A New Kind of Stupid – Bradford 1 – Arsenal 1 (3-2 pens)

All the critics of Arsenal internal and external use our 7 years without a trophy as a thorny stick to hit us with over and over again. Last night on a trip to the frozen North of England Arsene Wenger surprised us fans and I’m sure most pundits by picking a pretty strong team to face Bradford from League Two.

Two of the starting eleven could be considered “squad” players (Ramsey and Coquelin). The rest of the names on the team sheet were either experienced internationals, or players with many games of competitive club football under their belts. And I am afraid it is those players that once again let us down.

Plenty of us pre match yesterday were saying how important it was that the team took control of the game and silenced the crowd, of course they were going to be fired up for the first ten minutes but swot it away and start passing it around and their fans would soon go quiet, then you could concentrate on playing the nice stuff, do the right thing first.

But no, the team decided to let them get on top quickly and early, all they had to do was put the ball high in the air and deep in Arsenal’s half and they looked like they could score, so yet again meaningless passing around the Bradford half resulted in an attack for them when those in Purple and Black eventually passed into their keeper’s hands.

To compound matters the team decided on 16 minutes to make it even harder for themselves, specifically the skipper Thomas Vermaelen, allowing a long punt up field to be controlled by a Bradford player over by the corner flag, then allowing that player to nutmeg you, and then fouling him. Vermaelen’s ill judged attempts to tackle were to be a feature of the night and a growing rage towards him from me.

From that corner the experienced players in the team decided that it would be a good idea to allow Gibbs and Coquelin to defend the near post area, and for Mertesacker to defend the middle, for Vermaelen to stand behind him and to be covered by Sagna. All three of our most experienced defenders got sucked towards the ball, which was flicked on at the near post taking all three out of the game and despatched into the back of our net through the despairing hands of Szczesny.

One nil Bradford and yet again we were in for a long night and hoping for some kind of miracle to try and get the game back. These miracles are really only possible if everyone is working hard. And for the rest of the half not enough players were close to the required levels.

Coquelin provided the best effort on goal so far when he jinked past a defender and hit a bobbler with his left foot that came back off the post. Gervinho missed a sitter from two yards when it was easier to score following good work from Jack, Santi and Gibbs. How he managed not to put enough on that ball is beyond me, he wasn’t desperately lunging, he wasn’t being mucsled by a defender he was there, he could have put any body part on it, even his todger and it would have gone in, but he somehow managed to open his foot up so far that he just flicked it wide.

Other than those two chances the team created very little in the remainder of the half.

In the second half the team came out with a bit more tempo, but still failure to do the the basics right meant that Bradford were given the opportunities to put pressure on the Arsenal area from free kicks and possession in the final third.

Chamakh came on for Coquelin who I felt was unlucky to be subsititued but clearly Wenger needed to give some kind of focus to the attack. Soon after Rosicky and Oxlade-Chamberlain came on to replace Ramsey (seeing double after taking a boot in the face) and Podolski who will be seeing double if Bould kicks him into next week like he deserves, as he walked off I didn’t think i saw a bead of seat on his body, I know it was cold up there but the rest of the players were showing the effects of playing a game of football.

Excuse me while I send a personal rant to Mr Podolski:

The song we sing is “He Scores When He Wants”, not plays where he wants not tries when he wants, it’s scores when he wants. You have not earned the right to criticise other players around you yet, you have not earned the right to tell the manager where you want to play, we already have Theo trying that one, and you apparently want it too. Right now I’d rather we cancelled your contract and sent you back to Koln on a free, because you are not worth the wages the club are paying you.

At one point yesterday you enetered the box and waited for a cross from Gervinho, you stood with your arm in the air, ok the first cross didn’t come, but the ball was still live we still had it, still you didn’t move, you just stood on your heels in the same place with the same stupid arm up in the air, when the ball finally did come across the goal from Gervinho you were still standing there and watching it roll harmlessly wide at which point you complained because it would have meant you doing what a centre forward does….MOVE IN THE BLOODY BOX!

Now I’m not an international Centre Forward who has scored countless goals, but I have watched football a long time, and never have I seen a supposed centre forward move so little in the 18 yard box waiting for a cross, the likes of Lineker, Shearer, even bloody Stephen Fletcher would have moved four or five times in the time you stood on that one spot.

I can accept a player being shit but working hard, I used to think Perry Groves was a legend for example, but accepting a talent who fails to work hard I will not and will never accept.

Rant at Mr Podolski over.

Rosicky injected some much needed pace to our play, between him and Jack who seemed to cover every blade of grass from defence to attack in the second half the team finally started to dominate possession, and actually began to look threatening in and around the Bradford area.

The shot count was rising but so was the off target count, and when it was on target Matt Duke in the Bradford goal was using his large frame to good effect.

With time running out Santi Cazorla produced a lovely cross to the far post, luckily it was just after a corner and we had some good headers of the ball in and around the box, Thomas Vermaelen rose at the back post to provide probably his only positive contribution on a dismal night for him personally.

The team pushed for the winner in normal time, but could not find it.

Extra time came and went with little action until the dying minutes when Duke was again called upon to make good saves from Santi and Jack.

So onto penalties, I was already worried as Duke posed an impressive physical presence inside the Bradford goal, he is actually the same height as Szczesny but a few more years of living he is stronger muscularly, it also helps that he doesn’t have to wear a pink goalkeepers top.

I was further worried when considering the psychological pressure on each group of players, Bradford – be a hero, Arsenal – be a villain. It was that simple, a Bradford player misses and they get a pat on the back and a commiseration, the Arsenal player that misses is vilified for the rest of the week/season/life (depending on how long you like to hold a grudge).

Bradford went first and it was calmly dispatched. Santi stepped up and hit a weak penalty into the hands of Duke who guessed correctly. Bradford made it 2-0, Chamakh steps up and cooly places the ball onto the post. Chips are down, I’m ready to hit the off switch. Szczesny guessed right for the third time in a row and saved to keep Arsenal alive, up stepped Jack who had simply no trouble putting the ball home. Bradford made it 3-1, up stepped Ox who made it look just as easy as Jack and rifled home to make it 3-2. Szczesny then guessed right for the 5th penalty in a row and saved a very tame effort by Bradford.

Up steps the Arsenal captain to take it to sudden death, he followed Chamakh’s lead and rolled it against the other post, cue pandemonium at Valley Parade as Bradford claim a famous victory.

No Professional team should see the opposition miss two penalties and not even take it to sudden death……abysmal.

A miserable night was complete, miserable for the fans, miserable for the manager, miserable for the club…..miserable for the players? I’m not so sure, they just go home to their mansion, loose women and fast cars. Why would they be miserable?

I’ve said it before I’ll say it again, I can support young players who work hard and put it all on the pitch, I can’t support players who do not play for the team for each other, or the fans.

I want players to show they know what it means to us fans and in my opinion too many on the pitch for Arsenal at the moment look like their doing a job, and it doesn’t even look like its a job they love.

Ratings:

Szczesny 8 Two penalty saves, could do nothing about the goal, swept well all night trying to urge the team forward and get ball back up field quickly.

Sagna 5 Poor performance from “Mr Consistent”, I am not sure I care whether he signs a new deal, as i am not sure what he is Mr Consistent at.

BFG 5 Outjumped by an industrial centre forward for the entire game, normal assured self when on the ball.

Vermaelen 0 Sorry you are not worthy of that armband right now, silly free kicks all night, and a failure to take care of your own job first.

Gibbs  7 Our best defender on the evening, and probably of the season so far, quiet going forward first half but always offering himself.

Ramsey  5 Nothing went his way tonight, needs a rest needs to work out the issues and decision making. Worked as hard as ever though.

Coquelin  6 Did his best in a misfiring midfield first half, still a lot to learn in the first team.

Wilshere  8 (MotM) Tried everything he could to push the team forward ran for 120 minutes, tackling, shooting, the boy has got it all, we need to get players with his attitude and desire around him soon.

Cazorla  6 Very quiet first half, much better second especially when Rosicky came on.

Podolski  -5 Didn’t bother turning up

Gervinho  4 he tries hard bless him, and doesn’t stop running, end product absent all night.

Subs:

Rosicky  7.5 quick passing, forward runs, forward passes, what we have been missing of late

Oxlade-Chamberlain  6.5 A display that showed he is returning to form, used his pace and strength well, committed defenders. Horrible team to come on and play for right now.

Chamakh  4 I miss Giroud already

Written by a very pissed off

Gooner in Exile

Someone will probably quote these stats in defence of the team:

37% Possession 63%
(so f’ing what)
5 Shots 28
(and?)
3 On Target 12
(less than half?)
3 Corners 12
(remember when this used to mean we would score?)

