Bore Draw

I don’t like 5:30pm kick offs on a Saturday, mainly because I don’t like ESPN commentators and pundits but also because I have lost count of the times these games don’t go to plan.

However with a win in the NLD and qualification to the Champions League knock outs we had two wins under our belts and the chance to make that three with a visit to Villa Park I felt more confident than normal for a Saturday evening fixture.

With JohnnieNYCs post ringing in his ears and a glance at Raddy’s pre match Wenger decided to give rotation a go. I have often complained in the past that Arsene doesn’t get rotation, he either rotates all or none, well today he went for four changes from the team that took the field against the Lilylivered cretins from N17. Rested were Vermaelen, Wilshire and Sagna, being replaced by Gibbs, Ramsey and Jenkinson, the injured Theo replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain. If I was going to criticise I would say that was two too many. We had no choice with Theo and playing Gibbs at left back is a no brainer when fit. I wouldn’t have swapped Jack and Bacary but I would have kept Koscielny in the side as Arsene did. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and pre match yesterday I wasn’t too worried about Jenkinson. But in my opinion there is an issue when too many new partnerships are on the pitch at once it causes a getting to know you period which affects our play.

A rain soaked pitch is good for us so I was pleased to see it pelting down at Villa Park, for the record Lambert likes his teams to pass so I wouldn’t expect him to be one of the managers who purposely don’t have the sprinklers on the surface pre match. A zippy surface should mean we can play passes at pace. But we don’t seem able to do that anymore.

There really isn’t too much to report in terms of events on the pitch it was all very timid, gilt edges chances were few and far between, it says something about our attacking display that the best chance of the game fell to Koscielny who was on one of his upfield charges after nicking the ball from an unsuspecting attacker. Unfortunately the ball was behind him and he couldn’t get a good contact with his left peg, and it was very much a centre backs shot harmlessly over the bar.

So without much to comment on in the game lets focus on why we failed to breakdown another average PL defence. For me it’s the way we are currently setting up, the start of all our possession is The BFG, you will not find many better passers of the ball at centre back, but he is getting fewer and fewer options every time he receives the ball, Arteta used to be his outlet but he at the moment seems unable to show for every ball, when he does show he in turn has very few options close, Cazorla, Ox and Pod yesterday were too far up the pitch when we had the ball at the back. When the ball did get to them we had no space or pace as we are not passing and moving. We are missing runners from deep. We try and pass the ball round the defenders, and put in crosses, but we are just not good enough to make this work.

In my opinion when we have possession at the back the midfield and wide players need to start 10 yards deeper. This then means when we move forward we have to pass and move at pace which can only be good for us, and should mean we have players breaking through defensive lines.

Right anything else to say about the match…..two good stops by Szczesny, and our crossing and shooting were pretty woeful.

Ratings:

Szczesny 8 – one top drawer save, good control of area and another couple of solid stops

Jenkinson 7 – good physical display, some timely challenges, didn’t support attack as well as he can do

Gibbs 7 – good to have the future England left back back

Koscielny 7 – assured performance

BFG 7 – what we have come to expect.

Arteta 6 – not in the game, is there a curse on the armband?

Cazorla 6 – didn’t do enough.

Ramsey 7 – he gets a lot of stick but he never stops showing and he sees a lot of ball because he makes himself available. Never ever hides, and plays wherever he is asked to.

Podolski 5 – very poor from the Pod, touch let him down in the first half.

Ox 5 – didn’t make his mark on the game, must hold wide if this is where he is being asked to play.

Giroud 7.5 MotM – he was the only one consistently playing one touch passes encouraging midfielders to run past him with clever touches, and lay offs. Made bad passes look good. Got no meaningful service but never stopped showing.

Subs:
Gervinho – 6 ran it out of play more than in to danger areas
Arshavin – 6 did nothing
Coquelin (too little time to score)

Written by GoonerInExile

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167 Responses to Bore Draw

  1. Well done for writing the post. Although I thought it was dread ul I think a couple of decent players and we’ll be fine

  2. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, that can’t have been easy, great effort in the circumstances.

    Giroud’s continued improvement and workrate, Sz’s affirmation as No.1 and Gibbs return are the only positives I can take from yesterday’s game.

    We looked and played like a mid table team. Why take Jack and put him on the bench if he wasn’t going to get 20 mins at the end? The subs were strange and unsuccessful.

    The writing has been on the wall for a while now, the manager and his leadership are looking tired.

    Comparisons with the bad years are not relevant. In the past we had little advantage over most other teams, now we have everything in place to be challenging at the very top – it just isn’t happening on the pitch.

  3. Do you think we need a change in leadership Rasp?

  4. Rasp says:

    I have done for a while now gm

  5. Rasp says:

    I’m not an expert on managers worldwide, but Jurgen Klopp would be my first choice. There are plenty of managers who could do the job I’m sure. Hopefully the eventual replacement will just focus on managing the football team.

  6. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp, as much as I can see where you’re coming from about Arsene I think their are a few cubs that have proven the game is more about the men on the pitch than the manager.

    First up Chelsea, 9 managers in 9 years and they for the most part continue to compete despite whoever has the job at the time.

    If you put out your best XI or even 8 of them you should fancy them to have the wherewithal to beat a young team 3rd from bottom in the table. Too many big players didnt play to their best yesterday. For me it seems a few too many are playing for themselves and not the team. All this nonsense of “I want to play in the middle” is a bad precedent to set, they earn enough money to do as they are asked. And the attitude affects younger players, look at Ox yesterday he should have been getting chalk on his boots as should Podolski when we have possession to stretch the backline across the pitch, they both drifted inside for themselves to get in the game rather than the benefit of the team.

  7. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, the manager buys the players, coaches the players, motivates the players and selects the team. The manager’s job should be done before the players get on the pitch I agree – but they are his players, playing in the way he has coached them,

  8. Rasp says:

    Well we’re doing brilliantly in the cricket. India 79 for 5, still 7 runs behind :P

  9. Good post, GIE
    I agree totally with your player ratings.

    As regards Wishere, Wenger said – [BBC website]:
    “It’s more dangerous to bring him on in weather like that [wet and windy] when he’s tired. It made sense for him not to play.”

    Quite right, too. in my opinion.

    Can’t stay… busy, busy… enjoy your posting everyone

  10. Rasp says:

    Too wet and windy for a professional footballer to play ……. can that even be taken seriously?

  11. Lefrancea says:

    Why is wenger frustrating us? He’s a gud coach no doubt but I dont know if he’s having any grudge against anybody or does he tink everybody has a strong heart like he does. Even a new born child knows there’s problem in d team but stil wenger acts like he doesn’t care, after every disappointing game he keeps preaching to us. Give us some hope please, we need quality players so we can support this club happily. If we have good players and lose a game, we wont feel it much cos even the best can lose matches. No supersub to change and win games for us, we keep waiting on injury prone players every year. Diaby should be replaced cos his injury has kept us where we re at d moment. But wenger keeps hoping on this man to come back. Surely I wont be surprised if he signs henry on loan in january and we know that is not what we need for our success. Ramsey cant change or win a game, likewise Gervinho. The truth is I despise Gervinho’s style of play, I wonder what wenger was tinking when he bought that guy. Now the news says he’s eyeing downing, what for if I may ask? Wenger please where has Arsenal supporters wronged you? Cant we have the Joy of supporting our beloved club like manchester united fans do? Are u not the same man who had the likes of pires, bergkamp, henry, viera(the most missed player in arsenal without replacement yet), what is happening now. We badly need a good winger(adrian lopez), cos I know Giroud will perform better but retire podolski to striking position to help Giroud, thats a good supersub. A strong midfielder(not this downing rubbish, someone like wanyama), a powerful defender, even more of a utility player. Stop tormenting our hearts with finished players like downing, sylvester, henry, and all those rubbish u sign. Its not helping us. Football has changed, its now a real competition so u have to change too in order to move forward. Thanks…with love for the gunners.

  12. VCC says:

    Rasp…..I take it you would not give our new found wealth to Wenger to spend….

  13. Rasp says:

    VCC, he’s had money available for a whle now, he chooses not to spend it. It would be a departure from his ethos to spend big even if the money was irrelevant. He is set in his ways and I cannot see him changing.

  14. VCC says:

    Im on your train Rasp.

  15. Wenger = Stubborn dictator.

  16. slimgingergooner says:

    We have had a player turnaround of 21 in 1 and a half seasons aswell as an injury list as long as my arm ( and I’m quite gangly!). This includes the replacement of 4 out of 6 of our regular forward thinking players:

    Wilshere
    Fabregas/Cazorla
    Song/Arteta
    Nasri/Podolski
    Walcott
    RvP/Giroud

    (You could argue 5 with the Ox for Theo) Most of which happened less than 6 months ago.

    Wether we like it or not this is a team that is still learning to play together and therefore these kind of performances will happen more often until we get a settled team.

    3 out of 4 of the players that have been replaced forced moves away from the club, with potentially another one to follow. Is that Wengers fault? He has signed very good replacements. We have all sat and commented on how good Arteta, Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud can be, but consistency is built over time once players have learnt to play together. Sometimes it can be instant, but most of the time it isn’t.

    If last season taught us anything it’s that it lasts 38 games! We will improve and we will get 4th this season.

