Impotent Arsenal ….. Another Bad Day At The Office

Looks like I was wrong again, it seems my early predictions that it would be Arsenal and Man City who vie for the EPL are way off the mark. Embarrassing as that lofty prediction now seems I don’t regret it. As a season ticket holder one of the things that keeps me paying the annual expense is a genuine belief that the good guys could bring the title back to THOF and this preseason was no exception.

I calculated that with the purchases of Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud and the further emergence of The Ox we would have what it takes and so it seemed. For a few weeks the heady smell of silverware polish was in the air; the Liverpool game sent my head spinning but that was short lived as the cold light of day has dawned and the reality of exactly what our team consists of has now come into sharp focus.

It is quite simple, our attack is not potent enough to win the League, it doesn’t function as a unit and it doesn’t have the wherewithal to change. Theo on the right might help, well let’s face it; things up front can’t get much worse.

Unlike the Norwich game, which Wenger claims the team did not take seriously enough, I thought the team selection for Shalke showed exactly how seriously he was taking the game. Ramsey on the right was the key to this for me, the Welshman doesn’t offer much by way of defence but he does offer some, and it was that ability that enabled him to drop back and try to help out against the waves of German attacks.

All went reasonably well in the first half I thought, we were in the game, the BFG was holding things together at the back and there was always the chance that Gervinho might get lucky. But luck is all it was ever going to be; he does not have the talent to be team player and by that I mean he doesn’t have the skill to be able to bring other players into the game; he is so erratic no one knows what he is going to do next, I am not sure he knows himself. A large part of the crowd has turned against him, there were cheers when he went off, not all, but the number is growing and the dissenters are becoming more vocal.

The second half still offered hope even if it was becoming clear to the most blinkered of supporters which was the better team on the pitch. The defence held well and that includes Santos who was up against a very skilful Farfan. Did Shalke score due to his error? No and neither did Norwich, the Brazilian is getting himself back up to match speed and while he is doing so he retains the support of this gooner who can remember how exciting he was before his injury last season.

Shalke finally scored, if the blame has to be pointed at anyone I suppose Vermaelen should catch it; he seemed to nod off for a moment enabling the Germans to get through.

Wenger sent on Gnabry and Arshavin but it was too little too late (pun intended) and for all those who might accidentally rush to elevate our own young German to saviour status, I would point out that it was he who was caught in possession that led to their second goal.

Written by LB

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196 Responses to Impotent Arsenal ….. Another Bad Day At The Office

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, everything you say is true. We did not have the personnel to play 4:3:3, Gervinho may have had one half decent game playing in the centre but he is not a target man. Giroud could be effective but he needs the service. We lacked pace last night as well as many other qualities. Jenks was our best player.

    My observation of SB’s body language throughout the game tells me that he was inwardly seething!!!!!! He sat clenching his jaw. I believe he had basically been given zero latitude to use his judgement to change the game plan or make subs. This is purely conjecture, but if true highlights the problem of AW’s obsession with having control of everything at the club.

  2. I didn’t realise LB was “London”
    Slow on the uptake, anyway thanks for a great read LB.
    I’ve plugged it on Twitter, so hopefully there’ll be some extra traffic.
    Anyway i’m at a loss with last nights performance and Saturdays,
    we seem very vulnerable at the moment with not a lot of ideas.
    QPR saturday LOL another easy game, can’t wait!

  3. chas says:

    Spot on, LB.
    Definitely Tommy for the first goal.
    We just did not play as a team, Schalke did and fully deserved their victory.

    Aside from seeing peaches and chary in the Tavern, the highlight of the game for me was when Schalke brought on Barnetta and Ant said, ‘ I bet GoonerMichael likes Barnetta’.

  4. Red Arse says:

    LB,

    You have managed to capture the euphoria of the fans’ early season excitement as well as giving a very fair assessment of the turgidly disappointing performance meted out to those same devoted fans last night.

  5. slimgingergooner says:

    Hi Rasp,

    You can submit it if you like.

    Cheers

  6. Rasp says:

    This is kelsey’s comment posted 20 minutes ago……

    …….I did warn you that this might happen and here a few observations as opposed to a post

    Firstly it has been mentioned that 6 or 7 first teamers were out but if you take them one by one how many would have played last night. Szczsney and Gibbs for sure then I pause.

    Walcott gets mixed reviews and may have made a difference as a sub, as it is quite clear to me due to on going contract negotiations, Wenger wouldn’ t have started him and possibly the Ox might have come on as a sub.
    I am dismissing Jack and Mozart as they haven’t played for ages. A fit Diaby would have been beneficial, but that is just dreaming.

    Schalke are a good side but not a great side and between Bould and Wenger they appear to have compromised on our formation to such an extent that the team I saw these past two games is unrecognisible as the Arsenal of old.

    We have a long history of producing good left backs or wing backs if you prefer and Santos is a complete embarrassment and as a Brazilian it sort of makes it worse.

    Nearly every time on the few occasions a cross came into the box we either had one player surrounded by three or four defenders or no one, or the cross was overhit.

    There were periods in the game when Santos and Vermaelen were our most forward players. what is that all about ?

    Bould is a defensive coach and his timing of subs should have been made at half time,not when the game was lost and who does he take off , Jenkinson.!!!

    We are becoming easy picking for too many sides for my liking. Santos and whoever should have tracked back, they were targetted time and time again, and it was inevitable that Schalke would score.

    When you haven’t got a recognised striker in your line up why not persevere with Giroud, he may not be on top of his form but he has a presence. Strange decision.

    Podolski might as well have not played,it is obvious he is carrying an injury.

    I thought Jenkinson, Arteta, Pers and Santi had reasonable games but as a unit we looked more disjointed than ever, as if half the team had never played before with the others .

    People say I have a go at Mannone, well he didn’t do much wrong but looks like a carbon copy of Fabianski when he got shot. The guy is nervous as hell and that rebounds onto the defence.

    QPR will be bruisers and there’s now more pressure on the players and manager. I have to say a section of our crowd don’t help.

    As far as the CL group goes we should get second place but that will give us one two legged tie in the knockout stage, at best.

    This is going to be our worst season under Wenger purely because of so many injuries and some very poor players in the squad.

    That is my post for today.

    Clueless Arsenal got sauerkrauted.

  7. Rasp says:

    slimgingergooner’s comment posted @ 9:11 this morning …..

    Can anyone remember a time when Arsene has actually made this 4-3-3 work correctly for long periods?

    We have had issues at LW with Arshavin being deployed there for 18 months even though he didn’t track back and was naturally an AM/CF. He has been replaced with Podolski who has the work rate that was missing but doesn’t get into the forward positions enough to support a lonely striker.

    We have has similar issues at RW where we have tried to mould a young striker into a RW with some success but to a point where the player wants out!

    Our CB positions were a shambles for a couple of seasons, being filled by the likes of Squillaci or untested defenders like Kozzer and Djourou.

    Our LB has been another problem area with Gibbs constantly injured, Clichy badly out of form at times and Santos now looking lost.

    GK positions have been filled by Almunia, Mannone, Fabianski and Szscesny. Not exactly a who’s who of Arsenal legends though that maybe a bit harsh on the current number 1 who does look a great prospect. But the fact he is only still a prospect speaks quite loudly.

    And as for the Strikers, we have had 1 success in the last 5 or 6 years with RvP playing brilliantly for 18 months before pissing off to United! Eduardo, Chamakh and Giroud have all been hit n miss at best although again, I still believe Giroud could become a good player for us.

    The only success we have had has been in midfield with players like Song, Wilshire, Fabregas, Arteta, Cazorla etc and RB with Sagna and now Jenks. All the other positions have been filled with inconsistency and unbelievable amounts of injuries.

    I feel, as many have already said, that its time for a tactical rethink. Wengers philosophy of ‘if we play well then we don’t need to worry about the opposition’ is all very good WHEN we are on form and injury free, but how often has that been the case? The tactics fall to pieces when we don’t quite click into gear or we have too many personnel not at the level of the first XI. We MUST have a Plan B for when things aren’t going to plan and we MUST start to take opposition tactics and players into consideration when playing better teams.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but I know that Arsene needs to find it soon, otherwise a tough AGM will be the least of his and our worries.

  8. Red Arse says:

    Chas,

    I think both TV and Per were badly positioned for the first goal, however, our midfield were all over the place by then, and allowed a strapping Schalke player to get to a miscontrolled attempt at a clearance and, without any challenge, headed to ball on to Huntelaar for him to score. Literally a team effort! :-(

  9. podolski, gervinho and rambo as the front 3 is hardly a recipe to deliver fear in to our opponents.
    playing players out of position is my main gripe and the fact that we never change formation or tactics to accommodate the personnel available.

  10. femi says:

    One thing is wrong and you all refused to see it rather sentimental. Ramsey shouldn’t be starting. He disorganize pattern. Until that happens Arsenal will keep struggling

  11. slimgingergooner says:

    It’s fair to say we had a lot of injuries last night and over the years, but another team that has suffered like us is United. However, they still seem to be up there battling for the title, and I put this down to tactics.

    Wengers philosophy is a broad stroke that covers the whole club aged 10 upwards. Whilst this gets us playing beautiful football, it doesn’t take into account that some players can implement it better than others, therefore when injuries occur, you are asking players like Ramsey to be as good as Cazorla, or Santos to be as good as Gibbs.

    SAF on the other hand, will know and more importantly admit, that certain players like Anderson, Fletcher, Young etc are not as gifted as the ones they are covering for and will adjust things accordingly to get the most from his team. Wether that means 10 behind the ball or staying compact for the first 30 minutes to take the sting out of the opposition. Ultimately Wengers tactics are like a tower of cards, if a few of the cards are replaced with toilet paper, it falls down.

