Save Arsenal’s Season

Sad pic

Liverpool 5  Arsenal 1

Skrtel (1 & 10)

Sterling (17 & 52)

Sturridge (20)

Arteta (69 pen)

Stats:

Shots On 12 v 6

Shots Off 9 v 1

Corners. 6 v 6

Possession (%) 43 v 57

Passing Accuracy (%) 79 v 87

Managers thoughts:-

……. on whether he was shocked by that result…

What is important is that we respond to the result, especially that we respond with a different performance because our performance overall was poor today – on the concentration level and on the pace. Our defensive stability was very poor, we looked always vulnerable defensively. Congratulations to Liverpool, they were the better team today and we were very poor today. Only our fans were good for 90 minutes, that’s all.

……on explaining the first 20 minutes…

We conceded two early goals on set pieces and then we are always in a position where you have to come out but we knew that you need to be better focused in that kind of level. Overall our performance was just not good enough. Maybe it’s better if I don’t talk too much, go home and respond well on Wednesday night because I include myself in that performance. It raises the questions that we have to answer on Wednesday night.

…… on the run of games coming up testing the teams credentials…

Yes I understand with you completely but it’s not about what people say, it’s how we respond that matters. I can completely understand that people will raise questions. We only have one way to respond answer that – which is on Wednesday night.

…..on whether Arsenal can still win the title…

Of course because, no matter what happens, it will be mathematically possible. It’s always what you make of the defeats that decides your future and tonight we have a lot to answer for and a lot of answers to find.

….. on taking positives from the response after the City defeat…

It was a similar situation against City, Saturday morning, 12.45 and early goals. We have to analyse well what happened, why it happened but we didn’t look sharp physically as well.

…… on taking 20 points from 24 after the City game…

If we do that in the next games it’s OK but let’s respond well on Wednesday night. We are of course very disappointed today but [we must not] lose our confidence and our belief that we can still do it.

….. on Wilshere’s fitness…

He didn’t look more short than any other player on the pitch. At half-time I could have taken a lot of people off. I just think the whole team failed to turn up with the right performance.

….. on whether they missed Flamini…

Flamini played at Man City. I think overall it’s just our team performance on the day was poor.

Players thoughts:

Szscesny – that was f**king embarrassing. Apologies to anyone who sat through 90 minutes of that game.

Mertersacker – sorry guys, this a bad day for the whole team. Now we have to stand together in defeat and get our heads sorted again.

Giroud – was a really poor performance from me today. We have to face our responsibilities and bounce back v United. So disappointed but keep the head up!

Player Ratings:-

Szscesny – actually made some good saves. Not too much he could do on the goals. Felt sorry for him 7

Sagna – was one of the few who tried throughout the 90 minutes 5

Mertersacker – one of the few times this season his pace has been exposed 3

Koscielny – was more tea lady than boss. Even he couldn’t keep up with Sturridge and Sterling 5

Monreal – was so scared of getting done for pace that he backed off far too much 3

Arteta – pretty woeful first half and should’ve been doing more to rally the team. Better 2nd half and scored the pen 4

Wilshere – another who was awful for the first 45. At least showed some spirit in the second half 4

Özil – was missing for most of the game. Not one who’s needed when the chips are down. Is he a luxury we can’t afford? No, but still poor 3

Ox – only one who tried to harass the opposition and was our best outfield player by a mile. Won the penalty 7

Cazorla – nothing came off for him. One of many who disappeared at 2 down 4

Giroud – wasn’t given a sniff really, but his touch was way off when played to feet and kept running into traffic 3

Subs:-

Gibbs – tried hard and got into some useful positions 5

Rosicky – didn’t see much of him when he came on 4

Podolski – another sub who was disappointing 4

Away Fans – MOTM – players didn’t deserve them yesterday. In some ways I wish it was at home so they could feel exactly how pissed off we were 10

Things that stood out for me were:-

* How poorly our senior players responded to going 2-0 down. We were still in the game at that point and a more experienced team would’ve sat in for 10-15 minutes and settled the ship, then come out swinging for the rest of the game.

* The hole in midfield. I don’t want to pick on individuals but the drop in level of Arteta from last season compared to this is a big worry. Playing Özil and Wilshere alongside did not help. JW cannot do the same level of work Ramsey does, and that’s what we are missing to give us the right balance.

* The lack of pace was a problem but it’s not every week we play the likes of Sterling and Sturridge. We still need to add some though both in attack and DM.

* We have been pretty average for a few weeks now and can’t seem to put a full 90 minute shift in. The starts have been awful too. Is it fatigue, injuries, complacency? I’m not sure.

* This was only 1 game, and as frustrating as it was to watch, it still only equates to 3 points. The players need to come out firing on Wednesday and who better to hammer than Man U. The first goal is going to be vital. We are still 2nd after City’s shocker yesterday and only 1 point behind the leaders. I’d have taken this in August, so still all to play for, as long as we don’t play like we did yesterday ever again!

Written by FatGingerGooner

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223 Responses to Save Arsenal’s Season

  1. Morning all

    Thank you fgg and well done for not throwing a sickie after that result ;)

    Some very good comments posted this morning, feel free to repost on here.

    kelsey – your 8.20 sums it up for me, we definitely see defending the same way.

  2. Rasp says:

    Thanks FGG, I can feel your anger :(

    I think it was Micky who said in January that if we buy any player, it should not be a striker, we need a midfield enforcer – how true.

    Yes technique and ability are the most important assets if you want to play Wengerball, but pace and strength are also necessary and we lack those attributes.

    City and the chavs are collectively bigger and stronger than us and that strength counts when your back is against the wall. Its sad but it does appear that Arteta’s age is beginning to affect his performances. Jack continues to be a midfielder without a role.

    It’s down to Arsene to put this right. He can only work with the squad he has for the time being, but I hope he sees power and pace as a priority – we could do with a winger in the mould of Willian and Navas who can get behind defenders.

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    FGG

    Thank you, dreadful job to do today, and I like your original style.

    Can’t hang around, as I have masses of work to do this morning, but this line hits that nail squarely on its head:

    “The players need to come out firing on Wednesday and who better to hammer than Man U”.

  4. Rasp,

    I think we have a couple of midfielders without homes at the moment.

    Ozil just doesnt seem to be able to play with those around him in the way that he would like. The fact he has 12 assists this season probably tells us just how good he actually is considering that hes performing under par.

    Cazorla is extremely talented, but with Giroud upfront we lack pace and the LW spot is crying out for someone like Draxler who can go in behind.

    JW is also being asked to play as a box to box midfielder in the mould of Ramsey but he just doesnt have the legs or fitness levels of AR. This is one of the reasons we got overrun yesterday.

  5. kelsey says:

    FGG

    Well done, not many would have envied yor task.

    A few questions:

    Why do we nearly always stumble out of the blocks .

    Can one really play Santi and Ozil together against the big boys.Neither track back.

    Does Podolski really have a future as he was absolutely annonomous when he came on and I would wager if a deal is being done with Draxler he will be used in part exchange

    Monreal: Is he a LB, not for me. Again woeful against a better side.Gibbs is a far better option but injury prone and we may finish up not looking for a striker and DM but a pair of full backs as well.

    Ramsey and Walcott are a huge miss though to be fair I think regardless who played yesterday the way the game panned out it wouldn’t have made much difference.

    It could really go either way in EPL now. one or two good results and we have every chance, the reverse and we finish up fighting for forth.

  6. Rasp says:

    I agree FGG. We haven’t played well in a couple of games recently has been that the balance of the midfield has been poor. We miss Ramsey and Theo. I think one of the reasons we have crumbled in a couple of games has been that there hasn’t been a towering presence in midfield to give confidence to those around them and our lack of pace has meant that the opposition can focus more on attacking us.

  7. I know its not football manager but a forward line up of:

    Ramsey Gustavo
    Walcott Ozil Cazorla
    Draxler

    Would give us so much more pace and a much better balance. Cazorla could continue to play off the left because we’d have pace up front.

    Gustavo and Draxler are only examples, but its not crazy to think we could sign 2 players of that quality in those positions

  8. Ak Dasgupta says:

    Drop Wenger and Giroud. Rest will drop on their own. Appoint a new coach.

  9. arnie says:

    Well done, FGG, this is a thankless job and you have been brilliant. :D :D :D

    Fair to say I am still seething with anger, and bewildered at the same time. Did I expect us to win in Anfield? No, I did not. Perhaps a draw or at least a respectable loss. Alas!