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162 Responses to A New Kind of Stupid – Bradford 1 – Arsenal 1 (3-2 pens)

  1. Rasp says:

    Shard says:
    December 12, 2012 at 9:36 am
    Actually, I’ve just been looking at the age of the current squad, and I think we’re in for another transition anyway. Regardless of who the manager is. (Ages at the start of next season)

    Szczesny 23
    Fabianski 28
    Mannone 25
    Martinez 20
    Mertesacker 28
    Vermaelen 27
    Koscielny 27
    Djourou 26
    Miquel 20
    Squillaci 33
    Sagna 30
    Jenkinson 21
    Santos 30
    Diaby 27
    Rosicky 32
    Arteta 31
    Wilshere 21
    Ramsey 22
    Cazorla 28
    Coquelin 22
    Arshavin 32
    Podolski 28
    Giroud 26
    Walcott 24
    Chamberlain 20
    Gervinho 26
    Chamakh 29
    Frimpong 21
    Miyaichi 20
    Joel Campbell 21
    Afobe 20
    Eisfeld 20
    Meade 20
    Gnabry 18
    Yennaris 20
    Aneke 20

    How many of those will still be in our first team in 2 years?

    I still think we have a solid core to build on, and some good young players coming through. It is however, going to take a lot of transfer activity, considering all the ins and outs, to get us back to the top. Still, that transfer activity should help us realign our wage structure, and the extra funds from the tv deal, the commercial deals, and hopefully FFP, should help us keep the players we want to keep, and add the players we need.

    Either we’re nearing the end of our self imposed (but necessary) austerity period and Arsene Wenger will start spending again. Or we’re going to struggle to find players to make the top 4. Though we might win a league cup or two under different management.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    GIE More effort in that passionate post than Pod put in over 80 minutes.

    I totally agree with your rant.

  3. LB says:

    Well done GIE

    You are a better man than me for being able to write that.

    I still maintain that Wilshere’s passing was way off in the first half hour and I do not think that had anything to do with the options available, to me he was as sloppy as the rest of the team. The difference, as you point out above, is that when he realised that a change of gear was needed he did start driving the team forward.

    The latter part of his game clearly built on his fine display against WBA and gave much to be encouraged about.

    The problem we have now is that the best midfield we have is Arteta, Rosicky and Cazorla, the reason for this is that latter two are more likely to get us a goal than Wilshere so they should be played ahead of him. The catch 22 is obvious; Wilshere will not continue improving unless he plays.

    Who would be a football manager?

  4. Nishanth says:

    Completely agree with you about Podolski. Has been poor and lazy for a while now. Arshavin gets slaughtered for that yet he makes an impact offensively whenever he players. Still a rating of 5 for not turning up seems generous.

  5. The font says:

    We’re gunner win the league were gunner win the league and now your gunner believe us were gunner win the league

  6. Andreas says:

    I do not exactly agree on your ratings. I believe that besides Cazorla and Rosicky no one else is a top class player and that Arsenal needs total reconstruction.Unfortunately Arsenal is far behind Man Utd and top European clubs in quality, mentality and coaching. I am so pissed off when i watch overestimated useless Ramsey, Chamberlain,Gervinho, Vermaelen.Big teams are made by top class players only like the ones Arsenal used to have many years ago.But it seems that Wenger and the Board do not realize this anymore and they bullshit us all the time.

  7. The font says:

    Andreas I agree with you on chamberlain he is past it I think he has been going downhill since he was 9

  8. JM says:

    @LB, we could have all Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla and Wilshere on the pitch at the same time. (Start by ditching 4-3-3 and using 4-2-3-1 with could mod. to a 4-4-1-1/4-5-1 or 4-2-4)

    Option 1 (The 4-2-3-1):

    (GK)

    (RB), (CB), (CB), (LB)

    Wilshere, Arteta

    Cazorla, Rosicky, (LW-AM)

    Giroud.
    ============

    Option 2 (Close to a mod. of 4-5-1):

    (GK)

    (RB), (CB), (CB), (LB)

    Coquelin, Arteta

    Cazorla, Wilshere, Rosicky

    Giroud.
    ============

    Option 3 (Close to a mod. of 4-4-1-1):

    (GK)

    (RB), (CB), (CB), (LB)

    Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta, Rosicky

    (Second Striker)

    Giroud.
    ============

    Option 4 (Close to a mod. of 4-2-4):

    (GK)

    (RB), (CB), (CB), (LB)

    Wilshere, Arteta

    Cazorla, Giroud, (Second Striker), Rosicky

    Also we could also rotate playing time between both Wilshere and Rosicky (since they return from lengthy injuries).

  9. jules says:

    0 actually -0 for both Verm(27) and Carzola(28)….how on earth can Wilshere(20) and AOC(19) keep their cool, pick their spot and hit them on target and you guys fail…

  10. RockyLives says:

    Hard to disagree with any of that GiE.

    But I would add this: If we accept that a good manager can make average players perform above their level (like Ferguson), the reverse must also be true: if good players are performing below their level the manager must cop at least some of the blame/responsibility.

    Your report makes no mention of Arsene Wenger.

    Although I did not see last night’s game, I feel the finger needs to be pointed in his direction for the performance.

    And before anyone says “a manager can only send the players out – it’s up to them to perform” just ask yourself: would Ferguson tolerate the sort of performances from Pod and Verm described above?

  11. Good report. Don’t agree re: Chamberlain, thought he was disappointing again.
    Made comments weeks ago on Podolski. £30 million down the toilet. He will be the new Chamakh in as much as he has a 4 year contract at 90k oer week. and we will not easily shift him unless we take huge losses.

  12. LB says:

    I never quite understand this Ferguson debate.

    What are we supposed to do? Spend all our free time wishing he was the Arsenal manager?

    How does that work? Is there really a need to refer to him at all?

  13. Bryan says:

    Just when you think it can’t get any worse it does.
    This is the worse side I have ever seen under Wenger, there are to many players in this team that do not pull their weight & are just not good enough to be playing for Arsenal.
    What the hell has happened to Vermaelen he seems to be getting worse each season & he is never a captain.
    Podolski is invisable most games, you wouldn’t know he is playing.
    Gervinho is, well just a waste of time, he is utter rubbish.
    Ramsey just keeps on getting poorer, even Santi doesn’t seem to be as good as he was at start of season but of course he is one of the bright sparks in this team.
    I wasn’t saying this a couple of years ago but now if Walcott isn’t in the side, I just dont know where the goals will come from because he creates so much & also seems to be our best finisher.
    & I will question again, what does Wenger say to them at half time, is it “Just carry on doing what your doing” because nothing changes, in fact I think we were less dangerous in 2nd half of game.
    We have no drive or urgency about us, which is a disgrace.
    I can not believe Wenger has said we shouldn’t be embarrassed with defeat to Bradford, in fact I find that statement embarrassing.
    We should be more than embarrassed for we are the Arsenal & if Wenger thinks different well then its time for him to go.
    I am a big supporter of Wenger his achievement of getting us CL football is a mini miracle considering the money he seems allowed to spend compared to others but sometimes you just start to think maybe it is time for a change.
    I have really had enough of watching us this season, we are so boring to watch most the time now but I doubt if anyone would buy my season ticket off me at the moment lol
    We will not even win the “5th trophy” of 4th place this season if we carry on like this & lets be very honest we are not going to win any trophys with this current team.
    The best bit of transfer buisiness we could do in January would be to go out & buy a Captain, I don’t know who but one that encourages & shouts at the players because we haven’t got one player at club that does that.

  14. LB says:

    JB

    Here’s what I really think………..Ditch our so called centre forwards completely, lets stop wasting our time with Giroud and Chamakh and play the ball on the floor the way we used to do.

    Play Cazorla up front, sod the height issue there must be a reference somewhere to a club who have had success with a low centre of gravity attack, I can’t quite put my finger on the name right now.

  15. JM says:

    Add-on to my post @10:32 am … I would do a like-for-like comparison sketch in the starting midfielders and forwards of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal using the 4-2-3-1 (incorporating Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla and Rosicky).

    Bayern M:

    (GK)

    (RB), (CB), (CB), (LB)

    Schweinsteiger, Martinez

    Muller, Kroos, Ribery

    Gomez/Mandzukic
    ==============

    B. Dortmund:

    (GK)

    (RB), (CB), (CB), (LB)

    Gundogan, Kehl/S.Bender

    Kuba, Goetze, Reus

    Lewandolski
    ==============

    Arsenal

    (GK)

    (RB), (CB), (CB), (LB)

    Wilshere, Arteta

    Cazorla, Rosicky, (Wide forward/LW-AM)

    Giroud.
    ==============

    In both instances, what is the missing piece is a Thomas Muller/Marco Reus type of player … an attacking midfielder/winger or winger/striker who could consistently produce the goods (either in goals or assists and link-up plays).
    Better than what Walcott, Gervinho and Podolski could offer in that department.

    (Stephan El Shaarawy – AC Milan, Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Shakhtar Donetsk, Stevan Jovetic – Fiorentina, Michu – Swansea are some other players in that same category)

  16. evonne says:

    LB – no, no need except when Rocky hits it on the nail:
    “If we accept that a good manager can make average players perform above their level (like Ferguson), the reverse must also be true: if good players are performing below their level the manager must cop at least some of the blame/responsibility.”

    GiE – this must be your virgin negative post; things must be pretty bad if even YOU are ranting. Good report all the same

  17. joe p says:

    No mention of wenger!!!…..YOU make me sick…… YOU are contributing to the slow death.

    Go and support Arsene FC, ARSENAL DON’T NEED YOU.