    Im off. stay classy Gooners….!

  12. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks for the post LB

    I just dont buy this doom and gloom. For more most parts last nights game was pretty even and with a bit of luck we may have nicked it, not them.

    We are playing at the highest level and now again these sort of results are going to happen. Look at chelsea and city.

    The minimum we will acheive this year is fourth in the league and the knock out stages of the champions league. Those who do not believe we will do this are simply falling into the same trap as last season.

    We are very good side and the Club has hugh potential to improve both on and off the pitch and in the next few years big strides will be made. Two bad results and a bit of bad form will not dictate our season and neither is it a vindicative appraisal of our current side, we are better than that and as the season progresses we will prove it.

  13. dave says:

    you think santos held up ok!!! That was the worst full back display i’ve seen in 46 years of watching AFC

  14. Red Arse says:

    Rasp, :-)

    Reference your earlier comment about Bouldie’s body language I totally agree with your observation!

    If you were watching on TV you might have noticed the following.

    We were all fidgeting and becoming antsy that only Giroud had been brought on as a substitute in the 75th minute, after which no further changes seemed to be forthcoming, when everyone could see that a new impetus was needed.

    Finally, 10 minutes or so later, the camera switched to Wenger for a sneaky peek, and caught him lifting his hand to cover his mouth and lean into Gazidis to say something, and Gazidis immediately started to pull out his cell phone. [The ban prohibits AW from having any part in controlling the game -- but without a laundry basket that was the best he could do!]

    Within 3 minutes Jenkinson our fittest, fastest and most athletic player was incredibly given the hook, and Gnabry and Arshavin were brought on. Too late to be effective, as LB said.

    Bould would never have been allowed to pull Jenkinson off his own bat — that was such a weird call only the boss could have made that decision.

    I think that probably explains Steve’s demeanour!

  15. Okoth obuya says:

    Can’t Arsenal look 4Guardiola or Rijkaard,this guy can’t improve anymore.is it a curfew he must be there?

  16. Rasp says:

    Thanks Redders, unfortunately I can’t stick around, off to the AGM to hear how well we’re doing :roll:

  17. kelsey says:

    I can’t share your optimism or toupee Terry ;)

    “last night’s game was pretty even” you are joking.Not one direct shot, a below par performance by many, a non existent attack and vunerable time and time again down the flanks. I have already given my opinion and that’s all it is.

    If we are a very good side or squad two consecutive performances like the ones we have just witnessed disproves that theory.

  18. Red Arse says:

    I am going to take myself off too.

    Blogging after a game like last night will have disappointed many; encouraged the Grunge Brigade; and also bring out the ‘whistle and hope’ enthusiasts (Sorry Terry – :-) ) and the simple basics of wanting to just support your team and enjoy watching them play gets lost in all the “smoke and mirrors”.

    Laters.

  19. Okoth obuya says:

    Go buy Falcao,Lorente bcoz i don’nt Giroud and Podolki being wonder boys

  20. Rasp, really agree with your very good post. Feeling that Bould /Wenger ? have lost huge amounts of credibility with there failure to sub Santos at half time. Quite incredible… In Spain at the moment so very frustrated that I cannot make a contribution to the proceedings at the AGM. Hope others step up to the plate.

  21. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Kelsey, thats ok my friend. We are both entitled to our opinions.

    Yes, this has been an awful week, but thats what it is, a week.

    In two years time Arsenal will be top of the league and be the best side in England. No drastic or dramatic changes are required at the Club. The Club must continue on its current path, and change opinions on the pitch.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Always good to read your thoughts LB! :)

    I agree with most of your sentiments but not with the title and later statement of: “It is quite simple, our attack is not potent enough to win the League, it doesn’t function as a unit and it doesn’t have the wherewithal to change that.”

    Far too early to say that in my opinion. As soon as our wing-play improves and the midfield sees the return of Jack and/or Diaby the whole thing will transform again.

    BTW it is Schalke with Sch and Farfan with an ‘r’ in it. :)

  23. slimgingergooner says:

    One for the weekend!

    The anger has subsided,
    the vase put back together.
    The wife’s come out of hiding,
    and the sun has broke the weather.
    I type the phrase LG,
    and read a blog or two.
    Imagine my surprise,
    when I see the point of view,
    that Arsenal are in crisis.
    ‘Wenger Out’ they cry.
    Thank god I’ve got AA,
    in my favourites,standing by.
    LB, Rasp and Peaches,
    just to name a few.
    No-one on there preaches,
    they just air their point of view.
    On Saturday we will be watching,
    with baited breath my friends.
    To see if the Mighty Gunners,
    can somehow make amends.
    The Emirates will be buzzing,
    with the famous red and white.
    And people praying to Dennis,
    please, not the same old Schalke shite!

  24. richie says:

    So I guess its official then eh? Arsenal are in crisis. LB you certainly managed to capture the topsy turvey feelings that the vast majority of Gooners have been expirencing, although I have to say I dissagree with your assesment over who was at fault for our last 15 minute capitulation. That our strikeforce is misfiring is a given, but with such a short amount of time left on the clock in a tight game with us under pressure Santos going on a wonder somewhere in the wealdernes was unforgiveable, especially as he’d been found out several times in the first half. I thought he was instrumental in both goals in that an aeroplane could’ve landed in the space he left behind.

    Still its a team game and we win as a team and lose as one, although thats probably the point, we didn’t seem to be able to play as a team. Gervinho isn’t a CF we’ve got a CF in Girou who apparently needs games so that he can adjust to the prems speed, I’d rather he was given the pitch time, even if he’s misfiring. Using Gervinho as a stop gap until Girou comes good doesn’t make any sense to me because playing someone out of position who himself is misfiring seems like madness. Now the teams formation needs fixing and quick, surely we play everyone in their rightful spot which should at least bring in some cohesion, even if the player isn’t at the top of their game.

  25. @ Kelsey, 9.42am
    Spot on, every word. I’m envious that it’s not my work.

    @ Dave, 10.02am
    51 years of watching AFC in my case!
    And not with hindsight in my case… I’ve had plenty to say about the guy last season as well as this, and sometimes got a bit of a bashing for my trouble.

    @ Red Arse, 10.06am
    Sorry to disagree but with ten minutes to go and 2-0 down we needed drastic action, that’s why we took off a full-back. That’s not a weird call, that’s plain common-sense. If 2-0 becomes 3-0, so what, at that stage of the game?

  26. jiiith says:

    Gervinho should go some preaparatory camp for the african nations cup..
    Read what walcott has to say…………at

    http://arsenalforeverdude.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/walcott-speaking-friendsfans-and-haterslend-me-your-ears/

  27. Sorry, LB
    Forgot you… good post.

  28. Brigham says:

    Last nights efforts were totally toothless and bereft of any attacking nous. We could still be playing there now and not score, or even have a shot on target! Gervinho offered very little at all and as for his pathetic dive, it made Suarez look honest.

    For me, it is not just the fact we have lost the last two games, it is more the manner in which we have lost them. Very little fight, very little idea and a most distinct lack of invention or idea how to penetrate either the Norwich or Schalke defence. Not sure why Giroud was not started instead of Gervinho, but only Wenger can explain that one and the Pod is not fully fit, that is plain to see.

    Santos was woeful, totally woeful and should have been hooked at half time with Kos taking his place, which would have given us a lot more defensive stability.

    I cannot remember the last time we looked so frail in front of goal and I can only remember their keeper have one save to make all game. That is terrible for a team supposedly renowned for their attacking ability and at home as well. What the hell has happened to our beloved team? For me, only Jenks, Arteta and Santi can hold their heads up and possibly Ramsey who at least tried.

    Another performance like the last two against QPR on Saturday and the boo boys will be having a field day.

    Onwards and upwards

    COYRRG

  29. Rich says:

    “The minimum we will acheive this year is fourth in the league and the knock out stages of the champions league. Those who do not believe we will do this are simply falling into the same trap as last season.”

    And its because of views like this that the club is going the direction it is.

    Last night, as with Saturday, we were outplayed and outpassed. In previous seasons, at least we could defend the team by saying they were progressing and the football is entertaining but that hasn’t been true for the best part of two seasons now.

    We always seem to be dependent on one player (for Fabregas to RVP to Carzola) and our tactics are so obvious that every team in the league knows how to set up to play us.

    When Jenkinson is your best player, you know you are in trouble. At least we should be comfortable that no top side is going to buy him off us any time soon though. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carzola are different matters of course.

  30. kelsey says:

    Sorry LB for not acknowleging your post, even though you pinched my spot :)

  31. richie says:

    Returning home last night after the match I wrote this at about midnight. I felt Santos didn’t cover himself in glory against Norwich and therefore I didn’t think he merited a starting place against the tactical and positionally disciplined Germans. Those were my pre-match thoughts (and yet concidering our injury list) yet again I thought he might have to play, but how Bouldie didn’t drill him this week past on not going walk about is beyond me. I’m not one to single out individuals for criticism, we win as a team and lose as one, but with things as tight as they were going into the last 15 mins it was ridiculous for Santos to carry on doing what he’d done all game. Get caught out leaving enough space to drive an aeroplane through.

    Our attack? I like the Pod, I even like Girou although we haven’t seen a great deal of him, I like his movement off the ball the intelligent runs he makes. If the Giro-Pod is our future strikeforce then they need games. Gervinho isn’t a CF not now and not in the future, so why is he getting the game time as one? If out strike force needs games to adjust to the prem? Fine! But they ain’t gonna get it with 15-20 coming on as a sub. If Girou is gonna lead the line and the Pod is gonna play to his left or just behind then “lets get it on” let them work at building a partnership. I can’t even begin to understand Gervinho leading the line. My eye’s are closeing down, and my pillow’s calling for my head.