  17. Gooner In Exile says:

    The thing is Lefrancea you need to ignore Wenger post match interviews, they are not really for the fans, does he come out and say what he really thinks post match? Probably never because he feels it will demoralise players, show the clips of Wenger during the match to see what he truly felt about the performance, the ESP mics even picked up a bit of industrial Angli Saxon when Giroud attempted a speculative effort from well outside the 18 yard box when there were players in better positions and there was actually some space in the 18 yard box.

    Cesc was Arsene’s ideal because he never allowed the pressure of searching for a win stop him making the best football decisions on the pitch.

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Really big thank you GiE.
    I’m now late as we’re off out, so I don’t want to post an in depth comment on this debate and then disappear.
    As I’ve said before, its about the timing on the manager, and I would have thought before the window would be logical.

  19. Hello,Just wanted to know your thoughts on all the games we have till the end of December as we were jaded yesterday how will we get on with the below?

    Southampton(A)
    FA cup round 3
    Capital one semi final
    Man city (H)
    Chelsea (a)
    Capital one semi final
    FA cup round 4
    Liverpool (H)

  20. slimgingergooner says:

    Romeo,

    I think your looking at January’s fixtures there, pal!

  21. Sugar Thanks Slime, so that actually means we have more games my point still remains if we were jaded yesterday how will we get on with the below?

    Everton A
    Swansea H
    Olympiakos A
    WBA H
    CC A
    Reading H
    Wigan A
    Westham H
    Newcastle H

  22. Reading is actually away.

  23. Rasp says:

    These are our fixture to the end of the year:

    A Everton
    H Swansea
    A Olympiacos CL
    H W.B.A.
    A Bradford, C1 cup
    A Reading
    A Wigan Athletic
    H West Ham United
    H Newcastle United

  24. slimgingergooner says:

    Slime! :lol:

    Put it this way, I think we will win all the home games and be in top 4 at the end of December, 2nd in our CL group and on the verge of a CC final.

  25. I hope so slim I really do.

  26. slimgingergooner says:

    Romeo,

    I honestly believe we have a better side than last season. If you add to that the fact that Newcastle are going to struggle with demands of Europa, Liverpool are a one man team and Spurs are crap, then we have reason to be optimistic. Everton look good but have a history of having a small squad that can’t quite last a full season and its starting to show already, and West Brom will inevitably drop off, so that leaves us!

    Consistency will come now that the CL groups are almost done.

  27. dandan says:

    Well done GIE a fine effort on a difficult day.

    Hope this raises some smiles.

    *Subject: 2+2+2=7 You gotta love him!*

    **Teacher**: If I gave you 2 cats and another 2 cats and another 2, how many will you have?

    **Johnny**: Seven, Sir.

    **Teacher**: No, listen carefully. If I gave you 2 cats, and another 2 cats and another 2,
    how many will you have?

    **Johnny**: Seven

    **Teacher**: Let me put it to you differently. If I gave you 2 apples, and another 2 apples and
    another 2, how many will you have?

    **Johnny**: Six.

    *Teacher**: Good. Now if I gave you 2 cats, and another 2 cats and another 2, how many will
    you have?

    **Johnny**: Seven!!!

    **A very angry Teacher**: Where in the hell do you get seven from?!?!?

    **A very angry Johnny**: Because,….I’ve already got a bleeeding cat!!!**

  28. So it seems you are pretty comfortable with the situation.I wish I was as optimistic as you.

  29. kelsey says:

    Thanks GIE

    That was the most boring lifeless performance I have seen this season and I am not surprised. I will be back later to comment fully.

    This is a daily blog and what happens in the future be it two years hence or later or what has happened in the past few years is irrelevant.

  30. Very good comments about Aaron Ramsey. Yes, that’s why Wenger likes him. he is a top pro. who is unselfish and always gives his all.
    I would be more concerned about Chamberlain who is angling for a bigger new contract but has not put in one sterling performance this season.Whilst I’m about it what about Podolski ? A 4 year deal apparently at close to 100k per week Age 28. I obviously hope not, but this signing could come back to haunt Wenger and the club.

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    What is really boring is the dialogue on here when we either lose or draw. Your expectations, (set by the good man himself AW) are not met so, most of you, sulk like spoilt children.

    If you really think that game was dull or boring you needed to have been around from 1956 to 1966 – in that ten year period we had three managers, Jack Crayston, George Swindon and Billy Wright.
    During that time we won nothing, finished an average of 10th and lost 157 games, AW has only lost 105 games in 16 seasons.

    I’ve continued to blog on AA as I believed that the posts were not as high octane as other sites – only to discover that the reaction is the same – only a tad more polite. So in reality all sites are the same – how very sad.

    I leave you with these thoughts.

    You may just get what you wish for and end up with the same managerial treadmill that all EPL teams experience, with the exception of Man U and Everton. The only teams that have been successful with multiple managers are Man C and Chelsea and that’s simply because they possess a bottomless pit of money.

    Change the manager indeed!

  32. Rasp says:

    Considering the prospect of another manager taking over (which is inevitable at some stage) does not mean that anyone wishes to plunge the club into a managerial treadmill type situation. His successor will be carefully chosen and given the time and resources to do the job – nothing like the chelski scenario.The Board would not react in that way and I certainly wouldn’t wish them to.

    AW will probably see out the last two years of his contract and then leave/move upstairs – will all those who refuse to consider life without him stop supporting Arsenal at that stage?

  33. slimgingergooner says:

    Romeo,

    I’m not comfortable, but I just remember last season and have learned from it. This time last year people wanted Wenger to leave, Mertersacker was dreadful, Arteta was too old, Jenkinson was too young etc

    It’s a long season, and throwing the toys out because of a draw on a wet, windy night at Villa Park directly after a must win CL game doesn’t make things any better for me. But then again some people want to vent and i totally respect that, i do it myself. i just think that moaning about a substitution that wasn’t at all strange and then making it into an excuse to bash management or players is a pointless exercise.

  34. slimgingergooner says:

    Kelsey,

    Does that mean we can’t discuss the game? Afterall, it was yesterday!

  35. Sorry Slim it is debatable weather we are better than last year one player saved us last season that player is no longer with us for apparently for footballing reasons?!?

    When the Arsenal away end are on your back it is the beginning of the end. As for bashing the manager have you seen the interview with Wenger post match he has bashed the away support that have always stood by him.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/4663537/Arsenal-fans-turn-on-Arsene-Wenger-after-dull-0-0-draw-at-Villa.html

  36. GunnerN5 says:

    Come on Rasp, we support the club first and then (some of us) give our full support to the manager and his players, in my case that should be blatently obvious.

    The managerial treadmill is usually due to dissatisfied fans whose complaints and protests lead the managment to make a change.

  37. slimgingergooner says:

    Romeo,

    You can’t they stood by him and then show me an article of them shouting ‘you don’t know what your doing’!

    Like I said, if people want to vent and bash the manger without any real thought for who would replace him etc then good luck to them. Doesn’t do anything for me at the moment.

  38. Slim, lets hope he gets us in the top four again so we can all be happy :)

  39. Rasp says:

    Hi GN5, AW has my support whilst he is our manager, as will his eventual replacement. Speaking personally, there is no ‘knee jerk’ or ‘dummy spitting’ involved as I have held this opinion for some time now as others on here will testify.

    Every man has his time. The brilliance of what AW can never be taken away from him. But that doesn’t mean he is the best man to carry us forward … he is collecting a lot of ‘baggage’ and eventually it will weigh him down.

  40. slimgingergooner says:

    As always Romeo, time will tell.

  41. slimgingergooner says:

    Right, I’m off out with the In-Laws for the second day in a row!

    I know some of you won’t be able to comprehend that, but fortunately mine are actually nice people! :lol:

    Have a great day Gooners and don’t be too down, it’s not even Decembet yet!

  42. Rasp,My sentiment entirely.

  43. Adrian says:

    Watching the swansea and liverpool game now, and I can safely say even Swansea is playing more beautiful football at the moment than we did yesterday (Or for quite a few games actually).

  44. Adrian says:

    It seems that a few people around here are absolutely afraid of change, mind you that change isn’t neccesary bad, sometimes when things are stagnant its what propels you forward.

  45. GunnerN5 says:

    Adrian,

    Scared of change, most certainly not, personally I’ve been around to witness more change than any of you and most of that change was not for the good.

    You don’t need to buy a new car just because you have a flat tire.

  46. Adrian says:

    Just saying mate. Like I’ve said, change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, surely when things aren’t going forward a change in approach are needed, right? Not saying a Wenger should be replaced immediately, but perhaps a change in the way he manages the team? Perhaps prove that he is willing to spend unlike what everyone has been saying for all these years by not being afraid to spend big on quality players the coming window now that the dough is there?

  47. Gooner In Exile says:

    Ahhh I remember when the team needed new ideas from a new Assistant Manager.

    Bring back Pat Rice :D

    Swansea away last season and the King had a set to with the away fans who were on Arsenes back that day, these things pass and are normally momentary lapses by the away support.

  48. Red Arse says:

    Dandan, :-)

    re @12:32 I like that and will pinch it without fail!! :D

  49. Red Arse says:

    Nice effort, GIE, and a good Post in the circumstances.

    Not many could, or would, have attempted an objective report, but well done!! :D

  50. GoonerB says:

    This has raised some interesting debates today re. where we are going with AW. I have said before that I try not to do knee-jerk reactions both when we lose or draw but also not go over the top after a good win.