  18. Wonderman says:

    Spot on GIE,

    my thoughts are as follows

    1. How Chamakh still makes our squads is beyond me
    2. The Ox needs to work on his crossing
    3. Jack needs to work on is right foot
    4. Ramsey should not play on the wings again
    5.We need at least one other striker and built for purpose wingers, not converted strikers or central midfielders
    6. We need to man mark at set pieces not just free kicks

    The one thing that deeply bothers me is Wenger stating that he ‘is not embarrassed’ by the loss……HE BLOODY WELL SHOULD BE!

  19. kelsey says:

    I put this up earlier.

    As I said I didn’t watch the game but listened to the last hour on the radio.

    I am not trying to be clever but this has been on the cards all season.
    We fielded practically our best 14 players against a second division side and by all accounts it was yet another inept performance.

    We have always had poor players over the years but not to the degree that we have now,by that I mean playing in the same side.
    Chamakh and Gervinho will never make it at Arsenal, Ramsey may come in for a lot of stick but for now I would give him the benefit of the doubt and if we had a stronger squad IMO he should have been loaned out.
    Podolski will come good he needs to play in his preferred position
    Again with more depth in squad the OX would not be expected in some fans eyes be the young man to turn a game.
    Vermaelen is a good player but is woefully out of form and again I make excuses for Jack as he has had limited amount of games in 17 months.

    These past ten or so games whoever plays seem as if they had just been thrown together as if in a training match, Wenger says to whoever why don’t we play (whoever) out of position.
    The players confidence if not before will be rock bottom and I do blame Wenger as I honestly believe he has lost it with regards to formation and motivation.
    it is a sad time to see how ordinary a team we have become and apart from a few new faces in January which might or might not happen I just can’t believe what we are seeing., and forth at present seems remote, in fact highly unlikely.

    No team has a devine right to win a trophy but watching this makes me cringe seeing in two seasons how this team’s game has dramatically changed and is not pleasing on the eye .

  20. Red Arse says:

    Credit to you, GIE, it would be impossible for me to have written such a balanced and cogent report the way I felt last night! :-)

  21. Brigham says:

    Firstly, credit to you GiE for taking the time to post that up, it must have been very difficult. I have to agree with LB regarding Jack and I stated it last night, he was not on song for the first hour or so. Maybe the introduction of Rosicky making himself available sparked him, but he was very ordinnary up to that point.

    I think I made my feelings known during and post match and feel no need to air them further, other than to say I cannot believe that Wenger has said he is not embarrassed by that performance! What? You mean you are really happy with that inept, pitiful and abject display of utter garbage? If that is the case, you need to leave now and take the dross with you.

    Our crossing was woeful last night, either not clearing the first defender or being hit far too long. I really do wonder what our coaching staff actually do in training sessions and would bet it is all short passing, quick turning sprint drills?

  22. Well done for writing a superb post. As Raddy said the Bradford defence worked really hard last night. If only our players could work that hard. depressing, we’re all going to get the piss ripped out of us and we don’t have any comebacks

  23. I agree about the crossing brigham. Chamakh also under hit most of his passes.

  24. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cheers one and all for comments….I hate writing reports like that it goes against my nature but that kind of performance winds me up.

    And no I haven’t mentioned the manager as many have pointed out. But really you put quite possibly the strongest team available on the pitch to play a 2nd Division team they are 4 leagues away from us….and our players cant put in ashift for the manager, the fansor each other.

    Wenger would be getting pelters this morning if he’d put an Academy side out and they’d lost, he has to rely on the players on the pitch to deliver the performance he demands. They aren’t doing it.

  25. Red Arse says:

    Last night’s game disappointed me.
    Most of this seasons games have disappointed me – Spurs game excepted.

    I feel last night’s performance AND result may well have been a tipping point for the club and Arsene.

    Some years ago, I was contacted by the 30 year old son of the owner of a failing business. He discussed with me the reasons for what had been a very successful business going down the pan and his strategy for changing and improving its future prospects.

    What he said made a great deal of sense. He wanted me, as a professional, to speak at arms length to the owner – his father – because he loved his father and thought family emotions would make it difficult for them to discuss what was going wrong and to agree the changes needed to save the business, as it might be viewed as a criticism of his father. (which regrettably it was).

    The father was a good man and had been a dedicated owner/manager who had taken the company as far as he could. Unfortunately he wanted to carry on as he always had done, and simply could not or would not move with the changing economic and customer driven circumstances which was driving the company into straitened times.

    I arranged for them to meet, with me as the ‘referee’, and they amicably thrashed out the way forward, with very little input from me.
    The company with the son now in charge is trading very well to this day.

    Why tell you this?

    I see an analogy between that business and Arsenal under AW’s stewardship.
    Even the most successful business managers have to recognize that as human beings they can, almost indiscernibly, start to slip from the upper echelon of their profession, and need to move over for a younger, fresher talent to move things on. That’s life!

    If handled properly this can be done respectfully with all due credit extended to the person concerned, before matters become so pressing that the only way out is a sudden, savage recognition that the manager (AW?) has to go immediately, with all the heartbreak that would incur.

    I am not suggesting AW should be sacked, I am not suggesting he should go now, but the tipping point has now been reached and recognition of this and plans laid to have a smooth progression into a new era.

    Finally, there are those who will understand the logic of the above, and will need no further explanation, for those who do need it to be explained – they will never understand.

  26. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice post GiE. I dont blame you for been pissed off, but going against the grain a bit, i dont feel despondent, just anxious as to how the Club will conduct its future affairs.

    All this team needs is a couple of top class players who can deliver in the final third. If we can get these players in the whole thing will be transformed.

    Ok, i understand its not easy to find the new Henry and Pires but if we are going to compete for trophies in the next few years we need a couple of players of this kind of effeciency and quality.

    We are entering a new phase. One were we are begging to emerge from the financial shadow of the Grove move.. in the next year or two i expect Arsene and the Board to be proactive in there search for these couple of top talents that can make the difference.

    My appeal to the supporters is to hold fire for a while to see how the Board and Arsene react. If the Board dont provide the extra funds from our increased revenue to search for this new talent or the Manager believes that these kind of players are not nessacery, (which would surprise me), then i will be the first to complain.

  27. Rasp says:

    Thanks GIE for your honesty and bravery in writing the match report.

    The area of agreement is that there is something wrong – the debate is what.

    Sagna and TV are experienced top players who have been excellent for us, but they let themselves down last night.

    The problem has to be in the minds of the payers. Maybe Yennaris’ tweet gave us a clue.

    I think the ‘belief’ in the direction the club is going and lack of optimism for our future success is the undermining factor. The players aren’t stupid, they know that we lack quality and leadership but since they are part of the problem, what can they do? … nothing.

    How do we change this? It all has to happen with a shake up from the Board downwards – sadly that is not going to happen.

  28. Rasp says:

    I agree with you GiE, I’d rather we brought through some honest youth than buy from the ‘Chamakh shelf’, The next player we buy should be a £20+m striker, there is no point in bringing a mid level players we have enough of those.

  29. Rasp says:

    Hi TMHT ;) , the Board have made the funds available to Arsene.

  30. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Exactly Rasp. Two top class attacking talents can transform the whole thing.

  31. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Rasp, i hear you, but for me the proof will now be in the pudding. I cannot believe that arsene will settle for our attacking options unless money is short. Lets wait and see.

  32. LB says:

    Rasp

    This is meant politely, I wish you would write a post explaining in more detail your last sentence and how you see this working becasue I just don’t understand exactly what you mean.

    This one.

    “How do we change this? It all has to happen with a shake up from the Board downwards – sadly that is not going to happen.”

  33. LB says:

    If Wenger doesn’t try and reinforce the squad with the much talked about war chest in the January transfer window I will be very disappointed. But the word “try” is key here, just because people can come up with clever lists and quote German formations does not mean that those players want to join Arsenal.

  34. LB says:

    Kelsey

    Your suggestion of loaning out Ramsey is probably the best anyone has come up with.

  35. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    LB, Very well put and spot on. “Try” is the key word. if it cant happen in January it goes without saying that there should be no panic and we should wait to the summer.

    We are very close. Just need a couple of guys who can do great stuff in that final third.

  36. LB says:

    If Chamakh was still playing at Bordeaux and was still playing the way he was, he probably would be valued as a 20 million pound player.

    How much did Andy Carroll sell for?

  37. slime says:

    Right, I’ve had a rant and a sleep and here are some thoughts.

    First of all, a massive well done to Bradford. Though it may not feel like it, we actually threw everything at them last night and they defended excellently. They deserve praise just as much as our team deserves ridicule.

    Secondly, we didn’t create anywhere near enough chances as we should’ve done last night and this has been an ongoing theme. If Wenger can’t produce the things he is renowned for ie fast flowing, attacking football then all the other arguments about why he should leave are pointless. He used to do this with youngsters, so why are professionals like Podolski, Cazorla, Gervinho etc not producing the movement and fluidity? We created only one moment of Arsenal football in 120 minutes last night and that was when Gerv missed from 4 yards. Why are we not creating these moments 5 or 10 times a game like we used to?

    Thirdly, if we had sent out the youngsters last night and lost on penalties, what would be the feeling in the camp? When did the LC become something we gave a s**t about?

    Finally, the goal this season is not completed on 11th December. If last year taught us anything, it’s to keep faith until the end of the season. If we keep playing like this on a regular basis then the fans who want Wenger out will probably have their day and we can all look forward to a Mourinho revival or a Dalglish slump. It’s the toss of a coin. If we improve, then we can all look forward to St Totteringhams day and a pre season of rebuilding this squad.