  32. richie says:

    @Rich from 11:17 as my name sake you’ve repeated what I said after Norwich faced with a lack of idea’s on how to get past a tight defence everything falls at Carzorla’s feet, I don’t like the idea of another one man band.

  33. slimgingergooner says:

    I work with a guy who still thinks RvP should be playing for us and that Chamakh is better than Giroud! i only have to look at him and i feel instantly better about how i feel about the current squad because he must be on the cerge of suicide!!!!

    I was fuming last night after another inept performance, but looking at it now, a win against QPR at the weekend and all is forgotten! A crisis in football usually lasts about a week, last season should’ve taught us that.

    On the scale of things, a defeat at home in the group stages against Schalke could have absolutely zero impact on how we do this season. I’m sticking in TMHT’s camp at the moment because it could all be forgotten about after the weekend.

    I’m under no illusions that our last 2 performances are worrying to say the least, but dwelling wont make it better. Onwards and Upwards.

  34. evonne says:

    Thanks LB, you have reinforced my views. I am never too sure if I read the game correctly (as a woman, old, foreigner), but it appears that I have. I was so angry half way through the second half, that I switched it off.

    I thought I’d go mad if I see Gervinho doing a Bale again by running like bat out of hell on the left and getting nowhere. I was also infuriated by Santos – why can’t he stay in his position?? He ran himself tired, did you see how knackered he was in second half?

    And what hurts most is the fact that the lads did try, it is not as if they didn’t give two hoots and rolled over. Oh no, they did try, but all in vain. Which tells me that the fault is with the management. Yes, for the first time I am pointing my finger at Wenger

  35. kelsey says:

    OptaJoe ‏@OptaJoe

    22 – Arsenal have hit fewer shots than any other team in this season’s Champions League. Shy.

  36. evonne says:

    Kelsey – completely agree with your 9:42. Santos and Verm up front got my blood boiling; no striker and Gerv charging on the left with noone to pass to was just pathetic

    Rasp thinks that Bould was angry because he could not make decisions. but how about a theory that it was he who was making decisions yesterday?

  37. Bryan says:

    I totally agree with your post & I am coming to the end of my teather.
    I really believe that something is not right at the club.
    I walked out with 15 minutes to go last night because I was soooo bored & have had enough of watching such total trash.
    Most games at home this year have bored me, (obviously not the 6-1 games) not winning trophys is one thing that I can get by with but not playing entertaining football is unaceptable to me.
    I am considering giving my ticket to my son this Sat because I am simply not enjoying watching this team & just don’t want to go & this is coming from someone who has missed 5 games at home in 20 years.
    After the Norwich game they needed a reaction & I just can not believe last nights display was what we got.
    Afew players I will give credit to for trying, are firstly Le Coq, BFG who made some exceptional blocks & Jenks but after that I am really struggling.
    I would sell Gervinho tomorrow, he has got to be one of the worst players to play for Arsenal for years, reminds me of Glen Helder although Helder was much better.
    Also I am losing faith with Ramsey, he seems to be getting worse by the minute, he slows up play, wants to many touches & trys to do clever flicks that hardly come off.
    There is absolutely no urgency with this team at all, at 0-0 you would of thought we were 3-0 up the way they stroked it around at the back.
    When we talk about players to buy, for me the priority is to go & buy a captain because since Viera our captains have been poor, far to quiet, I dont know who but Wenger has enough scouts to maybe find one. Oh what we would give for a Tony Adams charactor!
    I will also say something I have said on here about Wenger before, he has got no motivation skills because I have to ask myself what did he say to the team at half time against Norwich, I’m sure it wasn’t just carry on like you did in the first half but thats what it looked like.
    It has done us a favour in a way & made us realise that we were just dreaming & that we have no chance at all of winning the EPL or CL, maybe a domestic cup but that looks highly unlikely too.
    We are slowly falling away & I’m doubting even more than last year if we will manage a CL place this time.
    Enough is enough, if I had my way the whole board would go, I think they are despicable & are dramatically holding us back.
    I do not want a billionaire buy success board but I do want ones that show more ambition & will realise in this sad day & age you have to pay high wages to keep or add top players.We can afford to do this while having a decent “efficient model”. I would love to see David Dein back at the club for sure.
    Time is running out, something has got to change & fast

  38. Rasp says:

    It’s getting very tetchy at the AGM – Ivan and Stan being pressed because they are avoiding answering questions

  39. evonne says:

    Rasp – is the AGM today? I hope so, the timing could not be better.

  40. evonne says:

    Bryan – good comment, thanks. What do you mean by the board being despicable and holding us back, can you elaborate please? If it is just about money, then let’s not forget Shitty were demolished in the 2nd half yesterday

  41. Rasp says:

    I’m there now evonne, and difficult questions are being asked

  42. kelsey says:

    evonne,

    I agree with you. I think Bould had to make the decisions as the game panned out and he got it hopelessly wrong . most importanly Santos should have been off at half time, but no he eventually takes jenkinson off, and other subs should have had at least 30 minutes.We might not have won, but we might have drawn. Wenger can plan as much as he liked but here i blame both him and bould for lack of motivation once again. Our back line was allover the place and it generally a shambles of a display.

  43. LB says:

    Hi Kelsey

    Good comment that up there.

    I still feel numb today.

  44. GoonerB says:

    I know many of you agree but as I said yesterday I think top teams should be able to switch between 2 systems. For me I wouldn’t completely bin the 4-3-3 but I would also want us to swith to a 3-5-2 at times when the available personel suit it and last night was one of them. We didn’t have the right players for the 4-3-3 last night, as you mentioned, but AW’s unwillingness to change to any other system is failing us. If we play 4-3-3 and the opposition are a good side and have the confidence to play a high line then Giroud doesn’t have the pace to be effective as a lone striker. Whether Walcott can do it or whether we need to splash out on another top class striker we can debate. I think the latter is required and liked the look of that Soldado the other night. I like Giroud and think he has a place in our squad but he needs to be used in the right way, and mostly I think he needs another central player in close to him in a 2 man strike force, who can feed off him and go past him into the space behind. So mostly I think Giroud will suit the 3-5-2 system. We could have played either Podolski or AA in this role last night.

    I can’t agree about Ramsey on the right. Ramsey may never become a top player due to his lack of pace. This lack of pace has caused issues when playing DM where you can get away with not being the quickest but on the wing you need pace so it is ludicrous, IMO, to play him there. If Ramsey is to Make it he needs to play like Arteta and become a DM, who disguises his lack of pace by being excellent in other ways. Ramsey if you like should be his understudy, and if he can’t develop the rest of his game to Artetas level over the next 2 years, then it is just simply that we may have to accept that he is more a mid table team player. I can’t go along with playing him there more to nullify their threat either. We are a big club and are at home and, while we should pay attention to their strengths, we should be more looking to enforce our game on them. If done well then it alters how they play and then how their danger players come into the game. If we start going down the route of containment set-ups rather than finding solutions to making us the best attacking side in the game then we really are on the slippery slope.

    On Santos I think there was blame on him again last night but again I would more blame AW’s system and use of him than Santos himself. Unless I am wrong he played someone onside again last night which resulted in a goal. The full-back should be taking his line from the centre halves and it is likely that the BFG should be deciding how high the line should be and all others line up with him. Bould would have had this drilled into him in the Graham era so will know this, and has likely instructed him in this. It looks like Santos is just not cut out to be a top level FB. I read somewhere that the Brazil coach said that he should never be a FB but is a decent wing back, and further I read that the 3-5-2 system was what he played at Fernebache. So again he is another player who has his place in the squad if we are adapting the system to get the best out of the personel available.

    Say we bought a striker like Soldado and everyone was fit we could play an effective and potent 4-3-3 with Walcott or the Ox and Podolski playing up front with him, Santi, Jack and Arteta as the midfield 3 and a 4 man defence with Gibbs at left FB. If you had injuries to Gibbs and Soldado and had to bring in Santos and Giroud then switch to the 3-5-2 to get the best out of the available players and still have a well balanced team that you could send out against any other top opposition.

    For me it is not hard to turn things back in our favour but I worry that AW’s rigidness to how he likes to do things is seriously hurting us. He can have his favoured system when he has the players for it but for me he should change it when required. You often see Mourinho and Ferguson changing from a favoured system dependant on the players available and the opposition set-up so at the moment I am unfortunately looking more at our managers deficiencies than anything else.

  45. Reading Twitter reports from the agm. So many deluded people.

  46. Rasp says:

    What are they saying gm?

  47. VCC says:

    Hi GM. Can we access questions and answers from the agm Later?

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    We lost two games that is all folks. :)

    40+ more games to come and Arsene and Steve will turn this round, no doubt about that. In two months time, we will look back and wonder what that was all about. You can note that one in your diary if you want.

  49. great twitter coverage of agm from darren epstein (@darrenarsenal1)

  50. LB says:

    Excellent comment GoonerB

    I can’t understand why you aren’t already on the list of authors.

  51. Red Arse says:

    Hi Big Al,

    Your 11:04.

    It’s OK to disagree.
    Tho’ I think you may have misunderstood the gist of what I was saying, which centred around the tardy substitutions.

    Something needed to change last night much sooner than the 75th and 85th minute substitutions. I was pointing out that in my opinion Steve Bould had very little to do with those choices, but was awaiting for (illicit) instructions from AW.

    Given the respective performances of the two backs, I think it was perverse to take off our best player, Corp Jenks, rather than the non-performing, non-fullback Santos.

    I would have understood it more if Santos had been moved forward into a wing position, then fair enough, it’s where he was playing most of the time anyway, and that would have allowed TV to move to left back and Koscielny brought into the centre, That would have shored up the defence and improved the attacking options, blah, blah.