    As Ginger says, the faithful would say it is only 3 points. But FGG is level headed, so he points to the potential adverse impact on confidence and momentum. Surely, we will continue to win against the minnows and hope to draw the games against big sides at home. That should place us there or thereabouts. And then we will see in the final month.

    For me, the key question is a bit different. It is about a defensive mentality in key away games, together with what I see as a lack of spirit. This I find painful. Let me continue to be boring, and ask just the same two questions.

    Why do we not try to stop opposition attacks upfront, and defend from within the box? Is it our ambition to play like Stoke? No disrespect meant, but it seems we are conditioned to play a different game. Rasp pointed out yesterday that we should defend deep against Liverpool because otherwise we will be overrun by the front 3. Yes, I agree, but I still do not see why we defend backwards (Terry mentioned this in the morning), or rather try to run backwards like headless chicken. Very ugly and ineffective.

    Second, why do we not challenge for the ball in midfield? Ah, some would say, we play a different type of game. Nifty in possession and passing. But not in fighting for possession. May be partly true, but what other option do we have? Plus, I do not see much of an effort as well? We want all hands on board, lazy barstewards do not have a place here. We are not a team for players who want to preserve their ankles for World Cup glory. We are fighters, we want our guys to put their bodies on the line and fight.

    I would like to see this attitude change somewhat!!

  10. kelsey says:

    arnie

    I think a lot of this is down to the philosophy of Wenger.neat intricate passes with highly gifted players but most of them lack a real physical presence especially in midfield and of course because of our dreadful injury record that reduces the options to rotate in certain positions.

    The days are gone when a team can win the title using only 16 players in an entire season.
    Players are human beings and all can have an off day but what we saw yesterday was an embarressment and humiliation.
    Rasp we haven’t been playing well for quite a few games recently but winning ugly.

    Failure to score in the first half in 7 of our last 8 games has a number of reasons depending who we were playing.

    To be honest regardless of what others think surely we could have got a couple of additions in January even if it meant paying a fraction over the odds, instead of what amounts to one of the strangest loan deals ever by a team who are/were top of the league.

  11. LB says:

    That is a very clever well constructed post Slim, respect to you.

  12. arnie says:

    OK, a very poor rant, but now that I have got it out of the way, I can move on. :D

    One game at a time. We need to win against ManUre at home. How do we do this? To be fair, ManUre is not in the same league. But it is a must win game. Can we hold a low defensive line and a higher line in offense at the same time? I think we can, if we play DMs who can run fast and challenge for possession in defense and in attack. Do we have such players? In the absence of Rambo. I think yes.

    I would like to see a defensive midfield of Jack and The Ox. Play Gnabry on the right, Ozil in the middle and Santi left. That way, Sagna and Gibbs will be able to focus more attention to defence. Keep TR7 and Poldi on standby.

    One thing we cannot do is allow the opposition to dominate possession in the midfield. This is the sure recipe for disaster!

    Onwards and upwards. :D :D :D

  13. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning AAers, having slept on it, (Liverpool 5 – 1 Arsenal) I’ve managed to create my own perspective. We lost a game of football, we dropped three points, we dropped one place in the league, players and manager have all acknowledged the fact that we played badly, the players and manager have also acknowledged that they must step up in the next game. If we can beat Man U we will be back on track.

    Let’s not forget that City dropped two points away to Norwich, does that mean their title challenge is over? Of course not! Nor is ours!!

  14. arnie says:

    Kelsey. Agreed. :D :D But we always expect to sign world beaters in the transfer window. We would have done well with a couple of utility players. Maybe, we tried to get them, but they are not here.

    BTW, when is Rambo back? Of course, he will need a few games to settle down. :sad:

  15. RA says:

    Good morning Ginge and anyone else around, and may I say that would be a smashing Post at anytime, but more especially after a game that was a shock to the system. :-)

    It is always difficult as a fan to discuss your team in a constructive way when there has been a stunning setback like yesterday, but it is important to retain some perspective.

    Instead of squirrelling myself away from the critical onslaught that is bound to erupt today, I am going to stand four square with you and try an put another interpretation forward for all AAers to think about.

    Speaking for myself, I would not be so arrogant or so stupid as to say I know what went wrong in the game, because the simple truth is I do not know; I doubt the manager or the Arsenal coaching staff know, and it is obvious that the players did not know.

    There is little point in critically picking over the carcase of a game that made many of us disappointed and even angry, and what virtue lies in that. So I shall not.

    That said, let’s try and look at our current situation in an objective way.

    To state the obvious first:
    – the manager and the team have not become rubbish overnight.
    – We should try to keep that fact at the back of our minds.

    Anyone, in whatever working environment they find themselves in, can and do have days when nothing goes right.
    In footballing terms that is no different (for all teams) and it is made much worse, when, in a directly competitive and even confrontational fixture, the other team chooses to play out of their collective skin and ram the point home.
    That happened yesterday, in what I referred to as a perfect footballing storm, as everything that could go wrong – did go wrong.

    So, where do we stand this morning/afternoon?

    We are still second in the most difficult League in the world, trailing by only one point.

    In addition, rather than glossing over their poor showing yesterday, and simply excusing their performances as ‘just one of those things’, the players have uniformly admitted that they had not done themselves, the club or the fans any favours, and some even humbly sent their public apologies.

    That alone augurs well for an immensely better performance in the next game, and means the ‘Pool result will simply get chalked off as 3 points lost – nothing more and nothing less.

    There have been 3 other occasions when we have had disappointing performances this season, and after each of them we have bounced back strongly, and there is no reason to expect that will change this time either, and I am positive we will beat Manure next Wednesday.

    You see, it is possible to rationalise disappointing events by being objective, and if we leave aside the obfuscation caused by our emotional involvement in Arsenal, it is quite possible to see this result for what it is — just another game, albeit one we bollixed up.

    I wrote a Post some two or three years ago with the poem ‘If’ by the Indian born Rudyard Kipling, as its core, and it may not hurt to remind ourselves a little of what it says;

    IF ….

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

    Don’t let the doom merchants creep back and have free rein over the fans views. We are still a great club and it is all there to play for – occasional disappointments or not! :-)

  16. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Sorry Ginge, I’m sure that you have written an excellent post-match report, but I haven’t read it, I’ve put yesterday’s game behind me.

    Shit happens but we don’t need to wallow in it.

  17. arnie says:

    In amongst the ruins of devastation, one needs to find some voices of reason and cautious optimism to move forward. Message? Our heroes and leaders of the day are FGG and Redders. :D :D :D

    Like the home game against Bayern last year, this one has tremendous potential for positive change. Onwards and upwards! :D

  18. arnie says:

    Redders. wow. respect. well played sir! :D :D :D

  19. arnie says:

    OK, perhaps the right time for the TT poll prognosis. Note that, I am no longer going to call this TT poll bollix. Because it contains some useful information. Up to us to interpret and use with caution.

    Just to remind ourselves, after 24 games, odds were Arsenal (64%), Shitty (21%) and Chavs (15%). The odds for the games reflected that it was a priori a tough test for the good guys. Only 26% expected an Arsenal win, and average expected points were about 1.5 (about twice as many fans expected a draw than those that predicted a win). Almost all respondents expected Shitty to win against Norwich, but some expected Chavs to drop points (average points 2, half and half draw and win).

    As the results unfolded, we lost 1.5 points compared to expectations, and Chavs gained 1 point. But our blushes were somewhat spared by Shitty who lost a straight 2 points. Net gainers: Chavs. We lose a bit, but not quite as much as we could have if Shitty had won.

    Net result. After the uncertainties are resolved, the odds for an Arsenal win stand at 59% (dont laugh, still doing OK), while Chavs (31%) overtake Shitty (10%). Large uncertainty still, and this is a feature of the League this year. Next week, our odds could fall to 38% on the downside, but equally rise to 86% on the upside.

    All to play for. :D :D :D

  20. Danish Gooner says:

    I cant believe people are still defending Wenger,my God he is as indefensible as any of the carthorses that played yesterday.Wenger is on his 10th season not winning anything,i repeat 10th season and we all know he is only there because he wont spend any Money and makes a bucket load of dough for key personnel(Kroenke),He changed players so many times and still he havnt got it right.He said Senderos and Djourou would be the Next Adams and Keown hahahaha total fail.Reyes were watched 50 times before purchase and one bone chrushing game at old Trafford and his arsenal career sank like The Titanic,Denilson would be the new Vieira unfortunately he was only a deck chair version and Abou is still around,really says it all.He wont spend any Money and only signed ozil because he was under enormous pressure he would easily have gone through another transfer window without spending a dime even being under pressure from Gazidis.It is all fine if he could find gems like he used to but his charmed life has gone too and his talent spotters must be blind with some of the purchases done lately.Once Again we are left to rue a missed transfer window,we could easily have rectified short comings even a Berbatov on a short term would have been much more inspiring then a 32 year old crock but the arrogant Wenger would never do the obvious always playing clever and being a smart ass,fine when it Works but how about then fans that will Watch in horror as another season unravels in front of our eyes.

