indicates he has the character to lead the team, and character he will need because at OT Fletcher has the licence to kick anyone off the park. Song is a big loss – Diaby plays better when he has the security of a strong defensive midfielder. Will Mr Wenger dare to start Ramsey rather than Denilson? I would take the risk but this is more a reflection of my opinion of Denilson. The Brazilian has much to recommend him, but not at a team at the level of Arsenal. I am sure he will be a huge success in Malaga, Mallorca or Juventus but not at the Grove – sorry.

Up front Van Persie will be chafing at the bit after his infuriating red card, he is playing as well as any time during his Arsenal career.  Bendtner will be desperate to show that with more than 10 minutes on the pitch he can score, but if Nasri and Arshavin are to start I see no place for him. I expect Nik to leave in summer (and I will be sad to see him go), if I was him I would be fuming that having played in most rounds of the Carling Cup and being one of the main reasons we got to the Final, he was dropped for RvP.  Vidic is back for MU which is a huge fillip for them, and a negative for us. Time for Arshavin to rediscover his shooting boots.

Man Utd have been an anomaly; at no time have they looked a title winning team and yet they have led the Premiership for most of the season. With a dull but effective midfield they rely on power rather than guile. What would they give for a young Bobby Charlton? In losing their last two big games they have seen that Giggs and Scholes fading powers are useful but not dependable. Expect a buying spree from SAF this summer –  a GK, a left back (who wants the lamentable Evra?), 2 creative MF’s, and a CB –  Modric, Rodwell, Bale, Cahill, Neuer have all been mentioned. Valencia has suffered from injury and can perhaps become the Giggs replacement, but MU have yet to replace the brilliance of Ronaldo. What they have replaced is Ronaldo’s penchant for acting with an even worse cheat in Nani. – fine player, shame about the histrionics. Rooney has flickered all season, capable of the brilliant but then petulant and obnoxious – once again his career has been boosted by SAF’s influence at the FA. . Berbatov is the PL’s top scorer and yet remains as unreliable as ever – another capable of brilliance or anonymity. His place is under threat from Hernandez who looks a fine signing –  that valuable fox in the box.

Mr Wenger has continually stated Arsenal will fight on all fronts this season, and I expect him to put out his strongest available 11.

My team:

Personally, I expect us to lose; we are not playing with fluency nor with confidence; we usually go down at Old Trafford and we will be forced to play against 14 men (11 players and the officials). Arsenal have yet to score more than one goal in a game at Old Trafford in the PL, so we are unlikely to see a goal-fest. To win we need to score first and force Man Utd to come onto us, thereby allowing Arsenal to play on the counter-attack. And above all, we need a good and fair performance from the referee, Chris Foy.

It is the final game of the season against Man Utd on Mayday which is more important to me and I imagine to both managers –  this is just the Hors d’oeuvre. I would give the Claret- nosed Caledonian (Thank you RL) the win today in exchange for the 3 points at the Grove.

COYRRG

written by Big Raddy

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242 Responses to Up for the Cup??

  1. chas says:

    ….from last post

    I’m still not sure about video technology, Rasp.
    I suppose we won’t know how effective it would be until it’s trialled somewhere, though.

    Handballs, fouls and (even whether an offence was committed inside or outside the box) are all subjective calls.

    BR and 26′s discussion of the Kos challenge on Pedro is a case in point.

  2. Rasp says:

    Hi chas,

    It cannot be denied that more decisions would be made correctly if technology is used. There will still be situations where there is no definitive conclusion and that in itself would be more accurate than an official’s subjective view of a split second incident.

    Apologies Raddy – RA’s debate has spilled over into today.

    Thanks for another stylish preview. The only thing I would disagree with is that of course we will win – what are you thinking of :P

  3. chas says:

    Nice one BR.

    I’m pleased Park isn’t playing. He likes playing us.

    Today’s the day our season rises like a pheasant from the flames.

  4. chas says:

    BR, my selective myopia meant I didn’t even see that you ‘expect us to lose’……that’s taking objectivity too far!

    …..or is it a bit of reverse psychology directed at those footballing gods who have been so unkind to us lately?

  5. Morning all

    Raddy!!! If you expect us to lose then you need to be wearing 2 pairs of lucky red socks – quick get the spares out of the wash ;)

    I hate feeling heart-broken before we’ve even kicked off. We’ve played well at OT in our last couple of meetings there and been unlucky – playing against 14 as Raddy says doesn’t help. I hope there aren’t too many tired legs in our Arsenal after Tuesday night.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    I questioned as to whether to give in to my negativity which may well be caused by this interminable winter !

    Chas. I feel we will need those footballing Gods. We are rarely lucky at OT. We outplayed them up there before Xmas and got beaten yet again.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. All the lucky stuff has been relegated following their lack of effect at Wembley and Camp Nou !!

    I will go out today and buy some new lucky red socks, though I fear they could be binned after just one wearing :-)

  8. Red Arse says:

    Very interesting perspective Raddy. :-)

    Manu have not lost in their last 20 home matches, so your downbeat prognosis of our chances of winning are well founded.

    Hi Chas, you have helped me work out why my Sunday roast kept jumping out of the flames, last weekend.

    I must have put a pheasant in the oven instead of a phoenix. Or was it a phoenix instead of a pheasant? :-) I must use more technology!! :-)

  9. Raddy :) – I do exactly the same as you, if the luck doesn’t work once then the item doesn’t get another chance. Although I am persevering with a lovely red piece of jewelery at the moment ;)

    I’m sure I’d feel differently if we were playing this tie at home, maybe Arsene has had them hunting in packs in training and the manks won’t get a sniff of the ball.

  10. Shall we play for a draw then?

  11. pat says:

    hey guys def not an apples v apples comparison – but re technology: it has been applied pretty well for the tight decisions in league and union down under here (Aus and NZ). It works is quick and isnt too much longer to wait than watching the replay a couple of times – i.e. crowd ref and third umpire gets to see the replays and third ref gets the chance to make a good decision under the watchful eyes of everybody.

    How about making dodgy offside decisions a thing of the past? That would be great in my opinion. I think in the age of almost instant replays from many angles that the crowd and millions of TV viewers can see but the officials cant seems very backward. Just my 2 cents and definately more to it than my simple view.