    But I am beyond caring this morning, so disagree as much as you like.

  52. LB says:

    In two months time, unless we buy in January, our attack will be made up of the same players.

  53. Bryan says:

    evonne

    thanks for the comment
    what I mean by despicable could be a long answer but to keep it as short as I can, generally they seem to mug us supporters off, they never tell us anything although we are the ones keeping them rich & supporting the team, even when we are in the process of signing someone we get nothing & it is always a long drawn out experience.
    I really think they treat us supporters with contempt.
    They seem to care mostly about making large profits more than anything else, I accept that you have to make money to be in buisiness but I am a big believer that the board do not let Wenger spend the money he wants to, his hands are tied &they are happy to sit back & let him take all the blame. When Dein was there, he was moving us in the right direction, ironically he left at the end of the season that we last won something.
    Perhaps his plans of making us a success on the pitch stopped them from becoming richer, that I don’t know.
    But we are a massive club & to think that our biggest ever transfer fee is 16M, that says a lot & like it or not they have got to start paying big salaries to entice players to come here & keep the good ones we have (I’m not talking the same as Oilers obviously)

  54. Bryan says:

    Hi Total

    No sorry have to dissagree, its much more than we lost 2 games, its the manner of how we lost those games.
    After Norwich I gave them the benefit of doubt that they just had a very off day but to come back 4 days later & do it again is unexcusable.
    It asks big questions of Wenger, how can he let that happen, why can’t he motivate them.
    We are not going to win nothing this year, I would bet on that, we more than ever are deputising losing our CL place.
    & is it just 2 games, Sunderland was rubbish, Stoke was rubbish, admittedly not as bad as our last 2

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    Our attackers have scored as many goals as MU’s attackers in all competitions as we speak. They are not getting very good service at the moment from the wings and the middle, but that will change, LB. :)

  56. JM says:

    Option 1 line-up against QPR: (Formation 4-3-3, Arsene’s default)

    GK: Mannone
    RB: Jenkinson, CBs: Koscielny & Mertesacker, LB: Vermaelen
    CM(Holding): Coquelin, CM(Box-to-Box): Arteta
    CM(Advanced): Ramsey
    RW: Cazorla, LW: Santos, CF: Giroud

    Option 2 line-up against QPR (The Unconventional 3-4-1-2 / 3-5-2)

    GK: Mannone
    CBs: Koscielny & Vermaelen, CB(Sweeper): Mertesacker
    RWB: Jenkinson, CM(Holding): Coquelin, CM(Box-to-Box): Arteta
    CM(Advanced): Ramsey
    CF(Main): Giroud, CF(Side): Cazorla

    Subs: Martinez, Djourou, Wilshere, AoC/Gnabry, Podolski(rested), Gervinho, Sagna.

    Strategy: Attack from right flank, consolidate the centre, decoy at left flank.

    =)

  57. Bryan says:

    JM

    I do not ever want to see Vermaelen play as a LB again because to put it bluntly, he is crap there

  58. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    The fundamental question of wether the Club can gear itself up to chalange for major honours in the next few years lies off the pitch, not wether Arsene reverts to 352 or the club in general seeks short term tactical soloutions.

    Some will read into what the Board and Arsene say today today and think, same old shit, some will believe it hook line and sinker, and others will be some were in between.

    If you can be bothered do your own research and come to your own conclusions

    Based on my own, and of course it is only my opinion, we are a couple of years away from been able to compete at a much stronger level than we are today. The only clubs that will retain a financial advantage over us will be Utd and the 2 Spanish Clubs.

    Once we are closer to competing financialy, then the Clubs groundwork in youth development and harmony within the club will be vital for our push for honours.

    If you are a better and more well run club than your rivals, allied with some form of financial parity then anything is possible. This is what the Club is strategicly gearing itsfelf up for.

    Of course, nothing in life is certain, but i honestly believe we are on the right path to winning major prizes very soon.

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Bryan, I respect your views but don’t agree with them either.

    I don’t think motivation is an issue at all. Vital parts in our 4-3-3 system are not working, and that leads to frustration and despair within the team, but not a lack of wanting to win.

    We are just struggling with form and playing our game at the moment, and once our wings are restored (Gibbs-Pod & Sagna/Jenk & Theo) and we sort out the lynchpin position with either Diaby or Jack in there, I really believe this team can beat absolutely anybody, and will go on a good run.

    Whether we win anything remains to be seen, but top-4 should be fine. More importantly, and just like you, I would like us to go back winning and good football as soon as possible. And I think we will.

  60. GoonerB says:

    TA (1.11) I would love to have your optimism but I just can’t. I am normally a glass half full person and we are normally a more positive bunch on this site, and as a dedicated gooner I would love it if you can say I told you so in 2 months. I would have no problem eating humble pie if it was to see my club back at the top. the problem for me is that the statement you made could have been, and likely has been, made at any number of times over the last few years when we are in a bad patch, and yet here we still sit trying to tell ourselves that this time it will be alright. We have tried to convince ourselves in this way so many times now that we could do a film on it with Bill Murray as the lead.

    I don’t like knee jerk reactions to 1 or 2 defeats but this just feels so much more permanent. As I posted above I think AW has completely lost his abilities as a tactician on matchdays. I am now wondering if it was ever a great strength of his like it is with Mourinho and Ferguson, or whether he was just lucky in the past to have so many great players that considerations in tactics and formations became irrelevant. It is not the 2 losses that concern me as much as the actual performances. If we had played well last night and lost 3-2 I could accept it as something that sometimes happens but we looked like we didn’t have any idea on how to even come close to causing them problems. We have lost games before but hey we played great entertaining football doing it. That last night was dross and we looked like a team that was trying to contain the opposition. If they were a EPL side it was the equivalent of a Man Utd vs Bolton game with us being Bolton. As I said, please let me be wrong because if I am not there are some dark days ahead.

  61. JM says:

    @Bryan,

    Either Vermaelen or Santos for LB? Or Miquel? (With Gibbs still injured). That is if Arsene insists on sticking with a 4-3-3 or even a 4-2-3-1 w/o our better personnel for the position. Besides, a supposedly left defender, Santos(@LW/ LWB) would be in front of Vermaelen(LB). If even accommodating the Brazilian with that setup was a failure, he needs to be sold.

    My preferred formation for Arsenal (since the 1st day I have posted @ AA) has always been the unconventional 3-4-1-2. (Because we have 3 competent CBs & our wingers are crap)

    Your pick.

  62. richie says:

    I’m not a nutter! Well not much of a nutter. After 2 dire results I don’t want or expect a revolution, but I do expect improvements and I’d rather some consolidation. If there really was no one else? Then play Gervinho in the middle, but if in training Gervinho looks to be our best bet then we are in big trouble! Girou might not be banging them in straight off but he has good movement off the ball, he looks like he should be leading the line. IMHO Gervinho hasn’t ever looked like the words CF have anything to do with him. I’m not AW I can’t work the oracle and improve players as he can and does, and I bow to him in all things, but I must confess at times he is totally unfathomable.
    Why continue to play a player in a position thats not working for him? Why hold another player back who needs games? Why not sub a player who is causing the team difficulty? Why not shore that position up by ordering another player to drop back and guard if you don’t want to sub? So many more questions than answers.

    @TA I agree we’ll turn things around we have good enough players but why continue driving with a flat tire? Change the bloody thing before you end up with only the rim and lose control!

  63. Brigham says:

    Gooner B @ 1.52.

    Very well said and I agree very much with it all and I share your point of view with this current crop of players and tactics used.

    I honestly do not think Wenger has the acumen to change tactics when its all going wrong and to be blunt, I have never seen him get out of his seat on the bench to cajole or shout instructions at players. He strikes me as the sort of manager who is happy to just sit there and let it all flow over him, relying on his number two to inject any sort of tactical change. His poor attempts at substitutions says it all really and he does not know how to try and change a losing position. Wellington he is not!

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    GoonerB :)

    Respect for all the great comments you made today and on other days and to a certain extent I agree with you, especially on the tactical stuff you produced recently. I like to refer you to my @1.51 comment in terms of why I believe Arsene will turn this round again very soon, without changing the formation much, if at all.

    Yes we have been here before and we will be here again, but isn’t that what almost all football clubs go through? Only once there is financial stability in the league/Europe, will be able achieve consistency, and in the meantime we have to hope for a Wenger miracle again.

  65. People slate our players, board, owners and manager then cry like little bitches when PHW gets “disrespectful”

    People saying “we’re a footbal club not a business” How deluded is that?

    People who “want our Arsenal back” thinking a fat Uzbek will give it to them

  66. chas says:

    Here’s a photo from the AGM…..

  67. chas says:

    GM,
    You hit the nail on the head so often.

  68. richie says:

    @JM13:43 Did you see the Ajax game? Ajax vertually pioneered the 3-4-3 which could change to 3-4-1-2 // 3-4-2-1 // 3-2-3-2
    I certainly wouldn’t mind trying out playing a back 3 of TV BFG LC that way we could play holding midfieders and wingers and still field a full strikeforce. I mean our attack needs all the help it can get at the moment!!!

  69. chas says:
  70. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Richie :)

    Do you mean Santos with your reference to ‘flat tire’?

    Re Gervinho, yes he is not a typical CF. He is our top scorer at the moment and I can see why Arsene wanted to play him. He plays well in that role if and when we play with a fluid-three up-front: The Pod on the left, Gerv in the middle and either Theo (ideally) or the Ox on the right. They keep exchanging positions between themselves and it has worked very well for us. However, it did not work yesterday. Mainly because Ramsey played more as an extra midfielder – which was necessary – and our wing-play was non-existent.

    So for me the Swerve is not really played as a typical CF but in a fluid front-three he can be very effective – as can Pod and Theo/Ox.