    Like Rasp I too have been having recent reservations about our manager. If SGG is right, and we do have a better team than last year, then we can give a big thumbs up to the manager for identifying these players, but it actually then becomes a negative towards him by raising the question of why this team is putting in so many lacklustre performances. For me it is the ability of Arsene to gel these players on match day and get an efficient side that is well balanced in attack and defence that I am questioning. If these players are indeed very good why have we seen so many insipid performances. If yesterday was a one off it wouldn’t be a problem but it wasn’t. How long do we put it down to just needing time to gel.

    If we have the resources now then time to get the team right cannot be an indefinite period. What Arsene has done in the past, (for which I will always be eternally grateful), is irrelevant to what Arsenal as a club should be doing and expecting in the future. It is dangerous to prioritise sentimentality over the clubs future. I guess we all have to decide individually what time frame we feel is reasonable to see this club looking like it can challenge at the top again. When the time arrives for him to step aside, which as Rasp points out is an inevitability at some point anyway, I hope he continues on at the club in some capacity. i think there is a huge job in overseeing the scouting and securing of the next great stars.

    I am in agreement with those that feel we need 2-3 significant signings in January, and it is this that largely dictates my thoughts on when Arsene should be finally judged, which for me is the end of the season. My reasons for this are that we have the basis of an excellent side now that requires 2-3 quality additions to see us fully firing. I believe that these quality players are available this January and that we have the resources to secure them. I am not saying we must win something by the end of the season, and will still accept this as one final transition season. What I do want to see though is by the end of the season we have a team that, if the season were starting then, would be title challengers, i.e I want the end of seasons side to be one that has us all itching for the following season to start, and we can go through the summer with no dramas or contract disputes, with a feeling that we have a side that will be challenging the following year, and I don’t just mean for fourth place.

  51. Red Arse says:

    Now that everyone has buggered off, I can say my piece without fear or favour! :D

    It is absolutely right to support the coach, players and club come hell or high water. That’s a given, and GN5 and DD are usually to the forefront in that respect, a view supported by many of the rest of us on AA.

    On the other hand, there is absolutely nothing wrong in questioning whether, or not, things are going wrong, and if there is a better way of doing things if they are.

    Neither point is mutually exclusive, and I am both deeply committed to supporting my club and manager, as well as being concerned about the quality of certain players and our tactical dispositions.

    Arsene deserves all the respect he is due for the epoch making improvements he has achieved at our club, and history will eventually record this current era as “the great Wenger years”, and we will be able to look back with pride that we were there!! :D

  52. neamman says:

    I am quite optimistic. I think AW had to rotate given a tough match midweek. I cannot understand the idiots who chanted when he took off Giroud. 2 minutes left..and he had hurt his heel..protect him. I think we are 1 or 2 signings away froma top team.. Arteta needs a rest for sure and I would like another top class striker to give us something from the bench, Huntslaar? But all that being said..I would give AW at least to the end of his current contract and if no progress is made..then make the change. I think he only has what 18 months left?

  53. GunnerN5 says:

    For those who advocate that we need a new manager, here is some food (data) for thought.

    In our history we have had 19 managers, 12 of the 19 made the team worse and won nothing. Of the remaining 7 managers only two improved our performance and maintained that improvement.

    I give you Herbert Chapman and Arsene Wenger and the main difference is that Arsene has maintained that improvement for 16 seasons whereas Chapman only managed for half of that time.

    That does not mean he’s twice as good as Chapman but it certainly shows that he excels at his position.

  54. GunnerN5 says:

    RA,

    I also believe that we need to do some tweaking, but with the players – not the manager.

    IMLTHO we need to strengthen 3 positions, we need a top flight goalkeeper, a striker and a left back.

    I am immune to knee jerks due to a few less than excellent games but I am not immune to disappointment – in fact some our games this season have been woefully poor and have left me questioning AW’s decision making.

    For the record I am 75 today and 2013 will be my 66th year of (fully) supporting our wonderful club.

  55. Red Arse says:

    Hi GoonerB Good, :D

    Nicely put!

    A point you made was that next summer should be stress free, where possible, especially where contracts are concerned.

    On that point I demand a quid pro quo with the players. I will give you my unquestioning support, but in return I insist that you negotiate a fair contract with the club, and damned well sign it.

    Any player engaging in point scoring or arm twisting in these contract negotiations can fook off; and should be sold immediately and we will get someone in to replace you who wants to play for one of the top, top teams in the world.

    There should be no compromise with that!

  56. Gunner5 why do you think we have the highest paid chief executive in the league? stop talking drivel please.

  57. Rasp says:

    I’m not sure next summer will be stress free if we want to avoid players getting into the last 2 years of their contracts. It appears that in the current climate a 5 year contract is renegotiated at the end of the 3rd year.

  58. slimgingergooner says:

    If we are talking timescales for Wenger, then I believe he should get until the end of his current contract. People say we have had money to spend blah blah for years, but none of us actually know this as 100% fact. What we do know is that the money is there now due to TV and sponsorship deals and Wenger should be allowed to try and get the squad he wants.

    Also, a lot of the recent transfers have been out of a need to replace people leaving rather than ones Wenger wanted to make.

    He now has 2 windows to get the squad he wants and a year for them to gel. If that doesn’t improve things then he shouldn’t be offered a renewal.

  59. Red Arse says:

    GN5, :D

    That is a wonderful record, and explains why you view the current concerns in the round, so to speak.

    For fans with your background and experience, the “been there, seen it, done it” adage sums up the reason why you have a more realistic approach to that of some newer fans with their “I want it, and I want it now” attitude.

    Actually your response @ 3:25, unsurprisingly, confirms my own view — that total support, laced with understandable concerns over player quality and the resultant tactics is a sign of both devotion and intelligent appraisal! :lol:

  60. He has money to spend but he is so stubborn that he will only look to buy in the bargain basement that is a fact.

  61. Red Arse says:

    Romeo,

    You are entitled to your opinion, and to disagree with others, but we can do without the rude “stop talking drivel” comments, please!

  62. Sorry Slime, I think with the current wage bill 143mill i think we should be expected to win something fans have been patient enough.

  63. Red Arse says:

    Rasper, :-)

    I agree we should have a system for appraisal and contract extensions, but that is the mechanics of the negotiating period.

    All we need to do is say negotiations start in the summer after three years, and are to be completed before the transfer window opens.

    Agreement: = we all sail on happily. No agreement: = we set about selling and recruiting.

    When deals can be done on the last day of the transfer window, together with the contract terms agreed, I cannot believe it can take more than 6 weeks to settle such matters.

    OK we may lose some players who are playing the old soldier, but they would do that anyway, eventually, and we should bite the bullet, on our terms, and get rid.

  64. slimgingergooner says:

    Romeo,

    Why should we ‘expect’ to win something when we are competing against teams who have infinite wage bills?

  65. GunnerN5 says:

    Romeo,

    Re your 3:27.

    Instead of responding to your comment I will simply treat it with the contempt that it deserves.

  66. kelsey says:

    A.W. now really begins to worry me.His remarks regarding the fans reaction yesterday were unprofessional
    .Blaming fatigue is an interesting one.however it merely serves to highlight the point that our squad is woefully weak

    .the players we are bringing into the team are not good enough and it is wenger that bought those players and picks them. we have nearly reached christmas with key players running on empty because we have no one of note to rotate into the squad

    .each substitution he makes is often a token gesture,removing a player for one that isn’t as good.we have one tactic in this team pass it to Santi and make him come up with an answer.

    in order to combat that teams now mark him out of the game.so what do we do? we continue with the same plan.we never ever change our style of play in any situation and increasingly we start a game at a canter. He is increasingly looking like a man devoid of ideas IMO and yesterday was a very good example.

    I really feel we have had the best of Wenger but I don’t think the Board will change things.

    I am still uncertain as to the money available at the club and in fact if Wenger would use it. Pulling a rabbit out of the hat has becme increasingly difficult and maybe his judgement has gone.

    All managers buy duff players but recently we seem to have an ever increasing amount of these gems.

  67. GoonerB says:

    Romeo. We actually don’t know if that is a fact. If the serious money is available to him now and in a years time there is a consensus that we have not bought the right quality of player despite having the resources to do it then we can say it is a fact. I actually don’t know what level of resources he has had available to him so I have always stopped short of outright criticism on this point.

    A good afternoon to you RA, and I would ask your opinion on this area as someone who is far more qualified to understand what the clubs accounts show.

    GN5, Neamann and SGG you make good points and as I say we each may have our own timescale that we feel AW should be judged over from this point. I am not actually advocating a change in our manager just that we should consider it if, despite his great past achievements, it starts to look like he has lost some of his ability to produce a top first team on a consistent basis. This obviously has to be on the basis that he has not been hampered by a lack of resources. I am also not immune to changing my mind and although i currently feel the end of this season is a fair time to assess and judge, if there are certain mitigating circumstances I will happily reconsider.

  68. I am sorry for being rude it was not my intention.

    Romeo

  69. slimgingergooner says:

    Should be a good game this.

  70. GunnerN5 says:

    Kelsey,

    With the notable exceptions of Man C and Chelsea which other teams have better squads and more depth than Arsenal?

  71. GoonerB says:

    Kelsey, you know that the tactical set-up of our team and being able to alter it to change a game in our favour is an area I like to get on my soap box about. Obviously I agree with you that I am worried about the rigidness Arsene seems to employ with this aspect. That is one of my main worries that the team is actually playing beneath itself and that we have better players than the performances are indicating. It is why, although I agree we need 2-3 more players, whether this will sort out all the problems and will allow us to have a title challenging squad again. I must give AW credit in some areas though. For those that feel he looks for too many bargains what about the main man Santi himself. That was a bargain and a player of the utmost quality as well, so I would not discourage our manager from this course but I think he also needs to find a balance where certain players that may cost a bit more are concerned.