    Go Gunners – with “Honest” Nani out utds threat out wide is greatly diminished. So does any one know if Ramsey is going to be starting this game? Feeling like we have a decent chance of getting a 1-0 smash and grab job out of this one…

  12. Carlito11 says:

    A fine write up BR- I am with you on wanting the May win far more than today’s but both would be great :-)
    a key feature of the pre-match was missing today- I assume no musicians of note hale from Surrey? ;-)

  13. barumgooner says:

    Nice preview to the game once again. Personally I would like to see Ramsay in the middle and Nik out left with Diaby on the bench. I agree with you that even though it will please many gooners I will be sad to see the end of Bendtner, im sure he has a good career ahead of him but he needs regular games and a manager who has faith in him.

    As for the technology thing I think it should be like cricket with a limited number of reviews allowed by each manager in a game, that way it wouldnt interrupt the flow too much and if a manager knows he only has 3 appeals they wont waste them on pointless decisions.
    It can even add a bit of drama and excitement of waiting for the decision.

  14. dandan says:

    Good stuff as usual BR though a little negative.
    Have decided as I have company tonight to open a 1999 Fitou and a Mcwilliams Cabernet Sauvignon in your honour, on the grounds that some decent wine will cheer you up.

    Time we won one I think, lets hope tonight is the night.
    Does anyone believe that AW will sign Mad Jens Lehmann as a standby for emergencies.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Can I come over …… ?

  16. dandan says:

    Yep and bring Rasp with you :-)

  17. Harry says:

    Nice write up Radster…

    I understand your feelings towards the high possibility of losing at OT, for all of the reasosn we all know…..And that 3points at the emirates you would take in a heartbeat.

    But i worry that a lost today would be a mental barrier to far for our players to get over and as such affect our league form..

    We must play our strongest team available and go for it, even though it would mean another game, to force a replay at ours on friday would be ok with me…

    So hard to call until you see their line up, but as you said fletcher has a lience to kick crap out of our players at OT…So whoever plays it will be very tough..

    I like your line up, defo want Ramsey to start, he has a desire, fire in his belly like Jack does….

    We need Diaby to play in the middle and be combative with Fletcher……As much I normally like Nasri in the middle when cesac isnt there, I would start with Jack and Aaron in the middle with Nasri / arshavin out wide, supporting RVP……..who I believe will captain us to a fantastic victory.. United 2 – Arsenal 3

  18. RockyLives says:

    Rare pessimism from you BR. Has cabin fever set in?

    But I can see why you’re pessimistic. When we played up there in the league we weren’t great, but neither were Utd and a draw would have been a fair result. Of course Utd’s 12th man, Howard Webb, ensured that didn’t happen – failing to dismiss Fletcher for manhandling him and not giving even a foul (let alone a deserved red card) for Plug Ferdinand’s flying kung fu kick into Sagna’s chest.

    Maybe every top team’s fans would say this, but we do seem to get much less rub of the green than anyone else in crucial periods of the season.

    Just in our last few games we’ve had the bizarre/corrupt sending off of RvP at the Nou Camp; Arshavin’s disallowed “offside” goal against Sunderland (and a blatant penalty not given in the same game); the ludicrous Saha offside “goal” vs Everton… and you don’t have to go back much further to come up against appalling anti-Arsenal reffing performances like Dowd’s at Newcastle.

    In summary, I agree with BR that we’re unlikely to win against the 14 men of Utd. However, I do expect us to be good enough to draw and bring the tie back to The Grove…

  19. RockyLives says:

    Harry
    Spot on about why it’s important not to lose this one.

    Lee
    Pain? I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of going two whole generations without winning the league. Enjoy your one and only season in the CL.

  20. Rasp says:

    Lee, thanks for confirming what we already knew – spud fans are a classless band of deluded gloryhunters. How many of our bloggers do you think would waste their time putting such an inane comment on a totnum site? Oh, I forgot, thinking isn’t your strong suit.

  21. Rasp – I’ve taken that comment off, put it back on if you want but I don’t really see the point

  22. I’ve just spammed another one

  23. RockyLives says:

    Well played Rasp. And Peaches.

    When we played Utd earlier this season, in my post-match write up I commented on how the Utd players spent a lot of the game diving and crumbling under our innocuous tackles (with Howard Webb giving them a free kick every time). And, of course, Webb allowed Fletcher and co’s niggly fouls all game long without even giving free kicks.

    I’m hoping for better from Chris Foy (even though he’s a Lancastrian), but, much as it pains me to say it, maybe Redders is right about our players needing to be a bit smarter and making it more obvious to the ref when they’ve been fouled. I’m convinced our lot are too honest for their own good.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Actually a draw would really benefit us.

    The more games MU have to play the better. I think we have no more mid-week games and have a weeks rest between our games.

    Yes …. a draw and a win at THOF would be the best result.

  25. pat says:

    Its a difficult one Rocky – if you go down and the ref thinks your diving then you get a yellow card (especially the way refs are pulling us up at the moment). But I think I understand what you are saying, if the player feels contact, he should go down.

    Maybe we need Eboue on especially for that ;-)

  26. Evonne says:

    I used to wear a lucky Arsenal shirt every night before a game the season we last won the League. I tried the same the following season, I smelled worse than my dog and NOTHING! Silly suprstitions, like the fat magpies in my garden didn’t win us the game at Barca :(

  27. RockyLives says:

    Oh, and I forgot about Webb’s penalty award in the last game at OT. Clichy had fallen to the ground and was leaning on one elbow. The Utd player kicked the ball against his supporting arm and Webb gave the pen.

    This is the rule for awarding a penalty from a handball in the area: “A penalty kick is awarded if a defending team player deliberately handles the ball inside his own penalty area (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area).

    Deliberate handball means that a player intentionally moves his hand or arm towards the ball, and could have avoided touching the ball, but decided not to. It is unfairly done to prevent an opponent from gaining possession of the ball, because the perpetrator is unable to play the ball in any other way – and therefore stops or deflects the ball by the use of one, or both hands or arms, punches it, or catches it.”

    Clichy had his whole body weight on his supporting arm, which was tucked under his body. He made no movement towards the ball with his arm (he couldn’t – his arm was underneath him). In fact, the more you think about it, that decision starts to look as bent as the Swiss ref’s one on Tuesday. According to the rules there was no way that should have been given as a pen.

    I really do think refs are biased against us.

  28. RockyLives says:

    Quiet here today…

  29. charybdis1966 says:

    Ha, late goal conceded by the Brum Scum to go out of the FA Cup – now let’s have Kozzer run onto the pitch and smack that f**ktard Ferguson on the head.

    Nice preview Radders, and no surprise that I agree with you – we will lose.

  30. Rocky – its a lovely spring day here in London, surprise surprise, although I think snow was forcast for Scotland. I expect everyone will be around later.