    One way or another, you get the feeling that change is on the way. What happens between now and then is going to be a rocky ride. If we all keep our sanity long enough then we may be able to see it from home, rather than the local institute!

  38. LB says:

    The thing that Wenger seems to be guilty of is paying good prices for players and having money left in the kitty, he is very unusual in this sense because most managers don’t really care about such things; they spend everything available and then start asking for more.

    Benitez, Dalglesh, Rednapp I am sure others can extend this list.

    The solution for Wenger seems to be that he should have spent everything available on Giroud and then people would stop saying that he doesn’t like spending big or that he is scared of spending his budget.

    I cannot tell you how much I dislike that accusation.

  39. slime says:

    Also, I think the Xmas period will teach us more about this current group of players than we have learnt in the last 3 months. Fingers crossed its got some pride.

  40. Bryan says:

    Sorry I’m a little lost in the “we are very close” camp, I believe 2 world class players would help dramatically but at the same time we have a team that is totally incapable of defending.
    Also again I believe we need that big defensive midfielder thats sits in front of defence.

    Also talking of the game last night I thought the 2 headers we created in 1st half (Vermaelin & then Podolski) were both headers that should of ended up in the net but were poor finishes, especially Podolski’s rueful effort.

  41. Rasp says:

    Hi LB, unfortunately I can only pop in and out today so I won’t be able to debate with you at length …. but in repsonse to your comments

    1. Chamakh is not a £20m player otherwise we’d have sold him. He wasn’t that good before we bought him, in fact I can’t understand why we thought it was a good idea except he was free (but actually very expensive!!)

    2. “How do we change this? It all has to happen with a shake up from the Board downwards” …. means the Board is decaying and sees AW as the goose that laid etc. They need to act like his employers and hold him accountable for team performance not applaud him for financial frugality. The manager should manage the team not the club/business.

    3. There is absolutely no point in buying players at the same level as those we have – AW has repeatedly said this…. and yet that is exactly what he does.

    4. Just because other clubs overpay for players does not mean that we have to. No-one is suggesting we buy Caroll for £35m. We characteristically pay just over £10m and in today’s market that rarely gets you the quality required. Players like Michu are the exception and we haven’t struck gold like that for a while.

  42. JM says:

    @LB (yes, I believed your comment @12:18 pm about “because people can come up with clever lists and quote German formations does not mean that those players want to join Arsenal” would be referring to my comment @11:01 am)

    Not only does AW alone has to “DO” (with his 1 1/2yrs remaining contract @the club), Steve Rowley and his scouting team has to “DO”; and same goes for Ivan Gazidis, Tom Fox, Richard(Dick) Law who are doing the clubs’ finances and player contract negotiations have to “DO” their very best as well –> in getting those top class attacking talents available.

    “TRYING” is not good enough, they got to start “DOING” the right things. They have to take the “LEAD” in setting things going for the club to move towards the right direction, in terms of e.g. commercial, footballing, players’ scouting and contract negotiation and supporters’ management matters etc.

    Besides we are not far away from the German formations and line-ups of Bayern Munich & Borussia Dortmund in terms of individual personnel available in the similar 4-2-3-1:

    (Szczesny ~ Neuer/Weidenfeller -GK)

    (Sagna ~ Lahm/Piszczek – RB)

    (Mertesacker/Koscielny/Vermaelen ~ Dante/Boateng/Badstuber & Subotic/Hummels – CB)

    (Gibbs ~ Alaba/Schmelzer – LB)

    (Arteta & Wilshere ~ Martinez/Bender/Kehl & Schweinsteiger/Gundogan – CM)

    (Rosicky, Cazorla & “The missing piece” ~ Ribery/Kroos/Muller & Goetze/Kuba/Reus – AM/WF/LW/RW behind the main CF)

    (Giroud ~ Gomez/Mandzukic & Lewandowski – CF)

    *Juventus (3-5-2), Barcelona (4-3-3), Man Utd (4-4-2 and 4-4-2 Diamond) and Real Madrid (they have the better personnel in their 4-2-3-1) are omitted for comparisons.

    Our 1st team players, in terms of individual players, are no less inferior to those 2 teams above mentioned yet we are unable to consistently & collectively function as a team during our matches played.

    Was it the players? system? manager & coaches? …

    The manager, with assistance from his coaching staff, come up with his team’s style of play.
    If his players are unable to fit into his system, he could EITHER ditch his unworkable playing system – but not his footballing philosophy (e.g. attacking football etc) and seek a new system to accommodate on the players that he brought in (whether from reserves/academy or transfers from outside of club) OR he should seek the players available that would work in his original “deemed unworkable” playing system to prove to his doubters/critics and make it work right.

    In other words, he(the manager) has to take the lead as his club’s leader (as least in terms of the footballing side of things). His coaching staff and his players are looking to him as the guide in terms of footballing achievements.

    The Chairman/President is the leader of a Board of Directors.
    The CEO is the leader in the business side of a club.
    The Manager is the leader in the footballing side of a club.

    Arsene Wenger may be a good manager but he is not a good leader.

  43. LB says:

    JM

    It is a shame you do not submit your more lengthy comments as headline posts I am sure they would be much appreciated by the owners of the site.

  44. slime says:

    JM,

    If you think that our players are of the same level of Bayern Munich, then you are deluded!

    Also, we play in the most physical, and difficult league in the world. Formations and tactics don’t win titles, it’s hard work, speed, determination and luck in the English league. Bradford proved exactly that last night when they beat our first XI.

  45. LB says:

    Rasp

    Did you really read my 12.30 comment to mean that I thought that Chamakh’s current value is 20 million pounds?

    “If Chamakh was still playing at Bordeaux and was still playing the way he was, he probably would be valued as a 20 million pound player.”

    “1. Chamakh is not a £20m player otherwise we’d have sold him. He wasn’t that good before we bought him, in fact I can’t understand why we thought it was a good idea except he was free (but actually very expensive!!)”

  46. LB says:

    I think what I was trying to establish is what is a 20 million pound player?

    I suspect if someone wanted to buy the Ox he would cost 20 mill; Theo, if he had three years left on his contract would probably cost 20 mil.

  47. slime says:

    Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing.

  48. GunnerN5 says:

    Peaches,

    Check Arsenal nuts.

  49. LB says:

    Hi Slim

    Believe it or not, at the time of those two signings, people on this site actually praised Dalglish for being adventurious and spending big.

  50. Bryan says:

    Wenger only buys 10M duds but Dalglish buys 20M duds haha classic

  51. JM says:

    @LB 1:44 pm,
    We could hope that AW’s does come up with the right tonic to resurrect our team and this EPL season as in previous years.

    And be the leader of this footballing team once again (as he was when he first arrived).

    (Although, AW needs a leader or two among the players on the pitch as well to set his ideas right during matches)

    @slime 1:48 pm,
    Most of our individual players (in the 1st XI) are indeed in the similar level of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
    Unfortunately, as footballing team, our team (of individuals) is collectively not playing as equals to those 2.

    Formations and tactics do not win titles. However, effective formations and tactics do contribute % in winning matches (which is why lesser teams could either hold or beat bigger teams in occasions) and winning matches (instead of drawing or losing) in turn win titles.

    Formations and tactics sets the platform where the hard work (e.g. pressing, covering, movement with or without ball etc), speed (e.g. using flanks/wing-plays, counter attacks etc), determination (e.g. 2 banks of four, park the bus, all out attack etc) and luck (e.g. getting a rebound in by being in the right place and time, blocking a goal-bound shot by getting to a 2nd ball being knocked down etc) falls into place.

    Otherwise, we would have players who are hard working, speedy, determined and felt lucky, which are their individual traits but clueless as to what to do with their strengths on the pitch. (Basically, running around/passing the ball around – a full 90mins like headless chickens etc).

    That is where the leader (in the manager) has to guide the team —- formations and tactics.

  52. Rasp says:

    Thanks LB, I am reading hurriedly so apologies if I misunderstood. My point put briefly is I’d rather buy 1 top player than 3 at the level we already have

  53. slime says:

    JM,

    Last night I watched an Arsenal team beaten by a Bradford team. It wasn’t down to tactics or formations, it was because they worked harder, wanted it more, and rode their luck.

    As for us having comparable players to BM and Dortmund:

    My joint team would be:

    Neuer
    Pisczek
    Hummels
    Subotic
    Lahm
    Wilshere
    Schweinsteiger
    Ribery
    Muller
    Cazorla
    Lewandowski

    Even that could have Gotze and Martinez instead of the 2 Arsenal players.

    We are far behind the quality of these teams and its something we will see in the CL this year.

  54. neamman says:

    The players we have are good enough. Our manager is jaded… I think he needs a good holiday and ncome back refreshed with new ideas. Last summer he spent commenting on the Euros, he probably works most of the rest of the summer researching players.
    Arsene, I believe in you.. go away..take a break for two weeks and come back and save us!!

  55. slime says:

    I agree with Rasp that for this team to move forward, we have to start replacing average players with quality.

    The transfer market used to offer up under priced gems on a frequent basis, and Wenger was brilliant at digging these out. However, things have changed in recent years and there are fewer and fewer bargains around these days. Money tends to indicate quality now and the only way to get cheaper players is when their contracts are running down. It’s time for the club to start investing in the playing squad again as that’s what will ultimately make this club bigger.