  21. arnie says:

    Moaninho: “West Brom will be a difficult match, a difficult crowd, they defend well, they have physical people in defence and attack and their midfield is organised and they have some talent in attack. And we only have two days to rest – but that’s for both sides.

    “Only Arsenal has one day more. Arsenal play today, Manchester United play tomorrow, so when they play, they have 24 hours more [rest] than Man United. But this happens.

    “When we play in March against Galatasaray, after that, Arsenal are not playing in that week. And in that week we want to play Sunday or Monday, but we play Saturday.

    “So we play Galatasaray and then after two days we play Arsenal – it happens. I am wrong but I don’t want to moan.”

  22. arnie says:

    Martin Keown: “[Vidic] has been one of the best players in the Premier League but it doesn’t sit with me that he wants to quit the club. Someone would have to have pushed to me out of Arsenal. Surely if there is not a contract, he can play his way into a new one?

    “There must be something wrong in that dressing room, you want that experience in the dressing room to pass it onto Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones.

    “It’s all about partnerships, you have to have one player from the past. He has never been the most mobile, so he’s not lost his pace, he has lost the support from his manager. I still feel he has the necessary skills to play for a number of years.” (Source: Beebs)

  23. LB says:

    We can never be reminded too often of that poem RA. Nice touch and perfect for today.

  24. chas says:

    Cheers, FGG.
    I like the ratings/stand-out points format. Looks like a way to go forward.
    As you say, how we respond is the situation we find ourselves in after yesterday’s capitulation.

    Welcome back, Danish. Your points about Senderos, Djourou, Denilson and Reyes are particularly relevant to today’s discussion.

  25. arnie says:

    Chas: loved your videos from the morning. I might have still been in bed otherwise. :D

  26. chas says:

    I was never one for treating Triumph and Disaster as twin impostors.
    If you triumph, you should celebrate as if it’s the last chance you will ever get.
    If you suffer a disaster, then forget it as soon as you can and get on with your life.
    Life’s too short.

  27. arnie says:

    No, not quite the same for me. Feel the disaster until it hurts and the lessons stay on, so that creates the path for progress. Likewise in triumph,party like the world is about to end, but try and understand why the triumph came.

  28. Great stuff RA.

    I dont have much more to add on yesterdays game. In many ways it was a freak 20 minutes and anything after that has to be analyzed with an eye on the score, thus making it pretty pointless.

    Yes, the players were awful, but its no surprise given we were 4-0 down.

    Im going to look ahead to the United game and i hope the fans get behind the team. Everyone should be hurting after yesterday, and its better to vent that on United than each other.

    Im looking for a huge response from the players and the manager.

  29. chas says:

    The only lesson you can learn from your football team getting battered is that you cannot influence any improvement, therefore you will only do yourself damage if you dwell on it.

  30. kelsey says:

    I am damaged chas :

    there is a growing number of fans who think like Danish Gooner.

    The fact is that we were top going into this game, had a week off and knew this would be a test not that we would get muller riced. It hurts and why not express ones feelings.
    If we bounce back well and good but there really needs to be a positive response.

  31. Just a passing thought, and one that resonates with me just as much as RA’s poem, a great line from a poster called ‘Jeff’ from Le Grove, something that applies to many Arsenal supporters:
    “Fans are consumed with fear of losing Wenger because they think we can’t possibly do any better. It is an irrational, almost religious support that he wields.”
    ‘The manager and team didn’t become rubbish overnight..’
    Well of course they didn’t, in fact they’re at exactly the same level they were at when they moved to The Emirates in 2006. Good, but not good enough.
    Arsenal’s gamble to rely on FFP making them a power-horse has been somewhat mis-guided by activities on and off the pitch by clubs like Man City, Chelsea and PSG – (PSG’s lawyer is Michel Platini’s son), and whilst it is abundantly clear Arsenal have a lot more disposable resources than in recent years,they’re still not prepared to go into auction with any of their so-called peers for the best players around, so it’s a never-ending cycle. A high-risk strategy where the club are forever playing catch-up, whilst remaining very dependent on CL qualification.
    If Arsenal intend sticking steadfastly to this policy, real silver-ware will probably become a distant memory for their fans, unless there is a re-structuring of epic proportions, either in the club’s philosophy or in general football governance.

  32. Shard says:

    Kelsey
    In reply to your comment to me in the previous post. I was not saying anything about the offside other than highlighting that i was disappointed that the team could not find it in themselves to even gain a foothold in the game from early setbacks. I can excuse giving up two set piece goals. But not being able to shore up and mentally recover was terrible.

    As for arteta. I believe the ‘rule’ is for over 32 year olds. Is it wrong? I think we get more right than wrong there and that we still make exceptions when the manager feels it is justified. Arteta has had a few poor games now and im starting to worry that its the signs of decline.

    Anyway. Now to read today’s post.

  33. chas says:

    kelsey,
    I don’t agree that there are a growing number of fans who think like Danish Pastry. It’s exactly the same minority crew.
    In actual fact, many of the moaners have been won round by our positive first half to the season.

    It pisses me off hugely that some fans only seem to be happy when we do badly.

    I’m not suggesting for one second that you should not express your feelings and, of course, there needs to be a positive response from the team and manager.

  34. RA says:

    Oddly enough, Chas, your interpretation of the line:

    — “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;”

    is pretty much what the poet is saying.

    He is warning that if you accept the concept of ‘Triumph’ (or ‘victory’) and ‘Disaster’ (loss) you should not be taken in by either, because they are never final.

    Triumph is almost inevitably short lived and can kick you in the teeth, as life moves on, and can quickly change from Triumph into Disaster.

    In the same way ‘Disaster’ (as ‘loss’) should not be allowed to get us down, because life goes on and provided we retain hope, it too can change quickly to ‘Triumph’, and so the circle of life continues.

    Treat them the same, Kipling is saying, they are both ephemeral and ‘impostors’ set to deceive us.

    Probably not a good explanation, and as I said. your own interpretation pretty much sums it up. :-)

  35. chas says:

    The same circular patterns of thought get recycled after every poor result or if new toys aren’t bought in a transfer window.
    It gets on my fuckin nerves.

  36. chas says:

    RA,
    I’ve had similar discussions about that phrase before when some were saying that we shouldn’t celebrate a victory because a defeat may be round the corner.

    I completely agree that if you thought all games thereafter were going to be victories then you would be barking up the wrong tree.

    It used to take me days to get over a defeat now it takes me minutes. Conversely, a victory can carry me through a whole week. My reactions are so completely different to both. I don’t want them to be the same.
    Is that what Kipling is saying?

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi chas … don’t let them grind you down :)

    It would be good to get back on track by beating manure on Wednesday, but as it stands the game will be called off unless they cancel the tube strike. I don’t know about you, but I never think we benefit from a long break between games?

  38. chas says:

    Wednesday, Rasp. :)

  39. Rasp says:

    Aha – at least it made you smile :P

  40. Rasp says:

    …. but in my world, we’d beat them on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday :?

  41. chas says:

    Oh, and no illegitimi are going to carborundum me.

  42. chas says:

    I’ve been smiling all day, mate.

  43. chas says:

    I put the smiley face because I always seem to be correcting you. :)

  44. Rasp says:

    nil desperandum

  45. Rasp says:

    Yes, but how do you know that I didn’t make the mistake on purpose to flush you out? :D

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    What Kipling is actually saying is this:

    “If you are a Gooner, then……” :-)

  47. kelsey says:

    32 rule, shard ?

  48. Rasp says:

    Strange that the name Rudyard never caught on?

  49. chas says:

    Rasp, you make far too many for them to be deliberate. :)

  50. chas says:

    ….and I don’t need flushing out either, thank you very much.

  51. Rasp says:

    I thrive on my mistakes – it’s those who try to be perfect that suffer :lol:

  52. Rasp says:

    Rather than flush out – I meant try to steer you away from focusing on the ‘negative bastards’ – see, another mistake!

  53. chas says:

    I don’t understand that verse about becoming a gambler either, betting your wife, kids and house on one coin toss, losing and then just carrying on as if nothing has happened.

  54. RA says:

    Oh dear, it seems we have had a ‘disaster’ after all!!