  31. charybdis1966 says:

    Rocky/Peachy – just keeping a low profile before the match at Old toilet against the Stretford Steelers.

  32. Who would like to volunteer to write the match report?

  33. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ahhh a lovely spring day indeed, gravel shovelled lawn mowed time for lunch and a sit down and read Raddy’s pre match to keep me smiling……..

    Uh-oh, the sun has gone in! :(

    I have no feelings of doom as I did most of Tuesday, today I think we can do it, the United squad looks very weak without the three players mentioned, has Vidic ever played up against RvP? And I’ve read Fletcher has not trained all week, so perhaps he will not have the engine to run round kicking lumps.

    Today we need to exploit the width of the pitch and keep the ball moving, Schole, Giggs and Carrick will not cope with running for 90 minutes chasing shadows, so it is up to us to move the ball and run in behind the midfield.

    As for line up I’ll be happy whatever AW does.

    On Nik B I personally hope he doesn’t go in the summer, he will be good enough for us, and I would hate to see him come back and shove a bunch of goals past us playing for Birmingham or some other annoying side.

    What the referee gives the referee gives, if we create 10-15 chances he can’t disallow them all can he?

    We need to take it to Man Ure today and do them in their own backyard.

    To me this game is the title decider, show them how strong we are in this game, and they will really start looking over their shoulders for the rest of the season.

  34. SharkeySure says:

    I think we’ll be fine today. Man U just have no form at all.

    Start with the strongest team possible from the fit players and lets go for it !

    COYRRG

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Closer to gametime I am feeling more confident. Perhaps it is GIE’s comment putting a more positive spin on the match.

    Enjoyed the Bolton game. Phillips goal was reminiscent of TH14 v MU at Highbury, but without the set up of genius

  36. RockyLives says:

    GiE
    I appreciate your optimism, but…
    Much as I’d love us to create 12-15 great chances, my worry is that in reality there will be two or three key moments where the ref can play a big part in whether we win or lose.

    I do agree if we can beat them it will be a big psychological blow in the title run-in.

    We have a chance, because for all the doom and gloom around Arsenal at the moment, Utd fans will be equally worried about their team, who have had some rotten results lately.

    As my wife’s late father, an esteemed medical doctor and all-round character, used to tell my children: “They say never kick a man when he’s down. I say, kick him in the balls, then kick him in the head.” Let’s hope we do that (metaphorically) to Utd today.

  37. Carlito11 says:

    Afternoon all- I feel quite calm about today’s game- Foy has been shown to be a fair ref where we’re concerned most of the time and united will have little width. I also find myself feeling not that bothered about the result, which is surprising and a little shameful. I think it’s because I really want the league and I’m still suffering seratonin depletion from Tuesday night. Peaches- if you struggle to get a match report writer I’ll give it a go…

  38. chas says:

    From twitter

    Almunia, Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs, Denilson, Diaby, Wilshere, Nasri,Van Persie, Arshavin

  39. Big Raddy says:

    RL. An unusual bedside manner

  40. RockyLives says:

    Hmmm….. Denilson and Diaby in the same MF worries me. Diaby was very poor against Barca, but maybe he’s due that ‘one game in five’ where he looks world class. Let’s just hope he tries no headers in our own box.

  41. RockyLives says:

    BR
    He was a character. Very good GP though.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    Denilson gets the shirt ahead of Ramsey. Understand the decision but a shame.

  43. RockyLives says:

    AW obviously has some reservations about Aaron.

  44. RockyLives says:

    To go back to the earlier discussion about Bendy. I would prefer him to stay, but if I were him I would want to go.

  45. Carlito11 says:

    Seen their team? Full of defenders! Hernandez the dangerman for me…

  46. Gooner in Exile says:

    Reservations about Aaron or reservations about the way United might target him? If I was to criticise AW it is his protection of his players who have suffered injury setbacks/history.

    But on the other hand I understand it look at Ledley King who could well be ending his career through playing on despite injuries probably with the aid of painkilling injections.

  47. Carlito11 says:

    2-1 Arsenal rvp first scorer is my prediction- think it might be 0-0 first half the way they’re probably set up. I think I’d play clichy- hope gibbo steps up. 7 defenders in the manure team! Strange statement of intent that…

  48. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Anyone around?

  49. Rasp says:

    Hi Carlito,

    I don’t know if peaches is around, but I think we need a candidate for the match report if you’re in the mood.

  50. Carlito11 says:

    Gg I’ll be around intermittently- gets annoying updating and scrolling on the old phone! Couldn’t watch it at home with the mother in law there- need to give this one my undivided attention!

  51. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I guess yes. Any team news?

  52. Carlito11 says:

    Rasp- I’m in! Hope I can use some superlatives!

  53. Harry says:

    Team News:

    Al
    Sags Koz Jd Gibbs

    Denilson Diaby

    Nas Jack Arshavin

    RVP

    Subs not seen yet

  54. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Cheers Harry.

  55. Harry says:

    Just not struck on Denilson / Diaby combo, would prefer to see Ramsey, perhaps he’ll get 30mins at the end….

    United team is interesting, Gibson and Oshea in middle with Fabio and rafeal on the wings, they are good youthful players, but Diaby should dominate them if he has his eyes open and head screwed on…….

  56. Big Raddy says:

    I fear we are in for a kicking today.

    Hope the ref stamps his authority early and allows us to play Wengerball without our lads getting a bruising in the process.

  57. This game need alcohol.

    Thanks Carlito for the offer of a match report, I hope you can use some superlatives too ;)

  58. Raddy – new socks?

  59. kelsey says:

    hello everyone ;)

    nic not even on the bench

    I am dreading this,regardless of them having 7 defenders starting.If Rooney scores the winner I will …………….

  60. Gooner in Exile says:

    Harry after Jack failing in the hole against Sunderland first half ivthink it much more likely he plays Diaby there.

    Altho I know we would all prefer it to be Nasri, could we stick Abou at right wing?

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Yes Peaches. Striped yellow and deep red for away fixtures. They are lovely and I believe I will be wearing them more than once :-)

  62. kelsey says:

    if rvp scores the winner I will………. but my gut feeling is that today is the day of the little russian.

  63. Abou needs to be pushed up behind van Persie, he needs to play where he doesn’t have to think

  64. kelsey says:

    and i don’t mean stalin

  65. Carlito11 says:

    Think SAF has been quite clever putting the twin wing backs in midfield to give them width- maybe there’ll be unexpected space in the middle as they’re playing 442 against us… Hope den can see a forward pass today ;-)

  66. kelsey – nice to see you, no time for pleasantries now though but I hope you’re ok xx

  67. Big Raddy says:

    AW wears sharp suits. Nik must be injured. SAF is ugly and we should target Wes Brown.