  56. Wigangooner says:

    Cracking article, nail firmly hit on head.

    Remember when I used to be super-positive?

    I’m not feeling it today after last night. Being fair, anyone can lose to anyone, but the manner of our defeat was maddening.

    There is a serious mentality issue with some of the players and some just aren’t good enough.

    I’m not going to name names, because player bashing isn’t my thing but it was obvious that the usual suspects once again didn’t perform.

    Embarassing result, embarrasing post-match.

    I’m a very sad Gooner today.

    WG

  57. Shard says:

    Firstly GIE, credit to you for coming up with such a good, balanced, and civil match report. It’s an unenviable task.

    But also an unenviable task is that of a football manager. Like LB I never understand this comparison with Ferguson. Different managers, different styles, different circumstances. Yes he’s managed to keep his team at the top, but he’s had much more resources, he’s had the referees in his pocket, he’s had sky push ManU as the brand of English football and benefited from that. Wenger has been trying to push us to that level while keeping us stable at a relatively high level, while at the exact time of restraint dealing with the oil rich clubs. Would Ferguson have built the Invincibles? No. Or he would have by now. If Ferguson is the real world genius, Wenger represents the ideal. He won’t bully reporters and curb media freedom. He won’t let his players dive and win them games. He doesn’t get many favours from referees. He doesn’t spend the club’s money like it doesn’t matter, and (unproved allegations) he doesn’t try to make money of tranfer dealings and agents fees either. Wenger is whiter (no racial overtones) than Ferguson, arsenal are whiter than ManU. We’re the good guys. I wasn’t born in Islington or North London. If I wanted just trophies, I would have supported ManU 15 years ago. I like Arsenal. Win, lose, draw, good football or not. Ferguson is not who I want in charge.

    As for Wenger being past it, there’s become this obsession with looking at all that Wenger DOESN”T bring to ARsenal. He still brings a whole lot to us though, and it is dangerous to ignore it. Someone MIGHT be better, but it might also be a whole lot worse. I still think no one else could have kept us at this level. But this level seems to be not good enough for us anymore. Why is that? I remember the time when drawing 2-2 with Bayern Munich seemed like an awesome result even if we were leading 2-0. We’re on a different growth trajectory to ManU, and of course to the Oilers.
    I worry about how this could turn out. I do. But I don;t believe worry is the best emotion to guide a response. I still trust that Wenger will not let us become mid table.

    As for why Wenger doesn’t change ‘tactics’, before the ABA game, George Boateng was on Indian TV talking about Chelsea vs Sunderland. Talking about Sunderland’s problems, he was critical of O’Neil and Sunderland, and said that a team is in trouble when the manager loses faith in the tam and starts to try and change things around because early results don’t go for them. Which he said has resulted in Sunderland turning completely defensive and not haveing any idea of what to do on the field. Wenger believes in the team. Without that belief, we are lost. Maybe we should accept what we’re not and back what we are. If the team’s triumphs are ours, so are our failures. We’re in this together.

  58. JM says:

    @slime 2:32 pm

    So the Bradford team (and its players) worked harder, wanted it more, and rode their luck.

    AW’s comments:

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/46294/wenger-reaction

    Re: ” … They defended well [and] started stronger than us. In the second half of extra-time it was all us but we couldn’t convert our chances. They defended very well. ”

    “… They defended very well in their own half. The pitch was a bit slippery to get in behind. They defended very deep and played the ball forward. There was no space, no room.”

    Bradford came with a game plan, their tactic(s) and the formation the players are lined up — to defend well, defend deep, deny/negate Arsenal space and room to maneuver around the pitch. Their players used their strengths – hard work, determination, speed and a slice of luck – in a good way, fitting into their tactic(s) and (tied) formation setup. They did not run around clueless like headless chickens with their strengths.

    When looking toe-to-toe with B.Munich & B.Dortmund:

    Szczesny may not be better than Neuer of B.Munich; however he is not much worse than Weidenfeller of B.Dortmund surely?

    Is Sagna an very much inferior player to Lahm or Pisczek?

    Are Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen as individual players, very much worse than either Dante, Boateng and Badstuber of B.Munich or Hummels and Subotic of B.Dortmund?

    What about Gibbs as an individual player compare to Alaba of B.Munich or Schmelzer of B.Dortmund?

    Is the pairing of Arteta and Wilshere “CRAP!!” when compare to the pairing of either Martinez and Schweinsteiger of B.Munich or S.Bender and Gundogan of B.Dortmund?

    Rosicky might not be as good as Goetze of B.Dortmund but surely he should be around the level of Kroos from B.Munich?

    Cazorla should be comparable to Ribery of B.Munich and Kuba of B.Dortmund.

    Giroud to either Gomez or Mandzukic from B.Munich? Not much difference individually, although Lewandowski from B.Dortmund is believed to be slightly better than the 3.

    Only we could not find someone of similar quality to Muller of B.Munich and Reus of B.Dortmund.

    Overall picture … the failings come in when our individual players come together as a team == The synchronisation and harmony is not working (Our music is out of tune).

  59. slime says:

    Shard,

    Fair play.

  60. Gooner In Exile says:

    To be honest one thing I think that is affecting our team at the moment is the scrutiny on the manager and board. Why? Because it is absolving the players of blame, and they show it, the same happens to countless teams who change their managers and see a change in fortunes, it is not because the manager is any better but because the players haven’t got the excuse anymore.

    Some teams can’t be saved because they are ultimately shit, but there have been a number of comments today highlighting that the players have the talent. So for me that means they are hiding.

  61. Big Raddy says:

    WG. No arguing with that.

    We were missing the spine of the team… Kos, Arteta and Giroud but should still have had enough to win

  62. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    It is time for an honest assessment. Our players are good honest journeymen for the most part, with only a couple of exceptions.

    The use of the word ‘talent’ is such an amorphous term it lacks any clarity. Against what are you measuring ‘talent’?

    The root cause of the performance last night, and previous desultory performances this season, is quite simply a lack of ‘talent’ when compared to other top teams in European football.

    In the past we had players whose talent matched the best in Europe and in the world, now we have players who would struggle to get into mid-table EPL teams.

    Supporters being blinded by club loyalty is understandable, but branding all our ugly ducklings as swans is hardly conducive to understanding the needs of a top team in the EPL or CL.

  63. kelsey says:

    Sorry GIE I forgot to thank you for picking the short straw and having the gumption to do today’s post for us.

    We have always experienced shock results over the decades and to be honest I am not so surprised that we lost last night, because a pattern has been emerging as this season progresses.

    Having now seen the highlights yet again not only were we slow out of the blocks but bradford were really up for it and considering the number of games they have already played this season, they looked fitter and faster than us for the best part of 70 odd minutes.Why I ask myself

    As was mentioned earlier I think it is mental fatigue and a lack of understanding between the players on the pitch that makes some nervous and therefore we see misplaced passes and what amounts to easy goal scoring chances missed.
    That this affects nearly all 14 players on the pitch is disturbing and I go back to the fact that they are not showing any real motivation and Wenger has to see that and take a proportion of the blame.
    We can’t be consistent for even two games this season,regardless of the opposition and that is alarming by looking at some of the so called lower teams that we haven’t beaten this season.

    The transition period of about 5 years has gone back to where it began but of course every season we have lost key players and unfortunately some that have come into the side have either lost form or just aren’t good enough or in a couple of cases shouldn’t be even in the squad yet..That is down to squad strength and depth.
    I think Wenger gambled last night that by putting his strongest side available hings would change against lowly Bradford and now one wonders how many cards has he got left up his sleeve.
    I am sure he is hurting and most probably thinking to himself what the hell can I do next.

  64. Thanks GiE – for having the cojones to write up the debacle of this week, for that I salute you.

    Does anyone know what the imminent annoucment to come out of Ashburton Grove now is ? Apparently there are lots of media outside the stadium waiting for something to be announced.

  65. Bryan says:

    It is blatently obvious if you sell your best 2 players every damn season & replace them with average/good players you will get weaker and weaker & that is what has been happening.
    I agree with who ever said that it would be better to buy 1 world class player for £30M than it would to get 3 averages players instead.
    As having RVP showed last season the difference a top player can make

  66. slime says:

    Totally agree with RA about the level of our players. They are not as good as some would have us believe, though at the same time they are not as bad as others will say. They are a decent bunch with a couple of top class players in Wilshere and Cazorla. The rest are nothing special and would probably struggle to get in most of the remaining CL teams this season. We are a PL team that is capable of 4th place, a CL team that could scrape the quarters, and a cup team capable of semi finals with the odd trip to Wembley. That’s not my opinion, that’s the facts of the last 5 years.

  67. Big Raddy says:

    Slime. Seems a fair summation

  68. Rasp says:

    Its clear the Ox didn’t think Chamakh was good enough when he underhit a pass to him when he was through in the box, he remonstrated with him at length. Jack and The Ox showed their mettle when they dispatched their penalties, someone should have said no to Chamakh when he volunteered.

  69. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chary guess its Henry announcement :(

  70. chas says:

    Cheers, GIE.
    When those of a negative disposition sound off, I just switch off, but you’ve made a pissed off rant entertaining.