    After losing ‘that’ game we are disastrously ‘only’ second a whole one point behind the £billion oligarchs toy leaders, and one above the £billion oilers, who could only bravely draw against high flying Norwich.

    We are now in the 7th month of the season, and out pop the disenchanted moaners prattling on with the same tired old messages.

    Surely there is a site, other than AA, where they can meet fellow ‘believers’ [LG] and commiserate together – and they can stop coming on here and boring the asses off people on here who do not want to keep hearing the same repetitive old claptrap.

    Don’t these people understand that some of the best bloggers on here have felt the need to take time away from the site because they knew the miserable complainers would be coming on to bleat.

    Looks like I might have to join them.

  55. chas says:

    Rasp,
    You should have just said ‘STFU’.

  56. arnie says:

    Rasp: Tuesday would have been good, no time for ManUre to recover after being thrashed by Fulham today. :D

    Aha, Tube strike, I also have selfish reasons to hope we play on Weds ( :razz: ), but not buying tickets before Monday night. :D

  57. chas says:

    Don’t say that, RA.

    I apologise for having a go at Rudyard. I was just attempting to continue the philosophical discussion you had already initiated.

  58. chas says:

    What Kipling is actually saying is this:

    “My old man said be a Tottnumb fan……..

  59. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders, what exactly are we supposed to do? Really, I mean the question without any irony or annoyance. I routinely delete comments from trolls but are there those on here who want comments deleted that are simply not to their liking?

    You may have noticed that we’ve subtly changed the emphasis recently. I’m happy for us to be called a clique now – you only have to read the motning club comments to see what a great bunch of regulars we have. That is why I’ve come up with banners to recognise the contributions of those who give a lot to AA – and also why I don’t change headlines for something more ‘hit encouraging’

    We wanted the site to be democratic and all encompassing and that is still the aim. So if the mainstream feeling is that we should ban those who make comments that we are fed up with hearing – then let us know.

  60. arnie says:

    Some sense of perspective, my dear Redders, please. Just as the result itself is not the disaster, this space has not done all that badly, has it? :D

  61. RA says:

    Chas if I gave the impression that I am speaking for good old Rudyard and will interpret his lines, then I apologise. :-)

    The poem is whatever you want it to mean. As I said above, your interpretation is as good as any.

    I love it myself, so same same for me, I guess. :-)

  62. chas says:

    Right, I’m off.

    Let the bleating re-commence.

  63. arnie says:

    top man, Rasp. :D :D :D Finally, that a real smile on my face. :D

  64. RA says:

    arnie, you are becoming mystical, and i do not understand what you mean, @ 3:49, or what I have said to cause you to say whatever it is you said.

  65. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp

    Relax, you were spot on. Ducks do need “flushing out”. Fowl creatures.

  66. arnie says:

    No, come on, Chas, no more bleating on here!!!!! :razz:

  67. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard mainly it’s about contract extensions of more than one year for players over 30.

    Which to me is sensible and it never bothered Dennis. :D

    FGG nice approach, like you I find it strange that the players could not re gather their composure after the early goals. That was the most disappointing element, it’s almost like they themselves are believing the media who are waiting for us to self destruct.

  68. arnie says:

    Another poem (song) then:

    ‘Tis clear as mud that covers the ground
    And the confusion makes the head go round.

    Withdrawal symptoms, Redders!!!! :D :D

  69. chas says:

    Ooops, just saw your last comment, Rasp.

    Please don’t ban anyone.
    I should have stayed away today. Soz.

  70. arnie says:

    Rasp: All is fine, except your going behind our backs to change the Tuesday on your @3:25 to a Wednesday!!!! :razz:

  71. arnie says:

    Stay on Chas, stay on everyone. This is the best way, democratically, to discourage doomsday usherers from flocking in! :D

  72. Rasp says:

    chas, don’t apologise, and definitely don’t stay away. I wish we could have the sort of blog that you and others would prefer – We all express our disappointment in different ways.

  73. Rasp says:

    Haha arnie – you spotted my covert editing :lol:

  74. RA says:

    Hi Rasper,

    I was referring to the comments made by at least two of my good friends, GN5 and Rock Star, that they were going to lay low until the bleaters have had their say and gone away.

    I never said anything about censorship (deletion) and anyway we have already had that discussion and agreed it was not necessary.

    The guys above are keeping their heads down, as I understand it, and now i am going to join them,

    Chas, I thought your querying of the poem was well intentioned and I agreed with you. It was written in the last two years of the 19th century by a wealthy (then) ‘middle class’ poet and the actual words and sentiments are not really in current use.
    (Sorry my earlier explanation wasn’t much good if I did not get that across! ;-)

  75. arnie says:

    Rasp: :D

    seriously, until when should we wait before buying tickets? Monday evening? :D

  76. chas,

    there does seem to be a section of fans that will cheer Arsenal losing just because it strengthens their argument that Arsene Wenger should no longer be in charge.

  77. Rasp says:

    Seems whatever I write I piss someone off – I must be losing my touch :(

  78. arnie says:

    Redders: stay on, please. let this site be a voice of reason today. the bleaters will not have any fun, believe me. And, GN5 and Rocky and 26 and everyone else as well. We know we are hiding out there in the shadows!!!! :D :D :D

  79. arnie says:

    FGG: agreed. :D :D

    Rasp: it is not about you, just one of those days. perhaps understandable. :sad:

  80. must say the United starting XI is starting to look half decent again. A couple of injuries to their front 2, Vidic, Mata and Fletcher would be nice.

    I hope Fulham sharpened their studs!

  81. arnie says:

    FGG: I am sure, wishful thinking. But hope they struggle to break Fulham down. :D

  82. Rasp says:

    No worries arnie, a result like yesterday’s often leads us to negative introspection – at least we’re not laying into the team any more :)

  83. arnie says:

    Rasp: My personal view still remains that a healthy bit of constructive criticism is good. We have not laid into the team, and neither individual players, much more than we would do after a victory. I think we strike a good balance. And therefore I cannot understand why some would like to stay away. We are perhaps all a bit glum, but we can band together and be somewhat glum. Perhaps crack some nasty jokes as well. :sad:

  84. RA says:

    Rasper,

    I am not at all unhappy with you – I never am. (If it was me you were referring to!!) :-)

    Hasta la mana.

  85. arnie says:

    Well then, Redders, are you unhappy with me, perhaps? :sad:

  86. arnie says:

    FGG: tra la la la!!!!! :D :D :D

  87. RA says:

    No, arnie, not at all. :-)

    I must go for a while – I love you all. :-)

  88. arnie says:

    see you later, Redders. :D

    Moist In! Moist In!! Moist In!!! :D :D :D

  89. arnie says:

    Andrew Phillips Tebb, on BBC Sport Facebook page: “At least United have the magic 40 points to stay up!”
    :D :D

  90. Gööner In Exile says:

    It’s normally quite hard to ignore the types FGG mentions in his 4:02pm. But it’s much easier today for some reason. And I will try to adopt it going forward. I am prepared to debate players and managers strengths and weaknesses, but I am only going to do that with bloggers who enjoy the wins as much as they despair at defeats/setbacks

  91. arnie says:

    oh dear, ManUre 2-1 Fulham. :sad:

  92. Norfolk Gooner says:

    With both Manure and Spuds winning today the chase for Thursday night football is hotting up. :D

  93. evonnee says:

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeesss!!! a draw

  94. arnie says:

    2-2. tra la la la!!!!!!!! :D :D in Moyes time!!!!! :D :D

  95. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I take it all back, it’s now a two horse race between Spuds and Everton!

  96. arnie says:

    GiE: very fair point. :D :D

    off to find Beijing Red. :D

  97. arnie says:

    Cannot post, slang words, but pure gems. here are a couple without slangs

    NOT SURE WHICH SMALL VILLAGE FULHAM COME FROM BUT THIS IS DEFINITELY ANOTHER GIANT KILLING IF WE LET THESE IDIOTS WIN!— Beijing Red 4 Lyf (@Moyes_Must_Go) February 9, 2014

  98. arnie says:

    @NeilTidd1969: grow up. transition period Fergie left u knowing he couldn't do anything this year” NO, HE LEFT AS EVERYONE CALL HIM RETARD— Beijing Red 4 Lyf (@Moyes_Must_Go) February 9, 2014

  99. chas says:

  100. arnie says:

    Cannot resist the temptation, sorry. :D

    ARRRRGGGHHH!!!! THIS THE FAULT OF THE NORWICH FANS BRINGING THEIR FUKING SCARVES AND NEGATIVE ENERGY INTO OUR GROUND!!!— Beijing Red 4 Lyf (@Moyes_Must_Go) February 9, 2014

  101. chas says:

  102. arnie says:

    This Burn giant, and the goalie Stekelenberg, are superb!!!! :D :D

  103. jnyc says:

    RA,
    you are a treasure to me and all of us. You put things into perspective, and help us keep our heads up, and generally make us feel better.
    I think your close friends and family are very lucky to have someone with your attitude and wisdom to guide them through tough times that might even be almost as important as Arsenal !
    ;-)

  104. Gööner In Exile says:

    Bloody hell Jnyc how much did that cost RA?