    COYRRG

  68. Wonderman says:

    BR I suprised by your defeatism, this game is there for the taking ! But I am worried about Diaby and Denilson. Come on Gunners !!!

  69. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Arsenal 2 progress

  70. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    That rafael needs a good smack inthe scone

  71. Big Raddy says:

    SAF going with the double FB plan that was promoted here for Clichy and Gibbs. Interesting

  72. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Nice AA23

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Wonderman. Winter depression. I am right up for it now

  74. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Its a balmy morning here :P

  75. Red Arse says:

    Big Radder,

    I see your a man after my own tastes! :-)

    SAF is soooo ugly, he should be given an immediate red card!! :-)

    Bit worried by GG asking personal questions with ” is anyone round?”

    I’m looking a bit round after weeks sitting on my ass. :-(

  76. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Looking ok so far.

  77. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Well done Den

  78. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    RA
    :D

  79. Red Arse says:

    The Arsenal.com site shows the following;

    Team in full: Almunia, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs, Diaby, Denilson, Nasri, Wilshere, Arshavin, Van Persie

    Subs: Shea, Rosicky, Squillaci, Ramsey, Eboue, Chamakh, Gibbs.

    So apparently Gibbs’ brother is a sub! yeah right!!

  80. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Chiko roll? Is that Hernandez?

  81. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    fabio has a head you’d just want to punch

  82. Red Arse says:

    GG,

    Haven’t seen you around for a while. Now the Aussie part of my family are back in support, anything is possible!! :-)

  83. 26may1989 says:

    Phew. Gibson has real quality. Got to keep an eye on him.

  84. Red Arse says:

    Fabio should have scored. Yep, I would like to punch his head, in an entirely manly and friendly way, of course.

    Bollox!! :-)

  85. 26may1989 says:

    And yup, that’s Hernandez.

  86. Rasp says:

    Here we go again, the ref has to give Evra a card for a dangerous tackle on Nasri – nothing.

  87. Red Arse says:

    26,

    Luckily you are my buddy, otherwise suggestions I am eyeing up Gibson would earn you a red card!!

  88. 26may1989 says:

    United appear to have a more open shape than they’ve played against us since Ronaldo left. Can’t be bad for us.

  89. 26may1989 says:

    I’m very open minded RA, if that works for you, who am I to judge…..?!

  90. Red Arse says:

    No, no, no!

    We are playing too well.

    It’s bringing out my native pessimism …… those b*st*rds are bound to score on the break!

    Oh the sodding nerves!!!!!

  91. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    RA

    Now that continental cup crap is over, I’m on full rat power for the rrun home.

  92. goonermichael says:

    Where’s Bendtner?

  93. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    gm

    probably injured, again

  94. 26may1989 says:

    Fucking bollocks. Diaby very slow back.

  95. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    That hurts

  96. Gooner in Exile says:

    Need to ask where Gibbs was in the build up.

    Someone explain why Evra didn’t get booked?

  97. Red Arse says:

    26,

    No!! It’s bollocking fucks, now I think we will win!!

  98. 26may1989 says:

    The Arse fans have been doing a great job, noise wise.

  99. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Get In!!!!!

  100. 26may1989 says:

    Can’t believe that RvP header didn’t go in. Gutting.

  101. Red Arse says:

    Oh, Van Perse!! Great header, should have scored.

    What a f**k that Rooney is.

  102. 26may1989 says:

    Agreed re Rooney. And the rules say a careless or reckless tackle is a foul, regardless of whether he gets the ball or not.

    Diaby is so bloody annoying, such a dope in terms of his thinking, just dawdles when he needs to be thinking ahead.

  103. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Jacky is sublime

  104. Red Arse says:

    That’s not fair! Both those Fabio things have mad starey eyes!!!

    F**k em!

  105. Red Arse says:

    Oh for more gutsy Jack types!!

    Is Shane Warne available, GG?

  106. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Its coming!

  107. 26may1989 says:

    Nice effort from Nasri.

    Overall, we’re playing well, just got sucker punched.

  108. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Warnies always up 4 a bit of Hurley Burley :)

  109. SharkeySure says:

    Strongest team Arsene said, but Clichy is on the bench, and Gibbs is having a complete nightmare.

    He has let them run him absolutely ragged down his side !!

  110. Red Arse says:

    Where did that 45 mins go?

    Totally unfair. We were the better team!!!!

    (I admit I am boozed! F**k it, can you guess who my close relative is on “Let’s Dance for Comic relief?”)

    I cannot stand two losses in one evening, if he does not win either! Bollox!!!

  111. kelsey says:

    lack of penetration on our part. I am beginning to tire of these tippy tappy passes.What is worse is that united are just containing us and hoofing it upfield.the goal was bound to happen.

    nasri has got to come inside, take off diaby and bring on chamakh and pray.

  112. Big Raddy says:

    We are playing well and got suckered. Brilliant ball from Rooney and where the hell was Gibbs. But we are still in this

  113. Gooner in Exile says:

    Isn’t that always the case at OT 26.

    For me Deni, Jack, Sag, Kos, JD, Nas, AA all good. RvP and Diaby average, Gibbs must do better.

    Cham on at half time we spent first 20 minutes crossing with one on five in Uniteds box. At least with Cham alongside RvP we’d have another big man. Go 4-4-2 for once just go 4-4-2.

    Their full backs are tucking in, and guess what their all tall. 4-4-2 would give us more genuine width that their full backs would have to stay out wider.

    Foy doing his best to help ManUre naturally.

  114. Carlito11 says:

    Hard to see what we’ve done wrong here- lots of encouraging link play but too little beleif. A couple of times a first time shot was on and diaby in particular bottled it! Sagna at fault in build up to goal- left djourou to cover the right and it was too much to handle. They are set up to defend this lead- hope nasri and rvp can click to work that goal and diaby needs something to sharpen his thinking…

  115. Big Raddy says:

    Once again a GK is on the top of his form against AFC. 2 fine saves from VDS.

    Kelsey. We are shooting from distance, crossing into the box, AA is running into the 6 yard line, and we are playing through the middle. I think that for once we are mixing up our attacks!

  116. Red Arse says:

    Kelsey,

    Life and football is not fair! Sh*t, if we cannot win, we must break a couple of Manu legs!!

    Yeah, I know, not very intellectual, Cambridge grad my arse!!!