    On the bright side our January fixture list could have looked like this.
    I feel so much happier now we have to play at least 2 games less. :)

    01 Tue Barclays Premier League A Southampton
    06 Sun The FA Cup A Swansea
    09 Wed Capital One Cup N Semi-Final 1L
    13 Sun Barclays Premier League H Manchester City
    20 Sun Barclays Premier League A Chelsea
    23 Wed Capital One Cup N Semi-Final 2L
    26 Sat The FA Cup N Round 4
    30 Wed Barclays Premier League H Liverpool

  71. LB says:

    Bryan

    Many people say that it would be better to buy one player for 30million than to buy three for ten.

    And I agree.

    But here’s the problem, if a player of the 30 million calibre came on the market then it is very likely that PSG, City or Chelsea would pay 35 million, do you see the point, we cannot win, these players are simply not available to us, we have to but three for 10 mil; we have no other choice.

    Goodness I wish the people who throw there hands up in the air crying out for new big signings could grasp this.

    As a side note, the board actually do understand this and for that reason Wenger’s job is as safe today as it was in 2004.

  72. Thank goodness you pointed how hard Gervinhio works. Can you imagine what will happen when he improves his finishing? yeah, he will be playing for Man city.

  73. slime says:

    Chas

    I agree with you about shutting off when negative people come on and rant, the problem is though that some of these negative people, up until not so long ago, used to be positive. That’s when you know there are issues.

  74. LB says:

    They surely can’t be so crass as to try and placate us with the re-signing of Henry now?

  75. Sheep Hagger says:

    Hi
    R we all still in shock from last night.
    Big game on here tonight loads of people around town with funny accents they are bro fans
    Hope swans win tonight as I live here.
    Much love
    SH

  76. evonne says:

    yes Chas, and now we only have 5 games in the whole of Jan, hip hip hooray

  77. slime says:

    What’s Stewart Robsons problem?

  78. Sheep Hagger says:

    That’s a joke surely us re singing Thierry Henry,we need class players not old men who r nearly finished.
    SH

  79. Sheep Hagger says:

    Stewart Robson problem is
    HE IS BALD

  80. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Sheepy, i have it on good authority from the inner transplant circle that Robson went to a very good surgeon investigating the possibility of a transplant.

    Unfortunitly for him he lacked the sufficent amount of doner hair required so it was suggested to him that it would be an idea that pubic hair could be removed from his nether regions and inserted into the hair line area.

    Apparently Robson went through with it, but sadly the transplanted pubes failed to grow. This sad outcome has left the poor bugger dazed and confused. It is rumoured that when such pube transplants fail there is a strange metamorphises effect between the nether regions and the brain

    So basicly this is why Robson talks Bolloxs and is a grade A Cock Head.

  81. Red Arse says:

    Gazidis is hosting a drinky-poo for the AST gang tonight at the Emirates!

  82. jnyc says:

    Normally i see the transfer window as an opportunity, but the way all our acquisitions are pwrforming, im afraid good new. players will also underperform. Also, adding more new people to an already unsettled team may just make it worse.

  83. Sheep Hagger says:

    Lol Terence

  84. How much lower can we go? Or more to the point, how much lower do we need to get before we face reality?
    I know I will be crucified by some of you for saying this, but Arsenal are now a soft team that seems to be competing only to make the numbers up. My eyeglasses are clear and 20/20. The Invincibles are long gone. The memories are still there for me, but seeing how things have been since then, we seem to have had our time. We now need a change.
    When the ECL was extended to include as much as four teams from the strongest countries in 2002, we were afforded a licence to stop competing for the top spot. Even though we haven’t failed to hold on to minimum qualificatipn status, we have at times been lucky to have done so. Since 2003-4 we have steadily regressed to what we are now. I.e. A club forced to hope the manager regains the magic touch. Sporting comparisons bring to mind the boxer Mike Tyson when he began to go downhill, and like Iron Mike, we will not recoup that brilliance. Luckily we are a football club and not a boxer.
    We can recruit and regroup but not with Wenger i’m afraid. He is our figurative boxer who should soon be retired.
    I have always been aware of the economic nous that Arsene used to establish our new home, therefore he should never be fired as manager, but he should be sensible enough to allow a new man to take up the reins while he steps upstairs, and that new man should be Pep Guardiola. A man who he helped to get his coaching badges. A man whose footballing principles he has since tried to emulate but failed to succeed with.
    I rest my case, and I will try to parry or duck any sniping from those who disagree.
    Viva Arsenal.

  85. LB says:

    Tony

    If you inherited the squad that Pep Guadiola did, you would have won the CL by now.

  86. LB says:

    I fucking love this club

  87. LB says:

    OK I admit it, I have been drinking.

  88. Sheep Hagger says:

    Hi
    I agree with Tony we are getting worse not better last night was poor and the cl game the week before we were poor .
    We beat WBA yes but they had lost there last 4, I’m with the arsenal fanz who think its time for a change for me the only player who can turn our season around is Messi.
    And we won’t be signing him,we got to change the management it’s gone stale and needs a new manager.
    I know some arse fans will disagree but that’s life I’m only stating my case I don’t mean to offend any one.
    Much love SH

  89. stuart robson’s problem is that he is a ladies undercarriage.

    I thought my bindipper butcher would rip the piss out of me today. He was more eager to sing Bradford;s praises and how they didn’t look like a 4th division side. He also pointed out that they were playing the game of their lives as none of them are ever likely to play Arsenal again. He didn’t say we were shit once.

  90. Personally I think Pep could turn out to be mediocre. The new barca manager seems to be doing ok with that team. I’m up for a change but I know it won’t be klopp, Pep or maureen or anyone in that price bracket.

  91. Sheep Hagger says:

    What about the special one?.
    I can’t think of any one but pep or Jose
    SH

  92. Hello my dear gooner friends

    Huge thanks have to go to GiE who made my day when I was told early this morning that he had written a post for us to use today. He is one of the brave ones ;)

    I’ve tried not to think too much about last night’s game because I believe that the C1 cup is not at all important and clearly the team that stepped out to play last night also felt the same.

    Bradford played very well but really …….. that can’t be an excuse

  93. Sorry, I didn’t finish …… that’s like sending a text message too quickly ;)

  94. Bradford played very well but really …….. that can’t be an excuse can it??????? We are The Mighty Arsenal and if we send out basically our first team we should work really hard to get a result.

    I’ve been saying for weeks that there’s a problem and last night just showed that it doesn’t look like it’s going to be solved for some time sadly :(

    Is the answer staring someone in the face????? I hope so, but if it’s Arsene I wish he’d hurry up and do something about it.

  95. You can run but you can’t hide, I know you’ll read my comment :)

    We have no football until next Monday which means that we need posts for the next few days. We have one for tomorrow already but need more ………….

  96. Gooner In Exile says:

    So the BoD decide tonight in their meeting with the AST and various other drinkypoos to show conplete unity with the manager and say to all that would listen “he has funds to spend when he identifies the right target”.

    Ok so either Wenger hasn’t found the right target, but a question remains….Wenger openly told the press he wanted to keep Nasri, Cesc, RvP and now Theo. But not one deal could be struck in our favour….was that Arsene or was it the board, do we think Arsene really decides on the wages of a new contract.

    FD : He wants £150k a week Arsene.
    AW : Fine I want to keep him
    FD : are you sure?
    AW : Yes

    Done deal.

    Personally I think Arsene would have liked to have kept them all. Did he really think RvP going to United was a footballing decision? Don’t make me laugh….. that decision was the boards, as we’re in my opinion the decisions on RvP, Nasri and Cesc. Who we’ve bought, well again, Arsene didn’t want Mata, Hazard etc?

  97. Rasp says:

    I commend your faith GiE, but your conclusions belie the facts. It was obvious all the players you list were leaving when AW made those statements and he must have known that (he is not a fool). So why did he repeatedly say that he expected (thought that) a player would stay …. to push up the price???

  98. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    GiE That is one of the best comments i have ever read on a forum. fantastic stuff

    We will rise again and quicker than people think. Arsene is one of the greatest managers in the world, even better than Stewart robson and that Bradford bloke.

    He built a team from ashes of the Grove move and could have won leagues but his players were poached

    You want hope? then ask yourself why Arsene stays. He dosnt need the money or the grief.

    He stays because he realises that good times are around the corner. We are about to enter a new phase were many of the financial shackles of the last 10 years are about to be shaken off.

    Open your eyes and see. This is a man who dosnt even need to spend big to win things. He just needs the ability to keep what he creates.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stiring

  99. Rasp says:

    Oh dear TMHT you are such a great bloke but when are you ever going to come down to earth :oops:

    AW doesn’t have the ability to keep what he creates, he’s proven that over the last 3 summers.

    It would appear that Arsene and the Board have been singing from the same hymn sheet all along. I want a manager whose sole aim is to amass the best players, get them playing wonderful football and to win as many games as possible (yes the Arsene of old before you say it), not one who concerns himself with creating a smokescreen around the club’s financial objectives.

  100. GiE/Shard, Redders had it, there was no announcement; just Ivan’s meeting with the AST where the film crews were probably after quotes from attendees.