  71. GoonerB says:

    The other problem is that if we are having a purple patch in 2 months it will convince AW that he doesn’t need any additions in January which is a pathway he has treaded before.

    JM (1.43) As you may have seen I would be an advocate for a 3-5-2 at times. Who would be your LWB. The only change I would make is to drop Ramsey and play Santi in that role with AA behind Giroud.

    Terry Mancini, I hope you are right about us gearing up for a period of dominance in 2 years, but I unfortunately don’t think the FFP is going to play quite so well into our hands as many think. That is the line that Gazidkis feeds to us and maybe it will turn out to be correct but it could also be seen as one almighty fobbing off to buy them some breathing space. I also still think that tactics and systems are very important, especially in a period when you aren’t first in the queue for the top players. If we do find ourselves in a position to secure the best players out there then a manager can make any system he chooses effective, but until then being able to get the best out of your available resources and blend a cohesive unit surely represents a huge chunk of the £7.5m per year that our manager currently earns. I don’t want to rely on us becoming more financially powerful and hoping this does the job in 2 years as I think that represents a gamble and I still think we could be and should be doing a lot better than we are now with the squad we currently have. If it comes down to us not being able to compete now due to finances then how come we were so comprehensively outplayed by a team last night whose current financial resources surely can’t be more than ours? I have never been an advocate of stupid spending for the sake of it but it seems obvious to me that we nit-pick over small amounts that we could afford, and end up hurting the club in a far greater way, and that small extra financial saving doesn’t even come close to compensating it. Think Juan Mata!! Anyway, different opinions and although I struggle to agree with yours in reality I hope both you and TA are correct

  72. Bryan says:

    JM as I said in my opinion Vermaelen is useless as LB, I would even put one of our youngsters there instead of him but against QPR Santos will do.

    Total fair enough,
    as I said at 12.12 Wenger’s motivation skills seem to be very poor because this has been happening for too long.
    Yes we are missing players but that does not excuse such lame performances. Also i think people are expecting far to much when Jack comes back too, he’s a good player but he has been incredibly over hyped as is usual of a decent english player. The best discription of our current team is there is absolutely “No Urgency” with the way we are playing.

  73. Bryan says:

    I also hope very much that what Mr Transplant said is correct but sadly something inside me is very sceptical of that :-(

  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Bryan, I just don’t know how you can say that last sentence at 2.23. I think it is simply a lack of form and confidence, combined with missing key players in key positions. I have not been as proud about our team for a while as when we beat Liverpool and drew at Citeh and the comeback at WH only happened because they gave their all.

    Arsene and Steve have indeed a job to do in terms of getting the players confident again, but that is different from having to motivate them.

  75. Bryan says:

    Gooner B

    You are very right that formations & tactics are important.
    A great example being when we beat a star studded Parma teamwhich included the Zola, Asprila & Brolin in the Cups winners final 1-0, we had a midfield including Hellier & Selley & although we rode our luck that night George Grahams tactics were spot on

  76. Well said London, your view of the game mirrors mine to a large extent.

    It was not a happy bunch in the Clock End where I was sitting; as Chas has said, my highlight was the pre match drink with him and Peachy closely followed by hearing the Schalke fans sing “Roll out the barrel”, or at least that’s what it sounded like to me.

  77. Bryan says:

    Total
    Those 3 games you mentioned were our best performances but you have also witnessed the Sundeland, Stoke, Norwich & Schalke games where we showed no urgency what so ever to win the games.
    I remember when we used to pummel our oppenets for the last 15 to 20 mins when we weren’t winning but lately we look like we are 3-0 up & just seem content to keep the ball, I can’t believe that you don’t see that

  78. Red Arse says:

    JM,

    Once again @1:43 you have come up with some intriguing options!

    I suspect that AW would be more likely to go with Option1, and I would be happy with that too, and the players you suggest.

    If I had a choice, and our players knew how to play with 3 at the back, I like the exciting potential of Option2, it would be different and the opposition would find that hard to deal with.

    You have introduced an interesting line of comments! :-)

  79. JM says:

    @richie 2:14 pm,
    They played 4-3-3 for that match against City and beat them handsomely. Occasionally, either D.Blind(LB) or van Rhijn(RB) would move up to join up with the midfield, forming a 3-4-3. Ajax’s formations are usually hybrid, they got F.de Boer & “God” as main trainers, of course.

    @GoonerB 2:20 pm,
    LWB – Gibbs & Santos, RWB – Jenkinson & Sagna (though he could be better fit at RB)

    @Bryan 2:23 pm,
    “as I said in my opinion Vermaelen is useless as LB, I would even put one of our youngsters there instead of him but against QPR Santos will do.”

    QPR will use either Hoilett or Taarabt against Santos or any youngsters from our reserve team. It would be a nightmare for that poor LB all over again.

  80. RockyLives says:

    Travelling today (to Redders’ old stamping ground) so won’t be around to comment.

    Just time to say well done LB for a realistic post after a dismal performance. I’m glad you highlighted the good stuff from earlier in the season.

    There are definitely worrying signs from the last two outings, but I agree with Terry that it’s just a week and just two games – hopefully just a dip in form and cohesion that can be put right quickly.

    And like Chas, I was over this one quite quickly. Saturday took the stuffing out of me but last night… Meh…

  81. Bryan says:

    Total
    When I talk about Wengers motivation skills, what I mean is, when we are playing very poorly at half time a good motivator talks or shouts at the players & when they perform in the 2nd half they are very different like what often happens with Man Utd when they have a bad 1st half, but we far to often do not change, just like we did not against Norwich

    JM
    It would also be a nightmare to have Vermaelen there as he is like a fish out of water there & he isn’t exactly playing that well at CB at the moment either

  82. TotalArsenal says:

    Bryan, I will say again that the perceived lack of urgency is not coming from a lack of wanting but a lack of form and confidence. How can you explain a team busting a gut one week and not another: ultimately it is all down to attitude and you either have it as a team or you don’t. We clearly differ on this, but why not: it’s what blogging is all about. :)

  83. TotalArsenal says:

    Obviously Wenger’s motivational skills are not your cup of team Bryan, but it does not mean they do not work.

    Many of us believe an old fashioned rollocking of a team will do wonders. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. MU gave a way an 8 point lead last season and I bet our rednosed friends shouted a lot in those last games. Did it work then?

  84. richie says:

    Hi TA I see that idea slightly differently play a fluid front 3 and it will “normally” mean the man in the middle gets the most chances (a la RvP last season) but for me that man in the middle has to be a striker. Gerv might currently be our top scorer but is he a striker? I know the whole striker thing out of kilter at present because even last season RvP didn’t play the typical CF role, thats not his game its what makes him difficult for defenders to pick up and many of the top stikers don’t play typically any longer, Aguero for example, certainly Messi (whats his position anyway)? My point is you need someone who can really finish.

    Whoever’s in the middle has to be able to conjure up something and finish from it. I’m not confident that player is Gerv, because I’ve seen him finish chances handed to him on a plate, normally we creat chance after chance but seriously if Gerv is our best finisher thats worrying. Playing at our best I think if Girou leads many a chance will fall to whoevers behind him and our midfield.

    By the way I do realise that this team recently cobbled together isn’t the finished product, its so obviously a work in progress. (Too many don’t seem to realise this) Still I believe I’m entitled to moan when mistakes evident last week aren’t even looked at never mind changed. And yes of course I bloody well meant Santos wondering about like some later day “John the Baptist” while we were under pressure.

  85. Bryan says:

    Total
    Yep we are quite good at agreeing to dissagree haha
    but form is one thing but urgency is another & last night we were stroking the ball about in defense as if we were winning.
    Surely at 0-0 you try moving the ball quickly & attacking, that is what I’m saying, I’m not talking about comitment

  86. Bryan says:

    Oh also Total, yes MU blew an 8 point lead but Fergie does normally get them going if they have been poor & I think they can blow the odd 8 point lead now & again as they have been winning trophys consistantly (said through gritted teeth) :-D

  87. richie says:

    @ JM FdeB and God yes but if they can’t get it right they can always put in a quick call to “The Master Of The Universe” JC
    (Thats Johannes Cruijff not the other bod nailed to a bit of wood) :)

  88. Red Arse says:

    Bryan,

    That sounds like you mean ‘complacency’ as opposed to ‘urgency’.

    Many would see stroking the ball about as virtuous ball possession, however, depending on the state of play that might seem like a ‘lack of pace’ or a ‘lack of desire’.

    Urgency? Depends upon what you mean.

  89. richie says:

    Off to lunch in case there’s any comment I don’t come back on.

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    Bryan agreed on that. A lot of players are currently scared to pass the ball when it involves a bit of risk/skill. Didn’t Bould say we are currently scared of the ball, or something like that?

    Richie, RvP did not play in a fluid-three in my opinion: more or less all was aimed at him as our alphamale CF. Now we spread out the goals between Gerv, Pod, Theo (13 between them already). I would like us to play with Giroud in the middle but then we need two proper wingers and Cazorla closer behind him. Once we have a good lynchpin next to Arteta and either Theo or the Ox on the right, I can see it really work out with GirouD! :)

  91. Bryan says:

    Red
    I deffinately mean Urgency, which in my opinion means hurrying the ball forward more in a urgent manner, trying to score a goal, complacency is just believing if you turn up you will get a result, another trait we often show lol

    I’m going to back off now as I am maybe a bit to hot headed at the moment, I have had a bad week lol
    Respect to all your comments & at least we are all sharing our passion for our love of Arsenal ;-)

  92. Adrian says:

    Read through a brief transcript of the AGM and my impression of PHW is getting worse. Fans questioning the board is one thing, though it has to be said nothing wrong in that when targets aren’t met, not a huge surprise when you consider the state of the club during the past 7 years. But when the going gets tough, the board should try their best to convince members with legitimate questions and not patronize them or anything, something that PHW obviously doesn’t like doing.