    In 5 billion years there will no Universe any hoo, so lets f**k ‘em while we can!! ‘Specially that ugly b*stard SAF!!!!

  117. Gooner in Exile says:

    Must be your lucky socks Raddy.

  118. 26may1989 says:

    Just watching that replay, I have to maintain my criticism of Diaby for the goal – he was with Fabio in the United half when Fabio played the ball forward to Rafael, then Diaby stopped running while Fabio pressed forward, so Diaby was too far away to press Fabio when he received the ball back from Rafael and then knocked it to Rooney. If Diaby had stayed with Fabio, that move would have broked down.

  119. Bugger, this wasn’t what I expected :(

  120. I know I wanted Diaby forward but he’s entitled to stay with his man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lazy, lazy, lazy

  121. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. I take full responsibility. I will remove them on 70 mins.

  122. 26may1989 says:

    “would have broked down”, excellent!

  123. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    1-2 final scoreline

  124. Big Raddy says:

    26. Gibbs was tracking Fabio and let him go into the box. I expect someone will give him a long talking to. Unless, I am mixing him up with Diaby!

  125. 26may1989 says:

    Completely agree Peaches. But Diaby will probably end up scoring. And this time for us.

  126. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    FUCK IT!!!!

  127. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    AGAIN!!!!

  128. Red Arse says:

    26,

    Your 6:16 and 6:19, is called self praise!!

    You are as boozed as me!!! :-)

  129. 26may1989 says:

    We’re both right Raddy – Gibbs should have been tracking the run into the box, I’m on about Fabio receiving the ball before that, about 7 yards outside the area – he wasn’t being pressed, that was Diaby’s job and he’d stopped running.

    Oh my god. Van der Saar and Rooney.

  130. Big Raddy says:

    Dreadful from Gibbs. He has to close down. Good game though.

  131. Red Arse says:

    Yeah Gnarley,

    Precisely put! F*CK IT!!!

  132. Carlito11 says:

    Poor old Gibbs- having a nightmare!

  133. Red Arse says:

    I never wanted to win the sodding FA (Mickey Mouse) Cup anyway!!

  134. 26may1989 says:

    The defence is missing Song today.

    Bring on Ramsey, Clichy and Chamakh for Diaby, Denilson and Gibbs.

  135. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Changes now, got nothing to lose. Attack!

  136. Big Raddy says:

    We have to make a change

  137. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Diaby is a luxury

  138. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent free kick, need this one to go in.

  139. Red Arse says:

    You r right GG.

    Nothing to lose!

    Try something from left field, Arsene. Cannot stand waking up to the crowing of the Spuds fans tomorrow.

    This is just not right!!!!! Manure are Cn*ts!!

    Bloody mouse has a life of it’s emown!

  140. 26may1989 says:

    Poor effort.

  141. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Should they crow, point them to Spurs record v MU !

  142. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Now is the time!!!!!

  143. 26may1989 says:

    Spurs were knocked out of the FA Cup by Fulham, 4-0. Not much crowing to be done there.

  144. 26may1989 says:

    What is going on, our lot are just drifting?!

  145. Rasp says:

    I’m not sure how many more chances Diaby deserves. There is really no sign of improvement in him. If he doesn’t produce a couple of good performances by the end of the season, we should look to sell him on.

  146. Big Raddy says:

    Socks in bin ….

  147. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry to say it but since the second goal, United have bossed this.

    At least it looks like Diaby is going to come off, and I assume also Arshavin.

  148. Big Raddy says:

    AA knackered. Diaby lost the plot. 2changes please

  149. Why do we nearly always shoot at the keeper ……..

    Sorry about your socks Raddy :(

  150. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    FLICK IT!!!!

  151. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Blimey!!!

  152. 26may1989 says:

    Looking significantly better with Ramsey on instead of Diaby.

  153. Rasp says:

    I’m afraid AW’s team selections for the last few games have been poor. Does anyone know if Clichy is injured?

  154. Big Raddy says:

    This looks very serious for JD

  155. 26may1989 says:

    He’s on the bench Rasp, so I assume not.

  156. Gooner in Exile says:

    Now Djourou there goes the season my friends.

  157. 26may1989 says:

    Must be a shoulder or arm injury for Djourou, given the way it’s being held. Not good.

  158. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rasp I would guess Clichy was shattered from Tuesday that’s all I can guess.

  159. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Now I’m pissed off!

  160. 26may1989 says:

    How long was the Djourou stoppage? 5 mins?

  161. Big Raddy says:

    Our away fans are just magnificent.

  162. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Now I’m off

  163. Gooner in Exile says:

    Van De Saar has had a blinder…..we could have signed him.

    After they scored the second only one of our players looked like he believed we could get back in it, that player was Wilshere. Give him a ten year contract on £200k per week and build a team round him and Ramsay and Nasri.

    The back four is good, but I will seriously consider offers for RvP and Cesc in the summer.

  164. 26may1989 says:

    Agreed Raddy.

  165. Rasp says:

    If only TV was back we’d be OK, but the loss of Djourou will be a hammer blow and I don’t even want to think what will happen if either Squillaci or Kozzer get injured.

    We have a big squad but always fall short this time of the season when the injuries mount up, does anyone have any theories?

  166. Red Arse says:

    Arsene,

    Sorry, but you are losing your fanbase!

    Utd’s 7 defenders scored 2. Our ‘attacking” lot scored, f*ck all!!

    You are beginning to lose me!!

  167. Rasp says:

    I know a lot of people praise Scholes’s record but he’s been guilty of some dreadful tackles and that one should have been a red – he meant to go straight through Chamakh.

  168. Red Arse says:

    Rosicky, Good bye, I loved you but ……

  169. 26may1989 says:

    There have been weaknesses today but with some half-decent finishing we wouldn’t be losing.

  170. 26may1989 says:

    Scholes has to go.

  171. Rasp says:

    Scholes has to be sent off now ……

  172. 26may1989 says:

    But he stays on, there’s a shock.

  173. Rasp says:

    That is a total disgrace …. Scholes is a special case, total injustice.

  174. Big Raddy says:

    Once again the OT effect on the referee. Scholes should have been sent off and would have been if he wore an Arsenal shirt

  175. Red Arse says:

    Scholes,

    You are a total F”ker. Always geting the decisions!!

    We are f*cked with these refs.

  176. 26may1989 says:

    To be honest, I don’t care about the FA Cup but this is a big blow psychologically.

  177. Big Raddy says:

    I thought we played well and so did MU. Better tactics fro SAF. The fatc that VDS was MOM is proof we were unlucky

  178. goonermichael says:

    What a load of rubbish. Why is Rosicky still at Arsenal?