  101. Sheep Hagger says:

    Rasp I’m with u son

  102. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    He dosnt have the ability at the moment Rasp, but he will have soon. You know as well as i that in the near future our ability to hold on to our talents will grealy increase.Thats all Arsene and the Club need to build great teams for the future.

    As for coming down to earth, i never will. As long as ime alive and kicking i will always envisage a brilliant Arsenal, beating every team all over the world. Hell, i even had a dream the other night we won the intergalatic cup by beating some team from Venus -5-0. hahahaha

  103. Sheep Hagger says:

    We waited 7 years how much longer b4 we can celebrate
    I’m getting old
    Bed for sheep
    Tmhr can we waits any longer.

  104. Rasp says:

    :lol: TMHT, you carry on, I wouldn’t have you any other way

  105. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    I find that a bit of a limp answer by Gazidis last night.
    PHW said 2 years ago there was substantial money available for AW if required.

    Going back to the game I looked at the penalties taken and Chamakh half heartedly kicked the ball and that’s a striker.
    Apart from Walcott and Sagna I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vermaelen off in the Summer. He doesn’t look a happy bunny.
    I personally think that at least for this season and probably next,things will get worse before they get better again.
    Only if revenue drops will kroenke start to feel the pinch regardless who is the manager.it is quite clear to me that trophies is not high on his agenda list.

  106. chas says:

    Next gen 4-2 versus Bilbao

  107. mickydidit89 says:

    Bloody hell, December 13th.
    Sign Da Ting Walcott
    Sign Da Ting

  108. Shard says:

    Building on from my comment yesterday about the squad, here are the players I think won’t be with us next season.

    GK
    Fabianski, Mannone

    Def
    Djourou, Sagna, Squillaci, Santos

    Mid
    Diaby,

    Forwards
    Walcott, Chamakh, Arshavin

    Which would mean we’d need one GK (preferably over 30), one 4th choice CB, one first choice RB, one LB to challenge Gibbs, One DM/CM, 1 striker, 1 creative midfielder and 2 wingers. (keeping in mind current deficiencies too)

    That is a total of 9 players. Of course some will come from the youth players. I think Miquel will be the 4th choice CB, and Gnabry/Ryo will be one of the wingers. Eisfeld and Yennaris could probably contribute at CM and RB too.That still leaves us needing 5 or 6 signings. Does it look likely that Arsenal will have so many signings? On the face of it no. But then we’ll be losing players which will free up the wage bill, and we did have five signings back in August last year.

    So over the next 2 windows, I expect to see a GK, a striker, a versatile player who can play CB and DM, an RB (if Sagna doesn’t extend), 1 LB (if Santos goes, or we’ll get someone who can play RB/LB or LB/ LW), 1 winger and 1 creative midfielder. That is anywhere from 5-7 signings, and of course dependent on us selling the players we don’t want, and losing some we don’t want to.

    Will that happen? No idea. But I think that’s what we’ll need.

  109. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Kelsey and Chas.
    Shhhhh
    While no-one is around, whisper to me what yo really think about TH coming back. Its a big no no for me.

  110. Shard says:

    micky,
    if his arrival means no other striker comes in, then I’m with you. But if we do get someone else in, we could do with Thierry reminding the likes of Podolski and Gervinho who they play for and what it means to wear the bloody shirt. Not to mention he’s still got ‘it’. A winning attitude, and brilliant finishing. We could do with that.

  111. mickydidit89 says:

    Shard
    I think you can add Pod to that list. He does not look happy. Our system does not suit him at all.

  112. mickydidit89 says:

    My gut feeling is that Chas is finding an amusing video for our entertainment.

  113. chas says:

    I think the players ought to have the Arsenal shirt painted on their torsos with bodypaint. Then at least they’d have to scrub it off rather than just peel it off and chuck it in the laundry.

    http://bit.ly/UERKz1

  114. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Damn right we sign TH if available. Even if one ignores his goalscoring talent and that he is back to Podolski’s pace, he remains the man who excites the players, and in particular the young players. Furthermore, taking TH on loan doesn’t pre-empt signing another striker.

    Who would you rather see coming on a sub after 75 mins – TH or Chamakh?

    I rest my case……..

  115. Wombledin says:

    Your article’s a f*cking disgrace with not a single criticism of your beloved Lord Wenger. Just an ordinary write-up as if this is just another run-of-the-mill lame performance against a premiership team or something. As if we even really care a toss about how this unbelievable loss occurred, yet you describe it blow by blow.. Not one single comment daring to point the finger at Wenger to put this latest humiliation in the context of the current anger amongst the fans against Wenger and his regime. This is a forum full of la de da AKB’s if I ever saw one.

  116. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas thanks for that vid, that looks like a team playing the football we have come to expect. And for those who make comparisons to Barca, the way they did it was not to buy all the talent but buy where they improved on what was there.

    I think us fans should stop demanding XY and Z signings and instead encourage promotion of these youngsters, add names already in the first team squad such as Koscielny, Wilshire, Jenkinson, BFG, Arteta and enjoy the ride.

  117. kelsey says:

    Hi Raddy

    In an ideal situation TH14 would be ideal as a non playing captain for the reasons that you give. it would be interesting if he comes for a loan period what agreement on wages would be agreed.
    If he can add something on the pitch is debatable but it is a good ploy to get the customers back into the stadium even though we are technically sold out,He alone would lift the library.

    At least peaches agrees with me that something is wrong at the club, :)

    TMHT I have to agree with Rasp’s comment to you, sorry.

  118. Gooner In Exile says:

    Like last season I am against the signing of TH for the reasons Shard states, altho it goes against my last comment of promoting youth :)

    Wombledin, while you all keep blaming Wenger and the Board the players get off scot free. Were the players sent out good enough to beat a League 2 side? In my view yes, so who let us down Tuesday night?

  119. Red Arse says:

    Morning GIE, :-)

    You say “you all keep blaming Wenger etc” whereas I think you meant “some of you” because I have not ‘blamed’ Wenger, and certainly I do not belong to any group.

    Just saying.

  120. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. Just to pick up on your comment.

    You are suggesting that Arsenal will sell 10 of their squad. Plus Bendtner & Denilson.

    I think it is highly unlikely. Though IMO only Sagna, Walcott and perhaps Mannone would be missed.

    kelsey. As you say, hIs wages will be paid by extra shirt sales and bums on seats.

  121. Red Arse says:

    Wombledin,

    Mind your manners. Instead of crapping on about what others say, try explaining to us what you think instead. Are you capable of that, at least?

    You do not speak for the fans, by the way, just yourself.

  122. Big Raddy says:

    I am so proud this morning …….

    I am La di Da :-D

    Thank you Wombledin. You have made my day.

  123. Shard says:

    BR,

    A few are out of contract (Theo, Squillaci, Arshavin). A few seem likely to be sold, such as Djourou, and Santos (I still think they can contribute) because they haven’t been playing, while some like Sagna will manufacture moves away by not signing a new deal. Diaby probably won’t be sold, but I don’t count him as part of the squad for next year. IF he plays, its a bonus.

    You’re right. It seems unlikely. But I think it’s a conscious decision to go through this transition as soon as possible rather than have it become a long drawn out one. Keeping us in the top 4 in the midst of such a transition will be a great challenge though (as it’s proving) and I think we’ll need to spend quite big to be able to pull it off. Especially as top 4 doesn’t seem to be good enough for most fans anymore.

  124. Red Arse says:

    I do not remember reading anywhere that a factor in us losing to Bradford was the icy hard pitch.

    Same for both teams etc etc, but conditions can be a leveller, be it a waterlogged, bumpy or icy pitch which has a disproportionate affect on the more skillful players.

  125. Shard. OK. I see it now. Chamakh could go if anyone will pay his wages. Fabianski is a total mystery – what injury keeps him out for so long? Damaged pride?

    I agree with the second para but do not like the expression “transition”. We have been in “transition ” for 7 years – how long is a transition?

  126. kelsey says:

    I always thought The Wombles were a strange species.

  127. Sheep Hagger says:

    Morning
    Bring back Pat Jennings
    Never mind TH14.

    The players you are on about this morning are all average players there is no outstanding player at Arsenal at the present time.
    As before we always had class,Eg
    Berkamp,wright,Brady,macdonald,th14,Adams,seaman.
    Who we got now answers please on a post card
    Much love
    Sheepy.

  128. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA, sorry I meant “you all” as a in those who consistently blame the manager, not you clearly, and anyway what’s this about not being in a group? You are in AA whether you like it or not :D

  129. Red Arse says:

    Hi Shard, :-)

    I think you have identified those players who are destined for the chop.

    When I said in a post a week ago that few of the current squad will be with Arsenal in 2 years time, I was allowing for the fact that AW has been trying to offload some of them for quite some time, without success, because:
    (a) they are crap; (b) their salaries are to high; (c) they are crap and their salaries are too high.

  130. Rasp says:

    Morning all, the butler’s just delivered my kippers on a silver salver and I’m quaffing my Earl Grey :roll:

    Does anyone know the nature of Giroud’s injury and why Arshavin wasn’t even on the bench against Bradford?

  131. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    You should know me well enough to not take any notice of my nit picking.
    I knew full well what you meant – just wanted to pull the tiger’s tail!! :D

  132. SH.

    We have:

    England’s 2 big hopes for the future. The most written about kids since Gazza.