  72. Rasp says:

    I think we’ve got the players, we’re just not getting the best out of them. One or two quality additions would definitely make a big difference, but it is mostly to do with getting them to play .. dare I say it … more like manu in terms of desire and energy and within systems (plural) that can cope with a range of scenarios … coat :(

  73. The clubs with infinite wages have not won all the competitions in England for the last 8 years.

  74. GoonerB says:

    GN5 4.06, Exactly. So if this is the case why have we seen so many performances like yesterday, and why is fatigue always offered up to explain why we didn’t perform? We haven’t even mentioned Utd but they played in the week and won this weekend without mentioning fatigue. They just got on with the job and won. If our squad is actually quite strong with a good depth then, IMO, it tends to lead to a negative conclusion about what Arsene is doing with them rather than a big thumbs up for giving us the third best quality squad in the league with the third best strength in depth.

  75. Bayonne Jean says:

    GiE, your ratings are spot on, and they point out flaws in the AW choices for this fixture. Arteta and Santi combined looked very tired/out of sorts. Could this have been avoided?

    Rotation, rotation, rotation….When you look at just this current slate of five fixtures in two weeks, starting with Spurs, what would you choose as the most likely candidate fixture for resting Mikel or Santi or both?

    Spurs? – absolutely no way
    Montpellier? – a must win to avoid winner-take-all match in Greece to get to knock out; can’t rest here
    Everton? – an away fixture with a decent side currently above us in the table that could be in the hunt throughout the season; not a good place to rest
    Swansea? – some possibility but a side whose style would be an ideal matchup for the two Spaniards, particularly Santi

    That leaves the Villa fixture – exactly in the middle of this five match span, a not very good side, not particularly physical, where you could easily slot in Coquelin for Arteta and Arshavin (who’s had at least one great performance vs. Villa away) for Santi. Seems obvious, right?

    Instead, you further wear out two of your vital cogs, and with Olympiakos (for which AW has said he wants to field a full side) and WBA in the next seven days after Swansea, no rest there either.

    I just don’t get it….and neither does AW.

  76. GunnerN5 says:

    GoonerB,

    Based on our financial ability we should be fighting for 3rd place anything above that would have us punching above our weight.

  77. JM says:

    Section 1:

    Bearing in mind Arsene Wenger’s current contract expires in 2014 (if neither the board nor the man himself seek a renewal), as well as his most of his coaching assistants (e.g. Bould, Banfield, Primorac, GK-coach-Roberts & Peyton, Fitness-coach-Colbert etc), team management change would be inevitable.

    Who then should we look upon as best fit candidate after AW?
    (David Moyes for his consistent managerial role @Everton with restricted resources for a bigger quality squad? Jurgen Klopp for his wonderful work @Dortmund? Pep Guardiola for being one of the most “wanted” manager currently on sabbatical after his role @Barcelona? Remi Garde who came as a player to Arsenal after AW’s recommendation, part of the 1998 double winning side and is currently managing Lyon, which is holding their own in Ligue 1 near the top despite offloading a few key players and facing the riches & might of PSG?)
    ==================================

    Section 2:

    Where is our squad’s strengths & weaknesses, at least for the 1st team?
    Strengths:
    Competent individual players, e.g. 3 x good CBs, sound FBs in Sagna & Gibbs; the trio of Arteta, Wilshere & Cazorla in midfield.
    OK with Szczesny & Mannone as No.1 & No.2 GKs. Giroud, Podolski, Walcott, Gervinho can score goals and create as well.

    Weakness: In a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1, the performances of our wingers/side forwards are crap most of the time (that is not to say that the players themselves are lousy, only that none of them are natural wingers/ good wide attacking midfielders showing consistency in the many games played). That gave too little support to our main striker and heaped pressure for our midfield trio in maintaining the balance between covering defence and initiating offence.
    Arsenal’s fundamental playing style drew strength from our dynamism in our midfielders. Once they are shut down, the fluidity in our game disappeared (we do not have excellent marauding FBs/WBs and WMs, nor rely on individual brilliance of wingers/side attackers as alternatives)

    Extracted from a goal.com article in regards of some teams with the current best midfield line-ups that provided a strong backbone to their overall team play:

    (1) Juventus (3-5-2) – uses deep-lying playmaker, supported by 2 box-to-box midfielders and 2 wide midfielders/wing-backs

    GK: Buffon; DF: Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; MF: Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; FW: Vucinic, Giovinco

    (2) Barcelona (4-3-3) – uses 1x anchor, 1x box-to-box midfielder, 1x advance midfielder and 3x mobile forwards who shifted positions during a match.

    GK: Valdes; DF: Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba; MF: Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; FW: Pedro, Messi, Villa

    (3) Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1) – uses a double-pivot of DMs/CMs, 1x advanced midfielder and usually 1x technical winger/wide midfielder on either left/right side of attack, the other side is a side forward.

    GK: Neuer; DF: Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba; MF: Martinez, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Kroos, Ribery; FW: Gomez

    (4) Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1) – uses a double-pivot of DMs/CMs, 1x advanced midfielder and usually 1x technical winger/wide midfielder on either left/right side of attack, the other side is a side forward.

    GK: Weidenfeller; DF: Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer; MF: S.Bender, Gundogan, Kuba, Goetze, Reus; FW: Lewandowski

    (5) Real Madrid (4-2-3-1) – uses a double-pivot of DMs/CMs, 1x advanced midfielder and usually 1x technical winger/wide midfielder on either left/right side of attack, the other side is a side forward.

    GK: Casillas; DF: Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; MF: Alonso, Khedira, Di Maria, Ozil, C.Ronaldo; FW: Benzema

    (6) Shaktar Donetsk (4-2-3-1) – uses a double-pivot of DMs/CMs, 1x advanced midfielder and usually 1x technical winger/wide midfielder on either left/right side of attack, the other side is a side forward.

    GK: Pyatov; DF: Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Rat; MF: Hubschman, Fernandinho, Teixeira, Mkhitaryan, Willian; FW: Adriano

    With reference to the above teams setup (think e.g. Arteta=Pirlo or Alonso, Wilshere=Xavi or Schweinsteiger, Cazorla=Iniesta or Ribery, Giroud=Lewandolski or Benzema etc), going by the technical look on our 1st team (with the best available players), if by:

    4-3-3
    GK: Szczesny; DF: Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; MF: Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla; FW: Walcott, Podolski, Gervinho

    4-2-3-1
    GK: Szczesny; DF: Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; MF: Arteta, Diaby, Cazorla, Wilshere, Walcott; FW: Giroud

    3-5-2
    GK: Szczesny; DF: Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaeln; MF: Sagna, Diaby, Arteta, Wilshere, Gibbs; FW: Cazorla, Podolski

    How do those look? Given you any confidence?

    ====================================

    Section 3:

    Some off-the-radar players worth taking a look on:

    (1) Maxime Gonalons (DM/CB/CM) – 90.2% pass accuracy; Strong with aerial duels, passing, ball interception, tackling; versatility – candidate/competition for midfield anchor spot and future CB spot as well. Future/current French international.
    http://www.whoscored.com/Players/79560

    (2) Nacho Monreal (LB) – 84.3% pass accuracy; Strong in holding/shielding the ball, aerial duels, key passes, concentration. Provides competition in left-back/wing-back role. Current/Future Spanish international.
    http://www.whoscored.com/Players/23072

    (3) Alain Traore (AM/FW/LW) – 77% pass accuracy, 4 goals 5 assists in 10 games, 4.3shots/game.
    Burkinabe international (24 caps 10 goals), Man Utd wanted him in 2005 but the move broke down because of work permit issues.
    http://www.whoscored.com/Players/21251

    (4) Ignacio Camacho (DM/CM) – 82.4% pass accuracy; Strong in aerial duels, ball interception and tackling; Spanish U-21 international
    http://www.whoscored.com/Players/35199

    Other mentions are:

    Etienne Capoue (DM/CB/CM) – 81.9% pass accuracy; The beast in defensive midfield. French international
    http://www.whoscored.com/Players/33590

    &

    Arda Turan (RW/LW/AM) – 83.3% pass accuracy; Very strong in defensive contribution(for an attacking player), strong in dribbling, long shots, passing and holding/shielding of ball.
    http://www.whoscored.com/Players/21501

    =========================================

    PS: You may use this post as part of future references to new posts on relevant topics.

  78. slimgingergooner says:

    Bayonne,

    There is definately an argument for us looking tired yesterday, but then some also argue at a lack of cohesion. The only way to get cohesion is with a consistent team selection, which makes it difficult to rest players.

    Romeo,

    For at least 4 of those seasons we were affected financially by the stadium move. The most recent 4 years City, United and Chelsea have won both the league title and FA Cups. The League Cup is debatable due to teams playing reserves in it and we have been in 2 finals in the last 8 years.

  79. Red Arse says:

    GoonerB,

    I wrote a Post (or maybe a long GoonerB-esque comment) on last years Arsenal Football Club’s 2011/12, Profit & Loss Account and Balance Sheet some months ago and don’t really want to regurgitate my summary.

    However, in answer to your 3:56, as I understand it, there is money available this coming January, for both the purchase of a players contract and for his salary, dependent on the costs involved.