  93. Rasp says:

    Hi Adrian, I’m afraid PHW did come across as a bumbling old fool. He couldn’t pronounce people’s names, lost control of proceedings and generally seemed out of touch. Obviously the chairman has to chair the meeting – maybe it’s time for a change?

  94. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    GoonerB & Bryan

    Thanks for taking the time to read my comment. I have come to my reasoning based on my own analysis of the situation but as i have said, nothing is certain in life.

    What we can be confident of is that very soon Arsenals turnover from increasd sponserships should rise to market levels . FFP is more uncertain to the nature of ts overall impact, but i am very hopeful that it will put a dent into both City and Chelseas ability to procure and pay players.

    I am not an apologist for the Club nor am i advocating that criticism or discussion about tactics and so forth is somehow wrong. I enjoy reading all the comments on here.

    I would just like to finish by saying, that what ever the future holds. fighting for titles or mid table obscurity, i will still go and support the team and Club regardless.

  95. Afternoon all, first let m give micky a nibbles report from the AGM: The biscuits were from a selection pack, very ordinary and all the custard creams went first :) The coffee tasted of nothing and the tea was tepid and out of a cardboard cup :(

    We were seated in the back row near Alan Davies. It was nice to return to The Emirates today, but sadly when I looked out over the pitch, all I could see was the memory of the exhuberant Schalke supporters celebrating their victory.

    OK, back to AA business, which one of you devotees is gong to write us a nice happy post for tomorrow?

  96. Raspers, you picked a good game to miss. Did you see my report over at Tim’s site ?

  97. Rasp says:

    Hi chary, yes, I’m not sorry but it was equally torturous watching at home.

    Great match report, here’s the link for others …

    http://www.7amkickoff.com/

  98. evonne says:

    I wasn’t at the AGM so I can only repeat what other’s are saying, and the gist is that the fans were told that Arsenal will compete at the highest level in 2 years time, when the UEFA’s FFP are sanctioned.

    I HOPE THIS IS NOT TRUE

  99. Thanks Raspers, the last 20 minutes was painful stuff to watch. At least the Scxhlake fans had a great time, they were a credit to their club.
    In the tube afterwards as usual I was in carriage full of them, there was no gloating or rubbing our faces in it, like we got from the bar codes when that pony Carroll scored for them.

  100. Gooner In Exile says:

    Afternoon all, have we all got it out of our systems yet? No thought not……

    A good summing up of a miserable affair LB, well done for writing it up…I couldn’t bare to relive that one.

    I’ve not been around today due to working (and travelling a long way to get to work) so I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and the thing that I am struggling with is what has been the difference between us against Liverpool and Man City and us against Norwich and Schalke last night.

    I gave it some thought and some more thought and tried to picture the games in my head, ok we had Diaby for Liverpool and he was a treat, but was that the only reason, i don’t think so.

    Thinking into the games against Norwich and Schalke the biggest problem was no support for front men, i have seen many an accusation that Ramsey and Gervinho do not know how to bring their teammates into the game, and end up going backwards or being dispossessed, the times they had possession last night they were isolated, no-one close, so if they wanted to keep possession they had to turn back and wait for some support, is that their fault?

    So why is a midfield that was constantly available during both Liverpool and Man City games so absent in the last two games, well for me it is down to the defence, for many seasons people have complained about the high line we have played, on Saturday and last night our line was not high, this has the consequence of when we have possession to allow our own midfielders to sit deeper, this in turn means the forwards are a long way apart from the midfield, the defence has to push up for our system to work, i think we have become so conscious of conceding soft goals that we will not push up as high, but this in turn is neutering our attack.

    So now we have the old vicious cycle as the defence don’t want to push up because the ball is coming back to quickly but the ball come back too quickly because we have not pushed up the pitch.

    Another word on the oft persecuted Ramsey, I watched him last night bust a gut all over the pitch and he is the epitomy of trying too hard at the moment, and it is affecting his game, AW or SB need to have a word and tell him to calm down a bit, he doesn’t have to chase the game. I would guess he had more touches in the opponents half than most of our other players yesterday (Gervinho maybe one or two more) and one thing you can say about him is he never hides.

  101. Big Raddy says:

    Not much to add to the above….

    Answer me this…. Steve Bould is an experienced defender and an intelligent man. He has watched Santos get targeted throughout the first half. How does Bould solve the problem?

    He didn’t and that is a major worry.

    From the start of the second half Schalke continued to attacked Santos and eventually it worked.

    When we are playing with 5 midfielders , why wasn’t one told to back him up?

    Furthermore, the whole balance of the team was wrong from the start. Only AW could not see this.

    Apart from that, we were beaten by a better team. It happens, and hopefully when we have some of our injured players back we can make a better fist of it.

  102. Gooner in Exile says:

    I must say when i saw the line up i didn’t for a minute think we would start in the shape we did.

    Call me stooooopid if you like but i got excited becuas ei thought (wrongly now) that we were going to line up as follows:

    ………….Coq……….Arteta……….Rambo……….

    …………….Cazorla………….Gerv…………………
    ………………………..Pod…………………………..

    I thought thats good fullbacks can bomb on to open ground, plenty of cover in midfield three for defence and to allow for that, and i figured the front three would be interchangeable as they saw fit, but then we just took the pitch with several square pegs in round holes.

  103. Red Arse says:

    Well said, GIE, :-)

    Actually, their first goal did not come directly down our left flank, it was a mucked up clearance that went to a Schalke player in the centre of the pitch 10 metres outside our penalty area, who headed it between our CBs to Huntelaar.

    Curiously, altho no midfielder went to close down the Schalke player who headed the ball, the Arsenal player standing closest to him was ……. Santos.

    Have a look!

  104. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    Apart for the switch of the Pod and Gerv that was the original set up.

    But let’s face it, there was no organization to speak of in the second half with players becoming isolated and playing out of position all over the pitch.

    ‘Headless’ and ‘chickens’ springs to mind.

  105. Gooner in Exile says:

    Do you think so RA? My diagram doesn’t really show what i mean i guess, for me we were at our 4-3-3 cum 4-5-1 Ramsey seemed to occupy the right flank and Pod the left with Cazorla in the midfield with Gerv up front, i think i was just expecting to see a much closer front 3 and more swapping of roles…..like i said stupid me!

  106. GoonerB says:

    Just come back on. Terry mancini. well said at 4.20. We must all continue in our support of the club, but we need to keep AW and the board on their toes. Collectively they have been naughty boys and have overseen some situations which have hurt the club that could have been avoided. We can’t let them slip back into a complacent comfort zone where they think everything is alright. It is better if they think the fans are not entirely happy and are watching them closely from now on.

    It is interesting that you mention the renewal of sponsorship deals to provide us with extra finances. I have wondered whether the level of sponsorship we can attract is in correlation to our current standing as a club. I have often thought that our perceived lack of ambition and our lack of recent success could downgrade us as an attractive commodity. This could potentially result in a significant difference in what we could get if we were more successful than we currently are. We didn’t get Schwarzer or Mata based on a slight discrepency in what we valued these players at in monetary terms. What would their value have been in terms of potential team success and silverware. So the club refused to pay over a certain amount and saved us a few million in those 2 situations but what if their is a correlation between success and level of sponsorship deals, then we may be losing many more millions in sponsorship than if we were winning silverware. This would represent a kind of faulse economy on what they saved by not just paying that bit more for players. it would kind of wreck Gazidkis and Wengers arguments about how they like to operate for the good of the club and how honourable it seems to make them feel. Furthermore successful teams tend to pick up greater numbers of new overseas fans which affects the levels merchandising income. i don’t know if this is the case but it is another angle to look at things from.

  107. Red Arse says:

    It is probably me misunderstanding things, GIE.

    Really the whole set up was an unbalanced shambles soon after the start. You know plenty of tedious side to side possession and backwards passing.

    When Schalke realised we were ‘impotent’ while doing that, as the headline suggests, they relaxed and took us to the cleaners.

    The score could/should have been worse.

  108. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Thanks for writing a balanced post. I was and am too unbalanced to consider such a task.

  109. My dear GiE, may I say that your analysis at 4.51 is very well thought out and may I suggest that it may not be the thought of conceding a soft goal that is troubling the defence but having Mannone in goal. The defence are reticent to venture forward so that they can protect the keeper?

  110. ……also I agree with you about how the 6 should have set up, I was surprised to see Ramsey so far forward …….

  111. GoonerB – your second paragraph at 5.27 is exactly how I see the problem of expecting to achieve the maximum from sponsorship deals if we drop out of the champions league for example. How attractive will we be? Although Ivan Gazidis does ‘talk a good talk’ I can tell you ;)

  112. Raddy – how was your day? Did you manage to ‘talk a good talk’ :)

  113. kelsey says:

    Didn’t Wenger say today the priority is to achieve CL status this season.

    If he did I will write a post about if it is feasable

    kindly confirm

  114. evonne
    The 2 years time was more about new commercial deals than FFP

    I’d love PHW to head butt someone from the AST. I’d piss myself.

  115. Red Arse says:

    No, Kelsey, :-)

    How can you write a Post about something you did not here? Rascal! :-)

    What Wenger actually said was: “For me, there are five ‘trophies’ –
    – the first is to win the Premier League,
    – the second is to win the Champions League,
    – the third is to qualify for the Champions League,
    – the fourth is to win the FA Cup and
    – the fifth is to win the League Cup.

    Still, to hell with the facts — go with the flow!! :-)

  116. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Excellent points GoonerB.