  179. goonermichael says:

    We had no cutting edge. That was so painful.

  180. Big Raddy says:

    GM. We had our chances, but MU defended very well. Credit where credit is due

  181. Gooner in Exile says:

    To be fair whether or not Scholes stays on the park it changes nothing, whilst too many of our team play with a belief they should be allowed to play we will continue to capitulate when it matters.

    JD, Sagna, Nasri and Jack are all prepared to earn the right to play with the ball. Also would help if we had Van der Saar in goal for us. Yet again the opposition keeper gets MotM and we lose…..so what are we doing wrong? Yet again too few are willing to defend all over the pitch.

    For their second goal Denilson has to go over to track Valencia because AA23 is walking behind VdS as our attack broke down.

  182. chas says:

    Fuck me, those footballing gods really have it in for us, don’t they?

  183. Brigham says:

    Yet more bias and inept refereeing regarding the Scholes incident. FFS, Diaby was sent off for far less at Newcastle.

    On a positive, we outplayed them for much of the game and if we can keep up that committment then things look good for us.

    We lacked a cutting edge as goonermichael said and if we had taken even our clearcut chances, we would have won easily.

    Big up for those who traveled, you sounded magnifcent all game.

  184. Carlito11 says:

    Speechless… Not a good sign with a report to write up! :-) Can anyone give mr some positives to include or it’ll be a requiem for our season on the homepage tomorrow… :-(

  185. Red Arse says:

    Brigham, you are right, the travelling fans were great. Well done them!!

    We played well, but not well enough.

    Don’t know what else to say really! :-( Dejected.

  186. chas says:

    We’re going to win the league.

  187. goonermichael says:

    Raddy they were the better team. We still had no real cutting edge though. And we have a habit of breaking then slowing the play down. The mancs are in the box so quick. The know how to play us, It is so predictable. We can still win the league though./ See you later, I’m off

  188. Gooner in Exile says:

    Look at the stats Carlito, enough positives there, twice attempts on target, 57% possession just unfortunate we met Van der Saar who was in top class form.

    Plus Ramsay/Wilshere/Nasri combo first glimpse……I like it

  189. 26may1989 says:

    OK, looking forward, our remaining fixture list is now very simple: 10 games to go, with only one midweek fixture, so no distractions. Our lot need to be boring and focused: a series of 1-0 wins would be absolutely fine by me.

    The Djourou and GK situations are worrying.

    Surely one clear thing that came through today is that we cannot afford to play Diaby. I just despair of him ever realising his potential in an Arsenal shirt. He should return to French football.

  190. kelsey says:

    Ferguson not for the first time got his tactics right.I feel for Djourou, our best defender this season.We have a powder puff attack and Wenger needs to ask himself some serious questions why he didn’t strengthen this season.The run in will be hard and the players will be shattered.Diaby slows the game down and Arshavin yet again disappoints and Rosicky just can’t shoot anymore.Jack played well and to me RVP is not fully fit.We are cursed when it comes to big games, and I just don’t know why.

  191. London says:

    First time on today, the page opened at GM’s 7:31 comment, I agree with every word.

  192. Gooner in Exile says:

    GoonerM two players were guilty of the slow down in second half, Diaby and AA23.

    We had twice shots on target and two more off target, their defence was busier, ours was more exposed, hence they had more clear cut chances. It’s hard to have cutting edge against a bus.

    We may only need to draw against them at the Grove and I would really like to see us sit back and play on the counter. I know there’s not a lot of chance but it’s a must not lose game and if we play again like we did today we will hand them 3 points in the title race.

  193. ryandanielwood says:

    Breaking news: Wenger is sacked, new manager announced with immediate effect, Charlie Sheen why? Because the team will have no choice but to start WINNING.

  194. London says:

    Diaby will surely be in Italy next season with his slow languid style.

  195. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry to say it but like London I thought GM’s 7.31 covered a lot of the ground too. It could have been different had our finishing been better, it’s not like United stopped us having chances, but we let them off the hook.

  196. chas says:

    Pleased I watched the game with my brother who was positive throughout. Must have been a bastard to watch that on your own.

  197. Gooner in Exile says:

    Djourou out for the rest of the season dislocated shoulder.

  198. kelsey says:

    2 good things. the away support and seeing ramsey back again.

  199. chas says:

    Chin up AA’ers.

    What we have done with six centrebacks, anyway? :)

    Night all.

  200. Red Arse says:

    Chas,

    Yep!!

  201. Gooner in Exile says:

    Interesting that we all feel the problem today was up front, yet we always hear we need new CBs and Keepers.

    Admittedly another couple now would be no bad thing, but consistently our failure to break down the big sides or get a goal for our possession and to force them to come at us is so often our undoing in these games.

  202. Big Raddy says:

    We must hope that TV comes back before season’s end.

    I m not too disheartened, I expected to lose and thought we played well. MU defended excellently as usual and as I said above, we have to give them credit for it.

    We lost because TWICE Gibbs made mistakes. Small ones but nonetheless in a tight game those things are costly.

  203. Harry says:

    A brief foray from under my quilt….

    1. Arsenal away fans were awesome….
    2. Ramsey is back and he has a massive part to play from here on….
    3. I am fed up with out playing teams and losing to naff goals and goal keepers getting MoTM
    4. Rooney was awful, but his drive pushed them on, his tackle through Sagna got the crowd going…
    5. Scholes should have seen red…..
    6. Diaby has finally lost my backing, will support him on the pitch, but want him to leave at end of season, same goes for denilson as well…Both refused to lay bodies on line, were languid and lacklustre…
    7. Jack is immense…
    8. Nas, Koz, Sags and JD really tried….
    9. We need pace to open teams up….
    10. We need a true leader, roll up sleeves type….
    11. We need a clincial finisher to supplement robin….
    12. Almunia is a decent back up 3rd keeper….
    13. Wenger needs help to unlock the undoubted potential in this team, at the moment he is struggling to make a difference when needed……
    14. I would call back all loanees that we can, namely Bartley if possible and Lansbury…..
    15. Gutted, but thats football, just want us now to fight till the end of the season, will we win it? For me its in the balance now, less than 3 points next week away at WBA and the answer is NO……

    Back to under my quilt and my dvds of bergkamp, henry and wright…..

  204. RockyLives says:

    For me the problem was midfield. Diaby in particular is not good enough – either going forward or defending. Den had a better than usual game, but he is still not champions class. Also, did anyone else see him jogging slowly back as Rooney took all the time in the world to set up the first goal. I’m not saying he would have got their in time to prevent the cross, but if he’d been haring at Rooney at full pelt it might just have made him snatch at the cross.