    We have been linked with a January move for a couple of £6m (ish) players like Huntelaar and Jetro Willems the Dutch International left back, and that might reinvigorate the team and certainly would be affordable. Theo will stay, even if he is to leave next summer.

    Everyone is making a lot of the new 5 year, £150m shirt sponsorship deal and our share of the new EPL £5bn contract, but both of these do not come into play until 2013/14, (?) as well as the new kit deal currently being negotiated.

    Even so, I believe that Arsene/Arsenal will make a substantial investment in the summer, altho qualification, or not, for the Champions League, 2013/14, will have an impact on the sums involved.

    At last it seems the interests of the Gooner fans and the owner, Kroenke, are coming into alignment.
    The fans will welcome the injection of a top quality player(s) into the squad next summer, and Kroenke will not want Arsenal to risk any downward spiral into the ranks of the ‘also rans’ and possibly permanently outside the Champions League competition, and will see quality recruits as an absolute necessity to avoid such an eventuality.

    Things are going to seriously change in the near future, as AW predicted, with, or without, the impact of the FFP provisions.

    We all just need to keep our nerve and have a little patience. :D

  80. chas says:

    GIE,
    Thanks for the match report.
    I completely agree about the lack of options when moving the ball forward from the back.
    Giroud seemed to be the only one who didn’t just shove it back from whence it came.

    What disappointed me most about yesterday’s game was that I really expected us to go all out for the win in the last 20 minutes.
    Up the tempo, perhaps go 4-2-4, shove Mertesacker up front in the last 5 minutes, try something to upset the Villa defence but don’t just look as though you’re settling for a draw.

    Presumably Giroud was subbed for the kick on the ankle he had endured but 86th minute, come on, 7 more minutes wouldn’t have aggravated that kind of injury surely. We were crying out for another striker to be added so taking our only one off seemed bizarre in the extreme.

  81. Maybe maybe, but I think its because AW has total disregard for both these competitions as proved at the latest AGM.
    As you mentioned earlier time will tell, it will show how much of a genius AW really is.

  82. Red Arse says:

    Chas,

    As I saw it, Giro had a Villa(i)n rake his boot down the back of his calf onto his achilles.

    From experience I think a transitory pain from a kick is one thing, a stamp on the achilles tendon is quite something else.

    But I might be wrong! ;)

  83. chas says:

    I just looked it up, RA, it was in the 76th minute.
    He was subbed in the 86th.

  84. chas says:

    In a way it seems pretty pointless picking over the bones of such a poor performance. All I want to do is move on to the next game.

    Perhaps Arsenal will do what they’ve always managed to do in all of the time I’ve supported them and grab 3 points at Goodison. After all the Toffees only got one point this weekend and they were at home. :)

  85. Red Arse says:

    Romeo,

    It may not be important to you, but if you want me and probably others to take your comments seriously and respond to them, it is necessary for you to understand the difference between an opinion and a fact.

    To express an opinion such as “AW has total disregard for both these competitions as proved at the latest AGM.” strays into expressing that point as ‘fact’ which it clearly is not so — in my opinion. :-)

    What am I talking about?
    Well, a ‘fact’ is an event that has actually occurred, or that is empirically true, and can be supported by solid evidence.
    Whereas an opinion is simply a belief; which is usually subjective, and meaning that it can vary from person to person and is based on each person’s perspective or emotions. (see the second para above).

    Naturally, should you not care to accept that distinction, and thus you do not care for me to respond to your comments – that’s fine too. :-)

  86. chas says:

    It looks as though the row 1 seats are available next Saturday for the visit of Swansea. Any regular interested?
    Category C game so only £33.50 each. :)

    There’s the added attraction of a black bin bag march before the game!

  87. Come on Red Arse enough with the lectures, Wenger has stated that given a choice he would rather be in the CL than win the FA cup even though we have no chance of winning the CL.

    Now that is a fact !

  88. Gooner In Exile says:

    Romeo the only other info on Chief Exec salaries I can get to quickly is Spuds they haven’t published 2012 numbers yet but in year ending May 2011 Levy earned £1.8m. Gary Crook earned £2.2 m from City in 2010-11, basically Gazidis appears to earn the going rate.

  89. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas put me down for one please.

  90. Gooner In Exile says:

    But if its easier to shift the pair by all means go for it.

  91. chas says:

    Ok, GIE.

    Anyone fancy sitting next to the Sonic Boom Boy? :)

  92. Gooner in Exile, Please don’t forget the 24% with bonus this year, he is the highest paid chief exec in league.

  93. VCC says:

    Hi Chas…..Just see you have two tickets available for the Swansea game. If they are up for grabs I would like them please.

  94. GoonerB says:

    Thanks RA for your report back at 5.08. I have been away trying to get a spaghetti Carbonara on the go. From what you have said if the money is available from this point to be used in January and the summer I would suggest that AW would be wise to prioritise investment this January. That obviously depends on the right players being available then, which I believe they are. I don’t really want a situation where we didn’t buy player X because we knew we could get them for 6m cheaper in the summer only to realise, at our expense, that player X could have been the difference in CL qualification. If we can nail down CL qualification and finish the season strongly with a well balanced and settled squad we may find there is a greater harmony between the fans and Arsene with a lot to look forward to.

    By the way RA. JM’s post at 5.19, now that is what I call a GoonerB esque post. I have broken out in a sweat for fear of losing my crown.

  95. jnyc says:

    GIE, , u took the smart angle in ur report, why focus on the details of a depressing match. Ratings very fair. I do think Arsene needs to shake up the ox to get him going, some words of wisdom to get him to let loose, or change what hes been doing, he is having almost no impact in attack. ————-
    RASP, u and i are are almost always in agreement on most Arsenal matters, i always enjoy ur comments
    also, i am not looking for Arsene to leave- i would like him to enjoy some titles again, he deserves it for all he has done to get us in a good position for the future. But i do recognize that some motivation seems to be lacking. I will say,that if he chooses to leave soon, or in a few years, i have had my eye on Klopp also. Could be long term. Seems to have class as a person, as well as coaching skill. I like the playing style. AND—i just thought of this, there may be some great German league players who might follow him to England for a great Arsenal resurgence. It could be exciting draw for players like Goetze, Levandowski, maybe even a Sahin, etc. —Am i just dreaming?

  96. slimgingergooner says:

    Jnyc

    Reus, Gotze and Subotic would my pick! Reus has been a brilliant replacement for Kagawa.

  97. VCC says:

    Chas & GIE……Sorry chaps I’ve just read your post after I posted.

    Well done GIE, perhaps the next time for me Chas. Enjoy the game.

  98. GoonerB says:

    By the way can I say to JM, re his 5.19 comment, that was an excellent bit of detailed analysis and, as some have said to me before, worthy of a post in itself. I have only just read it fully because, as I said, I have been preparing a spaghetti carbonnara, which if I may say was very nice. Anyway JM if you keep bringing good analysis like that to this site it probably won’t be long before Peaches and Rasp are tapping you up.

  99. GoonerB says:

    Sorry GIE, rather rude of me but I haven’t complemented you on your post today yet, so well done on producing a good piece on a game most would probably rather not write up and prefer to forget.

  100. Hi all

    Thanks for the post GiE, very well done under the circumstances, that’s you and me off the hook for poor games for a while ;)

    I had to go and hide in my garden today, primarily because the weather was fantastic but also because I just couldn’t bear to think about football :( Do you think Arsene ever feels like that?

    Anyway we won’t have long under the duvet, Wednesday will be here before you know it.

    Why doesn’t Arteta come to meet Mertesacker when he’s moving the ball out of the defense? Are we just set up now to pump a ball to Giroud? Surely not. Mert to Arteta, Arteta to Cazorla, Cazorla running, puts the ball out wide to Gibbs who either sends a ball onto Giroud’s head or runs into the box with it. Much more interesting than ball to Giroud ……. back to the opposition :(

  101. VCC – I think GiE is only taking one of chas’ tickets so you may be in luck if you want the other one. But you do have to sit next to the sonic boombox :lol:

  102. GoonerB says:

    SGG, I like the look of Reus as well. It is difficult to predict but I think there is a great player in there that could hit great heights. I think he potentially has that special blend of a wingers ability in pace and running at defenders but a strikers ability to score, dare I say a bit like TH.

  103. jnyc says:

    GoonerB, carbonara one of my favorites. Do you add an egg yolk at the end in your recipe ? Peaches, rasp,maybe after bad matches we can talk recipes :-)

  104. Also ……… I thought Arsene looked particularly stressed yesterday, unusually he was on his feet most of the time ……. it’s possible that the seat was too wet for him to sit down after he’d stood up for something I suppose ;)

  105. Excellent idea jnyc ……… would probably make more sense too :)

  106. GoonerB – carbonara mmmmmnnnn and I’m only round the corner :D

  107. kelsey says:

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said he did not have to justify his decisions after Gunners fans chanted “you don’t know what you’re doing” against Aston Villa.

    The chant started when Wenger replaced Olivier Giroud with Francis Coquelin with two minutes left of the 0-0 draw.

    “What is the thinking behind the substitution? I will not explain every decision I make,” Wenger said.

    “I have managed for 30 years at the top level and I have to convince you [journalists] I can manage the team?”

    The result leaves Arsenal sixth in the Premier League, 10 points behind leaders Manchester United.
    Continue reading the main story

    “It is my choice. I thought the squad I went with could win us the game”

    When asked about the chants following the game, Wenger said: “I don’t want to comment on that. I do my job and do my best for the club. Why should I create a rift? I have given you the answer.