  105. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Thanks Ginge

    I have aready given my views on the game. I am not bothered in the slightest. Firstly, I beleive we will still win the league and secondly if we dont I will still be happy because I support Arsenal.

    I dont pay no attention to the people who regurgitate the same old negative crap. They are parasites who wish to drain ones energy.

    Without wishing to sound harsh, why is it my problem if some of them are obviously barmy, have a desire to prove a point, or are just simple wankers.

    Anyway, they cant drain my energy. I have had none since white disco shoes went out of fashion. Ime bloody knackered.

    On Wednesday, I am taking my youngest daughter to only her 2nd match. Dont know how, but somehow she has caught the bug. The pleasure I get from seeing her enjoy games is greater than be explained. Thats what its all about for me.

    Obviously, if we dont win I get upset, thats normal. I usually have visons of downing my last saki, donning the head scarf, and nose diving my plane straight into White Hart Lane, but that soon passes

    Theres always the next game

    Come on you Rip Roaring Gunners.

  106. kelsey says:

    I really don’t know what the problem is. Some feel they want to sit back for one reason or another after yesterday and others want to express their views.
    No one on here of the regulars has been disrespectful to AW or the players.
    It was a shock to all of us,yet no one said it was the end of the world,but gave different opinions, and that is all they are about ,opinions.
    The next match is a test as all are after a thumping.
    What’s the point of having a daily blog if one can’t offer an opinion.
    I (and others) have thrown my toys out of the pram on more than one occasion but never to the best of my knowledge have I slated the manager or the players.
    I don’t often quite understand the financial thinking at the club presently with regards to the attempted purchasing of players, nor do I know if AW has full control of this aspect of the club or if he has,if that if this is a good thing,but all I can do is support the club with its ups and downs.
    13 games left and anything can happen.All I and I am sure others would ask is that the players give 100% which is not always the case.

  107. arnie says:

    Kelsey: I am with you on this. Maybe I am naive, but I do not really see the problem. There are some that say they will stay away because this space will the flooded with negativity. Where/ when was this mythical negativity last spotted on AA?

    We had the same people to discuss after a win, after a loss, during the intl break. All of us express our views in a collegial manner and discuss. Yes, once or twice some others come in. If they are happy to discuss things good and bad without being offensive, they are welcome. This is how we have got so many members to the site. I do not really see a problem.

    On the other hand, staying away creates a bit of an issue. Some of us may want to discuss things after a bad day, fair enough. May want to rest a bit on each other’s shoulders, why not? Pray, why should we desert the space. It is a matter of individual choice, fair enough. But this is also a space we created for ourselves. And we should stay here and sustain this, right? :D :D :D

  108. Hi Rasp

    We all know what the issue is, one individual has divided the whole support network of Arsenal.
    For some he is an absolute God, who walks on water and by proxy is immediately absolved of any blame.
    Others believe purely from a football view-point, that his rigidity in his tactical approach, his inexhaustable patience and faith in ordinary players, taking the club into new seasons totally unprepared and relying on teenagers to get us through, has held the club back.
    In 2008, we were in a great position, better than the one we’re currently in. Nobody can legislate for the horrific leg-break that happened to Eduardo, but it became the perfect excuse for those seeking to defend the manager after the season imploded, when in reality it was more down to a lack of squad depth.
    Even now we have glaring deficiencies in the squad, and it has been going on for so long it has become our default setting.
    We’re not even talking mega big buck signings, just adequate cover. Year after year this has caused angst among the fans, the failure to push on and grasp every opportunity.
    As for people only celebrating defeats, it’s not the defeats that are the issue, it’s the repetitive nature in which they occur, and the failure to identify and solve the problem – example; six years of Drogba. He never dominated another club the same way he did Arsenal. It’s the recent record against those around us, and the mental-block that kicks in against the top sides, the fact that they’ve given Arsenal thrashings that they’re just not capable of reciprocating.
    I wouldn’t say Lee Dixon is anti-Arsene or anti-Arsenal, but he said on ‘TalkSPORT’ yesterday that Arsenal don’t have the necessary grit in midfield against the better sides, and essentially have never properly replaced Patrick Vieira.
    Blame anything and everything you like, but don’t dare blame Arsene Wenger.
    I never come on here to upset or argue with people, but there is a huge difference in our collective expectations of the club’s capabilities, and the manager is responsible for driving that.
    So rather than have your friends look at their screens and feel disappointed or prickly because they’ve seen my gravatar, I shall refrain from commenting in the future, and hope that Arsene Wenger proves me and many others wrong.

  109. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Kelsey, arnie

    The problem is not about expressing a view or been negative.

    There are a handful of posters, very few really, who when you see there name pop up you think “F*cks sake, here we go”

    And you think that not because they are about to post something negative, but rather because they have an “agenda”

    This “agenda” pours out of them, and lets face it, they are a bunch of wankers. Lets not mince words here, thats what they are.

  110. Well said arnie and kelsey. I’m sure that more are able to laugh at or ignore any negativity after a win whereas navel gazing tends to rub people up the wrong way.

    We all have the right to have a say and I, for one, wouldn’t want it to be any other way.

  111. Don’t mince your words TMHT ;)

  112. The easiest thing is to ignore those who you think have an agenda – just don’t read their comments and you won’t get wound up by them.

  113. arnie says:

    Peaches @7:18. :D Yes, please. :D :D :D

  114. kelsey says:

    I do now peaches :)

  115. evonnee says:

    Ginga – well done for doing the report, a task not be envied. I have just psyched myself up to read it and to relive the tragedy. But it was ok, thank Dennis you didn’t wallow in self pity or blame anybody in particular. Yep, they performed as a team of useless so-and-sos

    Mind you, even the Arsenal hating radio presenters said that Pool staged a stellar performance, which they will find difficult to repeat. Shame they are not playing both oilers till April, we could do with them knocking a few points of those

    Thank you for the post, remarkably cheerful considering the grave circumstances.

  116. evonnee says:

    Micky – are you watching?? A Pole has just won a gold in ski jumping :) Told you

  117. While I’m here ……….. we need a post for Tuesday please and a volunteer to write the pre-match for Wednesday.

    I know you all just love it when I hang around :D

  118. Turned him back into Micky for you evonee

  119. arnie says:

    Peaches: On the Weds pre-match, my suggestion is to ask Chary if he will do it. It is enormously difficult to fill into Raddy’s shoes, and it is a crucial and tough game, and Chary did a great job yesterday. I know it is perhaps too much to expect Chary to do two in a row, but …. :D

  120. Shard says:

    A good job at the match report fgg. I think I agree with all the points there. I agree with chas too that the format seems like one which should be repeated.

    I also agree with chas and RA that it’s annoying that one defeat brings out some people talking about 9 years.. repeat 9 years (not 10 :) ) rather than it being a case of a team losing a game, albeit playing abjectly. A team that sits 1 point behind the oilers despite the massive advantages they enjoy.

    Kelsey, and GIE
    What I was saying was, I think the one year contract extensions are a ‘rule’ for players above the age of 32. Not 30. Also, I think it’s hard to say whether that is a rule anymore. We could do that when Wenger first got here because we were among the highest payers. Second probably, to only ManU, and player power wasn’t as high. Nor did they have as many options. In the middle years, I think the money for the stadium was a huge consideration in not offering Pires a 2 year deal (plus there was Reyes who looked a world beater then) and getting rid of Gilberto etc. Would that policy have remained, indeed does it remain? I’m not sure it does. It’s probably on a case by case basis now. Sagna definitely merits a deal in my opinion. As does Rosicky. Right now, I wouldn’t say the same about Arteta. But perhaps, keeping experience around isn’t a bad thing.

  121. I’ll see if I can sweet talk him arnie ;)

  122. Evonnee – well done on your gold medal

  123. jnyc says:

    FGG, compliments for stepping up to write when many of us just felt like burying our heads.
    I hope our boys snap back.