    This is something i have pondered on many occasions, the question to “speculate to accumalate”

    This is were Chelsea have done very well. Abramovitchs money has transformed them into a global brand with a large fan base world wide. Are they more marketable than Arsenal? I dont realy know, but i suspect they might be, especaily after there Champions League success.

    I see your point clearly, and i certainly would not have been adverse to some “investment” in the last seven years, but we are were we are and have to move forward

    For me, in some ways this debate has come full circle. Chelsea have always had the ambition to eventuly break even. They realised that only a decades worth of success could drive there marketability to top club level. In addition they are on the hunt for a new stadium to increase match day turnover to Arsenal and Utd levels. FFP has changed the ball park. Its not that we will overtake chelsea and city financialy that is important, its the relative financial parity that is.

  117. Red Arse says:

    Oops – here = hear!

    Sorry. :-)

  118. kelsey says:

    RA,,

    “The first is to win the Premiership, second is to win the Champions League, third is to qualify for the Champions League, fourth is to win the FA Cup, and fifth is to win the League Cup.”

    Then he said

    The Frenchman added: “I say that because if you want to attract the best players, they don’t ask if you won the League Cup, they ask if you play in the Champions League.”

  119. Oooh kelsey – I’m not sure he said that in those words, can I check with Rasp?

    What he definitely did say is that there are 5 trophies to compete for each year ……

    1. The League
    2. The Champions Lge
    3. Qualification for the Champs lge
    4. The FA cup
    5. The Capital One cup

  120. evonne says:

    GM – why? I thought that PHW is the annoying party

    A waiting game. First we had to wait for the new stadium, then the sale of the properties, now something else. I hate to critisize my own club, it feels dirty, but they are arrogant to throw the same excuse in our face, year after year, after year

  121. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Thanks so much for asking…..

    Yes, it went very well. I overcame my nerves and thankfully the examiners appreciated my presentation.

    BR is v. happy and going to celebrate with a weekend in Paris with Mrs Raddy, (but will get up early and write the QPR pm)

  122. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. There is a difference between excuses and reasons.

  123. goonermichael – I am a member of the AST, should I be head butted by Peter Hill Wood?

    He was obviously bored by the end of the session and couldn’t really understand why certain questions were being asked :)

  124. kelsey says:

    peaches it’s on the BBC website under headlines

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20084640

  125. jnyc says:

    Nice post lb. Also a shout to a perfect appraisal of Ramsey by Goonerb. i totally agree. Right now, the only way i like to see him is as a sub. In that way, i think he adds something. As for the team, i think we are the desperate ones this weekend. Lets see how we react. By the way, i could have accepted this loss to a good Schalke if not for Norwich.

  126. kelsey – you can draw your own conclusion that qualification for the Champions league is essential to our season.

    I’ve read that BBC report and what was not mentioned was that there were considerable votes against re-electing the elder statesmen,
    Sir Chips Keswick and Lord Harris of Peckham, to the board.

    I’m not sure if there were votes against Ivan Gazidis as I was sat at the back and couldn’t see, maybe Rasp can confirm.

  127. Red Arse says:

    Peaches, that is awful — you stuck at the back and that rotten chauvinist Rasper lording it at the front!

    Honestly — some men!!

    Anyway, leave Kelsey alone — when he asked for confirmation, he meant confirmation that he could make up porky pies!!! :-)

  128. Red Arse says:

    Well done, Raddy, so it sounds like you are an accredited Guide.

    Congrats are in order! :-)

  129. Hi RA – making up porky pies is fine with me as long as I’m not asked to confirm the stories ;)

  130. Congrats from me too Raddy and have a lovely time in Paris :)

  131. Red Arse says:

    So, Peaches, are you saying you are going to refuse to confirm that I am a gorgeous, handsome hunk??? :-)

  132. Red Arse says:

    Oh, OK, I’ll get Kelsey to confirm it — he won’t mind!!! :-)

    He’ll probably stick it in his Post!!!!! :oops:

  133. Is anyone signed up to the FT – this article has just come on twitter

    ‘Kroenke Fails to Rule Out Arsenal Pay Out’

    but I can’t get to it. If so can they copy and paste it onto the blog please.

  134. Obviously not you Peaches. I’ve got an AST board member in my salon at this very moment and I wouldn’t want it to be her either.

  135. Hi dandan – I bet you’re an FT man and probably that hunk of a man Red Arse too ……. can you find that article for me.

    The question of whether Kroenke might take some money out of Arsenal was met with a great big – I’M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU, much more worrying if we expect there to be money to spend on the team.

  136. On twitter people were saying about a dozen people voted against Gazidis.

    People asked about R&W being on the board then get upset about the possibility of dividends. Usmanov has already asked about getting dividends.

  137. My darling Peaches, I had not thought of the protecting Mannone point, but he has been in goal for some of those better games, did they lose confidence in him that quickly?

    I actually thought if we were placing blame for goals, first one is Santos not shifting out with rest of defence, Jenkinson relaises late and has speed to get up, Santos diesn’t even switch on, then he hesitates in rushing to shut the man down.

    The second goal was gifted away in midfield, but I was surprised again to see TV5 hesistate to cut out the cross and that caused Vito to adjust again.

    Lots of little errors compounding into two almighty cock ups.

    As for the sponsorship position we should have a little look across at our N London rivals, they managed to achieve a deal worth £10m per season, Liverpool signed a deal with Warrior reported to be worth £25m.

    Our deal with Nike is worth £13m a year apparently. Looks like we are set to move to Adidas should rumour be believed (and maybe even pay out the one year remaining on Nike deal…….can’t see it myself)

    The other big area is Kit Sponsorship this is where we are dwarfed and by teams not even close to CL football (2012-13 from the Mail)

    Liverpool – Standard Chartered – £20m
    Man City – Etihad – £20m
    Man Utd – Aon – £20m
    Sunderland – Invest in Africa – £20m!!!!
    Chelsea – Samsung – £13.8m
    Newcastle – Virgin Money – £10m
    Spuds – Autonomy – £10m
    Villa – Getting Casinos – £8m
    Arsenal – Emirates – £5.5m (I shit you not)
    Fulham – FxPro – £4.2m

    So yes we can still achieve a fairly sizeable uplift without CL, the PL is lucky that it is sold around the world, look at Invest in Africa’s sponsorship of Sunderland. Astonishing!

    And then there are the Stadium Rights, this is the thorny issue, everyone calls it the Emirates, they got it cheap-er because of the cash up front element of the deal, can we really strike a new deal? Its not a competitive market is it? We either have to change the name of our stadium, or maybe if we can structure a better shirt and kit deal we ca do away with the name altogether? But i think thats too much of an ask for the club to do.

  138. Are all those shareholders there going to give their dividends back to the club then? If they are even awarded, they won’t be, not while Usmanov has such a large share.

    Actually that could be a PR coup on Kroenke’s behalf, declare a dividend and then forgive KSE’s right and then see if Usmanov forgives his.

    Money will be taken out by other means (Management Charge normally).

  139. wheeltappers and shunters says:

    Kroenke fails to rule out Arsenal payout
    By Roger Blitz, Leisure Industries Correspondent

    Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke declined to rule out introducing a dividend policy, as the club’s directors struggled to contain fans’ anger at the team’s trophy-less record of recent years and indifferent form this season.
    Mr Kroenke made a rare public appearance at the club for its annual meeting, telling shareholders there was money available for transfers and that it would reinvest in the team’s playing squad.
    But asked if shareholders would be able to draw dividends – which supporters oppose – Mr Kroenke declined to answer, saying: “This club is run through the board. I have always been respectful of that process.”
    The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, which represents small shareholders, said one of its founding principles was that money should not be taken out of the club.
    “Arsenal has operated like this for more than 80 years and we were led to believe at the takeover [by Mr Kroenke] that this custodian approach would continue,” the AST said.
    “We are very alarmed that Stan Kroenke is refusing to commit to upholding this policy and we will ask Arsenal for a clear statement on this.”
    Mr Kroenke also owns a string of US sports franchises.
    Fans’ groups are frustrated at Arsenal’s lack of success, despite accounts that showed a pre-tax profit last season of £36.6m and a cash position of £153.6m.
    The club finished third in the Premier League, but has not won a trophy for seven years, and fans’ frustration has been growing. The last two seasons have seen a clutch of their best players leave, notably Cesc Fabregas last year and Robin van Persie this summer. Both were club captains.
    After eight games, Arsenal’s league position is eighth, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea. Defeat at Norwich at the weekend was compounded by a 2-0 loss on Wednesday night at home to Schalke in the Champions League.
    Manager Arsène Wenger apologised to the fans for the club’s form but asked for their patience. “My job is to deliver a team with the resources we have, and I have never complained about that,” he said.
    “I want a club to pay players from its own resources. There is no shame in that.”
    The club has had to defend its strategy in the face of hostility not just from fans but from billionaire shareholder Alisher Usmanov, who has a stake of slightly less than 29.9 per cent. Mr Kroenke’s KSE investment group holds 66.8 per cent.
    Ivan Gazidis, chief executive, has made a virtue of the club “living sustainably within our financial means”, rather than following the example of other clubs which spent money beyond their resources.
    He predicted that Arsenal would within two years have the resources to compete with the world’s leading clubs.

  140. DD I think we should start a petition to stop Robson talking about the club, i am sick to back teeth of him and his opinion.

    He certainly knows how to get paid by the major media outlets though.

  141. Peaches was Usmanov at the AGM?

  142. Ignore anything Stewart Robson says, he has an axe to grind.

    We were told that Red and White had people there but they didn’t show themselves.

  143. “[If] you have the possibility to invest in a company with big upside potential before its public placement, it’s great for making money.”

    Who said that?