    “I leave it to you to judge. I try to be as good as I can be. You are all great managers! I read the newspapers every day and I can tell you that you are always great managers!

    “You judge the game for the papers and I sit here and explain to you our game. How many games have you managed? I promise you if you manage one I will sit in the stands and chant ‘you know what you are doing!’

    “You can discuss every substitution. You think what you want. I do my job and I let people judge it. I do that every day and I do my best every day. I know why I do it.”

    Wenger felt a hectic week in which Arsenal beat Tottenham in the Premier League and Montpellier in the Champions League had taken its toll on his side.

    “Always, when you play away from home after the Champions League it can be difficult,” he said.

    “We lacked a bit of sharpness today in the final third. Physically we were jaded.”

    And Wenger defended his decision not to play Jack Wilshere after the midfielder’s long injury lay-off.

    “It’s more dangerous to bring him on in weather like that [wet and windy] when he’s tired. It made sense for him not to play.”

  108. Romeo I’m not forgetting anything:

    Chief Exec Salaries (all public record by the way…very few clubs put their Accounts on the club website though).

    2010/11
    I Gazidis £1.729m
    D Levy £1.8m (Spuds)
    R Gourlay £0.9m (Chavs)
    G Cook £2.204m (Man City)
    D Gill £2.067m (Man Utd)

    The only reports I have seen about Gazidis’s “shock” £2.1m salary compare his 2012 earnings to every other clubs executives 2011 earnings, so lets just see once all the figures are in whether he is truly the top paid Chief Exec.

    The only other figures announced are Chelsea’s however they have yet to file the company accounts, I will be using my Companies House Account to order information on all our major competition and to see just how Chelsea made a profit and how the wages of the likes of City and United really compare to ours. I will also grab the info on Chief Exec Salaries, I’m sure Mr Red Arse will also enjoy a read of the accounts.

    Having just searched Manchester City I have also noted a company called Manchester City (Image Rights) that has just been incorporated which will be an interesting read.

  109. kelsey says:

    It’s getting to him when harrassed

  110. Peaches I have done United away two seasons on the spin, the Carling Cup final and yesterday (freshest in memory), I think i’m off hook for the next five seasons :D

    But then you come calling and I can’t resist ;)

  111. On the other hand Kelsey he could just be bored every season with the same old questions and the same predictions of doom, someone put this on twitter earlier and it amused me greatly:

    Also note how Chelsea fans today decided to vent their spleens at Rafa Benitez, but the man who bought them all the trophies gets away with nothing…..wonder why?

  112. LB says:

    A new manager will not be a knee jerk reaction, Arsenal will carefully consider their decision and chose the right man.

    Isn’t that exactly what spuds have been doing for the last 15 years.

    Did we beat spuds last week?

  113. Rasp says:

    JM @ 5:19 – I found this comment in moderation and have released it, I wil change the time so it comes up about now.

  114. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, was your @ 7:41 quoting me?

  115. JM says:

    Section 1:

    Bearing in mind Arsene Wenger’s current contract expires in 2014 (if neither the board nor the man himself seek a renewal), as well as his most of his coaching assistants (e.g. Bould, Banfield, Primorac, GK-coach-Roberts & Peyton, Fitness-coach-Colbert etc), team management change would be inevitable.

    Who then should we look upon as best fit candidate after AW?
    (David Moyes for his consistent managerial role @Everton with restricted resources for a bigger quality squad? Jurgen Klopp for his wonderful work @Dortmund? Pep Guardiola for being one of the most “wanted” manager currently on sabbatical after his role @Barcelona? Remi Garde who came as a player to Arsenal after AW’s recommendation, part of the 1998 double winning side and is currently managing Lyon, which is holding their own in Ligue 1 near the top despite offloading a few key players and facing the riches & might of PSG?)
    ==================================

    Section 2:

    Where is our squad’s strengths & weaknesses, at least for the 1st team?
    Strengths:
    Competent individual players, e.g. 3 x good CBs, sound FBs in Sagna & Gibbs; the trio of Arteta, Wilshere & Cazorla in midfield.
    OK with Szczesny & Mannone as No.1 & No.2 GKs. Giroud, Podolski, Walcott, Gervinho can score goals and create as well.

    Weakness: In a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1, the performances of our wingers/side forwards are crap most of the time (that is not to say that the players themselves are lousy, only that none of them are natural wingers/ good wide attacking midfielders showing consistency in the many games played). That gave too little support to our main striker and heaped pressure for our midfield trio in maintaining the balance between covering defence and initiating offence.
    Arsenal’s fundamental playing style drew strength from our dynamism in our midfielders. Once they are shut down, the fluidity in our game disappeared (we do not have excellent marauding FBs/WBs and WMs, nor rely on individual brilliance of wingers/side attackers as alternatives)

    Extracted from a goal.com article in regards of some teams with the current best midfield line-ups that provided a strong backbone to their overall team play:

    (1) Juventus (3-5-2) – uses deep-lying playmaker, supported by 2 box-to-box midfielders and 2 wide midfielders/wing-backs

    GK: Buffon; DF: Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; MF: Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; FW: Vucinic, Giovinco

    (2) Barcelona (4-3-3) – uses 1x anchor, 1x box-to-box midfielder, 1x advance midfielder and 3x mobile forwards who shifted positions during a match.

    GK: Valdes; DF: Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba; MF: Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; FW: Pedro, Messi, Villa

    (3) Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1) – uses a double-pivot of DMs/CMs, 1x advanced midfielder and usually 1x technical winger/wide midfielder on either left/right side of attack, the other side is a side forward.

    GK: Neuer; DF: Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba; MF: Martinez, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Kroos, Ribery; FW: Gomez

    (4) Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1) – uses a double-pivot of DMs/CMs, 1x advanced midfielder and usually 1x technical winger/wide midfielder on either left/right side of attack, the other side is a side forward.

    GK: Weidenfeller; DF: Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer; MF: S.Bender, Gundogan, Kuba, Goetze, Reus; FW: Lewandowski

    (5) Real Madrid (4-2-3-1) – uses a double-pivot of DMs/CMs, 1x advanced midfielder and usually 1x technical winger/wide midfielder on either left/right side of attack, the other side is a side forward.

    GK: Casillas; DF: Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; MF: Alonso, Khedira, Di Maria, Ozil, C.Ronaldo; FW: Benzema

    (6) Shaktar Donetsk (4-2-3-1) – uses a double-pivot of DMs/CMs, 1x advanced midfielder and usually 1x technical winger/wide midfielder on either left/right side of attack, the other side is a side forward.

    GK: Pyatov; DF: Srna, Kucher, Rakitskiy, Rat; MF: Hubschman, Fernandinho, Teixeira, Mkhitaryan, Willian; FW: Adriano

    With reference to the above teams setup (think e.g. Arteta=Pirlo or Alonso, Wilshere=Xavi or Schweinsteiger, Cazorla=Iniesta or Ribery, Giroud=Lewandolski or Benzema etc), going by the technical look on our 1st team (with the best available players), if by:

    4-3-3
    GK: Szczesny; DF: Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; MF: Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla; FW: Walcott, Podolski, Gervinho

    4-2-3-1
    GK: Szczesny; DF: Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; MF: Arteta, Diaby, Cazorla, Wilshere, Walcott; FW: Giroud

    3-5-2
    GK: Szczesny; DF: Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaeln; MF: Sagna, Diaby, Arteta, Wilshere, Gibbs; FW: Cazorla, Podolski

    How do those look? Given you any confidence?

    ====================================

    Section 3:

    Some off-the-radar players worth taking a look on (check @whoscored, transmarket etc for detail stats):

    (1) Maxime Gonalons (DM/CB/CM) – 90.2% pass accuracy; Strong with aerial duels, passing, ball interception, tackling; versatility – candidate/competition for midfield anchor spot and future CB spot as well. Future/current French international.

    (2) Nacho Monreal (LB) – 84.3% pass accuracy; Strong in holding/shielding the ball, aerial duels, key passes, concentration. Provides competition in left-back/wing-back role. Current/Future Spanish international.

    (3) Alain Traore (AM/FW/LW) – 77% pass accuracy, 4 goals 5 assists in 10 games, 4.3shots/game.
    Burkinabe international (24 caps 10 goals), Man Utd wanted him in 2005 but the move broke down because of work permit issues.

    (4) Ignacio Camacho (DM/CM) – 82.4% pass accuracy; Strong in aerial duels, ball interception and tackling; Spanish U-21 international

    Other mentions are:

    Etienne Capoue (DM/CB/CM) – 81.9% pass accuracy; The beast in defensive midfield. French international

    &

    Arda Turan (RW/LW/AM) – 83.3% pass accuracy; Very strong in defensive contribution(for an attacking player), strong in dribbling, long shots, passing and holding/shielding of ball.

    =========================================

    PS: You may use this post as part of future references to new posts on relevant topics. (Apologies as this could appear as a double post. My previous original one, with web links, failed to appear – was given a pending due for moderation)

  116. GoonerB says:

    Sorry Peaches, re the Carbonnara. Too many hungry mouths at this end today. Will save you some next time. jnyc I would love to say yes to your egg thingy at the end, but your very comment on this is making me realise I am maybe a Carbonnara rookie and had better stop talking about it in case I get found out. It is not really my forte anyway. Now if you want to talk about Coq Au Vin or braised lamb shanks…..