  124. evonnee says:

    I didn’t win it personally, but I am going to accept the congrats :) Thank you Peaches

    Chas – something you might appreciate – a bull was sold at an auction for £105k, record price. He will earn doing you-know-what in his lifetime about £2.2mil!!! Because of the income he generates he is treated like some royalty. What a life, ey?

  125. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard, not sure there has ever been a “rule” more just a practice, and Wenger had stated as a reason why a couple of players were not offered extensions around the stadium move time as you say. But i think that was as much about PR as any set policy. Although i think Adams, Bould, Dixon, and Nige all were only getting one year extensions once their renewals were happening post 30, but the money on offer in places like the States was not around then so they chose on a purely footballing basis not all financial. But no one worried too much when they finally did not renew because their replacements were as good, if not better (the next lot did go unbeaten after all :D )

    Anyway as you say Tomas was renewed a couple of seasons back, was a good decision, would you give him two or three year contract now? He is 33, personally if he wants anymore than a year extension we may have to part ways, similarly for Mikel Arteta and Sagna. I think Sagna has maybe one more year left at this level (and i still think thats a stretch because I think he shows signs of falling away).

  126. kelsey says:

    Herb,(sounds better than WATA)

    From our various private correspondence I judge you as a decent guy who is also extremely well versed in the history of Arsenal,past and present but you always beat the same drum and you know as well as all of us that the move to The Emirates coinciding with Abramovich changing the face of football just shortly before had a huge impact on our clubs finances. All managers never get it right all the time and we have had as many dud players as any other elite club.
    If AW stays for another two or three years and we still don’t win a trophy,do you really think there will be a mass exodus of support?
    If that happens and we encounter a real dip,financially it may well effect the club in the short term,but I believe we are a club that do things the right way, and i also believe there are provisions,if that happened.That is what supporting means,however frustrating it is at times.
    I have asked you several times as to what you would do hyperthetically if you could wave a magic wand and theoretically could change things.

    Come on, don’t be shy :)

  127. Shard says:

    GIE

    I agree there was never any rule as such, and you are probably right about the PR aspect too.

    I would give Rosicky a 2 year contract knowing that he will not be a regular starter, and maybe occasionally not be on the subs bench either, if everyone is fit. Hopefully, he would be willing to accept that role. Sagna is a tough one. I would be inclined to give him a 2 year deal, but apparently he wants 3. At this point, I think we should give him that mainly because I’d want to maintain some stability in the squad for next season too. We already need additions to our strikeforce and midfield. Also at CB. We could argue we need a winger as well. Probably need a new backup GK to replace Fabianski (and those are tough to find). There are doubts over Vermaelen and Podolski too. So that is some real change in the team. Letting Sagna go, one of our most experienced players, would damage team dynamic, and I feel he’s good enough to not let us down. Maybe he’ll be a waste the last year of his contract, but surely we can afford that level of ‘wastage’ because of the benefits it brought earlier. Also, he could potentially be converted to a CB and another RB brought in later. So I think we should give him the contract he wants (within reason of course). But I realise that is just my opinion, and is quite ill informed, since I do not know which players might be lined up to replace him and how good they are/can be.

  128. chas says:

  129. chas says:

  130. chas says:

  131. thatsmy5penn'th says:

    Arsenal should have appealed the Flamini red card, two, footed tackle on Jack went unpunished yesterday all part of rotational provocation on him , common ploy, traveling Arsenal fans excellent!

  132. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard, Sagna is difficult. We all want Jenks to do well, but most realise that to expect him to secure the right back spot next term would be a big ask, but he has some of the attributes many of us are saying we lack. Stanina, physique, pace, he needs to work on his quality in possession but I often feel he plays better with the right faces around him.

    So that raises a doubt as to whether we can let Sagna go now, if we were to find a 27/28 year old who could pick up the ropes then I’m not sure I would lose much sleep. For me Sagna is part of the failed squad of Cesc, Nasri, BSR, Arshavin etc. and one of those that will find it hardest to have a more positive impact on the current squad.

    So scouts is there a 26-28 year old out there who can do what Sagna does (if not a little better) to ease Carl’s transition into the first team.

    Two that spring to mind for me are Seanus Coleman but he is contracted until 2018, and Debuchy, again contracted until 2018.

  133. RA says:

    Hi Shard,

    I agree that the points you raised in your comment @ 8:26 needs to be addressed in the near future. :-)

    It is possible that Arsenal will extend the contract of Fabianski, but I think we have a super kid in Matt Macy a 6′ 6″ keeper we bought from Bristol City at 18. He is now playing for the U 21s and getting very good reviews. Definitely one for the future.

    With regard to Sagna, from what has been gleaned from Arsene’s comments regarding him, it seems that PSG and Monaco have tempted him with big bucks and I believe he will leave this summer.

  134. RA says:

    There’s always someone else, Exile. :-)

  135. Shard says:

    GIE

    There are two things here which are difficult to gauge. How soon will Sagna decline? And how soon are the likes of Jenkinson and Bellerin likely to be ready to step up?

    If the answer to both is about 2 years, then it doesn’t make sense to spend 10-15m in transfer fees and paying the new signing say 3 million in annual wages, rather than just paying Sagna 12-13 million over the next 3 years. If Sagna is going to be a liability in the next season, then maybe it does make sense to buy someone else. Unless Jenkinson is ready to be first choice. Which seems unlikely. I suppose it’s a judgment call, and perhaps Wenger’s judgment is the same as yours, or Sagna wants to move to PSG or somewhere where he can get a much bigger wage and a long contract. Or both. We’ll see.

    I just think that squad stability is something that we have missed over the past few seasons, and is in fact the reason we are doing as well as we are, and I’d like to keep it. I also don’t think Sagna is declining as rapidly. Plus his versatility could prevent him being a waste. I also don’t necessarily see him as part of the failed generation. I think he’s shown he’s a fighter, and a quiet but willing contributor to the cause.

  136. RA says:

    Thank you for earlier, jnyc, you are a good guy yourself, and I don’t think I deserve your kind comment. :-)

  137. Shard says:

    Aahh RA. Yes, the possibility that the hold-up on the contract is due to Sagna’s desire to seek a last big payday did (eventually) occur to me.

    As for the keepers. There’s a young Szczesny, a slightly older Fabianski and an on-loan keeper we haven’t seen play yet in Arsenal colours. At the youth level there’s the young chap you mention but I think Martinez is likely to be third choice next season. Macy will be in competition with Vickers and Iliev I think to be next in line. If Fabianski stays, I’ll be happy enough with that. But I doubt he’d want to. He’s good enough to be first choice for many clubs and he’s stuck behind Szcz for both club and country. I think he’ll move. Which would leave us looking for a keeper who’s good enough to play for us regularly, but happy enough to sit on the bench usually. Not an easy find.

  138. Gööner In Exile says:

    Shard I know where you are coming from. I guess i am not Bacary’s biggest fan, i am not sure he has ever done enough to make me think he could be better, his pace in his early years was the one thing that allowed him to make up for other deficiencies, now that pace is leaving him I think he will leave us more open. So the point (in my opinion) of spending is that I can see how it would benefit and improve the squad. For me Debuchy and Coleman would both offer more offensively and a similar defensive ability, but with younger legs and more pace.

    On squad stability I agree it is important, but i think we will always see some churn, last season we said goodbye to Gervinho and Chamakh but no one was really upset as well as allowing Arshavin to walk on a free, but no one really noticed as they have been replaced, with better. Although would i like Gervinho’s pace and trickery in the squad right now? Damn right i would just for variety, but thats a whole other debate.

    Would losing Bacary be as painful as losing Cesc or others….not even close. He has served us well, and i thank him for it, but his biggest asset is dwindling fast, and at fullback in the PL against the likes of Sterling…..well you saw what happened on Saturday :(

  139. RA says:

    Shard,

    We certainly have some great talent available with our young keepers. However, unless Chezzer screws up badly he will be in situ for a long time, so it is probably going to be one of the very young who will succeed him.

    I am of course aware that it is a fool who tries to predict the future progress of any footballer’s career. That would be me then! :-)

  140. RA says:

    I am 100% behind you on that, Exile, but you realise that will make us very unpopular!!! :-)

  141. fatgingergooner says:

    All I have wanted from Arsenal over the past few years is to see them be classed as challengers, and I think we are finally seeing that. If certain fans can’t see an improvement this season then that’s because they don’t want to see one, as it also means admitting that Wenger is getting some things right. F**k ‘em.