    Two German Internationals with almost 200 caps between them

    The top scorer in the French League last season.

    A young man who has already scored a hatrick for England

    France’s first choice rRB and a man who is regularly in the PL team of the season

    Santi Cazorla

    England’s first choice LB (when AC retires)

    The Captain’s of Wales, Russia, Czech, Belgium

    Etc, etc

    You are right. There is no DB, TA etc etc – they were as you say outstanding. But our players are not all average.

  133. Sheep Hagger says:

    I’ll text my m8 big John later I need to ask him something
    By the way big John is mr Hartson,yes him he is from this part of the world and we went to the same school
    Bye SH

    .

  134. Shard says:

    LdDBR :)

    I said THIS transition.

    We’ve not been in transition for 7 years. The first one was after 2005 which lasted 3 years with Vieira, Pires, Henry and then Gilberto leaving. We then had the 2008 team broken up through Hleb and Flamini leaving and Rosicky getting injured. A further rebuilding followed making us challengers in 2011 (and to some extent in 2010 too) after which we destroyed the whole team in 2 years.

    So a 3 year gradual (natural?) transition, followed by a year of non transition. Followed by a one year transition. Then 2 years of non transition. And then the last 1 and a 1/2- two years of transition. That is how I view it, complicated as it is (and obviously isn’t very definitive as to what transition actually means) Basically I think it just means a big upheaval in the squad rather than a continuous evolution. In which case I wouldn’t really call the first 3 years since 2005 a transition either. Not a negative one anyway.

    ANyway. that’s too vague. I just think we’ll be seeing a lot more upheaval in the squad in the next two years. Chamakh might not go. But we’re hardly using him in our squad anyway. I was more looking at what I think we’ll need. And I think we”ll need at least 5 players over the next 2 transfer windows. Possibly more depending on who departs and how the youngsters step up.

  135. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasper, :-)

    I understand Giroud is suffering from a thigh strain.

    Can I enquire, My Lord, are you partial to Craster Kippers, or just as they come?

  136. Sheep Hagger says:

    Average for arsenal I’m ment no player stands out who the welsh captain.
    Welsh captain is a swansea player are we now the Swanz.
    Case closed

  137. Red Arse says:

    Shard,

    What a convoluted and contradictory explanation you have given La Di Dah Raddy. :-)

    Transition in footballing terms simply means moving from one status/phase to another. You know when Micky’s porky pigs move from being piglets to fat porkers to tasty chops, obvious. :lol:

  138. Rasp says:

    No RA, it takes the maid too long to de-bone them ;)

  139. Shard says:

    Hi RA,

    Hehe. You said that a week ago?? Maybe ’twas you who put the idea in my head, but I too feel we won’t have many of our current players in our squad in 2 years time. Apart from you’re a), b), and c), I think there is also a d) Players’ ages and e) contract situations. Arteta and Rosicky’s importance in the squad will be diminished with age even if they are still there. Sagna and Walcott will leave due to their contracts being up.

    Some youngsters can fill the gaps but not all will come good, and neither can they. All who reach above 21 years of age have to be registered. there will not be enough space in the squad to accommodate all unless we basically play all the kids and have no senior players come in.

    Bottom line. We’ll need to spend to maintain the squad at a desirable level.

  140. Red Arse says:

    Sheep Shagger,

    Is there any chance you could translate your comments into English – either UK or US would do. :-)

    Many thanks — not much love!

  141. Rasp says:

    The need for yet another transition has been brought about by the enforced sale of players who had lost faith in the idea that we are heading in the right direction in footballing terms – plus a huge pay packet might have been an influence. The answer to our problems lies in addressing these two issues.

  142. Shard says:

    RA,
    I’m offended. Convoluted it really was, but contradictory? No no.. It makes perfect sense if you can read through all the wishy-washyness :)

  143. SH. No it is not……

    Average compared to whom? To the Invincibles? Everyone is average compared to them – let’s be honest, not a single current player would get in that team.

    And you are nit picking about the Welsh Capt.

    I am back fighting the Arsenal corner this morning.

  144. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Kelsey, no need to apologise my friend.

    If we finish mid table this season my views will not change. I believe we have a great future and in the next couple of years wil be chalanging for the big prizes. It may or may not be Arsene managing the Club at that time, but who ever it is they will have the platform and all the tools at there disposal to push Arsenal to the very top.

    We shall see.

  145. Money? Yes

    Loss of faith? Which departing player has ever said that?

    Explain to me how Arsenal can build the team AW wants when the Oilers can buy our best players by offering sums which the board cannot refuse and wages which the players can’t?

  146. Right. That is enough back to the wall defending of my team for now. Off to work …..

  147. Sheep Hagger says:

    Ra
    I’m typing in English is it my spelling cause I’m welsh.
    La di
    was Ian wright in the invonacbles or macdonald
    No
    Ps captain of Wales is Ashley Williams ,it was arron Ramsey but that plonker C Coleman took it off him
    Must go now catch u all later.

  148. Rasp says:

    Raddy, BSR said it before he left

  149. evonne says:

    we shall see

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20705876

    bollox if you ask me, shame though

  150. kelsey says:

    Good question why arshavin wasn’t even on the bench thermals,gloves and all. non sensical

    THMT that is my view actually.

    RA how are you sweetie, hair blowing in the wind :)

  151. Rasp says:

    Morning evonne, Arsene has had access to funds for some time now, how many times does the club have to say it before people believe them? Danny Fiszmann said it years ago – “If Arsene comes knocking on my door asking for money to buy a player he can have it”

  152. evonne says:

    morning Rasp, so what are you saying – that he is foocking insane? Or that he really is a sabateur and wants to destroy our Club? One can take chances and try to develop a talent when/if there is time and existing talent’s not too old or on a way out. But if you have a huge hole to plug, can buy a plug, but won’t do it, then that is criminal

  153. Red Arse says:

    Sheeper,

    No! It isn’t coz you is Welsh, coz you have already said you is English. Maybe you is forgetful? :-)

  154. kelsey says:

    Chief executive Ivan Gazidis says Arsenal are not about to just buy their way to success – and claims the fans would not have it any different.

    The Gunners quest for a first trophy since 2005 suffered another blow on Tuesday night when they were beaten on penalties by League Two side Bradford at Valley Parade.

    The Arsenal Supporters Trust have long supported the Gunners’ prudent financial approach, but believe the lack of spending has now gone too far – and that the defeat by Bradford was a symbolic moment with the team having decreased in quality year after year since 2009.

    However, in a wide-ranging interview with the January edition of Four Four Two magazine, Gunners chief executive Gazidis insisted the club’s self-sustaining business model will pay off in the long term.

    “If you do any analysis of performance against spending over the past 15 years, Arsenal is the one club which has outperformed its spend every single year over that period,” Gazidis told the magazine.

    “That does not happen by accident; it happens because we have an outstanding manager who is an outstanding judge of talent and very experienced in how to manage a team.

    “There are some real fundamentals at this club which I think our fans believe in – we stand on our own two feet and take pride in our achievements.

    “We are not reliant on anyone else for success. That is the model our fans believe in, and for good reason.”

    Last month, Arsenal announced an extension to the sponsorship deal of Emirates Airline, which will be worth around £30million a year.

    Gazidis, however, insists simply throwing all of that cash at the team is not the answer for a quick fix.

    “I am not sure what the alternative strategy is, it has not really ever been spelt out,” he said.

    “I assume the alternative strategy is to spend more than the nation state of Abu Dhabi, more than anyone else, and I am not even sure I would describe that as a strategy, but it is the only other thought that comes to mind.”

  155. Red Arse says:

    Hi Kelsey, darling, :-)

    I am fine thanks, but I need to go to the barber shop, because my shaggy hair (don’t tell Sheep) has lost its shape and looks like fair candy floss on a stick! :-)

    It has been too cold to get shorn at the mo’, but my barber saw me in Waitrose recently and said I looked a mess. (I think he was referring to my hair).

  156. Rasp says:

    Hi again evonne, he hasn’t had fortunes to spend but money has been there if he wanted it There is more money available now, but we don’t want to waste it on ‘mediocrity’

  157. Morning all

    New Post ………………

  158. Bryan says:

    LB at December 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I don’t really agree that we can not buy a £30M player because Chelsea or PSG or City would offer £35M as they can not have all the players in the world.
    Also son the very odd occasion a player would prefer to play for us & the selling club doesn’t get as much money for the player than if they went somewhere else it does happen.

  159. Bryan says:

    Rasp at 8:58 am

    I don’t think they let him have the money they claim, its no coincidence that every single manager before Wenger never seemed to go mad with spending is it.
    Thats what really annoys me about the Arsenal board, they are prepared to let Wenger take all the flak for our tight ass transfer policy

  160. mypetgoat says:

    Bradford could win the league cup…without winning a game! I thought FIFA had commissioned a more equitable way to settle drawn matches that went something like–a draw after full time you have a penalty shoot out all 22 players take 1 pen each—winning team is awarded 1/2 a goal–they then play 30 minutes extra time and there HAS to be a winner. The travelling Arsenal fans didn’t seem to unimpressed by the teams efforts at Bradford,didn’t hear any booing. it reminded me of Chelski V Barca last season( also played in difficult conditions)–Gods of football having a laugh!

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