    Very, very disappointing. I can’t help but be left with the feeling that this group of players really does lack something – call it leadership, call it true grit, call it passion. Whatever it is, we don’t seem to have it – or not enough of it.

  205. Rasp says:

    Top comment Harry I agree with every point. I’m not sure we can call back all the loanees and unfortunately I don’t think AW will play Ramsey in front of Diaby simply because he has a history of persisting with players that underperform and he simply doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes.

  206. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, we have too many chiefs and not enough indians. We need a few players (Parlour, Grimandi) who can just do a job and in so doing, make it possible for the flair players to perform. The problem with the very gifted is that they cannot do it all the time and when its not working for them, they become passengers. Diaby is not suited to English football and Rosicky is in the autumn of his career.

  207. RockyLives says:

    Rasp
    Agree with every word. This game cried out for a Ray Parlour type character.

    I’ll probably feel better tomorrow, but right now I can’t see our lot having the necessary character to win the title. They were better than the 11 put out by Utd today, but just didn’t want to win enough. We could play that game another 10 times with the same personnel on both sides and we would lose every time.

    If recent experience is anything to go by, we’re more likely to go on a self-pitying run of bad results in the league now.

  208. London says:

    After the first goal went in I sat watching resigned to what I thought would be the inevitable, the only thing that lifted my spirits was the appearance of Ramsey. It is worth remembering that Wenger played him ahead of Diaby before so I don’t see why he won’t do it again.
    I don’t know if anyone else noticed but Jack seemed to find another gear when Ramsey came on, his confidence soared I can’t quite put my finger on why but it was something like he was no longer the apprentice, he knew he had moved up the pecking order, either way those two are the future.
    I am glad no one is laying into Denilson, it is not his fault that Song, Fabregas are injured both of whom would have played ahead of him the same is true of a fully fit Ramsey.
    Rocky I did notice Denilson trotting back as Rooney set up the first goal, I agree he should at least give the appearance of being prepared to die for the cause even if it was impossible to stop it; still, the reason I don’t blame him was because the damage had already been done by Gibbs being caught out once again.

  209. London says:

    Another Ray Palour……wow, I am having a bad day and I am desperate but even so that one goes straight over my head.

  210. barumgooner says:

    evening gooners.
    We are too slow. At one point I heard the commentator say that Diaby was on the break at which point he stopped, turned around and passed the ball sideways to den who in turn passed it back and waited for manutd to re position themselves.
    Agree that Diaby is shit, Rosicky is not good enough and Jack is great. We need Cesc and Rvp IMO but we cant rely totally on them. Others need to stand up and be counted or leave. I thought Denilson actually had a good game and was unfortunate to go off. With Lansbury, jet and frimpong all available next year the midfield is due a clear out.

  211. London says:

    Of the many things that bother me about today there is one that really grates and that is that the mancs weren’t even trying, Wednesday was far more important and they fielded a side with that in mind — quite embarrassing really

  212. London says:

    Hi Barum

    I remember the exact break…..it was embarrassing made even worse by the knowledge that we used to be the best in the country at it.

  213. RockyLives says:

    Good points about the slowness of our play. Short passing and probing for an opening looks great when we have all our best players playing and they are all on top of their game. The rest of the time (at least every other game) it doesn’t work.

    I’ve always felt this style of play was built around the way Cesc likes to play. I wonder if it’s time for a change of strategy (not that I expect one from AW).

  214. Rasp says:

    I think AW will play Ramsey ahead of Diaby next season (if Diaby is still an Arsenal player) but not in the rest of this.

    The reference to Parlour was not recognition of his skill so much as his bravery, work rate and commitment to the cause. As was said earlier, Rooney lifted the crowd when he made a particularly aggressive tackle that made our player jump out of the way. We did lack a leader on the pitch today.

  215. Big Raddy says:

    The above complaints are true and it is also true that MU played a defensive team. What is also true is that SAF knows how to beat us – he does it time and time again.

    Defend in depth inside the final 25 yards, allowing no space for our intricate pass and move patterns. Keep one upfront. Allow Rooney the freedom to play where he wishes and pull our defenders. Midfielders take it in turn to run at pace into our defence.

    It works.

  216. Big Raddy says:

    I don’t agree about the Leader. We lacked tactical awareness and luck.

    Had VDS not made two exceptional saves (from RvPP and then Kos) we would have got at least a draw.

    And it has to be recalled that we have lost the backbone of our team. Take the best players out of any side and they will struggle.

  217. Rasp says:

    Surely the backbone of the side means the leaders -those who drive the play and enforce the defence. Jack was (once again) the player who demonstrated the required spirit to do battle with manu.

    Raddy, you predicted a loss, how come you are now advocating the VDS was exceptional stance? For ‘lack of tactical awareness’, substitute ‘Arsene got it wrong again’ – or is that not what you are saying?

  218. London says:

    Rasp

    You are proably right about Diaby but a long ginger haired player ;)

  219. Rasp says:

    London,

    We don’t need a ‘Parlour’ for every game, but against manu at OT, success is a much about mentality and fight and I think we failed on both counts today. The slow pace of our attacks, the missed chances and reluctance to shoot let alone produce a clinical finish were all evident today.

  220. Rasp says:

    We missed Song today, he is (was?) content to be a facilitator/enforcer for the team.

  221. Gooner in Exile says:

    I’d like to add to the debate that Jack Wilshere was our leader on the pitch, when a lot of his colleagues seemed to think the game was lost he was the one driving forward nicked the ball of Giggs to stop a 3rd.

    I have a massive bone to pick with RvP and AA23 they were the senior players in that side today and neither showed desire at 2-0 down. Someone said AA looked tired around 60 minutes, for a pro footballer that is not good enough.

    When Kozzer is prepared to attack the box and get himself in a goal scoring position with a bit of drive you have to ask why Diaby doesn’t. Someone described Diaby as a luxury, surely a luxury is something that costs a lot but gives pleasure above something far more ordinary. Like eating at Noma or Little Chef, unfortunately he gives us nothing but costs the team in defense and attack. In that case he is not a luxury he is just a burden….hate to say it because as I’ve said many times before he could have been great, but he is going backwards.

    Liam Brady was asked the other day what makes Jack so good, his answer….his desire to learn more and improve his game. Therein lies the difference.

  222. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, I credited Jack’s attitude in my @ 10:27. He certainly has the drive and determination (and skill) but he won’t have the psychological effect of a leader on the other players at such a young age. If you could have injected a bit of Scott Parker into the likes of Diaby today, we may have got the victory.