    GiE,

    Sebastian Jung at Frankfurt is the latest right back we have been linked with. 22 year old and guess what…he’s a German! :)

    Apparently he’s been excellent this season and is touted as Lahms international replacement.

    I also think Coleman is a great shout. He is rapid and attacks well.

    The one I would choose however is Piszscek at Dortmund. Has an amazing engine, quick, and at an age that wouldn’t hinder Jenkinson coming through. Although I must say Jenks hasn’t struck me as our future right back just yet.

    As for Sagna, I’d give him another 3 years. He’s been outstanding this season, still has decent pace, and has shown he’s more than capable as CB cover. We only have 3 CB’s anyway so if he declines a little in a year or 2 then use him as 4th choice CB.

  142. Shard says:

    Both you Bacary-baiters are getting on my nerves because you’re making sense.

    I must admit I have looked at Coleman in the past and thought he could be an ideal replacement for Sagna. So it’s not like it’s unthinkable that Sagna is replaced. I just am wary of getting rid of experienced players too early. I suppose it does depend on who we get as replacement. I think we’ll struggle to get someone as good. But then I’m talking to Sagna-smashers and that shouldn’t make a difference to both of youse.. Sagna out!!! :D

  143. RA says:

    Shard,

    Bacary has been a very good servant to the club, but :-

    Then out spake brave Horatius,
    The Captain of the Gate:
    “To every footballer upon this earth
    The end cometh soon or late.

    As I said, I think Arsenal have no choice if he has made his own choice — money has a habit of speaking loudest!

  144. fatgingergooner says:

    One thing we still lack is experience. Yes, we have more older players in Mertersacker, Flamini, Sagna, Arteta and Rosicky, but none of them are real winners. How many big trophies do they have between them? How many cup final experiences do they have? How many International caps does Arteta have!?

    I know winners are usually created rather than bought, but it would be great to get some real vocal experienced winners in this squad. Even if it’s just 1 or 2.

  145. RA says:

    Over and out too. :-)

  146. RA says:

    Agreed, Slim.

    See you tomorrow.

  147. Hi Kelsey,

    Ideally, I would adopt the Bayern Munich blue-print, and have real Arsenal people in the Boardroom who challenge the manager with an incentive-related contract based on his ability to bring Arsenal success.
    But what do we qualify as success?
    At the 2012 AGM, Arsene Wenger laid out his priorities in terms of what he considers success.
    1. PL title.
    2. Win CL.
    3. Qualify for CL
    4. FA Cup
    5. League Cup
    By far the safest low-risk option is down the middle, choice number three, it’s the comfort-zone in which he can hide and keep the owner happy because it yields shed-loads of cash.
    We can rule out the first two because all the European super-powers spend more than Arsenal, but more importantly, their owners are driven by the need for sporting success, and for their respective clubs to be the best, which definitely isn’t the situation at Arsenal.
    Since mugging MU in 2005, the FA Cup has become inconsequential, and even after two League Cup final defeats, the manager cannot motivate himself to redress the balance and take the competition seriously (though in fairness, neither do the fans, so no criticism for the League Cup).
    So theoretically if I could wave a magic wand, I’d bring in an owner with Arsenal DNA, who just like the owners of other major clubs, is driven by the desire for sporting success and to make the club the best it can be. Stan Kroenke has no emotional attachment to Arsenal, neither has Ivan Gazidis, and their vision of Arsenal is not aligned with that of many thousands of supporters who put the club over any individual ego.
    Have Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich had a manager for 17 years? No. Why do they change managers so often? Hunger for success. The only other club you can compare with Arsenal’s situation concerning the longevity of their manager is MU, but let’s be honest, would anyone in their right mind have sacked Ferguson?
    I hope that clarifies my thought-process for you regarding our club.
    Now please let me leave the site in peace, Kelsey, because I don’t want an argument with people who have very different views. I know football, I know my club, and I know my own mind. What I will say is over the last few years, reading thousands of different words from many different shades of Arsenal fans on many different Arsenal blogs, no-one has managed to convince me to change my opinion.
    If that means people think I’m inflexible to the point of being stupid, so be it, I can live with that.

  148. fatgingergooner says:

    Laters all!

  149. Gööner In Exile says:

    FGG Piszscek is a great shout. You are joking about Arteta’s international caps though surely? Think that midfield is kind of locked down.

    RA you me and Jnyc against the world :)

  150. arnie says:

    against the world?? :D

  151. arnie says:

    Ladies and gentlemen: Just saw Inside Llewyn Davis, recommend this wholeheartedly

  152. Gööner In Exile says:

    Are you a colonoscopist in your spare time Arnie?

    (That joke would work much better if you hadn’t posted a YT vid)

  153. arnie says:

    GiE: nay, not that many people with prostrate issues around me. but yes, i do occasionally work with posterior distributions. :D

  154. 26may1989 says:

    Evening chums. Sorry for not being around for the catharsis today, I was just enjoying a very nice family day, including watching my youngest at rugby club – the ball might be the wrong shape, but it’s a lot of fun watching kids enjoy being well coached.

    Anyway, back to the topic at hand. FGG, a tremendous post, love the style. There have been some comments that really chime from the likes of Norfolk and chas (“It used to take me days to get over a defeat now it takes me minutes. Conversely, a victory can carry me through a whole week” – brilliant). But the epic from RA at 12.04pm captures everything that matters after yesterday’s thrashing – I absolutely love it.

    There’s only one thing that matters now, and that’s what the players do with the defeat, how they use it and what they learn from it. It could quite easily turn out to be something that pushes us on. I’m not saying yesterday was a good thing, it was a real horror show, and I’m just pleased it ended at only 5-1, I was seriously thinking at one stage we could have been looking at double figures. But it happened, and we can use it, so we should.

    I have no illusions about the squad, it has real quality but it also has weaknesses. Some of those weaknesses, in particular the need for more attacking dynamism, will be addressed in the summer, I’m sure. But it seems to me that some of our weaknesses are also our strengths. Yes, Mertesacker, Arteta, Sagna and Giroud were exposed yesterday, but it is the maturity and experience of those very same players that has contributed so much to us being where we are this season. In dealing with the bottom 13 sides, they make huge contributions. But when playing the better sides, perhaps they become liabilities, at least some of the time. Just a thought.

    Anyway, with City dropping points in a gimme game, I’m certainly not going to lose heart, there are plenty of chances for us yet.

  155. arnie says:

    GiE, 26: weakness I can deal with, but a perceived lack of effort I cannot. Come Weds all will be fine. We will generate positive energy out of the harakiri. :D :D :D

  156. kelsey says:

    Morning all

    ” But it seems to me that some of our weaknesses are also our strengths. Yes, Mertesacker, Arteta, Sagna and Giroud were exposed yesterday, but it is the maturity and experience of those very same players that has contributed so much to us being where we are this season. In dealing with the bottom 13 sides, they make huge contributions. But when playing the better sides, perhaps they become liabilities, at least some of the time. ” so said 26th.

    At least I read all the posts but don’t quite understand the above.:)

  157. kelsey says:

    Have to get back to the curling (bowls on ice) laters.

  158. MickyDidIt89 says:

    MOOOOOORNING KEEELLSSSEEEEY

  159. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Talking of curling, is that big Scotish woman still doing it. The one who got a gold last time.

    Can’t remember, but I think her name Douglas.

  160. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas @ 8:39pm

    Is that Mick Hucknell to Fergie’s right?

  161. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne

    Hoooooray for your Gold. Great, hope that cheered you up a bit.

  162. chas says:

    Yep, Mick Hucknall, holding back the tears, as some twitter wag put it.

  163. chas says:

    Someone put this on Facepalm and it seemed appropriate to yesterday’s discussion

    A Psychologist walked around a room while teaching Stress Management to an audience.

    As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “Half empty or Half full” question.
    Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired:
    “How heavy is this glass of water?”

    Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

    She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter.
    It depends on how long I hold it.
    If I hold it for a minute,
    it’s not a problem.
    If I hold it for an hour,
    I’ll have an ache in my arm.
    If I hold it for a day,
    my arm will feel numb and paralyzed.

    In each case,
    the weight of the glass doesn’t change,
    But
    The longer I hold it,
    the heavier it becomes.

    She continued,
    “The Stresses and Worries in Life , are like that Glass of Water…

    Think about them for a while and nothing happens.
    Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt.
    And
    If you think about them all day long,
    you will feel paralyzed –
    incapable of doing anything….!!!”

    Remember to put the Glass Down

  164. chas says:

  165. chas says:

  166. chas says:

    More surf.
    23 minutes, one for later again.