  144. Surely you could spot them….dark suits, shades and silencer pistol in their breast pocket

  145. ……. back to the positioning of our defence ……..

    GiE – I agree that Mannone has played in the majority of our games and in some of those we did compete as we would expect but he was a bit iffy and wouldn’t that sit in the subconscious? ……..

  146. I’m sure it would but it really shouldn’t……”stop worrying about other people do your job first” that would be my message

  147. Hmmmmnnnn …… that’ll be Mr Usmanov

    Didn’t spot any dark suits, shades and silencer pistols in breast pockets :lol:

  148. Thanks for the FT article :)

  149. LB says:

    “Invest in Africa”……20 mil per year, per effing year…..there just isn’t enough old rope in this world.

  150. Hello LB – thanks for coming up with a post for today, you’re a star ;)

  151. Rasp says:

    Yes Kroenke was there … GiE @ 7:45. He answered a couple of questions until they got a bit challenging and then Gazidis jumped in to speak for him.

  152. Rasp – he asked about Usmanov :roll:

  153. Rasp – did the floor vote to re-elect Gazidis?

  154. Rasp says:

    Oops, sorry,I haven’t had a glass of wine … promise. I do have our secret evidence of the meeting if you want to check on anything :roll:

  155. Red Arse says:

    Silencers in pockets?
    Oh really GIE, and we all thought you were just pleased to see Peaches!! :-)

  156. Rasp says:

    Like you, unfortunately I couldn’t really see what was going on at the front.

  157. There are reports that there were votes against Gazidis, see the BBC article above at 6.44 posted by kelsey.

  158. Red Arse says:

    Suarez is such a diving cheat!! Dear oh dear!

  159. chas says:

    The Usmanov chaps would all have this as their ringtone.

  160. Red Arse says:

    Chas, :-) very apt! I really liked that.

  161. Red Arse says:

    Chas, can you tell me how I stop the ‘adds’ pestering me?

    You and GIE said you had some software to do so.

  162. RA I use AdBlock (which is an add on for Chrome and Safari) depending on what browser you use there are different add-ons/plugins.

  163. Peaches, it mentions PHW saying “same lot” referring to the fact that the same arms had voted against re instatement of every board member. Wonder if it was the R&W “lot”?

    Seems rather pointless to have a vote when SK is there, they should just ask him and anything else doesn’t matter.

  164. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, brilliant chas.

    Anyway, now ime over my earlier depression, i predict a great future. An Arsenal Utopia awaits. We will win the League and Champions League every season and the club will be adored all over the world. Men will serenade women with a promise of Arsenal Tickets if they go out with them. Kids special present at Christmas will be Arsenal pyjamas. The family dog will be called Gooner or Terry. Asburton Grove will be expanded to a capacity of 2 million and Ivan Gazidis will become president of the United States of America.

    Totnumb will stay the same.

  165. I’m not sure that’s completely true GiE, there were definitely more hands for the vote against Sir Chips Keswick and Lord Harris of Peckham – members of the AST who would have voted against the re-election of them wouldn’t have voted against Gazidis.

  166. evonne says:

    Wenger gets £142 000 every week and I think that for that kind of money he can be expected to defend the board.

  167. kelsey says:

    dandan and others. have I not said for the last eighteen months that there is trouble at the club in the boardroom . Well the answer is YES. Wenger admits he lies not so much about players but to cover up for the board.

    peaches I can’t get to my e mails at the moment but the post I was going to write was about Arsenal achieving or not achieving fourth this season and the possible implications.

  168. evonne says:

    apparently there were only 40k fans last night, yet the official announcement claims that 60k attended. So they (the board) know that the numbers are dropping and chose to lie about it, rather then address the issue.

  169. chas says:

    evonne,
    You know the official attendance is tickets sold, not bodies through the turnstiles. They never announce how many turn up.

  170. Hi kelsey that sounds good to me, if you get a chance to put something into drafts we’ll have a look in the morning.

  171. richie says:

    @ BR 4:55 I’m with you Bro’ how is it you and aren’t getting lumps of money? I’m just “Joe bloody Blogs” I’m not paid to analyise our team or the oppositions, whats Stevie B being paid for? (forget AW for now, I’ll park him up in player developement, so he gets off scot free) it has to have come to the attention of someone on the Arse staff that Shalke are targeting Santos! Someone apart from me and “Big Raddy” must have noticed! And surely has to have said something? Are they all too scared to state the blindingly obvious? It was like watching a car coming round the bend in slow mo knowing the angle ain’t right, knowing its gonna crash into you and you can’t get out of the way. Why didn’t SB or the kit man or the masseuse, the tea lady, someone in the pay of the club, say something. Why is it so obvious to us and not to the pro’s? Like BR I’m not saying sub Santos but whisper in someone’s ear “Drop Back Help Him Out” I’m not having it that Stevie B & Arsene W don’t see more than Big Raddy & Richie! What game were they watching?

  172. richie says:

    @RA 6:25 Those are exactly the priorities in order surely!?

  173. weedonald says:

    We’re all disappointed at 2 losses in 5 days but that’s Football…..AFC seem to have lost the pleasing confidence and energy they started the season with and injuries have slowed us down as well but the real element that hinders us is the lack of chemistry at the moment. Our new strikers and midfielders seem to be out of sync with each other and Gervinho, in particular, has reacted very poorly to the disjointed and unbalanced play we are currently displaying. There is an element of fatigue as well but that is not a crucial issue, it is the unwillingness to work together that is troubling. Mannone is definitely NOT a first choice keeper but he can’t be expected to save every shot….especially when the CB’s are not on their game for large portions of the match.
    Its a good thing to harass the BoD, Gazidis, the owner and even Wenger if it will make them aware of our collective concern and disappointment…..I can assure you all that the players know what we think and share our frustration at 2 poor performances and we can rightly expect an improvement against QPR. If that doesn’t happen then it is time to consider more drastic measures, such as a fan boycott and a bombardment of the BoD with angry e-mails lamenting our sudden downturn in form.
    Meanwhile please remember 2 games Do not a season make!

  174. chas says:

    But 3 games a season make?

  175. kelsey says:

    Morning chas.

    peaches my proposed post needs a bit of research as opposed tobanging out my feelings and if you want it I can’t guarantee it for 9.30 today. I leave it up to you.It would probably be an hour later.

  176. Red Arse says:

    richie,

    Were you referring to my @ 6:29? I was quoting AW’s exact words.

    What was your point?

  177. Red Arse says:

    Morning Chas, :-)

  178. Red Arse says:

    Chas,

    I think 38 games a season make. :-)

  179. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    €6m a year buys a well cut suit.

    I could have written that speech for AW, he said nothing different to the previous few meetings. Of course, he say he beieves in the team – he signed them.

    richie: Shall we put ourselves forward as technical advisers – must be a few quid in it.

  180. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Thanks for your congrats but I am not yet finished with my course as I have two finals in May. Like the London Blue Guides the required level of both performance and knowledge is frightening.

  181. Red Arse says:

    Wow, Raddy, and good morning to you, :-)

    It shows the level of my ignorance in such matters. I had no idea the quality standards are so high!! I will listen a little more carefully to the Guide when next I visit a museum or go on a tour.

    Respect!!

  182. Red Arse says:

    I suppose AW has to say the things he does — but as a result he does pretty much repeat himself every year and causes irritation to the fans.

    On the other hand, if he said;
    “Yeah, it did not work out as planned last year- the current group of players are very average – I would rather sod sustainability and spend what is needed on players and to hell with the consequences”

    the fallout would be horrific! :-)

  183. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all
    Cant really chat as on mobile and you need to scroll miles down, then back up again to comment.
    Kelsey
    Cant wait to read your post. I think you and i are on tbe same page
    Peaches
    Seriously disappointi.g nibbles. Hard times co.firmed

  184. Morning all

    kelsey – it’s fine for you to have some extra time if you need it, let me know when you’re done.

  185. evonne says:

    Raddy – it’s not 5m euros, but 7 million geeps, considerably more than I thought

    Micky’s lost his ens or he grew fat fingers :)

    Chas – I sort of know about ticket sales and announcing numbers; convenient for the Club to announce the higher figure. And yes, we can judge the season after 38 games, something I am not looking forward to, starting with the QPR game. I half expect a comeback, but not sure they can do that

  186. chas says:

    Congrats, BR.
    Good luck with the finals.
    Apologies if you’ve seen this before, but perhaps you can take a few tips from this Beefeater guide at the tower of London. Though I doubt you’d have a job for long. :)

  187. mickydidit89 says:

    LB
    Thanks for great post. These cannot be fun to write.

  188. Rasp says:

    chas, that Beefeater is absolutely brilliant :lol:

  189. chas says:

    Haha, I’ve just been watching part 2 of 4.

  190. Big Raddy says:

    chas. You have uncovered my new hero.

    What an inspiration.

  191. kelsey says:

    post in drafts.sorry i can’t hold back even if i get slammed.

  192. Kelsey has vented his spleen ……………

    ……….New Post ………………

  193. richie says:

    @ RA 7:15 My point was that those stated aims in that order are surely the right ones!

  194. richie says:

    @BR 7:21 Living in Avenal Rd I grew up watching my fare share of Arsenal games. I’ll soon have 50 years of watching our boys in the bag. I know only too well thats not as long as some of my peers on AA and I never played the game above school boy level so would that qualify me as a technical adviser? I doubt it but I know one thing if Arsenal as a club had technical advisers at the game on Wednesday then either no one listened to their advice or we as a club need new technical advisers, because thats wasn’t a rubic cube, I mean the degree of difficulty it took to notice Shalke were targeting Santos was right up there with opening the curtains and knowing if its day or night. If we could get paid for that BR then the shareholders meeting didn’t address any of the clubs problems.

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