    I have just realised, it is actually better talking about recipies on the day after a depressing performance. You should all try it and see how liberated you feel.

  117. GoonerB says:

    Can’t even spell Carbonara now. Hope I got the cock o’ van right.

  118. Rasp says:

    Hi jnyc @ 6:25, thanks, I think some people have misconstrued my comments today. I’m not campaigning for AW to get the sack, I just gave my honest opinion when gm asked me a question.

    As long as AW is manager I will support him. I have long given up hope of him returning to the same man who was so unbelievably successful in his early years. I don’t think he will change his ways. Having shown the rest of the Premiership how it should be done, others have learned and moved on whilst we have become predictable and the quality of our players is slowly declining.

  119. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Let’s talk Pizza Takeaway :-)

  120. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Anyone watch Chelsea game? Any good?

  121. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Just to make my position on Arsene clear, yes I think it’s time for a change now, however, if he is to stay, then he has my full backing and I will not start blubbing and chucking toys out of my pram.

  122. VCC says:

    Valencian Paella………mmmmmmmmm

  123. chas says:

    peaches,
    Anyone you know might want the other ticket if VCC doesn’t want it?
    Harry?

    GIE,
    Have you got any clients you need to treat to a bit of Exile corporate hospitality? :)

  124. GoonerB says:

    Are you actually having a Valencian Paella VCC. That is one of my favourites.

  125. slimgingergooner says:

    Micky,

    It was worse than our game!

    I would like to see us go for El Shaarawy as another striker option. He’s starting to find goals now and I think Wengers shown interest before. Some ex-player was saying that we are favourites for Huntelaar in January and apparently he’s only got a year left on his contract. Will be interesting to see where he ends up although he is about 29 now.

  126. VCC says:

    Chas …GIE….. I’m sorry I see GIE reply after I posted the request. If you don’t mind guys I always prefer to go to matches with my Son, so on this occasion it’s only fair GIE gets the ticket as he asked first.
    I would love to be able to take advantage in the future though chas, please.

  127. VCC says:

    GoonerB…”..we had a dinner party last week and.I made a Paella.I dabble in a little cooking. That’s one of my favourites. I’m doing Gammon cooked in coke this week.

  128. chas and GiE – I’m sure Rasp would love to sit with the boombox. I have to shuffle around my tickets so I’ll text or email you tomorrow.

  129. harry671 says:

    GIE, great match report that pretty much sums it up……..The rotation thing is centered around hindsight and always will be…..My only comment I made in the pre match yesterday, was maintain defensive stability, I would agree with bringing in Gibbs and resting Vman.
    Havent read all the comments, just havent had time, but I would agree that Giroud was outstanding, his touch and vision are top top class, Chamakh he aint……….
    He was pushed for MotM by Ramsey, as you say he didnt hide, the abuse he gets in blogosphere is disgraceful, simliar to what Walcott was getting not long back and now he is the saviour that we miss when he is not here……..Ramsey is a very talented player and we should be thankful he plays for us, if you cant see it, rewatch the game and totally focus on what he does.
    And fans are starting to get on young Ox’s back as well when he was the saviour not so long back…….

    Some fans need a dose of reality and get behind the team, be constructive about comments is ok, but yesterday some of the commenst on twitter were too much.

  130. chas says:

    Thanks peaches, you’re a star as has been said many times. :)

  131. Better book a train…..i will make sure i make a day of it as it could be my last for a while :D

  132. I watched the 2nd half of our game, the bindipper game and the chav game. no goals and it was all boring. I think we’ll smash the toffees on Wednesday though.

  133. Being an Arsenal lover of only 41 years running, I am aware that there are longer serving supporters of the club than myself about. Take GN5 for example. He comes up with a lot of sense having seen the club wallowing in the mire in the distant past. I joined the bandwagon in our first double season when Bertie Mee was the boss. I too have experienced some dire years supporting the club and can remember laughing when we got a 0-0 draw against QPR and in so doing, avoided any chance of relegation in the mid 70s.
    In the ensuing years, without having any previous connections with the club, I read the history and realised I chose the right club to ally myself to and never wavered. Four FA cup finals in ’72, ’78, ’79 & ’80. We won only one, but I am happy to remember the win was against Man. U. in ’79. We lost against Leeds, Ipswich. and West Ham in the respective years. League success was a much longer wait. George Graham was manager when Micky did it in ’89. Stroller, (as George was known) guided us to another title in ’91 losing only one game away to Chelsea. George regrettably screwed himself up so Bruce Rioch (what became of him?) filled in, brought God into our squad as a player then got himself charged down by player power and then, and then, aha! Along came Arsene. Who?
    The world and his wife now know who Arsene Wenger is. He is the man who cemented our club in EPL history. Invincibles and all that. He is the man who should not suffer the ignominy of being sacked by this, or any board. However, the current circumstances show he is now swimming against the tide whilst carrying the can for an inept board. It should always be the decision of M. Wenger as to when he gives up being Arsenal boss, but we the fans need a lot more clarity in order to see where our inconsistencies lie both on and off the field. We have a good squad. We carry some players who do not seem to be worthwhile. We hear that significant funds are there for the manager to use as he wishes.The Players seem to lack the will to win certain games. The manager talks of a scale of criteria that does not make it important for us to win a trophy? To hope to just finish in a position whereby we are in the ECL is causing the club to be seen as lacking in ambition. We could come unstuck as could have happened last season. What do we want Champions League money for if we don’t use it to help our club progress toward success? We may not have a right to win trophies so that we fans can grin. Likewise, we do not have a right to qualify for the ECL on the last day of the season. We need CLARITY. Please do not treat us as idiots because we are fans for life. I love Arsenal

  134. Gooner In Exile says:

    Tony that could easily be a post, a great comment.

    I think we have to revisit Wengers ambition though..

    1) Premier League
    2) Champions League
    3) CL Qualification
    4) FA Cup
    5) League Cup

    I guess 6 is qualification for Europa League and 7 not be relegated.

    The question is, is their anything wrong with that list as a priority?

    We could win the League Cup this year but not qualify for Champions League, how many will deem it a successful season?

    People say he is wrong to prioritise CL qualifying over a trophy, yet after the weekend the talk is always “we won’t make 4th”, or the pundits saying “it’ll be a miracle if he gets them in top 4″. So is it not true that us and the pundits also use it as a guage to measure the clubs success?

    No one can honestly say we think our squad is good enough for a title tilt, not unless all the stars aligned (mainly those relating to injuries). So it shouldn’t really be an issue whether we finish 4th or 8th we still haven’t won a trophy, unless of course Wenger is right and qualification for the Champions League is a trophy in itself. Cup wins will always be possible, but that is no measure of a teams quality, luck of the draw and the fact that anything can happen in 90 minutes.

    My biggest concern is Wengers mental state, he nurtured and acquired a group o young players by spending very little money in the years post the move to the Emirates, that team had more chance of winning the League than our current side which is filled with money signings. If only the board had renegotiated some of the commercial deals sooner maybe they could have used it to keep the likes if Nasri, Cesc and RvP, and maybe we would all be recognising the brilliance of Wenger, instead he has been let down by both board and those players he nurtured who did not repay the loyalty he gave.

    I kind of wish for Wenger (personally) that he had taken the Real Madrid job when it was on offer, or even the Chelsea job, just because he would not have had to take the brunt of the criticism.

    Now I know others will say Wenger chooses to limit spending rather than is forced to choose by the board, but I look at previous signings before Emirates and ask why he wasn’t doing the same then, we were not frightened to offer Sol what some club is offering Theo now (free transfer and pay the player the saved money), or to spend big on Henry, Pires, Reyes, Jeffers, Lehman etc.

    But then the club wouldn’t budge for Ashley’s wage demands, in the Dein era lets not forget, the same era that saw us lose Vieira for similar reasons, Overmars and Petit sold for good money to Barca but they could still have done a job for us. Wenger replaced them though, working his magic in the transfer market, and the board took that as a sign that he could do it all the time.

    Arsene is unfortunately the victim of his own success, he set a new precedent in squad building, no other manager has had to utilise so little funds, if Fergie wanted a new player he was given £30m to splash on Rooney, no questions asked, £30m for Ferdinand, Veron etc. If Arsene had wanted that money he was always in a forced to sell position, but we just didnt realise it then, because we were witnessing brilliant football on the pitch.

  135. LB says:

    And talking of comments that could have been posts, so could that have been GIE.

    Awesome.

  136. LB says:

    It troubles me when I read criticism of Wenger such as he has money why doesn’t he spend it. This to me really is one of Le Grove’s signature statements that is then repeated by the more naive element of our support. Le Grove states this of course to generate hits which in turn generates them income through advertising. This is the principle reason I do not accept that they are true Arsenal supporters but that is an aside.

    The problem I have is that no one seems to think of the practicalities of spending this much fabled “war chest”. Maybe it is because I have been a manager that these kind of thing come to my mind first and fore most.

    But lets look.

    New goal keeper — No we have one and two back up.

    Right back — No, we have one and two good back ups

    Left back — We have Gibbs with Vermealen and Santos as backup.

    Central Defense — we already have too many.

    Midfield — We have ample, remember if you added a 30mil player someone is going to have to sit it out so who will you drop: Wilshere, Arteta or Cazorla.

    Left wing — Podolski, Gervinho and Arshavin.

    Right wing — Walcott and The Ox

    Centre Forward — Once again if we buy a 30 mil player he will expect to play, how do you explain to Giroud that he will spend the best part of the season on the bench alla Chamakh.