  223. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    “I would give the Claret- nosed Caledonian (Thank you RL) the win today in exchange for the 3 points at the Grove.”

    Bloody oath so would I. But to lose was disappointing.

  224. Gooner in Exile says:

    Rasp, unfortunately you are right, how old was TA when made skipper?

  225. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    GiE

    If I may answer that, 21.

  226. Gooner in Exile says:

    Thanks GG.

    Well Jacks better than Tony was at 19 so what say we make him captain next season?

    I know he may be young but god he is inspiring to watch, I don’t think I’ve been excited by an Arsenal youngster recently as I have him. And I really think that JW is testament to what Arsene has done at the club. We got him at 6/7 years old so he has been at the club for as long as Arsene, brought up the way he wants to play, and it shows, most of all he has Arsenal in his heart and that must be one of the reasons he is the stand out performer week in week out.

    Great shame for JD today, again I felt him and Kosser were over exposed and face a very difficult task when 2/3/4 players are counter attacking and they have no help. How I miss Gilberto one of the most underrated players to wear our shirt. Without him Thierry and the others would not have been able to run riot as often as they did.

  227. Gooner in Exile says:

    While I’m here on late watch, is RvP good enough to lead the line?

    I’m just throwing it out there, personally he is sometimes brilliant but I haven’t seen it often enough to say he should be free from our criticisms.

  228. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp.

    That I predicted the loss doesn’t stop me from advocating restraint with the criticisms. VDS was MoM which indicates we were on top for much of the match.
    One cannot deny MU’s defensive performance, nor that AW was out-thought by SAF.

    The Leaders of this team are Cesc and Vermaelen, (and now JW). They were missing. Leadership is a quality it is difficult to teach – you either have it or you don’t. It is pointless berating players because they are not leaders.

    And …. we had 2 International Captain’s yesterday in Rosicky and Arshavin. They clearly are trusted to lead the national teams and yet do not step up to the plate at Arsenal. Why is that?

  229. Big Raddy says:

    BTW. Arshavin was anonymous yesterday. At least Diaby was involved.

    In the aftermath, I think we got another football lesson, and it feels worse than Barca. Primarily because the loss of JD (and Chesney) could well cost us the title.

  230. Rasp says:

    I agree Raddy. I think our system is too fragile. It relies on the opposition playing into our hands and that just doesn’t happen against the better teams. We need a commanding presence in midfield and an out and out goalscoringg striker, but to accommodate that we would need to adjust our style of play and I cannot see the stubborn one doing that.

    We now know that the prem is our only target this season and as you say, the loss of JD is a big blow. I don’t know why we didn’t play Clichy yesterday – I hought we were going to play our strongest side?

  231. barumgooner says:

    Morning all. Whatever happens for the rest of this season a few things have been proven (imo). That AW was right to have faith in JD. He was right to have faith in the 2 polish keepers. He is wrong to blindly believe that Diaby is worldclass, TR is way past being useful. Jack is the find of the decade and the future is bright at the Arsenal. We have so much midfield talent just waiting for an opportunity. Next years “new signings” will be AR and TV.

  232. barumgooner says:

    oh and that Kos IS good enough for the EPL.

  233. dandan says:

    Good morning I am about to have a rant re last nights blogging for which I make no apology

    .
    For goodness sake Gooners why so depressed, you are intelligent grown men. Yet you rightly laud the away fans for their support, before completely undoing their good work by castigating the team in print. Thus feeding the press you supposedly abhor with the evidence of mass supporter discontent to beat AW with. After which of course have the nerve to blog that the press are anti Arsenal.

    Is it do as I say, not as I do? C’mon get a grip. The Goalkeeper was M.O.M. again, if the team is half as negative as you lot the league will definitely not be won.

    Which is why I did not comment last night the attitude of the blog so annoyed me. Rasp will of course say we are entitled to our opinions and that’s what makes blogs work. Yes you are, but the constant breast beating when the team needs more support is IMHO ludicrous. What is the difference between the blogs attitude since last nights defeat and the guys you so deride when seated at the Grove for their lack of support.

    This is Bob Wilson this morning

    “For me as a fan, I just think we’ll only really understand what Arsène contributed when he’s gone,” Wilson says. “The Invincibles season of 2004 was one of the greatest feats ever in British football and I never felt he got sufficient credit for that. I’m sure that in the summer two or three players will go and two or three will come, including one huge signing, because of the healthy way the club is run. They’re still a terrific side.”

    That is an Arsenal fan.

    End of rant, You have my permission to kick me as hard and specifically as you like. Better me than a team who have a mountain to climb without it would seem, many friends

  234. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all,
    For me the only only bright spot about yesterday was Chas’ Gravatar. Sadly, that is becoming a recurring theme, rather like the predicatable injuries, lack of leadership and blunt cutting edge.
    I can see no option other than to stay right behind the lads for the last ten games, and then ermmm…the transfer window!!!

  235. Big Raddy says:

    RAsp. You are right. We are back to the old “No Plan B” situation. But to be fair we really miss TW, particularly at Barca

    Realistically, we have to sign a loan GK. I cannot ever recall any team losing both their frontline keepers to long term injury. We are fortunate that Almunia didn’t move in January. Having Shea as our only back-up is just too risky – particularly in view of Almunia’s elbow (?) problems

  236. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Hope our loss didn’t affect your enjoyment of the wines!

    I agree with the thrust of your comment but believe the blog is an outlet for frustrations as well as a place for constructive criticism. Everyone on this blog has Arsenal running through their veins and is a lifelong committed Arsenal fan.

    And some of us don’t have a dog to kick :-)

  237. Big Raddy says:

    Barum. Good to look at the positives..

    You missed out;

    the discovery of Szczesny,
    the improvement of Theo,
    Chamakh’s early season form which shows how good he can become once settled
    Fabianski’s new found reliability.
    Sagna and Clichy’s return to form
    Song getting better and better
    That in mid March we are still very much in the title race.

    I’ll think of some more ……

  238. barumgooner says:

    Nice one BR.

  239. Gooner in Exile says:

    Cheers DanDan needed the kick!

    It’s been a particularly bad fortnight, yesterday hurts as we know what the media will say.

    It is strange that my most negative comments are here amongst fellow Gooners.

    On other forums that have off topic football threads I defend the team to the hilt. But amongst friends I feel we can have a more frank discussion about weaknesses. Hopefully that is also the way that AW handles the teams shortcomings.

  240. Morning all

    New Post

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