  167. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Chas,

    That pic of Paul Simonon, from London Calling, was taken by photographer Pennie Smith. My old mate Robin who is London’s foremost b&w printer does her stuff. Just had a look at his site, and strangely it’s not there, but look under portraits and there are some epic pics. Love the Bardot Fag pic top middle

    http://www.robinbell.com/

  168. fatgingergooner says:

    Chas,

    I say pick the glass up…..if its filled with alcohol! :)

  169. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Love the grandma vid :-)

    I have a feeling Utd conceding a last gasp equalizer at home to Fulham will deflate them, whereas our away hammering will fire us up.

  170. kelsey says:

    That big scottish woman, oh you mean Susan Boyle

    I looked at the picture chas and it looked like Mick Hugnall as a puppet or his love child.

  171. chas says:

    Micky,
    Did you see what the Simonon pic was made of?

  172. chas says:

    Fgg,
    In that case it doesn’t stay heavy for long. :)

  173. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas

    I was actually joking about Mick Hucknell. I genuinely thought it was a 12 yr old lookey-likey

  174. fatgingergooner says:

    Morning news,

    Wenger was raging at half time according to Arteta.
    Fabianski is leaving.
    Sagna keeping his options open.
    Özil is sh*t, apparently.
    Media saying Arsenal are f**ked!

    Usual stuff really.

  175. chas says:

    It doesn’t look like Steve McQueen is actually playing the sax but doesn’t he look like Simonon?

  176. fatgingergooner says:

    Micky,

    First goal is huge on Wednesday. Whoever concedes could crumble.

  177. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas
    Yes cassette tape. Always amazing how some people fill their time.

    Kelsey
    Hucknell puppet. Are you saying Fergie is operating it with a hand up his arse?

  178. chas says:

    Someone said Hucknall was wearing Charlie Dimmock’s face for the afternoon. Reminds me of that Stranglers’ track from yesterday. HIDDYUS.

  179. chas says:

  180. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Actually Chas
    There’s one bloke who took all the iconic Joy Division pics (can’t remember his name), and same mate Robin prints them. He invited me to an exhibition at The ICA, which I couldn’t make. Definite regret that miss.

  181. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Quick Evonne, I’m about to be sensitive…

    Chas: great baby pics :-)

  182. chas says:

    Love the black and white photography. Photos and film of people smoking still make me want to smoke and look cool. Though I now know the reality is different.
    That Bardot pic reminds me of Clint Eastwood smoking. Odd.

  183. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all.

    I think one of our problems on Saturday was BFGs pace (or lack of). It doesn’t normally effect him because he reads the game so well, but the problem was the midfield were offering no cover, and actually Koz was worrying more about having to cover round so our line was not as disciplined as it has been.

  184. chas says:

    Evonne’s not up yet. She’s still holding a bucket of water from Saturday. :)

  185. evonnee says:

    Piszczek? We want Piszczek? Fantastic, I like that :)

    Thanks Micky! Gold is good, but other certain winners didn’t do so well

  186. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha Chas

    I owe you something for sorting all my tickets. When’s your birthday, and I’ll have a word with Robin. He owes me big time.

  187. chas says:

    GIE,
    How dare you come on here and talk football. :)

    My assessment of the game was that goals change games.
    If Per had kicked the ball into row Z……………
    If the ref had let play go on as most would………..
    If the lino had flagged for offside as he should have done…………
    We wouldn’t have conceded in the first minute and that enormous sink hole beneath our feet would have remained closed.

    Revisionist? Me?

  188. Gööner In Exile says:

    :D apologies.

  189. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yeah Exile

    How dare you. We like to ease ourselves gently into the new day.

    Rock’n’Roll, Smut, Surf and some gloating on the back of an Arsenal win or a heavy losses for Utd, Spuds or Chavs.

    I’m pretty sure these are the rules, then again, there are anarchists around, so sod the rules :-)

  190. evonnee says:

    yeah, talking football in the morning!!

    Chas – the Grandma video took some serious drugs to make

    Micky – give me your email, I will send you lots of great pics of the most beautiful baby Gunner girl :) BTW, that beautiful girl looks just like Peaches with my colouring

  191. chas says:

    Micky,
    You don’t owe me anything.

    I stumbled across this yesterday. I’d not seen it before.
    Over an hour, mixed quality, but powerful as f*ck.

  192. chas says:

    GIE,
    Back to your comment.
    The BFG was exposed because of the lack of cover from midfield, as you say.
    Sometimes I wish we would drop the front wide men back into a 4-5-1 for 10 minutes to allow us the regroup. That should have been the plan at 2-0 down after 10 minutes anyway.

  193. chas says:

    Evonee,
    How long did it take you to make?

  194. evonnee says:

    you are right Chas, still crying when I see that photo on top of the post, awful, let’s get rid off it. And I have a new mantra im repeating in my head over and over again – it’s only football, it is only football, only football. It doesn’t work, bloody Shankley

    However, I came to a conclusion that we can spend months trying to understand where we went wrong on Sat. To me it is simple – Pool were unplayable on the day

  195. chas says:

    Let it go, dook.

  196. evonnee says:

    I can’t, there is a remainder singing here

    Micky – what do you think of Casey Stoney, our female defender? Not as gorgeous as Faye White, but not bad :)

  197. chas says:

    It’s been a while since watching this. Us beating the dippers. :)

  198. evonnee says:

    not going to watch it, no thank you Chans. I am just pinning all my hopes for the Sunday payback

    that English snowboarder Jenny Jones is amazing!!! What an athlete, what skills! incredible

  199. Bryan says:

    Lots of poor performances, but the worse player on the pitch was Monreal, I can not understand how he ever gets in the Spain squad & nor can I understand how Wenger picks him ahead of one of the most talented & underrated left back in the country in Gibbs

  200. chas says:

    Bryan,
    The rumour was that Gibbs was being protected as he had a slight calf strain. (and yes, I realise he did come on for 30 minutes in the end)

  201. Bryan says:

    Was worth the risk as Monreal can not defend, 2 of the goals were down to his poor defending

  202. kelsey says:

    Casey Stoney has come out today as being gay. I’m amazed I thought all woman footballers were straight.

  203. kelsey says:

    Not one word on here since Saturday about Vermaelen.

    If we play Wednesday it would be sacrilege if we dropped points to that lot.

  204. arnie says:

    motning all. Rocky day again. that should cheer us up.

    lovely banter, motning crew. I see FGG and GiE have joined in as well.

    onwards and upwards. :D :D

  205. arnie says:

    Verms as DM? Is that what you are suggesting, Kelsey?

  206. evonnee says:

    k :) course they are

    you were there arnie, weren’t you?

  207. kelsey says:

    arnie, in a worfd NO :)

    Just wondering what’s going to happen with him. He wants regular football in WC year and we certainly can’t let him go at least until the summer.

    I must say those snowboarder girls are really quite pretty.They actually look like women.

    Does Bob Crowe support Chelsea or Millwall. Looks like a former NF thug who stood at The Shed.

  208. kelsey says:

    bolox I meant word. Can’t get behind the scenes anymore to correct my spelling.

  209. evonnee says:

    I think that girls foolballers are even prettier :) And the legs, look at their legs!! Fantastic

  210. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Blimey Kelsey, if I had the keys to get behind the scenes to correct my spelling, I’d have to move in and then pay rent :-)

  211. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonnee
    I googled Stoney and White and realized immediately why you might think they’re good looking. They both resemble Rory Delap :-)

  212. arnie says:

    where, Evonne, on the AA banter? sorry too early in the morning for me. just having my first cup of coffee. :razz:

    Kelsey: I see, fair point.

    All, dont look towards The Independent today. I think they are running a very nasty article on Arsenal. Usual journo bollix. :D

  213. kelsey says:

    I suppose I maybe asked to do the post match,post after match review on Thursday. Don’t all shout at once.

  214. I wish I was married to a rough looking women football / rugby player….a sort of Martin Keown looker, but with a moustache !…..that way I might get more sympathy when I turn up at work with a black eye, instead of the ridicule I get, because it is done by my pretty petit 8 stone wife !.

  215. arnie says:

    Kelsey: dont worry, spellings dont matter, hush hush. On the point that 26 was making late last night (when only myself, GiE and probably a couple of owls and cats were awake) was quite nice.

    Older players bring experience but are slow. This experience may be one of the reasons we are so efficient in dealing with the minnows this year. But against the big sides, their lack of pace gets exposed. This was the point, I think. :D :D

  216. arnie says:

    Cockie: :D

  217. Rasp says:

    Morning all …….

    …. Apologies for the early start today …..

    …………. New post ………….

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