    So this is where I am coming from and why the cry of we want more players sounds like spoilt children at Christmas screaming they want more toys.

    Arsenal have not always had to sell to buy, in many ways it has been the most suitable thing to do — Alex Song, where would he have fit into the team right now, he wouldn’t and so he was sold, that is not a weakness that is a strength.

    I am sure there are lots of typos but you get the gist.

  137. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah, that old chestnut LB :-)
    We couldn’t possibly buy someone better than we have. Oh dear.

  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GN5 and LB,
    Can I say that I think its wrong of you both to accuse any regulars on here of acting like spoilt children, just because they think some form of change would be a good thing.
    Evevyone has been very polite, and those comments are very antagonistic.

  139. LB says:

    Morning Micky

    So who would you demote in place of your dreamy new super star?

    Have you thought that through — I think not.

    Oh dear.

  140. LB says:

    Micky

    That is the only argument that is put across.

    We want more toys.

    We want more toys.

    I want more toys, but the ones we have are not going to accept sitting in the cupboard for the rest of the season.

    We want names, who would you demote Micky, this is not antagnistic it is a simple question.

    This really does fly in the face of why players come to the club in the first place but I have to take the children to school now and do not have the time to explain.

  141. richie says:

    @TC1:44 I’m only slightly before you in that I remember Billy Wrights going and Bertie Mee’s appointment. Like GN5, I think it helps me to see the bigger picture. Waiting years for the 1970 success followed by the 71 double then the 18 year wait for Mickey to do it in 89 (with only the 79 FA Cup Alan Sunderland header win over Man U to celebrate in between) makes me echo GN5 recent comment and expound on it. Gooners “get real” we’ve never had it so good! Even the worst performing of AW’s teams are better by far than those I watched in the 60’s 70’s & 80’s, indeed better by far than anything that came before. Way too many Gooners have been spoilt rotten by Arsene Wengers 15 year top 4 finishes, and they’ll only ever realise this when he’s gone and his successor fails to pull the rabbit from the hat.

    The grass always looks so much greener over the road. I remember just before Andre VB arrived at the Chav’s many of our own from the Gooner foolish brigade were saying Arsene’s times up, why can’t the board move for a young exciting manager with new ideas like the current Porto manager? I wonder how many from the foolish brigade would fancy us taking AVB now? None? Never mind they’ve got a new name now it’s “Kloppo” he’s the one who’ll keep us top 4 despite all the financial dopping stacked against him in the prem, something he’s never faced in Germany. I’m not saying Jurgen Klopp isn’t a good manager I’m simply saying that one man has managed to do what all the others in the prem haven’t apart from those who have spent colossal amounts of money. If it ain’t broken………………..

  142. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning, AA debaters, :-)

    Fantastic Post quality comments from GIE and Tony Cummings, earlier this morning! :-) [and a little one from GoonerB Good!]

  143. Red Arse says:

    Oops, I meant richie!!! :-( Apologies.

  144. Red Arse says:

    Morning Micky, :-)

    If you get a chance can you pop into the next County and check out Glic? I think he may be lost in his muddy love shack footings! :-)

  145. chas says:

    If we bought Falcao, I’d gladly drop anyone. Hahahaha. Oh dear.

  146. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I don’t see anyrelevence as to being the oldest supporter that posts here. I am one of the oldest fans and don’t need to be reminded when we were having small crowds and played pretty awful football for years.

    We are talking about now, as i said yesterday and I don’t wish for the club not to be successful but there are glaring faults in players we have bought recently, the whole wage structure, the general playing of the team in it’s present formation and wenger’s whole demeanure.
    As individuals most of the first team are good players but something is wrong generally, and i have been saying it for months. What it is, is anybody’s guess.

  147. richie says:

    Yeah but Chas thats like saying if we bought RvP.:-)

  148. richie says:

    So Kelsey if something is so wrong we were just lucky these passed 15 years to keep making top 4?

  149. Rasp says:

    There has been no knee jerk or dummy spitting as I said earlier. It is those who have make the allegations that are guilty of cheap shots and trying to deflect a mature debate away from the topic by using tired one-liners which are disrespectful and unworthy.

    I think some people need top grow up and accept that just because things were different in a different era those rules apply now – they don’t. AW is responsible for the new era, he didn’t go back and look at how Bertie Mee did things, he took a modern scientific view and applied those ideas to the 21st century reality. The club is at a pivotal point in its recent history and it needs to move on and reap the rewards of the hard work that has got us to this enviable position.

  150. kelsey says:

    And whle i am at it, this frequent mention of LG is unnecessary. The owners can do what they like with regards to the childish comments, we are better than that on here.

  151. richie says:

    My point is the league doesn’t lie so all the other clubs that try to reach our level and don’t but spend more are what exactly?

  152. kelsey says:

    richie,

    i wish you would read what I said properly.

    I am talking about NOW, The last 15 years have had some glorious times and I am totally convinced that the change around in the board these last two years has had an effect and it is now showing on the fieldand on Wenger himself.

    It all started with the sale of Fabregas,not about that e knew he was going to barca,but how it was handled,and i know that for a fact.

  153. LB says:

    Everyone and their wife knows that Fabregas wanted to return home, everyone knows we should have got more money for him and everyone knows that the reason we didn’t was because Barcelona was the only club he was ever going to go to, so therefore there was no competition to drive up the price.

    Conspiracy theories that we may have got more money earlier are neither here nor there the fact is the cards were played as they were.

  154. LB says:

    And Kelsey while I am at it, I am the only one who has mentioned Le Grove this morning so I assume your comment was aimed at me.

    Let me make myself clear, if I want to discuss Le Grove or any other site for that matter I going to do so, OK

  155. LB says:

    My favourite comment this morning is Chas’ 8.15.

    They keep me sane……..just.

  156. richie says:

    Kelsey I did read it Kelsey but a book ends when you finish the last chapter, the football season ends in May. If come May we finish top 4 are you gonna be saying “Duck Me”! He’s done it again Arsene’s managed to pull the rabbit from the hat once more. More to the point are you gonna be one of those who ain’t satisfied because one of the oilers (either north or south) has finished above us? Are you gonna be realistic and say this man has to be a magician, every year his best players get sold and still he maintains the clubs position?

  157. kelsey says:

    I wasn’t aiming my comment at you LB, as several posts these past few days have mentioned LG and believe what you want about the fabregas transfer, and cut out the aggression please.

  158. Rasp says:

    We no longer need to sell our best players for profit, obviously we can do nothing if they choose to leave. We sold Fergie the Premiership title for £23m this year, that should not happen again.

  159. LB says:

    Kelsey

    If you stepped back and saw how provocative it is of you to try and dictate what people can and can’t say you might see why people like me come across as aggressive.

  160. Rasp says:

    Ok folks, I can see a lively debate ahead today … let’s keep it friendly and do justice to Rocky’s ……

    ….. New post ……

  161. GoonerB says:

    As I have stated before I am not at the point where I want a new manager but I am at the point where I am questioning whether he can have us challenging for silverware again. I don’t see questioning that as a problem as long as it is done in a reasonable way. I agree that the top 4 is important but I have noticed that despite the club being very pleased with this it hasn’t gone up on the boardings at the emirates next to FA cup and EPL wins.

    I found LB’s argument interesting re bringing in new players. I too have gone around the squad and thought who could improve that position and who would be pushed aside to accommodate that player? I think most fans feel we need an upgrade in quality in certain areas and I don’t know if, in reality, you feel the same LB but just wanted to make a point about many fans attitude towards spending. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on whether you feel we should be bringing in other players.

    For me though it is quite simple. Firstly if we do need those other players that could push us back to being a top team, and they are on the market and we have the resources to get them, then failure to act upon this properly could constitute mismanagement. By mismanagement I am not solely looking at Arsene but the whole management team. Alternatively if we are looking at the squad and saying we don’t think any position can be strengthened or improved upon, then we are basically saying that we have a very strong squad already that therefore should be challenging for silverware. It then begs the question as to why this team is turning out performances like Saturday all too often. If we have such a strong squad who or what is responsible for it not achieving its full potential?

    I think the fans are entitled to question this as it is their collective monies and support that make Arsenal football club. The collective wages of Arsene and Gazidkis are those of a top level management team, one that you would expect to keep you at the very top and not just underneath the top. I can accept someone saying, well we employ and pay these 2 top wages because, although we are not at the top now, they are the team that will get us back to the top. In essence we are paying for what they will deliver in the future.

    I seems that we have resources now and there is a transfer window looming. I think it is fair to say that we have, at least, the basis of a good side and that by the end of the season this team should look a far more polished and far more finished article. If performances like Saturday continue to happen regularly by the end of the season then yes I will question what I feel Arsene still brings to the table further. His great past is just that, his great past. I am hoping for a great future with him as well but I think we need to be practical enough to analyse the situation and if we can’t see it happeneing and there are no obstructions to this then we have to question whether it is time for the new era, scary as that may be to consider.

  162. richie says:

    @Rasp from last; Agreed we might not now need to sell our best players to break even, but thats something that’s only just come about with the new sponsorship deals. But if there is suddenly £30 mil in the kitty this TF window and the previous well researched “standard on the subject” Swiss Ramble, stated we’d need to sell a £20mil player for each of the next 3 years does that mean we’ve only got £10mil to buy and pay wages for a player?Coz if so lets not get carried away thinking big name are coming, £10m thats only a kid with potential money.

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